Thursday, July 4, 2013

Instant analysis: Nats 8, Brewers 5

USA Today Sports Images
Game in a nutshell: With the annual morning Independence Day game on tap, Davey Johnson said he hoped "the fireworks start around 11:15." Well, there were a few early sparklers, but the grand finale didn't come until nearly three hours later. It was well worth the wait. A reconfigured lineup that had Ian Desmond batting second and Jayson Werth batting sixth produced three quick runs and gave Taylor Jordan an early cushion. The rookie right-hander was solid in his second career start, allowing two runs over 5 2/3 innings. But his shot at career win No. 1 was dashed when Drew Storen served up a pair of homers in the top of the seventh, leaving the game tied at 5. Enter Wilson Ramos. In his first game back from the DL, the catcher completed a five-RBI day with a towering, three-run homer in the bottom of the seventh, giving the Nationals the lead for good. Tyler Clippard and Rafael Soriano then closed things out, capping an enjoyable morning/afternoon at the ballpark and getting the Nationals back over the .500 hump at 43-42.

Hitting highlight: Welcome back, Wilson. The oft-injured catcher was 0-for-10 on his rehab assignment, but the Nationals weren't concerned with results as much as how his hamstring felt. Since he was experiencing no discomfort, he was declared good to go. And wouldn't you know it, he suddenly found his hitting stroke again once he got to face big-league pitching. Ramos struck out in his first at-bat but then singled in the fourth, singled home two runs in the sixth and then provided the biggest blast of all in the seventh, crushing a three-run, go-ahead homer. It was the first five-RBI game of Ramos' career, and it earned him a curtain call from the crowd of 38,221. For a guy who sure has been through a lot the last few years, that had to be a particularly special moment.

Pitching lowlight: Not to put a damper on an otherwise good afternoon for the Nationals, but Storen's seventh-inning meltdown can't be overlooked. Handed a three-run lead, the right-hander gave it all back on a pair of home runs. More concerning might have been his body language on the mound. With two on and two out, Steve McCatty came out for an animated chat with his struggling reliever. Storen never even looked his pitching coach in the eye, then promptly gave up the game-tying homer to Carlos Gomez on an 0-2 slider. Storen is now sporting a 5.45 ERA and has given up seven runs in his last two appearances. Yes, he still was credited with the win after Ramos' homer bailed him out, but the right-hander's wildly up-and-down season is a concern.

Key stat: Desmond and Werth combined made nine plate appearances today and reached base eight times.

Up next: The Padres come to town for a three-game weekend series that begins at 7:05 p.m. Friday when Gio Gonzalez faces right-hander Andrew Cashner.

53 comments:

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

thanks Wilson!

waddu eye no said...

now let's keep neil diamond away from the mic from now on.

MrsB loves the Nats said...

Thanks to Wilson and Desi.... A very good game for T Jordan too...

Maybe DJ will learn from this game... It's okay to pull pitchers and switch off...

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Ramos wears gear to avoid Gatoraid.

We are undefeated with Neil Diamond bring him back.

Joe Seamhead said...

I wasn't happy to see Storen today, and less happy that Davey left him in after the first HR. Now,that said, before this series Storen had gone 17 appearances with only giving up any earned runs in one game. He does seem to be suffering from a crappy attitude lately though.

Mr Baseball said...

Concerned about Harp, he doen't look happy or playing with his normal enthusiasm. Hope he snaps out of it!

natsfan1a said...

Great win, boys. Maybe Drew should give the "win" ball to Taylor, though. Just a thought.

Loved the Ramos dinger and curtain call. My tv screen got all blurry after, but it cleared up after a bit...

Joe Seamhead said...

Great post natsfan1a!

SCNatsFan said...

Espinosa and Storen need to be slapped back into reality. Playing here is not guaranteed just because you made the team but based on production. Shut your mouth, respect the team and do your job; if you are stinking it up look in the mirror.

Eric said...

Way to go Ramos!

Way to rob Taylor, Drew! Sheesh, poor kid can't catch a break. C'est la baseball.

MicheleS said...

WOOOOOOOO HOOOOOO! Welcome back Wilson!

MrsB loves the Nats said...

JoeS - I was fine with seeing Storej go out... I actually thought DJ should have (would have) played the L/L match up against the R/R match up and so forth... Was thinking after Aoki got on base, He should have maybe been pulled...

But again, I wonder why Ramos doesn't call for a ball in the dirt on an 0-2 count.. Why have him pitch anything over the plate... Or some high heat even...

NatsJack in Florida said...

Good win! Need another one tomorrow.

Man I love BASEBALL!

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Soriano lives to make it exciting.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

We need 7 if 10. Befire ASG

JaneB said...

I'm worried about Drew. I'm worried FOR Drew.

But MAN do I love love love this game, especially on a day like this!

Eric said...

So, is it me, or does Storen get a LOT of bad calls on the corner. I was watching on at bat and two balls were perfectly painted but called balls. Either would've been strike three...

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Our three main starters are 4th, 6th, and 16th in ERA.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

He mught, but doesn't handle it well

Faraz Shaikh said...

h yeah!!!!
we are following wonk's model and I like that. let's keep at it.

Faraz Shaikh said...

great to have Ramos back!!! stick around this time buffalo!

Joe Seamhead said...

Me, too, Jack,
MrsB, all I can figure is Davey feels very strongly that if this team is going to make a run he really is going to need Drew Storen to be there. Davey says Drew was shaking off the pitches that Ramos was calling for.

MrsB loves the Nats said...

Eric - I was thinking the same thing... Some of those pitches to the corner, all I kept thinking was - wasn't that a K earlier...

MrsB loves the Nats said...

I think Storen will be integral to a good run... These last 2 outtings do give cause/reason to be concerned... But I understand why DJ keeps going with him...

MrsB loves the Nats said...

Werth was pretty good in the 6 spot... Maybe he should stay there...

JaneB said...

Just when I thought I couldn't love Ian more, there he is doing an interview with one of the cutest toddlers living.

jeffwx said...

awesome return of the buffalo
That toddler looked like a young Babe Ruth

rmoore446 said...

Now is the right time for Storen to be listening to his pitching coach. Maybe he couldn't look McCatty in the eye without blushing with embarressment. What a great return for Wilson!

jeffwx said...

New rule...if you get a blown save, you can't get the win...conflict of interest
Storen, 4th BS, 3rd win

In new lineup positions, Desmond and Werth both get 3 hits a piece
as does new catcher

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Storen got 2 bad games out, should be due 12 good ones.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Drew has to know that if he can't command his slider, he's dead meat.

Somehow, he has to learn how to pitch throughthat.

paul brandt said...

NatsJack, does Storen only have FB and slider? if so, doesn't he need at least one more out pitch? His location has not been good these last two outings but agree with Eric he's getting squeezed a bit on the corner.

Eric said...

"Drew has to know that if he can't command his slider, he's dead meat. "

According to MLB at bat, he was controlling it pretty well...I kinda wonder of the problem is he can't locate his fastball very well (a LA Soriano), so when he's not getting calls on his breaking ball he's a sitting duck?

I dunno. I'm not too worried about him, though. Seems the Brewers just have his number and he wasn't getting calls.

Eric said...

Paul, Storen has developed a pretty nasty change up this season...compliments his slider nicely.

Joe Seamhead said...

Drew really hasn't seemed to be focused the past couple of games, Jack. Maybe a girlfriend broke up with him, or something. He just seems to be a mess. Johnson seemed a little peeved about him shaking pitches off.
Well, other then Storen, Davey leaving him in,and Span's AB's there really wasn't much to complain about otherwise. Some timely hitting, some opportunistic baserunning, and a few really nice plays defensively.

NatsJack in Florida said...

No....he has a newly developed change up. But his confidence pitch is his slider.

When was the last time a team had a late inning reliever that had a 5.40 era that they counted on?

Joe Seamhead said...

Anybody else going tomorrow?

paul brandt said...

that's right, I heard he developed a change-up but he doesn't seem to use it that often...NJ, yikes, ERA of 5.40 for a guy who is really a one inning reliever?! not good.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Changes are still needed. TJord has earned to stay and Haren to the pen. I would send Drew to AAA for a breather. That was ugly.

natsfan1a said...

Just went back to watch the postgame recording. Grayson is certainly a cutie. Loved when he started saying "bye-bye." Gee, can't you reporters take a hint? :-)

JaneB said...

Just when I thought I couldn't love Ian more, there he is doing an interview with one of the cutest toddlers living.
July 04, 2013 3:10 PM

natsfan1a said...

I'm going to a game tomorrow, but it's the P-Nats.

Joe Seamhead said...

Anybody else going tomorrow?
July 04, 2013 3:41 PM

sjm308 said...

Does anyone know just how many more innings T.Jordan has left this season. I am certain he is on a limited count coming off the surgery. I see no reason for him to go back down if he can produce quality innings at the big league level. Like most situations, I am probably wrong on this.

With both Mattheus and Garcia slowly working their way back I don't have a problem with Storen fixing whatever is wrong in AAA, just as I had no problem with Espinosa doing the same thing. They are both around 25, its not the end of the world and there is a reason to have minor league teams. This is one of those reasons.

Great win!! I can hope now for a four game winning streak but I do like Wonk's formula. We split the #4-5, now two of three with our big guns. (but man, 4 in a row would be very sweet).

Go Nats!!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

SJM, TJord I believe us on the 140-160 inning count. That will take him to Mid to end of August.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Ghost.... 140 max... he's never been over 100 and coming off TJ? .... I don't know.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Yep, 140 then. Easy decision, he stays until he reaches his limit. Does Rizzo have the ***** to put Haren in the pen is the issue here. I say NO.

sjm308 said...

Would that be Rizzo's call or Davey's? I would think even though Haren has been very very disappointing that it would be harder for him to move to the pen then Jordan. Hell, the kid is probably so excited to be here he would do anything to stay up. Davey used Ohlendorf for just one batter today I think so at least there would be a role for him but who would go down?

I am betting the in-game posts were just brutal. Probably all over Davey for the new lineup and then with Drew it had to be even worse.

I am not coming over to the WODL side completely but I do see Span being moved waaaaay down in the order. I would not bat him 8th because Ramos has said he actually likes that spot, but he honestly does not produce in that first spot. I do realize you only leadoff once each game but it also is the number of at bats and that is why I would like to see if Rendon could bat first.

Hope everyone enjoys the evening. I will be at the park again Saturday. Can't wait.

Go Nats!!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

sjm, I didn't like the new lineup as Desi is a legit RBI guy who you change to a higher OBP spot and run scorer. It works if Span could consistently do his job. 2 days in a row he doesn't reach base.

ehay2k said...

Storen sometimes overthinks things. Then he gets into trouble. He should just throw to mitt, and put the same level of thinking into his pitching as he did with he recent haircut! :-D

jw said...

Re: Storen's blowing the save and getting the win - the MLB Rules discuss this in section 10.17

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/downloads/y2013/official_baseball_rules.pdf

Rule 10.17(a) Comment: Whenever the score is tied, the game becomes a new contest insofar
as the winning pitcher is concerned. Once the opposing team assumes the lead, all pitchers who have pitched up to that point and have been replaced are excluded from being credited with the victory. If the pitcher against whose pitching the opposing team gained the lead continues to pitch until his team regains the lead, which it holds to the finish of the game, that pitcher shall be the winning pitcher.

mick said...
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mick said...
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Doc said...

Drew gave up 2 HR's on a hanging change, and a hanging slider. The slider used to be one of the best in the NL.

The slider is probably foregivable, but the change-up is not at it's Bugs Bunny best yet. He didn't have to throw it, and I'm not sure that Cat didn't tell him to stick to the hard stuff. Whatever Cat was telling him, Drew seemed to be less interested in.

This game is about winning games for the team, not working on pitches.

Davey's commentary was spot-on!

Probably not a good idea to piss off the Pitching Coach and Manager when your ERA is 5.45

5c3cd06e-cef8-11e1-abe6-000bcdcb2996 said...

Span, Haren, and Soriano. The Rizzo's pickups this past off season haven't looked too good so far given their cost. I like Espi having been moved down, not Storen needs to take a round of AAA ball. In a performance driven career you need to perform and a 5.40 ERA won't cut it.

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