Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Nats come back twice to win a wild one

Photo courtesy of US-Presswire
The 2012 Washington Nationals just will not go down without a fight. After losing the lead on a blown save in the ninth and twice being one out from defeat, the Nats beat the Mets 5-4 on a wild pitch by Pedro Beato that brought Ryan Zimmerman home for the walk-off win.

The victory was their second of the season on a game-ending wild pitch, but given the lead changes it may have been their most exciting win all year.

“That’s my kind of ballgame,” manager Davey Johnson said. “I’ve said it a hundred times, the makeup on this ballclub is off the charts. There’s no give-up, they are all competitive.”

The Nats rallied to tie the game in the tenth after catcher Jhonatan Solano led off with a single. Bryce Harper then belted a 1-0 slider off Tim Byrdak, a line drive that flew over Scott Hairston’s head and bounced off the wall. Solano scored to make it 4-4 and Harper broke up a David Wright tag attempt on a head-first slide to land safely at third.

The Mets then intentionally walked Zimmerman and Ian Desmond to get Tyler Moore to the plate. Moore took the wild pitch on a 1-2 count against Beato to let Zimmerman come home.

“I'm trying to make him hurry up, tell him come on and score,” Moore said. “It was going on long enough. I'm just glad we got a run across.”

“I didn't know it got away at first because he was kind of blocking me with the angle but it hit the dirt pretty hard and it bounced up on him. I'm just glad it got away from him enough where we could score.”



Drew said...

What a great game for Giolito to see.

Someday the new kid will trade high fives in the happy scrum near home plate.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

A lot of teams don't have one comeback in them. This team has two. I'm with Davey: "My kind of ballgame."

Plus, the Braves got whacked. Still in soul possession, now by three and a-half.

One word: lengthen.

Anonymous said...

This one takes the cake for me as the most memorable game of the year so far and probably better than Ramos' walk-off HR last year against Seattle because of the fact we are in a pennant race. Huge win. I realize they all count the same in the W-L column, but this was a BIG one. Wish Detwiler could have got the win...and don't agree with the decision to pull him, but that is Davey's philosophy and it is not going to change. Seems to me that if you continue to use 3 or more pitchers every night, the odds of one of them not having it are greater...just my opinion.

realdealnats said...

Det going 7 is huge. Hope he is truly building up than mental and physical stamina so he can do it again on normal rest.

And the rookies getting the clutch hits--don't forget Solano!

Been feelin lucky since March. PFB

Drew said...

With his two hits tonight, including his fifth triple, Bryce Harper has an OPS of .804. That is extraordinarily rare for a 19-year-old.

To put it in perspective, here's how some others fared at 19:

OPS at age 19:

Mel Ott .921
Tony Conigliaro .883
Mickey Mantle .792
Ty Cobb .749
Ken Griffey Jr. .748
Robin Yount .674
AROD .672
Mike Trout .672
Al Kaline .652
Rogers Hornsby .552
Johnny Bench .462

A number of the players lsted here made quantum leaps at 20. In the words of the Ol' scout with blue eyes: "the best is yet to come, and babe won't it be fine?"

Laddie Blah Blah said...

The rookies go 5 for 14, getting 5 of the Nats 9 hits, and collectively hit for the cycle:

Solano - 1b
Lombo - 2b
Harp - 3b
TyMo - HR

And the winning rally starts with 3 of them - Solano 1b, Lombo perfect SB, and HARP'S 3B to tie the game - and ends with TyMo intimidating the Mets' staff into throwing him a diet of breaking balls until they throw one of them away. Everyone in the league must now know throwing that kid a FB is the BB equivalent of Russian Roulette.

Best moment of the night, though, was seeing Danny fight through 7 curve balls, the kind we have seen him K on, all year long, before delivering that clutch, 2-out, 2-strike rope to center to tie the game in the bottom of the 9th. He now has 4 LH hits in just 2 games.

Detwiler hit 95 on the gun last night. Easily his most impressive performance this season.

Baseball, so bitter one night, and so sweet the next.

Joe Seamhead said...

Chase, the Mets did not walk Zimmerman and Desmond to pitch to Tyler Moore. They walked them to pitch to Adam LaRoche, who hit into the force out at the plate, and was very fortunate that the Mets didn't turn a double play. Then Tyler Moore came up and we got the wild pitch.
Fear and Ignorance, I sure am glad that you are not our manager.Our bullpen will blow a save, or two, but Johnson has managed this staff to not only incredible stats, but also to the best record in the NL. It was a one run game on a 100 degree night and.Det has a history of melting down after six or seven innings and we have a very good bullpen. Clippard made a couple of bad pitches. It happens, but not very often.

NatsJack in Florida said...

I'm wondering what happened to the occaisional slider that T-Clip used to throw every now and then. Seems like one very other batter would be enough to plant the thought and make him more than a two pitch closer.

Gonat said...

NatsJack, I don't know about Clip's slider, its that tight cutter he isn't throwing. He and Stammen at this point in the season need a 3rd "out" pitch.

Gonat said...

Congrats to Meyer. How come Skole hasn't been promoted. He isn't getting any younger!

sjm308 said...

Seamhead: I think the Mets would have walked the next two guys no matter who was up next, once Harper reached 3rd with just one out. This put them in a position to get the force at home and a possible double play. It was the right move for them and we just caught a huge break when they could not turn the double play. Still excited about seeing such a great game and seeing so many of our youngsters come through. I did not read through the game comments but one "old guy" who absolutely made a difference was DeRosa. How many steals does he have this year? Was that Davey's call or did he go on his own. Stealing against a left-hander as well. If he is not on 2nd, he does not score that tying run in the 9th.

Just a great game with about a dozen heros!!

Go Nats!!

TimDz said...

Watching ESPN this morning...
After the Jeremy Lin free agency signing...the Nats game was first highlight ...they showed two minutes worth of highlights ...
How cool is it to have a relevant team?

natsfan1a said...

From the game thread (which I should know better than to read but...): this is a couple of years old, sec3, but yes re. Angel Hernandez and here you go.

Joe Seamhead said...

sjm, I agree that they would have walked the next two guys but my point was that ADR's ground out wasn't mentioned. BTW, I question not pitching to Desmond, but it's easy to question things from where I'm sitting! Great game, great win.
Also, I just Googled 2012 MLB preseason predictions. Not one poll had the Nats finishing higher then 3rd place, not even NI's fearless leader. Most picked the Phillies to win the East. I know that it ain't over until it's over, but so much for expert predictions.

sjm308 said...

Seamhead - agree with you on not pitching to Desmond. He had not swung a bat in quite some time but I guess they felt the force at home was a more solid play.

speaking of predictions. I am one who felt 85-87 wins would be a fine season and was secretly hoping to be fighting for a playoff spot in Sept. So happy I have no idea what I am talking about when it comes to predictions.Will any of us be happy with 90 wins? Just asking?

Go Nats!!!

Joe Seamhead said...

Also, Drew Storen had a fine performance last night, 1,2,3. K, groundout,K.
Good timing!

Feel Wood said...

Clippard made a couple of bad pitches. It happens, but not very often.

Depends how you define "not very often." Clippard has had a bad outing three of the last four times he's appeared. His wild pitch lost the Colorado game just before the ASB. Sunday in Miami he came in in a non-save situation and loaded the bases with a single and two four-pitch walks before wriggling out of the jam. Then he melted down last night.

A few weeks ago there were a lot of people saying Clippard had proven himself as a closer and earned the job even when Storen gets back. Not so fast. A big part of being a closer is being able to put a bad outing in the rear view mirror and come back strong. We haven't seen that from Clippard yet.

natsfan1a said...

After reading the rest of the game thread, hat tip to MicheleS for the funny Miami prank link.

nats guy said...


Skole is hurt.

Joe Seamhead said...

Agreed,Feel Wood, but I 'm not ready to throw him under the bus. Tyler must trust his high fastball again. Use it to set up the off speed stuff, not the other way around.

Diz said...

Great game!

What can you say other than Wowza!

I wish I was there last night. Reminds me of Game 6 last year. Espy down to his last strike. The up/down/up/down/up feeling I was getting. It was better than any Hollywood movie in my book!

Can't wait to go tonight!

Just awesome. I love this team!

A DC Wonk said...

DeRosa: 15 years, 23 stolen bases in his career. His first this year and his second since 2009

A DC Wonk said...

I couldn't make it last night, but the rest of my family did, including my daughter-the-new-17-year-Nats-fan. Needless to say, she had an unbelievably great time. She called it "the craziest game she's ever seen".

A DC Wonk said...

(that's "17-year-old")

A DC Wonk said...

Nats as a team are 5th in NL in stolen bases. Who knew?!

MicheleS said...

Last night I invented some new curse words and most were directed a Clipp. My gentleman that sits next to me didn't know I cursed like a sailor, so my cover is blown (we have been to like 15 games together, and I haven't let loose like that at any game because we have been winning)

I know it's only 1 game and he as been lights out, but I was so disappointed that Det's best performance of the year was wasted.

That was just a crazy game. I am spent.

baseballswami said...

About the stolen bases -- I think in general, part of the Nats identity is starting to be the smart, timely ripped base or taking the extra base. I don't think taking the extra base is a stat, but if it was, I think the Nats would have it locked up. The base running is just very heads up and it's not just Bryce. I feel that Jayson Werth started it last year and it has grown within the team. It looks like they are always on their toes and looking for just the right situation. I seems like there have been a lot of games where the base running, taking the extra base or the timely steal has had an impact. I love this about the Nats and you never know what little things will have an impact. Now for the bad thought of the morning -- after Detweiler's performance last night - what about Wang? Really.

A DC Wonk said...

Swami: about taking the extra base; good thoughts. I agree.

Btw, Harper is tied for fifth in MLB for triples. It seems that most were doubles that he turned into triples, don't you think?

NatsNut said...

I just had to go back and read the game thread just for kicks and it cracked me up. With all the back-and-forth, UP posts were mixed in with DOWNER posts (read: mick's), but the post of the night should go to Nattering Nat:

"..And I'm not bipolar, this game is!"

NatsNut said...

I was getting so stressed out, I kept closing my computer in surrender, pacing, then opening it up again. Finally closed it and went to bed. But coudn't stand it any longer and put the radio on "sleep" for 30 minutes thinking, if they don't win this in 30 I HAVE to sleep. They did it in 15.

I know I say this a lot, but listening to Charlie and Dave for this game was such a treat. I felt like a little kid - lying in bed, lights out, tense game on the radio, C&D calling it, then winning like we did. It has to be one of the signature games of the year for me.

JD said...

I think everyone should lay off Clip; without him this year we are nowhere. Every closer goes through a tough patch. Clip has been teetering for a couple of weeks and he finally blew up; it happens. I'l take my chances with Clip any day.

LoveDaNats said...

What a game!! Just found out my daughter tweeted to her friends last night "Listening to my Mom watch the #Nats game in the other room sounds borderline like an exorcism".
What can I say? I got into the game. I just told my daughter it's a good thing I wasn't there. Then she'd really see something to tweet about. :)

JD said...

A few other observations:

1) Nice hit by Espinosa but if I'm the Mets I keep throwing curve balls low; odds are he finally strikes out.

2) Bryce Harper - wow.

3) The double by Thole which made it 4-3 is a routine fly unless you have an infielder playing left and you have him guarding the line.

4) I like Mike Gonzalez and Ryan Mattheus.

5) Jesus Flores is an automatic out right now.

6) Nice hit by Solano.

7) ALR is really scuffling lately.

8) Tyler Moore will be a very good power hitter; may be our 1st baseman of the future.

9) The Desmond injury is a real concern.

10) It's great to win the 1st game of a series; now let's win the series and put the Mets way back in the rear view mirror.

Steady Eddie said...

Michele-- ditto here. I went with my brother who just got back from Mongolia (he's retired) and left after the 8th as he almost fell asleep from jetlag. So he only saw Game 1, the pitchers' duel, and missed Game 2, the see-saw.

I was ready to leave after MGonz's flub in the top of the 10th but remembered what may have been the even crazier Harper walk-off single game against the Mets in early June -- remember when we came back three times in five innings?

One thing I noticed at the game that I didn't see pointed out because it didn't seem to have been shown on the TV broadcast is that on his triple, Harper ran right through Bo's stop sign that was unmistakeably up from the time he rounded second! The thing I need to look at the replay again to see is if Harper, rounding second, saw where the cutoff man was positioning himself, because his route to third seemed calculated to be right in line with the throw, which looked like it bounced off Harp. Did anyone else see the details of that play? Seems like Harper may have been running with calculating abandon rather than the "reckless abandon" that Carp described at the time.

MicheleS said...

JD.. not pouncing on Clipp (he has been a stud and he can't be perfect every time -although it would be nice), just really disappointed for Det. Det has had a couple of good games and a couple of bad games. Last night was a gem for him (and it better not just be a tease - would like more of those outings)

Steady Eddie said...

Michele -- Det always seems to do better on long rest -- from last night's evidence (after having last pitched July 5 vs. SF), the longer the better. Remember his solid outings last September after 6 and 7 days rest? He seems the one guy in the Nats' rotation who would benefit from a 6-man rotation (NOT proposing, just observing).

Sec.3, My Sofa said...

I do not like to see Harper running through a stop, if he did; that said, going to third won the game. If he gets thrown out, the game is still tied, and the inning is still not over--he'd have made the second out at third. It puts heavy pressure on the defense to make a play to get him at third, and that alone nearly got the run in, as the throw hit him and almost went out of play. That's the kind of play Ozzie meant when he says he likes Bryce.

MicheleS said...

Funny stuff on Bryce/Ozzie, hopefully this puts it to bed and Ozzie will stop being a jerk.

Pine Tar Bat

Faraz Shaikh said...

I wonder what Harper said to Wright after getting to 3rd in that last inning.

I really liked espi's hit, especially since he hit left-handed. Pretty impressive!

Sec.3, My Sofa said...

Michele, I think you might owe 1a a coke, there. Not sure.

1a, Thanks for picking out the Angel Hernandez link--I had no idea I wasn't just making that up.

Kinza said...

A few observations from last night:

1. Anytime the Nats win Angel Hernandez has the plate I count as a blessing. He screws up more games than any umpire I've seen. He did it again last night when he started squeezing the pitchers at the end.

2. I blame Valdespin's HR equally on Flores and Clippard. As FP pointed out, the 0-2 fastball was supposed to be elevated, but instead was in the dirt. When you throw like Clippard, mostly fastballs and change-ups, you need to change the batter's eye level at some point. He should have come back with an elevated fastball, rather than another low change-up. That was a brain freeze by both members of the battery.

3. Collins did not pitch to Desmond for this reason: the best way for the Mets to get out the inning was with a double play. Of Desmond and Laroche, the less likely to GIDP is Desmond because of his speed. It also would have been pretty gutsy to lay the infield back with runners on 1st and 3rd hoping for a DP. He had walk to Desmond there.

natsfan1a said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
natsfan1a said...

sec3, I'm pretty sure that MicheleS doesn't owe me a coke, as she'd originally posted a link to an story on the bat prank in last night's game thread. But thanks for having my back. Maybe that blogger owes her a coke, though. :-) Also, you're welcome on the ump item.

#4 said...

For some reason I am posting as my daughter - Kinza. Sorry about that. The above post was from me.


Section 222 said...

I don't look at the Fangraph's win probability graphs often enough. The one from last night is awesome.

Steady -- Great catch on Harper running through the stop sign last night. Gives a whole new perspective on the end of the game, because as Sofa says, it really set up the walkoff -- and it meant that we won the game with Desi not having to swing the bat -- no small thing that.

#4 said...

Bo Porter's coaching of the bases remains a concern. It's a good thing Harper blew through his stop sign. If he had stopped, the Mets would have walked Zim and had only to deal with an injured Desmond and Laroche. Additionally of course, the wild pitch would have been less meaningful. Porter will cost them a game or two at some point. It's inevitable.

waddu eye no said...

been to the last two comback home games, and happy to sit in the heat to watch a hot team. glad desi didnt have to swing to make a contribution. guessing this means, though, no DL - at least not retroactive. so if he has to go on DL, it's for the max time, right?

and as far as the comment last night about the anthem singer. ditto. ick

Sec.3, My Sofa said...

sec3, I'm pretty sure that MicheleS doesn't owe me a coke, as she'd originally posted a link to an story on the bat prank in last night's game thread.

I thought that was NatsLady?

natsfan1a said...

Oops, after looking at the thread again, you're right. My bad for crediting the wrong person with the original link. Wait, do I owe *NatsLady* a coke now? I'm so confused. :-)

JD said...

Gotta get some catching help especially if Solano is hurting. Flores is wilting.

Ramon Hernandez?

Section 222 said...

I'm sure Porter was playing it safe since the game was already tied and there was just one out. And Harper hit a rocket to the wall. But I'm surprised Porter didn't wave him on once the ball took that crazy carom past the RF.

Harper clearly made the right decision, which isn't surprising. That guy can play baseball. More and more he reminds me of the young Barry Bonds, with more hustle.

Sec.3, My Sofa said...

Well, you can hardly take a coke from Michele for that. I think you must owe me one.

Sec.3, My Sofa said...

I blame Valdespin's HR equally on Flores and Clippard.

At the time, FP said Flores wanted the pitch up, but I saw him point into the ground with his mitt after the sign--I thought he wanted Clip to bounce it. Which is close to what he did, so I think--could be wrong, have to ask them to really know--he just didn't get it down enough. I agree the high fastball might have been a better call.

natsfan1a said...

Okay, just put in on my tab. Wait, what? :-D

Sec.3, My Sofa said...

Well, you can hardly take a coke from Michele for that. I think you must owe me one.
July 18, 2012 11:30 AM

Tcostant said...

Adam Dunn's career year con't...

realdealnats said...

Great observation Eddie. The Kid is something else.

Sec.3, My Sofa said...

Okay, just put in on my tab. Wait, what?

I don't want Tab, dammit. I'm a Diet Pepsi man!

ehay2k said...

Dunn - MLB called, they want their base back.

NatsLady said...

More Ozzie (from Hardball Times):

Marlins 9, Cubs 5: The Ozzie returns to Chicago. This was fun: Cubs fans booed him during a pitching change in the eighth inning. So Guillen pointed toward his ring finger, telling the Wrigley faithful that unlike the Cubbies, he has a World Series ring. God, I love Ozzie sometimes. Carlos Lee had a grand slam in a five-run fifth inning for the Fish.

Also, from the Rizzo Show today (on 106.7) Rizzo knew about the bat prank and wouldn't have let it happen except that it was LaRoche. If ALR thought it was OK, it was OK. I thought that was interesting on a lot of levels.

natsfan1a said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
natsfan1a said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
natsfan1a said...

All your base are belong to Dunn.

But Tab has sass, sec3. I thought you liked sass? Now that I think about it, maybe Moxie would be better. :-) (Dang, hope I didn't spend too much time blowing up that comment.)

I don't want Tab, dammit. I'm a Diet Pepsi man!

Mark Grabowsky said...

Well, I sacrificed a chicken in the 10th inning.

#4 said...

More on young pitchers throwing lots of innings:

There have been six MLB pitchers who at the age of 19 threw at least 200 innings in a season. They are:

Dwight Gooden
Bob Feller
Gary Nolan
Chief Bender
Pete Schneider
Wally Bunker

Nolan, Schneider and Bunker were all done as MLB pitchers by the age of 25. Gooden's last decent season was at the age of 25. Feller pitched a long time, had a three year "holiday" during the war, and had lost his fastball by the time he was 27. Only Bender, pitching in the dead ball era, has a longish career.

UnkyD said...

I don't want Tab, dammit. I'm a Diet Pepsi man!
Watch your language, young fella; this is a family establishment. If you want diet Pepsi, I'll be happy to order it...take about 2 weeks....

mick said...

I love Ozzie too, but on this he is a complete ass.

A DC Wonk said...

Harper couldn't have taken home on the overthrow to third: 1) David Wright was on top of him and was taking his sweet time getting off; 2) someone (pitcher?) had backed up the throw and got to it fairly quickly. Harper would've been out

mick said...

there are some great questions for Mark.... I hope he is able to delve into

1) trade rumors

2) who comes up and who goes down from now until 9/1

3)most pending... who pitchhes verse Braves on Sunday... Lannan or Perry

JD said...


Perry is pitching tonight at Harrisburg; it ain't him.

Sec.3, My Sofa said...

But Tab has sass, sec3. I thought you liked sass? Now that I think about it, maybe Moxie would be better.

Maybe that's what got into Dunn, some Moxie.

mick said...

also... knowing i will get slammed for bringing up the O's, but are they after Dempster or Grienke?

mick said...

OK JD.... then Lannan or Maya? o is it Lannan period?

mick said...

I only mention Maya because some one else mentioned him

NatsNut said...

Anyone who can criticize Bo Porter's 3B coaching skills must not have been here for the Tim Tolman days.

NatsLady said...

If you look in the comments section of this blog post you will find a funny description of last night's game from a Mets' fan point-of-view.


Doc said...

RE: Clip's slow stuff to Vladespin. I thought that Ray Knight's commentary was spot on. In that pitch sequence it was time to toss some high heat to a guy that just came off the bench.

Section 222 said...

Thanks for the link to the Mets fans' suffering NL. Fabulous. Here's my favorite part --

"I have to say: I thought of you while I was watching it and figured you had been suffering through it. But, man, watching Bryce Harper step up there and lace that triple was something. Yes, the Mets lose in that instance, but baseball wins."

Bryce love all over the place. I noted also that there was great dissatisfaction with their manager's use of the relievers and their catcher's failure to block the wild pitch in the dirt. Sound familiar?

#4 said...

Here's another list. These are the 23 year olds who have thrown at least 200 innings between 2000-2009. It's a cattle call of blown out arms and diminished effectiveness:

Hernandez, F.
Santana, E.
Willis, D.
Vasquez, J.
Weaver, Jeff

There are some exceptions here, but not too many.

Tcostant said...


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