December 17, 2017

Statistically Speaking: Soriano’s Historic (?) Implosion

What was expected to be a straightforward 6-0 drubbing of a National League East foe turned into a bit of a laugher come the ninth inning for the Washington Nationals on Monday night and unfortunately, for the wrong reasons. The inning and the game was lost by the usually steadfast closer, Rafael Soriano, whose stat line was a veritable house of horrors for a team in need of a strong showing against the Miami Marlins in order to stay atop the NL East standings:

IP H R ER BB SO RE24
0.1 3 4 4 1 0 -3.68

[Read more…]

Washington Nationals make roster changes before series with Mets

Sitting with a record below .500 after Memorial Day is no way for a World Series hopeful to conduct business.

Tuesday, before their game against the New York Mets, The Washington Nationals placed second baseman Danny Espinosa on the 15-day D.L. with a broken right wrist, recalled infielder Anthony Rendon, and designated Henry Rodriguez and Zach Duke for assignment. In addition, the team called up LHP Ian Krol, who was acquired in the off-season trade of Michael Morse.

Saying Espinosa has struggled this season is a gross understatement. The 26-year-old was hitting .158/.193/.272 at the time of his disabling with just three homers and 12 RBIs this season. He had struck out 47 times and walked just four times. He injured his left shoulder last August and later was diagnosed with a partially torn rotator cuff. In April of this year, he was hit with a Paul Maholm fastball and was later diagnoses with a fracture and bone chips in his right wrist.

According to reports in the clubhouse, Espinosa cleared his locker out. It’s not usual protocol for a player on the 15-day D.L. to clear out his locker.

Rendon starts his second stint with the team. He was recently promoted to AAA and got three games in for Syracuse before being recalled. He played all three games at second base. Rendon hit .307/.452/.575 between Harrisburg and Syracuse this season.

Rodriguez, the 100-MPH fireballing reliever, owned a 4.00 ERA and 1.667 WHIP at the time of his release. Always one to have trouble with his control, he was walking a whopping 8.0 per nine innings while his usually stellar K/9 was down to 5.5.

Duke was 1-1 with a 8.71 ERA and 1.887 WHIP in 12 games, including one start.

Krol. a 22-year-old left-handed reliever, had a 0.69 ERA, 0.8080 WHIP and 10.0 K/p in AA-Harrisburg and has never pitched above Double-A.

 

Washington Nationals Game 56 Review: Nats fall back to .500 in 10th-inning loss to Braves

Gio Gonzalez (ND, 3-3) did essentially everything in his power to hand the Washington Nationals (28-28) their second win over the Atlanta Braves (33-22) this series, but once more, the run support never came.

In 7.0 innings pitched, Gonzalez allowed just one run over three hits and one walk and struck out seven. He was, however, matched by Tim Hudson (ND, 4-4), who achieved nearly an identical line in 7.1 innings pitched with just one unearned run on three hits, one walk and four strikeouts.

Atlanta had first crack at edging their National League East rivals in the bottom of the third after Dan Uggla walked and B. J. Upton singled before an out was recorded. Hudson held the go-ahead runner in place on his sacrifice bunt, but Andrelton Simmons’s grounder brought home Uggla to give the Braves a 1-0 lead. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 25 Review: Nats performance as dreary as the weather in 5-2 loss to Reds

Looking to complete the rare four-game sweep, instead the Washington Nationals fell into a lot of the same mistakes that have plagued them all season. Missed opportunities. Sketchy defense. Questionable decisions. It all ended up in a 5-2 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on a dreary, rainy day before 36,457 at Nationals Park. The Nationals crossed the 500,000 mark in attendance in April with the big weekend series.

The Nats (13-12) biggest obstacle Sunday was Reds rookie pitcher Tony Cingrani. Making his third MLB start, the lefty was sublime, using a mid-90s fastball and sharp breaking ball to strike out 11 in six innings. The Nats managed just two hits off Cingrani and walked once.

Ross Detwiler, the Nats starter, was off for the first time this season and received “death by papercuts,” allowing four runs on 11 hits — 10 singles and four infield singles — in five innings to take his second loss of the season.

The Reds got into Detwiler right off the bat in the first inning. Zack Cozart singled to the opposite field on a 2-2 count with one out, followed by a rocket double to the left field corner by Joey Votto. Brandon Phillips then singled to center, scoring both runners.

The second inning saw more damage to Detwiler’s ERA. With one out, Cingrani reached when his ground ball hit the third base bag and eluded Anthony Rendon. Shin-Soo Choo grounded to Rendon to start what could have been a double play, but Danny Espinosa flat-out dropped the relay, so all hands were safe. Cozart drew a five-pitch walk, and Votto singled to plate Cingrani. It could have been worse, but Phillips lined into a 3-6 double play to end the inning.

Cincinnati picked up another run against Detwiler in the fourth. Catcher Corky Miller reached on an infield single, took second on the pitcher’s sacrifice, went to third on Choo’s ground out and scored on Cozart’s infield single. The Reds nickel-and-dimed Detwiler to death.

The Nats finally got on the board in the seventh. Ian Desmond singled on a bloop to right field. After Adam LaRoche struck out (0-for-25, 13 Ks in his last six games) Anthony Rendon drew a walk. Kurt Suzuki followed with a double into the left field corner that scored Desmond. But with one out and runners at second and third, the Nats wasted those other runners, as Steve Lombardozzi pinch-hit into a comebacker and Denard Span grounded to short to end the rally.

Manager Davey Johnson went to Henry Rodriguez for the eighth, and it cost his team a run. Hot Rod faced four batters, walking three of them. He threw 17 pitches, four of which were strikes. Ryan Mattheus entered with the bases loaded and Cozart greeted him with a sacrifice fly to score a run. Mattheus limited the damage by getting Votto to line out to end the inning.

The Nats got that run back in the bottom of the frame. With one out, Harper drew a walk on a 10-pitch at bat against Jonathan Broxton. One out later, Ian Desmond lofted a fly ball to right center that Shin-Soo Choo couldn’t handle. The ball kicked away and Harper scored from first, with Desmond getting credit for a double. Desmond was left stranded when LaRoche flied out for the final out.

Aroldis Chapman blew the Nats away in the bottom of the ninth for his sixth save of the season.

THE GOOD: Craig Stammen. Two perfect innings of relief with two more Ks.

THE BAD: Adam LaRoche: 0-for-5, 3 Ks. 5 LOB. Denard Span: 0-for-5, 4 LOB.

THE UGLY: Henry Rodriguez. 17 pitches, four strikes. Ino ne sequence, he almost hit Miller in the head, and bounced the next pitch in the left-handed batters box, which skipped to the backstop, ricocheted and almost hit Rodriguez at the pitcher’s mound on the rebound. (link courtesy @recordsandradio)

THE STATS: 5 hits, 4 BBs, 14 Ks. 1-for-7 with RISP, 8 LOB. E: Espinosa (2, catch), Rendon (3, throw). DP: 2.

NEXT GAME: Monday at 7:10 pm against the Atlanta Braves from Turner Field. Stephen Strasburg 91-4, 3.16) faces Julio Teheran (1-0, 5.48).

NATS: Happy Birthday, Henry Rodriguez

HAPPY 26th BIRTHDAY HENRY RODRIGUEZ!

The Washington Nationals Reliever was born on 02/25/1987 in Santa Barbara, Venezuela.

Henry Rodriguez handed ball to Davey Johnson after 1.1 innings - Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals, July 31, 2012. (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Henry Rodriguez handed ball to Davey Johnson after 1.1 innings – Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals, July 31, 2012. (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Washington Nationals to recall Lannan, others for September

John Lannan could be an integral piece for the Nats stretch drive. (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson announced before Friday night’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals that the team would add several players when the rosters expand after Sept. 1. Johnson listed LHP John Lannan, C Sandy Leon, OF Eury Perez and veteran INF Mark DeRosa as definites, with OF Corey Brown and another AAA pitcher — likely to be RHP Christian Garcia — to be added Sept. 3 after AAA-Syracuse finishes their season. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 42 Review: Burnett cleans up for Hot Rod in 2-1 win over Phillies

For the better part of eight innings, the Washington Nationals held a small, but seemingly comfortable, lead over the Philadelphia Phillies, missing much of the roster that for the last five years have seen them run roughshod over the N.L. East. But in the ninth inning, clinging to a 2-0 lead, Davey Johnson might have finally found a breaking point with Henry Rodriguez.

After another ninth inning melt-down by Hot Rod, Sean Burnett came on to save a 2-1 win and make a winner of Gio Gonzalez after another quality start. The Nats have taken three of four this year from the Phillies, and have gone 12-3 against the former bullies in the last 15 meetings between the division rivals. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 37 Review: Gio, LaRoche power Nats past Pirates 7-4

The Washington Nationals have been in more one-run games this season that just about anyone in baseball. For the first five innings of Wednesday night’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates nothing looked any different. But a semi-explosion of offense accounted for five runs in the sixth and seventh innings as the Nats knocked off the Pirates 7-4, before a nice crowd of 25,942 at Nats Park.

The big hit was Adam LaRoche’s bases-loaded double in the seventh that cleared the bases, the 1,000th career hit for LaRoche. The veteran first baseman homered earlier and ended up 3-for-4 with four RBIs.

“He’s been indispensable,” manager Davey Johnson said of his first baseman. “You know, we’re missing other guys in the lineup, even [Ryan Zimmerman] has been struggling. He been the one constant since day one.” [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 35 Review: Burnett – not Hot Rod – saves Nats win in 9th

Nats catcher Sandy Leon, making MLB debut, injured on play at the plate. May 14, 2012 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Henry Rodriguez has had a tough couple of days.

Despite his manager vowing before — and after — the game that Rodriguez and his 100-MPH fastball was still his closer, that he had the utmost of confidence in the erratic, but dynamic, right-hander, it was left-hander Sean Burnett that sealed the Washington Nationals 8-5 win over the San Diego Padres Monday night, before a soggy and nervous crowd of 19,434 — at least, officially anyway.

Burnett was called upon in a one-out, bases loaded situation set up by three consecutive walks by Rodriguez, who could not command any of his three pitches. Rodriguez threw 21 of them, just nine for strikes. But Burnett got Padres No. 3 hitter Jesus Guzman to tap back to the mound, and the emergency closer threw calmly to home to start a 1-2-3 rally — and game — killing double play. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 34 Review: Votto slams Nats with walk-off homer against Hot Rod

The game was delayed for over three hours due to a steady rain that fell in the Cincinnati area overnight, continued into the morning, and just kept on falling throughout the game. Maybe now the Nats wish they went ahead and called it.

Leading 6-5 going into the bottom of the ninth, “Bad Henry” showed up again, as Henry Rodriguez gave up a seeing-eye single ahead of two walks, bringing up Joey Votto, who had only gone 3-for-4 with two home runs and a double to that point in the game. On a 2-2 fastball that caught too much of the plate, Votto ended it, sending the 96-MPH offering into the batter’s eye in center field, delivering a walk-off grand slam and a 9-6 win for the Reds. [Read more…]

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