With the exception of one small mistake, all phases of the game were great for the Nats today. Dan Haren threw well, and would look even better if it were not for the three-run homer he allowed in the sixth inning. Even with the homer, which brought him to four runs, Haren performed well against an extremely imposing Detroit Tigers lineup. The bullpen performed even better, with three scoreless innings in which they allowed three total hits. The offense was great as well, hammering nine hits and getting five runs off Doug Fister, all in the first two innings. The Nationals are now 6-1 in May, and things are looking up.
Most Important Nationals Hit: Adam LaRoche‘s RBI single (+10.7%)
With runners on first and second and one out, LaRoche laced a single that looked like it would load the bases. However, Tigers centerfielder Austin Jackson misplayed the ball, allowing Harper to score and Zimmerman to move to third. Jackson was given an error, and the Nats took a 2-0 lead. LaRoche’s hit was the fourth of a five-hit inning which saw the Nats take a 3-0 lead in the first inning.
Most Important Nationals Pitch: Matt Tuiasosopo‘s three-run home run (-19.8%)
The Nats were cruising coming into the sixth inning, leading 5-1, but the Tigers would not go quietly into that good night. With runners on first and second and two out, the pinch-hitting Tuiasosopo took a Haren pitch for a ride over the visiting bullpen in left field. The Nats’ once comfortable lead was suddenly made much more nerve wracking, and even more so with the top of the Tigers’ order coming up. However, the bullpen was stellar where it may not have been last month, and preserved the Nationals’ win.
Champ of the Game: Since it was a close game to the end, and there were no outstanding performances otherwise, Rafael Soriano (+15.2%) takes this prize by virtue of his successful save. For Detroit, Tuiasosopo (+19.8%) only had one at-bat, but his three-run homer was by far the most influential hit anyone had during the entire game.
Chump of the Game: He did not pitch excellently, so Haren (-8.7%) is today’s Chump, but only because he had a mediocre day when everyone else was pretty good. Meanwhile, Fister (-27.3%) was hammered, allowing eight hits and five runs (four earned) in just three innings.