Thursday, July 19, 2012

Instant analysis: Mets 9, Nats 5

US Presswire photo
David Wright clubbed a pair of home runs to give the Mets an early lead.
Game in a nutshell: A couple of 12-game winners and All-Stars opposing each other on the mound? Sounds like a great pitchers' duel, right? Well, not entirely. R.A. Dickey held up his part of the bargain, tossing 7 1/3 strong innings. Gio Gonzalez, however, labored through his worst start of the season. The lefty was tagged for six earned runs in only 3 1/3 innings, three of those runs scoring on homers. And the Mets weren't done raking at the plate. David Wright crushed a three-run blast off Craig Stammen in the fourth, his second home run of the afternoon. Trailing 9-1 after that, the Nationals just played out the string, though there was an encouraging sight at day's end: Drew Storen made his season debut, tossing a 1-2-3 ninth and hitting 93 mph with his fastball.

Hitting highlight: Tough to find many offensive highlights when you're down 9-1 in the sixth inning, but how about some recognition for Sandy Leon. The poor guy's big-league debut in May didn't even last four innings before he suffered a high ankle sprain on a collision at the plate. He finally returned today and wound up recording his first career hit in the process: a single off Dickey to lead off the seventh inning. GM Mike Rizzo espoused confidence earlier today in Leon, who may get his share of time behind the plate as the Nationals try to give Jesus Flores some more breathers before the stretch run. If he can produce the occasional hit at the plate, that will help his cause for playing time.

Pitching lowlight: Gonzalez clearly didn't have it from the moment he took the mound. Three batters into his afternoon, he grooved a first-pitch fastball to Wright, who belted it to left for a two-run homer. Ike Davis added a solo blast to lead off the second, and it just continued to go downhill from there. Gonzalez had all sorts of trouble locating his fastball, leading to three walks. And those pitches that did find the strike zone were hammered. After allowing one homer in his first 14 starts this season, he's now served up five over his last five outings. Cause for concern? Not yet. But Gio has not been the same pitcher over the last month he was through the season's first 2 1/2 months.

Key stat: At 3.32, Gonzalez's ERA is now at its highest point since April 12 (when it sat at 3.38 following his second start of the season).

Up next: Biggest series of the year upcoming? You could make a case for it as the second-place Braves (who now trail the Nationals by 3 1/2 games) come to D.C. for a four-games-in-three-days showdown. Stephen Strasburg and Tommy Hanson get things started at 7:05 p.m. Friday.


baseballswami said...

They never go down easy. The opposing team has to work for it every last out.

Faraz Shaikh said...

I think they did more than 'played out the string'. If Harper gets a hit in his last at-bat, becomes an uncomfortably close game for Mets and Braves fans.

Secret wasian man said...

Cant win em all Gio was horrible though. Thats a one man loss. Gotta get two this weekend. That would keep it at 3.5 games.

sm13 said...

Sure have been way fewer of these sort of games than in years past. Stuff happens

Tcostant said...

Hopefully I can bring my broom when I'm there on Sunday!

Kirbs said...

These things happen over 162 games.Gio couldn't locate his fastball. it was great to see the heart of this team and fight back...I don't remember Drew having that much sink on his fastball.

peric said...

They just let Xavier Paul go about a week ago. He seemed like a better player than DeRosa, to me, on many counts. Am I missing something?.

You're missing a lot Laddie Blah Blah: Xavier Paul is a left-hand ed hitting outfielder ... the Nats JUST RELEASED one of those (Rick Ankiel). Why? Corey Brown, Roger Bernadina, Brian Goodwin, Bryce Harper, and apparently Steve Lombardozzi is serviceable in the outfield as is a switch hitter?

Mark DeRosa is a RIGHT HANDED infielder, right now he is the UTL while Lombo plays at second more to give Desmond time off.

His replacement would undoubtedly be Mark Teahen who can play just about all the positions in the infield but bats left.

peric said...

Series win: 2 out of 3. That's a good thing.

Clippard and Gio having problems? Not a good thing especially with Stra's impending shutdown looming.

But, I'm sure Rizzo and Johnson will address that the right way.

rogieshan said...

Always a tough day mentally when a fellow - and respected - teammate is sent packing. I seem to remember the Nats taking a beating the same day Brad Lidge was released.

peric said...

Corey Brown (ostensibly Rick Ankiel's replacement):

21 HOME RUNS, 19 DOUBLES, 7 TRIPLES, .300 BA, .948 OPS

Advanced stat-wise:

359 PA, 0.407 wOBA, 24.6 bRAA (batted runs above average).

To quote FP Santangelo: "Bring him up he's ready".

peric said...

Corey Brown now also has 57 RBI, 69 runs, and a .383 OBP in the lead-off spot. And he is the best fielding CF in the system.

hiramhover said...


Are you sure that's this year's line for Corey Brown, or is it last year's, for Matt Antonelli?

baseballswami said...

I think I heard Davey mention his name, Peric. I know I should feel really, really bad about this loss. Somehow, I am ok with it.I have been watching baseball long enough to know that these things happen - thankfully they hardly ever happen to us. Lots of good things ended up happening today - people got some rest, others got ab's , and good ones, too! Drew made his return ( hooray!) and Henry was good Henry. The team never quit, but didn't waste themselves for the weekend. Desi looked like Desi and the hitters got to see lots of RA Dickey's pitches. Plus - they got hits off of him. Sandy Leon got his feet wet and got his first hit. No one is overconfident going into the weekend. Not bad for a loss, that surprisingly didn't feel like a blow out for much of the game.I realized at some point that they always have a chance to come back and I believed that they might. Turn the page and get the bourbon and maalox ready.

peric said...

Are you sure that's this year's line for Corey Brown, or is it last year's, for Matt Antonelli?

Few in the minors are doing that good offensively, certainly not Antonelli either this year with the Orioles and Yankees or last year with the Nats in AAA.

Its pretty much off the charts Hiramhover. And IMO its why Rick Ankiel was release because Corey Brown may not have the same arm as Ankiel (who does?) but he is just as good if not a better outfielder and his arm is pretty darned good. The question has always been his bat.

JD said...


The outfield in about 2 weeks will consist of Werth, Harper and Morse. I am a proponent of Corey Brown but why bring him up if he can't play everyday?

The can bring him up and they just might but he will get Bernadina quantity of at bats at best. They can bring him up now; platoon him with Moore and sit Bernadina down (not a bad idea).

PS. They won't bench Werth.

Section 222 said...

Are you sure that's this year's line for Corey Brown, or is it last year's, for Matt Antonelli?

POTD. Well played HH.

Clip&Store said...

peric,we will give you a hint why..

there are 126 million reasons...

Anonymous said...

Werth. Ugh.

JD said...

Corey Brown is:

7th in the IL in BA.
1st in runs scored.
1st in hits.
16th in doubles.
2nd in triples.
3rd in Home runs.
6th in RBI's
1st in total bases.
7th in walks.
4th in strike outs
19th in stolen bases.
4th in OBP
3rd in slugging
3rd in OPS.

Definitely graduated this level win honors.

baseballswami said...

Before this game, did any of you think there would be 25 hits and 14 runs? Dickey and Gio? I would have missed that one by a mile.

JD said...

Not saying his stats translate exactly into the majors but he's definitely earned a shot. no?

baseballswami said...

I see we have some serious fan-crushes on a certain someone in Syracuse.

JD said...


They have both been trending downward lately so I didn't expect a double no hitter or anything but Gio in particular pitched pretty poorly. Let's see how he bounces back next week in NY.

JD said...


I have never seen Brown play. I just always felt that when you dominate a level it's time to move up. He may well turn out to be a AAAA player but how do you know this before you try?

He's definitely no worse than Ankiel or Bernadina just based on the numbers.

baseballswami said...

Agreed that neither has been at peak - but that was one for the books. Usually if we score 5 we win. And only scoring 5 with 14 hits? I think we may have given up 10 to the Rockies - in Colorado, but giving up 9 with our staff at home is certainly not an everyday thing. And it can be over now.

baseballswami said...

JD - regarding Brown, ( and not Gio or RA) - I don't know all that much about him, but with Werth coming up I don't see any wiggle room until September. I don't see them replacing Moore or Lombo with him, even though he, ( Brown), is a natural outfielder. We have minor leaguers blocked all over the place - outfield and 1B, especially. Unfortunately he will probably only get a chance if someone gets hurt or swoons terribly.

JD said...


I agree that unless something opens up due to a trade on July 31st there is no real opportunity to move Brown up; otherwise it's probably Sept. 1st.

Section 222 said...

I get that Brown is having a good year in AAA. And I get that some people think he deserves a shot at playing in the bigs. I also get that some people don't think much of Werth. But it seems like wasted breath to argue that Brown should come up and play CF when it looks like Werth is only a few weeks away from rejoining the team. It's pretty much a certainty that our outfield at that point is going to be Morse in LF, Harper in CF, and Werth in RF. Brown will get a September callup, just as he did last year. But his best shot at cracking the lineup is next spring, and only if (1) ALR moves on after this year and Morse to 1B; (2) Rizzo doesn't make a move to get a Bourn or another CF.

And then what do you do with don't call me Mary, Tyler Moore?

JaneB said...

I love that these guys didn't give up. If Harper gets a hit in the 8th, it's a whole new game. I'm not upset either. We took the series. That's what we have to do this weekend, too.

JD said...

Sec 222,

This is where you can make smart trades to create spaces for players and this is also why ALR is not likely to be retained. Similarly and contrary to what Peric thinks Zim is not moving to 1st anytime soon; the value under which he was signed presupposes that he plays 3rd base for years to come.

What this also means is that once and if Rendon regains his health and reaches the form expected from him he will more than likely be used in a trade to fill a needed spot (I don't think he's moving to 2nd base).

I think Bourn is a non starter. Why spend that type of money if you have the pieces in house at a fraction of the cost?

NatsNut said...

What about Good Henry today, huh? 1+ scoreless innings! I wonder if he is one that Davey is "handling" but doesn't know he's being handled. =)

baseballswami said...

Oh, I definitely think so NatsNut. From what I heard on the radio from McCatty today, they are really trying to get him in a good place. Do you all realize how close we actually came to rebounding and winning this game? I just love it that even when our guys end up losing, they just make the other team scrap and claw and pay. I really think the Mets will know that they have been here. I feel like even when we split, like the Rockies and Miami, we leave them spent. I would just love it if other teams dreaded coming to NatsPark. I picture them just dragging themselves out of here. Terry Collins had to use everything he could think of to save a game that started out 9-1. Keep it up, guys!!!

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