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Nats 7, Braves 0: Fister cruises to secure sweep

Jun 25, 2015, 6:41 PM EDT

USA Today

GAME IN A NUTSHELL: With their lineup rounding into form and their rotation in the middle of the best stretch for a starting staff in franchise history, the Nationals continued to roll on Thursday with a 7-0 win over the Atlanta Braves. The victory was their ninth in their last 12 games and it secured their second consecutive sweep.

Doug Fister was brilliant in his longest start of the 2015 season. He carved up the Braves’ lineup and found little trouble along the way to seven shutout innings.

The Nationals gave Fister some help early with six runs through the first three innings with the highlight coming in the form of a two-run bomb by Ian Desmond in the bottom of the third. They finished with 12 hits and two walks in an all-around impressive performance.

The Nationals are 8-1 against the Braves this season with a run differential of 64-38 (+26). They also swept them in Washington on May 8-10.

The Nationals now leave for a road trip having won six straight games. They moved to 40-33 on the season and seven games above .500 for the first time since June 2. Their six-game winning streak matches their highest of the season (May 15-22).

HITTING HIGHLIGHT: Desmond’s homer was part of a three-run third inning that put the Nats ahead comfortably against Braves rookie starter Matt Wisler. The rally began when Yunel Escobar doubled to left-center field with one out. He then scored on a single to center field by Clint Robinson.

Wilson Ramos then reached on a groundball, as Robinson broke up a would-be double with a hard slide into second base. Desmond followed by taking a 2-1 2-seam fastball and lining it over the out-of-town scoreboard in right field.

It was Desmond’s sixth homer on the season and gave him his third RBI in the last two games. He previously had just three RBI in the 21 games prior to Wednesday night when he hit a walkoff sac fly. Desmond also singled in the eighth inning.

PITCHING HIGHLIGHT: The Nationals’ rotation has been on an absolute tear since Friday night when Joe Ross dominated the Pirates through 7 1/3 innings of work. It continued with Max Scherzer’s no-hitter the following day, Gio Gonzalez’ seven shutout innings on Sunday, Stephen Strasburg’s five scoreless frames on Tuesday and Zimmermann’s eight innings of zeros on Wednesday.

Fister allowed no runs across seven innings with just four hits and a walk surrendered. He also hit Jonny Gomes with a pitch and added four strikeouts on a season-high 111 pitches. Including Fister’s numbers, here are the statistics for the Nats’ rotation in their last six outings: 43.1 IP, R, 24 H, 38 SO, 6 BB, 0.21 ERA.

Fister took the win and is now 3-3 with a 4.15 ERA through nine starts this season.

KEY STAT: The Nationals’ rotation has a new franchise record with 41 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings as a group. The previous mark was 39 1/3 innings, set by the 1981 Montreal Expos. The last time a staff went longer was the 2008 Cleveland Indians, who were stopped at 44 1/3 straight scoreless frames. Perhaps Scherzer can help the Nats eclipse that mark on Friday against the Phillies.

UP NEXT: The Nationals head on the road for a six-game trip beginning with three in Philadelphia against the Phillies. Scherzer (8-5, 1.76), the hottest pitcher in baseball, will go up against Aaron Harang (4-9, 3.41). What will Scherzer have as an encore to his no-hitter, which followed a one-hit, 16-strikeout performance in Milwaukee?

  1. veejh - Jun 25, 2015 at 6:47 PM

    Back to back sweeps. Gotta love it. The rotation is on fire right now.

    Treinen looked solid.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 25, 2015 at 6:54 PM

      And they rested Rendon and Harp and everyone in the bullpen except Treinen. Desi with some nice swings today.

      • veejh - Jun 25, 2015 at 6:56 PM

        Yes he did. I sure hope that walkoff last night did the trick and he can now sustain what he did today. If Dez starts to click, we’re going to be VERY tough to beat.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 25, 2015 at 7:05 PM

        That’s the truth and maybe they can rest Rendon back to 100%.

        I don’t know if I can bare another game of Clint Robinson in RF. He cost Fister a hit and almost didn’t get to another.

        The rest of Nats defense was excellent today.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 25, 2015 at 9:31 PM

        What is Aaron Barrett doing now 😉

      • ArVAFan - Jun 25, 2015 at 9:45 PM

        Barrett started throwing off flat ground a day or two ago.

  2. Danny - Jun 25, 2015 at 6:47 PM

    Giolito’s start just began for Potomac. Joe Ross also makes his first start for Syracuse tonight.

  3. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 25, 2015 at 6:49 PM

    They have now been through the entire staff, and the only guy who gave up a run — ONE crummy run — got sent to AAA.

    Need three+ more for the record, the MASN graphic said. There’s no gimmes in this league, but you gotta like their chances with Scherzer going tomorrow vs. the Phils.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 25, 2015 at 7:02 PM

      When the Nats got through starts by Ross, Scherzer, Gio and Strasburg after Ross’s 2nd inning of work, I was doing my math on scoreless starter innings at the 27 innings mark I didn’t realize how big of a deal that would become.

      It seemed significant at the time and glad the media finally took notice. Could you imagine the streak we’d be talking about if the bullpen held things together!!!

    • veejh - Jun 25, 2015 at 7:03 PM

      the record since 2000, that is. Not sure what the all time record is. Anyone?

      • NIWatcher - Jun 25, 2015 at 8:16 PM

        Pittsburgh had six straight shutouts in 1903. Not sure how many innings of those were by starters, but starters usually finished games back then. The team had 56 total consecutive scoreless innings.

      • veejh - Jun 25, 2015 at 8:21 PM

        I did a little interweb searching and couldnt find it. Yes, we all know the Hershiser record.

  4. npb99 - Jun 25, 2015 at 6:54 PM


  5. veejh - Jun 25, 2015 at 6:57 PM

    I sure am happy Fister didn’t blow the streak and end up getting sent to Syracuse.

  6. natsfan1a - Jun 25, 2015 at 6:58 PM

    Nice win and nice homestand boys.

    • natsfan1a - Jun 25, 2015 at 6:58 PM

      Eh, I dropped my comma. I hate when that happens.

      Oh, and have a nice road trip, too, boys! 🙂

  7. David Proctor - Jun 25, 2015 at 7:00 PM

    Here is a post from a Braves forum:

    “Are the Braves terrified of the Nationals? We turn into a different team when we play them.”

    Oh how the tide has turned…

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 25, 2015 at 7:12 PM

      You know what turned? DAN UGGLA, the ex-Barve. He showed these guys the way. That triple and HR that took the Nats from a gazillion runs down to win 13-12 was the turning point in this rivalry.

      • nats128 - Jun 25, 2015 at 7:29 PM

        Yes, how soon they forget.

        On April 27 the Braves beat the Nats 8-4 and the Nats fell to 7-13 and 8 games out of 1st place.

        The Legion of Doom was calling the season over.

        The next night the Nats fell behind 9-1 in the AJ Cole game and like you said won 13-12. The season turned in a dramatic way.

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 25, 2015 at 9:31 PM

        Unlike last year, this time, if the Nats get a ring, Dan Uggla will totally deserve one.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 25, 2015 at 8:03 PM

      Drop the Report Comment and add a LIKE button. Just a thought.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 25, 2015 at 8:13 PM

        I like I like

      • unkyd59 - Jun 25, 2015 at 8:37 PM


      • Bruxtun - Jun 25, 2015 at 8:46 PM


      • veejh - Jun 25, 2015 at 8:50 PM


    • adcwonk - Jun 25, 2015 at 8:40 PM

      They certainly were a different team today. Their fielding was atrocious. Three called errors, and one or two more that couldn’t be called because of the rule regarding not assuming a double play.

    • Section 222 - Jun 25, 2015 at 9:53 PM

      Uggla was a turning point for this season, but not a turning point for our success against the Braves. That tide turned last year. We won 7 of the last 11 games against the Braves.

    • natsnatsnatswoo - Jun 25, 2015 at 9:11 PM

      Of course Enter Sandman is not his song. Kids never ever like their parents’ music.

  8. Drew - Jun 25, 2015 at 7:30 PM


    P.S. The Twins call up Alex Meyer to make his major league debut in the bullpen. As a reliever he’s been much improved, allowing 1 run in 17 innings at Rochester.

    Meyer is the fourth major leaguer from the Nats’ 2011 draft, following Rendon, Taylor Hill and Billy Burns.

    The flame is flickering for 2011 picks Matt Skole and Brian Goodwin. The pilot light might be out for Matt Purke.

    • Theophilus T.S. - Jun 25, 2015 at 8:40 PM

      Too early to pronounce Purke. He’s pitching decently for Hagerstown in what is essentially a recuperation year. And he is surprisingly young.

      • Drew - Jun 25, 2015 at 9:00 PM

        I hope you’re right. He’s had a tough road.

  9. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 25, 2015 at 9:30 PM

    So now the starters are competing with each other to both GET a hit, and to not give up any (or at least not any runs).

    • Dave - Jun 26, 2015 at 9:15 AM

      I love National League baseball.





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