Results tagged ‘ Lineups ’

Nyjer Morgan heats up


nyjer morgan stealing third.JPGLast night, Nyjer Morgan singled, swiped two bags and scored on an error–all before Cristian Guzman, the second batter of the game, left the batter’s box. The game was indicative of his recent July surge. Morgan is batting .288 this month, an increase of over 30 points from his .252 batting average the rest of the season, while his on-base percentage has increased from .314 to .333 over the same time. He’s been doing his job in center field, too, committing zero errors thus far in July.

But the most notable improvement is Morgan’s baserunning. His 10 stolen bases in July pace the Majors and he’s only been caught once since July 3. He successfully stole 17 bases in the three preceding months combined.

Morgan set a career high and became the first player in Nationals history with three steals in one game last Thursday against the Reds, while recording two hits and a walk. Always one to be assertive, Morgan says he’s trying to change his approach.

“I am just getting good jumps, getting good reads out there,” Morgan said. “I was trying not to really be so aggressive. I’m trying to let it come to me, trying not to do too much. After analyzing after so long, after so many months, I was trying to do a little too much.”

Maybe that’s because it was this time last year that Morgan had a monstrous month also. He posted a batting average of .388, an on-base percentage of .418 and a .495 slugging percentage last July, after starting his first game in a Nationals uniform on July 3. Since then, fans have come to expect the same kind of production every month from the Nationals’ leadoff man. Perhaps Nyjer Morgan expected it of himself too. When it didn’t come to fruition the first few months of this season, questions began to arise. But July is showing a return to form for Morgan.

“Once it clicks, it’s about to go off,” Morgan said. “And I feel like something is about to pop off right now.”

Braves (57-42):

1.    Martin Prado – 2B

2.    Jason Heyward – RF

3.    Chipper Jones – 3B

4.    Brian McCann – C

5.    Eric Hinske – LF

6.    Troy Glaus – 1B

7.    Alex Gonzalez – SS

8.    Melky Cabrera – CF

9.    Tim Hudson – SP (10-5, 2.47 ERA)

 Nationals (43-57):

1.      Nyjer Morgan – CF

2.      Adam Kennedy – 2B

3.      Ryan Zimmerman – 3B

4.      Adam Dunn – 1B

5.      Roger Bernadina – RF 

6.      Ivan Rodriguez – C

7.      Willie Harris – LF

8.      Ian Desmond – SS

9.      Livan Hernandez – SP (7-6, 3.12 ERA)

* With last night’s 3-0 victory over the Braves, the Nationals have won their last five consecutive series openers at Nationals Park.

* Last night, Miguel Batista earned his first win as a starter since May 11, 2008 vs. the Chicago White Sox. He struck out six and allowed three hits in 5.0 shutout innings.

* Josh Willingham has reached base safely via hit or walk in 19 consecutive games. During that stretch, Willingham is hitting .333 (23-for-69) with five doubles, one triple, three home runs, six RBI, 11 walks and a .425 on-base percentage.

The rubber game against the Giants and the World Cup final


Netherlands Roger Bernadina FIFA.jpgIt is the final day of the “first half” of the baseball season and coincidentally the final game of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which features Spain vs. the Netherlands. Roger Bernadina has a vested interest in today’s game. He was born in Curacao and lives in Den Haag, Netherlands in the offseason. He played soccer for fun growing up but never on an organized team because he started playing baseball at such a young age and decided just to focus on baseball. Yes, he was a rare breed in the Netherlands to focus on baseball. He still loves soccer though.

Soccer is real big there,” Bernadina said. “That’s everything out there. Soccer out there is like baseball here. It’s real big.”

Bernadina isn’t in the lineup today because Jim Riggleman opted for the right-handed Michael Morse in right field with left-hander Madison Bumgarner on the mound for the Giants, not so he can watch the World Cup.

“I am excited because they’ve never been to a final like that,” Bernadina said of his home country reaching the World Cup Finals. “I’m real excited. The thing is our game is on at the same time so I’m probably going to hear [about it] from one of those guys in the clubhouse.”

He still might be able to sneak back there to watch a few minutes.

Giants (46-41):

1.    Aaron Rowand – CF

2.    Freddy Sanchez – 2B

3.    Aubrey Huff – LF

4.    Buster Posey – C

5.    Travis Ishikawa – 1B

6.    Juan Uribe – SS

7.    Pablo Sandoval – 3B

8.    Nate Schierholtz – RF

9.    Madison Bumgarner – SP (1-2, 2.86 ERA)

* In last night’s game, Buster Posey went 4-for-5 with a double, home run, three RBI and two runs scored. Posey is 19-for-37 (.514) with a double, six home runs, 13 RBI and 11 runs scored in his last ten games. His four hits yesterday match a career high.

 Nationals (39-49):

1.      Nyjer Morgan – CF

2.      Cristian Guzman – 2B

3.      Ryan Zimmerman – 3B

4.      Adam Dunn – 1B

5.      Josh Willingham – LF

6.      Ivan Rodriguez – C

7.      Michael Morse – RF

8.      Ian Desmond – SS

9.      Livan Hernandez – SP (6-4, 3.12 ERA)

* The Nationals are 4-1 in rubber games at home this season, but have lost their last four rubber games overall.

* Despite the team’s 10-5 loss to the Giants last night, starting pitcher Craig Stammen did not allow a run in the first inning to halt the franchise-record streak of nine consecutive games in which Washington starters allowed at least one run in the first inning.

Vote for Stephen Strasburg and lineups

Get your vote on. Stephen Strasburg is up for two ESPY awards: ‘Best Breakthrough Athlete’ and ‘Best Performance Under Pressure’ and voting ends tonight at midnight. Cast your vote right now, right HERE.

Giants (45-41):

1.    Aaron Rowand – CF

2.    Freddy Sanchez – 2B

3.    Aubrey Huff – LF

4.    Buster Posey – C

5.    Juan Uribe – SS

6.    Travis Ishikawa – 1B

7.    Pablo Sandoval – 3B

8.    Nate Schierholtz – RF

9.    Jonathan Sanchez – SP (7-6, 3.15 ERA)

 * Last night, Andres Torres hit a leadoff home run in the Giants’ 8-1 loss to the Nationals–the sole run of the game for the Giants. Torres has now homered in three consecutive contests and four of the last six games.

  Nationals (39-48):

1.      Justin Maxwell – CF

2.      Christian Guzman  - 2B

3.      Ryan Zimmerman – 3B

4.      Adam Dunn – 1B

5.      Josh Willingham – LF

6.      Ivan Rodriguez – C

7.      Michael Morse – RF

8.      Ian Desmond – SS

9.      Craig Stammen – SP (2-3, 5.73 ERA)

* Last night, Stephen Strasburg allowed just three hits in 6.0 innings of one-run ball. He walked one and struck out eight. Despite making just seven starts, Strasburg now leads the Nationals with 61 strikeouts.

* In last night’s win, Willie Harris recorded his first three-hit game of the season, going 3-for-4 with one double and one RBI.

Nats look for sweep

Padres (49-35):

1.    Jerry Hairston Jr. – 2B

2.    Chase Headley – 3B

3.    Adrian Gonzalez – 1B

4.    Scott Hairston – LF

5.    Yorvit Torrealba – C

6.    Aaron Cunningham – RF

7.    Chris Denorfia – CF

8.    Everth Cabrera – SS

9.    Mat Latos – SP (9-4, 2.62 ERA)

*The Padres have only lost three consecutive games once this season, losing all three to the Dodgers from May 14-16.

*Second baseman David Eckstein has yet to commit an error this year. He is the only infielder in the Major Leagues to have not committed an error with at least 60 games played this season.

 Nationals (38-47):

1.      Nyjer Morgan – CF

2.      Roger Bernadina – RF

3.      Ryan Zimmerman – 3B

4.      Adam Dunn – 1B

5.      Josh Willingham – LF

6.      Ivan Rodriguez – C

7.      Adam Kennedy – 2B

8.      Ian Desmond – SS

9.      Luis Atilano – SP (6-5, 4.72 ERA)

* Last night, the Nationals and the Padres combined to hit seven home runs, the most in a single game at Nationals Park ever.

* Adam Dunn and Ryan Zimmerman have combined to record 19 game-winning RBIs this season, the most among any pair of Major League teammates.

Seeing All-Stars and Lineups


Ryan Zimmerman Walk off fist pump c.JPGWe don’t feel we’ve been campaigning adequately for Ryan Zimmerman to go to the All-Star Game. Apparently, between last night’s “Send Zim to Anaheim” signage presented by the Racing Presidents and two of the last three blog posts on this site providing links, Zim is still in second-place in voting behind Reds first baseman Joey Votto. So we’re hoping this link right
HERE will push him over the edge.

Since Zimmerman was announced as one of five nominees for the 2010 All-Star Game final vote on Sunday, he’s done everything to prove he deserves a spot. Zimmerman battled through a rough patch prior to the announcement. He went 16-for-81 (.198) with six RBI and just one home run from June 10 to July 3. Then, on July 4, he was announced as one of five nominees for the 2010 All-Star Game final vote, so, fittingly, Zimmerman laid his cold bat to rest and went on a tear. He improved his .198 batting average to .667 (6-for-9) in the two games since the announcement. He’s provided enough RBI in those two games alone to match his total in the 22 previous games. And he doubled the number of home runs hit from June 10 to July 3. Oh yeah… let’s not forget he’s responsible for hitting the walk-off home run in last night’s victory over the Padres. Clutch.

And speaking of following a slump with some pretty good baseball, the other man who hit a home run in last night’s game is doing the same. Ian Desmond batted .222 (18-for-81) during the “June Swoon.” As the calendar turned, so has Desmond’s fortunes at the plate. In five July contests, Desmond is hitting .389 (7-for-18) with two doubles, one home run, two RBI and two runs scored.

Now for today’s lineups… but not before reminding you once again to vote HERE to send Ryan Zimmerman to the All-Star game.

Padres (49-34):

1.    Tony Gwynn – CF

2.    Jerry Hairston Jr. – 2B

3.    Adrian Gonzalez – 1B

4.    Scott Hairston – LF

5.    Chase Headley – 3B

6.    Nick Hundley – C

7.    Aaron Cunningham – RF

8.    Everth Cabrera – SS

9.    John Garland – SP (8-5, 3.24 ERA)

* Each of the Padres last five games, including four games against the Astros, have been decided in the last at-bat.

* MLB announced today that closer Heath Bell was selected to the 2010 National League All-Star team to replace the injured Yovani Gallardo of the Brewers.

 Nationals (37-47):

1.      Nyjer Morgan – CF

2.      Roger Bernadina – RF

3.      Ryan Zimmerman – 3B

4.      Adam Dunn – 1B

5.      Josh Willingham – LF

6.      Ivan Rodriguez – C

7.      Adam Kennedy – 2B

8.      Ian Desmond – SS

9.      J.D. Martin – SP (0-4, 3.38 ERA)

* The Nationals’ last five home wins, including last night’s 6-5 win over the Padres, have been one-run victories. That matches the club’s record set from September 6-29, 2009.

Nats vs. Padres–Game 1

The Nats begin a three game series with the Padres tonight and they hope the 100 degree heat can cool down the Padres–the NL’s best team. San Diego is winning with defense and pitching and if all goes as planned, the Nationals will get a rematch against the exact same starting pitchers they faced in San Diego on May 28-30: Clayton Richard, Jon Garland, and Mat Latos, three members of the stingiest pitching staff in the league. Padres pitchers lead the Majors with a microscopic 3.05 ERA as a team. They also boast the most efficient defense in the National League. However, like the Nationals, the Padres have suffered under a lack of offense recently, scoring three runs or less in nine of their last 13 games, while Washington has done the same in 12 of their last 18. Timing is everything, they say, and the Padres are coming off of three straight final at-bat wins. The Nationals, meanwhile, took two games from the Mets this past series in walk-off fashion. Expect at least one 1-0 or 2-1 game this series.

Padres (49-33):

1.    Tony Gwynn – CF

2.    Jerry Hairston Jr. – 2B

3.    Adrian Gonzalez – 1B

4.    Scott Hairston – LF

5.    Chase Headley – 3B

6.    Yorvit Torrealba – C

7.    Aaron Cunningham – RF

8.    Everth Cabrera – SS

9.    Clayton Richard – SP (6-4, 2.74 ERA)

* The Padres tossed their Major League leading 12th shutout Saturday night, tied for the fifth-most in franchise history, in a 1-0 win over the Astros.

 Nationals (36-47):

1.      Nyjer Morgan – CF

2.      Cristian Guzman – 2B

3.      Ryan Zimmerman – 3B

4.      Adam Dunn – 1B

5.      Josh Willingham – LF

6.      Ivan Rodriguez – C

7.      Michael Morse – RF

8.      Ian Desmond – SS

9.      Livan Hernandez – SP (6-4, 2.98 ERA)

* The Nationals’ seven-game winning streak in home games started by Livan Hernandez is the longest such run of home wins behind a starter since Major League Baseball returned to DC in 2005.

Happy Fourth!

Mets (45-36):

1.    Angel Pagan – CF

2.    Alex Cora – 2B

3.    David Wright – 3B

4.    Ike Davis – 1B

5.    Jason Bay – LF

6.    Jeff Francoeur – RF

7.    Rod Barajas – C

8.    Ruben Tejada – SS

9.    Hisanori Takahashi – SP (6-3, 4.24 ERA) 

* The Mets suffered their tenth walkoff loss of the season yesterday, the most in the Majors. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, since 1993, only two other teams had ten or more walkoff losses prior to the All-Star Break: Arizona in 1999 (ten) and Cleveland in 2004 (ten).

 Nationals (36-46):

1.      Nyjer Morgan – CF

2.      Cristian Guzman – 2B

3.      Ryan Zimmerman – 3B

4.      Adam Dunn – 1B

5.      Josh Willingham – LF

6.      Michael Morse – RF

7.      Alberto Gonzalez – SS

8.      Wil Nieves – C

9.      Craig Stammen – SP (2-2, 5.13 ERA)

* Yesterday’s 6-5 win over the Mets marked the first time this season Washington has won when trailing entering the ninth. The victory guaranteed the Nationals at least a share of the four-game series.

Lineups vs. the Mets

Stephen Strasburg returns to the mound today for his sixth Major League start. It will be his last outing before the All-Star Game roster is announced, and while his record stands at 2-2, the Nationals have scored just one run in his last three starts. Even if you’re not convinced Strasburg’s limited time in the Majors merits him a spot in the All-Star Game, perhaps you are convinced that his brilliant Major League debut merits him an ESPY award for “Breakthrough Athlete.” Click here to vote for the ESPY’s.

 

Mets (45-35):

1.    Angel Pagan – CF

2.    Alex Cora – 2B

3.    David Wright – 3B

4.    Ike Davis – 1B

5.    Jason Bay – LF

6.    Josh Thole – C

7.    Jeff Francoeur – RF

8.    Ruben Tejada – SS

9.    R.A. Dickey – SP (6-1, 2.98 ERA)

* New York has committed just one error in its last 13 games.

* The Mets drove in four of their five runs in a 5-3 victory last night with two outs.

 

 Nationals (35-46):

1.      Nyjer Morgan – CF

2.      Willie Harris – RF

3.      Ryan Zimmerman – 3B

4.      Adam Dunn – 1B

5.      Josh Willingham – LF

6.      Ivan Rodriguez – C

7.      Adam Kennedy – 2B

8.      Ian Desmond – SS

9.      Stephen Strasburg – SP (2-2, 2.27 ERA)

* Coincidence or not, the Nationals’ 2.53 bullpen ERA since May 17–the date of Drew Storen’s recall from Triple-A Syracuse–is good enough for best in the NL and second in the Majors. Prior to Storen’s arrival, Washington’s bullpen ERA on the season was 4.18.

 

Nats vs. Mets take two

At first, last night’s game versus the Mets seemed to be headed in the same direction as many of the Nationals’ games the past month–a close, low-scoring game, pitched well enough for Washington’s starter to earn the win, but which ultimately ended in a heartbreaking loss due to lack of offensive output. But last night was different. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth and the scoreboard reading 1-1, Ryan Zimmerman hit a game-ending sacrifice fly, providing Willie Harris enough time to scoot home and beat Jeff Francoeur’s throw from right field. Game over. Nationals 2, Mets 1.

 

Some fun facts about last night’s game:

- Livan Hernandez did not walk a batter and fanned seven, a season-high, in 7.0 innings. He allowed only one run. Hernandez has not given up more than two runs in any of his nine home starts this year. It’s the second-longest streak of consecutive home starts allowing two or fewer runs by any pitcher in Expos/Nationals franchise history. Scott Sanderson holds the record with ten straight starts in 1980.

- Including last night’s 2-1 victory, Washington has played an MLB-leading 46 games decided by two runs or less this season.

- At 14-13 (.519), the Nationals have played discernibly better baseball against NL East foes than when facing interdivision opponents (21-32, .396).

 

Mets (44-35):

1.    Angel Pagan – CF

2.    Ruben Tejada – SS

3.    David Wright – 3B

4.    Ike Davis – 1B

5.    Jason Bay – LF

6.    Rod Barajas – C

7.    Jeff Francoeur – RF

8.    Alex Cora – 2B

9.    Jonathon Niese – SP (5-2, 3.84 ERA)

 

* The Mets have lost five of their last six road games, a skid immediately following a streak of seven consecutive road wins.

* Last night, the Mets suffered their ninth walk-off loss of the year, tied for most in the Majors with Arizona and Seattle.

 Nationals (35-45):

1.      Nyjer Morgan – CF

2.      Cristian Guzman – 2B

3.      Adam Dunn – 1B

4.      Ryan Zimmerman – 3B

5.      Josh Willingham – LF

6.      Ivan Rodriguez – C

7.      Michael Morse – RF

8.      Ian Desmond – SS

9.      Luis Atilano – SP (6-4, 4.33 ERA)

* Washington’s current bullpen ERA of 3.43 ranks fifth in the NL and ninth in MLB. Last year, the Nationals’ bullpen ranked last in MLB with a 5.04 ERA. Contrasting bullpen ERAs from this season to last, the Nationals’ improvement of -1.61 ERA paces the Major Leagues.

Nats vs. Mets: Game 1

If you believe the Nationals play in month-long spurts or slumps, you are probably glad that today is July 1. We can officially say goodbye to the month of June. On top of the promise a new month brings, the Nationals face the Mets tonight–a team that weathered both an 85-minute rain delay and a late flight from Puerto Rico last night. The Nationals themselves return home to kick off a 10-game homestand that will carry them into the All-Star Break, just another reason to stay positive. But the team has already been doing that. Here’s what they have to say about the June slump:

Jim Riggleman:All of us feel like we can win more games…I feel like there’s enough talent here that the glass is half-full.”

Ryan Zimmerman: “Whether we’ve won five in a row or lost five in a row, I think we have the same amount of confidence that we’re going to win every game.

Ian Desmond: “The sense in here is the feeling that you get when you can’t catch a break. That’s what it feels like. That’s the best description. There’s no one sad, no one’s upset. There’s probably some frustrated people, but no one’s down by any means. We’re ready to go, we’re ready to win every game.”

Mets (44-34):

1.    Jesus Feliciano – CF

2.    Ruben Tejada – SS

3.    David Wright – 3B

4.    Ike Davis – 1B

5.    Jeff Francoeur – RF

6.    Chris Carter – LF

7.    Henry Blanco – C

8.    Alex Cora – 2B

9.    Johan Santana – SP (5-5, 3.55 ERA)

* David Wright led the National League and was third in the Majors, hitting .404 (42-104) in June. He also led the NL and was second in the Majors with 29 RBI during the same period. Wright became the first player in franchise history to bat at least .400 with 25 or more RBI in a calendar month.

Nationals (34-45):

1.      Nyjer Morgan – CF

2.      Cristian Guzman – 2B

3.      Ryan Zimmerman – 3B

4.      Adam Dunn – 1B

5.      Josh Willingham – LF

6.      Michael Morse – RF

7.      Ian Desmond – SS

8.      Wil Nieves – C

9.      Livan Hernandez – SP (6-4, 3.10 ERA)

* The Nationals’ 34 wins to date are eight more than the 26 W’s registered by the team prior to last season’s All-Star Break. Last year, Washington did not record its 34th win until August 3rd, an 8-4 victory at Pittsburgh.

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