Monday, April 16, 2012

Instant analysis: Nats 6, Astros 3

US Presswire photo
Stephen Strasburg dominated for five innings before allowing two runs in the sixth.
Game in a nutshell: Stephen Strasburg was just about everything the Nationals could have hoped in his first home start of the season, though the young staff ace did let the Astros come back to tie the game in the top of the sixth. No worries, because the suddenly potent Washington lineup (led by Steve Lombardozzi and Ryan Zimmerman) plated four runs in the bottom of the sixth, giving Strasburg the win and keeping the Nationals in first place in the NL East for another day.

Hitting highlight: Entering this game, Lombardozzi had eight total hits in the big leagues. The rookie second baseman increased that number by 50 percent, going 4-for-5 and driving in the go-ahead runs with a huge, two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the sixth. Lombardozzi also dropped a beautiful bunt down the third-base line for one of his four hits.

Pitching highlight: For five innings, Strasburg was absolutely brilliant, keeping the Astros from scoring while keeping his pitch count to a minimum. But a laborious, 32-pitch sixth turned his night from brilliant to merely good. The young ace still was credited with a quality start, struck out five while issuing only one walk and -- thanks to his teammates' rally in the bottom of the inning -- earned his second win of the season.

Key stat: Strasburg has now made eight starts since returning from Tommy John surgery. His total stats, spanning 43 innings: 1.47 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, 43 strikeouts, 7 walks.

Up next: Gio Gonzalez will be back on the mound looking to duplicate his fantastic performance from last week's home opener. The Astros will send their own left-hander, Wandy Rodriguez, to the hill for the 7:05 p.m. ballgame.

51 comments:

Adam Jarvis said...

Glad Lombardozzi is getting his shot, having a utility guy like that can do a lot for a team. Hope the pitching staff keeps this great work up.

Gonat said...

Gonat said...
Davey has Espi back in at 2nd tomorrow. Doesn't say anything about LF
April 16, 2012 10:28 PM

Gonat said...
Scratch that, Davey says Nady, Werth, DeRosa in the OF but maybe he rethinks that overnight.

April 16, 2012 10:32 PM

natsfan1a said...

Woooooooooo hooooooooooo! (For MicheleS, and me.) :-)

Scott from Burke said...

Lombardozzi starts tomorrow..the question is who is the starting 2b in one week? i say Lombo

baseballswami said...

Hey, guys - I think a win with six runs is good for half price food at Pappa John's tomorrow! I heard it on the radio and thought -- well, a win, ok - but six runs? Woo Hoo. Speaking of Woo Hoo - I definitely heard some loud woo hoo-ings in the background during Strassie's interview. Was that anyone we know?

Soul Possession, PFB Sofa said...

GYFNG.

natsfan1a said...

Not me, swami, as I was watching at home.

Gonat said...

Scott from Burke said...
Lombardozzi starts tomorrow..the question is who is the starting 2b in one week? i say Lombo

April 16, 2012 10:48 PM
______________________________

According to Davey, doesn't look like it for tomorrow. He said Espi will start at 2nd tomorrow and his OF will be Nady, Werth, DeRosa.

Maybe he rethinks it and goes with the hot hand.

Scott from Burke said...

He said Lannan was his fifth starter...it's gotta be lombardozzi...if Espinosa can't handl;e it too bad

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

I miss the old days. I haven't had the need to hit the bourbon and Maalox in a week. Even with MPH Rod on the mound. So boring.

On the other hand, 8-3 is so su-weeeeeeeet!

Woo-hoo!!

GYFNG!!!

Anonymous8 said...

Houston is pitching a Lefty tomorrow in Wandy Rodriguez. I could see that as another reason to play Espi who will bat RH tomorrow.

Yes, Espi's swing & miss is tough to watch when he bats Lefthanded and maybe Lombo is the answer and maybe not. Its one game, one very good game.

Davey is doing the right thing playing Espi tomorrow. Can Davey start Lombo in LF? I guess he could if he changes his mind from what he said in his post-game news conference.

Exposremains said...

How come we never see Strasburg throw 100mph or more like he used to? He touches 98 but mostly around 96mph. Is it because he wants to locate better or its the surgery?

Scott from Burke said...

Lefty, yeah, in that case it will probably be espi..but lombo needs to be in there against right handers for a while..one game? that's right, now let's see if we can make it 4 or 5...too bad he didnt start lombo on sunday

Scott from Burke said...

F that..Lombo goes both ways (no pun intended)..let him start tomorrow

Tom in AR said...

They are both switch hitters.

Austin Powers said...

Help I'm in a nutshell.

Exposremains said...

Desmond and Espinosa were great in their 1st spring training and september call up and then the league adjusted and then they were not so good anymore.Lombo can be great but you have to be careful to think that he can replace regulars because of one great game. the league will adjust to him too.

greg said...

scott, don't hold your breath. they're not going to replace espi this quickly. it's just a handful of games (and even less for lombo).

exposremain, stras is learning to pitch instead of just throw. he doesn't need to hit 100 to be effective. hitting 96-98 with slightly better location and slightly more movement gets more outs with less pitches.

Scott from Burke said...

Exposremains: let him play until they adjust...btw do you think the Nats whould be wearing a Gary Carter patch on their uni this year? I do

Whatsanattau said...

So is Nady our regular left fielder now? I think he might be. I like DeRosa and Bernadina but I think Nady is the guy.

A DC Wonk said...

Just back from the game -- a couple of observations:

1. Stopped by Sec 308 to see our man "sjm308" holding court with a coupla guys. It was nice to meet him, his son, and the crew.

2. My daughter was with us -- she decided in the 6th inning she and her friend would go down to the field level seats, "because that's where the balls are going." Sure enough, within five minutes, she got a ball.

3. Lombo handled the bat well (his bunt single was particularly impressive), but I think he got a bit lucky, too. His double was a flare/blooper, and his other two singles were, if I remember, grounders through the infield (although at least one was hit hard). That's not to take away too much from him, though -- he handled the bat better than Espi has lately for sure

4. MPHRod was amazing (despite walking one batter). His first pitch was 97 mph (and a guy in our section yelled out, "throw the heat, stop with the easy stuff!"), with the second batter he cranked it up to 99. and got it to 100 mph on the third batter. I think the first two batters might have been all fastballs. The last batter was a three-pitch strike out, the last two strikes were completely unhittable 85 mph sliders -- the first called, the second swinging in the dirt.

Anonymous8 said...

Exposremains said...
Lombo can be great but you have to be careful to think that he can replace regulars because of one great game. the league will adjust to him too.

April 16, 2012 11:28 PM

That's kind of my point at 11:09. The league doesn't have extensive scouting on Lombo and maybe, maybe not, they find his weak spots. I like that he made contact tonight and 3 really nice hits and for the 1st time in his MLB career came through in a high leverage situation. That is a key even though it was a hit while fighting off an inside pitch.

Gonat said...

Wonk, great for your daughter!

Scott from Burke said...

Lucky...he muscled that inside pitch and got a huge double..you know who doesn't get "lucky"? guys who strike out

JaneB said...

Just arriving home from the game. A few random thoughts.

I don't care if Stras throws in the 90's instead of 100, personally. 98 is plenty fast.

It was so fun to be there tonight! That Ankiel throw from center to home was not to be believed. I love how the crowd is paying attention! And is it a surprise to anyone here that the time when Stras got into trouble was when the crowd was doing the *(&^^& wave? ENOUGH of that already!

So nice to see the love for Werth and ALR. Nice to see Zimm connect. SO nice to see Lombo have a great night.

And -- though I am glad he is not on our team now -- how nice it was to see JMax do well tonight, and to see he is back in the bigs. Good for him.

I like Nady too. And finally how nice to hear a home run submarine horn! Go Wilson!

GYFNG!

Scott from Burke said...

The junkies are fun guys and get atlhletes to loosen up but this was not a good idea

http://tracking.si.com/2012/04/16/washington-nationals-p-tyler-clippard-guarantees-playoffs/?sct=hp_t12_a2&eref=sihp

Exposremains said...

scott:

about Carter, it would be great but it would have surprised me.

Gonat said...

Scott from Burke said...
Lucky...he muscled that inside pitch and got a huge double..you know who doesn't get "lucky"? guys who strike out

April 16, 2012 11:42 PM
_____________________________

Your point on not K'ing is so true. That's something Werth is learning also. I have to agree with Anon8 and Exposremains. Its one game in his career. The bunt was impressive and the way he fought off that pitch in the 6th to plate 2 runs was great.

Scott from Burke said...

I don't think Lombo is the second coming of Joe Morgan but Espinosa does not instill a great deal of confidence..give the kid a chance and see what he does with it

NatsLady said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sjm308 said...

Just got home - great win!! Nice to meet Wonk and appreciated him coming over. Also neat that his daughter was really into the game and got a ball as a reward.

HRod is just electric. I know we are all waiting for him to hit the backstop but he was ahead of all 4 hitters and even on the walk he was 1-2. His pitches just look different then others.

Its probably been discussed earlier but we were all surprised Davey let Mattheus hit when he had Danny in the dugout and two runners on.

Ankiels throw was good but nothing like the rocket to third base last year. That is still one of the great plays I have seen in person. He also really misjudged that shot to center in the 8th and while it was a tough play we should have been out of the inning with no damage.

Only negative was sharing the metro home with lots and lots of not so happy people in these funny red jerseys. Not sure what that was about.

Go Nats!! Blue hat stays on for another day!!

NatsLady said...

Why not? His manager said the same thing?


Scott from Burke said...
The junkies are fun guys and get atlhletes to loosen up but this was not a good idea

washington-nationals-p-tyler-clippard-guarantees-playoffs

Anonymous said...

I hope that Davey is open to the idea of making Lombo a super-utility in the Ben Zobrist mold. Some 2b, some ss, some 3b, some lf and rf. If he plays 15 games at each of 2b, ss, and 3b, and another 15 in lf and rf combined, that is about 270 plate appearances as a starter, add another 50 or so plate appearances as a pinch-hitter, you've got 320 plate appearances, enough to give Lombo the work he needs, and the rest that Zimmerman, Desi, Espi, Morse and Werth need.

Corky

Scott from Burke said...

NatsLady your comments make me sad and tired...an 86 year old manager is one thing, the guy standing on the bump pitching against the Phillies in September to Ryan Howard, who knows you said they're gonna make the playoffs..why give these guys extra motivation? it's a rhetorical question

NatsFanJim said...

Solid win tonight!! Stras was good, but a couple more changeups and curves would have helped him a lot.

Lombo was phenomenal; just what we needed. talk about a sparkplug ....

If Lombo is producing and Espi 'ain't,' then no question as to who is starting. Espi needs to take his overconfident self to the batting cage and get in some serious work. Obviously, he hasnt solved any of his holes from last year.

Anonymous said...

Corky, not sure if 3rd is the place for Lombo. He looked shakey in 2 games there.

NatsLady said...

Expos, they gave Carter a film retrospective on the big screen and a moment of silence on opening day, so he was not forgotten.

Section 222 said...

And is it a surprise to anyone here that the time when Stras got into trouble was when the crowd was doing the *(&^^& wave? ENOUGH of that already!

What is it about the wave that makes otherwise somewhat sane and rational people here and on Twitter (most of whom are just watching on TV anyway) absolutely lose their sh*t? It's embarrassing. Who cares if people who are less intense fans than you are are having fun at a game? You can't actually believe that the wave has any impact on what happens on the field? Can you? I can just as easily claim that that wave actually was responsible for us winning the game in the bottom of the inning. Its just took a few minute to take effect. I mean really.

Now let me clue you in on something. No amount of complaining about the wave on Twitter or on a baseball blog is going to stop it from occurring. It's dumb, and it's a little annoying, but ultimately, it's harmless fun, like much that goes on at a baseball game. And it's here to stay. Sorry.

NatsLady said...

@Scott from Burke: your comments have the same effect on me.

Scott from Burke said...

hate the wave...but the team, via 'cheerleaders' and the like, encouraging it, is doubly annoying...taking attention away from the game? does that happen in Boston? of course Nats fans can't be compared to Sox fans, and never will...but it is annoying behavior...it will be interesting to see how this team draws and behaves if there in contention in September..that first season at RFK was fun

NatsLady said...

I'm indifferent regarding the wave. I do remember one of our baby pitchers (Milone?) found the rally towels distracting in Pittsburgh, but the general consensus was he needed to get used to them. Same with the late afternoon shadows--players don't like them but they aren't going anywhere.

Anonymous said...

nothing says passion like indifference...wow

JaneB said...

There actually is a body of research on fan impact on the game, as it happens, by a guy names Ric Leskowitz. The wave DOES NOT help the players. You don't have to hate it, 222. But I do. And will, even if it is here to stay.

And Scott, didn't Ryan Howard also once guarantee the Phillies would make it to the playoffs? As I recall, they made it right to the big fat finish line.

NatsLady said...

Yeah, I don't pay no mind to the wave...Thass me, no opinion, no passion on that subject. Shocking, isn't it?

SBrent said...

I agree that the wave is annoying and basically an insulting declaration to the home team that they've become boring.

Exposremains said...

he didnt know that Natslady, thank you for telling me. Its great!

Erik said...

SJM-I have been to probably close to 700 MLB games and the throw Ankiel made tonight was THE BEST I have ever seen...by far!!! I know I am negative sometimes, but that throw was SICK!!! And I was at the game last year when he made the throw you were speaking of...the throw tonight makes that one look like amateur hour. 300+ feet and the catcher's mitt never moved!!! Unreal!!! Still need some bats...lol!!!

UNTERP said...

JaneB said...

About the WAVE, it's that Terrance fellow that starts the wave. He is a Cheddar head...

blovy8 said...

Jimmy Rollins predicted postseason, and his team bailed him out, I agree that it was still a stupid thing to do. Unless you're Satchel Paige, you can't do it all yourself.

JaneB said...

That's right! Jimmy Rollins, not Howard! Thanks...

Jeff L said...

Two thoughts:
1. One h#ll of a bunt by Lombo!
2. Ankiel's doesn't just have a cannon for an arm, it has to be a missile launcher!

Post a Comment