• Today's Top 5:
5. Zim(n) vs Haren: Los Angeles Angels' right-hander Dan Haren needs just 27 pitches to put the first six Nats he faces (in one peculiar lineup) down in order. Three K's, two backwards, two infield pops and a fly to left. Jordan Zimmermann retires the first five batters he faces before leaving a slider up that Alberto Callaspo lines to right for a two-out single in the LA second. A Mark Trumbo grounder ends the Angels' second and the Nats go down in order in the top of the third. Haren's retired the first nine batters he's faced on 41 pitches.
Zimmermann gives up a leadoff single by Peter Bourjos but that's all in the third, and Haren gives up a one-out bunt single by Brian Bixler for the Nats' first hit in the top of the fourth. Bixler takes second on a throwing error on the play, moving to third on a Ryan Zimmerman groundout before he's stranded by Matt Stairs to end Haren's fourth scoreless frame. Jordan Zimmermann lets the second-straight leadoff runner on when he walks Bobby Abreu to start the home-half of the fourth, but he should be erased on a sharp grounder to third. Zimmerman throws to second, but to the right of the bag and Danny Espinosa short-arms it and allows the throw to sail into right. Runners on first and third. The Nats get a DP grounder, but the first run scores when Abreu comes in from third. Unearned run, 1-0 Angels after four.
4. Not Hairston!!!: Jayson Werth's hip locked up last night, so he's not in the game. Laynce Nix's achilles heel is proving to be his...you know where I was going there and now Jerry Hairston gets hit with a pitch on the wrist and he's out of the game. The Nats' all-purpose supposed-to-be a bench player has been an invaluable part of the Nats' relative success this season, and with all the injuries going around the timing of this one couldn't be worse, unless it happened before Ryan Zimmerman returned, I guess.. Hairston's hopping around the first base line, holding his injured arm up with his other arm and he's out of the game replaced on the basepaths by Ian Desmond and in left by Michael Morse. Alex Cora who was playing short moves to first.
3. Don't Run on the Shark!!: Dan Haren's at 101 pitches when he completes his sixth scoreless frame. Jordan Zimmermann starts the bottom of the 6th at just 55 pitches. The Nats' right-hander gets the first two outs of the sixth, though the second one gets a little interesting when he strikes Torii Hunter out on a 76 mph 0-2 curve in the dirt. Pudge recovers what's ruled a wild pitch, and throws it by Alex Cora at first, Brian Bixler's backing up in short right and he nails Hunter trying for second. Two down. Bobby Abreu hits a gapper to left-center and gets greedy, trying for second on the Shark's arm, but Roger Bernadina cuts it off and throws a laser to second to beat Abreu to the bag! [CHOMP!] Don't run on Bernadina, Abreu. Don't you know that by now?
2. Two Dominant Starters: Dan Haren's back out for the 8th, with 113 pitches on his arm when he starts the frame, but he's also retired eight straight Nats going back to a one-out walk by Danny Espinosa and hit by pitch on Hairston in the 5th. Haren gives up a one-out single to Pudge in the eighth and he's lifted for Angels' reliever Scott Downs. Haren allows just two hits all night, no runs, earned or otherwise and he allows just one walk while recording 6 K's. The 30-year-old right-hander's night ends after 120 pitches, 77 strikes, and Scott Downs replaces him with Pudge on first and pinch hitter Jayson Werth at the plate. Downs gets Werth looking with a 1-2 curve outside that paralyzes the struggling Nats' outfielder. Roger Bernadina pops out foul of third, and it's 1-0 Angels after seven and a half with Haren's lead in tact.
1. All For Naught: Jordan Zimmermann needs just 13 pitches to complete a 1-2-3 eighth in LA, and the Nats' right-hander is at 93 pitches, 60 of them strikes at the end of the inning. Zimmermann: 8.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K's, 10 groundouts, 6 flyouts. Top of the 9th, Ryan Zimmerman goes with a high fastball outside and pushes it to right for a one-out double off Angels' closer Jordan Walden. Matt Stairs grounds to first for out no.2. Zimmerman takes third. Michael Morse gets down 0-2 quickly and ends up swinging through a 100 mph 2-2 four-seamer from the Angels' closer. Ballgame. 1-0 Angels.
• Jordan Zimmermann's "quality start" gives him 11 straight quality starts which breaks a franchise record set by Livan Hernandez in 2005. So there's that at least...
• Miss The Game? The DC Faithful Were Watching...
|Num||Name - Comments|
|1||Doghouse - 66|
|2||RobBobS - 62|
|3||Jeff T - 58|
|4||MissB - 53|
|5||Pig.Pen - 36|
|6||hscer - 35|
|7||Brotato - 26|
|8||G8RB8 - 26|
|9||RepConsul - 25|
|10||cookielover - 22|
• Doghouse's Post Game WPA Graphs: "Game 81: Jordan was robbed.":
- Give a guy some run support, jerks: Jordan Zimmermann (+19.4%) goes 8 IP and allows a single unearned run (on a GDP)--and gets a loss.
- Apparently he was okay last season: Matt Stairs (-20.6%) is 0-4, including a 9th-inning groundout with a runner in scoring position (-9.6%).
- Give and take: Ryan Zimmerman (+7.3%) has a 9th-inning double (+13.6%) that doesn't overcome his 4th-inning error to set up the unearned run (-11.6%).
- Not beastly: Michael Morse (-19.5%) is 0-3, striking out to end the game with a runner on third (-11.9%).
Nationals now 40-41.