December 2, 2020

Washington Nationals Game 104 Review: Zimmerman ends pitcher’s duel with walk-off homer

No one would have thought All-Star starter Matt Harvey against journeyman spot starter Ross Ohlendorf would have ended up a pitcher’s duel. The Harvey part, sure, especially the way the Washington Nationals offense has been inept since the All-Star break. But Ohlendorf was just as good as Harvey, dominating the New York Mets for his seven innings of work.

Neither figured in the decision though, as a 1-1 ninth inning tie turned into a dramatic walk-off win, as Ryan Zimmerman’s solo home run in the ninth inning off LaTroy Hawkins gave the Nats a 2-1 win before 33,689 jubilant patrons at Nationals Park.

The blast was Zimmerman’s first extra-base hit in 56 plate appearances over 13 games and his first walk-off homer since 2011.

The starters traded zeroes until the fourth, when the Mets broke the ice against Ohlendorf. Josh Satin doubled to right with one out and scored one out later on John Buck’s RBI double that carried over Steve Lombardozzi’s head in left.

The Nats tied it up in the fifth, courtesy of an unearned run. Jayson Werth led off with a single to center, his second hit of the game and the Nats’ third. Ian Desmond drew a walk, moving Werth up 90 feet. After Steve Lombardozzi failed to get a bunt down with one strike, then struck out, Wilson Ramos hit a chopper up the middle.

Shortstop Justin Turner made a nice play and flip to Daniel Murphy to cut down Desmond, but Murphy’s relay throw was way up the line and actually hit Ramos, allowing Werth to come all the way around to score, tying the game.

New York threatened again in the seventh, but were rebuffed. Andrew Brown reached leading off the inning courtesy of Ryan Zimmerman’s second fielding error of the game. Harvey sacrificed successfully and Brown moved up a base. Ohlendorf got Juan Lagares to fly to center on a nice running catch by Denard Span. He then carefully pitched around Daniel Murphy — who was red hot all day — before getting David Wright to foul out to end the threat, on his 114th pitch of the day.

Ohlendorf was the story of the game for the Nats. Recalled as an insurance policy and emergency starter, then transferred into the bullpen, Ohlendorf got the call for the double-header start and was excellent. The right-hander gave up just the one run on six hits and two walks, striking out eight in the process.

The journeyman put up ERAs of 7.77 and 8.15 the past two seasons for San Diego and Pittsburgh, but he’s been a godsend for the Nats this season and could very well find himself in the rotation once Taylor Jordan is shut down in his first full season back from Tommy John surgery.

For the Mets, Harvey was just as good. He went eight innings, allowing just an unearned run on five hits and one walk, striking out seven in the process.

THE GOOD: Ohlendorf. Stellar performance.

THE BAD: Rafael Soriano. Not a good performance with a hit and a walk in the ninth inning, but he escaped without giving up a run.

THE UGLY: Denard Span and Anthony Rendon combined to go 0-for-8 at the top of the order.

THE STATS: 6 hits, 1 BB, 7 Ks. 0-for-4 with RISP, 3 LOB. E: Zimmerman (16, fielding); one DP.

NEXT GAME: Saturday at 3:05 pm ET against the Mets. Dan Haren (4-11, 5.79) hosts Dillon Gee (7-7, 4.07).

NATS NOTES: Bryce Harper did not start the second game after aggravating his knee making a sliding catch in the day game but did pinch-hit in the eighth inning off Harvey, grounding out to short.

Following the game, the Nats optioned Drew Storen to AAA-Syracuse to make room for Ryan Mattheus on the roster.

Washington Nationals Game 102 Review: Harper homer walks off against Pirates

Simply incredible.

Nothing has been easy for the Washington Nationals this season. Thursday’s day game was no exception. After building a late-game 7-3 lead — then blowing it — Bryce Harper’s first walk-off home run delivered a 9-7 win over the wild card leading Pittsburgh Pirates,  ending a six-game losing streak in the process, before 38,862 at Nationals Park.

Both managers were tossed for arguing balls and strikes and were long-gone by the time the dramatic ending happened. The Nats wasted two separate four-run leads, but Harper allowed the Nats to go home happy for the first time since the All-Star game last week. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 58 Review: With changing tides, Nats win in walk-off fashion

Amidst an array of roster moves, the Washington Nationals (29-29) out-pitched the New York Mets (22-33) in their return to Nationals Park Tuesday night to record a much-needed 3-2 win.

It was anything but a quiet day for the Nats, who welcomed back Jayson Werth for his first game since May 2. Washington recalled – but sat – Anthony Rendon and also brought up left-handed pitcher Ian Krol.

With few signs of Zach Duke, Danny Espinosa or Henry Rodriguez lingering in the Nats’ clubhouse, Jordan Zimmermann (ND, 8-3) powered on for eight innings of top-notch baseball, providing the revised lineup with a shot at coming back in the later innings – something they haven’t done much of all season.

Considering some of the rocky outings Jeremy Hefner (ND, 1-5) has had thus far, the Mets’ fandom could applaud his effort as well. The 27-year-old right-hander held the struggling Nationals to just one run over four hits and one walk in seven innings.

As such, once more, a Nationals pitcher tossed a gem only to get cheated out of a win – but, at the very least, this battle was not one to be lost for all. It was almost as though a sense of urgency swept over the Nats – even if it has yet to take hold in the form of bat power. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 80 Review: Team of destiny?

Adam LaRoche pumps fist after watching the winning run score on Washington Nationals 1924 Throwback Night, 7/05/2012. (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

There are times during the season when you look at a situation in a game, say down 5-1 in the seventh inning to one of the game’s elite pitchers — who’s already thrown a no-hitter in the season — and you’ve only managed five hits all night long… you have to wonder about your chances of getting back into the game. And that’s against a team that’s only given up two leads of three or more runs all season long?

You’d probably be forgiven if you had given up and cleaned up your closet or something. [Read more…]

PHOTOS: Bryce Harper Hits First Career Walk-off

Washington Nationals Bryce Harper hit his first MLB walk-off during the twelfth inning for the win over the New York Mets at Nationals Park on June 5.

Here are a few photos from the excitement taken from the concourse between section 128. More will be posted in near future.

Nats 3B Coach Bo Porter hugged Bryce Harper like a proud papa after his first MLB walkoff. (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page) [Read more…]

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