Nats Rebound in San Diego
The Washington Nationals rebounded in San Diego after getting shellacked in the series opener. The Nats young pitching duo of Josiah Gray and MacKenzie Gore rose to the challenge and gave their team a rewarding road series victory over Juan Soto’s San Diego Padres. The Nats also evened the season series vs San Diego at three games. If not for a crushing ninth inning loss last month, the Nats would have won both series against the Padres.
GAME 1: PADRES 13, Nationals 3
The Padres big three – pitcher Joe Musgrove, Juan Soto, and Fernando Tatis Jr.- overwhelmed the Nats in the series opener. Patrick Corbin (L, 4-9) got smacked for seven runs in five innings. The Nats bullpen gave up six more runs. Although Washington tallied 10 hits, they could only score three runs and two of them came in the last inning.
Transactions of Note on June 24:
- Washington Nationals designated RHP Chad Kuhl for assignment.
- Washington Nationals recalled RHP Paolo Espino from Rochester Red Wings.
GAME 2: NATIONALS 2, Padres 0
Josiah Gray (W, 5-6) rebounded from a rough prior outing and didn’t allow a run in 5.1 innings. Gray overcame four walks with six punchouts and did not allow a homer. The Nats bullpen clinched the team’s third shutout of the season and struck out another six batters. Hunter Harvey notched his fifth save in a perfect ninth inning.
Home runs by Jeimer Candelario and Lane Thomas (3-4, .296) provided the game’s two runs – fourteen less plate crossings than the prior night.
The Nationals faced pitcher Matt Waldron, making his MLB Debut. Waldron fluttered the first batch of MLB knuckleballs since June 2021.
GAME 3: NATIONALS 8, Padres 3
MacKenzie Gore (W, 4-6) rebounded from his prior outing and earned his first victory over the team who traded him last year. He pitched five innings and allowed one earned run with nine strikeouts. Gore struck out Juan Soto three times.
After five innings, the teams were deadlocked at one. Unlike many previous games, the Nats pulled away late to win the game and the series. Washington scored twice in the sixth and five times in the seventh inning. Jeimer Candelario (3-5) remained hot and knocked in three runs on a homerun and double. Joey Meneses (2-5) also batted in three runs. Luis Garcia (2-5) scored two runs.
Nationals relievers provided a key role in the victory. The Nats bullpen gave up two runs in the last four innings and allowed zero out of five inherited runners to score. Mason Thompson walked three but plowed through for his sixth hold and kept the Pads off the board in the home sixth.
Davey Must Love This
“C’mon, man. We’re playing the Nationals. … I don’t think they have playoff aspirations. I mean, they obviously have a young team and they fight. They do fight. But I wouldn’t say anyone picked the Nationals to be in the playoffs. So you have to beat the teams that you have to beat.”Xander Bogaerts Sounds off on Padres’ Struggles After Dropping Series vs. Nationals | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors | Bleacher Report
Nats record: 30-47, last in the NL East.
Next Up for the DC9: A Three game road series in the Pacific Northwest vs the fourth place Mariners (37-39). Seattle has dropped six of their last 10 games. Second year Mariners’ star Julio Rodriguez is batting an unimpressive .240 but has 13 HR and 41 RBI. Although J-Rod has 14 doubles and 17 steals, he has struck out 90 times in 74 games.