Wednesday in Miami looked a lot like the previous five games through the third inning. The Washington Nationals were being no-hit by Jacob Turner, the young pitcher acquired from the Detroit Tigers via trade earlier this season. Eventually, Jayson Werth broke up the no-hit bid in the fourth with an opposite field single. That was just the beginning of a much needed offensive explosion for the Nats, as they won 8-4, breaking a five-game losing streak.
Bryce Harper was the offensive catalyst for the Nats tonight, as he hit two huge home runs (the first multi-homerun game of his career) that gave the team energy. The first came in the fourth inning, a two-run blast that scored Werth. Later, in the fifth inning, Harper tattooed a baseball. I mean, he wrecked its day. It ended up half way up the second deck at an already massive ballpark. He had an impressive throw in the eighth inning that prevented Donovan Solano, brother of Nats catcher Jhonatan Solano, from scoring and helped Drew Storen get out of Sean Burnett’s mess.
The unfortunate story came in the top of the ninth, as Harper hit into a double play. He was called out and spiked his helmet on the ground. He was immediately thrown out of the game by first base ump C.B. Bucknor. It was yet another example of activist umpiring by an ump that was voted worst umpire in baseball three times by the players. He shouldn’t have been thrown from the game there, though Davey said he talked to Harper about it in his post-game presser. He also said, “[Bryce]’s just a hundred percenter.... We can’t afford to be losing him in the ball game... He’ll learn. He’s young. He’ll learn.”
There are many good parts about this game worth mentioning, so we’ll hit a few big ones in bullet form:
- Werth, Harper, Ryan Zimmerman, Adam LaRoche, Michael Morse, and Ian Desmond all had two-hit nights. When your first six batters have multi-hit nights, you hope it generates momentum in the right direction for this streaky lineup.
- Morse hit a triple. Seriously. In 29 other ballparks, it was a home run, but in Miami, it’s just a triple. Still, Morse hadn’t hit a three-bagger since 2010, or 1011 plate appearances, according to the Nationals PR Twitter account.
- Kurt Suzuki hit a home run in the cavernous Marlins Park, too. It was his first since being traded to the Nats and just his second on the year.
- Drew Storen looked really great in relief of Burnett, as I mentioned earlier. He has everything working and made Giancarlo Stanton look silly, which is pretty difficult to do. A healthy, successful Storen is going to be critical for the Nats down the stretch.
The big win not only broke the Nats losing streak, it extended their lead over the Atlanta Braves back to five-games after an 8-2 loss to the San Diego Padres. Now the Nats get to come home for an 11-game stretch. So get to Nationals Park over the next week and a half Nats fans. The postseason push begins now.