Results tagged ‘ Rockies ’

Friday Fun Facts

I know you were wondering why Doug Slaten got the victory instead of Miguel Batista, who became the pitcher of record after he relieved John Lannan with two outs in the fifth–starters have to pitch at least 5.0 innings to be the pitcher of record. Lannan would have earned the victory had he recorded the final out in the fifth, but Batista became the pitcher of record after getting the last out in the fifth.


Batista inherited two runners in the bottom of the fifth and allowed one to score. If he had stopped pitching after he recorded the final out in the fifth, he would have posted the 1/3 inning win–there were 54 of them last year. But here is where it gets semi-tricky… Batista pitched into the seventh inning and surrendered a two-run homer, cutting the Nats lead to 7-6. Slaten recorded the final two outs of the seventh and the official scorer decided to give him the victory. This is where rule 10.17 (c) comes into play–yeah, the one you memorized in middle school.


And Rule 10.17 (c) reads… The official scorer shall not credit as the winning pitcher a relief pitcher who is ineffective in a brief appearance, when at least one succeeding relief pitcher pitches effectively in helping his team maintain its lead. In such a case, the official scorer shall credit as the winning pitcher the succeeding relief pitcher who was most effective, in the judgment of the official scorer.


It is clear that the official scorer did not find Batista’s three hits, two runs and one home run in 1.2 innings as effective and that’s why Slaten got the win.


In other news just as irrelevant… I am always amazed at the people at Elias Sports Bureau. I can’t imagine where we would be without them. They know everything. And if they don’t know everything, they sure can find anything. I think the world would be worse off without them. They let us know the last time someone went 4-for-4 on their birthday without driving in a run on the road after an hour rain delay with a 14 mph wind to the NE. They are good.


Here are five things I learned this week from Elias. I am now a better person because of it.



Tyler Clippard, who was credited with the victory in the Nationals win over the Mets, now leads the National League with seven wins this season. The last relief pitcher with a league lead with seven or more wins was the Braves Gene Garber in 1987; his eight wins led the National League as late as June 12 that season. Only one other pitcher in major-league history accumulated seven relief wins in as few as 34 team games: Houston’s Jim Ray had 7 wins in the first 28 games of the 1972 season.


Roger Bernadina came into Wednesday’s game against the Mets with a .212 career batting average and no home runs in 113 at-bats over his 41-game major-league career. But he went 3-for-5 with two home runs–including one off New York’s relief ace Francisco Rodriguez in the top of the ninth that broke a 4-4 tie–and made a sliding, backhanded catch that saved three runs in the Nationals 6-4 victory. Bernadina became the first major-leaguer in nearly 11 years to enjoy a multiple-homer game after entering that game homerless in at least 100 big-league at-bats. The last player to do that was Tim Hyers of the Marlins, who hit what proved to be the only two homers of his major-league career in an 11-6 victory over the Devil Rays in St. Petersburg on June 6, 1999. Among the other players who did that but went on to have careers that lasted a bit longer than Hyers were Hall-of-Famers Lou Boudreau and George Kell.


Miguel Olivo’s 10th-inning home run capped a 5-for-5 day as the Rockies defeated the Phillies, 4-3, in Denver on Wednesday. Put this in your “Elias Says” Hall of Fame: only two other players in modern major-league history have gone 5-for-5, climaxed by a game-ending home run: Jim Northrup did it for the Tigers (actually going 6-for-6) in a 13-inning win over the Athletics in 1969, and Fred McGriff did it for the Braves against the Cubs in 1996. Several other players have had five hits in a game in which they hit walkoff home runs (without going 5-for-5), including Hall-of-Famers Kiki Cuyler, George Brett and Jim Rice, as well as Pedro Martinez’s former sparring partner, Don Zimmer (who did it for the Dodgers in 1957).


Ryan Zimmerman hit a pair of home runs in the Nationals’ game Thursday at Coors Field. It was Zimmerman’s second two-homer game this season and the sixth of his career. His first two-homer game came in Washington on Aug. 4, 2007 but all five since then have been in Nationals road games.


Zack Greinke, the 2009 A.L. Cy Young Award winner, recorded his first win this season with a 6-4 victory against the Indians on Thursday. Greinke entered the game with a 0-4 record in seven starts this season, even though he had the 11th-lowest ERA in the American League (2.51). Excluding relievers, the only other defending Cy Young winners who did not get their first victory the next season until their eighth game or later were Jim Lonborg in 1968 (9th game) and Frank Viola in 1989 (8th game).

Jimenez vs. Hernandez

If Ubaldo Jimenez and Livan Hernandez pitch today like they have been… this game will last two hours and end 1-0. Jimenez is coming off a no-hitter–he did walk six batters though–and Hernandez is coming off a complete game shutout and hasn’t allowed a run in 16.0 innings. Who will make the first mistake?


I bet you are thinking this must be the first time that a pitcher who just pitched a no-hitter is squaring off against a pitcher who just threw a complete game shutoutnot so fast, buddy. According to the people of infinite baseball knowledge at Elias Sports Bureau, this has happened once in the last 90 seasons. It came on May 17, 1996 at Wrigley Field, when the Marlins’ Al Leiter (no-hitter, May 11 vs. COL) and the Cubs’ Jim Bullinger (two-hit shutout, May 12 at NYM) toed the rubber. They both pitched well that afternoon–they allowed just three runs on six hits in 15.0 combined innings–as the Cubs prevailed, 3-1.


Ryan Zimmerman is not in today’s lineup after being pulled from last night’s game in the eighth inning with a cramp/strain in his right leg. This might be the only time you see today’s lineup. Zimmerman and Willingham are out. Cristian Guzman is starting in right field and Willie “The home run hitter” Harris is batting third–though he does have a career average of .400 (4-for-10) in the three hole.


Today’s starting lineups:

Rockies (7-8):

1.      Carlos Gonzalez – RF

2.      Dexter Fowler – CF

3.      Todd Helton – 1B

4.      Troy Tulowitzki – SS

5.      Ian Stewart – 3B

6.      Ryan Spilborghs – LF

7.      Miguel Olivo – C

8.      Clint Barmes – 2B

9.      Ubaldo Jimenez – RHP (3-0, 1.29 ERA)


Nationals (8-7):

1.      Nyjer Morgan – CF

2.      Cristian Guzman – RF

3.      Willie Harris – LF

4.      Adam Dunn – 1B

5.      Pudge Rodriguez – C

6.      Adam Kennedy – 2B

7.      Ian Desmond – SS

8.      Alberto Gonzalez – 3B

9.      Livan Hernandez – RHP (2-0, 0.00 ERA)

Strasburg cruises and lineups

Stephen Strasburg continued his impressive start to the season today with a morning game–just the standard 10:30 a.m. start time–against the Reading Phils. So as your coffee was starting to kick in, Strasburg’s fastball was starting to dazzle and baffle Minor League batters. Strasburg’s first pitch was a 98 mph fastball. He picked up his second win and pitched 5.0 scoreless innings, striking out six and surrendering just one walk and a hit. He threw an economical 68 pitchers, 48 for strikes.


He is 2-0 with a 0.73 ERA (12.1 IP/ 1 ER) with 17 strikeouts and three walks in three starts.

Date               OPP       W      ERA      IP    H   R    ER  BB  SO      AVG

Apr. 11           @ALT    1        1.80       5.0   4   4      1      2         8     .200

Apr. 16           NBR       0        0.00       2.1   2   1      0      0         3     .222

Apr. 21           REA       1        0.00       5.0   1   0      0      1         6      .063

Totals                           2        0.73       12.1 6   5      1      3         17    .133


Here are tonight’s Lineups:

Rockies (7-7):

1.      Carlos Gonzalez – LF

2.      Dexter Fowler – CF

3.      Jason Giambi – 1B

4.      Troy Tulowitzki – SS

5.      Brad Hawpe – RF

6.      Melvin Mora – 3B

7.      Chris Ianetta – C

8.      Clint Barmes – 2B

9.      Jason Hammel – SP (0-1, 11.42 ERA)


Nationals (7-7):

1.      Nyjer Morgan – CF

2.      Cristian Guzman – SS

3.      Ryan Zimmerman – 3B

4.      Adam Dunn – 1B

5.      Josh Willingham – LF

6.      Willie Harris – RF

7.      Adam Kennedy – 2B

8.      Wil Nieves – C

9.      John Lannan- SP (1-1, 5.74 ERA)

*”The team’s had a little bit of adversity, and we’ve bounced back, which is a good sign,” Ian Desmond said. “We’re only getting better every day. I’m only getting better, the team’s only getting better, and we are definitely moving in the right direction.”

* The Nationals have plated 69 runs through the season’s initial 14 contests and that is the top 14-game run output recorded by the Nationals since MLB returned to DC in 2005. The best 14-game mark prior to this season was 64 runs recorded by both the 2005 and ’06 Nationals.

Five is the magic number and lineups

Apparently three is a magic number for someone–I don’t know who– but the Nationals magic number in the first 13 games has been five. As in, the Nats are 7-0 when their starting pitcher goes at least five innings. They are 0-6 when the starter goes less than five innings. They were 6-23 last season when the starting pitcher lasted less than 5.0 innings. It really isn’t mindboggling–the longer the starting pitcher pitches, the higher probability the team has of winning the game. It is as conventional as wisdom gets.

The 2010 season is still young but it will rest in the arms of the starting rotation–that probably is true for every MLB team. At 7-6, the Nats are off to their best start since 2005. They didn’t win their seventh game until May 4 last year. It took them 24 games. It took them 23 games to win seven in 2008 and 22 games in 2007.

Winning cures all ails. There is a different attitude in the clubhouse this season–they are finally having fun playing baseball. They are winning games they would have lost last season and coming back from games they would have given up on. You can debate all day if team chemistry creates winning or if winning creates chemistry but there is no question the Nats have chemistry in the clubhouse.

“We have more chemistry here. It’s just a different feeling,” Harris said. “If you believe, you just don’t know what could happen. We play nine innings of baseball, and the Nats are going to come at you for nine innings. That’s all there is to it. Our Manager Jim Riggleman demands it, and that’s how we play.”


Rockies (6-7):

1.      Ryan Spilborghs – LF

2.      Dexter Fowler – CF

3.      Todd Helton – 1B

4.      Troy Tulowitzki – SS

5.      Brad Hawpe – RF

6.      Melvin Mora – 2B

7.      Miguel Olivo – C

8.      Ian Stewart – 3B

9.      Jorge De La Rosa – SP (1-1, 2.77 ERA)

*Troy Tulowitzki leads all National League shortstops with .986 fielding pct and his 118.2 innings are the most played at the position in the NL, and he leads all NL shortstops in double plays (12), total chances (74) and putouts (39). And by the way, he has not made an error since Opening Day, April 5.


Nationals (7-6):

1.      Nyjer Morgan – CF

2.      Cristian Guzman – 2B

3.      Ryan Zimmerman – 3B

4.      Adam Dunn – 1B

5.      Josh Willingham – LF

6.      Pudge Rodriguez – C

7.      Justin Maxwell – RF

8.      Ian Desmond – SS

9.      Scott Olsen – SP (0-0, 6.35 ERA)

*SITUATIONAL HITTING: Right from Elias Sport Bureau…Willie Harris’ three-run homer in the second inning put the Nationals on course for a 5-2 victory over the Rockies–and if you have been paying close attention to the Nationals early this season, you should not have been surprised. Washington has been getting big hits at opportune times, producing an NL-leading .353 batting average (24-for-68) with at least two runners on base. Ivan Rodriguez is 6-for-10 in those situations, including a hit on Monday night.

Nats begin a four-game series against the Rockies

The temperature was in the mid-80s two weeks ago on Opening Day. It was unseasonably warm for the beginning of April so it is only fitting that it is a little chilly today. The sun is shining but the temperature is in the low 60s with a brisk wind.


The Nats open up a four game series against the Rockies tonight. Craig Stammen takes the mound in his third game of the season and the good news is that it won’t be against the Phillies.


He gave up 11 earned runs in 6.1 innings in his first two starts against the Phillies and lasted just 1.1 innings on Wednesday.


“The important thing is to bounce back,” Stammen said.


He will be attempting to return to his spring form against a Rockies team that has beat the Nationals nine straight times. The Rockies are a perfect 6-0 at Nationals Park and of the 21 clubs that have played games at Nationals Park, 20 have lost at least once. Of course, the lone exception is Colorado.


That means just one thing–statistics majors close your eyes–the Nats are due for a victory.


The view is always the same unless you are in front. Don’t look now but the Nationals lead the NL with 14 stolen bases and six triples. Pudge Rodriguez leads the NL with a .444 batting average, Livan Hernandez leads the NL with a 0.00 ERA and Matt Capps leads the NL with five saves.



Rockies (6-6):

1.      Carlos Gonzalez – CF

2.      Seth Smith – LF

3.      Todd Helton – 1B

4.      Troy Tulowitzki – SS

5.      Brad Hawpe – RF

6.      Miguel Olivo – C

7.      Ian Stewart – 3B

8.      Clint Barmes – 2B

9.      Aaron Cook – SP (0-1, 5.56 ERA)

 Nationals (6-6):

1.      Nyjer Morgan – CF

2.      Adam Kennedy – 2B

3.      Ryan Zimmerman – 3B

4.      Adam Dunn – 1B

5.      Josh Willingham – LF

6.      Pudge Rodriguez – C

7.      Willie Harris – RF

8.      Ian Desmond – SS

9.      Craig Stammen – SP (0-0, 15.63 ERA)


Pitching probables:

Tuesday, April 20 Jorge De La Rosa (1-1, 2.77) vs. LHP Scott Olsen (0-0, 6.35)

Wednesday, April 21 RHP Jason Hammel (0-1, 11.42) vs. LHP John Lannan (1-1, 5.74)

Thursday, April 22 RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (3-0, 1.29) vs. RHP Livan Hernandez (2-0, 0.00)


Happy Birthday current Rockies and former Nationals relief pitcher Joe Beimel. The left-hander turns 33 today. Beimel did not pitch on his birthday last year while wearing a Nats uniform.