Friday, May 10, 2013

Game 35: Cubs at Nats

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Cubs open a three-game series tonight at Nationals Park.
As Dan Haren put it yesterday: "We've come a long way in a week." Sure enough, a Nationals club that was approaching panic-mode not all that long ago enters this weekend's series against the Cubs having won six of seven to improve to 19-15 overall. They're hitting better, they're pitching better, they're playing better defense and they're obviously feeling much better about themselves because of it.

And after a tough stretch that saw them face five consecutive teams with winning records, the Nats now get a three-game set against the Cubs, who are — how shall we put this? — downright awful. Jeff Samardzija, tonight's starter, is solid. And Anthony Rizzo looks like a big piece of their future. But the rest of that roster leaves plenty to be desired.

Ross Detwiler will try to take advantage of that fact in tonight's series opener. No lineup yet from Davey Johnson, but Jayson Werth is expected to be out one last time with his tight hamstring. [UPDATE AT 4:45 P.M. — Not only is Werth out of the lineup again, but Davey says he's likely headed to the DL, still suffering spasms in his hamstring. And on top of all that, Bryce Harper is also out of the lineup tonight after having a procedure to have an ingrown toenail removed. So the Nats are down two men tonight.]

Updates to come...

CHICAGO CUBS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WNEW (99.1 FM), XM 183
Weather: Partly cloudy, 79 degrees, Wind 8 mph out to LF
NATIONALS (19-15)
CF Denard Span
RF Roger Bernadina
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
LF Tyler Moore
C Kurt Suzuki
LHP Ross Detwiler

CUBS (13-21)
SS Starlin Castro
3B Cody Ransom
1B Anthony Rizzo
LF Alfonso Soriano
RF Scott Hairston
C Welington Castillo
CF Ryan Sweeney
2B Darwin Barney
RHP Jeff Samardzija

UMPIRES
HP Angel Hernandez (cc)
1B Doug Eddings
2B John Tumpane
3B Paul Nauert

5:45 p.m.Here's the full story on Jayson Werth (headed to the DL with a very slight hamstring strain) and Bryce Harper (out tonight after a procedure to remove an ingrown toenail).

7:06 p.m. — We are underway with ... what else, a fastball for strike one from Ross Detwiler to Starlin Castro. 80 degrees at gametime.

7:14 p.m. — And Detwiler finds himself in an early 1-0 hole, even though he didn't exactly pitch poorly in the top of the first. Castro, though, led things off with a soft double down the right-field line, and his teammates then did their job to move him around the bases. Cody Ransom and Anthony Rizzo each tapped grounders that advanced Castro, with Rizzo's bouncer to second bringing him home. Really nice play by Danny Espinosa on that grounder, by the way. So it's 1-0 Cubs as the Nats come up to bat.

7:20 p.m. — A 1-2-3 bottom of the first for Jeff Samardzija, with a pair of called third strikes (the last of which didn't seem to sit so well with Ryan Zimmerman, who had a couple of words for Angel Hernandez). Darwin Barney, meanwhile, made a spectacular play on Roger Bernadina's drag bunt attempt, flipping to first base straight from his glove for the out. I'll tell you what: Between Espinosa and Barney, there's going to be some serious defense played at second base this weekend.

7:38 p.m. — Kurt Suzuki with an opposite-field, 2-run double off the wall in right-center? That's not generally in his repertoire, but Kurt smoked that pitch from Samardzija, nearly hit it out altogether. So just like that, the Nats take a 2-1 lead after two, thanks in no small part to Samardzija's error trying to scoop up Espinosa's comebacker.

7:47 p.m. — Starlin Castro, meanwhile, seems to enjoy driving doubles to the opposite field. He's already done it twice, most recently to drive in Samardzija (who led off the top of the third with his own double). So that tied this game 2-2, though it could've been 3-2 Cubs if not for a nice throw by Roger Bernadina and a great tag by Kurt Suzuki to nail Castro trying to score on Rizzo's single to right. Detwiler getting hit around a bit early on.

8:05 p.m. — Here's a bizarre (and troubling) fact: Detwiler has already surrendered four doubles tonight, three of them to lead off innings. That's a tough way to pitch. He's avoided serious damage to this point, but that's a trend that's going to have to stop soon. Still 2-2 going to the bottom of the fourth.

8:14 p.m. — Two big developments in the bottom of the fourth: LaRoche roped a single up the middle, officially raising his batting average over the Mendoza line for the first time this season. Moments later, Desmond crushed a two-run homer to left, his fifth of the year. The Nats take a 4-2 lead after four.

8:35 p.m. — And the Nats keep taking it to Samardzija in the bottom of the fifth. Zimmerman drew a two-out walk. LaRoche notched yet another hit (he's now 11 for his last 19 and has reached 17(?!) times in his last six-plus games). Desmond drilled another RBI double (he's now a triple shy of the cycle). And Espinosa cleaned up the bases with a rocket of a double to deep right-center. It's 7-2 Nationals after five, and the heart of the lineup is really doing some damage tonight.

8:42 p.m. — It'll probably go unnoticed among all the offensive fireworks, but the Nationals are playing some stellar defense so far tonight. Espinosa had a great play early, Bernadina and Suzuki combined on that play at the plate, Span had a fantastic catch (and jump) on a deep drive to center. And Zimmerman has made a couple of really solid throws on routine plays at third base. He's putting a lot more mustard on those throws, and they've also been on-target.

9:02 p.m. — Kind of a surprisingly quick hook for Detwiler with two outs in the seventh, one on and the Nats up by five runs. Several of you pointed out he might have grimaced after covering first base on his last batter. I couldn't see that from all the way up here in the press box, but I'll certainly ask about it postgame. Meanwhile, Craig Stammen got out of the seventh, so it remains 7-2 at the stretch.

9:10 p.m. — Hmm, bad call by second base ump John Tumpane, who called Zimmerman out on Alfonso Soriano's throw from left field. Zim argued pretty animatedly (at least as animatedly as he ever gets) and Davey came out to argue, too. Replays showed he was indeed safe. By the way, 37,191 paid attendance here tonight, with the Caps hosting Game 5 a couple of miles away. Not bad, not bad at all.

9:18 p.m. — Nice job by Stammen in his first appearance in a while. Recorded four outs. Still 7-2 as we go to the bottom of the eighth.

9:22 p.m. — Onto the ninth, with Stammen still on the mound. Interesting.

9:30 p.m. — It's over. Stammen closes out a 7-3 victory, the Nats' fifth straight.

232 comments:

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NCNatsie said...

I want to chime in on the argument about statistics that’s been going on here for the past couple of days.

Statistics can analyze past performance, but the sense in which they are predictive of future performance is complicated by the existence of what is called variance from the mean. In regard to human endeavor, this introduces factors which are not susceptible to statistical analysis. A seven year veteran pitcher may have a lifetime ERA of 2.50, and be even better than that in September. But if, THIS SEPTEMBER, his wife is threatening to leave him or his kid was diagnosed with something serious, or maybe he just started reading Nietzsche and is completely bummed out about the meaning of existence, that little something in his makeup that gives him the mental strength to do his job better than the guys in the other team’s lineup may be compromised.

And, of course, things don’t have to be anywhere near that serious to change the picture. That is why players have good years and bad years.

We often talk about how good hitters are when they are "seeing the ball well,” but who can quantify that, or predict it? Similarly, how do you quantify the observation that “the game has slowed down for him?” How much slower is it? Adam LaRouche has a history of lousy Aprils. So how come he was spectacular in April of 2012? Was he seeing the ball 54.7% better? Or had the game slowed down 24.3 miles per hour from what it had been in April of 2010?

The vagaries of life are inscrutable. Statistics can help you understand the odds of something. So can the intuition of a knowledgeable baseball person. But you’re always dealing in probabilities, not certainties, until, as with Schrodinger’s cat, you lift up the box and see whether the damn thing is dead or alive. The quantum physics guys call that the “collapse of the wave function.” The baseball guys call it whether you won or lost the game.

JaneB said...

I'm looking forward to seeing Ross pitch the daylights out of the Cubbies. I'm also looking forward to seeing the prettiest batting stance in baseball (Soriano) and seeing Anthony Rizzo in person. Of course, Ross will be LIGHTS OUT so neither will be at their best. I'm counting down te minutes before I get to leave for the stadium.

GYFNG!

JaneB said...

Great post, NCNatsie!

baseballswami said...

Wow. All the smart people are around today. Tidbits--Hanrahan to Dr. Andrews-- probably TJ , too bad for him. Also-- Mr. Laser Show Pedroia threw a giant hissy fit about a strike call-- complete with lots of bleeping. TV had to blur his mouth the language was so bad from the dugout. Not even a warning. I guess that did not dhow anyone up.

bowdenball said...

To be fair to the Cubs, Starlin Castro is also pretty awesome and definitely part of the team's future, even if he had a terrible April.

baseballswami said...

* that would be SHOW anyone up*

David Proctor said...

Samardjiza (sp?) is pretty darn good. Soriano still has a decent bat, Rizzo is legit, Starlin Castro is good. Outside of that, the Cubs are awful.

Hoping we can put together another solid effort today and pick up win #20. Would be especially nice if the Braves lose to the Giants and Matt Cain.

baseballswami said...

Bowdenball-- Starlin Castro seems like he has ADD. I certainly hope they have had him evaluated. Adam had to struggle for way too long until he got medical help. When I watch Castro, that's what I see.

baseballswami said...

David-- Matt Cain having a tough spring. Hope he pulls it together .

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NCNatsie, I heard Cal Ripken talking about veteran players who are struggling and he talked about Adam LaRoche in particular as to what he could change in his off-season regime. It was interesting but even coming from Cal as he said there are so many varying situations and you can only help in his case he "progresses to the mean".

Projecting full year stats based on April results is a worthless endeavor.

My biggest disappointment in the season as a whole has been the lack of good fundamentals and mental mistakes and also this lack of scoring runs late in games.

bowdenball said...

NCNatsie, you would be hard-pressed to find a "statistics person" who disagrees with what you said. I've never read or talked to anyone who rejects the human element of the game or the fact that factors we can't measure sometimes affect slumps and hot streaks. The division between the two isn't like it's made out to be in the Moneyball movie.

Sabermetrics people want more and better information to consider in addition to- not instead of- what is already available.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NCNatsie said...We often talk about how good hitters are when they are "seeing the ball well,” but who can quantify that, or predict it? Similarly, how do you quantify the observation that “the game has slowed down for him?” How much slower is it? Adam LaRouche has a history of lousy Aprils. So how come he was spectacular in April of 2012? Was he seeing the ball 54.7% better? Or had the game slowed down 24.3 miles per hour from what it had been in April of 2010?


I still think the whole Adam LaRoche bad April thing has been made worse than it was. He is a slow starter and that is a big difference. He was averaging before this season around a .225 BA. It's bad but not horrible.

He still doesn't look like he has his power swing and that is still troublesome but the fact he is getting on base is a real encouraging start. I still think he could use a rest every once a while.

EmDash said...

Cubs players to watch vs. Det: Scott Hairston (1.778 OPS against), Starlin Castro (1.167 OPS),
Wellington Castillo (same), Nate Schierholtz (1.000), Soriano (.714).

Nats players with the best track record against Samardzija: LaRoche (1.250), Desmond (1.200), Span (1.000), Werth (.747), Bernadina and Ramos (.667). So I wouldn't be surprised to see Bernadina in the line-up again today with Werth out.

I would be very surprised if the Nats moved up in the standings vs. the Braves today, as apparently Tim Hudson hasn't lost a game against the Giants since 2006.

bowdenball said...

A great example of this human element and the week-to-week fluctuations in performance that statistics can't capture was Alex Rodriguez last fall. His overall 2012 offensive numbers were just fine, pretty good even, but I don't remember anyone from the sabermetric community objecting to it when they moved him out of the middle of that lineup and eventually to the bench in October. It was clear to anyone who watched his plate appearances closely that something was wrong.

Harpo said...

To much time given to the same old discussions on LaRoche and Espinosa and Ryan Zimmerman. For all 3 the stats stink and that's a fact and if you factor in there value on defense well Espinosa is only slightly better than Lombardozzi and Ryan Zimmerman is a big fat negative with negative range. That's a big problem for a guy who still isn't hitting for power or average. LaRoche and Zimm are batting like banjo hitters and they are corner infielders!

NatsJack in Florida said...

EmDash.....and when was the last time the Nats beat Anibal Sanchez before yesterday!

EmDash said...

Hee, very true NatsJack, it's definitely possible! I'm just going with the odds...

David Proctor said...

Joey Votto is on MLB Network gushing about Bryce Harper.

baseballswami said...

David-- that was quite an analysis!! Sounded like a sports physiologist. Very articulate guy.

David Proctor said...

No Harper in the lineup today...?

NatsNut said...

I guess one of his nicknames is "Spellcheck"

WaPo blog post on the Cubs

David Proctor said...
Samardjiza (sp?) is pretty darn good

baseballswami said...

Joey Votto is a hitting scientist. I have never heard him talk about it before-- I am in awe of his hitting intelligence and seriousness. And he thinks Bryce can be a great hitter. Wow.

baseballswami said...

Anyone know why Bryce is not in the lineup? Anyone know when this season we will be actually able to field our ideal lineup?? Ever???

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Beating Anibal gives you hope on how things have changed with this team recently.

EmDash said...

Nothing from the beat writers as yet as to why Harper's not in the lineup.

baseballswami said...

We also beat that other ugly streak against the Braves. Let 's keep beating those kinds of nasty streaks!!!

David Proctor said...

Dan Kolko ‏@masnKolko 4s
Werth had a setback with hamstring. It went into spasms today when doing leg curls, Davey said. DL now looking likely. #Nats

Sigh...

Section 222 said...

Chase has a new story up about an unknown (at least to me) Phillies reliever not liking the Untuck tradition. Hahaha. Better get used to it buddy, you're going to be seeing it up close and personal real soon.

David Proctor said...

Well Werth's DL stint can be backdated 7 or 8 days so he'll only miss about another week. Kobernus and Eury Perez are the most likely callups.

David Proctor said...

Bryce Harper also had an operation on his right foot to fix an ingrown toenail. Won't play today. Davey says he'll likely return tomorrow.

Pilchard said...

If Werth goes on the DL, Eury Perez is the only OF on the 40 man roster in the minors. So, either Eury comes up or the Nats need to shuffle the roster (someone to the 60 man DL?) to bring up Kobernus (who has been playing OF lately) or Micah Owings or someone else not on the 40 man.

peric said...

Probably would have been Corey Brown if he hadn't hit the DL yet again.

Perez is the stronger defensively in the outfield and he is already on the 40-man. Expect Perez. His problem? He won't get many at bats if he continues to NOT WALK and when he does get on IGNORE the do not steal signal.

David Proctor said...

Looks like the rain delay cost us a day of Harper. Plan was for Harper to have the operation and use Thursday's off day to rest.

peric said...

Definitely could use Corey Brown who features power and speed. If Harper goes down ... there is no left-handed bat to replace him.

Section 222 said...

Possible that Rendon comes up to be the hairy chested righthanded bench bat? Lombardozzi can play the outfield in a pinch.

This is a good opportunity for Ty-Mo to show that he can produce when playing virtually every day. So far this season, he hasn't done much at all.

EmDash said...

I think the Nats have two spots open on the 40-man, right? So they could add Kobernus if they wanted to bring him up. Though, does anyone know if that would cause issues with re-optioning him to the minors when Werth gets back? Don't know if he'd have to pass through waivers to go back since he was subject to the rule 5 draft, or not.

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

Power lefties currently in the lineup EQUAL TO ONE (without Harper) like it not haters:

Danny Espinosa.

Adam LaRoche still features an ISO that is .118. to Espinosa's .172. Right now LaRoche is a singles hitter with less power than Larry Biitner.

Unless the bat of the Shark can add some punch from the left-side.

Pilchard said...

Corey Brown is on the DL in Cuse. He has not played a game in almost a month. BTW, is Brown related to Peric? Amazing how Peric constantly pimps a journeyman minor leaguer.

peric said...

I think the Nats have two spots open on the 40-man, right? So they could add Kobernus if they wanted to bring him up.

NO just one. They used one on that left-handed reliever they picked up from Houston on waivers.

peric said...

Xavier Cedeno.

David Proctor said...

I think part of the Shark's problem is he is trying to do that. He was known in the past to try too hard to hit HRs. He was much better last year when he was slapping singles all over the field.

peric said...

Amazing how Peric constantly pimps a journeyman minor leaguer.

Yeah amazing how Peric "pimped" Michael Morse the same way WHEN he was playing for Syracuse just acquired from the Mariners via their AAA franchise in the PCL. Amazing that Peric knew well in advance that Morse could be a true impact hitter in the major leagues. Gee that guy Peric must be pretty smart.

EmDash said...

Ah, you're right, I forgot about him. And Rizzo seems likely to want to leave a slot open, just in case, so Eury definitely has the inside track.

Section 222 said...

from Twitter:
‏@JamesWagnerWP
Davey says Nats looking at two right-handed outfielders to call up, either Eury Perez or Jeff Kobernus, Rule 5 pick returned from Tigers.

So Kobernus may get a shot. Hope he does better here than he did with the Tigers. A certain poster will claim vindication just as he did with Rendon, even though both callups were prompted by injury.

peric said...

so Eury definitely has the inside track.

NO doubt about it as Davey would say. Again, the problem is they guy came up and didn't listen. Plus he's just a singles hitter another guy you typically bat first when the need is for run producers. The Nats are sadly bereft of run producers ...

Of course THERE IS another option if the emphasis is on offense and Davey can live with the defense as it stands: Chris Marerro. He is also on the 40-man does feature some power (not even close to T-Mo but ...) and really fits into that niche's that says PH/DH part-time first bagger.

peric said...

A certain poster will claim vindication just as he did with Rendon, even though both callups were prompted by injury.

Not in this case. I do think Kobernus learned A LOT from Leyland and company while there. He's translated it into numbers in Syracuse.

Kobernus is not a good defensive player. He is not a power bat. He specs out as perfect for Lombo's role if Lombo is traded somewhere to be a starter ... AND he needs to LEARN TO WALK!

Just wonderin' said...

I've had the ingrown toenail procedure (it's a stretch to call it surgery or an operation) and I can't imagine that Bryce will be back tomorrow or even Sunday. But then again, he's young and strong.

peric said...

But 222, Beasley really likes Kobernus and will likely push for him to come up if they ask him.

peric said...

No one is completely sold on Perez. He still falls under the category of still young, might yet learn what he needs to ...

natsfan1a said...

Yay, I get to watch a whole Nats game after being away last week (well, at least I'll watch for as long as I can stay awake).

Section 222 said...

Time for Zim to pick up the slack for Harper's toenail.

David Proctor said...

Home plate umpire and crew chief at tonight's Nats-Cubs game? The one and only Angel Hernandez.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

baseballswami said...

Arggggggh!

EmDash said...

Well. Tonight should be interesting in all kinds of different ways, then. *g* At least he won't be able to eject Harper for arguing, tonight!

IKN8wxU2 said...

Let's hope all of our homeruns are out by a wide margin.

David Proctor said...

I hope there are no plays at the plate...

MicheleS said...

I sincerely hope there is no Internet access in Heaven so that my Dad can't read this... GO NATS! GO ROSS! Beat the CUBS!! GYFNG!!!

waiting for the anvil to drop from the skies

Candide said...

David Proctor said...

Home plate umpire and crew chief at tonight's Nats-Cubs game? The one and only Angel Hernandez.


What with the multiple high-profile umpiring embarrassments this week, is it too much to hope Hernandez will be on good behavior? He's already made the papers once this week.

JaneB said...

MicheleS maybe it will miss you and hit Angel Hernandez.

nats guy said...

Peric,

You're so smart you also pimped Seth Bynum, JD Martin, Jorge Padilla, Matt Antonelli. Where are they now. Even an idiot strikes gold once in a while if he digs enough holes.

natsfan1a said...

lol, Michele. I like JaneB's solution (although they'd probably decide that it wasn't a hit after review).

A DC Wonk said...

a Nationals club that was approaching panic-mode

Were they? Or was it just the fans? ;-)

David Proctor said...

Eury Perez not in the lineup tonight for Syracuse. Looks like the decision has been made.

Steady Eddie said...

JaneB -- are you in your regular seats tonight?

NatsJack in Florida said...

Only option would be Eury. He's shown that he can handle the bat and he's the only defensive option above AA.

peric said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
peric said...

Only option would be Eury. He's shown that he can handle the bat and he's the only defensive option above AA.

If defense is a must he's your man.

peric said...

a Nationals club that was approaching panic-mode

Switching lineups around in Riggleman-esque fashion? When Davey has said all along he likes set lineups?

Yes I would say so Wonk.

peric said...

Oh yeah Antonelli. Well he sure looked like he could play 2nd base as well if not better than Lombo defensively and he was hitting. And? A former #1 draft pick for the Padres?

One has to suspect there was something amiss there ... whether injury or otherwise because his performances weren't all that bad.

MicheleS said...

UGH.. Angel Hernandez.. that's my dad at work right there

David Proctor said...

Dan Kolko ‏@masnKolko 2m
Angel Hernandez announced as home plate umpire. #Nats Park crowd boos him

Gonat said...

NatsJack in Florida said...
Only option would be Eury. He's shown that he can handle the bat and he's the only defensive option above AA.

May 10, 2013 6:32 PM
________________________________

Certainly looking the best from the rightie hitters standpoint who can play good OF.

I think Corey Brown is still on the DL and he's a leftie.

MicheleS said...

If you get WGN.. it's on that channel as well. Will be looking in on that broadcast to see what they have to say about the Nats

UnkyD said...

Am I being overly sensitive to note that some of our pitchers are allowing too dawgone many runs, in the first inning, this year?

MicheleS said...

GHOST.. WGN guys commenting on how RZ stands SO far off the plate.

David Proctor said...

Angel Hernandez already strikes.

EmDash said...

Ryan, please don't get ejected.

Harpo said...

"MicheleS said...

GHOST.. WGN guys commenting on how RZ stands SO far off the plate."

Don't blow up Ghost of Steve M.s head any more than it is.

Candide said...

David Proctor said...

Angel Hernandez already strikes.


I think you misspelled "stinks."

baseballswami said...

I am not near a tv. What the heck is going on?

MicheleS said...

SWAMI.. not much going on.. Det gave up a hit to Castro who scored on ground outs. Angel Hernandez is still a turd. 1-0 Cubs over Nats

EmDash said...

LaRoche keeps going to left on his contact lately - timing still off, or trying to beat the shift?

MicheleS said...

SWAMI.. Ian just got a dribbler hit.and Espi got on by an error by Smarzjda (Spelling -whatever) so 2 on no out with Tyler Moore up.

Harpo said...

Wasn't Szmardjia a Wide Receiver? Scored a dropped pass.

MicheleS said...

1 out sorry.. Roche got an out and Now 2 outs.. Tyler popped out

jeffwx said...

another error for cubs pitchers
1st and 2nd and 1 out
but tyler popsout

David Proctor said...

At least Tyler made contact?

NatsJack in Florida said...

Pathetic.

MicheleS said...

ZUUUUKKKEE Hit off the scoreboard with a DOUBLE and now 2-1 NATS

jeffwx said...

clutch hit by SUZ

Harpo said...

Good job suzuki

NatsLady said...

Why would you pitch to Suzuki? Det is the WORST hitter/.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Suzuki, not pathetic.

jeffwx said...

my goal in life is to post before MicheleS but I'm too old I guess

EmDash said...

No one should ever pitch to any hitter in front of Ross.

Harpo said...

"NatsJack in Florida said...

Pathetic."

I thought your word was stinks. Do you ever have anything nice to say.

David Proctor said...

Ross has to throw offspeed. He simply has to. Major league hitters will learn to hit the fastball.

MicheleS said...

jeffwx.. you are not old.. I was smart and took a typing class in high school, wanted to be sure that i wasn't using the one finger tap on the key board

Harpo said...

Detwiler is pitching BP. He isn't fooling anybody, not even the pitcher.

What is going on with him.

MicheleS said...

OH good lord.. Ross.. double to the Pitcher and another double to Castro.. 2-2..

GEESH ross

jeffwx said...

how can Hernandez still be an major league ump.
I just hear Hernandez misses a hr call in cleveland the other night.
He's on the take.

EmDash said...

Ross leaving pitches up a bit.

jeffwx said...

Michele, this modern technology is tough...texting on small portable phones...
this darn macbook keyboard...
Should have went with the manual keyboard

EmDash said...

I think he can do okay without breaking stuff, but he needs to locate. That's his bread and butter, fastball command. When he doesn't have that, it's a long outing.

Harpo said...

Bernadina to Zuk! Good and lucky!

NatsJack in Florida said...

Gotta love the Shark!

Gonat said...

Cubs are hitting everything hard that they can get a bat on. Saved by that stud rightfielder to an athletic play by the OF.

David Proctor said...

EmDash, like FP said, if Ross can locate like he did early, he'll do fine with just fastballs. But he's not always going to be able to locate and he needs a plan B. He can't just keep throwing fastballs when guys are teeing it up. That's the problem right now.

Exposremains said...

Det used to annoy me , than I started to really like him and now he's starting to annoy me again. I don't understand this fastball party. Doesn't he have other pitches. It worked for a few games in the beggining of the year but it's not working anymore.

Exposremains said...

I bet Ramos would have dropped that ball, Suzuki is really good at making the homeplate plays

David Proctor said...

Ramos has been better this year about catching the infield throws.

NatsJack in Florida said...

All the Nats have to do is stay close and get Marmol in the game.

Among others.

David Proctor said...

Outfield*

Harpo said...

Samardzija sets Zimmerman up on the outside again. You can't hit what you can't reach. 2 more K's.

David Proctor said...

Leadoff doubles everywhere...

peric said...

Sure looks to me like Suzuki is a keeper. Vesting option and all.

Harpo said...

Did that ball bounce off of the drying agent on the field FP.

EmDash said...

He probably does need more pitches to be elite. But every time I've seen him try they get crushed too. This is generally who he is.

peric said...

Samardzija sets Zimmerman up on the outside again. You can't hit what you can't reach. 2 more K's.

Eventually, he'll get his bat speed back or he'll adjust to his new physical reality.

BxJaycobb said...

Ross has been awfully bad tonight. This is the Cubs. It's not Murderers' Row. When you're not pin-point with the gas and not getting run on your two seamers, it's time to throw an occasional curve or change up. If he can't throw a curve or change-up anywhere close to the plate, then that's something he's going to need to learn to do if he wants to develop into an above-average, middle of the rotation starter in the majors. Until that, he's going to be fairly mediocre. And there's nothing wrong with being mediocre, but that's what it is.

NatsLady said...

I like LaRoche. So professional.

David Proctor said...

Well Ross has done a decent job of minimizing damage (with some help from the Shark). But if this were a better lineup, it'd be 4-2 right now.

jeffwx said...

Can not deny the pericillian logic that it would be nice to have some more pop in the lineup..
But nice that we could beat a team with some of the best (The Tigers with Miguel and Prince ) cause our pitching makes up for the lack of power.
oh and nice hit Adam

NatsLady said...

OK, as long as I'm liking LaRoche, nice single. Let's do something, boys.

David Proctor said...

IAN!!!

jeffwx said...

oh..nice pop Desmond

NatsLady said...

Thank you, Desi. Thank you, muchly.

Harpo said...

Detwiler better hang on to this lead! DESi!!!!!!!!

jeffwx said...

i beat michele!!!

EmDash said...

That LaRoche head shake at the strike call is his version of cursing the ump, I think.

More runs!

MicheleS said...

DESI BOMB!!!

MicheleS said...

Congrats Jeff. I was admiring the Desi bomb!

Harpo said...

How didn't that HR go further. In the Great American Smallpark that would have been in the upper deck.

jeffwx said...

Is that all you were admiring....All the women I know are so into this guy....I don't see it, personally

NatsJack in Florida said...

Good job Ian. And LaRoche is over Mendoza again!

Harpo said...

Yah, NatsJack, TylerMo is pathetic. Yah, I'm not calling him TyMo or T-Mo.

NatsJack in Florida said...

And Tyler going the other way. That can go along way to getting him going.

jeffwx said...

Clippard only available for pinch hitting duty

jeffwx said...

better get to the 5th...big storms out west

David Proctor said...

Span is incredible, but how in the world is the pitcher taking swings like this?!

jeffwx said...

jeez....top 5 best nats of catch with the shark gems

NatsJack in Florida said...

Gotta love the D-Span!

Harpo said...

#SPANNING

NatsLady said...

Span! That has got to be a Web Gem.

Det, if you need Web Gems from your outfielders, that is not good.

David Proctor said...

ANOTHER DOUBLE?

Candide said...

F.P. analyzing the difference between Span and Bernadina is spot-on.

Harpo said...

Does Zimmerman get to anything not next to him. No attempt any more to knock anything down.

peric said...

Hmmm ... he did look like Curt Flood there they way he went back on that ball. Flood played shallower still ... he appears to be getting better at that.

You can almost be sure that Flood is the model CF that Rizzo has in his mind.

MicheleS said...

Jeff.. desi is a good dude and we women are suckers for that

peric said...

Zimmerman is still healing from shoulder surgery. He can't risk the dives that originally were the cause of said injury. Again, this is what Anthony Rendon is prepping for in Harrisburg.

jeffwx said...

ohhhhhhhhhhh...that's been my problem
I hear HROD is a pretty good that...where are his groupies

Harpo said...

Did the Nats bother to send scouts to check out the Cubs or figure they sucked and it wasn't worth it. Espinosa finally moves closer to 1st base.

peric said...

And the self-appointed expert here should have noted the difference between LaRoche's line drive and that of Ian Desmond and Tyler Moore. Their line drives looked like they would decapitate someone.

LaRoche with your basic Larry Biitner single.

jeffwx said...

Curt Flood...Maybe Span will challenge the Nats Reserve Clause for inappropriately high beer prices

Joe Seamhead said...

Mrs. Seamhead rocking her Mother's Day D Span jersey.

Harpo said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Harpo said...

Still too close on these throwovers to 1st base.

jeffwx said...

Biittner was a good contact hitter. His best season came with the Cubs in 1977 when he played in a career-high 138 games, hit 28 doubles and batted .298. from the wacky world web

peric said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Harpo said...

That behind the plate view looks like Zimm has moved even closer to the Cubs dugout. Samardzjia doesn't come close to the strike zone except that 3-0.

Harpo said...

Peric, you were Groucho for a day so what you talking about. Harpo was one of Bryce's dads nicknames back when he was a kid.

peric said...

Biittner was a good contact hitter.

Precisely. Just in the beginning there were no doubles. But a nice .300 plus batting average.

LaRoche is now a savvy contact hitter. Not a power guy.

jeffwx said...

nope that was Ruben Delgado...The Village Idiot

MicheleS said...

Mrs Seamhead is one lucky lady!

peric said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Harpo said...

Desi with a clutched 2 out RBI.

peric said...

Curt Flood...Maybe Span will challenge the Nats Reserve Clause for inappropriately high beer prices

Fielding wise probably the best CF of the modern era.

Harpo said...

Thats what your supposed to do with that outside pitch.

David Proctor said...

This is what I love to see! Samardjiza isn't a scrub either. He's actually a pretty darn good pitcher.

MicheleS said...

And the rout is on.. and we didn't need to get into that horrendous bullpen!

Dad must have converted to a Nats fan up in Heaven

NatsJack in Florida said...

Wow...Ian continues his doubles stuff and ALR is hitting .210 and then Danny joins the party!

Gotta love it.

peric said...

Espinosa close to 10 double already. And LaRoche?

Harpo said...

Espinosa with an easy swing that dents the wall. You have to like but NatsJack says he stinks.

jeffwx said...

Wait a second Peric, I'm wondering about your objectivity....LaRoche had 33 hrs last year, Bittner never hit 29 in his whole caree.

Nice pop for them Nats

Drew said...

R.E.M. was right.

Everybody hits, sometimes.

Harpo said...

"MicheleS said...

Dad must have converted to a Nats fan up in Heaven"

Chicago won a World Series this century. Washington DC hasn't. They're nice up there in Heaven. I bet your Dad likes Bryce!

jeffwx said...

Never saw Flood play....but I did see the say hey kid

MicheleS said...

Ummm Harpo.. Dad hated the White Sox

Harpo said...

Desmond is now a triple from the cycle!

jeffwx said...

The White Sox don't count!!!!
Do they still play the blues in Chicago ( A Cubs fan's lament)

Harpo said...

Of course MicheleS as all Cubbie fans do and vice versa, just ask Obama, Heaven sees it as 1 Chicago with that Heavenly unity. It may not be fair but thats the same rules for the Angels/Dodgers and Yankees/Mets.

jeffwx said...

A Dying Cubs fan's last request by Steve Goodman
Read it and learn
And I like Gino's East
http://www.baseball-almanac.com/poetry/po_cubs.shtml

Candide said...

If rooting for the Cubbies your entire life isn't Hell on Earth... Anyone who endures that has earned Heaven in the afterlife.

(Cub-to-Nats fan convert friend is at the game tonight. Just Facebooked "Wings!!")

MicheleS said...

Awww Jeff.. getting dusty in my house remembering Steve Goodman.. snifffle.. We were a Gino's east family.

NatsLady said...

Yes, they do. South Sider here, born and bred.

jeffwx said...

Is Bartman the devil ?

MicheleS said...

Candide.. the cubs killed my dad.. he gave me permission to switch teams, he didn't want me to be miserable for the rest of my life

Harpo said...

Nice video on Bryce

Harper Swing video by Kilgore

David Proctor said...

Hey look, Ross made contact a few times! Baby steps.

MicheleS said...

NatsLady and I would have a ton of fun razzing each other if we lived in Chicago.. Thanfully we are in DC.

And no Bartman is not the devil. real cubs fan's know who is to blame for that loss.. he played SS that game

jeffwx said...

Yeah...Steve Goodman was brilliant...We lost him too soon too

The White sox, NL...Well Bill Veeck had some good ideas....did he do 10 Cent beer night and Disco Sucks night....those were promotions....He'd have real presidents racing everynight...not these over sized bobbleheads

NatsJack in Florida said...

Only problem tonite is you know Henry is coming in.

Harpo said...

"Harpo said...

Desmond is now a triple from the cycle!

May 10, 2013 8:40 PM"

F.P. owes me a beer. The crack staff at MASN is asleep.

NatsJack in Florida said...

FP just said Ian needs a triple for the cycle.

Wow...is he the first to get to the point where you only need a triple?

Harpo said...

"NatsJack in Florida said...

Only problem tonite is you know Henry is coming in."

Even as the Red Sox and Rays are in dire need for bullpen help, I doubt they'd take Henry for a Single-A batboy.

David Proctor said...

Uh oh...Ross pulled something?

NatsLady said...

Well, Det did OK, but he got a LOT of help from his fielders. He needs to take them out to dinner.

jeffwx said...

Alex Gonzalez

I think the real bad guy for the cubs was:

In case you donot know the story, it was during game 4 of the Series in 1945 that a fan by the name of Billy Sianis had two box seat tickets. He came to the game with his billy goat. The goat was a problem. It smelled and was bothering the other fans. P. K. Wrigley was the owner of the Cubs and asked him to remove the goat. That didnot please Billy Sianis and as he was leaving he placed the curse the Cubs, "they ain't gonna win no more".

jeffwx said...

Just goes to show you...if an old guy brings a goat to the game, don't throw him out until you know where the smell is coming from.

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