Archive for the ‘san diego padres’ Category

Nats Take The Miami Series, 6-4

Monday, September 9th, 2013

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Stephen Strasburg gave up four runs and four hits in six innings, but pitched well enough to allow Washington’s hitters to get to Miami’s rotation, and the Washington Nationals went on to down the Marlins 6-4 on Sunday. It was Strasburg’s seventh win of the year and vaulted the Nationals to a two of three game series win.

This was certainly not the young righty’s best outing of the year, as skipper Davey Johnson confirmed following the victory. “Stras should have been able to go further but he was a little out of sorts today,” he said. Strasburg apparently knew that, but worked through his issues.  “I knew if I kept the game close we could bust it open,” he confirmed.

Strasburg has been a puzzle all year, with few guessing that he would have only seven wins in early September. Even more puzzling however, the righty balked home two runs in the second inning. “Pretty embarrassed with the balks,” Strasburg said. “Seems like something new happens every time this year. Learn from it and try and do better with that next time.”

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Strasburg admitted that he was shifting from the stretch into a full wind-up with a man on third base, which broke a season-long habit of his. With Ramos flashing signs, Strasburg put his hand into his glove, realized that Ramos wasn’t finished, and pulled his hand out: a rare mental error for the otherwise focused righty.

The Nationals continue to swing the bat well, their only recent down game coming against Miami ace rookie Jose Fernandez in the first game of the series. Ian Desmond and Wilson Ramos were each 3-5 in the triumph (the catcher added a homer), with Jayson Werth (2-4 on the day) continuing his tough pursuit of the National League batting title.

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Desmond Is 3-3 In Nats 4-3 Win

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

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Washington shortstop Ian Desmond was 3-3 and knocked in the key go-ahead run in the bottom of the 7th inning as Drew Storen and the Washington bullpen once again tamed the Miami line-up, and the Nationals went on to defeat the Marlins at Nationals Park, 4-3.

The rain-delayed contest marked Washington’s seventh win in eight games and maintained the seven game gap separating the Nationals from a playoff spot. But at least at first, the game started inauspiciously: a 72-minute rain delay knocked Stephen Strasburg off the mound, leaving the game in the hands of the bullpen.

And, as they had the night before, the bullpen came through. While reliever Ryan Mattheus had a difficult outing, Drew Storen proved effective against Miami’s biggest bats: after giving up a single and a walk to start the 7th, Storen struck out Giancarlo Stanton and induced pop outs from Logan Morrison and Donovan Solano.

With the victory, it seems that the Nationals are finally on a roll. They are two games over .500 and, most important of all, are playing well.  “No one said it was going to be easy. We have to keep going,” Jayson Werth, whose home run in the 6th tied the game, said. “We have to continue to play like this the rest of the way. That’s fine. It is what it is.”

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Those Are The Details, Now For The Headlines: The Nationals still have a shot at the post-season, and so do the Arizona Diamondbacks. But you’d never know it if you lived in Phoenix, where a paltry 20,500-plus fans showed up to watch their Snakes fall to the lowly San Diego Padres . . .

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Haren Cages The Cubs

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

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Dan Haren provided six innings of five hit baseball and his teammates sprayed fourteen hits against half-a-dozen Cubs pitchers — and the Washington Nationals went on to win at Wrigley Field in Chicago, 4-2. It was Haren’s fifth successive solid outing, accounting for his eighth win of the year.

Haren has been a Nationals’ hero of late: he’s proven to be one of the starting staff’s most consistent stoppers over the last month, and just three days ago he entered a game against the Braves to preserve a fifteen inning win. “As the game progressed, my stuff got better and better,” Haren said of his Tuesday victory. “My cutter was real good; I worked it in on lefties a lot.”

The Nationals scored early on Chicago starter Chris Rusin, with Ryan Zimmerman’s first inning double scoring Ian Desmond. Washington tacked on another run in the sixth inning and two more in the 9th. Six Nationals’ hitters had two hits on the night, with Denard Span and Ian Desmond providing two ninth inning insurance runs.

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Drew Storen continued to impress in his late-season reincarnation. Storen entered the game in the seventh inning and induced a ground out from Starlin Castro, a fly out from Darnell McDonald and another grounder from Junior Lake. This was Storen’s fourth appearance in five days and he’s been nearly flawless.

Rafael Soriano entered in the 9th inning to notch his 32nd save on the year, but once again he failed to shut down the opposing club. Soriano, who’s been rocky in his previous three outings, gave up a home run to Chicago’s Donnie Murphy, who entered the game with only six round trippers on the year.

Those Are The Details, Now For The Headlines: Commentators and baseball pundits continue to chew over why San Diego would ever trade uber-youngster Anthony Rizzo to the Cubs. The latest is MASN play-by-play guru Bob Carpenter, who commented during Tuesday’s game that Rizzo has proven to be Chicago’s most potent offensive threat . . .

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It’s 11 Straight For The Braves

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

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The difference in last night’s 3-2 Braves victory over the Nationals at Nationals Park came down to a single swing of the bat. In the 8th inning, Atlanta’s Justin Upton sent a 79 mph Tyler Clippard change-up into the left field seats, sealing a tough loss for the home towners.

The Upton home run wasted one of Stephen Strasburg’s best outings of the year, and gave the red hot Braves their 11th straight victory. The Braves extended their lead in the National League East to 13.5 games. The Nationals are now at 54-58 for the season, four games under .500.

Before Upton broke up the game, the Nationals’ Strasburg had been locked in a classic pitchers’ duel with Atlanta’s Mike Minor. The Washington righty left at the end of the 7th inning, after scattering five hits and striking out nine. Minor pitched six inning while giving up eight hits.

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The Nationals had a chance to get to Minor but, as so often has been the case during the season, could not take advantage of having men on base. The Nationals put the lead-off runner on base in four successive innings, but could not take advantage.

“Get runners out there, you’ve got to get them in,” Nationals’s shortstop Ian Desmond commented after the loss. “That’s the name of the game. You’ve got to score more than they do, and we didn’t score very many tonight.” The Nationals were 1-10 with runners in scoring position.

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The Giants Finally Get Some Pitching

Sunday, July 14th, 2013

Don’t look now, but there are a whole lot of teams in major league baseball who are better than the San Francisco Giants — including, at least for a time last week, the Chicago Cubs. The McCoveys, the early part of the century’s Champeeeens of the World, are mired in fourth place in the N.L West, better only than the San Diego Padres.

So what the hell is wrong with the Giants? Well, pitching (of course), which has been a strong suit in San Francisco in each of the last five years.

Put simply, the San Francisco relief corps is in chaos and the starting five aren’t performing. That is: until last night, when Tim Lincecum threw his first-ever no hitter and the fifteenth in Giants’ history, in downing the San Diego Padres, 9-0.

“I think he was pretty aggressive in the zone, but he knew when to expand at the right time,” S.F. catcher Buster Posey said, citing Lincecum’s ability to get Padres hitters to chase certain pitches. “I think that was a big part of it.” In all, Lincecum needed 148 pitches to set down San Diego’s 27 hitters, second most in MLB history.

It’s all good for Lincecum, who was once the ace-without-parallel on the Giants’ staff, the most coveted starter in the game, the winner of two consecutive Cy Young awards, celebrated as “The Freak” on a Sports Illustrated cover, — and arguably the best pitcher in baseball.

But a single no-hitter is unlikely to help the McCoveys this year. Here are the numbers: San Francisco is 12th in the N.L. in ERA and walks more opponents than anyone except Pittsburgh or San Diego.

Then too, last year’s aces are this years bums: Matt Cain, who used to scare just about everyone, is now 5-4 with a gelatinous 5.06 ERA, Barry Zito weighs in at 4-6 with a 4.62 ERA (and gets shelled on the road), and filler Chad Gaudin (subbing for the injured Ryan Vogelsong) was recently charged with public lewdness.

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Friars’ Tucked

Saturday, July 6th, 2013

Ryan Zimmerman knocked in the go-ahead run, Drew Storen pitched a brilliant inning in relief, Rafael Soriano notched yet another save — and the Washington Nationals rallied to defeat the San Diego Padres at Nationals Park on Saturday, 5-4.

This was to be ace Jordan Zimmermann’s thirteenth win on the season, but after leaving the game with one out in the sixth inning, righty Ross Ohlendorf gave up a game changing three run home run to Jesus Guzman to put San Diego ahead by a single run.

While Ohlendorf then retired the side, the damage was done and the Nats had to battle back to secure the victory. And they did, in the bottom of the 7th: after striking out Roger Bernadina, Friars’ reliever Nick Vincent allowed singles to Denard Span and Ian Desmond.

After Joe Thatcher relieved Vincent, Span and Desmond scampered to third and second respectively, before Bryce Harper hit a sacrifice fly to tie the game. Ryan Zimmerman then hit what looked like sure double, but the ball was cut off at the plate and Zimmerman was thrown out at second. It didn’t matter, Ian Desmond had already scored the go-ahead run.

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Rendon Homer Wins It In The 9th

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

Anthony Rendon’s top of the 9th inning home run provided the Washington Nationals with a late inning come-from behind 7-6 victory over the Indians in Cleveland on Saturday night. It was Rendon’s first major league homer, and followed an eighth inning pinch hit home run from Chad Tracy that tied the game at six.

“I don’t even know how to explain it. It felt good, I guess.” Rendon said after the Nationals’ victory. “I thought the ball was in play because I saw it drop. But I didn’t know it went into the bullpen. I thought it was still on the field.”

The Washington victory followed a Friday night disappointment, where the Nationals were only able to produce two hits. Last night Washington’s bats came alive, sparked by five home runs: from Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth, Ian Desmond, Tracy and Rendon.

The Nationals needed the win, particularly since starter Jordan Zimmermann had a tough time against Cleveland’s hitters, who victimized the power righty with six earned runs in just five innings. What was even more unusual was that Zimmermann failed to hold an early 5-0 Washington lead.

“I felt terrible all night. Everything I threw was up in the zone. I wasn’t getting ahead of guys. I was 1-0, 2-0,” Zimmermann said of his outing. “Obviously, I had to come with the fastball then. Even when I didn’t come with the fastball, it was up in the zone. When those guys give me five runs, I’ve got to be able to lock it down and get us the win.”

As has happened lately, Washington’s bullpen stepped in to give the Nats’ hitters a chance to win the game. Craig Stammen, Ian Krol, Drew Storen and Rafael Soriano provided four innings of one hit, no run baseball, with Soriano picking up his eighteenth save.

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