Saturday, August 17, 2013

Storen shines in return

USA Today Sports Images
ATLANTA — It would have meant more had it contributed to a Nationals victory instead of another discouraging loss to the Braves, but Drew Storen's return to the big leagues last night still deserves attention.

Positive attention, because Storen pitched quite well in his first appearance since his high-profile demotion to Class AAA Syracuse three weeks ago.

Given the ball for the bottom of the ninth inning of a tie game, the right-hander retired three of the four Atlanta batters he faced, striking out two, throwing 13 of his 17 pitches for strikes and admitting afterward he didn't have to overcome any nerves.

"Surprisingly not," he said. "I love pitching here. If anything, the [Tomahawk] Chop locks me in. Probably wouldn't want it any other way, to be honest with you."

Storen displayed impressive command both of his fastball and his slider. He threw the latter eight times, six of them coming against Evan Gattis during a compelling at-bat with the game on the line.

Gattis, who had been an astounding 6-for-8 with four homers as a pinch-hitter, stepped to the plate with one out and a man on first. Storen quickly got ahead with two called strikes on sliders, then watched as Gattis fouled off three more.

With the count still 1-2, Storen decided to stick with the gameplan and feed Gattis yet another slider.

"It's just kind of reading his swings and seeing what I saw," he said. "I'm trying to miss his barrel, because his barrel is gonna go a long way. Just making a good pitch to him. If you get a strikeout, that's great. But get soft contact, that's also good."

Gattis did technically make contact on Storen's seventh pitch of the at-bat, but only enough to foul-tip the ball back into catcher Wilson Ramos' glove for a huge strikeout.

Storen then got Gerald Laird to fly out to right, ending the inning and completing an impressive return to the Nationals bullpen.

"It's just kind of getting back on the horse," he said. "I didn't look at it as a big test, or anything that monumental. Just trying to put up a zero, give us a chance to win. It was fun, more than anything, I would say."

44 comments:

SonnyG10 said...

Good for you, Drew!

nats guy said...

Baseball Swami,

I do understand where you are coming from.

When I was an undersized sophomore 2b in High school I was spiked twice because other teams did not respect me due to my size. My coach told me unless I earned their respect I would continue to have problems nd he would have to stop playing me.

On a double pay I was spiked by the player coming in from 1st, 12 stitches. On a steal I was spiked on the ankle, it still hurts now 40 some years later. Both were very dirty plays.

After that I started throwing face high down the base line and tagging across the face on steals. The word got around that I would not put up with any crap and people started playing baseball the way it should be played.

Baseball is a beautiful, tough, but mental game. If you don't put up with the dirty crap you won't see any more of it.

Right now the Brav0s, like all bullys, are doing the crap just to see what the Nats will take. We need to respond in a very tough way to make it stop, because like all bullys they don't like it very much when they have it done to them.

Faraz Shaikh said...

earning respect by dirty plays? WOW! unbelievable and unacceptable.

mick said...
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mick said...
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mick said...

I love General Sherman more today than I use to...wish his ghost could march in and burn Braves stadium again


ha ha

mick said...
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baseballswami said...

There has just got to be a way to show strength and support without assaulting someone. As for Drew- bravo!! He had good movement, good mechanics, good mound presence , good velocity. Pulling for him, as well as Krol, who impressed me with his attitude, and Taylor Jordan, who did not cave in after errors were made behind him. Good stuff. Now let's shut up those evil, choppy excuses for human beings by beating them!

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

A well-placed, well-timed HBP is not assault. And any pitcher who considers himself a big leaguer should be able to place a pitch whenever the time is right.

Faraz Shaikh said...

I am with you Swami.

NatsLady said...

Seems like pitching the bottom of the 9th in a tie road game is the toughest test. You can't make a mistake--there is no recovery. Should be a special category for it, better than a "save."

Mark Zuckerman said...

Mick: Knock it off with your continued use of that word. Not acceptable here.

baseballswami said...

As I see it, Drew came into the highest leverage situation possible. Tie game, hostile environment, first inning back, Gattis. Boom. I hope this means good things ahead. Interesting that he was put into that situation, though. Do or die. Previously , pitching with a 102 fever. Not exactly being coddled. More like being thrown into the fire.

mick said...

sorry about that Mark

mick said...
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NatsLady said...

I don't know what you do if they play dirty against you. You can't always go to the umps (to "authority"). First of all, "authority" doesn't always see the dirty play, and their ability to punish if they do is limited--usually all they can do is issue warnings for BOTH sides, not just the offending side.

I'd like to say the best way to retaliate would be for Stras to lay a no-hitter on them and for us to get about 14 runs, seven today and seven tomorrow.

However, given the "code," I'm not sure that would be enough. If you don't give them some kind of direct, immediate, one-for-one response, what incentive do they have to stop? Some say the bully will stop if ignored, but the fans are egging the bullies on, taking delight in the bullying. We can't ignore it or Harper continues to be at risk in that city.

mick said...

time for "code red" Davey needs to be Jack Nicholsen in Few Good Men...

mick said...

thats a T-shirt idea??? maybe Nats can make September "CODE RED" month!

Candide said...



Whether that's true or not, it's a good thing to say. Translation: "Go ahead, pump me up, make me pitch better with your stupid chant."

Refreshing in light of the passivity on display by the rest of the team.

SonnyG10 said...

The host on 106.7 convinced me maybe the better plan is to do nothing today, but then nail the pitcher that started all this tomorrow. I would be ok with that.

FL Bassist said...

Reading the comments here and on the WaPo, the testosterone seems to be flowing so freely that I'd swear I'm at the Biogenesis Lab. I don't think the Nats want Stras drawn into Plunkgate, lest he becomes the target of an "errant" pitch. I agree that the Nats should go out and play two dynamite "statement" games - they have the right horses on the mound to do so.

NatsLady said...

Sonny, that is what I said, several times. Get Teheran tomorrow and leave the hitters for the next series or next year. Teheran's was the most flagrant, and there is no reason pitchers should be exempt.

NatsLady said...

Also, here is my fantasy. (I don't know how the standings/win-loss records would have to align for this).

(1)We meet Cincy or STL in the WC and win. Werth gets MVP for getting us to the playoffs against such long odds (sorry, Cutch!).

(2)Dodgers beat Atlanta in 3, three blowouts, ultimate humiliation.

(3)I would be OK with losing to the Dodgers or Pirates after that (well, I probably wouldn't, but I would reconcile myself to it).

(4)Whoever is left (Dodgers or Pirates) loses to the AL team (ANYONE except the Rays, I hate the Rays).

SonnyG10 said...

Yes you did, NatsLady. I amend my comment to say that NatsLady and the 106.7 host convinced me. :)

SonnyG10 said...

I don't want Harp to go too long without knowing the team has his back, though.

Faraz Shaikh said...

Why hate Rays? They are like the poorest team, the underdog that everyone loves (like A's).

NatsLady said...

FS, you are right, it's not the Rays, it's Joe Maddon. Can't stand that arrogant so-and-so and his schtick.

Faraz Shaikh said...

I would also like Nats to show it on the field and beat Braves in the most humiliating fashion possible, something like 30-0.

Depot Master said...

You plunk Johnson today if he comes up with 2 outs, and you plunk Teheran tomorrow. And if he pitches well, you plunk him again with a reliever.

"He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue." - Sean Connery in The Untouchables

NatsLady said...

Sonny, agree. It shouldn't go past tomorrow.

Faraz Shaikh said...

I don't know NL. The guy is pretty smart, keeping them in contention with what he is given. I wouldn't mind if he wants to come over next year to manage.

paul brandt said...

Teheran started this whole thing...we will see how tough he is tomorrow when he steps in the box.

The HBP that really ticked me off was Avilan's 8th inning HBP because he went head hunting and that is wrong. It's one thing to hit a guy but to throw a 92mph fastball at Harper's head and for their fans to give Avilan a standing ovation when he was yanked, that's when they crossed the line.

nats guy said...

Hey Faraz,

You called me a dirty player when you obviously did not read my comment completely.

"Not cool and unacceptable"

It was about not putting up with dirty players.

Teddy Rochlis said...

just a tad overboard, besides people normally don't plunk pitchers due to the fact that they are in most cases a free out. I agree with the fact that nats should have the attitude of reconciliation through humiliation. I mean how sweet would it be if we won a game like 20-2.

NatsLady said...

I want two 15-0 games. Thanks. (And still plunk Teheran.)

NatsLady said...

Teheran is hitting .244 (.220 lifetime). Better than our bench except Lombo.

JD said...

NL

You can't wait until tomorrow. This season is over for all intents and purposes. We have to send Bryce a message that we have his back.

Faraz Shaikh said...

nats guy, there is a misunderstanding. I did not call you a dirty player.

SonnyG10 said...

Hell will freeze over before be beat the Barves 20 to 2 or any such score. If you're waiting for that to happen to get retribution, then you might as well tell Harper to kiss off, we don't want you anymore. Humiliation isn't what's needed. An emphatic warning is what is needed. The Braves and every other team in MLB needs to understand the Nats will not tolerate having our players thrown at. Of course, an additional helping of humiliation wouldn't hurt.

SonnyG10 said...

we beat

NatsLady said...

I would rather get Teheran because the pitcher is the one with the weapon, and I am tired of pitchers plunking guys (Harper) just because they don't like them or think they did a slow home run trot.

baseballswami said...

Game post-- Tyler is back!!

natsfan1a said...

Didn't see the game but - Druuuu...

natsfan1a said...

Well played, sir. Well played


"Surprisingly not," he said. "I love pitching here. If anything, the [Tomahawk] Chop locks me in.

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