Nationals Weekly: 5/19 – 5/25

By William English

The Nationals bounced back last week after being swept in Miami, grabbing a series win against the Tigers. Washington won their three-game set against the Detroit Tigers after victories in the second and third matches. They finished the week off winning one of three against the San Diego Padres. Outfielder Lane Thomas continued to dominate at the plate with a batting average of .375. Here’s what happened last week in Nationals baseball:



The set against the Tigers started on Friday with a high scoring 8–6 Nationals loss. Rookie pitcher Jake Irvin had the first poor outing of his major league career, giving up six runs — four earned — with four walks in just two and two-thirds innings. The offense tried to back up the rookie pitcher, with Thomas, Keibert Ruiz and CJ Abrams all driving in runs, but the Nats still fell short in the end. Saturday’s game was much more favorable for Washington. A solid outing for Patrick Corbin followed by three shutdown innings from multiple bullpen arms pushed the Nationals to a 5–2 win. Thomas and Ruiz provided the offense needed, with Jemier Candelario joining in on the scoring with a solo home run against his former team. In the series finale, the offense had another hot start with three runs in the first inning. Joey Meneses, Stone Garrett and Dominic Smith all produced runs to give Josiah Gray a cushion. Unfortunately, Gray couldn’t find the strike zone, walking six Tigers. However, he was able to keep them from scoring by only giving up one run over five innings. Riley Adams and Illdemaro Vargas brought the final score to 6–4, giving Washington a series win.


Sour Soto Homecoming

Former National Juan Soto and the San Diego Padres made their first trip of the year to the nation’s capital on Tuesday, May 23. San Diego started off strong in the series opener with a two-run dinger by Xander Bogaerts. The Nats didn’t have a response until the fifth inning, when Abrams hit a two-run homer to bring the Nationals within one run. Later in that inning, Thomas hit a solo home run to tie the game at three apiece. The Padres then responded with a two-homerun inning of their own in the top of the seventh. Soto and Jake Cronenworth both homered giving the Padres a 7–4 victory. Washington managed to avoid the sweep in the next game with a 5–3 victory. Thomas, Ruiz, Luis Garcia and Alex Call provided the scoring for Trevor Williams who struck out five batters in five and two-thirds innings. In the series-deciding game, pitching would take a backseat in an 8–6 Nats loss. The Nats scored in the first inning with a Joey Meneses line-drive single. The Padres responded quickly, with a two-run home run by Trent Grisham. Bogaerts and Rougned Odor both drove in runs in the fifth to bring the score to 5–1. The Nats got back into the game with a monster seventh inning; five runs came from Candelario, Ruiz, Call, Smith and Corey Dickerson. With the score at 6–5, Odor won the series for the Padres with a three-run home run in the top of the ninth, putting the game out of reach for Washington.


A Look Ahead

Next week, the Nationals will have a road trip. Their first game will be on May 26, kicking off a three-game series against the Kansas City Royals. Then, the Nats will face the Los Angeles Dodgers in a three-game set beginning May 29. The teams have polar opposite records, with Los Angeles being the better team, so it’s key for Washington to take as many games as possible against the inferior Royals.