Finally, the middle of the Nationals’ lineup looks like Davey Johnson thought it would back in spring training.
And the Nationals are reaping the benefits of having their big hitters all healthy.
Zimmerman, Morse, LaRoche and Werth are a combined 5-for-7 with three RBIs so far tonight as the Nationals lead the Phillies 3-0 in the fifth.
Two big knocks have come from LaRoche, as he launched a solo homer in the second and then drove in another run - his 64th of the season - with a single to center in the third.
He now has 20 home runs on the season, marking the seventh time in his nine major league seasons that he’s hit the 20-homer mark. LaRoche also becomes the 10th National to notch 20 homers in a season.
Werth has gotten in on the fun by ripping a single to left in his first at-bat back from his broken wrist and then driving in a run with a groundout to second in the third.
The veteran outfielder got a nice ovation from the fans at Nats Park as he stepped in for the first time tonight. That had to feel good. A win against his former team in his return to the majors would feel better.
Ross Detwiler, meanwhile, has delivered five scoreless innings, allowing just three hits. His ERA is down to 3.08.
Update: How about this outing from Detwiler: seven innings, no runs, three hits, two walks, three strikeouts.
Another gem from the Nationals’ fifth starter.
Detwiler needed just 88 pitches to get through his seven innings and set down the last 14 hitters he saw. Pure dominance from the lefty.
It’s 3-0 Nats as we go to the eighth.
Update II: The Nationals salvaged the series finale against the Phillies by picking up a 3-0 win.
Dewtiler, Sean Burnett and Tyler Clippard held the Phils without a hit from the fourth inning on and the three hurlers combined for the shutout, the Nationals’ sixth of the season.
Clippard worked into a jam in the 9th by walking two batters to bring the tying run to the plate, but he struck out pinch-hitter Ryan Howard on three pitches to close the door and notch the win.