Nationals Maintain Division Lead with .500 Week

Washington Nationals Weekly - 19


Jayson Werth, Chris Davis

Washington Nationals’ Jayson Werth (28) gets back to first safely on a pickoff attempt as Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis (19) awaits the ball during the first inning of a baseball game, Monday, Aug. 4, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

The Washington Nationals played .500 baseball in the first week of August, winning three games and losing three others. Washington lost a makeup home game to the Baltimore Orioles, and then took two of three from the New York Mets at home. The Nationals then went on the road for an important three-game series against the Atlanta Braves, splitting the first two games. As of Aug. 10, Washington still led the NL East with a 63-52 record.

 

Aug. 4: Nats Fall to O’s in Make-up Game

In a makeup game for a July 7 matchup postponed due to rain, Washington fell to the Orioles at home, 7-3. Starting pitcher Tanner Roark wasn’t at his best on the mound, allowing seven hits and five earned runs over six innings. Catcher Wilson Ramos hit a home run, as the Nationals delivered just eight hits total as a team.

 

Aug. 5-7: Nationals Take Series, 2-1, over Mets

The Nationals stumbled again at home the following night, suffering a 6-1 loss to the Mets in Game One of a three-game series. The pitching woes continued as starter Gio Gonzalez gave up four earned runs in six innings.

Anthony Recker, Adam LaRoche

New York Mets catcher Anthony Recker, left, waits for the ball as Washington Nationals’ Adam LaRoche, right, scores a run on a single by Washington Nationals’ Ian Desmond during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014, in Washington. The Nationals won 5-3 in thirteen innings. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)

The Nats finally shook off their losing slump on Aug. 6 with a dominant 7-1 win in Game Two. Starting pitcher Doug Fister was outstanding, giving up just one unearned run with seven strikeouts while lasting into the eighth inning. First baseman Adam LaRoche and second baseman Danny Espinosa both went the yard with home runs.

Washington claimed another victory in the series with a 5-3 win over the Mets in Game Three on Aug. 7. Starter Jordan Zimmermann allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings. Washington went six men deep into its bullpen and relief pitcher Craig Stammen eventually closed out the game for the win. Shortstop Ian Desmond and left fielder Bryce Harper both hit home runs as the team racked up 14 total hits.

 

Aug. 8-9: Washington Splits Wins with Hated Braves

Ian Desmond, Evan Gattis

Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond forces out Atlanta Braves’ Evan Gattis (24) as he turns a double play on a Chris Johnson ground ball in the third inning of a baseball game Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Washington’s comeback bid in the opener of a three-game series against the Braves fell just short, as the Nationals fell, 7-6, in Game One on Aug. 8. After falling behind, 6-0, in the second inning, the Nationals steadily came back, making it a one-run game heading into the eighth inning. Stephen Strasburg struggled, giving up seven runs and four home runs in just five innings until reliever Ross Detwiler calmed the storm. Third baseman Anthony Rendon and Ramos both hit home runs; Rendon added three RBI. But the Nationals were held scoreless in the final two innings and Atlanta held on for the win.

The Nationals bounced back the next night to beat the Braves, 4-1, in Game Two. Roark delivered a strong outing, dealing six strikeouts and allowing just one earned run in seven innings. Relief pitcher Rafael Soriano closed out the win for his 26th save of the season; LaRoche hit his 16th home run of the season.

Next up: After the rubber match against the Braves on Aug. 10, the Nationals will travel to New York to face the Mets in a three-game series from Aug. 12 to 14. The Nationals will then host the Pittsburgh Pirates in a three-game series from Aug. 15 to 17.

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