The Nats sweep as Ross throws another shutout; Parra hits the 3-run blast!

Photo by Kevin Nibley for TalkNats

When everyone wondered if Joe Ross was going to be able to throw as well as he did in Arizona, he actually did better with a 6.0 inning 3-hit shutout and 5 strikeouts. If Asdrubal Cabrera snagged a low liner, Ross probably gets through that outing with no stress. All of the offense the Nats needed was the oppo 3-run home run by Gerardo Parra against the team that DFA’d him in May. That is what is known as poetic justice. The Nats offense only had nine hits in the game, and five of those came from the table-setters of Trea Turner and Adam Eaton. The other big blast of the game came from pinch-hitter Andrew Stevenson who almost hit a home run in centerfield but settled for a double. Stevo has some impressive numbers in San Francisco. The Nats bullpen held the Giants to one run in three innings while resting Sean Doolittle and Fernando Rodney in this 4-1 game. 

For Ross, he has now recorded 11 1/3 innings over his last two starts of shutout baseball. He has shown that the hard work in the film room, and the mechanical tweaks in his bullpen sessions have been working. The action on his sinker is back, and once again a key pitch in his arsenal.

“You get to sink the ball a little bit more,” manager Dave Martinez said about some of the mechanical tweaks with Joe Ross. “Keep the ball down a little bit more. Uses his legs a little bit more.”

Besides a couple of poor defensive plays, the only other negative was Anthony Rendon sustained a hit-by-a-pitch on his foot, and he came out of the game.

With the day-off tomorrow, Rendon and all of his teammates can rest up in New York City as they will be heading to the airport shortly ahead of their weekend series against the Mets.

“It’s really nothing,” manager Dave Martinez said. “He got hit in the big toe, and he just got really sore. So for precautionary reasons, we got him in, got him iced up and he said he feels OK.”

Fans will stay cautiously optimistic in regards to Rendon’s big toe, however you can also understand some concern given Rendon’s history with IL moves after an HBP earlier this season on a pitch above the left elbow, and last year’s HBP on the left foot.

With the sweep in this series, the Nationals improved to eight games above .500 at 61-53, and they widened their hold of the first spot in Wild Card race.

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