August 8, 2020

Washington Nationals Game 150 Review: Nats Clinch NL East with Commanding Win over Braves

EARN SECOND DIVISION CROWN IN THREE YEARS

For the second time in three years, the Washington Nationals are kings of the National League East and, come October, there will be baseball in the nation’s capital.

With a 3-0 win over the second-place division rival Atlanta Braves, the Nats clinched their spot atop an NL East that struggled to play catch-up through the bulk of the 2014 season.

As if to demonstrate how far the Nationals have progressed since April, the very team that struggled to top Atlanta even once through the first half of the season shut out the Braves to secure their ticket to October.

Even more, the starter who so many claimed would come back down to earth following the 2013 season, recorded his 14th win of 2014 after allowing just five hits over seven innings pitched.

By all accounts, Tanner Roark was stellar. After allowing a leadoff single in the first inning, Roark retired his next eight batters faced. And, when the Braves managed to make contact with the ball, they rarely sent it out of the infield. In fact, all five of Atlanta’s hits off Roark were singles.

Although the Nats threatened early – with a single and walk in the first and two singles in the second – they, too, struggled to post runs on the board, as Atlanta starter Aaron Harang delivered a solid performance.

In the sixth, nonetheless, the Nats conjured up their first two runs on the night.

After Jayson Werth walked, Adam LaRoche was called out looking at three straight strikes. Still, Ian Desmond came up big with a two-run shot over the left-field wall to give the Nats a 2-0 lead.

By day’s end, Washington would prove two runs were more than enough; yet, the squad posted an insurance run in the top of the ninth.

With David Carpenter on the mound for Atlanta, Ian Desmond led off the inning with a double to right before Bryce Harper grounded out. Then, with Wilson Ramos batting, Desmond came home on Carpenter’s wild pitch.

Newly appointed closer Drew Storen (S, 7) secured his seventh save of the season after pitching a 1-2-3 ninth.

About Alyssa Wolice

Alyssa Wolice is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Nationals and Wizards. As a former production assistant, she covered the Nationals, Redskins, Capitals, Wizards, D.C. United and local collegiate teams. You can follow Alyssa on Twitter @awolice.

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