A crowd of 30,714 welcomed the Washington Nationals home for their first game since clinching the 2014 National League East crown on Tuesday night. And – as a “thank you” of sorts – starting pitcher Tanner Roark led his team to a 4-2 win over the New York Mets.
Roark threw 86 pitches and 58 strikes in 6 1/3 innings pitched while giving up two runs on five hits and striking out one batter in his fifteenth win of the season. The only trouble he truly encountered were the first three hits he gave up – they were all doubles.
New York scored first in the fifth inning off a pair of those doubles. Second baseman Wilmer Flores led off the inning with a double and proceeded to score off a one-out double his by outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis. But thanks to a hot-hitting Adam LaRoche, the Nats answered back in the bottom half of the inning.
Wednesday evening was a tough loss to swallow for Washington as the Nationals fell 6-2 against the Atlanta Braves during the series finale of their recent three-game set. Washington took two of three in the series and are eight games ahead of their division rival with a magic number of ten.
The Nats remained in good spirits despite the loss but are aware of the challenges that still lie ahead as the stakes get higher. “It’s nice to be able to win a series, be able to come out strong [and] really play good baseball these past couple days,” outfielder Bryce Harper said after the game. “You’ve got to go in to win ball games. If you don’t win the ballgames then something could happen. If you win ballgames then what you want to happen happens.”
Four walk-offs in five days, a nine-game winning streak, and first place in the National League East – that’s where the Washington Nationals currently stand after their 3-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday night. After a strong seven-inning shutout appearance from right-handed pitcher Tanner Roark for Washington, reliever Tyler Clippard blew the save, but the Nats came back in the form of an Anthony Rendon pinch-hit RBI-single in the bottom of the ninth with one out and two on base to win it.
“It’s a little stressful,” Rendon said of the situation, “[I’ve] probably got some grays coming in now but it’s actually [it’s] good to be on the winning side of these walk-offs for sure.”
The Washington Nationals showed the New York Mets what dominant pitching and a productive offense is capable of on Wednesday night when right-handed starting pitcher Doug Fister led the Nats to a 7-1 win over New York. Fister’s delayed start on the season may have slowed him up slightly in the beginning but he’s now 11-3 in 2014 with signs of slowing down.
Fister gave up six hits and struck out seven batters over seven and one-third innings pitched. He threw 101 pitches (69 strikes) and gave up one unearned run in the eighth inning after cruising through the rest of the game. Fister was so efficient on the mound that the game itself only lasted two hours and thirty one minutes. And these days, a sub-three hour game is rare, so that was a gem in and of itself as well.
It was a hot and humid one in D.C. on Wednesday night but the Washington Nationals braved the swamp-like elements to complete a three game sweep of the Colorado Rockies with a 4-3 victory. Starting pitcher, right-hander Doug Fister had just one blemish on an otherwise efficient outing which came in the form of a three-run homerun in the second inning for the Rockies.
“[It] was a constant battle all night,” Fister said. “[The keys were] guys played defense. They came out and played well, sacrificed a lot whether it was diving or just sacrificing themselves to make a play. That was big.”
The night was almost overshadowed by the fact that outfielder Bryce Harper was back in the Washington lineup for the first time since April 25 but, instead, a five-run rally in the sixth inning against the Colorado Rockies highlighted what the Nationals are capable of if their starting nine stay off the disabled list.
Washington faced rookie Rockies pitcher Yohan Flande in his second career start and struggled to make any offensive noise against him as they settled in during the early innings. On the other hand, the Nats’ starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann held command of the game while waiting for his team’s hitting to cut through somehow. Zimmermann threw six innings and gave up two runs on seven hits while striking out five and walking a batter. He threw 87 pitches and 60 strikes. Continue reading →
A game that was well-within the Washington Nationals’ grasp got away from them on Monday night during an eighth inning implosion from right-handed reliever Tyler Clippard allowing the Los Angeles Angels to win 4-2 in D.C.
Clippard’s 2/3 innings of work resulted in three hits, a walk, a strike out, and four unearned runs. Manager Matt Williams emphasized that he thinks Clippard is making quality pitches but he hasn’t found much consistency with his fast ball and couldn’t find his change-up either. Williams is confident that Clippard is still the Nats’ eighth inning man but with more outings like Monday night’s he’ll really have to start to find some consistency if possible. Continue reading →
The Washington Nationals found themselves on the winning side of 5-0 game against the Miami Marlins Tuesday night thanks to a solid outing from left-handed starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez and impressive offensive efforts from first baseman Adam LaRoche and third baseman Anthony Rendon.
Gonzalez threw 101 pitches, 61 strikes, over six innings and gave up three hits while walking two batters and striking out five to secure his second win of the season.
Washington scored early, taking a one-run lead in the first inning when LaRoche drove outfielder Jayson Werth home with two-out. Manager Matt Williams’ line-up failed to score again until the sixth inning, but that’s when things got interesting.
By the ninth inning of Sunday afternoon’s 11-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies, the Washington Nationals fielded eight players who spend time at Triple-A Syracuse this season. It was a day where most everything went right for Washington, allowing Manager Davey Johnson to give some of the call-up kids a little playing time.
Right-handed starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann pitched seven strong innings and gave up seven hits and two runs while walking two, striking out seven and hitting a batter on 102 pitches (65 strikes).
For as solid as Zimmermann once he got into a groove, the player of the game was catcher Wilson Ramos who made his 23rd consecutive start behind the dish. Ramos went four-for-four with three singles and a homerun. Continue reading →
Baseball’s season may be starting to wrap up with just a few weeks left to play but, despite their place in the standings, the Washington Nationals managed a three-game sweep of the Miami Marlins after securing a 9-0 victory on Wednesday night.
Left-handed starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez got off to a rocky start for the first two innings, which is reminiscent of his performances earlier on with the team, before settling in come the third. Gonzalez threw seven innings and gave up three hits while walking three and striking out eight on 108 pitches (74 strikes).
Tuesday night’s game at Nationals Park was far from being a marquee match-up. The fifth place Miami Marlins came to town to face the second place Nats and played in front of the smallest crowd of 2013 since April 10.
24,616 in paid attendance occupied the ballpark while the Nats secured a 2-1 victory over the Marlins, nudging themselves back over .500 by a game. Right-handed starter Ross Ohlendorf pitched five innings plus one batter, struck out three, intentionally walked one, and gave up three hits and a run (on a homerun) on 78 pitches (50 strikes).
Jayson Werth celebrated a career milestone at Nationals Park on Saturday night against his former team the Philadelphia Phillies as he launched his 1,000 career hit off a pitch from right-handed reliever Zach Miner to the left field bleachers for a two-run, go-ahead homerun in the seventh inning. The Washington Nationals would go on to beat the Phillies 8-5 in a game that looked nearly out of reach early on.
Despite all of the unfortunate missed opportunities the Nats have lived through in 2013, Saturday night’s game was a nice example of what the team can accomplish if they work with what they’ve. Right-handed starter Taylor Jordan had a rocky second inning versus Philadelphia in which he gave up four runs leaving Washington in an early rut. But that wouldn’t be the end all of the night.
The Nationals managed to prevent a shut-out game versus the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday night but wasted a quality start by right-handed pitcher Stephen Strasburg falling 4-2 in game three of a four game series. In the team’s season-high sixth consecutive loss, the Nats starter threw eight innings and gave up two hits and one run – a homerun to Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez in the second inning – while striking out a season-high twelve batters on 118 pitches and 80 strikes.
The Nationals started the second-half of the season on a rough note falling 3-2 against the Los Angeles Dodgers despite a strong seven innings from right-handed pitcher Stephen Strasburg on Friday night. Even Manager Davey Johnson appeared a bit deflated after his squad let the tie-game get away from them in the top of the ninth. “Tomorrow’s another day,” he said as he ended his post-game press conference.
The Washington Nationals squeaked past the San Diego Padres with a 5-4 win on Saturday evening. Their line-up continued to work with the changes made this week but it took them a bit longer to tally up their run count when compared to the past few days.
Outfielder Bryce Harper finally snapped his 0-for-19 hitless streak and had three RBIs in the game. Harper’s first RBI came in the third inning when he was walked by former Nat and San Diego starting pitcher Jason Marquis allowing catcher Kurt Suzuki to score making it a 1-0 ballgame.
The Washington Nationals’ offense jumped all over San Diego Padres starter, right-handed pitcher Andrew Cashner, for an early lead on Friday night before going on to win the contest 8-5. Cashner lasted just two innings plus two batters and gave up six runs and five hits while walking three and hitting one on 65 pitches, 42 strikes.
It was only day two of manager Davey Johnson’s line-up switch-a-roo with Ian Desmond batting second and Jayson Werth batting sixth but the results from the experiment continue yield a positive response. Though Werth (3-for-4) had a stronger day than Desmond (1-for-4, with a walk) at the plate, the line-up as a whole is shaping up to be the cohesive unit Johnson’s been searching for all season.
The Washington Nationals could not complete a three-game series sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday night and fell 3-2 in the eleventh inning putting them back at .500 as they head to New York to play the Mets this weekend. Despite seven strong innings from right-handed starter Stephen Strasburg, the Nats offense lost its momentum from the past couple days.
Washington managed to tally eight hits but stranded eight runners with just two runs to show for it. Both runs came in the fourth inning on a two-out solo homerun off the bat of Ian Desmond against Arizona’s left-handed starter Patrick Corbin. Desmond hit his thirteenth homerun this season to the visitor’s bullpen in left field and is now the team’s homerun leader after passing Bryce Harper in the standings of that statistic. Continue reading →
What started out as a four inning pitching duel between former Nationals pitcher and current Chicago Cub Edwin Jackson and Washington’s Stephen Strasburg quickly turned in favor of Chicago due to a messy fifth inning performance from the young phenom. The Nats went on to lose the contest 8-2 on Saturday afternoon. The Cubs hit four unearned runs off of Strasburg in the fourth inning and four more earned runs off left-handed reliever Zach Duke in the fifth to win it.
Strasburg has struggled for the entirety of the 2013 season minus Opening Day. When he lets his emotions get the best of him – like he did Saturday – it’s easier to remember just how young he actually is. When Strasburg’s got his three pitches working for him, he’s a force to be reckoned with, but he’s still in the growing phase where he’s learning to deal with the adversity within the game itself. Manager Davey Johnson acknowledged that fact that the game.
Despite giving up five doubles in six and two-thirds innings pitched, the Washington Nationals’ left-handed starter Ross Detwiler secured his second win of the season with a 7-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Friday night.
Detwiler threw 90 pitches, 57 for strikes, and gave up eight hits, two runs, and struck out two batters.
Right-handed starting pitcher Dan Haren threw his longest outing of the season Saturday afternoon leading the Washington Nationals to a 6-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds. The game was a much stronger outing than the last time he faced the Reds during the first week of the season. The Nats lost that match-up 15-0, but Haren’s start and Washington’s offense gave the Nats their third consecutive win.
Washington made right-handed pitcher Mike Leake work hard early. After a three up, three down first inning, seven of the Nats’ starting nine faced him in the second while scoring two runs to give Washington a 2-0 lead.