Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Instant analysis: Nats 9, Cubs 1

US Presswire photo
Gio Gonzalez carried a no-hitter into the sixth and earned his 18th win.
Game in a nutshell: Wait, did someone hit the pause button at the end of last night's game and just pick things up right there tonight? This sure felt like what we saw only 24 hours ago, with the Nationals ransacking the Cubs' suspect pitching staff in record fashion. They once again clubbed six home runs, two of them via Bryce Harper, one apiece from Roger Bernadina, Adam LaRoche, Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa. That provided more than enough run support for Gio Gonzalez, who carried a no-hitter into the sixth and wound up with seven more scoreless innings to his name. Thus the Nationals won for the seventh time in their last eight games, improving to a season-best 32 games over .500 and maintaining their 7 1/2-game lead over the Braves in the NL East.

Hitting highlight: Look out, the 19-year-old is starting to heat up again. Harper started looking good at the plate about three weeks ago, and he's only looking better with each passing day. Tonight, he twice pounced on the first pitch he saw (once from Chris Volstad, once from Michael Bowden) and drove the ball over the fence (once into the left field bullpen, once over the right field bullpen). Over his last 18 games, Harper is now hitting .333 (22-for-66) with four doubles, a triple and seven homers. And his 17 home runs are now the third-most ever hit by a teenager, trailing only Tony Conigliaro (24) and Mel Ott (19).

Pitching highlight: The offensive explosion might have been the story at the end of the night, but for five innings, Gonzalez was front and center. The left-hander allowed only one batter to reach safely during that time: Josh Vitters, who benefited from Desmond's throwing error in the third. Gio's shot at history, though, ended when Darwin Barney lined the first pitch of the sixth inning past a diving Ryan Zimmerman for the Cubs' first hit of the game. He wound up allowing three hits over seven innings but didn't allow a run, extending his scoreless innings streak to 16. Over that span, he's got 17 strikeouts. And he's now got 18 wins, tied with R.A. Dickey for the MLB lead. He's the first Washington pitcher to record 18 wins since the Senators' Bob Porterfield won 22 games in 1953.

Key stat: The Nationals are only the third team since 1918 to hit six home runs in back-to-back games. The others: the 1996 Dodgers and 2003 Angels.

Up next: The series concludes at 7:05 p.m. Thursday when Jordan Zimmermann takes the mound in search of his 10th win. He'll face Cubs right-hander Justin Germano (2-5, 6.30 ERA).

47 comments:

MicheleS said...

OH My, this is fun! See you all tomorrow night!

Matt Kirchner said...

Can we play the cubs every night?

A DC Wonk said...

And the Reds lost. Nice evening!

Swift Eagle said...

Top 5 Things over-heard in the Cubs Dugout Tonight

5. Can you pitch?

4. Are we in Williamsport?

3. It's all Bartman's fault

2. Taaaaakeee MEEEE Onn...

1. Somehow we're still 10 games better than the Asros...

Secret wasian man said...

Somebody pinch me. This is greeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaat. I flipped over to football for a bit. Not enough offense so I went back to the nats to see a whole bunch of it.

Secret wasian man said...

Jordan tomorrow? He needs a good outing.

The Fox said...

Nice list Swift I pretty sure you can add

6. No Mas

Doc said...

The ghost of Harry Carey just rolled over in his grave and shouted, "This Bud is for me!"

Eugene in Oregon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eugene in Oregon said...

Missed the last couple of innings, but didn't feel anxious not watching. Another well-balanced performance. Keep it up; keep the pressure on; and go for the jugular tomorrow. Jordan Zimmermann deserves that 10th win given the poor run support he got early in the season. GYFNG!

The Fox said...

The Gio-Suzuki battery may be the best in baseball!

The Gio trade and the Suzuki pick-up looks like pure genius by Rizzo.

Rizzo extending Gio before he threw a pitch probably saved Ted Lerner 20 million dollars.

Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa said...

I think FP mentioned the '61 Giants for having a [truck]load of home runs in 2 consecutive games, as well, which makes sense, considering.

Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa said...

Go for the Juggler!

Veronica said...

The Cubbies will forever break in to cold sweats whenever they hear a siren resembling the ol' submarine horn.

The Fox said...

I think the Nats right now are the definition of Juggernaut....A huge, powerful, and overwhelming force.

baseballswami said...

Fans were very loud and raucous sounding on tv tonight. Sounded like they were very into it.

Gonat said...

Swift Eagle said...

1. Somehow we're still 10 games better than the Asros...
_____________________

Asros? Do you pronounce that A$$ Rows?

Kilgore spelled Boras today as Borass. Freudian? Bore A$$

ehay2k said...

Barves win, but the Nats' magic number still drops by one. And you just know they are looking at that as well.

Hudson pitches tomorrow for the Barves, perhaps he will continue with the form he last showed against Philly.

GYFNG!

ehay2k said...

Asro? Ralfaz? George Jetson?

Swift Eagle said...

Haha...Now I know I'm on the right blog, you guys know Astro's original name! I'm impressed...

Faraz Shaikh said...

looking forward to Jordan's outing tomorrow. Soriano owns him, eight RBIs in 12 PA.

Gonat said...

I had to Google George Jetson. Interesting stuff. That sure isn't The Simpsons.

The Fox said...

The next time I care about the Braves is when the Nats play them. The Nats are in control of their own destiny and they are taking care of that very well.

The Nats continue to play better as the season goes on. I'm only worried that they peak too soon.

In a short series anyone can win but looking at all the teams in baseball the Nats are the team I would not want to be playing now.

The Fox said...

You don't know daughter Judy or Jane his wife?

You missed a good cartoon.

Gonat said...

Swift Eagle said...
Top 5 Things over-heard in the Cubs Dugout Tonight
____________________

1. Let's NOT play TWO

Gonat said...

Jetson's aired from September 23, 1962, to March 17, 1963. 50 year anniversary in a couple of weeks!

Waaaay before my time! I grew up in The Simpsons and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles era.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Don't forget his boy Elroy

The Fox said...

Gonat I like the Let's NOT play TWO.

You are probably too young also for my No Mas reference.

put No Mas fight in Google.

I'm surprised the Jetsons were only on 2 years it seemed like more?

The Jetsons never got to have their own minor league baseball team like the Simpsons. The Isotopes play in Albuquerque and Marge and Homer are at every home game.

Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa said...

I suppose it's hopelessly old to bring up The Honeymooners, the ur-family-sitcom?

zregime said...

So, y'all are believin' now? Win the whole dang thang?

Of course we can.

Favorite scene tonight: Gio comes out after 7 and somebody (I couldn't tell who) is giving him a back rub in the dugout. Let me tell ya, Insiders, when a team has that level of physical trust with each other -- and yeah it could look gay, not that ther's anything wrong with that, but it isn't -- Thom Loverro has covered baseball for a LONG time and commented recently that he's never seen a team so at home with themselves in the clubhouse as our Natties are this year.

Yeah, I'd want to kiss Gio on the cheek after that performance tonight. 6 more of those and you're Cy Y, you emoting wonderful awesome beast you.

ALR and Ryan = Leadership.

Bryce: Like I posted earlier in the year, "Never change, never stop."

Desi: YeaH BOIE.

Michael: Fix your hand issue before the playoffs. If you can't...you're a warrior.

Kurt: Wanna know what it feels like to be the most loved playah in my Natties house right now? I say you steadied this team when they were on the verge of barf. Give this man an extra World Series share.

Davey: It would be very hard playing for you. Always in and ot, always unsure of my standing. Stras is ready to go! Some of the laser looks he's given you could have melted other people's faces. But you have spent your whole life in this game and I will trust you with our team. This down-to-earth, supercharged team.

Bob Carpenter, don't get so wrapped up in what the Barves are doing tonight. We got this.

GYFNG!

natsfan1a said...

Or the Flintstones, their Stone Age counterparts? Ru-roh. Yeah, I remember them, too. Some of those shots tonight went straight to the moon.

Speaking of which, nice win tonight. Will be off the grid for several days but may check in here and there to read posts. Will definitely be checking box scores. So, my blanket wish is: Go, [starter's name]! Go, NATS BATS!!

Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa said...

I suppose it's hopelessly old to bring up The Honeymooners, the ur-family-sitcom?
September 05, 2012 11:00 PM

Natslifer said...

Just got home from the game. Can't even begin to describe how much fun this is.

And Mark, saying Harper's 2cnd HR was "over the Nats bullpen" is like saying the Grand Canyon is a small ravine - that ball was a bullet into the upper deck!

We are one scary good team.

SonnyG10 said...

Go Nats! Just keep pouring it on. Pitching, bull pen, offense firing on all cylinders! Man are they making up for those awful years.

sjm308 said...

Just got home!!

Met JoeSeamhead and my imaginary friends are shrinking as "real" NI folk appear.

Will not go back to the game post but my oh my is this fun! I have been to 5 of the last 7 games and we are 5-0 in that streak!!

One comment on this game and its really a small point but Suzuki made a terrific stab of a high pitch with a man on first before we had really put the game out of reach. I think it was 5-0 so it was a comfortable lead but if that ball goes to the backstop, Gio now has a runner on 2nd and things might change. It was just a real big league play that probably most don't even give two shakes about but I loved it.

Again, we score first, we win.
Will be back tomorrow with my son and it just keeps getting better and better.

Go Nats!! Go Playoffs!! Score First!!

BigCat said...

Hmmmmmm.....Phillies win again. They are always in the back of your mind aren't they. Don't count them out of the wild card just yet. They are a veteran club who know how to win.

sm13 said...

My Gio (not Gonzalez) shirt and I had a great night at the park. Go had his no-hit stuff tonight. His curve ball was as good as I've seen it. And, 6 dingers, again? That was special!

sjm308 said...

Seriously, the Phillies?? I just looked on espn standings. They are in 8th place in the Wild Card. They are 8 games behind the Cards with 26 games to play and they are behind so many other teams its just not feasible. They are given a .01 chance of making the playoffs while our Nationals have a 99.9 chance. Doc, for a veteran club that knows how to win, they have learned how to lose 71 of their 137 games this year and are 5 games UNDER .500. Maybe next year. Now what you do have to hope is that those last 3 games at Nationals Park will be a chance for us to rest our rotation, get everyone in good position for whoever we will face in the playoffs but it won't be the Phillies.

sjm308 said...

By the way, when you say the Phillies win again, you realize they lost the night before right?

Fear and Ignorance said...

SJM-Phillies are not dead yet. If they win 7 or 8 in a row, they will have a legitimate shot. They also play the Rockies, Astros, Mets and Marlins in their next 4 series. Lot of ground to make up, but I can name at least 4 teams who have made up more in about the same period of time. 20-5 gives them a shot. Certainly not impossible.

Section 222 said...

Maybe not impossible but certainly implausible. It's one thing to make up that kind of ground against the one team you're chasing in a pennant race. Quite another to leapfrog over 4 other teams who are all shooting for that second WC spot.

The Phils are toast as far as the playoffs are concerned. But they are still dangerous and we play six of our last 9 games against them. I'm hoping we can clinch before those two series.

rabbit34 said...

See how much fun baseball can be when you don't sit and analyze adnausium! They are where they are. Go NATS!!

Joe Seamhead said...

Poppycock, I say! The Phills are done. That ship has sailed, took on water,and sunk.

natsfan1a said...

Well said, rabbit.

Donald said...

So has Bryce Harper back in the running for ROY? If we can keep this up for the rest of the season, I think he takes it.

sjm308 said...

Just wonder if the Phillies newspaper or blogs have a magic number up?? Kinda doubt it, unless its one for elimination.

m20832 said...

So has Bryce Harper back in the running for ROY? If we can keep this up for the rest of the season, I think he takes it.

If he passes Tony C. in HR's, he probably has a good chance.

fast eddie said...

Anybody else feel sorry for the Cubbies??
Especially after reading their manager's comment that we looked like "men vs. boys".
They remind me of us five years ago.

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