The Washington Nationals were three outs away from a one-run loss against the fourth place New York Mets on Tuesday night but Steve Lombardozzi saved the game by hitting a walk-off sacrifice fly into the glove of Mike Baxter in left field. His sacrifice fly sent first baseman Adam LaRoche around to score. Washington beat New York 3-2 in their first walk-off victory of the season.
The Nats may have won the game but it was night in which the their offense continued to struggle. Manager Davey Johnson’s lineup managed four hits before their three-hit ninth inning rally. They were lucky enough to score early on a solo home run hit by shortstop Ian Desmond off right-handed pitcher Jeremy Hefner in the second inning — Desmond’s eighth home run of the season — but that’s the only run they’d tally up until the ninth inning.
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.
For the second time in that many days, the Nationals fell to St. Louis, losing 2-0 Tuesday night, on six strong innings of work from left-handed starting pitcher Ross Detwiler. Detwiler gave up two runs on eight hits, walked two, and struck out two on 93 pitches (60 strikes).
Washington’s defense was the strongest positive worth noting in a game where their bats fell short. In the first five innings, the Nats turned four successful double plays to rob St. Louis of additional runs. But not even spectacular defense from shortstop Ian Desmond, second baseman Danny Espinosa, first baseman Adam LaRoche, catcher Kurt Suzuki, and Detwiler could win them the game. Continue reading →
The Nationals lineup was no match for Atlanta’s right-handed starter Tim Hudson who secured his second win of the season with a 3-1 Braves victory in Washington. The afternoon’s loss was Washington’s second in two days versus Atlanta.
An early throwing error by Ryan Zimmerman in the third inning cost Washington two runs when left fielder Justin Upton stole second ahead of catcher Evan Gattis’ two-out two-run homer. It wasn’t Stephen Strasburg’s strongest outing either, which didn’t help the Nats. Continue reading →
Right-handed starting pitcher Dan Haren earned his first win in a Nationals uniform Thursday night leading Washington to a three-game sweep of the Chicago White Sox and a 7-4 victory. The theme of the night for Haren was dancing himself out of trouble, though it was an improvement from Friday night’s 15-0 loss in Cincinnati. Haren pitched five innings, gave up ten hits and three runs with five strikeouts in addition to throwing one wild pitch and hitting a batter.
Chicago fought hard to prevent the sweep, shelling the Nats with thirteen hits, but they weren’t quite as successful on the base path. The White Sox stranded eleven runners leaving the game in Washington hands if they were able to maintain the lead. Continue reading →
What started out as a game wrought with baserunning mishaps and high pitch counts ended in favor of the Washington Nationals who squeaked by the Chicago White Sox in interleague play with an 8-7 victory. The game’s starters – left-hander Gio Gonzalez for Washington and right-hander Jake Peavy – combined to throw 59 pitches in the first inning alone. That inning lasted 28 minutes and produced just one run for the White Sox.
Chicago’s early run came as a result of a balk, Gonzalez’s fourth career balk in 129 games, with the bases loaded, two out, a full-count, and White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko at the plate. Third baseman Jeff Keppinger scored on that play after snapping his 0-for-19 stretch to start the season with a single off Gonzalez.
Spring Training is upon us. It’s celebrated as a holiday in many a home and cheers up folks stuck in deep emotional slumps due to winter (and no baseball). It’s a time to look forward to the sweet summertime yet to come. It’s the time of year where rebirth is ever-present, in the weather and in state-of-mind. That’s why I’m looking forward to the 2013 Major League Baseball season in Washington, D.C. – home of the 2012 National League East Champions.
There’s a lot to be excited about if you’re a Nats fan. For example: a lead-off hitting hustler of a center fielder in Denard Span, no pitch limit for Stephen Strasburg, newly crowned National League Rookie of the Year Bryce Harper (and everything he does #fangirling), a starting rotation and bullpen worthy of evoking envy throughout all of baseball, and a roster that’s just as cohesive (if not more so) as Gordon Bombay’s Mighty Ducks from Minnesota. Continue reading →