Update: Nationals hold off late rally from Brewers, win Game 1 of doubleheader, 8-4. More to come.
The Nationals entered the day with a team batting average languishing around .200 and a team slugging percentage just above .300. They'd been beaten in back-to-back complete games and won on Friday almost in spite of their offense, scoring four runs without a RBI hit.
But today, the Nationals are in charge of the first game of their doubleheader with the Brewers strictly because of their offense - and specifically, because of the contributions of some struggling hitters.
First, Michael Morse singled to center to raise his average to .200, an at-bat after his sacrifice fly. Then, Ian Desmond got his first hit in 30 at-bats at home, stinging a Yovani Gallardo pitch to the wall in left center.
Finally - and most improbably - Ivan Rodriguez took Gallardo deep.
The catcher hit just his sixth homer in 524 at-bats, taking a hanging breaking ball deep to right for a three-run shot. It's 7-2 Nationals after six innings, and for the first time this season, they've broken out at home.
Everyone in their lineup has a hit, and they'll need more of those kinds of performances to win without Ryan Zimmerman. This lineup looks a lot different if Morse, Desmond and Danny Espinosa are hitting.
Nyjer Morgan just pinch hit for the Brewers, to a mixed reaction of boos and applause. There was a big cheer as he grounded out to second on the second pitch he saw from Jason Marquis in the seventh.