Washington Nationals Win Eighth-Straight, 4-2 Over The Baltimore Orioles. Michael Morse HR The Difference.

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 18: Starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann #27 of the Washington Nationals throws a pitch during the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Nationals Park on June 18, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

• Today's Top 5: 

5. Support Zim(n)!!: Jordan Zimmermann held the Baltimore Orioles off the scoreboard through six and a third on May 22nd, in his second career start against the Washington Nationals' Mid-Atlantic geographical rivals. A leadoff single in the O's seventh, however, and the Vladimir Guerrero two-run line-drive HR that followed were all Baltimore would need that day to beat Zimmermann and the Nats, who scored just one run off Orioles' starter Chris Tillman and couldn't rally against the blackbirds' bullpen in a 2-1 loss. The Orioles get on the scoreboard early this afternoon, however, when Adam Jones unloads on a 3-1 fastball from the Nats' 25-year-old starter with two down in the first. A. Jones drives it out to left and 15 rows deep. 1-0 Orioles after a half...

4. THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!!!: Ryan Zimmerman's first HR since April 5th in Florida and his second overall on the year is sent screaming out to left after the Nats' Face of the Franchise crushes a 1-0 fastball from O's lefty Brian Matusz for a two-out solo shot in the bottom of the first. 1-1 game. The Orioles' '08 1st Round pick (4th overall) gets Michael Morse looking to end the Nats' first, and the O's first baseman Derrek Lee sixth-straight hit, a leadoff single in the second after he went 5 for 5 last night, has the Nationals' starter in trouble again. Jordan Zimmermann gets help from his catcher, however, as Pudge Rodriguez throws D. Lee out going for second after Luke Scott's fly to right fails to advance the runner. Pudge's throws out the 9th runner of the year in 19 attempts, and the Nats' catchers have a combined 49% CS% (Wilson Ramos is at 50% even 12 CS of 24), which makes them the best defensive combo in baseball by far. Zimmermann walks two with two down, but completes a scoreless second, still tied at 1-1.

3. $^#6#&**% D. LEE!!: Derrek Lee's 7 for 7 in this series after he doubles to left field off Jordan Zimmermann with one down in the O's fourth. D. Lee takes second on Jerry Hairston's arm, sliding in safely ahead of the throw and Ian Desmond's attempted tag. Felix Pie pinch hits for Luke Scott and sends Lee to third with a single through the right side of the infield. Zimmermann dials up a 94 mph fastball and throws it by Mark Reynolds for a swinging K and the second out, and Robert Andino grounds out to first to keep it tied after three and a half. 1-1 game. 65 pitches, 36 strikes for Zimmermann. Brian Matusz gives up a swinging bunt to Michael Morse and a two-out walk to Jerry Hairston, but he gets Pudge Rodriguez looking with a full-count curve for out no. 3. 65 pitches, 38 strikes for the O's lefty. 

2. OPPO-BOPPO!!: Ryan Zimmerman hits a one-out double off the out-of-town scoreboard in the Nats' sixth. Zim's 2 for 3 with a double and a HR so far this afternoon, 6 for 23 with two doubles and a HR since returning to the Nats' lineup. Michael Morse puts a charge into an 0-1 change from Matusz...and drives it out to right. All the way the other way for an opposite field blast. Morse's two-run HR is his 13th of the season and it gives the Nats a 3-1 lead over the O's in the sixth. Matusz leaves the game with an apparent leg injury after Danny Espinosa gets the third straight hit off the O's lefty. Orioles' reliever Clay Rapada picks Espinosa off, but gives up a two-out walk to Jerry Hairston and a two-run double to Pudge Rodriguez that makes it 4-1 Nats after six innings in the nation's capital. 

1. Ride the LIGHTNING!!: Mark Reynolds singles though the left side of the infield to start the O's seventh, and one out later, Nolan Reimold hits a pinch hit single to center to put two on with one out. Zimmermann gets a visit from Nats' pitching coach Steve McCatty and the Nationals' trainer, but he stays in long enough to surrender an RBI single by J.J. Hardy that scores Reynolds from second to make it 4-2 Washington. Zimmermann's done. Zim(n)'s line: 6.1 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB 2 K's, 99 pitches, 59 strikes, 7/7 GO/FO. Henry "Lightning" Rodriguez replaces Zimmermann, pops up Nick Markakis and strikes out Adam Jones. 83 mph slider for strike one, 101 on the heater fouled off for strike two and then back to the bender for a swinging K from the O's outfielder. 4-2 Nats after seven. 

0. Lighting/Storen: Henry Rodriguez comes back out for the eighth. Matt Wieter flies to left on a 1-0 fastball. Derrek Lee flies to left on a full-count slider. Two quick outs for the flame-throwing right-hander, but he issues a two-out walk to the light-hitting O's outfielder Felix Pie. Rodriguez starts Mark Reynolds down 2-0, but fights back to 2-2 and drops a filthy two-strike slider in for a called strike three and a scoreless top of the eighth. Drew Storen's on in the ninth after the Nats go down in order in the bottom of the eighth. Robert Andino grounds out to third, and he's tagged by Michael Morse after a wide throw by Zim. ONE!! Vladimir Guerrero pops up on a full-count fastball. TWO!! J. J. Hardy flies to center and the Nationals win their eighth straight when Roger Bernadina makes the catch, 4-2 Nats over the O's. Storen's 17th save. The Nationals 35th win. 

• Miss the Game? The DC Faithful Were Watching...

Num Name - Comments
1 dc Roach - 179
2 MissB - 56
3 FanSince05 - 49
4 Dan Shields - 49
5 Joey Fox - 25
6 Whupass - 15
7 LoveThatJoker - 13
8 natsforever - 11
9 Brotato - 11
10 rachel216 - 9


• Doghouse's Post Game WPA Graph + Pitch f/x Graph: "Game 71: Nats win, Blue needs LASIK":

Today's game report: Nats win 8th straight on Morse HR.


via www.fangraphs.com

  • Squeezed: Jordan Zimmermann (+9.7%) struggles through 6.1 IP, only giving up 2 ER in spite of a non-standard strike zone.
  • Beast mode: Michael Morse (+25.1%) hits a go-ahead, two-run bomb in the 6th (+23.7%).
  • Offenza: Ryan Zimmerman (+13.1%) hits a solo shot into The Bullpen (the bar across the street, not the place where the pitchers warm up) to tie the game in the first (+10.8%).
  • Lightning: Henry Rodriguez (+20.5%) throws 1.2 scoreless with 2 Ks in relief.

What do these graphs mean?


via www.brooksbaseball.net

The square on this plot is the strike zone, and the points are the positions of the pitches as measured by the Pitch f/x cameras.  Red squares and triangles are pitches that were called strikes, and green squares and triangles are balls.  See the green ones right in the middle of the zone?  David Rackley is not good at umpiring.

Nationals now 35-36.

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The Sunday Paper Will Be A Little More Hairy This Week

If you haven’t seen it yet or heard, there is a Jayson Werth poster that is going to be inserted into the Washington Post Sunday paper tomorrow (Sunday). Here is it is.

I’ve searched for signs this is Werth with a photoshopped Nats jersey on, much like his Topps card, but no such luck. It seems this is the real deal.

Not much of a poster per say, more like a Glamour shot or 8X10. If you sniff the paper you can almost get high off the smell of Head and Shoulders and Frontline flea medicine for pets.

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Espinosa swinging well from both sides

Before facing Orioles left-hander Brian Matusz on Saturday, switch-hitting second baseman Danny Espinosa again took an equal number of batting practice swings from both sides of the plate.
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Gorzelanny to return for Sunday start

The Nationals will activate left-hander Tom Gorzelanny from the 15-day disabled list on Sunday to start the Interleague series finale against the Orioles.
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Pudge teaching Ramos catching's finer points

Ivan Rodriguez has spoken before to his 23-year-old understudy, Wilson Ramos, about handling throws from the outfield, but after Ramos let a ball get away from him, allowing the Orioles to score their first run on Friday, the topic came up again.
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GAME 70 REVIEW: Nats Defeat Orioles 8-4 to Start Interleague Series

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Ian Desmond running well despite sore thigh

Despite dealing with a sore left thigh for over a month now, Ian Desmond has played nearly every day for the Nationals and has stolen a career-high 20 bases.

To help with the injury, Manager Jim Riggleman gave Desmond the final game of the San Diego series off so that the shortstop could get two consecutive days off, as Monday the team didn’t play. And the same will likely happen Sunday and Monday, Riggleman said.

But even with the nagging injury, Desmond has still managed to play well. In Friday’s 8-4 win over the Orioles, Desmond stole two bases — the third time he has done so in game this season — and finished 2 for 5 with two runs driven in.

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Nationals Nirvana: Smells Like Team Spirit

The rain began to fall, but it could not erase the atmosphere around me that willingly violated my senses. The sights, the smells and the sounds of Nationals Park– no other place like it in the world. I sucked in huge quantities of air into my lungs and enjoyed the smells of the concessions, beer, sweat, smog and various colognes, deodorants, perfumes and B.O. of the fan base around me. Ahh, it was good to be home.

I am almost embarrassed to say even though I maintain the sexiest Nationals blog on the Internet and not a day in 365 do I not think about this team in someway, it had been a long time since I had been to Nationals Park. Since Opening Day in fact. I know, it is horrible. But life throws you curve balls that change the outcome of the Big Game when you least expect it. Last night, though, it did not matter. I was home.

After a hour delay due to rain the Washington Nationals kicked off another round of the “Battle of the Beltways,” an interleague rivalry with as much spark and pizazz as a Lambda Lambda Lambda frat party, against the Baltimore Orioles of Baltimore, Maryland. You could tell the Orioles were in town by the number of people wearing Halloween colors and the rust, ash and muck footprints all over the place. Baltimore is a notoriously filthy city with a warehouse, some decent Inner Harbor dive bars and  a pretty sick aquarium, but that is all. Who knows what viruses and what not the fan base brought down with them, but honesty-be-this-blog’s name I have to admit a good portion of the females in their fan base are smoking hot.

The game was full of rainbows, sloppy pitching, sketchy defense, plenty of back-and-forth, hits, misses, a swarm of night bugs and Mothra attacking me, but in the end it was the Nationals who prevailed in a 8-4 win. This “new found” Nationals team is admittedly absolutely fun to watch and I found myself thinking, “Damn, even if they lose this game tonight I can honestly say I had a good time.” That is rare in Washington. Washington fans haven’t had that luxury since 2005; that feeling of a game well played without the overpowering feeling of despair and misery.

Here are a few notes on the game we took:

  • Pitcher Jason Marquis was supremely hittable Friday night. There wasn’t an inning where he didn’t put someone on base which formed the base of the O’s 18 hits in the game. But he got the outs he needed and the team made plays behind him. Overall we aren’t worried about Marquis. He just came off a BS five game suspension and a little rust is expected. I know after five days of not blogging I completely lose my “P” key. Can never hit it right until I get back in the swing of things.
  • Catcher Wilson Ramos was at the center of two important plays last night. First, in the top of the fourth, Ramos could not handle a throw to the plate from the outfield which lead to a O’s run and eventually a second. It was a simple, amateur league play and Ramos couldn’t make it. It almost looked like he was either rushed or scared to get gritty and make the play. He needs to get on top of that sort of thing. Second, he was part of what I call the “turning point” of the game. Just when it looked like the Nats weren’t going to do squat against Zach Britton, Ramos scored on an error by Mark Reynolds after a Jason Marquis bunt. The whole feel and the tide of the game changed there, but unfortunately it did not change my underwear at the same time.
  • The NQ was up in Section 226 and I completely forgot how bad the bugs can get up there in the lights. I got head from at least three different species from the order of Lepidoptera.
  • Reliever Tyler Clippard is such an animal and I see absolutely no reason why he shouldn’t be a part of the final “big push” the Nationals have or hopefully have planned in 2012. Trade Todd Coffey for beans, but leave Clippard in D.C.
  • Scanned the new concession area and I have to say I am not overly impressed. The couches and fake grass with the overhangs make the whole area interesting, but I’ll be damned if I spent a penny on overpriced fast food. The Shake Shack boasts a $5 Happy Hour on crap brews? $5? That is Happy Hour? In what country? Beer-less ones I guess like the moon or Mars or Delaware.

Overall, it was great being back in Washington. God, I miss this town. I even enjoyed the ride on the Metro train after the game when we ripped around the District on a hellish burn that would have made any diplomat blush. That sort of thing happens when the Nationals win. Things happen, fall into place, the team feels good, the fans feel good.

Take a breath– it smells like team spirit.

Posted in 2011 Season, Wilson Ramos, jason marquis, todd coffey, tyler clippard | Comments Off

Game 71 discussion thread: Orioles at Nationals

Jordan Zimmermann takes the mound after perhaps his best start of the season, a four-hit, 10-strikeout gem in a 2-0 win over San Diego. The 6-foot-2 right-hander has pitched seven innings in each of his past three starts, won two of the them and allowed only two runs in those 21 innings.

So with Zimmermann pitching well and the Nationals hitting well as well, the team must love their odds. Do you? As usual, discuss the game here.

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Baltimore Orioles At Washington Nationals: GameThread 71 Of 162.

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 03:  Fans wait to enter Nationals Park before the start of the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals game on April 3, 2011 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Next Game

Baltimore Orioles
@ Washington Nationals

Saturday, Jun 18, 2011, 1:05 PM EDT
Nationals Park

Brian Matusz vs Jordan Zimmermann

Partly cloudy. Winds blowing out to right field at 5-10 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 85.

D.C. Starting Lineup: 

  1. The WereWerth - RF
  2. Ian "Two-Spot" Desmond 
  3. THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!! - 3B (Word.)
  4. The People's Champion Michael Morse - 1B
  5. Danny "Spinner" Espinosa - 2B
  6. Jerry "HR" Hairston - LF
  7. Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez - C
  8. Jordan "DeadEyez" Zimmermann - SP
  9. The Shark - CF


Washington Nationals Win Seventh-Straight, 8-4 Over Baltimore Orioles.
Why We Should Love Danny Espinosa
Critical Point in the Season

Complete Coverage >

• For A Baltimore Orioles Fan's Perspective, Check Out The SB Nation's Orioles Site: Camden Chat.

• Today's Starting Pitchers Are Going To Stare Off Into The Distance Now: 

Brian Matusz

#17 / Pitcher / Baltimore Orioles





Feb 11, 1987


• 2010 Stats - (10-12), 32 GS, 175.2 IP, 4.30 ERA, 4.05 FIP, ERA+ = 98, 63 BB (3.23 BB/9), 143 K's 7.33 K/9), 1.34 WHIP. 

• 2011 Stats - (1-1), 3 GS, 12.1 IP, 5.11 ERA, 5.55 FIP, ERA+ = 81, 6 BB (4.38 BB/9), 6 K's (4.38 K/9), 1.78 WHIP. 

vs D.C. - N/A

Jordan Zimmermann

#27 / Pitcher / Washington Nationals





May 23, 1986


• 2010 Stats - (1-2), 7 GS, 31.0 IP, 4.94 ERA, 5.85 FIP, ERA+ = 83, 1.32 WHIP, 10 BB (2.90 BB/9), 27 K's (7.84 K/9), 1.32 WHIP

• 2011 Stats - (4-6), 13 GS, 81.1 IP, 3.10 ERA, 2.56 FIP, ERA+ = 123, 16 BB (1.77 BB/9), 61 K's (6.75 K/9), 1.08 WHIP. 

vs BAL - (0-1), 2 GS, 13.1 IP, 10 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 HR, 2 BB, 12 K's, 2.70 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, .204 BAA. 

• Zim(n) vs The O's: 

Adam Jones 6 6 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 .167 .167 .167 .333 0 0 0 0 0
Nick Markakis 6 6 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .167 .167 .167 .333 0 0 0 0 0
Derrek Lee 5 5 2 1 0 0 0 0 1 .400 .400 .600 1.000 0 0 0 0 0
Vladimir Guerrero 3 3 1 0 0 1 2 0 0 .333 .333 1.333 1.667 0 0 0 0 0
Felix Pie 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
Nolan Reimold 3 3 2 0 0 1 1 0 0 .667 .667 1.667 2.333 0 0 0 0 0
Luke Scott 3 2 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 .500 .667 .500 1.167 0 0 0 0 0
Matt Wieters 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
Robert Andino 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
J.J. Hardy 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
Mark Reynolds 2 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 .500 .500 1.000 1.500 0 0 0 0 0
Total 38 37 9 2 0 2 4 1 7 .243 .263 .459 .723 0 0 0 0 0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/18/2011.


•Matusz vs The Nats:

Jerry Hairston 5 4 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 .250 .250 .500 .750 1 0 0 0 0
Ivan Rodriguez 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
Rick Ankiel 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .500 .500 .500 1.000 0 0 0 0 0
Wilson Ramos 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
Total 12 11 2 1 0 0 0 0 2 .182 .182 .273 .455 1 0 0 0 0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/18/2011.

• Mr. Wilbon?  Way To Go Nats!!!

• Who's Watching The Nationals?

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