Moments That Mattered: Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop



Last night, I said that back-to-back wins were meaningless, and that three wins in a row would be something. Well, tonight the Nats won their third straight, and true to my word, I will acknowledge it: this streak has significance. Stephen Strasburg finally got enough run support to get a win after allowing exactly one run in six straight starts. It was a bit disappointing to only score two runs, but Tyler Chatwood pitched excellently, and we can push offensive concerns back a day after scoring 11 runs over the past two days. Getting Strasburg a win was a big step, but the next big step to keep this win alive will be getting Dan Harena win, a tall task given that the Nats have lost his last 7 starts. If the Nats can do that to win their fourth straight, I’ll be over the moon.

June 19, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman (11) celebrates scoring during the seventh inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Nationals defeated the Phillies 6-2 in 11 innings. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Most Important Nationals Hit: Ryan Zimmerman‘s game-tying double (+22.0%)

Through five innings against Rockies starter Tyler Chatwood, the Nationals looked stymied. They had managed just three hits and no runs, and it looked like this would be another squandered effort by Strasburg, perhaps leading to another tough-luck loss. However, Zimmerman had other plans. After an Anthony Rendon single, Zimmerman doubled to the right field corner, driving Rendon home and tying the game at one.

Most Important Nationals Pitch: DJ LeMahieu‘s RBI single (-12.4%)

After the Rockies stranded a runner on third in the second inning, they made sure not to do the same in the third. Strasburg nicked .227-hitting Josh Rutledge to lead off the inning, and Chatwood moved him to second with one out. After Dexter Fowler struck out, LeMahieu singled to left, sending Rutlege home. He scored relatively easily on Steve Lombardozzi‘s throw, but it’s worth wondering whether he could have done the same against Bryce Harper in left.

Champ of the Game: Strasburg (+19.2%) was excellent in his second start back from the DL. He allowed one run on four hits and no walks in seven innings while striking out nine. For the Rockies, LeMahieu (+12.0%) was 2-4 with an RBI thanks to his aforementioned single.

Chump of the Game: Jayson Werth (-11.6%) was hitless for the second straight game, going 0-3 with a strikeout. Manny Corpas (-16.3%) allowed the game-winning homer to Ian Desmond in the seventh, taking the loss.