Nationals Game Notes: May 26 vs. St. Louis Cardinals

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St. Louis Cardinals (24-23) vs. Washington Nationals (28-19)
RHP Mike Leake [3-3, 4.07] | RHP Joe Ross [3-4, 2.70]
Thursday, May 26 l Game #48 / Home # 23 l Nationals Park l Washington, D.C. l 7:05 P.M.
Television: MASN/MLBN l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

MOVING ON…
The Nationals continue this seven-game homestand Thursday night with the first of four games against the St. Louis Cardinals…Washington will then depart on a three-city, nine-game, 11-day road trip to Philadelphia, Cincinnati and Chicago (White Sox).

  • At 28-19 (.596), the Nationals have the third-best record in the National League behind the Chicago Cubs (31-14; .689) and the San Francisco Giants (30-19; .612)
  • The Nationals have posted a +51 run differential, the second-best mark in the National League (Chicago Cubs: +119).

THE (MULTI-)HIT KING
With two more hits on Wednesday, Nationals 2B Daniel Murphy posted his MLB-best 24th multi-hit game…Murphy also leads Major League Baseball in batting average (.394) and hits (69), and ranks among MLB hitters in OPS (2nd, 1.043), slugging percentage (5th, .617), on-base percentage (6th, .426) and doubles (T9th, 14).

  • Having played in 46 of the Nationals’ 47 games, Murphy has at least two hits in more than half of the games he’s played in…He has also hit safely in 22 of his last 26 games, going 42-for-102 (.412) with seven doubles, five homers, 21 RBI and 16 runs scored.
  • With 39 hits in May, Murphy is closing in on the Nationals record (2005-present) for hits in a month (Last: Denard Span, 40; August, 2014).

INHERITANCE TAX
Despite allowing two runs in the ninth inning on Tuesday, Nationals relievers have posted a miniscule 0.89 ERA (4 ER/40.2 IP) since May 9 (16 games)…In that stretch, the Nationals’ ‘pen has struck out 9.7 batters per nine innings, posted a 4.00 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and surrendered just five extra base hits (4 2B, 1 HR)…That is far-and-away the best bullpen ERA in MLB in that stretch (2nd: NYM, 1.81)

  • Nationals relievers have also not allowed a single inherited runner to score during this run (22 IR, 0 IRS)…No other team that’s inherited 10 or more runners in that span has kept all of them from scoring…Only the Brewers (6 IR, 0 IRS) relievers have joined the Nationals in keeping all of their runners inherited since May 9 from crossing the plate.

ALL YOU NEED IS GLOVE
The Nationals have committed just 18 errors on the season, tied with the New York Mets for the fewest in Major League Baseball and their .990 team fielding percentage is the best in MLB ahead of SFG (.989) the NYM (.989).

  • According to Baseball Prospectus, the Nationals rank third (.719) in the National League in “Defensive Efficiency” (the rate at which balls put into play are converted into outs) behind only the Chicago Cubs (.750) and the Los Angeles Dodgers (.735)…In comparison, the 2015 Nationals ranked ninth in the NL in Defensive Efficiency at .700

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