Sunday, June 10, 2012

Game 58: Nats at Red Sox

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Bryce Harper-less Nats will try to sweep the Red Sox today at Fenway Park.
BOSTON -- No, they won't have Bryce Harper in their lineup today. (The 19-year-old is dealing with tightness in his lower back, according to Davey Johnson.) Nonetheless, the Nationals will still have an opportunity to sweep the Red Sox this afternoon at Fenway Park.

With Harper sidelined, left-hander Jon Lester on the mound for Boston and the DH needed, Johnson has a very different lineup today. Xavier Nady is in right field and batting in Harper's usual No. 2 spot. Tyler Moore will be in left field, with Roger Bernadina taking over in center. Jesus Flores, meanwhile, catches for the third straight game (even in a day game after a twilight game yesterday).

Jordan Zimmermann makes the start for the Nationals, looking to beat the Red Sox for the second time in his career. He did it to them as a rookie in 2009, impressing then Boston manager Terry Francona and others.

Updates to come, so please check back...

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at BOSTON RED SOX
Where: Fenway Park
Gametime: 1:35 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, Ch. 50, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 177
Weather: Sunny, 75 degrees, Wind 11 mph in from RF
NATIONALS (34-23)
2B Danny Espinosa
RF Xavier Nady
3B Ryan Zimmerman
DH Michael Morse
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
LF Tyler Moore
C Jesus Flores
CF Roger Bernadina
(RHP Jordan Zimmermann)

RED SOX (29-30)
CF Scott Podsednik
2B Dustin Pedroia
1B Adrian Gonzalez
DH David Ortiz
C Jarrod Saltalamacchia
3B Will Middlebrooks
RF Ryan Sweeney
SS Nick Punto
LF Darnell McDonald
(LHP Jon Lester)

UMPIRES
HP Al Porter, 1B Paul Nauert, 2B Doug Eddings, 3B Dana DeMuth (cc)

1:34 p.m. -- We are underway with a ball from Jon Lester to Danny Espinosa, who then clubs the very next pitch off the Green Monster in deep left-center for a double. Espinosa, of course, is batting right-handed today.

1:41 p.m. -- And just like that, the Nats take a 1-0 lead as Espinosa takes third on Xavier Nady's flyball to right and scores on Ryan Zimmerman's groundball to third. Smartball!

1:50 p.m. -- Pretty good command from Jordan Zimmermann in the bottom of the first. He threw 11 of 16 pitches for strikes, getting a double-play grounder out of Adrian Gonzalez to end the inning with the Nats still ahead 1-0.

2:05 p.m. -- Nice job by Zimmermann to get out of a potential jam in the bottom of the second. David Ortiz struck his first pitch of the inning off the wall for a double, but Zimmermann responded by striking out Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Will Middlebrooks, both on sliders. A groundout from Ryan Sweeney ended the threat as the right-hander showed his mettle to get out of the inning.

2:21 p.m. -- Big-time missed opportunity for the Nats in the top of the third. With runners on second and third and two outs, the Red Sox elected to intentionally walk Zimmerman, loading the bases for Michael Morse. A curious strategy, but it paid off because Lester struck out Morse looking at a 3-2 inside fastball. Never got to see a replay of that pitch to see how close it was, but Lester's two-strike pitch to Morse was clearly outside. Tough break for the Nats, who strand the bases loaded but still lead 1-0 in the middle of the third.

2:30 p.m. -- Zimmermann nearly got out of another jam in the third. With runners on the corners and one out, he got Dustin Pedroia to hit what looked like a routine double-play grounder to second. Desmond, though, took just a split second too long to make the turn, and Pedroia beat it out. Nick Punto (who led off the inning with a walk) scored to make this a tie game, 1-1 after three.

2:39 p.m. -- A rare baserunning gaffe by Desmond, who got caught off second base on a hard grounder right in front of him. Desmod froze, then tried to go back to second and was easily thrown out. At that point, his best move would probably have been to just break for third and force Punto to make the longer throw.

2:44 p.m. -- Zimmermann having all kinds of trouble with Ortiz today. He gave up that double off the left-field wall to lead off the second. Now he gave up a homer to right to lead off the fourth. The pitch (a 1-2 high fastball) didn't look too bad, though Zimmermann probably wanted it inside a bit more. Nevertheless, Big Papi's big strike puts the Red Sox up 2-1.

3:05 p.m. -- It feels like Zimmermann has been pitching out of the stretch all day. Seven men have reached base through five innings, the leadoff man three times. But he's made it to this point having allowed only two runs, keeping the Nats in the game. Now it's up to the lineup to get something going against Lester, who hasn't given up a run since the top of the first.

3:13 p.m. -- Not happening in the top of the sixth. Zimmerman crushed a ball down the right-field line, but Sweeney made a fantastic catch sliding feet-first into the wall right at the Pesky Pole to deny Zim extra bases. Lester then struck out both Morse and LaRoche swinging. Not a good day for the Nats' Nos. 4 and 5 hitters. Morse and LaRoche are a combined 0-for-6 with five strikeouts. Still 2-1 Red Sox heading to the bottom of the sixth.

3:35 p.m. -- Crazy top of the seventh. It featured an Ian Desmond double that was changed to a single after the umpires decided that fan interference wasn't enough to merit two bases (it is their discretion to determine how far the batter would have advanced if not for the interference). It included a double steal from Desmond and Tyler Moore with nobody covering third base. It then saw Roger Bernadina fail miserably to execute a squeeze bunt ... twice, the second time a pop-up that nearly turned into an inning-ending double play. And then, just when it appeared all hope was lost, Espinosa lofted a 310-foot double off the big Wall in left field. Anywhere else, that's a routine out. Here, it scores two runs and puts the Nats up 3-2 at the seventh-inning stretch.

3:47 p.m. -- And Zimmermann gives the run right back in disheartening fashion. Sweeney and Punto each roped singles to left to lead off the bottom of the seventh, putting the right-hander in yet another jam. Darnell McDonald showed Bernadina the proper way to get a bunt down, advancing the runners to second and third. And Podsednik's grounder to short brought home the tying run. Zimmermann did avoid letting the go-ahead run score from third, but that's an inning he'll want to forget. It's now 3-3 as we go to the eighth.

4:10 p.m. -- We remain tied heading to the ninth as Scott Atchison retires the side in the top of the eighth and Tom Gorzelanny pitches out of a jam in the bottom of the eighth. This is setting up for a dramatic finish. And don't forget who is technically available off the Nats bench: Bryce Harper.

4:23 p.m. -- And what do you know? Harper pinch-hits for Tyler Moore in the top of the ninth, draws a five-pitch walk, takes off for second on a 2-2 pitch to Bernadina and then scores on Bernadina's double down the right-field line. Great stuff from both guys. The Nats lead 4-3 and here comes Tyler Clippard in search of his third save in as many days.

4:41 p.m. -- It's over. It's all over. Clippard finishes off a 4-3 victory and gives the Nationals a sweep at Fenway Park. They're 12 games over .500 for the first time since July 23, 2005.

114 comments:

Faraz Shaikh said...

I am sorry but that OF is seriously depressing. LOL, I can't joke anymore.

MicheleS said...

Just a slight continuation on the theme at the previous thread.. JZ must look at the lineup card and think GROUND BALLS only!!!

Now go out there and get them Boys!!! GYFNG!!!!

Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said...

Nady hitting second is ... a little bit counter-intuitive, but man, Davey, are you trying to kill our last catcher?

Faraz Shaikh said...

is it possible to pull Danny's RH numbers from second half of 2011? I know overall he has been a better hitter from RH but this is getting ridiculous. His OPS is over 1.1 and climbing this season.

Drew said...

Nice comeback, Jordan.

NatsNut said...

mets and braves winning, miami losing. so far.

Grandstander said...

Looks like whoever paid off the judges in the Pac-Man/Bradley fight also got to Al Porter today.

Drew said...

How can Mike take that pitch?

NatsJack in Florida said...

Lead off walks really piss me off!

NatsJack in Florida said...

And, as usual, the lead off walk scores.

Will said...

Despite Davey's infinite wisdom, I have to wonder why he started Nady in place of Lombardozzi...

NatsJack in Florida said...

How about because Lombo is hitting .105 right handed.

JB said...

A Getaway lineup, for sure. Gorgeous day here at Fenway, and a lot less Nat fans than Friday and Saturday.
NatinBeantown

Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said...

To be fair, if Znn were getting the strikes called against Morse not five minutes earlier, three inches off the plate on both sides, there wouldn't have been any leadoff walk.

Will said...

Poor JZimm. It's just some guys' lot in life to lose 2-1 and 3-2 every time out.

Unknown said...

Zimmermann's Achilles heel is the HR.

Will said...

I get Davey using a getaway lineup, but you would think this team would owe it to JZimm at this point to go guns blazing.

JB said...

Will-- I hear you!

NatsNut said...

And Flores should have a break, too! He's getting beat up back there!

NatsNut said...

And Flores should have a break, too! He's getting beat up back there!

NatsNut said...

10 home runs given up by JZimm! Most on the staff.

Unknown said...

Morse is taking some time to warm up.

Nattydread

NatsNut said...

Hey, other NatsNut. Any chance you could vary your name a little? Maybe NatsNut1 or something?

Unknown said...

And a Golden Sombrero for Morse.

Nattydread

NatsJack in Florida said...

Let's see if Jordan can have a clean 6th.

Unknown said...

This would be a good game to win. Atlanta getting beat today.

Nattydread

jeffwx said...

stay out of the game umps

Section 222 said...

I'm amazed that Carp and FP haven't noted that it was a Nats fan who interfered with that ball. Well, actually, I guess I'm not. But so much for only Sox fans being bad fans.

Oh great, now Carp is saying he assumes it was a Sox fan. It wasn't.

Desmond stopped because the fan touched the ball. He was on his way to second.

jeffwx said...

schweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeettttt

MicheleS said...

Good Steal!!! That was nice. NOW GET THEM IN!!!!

Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said...

How about "Stay out of the game, fans"?

Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said...

Does Bo have a sign for "Quit trying to bunt!"

Positively Half St. said...

Shark needs to go.

+1/2St.

jeffwx said...

kapow!!!

Steady Eddie said...

RH Danny!!!

Positively Half St. said...

The Monster takes away, but it also gives. Yippee!!!

+1/2St.

MicheleS said...

YEA DANNY!!!!! Thank you for bringing those boys home.. Bernie, that was a bat at bat..

Drew said...

Thank You Monstah!!

jeffwx said...

sofa, yeah but the umps get paid to make bad calls

jeffwx said...

anyway no harm, espi does it

NatsFan05 said...

Danny has to be switched to a right handed only hitter and he be be a all star 2nd basemen.

Go Nats!

MicheleS said...

Yanks beating Mets, Rays beating Fish, O's/Phils tied, and THANK YOU Jays, finally beating the Braves

NatsFan05 said...

Go Jays!

jeffwx said...

reality check...this is the redsox, this is fenway park...even with our pitching.
Impressive Tyler Moore also. another guy who needs to find a place in the lineup.

MicheleS said...

On Danny..

This quote from Kilgore's article

The notion of Espinosa hitting from the right side in every at-bat is a nonstarter. Espinosa has been a switch hitter since he was 5 years old, and he cannot pick up the ball from a right-handed pitcher while batting right-handed. The view is too foreign for him to even approach being a good hitter against major league pitching.

Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said...

Thank you, Michele. Can we have a macro for that?

jeffwx said...

and Rauch coming in for the mets

MicheleS said...

Sofa.. Macro???

mick said...

3 observations:

1) HP umpire SUCKS!!! He is a joke and a CLOWN

2) Morse having a crappy game

3) Davey's worse coaching job of season


a) WHY bunt Bernadina with runners at 2 and 3 and 1 out?? anyone? Espi bailed out Davey's stupid move.

b) Why not replace Zim in 7th after the lead off hit?

We are destine to lose this game, I will take 2 of 3 but it is frustrating, I guess good managers can have bad days and this is one of them.

mick said...

and why not PH Bernadina with Bryce?

mick said...

having vented all this, red Sox ace is good

I thought Morse said he had his mmjo back. Wonder of this crap ass ump got in his head!

jeffwx said...

it aint over until the kid swings

Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said...

Michele, a macro.

mick said...

what is Braves

jeffwx said...

and our bullpen is so much better but not sure if Davey wants to save the A pen for toronto...

mick said...

score

JaneB said...

Thank you for the explanation of why Danny can't just hit righty. I'd never seen it before.

I liked that few minutes when we were up 3-2.

Positively Half St. said...

Marlins just lost, but the Mets tied their game in the 9th.

+1/2St.

Positively Half St. said...

Another no-decision for Jordan Zimmermann. Three runs in seven might be a "quality start," but it wasn't one of his better efforts.

+1/2St.

Unknown said...

Toronto 11 Atlanta 4

Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said...

Jesus, you're supposed to keep that hand in the back pocket.

Exposremains said...

would rather not see lidge in this game.

Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said...

And if he stays in the game, you know even Big Papi is stealing second.

jeffwx said...

or one of our catchers gets hurt

MicheleS said...

JFLO keeps looking at that hand.. He needs a DAY OFF!! I can only imagine all the bruises he has.

jeffwx said...

Personally...if your in the game, might as well try to win it...bring in clip. Tomorrow never knows

Exposremains said...

I think that the way Jzim threw today is very similar to many of his starts. Thats why he has a losing record and many no decisions. I know he's doesnt get much support but before he can be in the same conversation as Gio and STras, he needs to learn to shut the door.

I miss the high K high pitch count Jzim. Not sure the throw for cntact for Jzim is the right thing for him.

MicheleS said...

Adam Dunn just hit his 20th HR, but the White Sox are losing 9-4

Nicky said...

Test

Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said...

I had a dream last night where Bryce Harper had to finish the game behind the plate (but they won).

No, please. Do. Not. Want.

MicheleS said...

Yankees won. and here comes BAM BAM...

Positively Half St. said...

Mets down on a walk-off home run. With the Braves being ravaged, this could be a productive day if the Nats can pull off the win.

+1/2St.

Nicky said...

Sorry. Dumb guy trying to figure out how to post. First post after lurking for weeks. Lets remember we've won the series and are tied in the late innings for a sweep. Not bad.

jeffwx said...

thankfully, flores gets a little bit of a rest.

MicheleS said...

WOW.. Bernie comes through!!!

JaneB said...

Roger and The Kid! HOW AWESOME WAS THAT!

Steady Eddie said...

Shark -Harp attack!

jeffwx said...

holy harper !!!
1 non ab to get the go ahead

Positively Half St. said...

I had written a post that said:

Stupid Shark.

It's time for a DFA.

I had my finger over the "Publish" button.

Shows what I know. I apologize, Roger.

+1/2St.

JaneB said...

Welcome Nick!

Exposremains said...

it still amazes me how harper makes things happen every game.

jeffwx said...

davey you're a genius...save him for when it counts.

Unknown said...

Not the time to put in Lidge...

Nattydread

NatsJack in Florida said...

Did anybody else see Bryce almost do a face plant half way to second?

Drew said...

Bernie comes through!

Nick's the new good-luck charm!

jeffwx said...

Did Johnny just say what a key play by
Harper and Bryce ???

He needs to tell more stories about the dead ball era.

JaneB said...

Let 'em have it Tyler! I was glad to hear Davey say he was available, and even more glad that we need him!

Steady Eddie said...

Props to you, 1/2 St. I was just about to point out "Shark has to go!" from earlier this afternoon but you made it unnecessary!

DWS said...

I'll take three Mick.

jeffwx said...

where was that greek god of walks ;)

Positively Half St. said...

C'mon Tyler. This is a scary bit of wildness here.

+1/2St.

rogieshan said...

Re: Espinosa hitting from the right side full-time a non-starter.

What is wrong with even considering it? Right now his swing from the left side looks completely foreign - like Jekyll and Hyde. If he's a good enough athlete to play in the majors, then he should have the tools to convert. It's not like he's being asked to suddenly learn how to switch hit or play a new position like catching.

Unknown said...

A lot of pitches...

Nattydread

Positively Half St. said...

OK, OK. One more, please.

+1/2St.

jeffwx said...

where's the maalox

jeffwx said...

yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I so don't like the sox (grew up yankee)

Smatt1001 said...

Let's get the brooms!

MicheleS said...

WOOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOO! A SWEEP!!!!

jeffwx said...

baannnnnnnng, zooooooooooooom
boston massacre

Schumatrix said...

That'll do it, folks! Break out the brooms!

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

hahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahhaha!!

"WOOOO-HOOOO!!!"
(Copyright, MicheleS, 2011).

JaneB said...

Yeehaw, Baby! Another sweep.

Unknown said...

Very nice. Clippard is looking like a closer.

Nattydread

Section 222 said...

Holy cow!! A sweep! On his first day off since coming up, Harper wins it. Amazing. Clipp is a stud. Drew, you might want to get yourself for being his setup guy for awhile.

NatsFan05 said...

WOW..NATS SWEEP!

GO NATS!!!!!!!!!!

Positively Half St. said...

Down go the Phils! I am really happy the Nats have an 8-game lead on them, but I would be very pleased to see that expand even further. Let's bury them too deep to recover.

+1/2St.

Positively Half St. said...

There go the Braves, as well. The best possible outcome for the Nats today. They were the only team in the division to win today.

+1/2St

The Fox said...

NatsJack said,
Did anybody else see Bryce almost do a face plant half way to second?
____

Yea they said he stumbled I think he was running so fast he got ahead of his legs. He scored well ahead of Bernadina going to third but I can't really understand why the shark decide to do that only got credit for a double was in scoring position and almost got thrown out.

I would like to know is Fenway the only park where they let fans grab balls on the field without being thrown out? I know I saw them do this at least 3 times.

Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said...

I would like to know is Fenway the only park where they let fans grab balls on the field without being thrown out? I know I saw them do this at least 3 times.

Not sure about today, but the guy Saturday who dropped the ball back onto the field as if NO ONE WAS WATCHING HIM did get escorted out. His date stayed, which is pretty funny.

Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said...

I think Harper stuttered a bit going into second as he looked back over his shoulder, at full speed, to see if the ball was down. Pretty good balance to recover as well as he did, I thought.

mick said...

Idea for MarkZ.... find a Nats fan (most likely a small child) from 1930 and interview him/her. Its possible, such a fan would be in their late 80's or early 90's

would be a terrific STORY for Mark Z

mick said...

1933

Joe Seamhead said...

Just got home from Swamp Riomp at Wolf Trap. Missed the game, but read the thread. Heck, yeah!!! Too bad that Davey fellow hasn't learned how to manage a team, eh Mick? 12 games over .500 in the big, bad NL East, in spite of a manager that supposedly doesn't know anything.

mick said...

Joe... i said even good managers like Davey can have bad days, nothing else...

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