April 2012

Saturday’s lineups for the Nats, Dodgers

Nationals
Desmond, ss
Lombardozzi-3b
Werth-rf
LaRoche-1b
Ankiel-cf
Espinosa-2b
Harper-lf
Ramos-c
Strasburg-p

Dodgers
Gordon, ss
Gwynn-lf
Kemp-cf
Ethier-rf
Hairston-2b
Loney-1b
Uribe-3b
AJ Ellis-c
Billingsley-p

Carroll outrighted to Syracuse, Wang has first rehab assignment

The Nationals have outrighted outfielder Brett Carroll to Triple A Syracuse on Monday. The news comes 10 days after the team designated him for assignment.

Carroll was used mainly as a pinch-runner, but was hitless in two at-bats.

In the other news, right-hander Chien Ming Wang, on the disabled list because of a left hamstring injury, had his first rehab assignment in extended Spring Training against the Tigers on Monday. He pitched three innings and allowed one run on five hits. He threw 51 pitches, 37 strikes.

Storen suffers setback in simulated game

Nationals closer Drew Storen suffered a setback Sunday. He had right elbow pain after throwing a simulated game at the team’s complex in Viera, Fla.

Storen was went to Birmingham, Ala., to see Dr. James Andrews to get further examination on the elbow. Manager Davey Johnson wasn’t optimistic about when the team would see Storen on the mound again. The skipper even hinted that that Storen may have a bone ship in the elbow.

“He threw the ball pretty good, warmed up pretty good,” Johnson said. “At the end of the end of the day, he felt a little tenderness in his elbow. So we are going to send him over to Andrews and have him re-examined and see what is causing it. … Hopefully, it’s nothing serious, but it doesn’t sound good to me.”

Prior to Sunday, the last time Storen pitched in a game was in early March. At the time, the team announced that he had “typical arm soreness.” By the end of Spring Training, the team announced that he had inflammation in the elbow and was going on the disabled list, but would be back by the middle of April.

With Storen out of the picture for a while, Henry Rodriguez and Brad Lidge will split the closer’s role.

“With the addition of Brad Lidge, we have even more depth,” Johnson said. “But any time you lose someone like Storen, who saved 43 games, that is a big concern of mine.”

Nats’ Rendon suffers ankle injury

Class A Potomac third baseman Anthony Rendon suffered a badly sprained left ankle while running the bases in a 7-2 loss to Lynchburg on Saturday. X-Rays were negative. It’s not known how many games he will miss.

Rendon hurt the ankle in the fourth inning. After a hitting a double, Rendon was trying to score on a bloop single to center by Justin Bloxom. Rendon went down with the ankle injury after rounding third base.

Rendon is a player who has a history of injuries — he’s had shoulder and ankle problems in the past. But that didn’t stop the Nationals from making him their top pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft.

In 63 games that year, Rendon hit .327 with six home runs, 27 RBIs and an on-base percentage of .520 for Rice University.

Thus far, Rendon has played in two games for Potomac and is 2-for-4 with a run scored.

After talk with son, Nats’ LaRoche has great game

First baseman Adam LaRoche had a game to remember on Saturday afternoon. He went 4-for-5 with a home run, two RBIs and two runs scored in a 7-4 victory over the Cubs.

It came two days after LaRoche went hitless in three at-bats – three strikeouts – and left five runners on base in a 2-1 victory. After that game, LaRoche saw his son, Drake, who became his dad’s harshest critic.

“My son comes up to me and asked, ‘What are you doing?’ I said, ‘You are exactly right. I have no idea.’ So it was nice to come out and just see the ball better today — better pitch selection. I wasn’t chasing the pitches that I was [two days ago]. Another great win. Man, another great win.”

The game on Saturday also showed that LaRoche has recovered from his left shoulder injury, which forced him to miss most of last season. The home run he hit against Cubs right-hander Matt Garza was his first since April 24 of last year.

“[Last year], I had a lot of pitches — even when I was feeling good last year – that should have killed. I would foul them back out to left or not being able to get the bat head to it. I feel a lot better.”

Nats’ LaRoche has key walk in victory

First baseman Adam LaRoche was one person who was happy the Nationals defeated the Cubs, 2-1, at Wrigley Field on Thursday afternoon.

LaRoche went 0–for-3 with three strikeouts and left five runners on base. The Nationals had Cubs right-hander Ryan Demspter on the ropes at different points in the game but couldn’t take advantage of the situation. In the first inning, the Nationals had runners on second and third with one out, but LaRoche struck out and Jayson Werth flied out to right field to end the threat.

Two innings later, the Nationals had the bases loaded with one out against Dempster, but LaRoche struck out and Werth flied out to right field to end the threat.

“That was a frustrating start individually. I don’t know if it was so long that I was too amped up or what,” said LaRoche, who missed most of Spring Training because of a foot injury.

In the eighth inning against Kerry Wood, however, LaRoche drew a walk to load the bases. Werth followed and walked to force home a run and tie the score at 1.

“It was nice,” LaRoche said. “You making them start getting the ball over the plate, which I wasn’t doing early on. It tightens everything up. That’s when you can set it up to get some pitches to drive. Again, it wasn’t done with hits, by we pushed a run across right there.”

Wind at Wrigley hurts Nats’ Zimmerman

The wind was blowing in and that didn’t help the Nationals during their 2-1 victory over the Cubs. Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, for example, likely missed out on two homers in the game.

In the first inning, with runners on first and second, Zimmerman hit a ball that appeared to be going over the center-field wall, but it was caught near the warning track.

In the sixth inning, Zimmerman led off and hit what looked like a solo homer over the left-field wall, but it was caught on the warning track by Alfonso Soriano.

“I had some good at-bats today. … But hopefully, I’ll get some wind-blown homers the other way — maybe,” Zimmerman said. “You can never look at things like that. The truth is they weren’t homers, but more importantly, we won.”

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