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Instant Analysis: Giants 4, Nats 3

Aug 15, 2013, 7:32 PM EDT

Photo by USA Today

Game in a nutshell: The Nationals had this one in the bag up 3-1 in the top of the ninth with two outs and two strikes on consecutive batters. But a walk to Roger Kieschnick brought up Hector Sanchez who would then make Rafael Soriano pay on a 3-2 pitch, destroying it into the upper deck in right field to put the Giants up 4-3 and give Sergio Romo a chance to shut the door. The blown save, Soriano's fifth of the year, squandered yet another good start by Dan Haren who overcame a rocky, 27-pitch first inning to pitch six frames of one-run ball. The Nats struck early on Ryan Vogelsong with three runs in the third inning, but couldn't come up with anything more despite several chances. The end result was a loss to end their homestand, keeping them under the .500 mark at 59-61.

Hitting highlight: In the third inning the Nationals brought three runs across, all thanks to well-placed hits off Vogelsong. Denard Span kicked it off with a single to center field and, moments later, he and Jayson Werth were knocked home by a double to left-center by Ian Desmond. Adam LaRoche then dropped in a bloop single to left to plate Desmond. The rally helped knock Vogelsong out of the game after just 3 2/3 innings and 91 pitches, but later couldn't hold on for the victory.

Pitching highlight: Soriano took the mound in the top of the ninth seeking his 32nd save of the year, but on this particular day it was not meant to be. He allowed a leadoff single to Buster Posey and walked Roger Kieschnick with two outs. Sanchez then blasted a high flying homer to right field, a three-run shot to put the Giants ahead.  It was a 3-2 pitch and Sanchez got a hold of it with just about all he had.
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  1. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 15, 2013 at 8:31 PM

    No Soriano quotes on Twitter.Phil Wood is just as much fan as us.

  2. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 15, 2013 at 8:31 PM

    See Manassas, now everybody left.

  3. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 15, 2013 at 8:33 PM

    I like post game interviees win or lose. Seems Haren is the best interview on the team. Talks win or loss.

  4. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 15, 2013 at 8:34 PM

    Want to hear Soriano's take on the ladt 2 days

  5. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 15, 2013 at 8:34 PM

    Apparently Haren was hurt, but why not admit it? The whole thing was bizarre.

  6. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 15, 2013 at 8:36 PM

    So close to reaching .500 and then Soriano does his magic just like he did against Atlanta and Miami and L.A. and against someone else, earlier in the season.

  7. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2013 at 8:36 PM

    Section 222 said… Ghost and Faraz, you don't really believe that there is as much of a difference in fielding between Rendon and Espi as there is in hitting do you? That's crazy. I'll concede that Espi is the better 2B. But not by that much and Rendon is getting better and better. August 15, 2013 7:18 PM I think the 2012 Espinosa was 2nd best in the NL. Like I said, this year he wasn't diving for balls because of his shoulder so I think Rendon has performed better though you are getting some errors as he is learning on the job.On batting, no comparison as Rendon is the real deal.

  8. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 15, 2013 at 8:38 PM

    Espinosa is like Ross Geller in the episode where he refuses to get a shot and wants the doctor to use a "thwirt gun".For some reason, he is deathly afraid of going under the knife and it is costing him big money.

  9. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 15, 2013 at 8:39 PM

    I agree with that Ghost.

  10. baseballswami - Aug 15, 2013 at 8:41 PM

    We really should have added on, scoring early like that– a very common problem. I am actually glad to see that most of the team still takes losses hard. Soriano is a hired hand who does not seem much like he is part of the team. Something about his signing has never felt quite right. Last night Span saved the game, not him. And I also am not a fan of the untucking. Just a personal feeling. He should be able to close days in a row. He seemed to pout over that call and then just phone it in. Like the day when Knorr pulled him. Hope they are feeling this on the way to ATL. Put it out of reach before the 9 th.

  11. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 15, 2013 at 8:46 PM

    After he is ahead 0-2 he just pitching sliders only.Not getting add ons in a problem a lot of the season.

  12. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2013 at 8:48 PM

    baseballswami said… We really should have added on, scoring early like that– I posted the same after the Belt HR that the Nats needed some add-on runs. The bullpen just feels over-used. I would have gone with Clip in the 9th and Krol in the 8th. Oh well.

  13. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 15, 2013 at 8:51 PM

    I remember when relievers used to pitch multiple innings multiple times a week. Maybe they are all throwing harder now and not saving anything in reserve, but it doesn't seem like ANY of these relievers are throwing that many innings.

  14. mick - Aug 15, 2013 at 8:54 PM

    Manassas Nats' Fan said…I havent seen you in a game post during tge winning streak.on vacation and guess what…you did not see me in any game post or post game posts in any of the Braves losses.. either

  15. mick - Aug 15, 2013 at 8:57 PM

    Rendon is going to be an All star…he went through his slump and readjusted. This is what Tyler Moore failed to do . Rendon is a bright spot on a dark season

  16. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:00 PM

    mick said… Rendon is going to be an All star…he went through his slump and readjusted. This is what Tyler Moore failed to do . Rendon is a bright spot on a dark season August 15, 2013 8:57 PM Agreed with that. I'm thrilled at his progress to the point that I don't even want him moved from 2nd base.

  17. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:01 PM

    I have a great idea. Let's all of us, post when we feel like posting and let's not post when we don't feel like posting. I just think it makes sense as a posting rule of thumb. I want to hear your opinions, not bickering about timing of posts.

  18. BigCat - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:02 PM

    When we gave soriano 28 mil over 2 years and saw his saves I went woooo hoooo (sorry Michelle ). Then when I watched him pitch and saw his stuff I was disappointed He has saved his share of games but I never, ever, have felt comfortable with him closing . It's always a struggle……always….cause the stuff ain't there anymore. And then he popped off about Harper early in the year. I don't know. We had such a close knit club last year. My opinion, soriano needs to go. Regardless of the money

  19. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:03 PM

    I saw something that said that Espinosa has better range and makes fewer errors, but Rendon seems to make a lot of wow plays. Of course, Harper isn't playing as well as he might be right now, but the two of them should be excellent players for years to come.

  20. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:04 PM

    Very few "closers" are for real. If they were, they would be starters, not relievers.

  21. mick - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:04 PM

    Haren has shown a lot of heart…he has blamed himself when he pitched horrible…Soriano has never once owned up to anything…he is typical ex Yankee BUM full of himself. when he blamed Harper for a loss back in May, it was clear that he was not a National…I am more upset with him untucking his shirt last night than I am his piss poor performance today. Is this the kind of players the Lerners want representing this team??? He is not a champion, he is BUM on and off the field

  22. mick - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:09 PM

    WODHarper and Rendon are going to be great….only a blind moron thinks Espi should EVER play over Rendon

  23. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:09 PM

    None of these guys want to show any vulnerability. Soriano should have been racing out to center with Harper instead of prancing. Strangely enough, one might argue that relievers get too much credit when they win or get a save, and too little blame when they blow one.

  24. mick - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:10 PM

    can Nats package Espi and Soriano like right now to another team?

  25. The Real Feel Wood. Accept no substitutes. - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:11 PM

    When all you are capable of posting is hate, then yes it is pretty unseemly to be posting after a win.

  26. BigCat - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:11 PM

    Agree bout Haren. He's a true pro. I've ripped him all year about his pitching. Attitude etc….he's a keeper. If I was rizzo is offer him a contract for next year. Maybe at 1.5 mil for a one year deal

  27. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:12 PM

    Espinosa had decent power and was a very good fielder. I can't remember his speed since he never got on base. I think that they are going to have issues because of Zimmerman, with Rendon at 2b bacause Rendon is such a good hitter and you usually have that at 3rd base and Zim has lost a lot of his power.

  28. mick - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:12 PM

    WODyour right…but Soriano takes his arrogance to an unacceptable level for me. I simply do not like the guy period… let me put it this way…I liked Dukes and Morgan more than him when they played hereLOL

  29. baseballswami - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:13 PM

    Any word on the guy who took a ball to the chest?

  30. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:15 PM

    William O. Douglas Loeffler said… I saw something that said that Espinosa has better range and makes fewer errors, but Rendon seems to make a lot of wow plays. It depends where you are reading but not factual on the range if you believe in the FanGraphs ratings for this year. Like I said, last year different story.Rendon's range is much better than Espinosa's this year at 2.5 for Rendon to 1.7 for Espinosa but Espinosa has a higher UZR because of the errors factored in. Rendon is a -2.3. Espinosa is also rated better on turning the doubleplays.

  31. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:15 PM

    A crummy pitcher goes for a few million now since most of the younger stars are underpaid due to union rules.I am glad that Haren and Span have been doing better lately, but let's not forget when we needed them to be ready to do that. It was on day 1, not day 110.At a certain point, all you can do is go forward in order to make predictions but I am not going to get all warm and fuzzy if Soriano or Span or Haren has a great August and September after falling 15 games back. The pressure is off now.

  32. mick - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:16 PM

    swamifrom Giants web siteManager Bruce Bochy said the rookie reliever, who sustained a bruise, could be sidelined for at least a couple of day

  33. natsfan1a - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:17 PM

    Well, that was fun, up until the last inning.

  34. bobfromalexandria - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:18 PM

    Was at the game. Very disappoining. You can't leave 11 men on base at this level. Killer instinct seems lacking. Unless I hear otherwise it will look like another bad move by Davey — bringing Soriano in for a second night in a row when he was being hit last night and saved only by Span's magnificent catch. Very deflating.

  35. mick - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:18 PM

    I feel for Haren and the team and all fans at the game today. Soriano does not tweet anything…how about, i let my team down

  36. Candide - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:19 PM

    I was at the game and I'm as disgusted, dismayed, disappointed, and just plain pissed off as anyone else here. Mad enough to stab a kitten to death. And I like kittens.But folks, can we cut out the sniping at each other here? Nobody here caused the Nats to lose today. Let's try to be civil to each other at least.

  37. David Proctor - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:19 PM

    I'd be wary of saying Zim lost a lot of his power. He is still recovering from shoulder surgery. Remember some people here were insistent that Werth lost his power. It's not likely that a 28 year old has lost his power for good. He should be better next year.

  38. mick - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:21 PM

    you win championships with character guys …Soriano is an arrogant me myself and I player…he is a disease among young players who want to win and sacrifice for their team mates. get his ass out of here, please Mike Rizzo, I'm begging you!

  39. natsfan1a - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:21 PM

    (Off to hide the kittens now. Later.)

  40. mick - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:21 PM

    R Zim is still a player and he has been hurt all year while hitting above 270.

  41. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:22 PM

    I tend to go by my eyes and I think Rendon is plenty good enough as a fielder at 2nd. He seems to make more great plays than Danny did. I look at that stuff and I am not sure what to make of it. Many baseball guys say that Span is having his best year as a fielder but the advanced metrics for him all seem to be down.I honestly think advanced defensive stats have about as much science behind them as does the latest investment profile peddled by a wall street firm. What we do know, is that teams win divisions and pennants and world series with a variety of types of players, and many of them are poor fielders. I get the impression that many people seem to have bought the argument that the Nats could not have contended with Morse in left field, which is patently false. Long story short: It is impossible for Espinosa to field well enough to make up for a .150 average and it is all but impossible for the Nats' outfielders to field well enough to make up for the lack of production by Morse (and Moore) in left field last year.

  42. mick - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:23 PM

    Candide AMEN brother!!there are those who want to see others blink first with their emotions then go after them…

  43. BigCat - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:25 PM

    Ghost. I'm coming around to your thinking of Zimmerman. How old is he….28? 29? But that's an old twenty something. Would love to know what he runs the 60 in. My guess would be 7.7. I think it's time for him to get a trainer in the off season and start bustin his ass, cause the man is closing in on him

  44. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:26 PM

    Actually, it seems pretty civil in here tonight. We have all seen much, much worse….

  45. mick - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:27 PM

    BigCatthis is why he will play 1st one day, when ALR is gone…this will save a lot of wear and tear on Zim…it will also make him a better hitter, less vulnerable to injuries

  46. baseballswami - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:27 PM

    I have to agree that Soriano has been an arrogant, non- team player, ex-Yankee. That was not a solo home run. That was a freaking three run bomb with 2 outs and 2 strikes, hit while he was pouting over a strike call. And he did not save the game last night, Span did. Something about his presence just has not felt right this season. There was an article in the media today about how Haren and Span worried that they had contributed to the change in the Nats this season. Ahem. Uh, no- not the two of you.

  47. BigCat - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:28 PM

    If A Rendon gets serious and hits the weights in the off season he can be a star in MLB

  48. mick - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:29 PM

    swamiexcellent post

  49. D'Gourds - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:29 PM

    I'm amazed people are so upset by this loss. The season is done already. Sure it's nice to get some momentum going into next year. But really, get over it. This team has just sucked this year. We'll play out the string and regroup for 2014. We still have a great core. Things are good.

  50. mick - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:30 PM

    Big catI think Rendon will do that, not just for power, but to avoid injuries…this is where John Philbin earns his pay…he is a good personal trainer and I wish other Nat players would buy into him.

  51. Candide - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:31 PM

    William O. Douglas Loeffler said… I tend to go by my eyes and I think Rendon is plenty good enough as a fielder at 2nd. He seems to make more great plays than Danny did.He seems to have an instinctive feel for where first base is. Both yesterday and today, he dove to spear hard-hit balls to his right, spun around and slung sidearm bullets right into to LaRoche's chest, I swear, before his brain could possibly have registered where LaRoche actually was.Both plays almost identical – 3rd inning yesterday, 8th today. Check the videos.And he's only been playing second a few months. Kid's gonna be great.

  52. BigCat - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:32 PM

    Yes mick. But zims pop with the stick is leaving also. He needs to change his whole approach st the plate (my opinion)

  53. baseballswami - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:32 PM

    And as for Zim- he could not have possibly come into ST in shape as he had major surgery in January. If you recall, he spent most of ST pretty inactive, only starting to throw off of flat ground and then quickly ramping up. He was not ready. Give him a full off season with no surgery, wedding or honeymoon in Africa. He should be in much better shape next season.

  54. mick - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:34 PM

    no question the core of this team is very good…just few tweaks 1) rebuild the middle relief2) Either Clip or Storen should close in 2014 (I am assuming Storen will get his head on right)3) The new kid should be 7th inning reliever4) 1-2 more bats5) get rid of garbage like Sorianoteam will be fine

  55. mick - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:36 PM

    Bigcatyou may be right, however, i really think he has been hampered with a bad shoulder the past 2 seasons

  56. David Proctor - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:36 PM

    I don't mind Soriano's personality. I think closers need to have a certain attitude. I like his attitude. It's not like he's a bad guy, getting into trouble off the field or something. I remember earlier in the year when he invited the whole team to his house for dinner with his family. Now he did run his mouth about Bryce, which I did not like one bit. But on the whole, it's not a big deal to me. Now his performance on the other hand..

  57. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:40 PM

    William O. Douglas Loeffler said… I tend to go by my eyes and I think Rendon is plenty good enough as a fielder at 2nd.No doubt about it and as I always say I use my eyes first and back it up with the stats but I also know the UZR stats do have some subjectiveness to them but they get you close. I think the fixes needed for next year is obvious. The ? is whether RZim can improve and what do you do with LaRoche.

  58. mick - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:41 PM

    time to hit the board walk one last night

  59. BigCat - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:47 PM

    I'm going to bed. As a kid I used to go to old RFK and loved it. And we had some horrible teams. Then they left and we went 30+ years without a team in DC. I mildly followed the O's but Angelos ruined all that. It is still a joy just to have a team here to watch on HD every night. I still trust Rizzo to do what's best. Would you rather have Bowden back?

  60. Secret wasian man - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:50 PM

    Was at the game. What a heartbreaker. Clipp should close he is better. But davey will not do it. Minus Spans diving catch last night this is two blown saves. And what irritates me is sorry oh no wont lose any sleep over it.

  61. Michael Dempsey - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:53 PM

    Clippard is so much better than Soriano its mind blowing who our closer is.

  62. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    I am not sure that Bowden was ever even given a go-ahead to do anything by the Lerners. It was pretty obvious that they were bottoming the team out.I think the question is whether someone would rather watch a very good to good team like we have had the past couple of years, or whether one would watch the Nats of the 1960's. Of course, everyone prefers the contender, but that is a very different question from whether the general manager should be Rizzo, Bowden or someone else.

  63. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:56 PM

    That might be a strong comment, but I can see how it can appear that way.

  64. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:57 PM

    I hope his shoulder returns to 100% over the winter.

  65. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:57 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  66. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 15, 2013 at 10:10 PM

    Got to love the color comnentator fro Tampa Bay .Learned this.Since Ben Alflack won the wrting Oscar for Good will hunting in 1997. The Red Sox (his team) is 0-15 on his bithday (today)Everyone will want a series with the Sox around August 15th.He is calling it the Curse of Ben Afflack.

  67. Secret wasian man - Aug 15, 2013 at 10:20 PM

    Soriano is the deon sanders, jeff George, bruce smith of the Nats. SHAME ON YOU RIZZO>

  68. Nats106 - Aug 15, 2013 at 10:25 PM

    Aflac…The actor or the duck.I'm with Manassas. I'm going to believe that they can recover from today and finish strong. OK, not 42-0 strong, but they still have a shot at the last wild card spot.The Key is Cincinnati. Reds have 20 more games against teams that still have skin in the game. Nats have 15 if you include KC in that picture. Even if the Reds hold their lead tonight, there is still hope. I feel for the people who went to the game tonight. Truly, this year I've been there, done that. And for the record, I agree with everyone else here that believes Soriano is one sorry closer and has been detrimental to the bullpen and clubhouse.

  69. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 15, 2013 at 10:48 PM

    I am trying to remember I was ticked at Soriano so I didnt focus, the fans booed pretty loud when Soriano walked off, right?

  70. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 15, 2013 at 10:58 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  71. Nats Fan 204 - Aug 15, 2013 at 11:22 PM

    This year Ryan Zimmerman has been our best hitter with runners in scoring position. I realize Ramos has been excellent but he has not played more than 41 games. However, Ryan has been hurt this whole year. His shoulder injury has hampered his power at bat and his throwing and thus his range in the field. He has however played in 105 out of 120 games. Bryce Harper has been playing injured since late April and mid May when he tested the rightfield walls in Atlanta and Los Angeles and he has played in 81 games this year. Davey, has allowed himself to be talked into playing these two obviously injured players because of his loyalty and because he believes they give the Nats the best chance to win.This along with the Espinosa debacle is where Rizzo deserves the most blame.. Mr. Rizzo either couldn't or didn't try to convince Davey to play Lombardozzi more, or he didn't have a viable alternative ready on the bench or in the minors to convince Davey to rest Ryan and Bryce more . This is what Mr. Rizzo must take the blame for more than the Soriano deal. I believe that as far as obtaining Soriano goes Mr. Boras had direct talks with Mr. T. Lerner. Rizzo may not have initiated that move and with his contract up for renewing, I am not sure he wanted to go against Mr. Lerner's desire to win the championship. I don't believe that Mr. Rizzo has been able to handle the position of general manager as well as I had hoped. He hasn't been able to convince Davey, his manager, to make decisions that reflect more of Mr. Rizzo's beliefs. Mr. Rizzo wants Davey to be more hands when it comes to players. Rizzo's free agent signings and trades have failed to provide bullpen and bench help which would at least make Davey think of allowing his bench players to start often enough to keep themselves sharp. This is a major reponsibility for a general manager.and here is where he has failed.

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