Monday, May 2, 2011

Game 28: Giants at Nats

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nats try to take three of four from the Giants tonight at Nationals Park.
The Nationals had planned all season to celebrate Military Appreciation Night during tonight's game against the Giants. Little did anyone know how appropriate that would be. Should make for a compelling scene tonight at Nationals Park.

As a reminder to anyone who doesn't know: Any active or retired members of the military are welcome to show IDs at the First Street SE box office beginning at 5:30 p.m. and receive four complimentary tickets for themselves and their families.

As for the actual game, the Nationals will be looking to win their third game in four days against the defending World Series champs. It's a matchup of left-handers, with Tom Gorzelanny going up against Madison Bumgarner. Slumping Adam LaRoche gets the night off, with Michael Morse at first base, Jerry Hairston in left field and Brian Bixler at third base.

Updates to come throughout the evening...

Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 188
Weather: Cloudy, 72 degrees, Wind 9 mph RF to LF
2B Danny Espinosa
CF Rick Ankiel
RF Jayson Werth
C Wilson Ramos
SS Ian Desmond
1B Michael Morse
LF Jerry Hairston
3B Brian Bixler
P Tom Gorzelanny

GIANTS (13-14)
CF Aaron Rowand
2B Freddy Sanchez
C Buster Posey
LF Pat Burrell
1B Aubrey Huff
3B Miguel Tejada
SS Mike Fontenot
RF Cody Ross
P Madison Bumgarner
7:05 p.m. -- And we're underway with a ball from Tom Gorzelanny to Aaron Rowand.

7:11 p.m. -- Looked like it might be a shaky first inning for Gorzelanny when he allowed a leadoff double to Rowand off the left-field wall. Yet the lefty got out of it unscathed and needing only nine pitches. Thank you, Giants lineup. Especially Buster Posey, who with a man on third and one out grounded out on the first pitch he saw. And you thought only the Nats had those kind of rally-killers.

7:15 p.m. -- And Bumgarner is nearly as efficient in the bottom of the first. He retired the side on 12 pitches, striking out Danny Espinosa and getting both Rick Ankiel and Jayson Werth to ground out.

7:20 p.m. -- Two innings, 17 pitches for Gorzelanny. Can't ask for much better than that so far.

7:35 p.m. -- Really nice work so far by Gorzelanny. Only Rowand has touched him through three innings (first-inning double, third-inning single). Otherwise, he's retired every Giant he's faced. And he remains incredibly efficient, having thrown just 31 pitches (20 strikes) through three. We're still scoreless here.

7:57 p.m. -- Hmm, four innings are complete and the Nationals have yet to put a man on base against Bumgarner. Yep, 12 up, 12 down. If only there was some way to jinx this sort of thing. I wouldn't know how to do that, though. (Oh, did I mention Bumgarner has a PERFECT GAME going here????)

8:03 p.m. -- Not that Gorzelanny has been shabby tonight. He's still allowed only those two hits to Rowand. Otherwise, he's been perfect as well, having completed five scoreless innings on only 59 pitches. Quite the pitchers' duel we've got brewing here.

8:10 p.m. -- Well, what do you know: Wilson Ramos leads off the fifth with a double to deep left. So much for that perfect game. Unfortunately, Jim Riggleman decided to play small-ball and had No. 5 hitter Ian Desmond bunt Ramos over to third. Small-ball is all well and good when your next hitters get the ball out of the infield and drive the runner in. Not so much when both guys strike out (Morse looking at an 0-2 fastball, Hairston on a check-swing). We're still scoreless after five.

8:21 p.m. -- Boy, are these two lefties dealing or what? Three total baserunners between the two teams through six innings. A couple of really nice defensive plays from both squads, including Ankiel and Hairston for the Nats and Fontenot for the Giants. Just an incredibly well-pitched and well-defended game so far.

8:42 p.m. -- You figured the only way someone would score tonight is if someone from the opposition gave them a break. Thank you, Miguel Tejada, who ole'd Ramos' grounder to his left with two outs and nobody on in the seventh. (It was inexplicably scored a base hit, though I'm sure it will be changed to an error at some point upon review.) Whatever the case, Tejada's misplay opened the floodgates for the Nats, who got three straight singles from Desmond, Morse (on the first pitch, nonetheless) and Hairston. All of a sudden, they're leading 2-0, needed six more outs from Gorzelanny and/or the bullpen to wrap this one up.

8:51 p.m. -- Ladies and gentlemen: Tom Gorzelanny. Eight innings, three hits, zero runs, zero walks, four strikeouts. 95 pitches. Drew Storen is warming in the pen if Riggleman wants to summon him. We shall see.

8:58 p.m. -- And we go to the ninth, with Storen entering from the bullpen. He'll face the top of the Giants' lineup: Rowand, Sanchez, Posey.

9:08 p.m. -- Ballgame. Nats win, 2-0. Gorzelanny (1-2) gets his first win as a Nat, tossing eight scoreless innings for the first time since Aug. 12, 2007 ... against the Giants. Storen gets his sixth save in as many chances. And yes, the Nats just took three of four from the defending World Series champs, and would have swept the series had they merely been able to turn nine walks and three hit batters into two runs on Saturday. How about that?


Anonymous said...



NatsJack in Florida said...

Wow!... This is interesting. Desmond 5th and Morse 6th?

And Ankiel has actually hit lefties better than righties. I believe it's because his approach against them is more "make contact" instead of "yank it out of the park".

Not Werth It said...

Ramos at cleanup? I love it. .500 here we come.

Vamos, Ramos!

Anonymous8 said...

If nothing else, Riggleman has lineup imagination. A well deserved day off for LaRoche.

Cwj said...

Taking 3 of 4 from the Giants would be great.

LaRoche definitely needs a day off, but I worry if Morse can handle Desmond's rather interesting throws to first.

Go Nats!

Mark'd said...

Desmond's throws? Cora and Hairston skipped their fair share!

FOTB said...

Just a short follow-up to some comments yesterday about Mark Z covering the Caps occasionally. I'm pretty sure he isn't happy, but, I'm surprised no one else noticed this pattern: He covered the Caps Friday night, they lost and the Nats won (beating the Freak, no less). He covered the Nats on Saturday, and they lost. He covered the Caps on Sunday, they lost and the Nats won. Coincidences? Let Mark cover the Caps for two more games, and we should have him back full-time on the Nats beat.

Andrew said...

Perfect timing for the Nats for Military Appreciation night! I know they planned this a long time ago and it just perfect. I hope the military show up by the 10's of thousands as I am sure the Lerner's would love to see Red, White and Blue all over the stadium.

God Bless America!

Doc said...

Time for Riggleman to put HRod into the BP mix.

He didn't have any problem doing that with lesser talents like Coffey and Gaudin, even if they had more 'experience'.

As often described by other commenters, Riggleman has difficulty getting past the 'old boy network'!

He's using Clip too much, and at some point he'll be abusing Stor. Sorta like Brian Cashman's criticism of Torrey.

Mark'd said...

Yep, Military get 4 tickets total per Military ID so they can bring family and friends.

Doc said...

I missed the Phillies-Mets game where fans in the stands were showing there cell phones with news about Osama Bin Laden biting the dust.

That would have been awesome; wish I could catch up to it---it must have gone on for a few minutes!

Anonymous8 said...

Doc, enjoy it. It was spontaneous and I got chills. Only cool thing Philly fans have ever done.

carolync said...

Who knew the Giants were this bad. I didn't. I'll be disappointed if they don't take the series tonight. Course they could have had a sweep. It would have taken SO LITTLE to win that stinker of a game on Saturday. UGH!

I hope this is a routine day off for LaRoche. I watched him all weekend and thought he looked like it hurt to walk. Goodness knows we need him to catch the adventurous throws from our infielders.

Last post on the first month was great and drew some interesting comments. Very sorry I got home late and didn't get to comment. Perhaps something similar before too long, Mark.

Go Nats!

Doc said...

@Anonymous8: Much thanks for the thread. I'm gonna watch it, and watch it, and watch it!

Your right, we should declare time out in our Nats-Phillies feud---until tomorrow!

natsfan1a said...

FOTB, fyi (I'm just saying):

natsfan1a said...

Uh, I think Mark went to the wrong game again.


May 1, 2011 10:17 PM
Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Maybe they need to send Mark out to take pix at the Caps game once in a while.
May 1, 2011 10:32 PM

natsfan1a said...

And I won't be there but hope y'all show them some love on Military Appreciation night.

Manassas Nats Fan said...

Being a retired Defense department Civil servant, who worked with many of our military personnel throughout my career. I salute you all.

Enjoy the game.

Go Nats

Gonats said...

carolync said...
Who knew the Giants were this bad. I didn't.

Way to give some credit to the Nats. The Giants have exceptional pitching and are struggling at the bat but how's about how well the Nats pitchers, catchers and defense did on shutting them down!

Anonymous8 said...

Pudge was brought up in the previous blog post and I heard Werth complimenting him in a post-game interview yesterday.

If Pudge isn't a trade target where he brings back prospects, it gives Rizzo a nice option to consider making extending Pudge as a backup and trade Flores. I see Flores is doing well in Syracuse and he has to be coveted by many teams.

Having 2 good young catchers is why the Twins considered trading Ramos in the first place so I think if Flores progresses at Syracuse they have Ramos, Pudge, Flores and Norris in the future. It is a good problem to have!

Andrew said...

Bryce Harper 3-3, now batting .355

Andrew said...

.456 OBP for Harper

David said...

The Nats should trade Flores and a decent minor league arm to the Royals for 2B Johnny Giavotella. The kid can rake and he's got a real hitters eye. Do the Royals have a young major league ready catcher that they're high on? and then trade Desmond in a package at the end of the year. Move Espi back to SS, put Johnny G at 2B and he could be our leadoff in 2012. That's what I'd do.

Candide said...

Bumgarner stepping towards home team dugout, planting landing leg, then twisting as he throws across his body... isn't that the same motion that eventually put Detwiler on the DL last year with a bad hip?

Anonymous said...

The "hitless wonders" are at it again tonight.

Manassas Nats Fan said...

Pitching for both teams great. Through 5 both teams are 0 for 2 RISP.

The April stats had the Nats second lowest strikes out. I would love to know how many were called third strikes. Seems the percentage is way too high compared to other teams.

The first pitch to Morse right over the plate. the third a bit inside, but you cannot take it.

JaneB said...

Ankiel! Hairston! Great catches!

Gonats said...

Ramos smashed that ball and Desmond made a really nice sac bunt only to get stranded at 3rd since Morse could make no contact and Hairston was lost also.

Aussie Gus said...

I've got a little project at work that I am hoping the Insiders can help me with. I am looking for great examples of crowd interaction. I know it's not a popular example, but the Braves Chop is a great piece of crowd interaction. Can anyone suggest others from US sport? Doesn't have to be baseball, can be any sport, at any level, as long as I can find an example on youtube. Thanks in advance.

Anonymous8 said...

Aussie, the wave~~~~~~~

Aussie Gus said...

We do the wave down here too.. I was after more club specific examples, if there are any :)

yankish2 said...

Aussie....Hook 'em Horns, push ups after Navy scores a touchdown are a couple more.

RickH said...

Aussie ... As a Tennessee grad, I hate to promote the University of Florida. But they have the "gator chomp."

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

AussieGus, Gotta go to Japan for interactive, coordinated fans. They are top shelf there.

Anonymous8 said...

I have been waiting 28 games to see the Nats make a team pay for a mistake!

Nice!!!!!!!! Personally I would have pulled Gorzelanny for a pinch hitter and turned it to the bullpen. Bases loaded with the pitcher on the hook at the bottom of the 7th is where I would have gone with it.

TimDz said...

Anon8: respectively disagree. Gorz is pitching a gem here. Still has a lot of movement on his pitches. Deserves a shot to continue...
Morse needed that hit in the worst way...

Aussie Gus said...

Thanks guys, great examples! Much appreciated. I found the NY Rangers song after each goal. You guys know how to support a team over there.

Mark'd said...

TimDz, I don't disagree with you except it is a 2 run lead. Nothing to prove. The Nats need the W and Riggleman got lucky with the tying run on base. I think a 3 run lead he stays in the game.

Glad it worked out. I just think Riggleman is bowing to fan pressure to let the starters go longer. It backfired in the Lannan game. Just sayin....

JaneB said...

And in two hours three minutes! VERY efficient!

Hurrah Tom! And fear the beard? How 'bout fear the SLIDER?

dj in Fl. said...

What a great game!
Thanks for dealing with that perfect game situation Mark.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I'm gonna be real stupid and just say it. This is a better team than people give them credit for. Let me be the first to say the Nationals will win 90 games this season...


TimDz said...

Anon8: meant "respectfully..."

My smart phone corrected me....

Nice win boys...

Anonymous said...

Okay, I'm gonna be real stupid and just say it. This is a better team than people give them credit for. Let me be the first to say the Nationals will win 90 games this season...

Hmmm no, not really UNTERP. What is true, however, is that baseball beat writers Ben Geossling and Mark Zuckerman were completely wrong about Tom Gorzelanny. YOu want a #2 guy who can deal after Strasburg? Someone maybe left handed? John Lannan Ben? Hah!!!

Better than a #5 starter that seems a good bet at this point. I'll bet you on that Natsjack.

But it still doesn't mean they are going to win 70 games. They are going to have to deal Marquis (and hopefully Lannan before his value plummets) and then its get ready for 2012/2013 with much better prospects (especially pitchers), less decrepit veterans and a new manager.

David said...

Redskins fight song... duh. There's a lot of colleges with unique songs or chants after a score. Off the top of my head, Tulane has the "a one, a two, a hell of hullabaloo" chant.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

I was surprised ti see Gorzelany considered a #5 on this staff, myself.

Aussie, one of my favorites is the Phoenix Coyotes (NHL) fans, howling along with Warren Zevon on Werewolves of London when the 'yotes score.

JaneB said...

UNTERP, I'm with you. Including on how it's all Desmond's fault. :-)

And I am a convert to Gorzelanny. I was mad we had him instead of Collin, I admit it.

Anonymous said...

Great win.

Aussie, how about when Orioles fans yell "Oh!!!" in unison during the national anthem? I always thought that was cool.

Manassas Nats Fan said...

4 runs in 4 games great job.

I asked for 3 out of 4 and got it. Now lets beat the Phils 2 out of 3 guys.

natsfan1a said...

How about that?

(Anon@10:06 = stirring the pot.)

A DC Wonk said...

Manassas Nats Fan wrote: "I asked for 3 out of 4 and got it. Now lets beat the Phils 2 out of 3 guys."

Which reminds me: Gawd I hate the Phils!! (And the Flyers and Eagles, too!)

The Great Unwashed said...

Just got back from the game. Taking 3 out of 4 from the defending World Series champs feels pretty good, especially after the historic loss on Saturday. Now if the Nats can take 2 of 3 from the Phillies in Citizens Bank Park, I'll start drinking UNTERP's 90 win Kool-Aid.

Grandstander said...

Not to be a Debbie Downer, but to all who are high on Gorzo right now, were you watching the game? He was giving up a lot of fly balls and were it not for some outstanding defense, this could have gone the other way.

I don't mean to take anything away from him, but he is what he is. Quite frankly, I felt like we were playing with house money this game and were lucky to take a win away from the hapless Giants.

If Gorzo can do it again against the Fish, I'll start believing.

As far as not batting for Gorzo in 7th, what amazing batter were we going to put in his stead? Alex Cora? Matt Stairs? Gorzo has as much a chance to get a hit as anyone on the bench. Might as well let him keep rolling.

Anonymous said...

"I've got a little project at work that I am hoping the Insiders can help me with. I am looking for great examples of crowd interaction."

Philadelphia Synchronized Douchebaggery.

Aussie Gus said...

Thanks Insiders for the assistance. Found a couple of great videos that are sure to impress the big man upstairs! Love the howls.

FS said...

Please stop saying 'we took 3 out of 4 from defending world series champs'. While the statement might be true, it does not mean as much because Giants are struggling too. Our pitching beat their pitching, which is great because Giants have one of the best rotations in baseball. Yeah, we should celebrate that fact.

Even after dropping Danny from my fantasy team, he continues to struggle. Glad to know it wasn't me, but the leadoff spot is not suitable for the kid.

Drew8 said...

The kid is an absolute beast.

Games 23

At bats 76

Hits 27

Average .355

HR 6

Doubles 8

Runs 16

RBI 20

SB 4

On base percentage .456

Slugging percentage .697

OPS: 1.153

Let's start working on a nickname now. Since these are already taken -- Splendid Splinter, Iron Horse, Hammer, Say Hey Kid, Mick, Duke...

Would you believe:

The Stormin' Mormon?

Harper Volley TBA?

Bryce Mountain?

But seriously: Eveybody here has waited through the lean years -- and for many of us that included Washington's 33-year nuclear winter.

What a blessed reward it will be when Harper, Strasburg, Cole and the new No. 6 pick join this group.

This is going to be fun.

Dan H. said...

Drew8 Said: "What a blessed reward it will be when Harper, Strasburg, Cole and the new No. 6 pick join this group.

This is going to be fun."

Thanks for the wonderful and imaginative post on an evening we can dream of White Christmases and possible 2011 .500 finishes.

Patience my friends . . . patience.

Manassas Nats Fan said...

I would love to know what Rick Eckstein is doing about the pathetic hitting. I see no evidence that anything is being done.

Post a Comment