When the Washington Nationals won the series opener 11-1 against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday, I commented that “unfair” was the only word you could use to describe the Nats victory. Last night, the only word you could use to describe the beat down the Nats received at the hands of the Diamondbacks is unreal.
The Nationals lost 14-6 against Arizona Tuesday night, which brings their record to 18-16 on the year. This was a lopsided one from the start of the night and by the end, Clint Robinson was pitching and a few regulars got an early night off. All good things must come to an end and while the Nats end their five-game winning streak, I saw a lot of positive things that I love about this Nationals team which should bode well for this club the rest of the way.
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The fight and grit this team showed tonight was impressive. Obviously, Stephen Strasburg did not have the best start. He was fighting himself all night and he might be still getting healthy after exiting early from his last start due to injury. The club could have thrown in the towel and given up after Stras gave up eight runs, but the team kept fighting by battling at the plate and cheering on each other in the dugout.
Harper went 2-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored. He mashed the ball for a double in the top of the fourth and homered in the top of the sixth. The home run might have been the most impressive hit of the night as he took one to right center with only about a 75% swing. He now leads the NL in home runs with 12 and still continues to be an on-base machine, getting on base for almost half his at-bats at a .442 clip.
Wilson Ramos is now in the midst of a 15-game hitting streak after getting a knock in the top of the ninth. Ramos is hitting .318 and still continues to impress as the season goes on. The Nats will need his bat to stay hot to compensate for Anthony Rendon out of the line up and Jayson Werth and Ian Desmond still finding their stroke.
I think most nights you expect to win if you score six runs, but the Diamondbacks came to hit and put up big numbers against the Nats. You can’t win every game and at least the Nats division rivals all lost last night as well, but sometimes you can tell more about how a team handles a loss than a win. I think we learned a lot about the character of this team last night.