Wire Taps: Washington Nationals Drop First Game Of Three To Rockies In Coors Field

Doug Pensinger

Dan Haren cruised through four scoreless last night in Coors Field in Colorado, but the Rockies got to the Washington Nationals' right-hander for five runs on two home runs in what ended up an 8-3 Rockies' win. Can Haren figure out how to keep the ball in the park?

"I was kind of dumbfounded," Davey Johnson told reporters after the Washington Nationals' 8-3 loss to the Colorado Rockies last night. The Nats' skipper was at a loss to explain what went wrong with the Nationals' starter, Dan Haren, who threw four scoreless on 56 pitches then gave up a walk and seven hits and five runs in a 40-pitch fifth inning in which he surrendered home runs by Tyler Colvin and Carlos Gonzalez that turned a 2-0 lead into a 5-2 deficit.

Colvin's first home run of the year was a two-run blast to right. Gonzalez hit an opposite field home run to left. They were 16th and 17th home runs (2.11 HR/9) Haren's allowed in 72.2 IP in 2013.

"He was really making pitches. He was breezing," Davey Johnson said. "In the fifth inning he walked a hitter on about four pitches. Seemed to [lose] the feel of the ball." - Davey Johnson on Dan Haren's struggles

"He was really making pitches. He was breezing," Davey Johnson said. "In the fifth inning he walked a hitter on about four pitches. Seemed to [lose] the feel of the ball. I don't know. It just seemed like he couldn't locate it from that point on. He was pitching a great ballgame. Making all his pitches. I don't know what happened. It's tough. You can't make mistakes in this ballpark."

The mistakes Haren made in the fifth were costly. The Nationals pulled within two with a run in the top of the eighth, but the Rockies' bullpen held them off and the home team added three runs in the bottom of the inning when Drew Storen gave up a two-run blast by Colvin and a third run that made it 8-3 and put game one of three for the Nats in Coors Field out of reach.

"Any time you're cruising along with a lead and then all of a sudden, boom -- it can happen here," Johnson said, "and you've got to swing the bats. It's a tough ballpark to just pitch a blueprint game in." For his part, Dan Haren, who's always honest about his performance, admitted that the problem was obvious:

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• THE BIG STORY:

• "[Bryce] Harper received a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and cortisone injection into the bursa sac, Nationals trainer Lee Kuntz said Tuesday, and could resume baseball activities in a week if the swelling subsides." - "Bryce Harper has no structural damage in knee; could resume activities in a week after re-evaluation" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• NATS BEAT:

• "Bryce Harper’s visit with Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Fla., on Monday confirmed what the Washington Nationals had initially diagnosed in the outfielder’s left knee: patella bursitis." - "Bryce Harper to rest for one week after PRP, cortisone injections in left knee" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Bryce Harper will miss at least another week due to bursitis in his left knee, a diagnosis that was confirmed by Dr. James Andrews upon Harper's visit to the renowned orthopedic surgeon on Monday." - "Nationals Pastime: Harper to rest a week after getting cortisone, PRP shots in knee" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "[Lee] Kuntz told reporters Harper received both a cortisone shot and a PRP injection in the swollen bursa sac of his left knee, though he did not need to have the sac surgically removed." - "Harper gets cortisone, PRP injections" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "[Bryce] Harper did receive cortisone and PRP injections to help with the recovery. The cortisone reduces the inflammation in the knee, while the PRP -- a mixture of his own white blood cells spun down and concentrated -- reduces the risk of infection." - "Andrews confirms original diagnosis of Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper's knee" - Ian McCue, nationals.com: News

• "Jimmy Goins, the University of Miami strength and conditioning coach linked to Gio Gonzalez and the Biogenesis performance-enhancing drug scandal, has sued the now-shuttered anti-aging clinic..." - "Miami coach linked to Gio Gonzalez sues Biogenesis" - Nathan Fenno, Washington Times

• "[Stephen] Strasburg threw 56 pitches in a simulated game, facing teammates Chris Marrero, Jeff Kobernus and Jhonatan Solano, and with trainers, Manager Davey Johnson and pitching coach Steve McCatty watching intently." - "Stephen Strasburg on track to return Sunday; Ross Detwiler slated for Thursday" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg threw a simulated game at Coors Field Tuesday and came away feeling strong, a positive sign as he recovers from a strained muscle in his back." - "Strasburg feeling good as he nears return" - Ian McCue, nationals.com: News

• "'I felt strong,' [Stephen] Strasburg said. 'They wanted me to throw about 56 pitches but I didn’t really feel like I threw at all.'" - "Stephen Strasburg on track to return to Nationals' rotation on June 16" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times


• "After he fired the pitch that was smashed for the second home run he allowed at Coors Field on Tuesday night, [Dan] Haren turned to watch the flight of the ball. He shook his head in disbelief." - "Rockies 8, Nationals 3: Haren comes undone in the fifth" - James Wagner, The Washington Post

• "What happened was that the Rockies offense, held down by [Dan] Haren through four nearly perfect innings of work in which he scattered two hits, took him deep twice in one inning." - "Dan Haren unravels in fifth as Nationals fall to Rockies" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "[Dan] Haren was left incredibly frustrated with himself after the game, saying he felt like he was letting his team down." - "Nationals Pastime: Haren and Span doing the job early (Nats lose 8-3)" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "[Dan] Haren has struggled in his first season with Washington. He has not won since beating Detroit on May 9 to improve to 4-3..." - "Haren struggles as Nationals fall to Rockies, 8-3" - Michael Kelly, AP/WTOP.com

• "The loss in the first of a three-game series pushed the Nationals below .500 and moved them to 3-5 in June." - "Washington Nationals at Colorado Rockies - June 11, 2013" - Ian McCue, MLB.com WSH Recap

• "[Ross] Ohlendorf, 30, is no stranger to the big leagues. He's made 108 appearances, 73 of them starts, over the last six seasons with the Yankees, Pirates and Padres." - "Ohlendorf starts tonight, Karns back to AA" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "The Nationals, a team loaded with talent and built up by expectations of a deep playoff run, have not won more than two consecutive games in over a month." - "Nationals Pastime: Unable to go streaking" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "In order to make room for Wednesday’s call-up Ross Ohlendorf, the Nationals would have to clear a spot for him with Karns’s position on the active roster." - "Nate Karns returns to Harrisburg with major league experience" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "Manager Davey Johnson told [Nathan] Karns he was impressed by his talent, but that the 25-year-old needs to work on locating his pitches." - "Nate Karns optioned to Double-A to clear room on Nationals' roster for Ross Ohlendorf" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Wednesday will mark [Ross] Ohlendorf's first big league appearance since August 17 of last season when he was with the Padres." - "Washington Nationals at Colorado Rockies - June 12, 2013" - Tyler Emerick, MLB.com Preview

• "The Nationals optioned Rodriguez, who had a powerful arm but often lacked control, on June 4. Rodriguez, 26, spent three seasons in Washington and had a 0-1 record with a 4.00 ERA in 17 appearances this year." - "Nats deal Rodriguez to Cubs for Dickson" - Ian McCue, nationals.com: News

• "The Nationals announced they had traded Rodriguez, who was designated for assignment last week, to Chicago for Ian Dickson, a 31st-round pick in the 2011 draft who has struggled in two professional seasons." - "H-Rod dealt to Cubs for minor-leaguer" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "After three years of hoping Rodriguez would develop into a dominant and consistent power arm in their bullpen, the Nationals have finally and completely parted ways with him." - "Nationals trade Henry Rodriguez to Cubs for Ian Dickson; option Nate Karns to Harrisburg" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "A power right-hander who possesses filthy offspeed and breaking pitches, [Henry] Rodriguez’s talent tantalized the Nationals from the moment they acquired him." - "Nationals trade Henry Rodriguez to Cubs for Ian Dickson" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "[Henry] Rodriguez had elbow surgery late last season and was given a chance to stick in the Nats' bullpen this year, but he allowed 14 hits and walked 16 batters in just 18 innings of work, and couldn't be trusted in tight ballgames." - "Nationals Pastime: Nats acquire RHP Ian Dickson from Cubs for Henry Rodriguez (Karns optioned)" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama):

• NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

• "He has pitched all or part of five Major League seasons with the Athletics and Nationals, and has a career 4.23 ERA in 143 relief appearances. Rodriguez was not expected to arrive in Chicago in time for Wednesday's game." - "Cubs deal for Nationals reliever Rodriguez" - Carrie Muskat, cubs.com: News

• "History suggested something like that was coming. Entering the game, [Carlos] Gonzalez had swatted three homers in 18 at-bats against [Dan] Haren." - "CarGo, Colvin carry Rockies to victory over Washington Nationals" - Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post

• "The Nationals addressed their closer situation, signing Rafael Soriano. They traded for Denard Span, to bat leadoff. Dan Haren came on board to add veteran experience to the young rotation. Everything looked primed for a World Series run." - "Harper, Strasburg on the DL; the Nationals Season is Becoming a Disaster" - Mike Cardillo, Big Lead Sports

• "RHP Ross Ohlendorf will start Wednesday. Because of a rainout Friday, the Nationals had to play a doubleheader Sunday with Minnesota, necessitating the need for a starter Wednesday." - "Washington Nationals - TeamReport" - Reuters/chicagotribune.com

• NATS MINORS/2013 Draft:

• "Former Sierra College pitcher Andrew Cooper, the 2013 Big 8 Conference Pitcher of the Year 2013 and a 2013 All-American, was drafted by the Washington Nationals on Saturday." - "Sierra College pitcher Cooper drafted by Washington Nationals" - Auburn Journal

• "Left-hander Sammy Solis was placed on the disabled list Monday with 'shoulder fatigue,' according to Nationals director of player development Doug Harris." - "Sammy Solis has shoulder fatigue, injury does not appear serious" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

Class-A Hagerstown: "LHP Matt Purke (0-1) took the loss for Hagerstown. Purke pitched 4.2 innings, allowing four earned runs on six hits and two walks while striking out eight." - "Crawdads sweep doubleheader from Suns" - Jeff Clark, Hagerstown Suns News

Class-A Potomac: "The Potomac Nationals (37-26, 15-14) split their twin bill made up of a pair of seven-inning matchups with the Carolina Mudcats (21-43, 14-22) on Tuesday evening at Five County Stadium..." - "Potomac and Carolina Split Doubleheader in Mudcats' Pond" - Potomac Nationals News

Double-A Harrisburg: "Josh Johnson hit a pinch-hit home run to lift the Senators to a 1-0 victory over the Richmond Flying Squirrels in the series opener at Metro Bank Park." - "Johnson's Blast Lifts Sens 1-0" - Marshall Kelner, Harrisburg Senators News

• "Returned to the Senators' roster on Tuesday after spending two weeks on the temporary inactive list due to his father's death, infielder Josh Johnson was called on to pinch hit for relief pitcher Matt Swynenberg in the bottom of the sixth inning." - "In first at-bat since father's funeral, Josh Johnson hits game-winning homer for Senators: game notebook" - Michael Bullock, PennLive.com

Triple-A Syracuse: "Syracuse starter Yunesky Maya shut out Pawtucket (37-27) until the fifth inning. In that frame, Justin Henry came to the plate with the bases empty and two outs." - "Chiefs edge Red Sox, grab series win" - Syracuse Chiefs News

• "Wednesday’s News & Notes" - Luke Erickson, NationalsProspects.com

• NATSTOWN:

• "Vince Rainey is apparently known for his humorous vending ways, with sales pitches such as, 'Hey, kids, if your parent is drinking a beer, ask them if you can have a cotton candy.'" - "Nats call up minor-league beer vendor" - Sarah Kogod, Washington Post

• "Dan Harendous" - Nats Enquirer

• "Remembering 1924 – The Senators are in 6th place" - Mark Hornbaker, D.C. Baseball History

• "[Dan] Haren (L, 4-8, 5.70) allowed five earned runs in that one inning. In his five innings, he gave up eight hits and a walk, including two home runs in that fateful fifth inning." - "Washington Nationals Game 63 Review: Nats, Haren pounded by Rockies" - Dave Nichols, District Sports Page

• "Get To Know A Nat: Jeff Kobernus" - Nationals 101

• "Seriously. It was funny for a while. Ha ha. We should be better. Not sure what's going on!" - "STOP LOSING" - Harper, Nationals Baseball

• "The Washington Nationals (31-32) were in a perfect situation to create some momentum on Tuesday night against the Colorado Rockies (35-30)." - "Momentum Continues To Elude Nationals In Defeat By Rockies" - Erin Flynn, The Nats Blog

• "Bryce Harper gets cortisone and PRP injections, thinks DL sucks" - Nats Enquirer

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Mets: "It was just about 100 degrees in the afternoon sun at Cashman Field yesterday when Ike Davis took his first early batting practice as a minor leaguer since 2010." - "Ike Davis struggles at plate in first game at Triple-A Las Vegas" - Dan Martin, NYPOST.com

Phillies: "There was no specific reason, Charlie Manuel said, for hitting Michael Young atop his batting order for the fifth straight game Tuesday." - "Phillies Notes: Michael Young stays first in the batting order" - Matt Gelb, Philadelphia Inquirer

Marlins: "When Giancarlo Stanton put the Marlins ahead with a two-out, two-run homer in the eighth inning Tuesday, Logan Morrison started hitting his manager in the ribs." - "Giancarlo Stanton sparks Miami Marlins’ victory with homer" - Clark Spencer, MiamiHerald.com

Braves: "The Braves’ ninth-inning deficit was much smaller than the night before, but on Tuesday there would be no long-ball thunder against the Padres." - "Padres win 3-2, hand Braves’ Hudson 5th consecutive road loss" - David O'Brien, www.ajc.com

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