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Instant analysis: Nats 11, Cubs 5

Sep 5, 2012, 2:38 AM EDT

US Presswire photo
Jayson Werth had four hits, three of them in the first three innings.

Game in a nutshell: On the first day of school for many in the region, the Nationals took the Cubs' beleaguered pitching staff to school. They crushed six home runs, racked up 19 hits, knocked rookie starter Chris Rusin out before he recorded an out in the bottom of the second and then feasted on the cavalcade of relievers Dale Sveum sent to the mound. Edwin Jackson wasn't in top form, but he struck out eight batters and made it through 5 2/3 innings to earn his ninth win. The rest was fairly academic, with the Nationals bullpen finishing this game off and putting them 31 games over .500 to match their high-point of the season. With the Braves' loss to the Rockies, the Nats now lead the NL East by a season-high 7 1/2 games. Their magic number for the division title is down to 20.

Hitting highlight: How do you pick just one highlight from an offensive explosion like this? How about we pick six: the six home runs theRead more ยป

  1. MicheleS - Sep 5, 2012 at 2:40 AM

    WOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOO!!!!This was a sweet win – especially since Braves LOST!

  2. Eugene in Oregon - Sep 5, 2012 at 2:43 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. sjm308 - Sep 5, 2012 at 2:43 AM

    So how do you think the Cubbies feel, or any NL team right now. Det cruised, EJax was strong in the beginning while we were piling up the hits (remember that post with the word impotent, where did that guy go??) and now who do they get? Gio as he goes for the league leading 18th win. Are you guys having fun yet? Swift – how in heavens are you keeping the Legion fresh? I guess Gorzo got a few comments but man, they really have nothing do they?So happy for a young man like Garcia. I realize it wasn't huge pressure but he pitched in the majors and got a key out. I think Davey warming him yesterday when it would have been a key spot did a lot for his confidence. Hoping we see more of him.Once again, we score first and WIN!!Go Nats!! Go Playoff!! Score First!!

  4. Eugene in Oregon - Sep 5, 2012 at 2:44 AM

    Keep that same kind of pressure on tomorrow; don't take the Cubs lightly, but it can't hurt to put some crooked numbers up early and give the Braves something to think about.

  5. BigCat - Sep 5, 2012 at 2:44 AM

    Sure like the way Tyler Moore stands in there. Gotta good eye, gets the barrel to the ball. Just missed that pop to left. Very impressive for a rookie that gets 3 ab's a week. I think Shark gets the Soriano fly off the top of the wall. Did Werth lose that or what? He wasn't even close

  6. natsfan1a - Sep 5, 2012 at 2:45 AM

    Yay – Nats win and Drake's dad gets to hug him twice! Geez, it's way past my bedtime! Later, folks.

  7. BigCat - Sep 5, 2012 at 2:46 AM

    You see Garcia's fastball. 96 and running 4 inches in on the righties fists. Wow!

  8. Gonat - Sep 5, 2012 at 2:48 AM

    MAGIC NUMBER IS 20

  9. Swift Eagle - Sep 5, 2012 at 2:49 AM

    Don't worry SJM…I'm sure they'll be here soon…probably complaining about the attendance or how the team is too "streaky"…LolAnd I heard Robin Ficker was in the house tonight protesting The Shutdown….

  10. sjm308 - Sep 5, 2012 at 2:53 AM

    Davey talking about Garcia and he was impressed with how he threw the ball. I think someone earlier talked about getting an unexpected performance from someone as you go into the playoffs and wouldn't it be great if it was someone like Garcia.

  11. John C. - Sep 5, 2012 at 2:57 AM

    @Gonat: The magic number is actually 19. Remember that the Nationals have already won the season series against the Braves (10-5, so even if the Braves sweep it's 10-8 for the year). So if they finish even, the Nationals are leaving with the NL East :)

  12. Gonat - Sep 5, 2012 at 3:02 AM

    Total Cubs pitchers tonight was 7. I put the over at 6.5

  13. Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa - Sep 5, 2012 at 3:03 AM

    John C., if they finish tied, they play a game for the division.

  14. Gonat - Sep 5, 2012 at 3:04 AM

    John C., if that's the case that would make sense. I was just using Mark's 22 and took 1 off for Braves loss and another off for Nats win.

  15. Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa - Sep 5, 2012 at 3:05 AM

    I think Shark gets the Soriano fly off the top of the wall. Did Werth lose that or what? He wasn't even close.That's way harsh. It was around two corners and off the very top of the padding, 12 feet off the ground. Bo Jackson couldn't have caught that.

  16. Gonat - Sep 5, 2012 at 3:09 AM

    sjm308 said… Davey talking about Garcia and he was impressed with how he threw the ball. I think someone earlier talked about getting an unexpected performance from someone as you go into the playoffs and wouldn't it be great if it was someone like Garcia. September 04, 2012 10:53 PM _______________________________________Yes, that was the earlier reference on someone like Corey Brown killing it and making the playoff roster.I could see someone like Garcia since Davey will probably carry at least 1 extra bullpen guy.

  17. Swift Eagle - Sep 5, 2012 at 3:11 AM

    The tie-breaker is not that simple…There would only be a playoff game for the Division Title if the Braves and Nats were tied AND had a worse record than one of the 2nd place teams from other divisions….If they were tied, but ahead of all the 2nd place teams (as they are now), the Nats would win based on Head to Head…But who cares??? We're Up 7.5!

  18. Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa - Sep 5, 2012 at 3:11 AM

    let's show some love here to Christian Garcia. Making his major-league debut at age 27, the two-time Tommy John surgery survivor faced only one batter and threw only three pitches. But those three pitches were mighty impressive. Each registered at least 95 mph. And the last of them induced a pop-up to quash a potential Cubs rally in the sixth inning. Sure, it was a short debut, but it certainly was a sweet debut for a guy who worked tirelessly to get the opportunity.Three pitches, the first a "HELLO!!" high riding fastball up and in at 96, the second a popup that LaRoche, probably wisely, declined to slam into the tarp to get but was catchable under more urgent circumstances, and then the popup LaRoche had to call him off of forcefully or he would have caught it himself. Cool stuff!

  19. John C. - Sep 5, 2012 at 3:11 AM

    Sunofagun, they changed that this year; I stand corrected. They used to only hold a tiebreaker game if it determined whether someone is in or out of the playoffs; if both were in they just used head-to-head. When they added the second wild card and the wild card "play-in" game they also changed the tiebreaker rules.I guess that makes sense; it's a much farther dropoff from division winner to wild card now.

  20. Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa - Sep 5, 2012 at 3:12 AM

    Swift, I don't think that's right.

  21. Eugene in Oregon - Sep 5, 2012 at 3:13 AM

    Gonat: You got me on the number of Cubs pitchers; they let one fellow pitch two and I forgot to factor out the bottom of the ninth.Section 3: If Bo Jackson had wanted to catch that ball, he could have. Bo Jackson could do anything he wanted to do. But, unfortunately, he wanted to play football. What a shame and a waste that was.

  22. NatsNutty - Sep 5, 2012 at 3:14 AM

    If there is any disappointment for me, it's that only there was only 17,648 fans in the stands. Can anyone give me a reason for such a low turnout for such an exciting team in such an exciting playoff year?

  23. Swift Eagle - Sep 5, 2012 at 3:15 AM

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Resolution_of_ties_in_division_racesThis is where I found it Sofa…But maybe I misread it or it's out of date??

  24. Gonat - Sep 5, 2012 at 3:16 AM

    Eugene, its all good! I like the 7 1/2 lead in the NL East as the better number!

  25. Swift Eagle - Sep 5, 2012 at 3:17 AM

    NatsNutty…First day of school in NOVA….

  26. Gonat - Sep 5, 2012 at 3:18 AM

    NatsNutty, its a Tuesday after a Holiday weekend with a chance of rain and kids back to school in NoVa public schools and most private schools.

  27. Eugene in Oregon - Sep 5, 2012 at 3:21 AM

    Gonat: Precisely.

  28. NatsNutty - Sep 5, 2012 at 3:21 AM

    Thanks, Swift, but if I could, I would be in the stands for as many games as possible. This is a special season for the Nats and baseball in DC, a season that no one should miss!

  29. Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa - Sep 5, 2012 at 3:27 AM

    Swift, I don't think that page is updated for the second wildcard; not surprising on B-R.com.

  30. Gonat - Sep 5, 2012 at 3:30 AM

    NatsNutty, low attendance was the problem across most of the Majors tonight. Keep in mind for teams with high season tickets, their numbers look better because teams report "paid attendance" not the actual turnstile attendance.

  31. Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa - Sep 5, 2012 at 3:31 AM

    Wikipedia isn't exactly the gold standard for reliability, either, I know, but I think this is right. Tiebreakers for major stuff like Division Champ or Second Wildcard are played on the field. They only use statistical tiebreakers in baseball to determine things like home field advantage (which is not insignificant, but not "go play golf" serious, either).

  32. Swift Eagle - Sep 5, 2012 at 3:31 AM

    http://baseball.about.com/od/seasonstructur1/tp/playoffsformat.htmYou're right about Baseball Reference! But I found it a few other places…I really think if both teams are assured of a Wild Card, the rules make it almost impossible for a playoff game…Let me know what you find

  33. SonnyG10 - Sep 5, 2012 at 3:36 AM

    Wow, what a feast tonight! 83 and 52, 31 games over .500. Gio goes for 18 wins tomorrow. GYFNG!!!

  34. Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa - Sep 5, 2012 at 3:38 AM

    Eagle, again, that is based on one wild card, not two.Eight teams make the playoffs โ€“ four each in the American and National Leagues. The three division champs and one wild card โ€“ the team with the best record that does not win a division โ€“ qualify for the postseason.This is clearly out of date.

  35. Swift Eagle - Sep 5, 2012 at 3:40 AM

    Sofa, Actually, in the 2nd section it deals with Extra Wild Card, read a few more paragraphs on there! Lol …I actually think it's right…

  36. Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa - Sep 5, 2012 at 3:41 AM

    Section 3: If Bo Jackson had wanted to catch that ball, he could have. Bo Jackson could do anything he wanted to do. But, unfortunately, he wanted to play football. What a shame and a waste that was.That's MISTER JACKSON to you.; )

  37. Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa - Sep 5, 2012 at 3:43 AM

    Swift, the 2012 section doesn't address tiebreakers. It's not up to date.

  38. The Fox - Sep 5, 2012 at 3:44 AM

    Just back from the game and it was a hit feast. You know the Nats have scored enough runs when Mark DeRosa gets to hit ;-).Gorzo was a little rusty but he got the outs he needed.I'm pretty sure NASA was tracking T-Mo's moon shoot. That ball was hit as high as it was long.These games are fun except I'm too old for 3 and a half hour games and I never leave early.

  39. Swift Eagle - Sep 5, 2012 at 3:45 AM

    You may be right, Sounds like a question for Mark, Sofa…

  40. Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa - Sep 5, 2012 at 3:45 AM

    I gave the wrong link for the Wikipedia article. Stand by…

  41. Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa - Sep 5, 2012 at 3:47 AM

    This is the link I meant to put.This is the relevant text:"Two-way tie for the division or wildcardMain article: One-game playoffOne game tie-breakers are played between teams tied for a division championship or the second wildcard berth in either league. These games are played the day after the season was scheduled to end. Home-field advantage for these games is determined using the rules listed below ("Breaking Ties Without Playoff Games").Beginning in the 2012 season, two teams that are tied for a division championship play a tie breaking game even if both teams have already qualified for the postseason (meaning one of them would be awarded a wild card berth).Starting in 2012, two wildcard teams are selected from each league. If these two teams are tied with each other (and with no other teams) at the end of the regular season, no tie-breaking game is played. Home field advantage in the Wild Card Showdown is awarded according to tie-breakers outlined in the next section."

  42. Section 222 - Sep 5, 2012 at 3:47 AM

    Back from the game, and what a great night it was. I'll take a laugher every other day anytime. TyMo's (why do they pronounce it TEE-mo, instead of TIE-mo?) home run was an amazing moonshot, and Zim's was just smoked to right center. The defense was sharp — Desi made a great save on a poor throw from E-Jax to turn the DP, and Zim made a nice throw on the run (what a surprise). LaRoche is amazing. I confess I had no confidence that he'd come back after that surgery. And not only has he come back, he's putting himself in the conversation for MVP. 27 homers already. Seriously? I thought he was just a 25 HR/80 RBI guy.We were all joking after the first four innings that Bryce must be chomping at the bit to get in on the hit parade, so it was good to see him get to take a hack — and of course he made something happen.Just a sweet night, made even sweeter by the Braves loss. Let's keep it going — this is a team we should take 3 of 4 from if not sweep.

  43. Swift Eagle - Sep 5, 2012 at 3:48 AM

    Good enough for me Sofa…Thanks

  44. NCNatsie - Sep 5, 2012 at 3:55 AM

    I wrote about this a few weeks ago. My understanding is that if there is a tie for a division lead there must be a playoff game between the two teams — head to head means nothing. The same is true for the second wild card berth. But if two teams are tied for the first wild card berth, they are both in — no playoff before the wild card playoff. I haven't been able to find out how the home field would be determined.The really tough situation would be if two teams tie for a division, but are also tied with a third team, not in the same division, for the second wild card. This is a situation that has been the "if the season ended now" scenario for much of the second half of the season, because Atlanta had the first wild card, while the second often had the same number of wins as two teams tied for the lead in another division. (For a while, it was LA/SF and Pittsburgh that were tied.) In that case, my understanding is that there would have to be two playoffs prior to the wild card game. One to determine the division winner, and a second between the loser of that game and the other team. Again, how home field would be determined I do not know.

  45. JaneB - Sep 5, 2012 at 4:15 AM

    I am so happy for Garcia. And for ALR dumping a homer in the Red Porch…he doesn't usually hit in that direction, from what I've seen.GYFNG!

  46. Steady Eddie - Sep 5, 2012 at 4:20 AM

    NCNatsie — head-to-head gives home field advantage in a one game playoff. That is all.222 — it's TEE-Mo because T. is his first initial. Also "Tie" doesn't chant nearly as well.As well as the Braves loss, the home game HR record, and the new-almost-every-night record win, it was made so much the sweeter by thinking of all the years — both for the Nats AND the Senators — when I sat through games in which we were on the receiving end of a beating like that. And knew there was no way we would come back to win it because the other team was just too good.

  47. peric - Sep 5, 2012 at 4:43 AM

    T-Mo is his twitter handle and the nickname used in the clubhouse … no TyMo.

  48. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 5, 2012 at 9:21 AM

    He's called "Country" in the clubhouse.

  49. natsfan1a - Sep 5, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    There's probably a song in there somewhere…

  50. Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa - Sep 5, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    His momma calls him Tyler–Tyler Michael! when she's mad…

  51. BigCat - Sep 5, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    Werth has been great this year at the plate and a great influence on Harper etc, but as Boswell correctly pointed out last year, he does not go back well on the ball and is scared of the fence. He basically quit on the ball and then made a half hearted lunge at the last minute. Harper would of probably run THROUGH the fence to get it!

  52. Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa - Sep 5, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    So, T-Mo. Not to be confused with this guy.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 90 64 --
ATLANTA 76 78 14.0
NEW YORK 75 80 15.5
MIAMI 74 80 16.0
PHILADELPHIA 71 84 19.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Saturday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON (5) 90 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 88 67 2.5
ST. LOUIS 87 68 3.5
-------------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 70 6.0 +1.0
PITTSBURGH 83 71 7.0 --
MILWAUKEE 80 75 10.5 3.5
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Saturday's games

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

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