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Lots of positives in disappointing series for Nats
So the Nationals just lost two out of three to the second-worst team in the National League, allowing 22 runs 31 hits and seven home runs to the 21-36 Reds.
Let’s dwell on the positive, though, shall we?
Despite the pitching staff getting spanked by one of the league’s top hitting teams, the struggling offense finally showed some signs of life. In Sunday’s comeback win, it was downright resilient.
- After having his 11-game hitting streak snapped, Daniel Murphy was on the verge of going 0-for-Cincinnati. But he turned in a 3-for-5 performance that included a home run to put the Nats on the board and thee runs scored.
- Bryce Harper had his first multi-hit game in almost two weeks, going 3-for-5.
- Ben Revere broke an 0-for-25 slump with the game-tying single in the fourth inning to highlight a 2-for-5 day.
- Wilson Ramos, the only National who didn’t need to break out of a slump on Sunday, went 3-for-5 with a homer and drove in a pair of runs. Don ‘t look now, but his gaudy .350 average is only 35 points behind Murphy’s league-leading .385. He’d be the league’s second-leading hitter if he had another 10 at-bats.
- In Friday’s loss, we found out just how good top prospect Trea Turner can be. He went 3-for-3 and drew a walk while playing errorless ball in the field.
- Best of all, the Nats remained two games ahead of the second-place New York Mets in the National League East.
It’s true that this offensive breakout was against the Reds’ major league-worst pitching staff. But sometimes that can get an offense going. Any big league hitter will tell you that success at the plate starts with seeing the ball well. A good game, no matter who’s on the mound, can start a run.
This all bodes well heading into Chicago against a very good White Sox pitching staff that ranks second in the American League with a 3.61 ERA and recently took two out of three games from the strong-armed Mets.
The last time the Nats played in Chicago, a month ago, they ran into a buzz saw of a Cubs team and came up short all around. Let’s see if they can make a better showing this time around.