The Washington Nationals played a game on Saturday night which demonstrated what this team can produce when all aspects of their game are working. This performance is what Nationals fans expected to see most of the time from their team. All aspects of the game were working–starting pitching, hitting and bullpen and the result was a 6-1 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.
Joe Ross made the start for the Nationals. He was magnificent. He pitched seven innings, giving up one run, no walks and only threw 82 pitches. Clearly he could have gone deeper into the game, but he is on an innings limit as a rookie. This was the start that Nationals needed from their rotation.
Taylor Jungmann pitched for the Brewers. The Nationals worked him hard with lots of full counts and drawing some walks to drive his pitch count up. It was not an efficient outing for Jungmann. He only lasted four innings.
The Nationals squandered an opportunity to score in the first inning. Jayson Werth singled to start the game and Anthony Rendon drew a walk to put two on with nobody out. Bryce Harper hit a fly ball to center which was caught by Shane Peterson, who then threw out Werth trying to go to third on the fly ball. Ryan Zimmerman struck out to end the inning and the Nats got nothing out of that opportunity.
Ramos came through again in the fourth inning. With Danny Espinosa on first base, Ramos sent a ball down the third base line that rattled around in the corner long enough to score Espinosa and for Ramos to get to second base. Taylor walked to put two on. Ross tried to bunt the runners over, but did not get the bunt down. Werth got a broken bat single to right field to score Ramos. The Nationals were up 4-0.
Rendon doubled into left field, easily scoring Taylor. Werth tried to score from first base and was out by a mile at the plate. The Nationals tacked on another run, but could have gotten more. Sending Werth was probably not a good decision with Harper due up at the plate.
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Khris Davis got the Brewers on the board in the seventh inning with a solo shot to deep left field.
David Goforth took over the pitching duties for the Brewers in the fifth inning. He pitched two scoreless innings of relief for Milwaukee. His third inning of work didn’t go so well. In the bottom of the seventh, Rendon hit a home run into the Milwaukee bullpen to get the run back Ross had just given up to make the score 6-1. That was the end of Goforth’s outing.
Blake Treinen relieved Ross in the top of the eighth and threw a scoreless frame. Matt Thornton pitched the ninth inning to end the game. Domingo Santana led off with a double. With two outs, Jean Segura smoked a ball toward the gap between short and third, but Rendon laid out to catch the low liner and end the game.
Next Game: The Nationals finish their series against the Milwaukee Brewers at Nationals Park, game time is 1:35 pm EST. Jordan Zimmermann (9-8, 3.44 ERA) is pitching for the Nationals. Matt Garza (6-13, 4.98 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Brewers. Game is broadcast on MASN.