In the month of May, the Nationals have gotten healthy and with health begets typical production. Typical production for this roster should equate to domination and that is exactly what the team has been for the last 4 weeks. With Bryce Harper becoming a legit MVP candidate and getting key contributions from Danny Espinosa and Yunel Escobar, the offense has revved up and the wins have piled up.
May 11-13 @ Arizona
The 1st game of the 7 game west coast swing was the first of 3 in Chase Field vs Manger Matt Williams’ former ballclub, the Arizona Diamondbacks. On the field, Denard Span lead off the game with a home run into the right-field seats and the onslaught continued for a 11-1 drubbing. Ryan Zimmerman also homered in the first inning as the Nats scored 10 runs in the frist two innings of work to give Max Scherzer a sizable cushion to work with, as he allowed only 1 run thru seven innings of work. Scherzer (3-3) shut out the Diamondbacks before giving up a home run in the sixth.
Game 2 saw Stephen Strasburg continue his puzzling season as he had possibly his worst start of his young career as the Nats were trounced 14-6 to snap a five-game winning streak. Mark Trumbo’s mammoth three-run homer into the second deck in left field ended Strasburg’s night with one out in the fourth inning. The eight runs allowed were a career worst for Strasburg (2-4), and the seven earned runs he gave up matched a career high. Bryce Harper hit his 7th home run in six games in the losing effort.
In the rubber match, pinch hitter Michael Taylor was able to turn a negative into a positive by crushing a game winning Grand Slam in the 9th inning in a 9-6 comeback win. After Bryce Harper was ejected in the 7th inning for arguing with the Home Plate umpire and losing the lead in the 8th, Taylor’s clutch homer and Drew Storen pitching a perfect ninth for his 10th save finished off the latest comeback securing the Nationals’ fifth straight series win.
May 14-17 @ San Diego
In the 1st game of the 4 game set in San Diego, in a game that was delayed by rain for only the fourth time in Petco Park history, the Padres were able to hit a combined 3 homers off Doug Fister (2-2) and former Nat Derek Norris contributed with 5 RBIs in a 8-3 victory. The two hour rain delay seemed to have an effect on Fister who had his worst start of the season, allowing seven runs and eight hits in just two innings.
Jordan Zimmermann continued his mastery of the Padres in Petco Park as he struck out six and allowed only six singles and the offense contributed a season high 16 hits which included Bryce Harper’s 13th of the season in a 10-0 drubbing. Zimmermann (3-2) improved to 3-1 with a 0.50 ERA in five starts at Petco Park, with 40 strikeouts against two walks.
Max Scherzer’s start in game 3 was nothing short of brilliant dominance as he struck out 11 Padres in seven innings in a 4-1 victory which was the teams 14th victory in 18 games. Scherzer (4-3) set a season-high in strikeouts and allowed only four hits and two walks. Wilson Ramos also had an RBI single in the three-run first to extend his career-best hitting streak to 18 games, the longest in the majors this year.
The Bryce Harper Show continued to flourish as he 3-4 with 4 RBI including his 14th HR of the season as Stephen Strasburg gutted through 5 innings with seven strikeouts to notch the win in a 10-5 win. Harper is now batting .338 on the young season along with 37 RBIs. Danny Espinosa hit a 2 out, 3-R homer to take the lead which the team would not relinquish.
This week the Yankees come to town for 2 games in a must see interleague matchup then a three game set against the Philadelphia Phillies.