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Instant analysis: Nats 3, Phillies 2

Sep 4, 2013, 10:10 PM EDT

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Game in a nutshell: The once-feared Roy Halladay was there for the taking early on, but the Nationals couldn’t take advantage of the former Cy Young Award winner’s wildness. Jordan Zimmermann also got off to a shaky start but rebounded to toss five straight scoreless innings and keep the game close. Ryan Zimmerman’s solo homer in the seventh tied the game, 2-2. The Nationals then went out of their way to manufacture the go-ahead run in the top of the eighth. But the real stars of the game were the guys in the field, who accounted for three spectacular plays to prevent the Phillies from scoring key runs. Zimmerman fired home for one big out in the seventh. Lombardozzi and Zimmermann teamed up for one of the plays of the year to end that inning. Jhonatan Solano then pulled off a rare, unassisted double play by a catcher to end the eighth and preserve a 1-run lead. Rafael Soriano finished things off in the ninth, securing a series victory for the Nationals and putting them three games over .500.

Hitting highlight: How did the Nationals score the go-ahead run in the eighth? Via a walk, a pinch-hitter putting down his first sacrifice bunt in four years, a pinch-runner stealing third base without a throw and then a chopper over the pitcher’s mound for an RBI fielder’s choice. Not your typical Davey Johnson rally. But, hey, whatever works. Wilson Ramos got it started by drawing a walk. Scott Hairston then converted his first sac bunt since July 30, 2009. Jeff Kobernus, pinch-running for Ramos, swiped third base with ease. And Lombardozzi’s chopper over the mound was well-placed enough to bring Kobernus home. That’s one way to get the job done.

Pitching highlight: Zimmermann was all over the place early on, needing 49 pitches to get through the first two innings and allowing a two-run double to Cesar Hernandez. But the right-hander righted his ship and wound up turning in a fine performance. Zimmermann retired eight in a row and then finished strong, thanks in no small part to his glove. With two out a man on second in the seventh, he got Hernandez to hit a slow roller to the right side of the infield, past a lunging Adam LaRoche. Lombardozzi, though, got to the ball and made an off-balance throw to first. That throw skipped, only to be snagged by Zimmermann on the short-hop, just a hair before Hernandez arrived. It was a phenomenal play on both ends, it prevented the go-ahead run from scoring and ultimately it put the right-hander in line to earn his 16th win.

Key stat: This was the first time Roy Halladay walked five batters and hit two more in his major-league career.

Up next: After a day off in Miami, the Nationals get back to work Friday night against the Marlins. Dan Haren starts the series opener against rookie sensation Jose Fernandez.

  1. Ghost of Steve M. - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:11 PM

    What an ending! Great team win!

  2. David Proctor - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:12 PM

    Bernadina takes a fastball right down the middle for called strike 3. I love the Shark, but I won’t miss that.

    • scmargenau - Sep 4, 2013 at 11:37 PM

      But how scary was it that Sori served up a meatball? In fact a bunch of his pitches were in the heart of the zone.

      • laddieblahblah - Sep 5, 2013 at 5:12 AM

        Werth took a perfect route to that ball and made that play look routine. If Ashe’s drive hits the wall it’s a double, maybe a triple, depending on where it bounces. Excellent play by Werth that is easy to overlook considering what RZ, Solano, and, especially, JZ were doing.

  3. nats128 - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:13 PM

    Brown, Kobernus, Solano made there impact on this game.

  4. Mrsb loves the Nats - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:13 PM

    Great gutsy win…. Glad that Solano got some PT….

  5. Mrsb loves the Nats - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:14 PM

    We won this game playing small ball… Hope to see more of that DJ…

  6. nats128 - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:16 PM

    Lots of early mistakes by the Nats especially the Halladay sac bunt that Laroche botched but the guys picked each other up for a very satisfying win.

  7. natsfan1a - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:16 PM

    Hey, Chase. Would you like a little Onion on that plate? Oh, yeahhhh.

  8. Faraz Shaikh - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:16 PM

    Time to have separate section for fielding highlight in instant analysis.

  9. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:16 PM

    Chase Utley was at the center of this loss for the Phils — didn’t get Kobernus at the plate, and didn’t get to the plate past Solano.

    And Ray makes a good point that Ramos doesn’t get back to the plate like Solano did.

    • nats128 - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:22 PM

      Of course Ramos doesnt get that but why say it. Ramos would have blocked the ball and not let it skid away. These comparisons like that between players is rediculous.

      Its like saying if Tyler Moore fields the bunt by Halladay he turns a doubleplay.

      Who knows.

  10. Mrsb loves the Nats - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:19 PM

    Win 16 for Jordan…. Congratulations!!!

    • nats128 - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:23 PM

      +1

  11. Theophilus T.S. - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:19 PM

    At least one Nats pitcher knows how to cover first base.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:22 PM

      Well, in all fairness, it’s not like they don’t know how. I mean, I know how to finish wallpapering that bathroom downstairs. I’ve know how for years.

  12. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:23 PM

    *known

  13. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:25 PM

    Bobcat Goldthwait used to do a bit about losing his job … “Well, I didn’t “lose it.” I mean, I KNOW where it is. It’s just that now when I go there, there’s some new guy doing it.

    He also lost his girlfriend. Well, he didn’t LOSE her. “I mean, I know where she is…”

  14. Theophilus T.S. - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:26 PM

    Hard to say whether Ramos makes the play Solano made. Maybe Ramos does a better job of blocking the pitch. But what Solano gets credit for is presence of mind. Dive for the ball. Locate the runner. Locate Stammen; decide it’s all or nothing and launch himself at the plate — at the right angle. Hang onto the ball. Real major league stuff. All day long people were posting why Solano doesn’t get more PT. Plays like that make him a major league catcher — and he can’t possibly be any more defenseless than Nieves at the bat.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:27 PM

      +1

      • nats128 - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:30 PM

        +2 as I said the same above

    • NatsLady - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:31 PM

      If I were you, I’d have another look at Nieves’ stats for the last couple of years. This year–

      .315/.332/.388 OPS+ = 98 (100 is average). Not bad for a backup catcher.

      • nats128 - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:40 PM

        Truth. That isnt the old Neives who once played for the Nats. 2 weeks ago I think he was over .335

  15. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:27 PM

    Thanks, I’m here all week.

    Try the vegan veal!

  16. paul brandt - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:29 PM

    ok, hate to say it but the “people” of the game for me:

    1B ump making the correct call on the sick Lombo/Zimn play at 1st

    Home plate ump making the correct call at home (it appears and after watching the replay 20x)

    if either of those calls don’t go our way, there is a different discussion going on right now…can’t imagine the Phillies board…haha…anyone have a link?

    great game to watch!!!

    • nats128 - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:31 PM

      You said that well.

    • scmargenau - Sep 5, 2013 at 12:39 AM

      +1

    • laddieblahblah - Sep 5, 2013 at 5:16 AM

      Yup. Even the umps upped their game.

  17. Theophilus T.S. - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:35 PM

    Credit also to Soriano for not pussy-footin’ around w/ the bottom third of the lineup — this time. Yeah, somebody pushed it to the warning track but, hey, this is Citizens Band Box Park we’re talking about. And Werth knows every angle in the park. Who else would you want chasing that ball? The planets aligned for this one.

    • David Proctor - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:41 PM

      He was low in the zone. Even the pitch that Asche hit to the track, was a fastball at the knees. That’s a good sign. Everything has been belt high, but he was down tonight. He had a good slider too (and the umpire screwed him on a call).

  18. nats128 - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:38 PM

    Whoa, Davey said 2-0 he took off the bunt for Hairston and he bunted anyway.

    Also Davey confessed he wanted JZ to get the win and thats why he didnt pinch hit for him. If Nats lose he doesnt confess to it.

    • David Proctor - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:40 PM

      That’s a stupid reason, but I still think it was the right decision. With our bullpen, I want JZimm in there as long as possible. Then we take our chances vs their bullpen, which is awful.

  19. Section 222 - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:41 PM

    May I make one small request of Rizzo? Please pick a manager for next year who will not leave a pitcher in the game to hit for himself in a key situation, thus reducing the chances that the Nats will win the game, in order to give that pitcher every opportunity to get the “win” for that game.

    • nats128 - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:43 PM

      Davey wasnt using Clip or Storen tonite which meant he wanted to ride JZ as long as he could. It just turned out the right move.

      • Section 222 - Sep 5, 2013 at 1:10 PM

        Davey himself said he left Znn in to give him a chance to get the win. And you just said he “confessed” that was the reason. Why are you making up alternative explanations?

  20. paul brandt - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:45 PM

    that was an interesting presser from Davey…

    was like he just chugged a 32 oz. starbucks something and the PR staff reminded him he had to do the presser…was at least entertaining.

  21. Theophilus T.S. - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:45 PM

    Proctor is right. The BP is too shaky to ask them to go 3-4 deep every night. Make the starters earn their Ws.

  22. nats128 - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:48 PM

    LOL, Davey says Ramos makes that play in the 8th. I guess so if the ball is blocked and kept in front of him. For hilights of the year, that play and the JZ play at 1st were crazee!

  23. nats128 - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:58 PM

    Dan Kolko‏@masnKolko7m
    Wilson Ramos was asked if he could’ve made Solano’s diving tag in the 8th. “That’s routine for me,” he said with a smile.

  24. nats128 - Sep 4, 2013 at 11:09 PM

    Matt Adams Homers for the Cardinals

  25. David Proctor - Sep 4, 2013 at 11:09 PM

    Cardinals just took the lead in the 14th!

  26. nats128 - Sep 4, 2013 at 11:10 PM

    Remember that Aaron Crow reliever. In the 9th gives up a 2 run homer vs Seattle.

    • nats128 - Sep 4, 2013 at 11:13 PM

      Crow takes the loss.

  27. David Proctor - Sep 4, 2013 at 11:19 PM

    Uh oh, now Billy Hamilton is on the bases.

    • David Proctor - Sep 4, 2013 at 11:21 PM

      And he rips second.

      • David Proctor - Sep 4, 2013 at 11:22 PM

        And the game is tied again.

    • nats128 - Sep 4, 2013 at 11:25 PM

      Yadier didnt get the obstruction call on the steal.

  28. nats128 - Sep 4, 2013 at 11:44 PM

    Davey was right. The ball that Laroche swung on in the 1st in the 2-0 count was ball 3.

    http://www.brooksbaseball.net/pfxVB/cache/numlocation.php-pitchSel=136880&game=gid_2013_09_04_wasmlb_phimlb_1&batterX=4&innings=yyyyyyyyy&sp_type=1&s_type=3.gif

  29. David Proctor - Sep 4, 2013 at 11:49 PM

    Wow the Reds just ran themselves out of a walk-off.

  30. nats128 - Sep 4, 2013 at 11:53 PM

    Matt Adams just homered again!

  31. nats128 - Sep 5, 2013 at 12:00 AM

    Reds lose. Nats 6 1/2 games back.

  32. David Proctor - Sep 5, 2013 at 12:06 AM

    Reds play the Cardinals tomorrow and then the Dodgers. We play the Marlins. I think this weeend is the Nats season.

  33. nats128 - Sep 5, 2013 at 12:06 AM

    Reds v Cardinals tomorrow then Friday to Sunday the Reds play the Dodgers.

    Go Cardinals and Go Dodgers!

    • nats128 - Sep 5, 2013 at 12:13 AM

      Reds will face Zach Greinke & Clayton Kershaw in the Dodgers series. This is now real interesting if the Nats can go on a big winning streak!

  34. Joe Seamhead - Sep 5, 2013 at 6:42 AM

    That was a fun game to watch! The Solano and the Lombo/JZimm plays were gems fo sho, but I also liked RZimm’s plays on the bunt, and the throw to the plate.
    Corey Brown’s drop of the foul ball gave Utley another chance, which he,and the Phillies, capitalized on, but he was near the wall in a park he’s never played in before. I think he got the yips. It was almost understandable.

  35. nats106 - Sep 5, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    With a good series against the Marlins, we could find ourselves 3 games out if the Cards can get a split and the Dodgers take the series. The matchups against the Dodgers are in our favor.

    Still holding out hope.

  36. secretwasianman - Sep 5, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    Lets not forget from ATHOLTON High School Mr Lombardozzi for suck it up and getting it done.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 75 56 --
ATLANTA 68 64 7.5
MIAMI 65 66 10.0
NEW YORK 62 70 13.5
PHILADELPHIA 60 72 15.5
Through Tuesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
WED: Nats at Phillies, 7:35 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Nats at Mariners, 10:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Mariners, 9:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Mariners, 4:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
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