Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Instant analysis: Nats 9, Giants 3

US Presswire photo
Ian Desmond clubbed his 14th homer of the season to lead the Nats' attack.
Game in a nutshell: What looked like an intriguing pitching matchup between Jordan Zimmermann and two-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum instead turned into a lopsided Nationals victory. A lineup that has resurrected itself over the last week did it again, this time pounding out eight runs off Lincecum in only 3 1/3 innings. Among the biggest hits: Danny Espinosa's RBI double off the center-field wall, Zimmermann's RBI double into the right-field corner, Adam LaRoche's RBI double to deep center and then Ian Desmond's two-run bomb into the left-field bleachers. All of that gave Zimmermann a healthy cushion, and the right-hander cruised through six-plus innings before the rain started falling and brought the tarp onto the field. After a delay of 1 hour and 25 minutes -- during which it actually rained for only 10 minutes -- the Nats closed this one out and improved to 14 games over .500.

Hitting highlight: Take your pick from the Nationals' lineup, because just about everyone contributed to this one. But let's go with Desmond, who singled and scored in the bottom of the second and then crushed a two-run homer in the bottom of the third. That gives the All-Star shortstop 14 homers for the season, the most he's ever hit in any professional season (major or minor leagues). With the season not quite at the halfway mark yet, Desmond is on pace to finish 2012 with 30 homers and 93 RBI. As a shortstop who typically hits sixth for this team. That's fairly impressive.

Pitching highlight: Zimmermann doesn't often get a chance to pitch with a hefty lead, but his teammates ensured that would be the case tonight. And then the right-hander went out and did exactly what he needed to do, working efficiently and not giving the Giants much of any opportunity to get themselves back into the game. Case in point: He didn't issue one walk. Zimmermann also reached the seventh inning for the ninth time this year. And he recorded his 14th quality start in 16 tries, the model of consistency.

Key stat: In a career that has spanned 172 starts, Lincecum had never given up eight runs until tonight.

Up next: Who's up for some morning baseball? The Nats and Giants will be right back at it at 11:05 a.m. for tomorrow's Independence Day special. Edwin Jackson starts for Washington against San Francisco lefty Madison Bumgarner.


JaneB said...

Smart to get HRod's return out of the way. Sleep fast, people.

Eugene in Oregon said...

Who's up for some morning baseball? The Nats and Giants will be right back at it at 11:05 a.m. for tomorrow's Independence Day special.

That's 8:05 on the west coast, but I'll be listening (since MLB.tv won't let me watch)!

Tcostant said...

Those Desi stats are even more impressive when considering he was leading off for over a month... What was the total crowd count tonight?

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Jordan Zimmermann may not be in the All Star game but his numbers are All Star quality. ERA, ERC, WHIP, QS, BB/9, K/9, IP/G

Unfortunately too many focus on W/L. JZim leads the Nats starters in most of these categories and Top 10 in the NL in most of the categories.

He can join Cueto and McDonald on the couch.

sjm308 said...

Also loved 3 hits for Danny from the left side!

Do not read in-game comments but just have to wonder if anyone found anything negative to gripe about tonight!!

We celebrated our power coming back by going to Chris Isaak at the Birchmere. Great show, no opening act, rain delay so I got to listen to Phil Wood on the ride home and watch the last 3 innings. Just about perfect!!

Go Nats!!

MicheleS said...

Glad we took the first game!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Madison Bumgarner is on the hill tomorrow. His numbers are very good but not great on the road. His road ERA is 3.72 and his BB/K and BA's and OPS are like night and day in SF and on the road.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

sjm, yes there was negativity. Someone used the dreaded double negative in a sentence.

I just wish Davey took Morse and Zim out sooner. I didn't like the wet outfield and taking chances with the Beast.

Secret wasian man said...

wish those Mets would go away.

baseballswami said...

I know I am quite biased when it comes to JZim, but I thought his pitches looked very sharp tonight. He gets hit, probably because he just throws so many strikes, but he just doesn't walk people. After the error, with bases loaded, some pitchers would have fallen apart but he limited the damage. I noticed that he doesn't waste energy with extra moving around and emotion so he doesn't tire as fast. And how about that offense? It's so much fun when everyone gets into the act. Era's dropping and BA's rising - just as it should be. Catch you in the morning folks!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

baseballswami, you aren't biased, you are astute. JZim was an Ace last year and is quietly putting together a great season this year. 14 of 16 quality starts and leads the Nats pitchers in almost every category except, WHIP, H/9 and K/9 stats. Sure, strikeouts are great to which JZim got the K's when he got men on base, strikeouts with nobody on base is just another out.

JZim is pitching to exactly the way McCatty wants to see it, effieciency, aggressiveness, pitch to contact and go deep into games. If not for that error and the rain, JZim could have gone for a complete game.

SonnyG10 said...

Jordan was an ace tonight and the offense did justice by him for a change. He's 5-6 now. Its going to look much prettier when he goes to 6-6, then 7-6.

natsfan1a said...

sjm, my husband is jealous about Chris Isaak. :-)

Nice win last night. Watched until the last out (well, I didn't watch during the rain delay).

Steady Eddie said...

Ghost, I suspect JZimm will get noticed plenty when he 's the middle of the Nats' formidable 3-man rotation and all the national pundits say "how did they do that without Strasburg?"

Steady Eddie said...

Meant to add "during the playoffs"!

ehay2k said...

What's Lincecum's record against the Nats? Seems to me like we own him, at least at home. Even when we were terrible, he came to Nats park and we beat him.

I'm going out on a limb here, but if we score eight runs per game, we will win a lot of them. (I will also stop calling for the hitting coach's job. )

m20832 said...

Was that Ryan Zimmerman talking with Eckstein in the dugout after his strikeout? Will wonders never cease.

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