November 21, 2017

Washington Nationals Game 113 Review: Nats blanked by Kershaw

TWO-RUN THROWING ERROR BY RENDON IN EIGHTH SEALS NATS’ FATE

Facing Clayton Kershaw in the rubber match of a three-game series is a daunting task. On Wednesday, the Washington Nationals — with Bryce Harper less than 100 percent with a bum knee — were not up to the task, falling to the overpowering lefty and the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-0, starting the Nats almost do-or-die 10-game west coast road swing at 1-2 in the City of Angels.

With the loss, the Nationals fall 3 1/2 games behind the New York Mets in the N.L. East, 3-0 winners over Colorado.

Kershaw (W, 10-6, 2.39) allowed three hits — and no walks — over eight innings, striking out eight. Kanley Jansen mopped up in a hitless ninth for his 22nd save.

The hard-luck loser was Jordan Zimmermann, who was pretty good in his own right, though no perfect, which he would have had to have been to outduel Kershaw. Zimmermann (L, 8-8, 3.34) allowed one run on two hits and a walk, striking out nine, in his seven innings.

Drew Storen struggled once again, allowing two runs in two-third of an inning. Though his defense let him down in a big way as well.

The Dodgers scratched a run out against Zimmermann in the third. Rookie Joc Pederson drew a walk, went to second on fellow rookie Jose Peraza’s ground out and scored on Carl Crawford’s line drive single to left.

It was goose eggs the rest of the way until the eighth.

Storen struck out Alberto Callaspo, but hit Pederson on a 1-2 count. Pinch-hitter Andre Ethier then laced a line drive to right for a double, with Pederson stopping at third. Harper played the relay into Anthony Rendon, and he inexplicably threw the ball up the third base line and over everyone’s head and into a camera well, allowing both runners to score on the out-of-play ball.

Storen has allowed eight runs in his past three outings.

If you were looking for offense out of the Nats, well, there was none, save for Michael Taylor’s 2 for 3 night. Other than that, Kershaw was dominant against a Nats lineup that lately has been making the mediocre look like Cy Young.

NEXT GAME: The Nats move up the coast to play the defending World Champion San Francisco Dodgers in a three-game set. Stephen Strasburg (6-5, 4.76) takes the hill against Ryan Vogelsong (7-8, 4.26) at 10:10 pm ET.

Washington Nationals Game 113 Review: Greinke, Puig too much for Nats

HARPER SITS IT OUT WITH INJURED LEFT KNEE

Mama said there would be days like these.

Zack Greinke was his normally dominant self, Yasiel Puig had a monster night and the Los Angeles Dodgers spanked the Washington Nationals 5-0 at Chavez Ravine in the second of a three-game set.

The Nats fell to 58-54, and dropped to 2 1/2 games behind the New York Mets, 4-0 winners over Colorado. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 111 Review: Desmond powers Nats over Dodgers

DESMOND HOMERS TWICE TO BACK SOLID OUTING BY GONZALEZ

Desperately in need of starting a 10-game west coast road trip of on a successful note — and with pitchers of stronger pedigree looming — the Washington Nationals bats busted out against Los Angeles Dodgers starter Brett Anderson, Gio Gonzalez was solid over eight innings, and the Nats beat the Dodgers 8-3 at Chavez Ravine.

The Nats (58-53) remained a game and a half back of the New York Mets, 4-2 winners over Colorado earlier in the night. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 90 Review: Scherzer outdueled by Greinke

On a sweltering day in the nation’s capital in a battle of National League All-Star pitchers, Zack Greinke bettered Max Scherzer — just barely — and the Los Angeles Dodgers tacked on some late runs to beat the Washington Nationals 5-0 on “Star Wars Day” at Nationals Park.

Overall, the Nats were outhit 15-5. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 89 Review: Kershaw and the Dodgers Beat the Nats

The Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Washington Nationals 4-2 on Saturday afternoon in front of a sellout crowd of 41,426  as the result of a dominant performance by All-Star starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw.

Kershaw struck out 14 batters — a season high for him and the most strike outs at Nats Park by an opposing team since 2005 — to give the Dodgers the win. He threw 101 pitches and 73 strikes in eight scoreless innings pitched and gave up three hits.

The pitching dominance exhibited by the Dodgers along with their productive offense left the Nats bats mostly dormant and Nats starting pitcher Doug Fister in a rough place.

Fister threw 91 pitches and 58 strikes in five innings of work. He gave up nine hits and four runs while striking out one, walking two (one intentionally), and hitting a batter.  [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 Series Preview: Los Angeles Dodgers

After the four-day All Star break, the Washington Nationals (48-39) hit the ground running in the second half. Thirteen of their next sixteen games are against contenders in the National League — the first place Los Angeles Dodgers, the second place Pittsburgh Pirates, and two series against the New York Mets, who finished the first half on a four-game winning streak and trail the Nats by just two games in the National League East.

The Nationals start at home with three games against the Dodgers (51-39), the first time the teams have met this season. The Nationals will make one more trip out west this season — next month — where they will face the Dodgers in Los Angeles. After that they will travel no further west than St. Louis…unless, of course, they face the Dodgers in the post-season, a realistic possibility.

The Last Time…

The Nationals and Dodgers last faced off September in Los Angeles, with the Nationals taking two out of three. Washington also beat the Dodgers two games out of three in Washington last May. The only two Dodgers wins against the Nationals last year came with Clayton Kershaw on the mound. Kershaw gave up just one run in 15 innings against the Nats in 2014. Kershaw starts against the Nationals on Friday night.

In The Other Dugout

The Dodgers are four and a half games in front of the Giants in the National League West, but they are actively searching for another piece, specifically a starting pitcher. When the Nationals head to Los Angeles next month it’s probable there will be another big name pitcher in the Dodgers’ rotation. If you missed Joc Pederson’s show in the Home Run Derby Monday night, enjoy watching him play this weekend in Washington: he’s one of the most exciting young players in the game right now. His power comes in spurts — he had a run where he homered in five straight games in late May/early June. Beware: he’s in a drought right now, not having homered yet in the month of July. The Nationals have to hope the Derby didn’t help him find his power stroke.

Matchups To Watch

There is bad news from the matchup department: The Nationals with the best numbers against Clayton Kershaw are Ryan Zimmerman (.438) and Jayson Werth (.346 with 2 home runs). Of course, the common thread there is that neither one is healthy for this series.

Better news against Zack Greinke? No. Denard Span is 10 for 33 (.303) against Greinke — by far the best numbers for a Washington hitter against the Dodgers’ second ace. Span was placed on the disabled list right before the All Star break.

Probables

Friday, 7:05pm: Mike Bolsinger (4-3, 3.08 ERA) vs. Jordan Zimmermann (8-5, 3.22 ERA)

Saturday, 4:05pm: Clayton Kershaw (6-6, 2.85 ERA) vs. Doug Fister (3-4, 4.08 ERA)

Sunday, 1:35pm: Zack Greinke (8-2, 1.39 ERA) vs. Max Scherzer (10-7, 2.11 ERA)

Washington Nationals Game 138 Review: LaRoche saves game and wins it — twice — in 14 innings

Adam LaRoche didn’t start this game, but he saved it — then ended it. TWICE.

LaRoche’s homer in the ninth inning tied the game to force extra innings, then a two-run single in the 12th gave the Washington Nationals another lead that went awry. Finally, in the 14th, his ground ball fielder’s choice brought home Ian Demsond and gave the Nats a tense, hard-fought win over the Los Angeles Dodgers, 8-5 in five hours and 34 minutes.

With the Atlanta Braves win over Philadelphia, the Nats lead in the N.L. East held at seven games. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 137 Review: Kershaw too much as Nats lose in L.A.

Sometimes you just have to tip your cap.

Clayton Kershaw, the best pitcher on the planet right now, dominated the Washington Nationals for eight innings to lead the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 4-1 win Tuesday night.

The Atlanta Braves were shut out by the Phillies again, so the Nats lead in the N.L. East remains at seven games. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals vs Los Angeles Dodgers Series Preview

After taking 2-of-3 from the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field, the Washington Nationals now head south for a three-game set with the Los Angeles Dodgers. [Read more…]

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