CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Bizball: Inside 2012 M... (10/08)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: Or... (10/07)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: AL... (10/08)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: AL... (10/08)

October 8, 2012

Playoff Prospectus

NLDS Game One Recap: Nationals 3, Cardinals 2

by R.J. Anderson

the archives are now free.

All Baseball Prospectus Premium and Fantasy articles more than a year old are now free as a thank you to the entire Internet for making our work possible.

Not a subscriber? Get exclusive content like this delivered hot to your inbox every weekday. Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get instant access to the best baseball content on the web.

Subscribe for $4.95 per month
Recurring subscription - cancel anytime.


a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Purchase a $39.95 gift subscription
a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

In the Cardinals-Nationals series preview, I crowned Matt Carpenter the best pinch-hitting option in the series. I then declared the Nationals trio of Roger Bernadina, Chad Tracy, and Tyler Moore the second-through-fourth best pinch-hitting options available in the series. Davey Johnson deployed each of the three in Sunday’s Game One victory.

Moore will receive a hero’s treatment for his two-strike, two-out, two-run single in the eighth inning. But the contributions of Bernadina and Tracy to the single should not go unnoticed. Bernadina entered the game in the sixth inning to hit with a runner on and two outs. He drew a walk and failed to score or advance on the basepaths. By drawing that walk, however, Bernadina was able to push the lineup forward one spot. Important when you consider the Nationals’ eighth inning otherwise could have ended with eighth-place hitter Kurt Suzuki’s strikeout.

Although Tracy did not record a plate appearance, he did serve as bait. With the right-handed Mitchell Boggs on the mound facing Suzuki, Johnson sent Tracy to the on-deck circle. St. Louis manager Mike Matheny elected to play the percentages by using left-handed specialist Mark Rzepczynski to face Tracy; a smart move, albeit one Johnson countered by recalling Tracy and inserting the right-handed Moore. Credit Mike Rizzo and the Nationals bench depth for Johnson’s ability to go on the offensive, and then counter Matheny without hesitation.

Johnson should credit Moore for erasing a potential mistake on his part, too. Earlier in the eighth inning, with no one out and runners on the corners, Johnson had Danny Espinosa put down a bunt. The play appeared to be a safety squeeze, but served as a traditional sacrifice, with the runner on first advancing 90 feet in exchange for an out. Given the speed of the runner on third (Mike Morse) and the quality of the upcoming hitters (Suzuki and the pitcher’s spot), Johnson’s play could’ve backfired. And may have, if not for Moore.

  • Jayson Werth made a fantastic, leaping grab on a Daniel Descalso flyball to the right-field wall in the sixth inning.
  • Another Johnson decision that played out better than anticipated occurred in the seventh inning, when he called upon Ryan Mattheus to work out of a bases-loaded, nobody out situation. In two pitches, Mattheus coerced a force out and a double play from the Cardinals and kept the deficit at one run.
  • Normally a good defensive shortstop, Pete Kozma sparked the Nationals rally by making an error on what appeared to be a routine groundball.
  • Not often will you see a team happy about a five-inning, seven-walk effort from its starting pitcher, but Washington has to feel good about what Gio Gonzalez did. Despite lacking fastball control or feel for his curveball, Gonzalez was able to limit the damage to two runs and one hit over five innings of work.  He also adjusted and found his motion a bit after the second inning, avoiding a mechanical catastrophe.
  • Adam Wainwright also struggled with his fastball control, though he rode his curveball to a solid start. His final line: 5 2/3 innings, six hits, one run, three walks, and 10 strikeouts.
  • David Freese collected two of the Cardinals’ three hits on the day. If Freese keeps that up he might earn the reputation as a postseason player or something.
  • Game Two will take place Monday afternoon, with Jordan Zimmermann opposing Jaime Garcia in a battle of commonly misspelled names.

R.J. Anderson is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see R.J.'s other articles. You can contact R.J. by clicking here

0 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Bizball: Inside 2012 M... (10/08)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: Or... (10/07)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: AL... (10/08)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: AL... (10/08)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Premium Article Rumor Roundup: Kenta Maeda Will Not Be Appea...
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Live That Fantasy
Premium Article Pitching Backward: Brandon McCarthy and the ...
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Bringing the Band Back...
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Padres Wish Upton a St...
Premium Article Raising Aces: Best and Worst Mechanics: NL W...
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Catchin' Relief

MORE FROM OCTOBER 8, 2012
Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: NLDS Game Two Recap: Red...
Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: NLDS Game Two Preview: N...
Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: ALDS Game Two Recap: Tig...
Premium Article Bizball: Inside 2012 MLB Attendance, Plus Po...
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Managerial Movement
The Week in Quotes: October 1-7
Premium Article Collateral Damage Daily: Monday, October 8

MORE BY R.J. ANDERSON
2012-10-11 - Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: NLDS Game Four Recap: Na...
2012-10-10 - Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: NLDS Game Three Recap: C...
2012-10-09 - Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: NLDS Game Two Recap: Car...
2012-10-08 - Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: NLDS Game One Recap: Nat...
2012-10-08 - Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Managerial Movement
2012-10-08 - BP Unfiltered: Differences in Mitt Placement
2012-10-07 - Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: Cardinals-Nationals Divi...
More...

MORE PLAYOFF PROSPECTUS
2012-10-08 - Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: NLDS Game Two Preview: N...
2012-10-08 - Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: NLDS Game Two Recap: Red...
2012-10-08 - Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: ALDS Game Two Recap: Tig...
2012-10-08 - Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: NLDS Game One Recap: Nat...
2012-10-07 - Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: Orioles-Yankees Division...
2012-10-07 - Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: Cardinals-Nationals Divi...
2012-10-07 - Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: NLDS Game Two Preview: R...
More...

INCOMING ARTICLE LINKS
2012-10-08 - The Week in Quotes: October 1-7