Game #88 Recap: Nats Sweep the Friars
The Nationals came into Sunday having won 3 straight and having won the series against the San Diego Padres. The Nationals had gained some ground on their NL East rivals the Atlanta Braves, but would gain one more game behind a strong performance from Stephen Strasburg and a big swing from Ryan Zimmerman.
The Nationals got off to a quick start. After a shut down first from Strasburg, Denard Span started the frame with a single to get on base. A wild pitch sent him over to 2nd base, thn a groundout from Desmond put Span on 3rd. A line drive from Harper brought Span in to put the Nationals up 1-0. The Nationals kept the lead until Strasburg hit Carlos Quentin with a pitch and a Chase Headley double brought him in, make it a tied 1-1 game.
The tie did not last long, however as the Nationals were able to load the bases against the Padres young left hander, Robbie Erlin. Ryan Zimmerman was at the plate when Erlin threw a 90mph fastball that Zimmerman belted deep to right center for a grand slam. The Nationals then had a lead they did not relinquish, but the game would get interesting at points. A 2 run homer from Anthony Rendon increased the lead to 7-1. The two home runs highlighted the 6 run 3rd for the Nationals.
After completing the sweep, the Nationals went 4 games over .500 and gained a game on the Atlanta Braves thanks to the Philadelphia Phillies, who beat the Braves 2 of 3 times over the weekend. The Nationals now head to Philadelphia themselves to take on the Phillies and attempt to gain more ground.