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Instant analysis: Nats 7, Phillies 3

Sep 28, 2012, 2:21 AM EDT

US Presswire photo
Gio Gonzalez gutted his way through six innings to notch his 21st win.

Game in a nutshell: You might have been nervous after the first inning of this game, with Gio Gonzalez looking totally out of sorts and the Nationals trailing 3-1. No need to panic, though, because Gonzalez got himself back on track, and the Nats lineup bust things open again with an impressive display of power. Bryce Harper launched his second homer in as many nights, giving him 21 for the season. Michael Morse blasted two homers, the second of them a titanic clout into the visitors' bullpen. All that support — plus some effective relief work from Sean Burnett, Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen — set up Gonzalez to win his 21st game of the season and help the Nationals reduce their magic number to 3. The Braves, however, won for the 10th time in their last 12 games, keeping the pressure on and ensuring the Nats cannot clinch the NL East until Saturday night at the earliest.

Hitting highlight: It's been a frustrating season for Morse, who has battled serious injuries and nagging injuries and hasn't been able to produce as much as he would have liked. But the man still has theRead more »

  1. Dan! - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:22 AM

    Wow. That was fast.

  2. SCNatsFan - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:23 AM

    3. Maybe it was OK to print those shirts lol.

  3. waddu eye no - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:25 AM

    Storen savinPhilly cavinO lordBang zoom baya

  4. sjm308 - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:26 AM

    As great as watching the games from a bar in C'ville, it was totally frustrating being back in my hotel and not having masn or any other way of checking in on the game except for NI. Still, Great Job!! – bullpen, offense, Gio, looks like we were all doing well. Three more wins!! I will actually plan my night tomorrow around seeing some if not all the game although please don't tell my spousal equivalent.Go Nats!! Score First!! Win the Division!!

  5. Gonat - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:27 AM

    Very satisfying win! Nats sent the phoolie phans home in a lather.

  6. RickH - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:28 AM

    How 'bout that Gio?!!! Amazing job turning it around after that first inning.

  7. MicheleS - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:28 AM

    Ray is making me giggle with his Philly fan impressions.

  8. Constant Reader - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:29 AM

    Win one in St. Louis. Win one at home against the Phils. The Braves would have to run the table just to force a one-game playoff. Scary thing is that they look like they just could. Maybe the Mets won't roll over.

  9. Gonat - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:31 AM

    Steady Eddie said… 95 wins and a magic number of 3! Gio with an MLB-best 21 wins, Sweet Fancy Moses, as our good host would say!GYFNG! September 27, 2012 10:22 PM ____________________________________Nice summary!

  10. UnkyD - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:32 AM

    Burn, Clipp, Store….. Just in time…

  11. Section 222 - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:33 AM

    Nice win. Storen is back to being lights out, just in time. Clip and Burnie have good stints, and Gio shows he's a gamer. And Morse. What can you say? He was a Beast tonight. Michele and WODL, I have to disagree with you on Morse and GIDP. First of all, you might be surprised to know that Zim leads the teams, and the National League, with 19. Morse has only 14. (Yes, he has fewer ABs, but still.) More importantly, it's not up to the guys on base to break up double plays, it's up to the guys hitting to beat them out. But power guys in the middle order are going to hit into alot of DPs– they have runners on 1st alot, and they hit the ball hard. It's just not possible to beat out a DP grounder when you hit the ball as hard as Zim and Morse do.Incidentally, the leading DP guy in the majors — Miguel Cabrera. You just have to accept some DPs from your mashers.

  12. Gonat - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:33 AM

    Constant Reader said… Win one in St. Louis. Win one at home against the Phils. The Braves would have to run the table just to force a one-game playoff. Scary thing is that they look like they just could. Maybe the Mets won't roll over. September 27, 2012 10:29 PM _____________________________________No way, Davey wants to rest guys and you don't want to let the Phoolies try to be spoilers. Sweep the Cardinals and we can celebrate pre-game on Monday!

  13. NatsNut - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:33 AM

    Louis Ayala (remember him?) made the same bullpen catch in his hat yesterday on a Chris Davis homer.

  14. ehay2k - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:33 AM

    Man, flew home tonight and missed the first few innings, but did see that blast by Morse. Holy Cow! I think Gorzelanny will want a new hat, because I am pretty sure that ball peed in it out of sheer fright. I was happy for Werth that he had a nice series, and helped ensure that Philly had a losing home record for the first time in over a decade. He is really twisting the knife! On to St. Louis!

  15. Secret wasian man - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:33 AM

    Now that is late sept ball. Great job guys. Boy Philly fan is just wretched.

  16. natsfan1a - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:34 AM

    Yeah, baby, yeah!

  17. Secret wasian man - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:35 AM

    Too bad thr braves won't see dickey.

  18. MicheleS - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:36 AM

    222 good points on the GDP. True on the hard hit balls. & your are right. sometimes you have to accept GDP from your mashers – although I am so happy our 3B is a GG and not Cabrera :-)

  19. Gonat - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:38 AM

    The Cardinals are fighting for their playoff lives so this will be another series where it will have a playoff atmosphere.

  20. MicheleS - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:38 AM

    Gonat.. I am going tomorrow night. and trying to worm my way into Saturday night as well.

  21. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:40 AM

    Marlins 9-9 vs. Nats 4-14 vs BravesFor the record.Dont like BravesDont care for PhilliesHate MetsDespise the Marlins

  22. Gonat - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:40 AM

    What? You are going to St. Louis?

  23. Secret wasian man - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:41 AM

    Phillies are better, minus the record, then the cards. I expect at least two.

  24. MicheleS - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:42 AM

    Yup.. Friends have been trying to get me out to STL for years. FINALLY they figured out a bribe that would get me to go. NATS!

  25. Secret wasian man - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:42 AM

    Hate mets, hate marlins, despise Atlanta and words can't describe my dislike for Philly.

  26. Gonat - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:43 AM

    Lohse on Saturday vs. Wang. That's a tough looking game based on stats.

  27. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:43 AM

    Teams have packed up who sre on Braves scedule we are playing teams who nothing to play for. We are doing great.

  28. Gonat - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:44 AM

    Secret wasian man said… Hate mets, hate marlins, despise Atlanta and words can't describe my dislike for Philly._____________________________I like that. Would add hate Angelos and his team.

  29. Jimmy DeMoney - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:45 AM

    Another great instant analysis post, thanks for all you do Mark!Let's continue that hitting in St. Louie.-JDM

  30. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:53 AM

    I dont hate Phillies. I despise their fans especially here.

  31. Jimmy DeMoney - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:54 AM

    This is fun:Dislike Mets, Hate Marlins, Despise Phillies and Braves.And now for tweeting sports journalists from those cities:Hate Mets and Marlins tweeters, don't read Phillies posts and Braves tweeters talk about everything else under the sun when Braves are losing!!! Here's to more Bravos losses!

  32. baseballswami - Sep 28, 2012 at 3:05 AM

    Yeah — two wins in a row! I hope they are on a roll now. Confidence is high, bats are hot. Morse and SToren are peaking at a good time, Clip was back to normal, the kid is just — well, what can you say? So sweet to deal the fillies a losing record in cbp. What is their tragic number now?

  33. SonnyG10 - Sep 28, 2012 at 3:29 AM

    Unusual for me in that I felt calm during Gio's bad start. I figured Gio would get himself straightened out and with Bryce hitting that home run in the first inning, I thought the team might have a good night at the plate. Was happy to see it work out that way.

  34. sjm308 - Sep 28, 2012 at 3:29 AM

    Just hopped over to "nationals arm race and man did peric get his you know what handed to him!! He tried the same tired "stuff" about Duke and Ended with one of his trite nasty comments and Todd B. just laid into him with facts!!, not speculation. Just felt good and I did not see him respond, what a surprise.

  35. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 28, 2012 at 3:33 AM

    I took Maloox in first and it and Morse's homer settled my stomache.IDM (I hate despise the Marlind)

  36. peric - Sep 28, 2012 at 3:40 AM

    Todd B. just laid into him with facts!!, not speculation. Just felt good and I did not see him respond, what a surprise.Well I'm actually busy let's see what that numb nuts said now shall we?

  37. NatsLady - Sep 28, 2012 at 3:42 AM

    All we need to do is take 2/3 from the Cards and win one at home. Atlanta is helpless if we do that. For whatever reason, though, the Mets are not rolling over. They have won 5/6 (granted, against the Fish and Pirates).

  38. peric - Sep 28, 2012 at 3:43 AM

    Please develope some social skills.Let's start with Natsjack. First, once again pot calling the kettle black. You should look in the mirror you old coot. I mean curmudgeonly just doesn't cut it. You have your Natsjack pack to help gang up on … another sure sign of your superior maturity.More like a bunch of five year olds at a birthday party. Give it a rest old man you're worthless.

  39. peric - Sep 28, 2012 at 3:47 AM

    Facts are: Duke was better than Lannan in AAA. Johnson said Lannan and CMW are starters and starters only. Never mentioned the word relief when that Taiwanese reporter asked about CMW in the playoffs. Anyone can watch Davey state all of this.Duke had a better record than Lannan in the minors. Duke was a MAJOR LEAGUE ALL STAR!!! Lannan will NEVER EVER even get close. So puhleese?

  40. Michael S - Sep 28, 2012 at 3:50 AM

    Peric thats not very nice

  41. Michael S - Sep 28, 2012 at 3:51 AM

    Peric you should youre sorry to eberyo e you wrre rude to

  42. JaneB - Sep 28, 2012 at 3:52 AM

    Lalala. Skipping past all the name calling and whatnot.Great win for our guys! Totally jealous of MichelleS. Glad OH SO glad Morse could hit two dingers tonight, what with his wrist/hand issues.Three, how satisfying to erase the four and put in the three on the chalk board tonight! What the heck will it take dor the Braves to drop one? Jeezopeezo!

  43. peric - Sep 28, 2012 at 3:53 AM

    Peric thats not very niceThanks Gonat! Well said NatsJack!Hail, Hail the gang's all here … hmm we could use the lede in music from Welcome Back Kotter right now … which of them is Horshak? I'm not sure why I get under your skin so … wait I know SJM308? Ding, ding, ding! Because I am so often right and it rankles the heck out of you!STFU.

  44. peric - Sep 28, 2012 at 3:57 AM

    Peric you should youre sorry to eberyo e you wrre rude toI didn't start it MichelleS and if you look carefully you would see that … bu I do finish it. That's how I was taught …Kind of like with Fear & Ignorance. What a moron arguing with medical advice and acting like he was a physician. And folks saying that Rizzo didn't consult any medical professionals on his decision making.That's who you ought to be mad at. I sure as heck was hopping mad at 'em. But the clique lives in the 70's land of Travolta and company on Welcome Back Kotter. Not in the real. Not in the present.

  45. Michael S - Sep 28, 2012 at 3:57 AM

    Wow peric your very hostile. Maybe you should see someone that can help with that. Are you ok?

  46. peric - Sep 28, 2012 at 3:59 AM

    Wow peric your very hostile. Maybe you should see someone that can help with that. Are you ok?Mirror mirror on the wall who likes to gang up on people? Ah the junior high clique that seems intent on trying to control this blog.Sorry its not yours.

  47. Michael S - Sep 28, 2012 at 4:00 AM

    I wish you well

  48. peric - Sep 28, 2012 at 4:09 AM

    Todd B. just laid into him with facts!!, not speculation. Just felt good and I did not see him respond, what a surprise.Be happy to go toe-to-toe with him … he doesn't research his facts very well.

  49. Section 222 - Sep 28, 2012 at 4:37 AM

    sjm — Thanks for the heads up about NAR. Very entertaining. Make sure to check out the sequel. peric may be the only person in the world who thinks he got the better of that exchange. He really is a one trick pony.The Fangraphs piece on Garcia that Todd links to is worth checking out. Great GIF of Garcia's curveball too.Davey's postgame comments about Gio were fascinating. I love that Gio told him after the first two innings, "Skip, don't worry about it. I got it. Stay with me." I wonder if he was just begging for more time or if he really had figured out something at the end of the 2nd. And McCatty said he only three 13 warmup pitches, so Davey says he was "underamped." Hopefully he'll learn from that experience and find a happy medium next time he starts. (Could that be in the playoffs?)

  50. Drew - Sep 28, 2012 at 4:54 AM

    Meanwhile, outside the sandbox, here's another installment on Harper's historic season.Hitting second has depressed Harper's RBI total, but his 58 still are the seventh most in a season by a 19-year-old. According to Famgraphs' list of 104 19-year-old hitters dating back to 1871, these are the only six with more RBIs in their age 19 season:1. Mel Ott with 77 for the 1928 Giants2. George Davis with 73 for the 1890 Cleveland Spiders3. Buddy Lewis with 67 for the 1936 Nats4. Mickey Mantle with 65 for the 1951 Yanks5. Jimmy Sheckard with 64 for the 1898 Brooklyn Bridegrooms6. Ken Griffey Jr. with 61 for the 1989 MarinersYou know Harper would love to catch Mantle.

  51. Nats In Athens - Sep 28, 2012 at 7:47 AM

    Granted I did not follow the beginning of Peric's discussion but really, why is Duke not used more? There is an certainly an embarrassment of riches in the second tier pitching on the team but I clearly believe that Duke has earned his chance to play based on his performance in Syracuse. Any chances given to CMW at this point is one less for legitimate pitchers.

  52. DaveB - Sep 28, 2012 at 10:26 AM

    Nats in Athens … I think it is because Davey still sees glimpses of the skills and potential that made CMW a 19-6 pitcher. While Zack had a nice year in AAA, his best year ever in the majors was 11-16. I trust Davey to play for wins today, with an eye toward how to build the team for the long run. They've invested a lot in trying to get the old CMW back, and I can certainly see taking a few more steps to figure out if is worth any more effort before they give up for good.

  53. Joe Seamhead - Sep 28, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    Johnson is not experimenting with much of anything until the Fat Lady sings.You notice that Corey Brown isn't playing much? The argument could also be made that he "earned his chance to play based on his performance in Syracuse" And so it could be said about Perez, and every other call up from Syracuse, but, in spite of what peric says, that argument is wrong. None of these guys "earned" anything other then a call up to be with the club in September. Davey made it clear when the roster was extended that getting any of these guys playing time was not his priority. The only guys on this team that have "earned" playing time down the stretch are the guys responsible for getting the team to where it is.

  54. Nats In Athens - Sep 28, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    DaveB, I was all for resigning CMW based on his performance in September last year. It is just that I believe that, sadly, he will never again be the pitcher he was and it is best to use this one start that Davey has chosen not to give to the regulars to try someone else.Joe, I agree that with the magic number still at 3 you cannot give playing time that you would want to some of the call ups. And that you do not earn something in AAA that you can redeem at the ML level. It is just that if I have to choose between another start for CMW and seeing what Duke could do I would try for Duke.I say all that although I know DJ also works on the proper matchups and he wanted three Righties against SLC. And to paraphrase what Joe wrote above, the only one who has earned the righh to decide is the one that got all of us up to here and that is DJ.

  55. MicheleS - Sep 28, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    Peric please not the person riling you up on this post is Michael S and not MicheleS

  56. natsfan1a - Sep 28, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    No worries, MicheleS. Anyone who follows your posts knew it wasn't you.

  57. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 28, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    MicheleS easily in the top 5 of nice posters. She is even nice to people who don't desrve it.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 76 57 --
ATLANTA 71 64 6.0
MIAMI 65 68 11.0
NEW YORK 63 72 14.0
PHILADELPHIA 61 73 15.5
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UPCOMING SCHEDULE
SAT: Nats at Mariners, 9:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Mariners, 4:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 4:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
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