Saturday, July 21, 2012

"It hurts. It hurts bad."

US Presswire photo
Davey Johnson called this "arguably the worst game I've ever managed in my life."
In their first seven years of existence, the Washington Nationals lost plenty of ballgames in devastating fashion. They lost on walk-off homers. They lost on walk-off throwing errors. They lost on walk-off wild pitches. They even once lost on a walk-off balk from a guy making his debut appearance with the organization.

But most of those losses, crushing as they felt at the time, didn't carry much weight in the grand scheme of things. Instead of losing 102 games at season's end, they would lose 103.

This, on the other hand, this was different. A blown nine-run lead against a division rival in the first game of perhaps the biggest series in the club's brief history? This was a crushing loss.

"It hurts. It hurts bad," reliever Tyler Clippard said after the Nationals turned a 9-0 lead into an 11-10, 11-inning loss to a Braves team suddenly 2 1/2 games back in the NL East.

Never mind the fact this was the largest lead blown in franchise history, dating back to the Montreal Expos' inaugural season in 1969. It was the manner in which that 9-run was blown, and the manner in which a game that could have resulted in as stirring a victory as the Nationals have ever enjoyed into as upsetting a loss as they've ever experienced.

And it was the look on Davey Johnson's face as the 69-year-old skipper took the blame for letting this thing devolve into what it did.

"I feel bad," he said. "The guys played hard. It was probably, arguably the worst game I've ever managed in my life. I've never lost a 9-run lead when it was my part of the game to handle the pitching. It'll be hard for me to sleep. I had a worse night than the guys did."

For five innings, this was arguably as great a night as the Nationals had seen in a long time. Behind towering, three-run homers from Michael Morse and Ryan Zimmerman, they jumped out to a 9-0 lead that left the crowd of 34,228 in ecstasy even as a steady rain began to fall.

And with Stephen Strasburg on the mound, has a 9-0 lead ever felt safer?

"Ninety-nine times out of 100, we win that game," Clippard game.

Well, 99 percent is not 100 percent. And as Clippard later pointed out: "Baseball's weird. Anything can happen."

The meltdown began in the top of the sixth, with Strasburg still on the mound. He hadn't been his sharpest all night, and it finally caught up with him when he gave up four hits in a span of five batters, including Brian McCann's home run and Eric Hinske's double off the top of the right-field wall.

"I felt like he just wasn't going after them," Johnson said. "He wasted a lot of pitches. He really doesn't know who he is at times. He doesn't trust his stuff."

Did Strasburg let his intensity level dip at all with a 9-run lead?

"Myself, I'm always intense out there," he said. "I don't like pitching to the scoreboard. To me, it was still a 0-0 ballgame. But I'd say in the grand scheme of things, it can be tough. Obviously you put up a lot of runs early, and you just kind of take your mind out of it for a split second and they get back in it and it gets to be crunch time."

By the time the inning ended, with Michael Gonzalez allowing two inherited runners to score, the Nationals' lead was down to 9-4.

Then came perhaps Johnson's biggest managerial mistake: He summoned Drew Storen for the eighth inning, one day after the reliever made his season debut three months removed from elbow surgery. Storen immediately gave up a hit and a walk, and Johnson immediately emerged from the dugout seeking the ball.

"There's a few things I'd take back," Johnson said, declining to offer specifics. "I mean, I don't even want to go there. But that's my part of the game. Those are my matchups."

Sean Burnett replaced Storen and only poured more gasoline on the fire. He got two quick strikeouts but then allowed four straight batters to reach base, with four runs scoring in the process. Just like that, the lead was down to 9-8.

In the bullpen, Clippard suddenly had to prepare to pitch the ninth inning of a game he never expected he'd see.

"I was ready," the closer insisted.

Clippard, though, had struggled in each of his three previous outings, and he immediately got himself into trouble when he walked Dan Uggla, uncorked a wild pitch and then drilled the .118-hitting Paul Janish in the back. Two batters later, Michael Bourn crushed a two-run triple off the top of the fence, completing an improbable rally and putting the Nationals in a 10-9 deficit that left the entire ballpark in stunned silence.

"I'm a little concerned," Johnson said of his struggling closer. "He was a little wild tonight. He's not wild. He hasn't been wild at all in that role. But it never should have got to a 1-run lead. That's why I say it's my fault."

Suddenly down to their final three outs, Danny Espinosa reignited the crowd and the home dugout when he blasted a 98-mph fastball from Atlanta closer Craig Kimbrel into the left-field bullpen.

Just like that, the game was tied 10-10 and headed to extra innings. And just like that, the Nationals found a way to lose on an error, a passed ball and a bloop single.

The top of the 11th began with Uggla rapping a hard shot to third base. Zimmerman made an impressive, lunging play to snag the ball, then pirouetted and fired to first base. The ball was thrown a good 10 feet wide of the bag, landing near the rolled up tarp along the right-field stands.

"I got a good grip on it, and I had to just turn and fire," Zimmerman said. "That was my only shot. I don't want to catch a ball like that and then not even attempt to throw him out. I think that's the play, and I would do it over again if I had the same opportunity."

Rookie catcher Sandy Leon, who had entered the game four innings earlier after Jesus Flores complained of a stiff back, couldn't handle a low pitch from Tom Gorzelanny. That allowed Uggla to take third base and forced the Nationals infield to play way in. Which allowed Janish's blooper to fall in just beyond the outstretched reach of shortstop Ian Desmond and allowed Uggla to score the eventual game-winning run.

The Nationals went down quietly in the bottom of the 11th, and the home clubhouse was even quieter at the end of a 4-hour, 21-minute marathon that ended in crushing fashion.

They had all of 13 hours to contemplate it before they have to retake the field for the first game of Saturday's doubleheader. How do you bounce back so quickly from such a devastating loss?

"Same way we'd come back if we won 3-2," Zimmerman insisted. "It's one game. Obviously it's an emotional game for people watching, and it gets us a little bit. But in the grand scheme of things, it's one game. We show up tomorrow just like we do after every other game."

It sounds simple enough. Whether the Nationals can actually do it remains to be seen.

70 comments:

NatsLady said...

Zim is right, it's one game of 162. Forget it. Remember, you are a first-place team with a bunch of talent. Get the next one, and the next one.

peric said...

As an MLB manager with a lead shrinking, you should know to take that guy out and bring in a Mattheus or another reliever that is on his game.

Even Davey intimated as much. In the end, against the Braves who do you call? Your best guys. He still considers Storen one of his best guys. What Davey admitted to was leaving both he and Burnett in so long ... and really it started with Michael Gonzalez. He allowed 2 inherited runners to score.

Davey admitted he was thinking of saving Gorzo for the double header and that's who should have come in instead of Gonzalez. Is that cute? I don't know with Lannan coming in with a really horrible July? A 7.47 ERA, 4 home runs and an 0 - 3 record?

This sounds like a Rizzo choice not a Davey Johnson choice. Maybe he is still trying to trade the guy ... or maybe that's how the depth chart looks ... but its likely why Johnson managed this game the way he did looking to the second game of the double header, and planning in advance for when Lannan got shelled. I can't blame him for thinking ahead. But at the same time the old saw says take one game at a time. And that's why Davey is taking the blame.

If you want to direct fault, then direct it at whomever decided to let that loser Lannan pitch the second game of what is a key double header tomorrow.

And its great to see Tommy Milone (as others said before) get 10 K's against the Yankees. He's the guy I wanted to replace Lannan. Instead its Detwiler and CM Wang. I'd still take Milone over those two but I guess the trade for Gio wouldn't have been done without adding Milone at least that's what the reports said. And Rizzo tried hard to hold him back.

natstradamus said...

The worst part about this loss is that Davey burned through most of the pen and all of his position players. Storen's probably unavailable all day tomorrow, for example (2 consecutive days of work returning from injury). Likewise Gorzo and M. Gonzalez.

This has a knock-on effect on both games of the doubleheader, which itself would have made Sunday's game difficult enough.

Doug said...

"Even Davey intimated as much. In the end, against the Braves who do you call? Your best guys. He still considers Storen one of his best guys. What Davey admitted to was leaving both he and Burnett in so long"

When your best guys don't have their average stuff you take them out...Storen IMO was a good choice there in a situation to bring him back to MLB baseball in what seemed like a no risk situation (unfortunately he didn't pitch well).

Burnett is the decision that made no sense...Sure, he got the 2 K's to start, but he got lucky with those K's given 4 of his pitches were balls in the dirt....Once the Braves realized he couldn't hit the zone, they laid off and thus 2 straight BB's including a 4 pitch walk WITH BASES LOADED...

Davey is certainly a better manager in my mind than Robinson/Acta, but he deserves the entire blame for the loss tonight....and he owned up to it at the post-game presser, which is why he is a great manager. BUT, he still deserves "direct fault" for tonight's loss.

Laddie Blah Blah said...

"Davey is certainly a better manager in my mind than Robinson/Acta, but he deserves the entire blame for the loss tonight....and he owned up to it at the post-game presser, which is why he is a great manager."

Agree on all counts, except for Storen. He is just back from rehab and pitched the day before. I would have given him, Burnet and Clippard the night off, and gone with a well-rested Gorzo to finish off the 8th and 9th, with a well-rested Matheus warming up in the 9th, just in case.

Now, the BP is shot to hell, with 3 games in 24 hours coming up. Yesterday was Davey's worst day as field mgr. The team will have to pick him up today, starting with EJax, who is overdue for a good game. Lannen has enjoyed some success with the Braves, and maybe he can do it, again.

Good teams deal with adversity. The Nats don't have just a good team, they have the best team in the NL. Now they have a chance to show just how good they really are.

rabbit34 said...

Yep, it hurts real bad. But, again, remember that we weren't supposed to contend until next year. Being realistic, we won't. Using the over-used phrase, it's a long season. Well, we just don't have the horses to get us there....this year. "Wait 'till next year!"

Joe Seamhead said...

This was a very tough loss, the blame goes to much more then Johnson. Everybody is second guessing him heavily, as baseball fans always do, but his handling of the staff has got us here, and I still see him guiding this club to the NL East title. Go ahead, naysayers, laugh, scoff, or whatever.That said, this weekend is going to be pretty tough for the Nats to come back and win the series because our pitching staff is pretty spent. Many expressed outrage that Davey didn't use Matheus last night. Folks, Ryan isn't all that "well rested" either, and as Laddie Blah Blah said, we have 3 more games in a little over 24 hours. You can't fire all of your bullets in the first salvo. Even if the Braves manage to sweep us at home, baseball gods forbid, the season is far from over. We will bounce back and it will be a dogfight for the whole rest of the season. I, for one, am loving this season, even with the lows that go with the highs. Honestly, I wouldn't want a 10 game lead. I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO A TIGHT PENNANT RACE WITH YOUR WASHINGTON NATIONALS BEING RIGHT IN THE THICK OF IT!

Secret wasian man said...

The pitching staff is the reason the team has done so well up until yesterday. And now the pitching staff will be the reason we faulter the rest of the way. For those of you who have been waiting for the other shoe to drop; guess what, it just did.

Natslifer said...

I was there last night and thought I might avoid the torture of reading about the game this morning but can't stay away. For me, it was a super painful lesson in the old "it's not over till it's over" world. All of us were laughing and whooping it up in the 6th. I (and I think the players) felt like we just needed three outs in the 6th because the game would likely be called. You could see Stras out there just throwing figuring anything would work - and then the wheels started going off. I understand Davey's challenges but for a long haul season look, I've only got two observations: the bats are great and we have a serious closer problem right now.

Am bringing my son and two friends to game 1 today - let's get 'em back!!! GYFNG!

flynnie said...

2005 Redux? First Half 52-36; Second Half 29-45; days in first: 63 last on Jul 25, 2005.

Constant Reader said...

Hmmm ... the sun came up this morning (at least I assume it did on this cloudy day). 71 games to go. Paraphrasing Will Rogers, "Never let yesterday take too much out of today."

natsfan1a said...

Actually, I think this one might be on me. The other day, I was yammering to my baseball buddy about how they were playing clean baseball and not giving away outs. Heh.

But it's a whole new, uh, two whole new ballgames today, so go NATS!!

Drew said...

In other news...

Alex Meyer throws six shutout innings to win his Potomac debut.

Rosenbaum gets cuffed around yet again in Harrisburg. He's now 7-7 with a 3.62 ERA.

Brian Goodwin starts his Harrisburg stint 0-7 with four Ks, but draws his first walk. Figure he's got a bit of a learning curve. Looks like he played the completion of Thursday's game, plus Friday's scheduled tilt.

Walters swats his sixth homer. He's hitting .330 at Harrisburg.

Looks like the Goodwin leapfrog promotion lit a fire under Potomac cf Michael Taylor. He responded with a homer and two doubles and now has 28 doubles this season.

Taylor Jordan, coming back from TJ surgery, makes his first start in Hagerstown, giving up three runs in four innings.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

One game, no more no less. Back at 'em today.

But the Let's Belabor the Obvious award goes to ever-popular Peric, for this gem:

"I guess the trade for Gio wouldn't have been done without adding Milone at least that's what the reports said."

Two words: Ya think?

The Gio trade is the reason we've been in first place the whole year. Without Gio, we do have John LannEn in the rotation for the entire year, not just today's spot start. The Gio-for-four-prospects trade is Rizzo's second-best deal ever (after Morse-for-Langershlang). Only somebody like Peric is even still debating the wisdom of that deal. Jeesh.

Sorry. Just a little testy this morning. Can't imagine why.

natsfan1a said...

Funny, I was making a similar comment to my husband this morning as he critiqued Davey's managing. Me: Well, this is all I'm going to say. His techniques led them to the best record in the division and the NL. (Go, DAVEY! Go, NATS!!)

Everybody is second guessing him heavily, as baseball fans always do, but his handling of the staff has got us here, and I still see him guiding this club to the NL East title.

djinFl. said...

The bullpen staff since the arrival on Storen reminds me of Detwiller earlier this year. With a demotion looming on the horizon they are are trying to throw their best rather than pitching to their ability. They know one of them, with a very good track record for the year, has to go Tuesday. Det fell apart with Wang getting close to his return, and now we have a whole bullpen flailing. Clip just needs some rest.
This will also be most guys first division title race so the nerves will creep in and we will have a game or two like this. Davey and Jason will get them through it.
No need to leap out of your basement window guys.

NatsLady said...

All, right, I slept on it. I'll give Davey a mulligan on it, because everyone has a bad day and I hope he learned his lesson. But thinking about it, it was really bad. Stras as much as said, "I'm done, skip, take me outta here," even in the fifth inning. He was pawing at the mound and juggling the resin bag just like he did in that game against the Padres. If you want to look at pitch counts he was already over 90.

So Davey should have had Gorzy warming and if he wanted, said Stras, ok, I'll give you one batter (in the sixth). BUT NO, he had no one warming, so when Stras--PREDICTABLY--is melting down, he has to get Gonzalez up because Gonz warms quickly (ironically, with the umpire review, there was plenty of time). And after that... See previous posts...

So, we'll hope Davey is like your Ace pitcher who just didn't have his stuff last night. The Braves also have a double-header today after extra innings. Go get 'em, boys.

Hey, Mike, we need another catcher, preferably a veteran. Don't care about the bat, OK?

DJB said...

The staff gave up 9 tbe day before and 11 last night. The proverbial "its just 1 of 162" is frankly stupid. This team is done, cooked, and next year won't be the cure. Milone is pitching well and Trout is having an historic rookie season. Harper has been 0 for 5 the last two games. No adjustment to the curveball and he's fading fast with a swing that anyone can tell you won't make it in the bigs. Rizzo needs to be fired at the end of the season, period. I'm thinking about Davey.

NatsLady said...

djinfl, good point on guys in the bullpen worried about their jobs. Even though the two in most danger (Mattheus and Stammen because of options) didn't pitch last night, yes, could be a lot of jitters out there, especially watching Ankiel go. Brings home the reality of a pennant race and "devil take the hindmost."

Not leaping out of my window, far from it, because there is a LOT of talent on this team and--they are hitting!

natsfan1a said...

Wow. Haven't read (and won't read) the game thread comments, but I did just read the instant analysis comments. Not only was there plenty of doom and gloom, which I expected, but they even broke out the tinfoil hats at the end. Whew. There's ten minutes of my life I'll never get back. Da-ang. I will say that we have a varied fanbase, which includes GMs, skippers, soothsayers, gamblers, and conspiracy theorists, sometimes all rolled into one person. I repeat, da-ang. :-)

baseballswami said...

Well, I slept on it, too. I feel that they are playing anxiously in fear of losing first place instead just playing good baseball. I also think that what happened in Colorado is a terrible tragedy . What happened at NatsPark was just a game.

natsfan1a said...

All excellent points, swami.

Tcostant said...

For weeks I said Storen should go back to back in the minors before coming up. What a waste of 9-0 start. Just a killer loss. We play in 4 hours...

Joe Seamhead said...

natsfan1, the game thread was full of vile from trolls, certainly the worst of the year. I'm going to the game today, was supposed to go last night but unforseen personal situations came up and derailed that plan. For all the Davey naysayers, I am wearing a Nats Jersey with the name Johnson, and the number 5 on the back today. Careful what you say to me today, I'm feeling a litle surly after last night.
It's still another bad day to be a Phillies fan.
GYFNG!!!

ehay2k said...

Natsfan1a, I resolced to post during the game to keep the negative ninnies away, and it was fairly light hearted,until the final collapse. Much much much easier read than the Instant Analysis posts (but I had no idea Nixon was an alien. Gaah!)

Football fans, and apparently a permanently embittered Cubs fan (comparing last night to the Bartman game was classically inane), make for bad baseball commentary. Some posters make themselves feel better by crawling out from under their rocks and posting only when they can pile on the negativity. They scurry away when the team wins. You can take solace in the fact that the team wins more often than not.

NatsLady said...

Seamhead, right on. Not to mention, another bad day to be a Marlins fan. And Valdespin (who IS that guy?) hit another homerun and the Mets still didn't win. Swami, also--yes, it's a game. Haven't forgotten Colorado... I doubt if anyone has.

NatsJim said...

rabbit34 said...
Yep, it hurts real bad. But, again, remember that we weren't supposed to contend until next year. Being realistic, we won't. Using the over-used phrase, it's a long season. Well, we just don't have the horses to get us there....this year. "Wait 'till next year!"
July 21, 2012 4:50 AM

After one loss? That's just pathetic.

NatsLady said...

It amazes me that after two chancy games the "fire Rizzo" banner is already out, along with the "2005" banner. Rizzo built up a team with a lot of talent, and, reading Drew's report, more is on the way. The last time a team I rooted for got to the World Series was in 1959. I'm a happy camper just to be in the race.

NatsJim said...

DJB said...
The staff gave up 9 tbe day before and 11 last night. The proverbial "its just 1 of 162" is frankly stupid. This team is done, cooked, and next year won't be the cure. Milone is pitching well and Trout is having an historic rookie season. Harper has been 0 for 5 the last two games. No adjustment to the curveball and he's fading fast with a swing that anyone can tell you won't make it in the bigs. Rizzo needs to be fired at the end of the season, period. I'm thinking about Davey.
July 21, 2012 9:00 AM

Also pathetic. What does Trout have to do with Harper? Trout was taken 25th in the Strasburg draft, I guess the Nats should have taken him instead? And I guess you'd also rather have Milone than Gio? Unbelievable.

ehay2k said...

Ooh, Natslady said that magic phrase "Marlins Fans"

What has she won Mark? Why, it's a fan even Hanley can left in the same room with!
http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/1/1/98770-cornucopia-12-bladeless-fan.html

Dave said...

I cannot believe anybody is comparing this team with the team in 2005.

Somebody must not have been paying very close attention this past year.

baseballswami said...

It's so hard for us to swallo after that great first half that OUR pitching staff can give up 9 then 11 runs in consecutive games, when Gio and Stras start. Good reality check. Let's keep in mind that Braves pitching gave up 10 last night, their starter was terrible, their amazing closer gave up a bomb to tie it up on the ninth, they are also tired and have a tired pen. They are playing the division leader out of town , with 3 games in 2 days. They should not exactly be comfortable.

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

Well, if the zombie-horde-trolls were ever going to have their way, that was the game to do it in.

DJB said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Trout was taken the year we drafted Storen. Rizzo chose a closer in the draft, which from a sabremetric point of view, is stupid. But I can be wrong. I have slept on it, and don't feel better. Giving up 20 runs in two games with supposedly the best staff in the majors, you'd have to be stupid not to be surly about it.

ehay2k said...

Disclaimer - I am not associated in any way with BB&B, Cornucopia fans, or the Marlins. Most definitely, not the Marlins.

ehay2k said...

DJB, you mean every other manager knew to take Trout, a sure thing as there ever was, but somehow they couldn't remember his name so he slipped to something like 25th until one of them remembered?

Professional drafts are always so much easier in hindsight.

NatsLady said...

Did you see where Hanley, after cutting his hand on the fan, didn't take his meds and it got infected? Yeah, Ozzie has real good control of his team, yeah.

NatsLady said...

swami, my points exactly, said the same. From the Braves point of view, it's also only one win, and one heckuva draining win. Their regulars played the whole game. They are still 2.5 games out.

NatsJim said...

"DJB said...
Correct me if I'm wrong, but Trout was taken the year we drafted Storen. Rizzo chose a closer in the draft, which from a sabremetric point of view, is stupid. But I can be wrong. I have slept on it, and don't feel better. Giving up 20 runs in two games with supposedly the best staff in the majors, you'd have to be stupid not to be surly about it."

Be surly all you want, but for someone who evidently likes to say others are stupid you're the one being stupid by comparing Harper to Trout and then retroactively saying Rizzo should have known to take Trout with the Storen pick when the next 14 GMs passed as well... yeah, they're all morons and you're a genius.

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

Giving up 20 runs in two games with supposedly the best staff in the majors, you'd have to be stupid not to be surly about it.

Those are not the only two choices. Plenty of folks manage to be neither one. Just sayin.

JamesFan said...

This is one of those fluky baseball games that comes along during the season. As the leader should, Davey took the loss on his shoulders even though there is enough blame to go around. They have to us this for motivation, pick themselves up and play tough the rest of the series. Frankly, the Braves can't be too happy either. They gave up ten runs, including a blown save. This game was a fluke.

UnkyD said...

I think this game is a lesson many young teams have to learn, about keeping your focus, even when you're up, late, by 9. Even when its raining, and you're wishing the ump would call the game. Far better to learn it in July, when you're up by a few games, than in an elimination game, in Sept-Oct. now, if they're up by 7 in the NLCS, the dugout will be all "Hey, don't forget...we had the Barves by 9, after 7, and puked on our shoes.... Let's keep our feet on their $&@*! Throats!!!"

GYFNG!!!!!!!

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Wow, a voice of reason, JamesFan, among the trolls and the end-of-the-earth-is-coming crowd. Thank you for some sanity.

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

The narrative for this season won't be written in July, any more than the gamer for yesterday was written in the sixth inning.

NatsJim said...

We need one of those 8-inning gems from EJax this afternoon, he's done it before when we needed it - hopefully the vet can pick the club up after the tough loss.

baseballswami said...

Unkyd -- nailed it. Ding,ding, ding. You can never get complacent or skip the details. Young team, youthful errors in judgement. What I hope to see today, besides a break in the rain, is absolutely no panic, clean slate, clean game.

NatsLady said...

Yeah, they knew that Davey, in Freddi's shoes, would have let the umps call the game. It was 9-4 when the ump called Freddi out of the dugout, and he said no, go ahead. We'll see over the next three games whether that was the right decision.

Davey started putting himself in this hole when he pulled Gio so early on Thursday. I didn't get that, and neither did Gio. Gio could have done an EJax, give up a bunch of runs early but stay in the game for 6 or 7. OK, but if you are going to have a quick hook, why not have it for Stras? Stras needed to be pulled way more than Gio.

handicapper inc said...

I expect to see some shaky performances in the coming week and a half. The looming trade deadline and returns of injured players all will create some anxiety about roster moves and can affect chemistry. They'll get through this stretch, the sky won't fall, and they'll hit their stride hard down the stretch. yes it was a terrible game, but we get to play in 3 hours.

This is when EJax can really show his value. Time to step up, shut them down, and eat innings.

Venters just got activated. The way he has pitched up till now, I'm kind of happy about that.

baseballswami said...

Seems like many of our pitchers are out of sync. Would Stras or Gio have settled down? Would Drew have pulled it together? I feel that Davey has been pushing the buttons that have worked before, but they aren't working right now. Time for some fresh looks at where everyone is right now . They say this game is about making adjustments. Also, enough with the poor bullpen- get out there and pitch, it's the second half, starters and relievers can work a bit more. Stop worrying about a post season that may or may not be a reality. .

Section 135 said...

Why the hell do you bring up Storen if you don't have the confidence to pitch him more than 2 batters. Burnett should never face r handers. Clip choked plain and simple. And Bryce needs to adjust or his average will continue to drop

ehay2k said...

Any thoughts about why the baseballs seemed soooo slippery, for all the pitchers? Even the Braves hurlers had grip issues. Just wondering if the Nats rub more or less mud into the balls, what effect that might have, etc.

One thing is certain: we do NOT like to pitch in the rain, even without running Hot Stuff.

baseballswami said...

Nady activated and dfa.

ehay2k said...

Sec 135 - at the time, we had a huge lead, and Storen needed to get some work in. He had only thrown like nine pitches on Thursday. It's not like it was a one-run game at that point. He was also warmed up. Can't bring a guy in cold.

As for Burnett, he's actually pretty effective against RH batters, certainly better than a LOOGY when he's healthy. But I think he is hurting a little.

It's just too easy to second guess after the fact.

baseballswami said...

By the way, that was another move we worried about that seems to be passing by without drama.

ehay2k said...

Swami - thanks. Not that I am surprised to learn Nady was let go. Great story out of ST, but not much after that.

baseballswami said...

It would appear via twitter that Jesus Flores might be an issue today with a bad back. No wonder, huh? Leon maybe catching both games today. More good news. But you know - we have an awesome team to watch almost every single day. They have given us lots of fun fan moments this season so far. I have been in this thing since day one and I will continue to do so. I am giving myself the gift of watching both games today and I am going to enjoy the watching of baseball - every day is a gift, choose how you use it. Go Nats!

NatsJim said...

Right-on Swami, let's play two!!

Steady Eddie said...

After delighting and then agonizing at Nats Park through the game last night, I come back to find most of the regulars here reassuringly sane (the sober ones, at least), but as some of them noted, a few new lurker trolls crawled out to slime the place. Ah, well, the great thing about Mark's non-anon rule is you know who to scroll past that much faster.

Just as an illustration of the silliness -- for all those bemoaning how we "burned through our bullpen OMG what do we do for the next three games!", do you ever look at box scores? We used 6 pitchers with relievers taking 5 2/3 innings of that. The Barves used 7 pitchers and their BP had to eat 7 innings.

It IS the Barves we're playing those next three games, no?

NatsLady said...

An amazing number of people stayed for the whole game--I've seen crowds like that at the beginning of games (not this year so much). It was chilly and wet and Barves fans were trying the chop when Danny lit up the place. These are the highs and lows of a fun team. Hope we get the afternoon game in without too many delays, should be ok for the night game and tomorrow.

NatsLady said...

Who is this guy "Danny" on 106.7? He's pretty good on baseball, apparently played college ball himself and remembered the X-man when he was a phenom. I usually listen to Nats Talk Live but I heard him on the radio talking sense about Stras.

Section 135 said...

Need to bring up Koyie Hill to replace Leon. He got into a wrestling match with the other team's catcher last night. Maybe this team needs someone with fire like that since Davey sure ain't gonna give them that. Never thought I'd say it but really missing Werth and his D in right field. Morse is useless out there.

mick said...

ladie blah blah... thanks for post, i will talk to my friend

mick said...

if Nats win 1PM game, yesterday's game is irrelevant just like the few other tough losses this season. If we lose both today, then last night was the beginning of the end. Davey, R Zim and the leaders on this club HAVE to be leaders today

go Nats!

NatsJim said...

NL - Danny Rouhier, @funnydanny. He's got the regular 10AM-12PM timeslot on the fan with Holden Kushner, they talk more Nats than anyone else on the station. Holden has a gig with the MLB XM radio channel (or at least he did), so they're both fairly knowledgeable and enjoyable to listen to (if somewhat immature at times, but then I enjoy that 8).

djinFl. said...

AMEN Swami !!
Hope you enjoy the double header as much as I plan on.

SonnyG10 said...

I was at the game last night, sitting behind home plate in the Diamond Club section. I was amazed at the home run Morse hit. The ball looked like it was shot out of a cannon as it grew smaller in its flight. Wow, what a shot.

I made a strategic error last night. I decided not to take my rain jacket to the game. I like to froze sitting in the rain. When the game was 9 to 4 in our favor, I thought to myself, we've got this game in hand. I'll just leave early and get out of the rain. I rode metro in from West Falls Church and by the time I got to my car and turned the radio on, the score was 9-8. I got home in time to see us go out meekly in the tenth. I was fit to be tied.

But today is another day, and we can recover from last night. I really appreciate reading all the encouraging posts here this morning.

GYFNG!!!!!!!!!!!!!

mick said...

I just hope last night was not Nats version of the black cat at Wrigley Field in 1969, lol

ehay2k said...

We are not Cubs fans, so no, it couldn't possibly be the same as the black cat at Wrigley. Plus, there wasn't a cat of any color.

Laddie Blah Blah said...

Mick

"i will talk to my friend."

Ask him about Ellen Rometsch, too. That one is even better.

jeffwx said...

the problem with losing a 9-0 lead is looking in your rear view mirror when you're up in another game. Winning a game should help dispel that.

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