April 18, 2014

Washington Nationals Game 15 Review: Werth Homer Lifts Nats in Win Vs. Fernandez, Marlins

The Washington Nationals took advantage of costly errors by the Miami Marlins to emerge the victor of a 6-3 finish Wednesday night.

Miami ace Jose Fernandez held the Nats to four hits and 10 strikeouts through seven, but he was dealt a tough break by the Marlins’ defense, namely catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

With Washington trailing 3-0, Jose Lobaton led off the sixth with a double to deep right. Then, on a would-be routine grounder off the bat of Tanner Roark, Saltalamacchia committed a throwing error allowing Roark to reach first and Lobaton to advance to third. After Nate McLouth struck out swinging and Anthony Rendon popped out to second, Fernandez merely needed to retire Werth to get out of the jam.

Luckily for the Nats, however, Werth was prepared to seize the moment. His three-run shot to right center marked his third homer of the season and tied the game, tarnishing Fernandez’s otherwise solid performance with three unearned runs.

Fernandez would go on to earn a final line of 7.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 10 K and 1 HR, tossing 65 of 97 pitches for strikes.

Nats starter Tanner Roark, in turn, walked away with a no decision after throwing 98 total pitches over 6.1 innings, in which he allowed three runs on seven hits, two walks, five strike outs and one home run.

In the eighth, with Mike Dunn in to relieve Fernandez, Zach Walters broke the 3-3 tie in the Nationals’ favor with his second career homer – and his second long ball in as many nights. [Read more...]

Washington Nationals Game 13 Review: Rendon, Leon Lead Nats Past Marlins

The power the Washington Nationals lacked Sunday against the Atlanta Braves returned, swing after swing, in the team’s 9-2 win over the Miami Marlins Monday.

Anthony Rendon and Sandy Leon each homered and combined for a total five RBIs to fuel the Nats’ offense against a Marlins squad that has now lost eight straight.

In a seemingly no-pressure situation, Jordan Zimmermann looked sharp, striking out seven and allowing two runs on six hits and one walk. And, he too, built on the Nats’ momentum at the plate, going 2-for-3 with two singles and a sacrifice bunt.

Left-hander Brad Hand (L, 0-1) lost control of the game quickly. In the first, Jayson Werth doubled with two outs and came home on a triple from Bryce Harper that put Washington on top 1-0 before the Fish came to bat.

In the second inning, Tyler Moore’s inexplicable luck in Miami produced once again as the outfielder led off the inning with a homer to right.

Danny Espinosa followed up with a double before advancing to third on a single by Leon. [Read more...]

Nats Nightly for April 10: Strasburg Ks 12, Desmond’s slam leads to 7-1 win over Marlins

Dave Nichols of District Sports Page and Patrick Reddington of Federal Baseball discuss the Washington Nationals 7-1 win over the Miami Marlins, finishing a three-game sweep before they head off for a three-game weekend series with the Atlanta Braves.

Discover Baseball Internet Radio with District Sports Page Nats Nightly on BlogTalkRadio

Washington Nationals Game 9 Review: Strasburg dominates, Desmond slams as Nats sweep Marlins 7-1


The Washington Nationals burned through their long-men Wednesday night after starter Jordan Zimmermann managed just five outs. On Thursday afternoon, Stephen Strasburg bailed his beleaguered bullpen out, tossing a masterful 6 2/3 innings as the Nats played a tightly contested game for eight innings until Ian Desmond’s grand slam in the eighth inning opened the flood gates to a 7-1 win for the Nats before 20,869 at Nationals Park.

It was just the performance manager Matt Williams needed from the nominal ace of his rotation. Strasburg finished with 12 strikeouts, the 13th time in his career he has K’d more than 10 batters in a game. He threw 71 of his 98 pitches for strikes and struck out Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton twice, putting his newly developed slider to good use.

The Nats went up 2-0 in the third. With one out, Anthony Rendon drew a walk from Marlins starter Tom Koehler. Jayson Werth then clubbed a 1-0 pitch into the Marlins bullpen for his second home run of the season — and second in as many days.

From there, it was all Strasburg. The big righty plowed through the Miami batting order, generating strikeouts and ground outs with equal ease. Strasburg recorded 13 straight outs, including six Ks, between Derek Dietrich’s fielder’s choice in the first and Ian Desmond’s error on a grounder in the fifth.

Strasburg then struck out six of his last 10 batters faced. But a homer allowed to Marcel Ozuna in the seventh, followed two batters later by a walk to catcher Jeff Mathis, signaled the end of his day. Strasburg struck out 12 total in 6 2/3 innings with one walk and three hits allowed.

Jerry Blevins came on and retired pinch-hitter Reed Johnson following the walk to Mathis. He struck out lefties Christian Yelich and Derek Dietrich to start the eighth inning, and Williams then called upon rookie Aaron Barrett to face Stanton. Barrett fed Stanton slider after slider until the hulking slugger finally swung through for strike three.

The Marlins turned to Arquimedes Caminero in the bottom half of the inning, but the Nats battered the reliever. Rendon led off with a double, followed by a single from Werth. Adam LaRoche grounded out to first with the infield drawn in, but Caminero then walked Kevin Frandsen and Bryce Harper — the second forcing in the Nats third run.

Ian Desmond then delivered the big blow, a clout to the Red Porch for the Nats second Grand Slam of the series to make it 7-1.

NATS NOTES: Rendon’s eighth inning double extended his hitting streak to nine games, the longest such streak to begin a season for the Washington Nationals.



Nats Nightly for April 9: Werth’s slam caps crazy 10-7 win over Marlins

Dave Nichols of District Sports Page and Patrick Reddington of Federal Baseball discuss the Washington Nationals crazy 10-7 win over the Miami Marlins.

Listen To Baseball Internet Radio Stations with District Sports Page Nats Nightly on BlogTalkRadio

Washington Nationals Game 8 Review: Werth’s slam in eighth wins crazy game with Marlins, 10-7

Crazy game.

The Washington Nationals fell behind 5-0 after a stalwart starter got lit up. They clawed back to take the lead in the middle innings. A former 40-save closer gave up a mammoth homer in the seventh to fall behind again. Then, in the bottom of the eighth, the Nats hairy guru made the Miami Marlins pay for intentionally loading the bases.

Jayson Werth clubbed a 1-0 pitch into the visitor’s bullpen in left center for his first home run of the season, a grand slam that delivered the Nats a 10-7 win in one of the craziest games we’ll see all season long.

For starters it wasn’t Jordan Zimmermann’s night. The righty struggled with location and pitch count all night long. He gave up a single to leadoff hitter Christian Yelich and walked second baseman Derek Dietrich. Giancarlo Stanton followed with a run-scoring single and Dietrich moved up to third. Garrett Jones brought Dietrich home with a sacrifice fly to center to make it 2-0 before most folks had settled into their seats.

The second inning was worse. Adeiny Hechavarria lead off with a triple to the left center gap and scored on Yelich’s single. Dietrich then sent a ball that landed in the first row of bleachers above the out-of-town scoreboard in right center before falling back to the field of play. It was ruled a triple on the field, but after review Dietrich was sent home, correctly having been awarded his first home run of the season.

After singles by Jones and Casey McGehee, Zimmermann was done. He was yanked after 1 2/3 innings — his shortest stint as a big league starter. He allowed five runs, all earned, on seven hits and two walks, striking out one.

Marlins’ starter Brad Hand cruised until the fourth inning. Adam LaRoche continued his hot streak, singling to lead off, and Ryan Zimmerman followed with a single. After Ian Desmond struck out, Bryce Harper battled through a 10-pitch at bat, culminating in an absolute moonshot – three rows back in the upper tank in straight-away right field. It was Harper’s first home run of the year.

The Nats clawed their way back to one in the fifth. Anthony Rendon tripled to right field with one out and scored a batter later on Werth’s ground out. Washington completed the comeback in the next frame. Zimmerman doubled to the right field corner over Stanton’s head. The big right fielder bobbled the ball in the corner, allowing Zimmerman to move up to third. Ian Desmond’s swinging bunt brought Zimmerman home and all hands were safe.

Harper followed with a single the other way off lefty Dan Jennings to put runners at the corners, still with no outs. Jose Lobaton tapped a comebacker to Jennings, but the reliever fumbled the ball — Desmond scored to make it 6-5 and Lobaton rumbled safely to first on the E-1. Span singled to load the bass with one out, but Arquimedes Caminero came on to get Rendon and Werth to fly out to end the rally.

Drew Storen came on for the seventh and was rudely greeted, as Jerrod Saltalamacchia blasted a shot to dead center to tie it that was every bit as impressive as Harper’s was earlier.

But this game was far from over. The Marlins called upon Carlos Marmol for the eighth inning, and the Nats made them pay for that decision.

Pinch-hitter Nate McLouth was hit with a one-out fastball and went to third on Denard Span’s bunt single and error on the throw by Derek Dietrich, playing his first MLB game at third base. The Marlins walked Rendon intentionally to set up force plays everywhere with bases loaded, but Jayson Werth wouldn’t have any of it. Werth ripped a 1-0 pitch into the visitor’s bullpen for his first homer of the season, a Grand Slam that gave the Nats a comfortable 10-7 lead.

It STILL wasn’t over. Rafael Soriano put two runners on in the ninth to make sure any fingernails left did not go unchewed, but struck out two to eventually nail down one of the nuttiest wins we’re going to witness in 2014.

Nats Nightly for April 8: Nats fry Fish 5-0 behind Gio, LaRoche, Rendon

Dave Nichols of District Sports Page and Patrick Reddington of Federal Baseball discuss the Washington Nationals 5-0 win over the Miami Marlins.

New Baseball Podcasts with District Sports Page Nats Nightly on BlogTalkRadio

Washington Nationals Game 7 Review: Nats blank Miami in series opener 5-0

The Miami Marlins came into this three-game series with the Washington Nationals in unfamiliar territory of late: first place. The Marlins 5-2 record to start the season was surprising, but the Nats showed Miami that there’s more to the season than two series, as Gio Gonzalez dominated for six innings, Adam LaRoche went 3-for-3 with a walk and two runs, Anthony Rendon drove in three, and the Nats cruised to a 5-0 win before 21,728 at Nationals Park.

The Nats got to Marlins starter Henderson Alvarez in the bottom of the first. With two outs, Jayson Werth doubled to the left center gap and scored on LaRoche’s single. LaRoche forced the cutoff, allowing Werth to score, and was thrown out 7-5-3.

Meanwhile, Gonzalez was busy retiring Marlins, but having to work for it. In the second, he gave up a bunt single to Garrett Jones against a heavy shift, and walked Marcell Ozuna with one out. Gonzalez buckled down ad retired Reed Johnson and Alvarez to get out of the trouble. Gonzalez needed 59 pitches to get through three scoreless innings.

While Gonzalez was sitting down Marlins, Alvarez matched him out for out. After Danny Espinosa’s bunt single in the second, Alvarez retired 11 of the next 12 Nats batters, allowing a walk to LaRoche in the fourth, but nothing else.

But with one out in the sixth, Bryce Harper singled the other way and went to third on LaRoche’s single. Alvarez uncorked a wild pitch, allowing LaRoche to move up to second (barely) and after second baseman Jeff Baker bobbled the throw, Harper sprinted home with the Nats second run of the night.

LaRoche moved up to third on a wild pitch — which was ball four to Ian Desmond — and Anthony Rendon followed with a single as LaRoche walked home with run No. 3, chasing Alvarez.

Jerry Blevins and Drew Storen combined for a scoreless seventh and Tyler Clippard dominated with two strikeouts in the eighth, including a splitter that Giancarlo Stanton swung right over.

Rendon’s two-run double in the bottom of the eighth with Werth and LaRoche aboard iced it.

Aaron Barrett got the last three outs to send everyone home happy with the shutout.



Washington Nationals Spring Training: Nats top Marlins 10-3 in Fister’s debut

Washington Nationals prized off-season acquisition starter Doug Fister made his first appearance of the spring and veteran first baseman Adam LaRoche homered as the Nats walked over the Miami Marlins 10-3 at Space Coast Stadium in Viera.

LaRoche homered in the fourth inning off Marlins lefty Brian Flynn. LaRoche hit .198/.254/.313 against left-handers in 2013.

Fister worked two innings, allowing a run on two soft hits. He walked one and struck out two. In the second inning, Derrick Deitrich doubled on a broken bat flare and came home on a bloop single to center by Reed Johnson.

The Nats worked over Miami’s bullpen in the middle innings. In the fifth, Jeff Kobernus tripled, scoring Nate McLouth, then scored on an Ian Desmond groundout.

Then in the seventh, a walk to Brock Peterson forced home Zach Walters (2-for-2). Matt Skole doubled to plate two, then Peterson scored on a sac fly by Michael Taylor.

Walters added a triple in the eighth inning, which scored Steven Souza.

Wilson Ramos went 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI earlier in the game.

Prospect Sammy Solis threw two shutout innings, allowing two hits and no walks.

The Nats travel to Tampa on Monday to face the New York Yankees at 1:05 pm ET.

Nats split doubleheader with Marlins in home finale, on brink of elimination

The Washington Nationals split Sunday’s day-night doubleheader against the Miami Marlins, but they remain five games out of the second NL Wild Card spot – with just six total games remaining.

Dan Haren accumulated the Nats’ loss in Game 1 after giving up a two-run shot to Giancarlo Stanton in the first inning and a solo shot by Christian Yelich in the third.

The Nats’ bats, in turn, were quiet. Washington tallied just four hits in Game 1, compared with the Marlins’ 12. And, the very team living on a prayer failed to cross home plate until the sixth after Denard Span walked and Ryan Zimmerman homered.

By that point, the Nats were a day late and a dollar short.

Donovan Solano’s RBI sacrifice fly in the top of the seventh gave Miami an insurance run to write a 4-2 win in the books.

Haren’s final line was less than impressive: 6.0 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 2 HR [Read more...]

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