Results tagged ‘ Edwin Jackson ’

Going The Distance

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While the Nationals back-to-back extra-inning wins on Monday and Tuesday night over the Houston Astros provided plenty of drama and fodder for water cooler chatter, they also left Washington’s bullpen dangerously thin entering the third of a 10-game road trip. So much so, in fact, that Davey Johnson sent starter Edwin Jackson down to be on standby as an emergency reliever, should Washington need one. Thankfully, the Nats didn’t need any bullpen help at all Wednesday night, as Gio Gonzalez stepped up with perhaps his biggest all-around performance of the season. Not only did Gonzalez toss his first career nine-inning complete game, he also belted his first Major League home run, a two-run shot that proved to be the difference in a 4-3 victory.

Gonzalez hit his first Major League home run and tossed his first nine-inning complete game.

Gonzalez made a splash in his first home start back in the home opener on April 12, twirling seven spotless innings and logging his first Major League hit. If that game set the tone for the All-Star’s season, his outing Wednesday night may have provided its defining moment. Reunited for the first time in a game with Kurt Suzuki, his old catcher from Oakland, the 26 year-old southpaw reminded Nationals fans of exactly why Mike Rizzo traded for him this past offseason. Finishing what he started, Gonzalez scattered nine Astros hits and two walks over his 117-pitch outing as he became just the second Nationals starter this year to go the distance after Jackson did so all the way back in April.

As if that wasn’t enough, Gonzalez also delivered the biggest performance of the game on offense. After the Nationals made two quick outs to start the second inning in a 1-1 game, Suzuki came to bat. Astros starter Armando Galarraga plunked the Nats backstop on the rear with his first pitch. Gonzalez stepped up immediately to pick up his teammate. He turned on Galarraga’s very next pitch and belted it deep into the top of the Crawford boxes in left field for a two-run shot, giving Washington a lead it would never relinquish.

Although the left-field seats in Houston are notoriously easy to reach, the tater was a no-doubter, and would have been a number of rows deep at any ballpark in the league, including Nationals Park. See for yourself.

As a result, the Nationals staff now holds a unique distinction. Three Washington starting pitchers – Gonzalez, Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann, who toes the rubber in Thursday’s series finale – have each hit home runs and have each been honored as National League Pitcher of the Month. With the start Ross Detwiler is off to in August (1-0, 1.29 ERA in two starts), that got us thinking: which is a more likely accomplishment for this Nationals staff: another Pitcher of the Month award, or another home run?

What to Watch For: 8/6

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Washington Nationals (65-43) vs. Houston Astros (36-73)

RHP Edwin Jackson (6-7, 3.57) vs. LHP Dallas Keuchel (1-4, 5.77)

The Nationals took three-of-four from the Astros when the teams met in D.C. in April, and will look to continue their winning ways after doing the same to Miami this past weekend. Led by the red hot Adam LaRoche – who has gone 23-for-52 (.442) with four walks, seven home runs, 10 runs scored and 16 RBI in his last 14 games – Washington has won four of five and 12 of its last 16, holding a 3.0-game lead over the Atlanta Braves entering play Monday night.

NATIONALS LINEUP

1. Espinosa SS

2. Harper CF

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. Morse LF

5. LaRoche 1B

6. Werth RF

7. Suzuki C

8. Lombo 2B

9. Jackson RHP

EDWIN IN SPACE CITY

Edwin Jackson looks to get Washington’s three-city, 10-game roadtrip off to a good start tonight at Minute Maid Park in Houston.  Jackson has earned at least one win in 21 Major League ballparks, but Minute Maid is not one of them. He sports a 4.55 ERA in six career games (five starts) against the Astros. When pitching against Houston, his team is 5-1. Jackson last faced the Astros on April 19 in D.C. and took the loss in an 11-4 setback.

NATS HURLERS DON’T DIG THE LONGBALL

Nationals pitchers are currently riding a string of 49.0 consecutive innings in which they have not allowed a home run. Washington last allowed a long ball when Jimmy Rollins and Nate Schierholtz hit homers in consecutive at-bats in the fifth inning on Wednesday at Nationals Park. Washington’s streak of not allowing a homer in five straight games also matches a season high set twice previously: April 16-20 and April 10-14. Last season, from September 5-16, Steve McCatty’s pitchers strung together an 11-game homerless streak.

MICHAEL MORSE(L) 

Michael Morse has hit safely in a career-high 14 straight games, going 19-for-58 (.328) with two walks, three doubles, three homers, nine runs scored and 10 RBI. Morse’s team season-high 14-game run is the second-longest current hitting streak in the National League (Miami’s Jose Reyes is riding a 24-game streak). The last National to register a hit streak of this length or longer was Ryan Zimmerman, who posted a 19-gamer from July 22-August 11, 2011.

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Aces Wild

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You’ve heard all season about the aces of the Nationals pitching staff. The numbers posted have been gaudy, often pacing the rest of the National League. And while the offense has come on strong thanks to the resurgence of Ryan Zimmerman and the return of injured players (welcome back, Jayson Werth!), the pitching has continued to lead the way. In fact, three Nationals starters rank in the top 25 in the league in ERA since the All-Star break, including two in the top 11: Jordan Zimmermann (0.75, third), Ross Detwiler (1.75, 11th) and Edwin Jackson (2.92, 23rd).

What, you were expecting someone else?

The truth is, the “back end” of the rotation has outperformed the two All-Stars of the staff so far in the season’s second half. Even John Lannan – who has made only one start, but will make his second of the month in the doubleheader today – would rank tied for 17th at 2.57.

Ross Detwiler shut down the Phillies Thursday night.

Zimmermann was rewarded for his success, as he took home National League Pitcher of the Month honors for July. All he did was go 4-0 with an ERA under 1.00 over six starts, striking out 31 while walking just four. In so doing, he joined Stephen Strasburg (April) and Gio Gonzalez (May) as the first trio of teammates to win the award since the Astros had four pitchers – Ken Forsch, Joaquin Andujar, J.R. Richard and Joe Niekro – do so in 1979, 33 years ago.

Zimmermann was honored before Wednesday night’s game, when Detwiler took the hill opposite Philadelphia’s Cole Hamels. Detwiler stifled the Phillies, shutting them out on just three hits over seven strong innings, retiring the final 14 batters he faced. After the game, the lefty mused jokingly that he needed to beat Jackson to the punch in order to take down the award in August. Informed that he had a lower ERA than Strasburg and Gonzalez since his return to the rotation, Detwiler was quick to point out Zimmermann’s exploits.

“But Jordan’s still got me?” he asked. “I’ve got work to do.”

That’s the approach everyone in the rotation takes: go out there and try to one up the last guy. It has served them well so far, as Washington’s staff continues to lead the Major Leagues with a 3.26 ERA entering play on Friday.

Story of the Yearbook

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The calendar has flipped to August, and that means a few things for baseball fans. For starters, it means the season has hit the dog days, as we’ve passed the 100 game mark and are about to enter the stretch drive of the final third of the season. It also means that 2012 Nationals Yearbooks are now available at Nationals Park! With a feature on the skipper, Davey Johnson, photo spreads of all your favorite Nationals players, a team record book and more, it is the official publication of the most exciting season of Nats baseball yet. Pick yours up at the Team Store or at kiosks around the ballpark for $10. Here’s the cover, followed by a short excerpt from the feature, to give you a taste of what to expect:

Johnson understands the grueling grind of the six-month, 162-game season. The 69 year-old endured 13 seasons in the Major Leagues, but was limited under 130 games in five of those years due to injury. Now in his 16th year as a big league skipper, Johnson has easily surpassed his total number of games played with his number of games managed. He will pass the 2,200 mark in his first full season at the helm of the Nationals this year, one he hopes will yield the first winning season in club history. 

While much of that will hinge on the young, up-and-coming talent in the starting rotation and everyday lineup, Johnson knows how important his bench – and how he uses it – will be to the Nationals success.

 “Everybody in the world basically knows who the five starters are going to be and everyone in the world knows who the eight position players are going to be,” he states, matter-of-factly. “But how you can mesh them, to where 25 guys can fit as a cohesive unit, is really critical if you want to win a pennant.” 

To win a pennant. That’s a goal for every team, so Johnson doesn’t bother qualifying his hopes for this team, still looking for its first winning season, much less playoff appearance, by lowering his expectations. He has needed each of those 25 guys – and really, with the injuries the Nationals have suffered, a good number more – to accomplish a turnaround like the one Washington is hoping for in the District this year.

For the full article, pick up your 2012 Nationals Yearbook at the ballpark. Also, today is the last day to get Issue 2 of Nationals Magazine, featuring Bryce Harper on the cover, as well as features on Gio Gonzalez and Edwin Jackson. Issue 3 will debut for Friday’s doubleheader. Take a special sneak peek at the cover below…

So, to recap:

2012 Nationals Yearbook: Available now, in-park only. Cost: $10

Nationals Magazine, Issue 2 (Harper Cover): Last day available, in-park only. Cost: $5

Nationals Magazine, Issue 3 (Desmond Cover): Available beginning tomorrow, in-park only. Cost: $5

See you at the park!

It’s The Little Things That Kill

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Sports are full of “firsts” and “lasts,” the types of facts and figures that allow us to place events in appropriate historical context. One of the most noted of these facts in baseball is that the Chicago Cubs have not won the World Series since 1908. What’s often forgotten is that the Cubs have also not won a pennant since 1945, a stretch of 67 years.

In that spirit, let’s go ahead and get the historical facts surrounding where the Washington Nationals stand today out of the way. The club will enter play this 27th of July, 2012 with a 59-39 record, matching the New York Yankees for the best record in the game. This marks the first time the Nationals have stood 20 games above the break-even point since their return to Washington in 2005. It is also the first time a Washington-based Major League Baseball team has been in such a position since the 1945 Senators finished their campaign at 87-67, the same year as that last Cubs pennant.

Steve Lombardozzi is now 4-for-5 with a double, triple and 8 RBI with the bases loaded in his young career.

In fact, at 59 wins the Nationals have already matched their season total from both 2008 and 2009, with 64 games still left to play.

And while all that is notable, games are still won day-to-day, moment-to-moment. It is the little things that continue to have a big impact for the Nationals. Take Thursday night’s game against the Brewers, for example. There was one very loud moment, which you probably remember, and a much quieter one that you may have missed, which turned the game.

The Nationals scored their first run on an Adam LaRoche solo shot, his third home run in as many games, coming on Yovani Gallardo’s first pitch of the second inning. That feat alone was impressive enough, but the fact that it came in lock step with MASN’s highlight package made it even more incredible. F.P. Santangelo had just finished detailing LaRoche’s previous blast as he stepped to the plate, describing the opposing pitcher’s location mistake as a “fastball right down the middle for a home run…” and crack. The ball sailed over the right-center field wall, LaRoche trotted around the bases, and Santangelo continued. “You are looking live, this is not the highlight package that we just showed.”

But it was when Roger Bernadina drew a two-out walk that the Nationals sprung at the opportunity to do some real damage. With the runner at first, the Milwaukee defense played batter Jesus Flores to pull the ball, moving the shortstop into the hole, and pulling the second baseman farther up the middle, assuming coverage of the base on a possible steal. Davey Johnson put on the hit-and-run, drawing the second baseman to the bag and opening up the right side of the infield for Flores, who swatted what would normally be a routine ground ball through the vacated infield dirt, Bernadina racing around to third on the single.

Following the play, Bob Carpenter and Santangelo remarked that Flores had already done his job in the inning. No matter the result, by reaching, Flores had gotten the pitcher to the plate, meaning that at the very least, leadoff man Steve Lombardozzi would lead off the third inning. But Gallardo was flustered by the turn of events, falling behind fellow pitcher Edwin Jackson at the plate 3-0 before walking him to load the bases. Lombardozzi then yanked a clutch, two-out triple inside of first base and down into the right-field corner, and the Brewers never responded.

Edwin Jackson continued to impress, both on the mound and on the basepaths.

Meanwhile, LaRoche’s bizarre kinship with his former teammate Jackson – with whom he also played in Arizona – continued, as he hit the seventh of his team-leading 19 home runs in a game that Jackson started. And Jackson continued the trend of superb starting pitching of late. In the last turn of the rotation, Nationals starters have allowed just three runs in 34.0 innings pitched, good for a 0.79 ERA.

For their troubles, the Brewers get lefty Ross Detwiler tonight, who is 1-0 with a 1.89 ERA this month. On Saturday, they will face Jordan Zimmermann, who will make his homecoming start in his native state of Wisconsin and currently sits at an otherworldly 3-0, 0.87 through his first four starts in July.

The Nationals, meanwhile, are looking at uncharted waters, a chance to not only push more than 20 games above .500 for the first time ever, but also to notch their seventh straight Curly W, which would mark the longest winning streak of the season. The Nationals have not won that many consecutive games since taking eight straight from June 10-18 of last year.

All of that talk can wait, though. For now the Nats will focus on getting one more baserunner on offense, one more out on defense, doing what they have done all year long. The best part? You can watch it all again tonight.

What to Watch for: 7/26

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Washington Nationals (58-39) vs. Milwaukee Brewers (44-53)

RHP Edwin Jackson (5-6, 3.73) vs. RHP Yovani Gallardo (8-7, 3.72)

The Nationals are coming off a three-game road sweep of the Mets and carry a five-game winning streak into tonight’s series opener in Milwaukee. Edwin Jackson takes on Yovani Gallardo in a battle of righties who have posted very similar results to date. Jackson and Gallardo have nearly identical ERAs, records and K/BB rates (2.52/2.44) so far this season.

NATIONALS LINEUP

1. Lombardozzi 2B

2. Harper RF

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. LaRoche 1B

5. Morse LF

6. Espinosa SS

7. Bernadina CF

8. Flores C

9. Jackson RHP

THE STAKES AT HAND

If the Nationals win tonight’s series opener at Miller Park, they will match their longest winning streak of the season at six games (also: June 8-13) and move 20 games above .500. The last time a Washington-based Major League team was 20 or more games above the break-even mark was at the completion of the 1933 season, when the AL Nationals finished 99-53 en route to the World Series, which they would drop in five games to the New York Giants.

JACKSON VS. GALLARDO

Jackson is 2-2 with a 4.22 ERA in five career starts against Milwaukee, with three of those starts coming in August of 2011 (1-1, 4.95). In his last outing on Saturday vs. Atlanta, Jackson went 7.0 innings, allowing one run on five hits with two walks and struck out a season-high nine batters. His counterpart tonight, Gallardo, has notched wins in both of his two career starts against the Nationals at Miller Park.

SHARK WEEK

Roger Bernadina has hit safely in six straight games, including four multi-hit efforts along the way. During the streak, he is 12-for-23 (.522) with three RBI, two runs scored and two stolen bases. Dating to June 28, Bernadina is 20-for-43 (.465) with four RBI, five walks, six stolen bags and five runs scored, raising his OBP from .314 to .370 over that span.

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What to Watch for: 7/21

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Atlanta Braves (51-41) vs. Washington Nationals (53-38)

Game 1: RHP Ben Sheets (1-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Edwin Jackson (5-5, 3.89)

Game 2: RHP Randall Delgado (4-9, 4.52) vs. LHP John Lannan (NR, -.–)

The Nationals stormed out to a 9-0 lead in Friday night’s series opener, only to have the Braves come back for an 11-10 victory in 11 innings. Washington powered out three home runs in the loss, though, including just the second all year off Atlanta closer Craig Kimbrel in the ninth (leading to his second blown save) by Danny Espinosa, and the longest home run in the history of Nats Park, a 465-foot, three-run bomb by Michael Morse in the first inning.

NATIONALS LINEUP, GAME 1:

1. Lombardozzi LF

2. Harper CF

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. Morse RF

5. LaRoche 1B

6. Desmond SS

7. Espinosa 2B

8. Flores C

9. Jackson RHP

LET’S PLAY TWO

According to MLB’s Official Baseball Rules and the Elias Sports Bureau, “A doubleheader is two regularly scheduled or rescheduled games, played in immediate succession,” so today’s day-night or split “doubleheader” is actually not considered a doubleheader. Pragmatists, however, know that the Nationals are 4-3-6 (sweeps-swept-splits) when playing twice in a single day, or 14-12 overall, since landing in D.C. in 2005.

LOMBO SKOFFS AT TRISKAIDEKAPHOBIA

Steve Lombardozzi has hit safely in 13 straight games. Note that Lombardozzi executed a sacrifice bunt in his lone plate appearance on July 7 vs. Colorado, but that did not terminate his hitting streak per Rule 10.23(a) in the Official Baseball Rules. His 13-gamer is the longest hit streak posted by a National this season.

EDWIN LOOKS TO FINALLY TOP BRAVES; LANNAN MAKES 2012 DEBUT

Over his six-year major league career, Edwin Jackson has beaten 25 of 30 MLB teams, but never the  Braves. In addition to never beating Atlanta, he has yet to top the Nationals, Phillies, Padres and Cardinals. In the nightcap, John Lannan will make his 2012 MLB debut. Since facing Atlanta for the first time on April 12th, 2008, Lannan’s eight career wins against the Braves are tied for the MLB lead with Philadelphia’s Cole Hamels.

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What to Watch for: 7/16

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Washington Nationals (51-35) vs. Miami Marlins (42-46)

RHP Edwin Jackson (5-4, 3.73) vs. RHP Carlos Zambrano (4-7, 4.20)

The Nationals take on Miami tonight in the finale of the four-game set, looking for a series victory. Earlier in the season, the Fish swept the Nats in Miami (3-0). Edwin Jackson toes the rubber this evening looking to push Washington’s overall record against the Marlins (4-4) over .500 for the season.

NATIONALS LINEUP

1. Lombardozzi 2B

2. Harper RF

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. LaRoche 1B

5. Morse LF

6. Espinosa SS

7. Bernadina CF

8. Flores C

9. Jackson RHP

ED-WINNING WAYS
Jackson goes for his fifth win in his last seven starts tonight against the Marlins. In his last start on July 4, he outpitched San Francisco’s Madison Bumgarner, allowing four runs on five hits in 5.2 innings. He will face Marlins starter Carlos Zambrano for just the second time in their respective careers, with the last matchup coming on June 23, 2009 at Detroit when Jackson was a member of the Tigers and Zambrano was with the Cubs.

FISH FRIED
Thanks to a dominant start from Stephen Strasburg and three scoreless innings from the bullpen, Washington blanked the Marlins 4-0 on Sunday in Miami. Strasburg (10-4) reached double digits in wins with six innings of shutout ball in which he fanned seven and walked just one. Ryan Mattheus, Sean Burnett and Tyler Clippard combined to record the final nine outs, preserving the Nationals fifth shutout of the year.

DOUBLE-DIGIT DANDIES
When Strasburg pocketed his 10th win yesterday, he and Gio Gonzalez (12-4) became the first pair of NL teammates to reach the 10-win plateau. San Francisco’s Matt Cain (10-3) and Madison Bumgarner (11-5) became the second NL pair a few hours later when Cain logged his 10th win. The AL’s lone 10-win pair is Texas’ Matt Harrison (12-4) and Yu Darvish (10-6).

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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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Weekly Review (6/18)

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Here at Curly W Live, we will be conducting a weekly review every Tuesday of all the storylines from the week that was. If you’re new to the site or have just been too busy to stay current with all the day-to-day action, this is your way to get caught up on everything going on with the team.

The Nationals enjoyed a rare mid-homestand off day, as they prepared for their final six games of Interleague Play for the 2012 season. With the break in the action, we took the time to fill you in on some of the top signees out of this year’s First-Year Player Draft. As Washington prepared to host the Rays in the opener of a three-game set on Tuesday, we reflected upon the striking similarities between this year’s Nationals club and Tampa Bay’s 2008 edition. Once the dust had settled from a 5-4 Nationals loss on Tuesday, the team rebounded with an athletic performance that led to a 3-2 victory on Wednesday. The Nationals then went out and won the battle of rookies named Moore, taking the series with a 5-2 triumph on Thursday.

From there, Washington traveled to the Beltway to the north for a rematch with the Orioles. The Nats couldn’t get much going against Jason Hammel on Friday night, falling 2-1 in the series opener. They rebounded behind Edwin Jackson, who took a perfect game into the fifth inning, in a 3-1 victory on Saturday to set up a second consecutive series to be decided by a pivotal rubber game. After leading 1-0 much of the way, the Nationals were unable to get the ball to Tyler Clippard for the ninth, as the Orioles rallied in the eighth for their second 2-1 victory of the series.

Mon: OFF

Tue vs. TAM: L, 4-5

Wed vs. TAM: W, 3-2

Thu vs. TAM: W, 5-2

Fri @ BAL: L, 1-2

Sat @ BAL: W, 3-1

Sun @ BAL: L, 1-2

Weekly Record: 3-3

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