Tony Gwynn Appreciation Top 5:
5. Quick Recap: Blake Treinen started the second game of three for the Washington Nationals in Petco Park with three scoreless innings, but the San Diego Padres scored two on the 25-year-old Nats' starter, with Chase Headley and Cameron Maybin doubling in runs in the bottom of the fourth for a 2-0 lead.
Chase Headley finds the gap in left-center for an RBI double! His 20th RBI of the season gives the #Padres a 1-0 lead in the 4th.
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) June 8, 2014
Andrew Cashner retired 16 straight Nationals' hitters after a two-out walk to Adam LaRoche in the first, completing six scoreless innings on just 70 pitches, but in his first start back from the DL (elbow strain) he was lifted there and the Nationals hit back-to-back one-out doubles off Cashner's replacement, Nick Vincent, to cut the Padres' lead in half and one out later, Ian Desmond hit a two-run home run out to right-center to give the Nationals a 3-2 lead. HR no.12 for Ian Desmond.
The Nationals took the 3-2 lead to the ninth and were one out away from winning it when Rafael Soriano gave up a two-out, game-tying home run by Yonder Alonso.
The game went to extras before Cameron Maybin hit a walk-off single off Craig Stammen to win it, 4-3 final. Rubber match tomorrow in Petco Park.
4. Treinen vs San Diego: Before tonight, Blake Treinen's last start was on May 22nd in Pittsburgh, PA's PNC Park, where he gave up four hits and two earned runs in 5 2/3 IP, filling in for the then-recently DL'd Gio Gonzalez.
Nationals' manager Matt Williams was happy with the outing by the 25-year-old right-hander, though he said the relatively-inexperienced pitcher was still learning how to best use his stuff after moving up and down been Triple-A and the majors early this season and back and forth between the bullpen and rotation depending on the Nationals' needs.
"He goes out there with this mindset of being a starting pitcher now," Williams explained, "and it takes time to learn that. It takes time for him to learn where he can set at and pitch effectively. So does he go out in the first inning and just throw 97 [mph] because that's the way he does it? Probably.
"But at some point during his career he's going to learn that he can go out there and set at 94 [mph] and maintain 94 throughout the game. He's a young pitcher. That happens. So, I would say this though, I think that later in the game, in the later innings, at 93 or 92 or whatever it is, his ball probably sinks more, so that's probably an advantage that he has."
Treinen's next scheduled start was rained out, however, and he was skipped so the rest of the Nats' starters could pitch on regular rest. The former Oakland A's prospect acquired in the three-team Michael Morse deal with the Athletics and Seattle Mariners made one appearances out of the pen in-between starts, throwing two scoreless innings in the Nats' 9-2 win over the Texas Rangers.
He returned to the rotation tonight, and according to reports from San Diego, Treinen will likely get at least one more outing as a starter since Gio Gonzalez's first rehab start didn't go as well as hoped and he'll likely have at least one more before he returns to the majors.
Gio Gonzalez will have another rehab start in Potomac. June 12. Command not sharp enough last night, Williams said.
— Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) June 8, 2014
Treinen's third start of the year began with a grounder toward first that he handled himself...
1st: Everth Cabrera grounded back toward the mound for the first out of the Padres' first inning. San Diego's right fielder, Will Venable, grounded out to first. Seth Smith hit a two-out, line drive double to right field on a 2-0 sinker inside from Treinen, but he was stranded at second when Chase Headley grounded out to second base to end a 14-pitch first inning by the Nats' starter.
2nd: Yonder Alonso got a leadoff single by a sliding Danny Espinosa in the first at bat of the second. Cameron Maybin grounded into a force at second, but beat out the 4-3 part of the Nats' double play attempt. Jace Peterson got it right, grounding out to short to start an inning-ending 6-3 DP. Nine-pitch frame, 23 total after two.
3rd: Rene Rivera took an 0-2 slider to center where Denard Span caught the first out of the Padres' third. Andrew Cashner grounded weakly to first for out no.2 and a broken bat pop to second by Everth Cabrera ended an eight-pitch inning, after which Treinen was up to 31 pitches.
#Nats Manager Matt Williams said LHP Gio Gonzalez is expected to make another rehab start on June 12, likely back with Single-A Potomac.
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) June 8, 2014
4th: Treinen got the first out of the fourth on the first pitch he threw to Will Venable, who grounded out to first. Seth Smith took a 1-1 sinker through the right side for a one-out single and then scored on a gapper to left-center by Chase Headley, who doubled on a 95 mph 1-0 sinker. Yonder Alonso moved Headley over to third with a groundout to second, and Headley scored from there when Cameron Maybin hit an 0-1 slider to left for a two-out RBI double that made it a 2-0 game. Jace Peterson's groundout to first ended a 13-pitch inning that left Treinen at 44 total.
5th: Rene River took a 1-2 sinker outside for a called strike three. Andrew Cashner bunted back to the mound on the first pitch he saw. Everth Cabrera sent a chopper out to second to end a quick, seven-pitch frame. 51 pitches total after five.
6th: WIll Venable flew out to center in the first at bat of the Padres' sixth. Seth Smith sent the 12th groundout of the game by Blake Treinen out to the mound. Chase Headley's fly to left-center ended up in Ryan Zimmerman's glove. Treinen's 12-pitch, 1-2-3 frame left him at 64 pitches total after six.
• Blake Treinen's line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 63P, 32 S, 12/2 GO/FO. 3-2
3. Cashner Returns: Andrew Cashner gave up eight hits and four runs, two earned in an April 26th start against the Nationals in the nation's capital, taking the loss in what ended up a 4-2 game. That start left the 27-year-old former Cubs' '08 1st Round pick, who was acquired by San Diego in the January 2012 trade that sent Anthony Rizzo to Chicago, with a (2-2) record, a 4.87 ERA, six walks (2.66 BB/9) and 17 Ks (7.52 K/9) in eight games, three starts and 20 1/3 IP against the Nats in his career, over which Washington's hitters have put up a combined .272/.322/.358 line against him.
Cashner's been tough at home in Petco Park this year, where he was (2-2) with a 1.67 ERA, 2.79 FIP, 10 walks and 26 Ks in 32 1/3 IP before tonight, over which he held opposing hitters to a .203/.263/.246 line. He returned from the DL to make tonight's start after missing three weeks with a strained right elbow.
Padres' catcher Rene Rivera helped Cashner out of trouble in the first, picking Kevin Frandsen off third with runners on second and third and one down in what ended up being a scoreless opening frame. In the second, he retired the Nationals in order in a nine-pitch, 1-2-3 inning that left the righty at 27 pitches total after two.
A quick, 10-pitch third pushed Cashner up to 37 pitches. An 11-pitch fourth left him at 48 overall with 10 straight batters retired. A 10-pitch, 1-2-3 fourth gave Cashner 13 straight outs and five scoreless on 58 pitches. A 12-pitch, 1-2-3 sixth made it 16 straight batters retired and 70 pitches total.
That was it for Cashner, who was on a pitch limit in his first start back.
• Andrew Cashner's Line: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 Ks, 70 P, 49 S, 10/2 GO/FO.
2. No Rendon: Though X-rays were negative, Anthony Rendon's right hand was swollen after he took a grounder off the thumb and forefinger in last night's win, so he was out of the lineup for the second game of three with the Padres tonight and listed as day-to-day. So for the second time in the last week he wasn't playing third base and for the second time Nats' skipper Matt Williams did not turn to Ryan Zimmerman to fill in at third, opting for Kevin Frandsen at the hot corner instead.
Ian Desmond was sitting last time the opportunity to get Zimmerman back in at third came up, but Williams left Zim in left field in favor of playing Frandsen at third while Danny Espinosa played short and Anthony Rendon shifted over to second base.
Williams was asked then if Zimmerman was a legitimate option at third at this point?
"He's an option," Williams said, though Zimmerman told The Washington Post's Adam Kilgore yesterday that he's not sure when/if he'll return to third base.
"Again, he's early in the process of this throwing program too," Williams said last week, "but yeah, he's an option. I'm sure at some point he'll be in there. But I think he's playing left field fine too. We just want to have his bat in the lineup."
Williams has continued to say that the plan is to eventually move Zimmerman back to third base when Bryce Harper returns to play left field, but so far since he returned from the DL after fracturing his thumb in early April, he has yet to play the position he manned from late 2005 until early this season.
In Frandsen's last start at third, he was 1 for 4 in the Nats' 4-2 win over the Phillies.
Tonight in Petco Park, he singled to right field in his first at bat, taking an 0-1 fastball from Andrew Cashner through the right side of the infield, but after taking third on a Jayson Werth double to right, he was picked off third by Padres' catcher Rene Rivera for the second out of what ended up a scoreless opening frame.
Frandsen K'd swinging to end the third and grounded out to end the top of the six. 1 for 3.
1. The Wrap-Up: Right-hander Nick Vincent took over on the mound for Andrew Cashner in the seventh and gave up the first hit since the first inning on an one-out Adam LaRoche fly to left field that Seth Smith couldn't catch. Ryan Zimmerman followed with an RBI double to right and the Nationals were on the board, 2-1 Padres. One out later, Ian Desmond hit HR no.12 of 2014 out to right-center to give the Nats a 3-2 lead.
Jerry Blevins took over for Blake Treinen in the bottom of the seventh and retired the first two batters he faced before handing the ball over to Drew Storen, who threw an 0-2 sinker by pinch hitter Tommy Medica to end a 1-2-3 frame.
After a scoreless inning of work by Padres' RHP Dale Thayer in the top of the eighth, Tyler Clippard took over on the mound for the Nationals and gave up a leadoff double to left by Rene Rivera. Pinch hitter Chris Denorfia bunted Rivera over/gave up an out. Everth Carbera popped to short center for out no.2, but it wasn't deep enough for Rivera to tag up. A 1-2 change to Carlos Quentin got the Padres' outfielder swinging for out no.3.
Pitch it, Soriano! Pitch it, Soriano! Strike'em out, Soriano! Strike'em out, Soriano! Nationals' closer Rafael Soriano took the mound in the bottom of the ninth with a one-run lead, looking for save no.13 of 2014. Seth Smith went down swinging at a 91 mph 1-2 fastball. Chase Headley fell behind 0-2 quickly and grounded out to Soriano for out no.2. Yonder Alonso... took a 90 mph 1-0 fastball to right and tied it up at 3-3.
After Huston Street threw a scoreless tenth, Craig Stammen took over on the mound for the Nationals and gave up a one-out double by Rene Rivera, who bounced a first-pitch slider off the left field wall. Chris Denorfia took an 0-2 fastball knee-high outside for a called strike three and out no.2. Everth Cabrera stepped in with the winning run on second and two down and flew out to left-center to end the tenth.
Joaquin Benoit took over for the Padres in the eleventh and retired the side in order.
Craig Stammen came back out for a second inning of work and gave up a two-out single to left by Chase Headley and a walk to Yonder Alonso setting Cameron Maybin up with a chance to win it... and he did. Bloop single to right to bring Headley in. Ballgame.
Nationals now 31-29