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Thursday, September 06, 2012

WaPo: Gonzalez extends scoreless streak as Harper hits two of team’s record-tying six home runs in rout

Prior to Tuesday, the most home runs the Washington Nationals had ever hit in a single game was five.  They have now hit six two days in a row.

Less than an hour into the game, the supremacy was clear to everyone present, including the opposing manager who was ejected before the rout was one-third over. “This is by far the best team that we have played all year,” Cubs Manager Dale Sveum said after the Nationals’ 9-1 win that maintained a 7½-game lead over the Atlanta Braves in the National League East standings. “That’s like an American League lineup, too, with guys that hit the ball a long way, grind at-bats out and take advantage of any mistake that’s thrown.”

Gonzalez was brilliant through seven scoreless innings, striking out nine batters and not allowing a hit until the sixth inning. The offense smashed six home runs, becoming just the third team since 1920 to hit at least that many in consecutive games. Adam LaRoche continued his torrid hitting pace with a 3-for-4 night that included a two-run home run. Rookie Bryce Harper went 2 for 3 and clobbered two home runs for the second time, moving him further into historic company with his parents watching from the stands.

Depressoteric Posted: September 06, 2012 at 10:34 AM | 33 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: chicago, cubs, nationals, washington

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. TerpNats Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4228172)
Now that the Nationals have a two-game lead over the Reds for the NL's best record, it appears that the road to the postseason will go through Nationals Park. Not that having home-field advantage all the way through helped the Phillies the past two years...
   2. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:31 AM (#4228192)
Remember before the season when some of the know-it-alls were saying that Gonzalez wasn't really that good? I wonder where they are now that he's starting to pitch himself into N.L. Cy Young contention.
   3. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4228274)
The Gonzalez trade looks like one of the rare deals that's really good for both teams. I suppose we'll sing a different tune if both Cole and Peacock turn into number 1's, but right now it looks like everybody should be happy with it.
   4. McCoy Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:44 PM (#4228300)
Well, I see from seatgeek that tickets to the playoffs are going to be expensive.
   5. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4228323)
I can't wait to see just how many people suddenly scramble to jump on board that bandwagon in about four more weeks. We're about to get our version of the "pink hat" crowd as all the slimy politicians, worthless high level bureaucrats, and Beltway cocktail party circuit riders start to really come out of the woodwork.
   6. McCoy Posted: September 06, 2012 at 01:04 PM (#4228327)
The Nationals are making a big push this month to sell season tickets for next year. They sent out an email yesterday stating that they would cap season tickets at 20,000 next year and that if you want playoff tickets or more of them you better hurry and put down your deposit for next year. They probably only have about half that amount and I seriously doubt they'll have 20,000 season ticket holders when the season starts next spring.

It will be a shame though when they get good and the fans jump on. Prices will go up and it will be much much harder to find tickets and good tickets at cheap prices.
   7. PreservedFish Posted: September 06, 2012 at 01:05 PM (#4228328)
Gio and Dickey are both at 18 wins now. Cueto at 17. I would bet that whoever ends up with the highest number wins the award.
   8. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: September 06, 2012 at 01:47 PM (#4228382)
If the season ended today, even as a Nats fan I'd objectively have to give my vote to Dickey.

But depending on what happens in the last few starts, it could end up being an interesting, and possibly very tight vote indeed.
   9. andrewberg Posted: September 06, 2012 at 02:11 PM (#4228409)
It will be a shame though when they get good and the fans jump on. Prices will go up and it will be much much harder to find tickets and good tickets at cheap prices.


Having been on both sides of that dichotomy, I'm willing to say that it's a great problem to have.
   10. McCoy Posted: September 06, 2012 at 02:17 PM (#4228417)
Only if the team you like is the one that is winning and you are in close proximity to.
   11. shock Posted: September 06, 2012 at 02:57 PM (#4228479)
You almost want to feel good for the nationals.

And then you read joeys posts.
   12. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: September 06, 2012 at 03:07 PM (#4228488)
Having been on both sides of that dichotomy, I'm willing to say that it's a great problem to have.

No kidding.
I feel like I've seen a lot of brand-new A's hats around the Bay Area the last couple of months, and I am TOTALLY FINE with that. I don't care about "loyalty" or who is a "real" A's fan, because what other people do or think or feel about my team has nothing to do with me, and seems like a completely stupid thing to worry about. I guess if they were selling out most of their games, and jacking up ticket prices, and kept doing that for a long time, then maybe... but, come on, this is the A's we're talking about.
   13. McCoy Posted: September 06, 2012 at 03:13 PM (#4228499)
Orders finalized, Herr Austria?
   14. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: September 06, 2012 at 03:25 PM (#4228511)
I almost want to feel sorry for concern trolls.

And then I remember that they're concern trolls and give the proper response, which is to laugh at them.
   15. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 06, 2012 at 04:09 PM (#4228561)
If you haven't been watching carefully, the Nationals may have snuck up on you, but they are legitimately the best team in the National League. They are also the youngest good team in MLB, so folks may have a few years to get used to the notion of the Nationals as a regular playoff participant.
   16. McCoy Posted: September 06, 2012 at 04:13 PM (#4228567)
I'm currently toying with the idea of going to Baltimore and DC playoff games. Though the price tag for Baltimore tickets seem a little daunting. I am hopeful that when tickets are released to the general public I can snag a few or at the very least it drives prices down a little on the secondary market.
   17. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 04:26 PM (#4228579)
Remember before the season when some of the know-it-alls were saying that Gonzalez wasn't really that good?

Remember before the season when some of the know-it-alls were saying that Beane wasn't really that good?
   18. McCoy Posted: September 06, 2012 at 04:40 PM (#4228600)
Give them time in another two months they'll be back to saying that again.
   19. Greg K Posted: September 06, 2012 at 06:14 PM (#4228712)
Whatever happened to just enjoying your team doing well?

A good friend of mine just started watching professional baseball this year and picked Washington as his team. He said he was going for a team that hadn't won anything, but was on the rise. Good timing, that.

EDIT:
This has only made me a bigger and bigger Nationals fan this year. So much to be positive about.
   20. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: September 06, 2012 at 07:04 PM (#4228740)
Whatever happened to just enjoying your team doing well?

This.

I assume this is somewhat directed at JoeyB. Joey, I'm not sure what your problem is mate, but you really need to chill out.

Every team that finds itself being successful always has various hangers on and such who drop off when the team returns to tougher times, as mentioned by Greg, just enjoy your team playing really well. The Nationals have been a great story this year and I don't think you'd find anyone on this board with anything negative to post about them.
   21. McCoy Posted: September 06, 2012 at 07:30 PM (#4228748)
My opinion is that Nats fans are too green to know how to handle having a good team and all of the attention, criticism, and snark it brings. At some point they have to adopt a bit of the COUNT DA RINGZ attitude that fans of all good teams tend to have.
   22. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: September 06, 2012 at 07:39 PM (#4228755)
I love love loved Rickey Henderson, but I never thought 703 of his stolen bases were mine.
   23. Depressoteric Posted: September 06, 2012 at 07:42 PM (#4228758)
My opinion is that Nats fans are too green to know how to handle having a good team and all of the attention, criticism, and snark it brings. At some point they have to adopt a bit of the COUNT DA RINGZ attitude that fans of all good teams tend to have.
I think there's probably a bit of truth to this, McCoy. But there's also -- at least for some of the Nats fans who have hung around internet sabermetric haunts since '05 -- a bit of a chip on our shoulders as well, one that comes from being a punchline to so many "thinking" fans for so, so long. And hey, with justification: the 2005 collapse, the Bowden era, Elijah Dukes, the "Natinals", several 100+ loss seasons, etc. etc. But it really does seem like a "how d'ya like me now?" feeling for fans who have stuck with the team, vocally and unabashedly, through all the godawful years and countless jokes about how there aren't more than five Nationals fans in the entire country, how baseball will be leaving Washington for a third time blah blah blah.

Is it quasi-irrational? Sure, of course it is: fandom was ever such. But the attitude comes not from some mistaken belief that the Nationals' achievement is "our own," so much as it is a reflection of the vindication fans who stayed with the team through the awful years feel for maintaining their dogged (and at times mocked) devotion. I'm sure Pirates fans and Orioles fans feel the same way right now, except the reason they're not quite so touch is that they already have storied legacies of success to fall back upon -- and a longer track record of recent futility -- hence the reason your "green fans" theory has some real merit to it.
   24. Dan Evensen Posted: September 06, 2012 at 08:16 PM (#4228777)
I'm excited that both the Nats and Orioles are doing well, and wish I were back in DC to enjoy it all. Northeast China is a long way away. I'd gladly pay more to see a winning team in a full stadium, and look forward to going to games when we're back in DC briefly next summer.

At some point they have to adopt a bit of the COUNT DA RINGZ attitude that fans of all good teams tend to have.

They probably need to win at least one ring first.
   25. shock Posted: September 06, 2012 at 08:27 PM (#4228785)
But it really does seem like a "how d'ya like me now?" feeling for fans who have stuck with the team, vocally and unabashedly, through all the godawful years and countless jokes about how there aren't more than five Nationals fans in the entire country, how baseball will be leaving Washington for a third time blah blah blah.


Aren't you a Mariners fan?

;)

Also I have no clue what a "concern troll" is but I'm fairly certain I am not one.
   26. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: September 06, 2012 at 08:38 PM (#4228798)
If you haven't been watching carefully, the Nationals may have snuck up on you, but they are legitimately the best team in the National League.

I think Washington-Cincinnati is far too close to call. The Reds' bullpen and the front end of the rotation have carried the staff to the best adjusted ERA in the league. Each team has a .746 OPS, so the Nationals get the edge for playing in a neutral park. Neither team is among the leaders in steals.

The Reds have the edge in a short series, imo. They've got a great bullpen with the highest strikeout rate in history. Washington's rotation has been terrific, but its advantage is neutralized in a short series because the last two rotation spots don't matter nearly as much. With Votto returning and having enough time to get ready for the postseason, the Reds will be dangerous next month.
   27. Depressoteric Posted: September 06, 2012 at 08:40 PM (#4228799)
Aren't you a Mariners fan?

;)
Yes! Predating the move of the Expos to Washington, in fact. So although the Nats immediately became my #1 team the second they moved to my hometown, my AL team will (barring some kind of traumatic fandom-severing event) always be the Mariners. Therefore I will continue to understand the bitter taste of hope-dashing futility, presumably in perpetuity.

(Still, as Jeff Sullivan says: Felix is ours and you can't have him.)
   28. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: September 06, 2012 at 08:44 PM (#4228803)
Listen, if you're a Mariners fan, you are entitled to an extra NL team to give you some hope. Unfortunately, mine is the Padres.
   29. Depressoteric Posted: September 06, 2012 at 08:48 PM (#4228807)
Listen, if you're a Mariners fan, you are entitled to an extra NL team to give you some hope. Unfortunately, mine is the Padres.
Blasphemy! According to Major League Baseball, they are the Mariner's official designated "regional rivals."

(This has been a long running joke on Lookout Landing, as it's transparently obvious that the only reason the Padres were assigned as the Mariners' "interleague rival" is because the Giants, the team they actually somewhat overlap with in terms of fanbase -- in Oregon in particular -- already have the A's across the bay, and the Dodgers -- who are at least somewhat closer geographically than the Pirates -- have the Angels. Ah, the stupidity of forced interleague schedules.)
   30. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:48 PM (#4228954)
Orders finalized, Herr Austria?

I think you think I'm Austria. I am England. FINALIZED England.
Remember the phrase, "Just close your eyes and think of Fred Lynn."
   31. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: September 07, 2012 at 01:03 PM (#4229422)
Blasphemy! According to Major League Baseball, they are the Mariner's official designated "regional rivals."


And I personally find this convenient, as it means the Padres come up to Seattle more than you'd expect. I realize everyone else in the world thinks it's stupid. Not my problem!
   32. Rants Mulliniks Posted: September 07, 2012 at 01:53 PM (#4229485)
I'm glad to see the Nats doing well, and I would love to see Harper take home the WS MVP.....he's heating up!
   33. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: September 07, 2012 at 02:02 PM (#4229505)
I would love to see Harper take home the WS MVP.....he's heating up!

since his 0-5 on Aug 15, he's 338/382/746 in 77 PA's

EDIT: whereas, Trout has been 208/263/264 in his last 60

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