Sunday, May 20, 2012

Instant analysis: Nats 9, Orioles 3

US Presswire photo
Stephen Strasburg tossed five innings ... and hit his first career homer.
Game in a nutshell: Desperately in need of a win after dropping three straight, the last two to the Orioles, the Nationals dug themselves into another early hole, down 3-0 after a series of defensive miscues. Then Stephen Strasburg took matters into his own hands. Not to mention his bat. With a fourth-inning bomb into the left-field bullpen, Strasburg delivered his first career home run and sent the crowd of 41,918 into a frenzy. The right-hander also turned things up a notch on the mound, retiring the last 10 batters he faced, seven via strikeout, to improve to 4-1 for the season and send the Orioles back up the B-W Parkway with a lopsided loss.

Hitting highlight: Sure, Bryce Harper's two-run triple was nice. So was Jesus Flores' solo homer. And so was Danny Espinosa's two-run homer. But who are we kidding here. The hitting highlight of the came from none other than Strasburg, who electrified the crowd with his fourth-inning homer into the left-field bullpen. Even more amazing: Strasburg's blast came on an 0-2 curveball from Wei-Yin Chen. Even more amazing than that: He took about five minutes to circle the bases. Even more amazing than that: He never smiled once, at least not until his curtain call.

Pitching highlight: We've already given Strasburg plenty of praise. How about some love here for Tom Gorzelanny, who bridged the gap between the Nationals' starter and the back end of their bullpen with two scoreless innings of relief? Gorzelanny retired six of seven batters faced, the only "mistake" a two-out walk to No. 8 hitter Luis Exposito. It's a thankless job, but it was of vital importance this afternoon.

Key stat: Today's crowd of 41,918 brought the Nationals' season attendance to 628,615. That's a 38 percent increase from attendance last year at this time, roughly 8,000 extra fans per game. The only major-league clubs with a larger increase this season: the Marlins and Tigers.

Up next: No break from a really tough stretch for the Nationals. They open a nine-game road trip Monday, all against NL East rivals. The trip begins at 7:05 p.m. Monday in Philadelphia, with Gio Gonzalez facing Kyle Kendrick before what should be a raucous crowd at Citizens Bank Park.

73 comments:

MicheleS said...

Reposting.. because you can never say it enough!

WOOOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! A Win!

Uncle Atom said...

I'm guessing Stras's slow home run trot was payback for Markakis admiring his walk off HR Friday night. Good on you Stras!!!

whatsanattau said...

Strasburg - the stopper.

Espinosa responds to leadoff.

Zimmerman warming up

Next stop Philly.

waddu eye no said...

phew

baseballswami said...

We outscored them.

Gonat said...

This Strasburg bicep fatigue/tightness is a little worrisome.

baseballswami said...

Gonat - do you think? Although, he did have a stressful first couple of innings and later pitched very well and hit the home run. Maybe a 15 day dl to give Wang a spot and save some innings for October?

Drew said...

The Nats are 24-17 with 30 games left in the gantlet.

Next up are Kendrick, Halladay and Hamels. Get us off to a good start, Gio!

NatsJack in Florida said...

I can't believe I'm reading this kind of stuff from people as knowledgeable as Gonat and Swami.


Bicep tightness????? Strasburg pitching in October?

Come on....you guys are better than that.

MicheleS said...

NatsJack, Davey brought up the bicep tightness in the post game. He said he wasn't worried about it, but sadly with Stras we all have a tendency to get worried if he even hiccups.

Gonat said...

baseballswami, I guess we will see. Hope its nothing.

MicheleS said...

but here is an update from amanda:
Amanda Comak‏@acomak

Strasburg squashed any questions surrounding his arm. Normal fatigue, he said. Felt he did too much between starts, pissed about last outing

whatsanattau said...

I think the point our florida friend was making is that the phrases "biceps tightness" and "october pitching" don't go together. They are not going to let him pitch in October if he is already suffering in May.

whatsanattau said...

BTW, props to both NatJack and Michele for putting up with that drivel from the sobriety challenged poster earlier today. I had no patience for it.

Gonat said...

NatsJack in Florida said...
I can't believe I'm reading this kind of stuff from people as knowledgeable as Gonat and Swami.


Bicep tightness????? Strasburg pitching in October?

Come on....you guys are better than that.

May 20, 2012 5:17 PM
____________________________

What are you talking about? I wrote: This Strasburg bicep fatigue/tightness is a little worrisome.

That doesn't worry you some? Who said October? Who said DL?

rabbit34 said...

Hafta score runs. Harta score runs. When we score runs we have a real baseball team. GO NATIONALS!!!

whatsanattau said...

Gonat made the reference to october, but was probably just putting a happy spin on it.

whatsanattau said...

I meant swami

baseballswami said...

I was just being cheeky :) Gotcha! Winning makes me giddy!

NatsJack in Florida said...

The bicep tightness might worry me if I thought it was true. Heck, any kind of right arm issue with Stras would worry me but always consider the source.

As for October.....you got me Swami...

Gonat said...

Gonat said...
The Marlins don't screw around. They sent Gaby Sanchez to AAA. He was batting .197 (sound familiar). This guy was an ALL STAR last year and Rookie of the Year candidate the year before.

May 20, 2012 9:22 AM
____________________________

I brought this up this morning before I left for the game and this shocked people when I discussed with friends at the game.

It was so crowded yesterday and today that I had no internet on my phone to keep up with comments on NI while I was there. The big downside to big crowds is intermmitent cell service also.

NatsJack in Florida said...

rabbit34 gets the post of the day..... Amen brother.

Gonat said...

I am replaying the game now on MASN. Bordick is so bad its laughable. This dual booth of everyone playing Switzerland sucks. I want FP to be a homie and tell that twit Hunter the way it is. FP talking how he would pitch Harper to strike him out? Yeesh.....

Drew said...

In the "look how far we've come" department:

Jason Marquis gives up 8 earned runs in 1.2 innings, raising his ERA to 8.47.

Jeez Jason, if you're gonna do that, at least roll down the windows.

baseballswami said...

So - next time Strassie starts he puts Duct tape on Davey's mouth after the game? What did you think of Strassie's home run jog? Pretty nice pace? I found it quite amusing. Not slow enough to get plunked the next time but slow enough to make a point. Seriously - if you think Harper is competitive? Strassie just seems to simmer sometimes.

Gonat said...

rabbit34, I hear the Nats are trading for a power LF named Michael Morse who will bat 4th or 5th. Then they are trading for a new closer named Drew Storen and then a new RF named Jayson Werth.

Mr Baseball said...

I know most won't agree but Desmond would be a great CF, with his arm and range. Then you could play Espinosa at SS (his best position) and Lombo at 2B. In case you forgot Desi did go to RF a couple of times 2-3, years ago. This way you have all the young guys playing. Ankiel could be defensive replacement.

peric said...

One thing seems clear, Wang still isn't pitching as well as Yunesky Maya in Syracuse. That should be concerning or disconcerting? He walked three and allowed a home run among his 7 hits in 5 2/3. His stats aren't the best for a Stras or even a Detwiler replacement.

I am wondering if perhaps Maya, although it took a year, may finally have the formula for major league success ... but without his 93 mph heater you wonder if that's translatable to the majors. Because Wang apparently can't be optioned (probably in his contract) Maya isn't an option yet.

I guess we'll have to wait and see how it all pans out.

NatsJack in Florida said...

That's what I love about Stras and question about Detwiler. One guy appears to fight while the other guys appears to whine.

peric said...

I know most won't agree but Desmond would be a great CF, with his arm and range.

Absolutely, he too often looks like a right-handed clone of Rick Ankiel. And his hitting shows it which is why he was moved from the lead-off spot. Would like to see Corey Brown and his almost .400 OBP get a shot in CF first.

Gonat said...

Talking about Stras's HR job, some thought the Nats would plunk Markakis which didn't happen.

Also, Stras is batting .375 and its legit. If he ran faster the guy could really turn into a better offensive weapon. Its crazy how many of our pitchers are batting better than the bench players. The battle cry is always that players need regular playing time to be good and we have pitchers that show playing every 5 games is all they need.

Nady and Moore unfortunately have lousy numbers overall.

peric said...

What did you think of Strassie's home run jog? Pretty nice pace? I found it quite amusing.

That was intentional. Pay back for the show boating done by Markakis. Really, a way to rub it in, that a pitcher got a dinger off of your starter. Whereas Markakis is supposed to be able to do that sort of thing.

Gonat said...

Has this been discussed: Davey will play Lombo and Espi in equal time and will favor Espi more against LH pitchers.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Peric:s seff anointed geniusness is in all it's spledor this evening. And with that, I sign off till tomorrow.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Peric:s seff anointed geniusness is in all it's spledor this evening. And with that, I sign off till tomorrow.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Peric:s seff anointed geniusness is in all it's spledor this evening. And with that, I sign off till tomorrow.

Gonat said...

NatsJack in Florida said...
That's what I love about Stras and question about Detwiler. One guy appears to fight while the other guys appears to whine.

May 20, 2012 5:54 PM
___________________________

Man, you nailed that. He basically whines in his body language when he doesn't like a defensive play behind him or a call by the ump.

Hows about getting pissed at yourself for missing your target on the Markakis HR yesterday?

peric said...

At some risk of being flamed (is that term?), may I suggest we introduce NatsFanJim and peric for a polite discussion of the relative merits of Jim Riggleman and Davey Johnson?

And maybe you should stick it where the sun don't shine Eugene from PDX? If anyone is looking for a diatribe it most definitely is YOU! Maybe you should find a different blog and team to root for if you have to spend your time worrying about someone who wasn't even POSTING! Sheesh!

peric said...

Peric:s seff anointed geniusness is in all it's spledor this evening. And with that, I sign off till tomorrow.

Old codgers who can't find their way to Poopy McPoop's throne. Goodbye and good riddance.

peric said...

Davey will play Lombo and Espi in equal time and will favor Espi more against LH pitchers.

He also followed that by saying that Espy has a really high ceiling. He did not say that about Lombardozzi.

Fifty strikeouts this early is an awful lot ... if anything Davey probably wants to take that albatross off off Espinosa anyway he can. I think its a good move to back him off a bit to save him from becoming the 2011 version of Adam Dunn.

peric said...

NatsFanJim said...

NatsJim is Jim Riggleman ... what would you expect? The guy thinks so highly of a manager with the worst won-loss record in major league history from the year 1900.

Gonat said...

Harper on Philly tomorrow: "Hopefully I get a couple boos. That’d be awesome ... Hopefully they don’t throw any batteries or whatnot at me.
___________________________

The kid knows history as in what they did to JD Drew! They aren't fans, they are nutz.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gonat said...

The Reds have changed closers. They are removing Marshall and going with Aroldis Chapman

A DC Wonk said...

Back from the game . . . there were a number of O's fans in our section, and they were kinda obnoxious and extremely loud. By the 8th they were so loud we had to move our seats. That kinda s@cked.

I see the probably inappropriately named "NatsFan"Jim disappeared after the Nats took a big lead. What happened? (and good riddance).

FWIW, I thought the ranting about Espi was pretty similar to last year's ranting about Ian. Clearly, Rizzo/Davey see a lot of upside, and think that, eventually, he'll "get it." He looked bad on the opening K -- but then, later, a nice 2b and HR.

FWIW, as Stras was taking his slow HR trot, I was thinking "take your time, you threw a lot of pitches in the first two innings, don't tire yourself out!"

NatsJack in Florida said...

Great job, Eugene in Oregon...you hit that one out of the park. Got Jim to disappear and send peric in to a slobbering bold diatribe.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Great job, Eugene in Oregon...you hit that one out of the park. Got Jim to disappear and send peric in to a slobbering bold diatribe.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Double post. My version of the slow trot.

Gonat said...

DC Wonk, On Espi, he was batting RH where his swings are much better mechanically. The big difference between Espi and Desi is that Desi has much better swing mechanics and doesn't have the big swing & miss percentages that Espi has.

Espi sees more pitches which is more a result of that he fouls off more pitches which makes it appear like he is working the count and its more that many of the foul balls are symptomatic of poor contact.

I don't mind the O's fans as much as the Philthies. They were very boozed up and in a celebatory mood which certainly was annoying. Glad the Nats spanked em today. Glad to take their money.

Gonat said...

NatsJack in Florida said...
Double post. My version of the slow trot.

May 20, 2012 6:40 PM
__________________________

He ran out a double about that slow. He said he's a good long distance runner but not a good sprinter. LOL

MicheleS said...

Wonk..sorry you had a bad experience with the O's fans. I had a good one yesterday (maybe it was a result of them winning).

NatsJack in Florida said...

In the distance running crowd, Stras would be a Clydsedale. Certainly not a sprinter.

MicheleS said...

Anyone thinking Davey is needling Stras? First the Hot Stuff issue and now the biceps fatigue?

baseballswami said...

No - he just never, ever thinks before he speaks. And -- we really don't need to run anyone off of the blog. It belongs to everyone and everyone is welcome to comment -- as long as they stay civil. Once the name-calling starts you are welcome to run them off.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

I was saying yesterday that Dusty Baker was a fool for not using Chapman as the closer and using marshall. He must be like Carp and FP and read the blog.

See what you get when you score runs and pitch well, and nice game. Still only 2 for 8 with RISP. Harper's triple and Desi's single.

Harper on base 3 times and 3 runs scored. Strasburg on base twice and 2 runs scored.

That was a great effort by Markkakis on the Harper tripele. When I saw it head toward the corner, I was so releived, as our luck was about to change.

next 15 games against NL East. would love to win all 5 series. I would be pleased with a 10-5 stretch here.

NatsLady said...

Hey, Cincy===>In eleven innings of relief against Ballmer the bullpen gave up exactly 1 run. Even the human towel pitched two scoreless. I repeat, "what weak bullpen???"

peric said...

Great job, Eugene in Oregon...you hit that one out of the park. Got Jim to disappear and send peric in to a slobbering bold diatribe.

Double post like your double vision knocking everything down on the way to Poopy__McPoop's throne room.

NatsJack in Florida said...

On that hit stuff issue. Everyone insinuates that it got somewhere it shouldn't and immediately went to the nether regions.

But if it was indeed applied to the shoulder, imagine how uncomfortable it would be if it seeped to ones arm pit.

Just s thought.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Hot stuff.

NatsLady said...

next 15 games against NL East. would love to win all 5 series. I would be pleased with a 10-5 stretch here.

Now, me, I will be pleased with 8-7 and no injuries.

peric said...

Hey, Cincy===>In eleven innings of relief against Ballmer the bullpen gave up exactly 1 run. Even the human towel pitched two scoreless. I repeat, "what weak bullpen???"

The flawless perfect execution on the part of the Orioles in that 2-1 victory was what decided the series. That's typically how the Nats roll they were spot-on and focused! The Orioles returned to their mean today with poorer fielding and more miscues.

Have to give 'em credit though they do have a nice young outfield with some really good hitters. And their infield has improved offensively as well. I wonder if Reynolds gets his job back when he returns?

MicheleS said...

NatsJack, that could be a possibility on the Hot Stuff/Arm pit.

I don't know if anyone else saw the post game presser, but Davey did mention Espi and was not happy about mental mistakes and the fact that he is on pace for way to many strikes.

natsfan1a said...

Seconding Michele: Woooooooooo!! Hooooooooooooo!! That was a fun one! Loved the SS dinger most of all. I told my husband to keep cheering until he came out for a curtain call.

Had some O's fans in our section who were noisy early on, but they quieted down after the Nats went ahead and most of them left before the game ended. I was hoping they'd stay, because one gal kept yelling loudly in my ear "YEEAAH, BUUUDDY!" whenever the O's got a hit or a run. I whispered to my husband that I was going to do the same when the Nats went ahead, and I did, but she was long gone by then. It's my only regret, really. :-) There was one guy who stayed almost until the end with his little boy (maybe 5 years old). After the Nats went ahead, I could hear dad coaching his kid on what to shout. Example: Nats stink! O's are in first place! Booo, Nationals!! I guess the guy didn't have the intestinal fortitude to yell it himself after his friends had left, so he made the kid do it. We all just ignored it because he was a little kid. :-) Of course, when the grownups got going with an O's chant, we outcheered them. Or at least, some of us did. At least I did remember to bring lozenges this time. Heh.

Scored a media guide, as they were in stock in the CF team store. Must have found them in that stockroom somewhere. Wink wink. Did anybody else notice the happy b'day message to Werth on the scoreboard?

natsfan1a said...

Oh, and they weren't drunk and obnoxious like the Phillies Phans at the game we attended a couple of weeks ago. Well, maybe drunk. :-)

jeffwx said...

Had a great time with O's and Nats fans alike last night and today....O's fans were much more mature, knowledgeable and rational in the way phillies fans were in early May.
It was kind of interesting that anytime any team did something, there were substantial cheers.
not impressed with the O's pitching staff overall. Pretty good offense, though. Look forward to a rivalry

whatsanattau said...

heck, I'd be pleased with an 8-7 split here. I'd be thrilled with a 10=5.

natsfan1a said...

After reading the game thread comments, looks like I missed all the trolling, er, fun.

Oh, on the earlier view obstruction conversation, once again had lots of people up and down during at-bats, both O's fans and Nats fans. There was one guy out of dozens who actually crouched down on the stairs and waited for an at-bat to end. We thanked him for waiting once he did come through the row.

natsfan1a said...

btw, that guy was an O's fan. :-)

NatsLady said...

!a, yes, saw it was Jayson's birthday. Wished him a happy on Twitter. Mostly Nats fans in my section but I had a good view of orange jerseys leaving early out the centerfield gate. Section to my left tried to start the wave three times but it went exactly nowhere.

NatsLady said...

The bat violin guy tried his best but there were still some O's in the Anthem. He smiled when that happened. He is really good.

natsfan1a said...

NatsLady, he's one of my faves for the anthem. We also had a good view of orange jerseys exiting. :-)

JaneB said...

My favorite moments of the game, not counting the Stras homer: Lombo coming in and getting on, and then Espi getting a dinger right afterwards. Seeing Jayson on the rail on his birthday. Watching Harper fly around the bases like that. Seeing Jesus get a dinger ... He can do more, too.

Oh. And the game used Ian Desmond bat my friends Danny and Richard gave me,

Nice day at the park.

natsfan1a said...

I told my husband after Lombo got on that someone just said that he needed to play every day and that Espi needed to sit. After the Espi dinger I told him that someone just said d'oh!

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