The Washington Nationals had not had a series sweep since June 30 until today’s sweep of Toronto. This one was a come from behind win as the Nats victimized their departed closer Brad Hand who they traded to Toronto for Riley Adams. Yes, the Adams who had a 5-7 (.714 batting average) series against the Blue Jays with a HBP. Certainly Adams channeled his inner Daniel Murphy to frustrate his former team.
It was Josh Bell with the huge 3-run homer to take the Nats from a 5-4 deficit to a 7-5 lead on their way to an 8-5 final. The game also included a first inning 3-run oppo homer from Juan Soto to get the team started with a 3-0 lead. Carter Kieboom added a solo homer to finish off the day’s power surge.
The Nats got a really nice 6.0 inning start from the young Josiah Gray who gave up 2-runs — on guess what — on two solo home runs, of course. All seven runs that Gray has surrendered have come from solo home runs. His ERA with the Nats is at a really nice 2.86 in his 4 starts since he was traded to the Nats on July 30. Gray also got his first career hit in this game.
“Be tough and execute some pitches,” Gray said. “Make those pitches and make your stuff play. Don’t try to be too fine.”
One of the only downers on the day was Ryne Harper was victimized on a nice curveball that somehow was pulled into the home bullpen for a blown save. Harper had been nails up until his worst inning of the season. As manager Dave Martinez has shown recently, he went quick hook and the bullpen did a fine job in closing out the game with Kyle Finnegan getting the save that Hand couldn’t. Kind of a déjà vu moment.