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Instant analysis: Nats 8, Marlins 0

Sep 20, 2013, 9:28 PM EST

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Game in a nutshell: Some pitchers’ duel tonight, huh? Well, for five innings, it was. Then the Nationals’ lineup went nuts against Jacob Turner, mashing out seven runs in the bottom of the sixth. That was way more run support than Jordan Zimmermann needed. The right-hander dominated the Marlins’ lineup from the get-go, allowing only two singles and one walk during a sparkling performance. Thus the Nationals won for the 29th time in 40 games to improve to 83-71. With the Reds trailing late in Pittsburgh, the Nationals have a chance to draw to within 4 games of the Reds with 8 to play.

Hitting highlight: Stymied by Turner for five innings, the Nationals looked like they were in for a long night at the plate. Then came the bottom of the sixth, and quite a turn of events. The Nats sent 11 batters to plate, and seven of them came all the way around to touch the plate again. Jayson Werth, Bryce Harper, Wilson Ramos, Anthony Rendon and Denard Span all produced RBI hits, knocking Turner out of the game and turning what had been a scoreless pitchers’ duel into a blowout.

Pitching highlight: Sometimes you can just tell early on if a pitcher has “it” on a given night. Tonight, it was clear Zimmermann did from the moment he took the mound. He cruised through the top of the first and never let up. He struck out six of the first eight batters he faced, using a wicked slider to complement his 95-mph fastball. He issued a two-out walk to Giancarlo Stanton in the fourth, then a one-out single to Donovan Solano in the sixth, and that was it until another single in the ninth. With his pitch count at 92, Zimmermann took the mound in the ninth to a standing ovation, and he departed to another after completing the game.

Key stat: Wilson Ramos now has 50 RBI in 58 games since returning from the disabled list on July 4.

Up next: Stephen Strasburg, cleared to take the mound after experiencing no problems during a throwing session today, will make his first start in 13 days. Right-hander Tom Koehler will oppose Strasburg in the 7:05 p.m. game Saturday night.

  1. Mrsb loves the Nats - Sep 20, 2013 at 9:33 PM

    Just a great performance all around from the ball club…. Great job!

  2. Faraz Shaikh - Sep 20, 2013 at 9:47 PM

    Good job.

  3. Baseballswami - Sep 20, 2013 at 9:48 PM

    Seemed like a great energy at the park tonight. Nice.

    • MicheleS - Sep 20, 2013 at 9:54 PM

      It was electric

  4. Faraz Shaikh - Sep 20, 2013 at 9:53 PM

    does anyone know how to create a cumulative function? I am trying to calculate Span’s BABIP from game 1 to this game. FG has a daily graph for BABIP that I want to recreate.

  5. MicheleS - Sep 20, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    WOOO HOOOOO! awesome win. JZ was a stud

  6. Mrsb loves the Nats - Sep 20, 2013 at 9:57 PM

    What in the world is Melancon doing!?!?!?!?!?!?!

    Come on my friend…. End it.

  7. Dave - Sep 20, 2013 at 10:09 PM

    Wow. Pirates bullpen has just coughed up this game. Being hit like the Marlins in the 6th at Nats Park tonight.

  8. Section 222 - Sep 20, 2013 at 10:16 PM

    Now 5-5 in the bottom of the 9th. So glad Dusty follows the stupid practice of saving his closer. Maybe the Bucs can win it without ever seeing Chapman pitch tonight.

  9. thecynicin408 - Sep 20, 2013 at 10:18 PM

    The Pirates fans thought that last fly ball was gone.

  10. Section 222 - Sep 20, 2013 at 10:24 PM

    Well, now they’ll see Chapman. Oh well.

  11. Candide - Sep 20, 2013 at 10:25 PM

    NATS! NATS! NATS! WOOO! cheer update:

    My STH guy fouled up and never got us the tickets he’d promised us for tonight’s game. Cunegonde had the day off and asked me this afternoon if I’d heard from him. Nope.

    I thought we’d be watching the game from home. She thought we needed to look at Stubhub.

    We eventually bought seats in 208, row B.

    Top of the sixth inning, she sends me for gelato. My At the Park phone app says there’s a gelato stand at 307, so after I’d gotten rid of some beer I had in internal storage, I took the elevator up to the gallery level.

    Yup, there was a gelato stand at 307. And no one behind it.

    So with tears in my eyes, I trekked back to 235, where I normally get Cunegonde’s mid-game gelato. By this time, the Nats were at bat, and I missed the first three runs they scored while waiting for about 10 people ahead of me (included a family of 6) to get served by the one guy behind the counter.

    By the time I got back to my seat, the Nats were up 3-0, so I’d missed several cheers.

    I kept an eye out on 313 (easy to see from 208) and when the Nats scored run number 4, I turned around and faced almost the entire section (we were in row B). By the time I’d finished with “WOOO!” two women had taken up the cheer with me.

    At run 5, I repeated the cheer, and got several more to join in. By the 7th run, I had a good ten or so people chanting NATS! NATS! NATS! WOOO! with me. And by that time, people had stopped looking at me like I was drunk or crazy.

    When they scored again in the 7th, I faced the crowd, and a LOT of people were looking at me expectantly. So I yelled out, “Okay, we need EVERYONE this time!”

    I think I had at least 25 or so people giving the cheer for that one.

    Walking out after the game, a couple of women behind me saw me and said “NATS! NATS! NATS! WOO!” at me, and I explained to them how 313 started this show, and that the next time they go to a game, be it tomorrow or next season, they need to lead the cheer and pass it along.

    We can make this thing as well-known as the obnoxious Atlanta cheer, if everyone in NI agrees to do what I did tonight at every game they go to next season. Imagine 35,000 Nats fans all yelling “N-A-T-S! NATS! NATS! NATS! WOO!” in unison, on national TV.

  12. David Proctor - Sep 20, 2013 at 10:26 PM

    I guess it’s time to start hoping the Reds dominate the series.

  13. Mrsb loves the Nats - Sep 20, 2013 at 10:28 PM

    I can’t believe the Bucs….. Ugh….

  14. Candide - Sep 20, 2013 at 10:53 PM

    Glad to see the Reds win. For reasons I can’t pin down, I think the chances of them blowing out the Pirates six straight games are a lot better than the reverse.

  15. sjm308 - Sep 20, 2013 at 11:00 PM

    So, besides clicking between the O’s & Rays, the Reds & Pirates and of course our Natiionals, this was kind of frustrating. I was thinking about that elimination number staying at 5 while the games played went to 8 but that was obviously not going to happen. I have to take a deep breath and figure out if I want the Reds to sweep this series now. Only thing positive for me is that tomorrows game will be meaningful.

    Go Nats!!

  16. Section 222 - Sep 20, 2013 at 11:02 PM

    Candide you are a hero on the cheer. Up in the IG I saw significant participation from folks from 309-316. It’s definitely spreading.

    Great fun at the park. Perfect night, harvest moon, and an offensive explosion. And JZnn had no hit stuff. Very, very impressive. I guess our bullpen is rested for the rest of the weekend.

    To top it off, the United Airlines clear carry-on pouch is actually a useful promotional item. Way to go Nats.

    • Joe Seamhead - Sep 20, 2013 at 11:31 PM

      I was doing my damnedest to get the NATS! NATS! NATS! Over in 311 with varying levels of success.

      • Candide - Sep 21, 2013 at 10:42 AM

        Joe –

        FWIW, I stood up and faced the section, removed my cap, and waved it each time I yelled “NATS!” In other words, I made myself pretty hard to ignore.* Again, I’m sure a lot of people thought I was drunk or crazy (I wasn’t… well, at least I wasn’t drunk) the first time, but people really started getting into it the second time.

        Helps to have the Nats score several runs in an inning, one at a time, since most people have the attention span and the dot-connecting ability of Harrison Bergeron’s mother…

        * This is actually something of a stretch for me, as I think of myself as being a bit of an introvert.

  17. Eugene in Oregon - Sep 20, 2013 at 11:09 PM

    Wow. Just home from dinner (left as Nats won and with Pirates ahead). Just wow.. Time to root for the Reds to sweep… twice.

  18. sunshinebobby - Sep 20, 2013 at 11:18 PM

    I have just had to become — cough, cough! — the world’s most temporary Reds fan.

    That was just a monumental gas job by the home team at PNC.

    • David Proctor - Sep 20, 2013 at 11:22 PM

      The Pirates just lost 3/4 to the Padres too. I don’t even think the Reds necessarily need to sweep at this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Pirates lose some of their games against the Cubs.

  19. Section 222 - Sep 20, 2013 at 11:36 PM

    Reds and Pirates are now tied. Our Elimination # for both is 4. If you’re picking who to root for, might as well wait to see who wins tomorrow. Not looking good for the Bucs though. This one has to hurt.

  20. sjm308 - Sep 20, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    OK – so we are at 4 with both teams so if we win, it will be 4 with one or the other. I have to like the Reds in this scenerio. We win on Saturday and the Reds continue their hot streak. Not crazy about being this far behind but if its still 4 with 6 games to play that is indeed exciting.

  21. Theo - Sep 20, 2013 at 11:48 PM

    Was in 317 tonight, in my usual IG area between 315-318. Last game of the season barring a miracle comeback, and it was a good one. Great pitching, hitting, defense, even base running except for Ramos’ blunder. Atmosphere was lively as usual, and yes, we were also getting into the NATS NATS NATS over in 317. Got my first ever foul ball to top it off.

    • Theo - Sep 20, 2013 at 11:52 PM

      Also, I asked the guy leading our section’s cheer behind me if he was a NI, and he said he had heard about the cheer on the radio–it’s definitely spreading.

      • Section 222 - Sep 21, 2013 at 12:29 AM

        We gave a big cheer for your catch over in 314.

    • Section 222 - Sep 21, 2013 at 12:07 AM

      You got that foul ball?! That’s awesome. Crazy that two fouls in a row came up to the IG in 317. Well played, Sir!

      • Theo - Sep 21, 2013 at 12:13 AM

        Back to back pitches too! The doofus after my grab dropped his into the lower bowl though.

      • Theo - Sep 21, 2013 at 12:23 AM

        Oh just saw you did specify they were back to back. My bad

  22. natsfan1a - Sep 21, 2013 at 7:05 AM

    Great outing for Jordan, and a nice win. Turned over to MLB Network to watch the Pirates finish off the, er, nevermind…

  23. Dave - Sep 21, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    You guys are heroes on the cheer. You have inspired me to buy a cheap ticket for tomorrow and see if one of my seat partners in 313 doesn’t show up or something. I can’t miss my last opportunity to cheer the Nats offense.

    Last year, at the end of the season, a couple of us in 313 were hoping the cheer would spread throughout the ballpark by the playoffs, but it didn’t really take off. This time around–if there’s any October baseball in Nats Park–I think we’ll be in place to make a heckuva noise on national TV.

    There is always somebody kicking it off in 313 by waving a cap. Last week we discussed the value of starting with caps low, so that we give an “upbeat” (like a choir conductor) before the cheer. I think several regulars in 313 are clued in on that subtle touch now. That makes it very easy to read from many sections away.

    The time to really, really pay visual attention to 313 is when the other team makes a pitching change after we score. In those instances, the PA music keeps playing. (Normally we wait until the next batter’s walkup music ends to start the thing.) When the music keeps playing, the head cheerleader(s) in 313 will just announce it and we’ll go ahead.






As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...

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