Results tagged ‘ Ian Krol ’

What to Watch for: 7.9.13

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Washington Nationals (46-43) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (44-46)

RHP Taylor Jordan (0-1, 2.70) vs. LHP Cole Hamels (3-11, 4.38)

Washington saw its four-game winning ride come to an end with a 3-2 loss in the series opener Monday night in Philadelphia. The Nationals look to rookie right-hander Taylor Jordan, making just his third Major League start, against Phillies southpaw Cole Hamels in the second contest of this four-game set.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Hairston LF

2. Desmond SS

3. Harper CF

4. Zimmerman 3B

5. Werth RF

6. LaRoche 1B

7. Rendon 2B

8. Suzuki C

9. Jordan RHP

GREAT SCOTT

Scott Hairston will lead off and play left field in his first outing with the Nationals. Hairston is 12-for-30 with five doubles and five home runs in his career against Phillies starter Cole Hamels. Hairston’s career average of one homer every 22.3 at-bats ranks 21st among active right-handed hitters (min. 2500 plate appearances).

THESE GUYS ARE A-O.K.

Neither Fernando Abad, Ross Ohlendorf nor Ian Krol were member of the Nationals Opening Day roster, but all three joined the Nationals in June and are a combined 2-2 with two holds and a 1.72 ERA in 36 appearances/one start. The trio has stranded seven of 10 inherited baserunners and posted a .197 batting average against, an 0.85 WHIP and a 7.2/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio (43 SO, 6 BB).

THE POWER OF 3

When scoring three or more runs this season, the Nationals are 41-10 (.804). However, when plating two or fewer runs, Washington is just 5-33 (.132).

What to Watch for: 7.5.13

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San Diego Padres (40-46) vs. Washington Nationals (43-42)

 RHP Andrew Cashner (5-3, 3.31) vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez (5-3, 3.09)

After celebrating our nation’s birthday with a 8-5 win over the Brewers Thursday, including five RBI off the bat of newly-returned Wilson Ramos, the Nationals look to make it back-to-back wins as they welcome the San Diego Padres to D.C. tonight. This is the second time and final tiem the Nationals will face the Padres this season after May’s series in San Diego ended in a 2-2 split.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Span CF

2. Desmond SS

3. Harper LF

4. Zimmerman 3B

5. LaRoche 1B

6. Werth RF

7. Rendon 2B

8. Ramos C

9. Gonzalez LHP

RAMOS RETURNS

Wilson Ramos returned from a 44-game stint on the disabled list with a (literal) bang, as his three-run homer in the seventh inning capped the scoring in Washington’s 8-5 Independence Day victory over the Brewers. Ramos finished with a career-high five RBI as the Nationals split the four-game series against the Brewers. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Ramos was the first player to post five RBI in the first game after a seven-plus week stint on the DL since Nelson Cruz did so on July 28, 2007 at Kansas City.

THESE GUYS ARE A-O.K.

Neither Fernando Abad, Ross Ohlendorf nor Ian Krol were member of the Nationals Opening Day roster, but all three joined the Nationals in June and are currently thriving in Jim Lett’s bullpen. Collectively, Abad, Ohlendorf and Krol are 1-2 with two holds, zero blown saves and a 1.49 ERA in 33 appearances. The trio has stranded seven of eight inherited baserunners and posted a .189 batting average against, a 0.83 WHIP and a 6.33/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio (38 K, 6 BB).

OPPORTUNITY’S KNOCKING

At 8-6 (6-5 at home, 2-1 on the road), the Nationals are 14 games into a 49-game stretch (June 20-Aug. 15) in which they will enjoy 34 games within the comfy confines of Nationals Park. Washington is playing .571-ball in D.C. (24-18), but has struggled on the road (19-24, .441). The Nationals will play more home games in July than any other month this season, as 18 of July’s 27 contests will be played in The District.

Highlights: 6.23.13

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6.23.13 – Rockies 7, Nationals 6

Stat of the Game: The Nationals fell into an early 7-0 hole, but fought all the way back within a run before coming up just short.

Under-the-Radar Performance: Three relievers (Craig Stammen, Ian Krol and Fernando Abad) combined to throw 5.1 innings of scoreless, four-hit ball, striking out seven without a walk.

It Was Over When: Washington scored four times, but stranded the tying run at second in the eighth inning, marking the Nationals final baserunner of the night.

The Walking Dead

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For six innings Wednesday night, as they have much of the season to date, the Nationals struggled to find any sort of offensive rhythm against Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick. And then, slowly, piece by piece, the offense collected itself, as the bats awakened just in the nick of time to force extra innings and steal a win to end a long, grinding road trip.

The bats lay dormant, unable to generate anything more than Adam LaRoche‘s second-inning single through six frames. Meanwhile, two batters in, the Phillies were out to a 2-0 lead on the strength of Michael Young’s two-run home run. Gio Gonzalez settled in after that, as he did not allow a hit the rest of the way through seven innings of work. He notched 11 strikeouts, the most he’s ever recorded as a member of the Nationals, matching his career high.

Jayson Werth deilvered a pair of clutch, two-out, RBI-singles to force extra innings.

Jayson Werth deilvered a pair of clutch, two-out, RBI-singles to force extra innings.

Finally, a solid, patient at-bat by Ryan Zimmerman led to a one-out walk in the seventh, and he stood at second base with two outs and Jayson Werth coming to the plate. The former Phillie reached out and rapped a single to right field to score the run and cut the lead in half, a big clutch hit in a season sorely needing more of them.

After a quiet eighth frame, the Nationals would be tasked with trying to deliver Jonathan Papelbon his second blown save in three nights after entering the series a perfect 13-for-13 on the season. Denard Span, whose job in most any situation – but especially this one – is to get on base, did just that, chopping an infield single. He remained at first until, with two outs, LaRoche walked, bringing up Werth once more. He, of the “be ready to eat some face” comment following the tough loss the night before, ripped another two-out, RBI-single, this one to left, as Span flew around third, scoring the tying run without a throw. But, as had been the case Monday night in Papelbon’s blown save on Chad Tracy‘s pinch-hit, two-out, two-strike home run, the Nationals were unable to push ahead. Ian Desmond struck out, stranding runners at the corners, spiking his helmet in frustration.

“After the at-bat against Papelbon, I’m just thinking, ‘Give me one more chance,’” Desmond said after the game.

The Washington bullpen conspired to afford Desmond and the Nationals that opportunity. Tyler Clippard fired an inning and two thirds of scoreless ball, giving way to Ian Krol, who got Dominic Brown – Monday’s hero – to end the bottom of the ninth. After the Nationals offense threatened, but failed to score, in the top of the 10th, Drew Storen fanned a pair and put up a zero in the bottom half, taking the game to the 11th inning.

Ian Desmond's first career grand slam won it in the 11th.

Ian Desmond’s first career grand slam won it in the 11th.

With one out, it was again Zimmerman who got the wheels turning, lacing a low liner to the left-center field wall for a double. That prompted Phillies manager Charlie Manuel and the Phillies to play matchup, deciding to intentionally walk LaRoche to get to the man with both of Washington’s RBI, Werth. An unintentional walk later, the bases were loaded, Desmond stepping to the plate with the second chance he begged for earlier. After falling behind 0-2, the shortstop worked the count back to 2-2, where he annihilated a hanging slider from Michael Stutes into the seats beyond the left-center field wall.

“I did the same thing I always do,” said Desmond when asked about the blast after the game. “See the white ball, put the barrel on it.”

Before Desmond had reached the jubilant visitors dugout, rivers of Phillies fans had already begun streaming for the exits, an actualized shifting of the tides. Rafael Soriano quietly shut the door, and the Nationals returned to Washington with an enormous win and a positive end to their road trip, thanks to perhaps the biggest swing of the season from their shortstop.

“He’s quite a character,” said Nationals skipper Davey Johnson of Desmond. “He’s got a lot of big hits for us in the past.”

It was Desmond’s first career grand slam (and Washington’s first of the season), but he has had plenty of success with the bases loaded, as it was his 17th hit in 40 such at-bats, good for a .425 batting average. The timing and importance of the blast hearkened back to Desmond’s game-winner on May 2, 2012, when he swung a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 victory with a two-out, walk-off blast off Arizona’s J.J. Putz.

“That’s like how I remember it from last year,” said catcher Kurt Suzuki of the feeling in the dugout after the blast. “It was pretty exciting.”

If Wednesday night’s series finale in Philadelphia turns out to be a microcosm of the 2013 Nationals season, recounting what has happened to date and foreshadowing what lies ahead, we are all in for a nerve-fraying, heart-stopping, hair-graying ride before the year is done. But if the ending portends anything of the future, it will have been worth the ride.

50 for 20

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Ian Desmond has been brewing something special lately.

Even as the Nationals have been swaying around the .500 mark this season, they’ve been fortunate enough to boast some exceptional performances. Anchoring the pitching rotation is Jordan Zimmermann, who is tied for second in the National League wins and is seventh with a 2.44 ERA. Rookie left-hander Ian Krol has been impressive in short relief, and Ross Ohlendorf — he of the vintage kick-and-deliver windup — shone in his Nationals debut Wednesday in Colorado.

A Gold Glove finalist last season, Desmond is stating his case again this year.

A Gold Glove finalist last season, Desmond is stating his case for the award again this year.

Then there’s Desmond. Fresh off a career-high 15-game hitting streak that ended Friday night in Cleveland, Desmond has quietly provided consistency in a lineup desperately in need of a spark.  After batting .220 in May, Desmond turned it up, starting with a visit from Baltimore on May 27. Since then, he’s hit .357 (25-for-70) and is a scorching .385 so far in June. He’s also reaching base at a .439 clip for the month.

During a 3-2 win over the New York Mets on June 4, Desmond was 2-for-4 with a home run, a double, and RBI and a run scored. In a doubleheader against the Twins on June 9, Desmond belted three hits, tallying two RBI and two runs scored in the afternoon bill, while providing the game-winning RBI double in the seventh inning of the nightcap. He knocked in three of the Nats five runs in a win over the Rockies on June 12, all with two outs, finishing 2-for-3 with a walk. The next day, he added four more hits on a 4-for-4 outing with an RBI and a run. The Nats won 5-4.

The shortstop has 14 RBI through 14 games in June to bring his total to 34. He’s also leading the team with 73 hits.

If that’s not enough, Desmond’s stepped up his game on defense as well. After a shaky start of the season, during which he committed seven errors in the first three weeks, Desmond hasn’t had a miscue since April 21. That’s a career-high 50 games without a mistake in the field, the longest active streak among Major League shortstops.  His recent performance hearkens back to a stellar 2012 in which Desmond was a Gold Glove finalist.

That’s the kind of production that will hopefully rub off on the rest of the clubhouse as the season wears on. Perhaps it’s already starting to: rookie infielder Anthony Rendon has hit safely in 10 straight games and first baseman Adam LaRoche strung together a nine-game hitting streak of his own to start the month. On the defensive side, Ryan Zimmerman has committed just two errors since May 18.

If nothing else, Desmond is providing a blueprint for the rest of the lineup to follow. Hopefully his performance is a harbinger for things to come.

What to Watch for: 6.8.13

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Minnesota Twins (26-31) vs. Washington Nationals (29-30)

RHP Kevin Correia (5-4, 4.09) vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez (3-3, 3.64) 

After two rainouts, the Nationals are ready to get back on the field as they welcome the Minnesota Twins to Washington for the first time since 1971 in the first of a three-game set. Exactly a week after his last start in Atlanta where he received a no decision, despite only allowing one run on three hits, Gio Gonzalez takes the mound again, looking to replicate his stellar performance.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Span CF

2. Werth RF

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. LaRoche 1B

5. Desmond SS

6. Rendon 2B

7. Bernadina LF

8. Suzuki C

9. Gonzalez LHP

YOUTH IS SERVED HERE

At the completion of play on June 4, the Nationals had the fourth-youngest 25-man roster in Major League Baseball with an average age of 28.11 years. When combining each team’s active roster and Disabled List, Washington is tied for the second-youngest MLB roster at 27.74 years. Of the 32 players either on the Nationals active roster or DL, nine are aged 25 or younger: Nathan Karns (25), Wilson Ramos (25), Drew Storen (25), Steve Lombardozzi (24), Stephen Strasburg (24), Jeff Kobernus (24), Anthony Rendon (23), Ian Krol (22), Bryce Harper (20).

THE NEWEST NEOPHYTE NATIONAL

Ian Krol struck out three (Daniel Murphy, David Wright, Lucas Duda) during a scoreless sixth inning in an impressive MLB debut for the Nationals on Wednesday. vs. NYM. Krol became the fifth Nationals to make an MLB debut this season. Krol joined Anthony Rendon (April 21 at NYM), Jeff Kobernus (May 25 vs. PHI), Nathan Karns (May 28 vs. BAL) and Erik Davis (June 2 at ATL) on this list. Only three teams in MLB have had more players make MLB debuts this season: Cardinals (7), Marlins (6), Twins (6).

SAINT ANTHONY

Anthony Rendon was selected by the Nationals two years (June 6, 2011) with the sixth overall selection in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of Rice University. During a pair of big league stints, Rendon has played in nine games for the Nationals this season. The only other position player from the ‘11 Draft to have played in more MLB games is Boston’s Jackie Bradley, Jr. (19).

Highlights: 6.5.13

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6.5.13 – Mets 10, Nationals 1

Stat of the Game: The Nationals racked up 10 hits, including two apiece by Denard Span and Kurt Suzuki, but scored just once.

Under-the-Radar Performance: Ian Krol impressed in his Major League debut, striking out the side in a scoreless inning of relief.

It Was Over When: Marlon Byrd hit his second home run of the night to cap a three-run third inning.

What to Watch for: 6.4.13

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New York Mets (22-32) vs. Washington Nationals (28-29)

RHP Jeremy Hefner (1-5, 4.74) vs. RHP Jordan Zimmermann (8-3, 2.37) 

After coming off a series loss in Atlanta, the Nationals look to turn things around at home with their most consistent starter on the mound. Jordan Zimmermann has paced the Nats pitching staff with a solid start this season and has not lost at home in his last 17 Nationals Park outings, dating back to May 17, 2012 vs. Pittsburgh. Jayson Werth returns to the lineup after over a month on the Disabled List with a hamstring injury and is joined by call-ups Anthony Rendon and Ian Krol. In nine games with High-A Potomac, Werth went 9-for-16 with two walks, a double and two home runs.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Span CF

2. Werth RF

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. LaRoche 1B

5. Desmond SS

6. Bernadina LF

7. Lombardozzi 2B

8. Suzuki C

9. Zimmermann RHP

FIRST BLOOD

The Nationals are 21-5 when scoring first in ‘13 and their corresponding .808 winning percentage ranks second among National League entries behind only the Braves (24-3, .889).

‘TWAS A MERRY MAY

Despite barely sleeping in their own beds (18 of 28 road contests in May) and being burdened by an overpopulated Disabled List, the Nationals somehow went 15-13 in May. The Nationals winning May was especially impressive considering the weighted winning percentage of the their nine opponents on the month was .517 (using records at close of play on May 31). Dating to September of 2011, the Nationals have played winning baseball in eight of their last nine months.

GOOD WOOD, SLICK LEATHER

Ian Desmond has hit safely in seven straight games, notching a .308 clip (8-for-26) with a walk, two doubles, a homer, three runs scored and 2 RBI over that stretch. Defensively, Desmond has played 38 consecutive errorless games (153 total chances) since last committing an error on April 21 at New York.

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