What's it going to take for Jayson Werth to start to hit like he's a Phillie again? Can Davey Johnson help the Nats' outfielder turn things around. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
• Tonight's Late Night Top 5:
5. Can Davey Fix Werth?: How a hitter who's hit little in the last few games managed to reach down to connect with the 1-2 slider Angels' starter Joel Pineiro dropped off the plate outside who knows...Jayson Werth got down there to get it and pushed it to right, hustling out of the box and taking second on Torii Hunter's arm. A wild pitch by Joel Pineiro allowed Werth to take third, and an RBI single to center by Ryan Zimmerman drove the beleaguered Nats' outfielder in for a 1-0 Nationals' lead in the first. Nationals' right-hander Jason Marquis gave up a one-out walk in the Angels' first, and one-out later an error on a routine grounder to Danny Espinosa extended the inning, but Marquis struck Howard Kendrick out for a scoreless bottom of the first in which he threw 24 pitches. The Washington Nationals end the first two innings at the plate with double plays, Michael Morse with a 5-4-3 after one-out singles by Ryan Zimmerman and Laynce Nix in the first and Ian Desmond with a 6-4-3 after a one-out walk by Wilson Ramos and a single by Matt Stairs in the second...
4. Two-Out Issues For Marquis: Jason Marquis gives up a two-out walk to Angels' catcher Hank Conger, and a two-out single by Peter Bourjos puts two on with two out. Danny Espinosa gets down and stays down til Erick Aybar's grounder's in his glove, no error this time, and Marquis finishes his second scoreless. There's more trouble in the third for the Nationals' starter, with Bobby Abreu lining to center and Vernon Wells doubling on a sharp grounder off Ryan Zimmerman at third. Marquis walks Howard Kendrick to load the bases, but Alberto Callaspo's first-pitch swinging after a walk and he grounds into an inning-ending 4-6-3. Marquis' third scoreless gives him eleven-straight scoreless stretching back through three tonight and eight scoreless against Seattle in his last start...
3. Streak Over: Marquis' scoreless inning-streak ends in the Angels' fourth. Mark Trumbo sends one back up the middle that Danny Espinosa gets to but pockets. Two outs later, with Trumbo on second following a sac bunt by Hank Conger and a swinging K by Peter Bourjos, Marquis gives up an RBI double by Erick Aybar, who drills a first pitch slider up and inside to right by a lunging Morse at first to Werth down the line in the right field corner. Trumbo scores from second and it's tied, 1-1 after 4.0 innings in LA...
2. Ump Or Wild?: Marquis is not happy with the strike zone, and struggling with control. Wilson Ramos is taking a beating behind the plate. The Angels gets back-to-back singles by Vernon Wells and Howard Kendrick on 1-0 sliders from Marquis, and he gets behind Alberto Callaspo and walks him to load the bases with one down in the 5th. Mark Trumbo takes an unexpected swing at a 3-0 pitch, however, and grounds into a double pla---Desmond misses it. ian Desmond's thinking of tossing it before the grounder's in his glove and he misses and lets it roll into center. Two runs score as Marquis angrily cuts the throw home. 3-1 Angels after five...
1. NIX!!!: Laynce Nix's solo HR in the sixth could have been a two-run blast if not for a missed/blown call at first on a Ryan Zimmerman grounder to Erick Aybar at short. Zim appeared to have beaten the throw, and it was close enough for Nats' Skipper Davey Johnson to come out and have his first heated discussion with an ump in over a decade. The Angels' starter, Joel Pineiro gives up a one-out single by Michael Morse and a two-out single by Wilson Ramos, and Pineiro's replacement gives up the third straight hit by the Nats. Matt Stairs stays in to face Hisanori Takahashi, and Stairs shocks all of NatsTown with a single and his first RBI in 56 plate appearances this season. 3-2 game when Stairs drives in Morse in. Takahashi walks Ian Desmond to load the bases, but he's out of the innin--- error on Mark Trumbo!! The Angels' first baseman misplays a sharp grounder by Roger Bernadina, two runs scores, 5-3 Nats after five and a half.
0. Longest Inning Ever: After a 4-run sixth that gives the Nats a 5-3 lead, Jason Marquis throws three straight balls to Erick Aybar to start the Angels' sixth, and surrenders a solo HR on a full-count fastball to the LA SS, 5-4 Nats. Collin Balester takes over for Washington, and gives up a single by Torii Hunter. Balester drops an old school 2-2 curve on Bobby Abreu for the first out of the 6th, but the Nats' reliever gets behind Vernon Wells, and serves up a 2-0 fastball that the Angels' outfielder sends screaming out to left for a two-run blast. 6-5 Angels. Balester gets a grounder to third for what should be out no. 2, but Zimmerman throws wide of first. A wild pitch, a pick attempt that ends up in center and a one-out walk later, Collin Balester's out, and Todd Coffey gets the final two outs of the sixth, but the Nats lose the lead in a sixth inning that lasts close to an hour.
-1. 5 Errors, 11 Runs: No score in the seventh, or the top of the eighth, but things get real ugly in the home half of the frame. Todd Coffey, in his third inning on the mound after taking over for Balester in the sixth, surrenders three straight one-out singles before he's lifted, the third one an RBI single that ends the Nats' reliever's night with the score 7-5 LA. Ryan Mattheus gives up a two-run double to Mark Trumbo, 9-5 and a two-run HR to Hank Conger, 11-5 LA, and Ian Desmond commits an error on a Peter Bourjos grounder, that's 5 E's total for the Nats on the night. The Nationals surrender 11 runs, all but one of them earned, 15 hits, (31 total in two games in LA) and commit 5 E's on the evening. One more with LA at 7:00 on Wednes...tonight.
• Miss The Game? The DC Faithful Were Watching...
|Num||Name - Comments|
|1||Doghouse - 154|
|2||Whupass - 113|
|3||MissB - 106|
|4||RepConsul - 95|
|5||cookielover - 94|
|6||Brotato - 88|
|7||Jefft T - 75|
|8||G8RB8 - 72|
|9||hscer - 59|
|10||d_c_guy - 45|
• Doghouse's Post Game WPA Graph: "Game 80: All this AND 5 errors":
- Bad pitching: Jason Marquis (-31.6%) gives up 4 R in 5 IP with 4 walks and 5 Ks. Collin Balester (-44.8%) gets only one out while blowing a one-run lead.
Rally killing: Wilson Ramos (-24.8%) GDPs to end the inning with the bases loaded when the Nats were only down by 1 (-28.9%). Michael Morse (-14.5%) GDPs with runners on the corners to waste an early chance to pad a one-run lead (-10.3%).
- Heroes: Laynce Nix (+30.7%) is 4-4 with a HR. Roger Bernadina (+18.3%) has a two-run ROE to (briefly) put the Nats ahead (+26.9%). Matt Stairs (+14.9%--yes, Matt Stairs) is 2-4 with a game-tying RBI (+17.7%).
Nationals now 40-40.