The Washington Nationals entered Boston on Friday without a single win at Fenway Park in their franchise’s history, including their time in Montreal. After three games in America’s oldest ballpark, the 2012 Nats made a huge change to that information. The Nats swept the Red Sox in a three-game series, moving them to 12-games above .500 on the season.
When the season began, I was concerned about the Nats June schedule. When June began, eight of the nine teams the Nats would face in June were above .500 on the season. The Nats have won six of eight this month, including a sweep of the Boston Red Sox. Yes, the Sox are in last place in the AL East, but they were above .500 entering the series in an intimidating ballpark.
The Nationals continued their pitching dominance and continue to improve their situational hitting. They are still toward the bottom in percentage of base-runners scored, but they’ve move up two points in the last couple weeks. The offense is vastly improved, but the pitching continues to be dominant.
Jordan Zimmerman threw another gem of a game on Sunday. He went seven innings on three runs and seven hits. Though he left in a tie game, he kept the Nats involved enough to win yet another game. Zimmermann continues to fly under the radar as far as quality games goes, and the Nats have a chance to win every time he takes the mound. He has a 2.91 ERA on the season.
Bryce Harper once again proved to be the star of the game, and he didn’t even start. He walked in his first pinch hit appearance of his MLB career and then scored from first on a Roger Bernadina double in the eighth, which proved to win the game for the Nats. The Nats are now 35-23 on the season and continue to lead the NL East. Hope you’ve all fastened your seat belts for an exciting season.
- If Bryce Harper doesn’t make the All-Star team, it will be a crime. Harper clearly changed the dynamic of the game on Sunday when he came in to pinch hit. He got on base, and it made an impact on Alfredo Aceves in a big way. At 19 years old, he an impact player in a huge way, and it’s about time that people across the league give him his due credit.
- Fenway Park is a different kind of place to win, and the Nats found a way to do that in three consecutive games to sweep the series. No team in Nats history would have been able to do what this team did. There’s a different sense of success and accomplishment in the 2012 Nats, and they’ll take that to face a struggling Toronto Blue Jays team up north in the next three games. If the Nats continue playing like this against the AL East, there’s no telling their dominance in June.