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Instant analysis: Nats 4, Red Sox 3

Jun 10, 2012, 8:41 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Jordan Zimmermann allowed three runs over seven innings.

Game in a nutshell: Without Bryce Harper in the starting lineup (held out with tightness in his lower back) the Nationals jumped out to a quick lead thanks to Danny Espinosa's game-opening double off the Green Monster. Their bats went silent after that against Jon Lester, and the Red Sox rallied to take the lead on David Ortiz's fourth-inning homer off Jordan Zimmermann. Espinosa put the Nationals back on top in the top of the seventh, thanks to a 310-foot double that just reached the big Wall in left, only to watch as Zimmermann gave the run right back in the bottom of the inning and leave the game tied. And then who happened to come up to pinch-hit in the top of the ninth and draw a key walk? None other than Harper. Two batters later, Roger Bernadina roped a double down the right-field line and Harper came all the way around to score the run that gave the Nats a 4-3 win and a series sweep at Fenway Park.

Hitting highlight: Harper was none too pleased about being held out of the lineup, but after taking batting practice in the cage pregame, he convinced Davey Johnson he could come off the bench if needed. WasRead more »

  1. MicheleS - Jun 10, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! A SWEEP!!!

  2. Grandstander - Jun 10, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    Reverse Lock lives on!

  3. waddu eye no - Jun 10, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    Listening in florence after a long day touristing in my curly w hat. Best dressed guy in townGreat sweep!Gyfng

  4. Drew - Jun 10, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    Deferring to MicheleS.Wow, what a statement by the Nats in Beantown.The Nats are 12-8 in the brutal stretch, with 12 games to go.On to Toronto! GYFNG!!

  5. jeffwx - Jun 10, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    so if the ASG was Tuesday, which Nats should go:Stras, Gio, Clipp and oh yeah Harpo

  6. JaneB - Jun 10, 2012 at 8:46 PM

    And I love that this happened at Fenway, with all the history there. The Kid makes stuff happen. And I am proud of the Shark today, too. Looking forward to hearing Davey's press conference. How fun for them! And fun for us!

  7. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 10, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    Orioles 5-4 over Phils in 10.Everybody else in the division, take one step back!

  8. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 10, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    Nats picked up a full game on every team in the NL East.

  9. jeffwx - Jun 10, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    Today Reminds of the Ol Professor with the Mick

  10. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 10, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    Maybe that's why Shark was in there today.

  11. Section 222 - Jun 10, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    That is an impressive weekend's work by the Nats. Hard to believe, but this might really be a 1st place team after all. So much for building for 2013. We've become so used to stellar starting pitching that plain old quality starts don't do it anymore. The thing is, they really do do it, as long as our bats can bring in more than 3 runs. And this weekend they did. So even though Gio and JZnn weren't at their best, we won their games. Welcome back Michael Morse and thank goodness for Bryce Harper.

  12. Nats212 - Jun 10, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    How can the hitting highlight not be Danny?

  13. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 10, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    Technically, it's Blue Jays 12, Braves 4 in the bottom of the 9th. But still.

  14. Unknown - Jun 10, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    Phillies, Mets, Braves and Miami all lose. Nats steal a win and a huge game in very tight standings.Celtics lose, Red Sox lose. Boston will have some respect for the Nats in future.GYFNGoNattydread

  15. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 10, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    NOW, Braves game is a final.

  16. Bigfish - Jun 10, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    I don't want to jinx anything …but we're EIGHT GAMES ahead of the Philthies !!

  17. sjb - Jun 10, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    Nats second team to take three in Fenway this season (O's did it a month ago; Rays and Yanks took two-game sets). Only one team (White Sox) did it last year.

  18. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 10, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    Great game for everybody, except for maybe Morse and Zimm, but Roger is going to the airport happy, Danny is going happy, and Bryce keeps his consecutive games streak going while they're at it. Most of the bullpen got the day off, too.

  19. NatsFan05 - Jun 10, 2012 at 9:04 PM

    Love the make up of this team! We still have good players on the DL and more working through the minors. It's going to interesting after SS gets shut down and the rest starts to come back/up in September.Go Nats!

  20. NCNatsie - Jun 10, 2012 at 9:08 PM

    Hey, Michelle. Should it be WOOOOO BROOOOOOM! when we sweep?

  21. baseballswami - Jun 10, 2012 at 9:08 PM

    Missed the entire game with a social occasion. JZim is my favorite player and has been for a while. I posted yesterday about our ridiculous expectations for our pitchers this year. On what planet is giving up 3 runs a bad outing? On planet Nats this year, of course. Gio's line was fantastic yesterday. When your team doesn't squeak out that fourth fun until the 9th inning, that's a problem that comes out of your offense. Still happy he doesn't get a loss and the team finally got that elusive sweep. I think Jordan is probably happy the team won the game. At least he is not as snakebit as cliff lee.

  22. Drew - Jun 10, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    In honor of Danny Espinosa's death-knell double:He did the mashHe did the Monster MashThe Monster MashIt was a graveyard smash…

  23. MicheleS - Jun 10, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    NCNatsie.. Good one… And Drew.. Love it!!

  24. rabbit34 - Jun 10, 2012 at 9:18 PM

    Great win and sweep. But, oh that box score. AwwwFulll. Nothing from the 2-6 batters. Just the walk to Zim. Zim had an rbi because the ball was booted. This is the best hitless team ever, in first place!! GO NATS.

  25. baseballswami - Jun 10, 2012 at 9:19 PM

    Desperately looking for highlight video as I forgot to set up my dvr before leaving this morning. No video yet of harper's walk or bernie's hit. So sorry I missed it , but so happy it happened. Once again , though – pitching that is tough – the opposition doesn't score in bunches, good defense and timely hitting. Nice formula.

  26. A DC Wonk - Jun 10, 2012 at 9:31 PM

    mick said…… 3) Davey's worse coaching job of season a) WHY bunt Bernadina with runners at 2 and 3 and 1 out?? anyone? Espi bailed out Davey's stupid move. b) Why not replace Zim in 7th after the lead off hit? We are destine to lose this game, I will take 2 of 3 but it is frustrating, I guess good managers can have bad days and this is one of them.Mick . . . haven't you learned yet to have a tiny bit a patience?Why bunt Bernadina? Because he's a pretty good bunter, and I thought the odds were pretty good the safety squeeze would have worked to score a run.Why not replace JZim? Davey thought he might be able to get out of the jam, and the top level relief corps is a bit tired.I don't think Davey had a bad game.The other observation I have (in response to others, not Mick) is the interesting juxtaposition of:a) some folks complaining that we had our "getaway" lineupat the same time that:b) other folks were complaining that Flores was not being rested.Really . . . did it occur to anyone that Flores was starting precisely because we already had a fairly weak lineup? (I'm guessing that had Harper started, Flores would have rested).In any event — our infield defense continues to be terrific. Our pitchers really gritted it out well (getting out of jams despite not having best stuff: that goes for JZ, Gorzy, and Clip today.As FP noted: that's what championship teams do — find ways to win even when folks are having off days, even when the lineup is not idea.GYFNG!!!!!!!On to Toronto . . . where EJax, perhaps the best "#4" pitcher in MLB starts .

  27. JT - Jun 10, 2012 at 9:34 PM

    So refreshing to defeat the sweep demons, albeit for only the 2nd time this season, but what a great time to do….this was the Nats version of the Boston Tea Party, 2012!! Oh Canada….here we come with a bunch of Expo fans driving south.

  28. Section 222 - Jun 10, 2012 at 9:36 PM

    baseballswami, you're absolutely right. I saw your post last night about our pitching. Once again Mark's Instant Analysis gave our starter less credit than he deserved: "The end result (three runs over seven innings) looks solid, but that doesn't tell the entire story." I agree with you that we should look a little more at the end result. If it's a quality start, the team has a shot to win, and with decent hitting, it will win, as we saw this weekend. The stellar starts are gravy, but we shouldn't have to hold our opponents to a run or less to win.For the highlights, you might consider watching the condensed game on the MLB.com Media Center. This game isn't up yet, but should be in a few hours. In about 15 minutes, you'll get virtually every out, and replays of the key plays. Gives you a better sense of the game's flow than just the highlights.

  29. MicheleS - Jun 10, 2012 at 9:37 PM

    Wonk.. just an fyi on the complaining about the lineup.. We were doing a group reverse jinx (see Harper out thread), just to try to see if we could put the wammy on the not sweeping.

  30. JT - Jun 10, 2012 at 9:39 PM

    Also, its the first time since 2002 that the Red Sox have been swept in interleague play…sweeeeeeeet, yeah!

  31. #4 - Jun 10, 2012 at 9:39 PM

    Great win. Does anyone else think that Bobby V antics in the 9th inning were desperate and classless? I did.

  32. ehay2k - Jun 10, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    MicheleS, how about Whoooooo HooooooMe when we sweep? That way, the broom comes out at the end.I agree with swami that sometimes we are spoiled by our stellar starting pitching. Jordan pitched a great game. However, I feel that he still pitches below his ability. He tries to execute the perfect pitch more often than he should, and once per game (at least) it backfires. He needs to go to Livo school and develop some guile.Livo would have thrown three straight curves for strikes to Big Papi, then looked at him with that 'Oh yes I DID' grin. Jordan throws two breaking balls for strikes, then ( on a fastball count) tries to sneak a high fastball by him, but leaves it an inch low. HR follows. Seems to happen about a game. And because it keeps happening, people get a little down on Jordan. No one more than himself, I would wager.

  33. ehay2k - Jun 10, 2012 at 9:52 PM

    Grrr, auto correct is a bother.What about Woooooo HooooooM….

  34. The Fox - Jun 10, 2012 at 9:53 PM

    Mark,I have to respectfully disagree on JZim. I will agree that he has had a problem closing out games but I would not put this game in that column. 3 runs in 7 innings with 7Ks and 2BB is pretty good in Fenway. Even in the 7th two lead-off hits a sacrifice and a ground out to score a run is not much of a rally. I think you could argue that the Sox played scared. It's been awhile since I followed the AL but playing for a run in the 7th even to tie use to be a rare occurrence where they say no lead is safe. Granted there was a runner on third but JZim got Pedroia to fly out to CF which closed out his day. Gorzo also should get an unsung hero mention too. Gorzo did not have location but gutted it out after putting 2 on without giving up a run. One man's opinion, as always I could be wrong. BTW does Fenway throw people out who interfere with ball on the field?

  35. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 10, 2012 at 10:02 PM

    I thought JZim pitched a very good game. He had some BABIP bad luck in the 7th and the HR to Ortiz was credit to Ortiz.

  36. SonnyG10 - Jun 10, 2012 at 10:02 PM

    What's really amazing is that Harper is kept out of the lineup until pinch hitting in the ninth and he still finds a way to impact the game. That dude is awesome.

  37. NatsLady - Jun 10, 2012 at 10:06 PM

    Um, Livo got hammered, 7 runs in 1+ innings, so Barfs lost 12-4 after leading 4-0…Is he near the end?

  38. Section 222 - Jun 10, 2012 at 10:11 PM

    I was wondering the same thing The Fox. That Nats fan who interfered on Desi's double that became a single was actually fighting with the third baseman for the ball. It was embarrassing, and I hope he was shown the exits. There's just no excuse for that, no matter what team's name is on your tee shirt.

  39. TimDz - Jun 10, 2012 at 10:18 PM

    (With all apologies to my neighbor):HELL YA! !!!(I'll owe him a few cases of beer by October at this rate…)

  40. MicheleS - Jun 10, 2012 at 10:24 PM

    Tim.. buy him a keg! i am sure he will need it after the O's took the last 2 from the Phils

  41. UnkyD - Jun 10, 2012 at 10:25 PM

    Nats212 said…How can the hitting highlight not be Danny?June 10, 2012 4:54 PM———————Totally. I am as in awe of the Kid as anyone… and drawing that walk, was indeed a big boy at bat. But it wasn't the "hitting highlight" of this game. Yay, for Danny!!Also have to join the chorus, and frown upon the (slightly) negative tenor of the JZim wrap. Any pitcher who wants to put up a "solid line", and 10 quality starts, out of 12, without bitching about lousy run support, gets nothing more critical than a pat on the back, from me….

  42. djinFl. - Jun 10, 2012 at 10:25 PM

    The Boston station showed a fan being tossed Saturday for grabbing the ball that went down the right field line. I laughed because the woman he was with told him what he had done and he dropped it back on the track. The woman showed good sense, she stayed while he was escorted out.

  43. 95southNatsFan - Jun 10, 2012 at 10:27 PM

    Two things:1. I really hope somehow Flores can get a team MVP for the last month. He's hit pretty well and taken an absolute beating behind the plate. Still shows up everyday ready to handle the staff and get with it.2. I hope sometime soon our club will come up with a road version of the red jerseys. This is total nitpicking, but white lettering with gray pants looks thrown together. They need a red version that says Washington on it.

  44. UnkyD - Jun 10, 2012 at 10:28 PM

    Ugh …that left a bad taste in my mouth!! Hope I never feel moved to criticize Out Host, again…. LoveYa, Mark!!

  45. baseballswami - Jun 10, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    Ok – I am starting to catch up now – section 222 – thanks so much for the link! Can you tell me what happened with Bobby V in the 9th? What was he complaining about? Balls and strikes? Was he trying to interrupt Clip's rhythm? In the dark – please enlighten me.

  46. MicheleS - Jun 10, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    Swami.. Boz summed it up bestThomas Boswell‏@ThomasBoswellWPBobby V=bush league stunt. Bosox down to last strike of sweep, ejected trying to ice Clippard w bogus argument. K. Sit down, shut up, Bobby.

  47. mick - Jun 10, 2012 at 10:38 PM

    jusy have Danny bat r handed and let him play, plain and simple. Lt Lombo and Moore battle it out for a starting OF position until werth gets back

  48. mick - Jun 10, 2012 at 10:39 PM

    dont blame Booby V exploding as I would not have if davey did, that HP umpire SUCKED!!!!

  49. mick - Jun 10, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    I think Toronto series will be tough, I'm gald they won at least 1 game at home, it would have been really tough playing them tomorrow if they lost to Braves

  50. mick - Jun 10, 2012 at 10:42 PM

    putting the 34 year gap aside of know baseball in DC, the lasst time DC had playoff baseball was 1930, last WS championship and only 1924, both against Pirates in 7 games

  51. mick - Jun 10, 2012 at 10:42 PM

    I meant no baseball, not know baseball

  52. mick - Jun 10, 2012 at 10:44 PM

    Idea for MarkZ…. find a Nats fan (most likely a small child) from 1930 and interview him/her. Its possible, such a fan would be in their late 80's or early 90'swould be a terrific STORY for Mark Z

  53. MicheleS - Jun 10, 2012 at 10:49 PM

    Go to this link and just read the headline..See how far we have come..Boston ReactionIf the baseball page isn't up.. just click over to that

  54. mick - Jun 10, 2012 at 10:50 PM

    me happy, think, I'll watch my favorite and greatest movie all time…. "ya father did business with Hyman Roth, ya father respected Hyman Roth.. but ya father never trusted Hyman Roth"

  55. sjb - Jun 10, 2012 at 10:51 PM

    Actually 1933, not 1930 was when the Nats won the AL pennant and lost the Series to the NY Giants.

  56. mick - Jun 10, 2012 at 10:51 PM

    thank you sjb… your correct

  57. Positively Half St. - Jun 10, 2012 at 11:20 PM

    A few things-I had no problem with Bobby V trying to ice Clippard in the 9th. I actually appreciated a manager doing what little he could in a bad situation. I am glad it didn't work, but I think of all the famous, ornery, conniving managers who are part of baseball lore.I have more of a problem with John Lannan, who stopped making progress today as he gave up 5 runs in 5 innings. I really am hoping for his sake and the team's that he can turn it around and build trade value. Giving up 4 runs in the first to AAA and AAAA players won't do that.+1/2St.

  58. sjm308 - Jun 10, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    I continue to stay excited about this team!!I don't want to make any trades, our clubhouse obviously is tight and everyone gets along. The veterans might not play well each and every day but there is not a selfish me-first person on this team.There are going to be some moves made though as people continue to get healthy. When DeRosa is able to play and has shown he is good I think Nady has to be released. I realize he has made some huge plays but he just is not able to hit on a consistant basis. I would actually keep Tyler Moore up (even though he has options). I like how he swings the bat. I like Bernadina off the bench and Ankiel for late inning defense but can you keep both?Bullpen is spectacular and who will be send down when Mattheus and Storen are ready? I would try and sneak Lidge through and I have no clue on the 2nd guy but I guess it has to be Gonzalez. Bottom line is we could lose a couple of players to other teams but I think we will still be fine.We will also get Tracey and Werth back before too long. Its just a lot of positives right now that I can't remember experiencing.Wonk: it's easy to cherry pick on the hot heads and impatient people. Its also a reason I don't read comments during a game. It's bad enough before the game but I thought MichelleS did a good job of turning a few complainers into the negative jinx thing. Again, I don't want anyone fired, traded or sent down but the reality is we are going to be involved with personnel changes for the next few weeks and longer.Go Nats!!ps: Mick, my mom is 87 & remembers Walter Johnson and Sammy Baugh. Two pretty decent Washington sports heroes if I do say so.

  59. efowl4 - Jun 10, 2012 at 11:51 PM

    Long time reader first time poster. Great win. Love all the feedback of a lot of Curly W'sin the Fenway stands. Also pretty impressive one hand grab from FP!Btw what does GYFNG mean?

  60. baseballswami - Jun 10, 2012 at 11:56 PM

    I just followed the link to the Boston reaction – yikes. I know it's mean, but sometimes it's really fun to drop in on their misery. I did find out that Big Papi is hitting .300 – I think JZ giving up a HR to him is not exactly shocking. Perspective – Cliff Lee has zero wins in 10 starts. ouch. It was interesting to me to see the reaction of the fans in Boston to Bryce. I think they like him and enjoyed watching him. They were almost respectful. Kind of a different reaction than we are used to. The Phils got sent back up 95 today with their tails between their legs. Those trips down the highway from Philly have not been much fun this season so far. I hear they pretty much took over OPACY this weekend – too bad they didn't have a good time ( wink,wink)

  61. baseballswami - Jun 10, 2012 at 11:59 PM

    efowl4 — Welcome!!!! It means Go You Freaking Nats Go!!!!!

  62. NCNatsie - Jun 11, 2012 at 12:33 AM

    Won, youy're right. EJ IS the best #4 pitcher in baseball, if you go by ERA. He's 19th overall, coming into today. Since no other team has more than 2 in the top 20 (we have FOUR!!!), that makes Jackson better than anybody else's #3 pitcher. How 'bout that staff???

  63. NCNatsie - Jun 11, 2012 at 12:39 AM

    Wow, just saw Bobby V's commenets on MLB. He said something like "Good umpiring had a bad series and it was all one way!" Classless b.s. And wrong. For xmple, Lester was getting calls early today that Zimmm was not. Morse got some terrible calls last night. I can't believe Valentine is being such a crybaby.

  64. sm13 - Jun 11, 2012 at 1:11 AM

    Bobby V loves to use the media to try to motivate his team. Instead of blaming his players or giving the Nats credit for the sweep, he blames the umpires. Personally, I hope it works and the BoSox beat up on the rest of the NL East this week.

  65. Laddie Blah Blah - Jun 11, 2012 at 2:39 AM

    Good to see the Shark come through. At Davey's presser he said Bernie would be used more often. He seems to have improved his approach, is being much more selective, and getting very good results when putting the ball in play, which he is doing more frequently now that his Ks are down.

  66. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 11, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    Did anyone else notice the ball that Morse was called out on to end the third, was pretty much the same place that the 3-2 count on the first Sox batter was called a ball (and he scored later). Bobby v. might have been mad late, but I was mad early.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
WASHINGTON 85 63 -- 4
ATLANTA 75 74 10.5
MIAMI 72 76 13.0
NEW YORK 72 78 14.0
PHILADELPHIA 69 80 16.5
Through Sunday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
MON: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
THU: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
Full season schedule

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ON THE RADIO

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TUE: 2:30 p.m.
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