What more can there be to preempt yet another Nationals-Phillies series? The Nationals are still good - yes, they did suffer a humiliating sweep at the hands of the Phillies in their last meeting, and no, they've never no-hit the Braves while simultaneously showcasing the value of teamwork - but are still somehow allowed to be in first place.
The Nationals are punching the bejeezus out of the ball. After hitting less than 20 home runs as a team in June and July, they snuck 40 in August. More on that later.
The Braves may be the most racist franchise in the NL East, but the Nationals remain the most insufferable, with their fans constantly comparing themselves to puppies and feeling like they truly deserve the feel-good story that they've become. They don't make mistakes - they're the victims of everything.
Harper has been racking up the accomplishments.
.@Bharper3407's 52 home runs tie him with Orlando Cepeda for the 14th most for any player in history through any player's age-21 season.— MLB Stat of the Day (@MLBStatoftheDay) September 1, 2014
Clayton Kershaw just went first-to-third on Bryce Harper's arm on a single up the middle.— Eye on Baseball (@EyeOnBaseball) September 3, 2014
Christ, isn't he hurt? I guess everybody gets called into action during a 14-inning marathon. LaRoche came off the bench in the ninth inning and when the box score finalized he finished the night with five RBI. Baseball: It's a real dumb game.
The Nat's leadoff hitter smacked two home runs in one game against the Dodgers as well. But is he contending for a batting title with Josh Harrison and Justin Morneau while maintaining a sub-.700 OPS, like a real center fielder? What is even going on anymore.
Just everybody, okay? It's everybody.
Part of what's fueling the Nationals' hideously cliché season is the home run ball, which went away for a little while, but resurfaced at the end of August, when the team hit six (four off Felix Hernandez) in a single game against the Mariners, bringing their aforementioned monthly total to 40, which was second only to the frightful display the Orioles are putting on in Baltimore (47 dingers in August) and only the second time in their franchise history that they hit the 40 watermark.
Hey, good lookin'.
Chase Utley has hit 4.0 fWAR for the first time since 2010, 7th time overall. http://t.co/FdEBhqXJPX— Paul Boyé (@paul_boye) September 4, 2014
Jerome Williams vs. Stephen Strasburg
What a matchup of each team's number on starter! Strasburg, a leader in the NL in starts and strikeouts, a departure for the 25-year-old after years of the Nationals hovering over him like a protective mother.
Williams, an August acquisition because holy shit, somebody has to pitch fourth. And yet, Williams has remained a dominant, un-iced arm for the Phillies, giving up two earned runs in his last 21 innings.
Two young phenoms. Ace vs. ace. Williams vs. Strasburg.
A.J. Burnett vs. Tanner Roark
Burnett is officially the first pitcher to have a 12-strikeout game with five different teams. He also is tied with Strasburg for the league lead in starts, with only almost twice the number of walks. But only one of his league leading 78 walks came in his last start, in which he went six innings and struck out eight. And had five earned runs. He also has a 10.57 ERA in Nationals Park and a 4.13 ERA against the Nationals. So.
Tanner Roark just tried to rob a BP homer at the CF wall. The fence panel also doubles as a door. It opened up and Roark fell to the ground.— Dan Kolko (@masnKolko) September 1, 2014
Cole Hamels vs. Gio Gonzalez
In his last start, Hamels threw the six hitless innings that inspired the first combined no-hitter in Phillies history.
Meanwhile, Gonzalez was giving up a two-run home in the first innings of a game against the Dodgers, then had to work hard to finally not lose for the first time in six starts. Pathetic.
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