Tag: Aaron Barrett

Aaron Barrett Nationals

Nationals lose reliever Aaron Barrett to biceps injury


One day after acquiring right-hander reliever David Carpenter from the Yankees the Nationals have placed right-handed reliever Aaron Barrett on the disabled list with a strained biceps muscle.

Barrett appeared in a team-high 30 of the Nationals’ first 60 games, including five of the past seven games, so it’s possible the heavy workload caught up with him. He has an ugly 5.06 ERA, but it comes with a nice 28/6 K/BB ratio in 21 innings.

Washington’s bullpen was already in need of help before Barrett went down, so this puts a lot of pressure on Carpenter to emerge as a reliable option for manager Matt Williams.

Settling the Score: Thursday’s results

MILWAUKEE, WI - JUNE 11: Scooter Gennett #2 of the Milwaukee Brewers hits a RBI single in the eighth inning against the Washington Nationals at Miller Park on June 11, 2015 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)  *** Local Caption *** Scooter Gennett

Hours after being brought back from the minors, Brewers second baseman Scooter Gennett ended up getting the go-ahead hit last night in a 6-5 win over the Nationals at Miller Park in Milwaukee.

The Nationals actually grabbed an early 5-1 lead on Matt Garza, but the Brewers chipped away against Tanner Roark with two runs in the fourth inning and one in the fifth before Gerardo Parra hit a game-tying solo home run in the seventh. Gennett, who was demoted to Triple-A Colorado Springs last month after batting .154 with a .403 OPS over his first 21 games this season, then hit a go-ahead single off Aaron Barrett in the the eighth before Francisco Rodriguez notched the save.

Everybody keeps waiting for the Nationals to run away and hide in the National League East. While it could still happen, they haven’t lived up to expectations yet. The Nationals have lost 10 out of their last 13 games and currently sit at 31-29 on the year. That puts them a half-game behind the Mets for first place in the National League East. By the way, all five teams in the National League East have a negative run differential. This has been quite the underwhelming lot thus far.

Your Thursday box scores and AP recaps:

Mariners 0, Indians 6

Padres 6, Braves 4 (11 innings)

Rangers 0, Athletics 7

Giants 4, Mets 5

Rockies 0, Marlins 6

Red Sox 5, Orioles 6

Angels 6, Rays 2

Reds 3, Cubs 6

Nationals 5, Brewers 6

Hey, Dan Uggla is good at something!

Uggla Hugs

Dan Uggla is hitting .206/.306/.365 with one home run this year. And he still can’t play defense. The odds of him staying with the Nationals all season are slim and, once he’s released, the odds of him latching on elsewhere are even slimmer, I’d wager. Really, we are seeing the end of his career.

But he is good at something, reports James Wagner of the Washington Post:


Really, that’s the story:

“He’s just a big bicep teddy bear,” reliever Aaron Barrett said. After a grin and laugh, Barrett continued: “The hugs are fantastic. I love it. It’s very comforting.” . . . Uggla is known for his hugs. Freddie Freeman, with the Braves, is perhaps more well-known for his many on-field hugs, but Uggla said he taught that to Freeman. Fans have held up signs at games such as “I Want a Huggla from Uggla” at games. His nickname is, sometimes, Huggla.

Yes, the entire article is about a bench guy’s hugs. What a world.

Nationals still in great position for 2015

Anthony Rendon

Maybe it’s still too soon to take solace, but the Nationals have more answers than questions headed into the winter.

Ex-closer Rafael Soriano excepted, the entire pitching staff is due back next year, including the NL-best rotation of Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Doug Fister, Gio Gonzalez and Tanner Roark. The team might want to talk extension with Zimmermann and Fister, both of whom are free agents after next season, but they won’t have to go starter shopping. Soriano almost certainly will be allowed to walk and Ross Detwiler could also be traded or set free, but the Nationals will still be in good hands in the pen with Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard, Aaron Barrett and company.

It was the Nationals’ lineup that was the problem during the NLDS, but at least the team’s two most important players going forward — Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon — were the two who shined versus the Giants. The Nationals will probably say goodbye to Adam LaRoche, even though he was such an important part of this year’s lineup. Ryan Zimmerman needs to be a full-time first baseman because of his shoulder problems.

That leaves the only question mark as second base. One imagines the Nationals will try to re-sign Asdrubal Cabrera, who is a better option than any others out there in free agency. A trade is also a possibility. The Rays would probably be open to discussing Ben Zobrist, and the Nationals have some intriguing outfielders and hard-throwing right-hander Blake Treinan to use in talks.

But it should really be a rather quiet offseason for the Nationals overall. They’ll enter next spring as the favorites to win the NL East and probably as the favorites to represent the NL in the World Series, though we all know how well that can work out.

Matt Williams’ must-win strategy could use some work

Division Series - Washington Nationals v San Francisco Giants - Game Four

How do you lose a 3-2 game without ever using either of your two best relievers or the No. 1 starter you designated to the bullpen for the day?

Nationals manager Matt Williams used six pitchers in Tuesday’s Game 4 loss to the Giants. None of them were named Tyler Clippard, Drew Storen or Stephen Strasburg.

Williams made the proper move in taking Gio Gonzalez out for a pinch-hitter after four innings, but that was the only time he showed a real sense of urgency in the game. Gonzalez’s hiccup came in the second inning, when he botched a comebacker and then came momentarily unglued, giving up a pair of unearned runs. He was throwing well afterwards, and he was at just 55 pitches, but trying to score runs was the priority in the top of the fifth.

Williams, though, then decided to turn to his fifth starter, Tanner Roark, in the bottom of the fifth rather than his co-ace in Stephen Strasburg. That started the procession: Roark, Jerry Blevins, Matt Thornton, Aaron Barrett and Rafael Soriano.

RELATED: Sick of seeing Cardinals, Giants in NLCS? Too bad

The biggest mistake in there was letting Thornton, a lefty, face Buster Posey with one on and one out with the score still 2-2 in the seventh. Only after Posey singled did Barrett take over, but a righty should have been in the game already That it was Barrett over Clippard was something of a surprise. Not to take anything away from Barrett, who was excellent as a rookie and has a promising future, but with the score tied in the seventh inning of a must-win game, that situation had Clippard written all over it.

Unfortunately, Barrett walked Hunter Pence to load the bases and threw a wild pitch to allow Joe Panik to score. It was then that something truly bizarre happened: Barrett set up to intentionally walk Pablo Sandoval, airmailed to throw home and would up with an out anyway after making a play on Posey at the plate.

At that point, it seemed like a given that Barrett shouldn’t continue. So it was finally Clippard time, right? Nope. On came exiled closer Rafael Soriano with the dangerous Brandon Belt at the plate. At least that all worked out for Williams — Belt lined out to left and Soriano stayed in to pitch a scoreless eighth — but it was still an awfully dangerous choice in a one-run game.

In the end, the Nationals’ NLDS downfall had much more to do with the offense than Williams’ self-destructive pitching changed. Nine runs in four games — essentially five games, since one was 18 innings — isn’t getting the job done. Of course, the Giants also scored nine runs in the series and they’re moving on. That’s not all due to the skippers, but anyone who voted Williams ahead of Bruce Bochy in the NL Manager of the Year balloting should be hiding their heads in embarrassment right now.