Sunday, July 10, 2011

Nats no match for Ubaldo

US Presswire photo
Danny Espinosa turns a fourth-inning double play during tonight's loss.
These days you never quite know which Ubaldo Jimenez you're going to get. Unfortunately for the Nationals on Saturday night, Ubaldo was good. Really good.

After going perfect through the first 4 1/3 innings, the Rockies' ace finished with one earned run, eight strikeouts and only one walk in a 2-1 Colorado victory at Nationals Park. It was a performance that many in the Nationals' clubhouse couldn't help but acknowledge.

"He's filthy, he's one of the best pitchers in the league," manager Davey Johnson said. "We've been swinging bats pretty good lately but he calmed us down quite a bit."

Read Chase Hughes' full account of tonight's game on

Also, read an update on John Lannan's condition from Ryan O'Halloran.

And, here's some thoughts from Cole Kimball about his pending rotator cuff surgery.


SonnyG10 said...

Thanks for the links, Mark.


Drew8 said...

In keeping with the Danny Espinosa pic:

With Espinosa sitting on 16 homers, I've been looking (Baseball Encyclopedia, ESPN's annual stats) into how rare it is for a second baseman to hit 30 homers.

Turns out it was quite rare until the steroid era and until the Yankees pretended Alfonso Soriano was a second baseman. By my calculations a second baseman hit 30 homers 10 times in the 20th century.

It's happened 18 more times since the beginning of the 21st. Here's the list.

1922 Rogers Hornsby 42 home runs
1925 Rogers Hornsby 39 home runs
1929 Rogers Hornsby 39 home runs
1948 Joe Gordon 32 home runs
1964 Felix Mantilla! 30 home runs*
1973 Davey Johnson 43 home runs
1979 Bobby Grich 30 home runs
1989 Ryne Sandberg 30 home runs
1990 Ryne Sandberg 40 home runs
1999 Jay Bell 38 home runs

2000 Jeff Kent 33 home runs
2001 Brett Boone 37 home runs
2002 Alf. Soriano 39 home runs
2002 Jeff Kent 37 home runs
2003 Alf. Soriano 38 home runs
2003 Brett Boone 35 home runs
2004 Jose Valentin 30 home runs
2005 Alf. Soriano 36 home runs*
2006 Bill Hall 35 home runs
2006 Chase Utley 32 home runs
2007 Dan Uggla 31 home runs
2007 Bran. Phillips 30 home runs
2008 Chase Utley 33 home runs
2008 Dan Uggla 32 home runs
2009 Aaron Hill 36 home runs
2009 Chase Utley 31 home runs
2009 Dan Uggla 31 home runs
2010 Dan Uggla 33 home runs

* Mantilla played all over, filling a utility role for the Red Sox. He started 46 games at 2b, 41 in the outfield. It's crazy that he hit 30 homers. He hit 89 in his career.

* Soriano, of course, hit 46 for the 2006 Nats, but he had moved to left field.

NATSONE said...

Intersting Drew8. So Davey has the record! Huh!

Anyhow, I just wanted to say that at least we're not the Orioles (see 36-51). That alone makes me feel good.

Anonymous said...

Seems like we say this about a lot of pitchers.

The Great Unwashed said...

Davey Johnson said, "We've been swinging bats pretty good lately but he calmed us down quite a bit."

Ummmmm, Davey, exactly which team have you been watching? Isn't it ironic that they got five hits off of Ubaldo, yet they've gotten fewer hits off of lesser pitchers? The Nats seem to play differently depending on the competition, but they frequently come up short.

Regardless, when you win by one run, you die by one run. This is eerily similar to the 2005 squad and they fell apart in the second half. Here's to hoping Werth and Desmond put it together going forward because pitching and defense alone can't carry the team for the whole season.

Anonymous said...

anybody seen todays lineup. Please tell me Werth called in sick.

JayB said...

It is time for some accountability for Jason Werth and Matt Stairs.

First Werth.....He looks lost and hates playing. He is standing in the OF with his hands on his knees with every pitch now. He is showing he is not coachable at all.

He has no approach at the plate. This is costing him big time in that every pitcher in the league knows he takes the first pitch every time and then chases balls in the dirt once he is behind in the count....EVERY TIME...that means he is not coachable right now.

SO with Werth he sits....for a while..5 - 10 games of sitting on the bench....he will first feel sorry for himself...then get mad at Johnson...then he will get off his high horse and get to work earning his playing he should no matter what they are paying him.

Next Stairs. He must get off the active 40 man roster at the break. Offer him a job at a BP/Pull Pen Coach for the rest of the year and tell him it is time to start his coaching life next year.

Both these guys have abused their past performance leash and both look like they could really use a dose of reality....The Nats must establish that they are a team based on performance, team first and coaching and development. Werth and Stairs are setting all the wrong precedences right now and need to be held accountable for their attitude and performance.

Gonat said...

I was at the game and kind of in a vaccuum to see the exact pitch to Werth that ended the game. I listened to the post-game show on my drive home and someone called into the Phil Wood post-game and said Werth pulled the outside pitch. Phil Wood had no real reply so I thought the caller was wrong.

I just watched the replay and sure enough the Huston Street pitch to Werth was on the outside corner and Werth (the Veteran) didn't push it to right field or the right side and did in fact pull the ball.

In other observations watching the game, in comes DETWILER in relief. Not as a long reliever as Davey Johnson said a few days ago was his role. I laughed in homage to SteveM for calling it. The great news is Det kept Clip in storage and that was a good sight to see.

Ubaldo was good for 5 innings but then the Nats had their chances and never capatilized. I thought Marquis pitched well as he bent but didn't break on his mistakes.

The story line was the lack of CLUTCH and more missed opportunities.

Gonat said...

JayB, I don't know what you do with Stairs except show him the door. I respected Riggleman when he didn't play him for a while and I suspect that was a problem in the Rizzo/Riggs relationship.

Clearly, Davey gets what he wants and the Werth/Stairs problem is now Davey's problem.

I disagree with you on some aspects of Werth. I still see a guy playing with passion and desire. He is just lost at the plate as I described with the last out.

NatStat said...

Last night's non-win had almost nothing to do with Jimenez. It had to do with Werth grounding into a DP with 1 out and men at the corners.

A fly ball off a mediocre closer would have tied it, and then its a new ball game. When it comes to Werth, the whole team is in denial, at least in media comments.

CBinDC said...

Well the Nationals are getting so much respect now that ESPN on Sportscenter Sunday on the Radio at about 10:30 am is saying the Tyler Clippard DOES NOT deserve to be in the All Star game ......the point being after all who wants to see a Nationals player play when you have people who they want to see not playing most of those of course being from the NYC area .....but there you go ...also they give the score from last night as the Rockies win 2-1 ......Here we go falling back into the dark shadows

Dave said...

@NatStat, a fly ball off a mediocre closer would have done it, but I don't think most people think of Huston Street as a mediocre closer.

Not defending Werth, however, who I think should sit out several games. I agree with others that the ball is truly in Davey's court now when it comes to Werth and Stairs.

The Great Unwashed said...

It just goes to show that when you sign a big contract, you're guaranteed playing time no matter what. That's not exactly new news, and the Nats aren't the only club in that situation.

Look what the Giants have done with Barry Zito over the past several seasons. Big contract or not, he wasn't performing. They moved him to the bullpen and made him earn his way back into the rotation. Even after he worked his way back, they left him off the World Series roster because he wasn't performing and they went on to win without him. Yet the reality is, the Giants are still stuck with Zito. I just heard an analyst on the MLB network say the other day that he's still untradeable because of his contract.

Unfortunately, the Nats are stuck too. If they bench Werth, he could go south for an extended period of time and become a clubhouse cancer. Then they're saddled with him for a long period of time and all of that "veteran leadership" goes out the window. It would be interesting to see if the Nats are willing to sit Werth, even for just a few days, but don't bet on it. Stairs is another issue. I have no explanation for that.

One other observation: Just like the Nats weren't willing to resign Dunn, maybe the Phillies letting Werth go was a sign that they felt his best days were behind him. That doesn't mean he won't ever hit well again, just that he's on the down side. And it looks like the front office was right about Dunn. It's a gamble. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.

CBinDC said...

I want to pass on this exchange with Ray Knight we had after the double header ....they had finished the Extra report and we ask or yelled ....Ray have you talk to Werth about your observations on his hitting .....Ray says yes but he does not want any help .....we asked about the report Ray did analyzing Werth's approach at the plate and had Jayson seen it .....Ray sighed and said yes Jayson had and did not like it ......we were perplexed and so was Ray .......Not much more to say if the person having trouble does not want help and it appears that Jayson Werth wants to carry this alone.....I think booing does nothing to help even for our collective angst ......but last night I felt that last boo was a collective boo ......just had more gusto since it was Werth.....again he will be here for at least 7 years so somebody better figure out a better approach ....and someone in the FO better come up with a better line then he will come around ....and stop with 126 million repeat ........worry more about the real monies wasted in the general corruption of the day to day then one sports players early struggles used as a surrogate for your anger at that corruption

JaneB said...

Imagine how much time would have been spent by people commenting on how we were wasting money by NOT playing Werth, if he'd been sitting the last few games?

Let it go. Let's put our attention where it can have a positive impact: how Zimm is starting to hit and throw like his old Zimm self, how Desi's bat is starting to work, how Espi and Nix and Morse and Bernie and Wilson are producing for us in various ways, and how Jordan Zimmermann is going to pitch us a win today.

Oh yeah -- and today we get a read on Peacock!

GYFNG! See you at the park.

Anonymous8 said...

Your choice is to start pinch hitting for Werth and move him back to 8th in the order and sit him more.

Seriously time to drop Stairs and bring up Marrero or Antonelli.

JaneB said...

And PS...SERIOUSLY, can this please be Matt Stairs last day in a Nats player uniform? They can make him a coach if they need to, But get us a real 25th guy. Please.
(had to post that the capcha for this post was: agreeed.


Big Cat said...

The way Werth has been struggling at the plate, I was hoping Davey might pinch hit for him......or Werth might take it upon himself to just push a bunt to first and get the run in.

sjm308 said...

I realize everyone is focused on Werth and Stairs but I thought there might some positive comments on our defense and pitching last night. Nix made two great plays (the diving catch and the perfect relay throw to Desmond). The play at the plate required three things to happen and they all did, you can't fault the coach for sending him, if Nix is off or if Desmond is off or if Flores misses the throw the runner is safe (its what I love about baseball, everything has to be almost perfect) - Espinosa went deep into right field to make the best play of the game, Zimm's throwing motion looked solid and if Davey can stop saying one thing and do another Detwiler looked very comfortable going two strong innings and that could be a huge key for us.
JayB - I have to agree on Stairs just like most of us here but how can you tell Werth "hates" playing? Yes, he is not hitting but the other parts of his game have not suffered. He hustles out every ground ball, he runs well if he is on base, he fields ok. I see him getting frustrated, as anyone would but I don't see how you can infer that the hates playing. Does he lie down on a couch in your office and tell you deep dark secrets?

Go Nats

Arlington BigFish said...

I don't know whether Werth hates playing, but he certainly doesn't seem to be willing to make any adjustments to his hitting style to try to combat whatever is ailing him. JayB cogently pointed out the process which every AB takes: take first-pitch fast ball down the middle, then flail futilely at 2 sliders down & away. I don't think I've seen him take a good cut at the ball in about a month.

I maintained in another thread, & continue to maintain, that he's not in a slump: he's lost his ability to see/hit a major league pitch. He's gone over the cliff, a la Ankiel/Blass, who lost, in the snap of a finger, the ability to throw a strike. If it can happen to pitchers, why not hitters?

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