October 19, 2019

Washington Nationals Game 135 Review: Nats push Braves around again

HARPER BECOMES THIRD NATIONALS PLAYER TO SCORE 100 RUNS IN A SEASON

Gio Gonzalez pitched six strong innings, Bryce Harper hit his 33rd home run of the season and the Washington Nationals beat up on the Atlanta Braves for the second night in a row, 8-2 at Nats Park.

Despite a second convincing win over the Braves, the Nats didn’t make up any ground on the Mets, who beat Miami 7-0.

The Nats (70-65) reached Braves starter Shelby Miller for four runs in the second inning. Ian Desmond led off with a double on a pop up lost in the lights and went to third on Wilson Ramos’ ground out. After Gonzalez struck out, Desmond scored on a wild pitch while Jayson Werth was batting. Werth then doubled, and scored on Anthony Rendon’s single to left.

Harper then homered to the opposite field culminating a 10-pitch at bat where he fouled off five pitches.

In the fourth, he Nats got two more on a weird play. With runners at first and third, Ramos topped a ball that never left the batter’s circle. Catcher Christian Bethancourt threw it away though, and both runners were able to score as the Braves tried to track the ball down.

The Nats added another run in the fifth. Harper doubled to deep right and Ryan Zimmerman followed with a single to left to bring Harper home, but Zimmerman was thrown out trying for second.

Gonzalez got out of a two-out jam in the sixth, then departed. He allowed no runs and just two hits — but walked four — and struck out 10 in his six innings.

Ross Detwiler entered for the Braves in the seventh and the Nats got to him too. Rendon led off with a single, then Harper lashed a double to right after being flabbergasted by the home plate ump on strike calls. Zimmerman grounded to third to bring Rendon in.

The Braves broke the shutout up in the eighth against Matt Grace (remember him?) Trea Turner’s error allowed Nick Markakis to reach. He went to second on a passed ball, third on Freddie Freeman’s single, and both scored on a Nick Swisher double.

Blake Treinen pitched a scoreless ninth to mop up.

On Sunday, Joe Ross (5-5, 3.50) hosts Manny Banuelos (1-3, 3.33) at 1:35 p.m.

About Dave Nichols

Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Washington Nationals, Capitals, Wizards and Mystics. Dave also covers national college football and basketball and Major League Soccer for Associated Press and is a copy editor for the Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, WA. He spent four years in radio covering the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Redskins and the University of Maryland football and basketball teams. Dave is a life-long D.C. sports fan and attended his first pro game in 1974 — the Caps’ second game in existence. You can follow him on Twitter @DaveNicholsDSP

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