November 30, 2015

Washington Nationals Game 162 Review: Turn out the lights, the party is over


Curtis Granderson hit an eighth inning solo home run off reliever Blake Treinen and the Washington Nationals season — which started with so much promise but ended in disappointment and dysfunction — came to a close with a 1-0 loss to the playoff-bound New York Mets at Citifield in Queens.

Maybe in just the faintest bit of irony, Tyler Clippard (5-4) earned the win for the Mets, pitching a perfect eighth inning and striking out two.

The Nats (83-79) managed just two hits on the day — Clint Robinson’s single off Jonathan Niese, and Bryce Harper’s ninth-inning two-out opposite field double — which extended the season one more batter, allowing Jayson Werth to fly out weakly to center to end the season. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 160/161 Review: Scherzer Throws No-Hitter as Nats Sweep Mets


Geoffrey: My you chivalric fool… as if the way one fell down mattered.
Richard: When the fall is all there is, it matters.

The Lion in Winter, James Goldman

I ran into a friend at the grocery store between games today. Tony’s a long-suffering DC sports fan, and as we passed each other in the parking lot, he said, “Of course, now we can beat the Mets.

That’s how a lot of Nats fans must have felt on Saturday.

Not Max Scherzer.

After a 3-1 victory in the first game against the Mets, the Nationals sent Scherzer to the mound for the nightcap, and Scherzer pitched as if the Nationals were still in it. They might not have been, but Scherzer could’ve fooled anyone.

Even the most meaningless baseball isn’t devoid of meaning. [Read more…]

A season ends: Nationals eliminated, Williams ridiculed in media

The New York Mets made official what we’ve known around here for the better part of two months: the Washington Nationals aren’t going to the playoffs.

The Nats were doomed by starting the month of August in a 4-13 slump — a period where they went from three games up in the division to 4 1/2 games back. They’ve never recovered, as a five-game losing streak — three to these very Mets — early in September further reinforced the idea that the Nats just didn’t have “it” this year. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 139 Review: Another night, another late inning collapse


Since the New York Mets overtook the Washington Nationals  more than a month ago, everyone — media, fans, the front office, Matt Williams, the players — have pointed to the six games the Nats had left with the Mets head-to-head.

They’ve squandered the first three. Despite holding a lead going into the seventh inning for the third night in a row, the result remained the same. The Mets rallied, no one on the Nats could shut the door, and the prohibitive favorite to win not just the N.L. East — but represent the senior circuit in the World Series — lost again.

This time, the Nats fell 5-3 to the Mets, falling seven games behind — and 9 1/2 out of the wild card — with 23 to go. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 103 Review: Third-inning surge give Mets sweep of Nats

The Washington Nationals last woke up without sole possession of first place in the NL East on June 20, and will do so again on Monday morning, unlikely as that may have seemed even a week ago.

Their post-All Star break swoon hit a new low on Sunday night, as starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann gave up three home runs in the third inning and the New York Mets won 5-2 in a nationally televised game at Citi Field. The win moves the Mets into a tie for first place in the division and a desperately needed three-game sweep against Washington.

[Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 102 Review: Duda powers Mets to win over Washington

Lucas Duda homered twice, and went 3 for 3 as the New York Mets moved to within a game behind the Nationals in the N.L. East with a 3-2 win on Saturday night at Citi Field in Queens.

[Read more…]

Washington Nationals Series Preview: New York Mets

It looked for all the world like we were right back where we were when the Mets and Nationals met July 20-22, with the Nats (54-46) two games in front of the Mets (52-50).

Instead, Washington holds a 3-game lead over New York (more on that in a minute), as the two teams open a 3-game series at Citi Field.

The Nationals, after taking two of three in Miami, are now 3-4 on their 10-game road trip. The Mets are coming off a series with the Padres where they won the first game and have lost two straight.

*The Last Time…

In that last three game series the Nationals took two of three from the Mets. The Nationals are 6-4 on the season against the Mets, including 3-1 in New York.

*In The Other Dugout

Just how bad a 24-hour stretch was it for Mets fans beginning at 7pm on Wednesday night? First the Padres soundly beat the Mets, 7-3, on Wednesday night in a game that was no contest from the start. During the game, word spread over social media, on game broadcasts, and into the Mets dugout that the Mets had traded Wilmer Flores and Zack Wheeler for Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez. After the game, of course, the deal was revealed to have fallen apart, and the Mets were right back at it on the field Thursday afternoon. They took a 7-1 lead, which after a Derek Norris grand slam turned to a 7-5 lead which the Mets held until there were two outs in the ninth. At that time the rain at Citi Field got so bad that the umpires decided to delay the game, and when the 9th inning resumed 45 minutes later the Padres put together back-to-back singles, and a home run by Justin Upton gave San Diego the lead. Another rain delay followed, and the Mets lost just before 7pm Thursday evening, losing another game in the standings to the Nationals, who saw their new trade acquisition, Jonathan Papelbon, secure a one-run win. Don’t be surprised if the Mets pull off one more move before the deadline ahead of the opening game of this series.

*Matchup To Watch

Bryce Harper is still hitless against Matt Harvey, now 0 for 14, but Harvey looked to be pitching Harper very carefully the last time the two faced off. It’s worth watching how Harvey approaches Harper Friday night, especially since he was mostly ineffective against a Nationals team that did not feature Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth about ten days ago.

Two Mets worth watching: Daniel Murphy, not a huge home run threat, is 19 for 56 (.339) against Jordan Zimmermann with three homers in his career. Juan Lagares is 10 for 22 with 3 doubles, a triple, and a homer against Gio Gonzalez.


Friday, 7:10pm: Gio Gonzalez (8-4, 3.83 ERA) vs. Matt Harvey (9-7, 3.16 ERA)

Saturday, 7:10pm: Joe Ross (2-3, 3.03 ERA) vs. Jacob deGrom (10-6, 2.05 ERA)

Sunday, 8:00pm: Jordan Zimmermann (8-6, 3.36 ERA) vs. Noah Syndergaard (5-5, 2.70 ERA)

Washington Nationals Game 93 Review: Taylor, Espinosa lead comeback over 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 92 Review: Ross Starts Strong, Nats Fall to Mets

What started as a potential pitcher’s duel ended in favor of the New York Mets on Tuesday night when they beat the Washington Nationals 7-2 amid a sticky summer evening.

The arms on the mound – 2015 All-Star Jacob deGrom from the Mets and rookie call-up Joe Ross from the Nats – faced the minimum nine batters through the first three innings pitched before New York scored took to the scoreboard first. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 91 Review: Nats take advantage of unsharp Harvey

Matt Harvey had a very un-Matt Harvey-like start, Gio Gonzalez pitched six solid innings and the Washington Nationals took the first of a three-game series from its closest competitor, knocking off the New York Mets 7-2 at sweltering Nationals Park.

Gonzalez (W, 7-4) allowed two runs on six hits and three walks, striking out four. His only bad inning was the fourth, when — all with two outs — he loaded the bases and gave up a two-run single to Harvey. As anemic as the Mets offense has been these days, maybe they’ll consider giving Harvey at bats when he doesn’t pitch.

As for his work on the mound, Harvey hadn’t pitched in nine days due to the All-Star break and it showed. He walked four to go along with five hits over seven innings, striking out just three. He had men on base in just about every inning. He was taxed with providing innings for the beleaguered Mets staff, which suffered through an 18-inning affair on Sunday.

The Nats (50-41, +3 in NLE) had several hitting heroes. Danny Espinosa went 2 for 4 with two runs scored and ignited the offense with a bunt single off Harvey in the two-run first inning. Clint Robinson had a booming two-run double in the third and finished 2 for 4, and Ian Desmond got into the act, delivering a first-row two-run homer in the eighth off reliever Alex Torres.

NATS NEWS: The Nats sent struggling reliever Blake Treinen to Syracuse and recalled RHP Abel de los Santos from Harrisburg. de los Santos was acquired along with SS Chris Bostick from Texas in the Ross Detwiler trade. Detwiler was DFA’d by Texas last week and he signed with Atlanta.


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