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 35,085 witnessed history at Nationals Park during game 162 of the 2014 regular season when right-handed starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann threw the first no-hitter in the Washington Nationals’ nine year history to beat the Miami Marlins 1-0 on Sunday afternoon. The complete game outing was one the two-time All-Star never thought would ever happen, but it did.
“Even when I first got called up I thought that were was no way this would ever happen,” Zimmermann said after the game. “My career numbers are something like one hit per inning so I figure if I can make it out of the first [inning], the hit’s coming in the second, but [Sunday] was one of those special days.”
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.”
The Washington Nationals squeaked by the Atlanta Braves in a 2-1 victory on Monday night as right-handed starter Doug Fister tallied his thirteenth win of the season. Fister threw 104 pitches and 74 strikes in seven innings pitched and gave up two hits and three walks while striking out three batters faced.
Washington took an early and necessary lead in the top of the first inning before the game turned into a pitching duel between Fister and the Braves’ left-handed starter Mike Minor. Third baseman Anthony Rendon scored on two-out single hit by shortstop Ian Desmond off Minor but the Nats wouldn’t score again until the seventh inning; Braves 0, Nats 1. Continue reading →
Sunday afternoon’s game got off to a rocky start when the Washington Nationals committed two defensive errors in the top of the first inning against the Phillies but Washington went on to beat Philadelphia 3-2.
Left-handed starter Gio Gonzalez went six innings while giving up two runs (one earned) on five hits and striking out three batters on 105 pitches (67 strikes). The Phillies did score a run in the top of the first as a result of both outfielder Denard Span and third baseman Anthony Rendon committing a pair of consecutive throwing errors on a Grady Sizemore single hit to center field but Gonzalez bounced back and settled in allowing his pitches to work for him rather than against him after that; Phillies 1, Nats 0.
The Washington Nationals rebounded from Friday night’s lop-sided 10-3 loss that snapped their 10-run winning streak against the San Francisco Giants on Saturday by beating their visitors 6-2. Right-handed starter Jordan Zimmermann pitched a solid eight innings while throwing 107 pitches and 78 strikes. He gave up two runs on seven hits – including a Hunter Pence two-run homerun in the first inning – while striking out eight batters.
Washington answered right back after the Giants led off the game with a double hit by outfielder Angel Pagan and the two-run Pence homer; Giants 2, Nats 0. Outfielder Denard Span led off with a triple hit down the right field line off San Francisco’s right-handed starter Tim Lincecum. Third baseman Anthony Rendon followed by drawing a walk before Span scored on a single hit by outfielder Jayson Werth. First baseman Adam LaRoche proceeded to hit into a double play in his at-bat but his efforts sent Rendon around to score; Giants 2, Nats 2. Continue reading →
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.
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.
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.
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 →
Inconsistency and lack of command haunted the Washington Nationals’ left-handed starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez on Saturday while they faced the New York Mets in D.C. Gonzalez gave up seven hits, five runs, two walks, and one homerun threw 84 pitches (48 strikes) while striking out four in the Nats’ 5-2 loss to New York. Continue reading →
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.
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.
The Washington Nationals were left with two outs and down 4-1 in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Angels when Wednesday night’s game took a positive turn. The Nats ended up beating the Angels 5-4 thanks to a walk-off RBI-single hit by first baseman Adam LaRoche sending outfielder Jayson Werth home as the go-ahead run.
Given how the rest of the night (and the series) went for Washington, that ninth inning was the turnaround they desperately needed to avoid a three-game sweep.
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 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.