WASHINGTON NATIONALS Series REVIEW: We use the words crush and sweep, because that is exactly what Arizona fans were subjected to on the Nats west coast finale swing. Not only did the Nationals sweep the DBacks, but they did it in an absolutely convincing and humiliating manner. In two of the games, the Nationals scored double digit runs. In total, they outscored the DBacks 32-8 and racked up 48 total hits, which 13 were extra bases hits.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN? It means the inconsistent Nationals offense became inconsistent again, this time in the right manner. The offense was absolutely pulverizing, crushing DBacks pitching for 32 runs and 48 hits in a three game series. It was also a fantastic series for the Nationals division wise, as the New York Mets lost 2 out of 3 to the Yankees and the Miami Marlins were swept by the Cubs. That allowed the Nationals to extend their division lead to a comfortable 7 games over Miami and 8.5 games over New York.
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SERIES RECORD: 3-0
RECORD VERSUS Diamond Backs: 3-0
NATS OVERALL RECORD: 64-44
DIVISION PLACE: First with 7.0 game lead
RUNS SCORED: 32
RUNS YIELDED: 8
WINNING PITCHERS: Stephen Strasburg (15-1), Tanner Roark (11-6), and Max Scherzer (12-6)
LOSING PITCHER: None
SERIES MVP: Daniel Murphy. Murphy had a sweet series at the plate, going 7 for 12 and having multi-hit games in each of three games. Murphy compiled a double, a home run, scored 6 runs and drove in 4 more runs. The Nats offense lit up Arizona pitching, so several could be mentioned here, but Murphy was a series driver.
OTHER HOT BATS: Wilson Ramos sits behind Daniel Murphy in the National League batting leaders with a .331 batting average. In this series, Ramos was 5 for 11 with a double and home run and drove in 5 runs. Anthony Rendon was 5 for13 at the plate with 2 doubles, scored 5 runs, and drove in 4 runs. He extended his hitting streak to 7 games, in which he is 10 for 28 at the plate.
TOP STARTING ARM: Double award. Max Scherzer (12-6) pitched a gem. In 8 innings Scherzer permitted 4 hist and 3 runs, but fanned 11 batter to earn his 12th win of the season. You can also credit Stephen Strasburg, who improved to 15-1 on the season. Strasburg tossed 6 innings and allowed 3 hits and 1 run while fanning 6. He is 15-1 on the season with an impressive ERA of 2.63.
TOP BULLPEN ARM: All. The bullpen was pretty effective this series, throwing a combined 6.2 innings and allowing just 1 run. Newly acquired closer Mark Melancon did not have an opportunity to close out any games, because of the dominant performance from the Nats offense. Still, he pitched 2 scoreless innings and allowed 1 hit and struck out 3.
ROOKIE WATCH: Top Nats’ prospect continued to excel in the Nationals line up. In three games, he was 5 for 17 (.294) at the plate and is batting .312 overall. Turner had a triple and his first major league home run in this series. He scored 4 runs and drive in 1 run. Wilmer Difo also got a chance to play in this series and made the most of his time, collecting 5 hits in 10 at bats, including a double. Difo scored 3 runs and drove in 3 runs. In five major league games this season, Difo is 6 for 14 (.429).
STARTING PITCHING: The Nationals got excellent starting pitching this series, with all three starters, Strasburg (15-1), Tanner Roark (11-6), and Max Scherzer (12-6) all earning wins. Combine, the starters tossed 20.1 innings and allowed 7 runs and fanned 23 batters.
COLD AS ICE: Bryce, wake up. Bryce wake up.
What’s Next? The Nationals have an off-day today. They will then begin an 8 game home stand. They begin the home stand against the SF Giants for three games. They then face the Cleveland Indians for two games. Then they finish up the home stand with three against the Atlanta Braves.
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