Nationals v D-backs Series Story

The first place Arizona Diamondbacks overwhelmed the last place Washington Nationals in a two-game series shortened by bad air quality in the Washington, DC metro area.  The two-game sweep by the Diamondbacks tied them for the NL lead in wins (37) with the Atlanta Braves.  The D-backs piled up 27 hits in 18 innings. 

GAME 1: DIAMONDBACKS 10, Nationals 5

The Washington Nationals’ pitchers issued eight walks and hit two batters.  The Nats won the HR battle, 2-1, but lost on the stolen base front, 5-1.  Arizona went 5-15 with runners in scoring position, while the Nats connected only once in six opportunities.

DC got off to a great start when Stone Garrett (1 for 2) hit his first career grand slam that more than offset the D-backs lone run in the top half of the first inning.  But Washington made more errors (2) than runs (1) the rest of the game. 

Washington starting pitcher Jake Irvin shutdown the D-backs in the second and third innings.  Arizona blew it open with two runs in the fourth, three in the fifth, and two more in the sixth and seventh innings.  Irvin hit the leadoff batter in the fifth inning and Erasmo Ramirez (L, 2-3, 6.33 ERA) replaced Jake.  Ramirez also hit a batter, balked, and walked another to load the bases with nobody out.  Arizona led 6-4 after five frames. 

Lane Thomas had a good game: 2-4, two runs, and a stolen base.  Thomas’ 9th home run of the season got the Nats within a run at 6-5, but that was as close as they would get. 

A fielding error by CJ Abrams (his 12th) and two walks by Chad Kuhl filled the bases for Arizona in the sixth inning.  The Diamondbacks cashed in again for two runs.  Kuhl gave up two more runs in the seventh on a 2-run blast by AZ right fielder Pavin Smith.

The lone bright spot on the mound for the Nats was Thad Ward (4.76 ERA) who struck out three and gave up one hit in two scoreless innings.

Time of Game: 2:58.
Attendance: 24,743.

Comings and Goings

On June 6, the Nats recalled RHP Jordan Weems (30 years old) from the Rochester Red Wings and designated RHP Andrés Machado for assignment.  Machado has been awful lately.  After his latest appearance vs. the Phillies on June 4, Machado’s ERA ballooned to 8.47 as he gave up four runs on five hits, including two home runs in one inning.

The Boston Red Sox drafted the 6’4” 212 lb. Weems in the sixth round in 2011. But Jordan didn’t make his MLB debut until nine years later.  Weems posted a 1-1 record for Rochester so far this season.  Upon his call up, his ERA was 3.75 in 22 games with six saves and 24 strikeouts in 24 innings.  Earlier this spring, Weems appeared in two games with the Nats.  In 2.1 innings, he struck out three and had a WHIP of 1.29.

GAME 2: DIAMONDBACKS 6, Nationals 2

Patrick Corbin’s first inning struggles continued.  Arizona second baseman Ketel Marte drilled the first pitch from Corbin into the gap in right-center field for a double. Three of the Diamondbacks’ first five batters hit doubles as the D-backs put up three runs in the first inning. 

The Nats accomplished all their scoring in the third inning.  Alex Call singled to lead off.  Lane Thomas (1-4, R) doubled to put two runners in scoring position.  Luis Garcia then bounced an infield single to first base, scoring Call.  Jeimer Candelario then hit into a double play that knocked in Thomas, but the rally stalled.

Washington Defender

Lane Thomas pegged out his sixth baserunner of the season. According to Baseball Reference, Lane ranks tied for third with two other outfielders in MLB assists.  Thomas’s throw to second base could not have been more perfect in terms of pace and accuracy.

Washington batters struck out eleven times, headlined by Riley Adams who whiffed in all four at-bats.  Joey Meneses (.305) and Dominic Smith each had two base hits.

Although Corbin (L, 4-6) took the loss, he kept the damage to a minimum and gave DC a chance to win the game.  The Nats were down by just a run at 3-2 when Corbin left after six innings and 98 pitches.  He allowed 11 hits, but none of the home run type.  Patrick walked one and struck out four.

The Nats pitching staff gave up one walk after handing out eight free passes the night before.  Alas, the D-backs followed a dozen hits the previous night with 15 more in this second game of the series. 

Nationals reliever Carl Edwards Jr. gave up an insurance run in the seventh inning.  Mason Thompson pitched a clean eighth inning.  But recently re-called Jordan Weems surrendered his first two runs of the season on a two-run HR by Corbin Carroll in the top of the ninth to seal the Nats’ fate. 

Time of Game: 2:32.
Attendance: 18,180.

For the Record:

  • Nats record fell to 25-36.
  • Lost seven out of their last nine games.
  • 12-21 at home.
  • season worst 11 games under .500.
  • 7-21 vs teams .500 or better per

Next up for the DC9: After the unscheduled day off on Thursday, the Nats go to first-place Atlanta (38-24). The Braves have won five in a row.

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Dominic Toto

Blogging about the Nats since 2022. Nats nut since 2004. Once hit a batting practice ball that cleared the infield dirt at Nationals Park on a fly.

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