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Nationals Drop Opening Home Series Against Pirates

The Washington Nationals lost two out of three games in their opening home series with a strong Pittsburgh Pirates team, losing 8-4 on Monday, then winning 5-3 on Wednesday, and then losing 7-4 on Thursday.

With the opening week of the 2024 MLB season sealed, the Nationals are now 2-4 and could really use some improvement in certain areas, especially pitching. But despite its flaws, Washington did have some bright spots in this home series, mainly in hitting.

The Nationals’ MVP for this series appeared to be shortstop C.J. Abrams, who finished with a hit in each of these three games, resulting in six total hits. On Monday, he went 2-for-4 at the plate with two RBIs and a run, while on Wednesday, he had two hits and two RBIs, including a two-run knock that put Washington up 2-4, and on Thursday, he finished with two hits, including a home run to center that went 415 feet.

Six games through the regular season, Abrams currently leads the Nats with eight hits, a .333 batting average, two home runs, five RBIs, and a .407 OBP.

Newly-signed veteran Joey Gallo had a rough start to the season going 0-for-12 at the plate, but in Wednesday’s win against Pittsburgh, Gallo had three hits, including an upper-deck homer that traveled 447 feet. He then got another hit and two runs in Thursday’s contest, showing strong signs of improvement.

Rookie Trey Lipscomb also continued his hot streak since being called up, as he finished with two hits and a run in Monday’s home opener, a run in Wednesday’s contest, and an RBI single on Thursday.

Other Washington batters who came through in this series include Lane Thomas hitting an RBI single on Monday, Riley Adams hitting a two-run homer in the same game, Luis Garcia Jr. and Ildemaro Vargas each doubling to drive in runs on Wednesday night, Jesse Winker hitting an RBI single to drive in Gallo on Thursday, and Garcia reaching on an infield single to send Gallo home a second time in that game.

In terms of pitching, Trevor Williams looked the best out of the three Nationals starters against the Pirates, as he struck out five batters in 5.1 innings, and was credited with the win on Wednesday.

The bullpen came through at the end of that victory, as Hunter Harvey struck out four Pittsburgh batters in 1.2 innings, while Kyle Finnegan had two strikeouts and was credited with the save.

Meanwhile, MacKenzie Gore got the start in the home opener on Monday and had six strikeouts, but also gave up five hits and three earned runs in 5.1 innings pitched, finishing with an ERA of 5.06, while Josiah Gray’s second start on Thursday was another disappointment, as he gave up six earned runs and seven hits in 4.1 innings pitched, leaving his ERA at 14.04.

One week through the season, Williams currently has the lowest ERA on the team with 3.38, while Gray has nine strikeouts, Finnegan has two saves, and Harvey has two holds.

Washington now has another home series this weekend against the NL East rival Philadelphia Phillies and former star National Bryce Harper.

Harry Lichtman
Harry Lichtmanhttps://mlbreport.com/
Washington Nationals Beat Reporter | Frostburg State University Class of 2018 | Resident of Potomac, MD


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