.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Monday, August 22, 2005


Nationals win and avoid sweep

Church was the lead off hitter, like he originally was supposed to be for this season, before injuring himself in the preseason. And Wilkerson sat, though not like the original plan.

As indicated by my previous entry, the Nationals chased Kris Benson in the first inning. Before he left, they scored 6 runs and hit 7 straight (or more) 2 out hits. Benson's line: 0.2 IP 8 H 6 ER 0 BB 0 SO 0 HR 37 pitches of which 22 were strikes. In Benson's seven year career, this is the shortest start he has recorded.

That first inning started well enough for Benson. He gave up a double to the leadoff man but then got the next two batters out. Church doubled, Vidro hit into a ground-out, but moved Church to third and Johnson hit a sacrifice fly that allowed Church to score. Benson had now allowed 1 run, but had 2 outs and the bases were empty. Then roughly seven hits in a row were given up by Benson, scoring 5 more Nationals runs and Benson was pulled and Padilla came in and immediately ended the inning.

Winning Line-up:
R Church LF 2 for 3, 1 2B (15), 1 RBI (36), 1 R, 2 BB .300
J Vidro 2B 0 for 5, 1 SO .276
N Johnson 1B 0 for 4, 1 RBI (57) .300
J Guillen RF 1 for 5, 1 R, 1 2B (27), .300
P Wilson CF 2 for 5, 1 2B (23) 1 RBI (67), 1 R, .265
V Castilla 3B 2 for 4, 1 RBI (54), 2 R, 1 SO, .246
G Bennett C 3 for 4, 1 R, .248
C Guzman SS 2 for 4, 2 2B (10), 2 RBI (19), 1 R, .194
E Loaiza P 1 for 3, 1 RBI (3) .204

a-C Baerga PH 0 for 1, .273 pinch hit for Eischen.

With that great offensive start, the starting pitcher, Loaiza, had a huge cushion to work with. In the end, Loaiza lasted 6.1 innings and gave up 3 runs, 7 hits, 2 walks and 1 home-run while striking 0ut 8 in 97 pitches (67 strikes). Loaiza is now 8-9.

Loaiza quote about being handed a 6-0 game before he threw a single pitch: "It's nice, but there's still a lot of game left," Loaiza said. "All I had on my mind was putting up zeros."

The seventh run came later in the inning (the ESPN box score innings are empty) when the bases were loaded and Ryan Church was walked.

ESPN.com box score. Nationals.com recap.

NL East:
Because of the Nationals losses against the Mets, they have fallen to fourth place.
Braves 70-54
Phillies 67-58, 3.5 GB
Marlins 65-58, 4.5 GB
Nationals 65-59, 5.0 GB
Mets 63-60, 6.5 GB
Wild Card:
Nationals now behind the Marlins in both Wild Card and NL East races.
Phillies 67-58
Astros 66-58, 0.5 GB
Marlins 65-58, 1.0 GB
Nationals 65-59, 1.5 GB
Mets 63-60, 3.0 GB
Brewers 61-64, 6.0 GB
Monday: Travel day, no game.

RFK Stadium: The Nationals now host six games at RFK.
First up: Cincinnati Reds Tuesday through Thursday. The Reds are coming off of a 13-6 win over the Diamondbacks, and bring their 57-67 losing record to RFK.

Armas (7-6, 4.29) vs. Luke Hudson (4-6, 7.35)

Scouting Report:
"Hudson had a string of four decent starts snapped in his last outing against the Giants. Though he gave up only three runs, Hudson lasted 4 2/3 innings as he struggled through nearly every inning. In that game, Hudson also had his string of three straight wins snapped. Now, the right-hander looks to get back on track in his first start in the nation's capital.

Armas will have the Reds for the fourth time in his career. He is 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA against them. The last time he faced them was on April 20, 2003. On that day, he suffered a torn rotator cuff and labrum and missed the rest of the season. In his last start, Armas had four walks by the third inning against the Phillies. It didn't help that Armas had problems controlling his fastball. Still, Armas pitched five-plus innings and gave up only two runs on five hits. He struck out three and walked six."

Armas is 5-0 at home with an era of 2.72 in 9 games started (49.2 IP 35 H, 15 ER, 5 HR, 3 HBP, 24 BB, 31 SO).

John Patterson (7-4) vs. Ramon Ortiz (8-8, 5.44)

Scouting Report:
"Ortiz is in the midst of his best stretch this season. The right-hander is 2-1 in his last three starts, and he's given up three earned runs in 20 2/3 innings pitched in those contests. In his last outing, Ortiz went a season-high 7 2/3 innings against the Giants, picking up the win."

Patterson is 5-0 at home with an era of 1.67 in 13 games started (86.1 IP, 59 H, 16 ER, 1 HR, 2 HBP, 26 BB, 85 SO). Apparently, Patterson has not faced the Reds in 2005.

Livan Hernandez (14-5) vs. Brandon Claussen (8-8, 4.50)

Scouting Report:
"Claussen is in the midst of a four-game winning streak, and with it, he's leveled his record at 8-8. The left-hander has gone 33 1/3 innings in that stretch and has allowed 12 earned runs, an ERA of 3.26. Look for Claussen to continue that streak of solid outings as he already has one good start against the Nationals this year. "

Hernandez is 6-3 at home with an era of 3.59 in 11 games started (77.2 IP, 82 H, 31 ER, 5 HR, 8 HBP, 28 walks, 43 SO). Hernandez has pitched one game this year against the Reds, in Cincinnati. He lasted 7 innings, gave up 6 hits, 3 walks, hit two batters and allowed 3 runners to score while also striking out 8. His era for the game: 3.86.

The NL Central division leading St. Louis Cardinals (78-46) will visit RFK Friday through Sunday.

The Nationals will likely face LHP Mark Mulder and his 14-6, 3.87 ERA record. Beyond that, I'm not sure who the Cardinals starters will be. For some odd reason, the St. Louis depth chart lists six starting pitchers.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

WWW Nationals Baseball Fan