Saturday, August 4, 2012

Instant analysis: Nats 10, Marlins 7

Associated Press photo
Michael Morse congratulates Bryce Harper following his eighth-inning homer.
Game in a nutshell: What surely everyone assumed would be a pitchers' duel between Jordan Zimmermann and Mark Buehrle instead turned into one of the wildest and most entertaining ballgames of the season. Zimmermann lasted only five innings, Buehrle only went six. Three errors by the Nationals' middle infield left them trailing 6-4 in the eighth, but then the big bats busted out against the Miami bullpen. Steve Lombardozzi and Tyler Moore delivered RBI singles. Danny Espinosa then launched a three-run homer to left to put the Nats ahead for the first time all night. Bryce Harper immediately followed with a moonshot to right field, completing a six-run rally, all of the runs scoring with two outs. Tyler Clippard then finished this one off, giving the Nationals one of their most-inspired victories of the season. And since the Braves lost to Houston, the lead in the NL East is back up to three games.

Hitting highlight: This was going to be renamed the "Adam LaRoche Highlight" after the first baseman slugged two more home runs (giving him four in three days) but then Danny Espinosa and Bryce Harper stole the show in the bottom of the eighth. Espinosa, who has had a miserable couple of weeks at the plate, made everyone forget about that when he crushed a pitch from left-hander Mike Dunn over the left-field bullpen for the three-run homer that gave the Nationals the lead for good. The crowd of 33,449 serenaded Espinosa til he gave them a curtain call, and they barely had time to catch their breaths before Harper destroyed a Dunn fastball to right field, nearly reaching the third deck. The Nats have produced some big home runs this season, but those back-to-back shots might have been the biggest of them all.

Pitching lowlight: We should probably rename this category "Pitching AND defensive lowlight" because the two went hand-in-hand tonight. Zimmermann slogged through his worst start of the season, but he wasn't helped at all by his defense. Espinosa and Lombardozzi combined for three errors, and Jayson Werth and Harper each took suspect routes on line drives hit at them in the outfield. In the end, Zimmermann couldn't overcome those mistakes and failed to go at least six innings for the first time in 22 starts this season. If you're wondering about his shoulder inflammation -- which bumped this start back a day -- his velocity looked fine, consistently in the 94-95 mph range. That doesn't necessarily guarantee he's not injured, but it's usually the first sign of a problem.

Key stat: The Marlins scored more runs in this game than in any of their previous 18 games.

Up next: The series concludes at 1:35 p.m. Sunday when Stephen Strasburg squares off with Ricky Nolasco.

89 comments:

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

"WOOOOOOOOOOO-HOOOOOOOOOOO!!"
(Copyright, MicheleS, 2011).

One of the best wins of the year.

rogieshan said...

Plenty of heroics in the game, but my top hat goes to Jayson Werth for that clutch walk he drew after LaRoche reached to start the rally. Big innings aren't always the result of big hits. Love his patience there!

RickH said...

Happy for Danny and Bryce. Great win!!!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Great summary on what should have been a pitcher's duel but as we discussed JZim started in a zone with rhythm and it wasn't that he pitched poorly. Errors and extra pitches and 2 bleeders and 2 hard hit balls and an unfortunate walk.

bluejeener said...

And Atlanta lost! Every time we lose faith they prove you can't give up until that 27th out. Wow, what a ride this season is.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Bobby, I don't think anything tops the first Lannan win based on the significance of the head to head meeting with Atlanta where Nats lost the first 2 and that unforgettable 9-0 game.

Timothy Folk said...

Lombo/Moore/Harper all clutch.. Jason is werth every penny!!

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Davey: "Everybody contributed, even those who didn't play."

This team is making Davey delirious.

Me too.

djinFl. said...

@Nattering Nat

Hang in here, the jerks do drop in, but leave after a while. Learn their names and do not read their comments.
We will need all the positive energy we can get for the stretch run, because we will be in the hunt.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Question, why didn't Davey go with Bernadina in left for the 9th. He definitely catches that bloop to left over TyMo.

The attention to detail bothers me.

Darin H said...

Nice victory overshadowed by bad news. Rosenthal just tweeted Zimmerman to the DL, being sent to James Andrews for tests on the shoulder.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Davey's talking about his guys as "foxhole guys" and "grinders."

Yeah, they are.

SCNatsFan said...

Stole one tonight. Wish I could be there for Ozzy's presser tonight.

Hopefully Danny and Bryce can take a deep breath now and be the players they were when they were seeing the ball well.

djinFl. said...

Darin h
No tweets from our reporters

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Darin, this is a joke, right?

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Jordan or Ryan?

baseballswami said...

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I mean, some of us were worried that the extra time would mess with JZ's sinker and rhythm. Plus another new catcher. NO DL! NO Dr. Andrews!!!!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

No Tweets from Ken Rosenthal. WTF? NOT A FUNNY JOKE

peric said...

@Ghost, T-Mo delivered a mucho clutch hit. Davey has been saying he would find more ways to get T-Mo playing time. And since they had a big lead why not put T-Mo in left to get some reps?

He has to find a way to get T-Mo into games and right now with LaRoche looking like a 30+ HR 100 RBI guy that's going to be very, very hard. His ISO now sits at .240. It hasn't been that high since he hit 32 homers plus 28 doubles for the Braves in 2006. In other words career year happening before our eyes. I don't think you take that guy out except for a blow or to rest the minor injuries.

Steady Eddie said...

Nattering, you've just got to have a mental "ignore" button to scroll of past the useless bile-spewers, and sometimes decent contributors who got out of the wrong side of the bed that morning.

Makes the threads go a lot quicker and read more usefully too. Most folks here are good contributors and as JaneB put it, good "imaginary friends" -- but during the home game threads especially, many of them are at the game so the bile spewers tend to predominate in any game we don't jump on top in the first and stay there (which is to say, almost every game).

Section 3, My Sofa said...

Relax, Swami; national writers wouldn't have that first. But this is what I was talking about--well, one example of it.

The Fox said...

baseballswami are you having fun yet?

peric said...

Darin H said...

Four words people:

Bitter Ori'hole fan and troll.

Hey Darin Roch just tweeted that Matusz just got traded to the A's for Bartolo Colon.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Peric, that's weak. 9th inning gives him reps? Start TyMo tomorrow to give him.reps. Bernadina should've been in there as a defensive replacement for Morse.

baseballswami said...

Very funny- not. Breathing again now.

SCNatsFan said...

peric I don't know how you get TMo more ABs - except pinch hits - with Werth back and LaRoche being on a tear and solid as it gets at first. Werth isn't going to want to sit. can't sit Morse so his ABs will be at the expense of Harper. I'm not smart enough to know if that is wise.

Section 3, My Sofa said...

Espi interview on TV--I'm counting eight mikes/phones in his face.

Section 3, My Sofa said...

I thought to myself at the time, "Bernadina would have had that--Tyler's a first baseman playing left." That said, I can believe Davey might reward him with an inning after that nice hit. Can't promise that's what he did, just wouldn't startle me.

peric said...

Peric, that's weak. 9th inning gives him reps? Start TyMo tomorrow to give him.reps.

No where to fit both he and Bernadina now that Werth is back. Bernadina would normally start against right-handers even though T-Mo hits them well.

He is only going to get spots here and there which is why Davey said he wanted to send him down to get regular playing time in the Syracuse outfield or at first base. And I believe that since Marerro and Erik Komatsu are both with long recovery injuries there is definitely a need for T-Mo there. But where are you going to get a better right-handed bat off the bench? It sure as heck IS NOT DeRosa ... if Marerro weren't injured perhaps you'd use him instead ... he looks like he is destined to be a bench player anyway.

The Fox said...

This is as good as it gets.

Ghost I don't think it was reps I think it was to let him feel a little more comfortable in the field. With a 4 run lead Davey probably felt safe....well maybe.

Tcostant said...

What a win, cannot wait til Sunday!

Drew said...

Big win for the boys. Glad to see Bryce get decked out.

At Potomac, Martinson knocked in a second run and scored four. That gives him 100 RBIs and 96 runs scored in only 110 games split between Hagerstown and Potomac.

Now that Lannan has earned the right to step in for Strasburg, Ryan Perry looks like a fine fallback option. He threw seven more scoreless innings at Harrisburg, dropping his ERA to 1.54.

The Fox said...

In other news Justin Maxwell had the best game ever for the Nats going 4-4 with 2 HRs and all 3 Astros rbi.

Don't look for the Astros to help us out again tomorrow they have not won 2 games against the same team on the road this year.

peric said...

Ryan Perry looks like a fine fallback option. He threw seven more scoreless innings at Harrisburg, dropping his ERA to 1.54.

I think Syracuse may be in his very near future. Since he is already on the 40-man September starts may not be out of the question ... in other words Davey could choose to use Perry, Lannan, and perhaps Maya in place of Strasburg ... and perhaps Zimmermann since he shouldn't go beyond 190 this season. That's where they might decide to skip a start to hold Zimmermann for the playoffs. We'll have to see.

mick said...

had to listen to phil wood, what a night!!!!!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Sofa, who are you quoting on TyMo? You say Tyler's a first baseman playing left. I never said that.

The starters are set: Morse, Werth, Harper. If Bernadina hasn't pinch hit and the Nats are leafing in the 8th, its Bernadina time.

Not sure how TyMo gets reps other than pinch hitting and to give Morse a break.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Fox, if Davey was comfortable than he would have brought in Storen who was warm.

No lead seems large enough. The fish can tell you that.

peric said...

Not sure how TyMo gets reps other than pinch hitting and to give Morse a break.

And LaRoche. Its not much ... T-Mo does need more ... and there isn't much that can be done about it now that Werth is back unless an injury again occurs.

karlkolchak said...

@peric - "That's where they might decide to skip a start to hold Zimmermann for the playoffs"

That's why it would be nice to nail the division down early--with, say, a couple of weeks to go.

Jim said...

Was Ozzie so mad at Mike Dunn that he left him in to face Espinosa even though he had 2 righthanders warming up? If Espinosa bats lefthanded they might be playing this game in extra innings. Give Ozzie an honorable mention for star of the game.

Section 3, My Sofa said...

Sofa, who are you quoting on TyMo? You say Tyler's a first baseman playing left. I never said that.

No, I did. Just now.

Section 3, My Sofa said...

Well, half an hour ago.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Jim, great post. I thought the same thing but Harper a lefty was on deck. Wonder if Ozzie manages by stats or feel for the game since Danny had been slumping. He also could have brought in the RH to face TyMo but TyMo had been hitting RHs better.

peric said...

Sofa, who are you quoting on TyMo? You say Tyler's a first baseman playing left. I never said that.

At this point in his career so is Morse, so is Tracy when he gets sent there and so is DeRosa. It is what it is.

Section 3, My Sofa said...

Indeed, there are nights when they have 3 first basemen on the field.

The Fox said...

Jim said...

Was Ozzie so mad at Mike Dunn that he left him in to face Espinosa even though he had 2 righthanders warming up?

No Jim, Ozzie is just a horrible manager the team he managed to a WS won in spite of him.

He left Dunn in after he gave up the lead with his own error, a walk and 2 singles. Espinosa hit a mammoth HR and he still left him out there, Who does that? I guess you'd have to ask him why he pulled him after Harper's upper-deck shot by that point Ozzie had destroyed him and any chance his team had.

Cameron said...

Everyone needs to check out Maxwells bombs. He absolutely crushed both homers.

baseballswami said...

I hope they let Jordan get back in his normal routine. Another weird game. Nats score 10 in a game JZ starts and he doesn't get a win. Was lucky to get the no decision. It was bound to happen. A disaster for him is only five innings and four earned. Horrors.

Section 3, My Sofa said...

Was Ozzie so mad at Mike Dunn that he left him in to face Espinosa even though he had 2 righthanders warming up?

Davey suggested in the postgame interview that Ozzie didn't want to see Tracy hit instead.

peric said...

Everyone needs to check out Maxwells bombs. He absolutely crushed both homers.

Right-handed Rick Ankiel. One in a while crushes a homer otherwise 'K". He's always swinging for the fences.

The Fox said...

Section 3, My Sofa you are correct but how any owner trust Ozzie with a team is beyond me.

I think he thinks he is Billy Martin.

djinFl. said...

We should all agree that Loria deserves Ozzie,
maybe a couple like him in a row.

natsfan1a said...

Holy moly, that sounds like one heck of a ballgame. I think I set the DVR for the Saturday and the Sunday game. If not, I guess I'll see it on Nats classics some day. For tomorrow, in advance: Go, SS! Go, NATS! (Go home, Fish!)

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Peric, Maxwell can hit lefties. He welcomed Maholm rudely who had that long streak of 1earned or less streak going.

Christopher Cohen said...

Mark,
It's really of little importance, but the ball Bryce hit into the second deck was a curveball not a fastball.
Frankly, it's nice to see him stay back on a breaking ball from a lefty.

baseballswami said...

The fans get an assist tonight. So loud and into the game. Place sounded like it was rocking.

sjm308 said...

Just back from my 4th game in 5 days! What a team. I had my spousal equivalent with me and after the first few innings, I let her know it was not going to be our night. Wrong!! and loving it!
These guys just don't quit.

I might even go back to game comments just to get a laugh, but how great is it that we can hang in and win a game like that. Once again proving baseball is the greatest game going!!

Looking forward to SS on the tv tomorrow & like most of his starts after something less then positive, I am expecting a great game!

Go Nats!!

The Fox said...

Ghost what do you call a breaking ball that doesn't break?

Maholm hung a curveball that Maxwell destroyed. Recap say it's Maxwell's first 2 homer game since he played for us in 2009 in a losing effort against the fish.

To all the naysayers who can't understand how the Nat's can lose to teams under .500 the Braves just lost a home game to one of the worst road teams in MLB history. The Astros still have a chance to be the worst road team ever. We have to play them in Minute Maid park where they are only 3 games under .500.

The Astros play well there because they they decided to put an obstacle course in CF with a hill and a pole. I heard next year they are going to add a trap door in the outfield too.

NatsLady said...

Ghost, on Bernie, I felt the same. Even Lombo would have caught it. Felt bad for Clip that he will get the run on his record (though of course he contributed).

NatsLady said...

A really obnoxious guy sat in my section. Spent the game explaining baseball (very loudly and very superficially) to his buddy--and ragging on Werth. When it was 6-4 he left, and right around then the game became quite enjoyable.

hmm... said...

Christopher Cohen said...
Mark,
It's really of little importance, but the ball Bryce hit into the second deck was a curveball not a fastball.

uh, cuz it was fast AFTER he hit it?
(gotta stick up for mark zman.

gyfng

baseballswami said...

Not too long from now that curly W in the books will look just like all the other ones. It won't matter a hoot how it got there. Sometimes you can be equally lucky and good. 13 hours until the next game. Lots of innings in a short period of time.

NatsLady said...

Ozzie supporting his pitcher (Dunn) with the usual obsenities:

"We practice that [play] from the first day of Spring Training," Guillen said. "The only [thing pitchers do] in baseball is PFP [pitchers' fielding practice]. We do that [stuff] 24 hours, every day. There he goes. That's the baseball game right there. If you give up a home run, that's fine. But we do the same [stuff] every day, day in, day out. I guess that's the reason we practice that."

The Fox said...

Natslady maybe the guy left because Werth got his 2nd hit ruing the fans night.

He may not have any extra base hits yet but 4 hits, 5 BB, and 3 runs in his last 3 games sure looks good. His OBP now is .405 making it tempting to bat him lead-off.

The Fox said...

Swami,

Ask Natslady or sjm308 when they will forget this game?

I'm envious I wish I was there tonight.

NatsLady said...

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Swift Eagle said...

Got home from the game, and laughed my ass off reading the In Game Thread! Wow! The Legion of Doom was in FULL FORCE...They even called for the dreaded team meeting...

One thing I'll say about the Doom and Gloom posters on here, They're often wrong, but NEVER in doubt...

Too Funny

NatsLady said...

Fox, not too soon, that's for sure. The other guy in my section (quite nice) was remarking how quiet the crowd was, even as he was predicting a Milwaukee-type win. Usual Saturday night crowd, date night, girlfriend groups out for fun, lots of 20-somethings planning to party after the game. And then, it got electric!

NatsLady said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Fox said...

Swift Eagle,

This team has played so well since June I sometimes wonder what team these "fans" are watching. My best guess is that a lot of them are new to baseball and that's fine.

The National's (knock on wood) have not had a bad losing streak this whole year. We have a better record than the Yankees. If you told me we would have a better record than the Yankee in August I would have called you crazy.

This team has been in first place since June 10th. I don't think people understand how rare that is. If you can't enjoy this team you probably should be following a different sport.

Swift Eagle said...

NatsLady, Hpe you enjoyed the game as much as I did!

To be fair, Danny looked terrible most of the night...But you would think people would have learned by now that Davey is NOT going to bench him. Period.

A middle infielder with the athleticism and power potential like Danny is very rare. I like Lombo too, but there are many Lonbo-Types out there...Danny and Ian are unique talents, and Davey of all people can recognize that when he sees it...Davey will retire before he ever gives up on either one....

djinFl. said...

You are right Fox.

Swift Eagle said...

Fox,

I don't get the posters who trash the Nats for 3 hours...and end the night with "But I hope I'm wrong"

What kind of fan is that???

With what we've seen since 2005, I pity anyone who can't enjoy every inning of this season...

peric said...

Looking forward to SS on the tv tomorrow & like most of his starts after something less then positive, I am expecting a great game!

Davey, the Rocket or Mark ... someone ought to hang up a sign on Nats web pages that says warning: roster under construction. Young players still developing. The Nats aren't that different from what the A's are trying to remake themselves into ... except the talent of the prospects at the major league level her right now is far better. Strasburg falls into that category.

I enjoy watching them get better ... and given their reaction to the crowd perhaps if we don't panic they won't. Its far better than watching the minors hoping some older late bloomer can come up to the majors to make something happen amidst a bunch of sorry low talent, too old veterans who were ex-Cincinnati Reds or pals of Jim Riggleman.

Swift Eagle said...

Great points Fox, and I'll add that if this team finishes 20 games above .500 (they are 21 above now), or in other words 91-71, I won't care if they make the playoffs or not!! 91 wins, with all these injuries, and a limited Strasburg is a GREAT year....

NatsLady said...

It is amazing. After I don't know how many comebacks this team has had (including, just this week, Milwaukee), there is so much defeatism on the in-game thread when they are only down 2 runs.

It was nothing like that at the game, there was more like a sort of quiet patience. We kept making errors and LaRoche kept hitting solo homers and it never felt like we were out of it. It was warm and humid, so you knew it was going to be a high scoring game almost from the beginning.

When Dunn made the error I made a fist pump and I shouted, "our turn!" and it was. I'm pretty sure ALR made a fist pump at the same moment--and that's not like him. Guess he was ready to win.

sjm308 said...

Swift Eagle - I was so excited about this game that I just commited a huge error and looked at game posts. How can you guys take that crap for 3 hours?? I am not great at copying & pasting but this natsfan since the beginning is an idiot

All I read was garbage about Rizzo, Davey, Espinosa and Harper and then voila, we go ahead and he is fine. I will read peric before I ever read any more of his "analysis"

OK, I am calm now but remind me never to read that stuff again.

NatsFanSinceStart said...

Nats are out of miracles for a while, I'm afraid

um - no they are not

NatsLady said...

Eagle, I had a blast--and not for the first time! Agree, after so many years in the desert I am drinking it up.

The Fox said...

Swift Eagle,

To be fair there is a lot of emotion during the game. I do not post during the game for that reason but some of it boarders on hysteria.

I have not seen this team once give up. No one on the team is being self centered either. This really is a good team. Most of our players are young and don't have the star cache so we don't have are own obnoxious phillie fan's yet. Don't worry it will come.

Once your team starts to win than even when you get swept the other team is just lucky. If everything goes well this is what you get to look forward to.

sjm308 said...

NatsLady - you should come up to 308 - nice mature crowd and it gets noisy!! I do notice that the newcomers are in their 20s and they arrive late and leave early and really do not care about the game but are more concerned with getting pictures of everyone on their phones and making sure they have beer. Still, its great to see the place full and this was one of our better crowds. It did get noisy when the 8th inning came around. Wonder how noisy natsfansincestart was in his den??

Swift Eagle said...

You're right SJM, there are many posters who it's just best to ignore...I need to work on that!

And Fox made a point about the new fans too...I think only the veteran fans understand that failure is a huge part of baseball, and a few bad ABs or games isn't reason for drastic changes...It ain't football

sjm308 said...

Eagle - I have always enjoyed your comments and just to end my night on a really good note, I have to acknowledge that I am again reading Peric and he has provided good if not excellent insight on several topics and seems to not be insulting as many people. Nice to see that.I will now take my nap as he suggested a couple days ago. See you good Insiders tomorrow

Go Nats!! Go Playoffs!!

Swift Eagle said...

I was at a game recently sitting next to a Nationals fan and his young son...After an error by the Nats, a few people started to boo...The Dad turned to his son and instructed him "NEVER boo the Nationals"...

At least some people still know how to be a fan

The Fox said...

I was not at the game but I am see a change in the fan-base at the ballpark and I can even hear it on TV. More and more of the fans are understanding the nuances of the game watching when a player backs up a play like Suzuki did on a throw Lombo should not have made. They also gave him an ovation when he tried to bunt for a base hit, at least that's what I though he was doing. The fans didn't give up. I was trying to see how many might have left in the 8th, it didn't look like a lot did.

I still am very excited about this team and as long as the pitchers stay healthy I don't see a NL team that is better than us.

Swift Eagle said...

Yes Fox ...How about Harper hustling out a potential DP gound ball in the 3rd...He beat the play, which allowed the Nats to score 2 runs with 2 outs..

There's no Stat for that, it doesn't help his WAR, and a lot of people probably didn't notice it...But it's how good teams win ballgames.

The Fox said...

Eagle,

You are correct it hard to mention all the things this team does well. Next year the team might have a better record than this one, that's what everyone says but it won't have more heart. These guys play as a team and they really care and it hard to find that in sports today.

Got to go to bed thanks for the discussion.

sjm308 said...

Swift - I lied and stayed up from my nap - My son & I had red carpet seats for one of the Phillie games in another section. We were there for intro's and a group of 4 philthy fans (all in their mid 20's) started to boo our lineup. This older guy, maybe my age or a little younger, stood up turned around, pointed a finger in the one kids chest and said "young man, we don't do that in this section"! Damned if they didn't stop and we all actually had a good time except for the score (Stras lost 6-0). I think the stadium is starting to get it!!

Swift Eagle said...

Another great story SJM, yes, the stadium is starting to get it, imagine how great it's going to be someday (not jinxing anything!)when there are playoff games...The place will be magical

Now if we can just get Terrance to stop instigating the Wave when the Nats are hitting! He got it started during DeRosa's AB and he struck out with 2 runners on base..

Joe Seamhead said...

sjm308, I was at a Phillies game last week, sitting in 311, when in the first inning a guy in a Phillies hat starting booing the Nats. I turned around and told him that " You can't do that here." He said, "Yes I can." I said ,"No, you can't!" and stood up, pointed my finger at him and started yelling, "LAST PLACE PHILLY! LAST PLACE PHILLY! LAST PLACE PHILLY!" Most of sec 311 joined in with the chant, and I said, "No,you can't!" He was "respectful" the rest of the game. This is our house, damn it!

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