Friday, July 22, 2011

Game 99: Nats at Dodgers

US Presswire file photo
The Nationals open a weekend series at Dodger Stadium.
If you're like me, currently sweating it out in D.C. and wondering what exactly the formula is for determining the heat index, you may not want to look closely below at tonight's forecast in Los Angeles. Suffice it to say, those of us not on this road trip are mighty jealous of those who are.

There is, however, a tangible effect those cool temps in La-La Land should have on tonight's series opener between the Nationals and Dodgers: The ball probably won't be carrying very well through the cool, dense air. Dodger Stadium is notoriously a tough hitter's park at night, only more so when the temperature is down.

Of course, neither the Nats nor the Dodgers boast especially potent lineups, so that could have more to do with the result tonight than anything. John Lannan and Hiroki Kuroda should be poised to put forth a couple of quality starts.

Like I said, I'm not covering this series in person, but I'll be staying up late to watch the game on TV and will probably share a few thoughts along the way. I'll try to answer some of your questions, too, if you want to ask them in the comments section. Just do me a favor and wait until the game starts to post them, because I'm not going to be in front of my computer until then...

NATIONALS at DODGERS
Where: Dodger Stadium
Gametime: 10:10 p.m.
TV: MASN2
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 189
Weather: Sunny, 68 degrees, Wind 7 mph out to RF
STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (48-50)
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 John Lannan

DODGERS (43-55)
LF Tony Gwynn Jr.
SS Rafael Furcal
RF Andre Ethier
CF Matt Kemp
1B Juan Rivera
3B Juan Uribe
C Rod Barajas
2B Jamey Carroll
P Hiroki Kuroda
10:11 p.m. -- Hiroki Kuroda starts Roger Bernadina off with a fastball for ball one, and they are underway. Looks like a beautiful Friday night in the City of Angels.

10:23 p.m. -- Interesting top of the first there. The Nats' first four batters all smoked the ball, though Bernadina and Danny Espinosa were victimized by the cool air and deep fences at Dodger Stadium (just like a certain beat writer predicted earlier today). But with two outs, Ryan Zimmerman singled, then surprisingly picked up his second stolen base of the season (after Kuroda had thrown over to first base a bunch of times, perhaps ticking Zim off and convincing him to just take off). That set the stage for Michael Morse, who crushed a sharp double down the third-base line. Jayson Werth had a chance to extend the rally, but he struck out on a high-and-outside fastball. So much for him picking up where he left off in Houston on Wednesday. Still, it's 1-0 Nats as John Lannan takes the mound.

10:29 p.m. -- Wow, a pair of strikeouts for Lannan in the bottom of the first. He's actually been making batters swing and miss a bit more lately, with 11 K's now in his last 10 innings.

10:31 p.m. -- By the way, if you're staying up late watching the game and have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section and I'll try to answer as many as I can.

10:35 p.m. -- Holy cow. I don't believe what I just saw.

10:40 p.m. -- I mean, seriously. John Lannan with a 2-run homer? The same John Lannan who six days was 0-for-32 for the season? What a swing. 3-0 Nats in the second.

11:12 p.m. -- Little bit of control trouble for Lannan, leading to three walks. But he's navigated his way through the first three innings well. Nats still lead 3-0.

11:29 p.m. -- Big RBI opportunity for Lannan in the fourth, with two on and two out ... and he strikes out looking at a pitch right down the middle. Oh, well. Actually, the bigger mistake that inning was Laynce Nix taking off for second base on a 3-1 pitch to Ian Desmond. Desmond couldn't catch up with the high fastball from Kuorda, and Nix was thrown out. Not sure what Davey Johnson's thinking was there. If you're trying to stay out of the double play, tough to do that with a batter who swings and misses a lot. Whatever the case, it's still 3-0 heading to the bottom of the fourth.

11:42 p.m. -- Desmond has been really good this season at not trying to do too much in the field, just making the plays he's supposed to make. Except for just now in the bottom of the fourth. With runners on second and third and nobody out, Desmond tried to make a charging play on Juan Uribe's bouncer to his left. He couldn't pull it off, and that error allowed two runs to score. Should have played it safe and gotten directly in front of the ball. Then to make matters worse, he booted a tailor-made double-play grounder moments later for his second error of the inning. Lannan, though, manages to get out of the jam. So the Nats maintain a 3-2 lead after four.

11:50 p.m. -- For all those who were all atwitter over the news that B.J. Upton had been pulled early from the Rays' game tonight (and that Desmond Jennings had been pulled from his game at Class AAA Durham) ... no, there's been no trade, certainly not one involving the Nats. According to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times, Upton insisted he has not been traded. Jennings was merely called up, with Reid Brignac sent down to AAA.

12:12 a.m. -- So not only has Lannan turned into a fearsome hitter, he's also transformed into a power pitcher. Now has a season-high seven strikeouts in six innings tonight. That gives him 16 strikeouts over his last 15 innings. Who is this guy and what did he do with the real John Lannan? Still 3-2 Nats after six.

12:35 a.m. -- Another opportunity to add to the lead squandered, even though Lannan came through again with his second hit tonight and fourth in the last week. Davey Johnson decided to play matchups and send up Jerry Hairston to face lefty Scott Elbert, but Hairston popped out. Don Mattingly then brought in right-hander Kenley Jensen to turn Danny Espinosa around, and got the strikeout. So it remains 3-2 at the seventh-inning stretch, and Lannan is back out for the bottom of the seventh.

12:48 a.m. -- Credit to Sean Burnett on a job well done. The lefty has obviously struggled plenty this season, especially of late. But he just came through big-time to strand the tying runner in scoring position. Still 3-2 after seven.

1:01 a.m. -- And a 1-2-3 eighth inning for Tyler Clippard, preserving the one-run lead. They head to the ninth...

1:18 a.m. -- Geez, for a 3-2 ballgame, this sure is taking forever. Don't they know some of us are watching this game from the East Coast and are falling asleep at our laptops?...

1:24 a.m. -- OK, that woke me up. Grand slam, Jerry Hairston. Nats lead 7-2. I'll tell you what, Jerry has been crushing the ball since returning from the DL earlier this week.

1:34 a.m. -- That's your ballgame. Nats win, 7-2. It was nip-and-tuck all night, but Davey Johnson did get to relax for the bottom of the ninth as Drew Storen finished it off. Good night, everybody!

242 comments:

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«Oldest ‹Older 1 – 200 of 242 Newer› Newest»
FS said...

Question or not, you are awesome Mark Z.

let's hope Lannan throws a no-hitter tonight. :D

natsfan1a said...

Go, LannEn! Go, NATS!! Go, Zuckerman!!!

(Oh, look! Jamey's in the lineup!! Oh, wait. I forgot. He's nothing to me for the next three days. One polite golf clap and then, grrr...let's get those Dodgers tonight! ;-))

NervousNatsFan said...

Hi Mark - A note on the blog format (apologies if this has already been addressed). I noticed there are recently things under each post with "you might like" pictures. Since these are just random instead of sequential, they really just seem like useless clutter. Any way to make them point to recent posts?

Anonymous said...

Want to get an opinion of our minor league system and who do you guys think have the best chance of being solid contributors to the nats in the distant future (other than Harper). Ignore draft picks yet to be signed. Personally, I think there will be a future for Hood on this team. What do you guys think?

sjm308 said...

I think pitching is always iffy but I really like some of the young arms in the system. People are always talking about Peacock and Milone and they are good, but there are others. We have very quietly (imo) built quite a decent group of relief pitchers, and I look for some of them to make noise in the next few years.
Two I really like are Robbie Ray(starter drafted last year) and the young man from Mexico Rafael Martin. I am tired of waiting for Stammen, JD Martin, Maya and others we bring up and send down. I want the young kids to start being promoted. Probably can't do it because of roster and contract situations but I am ready for change.

Anonymous said...

meant to write not too distant future

Scooter said...

Thanks for coming here to post, Destin. I've seen you at Potomac a couple times, and you're a good-looking ballplayer. Just keep your head down and put your work in, and you'll do fine.

I always liked watching Lombardozzi with the P-Nats, though he so often seemed an afterthought. Of course, I may have just seen him on his good days that year. The fellas sjm308 mentioned sound swell. I'm intrigued by Danny Rosenbaum too.

Anonymous said...

could Marrero be our first baseman. seems to be hitting for a good average but less power this year.

Anonymous said...

who thinks Solano should have gotten the call to replace Pudge instead of Flores. he has been great all season for Syracuse. i am pretty amazed at our catching depth across all levels. We would still be in a great position even if Norris doesn't pan out.

Anonymous said...

Hard to see Marerro manning first base with Morse putting up elite numbers there and pretty solid fielding plus Adam LaRoche coming back next year.

Marerro is blocked. Looks like trade bait or AAA depth for another year to see how he matures. Whether the power comes back. Of course then you'd have to decide what to do with Tyler Moore who is 2 years older playing in AA who must might hit close to or at 40 homers this year. Neither, along with LaRoche, can play any other position in the majors ... unlike Morse.

Anonymous said...

If Pudge wasn't on the roster Solano would almost certainly be Ramos' backup and just might be out of ST next year. He looks a guy you want to bring up in late September instead of Flores who no longer has the arm strength to play catcher. That might improve with another good year in AAA.

Eugene in Oregon said...

Regarding Mark's comments about the temperature, went to a single A (short season Northwest League) game last night and the opening-pitch temperature was 72. Not to gloat, but my daughter and I were freezing as we biked home. We miss the DC area for any number of reasons, but the summer weather isn't one of them.

sjm308 said...

Eugene: gloat away - it is brutal right now

flynnie said...

Mark, you should be at Chavez Ravine. We would've passed the hat and had a "Raise the Rent" party, if you had but said so. I'd like to see a picture of Zuckerman and Vin Scully!

Anonymous8 said...

sjm308 said...

UNTERP - as silly as it sounds I always got just a little upset with your profile name. Spent 7 wonderful years as a student and got to come back and fill a dream as a head coach in the late 80's early 90's so I have a lot of Terp love. Glad to know what unterp means.
____________________________

Me too sjm. Spent some of my best years at UofM so I was thinking he was a Dukie. Glad to know it is UnitedNationsTerp.

flynnie said...

"We miss the DC area for any number of reasons, but the summer weather isn't one of them." Eugene in Oregon

Eugene, my doctor's boy was a sunny lad, never troubled by a dark thought in his life, until he went to school in Oregon. "We visited in summer-it was a paradise! The trees bent with fruit, the cool summer breeze!" When the boy came home for Thanksgiving, my doctor didn't recognize his own son - pale, morose. Doc gave him a vitamin D injection and he brightened right up. Enjoy the sun while it shines, and let us live while we are alive! May Lannan's sinker sink (unlike the last time he was in that cool night air in Anaheim) and may we all enoy another unlikely Nats victory (considering the last few years)!

Drew8 said...

Well, well, well. I wonder if this has ever happened before.

The Richmond Flying Squirrels are tugging on Superman's cape. They just intentionally walked Tyler Moore to get to Bryce Harper.

Harper followed with an infield single to load the bases.

Had to work tonight, so I'm not at the ballpark sauna. So far Harper is 2-3 in the nightcap, after going 1-3 in the first game.

Gonat said...

Drew8, that type of BHarp night will get you over the Mendoza line when you don't have a lot of at-bats.

Unkyd said...

GGGGGGYFNGGGGG!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

This should be fun, a late night game watching at home with MZ in thw mix. Before it gets started, I have a serious suggestion. Buy this week's Sports Illustrated. The print version. Joe Posnanski's article is an all-time keeper, and the photo spreads are spectacular.

Seriously, read it.

Now GYFNG!

sjm308 said...

Drew8 - I know others have already said this but I really appreciate the minor league updates, especially almost in real time

Thanks
sjm

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

ball one from Hiroke Kuroda to Bernadina at 10:11 Eastern. We're under way!

BEAT L.A.!

FS said...

I will try to stay awake as long as possible.

Using regular gameday as guide for the first time this season, I usually use the classic gameday. But this new one is not bad. Just wish I could watch the game.

Reading Scully describing Livo's story.

NatsLady said...

Ah, home from work. Can watch the WHOLE game. Wonderful! Love these West Coast swings.

And, a run.

JaneB said...

Nice steal by Ryan. Who doesn't often steal, it seems to me.

I also like the minor league updates.

We need the good jayson video posted again, quick.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Roger Bernadina and Danny Espinosa both backed Tony Gwynn Jr to the warning track in left (didn't his dad play baseball? I think he's a coach somewhere now--has he coached anybody good?).

Zimm singled hard on the ground to the hole at short. Kuroda seemed to be worried about Zimmerman stealing (bwaa hah h... what??), and so he does, altho if Furcal had handled the throw it might have gotten him for the third out.

But no. And Morse then roped the fourth hard-hit ball of the inning past third for an RBI double.

Werth Ks, but the swing was good. So there's that.

1-0, Nats, middle of the first.

JaneB said...

FS, where are you seeing Vin Scully writing about Livo?

FS said...

JaneB, I think it is not recent. It is on the left column, under Federal Baseball site "Wash. Nat.' Livan... as told by Vin Scully".

baseballswami said...

Michael Morse just scalded that ball with 2 outs and 2 strikes. That was awesome. Trying to stay awake - have guests and they retired early.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Lannan gets Gwynn swinging at a breaking ball in the dirt, and Furcal on an easy three-bouncer to short. Ethier, from the left side, pulls a ground ball past Espinosa (infield looks quick tonight). Kemp, from the right side, he struck out on three pitches.

1-0 after 1.


Beat LA!

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

I'm wondering something: did Zimm get the idea to steal because Kuroda kept throwing over, or did he throw over because they stole the sign?

Mark Zuckerman said...

Sec3: I think Zim went because of all the throws over by Kuroda. At some point, you say: "OK, he's asking for it." Also helped that the count was 2-2 with 2 outs, a good spot to run.

gonatsgo said...

Did they say that the temps there are in the 70's? The guys won't want to come home!

JaneB said...

Thanks, FS. What a lovely piece!

baseballswami said...

Desi!!! I love the 2 out, 2 strike hitting!

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

That started out a lot less interesting, but it picked up.

Nix and Ramos both got out early in the AB with simple 6-3s. Desmond, hitting in the preantepenultimate 2-hole, lined a single up the middle to clear the pitcher, which is not a good time to steal. Well, it's ok to steal, it's not OK to get throw out trying.
Because Lannan just might clock one, you never know.

Gonat said...

JOHN LANNeN

FS said...

Is Lannan really someone we can see become part of our rotation for years to come?

I love Lannan for 08-09 years when he looked like a one-eyed king among blind men.

Did he just hit a home run? WOW

NatsLady said...

ROFL!!!!! Lannan HOME RUN!!

gonatsgo said...

Did that just happen?

JaneB said...

LannEn! How fantastic! And speaking of Livo, how cool was it to see him love that hit?

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Didn't hear a distance announced, but Lannan's dinger (and if ever there were two words I didn't expect to be typing together, it's those) just cleared the wall in right.

And the dugout completely ignores Lannan when he gets back. That's really funny.
And then they congratulate him enthusiastically.

Bernadina strikes out.

3-0, Nats.

NatsLady said...

Hey, Sofa===? You got some kind of crystal ball there???

nationals7 said...

Beast LannEN

baseballswami said...

sec 3 - you clairvoyant?

Wally said...

Well, I am guessing that Detroit is liking what they are seeing from Kuroda. But I am!

Mark - do you think the organization tries to do trade for a CF? Who would be their first choice if they did?

Wally said...

Er, should have been 'isn't' (detroit is rumored to be scouting him for a trade)

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

No, I just backed the DVR up by one minute before I turned it on, so I get a head start.

And I know some quick-posting tricks. ; )

Waddu eye no said...

Note to eckstein-
Nasal contusions for everyone

Gonat said...

Jamey Carroll, really like that guy and glad he hit into a double play.

FS said...

Oh and I was trying to ask you a question Mark Z, about Lannan and his future with Nationals when John shocked me. or what is the possibility that we trade him for something valuable? Is his value at its peak right now?

Oh and interested to know about Wally's question too.

You're welcome, JaneB.

Mark Zuckerman said...

Wally said...
Mark - do you think the organization tries to do trade for a CF? Who would be their first choice if they did?


I do think Rizzo has his sights on acquiring a leadoff-hitting center fielder. Obviously Michael Bourn is the prominent name out there, though he's not going to come cheap.

I think it's more likely that Rizzo will respond to any teams who call about Marquis seeking a young center fielder out of their farm system. Maybe a guy still in the minors who is close to big-league ready.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Well, the running around the bases couldn't have tired him out that much. But LannEn walked two of the first three hitters around an out, but old buddy Jamey Carroll hits a ground ball to Zimmerman, which is generally not a high-percentage play, and they turn a nice, clean, careful 5-4-3. See, it's important to clear the pitcher when you're hitting 8th.

Wally said...

Double play Johnny. Is he leading the league in throwing DPs?

Gonat said...

10:35 p.m. -- Holy cow. I don't believe what I just saw.

Nice tribute to Harry Carey and then Jack Buck. Can you mix Cubs and Cardinals Mark?

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Uh oh. Mark really is watching. Pressures on, Sofa, the Master is in da house.

Luqman Sh-Hersi said...

My question is will the Nationals be buyers or sellers in the trade deadline to either improve the roster by building more arms in the bullpen or sell players to other teams like they have done in years past? What does the Nationals need to do to have a strong second half?

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

*pressure's

see what I mean?

And Harry did the Cardinals games long before he came to Chicago.

Mark Zuckerman said...

FS said...
Oh and I was trying to ask you a question Mark Z, about Lannan and his future with Nationals when John shocked me. or what is the possibility that we trade him for something valuable? Is his value at its peak right now?


I think what Lannan has done this season cements his place in the rotation for next season. This is a guy who has posted a sub-4.00 ERA in three of his four big-league seasons. A guy who churns out innings. A left-hander who remains relatively affordable and can't become a free agent until 2014. And (apparently) a guy who can swing a mighty bat, too.

What team wouldn't want this guy as their No. 4 starter?

TimDz said...

And...with his home run, Lannan has given Davey Johnson another left handed option late in the game and, more importantly, another excuse to not take the Stairs...

Steady Eddie said...

Note to eckstein-
Nasal contusions for everyone


And waddu eye no wins the thread!

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

So next year looks like Zimmermann, Strasburg, LannEn, and at the very worst, Livan, plus either Marquis or maybe, just maybe, Wang, or whoever has a really good spring.

That's not so bad.

JaneB said...

Mark, my question is why would we trade for an almost ready CF when we are growing one who will eithe play R, and Werth moves C, or will play C himself? I thought he was on pace to come up June of next year? How does that serve us? I'd rather have the pitching, if we don't get someone fully baked AND better than Roger is now. Thanks in advance for your answer.

JaneB said...

Waddy eye no...hilarious!

nationals7 said...

I love the Nationals!!!!!

Gonat said...

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

And Harry did the Cardinals games long before he came to Chicago.

July 22, 2011 10:54 PM
_____________________________

Oh I am aware and Jack Buck replaced Harry when he was fired so he wanted to be known as the Cubs man hence mixing both cultures and broadcasting teams. Go homage to both in the same line too!

nationals7 said...

The new Nats...... everybody runs~

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Alto 3, Zimmerman got his second hit tonight with one out. Morse missed a fastball away--looked like he might have been guessing, which I was always taught not to do, but so what of that?
With Werth up, Zimm tries for second on a ball in the dirt.
Do not. There is no try.

Still 3-zip.

Wally said...

Thanks Mark. JaneB- are you talking about Harper? Seems hard to believe the team views him as a CF (or Werth). Just my two cents, but interested in Mark's take.

I feel a little bit like a kid in a candy store right now, so I will keep firing away.

How is the team responding to Davey's leadership? Do you notice any difference in attitude by the players from when Riggs was here?

Mark Zuckerman said...

Luqman Sh-Hersi said...
My question is will the Nationals be buyers or sellers in the trade deadline to either improve the roster by building more arms in the bullpen or sell players to other teams like they have done in years past?


Honestly, I don't think the Nats fall into either the traditional "buyer" or "seller" category. They've got a few guys who would make sense to try to trade (Marquis, Coffey) and they've got a couple of areas they'd like to improve (leadoff man, bench, lefty reliever). Rizzo isn't going to be actively shopping a lot of players around, but if another GM makes him a decent offer, he'll pull the trigger.

Gonat said...

Sec 3, My Sofa said...
So next year looks like Zimmermann, Strasburg, LannEn, and at the very worst, Livan, plus either Marquis or maybe, just maybe, Wang, or whoever has a really good spring.

That's not so bad. July 22, 2011 10:58 PM
_____________________________

As much as I like Livan, I think this ship has sailed and time to move forward without Livan in the rotation and get a real #3 to pair with JZim and Stras. I still think LannEn in a great rotation is a #4 or #5.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Jane, don't count your center fielders before they're hatched.


"slighted" -- but they don't say who.

Mark Zuckerman said...

JaneB said...
Mark, my question is why would we trade for an almost ready CF when we are growing one who will eithe play R, and Werth moves C, or will play C himself? I thought he was on pace to come up June of next year? How does that serve us? I'd rather have the pitching, if we don't get someone fully baked AND better than Roger is now. Thanks in advance for your answer.


We really don't know if Harper is going to wind up playing CF in the big leagues. I find it interesting that they've had him almost exclusively in LF at Harrisburg. Seems to me they're setting this up for Harper to play left and Werth to play right next season. Perhaps down the road, they swap spots. Or perhaps Harper proves he can play center field.

Really, what the Nats need is a leadoff hitter who gets on base at a high rate and runs well. Technically, he doesn't have to play center field. But given the state of the Nats' lineup as it currently stands and projects in the near future, there really isn't another obvious position to fill with a leadoff guy.

Wally said...

You know, Lannen has taken a clear step forward this year,imo. He is faster, his slurvy pitch seems to have much more break, and he is better against lefties.

But these walks drive me crazy, and may hold him back from reaching the next level.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Lannan still dealing in the fourth, but he's not shuffling the deck very well. Dismissed Kuroda swinging, but walked Gwynn, before Rafael Furcal popped up behind the mound to Desmond, and Ethier grounds out.

after 3, still 3-0.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Gonat, we've heard that before about Livo. Someday it will be true, I know. I don't see any reason to think this is the time. We'll see.

JaneB said...

Thanks Mark. For some reason I had in my head they were playing him at CF.

Now the tough question:* what is the deal with Matt Stairs? How is he still on the roster? What value is he adding that makes it worth keeping him? It feels like there has ti be a hidden story somewhere.

* I know the tough question REALLY is what is up with Werth. But I figure no one really knows.

NatsLady said...

Werth--- not the greatest hit, but it works.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mark, thanks for doing this! Something just occurred to me when they talked about the Dodgers hitting coach being a former pinch-hitter. Of course, it made me think of Lenny Harris. I don't know how to keep this question short, but maybe just some of your thoughts on the coaching styles you've seen? Seems that Lenny Harris was to Rick Eckstein what Steve McCatty is to Randy St. Claire. As in, focusing on mentality and approach vs. lots of video work and a focus on technique. [Reader Matt]

NervousNatsFan said...

Have you been keeping an eye on Zimmerman's throws? Seems like he's throwing weakly when he shouldn't be, and things like that. Do you think it's his abs still not 100%? His arm?

Also, just saw BJ Upton pulled from TB, and CF from Durham pulled. Any chance he's coming to the Nats?

Dave said...

Mark,

Thanks very much for taking our questions and comments. I think I speak for everyone when I say that we really enjoy your writing on this blog. We wish you could make every road trip.

A quick question about the minor league guys. What is the organization's take on Lombardozzi and Moore? Do they see Lombardozzi as a guy who can actually be the everyday 2B, or is he more of a Jamie Carrol? Regarding Moore, I know he was the organization's player of the year last year and is putting up huge numbers again. Does the front office talk about him as the first baseman of the future?

Thanks again.

Wally said...

Mark - can you convince Shaggy that the anti- fu manchu isn't a look worth keeping?

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Whoops. Sorry, Mark, didn't mean to step on your updates, there. Can't see them from down here.

Waddu eye no said...

Is that a bruise on werths nose?
Oh enough already. Getting on my own nerves

Mark'd said...

Mark, off of Jane's question, SteveM brought this up, how's about Bernadina in a platoon with a right-handed OF like Lorenzo Cain. Cain is very good against LH and struggles against RH pitchers.

nationals7 said...

Werth's uniform is dirty! Go Fu!

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

So if I'm Kuroda, do I worry about a guy on deck who homered in his last at bat, or do I think to myself, "What are the odds John Lannan is going to do THAT twice in his life, nevermind back to back?"

Wally said...

Sec 3 - iPad? I have thhe same issue, although if you do this on an iPad, you have to tell me your quick posting trick. It takes forever.

Here is a site suggestion, Mark - anyway to have it automatically refrsh the comments, like some chats do?

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

No, just a Vaio.
Oh, I think Nix got in there...
replay...
No, he didn't.

nationals7 said...

FP."Defensive ADD." ... great stuff

NatsLady said...

I'm all for aggressive base running, but what was the point of that, Mr. Nix? Now a sac fly is no good.

Gonat said...

Sec 3, My Sofa said...
Gonat, we've heard that before about Livo. Someday it will be true, I know. I don't see any reason to think this is the time. We'll see.

July 22, 2011 11:13 PM
_______________________________

If you want to be a playoff team, he isn't the same guy who dominated so many years ago. If you want same 'ole, then he is your guy.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

NatsLady, chances are Nix wasn't running on his own, and the point is to get two guys into scoring position now, with the pitcher on deck (even if it is Babe LannEn).

Gonat said...

NatsLady said...
I'm all for aggressive base running, but what was the point of that, Mr. Nix? Now a sac fly is no good.

July 22, 2011 11:26 PM
___________________________

Agreed, who called for that? Aggressive is great but you have a man on 3rd with 1 out and Kuroda was throwing up in the zone as it was. Sac fly looked good to me.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

It's still fairly early to be playing for (just) one run.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

And you can't have it both ways. Aggressive base running runs into outs sometimes, by definition.

Mark Zuckerman said...

Anonymous said...
Hey Mark, thanks for doing this! Something just occurred to me when they talked about the Dodgers hitting coach being a former pinch-hitter. Of course, it made me think of Lenny Harris. I don't know how to keep this question short, but maybe just some of your thoughts on the coaching styles you've seen? Seems that Lenny Harris was to Rick Eckstein what Steve McCatty is to Randy St. Claire. As in, focusing on mentality and approach vs. lots of video work and a focus on technique. [Reader Matt]


Lenny Harris was ... hmm, how do I put this? ... not the most hands-on hitting coach I've ever covered. Wasn't especially good at adapting to different hitters' different styles. Seemed to think everyone should be able to do it the way he did during his playing days.

Rick Eckstein, of course, is big on video and mechanics. So in that respect, he's like Randy St. Claire. Steve McCatty, though, is very hands-on with his pitchers. He may not be into video as much as St. Claire was, but he works tirelessly with his guys, both on mental approach and on making mechanical tweaks in the bullpen.

Anonymous said...

Mark Z,

We really enjoy your reporting and your blog. Have you thought in the future to either take questions from readers during every road trip, or opening a Q&A sessions from fans? What is your overall take from your readers?

Gonat said...

Is tonight Free Pass Friday? At some point those guys will score.

sjm308 said...

I have no problems with Davey calling for a hit & run in that situation, pretty sure that wasn't a straight steal with Desmond swinging at the high fast ball - Just like that 3 batters and two runs for the Dodgers, ouch.

Mark, Thanks so much for taking the time to answer questions while you are watching the game. Makes it even more fun. I am guessing there are two options when Wang is called up. Do you see Detwiler being sent down or Stairs dfa'd?

Luqman Sh-Hersi said...

What's wrong with Desmond, does he has butterfingers?

Gonat said...

Sec 3, My Sofa said...
It's still fairly early to be playing for (just) one run.

July 22, 2011 11:32 PM
_____________________________

Those add-on runs are huge so it wasn't playing for one run. How big does that look right now?

NatsLady said...

Yuck. I'm about to take back all the good things I said about Desi.

Luqman Sh-Hersi said...

Good job Lannan getting out of two jams!

NatinBeantown said...

Mark,
Based on your firsthand observations, who are the leaders in the clubhouse? There are a lot of vets on the team, and some younger players like Desmond who are vocal. I've also always read that RZim is a quiet guy. Werth is a natural, but is new and hasn't played up to it. Thoughts?

sjm308 said...

My guess is LannEn will get through two more innings tops. It will be interesting to see how Davey uses his bullpen with everyone rested. Would like to see us touch Kuroda up for another run or two.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Those add-on runs are huge so it wasn't playing for one run. How big does that look right now?

Add-on runs are huge. Two are better than one, and playing for the sac fly there, with the pitcher up, is playing for one. Not saying that's bad, but the logic of sending the runner was to play for the big(ger) inning, early in the game, and that's standard strategy, nothing unusual about it. And they do figure to get into the Dodgers bullpen pretty soon, here.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

*with the pitcher up after the SF

Mark Zuckerman said...

Dave said...
A quick question about the minor league guys. What is the organization's take on Lombardozzi and Moore? Do they see Lombardozzi as a guy who can actually be the everyday 2B, or is he more of a Jamie Carrol? Regarding Moore, I know he was the organization's player of the year last year and is putting up huge numbers again. Does the front office talk about him as the first baseman of the future?


Club officials are high on Lombardozzi and believe he could be an everyday 2B in the big leagues. Not necessarily right now, but in the not-too-distant future. Now, that doesn't mean he's a slam-dunk prospect the way Espinosa was. So I wouldn't say the club is itching to dump Desmond, move Espinosa to short and insert Lombardozzi into the lineup. Is it possible that happens at some point? Yes, but it's just as likely (if not more so) that the status quo remains in the middle infield.

As for Tyler Moore, I really don't hear much of anything from the front office on him. Not that he doesn't have a chance to make it someday. But I don't hear anyone with the organization speculating on him being the Nats' first baseman anytime soon.

Gonat said...

Bernie and Espi with 3-2 counts and can't get on to start the inning. That is disappointing.

sjm308 said...

Sec 3 - agreed, and that had to be a hit & run and if that works we maybe get two runs on a single, we definitely stay out of the double play and its good aggressive baseball which I think sends a nice message to our club and also the Dodgers. Now, it didn't work but I still like the play. Would have a hard time believing the Nix went on his own.

Anonymous said...

Scott from Burke says:

mark, I have to disagree with your description of Lannan as someone who "churns out innings" I think 3 out of his last 5 outings or so he has failed to get out of the 6th...he's th ekind of pitcher that will hurt the team the next day even when they win because they have to use their pen for 2 or 3 innings at least...he pitches his heart out and is a serviceable (sp?) #4/5..but not an inning eater like Livo can be when he's right.

sjm308 said...

OK LannEn - no more walks!!!

NatsLady said...

When did Lannan become a strikeout pitcher?

Mark Zuckerman said...

Scott from Burke says:
mark, I have to disagree with your description of Lannan as someone who "churns out innings" I think 3 out of his last 5 outings or so he has failed to get out of the 6th...he's th ekind of pitcher that will hurt the team the next day even when they win because they have to use their pen for 2 or 3 innings at least...he pitches his heart out and is a serviceable (sp?) #4/5..but not an inning eater like Livo can be when he's right.


Lannan has pitched into the 6th inning in all but 3 starts this season. And one of those early departures came when he took a line drive to the face (he had been dominating to that point). After tonight's start, he'll rank in the top 30 in innings pitched among all NL starters. To my recollection, he's only missed one start in his career due to injury (May 2010 when he was dealing with a forearm issue).

With all due respect, that to me is the definition of an "innings eater."

sjm308 said...

His best inning yet and this sets us up nicely. If he can get the next inning just as easily we will have our bullpen set, again, I want to see who Davey will use in the 7th. A couple runs here would be sweet!

Mark Zuckerman said...

Anonymous said...
Mark Z,
We really enjoy your reporting and your blog. Have you thought in the future to either take questions from readers during every road trip, or opening a Q&A sessions from fans? What is your overall take from your readers?


Thanks for the kind words. The ability to interact with all of you is by far the most rewarding part of this job. But it would be tough to do this kind of open forum on a game thread on a regular basis, especially when I'm covering the game in person. There's just too much going on during the course of a game to devote my attention to a Q&A or "live chat." I do try to answer direct questions when I have a chance. We also take questions during our weekly "Beltway Baseball" video show on CSNwashington.com.

Anonymous said...

Scott from Burke says:

Mark, I wasnt counting the shot to the face game, but I went to a game a few weeks ago when he came out after 5 2/3 and got a standing O...for 5 2/3?...granted, he has stayed healthy and not missed many starts, but to me an inning eater is a guy who goes 7 or even 8...i think a some pitchers are obsessed with going 5 so they can qualify for the win and everything else is gravy...

Exposremains said...

Mark,

are the Nats still trying to acquire an ace pitcher? Will they wait until free agency or we could see something this week? Or maybe they think they have good young pitchers?

Gonat said...

Here we go again with the tune of silent Nats bats....

Gonat said...

Now that was a nice LannEn inning!!!

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

And he's through six.

But seriously, what team doesn't use its bullpen for two innings a game? Starters don't go nine anymore, and they haven't for a long, long time.

Gonat said...

Sec 3, My Sofa said...
And he's through six.

But seriously, what team doesn't use its bullpen for two innings a game? Starters don't go nine anymore, and they haven't for a long, long time.

July 23, 2011 12:13 AM
______________________________

Very true. Looks like LannEn will pitch the 7th also.

My question is will Davey have a compliment of pitchers warming up.

Mark'd said...

How's about pinch hitting here for Lannan.

Anonymous said...

Scott from Burke says:

I just looked it up..Lannan is 61st in the NL in innings per start..61st does not an inning eater make.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Was Honeycutt with the A's when McCatty was there? (too lazy to look it up, unsurprisingly).

You can't stop John LannEn, you can only hope to contain him!

Gonat said...

Mark'd, because LannEn has 1 HR and Stairs has zero.

NatsLady said...

Gonat-- except for Lannan! He must have been taking some SERIOUS batting practice.

Mark Zuckerman said...

sjm308 said...
Mark, Thanks so much for taking the time to answer questions while you are watching the game. Makes it even more fun. I am guessing there are two options when Wang is called up. Do you see Detwiler being sent down or Stairs dfa'd?


Well, the options would seem to be who gets bumped out of the rotation to make room for Wang. It could be Marquis if he's traded. It could be Gorzelanny, perhaps bumped to the bullpen, which would then probably send Detwiler back to Syracuse. Can't see them going with a 13-man pitching staff, though, so I don't think Wang's arrival spells the end for Stairs or any other position player.

Speaking of Stairs ... I know a lot of you have repeatedly asked why he remains on the roster. Some of you also seem to think it would be appropriate for me or another beat writer to point-blank ask Davey Johnson or Mike Rizzo on the record why Stairs is still on the roster. While I certainly understand your frustration with the guy, you just don't ask a question like that in that manner. Look, everyone in the organization knows how little Stairs has done to contribute. Why is he still on the roster? Well, they believe his experience and leadership is important. They believe he's a better hitter than he showed during the season's first half (and indeed he has looked better in the last month, not that he's tearing it up or anything). And there's also reason to believe a dumping of a respected veteran like Stairs would not go over well in the clubhouse, certainly not among a large portion of the roster that reveres him.

Will Stairs' day of reckoning come? Perhaps. But it's really not worth agonizing over every time he makes an out or a roster move appears to be pending.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

He said innings-eater, not innings-per-start-eater. The guy takes the ball. Every time. And usually keeps them in the game.
No, he's not Bob Gibson. Or Ted Radcliffe. Or Roy Halladay.

Anonymous said...

Scott from Burke says:

And also, this description of the game he got hit in the face is not accurate. "he had been dominating to that point." In fact, the ball that hit him in the face was the third of three straight line drives, and the first of those missed hitting him in the face by about a foot. That's three straight hitters who were were teeing off. I will say, he was sharp those first 2 innings or whatever it was. And yeah, I love a good argument.

NatsLady said...

Shot of Kuroda on the bench. Not a happy camper.

Gonat said...

Scott from Burke, LannEn is 44th in total innings pitched so he is middle of the pack.

http://mlb.mlb.com/stats/sortable.jsp?c_id=mlb&tcid=mm_mlb_stats#sectionType=sp&playerType=QUALIFIER&statType=pitching&page_type=SortablePlayer&season=2011&season_type=ANY&sportCode='mlb'&league_code='NL'&split=&team_id=&active_sw=&game_type='R'&position='1'&sortOrder='desc'&sortColumn=ip&results=&page=1&perPage=50&timeframe=&extended=0&last_x_days=&ts=1311395126133&tab_level=child&click_text=Sortable+Player+pitching

sjm308 said...

Not to jump on Scott but at the end of the season, LannEn will not have missed a start, he will have jumped from 44th in total innings to probably in the top 30 and that indeed is an innings eater. I think the key is that except for that one missed start he takes the ball every 5th game. No, he doesn't go deep in games but few do these days.
If he is our number 4/5 starter next year we are in very good shape.

Go Nats and thanks Mark for the detailed answer and more about Stairs, I had obviously not thought about most of what you explained.

Anonymous said...

Scott from Burke says:

Gonat said... Scott from Burke, LannEn is 44th in total innings pitched so he is middle of the pack..ok, middle of the pack..fine..and Mark made the point after today he'll be 30th..but where will he be in 4 days? i think average innings per start is a more telling stat...i like Lannan...an average major league pitcher who stays healthy...Go Nats!

Gonat said...

Glad to see Davey was proactive and then I see Burnett with a non-clean inning. Here we go again.

NatsLady said...

Here comes trouble. OK, people, here is your chance to second-guess Davey.

Exposremains said...

no not Burnett, now I'm scared

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

What?? 44th is NOT the middle of --lessee, 30 teams, five starters each at any given time, that's 150. Half of 150 is NOT 44.

Gonat said...

Scott, you really have to wait until the end of the season to put that "innings eater" tag on someone. If he is in the top 25, that is impressive.

Anonymous said...

Scott from Burke says:

Six and One Third...he gets through 7 and it's Clippard and Storen and 90%+ chance of win..but here somes Burnett, who has been awful the last couple of weeks..I hope they pull it out but I know you all are getting nervous and asking "Why couldn't he get 2 more outs?" Get through SEVEN!!! Thats the magic # with this team...After Clipp and Storen it's very hit and miss.

Mark Zuckerman said...

Scott, you make good points and you're certainly entitled to your opinion. Maybe "innings eater" isn't the best description of Lannan. Maybe he's just "reliable" or a "workhorse" or something else. Point is, he's established himself as a solid, big-league starter and an important part of the Nats rotation.

Also, if you want to avoid using the Anonymous handle, just select "Name/URL" instead when posting your comment, then type in your name in the field. No need to include a URL.

Gonat said...

Sec 3, My Sofa said...
What?? 44th is NOT the middle of --lessee, 30 teams, five starters each at any given time, that's 150. Half of 150 is NOT 44.

July 23, 2011 12:43 AM
________________________________

Sec 3, come on and stop questioning me. It is too late to argue with someone who doesn't want to take the time to take the link I gave. That is the NL stats if you checked and is right in the middle.

NatsLady said...

Whew. Shaky, almost a wild pitch, but he got through it. Some fist pumps from Lannan.

Anonymous said...

Scott from Burke says:

Hey SOFA: I just looked it up..he's 51st in the National League..time to redo your math.

NatsLady said...

Come on, boys. Score 5 runs so Clipp can have another day of rest.

Eugene in Oregon said...

Just back from my daughter's birthday dinner. Not surprised by the score, but rather how we got there. With 3-4-5 coming up, wouldn't an extra run or two be nice?

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

44 wasn't my number, but whatever.

Scott from Burke said...

One guy I really like...Mark Zuckerman

sjm308 said...

I hope everyone here understands how great National League baseball is.
Just look at the moves Davey has made tonight.
Does he pinch hit for LannEn?
Does he sacrifice?
Does he let Bernadina hit vs lefty?
Does he bring in Ankiel to play center?
Who does he bring in when he takes out LannEn? and it goes on and on.
I watched the Orioles earlier and there were minimal moves and not one sacrifice bunt or strategic move that I can remember.

Gonat said...

Anonymous said...
Scott from Burke says:

Hey SOFA: I just looked it up..he's 51st in the National League..time to redo your math.

July 23, 2011 12:50 AM
_______________________________

At the start of the day he was 44th. Put in the link from MLB.com and whether it is 44th or 51st he is middle of the pack in the NL. Lets get on to another subject.

sjm308 said...

Who the heck was that relief pitcher from the Dodgers and why is there record so bad with pitching like that? Very impressive, I think it was 9 pitches but I could be wrong. He definitely struck out Zimm, Morse and Werth on minimal pitches

Gonat said...

sjm308, Morse had a full count before he was struck down.

NatsLady said...

Clipp'd.

Gonat said...

I want to hear Carp break out the "SEE YOU LATER". Can one of the Nats give us a HR in the 9th?

Scott from Burke said...

SJM: Jansen, a converted catcher, was untouchable last year. He did get off to a bumpy start this year and spent some time in the minors (Broxton, by the way, was awful..even when he got saves it was Mitch Williams let the bases get loaded kind of scene) when he's on he is awesome..my favorite team is the Dodgers (with Nats a solid #2) but this season is such a mess, with HORRIBLE ownership..so I'm rooting for the Nats this weekend.

Eugene in Oregon said...

sjm308 @ 12:54 on the superiority of NL baseball: Precisely.

NatsLady said...

Mark, I apologize if you covered this, but Charlie and Dave mentioned there is bad news about Pudge-- he is going back on the DL and shutting down all baseball activities and going to see a physical therapist.

Exposremains said...

Good old Macdougal!

Scott from Burke said...

NL is better than AL? No doubt. I hate the DH..HATE IT

Gonat said...

Desmond with 3 walks. Impressive. That helps a OBP.

Mark Zuckerman said...

NatsLady said...
Mark, I apologize if you covered this, but Charlie and Dave mentioned there is bad news about Pudge-- he is going back on the DL and shutting down all baseball activities and going to see a physical therapist.


I only know what I've read from my counterparts out in L.A. this evening. But apparently Pudge experienced a setback while taking BP in Houston earlier this week, so the Nats have shut him down and are sending him home to Miami to work with a personal therapist. Sounds like it will be at least a couple of weeks before he can return from the DL, perhaps longer.

Can't say I'm terribly surprised. Oblique strains tend to take quite a while to heal, almost always at least one month, sometimes more.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

so who IS the emergency catcher?

Anonymous said...

I have a late night question apropos to this moment ...

From Jhonatan Solano:

Today Jhonatan Solano had a huge day with a home run leading the Chiefs to victory. He has been a mainstay in Syracuse and one of Randy Knorr's favorite players. He is hitting over .300. He does not have the arm issues nor the dearth of offense that Flores has and projects pretty well as a backup catcher. What is the organization's take on him?

Anonymous said...

so who IS the emergency catcher?

At least he isn't at his son's high school graduation with no possible backup as happened earlier this season.

Mark Zuckerman said...

I've never heard of Solano referred to as anything more than organizational filler. Perhaps a guy they could call up in a pinch to help out, but not seen as someone who projects to being a regular in the big leagues. He's about to turn 26 and is in AAA for the first time. And while he's hitting .300 this season, he's never hit better than .256 in any previous minor-league season.

Scott from Burke said...

THE emergency catcher is Len Sakata

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

JerHair!

NatsLady said...

Jerry, JUNIOR!!!!!!! Thank you. (Er, what was that about the Dodgers pitching?)

Gonat said...

Gonat said...
I want to hear Carp break out the "SEE YOU LATER". Can one of the Nats give us a HR in the 9th?

July 23, 2011 1:04 AM
___________________________

I like that. Thank you Jerry Hairston for answering my call!!!! GRAND SLAM

NatinBeantown said...

Worth the wait... Jerry!!

Joe said...

Is BJ Upton getting traded? I guess he was pulled form his game and a triple AAA player from the marlins got called up?

Not Werth It said...

HAIRSTON! holy crap.

Hey Mark, obviously it worked, but why do you think DJ pinch hit Hairston for Bernadina earlier?

Scott from Burke said...

Mattingly was managing that inning like it was game 7..he got waxed

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Ray says "Cora says he can catch."

NatsLady said...

Is Detwiler in the bullpen?

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

and YES, good call there, gonats!

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Joe, go up and read Mark's update at 11:50

Exposremains said...

Scott:

I was thinking the same thing, does Mattingly thins this is the World Series? I'm glad the Nats are winning but this game is long for no reason.

Gonat said...

Michael Morse can catch if you remember his interview last year.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

can I start chanting yet?

Eugene in Oregon said...

Maybe Matt Stairs is the "double secret emergency catcher" and that's why he's still on the team?

Mark Zuckerman said...

Nice win for the Nats, who certainly needed one like that. Thanks to everyone who stayed up late to chat, and apologies that I couldn't get to every question that was asked. I tried to address as many as I could while typing up in-game updates and still keeping one eye on the TV. I'm going to be out tomorrow evening, so probably won't be able to do this again, but perhaps we can find another game down the road to do this.

Good night, everybody!

Joe said...

Did Bernadina get pulled from the game?

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Sodgers Duck!
Sodgers Duck!

Gonat said...

That was worth staying up for unlike those Angels games.....

Burnett made Davey look good as that was the ballgame as we all know getting the Nats into the 8th with a lead.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Hairston pinch-hit for Bernadina, Joe.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Thanks, Mark. Fun having you here.

Gonat said...

Joe said...
Did Bernadina get pulled from the game?

July 23, 2011 1:34 AM
_________________________

No, Dodgers went to the 'pen and Davey put in Hairston for the matchup.

SonnyG10 said...

Great win! Go John Lannan, GYFNG!!!

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Eugene in Oregon said...
Maybe Matt Stairs is the "double secret emergency catcher" and that's why he's still on the team?


Secret Stairs! I love it.

Scott from Burke said...

Mattingly should have let the right hander face Stairs...look at the #'s...what's Stairs ba this year? Over thinking...tough first year for a guy who was such an amazing player. Oh well...Frank McCourt is like Darth Vader..hopefully Selig is about to rip off his mask.

Anonymous said...

And tomorrow night Sec 3, My Sofa will be calling the game here on the blog with his guest Tracee Hamilton former Nationals Journal blog mom.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Grandslam? YES. Finally. Nice Game.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Bud ... I am your father!


Nooooooooooooo!

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

I would be thrilled and honored to have the Blogmother as a guest, here or anywhere else, but I can't confirm my own participation, nevermind hers.

NATSONE said...

Mark, thanks for staying up with us.

Scott from Burke said...

There was an article on CNNSI today about how no player has ever been elected to the HOF with a unanimous vote..i can think of reasons for some of the greatest players (disrespected game (Ruth..who got caught stealing 2nd to end world series when his team was down 2) Cobb (nasty racist) Ted Williams (nast to the press) but who the heck wouldn't vote for Lou Gehrig? LOU GEHRIG for gods sake.

Anonymous said...

My overnight guests just got up and decided to leave for home - what's the first things I do after they pull out of the driveway? Check on the game! GYFNG!!! Awesome - love LannEn and Jer Hair! Now - back to bed for me.

Jim Webster said...

...the perils of falling asleep before 10 p.m. Have to look at the highlight clips to get my kicks for the day.

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