Why They Won
Because I sat Wandy Rodriguez in my fantasy league, naturally. Or because every position player got a hit. Or because Ian Desmond cost the Nationals three runs by himself with his three errors. Or because the bullpen threw 4IP, 2H/0ER, 5K:0BB.
First-pitch strikes! Wandy threw 16 of 24, and the bullpen threw first-pitch strikes to 10 of the 14 batters they faced.
Wandy's eight strikeouts were the most he has recorded in a game since September 27, 2009 (nine, against the Reds) and his 114 pitches were also a season high. But the turning points of the game came in the 4th and 5th innings. With a 2-1 lead, Wandy got Zimmerman swinging, hit Willingham with a pitch, allowed a double and a walk to load the bases, and then took advantage of the 8-9 spots, striking out Nieves and Lannan to end the inning.
Same situation in the 5th. Adam Dunn singled, Zimmerman walked, Willingham got on first thanks to catcher's interference to load the bases (and this is all after Wandy picked off Nyjer Morgan). Ian Desmond - who I'm sure qualifies as the Goat for a Nationals blog - grounded out to short to end the inning.
But let's give it up to Casey Daigle (whose first name is "Sean," which could make him the answer to a "Baseball Before And After" clue on Wheel of Fortune). Daigle appeared in his first major-league game since May 21, 2006.
Despite going 2x11 w/RISP (Pence and Lee), the offense was a total team effort. Only Pedro Feliz had more than one hit (2x4), and the RBIs coming on Carlos Lee's 2-run shot and Hunter Pence's 2-run triple.
Let's pause for a second, shall we? In 24 games since May 8 (because he was benched on May 7), Pence is 33x92 (.359) with 9K:6BB, and 13 extra-base hits.
The Astros saw 50 fewer pitches than the Nationals, continuing a disturbing trend (granted: the Astros had to pitch the 9th, and the Nationals didn't.) However, the Astros had 12 PAs of one or two pitches.
Pitches/Plate Appearance: (118 pitches, 39 plate appearances) 3.03.
Man of the Match: How about Carlos Lee? A two-run homer AND a walk!
Goat of the Game: I'm feeling froggy in my first day back at the helm since Friday night. No Goat.