Archive for the ‘Roger Bernadina’ Category
Friday, May 10th, 2013
Dan Haren notched his fourth win, the home towners sprayed nine hits and the Washington bullpen held the Tigers scoreless in three relief innings, as the Nationals swept the two game Detroit mini-series by a score of 5-4 on Thursday.
While the Tigers outhit the Nationals (12-9), Washington was able to put runs on the board early in the game. The Nationals scored three in the first inning and two in the second — and that’s all the team would need to notch its fourth win in a row. Ryan Mattheus, Drew Storen and Rafael Soriano held the Kalines scoreless when Haren left after six complete.
The victim of the Nationals early run surge was Detroit righty Doug Fister, who entered the game with a snappy 2.48 earned run average. Fister, with Verlander, is considered one of Detroit’s elite shut down pitchers, but he gave up a lead-off double to Denard Span in the 1st and then three successive singles: to Ryan Zimmerman, Adam LaRoche and Ian Desmond.
Fister proved as ineffective in the second, hitting Span and walking Roger Bernadina before giving up two runs, courtesy of singles from (once again) Zimmerman and LaRoche. “It was probably his worst outing of the year,” Tigers catcher Alex Avila said of Fister’s performance. “He’s pitched really good for quite a while now. You have to give him credit, he battled.”
Despite Fister’s troubles, the Tigers were able to rally against Haren in the 6th. The veteran righty walked Jhonny Peralta with one out and Omar Infante dropped a surprise bunt single to put two men on with two outs. Pinch hitter Matt Tuiasosopo then stepped to the plate and put a 2-1 Haren offering over the fence in left center.
The Tuiasosopo blast put Detroit back into the game, with a good shot at winning. But the Nationals’ bullpen, an otherwise worrisome unit so far this season, came on to shut down the Tigers. Ryan Mattheus, Drew Storen and Rafael Soriano each pitched effectively, with Soriano gaining his 12th save of the season.
Those Are The Details, Now For The Headlines: Doug Fister was 3-12 with the Mariners in 2011 when the Seattle front office decided they’d seen enough. The swapped Fister to Detroit for Francisco Martinez, Charlie Furbush and Casper Wells. It was a steal — Fister went 8-1 the rest of the way, with a breathtaking 1.79 ERA . . .
But while the Fister theft was lopsided, it was (arguably) no more so than San Diego’s decision to trade first base prospect Anthony Rizzo to the Chicago Cubs six months later. While it’s a baseball given that you should never give up young pitching, new Cubs General Manager Jed Hoyer decided his team needed Rizzo so badly that he was willing to part with uber prospect Andrew Cashner . . .
Friars’ fans will argue that the Rizzo-Cashner trade isn’t even close to being a Fister-like bust. After struggling all of last year, Cashner’s arm has finally come alive and the imposing (6-6, 220 pounds), Texan has regained his command. Exiled to the bullpen, Cashner emerged in only his second start of the season to throw 7.1 effective innings against the Marlins earlier this week . . .
Tuesday, April 30th, 2013
Stephen Strasburg outpitched Atlanta’s Julio Teheran and the Nats’ lineup outhit the Braves (ten hits to seven), but Washington couldn’t find a way to win — and went down to defeat at Turner Field 3-2 on Monday night. The Atlanta victory snapped their four game losing streak, while Washington has yet to find a way to consistently defeat their divisional rival.
While Strasburg was once again not at his best, he kept Washington in the game, throwing six innings of six hit baseball while striking out eight. Strasburg is now 1-4 with a 3.13 ERA, and has not won since opening day. Worse yet, the Washington ace reported that he’s some forearm stiffness.
Davey Johnson noticed that “something was off” in the way that Strasburg was pitching, and in post-game remarks told the press that “I’m sure they’re going to put him on some medication.” No matter: Strasburg is obviously anxious to keep throwing. “I’m not missing my next start,” he said after the game. “I’ll tell you that right now.”
The difference in the game came in the bottom of the 7th inning. Tyler Clippard was brought on in relief of Strasburg and walked the first batter, Gerald Laird, who was then sacrificed to second. Jordan Shafer then punched a single to right field and stole second. Atlanta’s third run then crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly by Andrelton Simmons.
Washington’s hitters, meanwhile, had a good bead on Teheran, but couldn’t push across the runs to give the Nats a victory. The Nationals were 2-9 with runners in scoring position. Strasburg got a no-decision in the game, with Tyler Clippard taking the loss.
The Nationals continue their series in Atlanta tomorrow night, with Gio Gonzalez on the mound for the home towners. He will face off against savvy righty, Tim Hudson.
Those Are The Details, Now For The Headlines: The Nationals know they have to find a way to beat the Braves, but we’re stumped as to how they’ll do it. Nats’ hitters beat up Teheran tonight, just as they did in his last outing, but it didn’t seem to matter. Atlanta has now won eight in a row against Washington, dating back to last year . . .
Back on April 12, the Nationals forced Teheranto the pine after six innings, plating four earned runs and six hits in two innings — but ended up losing the game in extra innings, 6-4. You have to wonder if maybe the Nationals are snake-bit against the Bravos, despite finishing last season four games ahead of them . . .
Saturday, April 20th, 2013
In what promised to be the beginning of a decades-long duel of starting pitchers, New York’s Matt Harvey outpitched Washington ace Stephen Strasburg — with the Mets taking the first of a three game series in New York, 7-1. Strasburg was effective, but rookie Harvey was more so, striking out seven and giving up just four hits in seven complete innings of work.
The difference in the game was the long ball: Strasburg gave up home runs to Ike Davis (in the 6th inning, with no one on) and to Lucas Duda (also in the 6th inning). Both players ended up homering twice in the game. But other than giving up those two home runs, Strasburg’s line was nearly identical to that of Harvey — with Harvey throwing 105 pitches and Strasburg 111.
Despite the nearly identical pitching lines, Nats’ skipper Davey Johnson admitted that his young ace had trouble with his command. “[Strasburg] was missing all night, pitching behind hitters all night, threw a lot of pitches, but we had our chances,” he said.
“I want to go out there and help this team win,” Strasburg said after the disappointing loss. “It doesn’t matter who is facing us. We are all out there as a collective group to try to get the job done. We weren’t able to do that tonight.”
Strasburg didn’t get much help from his infield or from Nationals’ hitters. Ian Desmond booted a ball off the bat of Nats’ killer Jordany Valdespin in the bottom of the 1st inning that led to two New York runs, and the Nats’ were unable to capitalize on a bases loaded no out situation in the 7th – and came away with nothing.
Harvey was most impressive in the bases loaded 7th, working out of a jam by striking out Kurt Suzuki, inducing a pop-up from Roger Bernadina and getting Denard Span to ground out to second. “He has electric stuff. He is an ace,” Ian Desmond said of Harvey. “It kind of takes time to know who you are facing. I think we may have seen him once before. But he is on a hot streak. He has good stuff.”
The Nats 7-1 loss also (and once again) highlighted the problems Davey Johnson is having with his bullpen. Lefty Zach Duke was effective enough in his one inning of relief of Strasburg, but the same cannot be said of Drew Storen — who gave up three runs, including home runs to Davis and Duda in his one inning of work. The home runs put the game out of reach.
Photos: AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek
Sunday, September 30th, 2012
The September roller coaster continues. The Nationals were nine outs away from a 4-0 victory, then three outs away from a 4-3 victory, but in neither instance could they hold the lead — and it took a heroic 10th inning that included a two RBI double from Kurt Suzuki and a lights-out relief performance from Craig Stammen for the team to come away with a 6-4 victory in St. Louis.
The extra inning triumph shaved the Nationals magic number to clinch the N.L. East flag to one, which could come today when they close out their series against the Cardinals. “We’re going to be ready, lace it up and let’s get it done,” Washington closer Drew Storen said after last night’s win.”
The Nationals were staked to an early lead from left fielder Michael Morse, whose line drive grand slam home run in the first inning provided a strange start for the game: after the umpires retreated to the clubhouse to determine whether the ball had actually left the field, they required Morse and his teammates to rerun the bases.
While at the plate, Morse added his own touch — swinging a phantom bat, complete with a phantom swing. “I guess I didn’t have to do that,” he admitted, following the victory, “but if I didn’t do it and they were like, ‘No! You’re out!’ I would never sleep again.”
Saturday, September 8th, 2012
The Miami Marlins took advantage of a poor outing from Stephen Strasburg to notch a three run lead on the Nationals early in their contest on Friday, and went on to beat Washington in ten innings despite a late rally from the Anacostia Nine. The 9-7 loss, coupled with an Atlanta victory in New York, cut Washington’s lead in the N.L. East to 6.5 games.
Washington ace Stephen Strasburg had one of his most difficult nights as a starter, leaving after just three innings. “I didn’t command the fastball,” Strasburg said of his outing. “I kept getting behind in the count. I kept falling behind. I wasn’t able to use other pitches effectively.
Former Pirates starter Zach Duke saw his first outing as a National, relieving Strasburg and throwing four solid innings of three hit baseball. The Nationals eventually tied the game at six in a clutch eighth inning, the result of a Michael Morse home run, his 13th of the year.
But the Marlins fought back with three big runs in the top of the tenth, getting two runs on a Jose Reyes triple. Reyes came home on a Carlos Lee sacrifice fly. Reyes finished 3-6 with three RBIs.
“To be honest, that’s the first time I ever remember managing a baseball game and you win and you don’t know what to say,” Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said following his team’s victory. “Very confusing. Good battle. They battled back, they never quit, they never gave up.”
Tuesday, August 14th, 2012
Monday night was the pitchers’ duel that wasn’t, with N.L. ERA leader Ryan Vogelsong facing off against Nats’ southpaw Gio Gonzalez in a showdown of team aces. But by the end of the night, with the score at 14-2, the Nationals had set a season record for runs and equaled a season mark in hits: with 21. And Vogelsong? He’d lasted all of 2.2 and fallen from first in the N.L. in ERA to fourth.
“The boys are in a good mood,” Nationals manager Davey Johnson said after the blow-out. “Just like the skipper. It was fun to watch the offense. We beat up on a pretty good pitcher.” But San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy, tossed early in the game for arguing a call at first, had a different perspective. “What could go wrong went wrong,” he said simply, “and they made some pretty good contact.”
The Nationals hitting and scoring onslaught began modestly, with the Nationals on the board with one run in the first inning. But the Nationals pushed across seven runs in the third — with two walks, six singles and a Kurt Suzuki double that cleared the bases. Suzuki was 3-6 on the night, with four RBIs.
“They’re going out there swinging it,” starter Gio Gonzalez, who notched his 15th win, said of his teammates. “It just felt like you could just feel this energy inside the dugout where everyone was just pulling for everyone.” Gonzalez’s outing was eclipsed by the chatter over Washington’s offense, but he provided another solid start — 6.2 innings with six strikeouts and two earned runs.
Wednesday, August 8th, 2012
Less than twenty-four hours after Washington’s 12 inning 3-2 victory over the Astros at Minute Maid Park in Houston, baseball fans are still talking about what could well be “the catch of the year.” Roger Bernadina’s running snag against the wall in center field came off the bat of Brett Wallace with two men on and two outs in the bottom of the twelfth inning and preserved a 3-2 victory as the Nationals won their fourth in a row.
“That game took forever. We want to get out of here,” said Bernadina of his leaping extra inning game-winning gem. “Whatever it takes to get that out right there. That was big.” The catch was witnessed by Washington reliever Craig Stammen, looking on from the Washington bullpen.
Stammen jumped up and down after Bernadina emerged from behind a pillar with the ball. “It was crazy,” Stammen said. “I was trying to hide in that corner so I didn’t have to watch, but I ended up getting the best view of it.”
“That was an unbelievable catch. It saved the game. If he doesn’t catch it, we lose,” Danny Espinosa, Washington’s hit leader on the night added. “To go the distance that he did and leap, that’s a tricky little corner right there against a flat wall. That was an unbelievable catch.”
The Bernadina play brought immediate speculation that it would outpoll an earlier spectacular fielding grab at the wall from the Angels’ Mike Trout, the holder of some plus-30 Baseball Tonight web gem championships. Indeed, the BBTN and Washington Nationals’ twitter universe was abuzz with talk of the Bernadina-Trout competition into the early hours of this morning.
The Bernadina catch tended to overawe what was yet another tough win for the Nationals, and a victory that was much more difficult than it should have been. After giving up two runs in the bottom of the first to Houston, Washington starter Ross Detwiler was nearly perfect, throwing a seven inning three hitter.