Friday, April 14th, 2017: 3-2 W (Phillies)
Tommy Joseph started the scoring for the Phillies with his first dinger of the season. Matt Wieters evened it up by singling in Ryan Zimmerman and sending Jayson Werth to third. However the Nationals were unable to drive in Werth. Caesar Hernandez hit a single to center field and Philly Cameron Rupp scored on the play putting Philadelphia back on top in the 5th. Anthony Rendon has started to get going when he recorded his first double of the year in the 6th scoring Heisey to even it all up. The game headed to extras and in the 10th Bryce Harper singled on a 1-0 count to the outfield. Daniel Murphy came up next doubled in Harper for the walk-off hit!
Saturday, April 15th, 2017: 4-2 L (Phillies)
It was Jackie Robinson today across Major League Baseball. We honor an incredibly brave man who risked a lot to fulfill his dream and show many others that they can fulfill theirs too regardless of the color of their skin. Manager Dusty Baker had a quote “Everyday is Jackie Robinson day to me.” I think that speaks volumes to how much we all owe to Jackie for taking a stand against the ideology at the time. The movie “42: The Jackie Robinson Story” is a great film and I encourage people to watch it. It is rated PG-13 so I would do some research for the given rating of the movie, but I thought it was very real and appreciated it very much.
The Nationals struck first with two outs in the 3rd by way of Anthony Rendon. Philly came back as Herrera plated in Hernandez to even the score with Tanner Roark on the mound. In the 7th down 2-1, Chris Heisey got his first homer of the season left to even it up at two runs a piece. Hernandez took Blanton deep short after however putting the Phills back on top 4-2.
Sunday, April 16th, 2017: 6-4 W (Phillies)
Caesar Hernandez led the game off with a home run, his third deep fly of the year. In the bottom half of the frame Anthony Rendon delivered from the two hole striking a ground rule double to get Adam Eaton in. Bottom of the 3rd Bryce Harper hit a tater to drive Rendon and that was Rendon’s second run of the day. The score stayed 3-1 until the 8th inning when Daniel Nava and Tommy Joseph got hits out to Jayson Werth to even the score at three runs a piece. Freddy Galvis then extended the Phills’ scoring in the 9th to lead 4-3. Chris Heisey and Adam Eaton were on base for bam-bam Bryce Harper to come to the plate. The 3-2, two out pitch was launched out to center field where the batters eye is to walk the Nationals off in fashion.
Series Recap: The Nationals got some pay back on the Phillies after losing the series up in Philadelphia. I have a feeling I will be repeating the same thing all year. The offense has been producing. They are my favorite Nationals lineup yet. They have not been shutout yet. In terms of team offensive statistics they lead the MLB in batting average, #2 in on base percentage (OBP) and slugging percentage (SLG) and #1 in on base plus slugging (OPS) with .815 with the next highest being the Reds from Cincinnati with .794. Bryce Harper continues his reign of terror on pitchers with an impressive slash line of .333/.455/.644 four homers thirteen runs batted in. Rendon looks like he is starting to come together which will make the lineup even more deadly. We cannot wait for Trea Turner get back into the lineup however they are so good right now we can afford to have him take a couple more days even after the 10-Day DL to make sure he is at 100%. Adam Eaton is filling in well at the lead off spot. The starting rotation is getting the job done, often going six or seven innings often allowing three or four runs. The trouble continues to be the bullpen. The Nationals opted to look for an in house solution to losing Mark Melancon in free agency. They were not able to resign Melancon, nor did they sign Chapman, Jensen, or Holland. Personally I was thinking Greg Holland could be a potential move they would make due to being a lower cost closer. Holland is proving his worth in Colorado converting six saves in six games with a 0.00 ERA and a 0.83 WHIP. The Nationals will head on the road so hopefully we see more wins as the boys head to the road.
(featured image from the Nationals Instagram account, @nationals)
UPDATE (4/16/2017 10:11pm): F.P. had an Instagram live feed going while on the plane for Atlanta and we commented “F.P. you are the man!” and they (F.P. and Dan) called us (The NatsTown Chronicle)! Seems very small but we were very excited! Go Nats!