November 20, 2017

Washington Nationals Offseason: Trade in place for Brandon Phillips

According to multiple sources, the Washington Nationals have a trade in place with the Cincinnati Reds to acquire right-handed hitting 2B Brandon Phillips, in exchange for a package of minor leaguers, at least according to ESPN’s Jim Bowden.

Those minor league names have yet to be divulged at the time of this post, but by the time you read this, the deal might very well be consummated. According to Phillips’ confirmed Twitter account: [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 83 Review: Nats can’t beat Reds, fall 3-2

SPAN AND ESCOBAR LEAVE THE LOSS EARLY WITH INJURIES

Casey Janssen allowed an eighth-inning home run to Eugenio Suarez which proved the difference, as the Washington Nationals fell to the Cincinnati Reds 3-2 before a crowd of 23,673 at Nationals Park.

The Reds reached Doug Fister for an unearned run in the second inning. With one out, Brayan Pena was safe at first on Fister’s throwing error of a squibber and went to second on the throw. Eugenio Suarez reached on an infield single, moving Pena to third. Suarez was picked off by Wilson Ramos on a botched hit and run, but pitcher Anthony DiSclafani laced a fastball into the left field corner for an RBI double. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Series Preview: Cincinnati Reds

After their holiday weekend sweep of the Giants, the Nationals (46-36) really seem to have found their stride. They allowed just five runs in the three-game series as they increased their lead in the National League East to four and a half games over the Mets.

In the penultimate series before the All Star break the Nationals will welcome the Cincinnati Reds (36-44) to Nationals Park. The Reds are floundering along in fourth place in the National League Central, giving fans nothing to look forward to other than the fact that Great American Ball Park will host next week’s All Star Game.

With the Nationals rolling and the Reds scuffling (they’re coming off a three-game sweep by the last-place Brewers) it would seem to be a recipe for success for Washington. Except there is a little matter of….

*The Last Time…

The Reds hosted the Nationals the last weekend in May in a similar situation. The Nats had taken two out of three in a competitive series with the Cubs and seemed to be about to run away with the division…and then the Reds swept them by scores of 5-2, 8-5, and 8-2. The Nationals are playing better baseball now than they were at the end of May…but they will have to go through Johnny Cueto in this series. Cueto was on the disabled list when the Nationals were in Cincinnati.

*In The Other Dugout

Cueto has had a stellar year so far on the mound, and at the plate no member of the Reds has been hotter than Todd Frazier. Frazier enters the series with 25 homers (tied for second in the National League with Bryce Harper) and 24 doubles (tied for the league lead with Anthony Rizzo). This is the last time the Nationals will see the Reds this year: it will be interesting to see which players the Reds move following the All Star Game. Frazier, the National League’s starting third baseman in the All Star Game, is a candidate to be traded by the trade deadline.

*Matchup To Watch

A couple of interesting notes from Wednesday’s pitching matchup: Joey Votto is 5 for 12 (.417) with two home runs against Gio Gonzalez.

As for the Nationals – they faced Michael Lorenzen when the Nationals faced the Reds in May, and scored twice against him in an 8-2 Reds win, but Wednesday night’s lineup will be 0 for 17 against Lorenzen with four strikeouts. He walked six batters, leading to the runs, and he allowed just one hit. But the only Nationals player with a hit against Lorenzen in that game isn’t scheduled to hit Wednesday: it was Tanner Roark.

*Probables

Monday, 7:05pm: Anthony DeSclafani (5-6, 3.68 ERA) vs. Doug Fister (3-4, 4.34 ERA)

Tuesday, 7:05pm: Johnny Cueto (5-5, 2.84 ERA) vs. Max Scherzer (9-6, 1.82 ERA)

Wednesday, 7:05pm: Michael Lorenzen (3-3, 3.58 ERA) vs. Gio Gonzalez (6-4, 4.16 ERA)

Washington Nationals Series Preview: Cincinnati Reds

On Thursday the Nationals enjoyed their third off-day in eleven days. On Friday in Cincinnati they begin a stretch of 23 games in 24 days.

The Nationals (28-19) begin the series a game and a half in front of the Mets in the National League East, while the Reds (19-27) sit eleven and a half games back in the NL Central.

If the just-completed Cubs-Nationals series was everything a baseball fan could want, the Nationals’ next series against Cincinnati could prove somewhat anticlimactic. The Reds have not played very good baseball so far this season, and enter the series having lost ten of their last eleven games.

The Last Time…

In 2014 the Reds and Nationals split their 6-game season series. In May the Reds took two out of three in Washington and in July the Nationals took two of three in Cincinnati.

In The Other Dugout

The Nationals will be catching one of the Reds’ bright spots in a season where bright spots have been few and far between for Cincinnati.

Anthony DeSclafani pitches for the Reds Friday night, and he has been very good so far this season. His record is only 2-4, but he has a 3.46 ERA. He threw 8 scoreless innings against the Brewers on April 20, giving up just two hits, then struggled in a couple of May starts before a seven inning outing his last time out against Cleveland where he gave up three hits and just one run.

DeSclafani pitched for the Marlins last year and then was traded to the Reds for Mat Latos. He was sent to Miami by Toronto back in 2012 as part of the blockbuster deal that brought Jose Reyes, Mark Buerhle, and Josh Johnson to the Blue Jays.

Matchup To Watch

The Nationals are slated to face Johnny Cueto on Sunday. Cueto has been dealing with an elbow injury and hasn’t pitched since May 19th. He reportedly threw without discomfort on Wednesday and will throw one more time before the Reds make an official call for Sunday. If he goes, Denard Span will be happy: Span is 5 for 10 in his career against Cueto.

Probables

Friday, 7:10pm: Stephen Strasburg (3-5, 6.50 ERA) vs. Anthony DeSclafani (2-4, 3.46 ERA)

Saturday, 4:10pm: Gio Gonzalez (4-2, 4.53 ERA) vs. Raisel Iglesias (1-1, 4.26 ERA)

Sunday, 1:10pm: Tanner Roark (1-2, 2.49 ERA) vs. Johnny Cueto (3-4, 3.03 ERA)

Nats Nightly: Nats 4-2 over Reds to take 2 of 3 in GABP

Dave Nichols of District Sports Page and Patrick Reddington of Federal Baseball discuss the Washington Nationals 4-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday.

Find Additional Baseball Podcasts with District Sports Page Nats Nightly on BlogTalkRadio

Washington Nationals Game 102 Review: Fister excellent as Nats down Reds

One of the most head-scratching trades in recent memory continues to pay dividends for the Washington Nationals.

Doug Fister, obtained by the Nats in the offseason for Steve Lombardozzi and Robbie Ray, was excellent yet again, throwing seven stellar innings for the Nationals, leading them to a 4-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ballpark. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 101 Review: Cueto makes short work of Nats

Washington Nationals starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez was good in his start on Saturday. Very good. But Cincinnati Reds starter Johnny Cueto was just a bit better, as he outdueled Gonzalez and the Nats, 1-0, at Great American Ballpark.

Gonzalez allowed one run on four hits and two walk over seven innings. But Cueto, a 2014 N.L. All-Star, gave up no runs on four hits and three walks over the same seven innings, en route to his 11th win of the season against six losses. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 46 Review: Reds’ Simon Outpitches Roark in Nats’ 2-1 Loss

In a pitchers’ duel where run support is hard to come by, one inning can make or break the outcome of a day’s work.

And, on an early-evening-turned-late-evening by a 61-minute rain delay, Cincinnati Reds starter Alfredo Simon merely outpitched Washington Nationals right-hander Tanner Roark as the Nats fell 2-1 at home.

Nats’ center fielder Denard Span continued to love the leadoff spot as he powered a solo shot over the right-field wall in the bottom of the first, giving the Nats an early 1-0 run.

The Nats had a solid opportunity to tack on a run or two in the second after Ian Desmond and Tyler Moore hit back-to-back singles to start the inning. Danny Espinosa popped up to shortstop Zack Cozart for the first out before Nate McLouth walked to load the bases.

But, as luck would have it, Roark himself came to bat next, only to ground into a double play and foil his own opportunity to retake the mound with a significant lead.

Roark retired the side in the third, but found himself in a jam in the fourth after Cozart doubled and scored on a single by Brandon Phillips. Devin Mesoraco then reached on a force attempt and fielding error by third baseman Kevin Frandsen. [Read more…]

Nats Nightly: Nationals drop 2-1 decision to Reds, 2 of 3 w/ Cincinnati in DC

Dave Nichols of District Sports Page and Patrick Reddington of Federal Baseball discuss the Washington Nationals 2-1 loss to the Cincinnati Reds.

Find Additional Baseball Podcasts with District Sports Page Nats Nightly on BlogTalkRadio

Washington Nationals Game 45 Review: Fister Sharp as Nats’ Bats Come to Life in Win Over Reds

After suffering a 4-3 loss in 15 innings, the Washington Nationals found their offensive firepower Tuesday night, as they topped the Cincinnati Reds 9-4 at Nationals Park.

Entering the matchup, the Reds’ Johnny Cueto would have been an unlikely bet to provide the Nats with an opportunity to rack in the runs. Cueto entered the night the NL ERA and strikeout leader, but by the time he left the mound, he earned responsibility for six of the Nats’ earned runs over just 5.1 innings pitched.

In the meantime, right-hander Doug Fister found his groove. After allowing a first-inning double by Skip Schumaker and an RBI single by Todd Frazier, Fister was nearly untouchable. He allowed just one more earned run through seven total innings pitched, on six hits, one walk and two strikeouts.

Be it the impending rain, the fact that Cueto was arguably due for a rough start or the idea that the Nats were eager to erase memories of their extra-innings loss – whatever it was that rejuvenated the Nats’ offense impacted leadoff man Denard Span most of all. [Read more…]

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