September 30, 2014

Washington Nationals Game 161 Review: Strasburg runs scoreless innings streak to 20 in win over Marlins

Stephen Strasburg threw six scoreless innings and the Washington Nationals topped the Miami Marlins 5-1 in the next-to-last game of the 22014 regular season.

The Nats jumped on Marlins starter Nate Eovaldi for multiple base runners in the early innings and pushed a run across in the second. Bryce Harper led off with a single just past lumbering first baseman Justin Bour. He went to second on Wilson Ramos’ infield single. Asdrubal Cabrara forced Ramos as second, but beat the relay to set up first and third with one out.

Strasburg sacrificed to move Cabrera up, and Harper waited until Eovaldi made the throw to first to break for home. He beat the relay and tag by catcher Jeff Mathis, sneaking his mitt-covered left hand just ahead of the tag to put the Nats up 1-0.

It stayed that way until the fifth. With one out, Denard Span singled up the middle and went to second as Anthony Rendon drew a base on balls. Jayson Werth’s line drive single to center brought home Span.

Span set the Nationals’ record for most multi-hit games in a season with 58 and tied Christian Guzman’s team record for hits in a season with 183. Obviously, Span has one more game to stand alone.

But the rally ended there. Adam LaRoche grounded out to short, and after an Ian Desmond walk, Bryce Harper struck out swinging to end the frame.

Strasburg was done after six terrific innings on just 83 pitches, 55 for strikes. He gave up a nere two base hits and walked one with seven strikeouts. He generated eight ground ball outs opposed to two fly outs. With six scoreless innings Saturday, Strasburg finished the regular season with 20 consecutive scoreless innings pitched.

After Jerry Blevins pitched a perfect seventh inning and Tyler Clippard a 20-pitch scoreless eighth, the Nationals blew the game open in bottom of the eighth.

Ryan Zimmerman — who entered in the sixth at first base — and Ian Desmond singled, then Bryce Harper drew a walk to load the bases with no outs. Wilson Ramos forced Zimmerman at home with a grounder to short, but Asdrubal Cabrera drilled a double to right center that cleared the bases to put the Nats up 5-0.

In the ninth, Drew Storen loaded the bases with a pair of one-out singles and an error by Zimmerman, and another error by Rendon allowed a run to come home. But Ian Desmond snared Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s line drive up the middle to end it without further angst.

Washington Nationals Game 147 Review: Nats Rain Runs in Win Over Mets

HARPER HOMERS AS NATS BLOWOUT METS

As a steady rain fell over Citi Field on Saturday night, the Washington Nationals poured runs on the New York Mets the whole night through, winning the third of a four-game series, 10-3.

The Nats reduced their “magic number” to clinch the division to six games over the Braves, and can eliminate them as early as Tuesday.

In the top of the second inning, Bryce Harper (3-for-4, 2 RBI) put the Nationals on the board with a towering home run that came back to earth half way up the upper deck in right field. Ian Desmond (3-for-4, 3 RBI) who walked to reach base, scored on the play as well to give the Nationals an early 2-0 lead. [Read more...]

Statistically Speaking: Bryce Harper’s Hot Hitting

Bryce Harper sporting his fantastic stirrups (1st inning) - Atlanta Braves v. Washington Nationals, 8/22/2012. (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Bryce Harper bats against Atlanta Braves in 2012. (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

It’s another table-filled post this week at Statistically Speaking, but in a welcome twist, this week’s data dump and analysis will be looking at hitting, and in particular, the resurgent swinging of Bryce Harper. It’s been a lost season of sorts for Harper, with the lion’s share of the year spent recovering (disabled list and otherwise) from a torn ligament in his left thumb.

Not only has it been a long row to hoe from the anatomical aspects of the injury and surgical procedure involved, but also one from a mechanical and timing perspective of his prodigious but oftentimes complicated swing. Even with a clean bill of health, missing significant time and having an injury to the hand have briefly made Harper’s swing a bit of a reclamation project, with stretches seen where his mechanics were inconsistent, erratic, and ever-changing in an effort to once again find comfort and confidence in his hitting abilities.

[Read more...]

Washington Nationals Game 137 Review: Kershaw too much as Nats lose in L.A.

Sometimes you just have to tip your cap.

Clayton Kershaw, the best pitcher on the planet right now, dominated the Washington Nationals for eight innings to lead the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 4-1 win Tuesday night.

The Atlanta Braves were shut out by the Phillies again, so the Nats lead in the N.L. East remains at seven games. [Read more...]

Washington Nationals vs Los Angeles Dodgers Series Preview

After taking 2-of-3 from the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field, the Washington Nationals now head south for a three-game set with the Los Angeles Dodgers. [Read more...]

Washington Nationals Game 135 Review: Harper homers twice, Nats fall to M’s

HARPER GOES YARD TWICE, NATS STILL FALL TO MARINERS

On Sunday afternoon at Safeco Field, the Washington Nationals’ attempt to sweep the Seattle Mariners fell just short, as the Nats fell 5-3 despite a big day from young outfielder Bryce Harper.

Washington put the game’s first points on the board, scoring in three consecutive innings. [Read more...]

Washington Nationals Game 133 Recap: Nats Blast Past Mariners

SIX HOMER NIGHT POWERS NATIONALS TO VICTORY

In their first trip back to Seattle since 2008, the Washington Nationals – powered by six homers – defeated the Mariners 8-3 to improve to 10-0 overall since 2005 against the A.L. West ball club.

The Nationals entered the game on a three-game skid and facing one of the league’s best pitchers in Felix Hernandez. On this night, however, Washington had the upper hand. [Read more...]

Washington Nationals Game 129 Review: Phillies Defeat Nats in Pitchers Duel

ROARK, BURNETT ENGAGE IN PITCHERS DUEL IN PHILLY

Playing in Citizens Bank Park in the City of Brotherly Love, the Washington Nationals suffered their second defeat in their last 14 games, losing to the Philadelphia Phillies, 3-2. [Read more...]

Washington Nationals vs Philadelphia Phillies Series Preview

After dramatically taking two-of-three from the San Francisco Giants, the Washington Nationals now head north for a three-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies. [Read more...]

Washington Nationals Game 128 Review: Nats Blow Past Giants, Win Series

BEHIND A SIX-RUN SIXTH, NATIONALS TAKE 2-OF-3 FROM SAN FRANCISCO

In front of 35,000-plus at Nationals Park on a beautiful Sunday afternoon for baseball, the Washington Nationals defeated the San Francisco Giants by a score of 14-6 to end their 10-game homestand. [Read more...]

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