Shark Attack, Nats Bite Braves

DC Sports Nexus ---- Saturday, July 21, 2012

Nationals 5, Braves 2

After being shutout in the day session of a doubleheader, the Washington Nationals rallied in 3 consecutive innings to take the night game from the Braves 5-2.  Two unlikely heroes helped the Nats go back up 2.5 games in the division, John Lannan and Roger Bernadina.  FP dubbed it "Shark Week"

Lannan came out slow in the first inning, allowing 2 runs, but settled in, receiving a standing ovation when he left after pitching 7 innings.  The lefty made a case for being the guy to replace Strasburg at the end of the season while picking up his first win of the season.

The story of the offense, and of the entire day was Roger Bernadina.  The "Shark" went 2 for 3 in the early game and then exploded with 3 more hits and the game winning RBI at night.  That is 5 for 7 on the day with an RBI a run scored and a stolen base.  Not bad for one day's work.

Trailing 2-0, after the Nationals scored on a wild pitch in the 5th, Ian Desmond plated the game tying run in the 6th on a bases loaded fielder's choice and then left the game, appearing to be having some more oblique trouble.  Desmond has been avoiding the DL and trying to contribute to the team, but it may be time to give him a longer break.

Then, after Bernadina's clutch hit tied the game in the 7th inning, Espinosa drove in an insurance run in the 8th.  Bryce Harper kept his iron man streak alive, making a pinch hit appearance after missing most of the first game after fouling off a bunt that hit him in the ankle.

Harper got a standing ovation from the crowd and then went on to steal 2nd where his "limp" magically disappeared.  Danny Espinosa came in and hit a double to score Harper who limped into the dugout.  Bryce took the field in the 9th in right.

The Nats picked up another run on a booted grounder by the Braves later in the 8th and Clippard came on in the 9th to pick up his 16th save of the season.  Clippards 8th appearance in a row where he allowed a base runner.

The Nats try to salvage a tie in the series on Sunday afternoon.  Desmond, Harper, and Flores could be game time decisions.

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