An announced crowed of 33,016 saw starting pitcher Doug Fister put on a show. The right-hander pitched seven innings, scattering four hits and surrendering two runs in the Nats' 4-2 win over the Phillies. However, Fister also showcased his athleticism off the mound with some nice plays, including going into a full split at first base.
"He's a good athlete though. We saw him come off the mound a couple of times to get balls today that most pitchers don't get to, so he's a good athlete," said Matt Williams after the game. "He could play first if we had to. ...
"For a guy that's that tall, he's got great agility. He takes pride in it, works hard at it and knows that he can help himself in that regard. Good athlete. He can hit too. We haven't seen that yet, but he'll hit."
Fister earned his fourth win of the season and led the Nationals to a series sweep over the division-rival Phillies. The Nats have now won five of their last six games. Is this the start of a hot streak?
"We have a really hard road trip coming up against some really good teams so, you know, without going too far, we're happy with where we're at right now and the way it's gone, but we have to continue to push," Williams said. "Guys know that, they'll do that, they'll be prepared and we don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves."
Since coming back from the disabled list on June 3 for the start of the series, Ryan Zimmerman has been red-hot. The new left fielder went 1-for-3 with an RBI and a walk in today's victory, and is 4-for-11 since his return.
The Nats now seem to be hitting on all cylinders, with starters going deep into games and the bats heating up. They have scored 38 runs in their last six games.
"For me, with the exception of last night, I think our defense has been really good and certainly our starting pitching," Williams said. "You can't expect to score as many runs as we did in the first two games of this series certainly every night. I think Anthony (Rendon's) swing has come back, Jayson (Werth) is getting back on the ball a little bit, certainly Adam (LaRoche) is swinging well. Zim, of course, but the guy that really has made us go is Denard (Span) and he's playing really well."
The Nats now look forward to a 10-game road trip, including seven games on the West Coast. Although the Nats ended the homestand on a high note, they ended it by facing two teams toward the bottom of their respective divisions in the Rangers and the Phillies. So, is this upcoming road trip more of a test?
"Of course, it's nice to go on the road with a series like this, of course," Williams said. "Is it a test? Well, we're playing a top of the division team in San Francisco, certainly. Padres played us tough here when they were here. And then, we gotta to go through St. Louis. So is it a tough trip? Yeah."