December 15, 2019

Washington Nationals Game 56 Review: Solos Homers from Harper & Ramos Not Enough, Cubs Beat Nats

The Washington Nationals fells 4-2 against the Chicago Cubs on Saturday afternoon in front of 38,214 baseball fans at Nationals Park in D.C. Chicago’s right-handed starting pitcher Jason Hammel out dueled recent Nats call-up, right-handed pitcher Joe Ross, who was subjected to a mostly quiet Washington offense throughout the day’s contest. [Read more…]

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

JANSSEN HAS DISASTROUS EIGHTH, NATS LOSE 8-5

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.

NATS NOTES:

  • 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 Spring Training Preview: The Starters

This week, District Sports Page will review the players currently on the Washington Nationals 40-man roster and their potential contributions to the Major League roster this season.

Monday: Catchers
Tuesday: Infielders
Wednesday: Outfielders
Thursday: Starters
Friday: Bullpen

Max Scherzer
2014 AL: 33 games, 220.1 IP, 18-5, 3.15 ERA, 1.175 WHIP, 10.3 K/9, 2.6 BB/9 (6.0 WAR) [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 160 Review: Marlins win slugfest in spring training atmosphere

SOUZA HOMERS IN LOPSIDED LOSS AFTER EARLY CLINCHER

With homefield advanatage sewn up by virtue of their in in the first game of a day-night doubleheader on Friday, the nightcap took on a spring training feel, with Taylor Hill called up to make his Major League debut behind mostly minor league teammates.

Hill struggled, as did Miami Marlins starter rookie Andrew Heaney, and the slugfest went clear into the ninth inning as the Marlins topped the Nats 15-7.

The Marlins went right to work in the top of the first, as Christian Yelich walked, went to third on a single by Donovan Solano and scored on Casey McGehee’s RBI single. Three batters into his first start, Hill had already surrendered a run. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals vs Miami Marlins Series Preview

Fresh off a 2-3 series win over the New York Mets, the Washington Nationals will finish off the regular season with a 4-games series against the Miami Marlins.

Teams

Washington Nationals (95-63, 1st in NL East) vs Miami Marlins (76-82, 4th in NL East) [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Minor League Team-by-Team Awards

As the regular season comes to a close for minor league, District Sports Page now takes a look around the Washington Nationals’ organization and reflects a year that was in minor league baseball. (NOTE: These are not “official” awards. They have been selected by the writer.) [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Minor League and Prospect Report for Week of July 6th

As another week of minor league baseball is in the books, here are some players in the Washington Nationals’ farm system that are making headlines and All-Star Games. [Read more…]

Four Syracuse Chiefs Named to International League All-Star Team

Via a team press release on Wednesday afternoon, the Syracuse Chiefs, the Washington Nationals’ triple-A affiliate, announced that catcher Jhonatan Solano, outfielder Steven Souza Jr., and pitchers Taylor Hill and Aaron Laffey have been selected to the 2014 International League All-Star team. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals’ Minor League and Prospect Report for Week Ending May 4th

Syracuse Chiefs, AAA International League, 14-15 

Brandon Laird: Laird has bounced between the minors and majors over the past few seasons, but is currently manning third base for the Chiefs. In the last week of basball, he has picked up eight hits, including a 3-for-4 game last Thursday. On the season, he’s hitting a slugging percentage of .567 with an OPS of 1.024.

Brock Peterson: Peterson played well in Spring Training and he’s translating that success to the regular season in Syracuse. He’s picked up a hit in seven of the team’s last 10 games to go along with three RBI.

Taylor Hill: Hill currently sits at 4-1 with a 1.82 ERA for the Chiefs and his most recent outing this past Sunday was a gem. He pitched a complete-game shutout and gave up just three hits and one walk. Hill has been steady on the mound while also picking up his fair share of strikeouts with 34.

Harrisburg Senators, AA Eastern League, 8-19

Michael Taylor: A center fielder, Taylor has been getting stronger and stronger with his bat as the season goes on. He’s picked up a hit in eight of his last 10 games including three doubles, four homers and 12 RBI. Most notably, he went 3-for-4 with three home runs on April 27th.

Cutter Dykstra: After a hot start to the season, Dykstra is currently on a is currently on a four-game hitless streak. Prior to that, the third baseman had a hit in his previous six games. He’s proven to be a solid minor leaguer in years past, and he could break out of this minor slump in a big way.

Justin Bloxom: The Nationals have several talented first baseman in their farm system and Bloxom is certainly one of them. In his second full season at double-A, Bloxom is on a six-game hitting streak and has a hit in eight of his last ten games. On the season, he’s batting .318 with eight doubles.

Potomac Nationals, High-Class A Carolina League, 16-10

Randolph Oduber: Since he was moved to Potomac from Hagerstown early in the season, Oduber has done well for the PNats. He has a .244 average, but is playing strong as of late. In his last 10 games, in eight of them. In five of those eight games, he’s picked up at least two hits. In an 11-run rout on Sunday, Oduber went 3-for-4 with a double and a walk.

Oscar Tejeda: Tejeda has picked up a hit in seven of his last ten games, highlighted by grand slam in the eighth inning on Sunday. On the season, he’s hit five doubles, four homers and 16 RBI.

Gilberto Mendez: In eight appearances out of the bullpen this season, Mendez has been a steady pitcher. Averaging just over an inning of work per outing, he’s given up just eight hits, three of which came in one uncharacteristically bad appearance. On Sunday, he was the only Potomac pitcher not to give up a base runner as he pitched two no-hit innings.

Hagerstown Suns, Low-Class A South Atlantic League, 21-7

Isaac Ballou: The Suns are a team stocked with young talent and Ballou certainly belongs in this group. The outfielder has a hit in nine of his last 10 games including four doubles. He’s batting .299 with an on-base percentage of .387. On top of that, he’s stolen five bags.

John Wooten: Like Ballou, Wooten has also collected a hit in nine of his last 10 games. The right fielder has hit five doubles, a homer and six RBI in that same stretch. This is his third season in the system and he’s make quite a buzz.

Wander Suero: Out of the bullpen, Suero has been a solid pitcher for the Suns. In 27.1 innings spanning six outings, the right-hander has given up just six earned runs while fanning 19 batters. His 1.98 ERA is the best on the team.

NATS/P-NATS: Taylor Hill Named 2013 Minor League Gold Glove Winner

Potomac Press Release Banner logo

P-NATS RHP TAYLOR HILL NAMED A 2013 MINOR LEAGUE
RAWLINGS GOLD GLOVE AWARD® WINNER
Potomac Nationals RHP Taylor Hill Named
One of Nine Recipients of MiLB’s Highest Defensive Honor

Woodbridge, VA—Minor League BaseballTM and Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc., today jointly announced that 2013 Potomac Nationals RHP Taylor Hill has been selected as a recipient of a Minor League Baseball 2013 Rawlings Gold Glove Award® for stellar defense at his position this season.

Hill, 24, joins a roster of nine MiLB players set to receive a 2013 Rawlings Gold Glove Award after honorees were selected among qualifying players from the 10 domestic, full-season Minor Leagues.

These defensive wizards will receive their trophies modeled after the iconic awards given to Major League Baseball’s top defensive players during the 2014 season.

Hill becomes the second-ever Washington Nationals farmhand to secure a Rawlings Gold Glove Award after 2B Steve Lombardozzi was bestowed the honor following the 2011 campaign.

Hill owned a 1.000 fielding percentage across Class-A Advanced Potomac, Double-A Harrisburg, and Triple-A Syracuse in 2013 over the course of 28 appearances and 164.2 innings. Hill did not commit a single error in 46 total chances while recording 31 assists and making 15 putouts.

The control maven logged a combined overall record of (9-9) to complement a 2.95 earned run average while walking just 29 batters all season as a member of the Nationals, Senators, and Chiefs.

“Since 1957, Rawlings has celebrated defensive excellence at the highest levels of professional baseball,” said Mike Thompson, senior vice president of marketing for St. Louis-based Rawlings.

“Every organization should be proud to have a Minor League Baseball Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner in their system.”

“I know what an honor it is for a player to receive a Rawlings Gold Glove Award, having been involved in presenting them to the winners the last two years,” said Pat O’Conner, President & CEO of Minor League Baseball.

“The players really appreciate and understand how prestigious the accolade is and I want to thank Rawlings Sporting Goods for their continued support of Minor League Baseball.”

The 2013 Minor League Baseball recipients of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award are as follows:

Position Name Club(s)/Major League Baseball Organization

P Taylor Hill Potomac, Harrisburg, Syracuse/Washington
C Blake Forsythe Binghamton/New York Mets
1B Jordan Lennerton Toledo/Detroit
2B Carlos Alonso Clearwater/Philadelphia
SS Nick Ahmed Mobile/Arizona
3B Wade Gaynor Erie/Detroit
LF Jason Krizan Lakeland/Detroit
CF Dalton Pompey Lansing/Toronto
RF Randal Grichuk Arkansas/Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

The return of Rawlings recognizing Minor League Baseball players for their defensive prowess began in 2011. The St. Louis-based company named a Minor League all-star fielding team for several years in the 1960s. The honor was known then as the Rawlings Silver Glove Award.

Five players who were honored in 2012, RHP Adam Warren (New York Yankees), C Josh Phegley (Chicago White Sox), LF Derrick Robinson (Cincinnati Reds), CF Engel Beltre (Texas Rangers), and RF Marcell Ozuna (Miami Marlins) have graduated to the Major Leagues. A foursome of Big Leaguers, 1B Efren Navarro (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim), 3B Brandon Laird (Houston Astros), CF Jordan Danks (Chicago White Sox) and RF Cole Gillespie (Chicago Cubs) were among those honored in 2011.

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