Star of the Series 5/8-5/10 (Bryce Harper)

Series Scores
Friday, May 8, 2015 Braves 2 Nationals 9
Saturday, May 10, 2015 Braves 6 Nationals 8
Sunday, May 11, 2015 Braves 4 Nationals 5

The Washington Nationals trailed the Atlanta Braves 9-1 in the second inning on April 28 when the teams last met at Turner Field and they were able to avoid their seventh consecutive loss in a memorable 13-12 in comeback.  The Nationals’ success against their division rival continued on Sunday afternoon before a crowd of 31,938 who gathered at Nationals Park to watch the Nationals complete their first series sweep of the season with a 5-4 win.  The Nationals have won 10 of their last 12 games since the historic comeback.

The Nationals overcame an early 2-0 deficit on Friday night and slugged their way to a 9-2 win.  Jayson Werth got the Nationals on the board in the fourth inning with a solo home run.  The  remaining seven runs were driven in on home runs by Bryce Harper and Danny Espinosa who both hit two home runs.  Gio Gonzalez (3-2) had another strong performance working seven innings and striking out eight batters while allowing only two runs on five hits.

The Nationals almost took a 7-6 lead in the eighth inning on Saturday afternoon on a Dan Uggla single to left field.  Michael Taylor, who entered the game as a pinch-runner for Jose Lobaton, tried to score from second base, but was nailed at the plate by Kelly Johnson.  Bryce Harper played the role of hero on Saturday with his third career walk-off homer in the ninth inning.

Many players deserved star of the series nominations.  Espinosa and Lobaton both receive honorable mentions this series.  Espinosa has hit four home runs this season from the left side of the plate after a spring training experiment where gave up switch-hitting and only hit from the right side of the plate.  Lobaton also gets an honorable mention this series.  He has hit two home runs in his last three starts and continues to demonstrate he is a capable backup catcher.  Here are the nominees for the 5/8-5/11 star of the series against the Braves.

  1. Bryce Harper
  2. Wilson Ramos
  3. Ryan Zimmerman

Bryce Harper was named the National League Player of the week on Monday afternoon.  Harper became just the fourth Nationals player to hit three home runs in a game when he did so on Wednesday afternoon against the Marlins.  Harper got off to a shaky start on Friday night in the fourth inning when he singled on a line drive to center fielder Cameron Maybin.  Harper took a big turn towards second base was tagged out by Freddie Freeman who received a strong throw from Andrelton Simmons.

Harper made up for his baserunning mistake in the sixth inning when he drove a 1-2 pitch over the wall in center field.  The two-run home run scored Yunel Escobar and gave the Nationals a 3-2 lead.  Harper’s second home run of the game was a three-run homer in the eighth inning that scored Escobar and Werth.  Harper hit his National League leading 11th home run of the season to win the game for the Nationals on Saturday.

Harper also showed off his defensive skills in the seventh inning on Saturday.  Harper recorded all three outs of the inning.  He athletically tracked down a sharp line drive hit by Nick Markakis to record the third out of the inning.  Harper’s leaping grab kept at least one run off the scoreboard.

Wilson Ramos extended his hit streak on Sunday to 13 games.  His 13-game hit streak is the second longest of his career and it propelled the Nationals to victory on Sunday afternoon.  Ramos gave the Nationals a 3-0 lead in the first inning on a single to right field which scored Ryan Zimmerman who executed a hook slide to avoid Christian Bethancourt’s tag.  Ramos’ most important hit came in the eighth inning when he hit his fifth double of the season on a fly ball that sailed over the head of Markakis in right field.  Zimmerman scored and gave the Nationals a 5-4 which was preserved by Drew Storen who recorded his ninth save of the season.  Ramos ended the series with a .327 AVG–the highest AVG on the team.

Ryan Zimmerman hit his third home run of the season on Saturday in the fifth inning off Julio Teheran (3-1).  Zimmerman’s three-run home run flew over the left field wall and bounced back onto the field.  The play was reviewed and Zimmerman came into score as the Nationals fans celebrated his home run for a second time.  Zimmerman also drove in his fourth and fifth RBIs of the series on Sunday afternoon.  Zimmerman scored Harper from second base in the first inning with a double.  Zimmerman’s 22nd RBI of the season tied the game on Sunday afternoon at 4-4.  Zimmerman scored the winning run on the very next at bat off Ramos’s double.

Star of the Series: Bryce Harper

Harper had three home runs this series against the Braves.  His seven hits and eight RBIs made him the star of the series.

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