Don’t look now, but the Washington Nationals are making a move.
Just hours after their prime workhorse, Stephen Strasburg, was scratched from his Friday start, the Nationals took to the field and played a fantastic game. Fill-in starter Ross Ohlendorf pitched 5 innings of quality ball in Strasburg’s stead, allowing only 1 run on 5 hits and 2 walks, to out-duel Kyle Kendrick and the Phillies.
It was a crucial showing from Ohlendorf, as Strasburg’s status is up in the air, but he didn’t do it alone on Friday. The offense picked him up in a major way, and the bats were led by Wilson Ramos and Ryan Zimmerman. Both players smacked home run during the day, and Ramos drove in 3 runs on a 2-for-4 day at the plate while Zimmerman added 3 hits in total.
In addition, this wasn’t a “normal” win for Washington in more ways than just the Strasburg conundrum. Washington’s 6-1 win doubles as their 7th straight victory, and with that, the Nats have somehow climbed within 4.5 games of the 2nd Wild Card spot in the National League.
4.5 games with 15 games to go is still a very tall order, but for the first time in months, the Nats have legitimate hope for a playoff spot.