Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Instant analysis: Nats 4, Mets 0

US Presswire photo
Stephen Strasburg dominated the Mets over six scoreless innings.
Game in a nutshell: In a highly anticipated matchup between a two-time Cy Young Award winner and out-dueled fireballer who hopes to win that award some day, Stephen Strasburg outshone Johan Santana. The Nationals didn't produce much at the plate, but they took advantage of 10 walks, a hit batter and a wild pitch to scratch out four runs and capture their second straight road series to open the year.

Hitting highlight: It's been a tough start to the season for Mark DeRosa, who was hitless in his first 11 at-bats before finally singling in the top of the second today. DeRosa's bigger contribution, though, may have been his 10-pitch at-bat against Manny Acosta in the top of the seventh. With the bases loaded and the Nats clinging to a 1-0 lead, the veteran fouled off four two-strike pitches before drawing a walk that brought home a big insurance run.

Pitching highlight: It wasn't his most efficient performance, but Stephen Strasburg proved he can get over the 100-pitch barrier and still record some key outs with his stamina waning. Manager Davey Johnson easily could have pulled his young ace after he put a man on with one out in the sixth. But he let Strasburg finish what he started, and the 23-year-old wound up escaping the jam while reaching a career-high 108 pitches.

Key stat: In 18 career starts prior to today, Strasburg threw his changeup only 15 percent of the time. During this six-inning gem, he threw that devastating pitch 24 of 108 times (a 22 percent rate).

Up next: After six straight games on the road to begin the season, the Nationals finally get to enjoy their home opener tomorrow against the Reds. Gio Gonzalez will face Cincinnati right-hander Mat Latos at 1:05 p.m.

72 comments:

Anonymous said...

Carp was embarrassed there ... ~laughing~ mentioned Debbi instead of Christina ... boy was he nervous after that! Strange game with a strange ending ... might as well say Riggleman instead of Johnson ...

Joe S. said...

Why aren't Charley and Dave saying "bang zoom" anymore?

MicheleS said...

Winning both series is great! Let beat up on the Reds now!

Section 3, My PFB Sofa said...

I wonder if they had an over-under bet on how many games that would take.

Section 3, My PFB Sofa said...

No home runs? And I think it was just Charlie who said that, or am I wrong?

Anonymous said...

i believe "bang zoom" is for home victories ... although I might be wrong.

Lee said...

I think bang zoom is both for home wins and home runs at home. The Mets aren't going to shoot off fireworks for us.

natsfan1a said...

Yay! 4-2 on the road. Haven't yet read the game thread but did a Mets player (Thole?) doff his cap to Strasburg at the end of the 6th? Looked to me like he said something to Stephen as well. Loved the DeRosa at-bat as well.

Joe S., because there's a submarine horn instead of fireworks for wins at Nats Park now.

sjm308 said...

Bang Zoom used to be the call as they set fireworks off for homeruns and wins, although I could be wrong as well. Not sure why its not still used because I loved it, fireworks or not.

Still excited about first place this late in the season.

Anonymous said...

the Nats must love Walking Dead, because they sure have become Zombies...."The Walkers"


Lipty,

JaneB said...

They can walk their way to a Curlie W all season long, in my book. A Curlie W is a Curlie W. And getting a walk means they are seeing the ball. They can't help of the pitching isn't fab.

Section 222 said...

MLB app's video highlights of this game:

DeRosa scores on a wild pitch
Davis' great grab
Davis' second nice catch
Murphy turns double play
DeRosa's bases-loaded walk
Tracy's RBI groundout
Flores' bases-loaded walk

Zzzzzzzzzzz.

Craig said...

I believe they stopped the fireworks after night game victories in Nationals Park, on account of neighborhood complaints. And when the fireworks stopped, so did the "bang zoom go the fireworks, another curly W..." call. I also miss it.

RPrecupjr said...

On-topic: So we left what, 47 guys on base today? Sheesh.

Off-topic: Wondering if/when FeelWood will show up to berate Mark for saying we scored three runs when we actually scored four or if he will prove me right by saving such comments for AK only.

Anonymous said...

Where's Poopy McPoop? ;)

Pete said...

This sort of hitting performance isn't going to cut it against the Braves and the Phillies. So un-clutch. That said, a W is a W and I'll take it. Get well soon, Mr. Morse.

Gonat said...

Many highlights, and my overwhelming agony is my stomach can't take MPHRod. He got the job done but not without causing a burn in Daveys stomach and heart and most fans.

JaneB said...

When do the gates open tomorrow? I hear there's a ball game over there. Thinking of checking it out...

NatsJack in Florida said...

And we won't hear from JayB for a game or 2.

Anonymous said...

And we won't hear from JayB for a game or 2.

JayB is okay he just doesn't bother to follow the minors as closely as he should given that he is, after all, an uber fan. You look at the minors and you see the PLAN everybody and their whined and moaned about not having. Now that there is one that is actually moving very fast in baseball time hardly anyone bothers to look?

Andrew said...

NatsJack, just what you and I discussed in Spring Training, right?

Tom in AR said...

2 road series. 2 wins. Now I want to see us defend Nats Park. (and I would also like to see us get a ball in play when the bases are jacked)

Gonat said...

Let's call it what it is, the Mets aren't the same team without a red hot David Wright and the Nats aren't the same without Michael Morse.

Collins stacked 3 lefties together too which worked against them when Burnett came in.

SCNatsFan said...

Sure as a critic you have to say we are striking out too much and wasting scoring opportunities which will catch up with us; as a optimist I see that we opened the season wiith two series wins on the road. And I'm OK with that.

Gonat said...

Key stat: In 18 career starts prior to today, Strasburg threw his changeup only 15 percent of the time. During this six-inning gem, he threw that devastating pitch 24 of 108 times (a 22 percent rate).
______________________

Mark going "Clubhouse Confidential" on us! Impressive!

NatsLady said...

Couldn't type because I was working but I heard most of the game. 14 left on base? Is Miss Iowa still on our side? How is he keeping his job? The Mets gave us that one. The only difference from previous years is we didn't give it back. Wow.

sjm308 said...

Pete: Not really in a mood to argue but have you seen the offense the Braves and Phils are producing so far this year? Right now if things don't change (and I realize they will) we actually CAN beat the Braves and Phils scoring 4 runs a game.

Go Nats!!!

NatsJack in Florida said...

Andrew.... Yep. Just what we thought. I look for Gio to be amped up tomorrow. He knows he has to throw 1st pitch strikes to be at his best.

I'll be up for Friday through next Thursdays games. Hope to see you.

Andrew said...

NatsJack, sending you a tweet message of what I have been up to. I think you will appreciate it.

Gio has to use his stuff and attack batters. His nibbling reminds me of the St. Claire years with the soft tossers. Gio has to trust his stuff and his defense.

Between Gio and Henry Rodriguez my stomach lining is in trouble.

Anonymous said...

jd said...
BTW,

Where is Steve M? is he on a rehab assignment or something?

April 11, 2012 12:45 PM

Don't some of you personally know him? Is he OK? I hope he is vacationing in Bora Bora however its the start of real baseball and doubt he would disappear far from his computer and Nats Park.

dj in Fl. said...

Look at mlb standings on espn.com We are +10 in runs. Wait till you see the rest of the NL. Hint, we are 2nd best. Pitching may rule the year.
Two road series wins is a perfect start.

Section 3, My PFB Sofa said...

The fireworks stopped when the DC Fire Chief got paper on him from them.

jeffwx said...

Nats bullpen even w/o Storen is so much better than what we've seen so far.
So what do you do when Wang, Storen, Kimball come back ? and what do you do with Lannon in the mean-time. Barring injuries, We will have 4 pitchers (either in the current pen or some of the 4 named) in need of an MLB home.

m20832 said...

This is so SWEET!!!! I'll have some of that Kookaid, please!

GYFNG!!!

jeffwx said...

So the Red Sox already said they're looking for pitching and willing to pay for it. I'm calling Mr. Henry...to trade our Henry and Lannon for D. McDonald. Yes, painful, but we still have a shoot load of pitching.

Section 222 said...

Before the fireworks stopped after the 2010 season, Charlie's call was "Bang Zoom go the fireworks, a Curly W is in the books." Last year, he usually said, "Bang Zoom, a Curly W is in the books." (I guess there's no way to work in a reference to the Navy submarine horn, or whatever that thing is.). If he's cutting out the Bang Zoom now, that's too bad.

Can't wait for tomorrow!!

jeffwx said...

or Ryan Sweeney

NatsJack in Flo said...

Here we go again with the stupid stuff. I wouldn't trade for McDonald for either of those two straight up. We don't have to do anything painfull. The Bosox do.

natsfan1a said...

Er, for home runs, rather. Never mind. I think I'll eat dinner now. :-)

natsfan1a said...


Joe S., because there's a submarine horn instead of fireworks for wins at Nats Park now.
April 11, 2012 4:58 PM

Anonymous said...

So what do you do when Wang, Storen, Kimball come back ? and what do you do with Lannon in the mean-time.

Kimball, Storen, and Adam Carr are in the same bin with Sammy Solis.

It will be awhile ... MEANWHILE injuries do happen or didn't you notice?

Having extras is pretty much almost always a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Dive, Dive, Dive! Another curly-W goes in the books?

Anonymous said...

To answer the question, why doesn't Charlie do bang-zoom anymore is because there are no more fireworks at the end of games. Its just that annoying (hopefully for the visiting team) foghorn.

Anonymous said...

So the Red Sox already said they're looking for pitching and willing to pay for it. I'm calling Mr. Henry...to trade our Henry and Lannon for D. McDonald. Yes, painful, but we still have a shoot load of pitching.

Another Orioles fan? Its not even funny Poopy!

jeffwx said...

Anon, agreed. It's a good idea I think to plan for the future when the Nats will have to use em or lose em. You can't keep throwing good MLB caliber pitchers to the minors. Might as well get what you need (eg: more hitting) Did you notice the Nats were 1 for 14 with RISP ?

A little more hitting won't hurt. Wang, Kimball and maybe Storen will be ready by mid June. And Lannon belongs in a ML rotation esp. after all he's done for the Nats in the previous years.

Rabbit said...

What they should call after home runs and wins is "Bang Zoom WOULD have gone the fireworks"!

jeffwx said...

Adam Jones would do too ;)

Anonymous said...

Many highlights, and my overwhelming agony is my stomach can't take . He got the job done but not without causing a burn in Daveys stomach and heart and most fans.

As some of us here have surmised this is what the season is going to be like. Meager hitting along with All Star caliber pitching. Where's the hitting you ask? Look to the minors ... the Nats are betting that the young prospects in the majors and those still in the minors will continue to develop the requisite skills to be major league hitters. Hopefully, some will be impact hitters. Here and there sprinkle in a free agent or two and Jayson Werth. Plus Ryan Zimmerman.

Better get used to this for the next year or two ... but then after that just like with the pitching ... watch out!

Anonymous said...

Adam Jones would do too ;)

See? Told you Orioles fan. Darnell McDonald 33 and washed up ex-O's first round draft pick ... right ... bet you're hoping Harper ends up the same way ... Orioles fans should stay on the bottom of Angel'O's bird cage ... ;)

Anonymous said...

1)Eventually the law of averages will result in a spate of hits with men on base.
2) With everyone so enamored of OBP these days, why isn't there any enjoyment from the fact that this previously free-swinging bunch managed to get 10 walks?

Gonat said...

I will take a SteveM theme he started before the start of the season and run with it in his absence and using my own math.

Here's what we should like, 6 games into the season and .667 against the under .500 teams (based on 2011 standings).

If you take the Mets (18 times) and 4 other 87 loss teams in the NL + the Orioles that makes 48 games played against those teams that you want to be at .667 or better against. That's a 32-16 record. If you can stay at no worse than 2 games under .500 against all the other teams, that gives you a 56-58 record against everyone else for a total of 88-74 and that is on the front door of playoffs.

The key is beating the teams you are supposed to beat. That's how the good teams win their 90 games with domination against the lousy teams and .500 baseball against the rest.

baseballswami said...

Winning the first two series on the road without Storen and Morse is very ok with me. The path that those wins took is a little weird, but it's early. Now that the game is over and I have stopped steaming about the lack of hitting with risp - I realize that when pitchers are soooo all over the place, sometimes they just don't put anything out there that you can possibly hit. One Flores ab in particular - the pitches were nowhere near the zone - he couldn't have gotten an rbi if he had paid the ump - and maybe that's what it would have taken to get any kind of strike zone going. I have heard that sometimes good, consistent pitching with a fair strike zone is actually easier to hit.

Mick said...

I am a happy camper right now... what is the latest on Morse, Storen and Ankiel... anyone know?

Mick said...

Lee said...
I think bang zoom is both for home wins and home runs at home.

Thinking of Ralph Kramden, "one of these days, one of these day, bang zoom... your going to the moon Alice"

baseballswami said...

So, I was also thinking about -- who goes when Ankiel returns? Carroll? and -- what the heck are we going to do IF CMW can ever pitch again? My prediction is that he will stay "hurt" and on the dl until past the time when they can do something with him. I seem to remember that they can't until June? I know everybody jokes that this is a good problem to have - but, really, what can they do? Do you really want to see RossD back in the bullpen or bunking with Lannan in Syracuse?

Anonymous said...

Do you really want to see RossD back in the bullpen or bunking with Lannan in Syracuse?

Thanks to JimBo he has no options remaining on Detwiler. Stammen would be next to go optioned to Syracuse. But, I expect, they expect there'll be an injury that will make the exercise of making that choice moot? Look at the injury front so far? The law of Attrition is a hard fact of life in major league baseball.

The Fox said...

NatsJack and Andrew,

I agree that Gio needs to pitch more aggressively. There still is a difference between the AL and NL. Pitchers in the NL get rewarded for challenging the hitters. Gio stuff is good enough that he does not need to nibble. He kept trying to get the low strike in his first game when the ump was not giving it and then he fell behind. Tomorrow if he is not getting that call switch to high hard cheese. He'll figure it out.

People better get used to these ugly wins because there are going to be a lot of them. This team is built around pitching and all of them are real major league pitchers.

Earl Weaver was correct "Nobody likes to hear it, because it's dull, but the reason you win or lose is darn near always the same - pitching."

alexva said...

Once and for all, did having Detwiler pitch that one game really cost him an option? If he got a major league contract as did Strasburg, Harper, Rendon, Purke it would not have made a difference, correct? The first option would have been used the next year.

I'm all for bashing Jimbo, but I keep hearing this over and over and it doesn't add up to me.

Andrew said...

Fox - Can't disagree with that statement from The Earl of Baltimore.

Joe Seamhead said...

Some have wanted to bring in another veteran OF'er, or trade some of our surplus pitching. One team that is desperate is the Twins,whose situation has gotten more dire with the news that Scot Baker is now down for about 6 months. Anyone still interested in Denard Span?

Anonymous said...

Once and for all, did having Detwiler pitch that one game really cost him an option?

Apparently, it did. 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 were all option years. Every single one.

Do you really believe he was ready immediately after he was drafted in 2007? I guess you can debate this but it seems like the guy should have at least made it to AA before a second call-up?

Anonymous said...

New post on Storen's surgery...

Anonymous said...

Anyone still interested in Denard Span?

Corey Brown appears to be Raking as the lead-off guy in Syracuse. Then there's Harper ... Perez and Kobernus both have six game hitting streaks both already have a bunch of stolen bases?

Explain to me again, why do the Nats need Span? Or Marlon Byrd? Unless you're talking Bourjos, Upton or someone equivalent Rizzo probably hangs up. As he should.

A DC Wonk said...

With everyone so enamored of OBP these days, why isn't there any enjoyment from the fact that this previously free-swinging bunch managed to get 10 walks?

Right -- I think this proves the point that it is often the negatives, the near misses, that get the most focus. Fact is, however, we got four runs and they didn't get any.

More importantly -- looking at mlb.com at 7:41 pm I see that the Nats are:

3rd in NL for runs scored
2nd in BB's
3rd in BA
2d in OBA

For pitching:
2d in ERA
2d in BA against

So, those who are complaining at what the Nats are going now -- realize that if the Nats are able to keep up this high a level -- playoffs are a lock.

Sure there's room for improvement -- even the best teams lose over 1/3 of their games.

So, compared to other teams: hitting's pretty good, situational hitting probably average, pitching is very good.

Big picture: withoure Morse and Storen we're in first place after beating Santana, doing it all on the road. I think, over all, things are looking pretty darn good.

Especially when one is under the influence -- pass that kookaid!

Feel Wood said...

Once and for all, did having Detwiler pitch that one game really cost him an option? If he got a major league contract as did Strasburg, Harper, Rendon, Purke it would not have made a difference, correct? The first option would have been used the next year.

If Detwiler got a major league contract like Strasburg, Harper, Rendon and Purke did, no one but no one reported it at the time. So chances are he did not. And here's how getting a major league contract or a September call-up affects a drafted player's option status. If the player gets either one, they have to be immediately placed on the 40 man roster. Then an option has to be burned the next year to send them to the minors. If they aren't given a major league contract or a September callup, they aren't on the 40 man roster, and they can be kept in the minors without using an option year. Options only come into play for players after they are placed on the 40 man roster.

So yes, if Bowden used a September callup on Detwiler and had him pitch his one inning even though he wasn't given a major league contract, that was a mistake on Bowden's part.

Marty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

The Nats are getting on base, and if they do it by taking BBs, so be it. DeRosa got 3 today, including that key pass with the bases loaded. Changed the complexion of the game. If you take what they give you, chances are that you will win. Flores got an RBI the same way.

Spinner has 5 walks already this year. That beats the hell out of swinging wildly at bad pitches and adding to his K total. The Nats made Sanatana work today by laying off and taking pitches. They just wore the guy out, and then we got to their lousy bullpen for 3 more runs doing the same thing. Davey may prefer the 3-run homer but he'll take 'em any way he can get 'em. Me, too.

The Nats are young, but they are playing smart, disciplined baseball. They won even though they had some more defensive lapses today.

Anyone else think that Flores is actually performing better than Ramos right now? I feel better when I see Flores behind the plate and in the batter's box.

Man, SS is a stud. Can't see Detwiler not in the rotation from now on. Anyone who saw him pitch yesterday needs no further explanation for why he is the 5th starter ahead of Lannen. At times, he just overpowered the Mets.

C'mon, Gio, you can do it, too.

Laddie_Blah_Blah

ehay2k said...

Oh, that was good to see! The game? Ugly. The result? Priceless. Mets were undefeated and atop the division when the Nats came to NY. Now, we are tied at the top of the NL East and we have momentum, and are heading home.

Two series wins, solid pitching, amazing bullpen, and Desi is even drawing walks!

Is it possible that the Nats have been drinking the NI Koolaid? Better mix up another batch!

NCNatsie said...

Color me officially PO'ed that MLB and ESPN are dwelling incessantly on the bad strike call when Stras K'd Bey, as if the only reason he won was because the ump screwed up. But no mention of the earlier calls when the same ump was miscalling several Stras strikes. The ump bias evened out. The media bias doesn't.

rogieshan said...

Hate to be greedy, but the Nats could easily be sitting at 6-0 right now. Untimely mental errors and lack of clutch hitting - and too much swinging for the fences - cost us in both series.

Very disappointed with Espinosa's long swing and how over-matched Bernadina has looked thus far.

Dave said...

You know, if they go 2-1 for every series, they end the season with 108 wins. Probably gets them into the playoffs, eh?

Not even the best team in baseball history went 162-0. I'm very happy with our current tie for first place. Bring on the Reds!

fast eddie said...

We scored 3 runs on a WP and 2 bases-loaded walks. The 14 LOBs are troublesome, but if you believe in the law of averages, SOMEBODY has to get a clutch hit eventually.
When's the last time we were in first place??

Anonymous said...

"Very disappointed with Espinosa's long swing and how over-matched Bernadina has looked thus far."

Agree about Bernie, but he just came back from hjs father's funeral. Let's cut him some slack for 2 weeks, at least.

As for Danny, he has almost as many walks this year (5) as Ks (7). He has one of only 4 HRs the Nats have hit, and has shortened his swing, at least from the left side, and has taken to hitting to LF, as well, from the left side. In fact, his HR was from the left side and went to deep left and out of the park in Chicago.

He has a much different approach at the plate this year. I don't know what guy you are looking at. Can't be the same one I have seen, a patient, disciplined batsman with a plan and a new swing. He has a .360 OBP, too. Just what is needed out of the 2 hole. He is doing his job, and very well, at the plate.

Laddie_Blah_Blah

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