June 2, 2020

Washington Nationals Game 70 Review: Nats fall two below .500 after 4-2 loss to Lee, Phillies

Ross Detwiler and Cliff Lee put on quite the pitcher’s duel Tuesday night, but the Washington Nationals failed to play catch-up yet again as the Philadelphia Phillies rounded out a 4-2 win.

Washington (34-36) has dropped three in a row and five of eight so far in their nine-game, three-city road trip, with one to play. The Nats fall to a season-worst two games below .500 and are tied with the Phillies (35-37) for second place in the NL East – seven games behind the Atlanta Braves (42-30).

The Nats had a golden opportunity to pick up as many as two games against the Braves, as Atlanta was swept by the New York Mets in a double-header, but Washington was not up to the task.

Detwiler (L, 2-5) looked sharp in his first five innings pitched, allowing just one run on three hits. But the Nats lefty, making just his second start off the disabled list, ran out of gas in the sixth inning, marring his final line. By the end of his night, Detwiler allowed four runs in 6.0 innings on seven hits — though he did not walk a batter and struck out four. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 65 Review: Zimmerman and Desmond rake in Nats 5-4 win over Rockies

As the Washington Nationals slowly get guys back from the disabled list, and their hitters warm up with the summer weather, they are starting to look more like the team that was heralded in the pre-season as legitimate World Series contenders.

In the series finale in Colorado, the Nats used big days at the plate from Ryan Zimmerman and Ian Desmond, and a return to the mound from Ross Detwiler, to beat the Rockies 5-4 and raise their record back above .500 at 33-32.

Detwiler, returning from an oblique injury, was going to be limited to about 80 pitches, and he didn’t do himself any favors out of the gate as got behind right away in the first inning. After the Nats went down 1-2-3, Detwiler’s first pitch was ripped by Dexter Fowler into right field for a lead-off double. Fowler went to third on a groundout by Jordan Pacheco, and came in to score on Tyler Colvin’s pinch-hit single to left.

Yes, pinch-hit in the first inning. Carlos Gonzalez, an early N.L. MVP candidate, was hit in the lower left leg by a foul ball off the bat of Pacheco while standing in the on-deck circle and had to be removed from the game.

Zimmerman got the Nats on the board in the top of the third. Detwiler led off with his first hit of the season, a soft live drive to right. Two outs later, Zimmerman crushed a fastball from Francis to the bleachers in left field for his seventh homer this season and extends the Nats team record with a home run in 78 consecutive series.

Lifetime, Zimmerman owns a .365 average with eight home runs and 33 RBIs in 28 career games at Coors Field.

The lead didn’t hold long though. The Rockies pushed tow across against Detwiler in the bottom of the fourth. Troy Tulowitzki singled to lead off and scored on Michael Cuddyer’s double that Jayson Werth then misplayed into an error in right field, allowing Cuddyer to go to third. Detwiler coaxed a grounder out of Wilin Rosario, but it was enough to bring Cuddyer in to make it 3-2.

Detwiler made it through five innings in his return to the rotation. He gave up three earned runs on six hits, without walking a batter, and struck out two. He threw 77 pitches, 51 strikes. Craig Stammen (W, 4-2, 2.94) took over for Detwiler and provided two innings of scoreless relief.

The Nats got a gift run to tie it in the seventh. Ian Desmond led off with a single and stole second as Kurt Suzuki struck out for the second out of the inning. Then, with Steve Lombardozzi hitting, Desmond was awarded third, and then home, when Rockies reliever Wilton Lopez was called for back-to-back balks by second base umpire Bob Davidson, widely known across baseball as “Balkin’ Bob” due to his proclivity for making the anomalous call.

Zimmerman delivered again in the eighth for the Nats. After Roger Bernadina’s one-out double, Zim cranked a double the other way which plated Bernadina, who appeared to jam his shoulder on the head-first slide on his double and was seen grimacing and being attended to by trainers in the dugout after he scored, though he did take the field the next inning.

Jayson Werth moved Zimmerman to third with a ground out and the Rockies inexplicable walked Adam LaRoche to face the Nats hottest hitter, Ian Desmond. The shortstop came through again for the Nats with his fourth hit of the day, an infield single in the hole that Tulowitzki gloved but could not make a play on. Zimmerman strolled home to make it 5-3.

Xavier Cedeno and Drew Storen combined on a perfect eighth inning in relief, and while Rafael Soriano gave up a run in the ninth, he held on for his 17th save of the season.

THE GOOD: Ryan Zimmerman. He loves hitting in Coors Field. 2-for-4 with a homer, double, three RBIs and two runs scored. His yearly averages are up to .274/.350/.458.

THE BAD: Denard Span took another 0-fer in Colorado, going 0-for-4. Werth and Suzuki joined him today taking the collar.

THE UGLY: The Rockies lost Carlos Gonzalez, Dexter Fowler and Troy Tulowitzki, their three best players and NL All-Stars all this season, to injury.

THE STATS: 9 hits, 4 BBs, 9 Ks. 2-for-5 with RISP, 6 LOB. E: Werth (1, fielding). 1 DP.

NEXT GAME: Friday at 7:05 pm ET at the Cleveland Indians. Gio Gonzalez (3-3, 3.59) faces RHP Justin Masterson (8-5, 3.68)

Washington Nationals injury updates: Harper to see Dr. Andrews; Strasburg to D.L.

Before Thursday’s game against the New York Mets, manager Davey Johnson gave a few updates on the Washington Nationals walking wounded.

– Bryce Harper experienced swelling in his knee after running in a pool earlier in the day and is scheduled to see Dr. James Andrews to get a further opinion on Monday.

– Danny Espinosa received a cortisone shot in his broken right wrist and is expected to start baseball activities in five days or so.

– Ross Detwiler will pitch in a rehab game at Potomac on June 8. He’ll throw about 50 pitches and is on target to return on June 13.

– Stephen Strasburg was officially placed on the 15-day D.L. and LHP Xavier Cedeno was recalled from AAA-Syracuse. It’s expected that RHP Ross Ohlendorf will be called up to start in Strasburg’s place Saturday.

Washington Nationals to D.L. Detwiler, call up Xavier Cedeno

Following the Washington Nationals 6-1 win over the Philadelphia Phillies, manager Davey Johnson told the assembled media the team would place LHP Ross Detwiler on the disabled list, retroactive to May 16, and call up LHP Xavier Cedeno from Triple-A Syracuse. Detwiler had a bullpen session Saturday, but Johnson said Detwiler’s side was still “very tight” following the workout and will be put on the D.L.

Cedeno, picked up on waivers from the Houston Astros, is on the 40-man roster so there doesn’t need to be a corresponding move. The 26-year-old lefty has made 52 appearances at the big league level, with an 0-1 record, 6.00 ERA and 1.744 WHIP over three seasons with the Astros. This season for Syracuse, he’s pitched in 10 games. He has a 1-0 record with one save, a 1.74 ERA and 0.968 WHIP in 10 1/3 innings. he’s walked three and struck out 14 batters.

In other injury news, Johnson said OF Bryce Harper re-aggravated a knee injury sliding into second base in Sunday’s game and will probably miss a couple of days, though Harper told reporters he doesn’t think he’ll have to miss much time. Harper also told reporters it’s an issue he’ll have to deal with this season and get fixed once the year is over.

Washington Nationals Game 40 Review: Detwiler, Ramos suffer injuries in Nats’ 3-1 loss to Dodgers

The Washington Nationals (21-19) have unquestionably struggled on offense as of late and, in his first start since April 11, right-hander Zack Greinke (W, 2-0) showed little remorse, leading the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 3-1 win Wednesday night.

The matchup marked Greinke’s first start since he fractured his left clavicle in a brawl with San Diego Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin. Greinke showed no signs of a struggle as he allowed just five hits and one run over 5.1 innings pitched. He struck out four batters and tossed 50 of 83 pitches for strikes. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 35 Review: Desmond’s three RBIs leads Nats to victory

Ian Desmond plated three runs for the Washington Nationals (20-15) as they topped the Chicago Cubs (13-22), 7-3 to record their fifth straight win Friday night.

Desmond closed out the night just a triple shy of hitting for the cycle and his three hits on the night helped awaken a sleepy Nats’ offense.

Left-hander Ross Detwiler (W, 2-3) looked sharp, allowing eight hits, two runs and no walks in 6.2 innings pitched. He tossed 57 of 90 pitches for strikes but, oddly enough, gave up six doubles on the night.  [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).

Washington Nationals Game 20 Review: Wainwright shuts down Nats, 2-0

Ross Detwiler (L, 1-1) did his best to position the Washington Nationals (10-10) for a win Tuesday night, but it only took the St. Louis Cardinals (12-8) four consecutive hits in the fourth to edge out their East Coast rivals, 2-0.

Prior to Tuesday night’s matchup, Detwiler had not yet allowed more than one run in a single start this season. In fact, he became the first Nationals pitcher in the team’s short history to allow only one run or less in each of his first three starts of 6.0+ innings pitched.  [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 15 Review: Detwiler leads Nats over Fish in series finale

Ross Detwiler was known as one of “The Other Guys” last season, but the Washington Nationals nominal No. 5 starter is making a name for himself this season. Wednesday in Miami, he became the second pitcher in franchise history (joining Pedro Martinez) to begin a season with three consecutive starts of six-plus innings and one or fewer earned runs, leading the Nats to a 6-1 win over the Marlins.

Detwiler (W, 1-0, 0.90) relied heavily on his sinking fastball, as he has all season. He mixed in a few more off-speed pitches in his third start of the season, but was again incredibly reliant on his heavy sinker. He allowed one earned run on seven hits and walked none, striking out five. He threw 80 of his season-high 107 pitches for strikes.

Tyler Clippard and Rafael Soriano both pitched scoreless, hitless innings of relief to wrap up the tidy victory for the Nats (9-6).

Washington was paced on offense by Bryce Harper (4-for-5, run, RBI), who was still shaking off the effects of the flu, and Kurt Suzuki, who went 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs from the No. 8 hole. Adam LaRoche also had a multi-hit night, going 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI.

THE STATS: 11 hits, 1 BB, 10 Ks. 3-for-9 with RISP, 7 LOB. E: Desmond (1, fielding).

NEXT GAME: Friday v. New York Mets at Citifield at 7:10 pm. Stephen Strasburg (1-2,  2.95) faces Matt Harvey (3-0, 0.82).


Washington Nationals Spring Training: Detwiler sharp in Nats’ 12-10 win over Detroit

Ross Detwiler allowed just one run in 4.0 innings pitched in his return from the World Baseball Classic, but the Washington Nationals’ bullpen nearly handed the Detroit Tigers a win Sunday afternoon.

Detwiler threw 34 of 57 pitches for strikes and gave up just three hits and one walk. The one run he allowed came in the form of a solo shot off the bat of Torii Hunter in the bottom of the first inning. [Read more…]

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