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Instant analysis: Nats 9, Marlins 0

Aug 29, 2013, 9:32 PM EST

Associated Press Associated Press

Game in a nutshell: The Nationals have lacked a killer instinct much of this season, but when presented with the opportunity to deliver a knockout blow to the woeful Marlins tonight, they did just that. Bryce Harper, Jayson Werth and Ian Desmond all clubbed multi-run homers to ignite this suddenly resurgent lineup. Ryan Zimmerman reached base four times to help set the table for the guys behind him. Gio Gonzalez battled back from an early bout of wildness to toss seven scoreless innings and not even give the Marlins a whiff of a comeback. And the Nationals finished off a three-game sweep of Miami. They’ve won eight of their last nine and 14 of their last 19 and are three games over .500 for the first time since July 10. They now trail the Reds in the Wild Card race by 6 1/2 games.

Hitting highlight: It took them a couple of innings to get going, but once they did, the Nationals were unstoppable at the plate. Especially the heart of the order. Zimmerman, Harper, Werth and Desmond went a combined 10-for-14 with two walks, three homers and eight RBI. That’s the kind of big-time performance this team has needed all season from its best offensive players. It may be coming later than hoped, but at last the Nationals are showing signs of being a team that can win games not only via dominant pitching but also via offensive fireworks.

Pitching highlight: The way this game began, you couldn’t blame the Nationals for worrying Gonzalez was in for a rough one. The left-hander allowed two singles and three walks in the first two innings, and after four innings, his pitch count stood at 75. Props to Gonzalez, though, because he righted his ship swiftly and effectively, retiring 16 of the last 17 batters he faced. He struck out eight, didn’t issue another walk after the second inning and departed after seven scoreless innings to a standing ovation, having given the Nationals exactly what they needed one night after the bullpen was burned up.

Key stat: If he gets five plate appearances on Friday, Werth will finally qualify for the league leaderboard. He’ll rank in the NL’s top five in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and OPS.

Up next: The decimated Mets (now missing Matt Harvey, David Wright, Marlon Byrd and John Buck) come to town for the weekend. Jordan Zimmermann faces Dillon Gee in Friday’s 7:05 p.m. series opener.

  1. Faraz Shaikh - Aug 29, 2013 at 9:34 PM

    not bad.

  2. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 29, 2013 at 9:38 PM

    Well, Jayson will hit the leaderboard in every category except maybe Miss Congeniality. Oh well, that’s not what he’s paid for.

  3. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 29, 2013 at 9:42 PM

    That was fun. Top 5 batters got it done!

  4. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 29, 2013 at 9:46 PM

    Great game… Jayson’s comments to Julie were hilarious… – ‘Who cares!?!’

  5. David Proctor - Aug 29, 2013 at 9:49 PM

    Davey sounds 10 years younger lately. He sounded about 100 earlier in the year.

    • nats128 - Aug 29, 2013 at 9:56 PM

      I agree but it took the team playing well for him to manage a little bit better instead of the other way around.

      I didn’t quite understand using Roark as I think Abad and Mattheus should have close the game out. I also think Tyler Moore deserved to play over Tracy.

      • natslive - Aug 29, 2013 at 10:08 PM

        I thought Moore was going to at least get some at bats….I know it’s been 3 right handers but he was hot so figured he at least deserved one start this series

  6. natsfan1a - Aug 29, 2013 at 9:50 PM

    I, too, thought Jayson was funny and enjoyed his comments. I also enjoyed his dinger. :-)

    • pjnat - Aug 29, 2013 at 11:56 PM

      I think you need to leave Jason’s dinger alone!

  7. exposedindc - Aug 29, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    Keep it going boys….no let downs…..wild card fever

  8. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 29, 2013 at 9:55 PM

    I didnt even think Bryce’s Hr was a HR… It didnt sound like he even got a piece of it…

  9. Eugene in Oregon - Aug 29, 2013 at 10:05 PM

    Couldn’t watch because of a back-to-school potluck, but delighted to see the final score. Without getting my hopes up, hoping for a successful series against the Mets. And for the Giants and Rockies to play well all weekend.

  10. NatsLady - Aug 29, 2013 at 10:16 PM

    I think Davey didn’t use Abad because he is the only lefty. Probably didn’t want to use Mattheus for more than one inning. Ergo, Roark.

  11. Nattydread - Aug 29, 2013 at 10:18 PM

    One game at a time. One game at a time, one game at a time.

  12. David Proctor - Aug 29, 2013 at 10:25 PM

    Every win makes it a tad easier. A few days ago, I said we needed to go 24-9 to get to 88 wins. Now it’s down to 20-9. Still not easy by any stretch…but a little bit easier.

  13. NatsLady - Aug 29, 2013 at 10:26 PM

    —Tell me about that home run.
    —Oh, I don’t know. It went far, it went over the fence…

    • David Proctor - Aug 29, 2013 at 10:30 PM

      Werth didn’t seem too amused with Julie’s stupid questions.

      • Steady Eddie - Aug 29, 2013 at 10:34 PM

        JDub is in Eat Face Mode.

        Sofa, isn’t it time to make that a part of your screen name?

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 29, 2013 at 11:21 PM

        Eddie, If they actually catch somebody, I promise. Just for you.

      • Steady Eddie - Aug 29, 2013 at 11:55 PM

        Would the Dbacks count as “somebody”? Or by “somebody” do you mean “the Reds”?

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 30, 2013 at 12:12 AM

        Catching somebody means somebody relevant, not some other bit of flotsam in the standings. Jayson would agree with me if he gave a [fertilizer] what we think.

    • natsfan1a - Aug 30, 2013 at 8:09 AM

      Well played, Jayson. Well played.

  14. NatsLady - Aug 29, 2013 at 10:32 PM

    Pirates lost, so picked up 1/2 game on ARZ and Cincy, 1 game on Pittsburgh.

    WC now at 12.8% per fangraphs.
    Playoff odds

    • Eugene in Oregon - Aug 29, 2013 at 11:22 PM

      Smart to include the Pittsburgh. I’ve been assuming Reds were only team Nats were chasing, but Pirates have been known to falter down the stretch, haven’t they?

  15. NatsLady - Aug 29, 2013 at 10:35 PM

    If you want to meet Tyler Clippard he will be at some phone store in Alexandria from 12-1 tomorrow. Here is info.

    <a href = ""Meet Tyler Clippard

  16. Candide - Aug 29, 2013 at 11:02 PM

    Cunegonde is out of town, so I gave 222 her ticket in exchange for a PTBNL.

    Didn’t look good at first – Gio was over 40 pitches in the second inning.

    Werth’s homer was a bomb – left fielder just turned and watched it, didn’t take a single step.

    Stayed for Sammy Hagar’s first song and decided I’m too young to destroy the pathetic remnants of my hearing.

    About time the Nats ate the Marlins’ face. Minimum expected if they’re going to make a playoff run.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 29, 2013 at 11:27 PM

      Candide, did you get an email about the NIDO+ blog? You should have.

      • Candide - Aug 30, 2013 at 7:10 AM

        Haven’t seen it. 222 mentioned it to me, but nope.

      • Candide - Aug 30, 2013 at 9:01 AM

        Wait, was it this one that I just found in my spam folder? Starts out, Good day dear beneficiary. This is the president of Republic of Nigeria by name Dr. Good Luck Thomas I am writing this email to inform you that after the meeting held in my office today been 22th which consist between the United States Embassy and the United Nations,African Economic and Financial we have concluded that you will be compensated with all the money you have losed in the hands of Africans and most especially NIGERIA REPUBLIC precisely.

      • Candide - Aug 30, 2013 at 9:03 AM

        If you want to try again, I’m at gilbertbp at comcast dot net.

  17. Section 222 - Aug 29, 2013 at 11:39 PM

    A Werth bomb (that baby was absolutely crushed), good Gio (after a few innings), a resting bullpen, and enjoying a game with Candide in the S&S club. What could be better?

    I’m not buying into the “we still have a chance” hype, but I’m glad the Nats are playing like they do. It sure is fun to watch a blowout that we win for once.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 30, 2013 at 12:13 AM

      It was, but what was absoLUTEly crushed was Stanton’s foul ball. That cleared the red booth for The Fan 107.7 on the concourse. Hokey smokes, Bullwinkle.

      • Candide - Aug 30, 2013 at 7:13 AM

        Yeah, that one got a lot of ooohs and ahhhs, but from our seats it was obvious it was going to hook foul as soon as it left the bat.

      • Section 222 - Aug 30, 2013 at 8:02 AM

        Yes, but that was foul. For the second night in a row, Werth one-upped Stanton!





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