Saturday, September 15, 2012

Instant analysis: Braves 5, Nats 4

Associated Press photo
Adam LaRoche watches his 30th homer of the season sail into the stands.
Game in a nutshell: Less than 24 hours after a nip-and-tuck, tense ballgame to open this series, the two division rivals did it again, only this time with a bit of controversy thrown in for good measure. The Nationals jumped out to a 4-0 lead thanks to Adam LaRoche's 30th homer and some horribly sloppy Atlanta defense, but then gave all four runs back. Three of them were officially charged to Edwin Jackson; the other might as well have been charged to Marvin Hudson. The first base umpire blew a call on what appeared to be a routine 1-3 groundout, saying LaRoche's foot came off the bag. LaRoche protested, as did Davey Johnson, who earned his first ejection of the season. Moments later, Jason Heyward belted the game-tying home run, leaving this one knotted 4-4 heading into the late innings. That's when the Nationals bullpen imploded, with Ryan Mattheus issuing two walks to load the bases in the eighth and then grazing Andrelton Simmons with a 2-2 fastball to force across the go-ahead run. Craig Kimbrel then finished it off for another save, stranding the tying run on third base, sending the Nats to their second straight 1-run loss and dropping their lead in the NL East to 6 1/2 games.

Hitting lowlight: Given the way they stormed out of the gates to score four early runs, the Nationals looked to be in business. But their bats went silent after the second inning, unable to push another run across the plate against Tommy Hanson or the Atlanta bullpen. They didn't strike out nearly as many times as they did last night, but they did fail to make contact in some key spots. Danny Espinosa, in particular, struggled, whiffing three times (making him 0-for-7 with seven K's in the series) and stranding a runner on third with two outs in the third.

Pitching lowlight: Making his first career start in his hometown, Jackson was mostly in control. The only real mistakes he made through his first five innings were to Freddie Freeman, who tripled in the second and then homered in the fourth. But then came the blown call by Hudson to lead off the sixth, leading to Johnson's ejection, but perhaps more importantly a rattled Jackson. He immediately served up a two-run homer to Heyward, tying the game and completely changing the momentum of the game. On one hand, there was nothing Jackson could do about the blown call. On the other hand, a veteran of his stature has to be able to shake off adversity like that and refocus on the task at hand. Jackson wasn't able to, and because of it, he missed an opportunity to earn his 10th win of the season.

Key stat: There are now three big-league first basemen with 30 homers this season: Edwin Encarnacion, Albert Pujols and Adam LaRoche.

Up next: The series wraps up tomorrow night with a nationally televised showdown between the two division rivals. Gio Gonzalez seeks his 20th victory, with fellow lefty Mike Minor on the mound for Atlanta. First pitch is scheduled for 8:05 p.m. on ESPN.

30 comments:

Timothy Folk said...

2nd time Davey lost his cool this year.. Not cool.. Mattheus really screwed us. You gotta pitch lights out from now on to make up for it! #GYFNG

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Marietta-native Marvin Hudson with the key call favoring the Braves. I bet he isn't buying any drinks in Atlanta for a while....

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Davey got thrown out on purpose. Anyone who thinks any manager gets thrown out of a game without intending to is sadly wrong. They don't change calls based upon arguing. It is a quaint WWF feature of MLB.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

I want a full accounting on why Marty Foster allowed Marvin Hudson's call stand. He had the perfect angle to go tell Hudson that he was wrong. To me that is just as bad as the one who screwed up.


Maybe EJax shiuld have buckled up but I blame the ump for being incompatant.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

In case one doesnt know the quest. To Hudson why didnt you ask Foster to verify the call.

Question to Foster, Why did you not go help.

Thanks in advance.

alohadawg said...

I don't know how anyone with an ounce of competitive spirit could see the blown call in the bottom of the 6th and not advocate for expanded replay. Nats didn't do much to help themselves from then on, but that one impacted the momentum and ultimately the outcome of the game. MLB needs to do right by its fans!

baseballswami said...

Time to panic yet? I know, I know - legion of doom and all that. But some of the guys are looking a bit shaky. You can't tell me that they are entirely immune to the nerves. Still a good lead and a nice win total, but need to settle down a tad bit.

original Nats Fan said...

and guess who gets the plate for Geo tomorrow night?
that's right, Marvin Hudson

I think Hudson refused to ask for the plate ump's opinion, which is why Davey went ballistic, not that I blame him. Our young guys are showing their lack of playoff experience, but Ejax should have better composure.

natsfan1a said...

A frustrating loss, indeed.

It looked to me like Davey was asking the 1B ump to check with the HP ump, but the request was refused. That said, my understanding, and perhaps Mark can correct me if I'm wrong, is that umpires do not make themselves available to the press for postgame questioning.

Secret wasian man said...

Game was lost when Edwin gave up the two run shot. This team is not playing well. You win with pitching. Right the pitching especially bullpen is not good. If we get swept we have a race in the east. Need to win tomorrow.

natsfan1a said...

I already commented on a prior thread, but I agree with those who find it neither constructive nor helpful to label folks as members of the Legion of Doom or to imply that they are ignorant because one does not agree with their reaction to the game.

natsfan1a said...

Ah, I see that Original Nats Fan and I were typing at the same time, with similar ump-related conclusions. I'd buy you a Coke, but I'm not positively inclined towards anything Atlanta-related at the moment. :-)

Secret wasian man said...

Swami. Yes a small panic should be felt. A chance to put o foot on the braves throat and choke them. Instead we are the ones choking.

natsfan1a said...

Oh, and on another commenter note, reposting this:

Speaking of feedback on comments, I would like to applaud Manassas for the clarity of his posts today. Thanks for killing the auto-correct, which I believe you mentioned doing in a previous thread. It's much easier to understand what you're saying now.

Swift Eagle said...

natfan1a

I hear you, I was responding to criticism of Espi that was out of line "who does he have pictures of"...Everyone is entitled to be a critic, but when they go that far, they deserve to get some of that back..

natsfan1a said...

Thanks, Swift Eagle. I'm not a fan of the "who does he have pictures of" approach, either, but I also wish we could all just get along. :-)

89e5c620-ff94-11e1-839f-000bcdcb2996 said...

Does anyone know what the Nats' record is when they play on national TV this year? I feel like when Fox or ESPN show up that the hitting gets weaker. Are thay trying to show off for the cameras? I'm not sure - just asking for data.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Thanks.

Mark told me lsst year a pool reporter can talk to umps. I waiting report from pool reporter as Mark can get info from him/her.


MLB covers up incompetancy.

If player makes a mistake a reporter is all over him. Why should MLB from explaining their errors. If they are good we don't. notice them.

I knew as soon as Atlanta's own Hudson made that call Heyward wood homer. EJax lost focus. But not me I am focued on the upcoming report

natsfan1a said...

Thanks, Manassas. I didn't know that. Does seem like it's an exception when an ump admits erring, as Jim Joyce did with Galarraga's "near-perfect" game.

Mark told me lsst year a pool reporter can talk to umps.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

I like Jim Joyce. Very few mistakes. Admitted mistake and ask forgiveness Ii gave it to him as a fans

One Timmens and Buckner and Diez when presented evidence denied mistske I believe need to go.

Mistakes happen. Apologize and we all can move on.Deny them I know you are in the wrong professiin.

natsfan1a said...

I like him, too, and I'm pretty sure he tends to rank up there as a "good ump" in player polls. He made the news again this summer after performing CPR on someone at a Diamondbacks game.

We all make mistakes, as you note.

natsfan1a said...

Anyhoo, off the grid for me now. :-)

Theophilus T. S. said...

Any chance Rizzo will DFA Jackson/trade him to the Yankees before Johnson is tempted to start him in a playoff game?

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

75 Minutes and waiting oool report not on mlb.com either

NatsLady said...

Who was worried about the Fillies???? LOL their fielding!

NatsLady said...

Headline in Atlanta: "Braves win on a hit jersey, er, hit batter."

SonnyG10 said...

I was angry with the first base ump also, but I knew we were in trouble when Edwin couldn't control his anger. Pitchers make mistakes when they get too angry. So now half my anger is for Edwin for not collecting himself and letting go.

Does anyone remember Camilo Pasqual, a great pitcher for the old Washington Senators? He was susceptible to getting angry and opposing managers used to try to bait him to get him mad. I remember watching a Senator's game on TV and Camilo was pitching. The opposing manager went to the umpire and asked him to check Camilo's glove for a foreign substance. The ump did, and Camilo handed the ump his glove and his hat for the ump to check, but he also went into a rage. The announcers stated the opponenets did it on purpose to get Camilo so mad he couldn't pitch and thats exactly what happened.

Michael J. Hayde said...

natsfan1a said...
It looked to me like Davey was asking the 1B ump to check with the HP ump, but the request was refused.

******

Agreed, natsfan. Davey was pointing at home plate and appeared to be requesting what you suggest, but Marvin Hudson clearly said, "I am not going to do that." Looked like they had that exchange at least twice more, and it was growing heated. Finally, Davey called Hudson out with "BULL***!" and that ended his day.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Pascual was the first player I remember.

still waiting for pool report

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Michael..... If I was Davey I would have gone to the plate to start with. He obviisly saw unless he is blind. He should stepped any way. He had no integrity.

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