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Instant analysis: Orioles 2, Nats 1 (11)

May 19, 2012, 2:21 AM EDT

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Edwin Jackson allowed only one run over eight strong innings.

Game in a nutshell: The first matchup between winning ballclubs from Washington and Baltimore in 42 years lived up to the billing, with Edwin Jackson and Jake Arrieta dueling each other on the mound. Jackson gave up one early run, then cruised. Arrieta cruised until serving up a solo homer to Ian Desmond in the sixth. That left this game in the hands of both bullpens. Tyler Clippard did his part in the top of the ninth, then Darren O'Day and Troy Patton retired the heart of the Nats' lineup in the bottom of the inning, sending this one to extras. That's when Nick Markakis took matters into his own hands, crushing a pitch from Ryan Mattheus off the facing of the second deck down the right-field line to give the Orioles an 11-inning victory before an energetic crowd of 36,680.

Hitting lowlight: They tried all night to get something going at the plate. In the end, Desmond's solo homer in the sixth represented the entirety of the Nationals' offensive effort. There were missed opportunities, and there was plenty of poor execution, especially during a failed seventh-inning rally. After Bryce Harper led off with a walk,Read more »

  1. phil dunton - May 19, 2012 at 2:23 AM

    Eckstein can't teach hitting and it is obvious he can't teach bunting either.

  2. JaneB - May 19, 2012 at 2:32 AM

    If Davey let Ank swing away, why was he making Ian bunt? I can't fault ALR since he has been clutch all year. If Mathheus doesn't serve up the meatball, we don't lose the game.

  3. Fear and Ignorance - May 19, 2012 at 2:35 AM

    I wonder how that kool-aid is going to taste in about 5 days when the Nats are in last place. Pretty funny how everybody made fun of the Orioles early this season saying not one player on that team would play on the Nationals. This season is going to be all but lost by July 1st unless something miraculous happens with the offense. They could honestly be 10-15 games back by July 1st.

  4. Swift Eagle - May 19, 2012 at 2:35 AM

    Jane, you're right. Some curious moves by DJ tonight. The fake bunt and run w/Flores running and EJax hitting? Just hoping for a bounce back tomorrow..

  5. Exposremains - May 19, 2012 at 2:38 AM

    Im gonna call this day the beginning of the end.

  6. Gonat - May 19, 2012 at 2:40 AM

    I thought the Dodgers series was poorly coached, this one tops that. Where is the accountability? If this was Riggleman, this place would be going nuts.

  7. peric - May 19, 2012 at 2:45 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. peric - May 19, 2012 at 2:46 AM

    Mattheus isn't the problem the offense is.This is where the rubber hits the road. 1 1/2 out of first. The Braves and the rest of the NL East coming on. After the Orioles its NL East time, and on the road. Then we should have a better idea where this team really stands both statistically and eyeball wise. The Nats have no excuse or explanation hitting wise with Zimmerman back, LaRoche hitting, and Harper following. Even if they get Morse back if those bats can't do the job this season … even if his does … the one run games will continue the bullpen will get exhausted and drained both physically and emotionally. It might not be pretty at the end if that happens. The Nats have plenty of bats they have to get going. And getting Morse back is definitely going to be like going out and getting a big bat. I wouldn't call it the beginning of the end. I suspect its the beginning of a true beginning … the biggest gap between the Nats and other teams: the pitching and it has leaped like Kneival crossing a Canyon to bridge that gap, and still continues to excel. Now its building a starting lineup with offense and defense. Separating the wheat from the chaff if you will. Just takes longer than it did with the pitching.

  9. Gonat - May 19, 2012 at 2:48 AM

    Peric, I didn't see 1 person say Mattheus was the problem although it was another of many mistakes during the game where you can't throw a certain pitch and luckily the Orioles weren't hitting well. For that HR, in that situation on the inside to pull the ball wasn't a well executed pitch and the guy didn't miss it. Keep pounding him outside. Again, pitcher/catcher communication.

  10. Unknown - May 19, 2012 at 2:51 AM

    The decision to have Desmond try to bunt was a bad one – made worse by the fact that Strop – who has been lights out all year – looked wild and beatable tonight. He ht Lombo, K-WP'd Shark and fell behind 2-0 to LaRoche, who then got a little too anxious trying to hit a walk-off instread of serving the pitch into LF for a game tying single – wish he had, cause then Harper would've come up with the game on the line. Face it, the Nats just can't be called a good team right now. Too little hitting. Also, sadly, the O's have surprised everyone and are legit – 12 games over .500 already, so the 82+ win season is gonna happen for them this year. The Nats, if they can not completely fall apart over the next 11 games — all super-tough, they have a chance to get back on track with Beast back. Also, the loss of Ramos is acute now. He is a MUCH better hitter than Flores, who failed miserably int the 10th tonight trying to do too much. But I've now lowered my expectations to 82 wins. Anything else is gravy.

  11. peric - May 19, 2012 at 2:52 AM

    I thought the Dodgers series was poorly coached, this one tops that. Where is the accountability?And where did all the "smart" ball small brain get this team? Struggling just to get to .500 with a bullpen of two pitchers about to get burned out. One is on the DL as a result. But yeah if there is one good thing about Alex Cora on the bench was that he was trained in bunting by Maury Wills himself. And he did try to convey that expertise to some of the Nats.

  12. NatsLady - May 19, 2012 at 3:00 AM

    Gonat, JaneB said that about Mattheus, but really, how did it get to that point?A shame to waste a great ballgame by Ejax. I hope there are no more doubters about him, thank you. Same on Clip, who got the first two easily, and made sure Adam Jones kept it on the ground. Burnett was a little shaky but got through it.

  13. Gonat - May 19, 2012 at 3:01 AM

    Unknown said… The decision to have Desmond try to bunt was a bad one – made worse by the fact that Strop – who has been lights out all year – looked wild and beatable tonight. He ht Lombo, K-WP'd Shark and fell behind 2-0 to LaRoche, who then got a little too anxious trying to hit a walk-off instread of serving the pitch into LF for a game tying single – wish he had, cause then Harper would've come up with the game on the line. Face it, the Nats just can't be called a good team right now. Too little hitting. Also, sadly, the O's have surprised everyone and are legit – 12 games over .500 already, so the 82+ win season is gonna happen for them this year. The Nats, if they can not completely fall apart over the next 11 games — all super-tough, they have a chance to get back on track with Beast back. Also, the loss of Ramos is acute now. He is a MUCH better hitter than Flores, who failed miserably int the 10th tonight trying to do too much. But I've now lowered my expectations to 82 wins. Anything else is gravy. May 18, 2012 10:51 PM ______________________________All good points including missing Ramos, and in more ways than just hitting.Can't bash LaRoche but man, was he off tonight. The rest you said was true.I hope Davey stays late tonight and has a chat with these guys because obviously they need teaching.Desi played a great game but he may have walked on 4 or 5 pitches in the last inning as Strop couldn't throw a strike. Why are you leaning into balls?That is what we are talking about a PLAN. Show bunt and pull back if it isn't in the zone. Tell him this guy is wild and show bunt and pull back. The 1st 3 pitches were all out of the zone.

  14. John - May 19, 2012 at 3:03 AM

    Dear Mr. Rizzo, there's a hitting instructor with a decent track record who is available. His name is Mickey Hatcher.

  15. Gonat - May 19, 2012 at 3:04 AM

    NatsLady said… Gonat, JaneB said that about Mattheus, but really, how did it get to that point?A shame to waste a great ballgame by Ejax. I hope there are no more doubters about him, thank you. Same on Clip, who got the first two easily, and made sure Adam Jones kept it on the ground. Burnett was a little shaky but got through it. May 18, 2012 11:00 PM _______________________________OK, you are correct. Only 1 person amongst all the commentors said that. Ignore it. He didn't lose the game but it was that 1 pitch that was poorly executed.This game was lost on poor execution in at-bats by the Nats long before that. Wrong time for LaRoche to lay an egg.

  16. NatsLady - May 19, 2012 at 3:07 AM

    I don't blame LaRoche for "laying an egg." He probably needs a couple of days off, like he had before when Tracy took over 1B quite adequately.

  17. Unknown - May 19, 2012 at 3:08 AM

    Hatcher is available? He's awsome, also a great personality and world series ring owner (1988 Dodgers, I believe). Whether you keep Eck or not (I don't believe in the change the hitting coach and all will be well theory), GET THIS GUY!! He rocks and is fun!

  18. NatsLady - May 19, 2012 at 3:10 AM

    Yes, Hatcher is available. The Angels fired him after he had a "dispute" with Pujols.

  19. ehay2k - May 19, 2012 at 3:12 AM

    Maybe we should pull a Snyder and bring Hatcher in as a consultant? :-)

  20. Gonat - May 19, 2012 at 3:15 AM

    ehay2k said… Maybe we should pull a Snyder and bring Hatcher in as a consultant? :-) May 18, 2012 11:12 PM __________________________You may say that joking, its not a bad idea. Need an extra set of eyes plus some teaching going on with these young kids.

  21. Fear and Ignorance - May 19, 2012 at 3:16 AM

    Peric-They played over .500 with Riggleman last year playing small ball, without Strasburg, Gio, Jackson, Detwiler, Harper or Ryan Zimmerman(for most of it). There is obviously some merit to that style of baseball for this team because they cannot hit. I am glad you are so confident in Rizzo and Davey, because right now I am not seeing it. Rizzo has now hamstrung this team with 2 terrible contracts and got lucky because Strasburg and Harper were there in the draft. How confident would you be if they had Dustin Ackley and Jameson Taillon instead? Rizzo needed to get a good hitter in the off-season and didn't do it. He is very lucky that LaRoche has had the best 6 weeks of his career or else this team would be heading for a 75 win season.

  22. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 19, 2012 at 3:16 AM

    Even today Charlie Lau could do a better job of hitting coach than Eck. These players are clueless when it comes to a plan. FP said when he played each player had to tell the hitting coach the plan. All I see Eck do is write in his binder. No coaching at all. The get rid of Eck bus is alive and well (and has been for three years) at my house. I know if I did my job that poorly I would get canned.

  23. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 19, 2012 at 3:18 AM

    BTW unfritunately Mattheus does have to to taks some responsibility as the second guy he faced did homer, and that was the winning margin. he gets him out we are still playing. he doesn't get a get out of jail free card. We jum on HRod when he gives up homers in the last inning.

  24. NatsLady - May 19, 2012 at 3:24 AM

    I'm not giving Mattheus a get out of jail free card. He will have that mark on his record, deservedly. But how did it get to that point? Ejax did NOT deserve it. If we had got one more run for him–after he was the victim of two bad Henrys–you know he was going complete game.

  25. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 19, 2012 at 3:26 AM

    How we got to the point was not his fault. What happened in his watch is. He had the get out of jail free card the first 10 innings. As an old coach told me. You lose one of two ways. Either you score less than the other team, or the other team scores more than you. If you are the pitcher you lose by giving up more. If you are the hitter you lose by scoring less. Always a joint effort.

  26. John - May 19, 2012 at 3:29 AM

    I'm dearly hoping that Johnson is slowly stripping away his laissez-faire approach to his hitters and start instilling some discipline (i.e. situational hitting & working the pitcher, etc.) to the fore. He's had 40 games. He should know intimately now what his players are capable of. If he insists on waiting until he has a full, healthy lineup, the season may soon be lost.

  27. DJB - May 19, 2012 at 3:31 AM

    Lack of run production is going to destroy this franchise. You can't do it all with pitching. Every game is the same. They face someone third or fourth on the rotation and suddenly they are pitching like a Cy Young winner. This is a bad team, very bad. I'm predicting 70 to 75 wins.

  28. NatsLady - May 19, 2012 at 3:32 AM

    Manassas, I'm sorry, but I'm not with you on this one. The pitching staff gave up two runs in 11 innings and one of them was a fluke. This one's on the offense. Davey made some "interesting" moves, but bottom line is, if your pitching staff gives up two runs in 11 innings, you are supposed to WIN THE GAME.

  29. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 19, 2012 at 3:35 AM

    Had they gave up none we would have won. Granted the offense was the problem, but you can't lose if you give up less than you score. So tonight I would say 95% offense problem, but had Ejax retired the first batter instead of walking him who knows. a shut out would have won the game.

  30. NatsLady - May 19, 2012 at 3:36 AM

    Well, John, step one, Davey's given up on Ankiel. Didn't even bother to give him the bunt signal.

  31. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 19, 2012 at 3:37 AM

    Why does anyone anywhere throw anyone on this team a fastball? They can't hit anybody's curve.

  32. Exposremains - May 19, 2012 at 3:37 AM

    Anybody really annoyed by Markakis admiring his homerun.

  33. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 19, 2012 at 3:39 AM

    Doom. Doom and gloom. They'll finish 9-7 and out of the playoffs.Wait, what? They play 162 [ab] games??

  34. NatsLady - May 19, 2012 at 3:41 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  35. NatsLady - May 19, 2012 at 3:46 AM

    I have to assume this is sarcasm, or irony, or whatever. Manassas Nats' Fan said…Had they gave up none we would have won. Granted the offense was the problem, but you can't lose if you give up less than you score. So tonight I would say 95% offense problem, but had Ejax retired the first batter instead of walking him who knows. a shut out would have won the game.

  36. NatsLady - May 19, 2012 at 3:56 AM

    If your pitching staff gives up 2 runs in 11 innings (and one of them a fluke), I'm sorry, but that's on the offense. Davey made some "interesting" calls, but the hitters get no sympathy from me today.Sofa, yes, it's just one game of 162. And I wasn't really that upset because my man Clip did his job, and I'm an Ejax fan, and he did his job. The Desi home run was really cool, and the Kid had his BA up to .250. I didn't see RZ great play, but I heard about it and didn't he have a hit or two also? So, given that the Nats lost, I wasn't feeling too bad about this one.Then I came on here and read some, I dunno, "strange" comments and I swear I'm never reading the game blog comments or the "instant analysis" comments again.

  37. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 19, 2012 at 4:03 AM

    I go into every game assuming they will win. Also assuming it will be 1-0. I am not being sarcastic at all. The fact is no team will lose if they pitch a chutout. Granted the offense is the reason we lost the game. never said it wasn't. Just saying if you give up nothing you can't lose. Take it at face value.Is giving up only 2 runs in 11 innings excellent? it is. However if the other team only gives up 1 it is not excellent enough.That is all I am saying.

  38. Unknown - May 19, 2012 at 4:04 AM

    Fire Eckstein. That's all.

  39. John - May 19, 2012 at 4:17 AM

    100% in agreement with you, NatsLady. Cannot hang this loss on the pitching. It did its job tonight. I'd take Mattheus on the hill over Kevin Gregg in a close ballgame any day. The O's have some good, experienced professional hitters. We're still lacking.

  40. John - May 19, 2012 at 4:21 AM

    Incidentally, I enjoy reading everyone's comments here. I hope the atmosphere remains civil and respectful for the long haul – the message boards on MLB can be downright nasty.

  41. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 19, 2012 at 4:25 AM

    You are reading between the lines if you assume I am hanging it on the pitching staff. Obviously the hitters are the problems. However what I said had the pitchers pitched a shutout we would have won. so I assigned 5% (which was a little high) on pitchers. I could lower it to 2%. However I can't go as low as 0%. There was room for them to operate.

  42. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 19, 2012 at 4:36 AM

    I second the fire Eck (have been calling for it for three years).

  43. Clip&Store - May 19, 2012 at 4:39 AM

    i had work and missed all of the game so sadly I don't have anything to say about the game specifically, but will you people now that kept saying to me "overreacting" One game" "who cares if we lose to the pirates" now see what i am getting at? its not the 1 game that i get mad about, its how we play and our general trend.

  44. DWS - May 19, 2012 at 4:47 AM

    If it's been mentioned previously I apologize.Too many called strikes. Daveys aggressiveness seems to be falling on deaf ears.The pitching will keep this team going, but eventually the hitting will be the difference.Oh, any Desi bashers out and about tonight?

  45. Gonat - May 19, 2012 at 5:08 AM

    DWS, Davey got aggressive at the wrong times and it backfired.Can't expect a pitcher who is batting with a slow runner on 1st (Flores) to execute a hit & run effectively.Did anyone answer why Espi was bunting with 2 strikes?Plenty of other bizarre strategies and none of them really worked.Davey just looked totally lost tonight which made it tough to watch, but of course as you always have to say, execution was poor.

  46. m20832 - May 19, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    I also can't understand why Espi was trying to bunt with two strikes.I know that DJ has world series rings and has forgotten more about baseball than any of us here put together would know, but after ST, preseason games and 39 regular season games, wouldn't he know his players strengths and weaknesses?And please, please, please go get Mickey Hatcher Mike! Enough of the Eckstein experiment!

  47. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 19, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    The worse thing last night was Espi bunting with 2 strikes, second was Ankiel not bunting in the 10th, third was Flores going on a hit and run with EJax up, 4th Desi trying to bunt a ball way inside in the 11th and wasting a strike, 5th was Zim strike out twice on pitches right over the plate and not swinging.Now the good 1st was Eajx after the first two batters was spot on. 2nd, was Deso's homer, 3rd was Harper getting 2 hits, 4th Zim getting 2 hits 5th Sorry no fifth.

  48. NatsFanJim - May 19, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    The truth is the like the Emperor's New Clothes: You don't fire Eck: you've got to fire Davey.He is not up to the task. In fact, one could argue that he is a complete idiot.Anyone with to bash Riggleman now? the manager who won with a team who had Lannan as its 'ace'? Riggleman was ridiculed for his small ball by players, writers, and fans alike. anyone wish to have Riggs back? I do.

  49. natsfan1a - May 19, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    "anyone wish to have Riggs back?"Not me.Jim Riggleman career managerial stats: 662-824 (.445)with Nats: 140-172 (.449)Davey Johnsoncareer managerial stats: 1211-947 (.561)with Nats: 63-59 (.516)**Work in process. Please pardon our dust.

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