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Matt Grace earns Nationals’ skipper Dusty Baker’s trust with impressive stretch out of bullpen...

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Matt Grace has emerged as one of Dusty Baker’s trusted relievers over the last two months, and as Baker said, he’s earned his spot in the bullpen.

MLB: Washington Nationals at Arizona Diamondbacks Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into Sunday’s series finale in Arizona, Washington Nationals’ lefty Matt Grace had a 3.22 ERA in 22 13 innings pitched on the season with nine walks (3.63 BB/9), 14 Ks (5.64 K/9), and a .250/.333/.300 line against.

Grace, 28, and up for his third stint of the season in the bullpen, had a solid stretch of 15 23 IP going before the third of three with the Diamondbacks in Chase Field, having posted 2.87 ERA, seven walks (4.02 BB/9), 13 Ks (7.47 K/9), and a .255/.349/.327 line against over that stretch, and a 1.00 ERA, five walks (5.00 BB/9), nine Ks (9.00 K/9) and a .172/.294/.276 line against in nine innings pitched in July.

He earned his first two major league saves over that stretch as well, earning the trust of his manager with a string of impressive outings.

MLB: Washington Nationals at Cincinnati Reds David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

“He’s gotten outs and he gets ground balls,” Dusty Baker said after the first of Grace’s two saves in two games in Cincinnati.

“He’s the guy that was that option guy that you send up and down, up and down because he has options, but he pitched his way on this ballclub and that’s what you want guys to do, you want guys to earn it and he certainly has earned it.”

Grace pitched in three of the Nationals’ four games against the Reds, and he tossed 1 23 scoreless in the series opener with the D-backs when Max Scherzer left the mound after just five innings, getting six ground ball outs from 11 batters in an efficient 27-pitch appearance.

Launch Angle Breakdown via Baseball Savant

Baker called on him again in the finale with the Diamondbacks, after a two-inning start by Stephen Strasburg, who left the game when he couldn’t get loose.

Grace gave up three hits, a walk, and two runs in 2 13 innings, throwing 42 pitches, 28 for strikes, while inducing six ground ball outs from 11 batters.

Washington jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first and held on for a 6-2 win over Arizona.

“Grace was great,” Baker said after the Nationals took two of three from the D-backs.

“We got all we could out of Grace. Grace was actually the star of this series, he gave us more than we asked for.”

“He’s very valuable,” Baker added. “He keeps the ball in the ballpark and keeps the ball on the ground, and gives our defense a chance to make some plays behind him so he’s very valuable, and I’m glad he’s here.”