After a four-day stretch which featured three absolute nailbiters against the worst team in the majors, you’ve got to believe last night’s 9-1 throttling of the Diamondbacks was highly appreciated in the Nationals dugout.
The Nats smacked 11 hits, seven for extra bases. They held the D’backs to just three hits all night, including one through the first eight innings. They went 4-for-11 with runners in scoring position and outscored the opposition by eight runs, their largest margin of victory this season.
Just an all-around thumping in the desert, this from a team which seemingly finds itself in a one-run contest every other night.
Stephen Strasburg pitched six fantastic innings last night, and if not for an umpire change in the bottom of the fourth inning which delayed the game and clearly disrupted Strasburg’s rhythm, he could’ve really turned in a special outing.
Since getting roughed up against the Phillies three outings ago, the Nationals’ ace has now allowed just one run over his last 12 innings.
Don’t anyone dare ask if they’re still shutting him down.
On the offensive side, Steve Lombardozzi went 4-for-5 with a whopping four runs scored, Ryan Zimmerman bashed his 16th home run, Michael Morse stayed scorching hot with his third homer in the last two days and Jayson Werth continued to rake since coming off the DL, going 3-for-5 with two doubles.
Morse’s home run, by the way, was measured at 446 feet by ESPN’s home run tracker. According to ESPN Stats & Information, that’s the longest opposite-field homer in the majors this season.
When Morse is swinging it well, he goes to all fields, and his power to the right side is truly remarkable.
The Nats’ recent competition hasn’t exactly been stellar, but you can only beat the teams that are on your schedule. Facing the Marlins, Astros and now Diamondbacks, Davey Johnson’s team has now put up seven straight wins.
The Nationals are the first team to reach the 70-win mark this season. And right now, they aren’t showing any signs of slowing down.