Posted July 04, 2013 on
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San Diego Padres
New York Mets
A lineup change and the return of Wilson Ramos may have gotten their offense on the right track, but the Washington Nationals haven't had much trouble scoring lately with Gio Gonzalez on the mound.
The Nationals look to build off their latest effort at the plate for the left-hander Friday night when they host the San Diego Padres, losers of a season-high six straight.
After Washington (43-42) was limited to one run and 13 hits in losses Tuesday and Wednesday, manager Davey Johnson mixed things up Thursday. He moved shortstop Ian Desmond up to second in the batting order and dropped outfielder Jayson Werth down to sixth.
The immediate results were positive as Desmond and Werth went a combined 6 for 7 in an 8-5 victory over Milwaukee to split the four-game home series.
"Yeah, that came out all right,'' Johnson said. "You know, once in a while I have a great idea.''
After missing 44 games because of a strained left hamstring, Ramos went 3 for 4 with a career-high five RBIs and hit a go-ahead, three-run homer in the seventh inning.
"He's a statement player,'' Desmond said of Ramos. "And definitely somebody who's waiting for his turn in the spotlight.''
Star Bryce Harper hasn't done as well in his four games back after being sidelined with a knee injury. He's 1 for 15 with a homer and six strikeouts, though he has homered in three of four career games against the Padres (40-46).
The Nationals have been swinging the bats well for Gonzalez (5-3, 3.09 ERA), giving him 17 runs to help him win his last two starts. He had received 13 total runs during an eight-start winless streak prior to those victories.
Gonzalez yielded three hits over seven shutout innings to beat the New York Mets 13-2 on Sunday, leaving him 2-0 with 44 strikeouts and a 1.79 ERA in 40 1-3 innings over his last six outings.
Gonzalez, 1-0 with a 1.42 ERA in two career starts against the Padres, gave up three runs in 6 2-3 innings before leaving without a decision in a 6-5 win at San Diego on May 17.
This time, Gonzalez faces a struggling San Diego team that has totaled seven runs while batting .180 during its losing streak. Logan Forsythe, Chase Headley and Pedro Ciriaco are a combined 6 for 62 over that span.
"I think it's looked worse than it has been,'' Headley said. "We've had some at-bats in situations where we had a chance to drive in runs and the guys hit the ball hard and it just hasn't gone in the hole for us.''
Jesus Guzman provided a bright spot with three hits as the Padres dropped to 1-6 on their road trip with an 8-2 loss at Boston on Thursday.
Everth Cabrera, who leads the team with a .305 average, is expected to be activated from the disabled list Friday after missing 17 games with an injured left hamstring.
The Padres hope to avoid their longest losing streak since a nine-game skid from Aug. 24-Sept. 3, 2011, as they give the ball to Andrew Cashner (5-3, 3.31) to open this three-game series.
The right-hander has gone 1-0 with a 2.78 ERA while receiving 13 runs to work with in his last five outings. He allowed two runs over six innings and did not fare in the decision in a 6-2 loss at Miami on Sunday.
Cashner gave up three runs over 6 2-3 innings in a 13-4 win in his only career start against the Nationals on May 19.
The teams split that four-game series in San Diego.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos has gained independence from the disabled list. MLB.com's Bill Ladson reports that the Nationals will activate Ramos in time for the 11:05 Eastern game with the Milwaukee Brewers. CSN Washington's Mark Zuckerman confirmed the news Thursday morning.
Wilson Ramos activated and in #Nats lineup. Jhonatan Solano optioned to AAA....
Nationals starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez signed a hefty contract extension over the winter that will keep him in Washington through at least 2016. The deal is reportedly worth $42 million and could be worth as much as $65 million if the Nationals exercise their team options in 2016 and 2017. The contract certainly gives the [...]
Dan Haren will likely return to the Nationals’ rotation July 9 at Philadelphia. He threw a 70-pitch simulated game this afternoon at Nationals Park.
Dan Haren is on track to start July 9 in Philly, and he wants to come back with a better variance in velocity. http://t.co/YxiB4aLkE5
— Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) July 3, 2013
“He threw better than I thought he would...
AT A LOSS
Nationals skipper Davey Johnson has resorted to humor in order to deal with the team's hitting struggles, mentioning Ouija boards and saying, "I am going crazy."
Wilson Ramos hit a go-ahead, three-run homer in the seventh inning Thursday in his Fourth of July return to the Washington Nationals, leading an 8-5 matinee win over the Milwaukee Brewers.
Back after missing 44 games with a strained left hamstring, Ramos had three hits and a career-high five RBIs as the Nationals earned a split of the four-game series and moved back above .500 in...
Washington manager Davey Johnson has seen these kinds of games from the Nationals offense.
This time he thinks they'll sustain it.
Wilson Ramos drove in three runs, Gio Gonzalez won his third straight start and the Washington Nationals defeated the San Diego Padres 8-5 Friday night.
Jayson Werth had three hits and Denard Span added a two-run double for Washington, which has...
Earlier in June, frustrated over the Washington Nationals going on a mini-slide, outfielder Jayson Werth eloquently stated what he believed the team needed to do in order to get the competitive fire burning again in their bellies. Among other things, Werth said, “You’ve got to show up tomorrow ready to eat somebody’s face.” The quote developed a [...]The post Miami writer...
Davey Johnson is having problems with his Ouija board.
The Washington Nationals manager was in rare form Thursday before an 11 a.m. Fourth of July start against the Milwaukee Brewers, apparently having decided that humor was the best way to deal with the team's hitting woes.
He explained his decision to move Ian Desmond to the No. 2 spot in the batting order by saying: '...
After ending June and opening July with double-digit run totals, the Washington Nationals have again gone cold at the plate.
The Nationals hope to get their offense back on track and avoid their first series loss at home in nearly two months Thursday against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Though Washington (42-42) is among the majors' lowest-scoring teams with 306 runs, it displayed...
"I don’t have any answers...just kind of...nothing. Get nothing going. It’s putting me in the loony bin." (Davey Johnson, via MASN/postgame press conference, 7/3/2013)
Brewers 4, Nationals 1: Death, taxes, and no answers from Davey Johnson.
So much for turning points: After the great 23-run outbreak of 2013, Nats score one run total in two games, drop two...
There were certainly some fireworks going off yesterday around the league! /lamepuns
Let's get to the trots.
Home Run of the Day: Wilson Ramos, Washington Nationals - 24.57 seconds [video]
I may have been tempted to put Adam Dunn's walkoff blast in this spot, but then I was afraid of subjecting you to a Hawk Harrelson home run call. My apologies for that.