Sunday, July 17, 2011

Game 95: Nats at Braves

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nats have a chance to win the series this afternoon at Turner Field.
ATLANTA -- Funny how much can change in only 24 hours. When the Nationals arrived at Turner Field yesterday, they were coming off an ugly loss and wondering whether they really could hang with the wild-card-leading Braves. Then they put together one of their best all-around performances in a while, winning 5-2 and putting themselves in a position to win the series today.

That's still no small task. Atlanta sends All-Star right-hander Jair Jurrjens (the league leader in wins and ERA) to the mound against a Nats lineup that has admittedly had trouble sustaining hot stretches this season. Laynce Nix is back in left field today, though he's been dropped to the No. 6 spot behind Jayson Werth. Jesus Flores also starts behind the plate, giving Wilson Ramos the day off.

Tom Gorzelanny gets the start for the Nationals. He hasn't won since May 7 (though some of that has been a product of poor run support) but he does get a favorable matchup against a Braves lineup that has hit only .210 (with a .619 OPS) against left-handers this season.

Updates to come. Oh, and for those curious, The B-52s did NOT close with "Love Shack" last night, opting instead for "Rock Lobster." Upset of the year...

NATIONALS at BRAVES
Where: Turner Field
Gametime: 1:35 p.m.
TV: MASN, Ch. 50
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 184
Weather: Partly cloudy, 83 degrees, Wind 11 mph RF to LF
STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (47-47)
CF Roger Bernadina
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Michael Morse
RF Jayson Werth
LF Laynce Nix
C Jesus Flores
SS Ian Desmond
P Tom Gorzelanny

BRAVES (55-39)
CF Jordan Schafer
3B Martin Prado
C Brian McCann
1B Freddie Freeman
2B Dan Uggla
SS Alex Gonzalez
LF Nate McLouth
RF Wilkin Ramirez
P Jair Jurrjens
12:47 p.m. -- Pretty slow-news morning. Only one real item of note: Jerry Hairston has completed his rehab at Class AA Harrisburg and is on his way to Houston to meet the Nats in time for tomorrow's series opener. The club will need to make a corresponding roster move, which could be announced after today's game.

1:38 p.m. -- Jair Jurrjens starts off Roger Bernadina with a fastball for strike one, getting this game underway. It's a very comfortable 83 degrees at first pitch. Have to say, we've been really lucky with the weather here this weekend. Mid-July in Atlanta and the temperature never came close to 90 degrees? I'll take that.

1:47 p.m. -- Man on second, nobody out in the top of the first ... something good's gotta come out of that, right? Or not. With Bernadina standing on second, Danny Espinosa struck out swinging at a 3-2 pitch. Ryan Zimmerman then rapped a comebacker to Jurrjens, who had Bernadina caught in no-man's land off second base. Ran him back to the bag and recorded the second out of the inning. Michael Morse then crushed a ball to left-center, but that's a tough place to hit one out in this ballpark, especially with the wind blowing in. It died at the warning track. So nothing for the Nationals in the top of the first.

2:07 p.m. -- Yikes, what a nightmare of a first inning for Tom Gorzelanny. He issued three walks, uncorked a wild pitch with the bases loaded, allowed two stolen bases (though Jesus Flores' poor throws didn't help) and was flagged by second base ump Dana DeMuth for putting his hand to his mouth while standing on the mound. That's an automatic ball, and since there were already three balls on Dan Uggla, that's a walk. Gorzelanny was irate at DeMuth, and continued to look totally frazzled out there to the point you wondered if he might not make it through the inning. Somehow he did, but not before the Braves took a 2-0 lead.

2:22 p.m. -- Props to Gorzelanny for bouncing back from that bizarre inning to retire the side in the second. Struck out both Wilkin Ramirez and Jordan Schafer, and got Jurrjens to ground out. So it remains 2-0 after two.

2:41 p.m. -- Well this turned into quite an unusual afternoon for Mr. Gorzelanny, didn't it? Standing on first base in the top of the third, he took off when Bernadina crushed a ball to right-center. Gorzelanny came charging around third, then bowled over Brian McCann to score and knock the ball loose. That allowed Bernadina to come all the way around to score on what was ruled a triple and an error on second baseman Dan Uggla. Gorzelanny, though, immediately came up lame, hobbling off the field. He attempted to warm up in the bottom of the third, but after a couple of tosses, trainer Lee Kuntz and Davey Johnson trotted out there. Gorzelanny has since departed. And since Ross Detwiler threw two innings on Friday night, he's not available today. So Henry Rodriguez is in to pitch the third inning. Oy. Don't these guys know I have a flight to catch tonight? Should I just call Delta right now and rebook? (Oh yeah, the score is now 2-2.)

2:54 p.m. -- This is the problem with having Detwiler as your sixth starter/long reliever. The Nats are determined to keep him on something close to a starter's schedule (ie. pitching only every fifth or sixth day, with perhaps one extra inning in between on what would normally be the day he throws a bullpen session). But you never know when you're going to need a long man. Those spots are usually reserved for veterans with rubber arms. Like Miguel Batista. I recall early last season when Batista was struggling and some people thought he should be released. But a team official shot that theory down, insisting you've got to keep at least one guy in your bullpen who you can "abuse." Basically, someone who can pitch no matter the situation, no matter how often, no matter how many innings you need. If the Nats still believe Detwiler ultimately will be a starter -- and all indications are that they do -- he's totally miscast in his current role. By the way, they just announced Gorzelanny's injury as a "twisted right knee." He's day-to-day.

3:03 p.m. -- And now Desmond ropes a two-run double to right-center to put the Nats up 4-2 in the fourth. That's also an eight-game hitting streak for Desmond (who unfortunately followed it up by trying to swipe third on a potential wild pitch and oversliding the bag). That proved costly when Bernadina proceeded to single to left.

3:07 p.m. -- And now Espinosa crushes a ball off the top of the center-field fence, races into third base but asks the umps to review it in case it was a homer. The umps won't do it, but no worries, because Zimmerman follows with a blast nearly over the center field fence himself. It's now 6-2 Nats in the middle of the fourth.

3:18 p.m. -- Two perfect innings of relief from Henry Rodriguez so far. Nicely done. We'll see if Davey lets him back out for a third inning.

3:40 p.m. -- Some days, you just see these kind of things coming. Davey was pressing his luck with Rodriguez, sending him back out for another inning. And though he pulled the right-hander before imploding completely, he was left bringing in Sean Burnett to face Brian McCann with two on and a chance to tie the game. Burnett went for a spin and landed on the Whammy. Three-run bomb. Game tied 6-6. He then walked Freddie Freeman, gave up a single to Dan Uggla and then got a groundball out of Alex Gonzalez that still brought a run home. The Braves now lead 7-6, we're still only in the bottom of the fifth. As far as Burnett goes: Either he's injured and not letting the Nats know it, or he's somehow regressed from one of the best left-handed relievers in baseball to one of the worst in less than a year.

3:53 p.m. -- Well, this has officially become the strangest game of the year. Sean Burnett was allowed to hit for himself in the top of the sixth. Against a lefty, George Sherrill. And promptly roped a base hit to right. Except then he got hung up on the bases on Bernadina's bloops single to left and was thrown out, possibly turning his ankle as he went into second base. Then Espinosa belts his 17th homer of the season, putting the Nats back on top, 8-7. Except it could have been 9-7 if not for Burnett's baserunning blunder. What a strange ballgame.

3:59 p.m. -- And now Burnett retires the side in the sixth and incredibly is in line for the win. Talk about your classic vulture jobs. Tyler Clippard's got nothing on Sean.

4:10 p.m. -- Speaking of Clippard, he's in for the bottom of the seventh. Which means Davey will be asking for two innings out of him today, hoping the All-Star can protect an 8-7 lead.

4:15 p.m. -- By the way, Danny Espinosa's 17 homers are the most ever by a Washington second baseman. That includes the original Senators (1901-60), the expansion Senators (1961-71) and the Nationals (2005-present).

4:33 p.m. -- And we're tied again. Clippard had faced eight Atlanta batters the last two days and retired them all, but he couldn't get No. 9. Nate McLouth belted a 1-0 fastball into the right-field bleachers, leaving this game knotted 8-8 as we go to the ninth.

4:45 p.m. -- Well, well, well ... top of the ninth, two outs, go-ahead runner on third, Jayson Werth at the plate against Craig Kimbrel. He takes a fastball for strike one, swings through another fastball to fall behind in the count 0-2, fouls one off and then grounds into a 6-4 fielder's choice to end the inning. It remains 8-8 heading to the bottom of the ninth, and it'll be Ryan Mattheus to face Brooks Conrad, Jordan Schafer and Martin Prado with the game hanging in the balance.

4:58 p.m. -- Just when it looked like the Nats might squeeze their way out of a ninth-inning jam -- Desmond made another nice throw to third to nail Conrad -- it all comes crashing down. Mattheus let Prado get a huge jump and steal second without a throw. Then after intentionally walking Brian McCann, Freddie Freeman roped a base hit to right, bringing Prado home with the winning run. Final score: Braves 9, Nats 8. Tough one right there.

164 comments:

Gonat said...

Wow, Jesus Flores with as hot as Wilson Ramos was yesterday. I am sure part of that is Day game after a Night game. Hope that works well!!!!

sjm308 said...

Gonat - this was probably discussed at the beginning of the series and we see it a bunch. I have a stupid question. Will it make that big a difference to Gorzo who is calling the pitches? I have to figure that this is the first time this pair have worked together, or am I wrong. It is nice to see Pudge playing what I think is a very active part in the dugout. I have also noticed that Jason Werth watches the game with great intent as well.

Gonat said...

sjm308, you are correct. This was pre-determined and Davey probably was tempted to change it if it wasn't a day game after a night game.

ESPN had an interesting stat that Ramos has 4 multi-hit games already in July compared to 2 in June.

I also agree with FP Santangelo about the sound of the ball off of Wilson Ramos bat is like no other sound made on the Nats team when he hits it on the middle of the barrel. I don't know if FP has heard Bryce Harper centering a pitch and the 2 of them will be playing together for a long time!!!!

natsfan1a said...

Tommy, can you hear me? Okay, good. So, howzabout another curly w today?

Let's go Nats!! (Hold 'em at 10,000!)

Anonymous said...

Rizzo needs to hone his skills when it comes to signing free agents. Werth, Ankiel, Stairs and Laroche have been duds so far. Cora is a neutral while Nix and Hairston were decent signings.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Yes, that "10,000" looks so nice there, let's leave it for another day or two.

sparky said...

Yo Anon, that's what happens when you sign players. Some work out really well, some do not. LaRoche is hurt, not a dud. Maybe if Rizzo was smart enough to hire you and your crystal ball, he would have known LaRoche was going to get hurt.
Ankiel is the best defensive outfielder we have, covers CF really well and has one of the best arms in all of MLB. And he's hitting .367 since coming off the DL July 1.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Checking the schedule on the Nats' site, am I the only one who sees "printable schedule" and thinks there must be an unprintable version?

Knoxville Nat said...

I'd have to say the jury should still be out on LaRoche given his injury. When he was in the lineup his defense was better than what I expected. I'll reserve judgment until we see him playing at 100%.

Dead horse said...

Rizzo and free agents? Beats me.

I got your schedule here said...

#&%$#@

natsfan1a said...

^ I think that's for the road trip portion of the schedule... :-)

FS said...

A win and couple of homers for Danny would be awesome right now.

NatsLady said...

Good as Morse is at 1B, LaRoche was a magician! Unfortunately, playing hurt, he couldn't hit, and that's why he looked so bad. I look forward to having both LaRoche and Morse.

baseballswami said...

You know - that was ok with me for the first inning against a fierce pitcher. A couple of people on - Bernie totally messing with his head - some contact. The guys made him work and maybe got him a little frustrated. I hope they keep up the pressure.

Will said...

Oh dear. Miss you, Pudge.

NatsLady said...

How tired is Ramos?

Will said...

Wow. Really miss you, Pudge. That bag may have been stolen off Gorz, but the throw was AWFUL.

Grandstander said...

This is going to get ugly quick if Gorzo can't start throwing strikes.

NatsLady said...

oooo, not good on Gorzy. Flores didn't even come up to see his pitcher. And then a Wild Pitch??? Gorzy better CALM DOWN.

Unkyd said...

Who's throwing worse, Gorzy or Flores?

baseballswami said...

ok, so - Gorzelanny looking completely lost, Flores looking completely lost( he never even looked this bad as a rookie) and Jurrgens on the mound. Uh,oh. World Cup time for me!

Unkyd said...

That's more like it....

Unkyd said...

Let's go Desi!!!

nationals7 said...

Day game blues

NatsLady said...

Well, how do you like that? Gonna go to the gym so I can watch both games at once. Later, people.

Will said...

WOW. GO GORZO.

Unkyd said...

HackyHacky...?

BinM said...

It looks like Gorzolanny has a 'lazy-arm'; He's dropped his regular arm-slot to near sidearm (now coming 2:30-8), and everything has flattened out, and has lost the strike zone as a result.

nationals7 said...

Yay Jayson...master of consistency.

gonatsgo said...

Well - that was interesting! Gorzo recovers in the second -- takes on Brian McCann to score a run. Bernie messes with the pitcher when he is on base in the first , triples and scores his next time up. Wow. Of course, the whole Jayson Werth at bat looked like it usually does. Sigh...

Gonat said...

On a day to capitalize on Jurrjens and Morse and Werth can't put a bat on them.

nationals7 said...

One screwy game... only the 3rd~~

Unkyd said...

Well... Lets be efficient, BP....

BinM said...

Here's exactly why DJ wants a couple of long-reliever/ 6th starters in the bullpen. I'm suprised they didn't go with Detwiler in this situation, as H-Rod will probably be good for less than 2IP - Here goes another bullpen burn.

Unkyd said...

RISP....

Gonat said...

8 game hitting streak for Ian Desmond with a 2 RBI Double!!!! Impressive!

Unkyd said...

My Boy!!!! Nice walk, earlier, too...

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

The Wide-Slide pay-de-dues, from the The Gorsehacker ballet...

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Bobby Cox would have had Jurrjens out of there two hitters ago...

Sam said...

I love this offensive outburst. It's not like it was unexpected, though. Jurrjens has pitched to a 1.87 ERA with a 3.11 FIP, thanks to a .256 BABIP (coming into the game). He's been awfully lucky this year. Swinging strike % is way down as well this year.

nationals7 said...

Nice inning

BinM said...

We can run when we want to, we can leave our cares behind; And if you don't run, and your friends don't run, then you're no friends of mine...

Anonymous said...

So does Wang start in 5 days in the big leagues instead of at AAA?

nationals7 said...

Captcha was ""KingH"...talking about Henry??

JaneB said...

Found baseball at the beach. Phew! Go Bernie and Danny!

So does this mean Wang comes up soon than later? And who is the guy with the semi rubber arm we don't care about, to the point we can send him out there any time, for any length of time? I don't see him in the BP.

JaneB said...

Nice BinM!

gonatsgo said...

Just an irrelevant question -- was Balestar ever brought back like he was supposed to be " in a couple of days"? I am concerned about the bullpen right now - not necessarily the quality but the management. Bally can go a lot of pitches when he needs to.

Gonat said...

Mark'd said...
Gonat, thanks for the ERA stat and Nice to see JZim moving on up.

Nats face #1 today in Jurj and hopefully they show him the same rudeness they showed Hanson last night.

July 17, 2011 11:39 AM
__________________________

Good call. They are lighting Jair up!!!! 6 earned runs so far. ERA from 1.87 to start the day to 2.28

gonatsgo said...

Oh - and another thing - don't let down now - remember the July 7th game?

Gonat said...

Nats are 3-9 with RISP so far today.

Gonat said...

MPHrod looking good. I wonder if he comes out for another inning.

Will said...

Werth starting to drive the ball. Got robbed there. Maybe he's about to come out of it...?

Gonat said...

Mark'd said...
Gonat, thanks for the ERA stat and Nice to see JZim moving on up.

Nats face #1 today in Jurj and hopefully they show him the same rudeness they showed Hanson last night.

July 17, 2011 11:39 AM
__________________________

So long Jair after 5 innings. To tell you how good Jair Jurrjens has been this year, in the entire month of April he gave up 3 earned runs. In May he had 6 starts and gave up only 8 earned runs.

Anonymous said...

TAke henry out.TAke henry out

NLady

Stranded_in_Philly said...

Why is Burnett still with the big league club?

Anonymous said...

Should have Burnett for 5th instead of trying to get 3 from Henry. B not good w/ RISP.

NLady Should have Burnett for 5th instead of trying to get 3 from Henry. B not good w/ RISP.

NLady

Will said...

When Burnett came into the game, I knew the game would be tied or worse by the time he left. CUT THIS CLOWN.

Gonat said...

gonatsgo said...
Oh - and another thing - don't let down now - remember the July 7th game?

July 17, 2011 3:16 PM
_____________________________

Umm, thanks for reminding us.

nationals7 said...

NLady - as you wish-

take Sean out

Anonymous said...

Should have left Henry in

Gonat said...

Burnett has to go on the DL so he can work back through a rehab assignment and see if he is salvageable.

This guy is horrible, plain and simple. I can't believe he hasn't been pulled.

Anonymous said...

Typed that before the homer. If we don't win, it's on DJ.

NLady

JaneB said...

I like Sean but he isn't on his game these last few months. Why isn't Davey going to get him? Are we so short on BP that we have to give this inning away?

nationals7 said...

World Cup- holding their own

gonatsgo said...

Gonat - my apologies for mentioning the previous blown lead. Sean Burnett the culprit once again? Most of the relievers -- most, not all-- are good. They are being used horribly.

Gonat said...

Gonat said...
MPHrod looking good. I wonder if he comes out for another inning.

July 17, 2011 3:19
_________________________

Hindsight being 20/20, I guess on a hot Atlanta day maybe he shouldn't have come out for a 3rd inning. Still, the bullpen by committee was what was needed today and didn't need Burnett in a high pressure situation. 2 pitches and a tied game...then a walk and 2 singles and now the Nats are losing. Crazy.

dj in Fl. said...

Could someone find Rizzo and tell him his major league roster is over due for attention. The roster has to many below average producers to maintain a break even record in the second half.

Will said...

WHY IS BURNETT BATTING? I don't even care about the AB...it just means we're surrendering more runs in the bottom of the inning!

gonatsgo said...

I think Rizzo is busy not signing contracts until the deadline. He MUST address the Matt Stairs situation and the Sean Burnett situation. This team plays it too close to the edge to have either player on the roster. 2 weeks to the trade deadline? Hairston back tomorrow? Do something now!

nationals7 said...

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Sam said...

Sean Burnett has had one good year in his career (2010). Every other year in the Major Leagues has been mediocre at best. Let's not pretend he was ever one of the best relief pitchers in the National League. This year's results are closer to the rest of his career than last year's. This is what we should expect going forward.

Unkyd said...

Boy.... I go to walk the dog..... Was hoping they would sit Rod, after 30-some over 2.... Sure miss the old Burnett....any chance he gets it back?

baseballswami said...

Checking in from world cup action (or lack thereof) -- and OY! the nats! I may cry all over my keyboard.

Dave said...

Holy crap. Burnett gets a base hit, then screws up running the bases.

What is wrong with him? I mean, physically, what is wrong with him as a pitcher? He probably shouldn't have had to be on base running for himself, anyway.

Will said...

I don't want to sound like a broken record, but after the pitching and the baserunning, Sean Burnett should not be allowed to board the flight to Houston.

Gonat said...

I don't believe what I just saw. Burnett, are you kidding me.

Glad Espinosa picked it up. Nice 2 run HR!!!!

Dave said...

And so, with Espi's home run, could it be possible that Burnett actually will vulture a win out of this game?

BinM said...

H-Rod was close to toast but sadly, Burnett offered only more petrol to the fire, and continues to crap the bed in inherited-runner situations this year (14 of 29 allowed so far this year).

We're playing to the Braves' strength at this point.

Will said...

WAY TO GO, ESPY. But can we take the run we would have gotten and tack it on Burnett's ERA?

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Jurrjens didn't deserve a win there, no matter what else happens.

Mark, I have a feeling you're gonna need a later flight. I hope your hotel has late check-in in Houston.

Gonat said...

Will said...
I don't want to sound like a broken record, but after the pitching and the baserunning, Sean Burnett should not be allowed to board the flight to Houston.

July 17, 2011 3:51 PM
__________________________

Cost Bernadina a hit and maybe Hairston can take Burnett's roster spot.

Joe Seamhead said...

Way to go, Danny! Sean Burnett, you are the one that has got to get his Cherrios together.

nationals7 said...

Vulture a win... great phrasing!!

Unkyd said...

BinM: Business as Usual, eh? How 'bout a veggemite sammy with dat?

Gonat said...

Why isn't Coffey in the game?

gonatsgo said...

I have one thing to say about this game -- WTF?

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

They don't have tomorrow off--somebody has to stay back today.

Anonymous said...

Espi going for the cycle. I would not want to be the official scorer. NLadyEspi going for the cycle. I would not want to be the official scorer. NLady

Unkyd said...

Thank you, Burnett!!

WEIRD game....

Gonat said...

Good news is Heyward was spent as a PH early and done for the day.

Sam said...

If Burnett gets DFAed, the alternatives are Balester, Gaudin, and Slaten (when he comes back). Slaten has actually been worse than Burnett - maybe that was an injury problem, who knows? The other two are righties, which would make Detwiler the LOOGY. That doesn't sound so terrible, I guess.

NatinBeantown said...

Exhibit A in the case to allow the official scorer to select the winning pitcher, like they can when the starter doesn't make it through 5.

Cwj said...

[Back home from visiting my parents in Colorado. Very fun time! Though I got a nasty sunburn and flying always scares me].

Anyway, Burnett is now officially hurting the Nats this season. Even if he ends up with a vulture win, it seems clear something is wrong with him.
HRodriguez should have been allowed to finish the inning. He does not give up home runs and he has huge strikeout potential.

Sam- Burnett was pretty good in 2009 as well as 2010.

Come on Nats lets get another big "W"!!
Go Nats!

dj in Fl. said...

USA Scores

Gonat said...

If Clip is in for the 7th, who is pitching the 8th?

sjm308 said...

Really surprised to see Clip in the 7th. I believe Coffey has not pitched in this series. What is up with that?

Thought Davey left HRod in too long but thats an easy thing to see after the fact. I guess he is still learning what our guys can do. Will he try and get 6 outs from Clippard? Hope not, we have 6 more road games and the bullpen has been used a bunch already.

Go Nats!!

baseballswami said...

Adventures on the basepaths today - by 2 of our pitchers? And then there was the bunt attempt by HRod, which was highly amusing. Lannan with 2 basehits last night. Really - what is going on? I know we were complaining about a lack of offense - but this is ridiculous - I don't think we were actually thinking of our pitchers at the time.

Anonymous said...

sjm308 - tired of hearing that Davey is still learning - he was supposedly very well-versed on the team. Time to catch up.

DL in VA said...

Ease off on Burnett (a little). He's not a vulture. He got 5 in a row out, if my count is correct, and dropped fly balls OFTEN screw up the baserunner, even those not named Burnett.

I do share some of y'all's frustration with him though. Whenever he comes into the game, I cringe. I think he needs to get his confidence back to where it was in 2010. Notice how much better a pitcher he was after his at-bat.

DL in VA

Cwj said...

If for some reason hell froze over and I became manager of the Nats, here's my late inning bullpen:
7th inning HRodriguez or Mattheus, 8th inning Clippard, 9th inning Storen.
Mop up man- Burnett (he just doesn't have it this year)
Trade bait- Coffey.

Sam said...

@Cwj: Burnett had a 4.57 FIP in 2009. That's the definition of mediocre. .191 BABIP contributed to a 3.12 ERA. He had decent results, but he still pitched poorly.

Cwj said...

Sjm308- Hmmm, I would leave in Clippard to pitch the 8th today. He's nearly un-hittable and has a rubber arm.
Coffey scares me at times in close games...

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

FWIW, I don't think Davey is still learning. I think he uses the bullpen differently than we're accustomed to seeing.

I had a really bad feeling when I saw Burnett warming up, I will say. And the whole Detwiler thing has always baffled me.

(And can "BP" stay "batting practice" please?)

Cwj said...

Sam- Oh I know he was expected to regress this year but I didn't think he'd be this bad.
I guess the opp. BABIP is catching up now.
I thought he was just reaching his prime last year, apparently not...but he can still turn it around.

Dave said...

@DL, by "vulture," I simply was referring to the situation: Burnett pulled a classic blown save/win. Although I'm frustrated with Burnett, I'm talking more about the meaninglessness of the win statistic fir pitchers.

That could've been Rodriguez's win, and HRod was actually more effective than Burnett today. Not perfect, but better.

Dave said...

Uh oh. If the Nats pull this out, then Clippard is the vulture.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Well, to be fair, Burnett didn't deserve the win any more than Jurrjens.

gonatsgo said...

Does anybody really deserve to get credit for a win today? On either team? Well - we asked for offense, didn't we? What a weird day.

nationals7 said...

Jayson Werth- master of consistency

LoveDaNats said...

No confidence in Werth.

Gonat said...

When was the last time Jayson Werth got a clutch hit?

Morse gets one that gets Zim to 3rd and Werth rolls a softie....PATHETIC

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

got to be Coffey here, right?

baseballswami said...

A one-run or tied game, Sean Burnett blowing it, Jayson Werth folding in a critical situation. Just another day for the Nats.

Dave said...

@gonatsgo, I would say no pitcher on either team deserves a "win" today.

Joe Seamhead said...

Arrrggghhh! Jason, yo're killing us.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Apparently, Davey was hoping to save Mattheus today.

With cause, apparently.

Anonymous said...

Gonat You got it. Where does it say in Werthless contract that he can't swing at the first pitch. It's alway right down the middle. You gotta pinch hit there. John Lannan would have been a good choice. Werth has cost this team a lot of games this season. 'HE IS GOD AWFUL>

nationals7 said...

USA!

Anonymous said...

If I have to hear FP Tangelos say it's a "weird game" one more time, I'm gonna curse. Good teams win games, including "weird games," bad teams lose them, and others. Are the Nats turning into the Nats of "yesteryear?" Methinks the answer is "Yes."

Dave said...

Who is FP Tangelos?

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Santangelo, and it is a weird game.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

*was.

Will said...

It bears repeating...Sean Burnett making the flight to Houston tonight is tantamount to Rizzo giving up on the season.

nationals7 said...

Good teams pick each.other up.... does Werth know this?

gonatsgo said...

Yes, it * was.Yikes. Hope we keep this offense against the West. 8 runs in a game Jurrgens starts and we lose - I did not see that coming. Well - the loss, yes, the score, no.

Dave said...

Oh well. Back under .500.

In an extremely weird game.

CAPTCHA was "nondenat." Server is watching the game.

Anonymous said...

And the Nats lose another game they should have won. Not weird to me.

baseballswami said...

Going to Houston with Burnett and Stairs will be criminal. I noticed Stairs had a jacket on in the dugout the whole game. Guess he really is just a coach or a cheerleader now and even he knows he won't play. He can't pitch, can he?

natsfan1a said...

Definitely a weird, and frustrating, game. We lost our starter two innings in, and the bullpen was stretched. Both teams kept battling, but the Braves pulled it off. On to Houston and LA, with hopes to bounce back against some struggling teams.

pos anon said...

This one is on DJ. He kept Clippard in too long.

Gonat said...

Uh, when you see a Rookie go clutch for a single and your $126 million man can't follow on what Zim and Morse did in the Top of the 9th, how can you expect anything else.

A lot of heart by a lot of Nats players only to see what I feared, pushing too many of your key members of the bullpen (HRod and Clip)to go too long in terms of innings.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Have I mentioned that I have *hated* the frakkin Braves since 1982?

Dave said...

Mark,

You must do an article on Werth's swing percentage on the first pitch, and his average when he is ahead in the count against pitchers: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=werthja01&year=2011&t=b#count.

Not surprisingly, it is atrocious. Isn't this something the coaches should be talking to him about? I'm convinced his issues are not talent related, they are approach related.

Thanks

nationals7 said...

As well you should, Sec3

Dave said...

Bixler optioned to Syracuse. Stairs remains on roster, presumably?

natsfan1a said...

For the record, I despise every last one of their tomahawks, whether foam, inflated, or painted on the field (and that stupid chant, natch). How I wish I could pull my hat down far enough to not see the tomahawk chop. Oh wait, I'm not wearing a hat. Dang.

Manassas Nats Fan said...

I blame Davey Johnson more than I blame Burnett for the disaster in the 5th. Look at the stats. Burnett has been pathetic when he comes in with a lead and good when he comes in trailing. Why bring him with a lead. Lefty on lefty is not a reason. It is lefties hitting homers against him. There was no reason for him to come in. The numbers speak for them self.

he has pitched like a bum when leading. The manager brings him in with a lead. I blame the manager. Play the numbers, Davey always did that before, why is he not now?

As for Werth no clutch hits in well over a month in later innings. I guess if he wasn't getting paid so much I could care less. I guess he simply isn't the player that Rizzo thought he was and the Nats will suffer for it until the manager figures how to motivate him to do the right thing.

I thought Stairs would go when Hairston comes back, but I think I would let Burnett go instead. This is becoming a broken record. He will say the same crap in the locker room. It is getting old.

No reporter actually will ever just ask, what the hell are doing this for.

BinM said...

It came down to who'd punk out first - Mattheus was the final victim. If anybody takes responsibility for this loss, DJ is front & center for his handling of the bullpen. Inserting HRod early & stretching him, then following with Burnett played badly, imo.

natsfan1a said...

I could also use a little one-on-one time with the team shrink right about now, but I'm guessing he might be busy. ;-)

Dave said...

MASN bizarrely leaves Burnett's base hit off the recap box score.

Manassas Nats Fan said...

I didn't watch Debbie Taylor softball Burnett again who always says "it was a bad pitch." Who forced you to pitch the bad pitch. Geez.

Gonat said...

Dave said...
Bixler optioned to Syracuse. Stairs remains on roster, presumably?

July 17, 2011 5:14 PM
_____________________________

And you are surprised because....

LoveDaNats said...

I'm usually sad or frustrated after a loss, but today I'm angry. This didn't have to end this way. Something is going on with Burnett and he hasn't pitched well for a month. Davey took a lovely 3 run lead and handed it to Sean for safe-keeping. Not a good strategy, dude.

Dave said...

@Gonat, alas, I am not surprised that Stairs is still here. I don't I understand, but I'm not surprised.

sjm308 said...

Ouch, Ouch, Ouch
This one hurt - I also am not happy with the way Davey used the bullpen. He tells us he is going to use Detwiler in long relief but we don't see him in that role. HRod has done well but NOT FOR 3 INNINGS! If you don't trust Coffey, why is he here. I don't think he has done that poorly and he certainly would have been my choice in the 9th.

Just screamed at the tv when Werth failed (again) in the 9th. This is really a game we should have won and I hate to see what happens tomorrow if we have to go to the pen early. Ouch, ouch, ouch

go nats!

Joe Seamhead said...

The loss sucks, Butkus I'm not ready to jump off a bridge over it.Tom G. Going down hurt. Werth & Burnett burn. Morse not getting to the ball early in the Braves big inning really hurt. Atlanta is a very good team.We should have taken 2 out of 3, but it didn't work out, but I think that Houston has a very angry team coming in to play them tomorrow. We'll win both of the series against the Astros and L.A.

Manassas Nats Fan said...

Sean has pitched awful when ahead, how has now given up three homers that either tied the game or put the other team ahead, since Davey has been manager. I am more concerned that he hasn't noticed this problem. He is giving up homers to lefties, so why bring him in to face lefties?

As far as I have heard no one has questioned Davey on this problem. (though it could be edited out.)

BTW: the only thing I hate more than Burnett coming and screwing up 3 games in 2 weeks, is word verification to post a comment. That is really annoying.

m20832 said...

DJ may have handled the bullpen wrong. But he doesn't pitch and he doesn't hit. He relies on his well paid players to do that. Top of the ninth, take werthless out and put Marquis or JZimm in with Zimm on 3rd and Morse on first. Just so frustrated when our boys lose like this. Especially against NL East teams.

On to Houston! GYFNG!!!

Mark'd said...

You have to wonder if Stairs says anything to Bixler as he departs by taxi. Who am I kidding.

Mark'd said...

M20832, excuse me but managers get paid well to know situations and this was a must win game. Davey didn't play it like that.

Anyone know where Coffey was brewing?

Manassas Nats Fan said...

DJ doesn't pitch, but the numbers don't lie. Burnett has been terrible when he comes in with a lead, and excellent when he comes in when behind. So why bring him in when they are winning, it has not worked all year. Just look at the numbers. That is his fault. Not using the players how they could be effective.

BTW: the only thing I hate more than Burnett coming and screwing up 3 games in 2 weeks, is word verification to post a comment. That is really annoying.

Dave said...

Manassas Nats Fan said...

"No reporter actually will ever just ask, what the hell are doing this for."

That's the million dollar question, and I'd love to hear someone justify the answer.

JaneB said...

it's surprising how Sean was in the nexus of offensive and defensive ways to win, that turned into another way to lose.

But I am looking Davey's way today. I know the BP is tired after having to pick up Livo and Lannen. But putting Sean in there, and then not taking him out...a mistake. I have to say I would have used Clip for both innings, and I would have been wrong. Coffey? The Slaten replacement we should have had by now? Here we they? I realize he isn't on the hook for the Slaten replacement, but you get what I mean. Oy.

In psychology, they know that some people can only have "so much" success in their lives. After tha point, they find ways to squander the money/ tank the job/piss off the boss and otherwise make sure the good things flowing to them go away. I'm wondering if these Nats are better from behind, rather than way out in front.

And Werth. Sheesh, I feel bad for him. Even he knows he's the third out with two on and the game on the line. I wish they could find some respectable way to put him on the DL to rest his body and mind. But today I am starting to feel bad for the team. And the fans. And me. Oy.

We need magic jelly beans on that flight so we can get a winning series again.

m20832 said...

Mark and Manassas, I agree. DJ gets paid pretty darn well also (heckuva lot more than me!)to know and manage the players. I did not say he wasn't responsible. I didn't watch the postgame but if DJ says that it's on him again, which it was. Are all the games on him (of course they are, he's the Manager!)? If he brings in the correct players for the correct situation and they still blow it, was that game on him also? If he's putting way too much faith in his $126 million dollar man, is he to blame? Or is someone else behind the scenes saying he's got to play?
Ok, this series is behind us. Now our boys need to go to Houston and LA and win...win...win!!
GYFNG!!!

Anonymous said...

That was a really weird game...

Anonymous said...

We need to go back and have the pitcher bat 8th. This way we could put Werth at the 9 spot. Sean Burnett needs to go. This was not Tylers fault. Nobodys perfect. Soon Lannan will have a high BA than WERTHLESS!!!!!

NatsLady said...

I'm sorry, but DJ completely mismanaged the bullpen in this one.

1) You have a weak link in your bullpen, but he's a lefty. So put him in first, in a fresh inning. If he gives up a home run, it will probably be a solo home run, and you have max time to recover.

2) You cannot expect 3 innings out of Henry. Period. You may wish for it, but he throws too hard, and he's not stretched out for it.

3) You might be able to get 2 innings from Clip, but NOT when he just worked the night before. You can't just go by pitch counts. There is also the warmup and adrenaline of going into consecutive games.

So, here is what I would have done

Burnett 3rd, 4th and 5th innings. He hasn't worked in a while. Let him be the one to take 3 innings.
Henry 6th and 7th innings.
Clip - 8th inning.
Mattheus or Storen - 9th inning (depending on score).

I agree with holding someone in reserve in case of extra innings (Coffey and whichever of Storen/Mattheus hasn't worked).

Now Clipp is blown for the next couple of days, and so probably is Henry. So DJ got the WORST of all results, he overworked his key pitchers and we lost.

Seriously, we should not score 8 or 9 runs and lose ballgames!!

Mark'd said...

NatsLady, you really wrote it well. Worst is losing Clip for tomorrow.

jeffwx said...

It's part of the plan. If Nats stay in race, they may have to pay Marquis and others. Like the play, the Producers, it' better to flop right now.
It doesn't make sense for the Lerners to pay big esp. after Werth, esp. since they can't lease the land they own around the Park. They need to continue to trade major leaguers for prospects until they can maximize profits.
DJ is the perfect man for the job right now. Incompetence is what is needed.

Mark'd said...

If I were Davey, I have HenRod for the 3rd and 4th. I have Burnett for the 5th and 6th as the Nats had the lead and I have Coffey brewing in case of trouble with Burnett. Mattheus for the 7th, Clippard for the 8th and Storen for the 9th.

Burnett was the freshest arm and needed a fresh inning where he would have had a 4 run lead.

NatsLady said...

Mark'd, yeah, except that at the beginning of the 3rd we didn't have a 4-run lead, and without the crystal ball, we didn't know we were going to have one.

So, you are set up for a lefty pitcher (Gorzy), you replace him with the lefty with the game tied. It's like Burnett is starting the game. Put it to him that way -- Sean, you go as long as you can. No pressure, no runners in scoring position, it's early in the game, just get out there and pitch.

jeffwx said...

burnett is only good after he gives up the big hit. That's pretty clear. There was only one reason to bring in Burnett...only one reason to pitch H. Rod for 3 innings one reason to keep using Matt Stairway to the cellar...to stubbornly use the same lineup, staying with the same guys you still need to succeed to show if only to yourself that your decision to get, keep and stay with your guys because these men are Rizzo (and by default, DJ) men.

Anonymous said...

Your all wrong on this pitching thing. Since everyone is rested from the all star game put in Jason Marquis. Then start Zimm today. You have to win when you have the opportunity. They blew it.

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