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Instant Analysis: Nats 5, Mets 3 (13)

Aug 7, 2014, 5:15 PM EST

Photo by USA Today Photo by USA Today

GAME IN A NUTSHELL: After breaking out of a disappointing stretch with a lopsided win over the Mets on Wednesday night, the Nationals followed up with a second straight victory over New York, setting the stage for a huge series against the Braves in Atlanta this weekend.

This one came in extra innings and was punctuated by a Bryce Harper two-run homer for the walk-off victory in front of 38,611 at Nationals Park. It was the first walk-off home run for the Nationals this season.

Jordan Zimmermann was sharp most of the afternoon in the 5-3 win, carving the Mets lineup through six innings before running into trouble in the sixth. He finished with three earned runs on seven hits and no walks in 6 1/3 innings. The second and third runs came home thanks to a shaky inning of relief by Drew Storen who allowed the Mets to tie the game at 3-3.

The Nationals swiped an early lead thanks to the emerging bat of Adam LaRoche. The Nats first baseman scored two runs, both after leading off rallies with doubles.

Ian Desmond also starred in the Thursday matinee with three RBI on two hits. He had a two-run home run, his 18th homer of the season, and left the park with 69 RBI on the year.

Mets’ starter Jacob deGrom continued his impressive rookie season with a quality start, before his team rallied to give him a no-decision. The Mets’ bullpen pitched six scoreless innings before Carlos Torres let the game slip away.

HITTING HIGHLIGHT: Harper came to the plate in the bottom of the 13th mired in a slump, and just a day after national media was questioning whether a stint in the minor leagues would benefit him. He was 1-for-5 on the day before taking a fastball from Torres over the fence in left field, a ball that bounced in the visitors bullpen. It was his fourth home run of the season and gave him 16 RBI on the year.

PITCHING LOWLIGHT: Zimmermann was cruising through his start with just a run allowed through six innings. He then began the seventh by allowing singles to Wilmer Flores and Kirk Niewuwenhuis, recording one out in between the hits. Storen then took over and allowed both runners to advance on a wild pitch. A single by Eric Young, Jr. brought home Flores before another single by Curtis Granderson – on a ball that barely missed Desmond’s glove on a dive attempt – brought in Niewuenhuis to tie the game at 3-3.

STREAK WATCH: Span kept his streak of reaching base alive with a one-out single in the bottom of the third inning, pushing it to 33 consecutive games. That’s the longest active streak in the majors. He also now has an 11-game hit streak going, as well. Span had four singles on the day, giving him 41 multi-hit games on the season. That ties Hunter Pence for the most in the National League this year. Span is now hitting .300 with a .356 on-base percentage this season.

KEY STAT: With two doubles on Thursday, LaRoche is now 10-for-26 (.385) in the month of August with seven runs, four doubles, two home runs, four RBI and five walks in seven games. He had just four extra-base hits in 24 July games, but has six so far in August.

UP NEXT: The Nationals head to Atlanta to face the Braves in a pivotal three-game series. The Nats have a 4 1/2 game lead in the NL East and a huge opportunity to create some distance against a Braves team that has lost eight straight. Stephen Strasburg (8-9 3.39) will start against right-hander Ervin Santana (10-6, 3.59)

  1. Another Tyler - Aug 7, 2014 at 5:17 PM

    Go Harper! And the rest of the guys!

    • wearenationals - Aug 7, 2014 at 6:26 PM

      The Bryce is right! I’ve been waiting to say that all summer.

  2. David Proctor - Aug 7, 2014 at 5:17 PM

    Bryce looked like the weight of the world was lifted off his shoulders

    • adcwonk - Aug 7, 2014 at 5:19 PM

      Could only see on game day — I hope he’s smiling, backslapping with the guys, and feeling like a contributor to the team again . . .

    • rayvil01 - Aug 7, 2014 at 5:20 PM

      When he heats up, and he will, iT’S ON!

      Good for MW for having his back yesterday.

      • Eric - Aug 7, 2014 at 6:03 PM

        Yeah. It worked for Span; let’s see where Harper goes from here…

  3. rmoore446 - Aug 7, 2014 at 5:18 PM

    I got to my hotel room in Columbus, Ohio just in time to hear the bottom of the 13th with Des and Harper heroics. Wonderful!! Now on to Atlanta!!

  4. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 7, 2014 at 5:19 PM


    And now on to atlanta…

    • rayvil01 - Aug 7, 2014 at 5:23 PM

      The downer is that the bullpen got worked.
      ATL will be fresh. We have Mo. Let’s Play.

      • wearenationals - Aug 7, 2014 at 6:29 PM

        Hoping Stras goes deep tomorrow. Stay calm and throw strikes!

  5. nats106 - Aug 7, 2014 at 5:19 PM

    As I recall at least one poster (or more) made the argument that Harper should be moved up in the order to get more reps. Small sample size, but 0 for 4 first 4 at bats and 2 for 2 his last two. Argument supported.

  6. adcwonk - Aug 7, 2014 at 5:21 PM

    Some folk were questioning why keep Stammen in (including questioning MW’s sanity?)

    I’m surprised no one answered it — I thought it obvious: he’s capable of giving more innings, and you don’t want to use _everyone_ right before a 3-games series in Atlanta.

    • masterfishkeeper - Aug 7, 2014 at 5:23 PM

      Yes, it was obvious. So now at least Det is fresh for tomorrow. Hoping Stras has a great 7 inning outing and we score some runs.

  7. Section 222 - Aug 7, 2014 at 5:22 PM

    As a proponent of moving him up, I’ll take that support 106, but talk about a small sample size!

    Gotta love a walkoff homer though. Can’t wait to see the replay.

  8. adcwonk - Aug 7, 2014 at 5:22 PM

    So, last thread I said: wouldn’t it be great if ALR and Ian were both getting on hot streaks, and Ramos re-joining us, all for Atlanta?

    Let me revise that: wouldn’t it be great if ALR and Ian and Harper were all getting on hot streaks, and Ramos re-joining us, all for Atlanta?

    One can wish!

  9. Joe Seamhead - Aug 7, 2014 at 5:23 PM

    I’m exhausted. Somewhere Bryce Harper’s folks are relieved and happy, too.

  10. adcwonk - Aug 7, 2014 at 5:24 PM

    And quite a two-game debut for the Nats for Thornton, eh?

  11. adcwonk - Aug 7, 2014 at 5:24 PM

    Has anybody mentioned the “4-1/2” number in the past hour yet? 😉

  12. Drew - Aug 7, 2014 at 5:25 PM

    709 from Henry Aaron.

  13. breakbad1 - Aug 7, 2014 at 5:25 PM

    What a lift going into Atlanta!

  14. natsjackinfl - Aug 7, 2014 at 5:28 PM

    Matts presser just ended. Maybe some members of the press can develope the class he exhibited at the end.

    I firmly believe that one day Matt will remember today’s game and realize how inexperienced he was as a rookie manager.

    HHe’ll get ot right.

    • natsfan1a - Aug 7, 2014 at 5:33 PM

      I don’t think he owed anyone an apology but, yes, it was classy.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 7, 2014 at 5:58 PM

      I agree with Ray and Johnny, he had nothing to apologize for to the questioner, just the others in the room.

    • Eric - Aug 7, 2014 at 7:12 PM

      What makes you say that? Did he make some rookie moves today? Or, is this in regard to his post game comments?

      • scbilly - Aug 8, 2014 at 10:50 AM

        I assume it was the tantrum in the pregame presser. If you don’t want people trying to read your mind, you should manage in American Legion ball where no one is paying attention. That’s not meant to say that Kilgore’s question didn’t sound like he either misunderstood or twisted what MW had said in the morning.

  15. langleyclub - Aug 7, 2014 at 5:30 PM

    Bullpen was not overly taxed as only Stammen threw more than 12 pitches. Would think all relievers would be available.

  16. bisonaudit - Aug 7, 2014 at 5:31 PM

    The National media did that. They were the ones who were responsible. OK. Sure.

    • scbilly - Aug 8, 2014 at 10:53 AM

      Bob Ryan went all in on PTI last night – mentioned only MW calling the question not stupid and ignoring the rest of the quote where he made it clear it was not something they were considering, then lighting him up for the irritation later. Really disappointing.

  17. scnatsfan - Aug 7, 2014 at 5:31 PM

    I don’t know who I am happier for, Stammen or Harper. Bryce will get the headlines for his HR but Stammen, knowing no one was behind him besides a tired Det, came up huge. Let’s hope this turns the tide for both these important guys.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 7, 2014 at 5:59 PM

      Stammen came up big

    • Eugene in Oregon - Aug 7, 2014 at 7:04 PM


  18. natsfan1a - Aug 7, 2014 at 5:32 PM

    Like I said in the other thread – yeah, baby, yeah! Way to break out, kid and atta way, Craig! On to ATL.

  19. Joe Seamhead - Aug 7, 2014 at 5:33 PM

    Mrs. Seamhead gives a lot of credit to MattWilliams for publicly supporting Harper. She felt that played a huge part in helping Bryce’s confidence. I think she’s right.

  20. NatsLady - Aug 7, 2014 at 5:38 PM

  21. Joe Seamhead - Aug 7, 2014 at 5:41 PM

    Wasn’t that Harper’s first career walkoff home run?

    • stoatva - Aug 7, 2014 at 5:42 PM

      One previous tho I don’t remember the deets.

    • David Proctor - Aug 7, 2014 at 5:46 PM

      He hit one last year against the Pirates. It was the game Randy Knorr yanked Soriano and put in Krol.

      • Joe Seamhead - Aug 7, 2014 at 5:57 PM

        Wasn’t the game Knorr did that against the Mets?

      • Joe Seamhead - Aug 7, 2014 at 6:02 PM

        Never mind, you’re right, it was the Pirates.

  22. snerdblurter - Aug 7, 2014 at 5:43 PM

    Love that the first guy to congratulate Harper after the mobbing was Span. Span has really vaulted up my list of favorite Nats over the last two months.

  23. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 7, 2014 at 6:01 PM

    Who heard Bryces locker room interview. He gave props to Desi and LaRoche, didn’t mention the guy who went 4-6.

    • stoatva - Aug 7, 2014 at 6:04 PM

      It’s always something, isn’t it?

      • stoatva - Aug 7, 2014 at 6:08 PM

        I love Denard, but he neither scored nor drove in a run.

      • NatsLady - Aug 7, 2014 at 6:09 PM

        Yes, he went 4-6 and got -.5% WPA (-.005). What’s a fella gotta do?

      • bisonaudit - Aug 7, 2014 at 6:13 PM

        The only way he can score or drive in a run all by himself is to hit a home run and that’s not really his game. It’s just cluster luck that he didn’t cross home plate or get credited with an RBI despite collecting 4 hits.

      • stoatva - Aug 7, 2014 at 6:15 PM

        I’m just addressing that it’s perfectly appropriate for Bryce to single out the guys who scored and drove in the runs. Doesn’t diminish Span in the slightest.

      • rayvil01 - Aug 7, 2014 at 6:15 PM

        Have we hit the point in this town that a player can’t give recognition to some team mates without stirring a controversy? I’m thinking about the Frandsen thing as well

        Hard town to be a ball player.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 7, 2014 at 6:17 PM

        Not a big deal as Desi and ALR were the stars. The game was also a blur that unless you were following it was hard to recall that he had 4 hits.

    • sjm308 - Aug 7, 2014 at 7:09 PM

      So, you bring it up and then at the end say “not a big deal” guess it was a big enough deal for you to mention it in the first place

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 7, 2014 at 7:13 PM

        Kind of a toss up question. We will leave it to Kilgore to analyze it.

      • 6ID20 - Aug 7, 2014 at 7:22 PM

        Which does raise a question. Who’s minding the Jerk Store tonight, you or Kilgore?

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 7, 2014 at 7:30 PM

        I guess I deserve that and since I dish enough out I need to take my slice of humble pie, but nothing in comparison to the sh*tstorms the junkies and Kilgore started.

        I’m just being ultra sensitive for Denard where he went 4-6 and raised his BA to .300

      • Smyrcok - Aug 7, 2014 at 7:42 PM

        The junkies ask questions that your gossipy co-worker would. They aren’t good at interviewing sports guys. Any answer just creates a story line.

      • Eric - Aug 7, 2014 at 7:44 PM

        Denard is a pleasure to watch. He’s the equivalent of Fister, but on offense: so consistently effective it’s almost boring 😉

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 7, 2014 at 7:46 PM

        He’s been a difference maker and keeping the line going. Batting .300 puts him in the conversation with the elite hitters.

      • stoatva - Aug 7, 2014 at 7:59 PM

        Also boring: watching him run down long drives to the warning track! Snoozerama!

      • Eric - Aug 7, 2014 at 9:34 PM

        “Also boring: watching him run down long drives to the warning track! Snoozerama!”


      • Soul Possession, Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 7, 2014 at 9:57 PM

        Late to the party. I just want to acknowledge GoSM taking his pie. Good on you, Ghost.

    • David Proctor - Aug 7, 2014 at 8:03 PM

      He went out of his way to praise Span in an XM radio the other day.

  24. RickH - Aug 7, 2014 at 6:01 PM

    Great win. BEAT THE BRAVES!!!

  25. scnatsfan - Aug 7, 2014 at 6:23 PM

    I think it’s nothing but Harper can keep dissing Span if it makes him produce like he has

  26. Joe Seamhead - Aug 7, 2014 at 6:31 PM

    You all are trying to stir up poop when it’s actually nothing but chocolate frosting.

    • stoatva - Aug 7, 2014 at 6:43 PM

      This is why people write out their Academy Award thank you lists in advance. 😉

      • Eric - Aug 7, 2014 at 6:56 PM


    • Eric - Aug 7, 2014 at 7:02 PM

      +1, wtf?

    • natsfan1a - Aug 7, 2014 at 7:10 PM

      mmmm…chocolate frosting…

  27. rayvil01 - Aug 7, 2014 at 6:47 PM

    One of the more coherent ATL twitter posts I’ve seen:
    Sweep and they are back in it
    Series win is a MUST
    Series loss is big trouble.
    Getting swept means”Wait til next year.”

    Let’s go get em.

  28. letswin3 - Aug 7, 2014 at 7:03 PM

    Props to Stammen. That guy was like a bulldog out there, knowing that he had to give everything he had, or else. And the or else just wasn’t acceptable. Also, did anyone else notice Harper kind of holding up before getting in the batter’s box to ask MW something? My thought was that, since there was that thing about “Harper ought to do what he does, and reject bunting” by MW, maybe Harper was asking MW if he wanted him to bunt Desmond over. If Williams said “Hell NO”, it sure looks brilliant. This could be what gets the kid going.

  29. sjm308 - Aug 7, 2014 at 7:07 PM

    Back from a loooong afternoon but it ended well.

    38,000+ on a Thursday afternoon against a lower rung team
    I realize it was “camp day” but still pretty impressive

    Except for Storen, the bullpen was lights out!!

    Question – was Span’s attempted steal on his own or called from the bench?

    So happy for Harper and how silly to worry about who he did and did not name in a press conference Sheesh

    Interesting with all those campers – Not One Wave!!!

    On to Atlanta

    Go Nats!!

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 7, 2014 at 7:10 PM

      sjm that’s the question on Span steal that didn’t get answered. Bad timing. I covered in the in-game and thought maybe he stole on his own. Lobaton isn’t fast so the double steal idea makes no sense.

      • sjm308 - Aug 7, 2014 at 8:01 PM

        thanks Ghost, was hoping someone knew if it came from the bench. Surprising he went on the first pitch. I have to think he was on his own there. If MW called that I would be surprised

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 7, 2014 at 8:14 PM

        At first I was thinking what was MW thinking but then I remembered he had the “go” on his own ability. If MW was asked, I’m sure he would take the blame as he’s done before.

        I’m just glad Nats won so it wasn’t a difference maker.

        The Nats worked on that steal play in Spring Training to get the faster runner from 3rd home in 2 out situations. That situation was not a good time with 1 out and Lobo on 3rd and one of your best contact hitters at the dish.

    • natsfan1a - Aug 7, 2014 at 7:12 PM

      Atta way, camper-parents. You’re bringing ’em up right. :-)

      “Interesting with all those campers – Not One Wave!!!”

  30. Smyrcok - Aug 7, 2014 at 7:40 PM

    On your streak watch sentence:

    “Span kept his streak of reaching base alive”

    This is hilarious if you read it as “streak of reaching-base-alive” instead of “streak-of-reaching-base alive”

    Like baseball is a dangerous game of quicksand and spiked pitfalls and poisonous snakes on the base paths.

    • Soul Possession, Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 7, 2014 at 9:59 PM


    • ArVAFan - Aug 7, 2014 at 11:15 PM

      Ah, the power of punctuation! “Let’s eat grandma” and “Let’s eat, grandma” are very different!

      Dunno about those basepaths: remember Prince Fielder standing on the first base line with the ball in his hand, summoning the runner to tag himself out? Or having to jump over batted balls or avoid getting spiked on a slide? It can be dangerous out there . . . otherwise why would two of our players plus Teddy be wearing oven mitts?

  31. unkyd59 - Aug 7, 2014 at 8:29 PM

    So….. Who’s the best lead off batter in baseball…? 😉

  32. Kyle - Aug 8, 2014 at 9:26 AM

    Hopefully we can take 2 out of 3 from Atlanta. Even if we only won 1 game I would take it. At least we play the mets again next week!!

    • scbilly - Aug 8, 2014 at 11:03 AM

      We need to win the series – the Kryptonite effects against Atlanta and St. Louis need to go before October.





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