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Instant analysis: Nats 5, Tigers 4

May 9, 2013, 10:58 PM EDT

USA Today Sports Images
Ryan Zimmerman helped spur the Nationals' early rallies.

Game in a nutshell: In the matinee makeup for Tuesday's rainout, the Nationals stormed out to an early 5-0 lead with a flurry of base hits off the previously unbeaten Doug Fister. That provided some cushion for Dan Haren, who didn't seem to need it early but ultimately benefited from it after he served up a three-run homer in the sixth. That put the pressure on the Nationals' bullpen to close out what turned into a one-run game, and that unit delivered with flying colors. Ryan Mattheus pitched a scoreless seventh, Drew Storen tossed a scoreless eighth and Rafael Soriano got Prince Fielder to fly out to the warning track in center with two outs in the ninth to notch his 12th save in 13 tries. With that, the Nationals pulled off a two-game sweep of Detroit and earned their fourth straight win overall, improving to 19-15.

Hitting highlight: The Nationals wasted no time pouncing on Fister. Five of their first six batters recorded base hits, with DenardRead more »

  1. MicheleS - May 9, 2013 at 10:59 PM

    WOOOO HOOO!.. Love it.. took 2 from a pretty good team..

  2. Secret wasian man - May 9, 2013 at 11:00 PM

    WHEWWWWWWWW Prince going DEEEEEEP with a guy on. Gotta go change the under pants. Great job guys keep it going

  3. Drew - May 9, 2013 at 11:01 PM

    Two straight from the AL champs!That's pretty impressive. GYFNG!

  4. NatsJack in Florida - May 9, 2013 at 11:01 PM

    Great job by the bull pen. Mattheus, Drew and the Assassin. Love those guys.

  5. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 9, 2013 at 11:01 PM

    haren one bad pitch.hitters took last 6 innings off. Please play the whole game.

  6. Section 222 - May 9, 2013 at 11:01 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. NatsJack in Florida - May 9, 2013 at 11:03 PM

    SWM…under pants or diapers?

  8. Section 222 - May 9, 2013 at 11:03 PM

    Now that was a sweet ending. Untuck indeed.Mark, you're probably on the road already, but the Nats lead was 3-0 and then 5-1. Hey folks, a mini sweep of the defending AL Champs. We'll take it!

  9. Harpo - May 9, 2013 at 11:04 PM

    I really thought Prince got that one onto the putting green in CF.Each reliever was aggressive and that's how you have to do it.Haren gets the W.

  10. David Proctor - May 9, 2013 at 11:06 PM

    Nats bullpen has pitched 15 straight scoreless innings now. Things are shaping up nicely. Just need to continue getting the bats warm. Zim is heating up, but would like to see his power return.

  11. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 9, 2013 at 11:06 PM

    Have everyone joind my side yet? i was excited about getting Span right fron the beginning.

  12. David Proctor - May 9, 2013 at 11:08 PM

    I love Span, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous every time he's on first base. He's "only" been picked off twice, but it still worries me.Still love the pickup though, for sure.

  13. NatsJack in Florida - May 9, 2013 at 11:10 PM

    Manassas….there is only maybe 2 who really don't like the fact that Span is here.Most of Nats fans understood what his acquisition was all about and couldn't be happier.

  14. David Proctor - May 9, 2013 at 11:12 PM

    Nats are 4-0 since Davey's team meeting in Pittsburgh. They've won 6 of their last 7 against the Braves, Pirates and Tigers.

  15. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 9, 2013 at 11:13 PM

    i knew Davey would butcher Matt Tuisasosopo's name.

  16. natsfan1a - May 9, 2013 at 11:16 PM

    Hello, Insiders. Just got back in town after a trip to Hawaii. No baseball there (other than a few innings of a televised Giants game) but a few other things to see and do.After unpacking, tuned in to see the last couple innings of the Nats game. Am now unpacked and untucked. Oh, yeah…

  17. Jeff Wang - May 9, 2013 at 11:16 PM

    1 of Span's pick off he didn't get tagged. I blame the blues.

  18. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 9, 2013 at 11:17 PM

    NatsJack. now 2 but at the time many more didnt like.NatsJack. Big Cat tells you were a catcher a generation befor Big Cat were in high school at the same high school. If so you caught a future major league pitcher.

  19. baseballswami - May 9, 2013 at 11:20 PM

    Nice, quiet, not flashy streak going on here. Shhh. Do not alert the national media. Things are better this way.

  20. baseballswami - May 9, 2013 at 11:23 PM

    So Haren is pretty funny!

  21. tayo - May 9, 2013 at 11:24 PM

    Good win, even though we had luck on our sides today. Saying that the Tigers lineup is scary is an understatement. Lets keep up the momentum.

  22. Eric - May 9, 2013 at 11:25 PM

    "Nice, quiet, not flashy streak going on here. Shhh. Do not alert the national media. Things are better this way."Uh. Greed.

  23. Steady Eddie - May 9, 2013 at 11:28 PM

    Manassas — you must have the LoD confused with NI regulars. For the latter, NatsJack's recollection is correct. I was mostly excited about Span from the start as a real lead off hitter with a high OBP, an ingredient that's essential to a winning team that's balanced enough to win in whatever way the game allows. What I didn't expect is that he'd be such a freakin' effortless vacuum cleaner in CF whose reads and routes are the best on the team. And that he covers so much ground in CF that Werth and Harp can shade so far towards the line that they can turn sure doubles into singles with a quick cutoff as Bryce did on Jackson's drive in the 7th last night, right in front of where I was sitting.

  24. paul brandt - May 9, 2013 at 11:29 PM

    Haren has 4 wins and its May 9th. the guy he replaced, Ejax had 10 all of last year…so far, so good. Realize there are much more stats to compare the two, but am pleased with the 4 wins. Wins are wins!

  25. NatsJack in Florida - May 9, 2013 at 11:29 PM

    Manassas… not sure what you mean but Tom Bradley and I grew up together and I caught him all through high school.

  26. baseballswami - May 9, 2013 at 11:31 PM

    I have been so focused on my daily baseball angst. Now I look back– Reds, Braves, Pittsburgh, Tigers. Not a cakewalk. Reds and Tigers and Braves, oh, my! Not too shabby my friends. Not too shabby. Kind of worried about the Jayson thing. Sickness, dehydration, cramps, antibiotics– this does not sound like your garden variety stomach bug. I have never actually heard if anyone getting antibiotics for their stomach. That's kind of an infection thing. Very weird.

  27. NatsJack in Florida - May 9, 2013 at 11:41 PM

    Imagine that. Dan Haren with 4 wins on May 9th.

  28. Gonat - May 9, 2013 at 11:43 PM

    Back from the game! I was there with Jahidi White who is in town this weekend. When the rain storm started we went up to get some food. Funny all the people that wanted his autograph and most had no idea who he was but knew he was someone who played something.Great game. Nats have now won the season series against the Tigers and the Reds. The Braves will be a work in progress to get the upper hand on that season series.We thought Bernadina's bunt just got in Fister's head. He wasn't right after that.

  29. NatsJack in Florida - May 9, 2013 at 11:46 PM

    Watching Mets/Rays and man, did the Blue Jays get hosed on the Dickey trade.

  30. Eric - May 9, 2013 at 11:47 PM

    So… Yeah… Braves kick off against San Fran a few hours… Fingers crossed! Would love to wake up tomorrow only 1 back…

  31. Gonat - May 9, 2013 at 11:48 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… Watching Mets/Rays and man, did the Blue Jays get hosed on the Dickey trade. ________________________You mean Blue Jays/Rays and yes, I think that the Mets are quietly smiling like they had a bad feeling on Dickey.

  32. NatsJack in Florida - May 9, 2013 at 11:49 PM

    But he does have a GREAT pick off move that he needs to teach Stras, Jordan, Storen, T-Clip, and Mattheus.

  33. NatsJack in Florida - May 9, 2013 at 11:50 PM

    Yes, Blue Jays?Rays.

  34. A DC Wonk - May 9, 2013 at 11:52 PM

    Let's have some extra love for Mattheus today. Six days without pitching, comes in to face the dangerous 2-3-4 guys — gets the first two, gives up a single to #4 (Fielder) but then retires #5 in two pitches.

  35. NatsJack in Florida - May 9, 2013 at 11:52 PM

    Funny because I'm flipping between Mets/Pirates and Blues Jays/Rays.

  36. NatsJack in Florida - May 9, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    Tip of the hat to Ray Knight today who said in the Pre-game Show when Johnny Holliday said "Fister is undefeated at 4-0" Ray said "Not after today".

  37. NatsJack in Florida - May 10, 2013 at 12:00 AM

    When Ryan Mattheus throws his power sinker and his slider down, he's virtually unhittable.

  38. LoveDaNats - May 10, 2013 at 12:09 AM

    I've got nothing to say. Just happy! :)

  39. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 10, 2013 at 12:12 AM

    i loved watching Span andcRevere play center and right last years. Twins covered lots of ground there.

  40. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 10, 2013 at 12:15 AM

    that is exactly what I meant. My sister was class of 63 and I walked up to the school and watched the games. loved watching Tom Bradley. I was in second grade and was president of the Wally Brown fan club. rightfielder.He talked to us little kids all the time.

  41. Gonat - May 10, 2013 at 12:19 AM

    Nats are on a 91 win pace now.

  42. TimDz - May 10, 2013 at 12:19 AM

    Gonat….The Nats still play two in Detroit….They can still split…

  43. Gonat - May 10, 2013 at 12:23 AM

    TimDz, thanks for the correction. I didn't realize that.

  44. MicheleS - May 10, 2013 at 12:24 AM

    Jack, is Taylor Jordan the one you said to be on the look out for?

  45. NatsJack in Florida - May 10, 2013 at 12:29 AM

    Yep. Taylor Jordan and Robbie Ray.

  46. MicheleS - May 10, 2013 at 12:32 AM

    Cool..thanks.. saw that Jordan was bumped up to AA.

  47. NatsJack in Florida - May 10, 2013 at 12:40 AM

    Taylor is the next Jordan Zimmerman.

  48. NatsNut - May 10, 2013 at 12:47 AM

    These wins feel like the Boston sweep did last year. As in, dang, I think this team really can hang with the big dogs (or cats, in this case).

  49. NatsJack in Florida - May 10, 2013 at 12:49 AM

    NatsNut…….this team IS a big dog.

  50. Gonat - May 10, 2013 at 12:52 AM

    Rendon having another big night. 2-3 w/ a double, walk, RBI, run scored

  51. sjm308 - May 10, 2013 at 1:01 AM

    Hey everyone!! Still battling my stomach virus. If Werth has what I am dealing with I am surprised he is even in the dugout.Got to read lots of comments on lots of posts. I still skip the in-game stuff but I just wanted to let Eric know what a breath of fresh air he is. Yes, I actually read some Peric way down where he is still beating the drum for Tyler. Now don't get me wrong, I want Tyler Moore to do well but its just silly right now. Peric – span will not be on the bench, neither will LaRoche. Just find a new mantra and like Eric, we will beware the bold (what a joke).Had to laugh at our boy Bobby Carpenter today on TV. He has always had a hard time calling where the baseball might land. Lots of excitement for popups and sometimes he has no idea a ball is going out. Today he actually missed the call on the weather. They came back from break and he starts going on about the sun coming out and no more rain and then, what do you know – its a total downpour. At least he is consistent.Great win and our bullpen is just so solid right now. Haren with 4 wins makes me happy. I realize that lots of you use all kinds of stats and percentages and letters and numbers to prove who is best. Guess what? The team with the most runs wins! Haren is doing what LannEn did in years past. He just wins. I love it.Go Nats!!

  52. SonnyG10 - May 10, 2013 at 1:01 AM

    I thought it was really cool when Ryan Mattheus struck out Cabrera with that splitter, Cabrera looked at Ryan with a slight smile and you could read his lips saying "you got me".

  53. baseballswami - May 10, 2013 at 1:01 AM

    34 games– how many of those games do you guess we have had our ideal offensive lineup? I am guessing not many. I just keep thinking if we could ever just have everyone in the right place for a few games…….

  54. TimDz - May 10, 2013 at 1:02 AM

    NatsJack,What do you see in Taylor Jordan?I don't have any idea who he is….

  55. Candide - May 10, 2013 at 1:23 AM

    Was looking at the scoreboard, and I mentioned to Older Nephew, "Hey, Haren's ERA is finally under 5!" (was 4.50).O.N. says, "Don't say that."The very next pitch Tonawonadingdong hits a 3-run shot.Sorry, everyone.Fun game, though. One thing bothered me: When Moore ran a long way for that foul pop and it dropped out of his glove, he tossed the ball into the stands, and whoever caught it threw it back. Didn't like that one bit. From where we were sitting, I couldn't tell if the round of booing that followed was directed at the fan or at Moore. I certainly hope not Moore. No, he's not a great fielder, but it was a tough play, and he didn't deserve to get booed for it.

  56. MicheleS - May 10, 2013 at 1:25 AM

    Candide.. From what I saw on twitter from the person that threw the ball back was a tigers fan and Nats fans were giving him hades about it

  57. SonnyG10 - May 10, 2013 at 1:27 AM

    Hope he got ejected from the park for throwing something on the field.

  58. Candide - May 10, 2013 at 1:28 AM

    Thanks MicheleS. Good.

  59. JaneB - May 10, 2013 at 1:32 AM

    I woulda kept in Roger instead of Tyler today. I'm so happy we have Mattheus. And that we beat the Tigers. I will say I am one of the ones who was unhappy we got Span. Not that it matters. I'm finally loving Soriano, and I was mad about that originally. So far I love 24 of the guys. One day I'll quit blaming Span for no more Mikey. I know I really ought to blame Rizzo, but there you have it.

  60. A DC Wonk - May 10, 2013 at 1:46 AM

    FWIW, Mikey is down to .226; and in his last 17 games (dating back to Apr 18) in 71 plate appearances his hitting .185

  61. rmoore446 - May 10, 2013 at 1:46 AM

    Nice that Ryan Z.,and LaRoche came through today despite all the chatter about their fading skills. One day, true, but a nice day. And hasn't there been some talk earlier this season about what a bad move it was getting Span? Not much in the field and a slap hitter, wasn't it? Lately, he's looking like a very valuable player. Bernadina contributed as well. Only cousin Tyler failed in his one chance but I have faith in him down the road. The guy is a horse and once day we will enjoy the ride.

  62. Joe Seamhead - May 10, 2013 at 1:56 AM

    Can't give Moore to hard of a time for dropping the foul ball. He covered a lot of ground and, for him, if he had hung on it would've been a heck of a play. That said, I honestly think every other outfielder on the team makes the catch. I understood Davey's logic in pinch hitting for Shark, but I didn't like it because of the potential dropoff in defense. That could have blown up in Davey's face, but it didn't. Johnson is uncanny sometimes. I'll be glad when Werth is back. Other observations from today: Maybe the stats don't give Haren a "quality start" as Mark says, but I thought that he pitched a gutsy game against a heck of a great lineup, and as was said earlier, a win's a win. He is a good back of the rotation guy.The team overall is starting to really start not just playing better, but with more self confidence. You see that they have cast away the demons from two weeks ago.Ryan and Adam are waking up. Hope some stats get padded against the Cubs staff.Other than the bonehead non-doubleplay on Haren's toss to 2nd, Desi and Espy looked like a middle infield on a championship team.Span is just terrific in CF. And I don't want to start a big argument, but he is, in my opinion, the overall best defensive centerfielder we've had. No, his arm isn't in the same breath as Ankiel's but I don't think that Rick ever get the jumps, or ran as great of routes that Denard does. Again, my opinion. He has had some baserunning guffaws, but he is showing that he is capable of being the best leadoff hitter since the Nats got to DC. Soriano is just a treat.GYFNG!!!

  63. A DC Wonk - May 10, 2013 at 1:59 AM

    LaRoche: six game hitting streak, during which, in 24 plate appearances has 9 hits and 6 walks – and OBP of .625 (and BA of .529)Thanks, Chipper!

  64. A DC Wonk - May 10, 2013 at 2:02 AM

    Seamhead wrote: Span is just terrific in CF. And I don't want to start a big argument, but he is, in my opinion, the overall best defensive centerfielder we've had.Yep. See my comments after game #2 (my first in-person game this year). I was blown away by how Span covered huge ground by gliding. And I learned — once again — that you can see things in person that you can't see on TV. How much ground Span covers is one of those things that you have to see in person to fully appreciate how much it is.

  65. Dominats Vobiscum - May 10, 2013 at 2:05 AM

    Today he actually missed the call on the weather. They came back from break and he starts going on about the sun coming out and no more rain and then, what do you know – its a total downpour.He had that call exactly right. The rain stopped, the inning ended, I left my seat to use the mens room, and when I came back the sun was out and nothing but blue skies above. I got to my seat and…downpour. Still nothing but blue skies above. It kept raining for several minutes while the field was bathed in sunshine. Today was a total WTF weather day.

  66. Joe Seamhead - May 10, 2013 at 2:19 AM

    I wish Tyler Moore nothing but good luck. I'm not sure where you can hide him to get his bat in the lineup. In leftfield he reminds me of Willingham, a converted catcher that was never a very good outfielder. He was passible, at best, and has flourished much better in the AL.

  67. baseballswami - May 10, 2013 at 2:19 AM

    Tyler Moore is not an outfielder. He is a first baseman. Think you could stick Adam out there and he would make that play?? How about Prince? It's just a shame to see a promising young player on this path. Not saying there is an easy answer. He is well and truly blocked and Chris Marrero is raking. Just very unfortunate.

  68. Eric - May 10, 2013 at 3:20 AM

    Thanks for the shout, sjm.

  69. Sec. 3, My Sofa - May 10, 2013 at 4:36 AM

    Seconding sjm … thanks Eric.

  70. Drew - May 10, 2013 at 6:38 AM

    Tim Dz:Taylor Jordan was a 9th round pick in 2009 out of Miami Dade.He was having a promising year at Hagerstown in 2011, going 9-4 with a 2.48 ERA, when the Nats shut him down and he had TJ surgery.He spent 2012 in recovery and made a few starts.He entered this year as the Nats' No. 17 prospect and got off to a good start at Potomac, going 2-1 with a 1.26 ERA.

  71. Candide - May 10, 2013 at 9:42 AM

    I don't see how Moore stays in DC; he seems to be well and truly blocked here. Unfortunate, but I think he ends up in the AL as a DH. Hope the Nats can get some real value for him.

  72. baseballswami - May 10, 2013 at 9:57 AM

    I wish he could get a first base job somewhere as I think he plays that position well for his she and could be a good one in the future. He and Lombo are languishing on the vine.

  73. TimDz - May 10, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    Thanks Drew…

  74. JamesFan - May 10, 2013 at 3:47 PM

    Denard Span is the unsung hero of the early season. The guy was sensational in centerfield yesterday and day in and day out. He is a terrific leadoff man and brings a competent maturity to the team. One of my favorite players in 2013.



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