As they pursue their uphill wild-card bid into the season’s final week, the Nationals had another opponent to contend with Saturday night: Mother Nature.
Ross Detwiler departed with a lead for the third start in a row Wednesday night, and this time the bullpen held on as Bryce Harper and the Washington Nationals beat the Miami Marlins 6-1.
Nationals lefty Gio Gonzalez insisted all along he wasn’t distracted one bit by having his name connected to a clinic that reportedly gave major leaguers banned substances.
The Nats began their first season as one of baseball’s hunted today on a breezy afternoon on South Capitol Street. The defending National League East champions didn’t disappoint, riding the XX pitching of presumed ace Stephen Strasburg and homers in his first two at-bats by reigning Rookie of the Year Bryce Harper to a 2-0 victory over the Miami Marlins in just 2:10.
For Bryce Harper, two homers in his first two at-bats, and even some “M-V-P!” chants. For Stephen Strasburg, 19 consecutive outs during one stretch of seven scoreless innings.
The Nationals, still in the driver’s seat in their division now that the All-Star break is in the rear-view, can thank their success within the NL East for their firm grasp on first place. But with a huge chunk of the upcoming schedule featuring bouts against division rivals, continuing to win those games will be essential to staying in the playoff picture.
Thursday on the Junkies, MLB Network studio analyst Matt Vasergian joined the show and predicted the Washington Nationals could be player in the race to win the NL East.
The right-hander will be making his fifth start since coming off the DL on Sept. 6 after Tommy John surgery.
Bryan Petersen’s solo home run in the bottom of the 9th does in the Nationals.
Nats scored six runs in the first and Jason Marquis picked up 2 RBI’s and tied for the league lead in wins with 5.