Last night at Nats Park fans got to see two things that they haven’t seen all year, starting pitcher Nathan Karns and the Washington Nationals offense.
Karns was called up just a few days ago from Double-A Harrisburg to pitch yesterdays game against the Orioles since Ross Detwiler has been placed on the DL with a sore back. Karns went 4.1 innings giving up three runs on five hits. Karns was settled and cruising until giving up back-to-back homers to the Orioles in the fourth which tied the game up. Not long after that, Davey Johnson gave the kid the hook and let the bullpen pitch 4.2 scoreless innings to help the Nationals win 9-3.
The Nationals newest big league pitcher wasn’t the only surprise last night as Adam LaRoche went 2-3 with two home runs and four RBI. It was by far the 2012 Silver Sluggers best game of the season. For the Nationals offense as a unit, it was their best performance of the season.
Every single Nationals player in the lineup was able to get at least one hit last night with Kurt Suzuki leading the way at 3-4. Steve Lombardozzi was the only player to strikeout but that didn’t blemish his 1-4 with a run scored night. The offense certainly had their starting aces back and it was ever so apparent in the bottom of the fourth inning.
At the top of the frame, Orioles first baseman Chris Davis and short stop J.J. Hardy both went yard to tie the game up at 3-3. In the bottom of the frame, Tyler Moore and Roger Bernadina hit back-to-back dingers to give the Nationals a 6-3 lead. After Kurt Suzuki got on base a batter later, Denard Span doubled to deep right and scored Suzuki to put the Nationals up 7-3 by the end of the inning.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Adam LaRoche homered for a second time and Roger Bernadina singled home Ian Desmond to give the Nationals a 9-3 lead. Fernando Abad then came in and pitched a hitless and scoreless top of the ninth to give the Nationals the 9-3 victory.
Hopefully last nights game was a sign of things to come for the Nationals. Once the World Series favorite, the Nationals have gotten off to a slow start and find themselves 4.5 games out of first place in the NL East behind the Atlanta Braves. The team has been batting just well enough to keep themselves out of last place, but they have certainly been underachieving at the plate compared to last season.
At the very least, the Nationals proved to themselves, the fans, and the MLB that they still do have what it takes to be a power hitting and run scoring machine in last nights blowout victory. Don’t sleep on the Nationals, Major League Baseball, they may be down, but they’re not out.
- Washington Nationals Game 52 Review: Long ball powers Nats past O’s (districtsportspage.com)
- LaRoche Homers Twice, Nationals Beat Orioles 9-3 (washington.cbslocal.com)
- LaRoche homers twice as Nationals beat Orioles 9-3 (kansascity.com)
- LaRoche homers twice as Nationals beat Orioles 9-3 (seattletimes.com)
- LaRoche Homers Twice As Nationals Beat Orioles 9-3 (baltimore.cbslocal.com)
- LaRoche homers twice, Nationals wallop Orioles (sportsillustrated.cnn.com)