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Nats Set A New D.C. Home Run Record, Beat Cubs 11-5

Photo courtesy of Keith Allison
Adam LaRoche
courtesy of Keith Allison

The Washington Nationals took advantage of a young, less-than-mediocre Cubs pitching staff on Tuesday night when the team went on to beat Chicago 11-5. Manager Davey Johnson’s offensive lineup hit a franchise record six home runs off the Cubs, which is the most homeruns in a single home game by any Washington-based ballclub in baseball history.

Starting pitcher, right-hander Edwin Jackson also had quite the night on both sides of the game. He earned his ninth win of the year having pitched five and two-thirds innings. Jackson gave up seven hits, four earned runs, one walk, and struck out eight on 93 pitches (62 for strikes). Jackson also got in on the hitting action going 2-for-4 including a hit off Cubs rookie starter Chris Rusin. Continue reading

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Nats Don’t Rally, Fall to Atlanta 5-1

Photo courtesy of oddlittlebird.
courtesy of oddlittlebird.

In comparison to the rest of this week’s three-game series against the Atlanta Braves, the Washington Nationals played poor defense and dropped a winnable game 5-1 after a ninth inning collapse. It didn’t help much that the offense struggled with runners on-base either.

Atlanta started to tack on their runs in the fifth inning. Starting pitcher Ross Detwiler issued a walk to Braves starter Kyle Medlen that served as a catalyst for the two-run rally. Second baseman Tyler Pastoricky and Medlen scored on a double to right-center field hit by outfielder Martin Prado putting the Nats in a 2-0 hole.

Washington stuck it out until the ninth, initiating what could have been a comeback in the eigth inning when the game was still within their reach. Atlanta only managed to score two runs before their three-run rally in the top of the ninth against reliever Tom Gorzelanny, but the Nats could only manage one run the whole game.

Outfielder Bryce Harper scored the Nats only run in eighth on a single hit to left field by outfielder Michael Morse  off Braves reliever Eric O’Flaherty, making it a 2-1 game. But that was before a ninth inning got away from Washington.

While some of the evening’s missteps should be attributed to the fact that Detwiler didn’t make it long enough for a quality start, it didn’t start out that way. Detwiler cruised through the first four innings, having given up just three hits in that time, with two of the runners making it scoring position without making it home. His fast ball was absolutely dominated.

So what was his biggest weakness? According to Manager Davey Johnson, Detwiler didn’t mix in enough off-speed pitches to get the job done. Because, no matter how great his fast ball is — and it was great for the first half of the game — Johnson says you still need to mix in the off-speed stuff.

Detwiler only made it 5 and 1/3 innings, having given up seven hits, two earned runs, and one walk. He threw 78 pitches, 51 strikes, and struck out four. That’s when Craig Stammen entered the game for 1 and 2/3 innings of no-hit ball.

The ninth is where it got messy. It was Gorzelanny’s second inning of work. He managed to get through the eigth having faced just three batters, but as previously indicated, the Nats offense seemed to lose their footing and couldn’t muster a reaction.

Three runs home, two errors, a wild pitch, two hits, and a stolen base later, the Nats fell from a 2-1 deficit to a 5-1 deficit and couldn’t overcome that fact in the end. As it stands, though, Washington is still 30 games above .500 and maintains first place in the National League East with their closest competition – the Braves – still 6 games behind. So at the end of the day, all is not lost.

Sports Fix, The Daily Feed

Nationals drop game to Orioles 7-4, end streak at 8

Photo courtesy of
‘Moon over Nationals Park’
courtesy of ‘BrianMKA’

Streaks are hard things.

Streaks take you out of seeing the Big Picture, and they change your focus to the tiny reality of the streak.  Streaks of either kind aren’t microcosms, they’re localized disruptions of the normal. As a good friend said Sunday, “Losing streaks are the result of talent, while winning streaks are the result of luck.”

The Nationals came into Sunday’s game riding as high as they’ve been all season, winners of eight straight and 10 of their last 13. They didn’t hardly look like the same team on the field on Sunday. Maybe they indulged a bit too much at Saturday night’s Dream Foundation Gala, but the Nats just couldn’t get it going. 3 errors, and some rough plate appearances were their undoing, and they dropped the game, and the streak, in a 7-3 loss in front of 35,439.

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Werth gives cold Nats 4-3 win over Brewers in extra innings

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘MissChatter’

There was no heat at Nationals Park on Friday night.

Game time temperature was 56 degrees, decreasing with the breeze and as the sun went down. It was colder than the press box at Verizon Center where the Caps were taking on the Rangers in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinals playoff series.

There was no heat in the stands, as maybe 15,000 loyal fans were at the park, dutifully cheering on the Nats against the Brewers and rewarded, with a 4-3, 10-inning win. By the end of the game, there were maybe several hundred customers looking for a Nats victory.

Perhaps the rest were busy watching hockey.

And, there was no heat on the mound as neither starting pitcher – Tom Gorzelanny for the Nats, Chris Narveson for the Brewers – came close to hitting 90 miles-per-hour on the radar gun on a consistent basis.

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