Archive for the ‘Jason Marquis’ Category
Sunday, August 21st, 2011
This win, a Washington Nationals 5-4 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies in ten innings, was even more improbable than Friday’s walk-off 8-4 bloodletting. With Philadelphia leading in the bottom of the ninth and with two outs and two strikes on Ian Desmond (and the Philadelphia buses starting their engines in the parking lots), the Nationals’ young shortstop put an Antonio Bastardo offering into the second row in left field to tie the game.
The Desmond home run gave the Nationals a reprieve from what seemed an almost certain loss. The Nationals took advantage of the extra inning — loading the bases in the 10th on a Ryan Zimmerman double, an intentional walk to Michael Morse, and a Jayson Werth single. After Danny Espinosa struck out, Phillies’ reliever Brad Lidge hit Jonny Gomes. Lidge’s mistake gave the Nationals an unusual HBP walk-off — and a 2 of 3 series victory.
The stunning Nationals’ win overawed the solid pitching of starter Chien-Ming Wang (five hits and three earned in 5.2 innings), the toughness of the Nats’ bullpen (one earned run in 4.1), and the solid performances of the up-the-middle combination of Ian Desmond (2-5 with an RBI) and Danny Espinosa (3-5, two RBIs and a home run — his 18th). “Those two guys up the middle are very talented, and unfortunately I think a lot of people forget how young they are sometimes,” Ryan Zimmerman said following the victory. “It’s not easy to learn at this level, but they’re doing a great job with it.”
Those Are The Details, Now For The Headlines: Phillies’ bloggers are not taking this well. After making an insultingly stupid joke about Chien-Ming Wang prior to the game, The Good Phight told his readers that today’s game shows that baseball isn’t football. Brilliant . . . Phillies Nation said they were “a little shocked” by the loss, then crowed that “Phillies Nation” won in Washington because of the thousands of Phillies’ fans at Nationals Park . . .
Sunday, July 31st, 2011
You could almost hear the sizzle of doubt at Nationals Park last night: uber sub Jerry Hairston was being shipped to Milwaukee, Jason Marquis was considering boarding the red eye for Arizona, Roger Bernadina and Drew Storen were wondering whether they should make plans to rent an apartment in Minnesota and (worst of all), Yunesky Maya was preparing to take the mound for the slumping Washington Nationals. So there it was: a loss for sure.
But just hours later, Maya was celebrating his best outing of the year (and preparing for a stint on the disabled list — or in the minors), Davey Johnson was going on about “a very good ballgame,” Jayson Werth was being interviewed as “the player of the game” on MASN — and Roger Bernadina and Drew Storen were still plying their trade for the Washington franchise.
The short story is that Jayson Werth won the Nationals’ tilt against the New York Metropolitans with an attitude-lifting three-run first inning homer (it was all the Nationals would need in their 3-0 win), Maya pitched effectively through 5.1 innings and closer phenom Drew Storen registered his 26th save. It was hard to determine who was more happy: Werth or Maya.
“I’m tired of saying I’m close, but I’m working in the right direction,” Werth said following the victory. “I know why, I guess — it’s just a matter of having the right swing during the game.” Like Werth, Maya was in a sort of a rehab — spending most of the season trying to command his fastball and pick up his in-game pitching pace. On Saturday, all of that worked well: he threw 78 pitches, 52 of them for strikes.
Those Are The Details, Now For The Headlines: Wilson Ramos went 3-3 in last night’s 3-0 win, proof positive that he remains amongst the Nationals’ most streaky hitters. He’s 5 for 6 over his last two games, which follows a stint in which he went 1 for 24. The Twins must have “traders” remorse. We read somewhere that Ramos’ name has been mentioned as one of the players the Twins would like to get in any trade for Denard Span. That would be a “no” . . .
Saturday, July 30th, 2011
The Washington Nationals are shipping righty starter Jason Marquis west to Arizona in exchange for Diamondbacks minor league shortstop Zach Walters, according to ESPN’s Jim Bowden. Walters, currently in high-A baseball, hits for average, but with apparently little power. The trade of Marquis to Arizona comes as a surprise — as it was thought he was the prime target for the Detroit Tigers, who needed another starter.
Marquis himself is probably not that shocked — for while he clearly stated he wanted to remain in D.C., the Nationals have fallen out of contention for a Wild Card spot and are still in “a building mode.” The Diamondbacks will assume the rest of Marquis’ contract, estimated at 2.47 million. Walters was drafted by the D-Backs in the ninth round of the 2010 player draft.
Friday, July 29th, 2011
It’s unfair, really, to use a picture of Jayson Werth below a headline describing the lack of hitting of the Washington Nationals. The right fielder, caught in a year-long slump, seems finally to be snapping out of it — but, with the exception of Ryan Zimmerman and Michael Morse, you can’t say that for the rest of the team.
The Nationals lack of hitting was on full display on Thursday at Nationals Park, as the Florida Marlins completed a three game sweep of the Nationals, plunging the Anacostia Nine further into last place in the N.L. East, and sparking increased talk of what the Nationals might now do as the trade deadline ticks down. And it’s clear: they’re going to do something.
The Marlins’ 5-2 pasting of the Nationals had a little of everything: an indifferent outing from lefty John Lannan (5.2 innings pitched, four earned runs), a missed sign from third base coach Bo Porter (Ian Desmond was thrown out at third for the third out in the fourth), and (outside of Werth and Zimmerman, who accounted for six of Washington’s seven hits) an offense that just didn’t show up.
John Lannan pitched poorly — a bad sign for a staff that is already struggling. “He was all over the place,” Nats’ skipper Davey Johnson said of Lannan. “It looked like he was strong coming out. I took him as far as he has been this year, just to save my bullpen. We are all stretched way out right now. Normally, he would have seven or eight innings with those numbers of pitches. It was a struggle.”
The big bats for the Marlins were Mike Stanton (who smacked his 24th home run) and Emilio Bonifacio (who was 2-4 and extended his hitting streak to 26 games). “Realistically, we have to play better baseball,” Jayson Werth said after the loss. “We still have to hit and drive in runs, and we haven’t done that all year. If you want to win, you have to score.”
Those Are The Details, Now For The Headlines: How ’bout them Mets? The New Yorkers waltzed into Cincinnati on Monday with rumors of trades swirling through the clubhouse and promptly took four games from the Reds — who are suddenly stuck in reverse. Forget New York’s pitching, the team scored ten yesterday on 14 hits, downing the Sparkys 10-9. The Madoffs are now surging, and remaking their roster at the same time . . .
Monday, July 25th, 2011
With Chad Billingsley on the mound in the top of the 1st inning, the Washington Nationals loaded the bases with no outs — with Billingsley reeling from a walk, a hit batter and two singles. But the Nationals could only muster a single run in that inning, as Billingsley ended the threat with three straight strikeouts, and went on to tame the Nationals and secure a 3-1 L.A. victory.
The Nationals’ defeat brought the team to a disappointing 3-6 record on their Atlanta-Houston-L.A. road trip as they headed home for a crucial set of games against their N.L East opponents. “We should have [broken it open] in that first inning,” Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. “We couldn’t put the ball in play with nobody out, and that hurt us. And then Billingsley settled down and pitched an effective ballgame. We swung and missed a lot today.”
Like Billingsley, Nationals starter Jason Marquis was shaky in the early going: the Washington righty gave up two early runs, but then settled down to pitch six innings, while giving up three runs on five hits. “It was a battle,” Marquis said of his outing. “I was trying to keep my team in the game as best as possible. I had some unfortunate breaks. That’s the way the game goes. We just weren’t able to break through.” How effective was L.A.’s pitching? The Nationals were only able to muster two hits for the entire game, and never had another one after the first inning.
Those Are The Details, Now For The Headlines: There are all kinds of grand slams — there are regular grand slams, there are walk-off grand slams (a victory when a grand slam provides a walk-off victory by more than a single run), there are “ultimate” walk-off grand slams (a walk-off grand slam that gives a team a victory by a single run), there are inside-the-park walk-off grand slams (you get the idea), and then there are “ultimate” walk-off inside-the-park grand slams.
Tuesday, July 19th, 2011
This is exactly what the Washington Nationals needed: Jason Marquis pitched eight beautiful innings and the Nats scored three in the ninth to down the Houston Astros, at Minute Maid Park, 5-2. Marquis threw 102 pitches, 69 of them for strikes, as his patented sinker baffled Houston hitters. The win put the Nationals back at .500 — and in third place in the N.L. East.
The Nationals stayed in the game against Houston’s tough young pitcher, Jordan Lyles, by featuring the long ball. Michael Morse hit a soaring shot onto the glass screen in left field in the 5th inning, and Ryan Zimmerman put one into the right field seats in the seventh inning. The Zimmerman homer tied the game. But the 9th inning was key, as the Nationals scored three on singles by Bernadina, Zimmerman and Morse and a Laynce Nix bounder to the right side.
Nationals’ manager Davey Johnson was more than pleased with the Marquis outing, as it not only provided the win, but allowed the team to rest their overused relievers. “I was able to get ahead early,” Marquis said in reflecting on his outing. “I got some quick outs. They were being aggressive. I’ve been feeling pretty good all year. I had a good sinker-slider combo tonight.
Those Are The Details, Now For The Headlines: There are three things that just aren’t gonna happen, no matter how much we talk about them: the apocalypse, the rapture, and the establishment of a Palestinian state. Until this year, we might have added a fourth — the Pittsburgh Pirates winning the N.L. Central. And yet, there they are, atop the scrum that includes semi-powerhouse Milwaukee, perennial favorite St. Louis, and last year’s winner, the Cincinnati Reds.
Saturday, July 16th, 2011
With the MLB trade deadline looming, rumors of what the Washington Nationals will — and won’t — do are now beginning to circulate. This morning, commenter and analyst Buster Olney, wrote that “the dam is about ready to burst on the trade market,” with teams looking for a way to help themselves (or wave the white flag), before the end of July. The Tigers are looking for pitching, the Philllies are looking for a bat, and Colorado’s Ubaldo Jimenez is on everyone’s radar screen.
What will the Nationals do? G.M. Mike Rizzo isn’t exactly saying, though he notes that the team could be “both buyers and sellers” at the trade deadline. We have no clue what that means, which was obviously Rizzo’s intent. Still, the Nationals have been actively talking about acquiring a lead-off hitter (Michael Bourn’s name has been mentioned), and they have apparently inquired about Tampa’s B.J. Upton. There was even talk that the Nationals are willing to trade All-Star reliever Tyler Clippard in an attempt to answer some of their outfield problems.
There’s no question, a B.J. Upton trade would be intriguing: back in mid-June, Ken Rosenthal said that Upton could be had for the right price — with the Nationals ponying up a hot young infield prospect in a package with Clippard that would bring the then-struggling Upton to Washington. Rosenthal’s thinking was compelling: if the Rays fall out of contention, they could off-load Upton, and save themselves some future bucks. Hmmmmm. And, as Rosenthal noted then: Todd Coffey is being eyed by a number of teams who need a good righty out of the bullpen.