Archive for the ‘Wilson Ramos’ Category
Thursday, May 16th, 2013
“It was a tough night, tough night,” Nationals’ skipper Davey Johnson said of Washington’s disappointing 3-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night.
Johnson’s words reflected not simply the team’s latest inability to score runs, but a rash of in-game injuries — to lefty starter Ross Detwiler (who left with back tightness after the third inning) and catcher Wilson Ramos, who reinjured his hamstring and left the game in the top of the 4th inning.
Wednesday night’s loss to the Dodgers left the Nationals at just two games over .500, and allowed Los Angeles to take the three game series. The problem for Washington (aside from the two injuries) continued to be the team’s inability to drive in runs: the Nats’ stroked nine hits in Wednesday’s loss, but left 16 runners on base.
For L.A., the big story of the night was the return of Zack Greinke, who took the mound after more than four weeks on the disabled list. Greinke pitched five complete innings in notching his second win on the season. “I thought my stuff was pretty good,” he said after the victory. “My stamina needs to grow a little bit, but that could be next start.”
While there’s no doubt that Greinke pitched well, the Nationals had several opportunities to knock him out of the game — but were unable to capitalize. Before leaving the game, Wilson Ramos got on base in both of his at-bats, but was left stranded his teammates. The only Washington score in the early going (and all night) came in a home run off the bat of Adam LaRoche, his fourth of the season.
The only piece of good news for the Nationals was the continued brilliant relief pitching of Craig Stammen who came in after Detwiler left the game and kept the Dodgers scoreless in three innings of work. Stammen has been the best pitcher in the Washington bullpen and lowered his ERA to 2.25 on the year.
The best chance to win the game for the Nationals came in the 8th inning, when the Nationals had runners on first and third with nobody out but weren’t able to push across a run. “We had the right guys up there,” Johnson said. “I don’t know if we are trying to do too much instead of just hitting the ball and putting it in play. I don’t know, but we’ll figure it out.”
Those Are The Details, Now For The Headlines: It’s amazing but true — after losing two of three in L.A. (and after struggling at the plate), Washington is still only one game behind the Atlanta Braves in the surprisingly uncompetitive N.L East . . .
The reason? The Braves have a deplorable road record, going only 7-13 on their two ten game road trips this year. The losses have been keenly felt in Atlanta, particularly after the early 12-1 start. The Braves have only won ten of their last 27 games, and are 11-15 against teams better than .500 . . .
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 . . .
Monday, April 15th, 2013
The Atlanta Braves swept their three games series with the Nationals in Washington with a 9-0 ambush of Washington on Sunday. It was the ninth straight victory for the Braves, who have now established themselves as the team to beat in the N.L. East. The Braves are now 11-1 on the season, while the Nationals are 7-5.
Yesterday’s slaughter victimized Washington ace Gio Gonzalez, who was removed after the 5th inning after giving up seven runs and seven hits, which included two homes runs. “I wasn’t attacking the strike zone, leaving every pitch up and falling behind on a good team. That’s all it was,” Gonzalez said following the loss.
The Nationals proved punchless against Atlanta southpaw Paul Maholm. Maholm was stellar in throwing 7.2 innings while giving up just four hits. He struck out seven and is now 3-0 on the young season.
Nats fans are right to be worried: the three game series featured a Nationals team that should have won their first game, were soundly beaten in their second — and didn’t show up for their third. Nats’ manager Davey Johnson all but agreed: . “We should have won the first game, we were right there on the second one, we got waffled today,” he said from the clubhouse after the 9-0 slaughter. ” I don’t put too much stock in it . . . [Losing] a series … sometimes it’s a walkup call.”
Those Are The Details, Now For The Headlines: Wilson Ramos was put on the 15 day disabled list this weekend with a hamstring pull. The Nationals recalled catcher Jhonatan Solano from Triple-A Syracuse to take his spot. Danny Espinosa, hit by a pitch in the second inning yesterday, is nursing a sore wrist and is day-to-day . . .
The Nationals begin a series in Miami on Monday, and playing the Marlins might just be what the team needs. The Marlins are in a free-fall, at 2-10 (nine games back of Atlanta) and are last in the league in runs and home runs. And now they’re without their one acknowledged star, Giancarlo Stanton, who is sidelined with a bruised left shoulder . . .
On Sunday, the Fish fell to the Phillies, 2-1 — and Doc Halladay looked like his old self. The Phillie righty won his 200th career game, throwing eight innings of five hit ball. The Phillies offense has looked anemic over the last week, but yesterday came alive with twelve hits . . .
Saturday, April 6th, 2013
This is a game that should have gone into the books as a win in the 8th, and then again in the 9th, but it took the Washington Nationals, and five home runs, to down the Cincinnati Reds in 11 innings at the Great American Bandbox Ballpark, 7-6.
This was a game of firsts for the Nationals in 2013: the first solid start for lefty youngster Ross Detwiler, the first home run for Ian Desmond (in the 11th with nobody on), the first blown late lead for the team during the season — and the first blown save for fireballer and veteran save artist Rafael Soriano.
Soriano’s blown save was the result of a home run from Cincy slugger Shin-Soo Choo, followed by a triple from Joey Votto — and a wild pitch that brought Votto home. Soriano’s so-so outing knotted the score at five, with the Nationals reeling from the unexpected Cincinnati rally.
But the Nationals fought back in extra innings. The Nationals got back on the board in the top of the 11th with a home run from Ian Desmond (whose inexplicable boot at shortstop in the 8th could have cost the Nationals the win), followed by a long shot to center from Wilson Ramos. The Ramos dinger was his second of the game.
But the real hero of the nail biter might well have been Craig Stammen, whose mound presence seemed to calm the Nationals. Stammen entered the game in the 10th and pitched two innings of two hit, one run ball — picking up his first win of the season. Stammen’s two seam fastball and late-moving slider stifled Reds’ hitters, allowing the Nats to ring up their fourth win of the season.
Those Are The Details, Now For The Headlines: We love Carp and F.P of course, but F.P. is so unapologetically in the bag for Ian Desmond that, well, it makes ya think that ‘ol Frank Paul is channeling his glory days as an Expos infielder . . .
When Desmond launched a grounder into the 18th row behind first base in the 4th inning (“what the hell was that,” Nats Nation yelled, as one), F.P. told us that he does this early in the season — and that he’ll get on track. Well, we’re sure that’s right, or at least we sure as hell hope so . . .
Then MASN interviewed Desmond in the postgame and implied his 11th inning homer made the difference in the game, when it absolutely did — and didn’t. The final score was 7-6 and according to our book the winning home run in the 7-6 game was launched by (let’s see, we’re checking) Wilson Ramos . . .
Saturday, August 4th, 2012
It now seems obvious that the Nationals have been looking for a catcher from the moment that Wilson Ramos went on the disabled list — while hoping, the whole time, that Jesus Flores would make that search unnecessary. But on Saturday, Nationals’ G.M. Mike Rizzo traded catching prospect David Freitas to Oakland for Kurt Suzuki, making it clear that Flores would be his back-up.
The swap elicited a community wide ho-hum from the usual national baseball gurus, but it was big news in Oakland, where Suzuki was a fan favorite and once deemed a crucial part of the A’s future. Oakland G.M. Billy Beane signed Suzuki to a five year contract worth $16.25 million back in 2010 — an unusual, if not unheard of, splurge for the small market White Elephants.
“Trade Shocks Kurt Suzuki, A’s Teammates,” was the headline of the San Francisco Chronicle article that gave details of the Suzuki swap. “The move shook the clubhouse, left the team without its longest-tenured player and turned Derek Norris into the No. 1 catcher,” the article intoned, and then went on to imply that not everyone in green was pleased.
“Kurt took me under his wing when I got here,” A’s righty fastball artist Jarrod Parker told the Chronicle, “like the other young (pitchers) without much experience, and made my transition easier. I attribute the success I’ve had to him. It sucks, but it’s the nature of the beast.”
Pitcher Brett Anderson was also circumspect, describing Suzuki as “an integral part of our team on and off the field, especially for a guy like me who throws a lot of balls in the dirt. We’ve got ‘Ninja’ back there. He’s the most agile catcher I’ve ever seen.” Beane apparently knew the move would be controversial but defended it by implying that Suzuki needed a change of scene. “I think this will be good for Kurt,” Beane said. “He gets a chance to play every day.”
The “I’m not doing this for me, I’m doing this for you” explanation is standard practice for raising children, but it doesn’t wash in baseball. What Billy Beane means is that having paid Suzuki for performing as a backstop that everyone believed would be at the heart of the Oakland franchise for years to come, he became disenchanted with Suzuki’s performance at the plate.
There’s nothing worse than someone who heads to the bank and then fails to produce.
Monday, June 11th, 2012
In the wake of their sweep of the Boston Red Sox, the Natmosphere was celebrating. Mark Zuckerman, over at Nats Insider, called the three game sweep at Fenway “the statement series.” As Zuckerman writes: “They [the Nationals] arrived in town Friday as a franchise that had never won a single game in this ballpark despite nine previous tries. They departed with three consecutive victories, each impressive in their own right.”
Zuckerman goes on to quote third baseman Ryan Zimmerman — “I think the organization’s come a long way in six years,” Zimmerman said. “It’s cool to come here and get some wins. That’s a good team, and we played well. To sweep that team here any time is really good.”
Zuckerman then asks a rhetorical question: “How long had it been since the Red Sox were swept by a National League club? The last time it happened, Grady Little was their manager, Mike Port was their interim general manager and Big Papi was a Minnesota Twin.”
Tom Boswell, writing in the Washington Post, was no less enthusiastic. “Like a blurred shape in a dim room that suddenly jumps into crisp resolution when a light is switched on, the Nats have suddenly come into focus,” Boswell writes. They had been noted previously; now they will be closely observed.” The article runs under a headline that seems to say it all: “The Washington Nationals have arrived, as sweep of Boston Red Sox shows . . .”
Of more than passing interest in the Boswell article than even the Boston sweep, however, is his accounting of the recent spike in attendance at Nationals Park. “Washington’s gate is up 30.4 percent over 2011, date-for-date,” Boswell notes. “Last week, the Nats (average attendance: 28,335) pushed past the Mets, Diamondbacks as well as the Marlins, despite their new park in Miami.”
A quick check of the figures shows just how right Boswell is. After hovering well below average for a major league franchise over the past five years (at around 19-21 out of 30) — and even dipping lower (to 24 of 26) for a long period, the Nationals are now 15th in attendance in the MLB — and climbing.
Monday, May 14th, 2012
It’s a pretty bleak Monday morning in the Natmosphere, and it’s no wonder. Jayson Werth is down for another two months, Henry Rodriguez just gave up a grand slam walk off in Cincinnati, Drew Storen doesn’t appear to be close to returning and — just this week — the team lost Wilson Ramos to a torn ACL. It looks like he’ll be out for the season. And remember Michael Morse? He’s still weeks away.
Are the Nationals capable of “hanging on?” Over at Nats’ Insider, Mark Zuckerman tallies the negatives and positives of a season that is now nearly one-quarter finished. Not surprisingly, and like many of those who cover the team, he sees challenges ahead. But, as he notes, despite the problems the team has encountered, it somehow continues to win when it needs to.
“Banged-up lineup or not, this team still has a rotation of Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, Edwin Jackson and Ross Detwiler at its disposal,” Zuckerman points out. “And that rotation should keep this team in the hunt all summer long.” He then adds: “We’re also going to find out what the Nationals as a whole are made of. Few would fault them for complaining about all the injuries, using that as a perfectly viable excuse when they lose. But they have, to date, exhibited a grit and determination not previously seen in these parts.”
Most of the Natmosphere agrees with Zuckerman’s assessment. Joe Drugen over at The Nats Blog has a nice post on what the Nationals will do now that Ramos has gone down. He points out that the feisty and defensive minded Jesus Flores is a more than an adequate replacement, and he praises the depth of the Nationals’ farm system. And he adds that it’ll be interesting to watch new back-up Sandy Leon.