Sunday, July 8, 2012

Bullpen goes wild in Nats' loss to Rockies

Photo by US-Presswire
Win number 50 will have to wait for the Washington Nationals as uncharacteristic mistakes made late by their bullpen doomed another solid start by Jordan Zimmermann. The Colorado Rockies send the Nats into the All-Star break with 4-3 loss determined by two wild pitches to bring the tying and winning runs home. 

Zimmermann took the no-decision after allowing just one earned run, three hits and two walks in seven innings pitched.  His only run allowed came on a Wil Nieves sacrifice fly in the second inning.

“I really hate for it to come on [Zimmermann], Zimm pitched a gem. It was hot out there and he gave a jewel out there, a heck of a game. It was one of the few times the bullpen hadn’t done a good job,” manager Davey Johnson said.

“They’ve been doing a great job all year. They’ve been having our backs in some tight situations all year,” Zimmermann said. “This one got away. We gotta move past it and focus on the second half.”

Johnson took Zimmermann out after the seventh inning even though he had thrown only 95 pitches. The Nats skipper said he didn’t even consider bringing his starter back for the eighth because of the heat and humidity.

Johnson decided to go with Sean Burnett to start the eighth inning, one of his best relievers who entered the day with a 1.52 ERA. Burnett was not his usual self, however, and failed to record an out before being replaced.

The Rockies sent Eric Young in to pinch-hit for pitcher Eric Belisle against Burnett and the result was not good. Young took a 2-1 sinker over the fence in left field for a solo home run.

Burnett then allowed consecutive singles to Dexter Fowler and Marco Scutaro, the second moving Fowler into scoring position at third. Johnson pulled Burnett for Michael Gonzalez who has also maintained a sub-2.00 ERA this season. Gonzalez struck out the first batter, but let a pitch get away from him with Tyler Colvin up.  The wild pitch brought Fowler home and tied the game at three.

“Just wasn’t my day. I threw I think it was a sinker to the guy Young and it just cut. I think I pulled it middle-in and he didn’t miss it,” Burnett said. “Then I got a couple ground balls and they just happened to find a hole. Just one of those things it didn’t go my way today.”

Tyler Clippard came into to pitch the ninth in a tie game having not allowed a run in 20 straight appearances. He last gave up one up on May 16, a stretch of 19.1 innings pitched. Today was not Clippard’s day either as his first pitch was a double by Jordan Pacheco to left field. Jonathan Herrera then sacrificed Pacheco to third with a bunt as Jason Giambi came to the plate to pinch-hit. Clippard pulled a changeup against Giambi that got away from catcher Jhonatan Solano and Pacheco came home to score the go-ahead run.

“I can’t remember the last time I threw a wild pitch, so it was kind of frustrating to do it in that situation,” Clippard said. “What are you gonna go?”


The Nationals put up a fight in the bottom of the ninth by getting two runners on base. Ian Desmond, who had hit a two-run home run earlier in the fourth inning, led off with a single to left field. Roger Bernadina then draw a walk two batters later and both players got into scoring position by way of a double steal. Johnson pinch-hit catcher Jesus Flores who could was quickly retired with a three-pitch strikeout.

It was an unfortunate ending for the Nationals who have grown accustomed to stingy relief pitching and timely hitting at the end of games. The mood around the locker room, however, was that losing their final game before the break could be a blessing in disguise.

“Everything happens for a reason in this game. The ball never lies. This is a lesson. Hopefully we can come back and bounce back against the Marlins in a big division series,” Desmond said.

“I look at it as good timing. You know, I think you don’t ever want to get too comfortable or too confident out there so this is a little, maybe, check, for ourselves. We can kind of regroup and move forward with a new beginning in the second half,” Clippard said.


97 comments:

Kevin Rusch said...

Man, that was a real disappointing loss. I live in Denver now, and that team STINKS BAD. I was hoping to really put a hurting on them.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Alex Meyer scheduled to pitch the 8th inning in the Futures game.

NatsLady said...

Watching the Futures Game. They are SO young. And not ready for prime time, you can see that. Hamilton is something else.

baseballswami said...

Nats lady - all but three of them are older than Bryce. So has anyone seen what happened to the marlins today? Kearns hit a 3 run bomb, Bell blew another save, Hanley punched a fan and needed stitches in his hand. Yes, all in one game. Oh, the drama. Glad we don't have any. Even our team baby made sure he didn't hurt his hand when he erupted.

MicheleS said...

SWAMI? WHAT? Hanley PUNCHED A FAN? He better get suspended!

MicheleS said...

Jake Peavy got named to the AllStar game, CJ Wilson out. Glad for Peavy. A long road back for him, well deserved.

baseballswami said...

Apparently Ozzie is not amused. : )

MicheleS said...

Chase.. thanks for sitting and in putting up with us!!!

NatsLady said...

MicheleS, not a person-type fan. A cooling-type fan. LOL.

baseballswami said...

Oh,Michele, so sorry--- a fan that blows air, not a person! Just realized how that read!

NatsLady said...

Also, Shane Victorino threw a tantrum when he was put lower in the batting order. So he sat. And rumor is Cholly getting fired after the All-Star break.

MicheleS said...

OH. LOL.. I thought he hit a person! TOO FUNNY!

Well, that will be one other person that needs to go on the DL for the big FISH FRY this weekend!

NatsLady said...

The O's prospect (SS) made a great leaping catch.

baseballswami said...

Again - so thankful for the lack of drama. Anyone watching the futures game? Guy named Scooter that looks tinier than Jose Altuve.

MicheleS said...

Didn't they just give Cholly an extension? If they can him, I hope Ryne Sandberg gets the job.

baseballswami said...

Guy just hit a ball that absolutely smashed the tv camera.

MicheleS said...

US team is putting a hurt on now.. Waiting for the 8th inning...

baseballswami said...

Taking forever,Michele. Just batted around.

NatsLady said...

Fish whining they don't have an All-Star player. Meanwhile, McCutch picked for the HR Derby, so that probably lets Bryce out--which is all to the good.

MicheleS said...

NatsLady.. Too funny about the fish whining.. Who would be there allstar besides Stanton? JJ?

and Swami.. feel like I am watching a AL game with the futures. SOMEONE GET AN OUT!!!

NatsJack in Florida said...

Hanley cut a finger. Only 2 stitches. Says he'll be in the line up Friday.

NatsLady said...

Mercy rule?

baseballswami said...

Are there any guidelines about the rule where each team is represented if their player pulls out late? Ozzie needs more things to be upset about . Right? USA team has scored 15 runs. Only in the 6th. Can't get th out.

ehay2k said...

MicheleS, I read that line about punching the fan the same way. In part, I suppose, because subconsciously the idea of someone punching a spinning BLADE seemed a lot less likely. But this was Hanley. Yet another stellar talent held back by his brains and character.

I still believe the Fish have only now begun to implode. And this is just the early warning signs. Now that the Heat have won a championship, do you think the fans will fill a ballpark for a losing, dysfunctional team? Nah, me neither. Couldn't happen to a nicer owner.

baseballswami said...

So here we are at the end of the first half and the Nats game ended a couple of hours ago - we are watching the futures game together. Next - a random little league game. Just can't stop.

MicheleS said...

Actually if it get's really bad, I think the PNats are playing this week.

ehay2k said...

Swami, there's always the DVD of Stras' debut!

MicheleS said...

I want the AllStar Game in 2015.. I would be in heaven!!!! Seriously, Futures game, HR Derby, AllStar Game, and a Fan Fest. I am drooling over that possibility.

Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa said...

Bound to be a Ponce de Leon game somewhere...

baseballswami said...

Apparently they are waiting for more development in the area of Nats Park. There are definitely things happening over there. 2015 sounds great!

MicheleS said...

With all the construction cranes, we should get it!!!!

MicheleS said...

FINALLY..top of the 8th and we get to see Alex!

Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa said...

Alex Meyer in now for the USA Team, up 17-5. Mop-up work, I guess you'd call that.

MicheleS said...

Umm Alex Meyer looks like the the right handed version of Det.. SKINNY! NO lower body at all!

Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa said...

What, wait--that was it??

MicheleS said...

and now he is out.. 2 quick out!

baseballswami said...

So he got like 5 pitches?

MicheleS said...

SOFA.. I know.. what a let down!!!

NatsLady said...

Our guy looked terrific.

Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa said...

That's like San Diego Fireworks.

baseballswami said...

He did look pretty polished. Did his job a little too well?

NatsLady said...

The earlier incarnation of this story referring to Shane Victorino getting mad at being placed seventh in the order and then being scratched by Charlie Manuel is, as they say, no longer operative.

That report came from Rob Parent, the sports editor of the Delco Times. After it came out, Charlie Manuel denied it, saying that Victorino was “down on himself” because of poor recent play and that Manuel scratched him for that reason.

NatsLady said...

The George Brett statue==>not enough arms!

JaneB said...

For what it's worth, I just read about Hanley punching a fan and, I think because this is Ozzie's team, shouted out that Hanley punch a fan as in person fan. Shoulda kept reading. Had to issue a retraction.

I'm trying to tell myself that it's GOOD we only saw Alex briefly. Fast worker, quick outs. That's what we want.

baseballswami said...

NatsLady - either way, it's still very bizarre. Almost as bizarre as three of our bullpen guys blowing a game with wild pitches and not one of them was named Henry.

JaneB said...

Firm possession, good one! (San Diego fireworks)

Doc said...

Clip gave the loss a positive spin.

I was thinking something similar. If anything the loss will give the Nats renewed focus to deal with the Fish, after the break. Now's not the time for over-confidence.

Beyond getting to the post-season, let's get some wins for JZim!!!!

baseballswami said...

Starting on Friday, JZim is number one in the rotation. Most innings pitched, lowest era. It's the whole run support thing that's frustrating. How can he only have 5 wins?

Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa said...

For what it's worth, I just read about Hanley punching a fan and, I think because this is Ozzie's team, shouted out that Hanley punch a fan as in person fan. Shoulda kept reading. Had to issue a retraction.

Well, when the Fish hits the fan, it gets on everybody.



badabing!

peric said...

It's the whole run support thing that's frustrating. How can he only have 5 wins?

They're wasting his starts. Hopefully, Davey is addressing that by making Zim #1, Gio #2, and Stras #3, and etc. Hopefully, that helps some ...

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

I like Desi's spin on it, the lesson.

Today was the day that my husband's colleague and his family attended their first game with us. (They're the ones who over the years would ask me about the team. "Don't they have a bunch of thugs?" or "Don't they really [stink]"? Okay, so maybe they had a point or two back in the day. But that was then; this is now.) Kinda wished we could have shown them a curly w today, but I think they had a good time anyway. I'm gonna miss Nats baseball this week. At least I'll have the All-Star hoopla to watch. (Hey, you take what you can get.)

I did like how loud the smallish crowd got in the bottom of the 9th. The kid behind me was exhorting his dad to go into rally cap mode. Dad demurred, but a bunch of us in surrounding seats did go Rally Code Red. Would have been awesome if the guys could have pulled it off. Rest and come back refreshed for the second half.

Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa said...

Oh, and this was the closest I could get to topical relevance, but that's nothing new from me.

RIP, Ernest Borgnine

baseballswami said...

Andy Griffith and then Ernest Borgnine. : (

natsfan1a said...

I saw that, sec3. Great actor, and seemed like a really nice guy as well (although he played a great SOB).

On a game note, my fave thing today happened before the game. Jayson Werth was on the field with some other players. He up along the 1B line, doing some stretching. Then he started jumping up and down. Some of the fans started applauding when they saw him. Desi came up to Werth, and removed the cap from Jayson's head, basically doffing his cap for him. We all started cheering louder at that. :-)

natsfan1a said...

On a Borgnine note, loved this documentary where he drove a bus around the Midwest and talked to folks. Maybe he went to a ballpark. I can't remember. :-)

natsfan1a said...

Oh, cool. It's on topic because he got into it after seeing an RV at Dodger Stadium. :-)

MicheleS said...

Andy Griffith.. sigh.. and yes Borgnine played a great SOB..

baseballswami said...

Oh, what a nice story. Funny how Jayson won us over even when he wasn't hitting well. I think Nats fans have been sophisticated enough to see the value. So good for Bryce. He is really a true Nat. I bet the Phils kind of miss him about now. Wonder if he will still get booed. He played for them the last time they went deep into the post season.

MicheleS said...

Swami, on some of the other boards/blogs, Philly fans were lamenting that they really needed Jayson's leadership right now. Apparently, no leadership in the clubhouse. HA! We have it now!

Gonat said...

NatsLady said...
The earlier incarnation of this story referring to Shane Victorino getting mad at being placed seventh in the order and then being scratched by Charlie Manuel is, as they say, no longer operative.

That report came from Rob Parent, the sports editor of the Delco Times. After it came out, Charlie Manuel denied it, saying that Victorino was “down on himself” because of poor recent play and that Manuel scratched him for that reason.

July 08, 2012 7:59 PM
________________________________

I know, crazy. I was on all the Twitter fighting this morning. I don't believe Cholly. That clubhouse probably has more in-fighting than a UFC cage match.

MicheleS said...

Ohh.. The Braves SS Simmons broke his finger too.. I hope he is out until the end of July!

Gonat said...

Jeter just dropped a routine popup. OMG

MicheleS said...

Can i just officially say that I hate Sox/Yanks Games! It's the bottome of the first and this game is already dragging on!! It will probably be another 4 hour nightmare.

MicheleS said...

Gonat.. Apparently, even the Gods make mistakes

Gonat said...

“I really hate for it to come on [Zimmermann], Zimm pitched a gem. It was hot out there and he gave a jewel out there, a heck of a game. It was one of the few times the bullpen hadn’t done a good job,” manager Davey Johnson said.
______________________________

JZim has pitched several gems in a row and had 2 straight wins and amazingly got big run support. Some of the Nats seemed like they were too anxious to get on vacation.

JZim obviously could have gone longer in the game and who would have thunk the bullpen would lay an egg.

baseballswami said...

I am also tired of the whole Boston/NY crap. All of them are always posing for the cameras. Whatever.

MicheleS said...

Well even better.. MLB Network has Plays of the week.

natsfan1a said...

Y'all are in good company, as Joe West thinks that they drag on, too. ;-) (Not that I'm a fan of Sox/Yanks games, mind you.)

natsfan1a said...

Or a fan of Joe West, either, now that I think about it.

baseballswami said...

On the positive side, everyone else in major league baseball is already on vacation while they are still playing on and on. Maybe extra innings?

MicheleS said...

You know what I am really happy about. Bobby V is not our manager right now. Thank God for Davey!

baseballswami said...

Michele- last place for manager of the first half. Ozzie or Bobby V?

baseballswami said...

Ooooh, better one-- who gets fired first, Cholly, Ozzie or Bobby?

MicheleS said...

Swami.. Ozzie isn't in last place ... yet.. only because Cholly and the Phillies are below. Bobby V still has the need to be in the spot light more than his team. Ozzie is well, just a knucklehead.

Gonat said...

Wow, Jeter boots another one but looks like it was scored a hit.

MicheleS said...

Gonat.. have a feeling that Jeter is going to be out of the All Star game after tonight...

baseballswami said...

Mysterious ailment? Perhaps a sudden case of the yips?

Gonat said...

MicheleS said...
Gonat.. have a feeling that Jeter is going to be out of the All Star game after tonight...

July 08, 2012 9:20 PM
_______________________________

You read my mind. He is rubbing his arm and wiggling around like he is hurting. Soon he will have a note from his parent to excuse him from the All Star game.

baseballswami said...

I know some have criticized desi for pulling out. He has been having treatments for a month. Jeter just thinks he is too cool for school. I would actually rather see someone else play.

Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa said...

I'm not criticizing him, but honestly, I'm disappointed.

MicheleS said...

I love when politco's start talking base ball.
Skip to bottom of page 4 for the basebal discussion. I am sure they will post the video as well.. Lots of Nats/Bryce love in there as well.

Face the Nation

MicheleS said...

Sofa.. I wish Desi was going just so we could give him a Standing O from our living rooms. This isn't like Ian, so something has to be up. Either personal reasons or the Oblique is really bothering him more than we think (even though it doesn't show on the field)

baseballswami said...

Remember with morse, he could hit but not throw? Desi has gotten treatments for a month and obviously he can play but some days it really hurts. It must really hurt for him to pass this up or be afraid of dl time. Sounds like he consulted everyone he possibly could. How much did the nats "suggest" he not go?

MicheleS said...

Looks like the Sox just lost another OF to the quirks of Fenway

MicheleS said...

Swami, even though Davey has been saying "Bryce shouldn't go to Allstar game" I am betting MLB said, well, if no Desi, then you give us Bryce.

Gonat said...

karl ravech ‏@karlravechespn
I hope jeter shoulder cramp is not precursor to him missing all star game. He's been so good this season, really deserves to be there

baseballswami said...

Pardon me while I vomit.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Great when the boob tube geniuses start talking about who's buying and who's selling ... and not seeing the Nats listed as sellers. Ah, how times have changed!

peric said...

Either personal reasons or the Oblique is really bothering him more than we think (even though it doesn't show on the field)

He's got a very new family so ... you never know do you? I think it has to be pretty important for Desmond to do this given this would be his first time. The oblique probably is a part of it ... but as you seem to surmise there may likely be others?

Given how easily family stuff distracted the guy last year ??? But not so much this year? Makes you wonder ... Desmond does seem to get distracted by that stuff ... so ...

peric said...

and not seeing the Nats listed as sellers. Ah, how times have changed!

The Nats are going to stay the course ... the Orioles are starting to come apart at the seams ... as expected. No one expects that of the Nats. And it didn't come from trading prospects for ancient gloves and bats at the deadline as the Orioles seem poised to do.

The Nats have plenty of bullets left and to spare, even if I hate it when Rizzo keeps brining up Lannan. Maya pitched well again today and its Zach Duke, the lefty starter representing the Chiefs in the All Star game along with Corey Brown ... and they've added third baseman Carlos Rivero. Not bad for a team that had a horrendous start.

peric said...

Blank article about Johnson saying nothing less than division title is acceptable over at CSN. They and the Washington Times seem to have the most issues when it comes to web site slinging.

Gonat said...

baseballswami said...
Starting on Friday, JZim is number one in the rotation. Most innings pitched, lowest era. It's the whole run support thing that's frustrating. How can he only have 5 wins?

July 08, 2012 8:04 PM
_______________________________

Last year it was Jason Marquis getting the W's and run support and this year its Gio and Stras.

Last year and this year its Jordan Zimmermann not getting the run support and not getting the W's.

Why?

Jordan's previous 2 starts he got great run support so his RS average is now over 4 but that truly means nothing when you dive into all the 1 run losses.

Jordan deserves better than this because he clearly is doing his part, the offense isn't doing theirs.

baseballswami said...

I would have to look this up, but sometimes I feel that Stras and Gio get the stacked lineup. Then on JZim's day I will look at it and say , O, so Nady is getting a mercy start today. Thanks for that. Probably just fan paranoia but it has crossed my mind a few times that all the stops were pulled out to get wins for the golden two and then the bench players enter on day three.0

natsfan1a said...

Cool, I just found an early musical dispatch from Kansas City. :-)

Gonat said...

baseballswami, while that has certainly happened to JZim that he isn't getting the stacked lineup, the bigger issue is the many times he has received a tired bullpen or the "B" bullpen because the "A" guys worked too many innings the prior 2 games. The same thing has happened to EJax.

Stras is coming off TJ so its understandable and many times this year Stras has been the stopper. Gio on the other hand, hasn't gone more than 6 1/3 innings in his last 7 starts and his average innings per start is down to 5.98

NatsLady said...

Comments on the game from highheatstats.com

Rockies 4, @Nationals 3: Jordan Zimmermann (7 IP, 1 R) left with a 3-1 lead and a chance to even his record — a reasonable hope for a 2.61 ERA and especially in light of the team’s 40-2 mark when leading after 7. But Colorado tied it in the 8th before the Nats’ lefty tandem could record an out, leveling on a wild pitch by Mike Gonzalez, then went ahead in the 9th in the same wild fashion against Tyler Clippard.

That ended a 69-game streak without a wild pitch for Clippard, who averages about 1 a year. And the scoring may be changed; it should have been scored a passed ball — it’s not right to base the decision on the ball having bounced, if the catcher uses awful technique. You can bet that young Jhonatan Solano will be reminded not to stab at a bouncing breaker with a man on 3rd.
Rockies won their first series in over a month with their 2nd comeback win of the year starting from the 8th or later.
3B Jordan Pacheco sparked the go-ahead 9th with a leadoff double, his first extra-base hit in 22 games. He had been 22 for 73 in that stretch, all singles.
Franchise first: Three Nats had 2 steals – Ian Desmond, Bryce Harper and Roger Bernadina. Only once in the past 10 years did they have two players with 2+ steals.
Ian Desmond tied the franchise SS record with his 17th HR, a turnaround 2-run shot — the 6th HR in his last 13 games, with 15 RBI 14 extra-base hits.
Since homering in his 11th career game (it took dad 39 games), Eric Young had gone 179 games without another tater before connecting off Sean Burnett today.
Clippard’s one weakness in years past was the gopher ball, but he hasn’t been touched that way in his last 42 games. He’s 4th-best in SLG allowed and 3rd in OPS among those with 30+ IP.

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