Nationals

Beninati: New Captain, Center

Beninati: New Captain, Center

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

By Joe Beninati
Capitals Play-By-Play

The Caps bestowed a new title on their best player and then followed the lead of a new center throughout the night.Were it not for Carey Price in the Montreal goal, the Caps could have had a couple of first period markers. Instead they settled for a scoreless 20 minutes, one in which they played a very sound defensive game.The home team had the puck a lot, which meant the Canadiens' sharp shooters could not have any fun for themselves. New captain Alex Ovechkin played almost nine minutes at top speed in the first frame. Alex accepted thecaptaincy with grace, acknowledging that his teammates wanted no one else to be recognized as their leader.

But it was the other Alex, Alex Semin, who had the big game. Semin's energy level was through the roof all game long, and his two goals were scored on shots that few people on earth could stop.

Bruce Boudreau played a hunch and put Tomas Fleischmann at center tonight, and in
conjunction with Semin and Brooks Laich the trio rewarded him. Fleischmann will have to adjust to the defensive responsibilitiesof playing center, but he's always had the puck moving skills to play the middle. He seemed to be in good position throughout the night and the coaches will praise him for it.Everything Eric Fehr touches against Montreal goes in this year. Fehr was the recipient of akind bounce just like Montreal defender JoshGorges in the second period. I liked the physical nature of that frame. The Caps come outof their shell when they're challenged physically, and their top performances this year have come when their hit total is high.Tom Poti was exceptional tonight. He was paired with Jeff Schultz and played a much more visible offensive game.It sounds like there's good news coming soon for Brian Pothier's return. Which means the back line will be bolstered.

Michal Neuvirth earns another victory in goal and you'd have to think he gets another starting nod Thursday against Ottawa.
Click here to read more on Ovechkin's Captaincy

Quick Links

Donaldson's 9th-inning single lifts Braves over Nats 4-3 despite Robles' heroics

robles_usat.jpg
USA Today Sports images

Donaldson's 9th-inning single lifts Braves over Nats 4-3 despite Robles' heroics

Donaldson's 9th-inning single lifts Braves over Nats 4-3

ATLANTA -- Josh Donaldson's bases-loaded single off Fernando Rodney in the ninth inning lifted the Atlanta Braves over the Washington Nationals 4-3 on Friday night after Luke Jackson allowed a tying, two-run homer to Victor Robles in the top half.

Ronald Acuna Jr., who had three hits, led off the bottom of the ninth with a walk off Rodney (0-3) and took second on Dansby Swanson's single. Freddie Freeman walked on four pitches, loading the bases.

Nationals manager Dave Martinez brought in left fielder Juan Soto as a fifth infielder, including three on the left side against the right-handed hitting Donaldson.

Donaldson hit a 2-0 pitch over Robles to center-field warning track, and the Braves boosted their NL East lead to 6 games over the second-place Nationals. Atlanta had lost its previous five home games against Washington.

Robles' homer went 446 feet to left, giving Jackson his seventh blown save in 24 chances.

Julio Teheran gave up one hit through five scoreless innings and retired 14 consecutive hitters before pinch-hitter Gerardo Parra singled with one out in the sixth. Anthony Rendon chased Teheran with a two-out RBI single.

Nationals left-hander Patrick Corbin couldn't win on his 30th birthday while paired with catcher Yan Gomes, who turned 32. Corbin and Gomes became only the second pitcher-catcher tandem to start together on their birthdays since 1900, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Chicago Cubs pitcher Dave Hillman and catcher Jim Fanning did it against Pittsburgh on Sept. 14, 1957.

Corbin allowed two runs and eight hits in five innings. He struck out Ozzie Albies with the bases loaded in the first and fanned Albies to end the fifth with two out.

Albies hit a two-out double in the fourth and scored on Austin Riley's double. Freeman was 2 for 20 in his career against Corbin before his RBI single in the fifth.

Acuna's RBI double against Tanner Rainey gave the Braves a 3-1 lead.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Nationals: RHP Max Scherzer, on the 10-day IL since July 10 with an injury originally announced as a mid-back strain, was given a cortisone shot on Tuesday to address inflammation in the bursa sac under his right shoulder blade. Scherzer still has some discomfort and must throw a bullpen session before cleared to pitch in a game. With Scherzer unavailable, RHP Austin Voth is expected to start in Sunday night's series finale.

Braves: RHP Patrick Weigel, who had Tommy John surgery in 2017, was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett to make his major league debut Saturday. RHP Wes Parsons also was recalled from Gwinnett. RHPs Kyle Wright and Touki Toussaint were optioned to Gwinnett.

UP NEXT

Nationals: RHP Anibal Sanchez (5-6, 3.71) is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in two starts this season against the Braves, his former team.

Braves: Rookie RHP Mike Soroka (10-1, 2.24) will try to win his sixth straight decision on Saturday night. The 21-year-old right-hander became the youngest pitcher in franchise history to be selected an All-Star.

MORE NATIONALS NEWS:

Quick Links

A timeline of Tommy Sheppard's moves as interim Wizards GM

A timeline of Tommy Sheppard's moves as interim Wizards GM

The Wizards are naming Tommy Sheppard their permanent GM after he served in the role on an interim basis since April 2. 

Let's take a look back at the moves which earned Sheppard the long-term GM job:

April 2: The Wizards fire GM Ernie Grunfeld. Tommy Sheppard takes over the role on an interim basis. 

June 20: The Wizards select Gonzaga forward Rui Hachimura with the No. 9 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Later in the evening, Washington acquires Jonathan Simmons and the draft rights to Tennessee forward Admiral Schofield from the Philadelphia 76ers. Simmons was placed on waivers on July 7.

July 5: The Wizards acquire Moritz Wagner, Isaac Bonga, and Jemerrio Jones, and a 2022 second-round draft pick as part of the deal which sent Anthony Davis to the Lakers. 

July 6: The Wizards trade Dwight Howard to the Grizzlies in exchange for C.J. Miles and acquire Davis Bertans from the Spurs in a three-team deal with Brooklyn and San Antonio, sending the draft rights of Aaron White to the Nets. 

July 7: The Wizards re-sign center Thomas Bryant on a three-year deal and trade guard Tomas Satoransky to the Bulls for a 2020 second-round pick.

July 9: The Wizards sign guard Ish Smith to a two-year deal.

July 10: The Wizards sign guard Isaiah Thomas to a one-year deal. 

MORE WIZARDS NEWS: