Results tagged ‘ Dan Haren ’

What to Watch for: 5.14.13

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Washington Nationals (21-17) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (15-22)

RHP Dan Haren (4-3, 5.17) vs. LHP Clayton Kershaw (3-2, 1.62)

The Nationals opened their 10-game California trip with a 6-2 victory on Monday night and hope to keep their winning ways going against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. Dan Haren takes the mound for Washington riding a three-game winning streak over which he has fashioned a 3.15 ERA, striking out 12 and walking just two.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Espinosa 2B

2. Lombardozzi LF

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. Desmond SS

5. LaRoche 1B

6. Moore RF

7. Ramos C

8. Perez CF

9. Haren RHP

BETTER THAN LAST YEAR’S BEST

Nationals starting pitchers rank second in the Major League Baseball with a 3.19 ERA (83 ER/234.0 IP). Last season, Washington paced the National League in starters ERA at 3.40.

GOING STREAKING

Adam LaRoche enters tonight’s action riding a 10-game hit streak, one shy of his career-long of 11 (accomplished twice, last July 22-August 3, 2012). During the stretch, which began on May 2, LaRoche has gone 14-for-34 (.412) with two doubles, four RBI, six walks and five runs scored, posting a .488 OBP and a .958 OPS. LaRoche joins Ian Desmond (10 games, April 24-May 3) as the only Nationals to put together double-digit streaks this season.

NO DOUBLE DIPPING

With just 20 GIDPs, the Nationals have been the second-toughest club in the NL to double-up this season (NYM, 15 GDP). Denard Span, who has not grounded into a double play since September 24 last season, currently ranks third in the NL with 137 at-bats without a GIDP.

What to Watch for: 5.9.13

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Detroit Tigers (19-12) vs. Washington Nationals (18-15)

RHP Doug Fister (4-0, 2.38) vs. RHP Dan Haren (3-3, 5.01)

The Nationals look for a two-game series sweep of the Tigers, following Wednesday night’s 3-1 victory behind Jordan Zimmermann. Dan Haren rides a two-game personal winning streak into this afternoon’s affair against Detroit righty Doug Fister.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Span CF

2. Bernadina LF

3. Harper RF

4. Zimmerman 3B

5. LaRoche 1B

6. Desmond SS

7. Espinosa 2B

8. Ramos C

9. Haren RHP

JORDAN RULES

On Wednesday night, Jordan Zimmermann became the first Washington Nationals (2005-present) pitcher to garner a win in three straight starts despite Nationals bats posting three or less runs of offensive support (3-1 on Wednesday vs. Detroit, 2-0 on May 1 at Atlanta, 1-0 on April 26 vs. Cincinnati). Zimmermann has pocketed the win in seven consecutive starts at Nationals Park.

THE AMERICAN WAY

The Nationals are a perfect 4-0 this season against the American League (1-0 vs. Detrit, 3-0 vs. Chicago). Washington is also 22-15 in interleague play since the beginning of 2011. The corresponding .595 winning percentage paces NL clubs (fourth in MLB) in that 2+ year span, during which Washington is 12-7 (.632) at Nationals Park against the AL.

BRYCE HITS 10TH HOMER

Bryce Harper slugged his 10th homer of the season in his 111th at-bat of the season on Wednesday. In doing so, Harper reached the double-digit home run plateau quicker than any National (2005-present) with the exception of Adam Dunn, who blasted his 10th homer of the 2009 campaign n his 103rd at-bat, May 10 at Arizona.

What to Watch for: 5.3.13

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Washington Nationals (15-14) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (16-12)

LHP Ross Detwiler (1-2, 2.03) vs. RHP A.J. Burnett (2-2, 2.83)

Dan Haren turned in his best start yet as a National as Washington earned a split of the four-game set in Atlanta with a 3-1 victory Thursday night. Nationals pitching has allowed just one run in the last 21 innings heading into tonight’s series opener in Pittsburgh, which will pit two of the top 20 ERAs in the league against one another with Ross Detwiler (ninth) and A.J. Burnett (20th) matching up.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Span CF

2. Desmond SS

3. Harper LF

4. Zimmerman 3B

5. LaRoche 1B

6. Moore RF

7. Espinosa 2B

8. Suzuki C

9. Detwiler LHP

ATTENTION SPAN

In Thursday’s win at Turner Field, Denard Span sparked the Nationals offense with three hits (two doubles, two RBI, a walk and a run scored). In so doing, he reached base four or more times for the 34th time in his career. Span’s teams are now 24-10 (.706) when he reaches base four or more times in a single game (1-0 with Washington, 23-10 with the Twins).

EXTRA, EXTRA

Nearly 30 games into the season, Ian Desmond has more extra-base hits (17) than singles (16). Desmond is one of only nine big leaguers with at least 100 plate appearances on the season to be able to stake this claim, joining Mike Napoli, Chris Davis, Justin Upton, Anthony Rizzo, Coco Crisp, J.P Arencibia, Adam Dunn and Chris Young.

NEW FRONTIERS AHEAD

The Nationals are 8-8 this season against NL East rivals after posting MLB’s top intra-division winning percentage last season (48-33, .593). Starting with tonight’s lid-lifter at PNC Park, the Nationals will play 18 straight games outside the division.

Canceling The Noise

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As Greg Maddux so astutely pointed out to Tom Glavine in the hilarious Nike ad from the late ’90s, chicks dig the long ball. In fact, so does every baseball fan and writer, as home runs are, incidentally, the loudest happening on a baseball field. Perhaps it’s no surprise then, that Justin Upton and the hard-swinging Atlanta Braves garnered many of the season’s early headlines.

While the Nationals have plenty of potential for pop in their own lineup, there is no denying that the pitching will lead them as far as they go this season. So it was only fitting that, after an 8-1 loss which left their final April record at just 13-14, Washington quietly rebounded with a pair of dominant pitching performances to earn a four-game split of a tough road series in Atlanta.

Dan Haren and the Nationals are quietly back within 2.5 games of first place.

Dan Haren and the Nationals are quietly back within 2.5 games of first place.

Following Jordan Zimmermann’s beauty on Wednesday, veteran Dan Haren shredded his way through the Braves lineup with stunning efficiency on Thursday, allowing just a solo home run over eight innings.

At one point, Nationals pitchers had retired 28 straight Atlanta hitters, one better than the equivalent of a perfect game over the two-day stretch. They ran up an 18-inning scoreless streak as well, and have allowed just one run over their last 21 frames entering this weekend’s series in Pittsburgh.

It was, perhaps, a bit ironic that on the day that Upton was honored with the National League Player of the Month – and Evan Gattis the NL Rookie of the Month – it was the rival Nationals bullying their way to another big road win, sucking the air out of the Turner Field crowd.

Even more so, the Nationals were able to jump on nemesis Kris Medlen early for the only three runs they would need. They didn’t do it by leaving the ballpark, but rather thanks to a pair of doubles by the pesky, opportunistic Denard Span, who scored the game’s first run, then scooted a ball down the third base line to plate the rest of the Washington scoring an inning later.

And so, quietly, the Nationals have put a lackluster April behind them, and are just 2.5 games back of first place in the first week of May. With the ever-improving Ross Detwiler set to take the hill Friday night, Washington looks to carry that momentum, led by their pitching, into the Steel City.

Highlights: 5.2.13

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5.2.13 – Nationals 3, Braves 1

Stat of the Game: Dan Haren needed just 90 pitches to complete a season-high eight innings of work in earning his second consecutive victory.

Under-the-Radar Performance: Denard Span factored in all three Washington scores, finishing 3-for-4 with a walk, two doubles, a run scored and two RBI.

It Was Over When: Rafael Soriano popped out Dan Uggla as the tying run in the bottom of the ninth to earn the series split.

What to Watch for: 5.2.13

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Washington Nationals (14-14) vs. Atlanta Braves (17-10)

RHP Dan Haren (2-3, 6.29) vs. RHP Kris Medlen (1-3, 3.26)

The Nationals rode another shutdown performance from Jordan Zimmermann to a 2-0 victory last night, setting up a shot at a split of the four-game set against Atlanta tonight. Dan Haren is coming off his best start and second win of the season, while Kris Medlen is coming off his worst, in which he allowed five runs on 10 hits and two walks in 5.1 innings of work.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Span CF

2. Lombardozzi 2B

3. Harper LF

4. Werth RF

5. Desmond SS

6. LaRoche 1B

7. Rendon 3B

8. Ramos C

9. Haren RHP

DESMOND CLEANS UP WHILE BATTING CLEANUP

With his two-run shot in the fourth inning, Ian Desmond became the first player in Nationals (2005-present) history to homer in his first career start as a cleanup hitter. Going back further, Desmond is the first franchise player to homer in his first start in the cleanup spot since the Expos Greg Colbrunn, May 26, 1993 vs. St. Louis.

J000000000000000000RDAN

Jordan Zimmermann tossed 8.0 dominant, scoreless innings, surrendering just two hits. He walked none, struck out a season-high eight and ran his personal string of consecutive scoreless innings to 18.0 straight in the process. He has allowed just five baserunners (three hits, two walks) over that stretch.

ELIAS SAYS

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, last night’s tilt was the first nine-inning big league contest since 1997 (Toronto at Milwaukee, Game One of July 28 twin bill) in which neither team had a batter reach base (via hit, walk, HBP or error) from the fifth inning to the end of the game.

Acquiring An Understanding

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Through the first 23 games of the season, Nationals fans had caught glimpses of the reasons Mike Rizzo pulled the trigger on his three major offseason acquisitions, Dan Haren, Rafael Soriano and Denard Span. But although Haren earned his first Nationals win on April 11, Soriano had converted six of seven save opportunities and Span had shown an early propensity to get on base, none of the three had turned in a starring performance.

That all changed Saturday afternoon, as 38,903 red-adorned fans were treated to a beautiful day of baseball loaded with great pitching, clutch hitting and a pair of spectacular defensive plays.

Span saved at least four runs Saturday with two stellar catches.

Span saved at least four runs Saturday with two stellar catches, including this one of Joey Votto’s sixth-inning drive.

Haren turned in his strongest start to date, in which he was largely dominant over six solid innings, striking out five Cincinnati batters without a walk. Soriano slammed the door shut on the Reds hopes, fanning two of the three batters he faced in a 1-2-3 ninth. But Span stole the show, leaping into the left-center field wall to rob Joey Votto of extra bases in the sixth, then ranging far to his right to corral a line drive off the bat of Zack Cozart with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh, one that looked like it might very well erase Washington’s three-run advantage.

“I got great jumps on both of those balls,” said Span after the game. “The Cozart ball, that was my favorite out of the two today. It’s just fun for me to be able to go out there and show my speed and grab my ball like that in the gap.”

Haren and Span also got the scoring started, each placing two-out, RBI-singles between the Cincinnati defense in consecutive at-bats in the second inning.

With impressive performances all around by the newcomers, one could be forgiven for forgetting Bryce Harper’s team record ninth April home run, which also gave him the franchise mark for RBI (18) in the season’s opening month. And while all that may not have added up to anything nearly as historical as what happened in the first two games of the series, it was a recipe for success in one of the most complete games the Nationals have played so far this year.

“I was kind of disappointed when I gave up the second hit today,” joked Haren about having to follow back-to-back one-hitters as he improved his home record to 2-1 this year. “I finally feel like part of the team. I’ve got to be like this or better the rest of the year.”

If Haren can replicate Saturday’s success on the mound and Span can do the same in the field, Soriano will have that many more opportunities to untuck his jersey after he puts opposing lineups down for the count.

What to Watch for: 4.27.13

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Cincinnati Reds (13-11) vs. Washington Nationals (12-11)

RHP Mike Leake (1-0, 3.81) vs. RHP Dan Haren (1-3, 7.36)

Washington is coming off consecutive one-hit performances in the first two games of this series, which have helped the Nationals get back over the .500 mark on the season. Dan Haren looks for his second home win of the season as he squares off with fellow right-hander Mike Leake, who started the lone game the Nationals won in their recent series at Cincinnati.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Span CF

2. Espinosa 2B

3. Harper LF

4. Werth RF

5. LaRoche 1B

6. Desmond SS

7. Rendon 3B

8. Suzuki C

9. Haren RHP

ONE HIT, ZERO TOLERANCE

Washington blanked the Reds, 1-0, on Friday night at Nationals Park as Jordan Zimmermann posted the first shutout of his career. Zimmermann one-hit the Reds with Xavier Paul’s third-inning single serving as his lone blemish, walking one and struck out four. In the 4th, Bryce Harper tripled and scored the game’s lone run one batter later via Jayson Werth’s RBI-single.

CATT’S MEOW

Nationals starting pitchers have allowed three earned runs or less in 10 of the last 11 games. During this 11-game span, Steve McCatty’s starters have compiled a stingy 3.20 ERA (25 ER/70.1 IP).

APRIL POWER BRINGS MAY FLOWERS

With four games remaining in the month, note that the Nationals have already hit 26 home runs and could challenge the team mark for April home runs (30 in ‘06). With 26 in the bag, the ‘13 Nationals have already secured the second-most powerful Opening Month in the club’s nine-year history.

What to Watch for: 4.22.13

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St. Louis Cardinals (10-8) vs. Washington Nationals (10-8)

RHP Shelby Miller (2-1, 1.96) vs. RHP Dan Haren (1-2, 8.10)

The Nationals return home following a 3-3 road trip to take on the St. Louis Cardinals for the first time since last year’s National League Division Series. The opener will have a different feel than 2012, however, as Shelby Miller will face Washington for the first time and former Cardinal Dan Haren will take the hill against St. Louis for the first time since 2010.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Span CF

2. Werth RF

3. Harper LF

4. LaRoche 1B

5. Desmond SS

6. Rendon 3B

7. Espinosa 2B

8. Suzuki C

9. Haren RHP

UP AND DOWN

Washington’s offensive output on the trek was literally up and down, as they scored (in chronological order) 10, 2, 6, 1, 7 and 0 runs in the six games. So Washington plated 7.7 runs per game in the three wins, but just 1.0 run per contest in the three defeats.

JIM LETT’S BUDDING BULLPEN

Jim Lett’s bullpen excelled on the roadtrip, going 1-0 with a 2.87 ERA (5 ER/15.2 IP) in five games (Jordan Zimmermann tossed a complete game on Monday at Miami). Lett’s relievers posted a 9.5/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio and a .193 batting average against during the five-game revival.

GOOD COMPANY

Ian Desmond’s National League-leading 11 extra-base hits (seven doubles, one triple, three homers) are tied with New York (AL)’s Robinson Cano and Oakland’s Jed Lowrie for the Major League lead among middle infielders.

What to Watch for: 4.11.13

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Chicago White Sox (4-4) vs. Washington Nationals (6-2)

RHP Dylan Axelrod (0-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Dan Haren (0-1, 13.50)

Following a second consecutive victory last night over Chicago, the Nationals take aim at their second three-game sweep in as many home series to open the 2013 season. Dan Haren makes his D.C. debut as Washington looks to improve to 6-0 in front of the home crowd.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Span CF

2. Werth RF

3. Harper LF

4. Zimmerman 3B

5. LaRoche 1B

6. Desmond SS

7. Espinosa 2B

8. Ramos C

9. Haren RHP

THE FIX FOR 6

Washington is 5-0 at Nationals Park to begin the 2013 campaign. This marks the first time in modern baseball history (since 1900) a team from the Nation’s Capital has won its initial five home contests in a single season.

GET HOME EARLY

With Wednesday’s 5-2 win, the Nationals improved to 13-2 in April home games under skipper Davey Johnson (5-0 in ‘13, 8-2 in April ‘12).

EXTRA, EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT!

The Nationals lead Major League Baseball with a .518 slugging percentage this season, as an MLB-leading 49.3 percent of their hits have gone for extra bases (67 hits have included 16 doubles, two triples and 15 home runs). The Blue Jays (44.6%) rank second on this list.

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