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Nats 13, Braves 4: Bats stay red-hot, set franchise record

Apr 29, 2015, 9:57 PM EST

AP

GAME IN A NUTSHELL: It’s far too soon to know whether Tuesday night’s stunning comeback will be the turning point in the Nationals’ season. But it’s probably safe to say this: It certainly woke this team’s bats up.

After pounding the shell-shocked Braves for 13 runs during that record-setting rally, the Nationals came right back out tonight and pounded out 13 more runs (establishing a new franchise record). They got hits from every member of the lineup except for Ian Desmond (who did draw a walk), got five RBI out of Wilson Ramos, Danny Espinosa and Dan Uggla and got a bases-clearing single from none other than Jordan Zimmermann in the top of the fourth to complete the impressive showing at the plate.

Zimmermann also churned out seven strong innings to give the Nationals’ bullpen a much-needed rest, holding the Braves to three earned runs. And so a ballclub that after two innings Tuesday night appeared on the brink of complete disaster has now won two in a row, thanks to an offensive explosion, and heads to New York feeling a whole lot better about itself than it did 48 hours ago.

HITTING HIGHLIGHT: This was going to go to Zimmermann, whose 3-run single helped break the game open. But how could we gloss over another big night for the Most Popular Man in Atlanta, Mr. Dan Uggla himself? OK, so he didn’t quite duplicate his incredible performance from Tuesday, but he did draw a walk, drive in a run with a groundout and then drive in another run with a base hit to left. So Dan Uggla, who drove in 10 total runs for the Braves last season, drove in eight runs against Atlanta in this series. And was paid handsomely by the Braves to do it.

PITCHING HIGHLIGHT: Zimmermann still isn’t quite in peak form. He’s been quite hittable this season, allowing 32 base hits in 27 2/3 innings, and the Braves hit him fairly hard early in this game. But Zimmermann is getting better, and he got better over the course of tonight’s outing. He gave up only one earned run on five hits over his final six innings, and he walked only one batter in the entire start. On this night, that was more than good enough for Zimmermann to become the first member of the Nationals’ rotation to earn his second win of the season. (Which is a pretty crazy fact in and of itself.)

KEY STAT: Bryce Harper is now on pace to draw 155 walks this season. Only four players in MLB history have done that: Barry Bonds, Babe Ruth, Mark McGwire and Ted Williams.

UP NEXT: The final leg of this East Coast road trip takes the Nationals to New York, where the first-place Mets await for a big, 4-game series. Stephen Strasburg (1-2, 4.88) faces Jacob deGrom (2-2, 2.96) in Thursday’s 7:10 p.m. opener at Citi Field.

  1. nattygoats - Apr 29, 2015 at 9:59 PM

    If this is a dream don’t wake me. Whoo hoo. I’m in my happy place

    • manassasnatsfan - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:31 PM

      Do I misremember, I would have to look, but didn’t you write us off already?

      I apologize if I misremember

  2. Allnats - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:01 PM

    What a win!!!!

  3. Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:03 PM

    Another comeback win. RISP hitting was impressive. JZim the offensive star when the game was on the line.

  4. nattygoats - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:03 PM

    Mets gonna lose. Here we come. Gray skies are gonna clear up. Put on a happy face

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:05 PM

      One game at a time.

      • manassasnatsfan - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:32 PM

        Correct, still like a the beginning of the third game of an NFL Season.

        Just win every series the rest of the way.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:44 PM

        Yep!

      • veejh - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:48 PM

        You know, I’m not a big fan of this comparing at what point in the season we are compared with the NFL’s season.

      • nattyboh - Apr 30, 2015 at 6:12 AM

        It’s a very lazy comparison and doesn’t really even apply. A football team can make a 5 game run to get into the playoffs, happens all the time. A baseball team cannot make a 50 game run, doesn’t happen ever.

  5. npb99 - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:04 PM

    This part of it is just so sweet:

    “So Dan Uggla, who drove in 10 total runs for the Braves last season, drove in eight runs against Atlanta in this series. And was paid handsomely by the Braves to do it.”

    • adcwonk - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:16 PM

      +12.6 million!

    • veejh - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:48 PM

      Now that is a great stat.

  6. nattygoats - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:05 PM

    Mark doesn’t the Mets series start tomorrow? Thursday.

    • knoxvillenat - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:07 PM

      That’s what I thought anyway.

    • ehay2k - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:08 PM

      And Scherzer pitches Friday, according to the MASN crew.

    • Eric - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:09 PM

      Correct, per AtBat

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:31 PM

      This part of it is just so sweet:

      “So Dan Uggla, who drove in 10 total runs for the Braves last season, drove in eight runs against Atlanta in this series. And was paid handsomely by the Braves to do it.”

      Let me just point out that, if Andrelton Simmons had not spiked Yunel Escobar, Dan Uggla would probably have had one pinch-hit at-bat, if that, in these two games.

    • manassasnatsfan - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:34 PM

      Yes Strasburg vs, deGrom

  7. Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:06 PM

    Ramos baserunning was impressive. He had his PF Flyers on!

    • adcwonk - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:17 PM

      … and his dancing shoes

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:18 PM

        That was an original dance move. Didn’t know Willy could do that!

      • Eric - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:28 PM

        Haha, I missed that during the game, but just saw the highlight. Good stuff!

      • natsfan1a - Apr 30, 2015 at 7:45 AM

        Buffalo, buffalo, will you do the fandango?

    • Eric - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:19 PM

      He did the same when he scored during the inning after his run down fail in Miami. I was very nervous…

  8. rlndtln - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:11 PM

    Need update on Rendon,Jansen and Esco.

    • ehay2k - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:15 PM

      Definitely need updates, and also on McClouth. Is he on the 60 day DL yet? He should be.

      But if the team keeps winning, it takes the pressure off of those guys to return quickly. Better to have them back and healthy than back and playing hurt. Rendon needs to be fully healthy, with his timing pretty close.

      Werth may get a day off tomorrow with MAT up.

      • manassasnatsfan - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:36 PM

        Could happen.

      • veejh - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:51 PM

        ….But if the team keeps winning….

        we won 2 in a row and we’re already that ^. Let the optimism flow.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:24 PM

      and Solis as to why he didn’t pitch.

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:32 PM

        I don’t think Matty is experienced enough to manage for the benefit of a rookie’s parents.

      • drazthegr8 - Apr 30, 2015 at 12:03 AM

        Matty isn’t experienced enough to think about getting a new guy’s feet wet in a blowout rather than in a pressure situation. The 9th tonight would have been a perfect way to introduce Solis to the majors.

  9. knoxvillenat - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:11 PM

    And the Mutts lose again to the Marlins allowing the Nats to move one game closer to their lead. Now go to Citi field and get 3 out of 4 anyway. I mean, why not?

    • ehay2k - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:16 PM

      Let’s make like the Wizards and sweep!

      • scmargenau - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:20 PM

        Sweep = 2 back 🙂

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:25 PM

      Win tomorrow.

      • manassasnatsfan - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:37 PM

        One game at time. One series at a time.

  10. scmargenau - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:19 PM

    Yea the lack of rendon updates after “fatigue” is worrying

    • Eric - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:23 PM

      There was an update after that: tightness in his side.

  11. Eric - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:21 PM

    “Need update on Rendon,Jansen and Esco.”

    During pre-game radio interview MW said Escobar was available tonight in an emergency and should be back…tomorrow? I can’t recall exactly.

    He said Rendon is feeling better today, took BP, and threw the ball. Said they’re being very careful because they want him back for the long term once he’s back.

    • Eric - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:22 PM

      PS – I didn’t hear anything about Janssen, but I tuned in late.

    • knoxvillenat - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:24 PM

      Given Uggla’s and Espinosa’s performance against Atlanta Rendon can and should take his time in rehab.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:26 PM

        Agreed, stick with the hot hand!

      • Eric - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:29 PM

        +1!

      • Eric - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:30 PM

        Add Escobar to the list, too!

      • veejh - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:52 PM

        Everyone on board with starting Espinosa and Uggla!!!!!!!! LMAO!!!!!!!!

        Whodathunk?

      • veejh - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:52 PM

        Everyone on board with starting Espinosa and Uggla!!!!!!!! LMAO!!!!!!!!

        Whodathunk?

  12. Theophilus T.S. - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:30 PM

    How ironic, after being squeezed by every ump in the league for two plus years, Harper might walk 155 times. Must give every ump gall stones every time Harper works a walk. B j BBC

    • Theophilus T.S. - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:31 PM

      Gibberish. Need drum practice.

  13. Sec 3, My Sofa - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:35 PM

    Really, we should be thanking Simmons. Put Uggla into the game, and woke up the dead dog (per Larry).

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:43 PM

      I won’t thank him because he’s a punk. This is baseball Karma at its best. Think about it.

      • rayvil01 - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:54 PM

        Simmons is a punk. Agreed.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:58 PM

        Thanks Rayvil. I think it also awoken the sleeping giant.

        How many people remember Game 93 of 2012? The Barves bragged after they smashed the Nats the night before with a huge comeback and in the 2nd game on July 21st the Nats never looked back and went on a roll!

        The Baseball Gods work closely with Karma!

      • adcwonk - Apr 29, 2015 at 11:12 PM

        How many people remember Game 93 of 2012? The Barves bragged after they smashed the Nats the night before with a huge comeback and in the 2nd game on July 21st the Nats never looked back and went on a roll!

        Yep — Fri night opening up a 4-game series with the Barves with the Nats 3.5 games in first place. Nats jump off to a 6-0 lead behind Strasburg and lose 11-10. Then, game #1 of Sat doubleheader, the Nats get shut out 4-0. Lead down to 1.5 games, and some are wondering whether the fantasy has ended.

        That second game of which you speak — John Lannan comes back up from AAA. He gives up two runs in the first, falling behind 2-0, but then pitches 6 shut out innings. Nats come back to win 5-2; first of six straight wins, and Nats go from 2.5 games ahead to 5 games ahead. Starting with that game #2 of the double header, Nats won 18 of 22.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 29, 2015 at 11:15 PM

        Great recap. That’s what the Simmons spiking felt like to me. After AJ Cole was out of the game last night, the Nats got to work. It continued today. They looked confident.

      • adcwonk - Apr 29, 2015 at 11:35 PM

        Boswell talked about it. He was impressed that, last night, down 9-1, In the third inning, the Nats scored a run and celebrated as if it mattered — a sign of resistance.

        Boswell’s not exaggerating. FP said something about it, too — that they were animated in the dugout after scoring that run (it was just a sac fly) even thought they were still behind 9-2.

        Boswell’s theory (in his column today) is that when there’s a slumping team, the mantra is “don’t wake ’em up” — and that the Simmons slide (and Espi getting hit) got the Nats to focus their anger against the Braves rather than against themselves.

        It’s an enjoyable read:

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/nationals/lightning-in-a-bottle-or-in-an-empty-field/2015/04/29/b3337b84-ee80-11e4-a55f-38924fca94f9_story.html

      • Eric - Apr 29, 2015 at 11:46 PM

        Yeah, that sac fly to score Span…I don’t know what it was, but I got the strangest positive feeling the moment Werth hit that ball and it was clear Span was gonna score. I pushed it back down, but it blossomed nicely by the end of the night!

        I dont even know if I would say they looked confident from there on out. They just looked…focused. Almost business like. I followed a lot of the game on AtBat tonight, so I didn’t have a lot of visual. But, from the parts I did see, there was a similar vibe in this game. Just focusing on the task at hand.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Apr 29, 2015 at 11:36 PM

      Gee,and he speaks so well of you.

  14. manassasnatsfan - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:40 PM

    Earlier I said Simmons did us a favor.

  15. rlndtln - Apr 29, 2015 at 10:47 PM

    Harp has learned to be patient and take it as it comes.He does not argue and look back at the ump and is getting the right calls now.

  16. Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 29, 2015 at 11:07 PM

    “veejh – Apr 29, 2015 at 10:52 PM
    Everyone on board with starting Espinosa and Uggla!!!!!!!! LMAO!!!!!!!!

    Whodathunk?”

    Time to rest Desi and insert a Esco or Espi as SS.

    • scmargenau - Apr 29, 2015 at 11:11 PM

      Rest? Do u mean punish?

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 29, 2015 at 11:13 PM

        MW calls it rest. Did you see Desi’s last at-bat. Ugly, and I say that about a player I care about.

      • adcwonk - Apr 29, 2015 at 11:14 PM

        Ian’s played in all 22 games — and he’s 0-for-23 or something? I think he can use a rest.

  17. adcwonk - Apr 29, 2015 at 11:18 PM

    In six straight losses, the Nats scored a total of 14 runs. Then they score 13 runs in each of the next two games.

    Baseball’s a funny game.

  18. adcwonk - Apr 29, 2015 at 11:19 PM

    Weird stat of the night:

    From MLB:

    Washington came into Wednesday’s game tied for second in the Majors with San Diego in two-out hits with 71 (only Kansas City had more with 75). The Nats added five more on Wednesday night to drive in eight runs.

    • ArVAFan - Apr 30, 2015 at 7:41 AM

      Remember that when someone says the Nats aren’t “clutch.”

  19. Sec 3, My Sofa - Apr 29, 2015 at 11:48 PM

    That’s pretty pathetic, when the Marlins drive UP the average attendance.

    ✔ @ZuckermanCSN
    Avg attendance last 6 nights in Miami and Atlanta: 16,651. Thinking #Nats will be playing in front of a few more fans this weekend in NYC.

  20. Jfmii - Apr 29, 2015 at 11:54 PM

    I’m that Friday night game, Nats lost lead top 9, setting up a save for Kimbrell–and crushed a rocket to left center to send it to overtime

    • Jfmii - Apr 29, 2015 at 11:56 PM

      In that Friday…

  21. Section 222 - Apr 30, 2015 at 12:17 AM

    Perfect timing for an early season showdown with the NL East leaders. If we can take 3 of 4, their lead will be down to 4 games by Sunday night.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Apr 30, 2015 at 8:57 AM

      Don’t worry about standings until you’ve won more games than you’ve lost, is my feeling.

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