Before this game, I predicted that Ross Ohlendorf would get lit up in Coors Field, given that he had a 4.27 ERA at Triple A Syracuse. Oh, how wrong I was. In six excellent innings, he allowed one run on two hits and two walks. He didn’t let a single leadoff runner on, and half of the total baserunners he allowed were in the sixth, including an RBI triple to Carlos Gonzalez that drove in Colorado’s only run. It was a pleasant surprise for the Nats in a season that has not had many of them. With the win, the Nats are starting to climb back up the division standings, now that the Phillies and Braves have both lost three straight.
Most Important Nationals Hit: Ian Desmond‘s two-run single (+12.9%)
Desmond entered today’s game with a 13-game hitting streak, and boy did he keep it going today. He hit an RBI single in the fourth to put the Nats up 1-0, but that was not sufficient to scare the Rockies. Manager Walt Weiss chose to walk Adam LaRoche ahead of him with a runner on third, and when a wild pitch moved him to second, Desmond delivered with a single that brought them both home and doubled the Nats’ lead to 4-0.
Most Important Nationals’ Pitch: Carlos Gonzalez’s RBI triple (-8.7%)
This pitch was the only major mistake Ohlendorf made all night. A walk to Jonathan Herrera put a runner on with two outs against the extremely dangerous Gonzalez, who made him pay. A long drive to the deepest part of the park scored Herrera and ended up with Gonzalez sliding safely into third. Despite his bad pitch and what felt like the least stable 4-1 lead ever, Ohlendorf regrouped and won a protracted battle with the similarly dangerous Troy Tulowitzki to end the threat.
Champ of the Game: Ohlendorf (+24.3%) absolutely deserves this. He came up from the minors and fared quite well against one of the top offensive teams in the majors in one of the most offensively-inclined parks in baseball. For the Rockies, Jorge De La Rosa (+6.5%) allowed three runs on four hits in 5.1 innings. He was not spectacular, or even that good, but in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. He was one of three Rockies with a positive WPA.
Chump of the Game: Denard Span (-11.5%) walked one, but was 0-4 with a strikeout in his official at-bats. Tulowitzki (-11.6%) was 0-4 with a strikeout, including his untimely out with Gonzalez on third in the sixth.