WASHINGTON NATIONALS SERIES REVIEW: After a lengthy losing streak, what better way to come out of it than by sweeping division rival NY Mets. That is exactly what the Nationals did, taking all three games at Nationals Park. The Nationals offense battered Mets pitching for 29 hits and 20 runs.
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SERIES RECORD: 3-0
RECORD VERSUS METS: 6-3
NATS OVERALL RECORD: 47-32
DIVISION PLACE: First with 5.5 game lead
RUNS SCORED: 20
RUNS YIELDED: 6
WINNING PITCHERS: Joe Ross (7-4), Max Scherzer (9-5), and Oliver Perez (2-1)
LOSING PITCHER: None
WHAT DOES IT MEAN: The Nationals had a 5.5 game lead in the division before embarking on a seven game losing streak. That lead is back to 5.5 games. It was a huge series sweep against the new York Mets, who were clawing their way back toward Washington. It was a big series sweep for the Nationals.
SERIES MVP: Daniel Murphy. Murphy had a nice series at the plate, going 5 for 12 including 2 home runs in the series finale. Murphy still leads the National League in batting average, raising it to .352. [ 5 for 12, 2 HR, 4 R, 5 RBI]
TOP STARTING ARM: Max Scherzer pitched a gem last evening. He threw 7.1 scoreless innings and scattered just 2 hits while fanning 10 batters, before giving away to the bullpen. Scherzer earned his 9th win of the season. It was the fourth consecutive outing for Scherzer in which he accumulated double digit strikeouts.
TOP BULLPEN ARM: All. The bullpen was pretty effective this series, with the only runs permitted coming last night against Shawn Kelley. Otherwise, the bullpen threw 9.2 innings and permitted 2 runs. Washington is still looking for a solid closer while Jonathan Papelbon is out, but overall, the bullpen was highly effective this series.
HOT AS FIRE: Daniel Murphy and Wilson Ramos lead the Nationals offense and have been on fire recently. Over the last 6 games, Murphy is 10 for 25 [.400] with 7 RBI and 2 HRs. Four of those six games have multiple hits for Murphy. As for Ramos, he went 0-3 last evening, which snapped an 11 game hitting streak that helped raise his batting average to .339. Over that 11 game streak, Ramos collected 18 hits over 46 plate appearances [.391].
STARTING PITCHING: The Nationals got a glimpse of the future this series, with top system prospect Lucas Giolito making his MLB debut. Unfortunately, his start was shortened by rain. However, the Nationals brass is smiling at his performance, as Giolito tossed 4 shutout innings and allowing just 1 hit. Gio Gonzalez should be getting pretty nervous right now. Scherzer tossed another gem, improving his record to 9-5 and lowering his season ERA to 3.30. Joe Ross picked up his 7th win to improve to 7-5, although he did not have his best mound performance. Ross permitted 10 hits and 4 runs over 6 innings, but still grabbed the victory.
COLD AS ICE: Ryan Zimmerman. Zim was just 1 for 12 in the series. The Nats need better production from their first base veteran. Fortunately, the rest of the Nationals offense was hot, so Zim is forgiven.
What’s Next? The Nationals host a four game Holiday series against the Reds. It begins tonight at 7:05PM as Gio Gonzalez takes the mound to face Brandon Finnegan.