This August, the Washington Nationals have been able to put everything together and are starting to heat up. After Tuesday night’s 2-1 victory over the Miami Marlins, the Nationals have now won six of their last seven. Tuesday night’s W had everything to do with pitching.
Ross Ohlendorf, who could end up being a long-term starter, pitched a great outing for his third win of the season. After pitching three perfect innings, Ohlendorf was then pulled in the fifth after giving up a leadoff home run to Christian Yelich which brought the score to 2-1 in the sixth. Ohlendorf finished with three hits given up and one strikeout over five full innings.
Throughout the season, the Nationals have been victims of their own bullpen when they have give them the ball with a lead. We’ve seen many different names and faces come out of the bullpen this season. Tuesday night, it was two familiar faces that provided the shutdown pitching the Nationals needed.
Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard both showed signs of their old selves. Combined, they pitched two perfect innings and needed just 15 pitches to get the job done while also striking out three. Storen was set up by Tanner Roark, who pitched a hitless sixth inning and struck out two after giving up two walks. Soriano then came on for the eighth inning and earned his 34th save of the season.
Overall, the Nationals bullpen pitched four one-hit scoreless innings and struck out six. Their lone hit given up was with two-outs in the ninth on a Justin Ruggiano single. Roark picked up his first hold, Storen recorded his 17th and Clippard earned his 27th hold of the season.
All season long, the Nationals’ lack of offense has been coming back to bite them since the bullpen often failed to hold a lead. After the Nationals squandered a bases-loaded opportunity in the bottom of the fourth, the big concern then became whether or not that was going to haunt them later. Thanks to sensational pitching from the bullpen, that wasn’t a concern at all.
The Nationals have pushed themselves back to a game over .500 and started off the six-game home stand with a good win. On Wednesday, they look continue their hot-streak as they send Stephen Strasburg to the mound.