Monday, July 18, 2011

Game 96: Nats at Astros

US Presswire file photo
Minute Maid Park hosts the Nationals for the next three days.
After an eventful weekend in Atlanta that featured both positives and negatives, the Nationals continue their road trip in Houston, where the Astros boast the majors' worst record and have lost 16 of 19. Quite simply, this is the kind of series the Nats have to win if they've truly made that all-important leap into the fringes of contention.

Davey Johnson fields his regular lineup, with Wilson Ramos back behind the plate after getting yesterday off and Laynce Nix in left field. He's also got an important bench piece back, with Jerry Hairston activated off the DL after missing three weeks with a fractured wrist.

The Astros send rookie Jordan Lyles (a promising right-hander) to the mound for his ninth career start. Lyles, a first-round pick in 2008, is still in search of his first big-league win.

I'm not on the rest of this road trip, but please keep the conversation going as always here...

NATIONALS at ASTROS
Where: Minute Maid Park
Gametime: 8:05 p.m.
TV: MASN2
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 185
Weather: Partly cloudy, 89 degrees, Wind 9 mph out to LF
STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (47-48)
CF Roger Bernadina
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Michael Morse
RF Jayson Werth
LF Laynce Nix
C Wilson Ramos
SS Ian Desmond
P Jason Marquis

ASTROS (31-64)
CF Michael Bourn
SS Angel Sanchez
2B Jeff Keppinger
RF Hunter Pence
1B Carlos Lee
LF Jason Michaels
3B Chris Johnson
C Carlos Corporan
P Jordan Lyles

240 comments:

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Grandstander said...

Do you think if enough people emailed MASN this week they'd air the Vin Scully feed from the Dodgers games this weekend?

Houston always gives me the heebie jeebies after the Berkman check swing incident. Hopefully our pitching can regain it's form a bit against their pitiful lineup. That short left field seems ripe for some Zim/Morse/Ramos dingers.

Manassas Nats Fan said...

Mark always wondered can't you watch on TV like we do and put your commentary in? I know it is not from inside the stadium, but we would enjoy it.

I noticed in all three match ups our starter has the better ERA.

Anonymous said...

As we have now fallen to 9 games back in the WC, unless they sweep the Stros and get lucky with some losses for the clubs above the Nats in the rankings (lot of moving pieces there), the talk should be about whom they move and whom they keep. They have all kinds of intesting pieces in which other clubs likely have interest. It is time for Rizzo to earn his keep. This is the time of year when a GM has a chance to make a move that can reshape a club's future. Be bold Mr. Rizzo!!

All things being equal said...

In 2010 (his rookie year) Ian Desmond hit .269. At the moment he has dropped to .226.

Werth's career average is.265. He is currently hitting .213.

Should Ian get a 7 year $126 million contract too?

(Stats from Baseball-Reference.com)

Farid Rushdi said...

Michael Bourn would be a great long-term center fielder for the Nationals. Since 2009, he's average .279 with a .350 on-base percentage and 60 steals. He's also won two straight Gold Gloves.

The Astros need young players and Bourn, now 28, won't be around when the Astros again become competitive.

And there is no question he's on the trade block.

What would he cost? That's an interesting question. The Nationals seem willing to part with one of Drew Storen/Tyler Clippard but back-of-the-bullpen pitchers are the last thing a 100-loss team needs.

It would probably take one of our young minor league starters, say Tom Milone or Brad Peacock, Derek Norris (who is now totally dispensable), a low-level prospect and either Tyler Moore or Bill Rhinehart. But they would also need a replacement in center, say Roger Bernadina.

Bernadina, Milone and Derek Norris (plus one low-level prospect) for Bourn.

I'd go for that kind of trade. Would you?

swang said...

I would, but there's no way that houston would. If they made that trade, they'd have to arrest Rizzo for grand theft.

Waddu eye no said...

Keep clip&store!!!!
Btw grandstander- planning to sync scully w dvr & MLB phone app. I'll miss charlie and Dave but not many chances for scully.
gyfng

NatsLady said...

You can listen to Scully on MLB audio. (Personally, I can't listen to him, but you are welcome to).

Anonymous said...

We can't get rid of storen or clippard. If we are building we need those guys. I was thinking Jason Werth and Sean Burnette for say A BAG OF BALLS!!!!!

JD said...

Farid,

I wouldn't go near that trade. Firstly; Norris is having an off year but is still considered a prospect and at a prime position (not dispensable), Milone may very well turn out to be your no. 4 starter for years and Bernadina while not spectacular is not that far away from Bourn to merit that sort of trade.

Not to mention the salary you would be adding.
I would do: Meyers, Uery Perez and Destin Hood for Bourn.

Not Werth It said...

I would love it if we got Bourn. Love it. Wouldn't mind paying with any prospects not named Harper or Peacock. I also wonder how much we could get for Desmond, who has turned it around at the plate recently. I like Desmond but wouldn't mind shipping him if it means we'd get a Ramos type or a couple big prospects, and still have Steve L in AAA.

Go get Bourn Rizzo!

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Not enough organizational depth at middle infield to trade Desmond unless they get another ss back. People get hurt. Guys get hurt; guys crap out; guys who hit .280 last year might hit .220 this year (and .280 again next year--just sayin, it happens). I like Jerry Hairston, but you don't want him at the top of your depth chart in your infield all year.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Anybody know any good Astros blogs? We could ask them if they like that trade.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Speaking of "just sayin": Cubs will be dumping salary.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

I bet you could get Soriano for Josh Smoker if the Nats take the salary.

and then there's Byrd.

Gonat said...

JD said...
Farid,

I wouldn't go near that trade. Firstly; Norris is having an off year but is still considered a prospect and at a prime position (not dispensable), Milone may very well turn out to be your no. 4 starter for years and Bernadina while not spectacular is not that far away from Bourn to merit that sort of trade.

Not to mention the salary you would be adding.
I would do: Meyers, Uery Perez and Destin Hood for Bourn.

July 18, 2011 6:03 PM
___________________________

I agree with JD. Bourn is a 1 year rental. He is a Free Agent after 2012 so unless you get him extended beforehand, forget giving up much.

Also his .277 batting average with a .344 OBP away from Houston shows what it is like not hitting in a very hitter friendly park like Minute Maid and has to be part of the methodology in analyzing whether he makes a lot of sense.

Bernadina is not far from Bourn's numbers on the batting average when you compare Bernie to Bourn's road numbers.

The bigger issue this team has is fixing Werth, Stairs and Burnett. Take care of that before trying to go in the wrong direction.

Drew8 said...

Once more, with feeling:

Pitcher A has a 4.51 career ERA, 99 wins and a career whip of 1.49.

Pitcher B has a 4.53 career ERA, 103 wins and a career whip of 1.43.

Pitcher A is Miguel Batista. Pitcher B is Jason Marquis.

Don't be blinded by run support. This is who Marquis is. He is literally worse than mediocre. Do you honestly think Tom Milone couldn't do better than that?

Deal Marquis for whatever you can get. Send the acquired scrub to Randy Tomlin and let him do his thing.

Sec 3 -- we do have enough depth to deal Desmond.

Rendon is most valuable as an infielder. He'll wind up at 2b and Espy will be the shortstop.

Anonymous said...

Fixing Matt Stairs is not a big issue for this club, the guy is headed out to pasture.

I think that they should not make a move for Bourn unless they can steal him, as the guy is kncoking on 30 (mid-season next year) and is not under control beyond next year. They can land a guy in FA that has good CF skills for 2012 -- DeJesus, Patterson, Sizemore, Crisp -- or try to work a deal for either a younger and/or higher up-side guy. Sending away a great arm under control for years to come in return for a year of Michael Bourn at something like $6M seems like a waste to me.

dfh21

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

If I were GM somewhere else, I think I might offer some organization guy for Burnett now, on the off chance they take it. Whatever is wrong with him has to be mechanical--his command is off, or his concentration, but it's something that would be worth a shot if the pitching coach thinks he can do something (and if I knew exactly what it was and how to fix it, I wouldn't be doing what I do now for a living).
But it's too soon to give up on this kid. I don't want him in a game with the lead right now, but I'm not convinced he's done.

Stairs, alas, is well done. Nice career, man, but it's done. Don't do a Lefty. (That was sadder than watching Clemens testify.)

Werth, OTOH ... all last winter we heard from stats guys saying Livo would regress to career norms. As Cool Hand Luke once said, "Where are you NOW?"

Farid Rushdi said...

I too think the middle-infield depth is good enough to trade Desmond. Espinosa could be a near Gold Glove shortstop with a .250-25-90, 25 steal offense. Stephen Lombardozzi has, in four minor league seasons, averaged .301/.372/.439 with 20 steals. His defense is phenomenal. In 89 games this year, he has made just two errors.

Wilson Ramos, Lombardozzi, Espinosa and Bourn make a solid up-the-middle defensive team with potentially explosive offense (I think Ramos will be a .275-22-75 hitter very soon).

Yes, I know Bourn can walk in two years, but he's the type of guy worth a big contract. And I think a lot of these guys would love to play with Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper and (I pray every day) Matt Purke.

I live in Idaho and saw Purke pitch against BYU. The guy is lights-out when he's healthy.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Rendon is a college kid who was hurt, and isn't even signed yet. Doesn't count.

Genuine prospects for being an MLB-average shortstop--who have they got?

Anonymous said...

Livo has looked awful his last 2 times out and his ERA is about a half run higher right now than where he ended last year, I would not go crowing about him beating predictions until we see where the chips for the season fall.

Gonat said...

I will be impressed if Rizzo can get the Astros to take Henry Rodriguez and Corey Brown for Michael Bourn.

For all those who loved the Josh Willingham trade should think this would work.

I am mostly being facetious because no way Ed Wade takes that deal.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

I mean after one of them slips in the bathtub and is out for the season, and the other one turns out not to be good enough.

Farid Rushdi said...

Regarding Worth, I was worried that he would hit .270-20-80 and the baseball world would mock the Nationals for paying him that crazy contract.

I'd give almost anything to see him finish around those numbers now.

I do think, though, that he'll have a hot second half and end up around .255-23-70 give or take. And his defense returns, that's good enough. If he can average .280-20-80 for the next three years, then I can live with whatever he produces in his late 30's.

But what I'm really curious about is what the team will do at first next year. If LaRoche is healthy, his career numbers promise a .260-22-80 or so year with excellent defense. Put Morse back in left for a year and that's a pretty good tandem.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Farid, I think/hope Werth is having Cristian Guzman's 2005 season, and will eventually settle down, but his 2011 is already toast. In cooking, there are a lot of mistakes a clever cook can fix, but once something is burnt, there's no saving it. Give it a fancy French name and call it Blackened Cajun Whatever and hope the punters go for it, but it is what it is.

Farid Rushdi said...

Regarding Josh Willingham's trade, he's hitting .244-12-46 for Oakland (vs. Laynce Nix @ .274-12-33).

Corey Brown wasn't the player I thought he was, but in essence they god Nix and H-Rod for Josh, who will be a free agent after this season.

Drew8 said...

Rendon doesn't count.

Really?

Jim Callis of Baseball America said this on July 11:

"Rendon, whom I believe is the best player in the draft, is a comparable hitter to Lawrie and a better defender at third base (though he'll probably have to move because the Nationals already have Ryan Zimmerman)."

Hmmmm. Let's see. Where might Rendon move?

Sec 3, My Sofa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Let's try that again:

As I said, a college kid who isn't signed yet, coming off an injury that caused five other teams who could really use him to pass.

There's a reason they call it "fishing," and there's a reason they're called "prospects."

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

So if I'm GM and trading Desmond, I get a SS back.

Nats Outsider said...

The Nats have another $2 ticket night coming up next week.

Those of you who, like me, are cheap, err, financially prudent, may want to get in on the deal before the $2 seats are sold out. More info and ordering available here:
http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/was/ticketing/specials.jsp

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Baseball is a game predicated on failure. It is wise to keep your powder dry, and have a Plan B, C, and D. That's all I'm saying.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Outsider, thanks. Maybe it'll get rained out and I'll get another shot at a doubleheader!!

Tim said...

Sec 3...re Guzman-Werth comparison... That means he just needs Lasik surgery. Hmmmm.... That's a real possibility. I wonder.

-----

I've been preaching a deal for Bourn since Riggs was here.

Also, a thought came to me weeks ago... Bourn + Riggleman = Bourn Ultimatum.

Gonat said...

hope the punters go for it, but it is what it is.

July 18, 2011 6:50 PM
Farid Rushdi said...
Regarding Josh Willingham's trade, he's hitting .244-12-46 for Oakland (vs. Laynce Nix @ .274-12-33).

Corey Brown wasn't the player I thought he was, but in essence they god Nix and H-Rod for Josh, who will be a free agent after this season.

July 18, 2011 6:51 PM
_________________________

Sorry, Farid, the trade was Corey Brown and HenRod for Willingham not Nix and HenRod for Willingham. Can't inter-change pieces like that.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Tim, I wondered that myself a while back. Of course, I've wondered that about everybody ever since then.

What if they decided they didn't want Bourn because he wasn't hard-nosed enough, too easy-going?
headline would be
Rizzo: Bourn 'too loose'

I'll be here all week. Try the veal! Please!

Farid Rushdi said...

Gonat --

Oh no no, in no way did I mean to suggest that the trade could be seen in a better light because we got Nix for nothing.

Turns out it was a terrible trade. All I meant was that because we lucked out with Nix, we didn't lose any offense because of it.

Corey Brown probably won't be around after this year.

Sunderland said...

"fringes of contention" - love it, gonna have Dad's hippie folk band borrow that moniker.

Gonat said...

Farid, oh ok. I believed Josh didn't fit in due to the fact you couldn't count on him for 150 games a year.

Josh was great April to June 15th last year and his numbers this year are good considering he missed over 20 games so far. On 162 games he projects at over 100 RBIs.

Nix was a pleasant surprise and hope we get some more of what he did in May 2011.

Wally said...

I am not sure why people keep panning the Willingham trade. Allstar Tyler Clippard - .6 WAR, HRod - .5 WAR (in less innings). Granted, he is still learning to command his stuff, and I would go with Clip right now in a tight situation, but they are not as far apart as it might seem. Plus, he has absolutely sick stuff, and 5 years of control left.

As for CF, they really ought to go after Denard Span. Top 3 defensive CF and under control through 2015, I think. Bourjos is a little better defensively, but not as good a hitter. And I checked, the Twins have something like 1,200 OF prospects so he should be available if the right offer is made. They need a SS, and would probably be attracted to a package built around Desi. I like Desi, but CF is a black hole organizationally and you have to make that swap if you can
get it.

I don't see how you get a SS back, though. I mean, its kind of the point behind Desi having value, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

How about Clippard and Coffey to the Cards for Rasmus and some minor leaguer to be named later. Cards can make a run with a real bull pen (and Clippard is under control for some time going forward) and the Nats get a youg upside CF under team control for a few years.

dfh21

dale said...

Here is what I hope to hear Debbie Taylor ask DJ tonight:

"Do you even get slightly frustrated watching Jason Werth come to bat every time we seem to have a late inning rally working?"

sunderland said...

dale, nice, thanks.
Not sure why, but Debbie Taylor and Johnny H did an exceptional job of grating on me tonight.

Unkyd said...

We're only deep at MI, because Desi's at SS. Trade him, and we have nobody to pair with Espy. Nobody. 3 prospects-two of whom look very good on the high minors, but no guarantee either of them will be as good as Desi is right now. Rendon has all the talent in the world, but we don't KNOW that he'll ever take a ML AB. Desi is a Big League SS... Right now. Plus glove, plus arm, plis range, plus on the basepaths, offense coming around... You could only trade him for somebody proven, who you feel will start here for 10 years. Because that's who he is...

BinM said...

Sec 3 (and whoever else that cares): Regarding the minor-league depth in the MI positions, consider this (numbers as of 07/17/11, via baseball-reference.com)...
2B- (top 5)
Espinosa, D (WSH, 24yo); 95GP, 392PA, .248/.336/.472 slash, .984FPct, 12SB.
Lombardozzi, S (SYR-HAR, 22yo); 90GP, 409PA, .324/.368/.460 slash, 1.000FPct, 21SB.
Antonelli, M (SYR-HAR, 26yo); 54GP, 228PA, .310/.388/.447 slash, .964FPct, 3SB.
Johnson, J (HAR, 25yo); 83GP, 355PA, .275/.384/.430 slash, .971FPct, 13SB.
Kobernus, J (POT, 23yo); 87GP, 358PA, .279/.313/.374 slash, .973FPct, 36SB.

SS - (top 5)
Desmond, I (WSH, 25yo); 88GP, 361PA, .226/.269/.311 slash, .969FPct, 20SB.
Bynum, S (SYR-AUB, 30yo); 47GP, 183PA, .265/.328/.434 slash, .958FPct, 7SB.
McConnell, C (SYR-HAR, 25yo); 81GP, 272PA, .185/.253/.263 slash, .968FPct, 5SB.
Soriano, F (GCL-POT, 24yo); 47GP, 172PA, .225/.351/.399 slash, .931FPct, 5SB.
Hague, R (POT, 22yo); 4GP - Injured shoulder on slide into 2B, April, 2011 - out for 2011.

Anonymous said...

I'd go for that kind of trade. Would you?

No Farid I wouldn't. It would cost too much in prospects for a 28 year old. Not after drafting a guy in the 1st round in Brian Goodwin. Add to that Bernadina's performance (he's younger). He is another slap hitter speed guy. NO JUST SAY NO. They've tried Morgan, even Jorge Padilla. And now Bernadina. NO.

I strongly believe BJ Upton with his higher ceiling (he hits for power) and local connections and roots at the same age is a far better bargain for a right handed hitter. Is he the leadoff hitter? Perhaps not but I think I would prefer him in center at a much reduced price in future prospects.

The price the Astros would ask would be one that I would only be willing to pay for Peter Bourjous who is a lot younger, better, has more speed and projects better ceiling wise.

Say NO to Michael Bourn. Don't PAY Bourjous prices for what could be another Morgan. He's NOT worth it.

Anonymous said...

@BinM,

You forgot to throw Brian Bixler into your list as its likely he will be starting at shortstop for the Chiefs.

Anonymous said...

Werth, OTOH ... all last winter we heard from stats guys saying Livo would regress to career norms. As Cool Hand Luke once said, "Where are you NOW?"

Uhhh sec3 Livo IS DEFINITELY regressing dude? So, yes they were right. I expect it will continue. Right now he has a worse stat line than all of the other starters. He's a sixth starter/long man/mop-up guy at best. Not an ace #1 starter which is where Johnson placed him out of the break. He is not anywhere near that ...

Last year was heroic. It truly was. But Livo is done.

Anonymous said...

Desmond may be playing himself into oblivion. The kid has looked much better of late, so maybe he's getting it together. But at this point, he is a long shot to be a quality every day SS in the bigs. Iffy glove, lousy bat, not very young.

The Nats will have a shot at a bunch of mid-30's guys on one year deals in 2012, guys who can make the plays and hit around .250 if nothing else -- or they could throw a bunch of money at Jose Reyes or at Jimmy Rollins to keep that over-pay for FA Phillies thing going, if they want to.

There is no need to keep middle infield dpeth at this point. So, if they can move Demsond for something else they need, then they should be considering it.

dfh21

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

8:05, you missed the point, clean whiff.

WERTH. Werth should be regressing (that is, returning, in the statistical sense) back to his career norms, but I don't hear a lot of that around here.

We now return to the game. Thanks.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

And Livo has had a couple of bad games in a row. We'll see.

Anonymous said...

We're only deep at MI, because Desi's at SS. Trade him, and we have nobody to pair with Espy. Nobody.

Yes two maybes and a potential All Star in the bush as it were.

However, what do you say if you were offered Jimmy Shields and BJ Upton and a part of the deal was Desmond? I think you have to take that deal.

BinM said...

anon 8:02: Bixler has picked up so much bench time since his promotion that his 2011 numbers are worth about as much as Hague's numbers w/POT. Maybe he'll replace Bynum or Hulett on the SYR roster, but he doesn't project strength at a MI position, imo.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

dfh, with all due respect, Desmond is a quality MLB ss now. The errors are clearly behind him, he still has plus range, and a good arm. If this turns out to be just an off year at the plate, he'll be good for a long time. I think you're selling him short.

Anonymous said...

Enough trade talk - we're underway with 1-2-3 innings for both pitchers in the first. Marquis' sinker looks good with 3 grounders - Morse made a good pick on Desmond's and the Z-Man made two good throws from 3rd. In other news, Werth struck out on 3 pitches.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

pretty fat pitches, too...

Oooh, was that one out loud?

SCNatsFan said...

God Werth just looks lost at the plate. Good thing is when we start to get any production out of RF and 3B we might be able to win a few with the bats instead of the arms.

JaneB said...

Marquis is looking like the good Jason tonight. W could use the win and maybe his increased value. But no trading Clip!

Navy Nats Fan said...

Mark Z - are you watching the game or do we have to provide updates by ourselves?

Navy Nats Fan said...

Marquis strikes out the side in the second (with a walk to Lee in between).

Navy Nats Fan said...

And once again, the Nationals are taking the opponent's weakest pitcher (Jordan Lyles, looking for his first career win) and turning him into Cy Young. 9 in a row. Time to roll out the jinx - he has a PERFECT GAME through 3 innings - did you hear me baseball gods?

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Navy Nats Fan, I think it's your turn for play-by-play. We'll do the color.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

but you HAVE to work on your jinx timing!
I mean, DUDE.

Navy Nats Fan said...

Too early? Do the baseball gods even care before the game is official?

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

wrong team. you're supposed to do it while the other guy is pitching.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

NOW.

Navy Nats Fan said...

When I typed it he was pitching. By the time I could read the stupid captcha it was the next inning.

Meatball by Marquis in the 3rd to Corporan (the #8 hitter, now batting .192) for a single and the Astros' first hit. Lyles bunts him over to second. Marquis strikes out Bourn and Sanchez to get out of the inning.

Navy Nats Fan said...

PERFECT GAME PERFECT GAME PERFECT GAME.

Anonymous said...

Sec3 -- I may be selling Desmond short but he is making it easy for me to think that he's not gonna make it, and there are guys out there who can play that the club can grab for 2012 and beyond.

Desmond has never fielded his position well at any level. His range and arm are overrated as he does not make the plays he should make when the ball is hit right to him (how he can have great range and a lousy fileding percentage is a problem). Ichiro would likely have some great range there too, but there are reasons he does not play SS. Desmond had moments of greatness in 2009, followed by a nice, yet not spectacular, year at the plate 2010. Over his career at all levels he runs out there at less than a .700 OPS -- he has never dominated -- and he's gonna be 26 this fall. All those K's with no power. And in my eyes at least, when the game is on the line, he looks lost in the field and he swings 3-0 late in the game when the club needs a base runner and such. He is a very nice athlete, but the jury is still out in my mind as to whether the guy can play every day in the bigs. He does not hit enough to justify the iffy glove and he's had a lot of opportunity to get it all together at this point and he has never really been able to do it all at once, ever. So, maybe I'd be wrong to let the guy go, but if Desmond was getting it done, then I would not be thinking that the club should consider selling the guy.

dfh21

Navy Nats Fan said...

NO HITTER NO HITTER NO HITTER (Bernadina just walked).

gonatsgo said...

I have had a bad feeling about this game all day - EVERY one has been yapping about how bad the Astros are and how this guy has never won a game - yadda, yadda, yadda, - the baseball gods just hate it when you do that! Somebody, please hit the ball!!!!

Sec 3, My Sofa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Perhaps someone should show up on an Astros blog - incognito, of course, and type what navy nats fans just did.

Navy Nats Fan said...

Wow. Angel Sanchez just robbed Espinosa of a base hit up the middle and turned it into a double play.

Navy Nats Fan said...

Minimum through 4. But don't worry, Werth is up next inning. He's sure to end it if Morse hasn't already.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Seriously, why would a team have sooo much trouble with rookies, and then light up Roy Halladay (not every time, but you know what I mean). Is it because they have lots of video of established pitchers, but not the rookies, so they don't have a good plan for the at-bats? Over-reliance on the science? Thinking too much? It pre-dates Eckstein.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Jason is racin'.

Navy Nats Fan said...

Good thing Marquis is on tonight. 1-2-3 fourth with another strikeout (his 6th of the night).

Navy Nats Fan said...

Morse settles that! HUMONGOUS blast to left and the no hitter is gone along with the shutout.

LoveDaNats said...

Beeeaast!!!!

Eugene in Oregon said...

So much for the no-hitter...

dryw said...

Oh Michael, I love you!

Just as I was getting ready to type something all doom-and-gloom about not being able to hit Astros' pitching, too....

GYFNG

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

MORSE...HACKING THAT GORSE!!!!!

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Wow, he was actually ahead of that, and he hesitated in his swing, and THEN hit it halfway to El Paso.

BinM said...

anon 8:05: Livo is 2nd on the staff with 11 quality starts in 20 chances, and about in-line with his 2010 results. That's 2nd to JZimm (14/18) this year, and ahead of everybody else on staff to date. If you look at IP/GS/QS for all starters, the rank is 1-JZimm (6.39, 18GS/115IP, 14QS), 2-Livo (6.27, 20GS/125.3IP, 11QS), 3-Marquis (5.93, 18GS/106.7IP, 9QS), 4-Lannan (5.72, 20GS, 9QS), 5-Gorzellany (5.69, 14GS/79.7IP, 6QS), NR-Detwiler (5.33, 1GS/5.33IP, 0QS), NR-Maya (4.92, 4GS/19.67IP, 1QS).

If DJ is looking for a pitcher to move into a LR/6th starter role alongside Detwiler, either Maya or Stammen could fit the bill. It would just be a question of who moves off the 25-man roster to make room.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

FP mentioned it in the broadcast, but I just looked at it a couple of times. He starts his swing, and right at the top hesitates for just the tiniest bit, and then unloads. That's awesome.

Gonat said...

Morse killed that baseball. Nice to see that swing to get back on tract post-All Star break.

I loved FP "Beast Mode".

Navy Nats Fan said...

Marquis gives up a leadoff double to Michaels and then an RBI double to Corporan (after a lineout by Johnson). Have to wonder why he's throwing anything near the plate with first base open and the pitcher on deck. Game tied 1-1.

Navy Nats Fan said...

Marquis strikes out Lyles and gets an inning-ending groundout from Bourn. So Bourn fails to come through with two outs and a runner on second. Maybe you're right - he WOULD fit well on this team.

Anonymous8 said...

Navy Nats Fan, because he only had 1 out and needed to get the #8 hitter.

Eugene in Oregon said...

So can someone -- the new psychologist, maybe? -- explain to that Nats that being the "Guest" or the "Visitor" doesn't mean you have to be extra polite and immediately give back any runs you are given?

Navy Nats Fan said...

1-2-3 sixth for Lyles, two groundouts and a strikeout of Marquis. I may have to scale back on the play-by-play, family just came home from the swim meet.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

They look over-anxious to me--not waiting for their pitch, not waiting on off-speed stuff, not staying back to ID curve balls when this guy has mostly not been overpowering anybody.

They need Robert Fick in there giving somebody a hotfoot.

Navy Nats Fan said...

Anonymous8, I would still nibble around the outer edges, walk him if necessary, and throw sinkers to Lyles for the double play.

Davey Johnson calls me all the time and tells me how run the Navy (well, at least my part). Fair is fair.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

You have to go after the #8 guy there, just not with a batting practice fastball right down the middle.

Jim Webster said...

Sec 3, my sofa: We need to remember Robert Fick from time to time. Who can forget Frank Robinson replacing Matt LeCroy after I and perhaps others yelled,,"We want Fick."

Exposremains said...

and once again a guy that never wins for houston looks like Cy Young

Navy Nats Fan said...

Marquis gives up a single and a double to put the Astros up 2-1. Top of the seventh coming up, Espinosa-Zimmerman-Morse on their third time through the order. This is the inning to score runs!

Dave said...

Ah yes, Robert Fick. I will never forget accompanying a couple teacher-colleagues from Germany to RFK. When Fick was announced late in the game, much giggling and embarrassment ensued.

(Fick is a rude word auf Deutsch.)

Manassas Nats Fan said...

Does Marquis understand when you only have 1 run you have to give up - to win? He started fine and is fading fast.

Gonat said...

Exposremains said...
and once again a guy that never wins for houston looks like Cy Young

July 18, 2011 9:32 PM
__________________________

Time to pinch hit for Werth. How bad does he look?

gonatsgo said...

My recap so far -- nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing - followed by nothing. HOME RUN! double, double, double......nothing. Anyway - I blame Ray Knight for the over-the-top gushing about how bad the Astros are. Really Nats - one hit? I think the speed that the pitcher is working has really rattled our hitters for one thing. I hope Marquis still has some gas because apparently our bullpen is just devastated after playing just 3 games after the allstar break, none of which went to extra innings, by the way. 8 runs yesterday against an all star pitcher, not much of anything tonight against a rookie with no wins. Welcome to Natstown.

Navy Nats Fan said...

After a strikeout by Espinosa, opposite field homerun by Zimmerman on a laser to right. Game tied 2-2.

Dave said...

Thank you, Zimmy! Too bad Danny wasn't on base. All tied at 2.

gonatsgo said...

Thanks, Ryan!!! Now, even Carpenter is having trouble staying positive about Jayson Werth.

Navy Nats Fan said...

Morse singles up the middle. And Werth - looks at a first pitch fastball for a strike. Watches one low and outside for ball one. Tries to check his swing on a high fastball but fails for strike two. Fouls off an inside pitch. Lays off a high fastball for ball two. Reaches for what may have been ball three and flies out to right. Too close to take with two strikes. Didn't look as bad as he has, but still doesn't understand that the entire league knows they can groove a fastball on the first pitch and he'll watch it go by for strike one.

Dave said...

Well, once again, Werth gets a pretty good rap on the ball, all the way to the warning track. Just right into the outfielder's glove.

Navy Nats Fan said...

Nix grounds out to first. Time to stretch, tied at 2.

Gonat said...

Just like yesterday's game, you have a young pitcher who is in trouble. HR to Zim, hard hit single up the middle and 1 out and up comes the #5 hitter to the plate with Morse on 1st.

Werth just can't handle the situation. Werth gets in a 2 strike count and then put on a weak swing.

Can someone please tell me why Werth is BATTING #5? WHY?????

Dave said...

Navy Nat, every time I see an opposing pitcher throw Werth a ball on the first pitch, I shout at the TV in disgust. At the other pitcher. Hasn't the word got out about Werth yet?

Gonat said...

What a play by Desmond!

Dave said...

Plays like that make it hard for me to understand why so many folks are down on Desmond. Very few shortstops would've thrown out that runner.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Yeah, that Desmond is such a bum. No glove at all.

And Marquis is fading fast.

Not.

Gonat said...

Dave, I hear what you are saying. It seems Werth is always behind by 2 strikes.

Anonymous said...

Please don't send Marquis back out there...

baseballswami said...

Lots of discussions today about bullpen management. The game is tied. So - if we go into extra innings, Ankiel is pitching?

Anonymous said...

anon at 958 -- no one listened to you

Gonat said...

I know the bullpen is overworked but surprised Davey isn't going to the 'pen.

Anonymous said...

It's the 8th inning, not the 5th. This is why we pay those guys.

Navy Nats Fan said...

Three groundouts to short in the bottom of the 7th. Marquis working nicely against the bottom of the order this time. Onto the 8th.

Dave, even major league pitchers make "mistake" pitches every now and then. In this case, it's anything not right down the middle on the first pitch to Werth.

SO I actually did some digging and found an article that lays it out pretty well. If my quick scan got the info correctly, Werth is third from the bottom in the majors at swinging at first pitch fastballs (11.3%). If it's in the strike zone, he's next to last (17.9%). Ouside the zone, he's fourth from bottom (3.3%) - I guess that's good, at least.

But get this - the article is from 2009. January of 2009. Two full seasons before Rizzo signed him. You can read it here.

While I did that, the Nats went 1-2-3 in the 8th and Marquis gave up a leadoff single to Bourn, who was bunted over to second. You may now start asking to trade for him again.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

So if Bourn didn't realize the bunt was on because the coach gave the sign wrong, would he be ...
Bourn under a bad sign?

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

and the captcha was
dumstick

RickH said...

Eight innings from Marquis. We really needed that!

Navy Nats Fan said...

Marquis strikes out Keppinger and gets a first-pitch grounder to 3rd to retire Hunter Pence, stranding Bourn at second. On to the ninth.

Gonat said...

Roy Halladay pulled after 4 innings. 3 earned runs to the Cubs. Oh my....NICE LOL

Anonymous said...

Alright, I'll eat crow. At least they are letting the other teams see what he has. I'd feel even better about his trade stock if we weren't playing the Astros.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Rumors of Marquis's washed-up-ed-ness appear to have been somewhat premature.

Dave said...

Gotta say, Marquis did his part to keep Davey from burning up the bullpen tonight.

masnstinks said...

I have to admit that I am finding it odd to watch Ryan Zimmerman throw. It's not a bad thing at all - just looks funny to watch him throw over the top after so many years. Come on offense!!!

Navy Nats Fan said...

And here we go - Bernadina singles to right and Espinosa bunts him to second.

Anonymous8 said...

I am really surprised the Astros aren't walking Zim....

RickH said...

ZIMMERMAN!!!

NatsLady said...

They should have.

Anonymous8 said...

Told you!!!!!!!!! Should have walked him!!!!!!!

Dave said...

Zimmy RBI grounder to right! 3-2 Nats!

Navy Nats Fan said...

Zimmerman watches a fastball for strike one, swings over an inside sinker for strike two, fouls off another sinker, pops a high fastball straight back, watches one inside for ball one, and POKES ONE THROUGHT THE RIGHT SIDE for an RBI single! 3-2 Nats.

Great at-bat. Hope Jayson was watching!

Smatt1001 said...

Let's go Zim!!

Sarcastic Guy said...

Nice Zimm. Now they walk Morse here so that Werthless can get a GIDP right?

Navy Nats Fan said...

And Lyles is out of the game. Pretty good outing for the rookie, but he still is looking for his first major league win.

Gonat said...

Anon8 - I was thinking the same thing even when they got to 2 strikes on Zim.

With 1st base open and Werth-cant-hit in the #5, that is like walking the #8 to get to the pitcher. That is why the Astros are so bad.

gonatsgo said...

Mr. Clutch is back - did you see him steer that ball through the hole where the defense wasn't? 1 through 4 do their jobs, let's see if it dies at #5 again.

Gonat said...

Only 1st base isn't open now. Go Beast Morse!!!!

Anonymous said...

Did you all notice the loud whistling in that stadium? Highly annoying.

Dave said...

All right, then. Moment of truth for Werth. Do we stay at 3-2?

Navy Nats Fan said...

And we'll see about Werth. Morse gets jammed but pulls one into right for a single. Werth up with runners on 1st and second, one out.

Dave said...

Lookie there, Navy Nat! Lopez didn't get the memo about Werth!

Gonat said...

There is a true saying in baseball, hitting is contagious and then up comes Werth.....I don't think that relief pitcher knew you can groove it down the middle. Only way Werth gets on is via the walk.

Navy Nats Fan said...

Blogger ate my detailed description of Werth's at-bat. He walked. Bases loaded for Nix.

Anonymous8 said...

Laynce Nix has a lot of family and friends at this game. Time for Nix!!!!

Gonat said...

That pitcher Lopez blinked a few times. I think he is nervous!

NatsLady said...

Nixxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Navy Nats Fan said...

Zimmerman, Morse, and Nix all started 0-2. Zim and Morse singled. Nix fought back to 2-2 and with the infield in bounced a single to right over the first baseman's head. Nats 5-2!

Dave said...

Laynce Nix! Pops a 2-RBI bouncer out into RF!

GYFNG!

NatsLady said...

A fan is loose on the field.

Dave said...

How is the fan dressed?

Navy Nats Fan said...

New pitcher for the Astros. With a 3 run lead (at least) will DJ let Marquis go for the CG?

Anonymous8 said...

Lucky Nix! Drawn in infield. That helps that BA with RISP and also the BA with the bags full!!!!

Why wasn't Werth sliding? Geeez, are you kidding me?

NatsLady said...

Not for a wedding. Apparently blue shirt and he put his hands behind his back, and they came an cuffed him. (per Charlie and Dave).

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Why would he be sliding? He was standing on third when the ball got there.

Dave said...

No sense of theater. Meh.

Dave said...

Well, how about that.

Werth gets picked off third for a double play. That's anticlimactic, I must say.

Anonymous8 said...

Werth-less......what a complete buffoon. I don't believe what I just saw.

Smatt1001 said...

What the heck was that Werth!?!

Navy Nats Fan said...

No comment.

NatsLady said...

Well, Jayson tumbles! Would be funny if it weren't sad. There's your drama for ya.

gonatsgo said...

Jayson Werth can kill a rally even when he gets on base. What was he doing? What was he thinking?

Captain Obvious said...

Boooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Oh. My.


All together now:
WHERE WAS JAYSON WERTH GOING?? WHAT WAS HE THINKING?!?

sjm308 said...

Hate to post before its over but nice job by Marquis.
I have already stated my thoughts on Desmond but he is 25 so not old by any sense, he has improved his defense immensely and I do not see why it won't continue to improve, Espinosa is playing great at second so why would you move two positions that are doing well defensively? Good thing is that both Rizzo and Davey have praised him so I don't see them relying on Nats Insider for hints in building the franchise.

Well, we can now scratch good base running from the few things that Jason Werth was doing. Not sure what he was thinking there and the obvious point is, he wasn't thinking. Just have to hope they don't hit the ball to right field in the 9th.

Hopefully a good win but we still need 3 outs. Here comes Storen

JaneB said...

Oh my, Jayson found a new way to get two outs in one out bat. Poor guy. But sheesh, Drew better hold this.

Anonymous8 said...

Sec 3, My Sofa said...
Why would he be sliding? He was standing on third when the ball got there.

July 18, 2011 10:29 PM


Really, the play was behind him and he went in standing up and his momentum almost took him off the bag.

Dave said...

I don't like that kind of misplay in the outfield. That's the very thing that can kill a 3-run lead.

Whose ball was that? Ankiel's, right?

Werth's Veteran Leadership said...

Werth: I bring veteran leadership. You will learn from me about winning.

NatsLady said...

What is with our outfield??? How many times is there going to be miscommunication?

Navy Nats Fan said...

More drama. Bernadina and Ankiel almost collide on what would have been a tough but makeable catch for either. Leadoff batter on 2nd.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

He just finds new ways to humiliate himself. He was halfway down the line in case the ball dropped, and then the sniper got him. Tripped over his own shadow.

Anonymous said...

What happened? Ankiel and Bernadina misplayed another one in Atlanta on Saturday that easily should have been caught. Unexcusable for two centerfielders. Roger does speak english correct?

Navy Nats Fan said...

Storen strikes out Michaels for out one.

Unkyd said...

What th....,, can't we ever just win the game...like a regular team....?

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Ankiel's ball all the way, but it didn't look like either one called for it. Bernadina came a long way to get there.

Exposremains said...

Wow, Werth is trying so hard to do something because he's doing everything wrong. Its that feeling of when you've made a mistake, you're trying so hard not ot make another one and thats exactly what you do.

Navy Nats Fan said...

And strikes out Chris Johnson for out two.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Roger does speak english correct?
Yes, and I'm guessing Ankiel does, too. No idea how good his spelling is, though.

dryw said...

Wow, that was sorta sudden, somehow. NATS WIN!!!

Navy Nats Fan said...

And strikes out the side. Ballgame!

Dave said...

Drew shuts 'em down with strikeouts. Nats win 5-2, despite their desperate attempts at throwing it away. (Hello, outfielders?)

Unkyd said...

Drew Storen=.......MONEY!!!!!!!

NatsLady said...

Another 3-run laugher.

sjm308 said...

Also wanted to post my thoughts on CF. There was lots of excellent data supplied and lots of people made good sense on lots of different players.

I am now of the thought that we keep Bernadina for the remainder of this season. He is younger than Bourne, still has an upside and is still learning how to hit first and play CF. If someone makes us an offer for one of the young CF's out there and it does not rob us for the future then I think that will be ok but knowing Rizzo he will need an offer that knocks him out.

Nats Win!!

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

By the way, yes, it really was a swing. Good call.

Gonat said...

Kardiac Kids bring it again!!!! Just like a few have said in the last week, no matter what you think about Marquis, he's not an Ace but this team finds ways to win for him.

Dave said...

I nominate Marquis for player of the game. Going eight innings was a big deal after yesterday.

Navy Nats Fan said...

@Sec 3, My Sofa, I remember that call. Was anyone listening to Charlie and Dave tonight? What was their call of the Jayson Werth double play? For those of you who didn't hear the original, you can relive it in all its priceless glory right here.

NatsLady said...

I was listening to Charlie and Dave. They actually made it sound "normal," except they said Werth was fooled because he was trying to draw a throw to the plate and the throw came behind him to third.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

But my favorite center fielder story:

Mets outfielder Richie Ashburn learned how to say 'I got it' in Spanish - that's 'Yo lo tengo' - just so he would stop colliding with Venezuelan shortstop Elio Chacon. Well, one day there's a short pop-up, Ashburn screams, 'Yo lo tengo!' Sure enough, Chacon stops. Ashburn settles in - and collides with left fielder Frank Thomas.

Mark'd said...

Gonat, I am with you on Marquis. Can't 'splain how the team wins behind him and he gave the tired bullpen a VERY needed day off.

Eugene in Oregon said...

With the Mets loss to Florida, Nats now in 3rd place (by half a game) in the NL East.

P.S. for Sec 3, My Sofa -- great story.

Gonat said...

The Nats won which was great, and just to 2nd guess one thing, why didn't Davey bring in Detwiler for the 8th? It worked out for Marquis so don't get me wrong. That leadoff single on the 3 ball count to Bourn I thought was going to be the straw that broke the camel's back.

Detwiler and Storen were really the only 2 that weren't part of the walking wounded in the pen.

NatsLady said...

Sec 3, LMAO for about 5 minutes!!

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