Another dramatic Bryce Harper home run against the Phillies gave the Nats their second straight walk-off win in Washington’s 6-4 victory on May 13th at Nationals Park.
The latest “Nationals by the Numbers” highlights late inning heroics by members of the Nats’ powerful lineup and some positives coming out of what has been to date a much maligned Nats’ bullpen corps.
Bryce Harper contributed to Washington’s game winning rally on Wednesday with a double to left field off of Baltimore’s Brad Brach. Six of Harper’s nine doubles in the 2017 have been hit to the opposite field.
In Washington’s comeback win over Baltimore on Wednesday May 10th, catcher Matt Wieters went 3 for 5 and drove in the winning runs against his former teammates. The game was Wieters’ seventh multi-hit game of the 2017 season. Only three catchers (the Giants’ Buster Posey with 11, Miami’s J. P. Realmuto with 10 and Brian McCann of Houston with 8) have more multi-hit games than Wieters.
Wieters’ heroics on Wednesday might not have been possible without some assistance from Nats’ centerfielder Michael A. Taylor, whose eighth inning two run home run off of Baltimore’s Alec Asher drew Washington within two runs at 6-4. Taylor’s laser blast came on the first pitch he saw from Asher, marking the ninth time in his 23 homers that he has gone deep on the first pitch of an at bat. 20 of Taylor’s home runs have come when he’s been ahead in the count.
Nats’ reliever Shawn Kelley got the win in Saturday’s game, throwing one inning and fanning two batters in the process. Kelley now has 15 strikeouts in 11 innings pitched on the year for a 12.3 SO/9 ratio. That number almost equals his career best 12.4 mark set in 2016 when Kelley was the Nats’ primary set-up man.
Stephen Strasburg struck out nine Orioles’ batters on Wednesday night, giving him 31 career games at Nationals Park with nine or more strikeouts. In those 31 games, Strasburg has posted a 17-5 record with the Nats winning six of the nine contests where Strasburg did not figure in the decision. The nine strikeout game was Strasburg’s first at home since July 21, 2016, when he lost a 6-3 decision to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Reliever Matt Albers struck out all three batters he faced in the ninth inning of Wednesday’s win over Baltimore. Albers’ effort marked the 32nd time in team history that a Nationals’ reliever has struck the side without allowing anyone to reach base. Washington had only one such performance in 2016, and it came in a losing effort. On September 20th, Rafael Martin fanned all three Diamondbacks he faced in the ninth inning of Washington’s 14-4 loss at the hands of Arizona. Drew Storen is far and away the Washington leader in this category with nine such games. Henry Rodriguez and Tyler Clippard tie for distant second with three games each.
Harper’s walk-off two run homer against the Phillies on Saturday night was the fifth of his career, and the 33rd in Nationals’ history. Six of those have come against Philadelphia, the most among any opponent. Harper and Ryan Zimmerman (with 10) are the only Nationals with multiple walk-off home runs in their careers in Washington.