Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Game 103: Phillies at Nats

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Edwin Jackson faces Vance Worley tonight at Nationals Park.
Ryan Zimmerman insisted last night he would play tonight after missing one game with a tight back. Well, Zimmerman insists today he could play, but Davey Johnson didn't want to take any chances, so the Nationals third baseman is sidelined again.

On the bright side, Adam LaRoche is returning to the lineup after missing time with his own back issue. The first baseman will bat fifth, with Michael Morse directly in front of him and none other than Chad Tracy batting third and playing third base for the first-place Nats. Yep.

Edwin Jackson gets the start tonight against the Phillies, who send Vance Worley to the mound and will have the newly acquire Nate Schierholtz in right field and the recently promoted Domonic Brown in left field.

Lots of updates to come, so please check back throughout the evening...

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES 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 183
Weather: Scattered storms, 83 degrees, Wind 6 mph RF to LF
NATIONALS (61-41)
2B Steve Lombardozzi
RF Bryce Harper
3B Chad Tracy
LF Michael Morse
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Danny Espinosa
CF Roger Bernadina
C Jesus Flores
RHP Edwin Jackson

PHILLIES (46-57)
SS Jimmy Rollins
RF Nate Schierholtz
2B Chase Utley
1B Ryan Howard
CF John Mayberry
LF Domonic Brown
3B Kevin Frandsen
C Erik Kratz
RHP Vance Worley

UMPIRES
HP Ted Barrett
1B Marvin Hudson
2B Jordan Baker
3B Tim McClelland (cc)

6:30 p.m. -- Here's your full injury update on Jordan Zimmermann (whose next start has been bumped to Saturday due to shoulder inflammation), Jayson Werth (who is lined up to be activated off the DL Friday) and Ryan Zimmerman (who insists he'll be in tomorrow night's lineup).

7:05 p.m. -- And we're underway as Jimmy Rollins sends Edwin Jackson's first pitch of the night to the warning track in right field. Don't worry, Bryce Harper was there to catch it. The Nats are wearing their blue stars and stripes jerseys tonight. I believe it's some sort of military appreciation night.

7:13 p.m. -- What could have been a shaky top of the first for Jackson turns out just fine. After Rollins gave that first pitch a ride, Jackson got Nate Schierholtz to ground out. Though he issued a two-out walk to Chase Utley, he bounced back to strike out Ryan Howard to complete the inning. So we head to the bottom of the first.

7:25 p.m. -- And the Nats take a quick 2-0 lead, with a couple of major assists from the Phillies' shoddy infield defense. Kevin Frandsen booted Michael Morse's chopper to third and Chase Utley couldn't get a handle on Danny Espinosa's bases-loaded grounder to second. All that led to two unearned runs crossing the plate in the bottom of the first.

7:47 p.m. -- Good news: Bryce Harper's prolonged slump may be coming to an end. He's already got two hits in two at-bats in two innings tonight. Bad news: The second hit (an opposite-field single to left) resulted in Jackson getting gunned down at the plate, with the pitcher sliding hard into Erik Kratz's shin guards. Not a wise send by Bo Jackson. So it remains 2-0 Nats after two.

8:00 p.m. -- Well, that was a very shaky top of the third for Jackson, who gave up hits to four of the first five batters he faced. That included Rollins' solo homer into the second deck down the right-field line. Was Jackson still bothered by that hard slide into the plate to end the previous inning? Who knows? But he did come through with a big strikeout of Howard to end the inning without suffering any more damage, leaving the Nats with a 2-1 lead.

8:26 p.m. -- Things have settled down here, particularly for Worley, who has retired six in a row through the third and fourth innings. Jackson has found himself in trouble all night, but he's escaped without significant damage so far. Have to wonder if he's playing with fire, though. Still 2-1 as we go to the fifth.

8:49 p.m. -- What was I saying about playing with fire? Jackson finally got burned in the fifth, serving up back-to-back homers to Rollins and Schierholtz to give the Phillies a 3-2 lead. A double by Utley and then a walk to Howard later, Jackson still hadn't retired a batter in the inning, yet there still was no activity in the Nationals' bullpen. Yes, Tom Gorzelanny went three innings last night, but Davey Johnson does have eight guys down there at the moment, does he not? Well, props to Jackson for getting out of the mess without suffering any more damage. But at 95 pitches through five innings, having allowed three runs, Davey might just want to be grateful for what he got and hand things over to his pen in the sixth.

8:55 p.m. -- Meanwhile, Worley has retired nine in a row, including three in very quick fashion in the bottom of the fifth. Which means Jackson is already back out on the mound for the sixth after a very short break.

9:09 p.m. -- Jackson got a couple of outs but then walked Rollins (which may not have been such a bad idea tonight) so out came Captain Hook to summon Michael Gonzalez. Gonzalez did his job, striking out Schierholtz. So that ends the top of the sixth with the score still 3-2. Given how many guys he put on base, it's pretty remarkable Jackson wound up only giving up three runs tonight (all on solo homers).

9:22 p.m. -- Most shocking development of the night: The official paid attendance is only 23,777. That's the first crowd under 25,000 here since May 15. And it came against the Phillies. Never would've predicted that.

9:27 p.m. -- Very nice job by Michael Gonzalez, who retired all four batters he faced, three by strikeout. That has kept this a 3-2 game at the seventh-inning stretch, with the crowd here just waiting for the home team to get a rally going. They're running out of time.

9:33 p.m. -- That's 14 of 16 Nats hitters retired by Roy Halladay. What's that? Oh, it's Vance Worley pitching tonight. My mistake. Still 3-2 as we head to the eighth.

9:41 p.m. -- A 1-2-3 eighth from Ryan Mattheus, continuing the positive work from the Nats bullpen. But it'll all amount to nothing if the lineup can't do something against the Phillies pitching staff. On the bright side, Worley is finally out and Antonio Bastardo is in for the bottom of the eighth. Also, Ryan Zimmerman is grabbing a bat and looks like he will pinch-hit for Chad Tracy.

9:57 p.m. -- And Zim delivers a one-out, pinch-hit single up the middle, putting the Nats in prime position to rally for the tying run. But Morse struck out swinging at a 93 mph right down the middle from right-hander Josh Lindblom. Then after the Phillies brought in lefty Jeremy Horst (Jeremy Horst??) to face LaRoche, Zimmerman was gunned down surprisingly trying to steal second base on Horst's very first pitch. Odd. Very odd. It's still 3-2 as we go to the ninth.

10:10 p.m. -- Last shot for the Nats. It'll be LaRoche, Espinosa and Bernadina in the bottom of the ninth against Jonathan Papelbon.

10:21 p.m. -- That'll do it. A very frustrating night ends with a very frustrating 3-2 loss to the Phillies, who came into D.C. waving the white flag but have now assured themselves of a series victory. They'll go for the sweep tomorrow. On the bright side, the Braves lost to the Marlins. So the lead remains at 2 1/2 games.

192 comments:

JayB said...

yea....not making needed moves like INF and Catching is really paying off Rizzo. Dope! Chad Tracy starting MLB game at 3rd base for anyone let alone a Division winning want a be team.....Not good at all.

Maurymania said...

Good lord, calm down guys. One game with Tracy at 3rd isn't the end of the world. Better to give Zim another day off, can you really question Davy and Rizzo after what they have put togher? And besides, "infield help" would have meant some light hitting utility player at 3rd tonight, not exactly better than Tracy. We give up some fielding for a bat. It beats DeRosa.

JayB said...

Uh....there is a long history of one game being much more that one game with Zim and Nats in general....AND it is not just Tracy....DeRosa in many ways is even worse....you do not win the division or even make the playoffs with those type of solutions.

mick said...

JayB

I agree about DeRosa but I think Tracy can play

mick said...

When Is Ian off the 15 DL? anyone know

JD said...

Mick,

I think this Sunday but he's not expected back for about a month.

mick said...

JD... seriously? its that bad?

JD said...

JayB,

Tracy is starting for an injured 3rd baseman. Do you think we should also have Adrian Beltre in reserve in case Zim gets hurt?

The necessary moves involve giving away pieces at inflated prices; in other words teams out of the running use this opportunity to raid your system while they get rid of bloated expensive contracts.

JD said...

Mick,

That's what they said when they dl'd him.

NatsLady said...

I'm setting aside money for playoff tickets, however much they cost, even if I have to drain my savings account.

222, let's just say Rizzo is hedging his bets. He is definitely NOT going all in for 2012. If he were, Det would be in the bullpen and Greinke would be on the team, along with Shoppach.

I just hope Tracy is in good condition and warmed up because let's not get injured again, ok?

JD said...

'you do not win the division or even make the playoffs with those type of solutions.'

And yet we are 20 games over .500 with the 2nd best record in the majors (by half a game) while missing: Morse, Zim, Desi for significant periods of time.

What a dope that Rizzo is.

peric said...

Hmmm I tend to side with JayB on this one ... the guy is coming off of hernia surgery and admits he can't move well?

I just hope NFABrian is clairevoyant and they manage to get Jed Lowrie from the Astros through a waiver wire trade. I guess he can play short as well. Or Stephen Drew ... and honestly since he is on the 40-man I'd rather see Carlos Rivero at third for Zim since he can play that position pretty well.

NatsLady said...

JD--exactly. So far, Davey has managed the injuries amazingly. I say, give him a chance to manage.

JD said...

NL,

Rizzo just won't give away prospects for rentals; he's all about building a team which contends every year not just this year so in that sense I agree that he's not all in.

I don't think that this is just a 2012 thing. I think that this is part of Rizzo's and the rest of the brain trust's overall philosophy.

mick said...

NatsLady said...

He is definitely NOT going all in for 2012. If he were, Det would be in the bullpen and Greinke would be on the team, along with Shoppach

I agree and that is why I think Rizzzo is a great GM. I see an upside down the road by not making an impulsive mistake and giving away the future to win it all this season.

What is under rated by most fans I think is the closeness in the club house for a 162 game season. I believe that teams that are a player away of being dominant will be at the top of any super free agent looking for an organization that is loyal to its players.

JaneB said...

We will be lucky to see Ian in early September from the sound of things. DeRosa wasn't awesome last night so why the heck not try Tracy? If they're holding out Zimm the must have a good reason. It's not like they're trying to field an inferior team. Well, not "Inferior" but you know what I mean.
GYFNG!

peric said...

Rizzo just won't give away prospects for rentals;

I'm sure they checked with Grienke to see how he felt about an extension. You can bet real money on that. They can always wait until the offseason to bid for his services then. And they may need them if EJax leaves. It would still leave them with plenty of flexibility at the back-end of the rotation for up-and-coming power pitching prospects ... but they may be get thrown in for injuries. This has been a rare year pitching injury wise for the major league roster. All the serious injuries to pitchers all occurred in the minors instead of to the major league pitching staff.

mick said...

I know there is concern at catcher, but remember Flores was always projected to be the starter before Ramos emerged. I think Ramos will be back 100% next year and the catcher issue will be solved

mick said...

peric said...
Rizzo just won't give away prospects for rentals;

totally agree with you

NatsLady said...

JD, yes. He said exactly that on the radio today. He said there were several deals that were "close" in the morning, but nothing worked for the right price. Bottom line is, Rizzo is simply not desperate. I think he hopes the current cast of characters will get to the playoffs--and I think he'll watch the waiver wire like the proverbial hawk--but as he said, the team was built during the winter.

Davey clearly said he didn't want Bixler types on his bench. The problem is that with DeRosa's bat not working, we ended up with one.

Doc said...

Apart from a few games earlier this year, it appears that our boy Chad has played 378 games at 3B in his career.

A downgrade from Zim, but an upgrade from DeRosa, me thinks.

peric said...

DeRosa wasn't awesome last night so why the heck not try Tracy?

Because he's coming off of hernia surgery and admits he can't move. That's means doubles and triples when they should be outs.

Gonat said...

Mick - The 15 day retroactive DL rule is the minimum amount of time. It could go 20 or 30. With the situation like Werth they moved him to the 60 Day because on the 60 Day you don't count against the 40 man roster.

peric said...

A downgrade from Zim, but an upgrade from DeRosa, me thinks.

Not defensively. We need the expanded rosters now. Tracy is now just a pinch hitter and nothing more recovering from hernia surgery.

mick said...

Gonat.... thank you.

Another_Sam said...

Has anyone here spoken about the elephant in the room: Bryce has quit hitting?

JD said...

Peric,

I think the Angels have a big leg up as far as Greinke long term. They have historically been able to lock up their 'rentals'. This is especially true if they go deep into the playoffs this year.

peric said...

Has anyone here spoken about the elephant in the room: Bryce has quit hitting?

See On Harper's Prolonged Slump

JD said...

'Because he's coming off of hernia surgery and admits he can't move. That's means doubles and triples when they should be outs'

Which would be a concern if Zim was out for more than a couple of days.

JD said...

'Has anyone here spoken about the elephant in the room: Bryce has quit hitting?'

Yes,

Ad Noseum.

peric said...

I think the Angels have a big leg up as far as Greinke long term.

Unfortunately, probably true given their new TV contract however Grienke does consider the Nats an interesting team. He is a baseball geek after all. You just never know ...

mick said...

Another_Sam said...
Has anyone here spoken about the elephant in the room: Bryce has quit hitting?


good point..

Two things on Bryce

1)he is struggling verse lefty's who throw great off speed sinkers. This will not be solved until next Spring training in my view

2) I think he is ailing abit physically

The good news is that I think he will recover and I think Davey needs to platoon him against those type of pitchers the rest of the season

Gonat said...

The Bryce slump is nothing new. It has been discussed here for a few weeks. Go back and read for a while. Talk about him not elevating balls and biting on off-speed.

Section 222 said...

NL -- I agree he's not "all in for 2012," at least not in the conventional sense of selling the farm to try to win with rentals this year. (Seems like that's what the Dodgers are doing, and they aren't even in that good a position to do succeed.) And that's fine with me. I want a dynasty. I have no interest in expensive rentals that make the team worse in the mid-term.

Maybe I'm too much of a lawyer, but there's a big difference between eschewing rentals and stupid trades and "playing for next year," which would suggest that he's assuming that all the pieces will come together next year without spending or trading and so he'll just ride out whatever happens this year and not worry about it if we fall short. I don't think that's his view, or at least I hope it's not.

Gonat said...

Bob Carpenter said Strasburg just hit a BP HR onto the batter's eye grassy knoll in CF.

peric said...

Which would be a concern if Zim was out for more than a couple of days.

I'm not sure playing the "B" lineup against an Eastern Division foe like the Phillies makes sense even if they are having a down year. Resting veterans is fine but couldn't it wait for the Astro's?

JeffDC2004 said...

Nats only 20 games above .500. No moves at the trade deadline. The sky must be falling!!!

Hopefully, the sky will stay together long enough for the Nats to beat the Phils tonight.

GO NATS!

mick said...

peric... my concern with Grienke is his personality... would he fit in?

NatsLady said...

So Espy will have to move to his right--a lot. And charge balls that Zim would have gotten--a lot. Somehow, I think he's up to the task.

mick said...

I got it... is Moonlight Graham around to play the infield, LOL

NatsLady said...

222, OK. I'm not a lawyer, so maybe I didn't use the correct term.

JayB said...

Rizzo is a good GM and a really baseball guy. I like that a lot....it is very important...that said he does make a lot of mistakes....just that his wins are big wins and they cover up the bad moves. I know...like all GM's but that said....Rizzo blew the International Signings again....he was wrong on Maya and Martin begin major impact players at the MLB level.....ever let alone right away...he was wrong of A Chapman not being worth the money. He was wrong on endless Bench Bats over 5 years. He has to improve or he will just be a good GM who never wins a playoff game. They need to do what they can this year to win....nothing is not a solution.

mick said...

oh rats, Moonlight was an outfielder.... oh well...

peric said...

I don't think that's his view, or at least I hope it's not.

Its not. They'll have all offseason to check in with free agents and attempt to make the kind of trades they consider "upgrades" to the current roster. Those trades usually take a month or so not days and hours.

Rizzo and Clark have a model of what they want the major league product and system to look like. Its a work in progress. Davey claims to wholeheartedly share that philosophy and will likely rejoin the think tank sometime in the near future.

Old Wino said...

I didn't look into this, but it seems the Nats have a bad record after road trips with a day off at the end. They seem to lose the home opener, then do well after that. I guess we will see tonight. (are they partying on that day off?).

;)

mick said...

JB... all good points and I agree about Maya

mick said...

Old Wino said...
I didn't look into this, but it seems the Nats have a bad record after road trips with a day off at the end. They seem to lose the home opener, then do well after that. I guess we will see tonight. (are they partying on that day off?

hey bro, love to know I got a fellow wino with me LOL

baseballswami said...

I agree with NatsLady - rizzo and the organization ( and me) HOPE we get to the post season with what we have, but they are not so desperate for it that they are going to make moves that are not good for the long term. I completely support that. I posted this morning that I think the first place/ playoff mania has made everyone temporarily lose their perspective. I think Bryce and Stras are both being affected by it. I love this team, I think they are talented and exciting, but I am not quite sure they have the experience and maturity to go all the way. I see this year as a stepping stone - and a HUGE one. They have seriously over- achieved this season, which has been very amazing. I don't want them making short-sighted moves that compromise the next five years. And that includes, pushing Strassie, handling Bryce differently,and paying too high a cost for rental players.

NatsLady said...

Apparently, Greinke has a great personality and was much loved by his teammates. I don't think that was the issue, it was more his "anxiety" issues, and the feeling he would not fare well in a large market with an aggressive media corps (such as NY or Boston)--something like the situation with A.J. Burnett. In the case of the Nationals, I think it was just the price. I think he would have come and he would have fit in fine but it would mean Det going to the bullpen and Lannan not having another chance.

Another_Sam said...

mick -- regarding BH ailing a bit: i don't see how he could not be ailing, considering that he's all out every play.

baseballswami said...

Old wino and Mick -- too much time to think? Because we all know that can hurt the ball club.

peric said...

but it would mean Det going to the bullpen and Lannan not having another chance.

Only because the injuries Rizzo feared from the past years' experiences did not occur to the pitching staff and rotation. And one at least WILL occur Stras will be shut down and likely very soon opening a spot.

Given Lannan's AAA performance I suspect he will break quite a few hearts when he comes back to pitch again. He typically gets rocked three times for each good outing. He is pushing close to a 6 ERA. If it were anyone else they would have been moved to the Chief's bullpen by now.

mick said...

I see Nats lady

Swami, very well said, i have posted as well a few times that I do not think 2012 really should be the season that we expect to be world champs or even NL champs. we are ahead of schedule which is great, but it should not be accelerated if it could jeopardize the master plan.

Say what you want about charlie Manuel but i think he was spot on when in April of 2011 he said the Nats will be a playoff team for the next decade beginning in either 2013 or 2014

I know Peric feels you cease opportunity when you have it... I get that, but sometimes in doing so, what could have been a bright future could be in preril

Darin H said...

Peric,

You are a really annoying pessimist and make this blog no fun to read. Go back to World of Warcraft in your mom's basement or whatever hole you live in and let the rest of us enjoy this blog.

You're a tool and clearly know nothing about baseball.

baseballswami said...

So in cheerier news - AK reports that Zim's shoulder continues to feel just great! And - everyone's favorite song "Nuts about the Nats" is apparently making a resurgence. Just in case there are any Philly fans in the house tonight, that should drive them away forever. Just about as cheesy as " Hey Chicago , what do you say, Cubs are going to win today",which they actually sing at the END of the game, despite using the future tense. I know, grammar police.

NatsLady said...

Have any of our relievers been to the playoffs? Mike Gonzalez, maybe? The bullpen is key, even more than the starting rotation. All teams in the playoffs will have good rotations, because they can chop of their No. 5 and probably their No. 4 starter. So the pressure will be on the bullpen. What I'm saying is, there is another area where the team does not have playoff experience.

mick said...

Another_Sam said...
mick -- regarding BH ailing a bit: i don't see how he could not be ailing, considering that he's all out every play.


of course he is playing, i think he is not 100% is what i meant

peric said...

You are a really annoying pessimist and make this blog no fun to read. Go back to World of Warcraft in your mom's basement or whatever hole you live in and let the rest of us enjoy this blog.

And you are old and weak and I am YOUNG and Strong troll.

peric said...

Have any of our relievers been to the playoffs? Mike Gonzalez, maybe?

Gorzo has come close ... led the Pirates in a playoff chase for the Pirates in 2007 as their ace.

baseballswami said...

Bryce needs cookies almost as much as Det does. He is 19, does he even know how to feed himself properly as a professional athlete? He looks thin and pale. And he looks like he needs his mom. I think having Jayson around will help him a lot, he probably misses rick, too. Those guys were keeping his head on straight.

mick said...

Peric and Darin... I'm the 3rd Billy Goat, lol

peric said...

Arrgggh I can't believe that smaltzy song ... its like listening to an old Hannah Barbera lead-in for a cartoon!

peric said...

Peric and Darin... I'm the 3rd Billy Goat, lol

He's just a troll or an Ori'hole fan Mick.

peric said...

... Or someone changing their handle to be cute.

NatsLady said...

peric, you and I are in agreement on this. A lot of the overachievement this year has been because the rotation was healthy (to date) and Det filled in admirably for CMW. Davey/Rizzo and the minor-league promotions have overcome injuries to the position players.

Secret wasian man said...

Hey Darin. Peric is entitled to his opinion. Like jammage said last night, talk about baseball. Don't insult people you don't know. Now, I expect this team to be no better then 10 over .500 by Labor day. Injuries mounting up

baseballswami said...

And Michael Gonzalez was with the Rangers last post season. I would say that is some good experience. He was actually once traded in a package that included Adam Laroche. You can look it up.

mick said...

swami... it would be great if the Nats could play in a best of 5 series so that the experience issue will be taken care of in 2013

peric said...

He looks thin and pale. And he looks like he needs his mom.

I'm sure if he needed her his mom would be there ... a lot of it is mental Swami as a 19 year old full of hustle (and amazingly he still is a ball of energy) you probably laugh at 162 baseball games. Something he loves to do. Then he finds out what the grind of a long, drawn out grueling 162 major league season can be like. The mental part of the game can be exhausting if you are still learning. The emotional ups and downs can be steep.

An analogy like going to college after kicking ass in high school and getting overwhelmed in the quarter system. You still have a lot of energy. You can still run the stadium stairs 3-10 times (because YOU can, and boy I loved that!). But you still feel like you might only be treading water as the assignments and exams pile up.

Its the mental grind I bet.

mick said...

peric... I can honestly tell you I never enjoyed running stadium stairs, bleachers, or hills, lol

baseballswami said...

Mick - I do hope they get some experience to toughen them up. Although carrying first place in this division on their backs with Atlanta breathing down their necks has not been easy. Some of our younger guys are getting a couple of seasons worth of experience in a big hurry.They have been amazing and playing way over any expectations with tons of injuries - just don't think we should get mad at them if they return to the levels of mere mortals now and then. We may have a terrible streak and lose some games - we also might rebound and have another hot streak. There's 2 full months and 60 games to go.

mick said...

I know what could help Bryce and let me put it this way.... this would come under the heading of "Things that will never happen to me"

use your imagination.lol

baseballswami said...

Peric - agreed that it's mental. He has no peers, no one his age to be 19 with. On the field he knows who he is. Off the field it's another story. It has got to be lonely at times. And I am not kidding about losing Werth and Ankiel.

NatsLady said...

Actually, I don't think so. I've seen that Darin H handle before, usually with satire--quite funny and quirky. Maybe he's just in a bad mood.

mick said...

agreed swami... I think they will hang in and I see them at 90-91 wins and, in post season, even if its the one game bump, it will still be valuable. Ideally, if they played in the single elimination game, won that and played in 3-4 more post season games, that would be fine.

They should be in this to the end and that in sense is like post season

MicheleS said...

Swami, Bryce has some sort of virus over the weekend and was vomitting. That could explain the pale and thin. But cookies would be good just in case.

Let's hope last nights lackluster performance is in the rear view mirror. It will be interesting to see the Good Squad captain at 3B.

Have to go look at the "P"/2013 season ticket email.. see how much this is going to set me back!

GYFNG!!!

NatsLady said...

Very good analogy, peric. He's doing exactly what he's wanted to do all his life. He just didn't know how hard it would be, but he's still loving it.

baseballswami said...

I think Bryce is truly the happiest when he is at the field playing baseball, talking baseball - anything baseball. He is just such a good kid and puts so much pressure on himself. He brings out the parental feelings in me so much. I just want to hug him and tell him it's going to be ok.

phil dunton said...

Zim is becoming another Scott Rolen, who has spent half his career on the DL. I say again, Rizzo is going to regret standing pat, especially in view of how brittle this team is.

TheManBearPig said...

Secret wasian man said: "Now, I expect this team to be no better then 10 over .500 by Labor day. Injuries mounting up."

What would make you say injuries are mounting up? Seems to be going in the other direction. Unless we hear that RZim's back or ALR's back are more serious than just the normal discomfort that a lot of ballplayers go through heading into August, they're not losing players, rather, they're getting players back from injuries. Tracy tonight, Werth soon, Desmond at some point in August (we hope) and Storen finding his stuff after missing the first half. They're losing Strasburg at some point in September, but they can afford to lose their no. 3 starter for the last 2 or 3 weeks.

Old Wino said...

We should all bring cupcakes to the double header on Friday for Bryce and the other kids.

MicheleS said...

Old Wino.. I seriously thought about making cookies and bringing them to the Picnic on saturday, but figured that might be a bit overboard.

NatsLady said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
A DC Wonk said...

Hey, can I get some bets going?

Secret wasian man said...

Now, I expect this team to be no better then 10 over .500 by Labor day. Injuries mounting up

Secret -- wanna bet? I'll bet you that they end up more than 10 games over .500 by Labor Day. (Snicker, like we haven't had injuries before in this season?)

(Dude, I think we'd have to play less than .350 ball until then. I'm not sure that even the worst team in the majors can go that bad. But, heck, you make the assertion, let's bet!)

JayB said...

you do not win the division or even make the playoffs with those type of solutions.


JayB, wanna bet? I'll bet that they do make the playoffs.

A DC Wonk said...

Miami scores three in the top of the first at Atlanta

MicheleS said...

NatsLady.. Per MasnKolko, DeRosa is the emergency catcher. He has a link on twitter to the werth/stras/harper updates.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Chad Tracy, butchering it up at third.

MicheleS said...

Good for the Goon Squad! Love to see that!

MicheleS said...

Okay.. so just made reservations to go to St Louis for the Nats Series in September! One of my best friends lives out there and is having a Nats party that weekend! I love it. #Natitude spreading in the Midwest!

Eugene in Oregon said...

Lots of angst for a team that's won eight of its last 10. Admittedly, the Braves are charging (17 of 21, or something like that), but that's not sustainable. And it's not like last night's game represented the fourth or fifth embarrassing blowout in a row. Yes, the Nats are banged up a bit, but so is every team in baseball. Think back to previous Augusts -- both with the Nats and other teams -- and you'll recall patched together line-ups among even the best-of-the-best teams. It's a 162-game schedule, after all. I'm not suggesting the Nats are going to stay at .600; I'm not even sure they'll win the division. But enjoy the best baseball Washington has seen since [fill in the blank depending on your preference, but it's at least 40-plus years ago].

MicheleS said...

Okay, I know he is an athlete, but I don't think Ejax should have been sent there.

Joe Seamhead said...

Aggressive third base coaching is good. Stupid third base coaching is becoming frequent from Bo.

The Fox said...

You are correct Michele.

EJax is an athlete but he is your starting pitcher
and it was not near the end of the game.

Risk not worth reward in my book.

rmoore446 said...

I am sick of Bo Porter sending runners when they have little or no chance. Aggressive baserunning is one thing but suicide is another.

And to send your starting pitcher into a certain home plate collision is idiotic.

MicheleS said...

Wow.. Slick DP. Got to love that.

A DC Wonk said...

If a 3rd base coach is going to be aggressive, he's going to run some guys into outs. You can't be one without the other.

The other day, EJax took third from first on a single. Everybody applauded EJax then -- he ended up scoring.

Sunday in Milwaukee (and I may have missed it, but I didn't see anybody give Bo credit on this one), he sent RZ on a play to the plate where RZ would/might have been out had the catcher held on to the ball. Instead, it ended up being the winning run.

Calling him out whenever there is an out at home is lame. You gotta judge the good with the bad.

Joe Seamhead said...

Off the top of my head I can remember Ankiel, Morse and Harper looking back at Bo after getting nailed at the plate by several feet. Add in the couple of games in a row that he held guys up on well placed sac flies and evidently this Bo don't know.
Great DP on the bunt, though.

Richard Moore said...

But some of Bo's sends have been out by ten feet. And to send a valuable starting pitcher into a near certain home plate collision is simply stupid.

mick said...

text book DP! now Edwin needs to buckle down

mick said...

Tracy's play was awesome!

Joe Seamhead said...

Hey, Wonk, I want to qualify my griping with I have thought highly of Bo in the past. He's in a slump.

rmoore446 said...

And Wonk, as the TV announcers noticed, Jackson has not been as sharp this inning after his adventures on the bases. Thrown out at home after a slide. End of inning. Now go pitch. Ain't as sharp. Thanks Bo.

mick said...

I would have sent edwin... Phillies have been shaky in the field and Ejax has speed

MicheleS said...

Does Chad fall out of bed hitting?

NatsJack in Florida said...

I'd have sent him, too mick. You have Dominic Brown who just got called up having to make a good throw.

Now the Nats need to make Worley work and let Edwin get his legs back under him.

djinFl. said...

Excellent point Eugene, we seem to be the only ones enjoying this tonight. The boys score two in the first, and not one "way to go".
Test the arms of this cobbled together outfield, and the comments fly.
We are having a great season folks, enjoy the positives.

A DC Wonk said...

I'm not saying every call is perfect. My point is that you can't be aggressive without some guys getting thrown out. We have to credit the Nats' 11th run on Sunday to Bo being aggressive, right?

NatsLady said...

Charlie/Dave said Brown has a cannon. Didn't see the play because I was driving, but seemed odd.

NatsLady said...

David O'Brien ‏@ajcbraves
Pitcher LeBlanc doubles to LF and Cousins scores on E7 (Prado) on play, #Marlins up 4-1 on #Braves

MicheleS said...

I just get nervous with a pitcher running into a catcher.

And that was a bad throw from Espi.

The Fox said...

DC Wonk yes being aggressive with the lead is fine but being aggressive with your starting pitcher is foolish in my book especially with this team.

I asked facetiously when Bo sent Harper who had a swollen foot and there was a play at the plate if he would have sent Strasburg and I was called out for it and rightly so.

No point in putting your starting pitcher in a collision with the catcher if you can help it.

NatsLady said...

See, the Barfs can do it too :)

David O'Brien ‏@ajcbraves
#Braves Jurrjens to DL with groin strain http://bit.ly/R9KMkF

Jamie Maclaggan said...

An 8-man pen is just not possible in the NL. Is there really a need for Gorzelanny and Gonzalez?

MicheleS said...

UGH. Do we add Jimmy Rollins to the IBB list? ;-)

MicheleS said...

OY!

Coach Mac said...

Pitching to a corner might be another way to attack some hitters

NatsFanJim said...

I'm an inning or two posting this but is Bo insane sending the pitcher not yet past third base when the left fielder is holding the ball? he is terrible; always has been.

meanwhile: Ejax better stop grooving his pitches.

Gonat said...

EJax missing his spots. Unfortunately the Nats aren't hitting Worley's mistakes.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Jamie Maclaggan said...

An 8-man pen is just not possible in the NL. Is there really a need for Gorzelanny and Gonzalez?


Why not? Gorzy has been invaluable in the long roll, saving innings and saving the bullpen for other nights. Gonzo is our LOOGY. Sean Burnett is the eighth inning guy when the matchups are favorable.

Davey hasn't really been caught short of players the entire year.

It'll be moot with MPH Rod conveniently goes on the DL (that back, you know, wink, wink) when Werth is activated.

NatsFanSinceStart said...

there's lots of Nat's scoring left to do tonight. I can't see Worley escaping the lineup another go round.

Laroche swinging on 3-0 was a little rash -- Porter did give a potential run away earlier.

Jackson has suddenly lost it.

baseballswami said...

I just hate the Phillies - Cole tomorrow night. At least their fans didn't come.

NatsFanSinceStart said...

Mayberry's going to hit a sinker to shortstop.

NatsFanSinceStart said...

Well, we got the K -- better than a 6-3. We definitely need a 6-4-3 or equivalent

NatsFanSinceStart said...

Baseballswami mentions that he hates the Phillies -- most Nats fan do; but for some reason, I hate the Marlins even more than the Phillies -- even before the Pine tar game.

NatsFanSinceStart said...

Random thought: Isnt it time we consider moving or just releasing (at least not playing) Derosa? He appears to be all used up, hitting .140 and striking out four times last night? That's enough for me. Enter Werth: Exit Derosa -- and Thanks for Coming.

baseballswami said...

NatsFanSinceStart I actually agree, I think what I should have said is I hate the Marlins team but I hate the Phillies fans. So what's up here? Leave the offense in Milwaukee? Wake the heck up here!! No panic, not on the ledge.......... yet.

Gonat said...

Darvish has given up 6 runs in 3 innings and ERA is approaching 4 1/2.

Many of his wins have come from his teammates scoring lots of runs.

I would say Rizzo was smart passing on him.

Gonat said...

Tcostant, weren't you guaranteeing us that Darvish would be an Ace?

He'd be a #5 or in AAA on this rotation.

Section 135 said...

Zim not a good leader sitting out during a pennet race. Harper played with a sore back for weeks. Sit out against the Astros in a week but you got to play this series.

mick said...

at least a better effort tonight, LaRoche's DP was a killer. I am bit frustrated at Edwin allowing 2 HR to Rollins. As a veteran pitcher, it is mind boggling to see that

Nats212 said...

I know that is a lot of guys thinking The nats Gina fall, blá...blá...but would u be more concerne if You are a nats fan or a rangers fan?

mick said...

would really like to know what Ejax' mind set was when he faced Rollins again after already giving up a an HR

mick said...

go Marlins.... please hang on, lol

mick said...

its painful watching DeRosa bat

Section 135 said...

BABIP. Worley is really lucky tonight.

baseballswami said...

It's not Zim's decision - he said he wanted to play, Davey said no. By the way - on twitter everyone is freaking out over the low attendance. I don't think they realize that everyone but us is super into the olympics.

mick said...

Worley has pitched well since the the first inning

mick said...

Ryan has a bit of streak going, lol

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

I don't think that is a shockingly low crowd at all, given that the Nats seem to be in cruise mode. Johnson generally has done a good job but this is a bit ridiculous to be filling the line-up with light hitters.

Flores can't hit. Our lead-off hitter is about the weakest lead-off hitter that I have ever seen on a first place team. Espinosa is in a slump and Davey decides to give our best hitter two days off. I guess that is the sort of luxury you can give yourself when you are five games in front.

ExposedinDC said...

5 games in front, what standings are you looking at ?

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

I take it back. These are ridiculous line-up decisions if we are only 2 1/2 up,

mick said...

Remember... the last 60 games are suppose to be against teams out of the running...

rogieshan said...

Be bold, Davey. Pinch hit LaRoche with Moore.

Gonat said...

Nats running themselves out of a lot of innings. What was that all about?

mick said...

do not understand the coaching tonight, I guess Davey is in a slump too.

joemktg said...

Got to be that Zim was running on his own.

mick said...

wonder if we are a better road team?

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

That is a good point. The Nationals have really dominated against teams like Colorado and Miami. Sarcasm.

I have a bad feeling about the starting pitching. Maybe Strasburg and Gonzalez are about to hit the wall anyway. That leaves us with a great J. Zimmerman and competent pitchers in Jackson and Detweiler, but hardly a juggernaut unless Harper returns to form.

I am not a big fan of the way we run the bases in close games. With the exception of Harper and Bernadina, we have no guys who should be running, but Riggleman and Johnson continue to do so anyway. I am calling this one, which is a shame because there is little excuse for dropping this game and most of it is on the manager tonight.

mick said...

let's just hope Marlin can hang on and beat Braves

mick said...

William O. Douglas Loeffler

agree with most of what you are saying, but I cannot blame Davey for LaRoche's DP and Ejax decisions on pitching Rollins. Those mistakes are on those players, what is frustrating is that they both are veteran players, not rookies

ExposedinDC said...

Pierre could have stolen that base running backwards

mick said...

Marlins up 4-2 top of 9th, hopefully we will only be 2 1/2 back still

Secret wasian man said...

Which team is in last. It would seem the guys in blue. Should have never sent jejax home. And alr swinging on 3 and 0 pitch is awful. Det tomorrow. Looks like a sweep by the last place phils in our park. YUCK

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Jackson's gopher balls were disappointing, especially because they were all jacked in a game that we haven't even gotten to the warning track, but still, is Jackson only supposed to give up one run every time he pitches? They need to get Lombo out of the line-up--.317 obp with little power, is not getting it done. Move Harper to lead-off and figure out how to get Corey and Moore in more.

Flores is either worn down or being exposed. This will not work in late innings in the post-season. One or two games mean little but these are not just hiccups. We are seeing some real weaknesses becoming apparent.

Gonat said...

That's right, we didn't want that Juan Pierre guy last year as a Free Agent

Secret wasian man said...

Mick you mean 2 and half up

mick said...

agreed wassian man...swinging on 3-0 at that time, I do not understand

mick said...

keep it 3-2 and we have a shot

mick said...

yes 2 and a half

mick said...

all right... we have a shot

Secret wasian man said...

A lot of talk about the post season. I don't get it. Anybody seeing what I see. I see a defeated team the last two nights. Ty more should have batted for Bryce.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Harper should be leading off. He has a good eye and as lead-off, he can walk every single time, for all we care. He already is our second most patient hitter, and he has the possibility of manufacturing runs. With the possible exception of Bernadina, who doesn't start, we don't have any other viable lead-off guys.

mick said...

here is what is positive, Nats were competitive after last nights embarrassing loss. If we lose 2 in a row, so what, every team has had some skids. I was worried that they would come out and lay an egg, at least they are playing hard again, last night was the first time all season i thought the nats laid down due to fatigue both mentally and physically

rogieshan said...

Are the players a little bit down because GM did nothing to bolster the roster? Just wondering.

Secret wasian man said...

This game was lost in early innings when instead of being patient we ran ourselves out of the inning.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Harper's hitting is fine. His only problem is being too aggressive. He was close to being four for four tonight and his obp is far better than they alternatives, except for Tyler Moore.

Secret wasian man said...

Good point rogieshan

mick said...

Final 4-2 Marlins

mick said...

hey... could Philly make a run, I am wondering?

Swift Eagle said...

Ah, I see the Legion of Doom has returned to the NI In-Game Thread...Why am I not surprised?

Some of you would make really good Red Sox fans...

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

I actually don't get the feeling that we are playing all that hard, but how can you tell from television? To me, this game has been played with little or no energy or anxiety, if you will. I will agree that two games mean little, but one might think that the players have taken the wrong meaning from the front office not doing deals.

We know our offense is highly variable. What is more concerning is that both Gonazalez and Strasburg lost their cool on the mound, in a visible fashion while getting roughed up. That doesn't hack it in the post-season.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Hey all the way to the warning track, wow.

Section 135 said...

Fire Bo Porter.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Maybe we should give the two Zimmerman's and Desmond the whole of August off so that they are fresh for the Divisional Series....

baseballswami said...

Down off the ledge. Mini offensive slump. Pitcher only gave up 3. Nats in first on August 1st. The sun will come up tomorrow and there will be another game, and then another, and then another.

mick said...

Ejax back to back HR was a killer tonight

mick said...

well, Braves lost so no harm no fooul

mick said...

Harper needs to one up Hammels tomorrow, maybe an HR, lol

mick said...

we will be all right

rogieshan said...

Secret wasian man said "This game was lost in early innings when instead of being patient we ran ourselves out of the inning."

Patience just isn't part of this team's DNA. Davey likes to attribute it to inexperience. I sure hope it doesn't hinder our playoff chances down the road.

Secret wasian man said...

Loosing at home to the Phil's again just makes me sick. When do we go on the road again?

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

I disagree. No harm no foul, when you lose 8-0 and the second place team losses. When you work to lose a game they you lead by 2 runs, doing so by deliberately not playing your best player, that is harm. You just blew picking up a game in the standings. It is only one game but tomorrow game is at best a pick 'em.

mick said...

the pre game stat that FP and Bobby showed on Nats since last Sept is impressive, 5 straight winning months!

Secret wasian man said...

That second place team whipped those Phil's. Let's get our best players in the game. You can rest when the season is over. I luv the post game show. It's so great to hear all the excuses made for this team.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Nobody is on a ledge, but if you ask me if I still think we have the best team in the National League, I am not sure. I am not sure that we even have the best staff in the National League. I think we have the best pitcher in the N.L.

There really is no excuse for not playing LaRoche or Zimmerman. This isn't football and we are not the Yankees. De Rosa and Flores and Tracy are not going to knock in many runs.

mick said...

Beating Cole h would be a great way to go into the series with Ozzie and his Fish

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

BABIP.

Secret wasian man said...

Reds pirates giants are better than us right now. We look rather mediocre lately, braves are better also

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Davey seems out of it.

Secret wasian man said...

The whole bunch looks tired to me. Davey especially

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Remember we swept the Giants and embarrassed their staff. That and fifty cents will get us a cup of coffee in October.

BABIP. Learn, love it, know it.

Wee Willie Keeler understood it, but baseball fans to this day tend not to.... I am not saying BABIP is infallible but it tells the story quite often.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

If we do lose tomorrow, we are going to have another nail-biting double-header set for Friday.

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