If you were to go into this week under .500, in 3rd place in the division and not really clicking on any cylinders on the field THEN you go out and win 5 in a row, 7 of 8 but lose Saturday’s game, to only place 1 game behind the 1st place Atlanta Braves, most fans would take that right? But when that one loss brings up all of the losing characteristics that have plagued the team this season such as ANOTHER throwing error by Ryan Zimmermann (which of course lead to the losing runs), Stephen Strasburg collapsing after that said error (again), and just not enough offense to compete, you have a fan base thats slightly concerned.
The week started off with 2nd year power bat, Tyler Moore shaking off a poor start to his season with a 3 Run HR in the 8th inning as the Nats defeated the Pirates in Pittsburgh by the score of 6-2. Danny Espinosa homered and drove in three runs and Gio Gonzalez (3-2) won for just the third time in seven starts after winning 21 games last season. The team had a day off on Monday in preparation for a 2 game Interleague set vs Miguel Cabrera and the Detroit Tigers. Luckily for the Nats, they would not face the two best pitchers on their rotation in former Cy Young winner Justin Verlander and the undefeated Max Scherzer. Tuesday’s game would be cancelled by rain which pushed the matchup of Jordan Zimmermann and Nats killer Anibal Sanchez , who was 8-0 with a 1.97 ERA in 19 starts against the Nationals while with the Marlins, to Wednesday. Zimmermann continued his Cy Young pace after pitching 17 shutout innings in his prior two starts, the right-hander allowed one run in seven innings in a 3-1 win . Bryce Harper connected with his team leading 10th HR of the season. In the finale on Thursday, Dan Haren nearly squandered a four-run lead as Washington’s three relievers had identical lines, each giving up a hit and striking out a batter in an inning in a 5-4 triumph, the teams 4th in a row. Adam LaRoche seems to have worked his way out of his April slump with 2 hits for his 1st back to back multi-hit games of the year. LaRoche has eight hits in his last 14 at-bats, raising his average from .129 through May 1 to .196. Rapael Soriano sewed up his 12th save in 13 chances.
A three game set vs the Chicago Cubs would bring back former Nats star Alfonso Soriano, who in his 1 season here in DC holds almost all single season batting records including HRs, Slugging Percentage and Extra Base Hits. The one player on the roster that will probably be the guy to eventually bring down all of those records, Bryce Harper, did not play in Friday’s or Saturday’s game because of an ingrown toe nail (ouch!!!). Also sitting out would be Jayson Werth, who has been hampered with a hamstring and would eventually be placed on the Disabled List on Saturday. Neither of those players would be missed a bunch on Friday as Ian Desmond continued his torrid ways with 3 hits including a 2-run HR and a RBI double. Danny Espinosa and Kurt Suzuki each drove in a pair of runs with a double, helping Washington beat the Chicago Cubs 7-3 for its seventh victory in the past eight games. Ross Detweiler wasnt his sharpest, but did enough to earn his second win of the season.
Saturday’s aformentioned game continued a bad streak (Strasburg’s losing streak, now at 5), ended the team’s 5 game streak (longest of the season) with a disheartening 8-2 loss. Ian Desmond had 3 hits again as he has developed into one of the games best shortstops and a keeper for this franchise for years to come. We are seeing a true leader blossoming on and off the field before our very eyes.
Player of the Week:
Ian Desmond – 8 hits in 5 games which included 2 doubles, 2 HRs and 6 RBI’s. He also added a Stolen Base as well.
Next Week’s Schedule:
The Nats embark on their 1st extended West Coast road trip as they land in Los Angeles on Monday for a 3 game set, then on to San Diego for 4 gamer which concludes on Sunday