December 5, 2020

Washington Nationals Game 145 Review: Mattheus gives up run in eighth, Nats lose 5-4

Despite a strong performance by Edwin Jackson (ND, 9-10, 3.85), the Washington Nationals bullpen faltered once again in the Nats’ 5-4 loss to the Braves Saturday, as a ninth inning run meant the difference.

Jayson Werth got things started for the Nats with a leadoff single in the first and a stolen base on Bryce Harper’s first of two strikeouts Saturday night. After Braves right-hander Tommy Hanson (ND, 12-8, 4.35) struck out Ryan Zimmerman for the second out, Adam LaRoche ripped his 30th home run of the season to drive in the first two runs for the Nats.

Jackson maintained good movement on his fastball, forcing Michael Bourn, Jason Heyward and Brian McCann to hit into outs in the first.

It was a comedy of errors, however, for the Braves in the second inning. After Danny Espinosa struck out, Jesus Flores walked and Steve Lombardozzi chopped one towards the mound, but Hanson took his time throwing the ball to first and Lombardozzi beat out the throw. Jackson laid down the perfect bunt and sprinted to first, forcing Hanson to rush a sloppy throw to first. As the ball got away from Freddie Freeman, Flores and Lombardozzi scored, doubling the Nats lead to four runs.

Freeman led off the bottom of the inning with a triple and Dan Uggla’s double put the Braves on the board, trailing 4-1.

In a bizarre turn of events, Ian Desmond doubled in the top of the third and advanced on a wild pitch that Danny Espinosa caught in the crux of his arm. The umpires convened in the infield to debate whether or not Espinosa interfered with a potential throw to third and, much to the dismay of Braves Manager Fredi Gonzalez, they awarded Desmond third base. However, it was all for not, as Espinosa struck out for the sixth time in the three-game series.

In the bottom of the sixth, Martin Prado was called safe at first on a throwing error by Jackson, frustrating Davey Johnson who argued he was safe until first base umpire Marvin Hudson threw him from the game. The call would come back to haunt the Nats as Heyward belted one over the wall in right center, tying the game at four runs apiece.

The Nats turned to left-hander Tom Gorzelanny to close out the inning before any additional damage was done.

In the eighth, Ryan Mattheus gave up a single to David Ross and back-to-back walks to Uggla and Chipper Jones before hitting Andrelton Simmons with a pitch that drove in the go-ahead run, giving the Braves a 5-4 lead into the ninth.

The Nats’ bench threatened in the ninth as pinch-hitter Chad Tracy singled off Craig Kimbrel with one out and pinch-runner Eury Perez stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by catcher J.C. Boscan. However, Lombardozzi and pinch-hitter Tyler Moore both struck out swinging, allowing the Braves to secure a 5-4 win, reducing the Nats lead in the NL East to 6 ½ games.

THE GOOD: Despite hard-hit line drives by Freddie Freeman and Dan Uggla in the second and a Freeman home run in the fourth, the Nats’ Edwin Jackson maintained control throughout the better part of his 5 1/3-inning performance, in which he struck out seven and allowed only three earned runs on four hits.

THE BAD: The Nationals bullpen once again buckled under pressure as Ryan Mattheus (L, 5-1, 2.41) sloppy performance in the eighth cost the Nats the game.

THE UGLY: Bryce Harper went 0-for-4 against Atlanta’s pitching with two strikeouts.

Danny Espinosa struck out in all four of his at-bats on Saturday. Espinosa has struck out in his last eight at-bats vs. Braves pitching.

STATISTICS: 4 runs, 8 hits, 1 BB, 12 K, 11 LOB, 1 error (Jackson, 3)

NEXT GAME: Sunday at 8:05 p.m. against the Braves. Gio Gonzalez (19-7, 2.93 ERA) faces Mike Minor (8-10, 4.42 ERA).

NATS: Washington Nationals Bullpen Auditions for “Expendables 3″

While the Washington Nationals were in New York to play the Mets in July, they stopped by the MLB Fan Cave and the Nats Bullpen had a little fun reading “50 Shades of Grey.”

An additional video was released today of a few MLB players’ auditions for the fictitious movie, “The Expendables 3: War on the Basepaths.” Members of the Nats bullpen, as well as former National Jerry Hairston, Jr., are featured in this fantastic video including Ryan Mattheus performing a Chuck Norris spin kick.  I would go see that movie.

I hope that the videos keep coming. Nats have all sorts of talents.

NATS: Washington Nationals Bullpen Reads 50 Shades of Grey

If you haven’t already seen this video, it is worth the minute of your time (1:18 to be exact). The Washington Nationals played three games in New York last week against the Mets and stopped by the MLB Fan Cave. The Nats Bullpen had a little fun.

Nationals OF Bryce Harper also stopped by the MLB Fan Cave.

Washington Nationals activate Ryan Mattheus from D.L., designate Brad Lidge for assignment

Before Sunday’s game with the New York Yankees, the Washington Nationals activated relief pitcher Ryan Mattheus from the disabled list and designated veteran reliever Brad Lidge for assignment.

Lidge, 35, struggled since his return from the D.L. last week. In four appearances he allowed six earned runs on six hits and four walks in 2 1/3 innings. For the season, Lidge, signed for $1 million over the off-season to add a veteran presence in the bullpen, went 0-1 with two saves and a 9.64 ERA in 11 appearances with a combined 23 hits and walks in 9 1/3 innings.

Mattheus missed the last 24 games with a plantar fascia strain in his left foot. The 28-year old is 2-1 with six holds and a 2.25 ERA in 19 appearances. He’s activated form a rehab stint where he went 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in three appearances (3.0 IP) with Double-A Harrisburg and Single-A Potomac.

There will be more moves in the bullpen to come, as Henry Rodriguez will be beginning a rehab assignment soon and closer Drew Storen has increased his rehab, having thrown from a mound and is expected to rejoin the team around the All-Star break.

Washington Nationals Game 2 Review: Nats come back late to win… again

For two games in a row, the Chicago Cubs starting pitcher kept the Washington Nationals bats quiet. But for two days in a row, those same bats took their revenge on the Cubs bullpen. Today, the Nats batted around in the eighth inning pushing five runs across the plate, abusing Kerry Wood and Carlos Marmol as they did on opening day, en route to a 7-4 win on a beautiful day for baseball at Wrigley Field.

The Nats eighth inning rally all came with two outs, as a succession of players extended the inning. The fun started with a 10-pitch at bat from Danny Espinosa against Wood, which culminated in an opposite field home run to left for Espinosa to cut the Cubs lead to 4-3, his first of the season. Ryan Zimmerman followed with a flare to right that fell in. Adam LaRoche’s fourth hit of the day put runners on the corners for Jayson Werth, who walked against Marmol. [Read more…]

NATS: Happy Birthday Ryan Mattheus

HAPPY 28th BIRTHDAY RYAN MATTHEUS!

Washington Nationals righty relief pitcher was born on 11/10/1983 in Galt, CA.

Ryan Mattheus might have the best warm up song ever. Hope you have “fireworks” on your birthday.

Ryan Mattheus (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Ryan Mattheus (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

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