October 25, 2014

Washington Nationals Game 150 Review: Nats walk off against Kimbrel to take Game 1 of doubleheader

In a game postponed to Tuesday afternoon due to Monday’s horrific tragedy at Navy Yard, the Washington Nationals brought baseball back to the District in an incredible 6-5 walk-off win over the Atlanta Braves in Game One of a day-night doubleheader.

If the newly returned 60-degree weather didn’t stir up nostalgia for October baseball, the Nats’ fight to overcome a blown lead against one of the League’s most dominant closers served as a reminder that Washington’s boys of summer are down, but not out.

At least, not officially.

With the Game One win, the Nats sit 4 ½ games out of the second NL Wild Card spot, trailing the Cincinnati Reds, who face Houston tonight.

Come hell or high water, there is baseball left to be played in D.C.

A day on which the words, “Let’s play ball” were preceded by a stirring moment of silence to honor the victims of the lives lost just blocks away from Nationals Park, the Nats did what little they could to return a piece of normality back to the capital.

With 3.1 percent odds to make it into the playoffs, the Nats started Tuesday’s game with a three-run advantage against Atlanta starter Michael Minor. After Denard Span and Ryan Zimmerman drew back-to-back walks, Jayson Werth doubled and Bryce Harper hit an RBI grounder. Then, Adam LaRoche singled home Werth before the third out was recorded. [Read more...]

Washington Nationals Game 97 Review: Offense leaves 12 on base in 3-1 loss to Dodgers

The Washington Nationals received a terrific pitching performance from their starter, but the offense stranded runners seemingly in every inning, and the Los Angeles Dodgers found just enough hitting against the bullpen to beat the Nats 3-1 in ten innings, before 41,816 at Nationals Park, a sellout and eighth-highest attendance this season.

It was the Nats seventh loss in their last nine games.

The Nationals left 12 men on base, and went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position. They fall to 48-49 for the season, mired in third place in the N.L. East. The only saving grace for the Nats was that Atlanta and Philadelphia both lost earlier in the day, thus they did not lose any ground in the N.L. East standings.

For the better part of Saturday night’s game, Gio Gonzalez and Zack Greinke traded zeroes on the scoreboard, albeit using vastly different methods. Greinke allowed base runners at every instance, escaping big innings by stranding runners in just about every inning. Gonzalez, on the other hand, had a big strikeout night and generally did not face much difficulty at all keeping the Dodgers hitters at bay.

They both departed after six innings, with the Nats clinging to a very tenuous 1-0 lead.

But Craig Stammen continued his struggles of late, allowing two runs in the tenth, as the Dodgers beat the Nats for the second straight night coming out of the All-Star break.

Gonzalez was the star of the night for the Nats. On a brutally hot and muggy night, the Florida native fed off the sweaty conditions to pitch six unassailable innings, striking out a career high 11 in the process. Gonzalez, who threw 61 of his 98 pitches for strikes, gave up just four hits and two walks. lowering his ERA to 2.89 for the season.

The Nats broke through against Greinke in the sixth inning. With two outs, Chad Tracy singled to right, his third hit of the night off Greinke. Wilson Ramos then drew a walk, moving Tracy up. Manager Davey Johnson asked Roger Bernadina to pinch-hit for Gonzalez, and the little-used and slumping outfielder came through in a big spot, delivering a broken-bat single to short right field to plate Tracy with the game’s first run.

The Dodgers got that run right back in the top of the seventh against embattled reliever Drew Storen. With two outs, Skip Schumaker pinch-hit for Greinke and smashed a double to deep center field. He scored on Mark Ellis’ soft single to left field, eliciting boos from the gathered crowd.

The teams went back to trading outs again until the tenth inning. Craig Stammen allowed back-to-back doubles by Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez to break the tie. Ramirez was moved up to third on Juan Uribe’s sacrifice, and Stammen was lifted in favor of Ian Krol. But the Dodgers got a sacrifice fly from Andre Ethier to score Ramirez to give the Dodgers a 3-1 lead.

THE GOOD: Gio, obviously. But Chad Tracy gets recognition for his three-hit night. Tracy entered the game hitting .149/.187/.276 for the season and was 5-for-36 back to June 1. Ryan Zimmerman had three hits as well.

THE BAD: For the second straight night with runners in scoring position, Bryce Harper struck out against lefty reliever Paco Rodriguez. Much has been made of the #Nats struggles against lefties this season, and Harper is no exception, hitting just .182/.286/.318 against southpaws.

THE UGLY: 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position. 1. For. 12.

THE STATS: 10 hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks. 1-for-12 with RISP, 12 LOB. E: Zimmerman (15, throw), Tracy (3, catch).

NEXT GAME: Sunday at 1:35 pm against the Dodgers. Jordan Zimmermann (12-4, 2.58) hosts Clayton Kershaw (8-6, 1.98).

NATS NOTES: Before the game, manager Davey Johnson told beat reporters that LHP Ross Detwiler, on the 15-day D.L. with a strained muscle in his lower back, not only will not return for his turn in the rotation this week, but could miss a couple more weeks. Detwiler threw a bullpen session before Tuesday’s game and both Johnson and GM Mike Rizzo were not enthusiastic about getting their left-handed back into the pennant chase.

“We’re going to definitely have him not rush back out, force him, push him,” Johnson told the assembled media before Saturday’s game. “He’s a gutty young man. He’d take the ball and go out there the way he is. But we want him to have no discomfort. He’s got too great a future.”

Washington Nationals Game 95 Review: Nats top Marlins in extras; enter All-Star break above .500

Frustrated by the Washington Nationals’ poor road stretch, Davey Johnson rearranged the batting order for Sunday’s series finale against the Miami Marlins, and it paid off in the form of a 5-2 extra-innings victory.

With Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon at the top of the order and Denard Span dropped down to seventh, Span himself made the most of the new plan of attack.

The slumping center fielder went 3-for-5 with one run and two RBIs, including the go-ahead RBI double in the tenth.

The day began with an all-too-familiar song-and-dance. [Read more...]

Washington Nationals Game 69 Review: Chad Tracy’s homer too little, too late as Nats fall to Phils 5-4

In a matchup between two over-5.00 ERA pitchers on two teams struggling to find the .500 mark, the Philadelphia Phillies (34-37) topped the Washington Nationals (34-35) 5-4 in walk-off fashion Monday night.

It’s been a frustrating road trip for the Nats, who have managed to win three of seven thus far despite their offensive woes.

With former National John Lannan (ND, 0-1) on the mound for the Phillies, Washington had a legitimate shot at erasing memories of Sunday afternoon’s frustrating loss to the Cleveland Indians.

In fact, the Nats struck first – and early – against Lannan. With one out in the first inning, Anthony Rendon drew a walk before Ryan Zimmerman took first on a hit-by-pitch. Jayson Werth singled to left to drive in Rendon and give the Nats a 1-0 lead before Ian Desmond grounded into a double play to cut the inning short. [Read more...]

Washington Nationals Game 42 Review: #GoonSquad

The Washington Nationals got power production from the middle of their lineup Friday night against San Diego, but when it counted… finally… the bench came through, as Chad Tracy’s pinch-hit home run in the top of the tenth inning led the Nats over the Padres 6-5 to take the first two games of the four-game set at Petco Park.

This game had a little of everything: bad starting pitching, good starting pitching, good defense, not-so-good defense. Timely hitting… well, you get the point. But homers by Adam LaRoche (two on the night), Ryan Zimmerman and, ultimately, Chad Tracy, paced the Nats offense and led them to victory.

Gio Gonzalez got the start for the Nats (23-19), and it looked to start with like we were going to get “Bad Gio”, as he allowed two runs in the bottom of the first on a couple of walks, a steal, a single, and a throwing error by Bryce Harper. What made matters worse was that the Nats were doing their best to stay off the bases completely against Padres rookie starter Burch Smith, striking out whenever they had the chance.

After Gio righted the ship, the Nats finally broke through on Smith in the top of the fourth inning. Harper singled to right and too second on Ryan Zimmerman’s single to left. Adam LaRoche stepped up and continued his hot streak, homering for the third game in a row with a massive clout to center.

The Nats tacked on two more in the sixth, with Zimmerman (2) and LaRoche (7) going back-to-back, chasing Smith from the game, making it 5-2.

Jedd Gyorko homered in the bottom of the frame to cut the Nats lead to two.

It stayed that way until the bottom of the ninth. Rafael Soriano came on to close the game out, but was victimized by some poor defense and lucky hits. With one out, Chris Denorfia grounded one toward the hole. Zimmerman ranged to his left and make a clean pickup, but threw to the inside of the bag, drawing LaRoche off first. Soriano got Everth Cabrera to fly to center for the second out, but Chase Headley singled to right to plate Denorfia to make it 5-4. Yonder Alonso pinch-hit and singled to right to make it first-and-third, then Kyle Blanks hit a soft line drive to right to score Headley to tie the game.

Huston Street entered for the Padres (18-23), but with two outs he left a changeup in the middle of the plate and Chad Tracy delivered, with the first pinch-hit RBI of the season for the Nats, driving the change into the right-center bullpen to break the tie.

Despite some nervous moments in the bottom of the frame. Drew Storen hung on for his first save of the season, despite allowing two singles in the inning.

THE GOOD: Adam LaRoche. Welcome back.

THE BAD: Danny Espinosa. 0-for-4, 3 Ks. I might have to retire “The Bad” until Danny gets his shoulder fixed.

THE UGLY: 15 strikeouts. 15! I know that these days no one has a stigma about striking out, but seriously, 15 Ks?!?

THE STATS: 7 hits, 2 BBs, 15 Ks. 1-for-3 with RISP, 3 LOB. E: Harper (3, throw), Gonzalez (1, throw), Zimmerman (9, throw). No DPs.

NEXT GAME: Saturday at 8:40 pm ET against the Padres. Jordan Zimmermann (7-1, 1.69) faces Eric Stultz (3-3. 4.57).

Washington Nationals Spring Training: Nats’ pitching dominates in Rafael Soriano’s spring debut

The Washington Nationals’ relievers combined for six scoreless innings of baseball, allowing only two hits and one walk in the Nats’ 7-1 win over the Houston Astros Tuesday afternoon.

In his long-awaited spring debut with the Nationals, Rafael Soriano struck out Robbie Grossman and allowed only one hit in one inning of action.

Aside from a double off the bat of Chad Tracy, not a single player in Nationals uniform enjoyed an extra-base hit against Houston pitching, and yet the Nats were able to post seven runs – including five runs in the sixth inning off four singles and smart base-running.

Dan Haren started strong, retiring the side in both the first and second innings.  In the third, he allowed Carlos Corporan to single on a line drive to right field. Matt Dominquez flied to right in the next at-bat, but Marwin Gonzalez advanced Corporan on a grounder to Adam LaRoche at first. [Read more...]

Washington Nationals 2013 Season Preview: The Infield

This week, District Sports Page will take a look at the players that should comprise the 2013 roster of the Washington Nationals. Following a record-setting season last year that saw the Nats finish first in the N.L. East and advance to the playoffs for the first time since the relocation, GM Mike Rizzo has tweaked the roster a bit and expectations have never been higher for the organization, which is expected to be a legitimate World Series contender this season.

On Monday we broke down Nationals’ starters, Tuesday we evaluated the bullpen and Wednesday we looked at the outfielders. Here now is a preview of the infield.

PROJECTED OPENING DAY INFIELD: 1B–Adam LaRoche, 2B–Danny Espinosa, SS–Ian Desmond, 3B–Ryan Zimmerman. Bench: 2B/SS Steve Lombardozzi, 1B/3B Chad Tracy. First callups: 3B Carlos Rivero, 1B Chris Marrero, 2B Will Rhymes. On the Farm: 3B Anthony Rendon, 1B/3B Matt Skole, SS Zach Walters [Read more...]

NATS: 2013 NatsFest Details

Washington Nationals fans should check the website for updated information as all player appearances and activities are subject to change.

Ryan Zimmerman and fan at 2010 NatsFest (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Ryan Zimmerman and fan at 2010 NatsFest (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Nationals fan at 2010 NatsFest (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Nationals fan at 2010 NatsFest (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Washington Nationals GM Mike Rizzo answering fan questions at 2010 NatsFest (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Washington Nationals GM Mike Rizzo answering fan questions at 2010 NatsFest (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

WASHINGTON NATIONALS ANNOUNCE 2013 NATSFEST DETAILS

Event to take place Saturday, January 26 from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. at
Washington Convention Center

The Washington Nationals today released new details about 2013 NatsFest, taking place for the first time at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Saturday, January 26, 2013.

More than 25 Nationals players and prospects are expected to attend the fun-filled baseball festival, including but not limited to*: Corey Brown, Tyler Clippard, Ian Desmond, Ross Detwiler, Danny Espinosa, Christian Garcia, Gio Gonzalez, Brian Goodwin, Bryce Harper, Nathan Karns, Steve Lombardozzi, Ryan Mattheus, Tyler Moore, Michael Morse, Ryan Perry, Anthony Rendon, Will Rhymes, Matt Skole, Drew Storen, Kurt Suzuki, Chad Tracy, Jayson Werth and Jordan Zimmermann.

Nationals GM Mike Rizzo and Mark Lerner, one of the team’s Principal Owners, as well as team broadcasters Bob Carpenter, F.P. Santangelo, Charlie Slowes and Phil Wood will also be in attendance. In addition, Nationals fans will have the first opportunity to meet two of the team’s latest additions, Dan Haren and Denard Span. Please note that all autograph vouchers are SOLD OUT; autograph voucher holders are encouraged to visit nationals.com/natsfest for important information.

Open to fans of all ages from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m., NatsFest will offer a variety of activities including:
o Q & A sessions with players and coaches on topics including ‘Preparing for Games’ and ‘Life on the Road’

o Opportunities to take photos with players and team mascots

o A special Jr. Nats Kids Forum featuring Player Story Times and Kids Press Conferences

o The chance to learn about the team’s innovative virtual ticketing system

o Games, interactive events and surprises

The event will also feature:
o Live broadcast by 106.7 The Fan, the team’s official flagship radio station

o Opportunities to purchase the latest Nationals merchandise as well as game-used and autographed memorabilia

o Batting cages, inflatable games and 2012 trophy display

o D.J. Stylus Chris spinning music throughout the day

o Concessions for purchase

NatsFest will also offer fans the first opportunity to purchase individual and group tickets to see the Nationals take on the New York Yankees in a special preseason exhibition game on Friday, March 29 at 2:05 p.m. Tickets for NatsFest are currently on sale for Season Plan Holders at $15 for adults and $5 for children under the age of 12, and for the general public at $20 for adults and $10 for children under the age of 12 and can be purchased at nationals.com/natsfest.

Fans planning to utilize Metro’s Red Line to attend NatsFest are encouraged to add at least 20 minutes to their planned travel time due to scheduled weekend track maintenance. For directions and parking, visit the Convention Center website at www.dcconvention.com.

*All player appearances are subject to change

Washington Nationals Game 122 Review: Crazy play ends crazy game after 13 innings

“They had their chances. We had our chances. It was one of those games.” Nats manager Davey Johnson.

Dan Uggla fields the hard hit ball by Chad Tracy in the bottom of the 13th inning and could not make a clean play. Espinosa scores and Nats win – Atlanta Braves v. Washington Nationals, August 20, 2012, Nats win 5-4 in 13 innings. (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

The Washington Nationals have won some games this year in some unique ways, but last night’s topped them all.

Atlanta Braves second baseman Dan Uggla cleanly fielded pinch-hitter Chad Tracy’s ground ball in the bottom of the 13th inning. Then, well, who knows? [Read more...]

Washington Nationals activate Chad Tracy from D.L.

The Washington Nationals activated pinch-hitter/first baseman Chad Tracy from the disabled list in advance of their game Tuesday evening against the Philadelphia Phillies. The team optioned outfielder Corey Brown to Triple-A Syracuse in the corresponding move.

Tracy was manager Davey Johnson’s most impressive left-handed bat off the bench early in the season, but has only 55 plate appearances due to sports hernia surgery. Tracy was hitting .265/.327/.510 with three homers and 121 RBIs when he went down.

Brown hit his first Major League home run Saturday against the Milwaukee Brewers. He’s hit .188 in 17 plate appearances this season for the Nats. For Syracuse, Brown has hit .300/.384/.559 with 21 home runs and 58 RBIs in 95 games.

Chad Tracy has been excellent off of the bench for the Nats this season (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

%d bloggers like this: