Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Instant analysis: Nats 9, Orioles 3

USA Today Sports Photos
Nate Karns allowed three runs over 4 2/3 innings in his big-league debut.
Game in a nutshell: The evening began as a highly touted matchup of young right-handers, Nate Karns and Kevin Gausman, but was more notable by night's end for the Nationals' rare offensive explosion. Karns did what he needed to do, churning out 4 1/3 solid innings before tiring in the fifth. Gausman, though, was roughed up by the Nationals for three runs in the first, then four more in the fourth before he was knocked out. Adam LaRoche crushed two homers, and Tyler Moore and Roger Bernadina went back-to-back in a rare display of firepower from the reserves-turned-starters. Needing 4 2/3 innings out of his bullpen, Davey Johnson got quality work out of Zach Duke (who was credited with the win), Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard and Fernando Abad. So the Battle of Beltways is now even at 1 game apiece, heading into Phase 2 the next two nights at Camden Yards.

Hitting highlight: The Nationals have been begging, pleading for their bench players to produce with several starters injured. On this night, Moore and Bernadina finally delivered. Back-to-back. Moore, who entered the evening with a .152 batting average and one home run, crushed a hanging, 0-2 slider from Gausman to left field for a two-run homer. Seconds later, Bernadina, who entered with a .121 batting average and one RBI for the season, belted a homer to right. It's only one game, obviously, but if the Nationals can continue to get anything remotely close to decent production out of those two, they can survive the injuries to Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth.

Pitching highlight: The final numbers (4 1/3 innings, 5 hits, 3 earned runs) are a bit misleading, because Karns pitched much better than that would indicate, especially for someone thrust into that situation. The 25-year-old rookie, fresh out of Class AA, showed some real poise, not to mention exceptional stuff, in his big-league debut. Karns consistently hit 95 mph with his fastball and topped out at 97 mph, while also displaying some nice offspeed pitches. He did groove a couple of fastballs in the fourth inning, resulting in homers by Chris Davis and J.J Hardy, but he also came through with some big pitches when he needed them. Johnson would have loved for the kid to go five innings and qualify for the win, but Karns hit a wall in the top of the fifth. He walked Nate McLouth and Manny Machado in succession, and with Nick Markakis due up, Johnson decided to turn to his bullpen. Karns walked off the field to a thunderous roar from the crowd of 35,664. He's ticketed to go back to Harrisburg, but rest assured, we'll be seeing him again in D.C. sometime in the near future.

Key stat: LaRoche is hitting .341 with a .422 on-base percentage, seven homers and 19 RBI in the month of May.

Up next: The series now shifts north about 45 miles for the next two nights. Jordan Zimmermann will be seeking his NL-leading ninth win when he takes the mound at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday Camden Yards against Chris Tillman.

35 comments:

MicheleS said...

WOOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Nice Hitting, Nice Pitching! Way to Go NATE!!!!!!

A DC Wonk said...

For those of you who are in love with Wonkling (my 18-year old daughter), you have just _got_ to check out these texts she sent me during the first inning of the game:

(The conversation is starting off with a discussion of Nate Karns.)

part 1
part 2

Gonat said...

Davey made the move to pull Karns. It was the right move and lucky BABIP turned in the Nats favor.

Gonat said...

Manassas Nats' Fan said...
Eck firstbas coach tonight.

Harper is acting hitting coach.

Shark 2 RBI hits tonight.
__________________________________

Now that is funny.

MicheleS said...

WONK.. Hug the Wonkling!!! That is hilarious if she asked if Karns could hit


And Manassas.. Good job on the Harper as hitting coach!

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Harper wanted to stay involve. He did well with the clip board.

Secret wasian man said...

Section 328 tomorrow. I'll buy for the first 2 peeps who identify themselves as insiders. Nats lady how bout it?

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Kerns did reasonably well, and if Det not ready Sunday, jdon't start him a few more days won't hurt.

A DC Wonk said...

MicheleS said...

WONK.. Hug the Wonkling!!! That is hilarious if she asked if Karns could hit


(chuckle) . . . thanks.

And notice that she said "I feel good about this inning" right before the homer!

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Davey thinking like me. Karns pitches Sunday.

David Proctor said...

Karns is going to start this Sunday.

Gonat said...

Wow, Karns stays and pitches Sunday.

Eric said...

Karns starting next Sunday, Det won't be ready...

Good to hear that news after Karns' effort tonight!

Gonat said...

MNF, ring me up for a beer!

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Ding

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Wonder if Harper will DH and acting batting coach.

Werth in Potomac tomorrow, i will probbly go down, as Wednesday is all you can eat night.

Gonat said...

Mariano blows save.

Secret wasian man said...

Mets win. Riviera blows it. Doesn't get an out

Gonat said...

Mariano now takes the loss. Walk-off single.

Eric said...

PSYCHED for tomorrow night. Haven't been to the Yards since maybe the mid 90s. Love that park, love the Nats, and love JZimn. A win tomorrow would be pure love. Yeah baby, yeah!

Scott Margenau said...

Wonk. 2cute.

Ps: charge your phone! :-)

My 9 year old is starting to catch the fever too!

Drew said...

Good news. Nate sticks for awhile and National Det gets more time to heal.

Keep bringing the heat, Nate.

John C. said...

Let those who doubted, who didst cast aspersions upon the Karns and didst genuflect before the false idol Gausman come unto this thread, confess their sins, cast aside their doubts, forsake the Legion of Doom, and thus be forgiven.

Let the organist play "Take On Me" as we call to those who were so grevously wrong ...

Drew said...

Rendon's having a tough time. He's missed Harrisburg's last four games since he had his wisdom teeth out Friday.

Skipper LeCroy says Anthony's eating a little better, but he's hurting.

It was a good night for the draft class of 2009. Taylor Jacobs threw a 7-inning gem for Harrisburg. He's 2-0 with a 1.00 ERA.

NatsLady said...

Secret, sorry, have to work. Went to four games over the holiday weekend...

Anna Peregrina said...

Wonk most impressive is that in the heat of battle Wonkling still spelled LaRoche correctly!

NatsJack in Florida said...

His name is Taylor JORDAN and he's one of the two I tagged in ST as ready for breakout seasons along with Robbie Ray in Potomac.

baseballswami said...

So nice to see the guys hitting. Since Friday it's been much better. Not every game, but much better. Trending up.

Drew said...

Thanks for the not-so-gentle correction, NatsJack.

I knew that, but goofed in the late hour, confusing Taylor Jordan's name with Taylor Jacobs, a former Redskins receiver.

Glad to see the young pitcher's doing well.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Sorry but I only capitalized his last name for emphasis, not meaning to demean.

I had a devil off a time confusing him and Taylor Hill in Fall Instructs last year.

natsfan1a said...

Didn't see the game, given the late start. Did click over a few times and notice that the Nats were ahead (what?). Maybe I'll watch the replay, although I might have to make frequent use of the mute button.

Joe Seamhead said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tcostant said...

Davey said after the game that Karns will start Sunday and Det will stay on the DL for at least one more start.

Whack-a-Mule said...

Mule (still soggy) sat through rain delay and saw last's night's game (well, 8 innings anyway;
had to bolt to catch Metro before it closed. Grr . . .)

Do not be put off by Karns' posted ERA of 6.23 (3 earned runs over 4 1/3 innings). Against a very tough line-up, he made only 3 truly bad pitches; only 2 of those hurt him, resulting in solo homers.

In general, a solid and promising debut; Mule does worry about throwing him into the lions' den (well, Braves' den) on Sunday but Karns seems game for anything.

SonnyG10 said...

Mule, I was at the game also and had to leave early to catch the Metro. This situation really sucks that we can't stay to finish the game if we ride metro, which I have always done.

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