Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Instant analysis: Nats 5, Phillies 1

US Presswire photo
Ryan Zimmerman is congratulated by Michael Morse after homering in the fourth.
Game in a nutshell: Knowing they could clinch the No. 1 seed for the NL playoffs with a victory today -- regardless of the result of the Reds' game tonight in St. Louis -- the Nationals went out and took care of business. Edwin Jackson tossed 6 2/3 strong innings to rebound from his disastrous last start. Ryan Zimmerman, Tyler Moore and Michael Morse all blasted home runs to pace the offensive attack. Shoot, they even let Teddy win the Presidents Race for the first time, eliciting a huge roar from the announced crowd of 37,075. And by finishing off the Phillies, the Nationals finished with a 98-64 record, locking up the top seed for the postseason. Game 1 of the NLDS will be Sunday at the winner of Friday's Wild Card game between the Braves and Cardinals, with Game 2 on Monday. The series will come to Nationals Park for Games 3-5 Wednesday through Friday. The Reds and Giants will open their NLDS on Saturday in San Francisco.

Hitting highlight: Who knew all it would take to bring the Nationals' bats alive was a giant-headed Teddy winning the Presidents Race? Whether that had an actual impact or not, facts are facts: Moments after the fourth-inning race, Zimmerman crushed his 25th homer of the season, tying the game 1-1. Morse and Moore immediately followed with back-to-back doubles, giving the Nationals the lead. Two innings later, Moore belted his 10th homer of the season, providing a key insurance run. And then Morse added the final blow, a two-run shot in the eighth. Ah, the power of Teddy.

Pitching highlight: Coming off a disastrous start in St. Louis, Jackson was in serious need of a bounce-back performance. He delivered big-time. The right-hander allowed one run over 6 2/3 innings, walking only one batter while striking out six and keeping his pitch count at 97. And thanks to some run support, he was rewarded with his 10th win of the season, joining the other four members of the Nationals' Opening Day rotation in double digits. Would Jackson have been in danger of losing his rotation spot for the postseason based on his September struggles? Probably not. But this standout performance should ensure he starts either Game 3 or 4 of the NLDS next week.

Key stat: With an announced crowd today of 37,075, the Nationals ended the regular season with a total attendance of 2,370,794 over 79 home dates. That averages out to 30,010 per date, the franchise's highest total since the inaugural 2005 season at RFK Stadium.

Up next: The regular season is over, but now the real fun begins. The Nationals will get the next three days off, then they'll hit the road for Game 1 of the National League Division Series on Sunday, facing the winner of Friday's Wild Card game between the Braves and Cardinals.

131 comments:

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

I guess the Nats are headed to St Louis or Atlanta. Nice!

Another_Sam said...

I'm speechless. Stunned. What a ride, and there's more left.

I just bought two on stubhub. I guess you could perhaps get a better deal from the independent brokers [LOL] at gametime. What do you guys think is the way to go?

Section 3, My 1st Place Sofa said...

Mark, thanks for the regular season. May we presume you'll be travelling for the playoffs?

peric said...

I guess the Nats are headed to St Louis or Atlanta. Nice!

If I had to guess I would say St. Louis.

It would add some nice symmetry to today. Seeing the Phillies end at .500 and watching while the Braves make an early exit in the playoffs.

He who laughs last, laughs best.

Marty said...

As far as the travel thing goes with not knowing where you'll be playing on Sunday I think the Nats should fly to Atlanta on Friday. Put out an announcement that reads "Nothing personal St Louis, but this is in deference to the NL East."
If the Barves win, great you're already in town. Maybe someone can find out where Kimbrel goes that night and makes sure he has a few too many :) If the Cards win, then you have to travel again, but so do they.

MicheleS said...

Another_Sam. Me too.. This has just been a great ride.

Mark.. Thanks for the great coverage (and for putting up with us!)

See you in the playoffs.

phil dunton said...

Great season! Pleased to see the bats come alive going into the playoffs.

Swift Eagle said...

98 Curly W's!!!

Best record in MLB!!!

Still pinching myself....

Donald said...

I have a hard time picking Medlin to lose in Atlanta for the WC game. My guess is it's the Braves we'll be facing, but it could go either way. They are both playing pretty well right now.

Eugene in Oregon said...

What an unexpected delight of a season! Let's keep it going deep, deep into October. GYFNG!

MicheleS said...

Okay.. Davey is just having a back problem.

Swift Eagle said...

Davey sounds like he needs Cortisone!! It's the wonder drug of 2012... They should put needle on the WS rings...

Section 222 said...

phil dunton, is that really you?

Swift Eagle said...

Haha...Sec 222!

I was waiting for the Legion of Doom to show up and blame Henry for keeping us from winning 100...

Way to go Phil, even the Legion of Doom can be positive today...

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Even Espi ambushed the callup with a hard grounder for a single. Nice little barrage before the playoffs.

Swift Eagle said...

Ugh..Morse pulled something on the HR trot...

Almost as bad as the Detroit pitcher who hurt his ankle in the celebration the other day

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Swift, come on man. Let's leave Henry bashing for Spring Training 2013. :,)

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Swift, Davey called it a spasm and luckily the Nats have many days off.

Time for another anti-inflammation Shot in the butt.

Swift Eagle said...

Haha! Right on Ghost!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Also doubtful Morse pulled anything on the HR trot as it was probably from the swing and he felt it on the trot.

Swift Eagle said...

I guess the real HR swing with a bat takes more of a toll than the Phantom Swing w/out a bat in StL...

Swift Eagle said...

Next Wed looks like it will be Medlin v. Ejax in the first playoff game in DC....

Perfect time for Medlin's fairy tale to end, and him to turn into a Pumpkin...

baseballswami said...

98 wins. Seriously, people. 98. That's just crazy!!! At least if the Barves win, Medlin is burned for a few days.

Cwj said...

I'm hoping St. Louis takes care of Atlanta on Friday.
I'm sick of the Braves.

Go Nats!

NCNatsie said...

The problem both the Braves and Cardinals have is that whichever one wins has to face the Nationals next.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Swami, I'm with you. 98 wins! I say it out loud and it makes me laugh.

MicheleS said...

Jimmy Rollins has sour grapes

Ryan Lawrence‏@ryanlawrence21

Jimmy Rollins sums up season by saying Phils simply weren't healthy. "With us being healthy, (Washington) is in second place." #Phillies

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Swift, given your projection of Medlen vs EJax, I want Lohse vs EJax. Go Cardinals.

karlkolchak said...

It's just too bad that MLB screwed up the playoff scheduling this year. Those Sunday and Monday games should be at Nats Park, and with the three day weekend for the federal government, that would have been perfect. What is this get the best record and then have to go on the road BS?

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

MicheleS, is that for real? If.so, F JRoll!!! Nats had devastating injuries. Ramos, Morse, Storen Zim, Desi, Kimball, and Strasburg!

MicheleS said...

GHOST.. Ryan L is the Phillies beat writer for the Daily news. Yup. F JRol. Don't forger Werth our for 3 months

baseballswami said...

Does anyone know when they will set playoff rosters? Surely they have to tell some of these guys they can go home. This will be a sad, new thing for everyone.

MicheleS said...

And a 2nd Confirmation that JRol is a cry baby.

@JSalisburyCSN Rollins said if Phillies had been healthy all season, Washington would have been second place team.

MicheleS said...

Swami.. I bet all the guys that are in the dugout now, go with the team regardless.

Swift Eagle said...

The roster will depend on who the opponent is...and it will change round by round...

Swift Eagle said...

Dempster out, Holland in for Texas!...Rangers up 5-3 in the 4th....R.Washington is playing it like a Game 7, which I guess is bad news for Texas fans...

MicheleS said...

If you are anywhere close to a TV and Have MLB Network.. Turn on the A's game, it's going to be EPIC!

Swift Eagle said...

And now it's 5-5 in Oakland! A double by Coco!!!

When will the movie "Moneyball II, The Revenge of the Scouts" come out?

baseballswami said...

Do we have 5 pitchers with ten wins now??? More awesomeness!!!

Drew said...

I understand Jimmy Rollins' point.

Imagine if the Nats had to contend with injuries to Wilson Ramos, Stephen Strasburg, Ryan Zimmerman, Michael Morse, Ian Desmond, Drew Storen, Jhonathan Solano, Sandy Leon, Cole Kimball, Chien-Ming Wang.

There's no way the Nats could possibly compete.

Oh, they did? Never mind.

Dave said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ghost Of Steve M. said...

MicheleS, thank you. Of course I omitted Werth. I was typing so fast as JRoll has pissed me off. It is ridiculous on all levels. What an idiot. Hard to believe. Gives no credit to the Nats.

I hope the Phoolies bury themselves in their underperforming and overpaid players and can't wait for Chooch Ruiz to test positive.


JD said...


Scr#w JRoll.We'll deal with the Phills next year.

If it's the Braves I think it will be like this:

Gio vs. Hudson
JZim vs. Maholm
Det vs. Medlen
EJax vs. Minor
Gio vs. Hudson

Other than game 3 I think we stack up ok. I'm not sure how the St.Louis rotation will be set but I'm guessing Wainright in games 1 and 5 with Lohse in game 3. Will they use Lynn? Westbrooke? Garcia?

baseballswami said...

Game 162 strikes again!!!!! So glad that's not us.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

So much for Ryan Dempster.

Swift Eagle said...

Haha..Rollins is a tool...and love how Michele is always on the lookout for folks talking bad (or good) about the Nats!

I'd have missed a lot of good stuff w/out her updates...Thanks Michele!

Dave said...

Sorry, JRoll, the old and decrepit Phillies were just as injured as the young and beat-up Nationals.

Yet the Nats won and the Phillies lost. Imagine that.

Rollins can go enjoy his October golf games now. In fact, all of Philadelphia can go play October golf on some mole-infested, chopped-up golf course up there in Philthy-Land, for all I care.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

JD, Good work. Give me the Cardinals.

Swift Eagle said...

WOW!!!!

NatsJack in Florida said...

Sun Monster!!!!!

Swift Eagle said...

The Sun Monster apparently vacationing in Oakland...Hamilton drops an easy one and it's 7-5 A's!

baseballswami said...

Holy crap. Are you watching the rangers and a's?????

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Baseball gods just got Josh Hamilton! Holy S

NatsJack in Florida said...

OK....Breeze Monster!!!!

JD said...


Ghost,

I agree and I have a feeling (I don't know why) that the Cards will beat the Braves and I think they'll get to Medlen as well.

The Cardinals lineup does scare me to death though.

Drew said...

And Werth's wrist, and LaRoche's back.

Not to mention that HROD -- a pain in the neck.

MicheleS said...

SUNMONSTER Strikes the Rangers

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Go Nats of the West!

MicheleS said...

TIME for Friday:
Joey Nowak‏@joeynowak

The Cardinals and Braves will play at 5:07 p.m. on Friday. Winner hosts the Nats on Sunday.

MicheleS said...

I LOVE MARK:

Mark Zuckerman‏@MarkZuckerman

#Nats games lost to injury this year: Ramos 128, Storen 89, Werth 75, Morse 50, Desmond 25, Zimmerman 13.

JD said...


Ghost,

After giving it some thought I am not sure I want the Cards. There is not a huge drop off with them from one pitcher to another; they are all pretty decent but not great but their lineup can be very scary.

The Braves staff sans Medlen is also OK but not unmanageable and their lineup is good and deep but not quite as scary as St.Louis.

baseballswami said...

I don't think I have ever seen a series of trades and whatnot ( yes, I can quote Bryce Harper), between two teams work out quite so well for both teams. The Gio trade, Suzuki - I am also happy for Gomes, who I think ended up there as a free agent? I think both teams and all the players are happy. I know I am :)

MicheleS said...

And the blood shed continues in Phillie:

Jeff Passan‏@JeffPassan

Phillies let go of hitting coach Greg Gross, bench coach Pete Mackanin and first-base coach Sam Perlozzo, team says.

Swift Eagle said...

How much will the A's charge for playoff tickets under those tarps??

JD said...


MichelleS,

That's the 1st step before a team fires it's manager. If they start poorly next year Manuel will be a goner pretty quickly.

The thing is Amarro is the architect of this team which got old and expensive at the same time. I'm glad the Phills think they can win with this crew next year. I think they will be 1 year old and 1 year further away from a division title.

MicheleS said...

JD.. Just means that Ryne Sandburg will finally get a shot at managing. My Childhood Crush.. Going to be hard to hate him.

NatsLady said...

Gosh, Cholly is a terrible manager. Why would he piss off Pachelbon that way? Isn't he signed for next year?

mick said...

I had to listen to rest of the game on the radio from 7th on, Charlie and Dave were just fantastic... the crowd wow!!! Got back in time for post game with Johnny, Ray, FP and Bobby C

Got my tickets!!!

how bout the A's,

JD said...



Texas has been in 1st place by themselves since April 9th. Can you imagine if they have to go to Baltimore for a play in game?

Weren't they everyone's choice to go to the world series?

I think Detroit can be very dangerous in the playoffs if Sherzer is healthy.

mick said...

I had to listen to rest of the game on the radio from 7th on, Charlie and Dave were just fantastic... the crowd wow!!! Got back in time for post game with Johnny, Ray, FP and Bobby C

Got my tickets!!!

how bout the A's,

mick said...

I missed teddy winning, i am so mad!

Gonat said...

MicheleS said...
I LOVE MARK:

Mark Zuckerman‏@MarkZuckerman

#Nats games lost to injury this year: Ramos 128, Storen 89, Werth 75, Morse 50, Desmond 25, Zimmerman 13.

October 03, 2012 5:19 PM
_____________________________________

Add Stephen Strasburg as the most important to Mark's list as he is an injury from a prior season victim and also Cole Kimball to that list.

Also note that Storen, Werth, Morse, Desi and Zim all came out of rehab quickly and did much of their rehab work on the active roster which decreased their time missed.

baseballswami said...

Rollins is a tool. Papelbon is also. Cholly is a statue. My Philly relatives have all been talking about how he didn't used to have to manage. He just wrote in the line up day after day and his stars played the game. They are all saying that he has no ability to teach or develop younger players.I tend to agree with them. Does anyone think Ryan Howard will ever be a healthy athlete again? His injury was very severe and they rushed him back. All season when you watched him, he could barely run at all. They can watch the post season on tv. Does Rollins really think that even without the Nats, they could have taken the Braves, too?

MicheleS said...

NatsLady. What did Paplebon say?

JD said...


Swami,

I hope they think that. There is no way you can expect players in their mid 30's to stay healthy consistently. It's hard to imagine how they can field a team of: Howard, Utley, Rollins and Ruiz for an extended period of time and Halladay and Lee are both on the decline side of their careers. The got rid of the contracts they could but their hands are tied with what's left.

I don't see them as our main competition for the foreseeable future; that would be the Braves.

Gonat said...

Ph-ck the Phoolies. How low can JRoll go? If it was about injuries, why are they cleaning house? Why fire Coaches?

mick said...

Not that it matters, because I have been in NATS mode since February.... The Skins play Sunday at 1PM, I wonder what the MLB's schedule will be?

I know all of us will be total Nats, but what makes all of this interesting is that in 1933 and needless to say 1924-25 is that the Nationals were it, no pro football, hoop internet porn (ha, ha thought I'd throw that in to see if you all are paying attention, lol) or hockey.

What happens if Skins are playing at home and Nats are deep in post season at home? I have no doubt the Nats are sold out period no matter what, the question is what will the viewership be in DC metro?

On this note, Nats had 2.37 million fans at park this year and average 30,000 per game, 6,000 up per game from last season.... that is FANTASTIC!!!

mick said...

and... Nats had 300,000 more fans than the O's in 2012!! take that angelos

Gonat said...

Cliff Lee is excellent but is now a #2. Halladay is throwing like a #2 and at times like a #4 and is declining.

mick said...

hee hee Go you A's, I love it!!1

mick said...

so Frank Robinson will throw out first pitch? I like it, but we need some old timers out there from 1933!1

Gonat said...

mick said...
and... Nats had 300,000 more fans than the O's in 2012!! take that angelos

October 03, 2012 5:52 PM
________________________________

That's huge and if they didn't have statue days, Red Sox and Yankees they wouldn't have jack!

mick said...

Gonat: EXCELLENT POINT!!!!!

Gonat said...

mick said...
so Frank Robinson will throw out first pitch? I like it, but we need some old timers out there from 1933!1

October 03, 2012 5:58 PM
_______________________________

That's a great idea....let's see, how's about Ted Lerner!!!!!

mick said...

Gonat.... point well taken

Gonat said...

mick said...
Gonat: EXCELLENT POINT!!!!!

October 03, 2012 5:59 PM
____________________________

I'm also fired up and if Bob Melvin doesn't win the Manager of the Year for the AL, those voters should give up their voting cards.

Buck did a good job but Bob Melvin might just reach Sainthood as he just performed miracles as required for canonization.

Nats In Athens said...

The problem with Philadelphia is that it tried to boost its roster in order to have the upper hand when renewing its TV contract in a year or so and it has come back to bite them badly. They are bloated and with very few players that will get better next year and a lot of veterans that will not.

Nats In Athens said...

On another note I would have loved for Stras to have pinch hit the last at bat, like FP suggested. The crowd would have gone wild...

mick said...

Gonat.... I am torn between Buck and Melvin, I would not be bothered if either one received it

sjm308 said...

will go back and read comments later!

Just got home from another feel good moment. To be at the park on Monday and again today is just special. I brought my son's playoff tickets with me and as I was riding down on Metro there was this very nice group of Philly phans with 3 generations who had driven in from PA. I showed them the World Series Tickets and everyone in the train was ooohing and aaahing. I knew we would have a big crowd just from the crowded metro at 11:30am.

Jackson was sharp, I saw 97 at least once on the scoreboard. Moore was fooled badly his first time up but he crushed the ball in the 6th, Pierre didn't even bother to move!! Loved Bryce as a pinch runner and he certainly bothered Papelbon. Loved Zimm coming out for Harper & Morse making a curtain call. Just a great game.

I am wondering what folks here will talk about now? I guess there will be guesses about the 25 man roster and speculation about who its better to play, etc. etc.

Swift Eagle - did your legion have anything to mention today. I will not go back and read game posts but you must have been very lonely this afternoon!!

OK, we did not score first, we did win, and we are now the #1 seed in the NL and have the best record in all of baseball. Not too bad huh?

Go Nats!! Enjoy the time off!! Win the NLDS!!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

This As game is unreal. Josh Hamilton sprinting.in and a gust of win lifts it off of his glove.

If you dont believe in the baseball gods I don't know what to say but there was divine intervention there!

Money Ball2-Divine Intervention

Gonat said...

Ghost Of Steve M. said...
This As game is unreal. Josh Hamilton sprinting.in and a gust of win lifts it off of his glove.

If you dont believe in the baseball gods I don't know what to say but there was divine intervention there!

Money Ball2-Divine Intervention

October 03, 2012 6:17 PM
______________________________

They are calling them Houdini Acts on the MLB Network right now.

sjm308 said...

Phil D - thanks!!

Faraz Shaikh said...

OMG this game is insane...

Faraz Shaikh said...

btw great to have the best record in both leagues!!!!

MicheleS said...

NORRIS with a HR!

Faraz Shaikh said...

norris just homered,.

Nats In Athens said...

To this day I cannot figure out who got the best in the Gio for the farm deal. I have a nagging feeling that every day that goes by it seems we got the short of it. If Peacock makes it to the big leagues that would clinch it.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Norris! 8 unanswered runs from a 4 run deficit

Steady Eddie said...

From Mark's Teddy thread:
"I am so glad Teddy won so we can stop talking about Teddy," third baseman Ryan Zimmerman said with a strong hint of sarcasm. "People get more excited for a mascot race than a game. Yes, I'm excited Teddy won. I'm ecstatic."

Hear, hear! FOF wins the thread!
Now all the Nats marketing people can devote their time entirely to marketing THE TEAM!

Now, marketing people, if you want to listen to your FOF, STOP CALLING IT "THE MAIN EVENT"!

It's a cute little sideshow for the kiddies.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Athens, AJ Cole was the raw talent in that deal.

Steady Eddie said...

Nats in Athens -- excuse me? Getting the pitcher with the most wins in MLB, the ace after Strasdown, and an indisputable finalist for the Cy Young is "the short of it"?

Why does one team or the other have to be the winner or loser in the deal? Just accept that it works for both and be happy.

MicheleS said...

Killer quote from Kilgore's gamer:

They shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. But they have come to find the new sensation of victory suits them awfully fine.

Faraz Shaikh said...

mercy rule for Texas?

MicheleS said...

The A's are taking it to the Rangers now

Faraz Shaikh said...

Don't know if the top tier is open, but if it was, it would have been filled as well. When I went there, I never imagined that stadium being packed.

Swift Eagle said...

The crowd in Oakland is INSANE!!

NatsJack in Florida said...

What kind of hipnotic trance are those Oakland fans in?

Swift Eagle said...

Haha Jack, that looks like 30K person Mosh Pit...

NatsJack in Florida said...

Rangers are 5 games up with 9 to play and now this. Nice fold.

Faraz Shaikh said...

As win

MicheleS said...

Oh MY God! The A's Did it. That is just TREMENDOUS!

Swift Eagle said...

MoneyBall II...

NatsJack in Florida said...

Now for a real miracle......a well pitched game by Daisuke Matsuzaka.

Theophilus T. S. said...

Rangers might be in the playoffs but if I were them I'd hate to have to play a game in front of the home crowd.

MicheleS said...

Now we just need a Game 163 betw the Yanks/O's

Faraz Shaikh said...

I think I just saw Hamilton wearing AL WEst Champion t-shirt and sharing a hug with Cespedes.

Faraz Shaikh said...

game 163 and this ending, does that top last season? I don't know but I sure am loving this even if I have no interest in any of these teams.

ehay2k said...

Such fun. And as for Jiminy Rollins, I tweeted to Mark but will post here as well: Tell Rollins that if the Nats had been healthy, the Phillies would have finished in FOURTH place!

Tick Tock, Tock Tock...

Faraz Shaikh said...

Since I visited Coliseum, A's are 28-12 in regular season. Did I inspire them or what?

Feel Wood said...

You know, when Kristina Akra was interviewing Teddy after the game it was the first time this season I found myself missing Debbi Taylor. Hearing her ask Teddy how he felt when he finally won the race would have made it all worthwhile.

ehay2k said...

Feel Wood, Teddy's answer would have been the same either way...

NatsJack in Florida said...

Holy cow. Daisuke gets 3 outs on 6 pitches in the first inning against the Yankees. I bet that can't happen again.

ehay2k said...

Impossible Natsjack, absolutely impossible that he can do that again! ;-)

MicheleS said...

new post.

NatsLady said...

MicheleS, he didn't SAY anything. He just pitched like sh@t until Cholly took him out.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Daisuke back to normal.

MicheleS said...

NatsLady.. Thanks for that! LMAO!

natsfan1a said...

Just got home, as we went out to dinner with some friends after. Fun game, and a little bonus to see the Phillies end their (11, was it?) consecutive winning seasons streak. I suppose *that* made Cholly mad, too. Whatever, dude. ;-)

Going to try to wind down now, so will read all the posts and comments later.

natsfan1a said...

So, he *was* ecstatic. Facts are facts: as Zimm stepped in, I said, "Come on, Nats. Even Teddy scored one. Don't let him show you up." :-)

Whether that had an actual impact or not, facts are facts: Moments after the fourth-inning race, Zimmerman crushed his 25th homer of the season, tying the game 1-1.

natsfan1a said...

Watched the late innings of the A's game after we went to a sports pub for dinner with friends. There was a guy there in an A's jersey who was having a great time. Turned out it was his birthday. After the A's won, he said it was his best birthday ever. I told him I was saying the same thing on Monday, after the Nats clinched. So, do any Insiders have a birthday this weekend? :-)

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