Nats Insider: Instant Analysis: Nats 5, Pirates 4

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Nats Insider: Instant Analysis: Nats 5, Pirates 4
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Game in a nutshell: Davey Johnson gathered his players for a rare team meeting before they took the field for batting practice, telling them to relax and not put too much pressure on themselves. In some respects, the Nationals were able to do that, but they still didn't play a picture-perfect ballgame. Stephen Strasburg was victimized by a pair of two-run homers but battled through seven innings, striking out eight. His teammates scored an equal four runs while he was in the game, getting sacrifice flies from Ian Desmond and Adam LaRoche, then a clutch, two-run single from Wilson Ramos. They had plenty of chances to add to that but wound up going 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position. The Nationals finally pushed home the winning run thanks to a surprise double-steal from Ryan Zimmerman and LaRoche in the top of the ninth, with Tyler Moore then lofting a sacrifice fly to bring Zimmerman homer. Rafael Soriano closed it out and gave the Nats a much-needed, one-run victory.

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