There have been few times this year where the Nationals have been doing everything right. That’s mostly been the case for the last four games, and was again tonight in an 8-3 win over the Brewers. The Nationals got an impressive six-inning start from Collin Balester, scored some runs off Carlos Villanueva and didn’t make an error for the fourth straight game. It was as simple as that.
In fact, it’s come easily enough for the Nationals the last four days that it makes you wonder what their record would’ve been if they’d harnessed that kind of play earlier this year.
“I think we’re just feeling this is what we could’ve been doing all along,” interim manager Jim Riggleman said. “It’s hard to play errorless baseball. It’s hard to have everything going your way, and we finally got some breaks.”
Balester went six innings, allowing two runs on five hits and walking none. He said he made a minor mechanical adjustment at Class AAA Syracuse, focusing more on staying tall in his delivery rather than using the drop-and-drive style he’s had in the past. On Tuesday night, he looked as efficient as he has in the majors, needing just 93 pitches to get through six innings.
The Nats got three homers — a solo shot from Nyjer Morgan to lead off the game, a fifth-inning blast from Adam Dunn that left the park on one bounce and landed in the parking lot and a three-run homer from Cristian Guzman in the eighth inning that put the game away.
“This is what I expected,” Dunn said. “I expected to score a lot of runs, get good pitching and win a lot of games.”
The Nats will try to clinch a series victory tomorrow night at 8:05, when Garrett Mock opposes Manny Parra.