Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Game 97: Nats at Mets

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Stephen Strasburg starts today's series finale at Citi Field.
NEW YORK -- Does the date July 5, 2005 mean anything to you? It should, because it was a milestone day in Nationals history. With a 3-2 victory over the Mets at RFK Stadium that evening, the Nats improved to 51-32. They haven't been 19 games over .500 since.

Today, they have the opportunity to get back to that high-water mark as they seek a sweep of the same Mets, this time at Citi Field. And who better to send to the mound for such a game than Stephen Strasburg, who undoubtedly is motivated to rebound from his last start in which he helped instigate that blown 9-0 lead against the Braves. There may be no pitcher in baseball teams would rather not have to face than Strasburg coming off a shaky outing. He's given up four or more earned runs only four times in his career; his ERA the start after he gave up those runs: 1.06.

Only one change to Davey Johnson's lineup from last night: Sandy Leon will be behind the plate. Jesus Flores (who has been dealing with a stiff back) came out of last night's game fine, and he made a couple of nice plays in the process, but Johnson didn't want to take his chances throwing Flores back out there after a short turnaround.

We've got a really early, 12:10 p.m. start today. If you're stuck in the office and can't watch, you're in luck -- plenty of updates and analysis to come right here...

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at NEW YORK METS
Where: Citi Field
Gametime: 1:10 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 184
Weather: Sunny, 80 degrees, Wind 9 mph LF to RF
NATIONALS (57-39)
2B Steve Lombardozzi
RF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
LF Michael Morse
SS Danny Espinosa
CF Roger Bernadina
C Sandy Leon
RHP Stephen Strasburg

METS (47-50)
SS Ruben Tejada
LF Jordany Valdespin
3B David Wright
1B Ike Davis
2B Daniel Murphy
RF Kirk Nieuwenhuis
C Josh Thole
CF Andres Torres
RHP Jeremy Hefner

UMPIRES
HP Jim Wolf
1B Derryl Cousins (cc)
2B Alan Porter
3B David Rackley

12:11 p.m. -- And we are underway on a gorgeous, 80-degree afternoon. Jeremy Hefner starts off Steve Lombardozzi with a fastball for strike one.

12:17 p.m. -- Bryce Harper hasn't been hitting as consistently in recent weeks as he was earlier in the season, but when he does get a hit, he's killing the ball. Think about his triple last week, his homer and go-ahead single Monday night, and now add his opposite-field double off Hefner in the top of the first today. Just destroyed that slider. Unfortunately, Harper was stranded at second base because Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche each struck out swinging at fastballs in the 90-91 mph range.

12:24 p.m. -- Let's see ... Stephen Strasburg threw nine pitches, eight of them strikes, struck out both Ruben Tejada and David Wright and got Jordany Valdespin to ground out during a 1-2-3 first inning. Yeah, he's not bad.

12:35 p.m. -- Michael Morse and Danny Espinosa, ladies and gentlemen. Back-to-back jacks to open the second inning. Morse sliced his down the right-field line, his latest opposite-field shot. (Of his seven homers this season, five have been hit to the right of straightaway center.) Espinosa, meanwhile, launched a pitch from Hefner well into the second deck down the right-field line. It's remarkable how locked in Danny is all of a sudden from the left side of the plate. 2-0 Nats as Strasburg take the mound for the bottom of the second.

12:42 p.m. -- Man, is the ball flying out to right field today, or what? Ike Davis takes Strasburg's first-pitch fastball down the line to lead off the bottom of the second with a solo homer. Daniel Murphy then roped a single to right as Strasburg showed his first signs of trouble today. No worries, he got Kirk Nieuwenhuis to ground into a 4-6-3 double play and Josh Thole to tap a weak grounder to third. Two innings in the books, Strasburg has thrown 14 of 19 pitches for strikes and the Nats hold a 2-1 lead.

12:55 p.m. -- Another chance for the Nats in the top of the third after Daniel Murphy booted Harper's potential double-play grounder. But Lombardozzi was thrown out trying to steal third (actually, he beat the throw but over-slid the base). That killed any momentum for a rally, so we head to the bottom of the third in what is still a 2-1 game.

1:02 p.m. -- Who says you can't pitch efficiently and still strike out batters? Through three innings, Strasburg has five K's and only 35 pitches. Impressive job by the right-hander going right after hitters today with his fastball. That's something Steve McCatty has been trying to pound into his head for a while now.

1:09 p.m. -- Everything's coming up Espinosa! Danny reaches on a bloop double down the left-field line in the top of the fourth, then later scores when Josh Thole can't hold onto Ike Davis' throw to the plate. Make it 3-1 Nats as we head to the bottom of the fourth.

1:16 p.m. -- Strasburg's really finding his groove now. He struck out five in a row at one point before the streak ended when Davis popped up to end the fourth. So he's got seven strikeouts overall despite a pitch count of only 47. He's just dialed in right now.

1:23 p.m. -- OK, here's the key Espinosa stat: His numbers vs. right-handers in July: .433 (23-53), six doubles, a triple, three homers, 10 RBI and a 1.221 OPS. That's a stunning turnaround from the left side of the plate for Danny. Still 3-1 Nats as we go to the bottom of the fifth.

1:32 p.m. -- The Mets picked up a hit in the bottom of the fifth, with Thole sending a double to deep left field. Morse, though, didn't exactly track that thing down with a lot of confidence. Not a routine play by any means, but he could've looked better trying to make it. Strasburg, of course, doesn't care because he's just mowing down everyone else. He struck out Kirk Nieuwenhuis on a 97 mph fastball, then got Andres Torres to fly out to right to end the fifth on 69 pitches (49 strikes). Nats still lead 3-1.

1:45 p.m. -- The Mets were really playing with fire in the top of the sixth. I mean, walking Bernadina AND Leon to bring up Strasburg with two outs? Unfortunately, the Nats' most potent hitter couldn't deliver this time. He struck out, proving his humanity in the process. We go to the bottom of the sixth.

2:07 p.m. -- Adam LaRoche said he'd be going back to his own bat today after using Roger Bernadina's lighter model last night against R.A. Dickey. Well, after striking out his first three times up today, I don't know if he switched back to Roger's bat. But whatever he used in the top of the seventh against lefty Tim Byrdak sure worked. LaRoche destroyed a 2-2 pitch, sending it past the second deck in right-center for a two-run blast. LaRoche now takes over the team lead with his 18th homer, and the Nats take a 5-1 lead as Strasburg takes the mound for the bottom of the seventh with 10 strikeouts on 84 pitches.

2:18 p.m. -- Stephen Strasburg, ladies and gentlemen: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 11 K, 94 pitches. Remember what I said at the top of this post about how he responds to bad starts? He did it again. Meanwhile, the Nats rotation over the last five games: 1.32 ERA, with four guys going seven innings and only Jordan Zimmermann being held to six. And it all started with ... John Lannan's gem against the Braves. Who'd have thunk it?

2:24 p.m. -- Henry Rodriguez in to pitch the eighth in relief of Strasburg, with the Nats up 5-1. Hold onto your hats, folks.

2:33 p.m. -- Well, nobody could have seen that coming. Henry walks the first batter he faces on four pitches. Steve McCatty comes out for a chat. Henry then walks the next batter. Davey Johnson comes out with the hook. Craig Stammen on for what is now a save situation.

2:49 p.m. -- Everybody out there still breathing? Good. Davey wound up using four relievers to get through the eighth inning, going from Rodriguez to Stammen to Sean Burnett to Drew Storen, who came through big-time to get David Wright to ground out with two runners in scoring position. Storen is starting to look more and more comfortable. If he's back for real, he's going to be a big weapon down the stretch. 5-2 now as we go to the ninth.

2:54 p.m. -- OK, here comes Tyler Clippard for the bottom of the ninth, the Nats still up 5-2.

3:04 p.m. -- Ballgame. Nats win 5-2. They sweep the series and move to 19 games over .500, matching the high-water mark in club history.

228 comments:

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Candide said...

Noon start, nice day, I think, "Hmmm, maybe I want to go out there today..."

Then I remember they're in NYC.

D'oh!

'Chili Mo' -- Section 3, My Sofa said...

Keep the updates coming, Mark, and thanks, but be sure to spend some quality time with your friends in the stands while Strasburg is still in the game.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

July 5, 2005 was also the beginning of the end for a team that didn't have Ace starting pitching.

This team has no similarities to that team except the name on the front of the jersey.

The best team in the NL right now is the Nationals and 19 games over .500 is part of battle to win the war. Another victory on the march to winning it all.

Candide said...

Ghost Of Steve M. said...This team has no similarities to that team except the name on the front of the jersey.

Not even that. The 2005 Nats' jerseys said "NATIONALS" across the front. That's been replaced by the Curly W.

Candide said...

Come September, there'll be one more similarity - the guy patrolling third base was there in September 2005.

mick said...

assuming Flores injuries are rest related, could Davey employ a bullpen type situation with Leon/Solano playing 7 innings and then Flores (games he does not start) coming in with the relief pitchers for defensive purposes?

natsfan1a said...

Yay, Valdespin in the lineup, so no pinch-hit dingers! Plus, there's a bowler in the OF!! Plus, my boss said I could take off to watch the game on tv!!! Yes!!!! (She's pretty awesome that way. ;-)) Go, SS! Go, NATS BATS!! (Er, did I just use too many exclamation points?? My aunt does that, so it must run in the family.)

Faraz Shaikh said...

i have a meeting at 12. can't even do gameday until 1. go nats!!!

Faraz Shaikh said...

wow I wanna work for your boss, 1a.

natsfan1a said...

She's a big Nats fan. Only thing is, it's a one-person office. :-)

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Candide, good point. Just the same city, not even the same stadium.

Tcostant said...

I hate lunch time meetings,

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Mick, Davey has to hope September 1st gets here quickly where he can callup Solano and Maldanado and carry 4 catchers. With 4 catchers, who knows. I could see Davey pinch-hitting and changing it up. Goal is to keep JFlo fresh. When JFlo is fresh, he will get you hits.

Natslifer said...

Once we reach this 19 game over mark, I'd like to be done comparing this team to '05. It is completely different now. I love listening and learning from Davey and understanding how a manager adds to the team. His discussion about "taking it 5 games at a time" (i.e., going from 15 to 20 to 25 games above .500) was a great little nugget about how to keep a great team motivated.

In this year, no matter the occasional stinker, there's enough of a body of work to convince me we're the best team in the NL East (and right now the whole NL) top to bottom. We're all learning how to be front-runners but I think it's time to turn the switch. Imagine you were a Phils fan on your way to any of the 100 win seasons. Don't think defensively - no sky is falling ever - just every day know that we're better than the team we're playing. We might lose a few but so be it.

I've had a such a great time this season and I'm making the switch.

natsfan1a said...

Agreed re. 2005 comparisons, Natslifer, but I don't think that they'll stop. Baseball's all about comparisons. Also, a fan terminology quibble: we're learning how to be winners, not front-runners (that's for the bandwagon fans). ;-)

Faraz Shaikh said...

I think he meant front-runner for the team, not for fans.

natsfan1a said...

That would make sense, Faraz.

A DC Wonk said...

NatsNut said...

Also, was there any specific commentary from announcers or writers on why Danny chose to hit Dickey from the right?


I read answers in the last thread regarding Danny's right handedness, etc., but I heard a completely different reason from Charlie and Dave last night. One of them said that it was the way Dickey's knuckler tailed in or out -- the movement was a bit more like one would see from a left-handed pitcher than a RHP.

FWIW

A DC Wonk said...

Hey -- great story about DRo suggesting to Shark about using a lighter bat (and spreading the idea to LaRoche for Dickey).

(And... recalling Werth's advice to Harper about when/how to steal against Hamels...)

When folk talk about having some "veteran presence" on the bench -- this is probably exactly what they mean.

And, fwiw, I think it's one of the extras that Davey Johnson (who hit 43 HR's one year, four time all-star and three-time gold glove winner at 2B) brings as a manager, too.

Theophilus T. S. said...

Espinosa said, on Loverro's program, I think, that Dickey's hard knuckler acts "like a cutter," breaking away from a LH hitter.

A DC Wonk said...

BTW, Nats _average_ home attendance now slightly over 30K per game (!). Quite a jump from last year at this time (slightly under 22.5K per).

(Where are those stupid sports junkies, or whoever, on this?)

A DC Wonk said...

T.S. -- I'll take a coke please. Preferably on game one of the playoffs! ;-)

Steady Eddie said...

Actually, Ghost and Csndide, I think the name in the front of the uniforms they're wearing today (on the road) IS the same as 2005 -- Washington.

Isn't it great that we can sit around and babble on about such crucial topics? After 33 years of baseball drought and seven years in the "spoiler at best" wilderness, I live every moment of this! And I love this team, not just because they're winners, but because rhey're a really worthy bunch of guys to take that winners role. How can you not loce a team with a guy like Morse who plays practical jokes in his teammates and then goes around the dugout hugging them?

Grandstander said...

Nice shout out to Mark by FP.

A DC Wonk said...

Other random notes from yesterday's games (as I get antsy waiting for the game) from youjustcantpredictbaseball:

- Zack Greinke homered off of Cliff Lee. Greinke now has as many home runs on the season as Cliff Lee has wins.

- the Pirates have the best home record in baseball.

- in a span of five batters, King Felix hit three of them.

Natslifer said...

I did mean "front-runner" for the team :) - I think we in here can safely say we're about as far opposite of front-runners as you can get.

BTW, despite me going to both Friday and Saturday morning's games, I did have one really great moment with my 8 year old on Saturday morning. He's been playing baseball for four years, is pretty knowledgeable but still a kid. As HRod walked out of the game with his head hung low, there was a lot of booing and a smattering of clapping. I looked at him and had him stand with me and clap. When we sat down, I said "son, you can think whatever you want of the team but with me you will never boo your own guys and you will never do the wave at this ballpark." He thought about it for a second and shook on it... just laying the foundation for a great decade to come.

GYFNG said...

Candide said...

Not even that. The 2005 Nats' jerseys said "NATIONALS" across the front. That's been replaced by the Curly W.

They might have said "Natinals."

A DC Wonk said...

Steady Eddie wrote:

After 33 years of baseball drought and seven years in the "spoiler at best" wilderness, I live every moment of this! And I love this team, not just because they're winners, but because rhey're a really worthy bunch of guys to take that winners role. How can you not loce a team with a guy like Morse who plays practical jokes in his teammates and then goes around the dugout hugging them?

I "live" this, too ;-)

But seriously. This is awesome. Another aspect of this season that makes it particularly fun for me is that we got to see the Nats build a team, almost from scratch, brick-by-brick. It's not like some good team got transplanted here -- it was a bad team with a depleted farm system. Kasten, and then Rizzo, had to start at ground zero. For the fan, it takes longer, but it's more fun, and definitely more rewarding that way.

And, thanks to the 'Net -- we had a ton of easily accessible information, to see which guys were coming up from the farm, draft day info, etc etc.

And, the FO did it the right way -- by stressing youth, and the future, and signing "good" guys, and getting rid of bad influences. No relying on old aging players year after year to prop up a couple more wins.

And, by doing it the right way, we see a _great_ future ahead of us.

Consider: not only are the Nats one of the, if not _the_ best teams in the NL, but they are also the _youngest_ team in the NL. What a combination!

Fun and _good_ solid baseball for years to come!

I'm lovin' it!! (And I've been off kool-ade for a while!)

Candide said...

Hey, I just noticed - they're not wearing the red batting helmets on the road this trip.

A DC Wonk said...

Strasburg first inning: 9 pitches, 8 for strikes, 2 K's and a ground out.

I love it when he starts that way ;-)

NatsJack in Florida said...

Best inning of pitching Stras has had in quite awhile.

dabassguy1 said...

Gorse-hackin'.

Love it.

Schumatrix said...

Gooot heeeeeeeeem!

dabassguy1 said...

Espy was jealous. He wanted a dinger too.

Natslifer said...

Woooooo hooooooooo!!!!

Swift Eagle said...

Espi's LH swing gets better everyday, don't see the loop any more...Coming out of the Soph Slump?

A DC Wonk said...

Hefner had Espi 0-2 (!!), but Espi kept fouling it off, and hit that HR on the 10th pitch of that at bat!!

Schumatrix said...

Yeah, Espi's swing is way more compact than it was when he was striking out every AB.

Schumatrix said...

With our best hitter (Strasburg) not contributing, how are we ever going to win the division? :/

Feel Wood said...

Best hitter Strasburg? That's soooooooo last month.

Schumatrix said...

Nice recovery right there. The ol' 4-6-3!

A DC Wonk said...

Oh, well, one run, but after two, Stras is still sitting at only 20 pitches (15 strikes).

Swift Eagle said...

Stras looking the best he has all year to me...Jack, looks like the old,easy motion,no stress...Here it is, Hit it...

NatsJack in Florida said...

After seeing that third strike to Tejada, that's the first time I've seen a pitch I would call a "power change".

NatsJack in Florida said...

Right Derek. This is the best he's looked in a while.

Swift Eagle said...

Berni and his Wonderboy bat still hitting line drives...

Fake bunt, steal would be a good play here...

NatsJack in Florida said...

How about a swinging bunt?

Swift Eagle said...

Of course, swinging bunt-E2 works too

Swift Eagle said...

Lots of strikes from Stras today, guess he wants to stay in a while...Watch for the Mets to swing early in the count...

Swift Eagle said...

Another filthy change

A DC Wonk said...

4th inning, 12 more pitches, two more K's.

Total: 4 innings, 47 pitches, 7 K's, 2 H, 1 ER.

Steady Eddie said...

Actually, Wonk, as you might imagine, that "live" this team was an iPhone autocorrect typo. But I'll take the Zen meaning anyway. And in terms of the way the Nats seem to be pushing other things like work and yard chores out of the way, "live" seems to be accurate in more ways too...

Looks like Stras is out for double digit Ks AND a low pitch count. Can only do that by relentlessly attacking the zone which is his MO today. Great to see.

Schumatrix said...

It's so nice when our guys throw strikes.

djinFl. said...

McCatty must have one heck of a meeting last week. We have now gone through the entire rotation without any of them nibbling at the corners.

A DC Wonk said...

OK, another hit.

After five complete:

5 IP, 68 pitches (48 strikes), 3 H, 1 ER, 8 K's

Fear and Ignorance said...

These innings today shouldn't even count towards his innings limit. #cruisecontrol

A DC Wonk said...

Steady Eddie said...

Actually, Wonk, as you might imagine, that "live" this team was an iPhone autocorrect typo. But I'll take the Zen meaning anyway.


I suspected it was a typo, but, either way, I was trying to imply that I agree with both meanings.

It appears we are both living this and loving it! ;-)

Thanks!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

djinFl. said...
McCatty must have one heck of a meeting last week. We have now gone through the entire rotation without any of them nibbling at the corners.

July 25, 2012 1:31 PM


Right you are. This is the only reason to get power pitchers is to go after hitters. Nibbling corners is for the soft-tossers who lack movement.

Its taken a while and JZim has really been schooling the rest of the staff based on the Cat's preachings to the youngsters of pitch to contact and quick innings. Stras still likes to get that K when he has 2 strikes on them.

Drew said...

Thole dented the pitch count a bit, but five innings in 68 pitches is very economical.

Davey's lesson about trusting your stuff and pounding the strike zone clearly hit home with the Big Fella.

A DC Wonk said...

I gotta say, Hefner is hanging in there better than I thought he would. Nats had him on the ropes a couple of times, but he didn't break.

(And, yes, I'm trying to jinx him ;-)

Faraz Shaikh said...

where did this guy's curveball come from? referring to mets pitcher.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

This is Hefner's last inning and into their 'pen!

Have to love the Shark getting a walk and pushing up that OBP. Batting average at .297

Still laugh at all those that said he was a waste on this team. While I didn't see Bernie as a starter, I certainly saw him as a key bench piece.

Brown is sitting another game. Would like to see him get some time.

Steady Eddie said...

Another thing with Stras -- we need always to keep in mind that in a first full post-TJ year, the command is going to come and go from one game to the next, as JZimm has testified. Clearly it's partly a matter of mindset, but it didn't seem in the Barves' game that Stras was intending to nibble. He just did not have command of his fastball, it was going all over the place. Kind if interesting that that wasn't mentioned in any of the Nats' remarks about it last time when JZimm had made such an emphatic point about it earlier this year (in talking about his greater reliability and command this year).

A DC Wonk said...

Davey's lesson about trusting your stuff and pounding the strike zone clearly hit home with the Big Fella.

Sometimes it takes getting bit a couple of times for new guys to learn (especially if they are already great). Lifetime, this is only his 37th start in the big leagues.

A DC Wonk said...

Steady Eddie said...

... it didn't seem in the Barves' game that Stras was intending to nibble. He just did not have command of his fastball, it was going all over the place.


Good point, Eddie. That's how I saw it, too.

Steady Eddie said...

And he hits double digit Ks!

Probably done for the day at 84 pitches and six innings, with his FB speed tailing off.

MicheleS said...

I love when Stras is dealing! I wish I had a TV, but Charlie and Dave are soo sweet to listen too!

Do you all think that Stras will be out in the 7th? He is only at 84 pitches right now.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Ghost.... I think you and I have been consistent in our view of Bernadina. Solid athlete that needed some cosistent playing time to establish some confidence.

Davey is a master at getting guys to achieve their potential.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Shark's OBP up to .375 That is just incredible. Smaller bat, better bat speed, and have to wonder if he took a shot of Zim's magic potion.

What I love is Shark is not trying to be a HR hitter like he thought he had to be in the 2011 off-season to win the corner OF position. Slap hitter with speed is a great thing when you can put up those big BA/OBP numbers.

Just another pleasant surprise this season.

Candide said...

Sometimes it takes getting bit a couple of times for new guys to learn (especially if they are already great). Lifetime, this is only his 37th start in the big leagues.

Imagine Stras's 2013 comparing to his 2012 the way Znn's 2012 is comparing to his 2011.

'Scuse me - I need to go get a tissue, wipe the drool off the keyboard.

A DC Wonk said...

MLB "scout" pointed out that all of Strasburg's fastballs to the last batter were 93 and 94 -- which is lower than earlier in the game.

In any event, after 6 full innings: 84 pitches, 4 Hits, 1 R, 10K's.

So far, this is proving the stat-geeks correct. It is not strike-outs that drive a pitch count up. It's primarily walks, and then hits. Strasburg's count is down, despite 10 K's, because he has zero walks and only four hits.

A DC Wonk said...

Candide said...

Imagine Stras's 2013 comparing to his 2012 the way Znn's 2012 is comparing to his 2011.


Wow.

A scary thought to anybody else in the league!

A DC Wonk said...

I never thought I would say this -- but, it's good we got Hefner out of there (!?!) to get to their weak bullpen.

A DC Wonk said...

OK, folks: manager time. Instead of second-guessing Davey _after_ the fact -- let's put your words out ahead of time.

Assuming Stras gets pulled after seven -- do we go to Burnett/Clip _again_, or somebody else?

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NatsJack, further on your point. Yes, Davey is the master with these hitters and while Rizzo doesn't like Bernie, Davey does and that's what I love is that it is Davey's 25 men.

He stuck with Danny probably longer than any Manager should of and they have made each other look good. I still thought Danny needed AAA time again but Davey found a way of making it work and all credit to him.

Davey also has a way of giving credit to Ecksteeeen instead of himself.

PFB Balls of Fire said...

Not sure how good the correlation really is, but keep in mind it is really pleasant, not too warm, not humid day in NY today. Just the way Stras likes it.

NatsJack in Florida said...

And with JZimm, it's just the begining. He'll be a beast for years to come.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Wonk, 8 man bullpen. Go double barrel and situational lefty/righty as needed and Clip for the 9th. Need to win this one for Stras.

Candide said...

F.P. - "That's why McKeesport never got a baseball stadium."

That plus the fact that it's only about ten miles from McKeesport to PNC Park, as the crow flies...

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NatsJack in Florida said...
And with JZimm, it's just the begining. He'll be a beast for years to come.

July 25, 2012 2:03 PM


Davey has done a great job in making him his post-All Star number 1 and JZim has responded well.

Candide said...

Seems it was just yesterday that it was fashionable to call injured and ineffective LaRoche, "LaWhiff."

A DC Wonk said...

OK, never mind. It's not quite as crucial with a 5-1 lead.

Thank you, Mr. LaRoche!!

Old Wino said...

Air must be thin in NY today...

Schumatrix said...

The Mets' bullpen is our best player!

Candide said...

Eighth inning - Henry. All that talk about the 25-man team, let's see it. If a four-run lead in the 8th isn't the time and place to bring in Henry, why is he still on the roster?

Old Wino said...

LaRoche leading the team in HRs, who predicted that?

Candide said...

...but have Mattheus warming up, just in case Henry's first pitch sails over the ump's head...

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NatsJack, and how about Stras looking more and more Verlanderish in these good starts. Moving locations and the 4 seamer with extra velo. Lots of K's looking today.

I wonder how many No-hitters Stras has in his future. I still think Leyland over-uses Verlie during the regular season and Davey is smart enough to save innings. Complete games are somewhat over-rated when the bigger picture is being an Ace into the post-season.

A DC Wonk said...

Candide said...

Eighth inning - Henry.


And/or Drew

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Old Wino said...
LaRoche leading the team in HRs, who predicted that?

July 25, 2012 2:08 PM


In January I had Prince Fielder leading the Nats in HRs.

A DC Wonk said...

Newbie-type question (from a fan of almost a half-century):

How does one distinguish (if you don't see the grip on the baseball) a 4-seamer from a 2-seamer?

Faraz Shaikh said...

I was going to make a point against 'MLB scout' but it did so all by itself by claiming 'SS has plenty left in tank' after saying in the earlier inning that 'SS velocity has gone down'.

A DC Wonk said...

In January I had Prince Fielder leading the Nats in HRs.

Well . . . you had the right _position_ ;-)

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Schumatrix said...
The Mets' bullpen is our best player!

July 25, 2012 2:07 PM


The Nats did to Hefner what the Yankees did to the Nats. Saw lots of pitches and got into the bullpen early.

Perfect formula to keep this going.

A DC Wonk said...

Let Stras pitch eight? Or save the inning for later in the season? (I vote for saving it, we have a deep bullpen and a four-run lead).

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

By the way, I would saved this inning from Stras with the 5-1 lead and sent him to the showers early.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Wonk, 4 vs. the 2 is grip only and the 2 seamer dips down. 4 has more velo.

Wang throws the power 2 seamer.

A DC Wonk said...

Stras: 7 IP, 94 pitches (63 strikes), 4H, 1R, 11K, zero BB

Masterful

Candide said...

Four-seamer has little movement, it's just blazing speed. Two-seamer moves like a screwball.

A DC Wonk said...

Ghost wrote: the 2 seamer dips down. 4 has more velo.

Ahhh, that's what I was missing.

Thanks.

MicheleS said...

I hope they replay this game tonight on MASN. I want to see it all.

JD said...

Storen for an inning?

NatsJack in Florida said...

Ghost.... It seems it's 85 pitches and the inning it occurs. Like he starts the 7th under 85 and as long as no one gets on, he finishes the inning. But ad soon as he hits 85 and someone gets on, he's done.

Candide said...

MicheleS said...I hope they replay this game tonight on MASN. I want to see it all. That's why God invented Tivo.

FWIW, MASN rebroadcasts games the following am, so set your DVR.

Candide said...

Awright, Henry's warming up with Stammen! Did I call it or what?

(Okay, almost - I said Mattheus...)

JD said...

The lead is not big enough for Henry. LOL

MicheleS said...

Look a Corey Brown Sighting!

Candide said...

JD said...The lead is not big enough for Henry. LOL

It's plenty big enough for GOOD Henry.

Twelve runs might not be enough for Bad Henry.

djinFl. said...

Mets announcer just said he hopes Stammen comes in. Henry can be wild and they have a long flight ahead.

NatsJack in Florida said...

See Corey, that's a double in AAA. Here, not so much.

Faraz Shaikh said...

are you serious, dj? haha, guess they don't get their wish. Henry it is. let's hope it is GOOD henry.

Candide said...

Thanks, Henry. Have a nice day.

JD said...

Why do we need this?

blovy8 said...

well, that seemed typical

Faraz Shaikh said...

nice, a four pitch walk. this guy is unreal.

SCNatsFan said...

You can't be serious

Tcostant said...

I think Davey must have Clipper on his fantasy team; bring in HRod so that Clipper can get into a save situation...

A DC Wonk said...

Oy! Short leash! Quick hook, Davey!!

Candide said...

Hell, we coulda kept Ankiel if we wanted this kind of pitching, and we'd have a great defensive outfielder to boot.

MicheleS said...

That's it.. Yank Henry (sorry, have no patience today). We do not need to blow another game

A DC Wonk said...

JD said...

Why do we need this?

5-1 was too boring.

A DC Wonk said...

I applaud Davey for trying. But two walks is my limit. I hope it's Davey's.

Faraz Shaikh said...

that was a strike, ump.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

It's called insanity Rizzo.

djinFl. said...

Well that didn't work out. No surprise to any one here.
Now the Mets announcers can start packing up.

NatsLady said...

JD, Davey said he wasn't using Storen today after he warmed up yesterday.

NatsFanSinceStart said...

DFA THIS USELESS PIECE OF $%$#!!! Yes, I'm a little worked up.

A beautiful game turned murky because of this Project???

He will be released tonight. And good, let someone else 'bring him along."

Fear and Ignorance said...

Davey...GET A CLUE!!! Do not pitch this guy again this year. Stash him away on the DL if you want to keep him in the organization. This is absurd.

SCNatsFan said...

Henry's only hope it to reinjure (cough) that finger

Faraz Shaikh said...

I don't think nats have had a triple play in their short history.

Old Wino said...

Oh well, keep hoping Henry will come around.

JD said...

That's called opening the door to a team that's dead in the water. I don't think we can keep doing this with Henry; not after the Friday disaster against the Braves.

NatsLady said...

Feel bad for Stammen. Not a lot of room for error.

Drew said...

For God's sake. What must he do to lose his job?

NatsFanSinceStart said...

A pennant contender just can't afford to experiment with a 'diamond in the rough' (real rough) in late July. gotta let him go.

mick said...

I have turned over a new leaf, no more nasty posts... following sjm advice..

Let me just say this though... I know HRod is a good kid, but I am speechless.

Davide said...

Why don't they send Henry to AAA and bring back Ankiel??Two batters,two walks is too much for everybody..

NatsLady said...

Problem is, he knows it. He knows his job is on the line with every pitch. No chance for Henry now, not here.

NatsFanSinceStart said...

Stammen has to bring it in there ....

NatsFanSinceStart said...

Uh oh.

rogieshan said...

I say trade HRod back to Oakland for Brad Peacock. Call it even.

mick said...

stay calm gang.... hee hee

Schumatrix said...

Throwing strikes is really important. I'm surprised these guys haven't learned that yet...

NatsFanSinceStart said...

No problem. Sinker - 6-4-3 only one scores.

A DC Wonk said...

Fear and Ignorance said...

Davey...GET A CLUE!!!


Typical. Nobody, I mean nobody, objected here to using him _before_ he blew up. And he was mentioned specifically.

JayB said...

uh....i may have mentioned how stupid Rizzo is for forcing HROD on this team. We are going to screw with the best season in 80 years in this town because of Rizzo's ego......Amazingly stupid baseball move.

A DC Wonk said...

Nightmare: David Wright batting this inning.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Rogie, Beane isn't insane.

mick said...

Nice play by the shark!

Candide said...

Nice play, Shark Man!

NatsFanSinceStart said...

Lots of wood on that line shot!!! Good job, shark.

m20832 said...

Can the HRod experiment be over? Please. He just doesn't have it.

NatsJack in Florida said...

More like Pea Bradcock and I'll call it even.

JaneB said...

Thank you Roger! I agree about Henry, he is needing a fresh start elsewhere. No hope here.

mick said...

if we can get out of this with only giving up 1-2 runs, I'll take it

NatsFanSinceStart said...

Oh man ... I hope Burnette is throwing strikes right of the bat (if you'll excuse the accidental pun).

A DC Wonk said...

mick said...

stay calm gang.... hee hee

Whaaaa????!!!!???

Mick, we're all so proud of you!!!

NatsJack in Florida said...

JayB....you really hate Rizzo, don't you?

mick said...

lol Wonk

NatsFanSinceStart said...

Question is, What team would really want Henry.

1 will get you 5 that Henry would clear waivers. then he can spend the rest of the year at AA learning something.

m20832 said...

Let's hope the BP doesn't blow the second of Stras's nice pitching!

JaneB said...

Valdespin HAS to have a bad day some time, like now. Right?

NatsFanSinceStart said...

Phew. That Two!!!

mick said...

Nice play, no problem giving up the run

JD said...

This is Davie playing the role of the gambler.It doesn't have anything to do with Rizzo. Rizzo wants to keep the kid because of his potential; there are games when we are behind when he can be used not in a situation like this.

NatsFanSinceStart said...

Okay Storen. Welcome back to the Bigs, Big Guy. Storen is just a week removed from getting rocked in Single A. (or was that AA)

Good luck, kid.

A DC Wonk said...

We are going to screw with the best season in 80 years in this town because of Rizzo's ego

Oh, puleeze, stop with that pants wetting psych-babble already, will you?

And even _if_ all Rizzo cared about was his ego (which I think is a crazy notion), surely he knows that if the Nats get to the World Series, he'd be lauded as GM of the year.

MicheleS said...

OMG.. I can't believe Drew is coming in so quickly. Did he have time to warm up?

Faraz Shaikh said...

WOW Storen against Wright?

NatsLady said...

Wonk, I was in the shower, hard to type from there. But I still might not have objected. If Henry can't succeed with bases clean, 80 degree day, sunny, 5-1 and the bottom of the order coming up, when can he? So the answer is, he can't. End of story--even I have lost hope.

Guess Davey is going to use Storen.

JaneB said...

David is 0-6 against Drew? Glad Davey is bringing him in.

djinFl. said...

Time to walk Mr. Wright!

A DC Wonk said...

JaneB said...

Valdespin HAS to have a bad day some time, like now. Right?

Of course! He wasn't pinch hitting!!

Candide said...

NFSS, I think you're right. You take Henry, you take his contract, and honestly, would you pay him a bag of cheeseburgers, let alone the remainder of this $491,000 salary for this year?

mick said...

Wright 0-6 verse Drew lifetime, Davey playing the odds

A DC Wonk said...

Ummm . . . _this_ wasn't the situation I had in mind for Drew!!

Gulp!

NatsFanSinceStart said...

How amped up must Storen be?

NatsFanSinceStart said...

Wright is OVERDUE

mick said...

Storen may not throw him anything

Tcostant said...

Just like I said, he wants Clipper to get a save...

NatsFanSinceStart said...

Flat slider Ball 1

NatsFanSinceStart said...

Lively slider, low Ball 2

mick said...

I would have rather seen Davey start off with drew this inning in hindsight

NatsFanSinceStart said...

Good slider 2-1

Wright sitting on a fast ball lookout

Candide said...

Way to go, Drew!!!

mick said...

hee hee way to go Drew my boy!

MicheleS said...

Mick..

I am soo proud of you! Major progress or no Corona today.

And PHEW.. Wright must hate seeing Storen come in!

NatsFanSinceStart said...

HOOOOOOO HOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

The the Big Leagues, Baby!!!!!!

Henry: Get outta my sight and off my team!!!!!!

A DC Wonk said...

Druuuuuuuuuuuuu!!!!!!!!!!!!

mick said...

how bout letting Drew close this one?

NatsLady said...

THANK YOU, Mr. Stammen, Mr. Burnett, and Mr. Storen. Now, guys, get a run so Clip can rest up for the Brewers.

NatsLady said...

mick, no. Don't push our luck. Really hope Davey doesn't push his.

mick said...

Michele, to early to drink today, lol

MicheleS said...

NatsLady.. I woul like more than 1 run. Like say several more? Want the 9th to be a laugher.

mick said...

it was just a thought natslady

rogieshan said...

Storen deserves to finish the game and collect his own save here.

NatsFanSinceStart said...

Now, we add on a couple more -- Harper hits his 10th. Cruising for Clip.

JD said...

As I said if Rizzo absolutely wants to protect Henry for possible future greatness Davie must only use him if we are behind be enough runs that a comeback is not likely; like last week's Gio game. I don't think we should tempt fate again like this.

Candide said...

You know, we're still allowed to tack on a couple or three more runs here in the 9th. Ain't no law says we gotta sit on a three-run lead.

Tcostant said...

Come on NatsFanSincetheStart; Henry wouldn't get past the Rookies if released.

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