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Nats 6, Brewers 1: Ross cruises, lineup crushes

Aug 22, 2015, 9:51 PM EDT


GAME IN A NUTSHELL: The Nationals tried not to make too much of Friday night’s unsightly loss to the Brewers, which came on the heels of a red-eye flight from Colorado following a long West Coast trip. The proof, though, would hinge on how they played in tonight’s second game against Milwaukee. The answer: Well. Very well.

Joe Ross cruised over seven innings, allowing only one run in the rookie right-hander’s latest impressive performance. And his teammates put together a quality performance at the plate against tough Brewers rookie Taylor Jungmann. Michael Taylor and Anthony Rendon each homered, and Jayson Werth and Wilson Ramos each drove in runs to help pace a balanced attack and send the Nationals to one of their most complete victories in awhile.

With that, the Nats got themselves back to the .500 mark, with a chance to win their second consecutive series Sunday afternoon.

HITTING HIGHLIGHT: The offense in this one came not from the heart of the order but from the guys at the top and the bottom. Jayson Werth and Anthony Rendon reached base a collective six times, while Danny Espinosa, Wilson Ramos and Michael Taylor totaled five hits and three RBI. The big rally came in the bottom of the fourth, with contributions from several of those guys. Ramos doubled home Espinosa with a rope into the left-field corner. Werth then singled home Ramos with a base hit back up the middle. And Rendon delivered a big, 2-out double down the left-field line that brough Taylor home and nearly brought Werth home (he was tagged out on a close play at the plate). Those kind of quality at-bats from five different players proved critical in this game.

PITCHING HIGHLIGHT: After back-to-back shaky outings on the West Coast, Ross was back to his old self in D.C. The rookie was efficient, kept the ball over the plate and kept damage to a minimum. Over seven strong innings, he scattered six hits, allowing only one run (Khris Davis’ towering homer on a hanging slider). Here’s the most-impressive fact about Ross to date: In nine of his 10 big-league starts, he has walked zero or one batter. That’s incredibly uncommon for a rookie.

KEY STAT: Taylor Jungmann had pitched at least five innings in 12 of his 13 big-league starts to date before getting knocked out after four innings by the Nationals tonight.

UP NEXT: The series finale features Jordan Zimmermann (9-8, 3.44) against struggling veteran right-hander Matt Garza (6-13, 4.98) at 1:35 p.m. Sunday.

  1. Eugene in Oregon - Aug 22, 2015 at 9:52 PM

    Nice victory. Now do it again…and again…and again…

  2. Eugene in Oregon - Aug 22, 2015 at 9:54 PM

    One thought on Anthony Rendon’s game-ending play: You have to wonder how the season would have developed he hadn’t made — and been hurt on — a very similar play in Spring Training.

    • veejh - Aug 22, 2015 at 9:58 PM

      Let’s not go there. I can’t stand “what if” scenarios.

    • Jfmii - Aug 22, 2015 at 10:11 PM

      I thought something similar, and sm wondering now if he will end up on the DL tomorrow

      • Jfmii - Aug 22, 2015 at 10:12 PM

        am wondering that is

  3. conatsguy - Aug 22, 2015 at 10:03 PM

    Boy, we needed at stopper performance tonight. Joe Cool delivered. Thought maybe the league was catching up to him, but thank god I was mistaken.

  4. natsfan1a - Aug 22, 2015 at 10:04 PM

    Great game. Wait, what am I still doing up?

    • conatsguy - Aug 22, 2015 at 10:07 PM


      Now you will sleep good. 😊

  5. ArVAFan - Aug 22, 2015 at 10:19 PM

    I think the improved performance was due to one of two factors:

    1. They got some sleep.

    2. I had a beer with the game tonight, which I didn’t last night.

    Probably #1, but just in case, I’ll keep having a beer with the games. (Tip of the cap to NatsJack).

    • DaveB - Aug 22, 2015 at 10:32 PM

      +1 I’ll have at least one each night as long as they keep winning!!!!

  6. alexva6 - Aug 22, 2015 at 10:28 PM

    nice stress free game to watch, thanks Joe Ross.

    I really really like Rendon back at 3rd.

  7. abqnatsfan - Aug 22, 2015 at 10:35 PM

    Good performance tonight. Treading water is better than sinking. If they can start stringing a bunch together they can still pull back into it by the end of the month and make September a month not to miss.

    • veejh - Aug 22, 2015 at 10:38 PM

      I think at this point we need the Mets to flounder. They look like they’re on a mission.

      • abqnatsfan - Aug 22, 2015 at 10:44 PM

        The only thing you can control is yourself. So, yes, I hope the Mets flounder, but the Nats need to start stringing wins. Even saying “Let’s win the series” may not be enough unless you win pretty much “every” series. So string wins, don’t win the first two (like in CO) and accept folks saying “at least we won the series” (I don’t know the team did that, just saying each game matters).

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 22, 2015 at 11:36 PM

        It’s not even about winning the game you’re playing. It’s like Maddon said, play the game you’re playing, the right way. It’s all you can do.

  8. conatsguy - Aug 22, 2015 at 11:21 PM

    Rockies shrink Mets lead to 14-9 top of 9th. Happy ball at a mile high…hey anything can happen.

  9. conatsguy - Aug 22, 2015 at 11:27 PM

    Mets with 15 hits.. 9 were doubles😧

    • conatsguy - Aug 22, 2015 at 11:32 PM

      I meant 21 hits..

  10. TimDz - Aug 22, 2015 at 11:37 PM

    At the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh tonight after taking in a game at PNC Park for my son’s 16th birthday….Highly recommend both the park (incredible views) and the hotel (0.4 miles from the park via the Clemente bridge).
    Was fun to watch a game as a baseball fan….was cool to see a walkoff….

    • Section 222 - Aug 23, 2015 at 12:04 AM

      What a great game to see! That park is a jewel. And the crowds are going nuts for the Bucs this year.

  11. npb99 - Aug 23, 2015 at 12:12 AM

    Just back from a two week break. I almost posted before I left (basically forgot rather than having doubts) that I was very, very confident that the Nats would be in first when I returned.
    Oh boy, not quite the case. Lots of work ahead for this team.

  12. Section 222 - Aug 23, 2015 at 12:14 AM

    So this is the problem with letting the Mets get so far ahead. We can have a great game, but then we’re totally at the mercy of the Mets for whether we’ll gain ground or not. Tonight didn’t really help at all. Their magic number dropped from 37 to 36, with both teams having 40 games left.

    • natfan33 - Aug 23, 2015 at 7:09 AM

      This will come down to the 6 games we have left with them.

      • Section 222 - Aug 23, 2015 at 6:13 PM

        Perhaps. But if we win both series (4 of 6) we only pick up 2 games. With their pitching, we really don’t want to be in the position of having to sweep that last series at Citi Field.

  13. Joe Seamhead - Aug 23, 2015 at 12:34 AM

    I took the night off. (From both blogs). Good win by the Nats.

    • natsfan1a - Aug 23, 2015 at 7:41 AM

      Nothing personal, but given the excellent game results, perhaps you might consider taking the afternoon off as well. 😉

      • natsfan1a - Aug 23, 2015 at 7:42 AM

        I, however, will have to change my seat, as I’ll be at the game this afternoon instead of in front of the tv.

    • npb99 - Aug 23, 2015 at 12:18 PM

      What’s the other blog?

  14. rabbit433 - Aug 23, 2015 at 7:34 AM

    Ross is making me look forward to next season. I really enjoyed different players getting quality hits. Unfortunately, there just may not be enough time left to win the division. Fortunately, we have six games remaining with the Mets. Close to within 3 games and we could do it!

  15. Johnny Nats Nan - Aug 23, 2015 at 10:17 AM

    I hope that the Mets can fall into a late season slump. I hope the Nats can start to progress towards the mean and really start hitting the ball. I hope the water in Zihuatanejo is as blue as it is in my dreams. I hope.





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