It seems like the Washington Nationals have won most of their games lately by the way of their offense. That was not the case June 22, as the team beat the Seattle Mariners 2-1 to get to s .500 season.
The Nats got on the board early as second baseman Danny Espinosa drove in third baseman Ryan Zimmerman from second with a single to make it a 1-0 lead. Espinosa now has 45 RBIs on the year.
According to Nationals’ Manager Jim Riggleman, Espinosa seems very comfortable hitting with runners in scoring position.
“I’ve always felt that there’s certain guys who, just for whatever reason, they hit with men on base,” Riggleman said.
Seattle got right back into it in the top of the fourth inning as—after giving up his first hit of the game in the previous at bat—Nats’ starter John Lannan gave up a single to catcher Miguel Olivo to tie the game.
The Nats retook the lead in the bottom of the inning, though, when left fielder Jerry Hairston Jr. hit an infield single to score Espinosa.
Lannan pitched five and two-thirds innings, giving up only one run. An assortment of relievers shut the Mariners down, allowing zero runs in three and one-third innings.
The Nationals have now won 10 of their last 11 games and are the hottest team in baseball. And, at the moment, the team feels like it can do anything. No lead by the opposition is too big, and no hitter is too good to get out.
“You’ve just got to try to hold on to that feeling as much as possible, and hopefully continue to pitch as well as we have, and we’ll win our share of ballgames” Riggleman said.
With the win, the Nats now have a .500 record on the season, the latest the team has had an even record since moving to D.C. in 2005.
“When you’ve been as far down below it as we have, it’s nice to get there. That’s kind of what we were striving for and now we’ve got to try to push forward,” Riggleman said.
However, Riggleman does not put too much significance into the achievement.
“The reality of it is we’re one game different than we were yesterday,” he said.