MLB

Sat, Apr 27, 2013 - 1:05 PM ET
 

Reds-Nationals Preview

Share This Story

   
 

As unimpressive as the Washington Nationals' starting pitchers had been lately, their performances against the Cincinnati Reds this week couldn't have been much better.

Dan Haren, looking to turn around his own struggles, gets the next shot at Cincinnati's recently anemic offense Saturday in the nation's capital.

Washington's rotation was 2-7 with a 4.78 ERA in its previous 10 outings entering this four-game set.

The Nationals (12-11) ended a four-game skid with a series-opening 8-1 win Thursday as Gio Gonzalez gave up one hit through eight innings. Their offense didn't break out in similar fashion Friday, but it didn't need to as Jordan Zimmermann limited the Reds to one hit in a 1-0 victory.

Zimmermann needed only 91 pitches to record his first career shutout, as the Reds (13-11) were held to one hit in back-to-back games for the first time since July 5-6, 1900, against Brooklyn.

"My guys, if they attack hitters like the last two days, it's going to be a problem," manager Davey Johnson said of his pitchers. "I don't care, good hitting team, bad hitting team."

Johnson would like to see Haren (1-3, 7.36 ERA) take the same approach, as he walked as many batters in his last start - three - as Gonzalez and Zimmermann in the last two days combined.

Haren did yield a season-low six hits Monday in a loss to St. Louis, but he still hasn't gone longer than five-plus innings this year and is averaging a career-worst 20.2 pitches per inning.

"I have to just stay positive," Haren told the team's official website. "It's been eating at me, it really has. This week, I tried to make a conscious effort to have more fun out there and not to put so much stress on myself. I want to do well more than anybody."

Haren was already blasted by Cincinnati for six runs and nine hits, including a career worst-tying four homers, in four innings of a 15-0 loss in his season debut April 5.

But the Reds, 1-7 on the road, don't currently appear capable of producing anything close to that. They've lost three of four while totaling four runs and 16 hits. Cincinnati averaged 5.6 runs in 20 games prior to that stretch.

Brandon Phillips, the team leader with 21 RBIs, was hitless for the fourth straight game Friday. Shin-Soo Choo, leading the majors in on-base percentage at .505, didn't reach base for the first time this season.

"Things go in streaks and sometimes there's no explaining why," manager Dusty Baker said. "We went through this last year. There was a streak when you couldn't buy a run and another streak when you get all the runs you need or want, or even more than you want. Right now we're in that can't buy a run phase."

Cincinnati hopes to pick up its offense in support of Mike Leake (1-0, 3.81), who posted two subpar starts to begin the season but has since had two good ones as he allowed two runs over 14 innings.

Leake will need to turn around his recent struggles against the Nationals, who scored 11 runs in 9 1-3 innings against him last season. He wasn't much better against Washington on April 6, giving up four runs - all on two homers - and walking four over six innings in a 7-6, 11-inning loss.

Bryce Harper homered off Leake in that game and is 3 for 6 with three extra-base hits in this series.

Jayson Werth is 6 for 15 off Leake, including 2 for 3 earlier this month.

Tagged: Reds, Nationals, Dan Haren, Jordan Zimmermann, Mike Leake

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



MLB Videos

Bautista talks Derek Jeter's final All-Star Game Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Jose Bautista discusses Derek Jeter's career and his final appearance in the MLB...

Jeter honored to play in last All-Star Game Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Derek Jeter compares his first All-Star Game experience with his last, Mike Trou...

Matheny defends Wainwright: He's out there to compete Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Mike Matheny comments on the media's reaction to Adam Wainwright's joke about le...

SimLeague Baseball - Simulation Baseball Game

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Yankees/browse/featuredproduct/606363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_606000/ff_606363_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash
    Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/1064043/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1064000/ff_1064043_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Gray http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067359/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067359_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room Pullover Hoodie - Steel http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067382/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067382_xl.jpg&w=100 54.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room 39THIRTY Flex Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067785/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067785_xl.jpg&w=100 31.95 New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Ro..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068294/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068294_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Bl..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice Performance Jersey - Black/Orange http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068787/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068787_xl.jpg&w=100 94.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice P..