Saturday, April 28, 2012

Game 21: Nats at Dodgers

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper are both in the lineup tonight at Dodger Stadium.
LOS ANGELES -- In the ideal world, Bryce Harper would have made his major-league debut in Washington, in front of a stadium packed with Nationals fans. But if the 19-year-old had to be unveiled on the road, this might be as good a scenario as you could have drawn up.

Iconic Dodger Stadium on a Saturday night, just a short drive from Harper's hometown of Las Vegas. Stephen Strasburg, a Southern California boy himself, on the mound. And a couple of first-place clubs going head-to-head in a truly meaningful ballgame. Not bad, not bad at all.

Harper, as promised, will bat seventh and play left field. At 19 years, 195 days, he's the youngest major leaguer since Mariners ace Felix Hernandez made his debut in 2005 at 19 years, 123 days. I don't imagine King Felix's unveiling was as big a deal at the time.

As you can see from the photo credit above, I'm coming at you live from Chavez Ravine. Plenty of updates to come before, during and after this historic game, so please check back often...

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at LOS ANGELES DODGERS
Where: Dodger Stadium
Gametime: 9:10 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB Network (outside D.C. area), MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 187
Weather: Clear, 72 degrees, Wind 8 mph out to RF
NATIONALS (14-6)
SS Ian Desmond
3B Steve Lombardozzi
RF Jayson Werth
1B Adam LaRoche
CF Rick Ankiel
2B Danny Espinosa
LF Bryce Harper
C Wilson Ramos
RHP Stephen Strasburg

DODGERS (14-6)
SS Dee Gordon
LF Tony Gwynn Jr.
CF Matt Kemp
RF Andre Ethier
2B Jerry Hairston
1B James Loney
3B Juan Uribe
C A.J. Ellis
RHP Chad Billingsley

UMPIRES
HP Mark Carlson, 1B Ed Hickox, 2B Ed Rapuano (cc), 3B Angel Hernandez

8:17 p.m. -- A few pregame scenes to share ... There is quite a large media horde here tonight for Harperpalooza. I'd estimate there were 40 reporters and photographers who surrounding Harper in the dugout for his pregame interview session. The kid said all the right things -- "It's always an exciting time to be able to come out here and play the game I love," "I'm just going to try to come out here and play the same game I've been playing every day" -- but did insist he's not nervous and that he slept well last night after arriving at 1 a.m. from Syracuse. ... Harper will have plenty of supporters in the stands tonight, with at least 29 friends and family members planning to attend. That group includes his father, mother and sister, but not his brother Bryan (a Nats farmhand who is currently playing at extended spring training in Viera). ... Harper, to the surprise of no one, put on one of his traditional jaw-dropping shows during batting practice, launching several balls well over the fence. The kid does know how to wow people in the cage.

8:25 p.m. -- Several members of Nats ownership are here tonight, including Mark Lerner, Ted Lerner, Annette Lerner and Alan Gottlieb, though all were planning to make this trip before they knew Harper would be called up. One key front office member who's not here, though, is Mike Rizzo. Why isn't the GM here to see his two No. 1 draft picks on the field together for the first time? He unfortunately had a prior engagement that he couldn't get out of ... the White House Correspondents Dinner. Seriously, he's a guest there. I imagine while everyone else in the room is laughing at all of the President's jokes, Rizzo will be busy checking his phone for updates from L.A.

8:28 p.m. -- One non-Harper update to share: Chad Tracy, who took a fastball off his wrist last night and appeared to be in serious pain at the time, might actually be available to pinch-hit tonight, according to Davey Johnson. X-rays came back negative, so it looks like Tracy really dodged a bullet there.

8:50 p.m. -- One more non-Harper news item: Chien-Ming Wang made his first rehab start tonight for Class A Potomac. His line: 4 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 49 pitches (31 strikes).

9:11 p.m. -- And we're underway on a perfect night for baseball. Chad Billingsley starts off Ian Desmond -- who got to play catch with Maury Willis a few minutes ago, a thrill I'm sure for Ian -- with a fastball ... and Desmond pops it up for the first out of the night.

9:16 p.m. -- Jayson Werth delivered a two-out single to right-center, but that was it for the Nats in the top of the first. Stephen Strasburg takes the mound, and Bryce Harper (rocking the old-school stirrups) takes his position in left field to what sounds like some boos from the bleacher bums.

9:24 p.m. -- Not a bad bottom of the first for Strasburg. He threw three fastballs that registered 100 mph on the stadium gun (though the official MLB Pitch F/X reading for all was a mere 98). More impressively, he got Matt Kemp to ground into a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning. Great turn by Danny Espinosa to make it all possible. We go to the second, and Bryce Harper is due up third.

9:32 p.m. -- With two outs and nobody on in the top of the second, and with his parents (and Scott Boras) watching from the front row, Bryce Harper stepped to the plate for the first at-bat of his career, drawing some resounding boos from the crowd. He showed a good eye, taking a couple of fastballs from Chad Billingsley for balls, but then bounced a comebacker to the mound on a 2-1 changeup. So there you have it. Harper is officially 0-for-1 as a big leaguer. What a bust. Scoreless here as we go to the bottom of the second.

9:42 p.m. -- Well that was a rarity indeed: Strasburg plunked Juan Uribe, only the second batter he's ever hit among the 753 he's faced in his big-league career. No worries, because Strasburg came back with a nasty curveball to A.J. Ellis to end the second inning. Still scoreless. Strasburg has thrown 30 pitches (18 strikes).

9:50 p.m. -- Wow, what a play from old pal Jerry Hairston, making a diving catch of Desmond's soft liner to shallow right. Turned it into an inning-ending double play. That guy does it all, a real pro. Still 0-0 as we go to the bottom of the third.

9:59 p.m. -- Whoa, near disaster in the bottom of the third as Gwynn sends a pop-up into no-man's land, leading to a near three-way collision between Harper, Ankiel and Desmond. Luckily nobody made contact with anybody else, though the ball did fall in for a cheap single. Strasburg, though, came up big against Kemp once again, striking out the hottest hitter on the planet with a fastball on the outside corner. This game is living up to the billing so far, scoreless after three.

10:18 p.m. -- Sorry for the delay in updates there. I was catching up with an old friend: Chad Cordero. Yes, the Chief is here tonight, and he looks great. Has lost a ton of weight, and he would like to attempt a comeback next season. He'll also be in D.C. this summer and is scheduled to be at Nationals Park on July 20. Nothing official yet, but sounds like he'll throw out the ceremonial first pitch that night.

10:23 p.m. -- Meanwhile, Harper came up for his second at-bat, with at least two beach balls bouncing around the stands here at iconic Dodger Stadium. No wave, thank god. Harper smoked Billingsley's first-pitch changeup, but was way out in front of it and sent the ball into the first-base stands. He wound up lofting a little looper to shallow left field, caught by Gwynn. So the kid is 0-for-2. This game remains scoreless as Strasburg takes the mound for the bottom of the fifth.

10:32 p.m. -- Whether there was a 19-year-old in left field or not, this has been a whale of a ballgame so far. Strasburg and Billingsley are just dealing. Strasburg has six strikeouts through five, and he's made a couple of great plays on line-drive comebackers. This is probably the first time in a long time he's appeared in a game and not been the featured attraction. But right now, he deserves to be. 0-0 as we go to the sixth.

10:39 p.m. -- True fact: Strasburg has more hits tonight than Harper. Not only that, the pitcher roped his first career double, a line drive to right-center to lead off the sixth. Unfortunately, Strasburg's teammates couldn't drive him in. Desmond and Lombardozzi each grounded to first, then Werth grounded to third. This Nats lineup is lacking a bit in firepower. If only they had a top prospect at Class AAA waiting to be summoned to save the day. Oh well.

10:47 p.m. -- Two more strikeouts for Strasburg in the sixth, including another one of Kemp. He got the MVP hopeful swinging helplessly at a 99 mph high fastball. I'll tell you what, this is rivaling any of Strasburg's previous 21 starts in the big leagues. He's been in complete control tonight, and completely dominating the Dodgers through six scoreless innings.

10:50 p.m. -- Adam LaRoche to the rescue! Line-drive homer down the right-field line to lead off the seventh. His fourth of the season puts the Nats up 1-0. Seriously, where would these guys be without LaRoche so far this season?

10:56 p.m. -- There it is! Bryce Harper's first career hit is a double to the base of the center-field fence. He smoked that one, at the end of a really nice at-bat against Billingsley. Took a couple of close two-strike pitches to work the count full, then crushed that 3-2 pitch to center. Nicely done, kid.

11:15 p.m. -- Well, that was quite an interesting bottom of the seventh, wasn't it? Strasburg found himself in a jam with runners on first and second and one out when A.J. Ellis sent a base hit to left. And then Harper showed off his arm. I mean, he really showed it off. Perfect strike to the plate on the fly ... and Ramos dropped it. Or Hairston knocked it out of his glove. That's what Davey Johnson was arguing, to no avail. Whatever the case, what should've been Harper's first-ever Web Gem (and a really important one at that) instead allowed the Dodgers to tie this game, 1-1. Wow.

11:24 p.m. -- A dominant start by Strasburg ends in a no-decision. Tyler Clippard is on to pitch the eighth in a 1-1 game. Strasburg's final line: 7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 K, 2 HBP.

11:39 p.m. -- Has this been a ballgame, or what? Man, what tension and what big-time performances by big-time players. That includes Clippard, who came up big to strike out Ethier with Kemp standing in scoring position. We go to the ninth of a fantastic, 1-1 ballgame.

11:58 p.m. -- Who wrote this script? Bryce Harper at the plate in the ninth inning of a tie game, the go-ahead runner on third. And a dubious decision by Don Mattingly to pull his only left-handed reliever one batter earlier so Espinosa would be turned around. Big mistake, because now Harper got a chance to bat against the right-handed Javy Guerra. And he delivered with a sac fly to left, scoring Rick Ankiel and giving Harper his first career RBI. Then Ramos drove in another run with a base hit to right, and just like that it's 3-1 Nats as Henry Rodriguez enters in the save situation.

12:11 a.m. -- Not so fast, everyone. Rodriguez is melting down in the ninth. A single, another single and a ground-rule double makes it 3-2 and puts the tying run on third, the winning run on second. Also, an idiot fan rushed the field. What a ballgame.

12:18 a.m. -- Oh, dear. One strike away from pitching out of the jam, Rodriguez uncorks a wild pitch that ties the game 3-3. Wow.

12:20 a.m. -- And now Rodriguez strikes out Gordon ... but on a wild pitch. The winning run is on third, and Tom Gorzelanny will enter to face Gwynn with the game hanging in the balance.

12:27 a.m. -- Everybody's heart still beating? Good, cause we're going to the 10th after Gwynn destroyed a 3-2 pitch from Gorzelanny ... but hit it right at LaRoche. What a baseball game, folks.

12:34 a.m. -- Nothing happening in the top of the 10th, as Jamey Wright retires the side. Gorzelanny coming back out for the bottom of the inning. Matt Kemp will lead off. Yikes.

12:37 a.m. -- And that's what you were afraid would happen. Kemp drills one into the center-field bleachers. Dodgers win, 4-3 in 10. An absolute crushing loss for the Nats.

386 comments:

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LoveDaNats said...

Go Strassie! Go Harper! GO NATS!!

natsfan1a said...

And the son of Stephen's college coach in the lineup. Glad that you're there, Mark (and thanks, CSN). I took a nap and am hoping to watch in real time, but good to know that I can read updates later if I fall asleep or need to play hostess, as it turns out that my hubby invited a non-baseball-fanatic friend over tonight (What?!). :-) Go, NATS!


Iconic Dodger Stadium on a Saturday night, just a short drive from Harper's hometown of Las Vegas. Stephen Strasburg, a Southern California boy himself, on the mound. And a couple of first-place clubs going head-to-head in a truly meaningful ballgame. Not bad, not bad at all.

NatsJack in Florida said...

I would love for this to be the actual start but I'll take a 10 day trial and be happy.

sm13 said...

This is what it's all about Nats fans, the future is now! Can't wait to watch Stras to put up some zeroes and for Kid Harper to get his first knock.

Candide said...

Okay, I plan to watch, but I'm recording it anyway.

JaneB said...

I'm all atwitter. My 88 year old dad is napping so HE can even watch.
SO SO SO glad you are there, Mark.

I am wondering if you can hemp the kid out and just leave the booth for a minute or so right as he comes up. Maybe let him bat on his own the pitch time up, then help if it's needed.

It will be nice, too, to know so many Imaginary Friends will be watching "with" me tonight.

GYFNG! I hope you ALL feel hitterish.

Candide said...

I feel watcherish.

peric said...

AND I just hope Davey is as good as he believe he is. He is a baseball genius but there are those who happen to run other Nats blogs who believe he ruined Darryl Strawberry's career. I'm definitely at the "other pole" I believe Davey is one of the best possible to continue/help complete Bryce Harper's development. Another great possibility might be the guy managing the Dodgers today ... but I think Rizzo combined with Johnson may be the best possible for Bryce Harper ... hopefully all the stars are aligned properly to make that so ...

Steady Eddie said...

Bryce be hitterish....
Stras be pitcherish...
I be alerish (big bottle of Chimay ale my nephew got me for Hanukkah, figured it was the right occasion)

Ready to GYFNG!!!!!

DWS said...

I think that if nothing else Bryce is going jump start this team ala Jayson Werth. The hustle will rub off. I'm hoping that I'll want to watch MLBs archives more than once....

Candide said...

Thanks for the reminder, Steady Eddie. I made my first batch of home-brew pale ale last month, and I can't just leave it lying around...something bad might happen to it.

Drinkerish!

sm13 said...

Davey ruined Strawberry's career? Based on what? The only one who ruined Strawberry's career was Strawberry himself. And, even with all his off-field troubles, he was still a heck of a ballplayer and a feared bat in the lineup.

Exposremains said...

Chimay...Thats good stuff

NatsJack in Florida said...

I'm all for drinkerish.

I really want a complete game shutout but any kind of win will do.

Steady Eddie said...

Chimay, indeed... No time like the present (at least, THIS present).

And just printed out my tickets for Tuesday night. After having been at Stras' memorable debut, had to be at this one.

howl31 said...

Davey managed the Mets from 1984 to 1990... in those 7 years, Strawberry went .263/.361/.521... averaging 38 homers, 109 RBIs and 29 steals per 162 games... and made the all star team 7 out of 7 years, and in the top 6 in MVP voting 3 years...

If you call that a ruined career, then I can't wait to see how Davey works with Harper...

Grandstander said...

Nice of CSN to throw down some bucks and send their beat writer to cover Byrce's debut.

sm13 said...

howl31 - thanks for the stats backup to my memories. I also seem to recall a world championship in there in '86 - we'll take one or more of those, too.

carolync said...

I like your Imaginary Friends comment, JaneB. I chose to stay home alone to watch the game so have no one to share the experience with except the dog. I hope The Kid does well and that his very presence inspires some of our other hitters. Our team batting average has sunk to 26th place in MLB.

I know we're still in first place in the NL East but the tomahawk chops are breathing down our necks.

Go Nats!

NatsJack in Florida said...

Howl31........ Always...Always consider the source

MicheleS said...

NatsJack.. Post of the night so far..
I'm all for drinkerish.

I wonder what I will crack open for the occasion?.. Hmmm must think about this..

Steady Eddie.. love the hitterish and pitcherish comment!

GO STRAS! GO BRYCE! GO NATS!!!

WOOOOO HOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!

ExposedinDC said...

Hello fellow Nats fanatics....been away for a couple days, any new Nats news ?
Lol

peric said...

sm13 ....

The Mets have called up a kid with a left-handed swing to die for, a kid representing hope in the present and future tenses, and so the conversation naturally veers toward May 6, 1983, opening night for a slugger who had them talking before Ike Davis was born.

Darryl Strawberry, 21 years old, stepped into the Shea Stadium box. At the time, the Mets were a 6-15 team lucky to draw 11,000 fans for games Tom Seaver didn't pitch.

"It was so nerve-racking," Strawberry said Monday by phone. "Mario Soto on the mound for the Reds, one of the top pitchers in the game. Fans cheering. The stage so much bigger and more electrifying than playing in a minor league ballpark. You've got everything going, TV cameras, the whole thing."


It was Davey's decision to bring Strawberry up at at time when the Mets has desperate need. Not so much (unbelievably as that sounds to me!) the Nats of 2012.

Many feel Strawberry was brought up too early, when most in the Mets organization thought he was not ready ... and as you've heard more goes into that than just a player's ability. I suppose they feel Strawberry wasn't mature enough to handle the pressure of being thrust into the limelight that is New York, New York. In Bryce's case, thanks to the Redskins and Caps it will fortunately be far less so ... even if he is starting in LA.

I personally don't share the opinion that Davey, by overruling the Mets farm authorities, was out of line and that it perhaps led to Strawberry's downfall. However, one can't help but notice how he mentions Gooden but not Strawberry when he speaks of very young players in the minors he and his eye for talent deemed ready for the majors. Perhaps, its something a "brave" beat reporter or even fearless Boz might want to ask of the Nat's skipper?

NatsJack in Florida said...

Watching D-backs and Fish and thinking it must be nice pitching for a team that can score.

Ian Kennedy is 3-0 with a 3.38 era. On the Nats, he could easily be 0-3.

peric said...

If you call that a ruined career, then I can't wait to see how Davey works with Harper...

Howl31........ Always...Always consider the source

And NEVER listen to decrepit Florida retirees who haven't really watched baseball and stake their reputation as a "baseball expert" on hobnobbing with all the beat reporters plus some of the staff in FLA ST. Ignorance is bliss when you are wrinkled from sitting in the sun too long.

During the period from 1983 to 1990, Strawberry was very popular, with his image used on action figures (Kenner's Starting Lineup), posters and banners. He was also known for his disruptive behavior. He got into a physical altercation on team picture day with team captain Keith Hernandez[6] and in the midst of a war of words with infielder Wally Backman, threatened to "bust that little redneck in the face". He often overslept and was late for, or missed, team workouts. He publicly complained about Manager Davey Johnson after he was removed from the game in a double switch during the 9th inning of Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, which the Mets would go on to win.

Strawberry ended up having severe problems with both drug and alcohol addiction which led to his demise over time.

NatsLady said...

Yeah, and Doc Gooden didn't/doesn't have drug and alcohol problems? Not sure what your

NatsLady said...

point is, peric. Was Gooden also brought up too soon?

Might not be able to watch the whole game "real-time" but SO nice not being blacked out of MLB.tv. Great scheduling, Rizzo!

--Fargo, ND

MicheleS said...

Hmm.. NatsJack, when I met you, didn't see any wrinkles. Just a big smiling face of a fan who is lucky enough to get to spend all of spring training watching the team. I will take the sychophant, thank you.

MicheleS said...

For those that are near a TV. MLB Network is going to show some of Bryce's BP.. According to Kilgore on Twitter, he is hitting BOMBS!

Another_Sam said...

JaneB -- I'm not 88, but I've had a couple of cups of coffee this afternoon. And I'm slowing sipping brew while watching that Baltimore club [AL baseball] waiting for the start.

This is my first time posting in the new era. Took me a while.

NatsJack in Florida said...

As always, MicheleS, consider the source. When one has to demean others to boost their ego.....well sad is all you can feel.

And yep! I love Spring Training and extended Spring Training and Fall Instructionals and my trips to DC (see you in May for the Oriole week end) and my trips to Miami (65th birthday party July 13 thru 15).

And I really love meetiing all Nats Insiders.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Hey Sam....I'm heading over to Gator Johns to watch "The Begining". I'll say hello.

waddu eye no said...

this should be nyce
hope he gets on once or twyce, and follows the veterans' advyce.
go brice!

waddu eye no said...

btw - bourbon and maalox - with yce?

Candide said...

Where are your seats Tuesday, Steady Eddie?

erocks33 said...

So, what's the over/under for number of commenters here that will completely overreact to Bryce Harper's debut tonight?

If he goes 0-for-4 with 3 K's, how many will complain that he was brought up too soon and that his development will be completely ruined?

If he goes 2-4 with 1 XBH, how many will claim he's going to be the greatest thing since sliced bread?

All I know is I am SO excited about tonight and I know I am going to overreact no matter what his final line will be tonight, but I'm going to try my best to keep my thoughts to myself and not to post any of my irrational reactions.

Positively Half St. said...

As a Mets fan from the 70s until the Nats arrived, I felt cheated when Strawberry and Gooden became cocaine addicts and failed to be lifetime Mets and Hall of Fame players. They may or may not have been brought up too soon, but they were brought up in the 80s to a team that included Keith Hernandez (whom I loved) and perhaps others who partook of the drug.

I am not saying that there is nothing that Harper could be exposed to. Had it been the 90s, perhaps Strawberry and Gooden would have been on steroids. I just don't buy that their age made them doomed to falling for the peer pressure.

I also don't expect that of Bryce Harper. I am far from an adherent of the Mormon church, but I do acknowledge that they have a firm and well-defined set of values that I believe would reduce the chances of those kinds of temptations felling him. PLEASE don't take that as absolute- I only mean that the philosophy and his strong family would reduce the chances.

On the other hand, the kid seems pretty primed to be a victim of excessive pride. This is where Davey and the other adults need to continue their tutelage.

Let's hope and pray for the best today and going forward. Every team's fans deserve a few all-time greats. Maybe Harper and Strasburg can be those.

+1/2St.

NatsLady said...

Family watching WH Correspondents' Dinner. It's my sis's birthday. Gotta go with the flow... Go Bryce, Go Stras, Go NATS!!!!!!!!

MicheleS said...

1/2St.. you only have to look at Josh Hamilton - who did come from a strong family with deep religious/spiritual convictions - to see that there are no guarantees in life. I think the one thing we can say about the Nats, is they have at least cleared the decks of the Knuckleheads (I am talking to you Elijah, Nyjer, etc) and it appears (and I say that with firm knowledge that appearances can be deceiving) that we have a club of quality character guys.

Another_Sam said...

Nats Jack -- Wish I were with you guys. Great fun.

NatsLady said...

First Lady, great dress, knockout hairdo! Prez looks older, creases in his face.

Theophilus T. S. said...

Maybe it's off-topic but Mark's picture reminds me that the design and layout of Chavez Ravine might be the most pristine in the big leagues. Notwithstanding a number of business trips to LA I've never taken the opportunity to veer off and get a first hand look. Someday, maybe. Gotta think of another tax-deductible reason to be in LA, though.

Destination.......K Street said...

Mark great job on ESPN tonight.

jeeves said...

Theophilus, is that a red-haired poodle? I have one of those and a black-haired one too--that's for contrast.

JaneB said...

Positively Half Street -- It was drugs that did them in. It was the beginning of a new kind of sports figure/celebrity, and cocaine was omnipresent at a lot of parties without fear of police. And the combination did in a lot of people. I was a die hard Mets fan then, and missed that Keith was partaking, though.

But enough of the past. The future is pitching and hitting tonight.

As for the comment on the over/under on too many comments about Bryce, I have to ask if you have been watching the Nats from the beginning? (INSERT GRIN HERE) Because, even if it takes a while for Bryce to fit in, tonight is a night I was reminding myself "SOMEDAY" would come, during some pretty miserable years. Me, and lots more like me. I can't wait to see what everyone says because we can't wait to see what the team does.

Some day, my Prince (of OppoBoppo) will come. Well. What better day for it than a day when he debuts in Los Angeles?

sm13 said...

Bryce showing a lot of poise in pregame interviews. If he can stay that cool after the first pitch, it could be fun.

Positively Half St. said...

MicheleS-

I totally agree about no guarantees, and Josh Hamilton is the best example. As a dad of 3, though, I sure hope that a strong family gives kids a better chance, although no guarantees.

JaneB-

Yes, you definitely captured the essence of those days. I hope we don't hear years from now that something else destructive is the vogue right now.

In the end, let's all enjoy the game and hope for a victory and a hit for the kid.

+1/2St.

ehay2k said...

I am psyched for tonight. Just amazing to think of the possibilities.

As for the comments posted today and tonight, a little more civility is due on all fronts. Some have taken shots at peric when none were warranted. That results in return fire aimed at everyone.

Peric, "...decrepit Florida retirees..." is personal, billious, lacking any relevance to baseball, and I would suspect, should you revisit that post, beneath you. Natsjack was making a valid point about whether Strawberry's Mets career could be called bad while Davey was at the helm. Your response did nothing to counter his claim, just your appeal here.

MicheleS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steady Eddie said...

Candide -- Actually, they're in 135 row D, right next to my regular tix. Are you going?

MicheleS said...

JaneB.. so glad you were able to convert your Dad and that he planned ahead for tonights festivities! I have got to work on my Mom.. My dad tried to convert her to baseball for 52 years, but I figure I can soften her up with a glass of wine!

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Wine, Chimay (whatever that is), all this bubbly talk is making me nervous. The stars are out in L.A., Mark is on the scene, the Kleig lights are on and the stage is set. But, folks, let's not forget the official drink of Nats Insiders:

Bourbon and Maalox. As much of each that is necessary to get you through this historic night.

I know I am starting early tonight: Barkeep! Bourbon and Maalox all around for my friends.

Cheers, Go You Freaking Nats Go and, to Oppo Boppo, I hope Billingsley hangs a high slider for you early, kid. Go get 'em, kid.

Scott from Burke said...

Peric wrote Bobby Murcer was "average at best"..the stats show he is WRONG...he must admit to his being wrong (someone one her offered me a beer when he does)..

MicheleS said...

Mark posted on twitter that Ian is playing catch with Maury Wills. How awesome is that! These kids get it (even if the don't know what team their manager played for)

Dave said...

I wanted to try to cue up Vin Scully on radio (on my iPhone) with the MASN TV feed, but it sounds like Vin is not on radio. At least not in the first innings of the game.

Does anybody know when/whether Scully does some innings of radio for the Dodgers games?

Dave said...

All right! There's Vin! Time to get the remote finger poised for that first ball-to-mitt sound.

Scott from Burke said...

Enjoy Charley Steiner

Steady Eddie said...

Oy, once again Ian taxes the starting pitcher.

Candide said...

Steady Eddie - going with my nephew, who tipped me off to the news that Harper had been called up. We'll be in 220, which is also next to OUR* regular seats in 219.

Looks like ehay2k and MicheleS are going to be there also.


* "Our" = Cunegonde and me, not nephew and me...

Scott from Burke said...

Unless Werth gets thrown out Bryce will appear in 2nd inning

Dave said...

There we go. I'm less than a quarter-second off.

So I'm going to be about a full minute behind what y'all comment on here. But I've got Vin Scully in my computer speakers.

Sunderland said...

Desmond one pitch pop-out, high fastball out of the zone. Nice play by JHJ to end the inning.

Dave said...

I don't know whether anybody else is doing what I'm doing--MLB At Bat on the iPhone, delayed video through the DVR--but man, Vin Scully is a good baseball announcer.

Steady Eddie said...

Dave -- Or you can be schizophrenic like me and have MASN muted with Vin on Gameday on my iPad.

Y'know, one of the great things with this pitching staff is how much fun it is to watch on both sides of the ball. It's as good to watch Stras or Gio or JZimm -- or EJax and Det when they're on -- as it is to watch the hitters. More, these days without RZim or the Beast.

Sunderland said...

Gotta say, it's early but I'm impressed with this Dodgers crowd. Loud and into the game, not late arriving and ambivalent like their reputation.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

He feeds him the DP pill!

Scott from Burke said...

HERE WE GO

Candide said...

Strasburg still facing the minimum number of batters!

Steady Eddie said...

That was impressive. Stras mastering Kemp this time around.

FS=Faraz Shaikh said...

oh yeah, only second GIDP this season by Kemp.

FS=Faraz Shaikh said...

With SS on mound, I will much better facing off against Kemp and company than RD. No offense to RD.

Dave said...

Yeah, that's what I'm doing, Steady Eddie. But I had to delay the MASN picture on the DVR to make it sync up with what Vin's describing. It's funny hearing LA radio commercials while watching the W.B. Mason ads on MASN.

NatsJack in Florida said...

For the record, I've never mentioned Strawberry or Gooden. I've only referenced the sad state of geniuses.

Adam said...

Listening to Vin Scully call this game I've learned more about The Nationals in 2 innings than I have from an entire season of Bob & FP.

Candide said...

It's show time... let's see some hitterishness.

Knoxville Nat said...

Love Harper's old fashion look with the stirrups!

Steady Eddie said...

Carlson's strike zone is silly. Two straight strikes in the exact same place to Espi, both of which were clearly outside the zone.

Steady Eddie said...

That was outside per Gameday.

Dave said...

This is wild. Vin's commentary almost seems like he's watching the MASN video feed. He comments on Bryce on deck while MASN goes to a picture of Bryce on deck.

Good eye, Bryce.

Candide said...

...ran out a comebacker hard... good - show the lollygaggers how to play the game.

Scott from Burke said...

that first pitch was NASTY..he was on his heels after that

Exposremains said...

wow these dodgers fan are idiots, what did Harper ever do to them?

Dave said...

@Adam, I'll second that. Amazing how much Vin just told me about the Nats that I never knew. I never, ever heard the story of Ankiel's rough life as a kid until Vin just told me.

Scott from Burke said...

show up in another team's uniform?

Scott from Burke said...

Dave, don't keep it to yourself

Exposremains said...

theres a lot of players that show up in a different uniform

MicheleS said...

Vin Scully National Treasure.. What's funny for me is that Vin is about 30 seconds ahead of MASN.

Steady Eddie said...

Was that 82 mph Stras curve to Ethier nasty or what?

Exposremains said...

its not like he's barry bonds

Dave said...

Apparently Ankiel's best friend died in a car crash (or something) when he was 13 years old. Then, his dad was arrested something like 15 times between 1975 and 2000. And then, of course, the story of how he imploded as a pitcher in a playoff game, before he switched to being a hitter.

I'll try to pass along other interesting tidbits as I hear them. Vin has certainly done his homework.

MicheleS said...

Dodger Fans are the biggest bandwagon fans ever!

mick said...

I did not know how slow LaRouche is

Scott from Burke said...

He already threw strike 3..wth?

sm13 said...

Chad Tracey is smiling

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

MicheleS said...

Vin Scully National Treasure.. What's funny for me is that Vin is about 30 seconds ahead of MASN.


Thirty seconds ahead in speed. Light years ahead in context, style and grace.

mick said...

umpire sucks my you know what

Steady Eddie said...

Scott -- I thought so too but Gameday showed it was high.

Dave said...

Oopsie. Uribe hit on the elbow by a pitch. (Of course, you MASN people saw it one full minute ago...)

Sunderland said...

I think booing Harper was appropriate. He's uber-hyped. Not sure why to expect anything else.

Scott from Burke said...

Dodger Fans are the biggest bandwagon fans ever!

The difference between going to a Wash Caps game before Ovechkin vs. today is night and day...the team almost left town years ago

Candide said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave said...

I'm not listening to Bob and FP. Was MASN just now suggesting that Uribe's HBP was payback for Chad Tracy last night? Or just comparing the two incidents?

Scott from Burke said...

the strike zone needs to be raised...where is the top? the belt?

Steady Eddie said...

Why is Vin calling Ellis "A.J." when Gameday shows his name as "A.C."?

Except I would tend to think that when it's Vin speaking, Gameday is wrong.

Exposremains said...

so because he's ultra-talented you boo him, thats ridiculous.

Knoxville Nat said...

Mick....comments like your's are not worthy of this board. Clean it up or get out!

Candide said...

Why is it Harper's fault that he's uber-hyped? It's not like he tweeted, "L.A. is the sux, D.C. roolz, you a-holes..." or something. Sorry - low-class to boo him.

Scott from Burke said...

lighten up knoxville..he DID clean it up..and when i was a litle kid my parents dragged me to knoxville for the worlds fair..and that city..well, you know

Dave said...

Ramos went 4-for-5 in the debut with the Twins, then went 3-for-4 the very next day. (Per Vin Scully, the oracle of baseball.)

MicheleS said...

Did anyone know that Wilson had 2 brothers that were catchers? It's like we have a new set of Molina brothers!

Scott from Burke said...

sports tradition...boo the other teams' players..went to an O's game years ago and Reggie Jackson got DESTROYED...at least they show up.

MicheleS said...

Just found out from twitter.. Poor Amanda is stuck at the White House dinner with Rizzo and they are on Rizzo's Iphone watching the game! How Hilarious is that!

Candide said...

Desmond still swinging on the first pitch... :-(

Sunderland said...

Great play by JHJ...

Steady Eddie said...

Hairston, that hurts.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Jerry Hairston Jr., still killing the Nats.

Browne Baggin' It said...

web gem

sm13 said...

Wow, Hairston - heck of a play.

Dave said...

Jerry Hairston, you're killing us! (That was a helluva double play, I must say.)

Knoxville Nat said...

Scott....the world's fair was in 1982 and I'm sure the city and the whole area has changed a lot since that time. I'm only guessing as I haven't been here but just a few years.

As for your boy Mick, I'll disagree with you as in my opinion his posts generally push the envelope as to good taste.

Candide said...

Is it my imagination or is Strasburg throwing a lot of tight inside tonight?

waddu eye no said...

great shot of bryce in outfield. that's a happy kid

Dave said...

When Strassy lost 30 pounds between freshman and sophomore years at SD State, he picked up speed on his fastball. (Per Vin Scully, oracle of baseball.)

Scott from Burke said...

who'se to judge about "good taste"...it's a baseball blog, not disney world...

i would love to go to memphis and get some bbq..and visit sun studios..where Elvis becamse King..when Elvis came out people were furious because they said he was in bad taste

Dave said...

Yikes. Did Ankiel pull up on that fly ball because Bryce was charging in so hard?

MicheleS said...

If you are on twitter, there is some smack talk between our esteemed host, Kilgore, and Scott Miller of CBS Sports. Pretty good stuff.

Wicked stike out of Kemp!

Steady Eddie said...

Wow, is Stras making a statement tonight? Totally blowing Kemp away.

Candide said...

Mfr. Kemp, please allow us to introduce you to a force of nature disguised as Mr. Strasburg.

waddu eye no said...

elvis was a brilliant artist, ahead of his time, in a puritanical time. mick is a potty mouthed child among adults.

Sunderland said...

So if we hold Kemp hitless over three games, does that mean his batting average drops to about .420?

MicheleS said...

Okay.. back to FP and Carp, Vin is off the radio.

Scott from Burke said...

maybe you're right

Candide said...

Six pitches. Making the Dodger pitchers work hard again. :-(

Dave said...

Okay, Vin's off for three innings, so I had to re-sync for Charlie and Dave.

Dave said...

Actually, MichelleS, I think I'll do that too. Bob and FP aren't so awful.

skidge said...

Chad Cordero on with Charlie and Dave.

MicheleS said...

the CHIEF is on with Charlie and Dave!

Cwj said...

Strasburg handling Kemp and Ethier very well so far.

Cwj said...

Skidge and Michele- What is Cordero up to these days?

Steady Eddie said...

Nice tracking by Ankiel on that Loney blast to end the 4th.

Scott from Burke said...

Who is the best offensive player that could conceivably be moved near the trading deadline? Josh Hamilton? (contract situation..probably not) Todd Helton?

MicheleS said...

I didn't get the first part of it. But I he said he will be in town 7/20. I think for a kids bball camp.

I can't remember, who remember's what day he is throwing out the first pitch?

Dave said...

Okay the Nats need to score some runs. (How many time has that been pointed out this month?)

Dave said...

All I caught from the Chief was that he's here in the summer for a camp. Didn't get the first-pitch date.

skidge said...

I follow both Chad and Charlie on Twitter, and it was fun to "see" them arranging this in real time. From Chad's earlier tweets it seems that he's very involved now in high school coaching and in fundraising for both youth baseball and SIDS research.

mick said...

hey knoxville nat, just saw your pius post, who are you????

mick said...

don't lecture me pal

Scott from Burke said...

Easy Mick

NatsJack in Florida said...

It:s at bats like that make me wonder about Espinosa. The pitch was in the dirt out of the hand.

mick said...

why can't we hit

Scott from Burke said...

youre free to write what you want and so is he

mick said...

so is it Eckstein?

Scott from Burke said...

if you want to blame someone BESIDES the hitters blame Rizzo..he is responsible for the roster..i prefer to blame the hitters..it's so immediate

mick said...

Scott, agreed. BTW, i was the 1964 World's Fair in Flushing, NY. I can only imagine a World's Fair in Knoxville, lol I bet they had a Deliverance display along with "The Earth is Flat and only 5000 years old" lol

NatsJack in Florida said...

I've met Knoxville Nat and actually owe him an e-mail.

Ligjten up Mick.

John said...

Hate to state the obvious, but Espinosa is on the verge of becoming an automatic out. I don't want to point the finger at Eckstein, but very few of our young players have developed as hitters under his tutelage.

Scott from Burke said...

I am from Flushing

Steady Eddie said...

Hah, Vin Scully WAS right and Gameday was wrong-- the MASN caption had him as "AJ Ellis".

mick said...

Scott, cool!

Scott from Burke said...

Warning: Billingsley can hit

Dave said...

The Knoxville World Fair was a legit world's fair. Knoxville is just a few miles away from the Oak Ridge Nationals Laboratory. University of Tennessee is in Knoxville.

Mick, you need to give it a rest.

Dave said...

Sorry. Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Our baseball team has nothing to do with Oak Ridge, as far as I know.

Scott from Burke said...

I was watching Deliverance earlier today...a young Burt Reynolds was so intense

Scott from Burke said...

Bubble Boy episode on the CW..fyi

MicheleS said...

Sweet pick by Stras! He is dealing tonight.

Dave said...

Nice ball flip after Stras catches that come-backer.

So now, how about a little offense, hmm?

Exposremains said...

great pitching is fun but the lack offense is kind of boring

MicheleS said...

Somebody get GIO up to Pinch Hit! Who knew the best batters were the pitchers!

Knoxville Nat said...

Knoxville was the last place Hank Williams, Sr. was ever seen. Left the Andrew Johnson Hotel in a cab, believe he was heading to Nashville but I'm not certain of that. Anyway his body was never found if I recall the story correctly.

Scott from Burke said...

if this was game 7 of the World Series it would be unvbelivably intense...one of the greatest pitched games in the history of the game..just saying

Adam said...

Vin just said DJ was a bat boy for the Senators. That's fantastic.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Ian ....good job.

Scott from Burke said...

Hank dies in the back of a white cadillac (Yoakam recoded a song called White Cadillac..and its been mentioned in many songs)

HANK!!!!!!!!!!!!

waddu eye no said...

have stras and bo ever met before?

FS=Faraz Shaikh said...

you didn't know Adam. I think Davey did say when he signed up as Nats manager that for him it is like coming a full circle with his first baseball connection was being a batboy for senators. I either read it here or someone provided a link here where I read that.

anyways, great to know one of our hitters is serious about winning this game. :D

MicheleS said...

really get GIO up.

Candide said...

Great... SS has as many total bases as the rest of the team combined...

MicheleS said...

Wow a Bryce Commercial instead of an RZ or Morse commercial. Finally timely publicity for the team.

Scott from Burke said...

Heres the song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ILeY6e99FA

Uribe looked down the line and wanted to throw home..didnt have confidence in his arm...but went ahead to first and barely got away with it

FS=Faraz Shaikh said...

well next time SS, just hit one out of the park.

Dave said...

Ouch. Stras makes it all the way around to third after his first double, then dies on third at the end of the inning. Sigh...

sm13 said...

Masn had a Bryce commercial in the can, ready to go for tonight. Well done for the network we love to hate.

Knoxville Nat said...

NatsJack,

Yes you do! I'm waiting.

John said...

The way this is going, looks like the stage is set for Harper to be the savior after all.

Candide said...

Who's your daddy, Kemp?

Steady Eddie said...

WOW -- Stras vs. Kemp Round 3: Who's your Daddy?

Dave said...

I love how Strasburg is just completely shutting Kemp down tonight.

Scott from Burke said...

Stras is dealing..i thought J Zimm was th ebest pitche ron the staff but..um..I'm reconsidering

NatsJack in Florida said...

Davey and I have had talks about his love for DC. Talks about Sherry Robertson, Calvin Griffith, and Bob Willis..... There is a connection to Washington only Davey understands and some of us love.

Steady Eddie said...

I am not Candide.

Candide said...

I am Spartacus!

NatsLady said...

I don't know which was worse, Jimmy Fallon's material or his delivery.
Anything happening here? Game is zip-zip?

FS=Faraz Shaikh said...

MarkZ please stop praising SS. Last time I remember you did that, he faltered in the next inning against the Astros I think.

MicheleS said...

ALR!!!! I love me some ADAM!!!!

Candide said...

LaRoche!!!

Steady Eddie said...

I was just about to write -- LaRoche and Ankiel or BHarp need to smack solo dingers to give Stras the CG win, and ....

MicheleS said...

Mark.. leave the press box please. we need more runs.

Candide said...

C'mon Harp... think hitterish!

Scott from Burke said...

AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MicheleS said...

Okay.. They are doing the wave and some DBAG just mooned us.

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