Where do you begin on a game like this? The Nationals were shutout for 5 full innings then the bats came alive in the bottom of the 6th which began with an Adrian Sanchez double, a Brian Goodwin RBI single and a Bryce Harper RBI double that tied the score at 2-2. Harper’s RBI double hit high off of the out-of-town scoreboard in the right-center gap and missed being a home run by approximately 2 feet.
Dusty Baker turned to Brandon Kintzler for the 7th inning, Ryan Madson for the 8th inning, and Sean Doolittle entered in the 9th inning for his 7th save. The trio affectionately known as “The Law Firm” have now combined for a 1.56 ERA, 0.913 WHIP, and a 9.39 K/9.
The Nats go-ahead run was all set-up thanks to Brian Goodwin who had a solo home run in the bottom of the 8th inning to make the score in favor of the Nationals at 3-2. That was Goodwin’s 13th home run in his limited season where he has now homered in every 17.85 at-bats this season.
The play of the game with a runner on 3rd base in the 9th inning was turned in by Andrew Stevenson who replaced Adam Lind in the 7th inning as a pinch-runner. Stevenson dove towards the line to rob Dee Gordon to end the game on a low liner that would have tied the game and Gordon would have legged that into at least a triple and possibly a go-ahead inside-the -park-home-run if the ball got past Stevenson.
“Keep it in front of him because Dee Gordon would have circled the bases on that one,” Dusty Baker said after the game about the final play by Andrew Stevenson.
The game started off looking like a dud as Tanner Roark struggled with his control early on, but he held the game at 0-0 through the second inning. When Dee Gordon singled to start the 3rd inning, Roark seemed pre-occupied with Gordon and threw a meatball to Giancarlo Stanton who didn’t miss the pitch and homered off of Roark to make the score 2-0. Somehow, Roark seemed to settle down and went a full 6-innings where he held the score at 2-0 until he exited the game after the bottom of the 6th inning when he was sent out to bunt Adrian Sanchez to 3rd base.
The Nationals won this series 3-games-to-1 and improved to a season’s best 23-games over .500 with a record of 68-45.