Nats 6, Braves 2

Washington Nationals vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – August 19, 2010 – ESPN.

Well, that was no fun. Like the last two games, the Braves couldn’t do anything early. Unlike the last two games, the starting pitcher couldn’t keep the game that close, and Derek Lowe winds up with a loss. Lowe allowed a solo homer in the second, and an RBI single in the third, and it was 2-0 pretty quickly. His biggest trouble came in the sixth, when he allowed two runs on three hits and a wild pitch. Not his best work, though it wasn’t too bad.

Bad timing, though, as in the bottom of the inning the Braves got their two runs, and 2-2 is a lot different from 4-2. Infante and Heyward singled to start the inning, Heyward then stealing second on a Prado strikeout. Diaz then doubled to right field, making it 4-2, and chasing the starter. But Gonzalez popped up foul on the first pitch from the reliever, which was bad enough, but Diaz was running on the play and somehow got doubled off.

The Braves had one good chance left to get back into it, with Infante and Heyward walking to lead off the eighth. Bobby for some reason had Prado bunt, which didn’t work, as Omar was forced at third, and after Diaz fouled out McCann lined out against a LOOGY. And any chance of a comeback was spoiled when Kyle Farnsworth did what he does, giving up a two-run homer to Willie Harris in the ninth to make it 6-2.

98 thoughts on “Nats 6, Braves 2”

  1. Hate to lose that game but hard to complain about a 5-2 homestand. Maybe SF can show up tonight and keep our lead at 2.5.

  2. This has happened before to him, you may recall. Think back to the play that effectively ended our season last year. He seems to have a little bit of Yunel in him, although not the preening jackass or the pouty part.

  3. Diaz always seems to run the bases in a fog, Mac. Remember him getting picked off third last year against San Diego to end a game that crushed the Braves WC hopes?

  4. i can hear the Phillies foot steps, they have a 7 game home stand vs. nats and hou. and were on the road

  5. Matt Diaz looks only forward, never back. He makes his mind up to swing or run before the pitch is thrown, does so, finds out what happened, and awaits the next challenge.

  6. Diaz had that base swiped easily, if anything blame should go to Agony for swinging at a pitch when he could tell Diaz would be standing at third.

  7. Judging by Diaz’s reaction, Snitker wasn’t exactly screaming at him to go back to second. He should have been in his eyeline as he slid into 3rd gesturing and shouting.

  8. I love it when the Giants and Phillies play each other. We’ll win either way. Sure, we win more if the Phillies lose, as the NL Central losers add another team to the Wild Card race, but it’s not like a Giants loss isn’t good for us.

  9. I’ll totally blame Agony for the Diaz CS. A new pitcher comes in, we have a chance to get back in the game, Diaz has the biggest jump jump and that idiot swings at the first pitch and pops-up. He can go to hell.

  10. As annoyed as I was by that DP, I’m just glad I missed the 8th-inning bunt in real-time. I probably could not have stood it emotionally. Bobby’s in-game tactics are so often… remarkable.

  11. I have never defended BC in game managerial skills, but his response in the postgame on why he bunted “well if Prado would have hit into a dp, then you would have been asking why I didn’t bunt.” Beyond belief. Your best hitter bunting with no one out? Just ridiculous. Why do the braves let Lowe pitch against the Nationals, they know everytime they face him they are going to beat him.

  12. we’ll unload kk this offseason, but we’ll have to take a shitty contract. there’s no way we’ll unload lowe.

  13. I’d agree with Stu if it wasn’t for being afraid of the onslaught.

    I’d have to put in on the offense. 2 runs won’t cut it most nights. Way to many men left on base which has been the real problem all year.

    The inning that seems to happen way to much to us happened again in the fifth. Lead off double never get him off second. Alex Gonzalez doubles to lead off and then Melky and Hinske strike out and Lowe grounds out to end it. Two sacrifices either by bunt or fly scores a run.

  14. Stu’s got a point; Lowe’s an OK fourth or fifth starter. The problem is that we paid for something… slightly better.

  15. Lowe just got unlucky, and there was some bad defense behind him. I don’t blame this particular loss on him at all. He’s been solid for awhile. Do I wish he was doing better? Sure. But this is probably tolerable.

  16. If Lowe had KK’s contract it would be all good. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case.

    Plus, for all the crap Lowe gets, I don’t think he gets nearly enough grief for being the only Braves player with highlights in his hair. Now that Yunel is gone, I think we should be redirecting all of our frosted tip angst his way.

  17. I personally put most of this loss on Lowe and the rest on the offense (but we’ve come to expect that unfortunately). He made some really bad mistakes with pitches today, but apart from that he has been quite solid lately so I won’t really complain about it. You can’t expect the pitchers to be perfect each time out (though they almost have to be with the slow-starting offense lately, to not be far behind when it gets to the seventh and later).

    Giants up 5-0, hopefully they can hold on tonight.

  18. why i like prado…

    On the bunt play:

    “It’s a good call from Bobby. I didn’t freaking bunt, and probably cost us the freaking game too.”

    On if he was surprised:

    “I was expecting the call, even before (Jason Heyward) got on base. I knew. I knew it was going to come and I didn’t do it. That’s smart. That’s probably the most regular play in baseball. We have to tie the game; we’re playing at home. I guess I’ll be doing early work tomorrow, bunting.”

  19. If Prado being hard on himself would have affected him in any other way than to just work harder at getting better, I think it would have already.

  20. still, you dont ask your best hitter to sacrifice bunt late in the game down two runs. You dont give an out away like that, not after two walks. How many sac bunts has Chipper had this decade?

  21. I don’t mind all the bunts as much as many here do, but I can only agree that Prado should not have been asked to bunt there. You still need a hit to tie it and you gave up the best chance of getting that by bunting with Nitram.

  22. Prado leads the team in SLG, chances of Diaz doing anything against Clippard is very slim anyways. Prado needs to swing away there

  23. I did. My back has been killing me all week and I’ve been limited in how long I can sit at the computer. Everything should start going up next week.

  24. I wouldn’t have bunted but I don’t mind the bunt there. But of course you have to execute and Prado didn’t. The Braves didn’t really execute anything today (catching popups, moving runners over, whatever happened to Diaz on the DP, etc) and so lose to a crappy team starting a crappy lineup.

    At this point I take nothing for granted with the Phillies. I need to see that 27th out before I’ll believe they lost.

    Edit: And really I’m not sure we shouldn’t be paying closer attention to the Giants and Cardinals than the Phillies anyway.

  25. I’m not as worried about the Giants as the other possibilities, but foremost I just want the Braves to make the playoffs and winning the division is a good way for that.

  26. 46- True about the Phillies, but I think we’ve now made them similarly paranoid after our 9th-inning wins.

    As for the Prado bunt, I did mind the bunt, both because it was bad strategy when the Braves needed two runs and because Cox should’ve known that Prado’s recent injury made it less likely that he would succeed.

  27. Beachy with 5 innings of one hit ball so far tonight for Gwinnett.

    And the Charlotte Knights’ catcher is named Donny Lucy. Pretty sure he should have won that Moniker Madness vote once or twice.

  28. Stu, I was going to chime in with a comment sort of like yours at #27 — he was having a pretty nice game, that solo homer aside — but then Lowe gave up his third and fourth runs. That inning, he really lost command: he was missing his spots consistently by more than a little, he threw a wild pitch on a freaking pitchout, and he just looked lost. He has at least one of those innings in nearly every one of his starts.

    I basically look at him as being like a knuckleballer: he has great movement on his pitches, and he gets a lot of weak contact, but at some point in the game, he will go through a period of not knowing where the hell the ball is going. There’s a very good reason his ERA is 4.32. I don’t hate the guy, but I don’t trust him, and as far as I’m concerned, he’s our fifth starter, behind Mike Minor.

  29. Oooh-weee-ooooh
    Call up Kenshin Kawakami.
    I want no more Derek Lowe.
    I don’t care what they
    Say about him anyway.
    I don’t care about that.
    I don’t care about that.

  30. Matty is awesome:

    On if he saw Gonzalez’s pop-up:

    “No I did a bad job of looking in, I glanced in but didn’t really look in. It’s kind of like when you hear your wife, but you don’t listen to her. I glanced in but didn’t look in.”

  31. And Snitker sucks as we know:

    On third base coach Brian Snitker’s response:

    “He was yelling up, up, up and get up, get up, get up. I was like, ‘OK did it go to the backstop?’ and he’s like, ‘No, back. I’m like ‘Oh where,’ and then I stood there for like two seconds like a doofus, and then I decided to go back to second.”

  32. Just looked at the pitching matchups for the upcoming series against the Cubs. We have a good chance of sweeping them!

  33. Lowe makes 15 million dollars. He sucked yesterday, end of story.

    He is going to be Jeff Suppan by the end of his contract, a very, very rich Jeff Suppan.

  34. Well, he can be Jeff Suppan in 2012. Just be, oh, I don’t know, Jorge De LaRosa in 2011.

  35. I actually thought Lowe looked pretty good. Then again, after the WP on the pitch out, I skipped the remainder of the 6th inning.

  36. Nats vs. Phillies matchup tonight:

    Nats–Jason Marquis/ ERA-14.50

    Phillies–Roy Halladay

    I wonder what odds you would have to give to put money on the Phillies.

    My wife says she will get me a HD TV if the Braves make it to the World Series. So I say: TRADE THE PROSPECTS! :)

  37. @73 – Zombie Chipper would like to point out that hes already rotting for the Braves, thank you very much

  38. Infante – 4 Heyward – 9 Prado – 5 Lee – 3 McCann – 2 Gonzalez – 6 Cabrera – 7 Ankiel – 8 Jurrjens – 1

  39. MLBTR says we might be looking at Clint Barmes. Cards can have him. Not sure what we would do with him.

  40. Today’s lineup: Infante – 4 Heyward – 9 Prado – 5 Lee – 3 McCann – 2 Gonzalez – 6 Cabrera – 7 Ankiel – 8 Jurrjens – 1

  41. EDIT: Joke already made. How shall I fill this space?

    “RHP Kenshin Kawakami, currently pitching for Class AAA Gwinnett to get stretched out so he can work as a starter again once rosters expand, went four innings Tuesday, throwing 69 pitches, 40 for strikes. He gave up two hits, including a home run, struck out three, walked a batter and threw a wild pitch. Kawakami is on the same starting schedule as rookie LHP Mike Minor.
    (Yahoo! Sports)”

  42. 81—Well, it’s not my money, and I’m not sure where else it would be spent. If he’s at all better, he’s worth getting, IMO.

  43. Manny-lanta?

    Maybe the Braves would bring back that promotion if anyone hits the Coke bottle, the fan that catches it gets a million dollars.

  44. Sorry Stu I didn’t notice you’d already posted the lineup.

    Marc @ 72-Phi betting line closed at an unheard of -370 (Meaning you’d have to bet $370 to win $100 I think). Rarely do you see a game above 250.

    On the bunt-Here’s the problem: It’s a questionable strategy if you are 100% assured of executing the bunt. Problem is it tends to be more like 70% successful (and yesterday it was almost disaster as Martin barely beat the throw at first).

  45. All Manny lovers – Fantasize all you want. Recall that we had to give up 3 pitching suspects to get the Cubs to pay 1.7 million dollars of Lee’s contract. Sorry, I know I’m being a downer, just can’t help myself.

  46. Thanks Bethany. :)

    I didn’t see the game and I generally don’t think bunts are good, but I especially don’t like it in that situation, with a two-run deficit, even if he had executed. If you sacrifice and get the runners to third with one out, it’s true you only need one hit to tie (which I assume is the rationale) and you may have made it more likely you will get one run, but you give up an out and make it less likely to get two since a sac fly or ground out will get the second out. If it’s a one-run deficit, maybe it makes more sense. And, of course, it’s even dumber with, arguably, your best hitter up there.

  47. I think it would be safe saying that Barmes is better than Diory and Hicks. Id rather get him before Sept 1 than get stuck with one of the other two going into the playoffs. He’s slg .490 for his career vs LH’rs. Im sure we could use that

  48. I dont see how giving up the out with Martin and then having Diaz vs the RH’r is ever a great idea.

  49. @77
    wasnt that like 3 days ago? i’m sure we’re done with our dealings, or at least we should be.

    edit: nvm, saw the new link. i hope it’s old news.

  50. I’m usually very easy on Bobby, but the Prado bunt is indefensible. If it’s another hitter up there, like Ankiel, then maybe… But not with Prado.

  51. 92—If we’d only needed one run to tie, it would make some sense. But, we didn’t, and it really didn’t.

  52. could you imagine if we added Manny


    get it done Wren

    I like it

  53. When will Minor reach his inning limit?
    Two more starts? Would sitting out a few weeks let him pitch later in September?

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