Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Game 162: Phillies at Nats

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nationals try to secure the No. 1 seed in the NL playoffs this afternoon.
OK, here's a condensed version of what's at stake today for the Nationals in their regular-season finale against the Phillies: Win and they clinch the No. 1 seed for the playoffs and will open the NLDS on Sunday at the winner of Friday's Wild Card game between the Braves and Cardinals. Lose and they need the Reds to lose tonight in St. Louis to keep that No. 1 seed. Otherwise, they drop to the No. 2 seed and open the NLDS on Saturday in San Francisco.

After giving most of his regulars last night's game off, Davey Johnson planned to get most of them back in the lineup today. The only anticipated exceptions: Bryce Harper and Adam LaRoche, though there's still a chance either or both could play.

Edwin Jackson gets the start for the Nationals, getting one last chance to earn his 10th win and become the fifth member of the rotation to reach double digits, a fairly impressive accomplishment.

Updates to come, so please check back...

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 183
Weather: Cloudy, 80 degrees, Wind 5 mph out to CF
NATIONALS (97-64)
CF Jayson Werth
RF Mark DeRosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
LF Michael Morse
1B Tyler Moore
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
C Jesus Flores
RHP Edwin Jackson

PHILLIES (81-80)
LF Juan Pierre
3B Kevin Frandsen
2B Chase Utley
C Carlos Ruiz
RF Domonic Brown
1B Darin Ruf
CF Nate Schierholtz
SS Michael Martinez
LHP Cliff Lee

UMPIRES
HP Greg Gibson
1B Phil Cuzzi
2B Gerry Davis (cc)
3B Manny Gonzalez

1:07 p.m. -- We're underway with a strike from Edwin Jackson to Juan Pierre.

1:12 p.m. -- Well, that's pretty much exactly what Jackson needed in his first inning since last weekend's fiasco in St. Louis: He retired the side on six pitches, five of them strikes. Good way to get this one started.

1:17 p.m. -- Man, Mark DeRosa can't catch a break. Last night he came within a few feet of his first homer in two years but had to settle for a double off the wall. And just now he launched what looked like might be a homer to left, only to be robbed by Juan Pierre. Scoreless after one.

1:36 p.m. -- Leadoff double for Michael Morse in the second, but he was stranded there, with Tyler Moore, Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa unable to bring him home. Still scoreless after two.

1:45 p.m. -- Three scoreless for Jackson now, who has brought his A game back. Certainly will leave a better taste in his mouth -- and the Nats' mouths -- entering the postseason.

1:52 p.m. -- Jayson Werth just missed a homer himself in the bottom of the third, settling for a two-out triple off the wall in deep right-center. But he was stranded there when DeRosa flied out to center. So it's still 0-0 after three.

2:05 p.m. -- Well, the Phillies took the lead in the top of the fourth on a sac fly by Darin Ruf, but let's be honest. The bigger news is: Teddy won the Presidents Race! Full story to come.

2:20 p.m. -- Well, what do you know? Moments after Teddy won the race, Ryan Zimmerman homered to right to tie this game 1-1. And then Michael Morse doubled to deep center. And then Tyler Moore doubled down the left-field line. The Nats now lead 2-1 after four. So, basically, I've come to this conclusion: Had Teddy simply won the race way back in 2006, the Nationals might well have seven consecutive 162-0 seasons. What a waste.

2:50 p.m. -- Meanwhile, Jackson has now tossed six innings of one-run ball. Just what the doctor ordered. The Nats still lead 2-1 as we go to the bottom of the sixth.

3:05 p.m. -- Now Tyler Moore goes deep in the bottom of the sixth for his 10th homer of the season. That puts the Nats up 3-1. Since Teddy won the race, they've gone 6-for-12 with two doubles and two homers. In that same time, the Phillies have gone 1-for-7.

3:16 p.m. -- That'll do it for Jackson, who is lifted with two outs in the seventh, having pitched a gem. Interesting: Randy Knorr made the pitching change. I don't see Davey Johnson in the dugout. Don't believe he was ejected. Might just be letting his bench coach manage today as a treat.

3:35 p.m. -- A 1-2-3 inning of relief from Sean Burnett, who has gotten himself back on track lately. Nice to see entering the postseason.

3:45 p.m. -- Michael Morse goes deep to make it 5-1 and bring Bryce Harper (who pinch-ran for Zimmerman) home with his 98th run of the season.

3:52 p.m. -- Today's attendance: 37,075. That brings the final season total to 2,370,794 over 79 dates, for an average of 30,010 per date. Interesting that they happened to just barely announced enough today to get that figure up over the 30K mark.

4:07 p.m. -- That's it. The Nats win 5-1 to finish the season 98-64. They clinch the No. 1 seed for the postseason, and they'll open the NLDS on Sunday at either Atlanta or St. Louis.

146 comments:

sm13 said...

This may be the most serious lineup Charlie Manuel has put out there. it would be to see us knock Cliff Lee around.

MicheleS said...

Last REGULAR Season game. Wow, just stunning.

GYFNG! GO EDWIN! Get that 10th win today!

JaneB said...

Wow. Charlie is playing for keeps, isn't he? I hope we cream them. I really do. I officially love the Yankees compared to how I feel about the Phillies. And I HATE the Yankees.

GYFNG!

Pappy said...

Does anyone want to predict Teddy winning the Presidents Race today?

Jimmy said...

I'll be there! Bringing my son (turns 2 next week) and daughter (she's 3 months old today). Meeting the wife there - this is my first big trip alone with the two of them. Wish me luck!

It's been a pleasure rooting and reading along with the Nats Insiders this year. Here's to a long playoff run.

Dryw Loves the Nats said...

Jimmy, well done on starting to raise two new Nats fans. I hope you have a great time with your little ones!

A DC Wonk said...

So who's going to be the brilliant strategist who says we should walk Ruf every at bat? ;-)

Faraz Shaikh said...

what is it, like his fifth attempt to get that 10th win? Geez, get back on track EJax (to his credit, he should have won against Brewers).

Faraz Shaikh said...
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Faraz Shaikh said...

how come no one has accused Ruf of PEDs yet? From 9 and 17 HRs in his first two full seasons in minors, he has jumped to 41 combined HRs this season.

anyways I don't think we need to worry about Ruf next season with howard being back and no opening in OF either (as far as I can tell). And to be honest, I wouldn't put much emphasis on 11 September games.

Section 3, My 1st Place Sofa said...

I dunno, FS, the kid looks legit to me.

Water23 said...
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Faraz Shaikh said...

Just to clear it up, I am not accusing him either. I am just saying usually people jump on these kind of players.

bowdenball said...

I'd be careful casting those stones before looking at power numbers over the first two seasons in the minors for Tyler Moore. Or Ian Desmond.

Ruf went from a 6% walk rate and a 21% K rate in 2010 to a 10% walk rate and a 17% K rate in 2011. He clearly made some significant adjustments in his approach. PEDs don't help your eyes.

Natslifer said...

I went to Monday and Tuesday games. Ruf does look like a beast. That first shot last night was a total rollover golf swing outside and low - muscling that over the fence was something else (FS - I suppose your could imagine that there is "something else" and fit with my overall world view of the Phillies).

Jimmy - good luck. We took the toddlers to a few games and then stopped for a couple of years after they started walking and couldn't sit still. In my household we practice the "talk about the Nats constantly until they recognize every guy on the team" indoctrination methodology. I knew I had succeeded when I had a discussion with my six year old about "Lombo's" hitting.

Go Ejax! I can feel the big mo building.

Natslifer said...

Nor am I accusing - just having fun with Philly bashing - the guy is a super big, strong dude. Good on him.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

I can see Juan Pierre trying to bunt to leadoff.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Peric, read Daveys comments about using Lannan vs Braves.

Section 3, My 1st Place Sofa said...

Ghost, is that from Kilgore's tweet, or an article?

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Steady Eddie said...

Ghost -- great points about the position players' and starting rotation's WAR. Does anyone here believe that any of those WARs were career years that won't likely be duplicated for five or more years into the future? (Given decent health -- and remember that both Desi and Harp's numbers include a month, give or take, of not playing.)

No matter what happens from here in October, that just adds to the glow this team gives us.

October 03, 2012 11:37 AM


Steady, you are correct since WAR is cumulative that Desi and Harp's numbers were skewed for missing about 25 games which is significant as that is 15% of the season.

Hard to believe by the end of the season that Zim will have appeared in more games than Desi and Bryce.

I do believe that Desi and Harper and RZim and Werth will all have increased WAR in 2013 if by nothing more than playing more games.

2 positions that struggled for the Nats most of the season - LF and catcher - I believe will improve. Ramos had a +.6 just playing in just 25 games which is a +3.0 if Ramos plays in just 125 games.

The other 2 positions are 2nd and 1st base and I think present the biggest question marks for next season as we don't know if LaRoche will be back and if he is, can ALR be as consistent? Can Espinosa offensively improve?

On starting pitching, I expect a large increase with the maturation of the staff.

Questions for next year will be Morse, and Morse and his health, Danny Espinosa, re-signing ALR and who the 5th starter is.

Looks like the future is great for the Washington Nats.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Section 3, My 1st Place Sofa said...
Ghost, is that from Kilgore's tweet, or an article?


Actually got that from Amanda's tweet. Doesn't surprise me. I tried to tell Peric to stop with his Lannan hatred when he said no way Lannan gets on any of the post-season rosters.

I think it mostly has to do with EJax's performance today and who the Nats play. All the teams except for the Braves are evenly distributed Righty/Lefty.

Unknown said...

One of the few benefits of getting older is all the memories ....

This Ruf kid from Philadelphia reminds me a lot of Greg Luzinski, the Phillies' left fielder who had Frank Howard power (and Frank Howard defense).

I'm sure they'd rather have him at first over the next few years due to Ryan Howard's age/contract/health, but I don't think there is much they can do about that for now.

I'm curious about how Bryce Howard will play as a 20-year-old next season. Will he be a .300-30-100 guy, maybe better? Will he remain 2nd in the lineup? If he wants some RBI, he's going to have to move down.

Totally as an aside, my son's Super League team (we live in Pocatello ID) played in a few tournaments in Las Vegas and played Bryce's team twice (Didn't know who he was then but noticed his name on a roster sheet a couple of years ago).

I hated him. He played like he was a major leaguer. On the bases, he hunched over, wiggling his fingers in anticipation, eyes darting back and forth, watching the pitcher, the batter and the other base runners.

I thought it was a put-on, a kid who thought he was better than the rest and played like it. Turns out that he was just that good and the way he played was natural talent.

Now I love him because of those same reasons.

I wore my BYU-Idaho t-shirt when I covered the Nationals back in May for our newspaper. I was in awe in the locker room, almost speechless as all my heroes walked past me.

Suddenly I looked up and there was Bryce, staring at my t-shirt. "Dude, neighbors!" he said, referencing both our western states and the LDS connection.

Here I am, a 56-year-old guy, and I was speechless, unable to talk to a 19-year-old.

I wonder if the Nationals will be able to sign him to an extension before free agency, or as a Boras client will money and the next opportunity win out?

Time will tell.

Farid @ Idaho

rmoore446 said...

I understand that Ruff will be playing winter baseball in order to gain more experience in the outfield. Charlie Manuel, who wasn't quick to get too excited about Ruff, now says Ruff will get a close look next spring.

MicheleS said...

Ladson just tweeted that Frank will be throwing out the first Pitch for the First Home Game of the NLDS. Now we can all give him the ovation he deserves.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Amanda Comak ‏@acomak
Davey said the #Nationals will consider Lannan for playoff roster/rotation if they play the #Braves. Not much decided until opponent known

peric said...

I tried to tell Peric to stop with his Lannan hatred when he said no way Lannan gets on any of the post-season rosters.

And who does he supplant? And if he implodes again? As he has been doing most of the season? He's just NOT that good. Milone (especially Milone) and Rosenbaum are better.

YOU NEED TO STOP. With the Lannan is some sort of ace or hero? He likely ends up back in AAA next season after some team tries him out as a fifth starter. I'm not even sure he makes it in Houston. He's just not that good.

And for the ONE THOUSANDTH TIME: Livo WAS BETTER while he was a starter at an advanced age of 40 plus? How was that possible if Lannan is such a wonderful starter?

I'd rather see Gorzelanny or Duke over Lannan. They too are better.

peric said...

#Nationals will consider Lannan for playoff roster/rotation if they play the #Braves.

Uhmm last I looked "consider" did not mean definitely.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

MicheleS said...
Ladson just tweeted that Frank will be throwing out the first Pitch for the First Home Game of the NLDS. Now we can all give him the ovation he deserves.

October 03, 2012 12:39 PM


I agree, much deserved and it wasn't going to happen until Kasten was gone but much of the blame is on Cranky Franky for not doing it sooner. Frank is not the angel he is protrayed as in public but based on history, I have much respect for him as one of the greatest players ever and he was my favorite player as I grew up.

I have also suggested retiring Frank's #20 but I know many don't agree with that.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

peric said...
#Nationals will consider Lannan for playoff roster/rotation if they play the #Braves.

Uhmm last I looked "consider" did not mean definitely.

October 03, 2012 12:43 PM


We are all smart enough to decipher that. You were the one saying no chance.

Section 3, My 1st Place Sofa said...
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A DC Wonk said...

Section 3, My 1st Place Sofa said...

And after today, not only does the W-L record reset to 0-0, but all the batting averages start fresh, too. There's the star who pulls a houdini in the playoffs, and there's some goon squad guy who carries the team for a week, which is all it takes in the playoffs. With pretty much the whole team new to this, there's a lot left to discover about these guys. But I'm betting Harper and Zimm show up.

This brings up an interesting point -- the Nats have been able to win 97 games without a total-superstar-batter (e.g., a McCutcheon, etc.). The good thing about that is that when a guy goes into a slump, or is injured (see, e.g., 2012 Nationals: RZim, Ramos, Morse, Werth, etc etc), the Nats don't lose as much as with other teams, because their remaining players are so good.

imho . . .

mick said...

For all you DC old timers, copy, download the below and enjoy


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCcKm2GrWvk&feature=related

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

DC Wonk, according to WAR per game, Desi/Harper/Zim/LaRoche are near the tops in their positions and when they are healthy are hard to replace.

Section 3, My 1st Place Sofa said...

And yet three of the four were replaced, for a while, which I think was Wonk's point, partly.

peric said...

This brings up an interesting point -- the Nats have been able to win 97 games without a total-superstar-batter

They have at least one in training: Bryce Harper.

Desmond suddenly looks like he has that potential. Espinosa always did and has made some progress (not as much as many here would like) but 37 doubles and 17 homers with 2 triples is nothing to sneeze at either.

Morse sans injuries is one tier below. And LaRoche is having a career year. And even with his injuries Zim is again close to 100 RBI.

(And Rendon is on the way.)

Sure looks to me like they didn't need any superstar slugger.

Section 3, My 1st Place Sofa said...

OTOH, they have guys with all-star potential at at least 7 positions, maybe 8, and 3 or 4 pitchers who could have that kind of a year, or have already.

A DC Wonk said...

And if he implodes again? As he has been doing most of the season?

peric, what stats are _you_ looking at.

Lannan has six starts for the Nats. In those six starts he's allowed more than two runs only twice. He imploded only once. Granted, he has trouble finishing the sixth inning -- but nobody said he's great. But he might be the fourth best starter right now.

You might also want to look at EJax's stats for the month of September: an ERA of 7.92 (!!), and only _one_ start where he allowed fewer than three runs. (And even if you take out that last miserable start, his ERA is 5.32)

I'm not saying Lannan's great. But it's not unreasonable at all to think he's better at EJax at this point.

I hope EJax throws shutout baseball today (he certainly had some extra rest after lasting only 1.1 innings last time). But if he doesn't -- Lannan is worth considering.

Section 3, My 1st Place Sofa said...

Sure looks to me like they didn't need any superstar slugger.

Or indeed, that they have some, and we're selling them short.

Natslifer said...

Matt Snyder at cbssports really does love our Nats: http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/story/20441825/power-rankings-nationals-as-among-best-surprises-in-a-season-full-of-them

A DC Wonk said...

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

DC Wonk, according to WAR per game, Desi/Harper/Zim/LaRoche are near the tops in their positions and when they are healthy are hard to replace.

I'm looking at baseball-reference's batting leaders. Among hitters, I don't see anyone that is in the top-10 in WAR (total, offense, or defense), BA, OBP, SLG, OPS. Other than LaRoche, nobody in HR or RBI.

I'm not being critical at all -- I'm saying that even despite that, the Nats are still tied with the best record in baseball, which shows that they are a very balanced team. Even more impressive is that it's not all pitching. Despite the lack of batting leaders, the Nats are still 5th in runs scored. And, again, despite nobody hitting over .300 (for a full season), and nobody in the top 10 in batting -- the team BA is fourth in the league! That's amazing. And it points to a strength. Well balanced.

As for peric's comment that we have a superstar in waiting (Harper): I agree. But that will just make the Nats that much better for next year.

Section 3, My 1st Place Sofa said...

Remember those cookies for Detwiler? Somebody needs to send DeRosa some Wheaties.

A DC Wonk said...

To sum up what I've been trying to say: we don't have an Andrew McCutcheon. But we're also the only team that can kill you from eight different spots in the lineup. I don't know if any other team in the NL can do that.

Section 3, My 1st Place Sofa said...

But we're also the only team that can kill you from eight different spots in the lineup.
Nine, on some days.

Natslifer said...

Too funny - ejax cruising but pitched around Ruf.

Section 3, My 1st Place Sofa said...

Geez, nice hustle there Mikey.

MicheleS said...

Beast needs to be a little more agressive in LF.

Section 3, My 1st Place Sofa said...

Sharkadina definitely catches that.

MicheleS said...

Well at least we know the Beast can hit ;-)

Steady Eddie said...

Just following on Gameday but is EJax getting the kind of fastball movement that his results suggest he is? I loved seeing him challenge Utley on a 2-0 count and getting a groundout out of it. 37 pitches, 2h 0R, 2K after 3 IP is PFB.

Section 3, My 1st Place Sofa said...

Hmmm. MASN graphic showing Harper with 97 RBI.

They meant runs.

Section 3, My 1st Place Sofa said...

And we know Werth can hit.

Faraz Shaikh said...

have you guys used brooksbaseball site before? pretty good source for pitcher data.

Pappy said...

Ha! Teddy wins! And Philly helped him do it!

Now we need to win this game to get a winning strike started.

MicheleS said...

BOOM Ryan!

Section 3, My 1st Place Sofa said...

And we know Zim can hit. And Morse can STILL hit.

Section 3, My 1st Place Sofa said...

And we now know T-Mo can hit.

MicheleS said...

Look at the #1 on this list and look at the footnote #1 off to the side.

Grantland Power Rankings

Michael J. Hayde said...

Obviously Cliff Lee has been overcome by the sheer historical significance of Teddy's victory!

Theophilus T. S. said...

Now we find out whether Jackson can pitch w/ absolutely no pressure.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

An end of an era or error depending on how you look at it, Teddy wins a race. Now they need to find a new "act" for next season.

Theophilus T. S. said...

Amazing. Philadelphia has another 1B as bad as Howard.

Section 3, My 1st Place Sofa said...

Michele, thanks for that link; if you have The Facebook, here's a related picture.

MicheleS said...

Sofa.. We need to have the Insider Watching Party at Duffy's

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Most of the Phillies know their season is over and seem ready to jump on a plane and go home.

I figured that would be good news for the Nats yesterday and today and really its been Ruf and Frandsen trying to audition for next year as they are the guys who have shown up to play all series.

Theophilus T. S. said...

Possible new presidents (has to be someone arguably funny): William Howard Taft; Harry S. Truman. Maybe Silent Cal in his straw hat.

Steady Eddie said...

Was that called strike 3 on JFlo as bad a call as it looked on Gameday? I know Gameday is only intermittently reliable re pitch location, which is why I'm asking.

If it was that bad, that's a pretty inexcusable way to end a 10 pitch at bat where the hitter has fouled off six pitches, including at least a couple way out of the zone. That's supposed to be in his favor, not a license for the HP ump to call anything a strike. It's not as if this is the Cliff Lee of 3-4 years ago.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Steady, it looked close enough on a 3-2 that you have to swing and I say that as if it were a Nats pitcher pitching.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

@MarkZuckerman: #Nats employee once told me they were under strict orders: No Teddy win until playoffs clinched or approval from very top of organization.

Now 2 losing streaks have been ended.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Yes Eddie. It was close, certainly closer than 2 of tha ball 4 pitches Flo fouled off.

A DC Wonk said...

No Teddy win until playoffs clinched

FWIW, I made that suggestion last year (but, heck if I could ever find it!)

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Its amazing to me with all the technology that GameDay pitch tracker isn't sync'd with the real PitchF/X to give accuracy.

Secret wasian man said...

Teddy spotted hanging out with Melky Cabrera before the game. Teddy has submitted a urine sample. This victory may not be official yet.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Ghost Of Steve M. said...
Most of the Phillies know their season is over and seem ready to jump on a plane and go home.

I figured that would be good news for the Nats yesterday and today and really its been Ruf and Frandsen trying to audition for next year as they are the guys who have shown up to play all series.

October 03, 2012 2:21 PM


Like I said, Ruf and Frandsen.

peric said...

Possible new presidents (has to be someone arguably funny):

Maybe Barack Obama with his whitesox hat.

MicheleS said...

BOOM Tyler! What a MOON SHOT.

MicheleS said...

Love seeing our guys hitting of Lee.. perfect...

Swift Eagle said...

So true Michele....We are so close to the Z I can almost see it!....

Swift Eagle said...

Did anyone hear Dave J. remind us that DeRosa was the Opening Day starter in LF...after the Nats win the World Series, that may make for a good trivia question...

NatsLady said...

Wait-- I thought the Nats are punchless. Two of their best guys out of the lineup, how are they getting hits?

NatsJack in Florida said...

I love how Country just flipped the bat and went into his trot without even looking at the ball.

peric said...

Wait-- I thought the Nats are punchless. Two of their best guys out of the lineup, how are they getting hits?

Same old silliness about needing Cabrera or David Wright ... albeit I woudl have nothing against picking up Lance Berkman as a bench player. A switch hitter like that on the bench? ATL eat your heart out, he might be better in that role than Chipper.

baseballswami said...

What an impressive crop of rookies !!! They don 't play for a while, then Lombo was clutch last night, Tyler goes yard today. Harper gets the attention , those two are quality guys also.does any other team have that kind of triple threat rookie class???

A DC Wonk said...

So, am I reading this right: that there could be a four-way tie in the AL for best record at the end of today?

peric said...

T-Mo seems pretty humble. He definitely helped get Corey Brown "centered" this season. He's just happy to be in the majors and helping out.

Jim Zurer said...

Can we send Espinosa to strikeout reduction school? His average on balls in play is astronomical.

peric said...

Looks like Laynce Nix made the wrong choice in the past offseason. The Nats wanted him back ... and he picked the Phils for about the same money.

peric said...

Can we send Espinosa to strikeout reduction school? His average on balls in play is astronomical.

How many 2nd basemen do you know who play beyond gold glove caliber 2nd base (because he could be a top major league shortstop) while hitting 37 doubles, 2 triples, and 17 home runs?

He's learning.

Swift Eagle said...

See you Wed EJax!

Eugene in Oregon said...

Just saw that Frank Robinson will throw out the first ball in the first Nationals Park playoff game. Nice move.

What about Frank Howard for the second game?

peric said...

Looks like Davey is letting Knorr manage the end of this one?

Jim Zurer said...

Don't get me wrong....I love Espinosa. But he has the potential to be even better....

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Espi is back to being all or nothing with his swings. Unfortunately the last 2 weeks has been a lot of nothing and 1 HR.

Melissa Rabey said...

Wonk: actually, only a three-way tie. If the Yanks lose, Baltimore wins, and then whoever wins the Texas-Oakland game, all three clubs will be at 94-68. And of course, if the first two things happen, the Yanks and the Os will play a tiebreaker game tomorrow.

Section 3, My 1st Place Sofa said...

As I recall, the Phillies gave Nix 2 years, and Rizzo would not go 2.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

EJax with a nice stat line to finish his day. Just difficult to gauge the true performance against the Phillies B team plus Ruiz and Utley.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Sec, you are correct on Nix.

Section 3, My 1st Place Sofa said...

Melissa, you beat me to it. One more point: since a tiebreaker game is considered part of the regular season, if that happens, either Baltimore or New York would have the best record, with one more win.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Ghost.....this may be a Phillies B team but Fransden has been their best hitter for about 6 weeks now.

Melissa Rabey said...

Section 3: who plays who and where based on the winners of today's games and the possible Yanks-Os tiebreaker literally makes me stop understanding English. It's *that* convoluted.

If you're curious, it's laid out in this article: http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20121003&content_id=39418980&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb

I'm glad the wackiness with home and away playoffs not logically following the seeding is a this-year-only thing!

Section 3, My 1st Place Sofa said...

Interesting that Papelbon is throwing, not taking the day off, apparently. So it's not all B Team.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NatsJack, I gave props to Frandsen and Ruf up above.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Sorry. Missed that one, Ghost.

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

Your both right. Espinosa is a gold-glove caliber 2B, solid hitter, with lots of upside, who is also a strike-out machine (led the NL by 10 entering today).

Here's hoping that, just as he is one year younger than Desi, he will follow in Desi's footsteps, and more fully mature next year into close-to-MVP quality, just as Desi did this year.

Natslifer said...

standing O for Zimmy - very nice

Section 3, My 1st Place Sofa said...

During Take On Me, Michele? I missed it.

MicheleS said...
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MicheleS said...

Sofa.. see if you can rewind.

Section 3, My 1st Place Sofa said...

I can back up, I was wondering when it was.

MicheleS said...

BOOM BEAST!!!

MicheleS said...
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Melissa Rabey said...

So great to see Beast getting hot at just the right time!

Swift Eagle said...

BOOM goes the Beast!!

Swift Eagle said...

And after all the talk of "The Phillies OWN the Nats"...Season series is about to be 9-9...

MicheleS said...

This is pretty nice:

Washington Nationals‏@Nationals

With 37,075 in the park today, #Nats average 30,010 per game for 2012, highest attendance since '05. Thank you fans! #NATITUDE

Section 3, My 1st Place Sofa said...

It does look like her. Is that where she sits?

peric said...

Looks like MikeyMo is ready eh Natslady? His cost is small compared to what LaRoche will ask for. Plus there's Tyler Moore. Morse isn't going anywhere.

Section 3, My 1st Place Sofa said...

And after all the talk of "The Phillies OWN the Nats"...Season series is about to be 9-9.

And the Phillies are about to be 81-81.

MicheleS said...
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Section 3, My 1st Place Sofa said...

With 37,075 in the park today, #Nats average 30,010 per game for 2012

That is cool, getting over 30K.

Section 3, My 1st Place Sofa said...

If they bat around, maybe Harp can get those stolen bases yet.

Swift Eagle said...

Is Davey OK?

JD said...


Amazing how much better the team has looked since they clinched the division. They were tight as a drum and now they can just play. I think that this bodes well for the playoffs because there should no longer be any fear of collective failure.

peric said...

I hope EJax throws shutout baseball today (he certainly had some extra rest after lasting only 1.1 innings last time). But if he doesn't -- Lannan is worth considering.

EJax almost got to seven? How many times has Lannan done that? He barely managed to do that in the minors until the end of the season after he got a couple of doubleheader starts in the majors?

Of all the pitchers Lannan must make Davey's heart skip the most. He's quickest with the hook with him that's for sure. For Lannan they still need a well rested and fairly complete bullpen.

MicheleS said...

Swift I think so.. Normally don't they let the coaches do stuff like this on the last day? FP/Carp said DJ was hanging out in the clubhouse

Drew said...

Harper's 98th run ties George Davis for second best by a teenager, two behind Buddy Lewis' 100.

JD said...


Gio in for the 9th. Brilliant !!

Section 3, My 1st Place Sofa said...

Wrong Gonzalez, JD.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Love the Goon Squad. A shame DeRo couldn't get a couple of hits and get above Mendoza.

JD said...


That's what gameday says. I am not in position to watch the game.

MicheleS said...

Wow.. FINALLY getting some calls from the Umps on those check swings. We really are a 1st place team

JD said...


OK, now they have it corrected.

Section 3, My 1st Place Sofa said...

That's what gameday says.

Well, last game, somebody phoning it in.

Swift Eagle said...

WE WIN THE Z!!!!

Love it!

djinFl. said...

That was so much fun, let's play some more.
Thanks to the entire organization.-

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Werth or the guy some used to call Werthless, will finish with a .300 batting average.

Section 3, My 1st Place Sofa said...

98 Wooooooooo Hoooooooooooos

TM Michele

NatsJack in Florida said...

And a winning record every month of the regular season.

JD said...


I guess it's Atlanta or St.Louis.

Bring them on !!!

MicheleS said...

WOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOO!!! Can you Believe this!! 98 Wins and we got the Z!!!

peric said...

Three home runs to end it. Not a bad tune up.

peric said...

Werth or the guy some used to call Werthless, will finish with a .300 batting average.

Werth found his "niche" with this team hitting in front of and creating synergy with Bryce Harper while mentoring him.

Its a real honest to god shame it took so long to put him there ... undoubtedly a part of that might have been due to his truculence over batting lead off in 2011.

JD said...


Peric,

His contract suggested that he should be a big home run/ RBI guy but his skill set is much more suited for the role he is playing now. It takes a lot to change the minds of old school baseball people and analysts.

I generally don't like to play 'I told you so' but I have been touting Werth for the lead off spot since last year and I was disappointing that Davie dropped that experiment last year. It just makes so much sense; you get on base often, you see a lot of pitches then you should hit at the top of the order. And you don't have to steal bases either.

Swift Eagle said...

Werth's power will return next year...It's not unusual for guys to lose the power stroke when they have hand/wrist injuries and then come back after an off season of rehab....David Ortiz did it...Werth will hit at least 20 HR next year if healthy

Dave said...

EJax gets win #10. Morse gets dinger #18. Nats get win #98 and the Z: best record in the ENTIRE FREAKING MAJOR LEAGUES.

And the Nats come back to DC to play next Wednesday, which means my wife will be back home from work travel to see her first playoff game.

Life is good.

Dave said...

@Ghost of Steve M: "Werth or the guy some used to call Werthless, will finish with a .300 batting average."

This is so exceptionally good.

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