Nothing like leaving town and having the Philadelphia Phillies in the rear view mirror. Not only from a distance standpoint, but also a standings aspect. Fresh off a sweep of the division foe, the Washington Nationals will fly to Miami winners in nine of their last ten games. Currently sitting two games under .500 and in second place in the National League East, a combination of great pitching and timely (finally!) hitting have propelled the Nats back into divisional contention.
After Max Scherzer pitched the team to a win in the opener, it looked like the Nationals were going to have to leave town with a split after the Phillies jumped out to a five run lead in game two. For a Nationals team who has struggled to score runs this year, and seems down and out if they face an early deficit, the offensive onslaught was a welcome sight in their come from behind victory.
The good, bad, and ugly from the Washington Nationals two game series with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Timely hitting. We have to spotlight this aspect since we rarely have seen the Nationals come through with a clutch hit this season. Two first inning runs in game one. Seems like the Nationals have been playing from behind all year, though playing with the lead is better for everyone involved. Two out RBIs. Seven of the 16 runs in this series came when the Nats had two outs. Yes, the Nationals scored 16 runs in two games, that in itself is amazing.
A grand slam. Finally the Nationals did something while the bases were loaded. The Nationals trailed 5-0, 9-5, 12-11, and came back from all three. Timely hitting!
Kyle Schwarber in the leadoff spot. His numbers since moving into the leadoff spot have been unreal. He added to them with a game tying, three-run home run in game two. He may have finished with the hat trick in strikeouts, though he added a walk and scored two runs as well.
Starlin Castro. Belive me, I’ve been at the front of the “let’s kick Castro to the curb” movement. I am still not sure he should be getting playing time over Jordy Mercer (while Castro was on the restricted list, Mercer reached base every game, including a three-hit performance), or Luis Garcia. Castro came up huge against the Phills though, with three hits and three-RBIs in the finale, the most critical coming in the top of the 9th with the Nationals trailing.