Nationals Weekly: 5/12 – 5/18

By William English

The Nationals had a great chance to improve their position in the N.L. East, but poor bullpen performances and lackluster offensive production squandered the opportunity. This past week, Washington split their four-game set against the New York Mets after a surprise split doubleheader, and they finished the week off getting swept by the Miami Marlins. On a higher note, potential star CJ Abrams is starting to find his stroke at the plate, and Joey Meneses is returning to his 2022 form. Here’s what happened last week in Nationals baseball:


Mothers Day Mix-up

The series kicked off on Friday with an uneventful 3–2 Nats loss. Saturday’s match against the Mets started at its scheduled time and got through the first two innings with the Nationals leading 1–0. However, heavy rain delayed the game for almost four hours before MLB postponed the match for a split doubleheader on Mother’s Day. The game resumed the next day, with a two-run Abrams home run carrying the Nationals to a 3–2 victory. In the evening, former Washington National and Cy Young winner Max Scherzer shut down the Nats’ offense. Washington only collected two hits against the righty, resulting in a devastating 8–2 loss. In the finale of the four-game set, the offense looked completely different from the night before. Abrams continued his reign of terror against the Mets with another solo home run — his fourth of the year. Meneses and Dominic Smith were also significant contributors to Washington’s 10–2 win, both driving in multiple runs to secure a series split with the New York Mets.


Fish Bait

The second series of the week was a three-match set against the division opponent Miami Marlins. Josiah Gray pitched seven solid innings, striking out five batters and only giving up two runs. Down 2–1 in the eighth inning, the offense surged at the top of the frame, with RBI singles from Jeimer Candelario and Smith bringing the score to 4–2. The Marlins, however, came back in the bottom of the ninth with a RBI single by Luis Arraez and a walk-off home run from Jorge Soler, ending the game in a 5–4 loss for the Nationals. The second game was low scoring, but the Nats got on the board first with a two-run home run by Corey Dickerson, who recently joined the big league squad after Meneses was placed on the paternity list. The offense went stale in the later innings while the Marlins’ bats came alive. Miami scored in the second, fourth and sixth innings with a Yuli Gurriel sacrifice fly, a Soler two-run dinger and a Bryan De La Cruz double to bring them a 4–2 lead. The Nationals tacked on one more run to make the final score 4–3. Washington didn’t see much improvement in the third game of the series. The pitching struggled as the Marlins scored in three of the first four innings. A Candelario solo home run put the Nats back in the game, and two runs followed in the eighth inning. However, the Marlins matched their scoring with runs in the seventh and eighth inning, sweeping the Nats with a final score of 5–3.


A Look Ahead

Next week, The Nationals will have a long homestand. Their first game will be on May 19, starting a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers. Then, the Nats will face former National Juan Soto and the San Diego Padres in a three-game set beginning May 23. Both teams are in the bottom ten in the league for batting average, giving Washington a fantastic opportunity to gain momentum before a long road trip.