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Game 126: Padres at Nats

Aug 27, 2015, 3:34 PM EDT

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

It was a tough loss on Wednesday night, but the Nationals enter Thursday with a chance to win their third consecutive series, something they haven’t done since June 19-28.

Rookie Joe Ross (4-5, 3.56) will get the start against his former organization. The Padres traded Ross to the Nationals as part of a three-team deal this past offseason that also netted Washington shortstop Trea Turner.

Ross was good his last time out with seven innings of one-run ball against the Brewers. That followed two uneven outings where he gave up nine earned runs allowed.

Right-hander Andrew Cashner (5-12, 4.03) will start for San Diego. Cashner has had a season to forget, but he was excellent in his last appearance. He allowed no earned runs through six innings against the Cardinals on Aug. 21.

Updates to come, so please check back…

Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 183/862
Weather: Partly cloudy, 78 degrees, Wind 6 mph out to RF

LF Jayson Werth
2B Anthony Rendon
RF Bryce Harper
3B Yunel Escobar
1B Ryan Zimmerman
SS Ian Desmond
C Wilson Ramos
CF Michael Taylor
RHP Joe Ross

PADRES (62-64)
RF Travis Jankowski
2B Cory Spangenberg
3B Yangervis Solarte
LF Justin Upton
1B Yonder Alonso
CF Melvin Upton, Jr.
SS Alexi Amarista
C Austin Hedges
RHP Andrew Cashner

HP Hunter Wendelstedt (cc)
1B Marvin Hudson
2B David Rackley
3B Bob Davidson

7:05 p.m. — We’re underway on another spectacular night for baseball here. It’s been an incredible week weather-wise.

7:25 p.m. — A scoreless inning is in the books. Joe Ross retired the side on 12 pitches, striking out Cory Spangenberg. The Nats, meanwhile, got two men on against Andrew Cashner, with both Bryce Harper nd Yunel Escobar delivering 2-out singles. Ryan Zimmerman then sent a ball deep to center field that briefly drew a roar from the crowd, only to watch as Melvin Upton Jr. tracked it down and made an over-the-shoulder catch at the warning track. Zim just missed that one. 0-0 after one.

7:40 p.m. — The Padres got their first baserunner of the night when Justin Upton drew a walk to lead off the top of the second, but that’s all they got. Ross is through two innings on 27 pitches. Cashner retired the side in the bottom of the inning. We go to the third…

8:02 p.m. — Weird bottom of the third just now. With one out and Werth on first base, Rendon sent a sinking liner to shallow center field. Upton came charging in and attempted to make a shoestring catch, but it wasn’t obvious whether he got it or trapped the ball. Trouble is, second base umpire David Rackley didn’t signal anything, so Werth got caught in no-man’s land, not knowing whether he needed to run back to first base or run ahead to second base. Turns out third base umpire Bob Davidson ruled it a trap, and so Werth was tagged out while Rendon was ruled safe at first. Regardless, the Nats got nothing out of the inning, so it remains scoreless through three.

8:27 p.m. — Here’s a play that kind of feels emblematic of the Nats’ 2015 season: They just gave Spangenberg three bases on a bunt that traveled a total of 15 feet. That’s because Ramos’ throw sailed wide of Zimmerman and down the right-field line, with Harper breaking late to back up the play and unable to make the throw all the way to third base in time to get the speedy Spangenberg. That set the stage for a sac fly, and so the Padres have a 1-0 lead through four innings.

8:55 p.m. — We’re through the fifth and the Nats have taken a 2-1 lead, but it came at a price. Yunel Escobar “drove” in a run when he took a 97 mph fastball from Cashner off his right hand with the bases loaded. Escobar went down in a heap, and though he was able to get up and trot to first base, he didn’t come back out to the field for the top of the sixth. Rendon moves to third base and Danny Espinosa takes over at second. The Nats did take the lead moments later, though, when Zimmerman smoked a base hit up the middle, bringing home one run, though Harper was thrown out at the plate by Melvin Upton Jr. And when Ramos struck out looking with two on and two out, the inning was over, with the Nats scoring only two runs despite five consecutive batters reaching base. Felt like a bit of a missed opportunity. We’ll see.

Peter Hailey (CSN intern) taking over for Mark while he writes his game story

9:26 p.m. — In the top of the sixth, Joe Ross kept rolling, getting Jankowski to go down looking and Solarte to strike out swinging with a Spangenberg line out in between. However, despite his low pitch count (just 77 through six frames), Matt Williams elected to have Clint Robinson pinch hit for the rookie, ending what had been an impressive outing. Robinson popped out to left, but that was followed by a Werth home run, a laser that sailed over the 377′ sign in left field and into the Padres bullpen. It was Werth’s fourth dinger of the season, and helped give Washington a 3-1 lead. After a Rendon single, Cashner was pulled in favor of Bud Norris, who was able to finish the inning without allowing any more damage. Nats up two heading into the seventh.

9:41 p.m. — Casey Janssen is the one out of the bullpen to replace Ross, and he was on the mound for an incredibly eventful top of the seventh. After the first two Padres were retired, Upton Jr. hit a rocket to center, and Taylor, while trying to make a leaping catch, collided with the outfield fence at full speed. Upton Jr. ended up with a triple, while Taylor ended up on the warning track. He eventually limped off, making him the second Nats starter to leave the contest early. Espinosa moved out to left field for just the second time in his career, while Harper was bumped to center to replace Taylor, and Trea Turner was brought off the bench to play second. When all that was settled, the top half ended with Rendon making a dazzling diving stop down the third base line and throwing out pinch hitter Jedd Gyorko. After the stretch, Zimmerman gave a rude welcome to newly inserted reliever Kevin Quackenbush by hitting a homer to right center, his eleventh. Nationals now lead 4-1 as Drew Storen makes his way to the hill.

9:57 p.m. — Storen’s eighth is a smooth one, as he induces three fly balls without allowing a baserunner. During the home team’s half, the only noteworthy play came when Rendon was robbed of a hit up the middle by shortstop Clint Barmes. That makes Rendon even on the evening — he’s stolen a hit from a Padre, and a Padre has stolen a hit from him. And there’s that Ric Flair intro, meaning only one thing: Jonathan Papelbon is in to try and close this one out.

10:09 p.m. — After walking Spangenberg to start the ninth, Papelbon committed a balk while faking a pickoff throw to first, which allowed the Padres’ second baseman to move into scoring position. Alonso then singled past a diving Turner and scored Spangenberg to cut the lead to two. Papelbon induced a groundout after that, though, giving his team the 4-2 victory. The Nationals move to 64-62 on the season, and the Padres drop to 62-65. It’s the third straight series victory for Matt Williams’ club.

  1. nats106 - Aug 27, 2015 at 3:37 PM

    Let’s go, Joe! Show your brother how it’s done.

    • npb99 - Aug 27, 2015 at 4:38 PM

      Actually, his brother just showed him. Cheers.

  2. langleyclub - Aug 27, 2015 at 3:45 PM

    Denard getting the day off. MW advised that he would need periodic days off to make it less likely that his ab issue would arise again. Cashner is much better than his record. Throws very hard.

    • NatsLady - Aug 27, 2015 at 3:56 PM

      Well, the Nats are much better than their record, so there’s that. 😉

      • Eugene in Oregon - Aug 27, 2015 at 4:41 PM

        I think I understand what you mean and I think you’re probably right in the “…when everyone’s healthy…” sense. But after 125 games, I think a team’s record is a meaningful representation of how good a team is, broadly speaking.

      • npb99 - Aug 27, 2015 at 4:45 PM

        Aren’t we all? I’m much smarter than my accomplishments (and inane postings) suggest…

    • JamesFan - Aug 27, 2015 at 4:03 PM

      He gets two hits and gets a day off? Why not give Werth a day off? Rendon, the long-term third baseman, should be at 3d. This is adding to the legend of MW.

      • newenglandnat - Aug 27, 2015 at 4:09 PM

        Regarding Span, the whole idea is to give him time off before something becomes an issue. If you wait for him to have three 0-4s in a row and it turns out things have tightened up just a bit causing it, well, it’s too late. Sure, we’re in a desperate spot, but it’s much more desperate if Span shuts it down for the year. Criticize him for other things, but not for this.

      • jd - Aug 27, 2015 at 4:12 PM

        Any decision based on health precaution is fine with me. I’m not a doctor and perhaps the doctors told MW that Span needs a day’s rest every 3.

        It is what it is.

      • Hiram Hover - Aug 27, 2015 at 4:14 PM

        Agree with newengland and jd–resting Span is fine by me

      • senators69 - Aug 27, 2015 at 5:26 PM

        Really saying that Span is hurt! This is not good.

    • jd - Aug 27, 2015 at 4:19 PM

      As I recall we knocked him around pretty well in San Diego earlier this year.

  3. coop202 - Aug 27, 2015 at 3:46 PM

    No more old fashioned nightmares pleae

    • Hiram Hover - Aug 27, 2015 at 4:13 PM

      New fashioned nightmares only?

  4. Section 222 - Aug 27, 2015 at 4:02 PM

    A tale of two brothers. I’ll bet the Padres wish they had kept the Ross brothers but not agreed to take the elder of the two Upton brothers.

  5. natsfan1a - Aug 27, 2015 at 4:17 PM

    Okay, kid. No pressure here but do you really want to let big brother beat you in the two-game sibling series? Yeah, I didn’t think so. You can do this. Go, JOE! Go, NATS!!

  6. langleyclub - Aug 27, 2015 at 4:26 PM

    Good stat for Joe Ross:

    The Padres failed to score more than 2 runs in 11 of Cashner’s 24 starts.

    Bad stat:

    Last time out, Cashner beat the Cardinals and didn’t give up an earned run in 6 innings of work.

    Cashner also had one of the most bizarre outings of the year against the Mets in June:

    He pitched 4.2 innings (that’s 14 outs); struck 12; walked 0; yet somehow gave up 6 runs and 11 hits. His BABIP in that game must have been ridiculous.

    • adcwonk - Aug 27, 2015 at 4:51 PM

      He pitched 4.2 innings (that’s 14 outs); struck 12; walked 0; yet somehow gave up 6 runs and 11 hits. His BABIP in that game must have been ridiculous.

      You characterized that well — that is, indeed, most of the most bizarre lines I’ve ever seen on a pitcher.

  7. Guapo - Aug 27, 2015 at 5:09 PM

    I firmly believe that Ian Desmond has blackmail caliber pictures on someone very influential in the Nats organization.

    • IsawTeddywin - Aug 27, 2015 at 5:56 PM

      Yeah, it’s a picture of his .304 batting average and 10 RBI’s over the last 15 games. Which, by the way, is better than Harper over that time.

      • natsjackinfl - Aug 27, 2015 at 6:10 PM

        Some people just troll no matter what.

      • Hiram Hover - Aug 27, 2015 at 6:46 PM


      • Guapo - Aug 28, 2015 at 8:34 AM

        Thanks, next time I’m trying to explain to an out of towner the challenges of talking baseball with the Nats fan base, I’ll just send them your post.

  8. philipd763 - Aug 27, 2015 at 6:10 PM

    If the Mets win tonight (likely) and the Nats lose (certainly possible), I suspect the Nats playoff chances become slim to none.

    • senators69 - Aug 27, 2015 at 6:16 PM

      Fat lady ain’t singing yet…Never give up..never surrender…
      (Let’s see…what other cliches can I come up with?)

      • ArVAFan - Aug 27, 2015 at 6:35 PM

        “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.” –Bryce Harper (and others)

      • natsfan1a - Aug 27, 2015 at 6:44 PM

        It ain’t over, ’til it’s over.

      • veejh - Aug 27, 2015 at 6:44 PM

        Do re me fa so la ti do

      • natsfan1a - Aug 27, 2015 at 6:44 PM

        comma splices optional

      • natsfan1a - Aug 27, 2015 at 6:45 PM

        That will bring us back to d’oh!

      • natsfan1a - Aug 27, 2015 at 6:50 PM

        Wait, that’s not a comma splice, just a random comma. Carry on. (I go on at 9, or 9:30. Sometimes they run late.)

    • jfmii - Aug 27, 2015 at 6:34 PM

      It surely does not look good, but not time for proclamations, though getting more and more difficult to keep the faith

    • Serious Jammage - Aug 27, 2015 at 8:07 PM

      Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?!?!

      Let’s go boys!

  9. veejh - Aug 27, 2015 at 7:15 PM

    One game at a time. Just win this one.

  10. natslive - Aug 27, 2015 at 7:29 PM

    FP quit with the 3-0 excuses explanation

  11. natslive - Aug 27, 2015 at 7:29 PM

    Good play by Upton there

    • Joe Seamhead - Aug 27, 2015 at 8:02 PM

      This umpire crew is always involved in inexcusable calls. Werth was caught between a rock and a hard place there.

      • veejh - Aug 27, 2015 at 8:04 PM

        I think his comment was regarding the over the head basket catch. LOL

      • natslive - Aug 27, 2015 at 8:08 PM

        Yeah not much he could do

      • Joe Seamhead - Aug 27, 2015 at 8:09 PM

        Yeah, I hit reply in error, but Werth was toasted by the umpires.

  12. veejh - Aug 27, 2015 at 8:05 PM

    *cue wheels start to fall off*

  13. natslive - Aug 27, 2015 at 8:07 PM

    Error Ramos…Joe Cool deserves better….

  14. Joe Seamhead - Aug 27, 2015 at 8:10 PM

    ramos was slow getting to the ball to start with. Little things are killing this team.

  15. Serious Jammage - Aug 27, 2015 at 8:14 PM

    We are hitting the ball well tonight, it’ll get going.

  16. Serious Jammage - Aug 27, 2015 at 8:40 PM

    Ok Bryce let’s do this.

  17. Joe Seamhead - Aug 27, 2015 at 8:48 PM

    Yunel should be in the locker room getting his hand iced before it swells up, imho.

    • natslive - Aug 27, 2015 at 8:53 PM

      Agreed….put Danny in

  18. Joe Seamhead - Aug 27, 2015 at 8:50 PM

    Nice throw by BJ, but an even better play by the catcher Hedges.

    • Serious Jammage - Aug 27, 2015 at 8:51 PM

      I don’t know how they officially calculate defensive runs saved but Upton has robbed us of 3 runs.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 27, 2015 at 8:56 PM

      Terrible send. No outs… and you send on a single in front of him..

      We need a new 3rd base coach.

  19. natslive - Aug 27, 2015 at 8:54 PM

    At least we scored 2 but bases loaded no outs should have had more

  20. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 27, 2015 at 8:57 PM

    Never been impressed with Sendley….

  21. joemktg - Aug 27, 2015 at 8:59 PM

    Nesting Doll! #GotsToHave!!

  22. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 27, 2015 at 9:00 PM

    I actually wouldn’t mind Joe for another innning…

  23. Serious Jammage - Aug 27, 2015 at 9:03 PM

    I don’t understand taking Ross out here. What gives?

    • natslive - Aug 27, 2015 at 9:10 PM

      I think since they have him on an innings limit for the year and he may only have 2 starts left is why they pulled him…..I agree with the move so hope the BP holds up

      • Serious Jammage - Aug 27, 2015 at 9:19 PM

        Thanks. Didn’t know he had an innings limit. Wonder if he would still be in if that bunt single had been called an error…

    • hummel26 - Aug 27, 2015 at 9:31 PM

      Is the innings limit because of a preexisting injury he’s recovering from, or is it the new approach to breaking in younger pitchers? Is there some data about what happens to young pitchers whose IP go up a lot from one year to the next?

      As for pitch limits in general, and the difference in how many innings pitchers pitch…do pitchers put more stress on their arms now? I ask that because when I looked back at the Orioles of 1969 to around 1983, they had at least two 200 inning pitchers almost every season, and often had three over 200, and even four. Palmer averaged EIGHT innings per start a couple of years. What’s the difference today? Are hitters so much better that they require more from each pitcher for each pitch?

      • natslive - Aug 27, 2015 at 9:34 PM

        Think the innings limit is because the most he pitched before was like 127 and they don’t want yo extend him past 160 or so for the year…no prior injury

  24. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 27, 2015 at 9:05 PM

    I don’t agree with the decision to pull him… but I hope the BP holds….

    Of course Nats bats it will be best to just get insurance runs and call it a day.

    • Serious Jammage - Aug 27, 2015 at 9:08 PM

      Love me some insurance. Thanks Jayson!

  25. natslive - Aug 27, 2015 at 9:08 PM

    There is one insurance run

  26. Joe Seamhead - Aug 27, 2015 at 9:08 PM

    How good did that homer feel for JW?

  27. joemktg - Aug 27, 2015 at 9:24 PM

    Cripes almighty!

  28. Serious Jammage - Aug 27, 2015 at 9:28 PM

    I really hope that’s not a torn ligament but that’s exactly what it looks like on the replay.

  29. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 27, 2015 at 9:29 PM

    That looked awful. Hopefully it’s not as serious as it seems.

  30. Joe Seamhead - Aug 27, 2015 at 9:31 PM

    That had to have hurt Taylor pretty bad. That kid has given his all this entire year. We can only hope that he didn’t seriously hurt his knee.

  31. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 27, 2015 at 9:31 PM

    Flashing the leather at the hot corner… Yuni doesn’t make that play…

    • Serious Jammage - Aug 27, 2015 at 9:35 PM

      Yeah, wow. Fantastic pick.

    • Joe Seamhead - Aug 27, 2015 at 9:39 PM

      I really doubt that Yunel makes that stab that Anthony made.

      • veejh - Aug 27, 2015 at 9:42 PM


  32. unkyd59 - Aug 27, 2015 at 9:35 PM

    Lordy… I’m feeling it…!

  33. natslive - Aug 27, 2015 at 9:35 PM


  34. Joe Seamhead - Aug 27, 2015 at 9:48 PM

    I find it interesting that on a night when Denard sat out that Matt DenDekker didn’t play in Syracuse tonight. Inquiring minds want to know if there is any relevance.

    • veejh - Aug 27, 2015 at 9:57 PM

      they already knew that MAT was going to run into the wall

      • Joe Seamhead - Aug 27, 2015 at 10:08 PM

        Ok, wise guy, I was wondering if denDekker being out tonight had any relevance to Span being out again.

      • veejh - Aug 27, 2015 at 10:13 PM


      • Joe Seamhead - Aug 27, 2015 at 10:25 PM

        Turns out it was relevant. Span to the DL.

  35. philipd763 - Aug 27, 2015 at 9:50 PM

    How does Mr. Upton get Melvin out of B.J.?

    • Joe Seamhead - Aug 27, 2015 at 10:06 PM

      His real name is Melvin.When he was a kid his family called him Bossman Junior, after his Dad, Melvin, who was called Bossman.

  36. abqnatsfan - Aug 27, 2015 at 10:09 PM

    A win feels good. Three series in a row. Now we hope the injury news to Span, Escobar, and Taylor is positive in the morning.

  37. Serious Jammage - Aug 27, 2015 at 10:09 PM

    Curly W? Check.

    Now to MLB network for the Mets Phillies game.

  38. Joe Seamhead - Aug 27, 2015 at 10:23 PM

    Span back to DL. Doesn’t look good.





As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...

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