Friday, June 28, 2013

Instant analysis: Nats 6, Mets 4

USA Today Sports Images
Ross Detwiler allowed three runs (two earned) over five innings.
Game in a nutshell: Talk about a tough assignment. A Nationals lineup that has struggled all season to produce was being asked to get hot against perhaps baseball's best pitcher so far in 2013: Matt Harvey. And the young right-hander was even better than advertised, striking out 11 without issuing a walk over seven innings, his only blemish a solo homer by Ian Desmond in the fifth. So when the Mets scratched out four runs off Ross Detwiler and Ross Ohlendorf, the Nats found themselves in a hole that felt even bigger than a three-run deficit. Ah, but all they needed was to get Harvey out of the game and take their hacks against the New York bullpen. Which they did in impressive fashion. They loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth, and then Ryan Zimmerman brought them all home with a bases-clearing, game-tying double off Brandon Lyon. Desmond then delivered yet again in the ninth, following up Jayson Werth's double off Bobby Parnell with a two-bagger of his own to give the Nationals the lead. Kurt Suzuki added a sac fly for a big insurance run. With Rafael Soriano unavailable after making three straight appearances, Drew Storen closed this one out and catapulted the Nationals over the .500 mark once again.

Hitting highlight: The highlight of the night: When Terry Collins took the ball out of Harvey's hand and gave it to his bullpen. Seriously, though, the Nationals had to be energized at the thought of taking their hacks against anybody in a Mets uniform not named Matt Harvey. The two biggest hits: Zimmerman's three-run double off Lyon in the eighth, perhaps the hardest Zim has hit a ball in weeks; and Desmond's go-ahead double off Parnell in the ninth. That's the kind of clutch hitting that has been so lacking all season, and this time it helped produce only the second comeback this season by the Nationals when they've trailed by three runs.

Pitching lowlight: Faced with the daunting challenge of matching Harvey pitch-for-pitch, Detwiler managed to do his part for three innings. But things devolved quickly from there. The left-hander allowed three runs (two earned) and five hits in the fourth and fifth innings alone, three of the hits going for extra bases. Detwiler just hasn't been the same pitcher since returning from an oblique strain. In four starts since coming off the DL, he owns a 7.32 ERA, with 28 hits allowed in 19 2/3 innings. Before the game, Davey Johnson speculated that opposing hitters are starting to figure out Detwiler's pitch sequencing, particularly that he really relies on his fastball early in games before then moving on to his breaking ball. Perhaps that explains it. Whatever the case, the Nationals need Detwiler to get back on track, and soon.

Key stat: Ian Desmond now has produced 10 game-winning RBI this season, third-most in the majors.

Up next: The series continues with a Saturday matinee in the big city, featuring a potential star in the making. Taylor Jordan makes his major-league debut, promoted from Class AA Harrisburg, to face Mets right-hander Dillon Gee. First pitch at Citi Field is scheduled for 1:10 p.m.

106 comments:

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Wooooohoooooooo

What can you say about Ian Desmond and Ryan Zimmerman and his teammates!

MrsB loves the Nats said...

Nice win Nats.... Nice win....

NatsJack in Florida said...

Man, I love baseball.That was fun!

David Proctor said...

Not to be overlooked in that 3 run 8th was Anthony Rendon's walk. There were some very tough takes in there, especially the last one.

Drew said...

Huge win.

NatsLady said...

Worth the price of admission!!!

Eric said...

Just incredible. Best win of the year? I'm not sure but I LOVED IT!

Secret wasian man said...

Great comeback. Very exciting. I think ill just shut up a root. Watching on mlb gamecast seemed to work..

Eric said...

Is there no MASN post game? WTF?

Eric said...

"Not to be overlooked in that 3 run 8th was Anthony Rendon's walk. There were some very tough takes in there, especially the last one."

Absolutely.

natsfan1a said...

I didn't untuck, but did I Druuuu? Soitenly. Nice win, boys. Nice win.

Secret wasian man said...

Yes Eric best win of year. Although desmonds salami against philthies was pretty cool

Secret wasian man said...

Post game on direct Tv is good

Eric said...

Yeah the Grand Slam was awesome but tonight I was almost sure we'd lose.

Eric said...

What channel SWM?

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Nats exploited and exposed that Mets bullpen and that's what you have to do!

Great comeback!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Uh Drew Storen. I remember someone wanted him sent to AAA and was saying HenRod was better. Good players shine.

Rendon worked that walk with 2 outs to load the bases. HUGE!

Knoxville Nat said...

" Not to be overlooked in that 3 run 8th was Anthony Rendon's walk. There were some very tough takes in there, especially the last one."

Agreed. Good AB from Rendon

MicheleS said...

WOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOO!that was a GREAT GAME!

Eric said...

Oh, there it is on MASN. Channel listing just had the wrong info. Did Davey talk yet?

David Proctor said...

No, Davey hasn't talked yet.

Eric said...

Sweet

natsfan1a said...

Okay, that's funny. :-)

Hitting highlight: The highlight of the night: When Terry Collins took the ball out of Harvey's hand and gave it to his bullpen.

Eric said...

Yeah I liked that too, 1a.

So did Drew really untuck?

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

I know we all tend to be homers but how about some honest analysis on the following topic:

Matt Harvey has better stuff than any of the Nats' pictures and is a better practitioner of his craft than any of the Nats' Pitchers, and you have to swear that you are not being a homer if you dispute this notion.....

Doc said...

Feel the same ***^%#@ way Eric. At least MASN carries one; my #$*^%#@ sh** MLB.TV 'packgae' cuts me off before you can say Bud Selig!!!

Not sure how Taylor is gonna do tomorrow, but basically, after tonight, it's our series to lose!

Watch out Bravelesses, we be eating face and taking scalps, now that Harps and Ramoose are beating down your war path !!!!

natsfan1a said...

No, he didn't. Sorry if my comment was confusing. I meant that because it was a save situation, I'd normally be untucking, but seeing as how it wasn't Soriano, I didn't.

Eric said...

Wow, so Desi did hit the upper deck. On a Matt Harvey curve. Amazing.

natsfan1a said...

On another note, that Browns/Bears game must have really been something.

Eric said...

Gotcha 1a, and no worries at all about my perpetual confusion ;)

Joe Seamhead said...

Not to be overlooked is Bernadina's moving Desmond to third with the fly ball after showing bunt. It was effectively a sacrifice. And then Suzuki's RBI sac fly. Also, it was nice to see Span getting a couple of XBHs and scoring, too.And Ryan had not just the big double, but also a couple of good plays at third, the one down the line not withstanding. Nice to see Drew get a save, too.

Eric said...

Desi getting serious props from Jonny and Ray. Nice to hear.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

David Aardsma for the Mets has broken Hank Aaron's record for alphabetization.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

WODL, I'm a homer and don't need to hear the truth as you see it. Let's see Harvey as the innings build up. Right now he doesn't go deeper in games than JZim and they have almost identical ERAs. I don't care about K/9 for either. Check back on July 31st.

David Proctor said...

"Matt Harvey has better stuff than any of the Nats' pictures and is a better practitioner of his craft than any of the Nats' Pitchers, and you have to swear that you are not being a homer if you dispute this notion....."

Maybe. You keep saying it, but it's still far too soon to tell. Strasburg was just as dominant in his first year. I posted the stats in another thread and he and Harvey were just about the same in every single department. Harvey is GREAT no doubt, but the league WILL adjust to him, just as they've done to every pitcher to ever play the game. How he responds to that will be the tale of what kind of pitcher he is. It's too soon to say right now. I think he'll respond just fine, but we have to let that process play out.

David Proctor said...

Marrero down for Jordan.

Eric said...

WODL, I do have to agree with you @ 10:50. Harvey is something else.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Matt Harvey's career whip is well under 1.0, which is sensational, and his whip this year is .85, which is like Walter Johnson in his best season.

Doc said...

Speaking of homers Billy O., the Mets announcers put up a stat that Harvey leads all NL pitchers in speed on his curve, FB, and slider.

Edges out SS by about .7 mph on the FB. Threw a few 99's tonight. Good thing that he didn't pitch 9 innings.

I did notice that Harvey seemed to lose velo as the game progressed. SS doesn't do that. Like Verlander, SS gains speed going towards the 9th.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Matt Harvey went to the University of North Carolina. What the heck do they feed those guys down there? They have the best team in the nation every year down in Carolina.

baseballswami said...

Well wasn't that interesting?So much for being philosophical. Lesson for the fans -- games have nine innings and 27 outs and you get to use them all. Someone said earlier that the only hitter in our line up to be feared is Desi. I disagree. Ryan Zimmerman is so very clutchy that he should always be feared and Jayson Werth has that quality about him also. Remember THE home run? I also have been saying for a while now that Storen's pitching has been super nasty -- he has been quietly becoming nastier and nastier with each appearance. He WILL be our closer again at some point. Det will pull it back together again also. Nice to see the team pick him up. Also nice to see the mets blow it for mister perfect. Does anyone think Terry Collins over manages? Or is he forced into it?

Joe Seamhead said...

WODL, just enjoy the win, or at least let us enjoy it.

Eric said...

DP, I do think it's possible Harvey will fall off, but his breaking balls seem sharper to me than Stras'. If he can keep it that way, then I think he'll be harder to adjust to.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Dogbreath Marrero sent down!!

WOOOOO-HOOOOOO!!

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Davey: "Biggest win of year."

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

They are the same age roughly. I just think Harvey looks more comfortable on the mound but maybe some of that comes from knowing that your team is expected to finish fourth or fifth both years.

Strasburg had a chance to put a loss on Corbin yesterday and he didn't do it. It is disappointing. We had that 14 strike-out game but since then it has been all very, very good and pretty much zero wow, but some may be due to the way we baby our pitchers.

Brett Herman said...

You guys should go on the Mets blog and brag about Harvey. The guy is great and the Nats have Jordan Z, Gio and Strasburg who are the best trio in baseball.

Brett Herman said...

"Joe Seamhead said...
WODL, just enjoy the win, or at least let us enjoy it."

Well said Joe Seamhead. Can't stand guys that try to rain on some of our parades.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Joe have another beer and ignore the question if it makes you sad to know that another team has a guy who at least seems better than Strasburg. Hell, Machado seems better than Harper, too. It doesn't mean we can't prefer our guys or that things won't change in the future.

Eric said...

"I also have been saying for a while now that Storen's pitching has been super nasty -- he has been quietly becoming nastier and nastier with each appearance."

I agree. His change up had become the perfect answer to his slider.

SonnyG10 said...

WODL, I would agree at this point, Matt Harvey is better than any of our pitchers. However, if he ever has to undergo TJ surgery, he may have the same struggle as Strasburg. Anyway, I don't know why we need to have an honest analysis of Matt Harvey. I am totally a Nats fan and a homer and that's all I care about.

Joe Seamhead said...

Post of the night:

Brett Herman said...
You guys should go on the Mets blog and brag about Harvey. The guy is great and the Nats have Jordan Z, Gio and Strasburg who are the best trio in baseball.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Brett, our guys are the greatest players in the history of baseball. Livan was better than Harvey. Ryan is better than Machado. Ramos is better than Posey. We are the best.

natsfan1a said...

As I always say, it's in the fan job description: root, root, root for the home team. ;-)

Eric said...

"Joe have another beer and ignore the question"

You mean the obsessive stream of posts on the subject? I agree he's a tick nastier than our best, but I don't find it to be The Most Compelling Issue Of The Game or anything.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Brett, you are the best poster that I have ever seen on Nats Insider. Your posts are poignant, insightful and incisive. Way to go, Dude! You really curtailed any serious baseball discussion and turned things to "yeehaa, we are the best. yeepee!"

Brett Herman said...

Who cares, David Wright is better than Ryan Zimmerman but why bring it up on this site. Go to the Amazin's site and brag.

Can't stand people that do this.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

So a discussion of perhaps the two most heralded pitchers in the NL in years bores....

Eric said...

And here we go...

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

Suppose we stipulate Harvey is the best pitcher since Sidd Finch. So? Other teams have good players, too.

Eric said...

What bores *me* is commentary that harps on the same simple, subjective point.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Because I am a Nats fan, Brett. I can't say that I recognize you as anyone who contribute here much, so you go to the Mets site and tell them how much better one of our guys is. I don't give a damn where you think that I should post.

baseballswami said...

What a sweet comeback! On a night when it seemed that things were circling the drain, the bullpen comes through in a big way and the offense comes through with everyone contributing to the win. I will put our 25 guys up against any other 25 guys when it comes to talent. They have struggled some and we have had to overcome a lot of injuries, make some adjustments, but right now , except for our fifth pitcher spot, it looks pretty good.

Eric said...

Who had the better pitch: Matt Harvey or Tiger Woods?

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

If you guys don't think the story of this game was the Nats' somehow getting a victory over the best pitcher in baseball, you might not want to turn on the MLB Network, because that seems to be the theme, so excuse me. I guess I am conventional.

Eric said...

swami, I'm becoming cautiously optimistic about our trajectory for sure.

sjm308 said...

WODL - just wondering why you would focus on Harvey after a great win by our team? He is terrific and there was a great story on him in Sports Illustrated a few weeks back. In my opinion he should start the All-Star game since it is in his park but JZ is also deserving.

This is Nats Insider and I would rather read and hear about our guys but you go ahead and praise who you wish. Another reason why this is such a good site. Just don't get upset when someone else is not happy about it.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Matt Harvey gave up 3 hits in 7 innings. This made the Marlon Byrd running error huge in the middle innings. He failed to score from 2nd on a double, which kept the Nats in the game. Detwiler didn't have a great game but fighting through an inning where he had 2 doubles, a 2 base error and a walk with one run gave the Nats a chance for a huge comeback, keeping them above .500 and preventing them from falling 6.5 back.

sjm308 said...

I don't read in-game posts but what was the thought about Werth's hustle in the 9th inning? If he has issues with hamstring or groin they sure did not pop up on that play. We had so many key plays tonight it is hard to pick just one but that was nice to see.

David Proctor said...

Why do people have to start arguments whether we win or lose? Can't we just enjoy a win one damn time? Granted, it's a discussion forum and it comes with the territory. But it gets frustrating time after time.

Maybe I just have thin skin. Continue on.

Eric said...

WODL, a wise man imparted some wisdom here recently. You might be able to use it:

"have another beer and ignore [what you don't want to read].

What do you care if people aren't as obsessed with Harvey as you?

Brett Herman said...

Sjm, nicely said. Great Washington Nationals win.

Eric said...

Yeah, Werth looked sharp on that double for sure!

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

To me, winning a game where Harvey pitched is just about the highest praise. That required hanging around and hoping and we got fortunate. We might have gotten fortunate yesterday and gotten Strasburg the win against Corbin and that would have been even a better win to me.

Harvey looked more impressive to me than Corbin. That is a pretty tough load for a team to have to go against Corbin one day and then against Harvey the next. You aren't going to have to face two guy that good usually unless you are playing us back to back with Strasburg and Gio, or Gio or Zimmerman, when our guys are on.

Eric said...

PS, the in game thread threatened to get dicey but overall I thought it was great tonight.

Brett Herman said...

Shelby Miller got bombed for 5 runs and didn't even make it out of the 2nd inning.

Lannan pitching against the Dodgers.

baseballswami said...

You can definitely tell that Werth is gimpy. There was a ball early on that he normally might have gone the extra mile for, he slid head first to protect his lower half. He has good strategies for compensating but you can tell. It should tell you how important getting to second was to him- he did push it there. Would not be surprised to see him out tomorrow. By the way , our old buddy, and could have been fifth starter, Lannan, is beating the Dodgers- shutting them out. And he is making hardly any money. I wish we had kept him because our fifth starter is the last remaining issue. Harper AND Ramos back soon!!!!

Faraz Shaikh said...

I felt like I did a lot of work for this game too. I yelled at my computer pretty much throughout the game for Nats to do something right and eventually they did, in a big way. good going Nats!

Eric said...

Swami, yeah, I wouldn't be surprised if he's out tomorrow either... Will be very encouraged if he's in, though. Nats seem to have finally learned not to play with fire this year.

I'm a *little* worried, though, that Werth is gonna play cautiously (aside from clutch doubles...heh) until Harp is back and then will go on the DL himself.

Joe Seamhead said...

Love it, Faraz!

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

According to fangrapsh, these are the top 14 pitchers this year in terms of fielding independent pitching statistics. I think this gives us a reasonable expectation of improving both on the offensive and defensive ends in the second half. Surprisingly, the list is almost devoid of Nats or Braves:

1 Adam Wainwright
2 Matt Harvey Mets
3 Derek Holland Rangers
4 Cliff Lee Phillies
5 Felix Hernandez Mariners
6 Max Scherzer Tigers
7 Anibal Sanchez Tigers
8 Clayton Kershaw Dodgers
9 Clay Buchholz Red Sox
10 Doug Fister Tigers
11 Justin Verlander Tigers
12 Yu Darvish Rangers
13 Chris Sale White Sox
14 Jordan Zimmermann Nationals

Eric said...

Oh, one thing that was encouraging on Werth's double is that he didn't come out for a pinch runner after going all out.

tayo said...

Stras and Harvey have about the same stuff. But Harvey might be a better pitcher right now. JZ doesn't have as good stuff as both two but he about as good of a "practitioner of his craft as Harvey as shown to be so far"

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

40 wins. That 40 looks so much better than 39 would. There are a lot of strange things going on with run differential this year. Maybe the Pythagorean is ready to be taken down a peg after what happened to the O's and Cards last year both greatly under and overperforming their run diff's, and this year, Pittsburgh and the Nats are overperforming.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Jordan Zimmerman seems to squeeze ever last bit out out of his talent. Sometimes, I have heard people wonder what it would take for him to pitch on opening day.

Joe Seamhead said...

My post when we were losing 4-1 earlier, after one poster said what a long disappointing season it is:

Joe Seamhead said...
I'm not seeing it as a disappointing season.It is a long season and there is a lot of ball to play. Maybe even tonight.
June 28, 2013 9:04 PM
------------------------------------
I'm looking forward to the dogfight.i really enjoyed the game tonight. I also had complimented Harvey during the game. I enjoyed watching him pitch.I really enjoyed watching him walk to the dugout when Collins lifted him.

baseballswami said...

I think JZ just doesn't get the same credit as some other pitchers because he does not have the gaudy strike out numbers. He has a different style. Right now, if someone said one game for all the marbles and you get one pitcher, and he has to go all nine-- JZ would be my pick. By the way, have you been watching his velocity? He is getting up to 96, 97 and deep into the games. He is dominating on the mound. I would love to hear what the actual hitters think- throw out the numbers, who do they hate to face the most? That would be so interesting.

Drew said...

The bullpen blew it, but Matt Purke had another excellent outing at Hagerstown. In six innings he allowed one hit and struck out 8, without walking anyone.

Purke's ERA is a nifty 2.48. Looks like he'll be ready for Potomac soon.

Big Jake Johansen, the Nats' top pick in this year's draft, took another baby step at Auburn. He went 2.1 innings and gave up his first earned run.

As we figured, mechanics will be the key. Jake walked three of the 13 batters he faced. In two brief outings he has a 1.93 ERA.

Breathe through your eyelids, big fella.

The bad news is that Danny Espinosa has struck out in 30 of his 50 at bats in Syracuse. He's hitting .100.

If they want Espinosa to recapture any value, why don't the Nats shut him down and fix his shoulder?

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Based on run differential, according to ESPN, the Nats should be 12 games behind the Braves. With Ramos, Harper, Detwiler and Strasburg either back, or soon to be back and Rendon starring, the Braves may have blown a great chance to win the division in a year where with will be hard to get a play-in game bid....

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Would letting J.Zimm start on opening day inspire Strasburg, or would he see it as an insult, or maybe neither and we are just over analyzing everything? Probably the third, but still, at some point you have to reward Jordan if he keeps producing, which isn't saying the others have been bad. I think Detwiler was the recipient of a lousy strike zone on Sunday.

Eric said...

Very sad about Espi. At point I'm really hoping it *is * his shoulder or some other injury... Because if it's not...

tayo said...

Speaking of Stras stuff, what happened to his 100+ mph fastball. I know he still has great stuff and throwing 100+ isn't that important, but it seems he now only max out at 97 since after the tj surgery.

David Proctor said...

Stras throws 98 fairly regularly (several times a game). You tend to lose a click or two after TJ, but I'm sure if he REALLY wanted to, he could get to 100mph.

Eric said...

Interestingly, fangraphs doesn't appear to show him having ever hit 100mph...

tayo said...

Yeah, I suspected he can still reach back for 100mph too. Kind of like when JZ made a relief appearance in the playoffs and was just kept repeatedly throwing +mph that he didn't feature consistently while starting.

Drew said...

Tayo:

If Strasburg were in a really tight spot, he could probably hit 100.

Christy Mathewson wrote about keeping something in reserve for crunch time in his 1912 book "Pitching in a Pinch."

tayo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Honestly, some pitchers do better after losing a couple of kilometers off their fastball, but it also has to do with whether that is accompanied by additional control. Nolan Ryan was a far better pitcher after age 37 or so. Whether that has to do solely with maturity, or losing a couple of kilometers or a combination is hard to know.

Also, I think guys might take 2 years to full recover from TJ surgery which would put Stras at having next year as the year to watch.

tayo said...

Also speaking about stuff. How hard is it to develop a new pitch? How Did drew develop a change so fast that I think looks really nasty. I don't remember him even featuring it last year. Detweiler really needs to further develop his curve and change.

Eric said...

I'd I recall correctly, Drew said on 106.7 that he needed something to work on during his injury last season, and that the change was the project he chose. It's been pretty cool watching it take final shape this season.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

The main thing that distinguishes ERA is whether you can strike out guys when there are runners on 2nd and 3rd with less than 2 outs. Det needs to be able to find some pitches in these situations.

Eric said...

"I'd I" = "If I"...heh

Section 222 said...

On the road for this game, but greatly enjoyed listening to Charlie and Dave call it. So entertaining, and boy did they come alive when Zim hit his base clearing double. Thank you MLB iPhone app.

Remember when people were making fun of Marlon Byrd early this year? He's really put together a nice season so far. BUT, that baserunning error was key. The Mets were primed to break the game open, and Det got out of the inning with just the two runs scoring. What he did confirms a point I was making a few games ago when people were complaining about Rendon (I think) not tagging and going to third on a liner to right center. When in doubt, go halfway.

Winning this game puts us in a great position to win this series, which is all I want. One series at a time, we'll claw back in it. But both Gee and Wheeler will be tough. Let's get to that bullpen baby. We can take those guys.

SonnyG10 said...

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Also, I think guys might take 2 years to full recover from TJ surgery which would put Stras at having next year as the year to watch.
June 29, 2013 12:19 AM


I agree with this. This year was the 2nd year for Jordan Zimmermann and he's really stepped up his performance. I think Stras is still having control issues. He just can't locate his pitches like he could when he first came up. I believe this will change next year. I really expect Stras to be awesome next year...assuming no further injuries.

David Proctor said...

It'd be nice if we could beat Gee for once and set ourselves up for a series sweep. Wheeler has been good, but very erratic (and nowhere near Harvey levels).

Clip&Store said...

I agree Det doesn't by any means need to be a lethal strikeout guy, but if he can get an out pitch it would really take him to another level, and make things a heck of a lot easier for him

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