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Instant analysis: Astros 11, Nats 4

Apr 20, 2012, 2:13 AM EDT

US Presswire photo
Edwin Jackson was torched for five runs in the top of the first inning.

Game in a nutshell: So much for the tried-and-true format of great pitching and a couple of late hits. Edwin Jackson put the Nationals in a 5-0 hole in the top of the first, but his teammates nearly bailed him out. Ryan Zimmerman's three-run homer in the third cut the lead to 5-4 and gave the home club some hope. But the Astros piled on Tom Gorzelanny during a five-run sixth, turning this game into a rout and denying the Nats a shot at their first-ever four-game sweep.

Hitting highlight: It didn't count for much in the end, but Zimmerman's three-run bomb in the bottom of the third was the latest sign that the Face of the Franchise's bat is starting to come around. Zimmerman already had five hits in his last 11 at-bats entering this game. He had hit several balls hard over the last two weeks, but that blast into the left-field bullpen was his first home runs of the season.

Pitching lowlight: Take your pick: Edwin Jackson or Tom Gorzelanny? At least Jackson rebounded from his five-run first inning to keep theRead more ยป

  1. whatsanattau - Apr 20, 2012 at 2:19 AM

    settle down folks, there's no justification for demoting anyone over one night's bad performance. Tomorrow the Fish.

  2. bdrube - Apr 20, 2012 at 2:28 AM

    I'll give Jackson a pass as he may still have been a little tired after the complete game shutout. But what the heck is Gorzo's excuse for getting lit up like a neon Christmas tree by such a weak lineup? He probably won't be sent down yet, but a couple of more performances like that one and I'd gather he'll be out of here when Wang returns. For anyone wondering: at Syracuse, Ryan Perry has a 3.00 ERA and a 1.167 WHIP, but in just six innings. The other possibility is our old friend Yunesky Maya, who is 2.60/.0865 in three starts. You figure Rizzo would love to actually get some return for the money the team spent on Maya if he has actually managed to finally figure things out.

  3. Grandstander - Apr 20, 2012 at 2:54 AM

    I can't believe Gorzo even got tendered. He's making over $2 million! Maya was always decent the first time through the lineup, it was always the second and third time through he had nothing left to show and would get hammered. Splits from last season:In innings 1-3, opponents slashed .200/.245/.320In innings 4-6, opponents slashed .429/.484/.607Gorzo is pretty much here only to mop up, and if he can't even do that, I don't really see the purpose in keeping him.Yes I know it's just 1 game and you don't cut a guy for 1 game but his inability to get outs cost us bullpen arms we may need the next 3 days. He wasn't facing the Dodgers out there, if he can't get it done, there's guys who will.

  4. Erik - Apr 20, 2012 at 2:59 AM

    Couple thoughts on the game tonight:-Don't understand why Davey pulled Jackson after 5. He is really giving guys a quick hook so far this year. I understand he wants to conserve pitches, and we have a good pen, but why take guys out when they are cruising and have fewer than 90 pitches in 1-run games.-Good to see Zim pull the ball tonight. I still wish he would stand a little closer to the plate to take advantage of that power stroke. I realize he is a great opposite field hitter, but everyone pitches him away. Those outside pitches might be easier to drive to left-center if he wasn't so far off of the plate. I know the guy's a great hitter, but it is awfully hard to put up power numbers when you have to drive everything the other way.-Really hope to see Tyler Moore get a shot in LF very soon. I know he hasn't played out there, but how many tough plays have we seen out there in LF with our pitching staff. Not many. The hitting right now from Bernadina, Nady, DeRosa, and Ankiel is putrid, so why not find out if Moore can hit at the big league level.-Hopefully by June or July we have an outfield of Morse, Werth, Harper vs. RH and Moore vs. LH, and Ankiel for defense. I realize Harper is not lighting it up right now, but he is also facing a lot of LH pitching and is playing in games with an average temperature of about 50 degrees. He also seems to be providing some protection for Moore at the moment.-Gotta believe when Wang comes back Gorzo is outta here. Never really understood the purpose of a LH long-reliever anyways.

  5. Anonymous - Apr 20, 2012 at 3:13 AM

    One game – it happend to EVERY team in 162 games. No one should be demoted or cut from 1 game. Relax. The real test starts tomorrow.

  6. sjm308 - Apr 20, 2012 at 3:15 AM

    That was ugly!Just got back and the blue hat is now on the bottom of the pile.Will not read the game posts because I am sure everyone wants Gorzelanny gone along with others.I would definitely question Davey about pulling Jackson. He had retired 12 out of the last 13 and was under 90 pitches. It made no sense to me.There was one good thing about tonight. I got to meet MichelleS who took my advice on Justin's and also tried to say hi to NatsJack before he headed out and was successful with that as well. Kinda neat that people who are from Fla and Va.& Md and who up until tonight were like imaginary voices now can at least put a face to a avatar or whatever. Can't wait to meet my first Anon (as long as he is not pouring beer). Wish I felt good about winning that 5th series in a row. Go Nats!! safe trip home NatsJack

  7. Cwj - Apr 20, 2012 at 3:16 AM

    Didn't watch or follow the game online, (DVR'd it and will watch tomorrow), but ouch! Not a pretty box score to look at. The team ERA went up quite a bit. Oh well, it was bound to happen some time. The "Holy Law of Averages" caught up to them today. :-)Jackson tends to have a game like this every now and then (looking through his 2011 game log). His 5-1 SO/BB rate was good tonight at least. Perhaps like Erik said he should have pitched another inning.As for Gorzelanny? Well I'll reserve judgement until I watch the game. Amazingly, the Nats staff has still only given up 2 homers all season!Marlins coming to town! Time to put them in their place. I have a feeling it is going to be a tense, emotional series.Go 10-4 Nats!

  8. John C. - Apr 20, 2012 at 3:24 AM

    Jackson pitched worse than Gorzelanny. For Gorzelanny, it was just one of those games. Go through the sixth inning. Both of the hits by lefties were pop flies into short LF, and two of the other hits were flares into short CF. None were well hit. Another hit was the roller to third that Zimmerman muffed – probably trying to turn the DP before the ball got to him. Honestly, the Nats' defense that inning was as bad or worse than Gorzelanny. From Lombo laying back and not charging a potential DP, to Zim muffing another potential DP, to Shark pulling up on Altuve's ball that didn't even reach the wall (the only hard hit ball of the inning), the Nats did not flash the leather in the 6th.Sometimes the BaBIP Gods are kind, sometimes they aren't. It was one of those nights where everything Gorzelanny threw was getting pushed somewhere where no one could make a play. It happens. Tip your cap to the Astros, get ready for what should be a good series against the Marlins.

  9. Anonymous - Apr 20, 2012 at 3:26 AM

    Caps won.

  10. Section 222 - Apr 20, 2012 at 3:38 AM

    Back from the game. @Cwj, if I may be so bold as to offer some unsolicited advice, save yourself the heartburn and don't watch the DVR'd game. Or stop after the bottom of the 3rd once you see Zim's homerun, and pretend we still have a chance to win it. Jackson got hit hard in the 1st, but certainly settled down and did well. Too bad he couldn't stop the bleeding a 1 or 2 runs instead of 5. Edwin Jackson and Mr. Hyde someone called him. Gorzo couldn't buy an out in the 6th, and he wasn't helped by the doubleswitch — Nady just doesn't get a good jump on the ball in left. Bernadina might have caught at least one of those hits. I figure being forced to sit through this one in the park was my punishment for drinking too much Kool-Aid the last few days. But Detwiler is up tomorrow and is well rested and due for a good game after his so-so start on Sunday, and then Strasburg and Gio over the weekend. No losing streaks here folks. The real test for this team will be the road trip out west and then back to face the D-backs and the Phillies. If we're still in first place on May 7 …. well, I'm not sure how I'll be able to handle the excitement.

  11. Feel Wood - Apr 20, 2012 at 4:02 AM

    denying the Nats a shot at their first-ever four-game sweep.Four game home sweep, that is. They swept a four game series with the Phillies in Citizens Bank Park last September, remember?Personally, I blame the lack of a sweep at home on the Nats' idiotic anti-broom policy.

  12. Cwj - Apr 20, 2012 at 4:06 AM

    Sec 222- Thanks for the warning :-)That bad huh? Well, I'll at least forward over the bad innings and maybe watch Burnett pitch.He's been the quiet man so far this year. The boxscore says 1 IP, nothing given up and 2 Ks.I'll also watch the Zimm home run, as you suggested.Thanks again for the warning :-)

  13. Whatsanattau - Apr 20, 2012 at 4:15 AM

    So Detwiler should be clear to go 90 pitches tomorrow. Keeping Stamen fresh fo Saturday or sunday is a possible strategy considering possible rain delays. I am expecting Bernadina in left again.

  14. Cwj - Apr 20, 2012 at 5:04 AM

    Whatsanattau- Yeah it looks like Davey will be gradually increasing Detwiler's outings. 90 pitches should get him through 6 innings. A couple of the many stats (its fun!) that I've been keeping for the Nats pitchers is average Pitches per Inning (P/IP), and Pitches per game pitched (P/G). Also the avg. Innings Pitched per Game (IP/G)Here are the results so far for the rotation:1- Strasburg: 14.9 P/IP, 94.3 P/G, 6.3 IP/G2- Gonzalez: 14.8 P/IP, 87.3 P/G, 5.9 IP/G3- Zimmermann: 12.7 P/IP, 88.7 P/G, 7.0 IP/G4- Jackson: 13.6 P/IP, 86.3 P/G, 6.3 IP/G5- Detwiler: 15.2 P/IP, 76.0 P/G, 5.0 IP/GNotice that Strasburg is the only one to average over 90 pitches per start. Davey has been fairly conservative with the pitchers early in the season. That's definitely reasonable, given that its a Marathon and Not a Sprint! :D

  15. Gonat - Apr 20, 2012 at 7:48 AM

    After Zim got the team back to 5-4 with his 3 run HR, the killer instinct to jump on the pitcher stopped. This team has to lay big crooked numbers on the other team when they have them on the ropes. That's what good teams do.

  16. baseballswami - Apr 20, 2012 at 10:32 AM

    Meet the Houston Astros – the team that is not as bad as people think it is! I also don't understand the early hook. He left Strassie, the only one with any medical concerns, in over a hundred but pulled stronger pitchers who were doing fine. I understand pulling JZ for offense, but Jackson had gotten it together. By the way, our pitchers can handle a bat and field well. Positives – usually four runs is enough. Players with one or two Z's on their jerseys are good. Love Lombo! I think at some point this game was sacrificed so as not to screw up the fish series. These guys will need to step it up this weekend.

  17. Sunderland - Apr 20, 2012 at 11:04 AM

    On the positive side, EJax had a bunch of really nice looking hacks at the plate. The only guy in Syracuse who could take Gorzelanny's spot is Severino. He can't be replaced with a right handed arm. But Gorzelanny's days are numbered. One big date coming up for him is when Wang is ready to come back. Someone's gotta leave the rotation. That would be Detwiler? If so, where do you put the lefty? In the bullpen? As the long lefty?

  18. natsfan1a - Apr 20, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    Nice to see you getting posts through, Sunderland! Agree re. Jackson at the dish. Enjoyed watching him hit in person last Sunday as well, and like the way he regrouped after the first inning last night.

  19. Rabbit - Apr 20, 2012 at 11:24 AM

    Spurts and sputter. Mostly sputter. That's our hitting. It has to come along or it's "wait 'till next year". But, it will be a competitive season. We have won all our series so far!! It is first place if we do that. GO NATIONALS!!

  20. carolync - Apr 20, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    There's no harm in giving some credit to the Astros for coming out loaded for bear and not letting up. I had a feeling we might be in trouble when I saw Altuve was batting second. They have the makings of an exciting team.I had a great view of Zimmerman's home run and it was a beauty. It cried out for Bang! Zoom! Go the Fireworks! That horn just doesn't convey the proper sense of joy.Lombardozzi's hitting continues to impress.I'm anxious to see how well they bounce back against the dreaded Marlins.Go Nats!

  21. Rabbit - Apr 20, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    What's up with Werthless? He looks like an old man at the plate. Swings like an old lady.

  22. bdrube - Apr 20, 2012 at 11:41 AM

    @Rabbit: I dunno…he's only batting .327/.426/.849. All of our players should swing like an old lady, I guess.

  23. MicheleS - Apr 20, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    Well that was a stinker! Good to get this one out of the way before the fish come to town. NatsJack.. safe travels back to FL.

  24. sjm308 - Apr 20, 2012 at 11:59 AM

    Good Morning!Feel has this right! If I could have brought my broom I think Davey would have left EJ in the game and things would have changed but no sense looking back. Was also impressed with Jackson's plate appearances. I guess every series is important but how good will we be feeling if we win 2 of 3 from the fish!!!I am now off to baseball reference to find out the record for number of triples in one inning. Still think the 3rd triple should have been a double with an error on Ramos. The ball was there ahead of Lee and I realize its not an easy play but its one I thought should be made at the major league level. I have not seen a replay so this is just looking at it from 308. It is amazing how hard they were hitting the ball in the first inning and then Jackson basically shut them down.Go Nats!!

  25. NatsLady - Apr 20, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    Saw very little of the game, but did see RZ nice homerun and Werth swinging at three pitches nowhere close to the zone, as did several others. Apparently, Norris gave up on the heater and brought in a wicked slider.How long have the Nationals been in the NL? According to the Padres' TV announcer, Laynce Nix "Spent last year with the Senators." His partner must have nudged him, because he then said, "Oh, I mean the Nationals, he was with the Nationals."

  26. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 20, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    @Nats Jack I understand we went to the same High School and you caught Tom Bradley when he was there.General comment. We won the series, and that is always my goal, win every series, and if you do you will love where you end up. Now lets go win the series against the Marlins.

  27. Anonymous - Apr 20, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    Room 222 said…"and he wasn't helped by the doubleswitch — Nady just doesn't get a good jump on the ball in left."I was sitting down in the LF Corner last night. Nady was not to blame.

  28. sjm308 - Apr 20, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    Manassas & NatsJack – I worked with Tom Bradley when he was the head coach at Maryland!! It was not a happy time as the athletic programs were facing financial crisis (Deja Vue!!) but he was super.OK – I need help. I learned all about the triple but could not find the record for triples in one inning by a team. I did find out the Gil Coan of your Washington Senators hit 2 in one inning. I found out Ty Cobb has the most with 295. I found out the Orioles have the record for fewest in a season with just 11 in 1998. I found out Stan Musial led the National League 5 times is a record. But I can't find a single site that can give me records for triples in an inning. mlb has an article saying the Astro's tied their club record so I am guessing someone else has hit 4 but I can't find it. Lots more triples between 1900 and 1925 and then along came BABE!!

  29. baseballswami - Apr 20, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    Michele S — I agree with you about getting the stinker out of the way. We had already taken 3 of 4, have the fish coming to town and were on a win streak. You just knew the bubble was going to burst. So now it has – the team needs to eat it , look in the mirror and buckle down. I want a fish fry in the worst way and I hope the team does, too!!! Hanley is hot, we will have to be good.

  30. NatsLady - Apr 20, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    sjm308 — did you find this record page on triples?baseball almanachttp://www.baseball-almanac.com/recbooks/rb_trip1.shtml

  31. HHover - Apr 20, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    MicheleS has it right. That was a stinker. Let's admit that and move on without too much gnashing of the cyber-teeth:1. With due regard for our esteemed host, deciding whether EJax or Gorzo was worse is a pointless exercise. Both got lit up. 2. On the positive side, EJax settled down after the first, and didn't give up any BBs. 3. As for Gorzo–well, there's not that much of a positive side. But he's still not going anywhere based on this one performance, with CMW's return date still TBA. 4. I was glad to see Burnett in there last night. I'd been wondering (and still wonder) what's up with those back spasms, and if he might be headed to the DL in the future.

  32. NatsLady - Apr 20, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    From wikipedia:4 triples in a game. George Strief, June 25, 1885; Bill Joyce, May 18, 1897.Doesn't give the inning.

  33. natsfan1a - Apr 20, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    Here's the Baseball Almanac record page for triples by team (as opposed to for specific players).

  34. DFL - Apr 20, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    Tom Milone won last night. For the A's.

  35. A DC Wonk - Apr 20, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    Rabbit said… What's up with Werthless? He looks like an old man at the plate.You've been waiting, what, all year to write that? Last night was the first game all season in which he didn't get on the bases.If all our players were so werthless, we'd be in first place. Ohh, wait, we are in first place.

  36. LoveDaNats - Apr 20, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    Deja Vu from last year watching that game last night. I realize….I DON'T WANNA GO BACK THERE! But, everyone is right. Put it behind and move on. We are taking my daughter and her husband (casual baseball fans) to the game tomorrow. ME: BTW, we hate the Marlins. SON-IN-LAW: Why is that? ME: Because they own us and we're SICK OF IT!Det, Strassie and Gio should take care of it. Sorry for shouting so early.

  37. natsfan1a - Apr 20, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    Er, doesn't Werth have the highest BA on the team (other than Lombo, who has one-third the number of at-bats)?

  38. natsfan1a - Apr 20, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    I did flash back to prior years when the Astros scored five runs in the first. The difference is, I felt confident that the Nats could come back, and they almost did, until Gorzo's outing put it out of reach later in the game. Shower that one off and get ready for the Fish.

  39. NatsLady - Apr 20, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    There it is, at the bottom of the page.On May 6, 1934, Boston hit four consecutive triples against Detroit in the fourth inning which is the most ever hit consecutively in a single inning.

  40. natsfan1a - Apr 20, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    Also at the bottom of that page, the most triples (i.e., not consecutive) hit in a single inning: On September 15, 1901, Chicago hit five triples against Milwaukee in the eighth inning which is the most ever hit in a single inning by one team.

  41. natsfan1a - Apr 20, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    Also, just for the record, I believe that the Astros had 3 triples in the inning.mlb has an article saying the Astro's tied their club record so I am guessing someone else has hit 4 but I can't find it.

  42. Theophilus - Apr 20, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    "Settled down and did well" is political spin worthy of a presidential campaign spokesperson. Giving up eleven runs in, essentially, two innings to that collection of has-beens and Rule 5 and waiver wire pickups is shameful. The Astros are every bit as bad as they appear to be and by the end of the year most of them will be flirting with the Mendoza line and they'll have another No. 1 overall draft pick. Johnson will be wondering for the rest of the year which of Jackson's split personalities is going to show up at the ball park. I didn't watch all of the Gorzellany meltdown so I'll accept the possibilty that he had some bad luck and that the double switch did him no favors. That is the downside of having "hairy chested" guys on the bench (please God, let a couple of them start hitting like hairy-chested guys instead of Harry Chiti). But Gorzellany is alleged to have swing-and-miss stuff and if his defense isn't going to bail him out then he needs to take care of his own business, especially with runners on base.Last I wish the FO would say something like, "Our opinion of Tyler Moore has evolved. We no longer think of him as a marginal prospect with a big hole in his swing and an iron glove. We think he's a major league prospect with a long future." After downplaying Moore's prospects for the past 2 1/2 years, the FO has given no cause to believe he's going to be more than a career AAA player. His enthusiasts on this list are going to be either prophets or seriously disappointed.

  43. A DC Wonk - Apr 20, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    doesn't Werth have the highest BA on the team (other than Lombo, who has one-third the number of at-bats)? And: 10th in the league on OBA. 3rd in the league in times on base. Etc etc

  44. A DC Wonk - Apr 20, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    Giving up eleven runs in, essentially, two innings to that collection of has-beens and Rule 5 and waiver wire pickups is shameful.You know what? It happens every year. To every team. The awful 2009 Nats had a 13-1 victory, and, later, a 15-6 win over the then 2nd place Cubs. While they lost over 100 games, they did win 59, some of them against good teams. The eventual world champion 2011 Giants, with their awesome pitching, lost a game to the pathetic Padres 11-3.You do know which pitcher lost the most games in MLB history is, don't you?

  45. NatsLady - Apr 20, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    There was no "shame" in that loss (except maybe for Gorzy). Ejax had a bad inning, but he picked himself up and pitched well into the game, enough so the Nats were back in it, and he could have gone longer.Davey made a decision, which he acknowledged, NOT to go all out for a win on this one. Yes, if EJax stayed in, the Nats might have tied the game and gone for another extra-inning, bullpen-exhausting squeaker, and Ejax would be even more tired than he already is.Instead, Davey brings in Gorzo, tells him to do his job and he doesn't. He brings in Mattheus, who has been used 4 times in the last 5 days, and Burnett with that chancy back. And he says, I want a fresh bullpen for the divisional series. And, except for Mattheus and Gorzy, he will have it. GO NATS!!

  46. RPrecupjr - Apr 20, 2012 at 5:18 PM

    Thanks for jumping in with that, Wonk. I was about to go digging for the times our horrendous teams actually put up double-digit numbers against an opponent. It happens. Like MicheleS said farther up the board, I'm glad we got that out of the way so we can fry the Fish this weekend. We need to jump on mild-mannered, cool, calm, and collected Zambrano early. All sarcasm included free of charge.

  47. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 20, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    In other words, when you play 162 games, pretty much everything that can happen, will happen, at least once. As Sparky Anderson used to say, "162 games! You know how many games that is?? That's a lot of games!"

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 91 64 --
ATLANTA 76 80 15.5
NEW YORK 76 80 15.5
MIAMI 74 81 17.0
PHILADELPHIA 71 85 20.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Monday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON (3) 91 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 89 68 3.0
y-ST. LOUIS 88 69 4.0
-------------------------
PITTSBURGH 85 71 --
SAN FRANCISCO 85 71 --
MILWAUKEE 80 76 5.0
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Monday's games

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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.
SUN: Marlins at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
(End of regular season)
MON: OFF
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