Saturday, August 18, 2012

Game 120: Mets at Nats

US Presswire photo
The Nationals try to improve to 30 games over .500 tonight against the Mets.
Considering Bryce Harper just had his best offensive performance in weeks, going 2-for-3 with a homer and a walk, you might have been surprised when Davey Johnson revealed after last night's game the rookie wouldn't be in tonight's lineup. Johnson, though, had been planning that day off all along for Harper, and he's planning to give him even more of them over the remainder of the season.

"He had a great game," Johnson said. "Just relax. Catch your breath. Let me let some of the other guys get into it."

So Tyler Moore will get the start tonight in left field, with Jayson Werth shifting to center field and Michael Morse shifting to right field. Look for more lineup finagling in the coming days as Johnson tries to find opportunities to keep Moore, Steve Lombardozzi and Roger Bernadina fresh.

As for tonight's game, Edwin Jackson is on the mound, looking to bounce back from a bit of a ragged start last week in Arizona (though he did still earn the win that night). Left-hander Jon Niese pitches for the Mets.

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

NEW YORK METS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 89
Weather: Clear, 81 degrees, Wind 7 mph in from CF
NATIONALS (74-45)
CF Jayson Werth
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
RF Michael Morse
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
LF Tyler Moore
C Jesus Flores
RHP Edwin Jackson

METS (56-63)
SS Ruben Tejada
RF Mike Baxter
3B David Wright
1B Ike Davis
2B Daniel Murphy
LF Jordany Valdespin
CF Andres Torres
C Josh Thole
LHP Jon Niese

UMPIRES
HP Marvin Hudson
1B Jordan Baker
2B Ted Barrett (cc)
3B Brian Runge

7:07 p.m. -- We are underway on an absolutely gorgeous night in the nation's capital. 81 degrees and barely any hint of humidity as Edwin Jackson starts off Ruben Tejada with a fastball for strike one.

7:12 p.m. -- Jackson pitches his way around a one-out triple by Mike Baxter to keep the Mets from scoring in the top of the first. Have to give an assist to Ryan Zimmerman, who made another nifty grab of David Wright's smoked grounder to third and nearly tagged Baxter out before throwing to first for the out.

7:25 p.m. -- A couple of hits from Danny Espinosa and Zimmerman in the bottom of the first, setting the table for the big boys in the Nats lineup. But Michael Morse flied out to right and Adam LaRoche's wheels weren't quite fast enough to beat out a grounder to second. So it remains scoreless after one.

7:35 p.m. -- Good stuff from Jackson so far. He struck out a pair in the top of the second, both on swings and misses, and has needed only 28 pitches to get through two scoreless innings.

7:48 p.m. -- Man, does Jackson have a devastating slider tonight, or what? He's struck out four of the last six batters, three on sliders, and has completed three scoreless innings.

8:05 p.m. -- Jackson's dominance continues in the top of the fourth as he strikes out another pair. That's six total strikeouts for the game, all of them coming in a span of nine batters, all of them swinging. The right-hander really has displayed a killer fastball-slider combo so far tonight, keeping the Mets completely off-guard. Not that the Nats lineup is doing much of anything against Niese. They've compiled only those two first-inning singles so far, so this remains a 0-0 game in the middle of the fourth.

8:21 p.m. -- I assume somebody will score before this game ends, right? Because nobody has seriously threatened yet, and we've reached the halfway point of the game. Jackson just needed all of 10 pitches to finish off a 1-2-3 fifth inning. He's got seven strikeouts now, still all of them swinging. And the game is still scoreless.

8:37 p.m. -- Make it 10 strikeouts (and zero walks) for Jackson through six scoreless innings. Complete dominance from the right-hander tonight. Now, if only his teammates could scratch out one run off Niese...

8:49 p.m. -- They couldn't do it in the bottom of the sixth. Espinosa beat out a slow dribbler to lead off the inning but was stranded at first base. Zimmerman sent a long flyball to the warning track, Morse struck out for the second time tonight and LaRoche was robbed of a hit (possibly extra bases) by Ike Davis' nifty scoop at first. Onto the seventh inning of a scoreless game.

8:58 p.m. -- Well, that just changed in a hurry. Jackson walked Wright to lead off the seventh, nearly taking his head off on ball four. Then Davis crushed the very next pitch into the left-field bullpen for a two-run homer. Just like that, the Mets have taken a 2-0 lead despite only two hits tonight. And just like that, the Nats find themselves needing to score at least two runs before making nine outs.

9:01 p.m. -- On a brighter note: A sellout crowd of 42,662 (second-largest in Nationals Park history) paid to attend a pennant race game tonight instead of staying home to watch exhibition football. Well done, everyone.

9:05 p.m. -- If I told you Edwin Jackson's final line would read: 7 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 11 K, 1 HR ... you'd probably take that, right? What if I told you that wouldn't be good enough to earn the win? A great start wasted. Ryan Mattheus in for the eighth, the Nats still down 2-0.

9:15 p.m. -- Well, Terry Collins just pulled Jon Niese one out into the eighth. This would probably be an appropriate time to point out the Mets bullpen has a 5.05 ERA, worst in the majors. Jon Rauch in to face Werth.

9:22 p.m. -- No rally in the eighth as Rauch retires Werth and Espinosa. So the Nats are down to their final three outs. They still trail 2-0 as we head to the ninth.

9:33 p.m. -- Last chance for the Nats. Frank Francisco on the mound. Zimmerman, Morse and LaRoche due up.

9:42 p.m. -- That'll do it. A very frustrating 2-0 loss for the Nationals before a sellout crowd that waited all night to explode and never got the opportunity to do it.

98 comments:

mick said...

43 games left and counting....

fun stuff!!

mick said...

The Land Shark is considered the cleverest of all sharks. Unlike the Great White shark, which tends to inhabit the waters and harbors of recreational beach areas, the Land Shark inhabits baseball parks and will strike at any time during the course of game. It is capable of disguising its voice, and generally preys on National League teams in the East.

lol

peric said...

Natslady isn't going to be happy with this outfield. Moore and Morse in the outfield. Plus Jayson in center.

mick said...

Recent Land Shark attack: MinuteMaid Park, Houston, TX.

Brett Wallace: swings his bat, the ball takess off
Voice: (mumbling) Mr. Allaccehhh?
Wallace: Who?
Voice: (mumbling) Mr. Wallace?
Wallace: Who is it?
Voice: Flowers.
Wallace: Flowers for whom?
Voice: Plumber, sirm.
Wallace I don't need a plumber. You're that clever shark, aren't you?
Voice: Candygram.
Wallace: Candygram, my foot! now wwatch my game winning hit and you get out of here before I call the police! You're the shark, and you know it!
Voice: Wait. I-I'm only a dolphin, sir.
Wallace: A dolphin? Well... Okay. ahhhhhhhhh


m20832 said...

This is FUN!!!!

GYFNG!!!

Laddie Blah Blah said...

Davey is doing a terrific job with this team. Imagine having Harp, Bernie, Tracy and Lombo on the bench if the Mets bring in a RH reliever in a key situation to pitch to Moore, or Desi, or some other RH hitter, and Davey can counter with any one of those guys, if needed.

EJax is starting to remind me a little of Henry. There is a good EJax and a bad EJax. We need the good one to show up tonight. Niese is pretty good.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

The all RH outfield. If this works it could be the blueprint for the remainder of the season.

Also significant that Bull Moose is leading off and not Espi.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Should have said the blueprint vs LH pitching.

PFB Balls of Fire said...

Love Werth as the lead-off.

baseballswami said...

Hoping for good Ejax tonight. Or at least a hot hitting line up to counter balance if he is not.

Candide said...

Thirty games over .500. Sorry, I can't take it - air is too thin at this altitude, can't breathe...

Ah, screw it. Hypoxia is a small price to pay...

GYFNG!!!

peric said...

And Espinosa is in the slot Davey thinks he would fit best in.

Werth could be the perfect #1 hitter. Someone who knows how to get on anyway he can yet still packs enough power to garner respect from pitchers. If accepts the role and it seems like he just might this time ...

Candide said...

Valddespin in the Metropolitans' starting lineup. Good omen.

Another_Sam said...

NatsJack - what section?

baseballswami said...

Any of you who are parents - do you often find the care and feeding of Bryce Harper humorous? He got two hits last night, including a home run. After the game Davey called attention to his missing the cutoff man. Is Bryce in time out? I have been reading some tweets about how Bryce reacts, things he needs to learn to accept. Like the fact that some of the other little boys need a turn to play. Seems like parenting 101 to me. Some days he seems more like 19 than others.

Wendell said...

What a bunch of IDIOTS on Fox (Yankees-Sox).They're back on the Stras shutdown & are saying that no one supports it and that there are no reasons to support it.

DannyEllinosa said...

Tim McCarver having conniptions and Fox doing 1933 cost of living graphics related to the last time DC was in pennant race. IDIOTS!

DannyEllinosa said...

We've waited this long so why make Strasburg a human sacrifice?

NatsNut said...

Candide, you're being sarcastic, right? Valdespin has been a Nat killer.

Wendell said...

Danny -

Mr. Applegate has already taken care of it.

Steady Eddie said...

No, NatsNut, Valdespin has been a Nats killer when he pinch hits.. Not so great when he's starting, and I'd ge's starting that means he can't pinch hit.

Get with the code, dude! ;-)

DannyEllinosa said...

Thx Wendell. I heard the FOX idiots too. And impressed that they dragged out 1933 numbers with graphIcs to press their point of how long DC has been waitIng. They do anything to stir the pot.

Steady Eddie said...

mick @ 4:06 -- love it!

Actually one of the few OK Clint moments was last night in one of the pre-game competitions when the contestants we're asked to identify pictures of various kinds of sharks. One of the choices was actually "land shark" -- and when one of them chose it, Clint said "well, you'll make someone from SNL very happy!"

Almost made him likable at the time...

NatsNut said...

Haha. Got it!

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Going for 30 games over .500!

GYFNG!!

ExposedinDC said...

Wendell, just curious, does your comment mean you support shutting Stras down 100% ?

Candide said...

WHERE WAS MOORE on that hit? Ball got past Werth and Moore was nowhere around.

baseballswami said...

But Ejax left that ball up really fat and juicy for the hitter.

Candide said...

Thanks, SteadyEddie.

djinFl. said...

Did Werth hurt himself diving for the ball? He did not look well after catching the flyball.

Candide said...

Pretty quiet here tonight. Are all the NI people at the game?

RickH said...

The good EJax.

baseballswami said...

I'm here - post away. Offense putting a little pressure on the pitcher in the first. Keep it up.

NatsNut said...

I don't have a TV so it's nice when I do get a chance to watch the game on TV, but I couldn't really take Ray Knight for very long. Had to mute and put Charlie and Dave on. When is FP supposed to be back?

Faraz Shaikh said...

back to back to back jacks against Sheets, 3-1 Dodgers.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

MicheleS, I just heard about Sheets. Repeat after me, small sample size.

Candide said...

Jackson looking great.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

You folks can't say I didn't warn you about the impending Ben Sheets breakdown. Again, think rusted-out 1977 Olds Cutlass. Nothing left in the tank.

NatsNut said...

Mark, anytime you're ready for a trip to the stands, go ahead. We'll wait.

Santangelo for President 2012 said...

Edwin looking really good tonight.

baseballswami said...

NatsNut I think FP is gone just for the weekend. It's his daughter's birthday. He has been watching and tweeting humorous things. I appreciated Ray Knight's career and I love his wife, but this is not his forte. Would rather have had Byron Kerr or Phil Wood.

ehay2k said...

Ejax is throwing nasty stuff tonight. Slider sets up fastball down and in to lefties. Sweet.

Candide said...

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...You folks can't say I didn't warn you about the impending Ben Sheets breakdown.

You didn't warn us about the impending Ben Sheets breakdown.

I has a keyboard. I can says anythings I wants.

ehay2k said...

Sunshine does get credit for calling Sheets' downfall in a thread a while back. I seem to recall the Cutlass reference

ehay2k said...

Time to break out the jamage meter!

Nattering Nat said...

Two things. As for when FP will be back, I heard Bob Carpenter say, assuming I heard correctly, that he was gone "for the home stand", staying West. I guess that means he misses the Braves series, though hard to believe.

The other thing has to do with how the Nats attendance is reported. I was there last night, walked around the stadium, and you could count the empty seats in the hundreds, that's all. Yet attendance was announced at under 35k. All I can figure is that season ticket holders get points that entitle them to a bunch of free extra tickets (like around 25 a season per seat), and maybe there were a bunch of freebies in the seats last night. Otherwise, I don't get it, the place was very close to full.

ehay2k said...

Just figured out that if you stream the game on At Bat, you can delay the TV feed to match with Charlie and Dave's calling of the game! Heaven!

Joe Seamhead said...

I thought it was just me and the Mrs! Ray Knight is gawd awful as a game time commentator.Hurry back, FP!

Nattering Nat said...

And did you hear Dave J just say why Ryan Dempster couldn't make the trip to Toronto to pitch for the Rangers? Because he couldn't find his passport! And he's Canadian.

Santangelo for President 2012 said...

Alright now we need some bats guys.

ehay2k said...

He was with the Cubs, why would he need to go to Canada (during the season) after interleage play ends?

Now, about these immigrants taking our jobs... ;-)

RickH said...

EJax has been great!

ehay2k said...

Ray is a good post-game analyst. During the game, different skills are required.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Thanks Ehay2K for the institutional memory. I still say it's a sign of the Barves' desperation that they even signed Sheets to begin with.

ehay2k said...

Espi, deadly from the right side! Lol.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NatsTown is rocking. Need some Nats O!!!!

Candide said...

Dodgers lead the Braves 6-1 now!

ehay2k said...

Sunshine - my thoughts exactly. You knew they had a problem early in the season when they picked up Livo as quickly as they did. (And I love me some Livo, but that was a desperate pickup even to me. )

Barves lacked quality pitching depth all year.

NatsNut said...

eyay2K,
Dempster is with the Rangers now. Roy Oswalt had to make take his start.

NatsNut said...

oh. oops. eyay2K =ehay2K, although I like the yay better. LOL

ehay2k said...

Natsnut, I know - I said Dempster WAS with the Cubs, which is why he didn't need a passport after Interleague play ended (Expos gone and all.)

NatsNut said...

oh. oops again ehay2K. you meant he hasn't needed it for a long time. Sorry!

ehay2k said...

On the other hand, one could argue that Texas is a foreign country, so he should have had his passport ready.

NatsNut said...

ok, crawling under a rock now.

peric said...

FP's tweet said he would be back for the Phillie's series. Write MASN and ask for Dan Kolko or Byron Kerr instead of Ray Knight next time that happens.

ehay2k said...

Way outside on Moore.

Nattering Nat said...

I'm ignoring a two-hit, 2-0 deficit for the moment.

On attendance, though no one else has responded and maybe cares, I note that tonight's game is a sellout, and I assume one reason is no season ticket points tickets were allowed for this game.

ehay2k said...

Does Ejax have issues throwing from the stretch?

djinFl. said...

Zuckerman just tweeted that the skins are on the tube and we still have a sell out!
Wow the town is catching on.

ehay2k said...

A lot of Skins fans are partial to 3rd Eye Blind, apparently.

mick said...

thanks eddie, lol

I had to wash some dishes, how did Mets get their 2 runs? Good pitching duel tonight

ehay2k said...

Walked Wright, then Ike hits a HR.

mick said...

thanks ehay

mick said...

Ejax I thought pitched well

ehay2k said...

He did pitch well. Probably could have gone back out. Davey is either saving Ejax for the postseason, or his ear from Bryce's chirping! :-)

mick said...

Niese is a hell of a pitcher

ehay2k said...

Does tattoo removal hurt more on the back of your neck?

mick said...

ehay2k agreed

mick said...

sell out proves this town is into BASEBALL, by the way how are the skins doing, lol

blovy8 said...

I don't remember Rauch ever throwing 94 for us.

mick said...

Time for a LAND SHARK ATTACK, lol

mick said...

If we can keep it 2-0, I have a good feeling in 9th

ehay2k said...

Mick, this town craves a winner. Explains why the Kastles sell out.

mick said...

Go Dodgers!!!

mick said...

Ejac only gave up 2 hits, not bad

ehay2k said...

Lol - mick= misty may

mick said...

With Davis and Wright you would think the Mets would be a tad better

ehay2k said...

Who's Tad?

mick said...

lol ehay, ha ha ok

baseballswami said...

What a strange game - EJax and Mattheus were as sharp as I have ever seen either of them. We have more hits than the Mets. Weird.

mick said...

swami... but give Neise credit, very under rated pitcher

mick said...

and a 216 hitter is having a great game against us

mick said...

I know this may be heresy here... but Brandon Banks just ran back a 91 yd TD punt.... now let's get 3 in the 9th boys!!

waddu eye no said...

Playing right into our hands

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Who is Brandon Banks? And what was he thinking? What was in watching? Where was he going?

ehay2k said...

Uh oh - Phillies are gaining on us! Win tomorrow, take the series, keep going.

Secret wasian man said...

Perfect example of why a 1 game playoff is an absolute JOKE!!. Mediocre pitcher gets hot. Thats why we have to win this division.

natsfan1a said...

At least the Dodgers won. :-)

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