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Even without using his bat, Harper can fuel offense

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Zimmermann's monster night powers Nationals

Baseball Tonight Spotlight: The Nationals crush the Braves thanks to Ryan Zimmerman continuing his red-hot streak.

The bat never left Bryce Harper’s shoulder Thursday night, but he still contributed to the Washington Nationals’ offense.

Harper saw 20 pitches and didn’t swing at any of them. He walked four times and scored four runs in the Nationals’ 15-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves.

The 20 pitches are the second-most a player has seen without swinging in the past 10 years. Only Juan Uribe, who looked at 21 pitches without swinging his bat in a game in 2010, has seen more than Harper.

Before Harper, the most recent major league player with four or more walks, four or more runs and at least one RBI in the same game was Derrek Lee in 2002 with the then-Florida Marlins. Lee also hit two home runs in that game.

Harper also had four walks and four runs on Aug. 18, against the Rockies. With Thursday’s game, he became the first player to have four or more walks and four or more runs in two games in the same season since Dom DiMaggio in 1950.

Only one other player -- Paul Goldschmidt (three) -- has more four-walk games this season than Harper.

Zimmerman continues his tear

Ryan Zimmerman, about whom we wrote Wednesday night, was 3-for-3 with two doubles and four RBIs.

He went on the disabled list with with plantar fasciitis in his left foot June 11. Since his return July 28, he has been an offensive force.

Zimmerman’s RBIs and extra-base hits are the most in the National League since July 28.

Thursday’s win produced the Nationals’ largest margin of victory since the team moved to Washington, surpassing a 14-1 victory over the Mets in 2013.

Braves’ free fall continues

The Braves were at .500 (42-42) more than halfway through the season. Since then, they have gone 12-38. That is the team’s worst 50-game stretch since it went 11-39 at the end of the 1935 season, closing out a 38-115 record (the Braves finished 61½ games out).

The Braves have been outscored by 140 runs in those 50 games.

Over the past 70 years, the only other time the Braves franchise went 1-16 or worse over a 17-game stretch was in 1977, when they were 0-17.

The Braves used eight pitchers, matching the most the team has used in a nine-inning game since the franchise moved to Atlanta in 1966.

Matt Wisler gave up seven earned runs in 1⅔ innings. He is the only pitcher with three starts since the start of August in which he allowed at least seven earned runs.