Sunday, June 30, 2013

Instant analysis: Nats 13, Mets 2

Associated Press
Ian Desmond congratulates Adam LaRoche after his second-inning homer.
Game in a nutshell: With a young pitching phenom on the mound in Zack Wheeler, runs figured to be at a premium for the Nationals today, right? Right? Uh, maybe not. This previously lackluster lineup went bananas, scoring five early runs off Wheeler and then torturing the Mets bullpen late to set a season-high in runs scored. (Though, to be fair, two of the runs came against Anthony Recker, a backup catcher who pitched the top of the ninth.) Adam LaRoche, Jayson Werth, Kurt Suzuki and Ian Desmond all homered. Gio Gonzalez, meanwhile, tossed seven scoreless innings, firing more strikes than he ever had in his big-league career. Put it all together, and you've got the most-lopsided victory of the season for the Nationals. They've reached the midpoint of the season at 41-40, and now they head home, where Bryce Harper awaits, ready to come off the DL.

Hitting highlight: Obviously, there were no shortage of offensive highlights today, but let's focus on what the Nationals did early against Wheeler. They put six men on base in a span of 11 batters during the second and third innings, and most of the hits (including home runs by LaRoche and Werth) came on fastballs. Funny how this lineup often has no trouble inflicting damage on the supposedly feared flamethrowers like Wheeler but can't handle the soft-tossers like Dillon Gee. This is a good fastball-hitting team, though, and they showed it today, not only against Wheeler early but late against the Mets bullpen.

Pitching highlight: Three batters into this game, Gonzalez appeared to be in trouble. He just gave up a single to Daniel Murphy and then walked David Wright after getting ahead in the count, 2-0. So Suzuki went to the mound for an animated discussion, and the left-hander responded with maybe his best performance of the season. Gonzalez retired 17 of the next 18 batters he faced and complete seven scoreless innings, allowing only three hits and two walks while striking out seven. Most impressive: He threw 84 of his 119 pitches for strikes, shattering his previous career-high of 79 strikes (set in 2010 while with the Athletics). Gonzalez has been on a real roll lately, completing June with a sparkling 1.79 ERA.

Key stat: The Nats have played .581 baseball (25-18) when Bryce Harper has been in their starting lineup this season. They've played .421 baseball (16-22) when Harper hasn't been in the lineup.

Up next: The Nationals open a seven-game homestand, and guess who's ready to rejoin them in D.C.? Bryce Harper is expected to come off the DL and return to the lineup for Monday's 7:05 p.m. opener against the Brewers. Jordan Zimmermann faces Milwaukee veteran right-hander Yovani Gallardo.

74 comments:

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Wooohooo

David Proctor said...

We've won 7 of our last 11 and 2 series in a row. We've got Harper coming back tomorrow. Ramos later in the week. I'm a happy counter.

Secret wasian man said...

Brew Crew coming in. they stink. gotta get 3 a sweep is very possible.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

True fact:

Not all 41-40 teams at mid-season win the World Series, F.P. .....

David Proctor said...

FP isn't saying that all 41-40 teams. He tweeted it out with the hashtag #KeepFaith. It's not going to be easy, but it's doable. Just gotta keep playing well. 2/3.

David Proctor said...

It's a 4 game series, SWM. I'm hoping for 3/4. 4 game sweeps are tough against ANY team.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

7 of 11! Would 6 of 11 represent a trend or does it have to be more than 6 out of 11?

A win is a win.

jeffwx said...

very true....nor teams with a 33-45 record.

Beat the Mets, Beat the Mets, Step right up and Beat the Mets

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

MMM ... tiramisu.....!

natsfan1a said...

Thanks ever so, guys. That was teh awesomez!1

Gio was cool as a cucumber, the bats were lively, there was some sparkly defense, and we got to see a backup catcher pitch (and get booed) and then hit (and get cheered). How awesome is that? Gee, I love baseball. Plus, we get 50 percent off Papa Johns. Gee, I love baseball.

Also loved Desi's stolen base after the HBP, and Span mouthing (I think) "I love you, Mom" during the montage at the top of the 6th.

Nice game and series win, Nats. You can come on home now. kthxbai.

natsfan1a said...

Wouldn't it be nice to end the series on a high note, with another curly W, and a series win, in the books? How about it, Nats and Gio? kthxbai.
June 30, 2013 12:51 PM

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

I will admit when I no longer think we have a possibility of winning the division. The wild card is just about over, except in fantasy. But going 41-40 is hardly a positive, except for our injuries. But we all know that.

NatsLady said...

According to ESPN, Nats have a 20% chance of making the playoffs. I'm not allergic to poison ivy. Very rare, you say? Actually 20% of people are not allergic to poison ivy. Go NATS!!!

paul brandt said...

WODL, the human buzz killer.

Come on bro, enjoy the win, 13 runs and a dominant pitching performance by Gio, please.

sjb said...

Uhh...Mr. Loeffler, if Cincinnati loses to the Rangers (currently scoreless in the 4th) Nats are 3 1/2 out of the wild card.

Eric said...

What a win!

Anyone know what our record is without Harper now? I feel like it must have improved at this point.

Really hope the rain doesn't muck up the kid's return this week...

Eric said...

A buzz killed is a fragile buzz. Don't let it in!!!

paul brandt said...

Eric, this is from Mark above:

Key stat: The Nats have played .581 baseball (25-18) when Bryce Harper has been in their starting lineup this season. They've played .421 baseball (16-22) when Harper hasn't been in the lineup.

NatsLady said...

Fish, who are 29th or 30th in every offensive category, just beat the Padres with a grand slam. (Jeff Mathis). They are 15-10 in their last 25 games (Giancarlo Stanton, y'know). Now, I HATE the Fish as much as the next Nats fan... but here's hoping they have something left in the tank... (sorry about that).

sjb said...

Correction...4 1/2 (four in the loss column)

TheManBearPig said...

Great win. Caught the beginning of the game thread, but not the rest of it - too busy listening to the game. But thanks NI regulars. You continue to make watching our favorite team more interesting, even for someone who rarely misses a game (either at the ballpark, on TV or with C&D). Special props to NatsLady for her excellent comment on Harper's MiLB rehab assignment. Sec222, I was fully on board with your question (still a good one) about why Harper's Harper's still not with the big club, but NL's comment makes a lot of sense.

Btw, pay attention to what we're seeing from Ian Desmond. This may be the beginning of a very special MLB career. He's done nothing but improve since his rookie season and now he's the Nats' best player, imho, until someone (Harper, maybe) proves otherwise.

Gonat said...

NatsLady said...
According to ESPN, Nats have a 20% chance of making the playoffs. I'm not allergic to poison ivy. Very rare, you say? Actually 20% of people are not allergic to poison ivy. Go NATS!!!
_____________________________

Sweep the 4 gamer with the Brewers and the Nats will be right back in it. 9 remaining games with the Braves and their starting pitching is not that good.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

I am looking at the records and the run differentials, plus the fact that there are 3 teams in the Central ahead of us. The team with by far the best run differential is the Cardinals. The wild card is also a lousy, lousy ticket to the World Series, but if that is the only way there, then okay. It is sure to happen sometime.

NatsLady said...

Agree on Desi, been a fan a long time. That stolen base was special. He does not fear anyone or anything.

Gonat said...

NatsLady, speaking of the Fish that top prospect Jacob Turner who they got in the Tigers trade just pitched the best game of his career yesterday which was a complete game with 1 run and 7 hits. Then you have Eovaldi and Fernandez pitching well along with Nolasco.

With Giancarlo and Ozuna they have a good middle of the order.

NatsLady said...

WODL, the top three teams in the Central will start playing each other soon. Right now they have been feasting on the Cubs, Brewers, plus assorted NL West teams. Cincinnati just lost Cueto--again-- and they swear they're not going to rush him back.

paul brandt said...

Speaking of Nolasco, curious if Rizzo makes a run at him or maybe Garza?

TheManBearPig said...

Rizzo should make a run at Gee, just to keep him from pitching against the Nats.

paul brandt said...

just saw a Miami Herald article that said Nolasco may have made his last start for them on Friday night...potentials: Dodgers, Padres & O's "among others."

Jimmy DeMoney said...

Give Rick Eckstein a RAISE !!!

Drew said...

So when that Mets catcher answers the phone, does he say: "Recker home?"

Eric said...

Haha, thanks Paul for pointing out a stat I should gave read ;)

baseballswami said...

I am proud that our team does not engage in beanball wars. Harper stealing home, Desi upping his already high level game. Don't give them a free base- beat them on the field. The best revenge is to outplay someone.

natsfan1a said...

That, or "Recking crew."

BigCat said...

Remember when Desi was a rookie and struggling. Almost evryone on the blog wanted to can him. But you just can't give up on his athletic ability.

David Proctor said...

baseballswami said...
I am proud that our team does not engage in beanball wars. Harper stealing home, Desi upping his already high level game. Don't give them a free base- beat them on the field. The best revenge is to outplay someone.


Not quite. Zimmermann plunked Hamels after Hamels plunked Harper in that game.

BigCat said...

So now we got Zim and Stra rolling around again on the hill. Gosh, if we can just keep the offense going a little bit we're gonna be tough.

I hope Wheeler took a long hot shower and reflects on this ass whippin he got today.

Can't stand the Mets.....or the Phils....or the Uptons...or Uggla

baseballswami said...

Oh, yeah- I forgot about JZ doing that. Must have just killed him to give someone a base. Betting he would say no at this point.

baseballswami said...

But generally, the Nats just don't take that bait or play that game. Remember Ozzie Guillen yelling at Bryce? And then there was Davey pissing off Maddon, the weird wuss. Haha- just not plunking.

David Proctor said...

I almost forgot about Davey and Maddon's feud last year! That was bizarre.

paul brandt said...

there is a place for the beanball and Hamels was the perfect example, he deserved it for purposely throwing at Harper, but Jordan didn't throw at his head and neither did Aardsma today.

NatsLady said...

You must not remember the beanball war in 2011 with the D-Backs. That was something. Different, er, administration,though.

Yep, always loved Desi's athleticism. Now, if Espinosa would only follow in his shoes...

natsfan1a said...

Good one, NL. :-)

NatsLady said...

Now, I HATE the Fish as much as the next Nats fan... but here's hoping they have something left in the tank... (sorry about that).

Joe Seamhead said...

JZimm's plunk of Hamel was just barely a plunk. Bryce bunted in his next at bat. I swear I think he meant to put it up the first base line in the basepath where only Hamel could field the ball so as he could run Colbert over. Harper bunted too far over towards the pitcher.

Today was a terrific win, and I'll take it. Happy for Gio, Werth, Desi and Span especially. Oh, yeah and for Suzuki and Bernadina. And ALR. And Ryan Zimm, too. Oh, yeah, Rendon, too! Every starting position player got at least one hit and at least one RBI. That's pretty rare. How about your #5 hitter scores 4 runs on 2 hits?

baseballswami said...

What a fun barrage that was- very cathartic. Any idea what the Harper move might be? Davis back? Abad? I felt badly for Kobernus getting sent down on his birthday and then getting stuck in an airport for a long time. We are so happy Bryce is coming back, but we forget how much it will suck for someone else. Just watched Tommy Milone strike out Pete F Kozma. Ahh- my day gets even better.

paul brandt said...

and that's the same night many Nats fans fell in love with Harper and his game...he went to 3rd on a single and stole home on a pick-off attempt to 1st by Hamels. When asked about the HBP after the game, Harper said:

"Hamels threw a great game tonight,"

how awesome was that?

NatsLady said...

Watching the Dodgers clobber Kendrick, who balked and that run came in. Apparently there were bad calls on Puig and Ramirez steals. It was very close on both.

Kirbs said...

I haven't read through yet so I'm sire I'm repeating.....Man it feels good to be on the + side of one of these game...and bats are coming back...with Harper tomorrow and fingers crossed for Wilson, this could be a fun path to October. (Not to get my hopes up, last time I got excited it all went down hill....)

Whynat said...

7 of 11 in the Eat Face Era. Perhaps that game was the turning point.

NatsLady said...

LaRoche is a funny guy.

Dan Kolko ‏@masnKolko 2m
#Nats excited to get Harper back tomorrow. LaRoche: "We just need to keep him out of trouble, keep him away from anything dangerous."

NatsLady said...

Not sure how he's going to manage that from first base...

Gonat said...

As Davey said, the train ride back will feel shorter.

Gonat said...

Puig is 3-3. Dodgers up 4-0 over the Phitin' Phools!

Whynat said...

Listened to the mets radio guys on xm driving to Maine yesterday. They are pretty entertaining. One of their lines: "citi field is like a spa where out of town bats come to recover."

Gonat said...

Hanley just swung 3-0 and popped it up on the infield. I don't like 3-0 swings.

baseballswami said...

We may or may not play in the postseason. There is just no way anyone can know that now. I am hoping we play a good series vs the Brewers -- I just love watching JZ pitch. We have three guys pitching super well, a lot of us thought Det was not 100% and we were right, Haren-- ???????????? Whatever. Bryce back, Ramos soon. I just want to watch a better brand of baseball than we saw in the first half.

Gonat said...

Whynat, are you heading to Summer Camp up in Maine?

David Proctor said...

Dan Kolko ‏@masnKolko 1m
Sure sounds like Davey is going to put Jayson Werth back in the No. 2 spot when Harper returns tomorrow. Rendon will move down in the order.


I know many people won't like this, but I don't have a problem with it. The difference between Rendon and Werth at 2 is probably pretty negligible. I'd prefer Rendon there but meh.

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

Span mouthing (I think) "I love you, Mom"

Dagnabbit, 1a, this is your fault.

Gonat said...

swami the Big 3 are doing it on the mound. Detwiler hasn't looked good since he came back from the DL and of course got crushed by the Rockies last week for 7 runs in 3 innings.

Whynat said...

Gonat , sort of. Rustic family cottage. No tv, no high speed Internet. Limited access no all things Nats. Nats insider will be our lifeline!

karlkolchak said...

Key week coming up. The time to keeping blabbing about turning the season around is over...now they have to DO it.

Gonat said...

Whynat, a couple of kids I work with at baseball camps are going to sports camps in Maine. I'm jealous but I need my high speed internet with MLB package to listen to Charlie and Dave!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Davey wants to go back to what worked last year with Werth-Harper.

What hasn't worked is Span against left-handed starters as I wrote this morning and the same with Harper against LHPs.

I still think the Nats need a real RH outfielder in place of TyMO and the same as a replacement for Tracy.

If Taylor Jordan can stop gap for the Nats and Ohlendorf stay good the Nats should be able to make their pitching work fine.

I'm concerned with Stammen. Just hasn't been sharp in his last 3 starts and seems to be in Davey's "behind" grouping but yesterday's game when Stamment came in moved from close to almost out of reach.

SonnyG10 said...

Back home from camping now. Enjoyed Charlie and Dave on the radio. Charlie was really funny as he described the mass exit of the Mets fans after our big outburst in the 8th inning. He said it was like a horde of locus vacating the place (or something like that).

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Rendon will give Desi good "protection" behind him like he did before.

Span LH
Werth RH
Harp LH
RZim RH
ALR LH
Desi RH
Rendon RH
Zook RH
Pitcher

I would try this against LHPs but really this is a big weakness is the Nats outfield against LHPs.

Werth RH
Rendon RH
RZim RH
ALR LH
Desi RH
TyMo RH
Zook RH
Lombo RH
Pitcher

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Puig going for a cycle 4-4 and just needs the HR.

paul brandt said...

Sec 3 @ 552pm, thank you for that...listened to the entire song, always loved the partridge family, reuben kincaid, keith, laurie, danny, shirley, etc...awesome!!!

where susan dey got her start and later became a star in LA Law, right?

Joe Seamhead said...

Ghost you'd play Lombo in CF,with Moore in right against LHP?
Eww, I don't like that OF at all.

Joe Seamhead said...

I meant Moore in left?

Eric said...

"I know many people won't like this, but I don't have a problem with it. The difference between Rendon and Werth at 2 is probably pretty negligible. I'd prefer Rendon there but meh."

Agreed

natsfan1a said...

Um, oops. That, and lolz.

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

Span mouthing (I think) "I love you, Mom"

Dagnabbit, 1a, this is your fault.
June 30, 2013 5:52 PM

natsfan1a said...

Yes, and before that she was a model, I believe. Or was that Peggy Lipton and Mod Squad?

paul brandt said...

where susan dey got her start and later became a star in LA Law, right?

jeffwx said...

Ghost, only you have the power to platoon Bryce Harper. That is the greatest move in the history of baseball. Like platooning Ruth with Joe Dugan.

JaneB said...

The Eat Face Era is working out pretty darn good for our guys. It gets better when the Kid is back. GYFNG,

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