Results tagged ‘ Joel Hanrahan ’

MacDougal is Nationals closer

The Nationals decided on Saturday afternoon to make right-hander Mike MacDougal their closer and slot right-hander Joel Hanrahan in the middle relief role.

It marks the second time this season that Hanrahan has lost the ninth-inning role. The first occurred on April 28, a day after giving up the game-winning grand slam to Phillies outfielder Raul Ibanez.

Hanrahan would get the role back in mid-May, but the inconsistency remained. In fact, he had given up six runs in his last three innings.

Manager Manny Acta was often frustrated with Hanrahan because Hanrahan relied too much on his slider instead of his 95 miles-per-hour fastball. Some in the organization believe that Hanrahan doesn’t have enough movement on his fastball to get people out on a consistent basis. It appears unlikely that he will get his job back.

As for MacDougal,  he will become a closer for the first time since the 2005 season when he was a member of the Royals.

The Nationals love MacDougal’s 98 miles-per-hour fastball and were pleased with the way he handled Mets pinch-hitter Gary Sheffield in the seventh inning on Friday. MacDougal threw nothing but his four-seam fastball and struck out Sheffield on three pitches.

Hanrahan out as Nats closer

A day after watching the bullpen blow a four-run, the Nationals have decided that right-hander Joel Hanrahan will no longer be the closer and Garrett Mock will no longer be the eighth inning guy.

The team will go with a bullpen-by-committee with right-handers Julian Tavarez and Kip Wells as the late inning guys. Once left-hander Joe Beimel is activated from the disabled list next week, he will most likely be the closer, while Tavarez and Wells become the set-up guys. 

With Mock on the mound, Shane Victorino hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Pedro Feliz and make it 11-8. After Chase Utley singled in Jimmy Rollins, Hanrahan entered the game and couldn’t find the strike zone.

Hanrahan walked both Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth on 10 pitches. Raul Ibanez then came to the plate. Hanrahan felt he had no choice but to throw a fastball to Ibanez. Hanrahan paid the price as Ibanez hit a grand slam. It was Hanrahan’s third blown save of the season.

“I hope I don’t wear out this word, but, again, it was deflating,” manager Manny Acta said. “Our offense just battled all day and scored enough runs. We played so hard for eight innings to score enough runs. You lose the game in one inning, it just tough for the whole team.”

Nats impressed with Citi Field

The Nationals arrived at Citi Field on Friday afternoon and came away impressed with the Mets’ new home.

The Nationals took early batting practice around 2:30 p.m. ET, and realized that the stadium is a pitcher’s park, which pleased closer Joel Hanrahan.

The dimensions are as follows: Left field: 335 feet, left center: 379 feet, center field: 408 feet, right center: 383 feet and right field: 330 feet.

“It’s an upgrade from Shea Stadium,” Hanrahan said. “I saw a couple of games on TV and it looked a little bigger. We actually went out for early batting practice and I asked [hitting coach] Rick Eckstein how the stadium was playing and he said, ‘It’s a big ballpark,’ which is not a problem for me.

“Anytime you know that you are playing in a bigger park, you feel you have extra wiggle room. The Mets are a good hitting team. If you make a mistake, they can still hit it out.”    

The dimensions aren’t the only thing manager Manny Acta noticed at Citi Field.

“It’s beautiful. It’s a state-of-the-art-facility,” Acta said. “That’s the main thing nowadays. When they build one of these new ones, it’s gorgeous. We enjoyed the stadium out there earlier.”

Left-hander John Lannan grew up in Long Island, and while he loves the new stadium, Lannan has a soft spot for Shea. He remembers watching his father, Ed, drive down the Van Wyck Expressway with Shea Stadium always in sight. 

“I miss Shea. It just feels different,” Lannan said. “Citi Field is a beautiful ballpark. I took a run around and saw the Jackie Robinson Rotunda and it’s really cool. I was coming up on the Van Wyck today and not seeing Shea, it was kind of weird because you always saw it. Not to see it this time was kind of weird for me.” 

Hanrahan going to World Baseball Classic

Nationals closer Joel Hanrahan has decided to represent Team USA in the World Baseball Classic on Monday. He will leave for Clearwater, Fla. to join the team.

The news was announced a day after Hanrahan pitched an inning and gave up an unearned run against the Orioles Space Coast Stadium.

Haranhan is in his first full season as the Nationals closer. Last year, he was 6-3 with a 3.95 ERA with 13 saves.