Friday, June 3, 2011

Game 57: Nats at Diamondbacks

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Yunesky Maya faces Josh Collmenter tonight at Chase Field.
PHOENIX -- Yunesky Maya's first start of 2011 wasn't particularly impressive. If anything, it bore some significant resemblance to his five starts in 2010, when he labored to get through the fourth and fifth innings and pitched at an extremely slow pace. Tonight, the Cuban right-hander gets another chance to make a better impression, facing a Diamondbacks club that had been hot until Jordan Zimmermann took the mound last night.

Maya will be opposed tonight by unheralded right-hander Josh Collmenter, a 25-year-old rookie who has burst onto the scene here in Arizona, allowing only four runs in four starts to date. Collmenter uses an unconventional delivery -- he throws from straight over the top, maybe even a tad to the left. Thus, he gets great downward action, especially on his breaking balls, something the Nats will have to be ready for.

The Nationals will be without one of their big guns tonight. Jayson Werth, who took an Aaron Heilman fastball off his left elbow in the ninth inning last night, is not 100 percent. So Werth takes a seat, which means the Nats at the moment are without their three top, veteran position players from Opening Day: Werth, Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche.

Plenty of updates to come...

NATIONALS at DIAMONDBACKS
Where: Chase Field
Gametime: 9:40 p.m.
TV: MASN2
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 187
Weather: Clear, 93 degrees, Wind 10 mph out to RF
STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (25-31)
LF Roger Bernadina
SS Ian Desmond
RF Laynce Nix
1B Michael Morse
2B Danny Espinosa
CF Rick Ankiel
C Ivan Rodriguez
3B Jerry Hairston
P Yunesky Maya

DIAMONDBACKS (31-26)
3B Ryan Roberts
2B Kelly Johnson
RF Justin Upton
SS Stephen Drew
CF Chris Young
C Miguel Montero
1B Xavier Nady
LF Gerardo Parra
P Josh Collmenter
8:30 p.m. -- Couple of injury updates: Ryan Zimmerman will begin his minor-league rehab assignment Sunday at low-Class A Hagerstown. More details here, but you've got to believe there's a good chance Zim will be ready to come off the DL before the end of this road trip. ... Meanwhile, Jayson Werth's left elbow is pretty swollen today, so Jim Riggleman decided to keep him out of the lineup. Werth took a fastball from Aaron Heilman right off the elbow in the ninth inning last night. "The issue last night was that it hit the ulnar nerve," Werth said. "It was kind of like hitting your funny bone hard. After a couple of minutes, it goes away. But today we're dealing with the swelling of the impact, I guess, which doesn't always calm down so quickly." Werth said he's pretty confident he'll be able to play tomorrow. He hasn't worn an elbow pad in the past, but: "I will now, for a little while."

8:55 p.m. -- Also, if you're wondering whether the Nats might feel the need to retaliate for the Werth plunking, it doesn't sound like that's going to happen. Talking to some Nats people today, they don't believe Heilman did it on purpose. And talking to some people close to the D'backs, they insist it wasn't on purpose. Heilman's just been that bad.

9:40 p.m. -- We are underway on another gorgeous night here in the Valley of the Sun. It's 95 degrees outside Chase Field, but much cooler inside, even with the roof open.

9:53 p.m. -- Wow, quite a play by Michael Morse and Yunesky Maya to end the bottom of the first. Morse had to go to his knees to corral Stephen Drew's sharp grounder. He bobbled it a couple of times, then made a sidearm throw from his knees to Maya, who got to first base just barely ahead of Drew. It's possible Maya's foot came off the bag before he caught the ball, but the D'backs didn't argue Vic Carapazza's call. Scoreless after one.

10:02 p.m. -- D'backs take a 1-0 lead in the second as Chris Young tattoos a 1-2 pitch from Maya into the left-field bullpen. Not sure exactly what the pitch was, it was 81 mph and sinking down and in, a change-up perhaps.

10:21 p.m. -- Leadoff double from Ivan Rodriguez in the third ... and he never advanced beyond that. Found it particularly interesting that Maya was swinging away during his at-bat instead of dropping a bunt.

10:30 p.m. -- Speaking of Pudge, he just made another perfect throw to second to thwart a stolen base attempt. Nats catchers have now combined to throw out 14 of 33 runners this season, a 43 percent rate that leads the majors. Nats still trail 1-0 after three.

11:15 p.m. -- Hoo-boy. Where to begin? Well, for starters, Maya couldn't get through the fifth inning. It began with a walk to the opposing pitcher and ended with a plunking of Upton. That loaded the bases with one out and Drew at the plate. So out went Maya and in came Doug Slaten. With the bases loaded. In a one-run game. It didn't stay that way for long. Slaten fell behind in the count 3-0, then left a meatball right over the plate to Drew, who crushed it about 415 feet to the deepest part of the ballpark. It didn't go out, but it did result in a three-run triple. Just like that, the D'backs lead 4-0.

11:32 p.m. -- Meanwhile, the Nats have amassed a total of three hits in six innings against Collmenter. Two singles and a double. And they've failed to advance any of those three runners so far.

11:54 p.m. -- I have no idea if it's been intentional or not -- I really don't believe it has been -- but the Nationals have now plunked Justin Upton three times in two days. Maya did it in the fifth tonight, and Cole Kimball just grazed him with a fastball in the seventh. You've got to believe the Diamondbacks are going to retaliate at some point. But here's the thing: With Werth out of the lineup, who would be the guy to get it? Nix? Morse? Espinosa?

12:03 a.m. -- Well, if nothing else the Nats don't have to deal with Collmenter anymore. He's done after seven shutout innings. David Hernandez now on for the top of the eighth, still 4-0 Diamondbacks.

12:12 a.m. -- Not that things got any easier with Hernandez on the mound. 1-2-3 eighth, with Matt Stairs flying out to fall to 3-for-35 and Roger Bernadina striking out to end the inning.

12:19 a.m. -- A nice 1-2-3 inning from Henry Rodriguez, including back-to-back strikeouts. If only this guy could find some semblance of consistency. We go to the ninth, Nats down 4-0, with left-hander Joe Patterson on the mound for Arizona.

12:25 a.m. -- That'll do it. Quite an uninspired 4-0 loss to the Diamondbacks. Yunesky Maya falls to 0-4 with a 6.43 ERA in seven career starts. The Nats put four total men on base in the game. None of them advanced even one base after reaching. Morse's hitting streak, by the way, came to an end at 11 games.

79 comments:

Doc said...

If Maya is the best we can bring up from the minors, we're still in farm system Trouble, with a bigger T than I can post here!

Get the BP ready early to-night!

josh f said...

Uh oh. Hope this is just a day-to-day problem for Werth...

JayB said...

day to day....with Nats....out for 8 weeks is what history tells us....Nats would be better served to just say he is taking the night off.

WhatsaNattaU said...

If Ray Knight was right that Heilman hit Werth on purpose to set up the double play, I would expect a Arizona hitters and middle infielders to be open season tonight.

Manassas Nats Fan said...

Lets make it 4 in a row boys.

SonnyG10 said...

I'm with you Manassas Nats Fan...4 in a row! Go Nats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

KC5 said...

That's disturbing news about Werth. Hope they took X-rays.

Don't want this to be a lingering problem and I sincerely don't want there to be any head hunting going on between these two teams. That's a good way for someone else to get hurt.

BinM said...

@Doc: I'm willing to give Maya a couple more starts before I hit the panic button. He wasn't necessarily the best, but the most ready for a call-up. I'd like to see him work a little quicker on the mound; Maybe Pudge behind the plate tonight will get him up to speed.

In terms of replacements (should Maya not work out long-term), Stammen is on the 40-man in Syracuse & posting decent numbers, while Brad Meyers (RH) and Tom Milone (LH) are both posting some eye-popping numbers between Harrisburg & Syracuse.

Should Rizzo & Riggleman decide to make a change for Meyers or Milone, someone like Carr, Mock, or Severino would have to get DFA'd & pass through waivers first.

JayB said...

Mock? Really are we worried about losing Mock on waivers? I though we had improved way past those days right?

josh f said...

Trevor Bauer or Bubba Starling, Nats fans - who would you rather have and why? Those are the two names most commonly tied to the Nats at pick 6 in Monday's draft right now.

BinM said...

If the series turns into a chippy, head-hunting duel, that's going to be more on Gibson [AZ mgr] than Riggleman, imo. Riggs has the experience & common sense not to escalate; Gibson, on the other hand (2-sport player in college, rookie Manager in MLB), might over-react, thinking this is a 'bonding moment' for his team. We'll see how it plays out.

BinM said...

@JayB: Not worried about losing any of the guys I listed in the least; I begged for Mock to be gone at the end of Spring Training. Just listing them for those who might not be familiar with the 40-man roster.

Anonymous said...

Bubba Starling has committed to Nebraska to play quarterback. I'd imagine it's going to take a hefty bonus to get him signed, more than he's getting at Nebraska (wink). I saw him play quarterback in the fall on ESPNU and the kid's a freak. Biggest, strongest, fastest kid on both sides of the ball. Looked like Cam Newton.

Harper is Awesome said...

I would like to see the Nats show some emotion and play a gritty, chippy series. It worked out quite well anyways if Werth is not seriously hurt. He needed a days rest and it came against a righty. Does anybody question why we need three left-handed outfielders?

Wally said...

Josh - give me Starling. Law's mock today had Starling at 6 and Meyer at 23. I would be thrilled with that outcome.

Anonymous said...

Everyone is so all-fired up about Harper getting to the
majors. And right before our eyes a superstar might
just be forming. Espinosa is taking a leadership role
in this offense while still learning to adapt to switch
hitting in the majors. You folks should be watching?
All of this Harper ROY stuff and he's in Hagerstown?
Think about it? Harper isn't a switch hitter. Harper will
never field like Espinosa. Neither will Zim for that matter.
There is a reason why many opposition scouts who saw
Espinosa said ROY in ST! This kid is that good! He can
hit for power like Zim and Harper. He is faster than both.
He is probably a better shortstop than Desmond. He could
end up with a higher WAR than Zim, Harper, and perhaps
even Strasburg! Forget Harper for now let Rizzo's player
development work with him. Watch Espinosa become perhaps
the best middle infielder in DC baseball history.0

JaneB said...

It seemed so clear the Werth was plunked. A high visibility plinking, at that. With the baseball pedigree he owns, there should be a plunk in return. I see an early entre tonight for HRod. The question is, will that end it?

I hope Maya can stay steady till the BP can take the reigns. He shows a troubling lack of focus when he starts getting guys on base.

It's been such a pleasant few days of winning. I have really enjoyed it and want the wins to continue.

Go Nats!

bgib said...

If they really want to know what is or isn't wrong with Werth, they should send him somewhere outside of the organization for a second opinion right away.

Manassas Nats Fan said...

@ Big Cat

Is your new phone able to text yet. I sent you important information on the local regional high school championship game. The local team beat the distant team 8-2.

Now your phone working so we can talk Nats ball tonight.

FYI Big Cat and I went to high school together, back when Frank Howard was our hero.

Anonymous said...

Has FP Santangelo been Dibbled? Where is he these days? And didn't he just take a weekend of recently? What gives?

JaneB said...

Mark Z, glad to know Heilman is bad and not mean. Thanks!

masnstinks said...

All that bragging about Morse not making any errors - and , poof - that was a close one! No more jinxing things!

Unkyd said...

Manassas&Big Cat: y'all are just a few years older than me, then. Hondo was my hero when I was in elementary. And Casey Cox was my PE teacher in 4th(?) grade...(I think I already dropped that name, a few weeks ago?) How cool it was to have an actual Big League ballplayer as a teacher, in the offseason!!

Unkyd said...

BTW... Watching... For the first time thus year, tonite!!! Staying over, dogsitting... GO MAYA!!!

natsfan1a said...

Checking in on the game thread before toddling off to bed. Re. FP, Bob mentioned the other day that he left the game early due to another commitment. Missed the start of the game last night, but evidently it's more than a one-day thing.

Anonymous said...

Yeesh next we'll be talking Dick Such, Jim Hannan, Jim French, Don Mincher, Dave Nelson, Rick Reichardt, etc.

A lot of those guys couldn't pitch or field worth a damn and today would be AAA not even AAAA unfortunately. Del Unser went forth to help the Phillies and other teams but after Coleman and Bosman.

kgwcoach said...

Went to school and played Freshmen baseball at Cal State Los Angeles while Casey was there.

Anonymous said...

Missed the start of the game last night, but evidently it's more than a one-day thing.

Ben Goessling who works with him said he'd be back for the series after the Diamondbacks ... in other words one of his favorite places: SF.

Manassas Nats Fan said...

Lets not get into the bad habit of RISP again. 0 for 3 that inning.

Manassas Nats Fan said...

@unkyd

Does the name TOm Bradley ring a bell? He went to our high school then went to Maryland, and then played for the Giants and White Sox for 10 years. In the winter he would substitute back at the school while we were there.

Big Cat was one of our star players and played in the minors in the Mets organization.

Grandstander said...

Not to jump all over the guy, but I wonder if it might serve us well to turn Maya into a long reliever. With Gaudin and Broderick gone we don't really have one. Could add some value to the team there.

RickH said...

Manassas Nats Fan ... One of my daughters graduated last year from the "local school" you mentioned. Oldest daughter graduated from and youngest daughter still goes to BDHS.

baseballswami said...

Between the unorthodox pitching for the dbacks and maya pitching for us, this could be a very disturbing game. So far - it's just kind of awkward baseball. Or is it church-league softball?

Manassas Nats Fan said...

Don't tell me Cy Young has reappeared again. This guy wandered the minors for 5 years for the D-Backs.

Grandstander said...

Here it comes...

If we're going to have a guy in there who can't throw strikes, let's at least have him throwing 100 miles an hour. Bring in HRod!!!

Manassas Nats Fan said...

@RickM My kids graduated from the team that beat your team in the district championships. Big Cat has 2 daughters who graduated from another local high school with a very similar name. His son is on the JV there,

The new coach at BHS is outstanding.

As for the nats hitting arggggg back to making no names look great.

Grandstander said...

Well, for those who wanted redemption, there it is. Thought Upton was gonna charge the mound for a second there.

Les in NC said...

thats the game folks... bringing Slaten in to work through his troubles...

Grandstander said...

Wow, totally didn't expect that to happen! Slaten's been so dependable lately...

Can't put that one on Riggs, that was a good move. Hard luck triple on a 3-0 pitch.

Anonymous said...

wow. thanks riggs. My mom could have green lighted that.

Anonymous8 said...

People, how long do we have to endure this guy SLaten? 15 of 30 inherited runners have scored. Come on Rizzo........

Anonymous said...

Why Slaten? Riggs should have just waved a white flag.

Stranded_in_Philly said...

Why is Slaten still on this team? Why is Maya still on the ML roster?

Unkyd said...

God. Slaten is nothing, if not consistant.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessismistic_For_Me said...

Isn't there another LOOGY on the face of this earth to face left-handed batters other than Doug Freaking Slaten?

Manassas Nats Fan said...

What on earth is Slaten doing at the major leagues? He has now allowed 15 of 30 inherited runners to score. Nix's great play on Wednesday saved 3 more from scoring. A reliever who cannot come in and stop the other team most of the time has no busy in the majors. Lefty on lefty is not worth it with him pitching, but again Riggleman has not canned him (or Rizzo which ever is accurate). I would.

Les in NC said...

I'm pretty certain I could have hit that meatball hard enough to bring in at least 1 base runner.

I'm pretty sure I detected some frustration from Pudge that Slaten couldn't hit the zone with his first 3 pitches.

Gonat said...

Mike Rizzo says, "We've created the bullpen to become a strength of the club. We feel comfortable with the present guys that we have in the bullpen. We feel that we have several players that can contribute as a bridge to the ninth inning. As you look down the bullpen roster, you see players having very good years, and with the exception of a few isolated outings, the bullpen has performed admirably. It has gone from a deficiency to a strength over the last couple years."

OK, Mike, there is one more exception for you!

SCNatsFan said...

How do you justify keeping Slaten on this team. Funny to listen to the DBacks announcers talking about his ERA... then they just about choke on themselves when they see the percentage of inherited baserunners that score.

C'mon management, send the team a message... stop rewarding lack of performance with a gentle pat on the shoulder and start clearing out the dead wood on this roster. Please. Let us know you are seeing what we are seeing and you are just as mortified by this type of performance from a guy who is just supposed to get one type of hitter once every couple of games.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Ray Knight is ripping Maya for throwing too many breaking pitches, walking the opposing pitcher in a 1-0 game and for just generally not being a big league pitcher. Very honest. Very accurate. What is this stiff doing up here?
Man, Detwiler, Mock, et al must really be stinking up the joint in SYR if this is the best guy we could call up for Gorzy.

Drew8 said...

Memo: To Mike

Subject: Maya and Slaten

Action: Maya con dios

Manassas Nats Fan said...

I totally blame Riggleman. This guy has proven to be terrible when he comes in with people on base. He has no business being on the team. Your better off letting Maya pitch.

You thought Slaten was getting better. One game where the bases are left on because of a great play by the Outfielder, You are too easy to satisfy I would say.

Anonymous8 said...

What a job by Coffey. 1 out and a man on 3rd. Keeps his 0.00 inherited runners from scoring streak alive and that looked like a tall task on this outing.

Remember the call months ago for Detwiler to be a lefty stopper. How different would things be if that happened.

JaneB said...

What you all are saying! Maya is the same Maya he was in the bugs last year and in the minors since. And Slaten has these results every time. The other team mus be thrilled to see him. Surely there are other guys we own who are with gambling on, given the sure (negative) results we get with these two?

Unkyd said...

Wow. Coffee's bigger than David Wells... Gits it done, though.

Slaten&Stairs: the only things we all agree on...

Gonat said...

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...
Ray Knight is ripping Maya for throwing too many breaking pitches, walking the opposing pitcher in a 1-0 game and for just generally not being a big league pitcher. Very honest. Very accurate. What is this stiff doing up here?
Man, Detwiler, Mock, et al must really be stinking up the joint in SYR if this is the best guy we could call up for Gorzy.

June 3, 2011 11:21 PM
________________________________

Based on WHIP and scouting, Maya was the top rated guy in Syracuse which isn't saying much. Detwiler really fell off the face of the earth.

This is squarely on Rizzo to get the talent here. Riggleman wisely gave Maya some rope but truly, how do you walk the opposing pitcher to start an inning?

Choice for LOOGY is Slaten. Rizzo hasn't replaced him. For all we know Riggleman has been begging for a replacement and Rizzo has told him NO! By the way, that outing had no effect on Slaten's ERA as his guy on 3rd never scored. Just a joke.

As fast as Bruney was exorcised last year, you have to wonder if Kasten was the extra eyes to do that. Why won't Rizzo DFA these losers?

Les in NC said...

So who is going to start the facebook page...

Slaten and Stairs Must GO!!

Manassas Nats Fan said...

Cy Young has only given up 3 hits in 6 innings now. I thought the hitting was getting better, but they have back slid terribly so far tonight.

Anonymous8 said...

Riggleman gave Morse a big smile on that catch. Did you all see that! Read into that one! LOL

Manassas Nats Fan said...

Cy has only walked 5 now in 42 innings. Only 2 batters have gotten to 3 balls tonight. Note to many Nats. That is what your suppose to do.

Note to batter when you have a person who pitches mostly breaking balls swing at fastballs right over the middle. Little movement on the fast balls, but few have been swung at.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what the team batting average would be if you took Stairs and Ankiel out pf the equation?

Drew8 said...

If you're looking for a bright spot, Derek Norris cracked two homers and drove in three tonight for Harrisburg.

He's hitting .245 with 8 homers to go with his on base percentage, which is now up around .380.

It will be interesting to see how his future shakes out -- as part of a tandem with Ramos, or as trade fodder. Rizzo doesn't seem inclined to switch his position.

Grandstander said...

If you take out Stairs and Ankiel, the teams BA moves from .234 to .239. That's actually quite a bit of movement from someone who was just out for 3 weeks and a pinch hitter.

Oh, and Manassas Nats Fan, regarding your comment at 11:21, I was being sarcastic. I thought I was laying it on pretty thick, but I guess not thick enough. Not even the cheerleaders can defend Slaten at this point.

Grandstander said...

Haha, almost as if to mock us he sends up Stairs to make another out. I need a spot start in my NL-only league tomorrow. I was wavering between Livo and Saunders. Tonight made my decision easier.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Table for four for Messrs. Maya, Slaten, Ankiel and Stares...Please pick up the white courtesy phone.

Anonymous said...

Not Ankiel, Bixler!

Manassas Nats Fan said...

Good Gossage looked good for the D-Backs in 8th.

Stairs did his thing again. (Honestly do Rizzo and Riggleman really think he should be on the team?)

BallstonNat said...

we are a Slaten appearance away from a 1 run game. Why aren't things as obvious to the higher ups as they are to us. And nice pinch hit by our man Stairs.

Les in NC said...

I have seen the best the bullpen has to offer (Slaten) and now the bench (Stairs), so I can go ahead and go to bed now.

Night all.

Maybe we can get 'em tomorrow.

Manassas Nats Fan said...

@Grandstander, sorry I missed the implication. I just get so furious when I see Slaten come in the game. I have no clue why there isn't someone in the organization they can trust more than him.

Gonat said...

Has MASN stopped airing the Riggleman commercial of Small-ball no Smart-ball!

Grandstander said...

At this point, I just want the DBags to retaliate and plunk Werth tomorrow and maybe we can see a brawl or something. We've got some big dudes on this team, can't hit a baseball, try a person!

To the few who stayed up to watch this massacre, good night!

Anonymous8 said...

Now that the game is over. Here is the current Slaten tote board:

Games in which he allows any inherited runners to score: Nats are 1-7

Games in which he doesn't allow any runs to score: Nats are 6-9

Manassas Nats Fan said...

I have created the Group "Slaten and Stairs Must GO!! "

Join if you like.

Anonymous said...

I'm a tech ignoramus; how exactly does one join this group (or is this a joke?) :)

Anonymous said...

a search on face book and it should come up,

Nattydread said...

OK. A loss. Bats are sleeping (Usual complaints about Stairs, Ankiel...).

Positive takeaways?

3.2 good innings, 6Ks from Coffey, Kimball, Rodriguez.

Zimmerman one day closer. Clippard, Storen available for June 4th.

natsfan1a said...

Unhappy game results email. Bummer. Back to the drawing board. Nats assignment for today, should you choose to accept it. Head down the tunnel to the visitors dugout. Look for an object known as a "bat rack." Get yourself a piece of lumber and go to town. See you at 8:10 tonight (I'll need to drink a boatload of coffee first).

Also, re. bright spots, how about some love for Coffey? Seems to me that before his DL stint there were plenty who were not enthralled with him (heck, I may even have been one of them).

UNTERP.NAT said...

Seriously Riggleman has to stop pairing left handers against left handers until he gets a lefty who can get outs. Let his best do the job, Kimball, Rodriguez. Riggleman can be so mechanical it's frustrating...

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