September 20, 2019

Washington Nationals Game 133 Recap: Nats Blast Past Mariners

SIX HOMER NIGHT POWERS NATIONALS TO VICTORY

In their first trip back to Seattle since 2008, the Washington Nationals – powered by six homers – defeated the Mariners 8-3 to improve to 10-0 overall since 2005 against the A.L. West ball club.

The Nationals entered the game on a three-game skid and facing one of the league’s best pitchers in Felix Hernandez. On this night, however, Washington had the upper hand.

Washington lit up the scoreboard first when Anthony Rendon (4-for-4, RBI, BB) hit a solo homer to center in the game’s opening frame. It was his 18th of the year and gave the Nationals a 1-0 lead.

In the bottom-half of the inning, the Mariners answered against Washington’s Jordan Zimmermann. After Dustin Ackley tripled and Robinson Cano walked, Kendrys Morales and Kyle Seager hit back-to-back RBI singles to give the Mariners a 2-1 advantage.

After that, it was all Zimmermann and the Nationals’ offense making the highlight reel plays.

Staring down a 2-1 deficit with Rendon on first and two outs, Jayson Werth (1-for-4, 2 RBI) jacked his 14th homer of the year to centerfield to put Washington up, 3-2.

The following inning, Washington struck again when Ian Desmond (2-for-5, RBI) and Wilson Ramos (2-for-4, 2 RBI) both hit solo shots over the left-center field wall. After four innings of play, the Nationals found themselves ahead, 5-2.

As the offense heated up, so did Zimmermann. After giving up two runs in the first inning, he settled in over the rest of his outing. Over his final five innings, he allowed just four hits, struck out six and, most importantly, kept the Mariners off the scoreboard.

Washington continued to pad its lead in the final two innings. With two outs in the eighth, Bryce Harper (3-for-4, RBI) and Ramos hit back-to-back homers to tack on two runs to the lead, 7-2. In the top of the ninth, Adam LaRoche (0-for-4, RBI) added the games’ final run when Denard Span (2-for-5) scored on a sacrifice fly.

Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard then combined for two of the most masterful innings of baseball ever thrown by a bullpen. Storen led things off with a 1-2-3 seventh inning that needed just nine pitches, eight of them strikes, and struck out two. Clippard then threw a 1-2-3 eighth that saw 10 pitches, eight strikes, and one strikeout.

Rafael Soriano, while he did give up one run on three hits, finished the game off in the ninth inning and secured the Nationals 8-3 victory.

With the win, Zimmermann earned his 10th victory of the year, making this the third consecutive season in which he’s won at least 10 decisions. Storen was awarded his 18th hold of the season and his ERA has now dropped to 1.43.

On Saturday night, the Nationals and Mariners return to Safeco Field for Game 2 of this three-game set. The Nationals will send Stephen Strasburg to the mound to pitch opposite of the Mariners’ Chris Young. First pitch is set for 9:10 PM EST.

Game Notes

  • While the Nationals scored eight runs and hit six homers, they left runs on the bases. On the night, the team went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left six men on base. Solo shots are fun, but multi-RBI home runs are even better when the games really start to count.
  • Four of the Nationals runs came with two outs in the inning. Werth’s two-run homer and Harper’s and Ramos’ solo shots all came with two outs in their respective innings.
  • Both Clippard and Storen were very effective in their innings of work. Both pitchers got first-pitch strikes to each batter they saw. They attacked the strikezone and pitched magnificently.
  • It’s the first time Felix Hernandez has ever given up four home runs in one game.

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Brian Skinnell is a sports writer born and raised in the Washington, D.C.-metro area and covers the Washington Nationals, Wizards and MiLB for District Sports Page. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+!

About Brian Skinnell

Brian Skinnell is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins, Nationals and college football. He is a born-and-raised follower of Washington, D.C. sports, “The” Ohio State Buckeyes and auto racing. A graduate of Shepherd University in December of 2014, he has a degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies with a Concentration in Sports Communications. Prior to joining District Sports Page (for his second stint), he spent time with Rant Sports, Yahoo Sports and the Washington Redskins. For his day job, he is an Editor for Team Velocity Marketing. Follow him on Twitter @Brian_Skinnell.

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