October 30, 2014

Washington Nationals Game 73 Review: Zimmerman, Moore & Desmond all homer as Nats crush Rockies again

One night after setting team season highs in runs and hits, the Washington Nationals were at it again. For the second consecutive night, the Nats jumped all over a young Colorado Rockies starter — this time it was Edwar Cabrera, a 25-year-old left-hander making his first career start above Double-A. The result was another double-digit hit and run total, as the Nats pounded the Rockies 11-5, before 36,045 at Coors Field.

The offensive effort made a winner out fo Jordan Zimmermann for the fourth time this season and gives the Nats a 43-30 record — best in the National League and 3 1/2 games ahead of the Atlanta Braves in the N.L. East.

Washington was paced on offense once again by Ryan Zimmerman, who homered and drove in three. Since receiving a cortisone injection in his aching right shoulder before Sunday’s game in Baltimore, the Face of the Franchise has gone 8-for-17 (.470) with two home runs, six RBIs and four runs scored.

Joining the hit parade last night were Tyler Moore (3-for-5, 2 RBI), who homered for the second consecutive night, and Ian Desmond, who also homered in back-to-back games for his 12th of the season. Desmond doubled as well, and leads N.L. shortstops in extra-base hits.

All of this made smooth sailing for Zimmermann (4-6, 2.77), who has been burned on more than one occasion this season by his teammates lack of offense. But there was no such trouble last night, and Zimmermann cruised through seven innings, allowing one earned run on eight hits and three walks, though he struck out just one batter.

The Nats 14 hit attack featured a hit or run scored by each of the starting position players. Zimmerman, Desmond, Moore, Bryce Harper (2-for-5, 2 runs, SB), Michael Morse (2-for-5, run) and Jhonatan Solano (2-for-4, run, 3 RBIs) all had multi-hit games. Mark DeRosa walked and scored twice. It was just what the doctor ordered for a lineup that came to the thin air of Colorado struggling across the board.

THE GOOD: Solano. A little lost in the fireworks, but the backup catcher seems to contribute on offense every time he gets a start. His two-run double in the third really busted things wide open for the Nats.

THE BAD: Michael Gonzalez had his first rough outing for the Nats. He gave up two runs on two hits and a walk in the bottom of the ninth and records just one out.

THE UGLY: Chien-Ming Wang. Brought in to an 11-1 game in the eighth inning, Wang continued his struggles which got him removed from the starting rotation. He gave up two runs on three hits and could not keep his sinker down in the zone.

THE STATS: 14 H, 5 BB, 6 Ks. 5-for-14 with RISP, 7 LOB, 3 GIDPs. E: Morse (1), Ankiel (2). 4 DPs.

NEXT GAME: Thursday at 3:10 pm against the Rockies. Edwin Jackson (4-4, 2.91) faces lefty Josh Outman (0-3, 8.64).

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. 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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