October 21, 2020

Washington Nationals Game 74 Review: Nats’ Pitching Staff Silences Braves in 4-1 Win

On a beautiful Sunday afternoon for baseball at Nationals Park, the Nationals’ pitching staff shutdown the Atlanta Braves to lead Washington to a 2-2 split of the series with a 4-1 win.

If the first inning was any indication, then the hometown crowd would be in for plenty of offense from the Nationals.

After an Anthony Rendon (1-for-3, BB) walk and Jayson Werth (1-for-4) single, the Nationals had runners on first and second with just one out. Following an Adam LaRoche (2-for-4, RBI) RBI single and Ryan Zimmerman (0-for-3, RBI) sacrifice fly, Washington exited the first inning with a 2-0 lead.

On the mound for Washington, Roark settled in after giving up a mere single the first inning to Freddie Freeman. Over the next several innings Roark picked up nine consecutive outs before Freeman reached on an error and Jayson Heyward walked in the fourth inning. Roark would force Justin Upton ground out to shortstop to end that scoring threat.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Nationals struck again to extend their lead. After Sandy Leon (1-for-3) singled down the right field line, Roark then moved him to second on a successful sacrifice bunt attempt. Denard Span (2-for-4, RBI) then stepped to the plate and scored Leon on an RBI double.

Roark’s day would end with one out in the sixth inning. In 5.1 innings of work, he gave up four hits, one earned run, walked three, struck out three and did it all on 96 pitches.

That same inning, Atlanta put their first run on the board. With a man on first and second with one out, Justin Upton singled to centerfield to score Freddie Freeman and move Adam Gattis to second. After giving up the run, Roark was given the hook in favor of Craig Stammen.

Stammen was able to pick up the final two outs of the inning without giving up another run. The first batter he faced, Chris Johnson, was ejected from the game after arguing a called-strike three on a check-swing. Ramiro Pena would replace him at third base for Atlanta.

Other than the two-run first and one-run fifth, Ervin Santana was solid on the mound for the Braves. In six innings of work, he gave up six hits, three earned runs, one walk and struck out nine. Over his final six innings of work, he gave up just four hits and one run.

Stammen’s outing was once again productive for Washington. In 1.2 innings of work, he protected the 3-1 lead without allowing a Brave to reach base. Stammen needed just 15 pitches to get through the five batters that he faced.

For the eighth inning, Washington turned the game over to setup man Tyler Clippard. Clippard had his work cutout for him as he faced Freeman, Gattis and Jason Heyward, Atlanta’s 3-4-5 hitters. Clippard cruised, however, needing just 12 pitches to sit them down in order.

Since you can never have enough runs, Washington added a fourth in the eighth inning. After Rendon doubled to left, he was moved to third on a groundout by Werth. With two outs in the inning, Atlanta relief pitcher Luis Avilan threw a wild pitch that allowed Rendon to score.

Rafael Soriano then came on for the ninth inning and picked up his 17th save of the season by striking out the side.

The Nationals now hold a 1.5 game lead over the Braves for the first in the NL East after splitting the four game series. Washington will now head north to Milwaukee for a three-game set with the Brewers.

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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. He’s had work published on Yahoo Sports and Rant Sports, and has made several radio show appearances across the country to discuss his works. 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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  2. […] BillieButBBq / June 22, 2014 / No Comments washington nationals – Google Blog Search Washington Nationals Game 74 Review – District Sports Page On a beautiful Sunday afternoon for baseball at Nationals Park, the Nationals' pitching staff shutdown the Atlanta Braves to lead Washington to a 2-2 split of the series with a 4-1 win. If the first inning was any indication, then … more info… […]

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