Results tagged ‘ Colorado Rockies ’

Highlights: 6.23.13

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6.23.13 – Rockies 7, Nationals 6

Stat of the Game: The Nationals fell into an early 7-0 hole, but fought all the way back within a run before coming up just short.

Under-the-Radar Performance: Three relievers (Craig Stammen, Ian Krol and Fernando Abad) combined to throw 5.1 innings of scoreless, four-hit ball, striking out seven without a walk.

It Was Over When: Washington scored four times, but stranded the tying run at second in the eighth inning, marking the Nationals final baserunner of the night.

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.

Highlights: 6.22.13

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6.22.13 – Rockies 7, Nationals 1

Stat of the Game: Ryan Zimmerman accounted for Washington’s lone run, swatting a solo home run, his ninth of the season.

Under-the-Radar Performance: Ross Ohlendorf allowed just a single run in 4.2 innings of relief, striking out four without a walk.

It Was Over When: Colorado followed its three-run first inning with another three-run frame in the fourth.

What to Watch for: 6.22.13

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Colorado Rockies (37-38) vs. Washington Nationals (37-36)

RHP Jhoulys Chacin (5-3, 4.26) vs. RHP Dan Haren (4-8, 5.72)

The Nationals won their third straight game thanks to Ian Desmond’s seventh-inning, go-ahead jack, his third homer in as many contests. The win helped propel Washington to its sixth win in 10 games, and gave the Nats their first season series win over the Rockies since 2005. Today, Dan Haren takes the mound to try to give the Nationals their first four-game winning streak since winning five in a row between May 4-10.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Span CF

2. Rendon 2B

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. LaRoche 1B

5. Desmond SS

6. Bernadina RF

7. Lombardozzi LF

8. Solano C

9. Haren RHP

GOOD WOOD

Remarkably, nine of Ian Desmond’s 12 home runs this season have been go-ahead blasts. Desmond currently leads all active MLB shortstops with 32 extra-base hits (18 doubles, 2 triples, 12 home runs). During Washington’s current three-game win streak, Desmond has posted the game-winning RBI in each contest, and he paces all MLB shortstops with nine game-winning RBI.

19 PUBLIC UNTUCKINGS AND COUNTING

With 19 saves in hand, Rafael Soriano is one save shy of becoming the third Nationals closer to tally 20 saves before the end of June. At present, Matt Capps (20th save on June 9, 2010 vs. Pittsburgh) and Chad Cordero (June 14, 2005 at Los Angeles Angels) comprise this short list.

BULL-PENNINGS

In 14 games and 43.0 innings dating to the June 8 series opener vs. Minnesota, Jim Lett’s bullpen is 4-3 with five holds, four saves (zero blown saves), 43 strikeouts and a 1.67 ERA (8 ER/43.0 IP). In that span, the bullpen has lowered its season ERA from 4.06 to 3.61. The bullpen has not allowed a home run at Nationals Park since Atlanta’s Ramiro Pena went deep in the 10th inning on April 12. Since that blast, Nationals relievers have worked 73.1 consecutive homerless innings in the District.

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.

Less Is More

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Most of the stories about Jordan Zimmermann’s most recent superb start will focus on his change-up, a favorite topic of the local writers here in Washington.

Explicitly, they will focus on one specific change-up, a particularly nasty, fading number that induced a flailing swing from one of the best hitters in baseball, the Rockies Carlos Gonzalez, to end the only real Colorado threat Thursday night. And that focus will be warranted. Check out the (0:50) mark of the video below to see for yourself.

But, there is a larger story here, a broader change in Zimmermann’s game. Never mind the fact that he shares the league lead in wins and complete games and ranks in the top five in innings pitched (107.2), ERA (2.26), WHIP (0.93), walks per nine innings (1.39) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (5.07).

No, the bigger issue at hand is the fact that the Wisconsin native is the league’s most efficient pitcher, needing just 13.52 pitches per inning. While that is not a statistic that is brought up as often as the ones preceding it, it is just as important. The fewer the pitches per inning, the deeper into the game a starter can work. That saves the bullpen’s arms and the defense’s legs, especially when one works as quickly between pitches as Zimmermann does. But just how good of a number is 13.52? Consider this: No Major League pitcher has finished a full season under 14 pitches per frame since Joel Pineiro in 2009 (13.85), and no pitcher has been more efficient since Greg Maddux – yes, that Greg Maddux – in his final season back in 2008.

Zimmermann's continued development is no mirage.

Zimmermann’s continued development is no mirage.

Maddux made an art form of his efficiency, leading the big leagues in every year of the last decade except 2005 (when he finished second) up to his retirement. The legend finished his illustrious run with 355 career victories, and will be a sure-fire first ballot Hall of Famer this summer. Not a bad model to follow.

The results have led to Zimmermann averaging 7.17 innings per start, up from 6.11 last season. Meanwhile, his numbers have improved across the board from an already stellar season in 2012, except for a slightly lower strikeout rate. Zimmermann is just fine with that, knowing that quick, weak contact equals easy outs.

“I’ve been doing the same thing – throwing strikes,” the righty said of his success this season. “Obviously I want to be in the zone. (The hitters) know I’m in the zone, so they’re going to be hacking at the first pitch. As long as I make a quality pitch, it’s going to result in an out most of the time.”

Of course, when it comes to national publicity, Zimmermann can’t catch a break. “Oswalt fans 11 in debut, but Nats are victorious” blares the headline on MLB.com, without even a casual mention of the winning pitcher’s name. There is Oswalt’s strikeout total, but nothing of Jordan’s nine, a new season-high. The Rockies starter also allowed four runs in his five innings of work, Zimmermann ceding just a single, unearned tally against him in eight frames.

Maybe Zimmermann’s lack of notoriety for his accomplishments is an unintentional byproduct of his most improved skill. Perhaps he’s off the mound so quickly most innings that some writers fail to even notice how good he really is.

What to Watch for: 6.20.13

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Colorado Rockies (37-36) vs. Washington Nationals (35-36)

RHP Roy Oswalt (0-0, -.–) vs. RHP Jordan Zimmermann (9-3, 2.44) 

Coming off a rousing, extra-inning win to close their recent nine-game road trip Wednesday night, the Nationals return home to face a familiar foe in Colorado, just one week after finishing a series against the Rockies in Denver. Washington took two of three in that matchup, but the club is just 4-12 against the Blake Street Bombers in 16 contests between the two at Nationals Park.

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. Zimmermann RHP

WERTH THE WAIT, NATS WIN LATE

Jayson Werth’s RBI-single with two outs in the ninth inning sent Wednesday night’s game to extra innings and Ian Desmond’s first career grand slam ended it in the 11th as the Nationals rallied to top the Phillies, 6-2. Desmond’s slam rendered his seventh game-winning RBI, tying him for the Major League lead among shortstops in this category with Troy Tulowitzki.

IAN’S GRAND OCCASION

Desmond’s 11th-inning grand slam was the first hit by a visiting player in extra innings in Philadelphia in over 73 years, since Reds right fielder Ival Goodman turned the trick, also in the 11th inning, on May 17, 1940 at Shibe Park.

BULL-PENNINGS

In 12 games/40.0 innings dating to the June 8 series opener vs. Minnesota, Jim Lett’s bullpen is 4-3 with four holds, three saves (zero blown saves), 40 strikeouts and a 1.80 ERA (8 ER/40.0 IP). In that span, the bullpen has lowered its season ERA from 4.06 to 3.67.

Highlights: 6.13.13

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6.13.13 – Nationals 5, Rockies 4

Stat of the Game: Ian Desmond went 4-for-4, extending his hitting streak to a career-high 15 games.

Under-the-Radar Performance: Ryan Zimmerman drove in three runs, including two on his seventh home run of the season.

It Was Over When: Rafael Soriano locked down his 17th save in 20 opportunities, stranding the tying run at first in the ninth.

One Good Ross Deserves Another

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The Nationals were expecting a lift from a player named Ross in this Colorado series, but it came a day earlier than anticipated. With the club slated to get Ross Detwiler back off the Disabled List on Thursday, it was Ross Ohlendorf – summoned from Triple-A Syracuse for a spot-start against a strong Rockies lineup at Coors Field – who provided an enormous performance Wednesday night.

Ohlendorf allowed just a single run on two hits over six innings of work as the Nationals emerged with a 5-1 victory to get back to the .500 mark at 32-32. The right-hander had enjoyed recent success at Syracuse, where he compiled a 1.56 ERA and 27 strikeouts over his final 17.1 innings of work. But his performance against the Rockies exceeded all reasonable expectations.

Ross Ohlendorf delivered a huge performance Wednesday night.

Ross Ohlendorf delivered a huge performance Wednesday night.

“I’ve been feeling really good all season,” said Ohlendorf, who has experienced a spike in his velocity and has seen his slider improve lately. “It’s the best I’ve felt in a long time.”

Ohlendorf had not pitched at Coors Field since July 28, 2010, when he was a member of the Pirates. With two outs in the first inning of that contest, Troy Tulowitzki ripped a liner back up the middle and off Ohledorf’s head, knocking him out of the ballgame. Nearly three years later, Ohlendorf took control in Denver.

“He used all his pitches, he went right after them,” said Davey Johnson when asked the most impressive aspect of the right-hander’s performance. “That ain’t easy in this ballpark.”

Johnson went on to indicate what the club made official today, that Ohlendorf’s tenure with the Nationals would last longer than just last night’s six sparkling innings.

“I’m going to try to find a way to keep him around,” Johnson said.

As Detwiler returns for Thursday’s start, the Nationals chose instead to option right-handed reliever Erik Davis to Triple-A Syracuse, where he will be available when the big league team again needs his services. Meanwhile, Ohlendorf will remain as the long man and emergency starter out of the Washington bullpen, giving the Nationals a Major League first.

With Detwiler’s activation, the Nationals become the first Major League team to ever employ a pair of players named Ross (though Ohlendorf’s first name is actually Curtis – Ross is his middle name). But that’s not the first bit of MLB history the two Ross’s have made. Detwiler’s first Major League start came at home against Pittsburgh on May 18, 2009, where he was opposed by none other than Ohlendorf, making them the first two players named Ross ever to face-off against one another in the Majors.

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