Yesterday’s Giants-Nats match up had Madison Bumgarner, the best hitting pitcher in MLB facing the Nats’ Tanner Roark. Both men pitched their hearts out with virtually no run support from their teammates, until the Nats’ Wilson Ramos hit a solo homer in the 7th. That one run was great, but what was truly spectacular about yesterday’s game was Ben Revere’s amazing over the shoulder catch that robbed San Francisco of two runs in the 7th. Most of us watching were sure that Revere would not be able to catch Belt’s blast into centerfield, but amazingly he turned and pivoted at just the right moment to catch the ball before he crashed into the padded wall. It’s a times like that I’m glad that Nats stadium isn’t like Cubs’ stadium, with its ivy-covered concrete wall that would have made Revere see stars when he hit it. It was all the sweeter that it was Belt who was robbed of an extra-base hit and RBI, since he was the man responsible for the Giants’ go ahead run in game 2 of the 2014 NLDS, which lasted for 18 innings, and at which I was in attendance, freezing my ass off in 37 degree weather.
The Nats are now 21 games over .500, in solid position atop the NL East, and with yesterday’s win of the series with the Giants, they are assured of home field advantage should these teams meet again in post season play. Another bright note of yesterday’s game was Mark Melancon’s first save as the Nats’ closer. There was a lot of muttering about the Nats going all in and acquiring Chapman from the Yankees as a replacement for the struggling Papelbon, but Rizzo held firm and refused to give up great prospects like Giolito, Tuner, Koda and Taylor for Chapman. Instead he turned to the Pirates, who were willing to trade Melancon for two minor league prospects. In short, Rizzo didn’t mortgage the team’s future for the present, and it’s a good thing. I saw Melancon pitch in Friday’s game against the Giants. He was masterful that night, even though it wasn’t a save situation. In yesterday’s 1-0 game, which was a save situation, the dude was lights out.
There is still a lot of baseball to be played between now and the end of September. Harper is not hitting well. Zimmerman is on the DL again. Stephen Drew has an inner ear problem that is causing him to experience vertigo. Joe Ross missed his rehab start this weekend due to continued soreness in his shoulder. These issues, along with other unforeseen problems, can easily derail this team in its pursuit of post season triumph, but for now, let’s enjoy what our boys are doing. Go Nats!