This is tough. The Nationals have been playing some pretty bad abysmal baseball lately. But there must be one person who gets the Beast of the Week honor, and we give this week’s award to…
Elijah Dukes, OF. The man who has been so troubled off the field has found lots more trouble on the field this year, batting below the Mendoza line. But Dukes seems to be prospering in the two-hole (give credit to Manny Acta here). For the week, Elijah hit .286, .375, .571 with 5 RBI and a home run (a game-winner Thursday night against St. Louis). He certainly has a lot of upside, and any offensive production from the replacement right-fielder will be a huge boost to the team with the worst combined batting average in the majors (.231).
Runners-Up: Jesus Flores, Cristian Guzman, Saul Rivera
The Nationals least of the week is…
Jason Bergmann, RHP. We thought that Bergmann had turned the corner after a terrible start to the season, but he reverted to his old self Friday night against the Giants, giving up 5 earned runs on 10 hits in just 3 innings of work, walking 2 and striking out none. That’s a WHIP of 4.00 and an ERA of 15.00. On a team that’s not hitting, he has to be better than that.
Runners-down: Wily Mo Peña, Felipe Lopez, Luis Ayala
Posted in Nationals
Tagged Cristian Guzman, Elijah Dukes, Felipe Lopez, Jason Bergmann, Jesus Flores, Luis Ayala, Manny Acta, Nationals, NL East, Saul Rivera, Wily Mo Peña
Jack Curry asks why the Marlins are winning games in an article in today’s New York Times.
How did this happen? The young, pressure-free Marlins have exhibited a lot of power and a lot of passion, and they have also displayed just enough pitching. When the Marlins thrive, it is usually because they overpower teams, and because they beat the teams they are supposed to beat.
“They can hit, man,” Manny Acta said Monday at Shea Stadium after being swept by Florida over the weekend. “They can slug with anybody.
“It all comes down to their starting pitchers,” said Washington’s Aaron Boone, who played for Florida last year. “Miller, Nolasco, Olson and Badenhop, are those guys going to become good pitchers?”
This comes down to what I’ve talked about numerous times in the past; Florida will only continue to win as long as their starting pitching keeps overachieving. But this is a team to be taken seriously, if not for this year, then for the next few.
Two of the three catchers on the Nationals roster are headed to the DL. One of the roster spots will be filled by Jesus Flores, who, according to Manny Acta, will be the starter, backed up by Wil Nieves. The other roster spot will be filled by Elijah Dukes, who comes off of a rehab stint with Triple-A Columbus.
Pirates 11-Nationals 4: The lights went out on the Nats tonight–both literally and figuratively. This one started ugly for John Lannan, and ended ugly for the Nationals overworked bullpen. Lannan lasted only 3 innings, giving up 6 runs, 5 earned, on 6 hits, walking 2 and striking out none. For the record, NL Beast called the meltdown. Manny Acta decided to employ the starter by committee approach, as Mike O’Connor pitched 3.2 in relief for Lannan. For the Pirates, Jose Bautista homered twice on the night.
Braves 2-Reds 0: Nice pitchers dual in Atlanta tonight, as Tim Hudson squared off against young Edison Volquez. Any question of Tim Hudson’s health was resolved tonight as the sinkerballer pitched a complete game, striking out 10 and walking no one. Wow. Brian McCann‘s 2 run blast was all the offense the Braves needed to defeat the Reds.
Marlins 6-Padres 4: Dan Uggla homered twice, notching 4 RBIs on the night as the Marlins defeated San Diego. Mark Hendrickson got the win, going 7 innings, giving up 3 runs on 5 hits. Justin Germano got knocked around by the Fish, letting up 6 runs, 5 earned, including 3 home runs, in 5.2 innings of work.
Posted in Braves, Marlins, Nationals
Tagged Braves, Brian McCann, Dan Uggla, Edison Volquez, John Lannan, Jose Bautista, Justin Germano, Manny Acta, Mark Hendrickson, Marlins, Mike O'Connor, Nationals, Padres, Pirates, Reds, Tim Hudson
What a game, as two of the division’s great young pitchers dualed in a matchup that stretched into the 12th inning today at Nationals Park. Both Shawn Hill and Jair Jurjjens left the game without decisions, but both pitched extremely well. Hill went 8 full innings, allowing just 1 run on 4 hits, an RBI single to Yunel Escobar in the 6th inning. Jurjjens also impressed, going 7 full innings and also allowing just 1 run on 2 hits with no walks and 3 strikeouts.
For the Nationals, Felipe Lopez continues to play extremely well, driving in a run on a fielder’s choice in the 6th and hitting a long fly ball to win the game in the bottom of the 12th off of Buddy Carlyle after Manny Acosta loaded the bases and walked a run home.
The Braves lose their 14th straight one-run decision (going back to last year) and the Nationals have won 6 of 8 going into this weekend’s series against the also-mediocre Pirates. Suddenly things are looking up for Manny Acta and the Nats (not so much for Bobby’s Braves).
By the way, Saul Rivera, the most used releiver in baseball last year, pitched again today in the 11th and 12th and picked up the win. He is 3-1 on the year.
Posted in Braves, Nationals
Tagged Braves, Buddy Carlyle, Felipe Lopez, Jair Jurjjens, Manny Acosta, Manny Acta, Nationals, Saul Rivera, Shawn Hill, Yunel Escobar