“Playoff type of atmosphere,” said Charlie Slowes just before Mark Melancon struck out the Giants’ final batter Hunter Pence for a 1-0 win for the Nats. With that, Mark Melancon is 1-for-1 in save opportunities for the Nats.
On this day, Tanner Roark took the mound in a familiar spot for another start after a Nats loss. Roark, in his own right, has been one of the best starting pitchers in the Majors, and arguably would be facing the best pitcher in the Majors in Madison Bumgarner considering Clayton Kershaw is currently on the DL.
This game was a classic pitcher’s duel as Bumgarner only gave up 2 hits with one run, and Roark only gave up 5 hits and no runs. Roark came out on top, and lowered his ERA to 2.88 and is now 0.03 away from being 10th best in the Majors in ERA. The Nationals are now 15-9 in games that Roark pitches in.
Roark is in rare air by himself where he has now thrown 7 games this season where he has given up no runs through the 7th inning. The closest to Roark in that category is Jake Arrieta who has accomplished this feat 6 times.
The crowd once again in Nationals Park was there from start to finish, and 32,790 fans got to see a game that felt like late October baseball where you watching inning after inning for something special to happen. Those who were in their seats for the 7th inning saw two of the greatest moments of the season from Revere’s circus catch in the top of the inning to the Wilson Ramos at-bat to lead off the bottom of the 7th inning.
Wilson Ramos was the only offense the Nationals needed as he delivered a bomb over the right-field out-of-town scoreboard for a home run which was 1 of only 2 hits on the day by the Nationals offense.
The Nationals defense included some other excellent defensive plays including this gem by Anthony Rendon as well as this slick doubleplay turned by Trea Turner.
Jayson Werth kept his on-base streak going with a walk in the 1st inning to reach 38 consecutive games.
The Nationals improved their record to 66-45 in wins and losses, and now own any tiebreaker for home-field advantage in the post-season against the Giants as the Nationals won the season series against the Giants 4-games-to-3.
On a side-note, Melancon talked about his Velo in his postgame interview, but a check of his player card, he has hit over 94mph on his fastball a few times in June and July of this year and hit 93.99 today that they rounded it up to 94.0. Let Melancon know it’s legitimate!
Here is the extended version of Dusty’s post-game presser: