Friday, September 7, 2012

Instant analysis: Marlins 9, Nats 7 (10)

Associated Press photo
Adam LaRoche collides with Danny Espinosa while catching a pop-up.
Game in a nutshell: They came out to watch Stephen Strasburg make his final home start of the season. They wound up watching the soon-to-be-shutdown ace get rocked again by the pesky Marlins, knocked out after allowing five runs in only three innings. That certainly put a damper on the evening, only made worse when rookie right-hander Jacob Turner all but shut down the Nationals' lineup for six innings. Then Ozzie Guillen handed the ball to his bullpen, and guess what happened? Yep, the Nationals came storming back, scoring three runs off Carlos Zambrano in the seventh and then getting the game-tying homer from Michael Morse in the eighth. Just like that, the game was tied 6-6 and headed for a dramatic finish. Bryce Harper supplied the firepower, throwing out Greg Dobbs at the plate to prevent the tying run from scoring in the top of the ninth, but neither Harper nor Ryan Zimmerman could drive in the winning run in the bottom of the inning. So the game went extras, with Tyler Clippard forced to pitch in a non-save situation. The Nats closer promptly gave up Jose Reyes' two-run triple and then a sacrifice fly that brought home the third run of the top of the 10th. The Nationals tried to mount one more rally in the bottom of the inning, getting a fluke assist when Morse's liner struck second base umpire Tony Randazzo to score Adam LaRoche. But with the bases loaded and one out, Roger Bernadina and Jayson Werth each struck out. Thus the Nationals suffered a frustrating loss, which combined with the Braves' 3-0 win in New York closed the gap in the NL East to 6 1/2 games.

Hitting highlight: They were stymied all night by Turner (aside from Zimmerman's first-inning homer) but the Nationals lineup sprung to life once the Miami bullpen took over. Ian Desmond, Danny Espinosa and Kurt Suzuki all recorded big hits in the seventh. Morse then provided the big blast in the eighth that tied the game. It was his 13th homer of the season, 10 of them hit to the right of straightaway center field. This one energized the crowd for a little while, but the ballpark fell silent again when the rest of the Nationals lineup couldn't produce the game-winning hit late.

Pitching lowlight: What can you say? Strasburg just wasn't any good. He walked the very first batter of the night, and things only went downhill from there. He served up homers to both Rob Brantley and Giancarlo Stanton, each on fastballs right down the heart of the strike zone. He walked three batters. And he needed 67 pitches to get through only three innings. It was an incredibly disappointing way for Strasburg's home finale to play out, and it left the crowd in a state of shock and not sure how to respond. In the end, it's perhaps not that surprising Strasburg struggled like this. He's been wildly inconsistent during the second half of the year, alternating between dominant and eminently hittable. That's a trademark description of how pitchers in their first full year back from Tommy John surgery often look.

Key stat: The ERAs of the Nationals' five starters since the All-Star break: Ross Detwiler 2.79, Gio Gonzalez 3.05, Edwin Jackson 3.47, Jordan Zimmermann 3.67, Stephen Strasburg 3.73.

Up next: The series continues with a rare, 1:05 p.m. Saturday matinee. Detwiler seeks to become the fourth member of the Nats rotation with 10 wins. Ricky Nolasco starts for the Marlins.

41 comments:

peric said...

Terrible at bats at the end. Wasted opportunities!

ehay2k said...

I hope now that even Holden K. and Mike Wise understand the Stras has not been our best pitcher since the ASB. Seems very justifiable to shut him down.

Gotta hand it to the Nats - never stop applying the pressure.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Those were horrible at bats at the end.

Shut down Strasburg now!. No more! This is stupid. We are in a pennant race and we do not need part-time players out there, when Lannan is ready and able to pitch.

You had a very good year, Stephen and we can't wait to see you when your arm is healthy, but enough is enough for this year.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

It is ridiculous to be in the middle of a pennant race and have a pitcher out there who is not healthy enough to pitch. He has pitched enough innings. Tonight should be the last game of the year for Strasburg.

ehay2k said...

Davey just said Stras' short outing today "might" impact the number of starts. Does that mean more or less? Hmm...

Unknown said...

Down 4, battle back to tie, down 3, with 3 outs to go, get 3 shots at tying or winning the game - yeah, Espi can't hit Cishek, Shark tried to hit a salami when a base hit would've been fine and Werth couldn't pick up the sidearmers delivery, but, man, what a team! Even when they lose they battle like crazy.

Hopefully, everyone can see that Strasburg's shutdown is for his good AND the good of the team - you can't have a guy good one night, horrible the next in the pennant race. He's battled all year and his arm and body and pysche need to rest - but maybe he gets 1 more start since this one was so short?

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Enough is enough. You don't even want Strasburg out there monkeying with the rhythm of the infield, unless he is lights out and he hasn't been lights out in a long time, He is a better than average replacement pitcher, who has not been hitting well lately.

He should not take the mound again this season.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Stadium was hyped until Espi K. the place deflated. He just needed contact. Even an out would keep air but k was.deflating.

ehay2k said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mick said...

Its a shame, Davey's thinking was spot on, Clipard was to close the 10th and he knew Nats would geta run in in bottom of 10th. Perhaps Clip's worse outing all season I am wondering if he will be mentally tough in post season. I love Clip, I am just being honest. I am also shocked that Espi, Shark and Werth struck out, I really thought they would get this in the bottom of 10th.

I don't like that Davey just suggested that Strass may pitch beyond Wed.

ehay2k said...

Davey thought Stras was "wearing" his impending shutdown tonight. He didn't say Stras wasn't healthy. In any case, he will pitch again, most likely, and it will have little impact on the pennant race either way.

Magic numbers still 18/14.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

He obviously is not healthy, or he would be pitching the entire season.

This whole discussion is ridiculous. Either he isn't a grown-up or he isn't healthy. Little Leaguers don't throw curves and they have innings limits. Major leaguers who are not injured pitch when their team needs them to pitch, as long as they are effective, regardless of whether they conjecture that it might shorten their career.

He is not completely healthy. If you say that Strasburg is completely healthy, then go ahead and call him a coward. I will choose to say that he is NOT a coward, but is not healthy and still recovering from his surgery. This is not a minor or semantic point.

peric said...

Everyone in Oakland said Suzuki can't hit? Right now he looks better than Ramos ever did. He's the only one, after Desmond and Morse who had a good at bat and he ended up with a walk!

Everyone else? Swinging at bad pitches trying to hit the homer. Instead they struck out ... Werth's was the worse of all and he's the lead off guy? He needs to think LEADOFF not heart of the order. He can't do that anymore.

ehay2k said...

WODL - Strasburg is not declining to pitch. He is being shut down. How can you call him a coward for someone else's decision? Your post just boggles the mind of the sane and reasonable.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

The Washington Post has been incredibly one-sided about this whole issue, as have most of the DC blogs.

I want to see Strasburg pitch effectively for a long time as much as anyone, but if you tell me that Walter Johnson might have pitched 5 more years for the Senators had he not pitched relief in the 1924 World Series, then I would tell you to take a hike.

ehay2k said...

Peric - he's hitting like an AL catcher. I hope doesn't figure out he's in the NL!

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Yeah, Strasburg is being shut down by his own agent. Man, it stinks when you can't hire a single lawyer in the country who will let you pitch, peric.

All those lawyers in DC and not a single lawyer who will represent him and advocate his playing the rest of the year?

Damn, you get zero for 15 percent these days....

ehay2k said...

Strasburg spent very little time in the minors building up his arm and his pitchimg acumen. It shows. He needs rest to protect him.
But you can't fault HIM for not playing. It's simply not his decision. Why you bother to attack him personally is a mystery.

ehay2k said...

WODL - are you shooting for some sort of record streak of inane blog posts?

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Look at the Post articles on this peric. His own agent has said over and over that he would not let Strasburg pitch. So, call it undue influence if you want, but there is no doubt that Strasburg is 100 percent onboard with the decision to shut him down and I might be too. I just want it to be today.

He has no business being out on the field any longer with the guys who are preparing for the post-season because he is not going to be on the roster. Let's see the guys who are going to be vying for the title and end this side-show.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Ebay2k, I could never beat your record of blog posts featuring ad hominem attacks.

Rememember Ebay2k, facts, facts, facts, then conclusions. Insults and summary conclusions (i.e. "inane" with no supporting data or evidence =no points".

And just to give an example, if I want to play your game Ebay2k, your way, I would ask, "how old were you Ebay2k, when your mother dropped you on your head?"

ehay2k said...

WODL, sorry, is that the Washington Post on THIS planet, or some other? I have seen nothing in the Earth print or online articles that suggests in any any that Stras is even 1% onboard with the shutdown. Please provide a link.

In the meantime, I'll call the guys at the Guinness Book of World Records, because you have to be close...

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

"Or, I could ask, did you come out legs first, Ebay2k?"

"Or I could ask if Ebay2k" was your very own idea for the name of a web site?"

Those are called ad hominem attacks and the truly refined among us grant them little or no credence....

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

But if you can get me in the Guiness Book of World Records, I will take it. I had no idea that my posts are here were of that import. Better to be remembered....

ehay2k said...

No WODL - your post above just attacked me. I said your posts were inane. There is a difference. I also pointed out why your argument was not valid because I pointed out that Strasburg couldn't be faulted for a decision he did not make. You followed up with unsupported claims and hyperbole. To me, those posts qualify as inane. Your streak is thus still alive.



William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

You can check the Washington Post articles on Strasburg the last 7 days or so, and basically all of them indicate that all parties, the Nats, Strasburg, Strasburg's parents and Strasburg's agent agree that he should be shut down.

I agree as well, and I would shut him down now, but that is garbage if you believe that Stephen Strasburg is actively fighting to pitch in the post-season, in spite of his quote about their tearing his arm off. No one is tearing anyone's arm off. Everyone, essentially, Nats' fans, management, Strasburg's family, Strasburg's lawyer and most of all, Strasburg himself, agree with the decision.

DWS said...

Unbelievable. The Nats lost. They will (I guarantee)lose another. WODL and T+I should form a group.

NatsLady said...

ehay2k, I respect your posts a lot. The guy you ar e arguing with is a jerk and troll who only comes on with negatives and illogic. Forget it and go to sleep, tomorrow is another day.

ehay2k said...

I actually took that quote as indicating he really, really, wanted to pitch. Again, you suggested he was a coward. I think all the articles clearly dispute that. You have not given one iota of evidence to support your inane arguments.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Ok. Your posts are completely inane, Ebay2k.


Do you feel better now?

Calling out anyone on any site, is generally considered attacting them. I would not even have any idea who you are, except you keep mentioning me in your posts. I tell you what. I will keep posting and I will attempt to base what I write on facts, but regardless, I will just ignore you from now on.

I am sorry, Ebay2k, but you are now dead to me.

DWS said...

Where did you get that information WODL? I read in various articles that his father thought he should pitch.

ehay2k said...

I know he can be pretty negative. But I was giving him a chance to back up his claims. Instead, he attacked me personally. Classy part was bringing my mother into the insults. Just shows that you can't believe anything on the Internet, because he has a blog where he claims he's a Quaker. Seems incongruous.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

The Nats will lose again.

Anyone who even understands stats a little bit can feel sure of this given that they have close to a .600 winning percentage.

Perhaps the entire idea of a baseball blog is nonsense to begin with since people on here always act as though one lost is a big deal to begin with. If the Nats had won this game they still would have given up 9 runs. 9 runs!

And no, we don't have the best pitching staff in baseball, necessarily, although we have an excellent one. Cincy may be better and there may be a couple of others. And I won't name anyone, but there is a female on here, who may be the most inane of all, since she seems to think people should only post when the Nats are winning.

To me, the people who complain about people posting when the team loses are basically the types of people who should just root for the Lakers and Yankees. You can go on those sites and post every time they win a title. DC hasn't won a title since 1924 and they better not blow it now just to pump up the economy of SE DC.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Is tomorrow really another day?

Oy!. I had no idea that the Nationals had another chance to play tomorrow. I take back everything I said about--wait a minute--all I said was it was time to shut down Strasburg now, which makes me more proactive than the team apparently.

I did not realize that anyone was taking my comments to mean that there was not, in fact, another game tomorrow. It is funny, because this happened earlier this year and I was accused of not thinking that tomorrow was another day.

There is a game tomorrow. Tomorrow is another day. I am sorry if any of my comments above led anyone not to believe that tomorrow is another day, but then again, unless someone dropped you on your head when you were a baby, then you already knew that, didn't you....

Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa said...

Whoosh.

Don't get sucked in, hays, it ain't worth it and it ain't helping.

DWS said...

I remember when mick was looked down upon. Just sayin...

Doc said...

ehay2k my man, never trust anyone who hides behind religious piety.

Beyond that NatsLady is correct in her summary statement, which reminds me of an old saying by my grand-daddy, who said that it is impossible to win a pissing contest with a skunk.

One thing that seems to have been established to-night, and that is that the post Tommy John inconsistent SS is not playoff series ready. And guess what, if he hadn't pitched tonight we might have won the game.

In the final analysis Rizzo is right for 2012. Next year our boy SS is a candidate for Cy!

GoooooooooooooooooSS GoooooooooooNats!!!!!

Night y'all!!!!!!!!!!!


Steady Eddie said...

Sofa -- you're absolutely right. Ehay2k, you're wasting your time. Anyone who says "he hasn't been lights out in a long time" is clearly out of touch with the reality of Strasburg's line last Sunday: 6 IP, 2H, 0R, 1 BB, 9K. And he was terrible the previous start before that. One could as readily expect that he'll be lights out again against the Mets on the 12th. Just as Mark's post above said is typical of post-TJ in the second half of the season.

Secret wasian man said...

Davey States that SS pitched bad tonight because he is thinking about the shutdown. He says SS has not been sleeping and is upset by it. In an attempt to prevent phyical injury Rizzo has caused MENTAL injury. He has nuetered SS. If you heard SS post game he is clearly pissed. How would anyone feel if they helped cook the meal, set the table, and were then told they were not allowed to partake in the feast? The shutdown needs to occur now or never. If you do it now it gives SS more time to heal. MENTALLY THAT IS!!

Nats In Athens said...

To get back to the game. Rarely have I enjoyed a loss as much. The team showed character time and again coming back. They did not have to. They had won five straight and seven of eight. But they did come back. Only problem is that when we play the Marlins we go in a funk the way Atlanta does with us.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

As for the shutdown it is based a lot more data than we all have seen. However I believe in the long run will be proven to be right. That is not a fact just an opinion.

As for gassing contest on blogs I hate them.

I some Times sound bitter at my pet peeves, but I love the game. I am just a perfectionist and that is not a good thing for a fan.

Last night my pet peeve of the night. The first 5 pitchers first pitch of the night were balls. Michael Gonzalez finally broke that string.

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