Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Instant analysis: Nats 5, Mets 3

US Presswire photo
Adam LaRoche is congratulated by Ryan Zimmerman after his three-run homer.
Game in a nutshell: After a marathon game last night, the Nationals hoped to get both a productive start out of Edwin Jackson and some early run support to make manager Davey Johnson's job a little easier in the later innings. They got both. Slumping Adam LaRoche started things off with a three-run homer in the bottom of the first. Michael Morse added two more opposite-field hits, the second of them driving in his first run of the season. And Jackson did his part, overcoming his own throwing error to churn out seven quality innings. And unlike last night, the back end of the Nationals' bullpen took care of business and closed this one out without the need for any antacid. Tyler Clippard's fifth save since taking over pseudo-closer duties ensured the Nats' second straight win over the Mets and extended their lead in the NL East to two games.

Hitting highlight: Throughout his three-week slump (during which he went 6-for-55 and saw his batting average drop nearly 70 points) LaRoche insisted he wouldn't panic. He'd been through much longer slumps before, and he felt he'd learned how best to overcome them: By resisting the urge to try to change something. It's only one game, but whatever he did tonight certainly worked. With his three-run homer in the first, LaRoche gave the Nationals an early lead. He later added a single in the fifth and a sacrifice fly in the seventh. Put it all together, and the veteran first baseman had his best game in quite some time ... and perhaps started off another prolonged hot streak at the plate.

Pitching highlight: Jackson's stuff was dominant right from the outset, as evidenced by his two strikeouts to open the game. And he only surrendered three hits over seven innings. The right-hander still could have used some refinement, though. Two of the Mets' three runs scored as a direct result of self-inflicted wounds: A leadoff walk issued to New York's No. 8 hitter in the third, and then a two-base error on an errant pickoff throw in the fourth. All things considered, though, Jackson turned in a quality start and gave the Nationals exactly what they needed: seven strong innings after having used up their entire bullpen last night.

Key stat: With one swing in the bottom of the first inning (and then one more swing in the bottom of the seventh), LaRoche recorded twice as many RBI (4) as he had notched in his previous nine games combined (2).

Up next: The two teams will have a quick turnaround for Thursday's series finale. Chien-Ming Wang faces knuckleballer R.A. Dickey at 1:05 p.m. at Nationals Park.

30 comments:

MicheleS said...

WOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! And Another Series Win!

baseballswami said...

Amen!preach it sister!

Gonat said...

Great job by the Beast! I hope they make a scoring change on Bryce's grounder scored a 2 base error.

ehay2k said...

Nice win, nice series win, which we needed. Sweeping would be so sweet.

Ejax pitched well, even though he showed his rough edges with the walks and the poor throw over to first. However, even his bad pitches are usually down or away, so doesn't give up many hard hit balls on those. (In contrast, it seems to me that quite a few of Zimnn's bad ones are grooved.) At least he didn't Lowe his composure, which I like about him.

Very happy to see Morse get his timing and swing back so quickly. He changes the pithches that other batters will see.

So much for LaRoche needing rest. OK, maybe not - he probably could still use a break. Maybe he gets a day off tomorrow?

natsfan1a said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ehay2k said...

Grr... *lose* his composure

natsfan1a said...

Yay, winning! In other news, going to be off the grid for the next few days, so be excellent to each other and will see you all later (as a broadcaster once said).

Gonat said...

Nats are 14-7 now vs the NL East. That's impressive.

peric said...

Looks like all of those who were worried about 3 catchers need no longer worry. Maldonado appears headed for the DL and after 2 home runs plus a double it appears that Tyler Moore has been recalled from Syracuse to replace him. Should be on the plane tonight in the clubhouse tomorrow.

I sure hope Davey finds ways to use this player this time around.

Maybe Adam LaRoche heard his footsteps today? :)

Scott from Burke said...

RA Dickey is havinga great year...Wang is still in spring training mode..if i had money and a bookie i would put a dime on the metropolitans

Gonat said...

peric said...
Looks like all of those who were worried about 3 catchers need no longer worry. Maldonado appears headed for the DL and after 2 home runs plus a double it appears that Tyler Moore has been recalled from Syracuse to replace him. Should be on the plane tonight in the clubhouse tomorrow.

I sure hope Davey finds ways to use this player this time around.

Maybe Adam LaRoche heard his footsteps today? :)

June 06, 2012 10:22 PM
____________________________

Didn't you say over the weekend the Nats needed to carry 3 catchers and anyone who didn't know why didn't know baseball.

whatsanattau said...

No wonder the Nats drafted 6 catchers this week.

Another one bites the dust.

Gonat said...

Chiefs sweep the doubleheader against Willie Harris's Louisville team. Maya and Mandel pitched well in these games.

Gonat said...

Phillies lost. 5 in a row

Gonat said...

The Nats are now 6 games ahead of the Phillies and 2 games ahead of Miami/Atlanta and 2 1/2 in front of the Mets.

A DC Wonk said...

So, what are they going to use Moore for?

A DC Wonk said...

So, what are they going to use Moore for?

Section 222 said...

Back from the game. Such a great night for baseball. I've liked E-Jax since his gem the first weekend of the season. He's calm and composed, doesn't get flustered. Sure the throwing errors on his pickoff attemptios are annoying, but I'm starting to really have confidence when he's out there. Jonny H on the postgame said he's pitched at least 6 innings 7 out of his last 8 starts. That's just excellent, and just what our bullpen needed tonight.

Nice to see ALR break out of his slump. That first inning homer was so sweet. But almost as satisfying was his SF. Just so nice to see some decent situational hitting out of the middle of the lineup. It's got to help him to have Morse back in the lineup to protect him. And Morse really crushed that RBI single. Almost took Davis's hand off.

Clip settled down after McCatty's visit, thank goodness. I was cringing at the leadoff walk, and two balls right after that. Whatever the Cat said worked!

Tomorrow is just gravy. I wonder who will get the day off against the knuckleballer. Speaking of R.A. Dickey, I know we're not supposed to speak well of the opposition, but he comes off as a really decent and interesting guy in this interview about his new book on Fresh Air. Definitely worth a listen.

Gonat said...

A DC Wonk said...
So, what are they going to use Moore for?

June 06, 2012 11:03 PM
__________________________

11th inning pinch hitting?

SonnyG10 said...

Personally, I don't mind if anyone speaks well of the opposition as long as they're not putting the Nats down in the same breath.

SonnyG10 said...

I'd like to see Moore give LaRoache an occasional break.

peric said...

Didn't you say over the weekend the Nats needed to carry 3 catchers and anyone who didn't know why didn't know baseball.

Not if one of them is hurt **AGAIN** Gonat. Doh! Gee and who do you replace Maldonado with Gonat? Any ideas genius boy? Huh? No you don't because if you had read what I said ***carefully*** you would have seen
that I said they need **3** until they could get Sandy Leon back.

WeLL Lo and behold last night he and Bryce did some catching together and now Sandy Leon is off to XST to start his rehabilitation. Its a bit premature since he hasn't gotten far enough in the evaluation process but if Maldonado can't play I guess you're stuck. Plus Nieto went on the DL as well!

You can get they are going to get those catchers they drafted signed and started early in Viera and Auburn. They are needed!

Scott from Burke said...

dont mess with peric...this board is his LIFE!

Section 222 said...

So peric, just where would you put Moore? LF? Then who leads off. Back to the unsuccessful Desmond? Or Espi? Would you really take Lombo out in favor of Moore against RH pitching? Or would you replace ALR at 1B? I wouldn't mind giving him a day off every now and then, but you're kidding yourself if you think that Moore's going to get more than one start a week at first.

Sorry, Moore is a bench bat again, another rightie to have available for three series we have coming up in AL parks. Maybe he gets a few chances to DH. Hopefully, he's a better PH option than Maldonado. And no, we're not going to carry three catchers. What's the point of that if they aren't good PH options?

Frankly, I'd rather see Brown. Moore looked overmatched in his limited exposure last time around. I don't think he's ready for prime time yet.

Steady Eddie said...

222-- agree re the likely use of Moore. I suspect the answer is fairly simple: DHing and maybe a couple of days giving LaRoche a blow is his reward for patiently sitting on the pine in the Show when he could have been raking and getting consistent ABs in AAA. If Davey had wanted a position starter he would have taken Brown, as Moore is still without a position on the big team, for all the reasons you gave.

And what is it, only three days since Mark pointed out "no beat from heart of lineup" after the Sunday loss to the Braves? Getting hot just at the right time, heading into the AL East. Maybe one or two of 'em can set the table by teeing off on Dickey's knucklers tomorrow? I expect Lombo will move to second as Espinosa has talked about how much he hates hitting against Dickey, and hopefully he'll put the Shark in LF instead of putting Ankiel back in center. I think Davey's seen enough of him after that bases loaded K yesterday that forced Davey to empty the pen to get the win.

NatsNut said...

222, I actually just finished DIckey's book this morning on the bus. It's not that extraordinary but not a bad read either.

rabbit34 said...

Looks like Peric doesn't take criticism as well as some. It's only baseball, buddy, not everyone looks at things the same. All the bases have to be covered. Your posts, though, are enjoyable to read. Keep up the good work.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Peric doesn't take any criticism, especially when it's warranted.

ehay2k said...

I believe Moore was brought in to play LF for the AL series so Morse can DH and rest his lat. After that, I bet Moore will be a bench bat or head back to Syracuse.

JaneB said...

Thanks for the Fresh Air link, 222. Ity's enjoyable. Loved the Post's dissection of the trajectory of the knuckleball today, too.

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