Friday, April 5, 2013

Instant analysis: Reds 15, Nats 0

Associated Press
Dan Haren surrendered four home runs in only four innings.
Game in a nutshell: Hmm, remember when everyone was debating whether the Nationals' pitching staff would ever give up a run? Yeah, not so much anymore. The Reds feasted on everybody Davey Johnson sent to the mound on this night, racking up six home runs (most ever surrendered by the Nats) and 15 total runs (most allowed since 2007). Dan Haren, in a debut performance he won't want to remember, made it through only four innings, serving up the first four homers. Zach Duke, Henry Rodriguez and Ryan Mattheus then couldn't stop the bleeding. When it was all said and done, the Nationals had suffered the most-lopsided defeat in club history (2005-present) and pretty much erased all the good vibes from their 3-0 start to the season. Sure, it's only one game, and it won't mean anything tomorrow. But this was a legitimate, old-fashioned beat down at the hands of a very good opponent.

Hitting lowlight: With an 0-for-3 night, Adam LaRoche now finds himself in an 0-for-13 funk to begin the season. LaRoche, of course, is a notoriously slow starter (except for last season) but this doesn't appear to be one of those cases. He has legitimately hit the ball well through the first four games, especially during the home series against the Marlins. This feels more like a case of bad luck than a bad hitting approach, but the longer the 0-fer continues, the more possibility there is of this getting in LaRoche's head and perhaps turning into something more significant.

Pitching lowlight: Though Haren might well become a major contributor for the Nationals this season, something about this matchup just felt ominous for the veteran right-hander. He hadn't pitched in 10 days. He was facing one of the most-potent lineups in the NL. And he was doing it in one of the majors' smallest ballparks. That indeed proved to be a bad combination. The Reds hammered Haren, crushing four homers over a 10-batter span between the second and fourth innings. In his defense, three of the four barely cleared the short fences here at Great American Ball Park, and two of them might have been aided by fans reaching over the fence. Still, Haren grooved way too many pitches and continued his disturbing trend of giving up home runs from spring training. It's only one start, and he'll get to take the mound at Nationals Park next week against the White Sox, but this was about as bad a debut as Haren could have imagined with his new club.

Key stat: Dating back to last season, Nationals pitchers have now surrendered nine home runs in their last two games at Great American Ball Park.

Up next: The Nationals won't have much time to stew over their first loss of the season. They'll be right back here at 1:10 p.m. Saturday, with Ross Detwiler making his season debut against right-hander Mike Leake.

56 comments:

NatsJim said...

Det and Stras win the next two to take the series.

btharner said...

Don't know who had a worse night the Nats or MLB.tv. Between the two of them I was ready to boil over.

DWS said...

That was UGLY. Get it out of the way.

Doc said...

Well at least Espi got his first 2 hits--small consolation for an ugly loss. Players can probably forget that one quicker than the fans!

Any pitchers on their way from 'Cuse? Too early to tell.

DWS said...

btharner MLB has a lot of work to do, if you have the patience and the time you might get results. The key is time.

sjm308 said...

Looking forward to seeing us compete tomorrow. This was about as bad as I have seen us. Poor pitching from just about everyone. Errors. Lack of focus (If Desmond catches that one-hopper from Werth they don't score that inning).

I am not calling for Young, and realize that Haren will get multiple chances but they just crushed everything he threw up there. Seemed like he had very little movement. Even the outs were hard hit.

Again, tomorrow should prove to be very interesting.

Go Nats!!

Faraz Shaikh said...

haha check mlb.com's main page. it says 2-14 instead of 0-15. that's just brutal.

NatsNut said...

Forget what? ;)

Doc said...
...Players can probably forget that one quicker than the fans!

Teddy Rochlis said...

that one will sting for the rest of the season, hopefully the nats players feel that and take the series, the good news is because det is a sinkerball pitcher should be more groundballs then flyballs, and then there is of course stras on sunday.

DWS said...

Just waiting for the Desmond comments.

Faraz Shaikh said...

I did not have much problem with MLB.tv today. I had my usual four game window open.

DWS said...

And yes I often don't take or have the time to post on this site, but do I ever enjoy it. Competing ideas, thoughts, and hopes. Keep it coming fans.

David Proctor said...

In 2009, the Yankees lost to the Indians 22-0. They won the World Series that year.

It happened, it sucks, time to move on.

baseballswami said...

That is oddly comforting.

DWS said...

I really believe this is good. Nothing like a good shit kicking to wake them up.

EmDash said...

Save us, Ross, you're our only hope!

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

We talked about "football mentality" in here some, last season. Football teams play so few games, one loss can screw your whole season.
Baseball teams play 162 games. One loss in April is one of the 60 or so a very good team will lose. Pace yourselves, people; that cortisol will kill you.

peric said...

Its still early ... they have a lot of talent. The weakness will continue to be the offense driving in runs until a way is found to get Tyler Moore in to the batting order on a regular basis.

Harren might end up worse than EJax but they have other options so its not like its the end of the world.

Faraz Shaikh said...

for those who don't know, Dunn stole a base today and I am not kidding but that should relieve your stress some.

Faraz Shaikh said...

yeah, now it is not working. It being MLB.tv.

peric said...

Wait til' they go up against the Braves ... they had better wake up now.

NatsLady said...

Coulda been the Fillies, up 4-0 and lose 13-4.

David Proctor said...

Denard Span ‏@thisisdspan 2m
Well that wasnt any fun but that's why we play 162. Gotta come back tomorr ready to go #ontothenext

Span's got the right mindset. BTW, I'm loving Span at the top of the lineup. Grinding out long ABs, walking, hitting and making defense look easy.

peric said...

Grinding out long ABs, walking, hitting and making defense look easy.

Nick Johnson did that pretty well ... perhaps even better and was a gold glove at first base. It doesn't help if you don't have big sticks to drive 'em in.

timeless46 said...

Have to agree on Span. I was not a fan of the trade, but he has been winning me over in these first four games.

Faraz Shaikh said...

peric, someone has to be on base to be driven in.

Steady Eddie said...

David Proctor --

And along the lines of your earlier comment, the Yankees won three games in the 1960 WS by 16-3, 10-0, and 12-0.

Of course, the Pirates took the series, winning four games ny a cumulative margin of --wait for it -- 7 runs, less than the margin in any of the 3 Yanks' wins.

It's one loss. Counts the same in the standings as a walk-off one-run win on a balk.

DWS said...

Span will make a difference. I'll take my chances with a lead off hitter getting on base and Werth hitting second. Early days.

timeless46 said...

Look at it this way. its helpful for everyone to get their crappy day out of their system in the same game.

Go Nats !

Faraz Shaikh said...

Great posts guys.

Not sure what happened to my post for peric.

I was saying that someone has to be on base to be driven in.

Nattering Nat said...

As I said earlier, the perfect game to lose---IF they come back and win Saturday. Fact is, Haren and HRod are not the two biggest aces we have, Duke, not great, but also not at the top of the list. Saturday, they get Det, plus Clippard, Storen, Stammen at the ready. Nothing like a little gut check early in the season, to make sure everyone is paying attention.

Reds made a statement, no doubt about it, but the Nats are tough competitors, and should they come back to win Saturday, as I actually think they will, it will speak volumes about them.

Grandstander said...



Woah, total hit on Mike Stanton out of nowhere!

Drew said...

It was rude of the Reds to go for the two-point conversion.

David Proctor said...

Peric,

I think Harper, Werth and Zimmerman count as big bats. So does LaRoche once he gets past his normal beginning of the season slump.

Unknown said...

Saw comments disparaging Reds. They are legit. We're one of baseball's best teams last season. They choked away a 2-0 NLDS lead, losing all 3 at home. Worse choke than the Nats one game meltdown and the Cards choke in NLCS. They are good and better suited to their bandbox then ten Nats are sans Beast. Will be different story in D.C. When pop flies are outs not homers. But one win this weekend for Nats will be good, but tough.

Sam said...

Before anyone gets out their noose, I seem to recall Gio and EJax having rough Nationals debuts a year ago as well.

peric said...

think Harper, Werth and Zimmerman count as big bats. So does LaRoche once he gets past his normal beginning of the season slump.

When's the last time Werth hit more than 20 home runs? 30 doubles? When is the last time Zimmerman did that? Even in an injury free year they are not even close to a Votto and Bruce. And Frazier just missed out on rookie of the year to Harper. Some day Harper may be an elite hitter but that might not be this year.

No, they have nothing to compare to what the Reds have in their batting order at this point. Nor the Braves for that matter.

This is a team designed more for Riggleman than for Johnson.

peric said...

And Adam LaRoche had one decent career year in 2012 and is now in that age category that says he is on the decline as is Werth for that matter.

timeless46 said...

peric, your posts are really tiring to read. you know, life is more fun if one isn't perpetually negative. Just saying ....

David Proctor said...

Jayson Werth hit 20 home runs in 2011. Zimmerman easily would've hit 30 if he were healthy. LaRoche's career year really wasn't that much higher than his career norms. He's an annual .270/25/90 RBI hitter compared to his .270/33/100 numbers last year.

peric said...

peric, your posts are really tiring to read. you know, life is more fun if one isn't perpetually negative. Just saying ....

What you must love Ladson? Ladson fan. The Nats pitching staff are the real deal! The defense is pretty darned good. As all the beat writers have said they will have a hard time without Morse. And that's why! Werth might never be the same. LaRoche is more likely to regress. Zimmerman needs to stay healthy. And the rest are still young and developing. That's the Nats.

No one takes Ladson seriously ... just sayin' ...

peric said...

ON May 20th Werth will be 34 years old. On June 21st Adam LaRoche will be 34 years old. Given the injuries both have suffered in their careers that isn't young. Expectations should be set much LOWER for that reason.

David Proctor said...

Werth hit .300 last year and his wrist looked fine yesterday. He'll be fine. LaRoche may regress, but we can still expect 25 home runs and 90 RBI along with a .270 average. Yes, Zimmerman obviously needs to stay healthy. So does Mr. Votto.

peric said...

In the end this offense has to be all about a healthy Zimmerman and the continued development of Harper, Moore, Desmond, and Espinosa. And eventually Rendon. And perhaps Skole.

peric said...

LaRoche may regress, but we can still expect 25 home runs and 90 RBI along with a .270 average.

Most of that occurred before age 30. At age 34 you have to expect drastic regression as THAT IS WHAT the standard bell curve shows. To expect what you are expecting basically is delusional.

David Proctor said...

Pretty sure .270/33/100 happened at age 33.

UnkyD said...

I'm not gonna look it up, but I remember thinking that many losses last year seemed like a 24 hour bug... Just vomiting all the bad out at once, so a week of clean, efficient play could follow....

Sounds like a plan!!! GYFNG!!!

NatsJim said...

"To expect what you are expecting basically is delusional."

Said the pot to the kettle.

natsfan1a said...

What are y'all talking about? ;-)

NatsNut said...

Forget what? ;)

Doc said...
...Players can probably forget that one quicker than the fans!
April 05, 2013 10:30 PM

Bgrub said...

Does anyone else feel like the Reds were out of line by stealling bases and swinging at 3-0 counts with such a big lead mid-late in the game? That bothered me!

Laddie Blah Blah said...

"And along the lines of your earlier comment, the Yankees won three games in the 1960 WS by 16-3, 10-0, and 12-0."

Great point, Eddie. The Reds' bats are hot. Haren's pitches didn't have any movement - maybe the cold, maybe the long layoff. Who knows? But he is not that bad and the Reds are not that good.

The difference was clearly the pitching. Bailey's fast ball had terrific movement, yet consistently found the strike zone. Just got to tip your hat to the guy.

They weren't going to win all 162. They will score more runs this year than last. Span is better than advertised. Werth's OBP last year was .385 +. Harper and Zim will drive in 100+ runs, each. Nothing wrong with that offense, and they have Mr. Rendon whenever they decide to bring him up.

I didn't lose any sleep last night, and I'll bet Davey didn't, either.

Steve Hayes said...

He's washed up people. Rizzo f'd up big time. Lost his fastball, slider is a meatball -- and he grossly out of shape. Just look at his bell-shaped, pudgy short stubby little body. He got creamed in Spring Training and it's worse now in the regular season.

I had predicted Haren would be gone by All Star game -- lets move that up to Memorial Day.

What a colossal, stupid thing to put Haren as our 4th starter and Det at the 5th spot. Pure stupididy and insulting!

First we have to teach Span how to steal bases, now we have to suffer through a washed up millionaire.

The Nats and Rizzo are slipping. Badly

Steve Hayes said...

Bgrub: oh come one. Quit your whining. What is this little league? Mercy rule? I say to the Nats: next time, bring a better team. Crying over stolen bases and swinging at meatballs -- get over it -- or go out and watch your local little league play. Over there, it is bad form to steal bases with a big league, but the big boys from Cincy had something to prove to the nats -- and that is: You're not the best team around -- and don't pitch a washed up fat boy against us or we'll kill him. So true

Sam said...

Zimmerman did that last year...

NatsJim said...

"Pure stupididy and insulting!"

Oh the irony...

Steve Hayes said...

well said -- it is also meant for you.

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