Saturday, August 20, 2011

Game 124: Phillies at Nats

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
John Lannan faces Roy Oswalt tonight at sold-out Nationals Park.
After last night's wild affair, the Nationals and Phillies are back for Game 2 of this series. No word yet if Livan Hernandez is available out of the Nats' bullpen after throwing more than 300 pitches last night between the game and warm-ups, though I'm sure Livo will insist he is.

Roy Oswalt, who was supposed to start the opener but was scratched after the 2-hour, 22-minute rain delay, gets the ball at last for the Phillies. He'll face a Nationals lineup that has Michael Morse back in the cleanup spot after sitting out one game with elbow inflammation.

John Lannan, meanwhile, takes the ball against the Phillies yet again. Seems like he never misses these guys, even though his lifetime numbers against them (1-11, 5.84 ERA) are horrendous.

It's Ian Desmond bobblehead night, the forecast is clear and this game has already been sold out. Updates to come...

PHILLIES at NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
TV: MASN
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 185
Weather: Clear, 85 degrees, Wind 6 mph RF to LF
STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (60-63)
SS Ian Desmond
CF Rick Ankiel
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Michael Morse
LF Laynce Nix
RF Jayson Werth
2B Danny Espinosa
C Wilson Ramos
P John Lannan

PHILLIES (80-43)
SS Jimmy Rollins
CF Shane Victorino
2B Chase Utley
1B Ryan Howard
RF Hunter Pence
LF John Mayberry Jr.
C Carlos Ruiz
3B Wilson Valdez
P Roy Oswalt
5:45 p.m. -- The latest update on Ivan Rodriguez: He took 25 light swings today and said "everything feels good." He'll do the same thing tomorrow and hope to progress to taking live BP sometime soon.

7:05 p.m. -- We are underway with a groundout to shortstop on the game's first pitch from John Lannan to Jimmy Rollins. Full house here tonight. Quite a scene.

7:09 p.m. -- Very nice top of the first for Lannan. He retired the side with ease, following up the Rollins groundout with a flyball to center and then striking out Chase Utley on a pretty breaking ball. Encouraging start to the night.

7:18 p.m. -- Missed opportunity for the Nats in the bottom of the first. With two outs, Ryan Zimmerman singled and Michael Morse doubled down the right-field line. Kind of surprised Bo Porter didn't wave Zim around third there. He might well have been thrown out. But with two outs, might have been worth taking the shot. Especially after Laynce Nix struck out on three pitches, including a bad check swing on an 0-2 fastball at his eyelids. It remains scoreless after one.

7:30 p.m. -- Boy, you think Lannan is a little fired up for this one? He's throwing harder than I can ever remember seeing from him, including one fastball that registered 94 mph. He's also coming way inside on the Phillies' right-handed hitters, trying to back them off the plate. So far, it's working. Though he loaded the bases with one out in the second, he got a big (if unconventional) 5-2 double play to end the inning. Still scoreless going to the bottom of the second.

7:45 p.m. -- Three scoreless innings for Lannan, who is putting guys on base but coming through when he needs to, having twice retired Chase Utley to end an inning. Forty-one pitches (29 strikes) through three.

8:04 p.m. -- Oh boy, an error once again comes back to haunt Lannan. He appeared to be out of the fourth inning unscathed when he had Mayberry picked off first base. Morse made a perfect throw to second, but Desmond took his eye off the ball at the last second and flat-out dropped it. That's an E6, and it proved costly because Lannan proceeded to walk Ruiz and then serve up a two-out, two-run triple to Valdez. The Phillies take a 2-0 lead, and Lannan has now given up nine runs (eight unearned) in the last week to Philadelphia.

8:16 p.m. -- Another squandered opportunity for the Nats in the bottom of the fourth. They had runners on first and second and one out -- though it should be noted the lead could have been on third had Laynce Nix, who is really struggling, advanced him instead of popping out to third base -- when Werth laced a single to left. Mayberry had the ball in his hand before Zimmerman reached third base, but Porter waved him around. And Mayberry's throw was on the money, nailing Zim at the plate and eliciting another eruption from the crowd. Overly aggressive move there by Bo, though I can't say I completely fault him for trying, especially with Espinosa due up. Danny is absolutely lost at the plate right now, and it showed as he struck out to end the inning. Still 2-0 Phillies after four.

8:36 p.m. -- That's an earned run against Lannan, who left a 1-0 slider over the plate to Hunter Pence and watched it sail into the left-field bleachers. Very few people inside this stadium did not stand and applaud as Pence rounded the bases. It's 3-0 Phillies in the sixth.

8:39 p.m. -- And after two more base hits, Lannan is out of the game without recording an out in the top of the sixth. Collin Balester now in from the bullpen, trying to keep this game from getting out of hand.

8:46 p.m. -- And the wheels have officially come off. The Phillies score two more runs in the sixth to make it 5-0, thanks in no small part to a terrible decision by Morse, who inexplicably threw to third base on a sac bunt attempt when he had no chance to retire the lead runner. Rollins followed with a two-run single up the middle, and all of a sudden, a competitive game has slipped out of the Nats' reach.

8:56 p.m. -- Just when you were ready to call this a night, Dale Scott gives you just enough glimmer of hope to keep watching. Bases loaded, two outs, Balester on the mound, Howard at the plate, 2-2 count ... and Scott punches Howard out on a slider that looked about 6 inches outside. I suppose if nothing else, the plate ump has been consistent tonight. It remains 5-0 going to the bottom of the sixth.

9:16 p.m. -- The Nats just can't string anything together against Oswalt. They've recorded a hit in four straight innings but have yet to score. Still 5-0 after seven.

9:21 p.m. -- Wow, tonight's official paid attendance is 44,685. That's the largest crowd in Nationals Park history. The Nationals would like to thank the Phillies and their fans for making this possible.

9:25 p.m. -- The listed capacity of this ballpark, by the way, is 41,546. Which means there were more than 3,000 standing room only tickets sold tonight. Again, the Nationals would like to thank the Phillies and their fans for making this possible.

9:56 p.m. -- It's over. Final score: 5-0. The Phillies beat John Lannan and the Nationals in front of tens of thousands of their fans. I believe I've written that sentence a few times before.

108 comments:

Anonymous said...

5$ ticket line all the way to the corner already. Wonder if they'll sell standing room only tickets.

FS said...

Killer tweet to Kilgore. LOL

Danny with couple of homeruns tonight.

LoveDaNats said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LoveDaNats said...

I was in Denver at the Rockies/Nats game in late August of 2007. We were up maybe 5/6 runs at the top of the ninth. Chad Cordero blows the save, Rockies win and began the remarkable run to the wild card by going 20-8 in September.
I always felt THAT game was the catalyst (you're welcome) since it proved to the Rockies they could come back and win under most any circumstances.
May we all be witnesses to our Nats going for the wild card! It could happen…..

SonnyG10 said...

I don't know about a wild card, but I would love a win against the Phillies tonight! Gotta love your optimistic dreaming, LoveDaNats.

Nattydread said...

If the Nats win, their home record will be identical to the Phillies road record....

gonatsgo said...

When these guy play up to their potential, they can beat anybody on any day. To be a top tier team, the trick is to play up to your potential consistently, not quite every game,but most of them. A lot of our guys have talent, but it kind of comes and goes. I hope for LannEn's sake that the defense is nice and tight and the offense shows up. 7 of those runs last Saturday were not earned runs. I know he is walking some batters, but he also didn't get much support in the field or at the plate.

natsfan1a said...

Go, LannEn. Go, NATS!!

m20832 said...

Winning is Fun!! Get another one Boys!

GYFNG!!!

baseballswami said...

Confession time - how many times have you watched the replay today? I have lost count. Each time I watch something new, Zim's face, the teammates -- watch the crowd behind home plate - you can tell who the nats fans are and who the phils fans are by their reaction - priceless. Up until last night, I had opening night at Nat's Park permanently stuck in my head - it has now been joined by last night.I hope they can keep some of their buzz going. Go LannEn and GYFNG!

JayB said...

Does anyone miss Riggs.....nice man and good baseball guy but the writing was so clearly on the wall that he was just a place holder that even he could read it and that is no way to run a team.

Mentioned this at the time but I have not read Mark pick up on it.....No More Teeth Pulling Post Game Pressers with Mic Stand and Seated Riggs......what a difference just that simple change has made......it was amazing how tense and unhappy he was at all times and how relaxed and confident Davey is....team is going to be very good very soon!

LoveDaNats said...

@baseballswami
I thought it was just me.....

natsfan1a said...

Just twice for me, swami, but I was out all day. Definitely will be watching it a bunch more times.

JayB, nope, I don't miss him at all.

natsfan1a said...

hehe, just watched it again. And now for something completely different, the Phillies broadcast of the walkoff:

http://philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?tcid=mm_phi_vid&c_id=phi

I kinda liked the footage of a disgusted Utley, although there's also something to be said for the call, which ends with "it's still - even for a team that's won 80 games this year - a very difficult one to swallow." Ahh...that'll be a sweet memory to warm me during winter's dark days of bitter baseball recriminations. :-)

natsfan1a said...

Oh, yeah: click on the video that says "Phillies fall on a walk-off grand slam."

baseballswami said...

natsfan1a - That was very sweet to watch- thanks so much. I know I am being very petty and mean-spirited, but, oh, it's just so good.

Grandstander said...

Wow, JayB's optimistic? Talk about a huge win!

Swami, I watched it about 10 times I'd guess. I also rewatched the entire bottom of the 9th with the SO today since she couldn't stay up and missed it. She was more impressed with Werth's AB than Zimmerman's HR. It was like watching a different player, fouling off those nasty changes and waiting for his pitch.

Interesting to see Nix back in there at the 5 spot. He's been struggling recently whereas Werth has been playing to his potential. Since getting a day off back July 27, Werth has slashed .284/.369/.459 with 4 2Bs and 3 HRs, though he's still striking out a lot, with 22, but he always has. Over that same time period, Nix has slashed .146/.222/.171 with just 1 double and struk out 8 times over 41 ABs.

I understand Nix has strong numbers against Halladay (4/13), but Werth ain't bad against him either (3/12) and has been having much better ABs lately. Maybe Davey knows something I don't, but it just seems like a weird move to me.

Fun Fact: Werth is slashing .077/.200/.077 when batting 6th this season (albeit over 13 ABs). His best numbers come when he's in the 3,4,5 slots.

gonatsgo said...

A friend who is a football fans always tells me that she thinks it must be hard to be a baseball fans because when you win you don't have much time to savor it before there is another game. They get a week.Only one hour of basking in the glory left.Oh - and the Mets are losing 7-1 in the seventh to the Brewers.

Grandstander said...

My bad, I thought Halladay was pitching today, not Oswalt. Werth is 6/23 against Oswalt with a double. Nix is 11/23 with 4 doubles, a triple and 3 homers. Maybe that explains it...

Grandstander said...

gonatsgo

That's a double-edged sword. You also have a week you have to think about it after a loss.

fpcsteve said...

I was interested in something I read this morning in mlb trade rumors. It claimed Selig is angry with the Nats and the Pirates for their free-spending ways in signing their draft picks. He wants a hard and fast slotting system sooner than later. The irony of it... It was OK for him/mlb to strip the Expos' farm system and give DC an empty cardboard box, but is not OK for the owners and management of the Nats to use their money and experience in rebuilding that same farm system. Seriously hypocritical that. Just a thought...

natsfan1a said...

You're welcome, swami, and I'm also enjoying my Schadenfreude moments.

My thoughts exactly on the double-edged sword, Grandstander.

Oh, and I don't give a rat's patoot if Bud is mad. In fact, I kinda like it. ;-)

Grandstander said...

It kinda does matter if Bud is mad about it because he's posturing for the CBA negotiations. He feels, with some merit, that major league players won't mind putting a hard slotting system in place because it only affects amateur players and it will free up more money to be spent on the FA market.

That would, however, be a huge blow to us considering how effectively we've been able to swipe guys with signability issues like Purke and Cole in the later rounds.

Joe Seamhead said...

What a great feeling I've had for the past 18 hours , or so.
GYFNG!
I went on a Phillies blog earlier. Gosh, those folks are lining up for spaces to jump off of the bridge. They're even worse then the the negative Nats Insider posters!
We're not going tonight, we were there last night, but we'll be down there tomorrow.

sunderland said...

A slot system is bogus, MLBPA will never agree. And a slot system would have to go hand in hand with being able to trade draft picks. Having slots where you can't trade picks is goofy.
Oh, and screw Bud.

Anonymous said...

LannEn!

baseballswami said...

Joe Seamhead - isn't it fun to eavesdrop the philly blogs? The weird thing is that they are just as unhappy when they win...

Anonymous said...

How awesome is zim?

Anonymous said...

Beast MOde!!!!

Bryan Scrafford said...

Anyone else think Zimmerman's walkoff homer last night would make for a perfect Master Card commercial :

http://wp.me/p1KoZR-2J

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

On TV, Carp keeps carping on the "wonderful atmosphere" in the park tonight. For anybody who is there: can you summarize the general behavior of the Philthy Phaithful tonight? Or, more appropriately, is there a sufficient police presence?

Bryan Scrafford said...

SBCITPFM: I'm not at the park tonight, but I was there last night. They were very vocal in their support of the Phillies and did boo Werth every time he came up, but (for the most part) were actually pretty well behaved. With that being said, it was frustrating that they absolutely dominated the stands.

baseballswami said...

For me, it is even hard to listen to all of the philly fans on tv = I can't tell you how offensive it sounds to me. But then,I am not there to support the nats, I didn't buy a ticket, I don't want to be there with all of them. So - am I helping to create this problem? I find this situation very frustrating but I just don't like going when it's like that. I feel bad for our guys, too when they make an out and hear cheering in a home game. Very angst-ridden on this subject and wondering what our philosophical Flynnie has to say. Flynnie you out there - do you have any wisdom?

Nats Outsider said...

In a wild game, Milwaukee has come back to beat the Mets, 11-9. That gives the Nats a tiny bit of breathing space tonight.

baseballswami said...

Wow - the last I checked on the mets/brewers it was Brewers up 7-3, sounds like a wild one - but with a good ending.

Nats Outsider said...

I'm following the game on Game Channel. Rick Ankiel is shown as the batter -- in a Kansas City cap.

I hope their reports are more up to date than their pictures.

Bryan Scrafford said...

Nats Outsider, please tell me they at least no longer list Ankiel as a pitcher :)

Mick said...

Ryan Howard is one strong dude

Nats Outsider said...

LOL, Bryan. No promises.

(Actually, Game Channel doesn't list the batter's position on the pitch-by-pitch page.)

Mick said...

hope 1st inning does not come back to haunt us

Mick said...

come on Ian, catch the GD ball!!

Navy Nats Fan said...

I'm here - it's a beautiful night and good baseball so far. But in section 402 I'm surrounded by phans - especially a large obnoxious group in 403 that is only interested in booing Werth. And they're not even drunk - yet. I did make sure to grab the number to text to for stadium staff support (91347) just in case. And there's a police helicopter hovering overhead. Just a precaution I'm sure.

Anonymous said...

I think the stadium staff support number should be plastered all over the place and on the scoreboard. If you need it, you won't have time to look for it. I think I will program it into my phone, actually. Thanks.

Bryan Scrafford said...

I saw the police helicopter fly over a few times last night as well. Thought it was just a coincidence at first, but after awhile I figured it had something to do with the game b/c it flew VERY close to the stadium.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Thanks, Navy Nats Fan. Stay safe, and keep me posted. And how are those ever-lovely Philly skanks looking tonight?

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Bryan, did you notice if there were snipers in the chopper?

Mick said...

I tell you, if I was the manager I would boot Ian in his ass, that is bad fundamentals and he cost the Nats 2 runs, not Lannan or Werth. Also,I have never complained all season about any umpires, but this home plate ump SUCKS! his strike zone is all over the place and the 3rd base ump is also a douche bag as well.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

I'm no Flynnie. But there is only one answer, SwamiJi, as you already know.


The Secret Word is
pitivers

"Philly sports fans live in a pitivers of feeling sorry for themselves, even when their team is good."

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

I like that they have adopted the forearm bash.

Mick said...

Stupid stupid 3rd base coach, what a idiot!! Why be aggressive now, you would have had bases loaded and 1 out.

gonatsgo said...

Tell me again - why is Nix playing when he is ice cold and has a sore foot and Gomes is hot and healthy? Is it that silly lefty righty thing?

Bryan Scrafford said...

Sec 3, My Couch: None that I noticed -- though that doesn't mean they weren't there.

Mick: Desmond might be gone soon enough. There's rumors that they'll move Espinosa over to short (which is where he's spent most of his playing career) and have Anthony Rendon play second once he's up in the big leagues. Obviously the problem with that is finding someone to play second until Rendon is ready to come up.

Mick said...

Bryan, thanks for the update, i hope your right about Rendon

gonatsgo, Nix is still in lineup because Davey is clueless about his players, plain and simple.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

No problem with Bo Porter sending Zimmerman there--it's fairly early, they just scored two unearned runs, so you want to get something right back, there's nobody out, and the left fielder isn't the regular guy--if the throw is off, he scores. We like aggressive, and aggressive gets you thrown out sometimes when the other team does their job right.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Oh, and bottom of the order was coming up.

Navy Nats Fan said...

As a sailor I'm not much of a judge of pulchritude - any port in a storm and all that. But I will say there are some harbours here tonight I would not moor my ship in...

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

C'mon, Long Ball LannEn ...

OK, ground ball up the middle lannEn. That'll do.

You owe us two, Ian ... oooh, that wasn't the two I had in mind.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Walking a thin edge, there, sailEr... just sayin.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Post of the night nominee:

Navy Nats Fan said...
As a sailor I'm not much of a judge of pulchritude - any port in a storm and all that. But I will say there are some harbours here tonight I would not moor my ship in...

Well put, mate. Be careful where you lay your anchor, so to speak.

Dave said...

Sec. 313 is full of phans, but they're not too obnoxious.

It would be nice to see a little Nats offense, I must say. Defense from Mr. Bobblehead too.

gonatsgo said...

Mick, thanks - I thought it was just me.You know, we are still in this game - I didn't think so last night and they taught me otherwise. Time for someone not name Zimmerman or Morse to hit, though.

Anonymous said...

Short leash on Lannan.

Sparlker said...

What was the beast thinking?

So, is Johnson gonna get Burnett warmed up or let Bally pitch to Utley and Howard? Well, now at 5-0 it's less of an issue.

Bryan Scrafford said...

Considering how Lannon has a history of not doing well, I'm not too surprised that they had a relatively short leash on him.

Bryan Scrafford said...

Sorry, that last comment should have read "a history of not doing well against Philly"

gonatsgo said...

Actually I think Lannan should have gotten out of his own mess and could probably have gotten out of the inning with about the same result or less.We are not contending - I would love to see our pitchers stay in there and work it out. Just because a few good hitters got hits, doesn't mean he is tired or can't get back on track. Maybe they are just good hitters. Livo had a bad inning last night and then came back with some good ones. Once again, the statement is made - we want to keep the pitchers in longer - then,first sign of a jam and "poof" - out of there. If the offense would show up....We can't just put this on the pitchers night after night. (last night was the obvious exception, but was down to the last swings).

Navy Nats Fan said...

SEC 3, you're absolutely right - what I meant to say was - there are some harbours here tonight in which I would not moor my ship.

Better?

natslady said...

Navy went up to 402 did not see you. Am in 304 natsladydy

Navy Nats Fan said...

Dang - you must have been in 402 while we were going through 304 on the way out - the 9-yr-old had enough, and I figure the only way the Nats win tonight is if I leave early. Didn't work.

You're here tomorrow, right? Do you still need a Desmond or are you through with him after he dropped the pickoff throw?

Stranded_in_Philly said...

Message to Mark Lerner: time to lock down ticket sales out of the D.C. areas for select (aka Phillies) series. Better a half full house then this embarrassment. The Phillies run T.V. adds now bragging about how they show up everyone else (specifically noting the Nationals) in their own stadiums. It is embarrassing, and has to stop.

Anonymous said...

i was at the game tonight and it was a horrible experience. i was heckled walking into my own stadium for wearing nationals gear. i swear it was 90% phillies fans and they were all beligerently drunk, rude, and nasty. trying to boo when youre the only nats fan in the entire upper bowl does not work. drunk loud horrible fans in front of me- did the entire city of philadelphia decide to come to nats park. those people are such scum. whats in the water they drink over there? as long as the lerners make $ i guess thats all that matters. relaxed fun atmosphere at nats park gone replaced by a humiliating and unbearable atmosphere

Bryan Scrafford said...

gonatsgo, Good point and it seems like Davey Johnson gives that sentiment some lip service even if he doesn't always practice it. After taking him out in the sixth inning the other day, after all, Johnson did tell Jordan Zimmermann he didn't want to have to take him out of the game because he's in the middle of a jam ever again.

Dawn said...

It is embarrassing, only way to stop it is to put a Nats followers fanny in the seat first. On the other hand I kinda like knowing that the money generated from the tickets sales to Philly fans over a handful of games helps pay the salary of one mightily booed Nats player (Werth). Kinda tickles my funny bone. Feel a little bad for the Nats players, but they understand and appreciate playing in front of a full house whoever they are rooting for. Game tomorrow, still time to take the series.

Drew8 said...

Just for grins....

Who do you think is leading Hagerstown in home runs? I'll spot you two guesses.

(Nope, it's not Bryce Harper or Kevin Keyes.)

Tonight shortstop Jason Martinson clocked his team-leading 16th homer of the season.

Who knew?

Martinson was the Nats' 5th rounder in 2010 out of Texas State. They're amassing a lot of interesting players down on the farm.

gonatsgo said...

Did I hear one of the commentators say that we hadn't been shut out since June 29th? That is not so bad. I do think the Philly invasion thing has gotten out of hand. I just don't know if there is anything that can be done about it. I hate it - they are so crass. I guess we just take their money and keep making our team better. I don't think there is any way to control who is buying tickets.It's kind of like we have extra away games each season.

sjm308 said...

Was at the game tonight and while it is exactly what the Orioles experience when NY or Boston comes to town, I take this much more personally. I have to admit that the phans around me were polite and very complimentary of Zimm. In 308 it was an older group and not that much alcohol, but the entire stadium was cheering for Ruiz, booing Werth and it really did not feel like a home game. As soon as they get a lead, it gets even worse. Again, I think opening day in 2010 was the worst athletic experience I have had and if it were up to me, I would not attend another game with the Phillies but they are a good team and we played poorly tonight.

Key tomorrow is have Wang pitch his first inning in the bullpen and then start throwing his nasty sinker after that.

Would love to win the series and be in third place at the end of this home stand.

sjm308 said...

One more thing, we got to the stadium around 6:20. bobbleheads all gone (again, mostly to philly phans - why the hell do they want them?). Was showing my cousins the lovely park and walked over to the river side and watched not one, two or three large tour buses but TEN unload in front of the park. Can't imagine how many others there were. Later in the park I saw groups in identical t-shirts saying road trip 2011 - Nationals Park. Amazing.

Drew8 said...

Mr. Bobble ranks 14th out of 24 MLB shortstops in UZR, which isn't terrible. But some of his other stats look awful.

He's 21st out of 24 shortstops with a .964 fielding percentage. He ranks 22nd out of 24 shortstops with 19 errors.

Did I mention that his OPS of .596 is dead last in the National League and ranks 153rd out of 157 players in all of baseball?

Tell me again why Lombo or Rendon won't be an upgrade?

Anonymous said...

@sjm308 im glad your experience was better than mine. and where i was they were not respectful of zim- he was booed loudly every time he came up to bat, which is so incredibly stupid. behind the scoreboard area while they were announcing the starting lineups, everyone was booing when the nats lineup was read, and the crowd erupted into a roar when the phillies players were announced. it was awful

Anonymous said...

I'm an Anonymous...haven't posted in about a month.

When the Nats were losing 100 games a year, I would look at the lineups before games with Filthadelphia and just laugh. We had no chance--they were superior at 8 of 9 positions on the field, or 8 of 9 positions in the lineup.

Despite all the hype about the Nats (I think we should have the phrase, "Moving in the right direction" embroidered on our hats), the fact is the Phillies are still superior, on most nights, at 8 positions on the field.

Tonight, I think, was their 81st win. The date is August 20th.

We have miles and miles and miles to go before we can even dream of being competitive with the Phils. While we are getting better relative to 100-loss seasons, they are getting better relative to their team that won the World Series. Hear that again: Philadelphia is getting better relative to their team that won the World Series.

Anonymonth

Dave said...

You know what the really bad thing is about these Philly invasions? Not so much that those guys are drunk and obnoxious. They aren't all that way.

Section 313 had a loyal coterie of Nats fans right in the middle of it, a few Nats fans out along the edges, and bunches of Philly phamilies occupying most of the section.

The bad thing is that our ballpark is overwhelmed with these people. There is, of course, no way to know how many of the announced crowd were Phillies fans. I initially guessed 80%. My wife pointed out to me that this would mean fewer than 10,000 Nats people, and that really does seem unlikely. So let's say 70%. That would make it around 12K or so of Nats fans, a plausible number.

When rows and rows of buses from Philadelphia, SE Pennsylvania, and southern New Jersey drive thousands and thousands of people down here, then the Nats are selling to huge groups from the Philly market. They want to sell tickets, fair enough. But this felt an awful lot like Opening Day 2009. That was a day that will live in infamy--the day that Stan Kasten openly sold out to Philadelphia's fans.

We did notice something strange, though. Despite the announced crowd of more-than-sold-out, we had plenty of elbow room in 313. Other Infield Gallery sections looked the same. That tells me that there were season-ticket holders who just decided to eat this ticket, to sit this one out, rather than go to the ballpark and feel overwhelmed.

I'm not sure whether that's a good thing or a bad thing. I do know, though, that the Nats organization is up-and-coming, and that the Phillies lineup gets older and older every year. Our season will come soon. Maybe then the Phillies will be trying to sell busloads of DC folks to come to Citizen's Bank Park.

Time to move on to the Sunday game. GYFNG!

Drew8 said...

I'm just not inclined to go when the Phillies come to town.

It's not the team. I can appreciate the talents of Doc, Utley, Howard, Rollins, Oswalt, Hamels et al. And I have faith that our Nats can give them a good game.

But why would I spend $60 for an evening with obnoxious people?

sjm308 said...

anon: I agree that it all depends where you are sitting. for that opening day, I was in right field, surrounded by drunken idiots and it was horrible.

on another point. Everyone has Espinosa moving to SS next year but am I wrong that he looks absolutely lost at the plate right now? I have zero confidence in him at this point and feel better about Ian coming to bat with runners on base than Danny. Ian made another costly error tonight but they are both young. I think a couple days off might help both and to me, the callups can't come soon enough.

go nats

Dave said...

Sorry, I guess it was OD 2010 that I was remembering. There have been so many bad ones, they all run together.

Congrats to my seat-neighbor who won the silent auction for the Livo autographed jersey ("Ms. Not-Anonymous"). When Livo pitched in 2005 at RFK on Opening Day, that was a good day. OD 2009, 2010, 2011, not so much.

Dave said...

@sjm308, I agree that Danny E. looks like a guaranteed out nowadays when he comes to the plate. How long has it been since he had a day off? It's gotta be weeks or months. Maybe it's time.

Anonymous said...

It makes me sick to my stomch to watch Josh Willingham bat for the A's. 21 Homers and 71 RBI's and he has missed 20 games. I know he's only hitting .250 but that would be virtually 4th best on our team and would lead us in HR's and RBI's (tied with Morse). Plus he was such a good guy.

Anonymous said...

Well there you go another 2 run bomb by Josh while I was typing the last post. 22 Homers 73 RBI's DAMN!!!

sjm308 said...

dave: I am going to break my arm patting myself on the back for not responding immediately that the opening day was 2010. last time I caught a mistake, I wasn't a very nice insider, I am kinder and gentler now.

Anonymous said...

Corey F ing Brown...what a joke

Dave said...

@sjm308, thanks for your patience and kindness. I need it after the Phillies experience tonight. :-D

OD 2009 was bad, too, right? But not sold out to trainloads of Phillies people?

Frediemac said...

Drew8 said...
I'm just not inclined to go when the Phillies come to town.

It's not the team. I can appreciate the talents of Doc, Utley, Howard, Rollins, Oswalt, Hamels et al. And I have faith that our Nats can give them a good game.

But why would I spend $60 for an evening with obnoxious people?

NOBODY's fans are as hostile and loud mouths as Philly fans. They are the same at Fed-Ex and Verizon Center. They piss me off and keep me from enjoying myslef at the game. Only when Zimmerman walks them off does it not matter that they are jerks.

sjm308 said...

I am ok with not signing Josh since he probably would have wanted a multi-year deal and that would have totally eliminated Morse from any shot at left field. No way Riggs would have given Morse a chance when he had a veteran like Josh out there. That means Morse might never have had the opportunties this year to break out and I feel he is going to be much more valuable than Josh for years to come. That being said, Josh was a great teammate and really good guy. Its just a that at the beginning of the year with LaRoche playing great defense and us not knowing how hurt he was, Morse would never have had a chance to grow. Obviously now, with Morse at first and Willingham in left we would be even more formitable.

sjm308 said...

I am off to dream about CM Wang totally shutting down the Phillies and ruin the week-end for the thousands of bus riding philadelphians who invaded our stadium. Would love to see the Lerners start charging anyone in phillies gear a $2 fee for regular food and up it to $7 for a beer. They probably would still pay $15 for a beer but I would feel better about having that money go to pay for our top free agent pitcher this off season.

Feel Wood said...

Mr. Bobble ranks 14th out of 24 MLB shortstops in UZR, which isn't terrible.

Do we play any of the six teams that are not fielding a shortstop during the rest of this season? Might make for a few easy wins.

Suz said...

@Dave Thanks, Section 313 rocks! It felt like there were even more Phils phans present this evening than for OD 2010. The ones in our section were polite, but the stadium was almost completely ovrerrun. I hope they enjoy their Ian Desmond bobbleheads.

Anonymous said...

I hate the money grubbing Lerners. Rot in Hell. Enjoy selling out to Philly fan you pieces of garbage. My girlfriend and I took her 11 year old daughter and 14 year son. What a miserable experience. Drunken cursing arrogant "phans" at every turn. Thanks Lerners.

Dave said...

Wait! Wait! Mark Z either backs me up or is wrong himself!

In his CSN piece, he says it was 2009 when Kasten went on the radio to invite Phillies people down here.

The more that I think about it, though, the more I think it had to be 2010. I do recall the Phan invasion happening right after Kasten went on Philadelphia radio and invited everybody down here.

Anonymous said...

Kasten went on Philly radio before Opening Day 2009, the same year Harry Kalas died in the Phillies radio booth. The invasion was O.D. 2010, the year of Kasten's block sales to Philly bloggers and Obama's first pitch.

NatsLady said...

I didn't have a good time tonight. I always have a good time at the Park, even when the Nationals lose. Sat in my usual section, two very pleasant Nats fans on one side and two young men Phillies fans (not in Phillies gear) on the other.

The Nats fans left in the 4th inning. They swore off Phillies games and only came for the bobblehead. They have tickets for tomorrow but are not attending. The guys on my right were friendly and not obnoxious. They bought their tickets from a season-ticket holder.

I have my ticket, but I don't know if I will go. It's a vicious cycle: the more Phillies fans go, the less Nats fans want to go, even if they already have tickets.

The end of the game was the worst. When the Nats lose (which heaven knows is plenty often), fans leave with a calm, good-natured resignation. When they win, there's happy chatter. I just HATED the whole stadium rising for the last batter and the huge cheer that went up.

I hated the constant and loud booing of Werth. Really, from now on I don't care if he bats like Adam Dunn and makes 5 errors a game, he is OUR GUY. Didn't he do a good job for them? I don't get it at all.

Feel Wood-- that was funny!

Anonymous said...

@ Dave

2009

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dcsportsbog/2009/04/stan_kasten_sings_a_hymn_to_ph.html

2010

http://www.natsinsider.com/2010/04/how-philly-fans-overtook-dc.html

Suz said...

@Dave It was the 2010 OD that lives in infamy. As I recall, the Nats opened at home against Philadelphia in 2009 as well, but it was not the overrun fiasco that 2010 was.

Sam said...

Maybe I'm missing something, but what exactly can the Lerners do to stop the Phillies fans from buying tickets? Don't they offer something like $2 tickets on Tuesdays and other crazy discounts? They can't actually give them away for free. Plus, these games against the Phillies are premium. If there were 40,000+ fans there and 70% were Nationals fans, the atmosphere would be spectacular.

Someone explain this to me, please.

As far as I can tell, if Nationals fans would just buy tickets to go see the games - and in particular, to see the ones against the Phillies - before opposing teams' fans do, then there wouldn't be an invasion.

Anonymous said...

@Sam
Marketing the team is the responsibility of the Lerners - and the professions they hire - not message board posters. Don't expect deep answers here. As for stopping the hordes of the unwashed, the Lerners should do what Ted Leonsis does to stop Pittsburgh Penguin fans - block sales to certain zip codes. It would be a good start.

SonnyG10 said...

Right on, Sam. but that's not going to happen until the Nats start winning divisions and maybe a world series or two. We need to get the fringe fans excited about following our team and I believe the Lerners and Mike Rizzo are trying to do just that.

I was at last night's game, but not tonight's. There were a lot of philly phans in the Diamond Club section, but they were well behaved. I watched tonight's game on MASN and even in my own home I was discusted at the way the croud sounded like a home crown for the Phillies.

Regarding an earlier post about Bud Selig being mad at the Nationals for spending over slot on our draftees, it really burns me up to hear that. He's got a lot of nerve after holding us hostage for 32 years waiting for another team and then when we finally get one, its minor league system has been gutted. On top of that he gave the Nats television rights to Peter Angelos. Now he gets mad because our owners are trying to rebuild the franchise to be competitive as soon as possible! Shame on him. If he wants a hard slotting system, then major league baseball should give us back all the assets they stole from us.

SonnyG10 said...

I mean crowd.

Drew8 said...

Feel Wood:

Stop it, you're killing me!

FanGraphs only lists 24 qualifying shortstops:

http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=ss&stats=fld&lg=all&qual=y&type=1&season=2011&month=0&season1=2011&ind=0

Dave said...

While I was sleeping, I figured out the whole 2009-2010 thing. And @Anon 12:06, I knew there was some reason I have bad vibes about 2009. Harry Kalas died in the pressbox.

The Nats certainly cannot keep Philly fans, or anybody, from buying tickets. But Kasten's going up there and basically telling all of Philadelphia to "come on down"--on the Philly radio in 2009, and in targeted telephone marketing in 2010--opened the floodgates, as Mark Z. pointed out.

So the more I think about it, my hat's off to the Nats season-ticket holders who held on to their tickets and didn't swap them, which would've made them available to Phillies people. If you can't stand to be there yourself, it's nice not to let the other side sit in your seat.

K.D. said...

Being a Nats fan living in Michigan I have taken the trip across Lake Michigan to watch the Brewer's play the Nats because it is doable in a day or overnight. I also am a Tiger's fan and have traveled to Cleveland to watch them play in a sparse house in a great seat. I wore a Nats Insider T-shirt to one, brought a Tiger's hat )to put on once I was in my seat) at the other. Not afraid, just being respectful as I am a guest. Either way I am a baseball fan just like the Phillies fans are. In this age of the NFL taking over the Sports media (it is only Pre-Season people!) I appreciate any MLB fans. All that being said I respect everyone's comments about the boorish Phillies fans and don't doubt that the experience as a whole has been unpleasant.

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