Jun 12, 2015; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Washington Nationals third basemanYunel Escobar
(5) singles during the sixth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
The Washington Nationals won their game against the Milwaukee Brewers 7-2 on Saturday afternoon. All aspects of the game were clicking–pitching, hitting and defense. Even, Yunel Escobar hit a home run in the top of the third inning, which gave the Nats a 3-2 lead.
The Nationals needed this win–badly. They had lost the first two games of the series with the Brewers. They had lost 11 of their last 14 games. The Mets had overtaken them for first place in the division after the Nationals had clawed their way from the bottom of the division to the top with a hot performance in May.
This team looked terrible in April and great in May. Now it has been looking terrible in June, and a satisfying win was just what the doctor ordered. There’s no way of knowing whether the Nationals are going to be able to use this win to play on a more even keel or even go on another hot run. Everyone could breathe a sign of relief that, for one day at least, the team looked like the one everyone projected on paper before the start of the season to win the division and make the playoffs.
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Joe Ross, who was making his second big league start, was masterful. He looked even better today than he did in his first start against the Cubs, which is saying something. He mixed his pitches effectively, walked one, allowed two runs and pitched eight innings. That deep start rested the bullpen, which was desperately needed.
The only cloud on the horizon was concern over the condition of Bryce Harper, who had a perfect day at the plate (3-for-3, a walk and HBP). That hit by pitch occurred in the top of the ninth when Brewers reliever Michael Blazek hit Bryce on the inside of his left knee with a fastball. It obviously hurt, and Harper was replaced by Matt den Dekker to pinch run and play right field for the bottom of the ninth.
Next: Ross To The Rescue