The Good: Bryce Harper. Unequivocally. The defending MVP looked like his "old" self, going 3 for 3 with two walks and a huge RBI double in the seventh to knock in the winning run.
Harper had three hits in a game for the first time since early June, and reached five times for the first time since the six-walk game against the Cubs in late May — you know, back when he was still Bryce Harper. He even made a couple of nice sliding catches. The Nats sure could use more of this down the stretch and into the playoffs.
Also: Jayson Werth (old man strength, on-base streak), and the parade of relievers, especially Shawn Kelley and Mark Melancon.
The Bad: Anthony Rendon. Whoa! He’s been hot for a couple of weeks, but whoa! 0 for 5, with a staggering nine (9!) left on base, with two Ks.
The Ugly: Max Scherzer. He hasn’t had too many true stinkers, but the Denver air sure doesn’t agree with him. Looked out of sorts from the get-go, didn’t have his usual great location on the fastball and had no bite at all on the slider. Nine baserunners in four innings, just three Ks. Yuck.
Moments that mattered: The Nats were down 3-0 and hadn’t scratched anything out yet against Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa, and all around social media came cries of "bad pitcher dominates Nats" and "no-hitter alert." Please. It’s Colorado and Coors Field, which gives as much as it takes.
Scherzer himself got the hit parade started in the third and was aboard when Werth crushed a ball to the top of the 20-row grandstand in left field to get the Nats on the board, make a game of it, and got #NatsTwitter down off the early ledge.
Please check the time stamps on these (and remember, I’m Pacific Time):
it's the second inning and the starter has an ERA over five. patience.— Dave Nichols FBB (@NicholsFBB) August 16, 2016
see. i told you to be patient— Dave Nichols FBB (@NicholsFBB) August 16, 2016