Tanner Roark spins a gem; Bryce Harper goes long ball!

Tanner Roark photo by Navy Yard Nats for TalkNats

The Nationals won with their Player of the Week, Adam Eaton, sitting on the bench tonight as the Nationals started the season 4-and-0 for the first time ever with this dominating 8-to-1 win behind a pitching gem by Tanner Roark. Not only did Roark go 7.0 innings, he fielded his position exceptionally well and worked around a costly 2-base error when the game was close.

Bryce Harper hit a 3-run home run to pace the offense, and Pedro Severino got on-base 5 times with 2-hits. Every Nationals position player got on-base today, and the Nats had 10 hits to go with 10 walks. Even in Brian Goodwin‘s one at-bat when he was inserted for defense was a key in this game as he put the game out of reach with a 2-RBI single. Brian Goodwin now is tied with Harper with 7-RBIs — but Goodwin has only had 7 at-bats this season.

The Nationals are now averaging 7.25 runs per game in this beginning to the season. As mentioned, even with Adam Eaton sitting out tonight and the offensive struggles of Ryan Zimmerman, the team is making the most of their opportunities.

With Eaton on the bench, Trea Turner was the lead-off man and caused havoc for the Braves opening the game with forcing an error on the Braves defense. That error actually goes against Turner’s stats but was more productive than a single with the frustration factor. Turner added a walk and a single in the game with a run scored.

Nationals’ manager Dave Martinez really managed a gem himself. He pulled all the right strings and got Shawn Kelley into a game in a low leverage situation with a 5-run lead when he could face the bottom of the Braves’ order.

Next up is A.J. Cole‘s turn on the starter’s mound for the Washington Nationals. This is his chance to make any decision about Jeremy Hellickson a very difficult one.

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