December 17, 2018

Washington Nationals Game 9 Review: Nats complete sweep of Sox with 7-4 win

The Washington Nationals haven’t lost at home yet this season. Led by five innings of competency by starter Dan Haren, a timely big hit by Ryan Zimmerman, and a few shut-down innings by the bullpen, the Nats ran their overall record to a stellar 7-2 win a 7-4 win over the Chicago White Sox, before a crowd of 24,785 at Nationals Park.

After two home series sweeps, the Nats clean slate will be challenged by division rival Atlanta over the weekend. But for now, that pristine 6-0 record at home is pretty to look at.

The Nats took a bit of a different tack to win Thursday night’s game — at least on offense. Where the home run has been integral so far in the young season, the Nats pieced together an attack against the Sox rookie hurler Dylan Axelrod. The Nats made Axelrod work and forced him from the game early. Of course, Nats starter Dan Haren threw a lot of pitches too, but did a better job than his counterpart limiting the damage.

Haren (W, 1-1, 9.00), to his credit, did not walk a batter, though he did give up 10 hits in his five innings of work. He struck out five in the effort and held the Sox to three earned runs despite pitching in and out of trouble all night.

The Nats scored first in this one. With one out in the first, Jayson Werth singled after on the tenth pitch of his at bat. After Bryce Harper popped up, Werth stole second ahead of Ryan Zimmerman drawing a base on balls. The next batter, Adam LaRoche, singled to the opposite field to plate Werth and give Haren something to work with.

That didn’t last long, unfortunately, as Paul Konerko led off the second with a single, took third on Conor Gillaspie’s double to right field, and scored on Tyler Flowers’ ground out to short.

Washington’s attack went back to it in the third off Axelrod (L, 0-1, 5.79). Denard Span led off with a single, stole second and took third on Werth’s fly out to right field. Harper singled to center to score Span and give the lead back to the Nats. Zimmerman drew another walk and LaRoche did as well to load the bases. Ian Desmond delivered Harper with a sacrifice fly to center to put the Nats up 3-1.

Chicago came right back in the fourth off Haren. Gillaspie singled to lead off and went to second on Axelrod’s botched sacrifice that ended up a bunt single. Alejandro De Aza singled to right to plate Gillaspie and Axelrod moved up to third when the throw missed the cut off man. Jeff Keppinger followed with a single to left, scoring Axelrod to tie it back up.

But the Nats were undaunted and continued to peck away in the bottom of the inning. Haren helped himself out with a one-out double and took third on Werth’s single with two outs. Axelrod started Harper off 1-0 then uncorked a wild pitch, which scored Haren. Axelrod then gave Harper an intentional walk — the first of his career — to bring up Zimmerman again.

The veteran third baseman got into a 3-2 count before making Axlerod pay and delivering big time — a double to right field that scored both Werth and Harper. The hit turned what was a back-and-forth affair into a good lead for the home team.

The Sox picked up their fourth run of the night in the sixth inning off reliever Ryan Mattheus, with Adam Dunn doubling in De Aza, who had singled earlier in the inning. Mattheus pitched two innings and struck out three. He allowed the one run on two hits and a walk.

The Nats got that run back later, with Harper driving in Span on a two-out single to provide the 7-4 final score.

All that was left was for Tyler Clippard to pitch a scoreless eighth and Rafael Soriano to toss a clean ninth inning to record his fifth save of the season.

THE GOOD: Ryan Zimmerman. 1-for-2 with two walks, but the hit was a big one, breaking the game open. Can’t imagine too many folks are going to be willing to put Harper on ahead of Zimmerman this season.

THE BAD: Wilson Ramos went 0-for-4 with a K.

THE UGLY: Danny Espinosa went 0-for-3 with a strikeout, lowering his April average to .182, before being lifted in a double switch late in the game.

THE STATS: 10 hits, 6 BBs, 6 Ks. 5-for-11 with RISP, 8 LOB. No errors, no DPs.

NEXT GAME: Friday night, April 12 against the Atlanta Braves (8-1) at 7:05 pm. Ross Detwiler (0-0, 0.00) hosts Julio Teheran (0-0, 9.00).

Washington Nationals Game 8 Review: Zimmermann grounds Sox into submission

Jordan Zimmermann normally pitches in the shadows of more heralded teammates, but if he continues his early pace, he’ll make plenty of headlines for himself as the season progresses. Wednesday night, before a crowd of 24,586 at Nationals Park, Zimmermann held the powerful Chicago White Sox lineup in check, leading the Nats to a 5-2 victory and a 6-2 record after eight games.

The Nats were powered by Bryce Harper, who hit his fourth home run of the season, and Ian Desmond, who went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and a triple.

As with Game One of this series, the White Sox got out in front in the top of the first. Jeff Keppinger singled with one out and went to third on Alex Rois’ double into the left field corner. Former Nats Adam Dunn pushed the run home with a ground out to second base to put the Sox up 1-0.

The Nats took the lead in the fourth inning. Bryce Harper crushed the first pitch of the inning from White Sox starter Gavin Floyd into the second deck in right field to loudly tie the game at one. After Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche went down on strikes, Ian Desmond hit his second double of the game, then scored on Danny Espinosa’s RBI single to give the Nats a 2-1 lead.

The Nats were back at it in the fifth. Jayson Werth lined a single to left and took third on Harper’s clean single to right. Zimmerman then took one of Floyd’s cutter’s to right — going with the pitch — and brought home Werth to stretch the Nats lead to 3-1.

Chicago got one back in the sixth off Zimmermann. Alejandro De Aza doubled to the right field corner, took third on Keppinger’s ground out to second and scored on Rios’ ground out to deep short.

But the Nats were undaunted and got that run right back — and more — in the bottom of the inning. Desmond led off with a triple off the wall in left center and scored on Espinosa’s double into the right field corner to make it 4-2. Kurt Suzuki drew his third walk of the game (one intentional) and Zimmermann move dup both runners with a successful sacrifice. White Sox manager Robin Ventura went for his lefty specialist, Donnie Veal, to face Span.

Span hit a sharp grounder to short with a drawn-in infield, but Alexei Ramirez couldn’t handle the scorcher and all hands were safe. Espinosa brought in the Nats fifth run of the night and Veal then got the hook as well. he rally ended when new reliever Nate Jones coaxed a double play grounder to third from Werth to end the frame with the Nats up 5-2.

Zimmermann departed after seven strong innings. The right-hander allowed two earned runs and spaced seven hits in his efficient 90-pitch effort. He walked none and struck out four, generating 10 ground outs.

 Drew Storen pitched an uneventful eighth inning and Rafael Soriano nailed down his fourth save of the young season.

THE GOOD: Jordan Zimmermann. With the win, he’s 7-0 with a 2.91 ERA in his last 13 starts at Nats Park. His last home loss was May 17, 2012 against Pittsburgh.

THE BAD: The Nats struck out 11 times and the only walks were drawn by Suzuki, including an intentional pass.

THE UGLY: Nothing particularly ugly in this one.

THE STATS: 11 hits, 3 BBs, 11 Ks. 4-for-10 with RISP, 7 LOB. No errors, 1 DP (Desmond-Espinosa-LaRoche).

NEXT GAME: Thursday at 7:05 pm against the White Sox. Dan Haren (0-1, 13.50) hosts Dylan Axelrod (0-0, 0.00).

Photos: White Sox v. Nats, April 9

The Washington Nationals defeated the Chicago White Sox 8-7 on Tuesday, April 9, 2013. You can read DSP’s game re-cap here.

Here are a just few photos of last night’s game with descriptions under pictures. All photos were taken from the stands. Enjoy and feel free to leave comments! Thanks.

Photo 1 of 6: Gio Gonzalez singles to right field, but tried to get the double. He repeated Bryce Harper from earlier in game. - Chicago White Sox v. Washington Nationals, 4/9/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Photo 1 of 6: Gio Gonzalez singles to right field, but tried to get the double. He repeated Bryce Harper from earlier in game. – Chicago White Sox v. Washington Nationals, 4/9/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Photo 2 of 6: Gio  Gonzalez singles to right field, but tried to get the double. He repeated Bryce Harper from earlier in game. - Chicago White Sox v. Washington Nationals, 4/9/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Photo 2 of 6: Gio Gonzalez singles to right field, but tried to get the double. He repeated Bryce Harper from earlier in game. – Chicago White Sox v. Washington Nationals, 4/9/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Photo 3 of 6: Gio  Gonzalez singles to right field, but tried to get the double. He repeated Bryce Harper from earlier in game. - Chicago White Sox v. Washington Nationals, 4/9/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Photo 3 of 6: Gio Gonzalez singles to right field, but tried to get the double. He repeated Bryce Harper from earlier in game. – Chicago White Sox v. Washington Nationals, 4/9/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

 

Photo 4 of 6: Gio  Gonzalez singles to right field, but tried to get the double. He repeated Bryce Harper from earlier in game. - Chicago White Sox v. Washington Nationals, 4/9/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Photo 4 of 6: Gio Gonzalez singles to right field, but tried to get the double. He repeated Bryce Harper from earlier in game. – Chicago White Sox v. Washington Nationals, 4/9/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Photo 5 of 6: Gio  Gonzalez singles to right field, but tried to get the double. He repeated Bryce Harper from earlier in game. - Chicago White Sox v. Washington Nationals, 4/9/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Photo 5 of 6: Gio Gonzalez singles to right field, but tried to get the double. He repeated Bryce Harper from earlier in game. – Chicago White Sox v. Washington Nationals, 4/9/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

 

Photo 6 of 6: Gio  Gonzalez singles to right field, but tried to get the double. He repeated Bryce Harper from earlier in game. - Chicago White Sox v. Washington Nationals, 4/9/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Photo 6 of 6: Gio Gonzalez singles to right field, but tried to get the double. He repeated Bryce Harper from earlier in game. – Chicago White Sox v. Washington Nationals, 4/9/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

 

 

Former Nat Adam Dunn - Chicago White Sox v. Washington Nationals, 4/9/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Former Nat Adam Dunn – Chicago White Sox v. Washington Nationals, 4/9/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

 

Denard Span and Jayson Werth after Werth's home run - Chicago White Sox v. Washington Nationals, 4/9/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Denard Span and Jayson Werth after Werth’s home run – Chicago White Sox v. Washington Nationals, 4/9/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

 

Jayson Werth hit the 500 career RBI mark -  Chicago White Sox v. Washington Nationals, 4/9/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Jayson Werth hit the 500 career RBI mark -
Chicago White Sox v. Washington Nationals, 4/9/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

 

Ian Desmond hustling back to first - Chicago White Sox v. Washington Nationals, 4/9/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Ian Desmond hustling back to first – Chicago White Sox v. Washington Nationals, 4/9/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Ryan Zimmerman congratulating Adam LaRoche on 2-run homer - Chicago White Sox v. Washington Nationals, 4/9/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Ryan Zimmerman congratulating Adam LaRoche on 2-run homer – Chicago White Sox v. Washington Nationals, 4/9/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

I think I would fall over if I tried to lift my leg this high - Drew Storen - Chicago White Sox v. Washington Nationals, 4/9/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

I think I would fall over if I tried to lift my leg this high – Drew Storen – Chicago White Sox v. Washington Nationals, 4/9/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

 

Washington Nationals Game 7 Review: Nats survive homer-fest with 8-7 win over Sox

Ryan Zimmerman congratulating Adam LaRoche on 2-run homer - Chicago White Sox v. Washington Nationals, 4/9/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Ryan Zimmerman congratulating Adam LaRoche on 2-run homer – Chicago White Sox v. Washington Nationals, 4/9/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

With 15 teams in each league now, interleague play will be a necessity almost every night of the season. The Washington Nationals started their interleague rations with a win Tuesday night, outlasting the A.L. Central Chicago White Sox 8-7 before 24,412 at Nationals Park. There were a combined six home runs in the affair, with Adam LaRoche clubbing a pair.

The scoring started in the top of the first. Gio Gonzalez toughed out a first inning where he loaded the bases on two hits and a walk while throwing 33 pitches. He almost got out of the frame unscathed but a two-strike balk while pitching to Alexei Ramirez brought in Jeff Keppinger to give the White Sox an early 1-0 lead.

The Nats tied it up in the fourth. Denard Span singled to lead off, took third on Bryce Harper’s single to right, and scored on Ryan Zimmerman’s fly out to medium deep right field.

Ian Desmond launched a no-doubt-about-it shot over the visiting bullpen to lead off the fifth and give the Nats a 2-1 lead.

Gonzalez, despite not having his best stuff, made it through five innings with a lead. He threw 99 pitches, 57 of which were strikes. He gave up just the one run on four hits and two walks, striking out seven.

That lead wouldn’t last, however. In the top of the sixth, Alex Rios lined an 0-2 pitch from reliever Craig Stammen to center to lead off the frame. He stole second and took third on Wilson Ramos’ throwing error as the ball ended up in short right center field. Paul Konerko lofted a fly to deep center that delivered Rios, leaving Gonzalez without a decision. Stammen gave up two more singles in the frame but escaped without further damage.

But the Nats had more damage left in their bats. Span led off the sixth with a double to the right field corner. Jayson Werth, who flied out to the deepest part of center field his first time up, made no mistake about it the next time, clobbering one into the left field bleachers to put the Nats back up by two.

After a Harper strikeout, Zimmerman walked to bring up Adam LaRoche, who to that point was hitless in 15 at bats this season. He crushed a 1-1 offering from Jake Peavy to straightaway center for his first hit and home run of 2013 and a 6-2 Nats lead.

 The White Sox wouldn’t go quietly though. Tyler Clippard came on for the seventh inning as was roughed up. With one out, Alejandro De Aza walked, followed by a single from Jeff Keppinger. Clippard retired Alex Rios on a foul to first base, but Paul Konerko unloaded on a 1-0 fastball, sending it half way up the stands in left field to cut the Nats lead to one at 6-5.

The Nats got an insurance run in the bottom half of the seventh. Steve Lombardozzi drew a one-out walk pinch-hitting for the pitcher’s spot and went to third on an errant pick-off throw by reliever Donnie Veal. After walk by Span, Werth coaxed a ground ball through the left side for a single, which plated Lombardozzi to stretch the Nats lead back to two at 7-5.

But the scoring wasn’t quite over, as LaRoche added his second hit of the night, his second homer of the season, in the eighth inning to deliver another important insurance run and make the score 8-5.

LaRoche’s home run loomed large, as Alex Rois treated Rafael Soriano rather rudely, mashing a two-run home in the top of the ninth to extend his personal homer streak to four games and cut the lead to 8-7. But Soriano got Korerko to fly to center to end the game and send nervous Nats fans home with a smile.

THE GOOD: Adam LaRoche. He broke out in a big way, including mashing his second homer against a lefty relief specialist.

THE BAD: Danny Espinosa. 0-for-4 with a K. Now hitting .154/.214/.269.

THE UGLY: Tyler Clippard. Three runs on two hits and a walk in one inning. Not up to his usual par.

THE STATS: 13 hits, 3 BBs, 4 LOB. 2-for-4 with RISP. E: Ramos (1). 1 DP.

NEXT GAME: Wednesday vs. White Sox at 7:05 pm. Jordan Zimmermann (1-0, 1.50) hosts Gavin Floyd (0-1, 3.00)

FORMER NATS: Adam Dunn Named 2012 AL Comeback Player of the Year

Congratulations to former Washington Nationals First Baseman Adam Dunn!

The Chicago White Sox first baseman/designated hitter was named the 2012 Players Choice American League Comeback Player of the Year.

Dunn was also named AL Comeback Player of the Year by The Sporting News.

Adam Dunn in Washington Nationals dugout 2010 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

 

FORMER NATS: Adam Dunn Named The Sporting News AL Comeback Player of the Year

Congratulations to former Washington Nationals First Baseman Adam Dunn!

Adam Dunn was named the American League Comeback Player of the Year by The Sporting News.

Dunn, 32, batted .204 (110-539) with 41 home runs, 96 RBI, 105 walks and 87 runs scored in 151 games with the White Sox in 2012.

Adam Dunn in Washington Nationals dugout 2010 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

NATS/P-NATS: Potomac Nationals Release 35th Anniversary Team

The Potomac Nationals, the current Class A-Advanced affiliate for the Washington Nationals, play at Pfitnzer Stadium in Woodbridge, Virginia, however, have been tied to several other teams and many elite baseball players over the last thirty five years.

The team released the “35th Anniversary Team” roster (listed below). Adam Kennedy is the only player on the roster to have played for the Washington Nationals, but played for the Prince William Cannons as the St. Louis Cardinals affiliate.

Like any other all-star type of list, there are snubs. Biggest snub here? Joey Votto. He lost out to Albert Pujols. Check back with the 50th Anniversary team to see if Votta takes over the 1B slot.

Cover of August 2012 Potomac Nationals Game Day Program

Potomac Nationals 35th Anniversary Logo

Potomac Nationals Release 35th Anniversary Team

MVPs Albert Pujols, Barry Bonds Highlight All-Time Alexandria/Prince William/Potomac Franchise Best

(WOODBRIDGE, VA) – The Potomac Nationals announced their 35th Anniversary Team last night at Pfitzner Stadium. The team features arguably the best two hitters of this generation in Albert Pujols and Barry Bonds.

The fans voted Jorge Posada as the best catcher in franchise history. A five-time All-Star, Posada played in 17 seasons with the New York Yankees. He hit 275 homers with over 1000 RBI in 1,829 games all with the Bronx Bombers. Posada played in seven World Series winning five World Championships with New York retiring after the 2011 season. In 1993 as a Prince William Yankee, Posada hit .259 with 17 homers and 17 stolen bases in 118 games as a 21-year old.

Three-time NL MVP Albert Pujols beat out 2010 NL MVP Joey Votto to be voted the best first baseman in franchise history. A two-time World Champion, Pujols has been named an all-star nine of his first 12 years in the big leagues. His .325 career average is the best of any current major leaguer and Pujols has recorded 99 or more RBI in each full season while also hitting at least 32 home runs. Playing for the 2000 Potomac Cannons, Pujols hit .284 over 21 games. After just three games in AAA, Pujols earned 2001 NL Rookie of the Year and finished fourth in MVP voting.

In the closest race of any position, current Los Angeles Dodger Adam Kennedy was named the second baseman for the team. A 14-year MLB veteran, Kennedy was part of the 2002 World Champion Anahiem Angels hitting .312 for the Halos in the regular season before being named 2002 ALCS MVP. Kennedy played in 52 games over 1997 and 1998 for the Prince William Cannons as a Cardinal affiliate sporting a .296 average with 34 RBI.

Rafael Belliard barely beat out Jack Wilson to be voted the franchise all-time shortstop. Belliard played in 17 season for Pittsburgh and and Atlanta. He played on six playoff teams with the Braves including the 1995 World Series Champion club. The only Alexandria Duke on the team, Belliard stole 42 bases in 1981 as a 20-year old in the Carolina League.

Six-time All-Star Bobby Bonilla was voted the third baseman. Bonilla was a career .279 hitter for 16 years with nine different teams. He twice finished top 3 in MVP voting and played for six playoff teams including the 1997 World Champion Florida Marlins. As a member of the 1985 Prince William Pirates, Bonilla hit .262 in 39 games in his final year of minor league baseball along side Barry Bonds.

Top position player vote getter Bernie Williams patrols center field for the franchise team. Williams was a key cog for four Yankees World Championship teams playing all 16 years in the bigs with New York. He was named to five straight All-Star games from 1997-2001 helping the Yankees to 12 straight playoff appearances from 1995 to 2006. Williams finished his career with 2,336 hits and a .297 average. He played in 121 playoff games and was named 1996 ALCS MVP. In 1988 with the Prince William Yankees, Williams had 113 hits in just 92 games hitting .335 to go along with 29 steals as a 19-year old in the Carolina League.

Considered the greatest left fielder of all-time, Home Run King Barry Bonds is the left fielder for the team. In a career that spanned 22 seasons with Pittsburgh and San Francisco, Bonds set all-time marks in home runs (762), walks (2,558) and intentional walks (688). He also won a record seven NL MVPs while playing in 14 All-Star games earning 12 starts. Bonds holds the all-time single season records in home runs (73, 2001), OBP (.609, 2004), Slugging (.863, 2001), OPS (1.421, 2003), walks (232, 2004) and intentional walks (120, 2004). Bonds also finished his career with 514 stolen bases to be the only member of the 400/400 and 500/500 clubs. Bonds played his first professional baseball game as a 1985 Prince William Pirate. He finished his time in Woodbridge hitting .299 with 13 homers and 15 stolen bases in 71 games.

Recently retired Magglio Ordonez is the lone representative from the Chicago White Sox era as a Prince William affiliate on the team as it’s right fielder. Named to six All-Star teams, Ordonez finished his career of 15 years with the White Sox and Tigers as a .309 hitter. He won the 2007 AL Batting Crown hitting .363 and drove in 100 or more runs in seven years. Ordonez played with the 1995 Prince William Cannons hitting 12 homers over 131 games as a 21-year old.

The team includes two pitchers including leading vote getter Andy Pettitte. Currently back with the Yankees, Pettitte has played in eight World Series (seven with New York, one with Houston) over the course of his 17 year career. The lefty has finished in the top six of Cy Young voting five times and started a record 42 playoff games. His 243 career wins is the most of any active pitcher. Pettitte, pitching primarily to Jorge Posada, won a team-high 11 games sporting a 3.04 ERA for the 1993 Prince William Yankees.

Righty Dan Haren rounds out the All-time team as the second pitcher. A current member of the the LA Angels, Haren has been named to three All-Star games over ten seasons with four organizations. Haren has led the majors in K/BB radio three time while also leading the league in starts three times. As a Cardinals farmhand with the 2002 Potomac Cannons, Haren had a 3.62 ERA over 14 starts striking out 82 batters in 92 innings.

Potomac Franchise 35th Anniversary Team

C – Jorge Posada (1993)
1B – Albert Pujols (2000)
2B – Adam Kennedy (1997-8)
SS – Rafael Belliard (1981)
3B – Roberto Bonilla (1985)
OF – Bernie Williams (1988)
OF – Barry Bonds (1985)
OF – Magglio Ordonez (1995)
P – Andy Pettitte (1993)
P – Dan Haren (2002)

%d bloggers like this: