Showing posts with label ATTORNEY GENERAL. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ATTORNEY GENERAL. Show all posts

"That's two wins in a row now and hopefully something we can build on with John." -- Manager Jim Riggleman, on John Lannan's successful last two outings.

(Photo by Cheryl Nichols/Nats News Network)
THE RESULT:  John Lannan and Sean Burnett combined for a four-hit effort as the Washington Nationals beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-2, before a crowd of 19,549 at Nationals Park.

The Nats got three runs in the first and Wil Nieves' second home run of the year in the second off Arizona starter Joe Sauders for all the offense they would need on the evening.

Lannan (4-5, 5.23) made perhaps his finest start of the season, and early on showed he was going to be a factor in this game as he struck out two of the first three batters he faced in a 1-2-3 first inning.  He cruised through the first four frames, allowing just a single to No. 8 hitter Gerardo Parra in the third.

"He threw the ball good," said Manager Jim Riggleman.  "He had a good change-up, threw some good breaking pitches to left-handed hitter."

By that time, Lannan had a 4-0 cushion courtesy of some unlikely heros.

Alberto Gonzalez played second and batted first in Manager Jim Riggleman's lineup tonight against the left-handed Saunders, a Springfield, VA native.  He rewarded his manager's confidence with aleadoff single, and Ian Desmond (3-for-3, double, run) followed with another single. 

After Adam Dunn bounced to first to move both runners up, Ryan Zimmerman drove a ball through the hole that scored both runners, with Desmond sliding easily ahead of Parra's throw from left field, allowing Zimmerman to move up to second.

Zimmerman later came home on a Michael Morse safety for a three-run first.

Wil Nieves led off the second with his second home run of the season, depositing a Saunders off-speed pitch into the seats of the Red Porch to the right of the visitor's bullpen.  The Nats' backup catcher finished the night 2-for-4.

(Photo by Cheryl Nichols/Nats News Network)
That left the rest to Lannan, who only ran into trouble in the fifth inning.  After a Mark Reynolds walk, Stephen Drew ripped a ball over Dunn's head into the right field corner.  Morse dug it out and hit cut-off man Gonzalez, who then fired a laser to Nieves at home.

Nieves dove to the front corner of the plate and appeared to tag Reynolds on the back knee before the big third baseman could touch the plate, but home plate umpire Jeff Kellogg ruled Reynolds safe for the D-backs first run of the game.  Drew ended up on third, and later scored on a Parra single.

But that's all they would get off Lannan, the Nats leader in innings pitched the last two seasons.  He finished his night after throwing seven full innings, allowing just the two earned runs on four hits and one walk, striking out five in the effort.

Sean Burnett picked up where Lannan left off, getting all six batters he faced for a two-inning save, his second of the season and against Arizona in the past week and a half.

(Photo by Cheryl Nichols/Nats News Network)

THE GOOD:  John Lannan.  This is the type of performance the Nats expected out of Lannan, their two-time Opening Day starter.  His exile to the minors in for a few weeks in the middle of the season wasn't so much of a wake-up call as an opportunity to fine-tune his sinker, something he needs to be effective at the major league level. 

He's just a different pitcher if he can strike a few guys out along the way, as he did tonight.

Props too to Ian Desmond.  He entered the game hitting .333/.345/.574 over his last 59 plate appearances and went 3-for-4 to bolster those numbers.

THE BAD:  Adam Dunn went 0-for-3 with two Ks and left runners in scoring position in both of his first two at bats.

THE UGLY:  Justin Maxwell went 0-for-4 and struck out twice.  Not a good way to find increased playing time.  It looks more and more like he's a 4-A player.  Such a shame he can't find a way to make consistant contact with all the tools he has.

THE STATS:  The Nats went 2-for-9 with RISP and left eight men total.  They struck out five times and walked twice.

NEXT GAME:  Tomorrow against Arizona.  Jason Marquis (0-4, 15.32) looks to salvage his season against Ian Kennedy (6-9, 4.47) at 7:05 pm.

NATS NOTES:  A couple of draft-related tidbits to pass along.  First, MLB.com's Bill Ladson reported that Nats 2nd round draft pick, LHP Sammy Solis, was close to signing a contract this evening.  Solis is a left-handed starter out of University of San Diego.

Before the game, the Nats worked out Tennessee high schooler LHP Robbie Ray and introduced him to Stephen Strasburg and Jason Marquis during batting practice.  Ray seemed to be a long shot to sign, as he's committed to Arkansas, but if he's in for a workout it can only be considered a good thing.

GB&U: Weekend Review

Posted by Dave Nichols | Monday, July 20, 2009 | , , , , , , , , , | 0 comments »


"Today was a step backward. It was a breakdown all the way around." -- Jim Riggleman, July 19, 2009.

THE RESULTS: The Washington Nationals were handed two more defeats by the Chicago Cubs, who completed a four-game sweep of the worst team in baseball.

Saturday, Washington's defensive indifference led to a three-run inning against rookie pitcher Jordan Zimmermann and the Nats eventually fell 6-5, despite having two on and one out in each of the final two innings.

Zimmermann (L, 3-5, 4.63) was cruising until the sixth. Derrek Lee led off with a ball to left that would have been caught by a man faster than Adam Dunn; instead it went for a ground rule double. The next batter, Aramis Ramirez, bounced one off of second baseman Willie Harris for an error.

So instead of two outs, it's first and third with no outs. After striking out Milton Bradley on three pitches, Zimmermann hung a slider to Alfonso Soriano, who deposited the mistake into the right field bleachers, turning a 4-2 lead into a 5-4 deficit that the Nats would never erase.

Zimmermann finished with five and one-third innings, five runs (four earned) on six hits and one walk. Eight of his 16 outs for the night were via strikeout.

The Nats left 12 men on base.

Sunday afternoon, the Nats were pasted every which way by the Cubs, losing 11-3. Cubs rookie starter Kevin Hart gave up five hits AND five walks in five innings, but the Nats could only push two across the plate.

Washington left nine men on base. Adam Dunn hit his 24th home run of the season in the seventh inning, after the competitive portion of the game had long since finished.

Nats starter Garrett Mock seemed rattled after Alberto Gonzalez let a ball go through him in the top of the fourth inning, and the Northsiders put up seven in the frame, in front of 34,574 mostly Cubs fans.

Mock (L, 0-3, 7.71) went three and one-third innings, surrendering seven runs (four earned) on eight hits and two walks, striking out three. He gave up a massive two-run shot to Alfonso Soriano.

D.C. or Wrigley??? Photo 2009 © Cheryl Nichols. All Rights Reserved.


THE TAKEAWAY: Another lost weekend for the Nationals. Washington actually held the lead in each of the four games. It's time people realized that this offense actually gets WORSE when runners are on base.

The Nats left a stunning 21 runners on base in the two weekend games. Stunning.

THE GOOD: Nyjer Morgan. The leadoff hitter went 5-for-9 with three runs, an RBI and two stolen bases over the weekend.

THE BAD: Alberto Gonzalez. 0-for-8 for the weekend, with a big error Sunday. All those folks that wanted to see more of the Attorney General the rest of the season are going to get their wish. Be careful what you wish for.

THE UGLY: The record now stands at 26-65, on pace for a 46-116 season record.

NEXT GAME: Tonight. The Mets come to town, oh boy. J.D. Martin makes his major league debut against venerable right hander Livan Hernandez (5-5, 5.10), who has dominated the Nats in two starts this season.

NOTES: After the game, the Nats designated RHP Julian Tavarez for assignment and selected the contract of RHP Logan Kensing from Triple-A Syracuse.

Tavarez went 3-7 with one save and a 4.89 ERA this season for the Nats. Recently, however, he had trouble getting anyone out, and his walk rate the last 15 appearances was almost one walk per inning.

Kensing posted 12 saves in 13 opportunities and a 3.91 ERA in 23 appearances during a nearly two-month stint with Syracuse. While with the Chiefs, Kensing walked just five and struck out 24 in 25.1 innings.

LHP Scott Olsen went on the 15-day Disabled List to make room for Martin. Olsen is scheduled to meet with Dr. James Andrews this week about his ailing left shoulder.

"We haven't played the way we were expected to play. We're all accountable for what's going on." --Manny Acta, June 14, 2009.

THE RESULT: A ball that hit the third base bag and caromed into left center field turned into a run-scoring double as the Washington Nationals lost their 45th game of the season, getting swept by defending A.L. champion Tampa Bay Rays, 5-4, before 25,841 at Tropicana Field.

With one out in the eighth inning, third baseman Willie Harris was in position to field the bouncing ball. It was hit too slowly to get an inning-ending double play, but he surely would have thrown out the less-than-speedy Willie Aybar, who hit the grounder against Ron Villone (L, 3-3, 0.96).

Instead, the play is added to the long list of unusual circumstances contributing to the Nationals now record-setting losing pace, and perhaps to the firing of manager Manny Acta.

There was no new news as of this writing about the status of the embattled manager. But after having to tell the team about the death of Josh Willingham's brother, the added scrutiny from the Fox Sports and Sports Illustrated reports of his imminent demise, and losing the 15th of 18 games, Acta looked visibly tired in the visiting dugout this afternoon.

As they have all weekend, the Nationals jumped out to an early lead. The Rays spotted Washington a 4-0 lead Sunday, paced by Alberto Gonzalez' three RBIs.

But Nats starter Ross Detwiler had a very uneven day. He gave up four earned runs on six hits and a career high five walks. Three of the walks ended up scoring against the rookie stater. Detwiler did not strike out a batter today. He needed 95 pitches to get though five innings, and only threw 48 for strikes.

THE TAKEAWAY: The Nats turned three double plays today, or it would have been worse. Rookie pitchers will have days like this, especially for Detwiler. The lefty pitches across his body, and as such will have days where he loses his release point and lose control of his fastball. He was not sharp, but gutted out a performance that kept his team in the game.

However, the bats once again went silent after the initial salvo. It's almost like they collectively figure that four runs were going to get the job done today.

Adam Dunn struck out twice, including looking at strike three in the seventh inning with runners on first and third.

THE GOOD: Alberto Gonzalez. He went 3-for-4 with a run and three RBIs. He's hitting .319 on the season.

THE BAD: Corey Patterson. Making his first start of the season, he went 0-for-4 in the six-spot, leaving three runners on.

THE UGLY: The play eventually did not matter, but late in the game Willie Harris, giving Ryan Zimmerman the day off from defense, drifted toward the stands to chase a foul pop-up. However, the bullpens at Tropicana Field are in foul territory, and no one warned bullpen catcher Nelson Robledo that Harris was making tracks right toward him.

Just as Harris was getting ready to lift his arms to catch the pop-up, he collided with Robledo, both men tumbling, and the ball fell harmlessly to the artificial turf.

NEXT GAME: The Nationals are off Monday, which is widely expected to be the day Manny Acta is relieved of his managing duties. At this point, it would be shocking if it did not go down later tonight or sometime tomorrow. Nationals Journal reported that Acta did indeed get on the plane to New York though.

Washington continues its interleague road trip in New York against the Yankees on Tuesday at 7:05 pm. Shairon Martis (5-1, 5.04) takes on C.C. Sabathia (5-4, 3.68).

"I don't know if there's a word the English language has for it yet." --Adam Dunn, May 30, 2009

THE RESULT: Ryan Howard hit two home runs, including an estimated 475 foot grand slam off Nats starter Shairon Martis to lead the Philadelphia Phillies past the Washington Nationals 9-6, before 45,121 at Citizen's Bank Park.

The home runs were the headliner, but the more pivotal play happened in the bottom of the sixth, with the Phils up just one run, 7-6. With two outs and the bases loaded with Phillies, Ron Villone got Howard to quietly ground to second baseman Anderson Hernandez, which should have ended the inning.

Instead, Hernandez booted the routine ground ball, and two more runs came in, sealing the Nats fate Saturday night.

Martis (5-1, 5.62) was shaky, lasting just four innings and giving up seven runs on seven hits and two walks. He struck out just one batter. But he was no worse than Philly starter Cole Hamels, who got the win (3-2), simply by allowing just one less run. Hamels gave up six earned on eight hits and one walk in six innings pitched.

Howard finished 2-for-5 with the two home runs and five driven in. Philadelphia also stole five bases, two apiece off relievers Jesus Colome and Kip Wells.

The Nats got a pinch-hit two-run home run by Ronnie Belliard, a two-run double from Wil Nieves and am RBI triple from Alberto Gonzalez, recalled earlier int he day when Justin Maxwell was demoted to Triple-A Syracuse.

Unfortunately, three straight Nationals hitters struck out after the triple, leaving Gonzalez standing at third.

THE TAKEAWAY: The Nats have lost five in a row and 14 of their last 16 games. Ten of the last 11 losses have been by three runs or fewer. For the season, the record stands at 13-35-1.

THE GOOD: Alberto Gonzalez. He gave Cristian Guzman the night off to rest a sore thumb, and he went 2-for-3 with a run scored, and the RBI triple.

THE BAD: Ryan Zimmerman went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts, leaving two runners on.

THE UGLY: Though they didn't contribute negatively to the scorebook except for making his pitcher throw more pitches, Adam Dunn made two more errors in right field.

NEXT GAME: Today at 1:35 pm. John Lannan (2-4, 4.11) squares off against ageless Jamie Moyer (3-5, 7.42).