Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Game 118: Nats at Giants

US Presswire file photo
Stephen Strasburg faces Tim Lincecum this afternoon at AT&T Park.
If asked back on Opening Day for the best head-to-head pitching matchups you could see at some point during the season, Stephen Strasburg vs. Tim Lincecum surely would have made the short list.

As it turns out, this isn't quite as marquee a showdown as you would have expected, because Lincecum (6-12, 5.35 ERA) hasn't been his Cy Young self most of the year. Don't sell "The Freak" short, though, especially inside AT&T Park, where he still boasts a 3.66 ERA and 1.297 WHIP this season.

As for Strasburg, this outing will provide plenty more fodder both for those who support and those who deride the Nationals' plan to shut him down before season's end. If the right-hander dominates, it will only enrage the naysayers to question Mike Rizzo's sanity even more than they already have. If he struggles, the supporters will insist this is further evidence Rizzo know exactly what he's doing.

Two points: 1) It's truly unfortunate this debate has consumed so many people and in the process taken attention away from both Strasburg's actual performance and the Nationals' best-in-baseball season, and 2) It doesn't matter one lick what anyone thinks or says about this matter, because Rizzo made up his mind almost one year ago and he's not about to change it now.

So how about we just enjoy today's event in San Francisco for what it is: A potentially fantastic ballgame between two of the best teams in baseball, each of which is sending a fantastic young pitcher to the mound in search of a series victory?

I'm not there, unfortunately, but given the early start time and the significance of the game, I'll have some thoughts to share along the way, so please be sure to check back...

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
Where: AT&T Park
Gametime: 3:45 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv, MLB Network (outside D.C. market)
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 186
Weather: Sunny, 65 degrees, Wind 9 mph out to RF
NATIONALS (72-45)
2B Steve Lombardozzi
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
LF Michael Morse
RF Jayson Werth
SS Danny Espinosa
C Kurt Suzuki
RHP Stephen Strasburg

GIANTS (64-53)
CF Angel Pagan
2B Ryan Theriot
LF Melky Cabrera 3B Pablo Sandoval
C Buster Posey
3B Pablo Sandoval RF Hunter Pence
RF Hunter Pence 1B Brandon Belt
1B Brandon Belt LF Gregor Blanco
SS Brandon Crawford
RHP Tim Lincecum

UMPIRES
HP Mike Estabrook
1B Larry Vanover (cc)
2B Dan Bellino
3B Jerry Layne

3:10 p.m. -- Well, the Giants had to make a lineup change. And not your conventional lineup change. Gregor Blanco has replaced Melky Cabrera in left field after MLB announced this afternoon Cabrera has been suspended 50 games for testing positive for elevated levels of testosterone. Cabrera, an All-Star whose performance in the Midsummer Classic helped the NL secure home-field advantage in the World Series, has acknowledged he took a banned substance and has apologized for doing it. Wow.

4:32 p.m. -- It's been an eventful start to this game, with the Nationals scoring twice in the top of the first and the Giants responding with two runs in the bottom of the second. The Nats really made Lincecum work in that first inning, loading the bases for Jayson Werth, who promptly dropped a two-run single to left. I can't help but think back to last season, when presented with the same opportunity Werth so often drew a walk or was caught looking at strike three. He's been a much more aggressive hitter this season, and it really showed there. On the flip side, Strasburg cruised through his first inning but then labored through his second. His biggest problem: Issuing back-to-back walks to set the stage for the rally, which was capped by Brandon Crawford's two-run single. So it's 2-2 heading to the third inning of what already has turned into an entertaining ballgame.

4:47 p.m. -- Jim Riggleman used to say Danny Espinosa, pound for pound, was probably the strongest player on the Nats roster, maybe one of the strongest in the majors. I think we just saw an example of that. Espinosa absolutely obliterated a pitch from Lincecum, launching it over the wall in deep right-center, the deepest part of the huge outfield at AT&T Park. Nats up 4-2 in the third.

5:15 p.m. -- The Nats have knocked Lincecum out after four shaky innings, and for that they deserve credit. At the same time, am I the only one who feels like they might have squandered an opportunity to really take it to Timmy and put this game out of reach? They lead 4-2, but you wonder if by day's end they're going to wish they led by considerably more.

5:35 p.m. -- It's 5-2 now thanks to Werth's third RBI of the afternoon. Again, it's been quite impressive how he's become a run producer since returning from the DL. It's proven really valuable for the Nats. Meanwhile, Felix Hernandez has not allowed any Tampa Bay Rays batters to reach safely in seven innings. MLB Network is cutting in for live coverage when he takes the mound again if you're interested in watching.

5:56 p.m. -- Felix Hernandez on the mound now for the top of the ninth, the Mariners clinging to a 1-0 lead as he tries to complete the perfect game.

6:07 p.m. -- Wow, congrats to King Felix on pitching the first perfect game in Mariners history and the THIRD perfect game in MLB this season. Remarkable. What a day across the majors. Melky Cabrera gets a 50-game suspension. Felix Hernandez throws a perfect game. But more importantly, HOW MANY INNINGS DOES STEPHEN STRASBURG HAVE LEFT BEFORE THE NATS SHUT HIM DOWN?????!!!!!

6:13 p.m. -- Back in San Francisco, Strasburg's day is indeed done after six strong innings. He allowed two runs on four hits and four walks while striking out seven. He threw 100 pitches. Ryan Mattheus in to pitch the bottom of the seventh, with the Nats leading 6-2.

6:41 p.m. -- Things started to get out of hand in the bottom of the eighth, with the Giants putting runners on second and third against Sean Burnett. Gregor Blanco then was called safe on a close play at first base in which he slid feet-first through the bag just as LaRoche was catching the throw from Lombardozzi. It's hard to tell whether Blanco actually touched the base (and possibly whether LaRoche got his foot on the base, too) but he was called safe and that allowed a run to score. No worries, though, because Burnett came up big to strike out Brandon Crawford and end the eighth with the Nats still leading 6-3.

6:50 p.m. -- OK, onto the bottom of the ninth. Tyler Clippard on in search of the save, the Nats up by three.

7:04 p.m. -- It got a little interesting, with LaRoche losing what would have been a game-ending pop-up in the sun. But the Nats still pull off a 6-4 victory. They go 8-2 on the road trip and return home 28 games over .500.

316 comments:

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Doc said...

Amen, bro!

alexva said...

Mark, you correctly summed up the decision "it was made a year ago". the fact that the Nats are in the hunt has brought out the ignorant jock mentality that says you have to go for it no matter what.

I wonder how the NFL would answer the question given that their former players are claiming that they we sent out on the field without concern for their well being? A claim that will cost them many millions.

Laddie Blah Blah said...

Rizzo made the right decision last year, and he is not about to change it now. We support the decision because we want SS to have a long and successful career, and for the Nats to have his services for as long as he is with the team. They can win it all without him, this year, and will be even better when he comes back next year.

Rizzo has built this team to last. SS will have many other chances, thanks partly to Rizzo and his determination to look out for SS's long term health as well as for the Nats long-term interests.

MicheleS said...

Ahh.. Baseball...thankful for an actual game at a civilized hour!

GO STRAS! GO BATS.. Beat Timmy to a pulp. (yes, I know that sounds vicious, but hey, I want to win today). Good to see Beast back in the lineup (hey, I am on twitter)

Pilchard said...

Generally agree, but would only add that its not as easy as saying "The decision was made a year ago and will not change" as no one, not even Rizzo thought that the Nats would have the best record in baseball (and the favorite to play in the W-S) when SS was going to be shutdown in 2012.

Even the most optimistic Nats fans believed that contending for a WC spot was the highest upside for this team in 2012. Part of the calculus for shutting down SS in 2012 was the Nats would have better chances in 2013 and 2014 to win a W-S than 2012. That assumption is no longer a given. The Nats lofty status as the leading NL contender for the pennant does change the dynamic as there would be no debate about shutting down SS if the Nats were currently 55-59.

If the Nats shutdown SS in September and the Nats lose a close playoff series without him, and then in 2013 and 2014 that team is beset by injuries or other circumstances that keeps them from contending, the issue will linger and justfiably so.

Zection 3, My Zofa said...

Part of the calculus for shutting down SS in 2012 was the Nats would have better chances in 2013 and 2014 to win a W-S than 2012.

Where has Rizzo ever been quoted as saying this? I think you are assuming it.

Zection 3, My Zofa said...

The "issue will linger" no matter what happens, and Rizzo knew that a year ago, too. There are no possible circumstances where he will not be hearing about this for the rest of his life. Rizzo knows that.

mick said...

I am just stunned that there is even a debate over this. I heard some idiot actually say that free agent would be less likely to want to go to the Nats if they shut SS down. What planet are these morons from. I bet 99.9% of players will be more inclined to play for an organization that cares about them in the long run rather than an organization that would be the first to throw you under the bus if your arm gave out.
Only a buffoon thinks Strass should keep pitching after the 160 innings

mick said...

of the .001% that would not play for Nats if Strass is shut down I would not want on this team any way, because I guarantee that player is a loser of a human being any way

mick said...

Mike Rizzo to all morons: Kiss my A--

Zection 3, My Zofa said...

Well, that's a little harsh. I'd take Orel Hersheiser in his prime, even with this rotation. They have a different set of values. These guys would trade their pitching arm for a title, and in some cases have done so, and would do it again if they could. It's their arm, their career, they get to say what's important to them. But they don't get to make this call, Rizzo does.

mick said...

Ask David Clyde if wishes the Texas Rangers gave a rats you know what about him back in 1973-75? You know what that organization was until about 2008??? Losers!!!

mick said...

My Zofa thank God Rizzo makes this call!

smurff said...

222, pRAA, Tcostant, thanks for the good info on playoff rosters from the previous post. I was a little unclear on the rules. Haven't really had to think about that too much in the past.

Tcostant said...

I agree with Rizzo's decision to shut Stras down. My only reservation, was the quote from Oral Hershiser's quote in Stark's article that says he wouldn't trade two more years at the end of his career for that 1988 World Series.

For those who don't remember, Hershiser was abused that year in the playoffs, starting and also in the pen. The fact that he would want to oitch know it could cost him, is most interesting...

Zection 3, My Zofa said...

OK, Seabiscuit is still dead. Just checking.

MicheleS said...

Mick.. the Baffoon was none other than Leo Mazzone (Pitching coach for the Braves in the 90's) He used Steve Avery as his example. STEVE BLEEEPIN AVERY who was washed up by the time he was 25 because the Braves blew out his arm.

And Little Gio's dad said one of the consideration' as to why the Kid Signed was they felt the Nats would take care of him!!! (he of the delicate UCL muscle).


And by the way.. Mick's on fire today.

Zection 3, My Zofa said...

Michele, that's just the brandy.

bigfitzva said...

Wouldn't 8-2 on this road trip taste sweet on the plane ride home?

mick said...

I respect all views. I think what angers me is that the same national baseball pundits that are all over Rizzo for shutting down Strass will be the first (I GUARANTEE IT) to criticize, and be-little Rizzo as a GM, if Stras gets hurt by not being shut down. What irks me is that nobody will hold any of these zealots accountable, that is why I am upset about this discussion and why Rizzo should tell them all to take a flying you know what

mick said...

MicheleS, yes indeed, that is who I heard on 980.

BTW: I am not drinking, lol

Zection 3, My Zofa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zection 3, My Zofa said...

There's no accountability for being loud and wrong, Mick.

A DC Wonk said...

The "issue will linger" no matter what happens,

Yep.

Even more so if Stras pitches into the playoffs, and ends up being a has-been at age 25.

Then he can join the pantheon of "coulda woulda" pitching stars that flamed out at too young an age: Mark Fydrich, Mark Prior, Wayne Garland, Herb Score, Denny McLain, etc etc etc

Exposremains said...

I might be wrong but I tend to get the sense that Rizzo has more pride than sympathy.

I'm also suprised to learn that the Nats have apparently become one the leading figure in fixing injuries. How many times in the past few years a player is suppose to miss a few days and he misses a few months.
They were protecting Stras when he first came up and he still got hurt.
I'm glad I don't have to take the decision about Stras because it could go either way.

Zection 3, My Zofa said...

Trying again, with a less-mixed message. Hopefully.

Mazzone isn't crazy, but he disagrees, because he's looking at it from the point of view that considers winning to be everything. Rizzo is not. But Leo is right about one thing: Strasburg will have the opportunity, if he chooses, to say, "Up yours, I'm going to play for a team that will let me blow out my arm in exchange for a ring." In about six years, IIRC. If he still wants to. And hasn't blown it out already.

Zection 3, My Zofa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mick said...

Zection 3, My Zofa said...
There's no accountability for being loud and wrong, Mick.

I hear you, lol

Wonk... great post, but McClain I am not sure I would put into that category. He began with Tigers in 1966, won 31 games in 1968 and everyone forgets, he went 24-9 in 1969. Many of his wins he went a full 9 innings as did many pitchers back then. Remember, Denny was tossed out of MLB for gambling and missed all of the 1970 season.

We DC dudes know very well what happened in January of 1971, we made one of the worst trades in history to get McClain. Ted Williams and the Nats did not know that Denny had an alcohol and a drug addiction. Denny burned out in 1971, more because of his drug habit than his arm

Zection 3, My Zofa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mick said...

Zection 3, My Zofa Agreed on Bo Jackson.... very sad

bowdenball said...

Zection 3, My Zofa said...

Mazzone isn't crazy, but he disagrees, because he's looking at it from the point of view that considers winning to be everything. Rizzo is not.


That's not really accurate. Rizzo, I assume, is looking at it from the viewpoint that the increased chance of winning from 2013-2016 and potentially thereafter if they extend Strasburg offsets the decreased chance of winning in 2012. It's all about what leads to the most success for the team. If Rizzo cares about the individual's future in the sport other than as a member of the Nats, it's only because it makes the Nats look like a class organization to do so.

It's a kid's arm, not his heart or brain- and an already rich kid at that. There's no ethical question here. It's about the success of the Washington Nationals, and that's it.

mick said...

Zofa... your breaking my heart, Darryl Stingley. very very sad and so unnecessary, shame on Jack Tatum!

Zection 3, My Zofa said...

Bowdenball, thanks for that clarification; it is actually what I was thinking (but not typing). I should have said "winning *championships* is everything."

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Detwiler will now pitch Friday and EJax on Saturday

Zection 3, My Zofa said...

On second thought, nevermind the other question, I was just trying to change the subject, but there's no good way to ask that.

Zection 3, My Zofa said...

Ghost, so does that line up Strasburg for Tuesday vs. ATL?

Fri=Detwiler, Sat=Jax, Sun=Znn, Mon=Gio, Tues=Strasburg?

realdealnats said...

Zofa--Bo's on the short list, and haven't really pondered this but how about Tony Conigliaro?

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Zofa, Yes for Stras, Gio stays on Sunday though.

Zection 3, My Zofa said...

The problem with that question is, there's no good way to limit it so Chapman, Dale Earnhardt, &c., aren't the obvious answers. So I retracted it. Sorry.

realdealnats said...

Or Herb Score.

smurff said...

(sigh) Can't even escape the shutdown discussion on NI now...

Zection 3, My Zofa said...

Cool. Have tickets for Tuesday night.

Zection 3, My Zofa said...

Mark started it!!
; )
I'm trying to change the subject, Smurff.

Gonat said...

Bye bye Melky Cabrera. CHEATER. Won't play today

MicheleS said...

MELKI CABRERA HAS BEEN SUSPENDED FOR 50 GAMES>

Don't think he will be in the lineup today!

Jon Morosi‏@jonmorosi

Wow. Melky Cabrera suspended 50 games without pay after positive test for testosterone. Sock to gut for #SFGiants pennant hopes

GYFNG said...

Whoa, Melky 50 day suspension.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

As I wrote 2 days ago when I wrote out the rest of the season schedule, they would realign however I had it happening in September to setup the Braves not realizing they were doing it now for Monday's Braves series

baseballswami said...

Some would say this course for Stras was set a year ago. I would argue that this course was set the day he found out he was having the surgery. If anything, Stras and JZim have been a little bit ahead of schedule. Too much short term instant gratification, too little long term common sense. I hope Rizzo knows ( not that he cares), that a lot of Nats fans support him. I am upset because at a time where we should be so happy about our team, the other 24 guys are basically being told they are nothing without one guy that plays less than 20% of the time. There is a great story being played out on the field and a lot of people are missing it.

realdealnats said...

Speaking of Herb Score, how about those vicious comebackers at Det and was it Gio? Can't remember the second pitcher for sure b/c I think Gorzo caught still a third slightly less vicious one. But three in just a couple days. Lucky.

On the happier topics: Stras wins the duel, we get just enough timely hitting and go home fat and sassy.

Exposremains said...

A prediction on cabrera, he will have no idea how it got into him

Zection 3, My Zofa said...

Ghost, I thought part of the reason was to get Gio, a lefty, pitching against the Braves?

NatsLady said...

MicheleS. yes.

Oh, if you have chance, you want to listen to the Baseball Today podcast. At the very end they "discuss" the SS shutdown. I laughed so hard, it put things in perspective.

I get mad at the national media/pundits etc. because they take the joy out of this wonderful season.

(1) All the stupid plans for 6-man rotation, shut down startup are not only medically ill-advised, they also risk Stras not pitching very well if he's not on his routine--and what exactly is the point of Stras pitching if he pitches badly?

(2) Why are we (and Rizzo) being punished because the team is playing better than expected? '

(3) If losing Stras for the playoffs is a 2-5% off what having him would be (vs. other pitchers and he's not a position player after all), I'll take being a 2-5% lesser team for minimizing the risk to Stras' future and that of the franchise.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Braves fans are elated about Melky's suspension.

Also, since the All Star break the Giants are 1st in team runs scored led by Melky.

A shame they waited until today.

natsfan1a said...

Eh, maybe Mazzone should go back to rocking back and forth in the dugout, or studio, or wherever it is he does that these days. Just a thought. :-) (otoh, I appreciate Mark's observations on the whole shutdown speculation frenzy.)

Mick, someone on a recent thread nominated you for comeback commenter of the year. I'm with them. You've been on a roll lately.

On a game note: Go, SS! Go, NATS BATS!! (Timmy, you don't need to go. Buster either. At least not today. Mr. Belt can if he wants to, but only on the basepaths, and only when there's no chance for him to reach safely. He knows the drill. kaythxbai.)

NatsLady said...

BTW, listened to the call-ins on 980, and I would say close to 100% support for Rizzo, and pretty close to 100% on the other station. Gotta run to work. Go NATS!

natsfan1a said...

Oh, and yay for Gio on Sunday, when I have tix. :-)

Tcostant said...

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera has received a 50-game suspension without pay after testing positive for Testosterone, a performance-enhancing substance in violation of Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

The suspension of Cabrera is effective immediately.

MicheleS said...

NatsLady!!! You were great! If I can find it on there page, I am going to post it!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Zofa, I was told the same thing was lining up Gio but they also wanted JZim for Monday.

Expect one more alignment after the day-off on September 13th prior to that away series in Atlanta.

baseballswami said...

So I guess now that Melky has been "shutdown" his team has absolutely no chance to get to the play offs ever again. Right?

Zection 3, My Zofa said...

No word on a appeal, or if he's getting Braun's lawyers?

natsfan1a said...

btw, was watching a Giants broadcast on a recent CA trip, and Melky had inspired a strangely disquieting fan homage. Two guys walk into AT&T Park, see, and they're wearing cow costumes (yes, dairy cows, stick with me here). One of the guys is carrying a poster as well. It says something like "It's my birthday. Melk me." Uh, okay. :-)

MicheleS said...

At least Melky came clean:

Andrew Baggarly‏@CSNBaggs

Statement from Melky: "My positive test was the result of my use of a substance I should not have used. I accept my suspension under the Joint Drug Program and will try to move on with my life. I am deeply sorry for my mistake and I apologize to my teammates, to the San Francisco Giants organization and to the fans for letting them down."

Zection 3, My Zofa said...

Ummm, thanks for sharing, 1a. I think...

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Of course Atlanta flies into SFG next week and don't face Melky.

natsfan1a said...

Or on the Fed Ex guys? :-)

Zection 3, My Zofa said...

No word on a appeal, or if he's getting Braun's lawyers?

Zection 3, My Zofa said...

OK, work work work ...

natsfan1a said...

Agreed, Michele. At least he didn't make up a story.

Gonat said...

Zection 3, My Zofa said...
No word on a appeal, or if he's getting Braun's lawyers?

August 15, 2012 2:56 PM
________________________________

He already used up his appeal process and they kept it all secretive as Braun's should have been also.

natsfan1a said...

Yeah, should do some actual work, too.

Exposremains said...

Prediction wrong.. He admits it.. Good for him, i guess.

Gonat said...

natsfan1a said...
Agreed, Michele. At least he didn't make up a story.

August 15, 2012 2:59 PM
________________________________

Fact is, he cheated, he got caught and he was having a MVP type of season. Coincidence?

If he in fact exhausted all appeals and was still suspended, what else does he have to say?

realdealnats said...

1A & Mick--Good Memory 1A. That was me but I called him Comeback Blogger of the Year. Commenter actually sounds better.

Mick, someone on a recent thread nominated you for comeback commenter of the year. I'm with them. You've been on a roll lately.
________________________________________________

The Force is what gives a jedi his power Mick!

natsfan1a said...

Yes, I do understand that he cheated and got caught. Once they're caught, they tend to either fess up or deny. I can acknowledge the fact that someone told the truth about their actions without my condoning those actions, which I don't.

A DC Wonk said...

If losing Stras for the playoffs is a 2-5% off what having him would be

Even more importantly, when considering all the options -- let's not forget that the playoffs is a crap shoot -- and, therefore, let's not forget the total nightmare scenario that doesn't seem to have been considered: the Nats *do* extend Stras to the playoffs, the Nats don't make the world series, and Stras blows out his arm towards the end of next season.

I applaud Rizzo for rejecting the "win now, win this year at all costs" point of view. He views his job as building a dynasty, not a one-shot-WS-and-done attitude.

baseballswami said...

Masn 2 listing pre game but it's not on.

peric said...

A claim that will cost them many millions.

Over 200 players and counting? Make that billions as a now deceased Astronomer might say.

natsfan1a said...

Thanks, realdeal. I couldn't recall who'd said it.

realdealnats said...

1A--"Melk me." Creepy thought. Maybe it was his melk that tested positive.

baseballswami said...

Anyone getting pre-game? Want to hear the full story from FP.

Gonat said...

Melky hit a double and scored a run yesterday in his final game of 2012.

He went from .809 to .906 OPS raising his OPS almost 100 points in a career year.

peric said...

Let's not forget the total nightmare scenario that doesn't seem to have been considered: the Nats *do* extend Stras to the playoffs, the Nats don't make the world series, and Stras blows out his arm towards the end of next season.

And for further reference on a point that is often bypassed or worded so that it seems less consequential, see Wood, Kerry and Giggleman's Island in Chicago Cubs land.

Finally, Rizzo doesn't plan on a one-and-done deal. He hired a talented brain trust to take as much guess work as possible out of winning. In other words welcome back Joe Gibbs I baseball style. And far more enjoyable given that this is still the National Pastime, the huge challenge of 162 games, and then too many playoff games.


A DC Wonk said...

Re: McLain (only one "c")

He began with Tigers in 1966, won 31 games in 1968 and everyone forgets, he went 24-9 in 1969... Denny was tossed out of MLB for gambling and missed all of the 1970 season.

We DC dudes know very well what happened in January of 1971, we made one of the worst trades in history to get McClain. Ted Williams and the Nats did not know that Denny had an alcohol and a drug addiction. Denny burned out in 1971, more because of his drug habit than his arm


I wonder. McLain did play some of the 1970 season (3-5, 4.63) before the suspension, and looked bad. I can't help but think that 325+ innings two years in a row at age 24 and 25 might have had something to do with that.

peric said...

So I guess now that Melky has been "shutdown" his team has absolutely no chance to get to the play offs ever again. Right?

Guess not eh? Good one.

Gonat said...

Wonk, the "win now" is still there and just without Stras in mid-September.

It isn't like they are handing the ball to some 5.00 ERA guy.

I think it is well overblown and the discussion just won't stop.

MicheleS said...

Swami is it on MASN?

Gonat said...

Gregor Blanco will be Melky's replacement. I think he was in Nats AAA last year.

A DC Wonk said...

In other words welcome back Joe Gibbs I baseball style.

Funny you should say that. I'm a big Davey fan from the 1980's Mets, and it drove me nuts that some folks, last summer, on this blog, kept comparing Davey to Joe Gibbs-II.

Schumatrix said...

So I wach ESPN (probably because I'm a sado-masochist), and on the Scott Van Pelt show, a Bram Weinstein said that we should, as Nats fans, be "outraged," because we're shutting down our best pitcher, and without him, have no chance. He, along with the rest of the dopes on that station believe that our guys are terrible and Stras is carrying the team on his back. I don't know why I watch those boneheads anymore.

A DC Wonk said...

Wonk, the "win now" is still there

Right, but not "at all costs"

MicheleS said...

Gonat.. as we have heard from a lot of these players - they have excuses, a B Vitamin shot, ate tainted brownies, whatever lame excuse they come up with. At least he came clean.

He cheated, got caught, got suspended, and probably cost his team a chance at the post season. He could have BS'd everyone, but he didn't. Doesn't excuse the cheating.

DannyEllinosa said...

No Pregame on MASN2 on Verizon 501 in PG County

MicheleS said...

Schumatrix. Bram is first and foremost a football fan. That should explain his entire mentality completely.

baseballswami said...

No, Michele - O's are on masn. The tv listing says 3:00, but it's that push pause thing.Hoped it would kick on at 3:15 for the 3:45 start, but not yet. Will have to get on the phone and start fussing.

MicheleS said...

Swami.. Bizarre.

Nationals on MASN‏@masnNationals

Who's ready for some afternoon baseball? Coverage for #Nats - #Giants begins at 3pm on MASN2 HD!

MicheleS said...

Swami what cable system are you on? I can tweet them too.

Tcostant said...

Schumatrix -

I'm shocked that Bram Weinstein said that. Bram use to live in the area and was part of our season ticket group that second year at RFK. Frankly I'm can believe this is the same person who said this. I'm speechless.

Wendell said...

No Nats on RCN either

DannyEllinosa said...

Spoke to MASN and they assured me that FP & Bob would be on at game time... "pregame show had a problem out of their control" Here's MASN # +1 410 625 7100

baseballswami said...

FIOS ON hold with verizon -- high call volume!!!!! Someone try masn?

baseballswami said...

Thanks!!!

Gonat said...

MicheleS, after the players exhaust all efforts and start serving their suspension, most of them say "I made a mistake". Apologize and move on.

The fact is, Melky's entire season and that All Star MVP is now in question.

He was having a career season.

Schumatrix said...

Tcostant-

I didn't know that Bram was from the area, but he sounded like a complete idiot on the radio. He started by saying that JZimm might be their best pitcher, and they had a good rotation, then he went on to say that without Stras they had no chance. The lack of logic in his argument hurt my brain. Though I wouldn't be surprised if ESPN has changed his views on sports topics, they're like the evil empire.

Gonat said...

Freaking MASN had to have the O's replay on MASN 1

Gonat said...

Nats game now on MASN 2

baseballswami said...

This tv "deal" is a joke.

MicheleS said...

Gonat, some do, some don't see, Palmero.

But yes, it questions his entire last 2 season's which is wear career years.

baseballswami said...

Ok. On now. I get one afternoon off in weeks, just want to settle in. Better now.

peric said...

It isn't like they are handing the ball to some 5.00 ERA guy.

If it ends up being Lannan they almost are. But its nice to see Ryan Perry proving that his old team the Tigers should have let him have a chance to start! Like he probably asked them? Makes me wonder about the idiots in player development in Detroit, elicits more confidence in Rizzo, Clark, Davey, et al.

Swift Eagle said...

Mazzone was not quite as much of a "genius" as the O's pitching coach....

So Giants LF gets caught for PEDs, but His name isn't Bonds...hmmmm

Bzl. said...

I am SO sick of shutdown Strasburg jibber jabber that I *almost* hope he gets absolutely shelled today. Everyone in the world (except Nats fan??? why is that??) is so convinced that it is a grave, fatal, world-errupting mistake to shut him down. I'm totally in support of Rizzo on this. I'm thankful for the season that's been and look forward to the rest of it, regardless of how many Aces we have!

Tcostant said...

Schumatrix as someone pointed out, he is more a football guy. He use to do an afternoon show on sports radio in this area with Larry Larry Michael before heading to the four letter network.

As I said, I'm shocked. I though Bram was smarter than that!

natsfan1a said...

swami, agreed re. the tv deal. MASN 1 (Verizon) suddenly broke into Push Pause or whatever it's called at 3:30. Bob said that "due to circumstances beyond our control" there was no pregame show, but that the postgame show would air.

DannyEllinosa said...

And I've never called a TV station about anything before, until I was infected with NATITUDE! Game is on! thanks MASN but sorry to miss Johnny & Ray and all the splendid pregame show advertising...

Tcostant said...

Speaking of Mazzone, I just went and listen to the Mike & Mike podcast, he blasted the O's within the first minute. Retirement is not treating this guy well.

natsfan1a said...

Personally, I'm "outraged" that ESPN exists. ;-)

Schumatrix said...

So I wach ESPN (probably because I'm a sado-masochist), and on the Scott Van Pelt show, a Bram Weinstein said that we should, as Nats fans, be "outraged," because we're shutting down our best pitcher, and without him, have no chance. He, along with the rest of the dopes on that station believe that our guys are terrible and Stras is carrying the team on his back. I don't know why I watch those boneheads anymore.
August 15, 2012 3:14 PM

baseballswami said...

This third base coach and his band are a great story, raising money for their fan that got beat up. nice.

Gonat said...

Michele, The whole PED drug culture is still alive which can be seen by the numbers of Minor Leaguers who are suspended and guys like Melky but in much smaller numbers luckily.

Players generally know when they will be tested. I believe that's why some prominent players have slow starts as they time when they will cycle their PEDs after their 1st test.

My guess is Melky's test was a surprise test but I don't know for sure.

natsfan1a said...

And Clemens, and Bonds, and Braun, and...*

*Unless you believe their stories.

Gonat, some do, some don't see, Palmero.

Gonat said...

Tcostant, do you think Bram writes his own script? ESPN my man! They are going to milk the Strasburg controversy for all its worth.

natsfan1a said...

swami, yes, I was watching the Giants network (which is way better than MASN, dang it) on my flight to CA and there was a feature that included a discussion of the fundraiser they had for him.

Anyhoo, on to the game.

DannyEllinosa said...

Totally in support of Rizzo to shutdown Strasburg. He's already helped bring us this far and the TEAM can do the rest as much as the baseball Gods will permit. Yes it does stink for Stras, regardless if win it all or lose in the playoffs. But his long-term health and long-term usefulness to the NATS is paramount.

baseballswami said...

I like Lombo leading off. Always takes pitches and makes contact.

Tcostant said...

Gonat I really don't know, but sad if that's true. Bram hasn't spoken to me since when Zorn was hired and I told him that move reminded me when the Giants hired Ray Handley after Parcells "retired"; as I said then they were both "off-season" coordinators who were “promoted” to head coach before every being an OC in game. Bram didn’t like that; I think I was dead on.

Gonat said...

baseballswami said...
I like Lombo leading off. Always takes pitches and makes contact.

August 15, 2012 3:48 PM
_____________________________

He is a contact man but he is also lucky at times when he bloops a ball and it drops in like he just did.

He has hit so many seeing eye hits I have lost count.

Lucky or making his own luck? I think a little bit of both as it shows what happens when you make contact.

NatsLady said...

For some reason, I was looking at Ubaldo's contract on Cots. He has incentives for being Cy Young winner, even for placing 2-5 in the voting. His contract is LOADED with incentives. Don't know what Melky's contract is like but seems to me that's an invitation to take PED's.

Except in cases like CMW (injury) seems to me you are better off with a contract that pays you for what they think you are worth based on history.

Swift Eagle said...

Already 27 pitches for big Time Timmy ...

baseballswami said...

Make him work.

NatsLady said...

Jayson!!!!!

Gonat said...

NatsLady, Melky is most likely a Free Agent after the season. How much money did he just leave on the table with this?

Melky's numbers were very good in KC and he seemed to turn his career around last year and this year stepped up to superstar level.

Now we don't know if he was a user last year and beat the system.

Ron In Reston said...

WTG Jayson!!

Gonat said...

By the way, that "singles" hitter Jayson Werth is a bench player. That quote is from the immortal words of a constant poster here.

do1teach1 said...

Regardless of how this game ends, it would be great if fans had the opportunity to go to the airport and welcome the team back when they arrive, in recognition of their awesome play.

Is there any way to do this?

Ron In Reston said...

Man I hate leaving the bases loaded....

baseballswami said...

I like the approach. Lots of fouling off. Interesting.danny got creamed.

Faraz Shaikh said...

hope he is OK. Wish SS could bat with bases loaded. :)

Diz said...

The one argument I disagree with regarding Stras is the one where he can't and shouldn't pitch with an extra day of rest and that he should go on his regular rotation of every 5th day.

Well, if you actually look at what he has done this year, you'll see it differently.

Stras has had 23 starts this year.

Of those 23 starts, only 12 of them have come on 4 days rest.

He has had an extra days rest 7 times.

2 extra days rest 3 times.

And 1 on 4 extra days rest.

The argument that you will screw with his mechanics/pattern/rhythm etc by altering his days off is garbage. He does it all the time.

And the argument that he still throws side sessions on days off, yes he does, but as any pitcher will tell you, those are not high stress throws. No pressure and never at 100%.

I still think it's a good idea to shut him down at some point, but I don't think this argument is valid, even though it is brought up constantly when discussing Stras.

baseballswami said...

Still some very good hitters in this line up.

Bzl. said...

Lyle Lovett/Nats (Wolftrap), Santana/Nats (MASN) and Grateful Dead/Nats (MASN) content on the same day. What in the world is going on here?

A DC Wonk said...

By the way, that "singles" hitter Jayson Werth is a bench player.

Funny -- I was thinking of that when Werth came to bat. There's nobody I'd rather have up, with bases loaded and two outs, then the guy who has the best batting average and OBP -- whether those hits are singles or doubles or whatever.

And, just as I thought that: boom -- single, two runs.

A DC Wonk said...

Strasburg -- 1-2-3 first inning, only 13 pitches. I love it when that happens right after the Nats score two runs!

Ron In Reston said...

Nice inning for SS, no Ks - no problem

Section 222 said...

Well put Diz. Thanks for doing the research. Now that we are in the homestretch of the season, I don't see anything wrong with maximizing Stras's value by giving him extra rest to set up a matchup against the Braves or against a RH heavy club. There's no way that is going to ruin him for this year or next. Davey is already playing with the rotation order, as he should, to get the matchups and the bullpen management situation he wants.

I also think that Pilchard made a good point at the beginning of the thread. Rizzo made his decision, and all of us climbed on board, back when the idea of the Nats having the best record in baseball on Aug. 14 was a total pipedream. The "what-if" question seemed far-fetched then, and now it has come to pass. It's hard to believe that the plan wouldn't have been any different, if Rizzo had had a crystal ball about the Nats success.

Like you, I'm fine with shutting him down at some point though. I've drunk Rizzo's Kool-Aid on that question, and it tastes just fine thank you.

blovy8 said...

Not surprising, everyone knows Melk has been pumped full of hormones recently...

peric said...

And, just as I thought that: boom -- single, two runs.

No matter what excuse you make, how you slice it if this franchise is geared toward the longhaul (See Strasburg, shutdown) then Jayson Werth and his contract just do not fit. He is not aging well. He is a singles hitter and the Nats payed for a consistent run producer. His first two years have shown that he may no longer be capable of doing that consistently ever again. He might have another decent year ... but years in a row up to when he is 38? Anyone who believes that is delusional or doesn't really watch baseball.

Corey Brown is cheaper, younger and a better athlete than Werth yet now Ladson is quoting sources claiming he or Eury Perez aren't good enough? And they are the homegrown future? And now you have to go outside?

There is something definitely very contradictory and hypocritical about that and if that source is really feeding Ladson that bullcrap (and you never know it might his propensity to make wild guesses) it just won't fly .

baseballswami said...

Love Lombo Leadoff.

A DC Wonk said...

OTOH, 14 balls in his first 23 pitches ain't good.

Ron In Reston said...

Back to back walks not a good thing

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Diz, I made that point before also and a couple of people told me it wouldn't work. If Rizzo is going to shut him down at 162 it probably won't matter anyway.

If Rizzo is willing to go with more innings, I think skipping 2 starts may get Stephen into the playoffs.
So much will depend on Stephen's performances because if he isn't pitching well on September 1st, it's a moot point.


A DC Wonk said...

No matter what excuse you make,

Who's making an excuse? Werth's OBP is over .500 since coming back. I expect, like Morse earlier this season, it'll take a bit longer to get his power back. We'll see.

Ron In Reston said...

The walks will kill you Stephen :/

Gonat said...

Those darn leadoff walks.

A DC Wonk said...

The two guys who walk are the two guys who scored.

Sigh . . .

Schumatrix said...

And that's why you can't walk people, ladies and gents.

NatsLady said...

Actually, I don' think Davey would mind Stras pitching on an extra day of rest. The problem is when you skip starts and it becomes 8 days of rest. Also, none of these "plans" lead to him pitching in the playoffs, only to him pitching later in September.

There is also the question of how much time off do you want him to have---five full months? Six full months? Because the off-season is also key to recovery.

Gonat said...

Yes, Werth's power has dropped off. I don't see it as a big deal given his high OPS driven by the higher BA.

Last year when he showed some power they complained about his OBP and clutch numbers.

There's a reason why he isn't a #3 or #4 hitter.

Gonat said...

NatsLady, if 180 is the number, you can get Stras into post-season by skipping 2 starts and a few games with an extra days rest. Probably just 1 to 2 starts in post-season max.

A lot of -ifs-

peric said...

Who's making an excuse? Werth's OBP is over .500 since coming back. I expect, like Morse earlier this season, it'll take a bit longer to get his power back. We'll see.

Again, no matter how you slice it Werth is not "Werth" the 21 million he will be paid when he is 38. The time to earn that higher salary is now. He isn't doing it.

Schumatrix said...

GOOOOOOOT HEEEEEEEEEEEEM

A DC Wonk said...

Nice at bat from Danny!

MicheleS said...

I Love that Danny is Hitting again!!! YEA!!! I can bring out my Espinosa Jersey Again!!!

Gonat said...

Danny Espinosa crushed that ball. There's your 2 run cushion back Stras. Don't lose it this time.

NatsLady said...

Well, Danny sure has the hang of AT&T Park!!!!!

baseballswami said...

The problem with "adjusting" any of Stras' starts is that you can't possibly do it without messing with the other pitchers. Can we all just say no.

peric said...

Me thinks Espinosa may end up deserving the 21 million when Werth is 38 ... and perhaps a bit more.

Ron In Reston said...

THAT'S how you respond to a HBP, Danny! Nice job.

A DC Wonk said...

Again, no matter how you slice it Werth is not "Werth" the 21 million he will be paid when he is 38.

I don't care about that and I don't think anybody is discussing that. What I care about is whether he helps the Nats _this_ year.

A DC Wonk said...

Lincecum at 73 pitches after three innings.

djinFl. said...

You nailed it Swami.

Gonat said...

Where was this offense yesterday?

NatsLady said...

swami, we're all saying no. Just testing out the ammunition to defend our honor--Rizzo's honor. One of the callers said his respect for the Nats' organization went through the roof because of Rizzo's integrity.

When you live in a town that goes for short term gains and is constantly kicking the bucket down the road so they don't have to take the heat (Congress, I'm looking at you), Rizzo is some kind of contrast.

I still remember the Pine-Tar game when Stras' glove was examined and he said, "I don't cheat." Really, really, really hope that is the policy on this team, no exceptions. We can't know, of course.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Felix Hernandez pitching against the Rays in Seattle.....15 up 15 down through 5.

MicheleS said...

Gonat.. I think Big Time Timmy Jim is just not right this year. Charlie/Dave were speculating earlier that he was injured.

Gonat said...

djinFl. said...
You nailed it Swami.

August 15, 2012 4:50 PM
_______________________________

Gio, JZim and Stras will all pitch on 5 days rest next and EJax with 6 days rest.

McCatty adjusts the sidework all the time according to start schedules.

Some of you are over-complicating the issue. The issue does start with Stras pitching well into September. It wasn't an issue with JZim last year as his arm told everyone he was done.

A DC Wonk said...

When you live in a town that goes for short term gains and is constantly kicking the bucket down the road so they don't have to take the heat (Congress, I'm looking at you)

Funny -- I thought you were talking about the Redskins!!

peric said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NatsLady said...

How could they think of sending Lombo down? Options, shmoptions.

peric said...

I don't care about that and I don't think anybody is discussing that. What I care about is whether he helps the Nats _this_ year

While I'm a BIG-TIME proponent of Rizzo and Johnson's philosophy that says this is not a one-and-done franchise. Its built for the long haul. And that works best when good prospects prosper under player development and attend a good finishing school in the majors.

Jayson Werth has not lived up to any and all expectations relative to that philosophy. He is not the older player that plays like he is young that we were sold on. He is now blocking young, high-ceiling potential run producers that might be developed on the inside. He is blocking moves to acquire such players from the outside. UNLESS he becomes an expensive bench bat. Then he would have a role.

And those are in fact the veritable guiding principles of this organization. Player development must walk hand-in-hand with winning or its no dice.

Therefore, I completely and utterly reject your statement Wonk.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NatsJack, what did I say yesterday. Felix would instantly be the best pitcher in the NL

Dan said...

When you live in a town that goes for short term gains and is constantly kicking the bucket down the road so they don't have to take the heat (Congress, I'm looking at you), Rizzo is some kind of contrast.

I still remember the Pine-Tar game when Stras' glove was examined and he said, "I don't cheat." Really, really, really hope that is the policy on this team, no exceptions. We can't know, of course.

I've been a lurker here since the beginning, have really enjoyed many,but not all ;) comments. Until today I haven't had a pressing need to say anything.

But the post by NatsLady quoted above (whose comments I have always respected) forces me say thank you. You are so correct. And most normal human beings recognize integrity -- or lack of same -- pretty clearly. Why Rizzo will always attract quality players and people.

MicheleS said...

NatsLady.. Lombo.. I hope he stays too. I would rather have Tyler go back to AAA and get some more playing time.

MicheleS said...

NatsJack/Ghost..

The King is just filthy today. Just saw the last 1/2 inning. Granted,the Rays aren't exactly a murders row, but Felix is mowing them down like they are little leaguers.

NatsJack in Florida said...

King Felix just struck out the side in the 6th.

18 up....18 down.

Gonat said...

NatsLady said...
How could they think of sending Lombo down? Options, shmoptions.

August 15, 2012 5:01 PM
____________________________

Who suggested that? You don't send a hot man out.

Schumatrix said...

Has Zim been taking his cortizone?

A DC Wonk said...

Well, no runs in the 4th, but Lincecum is up to 98 pitches.

MicheleS said...

Gonat.. Kilgore!!!! he of course is now reconsidering his earlier tweets about Lombo

Adam Kilgore‏@AdamKilgoreWP
I had thought Lombardozzi may be the guy to go down when Desmond comes back. May re-think that after this series.

Gonat said...

MicheleS said...
NatsJack/Ghost..

The King is just filthy today. Just saw the last 1/2 inning. Granted,the Rays aren't exactly a murders row, but Felix is mowing them down like they are little leaguers.

August 15, 2012 5:05 PM
_______________________________________

If I could choose today any 4 pitchers, King Felix, Verlander, Hamels, JZim

(Calm down, Strasburg would be on my list next year.)

djinFl. said...

Excelent article:

http://www.mercurynews.com/tim-kawakami/ci_21319616/tim-kawakami-are-san-francisco-giants-franchise-cursed

A DC Wonk said...

Therefore, I completely and utterly reject your statement Wonk.

Well, we'll have to agree to disagree. I started with the simple statement: when bases are loaded and two outs, there's nobody I want batting more than a guy who's leading the team in BA and OBP. I still stand by it. You reject it. Fine. I'm happy he singled in two runs just then.

MicheleS said...

Did Carp say we don't see RA Dickey this weekend? I hope so! that knuckler messes with the bats too much

Section 222 said...

Asserting that Werth doesn't play well enough to justify his huge contract and will not perform at a high level 5 years from now is completely different from saying that he's washed up now should be benched immediately in favor of Brown, Perez, or even Bernadina. The first is definitely arguable and probably right, notwithstanding his clubhouse influence and other intangibles. The second is borderline crazy. He hit a triple and scored, threw out a runner at home, and made a fine running catch last night. Today he drove in two runs with a clutch two out, two strike single.

Melissa Rabey said...

Man, I feel for Lombo. On third three times, and he's only been brought home once.

And another walk, Stras? Tell me again why people are debating the shutdown?

slidell2 said...

Tim is gone.

rogieshan said...

Ain't likely to happen, but if it were based purely on current production, Harper is the guy who should go down when Desmond returns and Bernadina gets the center-field gig for a few weeks.

A DC Wonk said...

222 -- well put.

Gonat said...

Ghost Of Steve M. said...
I think Desi needs to go on a rehab assignment although Davey is saying its not the plan.

Davey has his system which has backfired in the case of Storen as he needed to get his form back in AAA and some may say the same for others.

I think Tyler Moore if Morse is ok could benefit playing every day which amounts to less than 15 days as he can be called back up as a September callup.

August 15, 2012 11:02 AM
_______________________________

I read this in the morning. Did you post this based on info you were given?

A DC Wonk said...

George Kontos pitching for Giants. He's pretty good, but he's not a long man. He's gone as much as two innings in just three of his 26 appearances.

MicheleS said...

Sec 222.. a gentleman and a scholar.

Gonat said...

MicheleS, Dickey is not scheduled for the weekend.

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