April 28, 2015

Nats Nightly: Marlins sweep, #Nats twitter weeps

Dave Nichols of District Sports Page and Patrick Reddington of Federal Baseball discuss the Washington Nationals 6-2 loss to the Miami Marlins to complete a three-game sweep and extend a five-game losing streak.

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Washington Nationals Game 19 Review: Gio rocked, Nats swept by Marlins

The Washington Nationals sent Gio Gonzalez to the mound on Sunday looking for a spark and hoping to avoid a sweep and turn things around from what has been a mostly dreary April. Unfortunately for the Nats and their fans, things remained status quo.

Gonzalez got roughed up at the end of his appearance, the offense couldn’t muster much fight against Dan Haren and a parade of Miami Marlins relievers, and the Nats fell 6-2 at cavernous Marlins Park, extending the losing streak to five games. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 18 Review: Nats bats silent, get clobbered by Marlins 8-0

Box Score

Thus far in the 2015 season, the Washington Nationals have made a habit of squandering good starting pitching with lackluster offense and spotty relief pitching.

On Saturday in cavernous Marlins Park, the equation stood, as Stephen Strasburg turned in a performance that should have been enough to be competitive, yet the offense remained moribund, looking completely inept against journeyman Tom Koehler, reliever Rafael Martin got clobbered, and the Nats lost 8-0, their fourth loss in a row. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 17 Review: Nats bullpen falters late again in loss to Marlins

It’s already an oft-told tale in this young baseball season. The Washington Nationals got a good performance from their starting pitcher, but the offense provided little backing and the bullpen faltered when it needed to be perfect. The result: the Nats fell to the Miami Marlins 3-2 before a sparse crowd at cavernous Marlins Park.

Friday night’s recipient of lack of support was Jordan Zimmermann, who allowed just two earned runs on six hits and no walks, striking out four.

The Nats (7-10) broke out on top in the fourth against Marlins starter Mat Latos. Ian Desmond extended his hitting streak to 10 with a leadoff double. He went to second on Jayson Werth’s sacrifice fly to right field, and then scored on Bryce Harper’s long sacrifice fly to center field that Marcell Ozuna tracked down at the wall some 410 feet from home plate.

Ryan Zimmerman followed with a double, but was stranded when Yunel Escobar grounded out to end the inning.

Zimmermann cruised through the early innings but ran into trouble with two outs in the fifth. Four consecutive singles by the Marlins (6-11), including an RBI single by pitcher Mat Latos, pushed across both runs Zimmermann gave up on the night. It could have been worse, but Bryce Harper threw out Dee Gordon on the last of the hits trying to extend it into a double.

The Nats tied it in the next inning, as Denard Span walked, stole second, and scored on Harper’s RBI single to right.

It stayed tied until the bottom of the eighth. Against reliever Tanner Roark (L, 0-2), in his second inning of work, Adeiny Hechavarria doubled to lead off.  After a failed sacrifice attempt lead to the first out, manager Matt Williams called on lefty Matt Grace to face Gordon. Gordon hit slow roller to second, but Dan Uggla couldn’t make a play.

Williams then went to Aaron Barrett, and Gordon stole second, then Martin Prado delivered a single against Barrett to push across the winning run.

The Nats went 1-2-3 against Marlins closed Steve Cishek in the ninth.

HERO: Bryce Harper. He was responsible for almost all of the Nats offense. 2 for 2, walk, 2 RBIs.

GOAT: Aaron Barrett. Hard to make a guy who gave up one hit a goat, but with the offense still struggling to produce runs on a regular basis, every mistake the bullpen makes is amplified.

NATS NOTES:

  • Super Slider: Jordan Zimmermann’s slider was biting early, striking out Martin Prado, Giancarlo Stanton and Michael Morse in succession split between the first and second innings.
  • Doubling up: Ryan Zimmerman’s double in the fourth inning was the 300th of his career.
  • Struggle Bus: Everyone’s on it, but Jayson Werth went 0 for 3 to lower his average to .152.

NEXT GAME: Saturday at 4:10 pm Eastern at Miami. Stephen Strasburg (1-1, 4.50) faces Tom Koehler (1-2, 6.75).

Washington Nationals Series Preview: at Florida Marlins

by John Sucich, contributor

Overview

The pre-season predictions would have had you believe the first matchup of the season between the Washington Nationals and the Miami Marlins would feature two teams fighting for dominance at the top of the National League East. This weekend’s matchup in Miami features two fighting teams, but not exactly for dominance…yet.

The 7-9 Nationals’ fight right now is to get on the right side of .500. They lost two straight to the Cardinals to end a 4-3 homestand that began when they took three out of four from the Phillies. The Nationals begin a 10-game road trip with three games in Miami followed by three in Atlanta and then they finish in New York to face the Mets for four. The Nationals have not fared well on the road thus far, going 1-2 in both Philadelphia and Boston before the just-completed homestand. Reinforcements are on the way — the team hopes to see the return of Anthony Rendon some time next week.

For the Marlins, a fight for a .500 record would be a luxury. Miami comes into the series against the Nationals looking to keep its season alive…and possibly to save manager Mike Redmond’s job. The team seems to have responded to rumors that its disappointing start could result in an early-season managerial change. The Marlins snapped a five-game losing streak with a win against the Phillies Wednesday night and won big on Thursday to up their record to 5-11 as the Nats come to town.

The Last Time….

The Marlins and Nationals last met on the last day of the 2014 season, a game you may remember: Jordan Zimmermann no-hit the Marlins in a 1-0 win where he walked one batter and struck out 10. The Nationals were 13-6 against the Marlins last year.

In The Other Dugout

Don’t expect to see much of Christian Yelich this weekend. Yelich is nursing a back injury that could well result in his being placed on the disabled list. Ichiro Suzuki is expected to pick up playing time in Yelich’s place.

Matchup To Watch

Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton has not had a great start to the 2015 season, but he will face Stephen Strasburg on Saturday. In his career Stanton is 10 for 28 against Strasburg, with three home runs.

Also worth noting, Mat Latos has had a rough start to 2015, but Washington might want to be careful Friday night: Nationals hitters have not put up good numbers against Latos in the past. He owns a lifetime .201/.307/.299 slash against the Nats.

Probables

Friday, 7:10pm: Jordan Zimmermann (1-2, 6.14 ERA) vs. Mat Latos (0-3, 10.24 ERA)

Saturday, 4:10pm: Stephen Strasburg (1-1, 4.50 ERA) vs. Tom Koehler (1-2, 6.75 ERA)

Sunday, 1:10pm: Gio Gonzalez (1-1, 3.44 ERA)  vs. Dan Haren (1-1, 3.32 ERA)

Washington Nationals Spring Training: Nats pound four homers to beat Marlins

As opening day approaches, the regulars are starting to get more at bats and more innings in the field. On Sunday in Viera, Florida, the Washington Nationals fielded close to their opening day lineup and they mashed four home runs to top the Miami Marlins 11-7.

Michael Taylor, Bryce Harper, Wilson Ramos and Jose Lobaton all went deep for the Nats. Taylor went 3 for 3 with a walk, Harper was 2 for 3 with three RBIs. Ramos went 3 for 3 and Lobaton’s homer was a three-run shot.

The Nats pounded out 14 hits with four walks against three Marlins pitchers. They clubbed starter Tom Koehler for six runs and 10 hits in four innings.

On the other side, Doug Fister wasn’t particularly sharp either. He allowed six runs on eight hits and a walk over four innings. He gave up three homers on the day, to Marcel Ozuna, Jarrod Saltalamachia and Giancarlo Stanton.

On bit of pitching good news came late: Craig Stammen, who had been roughed up his last couple of times out, pitched a scoreless 1 1/3 innings with two strikeouts.

Washington Nationals Spring Training: Nats split split-squad games; Strasburg to miss start

STEPHEN STRASBURG SPRAINS ANKLE IN CONDITIONING DRILLS, WILL MISS START

The Atlanta Braves scored three runs in the fourth inning and two more in the seventh, enough to beat the Washington Nationals 5-2 at the Disney Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Most of the Nats regulars stayed back in Viera to host the Marlins. Dan Uggla homered and Jordan Zimmermann allowed one run over five innings to lead the Nats to a 4-2 win.

After the home game, manager Matt Williams announced that Stephen Strasburg sprained his left ankle during conditioning drills and will miss his next scheduled start, against the Tigers. A.J. Cole will be brought over from the minor league side to replace him. Williams indicated the sprain was not serious and Strasburg was seen walking through the clubhouse without a noticeable limp.

In the home game, Uggla — in his continuing bid to win playing time at second base and resurrect his career — went 2 for 3 with two RBIs and upped his spring training average to .333.

Zimmermann gave up eight hits and struck out four during his mound work, but the interesting part of his day came in a verbal exchange with opposing pitcher Henderson Alvarez. Zimmermann was grazed on the elbow in an early at bat. Later, he went down and in to Alvarez when the Marlins starter was trying to sacrifice. The two exchanged words as Alvarez headed to the dugout.

There was no altercation and cooler heads prevailed.

In the road game, the Braves got to Evan Meek in the fourth for three earned runs on four hits and a walk, though Meek did strike out two. Taylor Jordan pitched three strong innings to start, allowing just one hit and one walk, striking out one. Blake Treinen and Casey Janssen both three perfect innings of relief.

The Nats scored twice in the third. Jordan led off with a single and went to second on a Michael Taylor (2 for 3, double) line drive single to left. A wild pitch by Eric Stultz moved both runners up and Kevin Frandsen’s ground out brought in Jordan. Taylor scored on Mike Carp’s single to left, but Carp was thrown out in a rundown.

NATS NOTES:

  • Craig Stammen, Rich Hill and Aaron Barrett all pitched scoreless innings of relief in the home game.
  • Wilson Ramos was 1 for 3 with a two-run single in the home game immediately before Uggla’s homer.
  • Bryce Harper (0 for 2, walk, run) and Tony Gwynn Jr (1 for 4) both had outfield assists.
  • Gwynn and Ian Desmond (1 for 3) both stole bases.
  • Tyler Moore was 0 for 3 in the road game and struck out twice.

Washington Nationals Game 162 Review: Zimmermann no-hits Marlins; First in Nats history

ZIMMERMANN THROWS FIRST NO-HITTER FOR NATIONALS

As if the Washington Nationals march to the pennant and playoffs wasn’t dramatic enough, Jordan Zimmermann authored a little bit of history on the season’s final day.

The Nats stoic right-hander dominated the Miami Marlins in the final game of the season, no-hitting the young Marlins in a 1-0 win on Sunday.

Zimmermann walked one and struck out 10 to record the first no-hitter for the franchise since the relocation in 2005. There have been two previous no-hitters in Washington baseball history, and the Montreal Expos had four no-hitters in their history. [Read more…]

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 160 Review: Marlins win slugfest in spring training atmosphere

SOUZA HOMERS IN LOPSIDED LOSS AFTER EARLY CLINCHER

With homefield advanatage sewn up by virtue of their in in the first game of a day-night doubleheader on Friday, the nightcap took on a spring training feel, with Taylor Hill called up to make his Major League debut behind mostly minor league teammates.

Hill struggled, as did Miami Marlins starter rookie Andrew Heaney, and the slugfest went clear into the ninth inning as the Marlins topped the Nats 15-7.

The Marlins went right to work in the top of the first, as Christian Yelich walked, went to third on a single by Donovan Solano and scored on Casey McGehee’s RBI single. Three batters into his first start, Hill had already surrendered a run. [Read more…]

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