Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Instant analysis: Nats 6, Marlins 1

Associated Press
Kurt Suzuki and Ross Detwiler react to Greg Gibson's missed call at the plate.
Game in a nutshell: After an ugly performance last night, the Nationals got back on track with a near-flawlessly played game in all facets. Ross Detwiler pitched brilliantly, pounding the strike zone and allowing just one run over seven innings to earn his first win of the season. Bryce Harper, back in the lineup but still battling flu-like symptoms, went 4-for-5 with a double and an RBI, infield single. Kurt Suzuki homered, tripled and drove in another run on a sacrifice fly. Rafael Soriano, making his first appearance in six days, pitched a scoreless ninth. Ryan Zimmerman even made two picture-perfect throws on the only two grounders hit to him in the game (though he was mysteriously taken out in favor of Chad Tracy in the eighth inning). The Nationals may still have a few issues, but they're feeling a lot better about themselves after taking two of three in Miami, heading up to New York for the weekend with a 9-6 record overall.

Hitting highlight: The Nationals obviously were upset to lose Wilson Ramos to a hamstring injury, but they also knew they had more than a capable replacement in Suzuki. And the veteran catcher has proven it. Suzuki really delivered tonight. He lofted a sacrifice fly in his first at-bat. He crushed a solo homer (his second of the year) in his second at-bat. And then he tripled — yes, tripled — into the left-field corner in his third at-bat. Put it all together, and the Nationals' No. 2 catcher now sports a hefty .375 batting average for the season. Obviously, Ramos still has the higher ceiling, and he'll probably get the bulk of the playing time once he returns from the DL. But Suzuki remains a fantastic secondary option.

Pitching highlight: Detwiler has thrown almost nothing but fastballs in his three starts, and he did it again tonight. An astounding 100 of his 107 pitches were either four-seamers or two-seamers. But, hey, if they can't hit 'em, why stop throwing 'em? The left-hander has managed to be successful this way because he's located those fastballs with pinpoint accuracy. He didn't issue any walks in this start, and he kept the Marlins off-balance enough by bouncing back and forth between the two types of fastballs. Those 107 pitches also represented a new career high, as Davey Johnson continues to give his young hurler more rope. Three starts in, Detwiler might well be the Nationals' most-effective starter. Though he has only one win, his ERA is now a paltry 0.90. Not bad for a so-called "No. 5 starter."

Key stat: Harper is now 5-for-6 with two homers and a double against Ricky Nolasco this season.

Up next: The Nationals will enjoy a day off in New York — not a bad place to spend a day off — and then open a weekend series with the Mets. Friday's opener features a doozy of a pitching matchup, with young studs Stephen Strasburg and Matt Harvey squaring off at 7:10 p.m. at Citi Field.

81 comments:

Eric said...

Beautiful game fellas...a pleasure to watch!

Section 222 said...

Untuck!!!! Nice to see Soriano with a smooth performance. And boy, Det was impressive.

Gonat said...

FP with the Untuckage. That is coolage.

David Proctor said...

Soriano found his slider. If he can continue throwing that, he'll be good to go.

Faraz Shaikh said...

Good, clean win.

Harper needs a break.

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

Those 107 pitches also represented a new career high, as Davey Johnson continues to give his young hurler more rope.

Interesting figure of speech there. I'm going with "What part of 'Instant' confuses you, Sofa?"

peric said...

Suzuki is in better shape physically. Its kind of like saying Ramos has a higher ceiling than Pudge when he was younger.

This was an almost perfect game. Top of the lineup didn't produce much but it didn't matter to Harper. And Detwiler continues in his campaign prove he should be considered ahead of Gio this season and maybe JZimmnn.

They win another series.


natsfan1a said...

Zombie Bryce says: mmmm....pitchers....hits

Yep, I did indeed untuck.

Candide said...

Like JZimm Monday night, Det's ERA actually went UP tonight.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Harper 8 multi hit games. In those games Nats 8-0.

Stras vs. Harvey a batlle again.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

I untuck despite no saves.

NatsLady said...

Mets have to stay in Colorado. Tonight's game was postponed, they are making it up tomorrow. Nice, no off-day for them.

A DC Wonk said...

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Why was Det pulled with 90 pitches last time and allowed to stay after 91 this time?

Det had two games under his belt this time. Not a bad strategy to let a pitcher work up to it when it's still April.

Doc said...

Harps leads the way from sickbay.

How many guys with the flu (The boy looked pale white)can hit 4 for 5---not that many.

Maybe more Nats need to get the flu--nah, that'd be a bad idea!


GoooooooooooooooooooooNats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

Gonat, IOU 1. That was indeed a slider, not a curve, at least according to Ray.

Drew said...

Nice bounce-back win.

Sorry to hear the news about Matt Skole.

At Hagerstown, lefty Brett Mooneyham must be on a strict pitch count. Tonight he was lifted with one out in the fifth before he'd allowed a single hit.

Mooneyham's ERA dropped to 0.63.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

by the way replay from two different angle the helmet moved enough you could easily call him out. Ump was going to call him out. Noangle showed from the same position ump was

sjm308 said...

I asked for 9 - 6 and they delivered.

Two of three from the Mets lads.

Go nats!

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Michael Jordan had one of his greatest games with the flu.

natsfan1a said...

Replays also indicate that Zuuk said the F-word, not that I blame him. :-)

Secret wasian man said...

Well played gentlemen. Well played

SCNatsFan said...

Detwiler #5. Pffffffft.

Gonat said...

NatsLady said...
Mets have to stay in Colorado. Tonight's game was postponed, they are making it up tomorrow. Nice, no off-day for them.
_______________________________

Mets were playing a scheduled Thursday game already. They just won't make it a doubleheader.

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

Well, Blue isn't looking at an HD monitor, in slow motion, 10 times. He's looking in real time, up close, without the benefit of knowing in advance what's going to happen. The tag got the top of the helmet, at full speed, all within less than a second.

Of course, the goal is to get the call right, and if I'm Davey, I'm arguing that too--he did not, in fact, get it right. But he was in position, paying attention, and didn't get any rules wrong, on a bang-bang play. That's his job. Human beings are going to miss a few. They just are.

Now, strike zones ... the plate hasn't changed size in living memory. That's different.

Joe Seamhead said...

"Phoey" doesn't start with an F, natsfan1a...

MicheleS said...

Drew. Mooneyham was taken out with arm tightness. Will be evaluated in the next few days.

Nice win tonight. Glad to hear that the mets are in CO tomorrow.

Gonat said...

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...
Gonat, IOU 1. That was indeed a slider, not a curve, at least according to Ray.

April 17, 2013 10:20 PM
_________________________________

That's okay. Just helping out. I still think that Det's fastball is working great for him but the changeup and more sliders could help his pitch counts as the Marlins fouled off a lot of balls.

Also what works against bad teams doesn't against the good ones.

David Proctor said...

My issue with the ump is that he changed his mind. If he called it safe, I'd probably still be upset, but he was ready to punch him out and then said safe. That's what is confusing to me.

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

Is it me, or is Davey looking significantly healthier?

natsfan1a said...

Oh, that's right. I'm forgetting my spelling lessons. :-)

Joe Seamhead said...

"Phoey" doesn't start with an F, natsfan1a...
April 17, 2013 10:29 PM

Gonat said...

Sounds like Kaptain Kurt definitely tagged him from what Davey said.

Ump changing his mind is bad unless Kurt dropped the ball which he didn't.

natsfan1a said...

Davey is looking well.

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

David, I agree, indecision is always a problem for an umpire, but I want him to be willing to get the call right, even if it's on the second try, so I would want to know what changed his mind, but again, you lose that argument 100%.

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

"Kurt must've called him a Phillies Phan."

"How romantic."

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Actually I was watching with heart. I called him out before the replsy, and once I saw it , it was quite clear again. Nothing changed except to confirm what I thought.

My concern also was he planned to call it right and something not thete had him change his mind. You would think the mitt hitting helmet would have made it easy.

Fortunately little harn, just something to complsin about.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

When will MASN get a new dugout reporter? saw Kristina Acra is on MLB Network.

Gonat said...

Gonat said...
Detwiler appears to be missing his spots based on where Suzuki is setting up on these fastballs.

April 17, 2013 7:48 PM
__________________________________

Detwiler said, "I was Overthrowing my sinker and wasn't able to locate it early"

Confirms what I said.

David Proctor said...

They hired someone today Manassas Nats' Fan. She'll start this next homestand.

Gonat said...

Mannasas, Julie Alexandria got hired today as the new sideline reporter. Read NatsEnquirer.

natsfan1a said...

I can do without sideline reporters myself but here you go:

http://www.masnsports.com/nationals_pastime/2013/04/masn-hires-julie-alexandria-as-new-nationals-sideline-reporter.html

natsfan1a said...

D'oh! One virtual drink coming up.

Drew said...

MicheleS:

Thanks for the word on Mooneyham. Hope he's OK.

natsfan1a said...

Make that two virtual drinks.

Gonat said...

Detwiler also said when he overthrows his sinker it doesn't sink and goes straight.

Tonight as he went on he let his velo drop. He didn't do that in his last start.

Major step forward by Det. Only suggestion is getting some more changeups and sliders worked in.

Gonat said...

MicheleS said...
Nice win tonight. Glad to hear that the mets are in CO tomorrow.
_______________________________

They already had a scheduled 3pm game beforehand which makes for a long flight back and they won't get to bed until past midnight.

They are just fortunate that MLB isn't forcing it to be a doubleheader.

This matchup of Harvey/Strasburg is getting a lot of early buzz.

baseballswami said...

In honor of his outstanding performance, I vow to spell his name correctly. Detwiler. And as for his fastballs, he throws two different types , varies locations. I think McCatty and Suzuki can manage it if they want him to change things.

Eric said...

"Is it me, or is Davey looking significantly healthier?"

I felt the same way...maybe Harper and Span aren't the only ones who've come down with something?

A DC Wonk said...

Also what works against bad teams doesn't against the good ones.

Well, he did pitch pretty well against the Braves (7 IP, 1 R)

Detwiler said, "I was Overthrowing my sinker and wasn't able to locate it early"

Man, you just gotta love when a pitcher doesn't have his best stuff, or is missing a pitch, and can still go out and do what he did. (If I recall, same thing with JZ two nights ago -- his slider wasn't working, and he still got the complete game victory).

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Gonat/Sec3, I think that is Ross's brand new pitch and I'd call it a slurve. Maybe Mark can confirm.

Gonat said...

Wonk, he said that he eventually got the sinker going.

baseballswami said...

Late to the party, just catching up on DVR. Sweet fancy Moses, Bryce can hit, but he looks like crap. Good thing they have tomorrow off.

Gonat said...

Ghost Of Steve M. said...
Gonat/Sec3, I think that is Ross's brand new pitch and I'd call it a slurve. Maybe Mark can confirm.
___________________________

That's good stuff. It will be interesting what Pitch F/X says tomorrow when they post the data for this game because according to their database Ross has never thrown a slider as he is Sinker, 4 seam, curveball, changeup.

A DC Wonk said...

So, Nats are not playing up to par, some have "lost confidence", and we're uptight about getting on track . . .

and all this while we're on a 97-win pace (.600).

But: I usually see the glass about half-full. Isn't it great that our home team is so good that we fret over a 9-6 record? It sure as heck didn't use to be that way!

Gonat said...

Wonk, the regular patrons don't seem overly worried except about Ryan Z.

Notice that Stevie J Alexandria didn't show up tonight. He only comes out during beatdowns.

mick said...

As I stated this morning the idea is to try to win each series. so after 15 games, the Nats are 9-6. If the Nats go 9-6 every 15 games, I think that puts them at 98 wins or fairly close?

A DC Wonk said...


Gonat said...

Wonk, he said that he eventually got the sinker going.


Ah, OK, thanks.

baseballswami said...

Late to the party, just catching up on DVR. Sweet fancy Moses, Bryce can hit, but he looks like crap.


Yeah -- amazingly, after a single, he's standing there at first base, with both hands on his knees trying to catch his breath.

And (spoiler alert ;-) ) he goes 4-for-5.

PS: any particular reason given why RZ was lifted in the double switch (right after striking out, again, chasing something low and outside)? Just convenience, or was there more to it?

David Proctor said...

"Bryce Harper got an IV pregame, vomited in the 2nd inning, felt his head spinning at the plate ... and went 4-for-5"

A DC Wonk said...

Oh -- and one more thing:

It wasn't too long ago, that Det would be undone by a bad call or an error.

Not tonight.

Also, one of the best stats: Zero Walks for Det. (And a total of only three this season).

Steady Eddie said...

Mark, Det is 1-0, not 1-2.

His two previous starts were no decisions, both of which he left with the Nats ahead.

A DC Wonk said...

Wait a minute!

Notice that Stevie J Alexandria didn't show up tonight. He only comes out during beatdowns.

And the name of the new Akra is Julie Alexandria?

Steady Eddie said...

Wonk -- along with his increased command, Det's unflappability in the face of errors and bad calls has been his biggest area of improvement since 2011.

Gonat said...

Wonk, no way are they related! Too funny!

NCNatsie said...

Julie, si.
Stevie J, no.

mick said...

I felt that Det would have a break out season in 2013. Det would be a #2 or #3 on at least a dozen other MLB teams

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

thanks all.

Julie Alexandria during March Madness.

baseballswami said...

DC Wonk- the twitter verse is reporting Zim's hammy was barking a bit. Better than that first game where he was downright gimpy. I think it was good for him to come out without having let one fly. Day off for Zim's hammy, Danny's hand ( will miss Lombo at the dish), and the two pukers.

Gonat said...

The defensive alignment in the outfield was amazing tonight. Bryce was placed many times at spots where he didn't have to move to catch some flyouts and liners.

mick said...

Can Braves keep up this pace? It is actually impressive.

Gonat said...

baseballswami, the most interesting development will be if Davey keeps Lombo in as he is getting it done in the field and at the dish.

mick said...

Gonat... I have been a Lombo fan from day 1, this kid has to play, I'm not saying every day, but I think 3 of evey 7 games.

Also, I am starting to believe that winning the division guarantees nothing in baseball. Just get in the playoffs. in other words, we as fans should not obsess over the Nats having to win the East.

mick said...

To add to my point, Lombo's Dad as most of you know played ona Twins team in 1987 that won 83 games and made it in the post season the last day. They went on to sweep the Tigers who won I believe 105 games that season and of course they won the WS.

mick said...

Kurt Suzuki is a beast and I am so glad he plays for us!!

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

He only comes out during beatdowns.


And here I thought the DeNiro clip scared him off...

mick said...

whats up old funk!!!!

mick said...

maybe the Billy Batts clip scared him off, lol

Gonat said...

http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/blog/jon-heyman/22092394/werth-says-his-grandfather-ducky-schofield-was-robbed-of-his-1960-ws-ring

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Turn on MLB Network. Ryan Zimmerman segment.

Scott Margenau said...

Do tell Ghost.

Davey had a chemical peel and Botox. Looks 10 years younger!

Seriously, I was thinking the other day that he looks much better and healthier...and here I thought it was just me!

natsfan1a said...

Oh, I missed that. Did you go old school with Taxi Driver or new school with Meet the Fokkers?

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...


And here I thought the DeNiro clip scared him off...
April 17, 2013 11:27 PM

3on2out said...

Section 3:

As an umpire myself (well...that's a stretch...I'm a slo-pitch softball ump) I appreciate your recognition of the difficulty of calling a bang-bang tag play. The hard ones are when the tag is being applied in an area not adjacent to where the plate (or base) is being touched. (E.g., the tag high on the body of a sliding runner).

In this instance, what struck me as strange was he had it right initially. He then decided he saw something to convince himself he had it wrong. That is unusual. You usually go with your first sense of the play and don't reverse yourself unless you see something that overwhelmingly convinces you otherwise. (the ball coming loose for example)

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

3on2out - yeah, it's amazing how easy other people's jobs are, and how complicated our own.

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