Monday, April 22, 2013

Game 19: Cardinals at Nats

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Cardinals are back in D.C. for the first time since October.
The last time the Cardinals set foot on this field ... well, it's probably best not to rehash that one yet again. Point is, the Redbirds are back in D.C. tonight for the start of a three-game series with the Nationals, who probably need to be careful not to think they can exorcise all their St. Louis demons in one feel swoop this week.

Of more importance: Play a good, clean ballgame, something they haven't been doing with consistency through the season's first three weeks. That starts with Dan Haren, still looking to record his first quality start in his fourth outing with his new club. Haren, who will be facing the organization that drafted him and allowed him to make his big-league debut, showed signs of progress through the first three innings of his last start, but then crumbled after Ryan Zimmerman committed an error. He'll need to put forth a more complete effort throughout this outing if he's going to beat a tough Cardinals lineup.

Anthony Rendon, meanwhile, hopes to be a bit more relaxed in his second big-league game after going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and an error yesterday in New York. The rookie third baseman should get a nice ovation from the home crowd when he steps to the plate for the first time in his home uniform.

One other important note: Rafael Soriano is not with the club tonight following the birth of his son earlier today in New York. That means the Nationals' closer tonight — should the situation present itself — would be Drew Storen. Talk about exorcising demons.

Updates to come...

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS 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 184
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 55 degrees, Wind 12 mph in from RF
NATIONALS (10-8)
CF Denard Span
RF Jayson Werth
LF Bryce Harper
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
3B Anthony Rendon
2B Danny Espinosa
C Kurt Suzuki
RHP Dan Haren

CARDINALS (10-8)
2B Matt Carpenter
RF 1B Allen Craig
LF Matt Holliday
1B Matt Adams RF Carlos Beltran
C Yadier Molina
3B David Freese
CF Jon Jay
SS Pete Kozma
RHP Shelby Miller

UMPIRES
HP Jim Wolf
1B Cory Blaser
2B Jim Joyce (cc)
3B Jeff Nelson

6:27 p.m. — Lineup change for the Cardinals: Matt Adams has been scratched with tightness in his right oblique. So Carlos Beltran will take over in right field, batting cleanup. Allen Craig will move from right field to first base.

7:05 p.m. — And we're underway on a chilly Monday night in the District. Dan Haren starts off Matt Carpenter with a fastball for strike one.

7:13 p.m. — A 1-2-3 top of the first for Haren, who dialed it up to 91 mph a couple of times. Davey actually said before the game he wants Haren to ease up a bit on his fastball velocity, thinking he might have more movement and success in the high 80s. But whatever he did in the first inning tonight worked, so the Nats will take it.

7:19 p.m. — And Shelby Miller retires the side himself in the bottom of the first, striking out both Denard Span and Jayson Werth before getting Bryce Harper to ground out to short. Miller has been highly touted for a long time; so far this season, he's living up to the hype. Scoreless after one.

7:25 p.m. — Here's a case where a defensive miscue actually helped the Nationals. With a man on first and nobody out, Yadier Molina scorched a liner at Ian Desmond, who leaped to try to make the catch. Desmond got a glove on it, but the ball fell to the ground right in front of him. No problem. Because Carlos Beltran had to hold up at first base in case the ball was caught, Desmond was able to start a 6-4-3 double play. Nice break there for the Nats and Haren, who has completed two scoreless.

7:32 p.m. — Bad hack from Desmond in the bottom of the second, going after a 93 mph fastball at his eyelids. Rendon also struck out in his first at-bat at Nationals Park, leaving him 0-for-5 with three K's to begin his career. The kid needs a base hit in the biggest way right now. Scoreless after two.

7:41 p.m. — Hey, what do you know? Pete Kozma bloops a single to right. Can't the Nats ever get this guy out? Apparently not, and it came back to haunt them yet again. Haren's big mistake in the top of the third was a two-out walk to Matt Carpenter. That prolonged the inning and brought Allen Craig to the plate with two out. Craig then crushed a drive to deep left-center. Span very nearly made a fantastic catch leaping at the wall, but he couldn't hang onto the ball, which fell to the ground. Two runs scored, so the Nats now face a 2-0 deficit as we move to the bottom of the third.

7:51 p.m. — Kurt Suzuki has 18 career stolen bases. Who knew? No. 18 just happened in the bottom of the third, with Suzuki going all the way to third base when Molina's throw skipped into center field. But he was stranded there when Span swung at the first pitch he saw from Miller and grounded out to second. Not a good piece of hitting there from the leadoff man in an RBI situation. Nats still trail 2-0 after three.

8:00 p.m. — Haren has pitched pretty well, allowing only those two runs through four innings. But, man, do the Cardinals batters know how to grind out at-bats or what? They're fouling off a ton, and because of that, Haren's pitch count is already up to 72 after four. We'll see if he's able to complete six innings for the first time this season. He's got some work to do.

8:17 p.m. — A couple of big, clutch hits from the Nationals in the bottom of the fourth ties this game up. Desmond delivered first, crushing an RBI double over Jay's head in center field to score Werth all the way from first base with two outs. Moments later, Rendon finally notched his first big-league hit. And it was a big one. He battled his way to a full count, then drilled his own RBI double to right-center, scoring Desmond. A nice ovation from the crowd in honor of Rendon's first hit and RBI. This game is tied, 2-2, heading to the fifth.

8:25 p.m. — Haren is through five on 87 pitches. So he'll reach the sixth inning for the first time this season. Still 2-2.

8:47 p.m. — Well, Haren reached the sixth inning for the first time, but he didn't come close to completing the sixth inning. In fact, he didn't record one out in the frame, plunking the first batter he faced and then allowing two singles and a walk. That brought one run home and put the Cards on top, 3-2, and left the bases loaded with nobody out. Into that mess came Craig Stammen, needing a miracle to get out of it. Which he basically got. LaRoche and Suzuki turned a beautiful (and very tricky) 3-2-3 double play to notch two quick outs. The Nats then intentionally walked Kozma to bring up the pitcher — oh sure, now they do that! — and Stammen proceeded to strike out Miller. So even though the Nats now trail by a run, it could've been a whole lot worse. 3-2 as we go to the bottom of the sixth.

8:59 p.m. — Stammen gets out of another jam in the seventh, this one self-induced. Props to Rendon for starting a nice 5-4-3 double play. Stammen then got Beltran to ground out on a 3-0 pitch, with a runner on third. So it remains 3-2 Cardinals at the stretch. Miller still on the mound for St. Louis.

9:14 p.m. — A chance for the Nats in the bottom of the seventh after they knocked Miller out with two outs and two on. In came Joe Kelly, a right-hander, to face the left-handed Chad Tracy. Advantage, Tracy. But Kelly managed to break Tracy's bat, and Jon Jay managed to come charging in to make a nifty, sliding catch of Tracy's blooper to shallow center. So that kills the rally. The Nats still trail 3-2 as Ryan Mattheus enters for the eighth.

9:36 p.m. — Another chance for the Nats squandered in the eighth. They had two on with one out and LaRoche at the plate. But he hit a high chopper to first on the first pitch he saw from Trevor Rosenthal. Desmond then swung from his heels on a 1-1 pitch from Rosenthal, not coming close to making contact. Then he took a 98 mph fastball right down the middle for strike three. A couple of poor at-bats there from the Nats' 4-5 hitters. So they still trail 3-2 heading to the ninth, and here's Drew Storen in to face Pete Kozma. Oh, how juicy is that?

9:41 p.m. — A 1-2-3 ninth for Storen. That had to feel good. He struck out Kozma looking at a slider, got Daniel Descalso to ground out and then got a nice play from Desmond and LaRoche on Carpenter's grounder. We go to the bottom of the ninth, with Edward Mujica in for the save.

9:48 p.m. — That'll do it. The Nats simply can't push across the tying run. They lose, 3-2.

265 comments:

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Faraz Shaikh said...

Tough pitcher to exorcise STL demons. Miller is an early NL ROY candidate.

Don said...

Ian Desmond has 7 Errors already and he rightly could have several more but for scoring decisions and ALR. Love the .290 AVG with some good pop -- great stuff. Love it. But it is not worth it, if he can't play SS. This club needs his glove more than his bat. He's got to step up.

peric said...

If Haren can't compete there is home grown talent that probably can.

baseballswami said...

You know, Chris Young is starting in Syracuse tonight- so that means he is on the same pitching schedule as Dan Haren--- for in case Haren pitches badly again and develops a mysterious HRod- like ailment and needs to go on a DL time out. It might give the team a real lift if Haren has a dominant first inning- or three, or four, or seven. Stir in some offense, some clean defense and -- voila-- back on track. Oh, please- I am begging....

peric said...

JD, no question. After 2014, we don't have a lefty replacement for ALR in the pipeline, even if Zim stays at 3B. Skole, Marrero, and Ty-Mo are all RH if I'm not mistaken. At least we've got Span and Harper.

Matt Skole is DEFINITELY a left-handed power bat and he IS IN the pipeline. There's Corey Brown and Erik Komatsu on the left side as well. Plus Brian Goodwin is in AA. All left-handed hitters. The problem is finding a position.

The infield appears to be locked. Its in the outfield that things could become interesting. Werth will be 36 going on 37.

Section 222 said...

So are any Insiders planning to make the trip to Pittsburgh for any of the games May 3, 4, or 5? I'm probably going to go Friday and Saturday. Saturday is a 4:05 start, which means you could do it in as a day trip if you're really ambitious.

It would be fun to get some seats together if anyone is heading up and doesn't have tickets yet. I've been following the ticket situation on StubHub. Still good seats available and much less pricey than at Nats Park.

peric said...

You know, Chris Young is starting in Syracuse tonight- so that means he is on the same pitching schedule as Dan Haren---

He replaces Tanner Roark who is now in the bullpen and was their opening day starter.

He and his 82 mph fast ball have to prove they are better choices than Danny Rosenbaum and his 1.17 WHIP and Nat Karns and his 24 K's to 6 walks. I don't think he can.

peric said...

JD, no question. After 2014, we don't have a lefty replacement for ALR in the pipeline, even if Zim stays at 3B. Skole, Marrero, and Ty-Mo are all RH if I'm not mistaken. At least we've got Span and Harper.

And Zach Walters is a pinch hitter so there's another left-handed bat in the pipeline.

Secret wasian man said...

Waiting until closer to the Pitt series to decide. Don't wanna drive 3 hours to sit in the rain.

Gonna need a lot of runs tonight

SonnyG10 said...

Getting ready to leave home for the game. GYFNG!

EmDash said...

Please be good, Haren!

I still think they should consider exploring setting up a wind machine to blow long fly balls back down during his starts. *g*

natsfan1a said...

I have another commitment during the series at Pittsburgh but, having gone there in the past, I highly recommend it. Lovely ballpark, in a lovely setting, and some fun foodie shopping in the Strip area of town, if you're so inclined.

baseballswami said...

About Chris Young -- he seemed to always give us a tough time last year. I guess that makes him qualified and I guess that's why he was signed. He has got to be number one on the list to come up with his mlb experience - it seems like he came to this organization with the understanding that he is number six. Can't see Rizzo passing him over after he agreed to stay with us as depth. I seem to remember that he could get outs - that downhill plane is crazy - and mph is not everything.

baseballswami said...

And as for Pittsburgh -- great place to go to a game!

peric said...

And Zach Walters is a pinch hitter so there's another left-handed bat in the pipeline.

Meant to say switch hitter ... stoopid spell checkers ... :/

peric said...

Can't see Rizzo passing him over after he agreed to stay with us as depth.

If Rizzo made that promise that's who we'll see first. But if he gets bombed by the International League as he did in ST? So, he has to make a couple of starts at least in Syracuse. I wouldn't bet on him.

peric said...

Someone needs to drink his last Martini and retire for goodness sakes? Well he did do some things but he also was an impediment to many others.

From the Bog:

“I’m surprised it’s not brought up more that sometimes managers serve as coaches — not managers, but coaches — to train players for the next manager that takes over,” McCarver said during Saturday’s Fox broadcast of the Nats-Mets game. “It happens so, so often. I mean, you look at the Washington Nationals, a guy like Jim Riggleman — who was, what disposed of, I guess, three years ago or so, or quit in the middle of the season — is as much responsible for the success of this franchise, the Nationals, as anyone. And that might be the plight and fate of Terry Collins if the Mets don’t bring him back next year. It seems like baseball more than football, it seems like managers become coaches and help young players and things like that.”

peric said...

Riggleman almost single-handedly ruined Rick Eckstein's career by making every hitter hit to the opposite field all the time.

Dave said...

Wow. That quote from McCarver shows that he barely knows what's going on.

As I recall, Riggleman QUIT because Rizzo did not respond sufficiently to his mid-season tantrum.

I agree with you, Peric: it's time for McCarver to hang it up.

Section 222 said...

Right you are on Skole. My mistake. Let's hope he's ready by 2015 if Zim doesn't move over there.

JD said...


Another pearl of wisdom from Tim Mc.Carver:

PBP man: 'Suzuki's OBP is over .400'

Mc.Carver: 'Yeah but that's not the role of an 8th place hitter'

me: 'Huh?'

Faraz Shaikh said...

LOL that's funny JD. Maybe he was trying to crack up a joke.

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

I'm guessing they're friends; Riggleman apparently has a lot of friends among the older players and coaches, among other people (the servers at Caddies, for instance). That's probably how McCarver actually sees it, maybe because Riggleman told him all about it.

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

I was watching, but I must have missed that one. What did he say *was* the role of the 8th spot, if not to clear the pitcher? I mean, besides helping the team score runs by getting on base?

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

I'm going to guess McCarver meant the 8 hitter shouldn't be taking walks with runners in scoring position and 2 outs early in the game, leaving it up to the pitcher to drive them in.

Laddie Blah Blah said...

Sorry if this has been posted, already, but I've been out all day and just learned that Rizzo played the super 2 situation with Rendon perfectly, according to the WaPo.

Rendon had to be in the minors for 20 days according to the arcane rules for a minor leaguer on the 40-man, and Rizzo did not call him up until after his 20 days were accounted for. As of day 21, Sunday, Rendon was with the Nats, as "quick to the major leagues" as Rizzo could make it.

Someone here predicted that Rendon would be called up as soon as the super 2 stuff was dealt with. Hmmm. Smart dude, that guy.

Doc said...

McCarver must be misreading Yogi!

When you're deciphering Yogisms, you got to pay attention to what Yogi's not sayin'!!

A DC Wonk said...

I'm going to guess McCarver meant the 8 hitter shouldn't be taking walks with runners in scoring position and 2 outs early in the game, leaving it up to the pitcher to drive them in.

I was just thinking that, too. McCarver may talk too much, he might not know a whole lot about the Riggs situation, etc. . . . but he knows a heckuva lot about game-time-on-the-field strategy. A _lot_.

(2 time all star catcher for Cards, 2nd place in MVP one year, 21 seasons -- and, good for trivia buffs: played in four different decades -- he played with the Cards when they were the class of the NL: 3 world series in 5 years, playing with guys like Ken Boyer, Lou Brock, Curt Flood, Orlando Cepeda, Bob Gibson, Steve Carlton)

Faraz Shaikh said...

Sofa, regarding your HBP comment, standings reveal that Choo has a higher OBP than Votto. Going forward if one player has to be chosen for OBP, it will be Votto because he has better plate discipline, not because he can stand closer to plate and take a hit. that's why I think OBP should not account for HBP. It does not strike me as a skill.

MikeinDC said...

I am there and will be booing Kozma every time he moves. GO NATS!

baseballswami said...

Riggleman singled- handedly ensured that the Nats made the play offs in 2012. I don't think you realize what it did for the Nats that he left mid-season. Davey Johnson had half a season to get settled in with the team, a full off- season and then a full spring training. No way that nats win 98 games unless that happens. He didn't do it for those reasons and it has nothing to do with baseball on the field -- although he did have a bad team playing as well as they could. I have not one clue why everyone is still villifying him when his walking away when he did was the best thing that could have happened to the Nats. Now - he is a minor league teacher and very , very good at it. I saw his team play a lot and they are fundamentally good. He was entrusted with Billy Hamilton. Some coaches are good at teaching and making do with what they have and rebuilding. Some coaches are only good if they have the talent to work with. Please remember that Riggleman was not given the tools to work with or the support that Johnson has. He had Elijah Dukes, and Lastings Milledge ad John Lannan was his ace. And they were winning when he walked away. Only person he hurt was himself - maybe. Nats came out smelling like a rose.

Faraz Shaikh said...

Congrats to soriano and Storen closing tonight's win would be the best win so far.

Gonat said...

Don said...
Ian Desmond has 7 Errors already and he rightly could have several more but for scoring decisions and ALR. Love the .290 AVG with some good pop -- great stuff. Love it. But it is not worth it, if he can't play SS. This club needs his glove more than his bat. He's got to step up.
______________________________

Check again, you need both defense and offense from all players on a championship team. The exception is probably catcher and of course pitchers.

Gonat said...

Davey on what happens to Rendon when Zimmerman comes off DL: "I don't care if he hits .900, he's not going to beat out Ryan Zimmerman."
______________________________

That says it all and what you expect as someone said they will have to pry 3rd base from RZ.

If Rendon is red hot coal, I'm still thinking 2nd base and maybe to rest Zim on some days.

Section 222 said...

Laddie, it's not the Super 2 situation he played perfectly, it's the free agency situation. By being called up this early, Rendon will almost certainly be Super 2. All that means is that he gets to arbitration a year earlier (the Super 2 cutoff is calculated after the season and varies depending on how soon other prospects get called up. The cutoff usually comes sometime in June.

But by calling him up on day 21, Rizzo kept team control for another year. You're right, he's a smart guy.

Laddie Blah Blah said...

"But by calling him up on day 21, Rizzo kept team control for another year. You're right, he's a smart guy."

That's what I meant, but I am not the guy who knows, or cares, about the collective bargaining agreement, but thanks for the clarification. And the guy who predicted Rendon would be called up as soon as possible was yours truly. You can look it up in the archives. It was a no-brainer.

Section 222 said...

Swami, what you say about Riggleman leaving being the best thing to happen for the Nats is absolutely true. But he didn't do it intentionally, so he still deserves to be villified for, pick one or more: (1) having a terrible career W-L record; (2) throwing a mid-season tantrum and quitting on a team that had just won 10 straight; (3) sending Matt Stairs to the plate over and over again; (4) thinking that Michael Morse was better as a bench player; or (5) double-switching Morse out of a game where he had already hit two home runs!

Eric said...

"Congrats to soriano and Storen closing tonight's win would be the best win so far."

Yes and YES!

baseballswami said...

section 222 - purely an off the field observation. I really don't see last season being a 98 win season if he stayed the whole year. And he did get stuck with Matt Stairs.

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

standings reveal that Choo has a higher OBP than Votto. Going forward if one player has to be chosen for OBP, it will be Votto because he has better plate discipline, not because he can stand closer to plate and take a hit. that's why I think OBP should not account for HBP. It does not strike me as a skill.

I think "chosen for OBP" is a non sequitur (and chosen for what, exactly?), but sure. I explained why I think it's a skill; you're unconvinced. OK.

Laddie Blah Blah said...

"If Rendon is red hot coal, I'm still thinking 2nd base and maybe to rest Zim on some days."

Second base, or SS, where the real defensive problem lies. Rizzo could send Danny down, instead of Rendon. I mean, really, if you were the GM and that was the option, what would you do?

You then move Desi to 2nd base and Rendon to SS. Desi makes errors when he rushes the play. Playing 2nd gives him a shorter throw to first and more time to field and toss to first - less rushing and fumbling.

He even fumbled a perfect relay throw from Harper yesterday in his rush to make a throw to home on would have been a close play. And his throw to first was clearly both wide and in the dirt. Any official scorer would have given that error to Desi. It was an easy play for him, and he blew it. I think he would say so, too.

Another option for Rizzo would be to place Danny on the DL. He does have a torn rotator cuff, after all. Then he could get the operation to repair the injury and come back next spring and try to make the team. If he can't, he gets sent down to AAA for rehab until he learns how to hit from the left side.

Rizzo has those options and, surely, many more (e.g. your 2nd base option). Rendon is likely to stick, both for defensive and offensive reasons. And he is not going to sit on the bench. Rizzo knows how good he is, and he is not going to waste a talent like that, either on the bench or in the minors.

Section 222 said...

Ok, let's go to the videotape:

Laddie Blah Blah said...
You're probably right. Rendon does not need any more PT in the minors, just as Ryan did not need any more reps in the minors when the Nats brought him up at the age of 20, just weeks after signing him out of Virginia. And we all know Harper, at 19 years of age, was doing poorly in the minors when the Nats brought him up, last year. Rendon is already better than either of them were when they came up. I don't know what Davey and Rizzo are thinking, but they have to consider a lot more than I do about who to play, and where, and when. But it won't be long before we see Mr. Rendon in DC. He is just too darned good.


March 10, 2013 11:32 AM

Well played.

Of course, you also said this in the same comment:

I would not be surprised to see the Nats send Moore down to Syracuse to work on improving his game, every day, while Owings takes his slot as a pinch hitter, late-game replacement at either 1b or the OF.

A .500 batting percentage is still pretty good. :-)

A DC Wonk said...

Re-visiting:

(Or, re-opening a can of worms?)

FWIW: Morse is down to .231. and B-R has him at a pretty good 0.5 WAR for offense, and a bad -0.5 WAR for defense. Of course, these stats are not terribly meaningful this early in the season.

All trades, etc., need to be evaluated in the long run.

But -- just a reminder -- yeah, Morse was a great guy, and yeah, he's hit 6 HR's already -- but also: yeah, he's tied for his team lead in GIDP, hitting .231, and the 31-year old is in the last year before free agency.

Rich P. said...

Well, now we know what Soriano did during the All Star break last year. Took his boys swimming.

Section 222 said...

Swami, you're probably right. If Riggleman had stuck it out and the Nats had continued to play decently, finishing at .500 for the year, he would scored another 1 year deal, maybe even gotten a raise to $750K or a million bucks. And I have little doubt the Nats wouldn't have won 98 times playing his smart ball. Deciding to play chicken with Rizzo was one of the dumbest moves ever made.

jeffwx said...

Espi to be traded for Left Handed Specialist...would be nice but I wonder who is in the market for a 175 hitter with torn rotator cuff

jeffwx said...

Maybe throw in Storen then to get the Lefty in the pen.

A DC Wonk said...

Question: I was looking at Danny's stats, and I see that this year he has a .188 BABIP.

Isn't that an awfully low number? (His career BABIP is .302) Does that tell us that he's been very unlucky?

A DC Wonk said...

Deciding to play chicken with Rizzo was one of the dumbest moves ever made.

It was even dumber than most realize.

You see, Riggs' main complaint was that he was on a one-year contract and it was hard to wield authority with that.

Well, guess what? Rizzo had been on a one-year contract himself the year before that. Rizzo, for himeself, took the view: "work hard and well, and prove your worth to the team."

So, duh, of course that was Rizzo's message to Riggs.

Yep -- Riggs sure picked the wrong person to play chicken with.

Faraz Shaikh said...

Wonk, ALR's BABIP seems unlucky to me since we have seen him make good contact and not get hits for it. Danny, I am not so sure.

jeffwx said...

Danny's either unlucky or hurt.

JD said...


Laddie,

Since you took the time to point out in great detail all the mistakes Desi made you may have mentioned just in passing that Rendon did drop an easy relay from Desi for a forceout on his very 1st play in the majors.

Also; I am not sure you need to dislocated your arm patting yourself on your shoulder for predicting an early call up for Rendon unless of course you feel that the whole Zim injury was staged to make that scenario happen.

SCNatsFan said...

Jeffwx if Danny is unlucky then he has been unlucky since the first half of the season two years ago.

A DC Wonk said...

Another story (if I'm remembering it right -- please correct me if I'm not:)

With just minutes to go before the signing deadline for draft picks, Strasburg's agent, Boras, gave Rizzo "his final offer."

Seconds ticking away, Rizzo says, "sorry, can't do it."

Boras gave in, and the deal got done with about 90 seconds left to spare.

Nope: you don't play chicken with Rizzo.

jeffwx said...

Yep...Espi...a career .237 average over 3 years ;(
A change of scenery may do him good.

JD said...


Wonk,

'Isn't that an awfully low number? (His career BABIP is .302) Does that tell us that he's been very unlucky?'

Absolutely.

To me Danny needs to do one thing to become a complete player. Force the pitchers to throw him strikes when he is hitting with 2 strikes. It's not the end of the world if he gets punched out a few times taking a close pitch but the message has to go out to all the pitchers that you have to throw strikes to get him out.

I am not sure Danny can get over his aggressive nature to accomplish that and if he can't then he won't reach his potential which is still very good.

A DC Wonk said...

(and I haven't even mentioned that Rizzo signed Harper with _26_ seconds left in the deadline. Nope, you don't play chicken . . . )

(I'm done with that meme now )

(for now ;-) )

A DC Wonk said...

Jeffwx if Danny is unlucky then he has been unlucky since the first half of the season two years ago.

No -- his BABIP was solid last year. The problem was too many K's. No luck there -- just way way too many K's.

But this year, his K's are way down. And so is his BABIP. Which is why I was asking about it.

jeffwx said...

Well, lucky we have Lombo,Rendon, Zimm to fill 2 positions. Does Espi really fit into a Nats plan

jeffwx said...

I think Danny's hurt and really isn't a switch-hitter..a switch batter maybe

IKN8wxU2 said...

Count me still in the camp that thinks Danny's hitting will come around. He's really dropped his strikeout rate and has been hitting in some tough luck. Just hope the low BA doesn't get in his head.

And Danny is a far better defensive player than anyone else at 2B and may be our best SS.

JD said...


Wonk,

There is a large legion of fans who have given up on Espi and aren't interested in any logical discussion. I am just not sure how many players not named Bryce Harper can take Craig Kimbrel's 99 MPH fastball deep the way Danny did last year.

jeffwx said...

Good D..no doubt.
Unfortunately, 3 years of ML baseball and 1300 ABs is enough of a sample size for me.

NatsNut said...

Riggleman also helped us out in Seattle by winning 2 more games than us in 2008. That got us Strasburg.

jeffwx said...

JD, there's a large legion of fans who look at small samples (one ab vs one pitcher) and aren't interested in any logical discussion.

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

"unless of course you feel that the whole Zim injury was staged to make that scenario [Rendon's callup] happen."

I wonder, just speculating, but suppose. Zim's waits and waits to play defense in the spring, knows the throwing isn't right, but is still the FOF, dammit, and wants to stay in. Rizzo says, "Look, Rendon is Plan B, but I can't bring him up for the first few weeks without burning a year of control. Take one for the team, we'll just play through it, and I can DL you around April 19, but hold the fort as best you can until then, OK?"

Just speculating.

A DC Wonk said...

Good point, JD.

To tell you the truth, I've been getting close to give up on him, too.

And so, I went looking at Espi's stats just to see what was going on, and the low BABIP really stuck out at me.

The point is: I'm not even trying to argue that "bad luck" is why Espi is hitting .175 -- I was only trying to genuinely ask the question. That's a darn low BABIP -- which could be the result of really really weak hitting, or bad luck, or . . . ?

I mean, I thought _everybody_ had a BABIP over over .250, and most are around .300, no? (From vague memory without looking it up). Danny himself had a .333 BABIP last year.

Now, perhaps Espi has stopped swinging hard and as a result: lower K's and lower BABIP. But, perhaps just bad luck.

I have no idea -- just floating it out there for consideration (among those who aren't too biased to have a discussion about it ;-) )

A DC Wonk said...

jeffwx said...

Good D..no doubt.
Unfortunately, 3 years of ML baseball and 1300 ABs is enough of a sample size for me.

So -- go look at the stats instead of just pretending that all three years are the same.

Something is very different this year. Go look it up.

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

"Zim's" ???

*Zim

jeffwx said...

237 career avg good enuf for you...then keep going with him.

jeffwx said...

Yes...this year he's even worse than his career 189 strike out year of 2012.
This year he's worse probably because he has a torn rotator cuff. So just try swinging with one instead of looking at stats.

Theophilus T. S. said...

Storen's got nothing to worry about tonite -- probably down 4 or 5 by the time they get to the ninth.

jeffwx said...

And Know, you are probably right. This year, he hitting more weak ground balls but with a similar effect to K's.

JD said...


.237 is not good but a .315 OBP while also not great is more representative and sublime defense leading to an over all WAR of 3.2 in 2011 and 3.4 in 2012 suggests you don't discard this player so easily.

I am with you in agreeing that Espi is very frustrating and he definitely must make some adjustments to his game and I wouldn't be opposed if he gets traded provided we get a decent return. I also like Lombo very much based on the understanding that so far he projects to be an average all around 2nd baseman.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Win every series. That is my goal

baseballswami said...

Maybe the closer situation will provide the requisite adrenaline. But, really - the timing? Drew our closer and it's STL? Perhaps the reverse lock will be in effect tonight. Haren pitching against a good offensive team that knocked us out of the playoffs. Closer not with the team and ex-closer that melted down against said team the closer of the day. Yeah - reverse lock for sure. Haren has a great game, the offense hits the cover off the ball, the defense clicks, Drew dazzles them with his super slider. It could happen. Really, it could.

jeffwx said...

Beware T.S.
A comment construed as Anti-Natsi can often be judged detrimentally (JD for short) as someone with an opinion that differs and therefore can't be discussed.

JD said...

jeffwx,

What are you talking about?

Danny has 8 strike outs this year. Harper 12, Werth 15 LaRoche 17 Desmond 16 Zim 14 Suzuki 8 Span 8.

jeffwx said...

JD and KIA, yes, Given we have several players that can play IF, maybe we could get a player we are more in need of for a guy with a purty good WAR in 2012.
Sometimes, a change a scenery can do wonders. I'd like Danny to succeed but have given up since he is expendable.

jeffwx said...

Yes, that's what im talkin about.
He's better at hitting weak grounders this year. Last year he was better (in fact one of the best) at striking out.
However, both have similar contributions to productivity.

NatsJack in Florida said...

JD....sitting in Nats Park sippin on some $5 Miller Lites. Looking forward to watching Rendon play live baseball in person (again) which is more than I can say for his favorite fan.

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

an opinion that differs and therefore can't be discussed.

Point of Information: Only Mark can stop someone from posting in here, and he almost never does that, and then only for better reasons than I would need.

People disagree. They aren't always as respectful about it as one might wish, especially when it's oneself they are dissing. But nobody stops anybody from posting.

MicheleS said...

NJ.. I will be there tomorrow night! See you then

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

Looks like there will be a moderate turnout, according to the NIDO Who's Where sheet.

natsfan1a said...

My own initial thought was that maybe McCarver was trying to do *Collins* a favor, as the context was that he felt Collins deserved better. Also, wasn't McCarver a Mets broadcaster for quite a few years? He seemed to drone on about, er, talk them up quite a bit.

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

I'm guessing they're friends; Riggleman apparently has a lot of friends among the older players and coaches, among other people (the servers at Caddies, for instance). That's probably how McCarver actually sees it, maybe because Riggleman told him all about it.
April 22, 2013 4:16 PM

natsfan1a said...

Ooh! Ooh! Can I have number 2?

Section 222 said...

Swami, what you say about Riggleman leaving being the best thing to happen for the Nats is absolutely true. But he didn't do it intentionally, so he still deserves to be villified for, pick one or more: (1) having a terrible career W-L record; (2) throwing a mid-season tantrum and quitting on a team that had just won 10 straight; (3) sending Matt Stairs to the plate over and over again; (4) thinking that Michael Morse was better as a bench player; or (5) double-switching Morse out of a game where he had already hit two home runs!
April 22, 2013 4:52 PM

A DC Wonk said...

Perhaps the reverse lock will be in effect tonight.

Hey -- we haven't had one of those yet this season, have we?

If not -- put me down for the reverse lock!

Hope springs eternal -- especially when it's baseball season in the spring!!

GYFNG!

Theophilus T. S. said...

If anyone thinks my comments are anti-Nats, so be it. So far, their play -- except when playing the Sisters of the Sacred Heart -- has been unwatchable. There are maybe four-and-a half players (I'll give you Harper, Span, Suzuki and Detwiler, and 50 percent credit for Zimmermann) who haven't been nicked or haven't played like their heads were wedged somewhere warm and wet and they haven't any idea what they're supposed to be doing out there. (There's some overlap between the nicked and wedged groups, notably the FOF, who seems to throw like Butch Hobson, hit like Clete -- not Ken -- Boyer and eat like Miguel Cabrera.) Not showing up ready mentally to play, or in shape for ST, is an unpardonable sin.

I was planning on going to five or six games this year (a typical season for me) but I'm not going to shell out a nickel until a bunch of them shape up or get out.

natsfan1a said...

Atta way, Nats fans. :-)

Mark Zuckerman @ZuckermanCSN

A healthy amount of boos as Pete Kozma's name announced at #Nats Park.

Less Platu said...

Did I hear this right or am I hearing things that Young is starting tomorrow night? If so, what about Det's start?

Less Platu said...

3 down -- 24 to go

Less Platu said...

Where do the Cards keep picking up these good, young arms? (looking at Miller)

Less Platu said...

Span falling to earth hitting .271 -- near his career mark -- I like Span a lot, just not exactly what we needed

Less Platu said...

Miller - 2 ks

Less Platu said...

Anyone here tonight???

MicheleS said...

Theo.. never have I ever thought you were Anti-Nats and I am the biggest Pollyanna here. Always bring good perspective.

Less Platu.. most of us leave off during the game thread. it can be a bit rough, plus the reception at Nats Park stinks and posting in game can be difficult.

JaneB said...

I like it much better when Mark is there.

Welcome to the world Baby Soriano.

Welcome to DC, Anthony.

Haren seems to be locating better. May he give us good reason to need to use Drew.

JaneB said...

I can never post from the stadium. I'm glad I'm not there -- too cold!

Less Platu said...

Cards hit and run already - I like that!! can we do a little of that, coach?

Less Platu said...

there's a vacant seat next to me, Janet. Sit down, grab a hot chocolate and lets bring these guys home

MicheleS said...

Seriously, that DP was ridiculous! Desi got some hops

Less Platu said...

hmm some solid wood off of Danny boy already --

Gonat said...

Look at that, a drop and furtuitous bounce and a lazy runner equals a sweet doubleplay!

Less Platu said...

Haren survives two - 7 to go!!

Less Platu said...


wish they'd show the XMo on that play at first with Desi's DP -- looked awfully close.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Gonat. I was about to type the same thing

Gonat said...

Less Platu said...
Cards hit and run already - I like that!! can we do a little of that, coach?
____________________________________

Sure, they tried that with Espi up and Tracy on base.

Less Platu said...

I see where our old draft pick Peacock is starting for Houston tonight -- will face our old hero, Morse!!

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

Nevermind.

Less Platu said...

Gonat: cant think of a worse duo to hit and run with: swing and miss Espi, slow turtle Tracy -- come on coach!! get in the game haha

Less Platu said...

Miller looks awesome

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

Gonat, it was awfully close. He was out by about six inches.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Of the 4 Ks Span took one down the middle, Wert swun at 2 to hight. Desi struck out at one over his head. Rendon was the best didnt swing at any to high. Howevet missed the last two at the top of zone. This pitcher likes high part of the zone.

Less Platu said...

Davey on what happens to Rendon when Zimmerman comes off DL: "I don't care if he hits .900, he's not going to beat out Ryan Zimmerman
_________________________

Part of Davey's bullheaded problem: if you're "one of his guys" everyone else is screwed. If Rendon is tearing it up and gets sent back down for Zim and Zim returns the same player, Davey starts to hear some Boos

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Big Cat and I call Span "Butter" He looks so smooth going after flies.

Less Platu said...

Title of my new book:

BURIED ALIVE: the Lombardozzi story

Less Platu said...

Hey Manassas: I might call Span "Butter" because he looks like he loves his butter!!

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Miller,' pitches up are strikes, Harens are a little lower and are called balls. Talking about squeezing.

Less Platu said...

My next book:

Lost in Space: the Tyler Moore Story

Less Platu said...

ooh boy 2 zip and away we goooooooo!

Less Platu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Less Platu said...

Haren FB is just too FAT and FLAT. My hopes are not high

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

did the ball hit wall or glove? I thought that Harper was going to catch rebound.

Haren's big mistake walking Carpenter and not pitching to contact.

Gonat said...

Span didn't get a good read on that ball. Those are the plays you just wish this team would make. Very few Web Gems.

Less Platu said...

Espi af. 171 oba 221 yet Buried alive stays buried. Lombo just isn't one of Davey's guys. Davey's not fair

Joe Seamhead said...

Catchable ball. Tough play, but catchable.

Less Platu said...

Espi drops below .165

Less Platu said...

Second time in three games that Ive seen Harp get to a ball faster than Span and harp gives way to the veteran. With the far superior arm, harp should have the right of way. Why is Harp in left? he ought to be in CF or Rf -- this is just silly

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Cozma showed Espi what to do. Ball outside go opposite field. No Espi pulls it an easy out.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Span is working himself into my doghouse. His batting average with RISP has to be terrible. Can anyone access it please.

Seems lately everytime he is he is out.

Less Platu said...

beginning of 4th Cards with 2 to date. Critical window of time for Haren. Will he still be in there to begin the 6th? If you give me 3-1, I say NO

jeffwx said...


Michele S....My point with a bit too much sarcasm for blog world is that a criticism of a Nats player does not make one close-minded, or unwilling to discuss or even an anti-Natsi. In fact, dissension to sometimes irrational exhuburance doesn't have to be shunned. Now let's here a big Wooooo Hoooo

Gonat said...

Joe Seamhead said...
Catchable ball. Tough play, but catchable.

April 22, 2013 7:45 PM
__________________________

He didn't sprint back to it as he likes to glide to the ball. Well, the wind got a hold of it and he wasn't in a horizontal position to make the catch.

Gonat said...

Less Platu said...
Gonat: cant think of a worse duo to hit and run with: swing and miss Espi, slow turtle Tracy -- come on coach!! get in the game haha

April 22, 2013 7:31 PM
_______________________________

Yes, Suzuki and Haren. Davey is trying anything.

Less Platu said...

Span hasn't been hit by a pitch since 2010 -- maybe Span doesn't like contact, with balls or walls

jeffwx said...

And did Sofa mention the name that cannot be spoken ? MZ

Less Platu said...

4 in the books! time to hit!

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

Voldemort?

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

For the batting coaches, what did you notice about Rendons 2 swing and misses?

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

Catchable ball

Wow. Tough crowd. Must be pitchers.

Gonat said...

The wind did take the ball Untucked. Bernadina makes that catch I believe.

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

OK, THAT was a catchable ball. E-3.

jeffwx said...

wait for the bullpen...Cards relief is for the birds

Less Platu said...

Ghost: Rendon was late -- way late

Less Platu said...

e-3 agreed!!

Gonat said...

Ghost Of Steve M. said...
For the batting coaches, what did you notice about Rendons 2 swing and misses?

April 22, 2013 8:01 PM
_____________________________

Yah, he looked like me with my golf swing. Head off the ball.

I'm sure Bryce can take the Rookie aside and give him some advice.

Less Platu said...

Harper can hit Anybody!

Gonat said...

Never an E-3 when the ball bounces just like a Wild Pitch on a bounce to the catcher but yah, that wasn't a tough scoop.

Less Platu said...

Ted Lerner: do a Steinbrenner. Open your billion dollar checkbook and pay anything to get Harvey and Miller here -- tomorrow!!

Less Platu said...

Miller literally cruising through this lineup

Gonat said...

I told my friend Desi HR but we will take the double.

Less Platu said...

Miller grooves a curve; Desi all over it!!

jeffwx said...

Yes He who must not be named...the all powerful wizard of this virtual world.

Man, so many good young pictures this year....
Mller, Harvey, the boys from the braves, Zimm, Det, Stras...

Desmond!!!

jeffwx said...

cmon Antny
sweet swing

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Good job NIers. Rendon opening up and swinging late and pulling his head off.

jeffwx said...

Antneeeeeeeeeee!!!!!

Less Platu said...


Rendon: Sweet Swing, kid!! Way to go!!

MicheleS said...

SWEEETT!!! Nice hitting kid! and we are tied!!!

Gonat said...

Ghost Of Steve M. said...
Good job NIers. Rendon opening up and swinging late and pulling his head off.

April 22, 2013 8:14 PM
_______________________________

He was on that one! That inside pitch he fouled off straightened him out.

Gap hitter! There you go!

Less Platu said...

Ghost: I don't see his head pulling off. Not on that double; he was all over it

Less Platu said...

Upper cutting -- golf swing Espi ends the inning with a whisper

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Off the schneid! Rendon murdered that and can now relax.

Less Platu said...

Espi his hitting .160 - his backup is hitting .333. Let's make Danny a bench coach for a while, a good while.

hey Davey: You refuse to play guys who have earned their spot? What kind of guy are you, really, Davey.

jeffwx said...

Rendon...drawing a rendering of more good things to come..Natsland, Natsland uber Alles!!! (from the 1841 German poem)
Thank you Rizzo, you're a freakin genious

Less Platu said...

This is where Haren turns into a pumpkin.

Gonat said...

Darn it Haren. You can't walk the leadoff man.

Less Platu said...

Listen to FP talking about Zim. We love FP and Bob, but they are hopeless Homers

jeffwx said...

Cosmo Kazmer

Less Platu said...

Haren is a bloop and a blast away from losing his wheels

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Espi just seems so clueless in the art of hitting.

Less Platu said...

Espi led the Bigs in K's last year -- he is not a good hitter.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

that last stat I would love to know what percent Nats runners score. (not counting HR)

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Less Platu, head perfectly positioned that at-bat. Best D1 hitter during his time at Rice. Great AFL and Spring Training. His game is line drives not trying to be a HR hitter. He will hit HRs but he will lead the league in doubles.

jeffwx said...

No need for the DH in the NL...good job Dan Haren

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

Less Platu said...
beginning of 4th Cards with 2 to date. Critical window of time for Haren. Will he still be in there to begin the 6th? If you give me 3-1, I say NO


If he comes out to hit, you lose. Just sayin.

Less Platu said...

If Haren finishes the 6th unscathed, I lose the bet I made with myself!! Give us another inn., Haren

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Mark, can you unSpam me?

Less Platu said...

Yep. A bet that is my pleasure to pay off

jeffwx said...

Hey Antnee....get ready for 2b

Hey Peric, why you aint toutin Marerro...
or am I stooopid to think he has a chance

mick said...

Haren's best outing so far, agreed?

MicheleS said...

Ghost.. I shot Chase a tweet to see if he can unspam you

Less Platu said...

Go kick his arse, Holliday haha

jeffwx said...

Probably his best outing this decade...ouch, beanball war

mick said...

jeffwx....lol

Less Platu said...

Can Haren keep the wheels on to salvage a quality start?? Looks doubtful

Less Platu said...

Haren is done -- stick the fork in!! He just doesn't have anymore than 5 inn. in him.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

S****. Thanks MicheleS!

jeffwx said...

I take that back..probably his best outing this week

mick said...

I just paid Haren a compliment too.

Less Platu said...

yeah, look at Haren struggling

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Big Cat and were takking in bottom 5 th why Heren hit. Davey should have been happy 5 good innings. Couldnt be satisfied. Got greedy.

Gonat said...

Needs that doubleplay here!

Less Platu said...

Cards are swinging from their heels. could work to Haren advantage or not

mick said...

Manassas Nats' Fan ... Davey Ithink has not manged well, I know Sonny g disagrees

Less Platu said...

Yeah, Haren uncorks 55 ft FB

Gonat said...

Oh boy. Wheels came off quickly.

Less Platu said...

Bases juiced boys and girls -- no outs

Lord have Mercy!!! HIs majesty is coming out to get him!! He must be tired of losing with "his boys"

Gonat said...

Davey makes some tough decisions. Would have liked a quicker hook as we have seen this ending before.

slidell2 said...

It was nice while it lasted.

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