Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Instant analysis: Braves 6, Nats 3

USA Today Sports Images
Game in a nutshell: If you were hoping for some retaliation from the Nationals in the wake of Bryce Harper's plunking the previous night, you were sorely disappointed. And if you were hoping for an actual victory over the runaway NL East leaders ... well, you absolutely were disappointed. The Nationals had to scratch and claw for every hit off Kris Medlen, at one point posting a 2 in the run column despite a 1 in the hit column (Jayson Werth's two-run homer). They did manage to tie the game 3-3 after seven, giving themselves a chance. But the Nationals bullpen imploded in the eighth, with Ryan Mattheus and Ian Krol combining to surrender three runs on three hits and two walks, all with two outs, and all with a fresh Tyler Clippard sitting unused in the bullpen. The Nationals did load the bases in the ninth against Craig Kimbrel but failed to bring one runner home. So it was that they were swept by the Braves (who have now won 13 straight) for the second time at home this season. They're 3-10 overall against Atlanta this season and now trail in the division by 15 1/2 games. With Cincinnati's win earlier in the day, they trail the NL Wild Card by nine games.

Hitting lowlight: Unless your name is Jayson Werth, you really couldn't be part of any highlight tonight. Werth belted a two-run homer in the fourth and singled in the seventh. That represented nearly one-half of the Nationals' offensive output tonight. They scored their other run on a fielder's choice. They didn't even give themselves chances to produce in the clutch, with only one at-bat through eight innings with a man in scoring position. They did get three more cracks in the ninth, loading the bases against Kimbrel, but failed to deliver. So for the series, they wound up 1-for-19 with runners in scoring position.

Pitching lowlight: Is something physically wrong with Jordan Zimmermann? The right-hander has insisted for several weeks that his lingering neck strain wasn't a problem anymore. But his recent performances, not to mention Davey Johnson's surprisingly quick hook of him after four innings tonight, suggests all may not be right. Zimmermann allowed only two runs but gave up seven hits while walking two. He needed a whopping 88 pitches to complete his four innings and never looked fully comfortable out there. Over his last seven starts, Zimmermann now sports a 5.60 ERA and 1.624 WHIP, averaging barely more than five innings per outing. That's not a particularly encouraging trend.

Key stat: Fernando Abad has been partially responsible for 10 runs scoring during his last 10 appearances: five runs charged to him, plus five other inherited runners who scored while he was on the mound.

Up next: The Nationals will take Thursday off to recollect their thoughts, then return Friday night for the start of a weekend series with the badly struggling Phillies. Dan Haren faces our old pal John Lannan at 7:05 p.m.

95 comments:

David Proctor said...

We went down with a fight. I know it means nothing, but I have to try and find moral victories or I'm going to get too depressed.

Dan Strong said...

Well ladies and gentleman, the fat lady is singing...

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Schu is no better than Eck. So I guess the pupils are clueless.

RISP 1 FOR 19.

Our bullpen has been pathetic against them, and theirs have given up ,0.

Why we have no power arms. All these other team just bring power.

Davey mistake of the nigh. Where was Clip to start the 8th

paul brandt said...

the good news is there is not a chance we can lose tomorrow given the off day, the bad news is we got swept and punked by the Braves given the crap bean ball on Harper and our lack of response to it.

Secret wasian man said...

1 for19 RISP. Enough said.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

If Ramos gets some air under that it's a walk-off grand slam. He hit that on the screws.

For as bad as the Nats have been playing, an enjoyable 9th even though the Nats didn't come out on top.

SCNatsFan said...

No sense in getting upset. It is a lost season.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Is storen ready to come back. Mattheus has been awful.

Almazar80 said...

Moral victories are still losses. The wild card is also beyond reach, so the brain trust (that's Rizzo) will have a long off season to think about how inadequately stocked his talent pool really is.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Our pitchrrs wimped.

I called for it in the 7thwith Upton.

NatsLady said...

Jayson Werth +36.6%
Ian Krol - 44%
F. Abad. - 18.1%

The bullpen lost this game.

David Proctor said...

Mattheus is okay in a limited role. If you need a groundball in a jam, he can get you out of it. He did it all last year, he did it in the NLDS, and he even did it tonight (he bailed out Abad). I think asking him to pitch full innings is dumb.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

9th my only complaint was ALR.

NatsLady said...

MNF--Is Storen ready to come back? No. He has not had a single clean inning in AAA. Today, 2 strikeouts. 1 HR.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

What an idiot answer. Clippard only comes in if acwalk. Instead Krol gives up 2 more runs.

That makes no sense.

NatsLady said...

Well, the bullpen except Roark and Stammen.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Ok. Poorer conpetition and still cant do his job.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Stammen fine tonight, but way too many problems since ASG.

Relievers need to give up next to nothing.

David Proctor said...

Davey said Heyward was hitting .600 off Clippard. He wanted the lefty to face Heyward. If Heyward walked, he'd have brought in Clippard. Okay, understandable, and I agree with his thinking. What I don't udnerstand is why after Heyward got on base, Davey left Krol in to give up more runs? Why not bring in Clippard then to contain the damage?

It's baffling.

BigCat said...

Davey looks n sounds more n more like Norv.

Why was Abad facing Upton?

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Looking Stammens given up runs in 2 of last 10 games.

My guess it must be ibherted runners scoring that I remember.

Can any one see inherited runs?

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

That is why I said it was an idiotic answer.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

I told you Big cat. He was to plunk Upton. He messed up.

Eugene in Oregon said...

Deja vu all over again.

NatsLady said...

Yes Heyward is hitting .625 against Clip. in 10 PAs (in his CAREER). Can we say SMALL SAMPLE SIZE???????? That is superstition, not science.

paul brandt said...

anyone else hear Davey's press conf:

1) called Heyward "Haywood" but first the "left hander"

2) the loud music you can hear in the background has to be the Braves locker-room...how pathetic to have to hear that!

3) his issue with Harper was he was concerned because he didn't "...round the base..." he said, Harper said "...its just messed up.

I am sick watching this manager, he has no clue...not sure why I re-watched his so-called press conference but it was awful...step-down Davey, there is no shame in doing so but its time.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

They sure are being easy on Mattheus and Jrol. Theat due assured a defeat.

David Proctor said...

To be fair, Davey has ALWAYS screwed up names. Nobody cared when Davey screwed up names last year. It doesn't make him clueless, it makes him bad with names.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Smaller size what is he against Krol?

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

We have been out managed in probably 3/4 of the games. We usually win despite him. As many losses are his fault as the players.

jeffwx said...

Moral victory...
We scored more than 2 runs.
Moral victory, we lost by one run the first two games against the braves
Moral victory, Werth is hitting

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

I could care less about the names. His use of pinch hitters and bullpen are my 2 beef.

Bat Span 7th

NatsLady said...

Remember Valdespin's HR against Clip? (He sure does). Do you that was Valdespin's ONLY hit against Clip? (He is batting .143 against Clip). You know what-- exactly 8 PAs. AKA, small sample size!!!

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

We have 3 hitters the last batch of games. Werth, harper and Ramos.

A couple in the middle.

Most of the others are still on break.

MicheleS said...

Was at the game and JUST WOW, any report on Jordan? He did not look good out there tonight.

Happy for Roark.. nice DP on that bunt pop up.

Not sure what is going on in that dugout or the clubhouse, but it ain't good.

I will enjoy watching baseball for the next 7 weeks and look for the development of the younger guys - just like I did in 2005-2011. Things will change for the better I am sure of it.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

50 game suspension

Dave said...

NatsLady said: "Can we say SMALL SAMPLE SIZE???????? That is superstition, not science."

Post of the night.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Davey mentioned the neck again.

Dave said...

Who is suspended for 50, MNF?

jeffwx said...

That's It...Davey thought Clip was suspended...that's why he didn't use him
QED

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Valdespan. I thought his name on biogenesis list.

paul brandt said...

DP, stop it...ok with the names but are you going to defend his other clueless moves all year long and overall "affect" in press conferences?...it's sad, but he just stares around the room and utters so called answers for the most part that make little sense or don't respond to the questions.

BigCat said...

Division is long gone. How we doing in the wild card?

Dave said...

Yep, I saw Valdespin's name on the list.

jeffwx said...

9 back.
Never going back again

Whack-a-Mule said...

Mule, just returned to the stable from Nats' Park -

A scrappy performance for 7 innings, although given the hits, walks and RISP/LOB given up by J-Zim in 4 innings (and 88 pitches), he was most fortunate to surrender only 2 runs. Could easily have been 5 or 6.

The Nats overcame leads twice tonight in the first 7 innings. Shows something.

But . . .

The top of the 8th inning requires no comment from Mule or anyone, beyond "pathetic, albeit typical".

"Good night, Nurse."

NatsLady said...

MNF==> yes, Valdespin was suspended. Clip was upset because that 3-run homer cost him a save and it was hit by a cheater. But other than that, Valdespin has done bupkis against Clip.

For a supposedly smart man who uses statistics, Davey sure doesn't seem to UNDERSTAND them.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

One of you who find all the stats.

What is the league average of having a runner on second no out (leadoff double). How often does he score league wide and how often for us.

I know we have to be way below average.

David Proctor said...

Dan Kolko ‏@masnKolko 53s
Davey told reporters that Jordan Zimmermann's neck bothered him again today. Zimmermann disagreed. "That's news to me."

I don't understand what's going on in that clubhouse right now.

NatsLady said...

BigCat, not good. 9 back of Cincy. We would also have to get past Arizona (currently leading vs. Tampa Bay tonight).

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

A lot of non truth telling by one person or another.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Rangers for a power team plays great small ball. Ron Washington mixes and matches well.

NatsLady said...

National League runner on 2nd, none out ==> BA .268 (for 2013)

Nats runner on 2nd, none out BA = .294 (2013)

David Proctor said...

Let's be real though, the BA against Kimbrel is going to be way lower. Not an excuse, because we had a ton of opportunities against guys not named Kimbrel (especially Monday). Just saying.

NatsLady said...

It doesn't give the result, whether the leadoff batter on 2nd scored, just batting average w/ that situation. I might be able to find it, not sure where.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

That is hard to believe we have so many lead off doubles that dont score.

NatsLady said...

Wow, JZ said that???? Davey has lost the clubhouse, for sure. Or, at a minimum, the rotation.

Can't believe he was yelling at Harper (who, let's face it, STILL has a bad knee). Harper and Werth are the only two guys playing this game, right now.

NatsLady said...

We didn't have that many leadoff doubles. Only 58 PAs in that situation. And 7 times the next batter walked (maybe intentionally).

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Harper allowed kimbrell to supply the power tonight.

Ou hit him by swinging less hard, bu quick, just where the ball is. The pitcher supplies the power.

Harper and Ramos both hit tge ball hard and didnt swingvreal hard.

David Proctor said...

I'm not sure it's necessarily a conflict between Davey and JZ. I suspect Davey was trying to protect JZ by saying it was the neck bothering him and JZ disagreed because he doesn't want to use it as an excuse. Remember JZ has been hesitant to talk about the neck at all.

We'll see what comes of it.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

He said he asked him about the knee, and was satisfied with the answer.

karlkolchak said...

Funny, I was saying two months ago that something was seriously wrong in this clubhouse and got jumped on for it. I think we have now officially graduated from "something is wrong" to "this is a complete disaster."

David Proctor said...

Byron Kerr ‏@masnKerr 39s
Jayson Werth opens up talks about when he was first looking at teams to sign with and Nats were team that was a top of list bc they would b

Byron Kerr ‏@masnKerr 8s
(2/2) good near the end of his contract. Feels team is still young and is still building likes direction of team

Chase Hughes ‏@chasehughesCSN 3m
Davey Johnson said he threw his back out this afternoon before the game. 'That’s the way this year’s gone,' he said. #Nats #NationalsTalk

sjm308 said...

Just got back. First comment I read is we went down with a fight. I didn't see much fight. I saw at one point a team with one hit vs. 10 for the Braves. I saw countless pop ups and easy ground balls against a pitcher that had been way below average this season. I saw two pretty good innings of relief by a young man making his major league delivery and he was supposed to be our long man and yet our manager takes him out after getting 6 in a row (yes 2 were via double play but he faced 6 batters) and once again our marvelous bench pops up on the first pitch. What fight did you see DP, the 9th inning? Maybe but how many runs did we score in the 9th?

Besides watching Roark and seeing my son and also seeing Werth continue his hot streak I also got to sit with 222 for a brief time and we joked about our difference of opinion. I do like this site but I am not happy with our team right now.

Well, like some senior citizen says "tomorrow is another day" and I can actually wear the same hat both tomorrow and Friday. ( I am having a difficult time figuring out which two hats I will take to Europe. )

Go Nats!!

Section 222 said...

Back from the game. Ugh. Watched Davey's presser. Double ugh. The question was not why didn't you bring in Clip to bail out Mattheus, it was, and still is, why didn't you bring in Clip to pitch the 8th? He's rested, there's a day off tomorrow, he's our best reliever, and if he had pitched from the top of the inning he wouldn't have come anywhere near the dreaded Heyward. In a tie, must win game at home, you use your best pitchers to give your bats a chance to win. Clip in the 8th, Soriano in the 9th, and then you have Stammen and Krol for extras if necessary. That's not rocket science. Davey is just clueless.

Nice to see Roark pitch well in his debut. But that's about the only good thing I can say about this game. Oh, other than there was no stupid retaliation!. Sorry, couldn't resist. :-)

David Proctor said...

Woah SJM, if you think I'm somehow happy with this performance...I'm not. I'm very depressed. I'm just trying to find whatever positive I can. There aren't many. We went down with a fight in the 9th. I wish we could've made Kimbrel pay, but we didn't. That's the 2013 Nats in a nutshell.

paul brandt said...

sjm, any chance there is room in your suitcase for the trip to Europe? I would LOVE not to watch this team for 3+ weeks (if I remember one of your prior posts correctly you are leaving for 3+ weeks)

I can't stand it any longer...ah, Skins pre-season game tomorrow!

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

They wee talking about the 9th.

ALR again fightless.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

This series 3 leadoff doubles. No runs.

I bet the RISP since the ASG is lower than the average from the first half. Wouldnt be surprised if a fairly large difference.

David Proctor said...

Someone the other day pointed out that the RISP stat is kind of a myth. The Nats actually hit marginally better with men on base than the bases empty. The problem is we're not hitting well period.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

We dont have enough opportunities.

sjm308 said...

Paul - I was originally not real happy with the timing of this trip, but to be honest, I can not wait to have this trip right in front of me and baseball in the very back recesses of my thought process. I think in 3 weeks I will come back and be ready to deal with that last month but right now I wish we were leaving tomorrow instead of Saturday but alas, there will be Fridays game with the Phillies to get through.

DP - I used to think that I was as positive a person as there was out there but you top me by miles. I don't always agree with your defense of this team but I do commend you for it. I just think getting swept by your supposed division rivals and being dominated in this game did not show me a lot of fight. No problems with you or your devotion to our lads but "fight' was not what I saw tonight and "fight" doesn't show up in the standings. Well, actually maybe it does because our record is probably a pretty good indicator of how much "fight" we have shown this season. What we did tonight was lose. We went down. How much "fight" was shown is debatable.

sjm308 said...

By the way, I keep score at each game. In this game our first 9 batters made outs. At the end of 6 innings we had one hit and had not left a single runner on. Even in the 7th when we tied it, it was a poor throw that allowed that run to score and this was the first inning where we stranded a runner. The Braves ended up with 15 hits and had stranded 7 runners in the first 4 innings!! This was not a game where we were hitting smashes or unlucky at bats. Most of our outs were harmless pop ups or easy ground balls.

do1teach1 said...

DJ undercut Harper in the paper last week when Harp tried to speak up and help the team. DJ embarrassed him.

DJ said NOTHING when Soriano threw Harper under the bus.

DJ is a classic "good times" manager. In good times, he's your guy. But do NOT expect him to tighten people up on fundamentals and maintain high standards.

It is no surprise he is stabbing Harper in the back again. I cannot wait for Johnson to leave and this awful season to be over.

And show me the reporter who is going to ask Rizzo, "Can you tell me how you wrecked a 98-win team?"

Also I asked Werth where Zimmerman would be if a brawl had broken out tonight. He said, "In the clubhouse, chewing his nails. That's Ryan Zimmerman."

David Proctor said...

http://www.csnwashington.com/baseball-washington-nationals/talk/harper-johnson-fine-after-dugout-talk

How is this stabbing in the back? Please do explain.

do1teach1 said...

This is known in the PR world as "cleaning things up for public consumption." Some time in the future, you will hear Harper's comments on what it felt like to try to inspire a team, and to have Zimm, DJ, and Soriano repeatedly undercut him.

David Proctor said...

Do1Teach1, everybody has disagreements. Everyone has arguments. Every single team, every single player, every single year. You would not have even heard about this had I not tweeted the beat reporters to ask about it since a friend of mine saw it on the Braves broadcast. You don't see a lot of what goes on in the dugout. It's stabbing in the back. If Harper feels that way, he's immature, but I'm fairly certain he doesn't feel that way.

You can criticize Davey Johnson for a lot of things. But I've never heard a player say they hated playing for him.

David Proctor said...

It's not stabbing in the back*

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Harp didn't run out a grounder. Davey asked him about it. Harp admits he screwed up. Won't happen again. Happens all the time. If we're up by a half-dozen games, nobody notices.

But because we're trailing by 15 and a-half acres, all of a sudden it's Watergate.

Relax, people. The Republic will survive.

Steady Eddie said...

NL , While I liked your answer to Davey's silly Hayward excuse for not bringing in Clip, I liked our host's response even better:

"@ZuckermanCSN: ... Question still out there why Clippard didn't start 8th vs. Uggla (2-for-15 in career), Upton (0-for-1), Simmons (0-for-2).”

David Proctor said...

Not to be rude to Mark, but if the question is still out there...why didn't he ask it?

JaneB said...

I'm glad I just watch this team, and do not play for it. No one knows which end is up. Short tempers and fingers pointing and only two bats doing anything. It's shark week in the club house. Just not when the Shark comes to bat.

I hope they rest and that something wonderful happens for them tomorrow. .

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

The Republic wont last to long, but at least another 40 years.

Harper is far from the problem of runners running out grounders.

SonnyG10 said...

I saw a lot of fight in our lads tonight. I am satisfied that they are trying and haven't given up. The problem is we were out played and over matched. We are just not hitting and our BP is not good enough.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

If every player played with intensity, we would not be where we are.

Seemms in most losses several players' mistakes just come back to haunt us. The person causes the problems rarely tge same person back to back games.

You cant relax playing the game.

Section 222 said...

Why is anyone lumping Soriano in with the under bus throwers? Harper did miss a catchable fly ball third out in S.F. Soriano was upset about blowing a save and called him out to a reporter who he thought wouldn't quote him. He immediately realized he was wrong to criticize a teammate and apologized. The two of them kissed and made up. That incident has nothing to do with, and isn't even in the same league with Zim's pathetic recent dissing of his younger teammate.

Great to see 308 at the park. Bon voyage my friend.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

After first 2 outs in the 8th I saw no fight in the bullpen until the 9th

SonnyG10 said...

Mike Rizzo has a lot of work to do to get us where we need to be.

The Real Feel Wood. Accept no substitutes. said...

Phil Wood gave a pretty good answer to Section222 on the Clippard question on the post-game call-in show tonight. I wonder why Section222 isn't mentioning that here?

do1teach1 said...

222: Harper did not "miss a catchable fly ball." He was way out of position, and because of this fact, the ball was hit over his head. The customary process of bench coaches positioning outfielders was neglected, like so many fundamentals on the Nationals this year.

The bit about Soriano believing the reporter "wouldn't quote him" requires child-like belief. I don't believe it. Why? -- Because he didn't just say Harper was "out of position" or missed a "catchable ball."

Soriano said his "three-year old son would have known where to position himself on that play." That is known as MOCKING a man. Do you get it?

Section 222 said...

do1teach1 -- Our memories on that play differ. Harper may have been out of position, but he also pulled up shy of the warning track because he was spooked by his recent encounters with the wall in ATL and LA. But in any event, that incident was almost 3 months ago, Soriano apologized, and both players said they were fine. Do you really think Harper still is even thinking about that?

Feel, I didn't mention Phil's answer because it made about as much sense as Davey's. Phil theorized that Davey was saving Clippard to go more than an inning in extras? Really? Do you know how many times Clip has pitched more than an inning this year for the Nats? Look it up. Zero. How about last year, out of his 74 appearances? Zero. The last time Clip pitched more than 1 inning was Sept. 12, 2011. Krol, on the other hand, has pitched more than an inning three times this year already.

So do you really think Phil's answer was pretty good? If so, why didn't you describe it so everyone can reach their own conclusions? Or are you just intent with dissecting and criticizing every post I make, not to mention my singing and my "heritage"?

What is your problem?

do1teach1 said...

222: Yes, I think Harper remembers veterans and the manager degrading his efforts. Yes. I think any normal human being would remember these things.

What you might remember, or I might remember, doesn't matter too much. What matters is what Soriano said. He compared Harper to a three-year old in the outfield. The apology was pure PR--and I'm betting Harper says so in the future.



Section 222 said...

I think baseball players, like other normal human beings, understand that people say things in disappointment and anger, and accept apologies. You and I have no idea what the two said to each other in their private meeting, but I doubt it was PR, and I haven't seen any evidence of ill will between them after that incident in May. I guess we'll see what Harper says in the future. I doubt he says anything. And I doubt he'll say anything about Zim either, though I agree with you there -- that one he's going to remember, as are we.

ruggeds1000 said...

Easy to point the finger at Johnson for his inept, clueless management of these talented players. But since Rizzo takes forever to admit he's wrong about anything, Johnson will be with us the rest of the season which squanders a change to build any momentum into next year. Let the sleepwalking continue. Very frustrating.

do1teach1 said...

Good discussion 222. Thanks.

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