WASHINGTON NATIONALS SERIES REVIEW: The Washington Nationals are on a surge, finishing up a three game series sweep against division rival Philadelphia, in Philly. The Nats were powered by terrific starting pitching throughout the series and by smacking seven home runs.
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SERIES RECORD: 3-0
RECORD VERSUS PHILLIES: 5-4
NATS OVERALL RECORD: 33-21
DIVISION PLACE: First with 3 game lead
RUNS SCORED: 16
RUNS YIELDED: 6
WINNING PITCHERS: Joe Ross (5-4), Tanner Roark (4-4), Max Scherzer (6-4
LOSING PITCHER: None
WHAT DOES IT MEAN: It’s a nice start to a nine game road trip. The Nats walked out of a division rival stadium with a significant series sweep. It was also sweet retribution, after the Phillies stunned the Nats back in April with a three game sweep of their own. More significantly, it gives the Nationals four consecutive wins and increases their division lead over the NY Mets to 3 games. While the Nats remain hot, the Mets on the other hand have lost four of their last five. That is what it means.
SERIES MVP: There are two. First, this season’s best hitter in the majors, Daniel Murphy. Murphy batted .500 in the series, collecting 6 hits, of which four of those six hits were for extra bases. Two of the four extra base hits were home runs. By farm, to this day, Murphy was MLB’s best off-season addition. He single-handedly has stolen series’ for the Nats this season. Murphy punched hits in each game this series, extending his latest hitting streak to 11 games. [12AB, 6H, 2B, 3B, (2) HR, 4R, 4RBI] Second, the starting pitching staff. Great performance in Philadelphia, with all three starters picking up wins and all going 7 or more innings. Good bullpen relief.
TOP STARTING ARM: Joe Ross. Ross put back to back terrific starts up, after struggling a bit in early, May. Ross improved to 5-4 on the season and lowered his season ERA to just 2.367. He tossed 7 innings and permitted just 1 run on only 3 hits while fanning 5 Phillies’ batters. Good day at the office. [7IP, 3H, 0R, 2W, 5KO]
TOP BULLPEN ARM: Felipe Rivero. Rivero threw two shutout innings in two appearances. In those two appearances, Rivero did not allow a single hit, but struck out four batters. Rivero lowered his ERA to 3.60 and WHIP to 0.84. (2IM, 0H, 0W, 4KO]
HOT AS FIRE: Daniel Murphy. Murphy has extended his hitting streak to 11 consecutive games. During that stretch, Murphy is 18-47 (.382) with a double, triple, and 3 home runs. He has scored 7 runs and driven in 7 runs. Overall, the streak has allowed Murphy to keep his batting average hovering around .400 at .394, which of course leads the MLB. Danny Espinosa has four home runs in his last seven games. Jason Werth has a four game hitting streak and 2 homers during those four games. Wilson Ramos is 7 for 14 over his last four games. He has scored 4 runs and homered twice.
STARTING PITCHING: Was fantastic this series. All three starters earned wins and went seven or more innings. They pitched a combined 22 innings and allowed 5 runs on 12 hits while fanning 20. That’s an ERA of 2.04. Can’t ask for anything else. The Nationals strong suit this season has been their starting pitching and this series was no different.
COLD AS ICE: Ben Revere. For back to back series, Revere gets the lowly designation. In 8 trips to the plate, he was hit-less. In hist last four games, Revere is 0 for 16. That’s horrible int he lead off spot. Fortunately, the Nationals have been hitting the long ball.
What’s Next? The Nats have a day off before beginning the middle series of a three series road trip. This middle series takes them into Cincinnati to face the Reds. The Nats sit in first place with a 33-21 record while the Reds sit at the bottom of the NL Central at 18-35.
Season Record: 33-21