Last night's win in the series opener in D.C. left the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-0 against Washington this season and 6-0 against the Nationals going back to last year. Dusty Baker was asked this afternoon, before the second game of three with the Dodgers this week, what made them such a tough team to beat.
"I don't know," Baker said. "I'm trying to figure that out myself. They've won some very close games, some weird outcomes in LA.
"Yesterday we had the kid pitching against them and they had a veteran lineup, so, I really don't like anybody beating us. I kind of take it personal. We'll see. We've got another game today."
Starting in today's or tonight's game for the Nationals was Gio Gonzalez, who was on the mound the last time the Nats managed to beat the Dodgers back on August 10, 2015.
Gonzalez gave up seven hits in eight scoreless in that outing in Dodger Stadium.
Tonight in Nationals Park, the 30-year-old left-hander held the Dodgers to one run on three hits in seven innings as the Nats snapped their winless streak against LA with an 8-1 win in the nation's capital.
Here's how it happened:
Daniel Murphy hit a two-out, opposite field double to left off Dodgers' starter Bud Norris, connecting for his 28th two-base hit of the season and Bryce Harper followed with a two-run bomb to right on a 3-1 fastball from Norris that did. not. stop. until it was 451 feet from home, 10-15 rows back in the upper deck in right, high above Jackie Robinson's retired number on the facade of the second deck. 2-0 after one.
Scott Van Slyke singled with one down, stole second, took third on an error on the play and eventually scored on a two-out single to right by Dodgers' shortstop Charlie Culberson that cut the Nats' lead in half, 2-1.
Norris retired 12-straight Nationals after Anthony Rendon's two-out single in the bottom of the first, but lucky No. 13 was Ben Revere, who hit a 3-2 fastball over the out-of-town scoreboard in right for his second home run of the year, making it 3-1 Nats. Jayson Werth stepped in next, fell behind, 0-2, and took a hanging slider for a ride to the back of the visitor's bullpen. 4-1 Nationals. Werth's 11th. Nationals' 12th back-to-back home runs of the season.
After Gio Gonzalez retired the Dodgers in order in the top of the sixth, he'd set down 13 of 14 after Culberson's RBI single, and the Nationals added to their lead in the bottom of the inning with Bryce Harper walking and scoring from first on an RBI double to right by Wilson Ramos. 5-1.
Ramos scored on Trea Turner's second triple in two days as the 23-year-old speedster thrilled fans in Nats Park with his speed on the basepaths. 6-1.
Gio Gonzalez's Line: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 Ks, 97 P, 56 S, 6/3 GO/FO.
Clint Robinson hit for Gonzalez with runners on the corners in the bottom of the sixth after Turner's triple and a HBP on Danny Espinosa. Turner scored with Robinson at the plate when Espinosa got caught in a rundown off first and Turner broke for home and beat the throw to the plate, 7-1.
Felipe Rivero tossed a quick, 14-pitch, 1-2-3 seventh. Rivero came back out and gave up a two-out double by Howie Kendrick in a scoreless eighth. Anthony Rendon added to the Nats' lead with a solo shot to left in the Nats' half of the inning, 8-1.
Koda Glover made his MLB debut in the ninth, entering the game to "Crazy Train" by Ozzy Osbourne. He retired the side in order, throwing 98 mph fastballs and a 92 mph cutter. 8-1 final. Ballgame.
Nationals now 57-38
- With last night's win, Los Angeles clinched the season series with Washington, after sweeping the Nationals when the two teams met in Dodger Stadium.
- Washington was left 26-43 against Los Angeles in the all-time series between the two teams after last night's loss.
- The Dodgers started the night with six straight wins over the Nationals, going back to last August 10th in LA. The six straight wins is tied for their longest winning streak against the Nats since 2007-2008.
- LA's win last night left them (53-42), 4.5 games out in the NL West behind the Giants and 1.0 game ahead of the Marlins in the Wild Card race.
- Dodgers' closer Kenley Jansen started the night leading all MLB relievers in WHIP (0.69) with the 4th lowest BAA (.151) the 10th-lowest ERA (1.33) and the 4th-highest save total (27).
- Howie Kendrick went 2 for 4 last night, extending his hit streak to 11-straight games, over which he's 20 for 44 (.455 AVG) with five doubles and a home run over that stretch. He doubled in the eighth to extent it to 12.
- In today's Dodgers-themed "Fun with Arbitrary End Points" segment: Howie Kendrick is 23 for 55 with a .418/.492/.600 line, seven doubles and a home run... in 14 games in July, leading all MLB hitters in AVG in July.
- Jayson Werth's double in the seventh inning last night extended his on-base streak to 23-straight games, the longest active on-base streak in the majors. His solo home run in the fifth gave him a 24-game streak.
- Daniel Murphy was 2 for 4 last night, giving him an NL-leading 39 multi-hit games this season, and he also started the night leading the NL in AVG (.352), and leading National League second basemen in doubles (27), home runs (18), RBIs (68) and SLG (.613).
- Dodgers' starter Bud Norris began the night (2-0) in four starts for the Dodgers since he was acquired from the Braves and (4-0) in his last seven, going back to June 10th.
- Nationals' prospect Koda Glover, who was called up to the majors this afternoon, is the second member of the 2015 Draft class to make it to the big leagues, joining Chicago White Sox' 1st Round pick Carson Fulmer.
Nationals now 57-38