Thursday, August 2, 2012

Game 104: Phillies at Nats

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Jayson Werth is back in the Nationals' lineup for tonight's game.
The last time Jayson Werth played for the Nationals, the Phillies were in town and Cole Hamels was on the mound for a nationally televised series finale between the NL East rivals. So there is plenty of symmetry to Werth's return from a broken wrist tonight, with the Phillies again in town, Hamels on the mound and MLB Network televising the game across the country (though not in the D.C. market, per league restrictions).

Werth, out since May 6, will start in center field and bat sixth, though both positions could change from day to day. Davey Johnson said he plans to swap Werth and Bryce Harper between center and right fields, keeping both players fresh. He also suggested he might hit Werth in the leadoff spot at times.

Ryan Zimmerman also returns to the Nationals lineup for the first time in this series, though he came off the bench with a pinch-hit last night. They're still missing Ian Desmond, but as Johnson described it, "this is the closest we've been in a long time" to fielding their entire regular lineup.

Plenty of updates to come, so please check back often...

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv, MLB Network (outside D.C. market)
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 89
Weather: Partly cloudy, 87 degrees, Wind 7 mph RF to LF
NATIONALS (61-42)
SS Danny Espinosa
RF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
LF Michael Morse
1B Adam LaRoche
CF Jayson Werth
C Sandy Leon
2B Steve Lombardozzi
LHP Ross Detwiler

PHILLIES (47-57)
SS Jimmy Rollins
3B Kevin Frandsen
2B Chase Utley
C Carlos Ruiz
1B Ty Wigginton
RF John Mayberry
LF Domonic Brown
CF Michael Martinez
LHP Cole Hamels

UMPIRES
HP Marvin Hudson
1B Jordan Baker
2B Tim McClelland (cc)
3B Ted Barrett

7:07 p.m. -- And we're underway. Big ovation for Jayson Werth as he took his position in center field and heard his name announced in the starting lineup for the first time in nearly three months.

7:14 p.m. -- A scoreless top of the first for Ross Detwiler, though it very nearly turned into a fiasco at the end. With two outs, Chase Utley got a huuuge jump off first base and had second stolen easily. Carlos Ruiz then tapped a slow roller to the right of second base, forcing Steve Lombardozzi to hit the brakes and change directions. Lombardozzi made the play in time, but only because Ruiz is so slow. Had he beaten it out, Utley would've been standing on third base.

7:23 p.m. -- A chance for the Nats in the bottom of the first after Ryan Zimmerman drew a two-out walk, but Cole Hamels got Michael Morse fishing at a ball in the dirt to end the inning. Oh, and if you completely forgot about the Hamels-Harper encounter, you weren't alone. It didn't really register any reaction here, nor did I even think about it until after Harper had flied out to center. Scoreless after one.

7:33 p.m. -- It feels like it's been a long time since Bryce Harper threw out somebody on the bases. Well, he picked a good time to do it again. Gunned down John Mayberry trying to score on Michael Martinez's base hit to right. That's the rookie's third assist of the season and it helped keep this a scoreless game.

7:47 p.m. -- You know, Adam LaRoche's batting average has obviously plummeted from where it was in May (around .330, now .265) but his production hasn't diminished in the least. After launching Hamels' first pitch of the bottom of the second into the second deck in right field, he's now got 20 homers. That puts him on pace for 30 homers and 100 RBI by season's end. He's been invaluable to the Nationals, who now lead 1-0 after two. (Werth, by the way, delivered a solid, line-drive single to left in his first at-bat.)

7:58 p.m. -- Detwiler is through three scoreless innings, but he's been playing with fire. He's put six men on base so far and has needed to come up big with guys in scoring position to escape unscathed.

8:09 p.m. -- The Phillies' infield defense hasn't been stellar at all this series, and the Nats have taken advantage of that. Technically, they didn't commit any errors in the bottom of the third, but both Utley and Rollins could've been charged with E's on back-to-back grounders hit by Zimmerman and Morse. They went in the books as singles, and when LaRoche followed with a clean base hit (for his 64th RBI of the year) and Werth added a productive RBI groundout to the right side, the Nats saw their lead extend to 3-0 after three.

8:30 p.m. -- Props to Detwiler for getting this game back under control. After those shaky couple of innings to get this one started, he's now retired eight in a row and sits at only 66 pitches through five scoreless innings. Still 3-0 as we go to the bottom of the fifth.

8:43 p.m. -- And Detwiler keeps trucking along, retiring the side again in the sixth to give him 11 in a row. Get this: In seven starts since rejoining the Nats' rotation, his ERA is now down to 2.23. That's your No. 5 starter, folks. Nats still lead 3-0 heading to the bottom of the sixth.

8:51 p.m. -- It hasn't been a particularly good week for Bo Porter, who just had his third runner thrown out at the plate in the last two series. This time it was LaRoche trying to tag on Lombardozzi's line out to shallow right. Mayberry's throw to the plate easily got LaRoche, who turned and looked back at Porter as if to question why he was sent in the first place. Still 3-0 as we move to the seventh.

8:57 p.m. -- Make it 14 in a row retired by Detwiler. He's now through the seventh on an economic 88 pitches. He's reached the eighth inning only once before in his career (Sept. 20, 2011 against the same Phillies). I think we may see him get another chance here ... or maybe not. Tyler Moore will pinch-hit for him to lead off the bottom of the seventh.

9:05 p.m. -- Sean Burnett in for the top of the eighth.

9:11 p.m. -- Brilliant play by Lombardozzi to end the top of the eighth in style. That's 17 in a row now retired by Nats pitchers. Still 3-0.

9:27 p.m. -- OK, here comes Tyler Clippard in search of his 21st save of the season. He's up three runs and will face Utley, Ruiz and Wigginton in the ninth.

9:40 p.m. -- That'll do it. Clippard closes out a 3-0 victory, though he did issue a pair of walks and had to face Ryan Howard representing the tying run. (No worries, he struck him out on three pitches.) Detwiler improves to 6-4 with a 3.02 ERA. And the Nats ensure they'll maintain at least a 2 1/2-game lead over the Braves, pending the outcome of their rain-delayed game against the Marlins tonight.

101 comments:

phil dunton said...

Seven and one half seasons and the Nationals still don't have a decent leadoff hitter. That is truly unbelievable!

SpingfieldNatsFan1 said...

Nats need a win tonight...GO NATS!!!!!!

natsfan1a said...

Agreed, SpringfieldNatsFan. Go, Det! Go, NATS!! Go, Harp! (New School vs. Old School: The Sequel.) Welcome back, Jayson! (I'll be watching on tv so maybe y'all at the game who are so inclined can give him a nice, loud welcome back for me.)

peric said...

Seven and one half seasons and the Nationals still don't have a decent leadoff hitter. That is truly unbelievable!

How many teams really do? One was so effective for the Phillies they traded the guy to LA. And will Atlanta re-up Bourn?

Too many here over value the lead off spot. It ain't worth a fiddler's damn if the heart of the order isn't hitting. Then they get to see the nasty stuff right up front. You just need guys who know how to take a walk in front of the run producers. Werth knows how to take a walk. Lombardozzi knows how to take a walk. Anthony Rendon when he arrives knows how to take a walk. And at the beginning of the season Harper did as well. And he has good enough speed to lead off. As does Bernadina, As does Corey Brown. As does Eury Perez. But do they know how to take walks?

The Nats got to the best record in baseball nigh onto August 1st without a designated lead-off hitter.

Old Wino said...

Thanks Phil, I was about to say Go Nats! But now I'm depressed. I guess I'll just go eat worms, and watch the Olympics.

Not!

:)

Mr. Doggett said...

This is so freaking exciting. I hope we trounce the phils tonight and Werth goes 3-4. He deserves to have a good comeback after the way he went out with the injury and the philly fans cheering. Plus Ross has been hot lately....

GYFNG!!!!

MicheleS said...

GYFNG!!! It's WerthDay!

NatsLady said...

Yeah, I guess the sabermetricians were right. Who leads off just doesn't make that much difference. Guys in the lineup either hit or they don't.

Mr. Doggett said...

Holy mother of God. Peric's positivity is lifting the comments section of the blog and eradicating the naysayers. Somebody pinch me!

djinFl. said...

Way to lead off the night with a negative comment Phil. I know we are only in first place, which none of us foresaw, so lets start complaining about a horrible situation.
Geesh, just try and enjoy one game.

natsfan1a said...

Just goes to show that we need a new leadoff commenter. ;-)

NatsLady said...

Yep, peric very mellow today, even said something nice about Werth. :)

natsfan1a said...

btw, was Michael Martinez (Phillies CF) formerly of the Potomac Nationals?

NatsLady said...

Good one, 1A!

JD said...

NL,

I don't think the sabermetricians totally discount the importance of the leadoff spot; they just take issue with the old definition of the leadoff hitter as someone who is fast and steals bases. The key is as Peric says to get on base and leadoff is important because you have more plate appearances than anyone else.

MicheleS said...

Just heard Ray.. "don't know what's up with Henry's back, but It's great to have Jayson back."

Even Ray knew Henry was going down.

natsfan1a said...

Thanks, NatsLady.

After some googling, looks like it's the same guy. Was selected by the Phillies in the Rule 5 draft a few years ago. I probably read about that at the time, but didn't recall it today. (What day is it, again?)

natsfan1a said...

btw, was Michael Martinez (Phillies CF) formerly of the Potomac Nationals?
August 02, 2012 6:28 PM

baseballswami said...

I think Lombo has done a very decent job. He can slap the ball, has a tiny bit of pop and sees lots of pitches. Hit batting average will never show you how many pitches he fouls off during his at bats. He has a very steady approach at the plate, switch hits and is fast. Nice little player. I would rather he lead off than Danny , who tends to swing at the first pitch - took over for Ankiel. I am very excited about this line up. Still think the team has been in a little bit of a let- down kind of funk. I hope it's over sooner rather than later. Maybe they can get fired up to face Hamels.

MicheleS said...

NatsJack. Sent you a tweet.

djinFl. said...

FP's comments on the dj getting tossed from the game last night ought to be priceless. He has been urgong 'Third Eye Blind ' to wear umps outfits for their concert.

phil dunton said...

Lombardozzi has an OBP of .310. Espinosa's is lower.

baseballswami said...

I actually think I saw a team stat that showed number of pitches seen in each at bat and Lombo was second only to ALR. That's a good skill in a lead off guy. Again - might not show as a hit, or walk, but useful to the guys behind him and to him later in the game.

peric said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NatsJack in Florida said...

MicheleS...haven't gotten it yet.

peric said...

Werth is in the wrong spot in the lineup to take advantage of his OBP skills.

MicheleS said...

NJ.. Try looking at the section @Connect on your timeline

NatsJack in Florida said...

No. I got it. Gorzo must have been #10 because they only listed the top 9.

MicheleS said...

I hope Colbert stinks it up tonight.. that would just be the best thing.

NatsLady said...

Article on leadoff.

/philosophy-of-batting-leadoff

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/philosophy-of-batting-leadoff/

JaneB said...

GYFNG,

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

It is hard to believe that Ryan is playing tonight. That seems highly risky to me given the current state of his health. I am not sure why they are rushing him back given the grave state of his health....

baseballswami said...

I hope Cole is really good but the Nats hitters are better!

MicheleS said...

A Question to the STH's:

Any suggestions, comments, advice for Picnic in the Park? Is it possible to get autographs - or are the lines to long? How are the panel discussions

NatsLady said...

Not going to the picnic. If someone wants my ticket you can meet me tomorrow at the game and I'll give it to you. Checked with my rep, he said the ticket is transferrable.

NatsLady said...

McCutch won player of the month, Ryan second, per Charlie. Can't argue with that, McCutch is better than Pujols and Hamilton put together (see Hardball Talk).

Section 222 said...

Good evening everyone. I have two passes for Saturday's Picnic in the Park that will otherwise go unused, if anyone would like them. You need to have tickets to Saturday's game to get in. The Picnic starts at 1:30 pm. It's great fun for kids -- autographs, pictures, and you can go down on the field and in the dugout.

If you'd like them email me at Section314not222@gmail.com and we'll figure out a way to get them to you.

NatsLady said...

Radio and gameday only. Harper "gunned" down a guy at home according to Fils' announcers...

NatsLady said...

For some reason I'm not getting Charlie and Dave on Gameday...only the Fillies (and their ads).

MicheleS said...

A BOMB From ADAM!!!

NatsLady said...

ALR 5 for 20 off Colbert, 3 of the 5 are HR's. Nice.

Gonat said...

The MASN double jinx, Carpenter was just hooting about how Lombo rarely stikes out and MASN sent their stupid text message.

Swift Eagle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NatsLady said...

Detwiler not a good bunter. Fillies announcers said low strikes are the easiest to bunt. Then he strikes out.

NatsLady said...

Some Espy love from the announcers, but remarked on his K's. So, he K's.

baseballswami said...

Yes, nats lady - Harper gunned the guy down - but their third base coach was doing his very best Bo Porter imitation at the time. nats put a lot of pressure on Hamels this last inning - saw lots pitches, fouled them off, hr by ALR, hit by Werth. Don't be too hard on Det with that bunt. At least one of those pitches was clearly a ball.Espi with the K, of kourse. Danny - get back on track, you are killing us.

baseballswami said...

Gonat - pitch that lombo k'd on was also clearly a ball. Did you hear what they said about Lombo? Makes contact over 80 percent of the time. At that point he had only 29 k's in almost 300 at bats. That's why I would rather see him lead off than Danny.

Swift Eagle said...

What the heck is Utley doing on that throw?? Just weird

Swift Eagle said...

The Braves are really starting to get annoying! It's time for them to cool off already, they aren't that good!

MicheleS said...

The Phillies defense.. just wow...

Swift Eagle said...

And again, ALR makes it look easy..He is one of those guys you can only really appreciate when you watch him every day. He's better than his stats...

Nats212 said...

Amazing how every time The nats are dominating this blog goes quiet!

MicheleS said...

Good to see Det pitching so well. Keep it going....

Section 222 said...

MicheleS, on the Picnic -- I'm not much of a photo or autograph guy, but the lines did seem pretty long, depending on the player. (Zim doesn't sign autographs by the way.) The panels are fun, and I think Rizzo had a Q&A one year. And going on the field to the dugout and the bullpen is cool too. In past years, there was free food, but I'm not sure if they are doing that this year.

To tell the truth, again because I don't care much about autographs or photos with players, I wouldn't make a big effort to go again unless I were taking along a young fan. But if you've never gone, it's worth doing once. Makes for a long day though, since you'll be staying for the game.

A DC Wonk said...

Nats212. I thinks what's happened is that the gloom and doom guys have poisoned the well so bad that a number of real fans don't participate in game threads anymore :-(.

Drew said...

Stephen Strasburg -- 3.12 ERA

Ross Detwiler -- 3.05 ERA

Discuss.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Wow. Bo Porter is on some kind of cold streak.

I'm glad this guy isn't landing planes for a living.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Ross - 77 pitches through 6. Fewest beers (3) I've ever drank in a Detweiler outing (so far).

MicheleS said...

Drew. Mark had a really good stat the other day about JZ (last year) and Stras' pre/post All star break ERA's. Very enlightening and just proved that Stras needs to be shut down at some point.

OOF.. Adam.. dude you don't have the speed to try that..

Candide said...

WTF is wrong with Porter? Morse was out by ten feet the other day, LaRoche today.

Nats212 said...

Wonk, if that is true, it is a Shame, gama threads used To be really fun!

Sunshine, u made me laugh my heart out!

Candide said...

Dang... did they stick Zimmermann in Detwiler's uniform?

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Win, lose or draw -- big batch of choc. chip cookies for Det tonight. He really looked like a pitcher tonight. Seemed to have a plan, stuck with it, threw strikes. If he's our No. 5 guy...pretty freakin' bueno.

NatsLady said...

Haven't seen Navy Nats in a while. Wonder if he's on assignment somewhere or just "lurking."

MicheleS said...

88 pitches.. Will he come out for the 8th? i hope so! Just have someone warming up....

UnkyD said...

Lookit Det!!! Treating the Philthies line Earl Anthony used to treat bowling pins!!! You there, at the game..... Is he even sweating?

GYFNG!!!!!!

A DC Wonk said...

Who wouldda thunk it? Detwiler the stopper. After two team losses he comes in to throw seven shut out innings. Awesome!

MicheleS said...

Dang.. he is done. but Cookies for DET! Excellent night.

Anyone think at times that McCatty is like a Den Mother with all of them? He probably fusses endlessly over them. And then just laughes his head off when they have nights like this.

Candide said...

MicheleS said...Anyone think at times that McCatty is like a Den Mother with all of them?

"Den motherly" is probably the last image that comes to mind for me when thinking about McCatty.

Section 222 said...

I don't want to get a reputation for standing up for Bo no matter what, and I definitely think he made a mistake sending E-Jax last night, but with the pitcher coming up, it wasn't a bad decision to send ALR. He knew Det would bat for himself, so why not take a shot and hope for a bad throw?

Would that foul pop really have been fan interference if Wigginton hadn't caught it? I thought if the ball is in the stands the fan has as much right to the ball as the player.

MicheleS said...

222 not crushing Bo, but Adam should have stopped.. he is not exactly umm.. fast..

MicheleS said...

That throw from lombo.. sweet...

Swift Eagle said...

And the pick from ALR, Again...

#4 said...

Adam can't really stop. Once the 3rd base coach sends him, the decision is made. As much as I criticize Bo's decisions, I'm sort of with 222 on this one. If Det was in fact going to hit, it was worth a shot.

mick said...

UnkyD said...
Lookit Det!!! Treating the Philthies line Earl Anthony used to treat bowling pins!!! You there, at the game..... Is he even sweating?


showing your age dude, lol

mick said...

Lombo is a player

#4 said...

Schwimmer's a local kid from St. Stephen's/St Agnes in Alexandria - alma mater of Tom Boswell also.

MicheleS said...

#4.. i get that he couldn't stop, just find it mildly amusing seeing him trying to be fleet of foot.

#4 said...

Agreed, Michelle.

#4 said...

Sorry..Michele.

Section 222 said...

Heck of a throw by Lombo. I didn't think he had that play in him.

MicheleS said...

#4.. no worries.

Swift Eagle said...

They go on and on, in excruciating detail, post after post after post, about all the things the Nats are doing wrong....But all it takes to make the Legion of Doom disappear is 8 shut out innings....

MicheleS said...

I didn't know Leon could bat lefty. How rare are switch hitting catchers?

#4 said...

Pretty rare - Ted Simmons comes to mind.

mick said...

#4 my oldest played against him in HS, they never beat him

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

#4, when we played him, there were about 15 scouts with radar guns clocking him at about 92 93 then.

#4 said...

Michele-

There have been 82 switch hitting catchers in MLB history. Recently Posada, V. Martinez, and Varitek. Other past notables - Tettleton and Wynegar.

Mick - I coached against Schwimer (and probably against your son - unless he played for me). Really good pitcher.

Nats212 said...

Dempester first gama as a ranger,7 runs in 4 I. Thinking nats are better with Det

MicheleS said...

Thanks #4!

lord, Clipp does like to make things interesting

MicheleS said...

WOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOO!!!

That was a great K by Clipp!

Kardiac Kids once again!!!

Section 222 said...

Oh that was sweet!

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

"WOOOOO-HOOOOO!!!"
(Copyright, MicheleS, 2011).

We are back! All is right in the world.

GYFNG!!

#4 said...

You're welcome Michele. Here's the complete list if you're interested. It's notable that there seem to be more recent guys than old-timers on this list. Just about every guy who caught at least 500 games is post-1970.

http://bb_catchers.tripod.com/catchers/switch_hit.htm

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Davey on Colbert: "Nice to beat that guy."

My sentiments. Exactly.

mick said...

#4 I am sure he played against you

natsfan1a said...

Ding ding ding!!

A DC Wonk said...

Nats212. I thinks what's happened is that the gloom and doom guys have poisoned the well so bad that a number of real fans don't participate in game threads anymore :-(.
August 02, 2012 8:48 PM

'Chili Mo' -- Section 3, My Sofa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
'Chili Mo' -- Section 3, My Sofa said...

Let's put that another way: When there's turds floating in the punchbowl, getting punch from the other side of the bowl just doesn't work for some people.

natsfan1a said...

Hey, sec3. Good to "see" you on here!

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

Thanks, 1a. Maybe I should have gone positive, with a Yogi quote: "If people don't want to come to the [blog], how are you going to stop them?"

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