By Matthew Jacobson (Photo Credit Matthew Stockman, Getty Images)

Man, if only the Nationals could play all their games at Coors Field; they’d average 10 runs per game.  After a dud of an opening game where the bullpen looked like it has all season, the Nationals offense exploded into life, scoring 15, 11, and 16 runs in the final three games of the series respectively to take the series three games to one.  The Rockies were no slouch coming into this series, with MVP candidates Charlie Blackmon, Nolan Arenado, noted Nat killer DJ LeMahieu, and rising star Trevor Story.  Coming into this series against the Nats, the Rockies were 13-6 and looking to cement themselves as a contender out west.

In terms of this game (the fourth game of the series), the Nationals offense continued its impressive run production, even by Coors Field standards.  Trea Turner was an absolute machine and nearly hit for his second consecutive cycle.  Adam Eaton continues to show that he was well worth the price of both Reynaldo Lopez and Lucas Giolito, getting on base four times.  Bryce Harper seems as though he is returning to MVP form with a moonshot home run in the seventh inning.

Daniel “Hits” Murphy continued to get “hits,” going 3 for 6 on the day with three runs scored and three driven in.  Others contributed in this game too, including late free-agent pickup Matt Wieters, who if he can stay healthy may be the X-factor for this team.  Wilmer Difo gave Anthony Rendon the day off, and came through with two hits, a walk, and a run driven in.  The depth in this National lineup is scary, even when guys like Wieters and Zimmerman regress to their mean.

This series was never going to be about pitching, but Gio Gonzalez got the job done in this one, going 6.2 innings, and while he allowed seven hits and three walks, he only gave up two runs (both earned) and struck out five.  Gonzalez has been wildly inconsistent during his tenure with the Nationals, and it’s really been great seeing him succeed early on in this season.  Matt Albers continues to be the most reliable man out of the bullpen, tossing 1.1 perfect innings.  Joe Blanton struggled, but with the game already safely in hand, that did not matter as much as in previous, higher leverage situations where he has struggled.

The New York Mets come down to begin a big weekend set this evening.  The Mets are banged up, but this is still a huge series, probably even bigger considering their injuries.  The Nationals swept the Mets in their first series at Citi Field, and even taking 2 of 3 would help pad the division lead, and ensure that the Mets and their braggadocios fans have nothing to celebrate come October.  Max Scherzer looks for win number four this evening against Jacob DeGrom, who still very badly needs a haircut.  First pitch is slated for 7:05 PM.

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