Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Game 160: Nats at Marlins

US Presswire file photo
John Lannan and the Nats try to keep the winning streak alive tonight.
At this point, you know what's at stake for the Nationals tonight at Sun Life Stadium. They're in search of their fourth straight win, their 10th straight on the road, a .500 record and a shot at finishing the season with a winning record.

In order to accomplish all that, the Nats will need a strong outing from John Lannan (in search of his 11th victory). And they'll need to find a way to do something nobody has done for the last month: Beat Javier Vazquez. Over his last five starts, the Marlins' veteran right-hander is 5-0 with an 0.25 ERA. Yeah, that's right. He's allowed one total run over his last five starts (one of which was a shutout of the Nationals in D.C.).

As if the challenge wasn't tough enough already, the Nats don't have Ryan Zimmerman in the lineup tonight. It appears he's getting the day off so Steve Lombardozzi can get a start at third base. Zimmerman, of course, will be available off the bench, so he could still provide the same kind of heroics he displayed in Philadelphia last week in a similar situation.

Enjoy the game and the conversation...

NATIONALS at MARLINS
Where: Sun Life Stadium
Gametime: 7:10 p.m.
TV: MASN2
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 188
Weather: Scattered storms, 80 degrees, Wind 4 mph in from RF
STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (79-80)
SS Ian Desmond
RF Roger Bernadina
CF Jayson Werth
LF Michael Morse
2B Danny Espinosa
1B Chris Marrero
C Wilson Ramos
3B Steve Lombardozzi
P John Lannan

MARLINS (71-89)
SS Emilio Bonifacio
2B Omar Infante
RF Mike Stanton
1B Gaby Sanchez
LF Logan Morrison
C John Buck
CF Bryan Petersen
3B Matt Dominguez
P Javier Vazquez

177 comments:

Doc said...

We owe Vazquez a smackdown, sorta something for him to him to remember in his retirement.

The Fish are ripe for a 3 game filleting, particularly with Nunez back home changing his name and his age!

natsfan1a said...

Sounds like just what the Doc(tor) ordered. :-)

Go, LannEn! Go, NATS!!

NatsJack in Florida said...

All things being equal, unless Lannan eliminates his penchant for nibbling and falling behind hitters, this will be a tough night. And top that off that it's quite possibly the last time Javier Vasquez takes the mound in his career, I'll be totally shocked if we can pull this out.

Anonymous said...

Whatever happens in Florida the last two games, I think it would be great if some fans went out to the airport to greet the Nats when they return home. Has this ever been done before?
Is it possible?

Nats Outsider said...

NatsJack said, "I'll be totally shocked if we can pull this out."

So lift your glasses everyone: A toast to the challenge of shocking NatsJack!! (Not that he would really mind being wrong, of course.)

That's Right, It's a Total Lock said...

keep going, natsjack, I think the fates are buying it...

NatsJack in Florida said...

And I really wouldn't mind being wrong.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

anon 4:30, they may not come back as a team, but all go straight to wherever they're heading.

Steve M. said...

Surprised Ramos is starting as I thought Flores would get this start and Pudge tomorrow to finish out the season.

Maybe Davey wants Ramos to get a HR to be the all-time leader in HRs for a catcher in a Washington uniform. I think Boz said that Earl Battey holds the record and Ramos is now tied with Battey at 15. I know Gene Green hit 18 in 1961 to lead the Senators in HRs but he only hit 14 as a catcher.

Cool trivia question, who led the Senators in HRs in 1961? Gene Green

RPrecupjr said...

Ok, maybe I'm getting a little sentimental here....

But what do you think of a battery of Livo and Pudge for the ninth inning of tomorrow's game, provided we have a comfortable lead?

I propose this for two reasons: First, it will probably be the last time we see either one in a Nats uniform and second, it is the last game at that sad excuse for a ballpark, why not let the pitcher who led them to the 1997 WS title and the catcher who led them to the 2003 title close the house? Something nice for the 47 fans who will be there, why not?

Nats Outsider said...

I know your heart's in the right place, RPrecupjr, but I wonder if this is what Pudge and Livo would want. I think Livo, at least, wants (expects?) to come back next year. Pudge might want the same thing, but if he finds a place where he can catch 80+ games a year, he might go in search of his 3,000 hit goal. I wouldn't want to say goodbye to them, unless they are reconciled to going.

BTW, as another poster said here a day or two ago, I think there will be a good last-day crowd tomorow, if the weather cooperates. Last time in the ball park, last time the team is called the Florida Marlins, and an opportunity to see Strasburg pitch.

Nats Fan in Annandale said...

I have a Q for you trivia meisters: Nats have at least 5 players on the active roster who are Tommy John "survivors" -- Stras, JZimm, Mattheus, Burnett, and Ankiel. Only minor leaguer I've seen mentioned is Jack McGeary. Who am I missing?

GYFNG!!!

Anonymous said...

It figures Mr. Anti-neg-anon NatsJack would be an unbeliever,
Friggin' hypocrite yeah that's Latin too dude.

Oh yeah kind a like Beast Mode is AAAA right NatsJack?

Okay I your chief neg-anon will stick his neck out.

Yeah they'll do it. This isn't. Giggleman's Isle where Marerro
would barely have played, Lombardozzi would ride the pine
and if he could gotten La Roche to play
Injured so that he could do "smart ball".

This is Davey. He has no problem developing
the young prospects, getting them comfortable
in the majors. He's cocky, watch us won with
Bradley Peacock ( who should be starting
this game) and he doesn't have to wait
for Spring Training for it like Giggleman.

Even with Lannan they will find a way. This
game and the next and set the tone for
next spring when the beasts all get
unleashed ... Perhaps even Harper. And
forget Matt Kemp or any new CF it's Jayson
Werth. Mark it and book it.

RPrecupjr said...

You make a good point about the possible crowd except for a couple of points:

It's a 4:10 pm game, approximately the same time as the thunderstorm that rolls in daily from April to November (I spent 6 1/2 years in S FL)

It's also an afternoon game on a Wednesday when school is in session, so unless a bunch of schools decided to buy group tix for tomorrow, there probably won't be too many kids there.

While it IS Strasburg, it's still Strasburg on rehab, so who knows how much he'll pitch. It may very well end up like a little league game with everybody getting to play because it's the last game of the season, though if we go in at 80-80, I think Davey goes for the jugular (I certainly HOPE he does)

So while it would be nice to see a crowd approximating the actual definition of a crowd, I don't hold out much hope for more than 5000 in attendance.

A DC Wonk said...

So while it would be nice to see a crowd approximating the actual definition of a crowd, I don't hold out much hope for more than 5000 in attendance.

Bzzzt. Self contradictory.

5000 is an actual definition of a crowd.

For the Marlins, that is . . . ;-)

Tim the Enchanter said...

Don't understand why Zimmerman is getting the day off. The season ends tomorrow and Zimmerman missed so much time already this season. Perhaps Johnson will pull a Riggleman double-switch and pinch hit Zimmerman for Lannan in the fifth or sixth and keep him in the game.

Theophilus said...

For sure, whoever attends Sunday won't be tearing out seats to take them home for their TV rooms.

Anonymous said...

Anon @4:30pm, great idea if it can work. How bout it, Mark, any insight on the team charter plans? I know they left from DCA on Sunday (Jesus Flores tweeted it) so I would assume they return there. My guess is they fly back that night. Who's up for a late night arrival party?

N. Cognito said...

Tim the Enchanter said...
"Don't understand why Zimmerman is getting the day off."

Don't understand why you're concerned whether or not Zimmerman gets the day off.


Theophilus said...
"For sure, whoever attends Sunday won't be tearing out seats to take them home for their TV rooms."

What is going on, on Sunday?

Nats Outsider said...

Well, I did say, "if the weather cooperates."

Here's the thing: I am sure they have *sold* a lot of tickets. Even last night, despite everything, they were able to claim 21,000+, which has to represent sales rather than people who went through the turnstiles. For the last game, the number has to be higher than that.

Some will not show up, especially if the usual storm comes through. But I am expecting that a lot of them will come, or at least a lot in comparison to yesterday's crowd.

Oh, well. No matter. In 30 hours or less, we'll know for sure. But the Expos had very nice attendance figures when they had their last appearance in Montreal. I forget the numbers, but the joke at the time was that they would not have left if they could regularly draw like that.

N. Cognito said...

You know what's a real pisser? For most of the previous two seasons, and good parts of this one, going to the games got to be a chore and I couldn't wait for the season to be over.
Now, next season can't come fast enough.

jd said...

N.Cognito,

Yeah, heck I can't wait for the winter meetings, GA signings etc.

NatsJack in Forida said...

dj in Fl.... from the previous thread...the Nats are playing the Tigers at Disney Monday at 1:00 PM. I will be there.

They play on a side field just south east of the handicap parking area.

September Dreams of April said...

Hence my handle, N.Cog.

It's a common disease.

N. Cognito said...

"My guess is they fly back that night. Who's up for a late night arrival party?"

It's a 4:10 game. It won't be that late.

Looking at the radar for Miami said...

Expect rain delay but there are breaks. Another messy night on the field.

NatsLady said...

My guess is they scatter. Except for those who live around here, why come back? I'm betting they packed up for home before they left for Florida. I know I would.

John said...

NatsJack: Can you give us a report on who looks good so far? The last I saw was your post on the first game(lighting up Hanson). Are they winning games? Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Mark: You have a goldmine in NatsJack's reports IMO. Is there anyway you can give him a spot to give us reports from instructs? It would be the politically correct thing to do ;)

Section 222 said...

Interesting post by Kilgore about how the Nats could sneak into the top 15 in MLB with another few wins and thereby have to give up their No. 1 pick if they sign a Type A free agent. I'm sure no one would support throwing these games, but at least this wrinkle will give us some consolation if the Fish resume their dominance over our team. Just think how much different things would be if we had had to give up the Rendon pick to the Phillies for signing Werth? Is finishing over .500 important enough to sacrifice our No. 1 pick in 2012? i'm satisfied with 79 wins, a 10 game improvement over last year.

ehay2k said...

A lifelong 'Skins maniac, I actually skipped most of the NFL game to watch the Nats game. We're talking about Dallas on Monday night!! Call me a convert. My wife was shellshocked. Seeing the Beast's Homer made it all worth it.

I just can't wait for tonight's meaningless-to-all-but-the-most-diehard-fans game. I would wager that Zimm is sitting because Lombo needs to show what he can do. If this is an emotional night for Vasquez, then perhaps it's best to try to hit him hard early, before he settles down?Really want Morse to go 2 for 3, and RamMoose to get just one more dinger. (TY Matt Capps!)

Lastly, I heard Ronald McDonald called dibs on the seats.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 5:15, repost in English. Thanks.

dj in Fl. said...

If you go on the Marlins site there are very few lower level seats left for Wednesday. Even Stub Hub has few, where I would have like to sit, for a fair price. Hopefully a win tonight drops the prices.
Thanks NatJack, I will be there.

Mark Zuckerman said...

A few of you have surmised correctly, that most of the players will be scattering from Florida after Wednesday's game and going straight home. Some will come back to D.C., but the majority won't. Even so, I'm not sure if the general public is allowed to gather in an area of the airport where a charter flight lands...

Meanwhile, it appears (based on the tweets of some of my colleagues down in Florida) that Ryan Zimmerman has a mild hamstring strain, which is why he's not in the lineup tonight. Sounds like there's a chance he doesn't play tomorrow, either, which would be unfortunate.

Bill Stoneman said...

Enjoyed your posts all summer long people.
Natsjack got an ex somewhere?
A truly enjoyable season of Baseball, take ribbing from friends at work but I know they're aware. A team on the rise. As somebody posted earlier it's joy in RZims face, I think he realizes that this team plus or minus a piece is getting there. Seems to have a smile or a smirk at every at bat, he deserves it.
An old Expos fan from way back, 1994 Series wannabe champs.
GYFNG
Thanks for the season tickets at Jarry Park Dad. Saw Larry Parrish and Vlad, and a kid called Larry Walker.

natsfan1a said...

I like the idea, but also recall FP mentioning that lots of guys had loaded up all their stuff to be transported to Florida for the series. Would guess that those with Florida homes in particular would not be coming back north afterwards.

Go, NATS!! Shocks will continue until morale improves. :-)

Anonymous said...

Whatever happens in Florida the last two games, I think it would be great if some fans went out to the airport to greet the Nats when they return home. Has this ever been done before?
Is it possible?
September 27, 2011 4:30 PM

natsfan1a said...

I'd be inclined to get myself a piece of that tarp if I were them. Just kidding...

Theophilus said...

For sure, whoever attends Sunday won't be tearing out seats to take them home for their TV rooms.
September 27, 2011 5:20 PM

LoveDaNats said...

So, two more games. I'm not looking forward to no baseball. Sure, I'll watch the playoffs, but I won't live and die with them like I do these Nats. Ok, even Ray and Johnny are punchy tonight. I totally love what these boys have done this year. The icing on the cake...winning these next two. GYFNG!

natsfanlitell1a said...

Oh, Mark already answered it. Never mind.

JaneB said...

I love NatsJack, and he knows I do -- and I'm crossing everything in hope he is wrong tonight. I want Javier to remember a stellar season and a fine career -- and want to forget THIS night.

NCog, I love that you are frustrated by how long we have to wait till we get them back. That's a much higher class problem to have, isn't it?

GYFNG!

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

I'll miss the MASN commercials.

"FIVE K's!!11!"

MicheleS said...

People if during the winter I start saying that I miss Debbie, someone please make sure I get to Spring Training! Or at least have me fitted for a straight jacket!

dryw said...

I've been debating whether I can take off work early tomorrow to be home to watch the game. Sadly, the answer I came up with is "no." Who puts the last game of the season on at 4:10????

Jim Webster said...

Bad news...no more Nats games until March.
Good news...no more Debbie Taylor either.

Anonymous said...

I'll miss you guys n gals

SBrent said...

"Last time the team is called the Florida Marlins"? Did I miss a memo? What's happening to the Marlins and their name?

Dave said...

Miami Marlins.

LoveDaNats said...

dryw
Jobs are over-rated. When will you get to see the Nats go over .500 again? Oh, next year? Yeah, you're right.

MicheleS said...

Good news - we don’t lose Bo to the fish! DJ and Ozzie will be classic next year!

SBrent said...

Thanks, Dave. Hmm, doesn't sound that good to me.

dryw said...

LoveDa,
Yeah, I expect to spend plenty of time watching the Nats over .500 next year!!! :-)

Anonymous said...

It'll be fitting for the Nats to suffer one last shutout for the season to make it a solid 15.

Anonymous said...

It worked, reverse jinx.

dryw said...

Oh Michael, I do so love you!!!!

LoveDaNats said...

Michael Morse, you are awesome!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Michael! Beast Mode!

Anonymous said...

Wow!!!!!!!

MicheleS said...

Umm. Can we keep him please! 2013 1b!

Exposremains said...

I think it's been discussed a lot here but why am I always nervous when Lannan pitches? I know he has a fairly good ERA but I always he's one pitch away from disaster.

LoveDaNats said...

Had to do it. Just ordered the Beast Mode shirt.

Phil Dunn said...

That's 40 homers for The Beast---31 in the regular season and 9 during the Grapefruit League.

Anonymous said...

Expos..... hope ur not prescient.. rain on the way....

LoveDaNats said...

OK, Jayson is our center fielder.

MicheleS said...

Sweet. DP!

Anonymous said...

And it rains again. Can't the weather behave for one game?

Anonymous said...

C'Mon 2012!!!

LoveDaNats said...

Keep the super tight pants!

Dawn said...

Totally understand why Vasquez might want to retire, how could you get inspired by playing in front of such a meager crowd. Have always liked him and felt bad when he struggled in New York. I know, I know he gets paid, but really can't they bus in a few from the dozens of retirement villages around the area? Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

They'll slog thru 6 & umps'll call it.

MicheleS said...

Love Da! I love those pants too! I think they should be standard for the entire team. - except coffey

LoveDaNats said...

MicheleS
I laughed out loud! True that!

Eugene in Oregon said...

Hope no one gets hurt on this field. Don't know what they're saying/showing on MASN, but one of the Marlins' announcers just said the field is in the worst shape he's ever seen. Earlier they showed a bit of right field that was the college football sideline over the weekend and it's a mess. Also, before last night's game, they showed the perimeter of the field (along the foul lines) and there are spots where what looks like dirt is really some sort of plywood or particle board with the corners folding up. It looks to me like an accident waiting to happen.

LoveDaNats said...

@exposremains
Your fears are justified.

dryw said...

MicheleS, you are SO right!

Anonymous said...

Phew

Anonymous said...

What a mess

MicheleS said...

That field is a big pile of poo!

Anonymous said...

Dog poo. Elephant poo.

Eugene in Oregon said...

With Atlanta losing to the Phillies, the Cards are behind the Astros by five runs? Neither of them deserves to go to the playoffs...

...and Tampa Bay, after giving up a run, just got out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam with a triple play...wow...

MicheleS said...

Bob just said 21k paid! What a crock! There is less than 1k!

MicheleS said...

Have we found a role for Maya?

Anonymous said...

Maybe he meant $21k paid? Including concessions?

baseballswami said...

Apparently most stadiums report the attendance at "paid" - even if sth don't show up, they are counted. The Nats report those who showed up - those little ticket scanners do the counting. So when our attendance is reported, it's accurate. Was really hoping Lannan could get a win tonight - gave up a few hits, couple of runs, laid down a nice bunt - that should be enough to keep you in the game. Terrible conditions there, too. Maybe the offense will wake up late in the game - again. I hate it that they are finishing their season against the dreaded fish in that hole of a stadium. It seems like the finale was actually Sunday with that awesome game here. Oh -- and somebody fill me in on the tight pants on Desi thing? I am aware that I have missed something .....

LoveDaNats said...

swami
FP thinks Desi will keep the tight pants he started wearing yesterday to change it up in Sun Life stadium.....since we won.

Wally said...

Well, despite anyone's view on whether Lannan should be traded, it is pretty clear that he had a nice year. 185 innings, around 3.70 ERA. Not lucky on BABIP, either. Peripherals not quite as good, which means WAR not so hot, but that is the story of his entire career. He probably is just a 5, but one of the better 5s in the league. He may become a bit too expensive/redundant with our other starters, but I think there are many teams that would grab him.

By the Maya, who was that dressed up as Maya?

JaneB said...

Swami, what we like about the tight pants on Desi is that we don't miss too much.

We can still WIN! GYFNG!

Wally said...

Does the Good Face get a hit against us every time up? He is approaching Reyes levels in terms of my dislike

LoveDaNats said...

Wally
He is annoying.

Anonymous said...

Cards storming back against the Astros - only one run back now, the Braves are down 7-0 and looking utterly and completely defeated. Not one person in that dugout looks like they have any possibility of winning. I really don't like the Cardinals, but they are out-playing the Braves and deserve to go on. The Braves appear to have quit ( with our help?)

baseballswami said...

And to think I used to like that guy - you know, back when he was a Nat - he was fast, but other than that, not very good then.

Anonymous said...

Strike em out, big boy.

RickH said...

Nice play by Marrero.

Gonat said...

Whoever wrote Marrero isn't a good fielder has to see the stretch Marrero just made in the 8th. Impressive!

Wally said...

Good lord, Doug Slaten and Collin Balestar (warming up).

At least it isn't Voldemort.*

*Drew 8 paraphrase. Don't want to commit plagiarism.

Anonymous said...

Yooooo Hooooooo!

Anonymous said...

The Nats haven't quit. HAVE NOT QUIT. Now, who really should be the wildcard? You have to wonder what would have happened had Davey Johnson started out the beginning of the year managing this club instead Giggleman's Isle. Wildcard like he said when he took over? Yeah, I believe it.

Just like I believe they are going to find a way to finish off these fish and the jinx starting with these two games to finish a very strong .500+.

Wally said...

The way he has pitched the last few months, it seems a shame that Javy may call it quits. the guy is back in almost all ways.

By the way, what is the over/under on how many innings the Marlins throw him tonight? Under the theory of 'what the hey, our bullpen stinks and he isn't going to need his arm ever again'? I say 12.

Anonymous said...

Houston/Cardinals tied.

RickH said...

I hate the Fish.

LoveDaNats said...

DFA Slaten

Exposremains said...

when i saw Slaten I knew they gave up on the winning record

Dave said...

Damn. Damn. Damn. Doug Slaten vs. Brian Peterson.

Just shy of .500.

Damn.

rogieshan said...

Look on the bright side, our 1st round pick will be protected.

JaneB said...

Oh well. Maybe THAT will be Doug's last game for us.

Whynat said...

Wife: Who was pitching?
Me: Slaten
Wife: Why'd they bring him in?
Me: Cause they wanted to lose.

Wally said...

Ok, so here is a psychology opportunity for some lucky blogger.

I INTENSELY dislike Slaten pitching for the Nats. Yet, I feel bad about feeling that way, which then makes me feel sorry for Slaten. That is not normal, right? I would like to shed the 'feeling bad about it part', and just go with the intense dislike? Any ideas?

Worst thing about the walk off is not knowing the answer to 'how long will Javy go'.

Dave said...

Only one more game to play in that foolish football stadium. Maybe the new place has baseball dimensions.

Let's get 'em tomorrow.

JaneB said...

Wally, we can feel two, opposing emotions at once. In fact, that's a sign of maturity, in some cases: to be able to hold both, and not have to be so black-and-white that you need to cancel one out for the other. That's my belief, and I'm sticking to it.

Dawn said...

Well that was Vasquez parting gift, courtesy of Doug Slaten. Thanks for watching!

SCNatsFan said...

I hope being an ex MLB pitcher does Slaten some good in his next job.

Maybe he should have elective Tommy John surgery.

Well, we won't get to 500 but great end to the season.

A DC Wonk said...

dryw said...

I've been debating whether I can take off work early tomorrow to be home to watch the game. Sadly, the answer I came up with is "no." Who puts the last game of the season on at 4:10????

I just put 2 + 2 together -- Rosh HaShanah (Jewish New Year) starts Wednesday night. I wonder if that has anything to do with the starting time.

Well, looking on the bright side of things:

Vasquez:

in his last five starts combined: 1 run allowed
against the Nats tonight: 2 runs allowed

ehay2k said...

Well, Slaten got the first out, then the second was a rocked, ROCKED, to deep left center field, a home run anywhere but the damn Polo Grounds. Why would Davey leave him in after that? I guess because Petersen only had hit one HR this year. But I bet he has hit a lot of BP balls into the stands.

Hey, Slaten would pitch great BP!! I guess we just found a good spot for him next year. But DFA him tonight just because.

A DC Wonk said...

JaneB said...

Wally, we can feel two, opposing emotions at once. In fact, that's a sign of maturity, in some cases: to be able to hold both, and not have to be so black-and-white that you need to cancel one out for the other. That's my belief, and I'm sticking to it.

And the proof? Anybody's who's ever been mad at their kid!

I.e., well put, JaneB

Anonymous said...

Surprisingly, I really am not dissapointed by this loss. However, the offense has to improve next year for us to really be contenders. On the other hand, I believe this should do it for Slaten. He should not even be with the team during spring training. I know relievers are very inconsistent and may struggle one year but do well another year. However even in years when most relievers struggle they manage to at least have 2 or 3 good games in a stretch. I don't think I am exaggerating when I say Slaten has never had 1 good inning this whole year.

baseballswami said...

There have been a lot of "yesses" checked off in boxes this past month. Mr.Slaten is a definite"no". Sorry - I question the wisdom in the next to the last game, winning record on the line, one run game. The days of seeing what we have are done - nothing left to figure out here. If you don't know he is gas on the fire by now you haven't been watching. John Lannan once again the victim of no run support - JZim passed the torch along to him. That horrible stadium, that horrible field, that horrible city - what a way to finish the season. Let's get them tomorrow - Strassie wants to go home with a curly W ! -- I hope the manager tries to win tomorrow.

Anonymous8 said...

When I saw Slaten coming into the game I started to write, "Are You Kidding Me?" Then he gets out Logan Morrison and the next batter so I deleted what I was writing.

I liked the idea last week of DFA'ing the guy. Davey has 20 guys in that bullpen (some may be coaches) and I think the bullpen coach can pitch better than the LOOGY

Anonymous8 said...

Steve M. said...
sjm, nice depth chart. Don't be surpised if Rizzo goes back to Hairston for the spot you have Lombo penciled in for. Rizzo likes his veterans on the bench. Reed Johnson could also be a big upgrade as an outfield role/bench guy.

Cora, Livan, Bixler, Slaten are the only names I am fairly certain won't be back next year.

LaRoche still has to prove he is healthy which could really change the dynamics of the 2012 roster.

September 27, 2011 3:42 PM

I get why they brought back Slaten to see if he regained his 2010 form after the injury. When it was quickly apparent he still STUNK, why not just DFA him with all the guys you have in the bullpen.

What is Davey saving Burnett and Gorzo for?

Gonat said...

SLATON CUT BY TEXANS TODAY

http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2011/09/27/texans-cut-former-wvu-rb-slaton/

ehay2k said...

If only...

Anonymous said...

Gonat, I was all excited by that. Wrong Slaten.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Davey can make it 2 Slatens cut in 1 day.

Oldguy said...

For what it's worth, it might have been a little dicey if Stras were out there in a close game with a winning season on the line. Yank him? Better to let him get in his 5 or 6 and not worry about it. He's the future--don't mess with that now.

NatsLady said...

Heard the tail end of the game. Well, if we had to lose one, this was ok, nice send off for a veteran pitcher who deserved it. No Slaten for this team. Davey, you've seen enough now, right?

Might have to go back to the archive tomorrow and see these tight pants... (and the triple play).

Cards just tied it up, 6-6. Um, I thought all the races were over at the end of August. So much for the odds and the experts.

Anonymous8 said...

Willingham with a 3 run HR which gives him 29 HRs and 98 RBIs with the rest of the night and tomorrow to add to his totals. Not bad for 135 games played. The Nats could have used that offense.

Steady Eddie said...

Hey Anon8 -- How'd Ryan Langerhans do this year?

Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. Sometimes, it rains.

(And sometimes it does two of the above, but whatever.)

Slidell said...

Davy probably wanted to give Slaten one LAST chance in a pressure situation. Slaten muffed it, so he's almost certainly gone.

Slidell said...

Cardinals up 12-6, in the 8th. Looks like it'll be do-or-die tomorrow for the Braves and Cards.

A DC Wonk said...

Cora, Livan, Bixler, Slaten are the only names I am fairly certain won't be back next year.

And (sad to say) Pudge?

DCGuy7 said...

i just can't help but think - if we needed a lefty in the 9th, with a winning record on the line - WHY NOT BURNETT, DAVEY? the guy's been lights out again lately, and Slaten has been...the opposite.

yeah, i'm feeling kind of pissed.

Steady eddie said...

DCGuy7 -- Have to agree it was pretty hard to defend not using Burnett in a sudden death situation like that. Gives the rest of the team no opportunity to ovcome Slaten's screw up.

Davey had never left him in for a full inning before, even against the Phils when he got the first two outs in the ninth.

Section 222 said...

@baseballswami -- Totally with you about Slaten pitching in this game. I'm going out on a limb here I know, but I think it's pretty clear that he won't be in the bullpen next year.

On the other hand, you totally drank Carp's Kool-Aid on the attendance at Nats Park. (Actually he said last night that Nats fans show up so the actual attendance is equal to the paid attenance.) They may count the actual attendance, but they announce the paid attendance. I'm pretty sure that's the way it's done in all ballparks now. At many weekday games this year, there is simply no way that the actual attendance came anywhere near the announced attendance.

sjm308 said...

Anon8:

for the 15th time this year - Willingham and Morse play the same position!!! Do you want someone under control for at least another year that does not get hurt or do you want someone who has been on the dl for the past 4 season!!! give it a break on Willingham, great guy but he was in his final year. We got a lights out relief pitcher with a huge up side and took a gamble on a CF who has options. It might not have been the greatest trade but again, Morse does not even get a sniff if Willingham is here because Riggs played the vets (same thing with Pudge and Ramos).
Willingham is a FA after this season and would have cost much more than Morse so please please please stop.

MikeD said...

Slaten? Really Davey?

Will said...

sjm308,

Willingham and Morse don't play the same positions. Morse is by and large a firstbaseman these days, ever since he got too big for SS and is blocked at 3B. In fact, before this season he had played 75 innings in left (and only 18 games in 9 minor league seasons).

I think the real question is would you rather have Willingham or LaRoche? Willingham made $6mil this season, LaRoche is guaranteed $16mil this season and next season. I'm sure Willingham could be convinced to sign a deal for something like 1 year/$12mil, given the injury concerns you mentioned. In the end, Willingham is essentially LaRoche- an aging, affordable, stop-gap bat, but with drastically better production from Willingham.

And, please, HRod is not a lights out reliever. Right now, he's just a wild flame-thrower (see: 14 wild pitches: double what most SPs had in 4 times as many innings and 4th most in the majors, and a 6.17 BB/9: the third highest rate in the majors). He's still just a bundle of potential with very little actual results. It could all work out, like it did a few days ago, or he could always remain the awful pitcher he was from June-August.

Anonymous said...

awful pitcher= Slaten. Hrod was never awful during any span of months or weeks. Inconsistent-Yes. Awful-No. I dont know the actual numbers but i will bet good money that most of his wild pitches came early in the season and he has since corrected them.

Will said...

Wild Pitch Totals
May: 4
June: 2
July: 4
August: 3
September: 1

I'll also direct you to HRod's month of July: 13.1 IP, 12 H, 10 BB, 12 ER, 8.10 ERA, 1.65 WHIP. If that's not awful, I don't know what is.

Also, in the June to August stretch I was referring to, HRod walked 32 batters, gave up 37 hits, had a 1.70 WHIP, threw 9 wild pitches, all in 40.2 innings. That's pretty awful by any measure. With that said, Slaten is most certainly worse than HRod.

Big Cat said...

Will.....in HRods last 10 appearances, in 9 of those he didn't walk a batter. His only appearance in that span where he walked a batter was Sept 15 against the Mets. I'd say that was finishing the season on a very high note. He is only 24 years old. He has a chance to be a very good one.....in fact, maybe lights out, as you like to say

Gonat said...

A DC Wonk said...
Cora, Livan, Bixler, Slaten are the only names I am fairly certain won't be back next year.

And (sad to say) Pudge?

September 27, 2011 11:22 PM
________________________________

I think Pudge is a "probably gone" and still depends on whether they trade Flores.

Gonat said...

sjm, Morse played exclusively in Rightfield last year when he was in the outfield. Better in Leftfield.

Could you imagine Willingham in LF, Werth in CF and Morse in RF? Defense would have suffered some but the increase in offense would have been tremendous.

Very impressive what Willingham has done on 486 at-bats.

UNTERP.NAT said...

Season is over. I won't be watching the last game. It really is meaningless since the Nationals are not playing for a winning season.

Good to see Davey put in Slaten to end the season one day early. Can't wait til next spring. See you all real soon...

natscan reduxit said...

Hi Mark,

... you wrote this morning, "They are 79-81 with one game left." That means today's (last) game adds up to a 161 game season. Did they cancel a game earlier and not make it up? What am I missing?

Thanx for the Great Season, Nats!!

natsfan1a said...

Buh-bye, Unterp (waves). Me, I'll be watching until the last out this afternoon. Since there's only the one game left, 80 seems like a nice, round number to me. I'm proud of this team, and they showed me a lot this year. I can actually visualize them as a future playoff team (without squinting too much). I thank them for a marvelous ride this year.

After the game is over, I'll be following postseason play. After that, I'll be looking out the window until spring. (Okay, I'll probably be watching whatever AFL and Winter Leagues games are televised. And watching MLB Network no matter what they're showing. And reading a bunch of baseball books. And maybe, you know, getting a life. Nah.)

sjm308 said...

Will:

Who was the starting left fielder for the Nationals on opening day? Morse.
Morse had never played first base until LaRoche got hurt.The fact that he did it well is just another reason you want him over Willingham.
Again, Willingham is in his 30s, on the last year of his contract, and had been injured each of his last 3 years and was injured again this year. It did not look like a good trade early on but we still needed to trade him.
Morse is 29 and is versatile and can actually play multiple positions. And I totally disagree about your assesment of HRod. He has a huge upside at 24 and while he is erratic, if he solves his wildness he will be a huge part of our success. Willingham is not a player that will take you to another level. HRod actually is one of the few players that can in that when he is right he is totally unhittable.

You can throw all the stats you want about wild pitches and early era and whip but what he has done during the last month makes me excited and Willingham again is a nice guy who is on the downhill side of a very decent career but I would much rather have Morse. For that matter, I would rather have a healthy LaRoche over Willingham in that at least he is a plus defender. I hate comparing apples to oranges here so I will get off that track. My last point for the 16th time, If Willingham had stayed I honestly believe Morse would have been on the bench or dfa'd in that Riggs stayed with his vets and no matter how great a spring training Morse had, Willingham would have started in left with LaRoche at first and then who knows how Morse would have developed.

natsfan1a said...

natscan, an earlier game against the Dodgers was rained out, and the two teams were not scheduled to meet again. It was not made up because neither team was in the hunt.

sjm308 said...

UNTerp
I kinda want to see what kind of ceremony they have for the last game at this horrendous park but I am guessing that MASN will not show much of that. Kind of thinking they will invite old players back and its neat that two huge stars for the Marlins will be wearing Nationals uniforms today. Would be neat if they had Livan throw out the first pitch to Pudge but I don't see that happening.

Natslady - I will also be watching the wildcard games. MLB network did a great job of switching to all the games that mattered last night. I liked how the O's battled the Red Sox down to the last batter in the 9th. Another reason baseball is my favorite game, its never over till its over.

Sec 3 - here's the deal. If we win and the Indians lose I get the hat. Any other scenerio and I lose but what a great comeback. Almost as good as the Rays.

Go Nats

Anonymous8 said...

One of my thoughts on Rizzo is that he had Nyjer and Willingham that were both serviceable players if he was willing to use them to their strengths.

Nyjer's strengths were his hitting against right-handed pitching and stealing less. The Brewers adapted to Nyjers strengths and he hasn't disappointed.

Willingham who was generally over-used early in each season got a good amount of rest throughout the season and put out great offensive output including the end of the season.

My thoughts on Michael Morse is that he needed some more rest and that was where we saw the decline in late season production.

Gonat said...

sjm, Morse played 9 games at 1st base in 2010.

Make my #16 replica jersey relevant again said...

Willingham with a 3 run HR which gives him 29 HRs and 98 RBIs with the rest of the night and tomorrow to add to his totals. Not bad for 135 games played. The Nats could have used that offense.

Rizzo and Davey want another outfield bat. Josh Willingham is a free agent. Make it happen, guys.

Anonymous8 said...

UNTERP.NAT, certainly a letdown to see Slaten do his norm---blow it.

Davey really seemed like he was going for 81-80 and even Zim was excited about the possibilities.

Hate to say it. Yesterday was a reminder of so much of the negative of the 2011 season. Disappointing loss from a member of the bullpen after a well played game. Zim not in the game because of an injury. A head scratcher decision by a Nats manager decides the game.

Now I am hoping that today's game is a great Nats finish to give us all a great send off to 2012!

baseballswami said...

It turned out well that we have an early game since both wild card races are tied up.I forsee a baseball marathon in my future today. It's just pathetic how sad I feel, though. I will miss seeing the guys every day and hearing the familiar voices of Charlie and Dave. Kind of misting up already......sigh

Anonymous said...

Willingham who was generally over-used early in each season got a good amount of rest throughout the season and put out great offensive output including the end of the season.

Not really. The main reason he only played 134 games this year is because he missed 17 games on the DL in late June/early July.

natsfan1a said...

Anon8, if you're going to go there, you might want to add the offense to your woulda, coulda, shoulda list (and maybe give Vazquez some credit). I'm just saying.

D'Gourds said...

Is it just me--I thought it was a passed ball, not a wild pitch that scored Bonafacio. It shouldn't have been an earned run IMO.

natsfan1a said...

It's not just you, and I believe that the scoring was changed from WP to PB.

natsfan1a said...

Also, a Ladson piece points out how the Nats will finish in third instead of in fifth or sixth place. Yay! Wait, what?? :-)

Anonymous8 said...

natsfan1a said...
Anon8, if you're going to go there, you might want to add the offense to your woulda, coulda, shoulda list (and maybe give Vazquez some credit). I'm just saying.

September 28, 2011 8:35 AM

A lack of run support has been a constant most of the year. I thought they did great against Vazquez. The guy had 29 straight scoreless innings going.

Anonymous8 said...

Anonymous said...
Willingham who was generally over-used early in each season got a good amount of rest throughout the season and put out great offensive output including the end of the season.

Not really. The main reason he only played 134 games this year is because he missed 17 games on the DL in late June/early July.

September 28, 2011 8:35 AM

That's still 12 games off and roughly played 33 more games than the mighty Ryan Zimmerman. So what's your point? Willingham got more rest in Oakland than he got in DC.

Mark'd said...

Yep, back to the past for a blast of reality. Slaten, etc. Go Strasburg!!!

NatsLady said...

Slaten vs. Burnett and Davey

1) Davey "said" -- doesn't care about 3ed place or .500, just wanted to beat the Mets.

2) Davey is a "players' manager." Gave Slaten EVERY chance.

3) Rizzo probably wants to stay just where we are in the standings. Not saying Davey deliberately blew the game or asked his players to slack off.

See Kilgore's article on the standings.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/nationals-journal/post/how-the-nationals-final-two-games-will-affect-their-draft-status-and-offseason/2011/09/27/gIQAJy7O2K_blog.html

4) Field conditions were DREADFUL. Who do YOU think is the expendable pitcher on this team (twisted ankle or something)?

Reminder reminder reminder: Davey does not play to win every game.

P.S., MLB.tv (if you can find it in the archives) had an absolutely great video of Lannan blocking the plate after the wild pitch. He really tumbled around. I'm not a Lannan fan, but he put out some effort!

Mark'd said...

NatsLady, you need to step away from your conspiracy theories. You have said many times WHO CARES WHAT DAVEY SAYS

WTF? said...

Hey NatsLady, what does your reminder alert mean Reminder reminder reminder: Davey does not play to win every game.

HUH!?!?

Perry said...

Yes please indulge us in this statement: "Davey does not play to win every game."

NatsLady said...

Yeah. Conspiracy? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

The guys played hard. Lannan pitched pretty well, Werth tore up centerfield, etc., etc.,

Now:

It's a rainy, miserable night. Your boss thinks, if I play this one to the limit, it could go 13 14 innings.

But, if I put Slaten in, it's at least 75-25 the guys go home after 9 innings.

Yeah, I'd play pretty hard for that boss next year.

No, Davey didn't play to lose. He just didn't play to win. He'll be back.

Mark'd said...

Darn, no conspiracy to tank the game. Still no reason to pitch Slaten with Burnett, Gorzo and Bally all rested.

NatsLady said...

Continuing...and the Fish would have played for 13, 14 innings, because they had something to play for, namely to get the win for their guy.

You gotta bet all those things (except maybe the standings part) went through Davey's head.

We've done what we needed to do, we played a good game. Season's over, Morse is tired, Zimm's got a pulled hammy, etc., etc., Slaten's expendable and problably gone, Burnett's not, Burnett could take us to the 10th inning...

Not a conspiracy, just a human being managing other human beings.

NatsLady said...

Slaten/Bally what's the diff? Same reasoning. 75-25 the game only goes 9.

He's saving Gorzy in case he needs him today.

WTF!? said...

NatsLady, huh, get the win for THEIR guy? Vazquez wasn't going to pitch into extra innings. Scratch that off of your list of excuses.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

They may count the actual attendance, but they announce the paid attendance. I'm pretty sure that's the way it's done in all ballparks now.

All MLB teams announce paid attendance, and have done so for many years. A long time ago, the NL announced gates, too, but they stopped sometime in the 70s IIRC.

sjm, it's only right that it comes down to one game for all the marbles. I hope Davey knows what's at stake here. ; ) There's always something to play for.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Vasquez has been with them long enough to be "their guy," and he is retired after today's game, which he will not be in, so, yeah, makes total sense they would be happy to send him off with a CG win. Why wouldn't they?

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Playing for the GTFO instead of the W, OTOH, doesn't seem likely to me, IMHO. FWIW. YMMV. VWP. IANAL.

IITYWYBMAD

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

P.S., MLB.tv (if you can find it in the archives) had an absolutely great video of Lannan blocking the plate after the wild pitch. He really tumbled around. I'm not a Lannan fan, but he put out some effort!

I missed that inning--wondered how LannEn got dirty. I am a fan of pointless macho gestures, so ... he was trying to block the plate? Cool. Totally stupid, but cool. I like it.



captcha: "antibing"

"Don't dig that kinda croonin', chum."

natsfan1a said...

Alternative meaning:

Don't disrespect da Bing! Ohh! (<- in best approximation of Jersey accent)

natsfan1a said...

(Although I really enjoyed High Society.)

A DC Wonk said...

UNTERP.NAT said...

Season is over. I won't be watching the last game. It really is meaningless since the Nationals are not playing for a winning season.

Yeah, and probably some bum pitching today, too.

FWIW, I don't understand why game #160 is so meaningful to you while #161 is meaningless. What's the difference? 81-80 vs 80-81, big deal -- either way:

(a) we're out of the playoffs
(b) we're at least game games improved in each of the last two seasons, and
(c) we're in 3rd place.

The result of #160 didn't change any of those things.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

The result of #160 didn't change any of those things.

And it's just a baseball game, anyway. They are all just baseball games.

Still.

Some people are goal-oriented, and not so much into process. "Won more than you lost" is a kind of a mark to shoot for, and they did miss it. I'm disappointed. I'll be watching (@ Duffy's FWIW), but I'm disappointed.


captcha: "vionat"

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

it's been a swell party, 1a.

A DC Wonk said...

Some people are goal-oriented, and not so much into process. "Won more than you lost" is a kind of a mark to shoot for, and they did miss it. I'm disappointed. I'll be watching (@ Duffy's FWIW), but I'm disappointed.

I am, too. But there's a difference between missing the goal of .500 and "meaningless."

natsfan1a said...

Have you heard? It's in the stars. Next July we'll have two All-Stars. (Yeah, I do realize that's a rhyming redundancy.) :-)

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

it's been a swell party, 1a.

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