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.”
Two strong pitchers took the mound on Sunday for the final game of a four game series between the Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals at Nats Park. Both left-handed pitcher Cole Hamels and right-handed pitcher Stephen Strasburg lasted seven innings but it was ultimately Philadelphia’s weak defense and Washington’s starter plus a clutch offense that won the Nationals the game 4-0.
Strasburg tallied ten strikeouts in his Sunday appearance. He gave up three hits and one walk on 99 pitches (69 strikes) to out duel Hamels and the Phillies. On the other end of things, Hamels gave up four hits and one unearned run while walking one batter and striking out six on 80 pitches (66 strikes).
Hours before being named to the 2014 National League All-Star team for the second time in two years, Washington Nationals right-handed starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann threw a tough game against the Chicago Cubs and went on to win 2-1 on Sunday afternoon. Right-handed relief pitcher Tyler Clippard ended up with the official win but Zimmermann’s strong efforts helped ensure Chicago’s low run count.
Zimmermann gave up seven hits over six innings while striking out five and walking one batter on 105 pitches (76 strikes). While the majority of Chicago’s 10 hits on the day came off of Zimmermann, the soon-to-be-announced All-Star pitcher and his defense held the Cubs in place.
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.”
A few hundred people bore witness as the midnight hour crept just passed 1 a.m. at Nationals Parks on Tuesday morning as the Nats beat the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers 4-0. Due to rain, the game fell subject to a 3 hour and 17 minute rain delay starting in the middle of the 4th inning. The total time of the delay even ended up being longer than the total amount of playing time it took the Nats to win it.
Both teams fielded some of their most reliable starting pitchers. Right-handed pitchers Zack Greinke and Jordan Zimmermann each performed prior to the rain forcing them out of the game. In fact, the two-run shutout Washington carried into the bottom of the eighth with them was recorded within the first two home team at-bats of the long, long night.
The Washington Nationals secured a much needed 3-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals Friday night thanks to a strong pitching performance from left-handed starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez and a few timely hits. The night’s victory helped snap the 8-0 losing skid between Washington and St. Louis, which dates back to 2012.
Gonzalez threw 101 pitches and 65 strikes against St. Louis over seven innings. The Cardinals managed four hits, one run, and a walk against the lefty but Gonzalez fought back with seven strike outs on the night. That strong outing was exactly what the Nats needed in order to fend off a hot-hitting and defensively sound Cardinals squad.
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 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.
It was his first day back in a Major League line-up for the first time in 44 games, but that didn’t keep Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos from leading his time to an 8-5 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Independence Day in the Washington.
Ramos (3-for-4) tallied his first hit since May 15 early on in the fourth inning before coming up big with a three-run homerun in the seventh to give the Nats back the lead and help his team win the Fourth of July match-up. The game marked a career-high 5-RBI day for Ramos.
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 →
The Nats dropped a true heartbreaker to the Cubs Sunday afternoon when they lost 2-1. Left-handed starter Gio Gonzalez pitched a spectacular game going seven innings, walking one batter, and striking out six while giving up just two hits on 86 pitches (55 strikes). He even held on to a no-hit bid through the fifth inning but his performance was overshadowed by Manager Davey Johnson’s decision to pull Gonzalez after the seventh inning.
“Obviously we’d been better off in hindsight but I have all the confidence going to my bullpen and [they] just didn’t do it,” Johnson said after the game. “I very seldom early in the season will let a guy go out there and [if] he gets a guy on I don’t want him to lose it, a ball game late in the game. It’s just the way I manage. You can chalk it up to me. You don’t like it, chalk it up to me.”
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.
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.
The success of Washington’s 2012 season trickled over to Opening Day 2013 as young guns Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper led the Nationals to their first win of the year, a 2-0 victory over the Miami Marlins. Strasburg was efficient through seven innings. He threw 80 pitches, 52 for strikes, and gave up three hits while striking out three. Continue reading →