December 15, 2017

Washington Nationals Game 58 Review: Nats sweep Sox with 4-3 win

The Washington Nationals on Sunday swept the Boston Red Sox with a 4-3 win, thanks to some late heroics by Roger Bernadina, who had a game-winning RBI double.

With the game tied at three at the start of the ninth inning, Bryce Harper – who was not in the starting lineup due to tightness in his back – was inserted as a pinch hitter in the frame and then made the most of his opportunity, drawing a walk to set up Bernadina’s big hit. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 57 Review: Gio stymies Red Sox in 4-2 win

For the second time in as many days, the Washington Nationals once again pulled off another win at Fenway Park in Boston in interleague action, defeating the Red Sox, 4-2.

The Nats are 34-23 on the season and lead the National League East by a game over the Atlanta Braves. The Nationals have won four out of their last five games. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 56 Review: Strasburg sizzles in Fenway debut

On Friday night, two of the young stars of the game for the Washington Nationals – outfielder Bryce Harper and pitcher Stephen Strasburg – shined as they made quite a memorable impact up at historic Fenway Park in Boston.

Their contributions helped the Washington Nationals defeated the Boston Red Sox, 7-4, as Harper had three hits, a monster home run and drove in three; meanwhile, Strasburg showed why he is one of the best pitchers in the game as he struck out thirteen batters and gave up two runs in six innings. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 40 Review: Nats comeback but can’t complete rally; fall to O’s 6-5

This season for the Washington Nationals, their starting pitching has been a hallmark and served as a big part of their strong start; however, on Saturday night at Nationals Park, pitcher Ross Detwiler struggled and the surprising Baltimore Orioles pulled out another one-run win, 6-5.

The Nats have lost three straight games and trail the Atlanta Braves by 1 ½ games in the National League East.

It was a beautiful, picture-perfect  night for a ballgame, as 42,331  fans filled Nationals Park to watch the second contest of the first go-round of the ‘Battle of the Beltways’ of the 2012 season, but sadly, it was a nightmare for Detwiler.

He put in his team in an early hole, as they trailed 6-0 by the end of the fifth inning; however, the offense for the Nationals (23-17) – which has been moribund the past few days – come alive thereafter, rallying for five runs, but came up short in their comeback.

Detwiler – in his by far his most disappointing start of the year — went five innings and gave up six runs on nine hits, taking the loss. He struck out three and walked one.

The Orioles (27-14) tagged Detwiler in the second for their first run as Robert Andino’s two-run double gave them a 2-0 lead; however, Baltimore’s outfield duo – Adam Jones and Nick Markakis – would use the long ball to nearly put the game out of reach for Washington.

Jones’ home run – a two-run laser shot to left field and 14th of the year – in the third inning off Detwiler, gave Baltimore a 4-0 lead. Two innings later, Markakis would also hit a two run homer – his eighth of the season — off Detwiler to left-center field gave the Orioles a 6-0 advantage.

Detwiler (3-3, 3.65) looked utterly bewildered that Markakis hit the ball out of the yard. It seemed he – plus the Nationals fans – at the stadium were stunned at the Orioles were doing on their home turf.

Once Detwiler was pulled from the contest, the Washington bullpen – Craig Stammen, Ryan Perry and Henry Rodriguez – would give their mates a fighting chance by pitching four scoreless innings.

Detwiler’s counterpart on the mound, Baltimore’s Jason Hammel, was in control for the first half of the game. Hammel stymied Washington until the fifth inning as Steve Lombardozzi’s RBI-single gave them their first run on the game.

They would score three more in the sixth inning to come within two of Baltimore’s lead, 6-4, as Rick Ankiel plated in a run with an RBI-single, and then Carlos Maldonado drove in another run with a groundout. Roger Bernadina followed up with a single to plate Maldonado.

The Nationals added some more intrigue towards the end of the game. Ryan Zimmerman’s solo two-out home run – his second of 2012 – in the bottom of ninth off Baltimore closer Jim Johnson sent the ballpark into frenzy. That brought Washington within one run of tying the contest, 6-5; however, Adam LaRoche was retired on strikes and the game ended.

The Orioles’ Jason Hammel (5-1, 3.12) allowed four runs on six hits with two walks and five strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings to earn the win. Closer Jim Johnson earned his 15th save of the season.

Washington manager Davey Johnson shook up his regular lineup a bit to spark the offense and it responded, pounding out five runs and ten hits. Steve Lombardozzi was inserted in the leadoff spot and had two hits; Roger Bernandina batted eighth and had two hits as well; Ian Desmond batted fifth and had a hit.

With the Orioles already winning the interleague series by virtue of their win on Saturday, the Nationals will try to get back into the win column on Sunday afternoon.

Washington’s Stephen Strasburg will try to serve as the stopper on the mound. He goes against the surprising Taiwanese pitcher Wei-Yin Chen for the Baltimore Orioles.

Washington Nationals Game 33 Review: Nats beat Reds but lose Ramos to ACL injury

For the second time in as many nights, the Washington Nationals emerged victorious in a one-run game, defeating the Cincinnati Reds, 2-1, thanks to a strong effort on the mound by Jordan Zimmermann and two solo home runs.

Their win – their 21st on the season – did not come without a price, however. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 30 Review: Nats whiff their way to third straight loss

Wednesday night, the Washington Nationals could not get the offense going, nor snap their losing streak – now at three games – as they were defeated by the Pittsburgh Pirates on the road, 4-2.

Washington is now 18-12 on the season, still in the first place in the National League East; however, they share it with the surging Atlanta Braves, who have one more win and one more loss than the Nats, who are 4-6 in their last 10 games. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 27 Review: Nats offense pounds Phillies 7-1

WASHINGTON, D.C. – For the past half-decade, the Philadelphia Phillies have been the big dogs of the National League East, winning the division every year since 2007. As we all know, during the same time frame, the Washington Nationals have not been very good. However, signs of growth started last season, and the front office, led by general manager Mike Rizzo revamped the roster in order for them to be competitive in 2012.

Granted, the 2012 season is only a month, and a few days old; however, if the Nationals wanted to prove that they can contend with the big dogs of the league, a message was sent this weekend. For the second straight day, the Nationals defeated the Phillies, this time in dominant fashion, by a score of 7-1. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 24 Review: Harper has big night; Desmond walks-off with win

WASHINGTON, D.C. – If anyone had any doubts about the ability of 19-year-old Bryce Harper in a major league uniform, those concerns might have been put to rest on Wednesday night at Nationals Park.

Well, that is – at least for now.

Since his major league debut on Saturday, the can’t-miss-prospect has been a productive part of the Washington squad, and that was further illustrated against the Arizona Diamondbacks. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards wrap up season with win over star-less Miami heat

WIZ FINISH SEASON WITH SIX STRAIGHT WINS

The Washington Wizards 2011-12 season came to a triumphant end on Thursday night at the Verizon Center as they defeated the playoff-bound Miami Heat in a laugher, 104-70.

They finished the season with a six-game win streak and during that frame have defeated bottom-feeders and contenders alike.

The Wizards faced a Miami lineup without the triumvirate of stars LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh as they sat out Thursday’s game. The Heat are the second seed in the Eastern Conference for the upcoming playoffs and their position was not going to improve with a win in the final game of the regular season; therefore, coach Eric Spoelstra gave the trio a night off.

Spoelstra inserted the rest of the roster and used his second team for most the night. The results were not good for Miami; however, the 66th game of the campaign for them was a throw-away one.

However, for the Wizards, the final game of the season was a statement game. They wanted to finish off a season that had started off as a nightmare in strong fashion. Furthemore, they want to look forward to a future that looks might brighter than it did in December.

That being said, the Wizards took advantage of the situation. From the start, Washington was in complete control as they finished the first quarter up, 28-18 and then rolled throughout the remainder of the game.

The Wizards held a dominating a 57-32 lead at halftime, and then made the night into a joke.

After the game, Wizards interim head coach Randy Wittman spoke about his team’s effort on Thursday night.

“Well this was a really satisfying way to come down the stretch for this team. We are a team made of a lot of young guys and experienced some success like we had coming down the stretch, winning six games in a row and playing the way we did.”

With the season over, everyone is looking forward to the future and taking the time to reflect. One of the first questions that must be answered in the offseason is the status of Randy Wittman.

However, Wittman looked back  on a long season and working with a young squad. As well, he is looking ahead – whether it  is with the Wizards, or another organization.

“All I wanted to do was try to do the best of putting these guys in a position to enhance their talents. I could only try and get the most out of them and put them in positions to succeed. I tried to do that and prepare them for every game. That’s all I wanted to do.”

He added, “So, I don’t worry about what tomorrow holds. In the end I’m going to learn a lot of different things from this team and from these experiences that are going to help me down the road in my coaching. Whether that’s here or not, I don’t worry about that, I truly don’t. I try and go out each day and do the best job I can. I think when you work hard and do that, good things happen.”

Wall – who had seven points and 12 assists on the night – handed out nothing but praise to Wittman and hopes he is part of the future in Washington.

“I like having Coach Wittman as a coach. It would be nice to have him back. We respect him. He’s an aggressive coach and always right there on us, keying in on things, helping us make the right decisions. He’s been honest with what he says.”

As well, Wall spoke about the conclusion of a long, trying season that showed some success at the very end; however, he knows the improvement and rebuilding of the Wizards will require patience.

“They should just know that it is going to take time, making the right changes, adding the right pieces and making sure that you are doing things to work on your game and keep getting better.”

Veteran Maurice Evans gave his perspective on what has happened with the Wizards this season. He also chimed on about the renewed focus and improvement of the squad.

“There has been a great maturation process that has taken place here this season, and we brought in some great guys that are unselfish and really helped change the game. That made a huge change for us this season. “

For Washington, Maurice Evans scored 18 points, both Nene and Kevin Seraphin had 15, Cartier Martin had 12, and Jan Vesley had 11.

Miami’s Norris Cole had 14, while Eddy Curry had 10. No other member of the Heat scored in double digits.

Washington Wizards win fourth straight in dominating fashion over Bobcats

The Washington Wizards struggled for much the 2011-12 regular season. Of late, they have looked like a team transformed, playing some quality basketball and racking up wins against playoff contenders in the past two weeks.

On Monday night at the Verizon Center, the Washington Wizards (18-46) won their fourth straight game as they defeated the lowly Charlotte Bobcats, 101-73. The Wizards current win streak is their longest since January 2006.

They pretty much controlled the action from start to finish in dominating fashion and had a satisfying 63-39 lead at the half. From there, they had as much as a thirty point lead in the third quarter and sailed to an easy victory.

The Wizards have won all four games in their season series against the Bobcats.

For Charlotte (7-57) – owned by former NBA superstar and Hall-of-Famer Michael Jordan – the loss against Washington marks their 21st in a row.

If the Bobcats lose all their remaining games left in the season – three in total – they will have the ignominious distinction of being the absolute worst team in basketball in history in terms of winning percentage.

After the game, Washington interim head coach Randy Wittman spoke about his team’s victory.

“This is another step for our team. I think we did a great job with the schedule we had leading up to this game, winning three in a row and then getting ready for this game against a struggling team.”

He added, “We took care of business right from the start. I was more nervous for this game than our previous games. You don’t ever want to give a struggling team the opportunity to breathe.”

John Wall – who had 16 points and 14 assists on the night – spoke about the importance of beating a weak Charlotte team and also their recent run of success.

“It feels good. Even though it’s the end of the season we are playing good as a team. We beat two teams that are in the playoffs and one team that’s fighting for the playoffs. We knew we had to come out and beat Charlotte because we knew what they were playing for. We had their number tonight.”

Of course, the Wizards are showing much improved and playing well as a unit. That has been evident in the past two weeks.

“The key is we were playing together as a team and moving the ball. Different guys have been scoring every night, so you don’t have the same leading scorer,” said Wall.

“It’s been great that our second group has been coming in and playing well – Cartier (Martin), James (Singleton), Shelvin (Mack), Nene. It means a lot to us.”

Nene – who had 18 points off the bench – mused, “We played well and played as a team. We’re learning how to play together. It is fun to play the way we are playing right now.”

Jan Vesley also had 16 points and six rebounds. Kevin Seraphin chipped in with 12 points and eight rebounds.

For Charlotte, Gerald Henderson had 19 points, and D.J. Augustin scored 15.

With the season ending on Thursday night against the formidable Miami Heat, the Wizards are a little sad, but looking forward to the future.

“That’s the saddest part. You play this game that you love and work because you want to be in the playoffs. We’ve got a lot to look forward to this summer and prepare ourselves for next year. If we add a couple of pieces, we know what we have on this team and what we can do when we play together.”

Nene added, “A lot of young guys are developing and getting a lot of minutes. We have a lot of camaraderie. We have a lot of talent on this team. We just have to keep learning to play together.”

He also said, “I have confidence we can continue to work hard and improve so we are ready for next season.”

The Wizards next game is on Wednesday as they face the Cleveland Cavaliers on the road.

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