August 2, 2015

Washington Nationals Game 98 Review: Marlins top Nationals 4-1

FERNANDEZ QUIETS NATS BATS, ZIMMERMANN VULNERABLE IN LOSS

The Washington Nationals and Miami Marlins dueled on Tuesday night in Miami, with the Nats falling 4-1. Jose Fernandez, recovering from Tommy John surgery in 2014, went six full, allowing one run on four hits, walking four, and striking out five. Jordan Zimmermann matched Fernandez for five innings, allowing one run on five hits, striking out two and walking none, but came apart in the sixth, surrendering three hits, two more runs, two walks (both intentional) and left the game after six.

The Nationals’ only run came on a sacrifice fly in the second. Wilson Ramos drove in Bryce Harper on a deep fly ball to right field, having advanced to third on Ryan Zimmerman’s double to the wall in left. That was all the Nationals could do off Fernandez, who was working the edges like a professional.

The Marlins answered in the fifth with a pair of singles from J.T. Realmuto and Ichiro Suzuki with one out. Adeiny Hechavarria popped the ball out to Bryce Harper, and that looked like all they would get on the night. The sixth inning told a very different story, unfortunately for the Nationals.

Dee Gordon (2-for-3 on the night) started things off with a long fly ball to the wall, a stand-up triple. On the next pitch, Martin Prado singled to left to score Gordon, making it 2-1. Christian Yelich singled to right, letting Prado advance to third without issue. With no one out, the Nationals opted to walk Derek Dietrich to set up the force at home. J.T. Realmuto would drive in Prado on a ground ball to Escobar that was just far enough in and slow enough to put Escobar’s only play at first, making it 3-1. Zimmermann would issue another intentional pass, this time to Ichiro Suzuki to load the bases with two out. Thankfully for the Nationals, Hechavarria would ground out to Ryan Zimmerman to end the inning with limited damages.

Sammy Solis was called on to pitch the seventh inning, and it did not go well for the young left hander. Cole Gillespie, entering the game as part of a double switch, immediately pounced on the rookie, raking it up the middle. Dee Gordon laid down a beautiful bunt to move him up, just barely out on a quick relay from Solis. The Nats would issue their third intentional walk of the night to noted Nat-killer Martin Prado,

Against Miami closer A.J. Ramos, the Nationals would put up some fight. Michael A. Taylor drew a one-out walk, followed by a pinch-hit double for Clint Robinson off the bench. A borderline walk to Anthony Rendon gave them the go-ahead run at the plate, but an unfortunate grounder from Yunel Escobar ended the game on a 6-4-3 double play without a run scoring.

HERO: Ryan Zimmerman got aboard three times in his return from the DL, going 2-for-3 with a walk.

GOAT: Sammy Solis for his lamentable 7th inning performance.

NATS NOTES:

  • Tonight marks the first game since May 15th that seven of the Nationals “expected” starters appeared in the starting lineup. They have yet to have all eight expected position starters this season.
  • Jayson Werth was 1-for-4 with a single in his return from a broken wrist.

NEXT UP: Doug Fister vs. Tom Kohler at 7:10pm tomorrow night.

Washington Nationals Game 93 Review: Taylor, Espinosa lead comeback over Mets

TAYLOR DRIVES IN THREE IN COMEBACK WIN OVER SECOND PLACE METS

Michael Taylor and Danny Espinosa delivered clutch hits in the eighth inning to trigger a three-run frame, helping the Washington Nationals to come from two runs down and beat the New York Mets 4-3 at Nationals Park, rescuing the rubber match of the three-game series.

The Nats (51-42) lead in the N.L. East returns to three games over the Mets. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 88 Review: Suspended!

The Washington Nationals have played in several strange games this season, but perhaps none as strange as Friday night — a game that ended up not even played to completion.

Due to continued power failures in a bank of lights on the third base side of the field, the opening game of a three-game set with the Los Angeles Dodgers was suspended in the fifth inning with the Nats leading 3-2. The game will be finished Saturday before the regularly scheduled afternoon game.

The Nats reached Dodgers starter Mike Bolsinger in the third inning. Yunel Escobar reached on a double to the left field corner and went to third on Danny Espinosa’s bunt single. Bolsinger fell hard on his left knee fielding the bunt, but after a visit by the trainer, he stayed in. Bryce Harper grounded to second to force Espinosa, but Escobar carried home the first run of the game. Clint Robinson then drew a walk, but Bolsinger escaped further damage by getting Wilson Ramos to ground out to end the rally.

The lead was short lived. Jordan Zimmermann grazed Justin Turner leading off the top of the fourth, and Adrian Gonzalez followed with a mammoth homer to the upper tank  in right.

Then things got weird. With one out in the bottom of the fourth, a bank of lights on the third base side of Nats Park went out — and stayed out for an hour and ten minutes. It took 10 more minutes before play resumed, and they managed to get the bottom of the fourth and top of the fifth in before the same bank of lights went back out.

Tanner Roark came on for Zimmermann in the fifth, who gave up two earned runs on three hits and a walk, striking out three in his shortened appearance.

After a second delay, Roark doubled and then scored on an Escobar home run, before the lights went out for good, causing the suspension of the game — and some unhappy Nats fans that sat around through the delays.

 

 

Washington Nationals Game 82 Review: Zimmermann sublime as Nats sweep Giants

ZIMMERMANN SHUTS DOWN GIANTS, RAMOS HOMERS, DRIVES IN PAIR

Jordan Zimmermann was sublime once again and the Washington Nationals completed a three-game sweep of the defending World Champion San Francisco Giants 3-1 before another terrific holiday weekend crowd at Nationals Park.

Zimmermann threw 100 pitches in his seven complete innings. He allowed one run — a solo home run to Brandon Crawford — and two other hits while walking just one and striking out eight.

The only time the Giants got a runner as far as third base was in the first inning. Angel Pagan singled, stole second and went to third on Buster Posey’s two-out single, but was stranded there after Crawford flied out to the track in center.

After that — save for Crawford’s homer — it was smooth sailing for the quiet Midwesterner.

The Nats (46-36) got on the board first in the second inning. Wilson Ramos and Danny Espinosa drew back-to-back walks from Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong. They both moved up a base when Vogelsong threw a wild pitch, which struck out Ian Desmond swinging. Michael Taylor’s single then plated Ramos.

The Giants struck back in the fourth on Brandon Crawford’s 12th home run of the season.

In the bottom of the fifth, Vogelsong — along with Giants skipper Bruce Bochy — was ejected for arguing balls and strikes with home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi.

The Nats retook the lead in the sixth, when Ramos hit his eighth homer of the season, over the scoreboard in right center, off reliever George Kontos.

Bryce Harper led off the eighth with a double to left center off lefty Javier Lopez, went to third on Tyler Moore’s liner to right, and scored on Ramos’ single off Hunter Strickland.

David Carpenter and Matt Thornton combined to pitch a scoreless eighth and Drew Storen nailed down his 25th save, allowing a walk and striking out one.

NATS NOTES: The Nats placed Stephen Strasburg on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left oblique suffered in Saturday’s win, and recalled righty Taylor Jordan from AAA-Syracuse. The Nats don’t need a fifth starter until after the All-Star break, when Strasburg’s condition can be better evaluated.

Earlier in the day, the National League All-Stars were announced and — in no surprise — Bryce Harper led all NL stars in votesd to garner his third All-Star nod, and second start.

NEXT GAME: Monday at 7:05 pm against the Cincinnati Reds. Doug Fister (3-4, 4.34) hosts Anthony DiSclafani (5-6, 3.68).

Washington Nationals Game 77 Review: Stellar Zimmermann leads Nats over Braves

Jordan Zimmermann threw 7 2/3 shutout innings and the Washington Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves for the ninth straight time, 6-1, at Turner Field in Atlanta.

The winning streak extends back to April 28, when the Nats overcame a nine-run deficit to win courtesy of Dan Uggla’s ninth inning homer.

Zimmermann allowed six hits and no walks, having no trouble mowing down the Braves well into the eighth inning. He struck out six and threw 85 of his 109 pitches for strikes.

Meanwhile, the top of the order was getting things done offensively. The 1-4 hitters, Denard Span, Danny Espinosa, Yunel Escobar and Bryce Harper all had multi-hit games, with Espinosa going 3-5 with two runs scored.

Clint Robinson hit his third home run of the season, which capped a four-run rally in the first inning against Braves starter Shelby Miller, who allowed a season-high five runs total on eight hits and three walks in his five innings.

NEXT GAME: Wednesday at 7:10 pm in Atlanta. Doug Fister (3-3, 4.15) faces Rookie Matt Wisler (1-1, 3.75).

Washington Nationals Game 72 Review: Desmond’s Sacrifice Beats the Braves

A sacrifice fly hit to left field by Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond off reliever David Ardsma in the eleventh inning with one out and the bases loaded led Washington to a 2-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves in D.C. after a solid eight-inning performance from starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann on Wednesday night. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 66 Review: Nats shutout 5-0 by Rays

NATS STRUGGLE AGAINST RAYS JUST A DAY AFTER 16-RUN OUTBURST, LOSE 5-0

The Washington Nationals were shutout 5-0 by the Tampa Bay Rays just a day after hanging 16 runs on the board. Stephen Souza Jr. and Curt Casali had home runs, and the Rays would score three additional runs after the Nationals defense fell apart in the rain.

When is a starter not a starter? When the Tampa Bay Rays come to a National League city. The Rays put Steve Geltz on the mound tonight in the first, knowing full well he wouldn’t pitch in the bottom of the third. Trying to combat an offensive deficit as an AL team playing in an NL city, the Rays pinch-hit for their “starter” Geltz in the top of third.

It didn’t work out quite like they planned. Pinch-hitter Brandon Guyer grounded into a double-play, ending a short-lived rally and leaving everyone scratching their heads just a bit. Matt Andriese took over for Geltz in the 3rd, after Geltz threw two perfect innings, and then departed in the seventh, scattering two hits and a walk through four. Kevin Jepsen pitched a scoreless seventh, and Ronald Belisario a scoreless eighth.

Former Stephen Souza Jr. brought his bat to face his former teammate on Wednesday. Famous for his no-hitter saving catch in the 9th inning of Zimmermann’s no-hitter in late September 2014, Souza was 3-for-4 on the night, complete with a solo home run in the fifth inning. Curt Casali followed Souza’s knock with one of his own on a pitch that got away from Zimmermann, making it 2-0.

Ian Desmond struggled with some defensive issues in the sixth, missing a grounder up the middle for what was arguably an unplayable ball, and then compounded the situation, bobbling what should have been an easy double play. The Nats would escape from the situation, giving up only one run, but the damage was done.

And then the rain came.

As the eighth inning began, a hard rain fell on Nationals Park, causing many to wonder if the game might be paused or even called as the storm cell arrived. With a runner aboard, and two men down, the umpires seemed not to want to suspend the game mid-inning, and despite a healthy downpour, let Blake Treinen pitch to Stephen Souza Jr.

Souza, looking to bunt his way aboard, put a squib down the third base line. Treinen would lunge for the ball with his bare hand, and threw the wet ball down the first base line over the head of Danny Espinosa, advancing both of the runners. Bryce Harper charged in on the errant throw, and attempted to fire a strike to Yunel Escobar at third. Only, the ball was still quite wet, and left his hand a little wild. The ball ended up in the Rays dugout, and Souza claimed his little league home run, making it 5-0.

The Nationals had two hits on the night, and no matter how good your starting pitching is (and Zimmermann went 7IP, 3ER, 8K, BB, a strong evening), if you can’t put runners aboard, you’re going to fall short. A night after they put 16 runs and 23 hits on the board, they made three fielding errors, got just two hits, and scored nary a thing.

Baseball.

HERO: No hero tonight, my friends. Well, maybe Stephen Souza Jr. But they traded him this off-season. So. There’s that.

GOAT: Ian Desmond, Blake Treinen and Bryce Harper for their error-laden performance.

NATS NOTES:

  • The 27-minute rain delay in the 8th was the shortest delay of the season so far for the Nationals
  • Former National Stephen Souza Jr leads all rookies in home runs with 13.

NEXT UP: Rubber match with the Rays tomorrow night, 7:05pm, Chris Archer (7-4, 2.00) vs. Doug Fister (2-2, 4.31)

Washington Nationals Game 57 Review: Zimmermann pounded in 6-3 loss

Jordan Zimmermann had an uncharacteristically poor outing and the Washington Nationals fell to the Chicago Cubs 6-3, losing three of four to the Cubs at home over the weekend and eight of their last 10 games.

Zimmermann allowed four earned runs on a whopping 10 hits and two walks over five innings, striking out three. The Cubs two, three, five six and seven hitters all had multi-hit games while their cleanup hitter, Miguel Montero, walked twice. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 51/52 Review: Nats Split Doubleheader with Toronto

JORDAN ZIMMERMANN CRUISES IN GAME 1, BULLPEN SHANKS GAME 2

The Washington Nationals split their Tuesday doubleheader with the Toronto Blue Jays, winning the first game 2-0 behind Jordan Zimmermann’s excellent effort, and dropping the second game 7-3 after the Blue Jays cracked open the Nationals bullpen and ate them like a briny Rappahannock oyster.

Jordan Zimmermann was the star of the show on Tuesday afternoon, walking one, striking out four and scattering six hits in eight innings pitched. His command was top-notch, and he scored one of the two Nationals run in the fifth after a single. The weather worked in Zimmermann’s favor, with cold air deadening the carry in the outfield. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 46 Review: Harper and Span go long but Cubs squeak by Nats

CUBS WIN ON WALK-OFF DOUBLE AFTER COSTLY DESMOND ERROR IN NINTH

The Washington Nationals fell 3-2 to the Chicago Cubs Tuesday night as second baseman Addison Russell hit his first career walk-off with a double against left-handed reliever Matt Grace, wasting a solid seven innings pitched by Jordan Zimmermann.

Despite a shaky opening with Zimmermann giving up a lead-off home run to Cubs outfielder Dexter Fowler to start the game, the right-handed starter struck out five batters and only surrendered that one run while walking two. Zimmermann regained his dominance and maintained his momentum against Chicago’s offense after giving up that initial run in the first. He even tallied three strikeouts against the top the Cubs’ order in the fifth inning before finishing out the seventh inning with a Fowler strikeout. [Read more…]

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