Saturday, April 21, 2012

Finding a way, yet again

US Presswire photo
Ian Desmond is mobbed by teammates following his game-winning sacrifice fly.
They were missing their No. 3 hitter, Gold Glove third baseman and Face of the Franchise, who was a last-minute scratch with shoulder inflammation. They were missing their current No. 4 hitter, given a day off by the manager. They've been missing their regular No. 4 hitter, sidelined through at least mid-June with a lat injury. And they saw one of their fill-in closers blow a ninth-inning lead in unsightly fashion for the second time in 10 days.

Rough day at the ballpark for the Nationals, huh?

Except for one small tidbit: They won again.

"It shows the character of this ballclub," manager Davey Johnson said following a 3-2, 10-inning victory over the Marlins. "I didn't see any letdown on the ballclub, and I still had some bullets left to fire. We hung in there."

As impressive as many of the Nationals' MLB-leading 12 wins have been, most of them coming by way of brilliant pitching performances, perhaps more impressive has been the manner in which they've eked out a couple more wins on days in which it looked like the world was going to cave in on them.

They took it to a new level this afternoon, fielding a lineup minus Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche, still taking a 2-0 lead into the ninth thanks to Stephen Strasburg's dominant start and a couple of solo home run from Ian Desmond and Jayson Werth but then watching as Brad Lidge served up a game-tying homer to Logan Morrison that left the crowd of 26,745 stunned.

Having already blown a previous save opportunity in the Nationals' home opener while looking shaky in a couple other appearances, Lidge turned what should have been a near-picture-perfect ballgame into a tense, nailbiter.

Lidge's biggest problem: He hasn't been able to locate his trademark slider, forcing him to rely too much on a low-90s fastball that isn't what it used to be.

"Honestly, right now I'm not throwing well out there," the 35-year-old said. "My location's bad. I'm able to get ahead of guys sometimes, but I'm not able to put them away with the slider I've been able to in the past."

As bad as the Morrison homer -- which landed in the second deck down the right-field line -- was, Lidge's bigger mistake was walking leadoff hitter Hanley Ramirez after getting ahead in the count 0-2.

"You just can't do that, not in a close ballgame," said Johnson, who is still professing enough confidence in Lidge to use him in save situations moving forward.

Lidge's ninth-inning meltdown could have destroyed an otherwise splendid performance from Strasburg, who has been so dominant in his first four starts this year that each outing has begun to feel routine and -- dare anyone suggest it? -- boring.

The 23-year-old right-hander carved through the Miami lineup with ease, scattering four hits and a walk while striking out six (five on curveballs). He allowed only one runner to reach third base and would have returned for the seventh inning had Johnson been willing to extend his young hurler's pitch count.

"It's too early for me to let him hit and go one more inning," the manager said. "That one more inning could be invaluable later in the year."

Strasburg, who now boasts a 1.08 ERA and a 25-to-6 strikeout-to-walk ratio, was in line to earn his third victory until Lidge's blown save. He remained in the dugout, though, for the 10th inning, and watched as his teammates rallied yet again.

"It's awesome," Strasburg said. "The season's still young, but we've pulled close ones out. Definitely there's no sense of panic when we get to that situation. We know that if the guy up to bat doesn't get it done, the next guy will."

Wilson Ramos jumpstarted the winning rally with a single to right-center, but sloppy defense by the Marlins helped extend it. When LaRoche (who entered in the 10th on a double-switch) tapped a routine grounder to first, Gaby Sanchez easily could have stepped on the bag and then thrown to second base to try to complete a 3-6 double play. Instead, Sanchez decided to make the throw first, believing he could turn a 3-6-3 double play, only to fire the ball high and watch as it skipped into the outfield.

Ramos raced around to third, and after LaRoche later advanced to second on defensive indifference, the Nationals had two men in scoring position with nobody out.

That played right into Desmond's hands. Normally, he might feel the need to put the ball in the air to try to score the winning run. But with another runner behind Ramos, even a groundball would have resulted in the winning run standing 90 feet away with less than two outs.

"Any kind of contract," Desmond said of his approach in that spot. "With runners on second and third, we have two opportunities."

He only needed one, because he lofted Edward Mujica's 1-2 pitch into center field, plenty deep enough to score Ramos and give the Nationals their sixth 1-run victory already this season.

So it wasn't a work of art. At 12-4 and comfortably in first place, they don't care much about style points right now.

"It's huge," Lidge said. "For us to get as many wins late as we're getting now just shows that as a collective team, we don't get down if something doesn't go our way late in the game, early in the game, whatever. We still believe we're going to win the game. That speaks a lot about the character of guys in this clubhouse. ...

"Probably every one of us will go through a spell where we're not doing great during a part of the season. But if we keep picking each other up, keeping winning games, we're all going to be happy."

119 comments:

Typical DC Fan said...

I for one think the Nationals are going to win the Stanley Cup!

Typical DC Fan said...

And if they don't they should fire whomever wasn't fired last year!

SCNatsFan said...

Another example of the heart this team has even missing Morse and Storen. Still you have to wonder how much Davey will continue to press Lidge into this role he doesn't seem to be able to handle; at this point I'd rather Burnett get the call every other day then Lidge even at the expense of losing our LOOGY.

btharner said...

The tight games make me nervous at times but, after the game is over and I switch to another on MLB.tv, it does not take me long to appreciate how well our guys play. If this pitching keeps up and the hits start coming, then this could be a very enjoyable season, and it has been plenty enjoyable already.

Another_Sam said...

I've long said that my prefered game ends with a score of 3-2 or 4-3. But I'm worried about so many games where all that is offered is manufactured runs, cheap runs, and solo homers. I'm longing for a good old 10-8 victory. Like [heaven forbid] that Yanks-RSox game on the tube right now. [Just recently got in from my driveway listening on Xm to that White Sox - Marlins gem.]

NatsLady said...

ATL only 2 games back and they haven't played yet today. Not "comfortable" but I sure am happy!

fast eddie said...

By his own admission, Lidge says he can't "locate his slider". Based on his experience and track record as a closer, you have to think he'll work it out.
I'm more concerned about HRod and his control problems. That's why Billy Beane was willing to part with him. Hopefully, McCatty can help him.

Grandstander said...

A week ago, I posted about how Lidge had too high a WHIP to be closer and everyone jumped all over me. Does anyone care to recant?

Section 3, My PFB Sofa said...

Not yet, but I'm down to my last chit, I think.

Anonymous said...

I'm more concerned about HRod and his control problems. That's why Billy Beane was willing to part with him. Hopefully, McCatty can help him.

The "control problems" come and go and that has to do with locating his breaking pitches. When that slider is on HRod is unhittable. IN the past he rarely was able to control those pitches and didn't have the changeup, Now its 1 out of 3 times which is a vast improvement whether Steady Eddy wants to admit it or not. Bottom Line: HRod continues to progress as a work in progress since coming to the Nats.

His big advantage is that when he isn't on he walks hitters he doesn't allow home runs like Lidge, Storen, and Clippard. He is still unhittable ... so far he has consistently been able to use his fastball to get himself out scrapes. For a part of last year and before he usually uncorked wild pitches as well a as walks when he walked batters and had men in scoring position. He led the NL in wild pitches. Again, that is happening rarely relatively speaking.
In fact I've seen more passed balls by the Ramos than wild pitches.

So, that round goes to Rizzo not Beane Steady Eddy. And Corey Brown may yet make Beane completely rue the day he made that trade ... and as for the Gio Gonzalez trade we'll just have to wait and see.

Anonymous said...

Errr Fast Eddy I have a hard time keeping track of the many "anonymous" posters here ... ~smiles~

natsfan1a said...

Just got home after being out since lunchtime. I did know the score and result because another one of the volunteers was a Nats fan with a smart phone and kept me updated on the game. :-) That said, very nice to get home and catch up on details by reading Mark's gamer and instant analysis. Yay, Nats win. Again.

NatsBrat said...

I liked the camera shot at the end that showed Werth & Co. on the steps watching Desi at bat.

This is a great club, but given everything that happened in the 9th, I'm reminded of Casey's old dictum that 'he'd rather be lucky than good'!

Thinking that HRod should be the closer pro temp until Tinkerbell returns.

Anonymous said...

A week ago, I posted about how Lidge had too high a WHIP to be closer and everyone jumped all over me. Does anyone care to recant?

You just away the WHIP while I kept harping on the shoulder. I don't think Lidge is completely recovered. BUT his fastball is a lot better than it was last year and this spring. So, who knows? This is what we're going to see with Cole Kimball and Adam Carr by-the-way. Lidge isn't capable of closing over an entire season without ending up on the DL after the AS break IMO. So, AS I'VE SAID time and again its going to have to be some combination of HRod and Mattheus ... and let's face it Storen isn't going to be ready to close immediately after he is activated on a nightly basis.

And oh, speaking of shoulders? Chien-Ming Wang? Starting 33 games? Starting 23 games .... its NOT going to happen without Wang ending up on the DL as well. They need to limit his starts and innings drastically.

So, I am assuming that Detwiler will be in the rotation from here on out.

Wally said...

In a season of numerous positive surprises, the emergence of Detwiler might be the most impactful for this year and beyond. He has looked very, very strong, to me anyway and I have never been a big fan. He is throwing harder and has better command than I recall, even last September. If this is really who he is, man o man do we have some starting pitching. 4 studs under control for a long time. Heck, we could even run NatsJack out there every fifth day with that group.

But we need some more hitting. Really badly.

Anonymous said...

But we need some more hitting. Really badly.

That would be Morse or Tyler Moore or some combination of the two.

But, I think they are waiting to see how the prospects fare over a long period of time. So, we likely won't see anyone like Jeff Kobernus, Eury Perez or perhaps Chris Rahl.

In AAA the time frame from the FO's perspective is shorter. Tyler Moore, Corey Brown, Bryce Harper, and even Teahen and Rivero are going to be watched to see if they break out.

Depending on how the prospects fare will affect trade possibilities involving hitting. The one thing the FO has to trade that everyone will want is pitching. I can't see them trading anyone off the current roster other than perhaps Brad Lidge ... they don't have any more close-to-majore league ready prospects on the cusp except for Danny Rosenbaum and I expect they'll want to keep him.

So, it again boils down to LaRoche, Lidge, Wang, EJax, Lannan as the most expendable ...But, the Nats are going to want someone they think can help them now and in future years. They'll have to give up something to get something from teams mired in last place. And that could mean a top prospect or two.

Wally said...

I love Henry. He is a 'can't miss' guy for me (meaning I can't miss watching him when he is in). But he is never going to have the control that some of you want. His pitches just move too much, and any slight blip in his mechanics will look like a big mistake. He is a lot like Rich Harden back when he was healthy. Big time stuff, not always able to control. Comes with the territory, I think.

But I wouldn't trade him except for a king's ransom. When he is on, he really is unhittable. I get a huge amount of enjoyment seeing him lock up a hitter with his slider. When the batter flinches, it just makes me laugh out loud.

To me, no doubt Rizzo won that trade. 1 year of the Hammer, who is a good player but we only gave up 1 year of control, for 4 years of Henry with the chance Brown contributes something? I'd like to see some more of those.

NatsJack in Florida said...

I get so tired of reading Peric's crap. There is only MAYBE 1 or 2 guys in the INTIRE Nats system that have even the remotest chance of contributing to the club. One is the obvious and very doubtful at this time and the other isn't even in Syracuse.

terpman33 said...

This team has got to get more offense from somewhere. We cant continue to think we can win with smallball. Eventually, it may work against us. Having said that, 12-4 is impressive.

Wally said...

Anon @7:58. If they call someone up, realistically speaking, it looks like someone who can play the OF. So that is Brown, maybe Harper. Can Moore handle LF? He is the guy that I would most like to see, for his bat, but Luke @ NatsProspects was negative on his ability to handle LF. I assume Hood is too far away?

If they go trade, I agree with you that there is no one readily apparent to use (that they don't appear to need, like Flores or Lombo). Any bullpen guys down in Syr that could be effective up here? That may be another chip to trade. Everyone always like to trade for bullpen help. Just not Henry.

Get Some Players said...

If tomorrow's game is cancelled, will it be made up on Monday?

Anonymous said...

Get some. No game will be made up later in the sease.

MicheleS said...

NatsJack ... voice of reason.

With all the comments, you would think this team is in last place.

The NL East will be won with pitching and defense. If you want tons of runs go watch the Rangers

Get Some Players said...

Thanks anon.
Cliff Lee on 15 day with oblique strain.

NatsJack in Florida said...

What this yeam needs to do is to keep winning series's.

Don't over analyze. Each win is history and recorded as such.

Lack of hitting in a win as well as failure of the bull pen to close in the top of the 9th when you win in the 10th mean ABSOLUTELY NOTHING the next day.

Move on, play the next day and win till you play 162 games

NatsJack in Florida said...

And for those that think we didn't beat much in Houston, that kid Weiland is in a match with Kershaw and only has made 1 bad pitch and is down 1 - 0 in the 5th.

natsfan1a said...

How awesome is it to take a series from the Marlins? Pretty daggone awesome in my book!

NatsJack in Florida said...

WOW! Dee Gordon is really fast!

NatinBeantown said...

Kurkjian: "[Gio] is a critical member of the best pitching staff in the game."

Yeah, I'm enjoying these guys...

m20832 said...

natsfan1a said...

How awesome is it to take a series from the Marlins? Pretty daggone awesome in my book!

Agreed! The Nats most troublesome club to vanquish has been done in! No longer scared of the fish!

GYFNG!!!

fast eddie said...

I see where Mike Pineda just went on the DL. What would it take to get Granderson from the Yankees? We.ve got starting pitchers up the wazoo.

NatsJack in Florida said...

And did an anonymous poster really say that a rainout wouldn't be made up? Really?

I knew most neganons were mindless but I didn't know they were that kind of stupid.

And Matt Kemp is on fire with another blast that mow makes it 3 - 0.

NatinBeantown said...

NatsJack: slow down, friend. It was just a missing comma, I think.

"No, game will be made up later in season."
(which is very different than "no game will be made up" for sure!)

Gonat said...

Get Some Players said...
Thanks anon.
Cliff Lee on 15 day with oblique strain.

April 21, 2012 8:20 PM
______________________________

I just read that. I guess with it going retroactive to after the game he pitched Wednesday, he is able to come back for the Nats series vs the Phillies that May 4th to 6th series.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Read Anonymous @ 8:14. Sure sounds like no make ups.

Anonymous said...

Again, NatsJack, it was a missing comma. Chill out, my man!

Corky

Anonymous said...

As another Anon, my gosh, a whole lot of hand-wringers here, considering this team is now 12-4. 12-4, people!!

It took until 8:30 pm for folks to note that the Nats have now won 2, lost none against the dreaded FIsh? The Fish! The cur-sed FIsh! THs team is just so different now, with Davey and the talent.

And MicheleS is right on--the division will be won with pitching and defense, which this team has in abundance. Plus, Davey still prefers to have offensive weapons, has beefed up the bench, so, shockingly, the one thing I am NOT that worried about is that this team will produce more offense down the road. SInce I know Davey makes it a priority, I have faith. When I worry--and I do worry a lot--it is that Ejax will be inconsistent, Lidge will be shaky all year, and one or two starters will get hurt, as is almost inevitable.

But I'm enjoying the ride while it lasts. Isn't this the best start for a DC-based team since like the 1930s? We should be dancing from the rooftops, even if the season is still young (though now 10 percent old!).

MicheleS said...

So when we get to LA, i say we just put up 4 fingers every time Kemp is up.

Nat in Bean town, i agree in the missing punctuation. No game tomorrow will mean make up later in season. We play on the fish way too many times unlike the Dodgers last year.

Aww Cliff Lee is on the DL. Just means that team is getting older faster than we expected.

Anonymous said...

Chill out. Anon at 8:14 was answering a post that asked if it would be made up on Monday and he said no later in the season. Sometimes Nats Jack I think you are becoming the new JayB.

baseballswami said...

This winning thing is kind of cool. I agree that style points don't matter very much right now. If the other team is making a mistake, it's probably because we are pushing and pressuring and flustering them. That's a good thing. Also - when the other team makes one, you have to go for the jugular - that's good, too. Ramos was very heads-up for going to third - that led to the win. Also - he was motoring down that baseline for a big man who is a catcher! There has been a ton of hustle this year. Jayson Werth would not have been on second a couple of times that looked like routine pop ups that weren't caught. There have been lots of little things that have gone into wins that have somewhat compensated for the lack of slugging. I like the way this team is playing. The winning part is just fun. Go Nats, Go Caps!

Anonymous said...

MicheleS - I am absolutely terrified of Kemp - I agree - IBB each and every AB!

MicheleS said...

Wow. Just saw where Marlon Byrd got sent to Boston. I actually feel bad for him. That place looks like a disaster area. I will be take Lidge giving up 2 versus the Sawx pen giving up 15!!!!!

Anonymous said...

So, Gorzelanny got that win? Kind of weird.

Anonymous said...

So, Gorzelanny got that win? Kind of weird.

More silly comments from the Oriole fans.

Feel Wood said...

If tomorrow's game is rained out, they very well might make it up on Monday. Both teams have an off day. If they wait until later in the season, there are no off days around either of Miami's visits so they would have to schedule the makeup game as part of a doubleheader.

NatsLady said...

Doc Halladay just walked 3 in a row for the first time in his career--and they were Padres.

NatsLady said...

The problem with walking Kemp is Ethier.

The 43 combined RBI by Kemp & Ethier ties an @MLB record by 2 teammates through 15 team games (A-Rod (30) & Abreu (13) of the '07 Yankees)

MicheleS said...

Anon 6:25 agree weird because he took it on the chin the other day. Just goes to show you that on day you are the goat the next day you get the win.

And that doesn't mean you are an Oriole fan. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

bdrube said...

@Wally - "But we need some more hitting. Really badly."

So does most of the National League, actually. This is the Year of the Pitcher...and we HAS 'em. :)

Anonymous said...

NatsJack in Florida said...
I get so tired of reading Peric's crap. There is only MAYBE 1 or 2 guys in the INTIRE Nats system that have even the remotest chance of contributing to the club. One is the obvious and very doubtful at this time and the other isn't even in Syracuse.


I don't know as I recall you and many others said pretty much the same about Morse? And I get tired of your litany of negation this and negation this ... you aren't that smart Natsjack (or whomever is posting with his ID) and looking for yet another diatribe? If it is you should by now be all too familiar with my rapier.

Besides the OBVIOUS of Harper there is indeed Moore and if he finishes April with 10 homers or more I expect he'll be called. There in Syracuse is Teahen and Michaels plus Corey Brown. If you ask me they are better choices than any trade they could make that wouldn't involve cleaning out the farm system.

Sheesh ...

MicheleS said...

NatsLady. Ugh. Just goes to show you that the Dodgers will be tough

Anonymous said...

NatsLady. Ugh. Just goes to show you that the Dodgers will be tough

Surprisingly enough ... Jerry Hairston Jr. decided to go there for a reason. A lot of the credit should go to their manager who is a lot better than many realize.

Gonat said...

MicheleS said...
So when we get to LA, i say we just put up 4 fingers every time Kemp is up.

Nat in Bean town, i agree in the missing punctuation. No game tomorrow will mean make up later in season. We play on the fish way too many times unlike the Dodgers last year.

Aww Cliff Lee is on the DL. Just means that team is getting older faster than we expected.

April 21, 2012 9:17 PM
___________________________

The way they handled Votto was perfect and that's how you have to handle Kemp. Give him nothing to hit and if he wants to chase, so be it.

NatsLady said...

My money says if there is a rainout tomorrow the players would rather have the travel day Monday and the doubleheader later.

And I think Theophilus won the rain-prediction contest--rain held off until about 7...

Anonymous said...

I get so tired of reading Peric's crap.

And finally, what a friggin sycophant you are ... always pandering to the crowd on natsinsider, you and your tweeting ... its become more than a bit maudlin.

NatsLady said...

Yeah, but Rolen was after Votto and Rolen is hitting, what .162? Ethier is at .292.

Anonymous said...

BBTN will have Nats on in next segment. Sutcliffe was the analyst that picked us for the WS.

Anonymous said...

Feel Wood. No way it's made up on Monday. Both teams have to travel. And the Nats have to go all the way across the country. It will be a doubleheader later in the season.

JaneB said...

We are winning guys. We won against the Fish and their best pitcher,mans we did it without Zimm or Morse and mostly without ALR. Calm down.

I hope for their sake they postpone the make up game from tomorrow's rain out. They need the rest.

So does my heart.
GYFNG!

NatsLady said...

But I agree with pitching carefully--to both of them!

Anonymous said...

The way they handled Votto was perfect and that's how you have to handle Kemp. Give him nothing to hit and if he wants to chase, so be it.

The better strategy is NOT TO WALK anyone. Pitch to him with no one on base. I'm certain Stras and Henry will be able to handle him. I suspect JZimm and Gio will as well. We'll see.

Anonymous said...

How great is this team playing right now? Just for comparison sake, here are the days over the past seven seasons when the Nats won their 12th game. Just shows how far we have come!!!!

April 29, 2011

April 28, 2010

May 12, 2009

May 1, 2008

May 13, 2007

May 9, 2006

April 29, 2005

Gosh mid May in 2009 and 2007. Hard to believe.

Anonymous said...

So there was a perfect game today and the four letter network thought it was right up there with the ny/boston game. blech.

baseballswami said...

I am not sure that JZim, Gio or Stras know the meaning of giving in to a hitter. Plus - they have to know how to get the tough hitters out so that they know how when October comes :)

NatsLady said...

So, get the guy before Kemp to make the last out of the previous inning, so Kemp leads off (seems like that happened a lot with Votto--except for Clipp).

Sort of like going after the No. 8 hitter for the final out so the pitcher leads off the next inning.

NatsLady said...

K-Street Tee shirts. Price not too bad.

K Street

http://274742.spreadshirt.com/k-street-C111465

The Fox said...

MicheleS said...
So when we get to LA, i say we just put up 4 fingers every time Kemp is up.


Nah, I'll let our 4 horsemen of the apocalypses face him Mano Y Mano

Maybe if he represents the go ahead run, otherwise the bigger they are the harder they fall.

Show confidence in our staff, I ain't afraid of no Kemp.

Sec 3 my PFP sofa said...

Illigitimus non carborundum, NatsJack. Don't let it get to you.

And how impressive is that? 3 consecutive walks for the first time, for Halladay? Props. And glad to hear of it starting this year.

NatsLady said...

Detroit just beat Texas in the 2nd game of their doublehearder.

From Twitter:

Until tonight, opposing starters were 0-10 this year against the #Rangers. Then Justin Verlander showed up.

Anonymous said...

Halladay walks three in a row and Lee is on the dl - I'm all aquiver.

Mick G Sanford said...

It was the big one again, hear that Elizabeth, I'm coming to join with the Nats winning the WS!!!!

NatsFanJim said...

Just wait until Morse and a seasoned Harper are in the lineup -- wow.

the Nats are finding ways to win, even today with the dangerously non-hitting lineup turned in by Davey. Dont do that again, Davey.

Darker spots: Espinosa still helpless from the left side -- the hitch and loop in his swing, combined with his horrendous pitch choice, only further calls for a platoon with Lombo. Let Lombo play against righties.
Next is Lidge. Lidge is our weak link in the bull pen. Why Davey continues to let him close, I can't figure. Lidge isnt what he once was. The sooner faced, the better for the team.
There was a reason why Nady was sitting home waiting for a call. I wish he still was.
Bernadina -- poor Bernie. He simply can't hit -- simply can't.
Davey should have let Mattheus go another inning today.

Still the Nats have been blessed by the Gods -- positive thinking, and belief in one's self goes a long way, especially in the game of baseball. And that is All Davey. Good job.

The Great Unwashed said...

There's good stuff on ESPN about Desmond's walk-off and Nats pitching. I'd post the link but you all know where to find it.

Section 3, My PFB Sofa said...

Davey still lets Lidge close because even good closers have bad weeks. Maybe this is a bad week, and maybe this is a bad year. There's only one way to find out.

sjm308 said...

Even though we obviously need more offense, I am reluctant to move anyone right now. It might be crazy but 15 games is not enough time to judge most of our bench. As long as our pitching and defense can carry us I would stay put. Now, if we get into a funk and Bernadina and Nady etal continue to hit poorly then I think we can look to AAA. I feel pretty strongly that with our pitching, we might not ever have more then a 3 game losing streak, no matter how poor we hit. I have to think Zimm will start to get hot, I have to hope that LaRoche, Werth and Desmond will continue to hit and that Espy & Ramos will improve. If we just have two weak links, I think our pitching can overcome that. I figure Morse is still over a month away and that Harper won't be up for at least another month as well.

The way other teams are losing key players shows me that this game is all about luck as well as ability. Phillies will be getting Lee back just when they come to DC so that should be very interesting.

NatsLady said...

I just looked at the box and saw that Lidge walked two more after the initial walk and homerun. And Davey leaves him in. And Davey leaves Jackson in. Man's got nerves of steel.

Joe Seamhead said...

Today I am celebrating the long, winning tradition of the Washington Nationals...What's that you say? 16 games doesn't make a long, winning tradition?... Yeah, I guess you're right...So,okay,today I'm celebrating the beginning of a long, winning tradition of the Washington Nationals!

Joe Seamhead said...

NatsLady, speaking of nerves of steel, how about when Davey intentionally walked Coglhan with his .148BA to pitch to the PH Infante and his .325 BA?

NatsLady said...

JSeam--Yup. And throwing Gorzy back in.

AnonaPotter said...

Tweeter? Sentimental hogwash! I want my minor league players!

mjames said...

Why doesn't Espinosa just hit from the right side. Zim , Morse, Desmond,etc. do it. I know the line up is weighted to the right but Espinosa's left handed average is so anemic that he is not helping the team to have him bat left handed.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone think this game gets played today? I got tickets, but I don't know if it's worth the trip.

NatsLady said...

Anon, check nationals.com regularly. WaPo thinks it's a likely cancellation... I also have plans to go, but they had a bad experience last year cancelling a game and then it didn't rain, so I bet they wait as long as possible.

natcast-soggy-with-slim-game-chances

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/post/natcast-soggy-with-slim-game-chances/2012/04/21/gIQA0oFrYT_blog.html

NatsLady said...

Nationals PR just put this on Twitter:

Good morning fans. We are monitoring the weather situation, stay tuned...

Candide said...

Thanks for the K Street t-shirts link, NatsLady. Sent them an email to find out if women's "small" means petite (like Cunegonde) or average eight-year-old girl size.

Candide said...

Saw this in the WaPo dead-tree edition. Great shot of Desi and Kristina getting Gatoraded:*

http://img3.wpdigital.net/rf/image_358w/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2012/04/21/Sports/Images/143217821.jpg

*Is that a word? Well, now it is...

Gonat said...

NatsFanJim said...
Just wait until Morse and a seasoned Harper are in the lineup -- wow.

the Nats are finding ways to win, even today with the dangerously non-hitting lineup turned in by Davey. Dont do that again, Davey.

Darker spots: Espinosa still helpless from the left side -- the hitch and loop in his swing, combined with his horrendous pitch choice, only further calls for a platoon with Lombo. Let Lombo play against righties.

Next is Lidge. Lidge is our weak link in the bull pen. Why Davey continues to let him close, I can't figure. Lidge isnt what he once was. The sooner faced, the better for the team.

There was a reason why Nady was sitting home waiting for a call. I wish he still was.
Bernadina -- poor Bernie. He simply can't hit -- simply can't.
Davey should have let Mattheus go another inning today.

Still the Nats have been blessed by the Gods -- positive thinking, and belief in one's self goes a long way, especially in the game of baseball. And that is All Davey. Good job.

April 21, 2012 10:58 PM
______________________________

I agree with much that you write about. I have also been saying time to play Lombo much more to see what he has.

I would disagree with Bernadina. The last week he has had some clutch walks and a clutch RBI w/ 2 outs and RISP and a 2 for 3 day. http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/gl.cgi?id=bernaro01&t=b&year=2012

Nady is the guy to go just not sure if you replace him now with Tyler Moore or wait till June for Morse.

Lidge. Great discussion point. I have no clue what to do with him. He looked good to me yeterday. Got Hanley behind 0-2 and then went Marmol on him pitching him sliders in the dirt and then walked him. He then hung one to LoMo. The great news was he then got out of the inning with no further damage to keep the Nats in the game.

NatsLady said...

From Twitter:

Employees at Nats Park have been told this one's postponed.

jeffwx said...

Great to wake up to read the posts and blogs on the 12-4 Nats...Was out all day yesterday so missed what appears to be a great game and great discussion.
Still in a quandry about Lannan...feel he deserves more and hope he gets a chance to start in Bos or NY who desperately need pitching and can afford to give up some of the big O. Lannan and Bernadina for B. Gardner...

NatsLady said...

And, it's official. Today's game postponed due to weather.

natsfan1a said...

Didn't see the game as I was out all afternoon and haven't yet taken the time to watch the recording. Looks like Ankiel did the Gatorade honors. Is there anything the man can't do? ;-)

Also, had fun this morning reading the dead-tree edition and looking at the standings and league leaders. A few fun facts, we all know that the Nats are in first and the Phillies in last place in the division. Probably we also all know that at present just two MLB teams rank above the Nats, who have a .750 W-L percentage, in the standings (LAD and TEX). OTOH, there are currently 15 teams higher than the Phillies, and 4 tied with them (at .467). Would that we were in the same division positions for Take Back the Park, but for now, savor the moment, Nats fans. I know I am. :-)

Used to be that I was lucky to pick out one or two WAS players in NL league leader rankings. At present, the Nats are represented in hitting, with one player tied third in hits (Desmond). Another is tied for third in RBI (LaRoche). On the pitching side there are several Nats among the league leaders. Detwiler is second in ERA, with Strasburg and Zimmermann being fourth and fifth, respectively. Strasburg and Gio are among the leaders in K's, with SS leading the league. Like I said, savor the moment.

Joe Seamhead said...

You know, on Sanchez's error in the 10th, yes, he probably should have taken the out at first, but the throw to Jose Reyes wasn't all that high. Reyes saw Ramos coming in at him and there was no way that he was going to jump for Sanchez's throw and get taken out by the Moose. Reyes is a talanted player, but I'm actually glad he's not on our team. He's a punk.

jeffwx said...

Thanks NL....makes sense heavy rain on the way....good deal for the Nats to be able to take a breather from some tense times. and chance for Zimm to heal. and also an extra day to get ready for the west coast time zone shift. Good Karma, although I really wanted to watch em. They are addicting in a good way. I need NA (Nataholoic Anon)

What's so funny about Beast, Lidge and Stephen Strasburg (Nick Lowe)

jeffwx said...

Detwiler is second in ERA, with Strasburg and Zimmermann being fourth and fifth, respectively. Strasburg and Gio are among the leaders in K's, with SS leading the league. Like I said, savor the moment.
=======================================
Now that is amazin.... 3 starters in the top 5 in ERAs..
Yes, I know the sample size is small but still somethin.

natsfan1a said...

hmmm...looking at another site, they had Zimmermann sixth in ERA. Not sure which is right, but in the top 10 at any rate. :-)

natsfan1a said...

Thanks for the update, NatsLady. The Nats PR Twitter page seems to have not been updated, but the official Nats Twitter account had the following time-stamped at 10:03 a.m. Good on them for making the call early.

@Nationals

Today's #Nats #Marlins game has been postponed due to #weather. Visit http://nationals.com for updates as they become available

natsfan1a said...

Or a 10:15 time-stamp, I should have typed. :-) Anyway, glad they made the call early, as the forecast was not promising and I would have needed to leave within the hour.

NatsLady said...

Was looking at the pic of the tarp which only covers the infield. Even if the rain stopped, the outfield would be treacherous. RZ banged up, lots of close games, take a break.

Hope they don't play this one tomorrow. Padres proved yesterday they are not COMPLETE pushovers, and then we get to see the best pitching against the best hitting.

natsfan1a said...

Tweeter is so confusing. How does a Nats post from yesterday afternoon show up on top of the page and a post from within the hour show up below it? Daggone it, I thought I had this 21st Century stuff all figured out. :-)

jeffwx said...

Padres pitching amongst the worst in the league in giving up walks....That's one of our secret offensive weapons...I'm hopeful

natsfan1a said...

Mark's Tweeter (top of page here) sez it won't be made up tomorrow, as Nats are flying to San Diego today.

NatsLady said...

If you want to see funny stuff on Twitter, search on #RedSox.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessiistic_For_Me said...

Rained out Sunday. Zim gets three days rest for the shoulder. Swept the Fish!

Joe Seamhead said...

Well, re: the sweep, the gme will be made up later, so I don't think that this officially classifies as a sweep. At least not yet.

Section 3, My PFB Sofa said...

"It shows the character of this ballclub," manager Davey Johnson said following a 3-2, 10-inning victory over the Marlins.

So, Davey is saying the Marlins lack character?

realdealnats said...

Re: Lidge--move him out of the closer's spot until he gains control and confidence in the sinker. But keep him pitching. Let Henry keep closing, and on B days close by committee until Drew returns: Mattheus, Burnett, or if Clip is hot in the 8th maybe let him continue into the 9th. Just a thought from another clueless armchair general.

Mark'd said...

natsfan1a, I appreciate the fun facts. Exactly 10% complete with the season. Not a small sample size for trends but a small sample size to project full season stats.

Matt Kemp won't hit 90 HRs but he may lead the Majors in HRs. Pujols won't hit 0 HRs for the season.

The Nats pitching stats are off the charts good as a staff. As temps heat up so do the bats. I don't expect Detwiler's stats to hold where they are but it isn't to say he doesn't stay in the top 10.

natsfan1a said...

I'm simply relishing the present, as indicated by my "savor the moment" comments. :-)

Mark'd said...

natsfan1a, I am drinking my Kool-Aid for breakfast. Love what I am seeing. Pitching, pitching, pitching.

natsfan1a said...

Kool-Aid for breakfast, lunch, and dinner here, Mark'd. :-)

natsfan1a said...

Oh, and cheers (lifts glass).

Mark'd said...

I have to give some Desi love. Another WebGem, the go ahead HR and the walk-off Sac Fly. Werth and Ramos with most honorable mention.

ehay2k said...

It's not quite a sweep, but it was a series win. Rain was the barrier to the sweep, so how about we call it a squeegee? :-)

Mark'd said...

Best record over the last 10 games is Atlanta at 9-1 as their bats came alive. Nats at 8-2.

natsfan1a said...

I like that, ehay, and I'm with you on Desi, Mark'd.

Candide said...

Off the subject, but can anyone explain why my android phone seems to think NI is on west coast time? It has the right time everywhere else, including on the home screen, but it's deducting three hours off the time of all the posts here. Strange weirdness...

Section 3, My PFB Sofa said...

Another weirdness, in that my first response got swallowed up...

Candide, it's a browser-Blogger issue. I get the same thing on my droid, but only from certain browsers, specifically Boat, and Galapagos, and probably others. I get the "REPLY" function for comments, too.
Switch your browser to show the Web page version, instead of the mobile version, if it bothers you.

Cwj said...

A few random thoughts on a rainy Sunday night :-)

-I like the fact that most of the national media attention that was showered upon Strasburg in 2010 has dissipated.
Now, he's just another ace. That's fine with me.
-Even though it may seem like it so far, the Nats haven't been winning on good luck alone. A run differential of +13 is much more than just luck.
-I think Henry should get the save situations with leads of 1 or 2 runs. Mattheus and/or Stammen should get the 3-run lead save opps.
-I believe Lidge should be shifted to low leverage situations to get his confidence back.
-I also believe that Davey should let Jackson pitch more than 5 innings when he struggles early but recovers. He seems to have a rubber arm, why not use it?
-I love these Nats. Very good team! :-)

Anonymous said...

Desmond is a streak hitter, and his hot start died when the series against the Reds ended. Since then he's hitting .150, with an OBP of .190

A big whoop-dee-doo

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