As I’m sure many baseball fans have heard, the MLB will be looking to suspend a number of major league players in connection with the Biogenesis lab in Florida ran by Tony Bosch. A number of MLB players including Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez were on a list of notable players that could be facing suspensions. Unfortunately, Washington Nationals ace Gio Gonzalez was also placed on a list of players that received substances from that lab. Continue reading
As is the protocol, the MLB reviewed the ejection of Bryce Harper from last Saturday’s Nationals versus Pirates game in the bottom of the first inning.
Harper was called out on a check swing by third base ump John Hirschbeck. Harper then threw his hands in the air, Hirschbeck followed suit in an almost mocking fashion while walking towards Harper, and the two exchanged words. Harper then turned to return to the dugout and tossed his helmet. After tossing, not throwing, his helmet, Hirschbeck then threw him out of the game.
The MLB reviewed the ejection and decided not rule at all and let things go. Niether Hirschbeck nor Harper received further disciplinary action, much to the dismay of many Nationals supporters, including myself.
Hirschbeck should receive some sort of reprimand for his actions. He threw his hands in the air as if to mock Bryce Harpers reaction, then began to walk towards him in a challenging manner while the two exchanged words, and then muttered something under his breath after he ejected Harper from the game. If you look at the replay, it does appear as if the veteran umpire said something, I’m not sure what, after tossing Harper. But, I don’t think it was very nice.
Personally, I feel that Hirschbeck went on a bit of a power trip and tried to show Bryce Harper who’s boss out there on the diamond. It was almost as if Hirschbeck wanted to make sure that the “young gun” didn’t get to big for his briches and tried to put the young player back in his place, wherever that may be. It would be interesting to see how Hirschbeck would react if a seasoned veteran ballplayer had had the same reaction.
They always say that if you know the umpires name, then he’s done something wrong. I don’t think very many Nationals fans will forget the name John Hirschbeck. Hopefully he doesn’t have a game at Nats Park on his schedule for the rest of the season. I don’t think Davey Johnson will be sending him a Christmas card, either.
- Nationals vs. Pirates: Bryce Harper ejected against Pirates (wjla.com)
- Bryce Harper Got Ejected For Throwing His Arms Up In The Air (businessinsider.com)
- Harper ejected in 1st inning (sportsillustrated.cnn.com)
- John Hirschbeck, Davey Johnson, Roberto Alomar, and Bryce Harper (halfstreetheartattack.com)
- Bryce Harper and the most egregious player vs. umpire incidents of the season (mlb.si.com)
Should the rain subside and the teams take the field tonight at Nats Park, the Nationals versus Tigers game should be one to watch if you love good pitching.
Tonight features two early Cy Young candidates in the Nationals Jordan Zimmermann and the Tigers Anibal Sanchez. Both have gotten off to great starts this season.
For Jordan Zimmermann, the comeback from Tommy Johns surgery is complete. The right-hander currently holds a 5-1 record and a 1.64 ERA. He’s pitched two complete games including a complete game shutout against the Reds. He’s struckout 27 batters while walking just seven and has given up just two home runs all season long.
Opposing batters have had a terrible time against Zimmermann. The Nationals not-so newest ace has held opposing hitters to a .167 batting average and a .75 walks/hits per innings pitched (WHIP).
On the other side of the diamond, Annibal Sanchez carries a just as impressive 1.82 ERA to the mound with a 3-2 record. Sanchez has struckout a staggering 50 batters this season and has walked 11. Opposing hitters are batting .214 against him with a WHIP of 1.06. Sanchez ranks 8th in the MLB in strikeouts.
While both pitchers have been stout, they have their work cut out for them this evening. Jordan Zimmermann will be going against a potent Tigers lineup and the Sanchez will be facing a Nationals lineup that can explode for a multi-hit inning at any time.
For Zimmermann, having a solid outing this evening, should the rain letup, will all but solidify him as a premere contender in the NL Cy Young award race. The Tigers ar tied for first in the MLB in batting average with .285. They lead the league in hits and are second in RBI which means they do a good job of stringing hits together and moving runners around the bases when they get on.
In order to secure the win tonight, however, the Nationals are going to have to string some runs together of their own and that is something that have struggled with this season. The team currently bats .231 collectively and that ranks them third-worst in the league. Their RBI count of 111 ranks them near the bottom at fifth-worst in the league.
Based on the numbers, it looks like Jordan Zimmermann will need a Cy Young caliber night if the Nationals want to win against the Tigers.
Like I said at the start, if you the rain holds off, which it looks like it won’t, tonights pitching matchup is a dandy. Both starting pitchers can pitch deep into ball games and both have a sub-2.00 ERA. This is certainly an early season Cy Young candidate watch game at Nats Park.
- AL & NL Cy Young Races: Darvish, Zimmerman Lead (sidelinemob.com)
- Detroit Tigers (19-11) at Washington Nationals (17-15), 7:05 p.m. (ET) (miamiherald.com)
- Zimmermann, not Strasburg, leading Nats’ rotation (mlb.mlb.com)
Yesterday, the Washington Nationals announced via Twitter that right handed pitcher A.J. Cole of the Potomac Nationals has been named the Pitcher of the Week. The Potomac Nationals are a Class A Advanced affiliate of the MLB club.
#Nationals minor leaguer RHP A.J. Cole has been named Carolina League Pitcher of the Week (April 29th- May 5th).
— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) May 6, 2013
Cole struck out nine and gave up just four hits in six shutout innings against Myrtle Beach (TEX). It was his first win of the season. Cole was selected by the Nationals in the fourth round of the 2010 MLB June Amateur Draft. According to MLB.com, he was ranked the 91st best minor leaguer entering 2013.
In other Nationals minor league news, pitcher Bill Bray has been assigned to Double-A Harrisburg. Bray had been in extended spring training. Since Harrisburg took on Bray, reliever Trevor Holder was been released.
The move comes as a bit of a surprise to some as Holder was a solid minor league relief pitcher. In seven appearances (18 innings total), Holder held a 2.89 ERA and was 1-1 on saves. He had given up just nine runs, six earned, and struck out 13 while only walking four.