Archive for the ‘new york mets’ Category
Thursday, September 26th, 2013
With their chances of a playoff berth at an end, the Washington Nationals played flat in St. Louis on Wednesday, losing to the Cardinals, 4-1. The loss notched a St. Louis sweep of the Nationals in the three game set and put the Cardinals a single game from winning the N.L. Central crown.
The loss also ensured that Washington righty Jordan Zimmermann will not reach twenty wins on the season, his 2013 campaign finishing at 19-9. The Cardinals were led by rookie pitcher Shelby Miller, who stifled Nats’ hitters through six innings, giving up just four hits and one earned run.
The St. Louis offense was not overwhelming, but it was enough to seal the win: St. Louis got its first run on a Matt Carpenter ground out that scored Daniel Descalso in the 3rd, a Yadier Molina single that scored two runs in fourth and a Matt Adams home run in the bottom of the 6th.
The Cardinals have dominated the Nationals following their victory against them in the playoffs in 2012. The Nationals have faced the Cards six times this year and lost every game; they were swept in Washington in April (in three close games) and, now, in St. Louis in September.
“I’ll tell you: They kicked our butt in just about every aspect of the game,” Washington manager Davey Johnson said in the clubhouse after this team was swept yesterday. “I tip my hat to them. Matheny has done a good over there, I wish them luck. They had their way with us.”
In each of the two series this year, the Nationals have had trouble scoring runs off the Cardinals pitching staff. The key in the most recent series has been the St. Louis relief corps, and on Wednesday four Cardinal relievers (Seth Maness, Kevin Siegrist, Carlos Martinez and Trevor Rosenthal) combined to hold the Nationals to a single hit and no runs.
“The Cardinals have done a good job with their pitching staff. They have good starters, but I think what sets them apart is their bullpen,” right fielder Jayson Werth acknowledged after Wednesday’s loss. “The bullpen is good. They have a lot of velocity and they have a lot of depth.”
MLB relief statistics show just how effective Cardinal relievers have been — they’ve given up just 3.74 runs per game, good enough for fifth best in baseball and are particularly good when holding a lead (fourth best in the National League). More impressive still is that the Cardinals relief corps is young: each of the four relievers on Wednesday were rookies.
Those Are The Details, Now For The Headlines: The media powers that be are yakking about the “unbalanced schedule” in baseball, the topic providing running commentaries yesterday on both Mike & Mike on ESPN and then, later in the evening, on the MLB Network . . .
“The schedule is designed with the division races in mind,” Jayson Stark noted on ESPN. “For the first time every team in a division plays essentially the same schedule.” The problem (Stark noted) is that while baseball’s schedule emphasizes division rivalries (with each team in a division playing other division rivals up to nineteen times) that unbalance has a significant impact on the Wild Card races . . .
Friday, September 13th, 2013
Nationals newbie Tanner Roark threw six innings of six hit baseball while his teammates supported him with four home runs, and the Nationals downed the Mets in New York, 7-2, for a four game series sweep on Thursday. The win kept Washington in the hunt for the last Wild Card slot in the National League.
The Nationals came into the game with nine home runs off of Mets pitching in the last three games, but exited it with thirteen. Ryan Zimmerman homered in the first inning (it was his 23rd), Adam Laroche hit his 20th in the second, Wilson Ramos added his 13th in the fifth and Anthony Rendon hit his seventh home run in the 9th.
“Oh man, it was a lot of fun. It’s a good way to finish up New York, sweeping the Mets,” Nationals’ manager Davey Johnson said of the team’s sixth straight victory. “There were a lot of good things all around.” Washington’s long-ball offensive victimized Mets’ starter Aaron Harang and five New York relievers.
This was Harang’s first start for the Mets after being signed as a free agent on September 1. But the veteran righty’s debut did not go as planned: he gave up four hits and three earned runs in six innings. He was responsible for serving up three of the Nats’ four home runs.
The Nationals-Mets match-up had gotten increasingly testy over four games, and threatened to turn ugly on Thursday after Mets’ reliever Frank Francisco plunked Jayson Werth on a 3-0 count in the 8th inning. Werth exchanged words with Francisco as he trotted to first base.
Thursday, September 12th, 2013
Dan Haren held the Mets to just one hit in six complete innings and third sacker Ryan Zimmerman hit his fifth home run in five games, as the Nationals orchestrated a 3-0 victory in New York. But with Cincinnati winning at home against the Cubs, the end-of-season arithmetic for the Nationals continues to get worse.
The Mets looked overmatched by Haren, who recouped from his previous two bad outings. “The last game I pitched against the Mets, I gave up six or seven straight singles. Today, I had better stuff with the strikeouts,” the righty said after the victory. “I was getting a lot of swings and misses. I knew my stuff was better. I was happy I could come through for the team.”
In truth, Wednesday night’s win was probably closer than it should have been. The Nationals pounced on rookie Mets’ starter Zack Wheeler for eight hits and added three more after Wheeler’s departure after the end of the 7th inning. In addition to Zimmerman’s home run, Ian Desmond and Anthony Rendon were both 2-4.
But it was Ryan Zimmerman who got Washington started. The Nats’ third baseman put Washington’s first run on the board in the top of the 6th and was 2-5 on the night with an RBI. Zimmerman’s solo shot, his 22nd of the year, continued his long ball hot streak: Zimmerman has seven home runs in the last nine games.
“I just made that one mistake to Zimmerman,” Wheeler said of his sixth inning offering. “As soon as I let it go, I knew it was going to be a spinner right down the middle, and he capitalized on it.” It was enough to make a difference, though Mets’ manager Terry Collins praised his young hurler.
“I’m really impressed with the way Zack Wheeler goes about things,” he said. “I really am. He’s going to be really good.” That may be, but Wheeler was not as sharp as he has been in previous outings: he threw 95 pitches in just five innings and had to work himself out of trouble several times.
With Haren tiring after six innings, Nats’ skipper Davey Johnson brought Xavier Cedeno, Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard and Rafael Soriano to the mound. They combined for three scoreless innings of relief, with Soriano registering his 41st save on the season. The Nationals will close out their series with the Mets in New York tonight, with Tanner Roark facing off against Mets’ starter Aaron Harang.
Photos: AP Photo/Frank Franklin II
Wednesday, September 11th, 2013
The power of baseball superstitions are such that we dare not even whisper (let alone shout) about what is now true. But we’ll do it anyway: the Washington Nationals are suddenly a part of “the October conversation,” as they say, having won their fourth in a row in New York by overpowering the Mets, 6-3.
The Nationals latest win, coming off the arm of Jordan Zimmermann (who won his 17th) and bat of Jayson Werth, left the Nationals just six games out of the last Wild Card slot, with Cincinnati being overpowered by the Cubs (it was a no contest 9-1 drubbing) at home. The Nationals are in the hunt.
Tuesday’s game seemed almost a replay of the previous three: the Nationals came out swinging, chipping away at starter Dillon Gee (Denard Span continued his consecutive game hitting streak) and then serving up New York fastballs into Citi Field’s lower deck.
The Nationals have had little luck against Gee this year, but Tuesday night was different. The home towners touched the puzzling righty for four runs in 6-plus innings, which included a home run from Werth in the first, a home run from Adam LaRoche in the second and in-the-gap doubles from Span and Werth in the third.
Prior to Tuesday, Gee had tamed the Nationals in four of his last five starts, transforming himself into the N.L. East’s premier Nats’ killer. But he was flummoxed on Tuesday, talking to himself on the mound. “Obviously, I wasn’t commanding the ball as well as I have been,” Gee said of his outing. “You can’t get away with that against these guys. They made me pay.”
Gee’s nemesis was Werth, who has propelled himself into the race for the N.L. batting title. But it wasn’t all Werth: Jordan Zimmermann and four relievers (Craig Stammen, Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard and Rafael Soriano) held the Mets to three runs, putting the lid on the Mets line-up.
Tuesday, September 10th, 2013
GIo Gonzalez, in his best outing of the year, one-hit the Mets and Washington pounded out nine hits in all (including five round trippers) as the Nationals romped over New York at Citi Field, 9-0. Gonzalez was nearly untouchable, taking a no hitter into the 7th inning before Zach Lutz put a grounder just inside of first base for the Mets’ sole hit of the game.
This was Gonzalez’s first complete game shutout this year, raising his 2013 campaign record to 10-6. “What a job, a brilliant performance,” Nats’ skipper Davey Johnson said said of his southpaw starter following the victory. “He had control all night long. He was getting all of his pitchers over.”
Gio’s gem was backed by a five home run outburst from the Washington nine, including Ryan Zimmerman’s fourth home run in the last three games. With less than twenty games to play in the 2013 season, and trailing Cincinnati in the hunt for the last Wild Card slot, the Nationals are playing with a new intensity.
“We have to win. If we don’t win, nothing is going to matter anyway,” third sacker Ryan Zimmerman explained. “We put ourselves in this position and it’s not an ideal situation to be in. Nothing matters unless we win. So we have to go out every night and win. Hopefully, we can get some help. Hopefully, that will happen.”
In addition to Zimmerman’s round tripper, the Nationals were the recipients of homers from Denard Span (who led off the game with his fourth), Jayson Werth (who hit his 22nd), Tyler Moore (who was 2-3 with an RBI) and hot-handed catcher Wilson Ramos.
The home run barrage included back-to-back dingers from Span and Zimmerman, which put the Mets in a 2-0 hole to start the game and led to an early (4th inning) exit for New York starter Carlos Torres. Torres, it seems, has always had problems with the Nationals and after last night’s misery, he has given up nine runs to the Nats in fourteen innings.
Saturday, September 7th, 2013
The nail in the Washington Nationals 2013 season may well have been hammered home in Miami on Friday night, as Jose Fernandez and the Miami Marlins spun a dominating 7-0 win, leaving the Nats eight games out of the last National League Wild Card slot with just 22 games to play.
“It’s not looking good, that’s for sure,” right fielder Jayson Werth said after the disheartening loss. “We’re in a spot now where we really can’t afford another loss. It puts you in a tough place, a bad place. You know, keep grinding. It’s not over until it’s over.”
The Marlins feasted off of Nationals’ pitching, victimizing Washington starter Dan Haren for six hits and five earned runs in just three complete innings. Haren suffered his 13th loss on just eight wins for 2013, which is not the kind of production the Nationals expected from their big off-season signing.
“My stuff was average, and putting us in a three-nothing hole against a pitcher like that is a downer for the whole team,” Haren told reporters in the clubhouse in describing his performance. “I didn’t obviously start out the ideal way.”
Miami starter Fernandez, meanwhile, pitched a gem: the young righty, who is one of the few bright spots for last place Miami this year, gave up a single hit in seven complete inning while striking out nine Nationals. This was Fernandez’s eleventh win on the season, against just six losses.
Monday, September 2nd, 2013
There was a sense of gloom as the Nationals came to the plate in the 8th inning on Sunday night at Nationals Park, but Jayson Werth’s two out double to right center field capped a three run rally and Washington went on to down the New York Mets, 6-5.
“That’s what good clubs do,” Werth said after the improbable victory. “They come back. And that’s what we’re going to have to do from here on out. We’re going to have to find a way.” Werth double capped a 2-5 night for the right fielder and raised his average to a team-leading .323.
For sheer baseball entertainment, the Nationals-Mets contest might have been the most exciting this year at Nationals Park, and came as the Anacostia Nine attempt to catch the Cincinnati Reds for the last Wild Card spot in the National League. The Nationals needed this win, particularly after New York took the first two games of the three game series.
But the Nationals struggled from the minute they took the field on Sunday. The Mets put two runs on the board in the first inning on doubles from Eric Young and Daniel Murphy and a single from Lucas Duda. The two run inning came against starter Ross Ohlendorf, who was hit hard until being relieved by Craig Stammen to start the 6th.
Ohlendorf gave up four earned runs on nine hits in just five innings, which included six extra base hits. He struggled with his command in every frame. “That’s the worst my command’s been I think all season,” Ohlendorf said of his outing. “I don’t expect that to carry over for the next one. I feel like I’ll make some adjustments. My command just wasn’t good.”
Ohlendorf was not the only pitcher with command problem. Mets’ starter Jonathon Niese gave up ten hits to the Nationals while pitching into the 6th inning, while holding Washington to three runs. As usual, the Mets had to rely on a shaky bullpen for the win and, as has been the case nearly all year, that bullpen gave up the game.