Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Game 29: Nats at Pirates

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Sparkling PNC Park hosts Ryan Zimmerman and the Nationals tonight.
PITTSBURGH -- They've had nearly 48 hours to recover from the craziness of Sunday night's game against the Phillies (and the chaos that followed). Now the Nationals return to the field, beginning a six-game road trip to Pittsburgh and Cincinnati with tonight's series opener at PNC Park.

Davey Johnson's lineup includes both Ryan Zimmerman (activated off the DL) and Adam LaRoche (back after missing four games with a sore oblique). It also features Bryce Harper in the 2-hole for the first time. (Hey, maybe Davey reads this blog!)

Edwin Jackson, meanwhile, gets the start against A.J. Burnett. Given the great pitching (and lack of run production) both of these teams have gotten so far this season, I would highly expect some low-scoring, tense ballgames. Either that, or a 14-13 slugfest.

Updates to come, so please check back...

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at PITTSBURGH PIRATES
Where: PNC Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 185
Weather: Scattered storms, 69 degrees, Wind 7 mph out to LF
NATIONALS (18-10)
SS Ian Desmond
RF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
2B Danny Espinosa
CF Rick Ankiel
C Wilson Ramos
LF Roger Bernadina
RHP Edwin Jackson

PIRATES (12-16)
LF Jose Tabata
2B Neil Walker
CF Andrew McCutchen
3B Pedro Alvarez
1B Casey McGehee
RF Garrett Jones
SS Clint Barmes
C Rod Barajas
P A.J. Burnett

UMPIRES
HP Vic Carapazza, 1B Gerry Davis (cc), 2B Phil Cuzzi, 3B Greg Gibson

6:25 p.m. -- While you wait for the game to start, be sure to read my just-posted article on Mike Rizzo getting fined by MLB for his comments on Cole Hamels. There's also reaction from Davey Johnson and Bryce Harper in that article.

7:00 p.m. -- And here's the news of the Nats signing reliever Mike Gonzalez to a minor-league contract.

7:07 p.m. -- And we're underway before a gathering of intimate friends and family only. It's incredibly sad to see such a fantastic ballpark near-empty. But after 19 consecutive losing seasons, it's hard to fault the locals for not turning out.

7:12 p.m. -- Well, that was an uneventful top of the first. After Ian Desmond worked the count full (?!) he struck out on a borderline pitch at the knees. Bryce Harper then grounded out weakly to short. And Ryan Zimmerman (in his first at-bat in two weeks) grounded out weakly to second.

7:25 p.m. -- Roger Bernadina is getting (yet) another chance to start in left field due in large part to his defensive prowess. Well, he didn't exactly show that off in trying to track down Neil Walker's drive to the left-field wall. It was by no means an easy play, but Bernadina did get twisted around and couldn't make the catch. Turned into a double. And when Andrew McCutchen drew a walk, Edwin Jackson found himself in a two-out, one-out jam. But props to Jackson, who struck out cleanup hitter Pedro Alvarez looking at a 94 mph fastball and got Casey McGehee to fly out to right to end the first inning.

7:31 p.m. -- Nothin' doin' in the top of the second, either. Adam LaRoche (in his first at-bat in five days) and Danny Espinosa both struck out. Rick Ankiel grounded out to first. So Burnett has faced six Nationals and retired six Nationals.

7:45 p.m. -- When Wilson Ramos is going well at the plate, he's hitting the ball with authority up the middle. That's what he just did in crushing Burnett's first pitch of the third inning into the right-center field bleachers. Ramos' second homer of the season puts the Nats up 1-0.

8:05 p.m. -- Bryce Harper now has 28 at-bats in the big leagues. And he's got six doubles already. According to "High Heat Stats," he's only the third player in history with six doubles in his first nine games, joining Adam Lind and ... George Washington. (No, not THAT George Washington.) Singles by LaRoche and Ankiel followed, and that brought Harper home with the run that put the Nats up 2-0 in the fourth.

8:12 p.m. -- And Jackson immediately gives both runs back, both on towering home runs, both on 94 mph fastballs. Andrew McCutchen launches one off the batter's eye for (surprisingly) his first homer of the season. Garrett Jones then dropped one into the right-field bleachers for his fourth of the year. And just like that, it's a 2-2 game in the fourth.

8:33 p.m. -- The good news: Danny Espinosa made contact in his third at-bat of the night. The bad news: He grounded weakly to second base to end the top of the sixth. It remains 2-2.

8:41 p.m. -- Aside from those two monster home runs, Jackson really has pitched quite well. Through six innings, he's allowed only three hits and a walk, and his pitch count (77 total, 52 strikes) has been very efficient.

8:55 p.m. -- Speaking of Jackson ... he's now retired 10 in a row since the Jones homer in the fourth. Has done a really nice job keeping this game tied. Now, can the Nats lineup push across another run against Burnett, who is back out for the top of the eighth?

9:02 p.m. -- Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman are the only members of the Nats lineup tonight who have not struck out against A.J. Burnett. The right-hander has 10 K's through eight innings, the 20th double-digit strikeout start of his career. Jackson, meanwhile, is done for the night. It'll be Tyler Clippard in to pitch the bottom of the eighth of a 2-2 game.

9:15 p.m. -- Uh-oh. The Pirates take the lead with a strange rally. Clippard walked pinch-hitter Nate McLouth with one out. McLouth then took off for second base, and Desmond had to move to his left to try to cover the bag. Except Tabata's hard grounder was smashed right at him and wound up going right through his legs for a costly error. Walker then lofted a fly ball to medium-deep right field. Not even Harper can throw out McLouth from 340 feet away, sadly. So it's 3-2 and the Nats will have to rally against old pal Joel Hanrahan in the ninth.

9:23 p.m. -- Adam LaRoche, ladies and gentlemen! Two-run bomb to center off Hanrahan, and the Nats take a 4-3 lead in the ninth. That also was the 1,000th home run in Nationals history. Couldn't have come at a better time.

9:31 p.m. -- So now it's up to Henry Rodriguez to close this one out. McGehee, a pinch-hitter and Barmes due up in the bottom of the ninth.

9:43 p.m. -- Oh, dear. Rodriguez blows it in spectacular fashion. Two wild pitches. Then a two-run homer served up to Rod Rod Barajas. Nats lose a crushing game, 5-4.

219 comments:

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Scott from Burke said...

Bryce Harper, in the eyes of some, may be his own worst enemy. One of the most appealing things about Bryce Harper is his ferocious style of play. A rival scout, however, expresses concern that the Nationals' left fielder is too physical with his swing. "He is an amazing athlete and will be great if he stays healthy," the scout says. "But there is a huge difference between him and (Ken) Griffey and Alex (Rodriguez). "Those guys had easy, non-violent swings. This guy uses his lower half so much, it's like the old golfers who rotated their hips with such violence. You wonder when the lower back issues will begin." ... "Does he have great bat speed? Yes. Unreal power? Yes. But it's a little like a max-effort pitcher."

baseballswami said...

Re-post. This offense really should have Mini-Z in the line up. We need his bat.

Michael J. Hayde said...

"I would highly expect some low-scoring, tense ballgames. Either that, or a 14-13 slugfest."

Hey, we're talking about A.J. Burnett, the guy the Yankees are paying to "pitch" for Pittsburgh. I'm expecting a 14-3 rout!

Nats1924 said...

Ive always like Bernie, hopefully he runs with this opportunity while Werth is out

Section 222 said...

New posted:

So this lineup is better than the one that we had before Zim went down. By a long shot.

I meant "after" Zim went down (but before ALR did, where there's no comparison). It's also better than the one we had before Zim went down because I'd rather have Harper in the lineup than Werth. But that's debatable I suppose.

do1teach1 said...

I would look at the next few games as determining factors in whether Espy goes to Syracuse.

In an earlier thread, someone said a lot is riding on whether Espy can return to his career norms. The problem there is his career average is .227. As we all know, he's around .200 now and leads almost every man in baseball in whiffs. And where his futility used to be mostly from the left side, this year his splits show futility from both sides.

We heard about the post-All Star Game "temporary falloff" last year. Then we heard about the batter's eye in Viera. Now we've seen a full month of Mendozian-level performance.

I trust Davey's instincts, but DJ also knows there are a thousand players who started hot their first half-season, got figured out by pitchers, and simply could not stay in the big leagues.

Unknown said...

With all due respect to Jayson Werth, and I hope he gets well, soon, I think we have a MORE potent lineup, tonight, than the one we had with Werth but without the Z-man and ALR. And we were winning back then, too!

baseballswami said...

MJH - don't say that! Reverse lock will be in effect! McCutcheon just returning tonight,too , after an illness. Hope they have medics standing by for all the walking wounded. And, please, baseball gods - no casualty reports after tonight's game. It's time to start getting everyone back and not adding anymore to the list.

JZimm's only fan... said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JZimm's only fan... said...

Replace Shark with Lombo and I like this a lot

A DC Wonk said...

re-post, off topic:

Whenever I think the first name is too informal, and Mr lastname is too formal -- I split the difference and use both, and so:

"Dear Jayson Werth," . . .

Section 222 said...

Kilgore reported that the Nats were 11-4 with Zim, and 7-6 without him. That's pretty significant. Welcome back!

phil dunton said...

Lombardozzi should be starting at second base. Espinosa needs to sit or go to Syracuse.

A DC Wonk said...

Hey, we're talking about A.J. Burnett, the guy the Yankees are paying to "pitch" for Pittsburgh. I'm expecting a 14-3 rout!

Burnett looked pretty good in his first two outings (he blew up in his third outing, and this is his fourth). He shut out St. Louis over seven innings, and then pitched 6 against the Braves, allowing 2 runs.

(his ERA of 8+ is all because of the third game: 12 runs in 2-2/3 innings). Heck, we'd sweep if we could get 12 runs in 2-2/3 games!

hiramhover said...

Burnett melted down his last outing vs St Louis, and he's erratic rather than gawdawful, so I don't expect a meltdown this time too.

Bill B said...

I guess Davey doesn't have confidence in Lombo in LF. There's no offensive-minded reason to play Bernie instead.

baseballswami said...

3:44 -- You are absolutely, positively , not JZimm's only fan - he is so good that a bad game for him is still a quality start. But we do need to start a telethon for him to drum up some run support.

hiramhover said...

Section 222

I'm glad to see Zimm back, but that Kilgore stat seems like one of those interesting but meaningless bits of trivia that TV announcers like to throw around. Yes, that was the record with and without Zimm, but given his poor production at the plate, you'd be hard pressed to say the Nats went 11-4 *because* of him.

I'm hoping to see a much better Zimm come back than the one we saw in the first 2 weeks.

Ann Ominous said...

"Kilgore reported that the Nats were 11-4 with Zim, and 7-6 without him. That's pretty significant."

That's the definition of small sample size.

Eugene in Oregon said...

I think it's Nate Silver who uses 1000 bats as the minimum to establish a player's 'natural abilities' (again, I think that's the term he uses, meaning average level of production -- whether you measure production by AVG, OBP, OPS+ or some other, more advanced stats). And the closer you get to that 1000th AB, the harder it will be to 'correct' it upwards.

In Danny Espinosa's case, he's already at 774 ABs, and his career slash line is .227/.313/.397. His OPS+ is 93. I know others can cite different stats as being more appropriate or better measures, but by whatever metric you choose Mr. Espinosa is not going to compare well to many other hitters. And even if he starts hitting the way he did in the first half of the 2011 season, he's not going to change his 'natural' level a whole lot in the next 226 ABs. I wish I could be more positive, but I'm just not sure that Mr. Espinosa's numbers are going to change significantly. I hope they do, but the Nats shouldn't be counting on it.

baseballswami said...

Miss Iowa starting for the Mets tonight against the Phils! I hope he crushes them! I know the Mets are in our division, too - but from this moment on I will root for any team that is playing the NL Evil Empire ( the Yankees being the AL Evil Empire). By the way - lots of managers offering opinions today on Plunking-gate -- throwing Hamels waaaay under the bus.

JZimm's only fan... said...

@baseballswami its an inside joke I was at the team store and they had no jerseys or merchandise for him. I told a friend it would be the first time in history you need a custom jersey for someone actually on the team

alexva said...

Espinosa arrived with a bang, flashed some serious pop in his bat, speed and great defense. Then the other teams realized that he will regularly chase pitches out of the zone. And until he stops doing that we will only have his defense.

bowdenball said...

Eugene in Oregon:

An OPS of .710 would actually rank Espinosa right around the middle of the second basemen who had at least 400 plate appearances in 2011. I understand your point that at this point what you see with Espi is probably what you get, but when you consider his value it's important to remember that he plays excellent defense at a position where outstanding offensive players are very few and far between.

His numbers would be terrible for a corner outfielder to be sure, but that's not the right criteria.

rabbit34 said...

If only Lombo was in the lineup!!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Mark, Davey may read the blog. I really believe Carp and FP do in-game and not giving myself a pat on the back as I rarely post in-game.....although I do read when I have WiFi in-game

rabbit34 said...

Baseballswami..........please don't elevate the bush-league Filthy Phillies to the level of the Yankees. The Yankees earned that title. I hate the Yankees because I respect them and all their titles. The Phillies have the title because they play dirty baseball. There is a big difference between the teams.

natsfan1a said...

Also reposting, sort of on topic. (Glad to see that Mark will be in the press box at Pittsburgh tonight, except when he makes his excursions, of course. ;-))

natsfan1a said...

Really? Does it help the bats when he makes trips from the press box, too, as with his dad? Oh, wait. You probably meant the *other* Mini-Z. :-)

baseballswami said...

Our offense is really going to miss Mini-Z.
May 08, 2012 3:21 PM
May 08, 2012 4:17 PM

Post a Comment

baseballswami said...

JZIMM fan - typical -- I guess we all need to buy some of those iron-on letters and just add an N. Can you believe as valuable as he is to the team, they didn't have merchandise? I think they should make shirts that say "This is ZNN" - I wish it could have the voice from the commercial, though.
And once again, may I add to the chorus of Lombo, Lombo, Lombo, Lombo!!!!!

A DC Wonk said...

I guess Davey doesn't have confidence in Lombo in LF. There's no offensive-minded reason to play Bernie instead.

Perhaps he's giving Bernadina "one last shot." When Ankiel got a bunch of AB's he responded. So did Chad Tracy. I think he's telling Bernie: LF is yours for a week (or against RHP, or whatever) -- so just relax, and show us what you got.

natsfan1a said...

I like that shirt idea, swami!

NatsLady said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but if a player is on the 60-day DL and hence not on the 40-man roster, he can't be hanging in the dugout, can he? Might be another reason to keep a guy on the 15-day if you don't need the spot.

Eugene in Oregon said...

bowdenball,

Agree completely. My point was only about his offensive numbers. The Nats' calculus may well be that his offensive numbers are sufficient for his position/defensive skills. But, like others, I'm not particularly comfortable with the metrics -- old or new, traditional or advanced -- that purport to measure defense. The most significant element in the equation, however, is likely to become Mr. Lombardozzi combination of both offensive and defensive skills. We'll see what happens.

natsfan1a said...

While I don't post there, I do sometimes read threads in the message board on the team site. fwiw, Bob does post there.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Mark, Davey may read the blog. I really believe Carp and FP do in-game and not giving myself a pat on the back as I rarely post in-game.....although I do read when I have WiFi in-game
May 08, 2012 4:21 PM

natsfan1a said...

I wouldn't think they'd get a lot out of reading game threads, though, as posts tend to be along the lines of "WTG [player name]!" or "WTH [player name]!" (And on a good say some "WOOOOO HOOOO" [copyright MicheleS) posts at the end.) ;-)

natsfan1a said...

on a good *day*

natsfan1a said...

and ] rather than )

and I need to have something to eat now...later...

bowdenball said...

Eugene-

I agree about Lombo, but it's gonna be hard to evaluate both guys with only one available starting spot. Those who are jumping on the Lombardozzi bandwagon based on his productive season to date might want to take a look at Espi's numbers at this exact point of his rookie season. A hot April from a rookie is no guarantee of continued excellence. We just have to trust the front office and the process and remember that having two potential major league level starters under age 26 for one middle infield position is definitely a "good problem."

I also agree about the problems with defensive metrics. My eyes do tell me that Espinosa can play a mean second base, which is worth something.

Bzl. said...

Wow, amazing lineup prediction! I was thinking they'd move Zim to 4th, and go from there. I guess Davey doesn't read *my* blog.

Section 222 said...

I think they should make shirts that say "This is ZNN" - I wish it could have the voice from the commercial, though.

I got a shirt that says that last year from a guy who is Section138 on Twitter. See this link. Not sure if he's still making them.

RickH said...

I like it. And I think Lombo will get plenty of chances as he spells people. Regarding Danny, I keep going back to last year when everyone was yelling for Morse to get sent down after a bad April.

Eugene in Oregon said...

bowdenball,

Again, I agree pretty much completely. Mr. Lombardozzi has had some games where he looked like Ty Cobb (without the attitude) and others where he looked like, well, Danny Espinosa on a bad day. It's way too early to tell. Like some other posters, I'm hoping that he gets a bunch of ABs playing left field over the coming weeks. Given the lack of production from Messrs. Bernadina and Nady, I would gladly trade a bit of defense for the chance that he'll prove to be a pretty consistent hitter. But we won't know unless and until he gets those ABs.

A DC Wonk said...

Cal Ripken: Hitting Bryce Harper wasn't old school

A DC Wonk said...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dc-sports-bog/post/cal-ripken-hitting-bryce-harper-wasnt-old-school/2012/05/08/gIQAlT8sAU_blog.html

baseballswami said...

So Rizzo got fined, too. Where does that money go , by the way? I hope it goes to some charity.

A DC Wonk said...

Rebuttal to:

A rival scout, however, expresses concern that the Nationals' left fielder is too physical with his swing. "He is an amazing athlete and will be great if he stays healthy," the scout says. "But there is a huge difference between him and (Ken) Griffey and Alex (Rodriguez). "Those guys had easy, non-violent swings. This guy uses his lower half so much, it's like the old golfers who rotated their hips with such violence. You wonder when the lower back issues will begin."

Now, I was just a teenager when Willie Mays retired, but I vaguely recall that Willie Mays had such a swing, too, even into his 40's. Anyone?

Todd Boss said...

Why harper 2nd? Why not go LaRoche-Zim-Harper if you want to break up L-R-L?

Can't believe Lombardozzi sits while Roger ".619 OPS" plays. Also can't believe Johnson is messing with the top of his order, which has been producing so well the last week or so.

Des-Lom-LaRoche-Zimm-Harper-Ramos-Ankiel-Espy with Lombardozzi playing LF. Why did you work him out in Left in spring training if you weren't going to use him?

Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

Burnett melted down his last outing vs St Louis,

Burnett hasn't pitched against St. Louis this year. By and large, he's been very good to excellent when he has pitched.

Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

@NatsNut, I'm going with "Dear Jayson" for letters from anyone much over the age of 12, in which case Dear Mr. Werth might show more respect, coming from a kid. Hand delivery to his house might be a little sketchy, but definitely don't show up in his living room watching Rio Bravo at 3:00 am.

mick said...

we play the Pirates arghhhhhhhhhhh

mick said...

just to clarify, there is an extra playoff team this season, in other words the two Wild Card teams play a 1 game playoff, correct?

NatsLady said...

Better Rizzo fined than Zimmermann--which might have been his intention.

Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

Now, I was just a teenager when Willie Mays retired, but I vaguely recall that Willie Mays had such a swing, too, even into his 40's. Anyone?

Willie Mays' Swing

You decide.

NatsNut said...

Thanks for the advice ya'll, and I promise not to stalk. =)

Part of the hesitation comes from reading Dirk Hayhurst, who hates it when fans call him by his first name. But I also think he means people who shout and shout and shout at him to throw them balls, so I'll probably go with "Dear Jayson."

GYFNG!

mick said...

why was Rizzo fined???? are you joking? I thought his comments were actually mellow compared to the punk ass act of intentionally hitting a player. Bud Selg or whomever can go to hell!!

mick said...

Lombo needs to be in line up period

Section 222 said...

Burnett hasn't pitched against St. Louis this year. By and large, he's been very good to excellent when he has pitched.

I think he was referring to A.J., not Sean.

Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

Rizzo got fined?? For what? Calling Hamels a punk poser?

Kirbs said...

Lombo needs to be in left. Period. (He's also earned the 2nd base job)

Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

I think he was referring to A.J., not Sean.

Oh.

Nevermind.

Section 222 said...

I guess Rizzo's fine just shows when you tell the truth, MLB will dock you.

mick said...

could you imagine if Nats and O's played in WS? That would be the greatest sporting event in the history of the metro area. The odds are not great, but the fact that both teams are doing so well at least makes it fun to imagine

mick said...

section 222.... well said

Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

So, to summarize: Corey Brown needs to stay in the minors, or come up; Lombardozzi needs to play second and left; and NatsNut should just mail her card and stay out of Jayson's house.

Will said...

Nats just signed Mike Gonzalez to a minor league deal. I'm not really sure what Gonzalez was thinking... Surely, he had other suitors who could have offered him a much better chance of getting a shot.

Will said...

Nevermind, just read Gonzalez is a Boras client. It all makes sense now.

mick said...

This is slightly off the Nats and baseball, but what the heck, many of you are born and raised in the DC metro area.

You old DC dudes over 50 will like this and maybe some of you were even there or played in the game.I thought my first experience at RFK in 1968 (the last year it was called DC stadium), Nats verse Red Sox.

My Mom tells me I was wrong. Apparently I was there in the Fall of 1962 as a little tot watching the football city Championship, St John's verse Eastern. I honestly do not remember the game, but I remember the family that took me left abruptly before the famous riot broke out. Would love to know if any of you were around then or played in that game?

Eugene in Oregon said...

Soul Possession @ 5:42: Well said.

mick @ 5:30: I'm calling the WC vs. WC contest the 'play in' game, with the playoffs starting once they've narrowed the field to four teams in each league. But that's just me; not MLB approved parlance.

ehay2k said...

Nice instant blog analysis Soul Possession!

mick said...

Eugene thank you, so 2 Wild Cards

mick said...

Eugene... whatever we call it, I just want to see playoff baseball in DC in my lifetime

Cwj said...

Mick- Orioles and Nats in the WS would be awesome.
I don't hate the Orioles (just their owner), so it would be a lot of fun.

waddu eye no said...

And nats nut- no cooking him rabbit for dinner. Didnt work for glenn close, either ;-/

mick said...

here here Cwj, I agree with you about the owner

UnkyD said...

Eugene in Oregon said...
Soul Possession @ 5:42: Well said.

mick @ 5:30: I'm calling the WC vs. WC contest the 'play in' game, with the playoffs starting once they've narrowed the field to four teams in each league. But that's just me; not MLB approved parlance.
---------------
I'll even let them call ita Playoff Game, if they want. But they seem to want to bill it as "Round One".....

This is...uh...well... Notsomuch....

mick said...

waddu eye, lololo ha ha, thats good.

sjm308 said...

Mick: I might have this wrong but I am pretty sure that St. Johns/Eastern game was played at Griffith Stadium. I know that RFK (not originally called that) opened in 1961 or 62 and that they held the All-Star game there but I think the "City Championship" football game was still held at Griffith. I was definitely there and remember the troubles during that game and am pretty sure it was not held again after that. Again, memory is a horrible thing to waste.

Bernadina is in for his defense and I realize Lombo has made a great impression with lots of us. Davey did use him in spring training and has probably concluded that Lombo and the nationals will be better served with him staying in the infield. I was impressed with his improvement at 3rd base and was waiting for NatsJack to sort of issue some sort of retraction. He was no Zimm but he made some very athletic plays on some very tough hops. Have to agree that he does have the arm of a 2nd baseman.

This has to be Bernadina's last shot.

Loved Cal talking about Hammels and I have not heard one player or manager who has backed him.
Basically Scott from Burke and Tony Kornhesier.

NatsJack in Florida said...

It was the first ever event at "DC Stadium".

Mark Zuckerman said...

Hey guys, while you wait for the game to start, be sure to read my just-posted article on Mike Rizzo getting fined by MLB for his comments on Cole Hamels. There's also reaction from Davey Johnson and Bryce Harper in that article.

mick said...

sjm308... I think Griffith stadium was gone by then? JFK thew out first pitch in DC Stadium opener in April 1962. who knows, I was so young and my Mom could be wrong, but she always says the game was at DC stadium

NatsJack in Florida said...

Lombo has shown improvement at third but his arm still scares me a little. He's got a ways to go to be a true utility guy. I'd love to see him get regular playing time at second.

mick said...

will do Mark

NatsJack in Florida said...

Read it off twitter, Mark.

peric said...

Now, I was just a teenager when Willie Mays retired, but I vaguely recall that Willie Mays had such a swing, too, even into his 40's. Anyone?

He's 19 and won't be 20 until October. He should be playing either High School or JC ball right now ... or in the low minors of some major league team.

A lot of this will adjust with time and experience. But I do hope he doesn't lose his so-called "aggressive" style of play which actually is the only thing about the other night that truly was an "old school" throwback. It didn't hurt Pete Rose to play that way (it did hurt Ray Fosse because he did) hopefully it won't hurt Harper.

As for Espinosa. He is a switch hitter and a power guy ... it takes longer people. Given the athlete that he is (Many of us still believe he is the superior shortstop to Desmond( you don't give up on him given the rule-of-thumb for switch hitters is 1000 at bats.

I'm sorry people but there are too many of you who are here because the Nats are finally winning. To truly achieve success and a modicum of vindication and dare I say it? Revenge. The Nats need to be a team in contention year-in and year-out. Nothing would suit me more than watching the Nats completely demolish the damned Yankees I say ... (sorry BHarp34). THAT means this ***IS*** a development year. It is not time to go out and bring in decrepit guys with bad knees like Willingham nor any of the other decrepit names that keep creeping in as "solutions" to the offense and losing Werth. THEY ARE STUPID MOVES PERIOD. They go comletely against everything that has led to this point, to this pitching staff to the current standings.

So, you play prospects like Danny Espinosa until someone else (perhaps Lombo, perhaps Rendon, perhaps even Kobernus) prove they are better ... BUT THE the knowledgeable among us will continue to wonder if Espinosa and not Desmond with his .299 OBP isn't the better shortstop?

This team WILL NOT follow the Riggleman mantra of respect the veterans respect the game. Stop asking for that! Its bad Karma for the Nats!

Rizzo and Johnson will develop new prospects both in the minors and the majors ... until they get to a point where they are a perennial deep into the playoffs team. And if they go outside for talent it will be players who are young, with high ceilings ... YES like BJ Upton or perhaps Peter Borjous. NOT Denard Span. NOT Josh Willingham.

Scott from Burke said...

SJM said: Loved Cal talking about Hammels and I have not heard one player or manager who has backed him.
Basically Scott from Burke and Tony Kornhesier.

sjm: you are thinking about me way too much

NatsJack in Florida said...

I meant first ever High School event. It was also the last.

Scott from Burke said...

and is it possible you don't read very much?

Scott from Burke said...

for sjm:
http://tracking.si.com/2012/05/07/chad-qualls-at-least-cole-hamels-was-a-man-and-didnt-lie-about-it/

sjm308 said...

NatsJack - you are right and it was the first and last. I was watching from the end zone and my buddies and I could tell this was not going to be your normal HS football game. Mick, your mom was correct and as usual I was wrong.

We did host the All-Star game that year though right?

Scott from Burke said...

and another for sjm:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/jason_turbow/05/07/hamels.harper/index.html

like the man said in Glengarry Glen Ross: Don't talk until you know the shot

sjm308 said...

Scott, I stand corrected - I honestly had not seen that and had heard from Leyland, Ripken, Schilling and others, and had also noticed, read that the Phillies shied away from it as well.

Scott from Burke said...

I'm sure I could find a dozen examples but don't feel like wasting more time.

NatsJack in Florida said...

If I remember, it was one of two All Star games when they did that sort of thing

sjm308 said...

There is no way I will get into a movie quoting match with Scott. He has shown that to be a huge strength. Now, if I could ever talk my youngest son into getting interested in baseball I think he could go back and forth with Scott on movie quotes. He has one of the more worthless Masters in the Universe (Film Studies from the University of Glasgow), which is why he is working in DC in the govt. Scott would you at least concede that more people spoke out against Hammels than for him?

Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

It was in DC Stadium (now RFK): Return to RFK? Bring Back the Title Game!

Scott from Burke said...

sure, sjm...whatever you say..more people who are in the national media...but if it was discussed the next day in the DBacks pitchers meeting i doubt they were trashing cole hamels...are we gonna read about it? no

Scott from Burke said...

btw sjm i'm sure you're son would be a treat to talk to..if you knew as much about baseball as he does about movies we would never have a disagreement

Scott from Burke said...

If anyone on here has caps tix tomorrow and is resigned to their fate and would like to sell please let me know

Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

just making friends everywhere he goes.

Embrace the chickenbleep---it is the only way.

Mark Zuckerman said...

And also be sure to read my post on the Nats signing Mike Gonzalez to a minor-league contract.

MicheleS said...

Glad Bryce is batting second. He will just create havoc on the bade paths.

MicheleS said...

BASE path. What is up with auto correct

Fear and Ignorance said...

Nice catch Bernadina...well played.

MicheleS said...

Umm. Roger this is your shot. Do not blow it.

Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

That looked like he lost the ball in the grey sky. Gotta make that catch, there.

SFNats said...

This is the same AJ Burnett who gave up 12 earned in 2+ innings his last time out, right?

Scott from Burke said...

sjm: if he hasnt yet ask your son to watch bang the drum slowly...deniros first movie...wonderful baseball picture

djinFl. said...

And the same AJ Burnett that had a 9.53 era in his minor league rehab before throwing seven scoreless against the Cards.

SFNats said...

There you go -- THAT's the AJ Burnett I was looking for.

Joe Seamhead said...

What fun watching this kid!

Fear and Ignorance said...

Espinosa is the worst player in baseball and has been for close to 100 games now. Why is he playing over Lombardozzi??? Our entire pitching staff has better AB's than he does. He is killing us.

John said...

Johnson may want to pull a LaRussa and hit Espinosa in the 9th spot.

burns15 said...

Can we please play Lombo over Espinosa? The kid can;t recognize a breaking ball to save his life

Scott from Burke said...

huge hit by ankiel..how about that woman directly behind home plate 2 rows back? bovine

Scott from Burke said...

3 hits in the inning...good stuff

i wonder holw close johnson is to sending espinosa to syracuse

Joe Seamhead said...

Referring to some lady as " bovine?" Scott, if this was my place I'd throw your ass out of the bar.

Scott from Burke said...

mr wang, there is an opening in the rotation for you

MicheleS said...

While walking the dogs, we go up 2. I walk back into the house and boom boom we are tied. I may drag the dogs out for the rest of the game

Scott from Burke said...

seamhead you're as interesting as a box of crackers

Scott from Burke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott from Burke said...

seamhead: what do you think mcmurtry would say?

MicheleS said...

Seamhead. I am sure by the later innings when someone has their beer goggles on she will be compared to Marylin Monroe.

Scott from Burke said...

Norma Jeane Baker

NatsJack in Florida said...

About the best thing Jackson has done is limit them to solo shots. At least he didn't precede them with walks like he's prone to do.

NatsJack in Florida said...

And we have to watch Danny again. Oh well.

baseballswami said...

Just got home from a rehearsal - turned on the radio when i left, nats 2-0. I didn't take many miles to be 2-2. Jackson has half of the nats hits? Pitchers are getting desperate for runs. Is there anyone at that game - it sounds awful quiet.

TimDz said...

Why do I get the feeling that the Bucs will pitch around Jackson to get to Desi?

baseballswami said...

Hey, at least Danny made contact and didn't K.

Matthew J said...

Danny Espinosa: waste of space.

Now they're just pitching around LaRoche to get to him.

TimDz said...

Message to Nats Bats....
Stop swinging...he's tossing nothing but breaking stuff...

John said...

Johnson needs to pinch hit for Espinosa if the go-ahead run is on base this inning.

Scott from Burke said...

bilge pillow? are boats designed to put oil into the water?

Eugene in Oregon said...

Home runs and all, Edwin Jackson can't be faulted for pitching seven innings, giving up three hits, and two runs. I'm not fond of the 'quality start' stat, but this one counts as such. It's up to the hitters to provide some run support when a pitcher contributes like Mr. Jackson has contributed. Not sure where Mr. Wang will end up, but it shouldn't be in Mr. Jackson's spot.

MicheleS said...

Can they do a double switch and put Lombo in the game? Geez Burnett is dealing

Scott from Burke said...

it looked like it was gonna fall apart when he gave up 2 taters in the span of what, 3 hitters? but he collected himself and had an excellent start...

Grandstander said...

Visions of Lance Berkman dancing through my head on that non-check swing by McLouth.

MicheleS said...

NatsJack. I think we will have to take a wait and see on the O's. 8-1 Rangers and Hamilton has 3 HRs

Scott from Burke said...

the rangers are animals...i think they would have walked McCutcheon even if there was a runner on 1st..very dangerous hitter..and mcclouth swung

baseballswami said...

Once again, a struggling pitcher on a mediocre team channels his inner Cy Young and schools the nats hitters. Clippard should have been out of the inning with a double play - the opposing team executes the sacrifice -- you know what that is, don't you? It's small ball - giving up an out for a run - some people actually play that way. Sheesh. Although you might have expected Zim and LaRoche to need some live pitching before they get their stroke back. Maybe EJax can be the new hitting coach.

Scott from Burke said...

if they lose they will be under .500 on the road

MicheleS said...

Gascanrahan!

Scott from Burke said...

if they win they will be over .500 on the road...LAROCHE!!!!!!!!!!!!

warm up hrod

RickH said...

Welcome back Ryan and Adam!!!

UnkyD said...

Gascanrahan!!!

Navy Nats Fan said...

And Tyler Clippard is in line for a classic Clippard vulture win...

djinFl. said...

@Scott
Why such a loser attitude
Nats are comeback kings

RickH said...

Danny ... Now would be a good time to turn things around.

MicheleS said...

Can we just exercise ALRs option now?

Scott from Burke said...

during the offseason the idea of laroche playing 1st base was disturbing to me..coming off an injury..older...i was wrong

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Gascanrahan lives!

Barkeep, bourbon and Maalox all around for my friends! Drink up, Nats Insiders!

RickH said...

But, no.

phil dunton said...

Now we have to suffer through H-Rod in the bottom of the 9th.

MicheleS said...

Espi needs a mental health day(s)

Scott from Burke said...

Carp: if the ball veered into foul territory its a foul ball

mick said...

Davey should have let Jackson hit and then move him to 2b, since e can field. I am done with Espinoza, what worthless at bat he has become.
thank goodness for Zim and Laroche!

JaneB said...

I love that ALR got the 1000th homer. I was wrong so long ago about him, but I still have to apologize. I'm glad Scott is once again proven wrong too, but not nearly so glad as I am that ALR is OURS and not theirs. Now, to make sure we see GOOD Henry. And only good Henry.

mick said...

The HP umpire is terrible, the score should be 4-2, I'm happy Clip won't get e loss and now may get a win

SCNatsFan said...

MicheleS, Espi needs a vacation. I'm thinking Syracuse has some nice short stay hotels.

Go Adam.... keep proving us wrong who doubted you last year.

Scott from Burke said...

djinfl: i posted a FACT..what does that have to do with my attitude?

and it was easy for you to post AFTER laroche home run

pdowdy83 said...

I know some people argue with Scott but at least he admits when he is wrong and is a true fan of the team!

Where would we be without ALR this year?

baseballswami said...

Welcome back to the line up Zim and LaRoche - and welcome back to Ramos' bat.

pdowdy83 said...

Agreed Mick, this has been a rather wide strike zone all night. I believe they said the home plate ump was the JR member of the crew.

Scott from Burke said...

looks like bernardina is stepping towards the 1st base dugout

mick said...

I've been done with Bernadina, he looks so weak at the plate no confidence at all

TimDz said...

Adam says...
I got your strained oblique right here...

pdowdy83 said...

He might as well be since he is just going to walk back to it every at bat. I don't get why Davey won't play Lombo or Moore out there. I love Davey but that is one thing I don't get.

John said...

Winning this game would be sweet, but it doesn't diminish the fact that Espinosa has clearly become a detriment to the team's offense.

Scott from Burke said...

thanks pdowdy..i am a huge fan of the team...they are EASILY my 2nd fave team in the league...i've been a dodger fan since th emets traded tom seaver...but them being one the west coast it's difficult to stay engaged

LoveDaNats said...

Three shots of bourbon lined up with a Maaloxx chaser, waiting for Henry.

Scott from Burke said...

give bernardina a couple of days to get comfy..and the pitcher hurdle brought in looks like murder on lefties..hurdle knew johnson wouldnt pinch hit because he wants bernardinas defense out there

jeffwx said...

Well my prognisticating on Espinosa was about as good as his 3 strike out. Ghost...you are the man.

pdowdy83 said...

I understand how that goes. I grew up a Cubs fan so I still have a soft spot for them but as soon as the Nats moved to DC I started rooting for them.

Obviously everybody has an opinion about the team they root for I just think some people get a bit uptight about their own sometimes. I know I've been guilty of it before.

djinFl. said...

@Scott
I may not be a speedy typist, but I keep a positive outlook until the last out. I do know now, to keep my bright outlook, do not read your post.
GYFN

MicheleS said...

Josh H is up to 4 HRs

Scott from Burke said...

i wrote IF the lost...IF..not when

baseballswami said...

Chad Tracy heated up with some playing time. Maybe Bernie will, too. He is an exciting player when he gets going. Danny was just so good in September 2010 and the first half of 2011 - it can't be just the pitchers making adjustments. Whatever Eckstein and DJ are doing - it's just not working. You can be critical and angry if you want - but I think it's just sad to watch. He's a great kid and works very hard, probably too hard.

Scott from Burke said...

by the way djin fl..looks like a you have a nice dog

jeffwx said...

We already have lost enough offense with the loss of Morse and Werth...CAn't afford to wait for Espinosa when you have Lombo and one of the teams highest OBP sitting on the bench. Keepin Espi in the lineup does not help the Nats, Lombo or Espi who clearly needs some help.

pdowdy83 said...

Ramos has not looked good defensively this year...

MicheleS said...

MAALOX PLEASE

jeffwx said...

D.... you Henry.......this is ridiculous.

mick said...

sorry you HRod defenders, pl;ease explain!!!!!

mick said...

Is Ramos or McCatty nUTS

pdowdy83 said...

If Ramos is going to call for the curve in the dirt he needs to keep it in front of him. They are sharp breakers but if you can't handle it don't call for it. That is about 5 of those that have gotten away with the two of them since the Dodgers game.

MicheleS said...

That sucks

jeffwx said...

Unbelievable

Scott from Burke said...

well that kinda sucked

pdowdy83 said...

Ar you effing kidding me...

mick said...

you have a 200 no confident hitter 0-2 on count , why the HELL are you throwing a pitch you have not thrown well all season????

that is on HRod, Ramos and McCatty

LoveDaNats said...

Effing unbelievable!!!

JaneB said...

Noooooo!

jeffwx said...

HROD to 2nd....Espi to relieve

sjm308 said...

Ouch!

whatsanattau said...

so that sucked

mick said...

Overall HRod is bum!!! a total loser, he has lost 3 game this year on his stupid sinking curve ball he cant control

pdowdy83 said...

Ramos and HRod definitely haven't been in sync

phil dunton said...

When will Grandpa Johnson wake up???

jeffwx said...

This is on HROD....
If you call for a curve, one would expect it to go 60' not 50'

pdowdy83 said...

Mike Gonzalez, eh?

mick said...

This is where I wish the ghost of Billy Martin was around.

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