Friday, September 16, 2011

Game 149: Marlins at Nats

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nats try to extend their winning streak to six tonight against the Marlins.
If you've set foot outside at all today, you know there's a hint of fall in the air. The temperature has dropped, the humidity is down, the sun is starting to set earlier in the evening. Which also means baseball season is winding down.

The Nationals are down to their final four series of the year, beginning tonight against the Marlins. They'll travel to Philadelphia next week, host the Braves next weekend, then travel to Florida for the final three games of the year.

John Lannan will be on the mound tonight, looking once again to secure his career-best 10th win. He'll be opposed by veteran Javier Vazquez, who is 3-0 with an 0.45 ERA over his last three starts.

I'm back at the ballpark all weekend, so please check back for updates throughout...

MARLINS at NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
TV: MASN2
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 186
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 63 degrees, Wind 4 mph in from RF
STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (71-77)
SS Ian Desmond
LF Roger Bernadina
3B Ryan Zimmerman
RF Laynce Nix
CF Rick Ankiel
2B Danny Espinosa
1B Chris Marrero
C Wilson Ramos
P John Lannan

MARLINS (67-83)
SS Emilio Bonifacio
2B Omar Infante
RF Mike Stanton
3B Jose Lopez
LF Logan Morrison
1B Gaby Sanchez
CF Bryan Petersen
C John Buck
P Javier Vazquez
4:45 p.m. -- You'll surely notice the absence of both Michael Morse and Jayson Werth from tonight's lineup. No injuries for either player, but Davey Johnson has been wanting to give each guy a day off for a while now. He finally felt comfortable doing that tonight since both Roger Bernadina (hand) and Laynce Nix (groin) are able to play the field again after battling nagging injuries the last couple of weeks. Both Morse and Werth should be back in the lineup tomorrow night.

7:07 p.m. -- And we're underway with a strike from John Lannan to Emilio Bonifacio. It's a cool 62 degrees at gametime. Yep, fall has arrived.

7:15 p.m. -- What could've been a ragged first inning for Lannan turned out fine, thanks to a sliding catch in left field by Roger Bernadina and a nice 5-3 double play started by Ryan Zimmerman. Lannan had gotten himself in trouble after allowing a single to Emilio Bonifacio and then walking Omar Infante. His defense bailed him out, big-time.

7:34 p.m. -- Eventually, walks are going to come back to haunt you. Sure enough, when Lannan issued two free passes in the top of the second, one of them wound up scoring thanks to a wild pitch and then John Buck's RBI single to center. That's not going to get it done. Lannan had better figure this out quickly, or he's not going to be on the mound much longer tonight. Nats trail 1-0 in the middle of the second.

7:41 p.m. -- Wasted opportunity for the Nats in the bottom of the second. They got back-to-back singles from Ankiel and Espinosa, but Espinosa got greedy and tried to stretch his hit into a double. He was promptly gunned down at second base. Which meant there were already two outs when Marrero flied out to right, and thus Ankiel couldn't tag up to score. So it remains 1-0 after two.

7:50 p.m. -- This is not going well for Lannan, is it? Back-to-back doubles to open the third, then a two-out single by Gaby Sanchez, then another single by Bryan Petersen that thankfully as wiped out on a great relay throw by Ian Desmond to catch Petersen straying too far off first base. Still, it's 3-0 Marlins in the middle of the third, and Lannan has been all over the place. Surprised the bullpen has remained quiet to this point.

8:27 p.m. -- We're through five innings now, and it's still 3-0 Marlins. Lannan has settled down some, but his teammates have done little against Vazquez through five. It didn't help matters when Ankiel didn't hustle out of the box on a grounder to second to lead off the bottom of the fifth. Infante booted the ball but still through Ankiel out by a half-step. If Ankiel is busting it down the line right from the get-go, he's easily safe.

8:34 p.m. -- Alex Cora will pinch-hit for Lannan to open the bottom of the sixth, ending Lanna's night. Amazingly, he still gets credit for a quality start: three runs allowed in six innings. If you've watched this game, you know there was very little about this start that deserves to be classified as "quality."

8:58 p.m. -- Another nice inning of relief from Craig Stammen, who recorded a pair of strikeouts and then got an assist from Espinosa, who made a nifty play to get Logan Morrison to end the inning. Still 3-0 at the seventh-inning stretch.

9:13 p.m. -- Uh, Brian Bixler: What are you doing? Getting picked off first base to end the bottom of the seventh? With a runner in front of you? And the tying run at the plate, down three runs? Come on, you're better than that.

9:30 p.m. -- Eight innings in the books, and Javier Vazquez has still not allowed a run. Just a feeble showing from the Nats lineup tonight. They've got three outs to turn it around.

9:39 p.m. -- Well, at least something happened to get the crowd excited in the top of the ninth. Nice double play to end the inning, with Ryan Zimmerman going home to get Bonifacio, then Ramos making a great throw to second base to nail Stanton. We go to the bottom of the ninth, Nats still down 3-0.

9:45 p.m. -- That'll do it. Behind a complete-game performance from Javier Vazquez, the Nats lose 3-0. It's the 14th time they've been shut out this season. So much for the momentum of that four-game sweep in New York. That was the least interesting game of the year right there. Sheesh.

75 comments:

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Simply, GNFNG!!

With a parka.

Bowdenball said...

No Morse, no Werth in the Nats starting lineup.

Translation: Davey is content with the winning streak and he wants everyone rested and ready to back Strasburg in front of a big crowd tomorrow, so this game isn't high-priority.

JaneB said...

Bowdenball writes: '...so this game isn't high-priority."

But that doesn't mean we don't win. We DO! I'm on the record. I'm breaking out the long johns and heading to the stadium soon!

GYFNG!!!!!!!!

natsfan1a said...

We're sure to get a win with TBA in the lineup. Oh, wait. Fish sticks. It's what's for dinner. Go, LannEn! Go, NATS!!

Bowdenball said...

JaneB-

If anything, recent history suggests we are MORE likely to win. Seems like we always break out when we run out those Alex Cora, Wil Nieves, Alberto Gonzalez type lineups. Here's hoping- it would be a lot of fun to come up on another Strasburg game with a six game win streak behind us.

Steve M. said...

Still no Lombardozzi and totally agree with Davey to rest Morse. He is overdue for another day off.

Bernadina batting 2nd

Anonymous said...

No Morse, no Werth in the Nats starting lineup.

Gives Bernadina and Ankiel some reps? Nix? Harper will be there soon enough.

Steve M. said...

In Lannan's last start against the Fish, he allowed the leadoff man to get on in 5 of his 6 innings of work. Even with help from double plays Lannan needs to keep Bonifacio off of the basepaths. The last time Lannan faced the Fish he walked Bonifacio and of course he scored later that inning.

Stanton is 2-6 career against Lannan and one of the hits is a HR. Stanton's favorite Nats pitcher is actually Livan Hernandez who he has had his most career HRs against (3).

John's key to success tonight is keeping the leadoff man off-base and staying out of the Big Bopper's power zones.

Lannan needs to turn his recent bad starts around and get into the 6th inning tonight. I think the same can be said for Strasburg tomorrow night keeping his pitch count low.

baseballswami said...

Time to pound some guppies!

natsfan1a said...

Heads up for SABR members and/or stat heads who get MLB Network (cut and pasted from a SABR email):

MLB Network will premiere "Behind the Seams: The Stat Story", a special on the evolution of statistics in Major League Baseball, at 10 p.m. Eastern on Sunday, September 18, 2011. The hour-long program will be narrated by 22-time Emmy Award-winner Bob Costas.

An MLB Productions crew spent five days at the 41st annual SABR convention this summer in Long Beach, California, filming interviews with SABR members for the show.

Among the interviewees are Elias Sports Bureau's Steve Hirdt, MLB's official historian John Thorn, Baseball-Reference.com's Sean Forman, Sports Illustrated's Joe Sheehan, Fangraphs.com contributor Jonah Keri, New York Times writer Alan Schwarz, Rotisserie League Baseball creator Dan Okrent and SB Nation's Rob Neyer.

Traveler8 said...

Mark, two left fielders?

jeffwx said...

And the Nats get only 2 hits against Vasquez tonight...the lineup and the weather looks too cold

JaneB said...

natsfan1a says:

MLB Network will premiere "Behind the Seams: The Stat Story", a special on the evolution of statistics in Major League Baseball, at 10 p.m. Eastern on Sunday, September 18, 2011. The hour-long program will be narrated by 22-time Emmy Award-winner Bob Costas.


I'm not smart about stats, but I will be watching. Thanks for the alert!

Analytical Nat said...

With two left fielders, no balls should drop in. You can have one play shallow and the other deep. On the other hand, you can expect a couple of inside the park home runs for hits down the right field line.

A DC Wonk said...

Davey wanted to give Werth a day off yesterday, but Werth talked him out of it. In any event, Morse and Werth went a combined 0-for-10 yesterday, with 3 K's, and 10 men LOB.

Anonymous said...

Isn't this game #149 ?

Bernadina RF?
Nix LF?
Ankiel CF ?

NatsLady said...

Nix RF

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2011_09_16_flomlb_wasmlb_1&mode=gameday

Mark Zuckerman said...

Bernadina in LF, Nix in RF. Sorry. And it is indeed Game 149. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

Mark, I know from experience how hard it is to type when you are trying to hold a baby bottle in one hand and a baby in the other. :-))

natsfan1a said...

Yes, new dads definitely get a pass. :-)

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Natsfan1a reports:

An MLB Productions crew spent five days at the 41st annual SABR convention this summer in Long Beach, California, filming interviews with SABR members for the show.

What, I wonder, was second prize?

waddu eye no said...

second prize, ten days

waddu eye no said...

btw. saw debbie talking to desi on masn pregame. here's my desmond story...

i was singing the anthem at a game, and hanging by the BP area waiting for a sound check when a woman in a wheelchair was wheeled down to the area. i assumed there was some kind of special favor for a handicapped fan going on. she had her back to the plate and was posing for a picture when desmond saw her, waved at the friend to wait on the picture, jumped up and ran behind the lady in the chair. knelt down, said hello, put his arm around her and smiled for the picture with her. then said goodbye and ran back toward the plate and back to work. the woman was thrilled.

he had nothing to gain by being nice, other than to make a fan happy. it was really a nice moment.

Dave said...

Johnny and FP in the booth tonight. Sounds like a good night to synchronize the radio/MLB App audio and the DVR.

I heard Dave Jags interview Todd Coffey on the radio pre-game as I was driving home from work. I was very pleasantly surprised at how good Coffey sounded on the radio. Very confident, articulate and witty. I don't think I heard a single cliche answer in a 7- to 9-minute interview.

sunderland said...

waddu eye no - thanks, nice story

jeffwx said...

go big Johnny Holliday...
Bonafacio must be hitting .500 against us

Drew8 said...

Throw strikes, Meat!

Drew8 said...

I know Lannan is a virtual lock for next year's rotation, but I'd rather see Peacock or Detwiler.

You can't teach 93 and it's nice to have a heater when you need to get out of a jam.

Johnny Holliday said...

Some people say baseball is a game that moves too slow. Not me, though. I can barely keep up!

Johnny Holliday said...

Can someone wake me when this game is over. I need to take my pills. If I can remember where I put them....

sunderland said...

Ok, who is ling man today?

Anonymous said...

Long man? Who knows? Can Gorzelanny pitch again? and -- How about some !@##$$$%%^^ offense please.

Dave said...

Boy howdy, I'm having an unpleasant flashback to last Saturday, the last game I saw live.

Three runs in three innings is an ERA of 9.00. Nice throw to first by Desi to end the inning, but Lannan needs to figure out how to get outs.

Dave said...

FP and Johnny are talking about the Nats ending up in third place, as if they can't see the game going on in front of them.

Uh, guys? It's 3-0 Fish after three innings. Losing to the fifth place team won't keep them in third place.

sunderland said...

Time to warm up Stammen.

Dave said...

Yikes. I have to switch to radio soon. I'm in my kitchen, where the main source of baseball is the TV, but I think it's time to move downstairs where I can sync the iPhone with the DVR.

Johnny Holliday said...

Having trouble keeping up. I'm switching to every-other-play-by-play man. If this game drags on I'll be shifting to inning-by-inning man. Just so you know...

Dave said...

Charlie and Dave with pictures. Ah, that's better!

Johnny Holliday said...

You can criticize my play calling all you want. But remember, I'm your last line of defense before having those W. B. Mason guys in the booth.

Gonat said...

Steve M. said...
In Lannan's last start against the Fish, he allowed the leadoff man to get on in 5 of his 6 innings of work. Even with help from double plays Lannan needs to keep Bonifacio off of the basepaths. The last time Lannan faced the Fish he walked Bonifacio and of course he scored later that inning.
_________________________

I think Lannan has allowed the leadoff hitter of each inning on 4 of the 5 innings so far.

baseballswami said...

Stammen or Gorzelanny? Although, even though he is struggling, they didn't score in the 4th or 5th. Maybe he just stays out there tonight and eats it - throws about 120 pitches and gets his ship righted. It really must look like batting practice to them after facing Cliff Lee last night, though. I think the offense got left behind in NY. Usually when we have a big offensive game it evaporates on the next one.

Gonat said...

If Ankiel came charging out of the box Infante would have had an error, instead it is a harmless 4-3.

That may be the first time this year I have seen a position player dogging it to 1st.

Anonymous said...

But MASN said Johnny Holliday was just as good as Carpy.

Dave said...

Just as good? He's nevah, nevah, NEVAH just as good.

Anonymous said...

"mild hot water" that's a new one.

baseballswami said...

Johnny Holliday seems like a nice enough man but his role is to be the yes-man for Ray Knight. He compliments him, laughs at his jokes and agrees with everything he says.Maybe he is better at college football.

Anonymous said...

Tepid water? Lukewarm water?

Dave said...

Lukewarm water.

Derek Smalls's place in the Spinal Tap trio.

Dave said...

Well, now that Lannan has settled down in the sixth inning, it would be nice for his teammates to get some runs. He could still "win" this game.

Dave said...

Isn't Javier Vazquez the other active pitcher besides Livo who has never been on the DL in years and years? I think that was a TV trivia question last year.

baseballswami said...

You know -- 96 pitches, 6 innings, 3 runs is really not all that bad. He did seem to settle down. Dave is right - if his teammates could just get some runs...

Anonymous said...

No win for Lannan - pitching change. That number 10 for him looks like the Great Wall of China about now. Maybe if everyone ( media) stopped making such a big deal about it.

Dave said...

The problem is, of course, that Vazquez has totally shut down the Nats' bats. Lannan ended up being okay, but Vazquez is brilliant.

Anonymous8 said...

The Houston Astros may have secured the #1 pick in 2012. They lost their 99th game today.

baseballswami said...

Did we give up on Bonifacio because he was such light hitter or because we had too many middle infielders? Now he is a great hitter, Nyger is hitting a lot better. Do these people just have better batting coaches now or did we not give them enough time to learn? Not that I want the whole tplush act back in town - just wondering if the people who leave us get better - Hanrahan? Do we not give them enough of a chance or do they need a change of scenery? Milledge never got better in Pittsburgh, I think he might be out of the game now, as are many players who had their final chances here, or shortly after. I always feel badly about Ryan Church's career - I really liked him and feel that the Mets ruined him by pushing him back after a serious concussion.

Dave said...

Charlie and Dave are riffing on hard-to-pronounce player names. They're going nuts with "Marrero," which apparently Dave messed up earlier.

Reminds me of when Dave and FP were in the TV booth last night and earlier. Funny stuff.

Anything Can Happen in Baseball said...

The Mets have responded to Terry Collins' rant - they lead the Braves 10-2 in the 4th inning.

Dave said...

Okay then. With Bixler getting picked off to end the inning, I am beginning the slow process of officially giving up on this game.

baseballswami said...

I was right there, Dave, until FP reminded me of the Mariners game when we were down 5 runs in the 9th and staged a stunning comeback. Nice to see Craig Stammen doing well, I have always liked him. Time, though,is ticking away...tick,tick,tick. ACHIB @9:14 - his rant was pretty epic.

Anonymous said...

Wow - our offense is really anemic. Have to remember that Morse and Werth are not playing, too.

ehay2k said...

Why is Bonifacio not out on that play? He clearly ran inside the baseline to interfere with the okay and succeeded! Earlier this year, Bernadina got called out on a similar play but his route had no impact on the play.

ehay2k said...

Interfere with the PLAY, not the okay. Anyway, baseball gods read this blog because they immediately caused the awesome double play!

Dave said...

Nice double play. If only the offense were that good.

Will our boys get shut out, the day after a 10-1 win?

Dave said...

Vazquez out again to go for the complete game shutout.

Dave said...

And Vazquez gets his first CG of the year.

Glad we could help, Javy.

Anonymous said...

Depleted fish beat us. Awful.

baseballswami said...

As it turns out - it wouldn't have mattered if Lannan had only given up one. The Nats pitchers continue to be dogged by lack of run support. They trotted some out for the rookies, then it went away. Of course, we were playing the Mets at their absolute worst. I thought maybe the fish were, too, but they were playing the Phils so that has something to do with it. It would be nice to see SS put a good game together and have some offense - all in the same game.

Mick said...

oh well, one of those nights, thanks for the compliment natsfan 1a about my childhood Nats.

Anonymous said...

This is one of the worse, most uninspired performances I've seen from the Nationals.

They should be embarrassed by this.

NatsLady said...

Bowdenball @3:58. Good call.

Dave said...

Well, it was a one-error game by the Nats (Desi), and only 3 left on base. One bad baserunning error and one very good double play.

The problem was that the Nats could not get any hits when it made any difference.

Ever hear tell of that before?

Oldguy said...

On the way home we heard Phil say Davey wants to see what he has. When We saw Cora in the on-deck circle, we were wondering what Davey needs to see about a 35-year-old .220 hitter. And Pudge standing next to him who hasn't seen an at bat since JC was a corporal. Pudge deserves a shot now and then, to say the least.

Anonymous said...

Dave at 10:04--um, one bad baserunning error? Bixler and...did you see Danny get nailed at second, when he had no reason to stretch it and was doomed? When we had two hits AFTER we had a man on first and failed to score?

I laugh about all the Nationals hype. Boswell, Wood, Zuckerman. Check the paper tomorrow and see how FEW teams in MLB are further out of first place than we are! But according to the hype, we are RIGHT THERE. Check the standings tomorrow and see how RIGHT THERE we actually are!

Anonymous said...

The Danny at second base deal was because Davey suggested (postgame)that the coach thought they would try to get Ankiel at 3rd and told him to go.

Dave said...

@Anon 11:01, according to what Nationals hype? I do not read any hype about the Nationals--certainly not from the people you cited. None of those guys say that we are "right there." FP and Carp do over-hype the team rather frequently, and I just couldn't keep listening to Holliday and Santangelo last night.

But I don't hear Mark Z., Phil W., or Boz say the Nats are "right there." I consistently hear them say the Nats are a year or two away. Which seems about right to me, too.

And I'm looking at the standings right now. The Nats are tied for third place--albeit tenuously, since they're playing their all-time nemesis team this weekend--behind the team with the best record in all baseball and the NL wild-card leader.

Any hype, I think, is probably your hyperventilating about how far out of first place we are.

Post a Comment