Posts Tagged ‘philadelphia phillies’
Friday, September 20th, 2013
Bryce Harper’s first inning three run home run was enough to push the Nationals past the Marlins, as Washington downed Miami 3-2 on Thursday night at Nationals’ Park. Harper’s blast with Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth on base kept the Nats slim hopes of a playoff spot alive, with the home towners five games behind Cincinnati in the Wild Card hunt.
Harper’s home run provided the only scoring for Washington, leaving the game in the hands of southpaw starter Gio Gonzalez and three relievers. Harper was all smiles in the dugout after his dinger as he joined four other Nationals (Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman, Ian Desmond and Adam LaRoche) in hitting twenty home runs on the year.
“He’s only going to get better,” Nats manager Davey Johnson said of his young slugger. “I think when you go through a period where you have all this attention and you try to live up to hype you try to do too much. I think he’s getting over that. I think he’s back to enjoying the game, and that’s great to see.”
Harper’s three RBIs might not have been enough against the Marlins line-up, but Gio Gonzalez provided a steady outing (two earned runs in six complete innings, while scattering seven hits) in notching his 11th win on the season. A trio of Nationals’ relievers (Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard and Rafael Soriano) then shut down Miami in the last three frames.
The two Marlins’ runs came off an Ed Lucas single that scored Donovan Solano in the first and a Justin Ruggiano double that scored Giancarlo Stanton in the 6th. The Washington win slapped righty Henderson Alvarez with the loss, his fifth on the season.
The Washington victory came at a small personal price for Denard Span, who went 0-4, thus ending his 29 game hitting streak, the longest in the major leagues this year. The crowd of nearly 26,000 fans, realizing the Nationals center fielder would not extend his streak, gave Span a standing ovation after his fourth at bat. He was greeted by his teammates in the dugout with high-fives.
“You gotta tip your cap to Joe DiMaggio because that’s a record that I don’t think will ever be broke,” left fielder Bryce Harper said of Span’s streak after the game. “Denard made a good run at it. I tip my cap to him and I think everyone in baseball did.”
Those Are The Details, Now For The Headlines: Back in March, new ESPN analyst Alex Cora questioned whether the Red Sox had made the right decision in signing former Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino, saying that Boston should have gone after someone younger and more athletic . . .
Monday, September 16th, 2013
Washington catcher Wilson Ramos was 4-4 and drove in five runs, and righty starter Jordan Zimmermann notched his league-leading 18th win of the year, and the Nationals routed the Philadelphia Phillies 11-2 at Nationals Park on Sunday. The win, coupled with a Cincinnati loss in Milwaukee, brought the home towners within 4.5 games of the last Wild Card slot.
While the Nationals pounded out eighteen hits against a hapless Philadelphia pitching staff, Ramos was clearly the star of the show: the Nationals’ backstop singled in the bottom of the 1st (and plated Bryce Harper), singled again in the bottom of the 4th (scoring Harper again), homered to center in the 6th and singled in the 7th to score Zach Walters and Adam LaRoche.
Ramos has been a workhorse for the Nationals, appearing Sunday in his 23rd consecutive game. “He’s been hitting the heck out of the ball, catching good, throwing people out. He’s hard to take out of the lineup,” Washington skipper Davey Johnson said of his 26-year old catcher. “We’ve missed him for two years, so we’re going to ride him.”
But Ramos’ career day did little to overshadow the performance of righty Jordan Zimmermann, who’s been Washington’s staff ace for the 2013 campaign. Zimmermann turned in seven innings complete innings of seven hit baseball while striking out seven in taming the Philadelphia line-up.
“It feels good, but then again, I’ll trade all those wins in for a spot in the playoffs,” Zimmermann said after his victory. “That’s the only thing that matters right now. We’re playing good ball and scoring some runs, so it’s definitely fun.”
It took the Nationals just over three hours to polish off Philadelphia, who sent five pitchers to the mound in an effort to short-circuit Washington’s attack. The Phillies have great hopes for starter Tyler Cloyd, a sleeper pick in the 18th round of the 2008 draft. But the Nats victimized Cloyd with ten hits and five runs in four innings.
“Any time you have a bad outing, no matter how many good ones you have, you’re always disappointed,” Cloyd said after the Phillies’ loss. “Obviously I’m more disappointed that I’m pitching bad and not giving the team a chance to win. I’ve got to figure it out somehow.
While Ramos led the Nationals attack, he had plenty of help. Denard Span, Jayson Werth and Ian Desmond had two hits each (with Span extending his hitting streak to 26 straight games), while Bryce Harper was 3-5 on the day and raised his 2013 batting average to .280. Harper was 6-12 in the Philadelphia series.
Wednesday, September 4th, 2013
The Nationals committed three errors and Gio Gonzalez walked three Philadelphia batters, but Washington banged out eleven hits (including a Wilson Ramos three run home run in the top of the 2nd inning) and the home towners went on to down the Phillies 9-6 at Citizens Bank Park.
“It was an ugly game, that’s all I can tell you,” Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. “It’s one of the ugly ones I’ve seen. Gio had a real rough start. He threw a lot of pitches. He hung in there. [The fielders] were sloppy behind him. It’s not the way you win pennants, I’ll tell you that.”
Thankfully for Johnson (although that might not be the best word to use), the Nationals are in no danger of winning a pennant. The win in Philadelphia still left Washington struggling to catch Cincinnati for the last National League Wild Card spot. The Nationals remain 7.5 games behind the Redlegs with 24 games to play.
The Nationals were hoping that starter Gio Gonzalez would give them a solid outing on Tuesday night, as he did during his last outing against Miami at Nationals Park, but the struggling southpaw gave up five hits and five runs (just one of them earned) in 5 2/3 innings on the mound.
Gonzalez, who contended for the Cy Young award in 2012, has been up-and-down all season — with his 5 2/3 innings outing reminiscent of his 3 1/3 innings stint two weeks ago against the Kansas City Royals, in which he yielded ten hits and seven runs.
“I was fortunate to go at least that long, especially knowing that I felt uncomfortable on the mound the whole game,” Gonzalez said of his outing. “You can look at it from both sides: The Phillies had a lot of walks, we had a [few] walks. It was just one of these weird games. You just can’t explain it.”
Friday, August 30th, 2013
Everything clicked into place for the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on Thursday night. After a season of frustration at the team’s inability to get hits and score runs, the Nationals broke through with twelve hits against the Marlins, and went on to rout Miami, 9-0.
The Washington attack was sparked by home runs from Jayson Werth, Ian Desmond (each of whom had three run shots) and Bryce Harper, who hit his 19th of the year. “We’re a scary team when we’re going good, and I think everybody knows that,” Harper said after the victory.
The Washington onslaught was complemented by a solid outing from starter Gio Gonzalez, his first in five weeks. Gonzalez gave the Nats’ bullpen a badly needed rest, as he held the Marlins to just three hits over seven complete innings. Long reliever Tanner Roark finished out the win by pitching a scoreless 8th and 9th innings.
“We’re getting our groove back,” Gonzalez said of the Nationals’ win. “I think that you can see it live, and the chemistry in here is just getting better and better.” The Nationals have won eight of their last nine games, and now sit just 6.5 games behind Cincinnati in the race for the last Wild Card spot.
Bryce Harper had a great night against Miami pitching (he was 2-3 with two RBIs), but Jayson Werth remains Washington’s best hitter over the last two months. Since July 1, Werth is 68-175 and is hitting .389 with a .476 OBP. If the Nats’ right fielder had enough AB’s to qualify, he’d be tied with Chris Johnson of Atlanta for second in the N.L. batting race.
All of Washington’s middle order hitters feasted off Miami pitching on Thursday. In addition to Harper and Werth, Ian Desmond was 2-4 (his home run was his 20th on the year), and Ryan Zimmerman was 3-3 and upped his 2013 BA to .275.
Monday, August 12th, 2013
Sunday’s game at Nationals Park provided a model of how to win in the major leagues: superb pitching, timely hitting and seamless defense provided Washington with a 6-0 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies and a rare Nationals’ sweep of their three game series.
The game’s hero was the all-but-unhittable Stephen Strasburg, who threw the best game of his career. The imposing 6-4 righty spun a nine inning complete game shutout, striking out ten Phillies and holding the Philadelphia line-up to just four hits.
“Stephen obviously threw a great game,” third sacker Ryan Zimmerman said of Strasburg’s afternoon. “It has been fun to watch him learn, progress as a pitcher. I think he is starting to do some things that he has been proud of. It’s going to be fun to continue to watch him develop.”
Strasburg’s gem was also economical: he threw 99 pitches, 66 of them for strikes and entered the ninth inning to chants from the fans of “let’s go Strasburg.” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel praised the Washington righty, saying that Strasburg’s “breaking ball really set up his fastball in the middle innings until the end of the game. He was good.”
Washington’s bats came alive in the series. The Nationals outscored the Phillies 25-7 over the three game stretch and on Sunday sprayed thirteen hits. Jayson Werth and Steve Lombardozzi were 3-4 on the day, with clutch hits coming in the first inning from Werth and in the fourth inning from Denard Span and Wilson Ramos.
Philadelphia helped the Washington cause in the fifth inning, when Philadelphia catcher Erik Kratz mishandled an infield hit off the bat of Denard Span, allowing Adam LaRoche and Ian Desmond to score in a close play at the plate. Washington’s defense, on the other hand, was seamless — with the game ending on a Ryan Zimmerman lunging catch of a hot liner off the bat Kevin Frandsen.
Sunday, August 11th, 2013
Trailing by a single run in the bottom of the 7th inning, Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth keyed a gritty come-from-behind Washington rally, hitting his 17th home run of the year and sparking Washington to an 8-5 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. The Werth home run sealed Washington’s second win against Philadelphia in as many nights.
Washington’s second successive victory against their in-division rivals has helped to offset the three game sweep the team suffered at the hands of Atlanta, and leaves the Nationals eight games out of the Wild Card race. “The mood in the clubhouse got a lot better and I got a lot smarter again,” Manager Davey Johnson said after the win. “But what a night Jayson had, huh?”
The Werth home run capped a scrappy win after the Nationals found themselves down 4-0 against Philadelphia after three complete. But in the bottom of the 4th, the Nationals cut the lead by two, on two doubles (from Ryan Zimmerman and Ian Desmond) and RBIs from Werth and Adam LaRoche.
The Nationals came within one in the sixth inning after yet another Werth single and a Wilson Ramos RBI. But the 7th inning was the key to the victory – and featured an improbable safety squeeze from Bryce Harper (that scored Steve Lombardozzi). With Harper on base, Werth then launched his difference-making round tripper.
The Werth home run was a milestone for the Nationals’ clubhouse leader, marking his 1000th major league hit, leading Nats fans to demand a curtain call from a player that has been the lone Washington spark plug over the last month. “Anytime you gain respect from the fans and from the city, it’s definitely a good thing,” Werth said after the victory.
Saturday, August 10th, 2013
The Washington Nationals looked like a different team on Friday night: their starting pitcher threw seven solid innings, the defense was seamless — and the bats came alive, providing nine runs and twelve hits. The result was a spirit lifting 9-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies, the first team win in more than a week.
The pitching was provided by Dan Haren, who has revived his season with three straight stellar outings, the defense ran down balls and notched a double play, and the team’s hitters smacked four doubles (from Ian Desmond, Adam LaRoche, Wilson Ramos and Scott Hairston) and two home runs: from Anthony Rendon and Ryan Zimmerman.
“They’re a great team, great players,” Phillies starter and former Nationals hurler John Lannan said. “I think they’re going to fight ’til the end. Last year was a special year for them. They’re battling, just like we are.” The Nationals, who’ve performed poorly against lefties all season, saddled Lannan with the loss, his fifth of the season.
Despite the win, the Nationals continue to chew over their season, searching for an elusive answer to the question of “why” — why haven’t they hit well, why has the bullpen been so inconsistent, why have they lacked the essential spark that marks a team like the Braves or Reds or Cardinals or Pirates?
In many ways, however, answering the “why” question may be impossible. What matters now, skipper Davey Johnson reflects, is that the team step up in the games that are left. “We still need to grow,” he said following last night’s victory. “Now is a good time. Everybody has written us off. Now is a good time to do something special.”
Those Are The Details, Now For The Headlines: If you think it’s tough being a Nationals’ fan, just think how the fans in Philadelphia feel. The Phillies are aging and struggling, are eleven games under .500 and have sunk into fourth place in the N.L. East, behind the New York Mets . . .