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Instant analysis: Dodgers 4, Nats 3 (10)

Apr 29, 2012, 4:38 AM EDT

US Presswire photo
Bryce Harper watches his first career hit (a double) sail to deep center field.

Game in a nutshell: A game with all sorts of delicious storylines — including Bryce Harper's debut and Stephen Strasburg's first career start in Southern California — more than lived up to its billing but ended in crushing fashion. Strasburg was brilliant over seven innings, striking out nine. And Harper dazzled the sellout crowd both with his bat (a double off the base of the center-field fence) and his arm (a missile to the plate that would have nailed Jerry Hairston had catcher Wilson Ramos not dropped the ball). Then with the game on the line in the ninth inning, Harper delivered again: His sacrifice fly to left brought home Rick Ankiel and gave the kid his first career RBI and what looked like the game-winning RBI. That was, until Henry Rodriguez entered in the bottom of the ninth and blew the save amid a flurry of base hits and wild pitches and sent the game into extras. Then Matt Kemp crushed a pitch from Tom Gorzelanny into the center-field bleachers to give the Dodgers a 4-3 victory.

Hitting highlight: Where would the Nationals be without Adam LaRoche right now? Seriously, how clutch has the veteran first baseman been for this offensively challenged team? LaRoche did it again tonight leading off the seventh inning in a scoreless game, belting a solo shotRead more ยป

  1. natsfan1a - Apr 29, 2012 at 4:45 AM

    That was a [whale] of a game. Can't believe I watched the whole thing. Tough loss, but did seem like a playoff type atmosphere, as FP noted. Can't wait until the Nats are in such games for real.Haven't read the game thread and will save that for tomorrow, uh, later today. Off to bed for now, if I can get my pulse rate to slow down. One more thing, what with their booing our teenaged player in his MLB dugout and mooning him during an at-bat, I have this to say to the opposing crowd: stay classy, LA. I wanted to use it for the Padres series, but it seems more fitting for this game. Wish the kid could have debuted in STL if not at home, because those fans would have treated him right. That is all. Good night, er, good morning all. :-)

  2. natsfan1a - Apr 29, 2012 at 4:46 AM

    dugout = debut (yeah, some sleep would be good) :-)

  3. m20832 - Apr 29, 2012 at 4:49 AM

    AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! Why is it the Nats give away games! This is so frustrating! After two runs, can't Johnson see Rodriguez doesn't have his stuff? They had the game won just to give it away! I guess Gio has to pitch 9 innings today to save a 3-3 road trip. Cause you can't give it ti any of the supposed closers!

  4. Cwj - Apr 29, 2012 at 4:49 AM

    I wouldn't bother reading the game thread comments Natsfan.Way too many foul weather fans ;-)

  5. NatsFanJim - Apr 29, 2012 at 4:49 AM

    With so many things going on in this wild game, many plays could be singled out as the one that lost the game.But …. I can't imagine what was in Davey's mind letting Gorz pitch to Matt Kemp? He might as well have called his shot — I did. This loss is as much Davey's as anyone's.

  6. NatsFanJim - Apr 29, 2012 at 4:51 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Cwj - Apr 29, 2012 at 4:52 AM

    In fairness to Henry, he's been dominant in 9 out of his 10 appearances so far.However, he did really blow that one. I guess if you're going to blow a save, blow it big. And he certainly did that.

  8. terpman33 - Apr 29, 2012 at 4:53 AM

    Wow..Wow..Triple Wow. What a game. There are so many things to disect. 1. Strasburg-another superb start with (as usual) little run support2. Harper-Wow! What more could he have done. A double, sac fly, and should have had a put out at home. He will definitely be here for the long haul, I believe.3. Henry Rodriguez – the control problems are coming back to haunt him. He has to get it back. Drew Storen, WE MISS YOU. It almost has me wishing Brad Lidge closes again….on second thought, Drew Storen, WE MISS YOU. 4. Competitive baseball – we are going up possibly against playoff competition in the dodgers. I'm definitely happy about how we are performing, EXCEPT FOR LACK OF RUN SUPPORT. We've got to get better with this. Hopefully, Harper will bring some badly needed offense. I'm glad i didn't buy stock in Bernadina, because it's worth 0 now! Can't wait till tomorrow!!!!

  9. JaneB - Apr 29, 2012 at 4:54 AM

    It was a heartbreaking game, to us…so I can only imagine the clubhouse along about now. The umpiring is still making me angry. When Henry is off he is wildly off, isn't he? I sure hope we aren't reading about Wilson on the DL with that shoulder.The kid did his part. Imagine when we get Zimm and Morse back. For an April game, this one sure felt like a big deal.

  10. Scott from Burke - Apr 29, 2012 at 4:54 AM

    AMAZING that Harper's debut was pushed to the background..shows how great this game turned out to be…can't wait until tomorrow

  11. djinFl. - Apr 29, 2012 at 4:55 AM

    Vin Scully was commenting before the first game how the Nats just did not have the talent level of the Dodgers. Well maybe that is true, but if we can play this well against them in their park, where we are historically horrible. We will do just fine this year. For an April game to have this much drama, amazing. Put your seat belts on kids, we have quite a ride coming. And, provided we do not drink to many Corona's, we will have a wonderful time.

  12. mick - Apr 29, 2012 at 4:57 AM

    Cwj I'm only foul about HRod who needs to go now. Not a fan of Gorzo either and good point from Natsfanjim about Davey letting him pitch to Kemp. Davey coached poorly in leaving HRod in after the first batter and first wild pitch. why the hell he did not come in with Stammen just blows me away. Again, the reason HRod is a loser is he was off 3 nights, he threw 2 wild pitches allowing a run to score and if he had any winning qualities about him the Yankees who I think have won a few WS would never have dumped him. You HRod fans are just incredible, maybe you all like losing teams which is what we will have if this team has to rely on HRod to save or for that fact play in any game

  13. Cwj - Apr 29, 2012 at 4:58 AM

    Although devastating, it was an extremely entertaining game.Neutral fans watching on tv around the country probably had a good time.

  14. mick - Apr 29, 2012 at 4:58 AM

    Vin scully is a senial old fool. Hrod lost the game plain and simple

  15. Cwj - Apr 29, 2012 at 5:01 AM

    Mick- I disagree with absolutely everything you said, but to each their own :-)

  16. Cwj - Apr 29, 2012 at 5:01 AM

    What did Scully say?

  17. mick - Apr 29, 2012 at 5:02 AM

    What the hell does Scully know about the Nationals??? hell he called Harper Brian Harper, the old goat

  18. mick - Apr 29, 2012 at 5:03 AM

    Ok cwj, to each his own. When Hrod loses the next game and the next game, then let me know how you feel, lol

  19. John - Apr 29, 2012 at 5:05 AM

    Despite missing two key bats, set-up guy, and closer, the team showed it can compete against the best from the West. Let's all just hope our injured players can return to good health because it would be a crying shame to waste the brilliant performances the starting pitchers are giving us.

  20. Cwj - Apr 29, 2012 at 5:05 AM

    Actually Gorzelanny lost the game. Kemp couldn't touch Strasburg all night, but Gorz doesn't have the stuff to challenge Kemp.

  21. mick - Apr 29, 2012 at 5:07 AM

    John:If it meant Morse and/or Storen sitting the season to come back 100%, I am all for it after seeing what LaRouche is doing after sitting out a year.

  22. mick - Apr 29, 2012 at 5:08 AM

    Even Zim. a healthy Zim and Morse with Harper and LaRouche anda 1005 Storen would equal a 100 win club

  23. mick - Apr 29, 2012 at 5:08 AM

    100% Storen

  24. SonnyG10 - Apr 29, 2012 at 5:09 AM

    Cwj, thanks for the heads up on the game thread. I think I'll pass on reading it. I agree with you that that was a good ball game to watch…but it really hurt to have lost it.After watching Bryce tonight, I think he's ready to stay up in the bigs. He looked to be in his element. Not overmatched, not nervous…just an outstanding debut.

  25. John - Apr 29, 2012 at 5:09 AM

    Mick, Henry Rodriguez has only been with one other organization, the Oakland A's. He was acquired in the Willingham trade last year with Corey Brown.

  26. mick - Apr 29, 2012 at 5:09 AM

    Clip pitched great tonight

  27. Cwj - Apr 29, 2012 at 5:10 AM

    Rodriguez's ERA climbed from 0.00 all the way to 2.00 :-)Here's his stats through 10 games, and they are interesting for sure: 9.0 IP, 4 hits, 2 earned runs, 6 walks, 12 Ks and 4(!) wild pitches. Yet he's only given up one extra-base hit.And he's 5/6 in save opportunities

  28. mick - Apr 29, 2012 at 5:10 AM

    John, HRod was in Yankee organization when he first came up

  29. oldguyjim - Apr 29, 2012 at 5:11 AM

    Hey this was a terrific game. Yes, we saw bad Henry tonight! Yes we lost a heart breaker. We will lose about 60 more of these this year. But we saw a glimpse of the future. And the future is this season. We will be a better team than the Dodgers in the second half of this year. It is a long season and it is just the end of April. We should all sleep well tonight.

  30. mick - Apr 29, 2012 at 5:12 AM

    well after this loss and my 15th beer, its time to hit the sack, lolgood night all

  31. baseballswami - Apr 29, 2012 at 5:12 AM

    It's only April and I need to breathe. We battled them in their park with huge dl holes. Looking forward to a rematch when we have a healthy team.For now, crushed. The phenoms look good, though.

  32. Cwj - Apr 29, 2012 at 5:13 AM

    Mick- Make sure to drink a glass of water before hitting the sack :-)

  33. djinFl. - Apr 29, 2012 at 5:14 AM

    @CWJVin was comparing Friday's pitchers and said Krenshaw was the fortunate one because he had considerably more talent in the field to support him. With our 3 and 4 hitters out, he was probably correct. With out their 3 and 4 hitters we probably win Fri.For those looking for a basement window to jump out of-With the current roster we are doing great. There is no need to assign blame. No one will ever win them all, so if we are competitive, and battling in each game, enjoy it. We were neither for many years.

  34. Scott from Burke - Apr 29, 2012 at 5:19 AM

    Not sure I agree with Scully about the talent disparity…noone on the Nats can measure up with Kemp and Ethier is special..but the Nats have better starting pitching depth and a better pen (but not by a wide margin)…Scully has seen a million games…i cannot see disparaging the man

  35. John - Apr 29, 2012 at 5:21 AM

    As a fan, it is a treat to watch a player like Harper, not just because he possesses uber talent, but because he brings a rare and infectious energy to the game that others feed off of. I look for even more exciting days ahead.

  36. John - Apr 29, 2012 at 5:24 AM

    No, Mick. I checked.http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=rodrig001hen

  37. SonnyG10 - Apr 29, 2012 at 5:26 AM

    Re my earlier post, if Harper can do as well against left-handed pitching, then I think he's truly ready to stay up in the bigs.

  38. Joe Seamhead - Apr 29, 2012 at 5:28 AM

    Some of you amaze me. We are still in first place. We lost to the hottest team in the league, on their turf because HRod gave up his first run of the season and now you want to dump Henry, blame Davey, and insuate that the folks that are still supporting the team are losers.Poppycock, I say, poppycock! GYFNG

  39. NatsLady - Apr 29, 2012 at 5:35 AM

    . Only was able to watch Clip's inning (excellent) and Oh, Henry. Missed the 10th and now in a place with really BAD wifi. OK, people we have got to get more than 3 runs a game and someone besides ALR has to start hitting. Congrats to the KID on a nice debut, but as I said in the game thread, don't start the congrats for Clip until the game is WON–there are at least 9 innings in every game. You gotta calm down about Henry, he is what he is and 99% of people were calling dump Lidge stick with Henry. Two things got to Henry, nerves and too much rest so he was overthrowing. Every closer blows savea–in different ways–and it's always maddening.I don't blame Davey for letting Gorzy pitch to Kemp after we didn't score in the top of the 10th. He is the long reliever, you need to get 2-3 from him in extras if it goes that far, and then you still might have to use Stammen. Davey stuck with his plan: HRod is the closer, Gorzy is the lefty reliever when a righty starts. It's an uphill battle when you are the visiting team in extra innings, especially with our offense, unlikely to suddenly score 5 in the 11th… ATL lost (to the Pirates!) we are still in first place and looks like the Kid is going to be really good (Trout took an o-fer). So the good is(1) Stras — great game, guy could win the Cy Young even on an innings limit;(2) Clipp back to form. I didn't know he could hit 96-97!(3) The Kid done good, at the plate and in the field. Small sample size, of course, but he didn't freeze on the big stage–and it was a BIG stage.(4) Kemp did nada until the 10th. (5) We are still in 1st place and Gio pitches tomorrow.It was a tough battle against a good team. Could have gone our way, it didn't. I for one am not ready to jump into the Anacostia

  40. Unknown - Apr 29, 2012 at 6:53 AM

    Agree. This is not a catastrophe. It is our first series loss after six wins.Man!!! Great stuff from #1 and #2 phenoms of the decade. Kemp K'd 2x! HRod blew it — thats the story. What I like about Davey is that he'll put HRod out there again and say "You go boy". He gives people the opportunity to perform. Cant wait to pound on the Dodgers over the next two years when we are not so depleted.GYFNG

  41. Unknown - Apr 29, 2012 at 6:53 AM

    Agree. This is not a catastrophe. It is our first series loss after six wins.Man!!! Great stuff from #1 and #2 phenoms of the decade. Kemp K'd 2x! HRod blew it — thats the story. What I like about Davey is that he'll put HRod out there again and say "You go boy". He gives people the opportunity to perform. Cant wait to pound on the Dodgers over the next two years when we are not so depleted.GYFNG

  42. MicheleS - Apr 29, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    Oh and Mick, it was the B Crew (Steiner) that called Bryce – Bryan, not Vin. I was listening to him.

  43. natsfan1a - Apr 29, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    Thanks for the heads up on the game thread, Cwj. I figured that it might have gotten rather heated in there. Thanks for getting the H-Rod/A's correction in before the buzzer, John. I was about to post to that effect but decided to read the whole thread first.I'm with NatsLady and others re. H-Rod. Hadn't pitched in days (6, I think?) and he takes the mound in to a playoff atmosphere. Also, with Lidge having just gone on the DL, maybe there's a little bit of pressure knowing that he's the man now. I really felt for him as he left the game. He was clearly upset, I thought.A few other random thoughts (still without having read the game thread so apologies if these points had been made).Hairston's attempted swat of the ball in the play at the plate was rather A-Rodian, I thought (that's not a compliment, btw).FP was funny talking about Harper's gray bats – those are his road bats; he has a bunch of white ones for home games.I was switching over to MLB Network and the Giants game on breaks. Loved the McDonald's ad behind the plate: Grab some meat, meat. Also loved Harold Reynolds comments during MLB Tonight – to the effect that the Phillies were the most overrated team in baseball. All the talk about their having aged overnight kinda warmed my heart, too. Please please please can they still be in last place for our upcoming series? :-)Oh, and it would have been more fitting for Harper to have hit a moonshot than a double, given the circumstances, but I'll take it. Good game, kid.

  44. natsfan1a - Apr 29, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    Er, make that 4th place and it's a deal. :-)Please please please can they still be in last place for our upcoming series? :-)

  45. natsfan1a - Apr 29, 2012 at 12:23 PM

    Just noticed that Mark had Tweetered similar thoughts during the game. Great minds think alike. :-)I typed:One more thing, what with their booing our teenaged player in his MLB dugout and mooning him during an at-bat, I have this to say to the opposing crowd: stay classy, LA. I wanted to use it for the Padres series, but it seems more fitting for this game. Beach balls. The wave. Mooning Harper on his first career hit. A moron jumps the field in the 9th. Stay classy, L.A.

  46. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 29, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    Well I slept terribly, as I kept replaying the wild pitch in my head that allowed the game to become tied. Ramos needed to move and at least get his gove on it, but he must have been crossed up. Not sure what happened on the Harper throwm that was an easy out fiven away. The fielding in the bottom on the 7th and 9th were more like 2010, where we gave runs away. Our starters have been great, our relievers in general very good, and hitting only being done by a few. Still nice to be in forst place.

  47. Cwj - Apr 29, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    Same here on the poor sleep Manassas.Also agree about Ramos. He was hurting though from getting hit twice in the shoulder by foul tips.He definitely had a tough time in the field last night.But yep, still in 1st.They'll beat the Dodgers today :-) And finally its a day game! These late night losses are killing me. I sleep much better after a win :-)

  48. Cwj - Apr 29, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    I'm not even going to bother posting during the games any more. Mean-spirited, negative fans way outnumber the knowledgeable and friendly ones who I enjoy talking to.A waste of time for me. Anyway, Go Nats!Perhaps Gio will be the first Nat pitcher to reach 3 wins.

  49. natsfan1a - Apr 29, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    That's why I don't tend to post in them, Cwj. I think it happens with game threads elsewhere as well, fwiw.

  50. NCNatsie - Apr 29, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    I agree with NatsLady on Gorzo (and almost everything). Davy was in a really tough position there, especially because Ethier is a lefty. Anything but a home run and he comes out ahead by leaving Gorzo in to face Kemp.Here are two questions I wish I knew the answer to, though. Did Davy know about Ramos being hurt? If so, did he consider puitting Flores in? I think the normal Ramos (and the normal Flores) catches the wild pitch that lost the game, because they're both good at that.

  51. Scott from Burke - Apr 29, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    whne you write dreck like this: Hairston's attempted swat of the ball in the play at the plate was rather A-Rodian, I thought how can you not expect a negative response? It's ridiculous

  52. Scott from Burke - Apr 29, 2012 at 6:31 PM

    And what Arod did was try to win..if Jeter had done it everyone would have said he's a gamer..when Arod argued the call..that was bush

  53. natsfan1a - Apr 29, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    Thanks for your usual insightful and reasoned response, Scott.

  54. natsfan1a - Apr 29, 2012 at 7:55 PM

    Oh, I forgot tactful. :-)

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