Moments That Mattered: Pull Out All The Stops



Tonight’s win was a vindication for every Nats fan who has been frustrated recently. Sure, the Nats have won now four of five, but they are still two games under .500 and lost six straight before this stretch. They also lost that lone game in their last five 11-0. That’s why the Nats should feel great after yesterday’s monster blowout. The Nats had the most hits and most runs they have all season, and Nats who have been scuffling got right back on track. Bryce Harper got another significant hit, Denard Span hit his second home run of the season and second in two days, and Taylor Jordan earned his first MLB win by allowing one run over six innings. The Nats have blown teams out before, like the Mets by 11 a while ago, but look what good that did them. Consistent play is what will get them back to contention, and the most encouraging sign is that much of the offense is performing better, and the pitching staff too (thanks, Dan Haren). The key is simply to keep doing it, which the Nats have failed to do for much of this season.

Jul 27, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals left fielder Bryce Harper (34) singles during the sixth inning against the New York Mets at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Most Important Nationals Hit: Bryce Harper’s two-run single (+15.7%)

The Nationals began their onslaught in the third inning. With one out, a double and two straight singles scored the game’s opening run with an RBI single from Wilson Ramos to put the Nats on top 1-0. One out later, Harper came to bat with runners on second and third. Instead of making an out, like the Nats might have with RISP, Harper scored both runners with a single. Reversing their recent RISP trend, the Nats were 9-12 with RISP today.

Most Important Nationals Pitch: Marlon Byrd‘s strikeout (+2.3%)

This may be among the most uneventful Most Important Nationals Pitch sections ever. The Mets went down in order in each of the first three innings. By the time they actually managed a baserunner, they were trailing 8-0, meaning that their runners were nearly meaningless. Byrd’s out as the first of the second inning was the most important because outs made later in games, in closer games, and earlier in innings are most important. The Mets trailed 3-0 when they started batting in the third inning.

Champ of the Game: Harper (+13.4%) had the sixth-most hits of any Nat today with just one, but his was the pivotal one listed above. The other Nats’ hits were lost in the hit parade. In what is a remarkable first for this section, no Mets had a WPA above zero. The ones whose WPA was zero were Bobby Parnell, Josh Edgin, Justin Turner, Andrew Brown, and Anthony Recker.

Chump of the Game: Adam LaRoche (-4.6%) was 0-5 and is now hitless in his last 15 at-bats. Mets starter Carlos Torres (-35.8%) got absolutely demolished. In three innings, he allowed eight runs on nine hits and a walk, while striking out two.