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Instant analysis: Nats 4, Reds 1

Apr 14, 2012, 10:40 PM EDT

Associated Press photo
Edwin Jackson continued this remarkable stretch of dominance by Nats pitching.

Game in a nutshell: Another day, another brilliant pitching performance. Edwin Jackson was the latest member of the rotation to do it, going the distance while allowing only one run on two hits. Adam LaRoche had another big, two-run double in the third, and Jesus Flores and Jayson Werth each drove in a run to lead the first-place Nationals to their fifth straight win.

Hitting highlight: He doesn't get much playing time now that he's backing up Wilson Ramos, but Jesus Flores sure is making the most of the opportunities he gets. The Nationals one-time "Catcher of the Future" went 3-for-3 with an RBI and a walk, making him a robust 6-for-10 at the plate this season. Not that Davey Johnson is about to make a change behind the plate, but it's always nice to know Flores is capable of producing when called upon.

Pitching highlight: Edwin Jackson had been the lone member of the Nationals rotation yet to put forth a dominant start. He certainly threw his hat into the ring today, big-time. Jackson went the distance,Read more ยป

  1. JaneB - Apr 14, 2012 at 10:42 PM

    Incredibly fast, Mark! ANd the Caps just won, too! Great day for sports in DC.

  2. Anonymous - Apr 14, 2012 at 10:48 PM

    Huzzah!

  3. spike94wl - Apr 14, 2012 at 10:50 PM

    This is exactly what a bullpen needs after a 13 inning marathon. Well done!!

  4. Nattydread - Apr 14, 2012 at 10:50 PM

    Wow. Great performance by Jackson. Thanks for the LaRoche-Fielder comparison. I'm eating a healthy spoonful of crow.

  5. Drew - Apr 14, 2012 at 10:58 PM

    EJAX came up huge for the pen. We've got hard-tossing Ross on Sunday and then we're back to Strasburg. How great is that?I know it's early, but it's like watching a different Beatle take the mic every day.Hooray for the Fab Five. GYFNG!!!

  6. Dryw - Apr 14, 2012 at 11:09 PM

    Fab Five, Drew…I love it! After watching his grin when he got that base hit on Thursday, I'm voting for Gio as "the cute one."

  7. The Fox - Apr 14, 2012 at 11:14 PM

    This is going to sound over the top or crazy but EJAX pitched a better game here than he did with his no hitter. A 92 pitch complete game with 9! Strike outs!Those are the numbers of an elite pitcher. This is not the Astros or San Diego all I can say is OMG. Is this pitching staff really this good? Pitchers are usually ahead of hitters but this is ridiculous. I guess Detwiler is on the spot now.

  8. baseballswami - Apr 14, 2012 at 11:16 PM

    All I can say is — is this a dream?

  9. Anonymous - Apr 14, 2012 at 11:17 PM

    Wow. I'll bet Craig Stammen is steamed that he didn't get the chance for another win today.

  10. UNTERP - Apr 14, 2012 at 11:17 PM

    baseballswami said… All I can say is — is this a dream?It is a dream. Please don't wake up…

  11. UNTERP - Apr 14, 2012 at 11:18 PM

    At the All Star game why don't they just send the entire Nats starting rotation and bullpen?

  12. NationalsFanatic - Apr 14, 2012 at 11:23 PM

    "All I can say is — is this a dream?"If it is a dream, then it is a good one!

  13. SFNats - Apr 14, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    "All I can say is — is this a dream?"The impossible dream. Wow!

  14. MicheleS - Apr 14, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    JaneB and UnkydWOOOOOOO HOOOOOOO!!! Losing my voice! EJax was awesome!Excellent crowd today and met NatsJack

  15. The Fox - Apr 14, 2012 at 11:31 PM

    baseballswami,Now you can say they won their first 3 series. ;-)

  16. fpcsteve - Apr 14, 2012 at 11:32 PM

    Wish I could go to a Nats game. I'll have to settle for a Royals game. Not quite the same… I'm envious of you guys living in the DC metro area. Get out the brooms for the Reds. Go Nats!

  17. Mick - Apr 14, 2012 at 11:36 PM

    could we be the 1970 O's? lolIn all seriousness, this shows that MLB is all about pitching. Our offense the first 9 games I bet is worse or on par with any other Nats team since 2005. If we begin to hit, are we talking 100 wins?

  18. UnkyD - Apr 14, 2012 at 11:39 PM

    OK… Seriously. Let's put out an APB on Steve M. If anybody can tell us that he's well… I'd like to hear that….

  19. Mick - Apr 14, 2012 at 11:49 PM

    great DC sports day, Nats 7-2 and Caps win too

  20. Nats in Athens - Apr 15, 2012 at 12:00 AM

    Not sure I go with the weak offense comments I keep reading.It may not be (yet) on par with our pitching but we are getting the hits and we are showing patience at the plate. And the guys we need to deliver are all hitting the ball (except Zim).

  21. baseballswami - Apr 15, 2012 at 12:09 AM

    The Fox – thanks for not letting me accidentally jinx it yesterday! Woo Hoo!

  22. Scott from Burke - Apr 15, 2012 at 12:09 AM

    "Not that Davey Johnson is about to make a change behind the plate"why not? if a guy hits .600 you don't put him on the bench..if he goes 0 fer 5, ok, but if he's red hot write his name in there

  23. DHamm - Apr 15, 2012 at 12:10 AM

    "K Street"! Wow!

  24. Anonymous - Apr 15, 2012 at 12:19 AM

    fpcsteve — Royals looking to brawl today with the Indians. Benches cleared.

  25. Rabbit - Apr 15, 2012 at 12:20 AM

    Holy Crap! This sceptic is beginning to believe! GO NATIONALS!!??…

  26. baseballswami - Apr 15, 2012 at 12:21 AM

    I think there is a difference this year in how the guys are carrying themselves. There is not quite a swagger, but confidence, intensity and a bulldog quality that I like a lot. This may have been just the perfect time for the Natitude campaign. I don't know what else to call it – it's just Natitude.

  27. NatsLady - Apr 15, 2012 at 12:22 AM

    If you can have two "closers" why not two catchers? Who says you have to have a primary and a backup. Davey doesn't go by conventional wisdom. So why trade Flores for an outfielder? Go with what ya got.

  28. Rabbit - Apr 15, 2012 at 12:22 AM

    Just thinking…..do we have 5 stoppers!!??

  29. sjm308 - Apr 15, 2012 at 12:29 AM

    I am so excited for this team! Can't wait to actually sit in our "real" seats on Monday for SS.Please, please please stop trying to be GM's. This team likes each other, they play hard and we don't need anything!!! Sure we have some guys not hitting but its 162 games. What we DO have is pitchers that are lights out!!I think I mentioned that EJ would be one of the best #4 guys in the majors and when CMW comes back he will be the best #5. Our top 3 are super. This really is the year, and next year could be even better.So happy for LaRoche and Werth. When Zimm gets hot & he will, we will be even better. I do realize we will lose in the near future but for now I will continue to wear my Red Home Curly W and have it on for the SIXTH STRAIGHT DAY!!!Bullpen is now reloaded and ready to go which is great because I am guessing Detwiler will only give us 6 shutout innings.Go Nat! ps: agree with NatsLady – Don't trade anyone!!

  30. NatsBrat - Apr 15, 2012 at 12:31 AM

    Flores needs to play more—c'mon Davey, go with the Flo!!!!!

  31. Scott from Burke - Apr 15, 2012 at 12:32 AM

    "Please, please please stop trying to be GM's"perhaps we should suspend all independent thought and agree to cheer in unison…what fun..as opposed to thinking about how we might improve the team and expressing those thoughts

  32. Scott from Burke - Apr 15, 2012 at 12:35 AM

    off topic, but Ryan Callahan of the New York Rangers is such an amazing hockey player..LETS GO RANGERS!!

  33. bdrube - Apr 15, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    Wow – I was lucky enough to be at the stadium Opening Day and today for the two best performances by a Nats starter since Strasburg's debut. Before that, the best for me was Ramon Ortiz's near no-no back in 2006. Unlike that one, these last two were not flukes!

  34. sm13 - Apr 15, 2012 at 12:38 AM

    I was at the game and the atmosphere was as electric as I've ever seen it. Lots of comments about how far we've come and how this is the new world for the Nats. I know folks love to bash Rizzo, but you've got to give him his due. He's brought the team to this point and the future is even brighter.Go Nats!!!

  35. Scott from Burke - Apr 15, 2012 at 12:44 AM

    The #1 starter is the guy who starts opening day…#2 starts the second game, and if one pitcher on your staff is clearly superior to the other starter's he's your ace (simlified, yes, and not the case with this Nats team…yet) But, the 2..3..4 doesn't mean anything…the 5 starter can if they skip his spot in the rotation thanks to off days, but if he goes each time it makes no difference..based on a small sampling (Detwiler with the one game) the starters are pretty much equal (Yes, Stras has electric stuff and sells lots of tix)…RIGHT NOW, April 14th, for the 2012 season, based on their record considering the way this team has hit (poorly) this rotation is fantastic..don't buy world series tickets yet but they are awfully impressive

  36. Tim - Apr 15, 2012 at 12:55 AM

    Bryce who?Who needs hitters when we have the Fab Five!?!

  37. natsfan1a - Apr 15, 2012 at 12:57 AM

    Awesome game and a good crowd today, though some in my section left in the bottom of the 8th, after Jackson had batted. I'm thinking, hello? He's going for a complete game here. It doesn't happen every day, you know. This is going on my list of fave in person games, which included a couple of other complete games (by Patterson and Livo).On other note, just saw the very cute pic of The Kid in the game thread. Thanks for sharing it with us, Mark. Now we know how the instant analysis posts get up so fast – Brian types them. :-)

  38. Anonymous - Apr 15, 2012 at 1:02 AM

    why not? if a guy hits .600 you don't put him on the bench..if he goes 0 fer 5, ok, but if he's red hot write his name in thereDoh? I think they've played in NINE games. Flores has caught in 4 PLUS he was brought in to hit and catch on a double switch in another.I think Davey his way ahead of you. He's keeping both catchers active and involved.

  39. ehay2k - Apr 15, 2012 at 1:03 AM

    Dhamm, I heard about K Street from you, just to give credit where it's due. This rotation is sick! The bullpen is even better. I have been to two games now, and they are basically unhittable. Huge credit to our two starting catchers. Both call a great game.Odalis Perez, John Patterson, Shawn Hill, Tim Redding, thanks to you all for your service, and for showing us how far the team has come!

  40. Scott from Burke - Apr 15, 2012 at 1:05 AM

    Hey Anonymous (is that correct?) i wasn't speaking to the manager as much as I was writing to the person who wrote the line "Not that Davey Johnson is about to make a change behind the plate"DOH!

  41. bdrube - Apr 15, 2012 at 1:07 AM

    @sm13 – anyone who bashes Rizzo is an idiot. Okay, some of his moves haven't worked out–show me a GM who has a flawless record. Compare where we were just three short years ago when he took over to right now. Night and day. Most incredible to me is he managed to flush what had been one of the worst bullpens any team has ever been saddled with and quickly built an elite unit for which the loss of the closer for three months is hardly more than a hiccup. I guarantee you if the Nats were to let him go, half-a-dozen teams would immediately be inquiring about his services.

  42. Theophilus - Apr 15, 2012 at 1:10 AM

    Jackson pitched the best game of his career, including his 8 BB no-hitter. This was an E. Jackson unlike any ever seen previously in nearly ten years in the ML. Getting 27 outs in only 92 pitches is a level of efficiency that would be superlative if he was pitching in the Vienna Little League. If he even approaches this level on a few more occasions I'll eat every unkind word I ever said about him.

  43. Anonymous - Apr 15, 2012 at 1:10 AM

    could we be the 1970 O's? lol1969 O's? The O's the Miracle Mets beat? NO. They had Frank Robinson in right field. This team has Jayson Werth. No comparison. MVP in 2 leagues was Robinson. Outfield of Buford, Blair, Robinson? Boog Powell at first base? No comparison O's by a landslide. Shortstop. second base, third base, and catcher are a different story.Bullpen: Nats win that one.Starters: Cuellar, McNally, Palmer … and then pick 'em. versus Strasburg, Gonzalez, Zimmermann, Jackson, and Detwiler? Nats win this one … still young by comparison though …

  44. Scott from Burke - Apr 15, 2012 at 1:13 AM

    The 69 Mets had a fantastic rotation..so good they had Nolan Ryan on the bullpen..they're best pitcher, HOF'er Tom Seaver, lost game 1, and they proceeded to win the next 4…starting 2B on the O's? Davey Johnson

  45. Anonymous - Apr 15, 2012 at 1:16 AM

    "Not that Davey Johnson is about to make a change behind the plate"As I said, I think he already has done just that … just that no one was watching. But the two catchers know. The bar is about to be raised in that competition all to the betterment of the Nats both offensively and defensively. Johnson was instrumental in bringing Flores in. He was someone Johnson saw while working for JimBo as a consultant. They sent him out to watch the Mets for potential rule 5 acquisitions. That's what Johnson came back with. Did you know that? Johnson clearly LIKES Flores a lot. But Johnson likes competition even more. If the Nats has Nieves as the backup to Ramos how many games do you think Nieves would have appeared in by now? I would guess NONE. Except perhaps as a late inning replacement or after one of the extra innings games.

  46. rps_94 - Apr 15, 2012 at 1:18 AM

    My Natitude goes to . . . 11. Why? Because it goes.

  47. MicheleS - Apr 15, 2012 at 1:19 AM

    Scott.. good link! I see you have had some Koolaid today! I over indulged with the Koolaid today at the park and lost my voice… Lots of WOOOOHOOOOOing.

  48. rps_94 - Apr 15, 2012 at 1:19 AM

    Uh . . . does.

  49. Anonymous - Apr 15, 2012 at 1:19 AM

    The 69 Mets had a fantastic rotation..so good they had Nolan Ryan on the bullpen..they're best pitcher, HOF'er Tom Seaver, lost game 1,You mean Seaver, Koosman, and Gentry plus Ryan. Ryan was the perfect closer at the time. Still wild but controllable in short spurts. Again I'd take Strasburg, Gonzalez, Zimmermann, Jackson and Detwiler over that rotation given the way they've been pitching. The Mets were also pretty young. I'd still take this rotation.

  50. Scott from Burke - Apr 15, 2012 at 1:22 AM

    I have a thing for Seaver..and the 88 Dodgers showed if you have one dominant starter (and, in one game closer) and weak hitting you can win it all…I cannot say no to having George Thomas Seaver on my baseball team

  51. Scott from Burke - Apr 15, 2012 at 1:26 AM

    of course the 88 dodgers only had to get through 2 series, not the 3 (or 4) of today

  52. sjm308 - Apr 15, 2012 at 1:33 AM

    Scott: I also loved Seaver and have his rookie card.I never was asking anyone to suspend their thought process. I guess what I should of said was "in my opinon", no changes are needed to this team as long as they are playing well together and seem to really enjoy each other. I just hate making changes to something that is working. Its actually fun to play GM but right now I really like what I am seeing and my glass has always been half full to overflowing. I just love baseball!!, and having it back after such a long lapse makes it even more special.

  53. Scott from Burke - Apr 15, 2012 at 1:35 AM

    sjm..if you mail me Seaver's rookie car all is forgiven and I will subsribe to your newsletter

  54. SweetBlues - Apr 15, 2012 at 1:48 AM

    Believe, Rabbit. It feels good ~

  55. natsfan1a - Apr 15, 2012 at 2:04 AM

    That was a great story, Scott. Thanks for the link. Loved McCatty's "Full Metal Jacket" reference. :-)

  56. UnkyD - Apr 15, 2012 at 2:06 AM

    Sweet link, Scott…thanks!

  57. SFNats - Apr 15, 2012 at 2:14 AM

    could we be the 1970 O's? lol1969 O's? The O's the Miracle Mets beat?NO. They had Frank Robinson in right field. This team has Jayson Werth. No comparison. MVP in 2 leagues was Robinson. Outfield of Buford, Blair, Robinson? Boog Powell at first base? No comparison O's by a landslide. Shortstop. second base, third base, and catcher are a different story.I'm pretty sure that he actually meant the 1971 O's…the last team with 4 20-game winners.

  58. sjm308 - Apr 15, 2012 at 3:13 AM

    Scott: nice try but that baby (along with a few others) is in a nice plastic case and I will let my boys fight over who gets which cards!!Funny thing is, I have never been a Mets fan but my son went and married a girl from Queens who used to work at Shea so I now have to at least be polite around her. She gets the David Wright rookie card, he gets the Ryan Zimmerman collection which grows each month.

  59. Scott - Apr 15, 2012 at 3:19 AM

    i was a mets fan..the team disinegrated (yeah, they traded him) and i was swallowed up by the steve garvey image…became a dodgers fan..still my fave team…but i obviously keep close tabs on my local team

  60. Nats in Athens - Apr 15, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    I would love to see Tyler Moore get a chance at the ML level. He has been great the past two years and seems to be handling AAA well. He may be an answer if he can transition to LF. I also think that the best thing that ever happened to this club was Riggleman resigning last June.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 90 64 --
ATLANTA 76 78 14.0
NEW YORK 75 80 15.5
MIAMI 74 80 16.0
PHILADELPHIA 71 84 19.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Saturday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON (5) 90 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 88 67 2.5
ST. LOUIS 87 68 3.5
-------------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 70 6.0 +1.0
PITTSBURGH 83 71 7.0 --
MILWAUKEE 80 75 10.5 3.5
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Saturday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

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ON THE RADIO

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TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
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