Nationals Game Notes: April 20 at Miami
Washington Nationals (10-3) at Miami Marlins (4-8)RHP Joe Ross [2-0, 0.60] | LHP Wei-Yin Chen [0-0, 5.56]
Wednesday, April 20 l Game #14 / Road #8 l Marlins Park l Miami, FL
Television: MASN2 l Radio: 99.1 WDCH & Nationals Radio Network
The Nationals erupted for seven runs in the seventh inning of Tuesday night’s 7-0 win over the Miami Marlins, with all seven coming on four home run swings in two sets of back-to-back jacks…In the process, Washington set quite a few marks:
· According to the Elias Sports Bureau, no team in Nationals/Expos franchise history had ever hit two sets of back-to-back home runs in the same inning before Jayson Werth-Wilson Ramos and Bryce Harper-Ryan Zimmerman did it Tuesday night…No team in the Major Leagues had accomplished the feat since 2010 when Milwaukee did so vs. Arizona, Aug. 11, 2010.
· It was also, via Elias, the only time in modern MLB history (since 1900) that a team hit two sets of back-to-back home runs in the same inning with one of the longballs being a grand slam (Harper).
· The last time Washington hit two sets of back-to-back home runs in the same game was July 10, 2013; Anthony Rendon-Ramos in the fifth, Zimmerman-Werth in the sixth.
· Tuesday’s seventh inning marked the first time in Nationals history (2005-pres.) the club had hit four home runs in a single inning, and the first time in franchise history (Nationals/Expos) since April 29, 1986 against CIN, when Andre Dawson, Hubie Brooks, Tim Wallach and Mike Fitzgerald all went deep…It also happened one other time, July 30, 1978 against ATL, courtesy of Dawson (2), Dave Cash and Larry Parrish.
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And starting all of Tuesday’s home run fun was Nationals LF Jayson Werth, whose solo shot with one out in the seventh clanked off the Marlins’ home run sculpture in center field, lodged behind a light in the piece of art, broke the scoreless tie and added Werth’s name to the 200-homer club.
· With the blast, Werth joined Alfonso Soriano (8/13/2006), Adam LaRoche (4/20/2013) and Ryan Zimmerman (9/02/2015) as the only players to hit their 200th career home run in a Nationals uniform, according to Elias…Zimmerman’s No. 201 came later in Tuesday’s seventh inning.
ANOTHER GRAND OCCASION FOR THE MVP
Through the first 99 home runs of his young career, Nationals OF Bryce Harper had never hit a grand slam…Thursday, Harper changed that and became the first player in MLB history to record his 100th home run and his first grand slam on the same swing…Harper then went a whole four games (and three more home runs) before recording the second grand slam of his career as his contribution to the Nationals’ homer parade, the first of the second set of back-to-backs on Tuesday, cleared the fence in right field with the bags full of Nationals.
· With 20 RBI in the season’s first 13 games, Harper now leads the Major Leagues in that category, along with slugging percentage (.867), and his seven home runs are second in MLB only to COL’s Trevor Story.
· RHP Stephen Strasburg (who went 2-for-3 in the fifth multi-hit game of his career) has now been on third base for both of Harper’s career grand slams.
SETTING THE TONE
Through the season’s first 13 games, the Nationals’ starting pitching staff has worked to a Major League-best 1.98 ERA…Ahead of the Chicago Cubs (2.14) and New York Mets (2.87).
· Nationals’ starters have been exceptional of late, having allowed just eight earned runs in their last 56.1 innings, a 1.28 ERA.
· RHP Stephen Strasburg continued his strong start to the season with 8.0 shutout innings over the Marlins on Tuesday…Strasburg struck out 10 batters, his first 10-plus strikeout game of the season and 22nd of his career.
· Since returning from the disabled list on Aug. 8, 2015, Strasburg is 9-2 with a 1.74 ERA in 13 starts…In that span he has held opponents to a .180 average against and struck out 113 batters with just 15 walks (11.56 K/9.0 IP; 7.53 K/BB)…He has allowed more than 2 ER in a start only once in that stretch.