Thursday, May 17, 2012

Game 38: Pirates at Nats

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Jordan Zimmermann tries to pitch the Nationals to a two-game sweep of the Pirates.
Don't look now, but the Nationals are scoring runs in bunches. They've scored 32 runs over their last six games (an average of 5.2 per contest) and produced 58 hits (an average of 9.7). Obviously, Adam LaRoche has played a big role in that, but offensive production is also coming from the likes of Ian Desmond, Danny Espinosa, Xavier Nady and (of course) Bryce Harper.

It kind of got lost in last night's game, but Harper nearly homered for the third straight day, settling instead for his first career triple. He's now slugging .460 in 17 big-league games. Not bad for a 19-year-old. Not bad at all.

The Nationals can only hope to keep this offensive surge going tonight against the Pirates and in the process give Jordan Zimmermann some much-deserved run support. Despite earning a quality start in each of his seven outings this season, the right-hander's record entering tonight is a disappointing 2-3.

Updates to come. Please check back...

PITTSBURGH PIRATES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 184
Weather: Clear, 72 degrees, Wind 7 mph in from CF
NATIONALS (23-14)
SS Ian Desmond
LF Roger Bernadina
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
RF Bryce Harper
2B Danny Espinosa
CF Rick Ankiel
C Jesus Flores
RHP Jordan Zimmermann

PIRATES (17-20)
LF Jose Tabata
2B Neil Walker
CF Andrew McCutchen
3B Pedro Alvarez
RF Garrett Jones
1B Casey McGehee
C Rod Barajas
SS Josh Harrison
RHP James McDonald

UMPIRES
HP Alan Porter, 1B Larry Vanover, 2B Brian Gorman (cc), 3B Tony Randazzo

7:05 p.m. -- Jordan Zimmermann starts off Jose Tabata with a fastball for strike one, and we are underway on a gorgeous, 74-degree night in the nation's capital.

7:12 p.m. -- The good news: Zimmermann's curveball appears to be devastating tonight. He made both Tabata and Neil Walker look silly flailing away at those Uncle Charlies in striking out both batters to start the game. The bad news: Zimmermann's fastball wasn't quite as effective, especially when it was thrown to Andrew McCutchen, who poked it over the right-field fence for his ninth homer in 22-plus career games against the Nationals. This just in: That guy is really good. The Pirates take an early 1-0 lead.

7:19 p.m. -- Let's play this game again ... The good news: Ian Desmond worked the count! Battled his way through a nine-pitch at-bat to open the bottom of the first. The bad news: He took a 3-2 fastball from James McDonald on the outside corner for strike three. It was a borderline call, but did appear to nick the outside corner. McDonald then retired Roger Bernadina on a groundball to second and Ryan Zimmerman on a nasty slider to end the first inning.

7:30 p.m. -- If someone would like to tell me how Zimmermann's 2-2 pitch to Josh Harrison wasn't a strike, I'd love to hear an explanation. Everybody in a Nationals uniform took a step toward the dugout after that pitch. Except umpire Alan Porter called it a ball, so everyone had to re-assume their positions. And of course Zimmermann gave up a single to Harrison on the very next pitch. It didn't wind up causing any real damage, though it did force the right-hander to throw a few more pitches to finish the second inning. He's already at 41 for the game. Still 1-0 Pirates.

7:40 p.m. -- McDonald's breaking ball is untouchable so far. He's struck out five of six batters through two innings, all on breaking balls. Threw four straight to Bryce Harper, too.

7:50 p.m. -- McCutchen comes THISCLOSE to clubbing yet another home run, only to have it veer just foul down the left-field line. And fortunately for the Nats, Zimmermann managed to get him to ground into a 6-4-3 double play to end the third. He's at 56 pitches, though. Wouldn't expect him to go too deep into this game.

7:54 p.m. -- Who does James McDonald think he is, Stephen Strasburg? He struck out seven of the first eight batters he faced tonight before Zimmermann (of all people) finally laced a line drive to center field. It was still caught, but hey, at least he made contact! Still 1-0 Bucs after three.

8:05 p.m. -- Rod Barajas has three homers this season. Two of them have come against the Nats, including a 2-run bomb to left just now off an inside fastball. Zimmermann not looking too sharp tonight. He and the Nats now trail 3-0 in the fourth.

8:11 p.m. -- Wow, sure looked like Bernadina's hand got to first base just a hair before McDonald's foot on a bang-bang play in the bottom of the fourth. Might have to remember that call by Larry Vanover if this game continues the way it's currently going. Which has featured 12 Nationals stepping to the plate and all 12 being retired by McDonald, nine via strikeout. They can't touch him right now.

8:17 p.m. -- Zimmermann settles down with a 1-2-3 top of the fifth. Also, if you're wondering if this game is a fluke, it should be noted that McDonald has already carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning of another game this year: April 25 against the Rockies.

8:27 p.m. -- Well, Bryce Harper did draw a one-out walk in the top of the fifth. But that's the only baserunner the Nats have produced so far tonight against McDonald. He's also go 10 strikeouts.

8:35 p.m. -- Hey, what do you know? Andrew McCutchen homered. Again. That's his 10th in 22-plus games against the Nats. And it puts the Pirates up 4-0 in the sixth as McDonald takes the mound for the bottom of the inning.

8:58 p.m. -- So, uh, that was kind of an interesting inning, huh? It began with a Jesus Flores double, ending McDonald's no-hit bid. It continued with a Steve Lombardozzi double ... that didn't score Flores (who missed Bo Porter waving him around). It looked like the Nats wouldn't score at all, but then Ryan Zimmerman delivered a much-needed, two-out, two-run single to right. And then scored seconds later on Adam LaRoche's ... triple. Yes, triple. One day after he only needed one of those to hit for the cycle. A major assist to left fielder Jose Tabata, who could not have misplayed that ball off the wall any worse than he did. Still, it goes in the books as the 10th triple of LaRoche's career, his first since Aug. 3, 2010 against ... the Nats. So after all that, it's now 4-3 Pirates as Craig Stammen enters for the seventh.

9:08 p.m. -- There's a rare event, indeed. Stammen gave up a run. Thus, it's now a 5-3 deficit as we reach the seventh-inning stretch.

9:28 p.m. -- Golden opportunity for the Nats to tie the game in a bottom of the seventh that seemingly wouldn't end. Runners on second and third, one out. But Lombardozzi tapped a comebacker for out No. 2, and Desmond struck out swinging at a slider from Juan Cruz (his third K of the night). So it remains 5-3 as we go to the eighth.

9:45 p.m. -- Nothin' happenin' in the bottom of the eighth as Jason Grilli strikes out Zimmerman and gets LaRoche and Harper to fly out to center. So the Nats are down to their last three outs. Still 5-3.

10:05 p.m. -- It's over. Joel Hanrahan shuts the door in the bottom of the ninth and hands the Nats a 5-3 loss. Combined with the Braves' lopsided win over the Marlins, the Nationals now find themselves back in second place in the NL East.

184 comments:

Tcostant said...

I see a 2-1 win tonight. Zimmermann with a ND; at least he isn't a hard luck losser...

bowdenball said...

There are not a lot of things about being a fan of the 2012 Washington Nationals that have sucked so far. But one of them is that every five games, we have to be reminded that people still care about a pitcher's W-L record for some stupid reason.

peric said...

There are not a lot of things about being a fan of the 2012 Washington Nationals that have sucked so far.

The number of highest quality quality starts to win ratio isn't so great and I do think they care about going deep into games and coming up with the win if they can. It was probably set as one of their goals as a staff this season.

MicheleS said...

Curly W in the books tonight. I see RZ having a big game!

Grandstander said...

Bowdenball, I gave up that fight years ago. People are always going to be concerned about useless stats because they were taught to care about useless stats.

Knoxville Nat said...

Hope you are right MicheleS! Would be nice to see Zimmerman break out in time for the stretch that is coming up over the next several weeks.

Tcostant said...

I also see a big Zimmermann game, but I also see quite bats for the Nationals. It's just the way it is when Zimm pitches.

bowdenball said...

Peric-

I'm sure what you say is true, but I think that's mostly just a product of fans and media and agents and arbitrators and Cy Young voters stupidly caring about a pitcher's W-L record. It forces them to care when they shouldn't.

Grandstander-

I can understand giving up. The problem is that caring about useless stats has consequences. It makes people not appreciate how great Zimmermann is. On the other side of the coin, it makes people thing someone like Wang was a lot better at his peak than he actually was.

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

Maybe, but having a handy, easy-to-grasp metric, even if it is grossly imperfect, has advantages, especially if it has real world correspondences.

It's one of the few things about baseball that's really easy to understand: the team with the most runs at the end of the game wins, and the team that wins the most games is in first place. Anybody can grasp that.

At the end of the season, they don't award first place, and ultimately the World Series, to the team with the best advanced stats--it goes to the team that won the most games. It doesn't matter if they "deserved" to win, if the other team got jobbed by the umps, or somebody got lucky, or had nicer uniforms.

How you measure depends on what you want to measure. If you're trying to win an argument in a bar about "who's better, Verlander or Cy Young", then yeah, bring on all the stats you got. But for a casual fan, who wants one easy thing to get a bearing on "Is this guy any good?" it's accessible. Misleading, but accessible. But there's the rub--EVERYTHING is misleading, taken in isolation, and nothing is foolproof in the hands of a fool.

JaneB said...

Apropos of nothing, I've been in Las Vegas all week. The morning local news commences every day with news of Bryce Harper. It's kinda fun. They're growing Nats fans in the desert.

JD said...

Bowdenball and Grandstander,

If you ever win this argument we should try taking on other useless stats like RBI, runs scored, saves,holds and partially useless stats like batting average and ERA.

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

Which is not to say all naive baseball fans are fools--well, no more than the rest of us--but there is no perfect solution, because it's an imperfect question, "Who's better?"

JD said...

Sec 3,

I think most fans are smart enough to understand that an individual's stat which is greatly influenced by actions not taken by that individual are at best misleading.

natsfan1a said...

Keep surging. Give that kid some run support, daggone it! ;-) Go, JZ! Go, NATS! Go, BATS! Go, Goon Squad!

I think that Peric makes good points about staff goals. Additionally, there's more pressure on a pitcher to be perfect when the offense isn't putting up many runs. Last but not least, pitcher W-L or ND aside, if they don't score more than the other team, they lose the game. So there's that. As Mr. Sheen might say: duh, winning. :-)

bowdenball said...

JD, I'll let you know.

Section 3- no stat is perfect but some is better than other. ERA strikes a decent balance between accessible and useful. Even casual fans know generally what a good ERA is, and although it's not perfect, it's impossible for a pitcher having a very good season to have a below average ERA, and it's impossible for a pitcher having a very bad season to have an above average ERA. Obviously you can't say the same for W-L.

natsfan1a said...

Dang, sec3 beat me to the punch, and with fewer words. Oh well, I'll get 'em next time. :-)

JD said...

natsfan1a,

but JZ has a W/L record of 2 - 3. Do you think that represents his true performance?

The year king Felix won the Cy Young he had something like 12 - 14 wins so the voters were smart enough to look beyond this archaic stat.

JamesFan said...

Remember when we were in a state of misery because there weren't enough fans at Nats Park for a cold, rainy game against somebody and pundits were declaring Washington not a baseball town? Well, last night the stadium was very full of 25K enthusiastic fans for a Wednesday night game in May against the Pirates.

natsfan1a said...

That said, if rooting for the Nats has taught long-time fans anything, it's that a pitcher can do a very good job and end up with an L, and I think most of us know to look at more than a guy's W-L record. ;-)

natsfan1a said...

No, I know to look at more than W-L record for a pitcher. See my subsequent post.

JD said...

natsfan1a,

but JZ has a W/L record of 2 - 3. Do you think that represents his true performance?

Grandstander said...

Ooohh, Sabermetrics time?

In Sabermetrics, evaluating pitchers relies mostly upon the "golden trifecta" of FIP, xFIP and tERA. Let's compare Wang's 2006 season, to Zimmermann last season:

FIP/xFIP/tERA

Wang (2006) - 3.91/4.19/4.06
Zimmermann (2011) - 3.16/3.78/3.35

Wang went 19-6 that season, Zimmermann went 8-11.

Now, you can make the argument that with the adjustment to the NL, Wang's numbers will go down, but let me remind, I'm cherry-picking his best season where he finished 2nd in Cy Young voting.

Also, for those curious, here's Zimmermann's stats this season in those categories:

Zimmermann (2012) - 2.80/3.30/3.55

His W-L? 2-3.

So I say, pshaw W-L record! I'm gonna enjoy the heck outta one of the best pitchers in baseball!

natsfan1a said...

JamesFan, and the announced crowd for the Tuesday afternoon game was close to 25K, fwiw.

natsfan1a said...

Eh, fun as it is to try and prove who is smarter and who knows more, I have stuff to do before the game. Knock yourselves out and I'll read through it all later (maybe) :-)

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

Bowdenball, I'm not at all sure either is impossible, especially for non-starting pitchers, but let that go for now.

There's a difference between imperfect and useless. Wins is not a useless stat. Imperfect, and more imperfect than lots of others, depending on what you're trying to show, but not useless, and that, not some conspiracy of sportswriters, is why it persists, I think. Grantland Rice notwithstanding, they DO mark whether you won or lost, at the end of a day. Yeah, they (and I) care "how you played the game," but they keep score.

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

GYFNG ...

Eugene in Oregon said...

For what it's worth -- as we discuss pitchers' stats -- there's also a good argument to be made for replacing ERA with just plain old RA (runs average). While ERA was originally created to try to isolate the pitcher's performance from that of his (often erratic) defense, as defenses have improved over the past century it may well be that official scorers' assignment of errors are more erratic/subjective than are modern defenses.

Doc said...

This McDonald kid has real stuff.

The current rash of offensive production seems to be leaving RZim behind. Doesn't look good for him to-night---maybe he'll surprise us??

Afterall, it's baseball--anything can happen, on any given night!

MicheleS said...

Seriously People!!! Drink some Kookaid! Enjoy the game! GYFNG!!!

MicheleS said...

And yes.. I meant KOOKAID!!!!

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

I have a good feeling about tonight's game. The Zims will both have good nights.

Congrats to ALR. I believe he qualifies for the All Star game if he continues at the present pace.

NatsNut said...

Did ya'll see Svrluga's chat today (sorry Mark)? His final answer was kinda cool, talking about only in baseball did he get a chance to really *know* his subjects well.

Theophilus T. S. said...

Mark -- appreciate your response to my somewhat peckish question on the last thread. If you thought I was questioning your credibility, I apologize. I know your reporting is as good as the information you are provided. That, however, is my point . . ..

The difference of opinion between Rendon ("out for the season") and the FO (first, "August or September", then "September") may have seemed trivial but tellingly symbolic of the lack of a continuing stream of cogent information regarding two prospects in whom the Nats have invested major league contracts, a bunch of money, and high hopes for the future. For what was described as a "chip" in the ankle (in one report; in another, something that would heal more easily than a "high ankle sprain") I was really surprised to hear he's still in a boot and using crutches. Maybe I had no reason to be optimistic but this begins to look like a really extended recovery. (Like something we'd expect from Nick Johnson.)

The Nats guard information on their prospects like it was secret satellite intelligence on the Iranian nuclear program. (Maybe better.) It's not like they're giving away trade secrets to competitors as these guys are unlikely to be in the major leagues until 2014 -- and in the case of Rendon's injury I don't see how he's likely to navigate through the minors by then even under optimistic assumptions.

Solis has somehow evolved from "high draft choice" to "blue chip prospect" to "injured blue chip prospect," and I really haven't heard (A) exactly what he did to merit the higher expectations; (B) when they expect him to pitch (in a real live game); (C) how long they expect it will take for him to be major-league ready given the injury.

People on the site -- self included -- spend endless hours speculating on developments years down the road without benefit of anything more from the FO except gloss. Hence, GIGO.

A DC Wonk said...
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A DC Wonk said...

Not sure if I missed this or not:

Why Bernadina at 2d and Harper 5th, as opposed to the other way around? Just protection for ALR?

NatsLady said...

Good post, sofa. There is also this. If a guy is leading 6-0 in the 5th inning he's not going to pitch the same way as if he were leading 1-0. He's going to save his arm, and maybe give up a run or two. That's because guys are NOT pitching to the stats (usually), they are pitching to win as many games as possible, including the next one and the next one.

Section 222 said...

Didn't see that Svrulga chat NN, and though I could search for it, if you have a link, please post.

Could the Nats actually sweep a series, albeit only 2 games, tonight? I'll be out there in section 314 cheering them on, wearing my "This Is ZNN" shirt. Hoping that that JZnn gets a meaningless "W" tonight, since that would mean that a win would also go in the only column where that stat means anything -- the standings in the NL East.

A DC Wonk said...

they DO mark whether you won or lost, at the end of a day. Yeah, they (and I) care "how you played the game," but they keep score.

Well, duh. C'mon really. Of course wins are the most important stat.

For the team.

The problem is the mechanical rules for assinging said win or loss to a pitcher.

Correct me if I'm wrong:

Pitcher A starts the game, gives up a walk, and leaves the game.

Pitcher B relieves, gives up lots of his, HR's, and losing 9-0 after one inning.

The team ends up losing 12-8.

Pitcher A gets the loss, right?

Of course, anyone can come up with such examples.

But my point is: nobody's arguing that wins aren't important -- their arguing about how wins assigned to pitchers are an indication of how good the pitcher is. Two completely different things.

Section 222 said...

Oh, and here's a couple of interesting pieces to pass the time before game time -- on framing pitches, and the respect that Harper is already getting from pitchers.

Wendell said...

Svrulga also said that, much as he loves baseball & the Nats, being the baseball beat writing is brutal. You're at work until 1am & expected to post something the next morning. The constant travel makes family life very difficult. Hats off to Mark. Adam & Amanda.

hiramhover said...

Theophilus

Of course, the fact that fans are endlessly speculating and criticizing is one reason for the FO to be vague. Medical diagnoses and forecasts aren't perfect, but as soon as one turns out to be wrong, intertubez commenters start ranting about conspiracies and accusing medical staffs of incompetence and malpratice.

NatsFan05 said...

@ DC Wonk

Why Bernadina at 2d and Harper 5th, as opposed to the other way around? Just protection for ALR?

May 17, 2012 5:35 PM

=============

This is Davey's RHP line up and last night's line up was for a LHP with Harper in the 2 hole and Nady in the 6th.

TheManBearPig said...

Don't be too quick to dismiss runs scored as a useless stat. Yes, it does often depend on what teammates do at the plate, but a player can't score if he doesn't get on base and he probably won't score very much unless he gets into scoring position. I'm a homer, so I'll give Desmond as an example. Not typical lead-off hitter stats: OBP .300, but he's 1st amont NL lead-off hitters in extra base hits - 1st in HR and tied for 1st in doubles. He's tied for 3rd among NL lead-off hitters in runs scored (with Jordan Schaefer of the Astros), behind only Furcal and Bourn. Is Desmond an effective lead-off hitter? Appears to be, and I would argue the runs scored proves it.

hiramhover said...

ManBearPig

Interesting info - thanks.

I'm curious - what website did you use to track that down?

NatsLady said...

How many days in a row has Flores caught? Hope he gets a day off soon, even if that means Maldanado!

MicheleS said...

NatsLady .. i am guessing that he gets Saturday off. Stras is pitching on Sunday.

TimDz said...

JamesFan said...
Remember when we were in a state of misery because there weren't enough fans at Nats Park for a cold, rainy game against somebody and pundits were declaring Washington not a baseball town? Well, last night the stadium was very full of 25K enthusiastic fans for a Wednesday night game in May against the Pirates.
----------------------------

You have to remember that it was Military appreciation night and that folks with military ID's got in for free.

That said, I believe the numbers are up from last year and will probably increase once schools let out.

Grandstander said...

And Sunday is a day game as well, so you wouldn't want him pitching in both. I believe Davey said Flores would see a much expanded role, starting 5-6 games a week. This is where he really needs to step it up.

TimDz said...
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TimDz said...
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TimDz said...
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JaneB said...

Hmmmm...I guess we have to remember it was military appreciation day and everyone got in free. But that it will get better when school is out, :-)))

GYFNG!

UnkyD said...

TimZ...... STOP IT!!!!!!

baseballswami said...

Really? Do we have to remember that? I think they still came to the game instead of staying home. I am sure there were other things they could have been doing. It is way past time for this team to help Jordan out and give him some good offensive production. Pittsburgh is the kind of team we need to beat up on.

natsfan1a said...

I would, Michele, but FP took it. He said something about Ripken, I didn't catch it.

And, JaneB, yeah, I think I read that somewhere. :-)

I saw the chat, NN. I even submitted a question. sec222, if you use the Nats Journal link at left, you'll see a link for the chat around mid-page, on the right.

In other news, was watching the replay of the LaRoche dinger, which I missed in real time. Did anybody else notice Eckstein trying to lift the helmet from Adam's head? He had one hand on there but seemed to be having trouble. Tracy comes up and puts his hand on Eck's arm like, stand back - I got this. Then he takes it off easily. Seems like it's usually Desi or Tracy who does the honors. :-)

MicheleS said...

Seriously People!!! Drink some Kookaid! Enjoy the game! GYFNG!!!
May 17, 2012 5:17 PM

MicheleS said...

NatsLady .. apparently its ladies night at the park. Ryan Perry, Druuuu, and yes.. Clipp were the guests of honor

Candide said...

University of Dubuque just sang a wonderful rendition of The Star Spangled Banner.

Cunegonde and I are in section 219 tonight. GYFNG!!!

NatsLady said...

Aw, I missed that. Working........... (sigh)

NatsLady said...

Drew got Desi and Ryan Mattheus on Twitter. Desi tweeted that football weather is over, here comes baseball weather he's got his Nattitude [sic]. Fun.

NatsLady said...

Just walk McCutchen. Just walk him.

NatsJack in Florida said...

McCutchen....Like I said....special.

MicheleS said...

4 fingers every time he comes to bat. Geesh.

Grandstander said...

I don't think Cutch is gonna see another pitch this game, especially with this lineup.

NatsLady said...

I don't care if the bases are loaded, one run is cheaper than four. Walk the man.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Just read the whole thread...TimDz......we got it.

NatsLady said...

The Nats are No. 5 in homeruns? Who knew?

UnkyD said...

Boy, that McCutcheon kid would look good in a red cap....

Gonat said...

The ump is squeezing JZim. 2 balls on the black not called.

Gonat said...

Make it 3 strikes not called. I can see how this is going to go.

Exposremains said...

it seems like less and less the high strike is called

NatsJack in Florida said...

This kid McDonald can bring it.

NatsJack in Florida said...

We got to get him in a stretch and soon.

Exposremains said...

this could be a looong night.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

We must be going against another Cy Young, as we have 5 K's after 6 at bats. and 4 of them were sswinging at pitches probably out of the zone. Desmond's was a questionable one, and he was the only one with a decent at bat.

Pitching to McCutchen I just had told Big Cat before the at bat. Pitch everything tight to him nothing over the plate from the middle to outer third, and low and behoold pitched one right where McCutchen wants it.

Gonat said...

FP is reading NatsInsider!

Gonat said...

There you go! DOUBLE PLAY

Gonat said...

Carp, enough with the accolades for James McDonald. Plenty of time to go. Lets see how it looks 2nd time through the order

NatsJack in Florida said...

So LaRoche says hitting is contaigious. It appears striking out is as well.

Exposremains said...

was watching yesterday the 1980 world series on MLB NEtwork. Looking at Pete Rose and even Bowa, choking way up on the bat, small compact swing. Espinosa, Ankiel and others could really learn something from those guys.

Gonat said...

Interesting how the pitcher could make contact

baseballswami said...

The curse of ZNN. The good news is he gets to play Nolan Ryan for the night - the bad news is the other guy gets to play Cy Young. I know he looks calm on the outside, but the dugout/tunnel wall better watch out because inside he is probably seething.

Exposremains said...

It seems these days every player in the league except a few obvious ones see themselves has a homerun hitter.

TimDz said...

NI Faithful....
I submitted that comment once...
I have NO idea what happened ...

Exposremains said...

I know JZim says that he doesn't mind the run support but I bet it really annoys him.

Gonat said...

JZim doesn't get the 2-1 strike call to the batter he walked. Oh boy

NatsJack in Florida said...

Don't worry TimDz...it's happened to all of us. I was just bustin' your chops for fun.

baseballswami said...

I have seen this movie before and it does not have a happy ending :(

UnkyD said...

(tight-lipped, he grits his teeth, a la Seinfeld)

.... Barajas!!...

Gonat said...

Davey should be barking. Hows about the same calls on both sides?

NatsJack in Florida said...

How many times are our pitchers going to walk guys and then give up the HR?

This game is all but over unless we can get to their bull pen.

Gonat said...

Blew the call at 1st. That sucks

Faraz Shaikh said...

a perfect game? glad I decided not to go.

Exposremains said...

Can someone tell me why FP and Carp are not saying that he has a no-hitter

scrabble08 said...

James McDonald has a clear pitch tell..his index finger in his glove twitches when he throws a fastball and stays motionless when it's offspeed..
Tell me I'm wrong.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Vu McDonald still pitching. We aren't even bothering to swing now.

Bernadina was clearly safe.

Did Zimermann watch the game vs. The Bucs when HRod blew the save. he putched the pitch is the same spot to Barajas, with the same result. Come on learn your history.

As for this series and walks. The Bucs have walked 3 times now and 3 have scored. That is a trend that I do not like.

baseballswami said...

So why is it that their guy is getting every questionable call and Jordan is getting nothing? Like the guy really needs help from the ump tonight!! Somebody needs to find some grass real quick with a baseball.

Gonat said...

Home plate ump as absolutely decided there will be 2 strike zones tonight. This just isn't right

NatsJack in Florida said...

That's easy to see from CF camera. Not so much from the batters box.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Gonat..I agree totally. But the guys stuff is electric tonite.

Exposremains said...

all right Laroche walks and homerun Harper. There I said it.

Gonat said...

NatsJack in Florida said...
Gonat..I agree totally. But the guys stuff is electric tonite.

May 17, 2012 8:17 PM
___________________________

His stuff is good but don't help him more than he deserves is my only point and JZim deserves the same calls.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Jordan may be none to happy with the strike zone tonite, and I don't blame him.

But I'm not to happy with the gopher ball to Barrajas.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Don't need any other reason to know you are watching something special.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Bryce got a break on the ball 3 call.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Finally. From the stretch.

Faraz Shaikh said...

let's get a hit now.

ehay2k said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Exposremains said...

I guess they do read this Blog, now Carp cant stop saying the Nats have no hits.

baseballswami said...

I have generally not been one to call for the head of Eckstein, but I do think McCatty has a better style for this young team. Don't walk anyone, throw strikes - very simple. Eckstein seems very academic and technical. I think maybe they need a simpler approach. And while we're at it - do you think we could just walk McCutcheon?

Drew said...

I'm at the ballpark in Richmond, sitting behind the plate and watching Danny Rosenbaum. He's having an off night.. He's through 7 innings and he's already allowed four hits. (No runs, of course).

Danny doesn't have overpowering stuff. His fastball topped out at 88 and 89 if the gun here is to be believed, but he had poise, impeccable control and bewildered Richmond's hitters by changing speeds.

His breaking ball sat at 81 and 82 and he threw a change that moseyed up at 76 or 77. The kid's an artist.

Danny came out of the game after seven. We're scoreless in the bottom of the eighth. It's time for Hood or Kobernus to send a few of us home happy.

ehay2k said...

Sigh - Zimnn is being too fine once again. And he doesn't get a call and then loses focus. He needs to address that.

McDonald has 39 strikeouts in 7 previous starts. He has 9 through just four innings. It takes us 5 innings to get our first baserunner. We - the entire team still can't hit a breaking ball. If we ever face Livo, he will have a nice night.

About that hitting coach...

Gonat said...

Have JZim and Flores read the charts on McCutcheon? Inside high and inside low.

Jim Webster said...

I hope never to see McCutcheon again (unless in a Nats uniform). Offer half he farm system in a trade.

Faraz Shaikh said...

actually this will be the last time this season we see him.

ehay2k said...

Zimnn is not sharp. Missing up and in on a pitch low and away is a bad miss if Barajas is batting. Mccutcheon should get four unhittable pitches. W throw him cookies. If that masn stat is correct, all but one of his homers are against the Nats.

I am starting to wonder if our young staff is getting figured out.

MicheleS said...

JINXING THE NO HITTER! We will get a hit this inning!

NatsJack in Florida said...

If Davy brings on Ryan "the human towel" Perry, we can chalk this one up in the loss column.

Doc said...

Question: Why is the Nats' broadcast crew afraid of jinxing the other teams' no-hitter???

They're on our side right?

Gonat said...

2 hit, uh, I mean 1st hit of the game

ehay2k said...

Funny NatsJack! In terms of value, we couldn't trade Perry for a bag of Cutter Dykstras.

Gonat said...

Again, why isn't Lombardozzi starting?

NatsJack in Florida said...

Whew!.....still 12 outs to work with.

Gonat said...

Bo Porter gave the run sign to Jesus Flores and he didn't go.

Exposremains said...

situational hitting...still awful

MicheleS said...

And now we will get some runs!

ehay2k said...

No need for Flores to get injured on a close play at home in a four run game.

Gonat said...

No outs, runners on 2nd and 3rd. Zim picks up his teammates

ehay2k said...

Our Venezuelan Catcher tree is out of fruit.

MicheleS said...

I am playing the lottery tomorrow!

Gonat said...

If ALR picks up Zim here, its a brand new ballgame.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Awful? .. Oh really? ...How about Zim away as those of us that know have been saying?

Exposremains said...

clutch hitting... great

Gonat said...

That didn't miss by much.

MicheleS said...

If anyone in the Nats marketing department is reading this. THERE BETTER BE AN ALR SHERSEY IN THE TEAM STORE THIS WEEKEND!

NatsJack in Florida said...

Any doubt ALR is inching up the MVP ladder?

NatsJack in Florida said...

Here's the bull pen I wanted to get to.

Gonat said...

Back in this game!

baseballswami said...

Well, ok - McDonald doesn't go as deep into the game as ZNN. Who would have thought? It's a game now. Lombardozzi NEEDS TO PLAY!!!

Gonat said...

Lombo in LF

RickH said...

Hmmm ... I'm thinking Mark has been down in the stands for the last half inning.

Exposremains said...

these pirates are like the Marlins

Faraz Shaikh said...

MVP? not yet.

ehay2k said...

@TimDZ - multiple posts are due to a site error. But you can always delete the duplicates to help out your fellow posters. :-)

Gonat said...

Was wondering if a pitchout would be a good play here. Suicide squeeze?

ehay2k said...

ALR is our Most Valuable (ex) Pirate.

Gonat said...

That is Stammen's 1st run given up in his 1st inning of relief work.

Drew said...

Rosenbaum lowers his ERA to 0.62. Is that good? (ha).

Now let's get these two runs. GYFNG!!!

Gonat said...

Where's that bunt been all year? Now lets get a hit!

NatsJack in Florida said...

That was extremly prodessional by Jesus.

NatsJack in Florida said...

And not very professional by Lombardozi.

Fear and Ignorance said...

Why can every other team in the league get guys home from 3B with less than 2 outs??? Terrible baseball!!!

NatsJack in Florida said...

And now the wave. How embarassing.

ehay2k said...

Kudos to Gonat on the bunt request.

Exposremains said...

situational hitting...disgusting

Fear and Ignorance said...

Good teams get runs there. This was a winnable game.

ehay2k said...

F & I - our poor situational hitting transcends several rosters and managers. There is, however, one constant...

TimDz said...

ehay2k said...
@TimDZ - multiple posts are due to a site error. But you can always delete the duplicates to help out your fellow posters. :-)
__________________________________

At the risk of having this post 3.6 million times...done...and thanks for everyone's understanding...

NatsJack in Florida said...

What do you mean "was"?

TimDz said...

We owe Pittsburgh a walk off...
Just saying....

NatsJack in Florida said...

And still, not one single poster to this or any site has been able to describe what a hitting coach does. Believe me. It has nothing to do with something as elementary as situational hitting.

MicheleS said...

We are getting runs this inning

Gonat said...

Zim is really moved off the plate recently

NatsJack in Florida said...

This guy pitching is the son of the guy who did the color commentary for Syracuse on Monday.

Fear and Ignorance said...

NatsJack-All the momentum they had is gone. Scoring runs is just way too hard for this team.

ehay2k said...

Michele, Pepto Bismol will help...

Oh, never mind.

Gonat said...

Chad Tracy does his job and Zim, LaRoche and BamBam can't do anything.

NatsJack in Florida said...

It didn't seem so difficult in the 6th.

Eugene in Oregon said...

An earlier poster wrote: "Why can every other team in the league get guys home from 3B with less than 2 outs??? Terrible baseball!!!"
----------------------------------

Is this statement true? Let's look at the stats. We can use batting average rather than OBP, because a walk doesn't score a run. You know what? Going into tonight's game, the Nats were actually better than "every other team" (represented by league average) with one out, but fractionally worse with two outs.

Nats 2012 stats (going into tonight):

With runners on 2nd and 3rd, one out: BA = .364
With runners on 2nd and 3rd, two outs: BA = .182

NL average for 2012 (going into tonight):

With runners on 2nd and 3rd, one out: BA = .297
With runners on 2nd and 3rd, two outs: BA = .194.

ehay2k said...

NatsJack, if what you say is true, then the Nats need to hire a Situational Hitting Coach.

But they will still need a hitting coach who can teach them how to recognize pitches, know what a pitcher likes to throw in what counts, etc. At the moment, they have a "Spin that little roulette wheel in your head to pick the pitch", and "you can hit that high fastball" coach.

NatsJack in Florida said...

And they sure didn't have any momentum before that.

baseballswami said...

So at first I was just terrified of the perfecto, then the nono, then the shutout and feeling bad for Jordan. Then I was excited and hopeful - now the roller coaster has taken me back to frustrated. Two questions -- why in the heck was that umpire allowing those guys to basically have a tea party out there every other pitch??? That was just unacceptable! Second - Why is it that when we get a runner on third no one, absolutely no one knows how to sacrifice them in? They seem to hit balls out to the track at other times, but not with someone on third and less than two outs! So from depression to hope and back to frustration - welcome to Natstown.

Exposremains said...

Meet the Texas Pirates

ehay2k said...

Nice 2-5-3. Nice to see Flores play so well.

NatsJack in Florida said...

And describe to me what a "situational hitting coach" would do.

The only thing you got right was the "know what a pitcher likes to throw in what counts".

The rest of the stuff can't be taught.

Fear and Ignorance said...

NatsJack-They still had to do it all with 2 outs in the 6th. It is never easy and that takes a toll on a team over the course of 162 games. You are already seeing that with Zimmermann over his last 4 starts. It certainly seems like they have to grind for every run.

Eugene-Batting Avg. in that situation is rather meaningless. I am talking about getting runs home. They were at like 40% the other night(and they have failed twice tonight) in that situation, so take away the hits and they almost never get the guy home.

ehay2k said...

OK, a Situational Hitting Coach would say things like:

"Bases are loaded, the pitcher just walked two on 8 pitches, so suggest you leave the bat in the dugout."

"They have a ridiculous shift on you - just bunt or tap it down the third base line and you will have a double."

"Our hottest hitter, who has ten HR against this pitcher in 20 at bats, is behind you. Strike out swinging hard at good pitches and laying off anything you cannot drive, rather than hit into a double play by swinging at junk."

Eugene in Oregon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NatsJack in Florida said...

Sounds about right for little league.

Gonat said...

The Nats had every reliever on the ropes and let them off.

ehay2k said...

If FP knew a slider away was coming, why didn't Desmond?

Oh, right...

Exposremains said...

well the Pirates tried really hard to give this game to the Nats. Now its about to get real tough.

Eugene in Oregon said...

F&I: I agree that batting average is often a less-than-useful stat. But with runners on 2nd and especially 3rd, almost any hit is going to score at least one run, often two. And BA measures hits. I'm not suggesting that the stats I've offered are a perfect metric. But an extreme statement -- "Why can every other team..." -- is pretty meaningless. Show us the stats you would use to back up your assertion that the Nats are the worst team in baseball for getting runs home from third with less than two outs. Please.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

I am not sure what a batting coach does, but I oulwd hope he could figure out how to keep a team from swinging at pitches out of the strike zone, and hit ones that are in.

All I know is we are 12 the in the league in scoring. The hitting coach isn't batting, but I don't do the job of those under me either, but I assure my bosses that they do their job, so that is what I see a hitting coach does. he makes sure that at heast they hit the ball. We do not hit the ball enough for my taste.

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