Results tagged ‘ Lineups ’

Game No. 2 Lineups

Lineups

Braves:

 LF Martin Prado

CF Nate McLouth

3B Chipper Jones

C Brian McCann

2B Dan Uggla

RF Jason Heyward

SS Alex Gonzalez

1B Freddie Freeman

P Tommy Hanson

 Nationals:

 SS Ian Desmond

RF Jayson Werth

3B Ryan Zimmerman

1B Adam LaRoche

LF Michael Morse

CF Rick Ankiel

2B Danny Espinosa

C Wilson Ramos

P John Lannan

 *The Nationals are looking to not only secure their first win of the season, but get closer to evening their franchise record against the Braves since baseball returned to DC in 2005. At home, the Nats are 31-24 against Atlanta over the last seven seasons, but 54-56 overall.

 *In his career against the Braves, Ryan Zimmerman has hit for a .278 average, mashing 25 doubles and 11 home runs with 53 RBI. Jayson Werth also doesn’t mind facing Atlanta—he’s maintained a .290 batting average with a .395 on-base percentage against the division rival.

 *Meanwhile, the Nationals will have a tough opponent on the mound in Tommy Hanson. He’s 2-1 against Washington with a 2.72 ERA. That being said, the Nats’ new bats will prove trouble for the Braves’ starter. Werth has maintained an OPS of .956 against Hanson, and Jerry Hairston Jr. has an on-base percentage of .571 against him.

 *Against the Braves, John Lannan is 5-4 with 36 strikeouts.

Happy Birthday John Lannan

There could be showers on the way–most likely rains showers and possibly champagne showers. The tarp has been off the infield for a while but it is still in the outfield. The Nats didn’t take outdoor batting practice either. The Nats have zero control of the rain showers and can only do so much for preventing the Phillies from celebrating the NL East title at Nationals Park. The Phillies magic number is 1, meaning it will take a magical event for the Phillies to not celebrate at Nats Park. Even if the Nats sweep the series, it won’t prevent the Phillies from clinching unless the Braves sweep the Marlins in Atlanta. It seems inevitable that the champagne will be off the ice one of these next three days.

It is hard to believe just 25 weeks ago, John Lannan and Roy Halladay toed the rubber to begin the 2010 season at Nationals Park. Ryan Zimmerman hit a RBI double in the first inning but that was all the offense they could muster in the 11-1 loss. Halladay hasn’t allowed a run against the Nationals since the first inning on Opening Day. It sounds more impressive than it actually is but it is a stretch that has lasted 13.0 innings. Lannan and Halladay take the mound again tonight.

A win for Halladay would give him a Major League-best 21 wins and could sway a few votes his way in a very tight NL Cy Young race. He is also pitching on five days rest which is only notable since he is 8-2 with a 1.59 ERA in 11 starts when he gets five days of rest. A win for Lannan will tie his career high of nine, but more importantly would continue his impressive surge since he was called up from Double-A Harrisburg. The shaggy-haired southpaw is 6-2 with a 3.16 ERA (62.2 IP/ 22ER) in 10 starts. Not that Lannan needs any additional motivation but it is his birthday, 26th birthday at that. There isn’t anything significant about turning 26 but it will be a memorable night with a win against the Phillies. He pitched on his birthday two years ago–a loss against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. If he gets the win today, he will become the second Nationals starter to pocket a win on his birthday this season. Can you name the first pitcher?

*Jim Lett’s legion of bullpen arms ranks third in MLB since the All-Star break with a 2.95 ERA. Only postseason contenders San Diego (2.75) and Atlanta (2.78) have fared better. Oh it gets better, Washington’s 2.07 bullpen ERA in September ranks second in MLB behind only San Francisco (1.29).

 

Phillies (93-63):

1.    Shane Victorino – CF

2.    Placido Polanco – 3B

3.    Chase Utley – 2B

4.    Ryan Howard – 1B

5.    Jayson Werth – RF

6.    Raul Ibanez – LF

7.    Carlos Ruiz – C

8.    Wilson Valdez – SS

9.    Roy Halladay – SP (20-10, 2.53 ERA)

 Nationals (67-89):

1.      Danny Espinosa – 2B

2.      Nyjer Morgan – CF

3.      Ian Desmond – SS

4.      Adam Dunn – 1B

5.      Michael Morse – RF

6.      Roger Bernadina – LF 

7.      Wilson Ramos – C

8.      Alberto Gonzalez – 3B

9.      John Lannan – SP (8-7, 4.58 ERA)

The last stand

When the Astros come into town tonight to open a four-game set, they will be looking to win nine of their last 13 games of the season. If they can complete the feat, they will end up at .500. Why is this so impressive? Because the team was just 36-53 at the All-Star Break. Oh yeah, and they started the season with eight straight losses. But the tides have turned. In fact, the Astros are not the only team coming to town on this final homestand at Nationals Park with something to prove.

 

The next ten days also include series against the Braves and the Phillies–both fighting for the division lead, which is turning into a competition of who can best the Nationals, since both teams will have played Washington six times in their final 19 games. While the Nationals season will end in just 14 short days, the next ten should provide some tough matchups with the competition clawing to achieve a few clear-cut goals. Let’s see which ones the Nationals manage to spoil.

 Astros (72-77):

1.    Jason Bourgeois – CF

2.    Jeff Keppinger – 2B

3.    Hunter Pence – RF

4.    Carlos Lee – 1B

5.    Geoff Blum – SS

6.    Chris Johnson – 3B

7.    Brian Bogusevic – LF

8.    Humberto Quintero – C

9.    Bud Norris – SP (8-8, 4.95 ERA)

 Nationals (62-87):

1.      Danny Espinosa – SS

2.      Adam Kennedy – 2B

3.      Ryan Zimmerman – 3B

4.      Adam Dunn – 1B

5.      Roger Bernadina – CF 

6.      Michael Morse – RF

7.      Willie Harris – LF

8.      Wilson Ramos – C

9.      Livan Hernandez – SP (10-11, 3.66 ERA)

Last chance to fry the Fish

Marlins (72-69):

1.    Emilio Bonifacio – 3B

2.    Logan Morrison – LF

3.    Hanley Ramirez – SS

4.    Dan Uggla – 2B

5.    Chad Tracy – 1B

6.    Mike Stanton – RF

7.    Cameron Maybin – CF

8.    Mike Rivera – C

9.    Chris Volstad – SP (9-9, 4.96 ERA)

* With yesterday’s 4-1 victory, the Marlins have won nine of their last 10 games against the Nationals.

* Thanks to an RBI single in the 8th inning of yesterday’s game, Logan Morrison has now reached base safely via hit or walk in 31 consecutive games.

 Nationals (60-82):

1.      Ian Desmond – SS

2.      Adam Kennedy – 2B

3.      Ryan Zimmerman – 3B

4.      Adam Dunn – 1B

5.      Roger Bernadina – LF  

6.      Michael Morse – RF

7.      Nyjer Morgan – CF

8.      Ivan Rodriguez – C

9.      Jordan Zimmermann – SP (0-0, 3.86 ERA)

* The Nationals scored 30 runs in three games from September 4-6, but have scored just five in the four games since.

Bullpen means business

With the improved pitching of Jason Marquis, who has given up just six runs in his last four starts (24.0 innings), the Nationals hope they do not have to go to the bullpen early today. But if they do, they are in good hands. Washington’s bullpen has fired 17.0 consecutive scoreless innings over its last five games to lower its collective ERA to 3.48. That’s its lowest point since it stood at 3.48 on July 9. It’s also good enough for seventh in the Majors. What else is the bullpen ranked seventh in the Majors for? Strikeouts per 9.0 innings. If the current pace of 8.33 batters fanned per 9.0 innings is maintained, this year’s bullpen would hold the top single-season mark posted in the franchise’s 42-year history.

 

Now this guy might not have much to do with the bullpen’s ERA on the season or the number of strikeouts it has accumulated, but last night, Joe Bisenius took the Major League mound for the first time since April 7, 2007. He pitched a scoreless inning for the Nationals, and one that showcased his upper-90′s fastball–constantly. Of his 22 pitches, 18 were fastballs, most them coming in at 97 and 98 mph. “The velocity speaks for itself,” said Manager Jim Riggleman. “Just very encouraged by what I saw out there.” But his location wasn’t too shabby either. 16 of Bisenius’ 22 pitches were thrown for strikes. Bisenius said it “felt good to get out there, get under the lights,” but after more than six years of playing mostly in the Minors and a move from the Philadelphia franchise to Washington, “good” is probably an understatement for Bisenius.

 

Marlins (71-69):

1.    Emilio Bonifacio – 3B

2.    Logan Morrison – LF

3.    Hanley Ramirez – SS

4.    Dan Uggla – 2B

5.    Chad Tracy – 1B

6.    Mike Stanton – RF

7.    Cameron Maybin – CF

8.    Brad Davis – C

9.    Anibal Sanchez – SP (11-9, 3.45 ERA)

  Nationals (60-81):

1.      Danny Espinosa – 2B

2.      Ian Desmond – SS

3.      Ryan Zimmerman – 3B

4.      Adam Dunn – 1B

5.      Roger Bernadina – LF  

6.      Michael Morse – RF

7.      Nyjer Morgan – CF

8.      Wilson Ramos – C

9.      Jason Marquis – SP (2-7, 7.14 ERA)

Happy Labor Day

Three quick things:

 

1. What a gorgeous Labor Day at Nationals Park! The sun is shining, the breeze is light and a good quarter of the NatsTown population is wearing either white or a seersucker suit.

 


jzimm.JPG2. Jordan Zimmermann starts today, coming off a real gem last Tuesday against the Marlins. He pitched six shutout innings of one-hit ball, walking none and fanning nine–a career best. He retired the last fourteen batters he faced, eight of them by strikeout. Talk about dominance. More importantly, Zimmermann proved he could come back just as strong as ever from Tommy John surgery last August. “It’s probably the best I’ve felt in a long time,” Zimmermann said. “I kept the ball down and actually got some fastballs inside, which I didn’t do in my first start.” He has not earned a decision in either of his two starts this season and what better way to celebrate the holiday than with his first win?

 

3. Danny Espinosa gets the start at shortstop. Espinosa collected a hit in his first career at bat last Wednesday–a RBI double at that. Then, in his first career start two days later, Espinosa hit a long ball to the opposite field. Three innings later, he collected another opposite-field hit with an RBI double–from the opposite side of the plate.

 

“It’s a big part [of my game]. They can’t just pitch me one way. I’m not just a dead-pull hitter,” said the switch-hitter who has shown a knack for going the opposite way all season in the Minors.

 

“He’s got great talent and a great natural gift, but he’s just a gamer,” said teammate Drew Storen who played with Espinosa in the Arizona Fall League and Double-A Harrisburg this season. “He’s just a dirtball. He works really hard on the field but also off the field. I’m excited to see him here. I was fired up when I walked in here and saw his jersey hanging in his locker.” Jim Riggleman expects Espinosa to see “significant” playing time for the duration of the season.

 

Today’s lineups…

Mets (67-70):

1.    Angel Pagan – CF

2.    Luis Hernandez – 2B

3.    Chris Carter – RF

4.    David Wright – 3B

5.    Ike Davis – 1B

6.    Lucas Duda – LF

7.    Josh Thole – C

8.    Ruben Tejada – SS

9.    Mike Pelfrey – SP (13-8, 3.72 ERA)

 

 Nationals (59-78):

1.      Nyjer Morgan – CF

2.      Adam Kennedy – 2B

3.      Ryan Zimmerman – 3B

4.      Adam Dunn – 1B

5.      Roger Bernadina – LF 

6.      Ivan Rodriguez – C

7.      Willie Harris – RF

8.      Danny Espinosa – SS

9.      Jordan Zimmermann – SP (0-0, 4.50 ERA)

Nats-Cubs game 1

As everybody waits for the official word on Stephen Strasburg’s injury or condition, the Nats’ season continues tonight against the Cubs.

The Nats open a seven game homestand against a deflated and defeated Cubs team that is playing their first game with Interim Manager Mike Quade at the helm. Their former Manager Lou Piniella abruptly retired yesterday–six weeks earlier than expected to take care of his ailing mother. The Nationals had planned on presenting a plaque to Piniella commemorating his great career. The plaque featured a young Piniella in a Curly “W” cap during his season with the Peninsula Senators in 1963, the Single-A affiliate of the Washington Senators at the time.


Lou Piniella.jpgThe road hasn’t been a friendly place this season for the Nats. They went 2-4 on this most-recent six-game road trip to lower their record to 22-44 away from the friendly confines on Nationals Park. The Nats bats were kept at bay and they scored two runs or less in four of the six contests. It didn’t help that the Nats batted .143 (5-for-35) with RISP over the weekend against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. It also didn’t help that the Nats were blanked twice thanks largely to the efforts of Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt.

It’s not all bad. The Nats are back at home where they are 31-27 and they are 13-12 in games started by Livan Hernandez. Not to mention, they are facing a Cubs team that ESPN’s Senior National Columnist Gene Wojciechowski called “borderline unwatchable.”

“The Cubs are borderline unwatchable and completely irrelevant. They were so fired up for Sunday’s game–Lou Piniella’s last as Cubs manager–that they lost only 16-5. They haven’t quit; they just can’t do any better.” -Gene Wojciechowski, ESPN

Cubs (51-74):

1.    Blake DeWitt – 2B

2.    Starlin Castro – SS

3.    Marlon Byrd – CF

4.    Aramis Ramirez – 3B

5.    Xavier Nady – 1B

6.    Tyler Colvin – RF

7.    Alfonso Soriano – LF

8.    Geovany Soto – C

9.    Casey Coleman – SP (0-1, 7.82 ERA)

 

Nationals (53-71):

1.      Nyjer Morgan – CF

2.      Adam Kennedy – 2B

3.      Ryan Zimmerman – 3B

4.      Adam Dunn – 1B

5.      Roger Bernadina – LF

6.      Ivan Rodriguez – C

7.      Willie Harris – RF

8.      Alberto Gonzalez – SS

9.      Livan Hernandez – SP (8-8, 3.06 ERA)

Livo has emerged as the unlikely star of the staff


Livan Hernandez Nats-Arizona.jpgBack in April, Livan Hernández stood on the mound with a bright big smile, chomping his gum just as effortlessly as he was pitching. He never blew a bubble but he constantly made it clear that he had it in his mouth like a kid showing his parents. Troy Tulowitzki stood at the plate with a 1-2 count. It might as well have been school because he was about to learn firsthand how Einstein’s theory of relativity works. He just saw two 85 mph fastballs–yes, that’s 85 mph–and an 81 mph slider.

Livo reached into his bag of tricks for the fourth pitch and threw a slow looping curveball, a pitch as devastating as his smile is infectious. Tulo couldn’t lay off of it. He swung so far in front of the ball he could have put his bat back on his shoulder and swung again.

All Tulo could do was laugh as he walked backed to the dugout. 85 mph never seemed so fast and 66 mph never seemed so slow. Livan just smiled ear to ear, looked at Tulo and slowly walked to the dugout chomping him gum as if to say, “How could you ever doubt me?”

That has been the epitome of Livo the entire 2010 season–the gum-chomping, curveball crawling hurler has been the Nationals most consistent pitcher this season by just being his normal, laidback self with a fastball that jogs to the plate at 84 mph and a curveball that walks. In his 23 starts, Livo has allowed three earned runs or less in 18 of them. In those 18 games he is 8-4 with a 1.85 ERA (121.2 IP/ 25 ER) with a .232 BAA. Not a bad stat line for a pitcher who wasn’t even on the roster when Spring Training started.

“I try to stay on the mound the right way, the way I am in life,” Hernandez said. “Because I like to be happy and laughing and my family appreciates that. I’m a very serious guy and take everything seriously, but at the same time, I like to enjoy baseball. When I go on the mound, I try to be relaxed and enjoy the game.  Because if I take it too seriously, too intense, it’s not me. I try to play the game the way I am in life.”

He hasn’t missed a start this season and he leads the Nats in ERA (3.03), innings pitched (151.1), strikeouts (80) and wins (tied with Tyler Clippard with 8).

“I don’t know how I’m going to feel one day when I miss one start,” Hernandez said. “Maybe I will go crazy. Maybe I will have to go to the hospital or something.”

Livo takes the mound tonight trying to stop the Nats four game skid. There is a good chance he will, if not, you can still expect to see him smile.

Marlins (56-56):

1.    Hanley Ramirez – SS

2.    Logan Morrison – LF

3.    Gaby Sanchez – 1B

4.    Dan Uggla – 2B

5.    Cody Ross – CF

6.    Mike Stanton – RF

7.    Donnie Murphy – 3B

8.    Brett Hayes – C

9.    Ricky Nolasco – SP (12-8, 4.57 ERA)

 

Nationals (49-65):

1.      Roger Bernadina – CF

2.      Ian Desmond – SS

3.      Adam Dunn – 1B

4.      Ryan Zimmerman – 3B

5.      Michael Morse – RF

6.      Adam Kennedy – 2B

7.      Ivan Rodriguez – C

8.      Willie Harris – LF

9.      Livan Hernandez – SP (8-7, 3.03 ERA)

 

Nats vs. Marlins – game 2

Josh Willingham gets the day off in left field. He is in the midst of a 6-game 2-for-21 slide at the plate and is batting .192 (15-for-78) with zero home runs and eight RBI in 23 games since the All-Star break. His last home run was on July 2. Willie Harris will get the start in left.

 

Marlins (55-56):

1.    Hanley Ramirez – SS

2.    Logan Morrison – LF

3.    Gaby Sanchez – 1B

4.    Dan Uggla – 2B

5.    Cody Ross – CF

6.    Mike Stanton – RF

7.    Donnie Murphy – 3B

8.    Ronny Paulino – C

9.    Chris Volstad – SP (5-8, 4.63 ERA)

 

Nationals (49-64):

1.      Roger Bernadina – CF

2.      Ian Desmond – SS

3.      Adam Dunn – 1B

4.      Ryan Zimmerman – 3B

5.      Michael Morse – RF

6.      Adam Kennedy – 2B

7.      Ivan Rodriguez – C

8.      Willie Harris – LF

9.      Scott Olsen – SP (3-3, 4.12 ERA)

Mr. Walk-Off and today’s lineups

From the time Zimmerman’s Major League career began on September 1, 2005, he has hit seven game-ending home runs, more than anyone else since that date. Andre Ethier and David Ortiz hold second place with six. Zimmerman also leads the Majors in any type of game-ending hit/event since September 1, 2005 with 12: seven home runs, three singles, one walk and one sacrifice fly. Just call him “Mr. Walk-Off.” Here’s a look at Zimmerman’s seven “game-over” homers:

 

June 18, 2006 over the Yankees–Final score: 3-2

Only 21 years old and a Major League Rookie, Zimmerman hit a two-run long ball with one out and his team down one in the bottom of the ninth to give his team their second straight comeback victory. He said he’d never done that before in all of his years of playing baseball: “No walk-off nothing–single, anything.” It must have felt great, but he would experience the feeling again, less than three weeks later.

 

July 4, 2006 over the Marlins–Final score: 6-4

He’s getting good at clutch hitting on the holidays. Just a few weeks after Zimmerman hits his first career walk-off home run on Father’s Day, he hits his second on Independence Day–a three-run long ball in the ninth with two outs. “You sit in the dugout and dream — nothing wrong with that,” the Nationals then-manager Frank Robinson said. “And sometimes, it comes true.”

 

May 12, 2007 over the Marlins–Final score: 7-3

The game started on Saturday night. Then Sunday morning at 1:42, Zimmerman finally ended it with a walk-off grand slam–two separate rain delays and one nearly-vacated stadium later.

 

March 30, 2008 over the Braves–Final score: 3-2

Don’t tell Zimmerman how to throw a housewarming party. On Opening Night in brand-new Nationals Park, Zimmerman launched a solo shot with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to christen the team’s new home. It landed in a section of seats directly behind a “Welcome Home” sign. Braves pitchers had successfully retired 24 consecutive Nationals batters and the host had not scored since the first inning when the face of the franchise also became the hero of the night. “You can’t really write up a script better than that,” Zimmerman said. “It turned out perfect.”

 

September 6, 2009 over the Marlins–Final score: 5-4

I’m beginning to think the Marlins are not huge Zimmerman fans. In his third walk-off homer over the Marlins franchise, Zimmerman hit a two-run homer to cap a furious finish in what originally looked like it would be a 2-0 snooze fest in favor of the Marlins. “Zim doing what Zim does,” Willie Harris said. “Coming through.” The Marlins twice blew two-run leads and the Nationals frantically scored all five of their runs in the last two innings.

 

July 6, 2010 over the Padres –Final score: 6-5

On a day where the game-time temperature was 99 degrees, Zimmerman proved he was even hotter, connecting on his second home run of the game, a solo shot to center field, to put away the Padres for good. “When you make a mistake, [Zimmerman] makes you pay for it,” one of Zimmerman’s home run victims, Padres starter Clayton Richard said. “That’s [been] proven to us over and over again.”

 

July 31, 2010 over the Phillies–Final score: 7-5

The Phillies broke a 4-all tie in the top of the ninth when Carlos Ruiz hit an RBI single off Drew Storen. But in the bottom of the ninth, Michael Morse singled and Adam Kennedy walked to set up Zimmerman at the plate with one out. He looked over towards Adam Dunn in the on-deck circle. “He let me know I’m not hitting again,” Dunn said. “It’s like, ‘You don’t get the win today.” Then Zimmerman followed through with a 3-run homer to start the fireworks.

 

Now for today’s lineups:

 

Phillies (56-48):

1.    Jimmy Rollins – SS

2.    Placido Polanco – 3B

3.    Jayson Werth – CF

4.    Ryan Howard – 1B

5.    Ben Francisco – LF

6.    Domonic Brown – RF

7.    Carlos Ruiz – C

8.    Wilson Valdez – 2B

9.    Cole Hamels – SP (7-7, 3.48 ERA)

 Nationals (46-58):

1.      Roger Bernadina – CF

2.      Ian Desmond – SS

3.      Adam Dunn – 1B

4.      Ryan Zimmerman – 3B

5.      Josh Willingham – LF 

6.      Michael Morse – RF

7.      Alberto Gonzalez – 2B

8.      Wil Nieves – C

9.      John Lannan – SP (2-5, 5.76 ERA)

* The Nationals have posted a .500-or-better record at home every month this season: July (9-6, .600), June (6-6, .500), May (7-4, .636), April (7-6, .538).

 

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