Game in a nutshell: Perhaps needing a pick-me-up after two frustrating losses to the Phillies the last two nights, the Nationals got one late in the afternoon when they learned Jayson Werth would be activated off the disabled list and appear in his first game since he broke his left wrist May 6. Werth was solid in his return, roping a base hit in his first at-bat and adding an RBI groundout in his second.
But the real pick-me-up came from the left-hander on the mound: Ross Detwiler, who turned in seven scoreless innings to out-duel Cole Hamels and improve to 6-4 with a 3.02 ERA for the season. Adam LaRoche's 20th homer of the season (plus some well-timed defensive gaffes by the Phillies infield) provided all the run support Detwiler needed, and Sean Burnett and Tyler Clippard closed out a much-needed victory to avoid a series sweep and maintain at least a 2 12-game lead over the Braves.
Hitting highlight: Remember those fears about a month ago that LaRoche's season was careening off the rails? Well, he's certainly gotten things back on track. Since June 30, the veteran first baseman is hitting .333 with five homers, six doubles and 16 RBI. With a three-hit performance tonight -- including a second-deck bomb in the second inning -- LaRoche raised his season average back to .271, his home run total to 20 and his RBI total to 64. Combined with his stellar defensive play and his calming clubhouse influence, he's been invaluable to this team.
Pitching highlight: Detwiler's night actually started off a bit shaky: He put six men on base over the first three innings and seemed to be playing with fire. He sure doused those flames in a hurry. The left-hander proceeded to retire the final 14 batters he faced in succession, getting stronger and more efficient as the night progressed. Detwiler ended the seventh inning with only 88 pitches and probably could've been sent back out for the eighth for only the second time in his career. But Davey Johnson decided to play it safe with his No. 5 starter, who now boasts a 2.55 ERA in seven starts since rejoining the Nationals' rotation.
Key stat: With only 26, the Nationals are tied with the Cubs for the fewest unearned runs allowed in the NL this season.
Up next: It's supposed to be a beautiful evening Friday, maybe they should play two! Actually, they will. John Lannan returns from Syracuse to face Marlins lefty Brad Hand at 4:05 p.m., then 25 minutes after the conclusion of that game, Gio Gonzalez and Josh Johnson take the mound for the nightcap of the single-admission doubleheader.
On Tuesday morning, shortly after 10:00 a.m., a man was shot across the street from Nationals Park, local authorities reported.
After the shooting, the victim then ran toward the stadium where a crowd of people were waiting to enter a job fair at the park.
The victim was shot in the face and was transported to a local hospital. According to police, the victim was conscious when transported to a local hospital by authorities.
Authorities say they do not believe that the shooting was at all related to the job fair, which was for concession workers at the stadium.
The Nationals organization has since issued the following statement:
RELATED: NATIONALS REGULAR SEASON OUTLOOK
This morning a shooting occurred within a few blocks of Nationals Park. The injured victim fled the scene and was located and treated by emergency personnel outsider the center field gates, where jobs seekers were gathered in advance of a concessions staff job fair. The victim was transported by D.C. Fire and EMS to a local hospital. The Nationals are cooperating with the MPD investigation. Due to the incident, the concessions staff job far has been rescheduled for January 31.
The incident occurred at Half and N Street SE, which is near the center-field entrance of Nats Park. After initially believing the shooting took place outside the center field gate, police now believe he was shot behind a nearby liquor store.
Investigators believe the suspect fled the area in a car and have no details on a physical description.
Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez became the first former Nationals player (2005-present) to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday. He was inducted in his first year of eligibility, marking the 52nd first-ballot hall of famer in history.
Rodriguez, who was the first free agent signed by current Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo, played the final two seasons of his career with Washington in 2010-11. During his time in D.C. he hit .254 six homers and 68 RBI. Pudge's greatest contribution to the Nationals came from his leadership and work ethic. He guided Stephen Strasburg through his rookie season and also helped develop Wilson Ramos so he could pass the torch to him.
During his 21-year career, Pudge made 14 all-star teams, won 13 gold gloves, won seven silver slugger awards, led his league in caught-steeling percentage nine times, and was named American League MVP in 1999 with the Texas Rangers. He became a World Series champion in 2003 with the Florida Marlins. Pudge's 13 gold gloves are the most ever by a catcher, and his 2,844 career hits are the most ever by a player who appeared in 50 percent or more of their career games as a catcher.
In addition to Rodriguez, former Montreal Expos great Tim Raines was inducted to the Hall of Fame. Raines is the franchise leader (Expos/Nationals) in walks (793), runs (947), stolen bases (635) and triples (82). Raines was an all-star seven times and he won a silver slugger in 1986 with the Expos. He is the only player in MLB history with at least 100 triples, 150 homers and 600 RBI in a career, and the only player to steal at least 70 bases in six consecutive seasons.
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