Results tagged ‘ Rafael Soriano ’
Game #29: Washington Nationals (16-12) at Philadelphia Phillies (13-13) | 7:05 p.m. ET | Citizens Bank Park
Pitching Match-Ups: RHP Stephen Strasburg (2-2, 4.24 ERA) vs. LHP Cliff Lee (3-2, 3.29 ERA)
Radio: 106.7 FM / 1500 AM, also on nationals.com (for subscribers to MLB.tv)
TV: The game will be televised on MASN
Live Stats: nationals.com
Washington Nationals closer Rafael Soriano is in the midst of a career-best 22-inning scoreless streak (over 22 games). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the longest current scoreless innings streaks as a reliever are as follows:
22.0 IP Rafael Soriano, WAS — 8/27/13 – 4/29/14
20.0 IP *Chris Capuano, BOS — 4/17/11 – 5/1/14 (Starter most of his career, only recently moved to the ‘pen)
16.0 IP Francisco Rodriguez, MIL — 3/31/14 – 4/29/14
13.2 IP Tyler Thornburg, MIL — 4/5/14 – 4/29/14
13.0 IP *Dan Haren, LAD — 9/8/04 – 8/17/13 (Starter)
12.0 IP David Robertson, NYY — 9/17/13 – 4/27/14
*Pitcher may have had starts in between and allowed runs
Here are tonight’s game notes, courtesy of the Washington Nationals PR department. Enjoy!
9.28.13: Nationals 2, Diamondbacks 0
Stat of the Game: Dan Haren was in command in his final start of the season, scattering four hits over seven scoreless frames.
Under-the-Radar Performance: Another former D-Back, Chad Tracy, went 2-for-3 with a walk and a solo shot, his first homer since June 17.
It Was Over When: Rafael Soriano got the final three outs to record his 43rd save, second-most in the National League.
9.19.13 – Nationals 3, Marlins 2
Stat of the Game: Bryce Harper launched his 20th home run of the season to provide all three runs of offense.
Under-the-Radar Performance: Three relievers – Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard and Rafael Soriano – combined for 3.0 innings of scoreless relief.
It Was Over When: Soriano fanned Christian Yelich with two runners on to lock up his 42nd save of the year.
9.10.13 – Nationals 6, Mets 3
Stat of the Game: Jayson Werth hit his team-leading 23rd home run and doubled twice, raising his slash line to .328/.401/.548.
Under-the-Radar Performance: Scott Hairston delivered a pinch-hit home run in the ninth to provide a pair of insurance runs.
It Was Over When: Rafael Soriano locked down the save with a scoreless ninth, becoming the third Nationals closer to record at least 40 saves in a season.
Washington Nationals (73-69) vs. New York Mets (64-77)
LHP Gio Gonzalez (9-6, 3.49) vs. RHP Carlos Torres (3-5, 2.89)
Quietly, the Nationals have played their best extended stretch of baseball over the past calendar month, having won four-of-five, eight-of-12, 13-of-18 and 19 of their last 28 games. Unfortunately, the teams in front of them have continued to win as well, preventing Washington from closing any real ground in the chase for the final playoff spot. Entering the beginning of tonight’s four-game series in New York, Washington trails both Pittsburgh and Cincinnati by eight games in the standings.
There are 20 games remaining in the regular season, as the Nationals follow these four in New York with 10 more at home – against Philadelphia, Atlanta and Miami – then six final road games, three apiece at St. Louis and Arizona. That leaves their elimination number at 12 behind the Reds and 13 behind the Pirates, who have suddenly lost four straight. Washington will have to play the final 20 contests at least eight games better than one of those two clubs to continue their season into October.
1. Denard Span CF
2. Ryan Zimmerman 3B
3. Jayson Werth RF
4. Ian Desmond SS
5. Adam LaRoche 1B
6. Wilson Ramos C
7. Tyler Moore LF
8. Anthony Rendon 2B
9. Gio Gonzalez LHP
Denard Span has hit safely in a career-high 19 straight games at a .397 (31-for-78) clip with five walks, three doubles, two triples, a homer, 12 runs scored and 6 RBI. Span’s surge has raised his batting average from .258 to .279 on the season. The 19-game streak is the longest active streak in MLB and the longest by a National this season.
START ME UP
Wilson Ramos has started 16 consecutive games, the longest streak by a Nationals backstop (2005-present) and the fouth-longest streak by a MLB catcher this season. Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina paces that group (22 G, 4/20-5/14). During this stretch, Ramos has clubbed 3 homers and plated 11 RBI.
TURNING 40 SOON
With 39 in hand, Rafael Soriano is just one save away from becoming the third Nationals closer to record 40 saves in a season, joining Chad Cordero (47, ‘05) and Drew Storen (43, ‘11). Soriano eclipsed 40 saves with both the Rays (45, 2010) and Yankees (42, 2012).
9.8.13 – Nationals 6, Marlins 4
Stat of the Game: Ian Desmond and Wilson Ramos each collected three of the four legs of the cycle, coming up a home run and a triple shy, respectively.
Under-the-Radar Performance: Ryan Zimmerman homered for the third time in two games, giving him an even 20 for the season.
It Was Over When: Rafael Soriano tossed a 1-2-3 ninth frame for his 39th save of the season.
New York Mets (60-72) vs. Washington Nationals (68-65)
RHP Dillon Gee (9-9, 3.69) vs. RHP Jordan Zimmermann (15-7, 3.32)
Often in baseball, we talk about the intangible benefits of veterans in the clubhouse. They seem to have an effect on the team dynamic by their mere presence, leading by example, letting their play speak for itself.
It’s less often we hear about the tangible benefits of veteran leaders. Sure, they’re frequently the ones making an impact in the box score night in and night out, but their role as teachers for the less experienced players can be easy to overlook.
Yet, if it weren’t for one of those moments of tangible leadership, the Nationals might have had a more difficult time dispatching the Marlins, 9-0, on Thursday night.
On paper, pitcher Gio Gonzalez’s seven shutout innings look about as solid as a manager can hope for from his starter. For the first two innings, though, Miami appeared to be on the verge of a breakthrough, as Gonzalez walked three and gave up two hits, striking out just one batter. While he managed to strand three runners in scoring position over the first two frames, his pitch count rose to 43, not a good sign with a depleted Nationals bullpen that threw seven innings Wednesday due to the rain.
Cue that veteran guidance. Dripping with sweat after the two long frames, Gonzalez retreated to the clubhouse and found closer Rafael Soriano waiting for him. The 12-year veteran had noticed something off with Gonzalez’s delivery and had some words of wisdom for the Nationals starter.
“After the second inning, I came up here to change my shirt, and I had Soriano standing right in the entrance telling me, ‘Stay back, your arm is dropping way too low and you are trying to rush,’” Gonzalez recalled. “That meant a lot, especially when he is out there watching.”
Gonzalez made the adjustment. Over his next five innings of work, he gave up just one more hit and struck out seven Miami batters on just 65 pitches. Nationals Manager Davey Johnson flirted with the idea of sending him back out for the eighth, before handing the ball over to Tanner Roark. The rookie reliever made quick work of the eighth and ninth innings, needing just 13 pitches, 12 of which were strikes.
The Nats offense helped alleviate any lingering pressure, with Bryce Harper, Jayson Werth and Ian Desmond each launching multi-run homers over the left field fence. If the Nationals are to make a run at a National League Wild Card spot, offensive performances like those that have marked their current hot streak will be crucial. But so, too, will the small adjustments like Gonzalez’s, and the veterans that spot the need for them.
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. Jordan Zimmermann RHP
D.C.’S HIT MAN SOON TO BE EXPOSED
Jayson Werth’s .329 batting average would rank a close second in the National League and trail only Yadier Molina (.333) with enough plate appearances to qualify. Werth’s 411 plate appearances to date are only one shy of the 412 presently required (133 games x 3.1 plate appearances per game) to qualify for the NL batting title. The outfielder is batting a Major League Baseball-best .389 dating to July 1.
18 AND UP CLUB
The Nationals are the lone National League club to feature four players with 18 or more home runs. The team’s long balls have been fairly evenly distributed, however, as each of the top four power players in Washington are within just three dingers of one other:
Jayson Werth – 21
Ian Desmond – 20
Bryce Harper – 19
Adam LaRoche – 18
After struggling offensively for portions of the 2013 season, the Nationals rank third in the NL in runs per game in the month of August. Washington has scored 123 runs in 25 games this month (4.92 per game). Among Senior Circuit entries, only St. Louis (5.19 runs in 27 August contests) and Arizona (5.04 in 25 games) have scored more often per contest than the Nationals this month.
8.28.13 – Nationals 4, Marlins 3
Stat of the Game: Jayson Werth tied the game with a solo shot in the sixth, becoming the first National to 20 home runs this season.
Under-the-Radar Performance: Ian Desmond came through with the go-ahead RBI in the seventh, following an intentional walk with two outs.
It Was Over When: For the second night in a row, Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard and Rafael Soriano put up zeroes in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings, respectively, to preserve the one-run win.
8.27.13 – Nationals 2, Marlins 1
Stat of the Game: Ian Desmond had three hits, including an RBI-single with two out in the first that proved to be the difference.
Under-the-Radar Performance: Four Washington relievers – Tanner Roark, Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard and Rafael Soriano – combined to throw four innings of one-hit, scoreless relief.
It Was Over When: Soriano locked up his 34th save, inducing a game-ending groundout from Adainy Hechavarria.