Sunday, May 20, 2012

Game 41: Orioles at Nats

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nats try to avoid a disheartening sweep against the Orioles this afternoon.
Remember all those close games the Nationals were winning? Yeah, not so much anymore. In dropping the first two games of this series to the Orioles by scores of 2-1 and 6-5, the Nats have lost their first two one-run games at home this season. They had been 8-0 at Nationals Park. Overall, they've gone 4-7 in their last 11 one-run contests after opening the season 6-1 in those ultra-close ballgames.

If they are to reverse that trend today (and salvage one game from this Battle of the Beltways series) they'll both need Stephen Strasburg to bounce back from his shaky start against the Padres -- here's guessing he avoids all ointments, creams and other topical medications this morning -- and their lineup to produce early against Orioles left-hander Wie-Yin Chen.

Not wanting to tinker too much with the reconfigured lineup he used last night, Davey Johnson is sticking with his second baseman as his leadoff man. That man, however, is not Steve Lombardozzi as it was last night but Danny Espinosa, who returns after getting one night off. Though he hasn't done it yet this year, Espinosa has led off 38 times in his career ... producing a .162 average and .235 on-base percentage.

Plenty of updates to come, so please check back...

BALTIMORE ORIOLES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 1:35 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MASN2, Ch. 50, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WWXT (92.7 FM), WWXX (94.3 FM), WTEM (980 AM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 184
Weather: Partly cloudy, 79 degrees, Wind 14 mph in from CF
NATIONALS (23-17)
2B Danny Espinosa
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
RF Xavier Nady
LF Tyler Moore
C Jesus Flores
RHP Stephen Strasburg

ORIOLES (27-14)
LF Xavier Avery
SS J.J. Hardy
RF Nick Markakis
CF Adam Jones
3B Wilson Betemit
1B Chris Davis
2B Robert Andino
C Luis Exposito
LHP Wie-Yin Chen

UMPIRES
HP Rob Drake, 1B Joe West (cc), 2B Sam Holbrook, 3B Andy Fletcher

1:37 p.m. -- We are underway as Stephen Strasburg's frst pitch (a 96 mph fastball) gets a piece of plate ump Rob Drake. Kind of an odd way to start things. Looks like it'll be another overflow crowd here today. They're again selling standing room only tickets.

1:45 p.m. -- Another rough top of the first for Strasburg. The Orioles' first three batters all hit the ball hard. Avery singled to left, then took second on J.J. Hardy's flyout to deep center field, then scored on Nick Markakis' solid single to right. Strasburg did prevent any more damage by breaking Adam Jones' bat on a 5-4-3 double play, but otherwise looked quite shaky out there as the Orioles take an early 1-0 lead.

1:58 p.m. -- Well, this may not come as a surprise to some of you, but Danny Espinosa struck out to open the bottom of the first. On three pitches. Swinging at the last two. Not good. On a more positive note, Ryan Zimmerman beat out a chopper off the mound that went toward third base for an infield single. And Adam LaRoche drew a walk. That set the stage for Ian Desmond, who gave a Chen pitch a ride to deep left-center, only to watch as Avery caught it at the warning track. Gonna be tough to hit one out today with a pretty strong wind blowing straight in. After one, the Nats are trailing 1-0.

2:14 p.m. -- Did the Nationals show up to play today? It certainly doesn't look like it in the very early going. They already trail 3-0 thanks to a pair of unearned runs in the top of the second. It began with Bryce Harper racing way over to left field to call off Tyler Moore on a routine fly ball ... and then dropping it. No reason for Harper to go all the way over there and call off his teammate. Adam LaRoche then was slow to field a roller to him (with his underhand feed to Strasburg a tad late). After walking the No. 8 hitter, Strasburg then threw a fastball that went right off Jesus Flores' glove for a passed ball. That put Chris Davis in position to score on Avery's base hit to left. Quite a fiasco here so far, with Strasburg having already thrown 51 pitches through two laborious innings.

2:45 p.m. -- That's a little more like it, huh? Strasburg finally decided to take matters into his own hands. He retired the side in the top of the third, striking out Jones and Betemit, then led off the bottom of the inning with a single to right. Espinosa (who tried to bunt on the first pitch he saw, then again fell behind 0-2) bounced back and roped a double down the third-base line. That set the stage for Harper, who atoned for his earlier error by drilling a 3-2 curveball to right, just out of the reach of a diving Markakis. The most impressive thing about that hit: Harper managed to make a mid-swing adjustment once he realized Chen's pitch was a 69 mph curveball, staying back enough to make solid contact. So that scored two runs. And then Desmond showed some nice hustle to avoid an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play and instead allow another run to score on the fielder's choice. So just like that, it's now a 3-3 game after three.

2:55 p.m. -- Strasburg is taking back control of this game. He's now retired seven straight, five via strikeout. He's got six total strikeouts through four innings. Still 3-3 as Xavier Nady leads off the bottom of the fourth.

3:05 p.m. -- Talk about taking back control of the game! Stephen Strasburg just homered. Yes, homered. Seconds after Jesus Flores did the same thing. Strasburg belted a curveball from Chen into the left-field bullpen, then took about three minutes to round the bases as the crowd roared. Those fans wouldn't stop roaring until he came back up the dugout steps and took a curtain call. Just an electric moment here, not the least of which because it put the Nats up 5-3 in the fourth.

3:10 p.m. -- Meanwhile, back on the mound, Strasburg has retired 10 in a row, seven on strikeouts. You don't want to get this guy angry.

3:27 p.m. -- Ian Desmond delivers again after Adam LaRoche was walked again (third time today). That makes it 6-3 after five, and Davey decides not to take any chances and pulls Strasburg. His final line: 5 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 1 HR (that he hit, not allowed). He threw 90 pitches. Could he have come back out for the sixth? Sure. But considering Davey isn't letting him go much past the 100-pitch mark, he probably would've been pulled if he put one man on base. So instead Tom Gorzelanny will start the sixth inning with a clean slate.

3:42 p.m. -- Pretty quick sixth inning as both Gorzelanny and Darren O'Day cruise. Gorzelanny's back out for the seventh, the Nats still leading 6-3.

3:51 p.m. -- Strasburg and Gorzelanny had combined to retire 15 in a row until Exposito walked in the seventh. Still, nice job shutting down the Orioles lineup after that fast start. We've reached the seventh-inning stretch.

4:10 p.m. -- Tyler Clippard picks up right where Gorzelanny left off, retiring the side in the eighth. The Orioles don't have a hit since Avery's RBI single in the second. Straburg, Gorzelanny and Clippard have combined to retire 19 of the last 20. Still 6-3 in the bottom of the eighth as Henry Rodriguez warms in the pen.

4:15 p.m. -- Espinosa puts the cherry on top of today's sundae. A two-run homer into the Red Porch puts the Nats up 8-3 in the bottom of the eighth. Ryan Mattheus now warming for the non-save situation.

4:35 p.m. -- It's over. The Nats get a much-needed, 9-3 victory over the Orioles to avoid the series sweep. Strasburg improves to 4-1, but who cares about his pitching performance? How 'bout that homer!

221 comments:

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«Oldest ‹Older 1 – 200 of 221 Newer› Newest»
JaneB said...

I'm not the manager. I'm not the manager. I have to keep telling myself that. Because I really thought we'd see Lombo again.

JT said...

I just don't get the Espinosa love. He came up from the minors and was on fire. The league adjusted to him and he has yet to make the readjustment. What must Lombardozzi do to get an extended look? Patience and loyalty only go so far and to that point, now is far enough.

Jim Webster said...

Off to Section 313 to watch 'em avoid the sweep and start a new winning streak. My daughter brings the right karma.

Joe Seamhead said...

I give support to Davey almost to a fault, but I really don't like this move. Maybe he figures that Danny won't srand so many runners from the leadoff spot. At this point I think Espy needs to sit. I can only hope that Johnson proves us wrong.

Joe Seamhead said...

I meant to say that maybe Danny won't strand so many runners.

jeffwx said...

Poor Davey, needs to put Espy in positions to fail so that Espy can work himself out of the lineup

Doc said...

I think that Strasie should make a positive out of the ointment debacle.

Both The Babe and Reggie had their candy bars.

SS could have "Preparation S"---works faster than a speeding baseball!

Seems like such a marketing campaign would be up agent Borass's alley--per se.

Joe Seamhead said...

BTW_ So nice to see Brian Goodwin playing again, and doing well, in Hagerstown. Also Cutter Dykstra in hitting .330 and now playing 2B. Look out, Danny Espinosa!

A DC Wonk said...

I'm off to Sec 406, row B . . . wearing a blue Nats shirt.

BTW, while we're criticizing Espi leading off, let's not over look that Moore is going to get a shot today. Looking forward . . . (although I hear this Chen kid is pretty good ;-)

A DC Wonk said...

>Also Cutter Dykstra in hitting .330 and now playing 2B

(There sure was a lot of Cutter-hate last year -- I never did understand why)

Doc said...

One game on the bench is not enough for Espi.

I know he's a digger, but I think he needs a break from the daily routine.

I still believe in Espi's potential, but Mini Z is handling 2nd, and doing OK in leadoff.

Swift Eagle said...

I like this idea. Having Danny lead off may get him to cut down his swing a little. I understand why so many want to see Lombo, but I still think Espi is the far superior player, patience is a must

A DC Wonk said...

If mini-Z keeps it up, I'm sure we'll see a lot more of him. Remember, we still have over 3/4 of the season still to play.

terpman33 said...

Well, we've lost 3 straight, but as long as we don't lose 4 or more, we'll be fine. Looking for Straus to win us the game today. GYFNG!

NatsFanJim said...

I have never seen a manager so afraid to do the right thing with his lineup -- that, or Davey is an uber-dolt.

Batting Espi leadoff is a collosal joke. He leads the bigs in k's, has a micro mini oba. and he is not hitting. He is the quintessential number 8 hitter. What is it that Davey doesnt get? Does Davey make a declaration: "You are my guy" and then won't allow reality to respond: "Ah, but you are wrong, Davey." Is Davey headstrong, ignorant, a great managerial pretender?

More bizarre is this: Lombo is sitting the bench with a .400 plus Oba -- Lombo produces in the leadoff spot yesterday -- does Davey think that by osmosis that Espi should bat 1st as well? Does Davey truly think that since Espi "is better" than lombo that he should give Espi the chance to 'better" Lombo's leadoff performance in order to 1. help Espi 2. justify Davey's declaration that Espi is his guy 3. to help Espi somehow showup Lombo's performance to solidify Davey's opinion of Espi?

I just dont get Johnson. He is not performing well for this team and is beginning to cause them games.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Derek .......you and I are in agreement but a stint to AAA ala Gabby Samchez (who I consider an even better player) for Espi may be in order. I mean, if the Fish are willing to play Logan Morrison and Austin (is that my belt buckle I'm lookin' at?) Kearns at first for two weeks, the Nats could certainly afford to play Lombo at second.

Drew said...

Golly, this has to be frustrating for Lombo. He goes 2 for 5 and battles deep in the count in his fifth at bat, missing a third knock as the other guys make a fine play.

He's getting on base at a .400 clip and he's playing good defense. What more does he have to do?

Well, in the words of that great scout, Anthony Michael Hall, let's hope the weird science works out.

Swift Eagle said...

Jack...that makes sense, I think Boston did that with Pedroia back in the day.

If Espi goes to Syc,and Lombo starts, who is the back-up middle infielder?

NatsFanJim said...

Espi or Lombo: Who should lead off? Who should play at all?

avg oba slg ops K's per at bat
Lombo .324 .400 .394 .794 1/16.6
espi .207 .291 .307 .598 1/3

Uh Davey ... hello?

whatsanattau said...

I wonder if there is an expiration date in Davey and Mike Rizzo's head for Danny. Perhaps they have committed to such a date to give him a chance. He's such a valuable asset if he gets it together - in terms of performance, money, and trade value. Give up to soon and you squander it.

Swift Eagle said...

I'll side with Davey's track record over stats from 40 games...

Do you Stats Guys also think LaRoche is a better 1B than Albert and Prince? The 40 game Stats say he is...

NatsFanJim said...

The question should be: How best can the team win today? Not, let's be patient with the underperforming player; he might be good one day.

Lombo gives the team a better chance to win than does Espinosa -- baseball is a game of statistics like no other sport. You have to play the percentages.

Even in the minors, Lombo outhit espinosa in nearly every category -- 20 plus points higher in avg alone.

You have to play the better or hotter player. That's how teams get to the playoffs. I guess Davey learned little from the little genius, Early Weaver, who played the percentages and won like no other --

Swift Eagle said...

Good points Jim, but if Earl had a 25 year old 2B who hit 20 HRs as a rookie, he would NEVER bench him!

Nobody loved the long ball as much as Earl

Drew said...

Anthony Michael Hall's Weird Science produced Kelly LeBrock.

I just hope Davey's produces Lou Brock.

NatsFanJim said...

Swift: Davey's track record? He has a team on the verge of free-fall and is purposely making moves that are not helping.

Davey couldnt win a pennant with the O's when they had one of the best teams on the planet.
Davey won a world series because a first baseman misjudged a little hop.

And ... Davey did not outmanage Riggleman with last year's Nats.

And .. the reason for our great start was simply pitching. Not Davey's doing at all.

Now that the pitching is returning to earth, it's Davey's job to keep pace -- he 'aint.'

I am not overly impressed with Davey's track record. Riggleman was easily his equal.

NatsFanJim said...

Swift: You are so right about Earl -- but even Earl would ask: What have you done for me lately? And Espi can only answer that question with his head hung low. Nope, Earl would have benched him, shipped him out for more seasoning, or fixed his loopy swing. My bet is that Earl would have fixed his swing.

Section 135 said...

Riggleman is his equal. You're insane. Stop posting on this site if you're gonna say such nonsense. Stop trying to manage from your mom's basement. Either cheer for this team or not. I'm sick of all the negativity. So we lost 2 close games to a good team. The Nats are what they are. Without Morse and Werth, they are a 0.500 team playing above their level based on great pitching.

Swift Eagle said...

Fair enough. My opinion is that Espi has all-star potential, and soph slumps likes this are very common. I agree that a trip to AAA wouldn't hurt him at all, but I'd prefer to just ride it out

As for DJ v Riggleman...I think every MLB GM would choose DJ, but everyone's entitled to their opinion

NatsFanJim said...

Whatsanat: True, but unless somebody, somewhere, somehow, can fix that extreme loop in Espi's swing -- and get him to be more selective (hard to teach) he is never going to reach any 'potential' that some think that he has. He didnt hit much in the minors -- and he isnt hitting much in the Bigs. He had a great 2 months when pitchers didnt know him. Well, they do now, dont they?

NatsFanJim said...

Swift: I celebrated when Riggs "retired.' I hooted and hollered that we had Davey coming on. then I saw an american league type manager who disdained small bunt, didnt like to steal, and was devoid of any imagination. I watched how Riggs w/l record was better than Davey's until the last 10 days, when we faced teams who werent playing all out and resting star players.
I liked how Riggs handled the bull pen. I dont like how Davey handles it. I used to like Rigg's lineup (they made perfect sense). I dont like Davey's and sometimes they make no sense at all.

I really hate to admit it, especially in public, that Riggs is Davey's equal at managing -- a very politically incorrect thing to say -- but I'm saying it and sticking by it.

NatsFanJim said...

section 135: We are talking baseball -- not posting insults on an internet chat room.

If you are unable to discuss the ups and downs of the game and OUR team, then maybe you aren't emotionally stable enough to be posting here.

I will continue to post here; I suggest you get a grip on yourself

Lets talk baseball -- not hurl insults.

John said...

Warren Morris, anyone?

PChuck said...

Espinosa leading off is the precisely the reason why I don't like Davey Johnson as manager of this team.

sm13 said...

I'm going to boldly say, I hope this works for Danny and the team. Davey deserves the benefit of the doubt. Today's game is big for the Nats- we don't want to head up to Philly in a tailspin.

Go Nats! Go Stras!

NatsFanJim said...

Section 135: reminder: Riggs had this team .500 baseball with Lannan as his #1 pitcher -- Livo #2. Davey has the luxury of a superlative starting rotation, strong 1 through 5.

Yep, Riggs did a phenomenal job and doesnt much credit for it.

hiramhover said...

Forgive me if someone mentioned this, but it's worth remembering -

Chen is LH, and Davey is playing the match-ups--rather than the LH Lombo, he's going with the switch hitting Espi, who is better as a righty than a lefty--this year, he's batting .240/.367/.280 from the right side.

hiramhover said...

Excuse the brain fart - of course Lombo is a switch hitter too. But Danny does bat better from the right side than Lombo does, in the small # of chances both have had this season.

Exposremains said...

I'm gonna start to root for flu-like symptoms for espinosa so we can see Lombo for a few days in there.

NatsFanJim said...

Hiram: good point. I guess we'll see if .240/.367/.280 (yikes) is up to Chen. Ought to interesting. I hope Espi tears it up!!

PChuck said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Swift Eagle said...

Lombo's 40 game stats are better than Zimm's too, should he be starting at 3rd?

His 40 game numbers are better than Pedroia's, think Boston would do a straight up trade?

He's started maybe 20 games... not quite ready for Cooperstown yet. Stats after 40 games don't mean much

phil dunton said...

Johnson must have a death wish--having Espinosa in the
lineup and then batting him leadoff. His OBP is barely above the Mendosa line. The more I see of Johnson, the more I question his mental state. Has dementia set in?

NatsFanJim said...

Swift: I think the Espi vs. Lombo discussion just boils down to let's play the hottest player. Let's compare apples to apples. We arent comparing Lombo to established stars, we are comparing him to Espi --

These guys are both brand new young players; and thus far, the 40 game sample has Lombo superior. Not rocket science. I dont understand the abject loyalty to a player who is killing the team at the plate.

whatsanattau said...

OK, OK, we get it. You don't like Davey and you think Riggleman was better. Just be aware that puts you in the extreme far side of the debate.

Davey has five decades of success in major league baseball. And I believe is the most successful active manager in baseball. And you're not.

Next.

NatsFanJim said...

haha or course not. But we are comparing one rookie to a one year player -- not established vets to rookies.

I think the Lombo fans only want the team to play the hot player (lombo) until HE proves can't do it. Thus far, all we see is an insistence on playing a player who is not getting it done and a bench role for the hot player.

I dont get the blind loyalty to a player who hasnt hit since July of '11. Potential? Sure, espi's got potential, but they all do. Bottom line is that Espi is hurting the team; Lombo is helping the team.

Why should a player 'learn' at the major league level? and Espi needs lots of learn'in.

Swift Eagle said...

Jim- It appears DJ and Rizzo have no doubt who the better player is, so I'm choosing to side with those who know the players a lot better than we do. And a small sample size of stats doesn't appear to have changed their mind

Add to that, my untrained eyes tell me that Espi is by far the better player. It's not about loyalty or who's hot, I'll always choose the best player

NatsFanJim said...

Hey Whats: Numbers are numbers, dude. I don't make them up.

To fracture a cliche: You are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own stats.

It's as simple as that. When you can explain the insane lineups turned in by Davey

When you can explain why Davey didn't bunt in the eighth inning the other night with no out, one run down -- result? runner stranded at first -- game lost.

When you can explain all the weird things Davey has done, or not done, then I will agree that I hold an extreme view.

I don't think you can.

PChuck said...

>>>Add to that, my untrained eyes tell me that Espi is by far the better player.<<<

Perhaps you, like Danny, need an eye exam?

NatsFanJim said...

Swift: Interesting -- I see Lombardozzi and see a superior player. I see a Davey Johnson and see a manager well beyond his prime. Haha and I don't resign the field to anyone here as far as knowing the players.

But that's why we watch this game. It's a tradition to manage and general manage from home. That's what makes this a great game.

I just scratch my head at the fans who get all emotional about it. It's just a game; and we do what fans have been doing for over a 100 years.

Go Nats.

Swift Eagle said...

Agree. GYFNG

NatsFanJim said...

Swift: one more note. I see Espi and I see a loopy swing that just can't make contact. I see a player who makes poor decisions on pitches.

I do see a Superior defensive player. Love him on defense. But his swing is fatal -- it needs fixing -- if it can be fixed. We'll see.

NatsFanJim said...

Avery is a good player!!

NatsFanJim said...

Stras is painting the black so far

whatsanattau said...

Davey Johnson:
.561 winning percentage in 2,160 games
Puts him 17th on the ALL TIME list.

If he wants to bunt he can bunt.

NatsFanJim said...

Their swinging early ...

NatsJack in Florida said...

Mike Bordick is unlistenable.

Exposremains said...

Can any pitcher make these guys uncomfortable at the plate? It looks way too easy.

Swift Eagle said...

This just in.. the O's are good. By far the best team the Nats have played this year

NatsFanJim said...

Whats: I really want to watch the game

But ...

Davey has only managed phenomenal teams. Riggs has only managed Bum teams.

Fact: Riggs as well, if not better, than Johnson with the 2011 Nats.

I will stipulate to the fact that Davey can win with good teams.

Can we move on to today's game now?

NatsFanJim said...

Agreed. The O's are flat out good.

NatsJack in Florida said...

I thought there were too many fast balls thrown to the same spot.

whatsanattau said...

You can stop responding at any time, but

Davey's teams were good in part because he managed them. Riggs teams were bad in part because he managed them. Lots of managers manage good teams and don't succeed. Davey has succeeded.

Unknown said...

This is beginning to look rather grim. The once invincible starting pitching is heading south, the closer is unreliable and there is no offense. The upcoming road trip could be painful.

NatsFanJim said...

1st pitch: taken for a called strike
2nd pitch: swing and miss -- center cut
3rd pitch: Swing and miss: center, up

Espi strikes out yet again.

NatsJack in Florida said...

That's sad.

NatsFanJim said...

Harper is still pulling out.

Unknown said...

What's wrong with this picture? Espinosa has been in a slump for nearly a year and he still plays over Lombardozzi, who is batting .325. This team deserves to lose. By the way, where is Jim Palmer? His replacement, Mike Bordick, is about as dull as a mashed potato sandwich.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Wow....a Baltimore chop.

NatsFanJim said...

I noticed that Bordick wasnt getting some of F.P's humor yesterday -- I was embarassed for him. Love Palmer -- listening to him is like a 3 hour clinic. He and F.P. would have made a good duo.

NatsFanJim said...

Desi's up in a good spot.

whatsanattau said...

Espinosa has options. I'm trying to think of a player who has struggled as long as Espinosa who then subsequently turned it around. More than a year, consistently missing contact, and then pulls out of it? There are quite a few who had longer track records of success before their slump (*Dunn*), but Espinosa feels more like Adam Lind than Adam Dunn.

rdexposfan said...

NatsfanJim as Mark Twain said:
"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics."

Drew said...

Despite the flyout, this is why I like moving Desmond down. For the second time in two games he's come to the plate with two runners on base. He just needs one to fall in or clang off the wall.

NatsJack in Florida said...

If Stras can't get his fastball over on strike 1, he's in trouble......that and having two out of position rookie outfielders.

Swift Eagle said...

Bam-Bam obviously needed a little more eye-black on that one

Eugene in Oregon said...

How one NL East team is handling a slumping young player with lots of potential (from the Miami Herald):

"Gaby Sanchez was an All-Star last year. He’s a minor-leaguer now.

The Marlins demoted the slumping first baseman to Triple A New Orleans on Saturday after an 0-for-3 day at the plate lowered his average to .197.

“We don’t think he’s a .190 hitter,” Marlins general manager Michael Hill said after the move was announced.

“We think he’s better than he’s showing here. We think he’s pressing. We want to take some of the pressure off him, get him down to Triple A, and get him right.”

NatsJack in Florida said...

It's obvious that Angelos has sold his soul to the devil (again).

Exposremains said...

Where's Strasburg fire and everybody's actually? They look beaten.

NatsFanJim said...

rdexpos: haha good one. Only sam clemens knew nothing about baseball ...

NatsJack in Florida said...

Eugene... I covered that a little earlier.

NatsFanJim said...

Stras is tired of clown baseball.

Left fielder who cant play the outfield
Centerfielder who cant play the outfield

If I were Stras, I'd be a little frustrated too.

baseballswami said...

Just checking in today - what happened to my Nats team? Has someone replaced them with another team? Getting scored on early a lot lately. I know that half our lineup shouldn't be our lineup, but I was hoping that the bench players would step up given a starting opportunity. These guys need to settle down and focus.This road trip coming up looks to be brutal. The Marlins just put Boni on the dl, though.

NatsFanJim said...

tired of cathers who cant catch him ...

Stras is Pissed!!! Look at him!

NatsJack in Florida said...

NatsFanJim......better check your Sam Clemens history.

Exposremains said...

This getting worst and worst.

NatsFanJim said...

I said before -- and I'll reiterate it again.

This team is on the verge of freefall. Stras is not going to like this clown baseball behind him.

Johnson, dont let this turn into a joke.

baseballswami said...

Yeah, well if Stras was doing a better job himself he would have the right to be pissed at someone else. Maybe he better look in the mirror. Was it wise to put two rookie outfielders out there together, both of whom are inexperienced outfielders? Against a team that actually hits it to the outfield?

Eugene in Oregon said...

NatsJack - saw that, but wanted to get the GM's actual comments on the record. Strikes me as exactly the right approach.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Stras has no confidence in his fastball command.

Unknown said...

Yes Eugene, the Marlins sent Sanchez down for not hitting and his slump has been only this season. Also, the Angels fired their hitting coach after a slow start. The Nats have had hitting problems for two years, yet the clueless Eckstein continues to stand in the dugout looking at his binder. One of the major problems with this franchise is that there has been no accountabily ever since Rizzo became the GM.

NatsFanJim said...

Ouch.

Harper better stop chewing out umps for their strikezones. He better stop yelling F#@# so close to the dugout that young fans can hear him -- Harper better start to hit

We can take immaturity if you're winning games .. but Harper is hurting this team.

Swift Eagle said...

You mean as opposed to Jim "Mr. Accountable" Bowden??? Lol...

NatsFanJim said...

Strasburg deserves better.

NatsFanJim said...

How is Andino better than Harper?

Andino catches fly balls.

NatsFanJim said...

Good swing, Moore.

NatsFanJim said...

time for Jesus to go deep

Exposremains said...

I guess Ramos and Werth had much bigger impact on this team than we thought. 5-8 with down Werth. 2-5 with down Ramos.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Unknown....ok on the Sanchez/Espi call but your call on Eck shows you don't know much about baseball organizations.

The Angels are in a lttle power struggle between a GM selected by the owner and Mike Socsia who still hasn't explained to his owner Mike Napoli got away for nothing.

So the fall guy becomes Mickey Hatcher, the happy go lucky drinking buddy of Mike Socsia.

Eck works at his job and Rizzo, Davey and Mark Lerner are committed to long term developement.

Mark learned his lesson with the "I'm your best buddy" years with Jim Bowden.

NatsFanJim said...

Hey Unknown: But you will admit, this Franchise has Loyalty -- which is a good thing. maybe Loyal to a fault, but loyalty nevertheless.

Oh .. unless your name is Lannan, that is. "Oh, John, by the way, pack your things -- your'e leaving on the next train. Thanks for coming."

Drew said...

Unknown: No accountability under Rizzo?

Messrs Milledge, Morgan, Maya and Lannan beg to differ.

Exposremains said...

Lots of opinions here, I'm just curious anybody here advocating the status quo?

Swift Eagle said...

Count me in! Stay the Course. 2013 is the year to contend. 2012 is still a building year, and the Nats play a lot of games v AL East teams...82 wins is still a great year based on all the injuries and the schedule

NatsJack in Florida said...

Notice the lack of a glove target by Wieters?

Swift Eagle said...

Hey Jack, looks like a Viera game today, every ball in the air is an adventure...

NatsJack in Florida said...

NatsFanJim... So notice Harper pulling out on that 3-2 curve?

MicheleS said...

NJ.. wieters not catching today.

And I am going to break a promised that I made about not speaking about the previous manager, but under NO cirumstances would i trade Davey for Riggs. There not even in the same class. Just look at the winning % of both managers. And while their might be 1 or 2 of you that want him back, not any other GM or even Arm Chair GM would take him back as a manager.

Oh. and we are back in the game! GYFNG!

NatsFanJim said...

Yes, I did. then again, the pitch was 71 mph

NatsJack in Florida said...

That's no stinkin' wind. Come to Florida
We'll show you wind.

NatsFanJim said...

to Michele S. haha that was truly funny, YOu go, girl.

NatsFanJim said...

NatsJack: there's plenty enough wind in this forum than in all of Fla and D.C.

Drew said...

Nice hit by Espinosa. Way to go Brice!

Here's Desmond again with ducks on the pond. Gotta come through.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Thanks Michele...had to mute because Bordick is beyond a BORE!

But still no real glove target.

MicheleS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NatsFanJim said...

to Michele S. What is it about Riggs that you didnt like?

MicheleS said...

Expos.. I think Wilson and the SP's had developed a comfort level that may be hard to replace. They all stated what a good game he called and how much they loved to have him behind the plate. It may take a little while to get that comfort level with JFlo.

And yes, we are going to miss Werth as well.

NatsFanJim said...

No one ever accused Desi of being a smart player.

Swift Eagle said...

You mean other than the worst W-L record ever for a guy who managed over 1000 games?...

NatsFanJim said...

hmm no one ever accused Desi of being a smart player ....

is there a high school diploma's worth of credits between Desi and Espi combined?

NatsFanJim said...

Swift: that's not quite fair to Riggs. How did Riggs do here? answer? very well.

given a semblance of a team, he made the most of it. Seldom did he make a bonehead moe.

If you don't agree, please enlighten me.

NatsFanJim said...

Sit down, Davis!!

baseballswami said...

They always say speed never slumps - hustle never slumps either. It was hustle that got that third run across. Kudos for the guys for not waiting until the sixth. Last few games, that run on third doesn't score.

NatsFanJim said...

way to beat out the groundball, andino

NatsJack in Florida said...

NatsFanJim.......you're kidding; right?

NatsFanJim said...

ooh, that ball did look a bit foul ...

MicheleS said...

Also, on the Lombo love (which I have now), FP mentioned something at the top of the broadcast that DJ was going to be letting Espi and Lombo duke it out and the he wouldn't be suprised to see Lombo getting more games over the next week. I didn't see anything from Mark/Amanda, etc on twitter, so I hope it happens.

Drew said...

Nice hustle by Desmond. Way to get down the line and plate the tying run.

P.S. Mike Bordick, who I think is from Maine, has the same New England monotone as the late, lamented Flanny. It makes for rather colorless color commentary.

Swift Eagle said...

So you bash Espi based on poor stats from 40 games, but defend Rigs and his poor stats from over 1000 games...

I think Rigs is better than his record, but at best he is a .500 manager

NatsFanJim said...

Bordick just broke the rule of the MASN folk:

Dont refer to Zimmerman's throw at a lollipop. OOps.

baseballswami said...

Warning! If you have dyxlexia you will probably confuse NatsJack in Florida with NatsFanJim - I'm fine and I actually have to look twice to see which one it is.

NatsJack in Florida said...

That was re: Riggs.... A guy I genuinely liked as a person but questioned on his skills. Davey is so far beond Riggs in baseball accumen it's ridiculous.

NatsFanJim said...

NatsJack: Try this out for size.

How did Riggsy do worse, much worse than Davey with the Nats?

Not talking about the 80's and 90's now; we're talking about the Nationals of 11 and 12.

I look forward to your analysis.

NatsFanJim said...

Sit down, rookie

NatsFanJim said...

Wow, I agree with other posters - Bordick is mighty dull, and intensely boring at the color man --

FP is more superior to Bordick than Davey is to Riggs.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Turned the sound back on a little bit ago.

Next time I go to the dentist, I'm going to take a recording of Bordick to both put me under and remind me how little pain I'm in after the procedure.

NatsFanJim said...

Go Jesus!!!

By August 1, all these guys will be asking

Wilson who?????

Swift Eagle said...

I'm starting to think NatsFanJim is actually Riggleman himself...

Swift Eagle said...

Stras goes Yard!!! 0-2!!

NatsFanJim said...

Go Stras!!!!

Thats what happens when you follow Jesus!!!!!

NatsJack in Florida said...

Again....Jim....you have to be kidding.

Drew said...

Stras Mash!!!

TimDz said...

Jesus and Jesus...
Back to back...

NatsFanJim said...

Swift: hahaha Nah, I would have done better than riggs hahaa

Section 222 said...

What is it about Riggs that you didnt like?

This Riggs vs. Davey is a dumb discussion, but here's one thing about Riggs I will never forget or forgive -- Morse doubleswitched after 2 HR.

OMG -- SS just hit a dinger. Awesome!

NatsFanJim said...

Nats Jack: kidding about what? Bordick, Stras, Jesus, the weather, the wind the rain, what?

NatsJack in Florida said...

OK.....now let's see if Stras can pound the strike zone with that 98mph 2 seamer.

NatsFanJim said...

Section: haha You made that up, dude. Never happened.

Dont start making stuff up, people.

Another_Sam said...

Even before the SS clout, I was preparing to opine that I'll bet this club leads the league in solo home runs.

TimDz said...

The only bad thing about the Stras homer is that I had Gio in the pool...
I can live with that...

djinFl. said...

Is Mark out of the box again?

baseballswami said...

Number 8 and 9 hitters back to back! Quick, somebody do some quick stat work and see when was the last time that happened!! That was very cool to watch.

MicheleS said...

So Riggs was 140-172 with the Nats. Davey is 63-60. And before you start talking about lack of talent for Riggs, Let's see, No #4 hitter, No Closer to start the season. Your RF broke his wrist, your LF situation has been atrocious, your 2nd closer had a hernia, and 3rd closer is a total head case. Your 2b is a mess as well. I will give you that Davey's Starting Pitchers are better. Riggs at least had the bats of Dunn and Willingham on his team. Davey also has the history of developing players which is what this club is about right now. I also think Davey can manage the clubhouse better.

baseballswami said...

OK - so Riggs wasn't as bad as you think he was and Davey is not as good as you think he will be. Different situations, apples and oranges in so many ways.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Jim.... The Riggs/Davey thing.

And 222.....that was the one thing we all couldn't stand. The penchant to reward retreads and ignore guys producing.

And for the record, Espinosa is not a retread.

MicheleS said...

Swami.. so what do you think the bet was among the SP's on the first home run of the year. I thought for sure EJax would have gotten, and would have LOVED to see Gio's reaction if he had gotten it.

Another_Sam said...

Of course FP and Bob are practioners of the old Oriole syndrome from a few years ago: every Nats fly ball just misses the stands. Every Nats ground out requires a spectacular devensive play and the Nats runner almost beat it out. Every Nats slumper is the victim of such bad luck. And so on. You get the idea.

NatsFanJim said...

I give you the clubhouse point. But every other point you make can be debated and hashed out for days and days.

Lets just agree to disagree and call it a day.

No about of spinning will change my mind that riggs did well with what he had. and no amount of spin will make Davey a better manager. Maybe he was better in the 90's, but he is an embarassment today.

baseballswami said...

And on a lighter note (!) -- all of these guys named Xavier are confusing me! I have never even met a Xavier in my life, and that's a long time, and now there are 2 in the game and one in the minors. We have the market cornered on X's and Z's!

MicheleS said...

And one thing I would like to compliment the O's fans on. The one's sitting in my section yesterday were very friendly, and were good natured (even when they were beating us by 6-0). Comiserated about their bad owner and how he has screwed both teams over. Made up for some of the lunkheads that we saw in the Sunday Night Phillie game.

NatsFanJim said...

Hey NatsJack: Espinosa is far from a retread: agreed.

But He is struggling mightily to find some traction!!

NatsJack in Florida said...

See....there's where you lose it.

You call for a truce and immediately call Davey an embarassment. Pretty low.

NatsFanJim said...

Michele S: Interesting comment. Just a thought. Everyone coming to the ballpark this weekend were O's fans a short time ago. So, when you see O's fans, you are looking in a mirror. They are (or were) us.

Drew said...

This is Desmond's third at bat today with two guys on base. This is great for the team, with his XBH power.

MicheleS said...

Free Wings!!!

NatsFanJim said...

Truce? Didnt know there was a war going on??

This is baseball folks, not life. Relax NatsfanJack from Fla. haha

MicheleS said...

NatsFanJim.. I don't think you can say that with the amount of transplants in the area. Quite a few on this board were White Sox/Cubs/Expos/Mets fans before they were Nats Fans

Section 222 said...

Section: haha You made that up, dude. Never happened.

Which? The Morse doubleswitch, or the Strasburg HR? :-) Both happened, believe it or not!

MicheleS said...

Swami, I think I heard them say there is another Xavier in the Nats Minor Leagues as well. Yup we have the X market cornered.

baseballswami said...

Ok - on another lighter note ( please?) -- try to wrap your mind around Flores and Strasburg hitting back to back home runs! I keep thinking about it and it's truly astonishing!

NatsJack in Florida said...

And again....Jim .....you're kidding. I've despised the Orioles forever. I've appreciated various players but team wise, I've despised them my entire life...or at least since they moved from St. Louis.

NatsFanJim said...

hahah

So that's what's wrong with this board.

Not you, Michelle.

But other rather rude, namecalling posters: gotta be former Mets, or Phillies, or Sox fans.

LOL

baseballswami said...

MicheleS - and the Z's! Two Zims, Gorzo, Lombo -- really quite odd.

NatsFanJim said...

NatsfanJack. You're starting to worry me, dude. You're starting to obsess. Relax dude. Feel free to let a comment or two of mine go without feeling the need to attack me on it.

MicheleS said...

Swami. Agree. can't get over the Back to Back's. Especially by the 8/9 hitter. Who knew we had Pop at the end of the order!

MicheleS said...

NatsFanJim. I believe you attacked JaneB yesterday about the Smile question posed by another poster, so if you don't want the attacks, the don't attack others.

Drew said...

Desmond with 2 RBIs from the 5 hole. Outstanding!

To paraphrase what Churchill said about Americans, we can count on the Nats to do the right thing, after they've exhausted every conceivable alternative.

NatsFanJim said...

Another Note to Obsessive Natsfanjack

If you "despise" a team, you are waaaaat to emotionally involved in it.

Repeat to yourself 10 times: This is just a game. This is just a game ......

Hopefully, you not one of those sick posters that I have to mute.

Swift Eagle said...

Stras done at 90 pitches? If so, a good bounce back start against a good lineup. He overcame poor defense and didn't have FB command early. Felt like a veteran outing today..

NatsFanJim said...

Michele S: oh sorry, It felt like a gathering of the pom pom girls. I thought this was a baseball forum.

I guess you're a dumb ass, too.

Where did you say your dumb self was from? Ms. Baseball genius?

NatsJack in Florida said...

Please...feel free to mute me.

And nobody expounds the element of entertainment that baseball is for me and the passionate others that frequent this site.

MicheleS said...

Was Nady pulled for a reason? or was it just the pitcher/batter match up? I thought I heard yesterday that Nady had the ususal suspect oblique tweak.

NatsJack in Florida said...

I think Jim's medication is wearing off.

baseballswami said...

Hey, MicheleS - I don't know? Are we back to talking about baseball politely?

Swift Eagle said...

I'm not sure b/c Gameday isnt working, but it may be a double switch?

NatsJack in Florida said...

I just checked the box and Nady is still in and Moore went out for Ankiel.

But it wouldn't suprise me to see the old double switch for both left handed hitting and defensive help if Bernie is in with Ank and Harpet back to rigjt.

MicheleS said...

Thanks NatsJack.. Missed the Moore Move.

Swift Eagle said...

Pitcher's spot isleading off this inning, is Ankiel in that spot?

NatsJack in Florida said...

Just checked again and Nady moved to left with Harper going to right.

Swift Eagle said...

actually 2nd, I'm helpless with out Gameday

NatsJack in Florida said...

No. He batted for Moore.

baseballswami said...

Gorzo one two three inning as per twitter.

MicheleS said...

Swift. Have you tried the CBS Sports site? That one might be better today for the game tracker

Drew said...

Hey NatsFanJim:

Knock it off with the personal insults.

Lighten up, Francis.

NatsJack in Florida said...

9 outs to go. Toughest 9 outs in baseball.

Swift Eagle said...

Awesome! Thanks MicheleS

MicheleS said...

NatsJack.. Boston took it to Lee today. He gave up 5 ER. Wow.

Swift Eagle said...

But now I have a desire to go to Wendy's...Lol

Eugene in Oregon said...

At some risk of being flamed (is that term?), may I suggest we introduce NatsFanJim and peric for a polite discussion of the relative merits of Jim Riggleman and Davey Johnson? Perhaps Mark Z. could even set them up with their own blog for said discussion?

NatsJack in Florida said...

Yes but it looks like everbody else in the division is in the win column.

baseballswami said...

On any given day, I don't care who the pitcher is, things can just go wrong. We really have to remember that Stras, Det and JZim are all relatively inexperienced, young pitchers. They don't act like it most of the time, but they are. Sometime after the game I might look up the number of professional starts by each. I am sure that the number won't be very high. You can't rush experience. I think these guys are going to be like fine wine - once they age, they will be incredible.

phil dunton said...

Another 42,000 crowd---good to see the fans finally coming out in big numbers.

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