Archive for the ‘new york mets’ Category
Thursday, June 6th, 2013
The Mets got healthy at the plate on Wednesday night, notching 15 hits and three home runs against a quintet of Washington pitchers as New York downed the Nationals 10-1. The primary victim of the Mets’ offensive was Washington starter Dan Haren, who gave up seven hits and five runs in just four innings of work.
“Haren was struggling hitting his spots. To me, it looked like his pitches were a little flat,” manager Davey Johnson said following the loss. “When he throws that many pitches, you know he is having some problems locating the ball.” Former Nats Marlon Byrd had two home runs in the game, while David Wright had one.
The Nationals’ bullpen was no more effective than starter Haren. Craig Stammen gave up two runs in a single inning of work, while rookie reliever Erik Davis was tagged with four hits and three earned runs in a single frame. If there was good news in the game it was that lefty Ian Krol made his major league debut and looked solid, striking out the side in the sixth.
The Mets’ Dillon Gee, who has struggled on the mound this season did not struggle last night against the Nationals. The righty scattered nine hits, but kept the Nationals to a single run in throwing seven solid innings. “I can’t be satisfied,” Gee said. “I’ve got to continue to do it. It feels good to do it again, give the team a chance to win, and the guys did an awesome job scoring a bunch of runs. Thankfully I was able to keep them there.”
The loss to the Mets not only brought the Nationals back to a single game under .500, it plunged them into third place behind the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League East. The Philllies, behind the pitching of hard-luck lefty Cole Hamels, downed the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park, 6-1.
Wednesday, June 5th, 2013
With one-third of the season now in the books, the Nationals on Tuesday made the decisions that many of their fans wanted, and many had predicted, sending relievers Henry Rodriguez and Zach Duke to the minors — and Danny Espinosa to the disabled list.
To fill their spots on the national league roster, the team recalled Anthony Rendon from Triple-A and brought reliever Ian Krol up from Double-A Harrisburg. The Nationals also activated Jayson Werth, whose bat they desperately need.
Espinosa is expected to rehab (both his shoulder and his wrist), before returning to the club. “He is a tough guy. He reminds me of myself,” manager Davey Johnson said. “He is playing with a bad shoulder, he is playing with a broken wrist. He needs the rest.”
But General Manager Mike Rizzo made it clear that it’s unlikely Nats fans will see Espinosa anytime soon. “We finally put Danny on the disabled list to clean up all the wrist questions that we had, and for him to rehab and then go down to the Minor Leagues, with a healthy wrist, go down there and work on the mental side of hitting,” he said.
Injury or not, the message is that Espinosa has played himself out of a job, and this morning’s Bleacher Report said that it’s time for Washington to “see what Rendon can do” at second base — adding that the Nats don’t have “a second baseeman on the stat list this season (Espinosa and Steve Lombardozzi) hitting above .231.”
An uncertain coda might well have followed these moves, as Washington continues its struggles. But just hours after announcing the team shake-up, the Nats responded by notching their first walk-off win of the year, a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over division rivals New York.
While the Washington victory didn’t result in a win for starter Jordan Zimmermann, it lifted the Nationals one game over .500 and made a hero of Steve Lombardozzi. Lombardozzi’s sacrifice fly in the 9th inning scored Adam LaRoche, after the Nationals loaded the bases on Mets’ reliever Bobby Parnell.
Monday, June 3rd, 2013
For a few days there, as Yankee fans pondered an unthinkable four game sweep of the recently concluded Subway Series at the hands of their crosstown rivals, the New York Mets were on top of the world: they were “the Dukes of New York, A #1.”
Of course, Mets’ skipper Terry Collins issued his own Crash Davis judgment: “Does it mean any more that it’s against the Yankees? Had we been playing better, yeah, it would have been huge,” Collins said. “But right now we’ve just got to win some games, and it didn’t matter who it was.”
Okay, we get it: Collins has to say that, but the rest of New York doesn’t — and they didn’t. The New York Times (for instance) headlined their sweep coverage with a large type surprise (“Where No Mets Have Gone Before“), that reminded readers that the Mets’ sweep of the Yankees marked the first time that that had happened.
“In 16 previous years of interleague play,” the Times intoned, “no Mets team had ever earned a season-series sweep against the Yankees.” That includes, for the record, the 1997 Bobby Valentine Mets, the 2000 Mets (which won the N.L. Pennant), and the plucky 2006 Mets.
So what happened? Well, for the first time this season, everything that has plagued the 2013 Madoffs was set aright. The Mets won the close ones (two one run games, on Monday and Tuesday of last week), and two more by a combined score of 13-5. In truth, the overachieving Yankees were never in it.
That seemed not to matter to Mets’ third sacker David Wright, the core of the Mets’ line-up and the face of the Madoff franchise. In the wake of the Mets’ second 2-1 victory over the Bombers, Wright admitted that he was envious of the Yankees success, while adding that he was committed to helping the Orange and Blue build a contender.
“Of course I’m envious of guys that win championships; that’s why you play the game,” Wright told New York reporters. “But it would be ultimately a lot more special for me — having gone through what I’ve gone through — to be part of the reason we turn things around and maybe get to a point where we’re like the Yankees, a perennial playoff team.”
Wright, it seems, might have to wait awhile, though perhaps not as long as many Mets fans believe. Ryan Zimmerman (Wright’s inter-divisional buddy), was once in the same position as the Mets’ best player: waiting for the front office to put together the talent to vault his team into contention.
Monday, June 3rd, 2013
The Washington Nationals fell one game under .500 for the season after dropping a 6-3 decision to their division rivals, the Atlanta Braves. A combination of poor relief pitching and a (by now) predictable lack of hitting proved the be the Nats’ undoing.
The loss put the Nats’ 6.5 games behind the Braves in the National League East and was their third loss in their last four games. “We deserve to be where we’re at right now,” Nat’s first sacker Adam LaRoche said after the loss. “We’ve played like crap.”
As with most of their recent losses, the Nationals allowed their opponents to rally in the middle innings after a solid outing from their starting pitcher. Rookie Nathan Karns threw well enough through 4.2 innings, though he gave up home runs to Ramiro Pena and the struggling B.J. Upton.
But Atlanta pulled away from Washington in the 6th, when Zach Duke walked the lead-off and second batter. Duke looked like he might wiggle out of trouble after a nifty glove play by Ryan Zimmerman, but after intentionally walking Justin Upton, he gave up a double to Freddie Freeman.
After the loss, Nats’ skipper Davey Johnson said that the offense could get a lift after the return of rehabbing Jayson Werth, who should be with the team on Tuesday for the start of their series against the Mets. But Johnson knows that getting Werth back is only a part of the solution.
Wednesday, May 29th, 2013
While the debut of Double-A pitcher Nathan Karns will not go down in the scorebooks as a “W” for the young righty, the Texas Tech product threw a strike-filled impressive 4.1 innings — and the Nationals, behind two home runs from Adam LaRoche, drubbed the Orioles on Tuesday night, 9-3.
Washington’s interleague victory may mark the moment when the Nationals finally got their offense back on track. In addition to the two home runs from LaRoche, super-subs Roger Bernadina and Tyler Moore also went long, as the home towners cracked thirteen hits against a surprisingly ineffective Baltimore pitching staff.
“It was great to see [the offense come back to life],” Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. “Some guys usually take two or three strikes, and they went up there and hit line drives. We jumped all over a 97 mile-an-hour fastball, and that made my whole night.”
Johnson also praised his young starter, appearing on the mound in the place of injured Ross Detwiler. “I thought [Nathan] handled himself well, first start against a good hitting ballclub,” Johnson said. “I know he was nervous, but I like the way he went after the hitters. He is in for another start.”
In an up-and-down season, Tuesday’s game showed Nationals’ fans what their team can do. Their starting pitching was effective, the team hit with runners in scoring position — and the bullpen was lights-out. After Karns left in the fifth, Zach Duke needed just one pitch, inducing a double play, to save the Nationals from a potential Baltimore rally.
Duke was followed to the mound by Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard and Fernando Abad, all of whom kept the Orioles off the scoreboard. Storen was as effective as he’s been all year, giving up a single hit in a single inning of work. Tyler Clippard gave up two hits, but then induced three successive fly balls — and Fernando Abad authored a 1-2-3 9th inning.
Monday, May 27th, 2013
In a match-up of hard luck pitchers, Nationals’ ace Stephen Strasburg outdueled Philadelphia lefty Cole Hamels — aided by an error filled five run seventh inning — and the Nats took the three game series from the Phillies, 6-1. The win allowed the Nationals to keep pace with the surging Braves in the National League East.
Strasburg has now had three solid consecutive outings. On Sunday, before 39,000-plus he gave up just three hits and struck out a season high nine hitters. As in his previous superb outings, Strasburg commanded the strike zone and remained unruffled by the other team’s scoring chances. In all, he threw 112 pitches, 76 of them for strikes.
Once again, Phillies lefty Cole Hamels did not get the support he needed from his teammates, either at the plate — or in the field. The key was the five run 7th. Ryan Zimmerman led off by beating out an infield single, with the suddenly hitterish Adam LaRoche moving him to second with a clean single to right field.
With men on first and second, Nationals’ fans might have thought ‘here we go again,’ as their team was in the same position on Saturday, and failed to move the runners. But that was not the case on Sunday, as Ian Desmond’s sacrifice bunt (his first in two years), left both Zimmerman and LaRoche in scoring position on second and third.
That’s when it all came apart for Philadelphia. After Cole Hamels intentionally walked Tyler Moore to load the bases, Jhonatan Solano topped a Hamels’ pitch which was mishandled by Philly third sacker Michael Young, who threw it past catcher Humberto Quintero. The miscue scored two, and was followed by a Steve Lombardozzi double.
Friday, April 26th, 2013
Gio Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano combined for a one hitter and the Nationals feasted off of Redleg pitching for twelve hits, to give Washington a decisive 8-1 victory over Cincinnati at Nationals Park on Thursday night. Gonzalez was dominant, pitching eight complete while striking out seven.
And the Nationals finally broke out in the runs column. Denard Span and Danny Espinosa drove in six runs — which included Espinosa’s second home run of the year. Bryce Harper also homered for the Nationals. But what will be remembered is Gio’s night-long mastery of a dangerous Redlegs offense.
“Gio was just outstanding,” Nat’s manager Davey Johnson said of his southpaw ace. “Probably any other time, after a couple of bad outings, I would have let him finish that ballgame, but he was over 110 pitches (112) and I didn’t want to do it. But outstanding effort. Great job.”
The victory came just in time for the Nationals, who’d dropped their previous four games — and just in time for Gonzalez, who’d struggled in his last two times on the mound. The lone Cincinnati run came on a home run from Cincinnati’s Joey Votto, his fourth of the year.
“Gio’s a guy with an All-Star track record and a guy who could have won the Cy Young last year and it’s not surprising,” Votto said of the Washington lefty’s outing. “I looked up his numbers on the board and he hadn’t had a very good season so far and I imagine he was about due. And tonight was one of those starts for him.”
Those Are The Details, Now For The Headlines: Our belated thanks to Frank Gray, who ran an interview with CFG prior to the Mets’ series on what Mets fans could expect from the Nationals. Frank runs the savvy and well written “Mets Menu” for Bleacher Report. We’ll return the favor when the Mets are next in town . . .
Speaking of the Mets: after taking two of three from the Nationals in New York, the Madoffs have struggled against the Dodgers — who have taken two of three from the New Yorkers. Jeremy Hefner pitched well last night, though he dropped a 3-2 decision. Hefner pitched seven complete while giving up only a single run . . .