Weekly Review (7/30)
Here at Curly W Live, we will be conducting a weekly review every Tuesday of all the storylines from the week that was. If you’re new to the site or have just been too busy to stay current with all the day-to-day action, this is your way to get caught up on everything going on with the team.
Following a rollercoaster split of a four-game series with Atlanta, the Nationals hit the road for the Big Apple and a trio of games against the division-rival New York Mets. In the series opener, the Nats let their early 2-0 lead slip away as the game went to extra innings, but busted it open with six runs in the 10th inning for an 8-2 victory. On Tuesday, they finally exorcised their R.A. Dickey demons, besting the knuckleballer, 5-2, behind seven brilliant innings from Gio Gonzalez. Not to be outdone, Stephen Strasburg dominated the series finale, as the Nationals completed the three-game sweep with another 5-2 victory. A mere four days after dropping two of its worst games of the season to the Braves, Washington had reestablished the same 3.5-game cushion it owned prior to the Atlanta series.
The Nationals were all business on the field in New York, but found some time to have some fun away from the ballpark as well, as members of the bullpen enlightened the MLB Fan Cave to one of their favorite downtime activities, a collective reading of the racy bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey.
Craig Stammen (@cstammen35) July 23, 2012
From there, the squad traveled to face the Milwaukee Brewers for the first time in 2012, playing a four-game weekend set at Miller Park. Adam LaRoche homered for the third straight game to back a stellar outing from Edwin Jackson as the Nats won their season-high sixth straight, 8-2 Thursday night. That tied them with the New York Yankees for the best record in baseball, and made them the first Washington baseball team to reach 20 games over .500 since the 1945 Senators. The Nationals saw their winning streak come to an end on Friday with a quiet loss, but did not stay down for long. They rebounded on Saturday, thanks to another shutdown performance by Jordan Zimmermann in his return to his native Wisconsin. The righty stretched his run of throwing 6.0+ innings to 21 consecutive starts and improved to 4-0 with a 0.97 ERA in six July starts in the 4-1 victory, giving the Nats a shot at another series win.
The week and the road trip concluded on Sunday with a game that saw the two teams combine for four runs in the first five innings and 17 from the sixth inning on. Washington faced deficits of 3-1, 5-2, 7-3 and 9-7, but scored four runs in the eighth, a pair in the ninth and twice more in the 11th – thanks in large part to the heroics of Michael Morse – to steal an 11-10 victory and stake claim to the sport’s best record at 61-40 heading into this week’s action.
Mon @ NYM: W, 8-2 (10)
Tue @ NYM: W, 5-2
Wed @ NYM: W, 5-2
Thu @ MIL: W, 8-2
Fri @ MIL: L, 0-6
Sat @ MIL: W, 4-1
Sun @ MIL: W, 11-10 (11)
Weekly Record: 6-1