"Right Side" Danny Gnome Night Top 5:
5. Quick Recap: Anthony Rendon's 30th double of the year bounced off the out-of-town scoreboard in right field in Nationals Park. Rendon's one-out, two-base hit in the first was followed by a bloop single to right by Jayson Werth which drove in Washington's first run against New York Mets' lefty Jon Niese. The second and third runs of the Nats' first inning came on a two-run blast by Adam LaRoche, who hit a bomb of a home run off the facade of the second deck in right field. HR no.14 of 2014 for LaRoche. 3-0 Nationals after one.
Ian Desmond singled and stole second with one down in the sixth and Bryce Harper walked to put two on in front of Danny Espinosa, who crrrr-ushed a 1-1 change from Niese and sent a three-run blast over the left field wall. HR no. 7 of 2014 for Espinosa. 6-0 Nationals after six.
WATCH: Danny Espinosa. Three-run jack: http://t.co/ezH8V2v0Ag— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 7, 2014
Doug Fister threw 7 ⅓ IP, striking out seven and inducing 11 ground ball outs on the way to earning his 11th win of the season for the Nationals. The one earned run he allowed scored after he'd left the mound when Daniel Murphy hit a two-out RBI single through the right side to make it a 6-1 game.
Adam LaRoche took a 2-2 change from Mets' right-hander Carlos Torres out to center for his second home of the night in the bottom of the eighth. No. 15 of 2014 for LaRoche. 7-1` Nationals.
That's how it ended...
4. Fister = Stopper: Nationals' righty Doug Fister's five-start unbeaten streak was snapped and he suffered his first loss at home in the nation's capital last time out in spite of the fact that he put together a solid outing against the Philadelphia Phillies.
In seven innings of work on the mound in Nationals Park, the 30-year-old right-hander gave up six hits, two walks and two earned runs in what ended up a 2-1 loss.
Fister struggled early, throwing 42 pitches in the first two innings and giving up a two-out double, walk and RBI single in the second, but he settled in and the only other run he allowed came on a solo home run by Marlon Byrd in the sixth.
"In that particular inning he felt like he was missing high," Nats' skipper Matt Williams said when asked about Fister's 28-pitch second. "He wasn't staying back enough, but he knows how to pitch, so once he got out of that inning he was able to make it in between innings and go about his business. I think he pitched really well again, we just couldn't muster tonight."
The loss left him (5-1) at home in Washington, D.C. this season with a 2.36 ERA, a 3.18 FIP, five walks (1.07 BB/9) and 29 Ks (6.21 K/9) in six starts and a .205/.245/.331 line in 42 IP in his new home park, where he was set to take on the New York Mets tonight.
His only previous start against the Nationals' NL East rivals came last season when he was still pitching for Detroit.
Fister allowed eight hits, two walks and one earned run in 6 ⅓ IP in that outing, earning his 11th win of the season in his 26th start for the Tigers. He's one win away from eleven wins after fifteen outings entering tonight's start.
Through those 15 outings for the Nationals, Fister was (10-3) with a 2.68 ERA, a 3.92 FIP, 13 walks (1.20 BB/9) and 59 Ks (5.46 K/9) in 97 ⅓ IP over which he's held opposing hitters to a .253/.284/.389 line.
The Nationals' second game of three with the Mets began with a line drive to right...
1st: Jayson Werth made a sliding catch on a bloop single to right off Curtis Granderson's bat. Danny Espinosa threw Daniel Murphy out on a grounder to second. David Wright stepped in with two out and K'd looking at an 89 mph 1-2 fastball for the final out of a nine-pitch, 1-2-3 frame.
2nd: Lucas Duda lined a single to center in the first at bat of the second, but he was doubled up on a grounder to third by Travis d'Arnaud. Kirk Nieuwenhuis K'd swinging in the AB that followed, ending an 11-pitch frame by Fister, who was up to 20 pitches total after two.
3rd: Juan Lagares grounded out to second. Ruben Tejada K'd looking at a 2-2 fastball that caught the outside corner in home plate umpire Larry Vanover's judgement. Jon Niese's groundout to second ended a quick, 14-pitch, 1-2-3 third. 34 pitches total for Fister after three.
4th: Curtis Granderson lined weakly to third for out no.1 of the fourth. Daniel Murphy K'd looking at a 2-2 fastball low and inside. David Wright dropped a two-out single into short right field. Lucas Duda hit a line drive through the right side for the second straight two-out hit. Travis d'Arnaud stepped in with two on and two out and grounded into a force at second to end a 19-pitch inning that left Fister at 53 pitches overall after four.
5th: Kirk Nieuwenhuis grounded out to first. Juan Lagares chased a sinking two-seamer out of the zone for a swinging K and out no.2 of the fifth. Ruben Tejada grounded out to second. 12-pitch inning. 65 total after five.
6th: Jon Niese K'd looking to start the top of the sixth. Curtis Granderson bunted his way on and moved up on a single by Daniel Murphy, but he was doubled up on a sharp grounder to third by David Wright that started a 5-4-3 inning-ending DP. 16-pitch frame for Fister, 81 pitches overall.
7th: Doug Fister got off the mound quickly and made a strong throw to first on a swinging bunt toward third by Lucas Duda. One down. Travis d'Arnaud sent a fly ball to Bryce Harper in left for out no.2. Adam LaRoche dove for a sharp grounder to first by Kirk Nieuwenhuis, made the play and tossed to Fister. 10-pitch, 1-2-3 frame. 91 total after seven innings. 10 groundouts.
8th: Juan Lagares singled to right to start the eighth. Ruben Tejada grounded into what could have been a double play, but both Anthony Rendon at third and Danny Espinosa at second bobbled the ball. E:5. Both runners were safe. Eric Campbell K'd looking for the first out of the inning on Fister's 10th pitch of the inning and his 101st pitch overall...
• Doug Fister's Line: 7.1 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 Ks, 101 P, 69 S, 11/2 GO/FO.
3. Niese in D.C.: The Nationals knocked Jonathan Niese out after just four innings on the mound in the left-hander's only start against the New York Mets' NL East rivals this season back on May 16th in the nation's capital.
Niese threw a total of 84 pitches that day, giving up eight hits, two walks and five runs, three earned before Mets' skipper Terry Collins went to the bullpen.
The loss was Niese's first to the Nationals, leaving him (3-1) with a 2.83 ERA in eight starts against Washington in his career, over which he's walked 10 (1.89 BB/9) and struck out 45 (8.50 K/9) in 47 ⅔ IP over which Nats' hitters have put up a .280/.315/.387 line against him.
Six of those starts have taken place in Nationals Park, where Fister was (2-1) with a 2.23 ERA, four walks (0.99 BB/9) and 35 Ks (8.67 K/9) in 36 ⅓ in which the Nationals have a .282/.299/.308 line against him.
On the road this season before tonight, Niese was (3-4) in 11 starts with a 3.50 ERA, a 3.47 FIP, 17 walks (2.21 BB/9) and 49 Ks (6.36 K/9) in 69 ⅓ IP, over which opposing hitters have put up a .267/.319/.401 line against him.
In the Nationals, Niese was facing a team that has put up a combined .272/.331/.391 line against left-handed pitchers so far in 2014, good for 2nd in the NL in AVG, behind only the Rockies (.280), 2nd in OBP, behind the Rockies and Cubs who are tied with a .332 OBP, and seventh in SLG.
Anthony Rendon doubled with one down in the bottom of the first inning, taking a 1-0 fastball for a ride to right and the Nats' third baseman scored from second on a bloop single to right by Jayson Werth. 1-0. Werth scored when Adam LaRoche took Niese deep in the next at bat for HR no.14 of 2014 by the Nationals' first baseman. 3-0 Nats after one.
Niese needed 12 pitches to retire the Nationals in order in the second, leaving him at 31 pitches overall after two.
Denard Span singled to start the Nats' third, extending his on-base streak to 32-straight games, but he was doubled up on a grounder to short by Rendon in the next at bat. Jayson Werth walked with two down, but a groundout to first by LaRoche ended a 17-pitch frame. 48 total after three.
Bryce Harper lined a one-out single to center in the Nationals' fourth, but he was stranded two outs later as Niese finished a quick, 15-pitch frame at 63 total.
Anthony Rendon's second double of the night came on a two-out line drive to left in the Nationals' fifth, but he was stranded when Jayson Werth grounded out to second to end a 21-pitch fifth by Niese. 84 pitches.
Ian Desmond lined a one-out single to center in the bottom of the sixth and stole his 12th base of the season with Bryce Harper up. Harper walked to put two on with one out and Danny Espinosa drove them both in, taking a 1-1 change out to left field for a three-run blast and a 6-0 lead. 18-pitch sixth by Niese. 102 total.
• Jon Niese's Line: 6.0 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 2 Ks, 2 HR, 102 P, 67 S, 9/2 GO/FO.
2. Bad Bounces/Missed Chances: "There's no common thread," Matt Williams told reporters last night when asked about the misplays, misjudgements and bad bounces that cost the Nationals in the 6-1 loss to the Mets. "There's no way to say, 'Okay, this is because, this is why.'"
A player was thrown out at home last night. A rally was killed when a runner was hit by a grounder. Odd things went wrong and the Nats lost, but there was no one thing that was causing the issues.
"I haven't seen a guy get hit with a batted ball in a while," Williams joked. "But he tried to skip over it and the ball actually was hit pretty hard by [Jose Lobaton] and it skipped off the grass and just nicked him, so... it happens sometimes. Seems like it's going the wrong way the last couple days, but we can turn that around tomorrow."
The Nationals' turnaround started early tonight when they scored three runs in the first inning and they snapped a two-game slide with a 7-1 win.
1. The Wrap-Up: Buddy Carlyle took over for the Mets in the bottom of the seventh and threw a quick, 13-pitch , 1-2-3 frame.
Matt Thornton came on with two on and one out to face Curtis Granderson and popped him up for the second out of the frame. Daniel Murphy battled for eight pitches and sent an RBI single through the right side to bring in the Mets' first run. 6-1.
Carlos Torres took the mound for the Mets in the bottom of the eighth and gave up Adam LaRoche's second home run of the night in the first at bat. No.15 of 2014 for LaRoche. 7-1 final.
Ross Detwiler came on to end it in the top of the ninth, gave up a one-out single by Travis d'Arnaud, but nothing else.
Nationals now 61-51