Saturday, April 14, 2012

Arroyo's stellar start wasted as offense continues to sputter

Arroyo pitched well, but received a
no-decision for his efforts

Washington, D.C. -- A classic pitcher's duel unfolded on Friday night as Bronson Arroyo and Jordan Zimmerman mowed down opposing hitters with relative ease. However, neither pitcher was rewarded for their stellar outings as both received no decisions. It took 13 innings of offensive-challenged baseball before a victor was finally determined. Jayson Werth ended the drama with a run-scoring single off of Sean Marshall to give the host Nationals a 2-1 win.

Here's a gander at the good, the bad and some notables from the affair at Nationals Park:

The Good:
-Arroyo was in a word, "brilliant". The right-hander limited the Nats to just three hits and no runs before being lifted with one out in the bottom of the eighth. He also singled and drove in the team's only run with a sacrifice fly in the fifth.
-Washington failed to retire Joey Votto in five out of six tries. The 2010 NL MVP walked three times and added a pair of singles. His OBP for the year now stands at .457.
-Willie Harris picked up his first hit as a Red to break a previous 0-for-10 skid to begin the year.
-The much-maligned Alfredo Simon tossed two scoreless innings of relief.
-Aroldis Chapman and Logan Ondrusek held the Washington offense scoreless in their appearances as well.

The Bad:
-The offense continues to sputter. They collected just five hits in the contest and have scored just nine runs in the past 50 innings.
-Jay Bruce, Scott Rolen and Ryan Ludwick were a combined 1-for-15. Not exactly the kind of production you're looking from the heart of your order.
-Bill Bray came in to relieve Arroyo and promptly surrendered the game-tying homer to pinch-hitter Xavier Nady. That was the only batter he would prove to face.
-Wilson Valdez and Drew Stubbs both went hitless in six trips to the dish. Stubbs recorded the trifecta with three whiffs.
-Marshall took the loss after surrendering two hits, a walk and the game-winning run in 0.1 IP.
-The offense was 0-for-8 with RISP and left 10 men on base.
-Rolen's now hitting .115/.179/.192 on the young season. Ouch.

The Notables:
-The Nats are now 6-2 and off to their best start since 2005.
-The game drew a crowd of 26,959 and took a rather lengthy four hours and four minutes to complete.
-Brandon Phillips did not start for the fourth straight game due to a sore hamstring, although he did pinch-hit in the bottom of the 13th (struckout). He could return to the lineup as early as tomorrow, says skipper Dusty Baker.
-The two squads will hook up for game three of the series on Saturday as Homer Bailey (0-1, 6.35) takes the ball opposite of Washington's Edwin Jackson (0-0, 5.40). First pitch is slated for 4:05 PM ET.

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