BALTIMORE - Even though the Nationals were eight games over .500 and tied for first place in their division coming into tonight’s action, their power potential really hasn’t been realized to this point.
A large part of that is due to injuries, certainly. But there haven’t been many games this season where the Nats slugged their way to a win.
They did to an extent tonight, crushing three home runs and taking the first of two games at Camden Yards by a 6-2 final.
Wilson Ramos, Ian Desmond and Jayson Werth accounted for the three Washington homers, Doug Fister went seven innings, battling through muggy conditions and an inconsistent strike zone, and the defense again was stellar, led by Anthony Rendon.
Here’s manager Matt Williams after the win:
On Fister getting the job done after a slow start: “It’s a tough lineup. He had some pitches early that were really close. It’s a question of adjusting to the strike zone, too. But I thought he pitched really well.”
On not really having one ace on the staff: “Everybody’s pitched really well. Throwing labels on guys probably isn’t fair anyway. But anytime they go out there, we have a chance. That’s all we ask.”
On getting the win after last night’s long rain delay: “It’s good. They were all champing the other night, and it just didn’t happen for us. To come back and respond like they did tonight is a great sign. They got some good balls to hit and took advantage of it. Desi stayed on a ball to center, Wilson got a ball in that he hit to left. I think everybody played really well. Good defense, too.”
On Fister leading the staff in wins: “I think that if you look at it, certainly, (Stephen Strasburg has) pitched well, (Jordan Zimmermann has) pitched well, (Tanner Roark has) pitched well. Gio (Gonzalez) has got 22 scoreles or whatever he’s got. It’s the way the game works out sometimes. We’ve seen that with Zim, especially. Sometimes, the run support isn’t there and you don’t get that win, per se. But they’ve all pitched really well.”
On the power potential of this team: “There’s capability there, for sure. You can’t live by them, certainly. You have to manufacture sometimes. To get those homers with guys on base is especially important, because those are crooked numbers. It’s a good ballpark to hit home runs in, certainly. All you have to do is look in the other dugout to know that. So it’s important for us to get guys on base and give ourselves opportunities.”
On Rendon’s ability to move back and forth between second and third: “It’s not easy. You see the balls they hit at him tonight, with authority. And he handled every chance tonight perfectly. It’s not easy to do. Playiing second is completely backwards from playing the other side of the diamond. It’s not an easy transition, but he’s handled it well and he works very hard at it.”