Posts Tagged ‘Wilson Ramos’
Saturday, June 1st, 2013
Washington starter Stephen Strasburg didn’t make it into the third inning in Atlanta on Friday night, complaining of a strained right oblique, but Craig Stammen came on to pitch four perfect innings, and the Nationals downed the Braves, 3-2.
The Strasburg injury is not thought to be serious and does not involve his elbow or shoulder. “It’s something where, the last few starts, I’d feel it warming up and I’d go out there and wouldn’t feel anything,” he said following the game. “Tonight it was more the reverse. I started to feel it a little more.”
The Nationals bullpen responded to the challenge by holding their division rivals to two hits and a single run in seven innings, with Stammen leading the way. Stammen was followed by Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen, with Rafael Soriano coming on in the bottom of the 9th to notch his fifteenth save.
“He went out there and gave them four strong innings, mowed right through us, and we just weren’t able to get to him,” Atlanta first baseman Freddie Freeman said of Stammen following the Atlanta loss. “But we got into the bullpen, so maybe that will help us out in the next two games.”
The Nationals swatted nine hits against the Braves, but the big contributor was center fielder Denard Span, whose two triples led the way. In both cases Span was able to score, the result of sacrifice flies from Steve Lombardozzi. Span was 3-4 on the night with Lombardozzi contributing two RBIs.
“It’s real big to get to third with no outs. It increases our chances of scoring runs,” said Span, who continues to be among Washington’s steadiest producers at the plate. “Lombo did a good job hitting behind me and getting me in and getting us on the board.”
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 . . .
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 . . .
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 . . .
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.