Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Instant analysis: Nats 4, Giants 2

USA Today Sports Images
Game in a nutshell: Why have the Nationals and Giants been such big underachievers this season? Look no further than each club's continued struggles to score runs and produce hits in big situations. We saw it on display tonight, with the Nationals going 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position and the Giants going 1-for-9 in those situations. A strange and very slow-paced game saw both starting pitchers perform well for four innings before an intense thunderstorm struck and produced a 1-hour, 17-minute delay. That knocked both Gio Gonzalez and Madison Bumgarner out and put the game in the hands of the bullpens. Adam LaRoche delivered the biggest hit, a two-run homer in the sixth that gave the Nationals the lead for good. That put Tanner Roark in line to earn his second win in four days, though this one still didn't come easily for the Nationals. Fernando Abad and Ryan Mattheus combined to allow a run in the seventh, trimming the lead to one. Kurt Suzuki provided a key RBI in the eighth on a sac fly. That allowed Rafael Soriano to close it out in the ninth and give the Nationals their fourth straight win.

Hitting highlight: Is LaRoche snapping out of his midseason funk? It's probably too early to declare that, but the results over the last week-plus certainly have been encouraging. With a 2-for-4 performance tonight, LaRoche is now hitting .323 (10-for-31) over his last nine games. He also has clubbed three homers, including a towering blast tonight that proved the difference for the Nationals. LaRoche crushed a fastball down the pipe from Guillermo Moscoso and sent the ball ricocheting off the facade of the second deck in right field. That was his 17th homer of the season, tying Werth and Bryce Harper for the club lead.

Pitching highlight: This was kind of a strange night for Gonzalez. The end result — zero runs allowed in four innings — wasn't bad, but he didn't exactly wow everyone with his stuff, either. The left-hander put six men on base in those four innings, forcing himself to pitch out of trouble all night. He also appeared to be dealing with a stiff back or something along those lines that left him stretching and having a tough time running at full-speed. That may have contributed to the most intriguing moment of the game: Gonzalez and Jayson Werth arguing with each other in the dugout in the middle of the first inning. Was Werth upset at Gio for not hustling to cover first base? Or was Gonzalez upset at Werth for not hustling on Joaquin Arias' bloop double to right? Either way, we got a rare chance to see two teammates in heated argument in plain sight.

Key stat: Roark has yet to allow an earned run (or issue a walk) in six big-league innings.

Up next: The series resumes at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday when Jordan Zimmermann once again seeks his 14th win, going up against one-time Giants ace Tim Lincecum.

20 comments:

Joe Seamhead said...

Wow, Mark your Instant Analysis popped up as Span was making the catch!

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

I requested 20 wins in a row we up to 4.

SJM needs to stay in Europe.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

RoArk 2-0 now.

Ivan Tuski said...

I thought the Nats played well. I feel like it was a well earned victory. I'm a bit surprised to see the instant analysis presented in such a non flattering light

Ivan Tuski said...

looks like Reds are gonna win

David Proctor said...

Ramos day-to-day with his hamstring.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

I would agree we played well.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Cubs playing awful in the 11th

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Suzuki can play the next 2 and recheck ramod

David Proctor said...

The difference between Ramos and Suzuki is just so massive. It's a big blow, especially when we need to win a lot more than we lose.

Hopefully it's just a couple of days.

David Proctor said...

They did say it wasn't too bad. It was just tight. I hope.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Suzuki would have played Thurday anyway, so tomorrow is probably only miss he would have started.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Three games presently in extra innings at 3 to 3.

Scott Margenau said...

What's the deal with Werth n Gio?

baseballswami said...

Scott- cameras showed them having a verbal tiff in the dugout. Coaches stepped in. It was before the rain delay so everyone had way too much time to talk about it. Only one tie game left now. Looks like Pittdburgh is about to go ahead in the 13 th. Baltimore beat the D backs.

baseballswami said...

Sorry- Arizona won that one. It's late.

sjm308 said...

Off to Zagreb! Still undefeated!

Go Nats!

Holden Baroque said...

If sjm has to come back I am willing to travel to Bangkok to keep the streak alive.

Holden Baroque said...

I think our plate discipline maybe improving in here. Good to see.

JaneB said...

I don't mind if any of our guys don't "wow" me. I just want them to pitch well enough to get the Curlie W!

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