October 7, 2015

Washington Nationals Game 127 Review: National drop opener to Marlins 4-3


August is where baseball seasons go to die, and the Nationals’ campaign is all but dead.

Though their elimination is not yet complete, you’d have struggled to find evidence of that Friday night at Nationals Park. The Marlins leapt out to a 4-1 lead off Nationals ace Max Scherzer, and a lackluster injury-depleted lineup could not compete with the 51-77 Miami Marlins, who remain without the service of their mammoth offensive machine, Giancarlo Stanton.

Scherzer completed seven full, surrendering two home runs among the six hits, and striking out eight. The blasts from Marcel Ozuna and Martin Prado were enough to put the Marlins on top for the evening. Though Scherzer would recover to throw four strong innings after giving up the runs, it was enough to doom his outing.

Trea Turner, starting at 2nd base, was a bright light for the Nationals in the field, making a series of nice plays that demonstrated his incredible speed. He left the game in the eighth inning as part of a double switch.

Danny Espinosa started in left field tonight, only moving to 2nd base as part of a double switch in the eighth. Espinosa acquitted himself well in the outfield, including making a long run to retrieve a foul fly ball.

Ian Desmond put the Nationals on the board in the 2nd to tie the game at one, and Wilson Ramos would deliver another blast in the 5th to narrow the lead to 4-2. The Nationals had every chance to take the lead in the sixth inning, as the wheels came right off Marlins starter Adam Conley. A double by Jayson Werth into the bullpen, a single by Anthony Rendon and a Bryce Harper walk loaded the bases with no one out.

Kyle Barraclough came out of the bullpen to face Ryan Zimmerman, who delivered a sacrifice fly to make it 4-3. Ian Desmond struck out swinging, but Espinosa walked to re-load the bases for Wilson Ramos. Despite Ramos’ earlier towering blast, Barraclough came in to attack the zone against the Buffalo, getting him to ground out to end the threat.

Felipe Rivero pitched 1.1 innings of perfect relief, his stellar control on display before the Nationals Park crowd. Blake Treinen finished off the 9th, despite allowing a double and a hit batsman.

The 9th inning saw the Nationals get the tying run to 2nd, but that was all they could muster against A.J. Ramos. Ian Desmond started things off with a single, and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Espinosa. Wilson Ramos struck out on a pitch in the dirt. Clint Robinson, batting for the pitcher’s slot, flew out harmlessly to end the threat.

HERO: Ryan Zimmerman gets half a hero for his RBI tonight, but sac flies are pretty terrible.

GOAT: Yes. Every last lily-livered player. There’s no fire out there right now, no passion, just workman-like losses over and over and over again.


  • Per the Nationals and Elias: Ryan Zimmerman has now driven in a run in 12 of his last 13 plate appearances with the bases loaded (dating to July 2014).

NEXT UP: Your next appointment with sadness is tomorrow at 7:05pm. Tom Koehler vs. Jordan Zimmermann. Bring all of the bourbon you can.

Washington Nationals Game 2 Review: Zim’s homer stands up as Nats beat Mets

Even though the Washington Nationals got some good news about their leadoff and No. 3 hitters before the game, they’ll still be without them for a little longer and will have difficulty scoring an excess of runs. For now, the Nats will have to rely on strong pitching and timely run production.

They got both Wednesday, as Jordan Zimmermann pitched six strong innings, Ryan Zimmerman homered in the first inning, and the Nats beat the New York Mets 2-1 at soggy Nats Park.

Escobar congratulates Ryan Zimmerman after hitting a 2-run homer.  Washington Nationals defeated the New York Mets 2-1 at Nats Park on April 8, 2015 after a rain delay (Photo by Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Escobar congratulates Ryan Zimmerman after hitting a 2-run homer.
Washington Nationals defeated the New York Mets 2-1 at Nats Park on April 8, 2015 after a rain delay (Photo by Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Before the game, manager Matt Williams said Jayson Werth will report to High-A Potomac to start a rehab assignment and might be ready to return to the lineup soon after he’s eligible on Saturday. Denard Span will go back to extended spring training in Viera to play in a few more simulated games before beginning his rehab assignment, but he’s well ahead of schedule.

As for the game, after an hour rain delay in which no rain actually fell, Zimmermann made short work of the Mets in the first. Then in the bottom half, Yunel Escobar singled with one out ahead of Ryan Zimmerman’s first home run of the season, a no-doubt shot to left on an 1-1 count off Jacob de Grom, last season’s N.L. Rookie of the Year for a 2-0 lead.

New York got one back in second, as three consecutive ground ball singles, the last by Travis d’Arnaud, cut the lead in half. But with the bases loaded, Zimmermann struck out Curtis Granderson looking on a high slider, one that Granderson thought was too high.

The Nats got a leadoff double by Wilson Ramos in the sixth looking to add to a tenuous lead, but Ian Demsond whiffed at a slider, Dan Uggla popped up and Tyler Moore grounded to third.

Zimmermann didn’t return for the seventh. He threw 91 pitches in six full innings, allowing the one earned run on five hits and no walks, striking out four.

A one-out double in the seventh by Michael Taylor was wasted, as he ran into an out at third on a grounder, and Zimmerman struck out to end the inning.

Blake Treinen pitched a scoreless eighth, including nabbing a line drive by Lucas Duda, then doubling up David Wright at first. Drew Storen had an uneventful ninth inning for his first save of the season, including a punch-out on a nasty slider following a 94-MPH fastball on the black.

HERO: Ryan Zimmerman. He provided all the scoring the Nats needed, and turned in several sparkling plays on defense.

GOAT: Ian Desmond. No errors unlike opening day, but 0 for 4 with two Ks. He’s lost at the plate right now, swinging at everything with very little contact.


  • Feeling it at first: Zimmerman seems to be settling in fine at first base. In the second, he made a full out dive toward home plate to catch de Grom’s popped up bunt. The Face of the Franchise made another diving stop in the eighth, robbing Curtis Granderson of potential extra bases.
  • Second time’s a charm: In the fourth, d’Arnaud hit a high pop to second base and Dan Uggla camped underneath of it, similar to the play that Ian Desmond committed an error on opening day. This time, Uggla emphatically called for it, waving his arms, and Desmond demurred.
  • Holding ‘em to one: In the sixth, Lucas Duda’s line drive one-hopped the wall in right. Harper made a clean pick-up of the carom and fired a laser to second, holding Duda to a single. Duda was erased on a fielder’s choice grounder on the next at bat.

UP NEXT: Thursday at 1:05 pm. Stephen Strasburg (14-11, 3.14 in 2014) hosts RHP Matt Harvey (9-5, 2.27 in 2013).

Mets Kirk Nieuwenhuis was safe when the ball popped out of Nats 2B Dan Uggla's glove. Washington Nationals defeated the New York Mets 2-1 at Nats Park on April 8, 2015 after a rain delay (Photo by Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Mets Kirk Nieuwenhuis was safe when the ball popped out of Nats 2B Dan Uggla’s glove. Washington Nationals defeated the New York Mets 2-1 at Nats Park on April 8, 2015 after a rain delay (Photo by Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Washington Nationals Opening Day Review: Scherzer strong, defense does Nats in

Fans lining up at Center Field Gate waiting for the gates to open at Nationals Park for home opener, 4/6/2015 (Photo by Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Fans lining up at Center Field Gate waiting for the gates to open at Nationals Park for home opener, 4/6/2015 (Photo by Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Clear, azure blue skies. Temperatures in the low 70s. A full house at Nats Park, home of the 2018 All-Star Game. A 4:05 pm start, free from rush hour traffic both getting to and returning home from the park. One could not have asked for a better day for baseball in April.

Unfortunately, the home team couldn’t comply. Ian Desmond made two errors, which both contributed to unearned runs against starter Max Scherzer, and the New York Mets beat the Washington Nationals 3-1 before 42,295 at Nats Park.

Scherzer came as advertised, not allowing a hit until Lucas Duda’s RBI single in the sixth inning, and he finished with eight strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 29 Review: Wizards Dominate Celtics in Series Finale


To continue their hot start at home, the Washington Wizards defeated the Boston Celtics — in rematch of an overtime thriller — 101-88 inside the Verizon Center on Saturday night.

Right from the get-go, the Wizards had control.  [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 26 Review: Phoenix Ends Wizards Streak


In a rare loss at home, the Washington Wizards fell to the Phoenix Suns 104-92 inside the friendly confines of the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 23 Review: Wizards Rebound In Win Over Jazz


The Washington Wizards nearly fell victim to the underdog Utah Jazz on Sunday, but used a strong third-quarter surge to please the hometown crowd in the Verizon Center, winning their 12th home game, 93-84.

It was a tale of two halves for the Wizards. After a sluggish and sloppy first 24 minutes, they woke up after halftime and cleaned things up in the second half. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 22 Review: Wiz Play Team Basketball In Win


Back in the friendly confines of the Verizon Center on Friday night, the Washington Wizards defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 104-96.

Right from the opening tip, the Wizards took control. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 21 Review: Beal Beats Buzzer, Magic


The Washington Wizards returned to the site of their first victory of the season and left with a similar result, defeating the Orlando Magic at the buzzer in Orlando, 91-89.

With 0.8 seconds left, it seemed as though the Wizards would be heading to overtime for the second straight game. That is, until head coach Randy Wittman drew up a buzzer-beating lob-pass in the huddle during a timeout.

As if it was drawn up in the dirt, Bradley Beal (9 points) rolled to the basket and looked back to Andre Miller for the pass. Miller placed the inbounds-lob-pass with precision accuracy and Beal laid it up and in before the backboard lit up in red. The Wizards stormed the floor in victory, their 15th of the season. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 14 Review: Wiz Fall in Rematch With Cavs


For the second time in six days, the Washington Wizards took the floor against the Cleveland Cavaliers, dropping the rematch Wednesday night in Cleveland, 113-87.

The second of four games that these two rivals will play this year was a mirror opposite of their first matchup in D.C. last Friday night, which the Wizards (9-5) won in an impressive fashion. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 9 Review: Beal Returns, Wiz Fall To Mavs


The Washington Wizards suffered their first home-loss of the season to the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night, 105-102, but they did return one of their biggest stars in Bradley Beal.

With 4:52 left in the first quarter, Beal – who missed the Wizards’ first nine games with a wrist injury – entered the game for the first time since preseason. [Read more…]

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