Sunday, April 15, 2012

Game 10: Reds at Nats

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nationals seek a four-game sweep of the Reds and a six-game winning streak.
We've focused so much on the Nationals' pitching staff through the season's first week-plus, and with good reason. Steve McCatty's group leads all of baseball with a 1.82 ERA, 0.952 WHIP and 88 strikeouts. But let's not entirely dump on the Nats' lineup, which may not be scoring runs in bunches but is producing at a significantly higher rate than we've been accustomed to around here.

For example, did you know the Nationals' team on-base percentage this morning is .342, third-best in the majors behind the Red Sox and Cardinals? That ain't shabby, and obviously represents a huge increase over last year's .309 mark (MLB rank: 25th). The problem hasn't been getting guys on base; it's been getting them in. The Nats are scoring only 3.78 runs per game so far (21st in the majors).

So we'll see whether today's lineup can continue to reach base at such a high clip and perhaps actually score at a higher rate, giving starter Ross Detwiler a little bit of cushion as he takes the mound in search of the Nationals' sixth straight victory.

Updates and analysis to come all afternoon...

CINCINNATI REDS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 1:35 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, Ch. 50, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 189
Weather: Mostly sunny, 82 degrees, Wind 11 mph out to RF
NATIONALS (7-2)
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
RF Jayson Werth
LF Mark DeRosa
CF Rick Ankiel
C Wilson Ramos
LHP Ross Detwiler

REDS (3-6)
2B Brandon Phillips
SS Zack Cozart
1B Joey Votto
3B Scott Rolen
RF Jay Bruce
LF Ryan Ludwick
CF Chris Heisey
C Ryan Hanigan
RHP Mike Leake

UMPIRES
HP Laz Diaz, 1B Mike Everitt, 2B Paul Schrieber, 3B Tim Welke (cc)

1:08 p.m. -- A little pregame reminder: It's Jackie Robinson day across MLB, so every player on every team is wearing uniform No. 42 in tribute. Makes it a bit difficult to distinguish one from the other, but obviously that's a small inconvenience in an otherwise wonderful tribute MLB adopted a couple of years ago.

1:37 p.m. -- And we're underway with a ball high from Ross Detwiler to Brandon Phillips. 77 spectacular degrees at gametime.

1:55 p.m. -- Wow, you don't want to ever say the umpires are entirely responsible for a big inning, but it's hard to argue they didn't just allow the Reds to take a 4-0 lead in the top of the first. It began with Mike Everitt's blown call at first base, where Adam LaRoche had to leap to snag Ian Desmond's high throw but clearly got his foot back down on the bag before Scott Rolen reached. That should've ended the inning with no runs across and Detwiler's pitch count at 20. Instead, it prolonged things and allowed Laz Diaz to miss an obvious third-strike call on Jay Bruce that also would've ended the inning without a run crossing the plate. No dice. One more missed third-strike call by Diaz set the stage for Ryan Ludwick to crush a 2-2 pitch into the Red Porch for a grand slam. I mean, yes, Detwiler still was the one who threw the grand-slam pitch. But if any of those three missed calls are made correctly, he never even gets to that point. 4-0 Reds already.

2:05 p.m. -- Things have settled down here, with Detwiler bouncing back to retire the side in the top of the second. The Nats also went down in order in the bottom of the first against Mike Leake, though Ryan Zimmerman did crush a line drive to deep center.

2:19 p.m. -- Credit to Detwiler for giving himself a chance to pitch deeper into this game by making quick work of the second and third innings. He needed only 19 pitches to face his last six batters. Still 4-0 as we go to the bottom of the third.

2:34 p.m. -- Kind of a sloppy top of the fourth. Detwiler gave up three straight singles, and Rick Ankiel couldn't make the online throw to get Ludwick at the plate. Then Wilson Ramos couldn't catch Leake's popped-up sac bunt attempt. Ryan Zimmerman wound up making a great throw to get Leake at first, but they would've had Chris Heisey dead to rites at third ... if only someone was covering. It's 5-0 and not looking so good for the hometown nine.

2:52 p.m. -- Well, the Nats managed to get three runs back in the bottom of the fourth, so that will help their chances. LaRoche once again comes through in a big spot, dropping a two-run single down the right-field line for his 11th and 12th RBI of the season. With runners on second and third and nobody out, Werth had a golden opportunity to drive in at least one (if not two) runs, but he popped out weakly to first base. Thankfully, DeRosa came through with a productive, RBI groundout. So it's 5-3 as we go to the fifth.

2:59 p.m. -- Pretty impressive job by Detwiler. He needed 38 pitches to get through that torturous first inning, but he's made it through the next four innings on a total of 43 pitches. Since he's due up in the bottom of the fifth, Davey Johnson will send up Roger Bernadina to pinch-hit. So Detwiler's final line: 5 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 81 pitches, 53 strikes.

3:10 p.m. -- And the Nats have cut the lead to 5-4. After Bernadina drew a one-out walk, Desmond laced a double over the center fielder's head, bringing Roger home. Since Desmond took third on the throw home, the tying run was now 90 feet away, but some poor situational hitting from Espinosa (he grounded out weakly on the first pitch he saw) left it up to Zimmerman, who also grounded out. So the Nats still trail by a run as Craig Stammen enters to pitch the sixth.

3:16 p.m. -- Two more strikeouts for Stammen, who now has nine K's in 6 2/3 innings of relief this season.

3:34 p.m. -- He got himself into trouble, loading the bases with two outs, but came up huge by striking out Rolen to end the top of the seventh and keep this a 5-4 game.

3:51 p.m. -- Desmond does it again. Two-out, RBI single up the middle scores Ankiel (bad quad and all) in the bottom of the seventh. The Nats have come all the way back from five runs down to tie this game, 5-5. Battle of the bullpens now, and you know which team has the advantage in that matchup.

3:58 p.m. -- How good was the play Ryan Zimmerman just made on Ryan Ludwick's smash down the third-base line? So good that Ludwick, convinced he had doubled, started veering to the right in order to round first base. Imagine his surprise when he realized Zim caught the ball and fired to first for the 5-3 groundout. Stunning. We go to the bottom of the eighth, still 5-5.

4:08 p.m. -- I can only imagine what it's like to stand in the box against Aroldis Chapman. I'm pretty sure it's an intimidating experience. The Cuban lefty blew away Zimmerman and LaRoche in the bottom of the eighth. Werth did manage to poke a single to left, but DeRosa flied out to right to end the inning. Onto the ninth in a tie ballgame.

4:24 p.m. -- Brad Lidge gets the job done again. Despite a one-out double to Brandon Phillips that was within a few inches of clearing the center-field fence, Lidge battled back to strike out Zack Cozart, then after intentionally walking Joey Votto struck out Scott Rolen. We go to the bottom of the ninth in a 5-5 game. Ankiel, Ramos and a pinch-hitter due up.

4:30 p.m. -- And for the third time in four days, the Nationals and Reds will play extra innings. No chance for the bottom of the Nats' lineup against Chapman in the bottom of the ninth. Henry Rodriguez now in to pitch the 10th.

4:40 p.m. -- Davey sees Dusty's Chapman 98 mph fastball and raises him an H-Rod 100 mph heater. Rodriguez did issue a two-out walk, but he made it through the inning unscathed. Onto the bottom of the 10th.

4:51 p.m. -- A rare display of negative emotion from Zimmerman, who slammed his bat and helmet to the ground after striking out to end the 10th. Zim clearly wasn't happy with Laz Diaz's strike call on the previous pitch. We go to the 11th.

5:06 p.m. -- And the wheels have come off. The inning began with Tyler Clippard slipping and falling on the mound while trying to deliver a pitch, and things only got worse from there. Three runs later, the Reds have taken an 8-5 lead and will attempt to close this out in the bottom of the 11th.

5:18 p.m. -- That'll do it. Sean Marshall shuts the door on any attempted comeback and gives the Reds an 8-5, 11-inning victory. The Nationals' losing streak comes to an end at five. On the bright side, the Mets' loss in Philly means the Nats remain in sole possession of first place for another day.

171 comments:

Grandstander said...

Also, the Nats lead the league in walks with 42. Every player with 10 plate appearances or more has at least 1 base on balls.

Espinosa especially has been grinding out some at bats, second in the league in walks with 8. I think "scrappy" gets thrown around too much in the world of sports adjectives but it really perfectly describes that kid. Love watching him hit.

UNTERP said...

The Five Kays: Kay 5 is in the house today. Just do it...


Signed

93(103?) - 69(59?), All Season

Doc said...

And Grandstander, Espi will get better.

Now that he's taking pitches that he used to swing at, he'll soon start parking pitches that he likes in the stands, and on the OF grass.

The year will come when he really does complete a 30+ HR year.

Goooooooooooooo Danny! Goooooooooooo Nats!!!!

Nats in Athens said...

I agree with you Doc: There is no reason why Espi cannot go back to what he was 1st Half of last year.

Steady Eddie said...

Thing I've noticed with both Espy and RZim -- and Ankiel in a couple of his ABs yesterday -- is that they've hit the ball really hard, just right at people (or in the case of Zim, three would-be dingers right into the teeth of a 15+ mph wind, including his first AB in the home opener). Law of BAPIP says those will start falling shortly. (Of course, that also suggests that some of ALR's liners and Caveman Wirth's seeing eye grounders could get caught, except that they're both such seasoned professional hitters that their ball placement is not exactly accidental.)

GYFNG! PFB!

Grandstander said...

Team BABIP is .306, well above the league average of .278, so there will definitely be some regression to the mean in the case of our high BABIP guys like LaRoche (.435) and Werth (.462) but that's to be expected. Danny (.217) and Zim (.226) should help pick them up.

Anonymous said...

I know its early, but to glance at the Phillthy Phan pages and to read the doom and gloom coming out of their fans brings a smile to my face. They are in real trouble. No runner past 2nd base against Niese. No power in the lineup. And probably regression by at least one of their starters.

JaneB said...

Anon at 11:12 -- I'm smiling too!

Can't wait for the Reds to see the fourth component of K Street!

GYFNG!

UNTERP said...

42

ehay2k said...

Thanks for the reminder UNTerp. Good to remember number 42.

Let Teddy Win said...

Mark,

The record is outstanding, the OBP is good, and people keep talking about patience at the plate, but I remain concerned that this lineup can't get on base against decent pitching.

Even after Saturday's 10-hit breakout (against a pretty bad Homer Bailey), the Nats have generated 38% of their baserunners by BBs and HBPs. 38%! Now how many of those have come in late innings against bad bullpens (Cubs, Mets, Reds)?

If the team is going to be without Morse, now is the time. Houston is next, and they're visiting the Padres soon. This team could end April with an awesome record, but they might need a cushion because pretty soon it'll be a lot of NL East and AL East. This team is going to have to figure out how to get on base against Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Buehrle, Johnson, Sanchez, Zambrano, Jurrjens, Hanson, etc. Lord knows I'm pinching myself about the current performance, but I think we need to temper expectations until then.

lesatcsc said...

Hey Mark,

Last time out Davey Johnson said before the game that he would only let Ross D go five because he wasn't "stretched out" like the other starters. Any idea if he has a similar restriction on him today? Six innings maybe?

HHover said...

Grandstander

That's a great pt about BABIP--our batters have been getting lucky, and the team OBP will come down.

Our pitchers have been getting lucky too - their BABIP is the second best in the NL. When more of the opposing teams' batted balls fall in for hits, those WHIP and ERA #s that Mark cites are going to go up.

But I'm going to enjoy it as long as it lasts!

jeffwx said...

What I've seen so far....The Nats starting pitching keeps them in the game in order to get to the visiting bullpen. Then, if the bullpen is weak, they can take advantage. They haven't seen a good bullpen yet so I guess that will be challenging

Section 3, My PFB Sofa said...

One other thing about BABIP: there is a range, not a single number, it will move to, given enough instances, but even over a full season, there's no guarantee they can't stay lucky. It's less likely the more they play, but every year, somebody is the "luckiest" team in the league, and somebody is the unluckiest. They don't all fall into the middle. So GYFNG.

NatsJack in DC said...

Good call Section3......at what point did St. Louis "return to the mean" last season?

sm13 said...

Interesting that Davey went with his regular lineup today. I was guessing that Lombo would get a start and that he might rest Jason or Adam L. Davey clearly wants to win today and keep the momentum going. He's got the fever and knows that wins in April count just as much as wins in September.

Sweeeeeeeeeeep!! Go Nats!

HHover said...

Section 3

That's true, but there's luck, and then there's luck.

The BABIP for the Nats pitchers right now is .233. Over the last three years, league average has been about 60 pts higher, and no team's pitchers have finished the season with a BABIP better than .265.

lesatcsc said...

HHover,

Has than been a pitching staff over the past three years that has had as many power arms and the type of K to IP ratio as this year's Nats staff? I ask because I'm wondering if the low BABIP number is a direct function of weak contact by hitters struggling just to put the bat on the ball.

Steady Eddie said...

sm13 -- you real spect the streak. I went to the first three home games and after Thursday's walk off,, no way was Igoing to wear anything different than my 2010 Stras jersey and my Senators curly W cap!

Steady Eddie said...

That's "respect the streak".

Stupid autocorrect.

sm13 said...

Yep, another reason I have o much respect for Davey.

sm13 said...

So much respect....

sjm308 said...

Steady Eddie - I am right there with you!! Keep that wardrobe going!!

DC Wonk (from a previous post) - hate to give away the row since there is a threat of beer showers but I will look over your way sometime during the first few innings. Problem is, with my memory, I will forget by Monday.

Go Nats!!

JaneB said...

42?

Section 3, My PFB Sofa said...

Jackie Robinson

Section 3, My PFB Sofa said...

sjm, a wise person once told me, "If a junkie threatens to kill you, run. If a junkie says they'll be back in half an hour to kill you, put it out of your mind."

I think that applies to trolls in this case, too.

natsfan1a said...

Okay, yard work is done. Lunch is ready. I've started to attack Mt. Washmore (to be tackled while sitting in front of the tv, natch - it's called multitasking :-))

Go, Nats, GO!!

Section 3, My PFB Sofa said...

HHover, thanks for that. Someone(s) else(s) also pointed out that this is the relatively easier part of the schedule, and things will get tougher soon enough. But it's nice to know those teams are looking at the schedule, seeing "DC" and thinking their schedule is about to get tougher.

UnkyD said...

How's that leg feeling, CMW.....?

Joe Seamhead said...

Good grief. Diaz is killing us.

Anonymous said...

And the Umpires are on the board and lead the Nationals 4-0

Anonymous said...

Blown call at 1st. Blown 3rd strike on Bruce. Blown 3rd strike on Ludwick. Ridiculous

Pdowdy83 said...

So we have to record 6 outs in an inning? That is absolutely some of the WORST umpiring I have ever seen. Both the home plate ump and the first base ump need to get fined for that crap.

sm13 said...

That's zero earned runs for Ross, 4 earned runs for the umpires

Anonymous said...

Oh, no - there goes the K Street Era!

Just sayin' said...

Detwiller records a six-out inning.

Anonymous said...

Listening on the radio in the car -- was the guy safe at first or out on the error?

Joe Seamhead said...

That's really screwed up. We had to get six outs here. Ian gets an error on an out. Det got screwed out of two strikeouts.

baseballswami said...

I am not near a tv either - what's up with the calls? Balls and strikes or plays at bases? Come on RossyD -- hold them the rest of the game! It's time for the offense to catch fire!

SCNatsFan said...

Clearly out. Wasn't even close. Nor were the pitches.

baseballswami said...

I will be near a tv soon - twitter going crazy with umpire trashing!

sm13 said...

Agree with SC. Not even close.

UnkyD said...

Ouch.... 38 pitches... Gonna be a big day fir the pen. Hope Blue starts calling strikes, in the 2nd.....

Navy Nats Fan said...

On the play at first, Ian drew ALR off the bag, but ALR got his foot on it a step and a half ahead of the runner. All I can think is the umpire was looking for the swipe tag (which missed) and not watching the foot.

Home plate umpire blew two 3rd strike calls after ringing up Joey Votto on a pitch that was outside. Two makeup calls by Diaz for one in our favor. But the strikes he didn't call were more inside the strike zone than the one he did was out of it. If that makes any sense.

Anonymous said...

FP thinks chirping from Votto and the Reds dugout might have affected the home plate umpire. Seems like the most plausible explanation.

Joe Seamhead said...

Swami the play at first wasn't even close. Then two,two strike calls on two different batters that were near the middle of the plate were called balls.As bad as I've seen in MLB.

Section 220 said...

Regression to the mean is something that is supposed to happen on its own, umps. You don't have to help...

Anonymous said...

What is Brandon Phillips wearing on his hands/arms? Looks like boxing gloves that go part way up to his elbows?

baseballswami said...

Just saw a couple of photos on twitter - those calls were missed by a couple of miles.

Section 220 said...

I feel like Adam should turn to the 1B ump and scream, "ARE YOU EFFING SURE?!?!" on every out at first for the rest of the game. You know, given that we're dealing with a step and a half margin of error here...

Anonymous said...

There's not much you can do. Pissing off the umps would only make it worse. This is the day the Nats offense needs to wake up.

But, it just isn't there. Its why Tyler Moore is going to work with Tarasco in left field in Syracuse again. They need some power bats. It ain't going to come from Werth, DeRosa, or LaRoche.

Just wonderin' said...

I normally don't like to bash the umps too much -- the bad calls tend to even out -- but those calls were so bad I've got to ask: Does the MLB office review the calls for each and every game? Does the team have to ask? I know they won't change the calls, but will they point out the errors to the umps involved?

Section 3, My PFB Sofa said...

FP seems pretty sure Votto (who got rung up on a pitch off the plate) said something to get Diaz to turn around some makeup calls.

sm13 said...

Way to settle down,Ross. Showing some poise and maturity.

Anonymous said...

They need offense today. The big "O" needs to get to work.

Looked to me like the ump at first made up for his bad call. Too late 5-0 ump. It should be 1-0.

baseballswami said...

Ross needs a cookie! And then he need to tap into his inner Natitude. He is the least experienced of our staff ( I think - maybe it's strassie?) and the last one to make the staff. I think he is going to need half a season to get consistent. He has what they call a "high ceiling" -- it will sometimes be fun and sometimes not so fun watching him develop.

Anonymous said...

I hope the offense wasn't planning on waiting until the 8th to show up....

sm13 said...

ADAM!!!

Anonymous said...

Okay, now it's

Umpires 4
Reds 1
Nats 2

Navy Nats Fan said...

Umps 4
Reds 1
Nats 3

MicheleS said...

I may have to get a LaRoche shirt.

Anonymous said...

Detwiler has got one inning left if he can get out of this inning now.

Anonymous said...

Maybe 2 if Davey let's him hit the 100 mark instead of 90.

Navy Nats Fan said...

81 pitches after five - depending on how the 6th goes, Ross could certainly come back for the 7th and maybe even the 8th. But with a rested bullpen, Davey has options.

Navy Nats Fan said...

Oh well - pinch hitter (Shark) for Ross, his day is over.

Anonymous said...

Interesting - Ross pitches with a mouthguard. Haven't seen that out of many pitchers. Must be a grinder.

Steady Eddie said...

I was always thinking before that we let ALR go after this year and move Morse to first. But seeing how easy ALR made that DP rocket from Votto look -- and every other great scoop he's made -- I'd say we need to keep him as long as he stays reasonably healthy and reasonably productive (even 70% as well as he's doing now) offensively.

His defense not only saves runs in themselves, it make the rest of the IF that much better. Knowing that ALR can scoop anything that's anywhere near 1B, it lets the other IFs relax and not feel as pressured to make their throws perfect on tough plays. Which means they make them better.

Steady Eddie said...

I'd say Desi's whole game has come together for real.

sm13 said...

Bo Porter is a very aggressive 3rd base coach. The polar opposite of Pat (stop sign) Listach.

Anonymous said...

okay, we are now beating the Reds and tied with the Umps, but losing to the combined forces.

Umps 4
Reds 1
Nats 4

Anonymous said...

Just pathetic with man at 3rd and less than 2 outs.

Steady Eddie said...

RZim, on the other hand, is in a real rut at the plate. I wonder if having those three dingers and 6 or 7 RBIs taken away from him by the wind has gotten into his head a bit.

Anonymous said...

Tyler Moore now has 5 home runs ... already.

sm13 said...

Stammen had now struck out 8 of the last 9 he's faced.

UNTERP said...

Stammen is the best pitcher in the bullpen. Easily could be the closer...

Steady Eddie said...

On the other other hand, what has gotten into Stammen? I don't remember him ever being this dominant he was a starting pitcher, even for a couple of innings in a row. Maybe the "his game has come together" works for him too?

I guess we could send Mattheus down and let him be the closer in Syracuse when Wang comes back, but what the heck are we going to do when Storen returns?

Anonymous said...

I guess we could send Mattheus down and let him be the closer in Syracuse when Wang comes back, but what the heck are we going to do when Storen returns?

I wouldn't worry about it. He's going to have start all over doing the ST thing, then do rehab starts. Storen won't be available until after the AllStar break. AND Storen has options. They could just option him to Syracuse until they think he is completely ready.

I don't think Mattheus is going anywhere. The trade possibilities might have just been damaged because Bernadina might have injured himself ala Rendon and Goodwin coming around third base.

Joe Seamhead said...

Jeez...this guy Diaz just sucks all the way around.

Anonymous said...

Stammen is the best pitcher in the bullpen. Easily could be the closer...

Small sample size ... he's not a closer. He's a starter, a decent 4th or 5th for a number of teams. Stop trying to make him into something he isn't.

Anonymous said...

Laz Diaz is so bad.

sm13 said...

I think what Stammen has become is an excellent middle to late inning relief pitcher. He didn't seem to have enough stuff to be a starter, but has more than enough for one time through a batting order. It was either FP or Ray that mentioned that he thought Lidge may have worked with Craig on his slider. He always had the good sinker.

Section 3, My PFB Sofa said...

Interesting, sm13, isn't it, that they get Lidge, and then we start hearing about multiple pitchers' sliders getting better.

Best million dollars they spent all winter, I'm telling you.

Anonymous said...

Situational hitting, awful.

sm13 said...

Good point Sec.3. More props to Rizzo.

Drew said...

Wilson Has to get that runner to third. Why didn't he bunt? (Yes, I know Davey doesn't like to give up outs, but Wilson has to advance that runner.)

NatsFan05 said...

Rally Cap Time...Go Nats

UnkyD said...

Nice observation, Sofa... And Stammen, to me at this point,seems to be whatever we need him to be. Maybe, when Drew is ready (agreed, that his doesn't have to come much before the ASB, we send Stammen to 'Cuse to stretch him back out as another option for post-Stras.... So many ways to look at so many of our issues... Love to play GM!

Section 3, My PFB Sofa said...

Ramos I don't mind, he can give them the lead. Now, why Espinosa didn't bunt, don't ask me.

DESMOND!@!

Steady Eddie said...

Ian Desmond = PFB!!!!!

UNTERP said...

Let's send Ian Desmond down to the minors and move Espi to first and let Lombo play 2nd...

UnkyD said...

Hanigan needs a new mitt.... Tomorrow

NatsFan05 said...

Let's go Danny....

sm13 said...

How 'bout those comeback Nats!

George W Bush said...

Finally - beating the Umps, beating the Reds, tied with the Axis of Evil.

Umps 4
Reds 1
Nats 5

NatsFan05 said...

5-5...OK, we'll get this...

MicheleS said...

THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO QUIT IN THIS TEAM!

GYFNG!!!

baseballswami said...

I like the way the Nats battle back every time. But - could they save one or two of those runs for Jordan? Those five runs could win two or three games for him!

sm13 said...

That's the Ryan wr know and love - a web gem!

FS said...

wish I was there again.

NatsFan05 said...

That was different...an infield double....

Steady Eddie said...

Ugh... looks like Hanigan is not the only catcher who needs a new mitt. Though as FP said, one of the infielders needed to call Ramos off of that popup, just as they should have called Stras off that pop that landed next to the mound against the Mets.

Section 3, My PFB Sofa said...

Popups are always tough for a catcher, but I promise Wilson is kicking himself for that one.

NatsFan05 said...

Love Stammen! Go nats!

Section 3, My PFB Sofa said...

So, Aroldis Chapman or Henry Rodriquez?

Section 3, My PFB Sofa said...

We love him, too, NatsFan05, but that was Mattheus.

Steady Eddie said...

Huge difference from last year, when that kind of error would have flustered most of the pitchers into giving up a go-ahead hit to the next batter.

This year they just shrug it off and zap the next guy.

Section 3, I think you're right about the benign influence of Lidge in putting the right kind of seasoning into our young guys' heads.

NatsFan05 said...

Sec 3, my bad...ops..

The 42's had me confused...

UnkyD said...

Can't tell the players WITH a scorecard, today! ;)

Section 42, My PFB Sofa said...

NatsFan05, I can imagine. Not sure what too ME so long.

Section 42, My PFB Sofa said...

*took

I think Laz Diaz just took a K away from me.

Steady Eddie said...

Wow, RZim and now Desi shining in the field.

There's something really almost magical going on out there. The same "competition makes the pitching staff better" is "infielders don't want to let each other down by not rising to the next level on every tough play." Espi's the only one who hasn't had the chance to make the highlight reel today.

NatsFan05 said...

OK, Brad Lidge,#42...I got it,hehe..Great inning!

Wow...It ours for the taking now! Go Nats!

Section 42, My PFB Sofa said...

And did I mention Lidge can pitch some, on occasion? Big outs, there.

FS said...

was that Led Zeppelin on after Lidge's strikeout on WJFK?

Section 42, My PFB Sofa said...

I've got to feel a little for Phillips, though. The guy is trying to play on a bad Achilles tendon, and he hits a ball he has to go hard on. Could have been worse--could have been a bloop double down the line.

Section 42, My PFB Sofa said...

Free baseball with every fill-up!

NatsFan05 said...

Hopefully Chapman isn't coming back in for a third inning...

Section 42, My PFB Sofa said...

Also a little late, but it occurs to me the Nationals by now have fans who were born after they got to DC.

Anonymous said...

Would've been nice to get Desi in from 3rd with one out or not have werth pop out with 2nd and 3rd and no out and only end up getting one in.

NatsFan05 said...

OK...Let's go Nats! Let get it done!

Section 42, My PFB Sofa said...

Would also be nice to know what game Diaz is calling strikes in. Cuz it ain't this one.

baseballswami said...

I looked at the title of this post -- Game 10. Does anybody else feel like it's the middle of the season already? This last 10 days has been insane. I am choosing to believe that all of this early battling will make this team tough as nails. As if they aren't already...

Erik said...

Espinosa is awful...he really needs to be in Syracuse right now. Completely clueless up there.

sm13 said...

Swami, it feels like September baseball

Section 42, My PFB Sofa said...

What is he using to call balls and strikes, a magic 8 ball??

MicheleS said...

The umps suck today. It's like we have had the A ball umps in NY and now here. Geesh

UnkyD said...

....speechless.....

Anonymous said...

Incompetence on display all day. Way to represent on Jackie Robinson day Laz. Embarrassing.

Steady Eddie said...

Diaz should be suspended for this parody of a strike zone.

It looked for a second like Zim was going to throw his helmet at Diaz. And if looks could maim, the old fart would have left in a basket.

Section 42, My PFB Sofa said...

Swami, it's early. Put in a case each of bourbon and Maalox and enjoy the ride. It's a long season, and it's just getting started.

sm13 said...

Very acrobatic move by Tyler. Glad he didn't get hurt.

Pdowdy83 said...

Erik if Espinosa is soclueless why does he have a .350 obp? Guess you want to send Zimmerman down too?

Section 42, My PFB Sofa said...

He's not clueless but he's not comfortable, either. He still looks like he's pressing, but maybe he just always looks like that. Some guys do.

Steady Eddie said...

Erik, just back off about Nats strikeouts for today, by Espi or anyone else. What kind of AB plan can they execute without having a clue where the strike zone is going to be?

Anonymous said...

Joey Votto=What Zimmerman and Werth wish they could be, but sadly will never be close to.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Clipp's ERA is going to be HUGE and looks like he'll take the loss.

sm13 said...

You can't hold Votto off forever.

FS said...

a little rusty I guess.

Anonymous said...

Joey Votto=What Zimmerman and Werth wish they could be, but sadly will never be close to.

Joey Votto is an elite hitter up there with Pujols, Fielder, and Berkman. There really isn't anyone else "up there" with them.

The Nats closest possibility is Michael Morse right now. Hopefully someday Harper and Rendon.

Right now Tyler Moore is coming on ...

Section 42, My PFB Sofa said...

One bad inning, not even finished, and the trolls come out of the woodwork. Boric acid. We need boric acid.

sm13 said...

I wonder if that first pitch stumble had an effect on Tyler - maybe making him a bit tentative?

Anonymous said...

Clippard with a 7.20 ERA ... I guess Clipp's got the baton as the "weak link" for now ...

baseballswami said...

So I guess Tyler Clippard is, in fact, actually human. That's the way it goes. I am strangely calm about this game today. The guys are battling without Storen and Morse and they have been doing us proud. Especially the starters and the bullpen. This crap just happens to every team.Especially when the umpire is the 10th guy in the line up. Let's get this game over and start again tomorrow. And no, I am not writing off this game - this team never gives up and could put a huge inning together. They have won the first three series - next?

FS said...

seriously, anons are annoying. Gotta agree with that, for most part.

Hanging On said...

Hope Clip can find that high rising fastball again soon. Was by far his best pitch and he's looked rather ordinary this year without it. I can't believe i'm saying he makes me nervous now when he comes in the game, but he does.

Love the guy but he doesn't look like the 2011 version so far.

Joe Seamhead said...

Werth broke up that possible DP.

Section 42, My PFB Sofa said...

Bad inning for Clippard, but he broke one guy's bat, gave up a hit to a good hitter, and a double to an elite hitter. Some days you get the bear, some days the bear gets you.

Anonymous said...

FS-You should leave the blog early like you did the game the other day. But you're a TRUE fan aren't you?

Section 42, My PFB Sofa said...

,,,, bait ....

Anonymous said...

FS said...
seriously, anons are annoying. Gotta agree with that, for most part.


Last I looked FS == Anonymous.

And yeah you are annoying.

Section 42, My PFB Sofa said...

I wonder if Clipp doesn't thrive better on the amount of work he was getting.

Section 42, My PFB Sofa said...

But if the field conditions were as bad for both teams as the umpiring has been, the grounds crew would have some serious 'splainin to do.

FS said...

I think I gave a reason in my post if you read it again.

Section 42, My PFB Sofa said...

Ok, 3 out of 4, won every series so far, and last I looked, there's no place above first place. Go get 'em tomorrow...

Section 42, My PFB Sofa said...

Bait. Don't rise to it.

FS said...

anyways, not gonna say anything more and waste time.

Gonna watch highlights in 90 minutes. hurts to see them lose after winning five in a row. hopefully SS shuts down Astros tomorrow.

Section 42, My PFB Sofa said...

Sucks, but still, money's worth. We get to whinge about the umps, see a great play by Zimmerman, an exciting comeback. Worth a ticket, these guys.

baseballswami said...

Bounce back tomorrow. Seriously, if you are a Reds fan - how hard did they have to work for four days to come up with one win? We scored five runs today! (That's my glass is half full moment)

Section 42, My PFB Sofa said...

Guess I have to go wallpaper that bathroom now. Could have used a few more innings, there, guys...

FS said...

Should be worth the highlights then. you know when Ramos was up with two on, I was thinking about that Seattle game.

Steady Eddie -- actually as to the "Eddie" not really even a pseudonym said...

Last I looked FS == Anonymous.
Ohoh, so here's the Humpty Dumpty Neganon again.

Pseudonymous= use of a fictitious or pen name by an author.

Anonymous=without any name acknowledged; name withheld.

But for Humpty Neganon, words mean what he wants them to mean. The problem you create for the respectful readers on this blog is that you don't have at a minimum the courtesy to other readers to use a consistent pseudonym so we can ignore you consistently if we choose.

UnkyD said...

Well. That sucked. Since I make it a point not to whine about Blue, I guess I'm out.... That's three series wins. Bring on those 'Stros...!

Anonymous said...

Sucks, but still, money's worth. We get to whinge about the umps, see a great play by Zimmerman, an exciting comeback. Worth a ticket, these guys.

Well JayB might not agree. Last vestige of the Lerner's are cheap snipers. Albeit all I've read (and it goes against what Boswell said) Stan Kasten was mostly responsible for that? Guess we'll see how the Dodgers fare with Kasten at the helm.

With Tyler Moore's 5th home run he now has five dingers and a double. Bryce may be ready to break out, today he hit yet another double that give him 4 XBH, 3 doubles and a triple. Corey Brown continues to play well. And Jeff Kobernus continues to shred the Eastern League. 2 more hits today and 2 stolen bases. And its he and not Perez that lead the EL in stolen bases with 7. Have to figure Kobernus to Syracuse at the half, given the dearth of any infield in Syracuse right now.

Why is this important? Well Kobernus is eligible for the rule V draft if they don't put him on the 40-man roster. There are other players that could be drafted by other teams. They need to find out about Kobernus now and not later.

natsfan1a said...

Now, *that* was funny. :-)

Section 42, My PFB Sofa said...

*took

I think Laz Diaz just took a K away from me.
April 15, 2012 4:09 PM

Section 3, My PFB Sofa said...

Thankyerverrymuch. I'm here all week! Try the veal. Tip your waiter.

Anonymous said...

Steady Eddie said

But for Humpty Neganon, words mean what he wants them to mean. The problem you create for the respectful readers on this blog is that you don't have at a minimum the courtesy to other readers to use a consistent pseudonym so we can ignore you consistently if we choose.

The mother of cretins continues to produce her defective spawn. And she apparently named this one Eddie.

Having been no the Internet since the early 80's having a "recognizable label" doesn't MEAN SQUAT clown. All it means is that you can make up a name and type it in as you've just proven with your wonderful new label. Cretins and idiots seem to come in the dozens and most are over a certain age which is even more surprising.

I've been following this team a lot longer than you and have a longer history with these people. Suffice it to say that isn't what would happen.

A recognizable label would more than likely the wonderfully courteous people here would use it as an excuse to start spewing and sputtering their alphabets. Honestly, and even then they still call me out even when the post isn't mine?

NatsFan05 said...

8 and 2 would be better, but if we can go 7 and 3 every 10 games or even close to that. Then it's going be a great year!

Still in first place. Let's take 3 out four from Houston and keep it going.

Go Nats!

Anonymous said...

In point of fact most of the anonymous posts here have not been mine. Mine usually feature a pretty decent vocabulary ... or at least so I've been told ... ~smiles~

Section 222 said...

Back from the game. A tough loss for sure. I sit directly behind home plate in Section 314 and the strike zone was a total mystery. Ramos had a pretty terrible game though, what with the dropped popup and four groundouts. I think as long as Flores is raking he should get three starts a week, at least until Ramos gets his stroke back.

Chapman is a force out there. I'm glad we only saw him twice in this series. The Reds need to figure out how to make him a starter, but hopefully not before we play our series at the Great American Ballpark.

ALR's play in the field is impressive. That 3-6-3 DP was a thing of beauty. And it was nice to see Zim back in the saddle defensively. Now if only his bat would wake up.

How great is it that after a tough loss we have Strasburg pitching the next night?

UNTERP said...

I know it's cliche and all of you know this, bad umping is a part of the game. One thing, however,how many years does it seem that when a call go against the Nats bad things happen right afterwards. Also, when you leave games in the hands of the umps your asking for trouble. If Ian had made a better throw the ump wouldn't have had to make the wrong call, just sayin'. Lastly, glad that Detwiler didn't have to take the loss. Let's get 'em tomorrow...

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