WP: Tony Armas Jr. (6-5)
LP: D.J. Houlton (4-5)
S: Chad Cordero (36)
WAS: 57-50 (2nd in NL East, 4.5 behind Atlanta, 1.5 ahead of Philadelphia)
The Nationals found some power in notching a much-needed win against the Dodgers on Wednesday night, as Preston Wilson and Nick Johnson both homered.
Milton Bradley got the scoring started with a solo home run of his own in the third inning, but Wilson answered in the fourth with a blast that scored himself and Jose Guillen. Wilson also had a double in the game.
Nick Johnson added an insurance run in the eighth before Chad Cordero came out and shut down the Dodgers in the ninth for his 36th save.
Tony Armas Jr. went five innings, giving up one run on four hits before yielding to the bullpen. Luis Ayala, Mike Stanton and Gary Majewski combined for three shutout innings before the Chief came in to close it out in the ninth.
The Nats picked up a game on the Braves, because the Braves lost to Cincinnati last night, 8-5.
The rubber game of this three game set is tonight at 7:05 at RFK, when John Patterson (4-3, 2.60 ERA, throws right) goes against Brad Penny (5-6, 3.62 ERA, throws right).
Despite the recent struggles -- and they've been rough -- the Nationals are still in contention with two months left in the season. This win was big, because the Braves lost and it's really important to take advantage of these opportunities to pick up a game, especially when things aren't going well.
It was promising to see some home run power from Preston Wilson and Nick Johnson, but the team still only got three runs and had to rely on stellar pitching to get the win. That's how they did it in the first half of the season, though, so go with what works, I guess.
Tonight is a huge game. The Nats haven't won a series since they swept the Cubs to start July, and they haven't won two games in a row since then, either. They can do both tonight when they send John Patterson to the hill.
Speaking of Patterson, I really feel for the guy. He's got a 2.60 ERA. He's got a 1.13 WHIP. He strikes out almost three times as many batters as he walks. He's notched 13 Quality Starts out of 19 this season. On a team with more offense, he would have at least 12 or 13 wins. But how many does he have? FOUR. The guy has thrown a Quality Start in ALL of his last six games. In that span, he's given up seven runs in 41 innings. That's a 1.54 ERA! Somehow, though, he's 1-1 in that time. Someone get this guy a few wins!
Hopefully the Nats bats will come through for Patterson tonight and he'll nail down big win number five... Shameful.