Results tagged ‘ Edwin Jackson ’

A National Audience

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The Nationals and Braves continue their final regular season meeting Saturday afternoon in Atlanta as Edwin Jackson and Tommy Hanson square off. When the season began, many in the baseball world were likely looking at the Giants/D-backs series in Arizona as the premiere National League matchup this weekend. But with the Nationals taking the NL East by storm in 2012, entering Saturday’s contest with a 7.5-game advantage over the dangerous, second-place Braves, all eyes will literally be focused on Atlanta, as FOX has picked up the Saturday game (4:05 p.m. first pitch) and Sunday’s affair has been moved to 8:05 p.m. EDT as the Sunday Night Baseball feature on ESPN.

There were plenty of cameras filling the Nationals dugout before Saturday’s game.

While both telecasts will bring national exposure for this Washington club as it rolls towards October, Sunday’s game signifies an especially telling change in the way the club is viewed outside the Beltway. Prior to this season, ESPN had not aired a single Nationals game in their Sunday night slot since the opening night of Nationals Park, on March 30, 2008. Four years later, this will be the third game given the royal treatment in 2012, and the second here in Atlanta, where a budding rivalry between two good young teams is blossoming before our eyes. This weekend, the rest of the country will get to see what Washington fans have been experiencing since early April.

Make sure you’re following us on Twitter for live coverage including in-game updates, stats and quotes from the clubhouse.

Standing Together

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The Nationals recently finished an 11-game homestand that saw the team go 8-3 as they continued their charge towards October baseball. Despite playing games every day during that stretch, Washington players and coaches made time in their busy schedules to continue to contribute behind the scenes to the D.C. community.

Storen, Clippard and Desmond visited with Nick Balenger over the last homestand.

Friday, August 31: Between his two-hit performances on August 30 and 31 in consecutive victories over the Cardinals, Ian Desmond joined teammates Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen along with Screech for a visit with patients of all ages at the MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH). During the visit, the players participated in physical therapy exercises and activities with patients, playing catch with some of the adult patients – you could do worse than tossing a ball around with a trio of Major Leaguers for your rehab work. The crew also signed autographs and took pictures with patients, families and hospital staff.

“Obviously, any time we can go out and bring a little light into people’s lives, it’s our pleasure,” said Desmond after the visit.

One of the patients – Nick Balenger – stood out in particular. A local high school baseball player who recently suffered a tragic injury while on vacation, he is working his way back from partial paralysis to try to get back on the baseball field.  During the visit, the players delivered Balenger a personalized Nationals jersey signed by the entire team.

“He’s a Nationals fan and he lit up when we walked in there,” said Desmond of Balenger. “I guess he’s been following us pretty closely.”

Saturday, September 1: In between his victories on August 29 at Miami and September 3 at home over the Cubs, Ross Detwiler and the Nationals coaching staff took time to help out with the MedStar Youth Baseball Clinic. After Nationals coaches ran through drills with all those in attendance – including D.C. youth baseball teams, children of military families and guests of MedStar Health – Detwiler signed autographs for each and every participant on the Nationals Park concourse.

Ross Detwiler signs after the recent MedStar Clinic.

Friday, September 7: Three days after notching his second win of the homestand, Edwin Jackson hosted Edwin’s Entourage. For the second time in 2012, Jackson met with local children for well over an hour before the game. He hosted D.C. Dynasty, a non-profit organization that promotes the growth of youth baseball in the Washington D.C. community.

“The reason I’m here today is for you to get an up close and personal experience, to let you know that anything is possible if you put your mind to it,” Jackson told the group of youngsters as they chatted in the press conference room.

Jackson went around the room and had each attendee introduce themselves by their name and position on the diamond, then fielded questions about life, baseball and his own path to the Major Leagues, where he is just one victory away from his fourth straight double-digit win season.

Jackson shares a humorous moment with the D.C. Dynasty players.

Power Hour

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Did you remember that the Nationals hit three home runs in one inning Wednesday night? With everything else that happened in the game, a dramatic feat became a footnote to the larger overall story. Nevertheless, the “Nat Trick” was an impressive occurrence that signified the team’s offensive breakout, which has seen the bats score 61 runs in their last eight games (7.6 runs per game) after scoring just six times total in a five-game losing stretch before that. Even more impressive than the raw numbers, though, is the fact that everyone is contributing.

Adam LaRoche has homered four times in the first three games of the series.

On Tuesday, Davey Johnson gave Bryce Harper the night off, allowing him to miss a lefty starter and affording Tyler Moore a chance for some at-bats. Moore responded with a towering home run to left, one of the team’s six on the night. On Wednesday, Johnson sat Jayson Werth, a night after his four-hit game. That gave Roger Bernadina a chance to start, and he rewarded his skipper with a home run of his own. Oh, and Harper? He returned to the lineup to swat a pair of longballs, his second two-homer game in a week.

In the past two games – in which the Nationals have only batted a total of 16 innings, due to their cancellation of the bottom of the ninth each night – eight different players have combined to club 12 home runs. Adam LaRoche has led the way with three clouts, while Harper and Desmond have both pitched in a pair and Bernadina, Danny Espinosa, Jesus Flores, Moore and Ryan Zimmerman have one each. Collectively, they are just the third team in the last 95 years to post consecutive six-homer games, joining the ’96 Dodgers and the ’03 Angels.

Not to be outdone, Gio Gonzalez returned to the mound for the first time since his first career shutout last Friday, and was even more dominant. The lefty carried a no-hitter with no walks – the only baserunner to reach early came on an error in the third inning – all the way into the sixth. In the end, he allowed just three hits over seven scoreless frames, fanning nine Cubs without issuing a walk. He stretched his scoreless streak to 16 innings, striking out 17 and allowing just 11 runners to reach base over that span.

While Gio tries to track down 20 wins, Jordan Zimmermann looks for his 10th Thursday night, which would be the first double-digit win total of his career. Saturday, it will be Ross Detwiler’s turn to do the same, and on Sunday, Edwin Jackson will look for his fourth consecutive season of 10 or more wins. Should each accomplish the feat this weekend, or at some other time over the season’s final four weeks, it will give each of the Nats five primary starters a double-digit total for the season.

Gio Gonzalez and the Nats staff are closing in on some milestone numbers.

This is all the more impressive when you consider the fact that last year, on a team that finished a respectable 80-81, John Lannan (who was recently called up for reinforcement down the stretch) was the only pitcher to reach that mark, winning exactly 10 games. For some perspective, not even the 102-win Phillies of 2011 managed to have five starters with 10 or more wins. In fact, the only four teams that turned the trick last year were Milwaukee, Tampa Bay, Texas and St. Louis – all four playoff teams, the final two of which battled it out for the World Series.

Really, that has been the narrative of the 2012 Nationals all season long, that the club’s depth, both on offense and on the pitching staff, is so solid. The storyline was somewhat obscured by the rash of injuries suffered by position players early on. But Cubs manager Dale Sveum commented after Thursday night’s contest that Washington is “by far the best team we’ve played all year.” At this point, the Nats are the best team that they have been all year as well, playing their most dominating baseball of the season down the stretch, when it matters most.

Enjoy the full dirty dozen of homers from the past two nights in the video below before the Nationals look for their fifth straight Curly W and a sweep of the Cubs later tonight.

What to Watch For: 9/4

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Chicago Cubs (51-83) vs. Washington Nationals (82-52)

LHP Chris Rusin (0-1, 1.80) vs. RHP Edwin Jackson (8-9, 3.53)

The Nationals rode seven scoreless innings from Ross Detwiler to a 2-1, series-opening victory over the Cubs on Monday, their fourth win in the first five games of this homestand. They will look to Edwin Jackson to keep the momentum in their favor tonight, as he makes his first start since his magnificent, eight-inning, 10-strikeout performance last Thursday.

NATIONALS LINEUP

1. Werth CF

2. Desmond SS

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. Morse RF

5. LaRoche 1B

6. Espinosa 2B

7. Moore LF

8. Flores C

9. Jackson RHP

ELIAS SAYS…

Adam LaRoche clubbed his 25th home run of the season yesterday, a solo shot off Jeff Samardzija. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, LaRoche is one of four current MLB players who have had 25-homer seasons for four different MLB teams. Also hit 32 for the 2006 Braves, 25 for the ‘08 Pirates and 25 for the ‘10 Diamondbacks. The other players on that list are Adrian Beltre (Dodgers, Mariners, Red Sox and Rangers), Alfonso Soriano (Yankees, Rangers, Nationals and Cubs) and Jim Thome (Indians, Phillies, White Sox and Twins).

THIRTYSOMETHING

By closing out Monday’s 2-1 win, Tyler Clippard became the third National to reach the 30-save plateau, joining Chad Cordero (47 in 2005, 37 in ‘07) and Drew Storen (43 in ‘11). Clippard also became just the third pitcher ever to record 30 saves and 10 holds in a single season. Clippard’s 30-save, 10-hold predecessors were Kerry Ligtenberg (30 saves/11 holds for Atlanta in ‘98) and Ugueth Urbina (32 saves/11 holds for Texas and Florida in ‘03)

MIDDLE MEN

Five games into this 11-game homestand, Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa are a combined 16-for-38 (.421). Desmond (8-for-20) has hit safely in five of his last six games, all of which were multi-hit efforts. His RBI-single propelled the Nationals to the victory on Sunday afternoon. Espinosa (8-for-18) has hit safely in five straight and has notched six hits in his last nine at-bats.

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What to Watch For: 9/1

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St. Louis Cardinals (71-61) vs. Washington Nationals (80-51)

RHP Kyle Lohse (14-2, 2.64) vs. RHP Jordan Zimmermann (9-8, 2.63)

On the heels of dominant pitching performances by both Edwin Jackson and Gio Gonzalez, the Nationals send Jordan Zimmermann to the mound Saturday afternoon in search of their fourth consecutive win and third in a row to open their series with the defending World Champion Cardinals.

NATIONALS LINEUP

1. Werth RF

2. Harper CF

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. LaRoche 1B

5. Morse LF

6. Desmond SS

7. Espinosa 2B

8. Suzuki C

9. Zimmermann RHP

OH, WHAT A NIGHT!

Gio Gonzalez scattered five hits and three walks to notch his first career shutout (in career start #116) as the Nationals blanked the Cardinals, 10-0, on Friday at Nationals Park. Gonzalez fanned eight while tossing Washington’s first complete-game shutout since Livan Hernandez turned the trick, coincidentally in a 10-0 home win over St. Louis, on June 15, 2011. Jayson Werth reached base in all five plate appearances, going 3-for-3 with a double, an RBI, three runs scored and two walks. Washington equaled its ‘11 win total with the victory.

AUGUST IN REVIEW

Washington posted the National League’s best record in August at 19-10. The corresponding .655 winning percentage the Nationals best in a single month this season and was the first winning August since the team moved to D.C., with 17 of the month’s 29 contests coming against NL East foes. The Nationals outscored their opposition, 137-98, on the month and their +39 run differential paced the NL and ranked fourth in MLB (Tampa Bay +52, Oakland +44, Texas +40). Washington entered August with a 2.5-game lead in the NL East and exited with an advantage of 6.5 games over second-place Atlanta.

DATE IN D.C. BASEBALL

2005: Ryan Zimmerman is promoted to the big leagues, becoming the first player drafted and developed exclusively by the Nationals to reach the Major League level. Zimmerman is also the first player selected in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft to reach the big leagues. That night, at Turner Field, Zimmerman dons uniform #25 and, facing Jim Brower, strikes out in the seventh inning while pinch-hitting for Jason Bergmann. The Braves win the game, 8-7, in 10 innings.

2008: Tim Redding rides a no-hitter into the sixth and settled for his 10th win as the Nationals post their seventh consecutive win in a 7-4 home triumph over the Phillies.

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What to Watch For: 8/31

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St. Louis Cardinals (71-60) vs. Washington Nationals (79-51)

RHP Adam Wainwright (13-10, 3.63) vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez (16-7, 3.28)

The Nationals have bounced back from their five-game slide to win two straight, including last night’s 8-1, series-opening victory over the defending World Series Champion Cardinals. Gio Gonzalez looks to follow-up on Edwin Jackson’s strong outing in the second matchup in the four-game set.

NATIONALS LINEUP

1. Werth RF

2. Harper CF

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. LaRoche 1B

5. Morse LF

6. Desmond SS

7. Espinosa 2B

8. Suzuki C

9. Gonzalez LHP

ABOUT LAST NIGHT…
According to Elias, last night marked Edwin Jackson’s sixth consecutive start in which he had more strikeouts than innings pitched. It’s the longest streak of his big-league career and the third-longest streak of its kind in MLB this season. Jackson is the first former Cardinals pitcher to reach double-figures in strikeouts in a win against St. Louis since Steve Carlton did so in Philadelphia on August 11, 1984.

NOT-SO-GRAND CENTRAL
Although he has never faced the St. Louis Cardinals, Gio Gonzalez is 4-0 with a 3.22 ERA in seven starts against the NL Central in 2012. Note that at .118, Gio ranks fourth among MLB starters and second in the NL in batting average against with two strikes. He trails only matt Cain (.100), Yu Darvish (.102) and Felix Hernandez (.109).

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A Leader Down the Stretch

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All season long, the Nationals have been content to defer the spotlight. As Showtime selected the revamped division-rival Miami Marlins to feature in their reality series The Franchise, the Nationals quietly went about winning ballgames and building a lead in the National League East. With all the focus on the return of Stephen Strasburg, starter Jordan Zimmermann set out his slow and steady path towards a breakout year. And despite all the attention paid to Bryce Harper’s debut season, fellow rookies Tyler Moore and Steve Lombardozzi have played their own, integral roles in the club’s success thus far.

Jackson seems to have only gotten stronger as the season has gone along.

And so, it is only fitting that Washington’s best pitcher of late has gone largely unnoticed, quietly dominating under the radar of the national spotlight. After his latest masterpiece – an eight-inning, 10-strikeout, 122-pitch performance against the same Cardinals team he helped to a World Series title last year – Edwin Jackson has emerged as one of the strongest arms in the rotation heading down the stretch. After struggling with his command in the middle of the season, Jackson has been more aggressive of late, throwing his mid-90s fastball, low-90s cutter and hard, diving slider for strikes.

“It’s just a matter of being comfortable with it at the end of the day,” Jackson said on Friday of his willingness to attack the zone the night before. “You just have to go out and pitch with confidence.”

Jackson has plenty to be confident about. After touching the double-digit strikeout plateau five times in his first nine years as a professional, he has achieved the feat in each of his last two home starts, mixing in eight K’s in the road start between them. All told, the right-hander has fanned 29 batters in his last 21.0 innings pitched, allowing only 13 hits over that span. In the month of August, during which he went just 2-3, he punched out 49 in a span of just 37.2 frames. He also eclipsed 100 pitches in all six of those outings, and has done so eight straight times he has toed the rubber for the Nats, proving his durability time and time again.

When Jackson throws all three of his pitches for strikes, as he did Thursday night, he is hard to beat.

In fact, after the Nationals dragged into extra innings against the Houston Astros on consecutive nights August 6 and 7, Jackson was made available to come out of the bullpen the next day, if need be. On August 20, as Washington battled into the 13th inning against Atlanta. With relief options already exhausted, Jackson trotted down to the bullpen to warm up for the top of the 14th, just over 48 hours after he threw 103 pitches against the New York Mets. On a team full of young players, he is setting the example, through his late-season play as much as his warrior mentality, of what it takes to be a champion. As for the credit, he leaves that for others to worry about.

“Whoever (the media) wants to put in the spotlight, that’s their prerogative,” he says. “As far as we’re concerned in here, on your day, everybody has to be a superstar. All we want to do is go win games any way we can.”

Jackson has shown his willingness to do just that – make sure the team wins by any means necessary. If the rest of the Nationals can follow his lead, it should be an exciting September and beyond.

What to Watch For: 8/30

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St. Louis Cardinals (71-59) vs. Washington Nationals (78-51)

LHP Jaime Garcia (3-5, 4.15) vs. RHP Edwin Jackson (7-9, 3.72)

The Nationals return home coming off an 8-4 win Wednesday night in Miami to open a season-long, 11-game homestand with four games against the defending World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals beginning Thursday night in D.C. Former Cardinal Edwin Jackson faces his old team for the first time since winning a ring with them last season.

NATIONALS LINEUP

1. Werth RF

2. Harper CF

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. Morse LF

5. LaRoche 1B

6. Desmond SS

7. Espinosa 2B

8. Flores C

9. Jackson RHP

SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT

By hitting a pair of homers Wednesday at Marlins Park, Bryce Harper became just the third teenage center fielder to register a multi-homer effort. Seattle’s Ken Griffey Jr. (twice in ‘89: May 30 at NYY and July 5 vs. MIN) and Chicago’s Brian McCall (September 30, 1962 at NYY) predated Harper.

THE GOOD OLD DAYS

Tonight, Edwin Jackson will face off against the club he spent part of the 2011 season with, eventually earning a World Series ring with the Cardinals. He helped St. Louis earn a postseason spot by going 5-2 with a 3.58 ERA in 13 games/12 starts with the Cards. From there, he went 1-1 with a 5.60 ERA in four October starts. Edwin earned the win, with the Cardinals facing elimination, in Game 4 of NLCS. As he makes the start tonight, note that he is winless against five franchises during career, one of which is St. Louis.

WORTH NOTING

The Nationals are 7-2 in their last nine games at home against the Cardinals. However, Washington is just 1-10 at the newest version of Busch Stadium since 2008. Washington has won five of the last seven one-run games in the series. None of Washington’s five current starting pitchers have ever earned a win at the Cardinals expense. Sean Burnett bested the Cardinals on June 29, 2004 at PNC Park to notch his first big league win. Nationals hitting coach Rick Eckstein served as Triple-A Memphis hitting coach in ‘07 and assisted Cardinals skipper Tony LaRussa at the 2005 All-Star Game at Detroit. Eckstein is also the older brother of SS David Eckstein, who was named World Series MVP in 2006. MASN’s Bob Carpenter is a St. Louis native who spent 10 seasons broadcasting Cardinals baseball on radio and TV. WFED’s Charlie Slowes began his broadcasting career at St. Louis’ KMOX, where he performed various on-air duties during broadcast of the Cardinals, the NFL Cardinals, the Blues and St. Louis University basketball from 1984-86.

DATE IN D.C. BASEBALL

August 30, 2010 – Ryan Zimmerman’s game-winning, three-run home run in the third inning triggered a 9-3 win at FLA. The blast broke a left-field electronic scoreboard that was left reading “Sun Life Stadiu” (the “m” was suddenly missing).

August 30, 2011 – The Nationals pounded out 12 hits, eight of which went for extra bases (four doubles, four home runs), in a 9-2 victory at Atlanta. In the win, Livan Hernandez worked 7.0 innings of two-run ball to register his 44th and final victory as a member of the Washington Nationals.

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What to Watch For: 8/24

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Washington Nationals (77-47) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (58-67)

RHP Edwin Jackson (7-8, 3.69) vs. RHP Kyle Kendrick (6-9, 4.20)

Following an off day, the Nationals travel to Philadelphia to open a three-game set with the Phillies as part of a five-game road trip. Edwin Jackson looks to get back in the win column as he follows up on his season-high 11 strikeouts in his last outing.

NATIONALS LINEUP

1. Lombardozzi 2B

2. Harper CF

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. Morse LF

5. LaRoche 1B

6. Werth RF

7. Espinosa SS

8. Suzuki C

9. Jackson RHP

PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE
The Nationals tonight begin a shorter-than-usual two-city, five-game road trip with the first of three weekend contests at Citizens Bank Park. Following Sunday’s finale, the Nationals are slated to jet south to enjoy an off day (Monday) and a two-game series in Miami. However, Tropical Storm Isaac could potentially affect Washington’s travel plans. The Nationals are fresh off a 4-2 homestand that included series wins over the Braves (2-1) and Mets (2-1). Washington outscored their two opponents on the homestand, 21-18.

START ME UP
Coming off a dominating performance in his last outing, albeit a tough-luck loss in which he fanned 11 in 7.0 innings, Edwin Jackson accepts the starting assignment tonight against the Phillies. It is his fourth-career start against the NL East rivals, and third of the season. Note that Jackson has won games against 25 MLB teams and in 21 ballparks, but has yet to do so against either Philadelphia or at Citizens Bank Park.

NOTES OF NOTE
One year ago today (entering play on August 24, 2011), the third-place Nationals trailed the first-place Phillies in the NL East standing by 21.0 games. This year, the two clubs have swapped spots in the standings as Washington holds a 19.5-game advantage over the third-place Phillies in the NL East. Washington is 12-6 against the Phillies since Davey Johnson became manager, including a 4-1 mark in one-run games. Before going 10-8 against the Phillies in ‘11, the Nationals/Expos had won only two season series from PHI the previous 14 years (the Nationals went 10-9 in ’06; the Expos went 11-8 in ‘02). In four seasons (2007-‘10) as a Phillie, Jayson Werth hit .282 with 99 doubles, 95 homers, 300 RBI and 60 stolen bases. He earned a World Series ring as a member of the 2008 Phillies. Johnson played parts of two seasons for the Phillies (1977-‘78) and batted .273 with 10 home runs and 50 RBI in 122 games.

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What to Watch For: 8/11

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Washington Nationals (70-43) vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (57-56)

RHP Edwin Jackson (6-7, 3.56) vs. LHP Wade Miley (12-7, 2.85)

Michael Morse homered for the third time in two days and Ryan Zimmerman went deep as well as the Nationals continued their flawless road trip with a 9-1 win over the Diamondbacks. Stephen Strasburg allowed a single hit over six innings of work in earning his 13th win of the season. Edwin Jackson takes the hill tonight against impressive rookie Wade Miley looking to extend Washington’s winning ways.

NATIONALS LINEUP

1. Werth CF

2. Espinosa SS

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. Morse RF

5. LaRoche 1B

6. Moore LF

7. Flores C

8. Lombardozzi 2B

9. Jackson RHP

7TH HEAVEN

Thanks in part to a season-high seven straight wins, the Nationals are a season-best 27 games above .500. The ‘33 AL Nationals (99-53) were the last big league club representing the Nation’s Capital to climb as many as 27 games above the break-even mark.

NIFTY 50

In Friday’s 9-1 win at Chase Field, Stephen Strasburg secured the 50th win by a Nationals starting pitcher in 2012. The starting staff of the inaugural-campaign 2005 Nationals currently holds the mark for most wins (52) in single season.

SMOOTH ROAD

At 38-21 (.644), Washington owns the best road winning percentage in MLB, and the Nationals have won 17 of their last 22 road contests. Washington is 12-4-2 in road series play in 2012.

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