Sep 14, 2013, 12:50 AM EDT
These days just about everything is going the Nationals’ way.
Returning home for a ten game homestand, the Nats pulled Stephen Strasburg from his start in a surprise move because of forearm soreness. In came Ross Ohlendorf who had been a disaster since July, and off he went with a 31-pitch inning that saw an early Phillies run come across.
But Ohlendorf quickly settled in and gave the Nats four more innings of scoreless ball, his teammates followed suit with early offense and Washington won 6-1 to take their seventh straight.
That’s nine wins in their last ten games and puts them a season-high nine games over .500. Oh, and the Cincinnati Reds also happened to lose.
The Nationals are now 4 ½ games out of the final NL Wild Card spot with 15 games remaining in the regular season, the closest they’ve been since July 11.
“We’ve still got a chance,” Ryan Zimmerman said. “We just have to keep going out there and playing and see what happens. That’s all we can do right now, win each game that we can, and somehow sneak in.”
Zimmerman scored three of the Nats’ six runs on Friday, including a solo home run to lead off the third inning. He belted a line drive into the corner of the visitors bullpen off Kyle Kendrick, his seventh homer in his last seven days. The last Washington baseball player to accomplish that feat was Frank Howard in 1968.
Wilson Ramos also deposited one in the bullpen in left field, his off the scoreboard on the back wall. The Nats as a team have now homered in seven straight games and ten of their last 11.
NL EAST STANDINGS
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Orioles at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 12:35 p.m.
Full season schedule
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
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