Washington Nationals: Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon lead a power surge

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ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 16: Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals is greeted with high fives by teammates after hitting a two run home run in the first inning agains the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park on September 16, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia.(Photo by Kelly Kline/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 16: Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals is greeted with high fives by teammates after hitting a two run home run in the first inning agains the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park on September 16, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia.(Photo by Kelly Kline/Getty Images) /
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The Washington Nationals completed a positive series win over the Atlanta Braves on Sunday, as they were spearheaded by Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon.

Despite the fact, for all intents and purposes, their season is over the Washington Nationals are having a positive September. On Sunday, Anthony Rendon and Bryce Harper led the way with big home runs early on.

Harper got the scoring started in the first inning as he hit his 34th homer of the season. The two-run bomb got him his 96th and 97th RBI, and he’s now hurtling towards the first 100 RBI total of his career.

Rendon two-run homer of his own in the third inning to put the Nationals 5-0 up and gave them enough offense to hold out. That was the third baseman’s 20th home run of the season, and he also raised his batting average back above .300 with Sunday’s performance.

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Entering Sunday, Rendon and Harper were 7th and 20th in the National League fWAR standings, the two highest Nats. They are also the two biggest contract decisions coming up with winter, with the former expiring after 2019, and the latter expiring after this year.

There is potentially a way to re-sign both, although neither is likely to do a deal until their existing contract is up, given the fact Scott Boras is the agent to both. If the team can lock up both, then they will be set to continue competing for many more years to come.

Holland gives up a late run

This sort of headline wouldn’t have been interesting news earlier on the season. However, such is Greg Holland‘s turnaround with the Nats, that it’s somewhat noteworthy.

It’s only the second earned run that Holland has surrendered in his time with the D.C. ballclub, and first since August 25th. His ERA with the team still sits at 1.04 and he should continue to see time in the eighth inning setting up Sean Doolittle.

Given how things have transpired, it’s going to be an interesting decision this offseason on whether to re-sign the reliever or not. If the price is right, then the Nats would be foolish not to consider him as an option moving into 2019.

Soto has the edge over Acuña

In one of the biggest storylines around the series, Juan Soto continued his march on Ronald Acuña Jr. for NL Rookie of the Year. The Braves rookie went 0 for 5, while the Nats left-fielder went 2 for 5 with two RBIs.

Over the whole weekend, Soto went 4 for 10, with an impressive four walks, a homer, and even three steals. Whereas Acuña was just 5 for 14 with a triple and a couple of RBIs in the three-game series.

While this race appears to be close heading into the final stretch, it’s fair to wonder whether Soto’s record-smashing season may sway the voters. He’s now just one RBI short of Mickey Mantle for third by a teenager in a single season. Yet another impressive feat by the 19 year old.

Next. Finding a Catcher for 2019. dark

The Washington Nationals begin a road-trip in Miami to start this week when they face the Marlins. Erick Fedde gets the ball for the Nats as he hopes he can build on his sensational last outing against the Phillies.

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