Sunday night was a beautiful night for baseball, especially if you were a Nats fan.
The Nationals claimed their first sweep of the season against the second place in the NL East Atlanta Braves by a solid score of 7-2. The sweep was well earned and its finale was showcased on Sunday Night Baseball on national TV. The sweep against a chugging Braves team was brutal, vicious and left no doubt which rooster rules the NL East hen house.
Starter Gio Gonzalez went seven innings giving up only two runs, striking out 10 and nailing down his season record to 7-1 with a 2.04 ERA. Gio also had a sac fly RBI and now leads the Major Leagues with 79 strikeouts. Ridiculous. Gio is easily the best off season acquisition and arguably the heart and soul of this new and rising Nationals team.
However, the NQ has to give the play of the night to another newcomer to the team, though a little more known: rookie Bryce Harper. With former Nats starter Livan Hernandez on the mound, Harper took an 0-1 pitch in the eighth inning and buried it 10+ rows over the wall. What symbolism!
An old, washed-up former workhorse who is still revered (puke) in Washington, who once was the old guard of Nationals pitching facing the new future of the team and the future gave the old guard a good kick in the ass. Harper erased Hernandez, totally erased him. True, in the sixth inning Hernandez struck Harper out (or “undressed” him as the crappy video above comments) but Harper came back into the game unscathed, more knowledgeable on his opponent and then made him pay.
Harper planted that ball right into Livan Hernandez’s Washington tombstone.
Just a great game forwards and backwards for the Nationals, minus Jesus Flores’ hamstring thing and Chad Tracy dinging himself up. I confess to being an absolute douche and writing a couple posts ago that I didn’t think the Nationals would be winning any series for the next couple weeks. Since then they have won each series they’ve been in (two). I have been served crow and I shall refuse the ketchup.
Oh, one final note: Fredi Gonzalez is a tool. Check out these comments after the game:
“There are no excuses,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said after his team dropped to four games back of the Nationals. “Look at their [list of players on the] DL and look at the DL guys coming in tomorrow with the Cardinals. I’ll take my injured guys over [the Nationals’] injured guys because our guys are just a day here or a day there. Some of their injuries are significant.”
Thanks for making no excuses, Gonzalez. You sound like a guy whose team just had their asses handed to them– by a team who have more than half their starters on the DL! Your team could not even beat B-Squad! That is totally on you, bro. Stop hating.
I was certainly no fan of Bobby Cox, but at least that zombie had a little more sense and knew when he was beat.