Thursday, August 30, 2012

Instant analysis: Nats 8, Cardinals 1

US Presswire photo
Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth each homered to lead the Nationals' attack.
Game in a nutshell: Having exorcised their demons after a five-game losing streak, the Nationals came home a relaxed and loose bunch, ready to open a season-long, 11-game homestand. Then they went out and thumped the defending World Series champions with an impressive top-to-bottom effort. Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper each homered to ignite the lineup, and Edwin Jackson took care of everything else after that. The right-hander did not allow an earned run over eight spectacular innings, striking out 10 and earning his eighth win in the process. With that lopsided victory, the Nationals improved to 28 games over .500. And with the Braves off, they extended their lead in the NL East to 5 1/2 games.

Hitting highlight: When they're both going well, Werth and Harper give the Nationals as potent a 1-2 punch atop their lineup as perhaps any team in baseball. They did it all tonight, with Werth reaching base three times via a walk, a single and a homer (and also driving in another run on a fielder's choice) and Harper launching his third homer in 24 hours plus drilling a two-out, RBI single in the sixth. Werth has been nothing short of remarkable since his return from a broken wrist. In 25 games now, the veteran right fielder is hitting .337 with a .408 on-base percentage and .478 slugging percentage. Not too shabby for a leadoff hitter.

Pitching highlight: Jackson would certainly have been justified if he took the mound tonight with a little added motivation. Facing the team he helped lead to a World Series title last fall (but didn't show any serious interest in re-signing him over the winter) the right-hander authored perhaps his best performance of the season. Jackson struck out three batters in the top of the first and never let up, finishing with 10 punch-outs while racking up 123 pitches over eight innings. It was a big-time start against the best-hitting lineup in the NL.

Key stat: Jackson's ninth strikeout of the night was the 1,069th by a Nationals pitcher this season. That established a new club record, besting the total set by the 2010 pitching staff over a full 162 games.

Up next: Game 2 of this four-game series features a big-time pitching matchup. Gio Gonzalez again seeks his 17th win of the season, with former 20-game winner Adam Wainwright on the mound for St. Louis at 7:05 p.m. Friday.


Eugene in Oregon said...

Well done, Nats! You kept the pressure on the entire game -- pitching and offense -- and never let up. Keep applying that approach to the rest of this series and the entire homestand. Don't worry about the Braves; just play your immediate opponent.

Dr Trea (formerly #werthquake) said...

where the harper haters at?!?!

ehay2k said...

Nats prove tonight that this is Nationals Park, and not a House of Cards.

Good way to start a homestand and, with Ejax' revengeful gem, continue a win streak with hot bats.

Hats off to Harper for his adjustments on the road trip, which were showed well tonight.

ehay2k said...


Gonat said...

Swift Eagle said...
It's not about pitch count with EJax, McCatty and Davey use their eyes on this one..they know what he looks like when he's tired...I'm sure they still like what they see

August 30, 2012 9:52 PM

Davey said in the post-game EJax could go 130 pitches with the extra days rest. Yes, he's watching his pitcher but clearly he is also keeping an eye on pitch count.

Gonat said...

Clip&Store said...
where the harper haters at?!?!

August 30, 2012 10:13 PM

There's no Harp haters here. Just 1 or 2 that thought he needed more time in the Minors.

There's no escaping the post-All Star stats.

Drew said...

Homers by teenagers:

1. Conigliaro 24
2. Mel Ott 19
3. Ken Griffey Jr. 16
4. Bryce Haroer 15

The Nats have 32 games to play. In the words of that famed scout, Flounder: "Oh boy, this is gonna be great!"

MicheleS said...


That is all

bluejeener said...

"Watching" via gamecast is SO unsatisfying, but seeing the score ratchet up every time I glanced over was tremendously satisfying. See you in a week, and GYFNG!

Gonat said...

Talking about 5.5 holes, that's what the Barves are now in!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Gonat, clever! Took me a moment!

peric said...

If Harper finally goes on a tear ... watch out!

That will be fun to watch. He ignites the offense like no other. Just wish Morse could get hot again ... but with the injured thumb now ...

Any news on the September call ups?

NatsLady said...

Lannan = 2nd CG shutout in a row.


Ghost Of Steve M. said...

John Lannan seems motivated!

sjm308 said...

Just got home!!

Justins was crowded at 5:30 & I thought that would mean a big crowd but it was not huge.

This was my 20th game and we are 14 - 6!!!

Harpers HR was a rocket but he absolutely crushed the ball to CF.

Love Werth in the leadoff role and I am guessing there were no comments about his lack of power tonight. He was on base 3 straight times and scored all 3 times!!

I keep score and there sure were lots of K's or rev. ks in my book. Actually the last game I was at with Jackson pitching he struck out 11 in that game as well. Pretty damn good for our #4 guy. I want him signed for 3 more years!!! and I want Zimmermann extended for 5. Make that happen Rizzo.

Hard to imagine any complaints and I will not go back to read on this one. I guess the one negative would be Zimms throw in the 8th and probably someone mentioned Suzuki not catching but this is how Flores will help us. He is just better catching two or three times a week. Also happy the bullpen is basically off for a day to get ready for the rest of the series.

Looking forward to a great pitching matchup tomorrow.

Go Nats!! Go Playoffs!!

sjm308 said...

Peric - when did Morse hurt his thumb?

Waiting for your comments on Werth? or is it "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all"

timeless46 said...

I think Morse wass 4 for 5 tonight

sjm308 said...

He was 3 for 4 and I did not see any issues with his hand which was hurt over a week ago. He has been back for a couple of games and the ball he crushed last night was one of the hardest/farthest balls I have seen him hit this year. Just wondering when the thumb thing occured because Peric is always right.

timeless46 said...

Correction: 3 for 4 with a walk

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

Morse hurt his thumb when he was HBP in his first AB in the Philly series. That's why he missed that whole series, remember?

Donald said...

FP mentioned that Morse had a jammed thumb and he commented on how it looked like it was bothering him after a swing and miss. Not sure when it happened, though.

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