Saturday, May 5, 2012

Game 27: Phillies at Nats

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Gio Gonzalez looks to pitch the first-place Nationals to another win today.
Little known fact No. 1: The Nationals have won six consecutive games against the Phillies, and 10 of their last 12 head-to-head encounters, dating back to last year. Little known fact No. 2: The Nats have won 12 consecutive one-run games at Nationals Park, dating back to last year.

Can they keep both streak alive this afternoon? It all starts with Gio Gonzalez, a one-time Phillies farmhand who will face his old organization for the first time. The left-hander seeks his third win of the season, and seeks to keep his ERA under 2.00 with another strong outing.

Gonzalez could certainly benefit from some run support. Davey Johnson is fielding the same lineup he scribbled out last night, the only change coming behind the plate (Wilson Ramos, last night's hero, will start and bat eighth). One other thing to keep in mind: Henry Rodriguez has pitched the last three nights. You wouldn't think he's available today, but Johnson tried to suggest he'd use his closer as long as Rodriguez doesn't ask out. We'll see.

Plenty of updates to come...

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WNEW (1580 AM), XM 184
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 76 degrees, Wind 8 mph in from CF
NATIONALS (17-9)
SS Ian Desmond
3B Steve Lombardozzi
LF Bryce Harper
RF Jayson Werth
1B Chad Tracy
2B Danny Espinosa
CF Rick Ankiel
C Wilson Ramos
LHP Gio Gonzalez

PHILLIES (13-14)
SS Jimmy Rollins
3B Placido Polanco
CF Shane Victorino
RF Hunter Pence
C Carlos Ruiz
1B Ty Wigginton
LF John Mayberry Jr.
2B Freddy Galvis
RHP Vance Worley

UMPIRES
HP Sam Holbrook, 1B Andy Fletcher, 2B D.J. Reyburn, 3B Rob Drake

1:06 p.m. -- And we are underway with a strike from Gio Gonzalez to Jimmy Rollins. Seems to be more Philly fans here today. Or, at least, more vocal Philly fans here today than last night.

1:10 p.m. -- Very nice start to the afternoon for Gonzalez. He retired the side on 11 pitches, getting a weak groundball out of Rollins, a soft liner out of Placido Polanco and then striking out Shane Victorino on a curveball in the dirt.

1:20 p.m. -- Stop me if you've heard this one before: Bryce Harper draws a walk, bringing Jayson Werth to the plate with runners in scoring position, and then Werth strikes out looking. Yep, this is what it has come to: The Phillies don't seem to want to have any part of Harper and pitching him delicately to say the least. Scoreless after one.

1:32 p.m. -- Gio found himself in a jam in the top of the second, allowing a leadoff double to Hunter Pence and then watching as John Mayberry reached on a Steve Lombardozzi error. But the left-hander buckled down and got Freddy Galvis to pop out, so we head to the bottom of the second with no runs on the board yet.

1:40 p.m. -- Rick Ankiel's bat has certainly heated up here the last few days. His single to left-center in the bottom of the second was his fourth hit in his last five at-bats. Unfortunately, there wasn't anything else going on at the plate in that inning. It remains 0-0 heading to the third.

1:53 p.m. -- Wow, they actually pitched to Harper with first base open! And he proceeded to line into a double play, with Lombardozzi straying too far off second base. Tough break there. We go to the fourth.

2:41 p.m. -- Longtime readers will appreciate this ... I just got back to the press box after spending a couple of innings in the stands with family. Sure enough, things started happening as soon as I walked out. The Phillies scored a run in the top of the fourth, getting a double from Victorino and then a sac fly from Ruiz (though Werth made a fine throw to the plate and Ramos dropped it, again). No worries, though, because Werth delivered at long last in a huge spot. With two on and two out in the fifth -- and after Harper had just flied out to left -- Werth crushed a three-run homer over the left-field fence. The crowd exploded as the Nats took a 3-1 lead. Then for good measure, Ankiel roped another base hit down the right-field line, scoring Tracy. Espinosa tried to score as well but was gunned down at the plate. So it's 4-1 Nats as we now head to the bottom of the sixth.

2:48 p.m. -- Make it 5-1 as Desmond crushes a solo shot waaaaay over the center-field fence. This came moments after Gio Gonzalez reached the warning track for the second time today. What's gotten into these bats?

3:01 p.m. -- Gio Gonzalez: Seven innings of one-run, four-hit ball. After last night's marathon, that was EXACTLY what the Nats needed out of their starter. He also threw an impressive 77 of 107 pitches for strikes. When this guy keeps the ball around the plate, he's almost unhittable. Meanwhile, did you realize the Nats have put 36 men on base through the first 17 innings of this series? It's kind of gotten lost in the shuffle, but they've certainly given themselves plenty of opportunities to score. Still 5-1 at the seventh-inning stretch.

3:10 p.m. -- Chad Tracy, ladies and gentlemen! His second homer in as many days. The rout is on. It's 7-1.

3:28 p.m. -- You know who hasn't been involved at all at the plate today? Harper. He just grounded out weakly to short to fall to 0-for-4 with a walk in this game. Oh well, his teammates have more than made up for it. We go to the ninth, Ryan Mattheus looking to finish this one off.

3:34 p.m. -- It's all over. Final score: 7-1. That's the seventh straight win (and 11th in 13 games) for the first-place Nationals over the now last-place Phillies.

96 comments:

baseballswami said...

Thanks! - Umpires all feeling ok today? I don't see Cowboy Joe's name. Thank goodness no balkin bob either.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Going into the game the NATS ERA have 4 in the top 12 in the league.

Detwiler 6th, Strasburg 0th, Gio 11th, Zimm 12th. Edwin is 44th which still near the top half of starters.

Scott from Burke said...

just saw a commercial where they bastardized the everley brothers all i hae to do is dream by substituing the word stream..now im in a lather

Doc said...

MPHRod asking out---not likely.

On the other hand, how many times in a row can a manager take his great arm to the well???

How about Davey having Perry, Mattheus, Stammen, and Burnett giving MPHRod's arm a break once in a while? What's an over-used arm's limit here?

baseballswami said...

Ray knight sick today. Kolko seems ok. Go nats! Go Gio!

Wendell said...

Lombardozzi's going to be hard to keep out of the lineup

phil dunton said...

Phillies keep pitching around Harper to get to the automatic out-- Werthless.

Exposremains said...

you can really tell what Phillies think of Werth. At this point, I would like to see him just swing hard 3 times and see what happens.

phil dunton said...

Can you imagine six more years of watching Werth flail around with th bat. It is too bad MLB doesn't have an amnesty clause like the NBA.

Scott from Burke said...

if werth was making 1.2 mill what would the nats do with him?

peric said...

if werth was making 1.2 mill what would the nats do with him?

Great bench bat ... NOT A STARTER given what's on the way. That's what he was before the Phiillies. He is returning to his mean.

peric said...

Lombardozzi's going to be hard to keep out of the lineup

Given the injuries who do you suggest for UTL? He's really the only option unless you train/groom either Desmond or Espinosa to do it.

JaneB said...

I love that they are afraid of The Kid already. Watching from home today. Put our tickets in an auction, only to find out they were bid on by a Philies fan. He promised to be well behaved.

Go Gio! GYFNG!

Grandstander said...

Wow, Johnny Holliday. Rollins to Wigginton? Go get some rest, buddy.

Scott from Burke said...

Peric: Werth played regularly for the Dodgers..he was a good young player...

Scott from Burke said...

not trying to start an argument, but im a dodgers fan and remember him playing well

phil dunton said...

If werthless (I won't capitalize his name anymore) was making $1.2 million, he'd be in Syracuse with Lannan.

baseballswami said...

Sounds a little more pro-Philly today than last night, although after the philly chant I hear some nats fans outdoing them. Caps just scored, up 2-1.

Scott from Burke said...

he'd be in Syracuse

if this is true and he is starting only because of his contract, well, that's unacceptable...i can't see davey going along with that..he's too old and rich to play a guy because of his salary...

phil dunton said...

Before Weth played with the Dodgers, he bombed out with the Orioles and the Blue Jays.

phil dunton said...

Espinosa just lost his job.

rabbit34 said...

Harper just lined out. It definately sounds like the Philly fans took back the park.

baseballswami said...

That dp just ripped my heart out. But what you have to remember is that Lombo's double, his jump off the base, and Harper just smoking that ball - most of the time that is going to lead to a run. They had the perfect storm defensively this time, but that's not always going to happen. Time to shut up the foolies.

Exposremains said...

Ramos costing a lot of runs to the Nats

ehay2k said...

Ramos. :-(

The throw was offline, but he still needs to catch it. would likely have been an out.

NatitudeLady said...

Ramos drops another one. Good throw by Werth, replay shows that he should have caught it, even with the runner bearing in on him.

NatitudeLady said...

RAIN coming down here in Baileys Crossroads.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

What is going on with Ramos on balls thrown from the outfileders, the ball up the line a few feet, but an easy bounce, and the runner still coming and easy tag. He is working his way to the bench, we cannot have a catcher doing this and expect to win, we do not hit much.

Exposremains said...

I'm glad Ramos got the walkoff but the throws to 2nd and missed catch are big issues.

NatsJack in Florida said...

The throw was actually ok. It's the same problem I saw 4 different times in ST and now at least 3 times this season. Wilson will not secure the ball first. It's rule one for all catchers in put out situations.

NatitudeLady said...

Rangers tied it. 2-2.

Exposremains said...

I'd hit Werth 8th until he does something. a little tough love. Prove you worth. I'm also tired of the attitude that he knows the strike zone better than everybody and acts surprise when he gets called strikes. just swing the ball.

NatsFan05 said...

I agree,our biggest defensive hole is our catcher.

Scott from Burke said...

no nats lady..GABORIK KNOCKS IT IN TO TIE IT>>>GO RANGERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Scott from Burke said...

shout out to Yauch and the Beastie Boys..Pauls' Boutique is a FANTASTIC album..and they had others..

NatitudeLady said...

Come on, guys, get some runs for Gio, he's working his butt off.

SfB--isn't Gaborik a member of the Rangers? @2:09 I posted the Rangers had tied it, was that mistaken?

Still raining here.

RickH said...

GIO!!!!!!!!!!!

NatitudeLady said...

Gio works the count and gets a double!! I LOVE IT!

John said...

Has anyone theorized the possibility of Ramos still dealing with post-traumatic stress from his hostage ordeal and that it affects his comfort level in high physical impact situations like a runner barreling in on him at home plate?

JaneB said...

How much do I love Gio? Rhetorical question.
Glad for Jayson to put it to the Phills like that!

TAKE BACK THE PARK, BABY!

RickH said...

FINALLY!!!

Scott from Burke said...

he is a strong sob..big swing

NatitudeLady said...

WERTH!!!! Great!

John said...

That was worth a few bucks!

JaneB said...

Gosh, John! What you wrote makes just a ton of sense! It really does. Good insight!

FS=Faraz Shaikh said...

we should start a GG's smile of the day club.

Joe Seamhead said...

How do you like me now? Way to go Jayson!

Corky said...

I hope that will quiet down the Jayson Werth Hate Club. The man has been playing well this year, and the venom from self-described Nats fans is unjustified, and should stop.

RickH said...

Was someone complaining about starting Chad Tracy yesterday?

Scott from Burke said...

it's justified..for that kind of money more production is expected..nice hr though

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Ramos take notee. Ruiz caught the ball then tagged Espi. Not rocket science.

Joe Seamhead said...

After last night, Ramos gets one get out of jail free card!

phil dunton said...

Werth should thank me for his homer. It happens everytime i bad mouth him. I should do it more because it always works.

Joe Seamhead said...

I think we just found our pinch hitter!

Joe Seamhead said...

WOW,

RickH said...

Conveniently, the CAPS score during the break in the Nats game. 3-2 CAPS.

Scott from Burke said...

ryan howard and chase utley are pretty good too, fp

baseballswami said...

Will Gio stay in the game to spare the pen? Don't need to pinch hit for him ;) I think our pitchers are starting a competition. They have been informed that they can't aggressively shag fly balls anymore because of Mo so now they will just hit more. Most of them can really handle the bat!

Knoxville Nat said...

Maybe Mark can leave the press box again tomorrow evening for a couple of innings?

JaneB said...

What Corky said.
Had to dole out more Ian Desmond special cookies to the dogs.
I'm starting to worry about their weight. :-)
GYFNG!

RickH said...

CAPS WIN!!!

NatsJack in Florida said...

Hey....where's our buddy Fear and Ignorance?

RickH said...

Hitting is fun!!!

baseballswami said...

Woo hoo!!!!!!!

JaneB said...

Mark, I wonder whether you might start getting calls from the dugout for a strategically timed visit to the stands, very once in a while.
CHAD! I no longer wonder why you are on first instead of Tyler. Go get yourself a triple now, please!

RickH said...

JaneB ... A triple? How about a homer???

Scott from Burke said...

NY Rangers in 6

Joe Seamhead said...

Ladies and Gentlemen, stand up and give a big hand to your Smashington Nationals!

Scott from Burke said...

The Nats look like a very good, confident team playing against an inferior opponent..they havn't seen Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels, but they are looking strong

alexva said...

this is how you take back the park, nobody drives two hours to watch their team lose

FS=Faraz Shaikh said...

Scott, in case you forgot we are also without 3 main hitters and two main relievers.

rabbit34 said...

The best part of the Tracy homerun was seeing a Philly fan throw the ball back onto the field. Must be frustrating to drive down the road, all that way, to have their team be pounded on. If the Phillies lose this game, their fans will start thinking twice about making the trip. GO NATIONALS!!!

baseballswami said...

Scott ( allegedly from Burke but probably from ny) -- Vance Worley is probably the Phils best pitcher this season. Kyle Kendrick has been no slouch in the past. And half of our line up is from the bench or syracuse. You need to adjust your natitude just a tiny tweak.

Scott from Burke said...

i am aware of that..but fp spoke about how were beating phils without some of our horses..pointing out the opponent is depleted as well...

baseballswami said...

Rabbit 34 - were they ejected from the park? Supposedly if you throw back a ball at natspark you get kicked out.

SCNatsFan said...

Love how Tracy's homer went right into the middle of a group of Phillies fans.

Hope the Phillies fans are getting something good to eat to make their trip worthwhile.

Scott from Burke said...

i live in burke..from flushing...and referring to 'from syracuse,' well, harper appears to be our most dynamic player..so what? it wasn't criticism...but Roy Halladay is a MONSTER...

baseballswami said...

Oh, Scott who is supposedly from Burke - you just need a little bit more koolaid to drink. Just a little - maybe spiked a little bit with bourbon or maalox?

baseballswami said...

Just joshing of course,Scott.

Scott from Burke said...

no gm would take worley over Halladay...NONE

Joe Seamhead said...

Tracy's shot was hit to pretty much exactly where we'll be sitting tomorrow night, and no, I won't be throwing The Kid's first home run ball back.

Scott from Burke said...

i hope he hits one into the shake shack (love those burgers)

JaneB said...

Rick H -- I know he ht a homer. If he gets a triple, I think he's hit for the cycle!

UnkyD said...

In and out of the car, all day.. Some Game!!!!

A question for Ghost, NJ, Peric, or anyone else more conversant with stats and strategy: regarding "timely" hitting... How random is it? Is it more or less the case that the most "timely" hits simply come to the teams with the most hits? What strategies do teams take to improve "timely" hitting?

I'll hang up, and listen to your answer....

MicheleS said...

WOOOOOO HOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!
Actually sat by a bid group of Phillie fans and they were very nice.

UnkyD said...

WOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

Sorry, Carolync..... I LOVE THAT KLAXON!!!!!!!!

Brooms, tomorrow, and back to 10 over .500!!!!

RickH said...

JaneB ... Sorry, I thought your comment came right before he hit the homer. I thought you weren't being optimistic enough!

JaneB said...

I loved Jayson's quote: "I'm excited to send MOST of the people here home happy!" Yes indeedy!

Soon, they won't bother making the drive.

JaneB said...

No problem, Rick. I guess I was actually being too optimistic!

UnkyD said...

Scott... That'd be a SHAKE SHACK SHOT!!!

djinFl. said...

Not only will this keep some phans from driving south, but should have earned the team some new local fans. What a perfect weekend to break out. If Nattitude equals a sweep, I think I can get used to it.
What a great game.
GYFN

baseballswami said...

I had just been wishing for a game that we don't just squeak out the win but dominate. Thank you for that. Suck it Phillies!

Soul Possession, Sec 315, My PFB Hitterish Sofa, said...

Couldn't post from the seats--I think we held our own pretty well in the stands. Some leather-lunged loudmouth in 315 was in on most of it.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Unkyd.....you're asking the wrong guy if you expect some sort of sabremetrics thing. Timely hitting, to me, has always been and always be RBI numbers. I liks to keep it simple.

The team with the most RBI is the team with the most timely hitting.

natsfan1a said...

Check on item 1, but not item 2. And I'm just fine with that. :-)

Little known fact No. 1: The Nationals have won six consecutive games against the Phillies, and 10 of their last 12 head-to-head encounters, dating back to last year. Little known fact No. 2: The Nats have won 12 consecutive one-run games at Nationals Park, dating back to last year.

natsfan1a said...

The checks being in re. keeping the streaks going.

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