The Washington Nationals are currently holding onto second place in the National League East division after winning four of their last five games during the past week. The Nationals swept the Colorado Rockies in a three-game series in D.C., and then split their first two games of a three-game home series with the Chicago Cubs over the weekend. The Nationals have a 47-39 record, trailing the division leading Atlanta Braves by 1.5 games, as of July 5.
June 30-July 2: Nationals Sweep Rockies in Three-Game Series
The Nationals made light work of the Rockies in a 7-3 win on June 30. Jordan Zimmermann started Game One at pitcher and didn’t give up a run through the first five innings. He finally gave up two runs in the sixth inning and was replaced by relief pitcher Drew Storen, who was eventually replaced by Aaron Barrett. Barrett gave up one run in the seventh inning but it wasn’t enough to hurt the Nationals’ lead. Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman led the Nationals with three hits and shortstop Ian Desmond had a team-high three RBI’s; first baseman Adam LaRoche went the yard with his 12th home run of the season.
Washington took another easy win from the Rockies the next day in a 7-1 victory on July 1. Game Two starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg had one of his better performances of the season, lasting into the eighth inning with eight strikeouts. Strasburg gave up just five hits and one earned run. Outfielder Jayson Werth led the Nationals with two hits and three RBI.
The Nationals then swept the Rockies with a 4-3 win on July 2 in Game Three. The win didn’t come as easy as the first two games of the series. Starting pitcher Doug Fister was shaky on the mound, allowing seven hits and three earned runs in seven innings pitched. But Washington did just enough to get the win. Both Werth and Desmond went the yard; Werth hit his 7th home run of the season while Desmond picked up his 15th homer. The win marked the fifth straight for the Nationals.
July 4-5: Washington Splits first Two Games with Cubs
Washington’s five-game win streak would come to an end, though, as the Cubs took a 7-2 win in Game One of the series on July 4. Starting pitcher Tanner Roark struggled, giving up nine hits and four earned runs in seven innings pitched. The Nationals’ bullpen didn’t do much better, allowing three more runs before the game ended. Werth hit his eighth homer of the season, but nothing else clicked at the plate for Washington.
However, the Nationals avenged its loss the next day by blowing out the Cubs in in Game Two for a 13-0 win on July 5. Washington was an inferno on offense with 19 total team hits. Zimmerman led the Nationals with four hits and both Werth and second baseman Anthony Rendon each added three more hits. Gio Gonzalez got the start at pitcher and was sensational, allowing just four hits and no runs in eight full innings pitched.
Next-up: the Nationals will finish their three-game home series with the Cubs on July 6 and then will take on the Orioles in a four-game series on July 7-10. The first two games of the series will be played in D.C., while the final two games are in Baltimore. Washington then heads to Philadelphia to take on the Phillies in a three-game series on July 11-13.