Nats Week in Review: Week Six Of The Regular Season

After scratching and clawing their way to finish the first 30 games at the .500 mark on the season, we will find out soon whether they are coming into their own as possible contenders or if the fanbase was dreaming a bit too early.

The Nats headed home for a quick homestead with three against the Blue Jays and two against the Orioles after game 30, the road trip finale against the Rangers.

Nats Week in Review (May 2-May 8)

Game 31 Of The Regular Season, Game One For The Week

The defending champion Texas Rangers haven’t been great this season, but they’ve shown flashes of why they won it all last year. This game was one where the Rangers showed those flashes. Although the Nats were in it until late, they never threatened to take control.

The Nats fell behind 3-0 after two innings but held Texas scoreless again until the eighth. The Rangers added three more for a 6-0 win. Martinez again utilized his strategy of getting his starter out mid-game and relied on an entirely different bullpen compared to when the team had a lead.

Game 32 Of The Regular Season, Game Two For The Week

This one didn’t start out well. Patrick Corbin gave up three runs in the second inning and the Nats were in a quick hole. To his credit, Corbin held the Jays scoreless through his remaining four innings. The Nats still trailed 3-1 heading into the seventh-inning stretch.

The bats showed up in the bottom of the seventh, as Washington put up four runs in the seventh and the eighth to run away for a 9-3 win. In what the fans hope is a sign of things to come, 10 different Nats recorded a hit.

Game 33 Of The Regular Season, Game Three For The Week

The Nats would try again to go over the.500 mark for the first time in nearly two full seasons of baseball.

It wasn’t stated Jake Irvin‘s night to be lucky. Despite giving up zero earned runs in his five innings of work, he was victimized by poor defense and the Blue Jays scored four unearned runs in the top of the first.

The Nats made a mini comeback with two in the seventh but Toronto rebounded with two of their own in the eighth.

A meaningless run by the Nats in the bottom of the ninth inning still resulted in a 6-3 home setback.

Game 34 Of The Regular Season, Game Four For The Week

In the third and final game of the series, the Nats would attempt to get back to .500 before the O’s came calling.

For the third consecutive game, Toronto took control early. After scoring one in the bottom of the first, Toronto put up five runs in the second inning. Bad luck again plagued the Nats starter as MacKenzie Gore pitched six innings giving up only two earned runs but those behind him caused him to exit with six runs scored on his watch.

On a day where the Nats hit three homers, they rebounded with five runs of their own in the fourth. The middle innings saw both teams take the lead and the game headed to the bottom of the seventh tied 8-8. The Nats then took control scoring two in the seventh and one in the eighth.

Manager Davey Martinez used six relief pitchers over the final three innings. Once again, closer Kyle Finnegan slammed the door with a scoreless ninth and the Nats had themselves an 11-8 win.

Game 35 Of The Regular Season, Game Five For The Week

1-10. That was the Nationals record in their last 11 games against Baltimore. Over the years, the Orioles have dominated the “Battle of the Beltway “ regardless of the state of each team’s fortunes at the time. And the Nats were still trying for a breakthrough win to finally wake up one morning with a winning record.

Over 30,000 fans piled into Nationals Park for a Tuesday game in May. It was a tense affair played with playoff-like intensity.

Despite only pitching five innings, Trevor Williams was brilliant, giving up no runs on two hits with eight strikeouts. The Nats held a tenuous 1-0 lead late. On a night where four of their six hits came from Winker and Meneses, the Nats hustled their way to two more runs in the bottom of the seventh.

Once again the bullpen was lights out with Finnegan picking up yet another save to put him at the top of the majors in saves. Finally, the Nats were over .500 and they did against an old nemesis.

Game 36 Of The Regular Season, Game Six For The Week

The second and final game of the two-game mini-series against the O’s would prove to be a wild one. It didn’t seem like that would be the case until late.

A somewhat pedestrian game saw Baltimore take a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the ninth. But the Nats got to “closer “ Craig Kimbrel and tied it up. After a scoreless 10th, both teams put up two runs in the eleventh.

In the 12th and final stanza, Baltimore was able to push across two to the Nats one. Manager Davey Martinez used eight pitchers in the contest. But the Nats failed in their first attempt to go two games over the .500 mark.

Almost To The Quarter Pole On The Season – Observations

The young pitching staff is showing a lot of promise. Martinez and pitching coach Jim Hickey are handling the staff well.

Hitting consistently remains a concern. The Nats could really use Lane Thomas and his 28 homers from last season. It’s still not clear whether he will return to the lineup.

The young Nats are playing an aggressive style of small ball. They are second only to the Cincinnati Reds in stolen bases. This enthusiast brand of baseball makes the Nats a fun team to watch. As of right now, they are in the thick of the race for a wild card spot. That would be a huge accomplishment for a team with such low expectations heading into the season. Can they keep it up?

Nats Week in Review: Week One
Nats Week in Review: Week Two
Nats Week in Review: Week Three
Nats Week in Review: Week Four
Nats Week in Review: Week Five

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