Thursday, May 2, 2013

Instant analysis: Nats 3, Braves 1

USA Today Sports Images
Dan Haren dominated the Braves over eight superb innings.
Game in a nutshell: Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth were both banged up, but both guys were in the lineup for the finale of this important, four-game series. Neither looked 100 percent, though, with Harper going 0-for-4 and Werth having to leave the game in the fifth inning. No problem, because the rest of the Nationals lineup produced three early runs off Kris Medlen. And then Dan Haren went to work. Did he ever. The veteran right-hander was dominant over eight superb innings, allowing only Dan Uggla's solo homer in the seventh and picking up right where Jordan Zimmermann left off the night before. Rafael Soriano closed out his second straight win as the Nationals salvaged a four-game split with the Braves, leaving town with a 15-14 record, 2 1/2 games behind Atlanta in the NL East.

Hitting highlight: The offense came early and often for the Nationals, who pounced on Medlen for three quick runs, ignited by their leadoff man. Denard Span began the game with a double into the right-field corner, then scored moments later on Steve Lombardozzi's RBI single. One inning later, Span hit a hard shot to third base that ate up Chris Johnson and scooted into left field, scoring both Anthony Rendon and Wilson Ramos. Originally scored an error on Johnson, the call was later changed to a double, giving Span a pair of two-baggers in the game's first two innings. You probably wouldn't guess this, but Span's 11 RBI rank second on the Nationals' roster, behind only Bryce Harper's 18. Not bad run production out of the leadoff spot.

Pitching highlight: Haren had been making obvious progress from start to start over the last month, but the leap he took from his last outing to this one was truly remarkable. Attacking the strike zone and pitching to contact, Haren retired the first six batters he faced on 13 pitches. His only mistake of the night: a 3-2 meatball to Uggla in the seventh, but the damage was minimal. The veteran right-hander even received a huge vote of confidence from his manager, with Davey Johnson walking to the mound with a man on in the eighth but letting his starter stay in the game. Haren responded by striking out Chris Johnson, pumping his fist as he retreated to the dugout, having just tossed a 90-pitch gem, by far his best start with the Nationals. That's exactly what Mike Rizzo had in mind when he gave Haren $13 million five months ago.

Key stat: Rendon, who is headed back to Class AA Harrisburg with Ryan Zimmerman returning from the DL, wound up hitting .240 (6-for-25) with a .367 on-base percentage in his first big-league stint.

Up next: The Nationals head to Pittsburgh, where a red-hot Pirates club (they've won 13 of 19) awaits. Ross Detwiler faces current NL strikeouts leader A.J. Burnett in Friday's 7:05 p.m. opener at PNC Park.

90 comments:

MicheleS said...

WOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! UNTUCK and DAN HAREN IS DREAMY!!!

Faraz Shaikh said...

Great! Haren!!!

Drew said...

We saw this movie July 21, 2012. The team was struggling and the most unlikely starter of all came up huge against the Braves.

A great movie is great every time.

Casablanca, bay-bee. GYFNG!

Gonat said...

The Kardiac Kids are back!

ehay2k said...

Untucked! Yes, that is the way the Nats can play.

Really solid all around, and with Harper and Werth hurting, the other guys picked them up. Great games to watch, these last two.

Oh, and the Barves are on a two-game losing streak, just sayin....

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

I untuck almost too soon. Ball wasnt quite caught. Glad i. didnt jinx it.

after 6 starts Haren 3 times the win Strasburg. Who would think it.

Gonat said...

Drew said...
We saw this movie July 21, 2012. The team was struggling and the most unlikely starter of all came up huge against the Braves.

A great movie is great every time.

Casablanca, bay-bee. GYFNG!

May 02, 2013 9:40 PM
____________________________

Yep, who would have thunk it!

Gonat said...

Great job MASN. Angelos trying to push this over to the Os broadcast.

Eric said...

That's what I'm talkin' about! A new Nats/Braves win/loss streak begins.

Congrats Haren. Fantastic outing. Really nice to see him get over the Uggla homer.

sjm308 said...

Mick, Mick!! Are you there?

Not saying Haren will win the Cy Young but you can come off the ledge now and please stop judging someone who has been in the league as long as he has on just 3 or 4 starts. 2.5 games out guys.

I loved watching Rendon tonight. Just some regular major league plays at third but what I really like is how happy he is to be here. Not sure men are supposed to enjoy other men smiling but I like it.

Go Nats! Hope the in-game is going well people.

ptindc said...

So nice to see vintage Haren.

Cwj said...

Very fun to watch Haren pitch tonight. Span continues to do exactly what he was signed to do. And Soriano = UNTUCK!

Gonat said...

I love our homers (FP & Carp)

MicheleS said...

BTW.. I called it tonight *Pats myself on the back*

MicheleS said...
I have a good feeling about tonight with Haren. I don't know why, but I think he has turned a corner and will be solid for us for the rest of the year.


May 02, 2013 6:09 PM

Section 222 said...

Great to see Desi Untuck. And now FP and Carp are getting into the act. That's the spirit!

Now we wait to hear about Werth....

Eric said...

Oh yeah, and SPAN! Loving that guy.

Did you guys see Desi untuck? Nice.

Cwj said...

Gonat- Yeah what was up with MASN there? Weird glitch.

NatsLady said...

OK, so maybe don't fire RIzzo today? Span .274 WPA, Haren .357, Soriano .083. Keep RIzzo until tomorrow, right?

Even LaRoche is on the positive side, with +.047. And Rendon, Rizzo's signed him, +.049 and that's just for the offense.

No errors, just enough offense, great pitching--this is the team Rizzo had in mind.

Section 222 said...

'I don't know where the untucked shirts started. Doesn't look good to me." Oh Ray. Have a little fun.

Doc said...

The national telecast camera showed a closeup of the Zen Master's transcendental hat message:

#@## 'em!

SCNatsFan said...

Lets keep the momentum going against the Buccos.

Cwj said...

Great job MicheleS :) Please predict a 10 game winning streak :-)

Ray Knight doesn't know where the untuck started...Soriano started that. Strange that Ray didn't notice that on opening day.

JaneB said...

I also love that Desi untucked. I hope they all do. It's so much nicer when they win. have a good trip to Pittsburgh, guys!

Steady Eddie said...

Suddenly the prospect of seeing JZimm and Haren facing the Tigers next week at Nats Park makes me feel a lot more comfortable at our prospects in both games.

Gonat said...

MicheleS said...
BTW.. I called it tonight *Pats myself on the back*
____________________________

You called it! I wasn't feeling it until the Nats scored 1st! Haren had nasty stuff and barely had to throw the split tonight. Cutter was working most of the night to weak contact.

Justin Upton didn't pad his HR lead against the Nats in this 4 game series.

Joe Seamhead said...

Did someone just say that Ray Knight doesn't know what the tuck he's talking about?

Eric said...

Oh yeah...Rendon! NICE game. Did y'all see his little clip during the post game show? Very interesting...

Section 222 said...

Ray is now on the Rendon at 2B bandwagon. Whoa!

TimDz said...

Is this the guy the Nats expected when they shelled out 12 million (he says to himself)?

Gonat said...

Ray Knight danced around the whole Rendon to 2nd base.

This will be interesting.

The Real Feel Wood. Accept no substitutes. said...

" Feel knows a lot about baseball and he's a STH. He also has a very identifiable commenting style. He's opinionated, aggressive, and sometimes just plain mean. He's picked fights with and offended many a regular commenter over the years."

Physician, heal thyself.

"He seems to have a visceral dislike for me and often quotes my posts in italics and ridicules them."

Ooooo. Ooooo. He quoted my text, and, and...he disagreed with it. How dare he!

Wow. For a group of people who hated me and everything I said when I was commenting here, you all sure do talk a lot about me when I'm no longer here. Pat yourselves on the back, you've created the internet's only self-trolling web site. You should apply for a patent or something.

What else can I say but to quote Van Morrison?

Rave on John Donne, rave on thy holy fool
Down through the weeks of ages
In the moss borne dark dank pools

MicheleS said...

Umm.. Either Friday or Saturday, I expect Rendon to be at 2B somewhere in the Minors... danny is on borrowed time

Gonat said...

Peric will cr@p his pants if Rendon starts playing 2nd base!

I'm just very impressed with how Rendon rode the pine for a couple of days and came back and looked great out there. The game slowed down for him and he looked very comfortable.

Cwj said...

I like Ray Knight, he did say some odd things tonight. Too much coffee perhaps :)
Very old school guy which I respect though.

baseballswami said...

When was the last time you remember Mattheus pitching?? Because I can't remember.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

MicheleS, about time you are jumping on to my Rendon bandwagon!

Gonat said...

There's your answer. Rendon back to AA, not AAA.

MicheleS said...

Ghost.. I had an interesting twitter discussion with Keith Olbermann last year... Regarding HROD.. I apply it to Danny.. The Nats are beyond working on projects at the MLB level. Either you step up or step aside for someone better.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

I would send Rendon to Syracue to play second. Give him a few weeks to get fielding down. Then give Danny 2-3 weeks to get his act straight. (had 2 years already)

By June 1 Danny might need to DL that shoulders.

waddu eye no said...

Seam -
Tuckin' A!

Cwj said...

Swami- Mattheus last pitched on Sunday. Lately though all relievers except Soriano have been scarce.

Cwj said...

Not buying the send Espinosa to the minors deal.
But, I'm no fake GM :D

baseballswami said...

This was nice. Starters are settling in. Offense showing signs of life. Bullpen semi- retired. Too many people dinged up, though. Nice to see that we now have both catchers in sync with the staff- that is pretty sweet.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

FYI my buddy from High school (Not Big Cat , but a non blogger ) have tickets for the three games @ PNC. We are behind home 12th row.

I will wear mmy 11 jersey Friday. Playoff t shirt Ssturday, and 34 Sunday. Wearing the hat given out opening game.

Anyone else going?

baseballswami said...

Thanks cwj--- last year there were comments about how many innings our pen was throwing. Now they can't seem to buy an inning. Gio, Jordan, Haren-- not much use for relievers.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Thank you MicheleS. This isn't Acta town anymore. Best 25 and some of these guys didn't do the work to better themselves. I suggest they watch Bryce Begins.

A DC Wonk said...

NatsJack in Florida said...

Haren has trouble when he doesn't cut his fastball. When he's at 86-87 (cutter) he has good command. When he tries to hump up to 89-90 he loses command.

Yep -- last week I heard (or read?) an interview about this.

Haren had said that after all his back troubles last year -- this year he felt fantastic and strong -- the strongest he's felt in years, and, because of that, he kept throwing his cutter too hard.

If that was the case and finally dialed it down, and he can do this consistently, then, wow -- what a boost for the team. A really terrific outing for him.

sjm308 said...

I did not realize how good Pittsburgh is playing at home. This will not be an easy series. Also did not realize that Burnett was leading the NL in strikeouts.

Just two out of three please!!

Not a faux GM either but I keep Espinosa up as long as I am convinced he is not hurt. A slump is one thing, an injury is entirely different.

Gonat said...

Cwj said...
Not buying the send Espinosa to the minors deal.
But, I'm no fake GM :D

May 02, 2013 10:10 PM
______________________________

Hah! It won't be for a while so don't worry. Let's see how much Rizzo is committed to win now. If Rendon starts playing every day at 2nd base, then we will know.

sjm308 said...

Wonk & natsjack - great information and I hope he stays at 86-87.

Manassas - have great fun in a very underrated city!! Will be looking for you on TV.

Go Nats!!

Gonat said...

MicheleS said...
Ghost.. I had an interesting twitter discussion with Keith Olbermann last year... Regarding HROD.. I apply it to Danny.. The Nats are beyond working on projects at the MLB level. Either you step up or step aside for someone better.

May 02, 2013 10:07 PM
_______________________________

Bo Porter could use some more Nats castoffs.

I think we will know very soon what Rizzo's plan is for Rendon.

Rendon definitely left me wanting more!

Section 222 said...

MNF, I'm headed to Pgh too. Will be there on Friday night and Saturday. Going to try out the Pittsburgh Baseball Club (their version of the S&S Club) on Saturday. If you want, put your seat location on the NIDO Spreadsheet in the Who's Going tab. I put a row in for you.

Very excited to see Det and Stras pitch on the road, especially now that we have our winnings ways back.

sjm308 said...

Just thinking about the great memories of Pittsburgh. Both boys saw their first major league game in Pittsburgh (1984). We could walk up and get seats behind home plate on game day! It was a 90 min. drive but totally worth it.

baseballswami said...

You know - I hear everything you say about Espi and his talent. But Lombo plays two games and has already started to adjust and fix his approach. He just plays the game smarter. And his defense is good. This is not black and white. With all the unstrung hamstrings and regular tweaks of various body parts going on I think lots of people will be getting starts.

Section 222 said...

I'm thinking the Zim t-shirt in honor of his return on Friday and a Stras t-shirt (several to choose from) for Saturday.

David Proctor said...

About Mattheus:

Honestly, I'd prefer we used Mattheus over Clip in high leverage situations. He's proven he can handle that, he has nasty stuff. When Clip is on, he's fantastic, but his walks are killer.

But I don't want to dwell on that stuff after a win.

Gonat said...

Maybe Mark and Chase want to rethink those MLB Power rankings.

Braves don't look all that great when the Nats aren't making mistakes.

baseballswami said...

Caps win, too! Lots of DC teams playing post season in the last year.

Gonat said...

baseballswami said...
You know - I hear everything you say about Espi and his talent. But Lombo plays two games and has already started to adjust and fix his approach. He just plays the game smarter. And his defense is good.
_______________________________

I don't know what Lombo was thinking Wednesday and today he looked like the player you would expect. If Lombo keeps playing like that, Rendon won't be needed until September!

I'm not saying Lombo is a better player but I believe if he can do the job, Rizzo won't be under the pressure to bring up Rendon as the starting 2nd baseman.

baseballswami said...

And a not so fond farewell to the obnoxious chop and chant in ATL.

Gonat said...

Amanda Comak‏ @acomak
Werth said he feels ok. The trainers said the hamstring issue is very mild. Nothing severe. Likely rest a day or two.

David Proctor said...

Why did we put Zim on the DL for the hammy but not Werth? Wasn't the logic with Zim that it's nothing serious, but we don't want it creeping up again and again throughout the season? Seems that logic would apply to Jayson too.

A DC Wonk said...

David Proctor said...

Why did we put Zim on the DL for the hammy but not Werth?


Maybe because Zim's was more serious?

sajfh.fgck.jasd.KLGV.Ksdg said...

David Proctor, did you see Zim legging out that HR in Miami? Did you see Werth going after that ball in right field tonight? Clearly Zimmerman's hammy tightness was a lot more serious than Werth's.

Gonat said...

David Proctor said...
Why did we put Zim on the DL for the hammy but not Werth? Wasn't the logic with Zim that it's nothing serious, but we don't want it creeping up again and again throughout the season? Seems that logic would apply to Jayson too.
_______________________________

I guess you can try to rationalize it like you did and you could be right. Zim was scuffling big time when he went on the DL. He was in a slump and had a bunch of errors.

I'm more surprised that RZ didn't play a bunch of rehab games. He played 1 game in A ball and went 0-3. Bleh.

mick said...

well like I told you sjm, you gotta give Haren a chance, lol

Section 222 said...

The fact that Zim didn't play more rehab games and doesn't think the layoff helped his throwing makes me think that the DL stint was legitimately about being injured, not an excuse to work on some things. Let's just hope that all this confidence in him from Davey is warranted. He needs to start hitting.

David Proctor said...

If anyone needed more proof that Wins are a meaningless stat:

Mark Zuckerman ‏@ZuckermanCSN 1m
Stat of the Night: Dan Haren has as many wins as Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez combined.

mick said...

sjm308 said...
Just thinking about the great memories of Pittsburgh.


I have some ones too, I watch the 69 and 79 Pirates at Shea and Memorial. Moose, Blass, Alley, MAZ, (one of my top 5 favorites of all time, his plane crashed the day the Redskins won NFC Championship 1972) Roberto C, Freddie Patak, Al Oliver, ol Wille Starg and Dave Parker, Manny Sang, and Doc Ellis!!!

Gonat said...

Section 222, Zim was definitely injured. Last year off of his injury he came back and struggled for a while as if he was rehabbing in MLB games. Being away for 2 weeks and only having 1 rehab start that didn't go well seems premature. I'm surprised Zim didn't play in tonight's game with one of the Minor League teams. Again, these aren't the Acta years where you could do stuff like that. This team is supposed to be going for the post-season.

Gonat said...

David Proctor said...
If anyone needed more proof that Wins are a meaningless stat:

Mark Zuckerman ‏@ZuckermanCSN 1m
Stat of the Night: Dan Haren has as many wins as Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez combined.

May 02, 2013 11:04 PM
____________________________________

Well that's true on the W/L stat but let's be real here, Haren pitched a gem and his start tonight trumped any start Strasburg has thrown so far.

sjm308 said...

Mick - you are the man.

Good thoughts on why Werth not put on dl. We actually have depth in the minors in the outfield but I am guessing Werth was not hurt as badly.

I feel for Bernadina. Must be hard to try and break out when he never knows when he will be playing. Still, how long will they stay with his non-production? He left runners in scoring position twice.

Have to hope Zimm will come back strong but like others, I am skeptical. I also wonder if he spent time working on his arm while rehabbing the hamstring.

Gonat said...

sjm308 said...
Have to hope Zimm will come back strong but like others, I am skeptical. I also wonder if he spent time working on his arm while rehabbing the hamstring.
_______________________________

We will know in less than 24 hours how the next chapter will go for Zim.

All we can do is hope.

Eric said...

"Cwj said...
I like Ray Knight, he did say some odd things tonight. Too much coffee perhaps :)"

Yeah, maybe Irish coffee... Dude could barely speak straight two nights ago... Been much better since...

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Rick Ankiel just threw out a runner at the plate to keep the game tied after the top of the 11Th

DWS said...

Well done Denard and Mr Haren. Foolish for Rizzo.
Yeah, right.

Faraz Shaikh said...

just saw some outs made by Haren. wow he was good today.

BigCat said...

I've probably been haren's biggest critic this year. I've said he is done , a waste of money etc. Well tonight I take my hat off to him. He was tremendous. Keep it up my boy. And to Peric, I've got to admit that Rendon can handle the stick. When he kept his hands inside of that 90 mph and lined it up the middle, that was a thing of beauty. The AB before against the sidewinder, he fell behind in the count but battled a BB out if it. Espi would of flailed helplessly against him. I think davey and riz need to look real hard at the 2B position right now. If its me I send espi to Harrisburg and move on with Lombo and rendon there. Rendon can also spell zim at 3b and ph off the bench. Espi has had 2 years to come out of his funk and it ain't gonna happen.

Also Keep eck away from rendon!!

A DC Wonk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
A DC Wonk said...

BigCat said...

I've probably been haren's biggest critic this year. I've said he is done , a waste of money etc. Well tonight I take my hat off to him. He was tremendous. Keep it up my boy.


As many were saying: you can't evaluate a trade, or even how one player's season (or a team's season) is going to end up when you just look at April.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

ditto to keep eck from rendon.


Eck has been talking to Harper the last week. Look which way average has been. Keep Eck from Harper too.

the-tav said...

What's up Uncle Jack?
Jason Tavenner.....lol

Joe Seamhead said...

Honestly, who would have thought that Denard Span would have more RBI's,(11) then runs scored(10)?

Joe Seamhead said...

BTW Braves third baseman Johnson is lobbying for Span's double official scoring to be reversed back to an error.He feels bad for Medlin.

baseballswami said...

I heard an interview with Zim where he said he really needed five days to a week but needed to go on the DL so Davey wasn't playing with a short roster. 15 was too long, but it was the only way. He felt could have played after the first week but you can't come off until 15. Fresh as a daisy. We hope.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Good Morning Jason... How about that Haren, huh?

NatsJack in Florida said...

And Welcome to Nats Insider!

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

@Sec 222 . I posted my seats, we are fairly close Friday night's game. I wrote down your section on a piece of paper to take.

I got to the spread sheet through your link, but have no clue how to other wise. Added one my games in June, but not my Memorial day game, as a friend has those tickets so I do not know the section, so I guess I will figure out how to get the sheet later (or just refer back to your note from last night.

Section 222 said...

MNF, just bookmark the page for the NIDO Spreadsheet. I think that's pretty much the only way to find it, which is probably a good thing. I'll look for you tonight. I imagine there will be lots of Nats fans there, but the Bucs are playing well, and judging from StubHub (just 1200 seats still on sale) and the Pirates ticket site, looks like this weekend series is going to draw well.

Scott Margenau said...

Haren looked great. He doesn't need speed just location and mix ala Glavin/Maddox.

Lombo is like a hockey player that constantly puts the puck on net. He's going to give us great, reliable production in the lineup. I see him with many 3/4 games. Great plate Approach.

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