Monday, July 16, 2012

Instant analysis: Marlins 5, Nats 3

Associated Press photo
Edwin Jackson gave up four runs in five-plus innings.
Game in a nutshell: With a chance to pull off a series victory to open the season's second half, the Nationals instead had to settle for a split with the Marlins. They certainly had opportunities to win this one, rapping out 11 hits and putting a bunch of runners in scoring position. But they couldn't push enough of those runners across, in part because they couldn't avoid the double play. They hit into an incredible four twin-killings in the first six innings alone, two of those on well-struck line drives. This on a night when Edwin Jackson wasn't at his best. The right-hander gave up four runs in five-plus innings, all four coming in the bottom of the third. Thus, the Nats head home with a 51-36 record, their lead over the idle Braves down to 2 1/2 games.

Hitting highlight: They came in a losing effort, but the hitting performances of Ryan Zimmerman and Danny Espinosa shouldn't be ignored. Zimmerman continued his torrid streak at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a single, a double and a homer (plus a fastball in the small of his back for good measure). The difference in Zimmerman's power stroke since he received the cortisone shot 22 days ago has been striking: He's clubbed seven homers with eight doubles during that span. Espinosa, meanwhile, singled, doubled and tripled, all from the left side of the plate. He's looked much more comfortable over there in recent days, and if he can sustain that stroke, he and the Nationals will certainly benefit in the long run.

Pitching lowlight: Remember when we all were touting Jackson as the best No. 4 starter in baseball a couple of weeks ago? Well, in three starts since, the right-hander has a 10.54 ERA, having allowed 16 earned runs on 21 hits in only 13 2/3 innings. In the process, he's seen his ERA jump to 3.89 from 2.91. As has frequently been the case when he's struggled, Jackson was done in by one bad inning. Unlike previous games, it wasn't the first inning that got him but the third. It wasn't entirely Jackson's fault; he gave up a two-run single to Carlos Lee on a breaking ball at his shoelaces. But the big blow was entirely Jackson's fault; he grooved a 1-0 fastball down the middle to Hanley Ramirez, who sent the ball on a beeline to the Home Run Sculpture in left-center field.

Key stat: The Nationals have caught only 10 of 59 would-be basestealers this season. The last time they did it: June 12 in Toronto.

Up next: The Nationals open a key homestand against their two closest challengers in the NL East. The Braves will be in town for four games over the weekend, but first it'll be the Mets for three. Ross Detwiler faces Jonathon Niese in Tuesday's 7:05 p.m. opener.

34 comments:

mick said...

my analysis is if the Nats are counting on LaRoche to hot cleanup, another 2005 collapse will happen sooner

mick said...

Adam you make Brian Scheinder look like Babe Ruth

ExposedinDC said...

I like Jesus Flores.....but as a starting catcher on a championship caliber team, not so much...he is a very good backup....I am sick of everybody blaming the pitchers for our lack of base stealers caught and Jesus is a designated rally killer more often then not...we need an upgrade in that area IMHO.

mick said...

There is a reason Ejax has played for 6 teams gang, hello!!!!

jesse campion said...

Can anyone explain why DeRosa still see's any action on this team? Can't hit and can't field. At least Ankiel is a great fielder.

mick said...
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mick said...

Strass, Zim and Gio are set, we really need to find 2 more pitchers. They may be in our farm system now, Detweiler could be a reliable 5th starter, but we really need another starter going into 2013 and ejax AINT IT!!!

mick said...

jesse campion said...
Can anyone explain why DeRosa still see's any action on this team? Can't hit and can't field

jesse, this a bigger mystery than Stonehedge, lol

Section 135 said...

If we expect to go to the postseason with Flores and Solano as catcher without making a deal we might as well shut down Strasburg now and wait till next year. Good teams fix their holes at the trade deadline. I expect Rizzo to fix ours. Also, you got to assume DeRosa is on borrowed time. The frequent at bats he's getting are letting him try to prove himself before getting DFA'd.

momcd87 said...

Flores is NOT a major league hitter...and laroche needs to not swing at complete garbage, low and away...all the time, those two lost the game for us, can't hit

momcd87 said...

Next 7 games are critical, we need to win 5....I'm starting to think collapse again if they blow these next 2 series...the other teams can easily sneak up on us

NatsLady said...

Davey/Rizzo might want to reconsider on bringing Lannan up for the Saturday doubleheader. Or if he comes up, please let him pitch the afternoon game, since I won't be there.

6 earned in 5 IP, including 2 HR.

Chiefs box score

http://www.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?sid=t552&t=g_box&gid=2012_07_16_syraaa_pawaaa_1

mick said...

momcd87

I have the same feeling

I think this team could easily go into the tank in a week. But, this what Davey has to fix in 2013. We need another starting pitcher in 2013, we will have Ramos back and thus a catcher that can hit. I would keep Solano and trade Flores. I would try to deal off LaRoche if his contract allows for it and I would go with Moore at first and bring up 2-3 of our young prospects. then we are talking about a legitimate contender with no more pitching limits on Strass.

We still have some unwanted garbage on this team, but Davey and Rizzo are doing a good job at the right pace to make this franchise solid



.

Section 222 said...

So before this game, E-Jax had a terrible ERA in the first inning and a very good one for the second inning on. That was an interesting stat and perhaps indicated a problem with this preparation or concentration. So today, he does fine in the first, and then has a bad inning later on. That simply is not the same thing, yet Mark asked both Davey and E-Jax if there's a pattern here -- one bad inning. Probably one out of three starts, or maybe more, for any pitcher features one bad inning (often the last inning he pitches) and the rest are fine. That's not a pattern. It's baseball.

mick said...

Ejax can not be in the long term plan and please, pretty please, Davey show HRod and Gonzales the door as well. Bring up Rosenbaum next season with Rendon and Cory Brown, If Brown does not produce next Spring then hello, get rid of him!

mick said...

and we sign gioloto?? I mean I think we are set at pitching. So, next season, maybe a lead off hitter via a trade. we are so close

mick said...
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mick said...

I'm not writing this season off, I am just being realistic about our chances of winning the East, I do think we should make it to the playoffs, but we still have a few areas, although minor that need one more season to fix to be real contenders.

I just cannot see this team winning the NL with Flores, LaRoche and Espi as starters and only 3 starting pitchers, one that has to be shut down in September. If Detweiler fails then we are down to to only two because Ejax has lost me.

Fear and Ignorance said...

Don't look now, but here come the Phillies. Do NOT count them out. It is a good thing we built a nice lead, because the team they are putting on the field right now is better than the team we are putting on the field.

whatsanattau said...

My goodness, one or two posters can turn this environment sour in a hurry. It's like they've just been waiting for a loss to cry about. It's really not that bad. Zimmerman is pretty hot and the Mets are not. Det, Zimm, and Gio for the next three. Desi back as soon as tomorrow (though an extra day or two would be ok with me). Let's not shoot the horse till we are sure the leg is broke. Might just need a new shoe.

Feel Wood said...

That's not a pattern. It's baseball.

It's not just baseball. It's Biblical. Genesis 1:1 "In the big inning..."

peric said...

Part of Espinosa's sudden surge may be that he has to think about something new and different: playing shortstop again. It might behoove the Nats bats to let Desi rest a few more days and see ow this plays out. If Espy can get his bat in the same groove it was at the beginning of last year it might be a huge help.

Sec.3, My Sofa said...

My goodness, one or two posters can turn this environment sour in a hurry.

Indeed.

peric said...
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peric said...

My goodness, one or two posters can turn this environment sour in a hurry.
Indeed.


It might be better if they lose first place now ... instead of later after they shutdown Stras. Its something that has to be done and for many of these young players it might not be the best "environment" to manage if they are in first place and then suddenly tumble out of first because Stras is shutdown for the year.

Perhaps its better to lower expectations a tad while the prospects percolate and develop .... and yes THAT DOES include Espinosa and H-Rod.

Fear and Ignorance said...

Not only are they now just 2.5 games up in the division, but they are also just 2.5 games up for the 4th wild card and 3.5 for the 5th wild card. The hitting continues to be the Achilles' heel of this team...way too much reliance on a 19 year old. I mean, name one position on this team besides SS where the offensive production has exceeded expectations. They are pretty much healthy now, so I am hoping they can put it together for the stretch run. Time to go get some hitting help Mr. Rizzo!!!

JaneB said...

Jeez Louise! Let's let them play and not worry about when or if they lose first place. Hold the positive thought and intention, rather than planning for disappointment on a made up schedule. They split the series against the team we couldn't beat a year ago. We see the Mets and the Braves at home, where we do well. Get a grip people! Have some kool aid! Teams win for lots of reasons, and fans BELIEVING IN THEM makes a difference,

rdexposfan said...

The Chicken Little boys are out. The sky is falling. Nats still sport the best record in the National League. Waaahh waaahh is all I ever hear from certain posters here. The only time we ever hear from them when there is a loss. This is a good team and will be even better next year as the youngsters gain that experience. There is going to be growing pains. Enjoy it after the last few years of misery.

Joe Seamhead said...

I just read this thread and I am amazed at the gloom and doom. JaneiB I'm filling my glass. From last fall I have said that this was going to be a dogfight with the Nats and the Braves. Fear and Ignorant, the Phillies were out of it in June and will be out of it for the next several seasons. They are old, and honestly, they stink.their defense stinks, their bullpen stinks, their starting pitching stinks, and their GM stinks. Other then that...they stink.
GYFNG!!!

ehay2k said...

Seamhead, you forgot that after they give Colbert a big fat contract, they will also be BROKE! Utley, Howard, and Hamels will cost them something like $60 million/year!!!

Tick-tock, says my creaky Phillies Clock.

Donald said...

Don't understand the pessimism here. They split a tough series on the road against their nemesis and they were in the games they lost to the end. It could easily have been a much better series, but a split on the road is nothing to sneeze at. If they can play .500 away, and .575 at home, they'll win 91 games and waltz into the playoffs.

natsfan1a said...
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natsfan1a said...

Indubitably, even (takes a gulp of delicious red beverage, ahhh, that's some good [stuff]). btw, good to "see" you, whatsanattau. Have missed your posts of late. Cheers. :-)

Sec.3, My Sofa said...

My goodness, one or two posters can turn this environment sour in a hurry.

Indeed.

peric said...

They are pretty much healthy now, so I am hoping they can put it together for the stretch run. Time to go get some hitting help Mr. Rizzo!!!

Sorry, F&I as I keep reminding you this isn't the Orioles ... and where have such moves gotten them? The guy they acquired last year, Jonny Gomes, suddenly he is hitting and has 10 homers last year nada for the Nats?

Let's still with Tyler Moore, Corey Brown, Mark Teahen, Jim Negrych, Carlos Rivero and Zach Walters (who is looking more and more like another Desmond / Espinosa shooting up through the top minor)

The Oriole way IS NOT the right way!

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