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D’backs 11, Nats 4: From bad to worse

Aug 5, 2015, 11:02 PM EST

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GAME IN A NUTSHELL: If Tuesday night’s victory gave Nationals fans reason to calm down and believe things were turning in the right direction, Wednesday night’s loss only gave them reason to completely reverse course and now fear the worst. This was among the ugliest games this team has played all season, and it only got worse as the night progressed.

Things started off fine when the Nationals plated a pair of first-inning runs off Rubby De La Rosa. But that’s all they managed against the uninspiring Diamondbacks right-hander. Gio Gonzalez, meanwhile, labored to get through five innings on 93 pitches, yet emerged from that allowing only one run thanks to seven strikeouts (all with runners in scoring position).

Then came the top of the sixth inning, at which point the wheels fell off. Gonzalez was pulled after a leadoff single. Aaron Barrett entered and allowed three runs, two on his throwing error. It continued to devolve from that point on, with the Nationals giving up runs on a bases-loaded walk, a 3-run homer and a bases-loaded balk before Tyler Moore was brought in to record the final two outs of the ninth. Yes, Tyler Moore, the second position player ever to pitch in Nats history, both of them coming this season vs. Arizona.

And so the Nationals lost for the fifth time in six games, a span in which the Mets have gone 6-0 and thus now own a 2-game lead in the NL East.

HITTING LOWLIGHT: Everything from the first inning through the eighth inning. The Nationals managed zero runs and four hits after that against Rubby De La Rosa, David Hernandez, Addison Reed and Oliver Perez. Nothing else really to say about that.

PITCHING LOWLIGHT: The top of the sixth might well go down as the worst inning of the Nationals’ season. Gonzalez was sitting on 93 pitches after five but hit for himself in the bottom of the inning and took the mound again after that. Except he was pulled after allowing a leadoff single. Enter Barrett, who imploded. The biggest mistake was a horribly wild throw to first base on a sac bunt attempt, the ball rolling all the way past the rolled-up tarp, two runs coming around to score on the play. Barrett wound up facing five batters and allowing four singles, at which point Matt Williams put him out of his misery and called for Roark to clean up the mess. Except Roark issued two straight walks, the latter with the bases loaded. When it was finally over, the Nats’ 2-1 lead had turned into a 5-2 deficit that left many in the crowd booing.

KEY STAT: Gonzalez has failed to record an out in the sixth inning seven times in 20 starts this season.

UP NEXT: The series concludes at 4:05 p.m. Thursday when Joe Ross (2-3, 3.00) takes the mound for his seventh career start. Diamondbacks right-hander Jeremy Hellickson (7-7, 4.95) makes his 129th career start.

  1. micksback1 - Aug 5, 2015 at 11:03 PM

    The ship has SUNK!

  2. stoatva - Aug 5, 2015 at 11:03 PM

    Matt’s managing reminds me of Desmond’s batting. At some point you just say to yourself: “You’re just taking wild guesses, aren’t you?”

  3. manassasnatsfan - Aug 5, 2015 at 11:03 PM

    I bet more than half our losses since the all star break, we held a lead into the middle innings.

  4. manassasnatsfan - Aug 5, 2015 at 11:05 PM

    Only reliever who gave up no hits Tyler Moore.

    • Doc - Aug 5, 2015 at 11:42 PM

      No doubt about it, TyMo was our star pitcher tonight!

  5. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 5, 2015 at 11:05 PM

    I’m just really glad I got my Chia pet.

    • NatsLady - Aug 5, 2015 at 11:56 PM

      Me, too! Lady who sits next to me came about 6:30 and didn’t get one.

  6. npb99 - Aug 5, 2015 at 11:06 PM

    Stammen’s injury really looms large this season. He was the steady middle inning guy, and no one has claimed that role in his absence. Very unfortunate that neither Treinen nor Barrett seem to have the nerves to pitch effectively, at least this season.

    No comments needed on the hitting. Facts speak for themselves.

  7. manassasnatsfan - Aug 5, 2015 at 11:07 PM

    As I said in the game thread if all 25 players on the roster need to look in the mirror and ask the question; if all 25 players played like I do would we be a better team?

    I believe only 6-8 could say yes.

    The others if they play better than maybe we have a chance.

  8. Joe Seamhead - Aug 5, 2015 at 11:08 PM

    We virtually leave before the fat lady sings. We left during the 7th inning stretch. Very disheartening effort. Good night.

    • Joe Seamhead - Aug 5, 2015 at 11:11 PM

      I meant to say that we virtually “never” leave early.

  9. stoatva - Aug 5, 2015 at 11:11 PM

    Gonzalez was sitting on 93 pitches after five but hit for himself in the bottom of the inning and took the mound again after that. Except he was pulled after allowing a leadoff single.

    Again, this is a sure sign of a man without a plan.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 5, 2015 at 11:13 PM

      I was hoping Gio would finish the inning. Then Roark can come in on a clean inning, then Felipe, then Storen.

      How the Nats jump on board and then the bats go silent… well… *crickets*

      • stoatva - Aug 5, 2015 at 11:17 PM

        How the Nats jump on board and then the bats go silent… well… *crickets*

        That’s the thing that drives me crazy about this franchise, more than anything else. Has for several years.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 5, 2015 at 11:19 PM

        Big reason why I wanted another bat this off-season…. miss Craig Stammen so much….

        *shrugs*

      • abqnatsfan - Aug 5, 2015 at 11:21 PM

        Heh, the AZ feed played a crickets soundtrack late in the game.

        Tomorrow no AZ coverage so I can watch the game on the Nats feed.

    • NatsLady - Aug 6, 2015 at 12:02 AM

      I disagree. Davey used to that all the time, let the starter go into the sixth or seventh inning with the proviso he’d get pulled if someone got on base. It was irritating, because if it didn’t work, the reliever came in with inherited runners.

      So Matt had a plan, he just DIDN’T communicate it to the bullpen. Meaning, Barrett and Rivero, get your asses up when the inning starts and be prepared to come in at a second’s notice. Then, when Barrett imploded, Roark came in and HE didn’t have a lot of time to warm up.

      • simalex - Aug 6, 2015 at 2:55 AM

        The rather complete implosion of Tanner Roark is, imo, an under-rated cause of this team’s now mission-critical situation.

  10. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 5, 2015 at 11:11 PM

    I mean, it can’t get much worst than this. *shrugs*

    • simalex - Aug 6, 2015 at 2:56 AM

      I can definitely envision us ending up as a sub .500 team, not totally unlike the 2013 S.F. Giants.

  11. ogremj - Aug 5, 2015 at 11:14 PM

    I want those 4 hrs of my life back. A chia pet is not going to cut it.

    • ccallahan15 - Aug 6, 2015 at 7:54 AM

      +100

  12. tcostant - Aug 5, 2015 at 11:15 PM

    I’ve always thought that when the pitcher makes the error the runs should be warned. The error is under the pitcherd control, unlike errors elsewhere. Just saying since the rest of the game is not worth talking about.

    • tcostant - Aug 5, 2015 at 11:17 PM

      Earned!

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 6, 2015 at 12:22 AM

      The logic is, it’s not a fault with his pitching, which is what the stat measures, or tries to. But you knew that.

  13. abqnatsfan - Aug 5, 2015 at 11:19 PM

    That really was bad. In a lot of areas. I am glad the pen is better than it was before the deadline, but it still looks like lots of concern with starters, pen, hitting, fielding, game prep and game management.

    That is a lot of areas to tighten up.

    Could happen. Can always hope – two games is not exactly out of the running.

    • NatsLady - Aug 6, 2015 at 12:10 AM

      No, it’s not. And I doubt Giants fans are giving up. Why should we?

      • abqnatsfan - Aug 6, 2015 at 12:14 AM

        Well, I didn’t say I was giving up, I said getting better could happen, and I hope that it does. But as to why you could give up, how about the six problem areas I listed above?

      • NatsLady - Aug 6, 2015 at 12:32 AM

        I didn’t see your list before I posted below. It seems pretty exhaustive.

        Here is what worries me. Last year, we were about where the Mets are, a little ahead of Atlanta but the Division was not out of reach for them. Then they went on the West Coast trip from hell, they lost every game and we were playing about .500 ball, maybe a little over, and that built up a basically impregnable lead for us. That trip killed their season.

        We have that West Coast trip ahead of us, Dodgers then Giants (two top teams), then three at Coors. The Rockies are terrible and they traded away Tulo, but you just never know when 15 runs are scored in a game that at least 8 of them will be ours. The, with no off-day, it’s back home with the jet lag. (For some reason the off-day is before the Rockies’ series.)

        Seriously, I want our boys to win tomorrow (Hellickson–another NOT GOOD PITCHER) and sweep the Rockies here. Because tough times are ahead.

  14. langleyclub - Aug 5, 2015 at 11:21 PM

    Jason Werth just looks lost at the plate and the field. He looks shaky on the plays that he makes,and played Inciarte’s hit down the line into a triple. Zimmerman and Werth need to start producing like middle of the lineup biters.

    • NatsLady - Aug 6, 2015 at 12:38 AM

      Agree he looks shaky in the field. In previous games it was said due to “inexperience” in LF, but that doesn’t cut it with me, especially at home.

      At the plate I wouldn’t say he’s lost, I’d say he’s not ready (yet). He’s in spring training mode, taking a lot of pitches, fouling off a lot of pitches. However, it worries me that even when he gets his timing back, how much power will he have?

  15. npb99 - Aug 5, 2015 at 11:29 PM

    Interesting to think what would happen if baseball contracts weren’t guaranteed, but were like football contracts. In the NFL, underperforming, overpaid players are routinely cut. If football rules applied to Nats, one or two big names would be gone very soon.

    • manassasnatsfan - Aug 6, 2015 at 7:31 AM

      That part is true not just in DC but on all 30 teams I am pretty sure.

  16. coolhandbane - Aug 5, 2015 at 11:29 PM

    Didnt watch the game; was at work. Something needs to be done. They need a series of meeting with players only, with coaches, and coaches with whomever gives the the states they base their game plan on. Maybe a coach gets fired or resigns. Who knows but you cant tell me that we should have the same line up order tomorrow. Shake things up Matt. Do something that isnt “by the book” but by your gut feelings.

    I have a feeling that a reliever will get sent down. This is due to the innings our bullpen has put up and we need a fresh arm. Our next day off is Monday August 16th

  17. Joe Seamhead - Aug 5, 2015 at 11:36 PM

    Gio’s post-game interview was kind of discouraging.

    I’m not throwing in the towel here. That said? I think Matt is losing the locker room. This needs to turn around, and it has to happen real soon.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 5, 2015 at 11:45 PM

      I missed it… what did he say?

    • abqnatsfan - Aug 5, 2015 at 11:46 PM

      I am really surprised and disappointed at how passive MW has been, especially since the all-star break and poor play since. I have always been kind of neutral but hopeful on him. He is making me wonder.

      • NatsLady - Aug 6, 2015 at 12:08 AM

        I’m not sure what you mean by “passive.” He’s made moves, it’s just that he’s had like the opposite of a Midas touch, whatever moves he makes turn sour–even playing Danny today, and Danny turning in an 0-fer.

      • conatsguy - Aug 6, 2015 at 12:15 AM

        Agree.
        Also, Seems like Nats were caught off guard by the Mets series. I’m sure the mets had that series circled on the calendar- with a starting pitching rotation (at home), and FA acquisitions to dominate. Seems like MW was treating it as just another series.

        MW presser was just depressing. Just can’t see anything in his demeanor that reflects the urgency. I know that is his style, but it just leaves you feeling kinda empty. Hope he can so some “inspiring” behind close doors.

        Enjoy your posts from NM. Have good friends we visit often in Las Placitas. Hope to get down there to see an Isotopes game this year.

      • abqnatsfan - Aug 6, 2015 at 12:16 AM

        You call sticking to a set plan, come good outcomes or bad, active (by implication). Fair enough.

        I call it passive. Fair enough.

      • abqnatsfan - Aug 6, 2015 at 12:19 AM

        Re the Isotopes, Lannan and Bernadina are on the team this year. Both non-40 for the Rockies.

        Placitas is nice, we hike there a lot when it isn’t hot season (summer we go up to 8K or more to get the cool weather). Nothing beats Balloon fiesta – and balloons landing in your yard.

        Enjoy your next trip.

  18. nats106 - Aug 5, 2015 at 11:53 PM

    MW has lost the locker room. I killed more braincells tonight than he has in his head.

    I almost hope they don’t make the playoffs so that they fire his sorry ass and get him back to the west coast.

    I’d say it was a wasted 4 hours of my life (like other posters above) but I still managed to have a good time. However that doesn’t mean I should wallow in my misery alone. This team has turned into a hideous mas of uselessness incapable.

    Bring back Frank Robinson. He’s tanned, rested and ready!

    • coolhandbane - Aug 5, 2015 at 11:55 PM

      How has he lost the locker room?

      • nats106 - Aug 6, 2015 at 12:26 AM

        Karl, ever have a terrible boss? If not, I’m glad for you. If so, your goal was to get the hell out of dodge, both at the end of the day, and to find a new job with someone you could respect. Until this team starts playing like they want to win and win like they are capable, I stand by what he said. No, I’m not in the locker room-none of us are.

        But I also know when a leader needs to stand up and lead. The old saying of Lead, Follow or get the hell out of the way applies. Time to pony up.

        I’ll eat my words when we win the NL East. I’m not even looking for a NLDS series win at this point.

    • nats106 - Aug 5, 2015 at 11:57 PM

      uhh lost my train of thought. hideous mass of uselessness incapable of sustaining a major league effort for an entire game. and we pay for this. I’m stupider than I thought.

      • nats106 - Aug 6, 2015 at 12:00 AM

        No respect, the players can’t play for him because they don’t know what to expect from him. Incompetence is rewarded by continued playing time. Poor management of the bullpen, continued losing when they should be winning.
        Should I go on, Coolhand? OK I will

        This was a team that was allegedly a pre season favorite to win the WS. They need to turn this around quick and MW needs to show at least 10 % of the emotion that fans showed tonight. This is crap.

      • Karl Kolchak - Aug 6, 2015 at 12:11 AM

        And you know he’s lost the locker room how exactly?

        Don’t get me wrong, MW has been terrible this year. But given all the injuries and the number of veterans playing well below expectations Joe Torre would have trouble winning with this squad.

    • nats106 - Aug 6, 2015 at 12:29 AM

      And I’m sick of the injuries argument. Cardinalss a doing what? Without Wainright? Without Adams?

      Yet they keep winning, don’t they? Because that’s what they do.

      • Karl Kolchak - Aug 6, 2015 at 12:41 AM

        But you didn’t answer the vets playing well below expectations argument–which compounds the injury problem.

        And again–you know he’s lost the locker room HOW exactly?

  19. nats106 - Aug 6, 2015 at 12:05 AM

    Oh, and I’m glad Mrs B got her Ch ch ch chia pet. At least there was one positive tonight!

  20. Karl Kolchak - Aug 6, 2015 at 12:07 AM

    I ranted here on Monday night about how angry I was leaving the stadium. Tonight when I left I was just numb.

    I had to laugh driving home hearing Phil Wood say that AZ is “not a bad team.” Yes, Phil, any team that is under .500 in August is a bad team. The fact that their record is almost as good as the Nats’ record says a heck of a lot more about us than it does about them.

    • NatsLady - Aug 6, 2015 at 12:17 AM

      I use a lot of AZ players in fantasy. That team can HIT.

      They don’t have great pitching, though, and we should have eaten their guys alive. I don’t think they did enough prep on Godley (perhaps video wasn’t available? I find that hard to believe, he did pitch two major-league games prior to ours. I did some reading up on him, he is NOT deGrom or Syndegaard). They got to Corbin, yes, but what stopped them from getting to Collmenter (not a good pitcher) or de la Rosa after the first inning (also not a good pitcher)?

      • Karl Kolchak - Aug 6, 2015 at 12:42 AM

        Godley pitched THREE games above A ball before being called up and had a 5.00+ ERA at AA. We should have lit him up like the White House Christmas tree.

  21. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 6, 2015 at 12:34 AM

    Guy walking down the street sees a drunk under a streetlight, looking on the ground for something. He asks the drunk what he’s looking for.

    Drunk says, “I lost my keys. I dropped them.”

    Guy says, “I’l help you look. Where were you standing when you dropped them?”

    Drunk says, “About half a block from here.”

    “Half a block?? Why are you looking here?”

    “There’s no light over there, I can’t see anything.”

    *********************************************************

    I think it’s easier to blame things that disappoint us on causes we understand, rather than consider things we know nothing about.

    Few, if any of us, knows what it’s like to play MLB baseball. Or manage it. But we do understand [messing] up, not trying hard enough, not being prepared, all those things so many of our co-workers, and other drivers, do every day.

    • janebeard - Aug 6, 2015 at 9:24 AM

      I love you, Sofa.

  22. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 6, 2015 at 12:36 AM

    *Few know

    Most of us do know that subjects and verbs should agree in number.

  23. sec112 - Aug 6, 2015 at 1:14 AM

    I heard Gio say he has to be able to pitch more than 5 innings – which sounded a lot like accountability to me.

    I heard MW say they (implying the whole team) have some things to talk about before tomorrow’s game – which sounded a lot like there will be a meeting of some sort tomorrow that we will NOT know details of (and should not).

    Managers should not throw players under the bus in a public forum. And maybe someone can remind me about the time Joe Torre or Bruce Bochy expressed anger and frustration about his players at a news conference, because I must have forgotten about it.

    These losses are really unpleasant for us. And probably even more unpleasant for MW and the players. But they have to go play another game tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that, and so on. They can’t afford to have the emotional highs and lows we have.

    I really hope they pull this all back together and get back to feasting on mediocre pitchers and shutting down lineups (and I still believe they will). It drives me crazy when they score in the first and shut down till the 9th – and it’s hard not to feel like this indicates some sort of character failure on their part. But temper tantrums by the manager (or players) aren’t what’s going to turn things around. The veterans will start to hit more like their career norms (adjusted for age and injury). Or they won’t. But do you really think someone yelling at Jayson Werth or Ryan Zimmerman (or Ian Desmond, and so on) is going to do anything to motivate them more than their professional pride and the competitiveness that got them here?

  24. senators5 - Aug 6, 2015 at 2:45 AM

    You are exactly correct, EXCEPT that W, Z and D make an ungodly amount of money more in one week than most of us make in one year . (several for me) and fans deserve more than what these “players” are giving us, plain and simple. The bad news, of course, is these same money lechers will have to play because of course, the money and Mr. Boris.

    • rlndtln - Aug 6, 2015 at 7:32 AM

      The season is over.Nats thought we are the best.No rush to get injured players back.We have plenty of time.We are better than the Mets.I keep saying we have a real problem.The Mets will hit eventually and make a few good moves.And they have.All I heard from the regulars here is you are a alarmist.They wanted me off the site for predicting exactly what happened.Now they are gone.We have the best team on paper. unfortunately the games are played on the field not on paper.

  25. natstater - Aug 6, 2015 at 9:21 AM

    How has Steve McCatty avoided scrutiny with all the pitching issues? All season, there have been concerns about the bullpen. Isn’t it his job to have starting pitchers ready on their days, have relievers ready during the game and to let the manager know if someone can’t go that day? Can you DFA a pitching coach?

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