Results tagged ‘ Philadelphia Phillies ’

The Stras SHO

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Several times each season when Stephen Strasburg takes the hill and cruises through two or three innings without allowing a hit, the press box begins to buzz.

“He’s got no-hit stuff tonight.”

“I know it’s early, but…”

Etc., etc.

With all his pitches working, Strasburg dominated for his first career shutout.

With all his pitches working, Strasburg dominated for his first career shutout.

Any such talk was wiped away on Strasburg’s very first pitch of Sunday’s game, as Jimmy Rollins lobbed a broken-bat floater into right field for a leadoff single. But the Phillies would manage just three more singles and a walk the rest of the way, as Strasburg completed his first-ever shutout in a 6-0 Nationals victory.

Impressively, he combined the dominant power pitching that he burst onto the scene with in his first big league start, with the more pitch-to-contact-heavy approach he has implemented this season. Despite striking out 10 Philadelphia batters, the 25-year-old needed just 99 pitches and faced just 29 batters, two over the minimum.

“It’s something you try to do every time out,” said Strasburg of his performance. “Try to get more outs with less pitches.”

He fanned seven different Philadelphia starters, with only Chase Utley and Erik Kratz bucking the trend. Instead, those two combined to make seven outs in just five at-bats, as Utley twice grounded into double plays.

Perhaps most impressively, Strasburg did all of this after enduring an early scare, when he stumbled a bit off the mound after spiking a changeup past the ankles of Domonic Brown. The trainers went out to check on the right-hander, and both Strasburg and Davey Johnson would later confirm that he had tweaked his groin on the delivery.

Jayson Werth kept hitting, while Ian Desmond provided a jolt of energy.

Jayson Werth kept hitting, while Ian Desmond provided a jolt of energy.

Ironically, it was something that only happened in the first place – and that he would only feel afterwards – as a result of flying too far open to his glove side, a mechanical glitch that he has worked to rein in all season. Perhaps the added awareness helped Strasburg stay on a better line to home plate, as he would go on to strike out seven of the next 10 batters he faced following a walk to Brown, his lone free pass of the afternoon.

“If he didn’t fly open, it didn’t bother him,” said Johnson after the game. “Obviously it didn’t bother him.”

The masterful performance overshadowed other story lines, like the fact that the 6-0 victory gave the Nationals their first-ever home sweep over their division rivals. Former Phillie Jayson Werth also collected his second straight three-hit game, and is following his NL Player of the Month Award in July with a .571/.647/.821 slash line thus far in August. The Nationals showed aggressiveness on the basepaths, with Ian Desmond scoring from second base on a fielder’s choice, coming all the way home after the ball trickled away from Kratz following Utley’s bounced throw home on a force attempt. And there was terrific defense, capped by Ryan Zimmerman’s diving snare of Kevin Frandsen’s liner to end the game, which, of course, brought the storyline full circle, back to Strasburg’s shutout.

“You expect more of those from him, with his talent,” concluded Johnson.

Strasburg’s next scheduled start will come against the Braves in Atlanta this weekend.

Highlights: 8.11.13

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8.11.13 – Nationals 6, Phillies 0

Stat of the Game: Stephen Strasburg needed just 99 pitches to record his first-ever complete game and shutout, holding the Phillies to just four hits while striking out 10.

Under-the-Radar Performance: Jayson Werth turned in his second straight three-hit game and now owns an August slash line of .571/.647/.821.

It Was Over When: Ian Desmond scored from second base on Wilson Ramos‘ fielder’s choice to put Washington ahead 5-0 in the fifth inning.

What to Watch for: 8.11.13

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Philadelphia Phillies (52-64) vs. Washington Nationals (56-60)

RHP Kyle Kendrick (9-8, 4.29) vs. RHP Stephen Strasburg (5-9, 3.01)

The Nationals take aim at a three-game sweep of Philadelphia as they send Stephen Strasburg to the hill. Despite winning six of the past seven home series from the Phillies, Washington has never swept its division rival in D.C.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Denard Span CF

2. Ryan Zimmerman 3B

3. Bryce Harper LF

4. Jayson Werth RF

5. Ian Desmond SS

6. Adam LaRoche 1B

7. Wilson Ramos C

8. Steve Lombardozzi 2B

9. Stephen Strasburg RHP

CLIFF JUMPING

The Nationals overcame a four-run deficit – their largest of the season – against Cliff Lee and the Phillies in Saturday night’s 8-5 victory. Entering the contest, Lee had a personal record of 84-1 when being staked to a lead of four runs or more in his career (he received a no decision). Also, Lee’s teams had won 86 of the 92 games in which he had pitched with at least a four-run cushion.

WERTH ANOTHER LOOK

Since July 1, Jayson Werth leads all National League players in all three Triple Crown categories with a .404 batting average (46-for-114), nine home runs and 27 RBI. The .404 mark is also the best in Major League Baseball over that span, easily in front of Adrian Beltre’s .370.

BANNER START FOR TANNER

With two perfect innings of relief, Tanner Roark collected his first Major League win in just his second appearance out of the bullpen. Roark needed only 12 pitches – six per inning – to set the Phillies down in order twice. The righty has allowed just one baserunner in his first four innings with the Nationals and has faced the minimum 12 batters over that span.

Highlights: 8.10.13

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8.10.13 – Nationals 8, Phillies 5

Stat of the Game: Jayson Werth had three knocks, the last of which was a go-ahead, two-run home run for the 1000th hit of his career.

Under-the-Radar Performance: Tanner Roark recorded six outs on just 12 pitches for his first Major League win.

It Was Over When: Anthony Rendon‘s two-out, bases-loaded single in the seventh capped a five-run frame to put the game out of reach.

What to Watch for: 8.10.13

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Philadelphia Phillies (52-63) vs. Washington Nationals (55-60)

LHP Cliff Lee (10-5, 3.13) vs. RHP Taylor Jordan (1-3, 3.76)

The Nationals look to pick up where they left off last night, after tagging former teammate John Lannan for easily his worst loss of the season in a 9-2 final. Washington will face the tall task of toppling another lefty in 10-game winner Cliff Lee. However, the Nationals homered four times against Lee in Philadelphia on July 10, incuding two pairs of back-to-back shots.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Denard Span CF

2. Ryan Zimmerman 3B

3. Bryce Harper LF

4. Jayson Werth RF

5. Ian Desmond SS

6. Adam LaRoche 1B

7. Wilson Ramos C

8. Anthony Rendon 2B

9. Taylor Jordan RHP

HITTING DOWN THE LINE

All eight Nationals position players recorded at least one hit in Friday night’s victory and Washington got a hit from every spot in the lineup, thanks to Scott Hairston’s pinch-double in the bottom of the eighth inning. Half of the 12 Washington knocks went four extra bases (four 2B, two HR).

SUMMER’S SCORCHER

Jayson Werth was named NL Player of the Month for the month of July and owns the top batting average in Major League Baseball since the beginning of July:

1. Jayson Werth .388

2. Adrian Beltre (TEX) .381

3. Mike Trout (LAA) .380

HEAVY SPLIT

Friday night’s game marked the first in this year’s season series in which either team scored more than six runs. However, each Washington victory has been by at least three scores (closest game: 5-2 on 5/24), while Philadelphia has not won by more than two runs in any of their triumphs (four two-run games, two one-run games). As a result, despite going just 5-6 so far, the Nationals have outscored the Phillies 45-32 (outhomering them 12-5) through the first 11 contests between the clubs.

The 13th to 30

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There were several remarkable aspects to Dan Haren’s solid start on Friday night against Philadelphia. It marked the fifth time in six starts since his return from the disabled list that he allowed two or fewer runs in an outing. He struck out five or more (seven, to be exact) without a walk for the fifth time this year. But perhaps more impressively, it was the first time in the 11-year veteran’s career, during which he spent parts of six seasons in the National League, that he had ever beaten the Phillies.

When Ian Krol rung up Darin Ruf looking to end the game, Haren could officially claim a piece of baseball lore. He became just the 13th pitcher in Major League Baseball history to beat all 30 franchises in his career.

While that feat has been made more accessible by the advent of Interleague Play and the higher frequency of today’s players changing teams, specialized pitching roles and pitch limits have made it harder and harder to earn wins as a starter. And regardless of other mitigating factors, the list is a rather illustrious one:

Kevin Brown (211 wins, six-time All-Star)

A.J. Burnett (142 wins)

Randy Johnson (303 wins, 10-time All-Star, five-time Cy Young)

Al Leiter (162 wins, two-time All-Star)

Derek Lowe (176 wins, two-time All-Star)

Jamie Moyer (269 wins, All-Star)

Terry Mulholland (124 wins, All-Star)

Vicente Padilla (108 wins, All-Star)

Curt Schilling (216 wins, six-time All-Star)

Javier Vazquez (165 wins, All-Star)

Woody Williams (132 wins, All-Star)

Barry Zito (164 wins, three-time All-Star, Cy Young)

That group includes one sure-fire Hall of Famer, a couple borderline candidates, and 11 All-Stars, six of whom were selected for the Midsummer Classic multiple times. Haren, of course, is a three-time All-Star himself, and earned his 126th career victory with Friday night’s triumph.

“It’s pretty cool,” said Haren of the feat, of which he had become aware back in July, the last time he faced the Phillies. “I think it’s something to be proud of, it shows longevity. I face them a couple more times this year, hopefully I’ll get the same result.”

Haren’s performances have been consistent with his heralded career since his return to action on July 8. His 2.43 ERA (10 ER/37.0 IP) is easily the best in the Washington starting rotation over that stretch, during which he has struck out 39 batters while walking just eight, good for a 4.88 K/BB rate.

His overall ERA of 4.99 is the lowest it has been since May 14, and just the second time he has ended a start under the 5.00 mark this season.

“I’ve had a little bit of luck and I’ve pitched a little better,” he explained of the difference in results, also noting that his split-fingered pitch has been particularly sharp, aiding his elevated strikeout numbers. “Put those together and good things happen.”

Highlights: 8.9.13

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8.9.13 – Nationals 9, Phillies 2

Stat of the Game: Dan Haren became just the 13th pitcher in Major League history to notch a win against all 30 MLB clubs, beating the Phillies for the first time.

Under-the-Radar Performance: Every Nationals position player recorded at least one hit in the victory.

It Was Over When: The Nationals scored four times in the fifth inning to break open a close game.

What to Watch for: 8.9.13

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Philadelphia Phillies (52-62) vs. Washington Nationals (54-60)

LHP John Lannan (3-4, 4.10) vs. RHP Dan Haren (6-11, 5.14)

The Nationals host the Phillies for the second of three series in the Nation’s Capital, where Washington took two-of-three in the first meeting of the teams back in late May. Second-place Washington sits 2.0 games ahead of fourth-place Philadelphia, with the Mets squarely between the two. Dan Haren looks to continue his strong run since returning from the disabled list, during which he has compiled a 2-2 record and a 2.40 ERA (8 ER/30.0 IP) and 32 strikeouts against just eight walks.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Denard Span CF

2. Ryan Zimmerman 3B

3. Bryce Harper LF

4. Jayson Werth RF

5. Ian Desmond SS

6. Adam LaRoche 1B

7. Wilson Ramos C

8. Anthony Rendon 2B

9. Dan Haren RHP

GRAND-IOSE OCCASION ON THE HORIZON

With 996 in the bag, Jayson Werth is just four hits shy of 1000 for this career. Werth looks to join teammates Ryan Zimmerman (1211) and Adam LaRoche (1202) in the 1000-hit club.

OFF AND ON

The Nationals are 7-3 this season in games after off-days, not including the four-day All-Star break. Included in that list is Washington’s 5-2 home victory over the Phillies to open the two clubs’ prior meeting in D.C. this year.

LUCKY NUMBER 13

Dan Haren has beaten every Major League team in his career except one – the Philadelphia Phillies. If he can earn the victory tonight, he will become just the 13th pitcher in Major League Baseball history to beat all 30 teams, joining Kevin Brown, A.J. Burnett, Randy Johnson, Al Leiter, Derek Lowe, Jamie Moyer, Terry Mulholland, Vicente Padilla, Curt Schilling, Javier Vazquez, Woody Williams and Barry Zito. In seven career starts, the righty is 0-4 with a 5.54 ERA, the second-highest mark against any single club (Chicago Cubs, 5.58).

Highlights: 7.11.13

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7.11.13 – Phillies 3, Nationals 1

Stat of the Game: Jayson Werth continued to stay hot since returning from the disabled list, collecting two hits to extend his streak to eight games.

Under-the-Radar Performance: Bryce Harper scored Washington’s lone run (and, arguably, a second one) thanks to a sixth-inning triple followed by Ryan Zimmerman‘s sacrifice fly.

It Was Over When: The Phillies added a run in the bottom of the eighth to provide the final margin.

What to Watch for: 7.11.13

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Washington Nationals (47-44) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (45-47)

RHP Jordan Zimmermann (12-3, 2.57) vs. RHP Kyle Kendrick (7-6, 3.90)

The Nationals hope to follow up on their victory Wednesday night as they aim for a four-game road split in Phildelphia. Washington bashed at least four home runs for the ninth time this season in its 5-1 victory Sunday; five of those games have come with Gio Gonzalez, last night’s winner, on the hill.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Span CF

2. Desmond SS

3. Harper LF

4. Zimmerman 3B

5. Werth RF

6. LaRoche 1B

7. Rendon 2B

8. Suzuki C

9. Zimmermann RHP

LUCKY NUMBER 13

Jordan Zimmermann takes his second crack at his 13th win of the season, which would be a National League high and would set a new career mark for the right-hander, before even hitting the All-Star break. Zimmermann is 4-1 with a 1.67 ERA in six starts against NL East foes this year and the Nationals have won five of his six intradivisional starts.

RISP-Y BUSINESS

The Nationals are 0-for-16 with RISP during their current series at Citizens Bank Park after going 12-for-35 (.343) during their just-completed 3-game home sweep of the Padres.

IT STARTED WITH A SLAM

Ian Desmond’s grand slam in the 11th inning capped the scoring in Washington’s 6-2 victory here at CBP on June 19. Desmond’s June 19 slam seems to have sparked the fortunes of Nationals, who are a 13-8 (.619) and sport a +23 run differential (104-81) since.

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