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Team Report - WASHINGTON NATIONALS

The SportsXchange

INSIDE PITCH

WASHINGTON -- August has been called the dog days of summer for many baseball teams, some of whom wilt down the stretch in the heat.

But this month has been the glory days for the Nationals, who are 22-11 since the All-Star break.

And the Nationals have had six walk-off wins in the past two weeks. Three of those game in the four-game sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks in a series that ended Thursday.

But Matt Williams, who has been steady-as-she goes all year, won't let himself get too giddy.

"I understand the importance of ... what we have. I refuse to go too far one way or the other. I love to see them do well," he said after a 1-0 win Thursday over Arizona as Denard Span scored on a throwing error with one out in the last of the ninth.

Bryce Harper began the party at home Aug. 7 against the New York Mets when he hit an opposite field home run off Carlos Torres in the last of the 13th for a walk-off win.

In the past week, catcher Wilson Ramos had a ground-rule double in the last of the ninth to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday.

Scott Hairston was a pinch-hitter in the last of the 11th and drove in the winning run against the Pirates on Sunday.

First baseman Adam LaRoche hit the first walk-off of his career on Monday in the last of the 11th to beat Arizona.

Then Anthony Rendon had a pinch-hit single in the last of the ninth Wednesday to beat Arizona.

"We just have a great group," said Kevin Frandsen, who had a key ninth single to set up the game-winner by Rendon on Wednesday. "Everyone pulls for each other."

NOTES, QUOTES

RECORD: 73-53

STREAK: Won 10

NEXT: Giants (RHP Tim Hudson, 8-9, 3.03 ERA) at Nationals (RHP Doug Fister, 12-3, 2.20 ERA)

PLAYER NOTES:

--LF Nate McLouth underwent season-ending right shoulder surgery Thursday to repair a torn labrum. He hit .173/.280/.237 with one homer and seven RBIs in 79 games for Washington this year.

--SS Ian Desmond got a rare day off Thursday as Danny Espinosa got the start at short. Desmond leads the Nationals in home runs and RBIs. "He wants to play every day. He feels responsible. He does not want to miss any of the Giants series" that begins Friday, said manager Matt Williams.

--RHP Tyler Clippard has blown two leads in the last week but he is still 7-2 with 29 holds with an ERA of 1.95. Clippard has been used a lot in the last week and did not pitch Thursday.

--INF Anthony Rendon got the game-winning hit on Wednesday in the last of the ninth. Then on Thursday his grounder was misplayed in the last of the ninth and Denard Span scored from second on the error by Arizona third baseman Jordan Pacheco for a 1-0 win.

--INF Danny Espinosa got a rare start at short at Ian Desmond got the day off. "He's a really good defender," manager Matt Williams said of Espinosa, who is normally used at second. He was 1-for-4 and is now hitting .214.

--LHP Gio Gonzalez got the start at home Thursday in the series finale against Arizona. Gonzalez reached 100 pitches by the fifth inning in his previous two starts but threw 97 Thursday as he went seven scoreless innings and allowed just four hits. The left-hander had not had a scoreless outing since he went eight innings against the Chicago Cubs at home July 5. "This outing means a lot to me; steps in the right direction," said Gonzalez, who averaged less than five innings per start in his last six outings. "All in all it was a great Nats' win."

--RHP Doug Fister will get the start at home Friday against the San Francisco Giants. He has 74 strikeouts with just 14 walks this year in 118 2/3 innings.

--LF Bryce Harper had two hits Thursday, after he had three hits on Wednesday. Many of his hits are going up the middle, which is a good sign according to manager Matt Williams. Harper is up to .266.

--OF Steven Souza Jr. (right shoulder strain) began a rehab assignment with Class A Hagerstown. He has been on the disabled list since Aug. 10. He is hitting .083 in 12 at-bats for Washington. He had one hit in two at-bats for Hagerstown.

--3B Ryan Zimmerman (right hamstring strain) threw for the first time in pre-game drills Thursday. He has been on the disabled list since July 23. He is hitting .282 in 195 at-bats for the Nationals.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We are just riding it as long as it goes." -- Nationals 3B Anthony Rendon after a win over Arizona on Thursday, the team's 10 straight win overall.

ROSTER REPORT

MEDICAL WATCH:

--LF Nate McLouth (right shoulder inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Aug. 2. He underwent season-ending surgery Aug. 21 to repair a torn labrum.

--OF Steven Souza Jr. (left shoulder contusion) went on the 15-day disabled list Aug. 10. He began a rehab assignment with Class A Hagerstown on Aug. 21.

--3B Ryan Zimmerman (Grade 3 right hamstring strain) went on the 15-day disabled list July 23. He is expected to take part in Instructional League games in Florida in September and return before the season is finished. He threw for the first time in pre-game drills Aug. 21.

--RHP Ross Ohlendorf (right back strain) went on the 15-day disabled list March 21, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on March 26. He began a rehab assignment with Class A Potomac on May 14. He aggravated the injury May 25.

--RHP Taylor Jordan (right elbow soreness) was called up from Triple-A Syracuse and placed on the 60-day disabled list Aug. 5.

--RHP Erik Davis (Tommy John surgery in April 2014) went on the 60-day disabled list Feb. 13. He will miss the entire season.

--LHP Matt Purke (Tommy John surgery in May 2014) was called up from Double-A Harrisburg on July 25 and placed on the 60-day disabled list. He is out for the season.

ROTATION:

RHP Stephen Strasburg

RHP Jordan Zimmermann

RHP Tanner Roark

RHP Doug Fister

LHP Gio Gonzalez

BULLPEN:

RHP Rafael Soriano (closer)

RHP Tyler Clippard

RHP Drew Storen

RHP Craig Stammen

LHP Jerry Blevins

LHP Ross Detwiler

LHP Matt Thornton

CATCHERS:

Wilson Ramos

Jose Lobaton

INFIELDERS:

1B Adam LaRoche

2B Asdrubal Cabrera

SS Ian Desmond

3B Anthony Rendon

INF Kevin Frandsen

INF Danny Espinosa

OUTFIELDERS:

LF Bryce Harper

CF Denard Span

RF Jayson Werth

OF Michael A. Taylor

OF Scott Hairston

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League type:
Free Yahoo League
League size:
10 players
Draft time:
Aug 29 9:00 am
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