Last night’s game seemed like the kind of game that the Nats never win. Heck, they had a similar game the night before and blew it. The difference was this time the Nats came back to score, the bullpen held, and they had a timely HR to score late. So when was the last time these things happened? Let’s take a look
- Last game they won in extras: 10/3/10 – the final game of the season last year, against the Mets.
- Last extra inning game they won with a HR: 5/23/10 – against the O’s, at home, Josh Willingham hit a walkoff in the 10th
- Last time they won in extras vs Florida: 5/20/07 – Cordero blew a 1 run save, Colome pitched 3 scoreless starting in the 11th, Snelling singled Church home, and Saul Rivera closed it out
- Record in extra inning games in 2010: 3-10
- Record in extras vs Florida before last night: 1-6 (2007-2011)
So yeah, if this seemed unusual, it is. Despite the fact that they did get an extra inning win on the last day of last season, they were horrendous in bonus baseball last year. And, not surprisingly considering how snakebitten they seem against Florida, they lost 6 extra inning games in a row against them, last night’s win being 4 seasons after last previous one. I’m not saying the Nats have turned the corner and are a different team. I’m just saying it’s nice to take this one.
The starting pitching
The Nationals starting pitching hasn’t look dominant, but it’s looked quite good. The starters have a 3.74 ERA right now, good for 8th in the NL. And it actually went up last night, because even though Lannan pitched well, he did give up 3 ER in only 5 IP. Seems a little crazy that this is really a good game. Teams ahead of them include San Francisco, San Diego, Atlanta and… Pittsburgh. Ok, so it’s clearly early, but this start is a very good sign. Livan and Marquis have yet to have a stinker, after only three starts between the two of them. Lannan has looked effective, and Zimmermann has been good.
If this keeps up, even if it’s not quite at this level, the Nats will win a ton of games. It’s hard to believe Marquis and Livo will remain effective all year, but if they do, it suddenly becomes a pretty good rotation.
When Ian Desmond is on, he is very good. He has incredible range, and he makes sparkling defensive plays. He hits the ball hard and is a terror on the basepaths. Watching him last night, if you’ve never seen him play that way, may make you realize what everyone else sees in him. He isn’t consistent yet, and those kinds of games haven’t happened enough. But he certainly has the ability, as he proved last night, to be a great player. He’s just gotta do it more often.
Out for a week
I’m not going to be able to make any posts over the next week. Enjoy the games vs the Phillies, Mets and Brewers.