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Instant analysis: Nats 5, Marlins 1

Jul 14, 2012, 2:29 AM EDT

US Presswire photo
Ryan Zimmerman clubbed his sixth homer in 15 games.

Game in a nutshell: The Nationals opened the second half of their season with a bang, pouncing on Marlins ace Josh Johnson for five runs and handing the ball to Jordan Zimmermann to mow his way through the Miami lineup. Big hits came from Ryan Zimmerman (who went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer), Adam LaRoche (3-for-4, two runs scored) and Ian Desmond (2-for-4, RBI). Zimmermann had a shutout going through six innings but was surprisingly pulled by manager Davey Johnson in favor of Henry Rodriguez, who struggled again to find the strike zone and was yanked after four batters. No worries, though, because the rest of the Nationals bullpen hung on to close this one out and start the pennant race off in style.

Hitting highlight: How nice was the four-day All-Star break for the ailing members of the Nationals' lineup? Apparently very nice, becauseRead more »

  1. Drew - Jul 14, 2012 at 2:32 AM

    Fifty wins and Giolito's in the fold.Most excellent.

  2. NatsLady - Jul 14, 2012 at 2:33 AM

    Sorry for the Fish fan who joined us, but gotta love this win! Good for JZ, Clip, RZ, Desi, ALR, and if I left anyone out, love you all. Oh, Mike Gonzalez and Sean B.

  3. NatsLady - Jul 14, 2012 at 2:35 AM

    Oh, Danny from the left side. Got my Desi All-Star Jersey tonight. Will wear it Wednesday if it doesn't rain… Totally in love with the Nats!

  4. Nats212 - Jul 14, 2012 at 2:38 AM

    Did anyone noticed that the NATS have FIVE relievers with a sub-2 ERA? It´s only me or isn´t that amazing?

  5. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 14, 2012 at 2:40 AM

    Sitting at the top of section 8/9 next to the camera set up waiting for Flo Rida. Fish fans are pretty fed up with everything Marlins, especially Hanley and Jose. And don't even mention Ozzie to amybody with Cuban heritage.

  6. mick - Jul 14, 2012 at 2:41 AM

    Mark is right, tomorrow's match up should be a good one!

  7. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 14, 2012 at 2:41 AM

    Nats212…..that's exactly what a Fish fan said to me as I was walking to a better view of Flo Rida.

  8. mick - Jul 14, 2012 at 2:42 AM

    Natsjackin FL, I bet Fish fans are fuming, lol

  9. Feel Wood - Jul 14, 2012 at 2:42 AM

    It was a curious move, to say the least, one Johnson is going to have to explain.My brother Phil with a good point in the postgame show. Jordan Zimmermann should probably be on an innings limit himself this year of around 190. If his season ended in September, that wouldn't be an issue. But this team hopes to be playing games in October. Davey may well be saving innings now for Jordan that he can use in October.

  10. Swift Eagle - Jul 14, 2012 at 2:43 AM

    Wow, just what that crappy field needs…Another post game concert…

  11. peric - Jul 14, 2012 at 2:44 AM

    Giolito plus a win. Progress is a go! Nice job to all, and Mike Rizzo succeeded in signing all of his top 10 picks again. Lost one at #15 and then the future top picks at #'s 25, 26, and 27 but a job well done indeed!Harper, Desmond, and Espy still pushing the envelope with their speed. Zim completely on track (but for how long?). Still need Morse to come around. But, there's Tyler Moore. LaRoche keeps making it harder to move him off of first base … and Flores has a big day at the plate.

  12. peric - Jul 14, 2012 at 2:47 AM

    My brother Phil with a good point in the postgame show. Jordan Zimmermann should probably be on an innings limit himself this year of around 190.He'd be right with any other pitcher perhaps .. but JZimmnn is a bull, a veritable horse … he can do 200. That said … Davey is seeing what I am seeing. This second half is going to be all about Jordan Zimmermann. He is going to pick up the baton and become the ace of the 2nd half. Davey is preserving this resource as best as he can.

  13. NatsLady - Jul 14, 2012 at 2:49 AM

    peric, glad to see you appreciating someone over thirty, because ALR is a terrific asset to this team!

  14. JaneB - Jul 14, 2012 at 2:49 AM

    If we are having this much fun, what do you think the guys are feeling? A memorable season is happening right in front of our Nats loving eyes! And speaking of eyes, how fun to hear from the Carmen Miranda Memorial Stadium….thanks guys!Tomorrow…Gio beats Mark. Expect it.

  15. Swift Eagle - Jul 14, 2012 at 2:50 AM

    I'm starting to feel like we are preserving all these young arms now, so they'll be strong into their 30's…when they'll be pitching for the Yankees..I'm all for being conservative with Stras, that's the medical advice they've been givenBut let the other studs pitch

  16. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 14, 2012 at 2:51 AM

    Derek….the field plays like a golf green that has been sprigged and sanded. It looks worse in person.

  17. NatsLady - Jul 14, 2012 at 2:52 AM

    The worst, IMO, was Harper "stealing" 3rd while the Fish were gabbing. Not a well-coached team, and you have to lay that on Ozzie.

  18. Swift Eagle - Jul 14, 2012 at 2:52 AM

    Amazing Jack, b/c it looks terrible on TV…they should just go to the turf like the Trop

  19. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 14, 2012 at 2:53 AM

    At least the people that got stage passes are limited to the infield dirt.

  20. Swift Eagle - Jul 14, 2012 at 2:54 AM

    Haha NatsLady! If there's one thing Ozzie can coach, is talking! So funny to see Bryce catch them napping! Tim McCarver probably will still call it false hustle though…

  21. NatsLady - Jul 14, 2012 at 2:54 AM

    Was it Johnson that stumbled on the infield "sand" while trying to field? That is also unacceptable in MLB. I mean, we'll take it, and it's not like the Nats didn't stumble in the new Park, but get the basics, Fish, get the basics.

  22. Swift Eagle - Jul 14, 2012 at 2:58 AM

    Johnson stumbled, and a lot of bloops for both teams fell in, maybe the footing in the OF had something to do with it…Saw some bad jumps and strange routes to the ball (both teams)

  23. Nats212 - Jul 14, 2012 at 3:01 AM

    Swift I think the nats have enough money to compete with the yankees. Not enough money to go giving on free agency, but enough to keep our players

  24. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 14, 2012 at 3:04 AM

    Flo Rida ROCKS!

  25. Swift Eagle - Jul 14, 2012 at 3:06 AM

    You're right Nats212, an over-reaction on my part…but I really disliked that move tonight, Jordan deserved a shot to throw a shutout tonight, and to get the attention/credit on SportsCenter, etc..Not a big deal, but he's been overlooked for too long

  26. Swift Eagle - Jul 14, 2012 at 3:07 AM

    HAHA! NatsJack and Flo-Rida!! A couple of "Wild Ones"

  27. Feel Wood - Jul 14, 2012 at 3:08 AM

    I'm all for being conservative with Stras, that's the medical advice they've been givenBut let the other studs pitchIf they end up going deep into October that could be 220-230 innings for the starters. Not an issue for Gio and EJax since they've got multiple complete seasons under their belts. But could be bad for a pitcher like JZimm who's only had one season of even 160 IP. Makes sense to limit his innings now wherever possible and save them for later.

  28. Tcostant - Jul 14, 2012 at 3:08 AM

    I thought OF grass look bad, all patchy. That did not look a new stadium OF. A great win and our first round pick signs. Teasers!

  29. baseballswami - Jul 14, 2012 at 3:12 AM

    Out of town with no computer, no MLB network, in Philly territory. Thanks for all the in game stuff as all I have is my phone and dwindling data. 3 more days- help me hang on! I did see Bryce highlights on the 4 letter channel. I swear he is the only Nat they know. It was pretty cool, though . Tough on me to miss a JZim start.Gogol Nats!!!!!!

  30. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 14, 2012 at 3:17 AM

    NatsJack, glad you got 1/4 of your birthday present tonight.

  31. Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa - Jul 14, 2012 at 3:23 AM

    Swami, if you saw Bryce in the first and the Zim HR, you got the best of it.

  32. NatsLady - Jul 14, 2012 at 3:24 AM

    Happy Birthday, NatsJack! Just catching up!

  33. baseballswami - Jul 14, 2012 at 3:28 AM

    I know I got the offensive stuff , but I just love to watch Jordan throw strikes over and over and over . When is he going to be allowed to finish a game?

  34. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 14, 2012 at 3:35 AM

    Keep winning every series. WIn 75% of series and you win the regular season fairly easily.

  35. SonnyG10 - Jul 14, 2012 at 3:38 AM

    Folks, per Davey's postgame interview, he pulled Jordan early only because Jordan had only played catch over the all-star break and didn't want him to go too long the first game back. Apparently Jordan was not doing his normal between starts routine. He said he also wanted to knock some rust off the bull pen also.

  36. peric - Jul 14, 2012 at 3:43 AM

    I'm starting to feel like we are preserving all these young arms now, so they'll be strong into their 30's…when they'll be pitching for the Yankees.Perhaps, but last time I looked the Lerners had a lot more money than the Yankee owners. And they now appear to be doing things the right way relative to signing draft picks, and with the over-slot signings the past two or so years under Rizzo. Baseball players notice things like that. Especially young players.

  37. Gonat - Jul 14, 2012 at 3:55 AM

    Dickey vs. Hanson tomorrow in the Mets/Braves game. Maybe the Mets can win this one.Gio needs to do his job for the Nats. From Mark: Updated NL East standings: #Nats 50-34, #Braves 4 GB, #Mets 5.5 GB, #Marlins 10 GB, #Phillies 15 GB

  38. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 14, 2012 at 4:03 AM

    So who (owners) were the "young" players noticing before the Lerners?That's so much friggin hogwash it doesn't deserve consideration.

  39. Donald - Jul 14, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    Watched the game on MASN. It might just be me, but I HATE the way Johnny Holiday calls games early, chalking up the win for the Nats by the seventh inning and calling the end to some Marlins hit streak in the 8th. It seems to be tempting the baseball gods to be doing that.

  40. Secret wasian man - Jul 14, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    WOW, Donald I agree. In the 3rd FP said if nats win they will keep these road helmets. Theres 21 outs left. I also don't think Johhny Hol knows fouling off the 3rd strike while bunting is an out. UGHHH

  41. Scott from Burke - Jul 14, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    Donald…100% agree! That comment about the hit streak was a disgrace..he did the same thing a few years ago in SF when Zim had a hitting streak, saying the streak was over in the 8th after he was retired…SO DUMB..and the 3rd strike on the bunt? crazy..BUT I dont' blame Johnny..he is clearly ol and out of it..shame on MASN for putting him on the air..if Carp (not a fan but at least he's cognizent of the rules) is out get someone else in there..PLEASE

  42. natsfan1a - Jul 14, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    Nice win against the Fish – let's have another one! Missed the middle innings because of cat-sitting duties. May try to watch those at some point today. My fave part was when Zimm hit the Carmen Miranda Memorial Home Run thingy. That was awesome, and, having just read the game post (but not yet comments), also loved Mark's line about the teddy bear. Got back home and turned on the tv just in time to see the replay of the LaRoche/Desi footrace. Whew. Fish for dinner? Sounds good to me. :-)

  43. Doc - Jul 14, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    A belated happy birthday wish, with the belated birthday win for Natsjack!Let's get the broom out and cover a few more birthdays!!GoooooooooooooooNaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaats!!!!

  44. Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa - Jul 14, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    I think the baseball gods will cut Johnny some slack; he means well, and that makes a difference. And if he lost track of the count on the Znn bunt, well, no harm done. He's not annoyingly wrong in the same way as, say, McCarver, who absolutely should know how a catcher's mitt is measured, but botched it Tuesday night when they showed Chooch's mitt for catching Dickey. But maybe that's just me.

  45. natsfan1a - Jul 14, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    Oh, yeah. I forgot to add this: "WOOOOO HOOOOO!!"*—*MicheleS. 2012. Natsinsider.http://www.natsinsider.com/2012/02/pitching-plan.html (accessed July 14, 2012).

  46. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 14, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    I'm with you on that re: McCarver, Sofa…..He's worse than Joe Morgan who became almost imbecilic at the end of his run at ESPN. It's like both Fox and ESPN are out to sabatoge MLB.

  47. Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa - Jul 14, 2012 at 6:56 PM

    I prefer to remember Joe, like Harry Caray, from the earlier part of his career, when he was very good indeed. Later, as you say, a cartoon of himself.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 91 64 --
ATLANTA 76 79 15.0
NEW YORK 76 80 15.5
MIAMI 74 81 17.0
PHILADELPHIA 71 85 20.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Sunday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON (4) 91 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 89 67 2.5
y-ST. LOUIS 87 69 4.5
-------------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 71 7.0 --
PITTSBURGH 84 71 7.0 --
MILWAUKEE 80 76 11.5 4.5
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Sunday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
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.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Marlins at Nats, 1:35 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.

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