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Nationals slog their way to ugly victory

Sep 4, 2013, 12:51 AM EST

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PHILADELPHIA — They won’t be adding the footage of Tuesday night’s 9-6 Nationals victory over the Phillies to one of those instructional baseball videos that are advertised late at night. Any evidence of this game — which featured a combined 347 pitches, 13 walks, five wild pitches, a hit batter, a balk, four errors, a run scoring on a strikeout and Bryce Harper losing track of how many outs had been recorded — needs to be burned immediately and forgotten about as quickly as possible.

Given their situation, though, the Nationals can’t be picky and can’t worry about style points. They’ve backed themselves into a corner where wins are mandatory, no matter the manner in which they are secured.

“A win doesn’t have to be pretty,” Gio Gonzalez said. “It just has to be a win.”

The Nationals absolutely had to emerge victorious on this night after watching the Reds eke out a 1-0 win over the Cardinals. They remain 7 1/2 games back in the NL Wild Card race, the schedule now showing only 24 games left to play.

They didn’t play a brand of baseball that typically would be associated with a playoff participant, slogging their way through a 3-hour, 38-minute marathon before the smallest crowd to see a game in Philadelphia since April 2008.

“That was an ugly game,” manager Davey Johnson said. “One of the uglier ones I’ve seen. … That’s not the way you win pennants, I’ll tell you that.”

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  1. veejh - Sep 4, 2013 at 3:49 AM

    Ugly win….sloggy win……who cares? Slog though, what a great word.

  2. Joe Seamhead - Sep 4, 2013 at 5:52 AM

    How about that poor, tired out, overused,and abused Wilson Ramos? OK, now give him a day off.

    • NatsLady - Sep 4, 2013 at 6:28 AM

      Won’t happen. He got 1/3 the game off. He’ll get a day off tomorrow.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Sep 4, 2013 at 8:09 AM

      He is 8 for 43 in his last 12 starts… but just becuz he hit a HR last night, I guess we should ignore the facts…

      And the walks he took, I mean he didnt have anything near him to swing… Plus each time before him, someone walked.. Phils pitchers had a time settling in…

      He shouldnt play in 12 straight games, period.

      • adcwonk - Sep 4, 2013 at 8:34 AM

        Yes he’s 8-for-23, but also consider that over that time his SLG is .349, and the alternative in Solano who’s hitting .184

        Generally a catcher shouldn’t play in 12 straight (note he did have a day off during that time, and that’s he’s only 26, and that he’s still played fewer than 60 games this season with the Nats) — but with alternatives like that, one can understand that this isn’t an easy call.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Sep 4, 2013 at 8:58 AM

        Gahhh….Need an edit button… definitely didnt mean 43…

        DJ did the same thing with Zook when Ramos went down… Leaned too heavily on him… And that is what is happening to Ramos.. DJ still has to give Solano time to play regardless of what his stats are…

        Ramos not playing everyday benefits his health over all as well as he is as fragile as a damn string.. He cant run out grounders or anything…

        The fact of the matter is, he shouldnt play every day nor in 12 straight… Its really simple…

  3. Dave - Sep 4, 2013 at 7:20 AM

    “A win doesn’t have to be pretty,” Gio Gonzalez said. “It just has to be a win.”

    I’m not too thrilled about that comment. Has everybody just checked out already?

    This win was exceptionally ugly. Gio was part of that ugliness. Lets take the series tonight and move on to Miami. And no more ugly baseball, please.

    • Sec 309 - Sep 4, 2013 at 8:30 AM

      Ugly win beats well-played loss every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

  4. natsfan1a - Sep 4, 2013 at 7:58 AM

    On another note, have been noticing that CBP crowds seem to be smaller this season. Just looked at Baseball Reference and it shows them trending down (6,403/game) this season. So, even in a “good baseball town,” it appears that (duh) winning brings ’em out and losing not so much. fwiw, the Nats show an up (3,669) trend, I would think as a result of last season’s record.

    • adcwonk - Sep 4, 2013 at 8:37 AM

      Somebody correct me if I’m wrong — but the numbers are for paid attendance, no? And don’t take into account no-shows?

      Two nights ago (again, correct me if I’m wrong) I vaguely recall that the announced attendance was 30K, but it sure seemed smaller than that.

      My point being that although B-R shows them dropping whatever amount per game, I’d bet the drop is actually more than that.

      (And, for the same reason, Marlin’s increase, I’d bet, is way overstated).

      If my theory is correct.

      • adcwonk - Sep 4, 2013 at 8:39 AM

        (no edit button) — I meant: Marlin’s decrease is probably also understated — although, actually, I think that last year’s attendance was way overstated, because of not taking into account the tremendous number of no-shows)

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 4, 2013 at 8:46 AM

      Yes, attendance is tickets sold, not actual attendance, i.e., turnstyles.

      The NL used to report actual attendance, decades ago.

      • natsfan1a - Sep 4, 2013 at 9:32 AM

        Hence, I believe, the expression “announced” crowd.

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:52 AM


        “Turn styles” is what models study. Or middle infielders. Or Grand Prix drivers.

      • natsfan1a - Sep 4, 2013 at 11:12 AM

        Also dervishes.

  5. natsfan1a - Sep 4, 2013 at 7:59 AM

    (buttonless) edit: that would be 3,669/game.

  6. natsfan1a - Sep 4, 2013 at 8:08 AM

    But per the same page, the Phils have only the second largest attendance drop. so there’s that. The winner is (drum roll, please): Miami, with 8,614/game. (Take a bow, Mr. Loria.) btw, all of the stats are as of 9/3/13.

    Okay, I’m done trolling, er, commenting for now. :-) Later, folks.

  7. Mrsb loves the Nats - Sep 4, 2013 at 8:10 AM

    Lord, that game was long… At least, tonight with Jordan pitching, the game should end well before the 10pm hour…

    Lets do it again tonight, but shorter and without the errors..

  8. nats128 - Sep 4, 2013 at 8:12 AM

    This looks to be where Julie Alexandria was yesterday. Spike TV. Is she done with MASN?

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Sep 4, 2013 at 8:26 AM

      I thought the game went better without her last night…

    • Sec 309 - Sep 4, 2013 at 8:33 AM

      All of those MASN personalities have offseason/moonlighting jobs that occasionally spill into the season. Look at Johnny Holliday with the MD football. MASN doesn’t pay enough for it to b

      • Sec 309 - Sep 4, 2013 at 8:34 AM

        (continuing) for it to be their only gig.

  9. nats128 - Sep 4, 2013 at 8:14 AM

    Mark Zuckerman @ZuckermanCSN
    Most important thing gleaned from postgame #Nats clubhouse: Ian Desmond confirmed he made that skip pass on purpose. Take that, @acomak!

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Sep 4, 2013 at 8:20 AM

      That’s good to know but I hope Desi doesn’t throw another like that to Adam LaRoche at 1st.

      • Section 222 - Sep 4, 2013 at 8:49 AM

        You’ve been such a grouch lately Ghost. That was a fantastic play.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Sep 4, 2013 at 8:55 AM

        222, Desi makes 2 Web Gems and then an unforced error on a lousy throw to 1st. It was par for the game. Yes, I’m grouchy. Such a sloppy game while playing the Lehigh team.

    • adcwonk - Sep 4, 2013 at 11:40 AM

      Is there a video of that play anywhere?

  10. Section 222 - Sep 4, 2013 at 9:04 AM

    For the last few months we’ve heard periodically that “it can happen” with references to the 2010 Rockies, or the 1964 whoever caught the Phillies, or the 2011 Cards and Rays. So what is the biggest collapse/comeback in MLB history? At what point, even if the Nats still have a mathematical chance to gain a playoff berth will it no longer be possible to say, “it’s happened before”? Perhaps one of the folks who is following the standings and still has hope knows the answer to that question.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Sep 4, 2013 at 9:09 AM

      The Nats leapfrog’d the Diamondbacks. It’s possible but improbable to overtake the Reds but it certainly will make each game feel like a Game 1 of the playoffs.

      • Section 222 - Sep 4, 2013 at 9:19 AM

        Improbable is putting it optimistically. But don’t let me rain on your hope. We all have our own ways of dealing with this disappointing season. I finally admitted they were done after the second game of the crucial Braves series in early August and have enjoyed the games since then, free of concern over how our playoff chances were affected. Since then, they’ve gone 16-9. Quite respectable, but not nearly good enough to revive my hopes.

    • Sec 309 - Sep 4, 2013 at 9:32 AM

      As long as they haven’t been mathematically eliminated, it can still happen, whether it has ever happened before or not. If people want to watch the games and hope that something that can happen will happen, let them do it. Makes more sense than watching the games with the certainty that something that could happen won’t happen.

      • Section 222 - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:41 AM

        To each his or her own, as I’ve said before. Which means if I don’t want to keep track of how far behind the Reds we are, and how impossibly perfect we’d have to be to catch them, let me do it, right?

      • Section 222 - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:42 AM

        Which attitude makes more sense is open for debate, I’d say. But it’s not a debate I’m all that interested in having.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:55 AM

      But to answer the question you actually asked, and not all the other ones, I’ve got to go with the 1964 Phillies blowing a six-game lead with ten to play.

  11. Ghost of Steve M. - Sep 4, 2013 at 9:05 AM

    Worst play of the game was Soriano walking a .190 batter to put the tying run at the plate. It was great that he induced a 6-4-3 doubleplay but these cardiac 9th innings are crazy when you are facing callups.

    • Section 222 - Sep 4, 2013 at 9:24 AM

      That was the worst play of the game? With respect my friend, I’ll bet we each could come up with a half dozen other non-overlapping nominees without breaking a sweat.

      • Faraz Shaikh - Sep 4, 2013 at 9:47 AM

        I think I agree with GoSM. It is one thing to be retired by a September callup reliever but another to walk hitters with sub-mendoza avg. That’s what hurt him in Giants game also. we made several mistakes in our play yesterday but walking these hitters is just absolute worst.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:05 AM

        222, yes the list is long of Tuesday night errors and mistakes. The unforced walk is how Clip lost Monday. It starts with a walk too many times with Nats pitchers. This wasn’t a pitch around situation with someone like Dominic Brown at the plate but rather a sub-Mendoza light hitting player. While it became a non-factor in the final outcome this time, overall this has become the biggest issue with the 2013 bullpen with giving up walks that cost games.

  12. Theophilus T.S. - Sep 4, 2013 at 9:15 AM

    “The Phillies had a lot of walks,” says Gonzalez, as if he had nothing to do with it. “Who left that pile of dog poop in the middle of the living room?,” he said, looking at the ceiling. That was one of those Ws, I’ll concede to a bunch of people on this blog, that doesn’t mean anything on his stat line.

    • Section 222 - Sep 4, 2013 at 9:22 AM

      Quality start, schmality start. I’ll tell you what a quality start is — it’s when you leave the game and your team is ahead and has a chance to win. People think Gio stunk up the joint last night? Haha. He got the W right? What else do you need to know?

      • Hiram Hover - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:36 AM

        You mean, what more do I need to know about the meaninglessness of W-L as a statistic for pitchers?

        Not much.

      • Section 222 - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:39 AM

        I assume you could tell I was either being sarcastic or channelling FP. :-)

      • Hiram Hover - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:59 AM

        Sec 222 @ 10:39

        Sorry, I missed the FP impersonation the first time around–but now that you point it out, I do see the resemblance!

  13. Theophilus T.S. - Sep 4, 2013 at 9:20 AM

    “The Phillies had a lot of walks,” says Gonzalez, as if he had nothing to do with it. “Who left that pile of dog ___ in the middle of the living room?, he said, as he stared at the ceiling. I will concede to many of the folks on this blog that this was one of those Ws that means nothing on his stat line.

  14. Ghost of Steve M. - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    Gio has had a bunch of tough luck losses so he deserves an ugly win. Honestly I was fearing the worse as his stuff was not crisp and luckily his changeup was good . Luckily he was facing the AAA Lehigh team or else Nats get blown out.

    Tougher assignment tonight.

  15. Hiram Hover - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    Yeah, I’ve noticed that. One time, I posted a comment and it displayed in the browser that I used to post it, but when I opened the site in another browser 45 minutes later, it was nowhere to be seen.

  16. natsfan1a - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    Just stumbled upon a “get recent comments” plugin for WordPress sites. Evidently the site host installs it and recent comments are then displayed in a special list on the site, but not exactly sure how it works. Maybe some of y’all techies can figure it out. Seems like it could be useful.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 4, 2013 at 11:03 AM

      This is, as you correctly say, 1a, a plugin the site host, in this case Comcast, would install if they wanted to show a running list of recent comments. There are a few others that do this same job, more or less.

      Not sure I’d put in on this blog–with so many posts in a day (at least in-season) and a relatively high number of comments per post (even with the recent Luddite Diaspora), it might not actually help anything.

      • natsfan1a - Sep 4, 2013 at 11:17 AM

        Thx, sofa. I figured you would know.

  17. Ghost of Steve M. - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    This 3-0 greenlight needs to be taken off for a while. It’s not a secret anymore. Werth got very lucky to get a single that dropped into grass in shallow CF.

    The pitch Werth swung on was a 94 heater up and in and may have been called ball 4. Certainly not a quality pitch in which to swing at in that situation. Glad it worked but again it’s not an ambush type of strategy anymore. Take the walk Jayson and have faith in those batting after you.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 4, 2013 at 11:06 AM

      To hear Davey tell it, the green light is supposed to be for mistake pitches, meatballs, hangers, cookies in their zone, and not “I could reach that with a broom!” junk, which they seem to be swing at. So yeah, they’re doing it wrong. Take off the green light.

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 4, 2013 at 11:06 AM

        *swingING at …

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Sep 4, 2013 at 11:18 AM

        You have to wonder how Davey communicates it to his team then as the message isn’t getting through it would appear.

    • adcwonk - Sep 4, 2013 at 11:47 AM

      You guys are too cranky.

      ALR has 30 PA that ended after a 3-0 count. 26 walks and 2 hits in the other four times.
      Werth 16 times — 11 walks and 3-for-the other 5.

      “You have to wonder how Davey communicates it to his team then as the message isn’t getting through it would appear.”

      You know, sometimes it looks like it’s a dead-center pitch and it ends up that it isn’t. The pitches often come in at 90+ mph, and sometimes even the best batter is fooled as to where the location ends up.

  18. Section 222 - Sep 4, 2013 at 11:23 AM

    Good stuff 1a. Thanks. So it looks like if the Nats can do this, coming from 7.5 games back with 24 to play, they will make those lists comfortably. I’ll enjoy that immensely if it happens. And they’ll just be making it to a play-in game against the Cards or Pirates, so if they go any farther, that will truly be storybook ending to this so far disappointing season. World Series or Bust!





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