January 26, 2020

Washington Nationals Game 89 Review: Kershaw and the Dodgers Beat the Nats

The Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Washington Nationals 4-2 on Saturday afternoon in front of a sellout crowd of 41,426  as the result of a dominant performance by All-Star starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw.

Kershaw struck out 14 batters — a season high for him and the most strike outs at Nats Park by an opposing team since 2005 — to give the Dodgers the win. He threw 101 pitches and 73 strikes in eight scoreless innings pitched and gave up three hits.

The pitching dominance exhibited by the Dodgers along with their productive offense left the Nats bats mostly dormant and Nats starting pitcher Doug Fister in a rough place.

Fister threw 91 pitches and 58 strikes in five innings of work. He gave up nine hits and four runs while striking out one, walking two (one intentionally), and hitting a batter.  [Read more…]

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


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 Game 73 Review: Fister Excels Against the Braves for a Series Sweep

Starting pitcher Doug Fister shut out the Atlanta Braves on Thursday afternoon leading the Washington Nationals to a 7-0 win at Nationals Park. Fister threw 111 pitches and 72 strikes in seven innings pitched. He gave up four hits, one walk, and struck out four batters while the Nats offense did their best to hit Braves starting pitcher Matt Wisler. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 67 Review: Harper injured in loss to Rays


The Washington Nationals were washed away in a rain delay by the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday night, giving up four runs after a short downpour delay, as manager Matt Williams left Doug Fister on the mound two or three batters too many. The Rays struck for four runs in the sixth, as Fister worked on fumes for ten pitches before Williams came out with the hook. Shortly before Fister’s departure, Bryce Harper came up lame on an errant throw in right field, clutching his left knee and hamstring. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for June 7

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs split a two-game set against the Pawtucket Red Sox with a 7-1 loss on Sunday afternoon at NBT Bank stadium. Doug Fister gave up two runs in three and two-thirds, and struck out six in his rehab start for Syracuse. Jason Martinson hit his team-leading seventh home run in the loss on Sunday.

Pawtucket (28-29) pounced on top first with a run in the top of the first against Doug Fister. Jackie Bradley Jr. led off the game with a double into the left-field corner. Quintin Berry followed with a bunt single placed perfectly down the third-base line to put runners on the corners with no outs. With Allen Craig at the plate, Fister attempted to pick off Berry at first but overthrew first baseman Caleb Ramsey for a throwing error, which allowed Bradley Jr. to score from third to give the PawSox an early 1-0 lead.

The Red Sox scored again in the top of the second inning against Fister with one swing of the bat. Deven Marrero led off the inning with an opposite-field home run over the wall in right-center field. Marrero’s fourth home run gave Pawtucket a 2-0 lead.

Syracuse (18-39) got on the board in the bottom of the fourth against Keith Couch. With one out, Martinson hit his team-leading seventh home run of the season. The solo shot cut the Pawtucket lead in half to 2-1 after four.

The Chiefs added one more in the bottom of the eighth against John Cornely. With one out, Darin Mastroianni laced a double into the left-field corner. Two batters later, Matt den Dekker plated Mastroianni with an RBI single that hit off the glove of first baseman Garlin Cecchini. The score was 7-2 after eight innings.

The Chiefs hit the road for a seven-game road trip that begins in Toledo on Monday at 7:05 p.m. Syracuse sends Scott McGregor to the mound in the first game of the trip against left-hander Mike Belfiore for Toledo.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): The Harrisburg Senators couldn’t overcome a three-run first inning by the Trenton Thunder as they lost 5-2 at Arm & Hammer Park. The loss was the Senators’ fifth in a row and marked the third time the team was swept in a series this season. Harrisburg currently sits in fifth place of the Western Division with a 22-33 record and are 11.5 games out of first place.

Sammy Solis started the game on a MLB rehab and struggled in his one inning of work. Thunder batters rapped out five hits off the southpaw and scored three times to put the Senators in an early hole. Colin Bates took over for Solis and threw six solid innings, allowing two runs on only four hits and one walk.

With two outs in the second inning, Harrisburg strung three hits in a row including Pedro Severino‘s double that scored Shawn Pleffner and Ricky Hague. Severino and Hague were the only Senators who rapped out multiple hits on the day as Harrisburg equaled Trenton with nine hits.

The Senators head to New Britain, Conn., to continue their road trip and take on the first-place Rock Cats. The opener of their four-game set is slated for Monday night at 6:35 p.m.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): Salem (28-27-Overall, 17-15-Home) broke up a 5-5 tie in the bottom of the sixth and hung on for a 6-5 win to earn the series split against Potomac (25-31-Overall, 11-17-Road) on Sunday afternoon at Salem Memorial Ballpark.

The series finale in Salem pitted 20-year old RHP Lucas Giolito (1-4, 4.59) against 34-year old RHP Denny Bautista (2-0, 5.82).

Giolito finished after six innings allowing 11 hits and six runs (five earned). He didn’t walk a batter and did strike out eight in his fourth loss of the season.

Potomac against the veteran Bautista scored in the bottom of the first after 2B Christopher Bostick led-off the game for the third straight time in the series with a single. He swiped second base, his 12th of the season and came home on the hot hitting 1B John Wooten’s RBI double for a 1-0 red, white, blue lead.

Giolito pitched a scoreless first inning before a wild bottom of the second ensued. It began innocently enough on a 2B Wendell Rijo infield single. The C Jake Romanski followed with a single with the hit-and-run on that moved Rijo to third. Rijo, after sliding into third, popped up and scored on an error that was charged to 2B Khayyan Norfork, the game was tied 1-1. After a RF Forrestt Allday ground out moved Romanksi to second and a wild pitch from Giolito to third, 3B Jordan Betts knocked in the backstop with an RBI single that gave Salem a 2-1 lead. CF Manuel Margot smacked an RBI triple scoring Betts and came home on another error charged to Norfork for a 4-1 Salem advantage.

Potomac answered in the third with two runs of their own when RF Estarlin Martinez legged out an infield single and moved to second on a throwing error charged to Rijo. Bostick then reach on another infield single that moved Martinez to third CF Narciso Mesa hit a sacrifice fly to score Martinez to make it 4-2 Salem. Two batters later Wootin cracked his second RBI double of the game for a 4-3 Ballgame in favor of the Sox.

Giolito then picked up four strikeouts in the next two scoreless frames to give him seven on the day and Potomac’s offense responded with two runs in the fourth against Bautista. Norfork singled to begin the frame, then DH Jimmy Yezzo reached on an infield single. C Craig Manuel walked to load the bases and Martinez knocked in Norfork with an RBI groundout to tie the game at 4-4. The hot-hitting Bostick came up and rapped his third hit of the game for an RBI single and a 5-4 lead.

Bostick had two three-hit games in the series and is on an 11-game hitting streak, the longest by any National this season.

In the fifth Salem, with two outs, would get to Giolito again. DH Sam Travis, whose hit Potomac pitching very well this season, singled. 1B Mario Martinez, after striking twice before, smacked a game tying double and it was 5-5.

The game remained tied into the bottom of the sixth after the P-Nats sent eight men to the plate total in both the top half of the fifth and sixth.

Giolito, in his final inning was dinged for the go-ahead run after Romanski singled. Allday dropped down a sacrifice bunt and a Betts infield single moved Romanksi to third. Margot knocked in his second run of the game for a 6-5 Salem lead.

RHP Taylor Grover (SV 1) pitched the final three scoreless frames against Potomac allowing only one base runner on a walk in the seventh and earned his first save of the season. While RHP Tyler Mapes entered for Potomac in the seventh and pitched the final two frames scoreless for the P-Nats in the 6-5 loss.

Salem earned the series split with Potomac after sweeping the Nationals in the opening series of 2015 and Potomac falls 2-6 against the Southern Division Red Sox.

Potomac now heads to Carolina to begin a four-game series with the Mudcats in Zebulon, NC. It marks the first time the P-Nats travel to Carolina in 2015. Potomac is now 8.0 games back in the Carolina League’s Northern Division, trailing the Wilmington Blue Rocks.

Tomorrow night’s series opener with the ‘Cat sees RHP John Simms (2-4, 4.29) for Potomac battle against RHP Sean Furney (0-3, 7.20) for Carolina.  First pitch at 7:00 pm.

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): The Hagerstown Suns got such good pitching the first week of June that they won four of five games despite scoring only 12 runs.  On Sunday, however, the Suns’ thin margin of error and lack of offense caught up with them in a 4-1 loss at Greensboro.  Hagerstown (29-27) managed to collect seven hits and three walks against three Greensboro pitchers, including starter and winner Ben Holmes (2-4).  But the Suns left nine men on base, going 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position.

After the game started in unusual fashion — Greensboro pitching coach Jeremy Powell getting ejected before the first out was recorded — the Suns set the tone for the game as D.K. Carey hit a leadoff double but was left stranded at second base as Holmes retired the meat of the Suns order without allowing a ball to be hit out of the infield.

Designated hitter Carlos Lopez hit doubles in both the second and fourth innings, but didn’t advance past second base on either.  Hagerstown’s lone run came in the fifth inning when Jorge Tillero singled, Cody Dent walked and both moved up on a long flyout.  Osvaldo Abreu followed with a groundout to shortstop to score Tillero.

After that, the Suns best threat came in the eighth inning as Jose Marmolejos doubled and Grant DeBruin singled.  But the rally died as reliever James Buckelew fanned Jeff Gardner and induced a harmless fly from Lopez.

After an off day, Hagerstown opens a three-game set Tuesday at Delmarva (26-29) at 7:05 p.m.

Washington Nationals Game 37 Review: Bats alive as Nats pound Padres

The Washington Nationals pounded out 10 runs on 16 hits and three walks while Jordan Zimmermann cruised through six innings and the Nats pounded the San Diego Padres 10-0 before a subdued crowd at Petco Park.

Bryce Harper, has he has all season, led the hit parade with three, including his 13th home run of the season, and also drew his league-leading 34th walk of the campaign. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 36 Review: Fister hammered after long rain delay

“It never rains in California. But girl, don’t they warn ya. It pours. Man, it pours.”
Albert Hammond

Before Thursday night, the San Diego Padres have had to delay five games in the history of Petco Park — four due to rain and one because of bees. No, seriously. And it’s been 337 games since the last one. Well, add one more to the list, as the Washington Nationals and the home team started their game under preposterous conditions, then waited out an extended rain delay before getting started.

Maybe the Nats wished they’d just washed it out.

Starting pitcher Doug Fister got hammered in his two innings, and the Padres crushed the Nats 8-3 on a wet Thursday night in Southern California. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 31 Review: Bryce. Harper.


The Washington Nationals blew a five-run lead and found themselves in a tie game in the ninth inning. No matter, though, as the hottest hitter in baseball was due up in the bottom half.

With one on and one out, Bryce Harper turned around a slider over 400 feet into the right center bleachers, lifted the Nats to an 8-6 win over the Atlanta Braves. With the win, the Nats move above .500 (16-15) for the first time this season. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 26 Review: Fister owns Mets in 1-0 win


The Washington Nationals have only scored two runs in their past two games. But it doesn’t matter how many you score if you don’t give up any.

For the second day in a row, the Nats shut out the New York Mets 1-0, the first time in Nats/Expos history that’s happened and the first time it’s happened in DC baseball history since 1915.

Doug Fister allowed five hits in 6 1/3 innings, striking out three, and the Nats (12-14) made a first inning run against Dillon Gee stand up. The win is the third in four games against the Mets over the weekend, and trims the Nats deficit in the N.L. East to four games.

Fister has had trouble so far this season pitching up in the zone, where his 86-87 MPH fastball has served as batting practice at time. On Sunday, he was able to pitch in the lower half of the strike zone much better, and generated six ground ball outs, to go along with six fly outs. Fister was able to keep his sinker out of he middle of the plate, and Mets batters didn’t make solid contact when they were able to put it into play.

On the other side, Gee was solid as well against the Nats hitters, who after producing back-to-back 13 run games against Atlanta earlier in the week are back to scuffling again. Gee allowed six hits over five innings, but also walked five, which contributed to his early exit.

The Mets pen allowed just one hit and one walk over four innings. The Nats relievers didn’t have to pitch as long, but were just as good. Matt Thornton walked two in the eighth, the only runners to reach against four Nats relievers.

Drew Storen pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his seventh save of the season.

Washington scored the lone run in the first inning. Denard Span led off with a walk, but was erased on a fielder’s choice grounder by Yunel Escobar. Escobar in turn was erased on Jayson Werth’s grounder to third. Bryce Harper laces a single to center to move Werth up to second, and the veteran left fielder scored on Ryan Zimmerman’s broken bat looper over first base.

The Nationals threatened in the fifth and sixth innings, getting a runner to third with no outs in both frames, but rallies ended with no more runs pushed across.

Ultimately, they weren’t needed.

HERO: Doug Fister. Like Gio Gonzalez Saturday night, the tall righty came through with a stellar outing, helping the Nats take the series against the Mets and cut into what was once close to a double-digit deficit in the division.

GOAT: Everyone but Jose Lobaton a stranded multiple runners, but Denard Span was the biggest culprit, leaving five runners on the bases.


  • Ian Desmond went 2 for 3 with two doubles, and is maybe showing signs of life of breaking out of his horrendous hitting slump.
  • Jayson Werth, however, is not. His 0 for 4 day drops his season battin average down to .159, a gaping hole in the middle of the order.
  • After playing in Friday’s game for AA-Harrisburg, Anthony Rendon did not play again over the weekend, still nursing “tightness” in his right side.

NEXT GAME: The Nats return home for a much-needed homestand. Monday, Jordan Zimmermann (2-2, 4.88) hosts the Miami Marlins and David Phelps (1-0, 3.38)

Washington Nationals Game 20 Review: Everything is Awful

Nothing is going the Nationals way right now. Not a blessed thing.

Monday night, the Washington Nationals gave up runs early and often to the struggling Atlanta Braves at Turner Field in an 8-4 loss, their sixth in a row. Doug Fister continued his struggles with sinker location, walking a pair in the first, and giving up a double and a sacrifice fly to stake the Braves to a 1-0 lead right off the bat. He struggled with velocity and placement most of the evening, bringing into question his health.

The Nationals battled back in the third, with a leadoff ground rule double from Danny Espinosa from the right side of the plate to the right-center stands. Ryan Zimmerman followed up with a double to the left field wall to score Espinosa, but that would be all the offense could muster as they struggled against a Braves lineup that has given anemic a new definition this season.

Doug Fister left his sinker up a bit in the fourth inning and the Braves jumped all over it. Alberto Callaspo and Kelly Johnson each had line drive singles to put runners at the corners with nobody out. Jace Peterson hit a fly ball to center field, letting both runners tag, and Callaspo score, but Denard Span gunned down Johnson to wrap up the double play and let Fister off the hook. The Nationals trailed 2-1 after four.

Fister did it again in the sixth and it lead to his ouster. Kelly Johnson smacked a two run homer that Bryce Harper had to watch into the stands. Fister did himself no favors in the field tonight, twice botching pickoffs and allowing runners to advance two bags. In the sixth, Jace Peterson took advantage of one such miscue, and then scored on Eric Young Jr. bunt to make it 5-1.

The Nats were hurting in the field as well as at the plate, and the Braves compounded that in the fifth on a slide that sent Yunel Escobar’s glove into the Braves’ stands. Fister threw over to Ryan Zimmerman at first to try to catch Andrelton Simmons on the move, only the throw got away and Simmons bolted for third. Escobar had him dead to rights, only Simmons raised his cleat and got Escobar square in the glove. The glove was sent flying, and Escobar came right out of the game with an unspecified hand injury.

After the game it was revealed Escobar got spiked and was cut. Reports said he would miss a game or two but it was nothing serious.

Rafael Martin settled that particular score in relief in the seventh, putting a fastball into Simmons’ ribs to lead off the inning. Martin, however, missed the part of the lecture that says if you’re going to give a runner a free base, you’d best make sure he doesn’t advance past it. Instead, Ian Desmond botched a routine double-play ball and the Braves managed to get a pair off Martin to bury the DC squad for good.

There were no highlights in tonight’s game worth mentioning for the Nationals, save for the broadcasting crew’s ability to valiantly resist torrents of profanity at regular intervals.

HERO: There were no heroes tonight. Sorry. None. If there were any heroes, they might have been Dan Uggla, with a two-run little league homer. But there weren’t any heroes tonight.

GOAT: Doug Fister gets a goat for the pair of throwing errors and high sinkers exploited for run after run. Ian Desmond gets a goat for his 9th error of the year. Rafael Martin gets a goat for his plunking of Andrelton Simmons that lead to a run. So. Many. Goats. This many goats:


  • Anthony Rendon was scratched from a rehab start tonight in Harrisburg due to fatigue, according to reports from the Washington Post.
  • After eight games of clean play, Ian Desmond’s ninth error of the season was charged in the seventh inning.
  • Fister’s line of 5.2IP, 10H, 5R, 2BB, 3K is a particularly… depressing line for one of the Nats’ heralded five.
  • In a rare bright spot, Harper still leads the big leagues with 19 walks, adding two to his total tonight.
  • After the game, the Nats announced that No. 2 prospect A.J. Cole will be recalled to make Max Scherzer’s regularly scheduled start on Tuesday.

UP NEXT: A.J. Cole (MLB debut) vs. Julio Teheran (2-1, 4.64) at 7:05pm tomorrow night. Pray for rain.

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