Results tagged ‘ Colorado Rockies ’

What to Watch for: 6/28

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Washington Nationals (43-30) vs. Colorado Rockies (28-46)

RHP Edwin Jackson (4-4, 2.91) vs. LHP Josh Outman (0-3, 8.64)

The Nationals will face the Rockies this afternoon in the finale of their four-game series, with the Nats looking to take three-of-four. After two consecutive double-digit run outputs – including two home runs apiece from Tyler Moore, Adam LaRoche, and Ryan Zimmerman – Washington hopes to keep their bats hot with Edwin Jackson on the hill today.

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. Jackson P

NATS BATS STAY HOT

Tyler Moore mashed three hits and hit his fourth home run to power the Nationals past the Rockies, 11-5, on Wednesday at Coors Field. Washington’s 14-hit attack included eight extra-base hits with home runs from Moore, Ryan Zimmerman and Ian Desmond. After scoring 12 runs the night prior, the Nationals posted double-digit run totals in back-to-back games for the third time since 2005.

FIRST AT FIRST

The Nationals pace Major League Baseball with 21 home runs hit by first basemen this year, with the White Sox (18) and the Blue Jays (16) in second and third, respecitvely. Among NL clubs, only the Reds (14) sport more than 12 long balls from their first baggers in ‘12. Adam LaRoche (15), Moore (4) and Chad Tracy (2) have accounted for Washington’s aforementioned 20 homers.

In seven complete seasons in D.C., Nationals first baggers have ranked among MLB’s top 10 clubs in home runs just once (fourth with 40 home runs in ‘10) and from 2005-11, the Nationals averaged just 22.3 long balls per season from those playing first base.

EXTRA DESMOND, PLEASE

Ian Desmond has seven hits so far in the Mile High City, six of which have gone for extra-bases (four doubles, one triple, one home run). Desmond leads all MLB shortstops with 35 extra-base hits, with his 21 doubles setting the pace and his career-best 12 home runs good for second behind Jed Lowrie’s (HOU) 14.

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What to Watch for: 6/27

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Washington Nationals (42-30) vs. Colorado Rockies (28-45)

RHP Jordan Zimmermann (3-6, 2.89) vs. LHP Edwar Cabrera (0-0, -.–)

After last night’s impressive 12-5 victory, which produced Gio Gonzalez’s 10th win of the season, and Ryan Zimmerman’s 1,000th career hit, the Nationals look to make it two in a row vs. Colorado. Jordan Zimmermann hopes to receive reasonable run support as he sails into this game with a 2.89 ERA against the Rox rookie pitcher, Edwar Cabrera, making his first Major League start.

NATIONALS LINEUP

1. Espinosa 2B

2. Harper CF

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. Morse RF

5. Desmond SS

6. DeRosa LF

7. Moore 1B

8. Solano C

9. Zimmermann RHP

VIEW FROM THE TOP

The Nationals—thanks to Tuesday’s 12-5 win in Denver and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ loss at AT&T Park—now own the best record in the National League. Before today, the Nationals had exclusively held the NL’s best record only three days since coming to D.C. All three dates came in 2008: April 2 (3-0 record), March 31 (2-0) and March 30 (1-0). With the win, the Nationals also remain 3.5 games ahead of the Braves in the NL East standings. Washington has either led the NL East or shared the top spot for 73 of the season’s 83 days. Only the Rangers and the Dodgers (80 each) have more days atop of their divisions in 2012.

FACING NEW FACES

With LHP Edwar Cabrera slated to make his MLB debut tonight for the Rockies, note that the Nationals (2005-present) are 4-4 all-time when opposed by a starting pitcher making an MLB debut. Washington last faced a starter making an MLB debut one week ago today, on June 20, as Stephen Strasburg pitched the Nationals to a 3-2 home win over Tampa Bay’s Chris Archer.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY SKIP

One year ago today at Angel Stadium, Davey Johnson assumed the helm of the Nationals by managing his first big league game in over a decade. The Nationals dropped Davey’s first game (L 3-4 in 10 innings), but he had led the Nationals to an 82-73 (.529) record overall (42-37 at Nationals Park, 40-36 on the road) while using 55 players/26 pitchers.

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The Rally Napkin

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Baseball is a game loaded with more odd traditions and superstitions than any other sport. With 162 games in the regular season, everyone goes through boons and swoons, streaks and slumps. And when they want to find a way to keep a hot streak alive, or break out of a cold one, players will try most any type of ritual or routine that they can believe in, in order to help them find the magic that got them to the big leagues in the first place.

The Nationals entered Tuesday night’s game in Colorado having dropped seven of their last 10 contests, posting an average of just 2.5 runs per game. That included just two runs of offense with Stephen Strasburg on the hill in the first of a four-game set on Monday, as the Nats took a rare loss behind one of their top two starters. That sputtering offensive output came despite playing in the rarefied air of Coors Field, the hitters’ paradise, where curveballs come to die.

Enter, The Rally Napkin. With Washington leading 1-0 in the top of the third inning on Tuesday night, Danny Espinosa stood at first base with two outs. Nationals television color-man F.P. Santangelo pointed out a piece of trash from the stands, a white ballpark napkin, that had escaped a fan’s grasp and wisped across the field, coming to rest against Espinosa’s leg. Santangelo dubbed it “The Rally Napkin,” and immediately after he did so, Ryan Zimmerman and Michael Morse came through with back-to-back doubles to put the Nationals ahead, 3-0.

The offense was hardly done there, though. Ian Desmond rapped out four hits, including a trio of doubles, and now leads all Major League shortstops in extra-base hits. Zimmerman, whose double in the third was the 999th hit of his career, came through with his 1,000th in his next at-bat, and later homered. LaRoche, who opened the scoring for the evening with a solo shot in the second, went deep again in the sixth for Washington’s final score. Tyler Moore launched perhaps the longest home run of the year, a back-breaking three-run shot, measured at 462 feet straight into the teeth of the Denver wind.

When the dust had settled, the Nationals had racked up a season high 12 runs. They tied a franchise record with 21 hits. When Mark DeRosa’s ninth-inning double rattled into the left-field corner, they set a new club mark with 11 extra-base hits. They even spawned a new Twitter account. By the end of the sixth inning, Santangelo was holding court on camera with a napkin tucked into his collar.

In a Nationals season full of big moments – and the memes that follow them – it was just the latest to come along. You can be willing to bet tough-luck starter Jordan Zimmermann, who has just three wins despite a stellar ERA of just 2.89, will be looking for some floating paper around Coors Field to spark the offense when he takes the hill Wednesday night.

Hey, whatever works.

What to Watch for: 6/26

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Washington Nationals (41-30) vs. Colorado Rockies (28-44)

RHP Gio Gonzalez (9-3, 2.55) vs. LHP Christian Friedrich (4-4, 5.65)

Tonight, the Nationals take on Colorado in game two of the four-game set in the Rocky Mountains. A win this evening would prevent the Nationals from losing two consecutive series for the first time this season. Additionally, the match-up holds great potential for one of the Nats to set an impressive franchise record.

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

ZIMMERMAN CLOSE TO 1,000

With 998 in the bag, Ryan Zimmerman is just two hits shy of recording his 1,000th career hit. While Zimmerman would become the seventh player to record a 1,000th career hit in a Washington uniform, he would be the first to do so exclusively as a National. The first six to 1,000: Adam LaRoche, Adam Dunn, Aaron Boone, Cristian Guzman, Alfonso Soriano and Jose Guillen.

VIEW FROM THE TOP

Despite having dropped three of four, the Nationals remain 3.5 games ahead of both the Braves and Mets in the NL East standings. The Nationals have either led the NL East or shared the top spot for 72 of the season’s 82 days. Only the Texas Rangers (79) and the Los Angeles Dodgers (79) have more days atop of their divisions in 2012.

GIO TAKES TO THE HILL

Tonight vs. Colorado, Gio Gonzalez will attempt to become just the second National (2005-present) lefty to reach the double-digit win plateau. The last, and only other National to do it was John Lannan when he won 10 games in 2011. Like Stephen Strasburg last night, Gio has never faced the Colorado Rockies, but is 3-3 with 2.53 ERA in seven career starts against the NL West.

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What to Watch for: 6/25

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Washington Nationals (41-29) vs. Colorado Rockies (27-44)

RHP Stephen Strasburg (9-1, 2.46) vs. LHP Jeff Francis (0-1, 8.56)

The Nationals travel to Colorado to face the Rockies for the first time this season beginning Monday night. The series marks Washington’s return to National League play after five consecutive Interleague Series. Stephen Strasburg will have an opportunity to collect his 10th win, and retake the Major League lead in strikeouts.

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. Strasburg RHP

STRASBURG LOOKS TO CONTINUE STREAK

Tonight at Coors Field, Stephen Strasburg will try to become the first National (2005-present) to earn a win in seven consecutive starts. Strasburg has never faced the Colorado Rockies, but is 1-1 with a 2.33 ERA in five career starts against the NL West. In his last career start, his first against the Tampa Bay Rays, he earned the win in the Nationals hard-fought, 3-2 victory on Wednesday night at Nationals Park. He fanned 10 in seven strong innings, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks.

BIG EAST

The Nationals finished a string of 32 consecutive contests against clubs from the AL East (18 total, 10-8) and NL East (14 total, 8-6) on Sunday. On May 18, Washington began the daunting 32-game stretch in second place, 0.5-game behind ATL in the NL East standings. The Nationals enter tonight’s lid-lifter in Denver atop the NL East with a 3.5-game lead over the second-place New York Mets.

SMOOTH ROAD

The Nationals are a 31-16 on the road dating to last September 12th. The .660 winning percentage is MLB’s best road mark in that span, just ahead of Texas (30-17, .638) and Baltimore (25-19, .568).

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