Unfortunately, tonight’s game did not end with the now-patented Rafael Soriano/Nationals untuck, but it looks like the offense is realizing not every game has to be 3-1. If more runs means fewer save opportunities and fun untuckings, I’m willing to make that trade. Unlike the weather in D.C. right now, things are starting to look a lot brighter in Natstown. The Nats had nine hits for the second straight game, have won five straight and seven of eight (#steak, for those of you on Twitter), and every concern about the defense and offense and bullpen seems to be long gone. Now if only they can keep playing the Cubs…
Most Important Nationals Hit: Kurt Suzuki‘s two-run double (+22.5%)
Suzuki, born in Wailuku, Hawaii, quenched our thirst for offense with his Hawaiian Punch. In the second inning, the Nats trailed 1-0 thanks to the first of oddly many doubles Ross Detwiler would give up. Suzuki came to the plate with two on and two out against Jeff Samardzija, whose last name is much more intimidating than he is. Suzuki slammed a double that scored both Adam LaRoche and Ian Desmond, putting the Nationals on top 2-1.
Most Important Nationals Pitch: Starlin Castro‘s RBI double (-12.0%)
Ross Detwiler pitched a good game today, with a line of 6.2 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K. The only kicker: six of those eight hits were doubles. Even weirder is the fact that Det somehow allowed six doubles of eight hits and only two runs. Two of those doubles came in the top of the third, when Samardzija did a little DIY offense to compensate for Suzuki’s double and Castro, who had two doubles on the day, knocked him in. In response to this adversity, Detwiler would record his only strikeouts of the day against two of the next three batters to end the threat.
Champ of the Game: Desmond (+29.9) had himself a nice #steak buffet today. He was 3-4 with three RBIs and three runs scored, and was a triple short of the cycle. He is now tied for the NL lead in doubles. Not a bad followup to an All-Star 2012, eh? For Chicago, Castro was 2-5 with an RBI and a run scored.
Chump of the Game: Roger Bernadina (-7.7%) was 0-4 on offense out of the two-spot and is now hitting .114, but had a few nice defensive plays, including nailing Castro at the plate in the third to preserve the tie. Samardzija (-39.o%) got hammered by the Nats, allowing seven runs (five earned, but the error was on him) in five innings off eight hits and two walks, but was 1-2 with a run scored on offense.