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Instant Analysis: Rockies 4, Nats 3

Jul 8, 2012, 8:30 PM EST

Photo by US-Presswire

Rockies 4, Nationals 3
Game in a nutshell: Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann got roughed up a little in the second inning, but was able to settle in after the second and finished with one earned run and three hits through seven innings of work. Unfortunately his gem was squandered by uncharacteristic mistakes by the Nationals’ bullpen. Sean Burnett and Michael Gonzalez combined to let the Rockies tie it in the eighth and then Tyler Clippard allowed the go-ahead run off a wild pitch. Two wild pitches told the story as the Nationals failed to get win No. 50 as they head to the break.
Hitting highlight: Desmond may be hurting, but it sure doesn’t show. The Nationals shortstop crushed a two-run shot into the Red Porch in the second inning to score he and Adam LaRoche. That’s two consecutive games with home runs and four in his last six overall.

Pitching lowlight: Sean Burnett relieved Zimmermann to start the eighth inning and played a big role in the Rockies getting back into the game. First he allowed a home run to a pinch-hitting Eric Young, then consecutive singles to put men on first and third. Colorado then scored on a Michael Gonzalez wild pitch to tie the game at 3-3.

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  1. Secret wasian man - Jul 8, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    This team still does too many things that bad teams do. I predict 82-80 final record.

  2. Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa - Jul 8, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Section 135 - Jul 8, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    Can not go into September with a catching duo of Solano and Flores. I expect a trade for a rental

  4. baseballswami - Jul 8, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    Previous thread there was some blaming of the rookies. Oh, come on. Both Sean and Tyler have been a big part of where we are now – still at the top last time I checked. Both were bound to slip at some point – but both in the same game? That's just not something you could have seen coming and how can you be mad at them? JZim brilliant again – probably lowered his era. Sucks really bad for him. I think he went seven with less than a hundred pitches? Davey needs to start letting him finish his own games. He just seems to get stronger with every outing. He will also be pitching Friday night on a regular schedule. Everyone else needs to eat, sleep and get ready for the second half. Go Nats! Go National League!

  5. Secret wasian man - Jul 8, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    8 runs in 3 games against a TERRIBLE pitching staff is worrisome. Too much emphasis on All Star game and not enough on taking advantage and beating a real bad Rockies team. Although 49-34 and up by 4 games is darn good.

  6. rogieshan - Jul 8, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    I thought the unwritten rule was you never play for a tie at home. Did Espinosa elect to sacrifice on his own, when Desmond could have easily stolen 2nd base against an erratic-throwing catcher? Wouldn't the left-handed hitting Ankiel have been a better option than Flores at the end? Plenty of second guessing with this loss.

  7. peric - Jul 8, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    Looks like the Nats are going to definitely need Storen in whatever role.

  8. ehay2k - Jul 8, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    50 wins would have been nice, but I wonder, will this loss might keep every Nat focused over the ASB?Very tough loss for Zimmermann, but what else is new for our hard luck ace? Gio can probably commiserate with him, based on Gio's A's experience . Solano showed his inexperience today. He's quick, but there were a couple of balls that got past him where he looked like he made more of a glove stab at the ball. Perhaps the heat played into it?OK, the Nats are off for a few days. Time for a break from baseball – this season is wearing us fans out, but in a good way!

  9. Secret wasian man - Jul 8, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    Sean and clip are not rookies. More and Salato are.

  10. peric - Jul 8, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    Can not go into September with a catching duo of Solano and Flores. I expect a trade for a rentalGuess you haven't been watching? The Nats again have a surplus. Sandy Leon is back catching in AA. Maldonado is on the 40-man in Syracuse. The Nats aren't going to waste anything on any rental for any position … Now, for a player than can make an impact both this year and in the future? It seems highly likely the Nats just might do that. And suddenly Justin Upton becomes available and he's a Rizzo guy. There's Grienke. There's lots of possibilities to do something like that instead of wasting good prospects on a "rental".

  11. baseballswami - Jul 8, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    Perspective, perspective. We come back after the break with four in Miami – once again, things don't get easier. Maybe losing a series to a mediocre team at home will produce a little soul searching. Mets lost, Atlanta has overtaken them and won. Look where we are – it's been a pretty cool first half.

  12. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 8, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    Moore, Solano, and Lombardozzi are rookies.

  13. ehay2k - Jul 8, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    @rogieshan, once Flores came in because Moore pitch hit for Solano. Pretty hard to pull him after that. Who would catch?

  14. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 8, 2012 at 8:46 PM

    Chalk that up to not bashing a lousy pitcher like Guthrie. 3 total runs scored against the worst team in the NL.

  15. peric - Jul 8, 2012 at 8:46 PM

    Solano showed his inexperience today. He's quick, but there were a couple of balls that got past him where he looked like he made more of a glove stab at the ball. Perhaps the heat played into it?That's why Sandy Leon had moved ahead of him … especially since he seemed to have suddenly discovered his bat. Leon is the best defensive catcher in the system and a potential starter. Solano projects as a backup at this point.

  16. baseballswami - Jul 8, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    Bryce is our fourth rookie. A few days ago all of rookies were fantastic and our catchers were, too. Lombo especially smacked some balls hard today and they were caught – line score doesn't tell the tale. They have all made great contributions in the first half to help us get where we are, also. The Nats win as a team and sometimes they lose as a team. It happens.

  17. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 8, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    I said it on the last thread…..2 runs off Jeremy Guthrie. That stinks.

  18. ehay2k - Jul 8, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    Peric, I'm not liking Grienke after his outburst yesterday. If you watch the play, he was WAY late covering first. No one to blame but himself, in which case a head slap, not a ball spike in front of, he ump. When I saw it, I immediately thought "How Morgan-like." We don't have or want any of those kind of guys on our team any more.

  19. sm13 - Jul 8, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    49 wins are pretty darn good and at least 5 games up on my best expectations. We in first place and on pace for 95+ wins. Let's just calm down and mix up some All Star break kool-ade.

  20. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 8, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    ehay, until Flores was announced he didnt have to pinch hit. If the game went on, Flores would have entered as a defensive replacement.

  21. baseballswami - Jul 8, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    Agreed about Grienke – he has a hard time being flexible and may not do well in a large city. He has huge road/home splits, which reflects his difficulty with having to be in a comfort zone. Still in the Wandy camp.

  22. rogieshan - Jul 8, 2012 at 8:55 PM

    @ehay2K, I realize Flores was going to come into the game to replace Solano regardless, but he didn't have to be used as a pinch hitter at that point. I guess Davey was trying to save Ankiel and DeRosa. I was more disappointed with the decision to give an out away on the Espinosa sacrifice.

  23. Positively Half St. - Jul 8, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    If Flores got a hit we would be singing a very different tune. Let's not dwell on one game, but on the entire first half over the All-Star break. It would definitely be silly to complain about Burnett and Clippard.+1/2St.

  24. Positively Half St. - Jul 8, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    There is still some action to pay attention to. The stinking Fish are up 4-2 in the 8th, and if I type fast enough, the Cardinals still have the tying run at the plate.+1/2St.

  25. ehay2k - Jul 8, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    You are correct Steve – they could have had anyone available hitting there. However, I still doubt Ankiel was a better option than Flores. Ankiel already had his hit for July.:-) Who else available would have been a better option than Flores? I was also thinking that after the double steal, Flores would take some pitches. The Fox had first base open.

  26. ehay2k - Jul 8, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    Dang auto correct – the Rox had first open.

  27. peric - Jul 8, 2012 at 9:04 PM

    Still in the Wandy camp.Wandy is Jayson Werth's age. ONE IS ENOUGH. Let the Orioles have him. This sort of thinking led to the collapse in 2005.I'll stick with Grienke. He's a lot younger. Unless someone similar becomes available who is perhaps younger? Like Gio.Otherwise, NO TO WANDY, NO TO DEMPSTER as they defeat the who strategy Rizzo and the FO have developed for this franchise. They make absolutely NO SENSE. Start Gorzo or Stammen instead … you'd be better off.

  28. peric - Jul 8, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    Moore, Solano, and Lombardozzi are rookies.Harper, Moore, Solano, Lombardozzi … and hopefully after the break Corey Brown dagnabit!

  29. ehay2k - Jul 8, 2012 at 9:11 PM

    Peric, I agree Stammen or Gorzo would be decent options for starters. No need to trade for older pitchers, or head cases. I am as firm a NO NO NO on Grienke as you are on Dempster and Wandy. Or, we could also bring up someone from the farm. Who is a good number 5 candidate?

  30. peric - Jul 8, 2012 at 9:17 PM

    Or, we could also bring up someone from the farm. Who is a good number 5 candidate?IL and former major league all star Zach Duke, Yunesky Maya (who has done pretty well this year in AAA), and John Lannan in that order. They've got plenty and to spare.If the Nats make a deal it would have to be for someone young who has the potential to be yet another Strasburg, Gio, and Zimmnn. Preferably one good enough to make a better than passable replacement for Stras.And that is why Grienke makes sense over "the head case deal". He's probably not happy with the All Star snub (he deserved to go) and the trade rumors swirling around … I suspect he's be just fine with the Nats. And who knows maybe he did that just to bring his trade price down from the upper stratosphere? Grienke is a true baseball geek … he knows whats going on.

  31. ehay2k - Jul 8, 2012 at 9:20 PM

    Peric, you and I place a very different value on Civility. Grienke is talented, but like Zambrano, he does not belong on THIS team. Just the wrong chemistry.

  32. baseballswami - Jul 8, 2012 at 9:26 PM

    I guess we will have to wait and see what Rizzo the deal-master has up his sleeve,even if it's standing pat. Five days left to sign Giolito, maybe will wait and see how that goes.

  33. JaneB - Jul 8, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    Sean and Clip are usually golden. It happens. It would have been nice to chalk up the 50th win tonight, but we didn't. I prefer to focus on a DIFFERENT 50: the Phillies have dropped 50 as of today. Last year, it took 'em till mid-September to drop the 50th game. We ae being helped by our new capacity to beat them. All we need to do is keep winning against our division and keep that pretty red flag atop to standings pole till we hit reset in October.Last year, at the break, I was an emotional WRECK by the AllStar break. I needed a rest more than the players did. This year, it feels very different. Last year, wins were nice. This year, I EXPECT them to win. Last year at this time, a host of players made me cringe and peek through my fingers atbthe game. This year, only HRod does that, and it will get better. A year ago at this time, I could wear my Nats gear all the time and get no comments at all. This year, I see more Curlie Ws out there and people want to talk baseball in line atbthe Home Depot. Last year, our unused seats sometimes went begging. This year, we have lots of people asking to use them. And this year, I'm getting to more games, and so they can't. So this year, I'm happy the guys get a break, but I don't need one. I'll be watching the game Tuesday, feeling like we have more a stake than just cheering on our guys. I think it is just glorious, having baseball in DC

  34. ehay2k - Jul 8, 2012 at 9:52 PM

    Heath Bell implodes again, and the Fish are fried in St. Louis ! Personally, I'd rather have MPHRod than Bell.Natslady, this fried fish is for you!

  35. MicheleS - Jul 8, 2012 at 10:00 PM

    Ehay2k.. Thanks for the FRIED FISH update! Let's hope that crispy feeling keeps on after the all star break!!!!

  36. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 8, 2012 at 10:01 PM

    I think a certain poster here would be a problem in the locker room. You know, bad for team chemistry.

  37. LoveDaNats - Jul 8, 2012 at 10:02 PM

    Ditto, JaneB.Just got home from the game. So unusual to have burnie and clipp not lock it down. But they can't be perfect all the time. I chalk this one up to "The Curse of JZimm" (poor baby)

  38. Secret wasian man - Jul 8, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    Os going in the tank. Get ready for more bandwagon jumpers. I don't want them. I want those of us who still sat down and watched every game when we were 30-50. GO NATS!!!!

  39. Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa - Jul 8, 2012 at 10:10 PM

    I don't remember you there.

  40. Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa - Jul 8, 2012 at 10:11 PM

    But speaking of fried fish, will they put the home run thingee up in KC, maybe next to the waterfall? With Stanton out, that would be the only Marlins hat there.

  41. baseballswami - Jul 8, 2012 at 10:20 PM

    I think it would have been awesome to go into the break with 50, a nice round number. This Rox series could have been a sweep by us – we came THIS CLOSE to winning all three. It takes every single person doing his job, guys picking up other guys. Even in this game, the tying run was on THIRD. We are rarely out of a game – Thursday night taught me a big, big lesson about that ( was that the day of the big comeback?). We have had an outstanding, fun ride this first half. Maybe they need to go into the break knowing that as good as they have been, they have a target on their backs and every team gets up for them now. They just can't let down. Maybe at 50 wins they go into the break a little too content.With this series slipping away, maybe they come back a little more determined. They will need every bit of energy and focus when they come back.I am just betting there will be some rest and relaxation, but also some serious soul searching going on.

  42. baseballswami - Jul 8, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    Interesting fact on twitter – Bryce is an allstar but is younger than all but 3 of the guys playing in the futures game. Oh, Bryce. I really hope he has a great time and is inspired – and I hope he gets some quality time with the fam.

  43. Secret wasian man - Jul 8, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    Hey Firm. That's because I don't sit with classless people.

  44. Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa - Jul 8, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    Oh. I thought it might be because you were posting under another name.

  45. baseballswami - Jul 8, 2012 at 10:39 PM

    Hey, guys – remember us? Fans of a FIRST PLACE team at the all star break? Fish imploded again? Phils lost again? Focus on what's important here.

  46. Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa - Jul 8, 2012 at 11:35 PM

    You mean like, I'm the one who first posted about XYZ? Wait, you mean the game, don't you?

  47. waddu eye no - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:55 AM

    Sofa- u got miles & miles





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