The Nats have fallen back to earth.
The Washington Nationals were 1-4 this week amidst a 3-8 skid; there was not much to be excited about in recent games.
The Arizona Diamondbacks "swept" the Nats after Thursday's game was postponed due to air quality issues. Game one was high-scoring in favor of Arizona, 10-5. Jake Irvin struggled with his command in game one of the series, lasting just four innings while walking three. Irvin also recorded his third error of the season. The back end of the bullpen hurt the Nats on Tuesday, with Erasmo Ramirez and Chad Kuhl surrendering six runs across three innings. Lane Thomas and Luis Garcia recorded two hits each. Thursday night wasn't a hot offensive night; Dominic Smith and Joey Meneses had two hits accounting for four of the Nats' seven. Patrick Corbin gave up 11 hits over six innings. The Nats lost game two of the series, 6-2.
On Friday, the Nationals began a six-game road trip in Atlanta. Josiah Gray was solid across five innings of work, lowing his ERA to 3.00 through 13 starts. The improvement from Gray has been outstanding, as he's given up just eight home runs and induced more ground balls. The Nats only recorded six hits in game one, with Luis Garcia being the only player with a multi-hit game. Kyle Finnegan was given the blown save after giving up two runs in the ninth inning. Lane Thomas recorded an error in right field, which did not help Finnegan's cause.
MacKenzie Gore struggled to keep the ball in the yard on Saturday, giving up two homers in the second inning. The lefty threw three solid innings after the fact but needs to improve in limiting hard contact. Lane Thomas hit a leadoff triple to begin the game, then Luis Garcia got the Nats off to a quick lead, but the Braves got to Gore in the second, as previously mentioned. Both pitching and hitting were strong for the Nationals on Sunday afternoon. Hunter Harvey pitched for the first time in over a week and recorded a save. Jeimer Candelario hit a two-run homer to lead Washington's five-run sixth inning. Dominic Smith also hit a two-run home run, his second of the season. The Nats got a much-needed win in game three by the final score of 6-2.
Hitter of the Week
Stone provided the fireworks this week for the Nationals when there wasn't much to be had. In the first inning of game one versus the Diamondbacks Thurday afternoon, Stone hit a grand slam off starter Tommy Henry. I'm not sure you could picture a much better start to a game.
Garrett also hit a towering shot to left field in the ninth inning of Saturday's game off Braves' reliever A.J. Minter. The ball was crushed and landed off the base of the second deck at Truist Park in Atlanta. Washington was 1-4 this week and was not particularly enjoyable to watch, but the tape measure shots from Stone Garrett are pleasing to the eye.
Pitcher of the Week
The free-agent addition to the Nationals' starting rotation has quietly had a solid season, pitching to a 4.11 ERA through 13 starts. The 31-year-old threw five innings while striking out seven, walking just two, and only giving up two runs for Washington. It was good enough to record the only win this week.
Williams was not signed by Mike Rizzo to compete for the Cy Young award, his job is to pitch effective innings and lead young pitchers. It's safe to say Trevor has done his job well this season. Williams has only given up over three earned runs in three of his 13 starts. His WHIP is 1.36, lower than both MacKenzie Gore and Josiah Gray. Williams has thrown 100 innings just three times in his eight year career, it will be interesting to watch his workload the rest of the season.