Results tagged ‘ Milwaukee Brewers ’

What to Watch for: 7.4.13

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Milwaukee Brewers (34-49) vs. Washington Nationals (42-42)

RHP Donavan Hand (0-1, 2.63) vs. RHP Taylor Jordan (0-1, 2.08) 

Washington and Milwaukee close the Brewers lone visit to D.C. of the 2013 campaign with a matchup of two rookies with three combined career Major League starts. The Nationals get Wilson Ramos back from the disabled list for his first game since May 15 as they aim for the series split and attempt to move back above .500.

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. Jordan RHP

WELCOME BACK, WILSON

Wilson Ramos returns to the Nationals for the first time in nearly two months, following a rehab assignment at High-A Potomac. Ramos batted .250 (12-for-48) with three doubles, two home runs and six RBI in 14 games before landing on the DL.

REN-GONE

Anthony Rendon accounted for Washington’s lone run last night, blasting his second Major League home run. The rookie is batting .330 (34-for-103) with 13 runs scored and eight RBI since his early June recall.

BREAKING EVEN

At 42-42, the Nationals own a .500 record for the 19th time this year (excluding season-opening 0-0 record). In recent weeks, the Nationals have sported almost methodical 27-27, 28-28, 29-29, 31-31, 32-32, 33-33, 34-34, 36-36, 37-37, 38-38, 39-39, 40-40 and 42-42 records.

What to Watch for: 7.3.13

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Milwaukee Brewers (33-49) vs. Washington Nationals (42-41)

RHP Kyle Lohse (3-6, 3.63) vs. LHP Ross Detwiler (2-6, 4.13)

The Nationals and Brewers meet in the third of four games in this series as Ross Detwiler faces off against Kyle Lohse in a rematch of Game 4 of last season’s National League Division Series. Neither pitcher received a decision in that game, which was won 2-1 by the Nationals on Jayson Werth’s walk-off home run leading off the bottom of the ninth inning.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Span CF

2. Werth RF

3. Harper LF

4. Zimmerman 3B

5. LaRoche 1B

6. Desmond SS

7. Rendon 2B

8. Suzuki C

9. Detwiler LHP

THE POWER OF 3

When scoring three or more runs this season, the Nationals are 37-10 (.787). However, when plating two or fewer runs, Washington is just 5-31 (.139).

NOTHING SHORT OF REMARKABLE

Ian Desmond leads all MLB shortstops with 22 doubles and 39 extra-base hits (22 doubles, two triples, 15 home runs). Remarkably, 10 of Desmond’s 15 long balls have been go-ahead homers. On Sunday, Desmond homered and tallied three RBI to established Nationals (‘05-present) records for RBI in a single month (28) and home runs (nine) in the month of June.

LIFE SPAN

Denard Span is hitting .348 (16-for-46) four walks, five doubles, a triple, nine runs scored and two RBI over 12 games dating to June 20. Span has reached base safely 20 times in those 12 games en route to a .400 OBP.

Highlights: 7.2.13

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7.2.13 – Brewers 4, Nationals 0

Stat of the Game: Stephen Strasburg twirled seven scoreless frames, lowering his ERA to 2.24 for the season.

Under-the-Radar Performance: Anthony Rendon picked up another multi-hit game, his 12th in 32 big league contests.

It Was Over When: The Brewers broke scoreless tie with a four-run eighth inning for the only scoring of the game.

Grand Reopening

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If Monday night’s game seemed to you like a reprisal of Opening Night – albeit an improved one – you aren’t alone.

On a rainy day in The District, exactly three months after the first game of the Nationals promise-packed 2013 campaign, on the first official day of the second half of the season, the night began in eerily similar fashion. Instead of Opening Day starter Stephen Strasburg on the mound, it was de facto ace Jordan Zimmermann toeing the rubber, in search of his National League-leading 12th win. And after a scoreless top of the first inning, Washington came to bat with Bryce Harper once again hitting third in their lineup.

Harper took no time to reintroduce himself upon his return.

Harper took no time to reintroduce himself upon his return to the lineup.

After two outs, Harper stood in the box to face the opponent’s ace, took ball one, then rocketed a home run to put the Nationals in front.

However, that’s where the similarities stopped. Back in April, Harper was that game’s only offense, homering again in his second at-bat for the only other run of the game in a 2-0 victory. Monday night, the rest of the offense came alive. Not content to rest on their laurels, they scored 10 runs the night after plating 13 to match a franchise two-game record with 23 tallies, and the bullpen put the clamps on as the Milwaukee Brewers began to hit their way back into the game. And while they allowed five runs, Nationals pitchers offered up only a single base on balls, making Milwaukee earn their ultimately futile attempt to come back.

Even Harper’s home run reflected the change. Unlike his first Opening Day blast, a majestic shot to his pull field in right, this one required an adjustment, a patient, measured swing to drive the ball the other way. It wasn’t as pretty, but in many ways it was more impressive.

Perhaps there’s something to that. Last year’s Nationals nearly went wire-to-wire, riding their impressive young talent and a series of nail-biting wins to their first-ever division title. Now, a half-season into their attempted encore, with the targets primed, painted, edged, highlighted and lacquered on their backs, they seem to know that getting back to the top of the mountain will not be free and easy, but a daily grind.

Denard Span reached base and scored three times as the Nationals scored 10 runs.

Denard Span reached base and scored three times as the Nationals scored 10 runs.

“Everybody knows we’ve got some work to do,” said Nationals Manager Davey Johnson after the game, only willing to indulge in Harper’s momentous return for a short moment before refocusing on the larger task at hand.

Ian Desmond talks about it nearly every day. Fresh off a record-setting month at the plate and a 56-game errorless streak in the field, the shortstop turned in another mistake-free game, collecting another extra-base hit, another RBI.

Moved up to the two-hole in the lineup – less of an RBI spot than he is accustomed – Jayson Werth took advantage of his opportunities with runners in scoring position, driving home five runs for the first time since his All-Star campaign back in 2009.

“(Jayson) hitting second just causes more problems for the opposing manager,” said Johnson, who is finally sporting the kind of lineup he envisioned when pitchers and catchers reported to Florida back in February, what must seem like a lifetime ago.

Ultimately, 81 games deeper into the season, the feeling in the ballpark Monday night mirrored that on Opening Day, the optimism of what this team is capable of accomplishing palpable in the crowd. The main difference: now everyone knows it won’t be as easy as Harper sometimes makes it look.

Highlights: 7.1.13

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7.1.13 – Nationals 10, Brewers 5

Stat of the Game: Jordan Zimmermann matched his career high and the Major League lead with his 12th win of the season, also going 3-for-3 at the plate. The victory was Zimmermann’s 14th straight at home, setting a new franchise record.

Under-the-Radar Performance: Bryce Harper homered in his first at-bat after 31 games on the disabled list to give the Nationals an early 1-0 lead.

It Was Over When: Washington scored five times in the third en route to a second consecutive double-digit run total. In so doing, the Nationals matched a two-game franchise high by scoring 23 runs over their last two contests.

What to Watch for: 7.1.13

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Milwaukee Brewers (32-48) vs. Washington Nationals (41-40)

RHP Yovani Gallardo (6-7, 4.20) vs. RHP Jordan Zimmermann (11-3, 2.28)

The Nationals return home following their largest offensive output of the season on Sunday, when they scored 13 runs to beat the Mets and take the road series in New York. Today, they get Bryce Harper back in the lineup after a 31-game absence, during which Washington went 15-16.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Span CF

2. Werth RF

3. Harper LF

4. Zimmerman 3B

5. LaRoche 1B

6. Desmond SS

7. Rendon 2B

8. Suzuki C

9. Zimmermann RHP

BRYCE IS BACK

Bryce Harper was reinstated from the Disabled List today. With Harper in the starting lineup this season, Washington has played .581 ball (25-18). In four rehab contests (two with Double-A Harrisburg, two with Single-A Potomac) last week, Harper went 4-for-11 (.364) with three walks, a double, a triple, a homer, five runs scored and three RBI.

JUNE BOON

With three RBI in June’s finale at Citi Field, Ian Desmond set a Nationals (‘05-present) record for RBI in a single month with 28. Desmond bested the former mark of 27, set by Adam Dunn in May of 2009. With his ninth-inning blast, Desmond also established a Nationals (‘05-pres.) record for home runs in June with nine.

RECORD HIGHS

With their 13 runs on Sunday, the Nationals set a season high for scoring, easily besting their previous high of 10, set on April 15 at Miami. Every Nationals starting position player collected at least one hit and at least one RBI in the victory.

Top 12 of ‘12: #6 – Beast of a Comeback

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Top126Near the end of July, the Nationals entered the Sunday finale of a four-game set in Milwaukee looking to win the series and wrap up a 6-1 road trip before heading home to face the rival Phillies. Things looked up as Steve Lombardozzi blasted the fifth pitch of the game – a 3-1 fastball from Milwaukee starter Mark Rogers – into the seats for an early lead. But the Brewers responded with two runs of their own in the first and led 3-1 heading to the sixth inning. From there, they seemed to answer every Nationals rally. Washington scored once in the sixth and seventh, but Milwaukee answered with two runs in each frame to build a 7-3 advantage. The Nationals roared back with four in the top of the eighth to tie the game, only to watch the Brewers score twice to take a 9-7 lead entering the ninth.

With one out in the top of the ninth, Mark DeRosa drew a walk to bring Michael Morse to the plate as the tying run. Brewers closer John Axford quickly got ahead 0-2, but when he tried to sneak a fastball over the outside corner, Morse reached out and belted it the other way down the line in right, just clearing the wall inside the foul pole for a game-tying, two-run home run. Thanks to 2.1 hitless innings of relief from Craig Stammen, the contest remained knotted at 9-9 into the top of the 11th, when Bryce Harper walked and Ryan Zimmerman singled, bringing up Morse once more. “The Beast” fell behind in the count again before hooking a 1-2 breaking ball down the left field line into the corner, scoring Harper easily and Zimmerman on a slide just ahead of the relay throw from shallow left field, pushing Washington in front, 11-9. Tyler Clippard hung on for the save in the bottom of the frame and the Nationals escaped the biggest roller coaster ride of the 2012 campaign with another Curly W in the books.

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The Sun Monster

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“The Sun Monster got me.”

Those were Bryce Harper’s words after the natural conditions at Nationals Park colluded with the Milwaukee Brewers to defeat the Nationals 6-2 on Sunday afternoon. With the harsh, mid-afternoon sun bearing down on right and center fields in the middle innings of day games in D.C., any ball hit with a high enough trajectory to clear the top of the seating bowl in the eyes of the outfielders is susceptible to disappearing against the blinding backdrop.

The “Sun Monster” on Monday afternoon at Nats Park (from Twitter: @JackOBeam)

Harper and Jayson Werth took turns battling the brutal glare on Sunday (Sun-day?), mostly unsuccessfully. Harper lost a ball in the mid-afternoon glare that dropped for a double, with the Brewers scoring the first two runs of the game in the fourth inning. He later managed to fight off the sun just enough to make a catch on which he fell to his knees. Just when the Nationals may have thought they had weathered the worst of it, another would-be routine fly ball was hit straight into the sun’s path at Werth, again dropping as the outfielder had no chance to pick up the white ball against the blinding glare. Milwaukee would take advantage again, posting a three-run inning.

But the Sun Monster giveth, and the Sun Monster taketh away. That’s the lesson the Brewers learned on Monday along the banks of the Anacostia.

With the go-ahead run already in, leading 2-1 with two outs (again in the fourth inning), Werth lofted a fly ball out to right-center field. Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez drifted over, but could not find the ball until it was nearly on top of him, diving futilely at the last moment as it clanked off his wrist and dropped to the turf. Two runs scored on the play, but it was after Harper followed with a walk that the Nationals took full advantage. Ryan Zimmerman belted an opposite-field, three-run shot, his 24th of the season, to cap a six-run frame on the way to a 12-2 blowout victory.

Werth acknowledged that the sun tends to be at its brightest this time of year, as well as in the earliest part of the season. We here at Curly W Live are certainly not astronomers, but we find it interesting that such a time would correspond roughly with the vernal and autumnal equinoxes (the latter of which fell on Saturday), perhaps accounting for the sun being on a particular trajectory that ends up blasting right and center fields at these particular times of year. Regardless of the reason, it will be something to keep an eye on, or shade yourself from, as the Nationals face the prospect of either mid- or late-afternoon start times during the postseason.

What to Watch For: 9/24

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Milwaukee Brewers (79-73) vs. Washington Nationals (92-60)

RHP Marco Estrada (4-6, 3.56) vs. RHP Jordan Zimmermann (11-8, 2.96)

The Nationals can earn a split of this series and secure a winning homestand with a victory over the Brewers this afternoon. Jordan Zimmerman, who has allowed just five earned runs total over his last three starts (2.50 ERA), looks to run his winning streak to three in a row against Milwaukee righty Marco Estrada.

NATIONALS LINEUP

1. Werth RF

2. Harper CF

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. LaRoche 1B

5. Desmond SS

6. Espinosa 2B

7. Bernadina LF

8. Suzuki C

9. Zimmermann RHP

MORE GRAVY FOR DAVEY

With a postseason berth now assured, Davey Johnson will be escorting his sixth club (Mets in ‘86, ‘88; Reds in ‘95; Orioles in ‘96, ’97; Nationals in ‘12) into the postseason…it should be noted that Johnson’s ‘94 Reds were in first place in the NL Central upon the season being cancelled due to labor strife.

SOMETHING BREWING

The Nationals have not won a season series at the Brew Crew’s expense since going 5-1 in 2006, but can do so with a win in today’s series finale. Since Milwaukee shifted to the NL, the Nationals/Expos and Brewers have played in six ballparks: Nationals Park, RFK Memorial Stadium, Olympic Stadium, Miller Park, County Stadium and Hiram Bithorn Stadium in Puerto Rico.

TEENY BOPPER

19 year-old Bryce Harper’s 19 homers hit as a teen are tied for second on the all-time list with Hall-of-Famer Mel Ott. Only a teenaged Tony Conigliaro (24) hit more. Harper turns 20 on October 16.

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What to Watch For: 9/23

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Milwaukee Brewers (78-73) vs. Washington Nationals (92-59)

RHP Yovani Gallardo (16-8, 3.68) vs. RHP Chien-Ming Wang (2-3, 6.92)

The Nationals pounded out 13 hits including three home runs in a 10-4 victory on Saturday to even this four-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers at a game apiece. Chien-Ming Wang makes his first start since June 19 as the Nats hope to solve Milwaukee ace Yovani Gallardo again, after hanging seven runs on the righty in five innings in Milwaukee back in July.

NATIONALS LINEUP

1. Werth RF

2. Harper CF

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. LaRoche 1B

5. Morse LF

6. Desmond SS

7. Espinosa 2B

8. Suzuki C

9. Wang RHP

START ME UP

Chien-Ming Wang makes his fifth start of the season (ninth appearance) for the Nationals today against the Brewers, a club which he has never faced. Opposing Wang is Yovani Gallardo, who comes to D.C. with a string of eight straight winning decisions since July 31.

HOMER HAPPY

The Nationals 179 home runs are the most hit by a team representing the Nation’s Capital (1901-71, 2005-present) and the most hit in the 44-year history of the Nationals/Expos franchise. Washington ranks second in the NL this season in homers, only MIL (188) has more.

DATE IN DC BASEBALL

September 23, 2007: Austin Kearns finishes 3-for-4 with two RBI to lift the Nationals to a come-from-behind, 5-3 win over the Phillies in the 1,047th and final MLB game played at RFK Memorial Stadium. The win averted a four-game series sweep and gave the Nationals (122-121) a winning record in their three-year stay at RFK.

September 23, 2006: Nick Johnson fractures his right femur during a collision with right fielder Austin Kearns in the eighth inning of a 12-6 loss at New York. Johnson had successful surgery later that night.

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