Results tagged ‘ Tom Gorzelanny ’

What to Watch For: 10/2

Follow @Nationals on Twitter | Like the Nationals on Facebook

Philadelphia Phillies (81-79) vs. Washington Nationals (96-64)

RHP B.J. Rosenberg (1-2, 6.86) vs. LHP Tom Gorzelanny (4-2, 2.90)

The Nationals clinched their first-ever NL East title Monday night, with two games remaining in the 2012 regular season. As such, Tom Gorzelanny takes the place of 21-game winner Gio Gonzalez as tonight’s starter as Washington takes on the Phillies in the middle contest of a three-game set.


From Adam LaRoche, former Pittsburgh Pirate, on Pittsburgh beating Atlanta 2-1 to eliminate the Braves from NL East contention, giving the Nationals the division crown:

“It’s the first time in my life that I’ve rooted for the Pirates.”


1. Lombardozzi 2B

2. Harper CF

3. Moore LF

4. LaRoche 1B

5. Tracy 3B

6. DeRosa SS

7. Bernadina RF

8. Leon C

9. Gorzelanny LHP


Last night, the Nationals won their first-ever NL East crown and secured a spot in the National League Division Series. Their magic number, which began the day at one as the result of a 96-win campaign, reached zero when Atlanta lost, 2-1, on Monday at Pittsburgh. The District will experience its first postseason October baseball since the 1933 AL Nationals lost a five-game World Series to the Giants. Those AL Nationals also won AL pennants in 1924 (World Champions) and ‘25. This marks the second postseason trip for the franchise, as Montreal lost to the Dodgers in the five-game ‘81 NLCS.


Replacing scheduled starter Gio Gonzalez, Tom Gorzelanny today will make his first start since July 23, 2011. The lefty is 35-42 with a 4.62 ERA in 110 career starts and owns 50 quality starts over that span. In his last outing on Friday, he struck out one en route to scattering a hit and two walks in 2.2 scoreless innings.


October 2, 2009: The Nationals win their fifth straight (part of a seven-game win streak to end the season), as Livan Hernandez leads them to a 6-3 victory at Atlanta. Mike MacDougal notches his 20th save with a scoreless ninth inning, while Ian Desmond homers and drives home three runs.


What to Watch For: 9/28

Follow @Nationals on Twitter | Like the Nationals on Facebook

Washington Nationals (95-61) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (84-72)

RHP Edwin Jackson (9-10, 3.77) vs. RHP Adam Wainwright (13-13, 4.02)

The Nationals six-game road trip continues to its second city, after Washington took the final two games to win the series in Philadelphia. Edwin Jackson returns to St. Louis for the first time since winning the 2011 World Series with the Cardinals as he opposes Adam Wainwright in the opening game of the series.


From reliever Drew Storen, upon watching fellow bullpen-mate Tom Gorzelanny catch Michael Morse’s second home run Thursday night in his cap, as to which part of the play was more exciting:

“Well, they both were. We’re just happy anytime something happens out there.”


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. Jackson RHP


With six games remaining, Washington has matched a franchise best with 95 wins (‘79 Expos) and needs four wins in its final six games to match the best mark by a D.C.-based team (‘33 Senators). The Nationals are the first ballclub from the Nation’s Capital to eclipse the 90-win plateau in 79 years, or since the pennant-winning 99-win ‘33 AL Nationals. This is the ninth 90-win campaign posted by a D.C. baseball team. From 1913-33, the AL Nationals posted eight 90-win seasons: 1933 (99 wins), 1925 (96), 1930 (94), 1932 (93), 1931 (92), 1924 (92), 1912 (91), 1913 (90).


Edwin Jackson enters tonight’s start with nine wins, looking to join teammates Gio Gonzalez (21 wins), Stephen Strasburg (15), Jordan Zimmermann (12) & Ross Detwiler (10) in the 10-win club. Washington would join the Giants as MLB’s only teams with five 10-game winners this season. In franchise annals, only the ‘79 Expos had at least five pitchers with 10 or more wins: Bill Lee (16 wins), Steve Rogers (13), Ross Grimsley (10), Rudy May (10), David Palmer (10), Dan Schatzeder (10). Only Lee and Rogers logged at least 10 wins in starts.


The Nationals are 10-3 in their last 13 games at home against the Cardinals. However, since the beginning of the 2008 campaign, Washington is just 1-10 at the newest version of Busch Stadium. Washington has won six of the last nine one-run games in the series. Pitching in a starting role, Sean Burnett bested the Cardinals on June 29, 2004 at PNC Park to pocket his first big league win. Nationals hitting coach Rick Eckstein is the older brother of former Cardinals SS David Eckstein, who was named World Series MVP in 2006. MASN’s Bob Carpenter is a St. Louis native who spent 10 seasons broadcasting Cardinals baseball on radio and TV. WJFK’s Charlie Slowes began his broadcasting career at St. Louis’ KMOX, where he performed various on-air duties during broadcast of the Cardinals, the NFL Cardinals, the Blues and St. Louis University basketball from 1984-86.


September 28, 2010: The last of 76 home runs hit by Adam Dunn as a National is a game-ending solo blast off Jose Contreras and finalizes a 2-1 victory over the visiting Phillies.

September, 28 2011 — Washington wraps up its season with a 3-1 win at MIA, as Stephen Strasburg picks up his first win after coming back from Tommy John surgery. Drew Storen picked up his 43rd save with a clean 9th inning.


A Night Full of Stars

Follow @Nationals on Twitter | Like the Nationals on Facebook

In a season full of moments that seem to compete against one another for space in our collective memories, Saturday night brought the latest installment of drama for the 2012 Nationals. Rallying from two runs down with a six-run, two-out rally in the bottom of the eighth, the Nats sent their home park into perhaps the loudest frenzy of the season to date.

Danny Espinosa had the loudest hit – and reaction – of the night.

But it wasn’t just the six-run inning that caused the commotion, it was the way in which the runs were scored, and the events that set up the comeback in the first place. Steve Lombardozzi squirted a base hit past the pitcher and up the middle to score Adam LaRoche to cut the lead to one. Tyler Moore followed with a two-out knock the other way to plate Jayson Werth to tie the game. Then Danny Espinosa crushed the go-ahead, three-run shot over the bullpen in left before Bryce Harper hit the longest Nationals Park home run of his young career, an absolute rocket deep into the second deck down the right field line. The final three hits, including the two monstrous homers, all came not only with two outs in the inning, but also with two strikes on each batter.

The Nationals also made three errors on the night, contributing either directly or indirectly to four Marlins runs. Espinosa made two of them (and Lombardozzi the third), only adding that much more to the redemptive value of their clutch hits.

More than anything, though, Saturday night’s triumph was another complete team effort. A month from now, most people will only remember Espinosa and Harper going back-to-back to give the Nationals the lead, but there were a number of unsung heroes Saturday night. Here are our top five:

Ryan Mattheus earned the win Saturday night.

5. The Bullpen

The life of a reliever can seem like a thankless one. Even those who are lucky enough to have the most visibly defined roles – like closer Tyler Clippard and set-up man Sean Burnett – are expected to succeed every time out. But then there are those expected to pick up the slack in games like Saturday’s, to keep the team close when it is trailing in the late innings. After Jordan Zimmermann left the game, the trio of Tom Gorzelanny, Michael Gonzalez and Ryan Mattheus combined for three innings of work, allowing just a single unearned run. All three are having very solid seasons for the Nats, and Mattheus was rewarded for the trio’s effort with his fourth win of the season, as he was the pitcher of record when the offense sparked the comeback.

4. Justin Maxwell

Some of you are probably wondering who this is, while others of you are scratching your heads, knowing that Maxwell hasn’t worn a Nationals jersey since the 2010 season. And while that is true, the Olney, Maryland native and former National has found a home for himself with the Houston Astros, who faced the Braves at Turner Field in Atlanta last night. Maxwell opened the scoring in that game with a two-run shot in the fourth inning off Paul Maholm, Atlanta’s trade deadline pitching acquisition. After the Braves tied the game in the bottom of the sixth, Maxwell drilled an even longer home run off Maholm to open the seventh, and the Astros held on for the 3-2 victory. Coupled with the Nationals come-from-behind win, the Braves loss pushed Washington 3.0 games clear in the National League East.

3. Steve Lombardozzi

Lombardozzi’s two-out single up the middle in the eighth scored the first run of the six-run rally. While those who have watched the rookie all season have become accustomed to seeing him hit the ball right over the second base bag, we haven’t seen him do it nearly as often from the right side. A switch-hitter, Lombardozzi was batting just .200 (12-for-60) as a righty coming into that at-bat. But he delivered another clutch hit, as he has been wont to do this year. And despite a rare miscue, he also played some tremendous defense Saturday night, including this gem, which saved a run.

2. Tyler Moore

With the return of Werth, Moore has acknowledged that his role will be largely off the bench down the stretch for the Nats. Taking cues from Chad Tracy and Mark DeRosa, he knows he’ll have to make the most of his spot starts and especially his pinch-hit opportunities, like the one he got Saturday night. After falling behind in the count, usually pull-happy Moore stayed back and sent a line drive to the opposite field, scoring – of all people – Werth to tie the game.

1. Adam LaRoche

By the time Espinosa and Harper went deep, it was easy to forget that LaRoche had already homered twice Saturday night. Even more impressively, he hit both against tough lefty Mark Buehrle, giving him nine home runs vs. left-handed pithing this year, a new career mark. LaRoche also reached on an error and scored the first run in the six-run eighth. In a resurgent year, the first baseman leads all National League first basemen with 23 home runs and 69 RBI.

Enjoy the highlights below as the Nats look to cap a winning homestand with a series victory over the Marlins Sunday afternoon.

What to Watch for: 6/11

Follow @Nationals on Twitter | Like the Nationals on Facebook

Washington Nationals (35-23) vs. Toronto Blue Jays (31-29)

RHP Edwin Jackson (2-3, 3.11) vs. RHP Brandon Morrow (7-3, 2.90)

The Nationals move on to another Interleague series at Rogers Centre in Toronto to face the Blue Jays starting Monday night. Washington is looking to strengthen its lead in the NL East, but Toronto ace Brandon Morrow may prove as a major challenge in tonight’s series opener.


The Nationals return north of the border for just the fourth time since relocating from Montreal to Washington, D.C. prior to the 2005 season. This marks their first Canada trip since June 2007 when they dropped two of three to the Blue Jays, and where they are just 2-7 in Canada since making the move. Two Nationals coaches have Blue Jays ties as bench coach Randy Knorr played five seasons (‘91-’95) and won two World Series rings with the Jays and bullpen coach Jim Lett coached on Toronto’s staff from ‘97-’99.


Edwin Jackson collected just his second win of the season in his last start (6/6 vs. NYM) despite seven quality starts in 11 outings so far in 2012. Tonight, he makes his 14th career start against the Blue Jays. He is 3-0 with a 4.43 ERA (20 ER/40.2 IP) in his last six starts against Toronto dating to July 30, 2008.


With a weekend series sweep over the Red Sox, the Nationals became the first National League team to sweep a series at Fenway since the Atlanta Braves did so in June ’02. Roger Bernadina broke a 3-3 tie with a RBI-double in the ninth inning off Alfredo Aceves, scoring Bryce Harper from first base. Jordan Zimmermann posted seven innings of three-run ball, before turning it over to Tom Gorzelanny (win, 2-1) and Tyler Clippard (8th save).


Curly W Live – Introducing “Nat Gio”

Follow @Nationals on Twitter | Like the Nationals on Facebook

Hello everyone. I suppose a “Happy New Year” is still in order as this is my first blog of 2012.

We are only 26 days shy of pitchers and catchers reporting to Viera for Spring Training. It really is coming quick.

But not quick enough!

If our fans are half as excited about ’12 as I am, we’re in for a loud and enjoyable summer at Nationals Park.

With this first blog of ’12, I want to talk about Mike Rizzo’s last major strike of 2011. Namely, the acquisition of Gio Gonzalez from the A’s on Dec. 23.

We are thrilled to have Gio join our family. We’ve heard nothing but fantastic things about him as a pitcher, teammate and a person.

Gonzalez represented Oakland for the American League in the 2011 All-Star Game.

I am excited to meet Gio, as he is flying into town this afternoon. Later tonight, I’ll meet him and his family at the Caps-Bruins game at the Verizon Center.

Here is what we know. Gio is a front-line starter. Those do not grow on trees.

What’s better: Gio is a 26 year-old front-line starter who throws left-handed. Those too don’t grow on trees. And if they did, they’d reside only in the nation’s finest botanical gardens.

This is a 26 year-old pitcher who won 31 games and posted a 3.17 ERA for the A’s the last 2 seasons. While pitching for Oakland in 2010-11, Gio’s A’s went 36-29 (.554). When anyone else started for the Athletics in those same two seasons, they finished 119-140 (.459).

A South Florida native, Gio’s return to the East Coast and his exposure to our growing fan base will provide his system (and ours) a healthy jolt. Couple these factors with a good-old fashioned pennant race and there is good reason to believe Gio’s talents can rise to new heights.

Gio, 26, joins John Lannan, Ross Detwiler and Tom Gorzelanny as left-handed options in Davey Johnson’s rotation stable. Not bad weapons to have, especially in lieu of the annual 72 intradivision contests featuring either Jason Heyward, Ryan Howard, Chipper Jones, Brian McCann, Logan Morrison or Chase Utley.

This was hardly one of those spur-of-the-moment trades your read about from baseball’s glory days. I know Mike Rizzo and his baseball ops brain trust were working on this deal for at least two months. I sat in on a good number of the internal discussions, some of which took place during the Winter Meetings in Dallas.

GM Mike Rizzo and his staff worked hard to bring Gonzalez to Washington.

It was tough to give up A.J. Cole, Tommy Milone, Derek Norris and Brad Peacock. All four of these youngsters possess considerable talents that made them desirable, not only by the A’s, but numerous other teams. And they are fantastic young men. We’ll be watching from afar where those talents take them and we thank them for their efforts and wish them nothing but the best. That said, I am glad they will be in the American League, at least in the immediate future!

As all our fans know, we have placed an inordinate emphasis on scouting and player development since coming on the scene in 2006. This is precisely what we had in mind upon crafting our organizational philosophy.

Think about the Gio trade. As stated, we (begrudgingly) dealt four talented players to Oakland. But digging deeper reminds us that none of the four were acquired with premium draft picks. Rather, they were 4th- (Cole, Norris), 10th- (Milone) and 41st-round (Peacock) selections.

Gio Gonzalez will toe the rubber for your Nationals during the first home series of the season (April 12-15 vs. Cincinnati) with the collective wisdom of our scouts and the diligence of our development staff.

So, I salute Mike and his various staffs for “a job well done,” which was essentially six years in the making. Yes, six years.

Remember, Brad Peacock was scouted and drafted in 2006.

Until our next blog meeting …

Mark L.

Tom Gorzelanny gets back on track

Nationals Principal Owner Mark D. Lerner will be blogging throughout the 2011 Grapefruit League Season, giving Nats fans a unique perspective of the goings-on at the Nats Spring Training home in Viera, Fla. Check back often for the latest updates.


Good afternoon, Nats Town.


It’s a quiet day at Space Coast Stadium, as the Nationals have traveled inland for a matinee tilt against the Astros in Kissimmee. I, personally, did not travel west for the big league game, instead hanging back to watch the three minor-league games being played at our complex.


I love every opportunity I get to watch the minor-league games and see the young prospects we have in our system. Mike Rizzo and his crew have done a terrific job of stocking the system with talented, young players, and the future is bright. There are a lot of names you may not have heard of yet (Eury Perez, Sammy Solis, A.J. Cole, Brad Peacock, etc), but you’ll know them soon enough. Trust me.


A few things I wanted to touch on…

* It was great catching up with Tim Kurkjian and John Kruk yesterday, as ESPN’s Baseball Tonight bus stopped at Space Coast Stadium to feature the Nationals. For those of you who didn’t catch Baseball Tonight yesterday, Tim and John did a great job assessing our club, even taking the opportunity to sit down with Jayson Werth and Stephen Strasburg as part of their tour stop.


I had an opportunity to check out the bus. What an impressive vehicle. Although, here’s some insight: they aren’t really traveling around Florida and Arizona on the bus. It’s pretty much just a mobile studio. They have been sleeping in hotels and following the bus in a more-traditional vehicle. Not exactly roughing it.


Tom Gorzelanny 1.JPG* Last night’s game… despite the loss, there were a lot of bright spots in yesterday’s game vs. the Mets in Port St. Lucie. Tom Gorzelanny, acquired from the Cubs this offseason for a trio of minor leaguers, twirled 4.0 solid innings and held the Mets to just a run. Keep an eye on Tom. He was slow out of the gate this spring, hampered by the flu, but could be a key arm in our rotation this year.


Another bright spot yesterday, and really all spring, has been right-hander Brian Broderick. We acquired Brian from the Cardinals via the Rule 5 Draft in December, and he has posted an impressive 1.04 ERA in 5 appearances. What’s most impressive about Brian is his presence and demeanor. At 6-foot-6, he is as cool as a cucumber on the mound. 


* Monday night, I played in the players’ par-3 golf tournament at the Duran Golf Club (about a mile down the street from Space Coast Stadium).  Had a great time, and even won the ‘closest to the pin’ competition. My foursome (with Cole Kimball, Chad Gaudin and Matt Eiden – one of our strength and conditioning guys) finished 5th of 6. Congrats to the winning team of Rick Eckstein, Davey Johnson, Pudge Rodriguez and Scotty Paquin (assistant equipment manager for our minor-league operations).


Since I won’t be blogging tomorrow, I want to take this opportunity to wish everybody a Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Let’s hope we have the luck of the Irish on our side when we battle the Braves in Orlando.


And, remember, just 15 days until Opening Day at Nationals Park.

Day 8 in Viera: Position Players Join the Fray

Busiest day yet at Nationals camp as position players today
joined the fray.


* Have you ever wanted to work in baseball? If yes, let me
give you a bit of advice. If anyone ever offers you the job of coordinating a
Spring Training camp, say “no way” and run in the opposite direction. How tough
is that gig? I have heard the two toughest jobs in the game are being the
Rockies’ pitching coach before the advent of the baseball humidor and being a
Spring Training coordinator. That’s why today I would like to give kudos to
Bobby Henley, who doubles as our Minor League Field Coordinator. Henley is a
heck of a guy with a deep-rooted passion for the game of baseball and how it
should be played. If you or your place of business ever needs of motivator,
this is your guy. I have heard him speak to the young Instructional Leaguers
and by the time he was finished, I was ready to run through the wall and I am
just the PR guy. Henley has taken the unenviable task of plotting, planning and
orchestrating the movements from drill to drill. He has to enact the vision
that Jim Riggleman lays out for these two weeks leading into games. Henley does
it well and he is a pleasure to deal with. But remember, you do NOT want his


* Crazy but true fact of the week… this is Livan Hernandez’s
10th Spring Camp in Viera, Fla. Yes, 10! Here’s a list of the springs that
Hernandez spent in Viera and with what teams: Marlins (1996, ’97, ’98, ’99),
Expos (2003, ’04), Nationals (2005, ’06, ’10 and ’11). Is he eligible to run
for Mayor?


* With an abundance of young players trying to make their
mark and earn a coveted roster spot, one player that the next generation
Nationals can draw inspiration from is Chad Gaudin. Gaudin was drafted in June
2001 by Tampa Bay and debuted with the (then) Devil Rays just 26 months later.
What’s the big deal you ask? Well, Chad was a 34
th-round draft pick out
of Crescent High in Metairie, La. So, he debuted in the Big Leagues, as an
unheralded 34
th-rounder, at the age of 20. That
is a rare, rare story.


* Interesting fundamental drill of the day: 3B coach Bo
Porter is the Nationals’ primary outfield instructor. He had Jayson Werth,
Nyjer Morgan, Bryce Harper and others chasing long fly balls today while
carrying a football! I missed speaking to Porter after the workout, but I think
the drill’s objective is to keep an outfielder’s core as motionless as possible
while pursuing those long fly balls. Porter’s a fantastic instructor and a
great addition to Jim Riggleman’s staff. He definitely knows football too. He
was a two-sport (baseball, football) athlete at the University of Iowa, where
he was Hayden Fry’s starting cornerback in the 1992 Rose Bowl.


* Fans on hand today also spied the first live batting
practice of the spring. Yes, pitchers actually threw to hitters. Most hitters
do a bunch of watching, in fact, Jayson Werth indicated he may not have swung
at all. Conversely, Matt Stairs swung and went deep during his live BP.



* Book Club: Stanford
alum Drew Storen is currently reading “
Scorecasting,” which is written by University of Chicago financial economist Tobias Moskowitz
and Sports Illustrated writer L. Jon Wertheim. Together, they attempt to
unearth “the hidden forces that shape how basketball, baseball, football, and
hockey games are played, won and lost.” Sounds like an intriguing read.


* Let’s close with our “4 Questions” segment. Today’s victim
was pitcher Tom Gorzelanny:


Favorite Team/Player
as a Youth?:

White Sox, Ken Griffey Jr. (Huh? He played for the Cubs last year, wonder how
that little nugget was received in the Windy City

Favorite Game Show of all-time?: Wheel of Fortune (who doesn’t love

Favorite Superhero?: Batman (interesting answer from a pitcher, don’t you think?)

Most apt to watch CNN, Food Network or Travel Channel (and list favorite

None of the above. I am much more likely to be checking The History Channel and
looking for a show on the government (CIA, Secret Service, etc.) or war


* Again, I’d like to acknowledge the multiple contributions
of my PR confidants, Mike Gazda and Bill Gluvna. And as a reminder, we are
anxiously awaiting the return of Mark Lerner to the blogging airwaves. Look for
Mark to reemerge on Mon., Feb. 28.


We’ll be back tomorrow with more. Cannot wait.

Mike Rizzo Conference Call: Jan. 19th

On January 19th, Nationals EVP and GM Mike Rizzo spoke with reporters to discuss the acquisition of pitcher Tom Gorzelanny and super utility man Jerry Hairston, Jr.

Click here to listen to the call (.mp3) to hear Rizzo’s take on how the two newest Nationals fit into the team’s plans in 2011.

Nationals acquire Tom Gorzelanny, sign Jerry Hairston Jr.

Tom Gorzelanny 2.jpgThe Nationals entered the offseason with starting pitching as their top priority. They took one step closer to achieving their goal by adding left-handed pitcher Tom Gorzelanny from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for three Minor Leaguers: outfielder Michael Burgess, right-handed pitcher A.J. Morris and left-handed pitcher Graham Hicks.


The 28-year-old will join a pitching staff that has plenty of depth but doesn’t have a true ace and has only one 10-game winner from 2010, Livan Hernandez. It will be interesting to see how the Nationals’ rotation takes shape from now until the start of the season. Of course, there is plenty of time between now and then for trades and unforeseen injuries to occur, but right now, there are eight solid candidates for five spots: John Lannan, Livan Hernandez, Jason Marquis, Yunesky Maya, Jordan Zimmermann, Ross Detwiler, Chien-Ming Wang and Gorzelanny.


Gorzelanny is 36-37 with a 4.68 ERA in 118 games/95 starts spanning six Major League seasons with Chicago (NL) and Pittsburgh. Gorzelanny posted his finest season in 2007, when he finished 14-10 with a 3.88 ERA in a career-best 32 starts for Pittsburgh. Last season, in 29 games (23 starts) with the Cubs, Gorzelanny went 7-9 with a 4.09 ERA and was touched for just 11 home runs in 136.1 innings.


Jerry Hairston Jr. 1.jpgJerry Hairston Jr. signs one-year deal

The Nats also agreed to a one-year contract with super utility player Jerry Hairston Jr. Hairston Jr. will fill the void left by Willie Harris as a jack of all trades off of the bench. During his career, he has played every defensive position except pitcher and catcher, with the bulk of his innings coming at second base, shortstop and center field.


Hairston Jr. is a career .257 (927-for-3608) hitter with 192 doubles, 59 home runs and 341 RBI in 1148 games with San Diego, New York (AL), Cincinnati, Texas, Chicago (NL) and Baltimore spanning 13 Big League seasons.


The 34-year-old Hairston Jr. has hit a career-best 10 home runs in back-to-back seasons, including 2010, when he received 430 at-bats from the Padres and responded by batting  .244 with 13 doubles and a career-high 50 RBI.