Postgame analysis of the Nats' 8-0 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday afternoon at Nationals Park.
How it happened: The Nats' offense picked up where it left off Friday night, putting up a four-spot in the second inning thanks to run-scoring singles from Stephen Drew, Bryce Harper and Michael Taylor that were sandwiched between a squeeze bunt by Tanner Roark.
From there, the Nats' starter was in cruise control. Roark was in total command throughout the afternoon, tossing seven shutout innings on 105 pitches. It also didn't hurt that he had a sizable lead virtually all game long, as Washington turned this one into a laugher in the fifth after to a two-run double from Anthony Rendon and a sac fly from Stephen Drew. So overall, not a ton of drama in this one, just a clean, solid win for the home team.
What it means: The Nats are now 38-24, a season-high 14 games over .500. They've also won five in a row against the suddenly floundering Phillies, losers of eight out of their last 11 games. And while there's still a game to go in this three-game set, it's hard not to look ahead to Monday's series opener against the Cubs, owners of MLB's best record.
Nats bench delivers again: Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman and Danny Espinosa may have had the day off, but there was no offensive drop off to be found. Between Taylor, Drew and Clint Robinson, the Nats' reserves produced a combined six hits and three RBIs, continuing the bench's season-long run of excellence.
Roark's posts bounce-back effort: After a short, rough outing in Cincinnati last Sunday, Roark responded with one of his more efficient starts of the season. He allowed no runs on six hits, one walk and seven strikeouts over seven frames. His impressive day earned him his fifth win of the season and dropped his season ERA is down to 2.93, second best among Nats starters.
Up next: The Nats will go for the sweep in Sunday's finale, one that will feature Joe Ross (5-4, 2.92 ERA) facing off against Phillies lefty Adam Morgan (1-5 6.70 ERA). First pitch is at 4:05 p.m, a little later than usual for a Sunday due to the team's charity gala taking place Saturday night.