Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Instant analysis: Nats 9, Giants 4

US Presswire photo
Edwin Jackson labored in the first inning but rebounded after that.
Game in a nutshell: In the first morning game in Nationals history, the home team came out of the gates a bit sluggish. Edwin Jackson gave up three runs in the top of the first, and Giants starter Madison Bumgarner faced the minimum the first time through the order. But then the Nats' lineup got hot once again, thanks to a few familiar faces. Ian Desmond delivered yet another clutch hit (a two-out, two-run single in the third). Ryan Zimmerman and Michael Morse delivered back-to-back homers in the fifth, each slugger continuing his torrid pace at the plate. And even Jhonatan Solano chimed in with his second career homer. Jackson settled down after his shaky first inning, and the Nationals cruised to a second straight victory over the NL's second-best club. At 47-32, they're now 15 games over .500, matching their best mark of the season.

Hitting highlight: Lots of candidates to choose from here yet again, including Zimmerman, Morse and Desmond. But let's throw some love to Solano, who has come out of nowhere to provide a potent bat at the bottom of the Nationals' lineup. The rookie catcher -- summoned to the big leagues only after injuries to Wilson Ramos, Jesus Flores, Sandy Leon and Carlos Maldonado -- blasted an opposite-field homer to right and added a single and a stolen base in this game. "The Onion" is now hitting .423 with two homers and six RBI in limited playing time but sure is making a case to get more regular at-bats.

Pitching highlight: What is it about Jackson and his aversion to the first inning? He's now allowed 17 earned runs in 16 first frames this season, equating to a 9.56 ERA. In every other inning, that number plummets to 2.64. Whatever the reason, the right-hander just seems to have trouble locating his pitches early in games, but he manages to quickly find it after that. Jackson was very sharp from the second through the fifth innings today, retiring 12 of 14 batters.

Key stat: How clutch has Desmond been? Well, 25 of his 47 RBI this season have come with two outs. That doesn't sound like an anomaly.

Up next: Both teams will have plenty of time rest (or catch some fireworks) before they return for tomorrow night's series finale. Ross Detwiler faces Matt Cain at 7:05 p.m.

55 comments:

Eugene in Oregon said...

Okay, Mark, I think you posted this one before the umpire called it an out.

m20832 said...

Gotta Luv Nats baseball! Let's shell Cain tomorrow and get the sweep!

47-32...Let's keep it up!

GYFNG!!!

NatsJack in Florida said...

Only 36 more wins to reach Mick's prediction.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NatsJack, did you make the bet?

baseballswami said...

Any time you get two wins in 24 hours it's a good thing. Especially against another first place team.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

EJax is now 5-4. Take those W's any way you can.

Faraz Shaikh said...

WOW that is pretty low, 2.64. That would be best era on our rotation and ninth or tenth best in NL.

Faraz Shaikh said...

if dodgers win tonight, giants would be another team we have sent under .500 or out of first place. great game!!

NatsJack in Florida said...

No bet. Just genuine chastisement.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Faraz, EJax's ERA and troubled 1st innings has been discussed here numerous times. Its not a secret and has been his achilles heel. Once he figures it out, he will truly be an Ace.

If Rizzo thinks that the Cat can fix him, sign him now to an extension and also NEVER let him pitch in Colorado again.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

The Nats have possibly 4 stud catchers. Clearly Ramos and Flores and Solano is on "stud watch". Leon could join the catcher quarter also.

MicheleS said...

WOOOOO HOOOOOOO!! Great game! Lets go for the sweep tomorrow! !!

NatsJack in Florida said...

And Freitas in Potomac is a huge bat. Catching is covered big time.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NatsJack, I think that is what made Norris expendable. Unfortunately trading 3 pitchers from depth is Rizzo's biggest hole between AA and AAA.

I don't think Rizzo can afford the top pitchers because the Farm System can't afford that big of a hit. I think Wandy is a salary dump and that is what Rizzo has to concentrate on + I like the idea of another lefty.

JZim, Gio, EJax, Wandy, and Detwiler/Lannan/Wang

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

I also think that Rizzo should do whatever he can to run up the price on Greinke. Hamels is the big prize in all this being the Top Lefty out there.

I could also see teams coveting Tyler Moore and Lombardozzi and a young catcher. I wouldn't do it.

baseballswami said...

I think Wandy would be a good acquisition for us. I would be against the pounds of flesh Greinke will cost. His splits are a concern. The nats are clicking right now and I hope they keep it up .

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Detwiler pitching on an extra day's rest against Cain who hasn't been stealth since his perfect game.

Nats have already won the series and a sweep would be great!!!

NatsJack in Florida said...

I'm OK with Wandy.

Our best trade piece arms are out with injuries, although there are several guys like Karns who other scouts might rate well and consider as solid prospects.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

baseballswami, I would take Greinke, no problem until you get the invoice (if you know what I mean) or as you said the "poundS of flesh" with emphasis on the plural of pound.

Definitely better to pay the cash on Wandy or take a chance on Dempster (if healthy) if the pound of flesh isn't too painful.

baseballswami said...

Phil's ahead of the Mets . Phil's looking hitterish. That's fine for today. Cliff lee may finally get a win. Still very early. Would love to see the mets drop one.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

baseballswami, just saw the 3 spot. Can they hold the 3-2 lead.

sjm308 said...

Looks like except for that first inning, everything went our way. I don't read "in-game" comments but I am betting people were hemorrhaging after that first inning. I love having the radio on, doing yard work, and then running in to watch when something really exciting happens. Its just a great situation and I actually get a lot done. I don't want to jump on JayB because I know deep down he is a fan but this win just points to our bench and how well Davey uses it. Solano, Bernadina, Ankiel all made huge contributions and bringing the two outfielders plus LaRoche in for defense is just huge plus. Seems like everything Davey does lately turns to gold. Also love how Zimmerman has had just a great week and I am guessing Peric will be ok with him staying at 3rd for a little while longer.

Can't wait to watch the next 3 in person.

Go Nats!!!

realdealnats said...

Re: Deadline moves.

We should be driving up the price big time, and not paying big time.

While strategic to block other NL Easters from getting Greinke, it is also a move made out of weakness in that we let others dictate what we do. This would seem to be a sure fire way to 1) get into salary problems 2) farm system depletion problems and 3) possible team chemistry problems.

If we can get a Wandy or Dempster etc w/extensions for $$$ and a single prospect who is not currently producing in the Bigs, might be ok for insurance. But Let ATL have Greinke...after we drive the price up and deplete their team and farm system. Then we steal it this year anyway, and are better set up for the next 5 years. IMO

Gonat said...

realdealnats, that is the strategy then while everyone is fixated on Greinke, Garza, and Hamels, swoop in and get Wandy or Dempster.

Candide said...

Mark wrote: Key stat: How clutch has Desmond been? Well, 25 of his 47 RBI this season have come with two outs. That doesn't sound like an anomaly.

It may not be terribly unusual, when you think about it. It's easier to get RBIs when there are men on base - that's why leadoff hitters don't generally lead the league in that category. When you come up with two outs, that means there have been a few guys at the plate ahead of you, and there's a pretty good chance that someone got on base during that time (apart from the two guys who made out, obviously).

Might be interesting to see what the overall MLB stats are in that area.

Gonat said...

Mets lost. That just clinched the Nats will be in 1st place at the All Star break!

NatsJack in Florida said...

Not only do I get to watch the Fish continue their nose dive, I get to watch Nyjer and his antics as well. Fish/Brew Crew at 4:05PM

baseballswami said...

Expecting fireworks, Natsjack? Between Nyjer and Ozzie there are bound to be some.

DaveB said...

I'm not sure I get the rationale for a Wandy or other 2nd tier deadline trade. At this rate, Stras should last well into September, and in the playoffs you usually just need 3 top pitchers. Gio / JZim / Edwin seem like they would all be better than Wandy, and Ross is looking solid if we do need a fourth.

NatsJack in Florida said...

DaveB.....the Nats are now serious players. If there are pieces in play that solidify your position in the playoff hunt, you can't stand idlely by and watch others improve their position. You have to send the message.

Even if you don't get the deal done, you have to exert influence over the deals that are made.

mick said...

I am amazed that the Mets are in second place, I keep thinking they are going to implode soon, but when?

As far as our Nats go... this is exciting! Jason Reid's column is spot on, however, I would be weary of giving up a key player to get a stud pitcher.

The key questions that have to be answered if the Nats are going to play in October are..

1) With Strass shut down (as he should be), there will be a void that most of us thought Wang would fill, he will not. We have to hope Detweiler can be the 5th the rest of the way. Does this mean that Lannan has to be the 5th pitcher while Det becomes number 4?

2) Offensively, I agree with Jason Reid, we go with what we have and with Werth and Tracy back why add any other hitter?

3) This question is for Peric and Gonat... if we did get an Upton or a Bourne, where the heck would they play?? I think adding another hitter would be foolish, this as got to be about adding a pitcher and that is all.

baseballswami said...

Todd Coffey having his second tommy John. Stinks for him. Lots of pitchers keeping the docs in business.

NatsJack in Florida said...

100 degrees in Milwaukee and the stadium is open.

mick said...

swami... I never heard of 2 tommy john surgeries?

Knoxville Nat said...

If I recall correctly, when Rizzo was hunting a possible trade for Greinke the Nats offered up Jordan Zmann, Storen, Espinosa and a top minor league prospect. Hindsight tells me that was way too much to offer and I'm glad that deal didn't get done. If we had to offer up something comparabe like that now to get him I say let Zack stay in Milwaulkee.

mick said...

1924 night is an awesome idea, kudos to the Lerners... only thing, I do not think the players names on were on the back of the jersey in 1924... I could be wrong

mick said...

Knox... your right and thank God that never happen!

baseballswami said...

Mick - he is not the only one. Can you even imagine? He's a really good guy.

Faraz Shaikh said...

Just finished reading Reid's piece on Greinke. I don't think we should make a move for him. Yes, it sounds very exciting when you put it like this, "Strasburg-Gio-Greinke-Zimmermann-Jackson"; but i am afraid price might be a bit steep for our farm.

mick said...

agreed swami.. I just never heard up until now a 2nd surgery of that type. I hope J zmm and strass NEVER have to do that again.

baseballswami said...

Kyle Drabek and Brian Wilson are both out with their second one right now. Scary, huh?

Swift Eagle said...

I listed to the Giants radio broadcast today...They spent a lot of time saying there was a "jet stream" blowing out to right field and the Nats were taking advantage of their "quirky ballpark"

I've seen about 100 games at Nats Park, and right center is a grave yard! Yes, the ball flies down the line into the Nats bullpen, but not sure what these radio guys were seeing. Just can't accept the fact that their starters got smoked 2 days in a row

NatsJack in Florida said...

The Nats reliever in Syracuse, Christian Garcia, is a 2 time TJ guy.

If anybody saw the Ozzie Guillen rant after the Fish loss yesterday where he crushed the entire team, he did that in the locker room and not in his office. Players gotta love that

Faraz Shaikh said...

btw if you watch solano's HR on mlb, Carp mentions that Zimm and Morse homers in those seats as Solano is rounding bases. Guess what happens next?

also danny plays awesome defense if you didn't know. :D

NatsLady said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Faraz Shaikh said...

thanks Natslady, I did. MarkZ quoted a different number, 2.64 though.

jw said...

Does Jason Reid have a fascination with the Brewers? First, he said the Nats needed to sign Prince Fielder for 1st base. Now he's suggesting they rent Greinke for the end of the season for when Stras is shut down.

Rizzo thinks long term -- he gave up prospects for Gio before the season started, but Gio was 1st year arbitration eligible, so they would have had him for three years anyway, and they signed him to an extension, so he'll be under club control until 2018.

I don't get the desperation to "win now". Sure, it would be great to go to the WS this year, but the reason we're having this conversation at all is because Rizzo and company have managed the assets in the farm system so that we have enough depth to have four serviceable catchers, and enough hitting to weather the issues with our big bats. (Zimm, Morse, Werth)

Swift Eagle said...

Haha..jw maybe's Jason Reid's next column will advocate for a trade to get Bernie Brewer and Bob Uecker for a Screech and Ray Knight..

Faraz Shaikh said...

from my rough calculations, that don't include today's start, my number is closer to 2.64 than 2.24.

baseballswami said...

New post

natsfan1a said...

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeee!! That was a fun morning, er afternoon, er, day at the park.

btw, as Solano's at-bat started, I said, "time for a fun run from the Onion." The rest is history. You're welcome. :-)

natsfan1a said...
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natsfan1a said...

p.s. I was LOLing at the scoreboard for Sandoval's last at-bat. "Hey, look! All he needs is the triple. Poor Panda. Not sure how that happens unless the ball gets lodged under a wall or something." But, after looking, danged if he didn't hit for the cycle in Denver last year. I guess I did read about that. :-)

natsfan1a said...

btw, I suppose I also owe Ankiel an apology. Before his dinger, I'm saying to my husband, Bernie had better run, because Ankiel won't move him over. He'll just swing at three pitches out of the zone and K. The next noise we heard was this: AOOOGAA!! AOOGAA!! Oops. Oh, well. I can't call them all, can I? :-D

Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

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