May 28, 2015

Nats Nightly: Nationals 2-1 over Phillies – Max Scherzer does it all in D.C.

Dave Nichols of District Sports Page and Patrick Reddington and Doghouse of Federal Baseball discuss the Washington Nationals 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.

Check Out Baseball Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with District Sports Page Nats Nightly on BlogTalkRadio

Washington Nationals Series Preview: Philadelphia Phillies

For the first time this season the Nationals open up a series in sole possession of first place. After a two-game sweep of the Yankees (and two days off in four days), the Nationals (24-17) are a half-game in front of the Mets as they welcome the Phillies (18-25) to Nationals Park.

The Phillies still have the likes of Cole Hamels and Jonathan Papelbon, likely to be surrounded by trade rumors until the trade deadline in July. But they’ve won seven out of nine in their best stretch of the season so far, and have shown no urgency to unload some of their veteran chips.

The Nationals are red hot, having won five in a row. They are also 12-6 at Nationals Park so far this year.

*The Last Time…

This is already the third series between the Nationals and Phillies this season. The teams played seven times in April, with the Phillies taking two out of three in Philadelphia and the Nationals taking three out of four in Washington.

*In The Other Dugout

The Phillies were not expected to do much in 2015. They’re not exactly blowing away expectations, but they have had a recent stretch of success. A six game winning streak helped lift them out of the division’s basement, and coupled with the Marlins’ current seven game losing streak, has the Phillies a game and a half in front of Miami. The Marlins suddenly look like a better bet to be the laughingstock of the National League East rather than the Phillies.

Because no matter how bad things get in Philadelphia this year, they are not very likely to see their general manager take over managerial duties on the field.

*Matchup To Watch

As though we needed any reason to believe Bryce Harper will stay hot: he was 2 for 5 with two home runs in the two games O’Sullivan pitched against the Nationals in April.

*Probables

Friday, 7:05pm: Sean O’Sullivan (1-2, 3.68 ERA) vs. Max Scherzer (4-3, 1.75 ERA)

Saturday, 4:05pm: Cole Hamels (4-3, 3.24 ERA) vs. Stephen Strasburg (3-4, 5.98 ERA)

Sunday, 1:35pm: Aaron Harang (4-3, 1.82 ERA) vs. Gio Gonzalez (3-2, 4.94 ERA)

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for May 20

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs were swept by the Lehigh Valley IronPigs after a third consecutive one-run loss at home on Wednesday afternoon. Syracuse squandered Mitch Lively’s stellar start and Mark Minicozzi’s first home run of the year to drop the final game of the series by a score of 2-1.

The game was a pitchers’ duel until the sixth inning. Two Chiefs pitchers and Anthony Vasquez combined to allow only three hits into the fifth inning. Lively, in his first start since game three of the playoffs in September 2014, turned in four outstanding innings for the Chiefs. The right-hander allowed only one hit and struck out four before Erik Davis replaced him in the fifth inning.

Davis made his first appearance for the Chiefs since being optioned to Triple-A on May 18th. He threw a stellar inning against Lehigh Valley. The right-hander allowed a hit and struck out two in his first appearance back with Syracuse since 2013.

After Lehigh Valley took a 2-0 lead in the top of the sixth, Syracuse (16-24) answered immediately in the bottom of the sixth. With one out in the inning, Mark Minicozzi lined an opposite-field drive over the right-field wall to cut the IronPigs’ lead in half. The solo shot made the score 2-1 at the end of six innings.

Neither team would score again as both bullpens were brilliant. Delcarmen allowed the only two runs for Syracuse in his third loss of the season. The IronPigs’ bullpen allowed only two hits and did not surrender a run for three and two-thirds innings to close out the Chiefs and complete the sweep in Syracuse.

After a day off on Thursday, the Chiefs complete the six-game homestand with a three-game series against Indianapolis. The first game of the series will be on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. Syracuse sends right-hander Scott McGregor to the mound against right-hander Chris Volstad.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): Led by a host of contributors, the Harrisburg Senators beat the Binghamton Mets, 10-1, Wednesday afternoon before 4,859 fans at Metro Bank Park. The Senators (16-22) will have a chance to win the three-game series tomorrow night.

Derrick Robinson’s three-run double in the second inning afforded Harrisburg a 3-1 lead. Harrisburg tacked on in the fifth inning when Shawn Pleffner drove in two with a single. Pleffner, who was 2-for-4 with two singles, has now recorded three consecutive multi-hit games. An inning later, Caleb Ramsey and Kevin Keyes both drove in a run with singles while Tony Renda hit a sacrifice fly. Then in the seventh, Ricky Hague doubled for a team-high 11th time and Mario Lisson launched a two-run, pinch-hit home run to extend Harrisburg’s lead to nine. Lisson now has a hit in 11 straight games.

In his first start with Harrisburg, Matthew Spann was fantastic. The tall lefty pitched seven strong innings, allowing just one run on seven hits. He walked none and struck three out. In his fourth MLB rehab appearance with Harrisburg, Casey Janssen breezed through the eighth inning with three consecutive groundball outs. Hector Ambriz finished the afternoon with a scoreless ninth inning.

Tonight’s series finale will begin at 6:30 p.m. with Dakota Bacus starting for Harrisburg in his AA debut. The pregame show beginning at 6:15 p.m. on Fox Sports 1460am, iHeart Radio, and on Tune In.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): The P-Nats (17-22-Overall, 9-10-Home) plated the go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh inning and closed out their second consecutive one-run win in the 4-3 victory that clinched the series against the Carolina Mudcats (19-17-Overall, 6-9-Road) at Pfitzner Stadium on Wednesday night.

Potomac sent RHP Lucas Giolito (1-2, 4.67), who was still searching for his first win in a Red, White and Blue uniform, to the mound for his third start.

Giolito set the Mudcats down in order to begin the ballgame and LHP Blair Walters returned the favor in the bottom of the first.

Potomac fired right back against Walters in the second on back-to-back singles from 3B Drew Ward and 1B John Wooten that put runners on first and second. 2B Khayyan Norfork came up and sliced a line drive down the right field line that scored both Ward and Wooten for a 2-1 Potomac advantage and he extended his hitting streak to six games.

The game remained 2-1 Potomac until the top of sixth inning. Giolito remained on the mound and struck out LF Keith Curcio to begin the frame. Unfortunately for the righty he fired a wild pitch on the final strike and Curcio was able to reach base safely. DH Sean Godfrey singled behind Curcio and 1B Joey Meneses followed with a two-run triple to push Carolina back out in front 3-2. Giolito, undaunted, proceeded to strike out the side, stranding Meneses at third base and fanning four in the inning.

Giolito finished with nine strikeouts over his season-high seven innings, allowing three runs (all earned) on six hits and no walks. Giolito earned his first win of the season and threw 87 pitches with 63 being strikes.

Potomac answered the call in the bottom of the sixth trailing 3-2 when SS Stephen Perez walked. He moved to second on a wild pitch by Walters and moved to third on an infield single by CF Isaac Ballou. C Spencer Kieboom came up and hit an infield single that he legged out allowing Perez to score and tie the game at 3-3 before Ward hit into an inning ending double play.

Walters was lifted prior to the Ward at-bat and finished with 5.1 innings, allowing three runs on five hits, he walked two and struck out four. For Walters it was his longest outing of the season after beginning the year in the bullpen and he did not factor in the decision.

LHP Matt Marksberry (2-1, 4.00) induced the double play ball from Ward and then emerged for the seventh inning as well. He retired the first two hitters with ease and then RF Brandon Miller singled. Miller extended his hitting streak to five games before being pulled for a pinch runner in the form of OF Narciso Mesa. Marksberry proceeded to walk the next two hitters to load the bases and with Perez up he delivered a breaking ball that was headed for the back foot of switch hitter. It was ruled the ball hit Perez on the foot and Mesa came home to score the go-ahead run to make it 4-3 P-Nats.

RHP Derek Self came into the ballgame for Giolito and pitched a scoreless eighth inning before turning things over to RHP Cody Davis (SV 1) for his first save opportunity.

Davis walked 3B Carlos Franco to begin the ninth and Briceño followed with a fielder’s choice ball that Wooten threw into left field for an error that pushed Franco all the way to third and allowed Briceño to reach safely. The right fielder Oliver was up next and what happened was wild, Oliver hit a comebacker to Davis who checked Franco at third and threw to Perez at second base to retire Briceño. When Davis spun to throw, Franco broke for the plate causing Perez to throw back home to Kieboom. The ball beat Franco there by five feet and he was eventually tagged out in a rundown by Ward. During the rundown Oliver tried to advance into scoring position and Ward, after applying the tag to Franco, fired to Norfork at second base, who applied the tag to a sliding Oliver but it was just late and Carolina stayed out of what would have been a game ending triple play. Davis then punched out Lien to end the ballgame and notch his first save of 2015.

Potomac, with the victory tonight, has won the series and looks for a series sweep tomorrow night in the finale. It’s the first series win for the P-Nats since they defeated the Wilmington Blue Rocks two games to one on April 20th through April 22nd at Daniel S. Frawley Stadium in the first state.

Potomac, after back-to-back one-run victories are now 7-9 in such affairs and improve to 9-10 at The Pfitz. For the Mudcats the loss is their fifth in a row, the longest losing streak of the season.

The series finale with Carolina begins tonight at 7:05 pm and Potomac will send the RHP John Simms (0-4, 5.60) to the mound against LHP Yean Carlos (0-6, 4.23).

The Potomac Nationals Baseball Network will have the game starting at 6:50 pm with the The P-Nats Lead-Off Show and take you up to first pitch.

Tonight is a Thursday Cheers night at Pfitzner Stadium presented by Yellow Cab and will feature discounted beverages all game long.

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): The Hagerstown Suns (20-19) scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning on Wednesday afternoon, breaking a 2-2 tie and sending Hagerstown to a 5-2 win over the Greensboro Grasshoppers (17-22). The win gives the Suns a season-best four-game winning streak, and wrapped up the team’s first series sweep of the year.

The eighth inning rally for Hagerstown began with two outs in the eighth. Catcher Jorge Tillero got the rally going by hitting a ground ball single up the middle into center field. Third baseman Brennan Middleton then caught the defense off guard by bunting for a base hit, putting runners at first and second. Right fielder Alec Keller smacked a third straight single, and this one brought home Tillero from second to give the Suns the lead for good. Shortstop Osvaldo Abreu then made it a three-run game with a bases clearing double on a fly ball to center field.

The Suns jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the second inning with a home run off the bat of center fielder Dale Carey.  He led off the frame by jacking a pitch over the center field wall and into the visitors’ bullpen. It was Carey’s third homer of the season and second of the homestand.

The Suns lead increased to 2-0 in the fourth. With a runner on third and one out, LF Jeff Gardner smacked a ground ball double to right, driving home 1B Jose Marmolejos for the two-run lead. It was Gardner’s third RBI of the series and eighth of the homestand, and he’s now on a six-game hitting streak.

RHP Justin Amlung (1-0) was the beneficiary of the eighth inning rally by Hagerstown, as he wound up with the win. He threw 1.1 innings of scoreless relief without allowing a baserunner. RHP Austen Williams started for the Suns and went 5.2 innings without giving up a run. RHP Luis Castillo (1-1) suffered the loss for the Grasshoppers. In 1.2 innings of work he surrendered three earned runs on four hits while striking out two.

The Suns next head to Lexington, Kentucky to begin a four-game series against the Lexington Legends (17-21) starting Thursday May 21. The Suns will send RHP Drew Van Orden (1-1) to the mound for his fifth start of the season. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm.

 

Washington Nationals Game 41 Review: Ump Show Deluxe

UMPIRE MARVIN HUDSON HERO OF GAME, EJECTS MISCREANTS HARPER AND WILLIAMS

The Washington Nationals completed a two-game sweep of the New York Yankees in a 3-2 victory marred by the ejection of Bryce Harper and Matt Williams for reasons only Marvin Hudson knows. Denard Span would single in a run late to break a tie, and Tyler Moore and Ian Desmond each had solo home runs.

There’s really no good time to get tossed from a game as a player. You’ve got one job when it comes to the umpires, as a player, and that’s steer clear of what’s going to get you thrown out of the game. You can’t hit from the clubhouse, after all.

All that said, home plate Marvin Hudson clearly had a bad night’s sleep last night. Or food poisoning. Or a rude flight attendant. Or got some bad news from family. He was charged up for a fight on Wednesday night, and Bryce Harper just happened to be the unfortunate man in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Harper took a called first strike, low in the zone, and reacted slightly. There was barking from the first base dugout, mostly in objection to a strike called four inches below the bottom of the strike zone. As Hudson jawed with Matt Williams, Harper stepped out of the conflict zone. Hudson tossed Harper for stepping out of the box.

Williams came out of the dugout, incensed by Hudson’s quick heave-ho, and found himself headed for the showers shortly thereafter. He did cover the plate with dirt before giving up and leaving the lineup card in Randy Knorr’s hands, and expressed some vehement objections on the way out.

But back to the actual game.

The Yankees jumped out to an early lead, getting a pair off Jordan Zimmermann in the first. Brett Gardner singled to right to start the game for the Yankees, and came around to score on a double by Carlos Beltran. Beltran would advance on a grounder, and then score on a sac fly off the bat of Brian McCann, whose sad beardless face made Braves fans everywhere gnash their teeth.

After that, it was all Jordan Zimmermann. He went seven full tonight, scattering 3 more hits through six more innings, and notching six strikeouts and just one walk. His curve was devastating at times, and his fastball places was light years better than his last start, and the Yankees couldn’t do much against it.

The Nats would strike back in the first, with Ian Desmond going yard off Adam Warren, a shot to deep center field just to the right of the gate. In the third, Tyler Moore, in for the injured Jayson Werth, pulled a ball out of the zone over the fence in left to tie the ballgame.

Adam Warren had a pretty good night for the Yankees. He was getting the low strike from Hudson behind the plate and racked up four strikeouts on the evening. He also surrendered four walks, including two in the seventh, before getting the hook. The Nationals started the seventh with Wilson Ramos reaching on an error by Chase Headley. Tyler Moore drew a walk to complicate matters for the Yankees. After a great play by Headley to catch a pop-foul bunt by Danny Espinosa, pinch hitter Dan Uggla walked to load the bases and end Warren’s evening.

Leadoff hitter Denard Span fought back against Justin Wilson, ahead in the count. He poked a grounder back through the left side. The Yankees were playing in on the grass, and were out of position to catch the weakly hit ball as it transited the infield dirt. Ramos sprinted home with the go-ahead run, and the Nationals claimed their first lead of the night.

Matt Grace and Drew Storen combined for two scoreless innings in relief, and Storen added a pair of strikeouts to clinch his twelfth save. Storen fanned Alex Rodriguez on three pitches to end the Yankees’ late threat, and claim the Nationals 7th straight series win.

HERO: Marvin Hudson, obviously. Who else did everyone come to see?

GOAT: Bryce Harper, who gets tossed for the second time in a week, in a conflagration with Marvin Hudson. Look, it’s clear Hudson was off his rocker, but you don’t poke the bear. You can’t win games from the showers.

NATS NOTES:

  • Harper’s ejection was his second in seven days.
  • Williams’ ejection was his second in seven days.
  • Wilson Ramos’ 19-game hitting streak came to an end Wednesday night.
  • The Nationals take sole possession of first place on their seventh consecutive series win.

NEXT UP: an off day! The 17-24 Phillies arrive on Friday for a three-game set. Scherzer (4-3, 1.75) vs TBA, 7:05pm start.

Washington Nationals Game 40 Review: Zimmerman Hits His Tenth Career Walk-Off Home Run, Nats Beat Yankees in Extras

ZIMMERMAN JOINS IMMORTALS MUSIAL, PEREZ, SCHMIDT, PUJOLS AND BONDS WITH 10-PLUS WALK-OFFS

The Washington Nationals and New York Yankees held the same record of 22-17 going into Tuesday night’s game at Nationals Park.  But after ten innings of baseball played in the nation’s capital, the Nats emerged victorious beating the Yankees 8-6 thanks to a two-out, two-run walk-off home run hit by Mr. Walk-off himself — first baseman Ryan Zimmerman — against left-handed reliever Andrew Miller.

Offense is what kept the Nats in the game despite a shaky starting appearance made by left-handed pitcher Gio Gonzalez. The Nats got a jump start with home runs hit by shortstop Ian Desmond and outfielder Bryce Harper off right-handed starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi in the first inning making it a 2-0 game in favor of Washington. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for May 18

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs and the Lehigh Valley IronPigs were suspended after nine innings of play on Monday due to rain with the score tied, 1-1. The game will be completed at 5:05 p.m. before the start of the regularly-scheduled game on Tuesday. Action will resume in the top of the10th inning.

Taylor Jordan turned in a strong nine innings for Syracuse but left with the score tied in the 10th inning. After allowing an early run, Jordan settled down over the next seven innings to limit Lehigh Valley to only one run on five hits. Jordan retired 12 IronPigs in a row before Dominic Brown broke his streak in the sixth inning.

Syracuse (16-21) used the long ball to tie the score at one in the bottom of the fourth. Phillippe Aumont retired the first two batters he faced in the fourth before Kila Ka’aihue stepped in and lined a home run just inside the right-field foul pole to square the score at one. The Chiefs put two more men on base before Aumont struck out Jordan to escape further damage.

Rain began to fall in the bottom of the ninth inning. Right before Evan Meek threw his first pitch of the 10th inning, they decided to send the game into a rain delay. The game was officially postponed at 10 p.m.

The Chiefs and IronPigs will resume this game in the top of the 10th inning before the scheduled game on Tuesday at 5:05 p.m. The regularly scheduled game begins at 7:05 p.m. Syracuse sends right-hander Taylor Hill to the mound against Lehigh Valley left-hander Adam Morgan.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): OFF. The Senators host Binghampton tonight at 6:30 p.m.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): The Potomac Nationals announced Monday that RHP Dakota Bacus was named the Carolina League Pitcher of the Week for the period of May 11th – May 17th.

The Moline, IL native toed the rubber twice for Potomac over that span and compiled a record of 2-0 with a microscopic ERA of 0.82. Both starts came against the Baltimore Orioles affiliated Fredrick Keys and Bacus was at his best against the division rival. On May 11 at Pfitzner Stadium, Bacus hurled 5.0 innings, allowing only one run on two hits, issuing two walks and striking out a season high seven in the 5-1 victory for the P-Nats. As an encore, Bacus came back in his next start on May 16 th at Nymeo Field and danced through six shutout innings against the Keys, allowing four hits and two walks while tying his season high with seven punchouts in the 5-2 Potomac win.

The Indiana State Alumnus has thrown 27.0 innings for the Red, White and Blue to the tune of a 2.33 ERA, going 2-0 with three saves in three opportunities. He’s allowed 23 hits and eight runs (seven earned) with ten walks and 29 strikeouts, holding opposing hitters to a .219 batting average against.

The P-Nats had the night off but take on Carolina tonight at Pfitzner Stadium at 7:05

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic):  The Hagerstown Suns (18-19) came within one strike of tossing their first no-hitter since 2005 on Monday night as they shutout the Greensboro Grasshoppers (17-20) by a final score of 5-0. The shutout was the fifth the Suns have thrown this year.

With two outs and a one ball two strike count against him in the top of the ninth, 1B Arturo Rodriguez sent a fly ball over the head of RF Jeff Gardner. The ball rolled to the wall and Arturo wound up at second with a double. That was the only hit of the night for Greensboro, as the next batter, K.J. Woods, struck out looking to end the ball game.

It was two Hagerstown pitchers who combined for the shutout and the one-hitter. Starting RHP Phillips Valdez (4-2) did the majority of the work and got the win by going seven innings, and giving up just two walks while striking out four. The seven innings pitched is a season-high for a Suns pitcher this year. RHP Justin Amlung threw the final two innings, giving up the lone hit while striking out three.

All five Hagerstown runs crossed the plate in the first inning. The Suns sent 10 batters to the plate in the inning, and seven came away with hits. First baseman Jose Marmolejos and SS David Masters each had a two-run double in the frame. The final run of the inning came home on an RBI double by 3B Austin Davidson. In total four of the seven hits in the inning were doubles.

These teams will continue their three-game series at Municipal Stadium on Tuesday May 19. The Suns will send RHP Jefry Rodriguez (0-3) to the mound for his fifth start and appearance this season. He will square off against RHP Jose Adames (1-2) for Greensboro. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm.

Washington Nationals Series Preview: New York Yankees

After seven straight games out west (and ten straight games overall), the Washington Nationals (22-17) will play just eight games in eleven days, beginning with a short two game series with the Yankees (22-17).

The Nats won five out of seven on the road against the Diamondbacks and Padres. They’ve picked up four games on the Mets in the standings over the past ten games. As for their upcoming opponent, not many people expected the Yankees to be in first place in the American League East this deep into May, but their hot start has them a game in front of Tampa Bay. The Nationals might be catching them at the right time though — the Yankees have lost five of their last six games. They are 2-5 on a road trip that ends with these two games in Washington.

The Last Time…

The Nationals haven’t played the Yankees since June of 2012, when the Yankees swept a three-game series in Washington.

In The Other Dugout

He’s done everything right, said all the right things, and has played well to boot. Could we possibly be talking about Alex Rodriguez? A-Rod is hitting just .250, but he has 10 home runs and 22 RBI to help lead the Yankees’ offensive attack. Rodriguez is just six RBI from leaping Lou Gehrig and Barry Bonds on the all-time RBI list.

Matchup To Watch

Ryan Zimmerman is 3 for 8 career against Nathan Eovaldi, and two of those three hits are home runs.

Probables

Tuesday, 7:05pm: Nathan Eovaldi (3-1, 4.14 ERA) vs. Gio Gonzalez (3-2, 4.25 ERA)

Wednesday, 7:05pm: Adam Warren (2-2, 4.50 ERA) vs. A.J. Cole (0-0, 7.20 ERA)

Washington Nationals recall Wilmer Difo, place Werth on DL

The Washington Nationals placed OF Jayson Werth on the 15-day DL with a left wrist “contusion” and recalled 2B/SS Wilmer Difo from Double-A Harrisburg for his Major League debut, thus starting the clock on Difo’s MLB service time.

Difo is clearly one of the Nats best hitting prospects. He was a fairly unheard of minor league player until last season when he exploded for Low-A Hagerstown, hitting .315/.360/.470 with 14 home runs, tripling his three-year minor league career total in one season, and 49 stolen bases.

So far this year, the 23-year-old hit .320/.386/.533 in 83 plate appearances for High-A Potomac, earning him a promotion to Harrisburg, where he slashed .308./339/.500 in 56 plate appearances over 14 games.

Difo’s bona fides are solid. He more than held his own in spring training with the big league club and has passed every test the Nats have thrown at him thus far. Plus, he’s a switch-hitter, which helps in late-innings matchups.

It’s just curious that with Werth going down, he’s the choice for the promotion. Werth is exclusively and outfielder — the team’s starting left fielder. That job will go to Michael Taylor for the time being. Difo is exclusively an infielder — 282 games at short, 94 at second and 13 at third in his six minor league seasons.

The Nats passed on OF Matt den Dekker, who is on the 40-man roster, to recall Difo, who along with Dan Uggla are backup infielders for the Nats now. This means, the team’s current backup outfielders become Tyler Moore and Clint Robinson, neither of whom should keep a glove in their lockers.

I suppose the theory is that between Taylor, Denard Span and Bryce Harper, there’s no need to keep a defensive outfielder on the bench, as all three are more than capable and would never be replaced defensively. Moore or Robinson could complete a game in the case of an injury and a move could be made to recall den Dekker or someone else should another outfielder go on the DL.

Still, at 23 you’d think the Nats would want Difo playing everyday somewhere, not sitting on the bench at the Major League level, available for pinch-running and pinch-hitting.

As for Werth, x-rays and MRIs didn’t reveal any fractures in his surgically repaired left wrist, so he must be experiencing a lot of soreness in the wrist after getting hit the other day. Hopefully that’s the case and a couple of weeks off for Werth allows the soreness and swelling to dissipate and he can get back into the lineup.

 

Washington Nationals Game 39 Review: Harper powers Nats over Padres

NATIONALS GO 5-2 ON WEST COAST ROAD TRIP

The Washington Nationals are officially on a roll. No-hit through four innings, the Nats bats finally woke up, and when they did, they were loud. Bryce Harper homered again to lead the Nats over the San Diego Padres 10-5 at Petco Park, completing a seven-game West Coast road trip at 5-2.

What set up as an interesting pitching match-up between Stephen Strasburg and Ian Kennedy ended up a rout. But with Strasburg getting yanked early in his past two starts, it was a big test for the righty, who has battled ankle and upper back problems this season. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 38 Review: Scherzer Ks 11 in win over punchless Padres

Max Scherzer struck out 11 in seven innings and the Washington Nationals cruised to a 4-1 win over the San Diego Padres at Petco Park Saturday night.

Scherzer had everything working while dominating the offensively-challenged Padres. The big righty (4-3, 1.75) allowed just four hits and two walks and threw 104 pitches in his outing. [Read more…]

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