Saturday, June 23, 2012

Instant analysis: Nats 3, Orioles 1

US Presswire photo
Adam LaRoche singled in the second and homered in the fourth.
Game in a nutshell: After getting shut down all Friday night by Jason Hammel, the Nationals pounced on Wei-Yin Chin early in tonight's game (though a costly, two-run error by Wilson Betemit played a big role). Adam LaRoche's leadoff homer in the fourth, though, gave the Nats a 3-0 lead and provided Edwin Jackson some cushion. Jackson didn't need any cushion whatsoever through six spectacular innings, but Adam Jones' homer in the seventh cut the lead to 3-1 and ultimately put the game in the hands of the Nationals' bullpen. These days, that's a good thing. Michael Gonzalez and Sean Burnett each induced double plays to end the seventh and eighth innings. And Tyler Clippard finished things off for his 12th save in as many tries since taking over as closer.

Hitting highlight: Was this the night the heart of the Nationals' lineup finally got itself back on track? Well, not Ryan Zimmerman, who struggled through another 0-for-4 game and saw his batting average plummet to .218. But Michael Morse and LaRoche each produced a pair of hits, including LaRoche's 13th homer of the season to lead off the fourth inning. Those two players scored all three of the Nationals' runs and helped provide some spark to a lineup that has sorely needed it in recent weeks.

Pitching highlight: For six innings, Jackson was near-perfect. No, he literally was near-perfect. The veteran retired the first 12 batters he faced before Jones finally reached on a questionable error charged to Zimmerman. Still, Jackson entered the seventh having allowed only one hit and one walk, then fell apart in the span of four batters. Jones belted a leadoff homer off the left-field foul pole, then Betemit and Mark Reynolds delivered one-out singles. All of a sudden, what was shaping up to be a brilliant outing by Jackson turned into something less-than-spectacular. He still wound up with 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball. But the way he was going, he looked poised to go much deeper into the game.

Key stat: Among the 162 major leaguers with enough plate appearances to qualify, Zimmerman's .600 OPS ranked 155th.

Up next: The season finale of the Battle of the Beltways series will see Ross Detwiler make his return to the rotation for the Nationals against right-hander Jake Arrieta. First pitch Sunday at Camden Yards is scheduled for 1:35 p.m.


MicheleS said...

WOOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOO! Now to take the series tomorrow!!!!

fresh2death1997 said...

I love this win, but Zim is scaring me with his slump..

Anonymous said...


Martin Brady said...

Question: Can anyone post comments on the MLB Gamecast feed? How does that work exactly?

ehay2k said...

Really hope Zimmerman settles down. He just looks like he is lost, probably from trying too hard. ASB will be good for him, because he can rest and heal both physically and mentally.

Martin Brady said...

...and otherwise, time to drop Zimmerman in the batting order. I like this:


And the hitting is so anemic that they'll have to play Morse every day in left and I guess Lombo in right. Or along with some combo of Moore. Sorry, but Ankiel and Bernadina and their .230 BAs simply don't cut it. The Nats still need a bat to help pick up those pitchers.

rogieshan said...

Following M. Brady's suggestion, I would even move Harper to lead-off and rotate Moore & Lombardozzi in left field and hitting second.

baseballswami said...

Ryan did have a good at bat where he took some pitches, fouled some off and hit the ball hard. Even though he has generally been pretty bad, there have been some good defensive plays against him, too - one in particular in the Boston series , the right fielder made a spectacular play. Doesn't help - also doesn't help when they give you an error on a rocket that bounces. And just to pour more gasoline on last night's fire - the Nats scored three runs early tonight -- would have been enough for a win last night. Just sayin.

peric said...

Its time for Zimmerman to get moved to first base following a LaRoche trade and perhaps a spell on the DL to give the shoulder additional rest. If he gets to the .200 BA mark its way past time.

They've got to have Zimmerman's bat. Not this one that looks like Adam LaRoche's last season. Nats management needs to find a way to make that happen as quickly as humanly possible. Clearly playing Zimmerman every single day IS NOT the answer.

sjm308 said...

Peric -I do understand that you have a good grasp of baseball but how can you just move a man that has played 3rd base all of his life to first base and think that will solve things. LaRoche has been worth every penny we paid for him and I for one would pay for the extension next year. He has been the best defensive first basemen I have seen in the entire time we have been back. Adam stays at first,give Zimm a couple of days off every now and them and lets keep moving towards winning the NL East.

Go Nats

baseballswami said...

We gained a little ground tonight - Mets and Braves both lost. Only other team in the division that won was the phils. DeRosa stinking it up in high A ball but they are talking about rushing him back. To play third? Get Zim some rest? I guess he can't hit any worse than Zim right now, but Lombo has played third and done well, so why not him? That way we can keep him and Moore in the line up. Again with the rushing back from the dl and then going 0 for the world. Morse and ALR with 2 hits tonight, but Bryce needs some better pitches to hit that he iw not getting with Zim behind him.

Drew said...

Hi Isabelle !

The Nats move to 18-13 with one game to go in the 32-game gantlet. Let's finish it off in style.

On the farm, ss Jason Martinson hit fifth in Potomac tonight and lined a double and a homer. The dude can hit.

Looks like two of his pals from Hagerstown won't be far behind. Brian Goodwin had four hits tonight, with two homers and four RBIs and raised his average to .323.

Matt Skole cracked his 16th homer and drove in three. Skole has knocked in 63 runs in 69 games.

Some good bats are coming -- in addition to Anthony Rendon.

rogieshan said...

There's talk now that RZimmerman may require cortisone shots to alleviate shoulder pain.

Cue the Kevin Youkilis rumor.

fresh2death1997 said...

So Zim admits to having that shoulder roughed up.. Phew! I'm just glad he sucks for an injury reason. he may get a cortisone shot.

Section 222 said...

From Mark's tweet:

Davey on Clippard: "Right now he's my closer, and the way he's going I can't see going to somebody else." (ie. Storen once he comes off DL.)

Oh my oh my. pRAA just had a stroke.

Dryw Loves the Nats said...

Went up to Baltimore for the game tonight and had a great time. Other than the obvious in-game highlights (and Desi's unassisted DP was definitely one in my book), it was really fun watching Bam Bam and the Beast (hm, good name for a rock band?) trade off long balls during batting practice. Bryce would come up and smack several into the seats, the Michael would come up to see if he could hit his farther. I think I need to get to Nats Park in time for BP sometimes! Anyway, great game, reasonable number of Nats fans there, well worth the trip!

Oh, and btw....WOOOO HOOOOOO! :-)

Drew said...

Looks like I misspelled young Isabella's name.

My apologies to our fellow Nats fan.

baseballswami said...

I am also glad there is a reason for RZ's issues. But, really, just say no to Youklis. Seems he is the malcontent up there. Lombo and DeRosa can both play third and one of them can hit.So that will be an upgrade in the hitting department. Not one of them can play third like Zim. Lombo might come close with reps. And Davey might as well announce his closer plans nice and early so everyone knows where they stand. If we win a lot of games the same person can't close every night. Drew is so competitive, you can bet he will be gunning to get that spot back. I don't care what inning they pitch as long as they get outs! Adding Drew to the Burn and Clip combo and that should be fun to watch. Go Nats - would love to take this series.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

on the game thread I suggested that Ian is playing good enough to be an all star, and that idea was poo pooed by someone.

Among Shortstops gere is his ranking

Average 5th
Runs 4th
Hits 3rd
2B 2nd
3B 8th tie
HR 2nd
XBH 1st
RBI 2nd
OBP 8th
SLG 3rd
OPS 4th

Furcal will get the voting I assume, Tulo will not be ROckies Representative. Lowrie could be the Astros rep though Altuve makes mo sens. castro could be the Cub Represntative though Dempster (if not injured) makes more sense.

LaRussa likes Ian, so I think he does have a chance.

Steady Eddie said...

Section 222 -- I do love me some Druuuu, but
(high fives)!

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