Skip to content

Instant analysis: Nats 7, Mets 2

Sep 12, 2013, 5:03 PM EDT

USA Today Sports Images USA Today Sports Images

Game in a nutshell: With a chance to go for the kill and sweep the four-game series, the Nationals left little to chance. Tanner Roark tossed six more quality innings, overcoming a 54-minute rain delay after the first inning. And the Nats’ power bats showed up once again, launching three more homers, with Ryan Zimmerman, Adam LaRoche and Wilson Ramos leading the charge. Then, just to make sure, the Nationals tacked on four late insurance runs, with Anthony Rendon adding a homer of his own in the top of the ninth. Thus the Nationals completed a four-game sweep, won their sixth straight game and their 23rd in their last 32. With the Reds off today, they moved to within 5 1/2 games for the final NL Wild Card berth, with 16 left on the schedule.

Hitting highlight: Though they moved the fences in prior to the 2012 season, Citi Field still has never been known as a great hitter’s ballpark. The Nationals, though, did their best to disprove that over the last four days. They wound up launching 13 home runs, shattering the previous mark for any series in this stadium, which had stood at 7. The man providing more damage than anyone else, of course, was Zimmerman, who clubbed three homers, extending his torrid power run at the plate. Zim now has hit six homers in his last six games, eight in his last 10 games. All of a sudden, he’s tied with Jayson Werth for the team lead with 23 homers and has taken the team lead with 72 RBI.

Pitching highlight: Every time you think Roark has shown everything he has to show, he impresses you again. Given a chance to make his second career start, the rookie right-hander rose to the challenge. He gave up a quick run in the bottom of the first, then sat through a 56-minute rain delay before taking the mound again. The layoff didn’t appear to bother Roark at all, because he immediately retired six of the next seven batters he faced. And he finished strong, retiring six straight before getting pulled for a pinch-hitter after six innings and 78 pitches. Roark has now made 11 big-league appearances (the last two starts). He sports a 6-0 record, 1.30 ERA and 0.92 WHIP. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Key stat: Denard Span’s eighth-inning double to right-center extended his career-high hitting streak to 23 games. That’s the second-longest streak in Nationals history, behind only Ryan Zimmerman’s 30-gamer in 2009.

Up next: Having concluded this 3-city road trip with an 8-2 record, the Nationals return to the District for their final homestand of the season, a 10-game stretch against the Phillies, Braves and Marlins. It begins at 7:05 p.m. Friday when Stephen Strasburg gets the ball against Philadelphia’s Kyle Kendrick.

  1. David Proctor - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:09 PM

    5.5 back.

    • natsguy - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:36 PM

      The problem isn’t the 5.5, it’s the 11 to be eliminated. That counts Reds victories and Nats losses.

  2. Eugene in Oregon - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    The Koolaid sitting on the kitchen counter is looking mighty tempting, but I’m going to force myself not to drink any for a few more days (at least).

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:20 PM

      Told you all a few days ago 5.5 after today’s game. Kool-Aid in hand!

      • Eugene in Oregon - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:26 PM

        Yes, but…Adam Kilgore notes (in a Tweet) that of the 23 wins in current 23-9 streak, only three of those Ws are against teams with winning records. Hoping against hope, yes, but still hesitant to get too excited.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:51 PM

        Who cares who you are beating. We know the Nats played a tougher early schedule now they get it slightly easier.

  3. David Proctor - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    The Braves are going to be in position to clinch the NL East at Nats Park. Freddie Freeman said it would be extra special for them to be able to celebrate on our mound.

    We need to do everything in our power to make sure that doesn’t happen.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:25 PM

      Please link Freddie’s quote if you can. What a bunch of cocky POS!

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:28 PM

      And I thought I couldn’t hate them any worse.

    • nats106 - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:29 PM

      Another reason why we cannot lose any games this weekend. I am hoping the Padres can take one game.but it looks bleak given their home record.

    • Sonny G 10 - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:58 PM

      I suggest we plant claymores under the mound just in case.

    • natsfan1a - Sep 12, 2013 at 6:36 PM

      pppppppppplllllllllllllllllllllppppppppppppp, to you, Bravos! (Not quite sure how to spell out a raspberry but you get the general idea.)

      • TimDz - Sep 12, 2013 at 7:37 PM

        Thhhhhbbbbbbbbttttttt….

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 12, 2013 at 7:53 PM

        ^
        That is in fact the approved spelling.

      • natsfan1a - Sep 12, 2013 at 9:33 PM

        Great, thanks. [wipes off monitor]

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 12, 2013 at 7:02 PM

      Of course, it’s always possible that they won’t be in a position to clinch. Their magic number is 6. If the Nats sweep the Phils and get any help at all from the Padres, it can’t happen here. But just keep winning, the rest will take care of itself.

    • slidell2 - Sep 12, 2013 at 10:16 PM

      In that case, the way to put a kibosh on that is for the Nats to rush the mound and occupy it; after all it is ours. McCann, Freeman, et al, can just go suck an egg.

  4. Drew - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    I gotta fever and the only prescription is more cowbell!

    GYFNG!!!

  5. Drew - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    Upstairs Downstairs:

    The Nats are 11-28 against the Braves, Pirates, Dodgers, Cardinals and Reds.

    They’re 66-41 against everyone else.

    • David Proctor - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:41 PM

      The Nationals won the season series against the Reds and split the season series with the Pirates. However, they’ve been destroyed by the Braves, got swept in a 3 game series with the Cardinals and lost 5/6 against the Dodgers.

      • naterialguy - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:54 PM

        And none of this matters. All that matters is that we keep winning and cincinnati drops 6
        It is time for some Kick a$$ NATITUDE

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:54 PM

      Look at all those 1 run losses and extra inning games against the Barfs. Nats blew many winnable games and none more important then Game 1 in April against the Barfs.

      • naterialguy - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:55 PM

        We have risen from the ashes and if by chance we get in the first job is to treat the barves to an early exit

    • pchuck69 - Sep 12, 2013 at 6:21 PM

      Meaningless.

      It’s a 162-game schedule not a 39 game schedule. Teams with good records have those records because they beat bad teams, a lot.

  6. David Proctor - Sep 12, 2013 at 6:04 PM

    The Reds and Pirates play each other 6 more times. It doesn’t matter which, but we need one of those teams to win a lot of them (5?). The worse thing that could happen is they split it 3-3.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Sep 12, 2013 at 6:10 PM

      You are correct!

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 12, 2013 at 6:18 PM

      The worst thing would be the Nats losing, in which case it wouldn’t matter what they do. Control what you can control.

  7. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 12, 2013 at 6:16 PM

    No one should abandon duties because he sees defects in them. Every action, every activity, is surrounded by defects as a fire is surrounded by smoke.

    The awakened sages call a person wise when all his undertakings are free from anxiety about results.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Sep 12, 2013 at 6:19 PM

      Defects? Roark is 6-0 and Zach Walters is batting 1.000 with a 1.000 Fielding %

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 12, 2013 at 7:04 PM

        +2

  8. Drew - Sep 12, 2013 at 6:25 PM

    After reading David Proctor’s post I double-checked. I think I was off by a game. I get:

    4-3 vs. Reds
    3-4 vs. Pirates
    4-12 vs. Braves
    0-3 vs. Cardinals
    1-5 vs. Dodgers

    That comes to 12-27 against these five teams and 65-42 against everyone else.

  9. Whynat - Sep 12, 2013 at 6:26 PM

    Who’s on a better run right now, the Nats or Sofa?

    • natsfan1a - Sep 12, 2013 at 6:33 PM

      Gotta go with Sofa, but he’s been consistent throughout the season. :-)

  10. Whynat - Sep 12, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    I wish MASN2 would rerun the game tonight

    • ArVAFan - Sep 12, 2013 at 6:56 PM

      Might be worth buying MLB.tv at this point: the recorded game is up, and just think, you’ll be able to watch or re-watch the good games over the winter. I’ve been keeping a list, and it does seem to be a bit post-ASB weighted.

  11. natsfan1a - Sep 12, 2013 at 6:37 PM

    On a game note, wooooooooooooooo hoooooooooooooooooo! (as Michele would say)

    • adcwonk - Sep 12, 2013 at 6:55 PM

      Haven’t seen her in a while … what’s up?

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 12, 2013 at 7:06 PM

        I think she has trouble signing in. I miss the Wooooooo-Hooooooooo.

      • natsfan1a - Sep 12, 2013 at 9:34 PM

        I miss it, too.

      • Candide - Sep 12, 2013 at 9:38 PM

        She tweets a lot during the games: https://twitter.com/AshburnNatsFan

  12. Theophilus T.S. - Sep 12, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    Pirates also have to pay the Cards. They haven’t got a cakewalk to the end.

  13. nats128 - Sep 12, 2013 at 7:57 PM

    I had the game taped and new the final score and just skipped to the postgame. Listened to Daveys postgamer. He gave the keys to scoring runs. As he says it all starts with your leadoff man who he called the “catylyst”. He said Span is finally doing what Jayson Werth did for the team last year.

    Hoping we can get in the playoffs and say “better late than never”. This is the team Rizzo thought he was building minus Danny Espinosa.

    We can see what it was supposed to be like. Great starting pitching, solid bullpen, great team defense, team speed, power from 2-8 in the batting order, pesky high OBP leadoff man, and the MVP Bryce Harper.

  14. paul brandt - Sep 12, 2013 at 8:14 PM

    control what you can control…win, win, win and block out everything else…yes, we will all scoreboard watch but you can’t control what those teams do…just win boys!

    DP, do you have a link to the Freeman quote? am surprised he would say that…

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 12, 2013 at 8:46 PM

      I found this:
      http://atlanta.braves.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2013_09_12_atlmlb_miamlb_1&mode=recap_away&c_id=atl

      “While there is a chance the Braves could clinch at home during this weekend’s three-game series against the Padres, it seems more likely they will celebrate at some point during next week’s three-game set against the second-place Nationals in Washington.

      “‘We want to win the next three at home and then go into Washington and have some fun there,” said Freeman, who needs to drive in two more runs to notch his first 100-RBI season.”

      • paul brandt - Sep 12, 2013 at 8:53 PM

        Sofa, thanks…why say that?

        dumb…but you can be sure the Nats know about it…again, all we can do is win and not worry (too much) about the other teams since we have no control over their games…silly comment by FF, just hope he’s wrong.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 12, 2013 at 8:46 PM

      “There was a man who sold the lion’s skin while the beast still lived, and was killed while hunting him.”

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 12, 2013 at 8:56 PM

        Dang, I messed up the line.

        “The man, that once did sell the lion’s skin
        While the beast liv’d, was kill’d with hunting him.”

        It’s from Henry V, right after the St. Crispin’s Day speech, when the French herald comes to ask if he will surrender.

  15. paul brandt - Sep 12, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    am surprised the Mets didn’t honor Davey in some fashion today unless I missed it…its his last game there and he did coach them to their last WS win in 1986…odd.

  16. Eugene in Oregon - Sep 12, 2013 at 8:32 PM

    If I do this right, this:

    http://wapc.mlb.com/play/?content_id=30550583&query=werth

    is the Mets’ TV team acknowledging that the Jayson Werth HBP was intentional and ‘stupid’ (or words to that effect).

    • paul brandt - Sep 12, 2013 at 8:38 PM

      Eugene in OR…nice, thanks…kudos to the Mets announcers!

    • Sonny G 10 - Sep 12, 2013 at 8:57 PM

      Thanks, Eugene.

    • dgourds - Sep 12, 2013 at 9:44 PM

      That was none other than the former Nats announcer Ron Darling. I never felt he got a fair shake here in DC. He’s a pretty damned good color guy. No FP, mind you. But pretty good.

    • dgourds - Sep 12, 2013 at 9:44 PM

      That was none other than the former Nats announcer Ron Darling. I never felt he got a fair shake here in DC. He’s a pretty damned good color guy. No FP, mind you. But pretty good.

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:36 PM

        We ran thru a few folks in the early years, but I had the impression Darling was very happy to go to NY. Good for him, I liked him. He got a lot better during that season. I also liked Wimpy, so what do I know?

        But he was pretty unambiguous on that commentary, wasn’t he? I don’t think I’ve ever heard an announcer — well, maybe Dibble — rip his own guys so dismissively.

  17. Faraz Shaikh - Sep 12, 2013 at 8:44 PM

    I don’t think there is anything better than OFs throwing out base runners in baseball as far as fielding is concerned.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 12, 2013 at 8:57 PM

      And the play at the plate is the best of all.

      • Faraz Shaikh - Sep 12, 2013 at 9:03 PM

        yes. the one I remember the most was a non-play by Ankiel to Ramos against Marlins. What an arm he has got!

  18. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 12, 2013 at 9:01 PM

    The Greatest Kook-Ade Speech There Will Ever Be.

    • Eugene in Oregon - Sep 12, 2013 at 9:42 PM

      Yes, but having those long-bowmen helped a lot. A whole lot. Not sure archers are allowed under the rules of baseball (at least as currently interpreted).

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 12, 2013 at 10:54 PM

        that, yes, and the mud, and the French in the mud in 100 lbs of armor. or Armour.

      • natsfan1a - Sep 13, 2013 at 8:02 AM

        Or l’amour (toujours).

    • naterialguy - Sep 12, 2013 at 10:06 PM

      I’m impressed

  19. David Proctor - Sep 12, 2013 at 9:23 PM

    Ken Rosenthal reporting that the Yankees tried to trade for Haren last weekend.

    • Eugene in Oregon - Sep 12, 2013 at 9:30 PM

      Let me guess: Nats asked for Cano, Yankees said no, but we’ll give you A-Rod. Or something like that…?

      • David Proctor - Sep 12, 2013 at 9:32 PM

        Ha. Apparently the first hurdle was money. The Yankees didn’t want to take on Haren’s remaining contract and the Nationals didn’t want to trade him if they weren’t going to get either a good prospect or salary relief. So the talks didn’t get too detailed.

      • Section 222 - Sep 12, 2013 at 9:57 PM

        In other words, the Yanks wanted us to give him to them for free? And we said no thanks. Shocking.

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:23 PM

        Seriously, though: The Yankees ask to rent Haren for less than a month. Disregarding salary, who do the Yankees have you would want, realistically, in exchange for a couple of weeks of Dan Haren?

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:26 PM

        And I ask because (and yes, I’m cherry-picking) Cristian Guzman –> Tanner Roark; Jonathan Albaladejo –> Tyler Clippard …

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:30 PM

        I’m just saying, when it is genuinely possible to spin straw into gold, people make strange decisions.

  20. David Proctor - Sep 12, 2013 at 10:07 PM

    Pretty much Sec 222.

  21. Eugene in Oregon - Sep 12, 2013 at 10:38 PM

    Watching some random baseball this evening. White Sox just needed 53 pitches to get the 1st out in an inning. Not get out of the inning, but get 1st out. Indians had batted around, scored seven, before said out.

  22. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 12, 2013 at 10:49 PM

    Why would the Nats need Cano now? He’s got, like, three weeks left on his contract.

    • Eugene in Oregon - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:21 PM

      That was joke. Not a good one, but a joke nonetheless.

      More interestingly, Cards lost, putting them in a tie with the Pirates for the NL Central lead.

      And Jim Johnson is melting down in Baltimore after O’s had tied the game.

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:27 PM

        Whooosh!

      • David Proctor - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:43 PM

        We still play the Cardinals 3 games. It’d be nice if they fell back.

  23. Eugene in Oregon - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    O’s lose. O’s and Nats now have identical (77-69) records.

  24. David Proctor - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:36 PM

    The Nats and O’s now have the same record. Wonder where all those Oritrolls are.

    • nats128 - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:37 PM

      Yep, was thinking the same thing. Wheres those 2 or 3 trolls that used to rub it in when the spread was 10 games?

      • Eugene in Oregon - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:42 PM

        Jail?

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:49 PM

        I had a girlfriend once, decades ago, from Baltimore. I can’t work up much animosity for them. And Nancy, wherever you are, I hope it’s posh.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:48 PM

      Doesn’t matter, really.

  25. Eugene in Oregon - Sep 13, 2013 at 12:05 AM

    I don’t know Nancy, but I’m not an O’s hater either; Peter Angelos, however, is a different story.

    Interesting development in Baltimore. Official scorer has awarded Mariano Rivera the W, not a SV. Wouldn’t give the W to the reliever who blew the original save in the eighth by giving up a three-run homer. Twitter-verse is suggesting decision will be over-ruled by MLB, but I’d like to see it stand and then be applied more often in similar situations.

    • natsfan1a - Sep 13, 2013 at 8:04 AM

      Well, if the tweeter-verse says so… What?

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 72 53 --
ATLANTA 66 61 7.0
MIAMI 63 63 9.5
NEW YORK 60 68 13.5
PHILADELPHIA 56 71 17.0
Through Wednesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
THU: Diamondbacks at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
FRI: Giants at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Giants at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Giants at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 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.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

Follow us on Twitter