Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Game 116: Nats at Cubs

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Ross Detwiler faces Rodrigo Lopez tonight at Wrigley Field.
CHICAGO -- It's another gorgeous day on the North Side, clear and cool with a nice breeze blowing in off Lake Michigan. There are few better places to spend a summer than Chicago, and I speak from experience having spent the summer of 1997 right here covering Jim Riggleman's Cubs as an intern at the now-defunct Daily Southtown.

Fresh off an impressive 3-1 victory last night, the Nationals look to make it three in a row when Ross Detwiler takes the mound for his third start of the season. The lefty has pitched pretty well when called upon this year, but he's yet to show he can pitch deep into a game. Perhaps tonight is the night we see him sustain it and reach the sixth or seventh inning.

It's the usual lineup for the Nats, aside from Jesus Flores behind the plate instead of Wilson Ramos (who is celebrating his 24th birthday). That means Jonny Gomes (who has homered the last two games) gets his fourth straight start in left field.

Check back for updates throughout...

NATIONALS at CUBS
Where: Wrigley Field
Gametime: 8:05 p.m.
TV: MASN
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 187
Weather: Mostly clear, 73 degrees, Wind 6 mph in from LF
STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (56-59)
CF Rick Ankiel
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Michael Morse
RF Jayson Werth
LF Jonny Gomes
SS Ian Desmond
C Jesus Flores
P Ross Detwiler

CUBS (49-67)
SS Starlin Castro
RF Reed Johnson
3B Aramis Ramirez
1B Jeff Baker
C Geovany Soto
CF Marlon Byrd
LF Alfonso Soriano
2B Darwin Barney
P Rodrigo Lopez
7:25 p.m. -- There's some uncertainty about the state of Ivan Rodriguez's strained oblique, but this much seems clear: He's not going to be playing for the Nats anytime soon. Here's my full posting on that.

9:04 p.m. -- Oh, hi there! Long time, no speak. Sorry for the lack of postings, and for your inability to post comments for the last hour. Turns out Google's Blogger platform (which I use to operate this blog) was down for maintenance. Nice of them not to let me know in advance so I could warn everyone. Anyways, it's currently 1-1 in the fourth. Ryan Zimmerman extended his hitting streak to 18 games in the top of the first, then scored when Starlin Castro threw away Michael Morse's grounder to short. The Cubs got on the board in the second when Geovany Soto homered off a 2-2 pitch from Ross Detwiler.

9:20 p.m. -- The Cubs take a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth, in part because of an ill-advised attempt by Jayson Werth to make a sliding catch of Alfonso Soriano's blooper down the right-field line. Werth had to run a mile to even get close to the ball, and he had no chance of making the play. The ball caromed away, and by the time he picked it up, Soto scored easily from first. If Werth just lets the ball fall in and then picks it up, the run might not score. Detwiler then got into a big-time jam when he intentionally walked No. 8 hitter Darwin Barney, only to allow a base hit to Rodrigo Lopez. But credit to the lefty for striking out Starlin Castro on a nasty slider in the dirt. Big pitch there from Detwiler, keeping this a 2-1 game heading to the fifth.

9:29 p.m. -- Chance for the Nats to tie things back up, or even take the lead, in the fifth after Jesus Flores reached on a crazy bounce dribbler, then took third on Rick Ankiel's smoked two-out double down the right-field line. But Danny Espinosa couldn't deliver in the clutch, grounding out to second. That makes Espinosa 16-for-96 since the All-Star break, a major slump. Of course, you also have to put some blame on Detwiler for his inability to get a bunt down earlier in the inning, one that would have advanced Flores to second and allowed him to score on Ankiel's double.

9:39 p.m. -- The fifth inning has plagued Detwiler before, and it nearly got him again. Reed Johnson poked a 2-2 curveball up in the zone into the bleachers for a solo home run. Two more Cubs sent drives to the warning track in right field, with Werth catching both (including a long run to deep right-center to track down Soto's blast). Nats now trail 3-1 as we go to the sixth.

9:45 p.m. -- Make it 3-2 as Werth finds the left-field bleachers. That's his 14th homer of the season. More impressively, the fan who caught it fired the ball all the way back to second base. Couldn't see him up close, but is it possible that was Henry Rowengartner out there? (Let's see how many of you get the reference.)

9:48 p.m. -- And here comes Collin Balester to begin the sixth. So Detwiler is done, with the following line: 5 ip, 7 h, 3 er, 2 bb, 5 k, 84 pitches, 54 strikes.

9:54 p.m. -- And Balester quickly serves up a solo homer to Soriano, making it 4-2. He also allowed a double to Darwin Barney before settling down to strike out Jeff Samardzija and Starlin Castro. The Nats are hanging around in this one, but it's on the verge of getting away from them entirely.

9:59 p.m. -- Oh, and nice job by those of you who correctly guessed I was referencing the classic "Rookie of the Year." My favorite cameo in that movie was ex-big leaguer Tim Stoddard, who later became pitching coach at Northwestern University while I was in school and covered the baseball team. Who did Stoddard play in the movie? The opposing pitcher, who in the immortal words of young Henry Rowengartner, had a "big butt!"

10:09 p.m. -- Another squandered chance for the Nats in the seventh. Flores doubled with one out, and Davey Johnson sent Laynce Nix to the plate with a chance to drive in a run. But Mike Quade countered with left-hander Sean Marshall, who induced a weak groundball out of Nix and then struck out Ankiel on a 2-2 breaking ball in the dirt. Runner stranded in scoring position. Nats still trail 4-2 at the seventh-inning stretch.

10:20 p.m. -- Interesting: Quade is leaving lefty Marshall in for the eighth, with all right-handed hitters due up: Espinosa, Zimmerman, Morse, Werth and Gomes. If the Nats are going to rally, now's the time.

10:27 p.m. -- So much for that. Espinosa did lead things off with a perfectly placed bunt single. But Zimmerman grounded into a killer 6-4-3 double play. And Morse had his bat shattered on a pop-up to short. So it's still 4-2, and now the Nats are down to their final three outs.

10:52 p.m. -- That's your ballgame. The Nats go down quietly in the ninth and lose, 4-2. Ross Detwiler falls to 3-11 with a 5.03 ERA in 22 career big-league starts.

80 comments:

MIcheleS said...

Does anyone know if MASN blacks out WGN? I have that they are broadcasting as well.

Anonymous said...

Morse is on MLB Network at 5

CN said...

I think it depends what cable network (Comcast, DTV, etc) you have. I have DTV and WGN is blacked out, so I would assume it's the same for most, if not all the DC cable providers...

Gonat said...

I like the new way mark shows JaysoN Werth! If it works, that is the new way to go!

CN said...

Unless it's a nationally televised game (ESPN, TBS, Fox), aren't all games blacked out for out-of-town teams?

A DC Wonk said...

Since it's Ramos' birthday, and it's Drew Storen's birthday tomorrow, and I haven't talked about "ages" in a coupla weeks . . . I just wanted to crow about our young team:

D Storen, 24 tomorrow
Clippard, 26
HRod, 24
Lannan, 26
JZim, 25
Strassburg, 23

Ramos, 24

Desmond, 25
Espy, 24
R Zim, 26

(and Bryce, 18)

That's a great core of a team that's all age 26 or less. (And, frankly, I forgot how young Lannan is)

(I wonder how that compares to other teams)

Gonat said...

Nats In Beantown: http://tinyurl.com/3tbyu3w

Matteus, Detwiler and Gorzo in the Beast Mode shirts. Jordan Zimmermann throwing. Clippard without his glasses and HenRod on the ground.

MicheleS said...

Mark Z.. Can you post pictures of the new Ron Santo statue? God I miss him.. the HOMER of all Homers. A really great guy and a favorite of my Dad's.

Wonk... its LannEn....we must keep up the spelling until we get passed the team up 95... and i am not talking the O's or the Mets

Gonat said...

So Wonk, Ramos has the day off for his birthday.

CN said...

Ramos was going to get a day off today or tomorrow, with the matinee, so why not a day off to celebrate number 2-4. Though a day after after a b-day is always nice, especially in a city like Chicago...

A DC Wonk said...

Wonk... its LannEn....we must keep up the spelling until we get passed the team up 95... and i am not talking the O's or the Mets

You know, I was here for the extra "H" (Gomes), and the "GYFNG" -- but I apparently missed the origin of LannEn . . . can somebody fill me in?

Thanks!

Mark'd said...

On May 31 Riggleman decided to change Lannan's luck with the Phillies so he spelled his name LannEn on the lineup card and he won his first game against them.

JaneB said...

Wonk, a few months ago, when Lannan was in a stretch of NEVER winning against the Phillies, Riggleman posted the line up and spelled John's name will an E instea of an A.

He won.

We spell it with an E from now on.

I am hoping that the N will help JaysoN break out firmly, noticeably and for the rest of his career.

JaneB said...

PS...my husband now refers to you all as my "imaginary friends," too. Just like swami's colleague did.

Sec3MySofa said...

@Wonka

Mark Zuckerman said...
The Nats' OFFICIAL lineup card in the clubhouse misspelled it. That was the same day he beat the Phillies for the first time.
July 8, 2011 8:35 PM

www.natsinsider.com/2011/07/game-90-rockies-at-nats_08.html?showComment=1310171718688#c1544769449936232503

Exedor from Ork said...

"They're NOT invisible, you're just being rude!"

SonnyG10 said...

It's rather nice to have imaginary friends :)

A DC Wonk said...

We spell it with an E from now on.

Yep -- I noticed that. I apparently missed the reason however.

But, thanks to a number of my "imaginary friends" ;-), I now know!

Thanks, all!

SonnyG10 said...

The captcha was "pshiesh"

Mark'd said...

Steve M. said... LANNEN on the Lineup card today, not Lannan....I hope we like this new player!!!! June 1, 2011 11:41 AM

It was actually June 1st. SteveM got the scoop on the LannEn.

waddu eye no said...

morse on MLB - on using a humidor for his bats:

"apparently, it get's you hits"

looks like a neat kid having fun

but he should leave the singing to the experts.

take on the cubs!

gyfng

Anonymous said...

Navy Nats Fan said...

While reading the story on Matt Kemp in the current issue of Sports Illustrated I was VERY disappointed to see a picture of Kemp in a Beast Mode t-shirt.

There can be only one!

(to bring in another Scottish reference to go along with the gorse)

August 10, 2011 4:43 PM

__________________________

You have the manners of a goat and you smell like a dung-heap.

SonnyG10 said...

If we mis-spell all the names, do we get a new team?

MicheleS said...

Waddu.. Did you see Morse Singing "Take On Me" - CLASSIC! Someone has to get that on You Tube!!!

DannyEllinosa said...

Looking forward to catching the Nats on TV today in Vegas... WGN happens to be one of the few channels my casino hotel offers! If I could just escape a tedious ballroom general session by 5pm to see the first pitch.... Hi JaneB... GYFNG!

Andrew said...

MicheleS - I will have the video uploaded after I stop laughing.

MicheleS said...

Andrew... Still wiping the tears from my eyes! I love it!

Andrew said...

MicheleS - That's what is so great about Mike. You got to see the real Michael Morse. Fun, funny, goofy, and enjoying life.

Andrew said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CYRR6mD45c

Laugh again and again! Michael Morse, Hammer Time, Beast Mode.

Anonomous said...

On the season, right handed batters are hitting .333 against Rodrigo Lopez. Cubs are one of the best hitting teams vs LHP.
So of course this will be a low scoring affair.

MicheleS said...

Andrew.. If anyone else was in the house with me, the would definitely be wondering about "my imaginary friends". I am laughing so loud right now, my dogs are even wondering what is wrong with me... Love the dancing!

JaneB said...

Have fun jn Vegas, Danny, watching the Nats take the second game in Chicago.

When the do September call ups, does it start the first or the fifth, when minor league season ends?

annonomous said...

Sept 1

Natty Bo said...

OMG, that was hysterical.

FS said...

I found that video a little annoying, maybe because he did not fit my personal image of him. I had a film character for him in my mind, which I can not remember right now.

Anonymous said...

@FS said...
I found that video a little annoying, maybe because he did not fit my personal image of him. I had a film character for him in my mind, which I can not remember right now.

August 10, 2011 7:24 PM
____________________________

He isn't that guy that pretends to be politically correct. He shows you what he really is. I would rather have that then a fake. Clearly there are some that will think he is just a big goof. To me, he is just a normal guy not pretending to be more than that. Kind of refreshing in this day and age of fake.

FS said...

Anon 7:34, I am yet to see a National who tries to be politically correct in the media or anything. They all pretty much say what is on their mind. I was just saying that I had an image of him in my mind, but he was different and possibly the reason for me not loving the video like everyone else.

Wally said...

He seemed a little nervous to me, which increased the goofiness factor. Kind of like when an actor or actress goes on Letterman and feels like they have to be zany. My reaction is closer to FS, in that it felt awkward at times.

But what I find refreshing about Morse is that he doesn't mind showing that all of this is new to him, and he is enjoying it. So many pro athletes come off looking bothered and bored by all the attention (whether they are or not), that to see a guy letting his excitement show is fun.

Anonymous said...

They just showed the Santo statue on WGN's pre-game show - third baseman in action having charged and fielded a ball bare-handed, and about to fire to first (according to his son Jeff).

Candide said...

So, is blogspot working again...?

Mark Zuckerman said...

Hey everyone, sorry for the lack of postings (and inability to post comments for the last hour. Google's Blogger platform was down for maintenance, and I didn't know in advance that was going to happen. Everything should be fine now.

Wally said...

Ross has settled down. But does it seem like he slows down his delivery when he makes an offspeed pitch?

flynnie said...

Werth is wall-shy.

Anonymous said...

4th inning meltdown for Detwiler. I thought the 2nd and 3rd innings was sharp and didn't get some strike calls.

flynnie said...

Soriano nearly made Ankiel's day.

JaneB said...

Thank you Andrew for posting the MLB interview with Morse. I loved watching it. I wish he had told the real teasin he smacks his head...but it's so clear he is having a good time. And I found another reason why Livan is my hero, on top of it. I'm glad things are fixed again. I was starting to wonder if I was a complete computer incompetent.

How fun Mark , to learn about your beginnings as a baseball writer. It must have been really cool for you when Riggleman arrived in town. Just like we forget, sometimes, that the players atr people, it's cool to get a glimpse of the person behind our favorite Insider.

Anonymous8 said...

Never seen anything like that spin on a ball. Way to go Flores.

Anonymous said...

Davey didn't pinch-hit for him and gave him the top of 5th. Light hitting Reed Johnson smacks him out.

Stranded_in_Philly said...

Morse has amazing T-Shirts.

Anonymous said...

Cal Ripken was in the booth on WGN - he's in town for the High School All-America game to be played at Wrigley Field on Saturday. His son Ryan, a rising senior at Gilman in Baltimore, will be playing in the game - and coached by Uncle Billy.

alexva said...

Still 5 solid innings for RD, mostly hitting his spots and keeping his pitch count down. You have to give the Cubs some credit, they have been hot lately.

Anonymous8 said...

Stranded_in_Philly said...
Morse has amazing T-Shirts.

August 10, 2011 9:42 PM

www.22fresh.com

flynnie said...

Easy home run swing by Werth, and the Nats can win this thing!

Drew8 said...

Glad they got to Lopez.

Samardzija's here and the time is right

for dancing in the streets.

(Preferably Waveland Avenue.)

Grandstander said...

Couldn't see him up close, but is it possible that was Henry Rowengartner out there? (Let's see how many of you get the reference.)

Did he just say funky butt-lovin?

Loved that movie!

Anonymous said...

Colon Balester, throwing BP again.

JaneB said...

I realized, when Werth got his dinger, that there wasn't a shred of a hint of an iota of "bout time" in my reaction. I guess that means I am now firmly in his camp.

We will need a few more of those, of course.

Nats Outsider said...

Okay, Mark, I'll bite: Henry Rowengartner was a movie character about a Little League player who threw back a home run ball to home plate. The Cubs then sign him to be the youngest Major League player in history. The movies was called "Rookie of the Year," I think. Or something close to that anyway.

Nats Outsider said...

Not sure what the Meaning of this factoid is, but the bot-spotter's word just now was "mizeri".

Drew8 said...

Uh oh.

Davey's bringing out the Death Eaters.

My scar is already burning.

flynnie said...

H-Rod warming up! Fun for all! Davey's salute to Ron Santo.

Anonymous8 said...

Danny Espinosa better get his bat going. He is becoming un-clutch especially with Ankiel hitting before him and Zim and Morse raking behind him.

Anonymous said...

Henry just isn't fooling anyone except his Manager.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

It's a marathon, not a sprint.

I think Abraham Lincoln said that.
Patience, people. Patience. What else have you got to do?

K.D. said...

There is still time but this game doesn't feel like a victory waiting to happen for the Nats. Could be because I am watching the Cubs WGNA feed (live in West Michigan). Ron Santos reflections all night long.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see Danny used the bunt to get on. Where has that been?

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

I've always wondered why nobody sells steel-toed baseball cleats.

Gonat said...

http://mlb.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=452655#sectionType=splitsCareer

Denard Span is 1 for 24 since he came off the DL.

waddu eye no said...

Anonymous said...
Colon Balester, throwing BP again.

it's colin.

OH WAIT A MINUTE! THAT'S A JOKE!!
SOMEONE MAKING FUN OF SOMEONE ELSE'S NAME, THEN BEING ANONYMOUS!!! OH, THE IRONY!

humor from uranus

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

I think I liked the crickets better.

Anonymous said...

Mark Zuckerman:
In 22 career starts, Ross Detwiler has lasted an average of 5.1 innings. That's got to improve, or else he's gonna be a reliever.
_____________________

Is that a new observation because this is nothing new. He paces himself as he can't ramp up his pitches because of arm stamina to try to pitch 5+ and you barely get 5. When you compare it to his relief appearances he is throwing an easy mid-90's with movement.

Rizzo and staff seem to want him to be starter and the fanbase wants him to be a starter. Same results different month.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Go get 'em tomorrow. Day game at Wrigley--how bad can it be?

flynnie said...

It really is laborious to post here compared to the Nationals Journal, having been driven there by the site being down. Mark couldn't even post a "gone fishin'" sign, either. I didn't know what was going on, but would love for this site to not require secret handshakes and manual refreshing.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

anon 10:52, is that a quote from Mark? Where is that from?

SonnyG10 said...

Bummer!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous8 said...

Ray Knight just basically said the same thing as Mark and the Anon. In 22 starts, has gone 7 innings once, 6 innings twice. Ray says he lacks arm endurance.

Wasn't this the same problem that Clippard had as a starter?

Why do they keep jerking this kid around? He didn't do well this year in AAA as a starter. This is the Majors.

He excelled in Spring Training when it was 3 inning assignments.

For his 5 innings, it was alright. Nothing great. If Detwiler continues as a starter, he better learn how to bunt. He really hurt the team in the top of the 5th.

Anonymous said...

>>>Ross Detwiler falls to 3-11 with a 5.03 ERA in 22 career big-league starts.<<<

Ugh. That's ugly.

Ultimately, this game was lost with the performance the offense put up against Lopez. That was inexcusable.

flynnie said...

HRod was good now that he's back at sea level. We need to give Ross as much time as CMW. Flores is looking like his old self. Jason's home run was free and easy. He made a couple of nice catches in the outfield, even though he decided to slide on the game winner that Aaron Rowand would've caught. That wall wasn't ivy covered - it was concrete and at some point the pitcher is responsible for not putting his outfielders into career-threatening situations. I'm glad Jayson didn't go into the wall. I'd be wall-shy too.

bups said...

Has there been even one game this season when the Nats have gotten Zimmerman some runs? These guys are the hitless wonders but when Zimmerman pitches, the offense is totally disappears.

Claudia said...

My son-in-law wants the Hammer Time t-shirt Morse was wearing...I've been looking, but can't find it. Anyone know where to get one?

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