December 2, 2020

Washington Nationals Game 124 Review: Nats Shut Down Diamondbacks to Extend Win Streak to Eight

With their current win streak numbering eight games, the Washington Nationals would likely invite the Arizona Diamondbacks to stay in town if given the option.

Tuesday night brought their largest margin of victory of the Arizona squad thus far as Ian Desmond and Asdrubal Cabrera together batted in seven of the Nats’ runs en route to an 8-1 win.

The heavy hitting likely helped starter Stephen Strasburg (W, 10-10) find his comfort zone as he allowed just one earned run – a homer by David Peralta – on three hits and one walk through 8.0 innings pitched. He also threw 61 of 95 pitches for strikes, and struck out four batters.

Arizona pitching didn’t fare so well.

Starter Chase Anderson (L, 7-5) lasted just two innings, during which he gave up six runs on six hits and three walks. Perhaps surprisingly yet, all six of Anderson’s runs allowed occurred in the third inning – before an out was recorded.

It was actually the Diamondbacks who struck first – the only time in which they posted a run on the board.

After Strasburg retired the first two batters of the game, Peralta worked him to a 2-2 count on five pitches before powering a four-seam fastball over the right-center field wall.

Following two fairly quiet innings, the Nats answered. Oh, did they. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals vs New York Mets Series Preview

On Monday, the Washington Nationals lost their make-up series finale with the Baltimore Orioles. Tuesday night, they welcome the New York Mets to town for a three-game series to finish off the homestand. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 107 Review: Byrd Homer Costs Fister as Nationals Fall

Washington Nationals starter Doug Fister and Philadelphia Phillies opponent Roberto Hernandez carried a pitcher’s duel late into the night, but the Nats’ neighbor to the north emerged the victor of a 2-1 game Friday night at Nationals Park.

Fister allowed just two runs on six hits through seven innings pitched. His only trouble spot came in the second when, with two outs, Grady Sizemore doubled. The next batter, Carlos Ruiz, drew a walk, allowing Cody Asche the opportunity to hit an RBI single to right.

In the bottom of the inning, however, the Nats made it a new ballgame.

Adam LaRoche singled on a pop up to Asche covering third. Asche tried to reel it in to nab LaRoche, but committed an error on the play allowing LaRoche to advance to third.

Ian Desmond then seized the opportunity with an RBI single to tie the game.

Bryce Harper kept the inning alive with a single of his own before the newly acquired Asdrubal Cabrera lined into an unassisted double play. With the extra space at first, Hernandez intentionally walked Wilson Ramos to get to Fister for the final out.

Neither team batted out of the infield as both Hernandez and Fister were on their game.

That is until the top of the sixth when, with two outs, Fister let up just enough to allow Marlon Byrd to hit a solo shot over the right-field wall.

The homer was all it took as the Nats’ offense struggled the rest of the night.

Washington threatened with a walk-off opportunity as Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon allowed back-to-back one-out singles to LaRoche and Desmond in the ninth. Unfortunately for the Nats, Harper and Cabrera both swung at strike three to end the game.


THE GOOD: Doug Fister was sharp, pitching out of a potential multi-run second inning with just the one run allowed. Of course, the Marlon Byrd home run cost him a potential win, but he had little help from the Nats’ offense.

THE BAD: Asdrubal Cabrera debuted in Nats uniform by going 0-for-4 with a strikeout.

THE UGLY: The Nationals have not hit a home run in their last nine games. They went 3-6 in that span.

Nats get Cabrera upgrade at second; Zimmerman insurance

The Washington Nationals acquired middle infielder Asdrubal Cabrera and cash considerations from the Cleveland Indians on Thursday in exchange for SS/LF Zach Walters.

Cabrera, 28, is hitting .246/.305/.386 with nine homers and 40 RBIs this season. He is a two-time All-Star with the Indians and is a .270/.331/.410 career hitter in over 900 MLB games.

Cabrera, a switch-hitter, will be a free agent following the 2014 season.

Walters, 24, hit .205/.279/.462 with three homers and five RBIs in 43 plate appearances for the Nats this season.

Cabrera is an instant upgrade over Danny Espinosa at second base. While he isn’t the hitter Ryan Zimmerman is, he provides adequate relief while the Nats miss Zimmerman’s big bat in the lineup. Cabrera is a good fielder that should transition to second base easily, though he hasn’t played the position since 2009.

With reports that Zimmerman sustained a Grade 3 strain of his right hamstring, the timetable for his return to baseball activities is six to eight weeks, meaning he’ll miss most of — if not all — the remainder of the regular season.

Cabrera is a fulltime MLB veteran to replace Zimmerman in the lineup, with Anthony Rendon handling the third base duties, as he has while Zimmerman is on the shelf.

This also allows the Nats to slot Espinosa as a right-handed pinch-hitter and defensive replacement, a position he’s more qualified to fill than everyday second baseman at this point in his career.

Some might lament Walters and the appeal of his Triple-A power, but the Nats obviously didn’t see him as a long-term solution in the Nats infield. His glove and contact skills just don’t play at the Major League level. The Nats tried him at second base in Syracuse this season and just didn’t see him making the necessary adjustments to compete at the big league level.

Consider this: with Ian Desmond eligible for free agency following next season, the Nats didn’t feel the need to retain the 24-year-old Walters as insurance for Desmond departing. That, in itself, should explain what the Nats thought about Walters future in the big leagues.

Overall, this is a big win for GM Mike Rizzo, acquiring an everyday big league veteran with All-Star bona fides, and cash to pay his salary, for a very low-upside minor league hitter.

Washington Nationals trade for Asdrubal Cabrera, per source

The Washington Nationals have traded for middle infielder Asdrubal Cabrera, late of the Cleveland Indians, per the Indians beat writer. According to a further report, the Nats will send SS Zach Walters to Cleveland.

Cabrera will be a free agent at the end of the season.

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