The Nationals offense slowed down a little bit after scoring 14-runs on Saturday, 16-runs yesterday, and they only scored 13-runs tonight. Of course that is all said tongue-in-cheek as the offense scored 4-runs in each of the first two innings to roll in this laugher until starting pitcher Joe Ross was hit by a 110 mph comebacker squarely on his shin (X-rays negative) after one bounce off of the grass, and Ross came out of the game under his own power at the 3 1/3 mark. The bullpen went the rest of the way and pitched a 1-hitter and the Nats shutout the Pirates 13-0.
With this win, manager Dave Martinez set a personal high in his managerial career to go 12-games over .500, and with that the Nats gained ground on all of the NL East teams who were idle tonight.
These 43 runs scored by the Washington Nationals in this 3-game stretch is the most in franchise history, and the 62 runs scored in this 5-game stretch is the most in franchise history and most since the 2007 Yankees (63). Every starting position player had at least one hit, and it would be difficult to choose the top offensive player from Juan Soto (4-4) and Matt Adams who was 3-5 with a 2-run home run, 2 doubles, and 4 RBIs. Honorable mention to Asdrubal Cabrera who was 2-3 with a 2-run home run and 5 RBIs, and Trea Turner who cranked another 3-run home run on a 2-4 night. In total, the Nats offense had 15-hits and 4 home runs.
Besides the offensive stars, the star of the game had to be Javy Guerra who replaced Ross and threw a 3 2/3 inning perfect game and earned the win. He was relieved by Kyle McGowin who pitched the 8th inning, and Tanner Rainey closed out the game giving Wander Suero, Hunter Strickland, and Daniel Hudson another night off after the marathon 14-inning game just two nights ago.
“What Javy has done has been incredible,” Martinez said. “I tip my hat to him.”
Tonight’s announced attendance was 11,284 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, and by the end of the night there was more cheers for the visiting team after the crowd thinned out.
With Joe Ross having a contusion on his shin, the Nats will have to decide if he can make his next start this Saturday in Chicago. Counting Ross’ 3 1/3 scoreless innings tonight, he has now pitched over his last four games 21 1/3 innings only yielding one run. If Ross cannot go, the Nationals would have Erick Fedde on an extra day’s rest.
The Nationals send Stephen Strasburg to the mound tomorrow, and he gets to pitch on an extra day’s rest. He will face Chris Archer of the Pirates.