The weekend was not kind to the Washington Nationals (77-50), who were swept in a three-game series by the Philadelphia Phillies and extended their losing streak to four games. That is the big story. The bigger story is Nationals’ right-hander Stephen Strasburg and his impending shutdown. After making 25 starts and tossing 145 1/3 innings, Strasburg is only expected to have a handful of remaining starts for the Nationals before he is shut down as part of his Tommy John surgery rehabilitation plan. One of those starts will come tonight when Strasburg and the Nationals begin a two-game series with the Miami Marlins (58-71) – a series that could prove to be a potential turning point in the Nationals’ season. Looking to keep the Nationals in the loss column will be Marlins right-hander Ricky Nolasco. Continue reading
After dropping the first two of a three-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies (60-67), the Washington Nationals (77-49) look to put an end to their first three-game skid since July 19-21. They will also be looking to avoid being swept for the fourth time this season and will do so without All-Star shortstop Ian Desmond and outfielder Michael Morse, both of whom are once again out of the lineup. If the Nationals hope to salvage this afternoon’s finale, they will need a strong showing from right-hander Jordan Zimmermann, who will take the mound opposite Phillies left-hander Cliff Lee. Continue reading
The series opener at Citizens Bank Park last night between the Washington Nationals (77-48) and the Philadelphia Phillies (59-67) was anything but a high point in the season for the first-place Nationals. It did not take long before the team’s season-long theme of injury reared its head again, forcing outfielder Michael Morse out of the game after taking a Kyle Kendrick changeup to his right hand in the top of the first inning. Luckily for the Nationals, Morse’s X-rays came back negative. The injury, which came on the heels of hearing that All-Star shortstop Ian Desmond was scratched from the lineup, is not expected to keep Morse out of action for long. Tonight, they will look to get back in the win column after dropping back-to-back games to divisional rivals as they send Gio Gonzalez, who is tied for the major league lead in wins with three other players, to the mound to face off against two-time Cy Young award-winner Roy Halladay. Continue reading
After sustaining a strained lat muscle that sidelined Washington Nationals outfielder Michael Morse for the first 50 games of the season, the last thing he and the team were hoping for was another prolonged injury.
Luckily, after taking a Kyle Kendrick changeup to his right hand during the top of the first inning in last night’s 4-2 loss to the Phillies, the Nationals’ 2011 batting leader is not expected to miss significant time. Continue reading
After taking the first two of a three-game series, the Washington Nationals dropped the finale last night to the Atlanta Braves. Their lead in the National League East was cut to six games and their league leading record now stands at 77-47.
The good news for the Nationals, however, is two-fold. Not only will they see the Braves just three more times in the regular season, which will force the Braves to rely on sub-.500 teams to assist them in closing the gap in the NL East, they will enjoy what to them must seem like a foreign concept – a day off.
Since the All-Star break, the Nationals have had just two off-days prior to today. Their post All-Star break schedule has been a grueling one indeed, and included a stretch during which the Nationals played 35 games in 34 days. After a short day of rest, the team will be off to Philadelphia, where they will begin a three-game series with the Phillies.
For now, here is a look at some of the stories from yesterday that you may have missed amidst the excitement of a potential series sweep. Continue reading
Last night, Edwin Jackson took a tough-luck loss after throwing seven stellar innings of two-hit ball, walking just one and striking out a season-high 11 batters. Unfortunately, Jackson made one mistake. He left a first-pitch fastball over the plate in the seventh for Ike Davis, who lined the pitch to left for a two-run home run, the only runs of the game. Today, the Washington Nationals (74-46) look to take the rubber match of a three-game series with the New York Mets (57-63) before beginning an important series with the Atlanta Braves. The Mets give the ball to right-hander Jeremy Hefner, who will oppose lefty Gio Gonzalez for the Nationals. Continue reading
Ross Detwiler notched his seventh win of the season last night, leading the Washington Nationals (74-45) to a 6-4 victory over their division rival New York Mets (56-63). The Nationals’ offense was powered by a Michael Morse grand slam in the fourth inning, which was followed by a two-run home run from Bryce Harper in the fifth. Tonight, the Mets, losers of seven of their last 10, look to get back in the win column when they send Jonathon Niese to the mound. The Nationals have won eight of their last 10 and will counter with right-hander Edwin Jackson, who will be pitching on an extra day’s rest. Continue reading
After a grueling post All-Star break stretch that included 35 games in 34 days, the Washington Nationals returned from an 8-2 road trip to enjoy a day off in the nation’s capital. Tonight, the Nationals (73-45) will begin a six-game home stand with the New York Mets (56-62). Nationals’ left-hander Ross Detwiler, who will pitch on normal rest and replace Edwin Jackson, will look to make the team winners of eight of their last 10 as he takes on the Mets’ veteran left-hander Johan Santana. Continue reading
This afternoon, the Washington Nationals reinstated All-Star shortstop Ian Desmond from the 15-day disabled list.
Desmond, who has missed 25 days since being placed on the DL on July 23 (retroactive to July 22), is batting .286/.322/.503 on the season with 24 doubles, 17 home runs and 53 RBIs.
Desmond was originally expected to miss five weeks due to a torn left oblique, but is returning a bit early after he resumed full pregame workouts on Monday.
In order to clear a spot on the roster, the Nationals designated infielder Cesar Izturis for assignment.
The Nationals acquired Izturis on waivers from the Milwaukee Brewers on August 6 to provide infield depth after Desmond was lost to the DL. In five appearances with the Nationals, Izturis netted just two hits in four at-bats.
The move comes as a surprise to the Washington Metropolitan Area, who assumed that one of either Steve Lombardozzi or Tyler Moore would be optioned to the Class AAA Syracuse Chiefs before rejoining the team on September 1 when rosters expand.
After sitting out for 25 games since being placed on the 15-day disabled list with a torn left oblique on July 23 (retroactive to July 22), All-Star shortstop Ian Desmond is primed to make his return to the Washington Nationals’ lineup. Desmond, who resumed his full pregame workouts on Monday, is expected to be activated tomorrow for the start of a three-game series with the New York Mets.
Though the Nationals managed to post a 19-6 record in his absence, it would probably be pretty accurate to assume that not a single person – player, fan or otherwise – is less than ecstatic about his return. After all, in 89 games this season, Desmond has posted a .286/.322/.502 line with 24 doubles, 17 home runs and 53 RBIs.
Desmond’s return, however, necessitates a roster move that will likely send one of either Steve Lombardozzi or Tyler Moore to the Syracuse Chiefs for the next two weeks before an expanded roster allows the odd man out to rejoin his teammates in Washington on September 1. Continue reading