Sunday, June 5, 2011

Game 59: Nats at Diamondbacks

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The roof at Chase Field was open this morning but will be closed for the game.
PHOENIX -- Shut out the last two nights, the Nationals return to Chase Field this afternoon trying to salvage a series split with the Diamondbacks. For their sake, at least they get to face a right-hander today in Ian Kennedy.

Not that the Nats have hit any kind of pitcher this season, but they've particularly struggled against lefties (.214 average, .295 OBP). They're even worse against lefty starters (.208 average, .286 OBP). So with Kennedy on the hill for Arizona, Jim Riggleman is able to use left-handed hitters Roger Bernadina, Laynce Nix and Alex Cora.

Jason Marquis starts for the Nats, seeking his team-leading seventh win. There's only one other pitcher on the staff with four wins, and that's Drew Storen.

Plenty of updates to come...

NATIONALS at DIAMONDBACKS
Where: Chase Field
Gametime: 4:10 p.m.
TV: MASN2
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 187
Weather: Sunny, 100 degrees, Wind 6 mph out to RF (Roof closed)
STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (25-33)
CF Roger Bernadina
SS Ian Desmond
RF Jayson Werth
LF Laynce Nix
1B Michael Morse
2B Danny Espinosa
C Wilson Ramos
3B Alex Cora
P Jason Marquis

DIAMONDBACKS (33-26)
LF Willie Bloomquist
2B Kelly Johnson
RF Justin Upton
SS Stephen Drew
CF Chris Young
C Miguel Montero
1B Juan Miranda
3B Melvin Mora
P Ian Kennedy
4:10 p.m. -- We are underway with a strike from Ian Kennedy to Roger Bernadina. It's 95 degrees outside, 75 inside Chase Field.

4:16 p.m. -- Very quick top of the first for Kennedy. He got three groundballs out of Roger Bernadina, Ian Desmond and Jayson Werth. Sixteen pitches, 13 strikes.

4:23 p.m. -- In Hagerstown today, Ryan Zimmerman and Bryce Harper were all set to hit back-to-back in the Suns' lineup. And they did ... for one inning. Zim drew a walk in the bottom of the first, but Harper then was hit with a pitch in the foot or ankle and had to be removed from the game. CSN has a crew there shooting the game; I'll be sure to pass along whatever info/footage they've got.

4:29 p.m. -- Back here in Phoenix, Jason Marquis labored through the bottom of the first, but he escaped unscathed after allowing an infield single to Kelly Johnson and then walking both Stephen Drew and Chris Young. Came up big with a two-seamer on the inside corner to Miguel Montero to end the inning, still scoreless.

4:47 p.m. -- Really strange top of the second. Six Nats came to the plate and only one put the ball in play (Danny Espinosa, who singled). Michael Morse and Alex Cora walked. Laynce Nix and Wilson Ramos struck out. That left the bases loaded for Marquis, obviously a good hitter. But with the count 2-2, he check-swung at a pitch way inside that actually hit him. Third base ump Vic Carapazza said he went around for the strikeout, then Marquis (and later Riggleman) argued the ball hit his bat first. Tough to tell from replays whether the pitch hit the bat or Marquis' wrist. Either way, it's a strange end to a strange inning, with the game still scoreless after all that.

5:01 p.m. -- Stop the presses! The Nationals have scored! Werth lofts a sacrifice fly to right to score Bernadina in the top of the third, ending a 20-inning scoreless streak. The inning quickly deteriorated from there, though, with Desmond getting picked off first base on a snap throw by Miguel Montero, then Nix flying out to right. So the Nats lead 1-0 heading to the bottom of the third.

5:42 p.m. -- Middle of the sixth now, still 1-0 Nationals. There was some potential controversy in the fifth when Werth was plunked by Kennedy and plate umpire Rob Drake issued warnings to both benches. Riggleman wasn't happy, believing his team had done nothing wrong in this series (despite Justin Upton being hit three times in two games). Shortly after, Kennedy grazed Morse with an inside pitch, and Riggleman threw out his arms toward Drake, asking why the pitcher wasn't ejected. Clearly, Kennedy wasn't throwing at him on purpose. But what's the point of a warning?

5:55 p.m. -- Payback. Marquis drills Upton in the back with one out and one on in the bottom of the sixth, and he's immediately ejected. So is Riggleman, who had to be by rule because of the previous warning. Marquis threw his hands out as if to ask why on earth he would be ejected, pointing at the scoreboard to show this is a tight game. Well, that argument's not going to work. The bigger issue is why Kennedy and Kirk Gibson weren't ejected after Morse was hit following the warning (even if it was a grazing). Meanwhile, Tyler Clippard has entered from the bullpen and now faces a big spot: two on, one out, heart of the D'backs lineup up.

6:03 p.m. -- And Clippard does what he does best: Struck out both Drew and Young to escape the jam without allowing a run to score. He's allowed only six of 30 inherited runners to score this season. Nats hanging onto the 1-0 lead after six.

6:10 p.m. -- And now Kennedy throws one way high and a bit inside to Werth, who stared him down. Wound up getting robbed by Kelly Johnson on a liner to second. We've reached the seventh-inning stretch, still 1-0. Clippard back out to pitch another inning.

6:20 p.m. -- Wow, has Clippard been good or what? Two more strikeouts in the seventh, giving him four in a span of five batters, all of them swinging. That's impressive. Still 1-0 heading to the eighth.

6:28 p.m. -- Now Espinosa is drilled in the back by reliever Esmerling Vasquez, who is immediately ejected (along with Kirk Gibson). Espinosa had to be held back by plate umpire Rob Drake. If you're keeping track, that's nine combined batters hit by pitch in this four-game series ... so far.

6:33 p.m. -- You know, Aaron Heilman may have started this whole thing back on Thursday night when he plunked Werth. Well, payback's a you-know-what. Mr. Heilman: Meet Mr. Ramos. Three-run bomb to left. Nats take a 4-0 lead.

6:37 p.m. -- Wow, Clippard gets to hit for himself and is now back out for the eighth. He's already faced five batters, striking out four. Has thrown 19 pitches, 18(!) of them strikes.

6:46 p.m. -- Couple more strikeouts for Clippard in the eighth, giving him six in a span of seven batters. But then Kelly Johnson launched one off the left-field foul pole. So it's now 4-1 with two outs in the eighth, and Drew Storen has entered to face Upton. Don't think there will be a beaning here.

7:11 p.m. -- Oh, my. Complete meltdown by Storen in the ninth. He allowed two singles and then walked both Montero (who came within a couple feet of a game-tying homer) and Miranda (on four pitches). That forced in a run, making it 4-2, with the bases still loaded. And now John McLaren has yanked Storen and summoned Todd Coffey, who makes perhaps the biggest sprint in from the bullpen in his life to face Melvin Mora with the bases still loaded.

7:15 p.m. -- Sac fly from Mora, making it 4-3 and putting the tying run on third. McLaren comes out again and pulls Coffey, bringing in Sean Burnett to face pinch-hitter Sean Burroughs. Except the D'backs are countering with Xavier Nady.

7:22 p.m. -- Burnett got what he needed: a groundball to short. Unfortunately, it was hit just a tad too softly, and Desmond and Espinosa weren't quite able to turn what would have been a game-ending double play. So it's now tied 4-4 and we're going to play extra innings.

7:32 p.m. -- Double for Danny Espinosa in the 10th, and he even stole third with two outs (not sure whether that was worth the risk). Didn't matter, though, because J.J. Putz struck out Ankiel, Morse and Ramos. We go to the bottom of the 10th, Burnett still in for the Nationals.

7:44 p.m. -- Let's go to the 11th! Burnett nearly got another double-play grounder that would have ended the 10th, but Upton came up with a big-time takeout of Espinosa to break up the turn. Clean play, though he might have been a bit high and late with his slide. No matter, Burnett got Chris Young to fly out to end the inning.

7:50 p.m. -- You know what's been missing from this game? A fan running on the field. Oh wait, it just happened.

7:58 p.m. -- You know what else this game was missing? A bases-loaded walk by Rick Ankiel against a left-handed reliever in the top of the 11th. Oh wait, it just happened. Nats lead 5-4.

8:00 p.m. -- You know what else this game was missing? A grand slam by Michael Morse off the batter's eye. Oh wait, it just happened. Nats lead 9-4.

8:04 p.m. -- You know what else this game has been missing? Henry Rodriguez being given the ball for the bottom of the 11th, up five runs. Oh wait, it's happening right now. Hang tight, folks. This ain't over yet.

8:08 p.m. -- In easily the craziest game of the year, perhaps the craziest thing of all was that Henry Rodriguez retired the side in the 11th. Nats win, 9-4. My game story may be 5,000 words long.

178 comments:

SonnyG10 said...

Go Nats! Let's salvage a split.

natsfan1a said...

Works for me. Marquis usually gets good run support, so let's score some and break out of that hitting drought!

sjm308 said...

Hard to wake up and not have a fresh croissant for breakfast, even harder after watching last night. Taking two from the top team in the West would be sweet. We have to start hitting at sometime.

Go Nats!

Mark'd said...

Hope the Nix fan club is happy!

FS said...

Come on Nats. Score some runs. You are in one of the most hitters-friendly parks.

Anonymous said...

Hope the Nix fan club is happy!

This team has been shut out NINE TIMES! NINE? Nix is one of the best hitters on the roster this year. His fielding is pretty damned good in the outfield?

Do you have any better ideas? Oh what about Rick Ankiel? Sheesh.

Meanwhile the Pirates about to hit .500.

Anonymous said...

The Nationals continue to look for a center fielder, and B.J. Upton of the Rays is one of their targets, according to a baseball source.

This was posted in Ladson's blog:

Nats continue to have interest in Upton

Upton, a Virginia native and Ryan Zimmerman’s childhood friend, is considered an excellent defensive center fielder, but is having a down year at the plate, hitting .230 with seven home runs and 28 RBIs.

However, according to the source, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo believes a change of scenery would help Upton’s career.

This would provide Riggleman with the ability to have a "platoon-able" outfield instead of three left-handed outfielders you would have Upton to go with Bernadina. Both are about the same age, similar talents. One bats left the other right.

This would make Ankiel the odd man out unless the trade were to include Nix (I'm hoping its Ankiel).
I don't think Riggleman would go for losing Ankiel.

JaneB said...

Sitting at the Suns, just taking in the dozens of Zimm jerseys worn by people of all ages. Modern dance show in left field. Now: Harper and Zimm playing catch. Wow. Go suns! Go NATS! rehab fast Ryan!!!!

Will said...

I don't know in what world Bernadina even holds a candle to Upton.
Bernadina's range in CF is quite poor, consistently putting up awful defensive numbers. Upton has consistently been very good in CF.
Upton has a much better bat than Bernadina too. While he strikes out too much, keeping his average down, he sports a career .154 ISO. Bernadina has a career .118 ISO. Add in the fact that Upton walks much more frequently than Bernadina (11.3% to 7.9%, respectively), and it's pretty clear that they're similar players in age only.

Will said...

Also, neither Bernadina nor Upton have extreme platoon splits.

The difference between righties and lefties is .029 OPS for Bernadina, and .065 for Upton.
Also of note, Upton's OPS against RHPs is .736, while Bernadina's is .666, so it would be disadvantageous for the Nats to ever start Bernadina over Upton.

Eugene in Oregon said...

It's all clear now -- the Nats have been holding onto Stairs to trade straight-up for a slumping Upton!

dryw said...

JaneB, Zim and Harper playing catch would've been worth the trip to Hagerstown! Now I'm wishing I'd joined you. Cheer them on for me, too, please....

MicheleS said...

JaneB... Make sure you take lots of pictures and share! Also, updates of RZim progress would be appreciated!!!

JaneB said...

Bryce Harper HBP can't play rest of game. Nonkidding.

JaneB said...

Zimm looks fine by the way. AJ Cole fanned three. Took a while fir Hatper to stand... I couldn't tell if it wad foot or ankle...

MicheleS said...

Hopefully the kid is okay!

NatsJack in Florida said...

Watching on line. It looked like the lower ankle.

JayneB.... is the music as obnoxiousin person as it is on line?

dryw said...

Yeah, I hope Bryce is ok! JaneB, you're just going to have to enjoy the first Zim sighting in far too long....

dryw said...

Ok, I can breathe again! Jason, don't do that to us again, ok?

MicheleS said...

JaneB...WaPo just posted that RZimm will only play 5 innints...

NatsJack.. Any sign of Stras? Or are they keeping him under wraps in FL?

Anonymous said...

Riggleman wouldn't necessarily platoon Upton and Bernadina. The point is he would have 2 right handed outfielders in Werth and Upton.

Two left handed outfielders in Bernadina and Nix.

Let's assume you are right about Upton (I tend to agree) and Ankiel is the odd man out.

BOTH Bernadina and Upton still have significant potential upside. That is due in large part to their ages 26) and athletic prowess. At this point in his career Bernadina isn't performing up to Upton but he has barely gotten a chance to start. Barely.

Someday Bernadina could conceivably outperform Upton. That is still an unknown.

JaneB said...

Harper just walled to club house under his own steam. I'll shut up now. music is...kitchy. Watching those guys have a catch was priceless. NOW I'll shut up.

NatsJack in Florida said...

MicheleS..... he's still throwing bull pen sessions and should start throwing BP in about a week.

MicheleS said...

Thanks NatsJack.. Have been watching the replay of the first StrasMas on the DVR since it has not been good to watch live games

NattyNation said...

swing the bats. for the love of god take the bat off your shoulder and swing it.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Zim just doubled to right center. I say he's ready.... bring him on.

Manassas Nats Fan said...

That ball clearly hit the bat. What does the ump need to call that?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know the record for consective innings and games without a run scored?

NattyNation said...

mark grace just said on tv that marquis' at bat was the worst AB he had ever witnessed in his life...

Anonymous said...

Looks like it hit him in the hand or thumb not the bat. Mark Grace: "worst at bat he's ever seen in his life".

Anonymous said...

Zim just doubled to right center. I say he's ready.... bring him on.

Probably makes sense ... seems like the chances of getting injured in the minors might be higher than the majors given what I've been seeing.

MicheleS said...

Woo Hoo! We got a run!!!!

NatsJack in Florida said...

JaneB.... how you liking that 19 year old A.J. Cole?

NatsJack in Florida said...

UH oh.... spoke too soon.

JaneB said...

NatsJack, I LOVE him! This Kelso kid is fun too. But Cole is exciting. All the people disappointed in no Harper are missing the real show. 'Cept fir the dinger ge just served up...

NatsJack in Florida said...

At least he gives up solo shots. No walks in front of them. I can live with that.

JaneB said...

Zimm slid in feet first to third base. Triple. He is fine and we need him now.

NatsJack in Florida said...

And now a triple for Zimmerman, to right center again.

Anonymous said...

Put Zimm and Harper on a bus and bring them to Washington.

NatsJack in Florida said...

JayneB... was that him sliding into the plate on the out? I had to step away for a secondand only saw the slide.

NattyNation said...

i hope someone has the cahones to plunk upton in the elbow his next time up. both benches got warned it looks like tho.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, meanwhile in other parts of the minors, those closest to the majors: Jesus Flores hit his 10th home run, Matt Antonelli playing SS today raises his average to .383 (Ian better be looking over his shoulder) and Detwiler pitched well in a winning cause.

Anonymous said...

For the record. Jesus Flores has 2 home runs.

NattyNation said...

I respect Marquis a lot for that. He's sticking up for his team. I'm shocked the benches didn't clear...doesn't anyone have any fire on this team?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not rooting for a fight, but the way things are going I'm shocked it hasnt happened

MicheleS said...

Please Clip.. keep this one close!

MicheleS said...

Upton is big fat baby... what an acting job. Love when Ray gets riled up!

NatsJack in Florida said...

After watching it again, Ramos set up low and away. Marquis doesn't miss his spot that much. Stupid situation to be retaliating but.... oh well.

NattyNation said...

I really like how Marquis tried to motion to the scoreboard like he didn't do it intentionally...it was pretty obvious. I just hope Clip can keep this lead

Anonymous said...

For the record. Jesus Flores has 2 home runs.
The box score listed it as 10. Sorry.

MicheleS said...

CLIP ROCKS!!!

Anonymous said...

Stupid situation to be retaliating but.... oh well.

I'm not so sure ... Marquis has to know Riggleman would likely double-switch him out fairly soon with a score of on 1 - 0. Its not like he is going to pitch a complete game.

Andrew said...

Zim went 2 for 2 in Hagerstown with a walk. Now gets to rest. BHarper HBP and out in the 1st inning.

Gonat said...

Ray Knight so no way was that intentional from Marquis.

Manassas Nats Fan said...

The home plate ump sucks.
Mark interview him after the game. I want to know who gave him mind reading powers. Morse got hit accidentally too,

Please do it.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Great job Clip! Plus all the Riggleman haters won't have him to blame for late inning decisions.

Anonymous said...

AZ color announcer Mark Grace agreed with Marquis's retaliation. However, he did say the consequences are what they are. Marquis is no long pitching a gem.

Gonat said...

Try again. Ray Knights doesn't think that Marquis hit Upton intentionally. It doesn't make sense at that point in the game with a 1-0 lead.

Anonymous8 said...

NatsJack in Florida said...
Great job Clip! Plus all the Riggleman haters won't have him to blame for late inning decisions.

June 5, 2011 6:08 PM
___________________________

I was thinking the same thing. He has Nix in there today and where are all the Nix supporters?

Anonymous said...

Ray Knight so no way was that intentional from Marquis.

Ray Knight needs to stop being such a homer. He's a Cincinnati Red not a Nat anyway? Can't wait for FP to come back. Grace has been better as a color analyst.

Gonat said...

Nix is 0-3 against the Rightie today. All lefty position players have hits today except Nix but everyone thinks he is a .500 hitter. He is having a solid season but probably will play 4 to 5 times a week so every time he sits out will we have this discussion?

Nattydread said...

Clippard.

Expect it.

Anonymous8 said...

I can take Ray Knight as a homer but sheesh, all the talking he does about himself is ridiculous. He does it more than Dibble did and that is hard to do.

Gonat said...

Glad I helped Nix there. LOL Nice double.

Right idea, wrong player said...

What were you all saying about Nix? Want to talk some Mike Morse now?

Anonymous8 said...

Come on. Nix should have been in position to tag up there and get to 3rd.

Steve said...

Ray is "flippin' " out.

MicheleS said...

You know that Ray is doing everything in his power not to curse

Unkyd said...

As long as Nix bats .300, and he sits so some Mendoza cousin can flail.... Yes, Gonat... The perfectly valid point will be made.

Gonat said...

A shame Danny couldn't have stepped forward and cause a Wild Pitch and get Nix to 3rd.

MicheleS said...

Way to go WILSON!!!

Nattydread said...

Ramos.

Yes!

Unkyd said...

Hey! There's that catcher guy we havnt heard much from, the last couple weeks!!!
Woot!

Gonat said...

Unkyd, yes, he will sit vs. Lefties since he can't play CF and will split time in LF with Bernadina on some days.

Personally I think Bernadina has to play every game vs. RHP in CF and Nix in LF but we all know that Ankiel will find some PT.

The Nats are rumored to be trading for Upton and giving the Rays a LH outfielder and most likely Bernadina + prospects.

josh f said...

Keeping an eye on this with ESPN GameCast during a meeting - what a mess of a game. Vamos Ramos!

Anonymous said...

Grace thinks Matt Williams is about to go ballistic. Sheesh two big former power guys on the AZ coaching staff.

If the benches empty watch for Matt Williams to lead the charge. He didn't care for the Ramos slow trot.

MicheleS said...

I think that Dbacks series in August will be interesting.....

Andrew said...

Unkyd said...
Hey! There's that catcher guy we havnt heard much from, the last couple weeks!!!
Woot!

June 5, 2011 6:34 PM
_______________________________

That's my guy. He needed that one and the Nats needed that one!

fpcsteve said...

I just got in and ran through the Gsmecast plays after I saw Arizona's pitcher and Gibson get tossed. What is with Gibson? It is a wonder they didn't have a brawl before now. As a pastor I try to see the best in people but to use a phrase, he is such a punk. Set up the Ramos bomb. Nice! Sorry for being late to the conversation.

Anonymous8 said...

I don't like overusing Clippard. Didn't the coaching staff learn anything from early April?

You have a 4 run lead and plenty of fresh arms.

Anonymous said...

The Nats are rumored to be trading for Upton and giving the Rays a LH outfielder and most likely Bernadina + prospects.

Both Sam Fuld and Matt Joyce bat left so I don't see the Rays wanting Bernadina? Makes no sense. If Upton is traded they would likely replace him with top prospect Desmond Jennings.

It would be pitching ... and possibly catching.

Anonymous8 said...

fpcsteve, it has been a plunk fest. Marquis and Riggles gone to.

MicheleS said...

Time to bring in Storen....

Gonat said...

Anon @ 6:42. I don't disagree with you. That is what the rumor is in the package and of course Norris.

I said the last time the rumors started that Rizzo should not take the trade based on Tampa wanting too much.

Anonymous said...

What is with Gibson? It is a wonder they didn't have a brawl before now.

The scary guy right now is former Giant's third bagger AZ coach Matt Williams ... the guy is really steaming. If a brawl happens and that guy leads ...

JD said...

Nats Jack,

I disagree with you. Having Werth's back is more important than winning the game in this situation. Marquis just scored a lot of points with his teammates I,m sure.

MicheleS said...

And let's face it.. this team needs a little fire in the belly, they have been playing dead the last few games...

Anonymous said...

I said the last time the rumors started that Rizzo should not take the trade based on Tampa wanting too much.

Norris' bat has woke up in AA. So, if Norris is included the Rays will have to give up more than Upton. Believe it. But, they have plenty and then some of prospects with 12 more top guys coming in this year's draft. If there's one team that can be generous prospect-wise its the Rays.

In any case, point is, it will be more about the prospects Rizzo has been eying and less about Upton.

Mark'd said...

Anon8, good call on Clippard. They could use him in Sf. Why burn him?

NatsJack in Florida said...

I really liked the slow showboat trot by Ramos. This top of the 9th could be interesting.

Gonat said...

NatsJack, isn't that Ramos top speed? He is a catcher! ;-)

Anonymous said...

BTW, another possibility: the TB Rays need a shortstop. Brignac didn't work batting .167 but he may be more of a second bagger. Desmond might fit. It had better not be Espinosa! And Antonelli is looking pretty good up in Syracuse so ...

Anonymous8 said...

Hagerstown holds on for 6-5 win and AJ Cole's 1st win.

So, does Ryan Zimmerman need a few more games or does he head West now?

Anonymous said...

NatsJack, isn't that Ramos top speed?

Ramos did foul that pitch off of his knee earlier ... still ...

Mark'd said...

I would have Zim on a plane now.

Gonat said...

Bernadina would have caught that one. Haha

Anonymous said...

I would have Zim on a plane now.

Be nice if Upton joined him.

Anonymous said...

Time to bring in H-Rod. That'll make Matt Williams sit down and shut up.

Gonat said...

Oh my Storen.........

Anonymous said...

H-Rod time. C'mon McLaren ...

Anonymous said...

2 PB on Ramos today.

Unkyd said...

Ummmmmm... Thad a lit of baserunners, Drew... Cut it out!!!

Anonymous8 said...

Time for Coffey

Anonymous said...

H-Rod. H-Rod. H-Rod. H-Rod.

Anonymous said...

Its Coffey.

Anonymous said...

Now, this is where you might consider putting Pudge in on the double-switch.

Manassas Nats Fan said...

Storen's pitches were terrible. I called for him to be pulled one batter earlier. Not sure what his problem is today. Couldn't find the strike zone the last two batters.

FS said...

I can not watch this.

Gonat said...

Here's my thought. Clippard should not have come out for the 8th and agree with Anon8 said long before that inning with Clippard was over so he wasn't saying that in hindsight.

Should have been Burnett or Coffey in the 8th. Drew Storen should have started a clean 9th. It seems this constant need to bring in a closer once it turned to a 3 run lead for a save seems to make that some sort of a cool thing to do.

Stay with clean innings when you can IMO.

Gonat said...

Nats need to get them quickly in extra innings.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if they'll use H-Rod for the 10th or if they'll stick with Burnett? H-Rod is more capable of going 2-3 than the others based on how he was used in Syracuse.

Gonat said...

Anonymous8 said...
I don't like overusing Clippard. Didn't the coaching staff learn anything from early April?

You have a 4 run lead and plenty of fresh arms.

June 5, 2011 6:40 PM
__________________--

Amazing, you wrote that 40 minutes ago. I don't get these guys. Cruising with a 4 run lead.

Manassas Nats Fan said...

Thanks Storn. You face 4 guys and can't get one out.

thanks Ankiel to slow to catch a ball. then we are told of your great arm, but it is not great enough to keep a man on second on a fly to medium deep center.

I have no problem with Coffey or Burnett.

McCalren left Storen in too long and we all know that.

WilliamTells said...

New and horrible ways to lose? Expect it.

Anonymous said...

Forgot they brought in Ankiel ... just great ...

Pull the trigger Mike Rizzo and try to put Ankiel in the trade package somehow.

Anonymous said...

Why the f is Ankiel in this game? Should have been Nix at the plate in the 10th.

Steve said...

Wait. Did Ray just call this a "playoff atmosphere"?

Anonymous8 said...

The question is why was it so necessary with the bases empty to bring in Storen for the 3rd out in the 8th.

Why with a fresh bullpen did Clippard have to come out for an extra inning?

baseballswami said...

Ankiel for Nix - and extra innings? Oh, boy - You know , just when I think the nats have found every possible way to lose in the most painful ways possible, they find another one. Storen is young and has been wonderful, offense finally scored some insurance runs and BAM! brick wall time. Marquis must be crying in the locker room somewhere after the job he did. This is so distressing - I need to go breathe into a paper bag.

Anonymous said...

You know if they lose this game it could have the opposite and equal effect of that 2-1 victory over the Phillies.

Pull the trigger Rizzo.

Gonat said...

Where is Craig Stammen?

Anonymous8 said...

Could this be the game where Stairs hits his HR?

Gonat said...

They brought in the lefty reliever so they wouldn't see that HR hitter Matt Stairs!

Msrk'd said...

Small ball smart ball.

Anonymous8 said...

Small Ball, I love it!!!! Crank up that MASN commercial!!!!

Gonat said...

That's why Bernadina should have been here all year. The small (ball) things!

Anonymous said...

They are going to put Werth on and pitch to the only hitter who has been worse than Desmond: Ankiel.

WilliamTells said...

That at bat by Desmond was little league. From a bad little leaguer. And now they walk Werth to get to automatic out Ankiel.

Gonat said...

ANKIEL!!!!!!!!! Come on Morse!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

So, what was that about Morse and Nix again?

Gonat said...

WOW!!!!!!!!!!!! That is HUGE!!!!!!!!! That was Morse coding!!!!!!!!

Arizona doing stupidity like we are used to!!!!!

Anonymous said...

AZ announcers still complaining about call on Bernadina. Just shows how speed gives the advantage to close calls as well!!!

Eugene in Oregon said...

Why, even now, am I still nervous?

Will said...

Wow. I have to say, that was all very unexpected, and distinctly un-Nationals.

Anonymous said...

Its one game but this one they had to win or else fold the tent, this season was done. But somehow they did it. Ankiel took a walk instead of swinging away as per usual. Took the pressure off Morse and then a shot to dead center.

JaneB said...

I LOVE THEM!!! I love them! Take THAT DBacks!!!

Will said...

I'm only watching the gamecast, but why was Paterson not ejected for hitting Espinosa?

Anonymous8 said...

How much did Morse need that after yesterday's game and that last at-bat.

It is all about confidence with most players and Morse and the Nats needed that!!!!

MicheleS said...

I turned it off when Ankiel was at bat... BUT I LOVE MORSE!!!!!

And HROD is on!

WilliamTells said...

MORSE CODE. Now just find a way to dump LaRoche in the offseason.

Manassas Nats Fan said...

Thanks Morse. Now hold them

HabsProf said...

Hmm. I am not watching or listening - just following the game online. All I know is Danny got plunked by Paterson. The pitcher then went on to pitch to Ramos. Was he not ejected? Was it that obvious that he did not mean to hit Espinosa?

After all the HBP earlier, after the warnings, after subsequent HBP and ejections, this guy gets to plunk the next batter after he yields a grand slam? Seems fishy to me.

Someone who actually saw the play - please explain. Was it an obvious accident?

Gonat said...

WilliamTells said...
New and horrible ways to lose? Expect it.

June 5, 2011 7:26 PM
_________________________________

I hope William Tell and his merry men go to another site.

BethesdaFan said...

Morse hits a BIG grand slam --- and they hit the next batter with a pitch --- and no one get thrown out ????????????????

Unkyd said...

CURLY!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Someone who actually saw the play - please explain. Was it an obvious accident?

By the rules they should have thrown him out. This is probably a case of the umpire deciding its time to end this game as quickly as possible before anything else happens.

josh f said...

EPIC WIN - I AM SO HAPPY RIGHT NOW. Mike Morse with the KO blow to deep center. This is the kind of win that keeps you watching this team. Enjoy it, everybody!

Rabbit said...

Bums got lucky. We won't see much until next year. In just a little while Morse will lose the first base position.

natsfan1a said...

That was one crazy game, but we got the split!

I concur with Anon@8:11 re. the second Espinosa HBP (if that was the one in question).

HabsProf said...

@Anon 8:11

Thanks - I was wondering the same thing. By the rules of MLB, is this suspendable? Does the umpire's decision to not eject Paterson mean that the league can't suspend him? If the latter, then the decision to "end the game" has consequences for later.

Anonymous said...

I hope William Tell and his merry men go to another site.

Realizing that we were lucky Ankiel didn't swing away as he normally does ... like Desmond a true strike out machine without the benefit of the home runs to go with it.

And that it wasn't Morse double-switched out for Ankiel because sure as the sun rises that's what would have happened had he been in the outfield and LaRoche at first. Just as Nix (unfortunately, and its still a horrible move that McLaren/Riggleman made) was.

Gonat said...

baseballswami said...
Ankiel for Nix - and extra innings? Oh, boy - You know , just when I think the nats have found every possible way to lose in the most painful ways possible, they find another one.
June 5, 2011 7:32 PM
_______________________________
You are another one who counted this team out. Sure, we all felt like this could end up in the other column but how can you get that negative on this team.

Other than a poor job of handling the bullpen, it really is a whacky win and congrats to Sean Burnett for a great job as he really needed that!

Will said...

Did Espinosa by chance have words with Upton after the failed turn of a double play in the 10th? Maybe they were planning on hitting Danny regardless of the fact that they just blew the game the batter before?

Gonat said...

Anon @8:19 aka William Tell, I sure don't want to hear it. The handling of the bench and using JZim to bunt was well played.

It was poor handling of the bullpen to bring in a closer (Storen) to get the last out in the 8th with nobody on and a 3 run lead and probably as Anon8 said while it was unfolding to question why Clippard was pitching the 8th.

Also, where is Stammen?

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Most satisfying win of the year. Between the flipping crummy umpiring, the D-Backs using the Nats as target practice and Morse salvaging Storen's meltdown, great win, great fight. Get the heck out of crazy Arizona and take two or three from the overrated, injured Giants.

Anonymous said...

Also, where is Stammen?

Stammen was returned to his starting role in Syracuse and was performing really well.

Its pretty clear that Riggleman was unhappy with Maya. You'll see Stammen starting in Maya (Gorzelanny's) slot.

natsfan1a said...

Agreed, Sunshine, and they really needed to win this one after all that transpired (yeah, I'm looking at you, you flipping home plate ump! ;-)).

Also, I think this was my fave part of the in-game report:

"6:33 p.m. -- You know, Aaron Heilman may have started this whole thing back on Thursday night when he plunked Werth. Well, payback's a you-know-what. Mr. Heilman: Meet Mr. Ramos. Three-run bomb to left. Nats take a 4-0 lead."

Although, the extra-inning stuff is pretty much gold as well.

sjm308 said...

Nice win!!
Can't understand the first warning when Werth got hit. Warning or ejection should come after a retaliation. I realize its a four hour game and the Nationals are up 5 but how can that same ump not throw out the Dback pitcher after giving up a grand slam and then hitting Espinosa? There has to be someone watching film on this kind of stuff and holding him accountable.
On to San Francisco and its nice to have won 4 of our last 6 against two first place teams.

Go Nats

Drew8 said...

Hey Unkyd and 1A,

Morse hacked the gorse out of that one!

LaRoche .172 - 3 homers - 15 RBI

Dunn .179 - 5 homers - 23 RBI

Morse . 301 - 8 homers - 30 RBI

Just say Mo.

Anonymous said...

Most satisfying win of the year.

This was a must-win game. They had to win this game whatever it took. And they did. I'm not sure I agree with statements that the game was managed well. Given that a 4 run lead disappeared. Yes, using Zimmermann to bunt (he's also a better hitter than Marquis) was a solid move.

Still, there was some real luck involved. That play on Bernadina in the 11th looked like an out. But Bernadina is so fast he made it look like he was safe. Was the Ankiel walk skill or luck considering his current batting stats? Probably a combination of the two. Morse is a great hitter but he appears to do far better when there is less pressure on him. He is batting around .300 with RISP but he doesn't do well with the game on the line. Whereas Nix does ... but he was replaced by Ankiel.

There was luck, athleticism, strength of will involved in winning this must-win game.

natsfan1a said...

"Hey Unkyd and 1A,

Morse hacked the gorse out of that one!"

That he did, Drew. ;-)

Anonymous said...

A better way to look at it might be:

Riggleman's official starters: (and that has not changed folks):

La Roche : .172 - 3 homers - 15 RBI
Ankiel : .198 - 2 homers - 8 RBI

Riggleman's official backup and part-time starters:

Morse : .301 - 8 homers - 30 RBI
Nix : .305 - 9 homers - 23 RBI

Mark'd said...

Gonat, a bunch of slugs. Hope they go back to WaPo!

Unkyd said...

Aye, he's quite the gorrrse hacker, that Mickey... A dram o' Scotch with ye, laddie!

WilliamTells said...

Gonats, AKA Mike Rizzo...I forgot to bow down to your roster construction. Great job on the Ankiel signing. Even a blind squirrel...

Geez. I'm as happy as the next guy for the win, but the amount of vitriol toward anyone who isn't slurping down koolaid is insane here.

baseballswami said...

Gonat - I will gladly eat crow for dinner and announce to the world that I was totally wrong for counting the nats out of this one, especially with Ankiel at the plate. But you have to admit, the odds were long. I was ecstatic to see Ankiel take some pitches - from a pitcher, who, by the way, was throwing NO strikes - and take a walk - for a change. How bad is it, really , that we are ecstatic that Ankiel actually drew a walk? How about JZIMM with the bunt? I love it when guys do the little things that add up. And our defense is silly right now. When MM breaks an o-fer streak, he really breaks it. Isn't that his second grand slam in a very short period of time? I am downright giddy right now -- ahhhhh,

Dave said...

My question is this:

Which Diamodback staffer paid off the umpiring crew? How does Espinosa get plunked after all the ejection drama without the Arizona pitcher getting ejected?

JaneB said...

I love reading Mark Z.'s blogging of the game. Can't wait to read the 5,000 words.
And maybe I missed this in the comments, but surely we have to credit Riggleman with putting in JZimm and NOT Stairs? And SURELY that means they know what they have (not) got in Stairs. I think this is an excellent sign of a change behind the scenes.

Ed Stroud said...

ankiel is horrible at the plate. He makes some diving plays in the outfield cause he takes bad angles to the ball. We should make him out lefthanded specialist in the pen. I am not joking

JaneB said...

I should, in my last post, have been clear that I KNOW Riggleman was ejected. But I don't believe for a minute he wasn't being consulted on something as big as who should PH then...

SonnyG10 said...

Man I was so mad at the home plate umpire that I was envisioning the Nats bringing in MPHRod to throw triple digits and Ramos jumping out of the way. I really think MLB should discipline the HPU.

natsfan1a said...

Well done, Unk.

Funny, Sonny, I was envisioning MPH-Rod throwing one through the screen and plunking one of those fans who were jumping up and down and waving their arms around whenever we had a pitcher on the mound. Preferably, he'd have hit the fan who looked like he was about to moon him at one point, but I would have left the choice up to him. :-)

FS said...

WOW we hit one batter and they hit us four times.

I understand where the DBacks are coming from. They could not outhit us in the series, so they started hitting us instead.

Gonat said...

baseballswami said...
Gonat - I will gladly eat crow for dinner and announce to the world that I was totally wrong for counting the nats out of this one, especially with Ankiel at the plate. But you have to admit, the odds were long. I was ecstatic to see Ankiel take some pitches - from a pitcher, who, by the way, was throwing NO strikes - and take a walk - for a change. How bad is it, really , that we are ecstatic that Ankiel actually drew a walk? How about JZIMM with the bunt? I love it when guys do the little things that add up. And our defense is silly right now. When MM breaks an o-fer streak, he really breaks it. Isn't that his second grand slam in a very short period of time? I am downright giddy right now -- ahhhhh,

June 5, 2011 9:04 PM
______________________________


I wasn't feeling to great either and with Desmond striking out quickly I didn't think the lefty on lefty with Ankiel was going to work but thank the lord Arizona has a Slaten too!!!!

I just wouldn't throw the team under the carpet until the fat lady sung. The Nats have been surprisingly good in extra innings this year.

Still plenty to scratch your head about. Why do you leave Clippard in for another inning (the 8th) and why with bases empty and a 3 run lead to you go to Storen to get 1 out in the 8th? Doesn't make sense to me. Torre would do that with Mariano Rivera only when the Yankees were in trouble in the 8th.

I am not a fan of the roster since Stairs is still on it but you have to just do the best you can do with the other 24 you have. Great choice to bunt Jordan Zimmermann and smart to have saved the suddenly hot Hairston for a Pinch Hit.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, well I think we can certainly say that Stammen's start coming up will dictate a lot about where this year's team can go from here.

Because after the draft is over Rizzo now turns his attention to what can be accomplished by the trade deadline.

His overtures to Tampa Bay might be successful. He is probably a great deal more persistent than other teams when it comes to BJ Upton. Plus, after the draft Tampa Bay will literally be swimming in prospects. If they select enough college players they might be interested in trades that would improve their chances against the Yankees and BoSox.

The Nats do have some players and prospects who can help with that. Ian Desmond, Derek Norris, Chris Marerro, Tyler Moore plus some of their relievers like Coffey.

I guess we'll see how it goes?

masnstinks said...

Stammen is starting?I thought he was going to be in the bullpen?

Gonat said...

Ed Stroud said...
ankiel is horrible at the plate. He makes some diving plays in the outfield cause he takes bad angles to the ball. We should make him out lefthanded specialist in the pen. I am not joking

June 5, 2011 9:34 PM
_____________________________

Ankiel shouldn't be a starter with his stats and the only reason he got the job out of Viera was because Bernadina slumped the 2nd half of Spring Training.

Now Bernadina has won the job so against RH batters Nix has to be in LF and Bernadina in CF.

I still think it is fine for Ankiel to start against LH pitchers and let Bernie come off the bench.

With all the lefties on the bench, it seems more than ever Stairs is done. This is 2 days in a row we haven't seen him so is this the end of Stairs? Could Riggleman finally said to Rizzo he isn't using him?

I guess we will see when Zimmerman is recalled if it is Stairs or Bixler.

Anonymous said...

Stammen is starting?I thought he was going to be in the bullpen?

He was sent to Syracuse and specifically assigned to start according to Randy Knorr. He was a workhorse there who often made it deep into games. He is going to be added to the rotation likely in Maya's (Gorzelanny's slot). He had a fine year pitching for Syracuse.

Trades are likely coming so if he does well he might just stick, at least for this season.

Anonymous said...

I still think it is fine for Ankiel to start against LH pitchers and let Bernie come off the bench.

Ankiel has a .256 OBP against lefties? That's by far one of the worst league-wide?

Watching Werth in the field today what the dickens is wrong with the original plan that called for putting Werth in CF? Then you could give Nix a chance to see if he can hit left-handed pitching. Rick Ankiel has been given far more chances than he has. And he has been pretty horrible!

And Nix is a pretty good fielder in right field? What's wrong with Bernadina, who was the "official" lead-off guy in left?

Please tell me what's wrong with that lineup? You would at least have two .300 hitters in Nix and Morse in it? And Bernadina should be given a chance to see what he can do ... just as Espinosa and Desmond have.

Using Ankiel as anything more than a bench/back-up player appears to be unproductive for this team.

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