Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Instant analysis: Nats 8, White Sox 7

Associated Press
Gio Gonzalez is out trying to stretch a single into a double.
Game in a nutshell: Returning home from a rough weekend in Cincinnati, the Nationals faced an odd matchup: an interleague series in early April. The two teams wound up playing more of an AL style game, with the ball flying out of Nationals Park on a warm, 81-degree evening. Gio Gonzalez battled his way through five innings, piling up pitches but holding the White Sox to only one run. His teammates then took care of the run support. Ian Desmond homered in the sixth. Jayson Werth and Adam LaRoche each launched two-run homers in the sixth. LaRoche (who had been 0-for-15 on the season) then went deep again in the eighth, providing some much-needed insurance. Turns out they needed it, because Rafael Soriano served up a two-run homer to Alex Rios with two outs in the ninth, trimming the lead to one, before he closed this one out and improved the Nationals to 5-2.

Hitting highlight: Questions abounded for both Werth and LaRoche. Is Werth's surgically repaired wrist fully healed, and will he ever be able to hit for power again? And what's up with LaRoche's slow start to the season (0-for-15)? Is it his back acting up, is it his usual penchant for starting slow or is it a sign of regression? Well, both guys put to rest some of that talk with a couple of titanic home runs in the bottom of the sixth. Werth crushed a first-pitch fastball from Jake Peavy, way up into the left-field stands. It was his third in his last five games, and none of them were cheapies. Guess that wrist is OK. LaRoche, meanwhile, ended his drought with a bang: a two-run homer to straight center field. Two innings later, he did it again, taking lefty Joe Thornton deep. LaRoche had been making solid contact during the season's first week and had nothing to show for it. Now he does.

Pitching highlight: This was a particularly strange outing by Gonzalez. At times, he was un-hittable, leading to seven strikeouts. But his command wasn't consistent at all, elevating his pitch count to preposterous levels. Gonzalez needed 33 pitches to get through the first inning, 74 to get through three. He also suffered a complete brain cramp at one point, stepping off the mound with his wrong foot while the bases were loaded. That unusual balk brought home a run. As it turned out, though, that was the only run Gonzalez allowed. He might normally have gone deeper into the game, but with his pitch count at 99 after only five innings, he was done for the night.

Key stat: With a single, a double and a walk tonight, Denard Span raised his on-base percentage to .500. He's reached base in 15 of 30 plate appearances so far.

Up next: Jordan Zimmermann makes his second start of the season in Game 2 of this interleague series. He'll be opposed by fellow right-hander (and Maryland native) Gavin Floyd at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday.

32 comments:

MicheleS said...

UNTUCK! WOOOOOO HOOOOOO!

going to vomit again. Geesh!

Secret wasian man said...

The Great Untuck is not getting it done. Never vomitted this much with Drew closing. Maybe he needs his job back. Not happy with our two new pitchers. Good win though and great hitting

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Bullpen very weak last 4 games.

Harper multi hit games 5-0.

Less then 2 hits 0-2.

Three different multi homer games in 7 games.

natsfan1a said...

Did I untuck, you might ask? Yes. Yes, I did.

Scott Margenau said...

The Ump was horrible all night...very one sided, and not ours.

sjm308 said...

Hope everyone behaved over on the game post (ha,ha). Bet people were going nuts with Clip having a little difficulty and Storen throwing well. See, its 162 games and not everyone will be lights out every single time. Bottom line is Nats Win!!

So happy for LaRoche. As much of a pro and veteran as he is, that has to be tough starting out 0 for whatever and also having the back stiffen. I wanted to see Morse here but respect pretty much everything Rizzo does and I do love Adam's defense (especially last year with all of the scatter arms).

We had another error tonight and I realize that is a tough call as it's pretty hard to hit a baserunners helmet. Still, I think everyone wants to see us tighten things up.

Last point. Ventura had a tough time managing this game. Thought he kept Peavy in too long and I don't believe Dunn got an at bat. Has to be difficult for the AL guys to come in and have to figure out when to double switch etc. He also was a man short with Beckham hurt. Win tomorrow and we win our 2nd series out of 3.

Go Nats!!

Doc said...

Gues who's got the best ERA in the pen?

Drewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!

And he doesn't have to untuck his uni!

Wad's that about ST stats, sportsfans?

sjm308 said...

Wasian - surely you remember Chief?? Not happy with Soriano for sure but he did get Konerko for that final out.

Tcostant said...

Man you can't go to sleep early with this pen. I'm glad we hung on...

Scott Margenau said...

Think Davey will switch if drew keeps up his filthiness

sjm308 said...

Scott: thats a great question. I doubt if Davey switches but I bet if Storen stays nasty, he will at least get an opportunity to save several times. It is still a small sample size for both and we are 5-2 but I am hoping Soriano settles in and Drew keeps throwing well.

baseballswami said...

Yikes. It's going to be a long, crazy season.

Scott Margenau said...

Sori slider is actually a meatball slider.

Which btw is delicious.

If that slider stats up we r in for trouble.

Ps: go caps! We may have 4 legit teams in the DMV!

Scott Margenau said...

"Stays up"

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Soriano has pitched well since 2006. I suspect he will get back to normal, but so far not a great start.

natsfan1a said...

He didn't get one, but it looked like he was about to get one just before the game ended (whew).

Thought he kept Peavy in too long and I don't believe Dunn got an at bat.

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

You know I did.

A DC Wonk said...

Yes, Dunn was in the on-deck circle when Korneko made the last out.

baseballswami said...

Was that really only game 7? Oh , how I missed all this stress and consternation. And home runs and winning.

do1teach1 said...

Is anyone else getting tired of those stupid LA Angels shampoo commercials during Nationals games?

JaneB said...

In section 130, we TUCKED to UNTUCK with Soriano. I'm so glad we got to and that we didn't jinx it. MAN it would have been so hard to have Dunn come to the plate against us in the 9th!
We thought that balk was bogus. I guess it's minorly better that it wasn't.
One down, two to go.

Gonat said...

I'm watching the Angels/A's game and Brendan Harris comes to bat. Yes, the Brendan Harris from the Expos/Nats.

He hasn't been in the MLB since 2010 and actually bounced around quite a few Minor League camps.

natsfan1a said...

More importantly, Gonat, are they showing shampoo commercials with Nats players? :-)

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

No, but I hear the Phillies have a contract to film some Just For Men commercials.

ehay2k said...

LOL sofa! Maybe the Yankees can do some as well...

natsfan1a said...

Viagra may also be looking for actors. Just a thought...

natsfan1a said...

No, wait. To tie in with the "creaky and leaky" theme, the Phillies need to step up to the plate with commercials for anti-inflammatory and urinary incontinence meds. Probably a good thing that nobody's reading this thread any more. :-)

Doc said...

Having the Phithies advertise for retirement villages would be a natural. Jolly Cholly could do the voice over, and come in at the end.

Maybe a Philthy special could be arranged with season tickets.

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

Doc, I think they already have a promo. Here's a Phillies team photo from last year.

Doc said...

Fun link Sec. 3!

Keep that sofa untucked!

Do you think that we'll see Soriano's 2nd pitch soon?

Section 222 said...

Sofa, is that a shot of the Phillies' wives?

natsfan1a said...

I think that's where the joke part comes in. :-)

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