Monday, July 23, 2012

Instant analysis: Nats 8, Mets 2 (10)

US Presswire photo
Bryce Harper connected for his first homer since June 28.
Game in a nutshell: Jordan Zimmermann did his usual thing, allowing one run over six sparkling innings. And the Nationals jumped out to a 2-0 lead on Bryce Harper's first home run since June 28. But they were silenced at the plate by the soft-tossing Chris Young after that, and some curious bullpen maneuvers by Davey Johnson in the bottom of the seventh -- Drew Storen only faced one batter before he was replaced by Michael Gonzalez, who gave up the game-tying homer to Ike Davis -- prevented Zimmermann from earning his eighth win. The game wound up in extra innings, at which point a Nationals lineup that had been stagnant almost the entire night suddenly sprung to life in spectacular fashion. In succession in the top of the 10th, Harper laced an RBI single, Ryan Zimmerman cleared the bases with a double and Michael Morse launched a 2-run homer. How often do you see a team win in extra innings by 6 runs? Well, the Nats just did it. And thanks to the Braves' loss in Miami, they now lead the NL East by 4 1/2 games.

Hitting highlight: When the Nationals opened the bottom of the first with three hits off Young, including Harper's two-run homer, they looked poised to pick up where they left off during yesterday's 9-run explosion. Then they were completely wiped out by a right-hander with an 84-mph fastball. Young didn't give up another hit through the seventh inning, when he finally departed. It was a weak offensive showing from a lineup that had been red-hot, against a pitcher who clearly didn't have overwhelming stuff. Yet that all felt insignificant in the top of the 10th. Harper, Zimmerman and Morse completely changed the storyline, each crushing a pitch from Pedro Beato with more authority than the previous one. Pretty remarkable how a team can go from what looked like a feeble performance at the plate to a dominant one.

Pitching highlight: Leave it to Mr. Consistency to do what he always does: Pitch six quality innings. For the 20th time in 20 starts this season, Zimmermann went at least six. And for the 12th time in those 20 starts, he allowed zero or one earned run. Zimmermann's lone mistake: a solo homer by David Wright in the bottom of the fourth. Otherwise, he was effective as always, needing a respectable 89 pitches to complete those six innings. He easily could have gone deeper, but Johnson decided to pinch-hit for Zimmermann in the top of the seventh, a move that wound up backfiring when Tyler Moore struck out and Gonzalez gave up the tying run.

Key stat: Zimmermann entered the game throwing 68 percent of his pitches for strikes, the fourth-best rate in the majors this season. And he topped that mark tonight, throwing 73 percent of his pitches (65 of 89) for strikes.

Up next: Game 2 of the series features a rematch of what last week figured to be a great pitchers' duel between Gio Gonzalez and R.A. Dickey. Gonzalez, though, will have to bounce back after the shortest start of his season: only 3 1/3 innings. First pitch at Citi Field is at 7:10 p.m.

64 comments:

MicheleS said...

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! #56 is in the books!

Swift Eagle said...

6 runs in the 10th...most in 1 inning all year I believe

Mr. Doggett said...

Love the shark doing the little things to help the team. That hit and then slide into second turned it all around.

Doc said...

Interesting how one play can turn a game around. The Shark's hard slide into Tejada, breaking up what was an automatic DP, set the stage for everthing thereafter.

NatsLady said...

FP's shirt. Glow in the dark!!! Great win. Sorry JZ didn't get it, but the team did. 4.5

Les_in_NC said...

had to put the kiddos to bed after the Bernadina single in the 10th, came back to find we had scored 6!!

Where are those doomsday prophets now?

Wooooo Hoooooo!

ehay2k said...

Sweet win, demoralizing for the Mets, and used up their BP a lot again. Let's put a hurt on them tomorrow!

NatsLady, sorry the Fish won, but take solace that they beat the Barves.

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

Actually, tho I love the Shark, Tejada had already dropped the throw when Roger (cleanly done) spiked him in the ankle.

Swift Eagle said...

I've said this before, but someday when the Nats win the World Series, I really think some of the Legion of Doom will be on here the next day complaining about the parade route...

A DC Wonk said...

Les_in_NC said...

Where are those doomsday prophets now?


I could try to imitate one. (I'll be more polite, however)

How's this?

peric said...

Appears Davey's intuition is working tonight.


How can you say that? He used four relief pitchers, and one of them gave up a run!

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

Davey?? He burned 20% of the starting rotation on one game!

Swift Eagle said...

Haha Wonk!!! I'll try too...

The Nats hitters actually made 30 outs tonight, in only 1 game! When, oh when, will they finally fire Eck??

NatsLady said...

Apparently the Fish would have had a tie game except for a bad call by one of our favorite umps, Laz Diaz, and that's why Freddi got ejected.

Big cheer from M's fans for Ichiro. Class.

Gonat said...

All good points on Bernadina. Biggest disappointment was the poor bunt by DeRosa in the next at-bat. That could have been a disaster.

A very nice win! 4 1/2 game lead in the East.

NatsLady said...

Gotta be weird for Seattle fans. Loud cheer again when Ichiro gets a base hit against them. And updating the Ichiro-meter.

Gonat said...

BTW, I love Beato. I was hoping for a Wild Pitch and got much much more than that!!!!

Kardiac Kids!!!!!!

RickH said...

17 games above .500!

A DC Wonk said...

ehay2k said...

Sweet win, demoralizing for the Mets, and used up their BP a lot again.


Good point. The Mets used 5 relief pitchers tonight. ANd t hey used 5 the night before (where they lost in a similar way: they came from behind to tie it up, and then let up 5 Dodger runs in the 13th).

And the night before that, their bullpen, already exhausted from even before, used 3 relief pitchers, and then Dickey as their fourth -- and he let up two runs in the one inning he pitched.

Tommorrow's goal: get Dickey out as early as possible.

Swift Eagle said...

Nats haven't had BP since Friday I think...maybe that was part of the slow start? Some great ABs when they really needed them though

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

The Nats hitters actually made 30 outs tonight, in only 1 game! When, oh when, will they finally fire Eck??

Swift Eagle FTW.

Dryw Loves the Nats said...

Eagle, I believe you're right....but the rest of us will be celebrating so loud that no one will here them!!!!!!
GYFNG!!!!!!!!!!!

A DC Wonk said...

Swift Eagle said...

Haha Wonk!!! I'll try too...

The Nats hitters actually made 30 outs tonight, in only 1 game! When, oh when, will they finally fire Eck??

Oooh, good one!! Well done!

Gonat said...

RickH said...
17 games above .500!

July 23, 2012 10:49 PM
____________________________

You know what that means, 5 more to get to 22 then you just need to play .500 baseball the rest of the way to a 92-70 record.

Fear and Ignorance said...

Swift Eagle said...
I've said this before, but someday when the Nats win the World Series, I really think some of the Legion of Doom will be on here the next day complaining about the parade route...

I am going to pissed if Davey pulls the driver before they get to the Washington Monument!!!

Kevin Rusch said...

Magic number is 63. Just sayin'. It went down by two tonight.

Drew said...

It's a great testament to the organization that the Nats can plug in so many talented players when guys go down: Flores, Solano, Leon, Harper, Moore, Lombo, Brown. Yes, even Lannan.

Now we're seeing the depth continue to grow on the farm.

C.M. Wang pitches scoreless ball into the 7th in Harrisburg. If he makes things interesting, all the better.

Welcome back, Matt Skole -- 3-5 with his 22nd homer. He's up to 75 RBIs. Hope he gets his ticket to Potomac soon.

Once Skole gets promoted, they'll have to do some juggling at Potomac. Martinson is playing some third base because Hague is playing short.

Wait till Rendon joins the mix. This is gonna be fun for years to come.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

The Early Bird Gets the Worm (and Playoff Tickets) Award goes to:

Kevin Rusch, who said...

Magic number is 63. Just sayin'. It went down by two tonight.
July 23, 2012 11:06 PM

I love optimism!

mick said...

Drew... good updates

FYI, in 2005 the Nats were 55-45 after 100 games. Now, 56 wins after 95 played

baseballswami said...

Missed the whole thing. Why did JZim only go six? Pitch count was very low. Any apparent problems? Reliever cost him a win again?

peric said...

It's a great testament to the organization that the Nats can plug in so many talented players when guys go down: Flores, Solano, Leon, Harper, Moore, Lombo, Brown. Yes, even Lannan.

Yes, that's the way to build a winner.

Once Skole gets promoted, they'll have to do some juggling at Potomac. Martinson is playing some third base because Hague is playing short.

Not this season. He plays the same position as Anthony Rendon who is currently assigned to Potomac. Most expert minor league watchers felt Rendon would be in Harrisburg before Goodwin were it not for the injury.

Its still a possibility but more likely Rendon will end up in Potomac and the AZ Fall league along with Goodwin ... Skole may go as well since Zach Walters went last year or they could send Walters again.

NatsNut said...

swami, no, Davey just needed offense so he put in Tyler Moore. (Who struck out. Oops)

NatsNut said...

and yes, Gonzalez cost him the win this time. (again, oops)

peric said...

Missed the whole thing. Why did JZim only go six? Pitch count was very low. Any apparent problems? Reliever cost him a win again?

My guess is rain. Davey isn't taking any chances with his starters now that he's gotten them this far. He seems more inclined to use the bullpen except in the case of Detwiler who told him he wanted to go further last night. I suspect he'll start hearing more of that from the starters as the race gets more exciting. Its Davey's job to rein that enthusiasm so that they are able to survive the long haul.

Joe Seamhead said...

I thought that Davey's pulling Jordan Zimmermann made sense. The conditions were horrible and he had thrown , what 95 pitches? Johnson is seeing a bigger picture than one pitcher getting a personal win. He wants Zimm available for the whole year. As to bringing in Storen, he's trying to work him back in. Wright was a millimeter high with the bat on the ball from hitting a home run. Drew knew it. Then Johnson plays the percentages to bring in lefty Mike Gonzalez to face LH-er Ike Davis, who defied the odds and parked Gonzo's first pitch. I felt badly for JZimn, but the calls by Johnson weren't odd, or curious, to me. Gonzalez is one of your BP specialists and his job is to get lefties out. Davey did his job, Mike Gonzalez didn't do his, in my opinion.

baseballswami said...

Just seemed odd- how many times have the relievers cost him wins ? I get the pinch hit thing but you have to balance that - if he is strong, they don't tie it up. Oh well, team W is the most important thing.

SonnyG10 said...

peric and Joe Seamhead, you're both correct according to Davey's post-game presser. He said he would pull Zimm after 6 anyway because of the weather and wanting to stretch him over the full season.

mick said...

Swami... I probably would have gone with Jordan through the 7th, his pitch count was low and he looked strong

Joe Seamhead said...

I was wrong about JZimm's pitch count, it was only 89, not 95, but regardless there was nothing curious about Johnson's handleing of the pitching situation.
Mark , why do you feel it was wrong?

A DC Wonk said...

SonnyG10 said...

peric and Joe Seamhead, you're both correct according to Davey's post-game presser. He said he would pull Zimm after 6 anyway because of the weather and wanting to stretch him over the full season.

Agreed. And, man, there was a lotta hatin' on Davey when Gonzo gave up the run, blaming Davey, etc.

But, look, as somebody else pointed out: JZ has never gone more than 161 IP before, and, realistically, we're hoping he can pitch deep into October.

There was an article last week? in WaPo? about how they thought (maybe it was Boz?) that the Nats starters are among the freshest in the majors. I think it's a testament to Davey's ability to think short-term and long-term at the same time. (Having a great bullpen, obviously, helps ;-)

baseballswami said...

Just odd that EJax, Lannan, even det went seven. Guess it depends on where their spot comes up for pinch hit.

mick said...

I would like to see Storen get more time

Joe Seamhead said...

Swami, the batting order played a part, but I think it was also the rain played into the equation.

JaneB said...

I had to,work till the tenth. Good time to be done with working,

I feel bad for Ichiro, which is neither here nor there. But mostly I am happy for our guys.

It's fun to read the tweeter during the game, this Mark Z guy is pretty funny,

Joe Seamhead said...

Mick, Storen will get more innings as his recovery progresses. Be patient about that. You don't want his confidence shaken too much. He is still trying to get his command back, and getting the trust that he really is recovered.

mick said...

So any major trades around the league? I heard Marlins made a deal... what was it and any more news on Dempster and Grienke?

mick said...

agree, Joe

Joe Seamhead said...

Jane, why do you feel bad for Ichiro? He approved the trade and will have a chance to play in a WS.I'm happy for him.

A DC Wonk said...

Pedro Beato got optioned after the game:

Immediately following the loss he was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo to make room for 23-year-old prospect Matt Harvey to join the roster and start against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday.

Beato may have been headed down to Buffalo even before his meltdown on the mound. The ugly outing certainly made the decision much easier for the Mets, however. Beato has a 10.38 ERA with five strikeouts in just 4 1/3 relief innings pitched this season.

Harvey was the Mets' first-round pick in the 2012 MLB Draft. He is 7-5 with a 3.68 ERA this season with Buffalo, and has 112 strikeouts in 110 innings. Harvey will replace Miguel Batista in the Mets' rotation.


http://newyork.sbnation.com/new-york-mets/2012/7/23/3180456/pedro-beato-optioned-matt-harvey-new-york-mets

Joe Seamhead said...

Oops, I said in the last thread that the Phillies had lost. Actually, they came back in the bottom of the 9th to beat the Brewers 7-6.

Swift Eagle said...

I know the "advanced stats" are in vogue now, but the simple ones are still my favorites

Best winning pct in the National League...Only 1 game behind NYY and Tex in loss col. for best record in MLB...

sjm308 said...

Hi Everyone:

great game again! Three in a row with the Red spring training hat from 2011! I am sure there was negativity after our bats went silent after the first. My girlfriend was not sure why I was so upset when it went to 2-2 so I had to tone it down. Just loved how tough Gorzo was with a runner on 2nd and the game on the line. Then the 10th was just icing on the cake.

Are they really calling for people's heads with a 4 game lead and the best record in the NL?? I thought once we had established a solid situation here that the trolls would find another site. Is that Phil guy still around? He usually only comes out during losing streaks but maybe he made an appearance here. I am positive that Wonk and MichelleS beat him down easily.

MichelleS - yes, that was the son you met! I have forwarded him all those names but he is trying to be fancy and has some Irish name picked out. Since we are from county Cork, I am giving him a pass but we all know that Willie Mo (or even Chili Mo) would have been a winner.

Go Nats!!! 4.5 up

peric said...

Harvey was the Mets' first-round pick in the 2012 MLB Draft. He is 7-5 with a 3.68 ERA this season with Buffalo, and has 112 strikeouts in 110 innings. Harvey will replace Miguel Batista in the Mets' rotation.

WOW, that's fast! They sent their first round pick this year to AAA Buffalo and he's already in the majors? NO way? Little error there he was drafted in 2011. Still pretty quick to the majors.

peric said...

I feel bad for Ichiro, which is neither here nor there. But mostly I am happy for our guys.

He had to give his permission. Think about it. He is 38 years old and was one of the best perhaps its time he got a shot at the post season? Lord knows everyone else on the Yankee's roster is about his age.

The Fox said...

baseballswami,

I think Davey is just being careful with Zimmermann. Jordan has not pitched more than 161 innings before and he leads the team already with 128.

Davey wants to keep him as fresh as possible for the playoffs (hopefully) because he is their meal ticket. EJax has a rubber arm and Det has not thrown as many innings since he was in the pen to start the year.

In the post game interview Davey said he didn't want to get into all his reasons but he was thinking 6 innings all along.

A DC Wonk said...

Fox, you owe me a coke ;-)

(see 11:31 ;-)

peric said...

Fire sale in Florida ... I wonder when the Phillies might consider selling? Given the average age ... but some probably have long-term contracts in place.

Swift Eagle said...

I'm guessing the Phillies won't sell. Other than Hamels and Victorino, their main guys are under contract next year. They may keep the band together for one more year hoping Howard and Utley will be healthy from day 1..Just a guess

baseballswami said...

The Fox - could very well be the reason. Look how Atlanta burned out their young 'uns last season and then they were spent- just seems like there have been some games where he had it in the bag and the relievers screwed it up. Again - a curly W is a curly W. Think the guys are tired of rain yet? First the record breaking heat for days on end and now the rain. Go Nats!!!!

The Fox said...

DC Wonk I guess I skimmed through the comments too quickly.

I was off today and made more comments than I do in a week. Usually If I don't have anything to add I try and not comment.

I'll get you the coke in October when JZinn pitches the opening game of the playoffs.

Fear and Ignorance said...

Serously doubt the Phillies sell. They are still only 9.5 back in the wild card race. Still a lot, but certainly not impossible. They still have a ton of talent if healthy and Howard and Utley are starting to get in a groove. I definitely could see them getting close at least and they are going to be a tough team to beat down the stretch.

rabbit34 said...

The one thing that really urks me about baseball today....a complete game for a pitcher is considered 6 innings. Would you pull up on a race horse in a mile race at the 3/4 mark....when he's ahead???? BOOOOO.

natsfan1a said...

Wheee! That was fun. Was regaling my hubby with the tale o' the tenth this a.m. Except that I forgot about the Morse contribution. I may have nodded off once or twice during that inning. Hey, it happens. Turns out that Mets fan we chatted with on Thursday was right about his 'pen. Ouch.

Laddie Blah Blah said...

Drew

"Welcome back, Matt Skole -- 3-5 with his 22nd homer. He's up to 75 RBIs. Hope he gets his ticket to Potomac soon."

The Nats are reportedly saving the 3rd base slot in Potomac for Rendon. Don't know why they don't just move Skole to 1b, since he's not a very good 3rd baseman, anyway. With Zim and Rendon ahead of him at 3rd, he will have to change positions to make it to the bigs any time soon.

Tcostant said...

If Maimi is selling so should the Phils. After all, they have the right approach with Halmels, try to get him to sign, but move him if you can't. They also should trade any of they other FA to be.

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