Last night, the Washington Nationals topped the Chicago Cubs by a score of 9-2 to complete a four-game sweep, improving their record to 85-52 and holding their lead over the Atlanta Braves in the National League East at 7 1/2 games.
None of that seems to matter, though, as the real story lies in the two bench-clearing, bullpen-emptying incidents that began with Jayson Werth swinging at a 3-0 pitch with the bases loaded and ended just after Lendy Castillo came inside with a 96-mph fastball to 19-year-old Bryce Harper in the bottom of the sixth inning. Continue reading
For the second time in as many nights, the Washington Nationals (84-52) hit six home runs, securing their place alongside the 1996 Los Angeles Dodgers and the 2003 Anaheim Angels as the only teams to accomplish such a feat. It also placed them in a position to try for a four-game sweep of the Chicago Cubs (51-85) tonight at Nationals Park. If the Nationals, who have outscored the Cubs in the series by a margin of 22-7, hope to sweep the series, they will have to beat right-handed veteran Justin Germano. The Nationals will send right-hander Jordan Zimmermann to the mound, who hopes to not only shed himself of a nearly month-long slump, but also beat the Cubs for the first time in his career. Continue reading
Last night’s 11-5 win over the Chicago Cubs (51-84) marked a number of firsts for the Washington Nationals (83-52). First and foremost, it marked the first time since moving to Washington that the team has won 83 games. Each subsequent win will set a new high-water mark for the franchise as well. It also marked the first time a D.C. team has hit five or more home runs at home, including Griffith Stadium. Finally, it marked the debut of right-handed pitched Christian Garcia, who spent eight years in the minor leagues after suffering through three elbow surgeries.
Tonight, the Nationals will look to lock down a series win by taking the third of a four-game series with the Cubs. In order to do so, they will have to face right-hander Chris Volstad, who will be opposed by 17-game winner Gio Gonzalez. Continue reading
Typically I would apologize in advance of failing my readers, but today I am going to apologize after the fact. I am sorry for failing to provide a pitching matchup for game 134. If you read Positive Mental Natitude’s lazy Labor Day special, you already know just how little work I was ready to accomplish yesterday. But you can be sure that I was watching as the Washington Nationals (82-52) ensured a winning season after taking the first of a four-game series with the Chicago Cubs (51-83) – a game that saw another stellar performance from left-hander Ross Detwiler as well as the mysterious removal of outfielder Michael Morse from the lineup in the middle of the fourth inning. You can also be sure that I will be watching tonight, as Chicago sends left-hander Chris Rusin to the mound to face right-hander Edwin Jackson and the surging Nationals. Continue reading
Yesterday, during the Washington Nationals’ 2-1 victory in the first of a four-game series with the Chicago Cubs, outfielder Michael Morse was pulled from the game in the middle of the fourth inning. It was announced that Morse, who has been dealing with several nagging injuries since early August, was removed due to soreness in his right thumb.
It came as a surprise, then, when manager Davey Johnson told the media in a post-game interview that the reason Morse was removed was a precautionary one. Johnson had hoped to spare Morse discomfort in his right hand – a right hand that was hit by a Kyle Kendrick changeup on August 24.
“Where he got hit was acting up,” Johnson said. “I knew their pitcher was going to pound him in, and I didn’t want to aggravate it worse. He didn’t want to come out. I just said, ‘You’re coming out.’ I don’t need you aggravating it.”
It came as an even bigger surprise, then, when Morse spoke to the media and claimed he felt fine.
“No, my hand feels fine,” Morse said. “My hand feels good.”
What a curious little mystery. Continue reading