Tanner Roark befuddled the Braves hitters most of the day in a 9-1 win. The Nationals are at 22 games over .500 (69-47), and another day comes off of the calendar. Roark now has 10 starts going 7 innings with one run or less which leads the Majors. Tanner Roark also fielded his position nicely today cutting down a runner at home and starting a key doubleplay.
The Nationals offense scored 9 runs today led by Trea Turner opening up the game with a double and scoring two runs. Anthony Rendon had the big blast with a 3-run home run, and Bryce Harper had 3 good at-bats against the right-handed pitchers including an opposite field RBI double. In fact the Nationals put together all of this offense while resting Daniel Murphy and Jayson Werth. All starting position players had hits today except Danny Espinosa as the Nats combined for 9 hits and 3 walks on the day.
The bullpen got a nice rest today also with only Oliver Perez and Matt Belisle needed and they combined for two scoreless innings.
Dusty Baker, in his postgame, said he was going to rest Bryce Harper one more game, but then Bryce said ‘Please’ and Dusty couldn’t say no to him. An endearing moment that must have been shared between the two of them.
“How do you tell a grown man that says it so politely that he wants to play?” Baker said. “And so I put him back in the lineup. He actually sounded like a little kid when he said it.”
Bryce Harper had a different take on how he got back into the line-up.
“I just walked in there, told [Dusty] I thought I could help us win today,” Harper said. “He said: ‘OK, no problem’ and got me in there.”
Here is the recap video that you can view here. The Nationals have now had 32 games in which they have held their opponents to no more than 1 run which incredibly is 27.6% of all the games played. The Nationals, as mentioned, moved to 22 games above .500 which is the team’s best mark of the season.