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Instant analysis: Cardinals 10, Nats 9

Sep 1, 2012, 11:35 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Bryce Harper is congratulated after scoring in the bottom of the first inning.

Game in a nutshell: What should have been a fantastic pitchers' duel between two of the NL's best (Jordan Zimmermann and Kyle Lohse) instead turned into a wild slugfest filled with twists and turns. The Nationals stormed out to a 6-2 lead after two innings, but then Zimmermann gave all the runs back and more, putting the Cardinals up 8-6 after four. A three-run rally in the bottom of the sixth put the Nationals back on top, 9-8. But then Sean Burnett coughed up the lead in the eighth and left this a tie game. Drew Storen recorded a huge out to end that inning and was given a chance to return for the ninth. But a leadoff single to Allen Craig and then the inability to prevent Craig from stealing second cost the Nationals. David Freese's RBI single scored Craig, and when the Nats went down in the bottom of the ninth, they were handed a frustrating, 10-9 loss. On the bright side, the Braves lost again to the Phillies, so the lead in the NL East remains 6 1/2 games, with the magic number down to 24.

Hitting highlight: They stormed out the gates with six early runs, then were silenced and saw their lead disappear. But a sixth-inning rally got the Nationals back on top, with contributions from several players.
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  1. mick - Sep 1, 2012 at 11:37 PM

    Cards reliever getting our 2,3, and 4 batters easily, he puts on a clinic and I hope Burnett learned from this

  2. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Sep 1, 2012 at 11:38 PM

    If Pitching has carried the Nats this year, well, not today. Pretty crummy every which way possible and they blew an exciting comeback victory.

  3. mick - Sep 1, 2012 at 11:39 PM

    What really makes J Zimm is outing bad is that all the morons out there who want Strass to pitch beyond the limit will now say… "look at J Zim, they rested him and look at him now"

  4. Bzl. - Sep 1, 2012 at 11:40 PM

    Mick, sorry but that is one dopey comment. How the heck is anyone going to "learn" from that?

  5. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Sep 1, 2012 at 11:40 PM

    Just one game, Barves also barfed, still 6-1/2 ahead.Magic number reduced to 24. I'll take it. But if the rest of September is at all like this, I'm going to have to double up on my supply of bourbon and Maalox.

  6. Doc - Sep 1, 2012 at 11:41 PM

    Time to teach the relievers how to hold runners!

  7. Bigfish - Sep 1, 2012 at 11:42 PM

    Methinks opposing runners have discovered that Storen's little stiff-leg motion makes him really slow to the plate.

  8. Secret wasian man - Sep 1, 2012 at 11:42 PM

    Horrible outting by Jordan. Great comeback and then more bad pitching

  9. mick - Sep 1, 2012 at 11:43 PM

    Bzlnota dopey comment at all…Burnett can learn by choosing a better pitch selection, especilly when he is up 0-2 or 1-2 on the count. look at Cards closer selection

  10. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Sep 1, 2012 at 11:44 PM

    Unfortunately, I doubt that our pitching staff, especially our relievers, are as good as their numbers. We don't have a single guy that I feel confident in, in that Mariano Rivera sort of way. Storen just hasn't made it back; Clippard is so-so but has to pitch out of jams he creates and the other guys seem to have great stats except when it matters.

  11. Drew - Sep 1, 2012 at 11:44 PM

    Speaking of ugly pitching:In Harrisburg's first game this evening, CMW got lit up for 6 runs in 2 innings pitched.Buh-bye, watch that screen door…

  12. MicheleS - Sep 1, 2012 at 11:45 PM

    Is Jordan hurt?

  13. mick - Sep 1, 2012 at 11:45 PM

    Jordan could be ailing… quite possible

  14. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Sep 1, 2012 at 11:46 PM

    Zimmerman's ERA took a huge hit today. He is now over 3.00. I was listening rather than watching, but hitting two guys in one inning?

  15. Bzl. - Sep 1, 2012 at 11:47 PM

    Mick,Pitch selection can work better if you throw them at 99 mph. I guess Burnett needs to "learn" how to do that.

  16. mick - Sep 1, 2012 at 11:50 PM

    Bzl…. actually that is my point, a solid reliever does not have to throw heat all the time and certainly not a fast ball over the plate when ahead in the count.

  17. ExposedinDC - Sep 1, 2012 at 11:56 PM

    Moron's ……strong comment, I don't believe many fans want Stras to pitch past the innings limit, most fans would have like to have seen the innings limit managed in a wiser manner, like every other team in this situation has done. The only people delusional are the people who think we are as good without him.

  18. Drew - Sep 1, 2012 at 11:58 PM

    Storen must do a better job of holding runners on, but don't forget that the defense took a hit when Davey hit for Suzuki, who had thrown out a runner earlier in the game.

  19. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2012 at 11:58 PM

    Pirates just got stolen against: walk, SB, SB, squeeze. (AJ Burnett pitching).

  20. NatsLady - Sep 2, 2012 at 12:01 AM

    OTOH, he just picked off Nyjer….

  21. mick - Sep 2, 2012 at 12:01 AM

    I thought after series with Phillies, McCatty addressed the issue of holding runners, apparently he did not.

  22. mick - Sep 2, 2012 at 12:03 AM

    NatsLady said…OTOH, he just picked off Nyjer….now that is shock… since Nyjer is one of the more solid players in the MLB, lol

  23. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 2, 2012 at 12:03 AM

    Of our 5 pitchers only 2 would get above a C if they were being grades. Matthews and Stammen.The relievers barely even fake like they are interested in holding a runner.JZim last 3 starts looked awful. Wondering if he has reached the wall? I. hope not.

  24. NatsLady - Sep 2, 2012 at 12:06 AM

    I believe they worked on holding runners with the starting pitchers. Not sure how much they worked with the relievers. Very few "closers" are any good at holding runners.

  25. Bzl. - Sep 2, 2012 at 12:06 AM

    Mick,Motte succeeds because he throws 99mph, not because of "pitch selection". So, your thought that somehow Burnett is supposed to learn from Motte is "challenging" to understand.

  26. mick - Sep 2, 2012 at 12:07 AM

    Manassas Nats' Fan JZim last 3 starts looked awful. Wondering if he has reached the wall? I. hope not.you make a good point, I am worried as well for 2 reasons… the first and foremost is JZim's health, the second is that it will ignite the Strass controversy on a few levels… some will say Nats followed protocol and it did not work and some could say, therefore pitch Strass because now you would be down 2 pitchers if JZimm has hit a wall and Strass is shut down.

  27. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 2, 2012 at 12:09 AM

    mick….Randy Knorr handles that, not Cat.

  28. mick - Sep 2, 2012 at 12:09 AM

    Bzl. said…Mick,Motte succeeds because he throws 99mph, not because of "pitch selection". So, your thought that somehow Burnett is supposed to learn from Motte is "challenging" to understand.I am not getting into a petty argument, I disagree and did not start this by calling you dopey as you did me.. My friend Motte was throwing sliders well under 95 mph.

  29. mick - Sep 2, 2012 at 12:10 AM

    Natsjack… thanks, did not know that about Knorr

  30. peric - Sep 2, 2012 at 12:15 AM

    Given Zimmermann's not that far removed from Tommy John's an innings limit in his case would have made sense as well … with a 20% increase in innings from last year, were it not for playoff implications. It is conceivable that both pitchers could end up getting shutdown. Leaving the Nats with parts of their AAA staff to cover. The failure of CMW to get back to form would then loom as huge.

  31. mick - Sep 2, 2012 at 12:15 AM

    BTW: I know there many Terp fans here, it is going to be painful this season. Diggs is the real deal and will be a bright spot as well as the Terp punter who will probably get 12-15 punts a game, lol

  32. mick - Sep 2, 2012 at 12:17 AM

    peric… excellent point

  33. peric - Sep 2, 2012 at 12:18 AM

    Rizzo may need to cut bait with CMW (as this was his last rehab start) or put him on the 60-day DL) and put another starter on the 40-man roster from AAA or AA. I'd say it would be between Zach Duke and Jeff Mandel.

  34. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Sep 2, 2012 at 12:18 AM

    I always loved it when the media wondered last year if the Nats were really, really sorry that they let Nyger Morgan go. I was at the game where he threw the tantrum in the outfield with the ball sitting on the warning track behind him….

  35. NatsLady - Sep 2, 2012 at 12:19 AM

    Brewers are 9 for 9 in this series in steals vs. Pirates (Nyjer was a pickoff, so not included). Pirates also have good pitching and rely on it.

  36. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Sep 2, 2012 at 12:19 AM

    In lieu of making any jokes, I really have no idea why they are putting the time in with Wang.

  37. JaneB - Sep 2, 2012 at 12:20 AM

    Leaving the game now. I blame the fans. In the 8th, we're up one run and the fans are doing the freaking wave and making as much noise as if we just won a huge game. The organist needs to get in there and break it up Sean was pitching and we needed to be with him. I have just erased paragraphs of ranting. No more pasta waving.

  38. peric - Sep 2, 2012 at 12:20 AM

    I'll take it. But if the rest of September is at all like this, I'm going to have to double up on my supply of bourbon and Maalox.If they end up losing 2 starters to an early surgery related protocol shutdown instead of 1 you might have to.

  39. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Sep 2, 2012 at 12:23 AM

    I will say this:Go through the Nats pitchers and compare their ERA's, ERA+'s and whips, and you will have a very difficult time differentiating any of them, starters or relievers, as significantly better than any of the others.They all are in the pretty good to very good category. We don't have any starters or relievers in the excellent category, i.e., Tom Seaver, Bob Gibson, Sandy Koufax, or Mariano, Eck or Wilhelm.

  40. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Sep 2, 2012 at 12:27 AM

    When all of your pitchers are more or less on the same level, it makes the decision to shut down Strasburg more plausible. Going from Stras to Det or Jackson is not that big a difference on average. In fact, it is pretty small. The main, difference, I guess is that Stras might blow an opponent away on a given afternoon while Det or Jackson might not, but who knows. The Dodgers got swept in 1966 with Drysdale and Koufax on the mound 3 of the 4 games against the O's.

  41. peric - Sep 2, 2012 at 12:47 AM

    Zimmerman has now reached the total innings pitched from last season which was the first time he had ever pitched more than 130 or so. He has now reached the tilting point … he hasn't pitched beyond this before. We'll have to see what they do with him given his last three starts.

  42. Bigfish - Sep 2, 2012 at 12:56 AM

    "BTW: I know there many Terp fans here, it is going to be painful this season. Diggs is the real deal and will be a bright spot as well as the Terp punter who will probably get 12-15 punts a game, lol"On the other hand, Danny O'Brien looked pretty good in the Wisconsin game ;-)I know, I know: this is a baseball blog…..

  43. mick - Sep 2, 2012 at 12:57 AM

    William O. Douglas Loeffler on a positive in 1966, the O's called up a young 20 year old pitcher for the home stretch, that young man helped them win the AL and sweep the Dodgers, his name was Mo Green, ooops, I meant Jim Palmer.

  44. pk24 - Sep 2, 2012 at 12:57 AM

    I agree with JaneB; It was ridulous to have the fans concentrating on the wave rather than on the game at such a critical point. In general, I felt like there was a lack of fan energy in the late innings. There were a bunch of Cards fans sitting near me, and I couldn't even get enough Nats fans to help me drown them out when they were cheering for the Cards batters in the 9th inning :-(On the bright side, it was nice to see Eury Perez make an immediate defensive contribution.

  45. hiramhover - Sep 2, 2012 at 12:58 AM

    WODLIf "excellent" means among the best ever in baseball, then no, we can't say that at the moment.If "excellent" means among the best in baseball right now, then yes, some of them are indeed excellent.

  46. Fear and Ignorance - Sep 2, 2012 at 1:05 AM

    That was absolutely the most humiliating fan experience of my life. The idiots that show up to Nationals Park are a #*&^#ing disgrace. Let's do the wave in the 8th inning while they have men on base. Brilliant!!! They even timed it right to make sure they were standing up at the same time the winning run was scoring for the Cardinals. The Cardinals fans around us were in absolute hysterical laughter. "Welcome to Nats Park," I said…"home of the stupidest fans in the history of sports." Biggest sequence of the game, and we are doing the wave. Going to a pennant race baseball game is supposed to be fun…electric…a bonding experience. Nats Park is none of those!!!

  47. Laddie Blah Blah - Sep 2, 2012 at 1:13 AM

    JZ's FB was up all game long. Even most of his outs on BIP were fly balls, most to the OF. He is not the same guy we saw just a month ago. His velocity is down slightly, but it is his location that is so bad. Maybe they left him out there as long as they did because they thought he would correct the problem, but he did not.That is not good. It may not be the innings so much as it is his accumulated season-long pitch count. He throws a lot of pitches in most innings, and now his shoulder is barking. Maybe his shoulder is affecting his pitching mechanics. Who knows?A month ago he was the man. Right now, he is the most hittable of the Nats' starters.

  48. Section 222 - Sep 2, 2012 at 1:15 AM

    I wondered why we lost this game, and now I know. It was the wave!! Now I've heard it all.

  49. UnkyD - Sep 2, 2012 at 1:15 AM

    Looks line JZIM had 161 innings heading in, today…. He can't be simply out of gas, can he? Wouldn't you think he'd be good for at least 180-200, this year?

  50. mick - Sep 2, 2012 at 1:19 AM

    Fear and IgnoranceI hear you… I think as Sept rolls the fan intensity will pickup… we have to become Yankee stadium or Fenway by October. I think we will and no more wave

  51. mick - Sep 2, 2012 at 1:20 AM

    any word on J Zimm?

  52. Faraz Shaikh - Sep 2, 2012 at 1:22 AM

    I still think JZ's struggle today had more to do with the team he was facing than any disturbing trend. Yes, his 3 starts before this one are more of a concern that he did not finish six innings in any of them or gave up 2 or less runs.I have not read all comments but I am sure CS issue has been beaten to death. That was obviously the critical play. forget about today, we have to prepare our pitchers for this for next month.anyways, hope SS has a better outing tomorrow.

  53. sjm308 - Sep 2, 2012 at 1:23 AM

    No Wave No Wave No Wave No Waveoh wait, that didn't work at Woodstock either.Still, on Monday I will do my best to make sure the wave stops at section 308.Disappointed the national audience saw this type of performance from our pitching staff, especially after the two games I witnessed before it. Have to hope SS will be back on and we can win another series. I am a huge fan but have to side with WODL that our staff is very good but to me excellent is Felix Hernandez/ Verlander. I think Gonzalez is close. After these last few games JZ really has me worried and SS will be done in two or three more starts. The great thing about our staff is there is no one who is just average, they are all very good and I think when the season is over you will find the Nationals will have the best staff in the majors from top to bottom.Go Nats!! Go Playoffs!! (we scored first & lost today so I am done with that cheer for now)New hat tomorrow after 3 nice wins for the solid red home curly W. Will be bringing out the old filthy DC blue hat with red brim that I believe was from 2007 spring training to start a new streak.

  54. hiramhover - Sep 2, 2012 at 1:25 AM

    I hate the wave too, but going on about it just makes you sound like you're channeling your inner Clint Eastwood.

  55. pk24 - Sep 2, 2012 at 1:26 AM

    MickI hope you are right about the fan intensity picking up. It really was rather pathetic today.Section 222Not saying that the wave is the reason we lost the game; but the lack of the "10th man" energy and support certainly didn't help. As Fear and Ignorance noted, it was frustrating to have the Fans cheering for the wave when the Cards scored the winning run!

  56. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Sep 2, 2012 at 1:28 AM

    Preaching to the choir–bring back the baseball to baseball and get rid of all the other, or almost all of the other garbage and extraneous noise. The game itself is enough.

  57. Fear and Ignorance - Sep 2, 2012 at 1:28 AM

    Mick-I have actually started to take pictures of the exits in the 8th inning. The only thing I can figure out is that the wave must tire them all out. Venimus!!! Vidimus!!! Vicimus!!!

  58. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 2, 2012 at 1:31 AM

    The wave didn't costing us the game. Saying that it is not a baseball cheer at all. IF you India on doing it (and I am cloudless why anyone would) at least do it when the Nats are up.When I am at the game and it rear its ugly head. I make sure my friend knows real baseball people do not do the wave.

  59. mick - Sep 2, 2012 at 1:43 AM

    hiramhover said…I hate the wave too, but going on about it just makes you sound like you're channeling your inner Clint Eastwood.hee hee… Let zem eat cake, lol

  60. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Sep 2, 2012 at 1:49 AM

    I stand for the Star Spangled Banner. I try to ignore the rest of the extraneous stuff, except for the President's race, which is kiscky….

  61. MicheleS - Sep 2, 2012 at 1:50 AM

    Before you start crushing our fans doing the wave, follow some of the beat reporters for Boston and yes, even the New York Yankees. The wave has been done there as recently as last week.Do I like the wave, no absolutely not (especially when our team is on the field), I don't acknowledge it when it starts, but its not like Fenway or Yankee stadium is immune to it.

  62. Section 222 - Sep 2, 2012 at 1:55 AM

    I know it's a losing battle trying to convince you guys to stop having conniptions when fans want to have a little meaningless and harmless fun in the late innings of a long baseball game, but I just can't stand silently by when otherwise thoughtful and knowledgable people assert that the wave has any impact on the game whatsoever. And to actually blame today's loss on it, well that's just embarrassing.If Burnett or any other relief pitcher can't block out the wave or any other similar distraction to do his job, he should be on the first bus to Hagerstown. I mean really, how many millions of dollars is he being paid this year?

  63. pk24 - Sep 2, 2012 at 2:05 AM

    Section 222Again – NOT saying that the wave cost us the game. Yes, you are probably right that Burnett blocked out the wave. On the other hand, there is no doubt that the players DO benefit from positive fan energy; Gio acknowledged that last night. But instead of cheering Burnett on, the fans were concentrating on the wave.

  64. John C. - Sep 2, 2012 at 2:12 AM

    In addition to tiring of the "Get off my lawn!" and "Turn that music down!" comments about the wave (it's not my thing, but then again most people don't yell as much as I do), I have to stick up for the fans at Nats Park a bit. I was there last night for Gio's game, and it was electric. So take your comments about Nats Park fans and pack them off to some other team, because we do just fine, thanks!

  65. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 2, 2012 at 2:20 AM

    If people need to do the fan at least do it when we are up. Is that to much to ask?On a side note on the same subject. Why do our relievers have problem ignoring the wave? They have little trouble ignoring base runners. They do that easily.

  66. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 2, 2012 at 2:23 AM

    I meant do the wave. I read it in my head correct.

  67. pk24 - Sep 2, 2012 at 2:24 AM

    John CMy final comment as I agree the topic is getting old.I was there last night and agree with you. It WAS electric, and a lot of fun. Same can be said for Thursday. All I'm saying is that the energy just didn't seem to be there today. It wasn't just the wave… Anyway, enough said. Go Nats!

  68. pRAA with the ISO - Sep 2, 2012 at 2:31 AM

    The wave started today near sections 136 and 137 in the right field corner. Coincidentally, that also seems to be the area that the hyperactive douchebag NatPacker Terrance prances in front of. If he's the one starting the wave (and I suspect he is) then he should be drawn, quartered and summarily banned from Nationals Park. Not necessarily in that order.There is a time and a place for the wave. In a tight ballgame when your team's pitcher is on the mound trying to quell a rally, that is neither the time nor the place.

  69. Section 222 - Sep 2, 2012 at 2:36 AM

    pk, fair enough, you weren't saying the wave actually cost us the game. I think you and I disagree about how much impact fans have on the game in general, Gio's comments last night notwithstanding. But I've been at plenty of games where the wave is going on. Except for the one section that starts it, the fans aren't concentrating on it. When it gets to them, they stand up. That's it. Big deal.It's only the wave haters who let themselves be distracted by it, who spend their trying to stop it, who give it so much attention that they would actually say things here like "that was the most humiliating fan experience of my life" or "I blame the fans." It's an annoyance. A bother. But so are a whole lot of things that other fans do when you're trying to focus on the game. Last night I spent several innings in a section that seemed to have about 10 rows of "fans" who were all there as part of a group and were constantly standing up to greet people, changing seats, and generally paying no attention to the game. I finally left to go sit somewhere else. I found them pitiful, but I'm sure not going to give them credit for the Nats 10-0 victory, or assert that if they had been adding to the positive energy Gio would have thrown a no hitter.

  70. 5c3cd06e-cef8-11e1-abe6-000bcdcb2996 - Sep 2, 2012 at 2:42 AM

    I can assure everyone that the wave had absolutely 0% to do with the loss. The homer apologists come out full force tonight.

  71. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 2, 2012 at 2:43 AM

    Greet each other between innings. I agree that is annoying.

  72. Katie Chadderdon - Sep 2, 2012 at 2:45 AM

    Section222 @10:36 has the most practical post.

  73. sjm308 - Sep 2, 2012 at 3:03 AM

    We were glad to accept 222 into our little group in 308 last night and the discussion about baseball was enhanced!

  74. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 2, 2012 at 3:37 AM

    I was 313 last night

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