Friday, June 22, 2012

Left to hit, Espinosa delivers

US Presswire photo
Danny Espinosa delivers his go-ahead double in the bottom of the sixth.
Every ballplayer has his own reaction when an opponent intentionally walks the batter in front of him. Some gear up even more than they normally would. Some don't treat it any differently than any other at-bat.

Danny Espinosa? He gets mad.

"I don't gear up, but I definitely take it personally in the sense that I want to get 'em," he said. "I want to make 'em pay for what they're doing."

Boy, did Espinosa make them pay for it Thursday night. After watching the Rays intentionally walk Adam LaRoche with two outs in the sixth inning of a tie game, the struggling Nationals second baseman stepped into the left-handed batter's box and delivered perhaps his biggest hit of the season: a two-run double that propelled his team to a 5-2 win and another series victory over a tough AL East opponent.

"I know Danny's character enough to know that in that situation he's going to rise up and get the job done," teammate Ian Desmond said.

Desmond may have sensed it, but you couldn't blame the 29,551 in attendance at Nationals Park had they anticipated disaster instead of elation at that moment.

Espinosa's track record from the left side of the plate -- he was hitting .188 this season entering the game, versus .365 from the right side -- certainly wouldn't suggest a favorable matchup for him against Tampa Bay reliever Joel Peralta.

Those who have watched Espinosa closely in recent weeks, though, have seen improvement.

"I thought he's been swinging the bat, really, pretty good from the left side," manager Davey Johnson said. "He's made a few adjustments to where he feels like he's getting to the ball a little quicker. Even when he's bad, he's still a very dangerous hitter. He seems to shine in tough situations."

The Nationals needed Espinosa to come through in a particularly tough spot Thursday in a game that featured several key moments.

The evening nearly began in disastrous fashion for starter Gio Gonzalez, who went to a three-ball count on five of the first six batters he faced and then fell behind 2-0 to Carlos Pena with the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the second. But a quick mound visit from pitching coach Steve McCatty, plus some calming gestures from Desmond (who made some exaggerated deep breath motions to his teammate), set Gonzalez back on track. He struck out Pena, the start of a stretch in which he retired 10 of 11 batters.

"When you've got, in my opinion, a leader like that who can go out there and take some deep breaths for you and slow your game down for you, it helps out a lot," Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez also needed a big strikeout of pinch-hitter Elliot Johnson to end the sixth, stranding the potential go-ahead run in scoring position. Then he turned things over to his bullpen, which gave Johnson a few heart palpitations during a tense top of the seventh.

"That was a good game," Johnson said, "except for the seventh inning where everybody I brought in it seemed couldn't find the plate."

No, they couldn't. Craig Stammen issued a leadoff walk to Desmond Jennings, then walked Ben Zobrist with two outs to prolong the inning. Left-hander Michael Gonzalez entered to face Hideki Matsui and issued a free pass of his own, loading the bases.

So in came Ryan Mattheus, knowing well the situation at hand against Will Rhymes.

"I had to throw him a strike," Mattheus said. "Sure enough, I throw him two balls right off the bat."

The right-hander did quickly right his ship, though, and with the count full blew a 92 mph fastball past Rhymes to end the inning.

"That's our job: To go out there and leave those runners that are inherited out there stranded," Mattheus said. "It's not so much about your ERA, it's about what you leave out there for other guys as a reliever. That was a big deal."

It was, as were the 1-2-3 innings pitched by bullpen mates Sean Burnett and Tyler Clippard to close out this victory.

None of it, however, would have been possible without Espinosa's clutch hit, perhaps his biggest hit of the season.

It's been a tough road for Espinosa, who hasn't boasted a batting average higher than .235 since April 7. Through it all, he's had the unwavering support of his manager.

"Sometimes it just takes a little time, patience," Johnson said. "I know he has the talent and the ability. I just try not to put too much pressure on him, whether from you or me or anybody else. Everybody that ever sees him play realizes what kind of talent he is."

And on this night, Espinosa rewarded his manager for that patience.

"I'm sure a lot of people wouldn't have stuck with me that long," he said. "So it feels awesome to know that Davey's got my back."

78 comments:

Brother Juniper said...

So much to like. Maybe my favorite play of the game was Desmond taking the extra base after his RBI single.

Drew said...

Gio trade update:

Tom Milone is 7-5 with a 4.13 ERA.

Derek Norris went 0 for 3 last night in his Oakland debut.

Something is seriously wrong with Brad Peacock at AAA Sacramento. Either he's hurt or his famous new-found deception is gone. He's completed four innings only once in his last six starts. His ERA has soared to 5.67.

Drew said...

Gio trade update P.S.

After flaming out (0-7, 7.82 ERA) at Stockton in the high-A California League, A.J. Cole was demoted to Burlington in the low-A Midwest League, where he's 2-0 with a 3.29 ERA.

A.J. has plenty of time to harness his talent. He's only 20, ten months older than Harper.

Joe Seamhead said...

Drew, very interesting about Milone, Norris and Peacock. I really liked Brad when he came up last year, but also had the impression that he was being showcased to the rest of the league, and that Davey wasn't too sure that he was right for the Nats. Norris at the time seemed expendable because the Nats were catcher rich.
Speaking of Epinosa, I really have been impressed by Davey's headstrong matra of "he's my second baseman," when there was a strong undercurrent pushing for Lombardozzi to supplant him. I like Lombo as a super utility guy at this time. I still kind of think of him as being an over-achiever that has answered the call for whatever has been asked of him. Espinosa has demonstrated that he is one of the best defensive second basemen in the league, and in spite of his weak numbers from the left side of the plate I still appreciate his toughness. I'm glad both of them are on our team.
Can you believe that we're 9 games in front of Philly? Some body pinch me!

320R2S15 said...

Right Joe (Mo Green glasses), free agents won't want to play for Davey..dope.

It should be interesting to see how the O's fans treat DJ. I think they will treat him well, the poor ba$tards. Let's take three from little Pete.

MicheleS said...

I would ask that ALL of you go back to Mark's Game thread and take a look at his comments. There is a picture at the end of a guest that Mark had last night.

Just a reminder that very YOUNG and IMPRESSIONABLE minds are reading this blog, so just a reminder to umm curb your language - and YES MICK, I mean you. ;-)

sjm308 said...

Drew & Seamhead - I think even if Milone, Norris & Peacock right their ship and do well, this has still been a great trade because of how we have actually leapt ahead of schedule and also what Gio has brought to the chemistry of this club. I wish all 4 of those prospects well and just think Rizzo did a super job with this.

We traded 4 prospects and we still field the 3rd youngest team in baseball for position players and I am guessing when Strasburg or Zimmerman are on the mound and Moore starts at first base it is the youngest.

I am going to keep saying its early but how great is it to know we have such strength up the middle with Flores(& Ramos), Despi & Espi (& Lombo) and Harper. If Zimm and Morse get hot I just don't see us faltering but we still have 95 games, so I will just have to stay on edge.

Go Nats!! (keep me out of O's gear - see previous post for explanation)

MicheleS said...

"but you couldn't blame the 29,551 in attendance at Nationals Park had they anticipated disaster instead of elation at that moment."

All I kept thinking when he got up there was PLEASE GET A HIT!!! He delivered. Let's hope this is a sign of things to come for Danny.

I thought even though it was meaningless, it was good to see Ryan get a hit to RF last night. That was the first time in a long time that I saw him actually drive the ball. He just needs a few to drop to get his mind right.

I think Mr Ryan Mattheus pushed his name down the list last night as to who goes when Hrod and Drew come back.

Ian.. #1 Web Gem, great heads up stealing that base, and the assist to the lady stealing second! Way to go Ian.

Now onto beating the O's and we get through this NL/AL East gauntlet!

SJM308.. no more black and orange for you!!!

sjm308 said...

Michelle - I will continue not to go back & read comments from the game thread, and after your post this morning I am glad I have made that decision. I might not be able to skip over certain posts (which is really a good idea) but its just silly to read all that anger when you are already nervous watching the game. I do go back and read Mark's comments about the game just to see if we agree or not.

I am guessing you were at the game and hope it wasn't too hot - keep the WOOOO HOOOOs coming

Go Nats!

320R2S15 said...

Hey Mick, I thought he/she was talkin to me...prolly was, sorry M, never again. Hows Mary Mick?

MicheleS said...

SJM, it was oppressively hot and no breeze, but well worth any suffering I may have had to watch this win!

RickH said...

Michele ... Thanks for the heads up about the picture at the end of the game thread.

SCNatsFan said...

Very cool picture at the end and I hope the little girl's evening was as special as it could be

Gonat said...

Certainly we can put a positive spin on Espi's LH swing last night. He worked the count and ripped the pitch. Is this his start to really get on a roll or more of the same inconsistency?

His current slash line LH is still below Mendoza: .192/.271/.308/.579

The Nats really need Espi and Zim to step up. Hoping we now can call yesterday a new start.

natsfan1a said...
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natsfan1a said...
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Gonat said...

HenRod last night with another partial meltdown. Makes things interesting with 2 walks in his 1 inning of work with 25 pitches and only 9 strikes. Got out of it giving up no runs.

Laddie Blah Blah said...

So glad to see Matheus come in, instead of Lidge or HRod, in that situation. I am also looking forward to seeing Cole Kimball return. He was super after he came up last year, until his injury.

The situational hitting has been much better lately, too. Bernie is really doing the job off the bench. If, or when, the Beast and FOF get it going, the Nats will be a juggernaut. The rotation has been superb from 1 thru 4, and the BP is better since Davey's latest shuffle.

I have always liked Moore over Marrero, and he has done nothing to change that since coming back up. He was the most patient hitter on the team last night. No hits, but 2 walks in 3 PAs. I cannot imagine that the Nats will swap him for Marrero when Chris is deemed ready. Chris looks to be our own Wally Pip.

The younger guys are doing the job - the Cyborg, Moore, Lombo, and Bernie, too. Hard to see where the Nats would be better off with DeRosa and Nady, instead. Tracy is the only vet who has pulled his weight.

Very curious to see what Rizzo and Davey will do when DeRosa, Storen, HRod and Tracy are ready to come off the DL.

MicheleS said...

Gonat.. you need a drink of koolaid this morning. Enjoy the win for a day!!! Come on!!! LETS GO NATS!!!

natsfan1a said...

MicheleS, good call. I was making similar comments to my hubby this a.m. after seeing a pic of Mark's special guest. sjm, agreed re. in game posts generally but it's worth taking a look at Mark's last post in that thread. Let's try to set a good example for the youngsters, people. (Disclaimer: Not directed at any one poster in particular but rather something for all of us, including me, to keep in mind.) :-)

Er, and on topic, I was too busy jumping up and down and cheering to notice whether he was looking into the dugout, as on his commercial, but atta way, Danny!

NatsLady said...

Thanks for the good work, Mark--and I don't just mean the blog! So sweet with the little girl. Boz has another article up with his thoughts. Here are mine. :)

The losing pitcher of the Nats-Rays game was, in relief, Joel Peralta.

Presumably sans pine-tar–his glove was not checked–Peralta tried quick-pitching the Nats. This is legal, the Nats announcers hastened to point out, if no one is on base, but a flagrant balk otherwise. As has also been pointed out–endlessly–the Nats have seen Peralta’s act close up, so the quick pitching didn’t bother them.

With the game tied 2-2, that guru over there, Joe Madden, had Peralta intentionally walk Adam LaRoche to get to Danny Espinosa, who is hitting .188 from the left side. Danny doubled.

Other nice things happened in the game (but not to the Rays). Among them:

The Rays made their 60th error–leading the league in that category.
BJ Upton forgot that fast runners (Espinosa again) can score on a fly ball even if it’s a shallow fly ball.
Carlos Pena made a fashion statement–Ian Desmond looks better on second base than on first, so why not let him be there?

Davey Johnson had his runners double-steal.
Joe Maddon tried to have his runners double-steal.

As noted by Davey Johnson, Joe Madden has a “Tweeter.” This is how he used it after the game:

Joe Maddon ‏@RaysJoeMaddon
You don’t like to see them but you are going to make mental mistakes. Today we were just chock full of them.

All in all, not a well-coached team. We wish them all the best in Philadelphia, though.

Gonat said...

MicheleS, that's me thinking positive on the struggling guys. How's about Bernadina? Comes off the bench and in his 2nd AB rips his own RBI double.

Ian Desmond on Desmond Jennings got the #1 Web Gem and the #7 Play Of The Day!

SCNatsFan said...

Laddie, I'll be interested to see what Kimball has; his injury is much tougher to come back from then TJ surgery. I'm not counting on him for anything but there is always hope.

MicheleS said...

Gonat.. Okay..we will take that.

I agree about Bernie, good hustle on the rbi double.

Kirbs said...

Not that I wanna look aheas, but Troy T. (_don't even wanna spell his name) is out for 6 weeks in Col. If we can get two vs the O's we could have a very good road trip. Go ZimNN tonight. And hopefully Zim can turn that oppo line drive into hotness.

Kirbs said...

*ahead, stupid cell phone.

baseballswami said...

Off the subject -- but I love the new PSA by the athletes and politicians about domestic abuse. This is one of those things that transcends whatever affiliation you have. Athletes have had some very public domestic violence problems and so I think it is particularly good coming from them and speaking to men and women of all ages. It's very simple but very clear - good campaign. I love see ballplayers involved in good community outreach projects.

Gonat said...

MicheleS, there are so many positives with this team.

1. Great #1 to #4 starting pitching
2. Best closer in the MLB
3. Best LH Rookie in the Majors
4. Top 5 Bullpen
5. Top 5 defense
6. Shortstop leading MLB w/ XBH
7. 40 wins on 6/21/2012
8. 1st Place in NL East
9. 2nd best record in the NL
10.Did I say 1st Place in the NL East?

mick said...

I see we are on new thread so i will post what I hope someone can expand on...

Nats lady mentions both Bourne and BJ who I like, although there seems to be a selfish quality about BJ, wonder if he would fit in the Nats clubhouse. assuming we got either,what would Nats lineup look up and where does Moore and Lombo fit in?


Also. I am not so sure about Corey Brown in DC long term due to his age.... I think he would be a good part of a trade down the line


I like Ellsbury too

mick said...

I do not see Yankees losing to anyone in AL playoffs today

Gonat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mick said...

Gonat... that is what i tend to think as well

mick said...

I assume Nats lady was talking about off season and depending on how the rest of 2012 goes

Gonat said...

Mick, you nailed it. No way do you mess with the Nats Clubhouse and it really doesn't matter because when Werth comes back the outfield is:

Morse LF, Harp CF, Werth RF

mick said...

so... in long term where does Moore and Lombo fit in

mick said...

we seem to have decisions to make that a dozen plus MLB clubs wish they had

Gonat said...

Bourn is the guy if you decided to go with 4 outfielders, but he will be an expensive 2 month rental.

Best to get Dempster if you can. Pitching, pitching and more pitching.

mick said...

Gonat... Bourn sound interesting but with werth and Tracy coming back, would that be necessary

natsfan1a said...
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mick said...

so we hit 40 in 2005 a few days before

natsfan1a said...

Eh, I forgot one.

For the sake of comparison, prior dates for reaching the 40-win mark (data from charts on baseballreference.com):

2005, June 19
2006, July 18
2007, July 19
2008, August 2
2009, August 9
2010, July 16
2011, June 26

7. 40 wins on 6/21/2012

bowdenball said...

Ellsbury is under contract through 2013, the fans in Boston love him, and the club will shed at least four enormous deals from their payroll between now and his free agency. And the Sox never go into full rebuild mode. He's not going anywhere.

Bourn will be the #1 target for the CF spot, with Upton as the backup plan, Victorino as the backup backup plan, and something in house as the emergency plan.

Gonat said...

mick, doubt Rizzo is going after a starting CF now.

Rizzo has to be focused on renting a starting pitcher like Dempster to take the sting out of Strasburg's September shutdown.

natsfan1a said...

Mick, yes, but some dramatic differences in other seasons, even with the All-Star Break.

bowdenball said...

And Bourn will not be dealt this year. The Braves are four games back of first place. If the season ended today they'd miss the playoffs by a half-game.

Come on, people. You can't just pick and choose players like they're on a shelf at the store. The other teams are trying to win too.

MicheleS said...

Yea.. GONAT's Drinking the Koolaid!!

1A. love the days. was wondering what the number of games were played when we hit the mark. Will have to go over to baseball reference and start giggling at that number.

bowdenball said...

* I should add a caveat: Bourn will not be dealt unless the Braves go 8-22 over the next month and then someone completely bowls them over with a prospect offer.

Anything can happen I guess, but it's so unlikely that it's really not worth talking about. He'll be a free agent in four months, better to just be patient.

natsfan1a said...

MicheleS, you can start here. Let the giggling (and maybe a "woo hoo™" or two) commence. :-)

mick said...

tell me more about Dempster?

mick said...

what would be something is hen Strass is shut down, that somehow Lannan is resurrected. If our 5th slot is not secured by Det, then we have issues at both the 5th and top spots after Strass, so maybe our first priority has to be a another starter

Gonat said...

MicheleS, better perspective to games played instead of dates. Best start to 40 wins in Nats history.

2012, 40th win in 67th game
2005, 40th win in 69th game
2011, 40th win in 78th game

NatsLady said...

Re: Bourn and Upton, BJ. Yes, I was talking about off-season. Can't see either being traded by their current teams, as both teams are still in the hunt and probably will be at the deadline.

For those interested (Ghost), I put up another blog post but it basically says what I said above with, hopefully, better editing. This blogging could start to be fun...

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Thanks NatsLady! Bourn top FA target in off-season.

Laddie Blah Blah said...

Bowdenball

"Ellsbury is under contract through 2013..."

I stand corrected. But if they are looking to unload him, Rizzo would be nuts not to give it a try. They need pitching (Lannen), they could have Brown, throw in, maybe, Lombo and/or one of our relievers. This is the year the Bosox would deal him, if they do.

Stranger things have happened. They could get something for him now, rather than just lose him, next year, to FA, and get nothing.

Also, I expect you took note of RZ's inability to hit the FB last night. In his first AB, Moore tried to paint and got behind to Zim 2-0. So he just threw 3 straight FBs right down the middle, and Zim whiffed on all 3, without even fouling off even one of them. That never, ever would have happened when Zim was getting around on them.

It was 3 straight Ks for Zim last night until he finally made contact and got a hit. You can look it up. It's right in the box score stats.

natsfan1a said...

I believe that is the point she was tactfully making in her comment to me. :-)

Gonat said...

MicheleS, better perspective to games played instead of dates.

A DC Wonk said...

Worth reprinting in full . . . but adding one of my own:

Gonat said...

MicheleS, there are so many positives with this team.

1. Great #1 to #4 starting pitching
2. Best closer in the MLB
3. Best LH Rookie in the Majors
4. Top 5 Bullpen
5. Top 5 defense
6. Shortstop leading MLB w/ XBH
7. 40 wins on 6/21/2012
8. 1st Place in NL East
9. 2nd best record in the NL
10.Did I say 1st Place in the NL East?

Important additions:

a. one of the youngest teams in MLB
b. most core players (RZ, Stras, Harper, Gio, etc.) locked up for _years_

Pass me some more kook-ade and I'll start using the "d" word ;-)

And, speaking of kook-ade (in case this hasn't already been posted): check out Boswell.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/nationals/for-washington-nationals-and-their-fans-the-dog-days-are-over/2012/06/21/gJQAME6stV_story.html

Gonat said...

Mick, Dempster is a FA after this year. Chicago is definitely trying to trade him. Having a career year so far with 2.11 ERA Only 1 poor start and that was his only game with less than 6 innings.

A DC Wonk said...

Was at the game last night (with family and many others), hung out with Steady Eddie for a bit (that was fun) . . .

It was very hot. I think it effected the crowd somewhat, fwiw.

RZ looked absolutely awful in his first three at bats (all K's). It looked as if each pitcher was saying "dude, you can't even hit my fastball when you know it's coming. Here it is", and they'd throw fastballs, and most of the time RZ was just flat out missing. Couldn't keep up. It looked awful.

Espi and Desi carried the team last night. Gio gutted it out, and really settled down after the visit from McCattey. (I was asking around: what did McCattey say? Because Gio had walked a bunch, bases were loaded, and the count was 2-0. So, McCattey comes out, and -- boom -- Gio strikes out the guy, and retires 10 of 11 batters).

And, of course, Burnett and Clip were untouchable yet again. (Well, sort of. Clip's first two outs were deepish fly balls . . . one of which was almost at the warning track).

As tired and as wilted as the crowed was, everyone was on their feet for the last batter.

You know what's a great way to end a game? The way it ended the last two nights: Clip striking out the last guy!

Gonat said...

From Boz to Davey:

Asked if he’d ever set foot back inside Camden Yards in 15 years since Peter Angelos fired him, he said, “Time flies.” Then Johnson paused to think. He’d obviously never gone back. His temperate words in the years since have been baseball politics. “I went to the reunion of the ’70 [title] team,” he said. “Did we stay for the game?”

MicheleS said...

NOPE 1A.. never making the comment about you. Just wondering since you never know when the season actually starts. I mean last year it started in March and some years it is late in the first week of April....

bowdenball said...

Dempster is a viable option, but there are other competitive teams that need help with starting pitching far more than we do. They're gonna go after him hard.

Considering the prospects we had to forfeit to get Gio and the injury concerns that plague many of our elite prospects, I'd personally prefer to see the Nats avoid any high-priced rentals. The Nats will be competitive for several years to come, and it's a lot easier to stay that way if there's abundant talent up and down the organization.


To the poster arguing about Zimmerman's inability to catch up to fastballs: the pitch he hit hard for his single was a fastball that was over 95 miles an hour. Zimmerman is struggling to be sure, but I'm not sure an inability to catch up to fastballs is the primary culprit. To me it looked like he swung through a lot of balls, not behind them ... when he was swinging at all, that is.

MicheleS said...

WONK: I want McCatty wired for an entire game. I swear he is spitting nails under that bushy mustache of his (See CMW outing) and then when he goes out the mound, what words of wisdom (or which string of curse words) does he impart that gets the pitcher to turn it around.

Remember the T-Shirt that was suggested at the beginning of the year:

Attention Fans: The bottom of the 9th has been cancelled!

(I think that was about Druuu, but now, thank the lord, we have CLIPP!)

Bzl. said...

I picked up 2 really nice, low-row, cost effective, upper level seats for Sunday's game on ticketmaster, 3B (shady) side. I think they were just released last night; I didn't see them yesterday morning.

Get Your Red On and wear it to Baltimore!

NatsLady said...

Gotta love Chollie. Harper doesn't play LF. Lombo does. They both hustle, though.

Phillies-Manager-Charlie-Manuel-Loves-Bryce-Harper

http://www.wusa9.com/news/article/209769/0/Phillies-Manager-Charlie-Manuel-Loves-Bryce-Harper

NatsNut said...

I'm a little late, but Mark, did I read you correctly? People were BOOING RYAN ZIMMERMAN?

Folks, please. That's just one intentional vomit away from being a Phillies fan.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Bowdenball, Rizzo shouldn't waiting for July 31st for Dempster. Do it now with the element of surprise.

Gonat said...

“It’s nice to be in the top spot instead of 15 games out,” said Ryan Zimmerman, who’s been through all the worst times. “We still have a lot of room to improve" But we’ve got a good thing going. We have to keep it rolling to make all this stuff matter. Whoever wins this division at the end will be one heck of a team.”
____________________________

How come with Ryan Zimmerman it is "We" when it is bad and "I" when he is carrying the team.

There is a great photo of Morse pouring the Gatorade over Bryce and to their left is Zim in the dugout walking away. If you can't contribute, at least help hoist the Gatorade as Morse has done or like Werth is metaphorically doing inside the clubhouse.

Morse on Sunday asked Davey to move him down in the order because he was stinking it up.

The Face of the Franchise hasn't made the same offer but can say "We still have a lot of room to improve." Dude, look in the darn mirror when you say that.

bowdenball said...

Theo Epstein is not an idiot, GoSM. He's not gonna deal Dempster without asking around to see what other contenders are willing to part with.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Bowdenball, that could be the way Theo goes but he also risks Dempster falling off or getting injured as he is 35 and already has had to miss games for injury.

JD said...

bowdenball,

You may be right about Dempster and I would not give them anything resembling an A or B type prospect since their prime motivation is dumping his salary. But I think players like Kobernus, King maybe even Eury Perez may be interesting to the Cubs.

NatsLady said...

Re: Peralta. FP and Carp said he was quick pitching and that it was legal with no one on base, though "not in the spirit of the game." I was told that's not true, and looked it up.

From Wikipedia–A quick pitch in baseball occurs when the pitcher throws a pitch to home plate before the batter has had a chance to fully ready himself.It is illegal in all forms of baseball, and it has various penalties, depending on the situation: if there is no runner on base, the pitch is called a ball, but if there are any number of runners, it is ruled a balk. For a pitch to be ruled a quick pitch, it is necessary for one of the umpires to make the ball call or the balk call immediately.

Apparently the umps decided the Nats were ready…As it turns out, the umps were right.

Gonat said...

JD said...
bowdenball,

You may be right about Dempster and I would not give them anything resembling an A or B type prospect since their prime motivation is dumping his salary. But I think players like Kobernus, King maybe even Eury Perez may be interesting to the Cubs.

June 22, 2012 11:00 AM
_____________________________

Would hate to give up Perez but the other 2 definitely.

The top FA that all the teams will be pursuing is Cole Hamels. The Phillies are said to be dumping Hamels and Victorino. I'm not suggesting the Nats pursue him rather that the top teams will be concentrating on Colbert Hamels.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NatsLady, correct again. Peralta did get Bernadina's timing off which made it an effective move by Peralta as it didn't get called as a quick pitch. It's like driving 85 in a 55 where the cop doesn't get the radar gun out.

natsfan1a said...

No worries, MicheleS. I didn't take offense. I wanted to credit you with being the first to make the point about total number of games. :-)

MicheleS said...

NOPE 1A.. never making the comment about you. Just wondering since you never know when the season actually starts. I mean last year it started in March and some years it is late in the first week of April....
June 22, 2012 10:22 AM

natsfan1a said...

I'd love to have McCatty wired for an entire game, with a suitable tape delay, of course. ;-)

NatsNut, I could hear some boos on the tv broadcast. Sad.

natsfan1a said...

Thanks for the link, NatsLady. Wait, was Cholly saying that those other guys aren't Old School?

"The left fielder has some Kirby Puckett and he's got a young Chase Utley in him," Manuel said. "That brought a lot of life to the table."

Later on in the presser, Manuel was babbling about how the Phillies were able to win Wednesday night's game against the Rockies in large part due to hustle, something his team hasn't shown much of in 2012.

"When I go and look, the only guy I can think about who is consistent about that is the left fielder from Washington," Manuel said. "Try to find somebody else who does it every at-bat. What other guys do it?

"I've seen guys come to the big leagues who were real good players, tremendous players and then all of a sudden they become stars and they run about halfway down the line."

rogieshan said...

I've been hard on Espinosa all year, but after hearing Davey Johnson last night I'm beginning to appreciate the job the manager is doing more and more and understand why he has shown so much faith in him. Along with his competitive makeup, Espinosa has all the physical tools he needs to succeed. It's only a question of time. We're starting to see the payoff with Desmond, and it will be delightful when Espinosa puts it all together.

Laddie Blah Blah said...

Bowdenball

"To the poster arguing about Zimmerman's inability to catch up to fastballs: the pitch he hit hard for his single was a fastball that was over 95 miles an hour."

Yeah, and he was late for that one, too, hitting it to the right side of the field. You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but it clearly differs from the opposing pitchers who are throwing FBs to Zim, almost with abandon. And why are they doing that? Because he is squaring them up?

I have a lot of company in my opinion, like the pitchers who actually are paid to get Zim out, as well as the clear evidence of what is actually transpiring on the field. Pay attention.

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