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Settling the Score: Friday’s results

Aug 18, 2012, 8:50 AM EDT

Michael Morse Getty Getty Images

Last night was a rare Friday night where I was at a baseball game rather than working right here on HardballTalk. It was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up, as I finally had the chance to meet our blogger-in-chief Craig Calcaterra and take in the Mets-Nationals game. Yes, we are allowed out of the basement on occasion.

When I first moved back to the D.C./Maryland area in 2009, I used to be able to stroll around Nationals Park at my leisure and without much worry for long lines or crowded corridors. It’s not like that here anymore. Hey, everybody loves a winner, right? This has been a Redskins town for as long as I can remember and one winning season for the Nats may not change that overnight, but it’s easy to see that something pretty cool is being cultivated here.

As for last night’s game, well, it wasn’t pretty for Johan Santana. He unraveled after three hitless innings, giving up a grand slam to Michael Morse in the fourth inning and a two-run shot to Bryce Harper in the fifth. Santana has now allowed six runs or more in five straight starts. He has an ugly 8.27 ERA in 10 starts since his no-hitter and a 4.85 ERA overall.

Can we blame Santana’s prolonged funk on his unprecedented workload from the no-hitter? Tough to say, as it’s possible he would have hit a wall at some point anyway in his first season back from major shoulder surgery. But the possibility of a shutdown looms large at the moment.

The Nationals improved to a major-league best 74-45 with last night’s 6-4 win and remain four games in front of the surging Braves in the National League East. With just eight more victories, the Nationals will have their most wins in a season since moving to D.C. in 2005. I’d say they have a pretty decent chance at pulling that one off.

Your Friday box scores:

Orioles 3, Tigers 5

Cubs 3, Reds 7

Red Sox 4, Yankees 6

Dodgers 3, Braves 4 (11 innings)

Rangers 2, Blue Jays 3

Diamondbacks 3, Astros 1

White Sox 2, Royals 4

Phillies 2, Brewers 6

Indians 4, Athletics 6

Pirates 2, Cardinals 1

Rays 12, Angels 3

Marlins 6, Rockies 5

Twins 3, Mariners 5

Giants 10, Padres 1

  1. natslady - Aug 18, 2012 at 9:03 AM

    If you can ever say a grandslam was predictable, this was it. The radio announcers called it, the bloggers called it, and, man, the crowed stood up and willed Morse to hit it. First slam for the Nats in a year (Aug. 19, 2011). The place went wild.

    • D.J. Short - Aug 18, 2012 at 9:07 AM

      It was quite a moment. All three balls prior to the grand slam were hit really hard, too. It almost felt inevitable.

      • natslady - Aug 18, 2012 at 9:54 AM

        We are having so much fun… Even the 9-0 game in the pouring rain was a backwards kind of fun, a reminder of years past. I was in the ADA section, with Krauthammer, etc., and I felt bad for the people in chairs (because I’ve been there) but screams and high-fives all around, complete strangers.

      • natstowngreg - Aug 18, 2012 at 7:08 PM

        Craig was at Nats Park, and he failed to jinx the Nats on behalf of his Braves. Excellent.

        Since Craig is Master if All Media, did you guys sit in the Shirley Povich Memorial Press Box? Just curious.

        From my (half) season ticket seat (Stars & Stripes Club, 3B side), I almost cried when Morse’s ball cleared the out-of-town scoreboard. But the Mets did not go quietly into that good night. And Tyler Clippard showed that he still hasb’t gotten the hang of the drama-free save.

        But the Nats survived, as usual. Better, when I and about 20,000 of my closest friends herded out towards the Navy Yard Metro, the Braves were losing. Oh, well. Damn, this contending stuff is fun.

  2. raysfan1 - Aug 18, 2012 at 9:26 AM

    OK, DJ, you were let out of the basement, but did you remember to change out of your pajamas?

    • D.J. Short - Aug 18, 2012 at 9:58 AM

      My fiance made me wear pants to the game. Boo.

  3. kalinedrive - Aug 18, 2012 at 10:05 AM

    Meanwhile, back in Detroit, they noted that Verlander has thrown over 100 pitches in 77 consecutive starts. Next on the list, since 1988, was Randy Johnson at 37 straight.

  4. southofheaven81 - Aug 18, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    DJ & Craig, in the same place at the same time???

    Pics or it didn’t happen.

  5. Stiller43 - Aug 18, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    BUCCOS won without an RBI. Sweet

  6. kkolchak - Aug 18, 2012 at 11:33 AM

    BEAST Mode! How much do you suppose the Mariners regret that Langerhans-for-Morse swap right now?

    The irony for me as a Nats fan is that I went to an M’s game while on vacation in Seattle about a month after that trade and saw Langerhans hit a walk off dinger in the bottom of the 10th to beat Tampa Bay. A month after that I was on hand at Nats’ stadium when the just-called-up Morse hit a light tower shot for one of his very first Nats home runs. Rizzo may be the Nats GM for a long time but he’ll have difficulty ever topping that trade.

  7. APBA Guy - Aug 18, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    A’s pitching limits their mistakes to just one, even though that one pitch wasn’t that bad. Duncan just got hold of it for 4 runs. The rookies are pushing their innings pitched totals and their arms are starting to show the wear. But the bullpen looks fresh, and best of all Cespedes wrist looks much improved. Unfortunately, the schedule takes a turn for the worse in a few weeks. Starting Aug 31, the A’s play an assortment of division leaders, AL East teams, Texas and the Angels, with only 2 series against the mariners for breathers (excepting the King’s Games). The dream may crash and burn in September.

    • clydeserra - Aug 18, 2012 at 11:52 AM

      as far as the young starters go, maybe if anderson can actually come back, they can employ the 7 pitcher rotation in september to alleviate the strain.

  8. Old Gator - Aug 18, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    The Iron Giant went five for five, moonshots that is, as he homered for his fifth straight game at Coors Field. Reyes parked a three run shot too, and a couple of Rocky Mountain Oysters miscues led to the difference. In the video of the Iron Giant blast, the Oysters pitcher doesn’t even bother to mouth “shit!” – he knows by the time his momentum carries him around where that ball is going to wind up. That there is the poster child for Resignation Day fundraising efforts.

    So the Feesh boolpen somehow held the high-scoring Oysters in check and the Rainbow Warriors eked out a rare victory. I was following the game on one of those lame animated “gameday” displays on my cellphone because I was up at the Luna Star Cafe in North Little Haitim being ably served an IC Light with mango nectar by the lissome Brie, ambrosial, and listening to the great Raiford Starke, ably abetted by the great Jack Shawde and Bonefish Johnny, deliver up one of the great nights of live country rock and deformed nostalgia in recent memory – their closeout fifteen minute rendition of “Born Under a Bad Sign” (which followed up Starke’s classics “Girl from Immokalee” and “Dog Ball Tea”) rivaled Cream’s and made turning on the CD player whilst homeward bound pointless. I caught the recap on the way home. Nice. I’m getting in shape for the orfseason.

  9. buccobrigade - Aug 18, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    Let’s go Bucs! Raise the Jolly Roger!

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