Skip to content

Instant analysis: Nats 6, Giants 5

Jul 6, 2012, 2:19 AM EDT

Associated Press photo
The Nationals and Giants wore 1924 throwback uniforms for tonight's game.

Game in a nutshell: On Turn Back the Clock night, the Nationals and Giants staged a tense battle not all that unlike Game 7 of the 1924 World Series. Right down to the home team rallying to win in walk-off fashion. Ross Detwiler labored through five innings and was probably lucky to escape allowing only three runs. Matt Cain, meanwhile, was in complete control for six innings, baffling the Nationals' hitters with his impressive arsenal. All of a sudden, though, the Nats lineup came to life in the bottom of the seventh, with Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa clubbing back-to-back homers and Bryce Harper delivering a two-out, RBI double to cut the Giants' lead to one. It remained a 5-4 game into the bottom of the ninth, at which point the Nationals staged their winning rally off closer Santiago Casilla. Tyler Moore kicked things off with a double to deep left-center. Casilla then couldn't field Steve Lombardozzi's sacrifice bunt attempt. Harper delivered the game-tying single, but with the bases loaded, Michael Morse grounded into a forceout at the plate. Adam LaRoche then grounded into what looked like a 4-6-3 double play, but Brandon Crawford's relay bounced and Brandon Belt couldn't make the scoop. Harper came in to score and the Nationals pulled off a wild, 6-5 victory.

Hitting highlight: Say this for Harper: He battles through at-bats with the best of them, even if it doesn't always result in a hit. The rookieRead more »

  1. Drew - Jul 6, 2012 at 2:22 AM

    This team is unbelievable. They sweep the Giants and score 24 runs in games started by The Freak, Bum and Cain.How impressive is that?

  2. Gonat - Jul 6, 2012 at 2:24 AM

    TyMo setting the table Lombo gets the bunt down and Harp pulls the RBI single. That's 3 rookies and I will say it again THREE ROOKIES!!!!,,

  3. terpman33 - Jul 6, 2012 at 2:25 AM

    This team is FREAKIN UNBELIEVABLE!!!! What a great game. Everyone battled to win this. And I left the game early, after we came back to get it to 5-4! I wish my wife and I could've stayed. Anyway, great game, and GYFNG!!!!!!

  4. peric - Jul 6, 2012 at 2:25 AM

    In 1924 the Twins would be the Nationals … the Rangers (Nats II) and the Expos (Nats III) wouldn't have existed yet.

  5. peric - Jul 6, 2012 at 2:26 AM

    T-Mo definitely needs to play more … and closer to the heart of the order!

  6. baseballswami - Jul 6, 2012 at 2:27 AM

    A couple of hours ago you would not have seen this coming. Talk about winning ugly. We'll take it!

  7. NatsFanChris - Jul 6, 2012 at 2:28 AM

    Hey Mark, Dont mean to nit-pick, but I think Harper tied it at 5 (putting men on first and third) then after the intentional walk to Zimm, it was Morse that grounded into the force at home.Awesome game, and an awesome sweep. GYFNG!!!!! (wooo hoooo)

  8. MicheleS - Jul 6, 2012 at 2:28 AM

    WOOOOO HOOOOOOO!!

  9. NatsFanChris - Jul 6, 2012 at 2:31 AM

    Couldnt agree more about Tyler Moore. Lombo seems to be warming back up though. With Werth coming back, there will certainly be some tough decisions.Can you believe the Nats have to worry about having too much talent?

  10. Swift Eagle - Jul 6, 2012 at 2:32 AM

    Harper looked completely locked in the last 2 ABs…his 2 best of the season IMO…

  11. natsfan1a - Jul 6, 2012 at 2:32 AM

    AAOOGA!! AAOOOGA!! Looks like an instant Nats classic to me. Not sure whether it was a rally Carp or a rally WS bat, but either one works for me!

  12. Swift Eagle - Jul 6, 2012 at 2:35 AM

    I sure wouldn't trade Harper for the Cards "all-star" D. Frese…

  13. Joe Seamhead - Jul 6, 2012 at 2:36 AM

    Johnson just made right move after right move. What a joy this whole experience is!

  14. djinFl. - Jul 6, 2012 at 2:44 AM

    Great observation Swift Eagle.My my my how far we have come.

  15. Joe Seamhead - Jul 6, 2012 at 2:45 AM

    I'm also so very happy for Henry. Folks,we are going to need Good Henry as season goes on, and the coaching staff is really trying hard to nurse him back to being a productive member of the bullpen.

  16. baseballswami - Jul 6, 2012 at 2:45 AM

    Three rookies getting it done in front of screaming fans in the bottom of the ninth. Detweilet holding it to 3,miraculously, middle infield with power, Clippard. Just amazing!

  17. Secret wasian man - Jul 6, 2012 at 2:46 AM

    wow this is fun. be there tommor. GO AWAY METS!!!

  18. baseballswami - Jul 6, 2012 at 2:48 AM

    Oh, and a sure sign zim is back– he got walked in a critical spot. How beautiful was that? Two weeks ago, not so much.

  19. Swift Eagle - Jul 6, 2012 at 2:48 AM

    Giants radio guys again complaining about Nats Park right field ("cheap HRs", "they know how to use their quirky park")They also say Espi used his bicep pad to purposely get HBP, and predicted the Giants will throw at him in the rematch series in SF….

  20. baseballswami - Jul 6, 2012 at 2:52 AM

    The Giants were welcome to use that same part of the park. Both teams played in the same park. And perhaps their pitcher should have had a bit more control? They had that game won several times.

  21. djinFl. - Jul 6, 2012 at 2:56 AM

    Boswell has an article on line about Strass.A must read. some days he can still write a great piece.

  22. NatsLady - Jul 6, 2012 at 2:57 AM

    Swift Eagle–unreal. Because AT&T park is so "normal."

  23. Swift Eagle - Jul 6, 2012 at 2:57 AM

    Thanks DJ…just read the Boswell column…he's spot on. Shutting down Stras is a no doubter…

  24. NatsLady - Jul 6, 2012 at 2:58 AM

    OK, so they throw at Espi. Last year he led the league in HBP. I think he can handle it… Sort of ironic, they would hit him in retaliation for him getting hit.

  25. Swift Eagle - Jul 6, 2012 at 2:59 AM

    You're right NatsLady AT&T is crazy!..I was shocked by the Giants radio guys..They are actually really good (no John Miller tonight) and I like the different perspective, but really lame for them to make excuses

  26. Dryw Loves the Nats - Jul 6, 2012 at 3:02 AM

    I think one of the more fun parts of that one was hearing the highlights replayed on the post-game on the radio and hearing exactly how loud we were! Wooooohoooooo indeed!!!

  27. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 6, 2012 at 3:03 AM

    Big team win. There was no break in this team. I agree with those about TyMo. That's what I was talking about to see him rebound and get re-locked in. He didn't miss a HR by much.Swift, I was at the game and now back in my hotel. Do the Giants guys really think Desi was aiming there? He is a pull HR guy. Good try by them. What a complete joke.Sure, Espi turned into the pitch, just like Utley before him and Biggio before him and Bonds before him. These guys wear that armour over those right elbows for a reason. That 9th inning where 6 guys came up to the plate in the win was impressive. While the ending wasn't pretty for the Giants on a almost tailor-made 4-6-3 doubleplay, the Nats have to say thank you for much for the sweep.

  28. Swift Eagle - Jul 6, 2012 at 3:04 AM

    I actually think the crowd noise played a role in the botched bunt defense in the 9th. I think Arias was calling off the pitcher, but he couldn't hear him

  29. baseballswami - Jul 6, 2012 at 3:05 AM

    One of the loudest times I remember hearing. From desi's hr on, it just seemed to build. Must have been epic to be there with all the throwback stuff and the comeback win!

  30. Swift Eagle - Jul 6, 2012 at 3:07 AM

    Exactly GHost, just lame excuses..and I've never felt the ball carried well to right at Nats Park, except right down the line to the Nats bullpen. With 14.8 wall and the scoreboard above it, there's no cheap HRs over there…Total sour grapes

  31. Doc - Jul 6, 2012 at 3:09 AM

    The MLB boys just interviewed Desi after the game. Surprise, surprise, Desi stated that Larry Bowa straightened out his approach on defense, particularly with using his feet, plus taught him how to 'practice'.So who was the Nats' minor leagues' infield coach when Desi was working his way up???Desi 30 HRs, 100 RBIs for 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  32. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 6, 2012 at 3:14 AM

    Not sure if it was discussed about the Matt Cain story. He doesn't throw any harder than John Lannan and I would take a "soft tossing" Matt Cain any day of the week. I charted Matt Cain for a while. He was throwing fastballs 90 to 91 most of the game with a few 89s. He threw a lot of changeups and seemed to use his slider low in the zone like a 2 seamer to induce some ground balls. He threw an occassional curveball and to some batters a steady diet of sliders.Detwiler on the other hand got worked over and had unlucky BABIP. It happens. Very unusual to see so many balls by RH batters being pulled right on the 3rd base line. Zimmerman was peppered down there.The ump also wasn't Detwiler's friend and it was another game I thought the opposing pitcher got the breaks.Stammen didn't pitch bad although it probably statistically was his worst outing.I'm wondering who goes down when Storen comes back. Mattheus seems like the choice as it will be for 45 days or less as HenRod has to be on his last opportunity and really did a good job. He threw smart and confident again tonight in a slightly higher leverage game.Also, hats off to Feffer on this 1924 promotion. It looked good to me. Harper is such a throwback. That guy just looks turn of the century. Very enjoyable!

  33. Swift Eagle - Jul 6, 2012 at 3:17 AM

    Desmond was unfortunate to join a skeleton Expos organization/development program out of high school, and took longer than expected to get to the Show…there's no one person to blame, just bad circumstances.Had a few years in the minors where he didn't hit or even get on base…he's certainly been worth the wait…

  34. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 6, 2012 at 3:23 AM

    Swift Eagle said… Exactly GHost, just lame excuses..and I've never felt the ball carried well to right at Nats Park, except right down the line to the Nats bullpen. With 14.8 wall and the scoreboard above it, there's no cheap HRs over there…Total sour grapes July 05, 2012 11:07 PM Exact words, sour grapes. I like my broadcasters to be "homers" but you have to be knowledgable and somewhat objective. They obviously don't know where Desi hits them because they don't bother to do their homework as they would know Desi's power is as a pull hitter and when Zim is going well he inside outs those pitches where he hit his scoreboard shot yesterday and Morse will do the same thing. Its actually called going with the pitch. The Giants guys have been starved for offense for so long (until this year) that they don't know "what going with the pitch" means obviously.Bochy made a whole bunch of coaching mistakes this series. Davey totally out-coached him. Nats beat the Giants #1, #2, and #3 while matching up with the Nats #3, #4, and #5B.

  35. A DC Wonk - Jul 6, 2012 at 3:29 AM

    I love Bryce as much as the next guy . . . but in the game thread it said he "laced" a double into left, and here he "roped" it into left. I'm sure it looked that way in the box score, but . . . . on TV it sure looked like he dunked it in front of the left fielder, and when the LF'er overran it. (Here's the play: http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=22870311&c_id=mlb)Not trying to pick on anybody, or put down Bryce — Bryce was Mr Clutch tonight — but just wanted to "correct the record" for folks who didn't actually see it.

  36. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 6, 2012 at 3:30 AM

    Swift, the Giants players after the game were complimentary towards the Nats. I was listening to some of the MLB radio feed.If the Philthies did their job tonight, the Nats lead would have widened.To take all 3 games in a series against the rising 1st Place Giants is huge.

  37. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 6, 2012 at 3:35 AM

    DC Wonk, that ball had top spin and got down. Yes, you take those when you can. The thing about those types of hits shows that contact hitters vs. K kings will get some to drop in. SF had plenty of hits in holes.The hardest smash tonight I think was Zim's line drive that was hit right at Torres late in the game. That happens too.

  38. SonnyG10 - Jul 6, 2012 at 3:35 AM

    He was called for a borderline check swing with a 2-0 count, but brushed it off and roped an opposite-field double on the next pitch to drive in a key run.Mark, I disagree on the check swing being borderline. On the TV replay, it was not even close to being a swing. The call was so bad that I question the honesty of the 3rd base ump.

  39. A DC Wonk - Jul 6, 2012 at 3:37 AM

    Soriano throws a perfect strike from LF to nail Chipper Jones at home platehttp://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?topic_id=34029488&highlight_content_id=22874581

  40. peric - Jul 6, 2012 at 3:40 AM

    Folks,we are going to need Good Henry as season goes on, But, the big question is who do they swap for Storen? The bullpen is pretty solid just like it is given the release of Lidge and DL'ing Wang. Storen would make it better. Seems like Michael Gonzalez would be the odd man out were it not for the fact he is a left-hander. If not Gonzalez then Stammen or Mattheus who could both be optioned without losing them.Given the frequency of use and their roles, if I had to guess its likely going to be Ryan Mattheus. Perhaps they need a trade to occur? They definitely need more prospects given that this last draft will likely end up as a complete washout if they don't sign Giolito. They've got to get some prospects somehow someway.

  41. A DC Wonk - Jul 6, 2012 at 3:41 AM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… DC Wonk, that ball had top spin and got down. Yes, you take those when you can.Of course you take 'em when you can! Just sayin' it seemed seem "roped" or "laced" to me.While we're at it, SonnyG10 wrote:I disagree on the check swing being borderline. On the TV replay, it was not even close to being a swing. The call was so bad that I question the honesty of the 3rd base ump.I'm with SonnyG10 on this one, too. So often, swings that look checked end up being correctly called as swings, as you can see on the replay. But in this case, even on the replay, Harper didn't come anywhere near swinging. Worst call I've ever seen on a check swing. Really. I've seen some bad ones, but this one ranked as "you were in a different reality, ump."

  42. ehay2k - Jul 6, 2012 at 3:41 AM

    At the last minute I took my two oldest kids to the game. Good choice, I think!Throwback night was really well done. The scoreboard was really neat. I liked the uniforms so much I bought a Zimm throwback jersey.Harper had an amazing game – his AB in the sixth was epic. Cain was cruising, 73 pitches through 5. Harper finished and Cain was at 83 and looked drained. I was hoping Zimm would see more than two pitches. But in any case, Cain was not the same after that. Great win, a sweep at that. Against what Cain had said was the best staff in MLB. I wonder what he will think about the Nats' staff on the flight home?

  43. peric - Jul 6, 2012 at 3:41 AM

    Soriano throws a perfect strike from LF to nail Chipper Jones at home plateAuditioning for his next team …

  44. peric - Jul 6, 2012 at 3:43 AM

    Not trying to pick on anybody, or put down Bryce — Bryce was Mr Clutch tonight — but just wanted to "correct the record" for folks who didn't actually see it.The left fielder was thinking he was going to make a circus catch to rescue the game … likely a throw to the plate with Bryce arriving on 2nd anyway.

  45. peric - Jul 6, 2012 at 3:45 AM

    If you compare what T-Mo has done against what Morse has done in far fewer at bats … T-Mo is a lot younger and right now he is looking more beast-like. Makes one wonder …

  46. NatsLady - Jul 6, 2012 at 3:45 AM

    I think the Giants, or their announcers, expected to come in with their great pitching (remember Lincecum had a couple of good starts) and meet up with the "light hitting" Nats and win an easy series if not a sweep. All of a sudden it was hot hot hot and for some reason the Giants travel on their off-day.And the Nats, who learned how to hit in Colorado and kept it up in the ATL, were not such light-hitters at all. Really, the Nats got swept by the Dodgers (when they were hot) and the Yanks, who out-played us–though not by much–and our nemesis, the Fish. We didn't like it, but, we didn't whine about it. You have to take your lumps–and hopefully learn from them.

  47. peric - Jul 6, 2012 at 3:47 AM

    I think I said this very early on … Harper is the X-factor in this offense. He is the spark to get the engine of this offense cooking … and he has been doing it since he was called up. But, can he continue? After all he is just 19, this is his first major league season, and 162 games is an awfully long grind.

  48. waddu eye no - Jul 6, 2012 at 3:47 AM

    Great night out. We dont need no stinkin cheerleaders. And the B&W hi speed highlights were great.

  49. ehay2k - Jul 6, 2012 at 3:48 AM

    We were in section 115 – 3rd base side – and the called strike on Bryce was anything but. We were all booing that call loudly. A couple of times during the game, the 3b ump did not seem to be paying attention. He seemed lost on appeals. I'll chalk it up to the heat, but it was still a poor effort. As for Bryce's hit to LF, I agree with others that it was more blooped than laced/roped. No matter, it was a hit.

  50. Gonat - Jul 6, 2012 at 3:51 AM

    NatsLady, are you saying the Giants didn't fly to DC on Sunday after their game?

  51. greg - Jul 6, 2012 at 3:55 AM

    peric, i like moore, too. but have you watched morse the last week? he looks like the 2011 morse again. his last 7 games, he's hit 400 with 3 HRs (10/25, 3HRs, 2BBs). i'm not thinking it's time to replace him with a rookie.

  52. sjm308 - Jul 6, 2012 at 4:30 AM

    So much fun! My son & I thought this might have been the loudest crowd this year. Bryce does put some amazing spin on the ball. From 308 I thought his 9th inning ground ball might be caught but it had some crazy top spin and was also placed well. How great to have 3 rookies lead the way to this win, and Henry was solid as well. I told my son we might not see Henry in the 9th inning for a couple of years but it still would not surprise me to one day have him as a dominant closer.Just a great win and the uniforms, scoreboard, band before the game and the free truck were all just icing on the cake for this win. If only metro could get me home at a decent hour. 3 yellow line trains before a green line to Greenbelt. The win made that tolerable as well.Go Nats! I will be back tomorrow with the same 1926 Hat which has now won 3 games in a row!

  53. John C. - Jul 6, 2012 at 4:33 AM

    What a beautiful game, what a beautiful team … In the early going the Giants were getting ALL the breaks. An early critical GIDP to cut off a possible big inning, then nearly everything the Giants hit was just out of reach – not one but TWO perfectly placed "swinging bunts" in one inning? And so many grounderz finding holes – maddening! Detwiler was struggling, but also very unlucky.That left the Nats down 5-1 in the 7th, being four hit by one of the best pitchers in the game on a hot and humid night in a series that they had already won – they were already playing with "house money" as the saying goes. But rather than just packing it in they just kept grinding. Despite the heat & humidity, most of the crowd hung in with the Nats, cheering and pulling for the team. Back to back home runs followed by more hits for another run chased Cain. Three rookies coming through one after another in the bottom of the 9th inning, and the Giants finally cracking under the Nats’ relentless pressure.What a great, great night at the ballpark … especially since in section 311 we were getting occasional waves of air conditioning pouring out of the press box. It made a huge difference, let me tell you!

  54. NatsLady - Jul 6, 2012 at 4:52 AM

    Gonat, no, they didn't. They flew on their off-day, if I read the reports correctly.

  55. NatsLady - Jul 6, 2012 at 4:55 AM

    Just was reading comments on the SF sites. Their fans are way classier than their announcers! No excuses, plenty of compliments for the Nats. Of course they bashed Casilla, Asfeldt, and Bochy, but that's par for the course. We would do the same if Henry walked home a run. None of this "quirky" ballpark stuff or Espi, or whatever….

  56. peric - Jul 6, 2012 at 5:18 AM

    In a sense the Nats are lucky that Bruce Bochy's late inning defensive isn't very good at all. Its about time all the effort spent in ensuring the Nats had a solid defense behind their pitching paid off. And now its paying off in spades!

  57. Dryw Loves the Nats - Jul 6, 2012 at 10:54 AM

    John C, you've hit it exactly. A beautiful game, a beautiful team. Or, as Annie Savoy would say, joy, verve, and poetry. It's a good season to be a Nationals fan!

  58. baseballswami - Jul 6, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    I would have to jump in on the idea of putting pressure on . Desi and Danny smelled Cain tiring and pushed him. 3 of our rookies came into a crazy late inning situation and handled it perfectly, with each one doing the very thing he does best. The just piled it on until something gave. The first baseman would probably not have caved had it not been an accumulation of the previous plays . Our 4th rookie got it done yesterday. The instruction in theodora is on display and it's good.

  59. baseballswami - Jul 6, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    In the minors……(smart phone)

  60. Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa - Jul 6, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    I dunno, Swami, I kind of like "the instruction in theodora" as a motif; considering her career path, it seems about right.

  61. realdealnats - Jul 6, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    Peric: Perhaps they need a trade to occur? They definitely need more prospects given that this last draft will likely end up as a complete washout if they don't sign Giolito. They've got to get some prospects somehow someway.______________________________________________________I've been re-thinking my position on Greinke in that maybe we do have the players to trade that might outdo ATL. Since we have a logjam in the bullpen, and the infield/LF, how about–being realistic–Det, Lombo, Wang, and Henry if we have to? But only for a Greinke with an extension.Is that not enough to do it? Too much? It solves our bull pen issue (and I'm a Henry lover); it get TyMo more time (and I love Lombo but not quite as much); It switches out our #5 Det (who I love too) for a #1–that in the weird way a trade makes you look at things, makes, trade-wise, Greinke a better #5 than Det and when Stras sits, a better #4 (even though he would be our what–#1, #2 or #3 starter? Wang gives them a project to work on that just possibly still work out to be a steal. So they get a good starter who will get better, a second starter who is a reach, a relief pitcher who could be a lights out closer…or not, and a utility infielder/left fielder who knows how to play the game, is clutch, and will probably become a starter. Opinions?

  62. ehay2k - Jul 6, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    And there I was looking up theodora!

  63. Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa - Jul 6, 2012 at 6:49 PM

    Sort of an Ancient Roman Evita. Only much better at it.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 88 64 --
ATLANTA 76 76 12.0
MIAMI 74 78 14.0
NEW YORK 73 80 15.5
PHILADELPHIA 70 83 18.5
x-Clinched NL East title

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON 88 64 --
LOS ANGELES 87 66 1.5
ST. LOUIS 85 68 3.5
-----------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 68 4.0 +2.0
PITTSBURGH 82 70 6.0 --
MILWAUKEE 79 74 9.5 3.5
x-Clinched division title

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

Follow us on Twitter