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Instant analysis: Nats 5, Padres 4

Jul 6, 2013, 11:20 PM EDT

Associated Press

Game in a nutshell: The morning began with some debate about whether Bryce Harper would even play. But the 20-year-old talked his way into the lineup and then made it all worthwhile. Harper drove in three runs to pace the Nationals' offense. Ryan Zimmerman delivered the big, go-ahead RBI single in the seventh. Jordan Zimmermann didn't earn the win, but he pitched well enough to get curly W No. 13. The honor ultimately went to Ross Ohlendorf, who allowed a three-run homer in relief of Zimmermann but remained the pitcher of record when the Nationals rallied in the bottom of the seventh. Drew Storen turned in a much-needed, 1-2-3 eighth inning, and Rafael Soriano closed out a 1-run victory. With that, the Nationals improved to three games over .500 for the first time since May 18. And they learned Harper and Zimmermann were named All-Stars, with Ian Desmond still having a chance to crack the roster as well.

Hitting highlight: Harper had to convince Davey Johnson to let him play today. Good thing the manager listened to his young star. Harper wound up driving in three of the Nationals' five runs. HeRead more »

  1. MicheleS - Jul 6, 2013 at 11:21 PM

    WOOOOO HOOOOOOO!!! Last out Shirts OUT!.. Love me some Adam and the gold glove silver slugger that he is!YEA BRYCE AND JZ.. now everyone vote for IAN!!!!

  2. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 6, 2013 at 11:22 PM

    It was great to see Soriano show that emotion!! Great game!#eatfaceWhoot-whoooooooNats win! Yes….

  3. Drew - Jul 6, 2013 at 11:22 PM

    Adam Freaking LaRoche, bay-bee.

  4. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 6, 2013 at 11:24 PM

    3 games above 500…. Nice…. Lets keep that trend up fellas….

  5. David Proctor - Jul 6, 2013 at 11:24 PM

    Nats have won 11 of their last 17. That's a .647 winning percentage. If people don't think we're legitimately playing better ball now, I don't know what to say. Great win.

  6. natsfan1a - Jul 6, 2013 at 11:26 PM

    Anyone have any spare nitro tabs? No? Okay, maybe I'll just go lie down for a few minutes. Nice win, Nats. Congrats to our two All-Stars. Hope to see another one before the voting/selection ends.

  7. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 6, 2013 at 11:28 PM

    Good thing Bryce played today, huh….

  8. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 6, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    We are playing better ball, but if we ever get a positive run differential, then we will know for sure….

  9. David Proctor - Jul 6, 2013 at 11:33 PM

    Det back to the DL…

  10. paul brandt - Jul 6, 2013 at 11:34 PM

    Ohlendorf with the win, now 2-0…wow, not right but I will take the team win.

  11. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 6, 2013 at 11:34 PM

    good job.

  12. David Proctor - Jul 6, 2013 at 11:35 PM

    Now let's go Phillies

  13. realdealnats - Jul 6, 2013 at 11:35 PM

    Nice to see'em come back.

  14. Unknown - Jul 6, 2013 at 11:36 PM

    Because of his long history of success, Soriano's 9th-inning antics don't worry me at all. That said, he reminds me too much of Chad Cordero in 2005. I remember that game their first year against the Angels in L.A. like it was yesterday. Cordero loaded the bases in the 9th with no one out, up only a run. Then–just like that–Nats win. I think it was a strikeout, pop-out and strikeout. Good memories but it was terrible living through them.

  15. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 6, 2013 at 11:46 PM

    I remember that game, unknown. That was the game that really grabbed me that year, and after that, that year was almost as good as last year in many ways….

  16. natsfan1a - Jul 6, 2013 at 11:46 PM

    Druuu had himself a nice inning.

  17. natsfan1a - Jul 6, 2013 at 11:47 PM

    They didn't sustain the winning in the second half in 2005, though. That said, it was still an awesome year, because I fell in love with my Nats in that dump of a stadium. :-)

  18. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 6, 2013 at 11:48 PM

    Fox guys expect us to get hot.

  19. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 6, 2013 at 11:50 PM

    2005 was the year that really made the Pythagorean Theorem into a household phrase for me. We were 15 games over .500 and I think we had a negative run differential at the break. We won every one run game in the first half and then lost every single one run game in the second half, but considering the talent level, it was a wonderful inauguration of baseball in D.C.I think it grabbed a lot of the on the fence people in Maryland who were fed up with Angelos.

  20. Joe Seamhead - Jul 6, 2013 at 11:52 PM

    2-3 with a BB, SB, 2 RS for Span today. That's the numbers we like to see from Denard. If he keeps this up the Nats will be tough to contend with. Glad Davey has stuck with him leading off. I don't care that much about the AS game, but I am so happy for Bryce getting the honor. I am even happier that the travesty ofJustin Upton starting in RF didn't happen.

  21. David Proctor - Jul 6, 2013 at 11:52 PM

    Some other people mentioned it, but that display of emotion from Soriano was surprising to me. He was banging his hand up against his mitt and he yelled something out. I've never seen him react that way, even last year with the Yankees. He must have wanted that one bad.

  22. natsfan1a - Jul 6, 2013 at 11:54 PM

    Was also surprised by his display of emotion.

  23. Joe Seamhead - Jul 6, 2013 at 11:56 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  24. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 6, 2013 at 11:57 PM

    saw the rosters now. really like the mix of lefty and righty pitchers on NL roster. I think they have a serious shot at continuing their streak.

  25. Joe Seamhead - Jul 6, 2013 at 11:57 PM

    natsfan1a said…They didn't sustain the winning in the second half in 2005, though. That said, it was still an awesome year, because I fell in love with my Nats in that dump of a stadium. :-)July 06, 2013 7:47 PM——/////—-Me and Mrs. Seamhead, too, 1a

  26. jw - Jul 6, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    I thought Storen's 1-2-3 inning on five pitches was definitely the pitching highlight of the day. Zimmermann looked like he was fighting the heat, Ohlendorf gave up the lead, and Soriano was a successful adventure. But it was a win!

  27. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 6, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    is mlb.com working normally for everyone?

  28. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 7, 2013 at 12:00 AM

    good to see couple of nats in there. hopefully desi gets selected once troy officially is off the roster.

  29. Joe Seamhead - Jul 7, 2013 at 12:01 AM

    So, Davey says Det will go on the DL. Everybody send some good ju-ju Dan Haren's way. Bartender! Another shot of cortisone for our buddy Dan!

  30. NatsLady - Jul 7, 2013 at 12:02 AM

    Did you see the Cards won on an error by the Fish? You don't think this happens at the major-league level.videohttp://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2013_07_06_miamlb_slnmlb_1&mode=video&content_id=28658113&tcid=vpp_copy_28658113

  31. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 7, 2013 at 12:09 AM

    Apparently the Padres catcher has damage to his ACL and MCL….Ouch…. I'm sorry to hear that…

  32. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 7, 2013 at 12:23 AM

    he was serious?

  33. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 7, 2013 at 12:27 AM

    I swear… if I ever use the "pythagorean system" in any baseball conversation, I will know it's time to join the NRA, by a gun and end this life.I had enough time getting through "matrix and functions" at Falls Church High School.But no matter what, I'll never join the the NRA.

  34. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 7, 2013 at 12:28 AM

    That would be 'buy".

  35. Eric - Jul 7, 2013 at 12:29 AM

    "is mlb.com working normally for everyone?"Both the app and the site have been a trainwreck since Soriano gave up the second hit with one out. Made the ending even more stressful!Bummer about the Padres' catcher…So, the first couple posts in this thread have me wondering: did LaRoche have a game ending web gem?Also, what's this about Sori banging his head into his glove?

  36. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 7, 2013 at 12:31 AM

    I've been sitting here voting for Desi on MLB.com…. I have voted about 10 times at this point…But MLB is still not working too much… I was trying to 'watch' a few other games…

  37. karlkolchak - Jul 7, 2013 at 12:33 AM

    Just returned home from the stadium…wow, I don't remember ever seeing a game with so many close plays that could have gone either way. Seemed like the Padres got all of the breaks early and the Nats got them late–but all good in the end.

  38. David Proctor - Jul 7, 2013 at 12:34 AM

    I think Bryce meant that the sentiment was serious, not that he literally wanted to be traded.

  39. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 7, 2013 at 12:43 AM

    So Danny Espinosa now has 3 games in a row withe 2 hits or more since Davey "threw him under the bus" as was so eloquently lied about 3 days ago.I think Davey's message was received loud and clear.Here's hoping.

  40. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 7, 2013 at 12:46 AM

    Nats closer to first than the O's, which gives some perspective to how random this thing truly is….

  41. Eric - Jul 7, 2013 at 12:49 AM

    Thanks DP…excellent play and passion. That's the kind of emotion that really lets you believe a guy cares about his team.

  42. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 7, 2013 at 12:50 AM

    Span played a nice game today.

  43. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 7, 2013 at 12:53 AM

    Span always plays a "nice game". He doesn't always hit.

  44. Eric - Jul 7, 2013 at 12:57 AM

    "Span always plays a "nice game". He doesn't always hit."+10

  45. d'grviii 8 - Jul 7, 2013 at 1:02 AM

    Order is restored to the universe. Storen, whose stuff is way better than Soriano's, mows 'em down. Soriano, whose stuff is not as good as Storen's, once again makes it interesting.Details from Mike Wallace tomorrow on 60 Minutes, on CBS.

  46. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 7, 2013 at 1:08 AM

    d'grvii8, that was also the earlier comment that they made on NatsTalk this morning on MASN.Luck certainly has played a part but Drew has also hurt himself with poorly locating pitches.

  47. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jul 7, 2013 at 1:08 AM

    NatsJack in Fla. said: "I swear… if I ever use the "pythagorean system" in any baseball conversation, I will know it's time to join the NRA, by a gun and end this life."As usual, NJ, you hit the nail on the head. We're playing better all-around baseball. All our eyes can see that. I don't need a bunch of five-decimal numbers divided by a bunch of other five-decimal numbers to know that. I like the matchup numbers as much as the next guy. But beating a team 19-1 one day and losing to another 2-1 the next, and then saying you have a "positive run differential" is just idiocy.Maybe all these math whizzes should go back to their calculators and figure out how to fly and land planes safely. Oh, wait…

  48. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 7, 2013 at 1:10 AM

    How's about the 2 fielding plays for outs 2 & 3 in the 9th. Rendon with a nifty play on the deflection and hard throw then ALR's diving play and Soriano remembered to cover 1st!

  49. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jul 7, 2013 at 1:10 AM

    Span probably has saved more runs in center field than Nyjer drove in during his entire Nats career.

  50. NatsLady - Jul 7, 2013 at 1:15 AM

    Did you read the article about Clip's approach this year? Seems like Clip's solution is the OPPOSITE of Storen's. Clip is trying to use all his pitches, get a feel for his curve and cutter, even when he is tempted to go in there and just throw hard for his inning. Meanwhile, it seems like the right approach for Storen, right now, would be to throw his two pitches (FB, slider) and not try to be clever. Clippardhttp://www.masnsports.com/nationals_pastime/2013/07/clippard-expanding-the-repertoire-finding-plenty-of-success.html

  51. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 7, 2013 at 1:15 AM

    NatsJack in Florida said… I think Davey's message was received loud and clear.Isn't that the truth. Finally Davey gave his lad some tough love and Espi has responded.Kind of see the ball hit the ball and stop swinging for the fences. Hmmmmm, sounds familiar.

  52. Joe Seamhead - Jul 7, 2013 at 1:16 AM

    Ghost, I could watch those two plays over, and over again.

  53. Theophilus T. S. - Jul 7, 2013 at 1:24 AM

    SBC — You're damning Spam w/ faint (very faint) praise.

  54. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 7, 2013 at 1:30 AM

    Ohlendorf should never be used as a stopper. Why isn't Krol being used as he is effective against all batters.Davey was very fortunate the ball bounced his way today or the LoD would be out in force but then again they are probably crying about the Os falling into 3rd place!

  55. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 7, 2013 at 1:33 AM

    Theophilus T. S. said… SBC — You're damning Spam w/ faint (very faint) praise.I think you mean Span not Spam unless you are calling Nyjer the word Spam which would be very true.

  56. jw - Jul 7, 2013 at 1:34 AM

    @NatsLady — Interesting article on Clippard. I think the most of the final quote "I didn't have to change anything, I just had to get back to who I was. … It's not always going to be great, but for the most part, if I stick to who I am, it's going to be good." actually applies to both Clippard and Storen. Pitch selection may change as they make adjustments to situations and hitters, but if they get away from knowing how to use their strengths, they'll struggle. Clippard went through it last year by not throwing enough variety to have a good feel for all of his pitches, and Storen may be going through it now by not relying enough on his strengths, but I think it's two sides of the same coin.

  57. Secret wasian man - Jul 7, 2013 at 1:40 AM

    Very nice to see some exciting baseball lately. Soriano, WHEW a little too much excitement

  58. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 7, 2013 at 1:42 AM

    jw, my 2 cents is Clip became too predictable and gave up a lot of HRs by batters sitting changeup or sitting fastball. Being able to pull out a breaking pitch will keep the batters a little more off balance and it has worked.I think Storen has been hurt mostly by pitch location where pitches stay up and also by staying below the knees and not inducing swings on those pitches and lastly by bad luck. His 1st HR yesterday was a good pitch and the batter got it and that's credit to the batter but the 2nd HR was a lousy pitch.

  59. Eric - Jul 7, 2013 at 1:54 AM

    "they are probably crying about the Os falling into 3rd place!"Ha!So was there some kind of meeting between Espi and Davey recently?

  60. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 7, 2013 at 1:55 AM

    NEW POST

  61. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 7, 2013 at 1:59 AM

    I might take someone who doesn't stand the sun very well tomorrow. Does anyone have an opinion on a good option. Cheaper seems to be better in this situation.Thanks

  62. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 7, 2013 at 2:32 AM

    Wodl i upgraded to 214 and my wife went inside the air condition.

  63. Natstown - Jul 7, 2013 at 2:50 AM

    Dat memory

  64. natsfan1a - Jul 7, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    Did they have the cooling suites this weekend? If so, it's also possible to watch the game on a monitor there if the sun/heat gets to be too much for them. Me, I'm an upper deck kind of gal (400's, on the third base side, and at least a few rows back should work).

  65. jw - Jul 7, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    WODL — I sit on the third base side a in Row E. It's usually out of the sun by the time Sunday games start. The only time it's been in the sun was when the 4th of July game started at 11. But from looking around, there might be some seats a few rows up (like behind the bullpen) on the right field side that are under an overhang.

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