This is no April Fool’s joke that Adam Eaton is tied with Bryce Harper for the team’s home run lead with a scant 1.852% of the season completed. Adam Eaton hit his second home run of the season in this game, and Bryce Harper hit two bombs in this game with his second home run the difference maker in this 6-to-5 final as the Washington Nationals swept the Cincinnati Reds and took sole possession of first place in the NL East.
1. Bryce Harper's up…
2. Someone yells "OVERRATED."
3. Bryce launches his SECOND HR of the game. pic.twitter.com/BTttlni4M2
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) April 1, 2018
While Davey Martinez showed a much better grasp of the pitching staff today, he learned on-the-job as many Nats fans know that Sammy Solis usually isn’t as reliable in back-to-back games as the opposition bats .444 against him in consecutive games played. Solis was charged with two runs and was bailed-out by Ryan Madson who inherited bases loaded with no outs and only allowed one run to score on Solis’ record. Sean Doolittle got the save but was tagged for two earned runs himself. If you read our “gamer” article earlier today, there was a lot of discussion on who was available out of the bullpen and who was not as both Kintzler and Madson were “dry-humped” yesterday making Madson sort of used three games in a row.
“I tried to stay away from Kintzler and Madson today, I really did,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “But [Madson] told me in an emergency if we need him [he was available]. And that was kind of an emergency.”
The Nationals offense is on a 7.00 runs per game pace while they took advantage of the cozy confines of the Great American Ballpark often called the Great American Smallpark for the home runs that are hit there that would not be home runs in many ballparks. The game opened up with an Adam Eaton single followed by an Anthony Rendon shot to the second deck in left field. Rendon as he often does is not a first ball swinger and Sal Romano pitched him a 97 heater almost down the middle that Rendon took for strike 1. Romano kept pitching Rendon inside and all it took was a missed location which Rendon got in his “honey zone” to smash it on the 7th pitch of the at-bat.
Gio Gonzalez was very good today. He bent but didn’t break and easily could have had a shutout. He finished with 1 earned run and 7 strikeouts over 6.0 full innings with only one walk surrendered while throwing 91 pitches. Each Nats starter in this series had a quality start going at least 6 innings which was needed today to rest the bullpen a little bit today.
The Nationals will fly soon to Atlanta on their Delta charter Delta 8895 DL8895. The Nats take on the Braves in a 3-game series which will feature Tanner Roark, A.J. Cole and Max Scherzer as the projected pitchers.