Friday, September 9, 2011

Game 142: Astros at Nats

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The sun is out and the Nats and Astros will open their series tonight.
Take a good, long look at that above photo. I took it a few minutes ago. Yes, that is indeed sunshine over Nationals Park, something we haven't seen in quite some time. Thus, the Nats and Astros will open their weekend series this evening with only a slight threat of rain after a water-logged week against the Dodgers.

Tom Milone makes his second career start, hoping to build off the good things he did in his debut last week (three scoreless innings to begin the night, not to mention a home run on the first big-league pitch he ever faced as a batter) while avoiding the big four-run inning that did him in.

Milone will have plenty of familiar faces behind him. Former Syracuse teammates Chris Marrero and Steve Lombardozzi are in the lineup, with Lombardozzi making his first start at shortstop and leading off in place of Ian Desmond. Right-hander Bud Norris starts for the Astros, owners of baseball's worst record.

I'm back at the ballpark and back on the beat through the rest of the season, so please check back often for plenty of updates...

ASTROS at NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
TV: MASN
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 188
Weather: Partly cloudy, 76 degrees, Wind 3 mph RF to LF
STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (65-76)
SS Steve Lombardozzi
RF Rick Ankiel
3B Ryan Zimmerman
LF Michael Morse
CF Jayson Werth
2B Danny Espinosa
1B Chris Marrero
C Wilson Ramos
P Tom Milone

ASTROS (48-95)
CF Jordan Schafer
2B Jose Altuve
RF Jason Bourgeois
1B Carlos Lee
LF J.D. Martinez
3B Chris Johnson
SS Clint Barmes
C Humberto Quintero
P Bud Norris
6:37 p.m. -- Pregame injury news: Astros left-hander Sergio Escalona sprained his ankle during batting practice when he stepped on a glove and went down in a heap. They had to cart him off the field in a little mini-ambulance, and he was due to have X-rays taken.

7:07 p.m. -- And we're underway with a strike from Tom (or is it Tommy?) Milone to Jordan Schafer. Very small gathering here at the park at first pitch.

7:11 p.m. -- Nice top of the first for Milone. He struck out Schafer on a 74 mph curveball, then got Jose Altuve to fly out to center and Jason Bourgeois to pop out to first. 9 of 13 pitches for strikes. This is the first time I've seen him pitch. My initial impression: He works fast, throws strikes and changes speeds. Ray Miller would be proud.

7:17 p.m. -- You know, they should really think about renaming the front section of the Red Porch "Zim's Porch." Ryan Zimmerman has found those seats countless times over the years, and he just did it again in the bottom of the first, crushing a 1-1 pitch from Bud Norris for a two-run shot. That gives Zim 11 homers in 84 games this season, not quite a pace he's been used to in the past but still respectable. Nats lead 2-0 early.

7:28 p.m. -- Two innings in the books, six batters faced, six batters retired for Milone. He's thrown only 23 pitches (15 strikes) and he really seems to mix things up, rarely throwing the same pitch twice in a row. It's early, but so far, I'm impressed.

7:36 p.m. -- Here's what I really was looking forward to seeing tonight: Milone at the plate! And then he struck out with an ugly swing on a 2-2 pitch from Norris. I'm crushed. Then again, it's worth noting that in three plate appearances, Milone already has produced more RBI (3) than Matt Stairs, Brian Bixler or Jesus Flores. Nats still lead 2-0 after two.

7:47 p.m. -- The Astros picked up a run in the top of the third thanks to Clint Barmes' leadoff ground-rule double to left (a ball that might have been caught by some left fielders). He came around to score on a groundball and then a sac fly, but I was again impressed with Milone's approach this inning. He's not afraid to come inside on right-handed hitters, and indeed sawed off Humberto Quintero's bat with one inside fastball. It's proof you don't have to throw 95 mph to be able to do that. Imagine if Ross Detwiler (who can throw 95 on occasion) would come inside a little more. It's now 2-1 Nats going to the bottom of the third.

8:06 p.m. -- Make it a 2-2 game in the middle of the fourth after Milone gives up another run. Nothing really hard-hit, but he loaded the bases on a couple of singles and a hit batter. Chris Johnson's sac fly then brought the lead runner home to tie the game up. On the bright side, Milone battled to strike out Barmes to end the inning and strand the go-ahead runner on third.

8:26 p.m. -- The kid keeps on battling. He put himself in a jam in the top of the fifth, with runners on second and third and only one out. But he got Jose Altuve to pop out after taking a huge hack at an 88 mph fastball earlier in the at-bat. (If Altuve is going to swing that hard at Milone's stuff, I can't wait to see what he does against Stephen Strasburg on Sunday.) Jason Bourgeois, meanwhile, roped a hard grounder that appeared headed right for Lombardozzi, except Jordan Schafer got in the way and the ball smacked him in the leg. That's a base hit for Bourgeois, but Schafer is out to end the inning with the score still 2-2. The Nats, by the way, don't have a hit since Morse's first-inning single. Where have we seen this storyline before?

8:45 p.m. -- And that'll do it for Milone, who can't get out of the sixth. In his defense, he wasn't helped by Michael Morse, who looked totally uncomfortable trying to gauge Carlos Lee's inning-opening drive to deep left. Not saying Morse should have caught it, but he certainly should have put forth a better attempt at it. That set the stage for Barmes' RBI single past a leaping Lombardozzi, ending Milone's night. The Nats now trail 3-2 heading to the bottom of the sixth.

8:53 p.m. -- Uh, Rick Ankiel, what exactly were you doing just there? When you're on first base and there are less than two outs and your teammate hits a fly ball to shallow left field, you go halfway to second, not seven-eighths of the way. Bad baserunning results in a bad 7-3 double play. Still 3-2 Astros after six.

9:16 p.m. -- We've been waiting to see Chris Marrero flash his power. Well, he just did, and he did it in a big spot. With the tying run on third and one out in the seventh, Marrero fouled off several 3-2 pitches from Norris, then roped a double to deep left-center to score Espinosa. That put the Nats in prime position to take the lead, except Ramos hit a fly ball to right and pinch-hitter Laynce Nix popped out the first pitch he saw to end the inning, with Norris now at 116 pitches.

9:21 p.m. -- By the way, the Nats just announced enhanced security plans for the weekend. Be prepared for fewer gates to be open at the park, extra security checks and no outside liquids allowed inside the stadium.

9:27 p.m. -- Nice job by Henry Rodriguez to pitch his way out of a jam in the top of the eighth. Man on third, one out and he blew away J.D. Martinez with a 100 mph fastball at the knees, then got Johnson to line out to center. We go to the bottom of the eighth, the game still tied 3-3.

9:34 p.m. -- For the second straight day, Drew Storen will enter for the bottom of the ninth of a tie game. He gave up three runs yesterday. Let's see what happens here.

9:43 p.m. -- Very nice job by Storen. Though he let Barmes reach on a strikeout-wild pitch, he more than made up for it with a nifty 1-4 double play on a popped-up bunt attempt. A strikeout of Brett Wallace ended the inning and sends us to the bottom of the ninth, still tied 3-3. Morse, Werth and Espinosa due up for the Nats against right-hander Enerio del Rosario.

9:48 p.m. -- Extra innings, here we come after the Nats go down in order in the bottom of the ninth. Tyler Clippard will pitch, and Ian Desmond has entered to play shortstop, with Lombardozzi shifting to second base and Espinosa coming out of the game.

9:55 p.m. -- Clippard mows 'em down in the top of the 10th. Chris Marrero to lead off the bottom of the inning. You know what would be nice right now? Marrero's first career home run.

10:06 p.m. -- Steve Lombardozzi is now 0-for-10 as a big-leaguer. And this game is now heading to the 11th inning.

10:15 p.m. -- Another clean inning for Clippard, giving the Nats' bullpen 5 1/3 scoreless innings in this game. Now, if only their teammates could reward the relievers for the effort. Bottom of the 11th ahead.

10:32 p.m. -- Nats win. Nats win. With two on and one out in the 11th, Jayson Werth hit a sharp grounder toward third. Jimmy Paredes (who just entered to play third base for the Astros) tried to throw late to second and fired the ball into right field. Ryan Zimmerman scored and the Nats won 4-3 in 11.

88 comments:

m20832 said...

Lombardozzi at SS? Isn't second base his usual position?
Well, I guess we'll see what kind of range he has.

Please win tonight!
GYFNG!!

sjm308 said...

they moved him all over as the season went along - I think he is auditioning to take Cora's role next year

jd said...

sjm,

I think that they are just choosing not start any controversy at this stage so they are not really moving either Desmond or Espinosa off the position they played all year. I think that Lombo is too young to play the Cora role; I think one of the 3 gets traded in the off season.

m20832 said...

I think one of the 3 gets traded in the off season.

Please let it be Desmond...then move Espi to short and Lombo to second.

HHover said...

Lombo has played some SS in the minors, but not much--only 13 games this year, vs. 122 at 2B.

It's not typical to shift to a harder position when you reach the majors--I have to think that if they really saw him as a major league SS they would have had him playing there in the minors (it's not like he was being blocked by some better SS prospect).

In other words--I know there are folks eager to say adios to Desmond at SS, but I don't think Lombo is the one who takes his place.

Curt Flood Jr said...

Michael Morse is about as bad as Frank Howard in left. Morse cost two runs last night by poorly playing a "double." Hopefully LaRoche can be unloaded and Morse can play first next year.

Doc said...

Welcome back, to your own blog MarkMeister. Started throwing a ball to Brian Leonard yet?

Gooooooo Mighty Milone, and Goooooo Mickey ' The Beast' Morse on the way to 30 HRs!!

Oldguy said...

From left: "Washington Nationals' instructional league roster released today.

Sixth-overall selection Anthony Rendon is joined by fellow draftees Alex Meyer, Brian Goodwin, Matt Purke and Kylin Turnbull.

Can anyone comment on the difference between the Instructional League and the AFL? I thought some of those guys would be heading for Arizona.

Feel Wood said...

Can anyone comment on the difference between the Instructional League and the AFL? I thought some of those guys would be heading for Arizona.

Players can do both. Harper did last year.

Oldguy said...

Thanks--I thought so.
OG

sunderland said...

So we get to see Lombardozzi, leading off, and Milone for another outing. Cool.

baseballswami said...

GYFBNG! Go You Freaking Baby Nats Go!!! Show us your stuff - it's audition time. I actually wish it was winning time, too, but alas, I think it's audition time. Perhaps we can have both?

Anonymous said...

Zimmerman -- please pay the man!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey - where is everyone tonight?

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

they found a more interesting blog, with no jokes and a two-post limit?

Wally said...

Hey, pretty quiet.

So what are the opinions on Werth in CF? Too soon for any stats to be meaningful. He looks pretty solid to me. Probably has limited range, but may be an option there next year.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Naaah.

Me, I just got home, but they never tell me where they go anyway.

Say, any chance Morse can go back to first, and LaRoche can play left?

Wally said...

Doubtful he makes it there. Pretty slow, and I am not sure he has ever played there. Looks like Morse

CBinDC said...

So the Astros went and got them Cy Young was it in a trade from the Dodgers ...must be the move to the AL

baseballswami said...

Morse played right last year - I don't remember it being that bad. Any reason why he didn't just go back there? Werth maybe ok in center - he is baseball smart, which helps. He will just have to learn how to avoid the pitcher's mound. Can we start hitting please now? Carp has just about guaranteed that we lose because he has described just how bad the Astros are, in detail. So, of course, that was their cue to tie it up. By the way - watched the phils and braves this week and it seems like all of the other teams are not too proud to manufacture a run occasionally with some sacrificing. We have just been victimized twice. Milone looks ok I think, they are not pounding the ball.

CBinDC said...

So here we go another team we should be all over and WHAT SO FAR ....nothing nada ....what really do the players think of all of this ....do they care at all beside the usual canned responses

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Swami, as a general rule, left field is where you try to hide defensive liabilities. Right would be worse, not better.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Wow. Now that was bad baserunning. How do you let that dribbler hit you?

Wally said...

Milone seems to walk a tighter rope than Lannan. He spots pitches pretty well, but it seems like if he misses even just a bit, it gets hit hard. But I like pitchers with this kind of control. It usually takes them a while to figure out how to pitch - a couple of years, sometimes. But then they can be pretty effective. Ted Lilly was like that. Mixed results for a few years with he Yanks, and then a light went on.

Wonder if we'll see Peacock tonight.

baseballswami said...

Sec 3 - so I thought - just remembering that he played there last year. And yeah, CB , this seems to be how it goes, doesn't it?

Wally said...

I am a big fan of Ramos. I see him as a top 5 catcher in a few years, when his hitting gets a little better. 20 hrs, 30 2bs kind of power with above average D. That is a pretty good catcher

baseballswami said...

Wally - we have lots of catchers around, don't we? Flores has come back to life, we have catching prospects in the minors. Do you think any of them will be traded?

CBinDC said...

OK why did Morse not get that fly ball it looked by the time the camera pick him up that he had a good lunge try ....or is it just the HD playing tricks

Wally said...

Swami - sure seems that way, but I think Ramos is the keeper. If Norris hadn't taken a step back, I think he would have been a key part of a deal for a pitcher. Maybe he still has enough value.

There is also catching depth in the lower minors. Sandy Leon, Freitas have some potential.

baseballswami said...

I don't know, but - is it too much to ask that major league hitters , I don't know, maybe - say, HIT THE BALL? We are playing the team that has by far given up the most runs of any team -- something like 700 and some.We have THREE hits. I know we have three AAA players out there, but, come on now. We are losing to the Astros........

CBinDC said...

who is the worse team in the MLB right now ?????? what is the issue with this team I demand answers

baseballswami said...

CB - supposedly it's the astros, but.....If it wasn't for the first half where we banked some wins, we would be them. Random thought -- John Lannan is the only starting pitcher still standing from the first half. Every other starter is up from the minors or back from rehab. Marquis - gone, Gorzo- bullpen, Livo - done, JZim - done. He better watch his back.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Well, I think I have one answer, to what Rick Ankiel was thinking, where he was going: Third base.

If they collide, and the ball gets more than a few steps away, he's thinking he can get to third, maybe even score if it really rolls or is kicked away.

Over-reaching. Trying too hard. Trying harder is bad in baseball.

baseballswami said...

Tired of looking at goose eggs.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

beats chicken droppings, swami.
just sayin.

But Marrero feels you.

CBinDC said...

So where is the big improvement WHERE IS IT .....seems that they are the same losing team we have witnessed for 7 years now .....Now we have Davey Johnson the man who once did great things ...JUST NOT HERE NOT RIGHT NOW IS ANYTHING GREAT ....can anybody point one great move or player change that he has done since taking over .... he hates losing but that is all they have done is lose ...tonight they should not be battling in the bottom of the seventh against the Astros ....not if they are putting the Culture of Losing behind them .....all it has been for two weeks now is the Culture of Excuses .....nothing but and the old WELL THAT'S BASEBALL ....yeah I know the losing kind

baseballswami said...

CB - I think you have been listening to me..I just don't get it that there is no accountability required of Johnson at all.And now it's his favorite relief pitcher, HRod to give that run right back. Craig Stammen was doing awesome -- why is he out? He used to be a starter - DJ does not seem to be able to recognize the hot hand and the "doesn't have it tonight".

sunderland said...

Why is Stammen out of the game? To get a hitter up (Nix) with a RISP. Obviously. I am no big DJ fan, but nitpicking every move is silly. Batiing Nix for Stammen with RISP makes sense.

yankish2 said...

Disappointed that Milone tops out at 89mph. He may have had a lot of K's in AA and AAA, but that won't get it done in the big leagues. One John Lannan on the staff is enough.

FP got it right on Espinoza...always in an 0-2 count. Haven't we seen enough of Danny this year?

Wally said...

Swami - the argument for HRod was the strikeout for the second out. His stuff is so overpowering that the batter swings at basically a ground ball because he has virtually no reaction time. You don't give up on that kind of stuff easily.

To me, there is no doubt you make room for him in the bullpen. Now, we probably shouldn't be carrying him AND Slaten AND Ballestar (at least when we play with 25 guys.

I always liked Stammen. Many don't, and I didn't want to jinx him by saying something earlier.

sunderland said...

Wow. Barmes misses at strike 3 by 2 feet, no exaggeration, and his reward is first base. And then the classic 1-4 double play.

baseballswami said...

Points made and well taken. Glad to have cooler heads prevail. Just so frustrated with this team. I have always liked Stammen, too - don't know if there is a place for him, though, and that's a shame. There should always be a place for a steady, no-drama reliever. I honestly don't mind having Lombardozzi, Marrero and the other Syracusians get playing time. They don't really seem to be the problem , it's the others who should be playing better than they are. Packing to go home for the off-season already? I don't care who is pitching - anyone of our starters this year could have given up 3 - we should be able to handle that.

Wally said...

If Werth hits a walk off, I am having ice cream

Wally said...

I don't think that the Nats will contend with both Desi and Espy at MI. One of those spots needs to be a better hitter. I wonder if they would try to trade for Brandon Phillips. Also think Marlon Byrd could be a decent stop gap in CF

baseballswami said...

I don't know Wally, we are pretty good at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Have the ice cream now. It'll help with the stress.

nationals7 said...

Davey Johnson is looney...

Wally said...

I think that we are now facing Houston's AA call ups. If we can hold on until we get to the short season guys, the game is ours.

nationals7 said...

CB & Swami-- I am totally frustrated with the mgr. Where's the genus in what he is doing? Seems mostly like he is gutting the heart and chemistry out of this team.. damn disappointing

fpcsteve said...

OK, you guys see the Nats more often than I do. Is Espinosa as bad a hitter as the box score suggests? I'm not against him; I just wonder.

nationals7 said...

I meant "genius".... ironic, eh?

baseballswami said...

nationals 7 - funny you should mention the heart and chemistry - I think that has been part of the problem. Davey Johnson has such a giant ego that he is the only star in the room. Danny was a much better player when he had some swagger. Even Bo Porter seems to have been muzzled. All of the personality and chemistry appears to be suppressed. I really miss that energy.

CBinDC said...

fpcsteve - Espy has had a bad second half and really badly presses of late but hopefully will come around ...well next year I guess ....

nationals7 said...

Me, too. If they ain't having fun, we're not having fun watching them... the rebuilding continues.

CBinDC said...

Strike out Strike out Strike out .......hmmmm never seen that happen

Wally said...

Fpc- my two cents is, it's hard to know. He has had two dramatically different halves. Is that because the league adjusted to him and he didn't adjust back? That is kind of the prevailing sentiment, and there is some logic to it. But baseball can be streaky, and he just might be in a bad one. He definitely seems to have holes from the left side.

I would say that his value as a player is always going to strongly feature his glove. Likely to be a low average guy, but if he can regain his power, that is a good middle infielder to bat lower in the order. If not, he probably has to show that he can be above average defensively at SS to remain a starter.

sunderland said...

BTW, is anyone else enjoying the MASN close ups on the right handed hitters?

Wally said...

The blond?

nationals7 said...

Clip & Store are roomies... does this flip flop affect them?

fpcsteve said...

It's interesting. Espinosa is lumped in with fellow Long Beach Staters Tulowitzki and Longoria. I saw Tulowitzki in Tulsa (AA), and it was clear that he was ready for the big leagues. Like I said, I don't see the Nats as much as you do, but even from a distance it is clear that while he is from Long Beach State, he isn't on a par with Tulowitzki and Longoria. In an earlier post someone hoped for 2 middle infielders fromn ID, Espinosa, and Lombardozzi. That sounds about right. Just a thought...

sunderland said...

There is no flip flop. Drew got warm to pitch the 9th in case we got the lead. Plus I'm sure DJ wanted to get Drew into the game because of Drew's last outing. Storen is closer. No flip flop.
Brunette.

Wally said...

I would say that is very clear that Espy is no Tulo or Longoria, and I am a fan of Espy. But you are talking about two of the top players in all of baseball.

I think that we are going to need to find a big hitting MI to add to one of those three if we really want to contend.

CBinDC said...

This team can not hit but really not the hitting coaches fault ......they just replayed the walk off grand slam against the Phillies the high and low water mark of the year ...only the Nationals could have a walk off grand slam that the crowd was booing

sunderland said...

MarkZ, thanks for the frank assessment of Ankiel's base running blunder. Carp and FP went out of their way to describe what a tough situation that was for Ankiel and really completely excused it as a tough break.
Sec3, trying too hard is right.

nationals7 said...

Tnx Sunderland.

nationals7 said...

I'm cool with Werth being a hero. let's hope.

baseballswami said...

I think Espi is having his sophomore slump this second half. Look at the season Heyward is having in Atlanta - much worse than Danny, by the way. Yes, I think that the league adjusted to him, but also - he is in a tough position, that , by the way, is not his natural position. He is a switch hitter, which is more work and up until this week he had played every single game. He is extremely young, in his first full season and has ridiculous demands on him , along with all of the rookie of the year talk that we heard in the first half. The kid will be fine.

Eugene in Oregon said...

Take 'em any way you can get them...

CBinDC said...

That is why they are the worst team in MLB .....wish I was happier

nationals7 said...

A win.

baseballswami said...

Wally - at 9:47 you said if Jayson Werth walked off you were having ice cream. Only 50 minutes later..... did you cheat and eat it already. I will happily take the win - but,man, they really do it the hard way, don't they? Good to see all of the relievers on track, though. Marrero had a nice double, nice to see Werth be the hero. Some nice things- focus on the positive.

CBinDC said...

Hey Mark who or what is on the shirt that Drew was wearing in the interview on MASN and I think he had it on under the jersey in the game

Anonymous said...

That ranks right up there with the walk off hit by pitch. A walk off error? Who get the win in this mess?

baseballswami said...

We have so many pitchers in the bullpen right now they were probably happy for the extra innings.

CBinDC said...

Who get the win in this mess? The makers of Valium

nationals7 said...

Johnson making excuses about not being there & learning the team during spring training. It's official. I'm starting a "dump Davey" club.

baseballswami said...

nationals7 - can I be the second member? He makes excuses for himself all the time, but blames his players. It's a poor workman that blames his tools.Just full of BS.

nationals7 said...

Swami. Agreed. Just plain miserable. You're Number Two!!

baseballswami said...

Listening to Milone's interview - smart kid, too bad he doesn't have more power stuff because he really seems to understand how to pitch and what he needs to do.The whole idea of a potential all 5 home-grown starters next year( JZ,SS, Lannan,Milone,Detweiler) is very intriguing. If Desi can lead off and Werth can play center, who knows? We maybe be set.

nationals7 said...

Here's hoping. Werth glides in the field.

lesatcsc said...

Like it or not, Espinosa is playing himself out of a big league job. His line since the all-star break is:

48 183 18 37 8 1 3 8 19 61 .202 .284 .306 .590

On the year he is striking out about once in every three ABs. He's hit .202 since the break,.229 for the year and .227 for his career (slightly over 600 ABs). 8 RBIs in his last 183 ABs pretty much dispells the "clutch" hitter myth. Unlike Heyward, he has yet to have a "good" year. I'm not sure where the optimism comes from that he's a ML player. Maybe as a SS if he can win a gold glove. You can live with a SS that hits for a poor average, has some pop and is lights out defensively, but it's tough to have that at both SS (less the pop with ID) and 2B. Someone on the team has to hit.

I loved Espi early on, but he has regressed not progressed since the season began, and now he simply looks overmatched every time out. Maybe the Nats should have waited...

Anonymous said...

Nice to see a victory tonight. I was considering attending Saturday's game, but Bob Carpenter announced extra security precautions will be in force this weekend. Nationals.com confirms it :

"Due to heightened security precautions surrounding 9/11 Remembrance Day, the Washington Nationals encourage fans to arrive earlier than normal and leave backpacks, bags and extra items at home throughout the weekend....Enhanced security procedures at Nationals Park may slow entry into the ballpark on both Saturday and Sunday. "

Sorry -- for a mid-September Astros-Nationals game, it's just not worth the hassle.

Tim said...

After watching Desi and Espi all season, I don't think either of them is "the answer" long term if this team is going to be a perennial contender. But I still think Desi is much closer to being a complete player who can contribute on a winning team than Espi.

Desi fixed his D this season which was really a huge improvement. Yes he struggled offensively but has been doing better lately. He had a solid rookie season offensively. The challenge for him is to put it all together, and be consistent.

You guys are making far too many excuses for espi. I am seeing the same problem since last fall, and no signs of improvement-- offensively he is a mess. His best offensive tool is his power which is basically all from the left side, it is a good tool. Too bad he can barely hit at all from the LH side. RH, he has pretty much no tools. I think he is in much the same position that Desi was last fall, get alot better or give the other guy a chance.

I could see Desi having success in a super utility role long term with his athleticism and strong arm.

People talking about giving Espi the SS job are nuts. How do you guys know he is better defensively at SS? Desi has not played himself out of the spot and Espi has not beat him out. He needs to get better and earn the job at SS if he wants it. Only change if it will clearly help the club, its could not be less clear.

I was hoping Lombardozzi would show he is ready this fall and one of them would get traded. But basically, its a long race for Espi and Desi. They have until Rendon is ready for MLB (probabbly one more year).

sjm308 said...

Just got home from a WIN - as I mentioned in an earlier post, I don't care if its pretty, I just want us to start winning.

Read an amazing number of negative posts which I guess is the norm when a team is losing but the hatred for Davey is pretty strong.

Tonight - every move he made either worked or was the right move. Brings in Stammen to face a right handed hitter with men in scoring position. One pitch and he is out of the inning. Lets Stammen go a 2nd inning 1-2-3. Pinch hits for Stammen with runner in scoring postion in a one run game - did you idiots really want the pitcher up in that situation?? Brings in HRod who mows them down including a big strikeout with runner on 3rd. Only lets him pitch one inning and brings in Storen with the game tired in the 9th. Storen was great. Then brings in Clippard and lets him go 2 innings because he has confidence in him and that works as well. He pinch ran for Ramos because he had two catchers in the dugout. He double switched with Ian and that worked out well as he and Lombardozzi both made major league plays in the field. Where did Davey blow it tonight folks??? Listen, I am not a huge fan of the way we have gone south but to go after him every day is just ridiculous. Its easy to 2nd guess any baseball move but we WON and he made at least a dozen moves tonight and none of them backfired.

Werth looks great in CF, sort of glides for each ball and I am amazed he hasn't played it more. Morse looks as bad in LF as Werth looks good in CF. Not sure anyone could have caught either ball that was over his head but he just looked bad getting to them.

Thats all I got and you can't tell me we aren't playing hard either. I saw that earlier also and again, its ridiculous to say stuff like that unless you are in the dugout and have watched them for all 130+ games. We are losing, I can't deny that but I will not believe we have tanked anything. That is just foolish. OK rant on negativity is over. NICE WIN fellas, looking for the sweep!

Go Nats

sjm308 said...

Tim - its too early with just two games and I was hoping to see Lombo get his first major league hit in either game but he looks good in the field. I still believe all 3 kids will be here next year. Others think one of them will be traded but you have flexibility, speed and great defense with all 3 so why not use them all? It certainly is better then Alex Cora.

JaneB said...

Enjoy your ice cream, Wally.

Anonymous said...

SJM, Johnson's record this year speaks for itself.

sjm308 said...

Anon - I can't argue with that and yes, I am not happy with him either but we don't need to constantly bash him when he does nothing wrong. It seems like most sites want to just fire the person in charge no matter what. Realizing we have been god awful for most of our time it was Fire Frank, Fire Bowden (pretty good web site though), Fire the Lerners, Fire Manny, Fire Riggs, Fire Rizzo and now Fire Davey oh I left out Fire Stan. And I don't even want to get into the # of players.

One last thing, if Davey's record speaks for itself, the last time I checked he is one of the winningest active managers in the game so if you want to let his record speak for itself, give him time to work that out. Like I said, I am not totally convinced he is the answer either, I just get tired of the endless bashing, especially in the middle of a game neither won nor lost when he basically is making all the correct moves.

Analytical Nat said...

sjm308 said...

Just got home from a WIN - as I mentioned in an earlier post, I don't care if its pretty, I just want us to start winning.


Winning is good. It might be the most important stat in sports.

Post a Comment