Archive for the ‘Drew Storen’ Category

“A lot of leash with John . . .”

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Nats’ skipper Jim Riggleman made sure the press knew: John Lannan would remain in Washington’s starting rotation, had every right to be there, and would soon enough return to the good old days — when he led the Washington rotation. “I believe in John,” Riggleman said after Sunday’s 6-3 loss at the hands of Chicago’s White Sox. “There has to be something there because he has it in the bullpen. He’ll get the ball sinking. He just haven’t been able to do it in game situations. John has been too good for us to let a few starts detour us too much. We have a lot of leash with John.” Lannan was undoubtedly pleased with the vote of confidence from his manager: he failed to get out of the fifth inning for his third start in a row, yielding 11 hits and five runs in four innings of work — his worst inning coming after the Nats gained their first lead in the Chicago series.

Lannan’s troubles reflects his team’s troubles. Ryan Zimmerman is in a funk at the plate, Josh Willingham’s numbers of cratering and the get-on-base top of the order is failing to get on base. For all of that, the Nats’ front office seems unfazed — with no one scrambling impatiently to right the listing ship. Skipper Riggleman, in particular, seems willing to wait out the recent slump, counting on his hitter-heavy line-up and a bevy of young arms to set things right. “It’s just not happening for us right now. We are struggling,” Riggleman said in the wake of the Nats sixth straight loss. “Everybody in the locker room knows it. We are sticking together, though, and we are going to pass the character test. The character gets tested sometimes and we are getting tested right now.”

Those Are The Details, Now For The Headlines: Jim Kurtzke over at Nationals Daily News details the problems the Nats will have in their starting rotation without a solid Lannan. Kurtzke points out that 2010 was to be a transition year for the rotation, with Lannan slotted as a solid number 3 behind Strasburg and a healthy Zimmermann. And now? His reflections are well worth reading . . . Federal Baseball spends five minutes with Tyler Clippard — and finds out what makes the Nats’ reliever tick. Clippard is a fan of Washington fans. “The fans here in Washington have been great so far ever since I stepped foot in this organization, and being in the big leagues here,” Clippard says, “even last year when we were losing a bunch the fans were still great to us as players and stuff . . .” It sounds like Clippard would rather be here than anywhere else. The big righty extols the talents of pitch-caller Ivan Rodriguez and fellow set-up wizard Drew Storen . . . It’s good to see that we’re not the only ones feeling our age. Nationals Fanboy Looser (former newspaperman Mike Harris) remembers watching a 1962 tilt at the Polo Grounds in a tribute to Father’s Day. It’s a nice reminder of what baseball was like back before the Peloponnesian War . . . Nats 320 outdid themselves with a detailed look at Sunday’s game, along with a series of in-game photos. They write that the Nats’ slump is a team effort and point out that the Nats-Royals tilt on Monday night will be the first time that the Nats and Royals have matched up since the Nationals became the Nationals in 2005 . . .

Nats Ambush Tribe

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Stephen Strasburg pitched 5.1 solid innings of two-hit baseball (striking out eight while walking five) and the Nats’ bats loosened up in Cleveland on Sunday, as the Washington Nine took the last of a three game set against the Indians, 9-4. While all eyes were focused on Strasburg — who struggled with a hole in the Progressive Field mound — the real hero of Sunday’s game might well have been Drew Storen, who came on in the sixth inning to shut down a nascent Cleveland rally, getting two outs with the bases loaded and saving a sure-thing Washington win. “It was one-out, bases-loaded,” Washington shortstop Ian Desmond noted. “He [Storen] comes in, gets two outs and Strasburg’s game is saved. If Storen comes in and gives up a grand slam, three of those runs are Strasburg’s. He would have given up four runs on the day in six innings and nobody would be saying that much. So you have to give our ballclub credit. It’s not just Strasburg.”

The Nats finally broke loose against the Wahoos, scoring nine runs on sixteen hits, including round-trippers from Adam Dunn and Roger Bernadina. Cristian Guzman and Ian Desmond were 3-5 and Mike Morse, playing right field, hit a key double in sparking the Nats win. “We put up 16 hits, we put nine runs, we played good solid defense. We made the plays we had to make, and the bullpen came and dealt with it,” Desmond said after the game. “Strasburg did a great job, not to take anything away from him. The rest of us are playing hard, too. Everything is going good right now.” After the game, the Nats traveled the short distance to Detroit to take on the Tigers, and will face them in a three game set, before returning home to face the White Sox.