On another bright and sunny day at Nats Park, it was the Milwaukee Brewers who had trouble with the sun and fly balls, helping to spark a huge six run fourth inning for the Nats on their way to a 12-2 rout of the Brewers.
Jordan Zimmermann pitched six and 2/3 innings, only allowing four hits and one run. He also had a good day at the plate with two hits, an RBI and a run scored. The game was also notable for Ian Desmond swiping his twentieth stolen base of the year, making him a member of the 20-20 club, the first for the Nationals since Alphonso Soriano had his 40-40 season in 2006.
The Nats scored in the first inning due to heads up base running by Bryce Harper. Harper hit a single and went to second when Ryan Zimmerman drew a walk. Harper stole third and came home on a throwing error by Brewer’s catcher Jonathan Lucroy trying to get Harper at third. Corey Hart homered for the Brewers to even the score.
With the game tied in the bottom of the fourth, Danny Espinosa smacked a double, then went to third on a balk called on Brewers pitcher Marco Estrada. Roger Bernadina, starting in place of Michael Morse, grounded into a fielder’s choice, with the Brewers throwing home to get Espinosa trying to score. Kurt Suzuki singled to right, and Jordan Zimmermann singled to center, scoring Bernadina. Jayson Werth then hit a fly ball which should have been the third out, but Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez lost the ball in the sun. The ball dropped and both Suzuki and Jordan Zimmermann scored. Harper drew a walk, and then Werth and Harper executed a double steal. Ryan Zimmerman homered to tack on three more runs. The Nats were ahead 7-1, and Brewers starter Estrada was done for the day.
The Nationals struck for two more runs in the bottom of the fifth off Brewers reliever Kameron Loe. Ian Desmond drew a lead off walk and stole second. Espinosa singled and ended up on second on a throwing error. Bernadina grounded into another fielder’s choice. The Brewers threw home to get Desmond at the plate on yet another bad call by umpire Marvin Hudson (the replays showed Desmond was clearly safe). Kurt Suzuki doubled, and Espinosa and Bernadina scored. That chased Loe from the game. Josh Stinson got the final two outs of the inning and pitched the sixth.
Milwaukee scored a run in the top of the eighth off Tyler Clippard. Ryan Braun hit a two out single and Aramis Ramirez got a double that scored Braun. Clippard then got Corey Hart to fly out to right, ending the Brewer threat.
Manny Parra pitched the bottom of the eighth for the Brewers and the Nationals scored three more runs. Ryan Zimmerman hit a single that scored Mark DeRosa who had drawn a walk, and Eury Perez who had singled for his first major league hit. Espinosa got the third RBI of the inning grounding into a fielders choice with the bases loaded that scored Ryan Zimmerman. Drew Storen pitched a scoreless ninth to seal the Nats win.
Champ of the Game: Ryan Zimmerman went three for four with four RBI’s, and his three run homer gave the Nats tons of breathing room.
Chump of the Game: Roger Bernadina went 0-3, grounding into a fielder’s choice twice with a runner on third, both of whom were thrown out at the plate.
Unsung Hero: Bryce Harper had a terrific catch to end the first inning, went 1-3 with a walk, and stole two bases.