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Instant Analysis: Orioles 4, Nats 3

Jul 10, 2014, 9:54 PM EST

Photo by USA Today Photo by USA Today

GAME IN A NUTSHELL: The Nationals came into Thursday night looking for a series win against the Orioles, but a rocky first three innings by Gio Gonzalez set the tone for what ended up a close loss for Washington.

The Nats came back with a run in the fourth and two more in the sixth to cut the game to just one run. Looking back, however, it was defensive mistakes and blown opportunities at the plate that did the Nationals in in the final game of this rain-shortened interleague series.

The Nationals fell by the score of 4-3, a tough loss when put under the microscope. The defensive miscues came in a three-run third inning for the Orioles, an uncharacteristic showing for the Nats who entered the night with a team-record, 13-game errorless streak.

In the third Jayson Werth helped allow a run on an RBI double by Adam Jones, as the Nats’ outfielder over-ran a ball that bounced near the foul line. The next play saw Nelson Cruz hit an infield RBI single that brought in another run on an Ian Desmond throw to third that flew over the head of Anthony Rendon. Desmond had no play at third after Cruz’ slow grounder brought him into shallow center and should have held on to the ball. In hindsight, it was a very costly mistake.

Also of note, Desmond left the game in the middle of the eighth inning with an apparent hand injury. He took a fastball off the fingers in the top of the inning and stayed in the game on first base. But then, after warming up before the bottom of the inning, he was removed for Danny Espinosa.

HITTING HIGHLIGHT: The Nationals’ best inning on offense came in the sixth where they made it a one-run game. Werth led off with his 10th home run of the season. It was his fourth in seven games and now gives the Nats four players with double digit home run totals.

After Werth’s homer, the Nats would add another on an RBI double by Desmond. Ryan Zimmerman followed Werth with a ground rule double before Desmond roped a line drive off the out of town scoreboard in right field to bring him home. It was Desmond’s 55th RBI of the season, best on the Nats and sixth-most in the National League.

PITCHING LOWLIGHT: Gonzalez was not on the top of his game on Thursday, at least in the early innings, as he was struck for four runs in the first three frames. The first came on a solo home run by Steve Pearce with one out in the first inning. That run ended a 22-inning scoreless streak for Gio. The other three came in the third inning, as described above. The third run in the third was not earned, and Gonzalez was able to recover after to finish with a quality start. His final line was: 6.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 7 SO, HR. 109 pitches, 61 strikes.

KEY STAT: Desmond’s throwing error in the third was his 15th of the season. That now ties him for second-most in the majors.

UP NEXT: The Nationals head to Philadelphia for a three-game series this weekend before the All-Star break. The first game will be Jordan Zimmermann vs. A.J. Burnett. The second game will be Stephen Strasburg vs. Cole Hamels. The third will be Tanner Roark against Kyle Kendrick.

  1. stoatva - Jul 10, 2014 at 9:55 PM

    Whoa! How u doodat, Mark?

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jul 10, 2014 at 11:28 PM

      Chase, not Mark.

  2. Danny - Jul 10, 2014 at 9:55 PM

    Tough game. Hope for no injuries.

  3. David Proctor - Jul 10, 2014 at 9:56 PM

    I don’t care about the game, I care about Desmond’s health. Please be okay.

    And by the way, how about the Baltimore scum booing Werth as he was injured? They’d fit right in with Atlanta.

  4. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 10, 2014 at 9:57 PM

    Been a good series so far… Split it their and hope we win on August 4 and we can split it here…

    Gosh, I hope Desi is okay…

  5. Rick - Jul 10, 2014 at 9:57 PM

    Manager/Player Harper was worthless again. He should bench himself.

    • stoatva - Jul 10, 2014 at 10:00 PM

      The classics never get old, do they?

      Actually? They do.

      • adcwonk - Jul 10, 2014 at 10:32 PM

        +1 (for stoatva)

      • Rick - Jul 11, 2014 at 7:31 PM

        Harper asked for it. He’s playing Nats fans. He’ll soon be a Yankee like he really wants.

  6. manassasnatsfan - Jul 10, 2014 at 9:59 PM

    Interestingly no errors in 13 games. Finally have one, and it allows run 4 to score. Seems our errors were always like that earlier in the season.

    • David Proctor - Jul 10, 2014 at 10:06 PM

      The error did not allow 4 runs to score. It allowed 2.

      • sjm308 - Jul 10, 2014 at 10:12 PM

        not to defend him but if you read closely you will see he said allows RUN 4 to score which is correct. Gio charged with 3 earned

      • David Proctor - Jul 10, 2014 at 10:16 PM

        Oh okay, I misunderstood.

      • Section 222 - Jul 10, 2014 at 10:39 PM

        You need a translator to understand MNF’s comments. Unfortunately, there are so many that that gets expensive.

      • manassasnatsfan - Jul 10, 2014 at 10:56 PM

        That one needed no interpreter run 4 means the 4th run that scored. Even if he got Jones as he rounded the base, run 3 already crossed the plate.

  7. Joe Seamhead - Jul 10, 2014 at 10:01 PM

    Ugly game. The HP umpire had entirely too much to do with the outcome, but the Nats didn’t do what needed to be done.i hope Desi is ok, but it looked bad. His error was costly.
    Get the Phillies tomorrow.

  8. David Proctor - Jul 10, 2014 at 10:03 PM

    Buck Showalter, ever the professional, joined his classless fans. Buck yelled “get in the f**king box* to Werth.

    • secretwasianman - Jul 10, 2014 at 10:45 PM

      Just got home from game. Thin crowd. Nats outplayed them just couldn’t get the timely hit. Buck is a jackass. I hate him. He needs to lose 25 lbs so he doesn’t have to wear a jacket in90 degree heat to cover his fat belly.

  9. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 10, 2014 at 10:07 PM

    I guess Desi will be back after the AS break…. He needed a few days off… Wonder if they will call Walters up…

  10. Joe Seamhead - Jul 10, 2014 at 10:13 PM

    I hope Desi isn’t seriously hurt, but I am also worried about Werth, and Gio, too.

  11. sjm308 - Jul 10, 2014 at 10:13 PM

    How many times have we heard “x-rays are negative”? Hoping they are right this time.

    • stoatva - Jul 10, 2014 at 10:17 PM

      I can’t think of a blown broken bone call. Lots on strains and tears.

      • sjm308 - Jul 10, 2014 at 10:22 PM

        just hope you are correct

      • sjm308 - Jul 10, 2014 at 10:23 PM

        Actually, wasn’t Espinosa’s injury misdiagnosed and ended up as a broken bone? I could be wrong on that.

      • Eric - Jul 10, 2014 at 10:32 PM

        Totally possible to miss a hairline fracture on initial xray.

      • adcwonk - Jul 10, 2014 at 10:33 PM

        Actually, wasn’t Espinosa’s injury misdiagnosed and ended up as a broken bone?

        True — but wrists are very hard to diagnose sometimes.

  12. stoatva - Jul 10, 2014 at 10:20 PM

    Ian Desmond is a grownup’s grownup. Love that guy.

  13. David Proctor - Jul 10, 2014 at 10:25 PM

    Rendon had the ball off his hand in SD. I can’t remember how many games he missed, but it wasn’t many

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 10, 2014 at 10:31 PM

      Think it was 3… That’s why I said I expect to see him after the AS break….

      • Eric - Jul 10, 2014 at 11:06 PM

        I vote “yay” Mrs. B.

        May as well just give him a full week off.

  14. stoatva - Jul 10, 2014 at 10:26 PM

    sjm308, fair point about Espinosa, although I thought the issue there wasn’t so much misreading an x-ray as Espi not disclosing the discomfort.

    • Eric - Jul 10, 2014 at 10:34 PM

      Hairline fractures sometimes don’t appear on xray until remolding has been underway for a week or two. In fact, I think Ramos’ initial xray was negative in NY on opening day.

      • stoatva - Jul 10, 2014 at 10:39 PM


      • stoatva - Jul 10, 2014 at 10:49 PM

        BTW, you are correct. Initial x-rays on Ramos were negative.

      • Eric - Jul 10, 2014 at 11:17 PM

        For some silly reason my gut tells me the ball didn’t get Ian square enough on the bone at the base of his thumb to cause a fracture… But it was close so who knows…

  15. stoatva - Jul 10, 2014 at 10:34 PM

    Anyone think that Tanaka’s “partially torn UCL” won’t require surgery? Matt Harvey was initially supposed to be able to rehab his, too.

  16. sjm308 - Jul 10, 2014 at 10:34 PM

    I moved back here after 18 years of coaching in West Va in 1988.
    We had lost our team while I was away and when I returned, I was fortunate that the University of Maryland had strong connections with the Orioles and tickets were always available, not to mention our baseball coach was Tom Bradley a former major leaguer so it was great to be able to see major league baseball without driving 90 miles to Pittsburgh. We ended up getting a season ticket package with 8 other guys for the first year of Camden Yards and my kids loved it. We had a lot of great memories, saw Cal Ripken’s record breaking game and his last game, saw an All-Star game and enjoyed baseball at its highest level.

    As soon as there was even a hint of Washington landing a team I got a totally different feeling. This was the team of my youth. I went to Montreal to see what I hoped would be our future team. I immediately put money down for a season ticket package as soon as they became available. I actually thought I would continue to go to Baltimore for a couple AL games a year and that I would have a NL and AL team, but something happened and I was totally hooked on our team. As years went by my feelings for the Orioles went from sort of ho hum to more and more negative. Their owner certainly helped with those feeling. Right now, loses to Baltimore piss me off more than any other team. When we were there on Monday it was one of the worst losses I have been to. (there is only one other and I don’t have to tell you what that was).

    I realize its just one more game and there are many more to come this season but I honestly hate losing to the O’s.

    Sorry if this bored you guys but I had to get it out.

    • adcwonk - Jul 10, 2014 at 10:42 PM

      sjm — good to hear your thoughts.

      My own feelings of the O’s are mixed. The O’s players seem pretty classy to me (ok, Machado has a problem, worse than Bryce, but Machado is also only 21), and they have a good young team, and my harsh/hateful feelings are directed only towards their owner.

      I know some people hate the idea of a “moral victory”, but, in fact, we played three games with the (currently) best team in the AL East, and easily could have won all three. We went toe-to-toe with them. And since the O’s aren’t in our division, for some reason, tonight doesn’t bother me as much as I thought it would — and, my gut says that losing to the Braves would have p!ssed me off more than a loss to the O’s.

      FWIW . . .

    • Eric - Jul 10, 2014 at 11:14 PM

      Good story. I still like Camden Yard, but I’ve been indifferent about the Os since Cal retired. And, I was a fan of Cal but indifferent about the Os for a number of years before that. Last time I paid the team any mind beyond that was probably Mussina’s 2nd or 3rd season.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 11, 2014 at 3:35 AM

      sjm, I have similar feelings and for 30 years and much of my youth they were the only game in town.

      Angelos is the worst and the noose he held on MLB is legendary because it’s screwing the Nats now, and to hear Showalters quotes about how his Bo$$ allowed Washington to have a team infuriated me further.

      • dcwx61 - Jul 11, 2014 at 7:19 AM


    • Brookstoor - Jul 11, 2014 at 6:11 AM

      +1 sjm, good thoughts

    • dcwx61 - Jul 11, 2014 at 7:22 AM

      I’ve lost car keys and glasses, but never a team. I’m glad you found them (for all of us).
      I was a Yankee fan but now they are no longer must see TV. My small brain only has room for one team.
      but yeah, disappointed with the O’s fans and classless ownership and management.

  17. adcwonk - Jul 10, 2014 at 10:36 PM

    Even if Ian is out for just one game, this kinda shows the value of having a backup SS, which is part of the reason why the Nats have been holding on to Espi.

    OK — question for the crowd: I didn’t see the play as I was listening on the radio. Charlie and/or Dave said that Ian (on that fatal play) actually could have thrown the batter out, as he was slow, and, in their view, the throw essentially cost the Nats two runs. (That’s what they said at the time — they may have modified it later, as my listening to those early innings was intermittent)

    Those of you who saw it: thoughts?

    • Section 222 - Jul 10, 2014 at 10:43 PM

      Seemed that way on the replay as well. Even FP said he probably could have gotten the runner at first. Strange decision by Ian. Catching the runner off the base at 3rd would not have stopped the run from scoring.

      • adcwonk - Jul 10, 2014 at 10:46 PM

        Plus he was going to his left, and made a blind throw in the opposite direction. Much easier to throw to first, no?

      • adcwonk - Jul 10, 2014 at 10:46 PM

        (ok, not “much” easier — but, still, a bit easier)

      • David Proctor - Jul 10, 2014 at 10:51 PM

        I could maybe understand it if it’s a force at third (though I still don’t particularly like it). But to do it on a tag play was just bizarre.

      • Eric - Jul 10, 2014 at 11:05 PM

        Especially with two out and it being so early.

    • sjm308 - Jul 10, 2014 at 10:46 PM

      Wonk – in my opinion it was a risky play as Jones had rounded 3rd and probably a bullet throw could have nailed him. The fact that Desmond was, I think, whirling-jumping & throwing, surprised me. Maybe I have that wrong but that is what I remember. I do think the safe play was to get the runner at first and since everyone was safe, I guess Charlie & Dave are correct that it cost us two runs but only one was unearned as I am guessing they him a hit on the play with the run scoring on the bad throw – If that had worked there would have been a runner on first and I am guessing things would have changed but you never know in baseball. Its what makes it so special.

      Question for you and others.

      If Desmond is out, even for a game or two, does this end speculation on where Zimm will play? I guess you could go Rendon 3rd and Frasden 2nd but then Zimm would be on the bench and that is not what I want to see.

      Looking to win this last series before the break and hopefully be in First Place as well

      Go Nats!

      • adcwonk - Jul 10, 2014 at 11:54 PM

        If Desmond is out, even for a game or two, does this end speculation on where Zimm will play? I guess you could go Rendon 3rd and Frasden 2nd but then Zimm would be on the bench and that is not what I want to see.

        Right. The only logical option is Zimm back to 3b, Espi at SS, and Rendon at 2b. (So much for resting ALR, eh? I guess the message might be: dudes, suck it up and get some rest over the all star break).

    • dcwx61 - Jul 11, 2014 at 7:26 AM

      every team needs a backup shortshop. It can be someone other than Espi. And he should get a chance to start again on another team. No team has the depth that the Cubs have at that position.

  18. adcwonk - Jul 10, 2014 at 10:43 PM

    I sure hope the Phillies aren’t getting into a mini-hot-streak right now. Sweeping four-straight *at* the Central Division leaders Milwaukee ain’t nothin’ to sneeze about!

    • Danny - Jul 10, 2014 at 10:47 PM

      Milwaukee is fading like a led balloon..

      • manassasnatsfan - Jul 10, 2014 at 10:59 PM

        Let’s take 2 out of 3

      • adcwonk - Jul 10, 2014 at 11:51 PM

        or like a Lead Zeppelin?

      • veejh - Jul 10, 2014 at 11:56 PM


  19. Sec 3 My Sofa - Jul 10, 2014 at 11:33 PM

    This was the kind of error Ian used to make until he learned to put it in his pocket; it’s an unfortunate anomaly, a “thtow-back,” if you will.

    The pitch that hit him looked to me on TV like it got the meaty part of the palm below the thumb. I think if it were broken he would not have gone out at all, but I’m guessing, obviously.

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jul 10, 2014 at 11:35 PM


    • David Proctor - Jul 10, 2014 at 11:55 PM

      I’m just baffled why he didn’t throw to first. He had a play. Charlie, Dave and MW all thought he had a play at first.

      • veejh - Jul 10, 2014 at 11:57 PM

        He did. Easy out at 1st.

    • adcwonk - Jul 10, 2014 at 11:59 PM

      Sometimes it can sting, and you don’t realize you’ve broken it till later.

      BTW, relating to another post up top: I don’t think the O fans were booing an injury. They probably thought that Werth was maligering to mess with the pitcher’s timing. After all, *most* times when a guy fouls a ball off of his foot he gets back in within 10-15 seconds or so.

      This, in my mind, was way different than when Werth broke his wrist and Philly fans (at Nats park, no less) were booing him. (As well as jeering earlier in the game at Harper for getting hit — I happened to be sitting two rows in front of some flaming Phillie fans)

  20. fatuus - Jul 11, 2014 at 4:52 AM

    What is the record when the team scores four runs?

    I am convinced that a trade for a middle of the order bat is necessary. I can’t think of a scenario, does anyone here do the rumor thing? Is there a big bat oit there?

  21. scmargenau - Jul 11, 2014 at 8:04 AM

    Besides the fact that everyone in media talks about it non stop except this board where it is apparently forbidden, are any of u realist ready to trade Bryce? The rest of the world sees he’s a cancer. There is a reason why show host want their kids to emulate Renton, yet the bulk of u support the obnoxious brat who can’t hit even a mealtball lately. Is it time to be legitimately concerned?

  22. scmargenau - Jul 11, 2014 at 8:05 AM

    * Rendon

  23. knoxvillenat - Jul 11, 2014 at 10:28 AM

    “There is a reason why show host want their kids to emulate Renton, yet the bulk of u support the obnoxious brat ”

    And that reason would be what?





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