All anybody could talk about before Saturday’s Game Two of the NLDS in Washington, D.C. was the pitching match-up scheduled to start the game – San Francisco’s Tim Hudson versus Washington’s Jordan Zimmermann. Six hours and twenty-three minutes plus eighteen innings later, the longest game in recorded playoff history wrapped up and the San Francisco Giants advanced to game three with a 2-0 lead in the five-game series by beating the Nationals 2-1.
Hudson – who is notorious for his successful and often dominant outings against the Nationals – was going to be a struggle for the Nats but Washington went into the game planning to be patient with him. On the other hand, Zimmermann was fresh and just six days removed from his historical no-hitter on the final day of the 2014 regular season. The match-up made the first nine innings what they were but the final nine innings played are the reason the evening’s game turned into the longest playoff game ever played.
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.
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.”
A strong pitching performance from Chicago Cubs right-handed starter Jason Hammel stifled the Nationals’ attempt at a Fourth of July victory in Washington on Friday afternoon. Chicago beat Washington 7-2 and Nats right-handed starting pitcher Tanner Roark didn’t look quite as sharp as he had earlier this season.
Roark pitched seven innings while giving up four runs and one homerun on nine hits. He walked one batter and struck out five on 87 pitches (61 strikes). Chicago came swinging right out of the gate with a pair of singles off Roark to start the game. Leadoff man and outfielder Chris Coghlan scored on a ground out hit by Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo giving Chicago their early 1-0 lead.
Washington Nationals right-handed starting pitcher Tanner Roark notched a career-first on Saturday afternoon when he threw a three-hit complete game shutout to beat the San Diego Padres 4-0. Roark threw 105 pitches and 73 strikes while walking one batter and striking out eight as he led the Nats to their second win of the three game series.
An early offensive rally for Washington against the Padres’ right-handed pitcher Andrew Cashner initiated the eventual win by putting the Nats up 3-0 in the first inning. After a leadoff fly out to right field hit by outfielder Denard Span, the next four Nats batters reached base.
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 →
Starting pitcher right-hander Dan Haren had an incredibly rough night on Saturday when the Washington Nationals lost to the New York Mets 11-3. Haren lasted 2 and 2/3 innings and threw 57 pitches (41 strikes). The Mets managed nine hits and seven runs off Haren and struck out three times.
Despite a turnaround from his performance earlier this season, Haren seems to have struggled in his past two starts. But the loss isn’t in Haren’s hands entirely. 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.