The Nationals extended their winning streak to four games in a row with a sweep of the Marlins by a final score of 5-2. This game started off with Anibal Sanchez on the ropes, but he only gave up one run after a laborious first three innings of work as Sanchez threw 56 pitches through those frames. Fortunately Sanchez settled down and only was charged with one earned run and exited with a 3-2 lead thanks to home runs by Kurt Suzuki and Anthony Rendon. Sanchez finished his six innings and handed it over to the bullpen that had a 3-run lead thanks to a 2-RBI double by Gerardo Parra.
“Just playing together,” Gerardo Parra said. “We are family. Just enjoy baseball. We have a great team. I promise we’re going to the playoffs this year.”
On this July 4th, it was the Nationals with the fireworks, and the Nationals bullpen held the Marlins scoreless even though they had bases loaded in the 8th inning. Tanner Rainey showed he still has an arm after not being seen in five days. Rainey responded with a scoreless 7th inning and some crisp pitches. In the 8th inning, Wander Suero did not retire either batter he faced, and he was pulled for Jonny Venters who struck out one lefty and got the two lefties he faced. With two outs, manager Davey Martinez then went to Javy Guerra as the stopped the threat, and he got the pesty Miguel Rojas on a hard line drive out to Trea Turner. The hanging slider was center cut and the Nats were fortunate.
“He comes out and pumps strikes,” Martinez said about Rodney. “I like what I’m seeing from him. He surprised me today — throwing 99. After the game, I looked at him, ‘where did that come from’ and he goes, ‘I still got some.’ If he can do that and Doo can’t go, he’s gonna be the guy.”
In the 9th inning, Fernando Rodney got the save which was his second for the Nats. Rodney was clocked at 99 mph on a fastball which showed the 42-year-old still has a lot in the tank.
“Babe Rojas was incredible this whole weekend,” Martinez joked about getting Miguel Rojas out in the eighth inning.
As was pointed out by NYNat in the comments section, the Nats last three pitchers in the game of Venters, Guerra, and Rodney were all acquired as free agents via mid-season DFA’s. Maybe this is a grand illusion as to what this trio has done, or some good pitching with a change of scenery. For now, enjoy this win as the Nationals move 4-games above .500 and improve to 26-10 since May 24th as the best record in baseball.