Posts Tagged ‘Tom Gorzelanny’
Tuesday, October 9th, 2012
During the regular season, this would have been one of those forgettable games — with a young pitcher having an off day, and the Nationals hoping to bounce back from a poor performance. But in the playoffs, a 12-4 loss at the hands of a rejuvenated line-up is a sign of a knock-down series where both teams will fight to the very last. And the loser will go home.
The Cardinals, the best hitting team in the N.L., banged out thirteen hits, including homes runs from Allen Craig, Daniel Descalso and Carlos Beltran, and notched a must-win victory at Busch Stadium in St. Louis to knot their five game series against the Nationals in the N.L.D.S. at one game each.
The Cardinals victimized seven Nationals pitchers while rolling to victory, including young starter Jordan Zimmermann, who lasted only three innings while giving up seven hits and five earned runs — one of his worst outings of the year. “It’s definitely tough. I wanted to go out there and go deep into the game and try to get out of here with two wins. I didn’t do my part,” Zimmermann said of the loss.
This was, by all measures, a debacle: Zimmermann’s breakdown is unusual for him, except when he pitches against the Cardinals. The young Auburndale ace has a snappy ERA against the rest of the National League, but when it comes to St. Louis, he seems to freeze up. The Post’s Tom Boswell points to his his 9.76 ERA against the Redbirds in his six career starts against them.
Washington’s relievers, a normally steady presence during the regular season, were also ineffective on Monday. Craig Stammen, Christian Garcia, Michael Gonzalez, Ryan Mattheus, Sean Burnett and Tom Gorzelanny combined to give up six hits and six earned runs in just five innings of work.
Saturday, September 29th, 2012
“It wasn’t happening tonight,” Nats’ manager Davey Johnson said, after the Nationals were upended by the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium, 12-2 on Friday night. But the stunningly lopsided score, the worst of the season for the D.C. Nine, still left the team just two games away from the N.L. East title, as the Braves lost to the Mets in Atlanta, 3-1.
This wasn’t much of a contest from the very beginning, as Nats’ starter Edwin Jackson struggled against a potent playoff bound Redbird line-up. Jackson was pulled after notching just a single out in the second inning, while giving up eight runs on six hits and walking four. The otherwise steady righty is now 9-11 on the season.
“Short-term memory, man. It’s not the first game. Just shake it off,” Jackson said of his outing. “I’m not dead from this game. It just definitely leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. But I’m not going to go jump off a bridge or anything because of the game.”
Jackson’s short sprint forced the Nationals to respond to St. Louis with four relievers: Tom Gorzelanny, Christian Garcia, Zach Duke and Michael Gonzalez. All pitched well, except for Gonzalez, who gave up another three runs to the Cardinals in the bottom of the eighth.
Tuesday, August 14th, 2012
Monday night was the pitchers’ duel that wasn’t, with N.L. ERA leader Ryan Vogelsong facing off against Nats’ southpaw Gio Gonzalez in a showdown of team aces. But by the end of the night, with the score at 14-2, the Nationals had set a season record for runs and equaled a season mark in hits: with 21. And Vogelsong? He’d lasted all of 2.2 and fallen from first in the N.L. in ERA to fourth.
“The boys are in a good mood,” Nationals manager Davey Johnson said after the blow-out. “Just like the skipper. It was fun to watch the offense. We beat up on a pretty good pitcher.” But San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy, tossed early in the game for arguing a call at first, had a different perspective. “What could go wrong went wrong,” he said simply, “and they made some pretty good contact.”
The Nationals hitting and scoring onslaught began modestly, with the Nationals on the board with one run in the first inning. But the Nationals pushed across seven runs in the third — with two walks, six singles and a Kurt Suzuki double that cleared the bases. Suzuki was 3-6 on the night, with four RBIs.
“They’re going out there swinging it,” starter Gio Gonzalez, who notched his 15th win, said of his teammates. “It just felt like you could just feel this energy inside the dugout where everyone was just pulling for everyone.” Gonzalez’s outing was eclipsed by the chatter over Washington’s offense, but he provided another solid start — 6.2 innings with six strikeouts and two earned runs.
Wednesday, August 8th, 2012
Less than twenty-four hours after Washington’s 12 inning 3-2 victory over the Astros at Minute Maid Park in Houston, baseball fans are still talking about what could well be “the catch of the year.” Roger Bernadina’s running snag against the wall in center field came off the bat of Brett Wallace with two men on and two outs in the bottom of the twelfth inning and preserved a 3-2 victory as the Nationals won their fourth in a row.
“That game took forever. We want to get out of here,” said Bernadina of his leaping extra inning game-winning gem. “Whatever it takes to get that out right there. That was big.” The catch was witnessed by Washington reliever Craig Stammen, looking on from the Washington bullpen.
Stammen jumped up and down after Bernadina emerged from behind a pillar with the ball. “It was crazy,” Stammen said. “I was trying to hide in that corner so I didn’t have to watch, but I ended up getting the best view of it.”
“That was an unbelievable catch. It saved the game. If he doesn’t catch it, we lose,” Danny Espinosa, Washington’s hit leader on the night added. “To go the distance that he did and leap, that’s a tricky little corner right there against a flat wall. That was an unbelievable catch.”
The Bernadina play brought immediate speculation that it would outpoll an earlier spectacular fielding grab at the wall from the Angels’ Mike Trout, the holder of some plus-30 Baseball Tonight web gem championships. Indeed, the BBTN and Washington Nationals’ twitter universe was abuzz with talk of the Bernadina-Trout competition into the early hours of this morning.
The Bernadina catch tended to overawe what was yet another tough win for the Nationals, and a victory that was much more difficult than it should have been. After giving up two runs in the bottom of the first to Houston, Washington starter Ross Detwiler was nearly perfect, throwing a seven inning three hitter.
Saturday, July 21st, 2012
There are endless adjectives to describe what happened to the Nationals at Nationals Park on Friday night — “disastrous,” “castastrophic,” “inexplicable.” All of them are accurate, with the Nationals dropping an 11-10 decision to division rival Atlanta after holding 9-0, 9-4 and 9-8 leads.
For one of the very few times this year, the culprit in the dispiriting loss was the bullpen: three of five Nats’ relievers (Drew Storen, Sean Burnett, and Tyler Clippard) accounted for six earned runs after starter Stephen Strasburg gamely kept the Braves at 9-4 — though clearly he struggled with his command. Strasburg left after pitching into the sixth inning.
But the most dispiriting reality of Friday night was not the performance of the bullpen, but that for the first time this year the D.C. Nine seemed incapable of shutting down a division rival once they had taken a decisive lead. Forget the one run victories (and there have been plenty of them), the Nationals could not sit on nine runs and get a victory. Or perhaps that was the problem: the team seemed particularly listless as the Braves battled back.
The Braves scored four runs in both the fourth and sixth innings to put themselves back in the ballgame after being down 9-0 — a lead provided courtesy of separate three run home runs from Ryan Zimmerman and Michael Morse. The Nationals hit Braves’ starter Tommy Hanson hard. But the Braves never gave up, with Freddie Freeman and Dan Uggla providing six hits in ten at bats.
For the Braves, their nine run comeback was their best since 1987, while the Nationals suffered their gravest meltdown in franchise history — which includes the time the team played in Montreal. Even with the loss, the Nationals did not go easily: with Danny Espinosa putting a fastball into the left field bullpen in the 9th inning to tie the game at 10. But it wasn’t enough, as Paul Janish’s 11th inning bloop single gave the Braves their final lead; one they kept.
Those Are The Details, Now For The Headlines: Are the Nationals concerned about Tyler Clippard? They ought to be. Friday’s outing was his fourth poor one in a row — and it was a beaut. He’s given up the long ball recently, but on Friday night it was something different. Against the Braves in the ninth, Clippard gave up a walk, a wild pitch, a hit batter and then a triple . . .
Sunday, June 10th, 2012
Roger Bernadina’s ninth inning clutch hit double scored Bryce Harper from first base, giving the Nationals a one run lead that held up for a 4-3 victory — and a three game sweep of the once mighty Red Sox in Boston. Bernadina’s double (the Shark ended up at third on the throw home) backed the seven inning, seven strike out pitching of Jordan Zimmermann, with closer Tyler Clippard notching his third consecutive save. The victory went to Washington’s Tom Gorzelanny.
The Nationals struck first in the game, getting a first inning double from Danny Espinosa, who later scored on a Ryan Zimmerman infield grounder. Espinosa accounted for two doubles, one of them off of Boston’s Green Monster in left field, going 2-4 in the game and registering two RBIs. Boston’s runs came on a third inning fielder’s choice and a home run from David Ortiz.
But righty Jordan Zimmermann was fully in charge, even when he ran into trouble in the sixth inning. The “Ace of Auburndale” threw 105 pitches, 70 of them for strikes and walked only two batters. While he did not come away with the win, Zimmermann lowered his ERA to 2.91, putting him thirteenth in the league. Each of the Nationals’ four core pitchers are in the top twenty in ERA — and the team leads the league in pitching, well ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Boston series was viewed among baseball pundits and experts as a kind of coming of age for the upstart Nationals. Boston regularly outplays its opponents before its own home crowd, and is one of the most potent offensive units in the game. It is ranked third in runs scored at home in the majors. But against Nationals’ pitching, Boston’s hitters seemed frustrated and, at times, over-matched.
The most obvious symbol of Boston frustrations came in argued balls and strikes. Kevin Youkilis was tossed by the umpires on Friday night for arguing the strike zone, and Bobby Valentine today — after Dustin Pedroia complained about a called strike from Tyler Clippard. The Red Sox are 1-5 at home in their last six games.
Those Are The Details, Now For The Headlines: A sign that things have changed in Boston came in the seventh inning of the final Nationals-Red Sox match-up. The inning opened with singles from Ian Desmond and Tyler Moore. With Jesus Flores attempting a bunt, rookie Will Middlebrooks crept down the line from third, allowing Desmond to steal the base behind him, with Moore going to second . . .
The on-field mix-up would seem like a minor hiccup for any other team, but not the usually well-drilled Red Sox. The wound could be rubbed raw by Boston writers who are already complaining that the Red Sox are playing sloppy. And it looked bad, real bad: Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia threw down to Middlebrooks, who caught the ball halfway to home, then shook his head at his catcher . . .
Friday, June 8th, 2012
How good is R.A. Dickey? Nationals’ fans may well have silently scoffed at his last outing, when he tamed the St. Louis Cardinals: the Cardinals are one of the best hitting teams in baseball, to be sure, but that gem was at home — and besides, the Cardinals were struggling.
But Dickey brought his knuckler to Nationals Park today, and the Nationals responded with even fewer hits than the Redbirds, as Dickey and the New York Metropolitans downed the Washington Nationals, 3-1. It all seemed too easy. Dickey threw 7.1 scoreless innings, and has now thrown 24.2 scoreless innings in a row, while upping his record to 9-1. Like Gio Gonzalez, he’s All Star bound.
“I’ve seen some knuckleballers that will throw a hard knuckleball, but his is about as hard as I’ve ever seen,” Nationals manager Davey Johnson said of Dickey. “He has variations off it, it goes down to 67 mph when he wants to just float it up there. It’s almost like a curveball. The one he uses mostly, and I think he has the best command of, is that hard knuckleball. It just kind of comes up there and wobbles. That’s the one we had the most trouble with today.”
Dickey’s performance stood in contrast to that of Nationals’ starter Chien-Ming Wang, who struggled to get through the Mets line-up. He loaded the bases twice, and while his line score looks respectable, skipper Davey Johnson said that the sinker baller was having problems with his mechanics. “I liked his arm strength and everything,” Johnson said. “He’s having a little problem, he gets to the side of the ball. He doesn’t stay on top of it. Sometimes he gets out of the slot that he needs to be in. When he stays in that slot, his stuff is outstanding. It’s just a consistency thing with him.”
Lucas Duda was the biggest problem for Wang, who gave up a home run to him in the fifth inning with one on. It was all that the Mets would need, though Ryan Zimmerman brought the Anacostia Nine within two runs in the ninth inning with his third home run of the year.
The Wisdom Of Section 1-2-9: Sometimes the fans in Section 129 are not so wise. Today was the second visit this year of “Mrs. Absolutely, Fabulous” — who comes down from Philadelphia with her husband to visit friends and take in a Nats game. “Isn’t this weather just perfect?” she asked, when she arrived (just on time — in the fifth inning). “It’s absolutely fabulous.”
“You’ll have to behave yourself here,” her husband said. “This isn’t Philadelphia. It’s Washington, they’re civilized here.” This brought general laughter. “Absolutely,” she said, “and we all do.” And more laughter. She was up then, in the 6th and cheering, but for the wrong team. “The Mets are in blue,” a companion said, and she responded. “Oh, of course, how silly of me.”