Washington Nationals Rapid Reaction: Long ball carries Nats to win

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Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Other Nationals Hit Home Runs

Bryce Harper didn’t hit a home run in this game. Ryan Zimmerman, Clint Robinson and Ian Desmond did.

Anthony Rendon drove in a run with a single. The rest of the Nationals runs were scored via the long ball.

The Nationals continue to be too dependent upon home runs for their scoring. Home runs are fun, and they exciting, and the fans like to see them and the players like to hit them. But day in and day out, teams need to be able to score runs by driving in players who get on base, not with home runs, but with hits that keep the line moving. That is how teams build leads and have big innings.

It is also the way a team can win by scratching out a run here and a run there. If a team scores a run every other inning, they will score at least four runs every game. It is rare that a team hits four home runs in a game. It is more likely that a team will have a single, a double and a sacrifice fly to score a run in an inning.

Without tonight’s home run output from Nats hitters, the Nationals would have scored one run against Koehler. He would have looked like a world beater instead of the mediocre pitcher that he is. The Nationals were only ahead 2-0 before Koehler tired in the sixth inning and gave up back to back home runs to Clint Robinson (two run shot) and Ian Desmond. If Miami had recognized that Koehler was gassed before the home runs were hit, or hadn’t sent him out there for the sixth inning, this game would have been a nail biter right down to the ninth inning, and beyond.

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