Nationals Baseball: OK NOW ITS ON

Friday, October 12, 2012

OK NOW ITS ON

That's the kind of game you dream about in the postseason.  Oh it's fun to win, sure, but the postseasons isn't just about winning.  It's about winning when you think you could lose.  It's about riding the roller-coaster.  It's about staring elimination in the face and surviving.

I'm not saying a smooth ride to a title can't be fun (I'm looking at you 2008 Tar Heels and relaxing as I enjoy a beer in the 2nd half with your large lead! Woo!) but there is something to be said for getting there with some adversity.  There's no way around it.

This is a signature moment... but I will say the power of the moment will depend a lot on tonight's result and the rest of the playoffs.  The Nats need to finish this off for Werth's homer to really take on life as a legendary clout. Can they do it?

YES. Gio is better than Wainwright.  They are at home.  The bullpen has shown it can not simply hold the lead, but dominate the opponent.  Gio can't be as bad as last time. Matheny is managing the Cards* The only question is if the bats can wake the hell up or not. If they can the game might not be close.  If they can't, get ready for another heart attack inducing finish.

Called the Nats in 5.  Go Nats!

*When they brought in Lynn I honestly though the game was over.  But I REALLY thought "oh this is where Bryce makes his name with a homer, but it'd be cool if Zimm did it" so apologies to Werth for overlooking him.  Why did I think it was over?  Because Lance Lynn should not have been pitching then.  When you get to the 9th it's basically a series of one run games, and you should go through your bullpen from best arm to worst arm (with some exceptions for what part of the lineup is up).  Motte shoudl have been used. He wasn't. The Nats made the Cardinals pay big time.

Notes from the road :

I did catch the end of the game (from the 7th on) and the beginning till the top of the 4th.  Missed the middle but apparently nothing happened there?  

I find searching for weak AM radio stations you barely get airing the game kind of fun.  But I understand it's certainly something you can't do with non-baseball fans in the car.  Some people have no tolerance for broadcasts that are 65% static. 

15 comments:

Donald said...

Two huge games going on today. I assume you expect the Yankees to win behind CC, but that's been a great series too. Lots to watch. I just hope the Nats manage to get a few hits. As great as last night's game was, I really hope we jump out to a big lead early and coast to a win.

Carl the Big Fool said...

No, you didn't miss anything from the 4th to the 6th. The Nats had exactly one baserunner, Zimmerman's single in the 4th. The Cardinals had runners in each of those innings, but only seriously threatened in the 6th, when Zim's throw took Espi off the bag at 2nd (they still got the out at first), and they walked Freese to get to Descalso, who promptly grounded to second.

When the bottom of the 9th started, I asked my seatmates, "What would be the best possible way to win this? Zim homer, or Bryce hits an inside-the-parker, all running through a stop sign at third?"

Kenny B. said...

Wait, you're a Tar Heels fan? You really do have the luckiest sports allegiances I've ever heard of.

Anyway, so psyched to FINALLY get primetime. Gio was born for this moment, and I expect him to be pretty dominant.

As for that O's Yankees series, I have no idea what to expect. What a crazy one that has been.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see that this blog is about more than just bashing Ian Desmond. You are almost like a real Nats fan.

WiredHK said...

Since you can't make this stuff up, I won't bother trying, personally. Any of these four teams playing today could win regardless of pitching match-ups. As Werth said in his post-game interview on the field, it's game 5 and all bets are off. Just score more runs than the other guy and the season stays alive. I can't focus on anything today!! This is fantastic...

Section 222 said...

Your point about Lance Lynn and bullpen management is so right on. Why is it conventional wisdom to save your closer on the road for the possibility of a save. So stupid! Davey does it too. Will MLB managers ever get a clue? How many walkoffs in the 9th against some guy other than the closer will it take?

Next time you're going to be traveling, you really should spend $15 for the MLB iPhone App. Charlie and Dave (and any other radio broadcast you want) available anywhere in the country.

Unknown said...

Interesting thoughts on the bullpen. I actually thought Davey should have pitched Mattheus in the 9th against the bottom of the order to save Storen for the heart of the order in the 10th.

But isn't holding back the closer for a save situation pro forma in tied games? Hard to argue as you know you'll need a shutdown inning at some point.

Donald said...

I don't have an issue with the road team saving their closer or the home team using theirs, per conventional wisdom. If they used Motte in the 9th, the best they could hope for is extending the game and having to use Lynn in the 10th. I guess situationally you could do the opposite, but it's a crap shoot. If you end up being right, you look like a genius but I'd attribute that to luck as much as anything. I guess what it boils down to is would you rather have Storen v. Lynn so you can get to Mattheus v. Motte in the 10th? Or choose Storen v. Motte and be left using Rzpecznski or Lynn against LaRoche, Morse and Desmond to save the game in the 10th?

The relief pitcher wisdom that I most disagree with is the one Harper has railed against here. That's where you use your set-up man in high-leverage situations against the heart of the order with runners on in the 8th to save the closer for the bottom of the order in the 9th.

Kenny B. said...

Speaking of relievers, how about JZimm out of the pen? He was doing his best Stephen Strasburg imitation. I was surprised he didn't stay in for another inning. Hell, let him hit at this point. He is one of the few on this team with an RBI in this series.

Froggy said...

I think Davey out managed Matheny on this one. And I thought the turning point (other than Werth's 13 pitch AB) was bringing in ZMNN in the 7th and striking out the side. You could see that Matheny was caught flat footed on that one.

...cagey veteran move there Davey...

wiredhk said...

No...not like this...not like this...

Zimmerman11 said...

Just brutal... I finally let my guard down when Zuk put us up two and we had Storen coming in... that is the worst most painful game I have ever had to watch as a fan.

This was a great year... now let's never talk about it again.

Froggy said...

I've never experienced that kind of disappointment before. It was surreal...I mean literally one strike away from moving on twice.

Not crying over spilt milk, as the Cards beat us non-controversially. But I feel bad for Storen, and even though he was missing the corners, I thought he got totally robbed on a few calls from the homeplate ump.

Doesn't matter though, it's over.

Go Tigers!

Harper said...

222 - I'm one of the few without a smart phone.

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