Dusty Baker has taken opportunities to rest his All-Stars coming out of the Break with Daniel Murphy and Ryan Zimmerman sitting out this weekend, and his plan was to sit Bryce Harper at some point, as well. With the Washington Nationals’ bench players in the lineup, the NL East-leaders have continued to produce, scoring 29 runs on 38 hits through the first three games.
Wilmer Difo went 3 for 5 on Sunday, with three runs scored. Adam Lind? He went 3 for 5, with a double, home run, two runs scored and three RBIs. Chris Heisey went 3 for 5 with a double. Jose Lobaton went 1 for 5 with a home run.
“If you’re on my team, everybody plays,” Dusty Baker told reporters after Sunday’s 14-4 win. “We expect them to do the job, which they are. We had a big offensive production today, hit some home runs in this home run park.”
'These games are going to happen but not with this frequency,'' Reds’ skipper Bryan Price told reporters after Cincinnati’s third straight loss to the Nationals.
''It's deflating, but it doesn't mean we'll deflate. They had 21 baserunners. Whoever Dusty is running out there does a good job. He has the All-Star players but (Wilmer) Difo was on base four times. They're a legitimate team.”
In addition to the contributions from the Nationals’ bench players, Harper, Murphy and Anthony Rendon combined to go 6 for 13 with seven RBIs and six runs scored between them. Sunday’s win was a solid team effort with everyone contributing.
''I think that's a testament to our offense,'' Murphy said, as quoted by the Associated Press.
''We were grinding out at-bats. The offense didn't give away a lot of pitches. We had a lot of traffic out there and saw a lot of pitches.''
This afternoon, in the finale in Great American Ball Park, the Nats look for their first four-game sweep of the Reds in franchise history (2005-present).