Series Review: Nats avoid a sweep in Cincy, win finale 10-9

WASHINGTON NATIONALS SERIES REVIEW: The Washington Nationals avoided a series sweep in Cincy against the Reds by winning a wild 10-9 series finale today.

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SERIES RECORD: 1-2

RECORD VERSUS REDS: 1-2

NATS OVERALL RECORD: 34-23

DIVISION PLACE: First with 2 game lead

RUNS SCORED: 15

RUNS YIELDED: 22

WINNING PITCHERS: Sammy Solis (1-1)

LOSING PITCHER:  Gio Gonzalez (3-4), Felipe Rivero (0-2)

WHAT DOES IT MEAN:  The Nationals lost a game in their division lead as they now lead the Mets by two games.  Washington struggled on the mound, both in terms of starters and the bullpen.  The shock was the starting pitching struggles.  The Nats have been spot on with starting pitching, but in this series, they combined to allow 13 runs over 14.1 innings.  Only Gio Gonzalez, who took a loss, made it to six innings.

SERIES MVP: Wilson Ramos.  The Buffalo continues to hit the ball well, collecting 4 hits on 9 plate appearances, three of which were for extra bases. [2 doubles, 1 home run]  he scored four runs and drove in two runs.  he extended his hitting streak to five consecutive games and boosted his batting average to .350 on the season. [9AB, 4H, 2 2B, HR, 4R, 2 RBI]  Honorable mention goes out to Sammy Solis.  Solis earned his first win, tossing 3 innings, allowing 1 hit and 1 walk, while fanning 6 batters.  Job well done.

Wilson-Ramos

TOP STARTING ARM: If it had to be any, it would go to Stephen Strasburg.  Strasburg tossed 5.1 innings and allowed 3 runs on 4 hits, but fanned 10 batters.  He failed to factor into a decision.  Overall, this was a pretty forgetful series for the Nationals starting rotation.

TOP BULLPEN ARM: Sammy Solis.  The Nats needed some innings eating and Solis provided them three strong innings int which he only allowed 1 hit while striking out 6 batters.  Blake Treinen also tossed 1.2 scoreless innings.  Other than that, the bullpen wasn’t that helpful this series.

HOT AS FIRE: Wilson Ramos.  Ramos extended  his hitting streak to five games.  Over those five games, Ramos has collected 9 hits in 16 at bats while scoring 9 runs and driving in 6 runs.  Ramos lifted his season batting average to an impressive .350.

STARTING PITCHING: One of the strongest aspects of the 2016 Nationals has been effective starting pitching.  Not this series.  The three starters permitted 13 runs over 14.1 innings.  Only Gio made it to six innings, and he was hammered for 9 hits and 5 runs.  They were bound to have a let down at some point and that certainly happened this weekend.  Tanner Roark struggled through just 3 innings while getting pounded for 7 hits and 5 runs.

COLD AS ICE: Ben Revere. Revere was 2 for 12 this series, with both hits coming in the 14 hit, 10 run garage today.  He raised his batting average to just .167.  The leadoff spot is a big problem right now for the Nationals.  Despite a call up of Trea Turner, he wasn’t used much outside the first game of the series, in which he went 3-3 with a double.  Question becomes, how long will Dusty Baker wait for Ben Revere to show up?

What’s Next? The National limp out of Cincy and head to Chicago for a three game series against the White Sox.  It is the final leg of a nine game road trip.  Joe Ross takes the mound tomorrow and will face Mat Latos.  Ross is coming off two back to back strong starts int which he allowed just 1 run over 7 innings in both starts.

Season Record: 34-23