Results tagged ‘ Ronnie Belliard ’

Today in Nationals’ History: Ronnie Belliard’s walk-off HR rescues Nationals in 2008

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June 29, 2008 – Down 2-1 with two outs and two strikes in the bottom of the 12th, INF Ronnie Belliard hit a walk-off, two-run shot off George Sherrill to secure a 3-2 win vs. Baltimore. Belliard became just the second Washington National to erase a deficit with a walk-off home run while down to the last strike. He was also the first DC-based big leaguer to hit a walk-off homer in the 12th inning or later since June 28, 1970, when Senators pinch-hitter Rick Reichardt hit a two-run home run off Baltimore’s Eddie Watt at RFK.

The best of the Battle of the Beltways

Following the Expos move to the Nation’s Capital in 2005, the Battle of the Beltway became an annual six-game series in 2006. Tonight will be the decisive game 25–comparable to game seven of the World Series–all tied up at 12 apiece. The Nats are 21-21 on the season and are 12-12 against the O’s.


The Battle of the Beltway has provided a handful of suspenseful and magical games in the past four seasons. There have been nine one-run games, two walk-off wins and four extra-inning games.


Top-Five Games:

5. 6/13/07: Nats 9 – O’s 6–Former O’s outfielder Jay Payton drove in the tying RBI in the bottom of the ninth but the Nats loaded the bases with two-outs in the top of the 11th. Felipe Lopez was the hero when he tripled to right. The O’s were retired in order to end the game.


4. 5/20/07: Nats 4 – O’s 3–Former O’s pitcher Erik Bedard kept the Nats bats at bay for seven innings allowing just one run and striking out 12. But when Baltimore turned the game over to the bullpen in the bottom of the 8th, the Nats bats heated up and scored three runs in the bottom of the frame to win 4-3.


3. 5/18/08: Nats 2 – O’s 1–It was a pitching battle between John Lannan and Jeremy Guthrie. Lannan picked up the win going 7.1 innings allowing one run on four hits. Not to be outdone, Guthrie went 7.0 innings allowing one run on five hits. The difference was Ryan Zimmerman’s RBI double in the top of the 8th.


2. 6/24/06: Nats 2 – O’s 3–The game was tied 2-2 in the bottom of the ninth at Camden Yards and former Nats Closer Chad Cordero was one strike away from sending the game into extra-innings. The Birds had different plans. With runners on first and second, Catcher Ramon Hernandez hit the 3-2 pitch to left and the O’s celebrated at home plate.


062908-331 ronnie belliard c.JPG1. 6/29/08: Nats 3 – O’s 2–
There wasn’t much offense in the first 11 innings. The O’s and Nats entered the 12th tied 1-1. Adam Jones drove in Nick Markakis to give the O’s a 2-1 lead but the fireworks belonged to the Nats. In the bottom of the 12th, O’s closer George Sherrill walked Dmitri Young and Ronnie Belliard hit a 1-2 pitch with two outs into the left field seats for the comeback victory.

062908-359 ronnie belliard c.JPG

In case you were wondering…

It seems like years ago that Daniel Cabrera opened Nationals Park for the 2009 season. He isn’t the only Nationals player that is somewhere else in a land, far, far away… here are a few other notable Nats no longer on the team.

johnson c.jpgNick Johnson:
The Marlins are on the outside looking in for a playoff spot, the chances are slim to none–4.8 percent to be precise. They are 4.5 games behind the Wild Card leading Rockies with 16 games remaining and six games left against the Phillies. Johnson has been as good as advertised for the Marlins since he was traded moments before the trading deadline on July 31st. He made his annual trip to the DL and missed the latter half of August with a strained right hamstring but he is back for the stretch run. He has been doing exactly what he did for the Nats. He is batting .333 (27-for-81) with two home runs, 17 RBI, 27 walks and an astronomical .505 on-base percentage in 25 games. Don’t forget… he will be a free agent at the end of the season.

Joe Beimel: He became known as the “Steroid Stopper” for his ability to get Barry Bonds out during his days with the Dodgers–Bonds batted .063 (1-for-16) against him. He isn’t having as much success with the Rockies after joining the likely NL Wild Card team on July 31st. The left-hander isn’t the set-up man or the closer, but is used primarily for the lefty-lefty matchup. He has been hit hard at times and posts a high .306 BAA in 19 games. He has a 4.38 ERA (6 ER/ 12.1 IP) with 15 hits and 10 strikeouts. In 2006, he missed the entire Divisional Series with the Dodgers when he cut his hand on glass at a bar in New York City. Don’t expect him to miss the 2009 playoffs.

hanrahan c.jpgJoel Hanrahan:
He wasn’t built for the pressure cooker situation, late in the game with only a run one lead. With the Nationals in 2009 he blew five saves in 10 chances. Hanrahan was traded to the Pirates with Lastings Milledge in exchange for outfielder Nyjer Morgan and reliever Sean Burnett on June 29th. In Pittsburgh, he has flourished in his new role as a reliever, just a reliever without the stress of saving a game–he hasn’t pitched in one save situation. He hasn’t allowed an earned run in nearly a month, a span of 13 games to be exact.  Overall, he has a 1.84 ERA (6 ER/ 29.1 IP) with 36 strikeouts and a .215 BAA.

Lastings Milledge: The free swinging, show-up-when-I-want-to leadoff hitter didn’t quite fit in the Nationals clubhouse. (It is hard to believe that he lead the club in home runs (14) and RBI (61) last year). He is still the same free swinger but he isn’t leading off for the Pirates. Milledge bats primarily sixth but has also batted second, fourth and fifth. Dropping him in the orderhas helped to lower the pressure and raise his average. He still strikes out a lot, doesn’t hit for power and has been caught stealing four times in seven attempts.  On the bright side, he is batting .287 (43-for-150) in 41 games with the Pirates. belliard c.jpg

 Ronnie Belliard:
He is becoming the Marlon Anderson of 2006. (See HERE), filling in nicely at second and third base with the Dodgers since he was acquired on August 30th. He has played error free baseball in 12 starts and is batting .319 (15-for-47) with three home runs and eight RBI in 15 games. Last night, he had his second three hit game with the Dodgers in the 3-1 win over the Pirates.

Anderson Hernandez: He returned to the Mets on August 5th and quickly became their everyday shortstop. His numbers are nearly identical to his Nats numbers, batting .257 (26-for-101) with 1 home run, 11 RBI and two stolen bases in 34 games.

Daniel Cabrera: Control, Control and Control. That has been the top three things that Cabrera has needed to work on most during his pro career. He walked 35 batters in 40.0 innings in eight starts with the Nats. Cabrera went 0-5 and the Nats went 0-8. The results have been the same with the D-backs. In his first relief appearance with Arizona, Cabrera didn’t retire a batter, gave up five runs, two hits and two walks. His last appearance was much better. He went three innings, didn’t walk a batter and only gave up two hits. It is anyone’s guess how he will pitch in his next appearance.

News and Notes…

The Golden Glove:


zimmerman is amazing c.jpgRyan Zimmerman has been golden at the hot corner.
Zimmerman ranks among MLB leaders (min. 100 games) in total chances (MLB-best 389), total chances per 9.0 innings (MLB-best 3.20), assists (MLB-best 272), putouts (NL-best 102), range factor per 9.0 innings (MLB-best 3.08) and innings played (NL-best, 1093.2). Not to mention the number of Web Gems…


This season, “Baseball Tonight” has been tracking Web Gems and keeping score. They update the leaderboard on the Baseball Tonight Clubhouse page each Monday. In addition to listing the leaders in appearances (both players and teams) on “Baseball Tonight,” they offer up the leaders in Web Gem points.

Web Gem points are calculated by awarding five points for the night’s top defensive play, four points for second, three for third, two for fourth and one for fifth. Scoring is based on the Web Gems from the last “Baseball Tonight” show to air on a given night.


Web Gem points leaderboard

Ryan Zimmerman


Jack Wilson


Brandon Inge


Mark Reynolds


Carlos Gomez


Jacoby Ellsbury


Cristian Guzman



Web Gem appearances leaderboard (players)

Ryan Zimmerman


Third base


Brandon Inge


Third base


Jack Wilson




David Wright

New York Mets

Third base


Mark Reynolds


Third base


Three tied



Web Gem appearances leaderboard (teams)











Zimmerman has also been consistantly strong at the plate this season. The Baseball Tonight Clubhouse also notes that:

Washington’s Ryan Zimmerman was the talk of baseball when he put together a 30-game hit streak earlier this season, but after that streak ended in San Francisco, Zimmerman continued hitting and has quietly put together a career season.

Zimmerman is hitting .299 and slugging .528 with a .373 OBP entering Monday — all have the 24-year-old on pace for career highs. His 27 home runs represent a new career high, and are almost double his output from a season ago, when he struggled with injuries and played only 106 games.

Zimmerman hits to all fields. He goes to the opposite field much better than most right-handed batters, with a batting average more than 50 points higher than the league average and a slugging percentage nearly 300 points higher.

Zimmerman and the Nationals head to San Diego to start a three-game series on Monday with the Padres. Padres pitchers have held opposing right-handed batters to a .227 batting average (third-lowest in the majors) and a .325 slugging percentage (fourth lowest) to right field.  


Ryan Zimmerman
Hitting by field (2009)


MLB avg.





Left field





Center field





Right field






Nats Trade Belliard to Dodgers:

Three years ago today, the Dodgers acquired OF Marlon Anderson from the Nationals for RHP Jhonny Nunez. It went unnoticed to most people then and now has been forgotten by almost everyone but the trade yesterday that sent INF Ronnie Belliard to the Dodgers for Minor League pitcher Luis Garcia and a player to be named later gave us some time to remember it.

 (Brief history of the trade for those who forgot about it or never knew it happened: Anderson was batting .274 with five home runs and 23 RBI and a .331 on-base percentage in 109 games with the Nats. Then Anderson joined the Dodgers and his numbers sky rocketed. He batted .375 with seven home runs and 15 RBI and a .431 on-base percentage in 25 games. On September 18th, the Dodgers sat a half game behind the NL West leading Padres. In the final game of the four game series against the Padres, Anderson went 5-for-5 with two home runs, three runs and two RBI and the Dodgers won a dramatic 11-10 game in 10 innings. They went on to win 9 of the last 12 games to win the wild card. He couldn’t quite propel the Dodgers past the Mets in the NLDS but he batted .308 (4-for-13) with an RBI before the Mets swept them in three games. Nunez was shipped to the Yankees on July, 31 2008 in return for Alberto Gonzalez. It worked out for both clubs.)

The Dodgers are trying to recapture the Marlon Anderson magic with Belliard. The 34-year-old Belliard hit .246 (46-for-187) with five home runs and 22 RBI in 86 games for the Nationals in 2009. He adds depth to the Dodgers bench and is a 12-year veteran who won a World Series with St. Louis in 2006. Belliard won’t get many starts but is a utility player that could give a few players a day off: Orlando Hudson at second base, James Loney at first base and Casey Blake at third base.

Garcia, 22, is currently 5-3 with five saves and a 2.92 ERA (23 ER/71.0 IP) in 34 appearances with Great Lakes of the Single-A Midwest League. He shows plus command, as he has walked just 15 in 71.0 innings (1.9 per 9.0 innings) en route to a 3.7/1 strikeout-to-walk and 1.8/1 ground out-to-air out ratios. In 16 appearances since the All-Star break, Garcia has registered a .220 batting average against (26-for-118).

In five-plus professional seasons, the 6-foot-2 Garcia is 14-7 with 14 saves and a 3.38 ERA (73 ER/194.2 IP) in 97 games. His career batting average against is .230 (168-for-732).

News that is still noteworthy:

The Nats lineup took a devastating blow on Thursday when Nyjer Morgan fractured his left hand sliding into third. Morgan was batting .307 with 42 stolen bases for the season, but since being acquired by Washington on June 30, he hit .351 with nine doubles, two triples, one homer, 12 RBI and 24 stolen bags. Morgan’s speed and unrivaled range in center field also stabilized the Nationals’ outfield defense as a whole.

 The Nats selected the contract of 30-year-old infielder Pete Orr from Syracuse to replace Morgan on the roster. On Saturday, he had the first four hit performance of his career.

“I feel good,” Orr said. “I’m just trying to stick with what I was doing down there and try to have good at-bats, see a few pitches and deal with what I got instead of trying to make something happen. I’m having fun playing, and that’s the most important thing. I think when I have fun, I do better.”

Orr was batting .245 with 13 doubles, five triples, nine home runs, 50 RBI and 18 stolen bases in 120 International League contests for Syracuse. Orr earned the promotion by hitting .297 with three homers and 17 RBI in 26 games during August for the Chiefs.

Orr is a career .261 (116-for-444) hitter with 14 doubles, two home runs, 25 RBI and 11 stolen bases in 320 Big League games with Washington (2008) and Atlanta (2005-07). He has twice represented Canada in the World Baseball Classic.

Maxwell recalled:

maxwell c.jpgThe Nats recalled outfielder Justin Maxwell from Syracuse today.


Maxwell, 25, returns for the third stint with the Nationals this season. To date, Maxwell has played in 13 games for the Nationals, going 3-for-24 (.125) with one RBI and three stolen bases. He is a career .200 (10-for-50) hitter at the Big League level with two home runs and six RBI in 28 games.


In 111 games with Syracuse this season, Maxwell hit .242 (93-for-384) with 10 doubles, five triples, 13 home runs, 42 RBI, 54 walks and 35 stolen bases. He is considered an excellent defensive outfielder with well-above-average range and arm strength. On May 23 at Nationals Park, Maxwell made perhaps the finest catch in the history of the Nationals as he tracked a long drive over 60 yards into right-center field, leapt and reached over the wall to rob Baltimore’s Adam Jones of what would have been a first-inning home run.


Maxwell was the Nationals’ 2007 Minor League Player of the Year as he was just one of six professional players–the lone minor leaguer–to tally at least 25 doubles, 25 home runs and 25 stolen bases that season.