Friday, May 4, 2012

Instant analysis: Nats 4, Phillies 3 (11)

Associated Press photo
Stephen Strasburg gave up two homers for the first time in his career.
Game in a nutshell: In an emotionally charged ballpark tilted more in the Nationals' favor than usual when these two rivals meet, Stephen Strasburg got off to a dominant start but then did the unthinkable and served up home runs to both Hunter Pence and Carlos Ruiz. Strasburg's teammates picked him, pushing across a run in the sixth and another in the eighth. But countless squandered opportunities (and some questionable umpiring) prevented them from taking the lead and sent this one into extra innings. Finally, Wilson Ramos (the last man off the bench) lined a bases-loaded single over shortstop Jimmy Rollins' head, bringing Steve Lombardozzi home and sending the crowd into pandemonium.

Hitting lowlight: It's not that the Nationals didn't put men on base. They racked up 14 hits, walked seven times and had one batter hit by pitch. But they simply could not come through in clutch situations ... until the 11th. The worst offense came in the bottom of the eighth, when they stranded the bases loaded with one out. Ian Desmond swung at the first pitch he saw and grounded into a fielder's choice (though replays showed Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz's foot wasn't touching the plate as Rick Ankiel slid across). Lombardozzi then grounded out, also on the first pitch he saw. Poor approaches there for both guys in a situation that demanded patience and pitch selection.

Pitching lowlight: Strasburg was lights-out for three innings, allowing only one batter to reach base (on an error). Then after doubling and having to run the bases, he began to labor. Five Phillies hitters from the fourth through the sixth innings drilled flyballs, most of them deep, two of them clearing the fence. It was by no means a terrible outing for Strasburg (who still got credit for a quality start). But by his lofty standards, it was not up to par.

Key stat: Prior to tonight, Strasburg had given up only one home run to a right-handed batter in his big-league career (Dan Uggla, Aug. 10, 2010). Then he gave up homers to two right-handed Phillies in a span of four batters (Pence and Ruiz).

Up next: In what is expected to be the best-drawing game of the weekend, Gio Gonzalez takes on Vance Worley at 1:05 p.m. Saturday.

62 comments:

Scott from Burke said...

Cool

ehay2k said...

Thank you for flying Air Ramos!

natsfan1a said...

Your flight attendant, Mr. Flores, will now come through the cabin with refreshing shaving cream towelettes. Wooooooooooooo Hooooooooooooooo!!

baseballswami said...

Woo hoo! That was pretty frickin bueno! I am so tired. These nats are either frustrating or exciting and nothing in between. So nice to hear the loud nats crowd, too.2 more to go!

Fear and Ignorance said...

Can't believe they left Scwimmer in there for 58 pitches. Surprised not to see Papelbon in the 11th. Thank you Charlie.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Ignorance, Charlie was thrown out early in the game

natsfan1a said...

Wish that McCatty could be wired when he goes to the mound. Wonder what he said to Henry? You're PFB when you throw strikes, meat. :-)

Scott from Burke said...

Managers still pull the strings in the clubhouse

Destination....K Street said...

Papelbon was being saved for a Phillies lead. Since the Philies were the visitors they have to save their closer for the save if they take the lead because the Nats would have one last chance to tie or win the game. The home team doesn't have to worry about that which is why you saw Henry in the 9th.

natsfan1a said...

Davey Johnson, quote machine (courtesy of Comak):

"I can't hardly pronounce the dang word," he said. "I was supposed to read that in the All-Star balloting: 'Join in the Natitude.' I said, 'I might have four or five takes on that.' I just said: 'You know, we've got a damn good team here. Vote for the Nats.'"

MicheleS said...

Woo Hooooo!

whatsanattau said...

Just back. Totally awesome. Take back the park worked. No problems in the lower bowl that I saw. (Actually, there was one rude Nationals fan). Had many nice conversations with polite Philly fans in the concession lines.

Game was tense - what a finish!!!

good stuff.

Fear and Ignorance said...

Steve M-Yeah, I forgot Manuel got tossed. Pretty sure he was still calling the shots, though.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Scott, you could be correct, some ejected managers do and some don't. You weren't there so none of us know.

SBrent said...

Davey's awesome! Thanks, 1a!

Cwj said...

Natsfan- Indeed! Henry was a different pitcher after that McCatty visit.
He just needs to relax. He's very capable of striking out the side, even with runners in scoring position.

Strasburg was victim to the Baseball Stat Gods :-)
There was no way he, or any pitcher, could keep that HR ratio and ERA so low.
It is kinda funny that a bad Strasburg outing is giving up 3 runs :-)
Strasburg is probably top 3-5 starting pitchers in all of baseball.

Go Nats!!!!!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Papelbon was spent just like Burnett was. Lucky break for the Nats.

Like Gonat said at 50 pitches he would make a mistake. In that case Ramos went down and got it.

Gonat said...

If Ramos swung at the 1st pitch, I think we all would have strangled him. Nice to see him have a plan. He was waiting on a flat breaking pitch and didn't miss it.

SCNatsFan said...

These are the games the Nats need to win to show this isn't the same old team. Beating up on the Cubs, Padres and Mets is nice but games like this make a statement.

Gonat said...

Ghost Of Steve M. said...
Papelbon was spent just like Burnett was. Lucky break for the Nats.

May 04, 2012 11:20 PM
_____________________________

I thought it was more that Papelbon was held back waiting for the Phillies to take a lead but you are probably right.

Exposremains said...

I wonder if Harper will be pitched around when he's surrounded by Zim, laroche, Morse

Scott from Burke said...

I would bet manuel was calling the shots from the clubhouse..if an owner is paying a manager who checks out after he gets tossed that wouldnt go over too well...a stat I'm fond of, although i'm sure many would say its irrelevant, is a teams record whena certain pitcher starts...Stras picks up a victory..tomorrow should be fun

baseballswami said...

I know some local Philly fans who were going to the game with their families, neighbors and co-workers. They are just not going to be nasty and obnoxious and are generally going to be just a part of the crowd. I think the problem was the many busloads of people all in big sections who had been drinking for the whole trip down. Seems like the atmosphere was electric tonight and I could hear the pro-nats cheering. I didn't hear harper and werth getting booed from the tv, if it happened. Great night, as it turned out. Typical of the Nats that Harper and Strassie were not the big heroes. It seems like it's someone different every night. Lombardozzi and Ramos tonight, not to mention the stellar bullpen!

whatsanattau said...

Actually in 110 and surrounding areas, the Philly Phans cheered Werth at the start of the game. As I wrote earlier, there was a rude Nats fan and one of his things was yelling about Werth. No one booed Harper in my section.

Gonat said...

Impressed that Bryce Harper didn't try to do too much with his last at-bat. Wise beyond his years as Brian Schneider tested the kid and Harper won as he didn't bite on that 3-2 pitch.

Werth then put together a really nice at-bat and Ramos worked his count and was looking for a ball to drive.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

The umpiring actually cost both teams a run. Ruiz was not on the plate. On the other hand his ball down the third basebline with Victorino on second was fair not fould. Victorina then was safe on the steal. That was followed by what would have been a sacrafice fly.

Harper probably did swing on the one Maual was thrown out on, didn't swin on the one he was punched out on. Amxing how missing and umpire criples the crew. I didn't hear why were we a man short?

Gonat said...

Exposremains said...
I wonder if Harper will be pitched around when he's surrounded by Zim, laroche, Morse

May 04, 2012 11:25 PM
___________________________

Its all situational. There are dozens of different what ifs.

If he is in a slump, then you pitch to him.

For some reason Davey pitched to Ruiz with Victorino on 2nd. Davey got lucky as Ruiz ripped a double over the 3rd base bag that was called foul. Biggest mistake of the game.

Davey was very fortunate again. I said before the AB they should walk him. Then Victorino gets thrown out stealing 3rd and what did Ruiz do in the next pitch? Single

peric said...

On another note ... I wonder if anyone noticed how particular they've gotten in what kind of pitches would be served up to Harper. He received 3 semi-intentional walks and probably would have had a 4th if he hadn't swung at ball 4 in the last strikeout.

The Phillies (all of baseball) now considers Harper the most dangerous hitter in the Nat's lineup. They dutifully watch their videos and see a guy with inhuman bat speed able to send rockets to just about any part of a park.

Its why I thought Harper (and not Desmond who is really a terrible lead off hitter ... wOBA .310, OBP .299) should be the lead off in order to force other teams to pitch to him. If he is to continue to develop in the majors he will need to see every kind of pitch ... not just ball 4. No one fears Werth so they just walk Harper. If Werth doesn't bring that ISO up from the dismal .141 no one ever will.

In any case I suppose for most the most interesting thing about this post is the fact that Harper is as good as advertised maybe better. To all of those who thought Harper's BA in Syracuse (I hate the BA stat) was too low to be brought up, if you don't believe Rizzo, Johnson or any of the folks here ...
would you believe the Phillies who refuse to pitch to the guy and prefer walking him?

Scott from Burke said...

If Victorino doesnt get caught stealing they pitch differently to Ruiz...

Dryw Loves the Nats said...

Lesson learned tonight: even when you don't have your regular seats for a Friday night game where Stras starts against the Phils, and you get an itch to go down and get a walk-up ticket, DO IT! I did tonight, and it may have been the best decision I made all week. Dang, what a fun game!!

baseballswami said...

I think Lombardozzi should be leading off. He is quietly performing very well without the spotlight. Just a solid , non-flashy baseball player. And I am guessing that he is probably fine with harper getting all the attention.

Marty said...

@ Scott - Stras picks up a victory

Perry got the W this evening.

JaneB said...

I haven't been to a phillies game since that awful opening day game, until tonight. If Nats management is reading, thank you dor take back the park. I will no longer stub hub the phillies seats to protect myself from their fans. I was chicken, I admit it. But having enough of us there really helped. So did the walk-off single.

Scott from Burke said...

no s%$#..i pay attention to a teams w-l record when a certain pitcher starts

Marty said...

Nevermind. Stay classy dude.

John said...

I wonder if the team will consider playing Zimmerman at 1st base when he returns and leaving Lombo at 3rd. I think in the long run it might make sense to make the shift over to lessen the wear and tear on the Franchise. Rendon could then take over at 3rd.

Kevin said...

Mark, if you're going to report that questionable umpiring kept Our Heroes from taking the lead, then it should also be noted that Harper probably swung at the 3-1 pitch in the 1st inning but caught a break from the three-umpire situation. With no ump at third, he was ruled not to have swung.

Also, Ruiz's ground ball over third base in the 7th was clearly fair but was ruled foul, again because of the missing third-base umpire. Then Victorino, who would have scored on Ruiz's apparent double, stole third but was erroneously ruled out by the 2nd-base umpire. Victorino would have scored on Ruiz's subsequent single, so the Phils had his run taken away twice.

As a former high-school umpire and a Nats fan, I'm happy they beat the Phils, but it was a tough night at the office for the three men in blue and the calls went against both teams.

zregime said...

Our bullpen was better than theirs. Nothing more needs to be said.

Imagine this, Natties fans...we're back to full hitting strength come July. THAT is gonna be a scary team to face. May I be, possibly, the first to put forth: Your 2012 World Series Champions are residing right within yer 'hoods.

LET'S GO NATS!!!

Gonat said...

Marty said...
Nevermind. Stay classy dude.

May 05, 2012 12:04 AM
_____________________________

No kidding. Admit you made a mistake and move on.

Gonat said...

Phillies with just 6 hits. That's impressive by all Nats pitchers. One big mistake which was the center cut fastball by Stras to Ruiz. The Pence HR, have to give credit to Pence for getting that.

Scott from Burke said...

Admit you made a mistake and move on. Ain't that the truth

i didn't make a mistake..Stras got the win as far as keeping track of a teams w-l record when that pitcher starts..an underrated statistic..in my opinion

Kevin said...

Manassas, there were only three umpires because Joe West was ill. I'm guessing that it happened at the last minute, because usually they bring up a Triple-A umpire as a temporary replacement.

Gonat said...

Nats with 5 walk-off wins leads the Majors

Scott from Burke said...

John said...
I wonder if the team will consider playing Zimmerman at 1st base when he returns and leaving Lombo at 3rd. I think in the long run it might make sense to make the shift over to lessen the wear and tear on the Franchise. Rendon could then take over at 3rd.


I was thinking the same thing until Laroche is 100%..he has been their best hitter so you have to plug him back in there when hes ready

Gonat said...

Scott from Burke said...
i didn't make a mistake..Stras got the win as far as keeping track of a teams w-l record when that pitcher starts..an underrated statistic..in my opinion

May 05, 2012 12:14 AM
___________________________

You just get more pathetic in trying to spin it. Now you are claiming a different stat which as we saw with Marquis last year is generally a "luck" stat. You made a mistake. Strasburg did not get the Victory. Say you were wrong and move on. Stras was no longer the pitcher of record once the Nats tied the game so if anything they saved him a "Loss".

Scott from Burke said...

peric said: I wonder if anyone noticed how particular they've gotten in what kind of pitches would be served up to Harper.

it was pretty obvious..when Zim comes back werth gets pushed down the order yes?

Scott from Burke said...

gonat: this was my post: ...a stat I'm fond of, although i'm sure many would say its irrelevant, is a teams record whena certain pitcher starts...Stras picks up a victory..tomorrow should be fun


now what?

Scott from Burke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gonat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ann Ominous said...

"Manassas, there were only three umpires because Joe West was ill."

That's called addition by subtraction.

Gonat said...

Scott, you are brilliant. What can I say. You are smarter than I.

whatsanattau said...

Yikes. Friends don't let friends blog drunk.

Gonat said...

Using Scott's logic, Marquis was the Nats best pitcher last year. 13-7 in his appearances for the Nats in 2011.

That stat is interesting and so is standard W/L records. Just ask Felix Hernandez and guys like Jordan Zimmermann and Matt Cain.

Scott from Burke said...

GO nat..go away gnat

D'Gourds said...

OMG! I miss Bob Carpenter. Johnny Holliday is HORRIBLE at play by play! Just awful.

billyhacker said...

What a great, occasionally electric game. I really went to see Stras, but Harper's at bats were really exciting. He had at least two nice patient full counts, maybe three? And they were certainly pitching around the teenager which I like to think was slightly embarrassing to the (pretty nice) Phils nearby.

SonnyG10 said...

I was at the game tonight and was pleased that the Phillie phans near my seat were not obnoxious. I also could hear the loud cheering for the Nats and practically none for the Phillies. On leaving the game a Phillie phan tapped me on the back, smiled, and said nice game, to which I replied "thank you".

On another note regarding Harper's at bats. The foul balls he pulled down the right field line were smoked. This kid's power is awesome.

NatsLady said...

Unbelievable game. Can't talk, no voice.

No problem with the Phillies fans, they were fine, sort of like the Red Sox fans at the exhibition game, lots there but spread out and not obnoxious. Nats fans easily outnumbered them, probably 70-30, maybe more. You heard them when Stras gave up the homers and "Roooooooo" for Ruiz, but that was about it. I don't think more than a dozen people left the game before it ended--the crowd was really into it. They were OK on the Metro home, where in the past they have been yelling and screaming and drunk.

People in the section next to us kept trying to start the wave late in the game and it kept dying in our section. It was funny. Finally some guy shouted, "Stop the Wave, fools. No wave at a baseball game."

I was there with two girlfriends and two 9 year-old girls, none of whom know baseball, so I couldn't concentrate on the game, but they had a great time. Will have to watch it tomorrow for all the questionable calls, etc. Werth left a lot of guys on base, but he didn't get any boos from Nats fans. The umps got booed pretty bad.

Waitaminute--Burnett was in the game? I thought it was Stras, Gorzy, Stammen, Henry, Klip and Perry? I think the scoreboard lost track of the K's...

I've seen McCatty settle down pitchers many, many times. I don't know what he says, but it's amazing. It was really a happy ending with Ramos winning it.

Tomorrow is going to be a nightmare if you are going, the Caps game is at 12:30 and there is track work on every line. Good luck!

Scooter said...

D'Gourds, excellent work. After that game, you still found something to [kvetch] about. You should be proud.

SonnyG10, that's a swell story, but wait till you see what that guy taped onto the back of your shirt!

NatsLady, they call Ruiz Chooch. That's what they yell for him.

All for now. Except Yay!

natsfan1a said...

He did make those points in the game thread, but since there's not an "umpiring lowlights" category here, they weren't all mentioned.

Kevin said...

Mark, if you're going to report that questionable umpiring kept Our Heroes from taking the lead, then it should also be noted that Harper probably swung at the 3-1 pitch in the 1st inning but caught a break from the three-umpire situation. With no ump at third, he was ruled not to have swung.

Also, Ruiz's ground ball over third base in the 7th was clearly fair but was ruled foul, again because of the missing third-base umpire. Then Victorino, who would have scored on Ruiz's apparent double, stole third but was erroneously ruled out by the 2nd-base umpire. Victorino would have scored on Ruiz's subsequent single, so the Phils had his run taken away twice.

As a former high-school umpire and a Nats fan, I'm happy they beat the Phils, but it was a tough night at the office for the three men in blue and the calls went against both teams.
May 05, 2012 12:07 AM

natsfan1a said...

He's a good guy and all, but agreed on the PBP. I was telling my husband that I'd rather take my chances with FP on the call. :-)

D'Gourds said...

OMG! I miss Bob Carpenter. Johnny Holliday is HORRIBLE at play by play! Just awful.
May 05, 2012 12:41 AM

m20832 said...

YAYYYY!!! Keep it rolling Nats!

Fat bastard wasn't umpiring? Hallelujah! That fat old wretch shouldn't be umpiring at all!

And agree that Holliday should stay with Knight for after game analysis. I like him, but not very good at play by play.

GYFNG!!!

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