A crowd of 30,714 welcomed the Washington Nationals home for their first game since clinching the 2014 National League East crown on Tuesday night. And – as a “thank you” of sorts – starting pitcher Tanner Roark led his team to a 4-2 win over the New York Mets.
Roark threw 86 pitches and 58 strikes in 6 1/3 innings pitched while giving up two runs on five hits and striking out one batter in his fifteenth win of the season. The only trouble he truly encountered were the first three hits he gave up – they were all doubles.
New York scored first in the fifth inning off a pair of those doubles. Second baseman Wilmer Flores led off the inning with a double and proceeded to score off a one-out double his by outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis. But thanks to a hot-hitting Adam LaRoche, the Nats answered back in the bottom half of the inning.
Wednesday evening was a tough loss to swallow for Washington as the Nationals fell 6-2 against the Atlanta Braves during the series finale of their recent three-game set. Washington took two of three in the series and are eight games ahead of their division rival with a magic number of ten.
The Nats remained in good spirits despite the loss but are aware of the challenges that still lie ahead as the stakes get higher. “It’s nice to be able to win a series, be able to come out strong [and] really play good baseball these past couple days,” outfielder Bryce Harper said after the game. “You’ve got to go in to win ball games. If you don’t win the ballgames then something could happen. If you win ballgames then what you want to happen happens.”
A few hundred people bore witness as the midnight hour crept just passed 1 a.m. at Nationals Parks on Tuesday morning as the Nats beat the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers 4-0. Due to rain, the game fell subject to a 3 hour and 17 minute rain delay starting in the middle of the 4th inning. The total time of the delay even ended up being longer than the total amount of playing time it took the Nats to win it.
Both teams fielded some of their most reliable starting pitchers. Right-handed pitchers Zack Greinke and Jordan Zimmermann each performed prior to the rain forcing them out of the game. In fact, the two-run shutout Washington carried into the bottom of the eighth with them was recorded within the first two home team at-bats of the long, long night.
The Washington Nationals’ struggles against top-tier teams in 2014 continued on Thursday night with a 0-8 loss at home against the St. Louis Cardinals. Right-handed pitcher Adam Wainwright held the Nats to just two hits in the complete game shutout at Nationals Park.
Washington’s right-handed starter Taylor Jordan had a shaky first inning which did not increase the Nats’ odds of finally beating a team they’ve dropped seven consecutive games to (eight counting last night). Jordan lasted five and a third innings and gave up seven hits and seven runs (five earned), walked two, struck out four, and hit a batter on 96 pitches (61 strikes).
The Washington Nationals found themselves on the winning side of 5-0 game against the Miami Marlins Tuesday night thanks to a solid outing from left-handed starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez and impressive offensive efforts from first baseman Adam LaRoche and third baseman Anthony Rendon.
Gonzalez threw 101 pitches, 61 strikes, over six innings and gave up three hits while walking two batters and striking out five to secure his second win of the season.
Washington scored early, taking a one-run lead in the first inning when LaRoche drove outfielder Jayson Werth home with two-out. Manager Matt Williams’ line-up failed to score again until the sixth inning, but that’s when things got interesting.
The Washington Nationals failed to produce sufficient run support on Saturday night as the Atlanta Braves secured their fourth victory of the season with a 6-2 win at Nationals Park. Despite Washington’s best efforts with team ace Stephen Strasburg on the mound, the team’s offense struggled to score against Atlanta’s right-handed starter Julio Teheran.
Strasburg lasted 4.1 innings in his first D.C. start of the year. He gave up eight hits and six runs (three earned) while throwing 96 pitches (59 strikes). He also struck out six and walked three batters but a high pitch count early on prevented him from going any further.
The Nats managed to get a brief taste of offensive production with a two-run Adam LaRoche homer in the first inning, his second of the season, but that didn’t yield the long-term results Washington was hoping to achieve Saturday night. Washington didn’t maintain the lead long, though, and Atlanta came fighting back in the fourth inning when a pair of runs scored off a Ryan Zimmerman throwing error to tie it up at two runs each. Zimmerman was later removed from the evening’s game due to soreness and pain in his right shoulder. Continue reading →