December 9, 2019

Washington Nationals Game 117 Review: Bumgarner sublime, Nats drop sixth straight

TEAM MANAGES JUST THREE HITS, ONLY TWO RUNNERS REACH SCORING POSITION

Rock bottom?

The Washington Nationals fell below .500 after losing their sixth game in a row, shut out by Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants 5-0 on Sunday, completing the first four-game sweep against the Nats since Jim Riggleman’s first four games as a Nats manager.

The Nats, 10-20 since the All-Star break, remaining 4 1/2 games behind the New York Mets, 8-1 losers to Pittsburgh. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 116 Review: Gio roughed up, Nats lose fifth straight

BRYCE HARPER LEAVES GAME IN SEVENTH AFTER FOULING BALL OFF BACK LEG

When it rains, it pours.

Gio Gonzalez had his shortest outing of the year, the bullpen allowed more runs after that and the Washington Nationals lost their fifth straight game, 12-6 to the San Francisco Giants, on Saturday night.

The Nats pitchers walked four in the game, and all four came around to score. Each of the four pitchers used by the Nats allowed runs.

The Nats fell to .500 (58-58) for the season and remain 4 1/2 games behind the New York Mets, 5-3 losers to Pittsburgh in extra innings. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 115 Review: Scherzer hit hard in Nats 4th straight loss

HARPER, ESPINOSA HOMER IN FIFTH TO DRAW WITHIN ONE, BUT PEN GIVES UP TWO MORE

The Washington Nationals fell to 1-4 on their current 10-game west coast road trip as Max Scherzer was roughed up early and the bullpen gave up two late runs after the Nats managed a four-run fifth inning to get back into it. It added up to an 8-5 loss to the San Francisco Giants and a four-game losing streak for the Nats.

The Nats fell to 58-57 on the season, and remain 4 1/2 games behind the division leading New York Mets, who lost to Pittsburgh 3-2 in 10 innings. [Read more…]

Nats Nightly: Offense absent again in loss to Giants

Dave Nichols of District Sports Page and Patrick Reddington of Federal Baseball discuss the Washington Nationals 3-1 loss to the San Francisco Giants.

Check Out Baseball Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with District Sports Page Nats Nightly on BlogTalkRadio

Washington Nationals Game 114 Review: Bats quiet once again in San Fran

HARPER HAS TWO OF NATS’ FIVE HITS ON THE NIGHT

In the midst of a make-or-break 10-game west coast road trip, the Washington Nationals fell to 1-3 in the first four games as the offense struggled yet again, falling to the San Francisco Giants 3-1 at AT&T Park.

The Nats fell yet another game, 4 1/2 now, behind the division leading New York Mets, 12-3 winners over Colorado. [Read more…]

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 Series Preview: San Francisco Giants

After dropping two out of three against the Braves in Atlanta, the Nationals return home for a holiday weekend matchup with the San Francisco Giants.

The Nationals (43-36) begin the series three and a half games in front of the Mets (40-40), and five in front of the Braves (38-41). The Giants enter the series after being swept by the Marlins in a three-game series in Miami.

*The Last Time…

The last time the Nationals met the Giants, of course, was the National League Division Series, which the Giants took in 4 games. The lone Nationals win in the series was by a score of 4-1, and the three losses were all by a run, including the epic 18-inning Game 2.

In the regular season the Nationals took two out of three from the Giants in Washington in August, and three out of four in San Francisco last June.

*In The Other Dugout

This is a time of the year the Giants have had their eye on for some time. They’ve kept themselves in the hunt in the National League West – they were in first place for a good part of the season and now trail the Dodgers by just three games – and instead of working towards a trade deadline deal, the defending World Series champs have just had to wait for some injured players to get healthy.

The Nationals won’t see Matt Cain this weekend, who pitched for the first time this season on Thursday against the Marlins. (National League East note: he pitched against Jose Fernandez, who made his return for Miami.) The Nats will face Jake Peavy, who made two starts in early April before heading to the disabled list. The Giants finally have the starting rotation they want…but they’re down a position player: Hunter Pence might not return until after the All Star break as he recovers from wrist tendinitis. The news could be worse – Buster Posey left Wednesday night’s game after taking a foul ball off his mask, but he was back in the lineup for the Giants at first base on Thursday. Expect to see Posey against the Nationals.

*Matchup To Watch

A couple of players worth keeping an eye on this holiday weekend:

-Denard Span is 7 for 20 (.350) with 5 doubles against Jake Peavy, and 5 for 13 (.385) against Ryan Vogelsong.

-For the Giants, Justin Maxwell is 4 for 8 with a home run off Friday night’s starter Gio Gonzalez, but he is 0 for 7 with 6 strikeouts against Sunday night’s starter Jordan Zimmermann.

*Probables

Friday, 6:00pm: Jake Peavy (0-2, 9.39 ERA) vs. Gio Gonzalez (5-4, 4.41 ERA)

Saturday, 11:05am: Madison Bumgarner (8-4, 2.99 ERA) vs. Stephen Strasburg (5-5, 5.49 ERA)

Sunday, 8:00pm: Ryan Vogelsong (6-6, 4.19 ERA) vs. Jordan Zimmermann (6-5, 3.16 ERA)

Washington Nationals NLDS Game 4: Nats fall short in San Fran; eliminated from playoffs

The San Francisco Giants scored three runs — without the benefit of a base hit — and beat the Washington Nationals 3-2 to eliminate the Nats 3-1 in the five game National League Divisional Series.

The game was filled with poor umpiring, bad defense by the Nats, and questionable managerial decisions. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals NLDS Game 3 Review: Fister, 3-run seventh give Nats another shot

Doug Fister pitched seven shutout innings, an uncharacteristic error led to a 3-run inning, and the Washington Nationals beat the San Francisco Giants 4-1 to cut their deficit in the best of five series to two games to one on Monday at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

The win snapped the Giants N.L. record 10-game postseason winning streak.

The pitching matchup came off as advertised. Fister took on 18-game winner Madison Bumgarner and both pitchers were sublime for most of the game.

In the top of the seventh, though, Ian Desmond reached Bumgarner for a single to lead off the frame. Bryce Harper then got himself into a 3-1 count, then spit on an 88-MPH slider for ball four.

Wilson Ramos was asked to lay down a sacrifice bunt, but couldn’t get it done on the first two attempts. Usually, Ramos wouldn’t be asked to sacrifice, and he hadn’t successfully sacrificed since 2011, but with runs at a premium in this series, the Nats didn’t take the play off with two strikes.

Ramos was able to get a bunt down in fair territory with two strikes, and Bumgarner made the play. But instead of taking the easy out at first, he tried to cut down the lead runner, Desmond, at third. His throw was late — and wide of the bag.

Third baseman Pablo Sandoval tried to reach for it and stay on the bag, but it sailed down the line, through the Giants bullpen, and into the right field corner. Desmond scored easily, and Harper followed him without a play, with Ramos ending up at second.

Asdrubal Cabrera followed with a clean single through the hole, and Ramos came chugging home with the Nats’ third run.

Bumgarner gave up three runs — two earned — on six hits and a walk, striking out six.

Fister gave up a single to Brandon Belt to lead off the home half of the seventh, but then retired three straight to get out of the inning and turned things over to the bullpen.

Fister gave up four hits and three walks in seven innings, striking out three.

Tyler Clippard tossed a perfect 12-pitch eighth inning.

Harper added an insurance run in the top of the ninth, homering off reliever Jean Machi.

Manager Matt Williams called upon Drew Storen in the ninth with a 4-0 lead. Storen, once again, had some trouble, as a single, double and sacrifice brought home a run. But he was able to get Travis Ishikawa to ground out to close the game and deliver a victory in Game 3.

The Nationals face the Giants again Tuesday at 9:05 pm Eastern, with Gio Gonzalez facing Ryan Vogelsong.

Washington Nationals NLDS Game 2 Review: Belt’s homer in 18th ends longest game in playoff history

Brandon Belt hit a solo home run in the top of the 18th inning off Tanner Roark and the San Francisco Giants beat the Washington Nationals 2-1 in the longest game by time — and tying the longest game by inning — in the history of Major League Baseball playoffs.

The official time of the game was 6:23.

The Nationals now trail in the series 2-0 and travel to San Francisco to face 18-game winner Madison Bumgarner. Doug Fister will oppose him in the Monday game.

Jordan Zimmermann and Tim Hudson were terrific in the first half of this same-game double-header, but neither factored in the decision, obviously. San Francisco won its 10th consecutive playoff game — a National League record — with eight of those wins coming on the road. [Read more…]

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