Results tagged ‘ Roger Bernadina ’

Top 12 of ‘12: #5 – Dirty Dozen

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Top 12 Number 5For the bulk of the season, the Nationals vaunted pitching staff – the best in the National League in 2012 – led the way for the eventual NL East Champions. With a slew of injuries to position players over the course of the year, Washington never really had its full complement of everyday starters on the field at the same time. But in late August, the Nats finally put together as close to a fully stocked lineup as they had seen all year. After pummeling the Cardinals, outscoring them 31-14 over a four-game set, they entered a four-game series against the Chicago Cubs with a chance to pad their division lead.

After eking out a 2-1 victory behind a strong performance from Ross Detwiler in the series opener, the bats caught fire like never before. On September 4, five Nationals combined to set a new franchise record by belting six home runs in an 11-5 thumping. How in the world could they follow up that act? By doing the exact same thing the next night, crushing six more longballs in a 9-1 victory, giving them 12 in just a 16-inning offensive span. Adam LaRoche led the way with three bombs in two nights, while Bryce Harper accounted for a pair of the blasts. At the height of the air horns and Chuck Brown’s Bustin’ Loose looped on repeat over the ballpark’s PA system, three Nationals – Roger Bernadina, Harper and LaRoche – homered in the same inning, all in a four-batter span, sparking the coining of a new phrase: The Nat Trick.

Perhaps the most impressive part of the display, though, was that eight different players contributed to the power barrage, helping Washington to a series sweep. The Nats went on to hit 194 home runs for the season, smashing the old Washington mark of 164 from 2006, as well as the franchise record of 178, set by the 2000 Expos.

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Top 12 of ’12: #10 – Opening Statements

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Nationals Cardinals BaseballWashington notched a dramatic victory on Opening Day in Chicago, but the Nationals saved some magic for their home opener against Cincinnati a week later, as well. Gio Gonzalez, making his first-ever home start in D.C., twirled seven sparkling innings of two-hit, shutout ball and recorded his inaugural Major League hit to boot, becoming an instant fan favorite in the District. Adam LaRoche delivered a clutch, two-out, two-run single in the fifth to push Washington ahead, but the Reds came back with a pair of runs in the ninth to tie the game and send it into extra innings.

But if any air had been let out of a raucous, packed house at Nats Park, Craig Stammen pumped it back up as he came on in the 10th inning. The converted starter, pitching in his first full season out of the Nats bullpen, struck out the side on just 10 pitches, one over the minimum. That set the stage for the late heroics, as Ryan Zimmerman was hit by a pitch to lead off the frame, moved to second on a one-out single by Jayson Werth, then to third on a groundout by Xavier Nady. That extra 90 feet proved to be crucial, as Alfredo Simon bounced an 0-1 slider to Roger Bernadina that squirted away far enough from catcher Devin Mesoraco for Zimmerman to scamper down the line and slide in safely with the first walk-off win of the season.

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The Top 12 of ‘12

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It’s December, the time of year for oversized family meals, eggnog, lots of gift-giving, and colder weather (eventually… we think). The end of the year also brings about all of the “Best Of” lists. With so many signature moments to choose from this year, we thought we’d let you vote on the Top 12 of ’12, the best of the best in an unforgettable year.

Watch the videos below, then go to the bottom of the page to cast your vote. Our poll is an open one, meaning you can vote for as many different moments as many times as you would like through Thursday at noon. However, we’re keeping the results secret, and will begin unveiling our list with Number 12 on Thursday afternoon. Which moment deserves to be Number One? You decide.

Opening Day Walk-off (4/12 vs. CIN)

After Gio Gonzalez introduced himself to the Nationals faithful with a gem in the home opener, Ryan Zimmerman scampered home on a wild pitch in the 10th inning to give the Nationals a walk-off win.

Desmond’s “Dunk” (5/2 vs. ARI)

Trailing by a run with two outs in the ninth, all while sitting on a season-high, five-game losing streak, Ian Desmond delivered the biggest blast of his season, a two-run, game-winning bomb to the visiting bullpen in left-center field.

Ramos Flies To Victory on NATITUDE Weekend (5/4 vs. PHI)

In Washington’s first meeting with the five-time defending division champion Phillies, the teams battled into the 11th before Wilson Ramos, the last bat on the bench, delivered a bases-loaded single up the middle to send the crowd into a frenzy as he sailed up the first base line.

Harper Steals Home (5/6 vs. PHI)

Phillies hurler Cole Hamels thought he’d welcome Bryce Harper to the big leagues by plunking him with the first pitch of his first at-bat. Harper responded by racing first-to-third on a two-out single, then breaking for the plate on Hamels’ lazy pick-off throw to first, swiping home for his first Major League steal.

Teenage Dream (6/5 vs. NYM)

After Desmond tied the game three times late, Harper delivered the first walk-off of his career (and the first by a teenager in Major League Baseball since 1988) in the bottom of the 12th inning.

Old School Walk-off (7/5 vs. SF)

On Turn Back the Clock Night, with both teams sporting their 1924-era jerseys, the Nationals completed a three-game sweep of San Francisco by coming back late against Matt Cain and – just like the Senators did against the Giants in ’24 – walking off to victory.

Beast of a Comeback (7/29 @ MIL)

Sometimes, one set of late heroics isn’t enough. That was no problem for Michael Morse, who delivered a game-tying, two-run home run in the ninth, followed by a game-winning, two-run double in the 11th to lead the Nats past the Brewers, 11-9, in one of the craziest games of the year.

“The Catch” (8/7 @ HOU)

There were plenty of great catches in Major League Baseball this year, but few were more important than the improbable, disappearing act grab that Roger “The Shark” Bernadina pulled out of his hat, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.

Gi-000000000 (8/31 vs. STL)

As dominant as Gio Gonzalez can be, he had yet to notch a complete game shutout on his impressive resume. That all changed on August 31 against the defending champs, as he blanked the Cardinals for nine frames to earn his 17th win of the year.

Dirty Dozen (9/4-5 vs. CHC)

The Nationals set a club record, blasting six home runs to beat the Cubs on September 4. How did they follow up that epic performance? By blasting six more the very next night, including three in one inning (the “Nat Trick”). All told, eight different players got in on the act, with Adam LaRoche accounting for three of the bombs.

Morse’s Phantom Grand Slam (9/29 @ STL)

What do you do when your grand slam – initially ruled a single – is upheld on video replay? If you’re Michael Morse, you head back around the bases, all the way to the batter’s box, then toss in a phantom swing for good measure before heading into your trot.

Werth Game 4 Walk-off (10/11 vs. STL)

When you’re embroiled in a classic postseason battle, with neither team giving an inch, the game often comes down to one pitch. For Jayson Werth, Game 4 of the NLDS came down to the 13th pitch of the longest at-bat of his career, which he hammered into a red sea of deafening euphoria for the win.

2012 Player Review: Roger Bernadina

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The Washington Nationals enjoyed unprecedented success in 2012, recording the best record in Major League Baseball. The team relied on the contributions of many different players, whom we will catalogue throughout the offseason as we look ahead to the 2013 campaign. We begin the list with everyone’s favorite selachimorph, Roger “The Shark” Bernadina.

The Curacao-born outfielder played in parts of four seasons for the Nationals before 2012, compiling a slash line of .242/.304/.364 in just under 900 plate appearances. His athleticism and flashes of superior defense gave fans hope that he might progress into a steady Major Leaguer, an evolution that finally took form this season. Bernadina posted the best all-around numbers of his career, hitting .291/.372/.405 with 11 doubles and five home runs in just 261 plate appearances. A midseason switch to a lighter bat helped him go on a 41-game tear over which he batted .395 (32-for-81) from June 28-August 17, raising his average by 73 points.

However, he was at his best during the crucial four-game home set with Atlanta in mid-July (over which he went 8-for-13) and on the team’s season-long 10-game road trip in early August, where he turned in a four-hit game in San Francisco and this season-defining catch to win a game in Houston.

With his tremendous speed and range in the outfield, Bernadina offered the Nationals a versatile option as a left-handed pinch-hitter, pinch-runner, or defensive replacement off the bench this year. He will be arbitration eligible for the first time in 2013, but remains under team control through the 2016 season.

Shark fans out there may not have to wait until Spring to see Bernadina play, as he is rumored to be taking part in the World Baseball Classic as part of Team Netherlands, the country that stakes ownership to the Antilles islands, including Curacao.

Two Swings, One Number

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Baseball is a sport of routines, of countless situations played over and over again. It is a game that, more often than not, rewards those teams that are able to consistently take advantage of the opportunities afforded them to score runs and win games. However, one of the greatest parts about baseball is the likelihood of seeing something you’ve never seen before in each and every game. There are so many different ways for any given situation to unfold that no two games would ever play out exactly alike, even if – by some miracle – the box scores looked identical.

This anachronism played true to form on Saturday night, when the Nationals needed just two swings to take control of their fate, beating the host Cardinals in 10 innings to lower their NL East magic number to one. The first swing happened with no bat and no ball, and was a first for everyone in the ballpark, no matter how much baseball their eyes had seen. Michael Morse stepped into the box with the bases loaded and drove a ball the other way, clearing the right-field wall before caroming off the electronic billboard behind it and back into play. Initially ruled a single on the field, confusion reigned among the Nationals runners on the base paths, with Morse eventually being tagged out sliding back into first. Following a review, the umpires determined correctly that the ball had in fact cleared the wall for a grand slam.

Home runs have been overturned before in baseball since the advent of replay, but none have played out quite the way this one did. Morse, who had stayed at first base during the review, began running the bases when home plate umpire Cory Blaser gave the home run signal. However, he was ordered to go back to the base where he started when the play began. Initially he circled back around second to first, but was eventually sent back to home plate, with Bryce Harper – who began the play at third base and had been in the dugout for several minutes after scoring – summoned to return to the field as well. Upon arriving back at the batter’s box, Morse, not knowing what to do, took a phantom swing, then went into his home run trot, even tossing in his trademark helmet slap as he rounded the bases. Fittingly, a full moon rose from behind the outfield bleachers the next inning, looming over the spot where the ball had left the yard.

The Nationals would not score again until the 10th inning, after the Cardinals had come back to tie the game at 4-4 in the bottom of the ninth. This time, they did so on a play that baseball lifers have seen time and time again, one that anyone who has been following the Nats closely down the stretch over the past few weeks could see coming a mile away. Adam LaRoche, who led the inning off with a single, stood at second base with two outs following a Roger Bernadina sacrifice bunt and an Ian Desmond fly out. With Danny Espinosa at the plate, Cardinals Manager Mike Matheny elected to intentionally walk Espinosa, rather than let his reliever, Fernando Salas, face him.

Kurt Suzuki’s clutch double brought the Nationals to the brink of history.

In theory, the move was a shrewd one. Espinosa had found success against Salas in the past. Perhaps he remembered Espinosa’s triple off Salas on April 20 last season. He almost certainly had images of Espinosa’s three-run, walk-off home run that Salas served up in Washington a couple months after that. Perhaps it was as simple as wanting a righty-righty matchup instead of letting a left-handed batter (or switch-hitter, batting left) beat him. But Kurt Suzuki has not been just any right-handed hitter of late.

Since August 25, the Nationals trade acquisition has batted .322 (29-for-90) with a .522 slugging percentage and 20 RBI in just 27 games. He has supported the “Kurt Klutch” nickname he earned at Cal State Fullerton, where his two-out, RBI-single in the bottom of the seventh inning led the Titans to a 3-2 victory and College World Series title in 2004.

While the intentional walk can serve many purposes in the game, a two-out intentional walk means only one thing from the opposing manager: “I’ll take my chances against you.” Better not to do so facing a guy with a “Klutch” nickname. Suzuki ripped a two-run double to the base of the fence in left-center, providing the decisive blow.

The culmination of the two swings have left the Nationals on the brink of their first-ever National League East title which they could wrap up as soon as today. They need a single win (or Atlanta loss) to make it official here, fittingly, on the home field of the defending World Series Champions.

What to Watch For: 9/7

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Miami Marlins (61-77) vs. Washington Nationals (85-52)

RHP Jacob Turner (1-3, 7.33) vs. RHP Stephen Strasburg (15-6, 2.94)

Washington’s offensive barrage continued, as the Nationals completed a four-game sweep of the Cubs with a 9-2 victory, their fifth win in a row and their eight in the last nine games. Stephen Strasburg makes his final scheduled home start of the season as Washington opens a three-game set with the Marlins to conclude an 11-game homestand.

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. Strasburg RHP

ADAM BOMBS

While homering in a career-best four consecutive games, Adam LaRoche became just the sixth player in MLB history to homer in every game of a four-game series, including at least one multi-homer effort, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. LaRoche joins the following Hall-of-Famers in accomplishing the feat: Johnny Bench, Lou Gehrig, Hank Greenberg, Babe Ruth, Mike Schmidt.

STRAS

Stephen Strasburg faces his most frequent opponent tonight, the Miami Marlins. He is 4-2 with a 2.38 ERA in eight career starts against the Fish. By game’s end, he will have faced Miami nine times in 45 career starts (20%). In addition, he has worked 6.0 scoreless innings in five of eight career starts against the Marlins and has more wins (four) over Miami than any opponent.

FISH FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Ryan Zimmerman’s 16 career homers against the Marlins are tied with Atlanta for the most he’s hit against another club. The Nationals won their final two series at Sun Life Stadium, but went 0-2-1 in first three visits to Marlins Park. Via a 10-8 mark in ‘07, the Nationals/Expos franchise has won only one season series from the Marlins since ‘98. With a 3-1 win on September 28, 2011, Stephen Strasburg (win) and the Nationals helped end Florida’s tenure at Sun Life Stadium. Roger Bernadina recorded the final hit and RBI in the venue’s 19-year MLB history.

DATE IN D.C. BASEBALL

September 7, 1907 – Walter Johnson pitches the first of 110 career shutouts, blanking the host Boston Americans, 1-0, at Huntington Ave. Baseball Grounds.

September 7, 2007 – Less than three months after being selected sixth overall in the First-Year Player Draft, out of Missouri State, Ross Detwiler makes his MLB debut at ATL and becomes the first member of the 2007 draft class to appear in a big league contest. Detwiler struck out one (Willie Harris) in 1.0 scoreless inning, but Atlanta won the game, 7-1.

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Power Hour

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Did you remember that the Nationals hit three home runs in one inning Wednesday night? With everything else that happened in the game, a dramatic feat became a footnote to the larger overall story. Nevertheless, the “Nat Trick” was an impressive occurrence that signified the team’s offensive breakout, which has seen the bats score 61 runs in their last eight games (7.6 runs per game) after scoring just six times total in a five-game losing stretch before that. Even more impressive than the raw numbers, though, is the fact that everyone is contributing.

Adam LaRoche has homered four times in the first three games of the series.

On Tuesday, Davey Johnson gave Bryce Harper the night off, allowing him to miss a lefty starter and affording Tyler Moore a chance for some at-bats. Moore responded with a towering home run to left, one of the team’s six on the night. On Wednesday, Johnson sat Jayson Werth, a night after his four-hit game. That gave Roger Bernadina a chance to start, and he rewarded his skipper with a home run of his own. Oh, and Harper? He returned to the lineup to swat a pair of longballs, his second two-homer game in a week.

In the past two games – in which the Nationals have only batted a total of 16 innings, due to their cancellation of the bottom of the ninth each night – eight different players have combined to club 12 home runs. Adam LaRoche has led the way with three clouts, while Harper and Desmond have both pitched in a pair and Bernadina, Danny Espinosa, Jesus Flores, Moore and Ryan Zimmerman have one each. Collectively, they are just the third team in the last 95 years to post consecutive six-homer games, joining the ’96 Dodgers and the ’03 Angels.

Not to be outdone, Gio Gonzalez returned to the mound for the first time since his first career shutout last Friday, and was even more dominant. The lefty carried a no-hitter with no walks – the only baserunner to reach early came on an error in the third inning – all the way into the sixth. In the end, he allowed just three hits over seven scoreless frames, fanning nine Cubs without issuing a walk. He stretched his scoreless streak to 16 innings, striking out 17 and allowing just 11 runners to reach base over that span.

While Gio tries to track down 20 wins, Jordan Zimmermann looks for his 10th Thursday night, which would be the first double-digit win total of his career. Saturday, it will be Ross Detwiler’s turn to do the same, and on Sunday, Edwin Jackson will look for his fourth consecutive season of 10 or more wins. Should each accomplish the feat this weekend, or at some other time over the season’s final four weeks, it will give each of the Nats five primary starters a double-digit total for the season.

Gio Gonzalez and the Nats staff are closing in on some milestone numbers.

This is all the more impressive when you consider the fact that last year, on a team that finished a respectable 80-81, John Lannan (who was recently called up for reinforcement down the stretch) was the only pitcher to reach that mark, winning exactly 10 games. For some perspective, not even the 102-win Phillies of 2011 managed to have five starters with 10 or more wins. In fact, the only four teams that turned the trick last year were Milwaukee, Tampa Bay, Texas and St. Louis – all four playoff teams, the final two of which battled it out for the World Series.

Really, that has been the narrative of the 2012 Nationals all season long, that the club’s depth, both on offense and on the pitching staff, is so solid. The storyline was somewhat obscured by the rash of injuries suffered by position players early on. But Cubs manager Dale Sveum commented after Thursday night’s contest that Washington is “by far the best team we’ve played all year.” At this point, the Nats are the best team that they have been all year as well, playing their most dominating baseball of the season down the stretch, when it matters most.

Enjoy the full dirty dozen of homers from the past two nights in the video below before the Nationals look for their fifth straight Curly W and a sweep of the Cubs later tonight.

What to Watch For: 8/29

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Washington Nationals (77-51) vs. Miami Marlins (59-71)

LHP Ross Detwiler (7-6, 3.25) vs. RHP Jacob Turner (1-2, 6.87)

The Nationals wrap up a quick, two-game series with the Marlins, sending lefty Ross Detwiler to the hill in Miami. Despite dropping their last five contests, the Nationals still owns a 4.0-game lead in the National League East over the second-place Braves.

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. Detwiler LHP

ONE FOR THE ROAD?

The Nationals have lost five straight games, matching their longest win-drought of the season (also April 26-May 1), and have scored just six runs during that stretch. Incidentally, Washington answered that five-game slide by winning four straight and seven of its next 10. All but two of MLB’s 30 teams have suffered losing streaks of at least five games in 2012, with Tampa Bay and the New York Yankees being the exceptions. The Nationals must win tonight’s series finale at Miami to avoid their first winless multi-city road trip since going 0-6 from May 25-31, 2009 (0-3 at NYM, 0-3 at PHI).

GATEWAY CITY MATCHUP

Two greater St. Louis natives will matchup when Ross Detwiler (Wentzville HS) and Jacob Turner (Westminster Christian Academy) take the hill for their respective clubs tonight in Miami. Detwiler is 1-0 and has fired 12.0 scoreless innings against the Marlins in four career games (one start). His lone start came on April 20, 2012 in a duel with Carlos Zambrano in which Detwiler fanned seven batters while allowing three hits in 6.0 IP in Washington’s 2-0 victory.

ROGER THAT

Roger Bernadina’s name wasn’t called last night in Miami, but it’s not for lack of production. Bernadina is 12-for-21 since August 9th and is batting .403/471/.468 in 35 games since July 18th.

TODAY IN DC BASEBALL

August 29, 2010: The Nationals doubled up St. Louis, 4-2, in D.C. to take three-of-four in the series. John Lannan worked 7.2 innings of one-run ball and his second-inning double plated the game’s initial two runs. The series win was Washington’s first over the Cardinals in over three years.

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Shark Week with Roger Bernadina

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As you may know, it is officially Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. With our very own Shark – outfielder Roger Bernadina – coming off a stellar road trip that saw him bat .533 (8-for-15) with a .611 on-base percentage, four runs scored, three RBI, two stolen bases and a pair of highlight reel catches, we figured it was the perfect time to sit down and get caught up.

What did you think when you were first approached with the nickname “The Shark?”

In the beginning, I thought it was funny. After a while I realized it was starting to get big. It’s fun, I like the nickname “Shark.” It’s great. The fans love it, I love it.

Have you ever watched Shark Week?

Yeah, I saw it on the Discovery Channel. Actually, I was watching it the other day.

It may be a coincidence, but you have to feel good about playing well during Shark Week.

Yeah, (the team) is all about it and I like it. It’s Shark Week and everyone’s talking about it. 

Speaking of, where does the game-saving catch you made in Houston rank in your career?

It’s probably one of the best catches I’ve made. To end the game? It’s always good to win a ballgame. It was definitely a big moment.

Had you ever made a big play for the last out before?

Yeah, that happened before. But in the Major Leagues, it’s different. It’s something you dream about as a kid, to make that kind of catch.

What’s your mentality, being ready to come off the bench at a moment’s notice (like Tuesday in San Francisco)?

Skip (Davey Johnson) gave me a heads up that I might be in there. You just go out there, trust your talent and focus for the game, and just go about your business. I don’t really think about it much.

Does your pinch-hitting experience help you get ready to step in when you need to?

Yes and no. My focus has been better. I watch video and stay to my plan and it’s worked. Coming off the bench is definitely different. Yeah, that’s actually helped a little bit. I’ve been using a shorter bat, too.

Mark DeRosa was the one who suggested you use the lighter bat. How did that conversation come about?

I was hitting in the cage when he came up and he said, “Bernie, that’s a heavy bat.” I said “No, it’s ok.” And he told me, “You’re so strong, you can use a lighter bat.” So I said, “Alright, why not?” That day I was in the cage, I started using the lighter bat, and I’ve been using it ever since.

How many years had you used the heavier bat?

I had used that weight since 2010. I mostly used it for the past few years. But ever since DeRo told me to use the lighter bat, I’ve been going with the other one.

Catch The Shark and the rest of the Nationals all week long as they take on the division-rival Mets August 17-19 and Braves in a huge matchup, August 20-22.

What to Watch For: 8/8

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Washington Nationals (67-43) vs. Houston Astros (36-75)

LHP Gio Gonzalez (13-6, 3.34) vs. RHP Armando Galarraga (0-1, 5.23)

The Nationals and Astros played their second consecutive extra-inning game, and for the second time, Washington came away a winner. Michael Morse’s leadoff double in the 12th extended his hit streak to 16 games and led to the winning run, and Roger Bernadina’s highlight-reel catch saved the day in a 3-2 final.

NATIONALS LINEUP

1. Lombardozzi 2B

2. Harper CF

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. LaRoche 1B

5. Morse LF

6. Werth RF

7. Espinosa SS

8. Suzuki C

9. Gonzalez LHP

BERNADINA SHARKS VICTORY FROM JAWS OF DEFEAT

Danny Espinosa homered and provided all three RBI required for Washington to edge Houston, 3-2, on Tuesday in 12 innings at Minute Maid Park. With the potential tying and winning runs on base and two outs in the bottom of the 12th, Bernadina dashed over 125 feet to make a jumping catch at the wall, denying Brett Wallace’s bid for a game-winning double. By improving to 10-6 in extra-inning contests (5-1 since the All-Star break), Washington jumped a season-high 24 games above .500. With 11- and 12-inning victories here at Minute Maid Park the last two nights, the Nationals have won consecutive road games in extra innings for the first time since October 3-4, 2009 at Atlanta (6-4 in 11 innings, 2-1 in 15 innings).

IZTURIS MAKES DEBUT

Last night, Cesar Izturis became the 40th National to appear in a game this year when he pinch ran for Morse after he doubled in the 12th inning. Izturis would come around to score the eventual game-winning run on Espinosa’s RBI-single. Acquired via waiver claim from the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday, Izturis is hitting .235 with 2 HR and 11 RBI so far in 2012.

GIO VS. HOUSTON

Tonight, Gio Gonzalez will take to the hill for the first time at Minute Maid Park. He faced the Astros for the first time of his career in his third start as a National on April 17 in D.C. In Washington’s 1-0 win, Gio worked 7.0 scoreless innings and allowed just two hits. In his last outing, Gonzalez matched a season-high with 10 strikeouts without a walk in 8.0 innings against Miami on August 3.

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