A big day for the resurgent Washington Nationals — they won twice today over the first place Atlanta Braves and for the 27th time in 37 games. Denard Span extended is hitting streak to 28 games. Ryan Zimmerman hit his 10th home run in 15 games. Tanner Roark went to 7-0 since being called up. The Nats kept pace in the second play-in game spot at race 4½ games back of the Cincinnati Reds.
A 3-0 lead turns into a 5-3 defecit, but the Nats get to Craig Kimbrel in the 9th with a walk, single, walk, sacrifice and two-run error by Andrelton Simmons. D-SPAN wins it.
Roark throws seven scoreless. Nats overcome Trent Jewitt letting D-Span go for home. Rafael Soriano overcomes two leadoff baserunners in non-save situation. Nats pile on late, win 4-0. Braves can’t clinch NL East in D.C.
So, which was more important to you?
Oh and here are playoff scenarios: If The Nats Do This And Reds Do That Then Playoffs Here We Come
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Washington Nationals were on a five game winning streak going into yesterday’s series finale against the San Francisco Giants. Dan Haren continued his solid pitching, giving up a mere solo home run over six innings. The Nats scored 3 runs off of Ryan Vogelsong in the 3rd, but only managed 2 hits after ending Vogelsong’s day in the 4th. Fernando Abad and Tyler Clippard kept the 7th and 8th scoreless. Then Rafael Soriano came in, gave up a hit and a walk. Then it got really ugly.
With two outs and a full count, PH Hector Sanchez pulled the ball towards the foul pole, but not far enough for DC fans. Sanchez hit his fourth career homer in 297 at bats over three seasons. Soriano blew the save and cost the Nats a six-game winning streak, series sweep and a most importantly, a win in my son’s first ever game.
Now, the blame isn’t all on Soriano, outgoing manager Davey Johnson put him for the third day in a row ahead of a seemingly important series in Atlanta tonight. Still, Soriano’s the goat here because he walked Roger Kieschnick, a rookie hitting .250 too.
Then again, Haren did strand six runners in his first two at-bats…
I’d be more upset if the playoffs were still a factor and if it weren’t such a perfect day for baseball and time spent with my family. My son, who followed the lead of the Nats bats and napped for the 6th through 8th innings, was disappointed to see the Giants pull ahead after he woke up. I consoled him with the knowledge that the first time I went to a baseball game, my team lost (Royals over Yankees on Old Timers Day) and at my first Nats game they lost too (Opening Day 2005 in Philadelphia). However, if he decides not to become a baseball fan, I’ll forever blame Soriano.
The Washington Nationals could only win one out of three against the Cincinnati Reds this weekend. The overall record is 4-2, but only 1-2 against MLB teams.
A 15-0 loss. Dan Haren’s Nats debut was simply Harendous! – (Nats Enquirer)
I’m glad I feel asleep on the couch as it was getting out of hand. Oof.
A 7-6 extra inning win that didn’t need to be in extras. SS Ian Desmond (he’s got about 4 on the season — we’re a week into it) made two errors. Bryce Harper made one:
Mike Wise wrote about Harper too: Mike Wise: At 20, Bryce Harper has already earned the respect of baseball greats – The Post
Ross Detwiler pitched well, but the bullpen coughed up his 5-1 lead. Drew Storen gave up two runs (one earned, the other on account of Desmond) and Rafael Soriano blew the save. The Nats were saved by homers – lots of them, including a solo shot in the 11th by Desmond (some redemption) the game-winner by Wilson Ramos (his second of the day, 3 RBI), Harper (two-run shot) and Jayson Werth (solo shot). Werth’s was caught barehanded by a guy holding his toddler in the other arm.
Oh and there was a little bit of an issue with the Channel 9 (WUSA) broadcast… (Sportsrantz)
Aside from this amazing change up (Nationals Journal, The Post), Stephen Strasburg didn’t have it. He gave up 3 in the first and 3 in the sixth. He only went 5 1/3 innings. The bright spot – another homer from the 8th spot, C Kurt Suzuki hit a 3-run shot in the 2nd to tie it up. That was the only Nats scoring of the day off of Johhny Cueto or any other Reds pitcher. Final score 6-3.
I only listened on and off on the radio on account of fatherhood. Gravelly Point was awfully crowded yesterday.
THOMAS BOSWELL CHAT
Ask Boswell: Redskins, Nationals and Washington sports – The Post
No game on this Monday. That’s okay, sit outside and enjoy a refreshing beverage instead.
IN SCORES OF OTHER GAMES
Alex Ovechkin had 5 goals over two nights. The Caps are in first place in the SouthLeast division.
Washington Nationals owner Ted Lerner is 87 years old and it isn’t unreasonable to assume he wants to win and soon.. The Nats are coming off of the best record in MLB, but had a first round playoff exit largely because the tired bullpen couldn’t hold a lead.
Superagent Scott Boras is well aware of Lerner’s wants and is the agents of several Nats players, some that were drafted by the team (Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper, Danny Espinosa), others than were picked up in free agency like Jayson Werth and the departed Rick Ankiel. Add to this Rafael Soriano, last year’s New York Yankees closer, who just signed with the Nats yesterday. So, did Boras find a sugar daddy in Lerner? Probably, but it isn’t the first time he’s done this and I think it has worked out for the Detroit Tigers (2 pennants in six years).
Two years, $28 million (though some of it is apparently deferred). This looks like a great signing, regardless of money, because who cares about the money. Here’s the Post story (
Rafael Soriano and Washington Nationals agree to terms on two-year contract worth $28 million) from Adam Kilgore who also speculated on signing Soriano on January 6 (What about Rafael Soriano?)
Thomas Boswell notes they are ALL IN.
Drew Storen wasn’t the only reliever to break down in Game 5, both Edwin Jackson (why was he in there?) and Tyler Clippard gave up runs. Storen blew it, but he had help and got squeezed on strike calls. I think he’s been scapegoated too much. He probably just got a jolt and wont’ get as many save opportunities, but will still get some in Davey Johnson’s A/B bullpen strategy.
Clippard’s arm is going to fall off sometime soon — he’s been so overworked the last few years. Bullpen depth is going to be critical.
Persumably, a full season of Strasburg and other starters being more seasoned means longer outings and the bullpen not getting worn out. That proved to be a problem in October.
This should be fun.