Results tagged ‘ Adam LaRoche ’

What to Watch for: 6.26.13

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Arizona Diamondbacks (41-35) vs. Washington Nationals (38-38)

LHP Wade Miley (4-7, 4.70) vs. RHP Jordan Zimmermann (10-3, 2.26) 

Following a series-opening win Tuesday on the strength of Adam LaRoche’s three hits — including a three-run home run to cap a five-run third inning — the Nationals look to grab a series win over the Diamondbacks with Jordan Zimmermann on the mound. Zimmermann, who has not lost at Nationals Park in 19 starts (May 17, 2012 against Pittsburgh), looks for his National League-leading 11th win of the season.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Span CF

2. Rendon 2B

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. Werth RF

5. LaRoche 1B

6. Desmond SS

7. Moore LF

8. Suzuki C

9. Zimmermann RHP

ROOKIE RECORDS

Since being recalled by the Nationals on June 4, Anthony Rendon is 26-for-70 (.371) with three walks, eight doubles, a homer (game-winning blast in the ninth, June 15 at Cleveland) and nine runs scored. Rendon has tallied more hits his first 25 career games than any player to debut with the Nationals since 2005. In fact, the only player to debut with the Nationals/Expos franchise and post more hits in the initial 25 games of a career is Coco Laboy (34 hits in first 25 games with the Expos in 1969). Since 1900, Rendon and Gil Torres (32 hits in first 25 games for the 1944 AL Nationals) are the only D.C.-based players with as many 32 in 25 games to begin a big league career.

20 PUBLIC UNTUCKINGS AND COUNTING

Rafael Soriano earned the save in last night’s 7-5 victory to become just the third Nationals closer to register 20 saves before the end of June, joining Matt Capps (2010) and Chad Cordero (2005). Soriano’s 20 saves rank fourth in the National League.

HOT AT HOME

Adam LaRoche has hit safely in 19 consecutive games at Nationals Park, going 30-for-69 (.435) with six walks, two doubles, two triples, four home runs, 17 runs scored and 16 RBI. LaRoche’s current streak at home is tied for the second-longest hit streak ever at Nationals Park, which opened in 2008. Ryan Zimmerman has posted separate 19- (Aug. 4-Sept. 19, 2012) and 24-game (July 3-Aug. 23, 2011) hit streaks at home since the ballpark’s opening.

Highlights: 6.25.13

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6.25.13 – Nationals 7, Diamondbacks 5

Stat of the Game: Adam LaRoche had three hits, including a three-run homer, to lead the Nationals offense.

Under-the-Radar Performance: Gio Gonzalez won his first game since May 5, allowing two earned over 6.1 innings of work.

It Was Over When: LaRoche’s opposite-field shot capped a five-run third inning to put Washington ahead for good.

Bonus Video: Bryce Harper’s rehab appearance at High-A Potomac

What to Watch for: 6.23.13

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Colorado Rockies (38-38) vs. Washington Nationals (37-37)

 LHP Jorge De La Rosa (7-4, 3.21) vs. LHP Ross Detwiler (2-5, 3.34) 

The Nationals saw their three-game winning streak come to an end on Saturday, but still have the chance to take three-of-four from the Rockies and win the series in the finale. The matinee start will pit Ross Detwiler in another battle of southpaws, after he helped Washington beat Colorado lefty Jeff Francis in Denver last Thursday to win that series.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Kobernus CF

2. Rendon 2B

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. Werth RF

5. Desmond SS

6. Marrero 1B

7. Suzuki C

8. Lombardozzi LF

9. Detwiler LHP

MULLET POWER

Anthony Rendon is batting .367/.397/.533 with a home run and seven doubles in the 15 games since his return to the big leagues. He has hit safely in 13 of those contests, racking up seven multi-hit performances. His overall batting average (.329) and on-base percentage (.387) rank second among Major League rookies, trailing only Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig.

LEFTY, ALRIGHTY

The Nationals have gone 11-8 against left-handed starting pitchers so far this season, compared to a 26-29 against righties. Conversely, the Rockies are just 10-16 when opposed by a southpaw.

HOT AT HOME

Adam LaRoche has hit safely in 18 straight games at Nationals Park, going 27-for-65 (.415) with six walks, two doubles, two triples, three homers, 16 runs scored and 13 RBI over that span.

What to Watch for: 6.21.13

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Colorado Rockies (37-37) vs. Washington Nationals (36-36)

 RHP Tyler Chatwood (4-1, 2.33) vs. RHP Stephen Strasburg (3-6, 2.50) 

When the Nationals returned to The District yesterday, they brought their bats with them, scoring five runs on 11 hits behind Jordan Zimmermann, who turned in a dominant performance to earn his 10th win of the season. Tonight, in his first start at home since returning from the disabled list, Stephen Strasburg looks to hold the Rockies – who rank in the top five in Major League Baseball in runs, batting average, slugging percentage, and on base percentage – in check to help Washington earn its third straight Curly W.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Span CF

2. Rendon 2B

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. LaRoche 1B

5. Werth RF

6. Desmond SS

7. Lombardozzi LF

8. Suzuki C

9. Strasburg RHP

JORDAN RULES (AGAIN!) IN D.C.

With last night’s 5-1 victory, Jordan Zimmermann earned his 10th win of the season, tying him for the Major League lead. The Nationals have not lost a game the last 11 times Zimmermann has started at home, since September 1, 2012 against the St. Louis Cardinals. Meanwhile, Zimmermann has not lost at Nationals Park since May 17 of last year, a span of 19 straight starts.

DESI’S DOUBLES (TRIPLES AND HOME RUNS)

Ian Desmond has not only gone yard in back-to-back games, but delivered the game-winning RBI in both as well. He now leads both the Nationals and all MLB shortstops with eight game-winning RBI. Desmond also leads all active MLB shortstops with 31 extra-base hits (18 doubles, two triples, 11 home runs). Only Troy Tulowitzki (32) has more, but he currently resides on Colorado’s Disabled List.

HOT AT HOME

Adam LaRoche has hit safely in 16 straight games at Nationals Park, going 25-for-58 (.431) with five walks, two doubles, two triples, three homers, 16 runs scored and 13 RBI, compiling a 1.158 OPS. Meanwhile, Denard Span is batting .362 (17-for-47) with 5 doubles, 2 triples, seven runs scored and four RBI during his current 11-game home hitting streak.

Highlights: 6.20.13

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6.20.13 – Nationals 5, Rockies 1

Stat of the Game: Jordan Zimmermann fanned a season-high nine batters over eight frames to earn his 10th win, tying him for the Major League lead.

Under-the-Radar Performance: Four Nationals pocketed multi-hit games, including Adam LaRoche, Steve Lombardozzi, Anthony Rendon and Denard Span.

It Was Over When: LaRoche tripled home a pair of runs in the fifth, opening up a four-run cushion.

It’s Time to Vote Nats

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Did you know that Ian Desmond has played 52 straight games at arguably the game’s toughest position without making an error, and that he’s batting .344 with four homers in June?

How about the fact that Bryce Harper still leads the club with 12 homers, and that his .973 OPS would rank third among all qualifying players in the National League?

Are you aware that Adam LaRoche put together a career-high 16-game hitting streak in May, a month in which he batted .330 with seven homers and 19 RBI?

Did you realize that Ryan Zimmerman is in the top five in the National League in on-base percentage, slugging percentage, runs, home runs and RBI, despite having played in just 57 games?

There are plenty of reasons to Vote Nats before the All-Star balloting is over. Your last day to vote in-park is June 25, and the last day to vote online is July 4. Vote early, vote often, and always Vote Nats.

Read more about this year’s candidates in this homestand’s Inside Pitch, available now at Nationals Park.

IP7_VoteNats_Medium

The Walking Dead

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For six innings Wednesday night, as they have much of the season to date, the Nationals struggled to find any sort of offensive rhythm against Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick. And then, slowly, piece by piece, the offense collected itself, as the bats awakened just in the nick of time to force extra innings and steal a win to end a long, grinding road trip.

The bats lay dormant, unable to generate anything more than Adam LaRoche‘s second-inning single through six frames. Meanwhile, two batters in, the Phillies were out to a 2-0 lead on the strength of Michael Young’s two-run home run. Gio Gonzalez settled in after that, as he did not allow a hit the rest of the way through seven innings of work. He notched 11 strikeouts, the most he’s ever recorded as a member of the Nationals, matching his career high.

Jayson Werth deilvered a pair of clutch, two-out, RBI-singles to force extra innings.

Jayson Werth deilvered a pair of clutch, two-out, RBI-singles to force extra innings.

Finally, a solid, patient at-bat by Ryan Zimmerman led to a one-out walk in the seventh, and he stood at second base with two outs and Jayson Werth coming to the plate. The former Phillie reached out and rapped a single to right field to score the run and cut the lead in half, a big clutch hit in a season sorely needing more of them.

After a quiet eighth frame, the Nationals would be tasked with trying to deliver Jonathan Papelbon his second blown save in three nights after entering the series a perfect 13-for-13 on the season. Denard Span, whose job in most any situation – but especially this one – is to get on base, did just that, chopping an infield single. He remained at first until, with two outs, LaRoche walked, bringing up Werth once more. He, of the “be ready to eat some face” comment following the tough loss the night before, ripped another two-out, RBI-single, this one to left, as Span flew around third, scoring the tying run without a throw. But, as had been the case Monday night in Papelbon’s blown save on Chad Tracy‘s pinch-hit, two-out, two-strike home run, the Nationals were unable to push ahead. Ian Desmond struck out, stranding runners at the corners, spiking his helmet in frustration.

“After the at-bat against Papelbon, I’m just thinking, ‘Give me one more chance,’” Desmond said after the game.

The Washington bullpen conspired to afford Desmond and the Nationals that opportunity. Tyler Clippard fired an inning and two thirds of scoreless ball, giving way to Ian Krol, who got Dominic Brown – Monday’s hero – to end the bottom of the ninth. After the Nationals offense threatened, but failed to score, in the top of the 10th, Drew Storen fanned a pair and put up a zero in the bottom half, taking the game to the 11th inning.

Ian Desmond's first career grand slam won it in the 11th.

Ian Desmond’s first career grand slam won it in the 11th.

With one out, it was again Zimmerman who got the wheels turning, lacing a low liner to the left-center field wall for a double. That prompted Phillies manager Charlie Manuel and the Phillies to play matchup, deciding to intentionally walk LaRoche to get to the man with both of Washington’s RBI, Werth. An unintentional walk later, the bases were loaded, Desmond stepping to the plate with the second chance he begged for earlier. After falling behind 0-2, the shortstop worked the count back to 2-2, where he annihilated a hanging slider from Michael Stutes into the seats beyond the left-center field wall.

“I did the same thing I always do,” said Desmond when asked about the blast after the game. “See the white ball, put the barrel on it.”

Before Desmond had reached the jubilant visitors dugout, rivers of Phillies fans had already begun streaming for the exits, an actualized shifting of the tides. Rafael Soriano quietly shut the door, and the Nationals returned to Washington with an enormous win and a positive end to their road trip, thanks to perhaps the biggest swing of the season from their shortstop.

“He’s quite a character,” said Nationals skipper Davey Johnson of Desmond. “He’s got a lot of big hits for us in the past.”

It was Desmond’s first career grand slam (and Washington’s first of the season), but he has had plenty of success with the bases loaded, as it was his 17th hit in 40 such at-bats, good for a .425 batting average. The timing and importance of the blast hearkened back to Desmond’s game-winner on May 2, 2012, when he swung a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 victory with a two-out, walk-off blast off Arizona’s J.J. Putz.

“That’s like how I remember it from last year,” said catcher Kurt Suzuki of the feeling in the dugout after the blast. “It was pretty exciting.”

If Wednesday night’s series finale in Philadelphia turns out to be a microcosm of the 2013 Nationals season, recounting what has happened to date and foreshadowing what lies ahead, we are all in for a nerve-fraying, heart-stopping, hair-graying ride before the year is done. But if the ending portends anything of the future, it will have been worth the ride.

50 for 20

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Ian Desmond has been brewing something special lately.

Even as the Nationals have been swaying around the .500 mark this season, they’ve been fortunate enough to boast some exceptional performances. Anchoring the pitching rotation is Jordan Zimmermann, who is tied for second in the National League wins and is seventh with a 2.44 ERA. Rookie left-hander Ian Krol has been impressive in short relief, and Ross Ohlendorf — he of the vintage kick-and-deliver windup — shone in his Nationals debut Wednesday in Colorado.

A Gold Glove finalist last season, Desmond is stating his case again this year.

A Gold Glove finalist last season, Desmond is stating his case for the award again this year.

Then there’s Desmond. Fresh off a career-high 15-game hitting streak that ended Friday night in Cleveland, Desmond has quietly provided consistency in a lineup desperately in need of a spark.  After batting .220 in May, Desmond turned it up, starting with a visit from Baltimore on May 27. Since then, he’s hit .357 (25-for-70) and is a scorching .385 so far in June. He’s also reaching base at a .439 clip for the month.

During a 3-2 win over the New York Mets on June 4, Desmond was 2-for-4 with a home run, a double, and RBI and a run scored. In a doubleheader against the Twins on June 9, Desmond belted three hits, tallying two RBI and two runs scored in the afternoon bill, while providing the game-winning RBI double in the seventh inning of the nightcap. He knocked in three of the Nats five runs in a win over the Rockies on June 12, all with two outs, finishing 2-for-3 with a walk. The next day, he added four more hits on a 4-for-4 outing with an RBI and a run. The Nats won 5-4.

The shortstop has 14 RBI through 14 games in June to bring his total to 34. He’s also leading the team with 73 hits.

If that’s not enough, Desmond’s stepped up his game on defense as well. After a shaky start of the season, during which he committed seven errors in the first three weeks, Desmond hasn’t had a miscue since April 21. That’s a career-high 50 games without a mistake in the field, the longest active streak among Major League shortstops.  His recent performance hearkens back to a stellar 2012 in which Desmond was a Gold Glove finalist.

That’s the kind of production that will hopefully rub off on the rest of the clubhouse as the season wears on. Perhaps it’s already starting to: rookie infielder Anthony Rendon has hit safely in 10 straight games and first baseman Adam LaRoche strung together a nine-game hitting streak of his own to start the month. On the defensive side, Ryan Zimmerman has committed just two errors since May 18.

If nothing else, Desmond is providing a blueprint for the rest of the lineup to follow. Hopefully his performance is a harbinger for things to come.

What to Watch for: 6.16.13

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Washington Nationals (34-33) vs. Cleveland Indians (33-34)

RHP Stephen Strasburg (3-5, 2.54) vs. RHP Corey Kluber (4-4, 4.08)

Following Saturday night’s thrilling, 7-6 victory, the Nationals activated Stephen Strasburg for the series finale in Cleveland. Strasburg was 2-0 with a 1.44 ERA (4 ER/25.0 IP) in his final four starts before landing on the Disabled List.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Span CF

2. Rendon 2B

3. Zimmerman DH

4. LaRoche 1B

5. Werth RF

6. Desmond SS

7. Tracy DH

8. Solano C

9. Bernadina LF

Strasburg RHP

THE ROOKIE IS RAKING

Anthony Rendon brings a nine-game hit streak into today’s contest, having batted at a .429 (15-for-35) clip with three walks, five doubles, his first career homer, six runs scored and five RBI during the stretch. He has posted multi-hit efforts in five of the nine contests. Rendon has also reached base safely in 13 straight MLB games, pocketing a .472 on-base percentage (18 hits, 7 walks) during that stretch that spans two stints with the Nationals.

INTERLEAGUE UPDATE

After today’s matinee tilt against the Indians, the Nationals will take a 43-day hiatus from Interleague Play before opening a two-day series at Detroit on July 30. Washington is 9-5 against the AL this season, having gone 3-1-1 in series play against the junior circuit. The Nationals lead the National League and are tied with Tampa Bay (9-1) for the Major League lead with nine Interleague wins this season.

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY

In addition to GM Mike Rizzo, who came from a baseball scouting family (grandfather Vito, father Phillip), three Nationals players have followed in the footsteps of their big-league dads: Adam LaRoche (father Dave LaRoche played 14 seasons, ‘70-83), Steve Lombardozzi (father Steve Lombardozzi Sr. played six seasons, ‘85-90) and Jayson Werth (grandfather Ducky Schofield played 19 seasons, ‘53-71; stepfather Dennis Werth played four seasons, ‘79-82).

The Fresh Grind

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There’s no other way to put it. This was a game the Nationals needed to win.

Especially after scoring just once behind Gio Gonzalez the night before, with the Indians winning in the bottom of the ninth. Especially with the offense responding for five runs, including three homers, through the first three innings behind Jordan Zimmermann. Especially after Zimmermann couldn’t hold that early advantage, the Indians chipping away and finally pushing ahead with a half-dozen two-out RBI.

And then, the hit that always seemed to be there in 2012, but seldom thus far in 2013, came to save the day. With two outs in the eighth, on an 0-2 pitch, pinch-hitter Chad Tracy smoked a rocket to the right of dead center field, the ball escaping the reach of a leaping Michael Bourn over the wall for a game-tying, solo home run.

Anthony Rendon's first Major League home run was a big one, giving the Nationals a crucial road win.

Anthony Rendon’s first Major League home run was a big one, giving the Nationals a crucial road win.

Then, again, the Nationals saw something they had seen precious little of to this point in the season. The baseball gods smiled down upon them, as with two outs in the ninth, Anthony Rendon skied a pop-up behind first base in foul territory. Nick Swisher backed up to make the play, but stopped as he seemingly expected to be called off by second baseman Jason Kipnis at the last moment. The ball dropped between them in foul territory, breathing new life back into the Nationals rookie’s at-bat.

Two pitches later, Rendon cashed in, sending a line shot to the opposite field for what would turn out to be the game-winning home run. As anyone who follows the game closely knows baseball has a funny way of doing that, of making teams pay for giving the opposition extra opportunities.

“(Jhonatan) Solano and I were calling it after the miscue on the pop-up,” said Tracy of Rendon’s blast. “We could have easily put our heads down and folded up. But that’s the makeup of this team, (even though) we may not have showed it a lot so far.”

The Nationals still needed to survive the bottom of the ninth, though, which included a two-out double, followed by a bullet off the bat of Bourn right at Adam LaRoche for the final out. A night after the first baseman’s throw to the plate was a hair late to cut down the winning run, he secured the game’s final out in his mitt.

Instead of another setback for Washington, it was a step forward, a return to a winning record. With Stephen Strasburg rejoining the club and taking the hill Sunday, the Nationals can set their sights on winning a third consecutive series.

Even in just his 16th Major League game, Rendon recognized the importance of that single result, of what it means to any team, in any season.

“It’s great to have the comeback win,” he said. “Especially when we had a pretty good lead at the beginning of the game. (The Indians) fought their tails off to come back. We never gave up, though. We kept going out there and kept grinding.”

It’s a win the Nationals needed, but on a larger scale it is the exact type of win the Nationals needed to prove to the rest of the league, and to themselves, just what this team is capable of accomplishing.

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