Saturday, July 2, 2011

Game 84: Pirates at Nats

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
It'll be John Lannan vs. Brad Lincoln in Game 2 of the doubleheader.
After a frustrating, 5-3 loss in the opener of today's doubleheader, the Nationals are right back on the field for the nightcap. They'll need a win to get back to the .500 mark.

John Lannan takes the mound for the Nats, looking to bounce back from a ragged outing in Anaheim where he surrendered 11 hits in only 5 2/3 innings. Right-hander Brad Lincoln, summoned by the Pirates from the minors just for this game, gets to make a spot start.

Unlike Game 1, this one will be televised by MASN2 beginning at 7 p.m. Of course, I'll still be posting updates throughout, so please stick around...

PIRATES at NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
TV: MASN2
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 188
Weather: Partly cloudy, 87 degrees, Wind 4 mph out to LF
STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (41-42)
LF Roger Bernadina
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Michael Morse
RF Jayson Werth
CF Rick Ankiel
C Wilson Ramos
SS Ian Desmond
P John Lannan

PIRATES (42-40)
LF Alex Presley
SS Chase d'Arnaud
CF Andrew McCutchen
1B Garrett Jones
RF Matt Diaz
2B Neil Walker
3B Josh Harrison
C Eric Fryer
P Brad Lincoln
6:57 p.m. -- You'll notice some lineup changes for Game 2. Davey Johnson has bumped Danny Espinosa up to the No. 2 spot and Jayson Werth down to the 5-hole. We'll have to see if this is a one-time thing or a more permanent move. My hunch, based on the way Davey's been talking the last few days, is that this could be permanent.

7:15 p.m. -- Game 2 is underway with a fouled bunt attempt from Alex Presley on a John Lannan fastball. It's 88 degrees at first pitch, and there's still a good-sized crowd here. It'll probably end up announced at more than 30,000 for the twinbill, though there probably will never have been that many in the park at one time.

7:22 p.m. -- Not writing a full recap of Game 1 (I'll do one combined article at the end of the night wrapping everything up) but I wanted to share a couple of quotes from Davey Johnson and Livan Hernandez. (Those were the only two people made available for interviews after Game 1.) First up, Davey on Sean Burnett: "That's got to be his spot, left-handers coming up. We know Clip can do it. But I can't burn Clippard all the way out. Sean's got to get better, and I feel confident he can." ... Davey on Roger Bernadina's baserunning blunder: "He had to think it wasn't going to be caught. Obviously he didn't, because he never slowed down." And finally, Livo on the adjustment he made after the shaky first inning: "We talked. I talked to Pudge, and we started moving the ball a little more, in and out."

7:26 p.m. -- Nothing goin' on in the first inning for either team, aside from an Andrew McCutchen triple. (By the way, what a player he is, huh?) The new-look Nats lineup went down in order in the bottom of the first against Brad Lincoln, with Roger Bernadina striking out and Danny Espinosa and Ryan Zimmerman grounding out to the right side. Scoreless after one.

7:47 p.m. -- And the Nats are on the board first. Jayson Werth drew a one-out walk, then advanced to third on Rick Ankiel's single to right -- Ankiel is now 4-for-4 since coming off the DL -- and then scored on Wilson Ramos' slow roller to short. It's 1-0 after two.

8:00 p.m. -- And the Pirates tie it back up 1-1 in the top of the third on Eric Fryer's first career hit and Chase d'Arnaud's first career RBI. And then take a 2-1 lead when Werth can't haul in McCutchen's drive to the right-field wall. He did need to jump a bit at the fence, but the ball hit his glove. Wouldn't have been the most difficult play he's ever made.

8:06 p.m. -- An update from Potomac, where Chien-Ming Wang tonight made his second rehab start: He tossed four scoreless innings, allowing one hit and two walks while striking out two. Got five outs on the ground, only one in the air. So far, so good for the recovering right-hander.

8:09 p.m. -- OK, some TV viewers inform me that ball to right field hit the wall above Werth's glove. I only saw one quick replay on a small TV screen, so I thought it hit his glove first. Wasn't saying he butchered it or anything. Just saying it was a play he might have been able to make.

8:12 p.m. -- The Nats catch a break in the bottom of the third. Just when it looked like Zimmerman had grounded into an inning-ending double play, the throw to first just pulled Garrett Jones off first base. Or at least, that's what umpire Adrian Johnson ruled. Right call or wrong call, the Nats have tied the game 2-2 after three.

8:51 p.m. -- Sorry for the delay. I was down in the stands visiting some friends in attendance. It's still 2-2, now through six innings as both starters have settled in. Nats had a chance in the fifth after Espinosa doubled with one out. But Zimmerman's smoked line drive to left wasn't quite deep enough, and Morse grounded out to end that rally. Lannan, meanwhile, has cruised along, retiring 10 in a row and is heading back to the mound for the seventh. Exactly what Davey Johnson needed out of his starter.

9:00 p.m. -- And the Pirates retake the lead in the top of the seventh. Back-to-back singles by Diaz and Walker put runners on the corners with nobody out. And even though Lannan got the double-play grounder he wanted, it still allowed the go-ahead run to score. Nats now trail 3-2 at the stretch.

9:13 p.m. -- Today's/tonight's paid attendance: 39,638. That's a near-sellout, though it counts for only one date despite there being two games. Still, impressive total.

9:17 p.m. -- Another squandered opportunity for one of the Nats' big boys at the plate. With two on and two out in the seventh, Zimmerman came up in a big spot. But after getting ahead in the count 2-0, he swung and missed at a Daniel McCutchen fastball, then took another fastball, then watched a slider cross the plate for strike three. To say Zim looks lost at the plate right now is putting it mildly. Just not feeling it at all. On the bright side, Roger Bernadina has drawn four walks today/tonight. Maybe he's trying to send a message to Davey Johnson he can be the leadoff guy. Nats still trail 3-2 after seven.

9:31 p.m. -- Six outs left for the Nats. It'll be Morse, Werth and Ankiel to face Chris Resop (who was lights-out last night) in the bottom of the eighth.

9:46 p.m. -- Now THERE'S a rally. A hit batter. Two walks. A double steal and a throwing error on the catcher. That's JuggerNats ball right there, and because of it, the game is tied 3-3. The bad news, though, is that Morse had to leave the game after taking a fastball off his forearm. Nice-sized lump visible on TV.

9:56 p.m. -- Pudge to the rescue! Sent up to pinch-hit with two outs and two on, he fell behind in the count 0-2 to Tony Watson, then delivered a sharp single to right. Xavier Paul made a pretty good throw to the plate, but Eric Fryer couldn't hang onto it, so Rick Ankiel slid in safely with the go-ahead run. Nats take a 4-3 lead after eight, and now Drew Storen is on to try to save it.

10:05 p.m. -- Ballgame. Nats win 4-3 thanks to the big eighth-inning rally. Ryan Mattheus gets his first career win. Drew Storen gets his 20th save. And after splitting this doubleheader, the Nats are back to .500.

90 comments:

MicheleS said...

GYFNG!!!

Anonymous said...

Wood down, Lincoln up.

Lineup
Presley 7, d'Arnaud 6, McCutchen 8, Jones 3, Diaz 9, Walker 4, Harrison 5, Fryer 2, Lincoln 1

Tim said...

This where Werth needs to hit... in the five hole. That's where he spent his most productive time with the Phils. I never understood his batting second, besides his OBP.

Time for him to get hot!

GYFNG!

Steve J, Alexandria said...

Oh Yeah!! I like this lineup (finally)
Bernie is awesome
Espinsosa is ready to hit in the 2 hole
Zim is good
Morse -- finally batting 4th where he belongs
Werth: His spot #5 prediction? Werth thrives in his familiar spot -- watch him go.

Go Nats take this one

MicheleS said...

Time to drink some koolaid! (Mine is spiked)! Let's Get a win..


tim.. agree, it's about time werth is 5th..

Steve J, Alexandria said...

What is "GYFNG"?

MicheleS said...

Also, any one at the game.. I would love to here how the concessions stands are doing. A double header is a real test.

Had shake shack last night.. hmmm.. okay, not great, but not awful..

Trying blue smoke on Monday

Anonymous said...

Remember not to long ago when the Nats were hands down winners in the Hanrahan/Burnett trade.....after further review...not so fast my friends

MicheleS said...

Steve..

GYFNG.. Go you Freakin Nats GO or whatever F word you would like to add in... I think there is a string some where that Sec3 put together a whole bunch of phrases for it

Steve J, Alexandria said...

GYMFNG!!

(too crude?)

Anonymous said...

Mark - how did you get the three grounds crew guys back in the same spot for the Game 84 photo?? You cleared the crowd too. OMG.

ExposedinDC said...

Zim needs to pick it up and quick, hopefully with Morse in the clean up spot he may see some more pitches

MicheleS said...

Can we trade for McCutchen? Or when is he a free agent? That's the CF I would like!

Steve J, Alexandria said...

Pitcher's not a spectator (how many times my former coaches yell that?)

You gotta get over there, lannan

Steve J, Alexandria said...

I want Granderson in center -- in my dreams

Steve J, Alexandria said...

Lincoln's era and whip are through the roof. Let's score some runs today!

Jeeves said...

Jd, referring to Desmond and last post. If you had read my post properly, I was comparing desi's offensive stats in his rookie year. I said as much. Instead, you referred to 2011. Obviously, he must be near the bottom of the group this year. But you managed to make yourself look all knowledgeable, while making me look like a doofus.

Wally said...

Span is the guy for CF. Maybe the best defensive CF in the game (or Bourjos).

Lannan has touched 93 a few times on the TV gun. Doesn't seem like that could be right.

I like Davey. Straightforward talker.

Werth goes yard here

Bill B said...

I agree with Wally on Davey. Riggleman was all "he's great" all the time. Davey lays it out: tells Burnett what he's got to do, expresses confidence to pump him up, but makes his limits clear. Consistency + standards + straight talk = good personnel management.

HHover said...

Wally

According to fangraphs, Lannan has topped out at 92-93 in most of his recent starts.

As for Desmond - he falls near the bottom of NL SS's in total WAR this year (he's tied for 3d worst, ahead only of Tejada and Bettencourt). That's due mostly to his lousy offense--his defense is 6th best.

As for Davey - I like the frank talk in public, but let's not mistake what's said in public for what's said behind closed doors. Riggs seldom called his guys out in public, but what he said in private could be different.

Wally said...

Alright, let's get some runs here, dammit

Wally said...

HHover - that surprises me. Happy, tho.

C'mon Desi, I am not satisfied yet.

MicheleS said...

OMG.. CMW update and he is pitching well at potomac!!!!

Steve J, Alexandria said...

I do like how the new lineup already is productive -- let's score 10 more!

GYMFNG

Sec3MySofa said...

Mark, with the benefit of the replay, the ball clearly hit a foot or more over Werth's glove. I can't vouch for the air under him, but it was a tough catch in any event.

He's still overpaid, but not that time.

Exposremains said...

Zim does a lot of great things but the throwing thing and the DP are really a big minus

nationals7 said...

Amazement at Beast Morse every game.

nationals7 said...

Someone asked about the food stands? The cheap hot dog special put a hurtin' on just about every vendor. No line at the new,fry place, but, there never is. No line at taco spot. Tried last homestand.. it was okay. Very fast line at shake shack.(
observations from 1st game. )

Sec3MySofa said...

Do you think "Jayson Werth Strikes Out" could catch on as well as "Past a Diving Vidro"?

Nah. How about a book title?

Steve J, Alexandria said...

Trivial Observation: Looks like Johnson is a tobacco chewer.

Now that's old school.

MicheleS said...

Sec3..
I want the book title to be: "Beast Mode: How the Nats won a World Championship!" One can dream!

The spiked koolaid is kicking in!

nationals7 said...

Espinosa chew too.

baseballswami said...

Can we have another new concession stand at Nats Park? Spiked Koolaid! It comes in a souvenir cup with a picture of MM. I am buying! GYFNG! Oh, and can we please have some more offense before the 9th inning?

nationals7 said...

chews.. not chew.

Anonymous said...

I am sad to see Epsi with such a disgusting habit. There is gum in the dugout -switch. It's not worth the oral cancer.

MicheleS said...

Swami.. the reason it is spiked koolaid is this team is the Kardiac Kids..the only way we can survive@

JaneB said...

Okay. Remember how good Alfonso Soriano was for us? And how lousy he was for the Cubs for three years? He is on fire now. Took him all these years ti refind his mojo.

I hope Jayson Werth has a shorter learning curve. Which is to say a much MUCH shorter learning curve. And tha whatever is working against Zimm lets up, like, today sometime.

Alfonso got it, but good. Jayson will too

GYFNG!

Exposremains said...

wow, this guys are so frustrating

Tim said...

Michele... I'm with you (again). I went out with the fam for ice cream and came back and saw the score and said, "Why does every game have to give me cardiac arrest!?!"

Sec3MySofa said...

Soriano's first season in Chicago wasn't that bad.
.299/.337/.897, All-Star, 12th in MVP voting; a 3.6 WAR isn't great, and doesn't seem worth $10MM, but they did make the playoffs (where he disappeared, but not alone). That's not lousy.

Exposremains said...

They almost changed all the coaches and one thing hasn't change the offense. I Hate to wish somneone gets fired but I think they at least need to try a new hitting coach.

MicheleS said...

So.. I think the confidence Davey is showing in the Shark is paying off.. he is on first again...Maybe, JUST MAYBE, by the end of the season we will have our leadoff hitter

nationals7 said...

These guys are killing me

Exposremains said...

I have zero confidence in Zim, Werth and Desmond. Right now, they are automatic outs.

JaneB said...

Sec 3, Soriano wasn't lousy that Saxon....you totally right. I was going by the remarks of my Cubs -loving nephew Grant. All I head from him for years was,"I hate that guy." but still, the point remains...he wasn't what they thought they'd bought, fir a long while. Now he is.

Meanwhile, is it that Ryan is not really healed yet? He's ever struggled more than a few games like this. I feel worse for him than anyone.

JaneB said...

Season, not Saxon, damnyouautocorrect.

Steve J, Alexandria said...

OOhh Zimmerman's throw hasnt been fixed yet? When will he get it down? Or more -- Can he get it down.

gonatsgo said...

Even in Game 84, it still shocks me to see Major League hitters looking so lost at the plate. As much as our new manager wants an offensive club, that's not who they are. He is going to have to swallow his pride and play some small ball and scratch out some runs. That's what Pittsburgh has been doing to us all weekend. Our guys have RISP -itis and it's contagious. I just am thankful for our pitching staff - they pitch under pressure each and every pitch of each and every game.

Tim said...

The Nats coaching staff should be shot for screwing with Zim's throwing during a season. That is offseason stuff. Bad move. Now Zim is thinking about every throw instead of just throwing. It's like thinking about your golf swing while swinging.

Please no broken bones for Morse!

MicheleS said...

Umm.. who can play 1st?

Anonymous said...

That is going to be the picture on the front page of the WaPo Sports section tomorrow.

Steve J, Alexandria said...

Listen to the Boo Birds at National's Park giving the razz to Werth.

Tim said...

Michele... Cora, Bixler probably, Pudge, LaRoche, Marrero... Oh wait...

Steve J, Alexandria said...

Stairs and Cora can both play first, maybe Pudge.

Tim said...

Btw... How many SBs do we have under Davey? 0? 1?

MicheleS said...

I think I need something stronger than Koolaid to be drinking right now..

MicheleS said...

I want an IV of moonshine at this point! GO BIXLER!!!

JaneB said...

Bixler is always working to make something happen!

Tim said...

We lucked out there - big time.

MIcheleS said...

Can you say.. Jaime Carroll Part 2????

JaneB said...

I really hate when we boo anyone at our stadium, let alone our own guys,

nationals7 said...

Please please please

MicheleS said...

Tim..

Werth = Luck,, Bixler = Skill

nationals7 said...

Desi? Come back, Desi!

MicheleS said...

We need MATT STAIRS! ;-)

MicheleS said...

PUDGE!!!!!

nationals7 said...

Yooooo.hooooo!!

Exposremains said...

Not a big fan of boos but i think it shows that Nats fans are expecting more from their team now.

MicheleS said...

Good to hear the crowd!

MicheleS said...

I love the Klaxon!

JaneB said...

So, not two wins in a row but two WINNING DAYS in a roW. I'll take it.

Michelle, how do you post from the stadium? I never can.

Tim said...

Curly W! Gotta love it!

Don't give up the Koolaid Michele. ;-)

MicheleS said...

JaneB.. I have a droid, and i can do it.

Also, JaneB. I think we have to offer our fan services up to the Lerners.. Good Seats for us and a cheerleading section for Werth. I am sure we could be loud enough to drown out the boo birds!

MicheleS said...

Wait.. Ray Knight just called them the Kardiac Kids!!!

A DC Wonk said...

Pudge to fans (once again) - I still ain't dead yet ;-)

gonatsgo said...

Nice to see the guys pull another rabbit out of their hats! A little tired of Ray Knights man-crush on the manager, though. It's not about him , it's about the team. Pudge is just soooo clutch! Bixler is definitely a Jamie Caroll type player. Even though they are the Kardiac Kids - it's nice to see someone new be the hero every win. The true meaning of a team.GYFNG!!!!!! Get em again tomorrow!!!!

MicheleS said...

As Davey says..'It takes 25 guys to win'... Bixler and Pudge just prove that!

Ray's man crush comes from being the MVP of the 86 world series.

Drew8 said...

Coupla points:

Can you believe these guys are .500 when Bixler (.220) has a higher average than Ryan Zimmerman (.219)?

In the postgame Debbie Taylor offered Davey Johnson a softball, asking him what he thought about the team's situational hitting, or something like that. Davey said it's been "terrible," the kind of public candor we never heard from Acta and Riggs.

As for the trade deadline, it will be interesting to see how this month plays out. With the Braves on fire, it's hard to see Rizzo dealing good prospects to make a push this year.

I'd sure like to see the guys finish above .500.

Drew8 said...

Tonight's farm report:

At Syracuse, Chad "For the love of" Gaudin blew the win for Tom "I got your 40-man" Milone. The lefty gave up one earned over 6.1 IP and dropped his ERA to 3.38. He now has an incredible 101 strikeouts and five walks.

At Harrisburg, the Senators scored 11 runs with no help from Derek Norris, who is now sub-Mendoza at .197. (What is wrong with Derek?) In that contest Erik Davis, the ex-Stanford hurler acquired from San Diego for Alberto Gonzalez, threw a complete game, improving his record to 5-2 and lowering his ERA to 3.62.

At Potomac, as Mark noted, CM Wang had an encouraging night, allowing one hit in four scoreless innings. OF Destin Hood also had a big night, clubbing two homers and knocking in five runs.

At Hagerstown, A.J. Cole had a rocky start, allowing three earned in four innings. His ERA is now 3.29.

Harper had a couple of hits and stole two more bases, giving him five in two games and 19 for the season. Big OF Kevin Keyes now has eight homers and 21 RBIs in 29 games at Hagerstown.

natsfan1a said...

Just got home and had a snack, then read Mark's game summaries. Will post a P-Nats report tomorrow, as I'm about to toddle off to bed (and Mark covered Wang's part of the game in a para. above - though I was thinking there were a couple of flyouts and a lineout - will have to double-check my scorecard). Confidential to Big Cat: the P-Nats were definitely hitting today (15 of them, if memory serves, with a number of them being long balls). Good night, NatsTown.

Oh, and FP sounds like a gamer to have sat in the press box throughout the first game, which wasn't televised.

Anonymous said...

Great catch Drew8 on the softball Debbie gave Davey. His answer was really refreshing. The Nats' hitting with men on base has been "terrible," exactly as he said.

I was shocked, even as a close follower of the team, when I saw the Nats' offensive (and I mean offensive) stats in the Post today. They are the perfect picture of mediocrity at the plate. Actually, reaching "mediocrity" would be a gigantic improvement over what they're doing now.

The strikeout numbers really struck me, so I drilled down on the MLB site. The Nats have 665 K's, the 2nd most of 30 MLB teams. They are also second-worst in terms of team batting average.

I think Davey Johnson is going to fire Eckstein. Right now, the Nats are a team where if a guy watches 3 balls, then watches 3 strikes, Eckstein pats him on the back and says, "Great at bat--you saw 6 pitches."

I have written over and over on this blog that the pitch-count God is a false god. Hopefully Davey Johnson will slay the false god and tell these guys they get paid for hitting the baseball, not for watching it.

natsfan1a said...

Er, make that 18 hits (and 14 runs).

HHover said...

As for the unsung heroes of today--let's hear it for Livo and Lannan.

On a long day, each went 7 innings and minimized the work of the BP, but neither figured in the decision. Between them, they allowed an average of only one baserunner per inning.

And Livo looks like a late blooming strikeout king--15 Ks in his last 2 games, in 13-2/3 IP.

Jim in MD said...

At the end of the 2nd game, Davey Johnson and Rick Eckstein were walking toward the mound with their arms around each other. It doesn't look Rick is going anywhere.

A DC Wonk said...

Drew8 said of Millone: He now has an incredible 101 strikeouts and five walks.

That it utterly jaw-dropping. That must be some kind of record, no?

And thanks for the minor league report!

HHover said...

As for the unsung heroes of today--let's hear it for Livo and Lannan.

On a long day, each went 7 innings...


(Make that "long, hot, day")

Good, point, HH! Our pitching, all year, has been superb. Enough so that we can still we at .500, despite near-pathetic hitting.

natsfan1a said...

Er, never mind on the "couple of flyouts, too" - I was looking a little too far ahead on the scorecard. hehe.

Unkyd said...

JI'm 12:04.... I thInk 'Fredo got a kiss, before he went fishing, at the end of GF2...

Big Cat said...

Natsfan....That was my first P-Nat game of the season. Was interested in seeing Hood up close. Unfortunately, they gave him the game off. The Winston Salem pitcher was a lefty with an 0-6 record with a 6 something era. We didn't sniff him. Guess I picked a bad night.

natsfan1a said...

Unkyd, the secret is, every time you step in the box you say a Hail Mary and every time you say a Hail Mary you get a hit. You believe that? It's true, that's the secret.... ;-)

Big Cat, I think I was just lucky. Yesterday aside, I don't believe the P-Nats' offense has been firing on all cylinders, either. btw, I don't tend to frequent other venues much these days, but I noticed at one point that there was someone who posted as Natsfan on some blogs. fwiw, I've always had "1a" tacked onto my moniker, in cooperation with my alphabetical cohorts "1b" and "1c." Long-winded way of saying feel free to call me 1a. :-)

Big Cat said...

Ok.....1a

Guess Hood had a good game. 2 bombs. With all the hype on Harper, this kid is quietly coming on. Didn't we give him a million bucks to sign. Think he had a full football ride to some big school and we stole him away

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