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Instant analysis: Nats 6, Mets 3

Sep 10, 2013, 10:13 PM EDT

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Game in a nutshell: Just as they did Monday night, the Nationals pounced on Mets pitching for some quick runs, this time getting to notorious Nat-killer Dillon Gee. Jayson Werth continued his torrid season at the plate with a solo homer in the first, then added an RBI double in the third to score Denard Span (who extended his hitting streak to 21 games). In between, Adam LaRoche homered, giving Jordan Zimmermann a 3-0 cushion. Zimmermann, though, suffered a quick and surprising collapse in the sixth, allowing three straight hits and departing with the Nationals now clinging to a 4-3 lead. The bullpen did its job to protect that lead, then got a boost on Scott Hairston’s pinch-hit, 2-run homer in the top of the ninth. They wound up winning for the 21st time in their last 30 games, improving to a season-best 6 games over the .500 mark. And with the Reds getting clobbered by the Cubs, they’re about to move to within 6 games of the final NL Wild Card berth with 18 games to play.

Hitting highlight: Werth entered the day as the NL’s new leader in slugging percentage and OPS. Then he went out and improved his standing in both categories, while also climbing up the batting average leaderboard. Werth launched a solo homer in the first, missed another by a couple of feet and settled for an RBI double in the third and then laced another double in the sixth. Even after popping out in his final at-bat, Werth is now hitting .328 for the season, with a .401 on-base percentage and .548 slugging percentage. His average and slugging numbers are career-highs, and his OBP is only three points behind his personal best.

Pitching highlight: Zimmermann’s uncharacteristically quick exit put the pressure on the Nationals bullpen to record 12 outs with a 1-run lead. That group delivered in impressive fashion. Craig Stammen faced two batters and recorded three outs (thanks in part to a caught-stealing attempt). Drew Storen pitched his way around two walks to notch a scoreless seventh inning. Tyler Clippard’s heart stopped for just a moment when Matt den Dekker launched a drive to deep right-center in the eighth, but he breathed a sigh of relief when Werth camped under the ball at the warning track. Hairston’s homer in the top of the ninth gave Rafael Soriano some breathing room, and the closer responded by recording his 40th save.

Key stat: In winning by three runs, the Nationals’ run differential for the season is now zero. They’ve scored 579 runs and given up 579 runs.

Up next: Game 3 of this four-game series features Dan Haren, trying to bounce back from an awful start in Miami, and young Mets fireballer Zack Wheeler. Bryce Harper is expected to return to the Nationals’ lineup after sitting out four straight games with left hip inflammation. First pitch is again scheduled for 7:10 p.m.

  1. David Proctor - Sep 10, 2013 at 10:16 PM

    6 games over .500, the most over we’ve been all year.

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

    so reds lose tonight and we are 6 back with 18 to go? hmm, interesting!

    • Manassas Nats Fan - Sep 10, 2013 at 10:20 PM

      At least you have chance.

      Got to win each game to the best to their ability.

    • NatsLady - Sep 10, 2013 at 11:04 PM

      Five games back in the loss column.

  3. Manassas Nats Fan - Sep 10, 2013 at 10:19 PM

    Have you noticed during the. Span hitting streak that WODL has been missing.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 10, 2013 at 10:35 PM

      I think he was a casualty of the transfer, MNF. Either that, or he took it as a good opportunity.

      • sjm308 - Sep 10, 2013 at 11:10 PM

        As an early casualty, I can relate but I just asked the same question in the article on Span. Just as many probably don’t miss me, I don’t miss reading his constant haranguing on Denard.

        Go Nats! Make my trip in Oct. a difficult pill to swallow.

        by the way, on a totally different subject, I got my Postseason Invoice for 2013. I realize they have to send this out to all teams with a mathematical chance but it did make me chuckle.
        I will be rooting for this team to make the playoffs but will not be sending that invoice back in or calling my agent. I will renew my 20 game package though as this game brings me more joy than anguish.

  4. natsfan1a - Sep 10, 2013 at 10:22 PM

    Untucked here. Go, Cubs, go!

  5. NatsLady - Sep 10, 2013 at 10:32 PM

    So here’s how ATL-Fish game ends. Kimbrel is in (score 4-3) and gives up a 1-out double to Polanco. They put in a pinch-runner. Next guy strikes out. Kimbrel then throws a wild pitch, and the pinch-runner gets caught in a run-down between 2nd and 3rd. Game over. That’s how bad the Marlins are, and how lucky Atlanta is. They are going to wear Kimbrel out, though.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 10, 2013 at 10:36 PM

      To be fair, Atlanta has a lot more experience getting bounced from the playoffs than the Nats do. They’ll wear him out just in time.

  6. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 10, 2013 at 10:43 PM

    Davey says Bryce will be starting tomorrow if the doctors OK it.

    He’s in NY now–I saw him on the bench after one of the home runs.

  7. breakbad1 - Sep 10, 2013 at 10:46 PM

    It’s weird to hear Ray Knight say that we won the game, “on the biggest stage in the world, right there in New York.”

    Biggest stage? I think there were fewer than 3,000 “fans” at that game. It was a disgrace to baseball and a repudiation of the fantasy that New York fans are any good.

    When do we get to talk about the lousy attendance and empty seats for Mets and Yankees games?

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 11, 2013 at 12:21 AM

      Talk about it anytime you want. You’d probably get a bigger audience on a Mets or Yankees blog. Just saying.

  8. David Proctor - Sep 10, 2013 at 11:19 PM

    Dan Haren tomorrow scares me. Feels like throwing a game away. He had regained my confidence and he’s already lost it again.

    • Eugene in Oregon - Sep 10, 2013 at 11:53 PM

      Exactly. And bad things seem to happen so quickly with him there’s little or no chance to make adjustments.

    • Sonny G 10 - Sep 10, 2013 at 11:53 PM

      Same here, David.

    • scmargenau - Sep 10, 2013 at 11:58 PM

      Ditto

  9. Sonny G 10 - Sep 10, 2013 at 11:28 PM

    My, my my. I been traveling all day. Just found out we win again. Yippie Yay!!! Tonight I’m in Jellystone campground in Missoula, Montana. Six games over .500; wow. If I’d known it took me leaving on vacation for the Nats to start playing well, I would have left earlier in the year.

    • Eugene in Oregon - Sep 10, 2013 at 11:50 PM

      Sonny G – watch out for bears!

      • Sonny G 10 - Sep 10, 2013 at 11:55 PM

        Been watching out for the bears, but haven’t seen anything but deer, so far.

  10. scmargenau - Sep 11, 2013 at 12:03 AM

    Is it season end, football start or this (I’m not a fan) new blog systems that has comments down 900% ?

    I was forced to get a “free blog” to get in and logging in and out on multiple devices is very painful. U would think Comcast has some decent UX guys… But apparently not. This is a rookie install of WordPress at best.

    End rant. GYFNG

  11. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 11, 2013 at 12:18 AM

    You were not forced to get a blog. We’ve been over this.

    That said, this interface could have been rolled out a lot better, and if you are using multiple devices, yeah, typing an email address and password one time each would be annoying.

    • Eugene in Oregon - Sep 11, 2013 at 12:27 AM

      I also use multiple devices and haven’t had to log-in each time. All of them gave me a ‘save this id/password’ option and all have been working.

      • sjm308 - Sep 11, 2013 at 7:16 AM

        I also now use multiple devices and on some days I don’t have to log in again but this morning I did. I barely understand how to turn things on but I do remember my password, still, its a pain compared to what I was used to for the last few years. I remember how Mark started so I guess this will be just fine but I did get a little pride in seeing over 300 comments on certain articles. I don’t think he has come near that with this new system.

    • Sec 309 - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:30 AM

      If the dude says he was forced to get a blog, he was forced to get a blog. Don’t tell him he wasn’t. Again, thought police running rampant here.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 77 57 --
ATLANTA 71 65 7.0
MIAMI 68 68 11.0
NEW YORK 63 73 15.0
PHILADELPHIA 62 73 15.5
Through Saturday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
SUN: Nats at Mariners, 4:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 4:05 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.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

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