Nats are off to a 2-0 Start
Posted on April 7, 2016
It’s been a good season so far. The Nats are 2-0 having feasted on the Braves at Turner Field. In both games the Nats came from behind to win, and both wins were in dramatic fashion. On Opening Day (why isn’t opening day a national holiday?) Bryce Harper shrugged off the inevitable boos of the Atlanta crowd and hit his first homer of the season, maintaining his tradition of hitting a homer on opening day. Scherzer was on the mound and he pitched well, despite giving up a homer to Freddie Freeman. Daniel Murphy proved his worth when he hit a solo homer, bringing the score to 2-2. Nats nation nearly had a heart attack when Felipe Cordero and Shawn Kelly put men on base, with Kelly throwing 4 balls (!) to walk in the go-ahead run. Fortunately we have some pretty good bats this season, and an RBI from Michael A. Taylor, followed by a beautiful RBI from Murphy put us ahead, allowing Pap to come to the mound and go lights out in the 10th.
Last night’s game was also awesome. Strasburg pitched well, but the true gems of the night were new manager Dusty Baker and pinch hitter Matt den Dekker. With men on base in the 7th inning, and the Nats down by a run, Dusty decided to pinch hit for Stras. den Dekker, who had just arrived in Atlanta in mid game, came to the plate, waited for the pitch he liked, and BAM! Out into right field. Nats are up 3-1 and this time, both Cordero and Kelly were masterful on the mound. Pap did put two men on base in the 9th with singles, but he shut the game down in masterful fashion, once he got his signs clear with Ramos.
I’m very pleased with Dusty’s management so far. Before the game he jokingly predicted that den Dekker would save the game with a hit in the 8th or 9th inning. It happened in the 7th, but it shows that Dusty has an instinct for this game as to when to pinch hit, when to do the double switch, and when to trust your gut. A 2-0 start. I love it.
The only sad note is that CF and lead-off hitter Ben Revere is on the DL with an apparent oblique injury. The team physician will have an MRI of Revere’s rib cage done today, but I’m having nightmares of the core injury Dennard Span had last year, along with Rendon’s oblique injury, both of which made the 2015 season one to forget. The good news is with Taylor and den Dekker in the line up, it looks like we can handle business until Revere returns.
Nats are in first place in the NL East…for now.
Matt den Dekker after saving the game with his awesome pinch hit in the 7th