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Game 89: Dodgers at Nats

Jul 18, 2015, 3:58 PM EST

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

And we’re back for the regularly scheduled portion of today’s sort-of-doubleheader. This contest features Doug Fister on the mound for the Nationals, needing to be in peak form against 3-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw.

After Bryce Harper walked three times (twice intentionally) in the first game of the series, Matt Williams has decided to try to offer up some more protection for his star slugger. So it’s Yunel Escobar hitting cleanup in this one. We’ll see if that sways the Dodgers to approach Harper any differently.

It’s a scorching afternoon here in the District. If you’re here in attendance, drink plenty of fluids. If you’re watching from home, enjoy your air conditioning! Updates to come…

LOS ANGELES DODGERS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 4:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, Fox Sports 1, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 183
Weather: Humid, 86 degrees, Wind 9 mph out to CF

NATIONALS (49-39)
CF Michael Taylor
2B Danny Espinosa
RF Bryce Harper
3B Yunel Escobar
LF Clint Robinson
SS Ian Desmond
C Jose Lobaton
1B Tyler Moore
RHP Doug Fister

DODGERS (51-40)
CF Joc Pederson
2B Howie Kendrick
3B Justin Turner
1B Adrian Gonzalez
LF Andre Ethier
RF Yasiel Puig
C A.J. Ellis
SS Jimmy Rollins
LHP Clayton Kershaw

UMPIRES
HP Adrian Johnson
1B Bill Miller (cc)
2B Doug Eddings
3B Jim Wolf

4:05 p.m. — And we’re underway again…

4:16 p.m. — It was an odd top of the first for Doug Fister. He issued a 4-pitch walk to Joc Pederson to get the game started, highly uncharacteristic. Then he got out of the inning when Pederson tried to steal second and was thrown out by Jose Lobaton. That’s only the fourth attempted steal off Fister the last two years, and only one guy has been successful. Clayton Kershaw, meanwhile, was utterly dominant in the bottom of the first, striking out both Danny Espinosa and Bryce Harper.

4:38 p.m. — The Dodgers made some pretty solid contact off Fister in the top of the second. The right-hander managed to limit the damage to one run, thanks in part to a 5-4-3 double play started by Yunel Escobar and a strikeout of Jimmy Rollins with a man on third and two out. The Nats, meanwhile, got their first baserunner off Kershaw — Clint Robinson, of all people, singled up the middle — but that’s all they’ve got through two innings. L.A. up 1-0 heading to the third.

4:56 p.m. — The Dodgers continue to hit Fister hard, but they’ve managed only the one run so far through three innings. The Nats, meanwhile, have put only 2-of-10 batters on base vs. Kershaw. Naturally, the two guys to get hits off him are the left-handed-hitting Robinson and Fister. Go figure. Still 1-0 Dodgers after three.

5:13 p.m. — Four innings down, and Kershaw has eight strikeouts. He has looked unhittable for the most part, including on a pair of strikeouts of Harper (now 1-for-8 in his career against the lefty, though the one was a home run). Fister keeps giving up hard-hit balls (three to the warning track in the last two innings alone) but has kept it a 1-0 game so far as we move to the fifth.

5:35 p.m. — You just sensed Fister couldn’t keep living this dangerously without suffering more damage. Sure enough, the Dodgers got him for three runs in the top of the fifth amid a parade of singles. So he’s done after five innings, allowing four runs on nine hits. Taylor Jordan, called up from Syracuse to be the 26th man for this game, is entering from the bullpen for the sixth. Oh, and Kershaw now has 10 strikeouts, with the Dodgers leading 4-0.

5:49 p.m. — This just in: Clayton Kershaw is really good. He has 12 strikeouts through six innings, exactly two in every inning so far. He has struck out Harper three times. Actually, the only member of the lineup who has avoided a K is Jose Lobaton, who has hit two groundballs. Still 4-0 after six.

6:08 p.m. — Make it 14 strikeouts for Kershaw through seven innings. That’s the most ever by an opposing pitcher vs. the Nats since the franchise arrived in town in 2005. And he’s still got perhaps two more innings in him today. To the eighth, still 4-0 L.A.

6:20 p.m. — In the Dept. of Silver Linings: Kershaw didn’t strike out anybody in the eighth. He recorded three groundouts. So we’ll go to the ninth, with the lefty having tossed a 3-hitter, striking out 14 and not walking anybody. Still 4-0.

6:31 p.m. — Uh oh, Danny Espinosa hurt himself diving for a hard grounder to his left in the top of the ninth and walked off the field very gingerly with a trainer, his left leg apparently injured. Stay tuned for updates postgame.

6:48 p.m. — That’s your ballgame. Kenley Jansen came in to pitch the ninth, so Kershaw finished with 8 scoreless innings, striking out 14 without walking a batter. Bryce Harper, though, launched a 2-run homer into the second deck, making the deficit only 4-2. That’s where it remained as the Nats split this sort-of doubleheader.

125 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. unterp - Jul 18, 2015 at 4:02 PM

    let’s go Nats…

  2. natsfan1a - Jul 18, 2015 at 4:02 PM

    (raises glass) Stay hydrated, my friends. You, too, Dougie and crew. I will do likewise, in my basement baseball-viewing sanctuary. Oh, and GO NATS!!

    “It’s a scorching afternoon here in the District. If you’re here in attendance, drink plenty of fluids. If you’re watching from home, enjoy your air conditioning! Updates to come…”

  3. mauimo22 - Jul 18, 2015 at 4:14 PM

    Nice lineup tweak by MW putting Esco behind Harp to protect him from being IBB’d all day long.
    Need some base knocks from the other fellas.
    Nice single by TyMo last game to provide insurance run after DDK’s HR!

    • Section 222 - Jul 18, 2015 at 4:26 PM

      That’s not going to protect Harper from being walked. It’s hopefully going to punish Mattingly for doing the smart thing.

  4. Section 222 - Jul 18, 2015 at 4:14 PM

    Johnny already not having a good day. “Easily, he’s in there… and they got him.” Ranks up there with “See. You. Caught.”

  5. manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 4:14 PM

    Kershaw and Fister both work fast.

  6. Section 222 - Jul 18, 2015 at 4:17 PM

    Uh oh. I sense a 3 K day for Danny.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 4:29 PM

      Just make contact Danny.

  7. manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 4:22 PM

    0-2 count to Ethier and he gives up a hit.

  8. manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 4:23 PM

    Gets ahead of another batter 0-2 and can’t put him away.

    Come on.

  9. manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 4:25 PM

    A double pump double play.

  10. Section 222 - Jul 18, 2015 at 4:27 PM

    That was not the only play Espi had, FP. If he had eschewed the web gem effort, he might have gotten the force at 2nd. He had some time.

  11. manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 4:28 PM

    Fister unfortunately violated rule number 1 when pitching against Kershaw. He blinked first.

  12. manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 4:35 PM

    Strike 3 Ian swings at a strike but is guessing badly on what is thrown.

  13. Section 222 - Jul 18, 2015 at 4:37 PM

    Looks like that game plan’s not working too well.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:00 PM

      Explain the game plan.

      • Section 222 - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:45 PM

        FP said it was to swing at the first pitch.

  14. manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 4:44 PM

    Come on Fister don’t let them group hits together.

  15. manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 4:45 PM

    Desmond if he catches an easy throw is an easy out. Cone on Desi do something to help.

  16. manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 4:51 PM

    Johnny miscalls another one

  17. Section 222 - Jul 18, 2015 at 4:51 PM

    “A long run, that’s gonna… caught.” Poor Johnny. Not a great route by Joc.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 4:53 PM

      Was a good play by Pederson.

      • Section 222 - Jul 18, 2015 at 4:54 PM

        True. The Shark made a lot of good plays on bad routes.

    • Joe Seamhead - Jul 18, 2015 at 4:58 PM

      “. Not a great route by Joc” was a very nice, and accurate, description.

  18. manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 4:52 PM

    Good job hitting Fister work with the others please.

  19. Joe Seamhead - Jul 18, 2015 at 4:55 PM

    Fister got on with a gulf swing. Taylor is looking bad again lately.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 4:59 PM

      Though kegs helped him be on to score winning run in game 1

  20. manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 4:58 PM

    Through 3 lefties 2 for 3 (with Harper the only you a bad looking K)

    Righties 0 for 8 with 5 k.

    You would think the lefties would have the big problem with that wicked curve, but righties looked totally clueless in the curve.

    Fister you need to hold them down to give us a chance.

  21. manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:06 PM

    Too many flies from Fister, games like that when he huts the wall bad things usual follow.

    OK Nats let’s string a few hits together.

  22. manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:10 PM

    Lay off the curve ball guys

    • coop202 - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:12 PM

      Harper’s been made to look silly the last few times out by power lefties. Granted one of those times was also against Kershaw in the asg.

      • Section 222 - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:44 PM

        Harper did not face Kershaw in the ASG. They’re both in the NL. — Keuchel (5-3), Price (K) and Britton (K).

      • coop202 - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:50 PM

        Yep that was a pretty dumb comment by me. Whiffed pretty bad there

  23. manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:11 PM

    Johnny. “Swing and a miss, foul.”

  24. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:14 PM

    Pitchers duel. Nats smart ball is needed

    • veejh - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:14 PM

      smart ball and small ball, I presume

      • manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:20 PM

        I want better pitch identification, that leaspds to better small and smart ball.

  25. manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:14 PM

    Got to love CRob a fastball down the middle no swing, a curve looks will swinging at. Then slider outside he lays off, curve outside lays off, but shows no patience slider outside swings.

    My game plan on Kershaw would be not a fastball do not swing. You might get some M’s but I bet you get more hits than this pure guessing they are doing.

  26. manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:17 PM

    Good play by Moire and Fister and good hustle Kershaw. That is good baseball by all

  27. manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:17 PM

    Out by one frame.

  28. manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:19 PM

    Fister is 18 inches inside the plate, wow talk about a bad pitch.

  29. veejh - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:22 PM

    CRob in the field leaves much to be desired

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:25 PM

      Agreed. Both fielding than throwing it allowed 2 runners to advance.

      BTW HBP scores. Seems to happens a lot

  30. manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:23 PM

    CRob is worse in left than Morse ever was.

  31. Joe Seamhead - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:24 PM

    CRob and Desi both look awful defensively.There’s no other way to say it.

  32. Joe Seamhead - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:25 PM

    Wow! Great play by Harper!

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:27 PM

      +1

  33. veejh - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:26 PM

    Huh…..we’re we just talking about Ramos dropping tosses from the outfield the other day.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:28 PM

      Yah I think you were the one that said Lobaton catches them all

      • veejh - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:28 PM

        I never said he catches them all. But, LOL.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:29 PM

        Check yesterday’s discussion……

      • veejh - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:30 PM

        I said Lobaton was better at fielding tosses from the outfield. That is all. Go check.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:31 PM

        He rarely plays. There’s one he dropped

      • veejh - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:30 PM

        …..and I still believe that to be the case, even after today’s snafu

  34. manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:26 PM

    Loboton does he Ramos imitation.

    Where the hell has McCatty this whole time? Nowhere in sight.

  35. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:26 PM

    Impossible, Lobaton didn’t catch that ball on the throw home. Discussion from yesterday.

    • veejh - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:27 PM

      LOL

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:29 PM

      Other teams don’t seem to drop as often as we do, though I believe the runner was going to be safe anyway.

      The inning took a nasty turn with the HBP.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:30 PM

        Watch the nightly highlights. Plenty dropped by other teams

    • Joe Seamhead - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:43 PM

      Let’s be honest here. Neither one of them excel at making catches and/or tags on throws from the outfield.

  36. Joe Seamhead - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:27 PM

    Heal quickly, Jayson and Denard. We need both of you guys back.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:41 PM

      Rendon too… I really want Desi to sit an entire series…

  37. manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:30 PM

    Now swing at fast ball strikes, and do not swing at anything else. Try it please.

  38. nattygoats - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:31 PM

    Fister is certainly not a positive this season. The ball is slow and up. Terrible job in that inning.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:38 PM

      When there are more fly outs than ground outs eventually he ends it with a bad inning.

  39. manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:31 PM

    Desmond ineeds to sit, Difo could do know worse.

  40. nattygoats - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:32 PM

    Forget Desi. Play Ugla until rendon back

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:35 PM

      Do something

  41. manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:34 PM

    What is bad about this fame is the body language. Or am I misinterpreting?

  42. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:35 PM

    Nice performance from Kershaw…. knew it wasn’t Dougie’s after seeing him open the game with 5/6 balls…

    1st time seeing Kershaw pitch…

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:36 PM

      Players guess against all the time. Cardinals Manager said guessing will lose, follow their lead. Swing at fast balls only.

      • Joe Seamhead - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:48 PM

        You keep saying that. There is a reason Kershaw is so good. His slider hits 90 mph. It’s not easy to identify it. I’ll tell you, even the best hitters have a tough time with a great slider. Ask anyone that faced Ron Guidry.

      • texnat1 - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:53 PM

        Yep, and never mind that Kershaw can throw his other pitches for a strike. It’s not like just refusing to swing at anything but a fastball from him is the secret formula to success. If it was, the league would have figured that out long ago.

  43. manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:41 PM

    OK let’s start playing with conviction. Don’t go up assuming you will make an out. Their body language has not been good.

  44. manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:43 PM

    Den Dekker bunted it like he was trying to honer. But at least it was a fast ball.

  45. manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:44 PM

    Taylor choked up. Good move

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:45 PM

      Struck out on a slider inside. He forgot no swinging at non fast balls.

  46. manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:47 PM

    Turner pokie in the field.

  47. Section 222 - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:48 PM

    Kershaw going after Bryce with 1B open. Gutsy. Make him pay Bryce.

    • Section 222 - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:49 PM

      oh well. Kershaw with 12 Ks in 6 innings. Wow.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:54 PM

        He has been great….

      • Section 222 - Jul 18, 2015 at 6:06 PM

        First Cueto, then Kershaw. With this lineup, we are impotent against the NL’s best. Can’t wait to get Rendon, Span, and Zim back.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 18, 2015 at 6:09 PM

        Absolutely…. the bench has been great but very encouraging news on the returns of Jayson Rendon and Ryan…

  48. manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:49 PM

    Those fast balls up Bryce level your swing and clobber them, don’t complain. Then strike out at a fast ball in the wheel house.

    Must not be seeing the ball well.

    • texnat1 - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:54 PM

      Or maybe Kershaw is a halfway decent pitcher that is hard on lefties.

      • Joe Seamhead - Jul 18, 2015 at 5:57 PM

        And righties.

      • manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 6:08 PM

        He is tough. However I just saying what Matheney came up with, and the Cards own Kershaw. They come up with only swing at fast balls and take your chances. Has worked for the Cards.

        Suggested we try the sane as it worked for them.

        Our hitters don’t have the patience to pull it off.

      • Section 222 - Jul 18, 2015 at 6:08 PM

        If only MNF or Ray Knight were the hitting coach.

      • manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 6:18 PM

        Ray had said it earlier, I agree with him.

  49. veejh - Jul 18, 2015 at 6:05 PM

    Kershaw is destroying everyone.

  50. Section 222 - Jul 18, 2015 at 6:05 PM

    I don’t think Fister has struck out 13 batters ever.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 6:08 PM

      Not even in a month this year.

  51. veejh - Jul 18, 2015 at 6:06 PM

    Shocking, Dez didn’t strike out.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 6:11 PM

      He hit a fastball. That is the secret

  52. manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 6:10 PM

    On a different subject how low does Desi have to get to get some pine time. Now. 206

  53. manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 6:17 PM

    Chalk not thick enough to knock ball fair.

  54. Section 222 - Jul 18, 2015 at 6:19 PM

    According to FP, Zim says the plantar fasciitis is still there, but it’s “much better.” Just going to have to tolerate it for the rest of the year.

    Sorry, but that is not encouraging. He was trying to tolerate it for the first 50 games of the season and he hit .209.

    • texnat1 - Jul 18, 2015 at 6:24 PM

      I say make him rest until he is over it. Robinson/Moore can man first base in the mean time at a servicable level. With Rendon and Werth coming back, the offense should improve even without Zim. And the division is weak, so wait it out.

      October is what matters.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 6:27 PM

      Just get hits and you can tolerate better , I think.

      • Section 222 - Jul 18, 2015 at 6:30 PM

        Well sure, but if you’re still tolerating pain you’re not going to get hits. That’s the problem.

      • manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 6:35 PM

        Then get healed go to a voodoo doctor or whatever it takes

      • Section 222 - Jul 18, 2015 at 6:45 PM

        that’s like much of your hitting advice.

  55. manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 6:20 PM

    Wow no k.

  56. Joe Seamhead - Jul 18, 2015 at 6:20 PM

    Greinke, deGrom, Harvey, Snydergaard are the upcoming pitchers that the Nats will be facing over the 4 games. I hope that the bats wake up, or else. Desi now at .205 Will he still be above .200 by Weds?

    • Section 222 - Jul 18, 2015 at 6:24 PM

      Probably not. But he’ll still start.

      • manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 6:33 PM

        What is mireky 2 hits for Desi in those 4 games or an error?

      • manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 6:36 PM

        Damn fingers what is more likely….

  57. veejh - Jul 18, 2015 at 6:28 PM

    Lordie. Now the bench guys start to go down.

  58. manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 6:29 PM

    Espi looked awkward

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 6:30 PM

      That didn’t look like a cramp to me.

  59. manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 6:30 PM

    Burris good start.

  60. manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 6:31 PM

    Safe easy

  61. veejh - Jul 18, 2015 at 6:39 PM

    Spanked. At least we have Scherzer going tomorrow (against Greinke, I know).

  62. veejh - Jul 18, 2015 at 6:45 PM

    Hmmmmmmmmmmm. Nice blast from Harp.

  63. manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 6:45 PM

    See how easy it is hit to a fast ball. Oh I forgot new pitcher.

    • veejh - Jul 18, 2015 at 6:47 PM

      Kershaw’s fastball, not so easy.

  64. Hiram Hover - Jul 18, 2015 at 6:46 PM

    I loved that Puig didn’t even move back-just turned to watch it.

    • veejh - Jul 18, 2015 at 6:47 PM

      Noticed that, too. He had to go pick it up anyways. LOL

  65. Section 222 - Jul 18, 2015 at 6:46 PM

    Haha. I’m telling you, do not pitch to Bryce Harper with first base open. It’s not worth it. Mattingly was asleep at the wheel that time.

  66. manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 6:47 PM

    Let’s get the pitch count up too

  67. Drew - Jul 18, 2015 at 6:48 PM

    18 to reach 100 at 22.
    673 from Henry Aaron.

  68. veejh - Jul 18, 2015 at 6:49 PM

    Did you see Harper just splash water on his face and really try not to get his hair wet?

  69. manassasnatsfan - Jul 18, 2015 at 6:49 PM

    The first fastball hittable, second and third not. Didn’t swing at the right one. Last one might have been a ball even.

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