EJax 7 inning 2 run outing and a 4-4 for Bryce Harper; New bullpen gets the hold & save!

Photo by SoCal for TalkNats

The pixie dust was sprinkled as Edwin Jackson went 7-innings and departed with a 3-2 lead in a spectacular outing by Jackson that he made look easy after the 1st inning. EJax seemed to get stronger as his outing went along. He made a handful of mistake pitches and Mike Trout and Martin Maldanado both tagged him for solo home runs and that was the only scoring on Jackson’s record. New acquisitions Ryan Madson went 1-2-3 in the 8th for a hold and Sean Doolittle struggled in the 9th giving up a lead-off walk and a booming double off the rightfield wall by lefty Kole Calhoun and a run surrendered but in the end Doolittle saved the win in a 4-3 final. The Nationals go up 21 games above .500.

Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon, and Adam Lind all had solo home runs and Ryan Zimmerman had a clutch RBI single for all the scoring.

Bryce Harper was 4-for-4 and hit the home run, a triple, and 2 singles. Harper was inches from hitting for the cycle as he was thrown out at 2nd base by an inch or two and the play was close enough to get a video replay challenge but the play on the field was not over-turned.

The story tonight was multi-faceted with the 3 new acquisitions of Edwin Jackson, Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle as they were the pitchers in this heart-thumper.

One of the mysteries of the game was that Sean Doolittle never threw one breaking pitch. We never saw that nasty slider. Doolittle threw 21 fastballs. Was this because catcher Matt Wieters did not know the movement on the breaking pitch and did not want to risk a ball getting past him? In analyzing the last 115 pitches thrown by Doolittle, he only threw 2 sliders, 1 splitter, and 1 changeup. This season he has been 88% fastballs, and tonight he was 100%.

Dusty Baker said the home run pitch to Mike Trout from Edwin Jackson was not a mistake pitch. Middle of the plate according to the chart looks like a mistake pitch.

“He threw the ball well,” Dusty Baker said about Edwin Jackson. “He gave us seven strong innings. He only made one mistake. He hung a breaking ball [to Maldanado]. That was really it. Mike Trout’s [home run] ball wasn’t a mistake.”

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