Thursday, May 2, 2013

Game 29: Nats at Braves

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nats try to salvage a four-game series split tonight at Turner Field.
ATLANTA — A win tonight would salvage this series against the Braves, resulting in a four-game split and keeping the Nationals above .500 as they head to Pittsburgh to conclude the road trip. But it'll be a real challenge for them pull that off.

We're still waiting to see tonight's lineup, but it's not expected to include Bryce Harper (who had to leave last night's game with a bruised left side, an injury originally suffered Tuesday when he slammed into the right field fence). And we don't know if Jayson Werth will be included, either, though he seemed to think yesterday he could return from his ankle and hamstring injuries.

Dan Haren, meanwhile, takes the mound, hoping to build off his solid start over the weekend against the Reds. If Haren does struggle, the Nationals bullpen certainly is fresh, with only Rafael Soriano having been needed during last night's 2-0 win.

Will post the lineup as soon as it comes out, so please check back. [UPDATE AT 5:30 P.M. — Harper and Werth are both tentatively starting, provided they get through batting practice with no problems.]

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at ATLANTA BRAVES
Where: Turner Field
Gametime: 7:10 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv, MLB Network (outside D.C. market)
Radio: WNEW (99.1 FM), XM 89
Weather: Cloudy, 69 degrees, Wind 12 mph in from RF
NATIONALS (14-14)
CF Denard Span
2B Steve Lombardozzi
LF Bryce Harper
RF Jayson Werth
SS Ian Desmond
1B Adam LaRoche
3B Anthony Rendon
C Wilson Ramos
RHP Dan Haren

BRAVES (17-10)
RF Jordan Schafer
3B Chris Johnson
LF Justin Upton
1B Freddie Freeman
C Evan Gattis
2B Dan Uggla
CF B.J. Upton
SS Andrelton Simmons
RHP Kris Medlen

UMPIRES
HP Mark Wegner
1B Laz Diaz
2B Tim Timmons
3B Mike Winters (cc)

7:11 p.m. — We're underway with ball one from Kris Medlen to Denard Span.

7:18 p.m. — And the Nats pounce on Medlen for a quick run. Span led off with a double, took third on a wild pitch and then scored on Steve Lombardozzi's RBI single, which snapped an 0-for-17 slump. So just like that, the Nats are up 1-0 as Dan Haren takes the mound for the bottom of the first.

7:24 p.m. — How about that? Haren retires the side on eight pitches (seven strikes), getting both Chris Johnson and Justin Upton swinging. Couldn't ask for a better start to his night than that.

7:37 p.m. — Wow, make it 3-0 in the second. Adam LaRoche came a few inches from homering, settling instead for a double off the wall. Anthony Rendon then displayed a nice piece of hitting, going inside-out to single to right. LaRoche did get caught in a rundown on Wilson Ramos' comebacker, but Span followed with a sharp grounder to third that skipped past Johnson and brought two runs home. It was ruled an error, but the Nats will happily take it. They're up 3-0 in the middle of the second.

7:42 p.m. — Six up, six down for Haren on only 13 pitches (11 strikes). He is really sharp early on tonight. Combined with Zimmermann and Soriano last night, Nationals pitchers have now retired 26 consecutive Braves hitters. Wow.

7:52 p.m. — Scoring change: Span has been credited with a two-run double and Johnson has had the error taken away from him. So Span is now 2-for-2 with two doubles and two RBI tonight.

8:00 p.m. — So, after retiring 28 consecutive batters over the last two nights, the streak finally ends when Haren walks ... Medlen?! Seriously?! Oh well, he still got through the third without allowing a hit. So that's nine straight no-hit innings for the Nationals pitching staff. Still 3-0 after three.

8:13 p.m. — So much for any history tonight. Freeman and Gattis singled back-to-back with two outs in the fourth, the first base hits allowed by Nationals pitching in 10 innings. Here's an incredible stat from Braves beat writer Mark Bowman: Between Justin Upton's first-inning single last night and Freeman's base hit just now, Atlanta's position players were 0-for-36. Wow. Still 3-0 after four.

8:19 p.m. — Uh-oh, Roger Bernadina pinch-hitting for Jayson Werth in the top of the fifth. Looks like either his ankle or his hamstring is acting up. Also, the fact that it's now raining here could be a factor.

8:25 p.m. — Make it five scoreless for Haren, who has done it on only 51 pitches. So that's 17 consecutive scoreless innings now by the Nats pitching staff against Atlanta. Pretty, pretty good.

8:37 p.m. — Six scoreless for Haren, who is absolutely cruising. Who does this guy think he is, Jordan Zimmermann? Still 3-0.

8:48 p.m. — Chance for the Nats to tack on some runs in the seventh, but Harper tapped a weak grounder in front of the plate (he's now 0-for-4) and Bernadina struck out on three pitches, the last one looking. They'll have to hope that missed opportunity doesn't come back to haunt them. It's still 3-0 as Haren takes the mound for the bottom of the seventh.

8:55 p.m. — Well, that will end the scoreless streak. Uggla absolutely destroyed a 3-2 pitch from Haren in the bottom of the seventh. Fortunately, there were two outs and nobody on, so the damage was minimal. And Haren came right back to get B.J. Upton. So he's still through seven innings on a scant 69 pitches. Stunning efficiency from the veteran right-hander tonight. Nats lead 3-1 heading to the eighth.

9:03 p.m. — Anthony Rendon will head back to the minors tomorrow, but he'll head back feeling pretty good about the way he finished up his first big-league stint. He's gone 2-for-3 with a walk and a hard-hit out tonight. He's also made several nice plays at third base. You can tell how he's gotten more and more comfortable each day he's been up here.

9:16 p.m. — Haren was starting to show signs of fading in the eighth, giving up a single and a hard-hit out to center. That brought Davey to the mound for what figured to be the hook. But wait, the manager talked to Haren and left him in. That's quite a show of confidence in the veteran. Haren rewarded it, striking out Chris Johnson to end the eighth and pumping his fist as he walked off the mound. What a start for the right-hander: 8 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 90 pitches. Still 3-1 heading to the ninth.

9:27 p.m. — Here's Rafael Soriano for the bottom of the ninth. He'll face Justin Upton, Freeman and Gattis, with the Nats up 3-1.

9:37 p.m. — That's it. Soriano untucks again and closes out a 3-1 victory. The Nats salvage a four-game split of this series, get back over .500 and head to Pittsburgh for the weekend.

240 comments:

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peric said...

Leave Moore in.

baseballswami said...

No line up yet. Zim show up on Atlanta?

JD said...


Peric,

With Harper and Werth probably out there is a strong likelihood that Moore will stay in; Bernie will probably play as well.

Secret wasian man said...

Also a strong possibility Medlen throws a no hitter. Go Nats

Don said...

More Moore, more Lombo.

peric said...

They really need to play Moore ... he's the best shot they've got putting together a decent 3-4-5 with Zim and Harper as the other two. Put Desmond in the #6 spot and now we're talking.

Werth is best leading off. His OBP is higher than Span's. Span is more of a pseudo defensive player as too is Espinosa at this point. Perhaps that's best. I'm not sure you can afford to do that at first base.

Section 222 said...

This game appears to have all the ingredients of a reverse lock. Our worst starter against one of their best and lots of our reserves in the lineup. I like it!

peric said...

Lombo: 0 for 17 when he was given his shot to supplant Danny ... or even Rendon?

Nope. He's a UTL or a future trade at this point.

peric said...

And unlike Mr. "Ricon" Lombo doesn't walk, doesn't like to walk.

In other words Lombo at the top of the lineup is a problem.

JD said...


Swami,

It has been reported several times that Zim is meeting the team in Pittsburgh.

peric said...

Looks like Davey isn't sure who to play given its Haren versus a guy who was their top starter last season. Can't blame him. Its not going to look good coming away losing 3 out of 4 after getting swept at home. Not good at all.

peric said...

It has been reported several times that Zim is meeting the team in Pittsburgh.

Yep, he can't come of the DL until Friday.

They are stuck with Tracy at third I expect ... they might send Rendon off early back to Harrisburg or Syracuse.

JD said...

'Werth is best leading off. His OBP is higher than Span's. Span is more of a pseudo defensive player'

Werth lifetime OBP .361
Span lifetime OBP .356

Difference is negligible. I am also not sure what you mean with your 'pseudo defensive player' comment but I'm pretty sure that you are off base.

baseballswami said...

And so that makes Lombo worse than our other batters how ? Not like anyone else is tearing it up. Plus , you kind of have to watch the games. Are they flailing at bad pitches or scalding one right at a fielder? Are they moving a runner or stranding him with a dinky pop up? Just because it's an out in the stats does not mean it was a bad at bat. Was the process good? If so , , BABIP will catch up. A bad approach will end up being more of the same. And Lombo's approach appears to have changed for the worse.

peric said...

This could be a situation for trying a very different lineup ... such as putting all the top OBP folks at the top and the guys who like to swing and often miss close to the bottom. Haren isn't a bad hitting pitcher so having him in front of the lead-off could spark a big inning.

Gonat said...

Lombo as a starter: .200/.200/.267/.467 in 30 plate appearances. Doesn't he deserve 2 to 3 weeks of production to really judge him or does Espi get his job back tomorrow?

Who is at 3rd tonight? Is this the last game we see Rendon for a while?

peric said...

And so that makes Lombo worse than our other batters how ?

No, he's just not a guy you bat first or second ... he belongs at #7 on. And that lowers his value in the lineup. Given his defensive challenges it makes him less attractive as a starter.

Gonat said...

I don't expect Harper in tonight and I think it would be foolish to push him.

peric said...

Lombo: .317 OBP last season. He doesn't like to walk.

baseballswami said...

JD- joking, and maybe hoping, too. Come on now, Medlen can be had. Tired of every night we have to tip our cap to some pitcher or other. Major league hitters have reams of intelligence and videos. Adjust.

JD said...

'Its not going to look good coming away losing 3 out of 4 after getting swept at home. Not good at all.'

1) we haven't lost yet.
2) 4.5 games out on May 2nd is not a tragedy. 6.5 would have been tough but alas we're not there.

peric said...

Who is at 3rd tonight? Is this the last game we see Rendon for a while?

My guess is Tracy with Rendon heading back early ... I think they get 3 days before they have to report. That would mean he would be in the lineup again on Sunday.

peric said...

2) 4.5 games out on May 2nd is not a tragedy. 6.5 would have been tough but alas we're not there.

Losing 9 out of the last 10 to ATL is not good no matter how you slice and dice it with excuses and explanations. If that were not the case you would not have seen Davey attempting those changes to the lineup.

JD said...


Peric,

I agree 100% that Lombo shouldn't hit anywhere near the top of the order.

My order would be: Span, Desmond, laRoche, Moore, Bernadina,Ramos,Rendon, Lombo.

I think your idea of Haren ahead of Lombo is not crazy either.

IKN8wxU2 said...

"My guess is Tracy with Rendon heading back early ... I think they get 3 days before they have to report. That would mean he would be in the lineup again on Sunday."

What? Even if Rendon isn't starting, why would they not want him around to pinch hit, or pinch run, or in case of injury?

JD said...

'Losing 9 out of the last 10 to ATL is not good no matter how you slice and dice it'

I think it's irrelevant in the overall scheme of things.

JD said...


IKN8wxU2

You are right. That is a crazy idea especially with Harper and Werth potentially unavailable why would you play intentionally short handed?

Knoxville Nat said...

"Given his defensive challenges ..."

I'll grant you Espinosa has a stronger arm than Lombo but I really don't understand what you mean by this comment.

From what I have seen of Lombo at second base, third base or even LF he is a decent defensive player, not the best we have at any of these positions but certainly a better outfielder than Moore.

To say he has "challenges" is bit much in my opinion.

A DC Wonk said...

'Werth is best leading off. His OBP is higher than Span's. Span is more of a pseudo defensive player'

This year:

Werth .314
Span .345

Werth has significantly more power.

So, Span ought to bat first.

EmDash said...

I have no expectations for Haren starts, so weirdly I kind of enjoy them more than most. Nonetheless, me publicly insulting players seems to make them do better, so: Haren, you're the worst!

I really want to see him hit a triple someday, that'd be hilarious.

Knoxville Nat said...

"I think your idea of Haren ahead of Lombo is not crazy either."

The Tony LaRussa/Jim Riggleman approach, bat the pitcher in the 8 hole ahead of a struggling position player....maybe it's worth a shot.

JD said...


Haren has pitched better and better from start to start. I wouldn't be shocked if he throws a real good game tonight.

A DC Wonk said...

Losing 9 out of the last 10 to ATL is not good no matter how you slice and dice it

How are losses from last Aug and early Sept relevant?

NatsJack in Florida said...

They aren't.

Janus said...

Ok, I was wrong about Desi getting the 2 spot in the order yesterday, goon squad prediction for today:

1. Span 2. Lombo 3. Desmond 4. LaRoche 5. Moore 6. Tracy 7. Ramos 8. Bernadina

SonnyG10 said...

Rich P. said...
Bob Carpenter said last night that Braves attendance always goes up in the summer after school lets out.

Kind of like how Phillies attendance goes up after the parole board meets.
May 02, 2013 1:27 PM


Now that's funny! :)

Gonat said...

FWIW, Jim Kaat thinks Harper will play tonight.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Pretty sure they'll wait and see how Bryce feels during and after bp to make a final decision.

NCNatsie said...

Spot on, NatsJack. I think Davy wants Desi in the 4-hole tonight, since it won the game for him last night, but if Harper can't go, he'll move Desi up to #3.

bowdenball said...

JD said...

"'Losing 9 out of the last 10 to ATL is not good no matter how you slice and dice it'

I think it's irrelevant in the overall scheme of things."

Well put.

I find it interesting that pessimistic Nats fans are now pointing out that we've lost 9 of the last 10 to the Braves, which includes 4 2012 games, but are leaving out the 14 other head to head games in 2012 that proceeded those 4. The Nats went 10-4 against the Braves in those games, giving them a winning head to head record for the 2012 season.

The "problem" seems a lot less like an actual problem if you don't massage the facts to suit your point.

Gonat said...

Pondering the Nats/Braves and the Nats owned them in Game 1 this year and gave them the game and in Game 2 with Stras with the throwing error and immediate 2 HR shot sunk that game.

If you are counting Earned Runs, Nats would be 3-3 right now.

If you look at starters earned runs, the Nats are 4-2 in the series so it's the errors and the bullpen.

Conclusion for 2013: It's been the Nats beating themselves.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Now nobody on this site would massage the facts to suit their point, would they? I thought that's what sabremetrics did.

BxJaycobb said...

Quick question...why is it that Desi isn't the obvious 3 hole hitter when Bryce is out? Come to think of it, why isn't Desi batting somewhere in the 2-4 slots every night? It's as if nobody can forget his offensive mediocrity first few years, and nobody sees he's the second best hitter on the team without a doubt in my view. Does he walk? Nope, but if he's healthy he's a 25-30 HR and .280-.310 guy. In other words, better than everyone we have but Bryce...and yes that includes Ryan, healthy or not.

Sam said...

Man, it's like no one likes the idea of a leadoff home run. Crazy. Did you know that a leadoff home run increases your chance of winning by 10% (and decreases your opponent's by 10%; a 20% swing!).

I'm liking the idea of Harper batting 2nd more and more every moment. I'd like to see him hit with a runner on and no outs. And even if no one is on when he comes up, I'd like to give the guys behind him a chance to drive him in with less than two outs.

A DC Wonk said...

Quick question...why is it that Desi isn't the obvious 3 hole hitter when Bryce is out? Come to think of it, why isn't Desi batting somewhere in the 2-4 slots every night? It's as if nobody can forget his offensive mediocrity first few years, and nobody sees he's the second best hitter on the team without a doubt in my view. Does he walk? Nope, but if he's healthy he's a 25-30 HR and .280-.310 guy. In other words, better than everyone we have but Bryce...and yes that includes Ryan, healthy or not.

Indeed -- I've thought that for a while. It should be Harper-RZim-Desi for 3-4-5, imho.

bowdenball said...

NatsJack in Florida said...

"Now nobody on this site would massage the facts to suit their point, would they? I thought that's what sabremetrics did."

No. Sabremetrics is the study of swords I think. Sabermetrics tries to do the exact opposite of this. The goal is to look at data objectively to learn more about the game, rather than arriving at the conclusion first and then finding information to support that conclusion.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Without Harper or Zimmerman he ver well hit 3rd but his days of batting second are done.

He's a 3 - 6 guy depending on who's healthy and/or swinging a hot bat.

Gonat said...

NatsJack, of course you can twist and turn anything to make a point and unfortunately the Nats 1-5 vs the Braves this year but the silver lining is the Nats starters outside of Gio's 2 starts vs the Braves is a positive going forward.

It would be nice if Haren can pitch a gem tonight and the Nats offense can somehow score a bunch off of Medlen.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Bowdenball.....I was joking but more than one person on this site use those #'s as a basis for proving their points.

I use them as a way to focus observations.

BxJaycobb said...

we need a little bit of luck tonight. something weird...like Bernie getting on base and going Willy Mays Hays on everyone, or T Moore jacking a couple dingers, or LaRoche waking up from hibernation with a vengeance. if the braves and nats played with these lineups and pitchers 100 times, we would lose 80 of them i think...

NatsJack in Florida said...

Just saw a couple of tweets reiterating what I said earlier about holding off till bp for both Bryce and Jayson but both seem to think they're playing tonite.

BxJaycobb said...

i really hate to say this (seriously, I hate it) but we should play Danny tonight. this is an evening where i'd rather have a crappier approach at the plate with a small chance of a homer. Offense is going to be that hard to come by...

BxJaycobb said...

Hell yes I love it. This is not a small game. I'd rather them play then take off a couple days in Pittsburgh honestly...and if we're down 5-0 in the 2nd inning (totally possible), maybe Davey could just yank them immediately, even though it might seem demoralizing.

NatsLady said...

Haren is a good hitter, but he's very slow on the basepaths. I mean, VERY slow, slower than LaRoche. Might as well hit him cleanup (only sort of kidding).

baseballswami said...

Gonat-- if Kaat said something, I would believe the total opposite. Man has zero credibility with me. Insufferable blowhard.

NatsJack in Florida said...

And why would anyone think the Nats would go a bench man short by sending Rendon back a day early? He'll serve as a pinch hitter if he's not in the lineup.

Gonat said...

If our lighter hitting guys (Peric's banjo band) would employ Haren's technique of shortening up their swings I think they may end up with some better results.

Gonat said...

NatsJack in Florida said...
And why would anyone think the Nats would go a bench man short by sending Rendon back a day early? He'll serve as a pinch hitter if he's not in the lineup.
_________________________

Well yah! Who would think otherwise.

baseballswami said...

Is there anyone on our team who actually has a two strike approach? Do they shorten up, choke up, move up, anything? Looks to me like they don't do anything different except pray for a home run or a walk. And you can't walk if you swing at everything.

Gonat said...

From Mark: Tentative #Nats lineup: Span 8, Lombardozzi 4, Harper 7, Werth 9, Desmond 6, LaRoche 3, Rendon 5, Ramos 2, Haren 1.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Mark Z has a tentative lineup with Bryce 3rd Jayson 4th and Rendon 7th.

I hope that holds.

Gonat said...

How does Bryce Harper sleep off that pain? It's unreal.

Gonat said...

Cliff Lee talking about the Phillies "They crushed us both games. It was never really close, either one of them. We have to have a little more pride than that and figure out a way to at least get back into games and make it somewhat competitive. Both games, it was never close"

Gonat said...

NatsJack in Florida said...
Mark Z has a tentative lineup with Bryce 3rd Jayson 4th and Rendon 7th.

I hope that holds.
______________________________

That's 2 beers in 2 days. Pay up! A 2 pack of virtual Bud Light!

NatsJack in Florida said...

Pay day is tomorrow.

A DC Wonk said...

baseballswami said...

Gonat-- if Kaat said something, I would believe the total opposite. Man has zero credibility with me. Insufferable blowhard.

Why? It's not like he said Strasburg should keep pitching last year . . .

oh, wait . . .

NCNatsie said...

Why is it tentative? -- must mean Bryce is still tentative, e.g. gametime decision.

Gonat said...

NatsJack in Florida said...
Pay day is tomorrow.

May 02, 2013 5:28 PM
____________________________

Good minds!

Alphabet Soup Erik said...

As much as I dislike Espinosa, Lombardozzi is not the answer. Like Steve M, I really hope they move Rendon to 2B for a couple of weeks when Zimmerman returns. You can always put Espinosa in for defense later in the game or give Desmond a day off and put Espinosa at SS. This team needs hitting, and Rendon could really help. Or better yet, move Zimmerman to 2B. He is a major league baseball player, I am sure he can figure out how to play the position just fine. Espinosa should have to prove himself off of the bench to get another chance as far as I am concerned. Maybe that will send a message to the others.

EmDash said...

I don't like the idea of playing Harper and Werth today - seems like it would be better to give them a little bit of a chance to rest, maybe let them pinch hit late in the game if they feel up to it. No reason to push it so early in the season and risk making it worse, especially during these clearly-cursed Braves series. (Seriously, every major injury concern they've had this year so far has come up during a Braves series.)

Bob Saget Nats Fan 101 said...

N A T S NATS NATS NATS

baseballswami said...

DCWonk- it's not just last year. He never, ever misses an opportunity to trash the Nats. Better stop- feel my BP rising.

Gonat said...

baseballswami said...
DCWonk- it's not just last year. He never, ever misses an opportunity to trash the Nats. Better stop- feel my BP rising.

May 02, 2013 5:41 PM
______________________________

I checked his past and it seems he once played for the Washington Senators who then became the Minnesota Twins.

Hard feelings for that Griffith ownership and Washington DC?

Eric said...

I'm liking that line up a lot more than what I was thinking we'd see! Go Nats!

Gonat said...

Note from Mark:

Will post the lineup as soon as it comes out, so please check back. [UPDATE AT 5:30 P.M. — Harper and Werth are both tentatively starting, provided they get through batting practice with no problems.]

baseballswami said...

Thanks Mark and Gonat!!

SonnyG10 said...

3on2out said...
SonnyG:

I welcome your sane comments as a refreshing respite from many of our "the sky is falling" brethren.
May 02, 2013 11:16 AM


Thank you 3on2out. Thats a nice thing for you to say. I'm sorry I'm late responding to you.

baseballswami said...

Snowed out in Kansas City. May 2cd!!!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Alphabet Soup Erik said...
As much as I dislike Espinosa, Lombardozzi is not the answer. Like Steve M, I really hope they move Rendon to 2B for a couple of weeks when Zimmerman returns. You can always put Espinosa in for defense later in the game or give Desmond a day off and put Espinosa at SS. This team needs hitting, and Rendon could really help. Or better yet, move Zimmerman to 2B. He is a major league baseball player, I am sure he can figure out how to play the position just fine. Espinosa should have to prove himself off of the bench to get another chance as far as I am concerned. Maybe that will send a message to the others.

May 02, 2013 5:30 PM


We may sort of agree. I want Rendon to head to Syracuse or Harrisburg for 2 weeks to play 2nd base every day. I'd be mildly concerned to throw him into 2nd base tomorrow for the Nats.

If he gets the thumbs up in 2 weeks that he is ready and things haven't improved substantially with Lombo/Espi then you have to do it and he trades places with Espi. It won't hurt Rendon's defense if he has to play 3rd base at some point as I used Placido Polanco as my best comparable as he toggled back and forth within seasons.

Rendon can do it.

baseballswami said...

Plesac says Nats are not playing with the same vigor this year. That was a very kind way to say it.

Gonat said...

baseballswami said...
Plesac says Nats are not playing with the same vigor this year. That was a very kind way to say it.

May 02, 2013 6:04 PM
________________________________

I thought it was a great effort last night. Mistake free baseball. Great starting pitching, good defense although JZ did most himself and the bullpen/Untuck came through.

MicheleS said...

I have a good feeling about tonight with Haren. I don't know why, but I think he has turned a corner and will be solid for us for the rest of the year.

Finally watched the entire "Bryce Begins", best moment for me is seeing his Dad get choked up about the Standing O Byrce got at his first home start. I was at that game -wouldn't have missed it for anything - glad I could contribute to a memory for his family.

baseballswami said...

Last night was not their worst effort. Still some dumb at bats, though. Baby steps. It's a process. I don't see a magic switch being flipped. I see it being more gradual. The team is too talented to stay this way for long.

baseballswami said...

Michele- my choke up was when his mom said good bye at the airport. They had to let their child go at a very young age. He was around a lot of people who were not always kind to him. Obviously he has taken their values with him.

baseballswami said...

Oswald minor league deal with the Rockies.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Swami, Braves actually had more poor at-bats which kept JZim in for the 8th. Their only chance was getting to Clippard.

NatsJack in Florida said...

You mean Oswalt, like Roy the pitcher to the Rockies, right?

JaneB said...

I am picturing Dan Haren having a shockingly great game, and that the combo of Bryce-Jayson-Desi shocks the heck out of those Braves fans. And that Wilson goes yard.
GYFNG!

BxJaycobb said...

Anybody can answer this...
Q: Why does Davey play Bryce in LF and Werth in RF when every rule of baseball dictates that your best cannon should be in RF (to prevent the first to third play and other reasons)?

No other team in the major leagues puts their best armed corner outfielder in left field. NO OTHER TEAM.

baseballswami said...

Yes, Roy Oswalt -- minor league deal - Rockies.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Because Werth can hit a cut off man, is a much more experienced outfielder and Bryce is still learning to play the outfield.

BxJaycobb said...

The other reasons you would:
You need the throw home from RF to get there quicker so that catcher has time to rotate his body, eyeball the runner, and apply tag. From LF, catcher is staring runner in face and doesnt need to turn
Also, because on relays from left field, you get help of better armed infielders on relays (SS, 3B), and from right, you have first basemen cutting the ball.

baseballswami said...

And Ghost-- the Barves had some of the worst at bats I have ever seen. Jordan had them completely flummoxed. It was very entertaining.

BxJaycobb said...

NatsJack. Due respect, I feel like the difference between their arms is game changing. Werth has an average arm. Bryce has a top 5 outfielder gun...see Game 1 of Braves Series for an example on the sac fly to werth. Zero chance Laird scores if thats Bryce not Werth.
I would guess that the reason is simply that Werth has never played LF and doesn't want to. I.e. not Bryce's shortcomings, but Werth's...

Joe Seamhead said...

I like the lineup for what's available.I'll bet Espinosa's will be swollen from chewing his gum so hard, but I'm thrilled to see him get sat down. He really has played himself into sitting on the bench. Folks, I see a lot about Rendon that I like, just like the rest of you, but like I said the other day, he hasn't hardly played the field since his junior year in college. I really think it's pretty unrealistic to think he's ready to step into a MLB infield, be it 3rd, or even less 2nd. I do think that with Espinosa's play/injury(?) there's a lot of justification to get him a lot of work at 2nd in Harrisburg.
BTW, playing "OK" or "serviceable" defensively at any position is not what most of us want to see at any position on the field from this team. That's a "good enough to lose" mentality. We have hopefully passed that point.

BxJaycobb said...

If we're ahead by a run in the 9th inning....there's a guy on first base with 1 out, and somebody slaps a seeing eye grounding past the second baseman, do you want werth trying to keep the runner at second, or bryce...? Nobody would run on him. there were be no first to thirds. I just don't get it.

Joe Seamhead said...

I heard an interview with Bryce last year that he stated that he doesn't get good reads in RF. As Werth winds down Bryce will be the future RFer, in my opinion.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Swami, flummoxed? I like! 8 Ks and most were swing & miss. Mastery!!!

NatsJack in Florida said...

Yhen you don't the developemental process of a young, inexperienced outfielder.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Joe, exactly.

Joe Seamhead said...

My post at 6:32 I meant to say that Espy's jaw would be swollen from chewing his gum so hard.My point is that I'm sure that he's not happy.

David Proctor said...

I may be wrong, but I think Werth has an assist or two to his credit already this season. Certainly in the future as Werth declines, Harper will play in RF, but for now, I think the arrangement is good. Harper can continue learning the outfield

Sec. 3, My Rocking Fire Sofa said...

Right field is harder to play, generally, and thus experience is a much more leveraged asset there. And having a good arm in right is nice, but it's not the end-all criterion.

Joe Seamhead said...

In 2011 Werth had 11 outfield assists. He missed a huge part of last year,along with coming back from a broken wrist, so his 4 assists don't say much. I don't remember him not hitting the cut-off.RF is a tough position to play the caroms around the league. Jayson is very good at it.

peric said...

Rendon can do it.

Probably better than Lombo.

Most real scouts and checkers (and not the sycophant who arrogantly prepends his the team's nickname to the front of his on his jacket) believe that its a risk to Rendon's ankles putting him at second base. He just got back from fracture + surgery on one and earlier had the same issue with the other.

Joe Seamhead said...

I might owe you one, Sofa.

baseballswami said...

Getting prepared to watch the game. Tamping down expectations. Anything can happen. Go Nats!

baseballswami said...

Nice Rendon interview on masn. Good kid. His time will come.

UnkyD said...

OBP:
Span: .345
Werth: .314

Just saying, Peric......

Gonat said...

Lombo better show a better approach at the plate. That Span guy hit his hardest ball of the year.

Gonat said...

How do you like that! WP Medlen! How did Lombo not get hit?

Gonat said...

Did Steve Lombardozzi Sr. call his son and rip him last night like most of NatsTown was?

Much better!

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Well we scoted first. 12-1 IN score first mode.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Wonder why Desi who loves fast balls didnt swing at the fast balls.

baseballswami said...

Seemed to me that Lombo purposely kept himself in the way during the ball search. Third taken, run scored during his at bat.

Gonat said...

That's a nice split to K on Johnson. I like the split that starts even higher and goes straight to the dirt.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Sweet splitter so far from Haren.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Looks like I'm working on a 6 pack, Gonat.

Steady Eddie said...

Good Dan is in the house.

waddu eye no said...

Dan who?
Clearly, jordan has raised the bar.

Gonat said...

Missed a HRs by inches.

NatsNut said...

Hey, was that a hit for Adam LaRoche? Hooray!

Gonat said...

Looks like Chipper Jones should be our new batting coach [insert sarcastic tone].

Way to go ALR!

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

ALR on his way to .200 by the end of the weekend

Gonat said...

Oh yes Rendon!

NatsJack in Florida said...

Nice inside out swing by Anthony.

Gonat said...

NatsJack in Florida said...
Looks like I'm working on a 6 pack, Gonat.

May 02, 2013 7:24 PM
_______________________________

LOL, we have been on the same thoughts for 2 days. I just type faster! LOL Can't wait to see you on the next trip!

Gonat said...

Rendon now batting .217 That has to feel good going back to the Minors.

Joe Seamhead said...

Way to go MR. LEADOFF!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Gonat said...
Rendon now batting .217 That has to feel good going back to the Minors.

May 02, 2013 7:30 PM


Great swing going with the pitch to RF. Here's another thing the scouts really like about Rendon, he doesn't panic behind in the count or with 2 strikes. A future #2 hitter.

Gonat said...

Lombo stays off of the high cheese.

Joe Seamhead said...

Wow, there are an awful lot of empty seats for a first place team.

Gonat said...

Joe, it's not schools out season in Atlanta, hah!

Gonat said...

Isn't Matt Harvey a Rookie?

NatsJack in Florida said...

Just switched over and saw Brown homer for the Phillies against the Fish.

Man I forget what a band box Citizens Bank Park is.

Gonat said...

Not a good pitch to Gattis by Haren. Lucky that was an easy F8.

David Proctor said...

This is the Dan Haren we were sold.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Re: Harvey.....Not sure because he pitched about 2 months last year.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Gonat said...
Not a good pitch to Gattis by Haren. Lucky that was an easy F8.

May 02, 2013 7:42 PM


I don't normally disagree with you but that was a great cutter not a 4 seam fastballl. Gattis thought he was hitting a HR on his barrel and when his bat made contact it was near the LVS trademark. Perfect pitch to a dead red fastball hitter.

Gonat said...

Schooled! Thanks SteveM. I checked the MLB pitch track and you are correct. My mistake.

Joe Seamhead said...

Nuts.

NatsJack in Florida said...

So far, gotta love the Nats approach at the plate tonite. Time to give Eck a raise.

MicheleS said...

Denard got a double.. took away the error.. Good for DSPAN!!!

Gonat said...

Ghost Of Steve M. said...
Gonat said...
Rendon now batting .217 That has to feel good going back to the Minors.

May 02, 2013 7:30 PM

Great swing going with the pitch to RF. Here's another thing the scouts really like about Rendon, he doesn't panic behind in the count or with 2 strikes. A future #2 hitter.

May 02, 2013 7:35 PM
________________________________

Good call. 0-2 count and he didn't swing defensively. Almost dropped that one in.

Joe Seamhead said...

Upon further review Span gets a "too hot to handle" double and 2 RBI's. Good for him!

MicheleS said...

Joe S.. Beer me

NatsJack in Florida said...

Man I wish Zim was in Atlanta so he could see Rendon make throws to first.

Gonat said...

MicheleS said...
Denard got a double.. took away the error.. Good for DSPAN!!!

May 02, 2013 7:53 PM
_____________________________

With Johnson drawn in that was a tougher play than LaRoche's chance last night.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

What the hell. Lost it just like that, but Shaefer's wild swing bails him out.
Now tack on more run.

Joe Seamhead said...

Hmmph! Come now, Dan.
Phew! You were making us all a little nervous there.

Joe Seamhead said...

Put 'em up for me, will ya, Michele?

NatsJack in Florida said...

Haren has trouble when he doesn't cut his fastball. When he's at 86-87 (cutter) he has good command. When he tries to hump up to 89-90 he loses command.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Spot on NatsJack. Haren has trouble when he tries to overthrow. Stay the course Dan!!!

Gonat said...

That's 5 balls Nats hit on the screws right at outfielders so far.

Joe Seamhead said...

There's a classic example of why Werth is in RF this year.

JaneB said...

C'mon Dan. get out of this!

Gonat said...

Thank you Uggla!

NatsJack in Florida said...

Good job Dan.

Joe Seamhead said...

This team is looking good! Where have these guys been?

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

@Gonats hitters attacking tonight.

Keep it up boys.

Joe Seamhead said...

Werth out of the game. Uh-oh.

Gonat said...

Manassas, let's get Haren some add-on runs.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

As I mention often. Seems like we seem to either hit early or middle, but never both. A bad habit.

David Proctor said...

I wouldn't worry too much about Werth. Like Bob said, I'm thinking it may just be the rain and slippery conditions. Not good for an ankle. I guess we'll find out for sure in the postgame.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Maybe he had delayed radiation overdose :-)

NattieNation13 said...

I bet you anything Werth is out only because the weather has taken a turn. Davey is ultra-cautious with hamstrings

Gonat said...

Nice play Rendon!

NatsJack in Florida said...

Nattie....good call. Wet grass and hamstrings don't mix well.

UnkyD said...

Haren forgot he's the weakest link.... {=^D

David Proctor said...

Rendon had a rough start, but he's been hitting the ball and drawing walks much better lately. Bodes well for the future and (presumably) September.

Gonat said...

David Proctor said...
Rendon had a rough start
_______________________________

Rough start? Who judges a guy after his first 10 ABs in the Majors?

David Proctor said...

Not judging at all. I've never doubted him or anything. 0-10 isn't the way he'd have preferred it obviously. But he's been fine.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

You all are just starting to see what Rendon is. Wait till you see him pepper the gaps.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Rendon has 2 Es, but I am still impressed with his work.

Section 222 said...

NJ, I'm worried about Harper too. They gave him an XRay last night. :-)
Hoping Jason's scratch was just for precautionary measure, but if he goes on the DL, maybe Rendon stays up as a bench bat.

Gonat said...

What an inning by Haren!!!

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

2 pitches to each batter there. 57 for the game. Hsren pitching like Rizzo pictured.

Joe Seamhead said...

I must say that Rendon has had a very impressive evening at third tonight.

David Proctor said...

If Haren can pitch another scoreless inning, his ERA will be in the 4's. That doesn't sound good, but given that his ERA was over 7 before the Cincinnati game, it's impressive.

NatsJack in Florida said...

I sure do love watching professional pitchers pitch. Fun watching Dan work his craft. It's always about command.

Gonat said...

Manassas Nats' Fan said...
Rendon has 2 Es, but I am still impressed with his work.

May 02, 2013 8:36 PM
______________________________

The first error was when he got a grounder with men on 1st and 3rd and pulled the 2nd baseman off the bag.

The 2nd error was on a diving stab and then he made a wide throw that LaRoche couldn't keep his foot on the bag.

Not exactly the worst errors I have seen and many thought LaRoche didn't get a good stretch.

pk24 said...

So where does Rendon go next? Syracuse? or back to Harrisburg?

Gonat said...

pk24, probably back to Harrisburg but hopefully not for long.

Gonat said...

Span better stay close.

pk24 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe Seamhead said...

Gonat, I think you're really overly critical of Adam. That play where he pulled off the bag, Adam had a good play just making it close. He even tried to sell it, but the throw was too short. Well, at least from my seat!

Steady Eddie said...

Bryce will not see that happen much this year, though a 4 pitch walk to Lombo ahead of Bryce was wholly unintentional.

Hope Shark can get a single.

Gonat said...

NatsJack in Florida said...
I sure do love watching professional pitchers pitch. Fun watching Dan work his craft. It's always about command.

May 02, 2013 8:40 PM
________________________________

We saw Haren at his best 2 years ago when he and JZ faced each other when Haren was with the Angels and both went complete game 1-0 where the Angels scored on an error to win.

David Proctor said...

Bernadina needs to hit when we put him in the game. .050 (lower now) is not acceptable.

Section 222 said...

Oh Roger, that was kind of pathetic. At least take a hack.

Joe Seamhead said...

Shark looked more like a deer in the headlights than a shark.Nuts!

Steady Eddie said...

Ugh, Shark looking lost at the dish this year. No plan at all, and against a guy who we've been squaring up all night and at the end of his night.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Any clue why Shark didnt swing at one with all pitches right up middle?

Not interested in trying to knock in a couple?

Secret wasian man said...

Told my self either positive or negative I wouldn't post until the end. BUTTTTTTT what a disgusting AB by the Shark. Put him down and keep Rendon for bench player when Zimm comes back. HANG ON BOYS

David Proctor said...

Looking back, Davey was 100% right when he said Haren was forcing it with the fastball. He was throwing 90-91 early in the season and had no command. When he's thrown 90 today, he's missed high. When he's cut the fastball (like someone rightly mentioned here earlier) and thrown 87-89, he's had much better command. He's done that his last 2 starts.

Gonat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe Seamhead said...

Bummer on the homer, but what a great game Dan Haren is pitching!

Exposremains said...

Espinosa would have swing at those 4 pitches lombo took. Harper doesn't want to have to check his swings so he swinging at the 1st pitch he sees. Not sure he's really healthy.Haren has really redeemed himself

Gonat said...

Credit to the batter on the HR against Dan. It happens. That was a good pitch.

Exposremains said...

I blame the WBC for Bernadina's struggles

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