The Washington Nationals remain atop the National League East division after another winning week of baseball. Washington swept the New York Yankees in a short two-game home series on May 19 and 20, and then beat the Philadelphia Phillies in another home series opener on May 22. Unfortunately for Washington, a loss to the Phillies in Game Two of the series on May 23 snapped the Nationals’ six-game winning streak at the time. Still, Washington leads the division with a 25-18 overall record, as of May 24.
Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond (20) bats during an interleague baseball game against the New York Yankees at Nationals Park, Wednesday, May 20, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
May 19-20: Nationals Win Short Series against Yankees
Washington’s 8-6 win over the Yankees in Game One was highlighted by Ryan Zimmerman’s walk-off home run in the 10th inning. The game-winning blast came against Yankees’ relief pitcher Andrew Miller, who hadn’t allowed a run scored against him up to that point of the season. It was also the 10th career walk-off home run for Zimmerman, tied for 10th place in MLB history. Nats’ starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez struggled, however, allowing six earned runs through five innings. Relief pitcher Matt Grace ended up earning the win, his second of the season.
The Nationals won Game Two, 3-2, despite the ejection of their star batter, Bryce Harper. It was the second time that week that Harper was ejected by an umpire. This time he was tossed in the third inning after a verbal exchange with umpire Marvin Hudson. Washington still went on to win the game, thanks in large part to Denard Span’s RBI single in the seventh inning, which broke the tied score, ultimately winning the game for the Nationals. Ian Desmond and Tyler Moore both hit home runs earlier in the game for Washington. Starting pitcher Jordan Zimmerman earned his fourth win of the season, pitching seven full innings while throwing six strikeouts.
May 22-23: Washington Splits Two Games with Phillies
Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley (26) throws to second base to get Washington Nationals Ryan Zimmerman (11), right, out in the fifth inning during a baseball game at Nationals Park, Saturday, May 23, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
The Nationals rode the backs of stars Harper and ace pitcher Matt Scherzer in a 2-1 win in Game One of their series against the Phillies on May 22. Scherzer tossed an outstanding game, surrendering just four hits and one run in eight full innings pitched. Harper nailed his 16th home run of the season in the sixth inning, lifting the Nats to victory.
Washington, however, was crushed, 8-1, by the Phillies in a Game Two on Saturday. Starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg pitched poorly, giving up seven hits and six runs in less than four full innings before he was pulled from the mound. The Nationals also struggled offensively, recording just five total hits as a team. Harper went 0-for-4 at bat.
Next: Washington will close out its home series with the Phillies on Sunday, then head to Chicago for a three-game road series with the Cubs from May 25-27. The Nationals then head for Cincinnati for a three-gamer with the Reds, May 29-31.