Sep 20, 2015, 4:33 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: In order to avoid elimination and make something of their 2015 season, the Nationals will need a lot of help from the opponents left on the Mets’ schedule. But there is no question the Nats are holding up their end of the bargain.
The Nationals took care of the Marlins on Sunday afternoon by the score of 13-3 to win their second consecutive series, this one by winning three of four games. They have now won three straight and seven of their last eight overall.
Stephen Strasburg again led the charge in this one to continue his recent run of impressive pitching. He finished with two runs allowed (1 ER) across seven innings with 10 strikeouts and only one walk.
The Nationals jumped out to an early lead with three runs in the first inning. Jayson Werth came through with a two-RBI double and Ian Desmond added another run on a sac fly.
The Nats plated seven more runs in the sixth inning. The first came on a sac fly by Wilson Ramos and the next three on a home run by Tyler Moore, his second homer in as many days. Yunel Escobar got them three more on a bases-clearing double with two outs.
The Nats added three more runs in the eighth. The first was one on Escobar’s fourth hit of the day. He brought home Pedro Severino, who doubled in his first MLB plate appearance.
The other two scores came on a single to right field by Matt den Dekker. He brought home Escobar and Bryce Harper. The Nats scored 13 runs for the sixth time this season.
With the win, the Nationals moved to 78-71 on the year. The Mets – who entered the day up seven games in the division – play at 8 p.m. against the Yankees.
HITTING HIGHLIGHT: The Nats’ offense wasted no time giving Strasburg a lead to work with, as they scored three runs in the first inning. But it was their sixth inning explosion for seven runs that deserves this honor.
Escobar and Harper led off with singles. Desmond then walked one at-bat later to load the bases. Ramos brought Escobar home with a sac fly before Moore belted his three-run bomb to left field.
The Nats would load the bases again as Trea Turner walked, Strasburg singled and Michael Taylor walked. Escobar then came up again and ripped a double to right-center to add three more runs.
Escobar finished with four hits on the game, notching his 13th outing of three hits or more in 130 appearances this season. It was the fourth time he’s had four hits or more. Harper also had three hits and a walk for his 12th three-hit game in 142 total outings.
PITCHING HIGHLIGHT: Strasburg was sharp coming off his one of the best outings of his career and allowed only two runs. The first was on a throwing error charged to Desmond in the second inning and went down as unearned. The second score was a solo homer hit by Ozuna in the top of the sixth.
Aside from those moments, Strasburg was terrific. He scattered six hits across seven innings with 10 strikeouts, one walk and two runs allowed (1 ER). The right-hander is now 10-7 on the season with a 3.81 ERA.
Strasburg finished with double digit strikeouts for the third consecutive game. During that stretch, Strasburg has 37 strikeouts to only three walks. Is that good? I think it is. It’s actually a new Nats record for strikeouts in a three-game span.
KEY STAT: The Nats closed their season series with the Marlins with a 10-9 advantage in games and a 75-62 mark in runs scored.
UP NEXT: The Nats continue their homestand by hosting the Baltimore Orioles for three games. They begin on Monday at 7:05 p.m. with Gio Gonzalez (11-7, 3.83) and Ubaldo Jimenez (11-9, 4.31) set to start.
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
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As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
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SAT: 10:30 a.m.
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