Friday, May 3, 2013

Instant analysis: Pirates 3, Nats 1

Associated Press
Ross Detwiler lasted only five innings, allowing three runs.
Game in a nutshell: After back-to-back wins in Atlanta, the Nationals arrived in Pittsburgh looking to keep the momentum going in an upward direction. But they ran into a buzzsaw in A.J. Burnett. The veteran right-hander dominated over seven innings, allowing only one run while striking out nine to add to his league-leading total. Ross Detwiler, meanwhile, was a bit off, serving up a pair of home runs that gave the Pirates a 3-1 lead. That wouldn't have been a problem had the Nationals' lineup been able to produce, but the return of Ryan Zimmerman from the disabled list didn't do much of anything to inject life into that unit. With Bryce Harper also in a mini-slump (1-for-16), the Nats were again silenced by an opposing pitching staff and thus suffered a frustrating loss that dropped them back to the .500 mark at 15-15.

Hitting lowlight: The Nationals had been hoping for two weeks that Zimmerman's return from a hamstring strain would do wonders for their struggling lineup, but it didn't happen in the third baseman's first game off the DL. Zimmerman, who played in only one rehab game at Class A Potomac, struck out in all four of his at-bats, not looking particularly comfortable in any of them. Burnett and closer Jason Grilli definitely took advantage of the fact Zimmerman was standing well off the plate, feeding him nothing but outside pitches and making him lunge for the ball. He may need to make that adjustment quickly if he wants to force pitchers to come inside on him from now on.

Pitching lowlight: This wasn't a terrible start by Detwiler, but neither was it up to the high standards he's set for himself so far this season. The left-hander made two crucial mistakes, both fastballs over the plate, both resulting in two-out home runs. Andrew McCutchen tagged the first one in the bottom of the first. Jordy Mercer, just called up from Class AAA Indianapolis earlier in the day when Neil Walker went on the DL, then crushed a 2-run shot in the bottom of the fifth. When Detwiler walked Russell Martin to begin the sixth, Davey Johnson decided he'd seen enough. He strolled to the mound and signaled for Craig Stammen, a surprisingly quick end to Detwiler's shortest start of the season.

Key stat: In 24 career games against the Nationals, McCutchen is hitting .456 (41-for-90) with 11 homers, 22 RBI, a .524 on-base percentage, a .933 slugging percentage and 1.457 OPS.

Up next: Stephen Strasburg takes the mound Saturday afternoon, still seeking his first win since Opening Day and looking to put to rest any questions about his forearm. He'll go up against left-hander Jeff Locke, who has surprisingly pitched well so far this season for the Pirates (3-1, 2.83 ERA). First pitch is at 4:05 p.m., with the game televised on Fox.

83 comments:

Sj said...

Nats were scared to swing the bats tonight......

baseballswami said...

Easy to blame the pitching , but 1 run? All those K's? Looking? The offense is truly offensive. Hurt guys, out of sync guys- blech. We are hitting like the Marlins. Statistically. For real.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Hey! Espinosa went 1-4 and raised his average to .176. Still not .230 so he still stinks.

Zim on the other hand went 4-4. 4 at bats, 4 strike outs.......but his throws were aces.

Gonat said...

Mark Z. said...Zimmerman, who played in only one rehab game at Class A Potomac, struck out in all four of his at-bats, not looking particularly comfortable in any of them.
_________________________

Mark, I hope you ask Davey why the "only one" rehab game was good enough.

sjm308 said...

We are still not hitting - We should be able to win most games when allowing ony 3 runs but we are really struggling. I have no answers but I am a fan, and will just have to keep rooting for our lads. How do you change this?

NatsJack in Florida said...

By the way..... Bryce is hurting and needs to sit.

Gonat said...

The Braves just clawed back from down 3-1 to tie up the game.

Unknown said...

Bryce Harper getting picked off was the last straw. I'm done with this no-heart team.

Gonat said...

Evan Gattis now hit a go ahead HR. 5-4 Braves.

Gonat said...

Unknown said...
Bryce Harper getting picked off was the last straw. I'm done with this no-heart team.
____________________________

See ya, we barely knew ya.

Boyer said...

This team sucks

Boyer said...

My six year old played with more heart tonight in his game.

NatsLady said...

Can't watch ATL, with that chop. I'll watch Detroit, they're next.

Here is my write-up on Jeff Locke.

Jeff Locke

http://ladyandthenats.blogspot.com/2013/05/another-mystery-jeff-locke.html

Joe Seamhead said...

ALR killed Det on the pickoff play.

Exposremains said...

Gonat

Whoever it was Zim. should be in Potomac, Werth should not have played yesterday and Harper is hurting. DJ is a little too soft when it comes to pleasing his players

Gonat said...

Blown save by Kimbrel! Nice!

NatsJack in Florida said...

Just saw that. Wright crushed him.

baseballswami said...

You can blame the players, injuries, April, Eckstein. There is one person who won't take any responsibility. And quite soon he will begin to throw his guys under the bus. Don't be surprised if our 2014 manager gets a head start in the second half. Davey doesn't do losing.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Hey Unknown.....didn't know ya.....ain't gonna miss ya.

Boyer said...

Can we trade Zim for Chase Headley?

Gonat said...

baseballswami said...
There is one person who won't take any responsibility.
_____________________________

The team has a hierarchy of bosses from team leaders, to Davey, to Rizzo, to Ownership.

If Zim only needed 5 to 10 days rest, why wasn't he on a Rehab assignment on Monday?
What was the rush to get him back and who OK'd the 1 rehab start?

Bryce is hurting and needs to sit. Who's going to tell him?

Why was there a rush to get Werth back?

Who's the boss, the players or Davey?

NatsJack in Florida said...

Swami......you are so wrong.....you don't know Davey.

I've been dealing with him off and on for over 30 years. (One of the reasons I get a kick out of the guy that keeps acting like he knows him).

He's had life experiences way beyond baseball and truly understands how blessed he is to live the life he has. Baseball is not something he'd ever turn his back on.......EVER.

He believes in this team and will bd there through their last game this season, no matter what.

baseballswami said...

So did the Mets win? Ok, enough wallowing!!! These guys are talented, they work hard and this really cannot go on for much longer, really. At some point they will all be healthy and start clicking and then they will be fun to watch again. No more post season angst. One game at a time. Go Nats!!!!! They are due for a great big offensive game.

NatsLady said...

Wow, the Stros are suddenly hitting the snot out of Fister (including Ankiel). Fister was cruising and now is lifted in the 7th inning.

baseballswami said...

NatsJack- you might know him personally , I am well aware of his life events. Have followed him his whole career. I just disagree . One thing I don't like is that no one seems to be allowed to say anything against him. Any one else, but not him. He is a veteran baseball guy but is not a saint. He has weaknesses just like anyone else. Some of them happen to be showing right now. He is not perfect. No one is. He is certainly a character. He has had an uncanny ability to make sure nothing lands on him. Post season 2012- according to him he did not one thing wrong. Is that even possible? He is the manager and is supposed to bear ultimate responsibility.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Mets/Braves extra innings.

David Proctor said...

"And quite soon he will begin to throw his guys under the bus. Don't be surprised if our 2014 manager gets a head start in the second half. Davey doesn't do losing."

Remember last year when the Nats blew that massive lead to the Braves? Did Davey throw his guys under the bus? No, he did not. He deflected the attention onto himself and said to blame him. He did so to protect his players.

There's a place for negativity and criticism. I don't mind that. But some of the things that are said here just have no basis in reality and blow my mind.

baseballswami said...

Sorry- just when I was determined to be more positive. Darn. So how about Denard Sosn in the outfield-- pretty awesome, right?????? Love that guy!

NatsJack in Florida said...

Swami........exactly....you don't know him.

Reading aboit him and Susie don't give you the story.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Denard Span is Rizzo's second best trade. Ramos was the best.

And Espinosa Stinks.

baseballswami said...

Once again-- anyone else can be criticized but not saint Davey?? With the things that are posted here about almost every player and coach? I just don 't get that. Not saying he is a terrible person or anything- great family man. Just suggesting he isn't perfect. Not exactly a new concept.

baseballswami said...

And where does the Soriano signing rank now that we are seeing him in action?

Rich P. said...

In the postgame presser, Davey said his hitters need to "man up." Does that constitute him throwing them under the bus?

NatsJack in Florida said...

Gonat.....you watching the Mets/Braves game?

Just showing Walden from the Braves when both feet are off the ground before releasing the ball. WOW.

Rich P. said...

You can criticize Davey for in-game moves like changing pitchers, calling hit and runs, other strategy stuff. Sure. But when an entire lineup of hitters isn't hitting, it's not the manager's fault. Or the hitting coach's, for that matter.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Nobody has ever said Davey or Rizzo is perfect. They are just infinitely more knowledgeable and experienced than any fan posting on a blog.

phil dunton said...

14 strikeouts tells it all, 4 by Zimmerman, the 100 million dollar failure!

Gonat said...

Rich P. said...
In the postgame presser, Davey said his hitters need to "man up." Does that constitute him throwing them under the bus?

May 03, 2013 10:40 PM
___________________________________

Hmmm, who is he referring to? LaRoche is slowly becoming productive, Span and Desi are getting it done. Harper is hurt and needs to sit. The catchers are fine. That leaves his bench players, Espinosa and Zimmerman.

Zimmerman is standing almost in the on-deck circle he's so far off the plate he can't cover the outside. Espinosa is what he is and the bench is just awful.

Gonat said...

NatsJack in Florida said...
Gonat.....you watching the Mets/Braves game?

Just showing Walden from the Braves when both feet are off the ground before releasing the ball. WOW.
________________________________

OH YAH@!!!!!

NatsJack in Florida said...

Wow. An extremely appopriate post by Rich P.

All though Feel Wood could do that half the time.

Mets just took the lead over the Braves.

Exposremains said...

Mets Have no problems scoring on Atlanta's bullpen. They look really confident.

Gonat said...

Barves bullpen gives up 1 in the 8th, Kimbrel blows the save in the 9th and now Walden gives up 1 in the 10th!

Nice over-use Freddie!

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

at game. PNC Park gets no internet on phone..

why did ALR not throw to secon. easy out. Instead 2 run homer. We could clearly see the end of the inning given away.

baseballswami said...

Ok, ok. Don't you just find it a bit odd the way he has a kind of force field around him? Are you seriously saying that if his team is not performing well it has absolutely nothing to do with him? There is nothing he could have done differently in the last few months and nothing he can do now?? How is that even possible? Once again-just don't get the way he is Teflon. Don't hate the guy or anything, Managers are not usually so free from all blame and criticism.

Exposremains said...

Offense is the same as early last year, they just pitched better, didnt make so many errors and didnt play dumb baseball. Thats the difference.

Gonat said...

baseballswami, Davey as you know is very loyal and it worked great for him last year and this year it's biting him in the butt.

It doesn't help that there are all these injuries to manage around but what was the rush to send Rendon down and activate Zimmerman? What was the reason to start Werth yesterday and Bryce?

Why start Espinosa today when Lombo gave you a very good game yesterday?

Gonat said...

Agreed Expos. How are the Nats making so many braindead baserunning plays? Another pickoff tonight!

Davey said TyMo hesitated running around 2nd on the play at the plate and Espinosa stood on 1st instead of taking 2nd base.

It's just guys playing with their heads of their butts.

Rich P. said...

"why did ALR not throw to secon. easy out."

On TV, it looked like he had trouble getting the ball out of his glove. By the time he had control of it, it was too late for a throw to get the runner.

Gonat said...

Barves lose. That's 3 in a row and this one really hurt!

NatsJack in Florida said...

BRAVES LOSE.....BRAVES LOSE!

baseballswami said...

Listen, I am sorry I started this-- bad baseball makes me crazy. But Gonat, do you think he is loyal to all the players or do you think he has certain guys that get miles of rope? I have felt for quite a while that Drew is not one of those guys. I feel sorry for our next manager already. Can you even imagine following this legendary character? It will not be easy. Obviously larger than life. I kind of hope the next guy is just a regular Joe.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

No E. i would call it an E. Routine play for lefty. a gold glover should hve no trouble. Det responded to it terrible.

Gonat said...

NatsJack, that Barves game took some of the sting out.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Swami.....it's baseball. Either you understand it or you don't.

NatsLady said...

Just one thought on whether RZ should have taken another rehab game or two. Why? If his shoulder and hamstring are OK, whch they seem to be from his defense, why would hitting against A-ball pitchers help him? That is like batting practice, or maybe worse. Maybe he could go to Syracuse or Harrisburg where the pitchers can at least throw something besides fastballs, but I doubt a game there would help much. To hit major league pitchers you need to SEE major league pitchers.

BTW, I liked what Rendon said about his experience, that the game is smarter at the major-league level, that they take all the little edges to make a difference. You can't understand the Show unless you are actually in it, spring training and September call-ups are not the same.

mick said...

the pitching is fine. even if Det does not give up the steal, and it stays 1-1, we still can not hit. What the hell did they do in Spring training, and what did Eck do as well. The 3 consecutive looks on 3rd call strikes simply STUNK, and the 3 of them look like chickens, it was embarrassing to watch, swing the gdamn bat at least!!

mick said...

pathetic effort at the plate tonight. glad ALR and Desi hit

baseballswami said...

Ok- here is my clean slate post. Tomorrow is another day. You never know when the offense could click on the same day we finally get a good start from Stras. They could just go on a tear, or just start to gradually improve. While there are still some head scratching things in games, errors have decreased. Pitching has been mostly good. Maybe tomorrow will be a dominant showing. Go Nats!!!!!!

NatsLady said...

Rehab is different for pitchers than for position players, and the reasons for rehab differ even for position players. RZ said he really only needed a week off to heal, but didn't want to leave Davey short-handed.

I like the shape of the bullpen, though I will feel more confident when both Clip and Storen have a string of good appearances. Right now they are off-again on-again.

Detroit scored two against the Astros closer (another blown save), I lost sound for some reason but I can recognize Valverde. He's done something strange with his beard, it's like half yellow and half black.

baseballswami said...

Did you all get that memo about the balk? Looked like nobody was covering second and the guy stole without any challenge-- actually Balkin Bob Davidson called a balk on Stammen. That guy is a joke. How about we all choose a common enemy who is an outsider to defame? Wouldn't that be more fun? We could trash Pete F Kozma? That's always entertaining!

NatsLady said...

Swami, I was listening and heard discussion of a "bone head" play or miscommunication that no infielder was covering. FP went on and on that he can handle the "physical" errors, that's just baseball but the mental errors really bother him.

Then later heard explanation of the balk. Just shows you you can't jump to conclusions, it's not always a brain cramp.

Gonat said...

baseballswami said...
Listen, I am sorry I started this-- bad baseball makes me crazy. But Gonat, do you think he is loyal to all the players or do you think he has certain guys that get miles of rope? I have felt for quite a while that Drew is not one of those guys. I feel sorry for our next manager already. Can you even imagine following this legendary character? It will not be easy. Obviously larger than life. I kind of hope the next guy is just a regular Joe.
___________________________________________

Yes, he has his favorites and Espi is one of them and nobody deserves as much rope as he has received except the fact that there has been no suitable long-term replacement.

That's just one problem. Davey has quite a few.

NatsLady said...

Davey may not be perfect but look around at the other 29 managers and who would you rather have? Bochy--maybe? Can't think of anyone else.

Gonat said...

NatsLady, at least FP apologized but the mental errors mount and Davey pointed out TyMo getting thrown out at 3rd while Espi watched the play instead of getting over to 2nd.

Harper got picked off. Ryan Zimmerman can't cover the plate but won't move closer. You have to replay the game because he was closer in his 1st AB then stepped back for his last 3 ABs. Detwiler let the failed pick-off frustrate him and he grooves in a fastball and Game Over.

Those are all mental mistakes.

mick said...

baseballswami

I heard Charlie and Dave bust on balkin Bob

mick said...

NatsLady I love Davey, but I would not mind Buck right now

NatsLady said...

OK, yeah, maybe Buck. His style is so different than Davey's it would take the players a while to get used to it, though.

mick said...

honestly, I would like Billy Martin or Earl to come down from St Peter's field and kick these guys in their asses, lol

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

wow I didnt know it was a balk. what he do not pause enough.

said as soon as they introduce umps. no way we would make it 3 games without a balNothing was said at stadium of balk or scoreboard. thought it was a steal.

The 3 looking K in 9th was sick.

Now 15 games 2 or less runs.

I dont see where the offense is trying anything to fix the problems.

peric said...

It's a long season I think I'll just watch the drama unfold before giving up on anything.

sjm308 said...

Ouch - 14 strikeouts and Swami goes nuts. Swami, I realize you have backtracked but how would you like Davey to handle this. Say - "its all my fault that we can't hit the ball" Say - its all my hitting coaches fault we can't hit the ball" or Say - "we can't hit the ball" How is any of that throwing them under the bus. Do you really think they are going to fire Davey in the first 30 games of the season. What was the purpose of that post?

OK - we can still win the series which is what this is all about.

Go Nats!!

NatsLady said...

Well, Detwiler had gotten himself into a hitter's count with McCutchen on deck, so he pretty much had to groove one, and the hitter knew it.
Bryce can barely move, and should be sitting a few games.

Was interesting to me that Davey would rather have Moore in RF than Bernadina even against a righty. Maybe last year was a fluke for Bernadina or maybe he has not recovered from his wrist injury.

Eric said...

Braves collapsed?! Awesome!!!

I can live with tonight's loss. Quiet bats awoke, including Espi's RBI, D was solid, etc.

Not sure why anyone would make hay about Desi and Espi holdin tight on the balk call. On the replay it's quite obvious why there was no coverage at 2B.

Sometimes you just get beat. It's better than beating yourself.

NatsLady said...

Weird that it was the bullpen, with all three big relievers (Walden, O'Flaherty and Kimbrell) giving up runs on the same night. Barves fans thought they would walk all over the Mets, whereas I was pretty sure the Pirates would play us tough. The Pirates (and Mets, for that matter) are first-half teams.

sjm308 said...

I don't ever like to lose but Eric is right about a couple of things. 1. no errors 2. people not hitting starting to hit. Baseball is such an easy game to look back and make adjustments. Unfortunately, the manager and players don't get that luxury.

NatsLady said...

Manassas, I didn't see anything different than the way he always pitches, but Balkin' Bob doesn't go by that as other umps do (in other words, it's not "deception" if that is the pitcher's usual motion). Balkin' goes by his own rules...

Rich P. said...

"NatsLady said...

Well, Detwiler had gotten himself into a hitter's count with McCutchen on deck, so he pretty much had to groove one, and the hitter knew it."

He could have unintentionally intentionally walked him and tried his luck with the next guy. It's not like the bases were loaded then. That's an aspect of pitching that Detwiler has yet to learn. You can't survive on a diet of 95% fastballs.

Gonat said...

Rich P. said...
You can't survive on a diet of 95% fastballs.
__________________________

It worked for a while then the league caught up to him and now he has to make adjustments.

He pitched right into McCutcheon's happy zone. Not smart.

Eric said...

Just to be clear, I can live with tonight's loss, sjm, but I'm not happy about it ;)

Another positive, though: Zim's throwing. Really nice to see that. Trumps the flaccid bat for now IMO.

Really hope Stras brings his 6th inning in Atlanta game tomorrow.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Balking bob is unique.

Pnc park looks great, but hate reception on phone. lady next to me had att it was no good either.

Eric said...

"Weird that it was the bullpen, with all three big relievers (Walden, O'Flaherty and Kimbrell) giving up runs on the same night."

Wow, that's bonkers. Scoring on Kimbrell? Does not compute.

NatsLady said...

Apparently Det was trying to make adjustments and not throw so many first pitch fastballs to hitters that were expecting them, but that didn't seem to last past the first inning.

"Try your luck with the next guy." The next guy was McCutchen, that's why Det didn't want to walk Mercer, who is a minor-leaguer called up to replace the injured Neil Walker. There were two outs at the time, and if Det could get Mercer to chase, he's out of the inning.

Eric said...

"Just suggesting he isn't perfect. Not exactly a new concept."

Swami, fwiw, I've heard Davey take the blame a number of times this season, from being "tricked" by Werth into playing last night to mismanaging the bullpen so far, he's made no bones about mistakes he feels he's made.

I've also seen plenty of people around here real against his managerial style, especially his loyalty to allegedly lost causes.

IMO tonight's loss was primarily about a couple pitching errors and still-anemic hitting coupled with rather phenomenal opposing pitching. I don't see how managerial decisions played a role in this one.

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