Results tagged ‘ Mets ’

Nats-Mets Lineups

The Nationals reinstated shortstop Ian Desmond from Paternity Leave today and he will be starting this evening against the Mets. Desmond’s wife gave birth to their first son, Grayson, on Tuesday. To make room on the roster, Washington optioned outfielder Roger Bernadina to Syracuse. Bernadina went 2-for-3 with a double in this brief stint with the Nats.

 Mets:

Jose Reyes – SS
Daniel Murphy – 2B

David Wright – 3B

Carlos Beltran – RF
Jason Bay – LF

Ike Davis – 1B

Josh Thole – C

Willie Harris – CF
Chris Capuano – P

 Nationals:

Danny Espinosa – 2B

Rick Ankiel – CF

Jayson Werth – RF

Adam LaRoche – 1B

Michael Morse – LF

Ian Desmond – SS

Jerry Hairston – 3B

Ivan Rodriguez – C

Livan Hernandez – P

 *In 37 starts against the Mets—who he briefly played for in 2009—Livan Hernandez has a 4.21 ERA with 150 strikeouts.

 *Against Chris Capuano, Jayson Werth has an on-base percentage of .393.

 *23 games into the season and Washington is the only team in MLB that has received at least 5.0 innings from its starters in every game. While the 23-game string of 5.0 inning starts is impressive, the Nationals’ longest such streak is 28 games, accomplished May 31-July 1, 2009.

 *Furthermore… with a current team ERA of 3.96 and three April contests remaining, the Nationals hope to register their first sub-4.00 ERA in the season’s opening month. Washington’s top ERA in the opening month of a season came in 2005 via a 4.31 mark. They finished 81-81 that season.

Henry Rodriguez returns, Rick Ankiel’s arm and Lineups

The Nats reinstated right-handed pitcher Henry Rodriguez from the 15-Day Disabled List and placed right-handed pitcher Chad Gaudin on the 15-Day DL, retroactive to April 26, with right shoulder inflammation.

 Rodriguez missed 22 games after beginning the season on the DL, retroactive to March 22, with right shoulder inflammation. The 24-year-old posted a 0.73 ERA and .190 batting average against in nine games/one start during rehab assignments with  Triple-A Syracuse and Double-A Harrisburg. Rodriguez recorded 16 strikeouts and a 2.67/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio (16 K/6 BB) in 12.1 innings. Rodriguez is a flame thrower and went 1-0 with a 4.26 ERA in 32 career relief appearances with the Oakland A’s.

 In news that is less relevant but still fascinating: Last season, Adam Dunn often showed off his arm before the team stretched. It was a competition between a few teammates and the rules were simple. Who could throw the ball furthest up into the 400 level of the seating bowl? Dunn usually won. It was fun to watch and pretty impressive how far he could throw the ball but Rick Ankiel might have just passed him on the “how did he do that scale.” Of course, Rick is known for his arm—he was a former pitcher—but today during BP he nonchalantly picked up a ball on the right field foul line, roughly 100 feet from first base and threw the ball on a line about seven rows up into the red porch seats. With a little quick math, the ball traveled approximately 370 ft—give or take a few feet, probably take—but thank you Pythagorean Theorem. There was one player that noticed this and he started clapping. It pretty much went unseen and that might be the biggest tragedy.

 You will notice Wilson Ramos is in the lineup for the third straight game. This is the first time he has started three consecutive games this season—that’s the power of going 3-for-4 with two home runs and three RBI the night before.

Mets:

Jose Reyes – SS

Justin Turner – 2B

David Wright – 3B

Carlos Beltran – RF

Jason Bay – LF

Ike Davis – 1B

Scott Hairston – CF

Mike Nickeas – C

R.A. Dickey – P

 Nationals:

Danny Espinosa – 2B

Rick Ankiel – CF

Jayson Werth – RF

Adam LaRoche – 1B

Wilson Ramos – C

Michael Morse – LF

Jerry Hairston – 3B

Alex Cora – SS

Tom Gorzelanny – P

Nats-Mets game 1 lineups

Today, the Nationals placed shortstop Ian Desmond on MLB’s Paternity Leave List, and his wife gave birth to their first child this afternoon, Grayson Wesley Desmond. In Desmond’s place, Alex Cora will start at shortstop today and Roger Bernadina was called up from Syracuse to take his spot on the active roster.

Mets:

Jose Reyes – SS

Daniel Murphy – 2B

David Wright – 3B

Carlos Beltran – RF

Jason Bay – LF

Ike Davis – 1B

Josh Thole – C

Jason Pridie – CF

Chris Young – P

 

Nationals:

Danny Espinosa – 2B

Rick Ankiel – CF

Jayson Werth – RF

Adam LaRoche – 1B

Wilson Ramos – C

Michael Morse – LF

Jerry Hairston – 3B

Alex Cora – SS

Jordan Zimmermann – P

 *In five games against the Mets, Jordan Zimmermann is 2-1 with a 3.51 ERA. He has allowed only eight walks while striking out 22.

*Zimmermann will also look to continue the Nationals pitching staff’s streak of starters going 5+ innings over each of the first 21 games played so far this season.

Livan looks to close the series with a win

It is an early start for the rubber game of the Mets vs. Nats series at Nats Park and with a win the Nats will move to 3-0-2 in series play against the Mets and 9-6 overall, guaranteeing at least a tie in the season series. For what it is worth–probably nothing–the Nats are 10-10 in rubber games in 2010, including a 6-2 mark in DC but they have dropped 9 of their last 12 rubber games after starting the year 7-1.

 

The crafty, curveball crawling, 85 mph fastball hurling Livan Hernandez toes the rubber for the Nats. Yeah, it will be back-to-back games that a Cuban-native has started a game for the Nats. And now you are trying to remember the last time that happened. Well, the last time two Cuban-born teammates got the starting nod in consecutive games was Sept. 17-18, 2005, when Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez (loss) and Jose Contreras (win) toed the rubber for the White Sox against the Twins at the Metrodome.

 

Hernandez has struggled in his last three starts going 1-2 with a 12.00 ERA (20 ER/ 15 IP) with a .394 BAA but with a win today he would move to 10-10 with an ERA possibly under 4.00 on the season and the Nats would move to  15-14 when he starts. Not bad for a pitcher who the Nats signed to a Minor League contract during Spring Training.

 

Yesterday, Yunesky Maya and Dillon Gee squared off as they made their Major League debuts. Today, Hernandez and knuckleballer R.A. Dickey square off in a match-up of two surprising seasons and feel-good stories–both pitchers were signed as Minor League free agents in the offseason. Hernandez has been so instrumental in the Nats rotation–he hasn’t missed a start–the Nats signed him to a one year contract, ensuring he won’t need to wait around for a contract for the fourth straight season.

 

Dickey has traveled back and forth between the Minors and Majors his entire career, but after he was called-up on May 19 this season, he hasn’t looked back. He is 9-6 with a 2.91 ERA.  He tied a career high in wins and set a career high in innings pitched (139.1), games started (21) and quality starts (15).

 

Mets (68-71):

1.    Angel Pagan – RF

2.    Luis Hernandez – 2B

3.    Carlos Beltran – CF

4.    Ike Davis – 1B

5.    David Wright – 3B

6.    Chris Carter – LF

7.    Josh Thole – C

8.    Ruben Tejada – SS

9.    R.A. Dickey – SP (9-6, 2.91 ERA)

*Yesterday, Dillon Gee took a no-hitter into the sixth inning in his Major League debut. He is just the third pitcher over the last five seasons to take a no-hitter into the sixth in his first outing in the Big Leagues. Gee fired 7.0 innings of one run, two-hit ball to earn the win.

Nationals (60-79):

1.      Nyjer Morgan – CF

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.      Danny Espinosa – 2B

9.      Livan Hernandez – SP (9-10, 3.81 ERA)

UPDATE: Rodriguez has been scratched, Espinosa will hit 7th, Ramos will hit 8th and play catcher.

Yunesky Maya makes debut against the Mets


yunesky maya pc.JPGCuban right-hander Yunesky Maya makes his Major League debut tonight. Many years ago, Maya was the bat boy for the team Livan Hernandez played for in Cuba. They are teammates once again.

Maya went 1-1 with a 0.87 ERA (1 ER/10.1 IP) in two starts with the Chiefs. The 28-year-old made five Minor League starts this season, going 1-2 with a 3.38 ERA and a .225 batting average against.

Maya signed with Washington on August 3, 2010, after a stellar career in Cuba. He went 13-4 with seven complete games and a 2.22 ERA last season with the Pinar Del Rio Vegueros of the Cuban National Series (Cuba’s equivalent of Major League Baseball) en route to being recognized as the circuit’s top pitcher.

During his six-year career in Cuba, Maya went 48-29 with a 2.51 ERA. He went a combined 1-1 with a 0.87 ERA in six games/one start pitching for Cuba in the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classic.

“I’m very happy for anybody who comes over from Cuba,” Hernandez said. “I was in the same situation in ’95. I heard they were going to sign him. I’ve seen him pitch in Puerto Rico. I think he’s got everything he needs to pitch in the Big Leagues.”

In other notes:

The Nationals recorded their 60th win yesterday, significant in the sense that it bested the ’08 and’09 win totals of 59. The Nationals won 73 games in 2007 and 81 in 2005. It seems unlikely that the Nats will win 81 games but with 15 home games remaining it isn’t out of the question to finish the season 14-10 and win 74 games–a 15 game improvement.

Nats vs. Mets and two MLB debuts

Today’s lineups are a glimpse of the future…and the past. The game features two starting pitchers making their Big League debut. The last time that happened in Washington, DC was over 100 years ago. Dixie Walker Sr. of the AL Nationals and Bill McCorry of the St. Louis Browns faced off on September 17, 1909 at American League Base Ball Park–the first time either starting pitcher had stepped on a Major League mound.

 

Mets (67-71):

1.    Angel Pagan – RF

2.    Luis Hernandez – 2B

3.    Carlos Beltran – CF

4.    Ike Davis – 1B

5.    Mike Hessman – 3B

6.    Lucas Duda – LF

7.    Henry Blanco – C

8.    Ruben Tejada – SS

9.    Dillon Gee – SP (0-0, MLB Debut)

*Josh Thole plated two of New York’s three runs yesterday, going 1-for-2 with a walk and two RBI in the loss.

 Nationals (60-78):

1.      Nyjer Morgan – CF

2.      Ian Desmond – SS

3.      Ryan Zimmerman – 3B

4.      Adam Dunn – 1B

5.      Roger Bernadina – LF 

6.      Michael Morse – RF

7.      Danny Espinosa – 2B

8.      Wilson Ramos – C

9.      Yunesky Maya – SP (0-0, MLB Debut)

 

*With yesterday’s 13-3 mauling of the Mets, the Nationals have won seven of their last 11 contests, dating to August 26. In that same span, Washington has outscored its opponents, 85-55, and has led MLB in runs (85), runs per game (7.7), batting average (.316) and OPS (.876). The 85 runs also account for more runs scored than in any other 11-game span of the Nationals history since the move to Washington (2005-present).

*Danny Espinosa is 9-for-16–a ridiculous .562 batting average–in his first five games as a Major Leaguer. He is the first Nationals rookie to register more than five RBI in a single game.

Danny Espinosa makes Nationals Park debut a memorable one


Danny Espinosa at Nats Park.jpgMichael Morse, Adam Dunn and Roger Bernadina stood at home plate waiting for Danny Espinosa to round the bases. Espinosa had just blasted a grand slam on a 1-0, 93 mph fastball to the first row of the second deck, right above the Nats bullpen, to give the Nats a 12-3 lead. Right as Espinosa touched home plate, the three of them turned around and started walking to the dugout without a word, hand shake or high five for Espinosa.

Welcome to the Majors, rookie. The silent treatment never felt so good. Espinosa couldn’t help but smile as he walked back to the dugout by himself looking up to the 20,224 fans on their feet.


Adam Dunn Michael Morse Roger Bernadina c.JPGBernadina was the first person to end the joke; he stopped on the first step of the dugout, turned around and patted Espinosa’s head. Espinosa was quickly engulfed by his teammates and the fans cheered for a curtain call.

It didn’t take Espinosa a long time to reach the summit of the dugout steps, he just needed a little help from his teammates to begin the journey–a handful of steps. Catcher Ivan Rodriguez pushed him on his way and before he knew it, he lifted his helmet and waved it over his head. On his way back down, he received a courtesy Brett Favre-like butt slap from Pudge. It is a Labor Day he will never forget.

“That was awesome,” Espinosa said. “It was the biggest rush. I could see my family. I saw all the fans. It was such a huge rush. I had a bunch of adrenaline going through my body. I was so excited.”

He has arrived. In his first game at Nationals Park and in just his fifth Major League game, he is staking his claim as an important piece of the Nats future. He finished his Nationals Park debut going 4-for-5 with two home runs and 6 RBI. His only out was a fly ball to left center that was almost a home run. He is just the sixth player this season to collect at least four hits, two home runs and six RBI in the same game. And according to the Elias Sports Bureau, since the Major Leagues began tracking RBI in 1920, Espinosa is the first player to have at least two home runs and six RBI in one of his first five games in the Major Leagues.

His performance ranks up there with a couple other memorable Nationals Park debuts. I don’t think anyone would argue that Ryan Zimmerman’s walk-off home run to open the park in 2008 and Stephen Strasburg’s 14 strikeout gem against the Pirates in June are the two most memorable moments during the short three year history of Nationals Park–they were also the two most-hyped games played at the park. Ian Desmond’s debut last season and Espinosa’s debut didn’t receive as much hype but they were memorable in the sense that the two showed fans the possibilities of their potentially prosperous future. Desmond went 2-for-4 with four RBI in his Major League debut but the most memorable part of that night was when he blast a 434 foot three-run home run to the Red Porch in center field.

“It’s still pretty close to the front of my brain,” Desmond said.

Espinosa’s debut at the Park will be in his head for a while too.

“That was just a great performance,” Manager Jim Riggleman said. “It was a special day for him. It was a great day. It’s a great compliment to our scouting and player development to bring those two guys [Espinosa and Desmond] along the way they have and get them ready to play in the Big Leagues.”

It is still early–just a year into Desmond’s career and five days into Espinosa’s–but the two of them are giving fans a glimpse of the Nats possible double-play combination at short and second. Desmond has been on a tear since July 27: he is second in the Majors with a .383 average (51-for-133) over that span and Espinosa is batting .563 (9-for-16) with three home runs and 10 RBI in his first five games.

“Those two guys right up the middle–nothing is cast in stone–but it’s encouraging that two good athletes can play there for a while,” Riggleman said.

It may only be five games into his Major League career, but Espinosa is giving the fans and his teammates something to cheer about, even if they pretend to ignore him.

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)

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.

 

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