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Instant analysis: Nats 7, Phillies 1

May 5, 2012, 7:34 PM EST

US Presswire photo
Gio Gonzalez led the way with seven innings of one-run ball.

Game in a nutshell: How good must this one have felt for the Nationals and their fans? After experiencing tense, low-scoring nailbiters almost every night of the week, this time everyone got to enjoy a rout. Jayson Werth, Ian Desmond and Chad Tracy all homered to ignite the lineup. Gio Gonzalez tossed seven innings of one-run ball. And a near-sellout crowd of 39,496 roared over and over again as the home team blew out its hated division rivals. Winners now of seven straight (and 11 of 13) against the Phillies dating back to last season, the NL East-leading Nationals now hold a 5 1/2-game lead over now last-place Philadelphia.

Hitting highlight: Given the manner in which the Phillies seemed to keep pitching around Bryce Harper to put the onus on Jayson Werth, the $126 million right fielder was going to have to deliver at some point. He finally did in the bottom of the fifth, belting a three-run homer to left to put the Nationals ahead for good. It had been a frustrating weekend to that point for Werth, who had stranded seven runners on base. ButRead more »

  1. Joe Seamhead - May 5, 2012 at 7:35 PM

    That's a record, Mark!

  2. Grandstander - May 5, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    Most satisfying moment of the game: Watching all those Phillies fans in the 8th inning making for the exits for their LONG trek back up I-95. Later all, hope you enjoyed the game, thanks for the $$$!

  3. rabbit34 - May 5, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    Scary what we can do when we HIT the ball. And, still hold the opponent to few runs!! Wow, Lombo and Moore. We need more positions on the field! GO NATIONALS!!

  4. JaneB - May 5, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Nats In Athens - May 5, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    Another series win against a team with a losing record… :-)

  6. JaneB - May 5, 2012 at 7:45 PM

    Our long Nationals nightmare years appear over now!

  7. JaneB - May 5, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    Athens, sheesh! A series win is a series win! Have some more koolaid.

  8. LoveDaNats - May 5, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    ……..and the game was everything I dreamed it would be. :)

  9. sm13 - May 5, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    Great to get a decisive win and put the Phillies in their place. This should go a long way towards erasing the demons of the past. It's going to be great to see Stras, Gio, and JZimm fight it out with Kershaw for the Cy Young this year.

  10. John - May 5, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    So that's what a laugher feels like.I'm anxious to find out what Rizzo is going to do when Wang comes off the DL. Since neither he nor Jackson is suited – or would be happy – to pitch out of the bullpen, and if Detwiler deserves to remain in the rotation, is it inevitable that the GM will trade one of the two veteran starters in the coming days? I imagine Jackson would bring back a nice haul.

  11. pdowdy83 - May 5, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    Jane. I believe that Athens was taking a stab at te Phillies having a losing record and being overhyped not being negative about the Nats.

  12. FS=Faraz Shaikh - May 5, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    Athens, we gave Phillies the losing record. When they came yesterday, they were at .500.

  13. Uncle Atom - May 5, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    How sweet it is!

  14. Nats In Athens - May 5, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    Of course what I wrote was in jest, sorry if some of you took it wrong… I just love where we are today, I think this team is special but I also know that a lot of people are questioning it still. This goes to them…

  15. 164abb6e-9075-11e1-aba1-000bcdcb471e - May 5, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    Rizzo, as he told the National Press Club the other day, is not dumb. I'm sure he recognizes he's got an issue when Wang returns.I just can't believe he or DJ would relegate Detwiler to the bullpen after the performances he's turned in. It would not only be unfair to him, it would be unfair to the team. I don't see anything wrong with essentially saying to Wang, you've got to earn your way back into this rotation. It's the right message to send to the rest of the team, too. No one has an automatic right to start just because of what their reputation is.My guess is that in the absence of a trade, we will see Wang go to the bullpen for a while. Injuries, unfortunately, have a way of solving these problems.

  16. Chris - May 5, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    small moves, ellie. small moves.cuz the Nats are making 'Contact'…

  17. NatitudeLady - May 5, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    I think Athens was referring to comments that the Nats could only win against "bad" teams. And yes, some of those teams with losing records got that way due to the Nats!!

  18. Scott from Burke - May 5, 2012 at 8:06 PM

    one reason they have a losing record is the nats just beat em twice..if the games went the other way theyd be 2 games over .500…

  19. Scott from Burke - May 5, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    wang cannot pitch in relief..because of his shulder issues he must warm up for a longer time than other pitchers…he is a starter

  20. NatsJack in Florida - May 5, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    Read it and understand. WANG IS GOING IN THE ROTATION. Who he replaces (probably Detwiler) isn't known but he has to establish his trade value.Neither Wang or Jackson can be traded until June.

  21. realdealnats - May 5, 2012 at 8:13 PM

    NatsJack–I guess I'm just dumb b/c I don't understand. Why would they mess with such successful chemistry? Is a trade more valuable than winning? I respect your knowledge, just don't understand…

  22. NatsJack in Florida - May 5, 2012 at 8:17 PM

    It's called a rock and a hard place. Remember "the absence of options clears the mind wondrously".

  23. Jeff - May 5, 2012 at 8:18 PM

    I came in from cutting glass at the bottom of the 8th. I had to do a double take on the score. Sorry I missed this one. Maybe I can get the wife to give me a free pass on Saturday day games.BTW, was on the Wash Post site last night and got accused of being a troll. That kind of sucked as it was hoping it would be a chance to talk real time with other Nats fans (the wife gets tired of my yaking). ANyone else have that experience? I'm listed as JeffL5

  24. baseballswami - May 5, 2012 at 8:20 PM

    The whole situation with Wang has become a big albatross for this organization. He just so high maintenance. Everybody else has to start, relieve in the middle, go to syracuse, close, sit on the bench a lot ( burnett) and do whatever the team needs, but he has absolutely no flexibility. It's just not in the best interests of this team winning to put him in someone else's spot just because he "can't " ( won't?) do anything else. They have been babying him for far too long. I vote they cut their losses as soon as possible. There should be only one question — is he better equipped to win a game than someone who is already in that spot?

  25. Scott from Burke - May 5, 2012 at 8:21 PM

    because they have no has to start…det doesn't..hes younger and more versatile..ejax could go instead..inetersting to see those 2 battle it out to stay as a starter

  26. NatsJack in Florida - May 5, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    Jeff….. I have TWO ex-wives for precisely what you are talking about.

  27. realdealnats - May 5, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    Best 25 Stay North.

  28. Marty - May 5, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    Back from the game. My stomach lining definitely appreciated a day off.

  29. realdealnats - May 5, 2012 at 8:26 PM

    Or South…

  30. Tom in AR - May 5, 2012 at 8:29 PM

    Jackson and Wang cannot be traded until June 16th because they were FA pick-ups. In the absence of an injury, you either have to move someone to the pen (most likely Detwiler)or cut someone (most likely Wang, though I don't see them doing that). Or go to a six man rotation. Maybe they can have Wang pitch the first 4 innings and Detwiler the final 5.

  31. billyhacker - May 5, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    The best problem to have is having two pitchers too good to not use. If Wang is regular 20 game-winning Wang, it doesn't matter who pitches. If he's not, he won't be pitching more than two max three starts. This really is a great great problem to have.

  32. Scott from Burke - May 5, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    the irony is the guy who might be the best pitcher on the team is the starting center fielder

  33. NatsJack in Florida - May 5, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    Tom in Ar…..please…..don't get me started.

  34. realdealnats - May 5, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    So NatsJack, in a perfect world, how would you like to see this Det/Wang scenario play out? Given we will need pitching when Stras has to sit? Do you risk messing with Detwiler's head and put him in the pen until September if Wang pitches decently? If Wang pitches decently, do you trade him before he injures himself again? And figure you have Stammen to rely on in September?

  35. realdealnats - May 5, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    Sorry for vagueness "do you trade him"–"him" refers to Wang.

  36. Scott from Burke - May 5, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    mess with his head? he can handle wang? depends how things play out injury wise..if they do they package him with lannan and ankiel and get a stud cf in return

  37. NatsJack in Florida - May 5, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    And swami…..high maintainence is Carl Zambrano. 3 or 4 quality starts by Wang and Boston and New York will be in a bidding war.

  38. TimDz - May 5, 2012 at 8:45 PM

    Before the season ends, Nat Gio will go Yard…You heard it here first…unless of course someone else beat me to it

  39. NatitudeLady - May 5, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    TimDZ, so will Stras–if only to keep from having stay on the basepaths.

  40. Tom in AR - May 5, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    NatsJack – I was kidding about the six man rotation! It has been shot down enough. Still, start the game with a sinkerballing righty, finish with a fireballing lefty…Wang needs to be stretched out and Detwiler is often criticized for not being able to go long…if it worked it would give the bullpen a rest.Ahh, forget it. Let's just hope that someone gets hurt! Problem solved.

  41. Soul Possession, Sec 315, My PFB Hitterish Sofa, - May 5, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    TimDZ, Gio got a huge ovation for his flyout to deep center. I'd bet Strasburg will get one first, but not before Jackson, who already has one career homer, and since he tends to pitch more innings, might get a few more at-bats.

  42. realdealnats - May 5, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    Scott–what stud CF would they fetch exactly? Serious question.NatsJack–In a bidding war, who do we want that we could realistically get from either the Yankees or Sox?

  43. Soul Possession, Sec 315, My PFB Hitterish Sofa, - May 5, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    trade wang? depends how things play out injury wise..if they do they package him with lannan and ankiel and get a stud cf in return Assuming they could get such a package, they don't need a "stud center fielder" so much as a couple of stud bench guys to fill in during injuries. Big, hairy bench guys. They have a stud center fielder, he was just playing left today, and he's still learning center. But he'll get there.

  44. NatsJack in Florida - May 5, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    Don't know….don't care. As an Ascerbic Sycophant I leave that up to Rizzo.

  45. Soul Possession, Sec 315, My PFB Hitterish Sofa, - May 5, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    Great game in the stands! Lots of P caps, mostly well-behaved, and kept trying to get Phillies chants going, but between getting shouted down in the seats, and beaten down on the field, they got handled pretty well. Werth's HR got plenty of noise, both ways, which is as it should be. Tomorrow's game got moved to 8 PM for ESPN, didn't it? TICK TOCK, baby–your time is coming fast.

  46. Doc - May 5, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    Small point in a great Nats' game. However, Ramo probably should have been given an error on the dropped ball from Werth that allowed the single Philthie run to score—then Gio would have an even greater ERA!

  47. Scott from Burke - May 5, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    with his contract running out and personal issues…Josh Hamilton…probably a pipe dream…but lord can he hit

  48. Soul Possession, Sec 315, My PFB Hitterish Sofa, - May 5, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    NatsJack, we need a cadence, for the synch-o-fants.

  49. whatsanattau - May 5, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    Most awesome game evvver!Had a great time with my Philly neighbors – they were good natured and excepting of the total domination. Many cheered Werth before and after the homer.Gio was dazzling. Ankiel is a little hot!

  50. Soul Possession, Sec 315, My PFB Hitterish Sofa, - May 5, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    not sure Hamilton fits Rizzo's model of a "makeup" guy, but yes, he can hit.

  51. Scott from Burke - May 5, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    different position but Matt Weiters

  52. Scott from Burke - May 5, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    with ramos or flores going instead of Ankiel..hamilton has a whole scene going but he raises the % of the nats winning the world series from, say, 8% to 15%…he is a freak of nature

  53. Soul Possession, Sec 315, My PFB Hitterish Sofa, - May 5, 2012 at 9:08 PM

    Ramos did drop Werth's one-hop throw, and almost certainly would have had the out had he hung on to it, but it was a bang-bang play, and that would be a tough error. As was Lombardozzi's, I thought. Those who had the benefit of up-close-TV and replay, it looked like a do-or-die hot short-hop from where I was, what did you think? Very tough error, I thought.

  54. realdealnats - May 5, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    "Synch-o-phant. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

  55. NatitudeLady - May 5, 2012 at 9:10 PM

    Hey, don't look now but we pretty much have a stud centerfielder. And I don't mean the boy from Las Vegas. I mean the guy who went 3 for 4 today and is hitting .309.

  56. UnkyD - May 5, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    The Det, Wang, EJax thing is crystal clear, to me, and I honestly cant understand why so many can't seem to grasp it. I'll bet that Det knows full well, understands, and accepts that he's going to the 'pen, as soon as Wang comes up. It's not gonna "mess with his head". It's a month and a half until Wang or EJax can be traded, and my hunch is , given Stras' limit, Rizzo won't part with either of them for less than twice what they're worth. Best case scenario: nobody gets hurt, Det is unholy table on the 'pen until mid-September or so, and Gio, JZim, EJax, Det, and Wang all get Rings…..

  57. UnkyD - May 5, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    and Det understands that he's the #4 starter on baseball's best staff, in '13!!!

  58. NatsJack in Florida - May 5, 2012 at 9:14 PM

    realdealnats….You talkin' to me? Huh? ….

  59. Soul Possession, Sec 315, My PFB Hitterish Sofa, - May 5, 2012 at 9:14 PM

    BTW, was on the Wash Post site last night and got accused of being a troll.Anyone else have that experience?Can't say I have, Jeff, tho I've been told I take up too many posts in here. What did you say to them that got that response? I assume you're sure it was you they meant–it can get kind of confusing in there.

  60. Soul Possession, Sec 315, My PFB Hitterish Sofa, - May 5, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    realdealnats….You talkin' to me? Huh? ….NatsJack, I think he meant my comment.

  61. UnkyD - May 5, 2012 at 9:19 PM

    Unholy table…… That's a good one…. Unhittable……(sheesh!)

  62. Scott from Burke - May 5, 2012 at 9:19 PM

    lady..hamilton is a whole different scene…he makes everyone better…like strawberry and pujols used to do..he's a menace

  63. Scott from Burke - May 5, 2012 at 9:20 PM

    You talkin' to me? Huh? …. this was a joke right?

  64. NatsJack in Florida - May 5, 2012 at 9:21 PM

    See…… Unkyd knows…

  65. UnkyD - May 5, 2012 at 9:21 PM

    Although…. The rest of the league prolly considers this somewhat "unholy" as it is….

  66. whatsanattau - May 5, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    My experience is that all grounded comments and commentators are welcome here. At all sites you run the risk that someone will misinterpret your comment and call you out. If this happens, clarify and/or move on. Just because someone else calls you a troll doesn't mean you are.

  67. Soul Possession, Unholy Table, My PFB Hitterish Sofa, - May 5, 2012 at 9:26 PM

    I am adding "Sitting at the Unholy Table" to my location, Unky D.

  68. realdealnats - May 5, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    NatsJack–I'm joking. And I assume you're quoting Taxi Driver. I was quoting Princess Bride. Why? Because you don't seem like you'd play the sycophant for anyone. You know baseball and I like to pick your brain, not put you to work. Everything's cool. deferentially yours, GYFNG!

  69. Scott from Burke - May 5, 2012 at 9:34 PM

    Travis Bickel? i prefer johnny boy from mean streets

  70. NatsJack in Florida - May 5, 2012 at 9:34 PM

    Scott Burke guy…..I kid about 36% of the time although my trackers may be slow with their updates.

  71. NatitudeLady - May 5, 2012 at 9:40 PM

    You think you are getting Hamilton for Lannan and Wang??? In what universe? Three starting pitchers in Texas would have to drown in Hamilton's booze while he's drinking it and you still won't see him traded as a three-month rental at the deadline for Wang and Lannan. Dream on.Acerbic Synchopant===> someone who snarks while sucking up to someone else.

  72. realdealnats - May 5, 2012 at 9:43 PM

    Scott–actually I do too. But I actually prefer Charlie from mean streets.Time to go to the second job….

  73. NatsJack in Florida - May 5, 2012 at 9:44 PM

    Great call NatsLady…..and I'm proud to be labeled as such.

  74. Fear and Ignorance - May 5, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    NatsJack-Have no Fear, Ignorance is here. Was at the game cheering for Werth like always. Just because I don't think he is very good doesn't mean I don't want him to do well. That HR today was his best AB as a National. Hopefully we will see more of that because you can see how desperately it is needed. That was the kind of spark I expected when we signed him last year. He actually showed some emotion out there in the outfield when the Phillie fans were getting on him after the backwards K with runners on base. He was yelling up at them and tipping his cap. Looks like it got him going a little bit. I definitely like the pissed off Werth a lot better than the nonchalant one.

  75. NatsJack in Florida - May 5, 2012 at 9:50 PM

    And I' m only a sycophant to the Rizzo regime because they know what they are doing.

  76. NatsJack in Florida - May 5, 2012 at 9:58 PM

    Glad you enjoyed the game, especially the effort of our "garbage" right fielder.

  77. sjm308 - May 5, 2012 at 10:02 PM

    Just got back – more Phillie fans than I thought there would be but up in 308 they were all quite pleasant. The older crowd stayed till the bitter end but the 30 somethings left early. Loved that they had shirts made up with "Red Invasion 2012". Really nice under armour stuff and I actually wanted to ask who they would be invading next but that would be rubbing it in. One kid did give me a high five and told me to enjoy first place because we would not be there long. Again, I showed restraint and thanked him for coming and told him to enjoy 95 on the way home.Werth was getting it pretty good early in the game from right field but he handled it well, tipping his cap in the first inning. Loved that some idiot philthy fan threw the last home run back on the field. First game I have been to since SS where I get free wings! Love that we have won 8 of 9 series and love that Davey sent Gio up after 90+ pitches and let him get that 7th inning. Gio crushed it twice and Victorino learned his lesson and was playing much deeper the 2nd time or he could have had two double. His slide into 3rd was comical and I worry he might hurt himself on the basepaths. Did people comment on Espinosa's slide or lack of a slide on Ankiel's double? It was not a pretty sight.Great day, great crowd and first place with the blue 1936 straight W in red on for the 5th straight day.Go Nats!!

  78. NatsNutitude - May 5, 2012 at 10:04 PM

    BTW, Thanks Andrew L., you did a good job. Maybe wear an Espinosa shirt tomorrow? He could use a little boost. Thanks.=)Andrew L. said……and yes, after wearing my Wilson Ramos jersey last night, today it is Jayson Werth.May 05, 2012 11:13 AM

  79. Andrew L. - May 5, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    We just got back. That was fun especially watching the Phillies fans on the walk up the steps in the middle of the 8th to start departing.For the most part, it seemed like the Phillies fans were well behaved after Werth's 3 run blast.

  80. baseballswami - May 5, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    And what jersey is he wearing tomorrow? That's a little creepy and a lot awesome!

  81. sjm308 - May 5, 2012 at 10:12 PM

    Just a few thoughts on Wang/Jackson/Detwiler.I had asked earlier what people thought but do not go back to earlier posts to find out what people think. Not very polite I know. Anyway, I agree with several here that Detwiler can handle it mentally and as the newest member of the starting 5 he certainly has to realize what his role might end up. I think you have to give Wang the shot. I still remember how dominant he was years ago and if we can enter the playoffs with him throwing well it only helps. Detwiler will start again when SS has reached his inning limit and will be a huge part of our future and he has to realize that. I just hope they are communicating that to him.

  82. rmoore446 - May 6, 2012 at 12:13 AM

    What a lovely game this was! Lots of Phillies fans walking toward the stadium and once we arrived at Section 111, a good many around us. More Nats fans but lots of Phillies. But they were well behaved–cheering at appropriate places as when they scored the first run and of course booing Werth at every chance.But they were pretty much silenced by Werth's home run. Their boos when he came up again as the score mounted were rather pitiful.I was amused to see tee shirts labeled "Occupy Nationals Park" among the Philly faithful. And the Nats fans got a real kick out of the Screech video showing two Philly fans winning a prize and being escorted from the Nats Park into a van that dumps them at Citizens' Park in Philadelphia. Now that was funny.A great time and I loved Section 111, row L on the third base side. Decent view of the batter, great view of action at 2nd and 3rd, and today's home runs. Glad I have tickets there for a Braves series coming up and plan to buy more.But the win made the afternoon so sweet!

  83. natsfan1a - May 6, 2012 at 12:14 AM

    I posted this in another thread, but it's worth posting again. :-)natsfan1a said… Wooooooooooooo Hoooooooooooooo! That was a fun game, even if I don't have any voice left. There were lots of Phillies Phans in our section and about 9 of us Nats fans were trying to carry the rest of the Nats fans on our backs. My sincere thanks to the team for making it easier on us as the game went along. You quieted them down very nicely, I thought. I may even be able to talk tomorrow. :-)

  84. natsfan1a - May 6, 2012 at 12:36 AM

    Taxi Driver?Scott from Burke said… You talkin' to me? Huh? …. this was a joke right? May 05, 2012 5:20 PM

  85. natsfan1a - May 6, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    Oh, wait. Somebody beat me to it. And I liked "unholy table," Unk. :-)

  86. ehay2k - May 6, 2012 at 1:27 AM

    Oh, what a game. Hearing the philthies' phans voice die down after Werth's homer was worth the price of admission all by itself. We were in Section 210. On our way out, some phans were saying they'd win tomorrow. I thanked them for helping pay for our ballpark, and I reminded them that after losing two games in a row, the best they could hope for was not to get swept. I just didn't want them to get their hopes up.

  87. jw - May 6, 2012 at 2:53 AM

    I was in Section 201. It was very entertaining to watch the exodus from the left field seats, and to hear from those leaving the 200's. One Philly fan tried to taunt us by saying we were April champions. He was out of earshot by the time I pointed out that it's already May.





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