Nationals Game Notes: May 29 vs. St. Louis Cardinals

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 St. Louis Cardinals (26-24) vs. Washington Nationals (29-21)
RHP Michael Wacha [2-5, 5.04] | RHP Stephen Strasburg [8-0, 2.79]
Sunday, May 29 l Game #51 / Home # 26 l Nationals Park l Washington, D.C. l 1:35 P.M.
Television: MASN/WUSA9 l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

SHIPPING OUT

Sunday afternoon marks the Nationals’ final home game until June 10 as they’ll wrap up this four-game set with the Cardinals and depart on a three-city, nine-game, 11-day road trip to Philadelphia, Cincinnati and Chicago (White Sox).

  • The trek is the longest (by days) the Nationals will make this season, matching the final regular-season trip of the year, to Atlanta, Miami, and Pittsburgh.

SHOW OF POWER

Nationals 1B Ryan Zimmerman turned in the 11th four-hit game of his career on Saturday night, clubbing two home runs, adding two singles and continuing his solid month of May at the plate…Zimmerman matched a career high with the 4-for-4 evening and picked up the 16th multi-homer game of his career (his second this season)…It was the first time the Nationals’ first baseman has posted a four-hit game since July 5, 2014 vs. the Chicago Cubs.

  • Zimmerman now has seven home runs in May after clubbing just one in April.
  • Since the start of the season’s second month, Zimmerman is hitting .263 with a .324 on-base percetnage and a .547 slugging percentage…He’s hit six doubles to go with his seven home runs, walked eight times, driven in 17 runs, scored 14, and stolen one base…Seven of those 17 RBI have given the Nationals the lead.

IT’S OFFICIAL: MAY IS MURPHY’S MONTH

With a single in the second inning on Saturday night, Nationals 2B Daniel Murphy set a new Nationals record (2005-present) for hits in one calendar month with 41…The previous mark of 40, reached by several players, was last attained by Denard Span in August of 2014…The franchise record (Nationals/Expos) for hits in one month is 47, held by OF Al Oliver (August, 1982) and OF Marquis Grissom (June, 1994).

  • During May, Murphy is 41-for-101, with seven doubles, five home runs, two walks, 15 runs scored and 19 RBI…The 41 hits are also a career high in a single month for Murphy, who posted 40 hits in July, 2011.
  • Murphy currently leads Major League Baseball in multi-hit games (24), batting average (.390) and hits (T1st, 70)…He also ranks among MLB hitters in OPS (3rd, 1.028), slugging percentage (4th, .604), on-base percentage (5th, .423) and doubles (T13th, 14).
  • Having played in 48 of the Nationals’ 50 games, Murphy has at least two hits in half of the games he’s played in…He has also hit safely in 24 of his last 28 games, going 44-for-109 (.403) with seven doubles, five homers, 21 RBI and 17 runs scored.

ALL GOOD THINGS…

Nationals relievers did not allow a single inherited runner to score from May 9 through May 28, a span in which they inherited 24 runners and kept them all on the bases…That streak ended in the eighth inning on Saturday night vs. STL…No other team in MLB inherited 12 or more runners in that stretch without any scoring…Only the Brewers (11 IR, 0 IRS) relievers joined the Nationals in keeping all of their inherited runners since May 9 from crossing the plate.

  • Nationals relievers have posted a 1.47 ERA (8 ER/49.0 IP) since May 9 (18 games)…In that time, the Nationals’ ‘pen has struck out 9.73 batters per nine innings, posted a 4.42 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and surrendered just nine extra base hits (6 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR)…That is far-and-away the best bullpen ERA in MLB in that stretch (2nd: KCR, 1.94)

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