Saturday, July 2, 2011

Game 83: Pirates at Nats

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Livan Hernandez faces James McDonald in Game 1 of today's doubleheader.
Who wants to play two for the price of one? Yes, we've got an old-fashioned doubleheader today at Nationals Park. This afternoon's game is a makeup from the May 17 (non-)rainout between these two teams, and it will be followed immediately by the originally scheduled 7:05 p.m. game.

A couple of reminders: One ticket gets you into both games. If you hold a rain check from that May 17 game, you'll need to exchange it for a comparable seat today. If you hold a ticket for tonight's originally scheduled game, you're good to go and can show up anytime.

Also, be aware that the first game will not be televised anywhere because Fox has exclusive rights to the 4-7 p.m. window. MASN2 will come on the air at 7 p.m. and show the second game in its entirety (or the conclusion of the first game if it hasn't ended yet).

I, of course, will be covering both games in their entirety, so be sure to check back for plenty of updates here...

PIRATES at NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 3:35 p.m.
TV: None
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 188
Weather: Partly cloudy, 90 degrees, Wind 4 mph out to LF
STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (41-41)
CF Roger Bernadina
RF Jayson Werth
3B Ryan Zimmerman
LF Laynce Nix
1B Michael Morse
2B Danny Espinosa
C Ivan Rodriguez
SS Ian Desmond
P Livan Hernandez

PIRATES (41-40)
LF Alex Presley
SS Chase d'Arnaud
RF Garrett Jones
CF Andrew McCutchen
2B Neil Walker
1B Lyle Overbay
3B Brandon Wood
C Mike McKenry
P James McDonald
1:45 p.m. -- As you see, the lineups have been posted, and the Nats are going with essentially the regular starting eight (with Ivan Rodriguez catching). Davey Johnson did say he might sit a couple of guys with nagging injuries for the nightcap, including Jayson Werth and/or Laynce Nix.

1:50 p.m. -- Meanwhile, the Nats will be a man short in the bullpen today and tonight. Henry Rodriguez came down with strep throat and was sent home by doctors so as not to infect the rest of the clubhouse.

1:54 p.m. -- And in the other pregame news item of significance, Davey acknowledged the club will promote someone from the minors to make a spot start Tuesday against the Cubs (and thus prevent Tom Gorzelanny and others in the rotation from having to start on short rest). He said Ross Detwiler is "most definitely" a candidate to make that start. Tom Milone, however, is not. "I like him, too," Johnson said of the lefty with a 95-to-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio at Class AAA Syracuse. "But I think Det's a little ahead of him. I also think he's on the [40-man] roster and the other guy isn't."

3:01 p.m. -- For a longer posting on Detwiler and Tuesday's start, click here.

3:38 p.m. -- We're underway with an 83 mph fastball(?) from Livan Hernandez to Alex Presley. Ninety-one degrees at first pitch.

3:49 p.m. -- It took only three batters for the Pirates to seize an early 1-0 lead, then only two more than make it 2-0. After Chase d'Arnaud barely beat out a potential 5-4-3 double play, he stole second, putting him in position to score on Garrett Jones single to right. Andrew McCutchen followed with a double to deep right-center, then Neil Walker added a sac fly to right for the second run. All told, six batters came to the plate in the inning, and pretty much all of them smoked the ball. Livo's got to make an adjustment, and quick, before this gets out of hand.

3:54 p.m. -- Real quick bottom of the first for James McDonald. Not great contact out of any of the guys, especially Jayson Werth, who barely made contact on a real defensive swing with two strikes and tapped the ball about 45 feet down the first-base line. Nats trail 2-0 after one.

4:02 p.m. -- Much better stuff from Livo in the top of the second. He retired the side, getting a weak comebacker from Brandon Wood and then striking out both Mike McKenry and McDonald.

4:11 p.m. -- The Nats get a run back in the bottom of the second, thanks to back-to-back-to-back singles from Morse, Espinosa and Rodriguez. Might have scored more, but Espinosa got caught leaning too far off second base and was picked off by McDonald. It's 2-1 Pirates after two.

4:21 p.m. -- Couple more hits for the Bucs in the top of the third, including a double by Jones to deep right field. Fortunately, Pudge gunned down Presley trying to steal second, preventing a runner from ultimately scoring on the Jones hit. Another fantastic throw by a Nats catcher, right on the money. Still 2-1 Pirates heading to the bottom of the third.

4:27 p.m. -- Another called third strike with Jayson Werth at the plate to end the third. He's now been caught looking 32 times this season, which equates to 42 percent of his strikeouts. For comparison's sake, the Nats as a team have a 28 percent strikeout-looking rate, while the major-league average is 24 percent. Still 2-1 after three.

4:42 p.m. -- Another chance for the Nats in the fourth, thanks to a perfectly placed hit-and-run single by Espinosa. That put runners on the corners with two outs for Pudge ... who then struck out to end the inning. Pirates still lead 2-1.

5:10 p.m. -- Yet another chance for the Nats in the fifth after McDonald walked Bernadina (perhaps pitching around him?) to put runners on first and second with one out for Werth. Werth then grounded to the left side hole, and d'Arnaud was late trying to get the forceout at second. So now the bases were loaded with one out for Zimmerman and Nix. Golden opportunity. And it was squandered. Zim popped out to first. Nix (who is really struggling right now) struck out for the fourth time in 11 innings. Inning over, no runs on the board. Still 2-1 after five.

5:21 p.m. -- Credit to Livan Hernandez, who has bounced back from a couple of shaky innings early to put together another patented quality start. He's retired 10 of the last 12 batters faced, keeping this a 2-1 game heading to the seventh. Nats running out of time to push the tying run across.

5:32 p.m. -- Seven innings in the books for Livo, who has gotten better as the afternoon wears on. So the Nats are down to their final nine outs. They've been in this position plenty in the last few weeks and have shown a knack for rallying. But as F.P. Santangelo (who is sitting here in the press box for Game 1) points out, it's not going to be easy for anyone to get a rally going as the late-afternoon shadows start creeping over the plate. Obviously, this is an odd time of day to be playing the late innings.

5:38 p.m. -- Rick Ankiel to the rescue! Pinch-hitting for Livo, he took a 3-2 breaking ball from McDonald over the right-center field fence. Only his second homer of the year, and only the Nats' second pinch-hit homer of the year. It's 2-2 in the bottom of the seventh, and we've got a whole new ballgame.

5:47 p.m. -- Ugh, Roger Bernadina with his best Ruben Rivera impersonation. Just terrible baserunning. He took off from first, never realizing Jayson Werth's line drive to left was going to be caught by Alex Presley. By the time Bernie realized it, he had already rounded third base. He tried to turn around and run back, but he never re-touched third. Not that it mattered. He was out by five miles. So it remains tied 2-2 heading to the eighth, with Sean Burnett now on the mound.

5:52 p.m. -- Oy, Sean Burnett gives up another one. Garret Jones -- a left-handed hitter -- takes a 2-2 fastball from Burnett and puts it into the Red Porch. The Pirates are back on top 3-2 in the eighth.

5:54 p.m. -- And now McCutchen takes Burnett deep to left. Back-to-back jacks for the Pirates off a stunned Burnett, whose ERA is suddenly 5.86.

5:59 p.m. -- Over/under on when J.C. Romero gets promoted from Syracuse? Gotta think it'll happen within days.

6:09 p.m. -- Another chance in the bottom of the eighth. With two on and one out, Espinosa got a fastball down and in from Jose Veras. That's right where he likes 'em, and he just missed it. Drove the ball to the warning track in right-center, with McCutchen making a leaping catch just in front of the fence. Veras then snagged a comebacker off Pudge's bat to end the inning. Nats still trail 4-2 and are down to their final three outs.

6:28 p.m. -- Todd Coffey gives up an insurance run in the top of the ninth. So this is it. Last chance for the Nats. Down 5-2. It'll be Desmond, Ankiel and Bernadina against the one and only Joel Hanrahan, who is a perfect 23-for-23 in save opportunities this season.

6:35 p.m. -- That'll do it. Werth did come up with a two-out RBI in the ninth, but Hanrahan got Zimmerman to ground out for his 24th save. Burnett (3-5) takes the loss. Nats fall back under .500 heading into the nightcap. First pitch should be right around 7:05 p.m. Check out the new thread on the homepage for Game 2.

90 comments:

UNTERP.NAT said...

Not 2012, not 2013, right now!

UNTERP.NAT said...

Also, I'm getting giddy about ordering several pies of crow about Bernadina leading off. Of course it's too early, but so far so good. He was on base three times with the tying run. Go Shark!

NatinBeantown said...

Not nearly enough recognition of Desi in the last post's comments. He has a lot of detractors, but if you want to know why the staff loves him, just look at the photo with the post, where he's out there giddily celebrating with the guy who he was yanked for. That attitude can be in my clubhouse any day.

NatusuallyinBeantownbutrightnowinDC said...

Oh, and go Nats! Let's have a three game streak headed into my return to Nats Park tomorrow! So excited.

JaneB said...

Right on, NatinBeantown! I thought the same thing. Many other guys would have been sulking in the dugout. I sure hope you get to see these guys in person while you are here!

I like our pitching against theirs today. I am glad Livo is pitching the "day" game becagame then he can watch the second game with as much abandon as usual. I truly think his zeal and love for the team helps them all be better. I hope he is his usual wiley self and that it's a fast game.

GYFNG!

Mark'd said...

Of course there were those few posters when the original game was postponed early on that day who said it would be moved to July 4th weekend for profit motivations. Now we see that one ticket gets you both games. Of course those people with hate and venom would never say they were wrong.

I am out of town and exchanged my tix for another game. Everyone have fun!!!!

baseballswami said...

I also do not think Desi has gotten enough credit for his attitude last night. He also deserves a lot of credit for his improved defense. We have all made a big deal about him being nervous before his child was born - but we seem to have forgotten that he has a tiny baby back home that he rarely sees. Despite his great attitude, maturity and obvious work ethic - he is being dinged for his low BA - on this team? There are worse offenders who have not shown as much plus side as he does. This is a big season for him, let's let him play it out and continue to grow.

Mark'd said...

Desi was mostly responsible for the winning run scoring with Bixler on that Chicago 14 inning game. He hustled down the line causing Alexi Ramirez to hurry his throw which skipped by the 1st baseman for an error.

It is the little things he does like all those steals and hustle plays and playing hurt. If he can get above a .320 OBP, things would be great.

natsfan1a said...

Agree re. Desi's attitude. I liked Mark's account of the exchange between Johnson and Desi before the pinch hit AB. I'd actually posit that such an attitude (team-first?) is not limited to him on this team. Nobody seemed to be sulking about batting ninth back in the day, for instance.

Glad to know that Mark will be covering both games, as I can catch up on what happened after the fact. Will be at the P-Nats this evening and will miss most of the radio call on game 1. Did set the DVR for game 2, but it's nice to read the thread after the fact for a quick synopsis (as well as the in-game sturm und drang :-)).

Have fun, and, in closing, GYFNG and GYFPNG!

Anonymous said...

Who are the Pirates sending down before the nightcap Mark?

Doc said...

Me four on Desi!

I'd be nice if Desmond were to improve on his offensive stats of last year, but yeah IMHO he is the heart of this team--sorta like Pee Wee, even with his less than stellar stats, was the heart of the Dodgers.

The Kid is all baseball!

Mark Zuckerman said...

Speculation is that Tim Wood (who took the loss last night) will get sent down between games so Brad Lincoln can be called up to make the start.

Traveler8 said...

Mark, the lineup as shown above has Ramos listed as catching.

Also, once the attendance is announced can you please post it - you do this sometimes and it is useful information to add to a scorecard, thanks.

Mark Zuckerman said...

Sorry about that, made the fix to reflect Pudge is catching. And yes, I'll be sure to post the attendance, though they probably won't announce it til late in the second game.

JD said...

Back in the 70's the Expos had a catcher named Barry Foote; everyone loved him. Great guy tremendous attitude, hustled etc (hit .210); he was replaced by a brash, cocky not so popular player named Gary Carter. I think you know the rest.

I am sure Desi is a wonderful player, with a great attitude and desire to win and I wish he could be part of a championship Nationals team in the future but then there is that OPS of .260; hard to ignore that long term (.320 is league average).

JD said...

I meant OBP not OPS.

Anonymous said...

Desi can grow as a batter just as he did as a fielder. Remember
He has a bad leg. That is contributing to his inability to drive the ball.
What's a nafta u

MC 703 said...

Definitely loved the pic of Desi celebrating with Stairs. Quality guy there.

Will the game be televised in the Bullpen? I'm heading there now to get mentally prepared for the 7:05.

IBGD!

Anonymous said...

I sure as heck didn't see where Cedeno got a concussion last night. Anyone else see it?

sjm308 said...

Not sure we have the "good" Livan this afternoon, they have rocked most of his stuff so far. Hope he will settle down and we can somehow start to hit.
I love Charlie and Dave but would have liked to have seen a replay of the double play that was not a double play. Of course it can't be changed but it sounds like a tough luck call.

Go Nats!!

Tim said...

I heard on the radio's pregame that, according to Davey, HRod is probably not available. He's got strep. The pen is shorthanded today, but he DID say that Clip & Stor are available.

GYFNG!

Tim said...

Uh duh... Mark had the scoop on that already. Oops!

Let's go Juggernats!

Tim said...

Mark... I saw on MLB Gameday that Lannan was Game 1 and Livo was Game 2. Did they just mess that up? Was this the original plan?

Mark Zuckerman said...

Tim: Yeah, several places had the order incorrect, including the Nats' official game notes until midday yesterday. I used that when putting together my series preview yesterday morning, so I didn't realize the correct order until I got to the park today.

Anonymous said...

This is the new Regime under Davey J?

Last night's game
8th inning
Score is tied 1-1
Runners on 1st and 2nd
No outs
Werth due up -- hitting .220 + or -
Zimmerman due up next -- a double play maker
Storen ready to go
Does Davey bunt?
Nope
Results" Werth - K Zim - K both looking

Inning ends 1-1 runners still on first and second.

I was not only shocked we didnt attempt to advance the runner, but concerned that Davey isnt all there.

Tim said...

Nobody steals on us! We have to be the best in MLB.

JD said...

Anon @ 4:11.

What you are doing is second guessing after the fact. in the situation you described it has been statistically proven that you score more runs without sacrificing than with especially when your 2,3,4 hitters are due.

If it had worked you wouldn't be here congratulating DJ; you are not that kind of poster.

sjm308 said...

JD: it seems that most anons post here to criticize, not sure they really support the team. They get to crush whoever is in charge and rarely do you see an anon congratulating anyone. The person that's "not all there" is the person who will not put a name to his criticism. That person is basically a coward. Even though most of us do not actually reveal who we are, at least we have a handle so people can respond to us.

Back to baseball, have to believe Werth will not start the 2nd game of this double header, he is struggling big time. Looks like Livan is settling in.
Go Nats

Anonymous said...

JD lol How on earth do you know that kind of poster I am? I now know what kind of poster you are, though.

I'll have to the citation backing up your statistical statement.

Secondly, do your stats hold true even when your number 2 is hittingb 220 with 75K's, and your number three is hitting .235, and your number four is hitting 260 and falling? I don't think so.

Plus, my extreme friend, if the strategy had been put in play and worked, I would have been extolling Johnson virtues.

Dont be so knee-jerk judgemental -- it's not very polite.

Anonymous said...

SJM: Seems that you are another impolite poster. Seems to me that everyone here, Anons included, get responded to. Plus (chuckling) you said it yourself, a handle is still anonynmous and responding to an Anon is equally as easy as responding to SJM 308, whoever that coward is.

Post your name and email address and start calling people cowards and other names. ?? You're not a coward, are you?

JD said...

Anon @ 4:50.

Why don't you work out what would have happened if Werth sacrificed?

Let's see; Zim struck out and Nix Struck out. No runs. Still 1-1. Now; you can't treat Werth like a .220 hitter because he's never been that before this year and Zim is not a .235 hitter despite what the small sample says.

sjm308 said...

Stephen J. Mahaney
section 308 seats 1-5
come say hi loser

Jeeves said...

Re Desmond's offense. In the past I have written (more than once) that Desi's offensive stats as a rookie were at least comparable to any American League shortstop, with the exception on Chicago's Ramirez. And he was at least as good as one half of NL shortstops. There were never any comments on these posts. It's human nature, I guess, not to acknowledge a comment that does not fit the framework of one's own idea on the subject.
It's great to see, on the posts today, however, so many supporters of this dynamic, potentially terrific young player. That's to differentiate between one of the anons, who seems to have made it his personal quest to tear the shortstop apart ad nauseum. Of course, it would have to be an anon.

Exposremains said...

why did i know they were not gonna score?

Anonymous said...

How does Johnson justify Nix batting cleanup while Morse bats 5th? Nix is .230 W/RSP. Just now, three on, two out -- Nix, of course fans.

What gives?

JD said...

Jeeves,

I am not now nor have I ever posted as Anon. My criticism of Desmond is not personal but rather based on performance. Your definition of 'potentially terrific young player' is interesting. But at what point is potential expected to turn into consistent results?

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

OK, may it's just me, but the whole Anonymity--Threat or Menace? thing is getting tiresome. Can we give it a rest, just for a few days? It's not as if you're convincing anybody.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

*maybe

JD said...

Jeeves,

Here is a list of all shortstops in the majors in 2011 by descending WAR.

http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=ss&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=y&type=8&season=2011&month=0&season1=2011&ind=0

This includes defense and offense.

sjm308 said...

Lets be honest, Nix and Ankiel are really 4th outfielders at this point in their career. Best lineup would be a healthy LaRoche at 1b and Morse in LF but that isn't happening. Brown has not shown much at Syr. so I am guessing this is what we are stuck with. I do agree that I like Morse at #4 and actually think Werth would be more comfortable at #5. Has Zimm ever struggled like this in his career? I don't remember this difficult a stretch.

sjm308 said...

JD: since I am too lazy to head to another link, could you just let me/us know where Desmond ranks, I can only imagine its not too pretty. Thanks

jd said...

Well. He's ahead of Tejada, Betancourt and someone called Pennington. That's about it.

sjm308 said...

Ouch, but again, thanks for the info

sjm308 said...

Rick Ankiel!!!

Sec3MySofa said...

He's solidly middle of the pack, with positive numbers on both offense (12th in MLB) and defense (10th) if I'm reading this right ...

Ankiel!

Jim Webster said...

From Dave & Charlie's comments, it seems as if the Pirates brought their own umpires. At least they couldn't overrule Ankiel's homer.

Sec3MySofa said...

whoops, nevermind, I was reading baserunning.

Tim said...

Bummer Bernie.

baseballswami said...

That was a very short 2-2 tie. Oh, Bernie.....

Anonymous said...

JD / SJM308 et al

Thanks for posting that link .. I was surprised to see the company that Desi is keeping: 0.4 along with Hanley Ramirez, both right behind Jeter at 0.5

So, yeah, ideally you want your SS to be a strongly positive (e.g., high WAR) player or at least showing improvement, especially if you think that your team is going to contend

Mark in Arlington

MIcheleS said...

I hate Fox.. like I give a rat's patooty about the Mets/Yanks (at least the Yanks are beating the Mets). I want Bob and FP or at least a picture to go with Charlie and Dave!

What's with today's umps? Are they from Pittsburgh?

MIcheleS said...

Umm.. someone get Burnett out of there

Sec3MySofa said...

Ummm, Davey? Can you get Burnett out of there before somebody in the red seats gets hurt, please?

Anonymous said...

Great. Bernadina gets thrown out at 2nd for the third out -- bush

In comes Burnett, with his 5.53 era --


boom Homerun ------ ridiculous

This is the new Post Riggs era? I am not liking this at all.

gonatsgo said...

Kicked back on my deck with a beer, with Charlie and Dave on the radio. With no tv coverage, I thought I would miss it. Just forgot how much I like listening to them, though. Sounds like the game is getting out of control now - Bernie and Burnett -- Maybe a few more beers will kill the pain? Let's save the rest of the bullpen for tonight's game and go for the curly W.

Tim said...

As I read the comments, I'm thinking what an impatient group we are. Although the front office and coaching staff says we're playing the games to win, we have to remember that with a young team, we have to develop players at the same time AT THE MAJOR LEAGUE LEVEL. There's nothing like MLB games to teach young players. AAA/AA games won't do it.

We also need to remember that 2011 is NOT our year. Our playoff run begins next year. Do I want to see us win? Of course. But I'm willing to put up with the learning curve. After all, when Harper, Rendon, et al get up here, they'll make mistakes and swing at bad pitches, too.

Forget what I just said... Get rid of Burnett! LOL!

Anonymous said...

Burnett sucks big time!

Anonymous said...

WAR is way to subjective to even be considered in an adult conversation.

Anonymous said...

Two homeruns, before two outs are recorded?

We have Peacock and Detwiler in the bushes, yet we keep this human sieve?

Ah, why am I worrying. This team at 40-38 was as good as it ever was going to be.

Anonymous said...

Nothing worse than struggling against your former mates. Did I hear that Reyes is injured and the Mets are losing? Michele - I agree , I hate Fox, but at least they are not covering our game this week. They are truly terrible. I also despise anything NY-related. And - I am trying to channel my hostile emotions onto something other than my beloved nats, who are making me crazy.

MicheleS said...

Yup.. Reyes pulled a Hammy in the first inning... the injury bug bites him again...

MicheleS said...

Tim
Totally agree this is not our year and devloping at the MLB level is not a good idea. I would be satisfied with some well played games and that we are competitive - which is what we are getting for the most part

MicheleS said...

Does anyone know if Nats Xtra will come on at 6:30 even if the game is not over?

Anonymous said...

Tim, Baseball fans in DC are not impatient. They are just frustrated, and rightly so, by years and years of lousy teams. This includes both the Nats and Senators.

HHover said...

The good news is that Burnie is unlikely to appear in the 2d game.

I don't know what's going on with him, and I hope he gets it sorted out, but he needs to do so somewhere other than in high pressure (tied/close) games. He has no options left, I think, so maybe we can hope for some blow-outs--preferably by rather than against the Nats.

As for what's not worthy of being considered in adult conversations - I'd say the opinions of neganons, for starters.

Tim said...

I'll betcha Burnett is not healthy and he's just not sayin anything.

sjm308 said...

What do you consider the important stats in evaluating a player? I realize from reading here that batting ave. is for old guys like me and not as good an evaluation as some of the others. Not that my opinion matters but I like Desmond and although I realize we have options in the minors with MI butI see no reason right now to make moves.

When is the last time Pudge has homered? Here he comes with 2 men on.

masnstinks said...

I understand the overall situation of the Nats right now and appreciate the improvements. That being said - once you get a taste of winning, it's very addicting. In the heat of the game, it's just frustrating as all get out to see these flashes of greatness, followed by epic mistakes. No tv coverage - how is the crowd today? I can hear them on the radio. Sounds like Danny almost created some fireworks again. He is a real treasure to this team. Another inning fizzles out. Keep after it guys!

Anonymous said...

To Tim: I agree 1000% with everyone point you made. Personally, though, I just don't want to see us going backwards. So far, I don't see us moving forward.

Anonymous said...

MicheleS - yesterday, it was reported that nats extra would begin at 6:30 for either the rest of the current game or the pre-game of the next. I think Fox's window expires then.

HHover said...

sjm308

Silly neganons aside--yes, WAR is probably the best way to do it.

The fact is that Desmond has made great strides with his defense this year. There's no way they punish him for that by sending him down to the minors, esp. not when there is reason to expect his offense to come back around to at least acceptable levels.

Tim said...

6:11 Anon... 41-41 is a step backwards? I think not. Patience, Grasshopper.

MIcheleS said...

Anon 6:11..

Umm do you consider being at .500 in July an improvement? The fact that we are even playing meaningful baseball and this team hasn't rolled over an croked is a HUGE improvement over the last several seasons.

Plus I consider this only YEAR 2 of the Nats.. Anything related to Jim Bowden doesn't count since he was a HORRIBLE GM!

sjm308 said...

Responding to an anon: (how unique)
I am not frustrated. I have lost TWO teams and neither played that well but what I really lost was baseball, and now, I have that back. That is the key to me, I can go to a rather nice stadium, watch big league play (the ground ball to the infield where the runner is out by a step still intrigues me- its amazing that 90 feet makes that play close, all the time.) Would I like a winner, sure, but I have baseball, and I share that with my 30 year old son and we have a good time and we get absolutely giddy when we are on a winning streak. He will call after just about every game unless we have gone to the game, Its a great thing and I do get upset with the negativity but realize others are tired of me ranting. So Go Nats!!

MIcheleS said...

Regarding Desi.. I know that we would like him to hit like last year, but I think the fact that his Defense has improved SIGNIFICANLTY this year, he hasn't cost us nearly as many runs!

MicheleS said...

Tim.. great minds think alike...

baseballswami said...

I find that it's not so much losing that is discouraging, it's bad baseball. For the most part, the team is playing pretty good baseball. Riggs used to stress that a lot - the effort, the good play. It really is important to remember that if you keep playing hard and improving, the wins will come. In any game, when you focus only on the win/loss column , it's easy to get frustrated. That being said - the hitting needs to improve and no one seems to have any answers for that. To complicate matters, we have to face the 4 best pitchers in baseball ( Lee, Halladay, Jurrgens, Hanson) , statistically -- a lot. I have been hearing that offensive stats are down across the major leagues this year and pitching is up. Sure seems like the pitching is tough this year - combine that with weak hitting, and you get lots of goose eggs.

MicheleS said...

I think Werth needs to sit in the 2nd game

sjm308 said...

Wow, we only have 6 relievers and DJ has had to use 3 just to get us to the 9th. I guess the good news is we still have Ballestar, Clippard and Storen fresh for tonights game. I realize we have 3 more outs and that is another great thing about this game but it does not look good.

Go Nats!

gonatsgo said...

Being .500 at about the half season is certainly nice and unexpected. It shows great improvement in the team that is being built. One of the things that will happen, though, is that the fans will start expecting to win instead of just accepting that we lose all the time. That's not a bad thing - we really don't want a fan base that has given up on winning. Wow - Burnett and Coffey both struggling today. We win the second game tonight, guys. GYFNG - expect it!

Tim said...

We DO face a lot of tough pitchers, Swami, being in the NL East. We play tough pitchers pretty well. We've beaten a few of the aces this year. I just hope we can beat Lincoln tonight.

Steve J, Alexandria said...

Desmond looks lost at the plate -- for that matter so does Werth. Desmond was exciting last year when juxtaposed against the then personnel of that team. But his poor plate appearances are glaringly bad this year especially compared with the improved team he has around him now. Desmond's hitting doesnt look curable -- frankly, he looks like he hasnt got a clue. I agree with some posters: time to look for an upgrade next season.

sjm308 said...

MicheleS, I agree, its not pretty right now. You could go with Bixler, or have Ankiel play center and Bernie move to right. We miss Hairston in this spot. (hard to believe I am typing that). I also think that Zimm needs a day but I am guessing both he and Werth on the bench at the same time will not be happening.

Steve J, Alexandria said...

Have to agree with MichellS -- Werth is going so bad that it's hard to believe. 75 k's at the half? thats alarming. He needs more than sitting down -- he needs a fresh approach -- uh Eckstein can you help? Or is Werth too unapproachable?

MicheleS said...

6:31 and no Nats Extra.. poop

Steve J, Alexandria said...

The one thing the Nats STOPPED doing during the hot streak was take less pitches -- which taking called strikes was pandemic since April. But Werth and Desmond are still taking too many good pitches. I dont get it. Desmond just now, takes two good ones, and swings at a low and away pitch (the one he should have taken). {throwing up my arms in frustration}

MicheleS said...

Get those Rally CAPS ON!!!

MicheleS said...

That sucked..

Anonymous said...

RAISE THE JOLLY ROGER!!!!!!

MicheleS said...

Nats Xtra now on...

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