Aug 2, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon (6) high fives teammates after beating the Philadelphia Phillies 11-0 at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
The Washington Nationals put together the perfect win, at the time they needed it most.
The Nationals thrashed the Philadelphia Phillies 11-0 giving them a badly needed victory, and a now two and half game lead over the Braves at the two-thirds mark of the season.
Every spot in the lineup got at least one hit, and every starter except Jordan Zimmermann had at least one RBI. It was a total team effort that reminded the Phillies why we are the team to beat in the division.
It has been well documented that the Nationals lineup has suffered severely since the injury to Ryan Zimmerman, but this game seemed to be the breakout game the whole team needed.
Anthony Rendon led the way for the Nats with three hits, falling a triple short of the cycle. The most notable of these hits was the three-run homer he rifled just over the left-center field wall in the second inning giving the Nationals an early 5-0 lead. The drive was the first home run the Nationals had hit since Zimmerman left the lineup, which was a team record of nine game drought.
A.J. Burnett started the game for the Phillies, but after not getting a call in the at bat Rendon went deep, he threw a pitch intentionally outside, and proceeded to flick his glove to the umpire as if to say, “now that is outside.” Home Plate Umpire Chris Guccione did not take kindly to this motion and immediately ejected Burnett. Manager Ryne Sandberg was also quickly tossed following a heated discussion with Guccione.
Nats Park errupted with excitement in what was one of the more exciting five minutes you will see at a baseball game.
At this point the game seemed lost for the Phillies, but the Nationals were not ready to take their foot off the pedal just yet. The Nats added another run after an Ian Desmond leadoff walk and a steal, and a Bryce Harper single to left in the third. Asdrubal Cabrera followed with his first base hit as a National, but they were unable to bring him around in this inning.
But the Nationals would seal the deal on this game in the bottom of the fourth. They batted around in the inning and added on another five runs to give them 11 before the game had reached the fifth. The first four spots in the order all got a hit and scored, and Cabrera scored on a single by Wilson Ramos following a triple of his own.
This is when it seemed the Nationals were content with their own lead. Soon after, Jayson Werth took a seat on the bench like he often does during blowouts and you knew it was over.
Jordan Zimmermann continued to pitch well since his bicep strain, adding seven shutout innings to his record. Jerry Blevins and recent call-up Blake Treinen added scoreless innings to wrap the game up.
The Nats needed a spark to get back on track, and every player stepped up to make a difference in this game. They put together patient at bats, and even their outs were loud. One can only hope they are about to begin a stretch of dominance, with a game against the O’s, three against the Mets, and then an all important series in Atlanta. If there was ever a time to get hot, it is now.