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Instant analysis: Cubs 2, Nats 1

May 12, 2013, 8:26 PM EST

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Gio Gonzalez pitched seven scoreless innings but didn't get the win.

Game in a nutshell: Gio Gonzalez was absolutely brilliant, carrying a perfect game into the sixth and completing seven scoreless innings on 86 pitches. The Nationals, though, only led 1-0 at the time, so Davey Johnson elected to pinch-hit for his starter in the bottom of the seventh and entrust the game to his bullpen. Drew Storen immediately surrendered the tying run in the top of the eighth on a pair of singles, a sac bunt and a foul pop-up that advanced a runner. Rafael Soriano then gave up the go-ahead run in the ninth after a pair of singles and then a surprise double steal on which catcher Kurt Suzuki's throw was spiked into the ground and bounced down the left-field line. The Nationals couldn't mount one last-ditch rally and wound up suffering a very disappointing series loss to the last-place Cubs.

Hitting lowlight: There was a highlight, one of them: Ryan Zimmerman's RBI double off the right-field wall to score DenardRead more »

  1. peric - May 12, 2013 at 8:29 PM

    Dodgers, Padres, and defending world champion Giants. Loads of fun with no offense to speak of.

  2. Dan Strong - May 12, 2013 at 8:29 PM

    Yet another example of this team putting a run up and just trying to cruise through the rest of the game. The offense just shut down and didn't take advantage of any opportunities.

  3. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 12, 2013 at 8:31 PM

    i put 50% of loss on Davey. 20% on Dtoren 5% on Suzuki 25% on Eckstein.Do not replace a starter who has command with only 85 ppitxhes. NEVER.Our hitters as a team not productive. For 3 years I have called for a new hitting coach, and will til the team bats .275. We arent even .230 I bet.

  4. peric - May 12, 2013 at 8:32 PM

    The offense just shut down and didn't take advantage of any opportunities.With Harper's bat cooled there is NO OFFENSE. He's been IT. Desmond is the only other hitter/run producer. At this point Desmond should bat third and Harper 4th, Zim 5th, and LaRoche in front of the catcher or 2nd.

  5. natsfan1a - May 12, 2013 at 8:32 PM

    Bummer for Gio.

  6. E. - May 12, 2013 at 8:34 PM

    Home plate umpire needs to be canned.

  7. NatsJack in Florida - May 12, 2013 at 8:38 PM

    Belk goes oppo boppo off Medlin. 1-0 Hiants.

  8. NatsJack in Florida - May 12, 2013 at 8:39 PM


  9. Secret wasian man - May 12, 2013 at 8:40 PM

    Umpire is horrible. Bottom line is this is not a good team. Offense is inept. And when the so called strength of the team comes in and throws up all over itself you are big trouble. No playoffs this year unless there are some changes. Horrid play by Suzuki.

  10. NatsJack in Florida - May 12, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    SWM…..Suzuki's throw hit the bat. Not a horrid play. Grow up.

  11. David Proctor - May 12, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    The Giants were .500 at this point last year. Last year, ONE team who led their division at this point in the season ended up winning it: it was us.We have a long way to go, folks.

  12. NatsJack in Florida - May 12, 2013 at 8:47 PM

    If you want to complain then get on Sori and the middle infielders for not checking the runner at second.

  13. Exposremains - May 12, 2013 at 8:48 PM

    Looked like winners against the Tigers and looked like losers against the Cubs

  14. Secret wasian man - May 12, 2013 at 8:51 PM

    Please with Suzuki hitting bat. It was bad baseball. Move your butt and throw the ball correctly. If your gonna make excuses for him why don't you do it for your boy Espi. And don't tell me to grow up. I'm not the guy wasting money on TATTS

  15. NatsJack in Florida - May 12, 2013 at 8:51 PM

    Love the Giants TV guys. These guys call the game so objectively. Just said "apparently, the Giants have an 'avoid' sign on McCann after his at bats Friday.

  16. PChuck - May 12, 2013 at 8:52 PM

    Davey needs to be gone, now!

  17. David Proctor - May 12, 2013 at 8:53 PM

    For the people complaining about Drew being brought in: he desperately needed work. He's pitched 2 times in 11 games. We need him in good shape for the road trip. Combine that with needing to add on runs, and it makes complete sense to make the change. You have to manage for the future too.

  18. PChuck - May 12, 2013 at 8:55 PM

    >>>For the people complaining about Drew being brought in: he desperately needed work.There's a game tomorrow and the day after and the day after.Davey spit this win out.

  19. David Proctor - May 12, 2013 at 8:56 PM

    11 days. not 11 games.

  20. David Proctor - May 12, 2013 at 8:57 PM

    Yes and Davey thought Drew needed work before we go into LA. LA, despite whatever the record, is a better team than the Cubs. He wanted Drew in good form for that series.

  21. PDowdy83 - May 12, 2013 at 8:58 PM

    I used to come to this blog and know there was going to be a group of well mannered, intelligent fans posting in the comments and would enjoy reading and interacting. Now it absolutely turns my stomach to see the nonsense that gets written here. I guess winning brought the front runner fans with football mentalities out of the wood work. I will no longer be reading comments or posting here. To those who don't suck (you know who you are) best of luck in your Nationals' fandom.

  22. NatsJack in Florida - May 12, 2013 at 8:59 PM

    Panda just goes splash with a pink bat off Medlin. 2-0 Giants.And, yes, you have to be over 18 to get a tattoo.

  23. EmDash - May 12, 2013 at 9:00 PM

    Suzuki had to rush to make the throw. In retrospect it would've been better not to throw at all, but he couldn't exactly have known that it would hit the bat the way it did.I still think pulling Gio was a miscalculation on Davey's part – it would've been different if he could reasonably expect that a pinch-hitter might've gotten a hit, but, well, not the case right now – but I understand the rationale. And it's not like Storen or Soriano got hit hard, mostly – just some seeing-eye grounders that were well-placed.Hitting is the only real problem I see in these two games. Well, that and Zach Duke. The bench probably needs to be adjusted a bit; Moore is the most likely to be sent down, I'd expect, but it's hard to say.

  24. Dan Strong - May 12, 2013 at 9:02 PM

    This team plays down to their competition so well.

  25. David Proctor - May 12, 2013 at 9:02 PM

    Wow this was the first time Suzuki has ever been ejected from a game.

  26. VTGooner - May 12, 2013 at 9:04 PM

    This team is just frustrating. I don't care if Drew has pitched twice in 11 days. Hes a major pitcher and can handle himself and just hasnt. He continues to give up hit after hit. Gio shouldve still been in the game but thank Davey for that genius decision. If he wanted to make a good move he would get rid of Eckstein cause at this point continually trying to win games where your offense is putting up a max of 3 runs will not result in lots of W's. I'm tired of this "Oh everything will come around soon" mentality. He should be demanding excellence every game from his players not coddling them every time they fail

  27. Secret wasian man - May 12, 2013 at 9:06 PM

    Nats jack I like your posts a s well as everyone's. but to tell somebody to grow up because you disagree with their opinion is CHILDISH.. Lets get them tomorrow. Go nats

  28. David Proctor - May 12, 2013 at 9:07 PM

    Everyone wanted Eck gone last year too, until June when the offense started putting up big numbers. A hitting coach doesn't magically make everything better.

  29. Candide - May 12, 2013 at 9:07 PM

    At the game with a friend, but I left after they gave the Cubs the lead. When Tracy came up, we both asked the same thing: Since he has a better batting average than Tracy, why not let Gio hit? And when Tracy was retired, we asked it again.Was going to keep score, but it was cold and blustery (was just wearing my Zimmerman jersey) and I put the phone away and just tried to keep my hands warm under my armpits the whole game. Or 8-1/2 innings of it, anyway.

  30. Candide - May 12, 2013 at 9:08 PM

    Question: When was the lat time Harper, Werth, Zimmerman, and Ramos were all in the lineup at the same time?

  31. Secret wasian man - May 12, 2013 at 9:09 PM

    I'm glad were only back one game. But still not satisfied being 20 17. It's a little too mediocre.

  32. David Proctor - May 12, 2013 at 9:10 PM

    Like I said, the World Series champion Giants were .500 at this point last year. Obviously we'd all like to be doing better, but it'll be alright.

  33. Secret wasian man - May 12, 2013 at 9:11 PM

    I think the umpires just hopped a plane and are now reding the Caps game. Do all officials hate Washington teams?

  34. peric - May 12, 2013 at 9:12 PM

    Question: When was the lat time Harper, Werth, Zimmerman, and Ramos were all in the lineup at the same time?Would it matter? Probably not since the way it works if Harper hits there's usually some offense. If he doesn't or gets walked there isn't. Even with Desmond at the top of the XBH stat.Every single team in baseball knows that now. Until the Nats change that basic truth they will know who to shut them down.

  35. NatsJack in Florida - May 12, 2013 at 9:12 PM

    Watching SWM go through these violent mood swings is interesting.

  36. EmDash - May 12, 2013 at 9:20 PM

    Storen has a .386 BABIP right now, which is crazy-high. Most of those aren't hard-hit, either, just weak contact going between defenders. That's not likely to continue.Boston has been one of the best teams in baseball over the first two months, and lost two of three to Toronto, which has been one of the worst. In today's game they got crushed. Baseball's weird sometimes.

  37. peric - May 12, 2013 at 9:24 PM

    In Natslady's favorite category fielding Denard Span leads the Nats with a 6.3 UZR. And way out ahead of the rest in 2nd in Danny Espinosa with a 1.8 UZR.

  38. VTGooner - May 12, 2013 at 9:24 PM

    Baseball is weird sometimes, yes. But what is going on with this offense is not. I know our team BABIP is almost bottom in the majors but in my personal opinion I haven't seen many games where I felt that we deserved more hits that were just robbed. We get men on base and absolutely no one is able to drive them in it seems like. We may have 2nd and 3rd with no outs and we will go strike out, pop out, ground out or really any variation you can think of that doesnt result in a basehit, sac fly, or just a well place grounder to get a guy to score. The team is comically inept in these situations

  39. tayo - May 12, 2013 at 9:26 PM

    I was unable to watch this game and what happened is not as concerning as our trend of always(mostly) losing on sunday afternoons. Is there any explanation for this?

  40. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 12, 2013 at 9:27 PM

    RZim needs to keep that chip on his shoulder. Glad to see it. Situational contact was poor again. Espi froze up again in key situations and the 2 hole is still a black hole. Gio pitched great!

  41. NatsJack in Florida - May 12, 2013 at 9:31 PM

    Scuturo sitting on a Medlin hook and goes yard for a 4-0 Giants lead.

  42. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 12, 2013 at 9:35 PM

    3 questions since I didnt visual see.1 was Zim's double catchable? If not why was harper only on third with his speed2 was Suzuki throwing to second or third. if second why was bat struck? If between home and second his bat cannot be over the plate after the swing.3 What song and dance did Davey do to explain batting Tracy for Gio? Gio batting 200 with 1 homer and Tracy .135 with 0. So I see no mathmatical reason.

  43. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 12, 2013 at 9:35 PM

    Scutaro started slow and is now playing clutch. I read someone trying to compare him to Espi. Scutaro over .300 .

  44. NCNatsie - May 12, 2013 at 9:39 PM

    I was driving all afternoon so didn't see the game. Charlie and Dave were claiming that interference should have been called on Zuki's error. What's the rule on that?They also claimed the balls & strikes calling was the worst — and that it's been terrible all season. Charlie's now in favor of calling them by laser technology.They figured Zuki's ejection from the game came about because he told the ump just what he thought about the game he had just called.That make sense to those of you who saw the action?

  45. NatsJack in Florida - May 12, 2013 at 9:39 PM

    Manassas….1. Zims ball was in the gap and possibly catchable. Harp had to hold up and the ball was played perfectly off the wall.2. Suzuki was throwing to third. The ball grazed the bat out of his hand.3. Sorry….didn't see the post game.

  46. Salvatore Johnson - May 12, 2013 at 9:40 PM

    Anybody watching MASN disappointed at no Davey Johnson interview?If there was a game that I wanted to hear from Davey on the bad umpiring, taking Gio out early and the back break on Suzaki's throw to third base.Sometimes I just wonder if MASN is trying to cover up something, oh well.

  47. NatsJack in Florida - May 12, 2013 at 9:42 PM

    Re: Interference…….the hitter stayed in the box and did't move. He doesn't have to. If he had then interference could have been called.

  48. peric - May 12, 2013 at 9:49 PM

    Anybody watching MASN disappointed at no Davey Johnson interview?Might still appear. Based on the beat reporters comments Davey was really going to grilled after this one. Not sure if he's on the hot seat yet given the record … still …Plus they all have to get ready for the long arduous road trip out west. Well, except for Mark perhaps.

  49. NatsJack in Florida - May 12, 2013 at 9:50 PM

    I'm not suprised at no Johnson interview. With a game in LA tomorrow nite, a fast gettaway was in order.Meantime 5-0 Giants going to the bottom of the 5th.

  50. NatsJack in Florida - May 12, 2013 at 9:53 PM

    Sorry…bottom of the 6th.

  51. SCNatsFan - May 12, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    It's just this simple the Nats are not as good as we all hoped. Possibly a wild card game but this team does not have the look, right now, of anything special.

  52. Amr Khani - May 12, 2013 at 10:01 PM

    @VTGooner, I looked at the BABIP stats and I think the issue is the Nats are not getting the "undeserved" hits. Ground balls are not going through the infield as much as they should. Fly balls are not finding gaps and yes, there are a lot of line drives not becoming hits. The Nats BABIP is 3rd worst in the NL, yet their line drive percentage (in which over 70% historically fall for hits) is 6th worst. Their ground ball percentage (in which 24% become historically become hits) is middle of the road. The Nats actually hit fewer fly balls (in which only 15% become hits) than average. They probably "should" be slightly below league average in BABIP based on their distributions of type of batted ball, but probably not where they are. Hate to be an optimist, but this does bode well.While I think Davey made the wrong move by taking Gio out today, he got a bit unlucky. That's baseball. The place where I think he has made more obvious mistakes is batting very poor OBP guys at the top of the order. Lombardozzi is one of the least selective batters in the NL and should not ever be batting second. I'd argue that a guy like Kurt Suzuki would be better suited up there given his plate discipline. But he's a slow catcher, and that just doesn't "seem right" to old school managers.

  53. EmDash - May 12, 2013 at 10:06 PM

    Braves aren't looking that great right now, either, though. Nats don't need to have the best record in baseball to make the playoffs, just be better than your division rivals. And once you're in the playoffs, all bets are off.

  54. JayB - May 12, 2013 at 10:15 PM

    No Limit to the depth of Njack's excuse making for Davey. Amazing how nothing is his fault…..he must be perfect all the time. When his moves do not work….OR his spring training country club…it is always "just baseball"

  55. tayo - May 12, 2013 at 10:25 PM

    @ AmrWe have no ideal 2 hole hitter other than Jason Werth so we have to make do with who we have. Like you said, Suzuki is slow so thats a no-no for most managers. Harper would be ok there but he is our 3 hole hitter and also the two consecutive left-handers thing works against this. Only other major league ready player that could fit here is Rendon but there is no spot for him yet unless Rizzo and the ants give up on Espinosa.

  56. Joe Seamhead - May 12, 2013 at 10:49 PM

    You allknowthat I support Adam LaRoche. While that foul ball was still inthe air Isaid out loud," Watch the runner!" Ok Adam made a good catch, is a lefty and had to turn, but he hesitated. Meanwhile the pinch runner tagged up and headed to third, with no throw from ALR. Adam had a brain freeze, and that runner scored the tying run on the next play. I honestly think that play was the back breaker in a game that was so important for us.My son thought that I was hard on Adam until he watched the replay. He agreed that Adam didn't think about the runner until after he caught the ball. It's the little things.

  57. Eric - May 12, 2013 at 11:02 PM

    Don't have much to say about this one other than, it was very nice to see old Gio today. He killed it out there.

  58. NatsLady - May 12, 2013 at 11:06 PM

    I think everyone in the park was stunned Gio didn't bat for himself, and Davey saying he always tries to add on, "that's the way I manage, chalk it up to me"…doesn't wash–because he let JZ bat for himself when the score was guess what, 1-0. 100% agree Lombo should not be in the 2 hole. I would rather have Espy there, at least he will take a walk. Lombo and his weak grounders are very frustrating. That will work itself out when Werth gets back. Is there any word on Bernadina, who, unlike Span, does dive for balls.Sorry to say, I had a bad feeling about Storen's outing when he gave up the first single. Charlie and Dave questioned RZ's positioning several times. They said, the Nats don't guard the line, now they are guarding the line and balls are getting through. I know this is yesterday's question, but was Stras in the dugout? He wasn't on pitcher's row, with Haren, Det, and JZ. I know sometimes pitchers go in the back to chart pitches, but I don't know why he would be doing that. I couldn't see back in the dugout, it was chilly, though, maybe he was inside.

  59. EmDash - May 12, 2013 at 11:16 PM

    The TV broadcast showed Stras sitting next to & talking to Gio.

  60. Amr Khani - May 12, 2013 at 11:18 PM

    Strasburg was in the dugout. They showed him and Gio talking between innings.

  61. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 12, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    Nat Jack is correct if the batter is in the box then no interference. throwing into the bat is the risk, that is why most wont throw to third with a righty batter instead they throw to second.harper holding up because of possible catch understandable, but the old aggressive harper would have been going with the hit and score easilty.Centerfielder robs Ian, that is what defenders do they prevent runs not set up runs like some defenses do.So Davey never gave a real answer to putting a .135 hitter with 0 homers to bat for a .200 hitter with a homer.

  62. Dominats Vobiscum - May 12, 2013 at 11:57 PM

    Tracy is a professional hitter, Gio is not. If you're looking to add on, which is a good move when the pitcher's spot is up first in the 7th inning of a 1-0 game, you go with the professional hitter. You can quibble with Davey's choice of pinch hitters, but pinch hitting for Gio there was a no-brainer.

  63. Scott Margenau - May 13, 2013 at 9:28 AM

    No. A PH when u have a lead with a hot pitcher near perfect is just dumb.





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