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Nationals Watch Archive: April 2011

  • About that intentional walk in the seventh...

    With John Lannan working in a 1-1 game with runners on second and third, Nationals manager Jim Riggleman made a decision that, ultimately cost his team the game. Instead of bringing in reliever Tyler Clippard, who'd been warming, to face Giants' backup catcher Eli Whiteside, who'd homered once off Lannan already, Riggleman called for the intentional walk. Loading the bases for the pitchers spot, pinch hitter Aubrey Huff then walked on a 3-2 changeup to force home the game-winning run. It was a decision that haunted Riggleman and he took full responsibility for it after the game. Published April 30 2011

  • Zimmerman to have surgery for torn abdominal muscle, out at least six weeks

    Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman will have surgery Tuesday morning in Philadelphia to repair a torn rectus muscle in his abdomen, the team announced Saturday. Zimmerman will then go through a six-week rehabilitation process before he could be back on the field for Washington. Published April 30 2011

  • After hot night, Nix sits: today's lineups

    The Nationals have gone back to their more traditional lineup against a left-handed pitcher after Laynce Nix subbed in for Michael Morse on Friday night. Wilson Ramos also gets the start for the second day in a row, something that will become more and more common. Here are the full lineups: Published April 30 2011

  • The Nationals vs. today's starter: LHP Jonathan Sanchez

    The Nationals were able to make Tim Lincecum look human Friday night, continuing a trend where the San Francisco Giants right-hander struggles against Washington. The Nationals are hoping to keep that going against left-hander Jonathan Sanchez in a lefty-lefty matchup with Sanchez facing John Lannan. Here's how they've done against Sanchez in the past. Published April 30 2011

  • Nix's play may force Nationals to keep him in the lineup

    Laynce Nix was 2-for-3 on Friday night and struck the decisive blow to Tim Lincecum as Jason Marquis spun a shutout on the other side of things for the Nationals. The start, which was just Nix's sixth of the season, may be something we see a lot more of here in the coming days and weeks. Published April 30 2011

  • Talking about Tim Lincecum

    Tim Lincecum is a good pitcher. That shouldn't come as a surprise to baseball fans anywhere, but take Tim Lincecum and put him on the road -- in 2011 at least -- and he's even better. In 21 2/3 innings as the visiting starting pitcher this season, Lincecum has allowed just two earned runs total -- good for the lowest road ERA in the major leagues at 0.83. Published April 29 2011

  • The Nationals vs. today's starter: RHP Tim Lincecum, plus the lineups

    The Nationals have struck out 169 times this season. Only 11 teams in the major leagues have struck out less often than the Nationals, an admirable mark for an offense that has struggled to find its rhythm early this season. Facing strikeout master Tim Lincecum tonight at Nationals Park, though, they could end up closer to the bottom of the list by night's end. Also, Morse sits as Nix gets the start in left. Published April 29 2011

  • Storen's ninth, Livo's bunt and Pudge's arm

    There was a lot to dissect after the Nationals 4-3 victory over the Mets. The main storyline of the night was new father Ian Desmond returning from paternity leave and hitting a triple and a solo home run to lead the way for Washington. But Drew Storen's ninth, Livan Hernandez's outing both on the mound and at the plate, and Ivan Rodriguez's throw to catch Jose Reyes stealing shouldn't be overlooked. Published April 29 2011

  • Hernandez: "Whatever came out and whatever people (don't) say the truth, it's OK."

    One day after Livan Hernandez was named as the target of a federal money laundering probe in connection with a convicted drug kingpin in Puerto Rico, the Nationals right-hander came out and fired eight innings and allowed just two earned runs in the Nationals' 4-3 victory over the New York Mets. Hernandez, who is easily one of the most consistent starting pitchers in the major leagues and was given a warm reception from fans all night on Thursday, was asked after the game about the investigation. Published April 28 2011

  • Zimmerman continues throwing, admits he's at least a week away

    Ryan Zimmerman and Nationals trainer Lee Kuntz were back out in right field on Thursday afternoon playing catch from a short distance for just a few minutes. It was the same type of activity Zimmerman has engaged in every day since the Nationals have returned from their most recent road trip but he came through it fine. He also admitted that coming back from the abdominal strain is going to be a slow process and doesn't expect to be back on the active roster for at least another week but that this upcoming week is an important one. Published April 28 2011

  • Bernadina optioned to clear way for Desmond, plus lineups

    Nationals option Roger Bernadina as Ian Desmond returns from paternity leave, today's lineups Published April 28 2011

  • The Nationals vs. today's starter: LHP Chris Capuano

    As despondent and disappointed as the Nationals may be after a night where they not only dropped their third straight game and series, but did so in a ninth-inning meltdown that produced a clubhouse silenced by the circumstances after the game, the good news is, there's always another day. The Nationals don't have to wait long before getting a chance to make their latest three-game losing skid a thing of the past and halt it before it gets to four. They'll get that opportunity tonight when right-hander Livan Hernandez takes the mound against Mets' left-hander Chris Capuano. Published April 28 2011

  • Explaining the money laundering investigation into Livan Hernandez and his connection to a Puerto Rican drug kingpin

    The news came out Wednesday that Nationals pitcher Livan Hernandez is the target of a federal money laundering probe in connection with a convicted drug kingpin in Puerto Rico. As you can read in The Washington Times' story on this topic (linked above), Hernandez is suspected of being a "straw buyer" for Puerto Rican drug lord Angel Ayala Vazquez who was convicted recently of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, heroin and pills at public housing projects in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. Here's an attempt at explaining the allegations against the Nationals' right-hander and what happens from here. Published April 27 2011

  • Three straight starts for Wilson Ramos: today's lineups

    After clubbing two home runs on Tuesday night, Nationals manager Jim Riggleman has catcher Wilson Ramos in the starting lineup for the third straight night tonight -- the first time all season that Ramos has played three consecutive games. Here are the full lineups. Published April 27 2011

  • The Nationals vs. today's starter: RHP R.A. Dickey

    The Nationals wake up this morning in an unenviable position. They've lost two games in a row and now have to try to avoid a three-game losing streak against a knuckleballer. Here are their career numbers against R.A. Dickey: Published April 27 2011

  • Desmond out, Bernadina up, plus lineups

    A bit of a shuffle for the Nationals today, as shortstop Ian Desmond is on paternity leave. He's expected to miss the next game or two, after his wife, Chelsey, gave birth to Grayson earlier today. Published April 26 2011

  • The Nationals vs. today's starter: RHP Chris Young

    For the first time this season, when the Nationals take the field tonight at Nationals Park they'll be facing a pitcher they've already seen once this year. Chris Young is expected to be activated before tonight's game. Here's how the Nationals have done against the Mets' hurler in the past. Published April 26 2011

  • Observations from a 2-4 road trip

    You could hear a pin drop in the visitors clubhouse on Monday night after a road trip, memorable mostly for the inclement weather that affected four of the six games the Nationals played, ended in a rather unremarkable way with the Nationals 11th loss of the season. For the most part, it was a six-game swing to forget for the Nationals who were affected by the rain four different times on the trip and were admittedly a little frustrated by the trip's end. As I wait for my flight from the Pittsburgh airport this morning, here are a few observations from the trip: Published April 26 2011

  • Zimmerman to be reevaluated Tuesday, Nix excels off the bench and Ankiel gets a day

    Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who has been on the disabled list with an abdominal strain since April 9, was eligible to come off the disabled list on Sunday. He did not make the the road trip to either St. Louis or Pittsburgh with the Nationals and will not be activated on Tuesday. Published April 25 2011

  • Desmond hits second, Hairston in center, Bixler debuts as Ankiel gets day off: today's lineups

    As long as the weather permits, John Lannan will take the mound looking for his third win of the season with a never-before-seen lineup behind him. Ian Desmond gets the start in the No. 2 hole for the first time this season as Rick Ankiel gets his first day off of the year. In Ankiel's place, Jerry Hairston will start in center field and Brian Bixler will make his debut in a Nationals' uniform at third base against the team that drafted, developed and debuted him. Published April 25 2011