Posts Tagged ‘Steve Lombardozzi’
Monday, May 20th, 2013
The Padres rapped out fifteen hits — which included three home runs — and San Diego went on to thrash the Washington Nationals at Petco Park on Sunday, 13-4. Washington’s attack against San Diego starter Andrew Cashner, on the other hand, was punchless: a scattering of ten hits, but few of them that did any real damage.
Washington had hoped to take the series, particularly given Saturday night’s tough one-run loss that victimized ace Jordan Zimmermann. “It was good to bounce back in beating Zimmermann, who is arguably the best pitcher in the National League right now,” San Diego manager Bud Black said. “That was a big win last night.”
Black added: “Then to come back today against Haren, who’s a great competitor. We got to him early and got him there in the middle part of the game with a couple big swings. Good for our guys. It was a good win.” Haren’s outing breaks a solid streak for the veteran righty, who gave up seven runs on nine hits in just five innings.
“I made a bunch of mistakes in the first inning. I was able to keep it close for a while. You can’t keep letting balls over the plate to a professional lineup like that,” Haren said after his loss. “I was fighting myself out there with mechanics. I was working behind in the count too much. That’s a recipe for disaster.”
This was all good news, but only if you were a Padres’ fan. Stuck in mediocre, starter Andrew Cashner proved he belonged in the San Diego rotation with 6.2 innings of steady strikes, while the Friars received long bombs from a trio of little monks: Will Venable, Kyle Blanks and rookie second sacker Jedd Gyorko.
The Padres got on the board early, scoring three runs in the first inning off of Haren, then extended their lead by scoring four more off the righty in the fifth. The Washington bullpen wasn’t much better: the usually steady Ryan Matheus gave up five runs on four hits in a single inning to raise his ERA to 4.96.
“I just fell behind hitters,” Mattheus said of his outing. “I had to come back and make a pitch and they put good swings on the ball. It’s inexcusable to not come in the strike zone and leaving balls up.”
Friday, May 3rd, 2013
Dan Haren pitched eight solid innings and Denard Span knocked out three hits and two RBIs, as the Washington Nationals downed the Atlanta Braves, 3-1 to earn a split in their four game series. This was Haren’s best outing of the year: he allowed only four hits and struck out four.
The Haren outing followed a gem pitched by Jordan Zimmermann, with the duo (and closer Rafael Soriano) holding the Braves to just one run and seven hits in eighteen innings.
“What a heck of a ballgame Haren pitched,” Davey Johnson said after the victory. “The last two nights, with Zim and Haren, low pitch counts, going late in the ballgame, very few balls hit really hard … [Haren] was making his pitches all night.”
Washington’s runs were provided on a single from Steve Lombardozzi in the first (which scored Span, who had doubled to lead off the game), and Span’s double in the top of the second, which scored Anthony Rendon and Wilson Ramos. Rafael Soriano came on in the ninth to notch his ninth save.
The Braves mustered five hits off of Washington pitching, with their lone run coming in the bottom of the 7th, when Haren gave up a home run to Dan Uggla. No Atlanta hitter looked comfortable with Haren, who threw a mix of sliders and cutters. After the victory, Washington headed to Pittsburgh, where they will face the Pirates on Friday night.
Those Are The Details, Now For The Headlines: MASN analyst Ray Knight had an interesting, and not all that surprising, idea last night following the victory. Talking of Anthony Rendon, Knight said that the Nationals should think about keeping him with the club and slotting him in at second base . . .
“We have some trouble at second,” Knight said — expressing an obvious concern of the fan base. But Knight is extremely well-informed, acting as a kind of bellwether of management thinking. Knight pointed to Rendon’s steady defensive play at third and his recent abilities at the plate as a reason for keeping him in Washington . . .
Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013
Cardinals lefty Shelby Miller held the Nationals to four hits and two runs in 6.2 innings of work on Monday night, and the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Washington Nationals 3-2. The Nationals are now officially in a hitting slump, averaging just five hits in each of the last four games.
“We’re just in a rut,” Washington first baseman Adam LaRoche said after the loss. “Lot of quick innings. Not a ton of baserunners. And five, six guys that aren’t swinging the bat real good.”
Washington starter Dan Haren continued to struggle, leaving the bases loaded in the top of the 6th inning with nobody out. Reliever Craig Stammen saved the day — pitching out of the jam with the help of a nifty 3-2-3 double play.
Haren gave up six hits and walked three, and struggled with his command in the middle innings, but Nats’ manager Davey Johnson considered Haren’s outing an improvement for the veteran righty. “I thought he threw the ball a lot better,” Johnson said. “I thought he had good location and mixed his pitches up. I thought he pitched a good ballgame. That’s a very positive outing for me.”
St. Louis tallied its runs on an Allen Craig double in the top of the 3rd that scored Peter Kozma and Matt Carpenter. The ball appeared to be just out of the reach of Denard Span. The game was so close and tightly fought that another inch or two might have made the difference, and given Washington the win. The Cardinals scored their third, and go-ahead run, in the top of the 6th on a single from Yadier Molina.
There were some positives from the loss, including Anthony Rendon’s double in the bottom of the 4th that scored Ian Desmond. It was Rendon’s first major league hit and came during a tenacious at bat against fireballer Miller. “It’s the one thing you’re going to treasure the rest of your life,” Rendon said of that first hit. “You don’t get another one.”
The Wisdom of Section 1-2-9: The more things change the more they stay the same. Silence gripped the section every time Danny Espinosa came to the plate, just like last year — when the Nats’ regular second sacker struggled for most of the season and led the league with 189 strikeouts . . .
There were nods of approval and a number of “attaboys” when Espinosa slapped a single into left field in the bottom of the 7th (“he went the other way, that’s the way he did it in Spring Training,” a regular said) and grumbling when he ground out softly in the bottom of the 9th: “If he continues to slump, we’re going to see Lombardozzi,” a regular noted. “There’s only so much patience you can have” . . .
Tuesday, April 16th, 2013
The Washington Nationals needed this. After being swept by the Atlanta Braves, the Nats started their away series in Miami with a 10-3 shellacking of the Marlins. But it was Jordan Zimmermann who turned in the performance of the night. The Ace of Auburndale threw a six hit, six strikeout complete game for his third win of the season.
That’s the kind of pitcher I want to be,” Zimmermann said after the victory. “I want to be a workhorse and someone that can eat up innings and stay out there as long as possible.” This was Zimmermann’s first nine inning complete game, and he looked untouchable. He threw 103 pitches, 70 of them for strikes.
The Nationals’ rebound included plenty of run support for the team’s young righty: Ian Desmond led the way with four hits and Ryan Zimmerman finally got on track, going 2-5 with four RBIs and a home run. Subbing for Adam LaRoche at first base, Tyler Moore notched three RBIs including an over-the-head third inning double.
Davey Johnson denied that the team needed a lift, telling reporters after the victory that Atlanta’s weekend sweep in Washington didn’t mean the team had panicked. “We don’t live in the past. We don’t worry too much about things,” Johnson said. “We take it one day at a time, and this was a perfect example.”
Those Are The Details, Now For The Headlines: Tyler Moore kills southpaws, which is why a lot of scouts had him pegged as a platoon player. But it’s going to be increasingly hard as this year goes on to keep him on the bench, no matter who’s on the mound facing the Nationals . . .
The question is, where do you put him? It’s only a matter of time before Adam LaRoche gets on track and what’s-his-name is in left field. But he’s hit 31 home runs in the last two seasons off the bench and he’s now 26 — in his prime. Davey Johnson is aware of the problem, telling reporters during Spring Training that his challenge would be getting ABs for Steve Lombardozzi — and Moore . . .
Thursday, September 20th, 2012
An improbable and heroic comeback from the hometown nine — a six run 8th inning that tied the game at six apiece — was undone in the 9th inning by a Matt Kemp home run off of Nationals’ reliever Tyler Clippard, and the Los Angeles Dodgers took the second game of a doubleheader at Nationals Park, 7-6.
The loss kept the Nationals from clinching a playoff spot, but brought the crowd at the Half Street stadium to their feet to cheer their team on in one of the more exciting rallies of the season. The comeback followed two three run sets scored off of Nationals starter John Lannan in the third and the fourth innings. But, as it turned out, the rally fell short of providing a needed victory.
The six run eighth inning started with a Michael Morse home run, followed by an Ian Desmond single. Steve Lombardozzi followed, with his third home run of the season, and suddenly the Nationals were back in the game, having cut L.A.’s lead in half.
After Jesus Flores grounded out and Corey Brown reached on an error by first sacker Adrian Gonzalez, L.A. manager Don Mattingly did what he should have done to start the inning — he pulled starter Josh Beckett, who had tamed the Nationals through seven complete.
But the Nationals had only begun their rally. With reliever Randy Choate on the mound, pinch hitter Mark DeRosa singled, pushing Brown to third. Bryce Harper then followed, with the fifth hit of the inning, plating the inning’s fourth run. Danny Espinosa then came to the plate, singled — and suddenly the bases were loaded.
Wednesday, September 12th, 2012
The Washington Nationals defeated the New York Mets 5-3 on Tuesday night behind a fourteen hit attack, and a two run home run from pinch hitter Tyler Moore. The Nats win was notched against New York ace R.A. Dickey, and extended their lead in the National League East to 7.5 games over the Atlanta Braves.
The Washington victory was highlighted by a 4-5, one RBI night from Bryce Harper who was 0-10 against Dickey before Tuesday’s game. Other than Moore’s homer, Dickey was predictably sharp, throwing seven solid innings while giving up a single run. Moore changed that with a rifle shot over the left field wall.
“He has been throwing a good knuckleball all night. I think he kind of spun that one and it didn’t knuckle as much,” Moore said after the victory. “I was able to get one in my zone and I put a pretty good swing on it.” The home run was Moore’s ninth of the year.
Meanwhile, the Nationals’ starting ace Jordan Zimmermann, struggled through five innings of work, giving up two runs on six hits. Zimmermann’s outing contrasted sharply with his previous game, against the Cubs, in which he surrendered just two runs in seven innings.
Sunday, August 26th, 2012
For the Washington Nationals, and for Washington Nationals’ fans, the teams second night in Philadelphia looked much like the first: the D.C. Nine’s starting pitcher pitched well but not well enough, while the teams hitters hit the ball well, but failed to score when it counted. The result was also the same, and by the same score: a listless 4-2 loss in a win that might-have-been.
Saturday night’s victim was Gio Gonzalez, who threw a workmanlike six innings, giving up three earned runs and five hits. But once again the Phillies’ pitching was just that much better. On Saturday, two time Cy Young winner Roy Halladay threw seven innings, holding the Nationals to two runs.
The difference in the contest was also what it had been the night before: the Phillies scored early, putting two runs on the board in the first inning, the result of a walk to Jimmy Rollins and three singles: from Kevin Frandsen, Chase Utley and John Mayberry. Mayberry then added a home run (his 12th) in the sixth. Rollins, who has always given Washington problems, is now 3-6 in this series.
The Nationals credited Philadelphia’s play, despite the fact that the Ponies are having a terrible season. “We just ran into guys who threw the ball just as well as ours, and they got one or two big hits and we didn’t,” Ryan Zimmerman said after the game. “People forget that that’s a good team over there.”