Results tagged ‘ Marlins ’

Nats recall Cole Kimball

The Nationals look to bounce back from last night’s disappointing extra-inning loss to Florida. Livan Hernandez takes the mound against one of his former teams. Livo won a World Championship ring with the Marlins in 1997 and was also the MVP of the World Series.

 Marlins:

 Chris Coghlan – CF

Omar Infante – 2B

Hanley Ramirez – SS

Gaby Sanchez – 1B

Logan Morrison – LF

Mike Stanton – RF

Greg Dobbs – 3B

John Buck – C

Anibal Sanchez – P

 Nationals:

 Roger Bernadina – CF

Danny Espinosa – 2B

Jayson Werth – RF

Laynce Nix – LF

Adam LaRoche – 1B

Wilson Ramos – C

Jerry Hairston – 3B

Alex Cora – SS

Livan Hernandez – P

 *Ian Desmond is out of the lineup today after hurting his left quadriceps muscle while running the bases in last night’s game. Alex Cora starts at shortstop instead. In other injury news, Ryan Zimmerman has started jogging to rehab his recent surgery, though there is still no timetable for his return to the team.

 *In 33 games started against the Marlins, Livan Hernandez is 13-11 with a 3.73 ERA. He has fanned 138 while allowing only 15 home runs.

 *The Nationals announced today that they have recalled right-handed pitcher Cole Kimball from Triple-A Syracuse and have designated Brian Broderick for assignment. Broderick gave up last night’s go-ahead run to the Marlins. In 13.2 innings with Syracuse, Kimball did not give up a run. Kimball has gone 1-0 with five saves in 12 relief appearances this season for the Chiefs.

Nats vs. Marlins Game 1

The Nationals return home after a 4-5 road trip against some inter-division rivals. Tonight, they begin a three-game series against the Florida Marlins, who they took two of three games from last weekend in Sun Life Stadium.

 Marlins:

 Chris Coghlan – CF

Emilio Bonifacio – 3B

Hanley Ramirez – SS

Gaby Sanchez – 1B

John Buck – C

Logan Morrison – LF

Mike Stanton – RF

Omar Infante – 2B

Chris Volstad – P

 Nationals:

 Roger Bernadina – CF

Ian Desmond – SS

Jayson Werth – RF

Adam LaRoche – 1B

Wilson Ramos – C

Laynce Nix – LF

Danny Espinosa – 2B

Jerry Hairston – 3B

Tom Gorzelanny – P

 *Tom Gorzelanny is surely the right man on the mound for the Nationals tonight—he’s 2-0 against the Fish with a 1.80 ERA in three starts. In 20 innings against Florida, he has struck out 15.

 *Having spent much of his career within the NL East, Jayson Werth has seen a lot of the Marlins. He’s has 53 hits with eight doubles, a triple and seven home runs off of Florida in his career.

 *Against Chris Volstad, Adam LaRoche has batted .400 while walking twice in 12 plate appearances.

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)

Nats-Marlins: Round Two

Marlins-Nats, Round Two. Well, not really. The last time these two teams squared off, they literally squared off. There were six ejections, eight suspensions and one I-got-to-watch-that-one-more-time-fight. The dust has finally settled and there has been eight days to calm the tensions, so players on both team hope the malice in Miami is a thing of the past. It will be interesting to see how things do play out over the course of the weekend. The two teams won’t meet again this season.

 

The instigator of it all–Nyjer Morgan–is in the lineup, as of now. He had his appeal hearings for his two suspensions this morning, but it is possible that the verdict isn’t reached until after the weekend. It is interesting to note that Morgan is batting eighth. For whatever the reason, it might be strictly based on his production. He is batting .256 with a .316 OBP. He is 2-for-10 batting eighth this season.

 

Marlins (70-69):

1.    Emilio Bonifacio – 3B

2.    Logan Morrison – LF

3.    Hanley Ramirez – SS

4.    Dan Uggla – 2B

5.    Wes Helms – 3B

6.    Mike Stanton – RF

7.    Cameron Maybin – RF

8.    Brad Davis – C

9.    Alex Sanabia – SP (3-2, 4.50 ERA)

 

Nationals (60-80):

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.      Ivan Rodriguez – C

8.      Nyjer Morgan – CF

9.      John Lannan – SP (7-6, 4.73 ERA)

 

Nyjer Morgan and the malice in Miami


Nats-Marlins benches clear.jpgIf you haven’t seen the fight yet,
you can see it here–we will nickname it the malice in Miami. Nyjer Morgan has never been shy of being the center of attention from his military-like salute in the outfield to his alter ego Tony Plush, but last night’s fight capped off an interesting week for the former hockey player–the type of publicity T. Plush isn’t searching for.

Morgan was suspended last Wednesday for seven games because of an incident with a fan in Philadelphia–he appealed the suspension thus being able to play. On Friday, he was picked off of first base in the bottom of the eighth. Willie Harris would hit a home run on the next pitch. On Saturday, he ran into/threw an elbow at the Cardinals’ catcher Bryan Anderson at home plate in the 8th inning despite the fact that there wasn’t even a play at the plate. Needless to say, Morgan missed home plate and cost the Nats a run. He was held out of Sunday’s game because of that play for what Manager Jim Riggleman referred to as an “unprofessional play.”

On Tuesday, in the top of the tenth inning with no score, Morgan plowed over catcher Brett Hayes on a close play at the plate. Morgan was called out. Could he have slid? Yes. Would he have been safe sliding? Maybe, but hindsight is 20-20. Morgan chose not to slide and opted to lower his shoulder to try to knock the ball loose. What would typically just be a footnote in a 1-0 loss became the main story. Collisions at home plate aren’t rare and by no means did this seem like a dirty hit but because of the incident on Saturday the collision on Tuesday was viewed as malicious by the Marlins. The Nats had no problem with the play. The Marlins had a different opinion.

It was expected that the Marlins would retaliate. Marlins pitcher Chris Volstad didn’t throw at Morgan when he led off the game but when Nyjer batted in the fourth with the Marlins leading 14-3, Volstad plunked him with a 92 mph fastball in the ribs. Morgan flipped his bat to the dugout, took off his elbow protector and ran to first base. That’s baseball–it’s a game that polices itself. What would have been a dead issue was quickly reignited when Morgan threw gas on the fire by stealing second base on the next pitch and third base two pitches later. Morgan was out to prove a point and the Marlins believed he was breaking one of the unspoken rules of baseball.

When Morgan returned to the plate in the sixth inning, the Marlins were determined to teach him a lesson. Volstad threw a 91 mph fastball behind Morgan and the rest is history. In a game, where your reputation often becomes the reality, it will be interesting to see what happens to Nyjer Morgan but here are some comments about last night’s event:


Nyjer Morgan in Miami.jpgMorgan on being hit once:

We police it. It was a hard play yesterday. I understand they had to get me back a little bit. It’s part of the game. I’m a hard player. I’m going out there and just playing the game. I guess they took it the wrong way. He hit me the first time, so be it. But he hit two other of our guys? All right, cool. But then he whips another one behind me, we got to go. I’m just sticking up for myself and just defending my teammates. I’m just going out there and doing what I have to do.”

Morgan on being thrown at the second time:

“That was garbage. That’s just bad baseball. It’s only the fourth inning. If they’re going to hold me on, I’m going to roll out. The circumstances were kind of out of whack, but the game was too early. It was only the fourth inning. If it happened again, I’d do it again. It’s one of those things where I’m a hard-nosed player. I’m grimey. And I just wanted to go out there and try to protect myself. I didn’t want to get outside the box. There’s a little bit of controversy surrounding the kid lately. But it’s just one of those things. I’m a solid, hard-nosed player. When I’m out there between the lines, I’m out there to win and I’m out there to play hard, and play hard for this organization.”

Jim Riggleman on Morgan stealing second and third:

“You know, my feeling has always been, if you hit somebody, then you did what you set out to do. You hit him, and now if he decides to run on you, that’s his business. I got no problem with that. We decide when we run. The Florida Marlins will not decide when we run. We will decide when we run. Nobody will decide when we run.”

Ryan Zimmerman:

“We knew he might hit him one time for I guess what they thought was a dirty play yesterday. I’ve known Brett [Hayes] since college. Nobody wants to see anyone get hurt, I don’t think it was a dirty play yesterday. I wouldn’t say it was the cleanest play, but in baseball terms, that’s been done a million times and no one’s said anything. Nyjer doesn’t want to hurt anyone. No one wants to hurt anyone. I guess we thought they might hit him. They hit him once, and that’s fine. But to hit him twice, that was a little … I wouldn’t say that’s the right way to go about things. Even to hit him once is questionable. But to hit him twice? I don’t know.”

Third basemen Wes Helms:

“I cannot stand when a guy shows somebody up. There’s no place in baseball for that. You’re going to get what’s coming to you if you do that. Tonight, we had to show him that we weren’t going to put up with the way he was treating us after last night.”

“I can’t really say anything good about a guy that doesn’t play the game the right way and doesn’t play for the integrity of the game. I know he’s stealing bases out of his own doing, he’s trying to get back at us. That’s the only reason we went after him the second time. If he wouldn’t have stole the bases, I think it would have been over with, but since he stole the bases it kind of pumped us up a little more.”

Wilson Ramos and Danny Espinosa get the call

It is the first day of September and that means one thing in the baseball world: September call-ups. The Nats recalled Wilson Ramos and selected the contract of Danny Espinosa–two players the Nats are hoping to be instrumental in their long term plans. Teams are allowed to add any player on the 40-man roster to the active roster–essentially raising the limit from 25 to 40 player but don’t expect the Nationals to add an additional 15 players, maybe five or six.

 

The 23-year-old Ramos is the prized catching prospect the Nats acquired from Minnesota on July 29 in exchange for NL All-Star closer Matt Capps. This is his second stint with the Nats. He debuted with Washington on August 19 at Atlanta when fellow catcher Wil Nieves was placed on the Temporary Leave List. Ramos is batting .258 (8-for-31) with one RBI in eight Big League contests with Minnesota (seven games) and Washington (one) this season.

 

Ramos hit .258 with 17 doubles, eight home runs and 38 RBI in 91 Triple-A games this season, including a .329 mark with three home runs and eight RBI in 19 August contests with Syracuse.

 


Danny Espinosa.jpgEspinosa won’t get the start tonight in Miami but it is only time before we get a glimpse of the possible double play combo of the future: Espinosa and Ian Desmond. Espinosa made the transition from shortstop to second base when he was called up to Triple-A Syracuse last month.
Espinosa has always stood out because of his defense, with good range, sure hands and an above-average arm. At California State University-Long Beach as a freshman, he beat out All-Star Evan Longoria for the shortstop position. And Cal State-Long Beach or Shortstop U has a reputation for producing shortstop prospects: Bobby Crosby, Troy Tulowitzki and Evan Longoria (now a third baseman).

 

He is a switch-hitter who can drive the ball from both sides and hits for power. The 23-year-old focused on his approach at the plate in the Arizona Fall League in 2009 and it paid off. He worked with Hitting Coach Brian McArn (Triple-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics) to strengthen his approach at the plate and help him get his foot down early.

 

In 123 combined games with Syracuse (24 games) and Harrisburg (99), Espinosa hit .268 with 18 doubles, 22 home runs, 69 RBI, 41 walks and 25 stolen bases this season at the Minor League level. On August 8, Espinosa became the second player in professional baseball to earn 20-homer, 20-stolen base status this season. There are currently five professional 20-20 players, including Colorado’s Carlos Gonzalez (29 home runs, 20 stolen bags) and Arizona’s Chris Young (22, 26).

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)

Strasburg returns

*The Nats return home for just their seventh home game since July 11. Stephen Strasburg will make his first start since being scratched on July 27. He missed the last 16 games after being placed on the DL with right shoulder inflammation on July 29, retroactive to July 22. Strasburg is 5-2 with a 2.32 ERA in nine starts with Washington. He has posted a .216 batting average against, 75 strikeouts and 15 walks in 54.1 innings.              

 

*Ian Desmond is batting second for the fourth straight game. He is batting .328 (19-for-58) with 6 RBI in 14 games in the No. 2 spot this season. Desmond has been on a tear since July 27–he is batting .381 (16-for-42) with one home run, five RBI and seven multi-hit games in 13 contests.

 

*The Nationals will recognize the career of baseball’s newest Hall of Famer and former Montreal Expos outfielder Andre Dawson tonight at Nationals Park. Dawson, who played 11 of his 21 seasons with the Montreal Expos, was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., last month.

 

Dawson is one of only three players in the Hall of Fame with ties to the Nationals/Expos franchise, joining catcher Gary Carter and first baseman Tony Perez–only Dawson and Carter wear Expos hats on their Hall of Fame plaques.

 

Dawson–nicknamed the Hawk–was an eight-time All-Star who won eight Gold Glove and four Silver Slugger awards. He posted 438 home runs with 1,591 RBI and 314 stolen bases during his prolific career. Dawson joins Willie Mays and Barry Bonds as the only three players in baseball history to record 400 home runs and 300 stolen bases.

 

Marlins (54-56):

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.    Wes Helms – 3B

8.    Ronny Paulino – C

9.    Anibal Sanchez – SP (8-7, 3.50 ERA)

*On Saturday, Hanley Ramirez led off with his 25th career lead-off home run, and then in the 10th inning, drove in the game-winning run to make the Fish walk-off winners. Ramirez is the first Marlins player in franchise history to provide a lead-off home run and a walk-off hit in the same game.

 

Nationals (49-63):

1.      Roger Bernadina – CF

2.      Ian Desmond – SS

3.      Ryan Zimmerman – 3B

4.      Adam Dunn – 1B

5.      Josh Willingham – LF 

6.      Michael Morse – RF

7.      Ivan Rodriguez – C

8.      Adam Kennedy – 2B

9.      Stephen Strasburg – SP (5-2, 2.32 ERA)

 

*The Nationals hit 15 home runs on their just-completed seven-game roadtrip, pacing MLB last week (August 2-8). The 15 long balls are also good for the most hit by the Nationals franchise on a road trip lasting seven games or less since the Expos went deep 16 times during a six-game trek from September 20-25, 1985.

*Adam Dunn enters play today leading the NL with 30 home runs.

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