Washington Nationals Rapid Reaction: Stephen Strasburg Shines, Tanner Roark Flounders
Jun 28, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Washington Nationals second baseman Dan Uggla (26) celebrates the victor against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Nationals defeated the Phillies, 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
After an intense rainstorm ended the Washington Nationals game against the Phillies on Saturday after just an inning and a half, the two teams took the field on Sunday for a doubleheader. They played to a split. The Nationals took the first game 3-2 behind a strong performance from Stephen Strasburg, making just his second start after returning from injury. In the second game, the Nationals found themselves in a hole they could not dig out of as spot starter Tanner Roark surrendered eight runs in just 3.1 innings.
The Nationals looked good in the opener. Aside from Strasburg, who was on his game, the Nationals also were able to get some contributions from some key role players as well. Danny Espinosa contributed a key sacrifice fly and continued to shine in his ever increasing role, while Dan Uggla contributed three hits to the win and scored what would be the winning run on a passed ball. Add to that the fact that Denard Span and Bryce Harper were both able to crack the lineup after not being able to go on Saturday and the Nationals came out of the first game more than pleased.
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The second game was a bit more disappointing. In addition to the fact that it ended the Nats’ eight-game winning streak, it also saw Tanner Roark get rocked for eight runs while failing to get out of the fourth inning. That proved too much to overcome for Washington, who still managed to score five runs in a game that also saw Yunel Escobar return to the lineup.
So what were the key takeaways from Sunday’s doubleheader? Here’s a look at the major storylines from each game.
Next: Game 1: Stephen Strasburg's Strong Start