The Nats win Game 1 of the doubleheader on pitching, defense and some big hits!

Photo by Sol Tucker for TalkNats

This was a game that included everything in this 3-2 win for the Nats. Perhaps the most important play was manager Dave Martinez pulling his starter, Erick Fedde, in a 1-0 game with bases loaded and 2-outs in the 4th inning for a pinch-hitter. This time Martinez was not bluffing when he sent Gerardo Parra to the on-deck circle, and sure enough, Parra came up to bat and worked a bases loaded walk to tie the game. Later, Adam Eaton hit a home run but then had a misread on a Yonder Alonso liner that tied the game — again. The game needed a big play to finish the game and Anthony Rendon obliged as he led-off in the 7th inning and on the first pitch he saw he smashed a home run into the “Red Porch” seats in centerfield for the game winner.

The Nats bullpen got great innings from Wander Suero, Fernando Rodney and Sean Doolittle‘s 22nd save to close this first game of today’s doubleheader in the win column. The Nationals are 35-15 since May 24th and a season’s best 8-games over .500.

“When you have a doubleheader you really want to win the first game,” Martinez said. “Today we had a chance to win that [first] game so we went ahead it was no holds barred. You can’t win two without winning [the first] one. When you win the first game, seems like the momentum is really good. These boys are playing really well.”

It was the defense of Juan Soto and Matt Adams that kept this game where it was as each player had key plays. In one of those plays you have never seen before, Matt Adams continued an “out” call at first as Charlie Blackmon kept running for home and Adams gunned him out at the plate. Here’s the twist, the “out” at first was the third out but could have been reversed on replay so Adams made sure to throw home — just in case. It was also Adams with the bat going 2-for-2 today with 2 walks and he got his OPS back over .800.

Soto who was 0-4 at the plate with three strikeouts showed-up with his defense. He brings something positive to every game. Yes, he is scuffling in a mini-slump now, but he is still contributing to his team which is the mark of a champion.

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