Results tagged ‘ Colorado Rockies ’

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.

What to Watch for: 6.13.13

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Washington Nationals (32-32) vs. Colorado Rockies (35-31)

LHP Ross Detwiler (2-4, 2.76) vs. LHP Jeff Francis (2-4, 6.30)

Lefty Ross Detwiler comes off the disabled list to make his first start since May 15 in Los Angeles as Washington aims for a road series victory. The Nationals will leave the top seven in their batting order intact following last night’s 5-1 triumph behind a strong effort from Ross Ohlendorf.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Span CF

2. Kobernus LF

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. Werth RF

5. LaRoche 1B

6. Desmond SS

7. Rendon 2B

8. Suzuki C

9. Detwiler LHP

GOOD WOOD, SLICK LEATHER

Ian Desmond has hit safely in a career-high 14 straight games at a .358 clip (19-for-53) with three walks, four doubles, two homers, six runs scored and 11 RBI. Desmond now has five career double-digit hit streaks to his credit, two this season (also, 10 games, April 24-May 3). Defensively, Desmond has played a career-high 45 consecutive errorless games (177 total chances) since last committing a miscue on April 21 at New York (NL), which is currently the longest streak of its kind among big league shortstops. The longest previous string of errorless games during Desmond’s career was 39 straight games, May 5-June 21, 2011.

LAROCHE IS PERFECT FOR JUNE

With a knock in each game played in June, Adam LaRoche has strung together a nine-game hit streak, during which he has batted .323 (10-for-31) with four walks, four doubles, seven runs scored and three RBI. With a hit today, he would secure his second double-digit streak of the season. LaRoche posted a career-high 16-game hit streak from May 2-19.

KEEPING THE DET GROUNDED

Ross Detwiler was a consistent force in the rotation prior to his stint on the disabled list, never allowing more than three earned runs or walking more than two opposing hitters in his eight starts this year. The lefty, who relies on a sinking, two-seam fastball, has recorded a 1.30 GO/AO rate, and has allowed just three home runs in 45.2 innings pitched this season.

Highlights: 6.12.13

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6.12.13 – Nationals 5, Rockies 1

Stat of the Game: Ross Ohlendorf was brilliant in his spot start, allowing just a run on two hits over six frames to earn his first Major League victory since August 7, 2012.

Under-the-Radar Performance: In addition to extending his hit streak to 14 games, Ian Desmond plated three of Washington’s five runs.

It Was Over When: Desmond’s second hit of the game scored a pair of Nationals to put Washington ahead by four.

What to Watch for: 6.12.13

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Washington Nationals (31-32) vs. Colorado Rockies (35-30)

RHP Ross Ohlendorf (0-0, -.–) vs. LHP Jorge De La Rosa (7-3, 3.38) 

Washington has summoned Ross Ohlendorf from Triple-A Syracuse as the club finally hopes to get its starting rotation back in order later this week. The right-hander has been particularly sharp over his last three outings with the Chiefs, going 1-0 with a 1.56 ERA (3 ER/17.1 IP) and 27 strikeouts over that span.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Span CF

2. Kobernus LF

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. Werth RF

5. LaRoche 1B

6. Desmond SS

7. Rendon 2B

8. Solano C

9. Ohlendorf RHP

NUMERO OH-CHO

When right-hander Ross Ohlendorf takes the mound tonight, he will become the eighth pitcher to make a start for Washington in 2013, joining Gonzalez (13 starts), Haren (13), Zimmermann (13), Strasburg (12), Detwiler (8), Karns (3) and Duke (1). That matches the total number of starting pitchers the Nationals employed all of last season.

SAINT ANTHONY’S RAKING

Anthony Rendon has reached base safely in 10 straight MLB games, going 12-for-34 (.353) with six walks, three doubles, five runs scored and three RBI over that span. The 10-gamer spans a pair of stints with Washington.

ABAD HAS BEEN A-GOOD

In 10 relief appearances since joining the Nationals from Syracuse on May 21, Fernando Abad has held opponents scoreless thru 8.2 innings of work. During that stretch, he has fanned nine and walked just one batter, while posting a .138 batting average against and stranding all four runners he has inherited.

Highlights: 6.11.13

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6.11.13 – Rockies 8, Nationals 3

Stat of the Game: Denard Span gave the Nationals an early lead with a two-run double in the top of the second.

Under-the-Radar Performance: Fernando Abad struck out the Rockies 3-4-5 hitters in his lone inning of work.

It Was Over When: After Washington had trimmed the deficit to two in the eighth, the Rockies responded with three more runs to provide the final margin.

What to Watch for: 6.11.13

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Washington Nationals (31-31) vs. Colorado Rockies (34-30)

RHP Dan Haren (4-7, 5.45) vs. RHP Jhoulys Chacin (3-3, 4.59)

The Nationals hit the road for a nine-game swing following an off-day on Monday. Washington closed out its recent homestand with a doubleheader sweep of the Minnesota Twins, taking the opener, 7-0, and the nightcap, 5-4. Dan Haren takes to the mound at hot, high-elevation Coors Field, where he is 5-2 in eight career starts.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Span CF

2. Bernadina LF

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. Werth RF

5. LaRoche 1B

6. Desmond SS

7. Rendon 2B

8. Suzuki C

9. Haren RHP

OFFENSIVE SURGE

The Nationals have posted double-digit hit totals in each of their last four contests (16 times in initial 58 games). The current stretch of double-digit hit games is a season long, and the most since the team strung together five straight 10+ hit contests from September 4-8 last season. Washington scored 12 runs during its doubleheader sweep against the Twins on Sunday, going 24-for-67 (.358) in the twin-bill, including 8-for-24 (.333) with runners in scoring position.

ROAD WARRIORS

The Nationals begin a nine-game road trip to Denver, Cleveland and Philly during which they will cover approximately 3,500 miles. This trip wraps up a stretch in which the Nationals will play 28 of 38 games on the road (10-14 overall thus far). Washington is 2-8 in its last 10 road games, after going 11-10 in its first 21 contests on away from home.

ZIM KEEPS CLIMBING

Ryan Zimmerman owns the Nationals record having appeared in 1,038 contests (Cristian Guzman ranks a distant second with 550 games) and tonight will move into sole possession of sixth place in franchise annals, surpassing Warren Cromartie. The top five: Tim Wallach (1,767), Gary Carter (1,503), Tim Raines (1,452), Andre Dawson (1,443) and Jose Vidro (1,186).

Spring Into Fall

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The closer you follow baseball, the more you realize how year-round the sport really is. The average American may take notice around Opening Day, then have their fandom tail off as their team is eliminated from contention, perhaps watching the World Series, if they are so inclined. The more passionate follower is more likely to count down the days until pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training, their baseball awareness stretching from mid-February to the end of October. But for the true obsessives (like us), there are compelling games for the Nationals being played even now, as the Arizona Fall League began this week at the Spring Training complexes around Phoenix.

For those unfamiliar with it, the AFL is a prospect showcase, where all 30 Major League teams send some of their top talent, often including players whose regular seasons were limited for whatever reason, to see how they perform in a highly competitive environment. The 30 clubs are combined into six squads, with five MLB teams apiece represented on each. Last year, the Nationals were assigned to the Scottsdale Scorpions, with Bryce Harper the most well known representative of the organization. In 2012, they are members of the Salt River Rafters, along with the Diamondbacks, White Sox, Rockies and Blue Jays.

This year’s crop of Nationals prospects includes:

Matt Skole (second from left) was honored as the Nationals 2012 Minor League Player of the Year.

Pitchers 

Aaron Barrett

Paul Demny

Cole Kimball

Ryan Perry

Infielders

Jason Martinson

Anthony Rendon

Matt Skole

Outfielders

Brian Goodwin

We will be conducting a more thorough Down on the Farm report for many of these prospects this offseason, but wanted to give special attention to one – Matt Skole – whom we have already profiled before here on Curly W Live. The 2012 Nationals Minor League Player of the Year, Skole has busted down the Fall League doors, batting .533/.650/.867 with two doubles, a home run and five RBI through his first four games on the circuit. His early success among some of baseball’s elite prospects helps back up the case that his tremendous 2012 numbers were no fluke. The third baseman batted .292 with 28 doubles, 27 home runs and 104 RBI in just 118 games between Low-A Hagerstown and High-A Potomac in his first professional season.

Make sure to check in to Curly W Live on Wednesdays throughout the offseason for more on many of the Nationals rising stars. And if you’d like to keep up with the AFL on a daily basis through the end of the season in mid-November, check out the home of the league here, complete with scores, stats, stories and more.

What to Watch for: 7/8

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Colorado Rockies (32-52) vs. Washington Nationals (49-33)

RHP Jeremy Guthrie (3-8, 6.28) vs. RHP Jordan Zimmermann (5-6, 2.70)

The Nationals and Rockies match up in the final tilt before the All-Star Break this afternoon. Jordan Zimmermann, with a chance to tie his pitching record at 6-6, will push to secure the Nats 50th win before the break. After sweeping the Giants earlier in the week, the Nats look to take two consecutive series at home with a victory today.

NATIONALS LINEUP

1. Lombardozzi LF

2. Harper CF

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. Morse RF

5. LaRoche 1B

6. Desmond SS

7. Espinosa 2B

8. Solano C

9. Zimmermann RHP

BREAK TIME

If the Nationals (49-33, .598) can top the Rockies today, they will record the best first-“half” winning percentage since their arrival in the District. The inaugural-season 2005 Nationals’ 52-36 record is the target, as they played .591 ball entering the All-Star Break.

RUBBER MEETS THE ROAD

Washington plays its sixth rubber game of the season this afternoon at Nationals Park. The Nats are 4-1 in rubber games this year, having posted wins on July 1 at Atlanta (W, 8-4), June 21 vs. Tampa Bay (W, 5-2), May 3 vs. Arizona (W, 2-1) and April 11 at the Mets (W, 4-0). The lone loss came two weeks ago, June 24 at Baltimore (L, 1-2).

HOT! HOT! HOT!

With an announced temperature of 101 degrees at first pitch, yesterday’s game matched the hottest in the Nationals eight D.C. summers. Washington hosted the New York Mets in identical 101 degree heat on July 29, 2011. Speaking of hot, the Nationals have won five of their last six games, 11 of 17 and 17 of 27 with Ian Desmond clubbing home runs in five of his last 10 games. Desmond and Houston’s Jed Lawrie are currently the only shortstops in MLB to lead their club outright in home runs.

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What to Watch for: 7/7

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Colorado Rockies (32-51) vs. Washington Nationals (48-33)

LHP Jeff Francis (2-1, 5.16) vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez (11-3, 3.01)

The Nationals look to bounce back this afternoon after a 5-1 loss to the Rockies last night. Gio Gonzalez, already with 11 wins, has the chance to snag his fourth consecutive victory and bring the team back up to its high-water mark of 16 games over .500.

NATIONALS LINEUP

1. Espinosa 2B

2. Harper CF

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. Morse RF

5. LaRoche 1B

6. Desmond SS

7. Moore LF

8. Flores C

9. Gonzalez LHP

D.C.’S 1-2 PUNCH

Washington is 25-8 (.758) in games started by Stephen Strasburg or Gio Gonzalez this year. Only once this season have the Nationals lost consecutive games started by Strasburg and Gonzalez, while facing the Dodgers in April in Los Angeles.

GOOD BASEBALL GALORE

Despite Friday’s setback, the Nationals have won four of their last five contests, 10 of 16 and 16 of 26. If the Nationals (48-33, .593) can best the Rockies both today and tomorrow, they will record the best first-”half” winning percentage since their arrival in The District.

HOT TO TROT

With the National Weather Service issuing an Excessive Heat Warning for today, note that the hottest game Nationals (2005-present) on record came via a 104-degree first pitch last Saturday, June 30 at Turner Field (L, 5-7). Assuming triple-digit temps at first pitch today, this will mark the fifth time in 12 games dating to June 25 that the Nationals have battled temps of at least 100 degrees.

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