|WASHINGTON ( GONZALEZ )|
CLEVELAND ( MASTERSON )
|929||WASHINGTON||+130||Ov 7.5,-115||+125||Ov 7.5,+100|
|930||CLEVELAND||-140||Un 7.5,-105||-135||Un 7.5,-120|
|vs Right-handed Starters||23-26||-8.4||26-21||3.4||0.235||0.290||4.3||0.262||0.315|
|Past 7 Games||4-3||+0.6||2-4||4.1||0.280||0.342||4.4||0.253||0.314|
|vs Left-handed Starters||11-13||+0.2||15-8||4.5||0.254||0.309||4.9||0.244||0.317|
|Past 7 Games||2-5||-2.1||3-4||3.9||0.227||0.276||4.7||0.278||0.357|
|5/31/2013||STRASBURG(R)||@ ATLANTA||TEHERAN(R)||3-2||W||-105||7 ov||U||9||5||0||4||4||0|
|6/1/2013||GONZALEZ(L)||@ ATLANTA||HUDSON(R)||1-2||L||135||7.5 un||U||5||6||0||5||5||1|
|6/2/2013||KARNS(R)||@ ATLANTA||MAHOLM(L)||3-6||L||185||8 un||O||5||3||1||9||9||1|
|6/4/2013||ZIMMERMANN(R)||NY METS||HEFNER(R)||3-2||W||-195||7.5 ov||U||7||6||2||4||4||0|
|6/5/2013||HAREN(R)||NY METS||GEE(R)||1-10||L||-155||7.5 ev||O||10||11||0||15||8||0|
|6/11/2013||HAREN(R)||@ COLORADO||CHACIN(R)||3-8||L||145||11 ov||P||8||8||0||14||7||0|
|6/12/2013||OHLENDORF(R)||@ COLORADO||DE LA ROSA(L)||5-1||W||175||11 ov||U||8||8||1||3||4||0|
|6/13/2013||DETWILER(L)||@ COLORADO||FRANCIS(L)||5-4||W||130||11 ev||U||9||6||1||9||6||0|
|6/14/2013||GONZALEZ(L)||@ CLEVELAND||MASTERSON(R)|| |
|6/15/2013||ZIMMERMANN(R)||@ CLEVELAND||KAZMIR(L)|| |
|6/16/2013||STRASBURG(R)||@ CLEVELAND||KLUBER(R)|| |
|6/17/2013||HAREN(R)||@ PHILADELPHIA||LANNAN(L)|| |
|6/18/2013||DETWILER(L)||@ PHILADELPHIA||LEE(L)|| |
|6/19/2013||GONZALEZ(L)||@ PHILADELPHIA||KENDRICK(R)|| |
|6/21/2013|| ||COLORADO|| || |
|5/31/2013||KLUBER(R)||TAMPA BAY||MOORE(L)||2-9||L||-105||8.5 ov||O||2||2||0||11||5||1|
|6/1/2013||JIMENEZ(R)||TAMPA BAY||ARCHER(R)||5-0||W||-125||9.5 un||U||8||7||1||4||5||0|
|6/2/2013||MCALLISTER(R)||TAMPA BAY||HELLICKSON(R)||3-11||L||-110||9 un||O||11||6||1||14||7||0|
|6/3/2013||MASTERSON(R)||@ NY YANKEES||PETTITTE(L)||4-7||L||105||8.5 un||O||8||9||1||10||7||0|
|6/4/2013||KAZMIR(L)||@ NY YANKEES||PHELPS(R)||3-4||L||125||9 un||U||4||5||1||8||7||0|
|6/5/2013||KLUBER(R)||@ NY YANKEES||SABATHIA(L)||4-6||L||165||8 ov||O||7||3||1||8||6||0|
|6/7/2013||JIMENEZ(R)||@ DETROIT||VERLANDER(R)||5-7||L||190||8 ov||O||10||7||2||12||7||0|
|6/8/2013||CARRASCO(R)||@ DETROIT||PORCELLO(R)||4-6||L||170||9.5 un||O||5||5||0||12||10||2|
|6/9/2013||MASTERSON(R)||@ DETROIT||ALVAREZ(L)||1-4||L||110||9 ov||U||6||6||1||6||6||0|
|6/10/2013||KAZMIR(L)||@ TEXAS||LINDBLOM(R)||3-6||L||130||10.5 un||U||5||5||1||10||7||1|
|6/11/2013||KLUBER(R)||@ TEXAS||HOLLAND(L)||5-2||W||155||9.5 ev||U||11||7||0||7||6||2|
|6/12/2013||JIMENEZ(R)||@ TEXAS||TEPESCH(R)||5-2||W||135||10 ev||U||10||8||0||8||9||0|
|6/17/2013||JIMENEZ(R)||KANSAS CITY||SHIELDS(R)|| |
|6/18/2013|| ||KANSAS CITY||SANTANA(R)|| |
|6/19/2013||MASTERSON(R)||KANSAS CITY||MENDOZA(R)|| |
|6/21/2013|| ||MINNESOTA|| || |
|WASHINGTON: HITTING: The Nats were among the eight worst teams in the majors in runs (3.88 per game), BA (.242), OBP (.309) and OPS (.691). Much of that had to do with the first two spots in the batting order hitting .285 OBP and .283 OBP respectively. OF ROGER BERNADINA (.301 OBP) and SS IAN DESMOND (.298 OBP) were the regular 1-2 hitters in the order. $126 million OF JAYSON WERTH was also to blame, batting .232 with a meager 58 RBI in 561 at-bats. 3B RYAN ZIMMERMAN also missed two months with an abdominal problem and had a down year with 12 HR and 49 RBI in 101 games. But OF MIKE MORSE had a breakout season, leading the Nats in batting (.303), HR (31) and RBI (95). 1B ADAM LaROCHE suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in June, but should be fully healed. Washington is counting on a pair of talented 24-year-olds to contribute a little more in 2B DANNY ESPINOSA (.236 BA, 21 HR) and C WILSON RAMOS (15 HR in 389 AB). |
STARTING PITCHING: STEPHEN STRASBURG is back fully healed from Tommy John surgery, but will reportedly be limited to 160 innings in 2012. That's still enough time to strike out 150 batters and win a dozen games though. In sending four quality prospects to Oakland, the Nats paid a huge price for GIO GONZALEZ. They hope he can overcome his control issues and become an elite No. 2. Well-traveled EDWIN JACKSON was also brought in to help bolster the rotation. He joins his sixth different club since 2008, but Jackson is just 28 years old and was serviceable after being traded to St. Louis last year (5-2, 3.58 ERA). JORDAN ZIMMERMANN was in the same boat as Strasburg last year, coming off elbow surgery and limited to 161.1 innings. But in that time, he had a team-best 3.18 ERA and 4.0 K-to-BB ratio (124 K, 31 BB). JOHN LANNAN remains the top lefty in the Nats rotation with a team-high 10 wins in 2011. He dominated left-handed hitters last year (.211 BA, 55 K in 185 AB), but still needs to improve his weak 1.4 K-to-BB ratio (106 K, 76 BB).
RELIEF PITCHING: DREW STOREN had a phenomenal first year as a full-time closer, saving 43-of-48 games with a 2.75 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 74 K in 75.1 innings. His role will remain the same in 2012 once he returns from the 15-day DL (elbow) to start the season. Newcomer BRAD LIDGE was limited to 25 innings because of shoulder problems last year, but he appears to be the closer until Storen returns. The Nats have arguably the best set-up man in the game in TYLER CLIPPARD, who led the majors with 38 holds and posted a 1.83 ERA and 0.84 WHIP for the season. He held opponents to a .162 average and fanned 104 batters in 88.1 innings of work. Lefty SEAN BURNETT saw a huge decline in his numbers, as his ERA rose from 2.14 to 3.81 and his WHIP jumped from 1.14 to 1.32. This was mostly due to a diminishing strikeout rate (8.9 to 5.2 last year).
|CLEVELAND: HITTING: SS ASDRUBAL CABRERA's reinvented swing, modeled after Ben Zobrist, likely led to his power surge. OF GRADY SIZEMORE is back on a one-year deal, so he has plenty of financial incentive to stay healthy. But he will begin the season on the DL after back surgery. OF SHELLEY DUNCAN is expected to get more playing time in replacing Sizemore, but speedy OF EZEQUIEL CARRERA is also waiting for his shot. Injuries and off-the-field issues spoiled OF SHIN SOO-CHOO's 2011, but there's a good chance he bounces back . . . OF MICHAEL BRANTLEY does everything well enough to get a regular gig in center. C CARLOS SANTANA is developing into a middle-of-the-order run producer. DH TRAVIS HAFNER can't be trusted to stay healthy or to produce power numbers. After another down year, 1B MATT LaPORTA will have to sit and watch CASEY KOTCHMAN start at first more often than not. 3B LONNIE CHISENHALL will get his chance to play every day, but dwindling production the past two years is a concern. 2B JASON KIPNIS will get first crack at second base. He's got nice pop for a middle infielder. |
STARTING PITCHING: JUSTIN MASTERSON's strikeout rate continues to decline, and he still gets hit hard by lefties. Still, his strong groundball rate guarantees he's a solid middle-of-the-rotation arm at worst. His velocity dropped last year, and there's no telling if UBALDO JIMENEZ will ever regain his early 2010 form. He's the definition of high-risk, high-reward. DEREK LOWE was a decent middle-of-the-rotation arm in the National League, but now he must adjust to facing superior A.L. lineups . . . Healthy again, JOSH TOMLIN will remain in the rotation. He's hittable, throwing strikes and relying on his defense. Former Twins hurler KEVIN SLOWEY rounds out the staff. Although he posted a 6.67 ERA last year, Slowey has exhibited pinpoint control in his career with just 84 walks in 532.2 innings, tallying a .470 K-to-BB ratio. JEANMAR GOMEZ is a decent minor league arm, but his ceiling is low (long term and in the immediate future). CARLOS CARRASCO may not pitch in the bigs this year after Tommy John surgery.
RELIEF PITCHING: CHRIS PEREZ is entrenched as the closer, but he was a bit of a disappointment last season. His velocity dropped slightly, and his strikeout rate fell off a cliff. If Perez gets hurt, VINNIE PESTANO is next in line for saves. He may be undersized, but his stuff is overpowering. TONY SIPP proved he can get out righties too, but his value is as a lefty-on-lefty guy. Ditto for sidearmer JOE SMITH, who is deadly on righties. But it would be a surprise if he shut down lefties for a second straight year. RAFAEL PEREZ has been hampered by shoulder soreness in Spring Training, but the lefty should once again be serviceable in the late innings this year.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER NL PREVIEW (WASHINGTON-CLEVELAND) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Nationals-Indians Preview* ===========================
By NICOLINO DIBENEDETTO STATS Writer
Washington (32-32) at Cleveland (32-33), 7:05 p.m. EDT
The Cleveland Indians may be thrilled to return home.
Justin Masterson may be the most relieved.
Coming off a lackluster road trip, the Indians hope Masterson can continue his home dominance in Friday night's series opener with the Washington Nationals.
Cleveland (32-33) opened a nine-game road trip by losing seven in a row before finding some solace in winning the last two, including Wednesday's 5-2 victory at Texas.
"It takes a little pressure off," second baseman Jason Kipnis said. "You get a happy flight home, you get a day off, you get a little momentum on your side, you get to go home for a long homestand."
A nine-game homestand may be just what the Indians need to begin cutting into the 4 1/2-game gap on AL Central-leading Detroit. Hosting an NL foe may be even better since they've won seven in a row in Cleveland in interleague play, batting .341 with 15 homers while averaging 7.6 runs.
The pitching staff has been particularly outstanding in four home interleague wins this year, compiling a 1.25 ERA with the rotation getting each victory.
Masterson (8-5, 3.68 ERA) was responsible for one of them, allowing one run with seven strikeouts in six innings of a 5-2 win over Cincinnati on May 29. He's won three straight interleague starts at Progressive Field, yielding two runs with 25 strikeouts in 22 innings.
The right-hander is 5-1 with a 2.36 ERA in seven home starts in 2013.
Masterson, who is making his first career start versus Washington, hasn't been nearly as effective on the road, compiling an 8.06 ERA while losing four starts in a row, two on Cleveland's recent trip.
Kipnis was one of the few bright spots for the Indians during that stretch, going 11 for 28 (.393) over the last seven games. He kept that surge going with his best performance yet Wednesday, getting three hits while coming a triple shy of the cycle and driving in a run.
Michael Brantley, who owns a .184 average with two RBIs over the past 11 road games, could be sparked with a return to Cleveland, where he is hitting .345 with 10 RBIs in his last eight contests.
The Nationals (33-32) are hoping for a similar result for Gio Gonzalez (3-3, 3.59), who is facing the Indians for the first time since Sept. 1, 2011, with Oakland. The left-hander is 5-0 with a 0.72 ERA in six career meetings, winning all four visits to Progressive Field.
He's needed some help from the lineup lately, going 0-1 with a 2.27 ERA while being backed by 11 total runs over his last six games.
The bats provided him two runs Saturday, while he allowed three in six innings of a 4-3 loss in 11 at Minnesota.
Washington, though, has since won four of five behind a .292 average after winning 5-4 at Colorado on Thursday. Still, the team is 5 1/2 games back of NL East-leading Atlanta.
"We just need to grind it out and stay where we're at and stay within striking distance," said third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who hit his seventh homer Thursday. "And then hopefully once we get going or maybe this is the start of that, where we can have a good 20-game span. Then all of a sudden we're right back in it."
Ian Desmond is doing his part, batting .404 with 12 RBIs during a career-high 15-game hitting streak. He's been particularly impressive over the last five games, going 11 for 18 with eight RBIs after getting four hits and plating a run Thursday.
|Last Updated: 9/1/2014 4:30:56 AM EST|