April 19, 2021

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


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 109 Review: Strasburg dominant in return from D.L.


Stephen Strasburg was masterful in his first start back from being activated from the disabled list and the Washington Nationals beat the Colorado Rockies 6-1 on Saturday.

Strasburg made a triumphant return from the D.L. after missing a month with assortment of ailments, all stemming from the sprained ankle he sustained during spring training. His performance reminded all that when he’s healthy, he’s still capable of being special. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 71 Review: Strasburg gives Nats solid five innings in win over Braves

Stephen Strasburg pitched five shutout innings and the Washington Nationals defeated the Atlanta Braves 3-1 on Tuesday at Nationals Park.

Strasburg, making his first start since being activated from the disabled list with an assortment of ailments, hit 97-98 on the radar gun most of the night and allowed just four hits and one walk. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for June 17

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs won their fourth straight game en route to sweeping the Toledo Mud Hens, 13-5, on Wednesday afternoon at NBT Bank Stadium. Darin Mastroianni and Emmanuel Burriss each homered and had three hits. Burriss led the team with four runs batted in after a three-run home run in the seventh inning.

Syracuse (23-44) broke open the scoring in its first inning at the plate. Mastroianni and Burriss led off the bottom of the first inning with back-to-back singles. The number three hitter, Jason Martinson, caught Toledo’s infield off guard and laid down a bunt single to load the bases with none out. Chiefs newcomer and first baseman Kevin Keyes singled, driving in Mastroianni and Burriss, and giving the Chiefs a 2-0 lead. Third baseman Ricky Hague continued the hit parade for Syracuse, singling and scoring Martinson to improve the Chiefs’ lead to 3-0. In the very next at-bat, designated hitter Mark Minicozzi hit Syracuse’s sixth straight single and fourth straight run. Caleb Ramsey, the right fielder, collected the Chiefs’ seventh single in a row and drove in Hague to improve the Syracuse lead to 5-0. Syracuse scored all five runs in the inning on seven consecutive singles, all with none out.

The Chiefs continued to score in the bottom of the second inning off of Toledo starter Buck Farmer. After batting through the order in the bottom of the first, Mastroianni led off the second inning, but did more damage than a single. Mastroianni connected for just his second home run of the season, and extended the Chiefs’ lead to 6-0.

After not scoring since the Mastroianni solo home run in the bottom of the second, the Chiefs responded in the bottom of the sixth. Ramsey started the rally with a one-out triple to left-center field. He scored on the very next batter when Dan Butler doubled. Following a Josh Johnson strikeout, Mastroianni singled and drove in his second run of the day. During Burriss’ following at-bat, Mastroianni stole second and then came around to score on Burriss’ single. The Chiefs were still not done in the bottom of the sixth as Martinson singled and drove in Burriss, extending the Chiefs lead to 10-4.

The Chiefs added three more runs off the bat of Burriss in the bottom of the seventh. Ramsey led off the inning with an infield single and advanced to third when Johnson reached first on a fielder’s choice. Two batters later, Burriss connected on a 1-1 pitch and hit a line drive over the right-field wall to increase the lead to 13-4.

The Mud Hens got one run back in the top of the ninth from a Marte solo home run, but it was not enough, as the Chiefs won 13-5.

Syracuse will start a three-game series on Friday against Buffalo at 7:05 p.m. after taking a day off on Thursday. Friday’s game will be the first of 21 games between the Thruway rivals and will see right-hander A.J. Cole take the mound for the Chiefs against left-hander Matt Boyd for the Bisons.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): Stephen Strasburg allowed one earned run in five innings of work, but the Harrisburg Senators could not take advantage in a 4-3 loss to the Richmond Flying Squirrels Wednesday afternoon before 5,537 fans at Metro Bank Park. The loss drops the Senators back to 10 games under .500 at 27-37.

Strasburg allowed two runs overall, but just one was earned, while he walked none and struck out six in his rehab start with Harrisburg. Strasburg threw 71 pitches, 46 of which were strikes, in his five innings. Richmond’s Kelby Tomlinson hit an RBI double off Strasburg in the third inning and Mitch Delfino singled in a run in the fourth. Colin Bates relieved Strasburg and threw two innings, allowing two earned runs on two hits. Brian Dupra escaped a bases loaded, one-out jam in the eighth inning thanks to a fantastic play by Matt Skole. Harrisburg’s third baseman made a diving stop, stepped on third base and then threw across the diamond for the third out of the inning. The Senators’ Sammy Solis pitched a scoreless ninth inning while working around a pair of singles.

Cutter Dykstra put the Senators on the board with a solo home run in the fourth inning – his first with the Senators in 2015. Harrisburg then cut Richmond’s lead to one in the seventh inning when Trea Turner dumped a single into center field to score Brian Jeroloman and Derrick Robinson. Turner also doubled in the ninth inning following a Jose Lozada single to put runners on second and third with two outs, but Skole grounded out to end the game.

Tuner was 3-for-5 in his second game as a Senator with his first two RBI. Jeroloman also was 2-for-4 with a run scored. Robinson reached twice with a pair of walks in the game and Dykstra added a single in the eighth inning to go along with his dinger.

The finale of the three-game series will start Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. with the Cowboy Monkey Rodeo making its first appearance of the season.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): Potomac (30-36-Overall, 15-20-Road) let a 1-0 lead slip away in the bottom of the seventh inning leading to a 2-1 win for the Lynchburg Hillcats (32-34-Overall, 15-17-Home), who salvaged the finale of the three-game set at Calvin Falwell Field on Wednesday night.

RHP Lucas Giolito made his eighth start of the season and hurled four scoreless innings relinquishing five hits and no runs while walking four and striking out six and did not factor in the decision.

Potomac, in a scoreless ballgame through one inning took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second against Michael Peoples when C Spencer Kieboom led-off the frame with a double to the left-centerfield gap. Kieboom came to the plate when 3B Drew Ward traded places with Kieboom at second base after his RBI double to left field made it 1-0 Potomac.

The game remained 1-0 in favor of Potomac until the bottom of the seventh when Lynchburg claimed the lead for good. RHP Jake Johnasen replaced Giolito in the fifth inning and pitched two scoreless, hitless innings despite walking four ‘Cats and striking out two in his innings of work.

LHP Justin Thomas (0-4, 3.33) entered out of the bullpen in seventh and pitched two innings himself. He ran into trouble in the seventh when 1B Nellie Rodriguez singled to open the set. C Eric Hasse followed with a single of his own and Thomas, on a pick-off attempt threw the baseball down the right field line allowing both Rodriguez and Hasse to move up 90 feet. 3B Paul Hendrix then reached on an infield single that loaded the bases and the equalizer crossed the plate on a passed ball charged to Kieboom to tie the game at 1-1. LF Mike Papi then gave Lynchburg the lead with a single that brought home Hasse for a 2-1 Hillcats advantage. SS Ivan Castillo walked to reload the bases but the rally ended there and Lynchburg was forced to settle for a one-run lead heading to the eighth.

Thomas finished the ballgame pitching a scoreless bottom of the eighth but ultimately took the loss in two innings of work he gave up two runs on five hits with a walk and two strikeouts.

Despite Wilmington losing tonight as well, the loss was enough and Potomac became the second team behind the Winston-Salem Dash to officially be eliminated in the first-half Northern Division Title race.

Potomac heads home and opens up a four-game series to wrap up the first-half at home against the Carolina Mudcats at Pfitzner Stadium. Game One features RHP John Simms (3-5, 3.7.70) for Potomac against LHP Blair Walters (2-2, 2.89) for the Mudcats.  First pitch scheduled for 7:05 pm from Woodbridge, VA.

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): The Hagerstown Suns erupted for three runs in the top of the 11th inning to win their third straight South Atlantic League game, 4-1, Wednesday night at Kannapolis.

After failing to get a hit in the previous four innings, Hagerstown (32-32) got four in the 11th against losing pitcher David Trexler (0-2).  After Alec Keller singled, moved to second on Raudy Read‘s sacrifice bunt and scored the go-ahead run on a single by Jose Marmolejos, two more insurance runs came across as Grant DeBruin and Jeff Gardner hit back-to-back doubles.

In the bottom of the 11th, Jake Walsh earned his second save, setting the Intimidators down 1-2-3.  It was a night of stellar pitching for the Suns as starter Austen Williams didn’t allow an earned run in his six innings, lowering his ERA to 1.77.  Justin Amlung and Robert Orlan (2-0) then contributed two scoreless innings apiece. Orlan was particularly nasty in gaining the victory as he didn’t allow a baserunner, fanning five.

Hagerstown got its first run in the sixth inning, Read singling home Brennan Middleton who had reached on a single and advanced on a walk to D.K. Carey.

The Suns will try for a sweep of the three-game set Thursday night but will have to deal with one of the SAL’s top pitchers, Thad Lowry (7-2, 3.66). Hagerstown answers with SAL All-Star Drew Van Orden (3-1, 1.60).  First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.


Strasburg fairly sharp in rehab start with Harrisburg

Washington Nationals rehabbing starter Stephen Strasburg was reasonably sharp in a five-inning appearance for AA-Harrisburg on Wednesday. The righty, troubled with ankle, neck and back problems — but reportedly no arm pain — allowed one earned run on four hits and no walks, striking out six. The important part is that he told reporters he felt fine after the appearance.

From the Senators’ press release:

Strasburg allowed two runs overall, but just one was earned, while he walked none and struck out six in his rehab start with Harrisburg. Strasburg threw 71 pitches, 46 of which were strikes, in his five innings. Richmond’s Kelby Tomlinson hit an RBI double off Strasburg in the third inning and Mitch Delfino singled in a run in the fourth.

According to The Washington Post’s Barry Svrluga, Strasburg started 16 of 20 batters faced with a strike and the pitcher “looked comfortable”.

Manager Matt Williams, in his press conference before tonight’s matchup against Tampa Bay at Nats Park, said the team will evaluate how Strasburg feels in the next couple of days to determine if he’ll make another rehab start or rejoin the Nats.

Strasburg is an integral part of the Nats rotation and hopefully the week and a half off allowed his various ailments to recoup to allow him to throw with his normal mechanics.

Washington Nationals Game 49 Review: Reds beat Nats late, Nats lose first series in ten


Late mistakes from Casey Janssen cost the Nationals the game on Saturday afternoon, despite incredible defensive efforts to limit the damage. Michael A. Taylor had a 3-run homer in the sixth to put the Nationals ahead 5-2 before Janssen’s denouement. Gio Gonzalez pitched 5.1 IP of 4-run ball, and was hit twice by Reds pitching, the second HBP potentially contributing to Gio’s rough sixth inning.

The roster moves before the game almost overshadowed the action on the field Saturday afternoon. Before the game, the Nationals announced that Stephen Strasburg was off to the 15-day disabled list, and Taylor Hill had been called up in his place. In addition, Bryce Harper was a late scratch with a tight back, caused by yesterday’s drilling at the hands of Anthony Cingrani of the Reds.

Raisel Iglesias started for the Reds, and the young Cuban defector was frustrating for the Nationals hitters at times, but as his command fell apart in the sixth, the Nationals sent him to the showers. Iglesias struck out seven, mastering a breaking ball and a high fastball to combine for some unlikely devastation through the Nats order.

It wasn’t all domination for Iglesias, though, as Michael A. Taylor obliterated one of his pitches late in the sixth for a three-run homer amid Iglesias’ control failures. Clint Robinson and Danny Espinosa had each ripped singles off Iglesias ahead of Taylor’s moonshot off the scoreboard on the fascia of the second deck in left field. The Nationals lead stretched to 5-2, and everything looked solid for the gents in grey.

Gio Gonzalez struggled early with his control, in no small part due to a narrow strike zone from home plate umpire Andy Fletcher. In the first he’d load the bases on a walk and two singles before escaping unscathed. In the third, he gave up a two-run homer to Joey Votto on a pitch that just got away.

After that, Gonzalez largely settled into a rhythm, working counts well, and finding a devastating curve placement to strike out six. Disaster would strike in the top of the sixth for Gio, though as an errant Iglesias fastball would drill him right in the left tricep. He’d remain in the game — for reasons not yet explained, despite a rested pen — and the bottom of the sixth did not go well. Gio lead off the bottom of the sixth with a walk to Joey Votto, and a double to Todd Frazier, putting runners at 2nd and 3rd with no one out. An agitated Gio Gonzalez paced around the periphery of the mound, chewed on his glove, and talked to himself at length, but manager Matt Williams remained in the dugout.

The early part of the Nationals bullpen did yeoman’s work today against the Reds. Blake Treinen came on in relief of Gonzalez in the sixth and dialed in two strikeouts on 98mph sinkers that just weren’t fair. He did have a pair of wild pitches that allowed the remaining runner to advance to third, but his sinker was devastating against Zach Cozart and Marlon Byrd, enough to seal the leak. Matt Thornton buzzed right through the Reds in the seventh, throwing just 10 pitches to retire the side in order.

Casey Janssen had a rougher go in the eighth, but some spectacular defense by Denard Span and Dan Uggla kept the Reds at bay, to start. Denard Span would leap to the top of the fence in left center and sweep a ball bound over back into play limiting Frazier to a double. With runners at the corners, a ball deflected off Ryan Zimmerman’s glove ended up right in the hands of Dan Uggla preventing a run to score, but Janssen’s bad coverage let the runner aboard safely. Zach Cozart would make him pay for all those missed pitches, and stroked a double to the deepest part of the park, bringing around a pair of Redlegs, and Billy Hamilton would bring around two more on a single through the gap to right.

That Janssen gets left out there as long as he did is one of the reasons that there are questions about Matt Williams’ managerial chops with regard to bullpen management. Pulling Janssen earlier there might have put the Nats in a better place to stop the Reds, especially when the bullpen’s got fresh arms.

The Nats gave Aroldis Chapman a scare in the ninth, drawing a pair of walks off the fireballer. Denard Span and Ian Desmond each claimed a free pass on full counts, with the final pitch of their at-bats at 99mph. Chapman would dial it up a notch for Dan Uggla and Ryan Zimmerman, though, and both struck out on 102mph fastballs to end the threat.

This was the Nationals’ first series loss in over a month.

HERO: Michael A. Taylor for his three-run yard shot in the sixth. He was 2-for-31 since his memorable grand slam in Houston, he definitely needed it. Honorable mention to Denard Span for his highlight reel non-catch of Todd Frazier’s double to left center in the 8th.

GOAT: Casey Janssen abysmal eighth inning was his worst outing of the year. He gave up four runs on four hits with two walks, despite the fact that Denard Span and Dan Uggla each performed miracles to limit the damage.

Secondary Goat Award to Yunel Escobar, ejected for arguing balls and strikes when he knew the Nats were down a player already. The call wasn’t that egregious, but Escobar had to jaw. Fletcher gave Escobar two chances to back off before giving him the hook, which was more than fair.


  • Bryce Harper’s Friday night hit against Aroldis Chapman came on a pitch clocked at 102.2mph. It was the fastest pitch hit in the Pitch Trax era.
  • The Reds hit Gio Gonzalez with pitches twice on Saturday, which is, as far as I can tell, the only time a Nats starter has been hit twice in the same game.

NEXT UP: Tanner Roark vs. Michael Lorenzen at 1:10pm as the Nats try to avoid a sweep.

Washington Nationals Game 48 Review: Nats Bats Not Clutch, Strasburg Hurt


The Washington Nationals, riding high on nine straight series victories, rolled in to Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati to face the Reds Friday night. They wouldn’t stay that way. Leaving 12 runners aboard and going 3 for 12 with runners in scoring position, the Nats fell to the Reds, 5-2.

Stephen Strasburg started the evening on the bump for the Nationals, but wouldn’t make it out of the second inning, Not because he was getting shelled, but rather because he appeared to be struggling with command and a potential physical problem. An already hobbled Nationals team, missing Jayson Werth (broken wrist), Anthony Rendon (strained oblique, sprained knee), and Doug Fister (strained flexor), was dealt a blow when Strasburg began to struggle in the second. After just one batter in the second, and sixteen pitches on the night, trainer Lee Kuntz walked Strasburg back to the clubhouse. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 43 Review: Hamels stellar, errors plague Nationals as Phillies win 8-1

A four-run third inning, featuring a two-run shot to center field by Maikel Franco, ended Stephen Strasburg’s day early and was the start of a painful day at Nationals Park, as a sellout crowd was on hand for an 8-1 Philadelphia win over the Nationals on Saturday.

[Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 39 Review: Harper powers Nats over Padres


The Washington Nationals are officially on a roll. No-hit through four innings, the Nats bats finally woke up, and when they did, they were loud. Bryce Harper homered again to lead the Nats over the San Diego Padres 10-5 at Petco Park, completing a seven-game West Coast road trip at 5-2.

What set up as an interesting pitching match-up between Stephen Strasburg and Ian Kennedy ended up a rout. But with Strasburg getting yanked early in his past two starts, it was a big test for the righty, who has battled ankle and upper back problems this season. [Read more…]

%d bloggers like this: