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Instant analysis: Nats 8, Braves 4

Jul 1, 2012, 8:39 PM EDT

Associated Press photo
Ryan Zimmerman had three hits and four RBI to continue his offensive surge.

Game in a nutshell: On the day they learned they'll be sending at least three (and maybe four) players to Kansas City for the All-Star Game, the Nationals turned to one of their former All-Stars for some more offensive support. Ryan Zimmerman continued his torrid week at the plate with a double, a homer and three RBI that helped stake his team to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first. Staked to that lead, Gio Gonzalez battled his way through another scorching afternoon — the temperature at first pitch was 101 degrees, and it reached 104 degrees by the fifth inning — but wilted in the sixth when he served up a three-run homer to Freddie Freeman. No problem, because the Nats tacked on two late runs and then turned things over to their lights-out bullpen. Craig Stammen, Sean Burnett and Tyler Clippard combined for four scoreless innings to wrap up a series victory over the Braves.

Hitting highlight: You can only wonder what might have been had Zimmerman received his magic cortisone shot earlier in the season. It's too late to do anything about that now, but the Nationals are plentyRead more »

  1. MicheleS - Jul 1, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    WOOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!IV Bags for everyone!!!

  2. natsfan1a - Jul 1, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    YESSS!!! Atta way, NATS!!Seriously, Mark, how do you throw those up so fast?

  3. baseballswami - Jul 1, 2012 at 8:45 PM

    Unsung hero: Craig Stammen. Time and time again.

  4. MicheleS - Jul 1, 2012 at 8:46 PM

    And it is time for the Dodgers to step up and beat the Mets!

  5. peric - Jul 1, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    Back home to Anacostia … :) and some Giants and Rockies! Vote Bryce even if you aren't a teenaged gurl.

  6. peric - Jul 1, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    Unsung hero: Craig Stammen. Time and time again.Maybe we should replace him with the 5 million dollar man John Lannan? :)

  7. Drew - Jul 1, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    The Nats have scored 51 runs in six games.

  8. baseballswami - Jul 1, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    This is not the same dodgers team we played at all. Who do the Mets have next? Someone who can beat them?

  9. NatsLady - Jul 1, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    C'mon, Dodgers. Ya got Kershaw pitching. Give him some RUN SUPPORT!!!!

  10. baseballswami - Jul 1, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    Earlier in the season the pitching was very stingy. Now the starters are starting to give up a few more runs. Enter the offense. Stepping it up. This is very much a team effort. One of the many things I like about the Nats.

  11. sm13 - Jul 1, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    Made it home from Atlanta to see the last 5 innings of the game. It is great to see the Nats bats stay hot after leaving Coors Field. If it wasn't for CMW's ineffective performace we would have swept this series.CMW aside, the bullpen was phenomenal this series.

  12. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 1, 2012 at 9:04 PM

    There is no way anything about Gio's start was All Star worthy and I'm sure he'd say the same thing.Ghost is right…..McCatty has to work with him to get him to throw quality strikes early …..like strike 1.

  13. MicheleS - Jul 1, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    Davey being stand up and taking the blame on leaving Gio in on the post game interview.

  14. sjm308 - Jul 1, 2012 at 9:06 PM

    Still no electricity & AT&T 3G is horrible but Nats win!

  15. natsfan1a - Jul 1, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    On another note, with six more to play before the break, I do believe that the Nats have clinched denying the prediction of their being more than 6 games under .500 by the All-Star break. (There are always predictions, but that one happened to stick in my mind because the commenter wanted me to repost the prediction when he was right. Ummm… :-))

  16. baseballswami - Jul 1, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    MicheleS. Very much so. I am in the mood for a giant , refreshing, red, sweet beverage. Go Nats!!!!!!!

  17. natsfan1a - Jul 1, 2012 at 9:11 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  18. natsfan1a - Jul 1, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    JaneB, my husband and I had cookies this afternoon in honor of Ian. They go really well with a nice, tall glass of refreshing red beverage. Just doing our part to help out the team and all. :-)

  19. NatsLady - Jul 1, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    Love Desi. Was never negative on him, just kept my peace. Just wish TLR had chosen Clip over Papelbon.

  20. Positively Half St. - Jul 1, 2012 at 9:14 PM

    Stammen has certainly protected himself on the roster. A difficult decision is coming up when Drew Storen comes back in 12 days, and right now CMW looks to be the hindmost on the pitching staff. I don't know if they can concoct an injury quickly enough to keep him. It stinks because it really looked like it had a chance to be a great story.You know what, though? It's great that the Nats don't have to get by on dreams made of broken players and duct tapee anymore.+1/2St.

  21. baseballswami - Jul 1, 2012 at 9:18 PM

    Re: Bryce Yes, he plays hard , hits, all the things we heard about . I am surprised every day at his baseball maturity. Almost every day he gives himself up moving a runner or doing what the team needs. If you have not read it yet, the post had a long feature piece about him. At one point there is a story about him telling his dad he was tired and wanted to go home. He sounded so young. Also things about how the guys look after him. Must read.

  22. NatsLady - Jul 1, 2012 at 9:20 PM

    James Wagner ‏@JamesWagnerWPAsked about the final vote, Bryce Harper said he'd vote for Chipper Jones.As he should. Polite and proper. Now, will Chipper vote for Bryce?

  23. sm13 - Jul 1, 2012 at 9:25 PM

    Agree with +1/2st — we don't need and can't afford to keep guys on our roster who are trying to recapture their old glory. There are not one, but two pitching staff decisions coming up, as Henry is due back, possibly before Druuu. Mike Gonzales might be the odd man out, even though he has pitched well. I just can't imagine they keep him over Matheus, and there is no way they can afford to send Stammen down, his stuff is electric these days.

  24. NatsLady - Jul 1, 2012 at 9:34 PM

    I'm sorry, you can say what you want, but between Ank "peeling off" to be with Harper and him making it look effortless in CF, I don't care if he never gets another hit in his LIFE, I want him on my team.

  25. mayhemnsuz - Jul 1, 2012 at 9:48 PM

    That feature piece on Harper made the whole team look great. Really enjoyed reading it. Also really enjoyed seeing the last two runs score today.

  26. SonnyG10 - Jul 1, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    What a nice win today. Baseballswami, I enjoyed the Post piece on Harper so much I've saved it to read again. Also just put in a bunch of votes for Bryce for All-Stars.

  27. baseballswami - Jul 1, 2012 at 9:55 PM

    I know that there are set labels for the set up guys and closer, but I think Stammen fills a critical role between the starters and those guys. His stuff was amazing, he pitched close to 50 pitches recently and does whatever is needed. Now we have the starter then The Bridge, The Burn, The End.

  28. natsfan1a - Jul 1, 2012 at 9:58 PM

    Good on Harper for saying that, NatsLady. Chipper's had some career, for sure. Yes, that was a great piece, swami. Someone (Michele?) posted a link here when it first went up on the site.

  29. rabbit34 - Jul 1, 2012 at 9:59 PM

    I hate it that posters are using initials instead of peoples' names, more and more. We have to think of what the initials stand for and sometimes it doesn't happen for me!! Hi MickeleS!

  30. natsfan1a - Jul 1, 2012 at 10:06 PM

    Always looking on the bright side, rabbit. Atta way. ;-)

  31. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 1, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    It used to be you had a closer and the big issue was how you built a "bridge" to get to the closer.Then the "set up man" was developed to get you to the closer. So that takes care of the last 6 outs.Now the "bridge" is the guy or guys that get you from the starter to the set up man and that could mean anywhere from 1 to 9 outs. To me, that is what seperates the losers from the playoff contenders and with the guys the Nats have, well the playoffs are solidly in the picture.

  32. realdealnats - Jul 1, 2012 at 10:11 PM

    And if you think we we're happy about the hitting, how do you think Zim, and Morse feel? They knew they were underperforming and with a little patience from Davey, their team mates and the fans, they have found their groove…

  33. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 1, 2012 at 10:11 PM

    unsung hero is Mark. Weather was so nasty up here and he is covering the team down there for us. thank you Mark.good series win. let's keep rolling guys.ps, i think i am gonna vote chipper in final vote.

  34. Gonat - Jul 1, 2012 at 10:12 PM

    NatsLady said… Jeez, Ankiel makes it look easy. If only he could hit! July 01, 2012 3:59 PM ____________________________Charlie and Dave gave Davey the "Good Move of the Day" award for putting Ankiel in the lineup given his great record against Hudson and the highlight single with 2 base error in the 1st inning.OK, its a stretch on that one.

  35. baseballswami - Jul 1, 2012 at 10:21 PM

    I great. Now the giants are starting to play well…..

  36. baseballswami - Jul 1, 2012 at 10:21 PM

    Meant O great.

  37. natsfan1a - Jul 1, 2012 at 10:24 PM

    swami, yeah, they've been coming on in the past week. Maybe Timmy will misplace his mojo again. Hey, it could happen. :-)

  38. JaneB - Jul 1, 2012 at 10:30 PM

    Me? I'm happy to be Nats fan, and still smiling about today. How about the Kid saying he'd vote for Chipper? Makes me want to get a fifth email address to cast even more votes. Gio is managing to win, even if he doesn't have his best stuff. Lookimg forward to seeing him at home this next weekend!RYFNR! And may you all have power when you get home.

  39. JaneB - Jul 1, 2012 at 10:31 PM

    PS…how about an Insider AllStar viewing party? Early, I know, but I'm putting it out there….

  40. Will - Jul 1, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    Where are all those people who were calling for Zimmerman to be traded or sent down to the minors to figure things out?

  41. realdealnats - Jul 1, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    Right-o Swami, Mark always gets the Unsung Hero Award.

  42. Candide - Jul 1, 2012 at 10:35 PM

    Apropos of nothing… a month ago, I was telling anyone who would listen that Philadelphia was old and broken-down and they would collapse in the heat of the summer.After losing to the fish today, they're nine games under .500 and in last place 11 back of the Nats.I wish I was as smart every day as I was the day I made that prediction.

  43. natsfan1a - Jul 1, 2012 at 10:39 PM

    That's a good idea, Jane. I don't think I'd make it, what with it being a weeknight and an 8 PM start, but maybe others could.

  44. realdealnats - Jul 1, 2012 at 10:41 PM

    Sorry–Faraz! One too many Dogfish Head 90 minutes…

  45. realdealnats - Jul 1, 2012 at 10:42 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  46. MicheleS - Jul 1, 2012 at 10:53 PM

    Realdealnats…Mmmmmm dogfish head…..

  47. Gonat - Jul 1, 2012 at 10:54 PM

    http://www.masnsports.com/index_medialounge.php?show_id=1049510&p=Mark Z. asked the question to Davey about stretching out the starters to go further. You will hear Davey's chuckle and response. Davey admits he screwed up and went against his instincts and should have pulled Gio after the walk in the 6th.The team got a "W" which is most important.

  48. Gonat - Jul 1, 2012 at 10:55 PM

    Braves signed Ben Sheets. Interesting.

  49. Gonat - Jul 1, 2012 at 10:55 PM

    Tim Hudson used to be a Nats killer. Another early barage on Hudson and great bullpen work.

  50. realdealnats - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:07 PM

    MicheleS–It's a private language for those who love it, isn't it? 90 minutes has been my drink of choice for about 5 years now. The fuel of many an escapade…

  51. realdealnats - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:13 PM

    Back to the subject of Bullpen…does Gonzalez have any options? Or does he have to stay up? B/c contrary to most, I still believe there is treasure in Henry. Even though the clock is ticking. What makes it more difficult is that Gonzalez is a lefty and Henry a righty. So we come up short on that end too. But I do hate to give Henry up. I think most of us agree Wang goes when Storen comes back. But what about that second move? Or is there a second Bullpen move?

  52. Gonat - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:15 PM

    baseballswami said… I great. Now the giants are starting to play well….. July 01, 2012 6:21 PM ___________________________Giants are in trouble. Check this game out. Bases loaded in the 9th with no outs.

  53. Gonat - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:16 PM

    Blown save by the SF Giants. Now 3-3 and still bases loaded and no outs.

  54. Soul Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:22 PM

    does Gonzalez have any options?Long gone. Players with at least five years of service time do not have to accept assignment, and he would become an unrestricted free agent if they cut him. He's not making that much, so in his case it's not an issue, but if that happened, the Nats would still have to pay him, minus a prorated portion of the MLB minimum if another team did sign him. Besides, as you say, he's a lefty. They would likewise be on the hook for Wang's salary. Perhaps Mattheus goes back to Syracuse when Storen gets back.

  55. Secret wasian man - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:22 PM

    got off the ferry in cape may NJ (Phillies country) and my son and I had are W hats on. Take that Philthy. Hows last place????

  56. baseballswami - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:28 PM

    Hoping the giants go tons of extras.

  57. Soul Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:30 PM

    Did anybody hear a distance on Zimm's HR yet?

  58. Gonat - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:33 PM

    baseballswami said… Hoping the giants go tons of extras. July 01, 2012 7:28 PM ____________________________Hoping the same except Jay Bruce just misjudged a fly ball and walk-off. I'm glad Stammen, Burnie, and Clip get a day off tomorrow.

  59. baseballswami - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:33 PM

    Maybe the mets will lose.

  60. Gonat - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:34 PM

    Soul Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa said… Did anybody hear a distance on Zimm's HR yet? July 01, 2012 7:30 PM _____________________________Yes, it was a VF

  61. Soul Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:35 PM

    Candide, I also predicted exactly this fate, and a few otherwise smart guys scoffed in derision. He who laughs at the All-Star break may not laugh last, but he is enjoying the dickens out of it, I'll tellya.

  62. Soul Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:36 PM

    Thanks, Gonat; I was hoping for a number.

  63. Soul Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:37 PM

    Giants come back in the bottom of the 9th, 4-3.

  64. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:39 PM

    we do have a day off tomorrow, Gonat.

  65. Gonat - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:40 PM

    Soul Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa said… Candide, I also predicted exactly this fate, and a few otherwise smart guys scoffed in derision. _______________________________Find that discussion. Would love to re-read as I know we discussed the aging Phillies position players but still thought their pitching would carry them. Easy to say now. Nothing like going back to read the off-season threads.Most won't put their predictions down. They wait until after the fact and then say it.

  66. Gonat - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:41 PM

    Faraz Shaikh said… we do have a day off tomorrow, Gonat. July 01, 2012 7:39 PM ______________________________Yes, yes they do.

  67. Gonat - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:44 PM

    Soul Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa said… Thanks, Gonat; I was hoping for a number. July 01, 2012 7:36 PM _________________________430 feet, still VF

  68. Gonat - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:45 PM

    Re: the Phillies. Still 84 days to go so I won't really gloat until the Nats finish way in front of them and in the playoffs.

  69. Gonat - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:47 PM

    Kemp just declared himself out of the All Star game but will be in the HR Derby

  70. UnkyD - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:51 PM

    Hey… I'm looking for the Post piece on Harp. Was it today, I have the app and don't pick up the hard copy any more… Lil' help?

  71. natsfan1a - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:59 PM

    My own perception has been that plenty of people are happy to make predictions when polls and such are run. As for those who don't, I can't speak for "most," not being all that big on generalizations either. I will speak for myself, though. To the best of my knowledge, I have not gone on to say "it," although I'm also not sure what "it" is. ;-)On another note, while I'm happy to indulge in Schadenfreude at their present circumstances, I'm not prepared to write the Phils' obit, either.Most won't put their predictions down. They wait until after the fact and then say it.

  72. UnkyD - Jul 2, 2012 at 12:00 AM

    Sofa: "Gorsehacken" belongs on the label of a really good German brau…

  73. natsfan1a - Jul 2, 2012 at 12:07 AM

    Good one, Unk. As Mark Twain once said, "I would rather decline two Gorsehackens than one German noun."

  74. UnkyD - Jul 2, 2012 at 12:33 AM

    Thanks, Gonat…. Off for a good read….. :)

  75. UnkyD - Jul 2, 2012 at 12:54 AM

    Great piece!!! I love my ball team…..{:^D

Archives

NLDS: NATIONALS VS. GIANTS

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