Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Instant analysis: Phillies 8, Nats 0

US Presswire photo
The Phillies' Kevin Frandsen clubbed his first big-league homer in five years.
Game in a nutshell: Stephen Strasburg on the mound. A depleted and demoralized Phillies club waving the white flag on the season. Might as well just pencil that curly W in the book before this one even gets star... er, maybe not. Strasburg was roughed up by those pesky Phillies, giving up six earned runs to match his career high while lasting only four innings. Cliff Lee, meanwhile, had his way with a Nationals lineup that was missing Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche (each sidelined with back spasms). The end result wasn't pretty: The Nats slogged their way through one of their ugliest ballgames in quite a while, and in the process saw their lead over Philadelphia dwindle to 15 1/2 games. What? Oh, OK. Maybe this wasn't the worst thing ever.

Hitting lowlight: It's probably unfair to blame the guys who were forced into the lineup to replace the injured Zimmerman and LaRoche, but Mark DeRosa and Tyler Moore didn't exactly put forth big-time performances as fill-ins. DeRosa, playing third base in Zimmerman's stead, struck out in all four of his plate appearances, lowering his season batting average to .148. Moore also was 0-for-4, grounding into a killer out with the bases loaded in the third when the game was still within reach. Not that we didn't know this already, but Zimmerman and LaRoche are just a tad important to the Nationals' lineup.

Pitching lowlight: Strasburg didn't look right from the very beginning, allowing a pair of first-inning singles, and things only got worse as his night progressed. He served up a two-run bomb to Kevin Frandsen (whose last big-league homer came in 2007) in the second, essentially let Juan Pierre steal three bases in the third and then really fell apart in the fourth by allowing three more runs. Strasburg was probably squeezed some by plate umpire Tim McClelland, but he also had no command of his changeup, bouncing several of them in front of the plate in a rare display of wildness. Pitchers returning from Tommy John surgery always talk about the ups and downs they experience during their first full season back. This was as down as it's been for Strasburg all year.

Key stat: Strasburg has failed to reach the fourth inning in only two of his 38 career starts, and each of those early hooks was health-related. He went three innings on Sept. 11, 2011 against the Astros in only his second start back from Tommy John surgery. And he was pulled after the third inning in Atlanta on June 30 after suffering from heat exhaustion.

Up next: The series continues Wednesday when Edwin Jackson faces Vance Worley. First pitch at Nationals Park is at 7:05 p.m.


Gonat said...

mick said...
Gonat.... that is the $64,000 question on Henry, when will he figure it out?

July 31, 2012 9:51 PM

I'm thinking unless he can execute the instruction he is given, maybe never. He lacks control and can't hit spots and just can't throw quality strikes consistently and as you could see tonight, guys got their bats on the ball.

You can see his fastball movement doesn't move much from release vertically and almost no horizontal movement which allows batters to center his pitches. He is hittable even when he throws strikes.


Clip&Store said...

Well this is what all those cocky people saying how easy the phillies series was gonna be deserve. Terrible terrible terrible and embarassing.

peric said...

Unfortunately, they needed to win this game. All of these games. The Braves are right behind them. Davey had better rethink things because his offense is still going to tend toward the pathetic at times and he has to be better prepared for that than trotting out Chad Tracy or Mark DeRosa.

BigCat said...

Mark....your Game In A Nutshell was right on the money. I was just very, very disappointed by our supposed ace. I wont say anymore, I will only get in trouble.

BigCat said...

You go into a game like this facin Cliff Lee and you know if you give up 1, maybe 2 runs....you are done...........ok Big Cat, let it go....let it go............

phil dunton said...

Let's see, dumpster dipping pickups by Rizzo last winter--Derosa struck four times in 4 at bats tonight and is now batting about .140 plus he's missed half the season with injuries. Nady and Ankiel were so bad they were released and Tracy has missed most of the season. JayD was right.

JayB said...

Phil is right about Rizzo and dumpster diving. Year after year it is the same out thing....Stairs, Nady, DeRosa....list is like 20 fails in a row over 5 years.....AND he way over values his own players....now we have to keep DeRosa as a infield back up......Not making moves at the trade deadline may well cost the team the division over the next week or so.

When you have the year this team as had up til now you can not risk flushing it down the drain because of cost in money or minor prospects. J Carroll of Marco S would have not cost much and would have made DeRosa DFL today.....Hate loser Vets what do not produce....Rizzo loves them.

rogieshan said...

I hope Tyler Moore gets enough at-bats between now and end of September so he can be sharp for the playoffs. As far as I can see, he is the team's only legitimate right-handed bat off the bench. Lombardozzi will also be an option once everyone is healthy, but DeRosa, I'm sorry to say, is proving to be nothing more than a glorified cheerleader.

Bzl. said...

The sky is falling! The sky is falling! Rizzo sucks! Davey sucks! Everyone sucks! We're in last place!

sjm308 said...

Well that was no fun.

Highlight was 222's anthem and I did not realize you guys are an Irish Barbershop Quartet. Very nice! Which one were you. The tenor at the end of the anthem really nailed it.

The game was absolutely the worst of the season for me. Strasburg was shaky at the start and only a great play by Lombardozi and Espinosa saved him in the 1st inning. I am sure others have jumped on him for the way he does not hold runners and that will be troublesome if not fixed. Just a very poor game. DeRosa showed me nothing, I have tried to support Henry for a long time but that trained has left the station as well. We had absolutely no bench tonight and I have not read earlier posts about Zimm or LaRoche but if they could not play and this had been a close game I am not sure what Davey was going to do. Can't play Jackson as he is pitching tomorrow. He had a bench of Tracy and Leon! How can you win with that??

Oh well, the 1918 hat got us a couple wins including the great comeback on Sunday. Problem is the next hat up is an awful green hat from spring training and I really do not want to wear it to Friday's game but if it gets us a win tomorrow I will have it on.

Go Nats!

One last point. At the game my son turns to me & says - "who is that jerk on your blog?" I took the high road and told him it was not a big deal.

JayB said...

Sky is not falling.....Winning this division is not going to be easy. It takes a fully functional roster. DeRosa, HROD, WANG, NADY, these are not players who help you win and keeping them has hurt the team. That is poor roster management......we can do a lot better than that.

peric said...

Of course the sky isn't falling. But if Davey wants to win the division he is going to have to do a better job of roster management. I don't blame Rizzo for the players JayB mentions most all are on Davey. Rizzo wouldn't have brought Wang back were it not for Davey.

When Davey goes young he usually does pretty well as we've seen with the pitching. It works the same way with the position players. When you have Brad Lidge type players like DeRosa, Tracy who really are not very good two way players? And Nady? He chose Nady over Carrol, Moore, etc. They've got to beat the Phillies, the Fish, and the Astros before they have to meet the D-backs, Giants, Mets and Braves who aren't going to be easy.

Its that or become a possible wildcard contender or wait til next year. Baseball is a long grueling season but now its toward the end and the further they get the more critical each game becomes.

That's just the way it is.

Bzl. said...

If HRod, Wang, Nady, DeRosa weren't on roster we'd be at least 15 games in front. We'd be the bestest, grooviest team of All Time! Rizzo sucks!

peric said...

And no I'm not saying Davey sucks ... sheesh I'm just saying he is being inconsistent with his philosophy and approach. If you are going to go young as he has with the pitching then you have to do the same with the position players. It doesn't work to mix and match especially when you have a short bench and and eight man bullpen at least through a very critical month of August.

mick said...

gang, come on, I hate losing believe me, but I'm telling you the boys were not ready to play tonight, just one of those things. Now, if it happens back to back, then I will be mad, not at the loss but at the effort, or lack of.

pRAA said...

Highlight was 222's anthem and I did not realize you guys are an Irish Barbershop Quartet.

As barbershop quartets go, the Brothers Flanagan weren't bad. But I'd be willing to bet that (a) they aren't brothers and (b) none of them is a Flanagan.

mick said...

They've got to beat the Phillies, the Fish, and the Astros before they have to meet the D-backs, Giants, Mets and Braves who aren't going to be easy.

True Peric.... but looking at these teams, Marlins have quit, Astros have always been a tough match up for us but I think we will do very well now, Mets and Dbacks in tank. Giants now scare me in SF with Pence and Braves, i think we will at least split. Of all these opponents, I think SF is one series we will lose.

hiramhover said...


What would you say if, last winter, Rizzo had offered a 2-year, $6.75M contract to an almost 38yo middle infielder who went on to hit .238/.321/.282 thru the end of July?

You'd be saying a lot worse things than what you're saying about DeRosa, Nady & Co, of course.

But since that player--Jamey Carroll--is now wearing a Twins uniform, you're now criticizing Rizzo for not getting him.


mick said...

Rizzo gets an A in my book period. Yes, I am not a DeRosa fan at all but he was designed, I believe to fill in late innings and only in emergencies, such as tonight. If he was a playing a great deal then I would be concerned as i have very little confidence in him hitting in the clutch.

JayB said...

DeRosa is not helping....Just like Stairs before him....This is not a year to wait and see if he can "get going" The cost of trading for improvement at Catcher and Infield was really low. Not doing it will come back to cost the team.....What is the point of keeping DeRosa and HROD on this team....even if they do not play they hurt the team by taking up spots. If HROD was cut last month as he should have been then someone....anyone really would have helped.....Brown would still be here.....keeping HROD is just plain stupid pig headed ego....he does not want to admit he F'ed up to B Bean....he did and the more he tries to wait it out the more he costs the team wins.

Section 222 said...

Glad you enjoyed the Anthem sjm. The ovation at the Park was a kick. I'm going to try to put a video up on YouTube for those who are interested in seeing it.

Very disappointing game obviously, but we don't have to win every game to win our division, we just have to stay ahead of the Braves. Winning series is the way to do it, and I'm still hopeful for this one. The Phillies were fired up today, but soon it will sink in that their management has given up on this season. That can't feel good.

DeRosa was pretty pathetic tonight. Let's hope he doesn't have to play that much from here on in. He's been ok as a PH recently. I'd much rather see him in that role, and believe you me, Davey wants him on the bench. This was Tracy's first day back and he made solid contact. Don't see how you can ask much more than that. It's not like he could have won the game with his one at bat.

The biggest disappointment though was H-Rod. Could there be a lower stress situation than this game? Yikes.

Section 222 said...

Thanks for the backhanded compliment pRAA. Guilty as charged about not being Brothers or named Flannagan. The Grateful Dead weren't dead either, well until Jerry died in 2005.

Oh, and sjm, I was on the left as you face the group, the shortest of the Brothers.

peric said...

...keeping HROD is just plain stupid pig headed ego....he does not want to admit he F'ed up to B Bean....he did and the more he tries to wait it out the more he costs the team wins.

There's at least a 50-50 chance he is released for Werth since Werth requires a slot on the 40-man. That would even things out.

I don't think its ego ... its seeing the 99, 98, 100 flash up along with the killer 91 mph change and wicked slider. H-ROD makes sense ... he is still only 25 and the potential does still exist it seems like it does.

but DeRosa? Tracy? Neither can really move that well. Those two make little to no sense they have no ceiling, no future with the team. That's ego. They've got Zim and perhaps tomorrow Werth they don't need any additional veteran presence. What they need is Desmond's bat back in the heart of the order as he is having a break out season.

and ego? Davey's? There's Bryce Harper hitting .170 since the AllStar break and under .230 for July. Perhaps he needs a stint on the DL or an option back to AAA where he can be used as a DH and not played every day. The kid needs a break he isn't handling the long, grueling, high pressure season and now a division race. He needs a mental health 15 days or so. He's only 19. C'mon Davey!! That's YOUR JOB as you are so fond of repeating?

peric said...

The biggest disappointment though was H-Rod. Could there be a lower stress situation than this game? Yikes.

They are just trying to get him through to September 1st when the rosters expand. Then, I guess, he goes to winter ball after the season and they tee him up again in the spring. This is one affected by Rizzo feeling he made a mistake giving up too soon on Hanrahan. He may be right but Hanrahan needed a change of scenery. I don't believe we are there with Henry yet.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

The Brothers Flanagan aren't brothers? Next you're going to tell me there's no Santa Claus? What about the tooth fairy? Pro wrestling is fixed?

I want my money back.

DWS said...

Two quick thoughts...Section 222 love to see the video. Agree with peric that a long grind is wearing on our phenom. Watching Trout tear it up regardless of age probably isn't helping him.
Bryce might need a break and I do think CB got the short end. I was impressed with his play.

Fear and Ignorance said...

Playoff predictions:


John C. said...

During the 7th inning, I turned to my girlfriend and said “the worst part about this will be going back and having to wade through the ‘Eeyore’ posts predicting DOOOOOOM and lamenting all the things that they'd have done better than [someone in the organization].” And I knew that it would be by the same people who posted this:
(1) after game 2 of the Braves series earlier this month;
(2) after the Yankees sweep in June;
(3) after the Marlins sweep in May; and
(4) after the Dodger sweep in April.

Anyone else see a pattern here? It’s like there are more people eager to jump on the fail bandwagon than on the success bandwagon. That’s messed up.

I’ve said it before and I’ll probably end up saying it again: this team is mentally much tougher than most of its fans.

Fear and Ignorance said...

John C...this team isn't ready. Period!!!

Steady Eddie said...

John C. -- thank you, exactly.
mick, 222, bzl, Sunshine, hiramhover -- also voices of sanity.
scroll knob otherwise mostly in good use for this post
g'night all.

The sun'll come up tomorrow.

Nats212 said...

F&I, You ignorance is way too high!

Laddie Blah Blah said...

Two games against two losing teams, with your top of the rotation guys going in each. So the bad guys get 18 runs on 5 HRs and who knows how many hits.

Both Gio and Stras picked the same time to have their worst games of the year. Ditto Matheus Sunday. And both Zim and ALR sat today.

This may be as bad as it gets. And they won one of those two games.

natsfan1a said...

Didn't see the middle innings and haven't yet watched the recording, so can't comment on play throughout. That said, what I did see was, uh, not stellar.

As some have noted, the Phillies got a wake-up call of sorts yesterday and, as Cholly was quoted as saying, they've got nothing to lose. The Nats had a couple of key guys out and it definitely wasn't Stephen's day. (That said, maybe we could lose the name-calling. He's not a messiah and he's not a [sexist epithet]. He's just human, and coming back from surgery.)

Eh, what the heck. Let's blame the FO for coming out with that email about, um, tickets for October ballgames. Late October ballgames. Ix-nay on the layoff-pay talk, guys. ;-)

John C., just a general observation: one reason I stay away from armchair GM stuff and predictions generally is that imo sometimes for fans it becomes more about being right (see also, knowing it all) than about wanting to see the team do well. I don't want to go there.

Kiterp said...

Woke up and heard about the loss. They really suck. How bad did LaRoche, Zimmerman and Ian pleay last night? What about Ramos and Werth? And Strasburg has been pitching now for what 8-9 years ... he is the ace...hard to believe that he'd have a night like that. Well, there goes the undefeated season

jeffwx said...

Would have been nice to pick up a middle infielder with Desmond hurt and Zimm bothered by nagging injuries. Well, at least we have plenty o' outfielders.

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