Thursday, May 9, 2013

Game 34: Tigers at Nats

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nats and Tigers wrap up the series with a 4:05 p.m. makeup game.
There wasn't supposed to be any baseball played today on South Capitol Street, but Tuesday's rainout forced this interleague series to extend to this afternoon, which (knock on wood) will be played under excellent weather conditions.

Dan Haren gets the start for the Nationals, looking to build off his stellar outing last week in Atlanta and seeking his third consecutive win. He's opposed by right-hander Doug Fister, perhaps the unsung hero of the Tigers' rotation, entering today 4-0 with a 2.38 ERA.

One change to the Nationals' lineup (aside from the every-other-day catcher thing): Roger Bernadina gets the nod in left field this afternoon. Davey Johnson's rationale: Tyler Moore is struggling, plus he wanted to get Ian Desmond out of the 2-hole and put him back in his more natural No. 6 position in the lineup. Jayson Werth, of course, remains out, though initial reports on the MRI he received on his hamstring today are clean; he's also now on antibiotics to fight a stomach ailment that has left him dehydrated (and perhaps led to hamstring cramps).

I'll have updates throughout the game and then the Instant Analysis, then I'll hang over postgame coverage to Chase while I head up to CSN studios for tonight's episode of "The Baseball Show." A friendly reminder that you can watch the show live at 11 p.m., and there are no conflicts tonight that would preempt it or cause a delayed start, always a relief...

DETROIT TIGERS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 4:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 187
Weather: Partly cloudy, 75 degrees, Wind 10 mph out to RF
NATIONALS (18-15)
CF Denard Span
LF Roger Bernadina
RF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
C Wilson Ramos
RHP Dan Haren

TIGERS (19-11)
CF Austin Jackson
RF Torii Hunter
3B Miguel Cabrera
1B Prince Fielder
LF Andy Dirks
SS Jhonny Peralta
C Alex Avila
2B Omar Infante
RHP Doug Fister

UMPIRES
HP Jerry Layne (cc)
1B Alan Porter
2B Greg Gibson
3B Hunter Wendelstedt

4:06 p.m. — And we're underway with a ball from Dan Haren to Austin Jackson. Pretty sparse gathering at first pitch. Either everyone who had tickets to Tuesday's rainout will be exchanging them for a future date ... or just couldn't come today and at the ticket.

4:14 p.m. — Haren navigated his way through a scoreless top of the first, though he was probably fortunate not to suffer any damage after both Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder hit frozen ropes off him. Cabrera singled to left. Fielder smoked a liner to right, but Bryce Harper was able to track it down to end the inning. Eighteen pitches for Haren, 13 of them strikes.

4:32 p.m. — How about that? The Nats pounce on Fister for three quick runs in the bottom of the first. Five of their first six batters recorded base hits, highlighted by Denard Span's leadoff double, Adam LaRoche's single to center (his eighth hit in 14 at-bats) that scored Bryce Harper (thanks to Jackson's error in center) and Ian Desmond's subsequent RBI single up the middle. Good stuff from the Nats, giving Haren a 3-0 cushion after one inning.

4:42 p.m. — But the Tigers get one run right back in the top of the second, with the run scoring off the bat of ... Fister?! Yep, two-out RBI single to center. So it's 3-1 now heading to the bottom of the second.

4:57 p.m. — And the Nats storm right back with two more runs in the bottom of the second. Another hit for Zimmerman, bringing Span home. And another hit for LaRoche, bringing Bernadina home and making Adam 9 for his last 15. It's 5-1 Nats after two, and they've already racked up seven hits off Fister.

5:10 p.m. — The rain started coming down pretty heavy in the third inning, and at one point Austin Jackson nearly lost a flyball looking up into the drops. But just like that, the skies have cleared and there's bright sunshine covering the field again. It's still 5-1 after three.

5:21 p.m. — Two curious moves from Jim Leyland in the top of the fourth: 1) He pinch-hit for Fister, yanking his starter after only three innings, albeit three very shaky innings, and 2) He burned up Victor Martinez to do it. That seemed a bit early to be using your best hitter off the bench, but the Tigers had two on and two out, so Leyland decided to take a shot right there. Well, it backfired on him. Haren struck out Martinez on a 2-2 cutter, quashing the rally and sending this game into the bottom of the fourth, with the Nats still leading 5-1 and now getting to face the Detroit bullpen the rest of the afternoon.

5:39 p.m. — Haren now through five innings of one-run ball, though I wouldn't exactly call the top of the fifth "clean." In one of the more bizarre plays you'll ever see, Haren snagged Hunter's line drive comebacker and then turned to find Jackson about 20 feet off second base and basically conceding the easiest double play you'll ever get. So Haren threw the ball toward the base. Just one problem: Both Desmond and Espinosa started toward the bag, then stopped dead in their tracks. So the ball sailed into center field untouched. Wacky stuff, though it didn't cost Haren because he simply retired Cabrera and Fielder to end the inning. Good stuff from the right-hander so far today, and because of it the Nats still lead 5-1.

5:56 p.m. — Well, as one media member sitting down the row from me blurted out as soon as Matt Tuiasosopo crushed a 3-run homer off Haren in the top of the sixth: "Uh-oh." Yep, pretty sure I didn't just imagine Tuiasosopo's towering home run. Just like that, the Nats' lead is down to 5-4, and Haren can no longer be credited with a quality start.

6:11 p.m. — This was a rare day with Davey Johnson using three straight left-handed hitters in his lineup, and it might have cost him just now. With Leyland using lefty Drew Smyly in the bottom of the sixth, Davey decided to pinch-hit Tyler Moore for Bernadina, looking for an insurance run. But Moore struck out — the 10th time he's done that in his last 18 at-bats — and now he'll be in left field for the rest of the game, with the Nats still clinging to a 5-4 lead. Not an ideal scenario.

6:16 p.m. — Nice job by Ryan Mattheus during a scoreless top of the seventh, his first appearance in six days.

6:30 p.m. — The Nats just haven't been able to tack on any insurance runs. They haven't scored since the bottom of the second. So now it's up to Drew Storen to protect a 5-4 lead in the eighth. He's facing Peralta, Avila and Infante.

6:40 p.m. — The good news: Storen tossed a scoreless eighth. The bad news: Rafael Soriano will have to face Miguel Cabrera in the ninth. Hang on folks, this is going to get tense.

6:48 p.m. — And here we go: Soriano vs. Jackson, Hunter and Cabrera, up 5-4 in the ninth.

6:57 p.m. — That's it. Prince Fielder launched a flyball to the warning track in center, but Span hauled it in and the Nats win, 5-4, and sweep the two-game series. They've won four in a row and have improved to 19-15 with the Cubs coming to town for the weekend.

172 comments:

CN said...

Three straight lefties at the top of the order, instead of swapping Espi's and Bernie's spots. Hope this means that Werth is close and they wanted everyone to get acclimated with their spot, instead of juggling spots in the batting order.

bowdenball said...

I was a little confused by the lineup, as it appears Mark was- he doesn't usually feel the need to give us Davey's rationale for it. But I looked at the career splits for Span and Bernadina and the gap there isn't that big. And the gap also isn't that big for Fister when it comes to LHBs vs RHBs. Harper of course is another story, but he's Bryce Harper. Enough said. Good enough for Davey, good enough for me.

NatsLady said...

..continued from previous discussion.

peric is fighting last season's battles. Don't worry about it, Eric. Next he'll bring up another one of my old fav's, Chien-Ming Wang. Searching... searching... yeah, I've probably been wrong on others, too.

Thing is, none of us can predict the future. All we can go by is the present (and recent past) situation to determine the best course of action.

Yes, Avila COULD win the game with a home run or tie it with a double. Yes, he COULD recover from his injuries and get back to his Silver Slugger form, and that moment COULD have happened yesterday after Clippard pitched around Peralta. But right now, he's a .186 hitter and a backup catcher.

In terms of relievers walking guys, I admit I'm influenced by a recent podcast (which I WISH I could find and share with y'all) in which a retired closer talked in great detail about his strategy for saving games. In particular, he didn't care about walks, and was entirely willing to walk the bases loaded (with two out), if necessary, to get to a guy he was pretty certain he could dispose of. It was extremely interesting, stats based, and counter to the way fans think. "You don't ever put the tying run on base," was not a mantra for this closer.

We as fans tend to project all kinds of possible (negative) endings to situations. Pitchers, if they are good, focus on the best way to get out of the inning without damage, or with minimal damage. Sometimes that means recognizing you are in a hitter's count, that the guy you are pitching to has a pretty good idea what you are going to throw him so he'll be sitting on it, and the next guy is an inferior hitter who is starting with a 0-0 count.

Another interesting facet of this pitcher's lecture was how much late-inning relievers can play on a guy's aggressiveness. Peralta can see himself tying the game, Avila can see himself winning it, with high-fives in the dugout and headlines in tomorrow's local paper. You put out the temptation and have a good chance the hitter will bite, whereas earlier in the game the same hitter might be more relaxed and stick with whatever plan he has for the at-bat.

johnny nats said...

Defensively this is a great lineup, assuming our infield has gotten over its early yips. Maybe Davey just wants to get the shark some ab's.

Cabrera is hitting .381 for the season, and .320 lifetime, unreal. Wish I could go, will catch most of it in HD. GYFNG!

Knoxville Nat said...

If memory serves me right Bernadina hit pretty well last year when in the second spot of the lineup. I know he hasn't hit well this year but he did look better in Pittsburgh after replacing Harper this past Sunday. Some more AB's would be good for him and give Davey the big power hitter (Moore)on the bench that he likes so much.

Eric said...

"Don't worry about it, Eric."

Oh, rest assured, there are no worries whatsoever on that front, NatsLady ;).

"You put out the temptation and have a good chance the hitter will bite"

It looks like that's *exactly* what got Avila in the end. That ball was WAY up there, and he came out of his shoes chasing it, iirc.

Eric said...

The Shark hit in Pittsburgh and he's FAST. Hopefully now that he remembers that he *can* hit the ball he'll continue to do so. If so, #2 makes a lot of sense, imo.

Harpo said...

NatsLady and Peric arguing. What's funny is NatsLady schooled him big time with some real facts:

"Haren has the lowest GB% of our rotation (36.7%). For his career, he's usually about 40%, That's not quite Clippard territory (under 30%), but basically, if you want a guy in there who ain't gonna hit, you want the one in there who can play the outfield. Hence, Bernadina over Moore."

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

As Boz has pointed out, the phrase "never give in" implies there's always a base open, even if it's home plate. Walking in a run is better than giving up a Grand Slam.

Candide said...

At the park, waiting for my nephewy to show up. Poor Cunegonde had to go to Texas for Mothers' Day.

baseballswami said...

As to Clip's inning last night-- those first two guys worked him -- he got them, but they saw everything and so did the guys behind them. It had to be stressful and it used up a lot of bullets. By batters three and four, they were just taking all the way, further working and tiring Clip. That's what they do. Clip earned his pay right there, and however it had to happen, so be it. He eventually won the battle , even with them having seen everything, an inconsistent zone and him having to really dig down deep. That was an epic inning.

A DC Wonk said...

NatsLady raises good points. Rules of thumb such as "never put the tying run on base" not not 100% iron clad, and are always secondary to "how do I get out of this inning"

Here's some amazing out of the box thinking: I heard some commentators talking about how Jim Palmer would even pitch around guys with bases loaded sometimes. Consider this: with bases loaded (which happened 213 times) he had a batting average against of .196, he allowed 13 walks, but -- here's the key -- never a grand slam.

Anyways -- so in theory I can see both sides.

However -- what gives me pause is that Clippard didn't pitch to Avila all that differently than he did to the first two. Actually, the first guy (and there's no reason not to pump him fastballs down the middle) he threw 10 straight pitches out of the strike zone!

So, I think what was _really_ going on is that Clippard just lost the strike zone after two were out. (And, didn't Avila strike out on a pitch that should have been ball three? Then it would have been full count two outs two on!)


He issued some bases loaded walks in his career -- but never

A DC Wonk said...

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

As Boz has pointed out, the phrase "never give in" implies there's always a base open, even if it's home plate. Walking in a run is better than giving up a Grand Slam.

Yep -- amending my prior post -- it was Boz where I first learned of Palmer's never giving up a grand slam in his career with respect to just this issue.

Thanks!

peric said...

Thing is, none of us can predict the future. All we can go by is the present (and recent past) situation to determine the best course of action.

Using statistics and advanced scouting reports one can come pretty close ... albeit any Mathematician requires the "glue" known as one's intuition. Without it there really is no chance.

The smarter major league clubs make investment decisions based on the above now-a-days. They are in fact attempting to predict the future while hedging against failure. Rizzo, Clark, Minniti et al can be far more arrogant about it than you deem me Natslady. Look at the dearth of depth they have in the minors at some positions. They just released a very hardworking, great performing pitcher in Trevor Holder from the HBG Senators. He was well thought of and popular to boot? The only rationale was to advance the excellent starting pitching staff that currently resides in Potomac. The first promotion just occurred.

Believe me Rizzo and Clark do try to prognosticate about the future on a daily basis.

baseballswami said...

Tiger questions: did Cabrera tweak something last night? In the lineup, though. And why does Prince wear sunglasses to hit at night? Too cool for school?

NatsLady said...

Prince wears sunglasses, according to FP and Carp, because he says it helps him see the ball better in the lights at night. Don't know about Cabrera, he was holding his hip/side in the dugout, but nothing reported.

peric said...

NatsLady and Peric arguing. What's funny is NatsLady schooled him big time with some real facts:

"Haren has the lowest GB% of our rotation (36.7%). For his career, he's usually about 40%, That's not quite Clippard territory (under 30%), but basically, if you want a guy in there who ain't gonna hit, you want the one in there who can play the outfield. Hence, Bernadina over Moore."


More fun with the Marx Brothers: Groucho, Chico and Harpo again. I wasn't arguing the point. I happen to like the Shark. Its the FO that doesn't dude.

As for the Shark he has yet to prove he can be a run producer whether in the minors or the majors. A #2 hitter? Sure. In fact I would have preferred they give the Shark a shot over acquiring Span. I tend to like sticking with in-house talent. They deserve the shot more IMO.

Tyler Moore is a potential run producer ... but yes, his major weakness is his dearth of defensive skill either at first base but especially in the outfield.

David Proctor said...

Fun fact from Nationals PR:

#Nationals starting pitchers rank 3rd in MLB in ERA (3.35). In '12, Nationals starters ranked 2nd in MLB with a NL-leading 3.40 ERA. #better

NatsLady said...

peric, that was my exact point (though I was making it in reference to Clip). You use the stats and tendencies of hitters, IMO, in preference to formulas like "never put the tying run on base." Those formulas are fine--in general--but in when you are dealing with actual hitters you need to know. If Clip doesn't, then Suzuki or Cat needs to come out and let him know what to expect, and what a good strategy might be.

Knoxville Nat said...

Peric said: "Its the FO that doesn't dude."

And you know that how?

"As for the Shark he has yet to prove he can be a run producer whether in the minors or the majors. A #2 hitter? Sure."

Correct me if I'm wrong but haven't the Nats, of late anyways, always thought of Bernadina as a fourth outfielder and not an everyday player?

peric said...

The point made both to us and to Tyler Moore: he has to hit to stay in the lineup since he is a defensive liability in the outfield. There is no arguing with that.

peric said...

Correct me if I'm wrong but haven't the Nats, of late anyways, always thought of Bernadina as a fourth outfielder and not an everyday player?

Define of late? Why pick NO BAT Ankiel over the Shark in the outfield? Its hard to say perhaps the Shark could be a starter somewhere else. In Houston he would surely be in the lineup everyday.

The reason he is the 4th outfield was because they tried him in the starting role and he failed to produce and was returned to the minors on a couple of occasions. He really didn't start producing consistently offensively until Davey Johnson took over.

johnny nats said...

Cabrera said he had minor back issues after the ground out in the 6th. He was joking with Clip after that foul popup behind the plate in the 8th, so I'm guessing it wasnt too bad.

Big game for Haren, should be interesting.

baseballswami said...

Andy Feffer on pre- game trying to make sure the fans all know they backed off on their new policy, which lasted for hours, and that they are listening to the fans. Guy should run for office.

Knoxville Nat said...

Peric,

I was referring to Bernadina as a fourth OF in Washington only, not Houston or elsewhere. Sorry if I didn't make myself clear on that.

And I don't recall saying anything about Ankiel so I don't know why you brought that up. My comments were more intended towards your statement that you would have preferred giving Bernie a shot over Span. It is my understanding that the Nats, and by this I mean Johnson and Rizzo, see Bernie as better in a corner OF position especially LF with only occassional time in CF. Span was acquired to be the regular CF and lead off batter, something that Bernie has not appeared to be well suited for in prior years.

Harpo said...

"NatsLady said...

peric, that was my exact point (though I was making it in reference to Clip). You use the stats and tendencies of hitters, IMO, in preference to formulas like "never put the tying run on base." Those formulas are fine--in general--but in when you are dealing with actual hitters you need to know. If Clip doesn't, then Suzuki or Cat needs to come out and let him know what to expect, and what a good strategy might be."

Davey doesn't even like putting a tying run on base when 1st base is open.

You can keep trying to support your own theories with more posts and most people here are too polite to tell that you are wrong in last night's situation.

I'm sure Boz wouldn't advocate walking 2 batters that are maybe slightly better than league average to get to Avila.

A DC Wonk said...

I'm sure Boz wouldn't advocate walking 2 batters that are maybe slightly better than league average to get to Avila.

That's not what she said.

Harpo said...

"A DC Wonk said...

Here's some amazing out of the box thinking: I heard some commentators talking about how Jim Palmer would even pitch around guys with bases loaded sometimes. Consider this: with bases loaded (which happened 213 times) he had a batting average against of .196, he allowed 13 walks, but -- here's the key -- never a grand slam."

How many of those situations did he have a 3 run lead or more.

Each situation calls for smart baseball and they way Storen nibbled in Game 5 ended the 2012 season forever.

Clippard was nibbling and wouldn't challenge Dirks. Not sure why. I have no idea but you don't want to walk him. At that part of the game with a 2 run lead his run wasn't going to beat you.

EmDash said...

I had to get a surprise root canal today, and it's pretty painful right now. So the Nats should be good to me and win today.

Harpo said...

"A DC Wonk said...

I'm sure Boz wouldn't advocate walking 2 batters that are maybe slightly better than league average to get to Avila.

That's not what she said."

That was my take on her morning's posts unless she intelligently deleted. She has since softened her stance to sound a little smarter on the subject.

baseballswami said...

Ouch- sorry to hear about the painful day. Looks like the sun monster may roar today.

Eric said...

"Clippard was nibbling and wouldn't challenge Dirks. Not sure why. I have no idea but you don't want to walk him. At that part of the game with a 2 run lead his run wasn't going to beat you."

I know. It's so sad that Clip lost the game for us last night. I'm really depressed about it.

:(

Eric said...

Feel better EmDash!

Eric said...

A'ight, 4 batter inning, no damage. Nice way to start, Haren.

Harpo said...

Hey Eric, how did you feel when Storen did the same approach in Game 5?

Someone here wrote recently You play with fire eventually you'll get burned!

Yah, Clip keep doing that, oh yah, that's right, he did on April 12th and April 29th and walked 3 in 1 inning and took the loss in the April 29th game.

Harpo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dan Strong said...

Beautiful bunt single for the shark

EmDash said...

Thanks, swami and Eric.

Haren got off to a good start - giving up a single to Miguel Cabrera is no crime. Now the hitters just need to do their part!

I would bet Bernadina is in the lineup because he's had an RBI hit against Fister? Hard to say. It's odd, because righties are hitting him better than lefties this year so far.

Fister trivia: he's hit 9 batters with pitches this year so far, most in baseball by any pitcher.

baseballswami said...

How about DSpan again , and then the shark with the ambush bunt!! Nice way to start things off!!!!

jeffwx said...

Speed on the corners

baseballswami said...

I like the quick strike offense!

A DC Wonk said...

Yah, Clip keep doing that, oh yah, that's right, he did on April 12th and April 29th and walked 3 in 1 inning and took the loss in the April 29th game.

All pitchers have had bad outtings. Overall, he's pitched in 14 games, allowed zero runs in 11 of them, and no hits in 9 of them.

Eric said...

"I like the quick strike offense!"

Indeed!

EmDash said...

Runs!

Eric said...

AWESOME! This is fantastic.

Harpo said...

Desi can be his aggressive self in his 6 hole. That 2 hole just isn't for his approach.

NatsJack in Florida said...

And now Danny. C'mon and keep the line moving.

baseballswami said...

Gooooooooooooooo. Natssssssss!!!!!!!!

MicheleS said...

Finally the hits are coming.

EmDash said...

I've read that Tigers and White Sox fans were ecstatic when Span left the division, and looking at his track record against Tigers pitching, I can see why. The *lowest* OPS he has against any Tigers starter is Porcello, against whom he has a .786 mark - which is still great. Against Fister he's hitting .350/.381/.500. Kind of amazing.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Danny....oh well...at least he didn't hit into the dp.

Harpo said...

As soon as Carp said Espinosa was back to .200, he falls back below.

MicheleS said...

EmD.. heard from my White Sox Friends/Family when the move was made and they were THRILLED that DSPAN was out of the Division. Made me happy.

baseballswami said...

Hate to nitpick so early, especially with the nice round three up there, but two backwards K's--- really???

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

first 6 batters did great.

What is the point of batting with RISP and taking a third strike. that approach of Espi makes no sense. then Ramos taking 3 strikes with RISP. Why?

EmDash said...

Wonder if Ramos is a little cold; his starts have been a little irregular lately. Could be throwing him off.

baseballswami said...

I think especially Danny. You make contact with only one out and you advance a runner or force an error. Have an out to work with.

David Proctor said...

The one to Ramos was right on the black. Tough to pull the trigger. The one to Espi was right down the middle.

EmDash said...

Haren's pitches seem a little up - may need to adjust. Won't get away with that against Cabrera.

jeffwx said...

Bummer, when's the last time Fister got a hit ?

EmDash said...

Oof. Yep, everything's a little up. That's how you have problems - those two days off may be throwing him off a bit.

NatsJack in Florida said...

There are not any pitches Haren can leave up, especially the cutter.

Harpo said...

Defense wins games.

NatsJack in Florida said...

I have a strong hunch 3 runs is not going to win this game unless Haren improves his command in the strike zone.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

i have 5 little things that if you don't do the 4 and do the 5th you win most games

Pitching

Don't

Walk lead off man

relievers walk no one.

Batters don't

Take a third strike (Especially with RISP)

Swing at third strike in the dirt especially with RISP)

Do

When hitting with man on if you make an out at least advance the runner)

Harpo said...

Fister's last hit was on June 26 2011.

jeffwx said...

ok, then He (Fister) was really due.

EmDash said...

Weirdly, Fister has only 3 hits - but 2 RBIs. Apparently he only gets hits when it counts!

Harpo said...

"NatsJack in Florida said...

I have a strong hunch 3 runs is not going to win this game unless Haren improves his command in the strike zone."

A strong hunch? Call Rizzo to tell him to have someone up warming now!

jeffwx said...

Looks like Fister is streaky like LaRoche...He went 0-29 before that hit...He's on his way now.

EmDash said...

Roger Bernadina gets a walk! ...granted, it took the umps missing a pitch that should've been called a strike, but still.

EmDash said...

That was a great last pitch by Fister to Harper. Impressive.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

what do they say at battets meeting? We take more callthird strikes than our pitchers ever pitch. Simply rediculous.

IKN8wxU2 said...

So Harper takes third strike with RISP! Maybe he needs to go back to Syracuse? ;-)

Harpo said...

"jeffwx said...

Looks like Fister is streaky like LaRoche...He went 0-29 before that hit...He's on his way now."

Not sure what you are looking at. Fister had a 0-3 between that hit and his last one.

EmDash said...

More runs!

MicheleS said...

BABIP (is that the word) Gods are smiling on us FINALLY! Adam and Ryan putting some good swings on the ball.

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

How about five runs? Rain the only thing I don't like, so far.

ehay2k said...

I think this ALR kid has some potential.

NatsLady said...

Please don't let this game get rained out before it's official. Please don't let this game get rained out before it's official. Please don't let this game get rained out before it's official.

EmDash said...

Geez, wonder if they'll delay this one, that's a lot of rain. Not a tragedy if Haren only gets three or four innings in and they have to give Stammen a few after they resume...

NatsJack in Florida said...

Adam LaRoche, welcome to the Mendoza line.

MicheleS said...

I just saw the radar, it's a light shower should be over in a few minutes. Looks to be fast moving

Nattering Nat said...

Who is that person inhabiting LaRoche's uniform? In May, surely it is not the same person we saw in April. Is it, lol?

Would be nice if he just started the season in May--except then we'd have to wait until June for him to break out, unless it is just the cold weather..

David Proctor said...

The rain is scaring me...

Section 222 said...

They will stay a long time tonight before calling this game. No one wants to reschedule a game that's already started. Well, maybe the Tigers do at this point.

Nattering Nat said...

Sun is back out in Montgomery County. That cell was here a half hour ago. It will pass by soon.

baseballswami said...

Nice to see things going well for Bernie.

Harpo said...

Great hunch NatsJack. I guess Stammen can sit back down.

Harpo said...

Great STRONG HUNCH NatsJack.

A DC Wonk said...

Section 222 said...

They will stay a long time tonight before calling this game. No one wants to reschedule a game that's already started.


Especially when it's the last game of a road trip (for the Tigers) and they won't be back to DC. (Yes, they'll be back to Balty, but, still, they'd rather get it done now)

EmDash said...

All right, good inning for Haren.

Nats offense this game is reminding me of the Cardinals a bit - just constant, relentless well-placed singles peppered all over the field.

NatsJack in Florida said...

And Haren displays better command in the strike zone. Much better.

Joe Seamhead said...

At the park. Liking me some Span and ALR.

EmDash said...

Haren hits are the funniest hits.

Section 222 said...

EmDash, I'm just following on Gameday. Was the hit funny, or the way he ran to 1B? :)

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

i never said send Harper or any othets back to Syracuse for taking strike 3 called with RISP. I said just dont do it. That they have control of. Be like Luke Appling : he would just tap ones on the edges foul. He rarely struck out.

ehay2k said...

Sec 222, it at least partly was FP's call, especially the "big turn" Haren took at first - one step off the bag towards second.

Harpo said...

Yah, that was Avila who hit the ball to the wall earlier in the game.

Imagine that.

EmDash said...

Haren's trot is just the funniest thing to me, I can't help it. I'm very disappointed the clip of his double isn't on the MLB video site.

Weather is very strange at the park, if you're not watching - both fairly heavy rain and bright sun on the field today.

They've apparently pulled Fister from the game after 74 pitches over 3 innings. Be interesting to see who they put in.

Harpo said...

Haren with a great K of the VMart!

NatsJack in Florida said...

Sweet split to Martinez!

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

good pitch on Martinez. keep strong Dan

Now a few more runs boy.

SCNatsFan said...

I am really liking this guy who stole Dan Haren's jersey

Harpo said...

"SCNatsFan said...

I am really liking this guy who stole Dan Haren's jersey"

He just had to come with grips with the aging process and the fact he could only throw low 90's by muscling up.

He's much better as a crafty righty.

Section 222 said...

This is the first start of the "I'm not going to care about velocity anymore" era. So far, so good. Just get through six Dan. Our bullpen needs the work.

A DC Wonk said...

He just had to come with grips with the aging process and the fact he could only throw low 90's by muscling up.

Announcers were saying just the opposite -- that he felt strong and healthy this year, and was throwing his sinker too hard. When he dialed it back a bit, it started working for him again.

Harpo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Harpo said...

Great job middle infielders. Can't have a doubleplay easier than that.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

neithet Espi or Desi tried to lunge for the ball. both just looked. at least lunge.

EmDash said...

Oh, Nats. Covering second is good, you guys. No harm, though.

David Proctor said...

Yikes at that not-double play. But good job by Haren to get out of it.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

No harm

Harpo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NatsJack in Florida said...

LaRoche now below the Mendoza but Danny can climb back over.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

One of the other things that seems to be a constant. we can hit early or in the middle (rarely late)

Almost never can they hit both early and middle.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Is he scared of Paraulta?

NatsJack in Florida said...

Yep Manassas...add ons have been tough. That's what I was hinting at when e were at 3 early.

EmDash said...

Next inning it seems the Tigers will be using Luke Putkonen - no one on the Nats has ever faced him, it would appear.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

all those Anti Span guys I believe now see why we who embraced Span liked tge trade.

NatsJack in Florida said...

What? A football player that plays baseball?

NatsJack in Florida said...

Apparently so.

Harpo said...

How quick things change.

David Proctor said...

WOW.

EmDash said...

Ah geez. That was a pretty good pitch, too.

MicheleS said...

bugger

Harpo said...

I think so EmDash. That was a real nice pitch.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

you notice the football player didnt take a strike 3.

baseballswami said...

CRAP!!!!!

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

7 hits first 2 innings then everyone basically quit 1 hit in 3 innings.

Harpo said...

Nats need some clutch hits here.

NatsLady said...

SOmeone asked about Cabrera, just saw this, back soreness.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130509&content_id=47035784&notebook_id=47036420&vkey=notebook_det&c_id=det

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

their bunt a lot better than ours. thrir set up a 3 run homer.

EmDash said...

Leyland has a quick hook.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Prety sure Lombo did nothing but practice bunting after that last effort in Pittsburgh. Good job.

Harpo said...

"Manassas Nats' Fan said...

7 hits first 2 innings then everyone basically quit 1 hit in 3 innings."

They don't quit, come on. Some of the batters change their approach and try much harder to power up. A lot of ugly at bats.

EmDash said...

Uh, taking out Bernadina for Moore? Hm. That's the pure opposite of a defensive replacement in a close game.

JaneB said...

I really hope Davey is a better manager in life than I am in my head. Because I keep the Shark in the game.
'

EmDash said...

Tyler. Can't seem to lay off the breaking stuff.

David Proctor said...

Tyler is still lost at the plate. Swinging at everything. And now our defense takes a hit. Not sure I like this.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

They hit the ball where it was pitched before. Now pulling outside pitches.

That is poor coaching. outside pitches drive the other way. Pulling is useless.

I need to look up Tyler Moore strike out percentage. he might be the worse on the team now.

NatsJack in Florida said...

OK bull pen. It's all on you.

NatsJack in Florida said...

And no. I don't want to walk anybody unless the situation demands it.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

44 at bats 21 K for Moore. That is pathatic.

EmDash said...

I believe Bob just forgot who's pitching now. "Never faced Zach Duke...or, uh, Mattheus."

NatsJack in Florida said...

Yes Manassas....unfortuneately, Tyler's developement is going backwards.

David Proctor said...

Tyler is a player who I think needs more regular playing time. I would not be opposed to sending him back down to AAA for a bit, but I'm not sure who down there would be a good callup. Rendon needs to play too.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Laroche we need a dinger.

EmDash said...

Smyly's murder on lefties, so it'll be tough for LaRoche. Might be up to Desmond.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Call up Owings.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

we sure swing at a lot of balls and let strikes go. cant tell you how I hate that.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Anyone hear if MLB said or did anything to Hirshbeck for instigating trouble Sunday?

Also are they going to sweep Angel Hernandez's terrible call on the replay. ?

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

6-9 lots doing the damage. 9 slot has all RBI.

EmDash said...

Good try for Tyler, but. Bernadina would've had that.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Tyler Moore in for defense? I think not.

Section 222 said...

Speaking of practicing bunting, maybe ALR should do a little of that. There are just too many situations where the shift concedes a base hit to him if he can do that. Facing a lefty in the 8th, it sure would have been nice if he had put a runner in scoring position for Desi.

Um, pretty good effort by Ty-Mo not good enough.

David Proctor said...

Gonna be up to Soriano with the big boys up.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Bernadina makes that easy.

Escape that mistake.

EmDash said...

Soriano will have to face the top of the order. If anyone reaches, he'll have to face Prince Fielder - who, in their limited encounters, owns him to a remarkable degree. So Soriano really needs to not let anyone reach base.

...Valverde's goatee. My goodness.

MicheleS said...

Well at least it didn't bite us in the rear.. need some runs

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

espinosa way unde Mendosa line again. guess he wasnt too thrilled to to be above the line.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

chad Tracy is about twice as good as Matt Stairs, but I ry to erase Stairs out of my memory.

David Proctor said...

Please don't hit a ball to LF. Please don't hit a ball to LF. Please don't hit a ball to LF.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Tucked in here, boss.

MicheleS said...

biting my nails

Section 222 said...

This matchup is worth price of admission alone. Tucked and ready. And nervous as hell.

MicheleS said...

UNTUCK WOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOO!!!

David Proctor said...

UNTUCK.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Untucking here, boss.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Untuck

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

Untucked in District Chophouse!

Anna Peregrina said...

And in my jammies in Berkshire, UK!

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