So Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post tweeted yesterday that it sounded to him that Davey Johnson was going to give Roger Bernadina an extended shot at laying claim to left field. I don’t know how this latest chance will go for Roger, but at least we can say that the man is a good listener.
Just hours removed from Davey’s proclamation, Bernadina posted the type of game which has raised Nats fans hopes before, going 2 for 5, with a homer, three RBI and a stolen base in Washington’s 7-3 victory over Cincinnati. And the best thing is that the Nationals got out of the gates quickly, posting all seven of their runs in the first four innings. Though the Reds would threaten multiple times to get back into the game, they came up short when it mattered most, going 3 for 14 with runners in scoring position.
Game ball(s): Two homers in two nights plus the added sparkles against the Reds nets it for Bernadina.
Goat(s): Mike Leake of the Reds had a brutal start and the Reds couldn’t hit with men in scoring position. But I’m curious as to the fall-out from Bryce Harper’s Bam-Bam moment. I’m guessing it is just the case of a very competitive player having a bit of misfortune in taking out his frustrations at the end of a tough night. Still, Harper is only 19 so it is always worth watching how he handles adversity, which will be most telling of his maturation as a big leaguer.
Bryce Harper is still only 19: Danny Espinosa. I’ve been tough on Danny, and for good reason. So it was nice to see him launch one out of Great American Ball Park. Maybe that bandbox is just the place to get his bat going.
Current Record: 20-12
Well, you can say that the Nationals are pitching fairly well of late. How well you ask? In the last five games, including today’s 4-1 victory over the Reds, Washington has allowed just six runs, which translates to just 1.2 runs/game. Short of surrounding your pitchers with the Bad News Bears, you are going to win a lot of games pitching that well. And today, Edwin Jackson became the latest Nat to throttle the opposition, pitching a complete game, striking out nine and allowing just one run on two hits. Oh, and the normally inefficient Jackson did it throwing only 92 pitches, 67 for strikes.
Tomorrow, the Nationals go for the four-game series sweep over the Reds, with Ross Detwiler, the pitcher who started this great run, taking the hill against Mike Leake. Let’s hope we can send the Commies back to Cincinnati in utter humiliation.
Game ball(s): Jackson. He was dominant and efficient, which was just gravy, allowing the Nats bullpen to rest after last night’s 13-inning affair.
Goat(s): Reds hitters, who continued to struggle in the series, only mustering two hits and one run for the game.
Bryce Harper is not as far off: Jesus Flores. You can’t ask more from your backup catcher than to receive a gem like Jackson’s and go 3-3 with a walk and run driven in.
Current Record: 7-2