Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Game 147: Dodgers at Nats

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Jordan Zimmermann faces Aaron Harang in the opener of today's doubleheader.
The sky is blue, there's a breeze blowing in from the north, there's a chill in the air. Yep, meaningful late-September baseball has arrived in D.C. And since it's such a beautiful day, why don't they just play two?

We've got an old-fashioned, single-admission doubleheader on tap between the Nationals and Dodgers. One ticket gets you into both games. (If you have a ticket for tonight's originally scheduled game, you get into both. If you had a ticket to last night's rainout, you'll have to exchange it for seats of equal or lesser value.)

Jordan Zimmermann faces Aaron Harang in the 4:05 p.m. opener. We're still waiting on lineups, but I wouldn't be surprised if both Michael Morse and Danny Espinosa are in there for the Nationals. I'll post those as soon as we get them.

[UPDATE: Both Espinosa and Morse are in the lineup for Game 1, though Davey Johnson made it sound like neither will play in the nightcap. Also, Ryan Zimmerman is unlikely to play the second game after receiving another cortisone shot in his right shoulder today. Full story on that development coming soon.]

Plenty of updates to come...

LOS ANGELES DODGERS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS (Game 1)
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 4:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv, MLB Network (outside D.C. market)
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 185
Weather: Sunny, 71 degrees, Wind 8 mph in from LF
NATIONALS (89-57)
RF Jayson Werth
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
LF Michael Morse
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
C Kurt Suzuki
RHP Jordan Zimmermann

DODGERS (76-71)
2B Mark Ellis
RF Andre Ethier
CF Matt Kemp
1B Adrian Gonzalez
SS Hanley Ramirez
LF Shane Victorino
3B Luis Cruz
C A.J. Ellis
RHP Aaron Harang

UMPIRES
HP Brian Knight
1B Clint Fagan
2B Mike Winters (cc)
3B Mark Wegner

4:06 p.m. -- And we're underway on a gorgeous, 71-degree afternoon. If you're reading this, you're probably not inside the ballpark. Barely anyone is. There are perhaps 1,500-2,000 fans here for the start of Game 1. I would imagine it will progressively pick up as the game plays out and will be filled up around the seventh inning or so.

4:13 p.m. -- Jordan Zimmermann issued a leadoff walk to Mark Ellis, but he rebounded nicely to induce a 4-6-3 double play from Andre Ethier and then struck out Matt Kemp. Considering the stark shadows between the mound and the plate right now, both pitchers would be wise simply to throw strikes and force guys to hit the ball. It's not going to be easy to make solid contact for the next couple hours.

4:35 p.m. -- He's been a bit ragged to start this game -- two walks, a hit batter and a double allowed -- but Zimmermann is through two scoreless innings. He's needed 37 pitches, though, a rate that won't allow him to remain in this game too long if he keeps it up.

4:44 p.m. -- Well, all three of the Nats' injured/recovering players have hits in their first at-bats today: Ryan Zimmerman singled in the first and Michael Morse and Danny Espinosa each singled in the second. That put runners on the corners for Kurt Suzuki, who lofted a fly ball to right field, plenty deep enough to score Morse with the game's first run. The Nats take a 1-0 lead after two.

4:57 p.m. -- Zimmermann's struggles continue in the top of the third. He's now allowed seven of the first 14 batters he's faced to reach, including three singles just now to produce the Dodgers' first run of the game. He's also up to 61 pitches (44 strikes) as this game is tied 1-1.

5:08 p.m. -- Another hit for Zim, a double to deep right field -- cortisone shots for everyone! -- which prompted the Dodgers to intentionally walk LaRoche and bring Morse to the plate with two outs and two on. But thanks to a healthy strike zone from plate umpire Brian Knight, Harang got out of the jam with a pair of borderline strikes on the outside corner. So it remains 1-1 as we move to the fourth.

5:29 p.m. -- The Nats (and the Dodgers, for that matter) are certainly giving themselves plenty of scoring opportunities. They've put a combined 15 men on base through four innings. But they've combined to score only two runs so far. Nobody can deliver a clutch hit. Still 1-1.

5:51 p.m. -- You know, at this point it's more shocking when Bryce Harper DOESN'T try to stretch a hit into a triple. He just did it again to lead off the bottom of the fifth, and in the process recorded his eighth three-bagger of the season. That's a new Nationals record, besting the previous mark of seven set by Nyjer Morgan (2010), Cristian Guzman (2009) and Brad Wilkerson (2005). It was also Harper's 49th extra-base hit of the season, most ever by a teenager in the major leagues. Most importantly, it set the stage for Zimmerman's RBI groundout to second, giving the Nats a 2-1 lead after five.

6:00 p.m. -- His stuff was by no means in peak form, but Jordan Zimmermann just completed six innings of one-run ball on 106 pitches. That will probably be it for the right-hander, but props to him for getting big outs when he needed them. If the Nats bullpen can preserve a 2-1 lead, Zimmermann will be rewarded with his 11th win of the year.

6:17 p.m. -- Who says you need big hits to drive in runs? The Nats are disproving that theory today. They've driven in three runs, all on outs. Suzuki had a sac fly in the second. Zimmerman had an RBI groundout in the fifth. And Tyler Moore just had his own RBI groundout in the sixth to bring home Desmond (who led off with a double) and give the Nats a 3-1 lead after six. Harper had a chance to add an insurance run later, but Paco Rodriguez got him to ground out to end the inning. I was SO hoping Bryce would homer to left field so I could proclaim he had gone "oppo taco off Paco." Sigh.

6:31 p.m. -- Wow, Sean Burnett delivers his best appearance in weeks, and he picked a huge spot to do it. After Morse lost Nick Punto's leadoff flyball to left and turned it into a double, Burnett entered to face the meat of the Dodgers lineup with a man on third and one out. He wound up striking out Andre Ethier, then after walking Matt Kemp, struck out Adrian Gonzalez to kill the rally. A big-time appearance for Burnett, who certainly needed one of those. It's still 3-1 at the stretch.

6:54 p.m. -- And Drew Storen records a couple of big strikeouts in the top of the eighth, stranding another runner in scoring position and preserving the 3-1 lead. So now the Nationals are three outs from recording their 90th win of the season and lowering their magic number for clinching a playoff berth to 1.

7:03 p.m. -- Here we go, Tyler Clippard is on for the ninth, the Nats still leading 3-1. He'll face Bobby Abreu, Mark Ellis and Andre Ethier.

7:13 p.m. -- That's it. It's all over. The Nats win 3-1. That's their 90th win of the year. And with their magic number for a playoff berth down to 1, they've guaranteed that they will play at least 163 games this year.

111 comments:

blovy8 said...

My gut is telling me there's gonna be extra innings today on top of it being two games.

Doc said...

WE ARE THE NATS!!

(And that includes Espi and The Beast!)

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Morse and Espinosa are in!

ehay2k said...

Next year, after the Nats sell the naming rights to the stadium, will Mark will be able to say "Welcome to The Jiangxi Hongyuan Pharmaceutical Raw Material Co. Cortisone Park" ?

natsfan1a said...

Trying to finish up my work for today in time to watch the first game on tv. Go, JZ! Go, NATS!! Go, cortisone!!!

Natslifer said...

Hey Mark - looks like Springsteen didn't leave too much of a mark in the outfield - how's it look from the park??

Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa said...

Ehay, maybe they could call it SCOTUS Field, and change the Presidential seats to The Court-y Zone.

Faraz Shaikh said...

my answer to GOSM's question from last post: yes, I like to see all lefties take a crack at Braves' lineup first. if we win two of 3, go with ejax game four. if series goes to five, use jz. hope for a win (i know jz does not like extra rest), followed by GG leading NLCS again and chance for two starts if necessary. just two cents of a guy who will never manage a minor league game.

NatsNut said...

LOL 1a

natsfan1a said...

Go, JZ! Go, NATS!! Go, cortisone!!!

MicheleS said...

Going to be sneaking out of the office soon.. Heading down for both games!

GO Jordan! GYFNG! Hope Espi and Beast are back in the lineup!

SonnyG10 said...

Watching both games on HDTV and rooting as if I were there. Go Nats, beat Dodgers x2 today.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Faraz, that's what I'm thinking. Throw the lefties.

NCNatsie said...

With Jordan and Lannen
I tell you I'm plannin'
The clincher for post season play.

With Danny and Mikey
I think it quite likely
The Nats will win two games today.

Eugene in Oregon said...

Have been extremely busy the past four or five days (since game one of the Braves series, really) and haven't had a chance to post. But I'm happy to see very few folks are panicking. I can't envision a scenario in which the Nats don't win at least five games (and I certainly expect more wins than that) and the Braves don't lose at least five. GYFNG!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Eugene, you are fortunate you missed NatsFanJimmy if that's his real name.

NatsLady said...

Impulse move: going to the games! GO NATS!!!

Dave said...

Not only am I stuck at school until the end of the day (12 minutes till 4:00), but I also have to stay late to give make-up quizzes! Bummer!

I have my ticket from yesterday, so even when I finally make to Nats Park, I have to stand in the box office line. Hope I get to see something tonight.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Mark tweeted...Zimmerman got another cortisone shot in R shoulder today, will play first game. Davey says arthroscopic surgery likely after season.

Wish he got it on Friday morning is all I have to say and looking forward to more of Mark's "Cortisone Shots for everyone"!

Tcostant said...

All seats under $200 are sold out from Nationals Insider Presale for each NLDS game. Wow! I'm guessing they held back a few to sell on Friday during the public sale or everyone will be up in arms.

peric said...

Mark tweeted...Zimmerman got another cortisone shot in R shoulder today, will play first game. Davey says arthroscopic surgery likely after season.

Wish he got it on Friday morning is all I have to say and looking forward to more of Mark's "Cortisone Shots for everyone"!


Moving Zim to first base so the kid can play seems to make more and more sense ... every time I see messages/posts like this. Unless they win the world series and Adam LaRoche is the hero methinks this is how its going to be in the very near term.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

peric, the only way I see the Nats making your proposed move is if they firmly believed Rendon was the 3rd baseman of the future.

baseballswami said...

So that little comment about Zim was kind of just sneaked in there. I am guessing that accounts for his lack of hitting in Atlanta. I wish these guys would speak up sooner. I also wish Flo was catching Jordan. His nice, quick game flow has not been the same since Suzuki. To me, and I watch every single pitch, they have just never seemed to have gotten in sync. Gio has been deliriously happy so there is that. I have not been a charter member of the legion of doom, but I have to say I am not feeling optimistic. I don't like the downward turn I have seen in the team since they got swept by Philly, then knocked around by the Marlins and swept by the Braves. I don't know if they have got enough left in the tank after an incredible season so far. Not a knock to them at all - just not sure they can pull it off. Would love to be proved wrong by seeing the team I know they can be out there on the field for two games today. I hope they can pull themselves together.Soooooo very , very much.

David said...

can we get corey brown a start? please?

Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa said...

Not a knock to them at all - just not sure they can pull it off.

Pull what off, finish in first and win the division? They're in a pretty good spot for that, by this time.

Nobody can be sure what happens to anybody after that. Playoff series are the very exemplars of "small sample size."

Not criticizing, just sayin.

Dave said...

Nice bit of doggerel there, NCNatsie!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Tcostant, you are probably correct for tomorrow. This will be more than sold out.

Nats fan in NJ said...

Long time, no post, but reading comments every day. My nephew is going to be part of the color guard b/f the games and really wish I could be there to see that as well as cheer on my 'Nats!!

No panic here, just accepting that it is a long season and I suspect that those April & May wins are feeling much more significant now then they did at the time.

Section 222 said...

My STH ticket rep has confirmed that they withheld a small number of playoff tickets in a variety of sections for Friday's public sale, per MLB rules. Can't imagine those will last long.

I'm not sure I would call the people who bought tickets today "bandwagoners." To buy tickets today, you had to be an "Insider," which just means you had to be on the Nationals' email list. That means you were anything from a STH to someone who bought tickets online or signed up on the website, meaning you already follow the team to some extent.

The real bandwagoners will be the people who haven't ever been to Nats Park, but will pay very high prices in a few weeks to buy playoff tickets from brokers or on StubHub. To them I say, "welcome aboard!"

Expos4Ever said...

"All seats under $200 are sold out from Nationals Insider Presale for each NLDS game."

Yikes, I'm not liking my odds of getting tickets. Does anyone know what time tickets go on sale on Friday?

Expos4Ever said...

Nevermind, Google is my friend :)

A maximum of four tickets per game may be purchased by members of the general public on a first come, first served basis beginning at 10 a.m. Friday at nationals.com/postseason or by calling 888-632-NATS (6287).

Steve J, Alexandria said...

Big, Big series coming up with these revamped Dodgers.

I would love to see Harper get #'s 20 and 21 today!

Steve J, Alexandria said...

I'm going to tomorrow night's game and am driving for the first time -- no Metro this time.

How much is it to park down there and how much parking is available in their adjoining Lot? Do you have to get there real early or is there space roughly 30 minutes before the first pitch?

Anyone?

MicheleS said...

Just made it!

NatsJack in Florida said...

OK....dp ball wipes out the lead off walk.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Another BS strike zone. Luckily JZ pitches around that leadoff walk.

ehay2k said...

Steve J - no idea what the gameday parking fees are. Probably $35-$40

There is a Garage at 4th and M that I use. It's usually $15 or $20 to park there. Because 4th St. is one-way, it's easiest to get there if you take the 6th street exit off 395 (passing the South capital st. exit), then turn left at the bottom of the ramp to go under 395, then left again on the frontage road, then your next left onto 4th st. The garage is on your right just before you get to the light at M st.

Steve J, Alexandria said...

Thanks, Ehay -- very much, very helpful!!

Steady Eddie said...

Steve J -- "cheapest" lot right outside the stadium is on the southeast corner of 1st and N Sts SE -- a private lot belonging to The Yards development, entrance on N St. or N Place SE, that's $25. I was able to get a spot in that lot about 1/2 hour before game time when I took my 90 year old mother to the Cards Saturday afternoon game with about 34,000 people there. They have a $20 lot about a block east on N St.

The lot I usually use is $10, entrance on L St. SE east of 7th St. That almost never fills up. It's a substantial walk back but good exercise -- and easy access to the SE-SW Freeway off of the westbound Virginia Ave SE.

Steady Eddie said...

For those watching on TV, is JZimm getting as badly squeezed on the strike zone as it looks like on Gameday? And is Harang getting as big of a strike zone as it looks?

One thing to have a tight or loose zone, another thing to be so inconsistent -- and biased -- in applying whatever zone you have.

Steady Eddie said...

KSUUUUUUUUUZ!

Quality AB when we need it. What we didn't get in the Atlanta series, so a great note to start this one.

Then JZimm almost gives it a ride....

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Nice bat on ball by Zuuk.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Steady, 3 pitches by JZ called a ball that were strikes. Harang gets RZim on a strike on the ankles.

Tcostant said...

Steve try Lot W it's $10 or $15 cash and about 4-5 block walk to the park. You can find exact location on nationals.com under parking.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Two things:

I LOVE the late afternoon shadows creeping in at Nats Park. A harbinger of what's do come in the playoffs. Advantage, pitchers. Advantage, Nats.

And I am so jealous of MicheleS and the rest who are at the game. I'm working the night job. TV on, of course. But what a day to be outdoors! Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.

SCNatsFan said...

New uniform, same Nats killer

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

3 singles not hit well. Darn BABIP

Secret wasian man said...

Jzimm Not sharp today. Gonna need a lot of runs.

Steady Eddie said...

Steve J, the $10 lot I was talking about was Lot W that TCostant mentioned.

SCNatsFan said...

C'mon Michael, I know your hand hurts but swing the bat.

Boy does this team just need a big inning to get things going.

Steady Eddie said...

The HP ump must really stink. Dave and Charlie are expressing incredulity on almost every other pitch. And Gameday had the Beast K'ing on three outside pitches.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Ghost.... Jordans 2 seamer is only moving left to right. It's lost any sink and stays flat.

SCNatsFan said...

steady eddie strike 3 was off the plate but the others were good pitches

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Morse needs one of those shots in his hand.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Ramirez still a pain

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Nice hit and run by Suzuki

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Werth also needs a shot.

Secret wasian man said...

WERTHLESS.m why a we paying this guy big bucks? Looks at two god pitches. Always trying to get a walk. Awful job

Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa said...

Harperation!

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

NatsJack in Florida said...
Jordan's 2 seamer is only moving left to right. It's lost any sink and stays flat.

That, I would say, would fall into the general category of "Houston, we have a problem."

Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa said...

Zimmification!

NatsJack in Florida said...

Without the sink and no change up, Jordan ends up throwinh too many pitches due to no swing and miss pitch.

Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa said...

Six innings, one run, two baserunners out of the last 11 hitters. Not bad.

Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa said...

To be fair, they were both doubles into the gap, but they were also the same guy. So there's that.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Overall...a good job by Jordan but a true front of the roatation pitcher needs to do alot better than 106 pitches in 6 innings.

Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa said...

Desmondous!

Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa said...

Jack -- every single time out?

NatsJack in Florida said...

This is only the 2nd start he's gotten through 6 innings in his last 7 starts and each time he had a pitch count over 90.

That has to improve.

NatsJack in Florida said...

What I'm saying is he's better than that.

Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa said...

Mo' T-Mo!

Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa said...

Yeah, that would be nice.

ehay2k said...

Morse makes a little league mistake - automatically moving in towards a fly ball - after a few days off.

Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa said...

It is a long season for Znn at this point. I don't think he's ever been close to 180 innings before, and certainly not lately. The adrenaline will probably kick in for the playoffs, but he'll still have to learn on the job, for how to process that, physically and mentally.

Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa said...

Beast isn't the most graceful outfielder there; that's a Ponce de Leon league error, there. Although, in his defense, it did sound to me like a broken bat, off the bat. Maybe that's what he heard.

Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa said...

Oh, and they show Shark in the dugout, with that "I would have caught that" look on his face.

Secret wasian man said...

Burnette? Really? Does davey even want to go to the post season?

ehay2k said...

Sofa - I agree about the sound off the bat. But he still needed to wait to make sure he kept the ball in front of him.

ehay2k said...

C'mon Secret - think good thoughts. Burnett looks good tonight!

Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa said...

OH, and BURNETT (NO e) just ABUSES one of the best hitters in the league!!!


ehay, yeah, that was a Ponce play.

ehay2k said...

lol - I fired up At Bat and thought it was broken - it showed the Nats/Dodgers game twice. First time I'd seen a doubleheader on it!

Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa said...

In honor of the twin bill, and anticipating Mick being here for game 2

ehay2k said...

OK, who's left in the bullpen for the nightcap? Better not go extra innings. Might have a Wang sighting.

ehay2k said...

I think Storen had that "Shark would have gotten to that" look on his face.

Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa said...

Awwwww, they get 20 minutes between games. They need to suck it up!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Hanley drops one into leftfield thataybe Corey Brown catches.

Surprised Davey didn't sub out Morse for defense.

By the way, Burnett did a great job.

Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa said...

LOL ehay

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

ehay, I was typing as you posted. Corey or Shark.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

This is what I don't get about Davey. He has an expanded bench. Use it. Corey Brown and. Eury Perez both sitting.

Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa said...

I like the old-school heather-and-red sleeves Drew is sporting. Nice look.

Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa said...

Druuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

NatsJack in Florida said...

Drew is definitely all the way back.

JaneB said...

This is a very fun game out here.

NatsFanSinceStart said...

Strike out King, Espi does it again.

A shot in the shoulder can only help IF you can make contact.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

DING!! DING!! DING!!

Attention, participants in the Bob Carpenter Drinking Game.

You may now take a drink.

Our man has finally uttered those immortal words: "Serious jammage."

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

Davey's refusal to ever play small ball and his penchant burning pinch hitters without strengthening his defense in late innings, may cost the old man dearly in the playoffs.

Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa said...

Jane, don't get self-conscious, but they've been showing you on TV cheering, most all game.

Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa said...

may cost the old man dearly in the playoffs.

Or not.

NatsFanSinceStart said...

Let's see how sharp Clippard is. I think Clip does much better with more work -- not less.

Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa said...

Frivolous jammage, that's what I want to see.

Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa said...

More work is probably right. He seems to have gotten away from the high fastball.

MicheleS said...

WOOOOOO HOOOOOO

9 is the number now

Steve J, Alexandria said...

Phew we needed that.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Number-90!!!

Wonderful, just wonderful.

Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa said...

Number 9! Number 9! Number 9!

Wooooooo Hoooooooooo

TM Michele

Steve J, Alexandria said...

Where do you get the open fired grilled chicken at Nationals park?

Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa said...

Wow, even a week ago that was five rows deep. But Clipp knew that when he threw the pitch.

Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa said...

And Kurt Suzuki, liking his new job.

natsfan1a said...

I'm liking Suzuki liking his new job. :-)

Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa said...

The Nationals don't usually play "small ball," but in this case they showed some nice ability to produce productive outs, a skill that absolutely helped them earn their 90th win of the season.
from Mark's Instant Analysis

Steve J, Alexandria said...

I see folks talkinga bout where to park -- I remember as a little kid, my parents would park in the lot right AT RFK stadium and neighborhood kids would walk up and say to my Dad, "Watch your car for 5 dollars, mister." My father would fork over the cash. Apparently the well known scam way back then was that the 5 bucks 'protected' your car from the kids themselves -- who might trash it if you didnt pay. AHH the good Old days!!

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

@Steve J: This goes back even further than RFK. An elderly Washingtonian was telling me of similar tales from Georgia Ave. when the locals were "keep an eye on your tires" for a buck, back in the original Senators days.

The more things change...

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