August 2011

Milone and the return of Strasburg

While Nationals fans have plenty to celebrate right now with last night’s dominating 9-2 win over the Atlanta Braves, they also have more to look forward to in the coming weekend. With Jordan Zimmermann officially done for the year due to a limit on the amount of innings he would pitch this season, according to Nats Manager Davey Johnson, Tom Milone will be making his Major League debut on Saturday. Milone was a 10th-round pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft and went 12-6 during his time in the Minors this year. He posted an impressive 3.22 ERA and allowed just 16 walks over 148.1 innings pitched.

Perhaps just as exciting as Milone’s debut will be the expected return of Stephen Strasburg who, as Davey Johnson declared earlier this week, could take the mound on Tuesday, September 6 when the Nationals host the Dodgers. Strasburg was absolutely dominant in his last rehabilitation start at Triple-A Syracuse, throwing five perfect innings before finally allowing a hit in the sixth against the Rochester Red Wings. Strasburg has been recovering from Tommy John Surgery since going under the knife in August of last year, and if he returns to the Majors on Tuesday, it would be just a year and a week after his surgery. Strasburg is scheduled to make one more start in the Minors at Double-A Harrisburg and is expected to throw roughly 80 pitches.

Visit nationals.com/tickets to make sure you’re here during what’s sure to a busy and exciting September.

Homestand wraps up in series finale

Back-to-back home runs on consecutive pitches by Laynce Nix and Jonny Gomes last night put the Nats on the board late, but the rally was stifled by the D-Backs’ closer. Tonight, DC has a chance to split the series and finish the homestand strong. John Lannan gets the call tonight.
Here are tonight’s lineups:

Diamondbacks:
Ryan Roberts – 3B
Gerardo Parra – LF
Justin Upton – RF
Chris Young – CF
Miguel Montero – C
Paul Goldschmidt – 1B
Aaron Hill – 2B
John McDonald – SS
Wade Miley – P

Nationals:
Ian Desmond – SS
Brian Bixler – CF
Ryan Zimmerman – 3B
Michael Morse – 1B
Jayson Werth – RF
Danny Espinosa – 2B
Jonny Gomes – LF
Jesus Flores – C
John Lannan – P

*In four career starts against Arizona, Lannan is 3-1 with a 1.04 ERA.

*Jayson Werth is back in the lineup this evening after taking a night off to rest a groin strain he sustained in Tuesday night’s game.

*Ryan Zimmerman’s streak of consecutive games in which he reached base safely ended last night at 29 games. During that stretch, he hit .407 with eight doubles, a triple and four home runs.

Nats look to regain control in Game 3

The Nationals can regain control of this four-game series against Arizona tonight, as Livan Hernandez takes the mound against Daniel Hudson.
Here are tonight’s lineups:

Diamondbacks:
Ryan Roberts – 3B
Gerardo Parra – LF
Justin Upton – RF
Miguel Montero – C
Chris Young – CF
Lyle Overbay – 1B
Aaron Hill – 2B
John McDonald – SS
Daniel Hudson – P

Nationals:
Ian Desmond – SS
Rick Ankiel – CF
Ryan Zimmerman – 3B
Michael Morse – 1B
Danny Espinosa – 2B
Laynce Nix – RF
Jonny Gomes – LF
Wilson Ramos – C
Livan Hernandez – P

*In case you missed it yesterday, the Diamondbacks traded Kelly Johnson to Toronto for Aaron Hill and John McDonald, who are both in the Diamondbacks’ lineup tonight.

*Jayson Werth is out of the lineup tonight after sustaining a minor groin strain yesterday evening. He was replaced in the ninth inning last night by Brian Bixler and is continuing to rest it today, but told the media today he doesn’t think it’s “going to be a big deal.” Nix gets the start in right instead, with Gomes in left.

*Against Arizona, Livo is 11-8 with a 3.56 ERA in 22 starts in his career.

Nats Introduce ’11 Draft Picks Rendon, Meyer and Goodwin

Yesterday evening, the Nationals formally introduced their top three draft picks to the media, as well as to Nats fans everywhere via MASN. Third baseman Anthony Rendon, right-handed pitcher Alex Meyer and outfielder Brian Goodwin sat on a panel that included general manager Mike Rizzo and the players’ agent, Scott Boras.

Left to right: RHP Alex Meyer, 3B Anthony Rendon and OF Brian Goodwin

The draftees agreed that signing with the Nationals was an incredible experience for all of them, and coming to the Nation’s Capital for the first time was just as memorable. The earthquake that happened shortly after 2 p.m. made the visit that much more unique.

Rizzo said that the three young men will fly out this week to begin their professional careers in Viera, Fla., at the Nats’ spring training facility.

In case you missed seeing the press conference on MASN yesterday, you can listen to it in its entirety here.

Post-quake game 2 set to start at 7:25

A lot of excitement happened pregame today in the form of a 5.9 earthquake that shook the Capital City. Engineers just completed assessing Nationals Park, making sure that no structural damage was done to the ballpark. First pitch has been delayed until 7:25 p.m., here are the starting lineups:

Diamondbacks:
Willie Bloomquist – SS
Gerardo Parra – LF
Justin Upton – RF
Miguel Montero – C
Ryan Roberts – 2B
Lyle Overbay – 1B
Chris Young – CF
Sean Burroughs – 3B
Ian Kennedy – P

Nationals:
Ian Desmond – SS
Rick Ankiel – CF
Ryan Zimmerman – 3B
Michael Morse – 1B
Jayson Werth – RF
Danny Espinosa – 2B
Laynce Nix – LF
Wilson Ramos – C
Jordan Zimmermann – P

*Jordan Zimmermann is 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA against Arizona.

*The Nationals are 13-7 against the Diamondbacks in games played in DC.

Nats face D-Backs for first of four

After another thrilling walk-off victory to take the series from Philadelphia, the Nationals kick off the last series of the homestand against the Diamondbacks. Ross Detwiler takes the mound against Joe Saunders and the D-backs tonight.
Here are the lineups:

Diamondbacks:
Ryan Roberts – 3B
Kelly Johnson – 2B
Justin Upton – RF
Chris Young – CF
Paul Goldschmidt – 1B
Cody Ransom – SS
Collin Cowgill – LF
Henry Blanco – C
Joe Saunders – P

Nationals:
Ian Desmond – SS
Brian Bixler – CF
Ryan Zimmerman – 3B
Michael Morse – 1B
Jayson Werth – RF
Danny Espinosa – 2B
Jonny Gomes – LF
Wilson Ramos – C
Ross Detwiler – P

*Today, Ryan Zimmerman was named the National League Co-Player of the Week by MLB. Zimmerman hit .500 with two doubles, three home runs, eight RBI and helped the Nationals go 4-2 over the past two series against the Reds and Phillies. After hitting his eighth walk-off home run on Friday, he scored the winning run on Sunday when Jonny Gomes was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

*Detwiler, while not getting a win, pitched a stellar game in his last start, allowing just one run on seven hits over six innings. Saunders, on the other hand, has struggled recently – allowing 10 earned runs over his last two starts (12 innings total).

*Zimmerman’s not the only one who’s been hot as of late – Michael Morse has hit .347 since the All-Star Break.

Nats have chance to take series in game 3

The Nationals have an opportunity to take the series against Philadelphia in today’s rubber game. Roy Halladay is on the mound for the Phils, but with Chien-Ming Wang coming off of an efficient outing in his last start, today’s matchup could quickly turn into a pitcher’s duel.
Here are tonight’s lineups:

Phillies:
Jimmy Rollins – SS
Shane Victorino – CF
Chase Utley – 2B
Ryan Howard – 1B
Hunter Pence – RF
Raul Ibanez – LF
Carlos Ruiz – C
Michael Martinez – 3B
Roy Halladay – P

Nationals:
Ian Desmond – SS
Rick Ankiel – CF
Ryan Zimmerman – 3B
Michael Morse – 1B
Jayson Werth – RF
Danny Espinosa – 2B
Jonny Gomes – LF
Jesus Flores – C
Chien-Ming Wang – P

*Ryan Zimmerman has reached base safely in 26 consecutive games. He’s hit .410 in that span, and had three of DC’s five hits last night.

*In his career against the Phillies, Michael Morse has batted .353 with four home runs and 16 RBI.

DC-Philly, round 2

 Following a thrilling comeback victory over the division-leading Phillies, topped off with a walk-off grand slam by Ryan Zimmerman, the Nationals have a chance to take the series tonight. John Lannan gets the start against Roy Oswalt, who was originally scheduled to start last night but was removed after the two-and-a-half-hour rain delay.
Here are tonight’s lineups:

Phillies:

Jimmy Rollins – SS
Shane Victorino – CF
Chase Utley – 2B
Ryan Howard – 1B
Hunter Pence – RF
John Mayberry – LF
Carlos Ruiz – C
Wilson Valdez – 3B
Roy Oswalt – P

Nationals:

Ian Desmond – SS
Rick Ankiel – CF
Ryan Zimmerman – 3B
Michael Morse – 1B
Laynce Nix – LF
Jayson Werth – RF
Danny Espinosa – 2B
Wilson Ramos – C
John Lannan – P

*Last night’s walk-off grand slam was Zimmerman’s eighth walk-off homer of his career.

*The Nationals are 33-24 at home this season – fourth-best in the National League.

Nats face the Phils

After taking the series from Cincinnati in last night’s 3-1 victory, the Nationals face off against division rival Philadelphia in a weekend series. Livan Hernandez and Roy Oswalt take the mound in a rematch of their previous starts.

Here are tonight’s lineups:

 

Phillies:

Jimmy Rollins – SS

John Mayberry – CF

Chase Utley – 2B

Ryan Howard – 1B

Hunter Pence – R

Raul Ibanez – LF

Carlos Ruiz – C

Wilson Valdez – 3B

Roy Oswalt – P

 

 

Nationals:

Ian Desmond – SS

Rick Ankiel – CF

Ryan Zimmerman – 3B

Laynce Nix – 1B

Jayson Werth – RF

Danny Espinosa – 2B

Jonny Gomes – LF

Wilson Ramos – C

Livan Hernandez – P

 

*Michael Morse has the night off, so Laynce Nix will get the start at first base. In his career against Oswalt, Nix has hit .478 with three home runs.

 

*Stephen Strasburg is set to throw a bullpen session this evening. His next rehab start is currently slated to be at Single-A Hagerstown on Monday.

 

*Tyler Clippard picked up his 32nd hold of the season last night – that’s just one shy of the franchise record set by Jon Rauch in 2007.

Drew Storen Visits National Rehabilitation Hospital

Earlier today, Nationals closer Drew Storen spent the day visiting with patients at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Northwest DC. The hospital is one of the nation’s premier institutions, being ranked among America’s top rehabilitation hospitals by U.S. News & World Report for 17 consecutive years, and specializes in treating patients with physical disabilities that are caused by spinal cord and brain injuries, as well as a variety of other neurological and orthopedic conditions.

During his visit, Storen got to interact with the hospital’s patients and participate alongside them in their physical therapy exercises. These activities are crucial for the patients’ recovery process, and Storen was able help them by participating and providing emotional support.

“I had a really good time sitting down and talking with them,” Storen said. “Just to see how strong they are makes it a pretty special experience.”

Storen also got to play with the patients, competing in Wii Bowling, and playing catch with some of the older patients. Storen signed autographs, posed for photographs and literally gave the jersey off his back to one young woman.

“Hearing her story about how she’s getting her (prosthetic) legs on Monday, I can’t imagine trying to go through that,” said Storen. “It was pretty special to talk to her, and her spirits were really high. It’s really special to see what some of these people are going through and how strong they are”.

For Storen, the visit marked his second trip to the hospital. This visit touched him because of the remarkable courage shown by the patients.

“My grandfather had a stroke last year, so to visit some stroke victims and see that they’re coming out to the ballpark on Sunday is special,” Storen remarked. “He’s still battling with Parkinson’s, so it’s something that hits close to home, and to come out and visit and talk with some of these people is special for me.

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