The Washington Nationals got some unexpected help on the way to their first win at Coors Field this season: their offense. The Nats put up 12 runs on 21 hits in a 12-5 win over the Colorado Rockies. That’s as many runs as they put up in their previous five games combined, and the 21 hits tied a record for most hits for the Nats in one game since their Inaugural Season in 2005.
It’s nice to be able to talk about something positive related to the Nats offense, and there are plenty of things to hit today, pun absolutely intended. First is obviously Ryan Zimmerman’s big milestone. Zimm recorded his 1000th hit, well his 999th, 1000th, and 1001st actually, in Tuesday’s game. He became the first player to reach that number with all 1000 hits coming in a Nats uniform. Just another step in The Franchise’s great career in DC. It’s been nice to see him kill it lately. Since the cortisone shot, Zimmerman is 6-for-12 with a home run and two doubles.
Ian Desmond has quickly become the most clutch hitter for the Nats. I can’t imagine you thought you’d hear that in early-April. Desmond went 4-for-5 with 2 RBI on Tuesday, and he brought his average up to .272. He has a team-high 2.1 WAR, which is good for third-best in the National League behind Jed Lowrie and Starlin Castro. With Tony LaRussa as the NL manager in the All-Star game, who has said Desmond is among his favorite players, Desmond has a legitimate shot of being in Kansas City for this year’s Midsummer Classic.
All-in-all, it was one of the most fun games to watch this year. The Nats desperately needed an offensive outburst, and they finally had the conditions to do it. They faced a starter with an ERA closer to 6.00 than 5.00 entering the game in one of the most hitter-friendly ballparks in America. So while you may not be able to read into the offensive improvement that much, it may be the confidence boost the team needs to look more comfortable at the plate.
- Tyler Moore may be seeing a whole lot more at-bats after his game on Tuesday. He went 2-for-5, but his huge home run was the real story. His three-run blast in the fifth went a massive 462 feet to left-center field. It was the longest home run in baseball on Tuesday and is in the Top 10 longest MLB home runs this season. With Steve Lombardozzi’s recent struggles, that left field job might be Moore’s to keep. Hopefully, he can get some outfield practice with Bo Porter in the mean time, though.
- Gio Gonzalez did what any top of the rotation starter should. He kept the team in it in the early innings and pitched to contact once he got a big lead. And to help out, he got a hit that scored Jesus Flores, which gave the Nats a 4-3 lead they never relinquished. Gio understands how to pitch a ball game based on situation, and it makes it even more fun to watch.