The Washington Nationals saw their 10-game win streak end on Aug. 22, but the team bounced back with a win the next night to maintain the best record in the National League.
A four-game sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks pushed the Nationals’ winning streak to 10 games, until the San Francisco Giants prevailed in the opener of a three-game set the following night. But Washington responded by winning the next game on Aug. 23, and still owns the National League East division with a seven-game lead over Atlanta Braves as well as a 74-54 record.
Aug 18-21: Nationals Sweep Arizona to Push Streak to 10 Games
Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg delivers a pitch. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Locked in an extra-innings battle with Arizona in Game One of a four-game home series on Aug. 18, the Nationals didn’t escape until first baseman Adam LaRoche smacked a walk-off solo homer in the bottom of the 11th inning to deliver a 5-4 win. Catcher Wilson Ramos also hit a two-run home run that gave Washington a short-lived 4-3 lead in the sixth inning. Starter Jordan Zimmermann was solid on the mound, giving up four hits and three runs in seven innings. Relief pitcher Tyler Clippard blew the save opportunity in the ninth inning, but Craig Stammen took over and earned the win.
Washington Nationals Denard Span smiles as he crosses home plate after scoring the winning run. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Game Two offered fewer dramatics as Washington crushed Arizona, 8-1, on Aug. 19. Stephen Strasburg got the start and allowed only three hits and one run in eight innings of work. Shortstop Ian Desmond led the way at the plate with three hits and four RBI.
Washington’s win streak continued in Game Three on Aug. 20 as the Nationals pulled out a close 3-2 win over the Diamondbacks. Tied 2-2 in the bottom of the ninth, Anthony Rendon entered the game as a pinch hitter and smacked a clutch walk-off RBI single. Tanner Roark started at pitcher for Washington and allowed no runs and just five hits through the first seven innings.
Washington made it 10 straight wins with a 1-0 victory over Arizona in Game Four on Aug 21. Center fielder Denard Span scored the lone run for the Nationals—yet another walk-off score—thanks to a throwing error by Diamondbacks’ third baseman Jordan Pacheco.
Aug. 22-23: Nationals’ Win Streak Ends against Giants
Washington Nationals’ Jayson Werth follows through on an RBI-single. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)
Washington Nationals’ Denard Span follows through on an RBI-single. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)
After nearly two weeks of non-stop winning, the Nationals finally stumbled, suffering a 10-3 loss in Game One of a three-game series against the San Francisco Giants. Starting pitcher Doug Fister had an off game, giving up seven hits and four runs, including two home runs, within the first six innings of the game. Washington’s bullpen was just as bad as relief pitcher Jerry Blevins and Ross Detwiler allowed six more runs over the next three innings. Right fielder Jayson Werth hit a solo home run for Washington in the fourth inning, but the team mustered up just seven hits total.
But Washington immediately bounced back into the winning column with a 6-2 win over the Giants in
Game Two on Aug. 23. Zimmermann got the start and gave up a two-run homer in the first inning, but shut out the Giants over the next eight innings, striking out eight. Werth led on offense with two hits and two RBI; second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera scored two runs and also hit a home run in the third inning.
Washington will finish its home series with the Giants on Aug. 24, followed by a three-game road series against the Phillies in Philadelphia from Aug. 25 to 27. The Nationals then head to Seattle for a three-game road series with the Mariners on Aug. 29 to Aug. 31.