Found May 09, 2012 on
The Nats Blog:
St. Louis Cardinals
The Washington Nationals fell to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the bottom of the ninth last night on a Rod Barajas walk-off home run. With the loss they are now 18-11 on the season, and are in a virtual tie with the Atlanta Braves for first place in the National League East.
The last half hour of last night's contest was a roller coaster ride, ending in a violent, tragic crash. The Nationals gave the Pirates the lead in the bottom of the eighth after an error by Ian Desmond extended the inning and put Nate McClouth in scoring position. Washington then came roaring back in the top of the ninth with a clutch two run home run by Adam LaRoche to give the Nats the 4-3 lead. Then with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, closer Henry Rodriguez gave up a two-run walk off home run to the Pirates' No. 8 hitter.
What a night. What a way to lose.
The loss left fans on Twitter clamoring for the return of closer Drew Storen, who has yet to make an appearance this season due to elbow surgery this Spring. Despite a strong start of the season, the blown save was Rodriguez's second of the year, and also his second in his last three attempts. In his 14 appearances, he has allowed one hit or more just four times. He has losses in three of those four instances.
- Henry Rodriguez could not locate his pitches at an MLB level again last night. This has always been the book on the 25-year-old, but Washington had hoped that they could harness his control problems to leverage his unbelievable stuff. The problem is that when he's put in high leverage situations, his flaws bubble to the surface. Prior to the home run he allowed to Barajas, Rodriguez had thrown two wild pitches, which allowed Alex Presley (who Rodriguez walked) to advance from first to third. I have no doubt that the fear of throwing yet another wild pitch played a factor in the Nats closer grooving a fastball down mainstreet to Barajas. So while his wild pitches technically had no outcome on the game, no runs scored directly from them, it had to be on his mind when he hung that fastball on the last pitch of the night.
- Edwin Jackson was two bad pitches away from an outstanding outing, and likely his second win of the season. He allowed only three hits in seven innings of work, while striking out five batters and walking just one. The only problem was that the two hits he gave up were both solo home runs. A big problem for the 29-year-old throughout his career has been inconsistency in his fastball. When it is on, like it was against the Astros when he pitched a nine-inning two hitter, it has good sink and induces ground balls. When its off, like it has been his last two starts, it is flat as a board.
- The Nationals struck out 10 times against A.J. Burnett, the very same pitcher that allowed 12 runs in 2.2 innings pitched against the St. Louis Cardinals in his last start.
- Washington was able to come back in the top of the ninth against their own former closer, Joel Hanrahan. In 2009 Hanrahan had five blown saves in 10 attempts while posting a 7.71 ERA. Last year for Pittsburgh, however, he posted 40 saves with a 1.83 ERA.
BEST OF MAXIM
Via MLB.com, Jayson Werth reportedly had surgery on Monday to repair his busted left wrist; he's expected to be out at least 12 weeks.
And here's Werth, via the Washington Post, talking about the jeers he heard from a-hole Phillies fans in RF (at least some of whom are trying to paint themselves differently) as he made his way off the field:
In an e-mail to the Post...
For the second time in a week, fans from Philadelphia have been accused of cheering for an opponent’s injury. We know Sixers fans cheered when Joakim Noah went down during a game last Friday because we could hear it on the broadcast. According to Jayson Werth, Phillies fans pulled the same classless move on Sunday night when he broke his wrist at Nationals Park.
Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman has been reinstated from the 15-day disabled list by the Washington Nationals, who put outfielder Jayson Werth on the DL.
The moves were made before Washington's game at the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday.
Zimmerman has been out since April 21 with a right shoulder injury. He was hitting .224 with a homer and seven RBIs in 15 games this season.
As tweeted by @NationalsPR, which is “the official Twitter page of the Washington Nationals Baseball Media Relations Department,” during last night’s Nats-Pirates game at PNC Park (via D.C. Sports Bog):
Now, PNC Park is a beautiful ballpark, and I don’t find Pittsburgh itself to be particularly ugly, but really? You’re the PR arm of the Nationals and you’re hailing Pittsburgh...
You might have heard about this little kerfluffle: Washington Nationals' right fielder / free agent contract millstone Jayson Werth broke a wrist on Sunday night against the Phillies, and claims to have heard Traveling Philly Fan say unkind things, among them, "You deserve it." Which makes one wonder, really, how unspeakably manly Werth is, to ignore the pain of a broken...
Jayson Werth suffered a broken wrist Sunday night, as he was trying to make a diving catch. Werth was in right field for the Washington Nationals as they hosted his former team, the Philadelphia Phillies. Apparently, Philly fans travel well, as plenty could be heard in the Nationals’ ballpark. What Werth heard after his injury was not comforting to his ears. By...
Pirates 5, Nationals 4: Rod beats HRod, etc. Joel Hanrahan does his best 2009 Joel Hanrahan with the Nats impression (GASCANRAHAN!) in the top of the 9th. Then Henry Rodriguez one-ups him with a better 2009 Joel Hanrahan with the Nats impression (Gascanhenrycan!) in the bottom of the 9th.
Seems Wilson Ramos still can't catch anything Henry throws...
Major League Baseball has fined Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo an undisclosed amount of money for comments he made about Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels, MLB.com reported. Hamels hit Nationals rookie Bryce Harper with a pitch during Sunday's 9-3 loss to the Phillies, and Hamels later said he hit Harper on purpose. Rizzo reportedly responded with some harsh words...
The Pirates open a three-game series with the Washington Nationals on Tuesday night at PNC Park. Right-hander A.J. Burnett will be on the hill for the Bucs. The Nats will counter with right-hander Edwin Jackson.
Rod Barajas hit a two-run homer off Washington closer Henry Rodriguez with two outs in the ninth to lift the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 5-4 victory on Tuesday night.
The veteran catcher, mired in a season-long slump, drilled a shot down the left field line that sailed a few rows into the seats for his first home run and RBIs of the year.
The Nationals went ahead 4-3 after Adam LaRoche...
The Washington Nationals announced that they have signed left handed reliever Mike Gonzalez to a minor league deal. Gonzalez passed on numerous offers this offseason including a non-roster invite from the Rangers.
Gonzalez was recovering from a torn meniscus in his left knee late last season with his knee completely giving out in game 7 of the World Series.
The signing makes sense...
Before we get started I would be doing you, my loyal readers, a disservice if I didn’t at least bring this up. Couldn’t happen to a bigger group of scumbags. So last night’s baseball game was kinda exciting huh? How about that freaking Rod Barajas jacking the game winner? I will take some credit for [...]
When people say that the Pirates can’t spend money, or that they aren’t just one player away I chuckle a bit. Those same arguments could have been made about the Nationals. The difference is that while the Nats drafted well, they ALSO spent money on the big league club. Can you really succeed without doing [...]