Thursday, August 18, 2011

Game 122: Reds at Nats

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
It's the rubber game of the series against the Reds tonight at Nationals Park.
Davey Johnson tried out a new-look lineup last night, with Ian Desmond hitting leadoff for the first time since mid-April. That new look didn't exactly produce a whole lot -- aside from Ryan Zimmerman's ninth-inning homer -- but in their defense, the Nationals were up against a dynamite starter in Johnny Cueto.

So Davey will stick with this lineup for at least another day, hoping it fares better tonight against Bronson Arroyo, the veteran right-hander who has struggled this season but has posted a 3.60 ERA over his last three starts.

Jordan Zimmermann, meanwhile, gets the ball for what is going to be one of his final starts of the season. If you're keeping track of such things, Zimmermann's innings count currently stands at 145, so he's got roughly 15 more to go before he's shut down.

I'm back at Nationals Park tonight, so plenty of updates to come, including highlights from Matt Purke's introductory press conference...

REDS at NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
TV: MASN
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 187
Weather: Chance of storms, 85 degrees, Wind 9 mph RF to LF
STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (58-63)
SS Ian Desmond
CF Rick Ankiel
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Michael Morse
RF Jayson Werth
2B Danny Espinosa
LF Jonny Gomes
C Jesus Flores
P Jordan Zimmermann

REDS (60-63)
2B Brandon Phillips
LF Dave Sappelt
1B Joey Votto
RF Jay Bruce
3B Miguel Cairo
CF Drew Stubbs
C Ryan Hanigan
SS Paul Janish
P Bronson Arroyo
6:20 p.m. -- Your weather update: The skies are turning ominously dark here, and there's been lightning flashes in the distance. I was just down on the field for a live shot on CSN and overheard the grounds crew talking about 50 mph winds approaching from the west. Needless to say, this could get nasty for a little while. So I doubt this game starts on time. That said, this appears to just be one large cell passing through town, and it's relatively clear behind it. So I don't foresee a postponement in our future.

6:27 p.m. -- Meanwhile, folks in Minnesota are reporting the Twins have placed Denard Span on the DL with migraine symptoms. This is one of several reasons why Mike Rizzo was hesitant to make that trade for Drew Storen on July 31. Span is still recovering from a concussion, and as we've seen in these cases, you just never know what the long-term effects will be.

6:55 p.m. -- We've got some movement, coaches and pitchers heading towards the bullpens. The tarp hasn't been removed yet, but a Nationals official just said they're expecting to begin this game at 7:30 p.m.

7:37 p.m. -- We are underway after an official delay of 32 minutes.

7:44 p.m. -- Jordan Zimmermann starts the game off by walking Brandon Phillips, but he navigates his way around that with no problem, getting a flyball and two grounders to the right side of the infield to end the top of the first on 16 pitches.

7:51 p.m. -- Ian Desmond entered the day with a .277 on-base percentage. So of course he drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the first. Then he got thrown out trying to steal second. Can't really fault Ian for that. The Reds pitched out, giving catcher Ryan Hanigan a perfect setup to gun him down. Scoreless as we go to the second.

8:12 p.m. -- Still scoreless through two. Zimmermann did allow a two-out double to Hanigan in the top of the inning, but that came with nobody on base and right after he struck out Drew Stubbs looking at a fantastic slider. In the bottom of the inning, Danny Espinosa laced his own two-out single, but was stranded when Jonny Gomes was caught looking at a 3-2 fastball on the outside corner (believing it was ball four).

8:40 p.m. -- Just when it looked like Zimmermann might be in trouble in the fourth, he caught a nice break. With runners on the corners and one out, he deflected Paul Janish's comebacker right to Desmond, who easily stepped on second and then fired to first for the inning-ending double play. Nicely done there. We're still scoreless in the middle of the fourth.

9:01 p.m. -- I was just remarking in the press box that something interesting needs to happen in this ballgame. And something did. Great catch by Jonny Gomes, slamming into the left-field wall to rob ex-teammate Joey Votto of extra bases. The game remains scoreless in the middle of the fifth. Neither pitcher is dominating, but each guy has been effective.

9:07 p.m. -- Now THAT was interesting. And a positive development for the Nats. Jesus Flores clubs a 1-2 pitch from Arroyo into the left-field bullpen for his first home run since May 8, 2009 in Arizona. That was one night before he injured his shoulder. The Nats take a 1-0 lead in the fifth.

9:12 p.m. -- He hasn't been getting a whole lot of playing time, but Flores is starting to get into a groove at the plate. He's now 4 for his last 6, with three extra-base hits. Can't tell you how nice it is to see him finally rewarded for all that time he spent trying to work his way back up here.

9:20 p.m. -- That'll be it for Zimmermann, who is pulled after throwing 102 pitches over 5 2/3 innings. Runners on the corners with two outs for Janish, with Ryan Mattheus now in from the bullpen. Zimmermann, meanwhile, is up to 150 2/3 innings for the season.

9:25 p.m. -- Big strikeout of Janish by Mattheus, who preserves the shutout through six. The Nats still lead 1-0, and Zimmermann can only win this game, not lose it.

9:38 p.m. -- Not so good news from Harrisburg, where Geoff Morrow of the Patriot-News reports Bryce Harper injured his right leg running from first to third base. Manager Tony Beasley had to help him off the field.

9:40 p.m. -- And Gomes does it again against his old team. Big, two-out, two-run single to left, putting the Nats up 3-0 after six. I'll tell you what: This guy has been exactly what the Nats wanted him to be when they got him a few weeks ago. Solid ballplayer.

9:44 p.m. -- More not-so-good news: Mattheus has been taken out of the game before throwing a pitch in the seventh inning, escorted by trainer Lee Kuntz. Really not sure what happened. Henry Rodriguez is suddenly in the game trying to protect a 3-run lead.

9:53 p.m. -- And Rodriguez promptly gives up a run on a Desmond error, a wild pitch, a passed ball and a groundout to first in which he forgot to cover the base. Henry now has 12 wild pitches for the season. Which leads the National League. Even though he's only thrown 45 1/3 innings. Yikes. 3-1 as we reach the seventh-inning stretch.

10:13 p.m. -- Medical update on Ryan Mattheus: He left tonight's game with right shoulder tightness. His status is day-to-day.

10:21 p.m. -- A 1-2-3- eighth inning for Tyler Clippard, including two strikeouts. Still 3-1 heading to the bottom of the eighth as Drew Storen begins to loosen up.

10:46 p.m. -- That's your ballgame. Nats win 3-1. Jordan Zimmermann improves to 8-10. Drew Storen gets his 33rd save, with a big assist from Brian Bixler (who made a diving catch in left field). Jesus Flores gets his first home run in a long, long time.

115 comments:

Anonymous said...

Continued.

How bad are the Nationals at the plate? The Nationals are so bad that they not only swing and miss the baseball, they sometimes don't even hit air. Think about.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 3:23

Ha- frickin'-Ha

Anonymous at 3:30

N. Cognito said...

Desmond leading off again!
Last night my son and I were hoping that Detwiler would get on base so Desmond wouldn't lead off the next inning.

What the hell is "think about?"

Anonymous said...

sorry, think about it.

Grandstander said...

Don't know if it was posted already, but Marc Hulet at FanGraphs praising Rizzo and his aggressiveness in the draft. Worth a read.

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/king-of-the-draft-the-washington-nationals/

NatsLady said...

Grandstander, thanks for the link, I had not read that story, though heard a lot of positive comments on podcasts.

The odds are better tonight, 52-48 in the Nats favor. However, rain is also given a 50% chance.

Waddu eye no said...

J Zimm full game shutout!!!!
Y not?
gyfng

Unkyd said...

Regarding Youth, Inexperience, Excuses, and Reasons...

Raise your hands...... Everybody who took their folks' advice, every time it was offered, and never had to learn anything "the hard way".... I'm waiting..... Yeah, that's what I thought. The REASON we're seeing so many silly swings, and bad choices is because we're building a YOUNG team. A young, talented team. These are not the ribbon clerks who've been driving you crazy, for the last 7 years. And they'll be even younger next year, so if watching silly swings, on bad first pitches, in critical situations represents a health risk to your blood pressure, think about a lot of golf and fishing, for the next year or so. 'Cause if Davey's the smart old skipper I think he is, he'll keep letting his boyz learn the hard way, so the image in their heads the following year, will be the first hand knowledge of what happens when you don't take that pitch, as opposed th the advice the hitting coach keeps telling you.... Heck, I was in my mid-40s, when I lost a finger, doing something I'd been warned about, multiple times... It's human nature (for guys, anyway...) to be convinced that you know it ALL... Until proof to the contrary goes upside yo haid.

So let's file this frustration away, to be smiled at, in Sept. of '14, as we pull away from the rest of the NL East. But keep in mind..... Harper, Rendon, Goodwin, Purke, and maybe a couple others will still be learning the hard way...:)

Unkyd said...

..... And, if everybody learned everything the needed to know about baseball, in little league.... Why would there be minor leagues?

Unkyd said...

Oh yeah....... GYFNGOGOGOGO!!!!!!

NatsLady said...

From the previous thread: the Werth at lead-off experiment was, if I count correctly, 12 games in June, 10 with Riggs and 2 with McClaren. During that time the Nats were 9-3 (happy times). Werth went 9 for 49 for a .183 BA. On June 10 he was batting .244, and on June 27 he was batting .220.

Certainly the team was a success in that period, but I'm not sure Werth was at his best in the role.

NatsLady said...

Navy Nats-- if you read this, I will be at the games Saturday and Sunday. Will have the Cubs hat for your friend and a couple of other items they gave out free.

If you get an extra Desi bobblehead, I will take it off your hands, since I have no chance of getting one. Or maybe a Filly fan will not want hers...

JD said...

NatsLady,

That's too small a sample to mean very much. I would revisit because Werth is also having better at bats recently.

NatsLady said...

JD, agree it's a very small sample. However, revisiting Werth at leadoff will be up to Davey. We'll see if he takes advice from us. :)

Grandstander said...

NatsLady, this is one of the scenarios where batting average really shines as an inferior stat.

As a leadoff hitter, counting the whole season, Werth has a .163 average, but he also has a .281 OBP. He's not a prototypical speedy leadoff guy, but he does have speed. Leading off he swiped 2 bags in 12 games. That would extrapolate to 27 over the course of a full season.

Now, those aren't amazing numbers or anything, but they're definitely not as bad as his AVG suggest. He can get on base and steal, something you want in your leadoff guy. Let's look at those 2 factors (OBP and SB) for the team as a whole.

In OBP, Werth is 3rd on the team, behind only Morse and Zimm (neither of whom are going to lead off). His OBP is .331, ahead of Ankiel (.312), Bernadina (.312), Espinosa (.308) and Desmond (.277).

While Desmond still has the most SB on the team with 20. Werth is certainly in the mix there too, with 14. But Desmond's also been caught 7 times, Werth only 3. Bernadina is the only other National with more than Werth on the season at 16.

And to double down on the OBP argument, Werth is absolutely crushing the team in walks with 62 on the year. That's a stout 12.4 BB%, putting him in the top 10 in the league.

I'm not saying it's clearly the way to go, I'm just saying you could make the argument.

Unkyd said...

Actually meant Sept. of '13.......

Big Cat said...

Another J Zimmerman game. Shut those bums out tonight Zim and go get a beer at the local pub

Anonymous said...

Doesn't it seem like we run about half as much with Davey at the helm. Under Riggs we were running at will, taking second and then 3rd. Anybody got any stats on Riggs/Davey steals/attempts.

gonatsgo said...

I actually feel that Bo Porter has been a little subdued. I am wondering if he and McCatty stay if the present manager returns. Porter seemed to be the catalyst for a lot of the running. The team also seemed to be getting an identity for aggressive base-running, bunting for base hits, safety/suicide squeezes, base- stealing - exciting stuff. Now it seems we sit around and wait ( in vain) for the big bomb with runners on. How is that working out for us?

Navy Nats Fan said...

Nats Lady - I'll let you know - trying to decide on Saturday, will need to pay dearly for tickets but it might be worth it. I will be there Sunday, so one way or another it will work.

ehay2k - how about 6:45 on the 24th at the STH Service window to the left of the CF gate as you come in.

Navy Nats Fan said...

Oh, for Nats Lady and ehay2k - what state do you call home or have the strongest connection to?

josh f said...

On my way to the game, rain jacket in hand. Go Nats!

NatsLady said...

Navy, you will be lucky to get tickets for Saturday. I went over to the box office on Tuesday, and they only had singles, even for the Diamond Club.

Not a state-- District of Columbia.

Grandstander said...

RE: Stealing bases under Davey vs. Riggs

Under Riggs - 62 stolen bases (0.8/game), 18 caught stealing (0.2/game), 77.5 SB%

Under Davey - 21 stolen bases (0.5/game), 10 caught stealing (0.2/game), 67.7 SB%

So not only is team running less, but they're running less effectively.

Over the season, the Nats are 5th in the league in SB with 88. In August, we're in dead last, with only 3 SB. However, we're also 6th in SLG %, with .427, ahead of the Phillies, Cards and Braves. That's compared to .378 on the season.

Bottom Line - Under Riggs, we averaged 3.9 runs/game. Under Davey, we average 3.8/game. So nothing really has changed. In fact, before last night, the last time we failed to put more than 1 run on the board was the final game in LA on July 24th, a 3-1 loss.

natsfan1a said...

Go, Z'nn! Go, NATS!!

NatsLady said...

Leaving for the game. Need about a 1 hour rain delay so I can see the whole game. Thanks. :)

SCNatsFan said...

Unless Johnson picks up a bat and strolls to the plate I'd expect little to change, maybe an uptick in offense from Zim returning and not wasting ABs on LaRoche. Same players will play like they play.

Good article on the Nats draft picks other then our 1st rounders... if that article doesn't excite you then wake up!

Gonat said...

Where is Yonder Alonzo in their lineup? Lefty batter....maybe they don't like the way he tracked balls on defense on Tuesday.

Gonat said...

The good news tonight: Clippard is available if Jordan doesn't go 9 innings!

N. Cognito said...

Unkyd said...
"Raise your hands...... Everybody who took their folks' advice, every time it was offered, and never had to learn anything "the hard way"...."

Hand raised.

Also, I never lie.

Unkyd said...

Hat's off, N!

natsfan1a said...

teehee

N. Cognito said...

Unkyd said...
"Raise your hands...... Everybody who took their folks' advice, every time it was offered, and never had to learn anything "the hard way"...."

Hand raised.

Also, I never lie.
August 18, 2011 7:03 PM

baseballswami said...

The pitchers still don't seem to be totally in sync and in rhythm with Jesus Flores. Pudge is sorely missed in a lot of ways.

Unkyd said...

Attaboy Desi!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh, Desi.....and Ankiel..... long night again?

Anonymous said...

Hello????????????

Wally said...

So, where is everyone tonight?

Anonymous said...

New rule... Zimmerman and Morse are the only guys allowed to swing for home runs. Everyone else should choke up and try to scratch out a few lousy singles. Wow...does this team need a few lousy .280 hitting singles hitters. Instead we have a half dozen .220 hitters who might win one game out of 20 with a bomb, but ruin the other 19 with K's and unproductive at bats.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Beats me. I just got here.
I'm actually not minding Bob and FP interviewing Purke and just letting us watch the game in the meantime.

baseballswami said...

I know Jordan is throwing a lot of pitches but he has gotten squeezed on some pitches early also.

gonatsgo said...

The schedule coming up looks grim - 6 games against the phils and dbacks, division leaders - both of them. ugh

RickH said...

Heard Purke on the radio with Charlie and Dave and then saw him on TV with Bob and F.P. Seems like a quality guy.

RickH said...

Great catch, Gomes!!!

baseballswami said...

Purke - he sure did say "sir" a lot. I think fp and carp found it quite amusing. By the way - Danny got robbed on that Sappelt catch.

FS said...

gonatsgo, it could have been worse. we could be playing those teams at their stadium. I am happy we are at home.

baseballswami, just saw that play by Sappelt. Totally agree with you. That could have been a run scoring double if he messes it up.

Did not see the catch nor the home run by Flores, but glad we are leading. If our pitcher can see five pitches, why can't Desi? I know seeing pitches is not the best indicator of a good hitter or not. But our pitcher needs some time between innings.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

So, Jesus Flores is hitting home runs again, Chien Ming Wang is winning starts, Strasburg is coming back, Zimmerman is healthy, and Mark is at the game. Say Mark, how about going downstairs and taking some pictures or something? Or have we worn that charm out?

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

So refresh my memory, has Flores caught Wang yet? That has to be the comeback battery of the year.

baseballswami said...

Pretty quiet night up in here....

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

So let's start doing the wave...

Just kidding.


GOMES! GOMES! GOMES!

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

9:38 p.m. -- Not so good news from Harrisburg, where Geoff Morrow of the Patriot-News reports Bryce Harper injured his right leg running from first to third base. Manager Tony Beasley had to help him off the field.

Please tell me that didn't happen at 9:14, as I was posting about people coming back.

Anonymous said...

What happened to Ryan Mattheus?

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix...

Sounds better when you have a whole bunch of people chanting it...

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

I think they should have a Big Ben-style gong sound for foul balls to the mask. BONNNG! BONNNNG!
Just so the catcher isn't the only one hearing it.

FS said...

WOW sec 3, are you bored or what? :P

Drew8 said...

Worst control in the National League:

Henry Rodriguez 12 wild pitches in 46.1 innings !!

Kuroda (LAD) 11 wild pitches in 153.1 innings

Garcia (St. Louis) 10 wild pitches in 152.2 innings

I sure hope they didn't make Matt Purke watch WTH-ROD

Gonat said...

No, Michael Morse didn't just do that...1st pitch swinging into a double play with bases loaded. Where have we seen that before?

Drew8 said...

For God's sake!

Take a pitch.

Work the count.

CBinDC said...

ok what is it a rule on this team swing at the first pitch with the bases loaded ...... that was as damn stupid as last night ......nothing nothing nothing again again again

SCNatsFan said...

Our hitters have to be amongst the most stupid in all of baseball.

Three straight walks and we hit the first pitch into a DP. C'mon guys.

Gonat said...

Kardiac Kids just can't make things easy on themselves.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Nah, I'm just easily amused, FS.

Anybody know what Clippard has tattooed under his left upper arm?

Mark'd said...

Davey walked over to Eckstein and turned his back towards the field and was very animated in the dugout. I don't think they were talking where they were eating dinner after the game.

A DC Wonk said...

ok what is it a rule on this team swing at the first pitch with the bases loaded

And what's even dumber than that? Suppose it's bases loaded and you take the pitch and it's a ball. So it's 1-0.

So, the pitcher throws a splitter and the batter swung! Can you believe it? Don't they learn this stuff in little league?

Of course, I hope you all realize that I'm talking about Gomes' two-run single.

A DC Wonk said...

Mark'd said...

Davey walked over to Eckstein and turned his back towards the field and was very animated in the dugout.


Oh, to be a fly on the dugout wall . . .

FS said...

LOL this team loves getting out on first pitch. Very respectful of opposing pitchers. Don't want them to be too tired. Werth got a single in a five pitch at bat to start the inning, but the next three batters got out in four pitches. Epic!!

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

I know we discussed this last night, among many, many others, but again, it's not about first pitch, it's about the hitter's pitch. The problem is when you get fooled, which is why the guys on the other team get paid, too.

Gonat said...

Mark'd said...
Davey walked over to Eckstein and turned his back towards the field and was very animated in the dugout. I don't think they were talking where they were eating dinner after the game.

August 18, 2011 10:21 PM
__________________________

Was his head bopping up and down like he was crazed or his shoulder shrugs and hands in the air like he does when he is p*ssed at an umpire?

Gonat said...

BRIAN BIXLER!!!!!!!!!!!!

RickH said...

BIXLER!!!

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

BIXLER! BIXLER! BIXLER!

Anonymous said...

Why don't the Reds batters swing at the 1st pitch?

Anonymous said...

and Davey wants a bench that can hit. BIXLER!

Mark'd said...

@Gonat, the latter like he was upset with an ump!

Gonat said...

KARDIAC KIDS! Are you kidding me!

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't have been that close. What do they say, waisted opportunities.

Gonat said...

How good was JZim, Clip and Storen.

A DC Wonk said...

FS said...

LOL this team loves getting out on first pitch.


So, now I'm gonna be a Wonk and ask:

Is this true? Do the Nats do it more than most teams? or does it just seem that way? Anyone have any stats on this?

SCNatsFan said...

With the September callups right around the corner Bixler might not see the field too much; good for him to make a big play.

Boy the Nats don't make things easy on themselves, do they????

Anonymous8 said...

Way to take another series. JWerth and Gomes clutch. Flores with a longball. Espy with some hits and Bixler with a defensive play that saved the game.

JZim lowers his ERA and moves to 11th in the NL.

Mick said...

OK, i feel better and the boys played well tonight. Now, can we please get ona 5-6 game streak

Gonat said...

SCNatsFan said...
With the September callups right around the corner Bixler might not see the field too much; good for him to make a big play.

Boy the Nats don't make things easy on themselves, do they????

August 18, 2011 10:52 PM
___________________________________

Bench role players don't need to play every day. Nice to see Bixler step up again as a defensive replacement. He also can be key as a pinch runner. He's making $400,000 a year pro rated for the time he is up and I guarantee you he isn't complaining.

N. Cognito said...

Anonymous said...
"What do they say, waisted opportunities."

No. They say, "wasted opportunities,"

A DC Wonk said...
"Of course, I hope you all realize that I'm talking about Gomes' two-run single."

No, I didn't realize that, since the single came on a 1-0 count.

baseballswami said...

Winning is just soooooo much better than losing. Either JZim didn't have his best stuff tonight or he was not getting calls, or he isn't in sync with Flores - whatever - he battled his butt off. It took him a lot of long counts, but he just bore down and kept zeroes on the board. Bravo Jordan! Storen actually struggled a little, too,but got the job done. Do I hear the fans yelling droooooo?
Hoping Harper and Mattheus are ok.I love to see Espi, Gomes and Werth, Flores hit, Bixler make a great contribution.Nice team effort.

N. Cognito said...

Sec 3, My Sofa said...
"I know we discussed this last night, among many, many others, but again, it's not about first pitch, it's about the hitter's pitch. The problem is when you get fooled, which is why the guys on the other team get paid, too."

Tonight I missed the play entirely. Was flipping between the game and The Civil War and flipped back only in time to see the replay of the Reds completing the double play.
Where was the pitch?

Anonymous8 said...

Mick said...
OK, i feel better and the boys played well tonight. Now, can we please get ona 5-6 game streak

August 18, 2011 10:56 PM

Heres what I dont get. Many biatch'd when Ramos swings at the 1st pitch and a more seasoned Morse swings at the 1st pitch with the same results and nobody seems to peeved about it. Why, because the team won. That is why you shouldn't get all worked up about one play.

Mick, were you one of those peeved yesterday on the Ramos?

N. Cognito said...

I thought the ump called a good strike zone until about the 7th or 8th inning, then the outside part of the plate got wider. Fortunately, the Nats took advantage of this more than the Reds did.

Drew8 said...

Glad they got the win, but boy, we could use a laugher.

I wish they got the sweep, given that the Phils are coming to town, but it's good to win the series.

As we wait for word on Harper's leg, we shouldn't lose sight of two excellent pitching performances down on the farm.

In the Harrisburg game, Danny Rosenbaum improved to 2-0 at AA with a 1.40 ERA.

At Syracuse, Brad Peacock threw a gem, giving up one hit in 7 innings and improving his ERA to 3.55.

In six AAA starts since his lousy debut, Peacock is 3-0 with a 2.13 ERA.

See you in September.....

Gonat said...

baseballswami said...
Winning is just soooooo much better than losing. Either JZim didn't have his best stuff tonight or he was not getting calls,
__________________________

JZim had a lively fastball. I think he didn't get calls and I understand the strategy the Reds had was not to swing early in the count and get him out of the game quickly.

He definitely got squeezed just like you saw with Storen not getting the black.

N. Cognito said...

"Heres what I dont get. Many biatch'd when Ramos swings at the 1st pitch and a more seasoned Morse swings at the 1st pitch with the same results and nobody seems to peeved about it."

I'll be peeved if I find out it wasn't a good pitch to hit.
It's indicative of an ongoing problem with this team.

Gonat said...

N. Cognito: From what Mark'd said, Davey chewed on Eckstein in the dugout so should we assume it was talked about after Ramos and it happened again. 3rd time in a week if you include the Cubbies game.

Also, who has seen the Everlast heavy bag they installed in the tunnel?

Can Mark Zuckerman comment on both?

Gonat said...

N. Cognito said...
I thought the ump called a good strike zone until about the 7th or 8th inning, then the outside part of the plate got wider. Fortunately, the Nats took advantage of this more than the Reds did.

August 18, 2011 11:09 PM
______________________________

You know what, that is a good point. Not sure from a pitchers perspective if Drew would agree.

Gonat said...

2 news hits. Denard Span to the DL after suffering from continued severe headaches.

Austin Kearns released after clearing waivers.

Drew8 said...

D.C. Wonk:

I don't have seasonal stats, but tonight the Nats were retired on the first pitch for six of their 24 outs according to the pitch by pitch rundown on MLB.com.

They were all late in the game. Maybe the guys had dinner reservations:

1. Gomes grounded out in the 5th.
2. Desmond popped out in the 5th.
3. Flores flew out in the 6th.
4. Morse #$%^&* in the 7th.
5. Espinosa flew out in the 8th.
6. Gomes bounced into the force in the 8th.

Unkyd said...

N.Cognito said:

DC Wonk said:
"Of course, I hope you all realize that I'm talking about Gomes' two-run single."

No, I didn't realize that, since the single came on a 1-0 count.
August 18, 2011 11:03 PM
............................
Dood, that's just how Wonky described it.

Grandstander said...

Fun Fact: The Nats are slashing .310/.322/.515 on the first pitch. In fact, they're good in every situation where they don't have 2 strikes. With 2 strikes, in every situation, they're slashing .167/.234/.246.

Anonymous said...

I noticed that the post-game manager/press sessions are now being done at a table with a backdrop. I guess the spontaneous chats in the office weren't working.

N. Cognito said...

"In fact, they're good in every situation where they don't have 2 strikes."

That's pretty much universal in baseball.


"Dood, that's just how Wonky described [Gomes' single]"

It wan't clear...but that happens a lot on a message board.

N. Cognito said...

"You know what, that is a good point. Not sure from a pitchers perspective if Drew would agree."

He had a number of pitches that another umpire might have been calling strikes, but I thought they were off the plate. The wide pitches that the ump called were the ones around the knees. The one Reds inning ended on a called 3rd strike that was, by the book, easily outside and low, but not by much on either.

baseballswami said...

So thankful we didn't give away Drew for Span, who is on the dl with post-concussion problems - as earlier reported by Gonat. Someone also mentioned a battery of Wang/Flores and comebacks - Jordan is making a comeback, too. We seem to have several guys who are coming back from crap -- obscurity(Morse), horrible personal stuff ( Gomes) a career collapse and reinvention(Ankiel). I think the team motto needs to be "second chances". Maybe that's what makes them hungry and humble. I like it.

Gonat said...

Bryce Harper, hamstring strain on his right leg. They will re-evaluate tomorrow.

NatsLady said...

1) Y'all might not have been as mad today as yesterday, but Davey mentioned Morse going for the first pitch his postgame interview along with Werth and Ramos yesterday. He is not forgetting those.
2) Hot Rod needs to learn how to pitch with runners on base.
3) Game was fun, bigger crowd than I thought. Half-hour tain delay was perfect--with light traffic and getting a half-smoke, I was in my seat for the first pitch.

Scooter said...

So it turns out you could have smoked the whole thing, NatsLady!

natsfan1a said...

(rimshot)

(Sorry it's late, Scooter, but I went straight to bed after Drew got the last out.)

Anonymous said...

Tonight I missed the play entirely. Was flipping between the game and The Civil War

Why? You should know who's going to win the Civil War. Watch the frickin' game!

NatsLady said...

Bixler's catch in the 9th is on MLB top plays (Gomes' no--but WE love you!)

N. Cognito said...

Anonymous said...
"Why? You should know who's going to win the Civil War. Watch the frickin' game!"

I ended up missing the end of the Civil War episode because I was watching the top of the 9th. Anybody know how that Pickett charge thing came out?

Mick said...

To tempting but first of all Bless you Jesus for you Homer, lol

N. Cognito. Pickett still got creamed and Gen Lee is still an idiot for ordering it, lol

Mick said...

N Cogniot, I just read your post about was I peeved the other day. you compared Morse to Ramos and your point was why only get mad at Ramos swinging on first pitch. First all Morse can do what he likes, hello, his BA is 80 points higher and he is an All Star and one of the best on base hitters in the game this season. Ramos is struggling an hitting under 230. This is a no brainer.

N. Cognito said...

"First all Morse can do what he likes"

BS. If it wasn't a good pitch to hit (still haven't heard where that pitch was), that's inexcusable in that situation. Doesn't matter who's hitting.
They certainly weren't too happy in the Nats dugout.

N. Cognito said...

Mick said...
"N. Cognito. Pickett still got creamed and Gen Lee is still an idiot for ordering it, lol"

Thanks. I just checked the write-up in the paper. Chamberlain came in late and got the win for the Yankees.

Unkyd said...

In the Japanese remake, Lee commits hari-kari...

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Also, who has seen the Everlast heavy bag they installed in the tunnel?

Have not, but it would be there for BP... helps follow-thru, and it is supposed to help build power. Sort of the bizarroworld version of weighted bats--imagine hitting a 70# baseball, and then a 5.5 oz. one.

natsfan1a said...

N. Cog. wins the interwebz.

btw, I wasn't clicking around the dial (I'll explain to all of you kiddies later about how we used to have to get up off the couch to change channels, and we did so using this thingy called the "dial." But I digress. Again.), but I was reading in front of the tv for most of the game. Had recently picked up a copy of Heart of the Game: Life, Death, and Mercy in Minor League America, by S.L. Price.

Anyway, the book tells the story of Mike Coolbaugh, the MiLB 1B coach who was struck and killed by a foul ball in 2007. You may recall Price's SI article about Coolbaugh back in the day. I highly recommend the book (fair warning: it's a multi-hanky read), which I could not put down. In addition to detailing Coolbaugh's career in baseball, Price explores his relationships, covering not only his courtship, marriage, and growing family, but also his relationships with other baseball people (including the man who hit the foul ball). The book also provides insights into the business of MiLB, including the numbers game involved in constructing the MLB 40 man roster.

The book set me to wondering about how Coolbaugh's family is faring now. Back in the day, there was a memorial fund set up for his wife and kids. I contributed then, but haven't turned up any current info on donations. I did find that there's a memorial golf tournament that takes place each November, and it looks like registration is already full for it. Also found that his brother, Scott, was recently called up as a hitting coach for the Texas Rangers. So I guess I need to start rooting for them.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled Nats blog.

m20832 said...

Great Game! Fast little guy aren't you Bixler (Thank God!)?

Now let's see youse guys do some damage to the Philthy's.

GYFNG!!!

Joe Seamhead said...

N Cognito, I'll tell you how that Pickett's Charge thing really worked out. About a zillion soldiers died and ultimately they opened an overpriced, all you can eat buffet in Gettysburg named in Pickett's honor.

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