Nationals Bounce Back, Win Series vs Padres
The Washington Nationals entered this week’s series with the San Diego Padres in desperate need on a rebound performance, having not won a game in a week. Fortunately, the pitching delivered.
Gio Gonzalez started the series on Monday night only allowing two hits and two runs over seven innings. Meanwhile, the Nats bats exploded for ten runs of their own-most notably a three run home run from Juan Soto-a recent callup who made his presence known throughout the series-and two home runs from Mark Reynolds-to propel Washington to a convincing 10-2 win on Monday night.
Tuesday’s game proved to be much closer, with the Padres even scoring the first run on a solo home run by Franchy Cordero in the top of the fourth to give San Diego a 1-0 lead. This lead would prove to be short lived as Bryce Harper hit a solo home run of his own in the fifth to tie the game at 1-1. Meanwhile, Jeremy Hellickson pitched more than well enough to keep the Nats within striking range, allowing only one run on five hits in five and a third innings. Wander Suero, Brandon Kintzler, and Sean Doolittle came in from the bullpen to hold San Diego in check, allowing zero runs on a combined two hits on three and two thirds innings. This all set the stage for the bottom of the ninth. Padres reliever Matt Strahm walked Juan Soto (Soto was on base four times in this game, with three walks and a single) to begin the inning. Next, Wilmer Difo hit into what could have been a double play, but was instead bobbled by third baseman Cory Spangenburg, allowing Juan Soto to make it to second base. Difo was thrown out at first. With one out in the ninth inning, Michael A Taylor stepped to the plate-and sent everybody home with a walkoff double to center, giving the Nationals a 2-1 win on just their second walkoff of the season. This gave Washington the win in the three game series, as well as the season series win over the Padres.
The Nationals tried for the sweep on Wednesday behind the arm of Erick Fedde-who was making his first start of the season. Fedde pitched five and two thirds innings, allowing five hits and three runs on an RBI single by Manuel Margot and a two run double by Christian Villanueva. Padres led 3-0 after six innings, but the Nationals would stage a rally. Matt Adams got Washington on the board with a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh, and the Nationals would have runners on first and third with no outs in the bottom of the ninth. Washington threatened to tie or walk off the Padres for the second day in a row, but the rally fell short as Michael A Taylor-Tuesday night’s hero-struck out and Spencer Kieboom hit into a game ending double play. Nationals fall 3-1, but still win the series. The unsung hero of the week was the Nationals bullpen, not allowing a single run in nine total innings of work.
The Nationals will have a day off tomorrow and head to Miami to face the Marlins for the first time this weekend