As general manager Mike Rizzo said, “We have a very good Big Four” as a sincere compliment to his starting pitchers of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Patrick Corbin, and Anibal Sanchez. Many people have referred to them as the “Big Three” which excluded Sanchez and was an old term for the American auto makers, and Rizzo made it a point to let everyone know this starting rotation from 1-to-4 is excellent. With Patrick Corbin’s 7.0 inning shutout gem today, the Nationals have shown they are one of the best in the Majors. Corbin’s “win” evaporated after a blown save by Sean Doolittle, but then the Nats bats were awoken and Doolittle vultured the 5-2 win on this final game before the All-Star break.
After Adam Eaton scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth inning to make the score 3-2, Max Scherzer ran onto the field thinking it was a walk-off. Well it felt like it.
The Nats finish the first half at 5.0 games over .500 and guarantee themselves on this day that they will hold the second place spot in the NL East and the number one spot int he Wild Card.
The Nats star of the game along with Patrick Corbin was Victor Robles. Not only did Robles nail a home run to make the score 2-0, he threw out a runner at home to keep the Royals off the board and a big inning. Brian Dozier hit a home run for the first run of the game, and Anthony Rendon had the game-winning RBI when he knocked in Eaton in that 8th inning.
“I look at what we achieved — what we went through at the beginning, and where we’re at now, and it’s a testament that these guys do not quit,” manager Dave Martinez said. “They keep playing. The chemistry has been there all year. I knew that, and I told these guys, ‘Stay together, we’re going to get through this,’ and they did. Now we have an opportunity to continue to keep it going.”
As we head into the All-Star break, the Nats will have their next game on Friday in Philadelphia. It is a well-needed break for everyone to recharge. Manager Dave Martinez managed one of his best games of the season and in that 8th inning he pinch-hit with Howie Kendrick for Matt Adams against the tough lefty of the Royals and it paid immediate dividends as Howie knocked in two runs to make it a 5-2 final.