Nationals Avoid Sweep, Shut Out Rockies 2-0
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The Washington Nationals will head in to the All-Star break with a 46-46 record after a 2-0 win in the series finale against the Colorado Rockies. The Nationals pitching staff combined for a six-hit shutout on the day. Jordan Zimmermann was pulled after just 6 1/3 innings today (88 pitches) and looked more to do with keeping his innings low. Zimmermann finished the day with six strikeouts and no walks, while giving up just four hits.
The Nats got on the board in the bottom of the 6th when Roger Bernadina singled in Ian Desmond from second. An insurance run came in the bottom of the 8th when Rick Ankiel hit a solo home run over the right field wall.
Jhoulys Chacin was overshadowed by the strong performance from Zimmermann, but he too had a strong outing for the Rockies. Chacin went 7 innings with four strikeouts, a walk and the first earned run.
With the win today the Nats moved back to .500, and also moved to a game within the Mets for 3rd place in the NL East. The Nats do have (very) slim hopes at the Wild Card, sitting 8.5 games back of Atlanta. This probably isn’t the year the Nationals make the playoffs, but a playing .500 ball is an encouraging sign about the progress this team is making.
For a team that won 59 games 2 years ago, and 69 games last year another improvement like that this season would be huge.
The outlook for the Nationals for the second half is looking a lot better after a win today. Maybe good enough that Jayson Werth finally breaks out of his slump?