On Friday night the Nationals finally looked like themselves again. They displayed solid defense, great pitching, aggressive base running, and power hitting. The result: a 9-2 win over the Rangers.
In the top of the second, the Rangers opened the scoring with an RBI single from Rougned Odor. Later in the inning, the pitcher, Colby Lewis, had an RBI single. The second inning left many Nats fans wondering if this would be one of those Stephen Strasburg starts where one bad inning makes him lose command. Luckily it was not one of those starts. Those were the only two runs he would allow. He went six innings and recorded nine strikeouts.
In the third inning, the Nationals would take the lead on a long home run from Ian Desmond. It is impressive seeing Desmond hit so well recently, considering his struggles over the past month. This wound up being the defining moment of the game, as those were the game-winning runs.
In the fifth, the Nats showed of their base running ability. Denard Span singled to lead off the inning. Then, with a 3-1 count on Anthony Rendon, Span took of for second. On the pitch, Rendon chopped the ball to third. Adrian Beltre threw him out at first. On the throw, Span tried to advance to third. Mitch Moreland made an errant throw to third allowing Span to score. This seems to be the type of base running Matt Williams promised—aggressive.
In the bottom of the sixth with runners on first and second, Williams called on Tyler Moore to pinch-hit. Moore proceeded to double to left off Lewis, making it 6-2. This was big for Moore because he has struggled as a pinch hitter. This hit basically sealed the win for the Nats.
In the end, the Nats won 9-2. They play tomorrow at 12:15 p.m. The Nats looked great today in their quest to regain the division lead.