Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Instant analysis: Padres 6, Nats 1

US Presswire photo
The rain might have gotten the best of Stephen Strasburg in the top of the first.
Game in a nutshell: What looked like an advantageous matchup for the Nationals -- Stephen Strasburg against one of the majors' least-productive lineups -- turned sour right from the get-go. Strasburg surrendered three runs during a rain-delayed top of the first, gave up a homer in the third and never got on track. The Nationals' lineup, meanwhile, was shut down by the heretofore unheralded Anthony Bass. Only Bryce Harper, who connected for his second homer in as many days, managed to deliver for the Nationals.

Hitting highlight: There sure wasn't much to choose from in this category, so the gold star has to go to the kid. Less than 24 hours after clubbing his first career home run, Harper did it again, sending a 1-0 pitch from Bass into the center field bleachers. There was no curtain call this time for the rookie, but Harper did become the first teenager to hit big-league homers on consecutive days since Ken Griffey Jr. did it for the Mariners on May 20-21, 1989.

Pitching lowlight: You had a feeling this might not be Strasburg's day when the game's first batter lofted what looked like a routine fly ball to shallow left-center ... and then wound up on second base with a double after Roger Bernadina, Rick Ankiel and Ian Desmond watched it fall into the Bermuda Triangle. Things only got worse for Strasburg after that, especially after a cloudburst soaked everyone during that torturous first inning, resulting in an 8-minute delay. By the time it finally ended, Strasburg had allowed three runs and thrown a whopping 39 pitches. And because of that, the right-hander lasted only four innings, getting pulled with his pitch count at 81. It matched the second-shortest start of Strasburg's career.

Key stat: After giving up more than three earned runs only three times in their first 34 games this season, the Nationals rotation has now done it twice in as many days.

Up next: After wrapping up a rare, two-game series, the Nationals open another Wednesday night against the Pirates. Left-handers Gio Gonzalez and Erik Bedard square off at 7:05 p.m.

38 comments:

TimDz said...

Better a stinker now than in September when we are (hopefully) in a pennant race.

We aren't going to win every game and this game was apparently out of reach early. So we go back tomorrow and play the Pirates and look for a bounce back win.

(In retrospect...I'm kind of glad that I missed out on this one...)

TimDz said...

BTW Mark,

Did you start writing this Entry about the 6th inning? Seems that we all knew the outcome by that point...

SFNats said...

It's the middle of May. The weather's lousy. They've played two marathon games in the past two days, over which time they've lost two catcher. Yep. If ever there was a day to lose a game, this would be it.

Go get some rest, boys, and get back after 'em tomorrow.

m20832 said...

Oh well, it's good to get this stinker out of the way, rest and prepare for the Bucs tomorrow.

GO GIO! And GYFNG!!!

JaneB said...

Exactly right, SFNats.
RYFNR!

Doc said...

JFlo has to be tired, as they all are I'm sure. That delay in Cincy, took a lot out 'em, with two successive games to follow.

Sleep well you kings of Natsville! The best is yet to come!!!

GooooooooKing Gio; GooooooooooooooNats!

Swift Eagle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Knoxville Nat said...

Based on the last few games he has appeared in I'd have to guess that Ryan Perry is soon to be on a bus to Syracuse. Perhaps when CMW comes off the DL.

baseballswami said...

Swift Eagle - what the heck was Davey talking about??? And Stephen says they will keep it in the clubhouse? I hate it when the nats lose, but this was so much less stressful because of the way it went down. Not close, Gorzo and Perry mopping up. Nice for the kid that he went yard and Desi has some nice offensive stats going. Tomorrow is another day.

Diz said...

Good news for me is that nobody on the Nats roster died this game.

Sheesh! We are a walking infirmary.

A DC Wonk said...

Swift Eagle - what the heck was Davey talking about???

What did we miss?

whatsanattau said...

I'll speed watch later, but for those who have already seen it, did SS just have a wild day? was his velocity down? was he tipping pitches? or what?

MicheleS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Swift Eagle said...

"Hot Stuff miss-placed made him uncomfortable"- DJ

Sounds like some Icy-Hot ended up in an area it's not intended to go. Hope that it wasn't a prank...Ouch!

Of course, may lead to more nicknames for Stras

A DC Wonk said...

"ESPN columnist says Nats aren’t trying to win"

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dc-sports-bog/post/espn-columnist-says-nats-arent-trying-to-win/2012/05/15/gIQAXeCuRU_blog.html

What an idiot. Well, I guess e's successful at getting attention.

DCGuy7 said...

i was at the game. even from afar (red loft) you could tell he wasn't finding the zone today - he was all over the place. rain clearly wasn't helping. he was almost out of the first (bases loaded, 2 outs and 0-2 to the batter) and then it really started coming down, and he couldn't control the ball. it was 3-2 by the time play was interrupted. and then it went to hell, and never came back.

JD said...

Wonk,

I glanced at it and immediately dismissed it because it's ignorant. There is a mountain of evidence that misusing young arms destroys careers. It's true that 160 innings is an arbitrary number but it's reasonable because it is 20% higher more than he's ever pitched and you have to make an educated guess as to what the limit should be.

The Nats knew this going in and they invested heavily in their rotation to mitigate this situation and logically they will be in better position to win next year and beyond than this year.

JD said...

DCGuy,

It happens; we weren't hitting their pitcher anyway. Just a crummy day.

Swift Eagle said...

The Cubs burned up Wood and Prior to make the playoffs the Bartman year...think they'd like to go back in time and reconsider pitch/innings limits on their young arms?

A DC Wonk said...

For those who are looking for an article that gives examples, evidence via-a-vis innings limits:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/tom_verducci/01/18/year.after.effect/index.html

whatsanattau said...

not if riggleman was managing

A DC Wonk said...

JD wrote:

It happens; we weren't hitting their pitcher anyway. Just a crummy day.

JD, you make a good point, and, actually, here's a way to look on the bright side: isn't it convenient that the bats go silent at the same time that Stras had a rare stinker. I mean, how would we all be feeling if, say, we lost 2-1 (or, 6-5).

Hopefully with some well needed rest for the whole team, Gio, and some good weather, we'll start a winning streak tomorrow.

DCGuy7 said...

oh, i know, i was just answering whatsanattau. forgot to make that clear

NatsLady said...

You know, these outside commentators seem more fascinated by Stras innings limit than Nats fans are... If I hear one more "well, they have to let him play" or "I can suggest a creative way to stretch the innings limit, 6-man rotation, etc. etc...." Grrrrr.

All anyone asked is that we play "meaningful" baseball in September 2012 and go for the gold in 2013. If the stars align and we have a chance for it in 2012, fine. But not at the risk of future years of our Ace. He may not sign an extension with us, he's a California boy after all. BUT, if he knows the front office has his long-term interests at heart--he might.

Really, just butt out of our business!!!

That old-school, prestigious way of Scooter said...

Well, that was a real snoozer (the game). Still, nice to be in the park of a Tuesday afternoon.

baseballswami said...

For any of you who missed Davey's post- game interview - always good for a few laughs, a forehead thump or a head scratch -- he was rambling about the things Strassie had to overcome today and said the "hot stuff" got misplaced ??????? Strassie said keep that in the clubhouse. No idea. By the way - Strassie's post game interview was smooth - he must have hired a media coach in the off-season because he is totally different than he used to be.Very direct and very articulate and does not avoid responsibility or difficult questions. Except the one about the hot stuff.

baseballswami said...

Oh - and I forgot -- I don't think anyone else went on the DL today!!! Cause for celebration!!!!

UnkyD said...

For what it's worth, Scooter... I love the Hamels-inspired handle, and I hope you keep it for the rest of the year. It's a good item to be reminded of...

Joe Seamhead said...

It sounds like Stas had a bit of a "personal" problem with some balm that has places on the body where it doesn't belong.
What a stinker of a game. We went down and exchanged our partial plan tix from last night. It's an hour plus each way for us and fear of driving down last night and not playing, or worse, sitting through long delays, made the decision to watch from the sofa easy.
Today was the most lackadasical that I've seen this team look since Davey took over. I am a huge DJ believer, but I really think that the time has come to sit Espinosa every fourth day or so. Lombo deserves the shot and Danny has come close to justify being sent down, or at least sat down. He is swinging at more pitches out of the strike zone then any ML player that I can remember watching in my many years of watching ball. If he was a high school player swinging at so many off speed pitches he wouldn't even make the team. I'm all about team chemistry and all, but the guys also have to understand he's killling us at the plate, and Lombo is not exactly chopped liver at second. Also, if Werth had not gone down, Harper would be playing CF and Ankiel would be sitting, as he's catching whatever Espy has at the plate.
Just another Seamhead editorial.

mick said...

10 over 500 would have been nice, I hope Nats can be 10 over when the O's come this weekend

mick said...

I know its early, but it looks like 3 playoff teams will come out of the East, with the extra Wild Card team

Dryw Loves the Nats said...

Reading Bam Bam's name in the same sentence as Junior's for something that actually happened (not just speculation or high hopes) quite literally gave me the chills. A little bright spot in a not-so-bright game.

peric said...

WAIT! We must replace Strasburg with Stammen! Only Stammen can close and be the stopper. Never mind that Stammen barely peaks at 91mph, and Strasburg and HRod peak at triple digits! Wet mounds are no excuse!
Strasburg imploded he allowed a home run!

Really stoopid NI "Nats fans".

Joe Seamhead said...

Peric, I don't understand where you're coming from with your last post.

peric said...

Joe seam head,

Both Strasburg and H-Rod are barely past being promising prospects. Folks need to get use their faux pas. Same with BHarp34.

Let Johnson do his job he actually appears to be really good at it. That is a sea change for this franchise.

baseballswami said...

Re: Lombardozzi -- this kid gets on base and makes contact. These are things we desperately need. He has a bright future in baseball if he keeps developing. He needs to play for him, for the team and for the future of the organization. Good baseball IQ, can play anywhere and play well, can run - the whole package. So much attention on handling Strassie, Harper, even Espi carefully- he deserves the same consideration. Special kid.

natsfan1a said...

Cosign (in an old-school, prestigious way, of course).

That old-school, prestigious way of Scooter said...

Well, that was a real snoozer (the game). Still, nice to be in the park of a Tuesday afternoon.
May 15, 2012 5:35 PM

peric said...

So much attention on handling Strassie, Harper, even Espi carefully- he deserves the same consideration. Special kid.

Which is in fact Davey had to use power-point slides, etc. to convince the front office and perhaps even the Lerner's to allow him to use Lombo in this role.

Its a challenging and great learning experience for Lombo. Taking a page out of FP's book. It won't last forever, just this year I suspect.

Post a Comment