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Instant analysis: Nats 7, Cubs 4

Apr 7, 2012, 8:29 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Gio Gonzalez struggled, but his teammates (and the Cubs bullpen) bailed him out.

Game in a nutshell: Stymied once again by a Cubs starter (Matt Garza this time) the Nationals waited until the Chicago bullpen entered to inflict their damage. Kerry Wood and Carlos Marmol gave up five runs in a wild eighth inning as the Nats stormed back to improve to 2-0.

Hitting highlight: Trailing by two runs with two outs in the top of the eighth, eight consecutive Nationals batters reached safely. Danny Espinosa ignited the rally with an opposite-field homer, and Chad Tracy delivered once again with a two-run single that put the Nats ahead for good.

Pitching lowlight: Making his highly anticipated Nationals debut, Gio Gonzalez labored from the moment he took the mound and couldn't make it out of the fourth inning. The left-hander allowed four runs onRead more »

  1. Bzl. - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    That's got to be world-record time for posting a game recap! Mark obviously hit the Send button as the umpires arm went up. 162-0, here we come!

  2. Kirbs - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    MpHrod!!!!!! And a oppo for Danny.

  3. Mick - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    we may be "NASTY"

  4. Jim Kurtzke - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    JZim for the sweep'

  5. Drew - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    Well done, boys!Rizzo and Davey have some tough calls when Ankiel and Morse come back. Tracy is off to a great start. Lombo and Bernie had big hits tonight. (It's almost 11 p.m. in France.) Davey also seems to like Carroll and Nady.Other than Lombo, the minor league options are scarce, but sending Lombo down would leave a hole in the thin infield.I think they'll send out one outfielder and a pitcher. Don't be surprised if Gorzy is one of the odd men out. GYFNG!!!

  6. Rabbit - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    Tough decision about who to send down when Ankiel and Morse return. The perfect solution is WERTH. But he will continue to ride along on the backs of everyone else. Great game today. We are looking better and better.

  7. Anonymous - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    I think they'll send out one outfielder and a pitcher. Don't be surprised if Gorzy is one of the odd men out. That's brilliant. And who else is left-handed in the bullpen besides Burnett? And how reliable was he last year? Not too swift Nats fans not sure why everyone is on Gorzo when last year he pitched better than Lannan yet everyone thinks Lannan got shafted … shakes head ruefully … how can you follow a sport and be so ignorant?

  8. Cwj - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    One thing we don't have to worry about tomorrow is that J.Zimmermann has pinpoint control.Much like against Strasburg, hitters have to scratch and slap their way to a couple runs in 6-7 innings.I always feel confident when those 2 are on the mound. But Gio wasn't quite as bad as Mark and the Box Score would have us believe. He'll be fine, and was probably just nervous making his Nats debut. Go Nats!!!!

  9. Anonymous - Apr 7, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    that picture above"of gio gonzales" is an example of the inverted w,pitchers with good mechanics like glavine,halladay,lee,ryan,clemens ect. have their throwing arm up and vertical,with their throwing hand by thier ear

  10. Anonymous - Apr 7, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    But Gio wasn't quite as bad as Mark and the Box Score would have us believe. Its the three walks, not the hits … constantly getting behind the hitters. It wasn't good. Clearly, Davey wanted this bullpen (and he got it) so that he could pull a fast hook on starters … with Stammen and Gorzelanny its not a problem. After them it gets even harder.

  11. Cwj - Apr 7, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    Drew and Anon 4:58- Obviously the Nats need 7 relievers.So no pitcher will go down until Storen comes back. Gorzelanny is an effective reliever, as is Stammen and, well, pretty much everyone in the bullpen.It'll be a very tough cut when Storen returns.

  12. UNTERP - Apr 7, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    Tomorrow, I expect the Nats to play from ahead…

  13. Cwj - Apr 7, 2012 at 9:10 PM

    Anon 5:02- There isn't much evidence to support the theory that all pitchers with "bad" mechanics get injured, or that all pitchers with "good" mechanics don't get injured.The research is still only just beginning.

  14. Funkyalligator - Apr 7, 2012 at 9:10 PM

    Gio's start certainly wasn't as bad as the stats suggest. He couldnt get the at the knees strike call even though he put it in the same place time after time that led to him having to go a lot longer in some of the counts.

  15. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 7, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    One more game without JayB's angst about the bench and CF. Is there anyway we can win 160 more?

  16. JaneB - Apr 7, 2012 at 9:27 PM

    I'm with funky. If Gio had gotten those calls, the walks would have been outs. But MAN what a tough call when Morse and Ankiel come back! I think Bernie deserves to stay up, and Tracy is the new Laynce Nix.

  17. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 7, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    Easy call. Bye bye Lombardozzi. Hello Espinosa at short from time to time and DaRosa, here's 2b.

  18. Mick - Apr 7, 2012 at 9:36 PM

    My guess is when all is healthy, we have a lineup of Ankiel in CF, Morse goes to LF, DeRosa and Bernidina on bench platooning

  19. Theophilus - Apr 7, 2012 at 9:36 PM

    Agree w/ N-Jack

  20. Mick - Apr 7, 2012 at 9:37 PM

    If LaRouche hits, he starts, if goes into slump, Morse at 1b and then Roger or DeRosa in outfield. Of course, once big boy comes up, all bets are off

  21. Anonymous - Apr 7, 2012 at 9:39 PM

    Anonymous said… that picture above"of gio gonzales" is an example of the inverted wWhy do people call it an inverted W. Why not just call it an M?

  22. The Fox - Apr 7, 2012 at 9:40 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said…Bye bye Lombardozzi.I think your right, If Bernie is playing well they will delay Ankiel as long as they can, they might even see if they sneak him through wavers although I doubt he makes it. So Lombo first Bernie second. Morse going to NY is a little worrisome. If the Nats say hes fine I'll really worry.

  23. LoveDaNats - Apr 7, 2012 at 9:44 PM

    These boys will be very fun to watch this year. Davey says they feel like they can win every game and they are starting to make me believe it. Pretty frickin bueno.

  24. Joe Seamhead - Apr 7, 2012 at 9:46 PM

    Ok, two down. ALR sure looked great today. Espy had a great at bat, hope it's just the start of a streak. I still think Werth will come around. Gio will be fine, he really got squeezed today.Bernie, Desi, and Zimm are all making solid contact.What can you say about the pen? Or Tracy? Davey's management is a treat to watch. The only thing that I'm really worried about is what happens to who when Morse and Ankiel, and then Storen and Wang are ready to come back. That's a series of executive decisions that I wouldn't want to have to make. Right now all I know is we are 2-0, in first place and our bench has been very productive. Like many of you, even realizing that it's only two games, I'm just gushing over our start!

  25. sjm308 - Apr 7, 2012 at 9:48 PM

    NatsJack has this right – Just like Lannan, its all about the options. As long as Tracy/Carroll/Bernadina are producing you keep them up. You could possibly try to get Tracy or Carrol through waivers and it might work but there is no reason with Lombo having options and its still a win/win since he will get valuable at bats in AAA.Hindsight is lovely but the vitrol spewed early about LaRoche/Werth/Rizzo etc is amazing when we are not ahead early. Is it that you people really don't know baseball or do you just want to hate? It is 162 games people. We are not going to win them all. If you are a fan, relax, nothing you spew here is going to make a difference (except it makes you look really stupid when we turn it around and win). Rizzo is a baseball man as is Davey and they know what they need. Werth will stay a starter, LaRoche is here for the year, Desmond will continue to leadoff, and Davey will go to the bullpen when he needs them because he built it the way he wanted. Lidge and HRod will alternate and Storen really better get well soon if he wants his spot.Mick, LaRoche does so much more then hit. Morse is not 50% of what LaRoche is in the field. I love Morse but LaRoche is our firstbaseman, get used to it.

  26. SayNoToClint - Apr 7, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    Gee, MASN HD is back in time for the Orioles game to start at 7

  27. NatsBrat - Apr 7, 2012 at 9:53 PM

    @ Anon. 5:02You're correct about the pitching motion. Too much stress on shoulder and elboe. Some teams won't draft/sign pitchers with the inverted W/M motion.Not sure that anyone connected to the Nats, from the FO down to pitching coaches in their minor leage system really cares.

  28. Joe Seamhead - Apr 7, 2012 at 10:01 PM

    Great post,sjm 308. One of my favorites out of the 800 some odd ones in past few days.

  29. NatsBrat - Apr 7, 2012 at 10:02 PM

    ALR is probably better than The Beast at picking up the thrown ball at the bag. Having played there his whole career, his experience counts big time.I do think that Morse might be slightly better than ALR at fielding off the bag.Anyway, we're fortunate to have both when they are producing up to their expectations.

  30. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 7, 2012 at 10:06 PM

    It's obvious that NatsBat had never pitched or caught maybe ever but certainly not since Little League.

  31. GoTeddy - Apr 7, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    Anonymous said…Why do people call it an inverted W. Why not just call it an M?——well .. my 3 year old calls the McDonalds sign an upside down curly W — must be more exposure to the Nats than to fast food!

  32. MicheleS - Apr 7, 2012 at 10:20 PM

    PFB!!!!! 2-0Tough decisions ahead. Glad Davey and Rizzo are doing it and not us.

  33. SonnyG10 - Apr 7, 2012 at 10:20 PM

    Two and oh to start the season. That is just fantastic. Too bad MASN went down during the best part. I did enjoy Charlie and Dave on the radio though. I wonder if MASN can air the complete game later, or is just totally lost.

  34. Joe Seamhead - Apr 7, 2012 at 10:21 PM

    Ankiel hit another dinger today.

  35. Wally - Apr 7, 2012 at 10:21 PM

    NJ – did you see Derosa at 2B in ST? If he can handle it, it makes sense to send down Lombo. If not, probably have to keep him.To me, Ankiel and Bernie offer the same thing. And with the recent talk about Werth to CF against LH, I think Carroll may go when Morse is back.

  36. Theophilus - Apr 7, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    If LaRoche has a few more days like this $8MM for 2013 will look pretty good.

  37. Anonymous - Apr 7, 2012 at 10:24 PM

    It'll be a very tough cut when Storen returns.Nope, it'll be Stammen because he still has options. But as Natsjack pointed out (and now having more than enough rope) the FO will string out Storen's recovery in Florida. Seems like the cold weather could bring about an injury but its been a mild year so … My guess is Bernadina over Chad Tracy. Tracy hits a clutch single and the Shark takes a bigger bite with a clutch double. They may be able to get Tracy through waivers … that won't happen with Bernadina … or Gorzelanny for that matter. Far too many teams need a guy who could be the #3 on many teams in Gorzelanny. People need to stop with the ridiculous and embarrassingly stupid attitude toward Gorzlanny and start acting like the Cubs fans who appear to be far more baseball savvy. Haven't heard one bad word about Gorzo from them because they understood what Jim Tracy did in abusing the guy (took him 2+ years to recover) and that he was still trying to come back to the pitcher he once was …

  38. Bueno Bryce - Apr 7, 2012 at 10:25 PM

    Dang ALR and our bench really do suck.

  39. The Fox - Apr 7, 2012 at 10:25 PM

    GoTeddy saidwell .. my 3 year old calls the McDonalds sign an upside down curly W There's a child that's being raised correctly;-)

  40. Anonymous - Apr 7, 2012 at 10:28 PM

    Easy call. Bye bye Lombardozzi. Hello Espinosa at short from time to time and DaRosa, here's 2b.Have to say this makes the most sense … Lombardozzi and Carroll for Ankiel and Morse. Syracuse has a real dearth of middle infielders … Seth Bynum at short today. Hoffpauir at second. Terrible … makes Maya's day against the Yankee's farm affiliate even more amazing 6 innings 4 strikeouts NO WALKS, and just 4 hits on 84 pitches.

  41. Anonymous - Apr 7, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    Make that 76 pitches for Maya … very efficient.

  42. natsfan1a - Apr 7, 2012 at 10:43 PM

    grrrrSayNoToClint said… Gee, MASN HD is back in time for the Orioles game to start at 7 April 07, 2012 5:49 PM

  43. NCNatsie - Apr 7, 2012 at 10:44 PM

    If the Cubs had our bullpen they'd be 2 – 0. What a 2-day performance by the Nats relievers! 5 different pitchers used7 1/3 innings0 runs2 hits0 inherited runners scored0.0 era9 k's2 bb's

  44. natsfan1a - Apr 7, 2012 at 10:45 PM

    For future reference, some of us switched over to the low-def MASN channel and were able to watch the rest of the game that way. SonnyG10 said… Two and oh to start the season. That is just fantastic. Too bad MASN went down during the best part. I did enjoy Charlie and Dave on the radio though. I wonder if MASN can air the complete game later, or is just totally lost. April 07, 2012 6:20 PM

  45. Anonymous - Apr 7, 2012 at 10:53 PM

    Too bad MASN went down during the best part.I watched the entire game on MASN HD on Cox Cable in Fairfax. If MASN went down for you, blame your cable system, not MASN.

  46. natsfan1a - Apr 7, 2012 at 10:54 PM

    You know, we're building a fan base here and we have all levels of baseball knowledge represented. Some have played the game, some may have watched it for years, some may be new to watching it. One thing we all have in common (I think), is that we care about and root for this team's success. Otherwise, why would we be reading and commenting here? Might it be possible to accept and allow for the various levels of knowledge of and appreciation for the game without resorting to questioning the intelligence or fandom of other commenters when we disagree with what they post? I know it's the interwebz and all but a gal can dream, right? Right? (cue The Impossible Dream ;-))

  47. Theophilus - Apr 7, 2012 at 10:56 PM

    NCNatsie — Not to mention Johnson has four fully-rested guys in the 'pen for tomorrow.

  48. Wendell - Apr 7, 2012 at 10:58 PM

    MASN is scheduled to rebroadcast the game at 11:30 tonight

  49. Anonymous - Apr 7, 2012 at 10:59 PM

    Send Werth to Hagerstown and never bring him back.

  50. natsfan1a - Apr 7, 2012 at 11:01 PM

    Spoiler alert: there's a delay of game in the 7th. ;-)Wendell said… MASN is scheduled to rebroadcast the game at 11:30 tonight April 07, 2012 6:58 PM

  51. Anonymous - Apr 7, 2012 at 11:10 PM

    Got full HD reception from MASN using mlb.com and the Internet. Talk to your cable provider.

  52. Anonymous - Apr 7, 2012 at 11:15 PM

    Might it be possible to accept and allow for the various levels of knowledge of and appreciation for the game without resorting to questioning the intelligence or fandom of other commenters when we disagree with what they post? Then there's the point that some here have made and that Sue Dinem/Luke Erickson is very poignant about when he constantly broaches it: Players and their families read these comments. I have no clue why but they do.From my perspective it seems better have an educated opinion about a player like Tom Gorzelanny, know his history and why the Nats like him instead of using him as a scape goat without any real justification. There are some cases when fan criticism is appropriate. BUT NOT in the cases of Ryan Mattheus and Tom Gorzleanny who are two parts of what may be the best bullpen in baseball right now.

  53. Anonymous - Apr 7, 2012 at 11:21 PM

    Two homers today for Prince … he was very excited about becoming a Nat … its really a shame that couldn't happen … hopefully the silver lining is Adam LaRoche trying to prove that he isn't irrelevant that he can wield a dangerous left-handed bat.

  54. Slidell - Apr 7, 2012 at 11:45 PM

    Don't envy making the decision as to who to send down. Hope Davey and Mike are on the same page this time. Apparently they weren't with Lannan.

  55. whatsanattau - Apr 7, 2012 at 11:49 PM

    - I had no interruption on DirecTV. Sounds like a Verizon problem not a MASN problem. But who knows.- I think Nady goes down for Morse. I realize that puts him at risk, but there are four current roster spots to swap out in April if we're lucky. Morse, Ankiel, Storen, and Wang.Morse – NadyAnkiel – BernadinaStoren – MatheusWang – StammenAssuming no other injuries. Options aside, I don't think they can go without a backup middle infielder and if Lombo leaves, DeRosa has to stay on the bench. Not plausible.Carrol could go instead of one of the above, but he also appears to be needed as a CF backup. So what do you do with Bernadina? I think they'll try to trade him, but he might have to accept assignment or release. A shame. But he is replaceable and probably would not survive the Harper call up anyway.

  56. Waddu eye no - Apr 7, 2012 at 11:50 PM

    Masn ok on directv. But still set the tivo to pause and listened to charlie& dave

  57. whatsanattau - Apr 7, 2012 at 11:52 PM

    Oh, and if memory serves, Bernadina has never been that good as a pinch hitter and while he is probably a better defender than Morse, you would not put him in defensively for Ankiel or Werth.

  58. DHamm - Apr 8, 2012 at 12:31 AM

    I have Loudoun Comcast and had no interruption of MASN.

  59. Cwj - Apr 8, 2012 at 12:38 AM

    Anon 7:15- Who was using Gorzelanny as a scape goat? He hasn't even pitched yet :-) You quoted me, but all I said was that when Storen comes back it'll be a tough decision on who to cut from the bullpen.I also said Gorzelanny and Stammen were effective relievers.I must have missed a post about Gorzelanny.

  60. Cwj - Apr 8, 2012 at 12:42 AM

    DHamm- I have Comcast as well (WV) and didn't experience any problems with MASN.Looks like it was a problem specific to other cable providers perhaps.

  61. lls45 - Apr 8, 2012 at 12:44 AM

    Anon at 6:24 — Who was the unsung here of the day? Craig Stammen. Who stopped the Cubs' rally and kept them in check for two more innings so we could have a chance to come back? Craig Stammen. So I wouldn't be so quick to say that Stammen will be sent down when Storen returns. Mattheus had a great day too, and yet he also has options remaining.And great job by ALR! Maybe he won't be a slow starter this year, after all.

  62. lls45 - Apr 8, 2012 at 12:48 AM

    …oops, meant unsung hero

  63. Anonymous - Apr 8, 2012 at 4:21 AM

    Gah! Mick stop putting a U in LaRoche's name it's driving me crazy. It's written correctly EVERYWHERE. Everyone else, you're = you are.back to your regularly scheduled program…

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 73 54 --
ATLANTA 68 61 6.0
MIAMI 64 63 9.0
NEW YORK 60 69 14.0
PHILADELPHIA 57 71 17.5
Through Friday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
SAT: Giants at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Giants at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Nats at Mariners, 10:10 p.m.
Full season schedule

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TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
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