Saturday, September 24, 2011

Wang, Pudge share spotlight one final time

US Presswire photo
Ivan Rodriguez gets a hug from Drew Storen at the end of the Nats' 4-1 win.
The notion of Chien-Ming Wang and Ivan Rodriguez serving as batterymates for a late-September victory over a division rival fighting for its playoff life would have sounded ludicrous only a few months ago.

Yet there were the veteran right-hander and catcher Saturday afternoon, pairing up to lead the Nationals to a 4-1 win over the fast-fading Braves and energizing a crowd of 33,986 that seemed to appreciate every moment the two provided.

It's been a long and winding season for both Wang and Rodriguez, heading in opposite directions as the finish line fast approaches. Wang, after missing more than two years with a major shoulder tear, looks stronger and stronger each time he takes the mound and with six sterling innings on Saturday may have ensured his return to Washington in 2012.

Rodriguez, on the other hand, has barely played since straining an oblique muscle before the All-Star break and on Saturday was given a chance to make one final start at Nationals Park before he is cut loose
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JaneB said...

It turned out that Pups in the Park wasn't for my pup once things started to get exciting, and I had to leave early. I am so glad the fans loved up Pudge..who CLEARLY can still play some baseball. It sure looks like Teddy is going to WIN tomorrow (as he should, to change this lovable loser vibe) and I am dying to see my Livan hit a bunt and trash talk his way down the first base line one more time. I can't believe it's all ending.

MicheleS said...


That explains why I couldn't find you!!!

I will be at the game tomorrow - in the fancy seats -section 130, I wanted to be by the dug out! It's canned soup for a few months but it will be worth it. Let me know where you are at (You to 1A) and I will do my best to find you.

fpcsteve said...

Spring will not come a moment too soon.

NatsLady said...

I will be at the game tomorrow also, and would love to meet other Nats Insiders.

mick said...

very proud of this team

Mick said...

next year Nats lady,w e shoudl all get together for a tailgate

natsfan1a said...


natsfan1a said...

woooo - that was one fun game! Loved Wang's hit, also Ankiel's catch. Thought it must have been Wang's first, as I noticed them take it out of play and toss it to the Nats dugout. Also loved the two Pudge throws to nail runners. Didn't hear the interview after but did he happen to say to Debbi "I'm not going to lie to you. Those were both missiles that I threw."?

I thought it was kinda funny when Werth took the race. Hope that this foreshadows the end of Teddy's losing ways. After all, that's two games in a row and Werth and the 'pen denizens took matters into their own hands. (Though I seem to recall a game back in the day where the 'pen guys got into the action. I think Rauch was still with the team?)

(Also, I'm undefeated when wearing my silver-on-white curly w tee at both P-Nats and big boy Nats games this year. A compulsive part of me wants to wash it so I can wear it to tomorrow's game, but that way lies madness, right? Yeah, that's what I thought. :-))
September 24, 2011 8:15 PM
natsfan1a said...

Oh, and Werth's new nickname should be El Presidente. You heard it here first.
September 24, 2011 8:16 PM

Gonat said...

El President for Werth? I like it! I also like Ram-Moose for Ramos and PCock for Peacock!

MicheleS said...

Not sure if anyone else noticed...

The game booklet they have been giving out this weekend:


They need to sign him!

natsfan1a said...

Those are good, Gonat. Not sure Werth will sign on with Ram-Moose, though, as he's evidently more of a Bull Moose guy. ;-)

Michele, yes, I was reading the Zimm piece on the Metro going home. Great story!

Re. our seats tomorrow, I forgot that I'd gotten different seats for the last game, too. Will be in sec 204, row G. Also, noticed back a thread or two in the comments that Mark had mentioned the idea of some sort of postseason gathering. Might be fun to go to a local venue to watch one of the postseason series broadcasts.

Dave said...

Ryan Zimmerman--Expect It!

Pay the man, Rizzo!

RickH said...

Gonna miss Pudge!

sjm308 said...

Back in town - did I miss much?

Was able to wear the same hat for 5 straight days so that was a good thing.
No internet for one week was liberating but also frustrating.

My hopes for 75 wins have been crushed but in a very good way!! Guessing our young pitchers did very well and will hit the archives (no comments thank you) to find out.

Will be there tomorrow and I am thinking a win tomorrow will be a great way to celebrate our team.

From Mark's article it appears there is no hope of resigning Pudge and it does make sense to stay with the young guys. He was and is a class act. It has probably been hashed and re-hashed but don't we have too many starting pitchers now? I know, I know, you can never have too many pitchers and what a great problem to have but it will be fun trying to figure out what direction they will go.

Lastly, I am definitely up for a postseason gathering. I think it should be at Natjacks house!!

go nats! one more home win boys!!

baseballswami said...

New commercials - Young Talent - expect it! I am going to miss Livo and Pudge a lot and I appreciate what they have done so very much, but you can sense a changing of the guard going on now. Good grief - next season our old guys are Werth, Morse,and LaRoche. Not exactly grizzled. I kind of hope Pudge gets a pinch hit tomorrow, but then again, maybe it should just be left at how it ended today. Dave - agreed - Pay Ryan Zimmerman! Watching the Brewers last night with Ryan Braun, I was thinking that guy in that spot is Zim every time - except in the future that clutch home run is for all the marbles.

natsfan1a said...

Welcome back, sjm. Hope you had a good trip. You didn't miss much at all, really. ;-)

I think that if we met in NatsJack's stomping grounds it should be at that place where they give airboat rides. I'm trying to talk my hubby into another ST visit, anyway.

JaneB said...

In section 131 row G... Can't wait to meet you! I asked every female in a Werth Shirt if she was Michelle S. I'm washing my Hernandez shirt to wear again tomorrow because I'm worried I won't see him regularly here again.

How cool that we had Pudge Rodriquez play for us two years! What pleasure he's brought us! And schooling for RaMoose. When he's inducted, I'll be telling my kids I saw him play, like they didn't, too.

Totally up for a postseason gathering. Totally.

JaneB said...

1a, so am I! I hope it works, even fir a weekend.

Gonat said...

natsfan1a said...
Those are good, Gonat. Not sure Werth will sign on with Ram-Moose, though, as he's evidently more of a Bull Moose guy. ;-)

September 24, 2011 8:39 PM

Funny on Bull Moose! Werth obviously is a history buff to be up on the Bull Moose party and the history of Teddy Roosevelt.

Werth has to get everyone in on it and literally carry Teddy over the finish line!

That was great. Of course I wasnt prepared with video!

How's about Bull Moose for Werth and Ram Moose for Ramos?

natsfan1a said...

That works for me, Gonat. He also had a Rough Riders reference, evidently.

Gonat said...

From Jayson Werth: "Well, if Teddy can't win then no one wins in my book. I'm the last remaining member of the Bull Moose Party, I guess. I don't really know what else to say."

Gonat said...

Its kind of funny how a couple days ago we were coming up with Buffalo, Ram, Moose, Ram-Moose, etc. for Wilson Ramos and Werth comes up with the Bull Moose.

Get the Werth guys on Twitter to get the word out that Werth's new nickname is Bull Moose!

MicheleS said...

Jane! I was looking for that Livo jersey too!

Tomorrow, Danny Espinosa Red Jersey, Sec 130 row P Seat 12.

I am getting there early so I can get the Stas Shirt

skidge said...

I'm going to be there for my birthday tomorrow!

John C. said...

Great to see Pudge get a moment for the DC fans, and best of all great to see him come through with the two CS missiles. Do not run on the HOFer! Speaking of the Hall, though, if Pudge makes it he will note be going in as a National - even if he wants to. A few years ago the Hall stopped allowing the player to pick the team, and it's a lead pipe lock that Pudge's hat would be the Rangers (a former DC team, ironically enough).

Great win today, I'm looking forward to being at the ballpark tomorrow - hopefully for better results than last year's home finale!

Navy Nats Fan said...

I'll be there tomorrow with the 9 and 11 year olds. Rather than trying to hop around to everyone's seats, how bout meeting before the game - 1245pm at the Frank Howard statue in the centerfield plaza? Give us time to chat before making the way to the seats. I'll be in a red Stras jersey with the aforementioned two boys.

baseballswami said...

Our very young closer with #41 today -pretty far up there on the leader boards, with most of the others going to the post season - no high fives or fist pump today with the catcher - hugs today. Pudge was probably playing in the majors when Drew was in kindergarten. The fans were behind both of them, though. Lots of cheers for Pudge and a lot of Drooooooooooo going on in the last inning. He looked pretty amped up, too. Great shot of them together - the past and the future.

sjm308 said...

John C - he will obviously not go in as a National but his plaque WILL have Washington 2010 - 2011 listed which is special for those of us who have enjoyed him these past two years. A class act in everything he did, whether healthy or injured, he kept his head high and continues to lead.

I know someone will have this immediately but what is the Washington Nationals record for saves in a season? It has to be the Chief, just don't know how many.

Mark Zuckerman said...

Thanks, sjm308, for explaining that. I was about to do the same. Though Pudge's HOF plaque will almost certainly have him wearing a Rangers hat, it will also include a list of every franchise he played for. And since any previous Washington-based Hall of Famer would have played in the AL, Pudge should be the first player inducted with a plaque that includes "Washington, N.L."

Oh, and Chad Cordero's Nats record for saves in a season is 47 (set in 2005). Even if Storen saves every remaining game this year, he can only get to 46.

Dawn said...

What a fun game to watch, Pudge and Wang were awesome. Got kinda choked up realizing it will be even harder for Pudge to land a job next year, there just aren't many 40 year old catchers still working in the MLB. He will just have to start a new trend. His great performance in the last WBC helped him land his gig with the Astros, He will be missed by this Nats fan.

SBrent said...

I get why it doesn't make sense, but it would have been nice for Pudge to finish out his career in a Nats uniform. Any chance we can get him back in the clubhouse in a coaching position once he hangs up his playing spikes? Mark, have you heard any talk about anything like that?

Jess said...

There's nothing quite as fun as watching a game that Pudge catches -- especially if it happens to be a game in which Pudge is catching Livan. I have absolutely nothing against Jesus Flores -- I think he is a great talent, and I'm so glad that he is healthy enough to return to being the fantastic player that he is. That being said, he could be a valuable piece in a trade somewhere down the line this winter. If that happens, there is no doubt that Pudge Rodriguez is the best backup catcher in baseball and could end up sticking around on the team -- I sure hope so.

NatsLady said...

The two throws were great. Here is another aspect of Pudge's excellence.

Charlie and Dave (who I always listen to even when watching tv) remarked how differently Pudge was calling Wang's pitches than Ramos, mixing in a lot more sliders and off speed stuff. I don't think I saw Wang shake off a pitch once. It must relieve the stress on a pitcher incredibly to have Pudge calling.

You have to figure not only does Pudge know every batter--just about--in both leagues but he studies the pitch charts so he knows the best pitches to call for each pitcher and when to call them.

Yesterday afternoon he taught Ramos and Flores a lot about how to call a game.

Doc said...

Pudge's hitting skills seem to have desserted him, but he still has the tools to do what is most expected of a catcher, call a game and keep runners at bay.

There are MLB teams out there that can still make use of his talents. He knows how to bring out the best in his pitchers. I agree with NatsLady that Ramos and Flores could continue to benefit from Pudge's tutelage, if his continued presence with the team was possible.

Not sure that he can get to 3,000 hits, but I hope he can do it.

Dawn said...

NatsLady; Think it is not so much that Pudge knows each batter, but he sees how they set their feet in the box and kinda gets in their head. Especially after the first time around the batting order. All that comes with experience which he has in abundance, like Davy says he is in control of the whole game, that is what is fun to watch.

People scoff at his age, he wears his faith on his sleeve, his confidence in his abilities, even his overwhelming work ethic. I believe you have to have all these attributes to be successful in a sport that is based in failure (well, maybe not the faith part, but it can't hurt).

It doesn't hurt to have a great smile either.

Andrew said...

I still believe if the Nats trade Flores then Pudge is the man as the back-up.

Here's my video of the last caught stealing, I thought Prado didn't check his swing, great throw to catch the #1 base stealer in the NL:

Big Cat said...

Why does Pudge have to go? Why couldn't we bring him back as backup and play him every 4th or 5th day. He has lost some pop with the stick, but is in great shape and throws like a 20 year old. Put Flores back in AAA where he can play everyday and keep strengthening that shoulder.

Natslifer said...

Morning everyone - long time no talk for me but thanks to everyone who does - this is the home for Nats talk IMO. As we wind down (and I wait for us to crush the Marlins for once to end the season), I've been thinking a lot about four things:

- Next year's rotation: Zimm, Stras, Lannan, and Wang appear to be set. As much as I love seeing Peacock, I'd think they'd prefer to have another lefty so Detwiler gets the nod. But... look for the Nats to bid up CC - practically impossible that he'd come here but it's a perfect fit for us - and the last thing we want is for him to land in Philly. Is there any other Tier 1 lefty that's out there we could get?
- Is there any opportunity around Prince Fielder and would it ever make sense? It doesn't make any sense, right? It's the position that we've got a huge glut at and I'd love to see Morse back there next year. Except Fielder's agent has a problem - he's probably the best position player on the market and there just aren't enough teams with money that need a first baseman to make the bidding competitive. I keep coming back to all AL teams: Texas and the Angels (and maybe Toronto is they decide to start pushing in '12). The national media has us in the mix for him because ownership is now perceived to be willing to spend big. Could it possibly make sense?
- Do we solve for Speedy McLeadoff? This is the one I really keep scratching my head over. In an overall fantastic year for us, the Braves getting Bourne for a bag of beans was the biggest disappointment of the year for me and I've got a bad feeling about Upton. Is there anyone else out there? Has Davey grown fond enough of Desmond that he says "let it ride - we'll be fine with him leading off"?
- We're starting to read people saying that it's Davey's job to keep next year if he wants it. But it still seems like Davey's and Rizzo's philosophies are different. If Rizzo wants to keep Davey, seems like that'll be the first thing that happens in the offseason to set the stage for everything else.

Let's go Nats! Take the last home game and then embarrass the Marlins in front of 4K per game in the final homestand at the football stadium.

natsfan1a said...

Navy, am aiming to arrive much earlier than that (Metro g*ds willing) so not sure whether I'll make it back down to the plaza at that time. If not, there's always Mark's offseason meetup possibility.

NatsLady said...

Planning to get on the Metro at 10:30 so I'll be at the Park at 11:30 to get a tee. Will wander over to the statues at 12:45 if I remember.

Gonat said...

NatsLifer, go to Mark's Video he posted a few days ago on his "no way" on Prince Fielder.

Detwiler on normal rest today can prove if he can go 6 innings of dominant baseball on 5 days rest. Today should be the day to evaluate Detwiler.

Wang appears to be in the rotation for next season however it takes 2 to Tango. Wang would still have to agree to an extension. I don't think it is a foregone conclusion and I wonder about Wang's durability over the long-term pitching every 5 days. Still a gamble.

LoveDaNats said...

It's killin' me to be missing this last series with you guys at the park, but I will be listening to charlie and Dave on the drive home today. The season went by very fast. My daughter asked if I would be throwing an end-of-the-season party and I told her this was NOT an occasion for a party, just the beginning of a long, slow, cold winter of no baseball. I believe she is looking into psychiatric help for me soon. :)
Have fun at the game today. I look forward to Mark's updates.

Anonymous said...

Yes, will be very interesting with Detwiler today

Eugene in Oregon said...

For anyone who's interested, there's an article on MLB scoring being down for the fifth straight year in today's NYT:

Bottom line: Teams are averaging "4.28 runs a game while batting .255 with a .321 on-base-percentage" through last Thursday.

JaneB said...

LoveDa, I feel the same way.


I'll be hanging out at the bottom of 131 at 12:45, NavyNat, where Ian often signs for kids...just watching. Come on down there and get your kids a ball signed (they bring the ball).

Michelle S. I'll be looking for you. I've washed my Livan shirt and am wearing it again. FINALLY we will meet!


natsfan1a said...

I didn't wash my silver-on-white tee because, after reviewing my record, I deduced that I'm just a lucky charm no matter what I'm wearing (Lerners and ticketing department please take note). fwiw, today's ensemble will feature my Ryan Z/Wounded Warriors camo tee (also undefeated).

Heading out now. Seee youuuu laaater...

Go, Det! Go, NATS!!

Big Cat said...

Hmmmmm.....just reading about how Tyler Moore is gonna play in Puerto Rico this winter. Also, he is in Instructional League trying to play outfield. Now that is a twist. Probably because of the logjam at 1B for the Nats

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Good luck to all the NI on the final game. Wish I were going. Got Hot Yoga(!) with oldest daughter. Family first, Nats second. But enjoy, and count me in on any offseason NI gathering. Enjoy the camaraderie, and make it last until April.


Gonat said...

Eugene in Oregon said...
For anyone who's interested, there's an article on MLB scoring being down for the fifth straight year in today's NYT:

Bottom line: Teams are averaging "4.28 runs a game while batting .255 with a .321 on-base-percentage" through last Thursday.

September 25, 2011 10:13 AM

It makes the possibility of a Triple Crown winner a reality again. Kemp proves that point.

Drew8 said...

Natslifer 9:06 wrote:

"In an overall fantastic year for us, the Braves getting Bourn for a bag of beans was the biggest disappointment of the year for me."

I agree that was a letdown. Bill Ladson reported that the Nats had a chance to get Bourn at the trade deadline, but balked when the Astros' Ed Wade insisted that Ross Detwiler be part of the deal.

Now I'm bullish on Ross -- heck, I'm Bull Moosish. But if Ross was the centerpiece of a deal to get Bourn, I would have pulled the trigger.

(The caveat, of course, is that we don't know who else the Stros wanted, but Detwiler was the name the Nats leaked.)

The fact that the Nats wouldn't relinquish Detwiler for Bourn, or Lombo as part of a package for Denard Span, shows the Nats are Moosish on their futures.

Natslifer said...

I like that... I'm totally Bull Moosish too. But it's interesting - I feel like there's a way for us to be relatively status quo for next year and a way for the team to be fairly transformed through deals for another starting pitcher and Speedy McLeadoff (whoever they may be).

Have fun at the park today everyone.

DCGuy7 said...

Isn't bourn a free agent again this year? He would be awesome to watch here. We should go after him hard if he is.

Anonymous8 said...

Buster Olney writes...FA market deeper than just Prince, Pujols

Albert Pujols is going to make a lot of money in free agency this winter, and so will Prince Fielder, but neither is going to be getting a high volume of phone calls. They are like the mansions on the mountain, out of the price range for many potential buyers.

But there are others in the free-agent class who will be generating a lot of interest, either because of their unique position in the market or because of their skill set.

1. C.J. Wilson, Texas Rangers
We'll probably know very soon after the New York Yankees' season ends whether CC Sabathia is going to opt out of his contract, but if he doesn't, Wilson will be regarded as the best experienced starting pitcher on the market place (Yu Darvish has won over scouts who have seen him in Japan, but he's in a separate category because of the nature of the bidding process).

The Rangers will attempt to re-sign Wilson, but they might have to compete against many clubs, from the Washington Nationals (who might be one frontline starter from being serious contenders for a playoff spot)...

Gonat said...

DCGuy7 said...
Isn't bourn a free agent again this year? He would be awesome to watch here. We should go after him hard if he is.

September 25, 2011 11:55 AM

No, after 2012. Same with Matt Kemp and BJ Upton. A deep CF free agent year.

DCGuy7 said...

thanks gonat - if that's true, we should wait IMHO. our current crew should be good enough for 2012 if they play up to potential and the options are better after next year (or at the trade deadline)

Anonymous said...

I support waiting a year as well. Use Ankiel, The Shark and J Werth until 2012. You never know someone may step up and they won't need anybody.

Anonymous said...

1 I. Desmond, SS
2 J. Werth, CF
3 Zimmerman, 3B
4 M. Morse, LF
5 C. Marrero, 1B
6 D. Espinosa, 2B
7 J. Gomes, RF
8 W. Ramos, C
9 R. Detwiler, P

Mark must be taking care of tht baby LOL
Here is todays lineup

Gonat said...

Frediemac/DCGuy7, I agree also on the CF. LaRoche will be back and add a #3 pitcher or if Rizzo is fortunate and lands CJ Wilson, the Nats can punch a ticket to the playoffs.

The Nats are getting younger and the Phillies and Atlanta are limping this year to the finish line.

From Bill Ladson today: GM Mike Rizzo said he is looking for an impact starting pitcher and another bat this offseason.

Gonat said...

CJ Wilson has a 2.97 ERA, averaged 6 2/3 innings per start with 3 complete games. Jordan Zimmermann has a 3.18 ERA, averaged 6 1/3 innings per start with 1 complete game.

JZim'nn who was the recipient of more than his share of bad luck still is in tops of most pitching categories and is 1 ahead of CJ Wilson in ERC.

No surprise the Top 2 in ERC will almost certainly be the Cy Youngs in the AL/NL

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