Posts Tagged ‘Jason Marquis’

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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Something (And Someone) To Cheer For In L.A.

Sunday, June 9th, 2013

The Ooohs and Ahhhs you hear in the background are coming to you all the way from Los Angeles, where Dodger fans finally have something to cheer about. Or, rather, someone to cheer for. His name is Yasiel Puig (it’s pronounced “pwig”) and he’s the next big thing for the Trolleys, who remain in last place (and adrift) in the National League West.

Puig, a sensation in Cuba, was signed by the Dodgers to a seven year $42 million contract last June; everyone scoffed. He didn’t appear on anyone’s list of top prospects and large numbers of senior scouts were skeptical that he could hit major league pitching. He was great in Cuba? So what.

“The question around baseball is how the Dodgers could justify awarding such a lavish contract to a player who scouts considered more of a solid than a spectacular prospect,” Ben Badler of Baseball America wrote after the signing. Badler then quoted a top scout as calling the Dodger decision “crazy.”

But Puig has silenced the critics since being called up seven days ago. Puig arrived with the team in time for a face-off against the Padres, where his throw from deep right doubled up the Padres’ Chris Denorfia, and helped preserve a 2-1 Los Angeles win. Puig was 2-4 in the game.

The next day he was even better. He led off and went 3-4 with five RBIs. “I’ve played a long time, but I don’t think I’ve seen a guy have a first two games that he’s had,” Dodger veteran Jerry Hairston commented after the 9-7 Dodger victory. “Arm strength, speed, power to all fields. This is fun to watch.”

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Uggla Powers Braves — And Billy Beane’s Lousy Swaps

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

Chien-Ming Wang still isn’t ready for prime time. The former Yankee and new Nationals’ righthander struggled through five innings against the Braves yesterday, giving up seven hits and two runs through five innings — and the Nationals fell to Atlanta in the final game of their three game set, 6-4.

While Wang recovered from a shaky first inning (in which he gave up two runs), he had trouble in the fifth, which proved the key to the game. Wang threw wildly on a Brandon Beachy bleeder for a two base error, Jose “George” Constanza followed with a single and, after a force play and an out at the plate, Dan Uggla plated the two stranded runners (and himself) with a three run homer.

The Nats fought back, rapping out a four run sixth inning, with a walk by Danny Espinos, singles by Ryan Zimmerman and Michael Morse, a Beachy wild pitch and a Jayson Werth home run. But four runs weren’t enough to secure the victory. Despite the loss, pitching coach Steve McCatty was upbeat on Wang. “He had better sink,” McCatty said after the game. “The offspeed pitches were a little flat. He got hurt on that. If he makes a play in the fifth inning — no damage.”

Those Are The Details, Now For The Headlines: Jason Marquis debuted for the Arizona Diamondbacks yesterday, and it didn’t go well. The former Nats’ righty gave up ten hits and seven runs over four innings, as the Snakes fell to the McCoveys, 8-1. Marquis wasn’t the only thing traded to Arizona; so too was the explanation for why he does poorly: his sinker wasn’t sinking . . .

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Ankiel Blasts The Braves

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

It’s quite possible that finally — five months into the 2011 baseball season — the Nationals have finally found their leadoff hitter. Batting in the first slot in the line-up last night, centerfield veteran Rick Ankiel blasted two home runs in leading the Nationals to a 5-3 victory over the Braves at Nationals Park. Ankiel’s homers allowed Livan Hernandez (six innings, six hits and three strikeouts) to walk away with his sixth win of the season.

Ankiel’s homers were only his fourth and fifth of the year and came in the first and the fifth inning — both off of usually reliable Braves’ starter Jair Jurrjens, who registered his fourth loss. Ankiel, who has been in and out of the line-up all year (and has struggled at the plate) seems finally to be swinging with authority. “You just look for a pitch to drive. Sometimes you get it, sometimes you make it happen, sometimes you don’t,” Ankiel said after the victory. “Lately, I’ve been making good contact and good things are happening.”

It’s too soon to tell whether Ankiel’s Monday night performance means that he will be an every game feature at the leadoff position, but Nats’ skipper Davey Johnson liked what he saw: “Now he [Ankiel] is [playing] and he has cut down on his strikeouts, his swings are better,” Johnson said. “That comes with playing. In the last couple of years, I don’t think he has played much.”

Those Are The Details, Now For The Headlines: If either Pittsburgh or Cincinnati are to have a chance in the N.L. Central, they’re going to have to beat the teams behind them. Last night they didn’t. Newest Ahoy Derrek Lee celebrated his arrival in Pittsburgh with two home runs, but the Pirates couldn’t beat the no-account Cubs, suffering their fourth loss in a row by a 5-3 score. Catch ‘em while you can; they’re fading, and fast . . .

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Marquis Dealt To Arizona

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

The Washington Nationals are shipping righty starter Jason Marquis west to Arizona in exchange for Diamondbacks minor league shortstop Zach Walters, according to ESPN’s Jim Bowden. Walters, currently in high-A baseball, hits for average, but with apparently little power. The trade of Marquis to Arizona comes as a surprise — as it was thought he was the prime target for the Detroit Tigers, who needed another starter.

Marquis himself is probably not that shocked — for while he clearly stated he wanted to remain in D.C., the Nationals have fallen out of contention for a Wild Card spot and are still in “a building mode.” The Diamondbacks will assume the rest of Marquis’ contract, estimated at 2.47 million. Walters was drafted by the D-Backs in the ninth round of the 2010 player draft.

Nats’ Bats Go Cold, Marlins Sweep

Friday, July 29th, 2011

It’s unfair, really, to use a picture of Jayson Werth below a headline describing the lack of hitting of the Washington Nationals. The right fielder, caught in a year-long slump, seems finally to be snapping out of it — but, with the exception of Ryan Zimmerman and Michael Morse, you can’t say that for the rest of the team.

The Nationals lack of hitting was on full display on Thursday at Nationals Park, as the Florida Marlins completed a three game sweep of the Nationals, plunging the Anacostia Nine further into last place in the N.L. East, and sparking increased talk of what the Nationals might now do as the trade deadline ticks down. And it’s clear: they’re going to do something.

The Marlins’ 5-2 pasting of the Nationals had a little of everything: an indifferent outing from lefty John Lannan (5.2 innings pitched, four earned runs), a missed sign from third base coach Bo Porter (Ian Desmond was thrown out at third for the third out in the fourth), and (outside of Werth and Zimmerman, who accounted for six of Washington’s seven hits) an offense that just didn’t show up.

John Lannan pitched poorly — a bad sign for a staff that is already struggling. “He was all over the place,” Nats’ skipper Davey Johnson said of Lannan. “It looked like he was strong coming out. I took him as far as he has been this year, just to save my bullpen. We are all stretched way out right now. Normally, he would have seven or eight innings with those numbers of pitches. It was a struggle.”

The big bats for the Marlins were Mike Stanton (who smacked his 24th home run) and Emilio Bonifacio (who was 2-4 and extended his hitting streak to 26 games). “Realistically, we have to play better baseball,” Jayson Werth said after the loss. “We still have to hit and drive in runs, and we haven’t done that all year. If you want to win, you have to score.”

Those Are The Details, Now For The Headlines: How ’bout them Mets? The New Yorkers waltzed into Cincinnati on Monday with rumors of trades swirling through the clubhouse and promptly took four games from the Reds — who are suddenly stuck in reverse. Forget New York’s pitching, the team scored ten yesterday on 14 hits, downing the Sparkys 10-9. The Madoffs are now surging, and remaking their roster at the same time . . .

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Billingsley Swats The Nats

Monday, July 25th, 2011

With Chad Billingsley on the mound in the top of the 1st inning, the Washington Nationals loaded the bases with no outs — with Billingsley reeling from a walk, a hit batter and two singles. But the Nationals could only muster a single run in that inning, as Billingsley ended the threat with three straight strikeouts, and went on to tame the Nationals and secure a 3-1 L.A. victory.

The Nationals’ defeat brought the team to a disappointing 3-6 record on their Atlanta-Houston-L.A. road trip as they headed home for a crucial set of games against their N.L East opponents. “We should have [broken it open] in that first inning,” Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. “We couldn’t put the ball in play with nobody out, and that hurt us. And then Billingsley settled down and pitched an effective ballgame. We swung and missed a lot today.”

Like Billingsley, Nationals starter Jason Marquis was shaky in the early going: the Washington righty gave up two early runs, but then settled down to pitch six innings, while giving up three runs on five hits. “It was a battle,” Marquis said of his outing. “I was trying to keep my team in the game as best as possible. I had some unfortunate breaks. That’s the way the game goes. We just weren’t able to break through.” How effective was L.A.’s pitching? The Nationals were only able to muster two hits for the entire game, and never had another one after the first inning.

Those Are The Details, Now For The Headlines: There are all kinds of grand slams — there are regular grand slams, there are walk-off grand slams (a victory when a grand slam provides a walk-off victory by more than a single run), there are “ultimate” walk-off grand slams (a walk-off grand slam that gives a team a victory by a single run), there are inside-the-park walk-off grand slams (you get the idea), and then there are “ultimate” walk-off inside-the-park grand slams.

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