Results tagged ‘ Bryce Harper ’
7.30.13 – Tigers 5, Nationals 1
Stat of the Game: Bryce Harper led off the game with a triple and scored Washington’s lone run in the first inning.
Under-the-Radar Performance: Detroit’s Anibal Sanchez improved to 9-1 career versus the Nationals.
It Was Over When: Alex Avila broke a 1-1 tie with a grand slam in the bottom of the sixth against Stephen Strasburg.
New York Mets (46-55) vs. Washington Nationals (51-54)
RHP Carlos Torres (1-1, 0.94) vs. RHP Taylor Jordan (0-3, 3.68)
Fear the goggles.
Tyler Clippard works in what can sometimes be a thankless role, almost always pitching the seventh or eighth inning in close ballgames. Occasionally, when the game is tied or if the Nationals are trailing, that puts him in a position to pick up a win; after all, he’s got six of them this year. But usually, the only time he ends up in the spotlight is if the other team scores a run. That hasn’t happened much lately, which is why Clippard’s tremendous season is largely flying under the radar.
His overall numbers speak for themselves: a 6-1 record, 1.74 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 46.1 innings pitched. But those marks have gotten better and better as the season has progressed. Since June 1, he’s allowed only one run in 23.2 innings, holding opponents to a .108 batting average. And in his last 15 appearances since June 26, Clippard has allowed just two hits and four walks over 15 scoreless frames, striking out 17.
Simply put, it’s hard to pitch any better than Clippard has the past two months. For the season, he’s picked up 19 holds and has not been dealt a single blown save all year. Every time Davey Johnson has handed Clippard the ball with a lead of three runs or less, he has handed it back with the lead intact.
1. Harper LF
2. Rendon 2B
3. Zimmerman 3B
4. LaRoche 1B
5. Werth RF
6. Desmond SS
7. Span CF
8. Ramos C
9. Jordan RHP
DAN THE MAN
Dan Haren earned his fifth win – his first in 12 starts, or since May 9 vs. Detroit – by allowing just one run on three singles and a walk in 7.0 strong innings, striking out six. In four starts since his return from the disabled list, Haren owns a 3.13 ERA (8 ER/23.0 IP) and 26 strikeouts against just six walks.
Ian Desmond hit his team-leading 16th, Bryce Harper notched his 15th and Denard Span got on the board with his first home run of the season. Desmond and Span went back-to-back, marking the seventh time this season that Nationals players have homered in consecutive at-bats. Washington has hit 12 home runs in its last eight games at Nationals Park, representing its largest eight-game power output in The District this season.
The Nationals have won the past two season series from the Mets, going 14-4 last season and 10-8 in 2011. Washington currently holds a 6-5 margin in this year’s matchup, including a 3-2 mark at Nationals Park.
7.27.13 – Nationals 4, Mets 1
Stat of the Game: Dan Haren earned his first win in 12 starts thanks to a dominant performance, in which he allowed just three hits over seven frames.
Under-the-Radar Performance: Bryce Harper homered for the second time in three games, finishing 2-for-4 with two RBI.
It Was Over When: Rafael Soriano struck out Ike Davis to lock down his 26th save in 30 opportunities.
New York Mets (46-54) vs. Washington Nationals (50-54)
RHP Dillon Gee (7-7, 4.07) vs. RHP Dan Haren (4-11, 5.79)
Some time ago, Ryan Zimmerman earned the title of Mr. Walk-off. He seemed to play the leading role in every significant victory in Nationals history, displaying a unique flair for the dramatic. But it had been a while since Zimmerman’s last walk-off home run, which came back in the 2011 season. That drought ended with a bang on Friday night.
In classic Zimmerman style, he punished a high fastball from LaTroy Hawkins to the opposite field, clearing the out-of-town scoreboard to break a 1-1 tie and give the Nationals a 2-1 victory over the New York Mets. Following Bryce Harper’s walk-off blast Thursday, Zimmerman’s long ball gave the Nationals walk-off homers on back-to-back days after not hitting any since Ian Desmond’s May 2, 2012 blast beat the Diamondbacks.
More impressively, Zimmerman has now hit nine game-winning home runs. Since his Nationals debut in 2005, that’s the most of any Major League player. It’s also the most by any player in history before his 30th birthday, surpassing Albert Pujols’ mark of eight. Oh, and Zimmerman won’t turn the big 3-0 until September 28. Next year.
1. Harper LF
2. Rendon 2B
3. Zimmerman 3B
4. LaRoche 1B
5. Werth RF
6. Desmond SS
7. Span CF
8. Ramos C
9. Haren RHP
Ross Ohlendorf turned in his second excellent spot start of the 2013 season, allowing a single run over 7.0 innings of six-hit ball, walking two and striking out eight. In his two starts, he is 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA (2 ER/13.0 IP) and has allowed just 12 baserunners while striking out 10.
Ian Desmond has posted a NL-best .989 fielding percentage in 84 games at shortstop dating back to April 22. In that three-plus month span, only Detroit’s Jhonny Peralta (.994) has registered a better fielding percentage among big league shortstops.
The Nationals are 11-2 in one-run games against the Mets since the beginning of 2011. Washington has claimed two straight season-series (14-4 in 2012, 10-8 in 2011) from New York. The Nationals also improved to 3-1 when facing Matt Harvey, despite the righty lowering his ERA to 1.00 (3 ER/27.0 IP) in four career starts against Washington.
New York Mets (45-53) vs. Washington Nationals (49-53)
RHP Jenrry Mejia (NR, -.–) vs. RHP Jordan Zimmermann (12-5, 3.01)
The Nationals look to continue their winning ways following yesterday’s ninth-inning, walk-off victory over the Pirates as the welcome the Mets for a day-night doubleheader to open a four-game series over the next three days. Jordan Zimmermann will take on rookie Jenrry Mejia, making his 2013 debut in the opener.
1. Harper LF
2. Lombardozzi 2B
3. Zimmerman 3B
4. LaRoche 1B
5. Werth RF
6. Desmond SS
7. Span CF
8. Suzuki C
9. Zimmermann RHP
Bryce Harper’s game-ending, two-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning capped a 9-7 win over the Pirates Thursday afternoon at Nationals Park. Harper’s blast was made necessary only after the Pirates, who trailed 7-3 after eight innings, plated four runs in the top of the ninth to extend the contest. Harper became the first 20 year-old to club a game-ending blast since Miguel Cabrera turned the trick on June 20, 2003 vs. Tampa Bay as a member of the Marlins. Harper’s shot was his first long ball since July 1 and it also rendered Washington’s first game-ending home run of 2013.
In Washington’s last two games, Stephen Strasburg (season-high 12 strikeouts, Wednesday) and Gio Gonzalez (11 K, Thursday) have combined on 23 strikeouts to establish a team-mark for the most strikeouts posted a consecutive games by Nationals (2005-present) starting pitchers. With their respective 12- and 11-K efforts the last two days, Strasburg and Gonzalez also became just the second set of Nationals starters to register double-digit strikeout tallies in back-to-back games. John Lannan (11 strikeouts, April 17 at New York) and Tim Redding (10, April 18 at Florida) were the first to turn this trick back in 2008.
The Nationals pounded out 14 hits, 5 of which came with RISP (Washington entered the game in a 13-game 7-for-81 rut with RISP) and 11 of which came from Davey Johnson’s 1-4 hitters (Harper, Steve Lombardozzi and Ryan Zimmerman with three, Adam LaRoche with two).
The Nationals came into Thursday’s game desperately needing a win. For eight innings, it looked like they had finally broken through after dropping the first six games out of the All-Star break against a Dodgers squad just coming into its own and a Pirates team that has been as strong as any in baseball all season long. But it took another late rally in the ninth, a show of resiliency this team has been searching for, to deliver a Curly W.
Kurt Suzuki singled with one out, and after Roger Bernadina grounded into a 4-6 force out, The Shark stood at first as the winning run with two outs for the top of the order, in the form of Bryce Harper. The Nationals 20-year-old All-Star worked the count to 1-1, then extended through a cutter on the outer half from Pittsburgh reliever Bryan Morris. With the speedy Bernadina off and running on contact, the line shot looked like it might split the left-center field gap for a double. But as the ball continued to carry, center fielder Andrew McCutchen pulled up at the wall, watching as it cleared the #NATITUDE sign and dropped into the second row of the Red Porch.
Harper, who opened the game with a great diving catch before closing it with the home run, seemed more relieved than excited by his heroics.
“I’m just happy we won the ballgame,” he said. “I’m serious. I could care less if it went over the fence or if it was a double off the wall.”
Whether the win provides the momentum swing to get the Nationals several wins in a row, to get them on a streak, remains to be seen. They will have a great chance on Friday, as they will face the Mets twice in a matter of hours, a doubleheader to start a four-game series over the next three days. The last time Washington faced their division rivals from Queens, they put up a season-high 13 runs. The resurgent offense was perhaps more important than the actual victory, as it will need to reemerge for the Nationals to take advantage of the series in front of them.
“I think it was just more important for us to get some hits,” said Ian Desmond of the bats Thursday, which produced 14 of them, two more than Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday’s games combined.
Nevertheless, Desmond recognized the difference in the clubhouse in terms of approach as the club looks ahead at the final 60 games of the 2013 campaign.
“I’m trying to take these games almost as playoff games. We’ve gotta win.”
Ryan Zimmerman, who was one of three Nationals with three hits (along with Harper and Steve Lombardozzi), echoed those sentiments.
“We needed a win,” he admitted. “It didn’t matter how we got it, although that’s the most exciting way you can get one.”
And while it may not have gone just how they envisioned, the Nationals will take every win, exciting or otherwise, that they can get.
7.25.13 – Nationals 9, Pirates 7
Stat of the Game: Bryce Harper hit his first career walk-off home run, snapping the Nationals six-game losing streak.
Under-the-Radar Performance: Steve Lombardozzi had three hits, including two doubles, and made a pair of sterling defensive plays to help quash early rallies.
It Was Over When: After the Pirates scored four times in the top of the ninth to tie the game, Harper’s blast cleared the wall to the left of center field.
As you may recall, we gave away the opportunity to blog with us for a day as part of the 13 Days of NatsFest. And while it’s been six months since then, we didn’t forget about our winner. Her originally planned date got washed away by the rain, but we were able to get her out to Nationals Park Friday night for the first game of the season’s second half. This is the story of her experience behind the scenes at the ballpark.
by: Michelle Hendley
The Nationals were back from the All-Star Break, rejuvenated and filled with optimism for what the second half can bring. The majority of the players were healthy for the first time in what seems like a century. Errors were down and hitting was up. Yesterday’s pitching match-up, featuring former Marlin Ricky Nolasco and Washington ace Stephen Strasburg, was a rematch of Opening Day. Though the late July heat was stifling, the excitement was clearly evident on the field, and everyone was hopeful that the team could pick up some momentum heading into the second half.
The excitement was palpable for me as well. While I have been to many Nationals games as a spectator – probably more than I could count – this was the first time that I had experienced the game up close and personally as a member of the press. As someone who grew up in a sports-mad family, working in the media for a professional team is as close to a dream job as I could get. Whether it was related to me being scared or me being realistic (probably a bit of both), I took a job in another field immediately after college. However, in the back of my mind, I always did wonder what path pursuing my dream would have taken me on, and today was the day for me to find out. Who knows what I may decide to do after that?
While the crowds gathered outside, eating at the food trucks and playing games, I started by observing Davey Johnson’s pregame press conference. Well, to be completely honest, I started by disregarding the GPS and getting myself a little lost on my way downtown. But I digress. Davey injected his trademark bit of humor into the briefing as we got updates from him. He was incredibly optimistic about the prospects of the team heading into the second half, telling everybody that, “We are right where we need to be.” He’s definitely got a point. With the exception of Ross Detwiler and his lingering soreness, he’s got as close to an Opening Day lineup as he has had since, well, practically Opening Day. Davey wrapped up his presser, and I headed down to batting practice.
Now, to say it was hot was probably the understatement of the decade. It was hot in the sense that I could have probably fried an egg on the warning track. While I was prepared for several players to hit in the air conditioned, indoor batting cages, I was surprised to see all of the players out there taking their hacks. I had been told that Bryce Harper’s batting practice was not necessarily just worth seeing, but worth hearing. It really was. If you ever find yourself in the park early enough to catch him, take the time to do so. The best way I can describe it is that the sound of the ball hitting the bat echoes like a sonic boom. It’s really impressive – but so is pretty much everything he does.
I settled in the press box for the start of the game. The view is really beautiful, although I caution you if you’re afraid of heights. You could see the vast majority of the field perfectly, allowing me to get a good grasp of everything that was going on during the game.
As the game progressed, I had a feeling that even though rest and a seemingly fresh start can really boost morale and infuse positivity, they aren’t necessarily magic. All bad things don’t turn into good things overnight. The most you can hope for is progress, and although the Nationals lost, they definitely showed progress. In tough conditions, Strasburg pitched superbly. The Nationals made several defensive gems, and put nine hits up on the board. Historically, Ricky Nolasco has had a lot of success against the Nationals, but they put up a great fight. There is a lot to build upon in this second half, and the team needs to continue to look forward. As Davey said, wrapping up his postgame presser, “Tomorrow is another day.”
You can’t keep looking back and talking about what you could have done differently – a lesson that applies to both baseball and life. All you can do is to continue to improve. I think the team is learning that. And I think I am as well.
7.19.13 – Dodgers 3, Nationals 2
Stat of the Game: Ian Desmond, Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman each collected multi-hit performances in the first game after the All-Star break.
Under-the-Radar Performance: Stephen Strasburg allowed just two runs over seven frames for his 12th quality start of the season.
It Was Over When: Andre Ethier broke a 2-2 tie with a ninth-inning home run for the last score of the game.
American League vs. National League
RHP Max Scherzer (Tigers) 13-1, 3.19 vs. RHP Matt Harvey (Mets) 7-2, 2.35
Baseball’s best will take the field tonight in the 84th All-Star Game at Citi Field in New York City. The Nationals sent four members of their organization to the Big Apple, including Bryce Harper who will start the game in center field for the National League. Nats pitcher Jordan Zimmermann also made the trip after earning 12 wins in the first half of the season but will not pay due to a neck injury. Nationals Manager Davey Johnson and Head Athletic Trainer Lee Kuntz were also selected to be a part of the Midsummer Classic.
AMERICAN LEAGUE LINEUP:
1. Mike Trout (Angels) LF
2. Robinson Cano (Yankees) 2B
3. Miguel Cabrera (Tigers) 3B
4. Chris Davis (Orioles) 1B
5. Jose Bautista (Blue Jays) RF
6. David Ortiz (Red Sox) DH
7. Adam Jones (Orioles) CF
8. Joe Mauer (Twins) C
9. J.J. Hardy (Orioles) SS
RHP Max Scherzer (Tigers)
NATIONAL LEAGUE LINEUP:
1. Brandon Phillips (Reds) 2B
2. Carlos Beltran (Cardinals) RF
3. Joey Votto (Reds) 1B
4. David Wright (Mets) 3B
5. Carlos Gonzalez (Rockies) LF
6. Yadier Molina (Cardinals) C
7. Troy Tulowitzki (Rockies) SS
8. Michael Cuddyer (Rockies) DH
9. Bryce Harper (Nationals) CF
RHP Matt Harvey (Mets)
20 YEARS YOUNG
Harper will be the youngest player in history to start an All-Star Game for the National League. He will also be the first player in Nationals history to start in the game and the first player to represent the Nationals in more than one All-Star game.
Harper was the second-youngest player in history to participate in the Home Run Derby; Ken Griffey Jr. was 42 days younger when he participated in 1990. Harper came in second place after blasting eight home runs in each round.
THE SKIPPER’S RETURN
Johnson was invited by Giants skipper Bruce Bochy. Johnson will return to New York City where he managed the Mets from 1984-90 and his 1986 club won the World Series in a memorable, seven-game Fall Classic. He remains the Mets’ winningest manager (both in victories and winning percentage) and was inducted into the Mets Hall-of-Fame on August 1, 2010. Nationals Head Athletics Trainer Lee Kuntz will join Johnson in New York City. Kuntz is in his seventh season with the Nationals and will be participating in his first All-Star Game.
In both 2010 and 2011, the winning pitcher in the All-Star game was a member of the Washington Nationals. In 2010, Matt Capps struck out one batter in the sixth inning to earn the victory and end the American League’s 13-game win streak. The following year, Tyler Clippard became the first pitcher to win an All-Star game after facing only one batter and allowing a hit to win the All-Star game.
In 2012, the Nationals had the most players selected to the All-Star game in team history when Bryce Harper, Gio Gonzalez, Stephen Strasburg, and Ian Desmond were all chose to represent the National League.