Washington Nationals: Top 5 games of 2017

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August 4 vs. Chicago Cubs

The Nats had the worst bullpen in the league throughout the first half of the season, but that quickly changed around the mid-season trade deadline. Mike Rizzo worked his magic once again, acquiring Brandon Kintzler, Ryan Madson, and Sean Doolittle to bolster the bullpen. The three did just that, forming an elite trio that fans affectionately dubbed “the law firm”.

Since Madson and Doolittle were acquired a couple weeks before Kintzler, the Nats did not get their first look at the three together until August 4 in Chicago. They did not disappoint, as they closed out a 4-2 win in dominant fashion.

Tanner Roark got the start, and pitched pretty well through six innings. However, he struggled in the seventh, which led to Dusty Baker calling on Kintzler to get the Nats out of the inning.

Kintzler did his job, getting the Nats out of the seventh, and handed the ball to Madson for the eighth. Madson followed suit, striking out two in a one-two-three eighth, setting things up for Doolittle. Although Doolittle allowed a hit, the only hit against the law firm, he pitched a scoreless ninth and earned the save.

This game perfectly illustrated Rizzo’s plan: the starting pitcher gets through six innings with a lead and then the law firm slams the door. After months of holding their breath when the bullpen was in action, the law firm was an extraordinarily welcome addition.

On August 4, Kintzler, Madson, and Doolittle perfectly executed Rizzo’s plan, giving the Nats a sense of security for the first time in what felt like forever.