After losing the previous series up in Philadelphia the boys returned home to Nationals Park. Center fielder, Adam Eaton, has taken over at the top of the order replacing Trea Turner who was put on the 10-Day DL. I do not believe this is a major concern, but a precaution to avoid returning too quick and putting his hamstring more at risk. The Nationals got to work early when Bryce Harper singled into the outfield to score Eaton and help the Nationals lead 1-0. St. Louis answered quickly, Kolten Wong doubled to right scoring All-Star catcher Yadier Molina and shortstop Jhonny Peralta. Washington answered back with Eaton singling in shortstop Stephen Drew. The back and forth scoring continued when Stephen Piscotty (love the last name) drove in Dexter Fowler in top half of the 3rd inning. With Wieters on first and Tanner Roark at the plate, Roark showed bunt and pulled back slapping the ball to second. Wong fielded it and threw it away trying to start a double play at second. Wieters went to third and Roark stopped at first. Eaton continued to prove his worth in D.C. (after a big trade the Nationals pulled off with Chicago in the off season) by plating Wieters, knotting the game at three runs a piece. Piscotty and Molina drove in two runs for the Cards in the top of the 5th. The Nats called St. Louis’ two runs and raised them another in the bottom of the 5th by way of a double by Drew, single by Wieters, and sac fly by Eaton. The shortstop Drew lifted a sacrifice fly to score Harper the next inning (6th) and then singled in Harper and Zimmerman in the 8th inning. Bryce has a cannon of an arm as fans in D.C. are well aware. He showed off that arm when he caught a fly ball in right then was able to catch Matt Carpenter who wandered too far from first base on the play. The 8th inning was a scoring spree for the Nationals as Lind’s double, Rendon’s rbi ground out, and Harper’s singled totaled a seven run explosion. Former S.D. Padre, Jed Gyorko, led off the top of the 9th with a homer, but Shawn Kelly finished the rest of the Cardinals batters to take frustrations from the city of brotherly love out on the struggling birds.
The exceptional offense is an easy take away from this game. Seven of the eight starting fielders picked up hits. Eaton, Zimmerman, and Drew had three hits and Bryce Harper tallied four. Ryan Zimmerman is off to a hot start and the same question asked every year for a while now is, will he stay healthy? If he does, I see a monster season out of #11. I believe we can see Harper repeat a 2015 MVP campaign season this year, which was mesmerizing to watch two years ago. Stephen Drew is pulling his weight replacing Turner at short and providing a steady bat. The most impressive thing I saw tonight was the two rbi pinch hit by Adam Lind. A strong bench will be crucial come playoff time and if/when injuries rear their ugly heads. However, the game was not clean defensively be any means as the Nationals committed four errors during the contest. F.P. reported this was the first time in Nats history they were able to win a game while committing that many errors (it is often hard to loose a game on 14 runs and 19 hits though).
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(featured image was posted by the Nationals Instagram account, @nationals)