One Bad Inning: Postgame

“…That one bad inning,” said Dusty Baker regarding the 3rd inning where Lucas Giolito had 2 outs and had Nolan Arenado in an 0-2 count before giving up a home run on a missed location fastball hit for a 2-run home run which made the Colorado lead 3-1. David Dahl followed it up with a home run to make it a 3-run inning. One bad inning. One bad pitch when you think if Giolito got Arenado he would have completed the 3rd inning at a 1-1 tie.

“They didn’t miss his fastball,” Nationals Manager Dusty Baker said. “That was the key. His fastball is relatively straight, so you’ve gotta locate it well. Hopefully it will get better.”

Where is the “reach-back” 97mph fastball? Nobody on the Nationals does it better than Max Scherzer who will reach back for extra velo when he needs it. Giolito on his outing today only reached a maximum velocity of 95.2mph with an average velo of 93.1mph.
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Game #130 Lucas Giolito gets start #4: Game Thread

Lucas Giolito’s promising 1st start in the Major Leagues was interrupted by a lengthy rain delay as he only gave up 1 hit and no runs in that game, but Mother Nature cut his outing short at 4.0 innings. Now it is exactly 2 months to the day of his MLB debut, and Mike Rizzo and Dusty Baker want to get Giolito back on the mound.

There are complications here as Giolito did not go deep in the games in his next two starts, and we can only hope that the third time is the charm as this bullpen is taxed. It is quite possible that the Nationals will be forced to bring up a long-man today as Yusmeiro Petit will not be available as well as others. Continue reading

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7th 18-gamer: Up and Down, but Reason for Hope

For previous 18-gamers, click here.

After the Nats’ third straight loss to the O’s on Wednesday night, if you asked just about any fan about how the last 18 games have gone, the answer would likely have been “not very well.” And that certainly would be correct: 9-9 is the very definition of mediocre.  But looking on the bright side, once again the Nats managed to avoid losing more than they won.  And this was only the second time out of seven sets that they were not over .500. Continue reading

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At one time this game was tied by a Werth single in the bottom of the 9th: Postgame

The game started with a nice pitcher’s dual by the starters who both left the game giving up 3 runs each. A.J. Cole had 2 outs with 2 runners on and was asked to issue an intentional walks. Unfortunately, Cole threw a wild pitch which scored a run making the score 2-0 and a single made it 3-0. The Nationals clawed back into the game and scored 3 runs in the bottom of the 4th inning to tie the game.

The Rockies scored a run in the 7th inning off of  Marc Rzepczynski, and the score stayed tied until the bottom of the 9th inning as Ben Revere walked and stole 2nd base. Jayson Werth in a 2 strike count served a single into leftfield to tie the game. It was a blown save for Adam Ottavino who had been on a long 0.00 ERA streak.

In extra inning Mark Melancon threw a scoreless 10th inning and in the bottom of the 10th inning Bryce Harper got ejected from the game after a borderline strikeout call as he tossed his helmet in front of home plate umpire Mike Winters. It was unfortunate as the Nationals had the momentum going and only one bench player remaining.

In the top of the 11th inning, the first batter hit a grounder that Anthony Rendon made a great diving stop on but he threw the ball wide for a two-base error. The Rockies took advantage in quick-strike fashion as Charlie Blackmon hit a two-run home run off of Yusmeiro Petit. The Rockies would add on three more runs in the inning including another two-run home run by Carlos Gonzalez.

One of those games -if- only. Nats lose in 11 innings 9-4.

Here is the chart on the Harper 10th inning strikeout:

mcgee on harper

 

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Game #129 A.J. Cole earns another start: Game Thread

The Nationals have a rare early afternoon start today, and A.J. Cole gets the mound today in Nationals Park.

Bryce Harper in the 2 weeks since coming back from neck (not shoulder) injury: .400/.492/.660/1.152, 2 HR, 15 RBI, 8 XBH, 9 BB, 8 K. The prodigious long-ball power is not there like it was in April, but the overall results are impressive.

Here is Trea Turner‘s hot August night’s splits. The most impressive number might be his RBI and Runs Scoring figures which is incredible that Turner is averaging 1.14 per game. Yes, Turner leads the Majors in Runs Scored in August.

trea run scored for August 26

Bryce Harper on Trea Turner’s contributions to the team, “I was thinking tonight, imagine if he was up in May, June, or July…We might’ve already ran away with this thing.”

Many people probably agree with Bryce as Trea Turner is the hottest leadoff man certainly East of the Mississippi and probably East of the Pacific Ocean if not for a debate about Charlie Blackmon.

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Gio Gonzalez and Daniel Murphy reach milestones while Trea Turner reaches havoc overload: Postgame

It took a few times, but Gio Gonzalez got his 100th win, and Daniel Murphy got his 500th RBI in his career, and the Nationals got their 75th win of the season.

While Jayson Werth homered again tonight and so did Daniel Murphy, Trea Turner was the sparkplug and havoc wreaker tonight. He personally caused 3 errors on the Rockies tonight and went 2-5 with 2 runs scored. Werth, Murphy and Harper each had 2 RBIs each as the offense really got it going. Continue reading

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Game #128 A look to the past with Frank Howard and Gio versus the rookie: Game Thread

Frank Howard gets enshrined into the “Ring of Honor” tonight at Nationals Park. A fitting tribute for one of the greatest Washington Senators of their final team before owner Robert Short would rob zWashington D.C. fans of hopes and dreams generations of D.C. baseball fans that spanned for over 3 decades. Frank Howard kept his permanent home in Washington D.C. area in rural Virginia.

The memories of Hondo and Zim closing RFK Stadium to baseball in 2007 will always be a great memory of passing the torch. Let us hope that tonight is just as special as we have some more glimpses of Frank “Hondo” Howard with Ryan Zimmerman as we always thought of them as the  “Faces of the Washington Franchises”. The picture (to the right) was actually produced by our own Allstars_S2 back in 2007 for a tribute piece to them. Congratulations Frank Howard!

The Nationals players, coaches, Dusty Baker, and Mike Rizzo must have finally slept well. Poorly played games can sometimes keep you up at night. Max Scherzer had one of the most important wins of the season for this Nationals team as they widened their lead back up to 8.0 games in the NL East with 35 left to play, but more importantly split this mini 2 game series and got off of the four game losing streak.

The fight in this team was shown on Wednesday night that they don’t give up even when behind by 7 runs in the final half inning of a game. That was also evident in their play on Thursday. Continue reading

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Scherzer proves once again that great pitching beats good hitting: Postgame

The four game losing streak has now been replaced by a key win as the Nationals behind great pitching by Max Scherzer and solid defense along with a Jayson Werth home run and some late inning add-on runs turns into a combined 3-hit shutout win by the final score of 4-0.

Max Scherzer went 8 innings giving up only 2 hits and no walks to go with 10 strikeouts. The bullpen got rest except for Mark Melancon who closed the game out.

“This one was very important,” said Scherzer. “Our bullpen has been taxed. Those guys have been going out there and giving everything they got. They needed a night off. I knew I needed to pitch deep into the game.”

Mission accomplished by Max Scherzer, and besides resting most of the bullpen, the Nationals got to rest Wilson Ramos, and we hope Ramos gets off tomorrow night also.

“It’s an under-statement to say [Scherzer] saved the bullpen,” said Dusty Baker. “That was a masterful masterful job by Max. He had his command and a very low pitch count. That’s what aces do.”

The Nationals offense combined for 10 hits, and every Nats position player got at least one hit tonight except for Ryan Zimmerman. Jayson Werth, Trea Turner, and Bryce Harper each had 2 hits a piece. Harper got up to 70 RBIs tonight and Daniel Murphy raised his RBI total to 96.

Harper is now 2 steals away from a 20/20 season, and Trea Turner swiped his 15th bag tonight.

 

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Game #127 Scherzer must be Aces: Game Thread

The Nats losing streak is at 4 games, and while that is disappointing, the Nationals still maintain a healthy 7.0 game lead in the NL East. Tonight the Nationals send Max Scherzer to the mound as their starter and Ace. The Orioles placed Chris Tillman on the DL and will go back to the struggling Ubaldo Jimenez as their starter.

The Nationals offense came alive last night mounting a comeback that was almost of historical proportions as the Nats were down 10-3 in the 9th and scored 5 runs with the tying runs on base and the winning run in the batter’s box with only 1 out. Ryan Zimmerman grounded into a game ending doubleplay, and while Zimmerman and Wilson Ramos continue to struggle, Trea Turner and others are getting it done. Continue reading

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The bandwagon is on the Trea Turner bullet Trea-n

If you were not on the Trea Turner bandwagon before, there is still room to jump on. Turner is one of the positives amidst a sea of negativity around the Nationals who are mired in a four game losing streak. Turner is batting .335 and was 8-for-8 over the last 2 games before a 9th inning strikeout ended his streak.

Turner after the last night’s game was honest about that streak he was on, “I mean, if you don’t, you’re lying,” he said. “Everyone thinks about it.”

What Turner did not know at the time is that he had tied the Nats franchise record set in 2007 by Dmitri Young and was one hit away from setting the record. Tongue in cheek, Turner said, “If I would have known that, I wouldn’t have struck out, probably.”

Andre Ethier owns the National League record of 10 straight hits. Turner is young and should have more chances to make history and for now he will share the all-time Nationals record with Dmitri Young.

“He had a great night at the plate,” Dusty Baker said. “He’s also a very determined young man. That determination and youthful exuberance, I think, has rubbed off on the team.”

Turner also got his first bunt hit of the season last night, and here is his highlight reel that you can view on this link.

Photo art submitted to us compliments of Jjgraphics38 on Twitter and Instagram.

Photo art submitted to us compliments of Jjgraphics38 on Twitter and Instagram.

Oh, and don’t forget he’s also a rookie with 64 games of major league experience. Continue reading

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