July 28, 2014

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 99 Review: Strasburg uninspiring in 6-4 loss to Rockies


Despite an exciting ninth inning comeback attempt, the Washington Nationals fell to the Colorado Rockies 6-4 in the finale of the three-game series at Coors Field.

Nats starter Stephen Strasburg struggled again in the first inning en route to another uninspiring performance, as the nominal ace of the rotation gave up four earned runs in just 5 1/3 innings. [Read more...]

Washington Nationals Game 98 Review: Zimmerman injured, Nationals power past Rockies


A mile above sea level at Coors Field on Tuesday night, the Washington Nationals came back to defeat the Colorado Rockies 7-4. The victory didn’t come without a cost, however, as Ryan Zimmerman was pulled from the game in the sixth inning with a right leg injury.

The Nationals’ other Zimmerman(n), Jordan Zimmermann, took the mound for his first start since his early exit on July 11th due to a strained right biceps. On Tuesday, he just wasn’t his best and Washington fell into an early hole because of it. [Read more...]

Washington Nationals Game 97 Review: Desmond Leads Nationals Past Rockies


At Coors Field against the Colorado Rockies on Monday night to begin their nine game road trip, the Washington Nationals defeated the Rockies 7-2 thanks in large part to a big night from Ian Desmond.

Neither starting pitcher was overpowering, but in 5.2 innings, Doug Fister gave up two runs on nine hits with four strikeouts and two walks. For Colorado, Franklin Morales gave up four runs (three earned) on nine hits with three strikeouts and four walks.

Washington jumped ahead in the fourth inning and didn’t look back. [Read more...]

Washington Nationals Game 85 Review: Cubs drop Nats 7-2 on Independence Day

The weather was perfect, the stands were full and everyone was in a mood for celebrating. Unfortunately, the play on the field didn’t live up to the moment.

The Washington Nationals offense sputtered once again, shut down this time by Chicago Cubs right-hander Jason Hammel, as the Nats fell to the Cubbies 7-2 in the Independence Day matinee, before 41,274 red, white and blue clad fans as Nationals Park.

Nats’ starter Tanner Roark gave up single runs in each of the first three innings, while the Nats (46-39) mustered a single safety, on Jayson Werth’s solo home run — his eighth of the year — in the bottom of the first against Hammel, who was traded by the Cubs after the game as part of a mega-deal to the Oakland A’s.

Hammel bested the Nats for six innings, allowing just five hits and two walks, striking out seven. Washington picked up its second run in the seventh inning on a leadoff double by Anthony Rendon and a one-out single from Wilson Ramos, to cut the score to 4-2.

But that’s as close as the Nats got. Chicago added three more runs in the top of the ninth off Ross Detwiler, Aaron Barrett and Jerry Blevins.

The second game of the three-game series is Saturday at 4:05 pm. Gio Gonzalez (5-4, 3.93) hosts Carlos Villaneuva (4-5, 5.91).


Washington Nationals Game 77 Review: Strasburg, Nats out of gas in 9-2 loss to Brewers

After burning through the bullpen in the 16-inning affair Tuesday night, the Washington Nationals needed starter Stephen Strasburg to play “stopper” and give the pen a needed rest. It didn’t happen.

Strasburg gave up seven earned runs — matching a career-high — and the Nats offense mustered just two hits all day as they fell 9-2 to the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park.

Strasburg (L, 6-6, 3.70) didn’t have very good command if his fastball. He was still throwing strikes (58 0f his 90 pitches were in the zone), but left many of his fastball offerings right over the plate. In 4 2/3 innings, he gave up eight hits and three walks, striking out just two Brewers.

The Nats (41-36) scored a run in the second on a pair of walks and a fielder’s choice by Nate McLouth, but the lead was short-lived.

Strasburg allowed a single to leadoff hitter Mark Reynolds in the bottom of the inning, That was followed by a double by Elian Herrera and a walk to No. 8 hitter Martin Maldonado, the backup catcher. After Brewers starter Marco Estrada struck out, 5’6″ Scooter Gennett turned around a 95-MPH fastball over the wall in center field for a grand slam and a 4-1 Brewers lead.

The Nats cut the lead to two in the fourth, as Ian Desmond’s double — the first hit of the game for the Nats off Estrada — drove in Ryan Zimmerman, who had walked to lead off the inning.

The Brewers answered right back. Khris Davis drilled Strasburg’s first pitch of the bottom of the fourth over the fence in left center to make it 5-2, and any life the Nats had was quashed.

Milwaukee added two more in the fifth off Strasburg, and two more in the sixth off reliever Taylor Hill, making his Major League debut on an emergency basis after the 16 inning game Tuesday night.

The Nats, after taking two of three against first-place Milwaukee, travel to Chicago for a four-game series with the Cubs. Doug Fister (6-2, 2.65) faces Travis Wood (7-6, 4.55) Thursday at 8:10 pm ET.

Washington Nationals Game 55 Review: Darvish Defeats Roark in Pitchers Duel at Nats Park

On Sunday afternoon at Nationals Park, the hometown crowd was treated to a pitchers duel between the Washington Nationals’ Tanner Roark and the Texas Rangers’ Yu Darvish. Despite a strong start from Roark, the Rangers denied Washington of the series sweep by winning 2-0.  [Read more...]

Washington Nationals Game 54 Review: Nats Find Their Swing in 10-2 Rout of Texas Rangers

Powered by four homers at Nationals Park on Saturday afternoon, the Washington Nationals continued their recent offensive outburst in a 10-2 rout of the visiting Texas Rangers.

On Friday night, the Nationals put up nine runs on 15 hits, including a towering Ian Desmond homer, to defeat the Rangers in the first game of the three-game set. A team that was once searching for offense certainly seems to have found something if Saturday’s slugfest is any indication. [Read more...]

Washington Nationals Game 40 Review: Ninth Inning Drama Salvages Victory Over Diamondbacks

In an afternoon duel between two pitchers, the Washington Nationals needed a ninth inning rally to defeat the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix, 5-1.

From the early going, runs were at a premium as we witnessed a duel in the desert on the mound. Both Washignton’s Doug Fister (7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 6 K, 100 PC) and Arizona’s Brandon McCarthy (8 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 7 K, 101 PC) brought their ace material to the diamond. It wasn’t until the third inning that either team’s offense started to make some noise.

[Read more...]

Washington Nationals Game 38 Review: Four Homers Lead Nats Past Diamondbacks

On a night when neither team’s starting pitcher brought their ace material to the mound, the Washington Nationals and Arizona Diamondbacks engaged in a nine-inning slugfest in manager Matt Williams’ first trip back to Phoenix, with the Nats getting two homers in the top of the ninth to steal a 6-5 win at Chase Field.

The scoring got started early and came often for both ball clubs. Washington was first to plate a run after Anthony Rendon (1-4, RBI) hit a sac-fly to score lead-off man Denard Span (3-5, R) in the first, who had tripled to lead off the game. Tyler Moore then hit solo-shot to left-center and the Nationals were up 2-0 to heading to the third.

Arizona then made their first counter punch of the night. Thanks to three doubles in the inning by Josh Collmenter, Martin Prado and Paul Goldschmidt, the Diamondbacks plated three runs to take the lead.

As quickly as Arizona had taken the lead, they lost it. After Wilson Ramos (0-3, BB) walked to start the inning, Ian Desmond hit his fifth home run of the year to give Washington the lead right back. After that, both pitchers began to settle in.

Over the next two innings, Jordan Zimmermann (5.2 IP, 10 H, 5 ER, 4 Ks) sat down six-straight Diamondbacks after allowing the lead-off man to reach base to start the fourth. His opponent, Josh Collmenter (5 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 2Ks), then pitched a 1-2-3 fifth inning, but those ended up being his final three outs of the night as the game was turned over to the bullpen.

After giving up a two-out, two-run homer to A.J. Pollock in the bottom of the sixth inning, Matt Williams then relieved Zimmermann of his duties and turned that game over to his bullpen. Lefty Jerry Blevins picked up the final out of the inning, which was his only batter of the game.

Down 5-4, the bullpen just needed to keep the Diamondbacks off the scoreboard. Combined, Blevins, Aaron Barrett and Tyler Clippard gave up one hit in 2 1/3 innings of work while striking out three. In the top of ninth, the Nationals still had a chance.

With the 6-7-8 hitters up in the top of the frame, Arizona turned to closer Addison Reed to finish the game. After seeing just one pitch, Danny Espinosa (1-4, RBI, HR) took Reed’s 1-0 pitch over the right-field wall for the game-tying homer. Two batters later, pinch hitter Kevin Frandsen took a 2-0, two-out pitch to deep left to give the Nationals the 6-5.

After blowing his last save attempt, Williams gave Rafael Soriano a chance to redeem himself on Monday night. After giving up a lead-off single, Soriano then got some help from Desmond and Espinosa who turned a clutch double-play on an Eric Chavez grounder. Two batters later with a man on second, Soriano got Chavez to ground out to Desmond to secure his eighth save of the season, and the Nationals their 20th win, 6-5.

For Washington, the night saw them give four souvenirs to the folks sitting in the outfield, their most homers hit in a single game all season long. While Zimmermann didn’t bring his strongest stuff, it’s always a welcomed sight to see the bats back up the pitcher. For what it’s worth, Clippard was awarded his third win of the season.

On Tuesday night, the Nationals and Diamondbacks will return to the scene of the crime for Game 2 of the series. Stephen Strasburg (3-2, 3.42 ERA) will take on Bronson Arroyo (3-2, 4.89 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 9:40 PM EST.

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