It's Either/Or With DC's Weapons...
The Washington Nationals are either scoring five a game and getting no pitching, or throwing quality starts where the bats go cold. The injury bug is back and it's making a difference. The Orioles takes two-straight in Nationals Park.
As ESPN.com's Tim Kurkjian noted in yesterday's front page piece about the Washington Nationals entitled, "It's not all doom and gloom in D.C.", the Washington Nationals, just last week, "...tied a major league record by losing six straight games while scoring at least five runs in each game," and in the next four games, the Nationals have won one, and dropped two one-run games and one two-run game in which they've gotten three quality starts from John Lannan (7.0 IP, 1 ER), Jordan Zimmermann (7.0 IP, 2 ER) and now tonight Ross Detwiler, (6.0 IP, 1 ER) and one close-to-quality outing, from Craig Stammen, (6.1 IP, 4 ER) in the one game they actually managed to win.
Adam Dunn's Gone Cold Donkey.
Since Elijah Dukes left the lineup after May 17th, Adam Dunn's 5 for 21, with 1 2B, 1 HR and 5 RBI's. On the current homestand, which ends with tomorrow's 1:35 pm EST finale against the O's, Dunn's just 6 for 35, for a .171 AVG, which has dropped his '09 AVG to .278 from .310 when the Nationnals returned from their left coast trip. Is it possible that having Dukes hitting behind Dunn actually helped? Austin Kearns, who hit behind Dunn tonight in Dukes' stead, went 1 for 4 and stranded 5, and he's hitting .212 so far, with a .350 OBP, .394 SLG, and a .744 OPS...When Dukes left the lineup, he was hitting .277 with a .347 OBP, a .473 SLG and an .820 OPS...
Maybe the anonymous "National" ESPN.com's Kurkjian quoted in yesterday's article saying the Nationals' locker room would be better off without Dukes should worry more about what's happening on the field...
Detwiler Earns Another Start?
No Anderson Hernandez again tonight. No Jesus Flores. No Dukes as we mentioned. DC lefty Ross Detwiler allows 1 hit and 1 ER in 6.0 IP, walks 4 and K's 4 in his 2nd MLB start, which he leaves with the score tied at 1-1. Julian Tavarez gives up a one-out double to Gregg Zaun in the seventh, and gets lucky when Zaun makes an ill-advised break for third on a ground ball to short from Cesar Itzuris, and is tagged out by Zimmerman...So, with a runner on first and two down, DC Manager Manny Acta does the right thing, bringing in Ron Vill0.00ne to face the lefty pinch hitter Aubrey Huff, who promptly triples in a run with a fly ball off the center field wall that scores Izturis for a 2-1 O's lead. Jason Bergmann and "Wild" Joel Hanrahan contribute scoreless frames, but the Nationals can't manage more than the HR Cristian Guzman hits in the fifth, as they come up empty again and again when they have their chances...
(ed. note - "Hey, but at least Justin Maxwell's HR-ruining catch got tonight's #1 Web Gem on Baseball Tonight!!!!")
Miss Tonight's Game? The DC Faithful were watching.
For The Completists, Full Game Report After The Jump...
Nationals now 12-30.
Baltimore Orioles at Washington Nationals. Game 42 of 162.
Brian Roberts is down 0-2 early and he flies to center on a 1-2 fastball up high from DC lefty Ross Detwiler. Adam Jones sends a screaming line drive to center and high enough to go - - Justin Maxwell tracks it to the wall, leaps, and brings it back, Maxwell with a spectacular play to rob A. Jones!!!! CF of the Future!! Nick Johnson backsteps and handles Nick Markakis’ grounder to first...Koji Uehara gets help from Cesar Izturis who dives to catch a low liner before it becomes a single for Cristian Guzman. Nick Johnson swings and misses at a fastball outside. Ryan Zimmerman hits a two-out single through short. Ty Wigginton takes a single away from Adam Dunn as he stabs a low liner and steps on first to end the opening frame.
94 mph 1-2 fastball low and inside from Ross Detwiler and Melvin Mora lines out to Austin Kearns in right. Ty Wiggington shoots a grounder to first, Nick Johnson tosses softly to Detwiler covering. Nolan Reimold’s grounder sneaks up on Ryan Zimmerman but he handles it, throws to first, two scoreless for Detwiler...Austin Kearns gets an 0-2 pitch up high and over the plate from Uehara, and he rips it through short. Willie Harris’ sac bunt moves Kearns to second. Josh Bard’s weak grounder moves Kearns to third. Full-count splitter from Uehara, and Justin Maxwell can’t help offering, rung up, no score after two.
Detwiler gets squeezed on a “low” 3-1 fastball to Gregg Zaun. Cesar Izturis grounds to first, Nick Johnson’s there. A one-out walk to the opposing pitcher. Brian Roberts walks to load the bases for Adam Jones. Detwiler gets Jones swinging at a 93 mph fastball outside and low immediately after a change in the exact same spot. Detwiler gets a grounder from Nick Markakis toward short, Zimmerman cuts and thro...no one’s covering second, Zimmerman holds it, one run scores. 1-0 Baltimore. Melvin Mora flies out to right to end the top of the third, 1-0 O’s...Ross Detwiler’s rudely dismissed by Uehara. Nolan Reimold charges in to collect Guzman’s spinning fly. Nick Johnson uses his Discerning Eye to draw a two-out walk. Ryan Zimmerman walks as well. Adam Dunn bounces a low liner off the first base bag, fair ball, Uehara doesn’t cover first, everyone safe. Austin Kearns rips the first pitch to third, Mora knocks it down and throws Kearns out.
Two-strike change outside and Ty Wigginton chases, and Detwiler pops up Reimold and Zaun for a quick scoreless frame...Uehara out for Brian Bass, Willie Harris makes the first out easy, grounding weakly to first. Josh Bard chops a grounder to first, Bass covers, two down. Justin Maxwell grounds sharply to short to end the fourth...Justin Maxwell glides in to catch the first out off Cesar Itzuris’ bat. Detwiler drops an 0-2 bender on the opposing pitcher. Brian Roberts flies out to Maxwell, another quick from Detwiler...Detwiler grounds back to Bass for the first out of DC’s fifth. Cristian Guzman, THE GUZZZZ goes deep to right and GONE!!! Solo shot, 1-1 ballgame. Nick Johnson pops ou...it drops between Izturis and Adam Jones in short center. 2-2 fastball down low, Zimmerman K’s chasing. Dunn does the same. 1-1 after five.
Ross Detwiler throws a two-strike fastball high at 94 through Adam Jones’ bat. Nick Markakis grounds out to first. Detwiler issues a two-out walk to Melvin Mora, but pops up Ty Wigginton to end the top of the sixth...Austin Kearns grounds out to third to start the Nationals’ half. TAWH singles to right in front of Bard. Bard grounds into the DP to end the sixth...
Julian Tavarez replaces Detwiler on the mound for DC. Ryan Zimmerman charges a weak grounder and throws out Nolan Reimold. Gregg Zaun lines into the right field corner and gets to second way ahead of Kearns throw in. Itzuris grounds to Guzman at short, Zaun breaks for third, Guzman throws to Zimmerman who applies the tag. Tavarez out for Ron Vill0.00ne, who’ll face Aubrey Huff. Huff goes deep to left center and, off the wall. Izturis scores, 2-1 O’s on Huff’s triple. Brian Roberts grounds out to third to end the O’s seventh...Matt Albers takes over for Baltimore. Justin Maxwell gets called out looking at a two-strike fastball low and outside. Josh Willingham grounds out to Mora at third. Cristian Guzman lifts the third out to center, where Adam Jones makes the grab.
Jason Bergmann’s glaring at the O’s batters from the mound now. Adam Jones flies to Austin Kearns for the first out of the frame. Nick Markakis grounds out to Willie Harri at second. Melvin Mora flies to right, Bergmann through a scoreless frame...Jim Johnson for the O’s vs Nick Johnson. (no relation). Nick Johnson has a Discerning Eye and he uses it to draw a leadoff walk in the eighth. Ryan Zimmerman rips a line drive right at Cesar Izturis. Adam Dunn nutmegs Nick Johnson with a line drive into right, Johnson to second. Austin Kearns? Grounds into a double play.
“Wild” Joel Hanrahan gets the first out with one pitch. Wigginton grounds out on a fastball. Ryan Zimmerman tries to scoop a short hop from Nolan Reimold, and has it bounces high up in the air off his glove. Gregg Zaun pops out behind second, Reimold’s running, for some reason, Guzman catches it and doubles Reimold up at first...George Sherrill hits the outside corner with a fastball at the knees to get Willie Harris looking. Justin Maxwell can’t hold up, punched out by the ump. O’s win. 2-1 final.
Nationals now 12-30.