The day-off from the rain-out yesterday seemed to energize Trea Turner who began the night with a Nats record 9th lead-off home run, and then he added a single, triple and capped it off with a RISP double to complete his second career cycle which has victimized the Colorado Rockies both times. The first Turner cycle came on April 25th of 2017 in Colorado, and this is the first cycle the Rockies have ever given up on the road. Turner became only the 26th player in MLB history to have multiple cycles, and he is only the third player to do it against the same team. Add the rarity that Turner did this against a team he only faces two series per year. The early run support was all Stephen Strasburg needed as he went 6.0 innings of shutout baseball with eight strikeouts and only three hits. Strasburg lowered his ERA to 3.37 and increased his win total to a league best 13 W’s.
”To be able to do [the cycle] twice that to me is a testament to how good a player Trea really is,” manager Dave Martinez said. “He hit the ball everywhere today.”
The Nats won this game 11-1, and it was actually a close game when Strasburg exited with a 2-0 lead with a laborious pitch count of 107. The Nationals scored another run in the bottom of the sixth, and Wander Suero earned a hold and had a nice pickoff during his scoreless inning. The new call-up, Michael Blazek, closed out the game with two innings pitched and a hefty 40-pitch count. Blazek was just so-so, and mostly because he walked two batters and had no strikeouts. He was advertised as the opposite plus he gave up a run. In the bottom of the 7th inning, the Nats attacked the Rockies bullpen for eight runs in that frame and batted around.
“I didn’t screw it up this time,” Turner said about his chance earlier in the season for another cycle. “I just needed a single. Didn’t do it. This time for me it’s more funny that I got lucky enough to get all of the right hits. It’s kind of a lucky stat. You have to put the ball at the right place at the right time. It’s pretty cool, and not many people can say they did it. … To get four hits in a game is hard to do.”
These types of wins go a long way for a team who played very good fundamental baseball, and the bounces tonight went the Nats way. Every Nats batter got a hit and that included the pitcher, Stephen Strasburg, and both pinch-hitters. In total, the Nats had 17-hits, a couple of walks, and a hit-by-pitch for a total of 20 baserunners.