August 23, 2019

Washington Nationals Game 23 Review: Nationals 13-run Torrent Sinks Braves

NATIONALS BATS HERALD SERIES VICTORY IN ATLANTA, RECORD OFFENSIVE OUTPUT IN 13-4 VICTORY

The Washington Nationals found their groove on Wednesday night behind the arm of Jordan Zimmermann and a surging offense that is finally living up to expectations. The Atlanta Braves fell 13-4 to the resurrected Nationals before a crowd only slightly more engaged than the one at Camden Yards today.

The Braves leapt out to an early lead in the bottom of the first on back to back hits by Freddie Freeman and A.J. Pierczynski. Jordan Zimmermann had a few rough spots in his day – and concerns about his velocity are certainly still apt – but he was largely able to work himself out of jams.

The Nationals put together a strong offensive presence on Wednesday night, with Bryce Harper notching a 2-for-4 night with a walk and an RBI, and he was joined by Wilson Ramos (3-4, RBI, R) and Danny Espinosa (4-5, 2 RBI, R). Jayson Werth got his first hit of the series, an RBI single, in the seventh for the Nationals. All night, the Nationals got hits when they needed them, a welcome trend that must continue if the Nationals want to make a run at the postseason.

If I’d have told my February self about the impact of Dan Uggla on the Nationals’ lineup, he’d laugh himself silly. The Nats signed Uggla in the off-season to a minor-league deal after the Braves released him, putting the Nationals on the hook for league minimum compensation. In this series, the Braves were given the unlikely pleasure of watching as the man they’re paying $13.5M — more than any of the Braves’ 25-man roster is making this year — beat them like rented mules.

Uggla’s line against the Braves this week was 5-11, with 8 RBI and 5 runs scored, and his 3-run game-winning homer to cap Tuesday night’s improbable comeback was a moment to remember. Uggla’s time with the Nats may be short – he’s believed to be the corresponding move when Rendon returns – but no one can say it wasn’t memorable.

Only Ian Desmond lacked a hit in Wednesday’s game, every other starter gathered at least one. Desmond’s slump – especially considering Espinosa’s surge – is concerning. He was hitless in the Braves series (0-13), and is 0-for-21 dating back five games.

HERO: Jordan Zimmermann had a bang-up night for the Nats, throwing 7 IP of 4-run ball, striking out seven. Turns out he can hit, too, and a 3-run single in the fourth inning put the Nats ahead for good.

GOAT: No goats tonight! Enjoy this creepy goat.

NATS NOTES:

  • The series victory against the Braves was their first since April 15th, when they took three of four from Philadelphia.
  • Uggla’s 8 RBI in the Braves series are just two short of his season total in 2014.
  • Bryce Harper is currently on pace for 155 walks in a season. There are four players – ever – who have done that.
  • Sammy Solis was available in the bullpen tonight, but has yet to make his Nationals debut.
  • 13 runs in back to back games is a franchise first, the Expos never accomplished that feat.

NEXT UP: Nats v. Mets series with huge divisional implications begins Thursday night. Strasburg (1-2, 4.88) vs. deGrom (2-2, 2.96) at 7:10pm

About Tom Bridge

Tom Bridge is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Nationals. Tom has been in love with baseball since he was 10. He is a founding editor of We Love DC, where he covered the Nationals and Capitals as a credentialed writer for four seasons. He grew up as an Oakland Athletics fan in the Central Valley in California, where he learned to appreciate Bill King, Mark McGwire and even Tony LaRussa. By day, he is a partner at Technolutionary LLC, where he handles IT operations. He cannot abide the Cardinals. You can follow Tom on Twitter @TomBridgeDSP.

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