If Wednesday night’s game had been a few months back, this Washington Nationals team might blown their 2-1 lead over the Mariners, but last night they didn’t. The Nationals secured a one-run victory, their tenth win in the past eleven games, by scratching out a couple of runs early and playing tight defense.
According to manager Jim Riggleman, baseball is a game of numbers and a game of momentum and last night the Nationals played in vane of that. The mojo from their thrilling and historic come-from-behind win the night before carried over, despite the fact that Wilson Ramos didn’t have any clutch hits in the 2-1 win.
Ramos did not get a hit last night. He struck out twice and grounded out. But, fellow rookie Danny Espinosa continued to devour all balls hit his way on defense while sparking Washington’s offense with an RBI-single in the first and single – with an eventual run scored – in the fourth.
John Lannan pitched a strong, although short, game to record his first interleague win since 2009 when he beat both the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles on the road. Riggleman pulled Lannan after 5 2/3 innings and 89 pitches (59 for strikes). Lannan didn’t walk a single batter, gave up one earned run and racked up three strikeouts.
Rocket reliever Henry Rodriguez , Sean Burnett, Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen took over the helm for Lannan, all completing a successful evening on the mound. Rodriguez consistently hit triple-digits on the Nationals Park radar gun. Burnett stuck it out and kept his head in the game by “trusting” his “stuff”. Clippard was his usual self, quick and consistent, to retire the side in a three up, three down eighth. And then there’s Storen. Storen also saw a three up, three down ninth to mark his eighteenth save of the season.
The win puts the Nationals at .500 (37-37) and in sole possession of third place in the National League East. This is the latest in the year that a Nationals team has reached that numerical feat since their inaugural season in 2005 when they finished 81-81.