Filtering by Tag: Reds

Game #23 Recap: Zimmermann Gem Puts Nats Past Reds

The Nationals rode an outstanding complete game shutout from starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann to squeeze past the Cincinnati Reds in a 1-0 victory Friday night at Nationals Park.  Zimmermann twirled nine dazzling innings and was near-perfect while notching his fourth win of the season.  

Zimmermann needed only 91 pitches in the effort and allowed one hit and one walk in the entire game while striking out for.  

The Nationals met a worthy adversary in Cincinatti Reds starting pitcher Homer Bailey, who threw seven strong innings and allowed the game's only run.  From early on, the contest had the look of an old fashioned pitcher’s duel.  

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Game #22 Recap: O'Hara Curse Lifted, Nats Win

For the first time this season the Nationals won a game when I was recapping them. The Nats came into the game against the Cincinnati Reds under .500 for the first time since 2011, struggling to find answers as to why they were having so much trouble. A shake-up in the lineup and a gem by Gio Gonzalez was just what they needed and the Nationals got some payback winning 8-1.

Gonzalez was masterful, getting out the first eleven batters he faced. The only Reds hit all day was a home run by Joey Votto. After that, Gonzalez shut the Reds down, allowing only two more base runners, both on walks, for the rest of his sterling eight innings. Gonzalez finished the game on 112 pitches, striking out seven.

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Series #8 Preview: Nats vs Reds

On Monday the Nats started a tough stretchof 39 games in which 26 of them are against teams that finished over .500 in 2012. The bright side is that after these 39, the Nats will play just 27 such games over the final 105 (roughly 65%) games of the season. Silver linings aside, the Nats failed to take any of three very winnable games against the Cardinals at Nats Park and have left the fan base frustrated. As Huzz pointed out this morning, it’s been a little of everything going wrong at different points that have led the Nats to their record under .500 since September 28, 2011.

The Nats look to get back on track against a Cincinnati Reds club that looked lost during a five-game skid early in the month but have since found their footing with series’ against Miami, Philadelphia and the Cubs, winning eight of their last ten. The Reds however are without their ace Johnny Cueto who is currently on the disabled list with a strained muscle in his back. Offensively the Reds are as dangerous as ever, ranking 5th in MLB in OPS (.756) and 4th in runs per game (5.18). Cincinnati pitching is just as lethal, ranking 6th in ERA at 3.29 (3.60 FIP, 9th), 4th in K/9 at 8.70 and 1st in K:BB at 3.72. The Nats took one of three at Cincinnati in early April with the rubber match being tight until a 3-run sixth, look for all four of these games to be tightly contested.

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Game #6 Recap: A Pitcher's Struggle

The Nationals and Reds enteredthe rubber match today with what should have been an excellent pitcher's duel between Stephen Strasburg and Johnny Cueto. However, both pitchers struggled with a small strike zone and inconsistency and offense ruled the day. The Reds took advantage of troublesome first and sixth innings from Strasburg to score six runs and take the series with a 6-3 win over the Nats.

After throwing seven dominant innings against the Miami Marlins on Monday, Strasburg just could not get into a groove today. His woes started in the first, where after getting a Shin-Soo Choo flyout he gave up a single, a walk, a single, an RBI double and RBI groundout to put the Nats into an early 3-0 deficit.​

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Game #5 Recap: Homers Help Nationals Hang On

A night after Dan Haren and the bullpen allowed 6 home runs to the Reds offense, the Nationals were able to pick up 5 of their own.​ Harper, Ramos, Werth, and Desmond would all hit home runs, while Ramos with hitting 2 of the 5. It was not the Nationals best defensive day and the bullpen had a few struggles, but the Nationals were able to hang on.

Ross Detwiler took the hill for the Nationals and would not disappoint. Detwiler would go 6 strong innings, allowing only 1 unearned run. The run came when Ian Desmond threw away a ground ball on Brandon Phillips, who would take 2nd on the error. Todd Frazier doubled shortly after to bring Phillips home. The Nationals still had the lead, though as Harper had brought home Werth who had doubled in the previous at bat with a two run shot in the 3rd.

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Game #4 Recap: A Night to Forget

The Nationals hit the road tonight to face the Cincinnati Reds and found out just how cozy the confines of Great American Ballpark are. The Reds’ home stadium is known to be an extreme hitter’s park and tonight that benefited the Reds, as they blasted six home runs, three just over the wall, to bury the Nats 15-0.

The star of the night was the Reds’ young shortstop Zack Cozart. Cozart got ahold of a Dan Haren first-pitch fastball and dumped it into the left field stands in the second inning; the latter half of back-to-back home runs started by Todd Frazier. Cozart got to Haren again in the third inning, sending another ball into the left field stands, this time a three-run homer.

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Series #2 Preview: Nationals at Reds

Coming off of a refreshing series sweep of the Marlins where they only allowed one run, the Nats head to Cincinnati to face a Reds team that just took two of three from the Angels, the lone loss coming in extra innings. Through those three games the Reds are hitting a measly .155 (27th in MLB) as a team, with a combined OPS of .565 (20th in MLB).  While this “trend” certainly cannot be expected to continue, getting to face the Reds while their bats are relatively cold can only bode well for the Nats.

The Reds went into the offseason as the statistically second best team in baseball, finishing a game behind the Nats at 97-65. Also like the Nats, the Reds suffered a gut wrenching defeat in the NLDS; going up two games to none away, only to lose three straight at home and watch the eventual World Series Champion Giants move on to the NLCS. As I’m sure you’re noticing a trend, the Reds did one more thing similar to the Nats this offseason: they did nothing to get worse and proceeded to get better by adding Shin-Soo Choo via trade and Jonathan Broxton via free agency to an already deep bullpen that was #2 in MLB in fWAR (6.3) in 2012 while throwing the second least amount of innings.

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The Second Best Team in the NL

With less than a week to go before Opening Day all the picks for WorldSeries champs are starting to trickle in and many people are picking the Washington Nationals. Four out of seven SI writers picked the Nats to win it all, five out of seven the NL, seven out of seven the NL East, and several of the same writers picked Harper to be MVP and/or Strasburg to win the Cy Young. The 2013 Washington Nationals are what you would call the best team on paper. The question here is which team has the next best chance at being the best team in the NL, and the answer is not what many may expect, the Cincinnati Reds.  ​

While the Atlanta Braves arguably made the flashiest move of the off-season in acquiring Justin Upton from the Diamondbacks after adding his brother BJ; they also lost a lot of talent with Chipper Jones retiring, Michael Bourn leaving via free agency, and the inclusion of Martin Prado in the Justin Upton deal. In total the Braves lost 15.3 fWAR from their 94 win 2012 roster. The acquisitions of the two Uptons, increased playing time of Medlen and Simmons, and Maholm and Teheran instead of Hanson and Jurrjens is nothing more than treading water. There was one team a lot closer in 2012 to the 98 win Washington Nationals in the NL than the Atlanta Braves and that team, the 97 win Cincinnati Reds, didn't lose much and arguably gained more.​

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