Friday, July 20, 2012

Game 91: Braves at Nats

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Birthday boy Stephen Strasburg faces the Braves tonight at Nationals Park.
I feel like I suggest this notion every few weeks, but tonight the Nationals open arguably the biggest series in team history. (And, assuming things continue the way they have been, I'll probably be making the same declaration several more times over the next two months.) But you can't dispute the importance of this four-games-in-three-days showdown with the Braves, who enter 3 1/2 games back in the NL East.

And who better to send to the mound for tonight's opener than Stephen Strasburg, who will be pitching on his 24th birthday (and hoping to have better luck against the Braves than he did earlier this month in the record heat at Turner Field)? Ian Desmond, meanwhile, is back in the Nationals' lineup for the first time in six days, an encouraging sign. And throwing out the ceremonial first pitch: None other than ex-Nationals closer Chad Cordero.

The forecast isn't great -- good chance of storms throughout the afternoon and evening -- but with a doubleheader scheduled tomorrow, they'll do whatever they can to try to get this one in.

Check back for updates...

ATLANTA BRAVES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 185
Weather: Storms, 79 degrees, Wind 12 mph in from CF
NATIONALS (53-37)
LF Steve Lombardozzi
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
RF Michael Morse
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
C Jesus Flores
RHP Stephen Strasburg

BRAVES (50-41)
CF Michael Bourn
LF Martin Prado
RF Jason Heyward
3B Chipper Jones
1B Freddie Freeman
C Brian McCann
2B Dan Uggla
SS Paul Janish
RHP Tommy Hanson

UMPIRES
HP Tom Hallion (cc)
1B Brian O'Nora
2B Chad Fairchild
3B Alfonso Marquez

6:30 p.m. -- Your weather update: Looks like we'll be good to start on-time, but there could be storms arriving from the west at some point during the game.

7:07 p.m. -- And we're underway with a ball from Stephen Strasburg to Michael Bourn. Chad Cordero got a nice ovation when he took the mound to throw the ceremonial first pitch to Drew Storen. (It was high and tight, unfortunately.)

7:13 p.m. -- A solid top of the first for Strasburg. He did allow a two-out single to Jason Heyward but finished strong by striking out Chipper Jones on a nasty, 90 mph changeup down and away.

7:31 p.m. -- Sweet Fancy Moses! Michael Morse hit a home run in the bottom of the first to a place I've never seen a ball hit in this park: off the railing just in front of the back wall at the Red Porch in left-center. What a bomb. Based on the stadium map at hittrackeronline.com, the ball landed about 440 feet from the plate, which means its actual distance is probably a bit longer. Best part was that it came with two men on base, so the Nats have jumped out to a 3-0 lead after one.

7:45 p.m. -- Strasburg has given up a couple of hits and a walk so far, but he's through two scoreless innings, striking out both Paul Janish and Tommy Hanson to end the second. He's at 38 pitches (21 strikes) through two.

8:03 p.m. -- Remember how Jordan Zimmermann talked the other night about how last season (in his first year back from Tommy John surgery) his command would be "hit or miss" from start to start? Well, it sure looks like Strasburg is having a "miss" night right now. He walked three guys in a span of six batters, which has got to be a first for him. At one point, he'd thrown 28 strikes and 27 balls. At the same time, he's managed to complete three scoreless innings. But he's certainly not in top form tonight.

8:13 p.m. -- So it turns out Morse's homer went 465 feet (according to ESPN's Steve Berthiaume, via hittrackeronline.com) and that is indeed the longest home run in Nationals Park history. Wow.

8:41 p.m. -- Barkeep: Another big round of cortisone shots for everyone! Zimmerman destroys a 3-2 pitch from Hanson into the left-field bleachers, and Nationals Park explodes as the home team takes a 6-0 lead in the fourth. That's Zim's ninth homer and 23rd, 24th and 25th RBI in 21-plus games since his cortisone shot.

8:49 p.m. -- Strasburg's command has gotten much better as this game progresses. He's thrown 17 of his last 26 pitches for strikes and is now through five scoreless innings. It's starting to rain now, but for what it's worth, this game is official.

9:08 p.m. -- By the way, be sure to read my Chad Cordero story here.

9:23 p.m. -- Well, Strasburg's night ended on a down note. He got tagged by McCann for a two-run homer, then gave up a single to Uggla and a double that very nearly was a homer to Eric Hinske. And that brought Davey Johnson out of the dugout in search of the ball. Strasburg's final birthday line: 5.1 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 5 K. Not his best. And it's now a 9-4 game as we go to the bottom of the sixth.

9:45 p.m. -- Michael Gonzalez gets through the seventh unscathed. It remains 9-4 at the stretch. Paid attendance tonight of 34,228, many of whom left early because of the rain.

9:56 p.m. -- Interesting, Drew Storen is in to pitch the eighth. It's his second straight game on the mound. And since I can't imagine Davey will let him go three days in a row right off the DL, that would seem to take him out of the equation altogether for tomorrow's doubleheader.

10:21 p.m. -- Well, this whole game just turned in a hurry. Storen faced two batters and let both reach, so Davey pulled the plug and turned to Sean Burnett. That didn't work out so well, because the lefty proceeded to issue back-to-back, two-out walks (one with the bases loaded) and then back-to-back RBI singles. All of a sudden, a 9-0 laugher has turned into a 9-8 nailbiter. Yikes.

10:30 p.m. -- OK, here we go: It'll be Tyler Clippard trying to protect a one-run lead against Uggla, Janish and a pinch-hitter. Break out the bourbon and Maalox.

10:43 p.m. -- Oh my lord. Did that really just happen? The Braves have come all the way back from a 9-0 deficit to take a 10-9 lead in the ninth inning on Michael Bourn's two-run triple off the top of the right-field wall.

10:47 p.m. -- Well, Desmond, Espinosa and Leon will now have to put together a rally against the best closer in baseball this season: Craig Kimbrel.

10:52 p.m. -- Sweet Fancy Moses! Espinosa ties it up with a bomb into the left-field bullpen!

10:56 p.m. -- Extra innings? In a 10-10 game? With a doubleheader tomorrow? Why not?

11:02 p.m. -- Tom Gorzelanny brings some sanity to the proceedings. So we go to the bottom of the 10th, and lefty Eric O'Flaherty is in to face Tyler Moore, Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman. That's a good matchup for Moore and Zim, not so good for Harper.

11:10 p.m. -- Man, great play by 40-year-old Chipper Jones to snag Zimmerman's hard shot down the line and make a throw to first that was ... just a split-second late and kept the Nats alive. Then a great kick save from O'Flaherty deflects the ball to Uggla and gets LaRoche to end the 10th. Let's go to the 11th...

11:22 p.m. -- Oof. Zim makes a great stop of Uggla's hard smash to his left to lead off the 11th, then fires the ball to the rolled-up tarp. Killer error, and it wound up giving the Braves the lead again after Desmond couldn't make what would have been an incredible, over-the-shoulder catch of Janish's blooper. So now it's 11-10, and the Nats will need to rally again, this time off old pal Chad Durbin.

11:28 p.m. -- It's over. What could have been one of the most stirring wins in Nats history instead is perhaps their most crushing loss ever. Final: Braves 11, Nats 10 in 11.

200 comments:

Natitude said...

So if tonight's game gets rained out, presumably Strasburg would pitch one of the games tomorrow ... leaving Lannan in Syracuse.

Tcostant said...

Chad Cordero is just a reminder, how fast fame can fade. Welcome back Chad, you meant a lot to us in those early days!

I'm going Sunday - I want to bring a broom.

Theophilus T. S. said...

Nothing going on in the weather out here in western F'fax County that would suggest a postponement.

Section 222 said...

Got new posted, and I'm really interested in your reactions.

There is absolutely no way Stephen Strasburg will ever go to the minors again, unless it's on a rehab assignment.

Not so sure about that. Of course, he's not going to pitch in the minors, but last year when JZimm was shut down there wasn't an issue of who would be on the post season 25 man roster, because the Nats had no chance of making the playoffs. JZimm could stay on the 40 man September roster.

This year, I seriously doubt that Davey will want Strasburg to occupy a position on the 25 man roster that's eligible for the postseason if he's not going to pitch. So unless they put him on the DL when they shut him down, they may actually have to option him to the minors to free up a spot on the 25 man for the playoffs. They could bring him up for September if he hasn't reached his innings limit, as part of the expanded September roster, but that would mean he'd have to wait in the minors for 10 days, right?

Am I missing something here?

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

The National League East (and pennant) will be decided on depth of pitching. Braves are in deep: Jesus vs. Tommy Hanson. 'Nuf said.

Four games in three days. If Fredi pulls off a split, he'll be lucky

GYFNG!!

JD said...

I am a little worried on how SS has pitched in inclement weather in the past; not just in the heat but also through some light rain. Really seemed to bother him.

JD said...

The Braves lineup is really very good and deep. Solid 1 through 7.

NatsLady said...

Yes, Stras wasn't happy the day they had the 7-minute rain delay. If you recall, three guys (among them Ankiel) let a fly ball drop between them for a double. It then started to rain, and Stras with many grabs of the resin bag and glares at the umpire, loaded the bases and got to a 3-2 count, and finally the game was delayed. Some comedy with the tarp rollers ensued, and the game was restarted 7 minutes later. Stras came out and gave up a single.

Feel Wood said...

Am I missing something here?

Yes. There's nothing that requires that every single player who is on the 25 man roster on Aug 31 go onto the playoff roster. Even if a team is not going to shut down one of their five starters in September, they still will only need a maximum of four starters in the postseason, so they're going to want to keep one of their five Aug 31 starters off the postseason roster so that they can carry another reliever or position player instead. There are ways to do this, like placing extra guys on the DL on the Aug 31 deadline so they'll be eligible for the playoffs. All playoff teams do it, every year. You can be sure Rizzo knows the drill.

NatsLady said...

a-bad-day-for-stephen-strasburg

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/nationals/nationals-vs-padres-a-bad-day-for-stephen-strasburg-as-washington-falls-6-1/2012/05/15/gIQAlWBuRU_story.html

Diz said...

Nat,

With a DH and no off day, you will need JL to pitch Sat. regardless of a rain out.

I am surprised though that he's pitching Game 2 versus Game 1.

Diz

Steady Eddie said...

Am I missing something here?

Yes, though I'm not sure I understand how the points Feel Wood raised apply. Stras' innings limit is almost certain to carry him into early September at least, given how Davey is keeping a weather eye out for his innings in every start. So the question of "do you keep him on the 25 man at the end of August?" is very unlikely to come into play.

Also, what could the point of sending him to the minors possibly be after you shut him down? You're certainly not going to use up any of his innings there.

Also also (though this is really irrelevant) the minors' seasons basically end around Labor Day, so there's nowhere to send him even if you wanted to.

This is really overthinking. Stras will be on the 25 man through August 31, at which point it becomes the 40 man.

NatsLady said...

Diz, so am I. Would have thought it would be Lannan for the afternoon game and EJax for the night game. Not sure I get Davey's reasoning.

Randy Knorr, when asked the most surprising--good--thing about Davey, said, the way he manages the bullpen. Said he's good with the players, treats them will respect, etc., but Knorr really admires the bullpen management.

Section 222 said...

Feel -- Good point on only needing 4 starters for the playoffs. I think I understand what you're saying, but if you put someone on the DL on Aug. 31, they can't play for 15 days from the time the date they last played, so that's not much of an option for anyone who's needed for the stretch run in September. Since we'll carry only four starters for the playoffs, if Strasburg reaches his innings limit in September, he can be DL'd so that another player can replace him on the 25 man for the playoffs. (And that player can be from anywhere in the organization.)

But if for some reason that can't be done (is a protective innings limit a valid injury?), or if he reaches his limit in late August, they might option him in order to have the spot available before the playoff rosters are set. I'm sure he would understand, once they pry the ball from his hand.
Actually, there's the injury they'll need! Strained finger from ball being pried from hand.

Feel Wood said...

Steady Eddie said...

Am I missing something here?

Yes, though I'm not sure I understand how the points Feel Wood raised apply.


222's concern was that if Strasburg was occupying a 25 man roster spot on Aug 31st but was shut down before the playoffs, then that roster spot he was occupying on the 31st would be blocking someone else from possible playoff eligibility. That's not the case, for the reason I mentioned.

CN said...

Maybe EJax is opening the DH so that Flores can catch him and Detweiler on Sunday. Thus having Leon catch Lannan, even though Leon was at Harrisburg while Lannan was up in 'Cuse. The battery combo might be to maximize chemistry more than anything.

If tonight's game is rained out (big if), then it makes sense to push EJax to Sunday, with Strasburg being bumped to tomorrow. Regardless, Lannan has to pitch tomorrow else they will need a 6th starter later in the week.

Feel Wood said...

But if for some reason that can't be done (is a protective innings limit a valid injury?)

You're getting way too wound up in this. There are ways around the issue without having to option Strasburg over the Aug 31 window. Have you ever heard of another team sending their playoff-superfluous fifth starter to the minors over Aug 31st, or indeed any other such nonsense? Whatever Rizzo needs to do, he'll do it.

Feel Wood said...

Maybe EJax is opening the DH so that Flores can catch him and Detweiler on Sunday.

Or maybe Davey just said "Edwin, you're pitching one of the doubleheader games. Which one you want?" Jackson is the senior guy, so why shouldn't it be his choice?

Bzl. said...

Seems to me that EJax would pitch the first game in the event that they can only get 1 of them in, due to weather.

CN said...

And there you have it, at least 3 diff answers to why Jackson is pitching the first game of the split DH tomorrow. Good work by all...

Section 222 said...

Feel, I'm not wound up around it at all. I'm just curious, enjoy the intricacies of the business of baseball, and passing time until first pitch. (This discussion is more interesting to me than rehashing for the millionth time whether Corey Brown should come up or Zim should move to 1B.)

From the sounds of your last answer, you don't know exactly how it's going to work either, and that's fine. Maybe someone else does, or knows exactly how teams have been able to reduce their 5 man rotations to 4 before the playoff roster is finalized.

Eddie, I wasn't suggesting he'd be "sent to the minors," just optioned so he's off the 25 man. Maybe as Feel suggests that won't be necessary, but you certainly don't want him on the playoff roster if he's not going to pitch.

Candide said...

Tcostant said...I'm going Sunday - I want to bring a broom.

So are Cunegonde and I. If we get to use a broom on Sunday, that would put the Nats 7-1/2 games in front of the Braves.

Unlikely, but it's always nice to dream.

Old Wino said...

This weekend is gonna be a marathon. I'm sick that I won't be able to watch live the Sat & Sun games. Go Nats!

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

I wasn't suggesting he'd be "sent to the minors," just optioned so he's off the 25 man.

Same thing. But as FW said, there's no need. He can be on the 25-man on 8/31 without costing them a roster spot in the playoffs (assuming they win the division), and yes, he would be able to go on the DL.

Recall, for instance, the Giants left Zito off their playoff roster a couple of years back, for instance.

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

For double-secret instance.

A DC Wonk said...

CN said...

And there you have it, at least 3 diff answers to why Jackson is pitching the first game of the split DH tomorrow. Good work by all...

And here's one more. It is my vague recollection (when DH's were more commonplace -- note, that it's the NL where DH stands for doubleheader, ahem) that managers would put their best lineup for the first game. The idea being that you want to pressure the other team into "avoiding a sweep" rather than the other way around. Put your best foot forward and keep the pressure on.

Grandstander said...

Tom Hallion's behind the plate? We should be in for a lot of entertaining ringups tonight with Strasburg on the mound!

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Everybody seems a bit testy tonight. Relax, fellas. We're still in soul possession.

natsfan1a said...

Go, Chief! Go, SS! Go, NATS!

mick said...

BEAST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

phil dunton said...

Great to see The Beast's power return.

sm13 said...

Wow!!! All I can say is WOW!

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

To all those doctoral candidates who want to trade Morse, please view replay of his first inning HR. You don't trade a guy in the middle of gorse-hacking. Everybody knows that.

ehay2k said...

Oh my frickin Gorse, that was FAR!

ehay2k said...

He just raised his trade value! :-)

Grandstander said...

He got an MMM Bopper off Hansen

Nattering Nat said...

Anybody else notice that Stras has been behind virtually every hitter? Hmmmm......

Nattering Nat said...

I'm a devout believer in reverse psychology, by the way....

Theophilus T. S. said...

Why you throw a waste pitch to the 1-31 opposing pitcher is beyond me. You like wearing your arm out in six innings?

Faraz Shaikh said...

at this point, I will take five scoreless from him. too many pitches in 3 innings I think, 59 total. Also seems to have trouble finding strikezone.

Fear and Ignorance said...

Man this team sees a lot of breaking stuff at the plate. These guys really need to sit on that crap...we would be scoring 8 runs a game!!!

ehay2k said...

If we could score 8 runs a game, we'd be in first place by now. Oh, wait. Nevermind.

ehay2k said...

I think Flores should wear a red belt. The black one breaks up the catcher's ensemble. He can change into a black belt when he takes off his gear to hit.

ehay2k said...

And yes, I will post anything to break up the in-game negativity.'

Fear and Ignorance said...

ehay2k-Leave the game early again??? If you can't stay for the whole game, you are not the superfan you think you are with your holier than thou comments every night.

ehay2k said...

F&I, I left the game the other night because I care more about my family - in that case getting my young son home to bed - than I do about seeing the last out from the Nats. If you think that makes me holier than you, I'll accept that.

But stating that if our guys were to "sit on" major league breaking balls we'd score eight runs per game only accentuates the last word in your name.

ehay2k said...

Better to sit on fastballs - as Zimmerman just demonstrated.

TimDz said...

COME ON OFFICIAL GAME!!!

DWS said...

Watching MLB on the computer and Carp sounds different. Almost like a Braves announcer.
ehay 2k getting close to 8 runs. Perhaps the negative waves will subside for a bit.

Theophilus T. S. said...

They're serving the Earl Weaver Special at the Waffle House tonight.

ehay2k said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ehay2k said...

Auto correct can be most unhelpful.

With an NL-style DH tomorrow, there is an increased possibility they will call the game if it looks like the rain won't let up.

Nice to see us put some big numbers on Tommy H. tonight.

DWS said...

Well 9 runs will put a damper on somebodies Friday night.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

9-0 with Jesus on the mound. Ladies and Gents, I'm packing it in for the night. You all are responsible for the holds and the saves. Night.

ehay2k said...

Team is getting better and better. Morse is definitely getting his eye and timing back. Zimmerman's OPS must be around 3.500 these days, with all the homers he's jacked.

And we get Jurrjens tomorrow? Can we bring Livo back, just to hit?

Secret wasian man said...

Jesus is not on mound. Strasburg is. His great but not God.

ehay2k said...

I think the nickname for Stras is Jeezuz.

ehay2k said...

Proper spelling will avoid confusion with Flores.

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

Portrait of a man; more specifically, a baseball player: one Ryan Wallace Zimmerman. Moiling in baseball purgatory for years, he may get his shot at baseball paradise--a shot that could mark the difference between walking away, and walking off--the difference between night and day, a difference he may become too familiar with--next stop: The Corti-Zone!

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

Jeezuz, or Baseball Jeezuz. Both work.

ehay2k said...

Lol Sec3- thanks for joining the fun tonight.

ehay2k said...

Nice looking K. :-)

DaveB said...

I'm guessing Davey would have pulled Baseball Jeezuz after 5 given the rain, his time on the bases, and the 9-0 lead if it wasn't for the DH tomorrow. Unfortunately, he seemed to lose focus with that lead.

Bigfish said...

Maybe it's because he's 24. Maybe it's because he's so focused when he's pitching. But Steven Strasburg does not seem to handle adversity well. Rain, heat, bad footing on the mound, an ump with an erratic strike zone -- anything out of the ordinary seems to really mess with his mind.

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

Just got back in, EHay, thanks for holding down the fort and standing up for the good stuff.

ehay2k said...

DaveB, could be that he lost focus, but also could be that with the lead, and a wet, slick ball, he couldn't grip the ball well enough to throw breaking pitches, so he was left to challenge with an imperfectly-controlled fastball.

ehay2k said...

Sec3., my pleasure. Want to make the in-game comments a little friendlier. I miss the fun of the gang posting during the games.

Joe Seamhead said...

I fear that there is a lot of ignorance on this blog sometimes.

ehay2k said...

You said it joe,

BigCat said...

Yeah....well now its 9-4. So we gotta go to the pen in the bottom of 6th. We gt a DH tomorrow. Stra had only 85 pitches going into inning. So now its raining a little, Stra is falling off the mound, looking at his hand. His velocity is down to 93 and the Braves smoke 4 in a row off him. You know Davey doesn't want to go to the pen with a DH tomorrow, but Mouseburg is done. Looking at his hand after each pitch. He gets to the dugout and looks sheepishly out to the field. This guy is a frickin wimp. Yeah, you heard it here first. Shut his butt down now. He is weak as a kitten mentally. The sad thing is.... he will probably get another win.

Knoxville Nat said...

Okay like most everyone else on this board I'll give Davey Johnson his props when due but for the life I me I cannot understand why he let SS go out for the sixth inning! I mean, seriously, a 9-0 lead (he would be in line for a W if the Nats hold the lead), the GM has many times indicated that his innings this year will be limited (and rightly so I will add), Stras just ran the bases after walking and Lombo getting a base hit, and the finally the heart of the Braves line up coming to bat. Can somebody give me an explanation why he would do that? I know, a 4 game weekend, but we did add an extra pitcher for the DH and it's not that stressful for a relief pitcher with a 9 run lead. I mean really,I just don't see a logical reason for Stras having gone out for that sixth inning.

Secret wasian man said...

Lannan tommorow. We better hang on. Tarp should be on

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

could be that with the lead, and a wet, slick ball, he couldn't grip the ball well enough to throw breaking pitches, so he was left to challenge with an imperfectly-controlled fastball.

I hear pine tar is good for that.

ehay2k said...

I can understand the passion people have for the game and the Nats, and it's actually a good thing to see. But to go nuts like this game, or this inning , is the most important one ever played, is not reasonable in the middle of a 162 (or 161, like last year) season.

I have been guilty of criticizing the Nats (OK, mainly Eckstein ) but that was not ever for one game, it was for a moribund body of work.

hmm... said...

"I cannot understand why he let SS go out for the sixth inning!"
SS has four days off after this. The bullpen doesnt.
Just a guess.

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

Is it me or did Leon put on 20 lbs while he was out?

ehay2k said...

Sec3 , speaking of pine tar, do you think opposing pitchers are afraid to use it now when playing the Nats? Avilan looked really uncomfortable with his grip, and I couldn't help but wonder if he might have wanted to use a little PT.

ehay2k said...

When Uggla's jersey get wet, it shrinks just enough that he can't stretch out and get those grounders.

Viva Poncharello!

hmm... said...

"I cannot understand why he let SS go out for the sixth inning!"
SS has four days off after this. The bullpen doesnt.
Just a guess.

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

I never noticed that before--the Nats' bullpen is covered, but the visitors' isn't.

I like that. Nice job, architect.

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

Pine tar intimidation? Well, there's always the rosin, but no, I would figure he's unlikely to check someone again so soon.

BigCat said...

I think Davey was making a statement when he went Zim, Gio and Mousey as his pitchers after the All Star break.

ehay2k said...

@Hmm.. I think you are correct. Also, Strasburg is still learning how to handle conditions like this. Better to do it in a blowout than a close game. Remember, he has not yet pitched a full season in MLB. Amazing stuff, but still learning the craft.

Knoxville Nat said...

hmm,

We have an extra starting pitcher on the roster for the DH tomorrow and we have an 8 man bullpen for the whole darn weekend, why hold out for tomorrow when we could have used a reliever today and kept Strasburg from throwing a needless inning tonight?

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

FP wondering out loud if Davey would pitch Storen 3 days in a row, and doubting he would, but he *is* about as fresh as he'll ever get. Maybe in one of the two games, if needed, he would. Or use him tonight to save somebody else for tomorrow, and have him for Sunday.

All of which is mooted if he can't get through this eighth...

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

Which he won't. Burnett comes in.

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

I don't think Strasburg stayed in to save the bullpen. As we are seeing, it ain't working out that way, anyhow.

ehay2k said...

BigCat, I agree - both Davey and McCatty were saying - "We need to give our All Star pitchers a break, but still keep a R/L/R order in the rotation. Zimmermann also needs to start before he gets rusty."
Or were you thinking of some other statement?

Secret wasian man said...

This is getting ugly. Cmon guys

ehay2k said...

Good outside pitch - and a very good hit by Chipper.

Secret wasian man said...

What a joke. This will kill us. Just cant happen

phil dunton said...

The Nationals relief pitching has been junraveling like a cheap suit.

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

Oh, man. Davey is looking like he needs the bathroom and the door is locked.

mick said...

trying to keep my cool, why pitch Storen the very next day with 2 tomorrow, why not come in with Mattheus verse Chipper.

Storen now has blown 3 games in hiss last 6.
Gang, if Nats lose this after 9-0 at HOME .....

mick said...

we can not lose this game!!!

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

Oh NOES!~! What a horrible team. We're doomed! A bad inning! The heck with the women and children, let me at the life boats!

ehay2k said...

Ah, Mick, I was wondering when you'd show up to spread some cheer. ;-)

If the Nats lose, its still one game. Hard to get that across in a football town.

Secret wasian man said...

As fans we don't deserve this suffering night after night

mick said...

sofa, 9-0 lead, then 9-4 now 9-8, tell me what is good about that?? and tell me when you have 8 relievers, why do not use them??/

phil dunton said...

Clip is no sure thing in the 9th since he went into a nasty slump five games ago.

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

In the interests of fairness, if the Doom Squad is only going to come out when things aren't going their way, somebody should only post when things are good.

Seriously, that poster slump has got us under the Internetz Medoza line.

ehay2k said...

Carp is one inning ahead.

Schumatrix said...

That's what happens when you can't throw strikes.

mick said...

ehay... if they blow this, is that OK?? I guarantee historically a playoff team has NEVER blown a 9-0 lead at home. if you can show me where it happen in late July, then i will keep quiet

JaneB said...

Storen isin the equivalent of spring training. That's why you bring him in when Davey did. They gotta pull this out. And they can.

A DC Wonk said...

Mick. Duh. What's good about it is that our team has the 9 and they have the eight. What's good about it is that we have the lead going into the ninth

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

Begging the question, Mick. We have diametrically opposed attitudes toward watching baseball, but we are in here, sharing them in the same venue. No way around that. We are never going to enjoy reading one another's posts, I think.

Secret wasian man said...

Nick I agree. To blow 9 0 would be awful. Not like losing 3. 2

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

if you can show me where it happen in late July, then i will keep quiet

Oh, if ONLY I thought you'd remember saying that, in the morning.

A DC Wonk said...

Didn't the playoff bound Phillies blow a five run lead in the ninth to a sub-.500 team just last year?

mick said...

jane B

then Davey should not pitch Drew 2 games in a row, when he has 8 relievers!!!!

mick said...

DC.... true

mick said...

sofa true..

Secret wasian man said...

What's bad Wink is clipped is coming in. You watched him lately

ehay2k said...

Mick, I bet the Sox have lost a nine run lead to the Yankees.

mick said...

ehay.... I'm sure, but unlike the Sox and Yankees, we are just trying to make our first postseason in my lifetime. A loss would be devastating on a number of levels for this franchise

A DC Wonk said...

Drew only threw nine pitches yesterday

A DC Wonk said...

Well put, mick. A loss would be devasting on many levels. To you ;-)

mick said...

Davey really made some bad moves tonight... he was right to pull Strass when he did, why he had Storen come in is BEYOND me!!1 and why he stuck with Burnett after the left handed batters were up is stunning

ehay2k said...

Mick, I have to believe you will be much more devastated than the team. But a few coronas tomorrow will set you right. :-)

mick said...

ehay... maybe, lol

ehay2k said...

Who put the Teflon on the baseballs?

Schumatrix said...

Is it impossible to throw strikes tonight...

mick said...

wow, I hope Davey for once takes a some responsibility as well as not defend the guys who lost one of the worst losses in Nats history

peric said...

Clippard is starting to look like bad Clippard from 2010 and before. And everyone is all worked up about Henry? Me thinks they are going to need that guy before all is said and done. Clippard can't find the plate.

Looks like a loss looming instead of a blowout.

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

Get Henry up...

mick said...

by the way, this umpire is terrible

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

Can we get a macro for "Nats get a break"?

mick said...

peric you may be right

peric said...

why he had Storen come in is BEYOND me!!

Uh Mick? They had a HUGE lead that absolutely is the right time to bring
in a Storen or an H-Rod. Who knew both Burnett and Clippard would decide to implode?

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

Oh, wait, I almost forgot: This is all Chad Cordero's fault.

We'll be fine.

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

Or not.

Schumatrix said...

Well, that's awesome...

ehay2k said...

Morse misplayed that. Cost us a run there.

peric said...

Clippard and Storen may need DL time.

mick said...

Clip your just are a joke. this is the worse loss in meaningful game for this team. Peric... I agree Clip is an over rated JOKE.

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

Another "teaching moment" for a young team. The lessons aren't always easy.

peric said...

Clippard's ERA now 3.24 looks to me like he may reach Henry if he keeps pitching like this.

Schumatrix said...

BP needs sit down with JZimm for a "here's how you throw strikes 101."

rogieshan said...

Instant analysis, part deux.

peric said...

Another "teaching moment" for a young team. The lessons aren't always easy.

I don't have a problem with it. Let's hope the FO doesn't overreact ... well Davey is there to keep things level.

mick said...

we will see what we do in the 9th, I dont want to hear about Braves closer's that is BS

Fear and Ignorance said...

Say good-bye to the division!!! I don't see them recovering from this!!! This was the worst choke job I have ever seen...and I was at the Steve Bartman game!!!

mick said...

if Braves can score 5 runs in 2 innings, I would think we could muster at least a run in the 9th.... I can not believe we are at this point!!!

ehay2k said...

Did it also stop rainng at the park? I thought I saw some folded umbrellas as they panned the stands when the inning ended.

Secret wasian man said...

Just miserable. With Jackson and lannan tommorow. We will be out of first by Monday. This team has proven that it does not know how to win or hang with the big boys. And all you rose colored glasses people who want to say its just one game; Please check back to me in 1 month when the season is over. BLAHHHHHHHH

mick said...

at HOME

mick said...

wasianman... you are correct and this loss will snowball

phil dunton said...

Clippard has definitely caught the H-Rod disease. This will be a very destructive loss.

ehay2k said...

So now we know where Bartman has been hiding !

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

OK, one to tie, two to win. Let's go get 'em!

mick said...

Burnett is a clown... he himself blew games and leads against the O's, Rockies and now tonight

Secret wasian man said...

Thank you Mick. Now if youll excuse me I have to go throw up and go to bed. BLAHHHHHHH

mick said...

I bet we go down 1-2-3, like a team use to losing 100 games a year

Swift Eagle said...

Uh OH...Dont cancel the season yet!!!

ehay2k said...

Blahhhhh back at you.

mick said...

like I said we should get at least 1 run

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

Bang!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ZOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!

mick said...

blahhhhh, blahhhhhh...blahhhh this is crazy

UnkyD said...

Spinner.

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

98, on the black, at the knees.

For a teaching moment, I'd say they're learning fast.

Schumatrix said...

Dafuq did I see....

hmm... said...

And danny sux from the left side. What will he do against superman? Mick, f&i. You're right. We're doomed forever.

Oh, wait a minute

Schumatrix said...

And Mick, you can go back to the cave you came from.

mick said...

FP says Clip feels he let the team down .... you think FP,,
Actually Burnett is the Dog tonight

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

OKAY! Free baseball! Let's go get 'em!

mick said...

schum.... what???

Knoxville Nat said...

Keep things level? Stras never should have been out there in the 6th inning! Give the BP a clean slate to work with and not a 2 runs in, two men on situation. Not to exonerate the BP but darn I have a hard time understanding what the heck Johnsom was thinking in sending Steven out for another inning given the situation at hand.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Hey, ladies and gentlemen. I took a little two-hour mid-game nap. Did I miss anything?

Oh. Wait. What the ... ?

Ladies and gentlemen, the bar is back open. Bourbon and Maalox all around. It's the 10-10 special. All drinks are on the house.

ehay2k said...

The umps are the dogs for continuing the game in this slop. Up 9-0, they could have called it early with a DH tomorrow.

Knoxville Nat said...

"Johnson" not "Johnsom".

ehay2k said...

Oooh the 10-10 special? I think last time I had anything like that was the game in Chicago last year!

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

The whole bullpen has been terible the last 2 games. What suddenlt has happened there. a total of 19 runs in 18 innings for the staff. That is not like a division winning staff suddenly. Wakke up guys.

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

Dear Friends, THIS is the Church of Baseball. Suck it up and get tough, this is no game for sprinters. It's a marathon. A marathon of the spirit, a test of character for players and fans, and not everyone passes the test.

Gorzelanny, like a boss!

Any old kind of a run wins it!

A DC Wonk said...

I guess Espinoza didn't get the mome from mick and F&I that they ween't supposed to play in the bottom of the ninth, because, you know, the game was already lost.

As for the entire team being out of it in a month, can I bet on that?

Swift Eagle said...

The Sky is falling! The Sky is falling! A lot of Chicken Little's on here tonight.

This is 1 of 162 folks....Long way to go

I think I even saw a "Fire Eck" post, despite the 10 runs....

BigCat said...

Gotta love Espi. Davey has stood behind him the whole time. Not me though. I've written him off more than once over the last year. 98 the other way. Go on with your ass Danny!! Memo to Clip....The kitchen gets hot in the closers role. It ain't that easy.

ehay2k said...

Swift - that wasn't a Fire Eck post, I was just saying I have criticized him in the past.'

ehay2k said...

Wow.

ehay2k said...

Can we hit any more pitchers than we have in the last few days?

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Big Cat I told you Espi would dio it. But then again I thought harper would do it in the 10th

Knoxville Nat said...

Can't fault Gorz, should have been a runner on first and the infield playing back. If so that pop up is caught by Desmond.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

NcCatty what has happened to your people, They have all gone to hell in a hand basket since the top of the 6th inning. Total lack of focus once ahead looks like it cost you.

This is the same crap the Caps do regularly.

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

OK, we're going to need a live chicken.

Swift Eagle said...

Haha..now we're going to start to the "Fire McCatty" campaign....The NI In-Game Legion of Doom posters has returned....You guys are hilarious

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

OK, let's do it again... one to tie, let's get that second one here. Big boyz up, let's go get 'em!

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

The Caps have a bad bullpen, too? I hadn't heard that before.

Knoxville Nat said...

BTW, anyone else notice how every opposing base runner is not afraid to challenge Michael Morse's arm? I mean even McCann, the Braves catcher went from second to third on a rather routine fly ball to RF early in this game. Should we make the playoffs, and I think we will, this could really be an issue for the Nats.

Swift Eagle said...

Haha...Yes Sofa, the Caps bullpen is terrible..I too have not quite got the connection between hockey and a bad night for the Nats bullpen...must be too deep for me

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

Knoxville, yes, it was pointed out in here a few times, but Morse won't be in right for the playoffs.

Swift Eagle said...

And Mark, the wrap of this game won't fit in a nutshell

ehay2k said...

The last few games have really exposed how weak our outfield defense is at the moment.. Morse belongs in LF - he has no arm for RF. Inexperienced Lombo in LF increases the chances of Harper trying to take over catches (he did tonight and missed the ball that Lombo could have caught). Bernadina is always an adventure in CF.

Werth's return will help, but we will still have some deficiencies there. Not sure how to fix that. Morse for Upton?

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

OK, go get 'em tomorrow.

ehay2k said...

Sigh. Gotta bounce back tomorrow. Gnite all.

Mark Z - save the wrap up for tomorrow AM. :-)

SonnyG10 said...

Crap! This is disgusting!

Knoxville Nat said...

I'm not sure Morse even belongs in left field. His arm is so weak I'm not sure he is over his injury at all.

From a 9 to 0 lead to 11-10 loss...flat out embarassing.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Can some explain how come one would check a swing on a low pitch but a beautful fast ball middle cut you take for strike 3. Simpluy makes no sense to me, never has and mever will watching the game over 50 years now.

As Big Cat told me as the lead kept shrinking on the phone, the relievers showed no heart. I am not sure about that, but they sure have stunk in comparison to before the all star game. Not sure what the problem is, but beter come out tomorrow and win 2, because this game was in the bag and then they quit (escept Espi).

Zim's field allowed runs 3 and 4 to score and that really started the down fall, and that been feilded cleanly and the inning ended 9-2, they probably would fall in place. thenZIm's fielding in the 11th allowed run 11.

he was not the only problem, but he was the final problem.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

It will be hard to sleep tonight.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Of course I take losses much harder than the players. One of the reason I quite watching for a while is I just couln't sleep as i would go over every play, and what could have gone differently. tonight a long night as there are too many plays.

mick said...

Now I know how the Houston Oiler fans felt after blowing a 34 point lead verse Bills in 1993, lol

this was terrible and i'm afraid Nats will struggle to win 85 games if they are swept this weekend.

Ejax has played on 6 different teams for a reason and we are going to see why tomorrow and then i bet Lannan will get lit up and of course we will stop hitting

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