Thursday, June 28, 2012

Instant analysis: Rockies 11, Nats 10 (11)

US Presswire photo
Edwin Jackson gave up eight early runs but remarkably got off the hook.
Game in a nutshell: Remember everyone was complaining about the Nationals' impotent lineup and its inability to generate anything of consequence? Nothing a few days at Coors Field can't fix. For the third straight day, the Nationals tallied at least 10 runs, a first for the franchise since the 1995 Expos did it and a first for a D.C. baseball club since 1951. Unfortunately, this time their pitching staff also gave up double-digit runs, eight of them charged to starter Edwin Jackson. Tom Gorzelanny gave up two more out of the bullpen, but his teammates rallied to bail out the pitching staff. Michael Morse clubbed a three-run homer in the third, Ian Desmond clubbed a two-run homer in the fifth and Bryce Harper clubbed the game-tying homer in the top of the ninth, setting the stage for extra innings. Eventually, the Nats bullpen couldn't hang on. Craig Stammen, in his third inning of work, surrendered the game-winning, RBI single to Marco Scutaro with two outs in the bottom of the 11th, a frustrating way for a long day to end.

Hitting highlight: It had been a rough few days for Harper, who faced a steady stream of sliders and other assorted junk on the outside corner (or beyond) from the Rockies' pitching staff, especially left-handers. To his credit, Harper hung tough and wound up making Colorado's right-handers pay in the end. He delivered an RBI single off Josh Roenicke in the fifth, then destroyed a pitch from closer Rafael Betancourt to deep right-center in the ninth, his eighth career homer the game-tying homer.

Pitching lowlight: What's going on with Jackson? His velocity has been down in each of his last two starts -- his fastball, which normally averages about 94 mph, has dropped to the 89-91 mph range -- and he paid the price for it today. Jackson was pounded for five runs in the bottom of the first, then two more in the bottom of the second. He retired the side in the third inning, but after allowing a leadoff single in the fourth, he got a quick hook from Davey Johnson. Clearly miffed by that managerial decision, Jackson trudged off the field. He didn't have much of a case, though: Over the course of those three-plus innings, he saw his ERA skyrocket from 2.91 to 3.57.

Key stat: The Nats are in the middle of a stretch of eight consecutive games played at eight different starting times: 6:40 p.m., 3:10 p.m., 7:35 p.m., 4:05 p.m., 1:35 p.m., 6:35 p.m., 11:05 a.m., 7:05 p.m.

Up next: After four wild games in the thin air of Colorado, the Nationals return to division play this weekend in Atlanta. Lefty Ross Detwiler will face right-hander Randall Delgado at 7:35 p.m. Friday in the series opener at Turner Field.

72 comments:

baseballswami said...

Thanks for bailing us out with a new post - almost at 500 on the old one. Seems like a shame that Stammen will get tagged with this loss. It should fall squarely on Jackson. Wild series.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Fun game. Anyone who sees any meaning in the result should go look at the night sky.

I think Venus is rising and Mars is doing something too.

Schumatrix said...

At least the bats have woken up. That pitching performance from Jackson was abysmal, but hopefully the "O" can pick up where it left off. You know the rotation will be A-OK.

Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said...

Thanks, Mark, seconded.

Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said...

The Atlanta games will, of course, be nothing like this. Buckle up, and keep your napkins ready.

Schumatrix said...

To add to that, E-Jax had something like a 12+ ERA career in Colorado prior to this start. It's just not the place for him. I like the direction we're trending, and I'm not worried. I'll take the split, we never play well against the Rox.

Gonat said...

It was a very nice comeback. Proud of the boys.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

A lot of positives. A few negatives.

Faraz Shaikh said...

we knew Jackson was going to struggle which he did but Nats made a great comeback.

SonnyG10 said...

I didn't realize EJax had lost velocity on his fast ball, but I sure saw he had problems with his slider. Makes me marvel even more at how SS, Gio, and Jordan were able to use their slider/curve in the thin air.

peric said...

Great game but I only saw half of it ... have to go back and watch it ...

Napkitude ... cute FP.


EJax seems a bit tired already and the season isn't done. Keeps me wondering about Grienke and the potential there. Getting Grienke could make up for a lousy draft which will be close to a total wash out if they don't manage to sign Giolito. EJax has been one of the big heroes of the rotation ... another possibility is the trade deadline which approach-eth. I bet he hates getting traded in the middle season given the number of times it has happened to him already.

Nats bats aren't awake unless they produce in Atlanta a key series. The air will be hot so balls should fly ... even if there is humidity.

Gonat said...

Faraz Shaikh said...
we knew Jackson was going to struggle which he did but Nats made a great comeback.

June 28, 2012 7:52 PM
______________________________

No we didn't. In fact NatsJack thought Jackson was going to pitch better than JZim did last night.

m20832 said...

Aside from the pitching and to nitpick (I really want a 162-0 team), why do most of our batters swing at balls off the plate inside and outside? Is it because the pitcher disguises his pitch to look like it's coming straight down the plate and then "move" to fool the hitter? Carp and FP are just swooning over that pitch was "nasty".
From the camera angle (off to the right of the pitcher) you can't really see what the pitch is doing. But you can see if it's outside (usually called a strike by the A. Hernandez crew) 0r inside like when BH swung at that pitch that almost hit him on the foot for strike three?

Gonat said...

m20832, camera angle off and the batters really showed discipline except Harper and those K's by Espi, Lombo and Ankiel were just all poor swings and approaches.

When you get Ankiel in a 2 strike count it is easy money on elevating the fastball that he bites. Lombo on 3 pitches wasn't pretty and Espi decided to swing for 400 feet once again and struck out.

peric said...

When you get Ankiel in a 2 strike count it is easy money on elevating the fastball that he bites.

Ankiel is s strikeout machine. Last season someone got him to change his approach when he was rehabbing in Harrisburg and his OBP rose like a helium balloon. Now, he's gone back to being swing for the fences every pitch Ankiel. The guy with "the arm" who ought to be put back in the bullpen because it sure looks as if he hasn't lost anything velocity wise.

mick said...

How do we not score in top of 11th????

ehay2k said...

Ok, before I start my "Fire the Pitching Coach" rant, let's just wait a few minutes to see if hell actually freezes over...

No - not gonna happen. :-D

Of course, I love McCatty.

Missed the game, was shocked at the score. Hope to learn more from blogs and the NI game thread.

Was this just a case of Ejax having a bad outing? Sometimes pitchers can't get comfortable in certain parks. That's baseball. I do worry about Mark's report that Ejax' velocity is down. Heat? Tired at the midway point? As long as it's not an injury, and the ASB gives him some good rest, he'll be OK. A lot of people will be watching his next outing very closely.

BTW - does anyone have day/night splits for Ejax? Next start is also a day game.

I look forward to reading the game thread. Great to see so many comments. Can't wait to scroll past, er, read, them. ;-)

mick said...

I was out in top of 11th, but I thought the top of order was up. so... how do we not score????

Faraz Shaikh said...

gonat, I was going by Jackson's previous stats in Coore Field.

anyways, we fought well. Gorzo was the culprit if you think about it. The guy has a streak going of at least a run per appearance it seems.

peric said...

A lot of positives. A few negatives.

Positives outweigh the negatives because the positives are young players Bryce "Will you marry me tweeter swag" Harper and Tyler "the Magnolia Muscle" Moore. Plus Ian Desmond. If Espinosa comes back the way Desmond did from his sophomore year he might hit 40 doubles and 30 homers next year. That's the important part ... worrying about guys who likely won't be here is not a productive exercise. Its likely EJax won't be here (although you never know), LaRoche won't be here, Gorzo won't be here, CM Wang won't be here, Ankiel and probably most of the current bench won't be here.

Yes, its about winning this year but with this FO its just as much about winning every year ... not just this year ... not like 2005.

baseballswami said...

Wednesday night I noticed that more of the hitters were settling into a better approach. I think Espi is the absolute worst. As the lead off he almost always swings at the first pitch. We criticized him for striking out a lot but this is almost worse. Ankiel is an automatic out as far as I am concerned. I felt that the others were really doing better - and that is not just a reflection on the score. This whole series was very surreal. And now we go into sizzling hot Atlanta, back to the NL east where every game makes a full game difference in the standings and probably back to nail biters. As for today - at 4 pm I thought all hope was lost for the day. The ten run comeback wasn't quite enough - but it was impressive all the same.

baseballswami said...

oh - and CMW is a great big, sucking, black void in the 25 man. We just cannot afford to carry him along when he is of no use right now. He has the Nats completely backed into a corner. What a waste of a pitching spot.

peric said...

anyways, we fought well. Gorzo was the culprit if you think about it.

Which is why at that point he was being used as the mop up long relief guy. You didn't see Stammen until the game was on the line at 10-10 after the ninth. The problem is CMW is far, far worse.

If I had to guess I would say that Gorzo and Wang get traded. If they can somehow wrangle Grienke from Milwaukee, then you might see EJax traded as well. Is that risky? Hell yes. But the Nats FO seems bound and determined to build the best young, controllable rotation in the major leagues for multiple years. I would guess they would go a long way to make that a solid reality.

natsfan1a said...

Rally napkins? For shizzle.

Agreed with others re. the comeback(s) on the plus side. Nats didn't get the last at-bat and Rockies did.

Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said...

The Atlanta games will, of course, be nothing like this. Buckle up, and keep your napkins ready.
June 28, 2012 7:41 PM

Unknown said...

Fun game, all-in-all.

Regarding Harper's "struggles" that some are mentioning in the national media, I don't see it. He'll have a bad game now and then, but he keeps on learning from his mistakes. He's on track (based on a 162 game season)to hit .282/.360/.486 with 24 home runs and 66 RBI along with 24 stolen bases. At this point in his first year, Ken Griffey Jr. was at .277/.338/.472 with 10 homers and 23 RBI (Harper has 8 HR and 22 RBI).

He's doing just fine.

If the Nationals win two more games than they lose each of the last three months of the season, they will finish the season 93-69 and will be in the playoffs.

If they are just one game over .500 in July, August and September, they will finish at 90-72.

It's going to take one long losing streak to doom the season, and with this pitching staff, I just don't see that happening.

What does everyone else think about Tyler Moore? Is he the real deal? Everything I've seen tells me he's going to be a good one.

With Chris Marrero, Moore and Michael Morse all at first (I still think Marrero is a .275-22-85 kind of first baseman), there is going to have to be some moves before next season.

djinFl. said...

Bet nobody had more fun than the NIers today, even with the loss. Pleasure spending the day with you all, now get to work tomorrow. See you after your Friday happy hours, to chop down some Braves. That did not sound politically correct.

Gonat said...

baseballswami said...
oh - and CMW is a great big, sucking, black void in the 25 man. We just cannot afford to carry him along when he is of no use right now. He has the Nats completely backed into a corner. What a waste of a pitching spot.

June 28, 2012 8:24 PM
__________________________

Unfortunately we all know it. Hopefully he has a hang nail to send him on the DL and try to get him fixed on a 30 day rehab.

Lombo really needs to visit Syracuse again which means Danny stays as your everyday 2nd baseman and DeRosa his backup.

Callup Corey Brown and play the guy. If he shows he can play then you know Ankiel is done here and leaves when Werth is ready to come back.

Drew said...

So I take a quick look during a busy day at work and the Nats are down 7-0 in the top of the third.

The next time I check in it's 9-9 in the fifth! The highlights show that it was a hugely entertaining game. Just wish they'd gone for the two-point conversion.

If Zimmerman and Morse keep hitting, this team will be hard to beat.

mick said...

Espinoza can not be the long term lead off

baseballswami said...

I think Tyler Moore is going to be really good as long as they keep all of their spread sheets away from him and just let him hit. The surprise for me has been how well he plays first. I also think he might be the next one to have a female fan club with signs. I am hearing from my niece that the shy, Mississippi, awshucks thing is playing well - and of course, the blue eyes. Hey - we get our new generation of fans any way we can! According to the same niece, lots of baseball teams have "icky, older guys", and the Nats have all the " cute hotties" .Sheesh. At least she knows a lot about the actual game.

mick said...

Tyler Moore and Bryce Harper are what Fred Lynn and Jim rice were to the Red Sox in 1975, Moore is the real deal and with harper I see a great duo. THEY MUST PLAY EVERY DAY DAVEY!!!

mick said...

baseballswami... Bryce is now in a position the Beatles were... they can have any babe they want, in other words... heaven on earth, lol

Bigfish said...

Speaking of TyMo -- what do we do in the outfield when Werth comes back? We can't move Morse or Moore to 1B (the obvious solution) because ALR is there.

PChuck said...

BEFORE today's game, Edwin Jackson had a 15.73 ERA and a 2.67 WHIP pitching at Coors Field.

He NEVER should have been allowed to take the mound today.

mick said...

Bigfish... that is what I want o know too..

NCNatsie said...

Why it's okay to get out of Coors Stadium with a split, and why nothing that happened there has any meaning:

It's a clown park, bro.

JaneB said...

Okay. I need someone to 'splain me the Rally Napkin. I know it exists. And that is the sum total of my information. Thanks in advance.

Drew said...

And if you play it out to the offseason...

With Tyler Moore's emergence, it's hard to see how the Nats would make room for Bourn or Upton.

Even if they don't bring LaRoche back, you've still got Morse, Moore, Harper and Werth for four spots.

I'd love to see Bourn leading off and playing cf, but maybe they'll play Harper out there until Goodwin is ready.
.

DWS said...

Espinosa leading off first A napkin is blowing and stuck on his leg. Nats have a big inning, FP made a big deal. Thus the rally napkin was born. I think he mentioned "trademark".

JaneB said...

Got it! THANK YOU!!!! And Drew, exactly. We don't have ROOM for anymore players! Bourn can stay where he is.
GYFNG!

natsfan1a said...

JaneB, possibly more than you ever wanted to know about the rally napkin is here. :-)

Feel Wood said...

Rally napkin.

baseballswami said...

Back when Jayson broke his wrist there was an email address provided to send messages of support. I kind of forgot that I sent an email - just got a nice thank you email from a Nats employee on behalf of Jayson expressing how much it meant to him to receive those messages. I long ago stopped thinking about him as a former Philly. He's a Nat. I think that Nats fans are generally pretty smart and have grown to appreciate what he has brought to this organization. I also think he will get a warm welcome when he returns to action. Looking forward to seeing the beard again.

rogieshan said...

Did anyone else think Tyler Moore lost some of his discipline at the plate after he got picked off at 2nd today?

Gonat said...

Good news, Braves just LOST

Gonat said...

rogieshan said...
Did anyone else think Tyler Moore lost some of his discipline at the plate after he got picked off at 2nd today?

June 28, 2012 10:25 PM
______________________________

Hard to say but the kid still had a good game.

Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said...

Nats go up 3.5 games going into the ATL. Not bad for such a worthless bunch of hopeless bums; last I looked, there is no place above first, and that is all that counts.

Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said...

OK, so when they get back next Tuesday, who's bringing the double-sided tape for sticking the napkins to our legs (and various other parts--YMMV).

Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said...

{Put a ? in there sommers.)

Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said...

Speaking of TyMo -- what do we do in the outfield when Werth comes back? We can't move Morse or Moore to 1B (the obvious solution) because ALR is there.

Depends on who's on the DL when that happens.

mick said...

mets up 1-0 in 3rd

mick said...

can't believe Braves lost, they were up 2-0

Faraz Shaikh said...

I was tempted to vote for all Nats in the poll. Actually I did but then changed it to four guys; Desmond, LaRoche, Gio, and Strasburg. Strong cases can be made for Harper, Clippard, and Burnett. Not sure that would happen.

peric said...

Can't believe Syracuse continuing to rake. 14-3 slugfest win. For those keeping count both Corey Brown and Carlos Rivero with 16 game hit streaks (Rizzo pointing to head : picking up Rivero off of waiver wire). Corey Brown, the guy they got for Willingham along with H-Rod now with 7 triples and 18 home runs on the year.

Let's recap : Corey Brown 18 home runs, 7 triples, 15 doubles with a .304 batting average all at lead-off, mostly in CF.

Doc said...

Ejax may have something wrong with his arm.

Not only his velo was down, but his breaking balls were sh**, even when accounting for what happens to a breaking ball in Coors.

He spent the few innings that he was on the mound to-day shaking his arm, almost before every pitch.

Maybe he needs a 'rest'???

Gonat said...

NatsJack in Florida said...
Wang is probably being held out till Detwiler's next start Friday in Atlanta. I sure can't see him following J Zimm or our true horse, Edwin Jackson in Colorado.
_________________________________
Ghost Of Steve M. said...

True horse, Edwin Jackson? Unless you think he will turn the trend drastically around that he has had in Colorado, he has pitched 3 times and has averaged only 4 innings in each of those starts with a slash of .429/.500/.679/1.179 and an ERA of 15.75 and a WHIP of 2.667.

Small sample sizes but CarGo, Helton, Fowler and Cuddyer all have smashed him. Each has an OPS of 1.117 to 2.000

Think outside of the box and push back EJax to Atlanta. Might be a great time for Davey to bring in Wang and see what he can do with the sinker in Colorado. Wang has never faced the Rockies before.

June 27, 2012 10:14 AM
________________________________

SteveM, you were on it. A shame Davey didn't listen to you because he could have saved EJax for Friday and Wang probably would have done better than EJax.

I find it disappointing to read all the comments today after EJax blew up.

Gonat said...

Which Nats deserve to be All-Stars?

Sean Burnett

Tyler Clippard

Ian Desmond

Gio Gonzalez

Bryce Harper

Adam LaRoche

Stephen Strasburg
_______________________

Where's Rodney Dangerfield because Jordan Zimmermann truly gets no respect. He should be Top 10 after tonight in NL ERA and he doesn't even make your list.

Disappointing.

Feel Wood said...

Let's recap : Corey Brown 18 home runs, 7 triples, 15 doubles with a .304 batting average all at lead-off, mostly in CF.

Too bad he's Rhoda to Tyler Moore's Mary. He'll have to wait for the Tyler Moore Show to end its run before he gets a spinoff in The Show.

NatsNut said...

Holy [stuff]* ya'll. over 500 comments in the game thread today? Don't ya'll have jobs? LOL

*trademark Sofa, all rights reserved.

Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said...

: )

Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said...

And did I mention I thought they were playing too deep for Scutaro?

Gonat said...

PChuck said...
BEFORE today's game, Edwin Jackson had a 15.73 ERA and a 2.67 WHIP pitching at Coors Field.

He NEVER should have been allowed to take the mound today.

June 28, 2012 8:55 PM
______________________________

Here's the reactive comments you get from most here.

Whoever gets EJax next should never let him pitch in high altitude.

I think Wang could have been a smart choice even though he didn't look great as a reliever. The 2 seam is the money pitch there if it has the movement.

mick said...

Gonat said...

Where's Rodney Dangerfield because Jordan Zimmermann truly gets no respect....

you set me up perfectly... I tell ya, I was walking home from work today and some guy was running down the street naked, I said "hey buddy, what for" he said "because you came home early".... bada bing....

I said to my doctor, "doc, I wake up every morning, I look in the mirror, I feel like I wanna throw up, whats wrong with me" he said " I don't know but your eye sight is perfect" bada bing....

Gonat said...

Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said...
And did I mention I thought they were playing too deep for Scutaro?

June 28, 2012 11:28 PM
_______________________________

They still may not have caught up to it. The Nats had their chances. That leadoff double by Desi and getting him stranded at 2nd was the dagger.

Gonat said...

Mick, classic! Just shocking to me not to see JZim's name amongst this group. I think if EJax had a better start today they would have had his name on there.

PChuck said...

>>>Here's the reactive comments you get from most here.

Whoever gets EJax next should never let him pitch in high altitude.

I think Wang could have been a smart choice even though he didn't look great as a reliever. The 2 seam is the money pitch there if it has the movement.<<<

There could be physiological reason why Edwin can't pitch in Colorado. Because his numbers are so dramatically different at Coors Field, I would have assumed that it was something other than him just not pitching well there.

Ryan Clark, former Redskin, current Steeler can't play in Denver. I believe there is also an NBA player who can't play in Denver. Performing athletically at a mile high isn't just another arena.

ehay2k said...

Ryan Clark has Sickle Cell Anemia. I think it unlikely that Ejax would be unaware that he had that.

And:

Peric Said:
Ankiel is s strikeout machine. Last season someone got him to change his approach when he was rehabbing in Harrisburg and his OBP rose like a helium balloon. Now, he's gone back to being swing for the fences every pitch Ankiel. The guy with "the arm" who ought to be put back in the bullpen because it sure looks as if he hasn't lost anything velocity wise.


Hmm -- so what you're saying is, there is a hitting instructor in Harrisburg that improved Ankiel's approach, and he had some success with that.

Next time I say we could use a more effective hitting coach at the MLB level, I hope not to hear anything contrary from you.

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

Thanks for posting that, swami. I went all Old School and had sent a note via USPS. Hope that he received those as well. I also plan to offer a warm "welcome back."

In other news, congrats to sofa and others for carrying the ball over the 500 line last night. As a "too frequent" poster, I would have done my part, but I don't tend to read game threads after losses. ;-)

baseballswami said...

Back when Jayson broke his wrist there was an email address provided to send messages of support. I kind of forgot that I sent an email - just got a nice thank you email from a Nats employee on behalf of Jayson expressing how much it meant to him to receive those messages. I long ago stopped thinking about him as a former Philly. He's a Nat. I think that Nats fans are generally pretty smart and have grown to appreciate what he has brought to this organization. I also think he will get a warm welcome when he returns to action. Looking forward to seeing the beard again.
June 28, 2012 10:18 PM

Laddie Blah Blah said...

"Did anyone else think Tyler Moore lost some of his discipline at the plate after he got picked off at 2nd today?"

No. He has rapidly earned the respect that comes with success. The Rockies' pitchers were working the corners instead of just trying to get him out with "stuff." Their catcher was setting up to the inside or far outside the zone. He is going to see a lot more breaking stuff off the outside of the plate, and fewer FBs from now on.

They have adjusted to him, and he will now have to to adjust to them. Be interesting to see how the Braves approach the new Nats' slugger.

And EJax must have trouble with the dry air in Denver. It may affect his grip. Anyway, that's what I was thinking, because his command was not there, so it wasn't just that his FB had lost a little velocity.

PChuck said...

>>>Ryan Clark has Sickle Cell Anemia. I think it unlikely that Ejax would be unaware that he had that.<<<

Actually, Clark has "sickle cell trait" not sickle cell anemia and it's entirely possible that he'd be unaware of it if he'd never been tested.

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