Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Game 36: Padres at Nats

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Stephen Strasburg faces his hometown team today at Nationals Park.
Davey Johnson has managed clubs that were forced to deal with injuries, but never quite like this. "This team has been beat up more than any other team I've had," the 69-year-old manager said this morning. And yet the Nationals enter today's series finale against the Padres again in first place in the NL East, convinced they can continue to contend despite the growing disabled list.

The latest player added to the DL, of course, is Sandy Leon, the rookie catcher who suffered a serious ankle sprain last night in the fourth inning of his big-league debut. Leon was officially placed on the 15-day DL today, with 33-year-old veteran Carlos Maldonado promoted from Class AAA Syracuse to become the Nats' new backup catcher. (Starter Wilson Ramos, meanwhile, was transferred to the 60-day DL to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Maldonado.)

The best way to overcome injuries is through pitching, and the Nationals have plenty of that. Today, ace Stephen Strasburg takes the mound to face his hometown team for the first time. Coming off a 13-strikeout performance against the Pirates, Strasburg will look to improve to 4-0 on the season.

There's still some rain in the forecast, but the sun is shining at the moment. Check back for live updates and analysis...

SAN DIEGO PADRES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 183
Weather: Scattered storms, 74 degrees, Wind 6 mph out to CF
NATIONALS (22-13)
SS Ian Desmond
LF Roger Bernadina
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
RF Bryce Harper
2B Danny Espinosa
CF Rick Ankiel
C Jesus Flores
RHP Stephen Strasburg

PADRES (12-24)
RF Will Venable
CF Cameron Maybin
3B Chase Headley
1B Yonder Alonso
2B Orlando Hudson
LF James Darnell
C John Baker
SS Andy Parrino
RHP Anthony Bass

UMPIRES
HP Brian Gorman (cc), 1B Tony Randazzo, 2B Alan Porter, 3B Larry Vanover

1:08 p.m. -- We are underway with a 96 mph strike from Stephen Strasburg to Will Venable. The forecast -- knock on wood -- actually looks decent, though there are dark clouds overhead.

1:25 p.m. -- Looks like I spoke waaay too soon on that forecast, because it started pouring in the top of the first, with Strasburg laboring big-time. He already gave up one run thanks to a bloop double that fell into the Bermuda Triangle between Bernadina, Ankiel and Desmond and an RBI single by Yonder Alonso. A two-out walk loaded the bases, and then with the count 3-2 to John Baker, the umps pulled everyone off the field and called for the tarp. Except it stopped raining before they could even cover the infield. So now they're spreading drying agent all over the mound, the plate and the infield as Strasburg retakes the mound having already thrown 33 pitches in the first.

1:35 p.m. -- And then after an eight-minute delay, Strasburg gives up a two-run single to Baker on his next pitch. The inning finally ends after 39 pitches and three San Diego runs. Quite the fiasco.

1:41 p.m. -- Anthony Bass sure didn't have any trouble with the mound in the bottom of the first. He retired the side on seven pitches.

1:48 p.m. -- Venable laced a one-out triple into the right-field corner, giving the Padres leadoff man five total bases in two innings. But Strasburg escaped without suffering any more damage, striking out Cameron Maybin on a changeup and then getting Chase Headley to line out to center. Still, he's at 53 pitches through two innings, a hefty total. Padres still up 3-0.

1:55 p.m. -- Adam LaRoche leads off the bottom of the second with a walk, but Bryce Harper smoked a line drive right at Venable and Danny Espinosa grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.

2:33 p.m. -- So, who had James Darnell homering off Strasburg to make it 4-0 Padres? Even stranger, who had Strasburg getting pulled after only four innings and 81 pitches? That ties for the second-shortest start of his career. A strange afternoon, indeed, as Tom Gorzelanny enters to pitch the top of the fifth.

2:37 p.m. -- Make it 5-0 as Gorzelanny gives up an RBI single to the ever-dangerous John Baker, who entered today's game with a .143 average and one RBI and now has two hits and three RBI in five innings.

2:40 p.m. -- Well there's something positive at last for the Nationals. Bryce Harper connects for his second homer in as many days, another solo shot to center field. That trims the lead to 5-1 in the bottom of the fifth.

3:01 p.m. -- Great chance for the Nats to get back in this game in the bottom of the sixth, with two on and one out. But Bernadina whiffed at a 3-2 curveball at his shoelaces, and Zimmerman then grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning. Some pretty poor at-bats there from Davey's Nos. 2 and 3 hitters. It remains 5-1 as we go to the seventh.

3:16 p.m. -- Credit to Gorzelanny, who has gone three innings and kept this game within reach for the Nationals. Even if they don't rally, the lefty long man has allowed Davey Johnson not to burn through his bullpen on a day when Strasburg only went four innings.

3:32 p.m. -- Not so much credit to Ryan Perry, who isn't doing his part to keep this game within reach. The right-hander allowed a leadoff double to the unstoppable Jeff Baker in the top of the eighth, then allowed an RBI single to the really unstoppable Will Venable. It's now 6-1 Padres, and Perry has now been scored upon in three of his four relief appearances with the Nationals.

3:42 p.m. -- Stephen Strasburg: Yanked after four innings. Anthony Bass: Still going strong after eight innings. Go figure.

3:49 p.m. -- We go to the bottom of the ninth, and here comes hard-throwing Andrew Cashner to close this out for the Padres. If you thought Henry Rodriguez had some serious heat, get a load of this guy.

4:00 p.m. -- It's over. The Nats fall 6-1 and are held to six or fewer hits for the 14th time in 36 games this season. Their record in those games, remarkably, is 7-7.

152 comments:

Chevy Chase Bob said...

Headley is two for two in catchers.

Kirbs said...

Here's to the Morris return in early June they talked about on tv yesterday. LET'S GO 37.

sm13 said...

Interesting that Davey is playing his full regular lineup today. He could have used today's day game after a night game to give starts to Tracey and Lombo, for example. But, he's in it to win it and keeping the A team on the field.

Wonder who today's closer will be? Henry has to get today off.

Faraz Shaikh said...

wow nice picture there, Mark.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Today would have been the perfect day to give Adam LaRoche a day off for Chad Tracy.

sm13, Davey said last night that Henry will get the day off.

Theophilus T. S. said...

Stammen probably not avail. today, also. So Plan A is for Strasburg to go 7 if not 8, finish w/ Clip, Mattheus and Burnett. Wouldn't be surprised to see match-up changes in the 9th.

A DC Wonk said...

Any ideas as to why we're first in the NL in doubles and last in triples?
Do we have a bunch of line-drive gap hitters who are slow-footed?


OTOH, we've seen Harper turn some singles into doubles!

Harper, in 15 games, is tied for second on the team with six doubles.

(Note: Stras has _three_ doubles! In 13 AB's)

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

No Henry, Jesus on the mound, skies clearing.

It's May 15, and we're in soul possession of first place?

What's not to like?

Darn right Davey's in it to win it. As I've said, when you're 69, there's no five-year plans.

Can I give my bourbon and Maalox a rest today, and get a 4-1 laugher?

Kirbs said...

Burnett has had a great year so far, and stammen has earned to fight for the closer spot.

A DC Wonk said...

So Plan A is for Strasburg to go 7 if not 8

In seven starts this year, Strasburg has gone 6 innings 5 times, and 7 innings twice.

Kirbs said...

Btw, did Ross's game yesterday force Davey to make Chen Ming to take his spot? He was lucky to not get the "L".

sm13 said...

We're also near the botom in stolen bases. And we do have some decent team speed - Desi, Espi, Roger, Bam Bam.

MicheleS said...

And for all of the belly aching about how Davey is saying Henry is my closer. I am fine with that. We saw last night he will pull him. i don't want davey showing no confidence in anyone. He has to keep the locker room. He might make a few pointed comments, but he isn't going to throw anyone under the bus in the media. That's a bad thing to do as a manager (See Boston, Philly, etc).

A DC Wonk said...

I would guess, since Burnett only threw six pitches last night . . . (Stamman threw 22 over two innings, I doubt it'd be him).

MicheleS said...

SJM308, from yesterday:
Very jealous about your trip. My parents took that trip a few years ago. They loved it. Enjoy the sites, excellent food, and good beverages (wine and beer choices will be amazing).

peric said...

sm13, Davey is still trying combinations. Due mostly to injuries. This one appears to be working and he definitely prefers fixed starting line ups. He's moved Ankiel to the bottom of the line up keeping current clutch Shark at the top. Harper is settling in to the lower stress #5 soon to be #6 when Morse returns. Low stress for Espy at #6 a d #7.

It's more about keeping an even keel to weather the adversity. I like it.

Don't worry about Limbo given the rash of injuries he will likely get at least 400 PA or more. He's the backup catcher as well. Limbo is definitely got a challenging role! As for Nady he needs to get better before Morse returns.

do1teach1 said...

I have a question for everyone:

In the May 2012 issue of Washingtonian magazine, I read a story saying the Post was increasing its Nats coverage and had hired James Wagner, a "sports-crazed local kid" to cover the Nats, in addition to Kilgore and Sheinen and Boswell.

In the print version and on the web, there's a big picture of Wagner standing in front of the centerfield gate.

Here's the link: http://www.washingtonian.com/blogs/capitalcomment/media/back-on-the-ball.php

But I don't think I've ever seen a story by James Wagner. Did the Post hire him or not?

Thanks to one and all.

whatsanattau said...

Why put the B team in the lineup when they can come of the bench and knock in some runs later.

peric said...

Wagner posts to the NJ blog you might miss his byline. Also some articles to give Kilgore a breather.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Doubtful on Stammen. Let's hope for 7 full for Stras today and then to Clip and Burnie

peric said...

It's the Shark versus the Arm for CF when Morse gets back. And Corey Brown us scalding in the lead off spot in Syracuse. 6 homers 7 doubles almost .400 OBP. Outfield looks well covered even with the injuries. Now catcher?

Have to wonder if Beasley likes Solano?

Steady Eddie said...

Actually, peric, your good discussion of the rationale for the current lineup got me thinking ... what would the lineup look like with all of the big guns we're going to get back this year (sadly not including Wilson, though I suspect once he gets on track, JFlo might hit for better average with less pop)?

What a fantasy to look forward to!

1 Desmond SS
2 Harper CF (just because you don't want his basepath energy down in the 7 slot, and you want him protected by RZim rather than pitched around)
3 Zimmerman 3B
4 LaRoche 1B
5 Morse LF
6 Werth RF
7 Espinosa 2B
8 Flores C

That's a lineup of a genuine playoff contender, and with our pitching can keep us around or in front of the Braves.

Mmmmmm.......
3

A DC Wonk said...

That's a lineup of a genuine playoff contender

If Morse can duplicate last year, and Werth can duplicate what he did in April . . . I think that's more than "just" a playoff contender. Throw back in Storen . . . that's a serious WS threat

Pass the kook-aide, please!

Ann Ominous said...

Wagner's writing looks a lot like Kilgore's. I had hopes it might be better, since Kilgore's writing leaves a lot to be desired. But alas, no. So it's easy to see how you might miss Wagner's byline.

whatsanattau said...

I believe Davey is on record as having said he's not a big SB guy. He believes the odds are better without the self help method.

I have noticed that the team is more likely to steal in less conventional situations and I believe he (or someone on the coaching staff *Porter*) is making the call on those. Keen observers will remember not only the steal of home, but steals on 3-0 counts, steals of third with less than two outs, the delayed steal attempt, double steals, etc... It's almost like they have a game plan going in to each series/game with some identified vulnerability of the other team. Perhaps further evidence of actual thoughtful management going on around here....

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

106.7 doing a day game?

NatsLady said...

Here is the info on CMW, from Kilgore.

Wang’s 30-day rehab period will end May 27. At that point, the Nationals will have to choose how Wang affects their rotation. The most likely solution would be moving fifth starter Ross Detwiler to the bullpen, but then Detwiler has a 2.10 ERA in six starts.

Keep in mind: The Nationals cannot trade Edwin Jackson or Wang without their consent until June 16 because they both signed as free agents this offseason.

NatsLady said...

Apparently. I have Charlie and Dave on right now.
_______________________________________
Manassas Nats' Fan said...
106.7 doing a day game?

sm13 said...

I forgot about lightening LaRoche stealing 2nd yesterday. Now that's unconventional

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

The Nationals cannot trade Edwin Jackson or Wang without their consent until June 16

OK, that's a distinction I missed heretofore. Big difference between "can't" and "can't unless they agree."

hokiepokster92 said...

Davey has already stated that H-Rod has today off after pitching the past 3 games. Johnson believes Henry was showing signs of fatigue last night, hence the extreme wildness. I also think it would do him good not to worry about pitching today.

Folks are so quick to dump the guy for his past 2 outings yet choose to ignore that he was unhittable on Saturday when he notched his 7th save. Yes, folks, he has saved 7 games this year!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Here is Mark's tweet that corrects what Davey said last night:

Officially, #Nats placed Leon on 15-day DL, transferred Ramos to 60-day DL to make room for Maldonado

Ann Ominous said...

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...
The Nationals cannot trade Edwin Jackson or Wang without their consent until June 16

OK, that's a distinction I missed heretofore. Big difference between "can't" and "can't unless they agree."


That's pretty much true of all no-trade provisions, be they contractual, 10-and-5, or whatever. The player is always free to waive them.

NatsLady said...

I like Burnett. Very thoughtful, insightful interview. Someone for "young relievers" to listen to.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Totally agree, NatsLady. Just heard Burnett's intv. with Charlie. He seems to have a complete understanding of what the needs of a closer are. He's my bet to be the closer if Grandpa Davey needs somebody today.

Off to Pilates class. Back by 3. Somebody get us a 5-run lead by then please.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

1 Desmond SS
2 Harper CF (just because you don't want his basepath energy down in the 7 slot, and you want him protected by RZim rather than pitched around)
3 Zimmerman 3B
4 LaRoche 1B
5 Morse LF
6 Werth RF
7 Espinosa 2B
8 Flores C

Steady Eddie, good job. That's how I would initially draw it up myself and possibly flip flop Beast and ALR once the Beast is unleashed with his power. Either way, it also keeps Harper and LaRoche tucked in between 2 righties.

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

So who's left in AA and AAA? Those teams have to be one injury away from calling Crash Davis by now.

JaneB said...

GYFNG!
And may Chase Headley go hitless. I'm just sayin.

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

Good point, Ann, thanks.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Davey "I like them all out there. Burnett if it lines up right...Gorzelanny my 1st guy out of the bullpen".

NatsLady said...

Davey one funny guy! Ready to sacrifice that chicken! OK--well, I guess he just heard about the idea.

Says Henry needs a mental day off "more than anything else." Very true. Henry needs to remember what he does right, not brood on the bad.

Steady Eddie said...

Steve M said it also keeps Harper and LaRoche tucked in between 2 righties.

Yup, that was my thinking too. With so much power from 2 to 6, that way the opposing manager has to burn a specialist reliever to pitch to one hitter only, and can't get a bigger matchup advantage by switching to an opposite-armed reliever from the starter.

Actually, with Espi at 7, against righties you've got alternating R-L top to bottom. Not that you would want to rearrange the order substantially just to get that, but it's an added benefit from a lineup placement that makes sense for each hitter in his own right.

Kirbs said...

This line-up gives me chills. Add the awesome arms as 9, and clip and drew. Wow, we may not need that second wildcard :-)

Doc said...

I think, but can't prove, that Davey generally subscribes to the Bill James sabermetric stat that says that baserunners should have at least a 66% record of stealing before he lets them try a swipe.

Beyond that, there have been lots of 'situational thefts' this year. So I think that Davey eyeballs the situation, more than anything. ALR stealing 2nd good example. His 7 steals in 11 years hardly qualifies him for the base burners' 66% Club.

MicheleS said...

What? FP Growing a playoff beard already?

jeffwx said...

From another blog:

We saw this happen to Joel Hanrahan when the Nats tried to make him a closer in 2009. Despite a strong showing in the pen early in the season, Hanrahan wilted under pressure when Washington made him their stopper. All he needed was a change of scenery though, as last season in Pittsburgh when given the opportunity again to close, the 30-year-old collected 40 saves and a 1.83 ERA.

NatsLady said...

Ok, that was unfortunate, but the no hitter is out.

jeffwx said...

If they don't hit em, you can't miss em

Theophilus T. S. said...

Nice start. Ought to be a way to charge all three of them w/ an error. Wish they would announce the results from the previous night's clubhouse kangaroo court.

Kirbs said...

Steven looks like Henry.........

jeffwx said...

Strasburg's got a case of the henrys.

UnkyD said...

Clearly, we have bad Stras, today. How long can Davey let him struggle like this!! What a lousy manager.....

A DC Wonk said...

Clearly, we have bad Stras, today. How long can Davey let him struggle like this!! What a lousy manager.....

yeah, why didn't they bring in Burnett already!

MicheleS said...

God.. can't believe they didn't yank stras during the rain delay ;-)

Mr Baseball said...

I feel Craig Stamman should be our closer. You want someone who can throw strikes. He has a good fast ball and a very nice slider.

In regard to Rodriquez, he needs to stop looking at the ground before he releases the ball. He should channel his focus on his catcher, then the catchers glove and upon release the pocket of the catchers glove. He also needs to take a deep breath between each pitch to relax himself.

Dave said...

Hey, could y'all do a little bit of play-by-play? I'm stuck in class (well, at lunch now), and I can't turn on the radio feed. All I can see us 1-0 Pads, 2 out, bases loaded.

Clearly something bad is happening.

Dave said...

All I can see IS 1-0 Pads, etc.

Fear and Ignorance said...

I am so glad everybody thinks losing is funny...hahahaha we are losing 3-0 to the worst team in baseball...let's make jokes about the fans who actually know this team can't afford to give away games.

SFNats said...

Send Stras to Syracuse when Wang comes back!

MicheleS said...

Dave. They dropped a pop up in the outfield, Stras stuggled a bit after that, rain delay, gave up a hit, now its 3-0

Dave said...

Who's joking about losing??? Not seeing it.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

3-0 Pads. Ugly 1st inning

SFNats said...

Fear, it's a 162-game season. Even the very best teams lose 60 games. It's a sogging morass in May, and it's only the first inning. Plenty left to go in this ballgame and in the season. It's okay.

David said...

Is Poopy in the house??

David said...

The way we've been swinging... I'm not too worried about spotting them 3 runs.

MicheleS said...

I guess you can't have a sense of humor and be a "True" Baseball fan. Geesh. Some people need humor to get through the season, rather than develop ulcers.

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

Was it Ron Luciano who liked to get Earl Weaver worked up to just the right head of steam, and then send him over the edge with "But Earl--it's only a game!"

dhall88 said...

The Nats don't like getting sweeps and they can't stand winning the final game of a series. I feel like we almost always lose that one. Unfortunately we have a couple 2 game series this week so could be tough.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

6 pitches by Bass. That gave Stras with a nice breather.

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

I see the Harper war-paint that wasn't going to be tolerated in the bigs is getting a test today. Really, he doesn't look much worse than, say, Cody Ross.

Section 222 said...

+1 Fear. I'm all for humor, but it seems like these comments are directed at the fans who thought H-Rod should be pulled on Sunday before giving up the game winning home run, and yesterday as well. So the question to Unkyd, DC Wonk, and anyone else yucking it up, do you disagree with Davey's move last night? After all, Burnett closed the door, and we won the game.

Although H-Rod got booed a bit as he left the geame, it was alot better than what he would have endured if he had given up another game-losing grand slam.

Let's hope the bats come up big today and we never have to find out who Davey will use as the closer since H-Rod isn't available. Unfortunately, we're in a hole already.

SCNatsFan said...

well at least Espi didnt strike out

Faraz Shaikh said...

I was expecting the score to be other way around.

MicheleS said...

222.. totally agree with Davey's move to pull Henry. He has to win games. Just don't like some of the vitriol that gets posted here about dumping guys at the first sign of a bad day. You can't win 162 which is what some posters demand.

baseballswami said...

Here's my take on things as of today: let's get all the injuries out of the way early ( a full seasons worth if you ask me) let's let every pitcher have "that game" and get it out of the way. Let's get the "I didn't communicate in the outfield" out of the way and the revolving door in the outfield and at catcher. Let's get the annihilated saves out of the way. Then -- very , very soon - let's get some people back and start building things up. So every time something weird, silly , just plain awful happens then we just look at it as another thing out of the way - done, over. Here's to the Second Half!!!! But first we need to hang on for dear life just to get there.

Les_in_NC said...

Looks like Anthony Bass will throw a no-hitter today.

TimDz said...

I'm not seeing any updates...
Strass getting lit up in the third?
Rain again?

I hate day games while I am at the office....

A DC Wonk said...

Re: humor

Agree with most of the above. I'm not into being sad or angry with or about anything. (I mean, sometimes it happens, but I'd prefer not). So, I'm as happy as anybody when the Nats win, and I try to adopt an attitude of "tomorrow's another day, let's get 'em tomorrow" when they lose. Because, even the best teams will lose 60 games or so, and life's too short to get overly angry an extra 60 times in a year.

That's why I don't boo players (unless someone has been obviously mean -- like when Hamels threw at Harper -- or lazy (some of our own nightmares from the past))

Furthermore, the Nats have shown that being down 3-0 does not translate to an automatic loss.

But when Stras gives up three in the third -- the choices are: try to laugh it off with "nobody's perfect", or to get pissed or bummed about it. I'll try for the former.

MicheleS said...

TimDZ.. stras's first inning was the worst. see above.. Gave up a dinger in the 3rd. But the bats are dead and they are being No Hit by Bass

SCNatsFan said...

I am confident we will get a hit today and the sky is not falling despite the SS effort today

Faraz Shaikh said...

a cycle and a no-hitter? I hope not.

A DC Wonk said...

222 wrote:

I'm all for humor, but it seems like these comments are directed at the fans who thought H-Rod should be pulled on Sunday before giving up the game winning home run, and yesterday as well. So the question to Unkyd, DC Wonk, and anyone else yucking it up, do you disagree with Davey's move last night? After all, Burnett closed the door, and we won the game.

Good comments, 222.

I agreed with both of Davey's decisions (leaving him in on Sunday, and taking him out last night). What I was gently poking fun at was those who think that *every time* Henry walks a guy he should be yanked immediately.

Faraz Shaikh said...

I think it is time for rain to come.

A DC Wonk said...

I am confident we will get a hit today and the sky is not falling despite the SS effort today

Or, perhaps pray for the sky to fall before the fifth inning (or, rather, "open up" as in "torrential rains" to call the game, and get a do-over later in the season? ;-)

Les_in_NC said...

Now it looks like Venable will have a good chance for the cycle today. When is the last time someone hit for the cycle and (someone else) pitched a no hitter in the same game?

A DC Wonk said...

baseballswami said...

Here's my take on things as of today: let's get all the injuries out of the way early ( a full seasons worth if you ask me) let's let every pitcher have "that game" and get it out of the way. Let's get the "I didn't communicate in the outfield" out of the way and the revolving door in the outfield and at catcher. Let's get the annihilated saves out of the way. Then -- very , very soon - let's get some people back and start building things up. So every time something weird, silly , just plain awful happens then we just look at it as another thing out of the way - done, over. Here's to the Second Half!!!! But first we need to hang on for dear life just to get there.


Hear hear!

Also add: get all the "learning the hard way" out of the way, too. In other words -- those mistakes being made are OK for now if the players learn from them so as to eliminate most of them in the second half.

But first we need to hang on for dear life just to get there.

True that. And despite all the adversity -- first place in the middle of May is not a bad place to be while we're hanging on for dear life.

Fear and Ignorance said...

222-With you 100%. Seems like half of the posters on here are ready to throw this team a parade because they are off to a decent start through May 15th. How dare we criticize anybody. This team has to take advantage of every opportunity to even have a chance at the playoffs. The schedule is about to get very tough, and one bad week and they could be in last place in the NL East before we can blink an eye.

MicheleS said...

222 also, on humor, if we were in last place I am sure some of us would be just as grouchy and complaining, but we are in First. And I for one am going to enjoy this.

Wonk/Swammi.. hear hear!!!!

baseballswami said...

Who is the team playing the Padres today? It sure doesn't sound like my Nats! Perhaps a few things are catching up with them today. DCWonk - agreed on your amendment to things that need to happen and then go away - the learning things the hard way. Don't try to beat a wall with a bat? Check! Desi got a hit so that's over. How about a hitting barrage sometime soon! The bats have been very hot lately. But - sometimes crappy games happens. As long as they leave it behind when tomorrow comes.

SFNats said...

The baseball season is way too long to get overly emotionally invested in every single win or loss. Or, in this case, every single bad inning. I'm sorry, but if being a fan isn't fun, then it's probably a good idea to go do something else. For your health.

Stras will likely have 1-2 bad starts a year. This looks like one of them. It's part of the game. Hopefully, the bats will wake up and get 'em back for him. If not, we've got the Pirates tomorrow and the O's this weekend.

Les_in_NC said...

Mark must have realized early that this game wasn't going to be worth watching and went home early....

*sarcasm*

JD said...

Fear,

You can criticize whomever you want whenever you want. It won't change the fact that SS is gonna have off days just like everyone else and will every other pitcher. The Pads won't go 0-162 either.

Stuff happens,

JD said...

SF,

Stras is likely to have more than 1 - 2 bad starts this year.

baseballswami said...

This is SS's first full major league season.And he has been put in the number one slot. Yes, he is going to have bad days. Halladay gave up 8 runs in a recent game and people consider him to be a pitching god.

JD said...

Swami,

Exactly.

MicheleS said...

BAM BAM.. Does it again!!!!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

There you go BHarp!

SFNats said...

Harper again? Wow! The kid's on a roll.

baseballswami said...

Bam Bam with another homer!!! We've got them right where we want them!!!

Fear and Ignorance said...

Finally got a run off the guy from 'N Sync. How is that for some humor???

SFNats said...

Hey, JD, I was being optimistic LOL

But it's true, even the very best don't have their best stuff every day. It happens and you just have to roll with it. As much as we'd like to see him throw a no-hitter every time out.

A DC Wonk said...

Bryce single handedly stops the shut-out!

Maybe _he's_ heating up, too?!

MicheleS said...

F&I.. that was a good one! I wish it was the guy from N Snyc on the mound!!!

JD said...

Finally retired Babe Ruth,

NatsJack in Florida said...

From the majority of your comments, I just figured you actually thought the singer from N'Sync was pitching.

A DC Wonk said...

Seems like half of the posters on here are ready to throw this team a parade because they are off to a decent start through May 15th.

Count me guilty, dude. And, excuse me: a "decent" start? Let's review, shall we:

Past the 1/5 mark of the season:

1. First place in the NL East (which might be the toughest division in the NL, jury's still out on that)

2. Just 1-1/2 game off the best record in all of MLB

3. All this without a single at bat yet from their best hitter (Morse) and a single inning yet from their best reliever (Storen), and with injuries to Werth, Lidge, & Wang. And and RZimm missing a bit, and now Ramos will be out months, perhaps the rest of the season.

And all this with one of the youngest and most inexperienced pitching staffs in the majors, relying on 22, 23, and 24-year olds and a pretty darn young batting line up, too (relying on a significant contribution from a teenager).

That is P.F.B. if you ask me.

That's accomplishing a huckuva lot.

No, they haven't earned a world series parade yet -- but they've earned the respect of MLB. And all they need to do is keep playing as well as they've been, then when the reinforcements come back (Werth, Storen, and Morse), they might be a tremendous team.

And all that even without drinking any stinkin' kool-aide. Them's just the plane ole' facts.

Fear and Ignorance said...

Bazinga...NatsJack. That was a good one!!! Nats Woo!!! Nats Woo!!! Nats Woo!!! Are you in full uniform today down there in Florida???

NatsJack in Florida said...

Now that was humor.

A DC Wonk said...

... and Gorzo keeps his 1.000 batting average going! ;-)

Les_in_NC said...

the Shark needs to bunt Gorz and Des over here...

MicheleS said...

Well that was frustrating!

Les_in_NC said...

*sigh*

Fear and Ignorance said...

DC Wonk-They have yet to play the best 4 teams on their schedule and that is 30 games against the Braves, Yankees, Cardinals, and Rays. Not to mention a series in Fenway and Toronto and 6 vs. 1st place Orioles. The Nats are about where most of us thought they would be at this point considering the easy schedule. We also now have a light-hitting Kevin Seitzer hitting in the 3 hole.

Faraz Shaikh said...

agreed with Les. I thought Bernie should have bunted, but then again he has been hot lately.

why is no one complaining about Zimm? I mean some of us are very quick to behead Danny, Steve, etc. What about RZ who has been struggling all season long?

Faraz Shaikh said...

LOL F&I, you are willing to consider Orioles a first place team but not the Nationals. Very funny.

baseballswami said...

Looks like the hitters are taking the day off - an imaginary rain out? :)

SCNatsFan said...

Faraz I complain about Espi - who just K'd again - because I think he was rushed to the majors and pitchers have figured him out. Zimm I know will produce. There is a difference between a slump and being overmatched.

MicheleS said...

On a positive note. We don't have to face the Rangers. The O's certainly got taken to the wood shed by them. I am actually looking forward to the series with the Rays/Jays since they seem to be built similarly to the Nats.

I am wondering about the Braves though. They did beat the Cards, but still am suprised by the hitting on that team. Seems like Hayward is turning it around and freeman is developing. And Chipper is looking well..Like Chipper.

Bigfish said...

Every time RZimm comes up with a man on first & less than 2 outs, I cringe. He seems to hit into a lot more than his share of DP's. Any stats on that?

baseballswami said...

I have been hard on Gorzelanny but he is doing this team a great service today.

MicheleS said...

And the mop up guy is up in the pen

baseballswami said...

Oh - and bigfish -- I have been wondering about RZ myself - pretty light-hitting. No homers. Think the shoulder is still weak?

Fear and Ignorance said...

FS-I never said the Orioles were going to stay in 1st place. They are not, but they are rivals and those games are not easy to win. And BTW, you were the one who laughed at me last week when I said Zimmerman is a #6 hitter at best right now, and has been for a long time now.

Faraz Shaikh said...

my post wasn't meant to you SCNatsFan.

Faraz Shaikh said...

thanks for the reminder. I still laugh at that thought.

what I meant by my earlier post on RZ was that some posters are so eager to single out struggling players but they haven't done that to RZ on the same level. I am not saying Zimm sucks or he is a #6 hitter.

A DC Wonk said...

The Nats are about where most of us thought they would be at this point considering the easy schedule.

Huh? Most of thought they'd have close to the best record in baseball, at this point, with Morse and Storen out?!?

Show me who called that one.

(I wanna ask him/her for some stock tips)

NatsJack in Florida said...

Ryan Perry..... The Nats equivalent to a towel.

Les_in_NC said...

BigFish,

Zimm has hit into 4 GDPs so far this season. Looks like he averages about 18 in his 6 full seasons in the bigs. I didn't take the time to see where he stands against other major league third basemen, but, to me, that is a lot.

Faraz Shaikh said...

about time we make a comeback.

Section 222 said...

Let's not forget that Zim just got back in the lineup a week ago after being out for 13 games. I think he's hitting the ball hard, and just needs a little more time before he's back to full strength. Zim has always hit into alot of DPs, mostly because (1) he bats third, which puts him up with a guy on 1st a fair amount, and (2) he hits the ball hard which gives plenty of time to turn 2 if he hits a groundball right at someone.

JD said...

Wonk,

Fear is not completely off base with his comments. With all of the injuries there is cause for concern however it's not reasonable to expect the team to go 5-0 against the Pads; you just have to keep winning series as long as possible.

Unknown said...

Wha happened to our "lights out" pitching staff?!?! Can't afford to blow too many games like this to bottom-feeding teams like the Pods!

JD said...

Fear,

Zim will start to hit if he stays healthy. He is also being pitched to very carefully. If LaRoche, Harper and eventually Morse keep hitting he will start to see some pitches.

do1teach1 said...

I would love for one of our stats experts to tell me something about Zimmerman: How does he compare with the rest of MLB in terms of reaching 0-1, 0-2, and 1-2 counts?

I want to test my hypothesis, that RZ gets in a greater percentage of 0-1, 0-2, and especially 1-2 counts than any position player in baseball.

Eugene in Oregon said...

On the Ryan Zimmerman double-play question: About three weeks ago someone asked the same question. I reviewed the career stats for several players that I consider roughly comparable to Mr. Zimmerman, including Troy Tulowitzki, David Wright, Evan Longoria, Pablo Sandoval, and Andre Beltre. I didn't save the data (posted it here, but I don't recall the date), but the numbers suggested that Mr. Zimmerman was about the same as Mr. Tulowitzki in terms of the percentage of his at-bats that resulted in a GIDP. And it's a very tiny percentage. Messrs. Zimmerman and Tulowitzki were fractionally worse than the others, but it was nothing significant.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Bass looks like Cy Young

MicheleS said...

On a good note.. The Stros just tied it up in the 9th vs the Phillies. I am sure Phillie fans are ready to tear down Nats Park North.

JD said...

Steve,

Venable and Baker look like Mantle and Marris.

JD said...

Here we go. 6 run rally is about to start.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

From that leadoff miscue, Strasburg let it get the better of him. JD, yep. Plus Nats batters masqueraded as the Padres

A DC Wonk said...

DP question:

as noted above -- guys who hit it hard, who get a lot of at bats and bat somewhat high in the order (where guys are often on base), and aren't noted particularly for speed, will often be among the league leaders in HIDP's.

So, e.g., last year, Pujols and Votto were among the leaders (as was Wilson Ramos!) See, e.g., http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/NL/2011-batting-leaders.shtml

SCNatsFan said...

RE : Bass looks like Cy Young

Just the latest in the long line of guys who can look this way against the Nats. Thankfully Cy is on the hill for us a bunch.

Fear and Ignorance said...

Zimmerman has now hit just 4 HR and 24 RBI's in his last 260 AB's. With Werth, Morse, and Ramos out, it is really time for him to step up and earn that 9 figure contract. All those years he kept asking for a competitive team...well, he is on one now and not doing much to help. I know he has been hurt, but he is making a lot of money to hit one HR every 65 AB's.

Mr. Doggett said...

This is one reason why I think Gio will be my favorite Nat of all time at some point someday....

http://washington.cbslocal.com/2012/05/15/holden-and-danny-gio-gonzalez-drops-samsonite-reference-in-pre-game-interview/#.T7Kz-hKrEc0.twitter

NatsJack in Florida said...

Wonk...I was going to mention that Pujols/Votto tidbit.

People just over think this stuff way too much.

NatsLady said...

Ghost, yes he did. He's afraid he's tipping pitches I guess with a man on 2nd. Also can we charge the 2nd two runs to the ump for not stopping the game sooner?

Faraz Shaikh said...

some serious heat and Harper couldn't catch up to it. oh well, there is tomorrow.

Section 222 said...

More info on RZ and DPs. The career DP leaders are listed here. The all time leader is Cal Ripken, Jr. with 350 GIDPs in 21 seasons or 16.67 per season. The top 20 includes: 3. Hank Aaron (14.26), 4. Carl Yastrzemski (14.04), 6. Jim Rice (19.68) 13. Joe Torre (15.78) 16. Roberto Clemente (15.27) and 19. Frank Robinson (12.85). Pujols is already at No. 40 and has hit into 19.67 DPs per year. Lots of No. 3 hitters, and Hall of Famers in that group.

In Zim's 6 full seasons (not counting 2005 and this year) he hit into 17.5 DPs per year.

SFNats said...

How long before the "Bench Zimmerman for Lombardozzi" party gets into full swing?

baseballswami said...

Anyone else worried about Gio for tomorrow's game? Last game he was definitely having problems with his hands - things have been very quiet about that. He really needs that great big curve ball. Gutty performance the last start with all fast balls but that won't fly every time. Hoping he is ok. Seems like all of our pitchers are confronting their strike zone mortality recently. They were bound to fall back to earth. It happens.

mick said...

One of those games, however Zim's DP really sucked!!

Bigfish said...

Thanks, folks, for all the RZ/DP info. It helps put things into perspective. I still cringe, tho ;-)

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