Saturday, September 15, 2012

A cry for help

Associated Press photo
Davey Johnson argues with umpire Marvin Hudson, resulting in his ejection.
ATLANTA -- The call that turned Saturday's ballgame upside-down and set the Braves on their way to a 5-4 victory seemed obvious to everyone in a Nationals uniform.

Adam LaRoche's left foot never lost contact with first base -- "I was sure," the veteran said later -- and Martin Prado should have been called out on what looked like a routine groundout to open the bottom of the sixth.

So when Marvin Hudson signaled safe, Davey Johnson didn't know what else to do but bolt out of the Turner Field visitors dugout and let the 48-year-old umpire have it.

"I knew," the 69-year-old manager said. "Even with these old eyes, I knew I was right. I didn't need a replay. And I'm thinking: Here's a young man, right on top of it. Obviously he had to be out of position."
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NatsLady said...

NJ, I know it's the Astros, so it could all go South, but the Fillies do NOT look good. Defense is TERRIBLE, and they just forgot how many outs there were. Astros could have scored another run or two at least if they hadn't also had some brain farts. Not elegant baseball...

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

No quotes from Hudson. Got to look else where. Why would he be afraid to ask for help.

One of bucket list things is to sit a full week with supervisor of umps durin the 21 games I watch each week. Explain why I should call the ump a bum when the same pitch a strike for pitcher A and a ball for pitcher B.

SonnyG10 said...

I think the first base umpire refused to ask for help because he would then be admitting he was out of position. I could forgive an ump making a bad call if he would admit he did not see the play well and would ask the other umps. But this guy was too arrogant to do that.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Sonny my point is exactly yours. You might missone . If you partners allow it to me that is a cover up. That is what I can,t.tolerste.

Still waiting for a quote from Hudson some where in line.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Was looking for quote but so far no one has one.

However found article fom a game April 27 2011 in a game vs Mets and Nats

Apparently Reyes tripled but was called out as Hudson came off bag but replay showed it didnt. I vaguely remembered that and thinking Reyes was safe.

So this guy has a problem when players are in contact with the bag

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Just read another interesting thing on Hudson .

He was the plate ump on the famous Jim Joyce mistake and though he could tell Joyce blew it said he was not asked to help.

The only thing I likeabout NFL refs, they are willing to help each other. Baseball umps rarely help.Even check swings are 95% denied when in reality 50% are probably swings.

I created my conspiracy by umps 10 years ago and believe it more now than ever. Just see how many mistakes are allowed to stay.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

I have checked a lot of sources but yet one who interviewed Hudson.

surely someone was the pool reporter.

Hudson was a central figure in a.big play surely a piol reporter was sent to garner a quote. If MLB denied the reporter that would be even more interesting.

SCNatsFan said...

To those who I offended with a "who does he have pitures of" comment I'm, sorry but c'mon now... that was said 15 times about Hrod. Still, didn't mean to offend.

Back to my point... I know its too late to do anything but hope for the best this year but what to do with Danny. Everyone has excuses for him; he was rushed here, he's young, the excuse of the day - but is this team winning because of him or in spite of him. I would love nothing more for him to prove me wrong but the guy just doesn't seem to be a major league hitter to me; he has no discipline at the plate and seems to have zero confidence in his ability to make contact. Now don't get me wrong, Rizzo and Davey know just a little more about baseball then I do, but he appears to be making so headway in becoming a better hitter; obviously they see something I don't. I just don't know how much faith you can put into a guy who strikes out 1/3 of the time even if that guy plays great defense and hits 20 HRs and I was hoping by now he'd show some signs of getting it and becoming the player we all hope he could be.

That being said, we've won all year with him and no reason we can't continue to win, but in the post season we don't get free passes; every pitcher and team we face will be the best. I just don't know if we can win putting a guy up who just gives the out away more times then not. Doesn't mean I don't root for the Nats and I'm enjoying this run but still I think its OK to be a fan and still be critical of the team when you see something blatently wrong. Like 8 strikeouts in a row.

Scooter said...

SCNatsFan, I don't know whether Espinosa is a major-league hitter either, but he is clearly a major-league second-baseperson. I hope they're right, and he also hits. But you can win a championship with a glove like that at the keystone sack.

Scooter said...

If memory seves, the Nats were 10-5 against he Braves coming into this thing. Prolly weren't going to go 13-5 for the year against that good team, so we'll just have to make do with 11-7. Not what I wished for, but I'll take it.

Eugene in Oregon said...

Just watched the 'condensed' version of the game on; what a frustrating loss given the obviously blown call. The version showed it from a couple of angles, highlighting -- in effect -- how wrong it was. And the hitting (or rather lack thereof) in the second half of the game, certainly didn't help. But I honestly don't see a cause for panic, of either the lesser or greater variety. The Nats need a nice, steady performance tomorrow from Gio Gonzalez, national TV or not, and they're back on track for a six- (or is it seven?) game home stand.

Separate note for Jim Webster: Just saw your post in the prior thread. JaneB mentioned a place called Brix Tavern in the Pearl District. I haven't been there, but she said they let her watch the Nats when she was in Portland recently (I guess they have an MLB package of some sort).

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Espi fields excellently. Jusr wish he would cut the strikeout 50%

Most of the guys I wish they could cut their strikeiuts by 30%.

In balls Espi actually puts in play his. average is .369

Scooter said...

Manassas Nats' Fan said...
Espi fields excellently. Jusr wish he would cut the strikeout 50%

I do too. I also wish that I could cut my weight by 20%. And hey, while we're at it, I wish I had a pony.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Eugene I am not panicing. I just hate losing any game. Especially ones we had a 3+ run lead.

Second half offense was veey weak.

Jason Motte of Cardinals woyld piss me off if I was Cards fan. 0-2 count on 2 great pitches. Then terrible pitch to Eithier. This is with 2 outs. Then 2 great pitches to Cruz then a terible one to give up tying. run. Then 2 great pitches and a one over the middle to lose game.

Vin Scully had given up on the first 0-2.

baseballswami said...

We are saying the same things about Danny that we said about Desi. Danny looks like he is still grieving. These guys are so young. Don't like the approaches at the plate by some of the more experienced guys.

NatsLady said...

Offense needs to wake up. You can blame the pitching but 2-0 vs. Mets, 1-2 vs. Atlanta and no runs yesterday after the gifts in the second inning. Hated leaving Perez stranded on 3rd, Lombo just needed a fly ball or a grounder to tie it up, and he swings at a pitch 3,000 feet above his shoulder. Grrrrrrrrr.

RZ also 0-8 in the last two games. Let's get some runs for Gio (like about 10!) so he can relax and get his 20th!!!!!

NatsLady said...

P.S., no one is panicking. But LA and Milwaukee are about to come in here playing their butts off. This is not the time to cruise.

Anonymous said...

Well, this is why you try to build 8.5 game leads, hoping it's enough to make it to the playoffs. But, I sure do hope we learn to put the bat on the ball more often. I think we might have enough to make it to extended play in October. I hope...hope...hope.

Secret wasian man said...

Perhaps the old must win tonight? Need to get the mojo back. 7.5 as opposed to 5.5 is huuuuuuuuuuge.

Section 222 said...

We are still in great position to win the division and have the No. 1 seed. Still, tonight seems like a really big game. National TV. We have our No. 1 on the mound. A win rights the ship and we leave town only 1 game worse off than we arrived with 3 less to play. A loss and thoughts of a skid, a collapse, a crash could seep into the players' consciousness (not to mention this blog.) Plus, the Braves are really fired up as they head to Miami and then to Philly. I wouldn't quite put this game on par with the second game of the July 21 DH, but it's not "just another game" either.

So the Phils are now 3 games out in the WC, but they still have to jump over 4 teams to win the second WC berth. I still maintain it ain't gonna happen. Particularly because they can't manage better than 2 out of 4 against the weakest opponent on their remaining schedule. Need I point out that the Nats swept the Cubs, helping them to build the lead they now maintain? The Phils need to win too many games against two really good teams (the Braves and the Nats) to sneak in.

MicheleS said...
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MicheleS said...

Manassas, very rarely do Umpires give interviews so that is why you won't see any quotes. I am sure people tried to get in with him, but supposedly there was an Umpire Supervisor in the house and they probably put the cubosh on that.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Next 3 games the Phillies have their 3 Aces in.Halladay, Cole Hamels, and Cliff Lee. Tomorrow night they face RA Dickey. Their weak spot has always been the 4th and 5th spot in their rotation.

Dodgers and Cardinals now tied. They play each other again today.

All this extra drama is due to the extra Wild Card. In other news, the A's have now beaten the O's in two in a row.

natscan reduxit said...

… woke up far too early this morning (I blame it on age); heard the dog peeing on the floor; opened my eyes to a dull cold grey dawn, more like November than the end of baseball season - it all matched my mood. After we beat the Braves tonight - on national TV no less - in conclusive fashion, I'm sure my mood will brighten and all of the following will be no more than wallpaper. Until then, however, here's how I feel.

… so I took the opportunity to do some dispassionate thinking about the team. My inclination is to be pessimistic about how the team finishes the year. Cinderella seasons are rare and not at all shoe-ins to win it all. But no matter the result, some incremental tweaking will be needed to respond to the resurgence of the Phillies, sure to be next year's strongest opposition. Seems to me we still need a fleet-of-foot leadoff hitter, a CF or 2B, and to do that we'll need to make some trade or trades, which are sure to be called extreme but certain to be necessary. So here are my 'expendables':

Mike Morse
Danny Espinosa
Jesus Flores
Edwin Jackson
Ross Detwiler
Mark DeRosa
Roger Bernardina
Ryan Mattheus
Craig Stammen
Sean Burnett

… and my 'untouchables':

Bryce Harper
Ryan Zimmerman
Jordan Zimmermann
Tyler Clippard
Wilson Ramos
Jayson Werth (if only because of his contract)
Adam LaRoche

… so if it ever came about that we could only have one, not both, let me pose the following questions of choice:

Ryan Mattheus OR Sean Burnett
Tom Gorze OR Craig Stammen
Tyler Clippard OR Drew Storen
Jesus Flores OR Kurt Suzuki
Tyler Moore OR Roger Bernardina
Mark DeRosa OR Corey Brown
Steve Lombardozzi OR Chad Tracy
Edwin Jackson OR Ross Detwiler
Adam LaRoche OR Mike Morse
Christian Garcia OR Michael Gonzalez

… look, I'm not writing off this season, nor anticipating failure over success, but in the end, I simply ask, what should the team do over the winter to make itself better?

Go Nats!!

Section 222 said...

I've felt from the beginning that the extra WC was a great idea. Not only because it gives a real advantage to all the division winners and even more to the No. 1 seed. But there's also the increased excitement of the WC race. Without the 2 spots, all the other teams in the NL would be chasing the Braves, and not have much of a chance to get in.

Interesting to note that all the teams still in the hunt in the AL are at least 10 games over .500, while in the NL three teams with at least a glimmer of hope are barely at .500. I guess that's a function of the Nats, Reds, Braves, and Giants having such good seasons.

This is fun!

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

When there is a controversal call MLB allows a pool reporter to check it out with the umpire.

I believe that should happen every game.

Of the three major sports MLB umps by far best individually, but are terrible in helping each other.

NFL are second best individually, but by far best collectively. They have a good replay system to make it even better..

NBA is terrible individuallyand just as bad as ateam.

The NHL has the best replay system where the cenr
tral office does the replay.

Another_Sam said...

Repeating myself: if you're bummed, look at the standings, look at today's schedule, and look at the score that they'll start today's game with.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

To conclud previous comment I wish MLB umps would work as a team more like the NFL.

The umps dont volunteerly help each other. like the NFL refs do. That should happened years ago.

With technology of media hasimproved 1000 %. Umps eye sight has not. Take advantage of technology.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Natscan, all I know is Espi is killing me and EJax doesn't always pitch like a Veteran at crucial moments and is too inconsistent.

Rizzo will have tough decisions with LaR and the Beast.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Espi is officially in a slump and Zim hasn't showed up yet in this series.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

One person slumping I can live with however at least hit the ball.

Another_Sam said...

Manassas - there's nothing in the made-for-TV NFL that I wish MLB would emulate. Just IMHO.

MicheleS said...

good point.. For all our griping about Espi, Zim is taking an O-fer as well.

valid point. The Nats have the best record period. That's what us fans need to focus on (Lord knows it's hard after the last 2 games).

Do love that Davey finally got kicked out of a game. That was bush call by the ump, not saying the umps should get away with not commenting, but sadly for us, they rarely do. I am sure that ump will be judged by his screw ups and dealt with as such. MLB rarely tells us of any discipline. I think this year when they made the announcement of a umpire suspension was a first (I think it was Bob Davidson).

timeless46 said...

Patience. Just a note for the Espi critics. I know the last two games have been hard to watch, but consider this. According to Fangraphs (and assuming I did the search right) by WAR, Danny is the 5th best 2d baseman in the majors this year.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

I have been a proponent of replay for a long time. Though the NFL system is OK the college system is by far the superior system.

Each game has a replay official at it. They buzz down when needed. They of course wouldn't do strikes. (of course that is where umps are least consistent).

However they could fix many problems.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ghost Of Steve M. said...

timeless46, Patience? Even when Espi is good its in lower leverage situations generally. Yes, I can recall a few spots he's come through but usually he is trying to hit a 5 run HR and comes up empty. Espi struck out twice in the Marlins series in key spot with a runner on 3rd and less than 2 outs in 2 straight games and it was Corey Brown (Rookie) who got the walk-off single.

I dont care what his WAR says because they over-value his defense and under-value his lack of clutch. On WAR an out is an out and not all outs are the same.

His lack of contact is beyond AWFUL. His K rate with RISP is 34.5% and he's slashing .210/.304/.353/.657

By the way, Nats scored ZERO runs after the 2nd inning yesterday and its not all on Espi but this guy is a contradiction of success.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

I will give Espi an excuse. His grandmother passed away. Maybe his mind isn't straight. Since he came back from the funeral, he's 0-8 with 8 strikeouts but he is also 2 for his last 31 and that's a slump and a funk.

Anonymous said...

If Randy Knorr expects to manage this team after Davey, his audition count have gone worse. Leaving Mattheus in and not doing anything to calm down Javkson cost us the game. With Davey we win this game.

SCNatsFan said...

Ghost, I don't think Espi is in a slump; I think this is who he is, a bad hitter who has periods of good hitting. I know and respect the arguments; he's young, got switched to SS, now the death in his family - but he shows no signs of 'getting it' and frequent signs of being overmatched at this level. I hope he figures it out soon, we can't give away 4 ABs a game this postseason when the games truly matter.

mick said...

At a wedding yesterday, so I had to follow the game on my Iphone and of course. This was only the 4th game all season I could not attend , watch or listen too. It looked good at 4-0 and of course one would have no idea about the controversy with the 1b umpire. My first question is, was Davey tossed from the game, and how much of an impact was the bad call?

mick said...

I see Michele answered my questions, I should read more carefully..

thank you

Gonat said...

SCNatsFan said...
Ghost, I don't think Espi is in a slump; I think this is who he is, a bad hitter who has periods of good hitting. I know and respect the arguments; he's young, got switched to SS, now the death in his family - but he shows no signs of 'getting it' and frequent signs of being overmatched at this level. I hope he figures it out soon, we can't give away 4 ABs a game this postseason when the games truly matter.

September 16, 2012 10:16 AM

I think you hit it on the barrel! Well said. Periods of good hitting while overall just not being a good hitter, but I will say when he shortens that swing he can be good. He just tries to be a hitter he isn't which is a power hitter. Good point SteveM, he does look like the guy trying to hit the proverbial 5 run HR.

Its hard to believe a Major League hitter can go 8 straight at-bats and strikeout in each.

Gonat said...
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Gonat said...

NatsJack in Florida said...
SCNatsFan......The same thing could have been said about Desmond at any point previous to this season.

September 16, 2012 10:26 AM

The same was said about Ian Desmond over and over and over again last year by many posters here and then hope came in the form of Davey Johnson and Desmond put together an amazing August and September of 2011 which has continued today.

With Espi, Davey has tried to help him and he gets back into these prolonged slumps.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NatsJack, the Nats were never in a postseason race with Desmond struggling which is SCNatsfan's point "we can't give away 4 ABs a game this postseason when the games truly matter"

Lombo has to get starts at 2nd. These games count.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Try all that for the reverse lock so I'll add Bryce went 0-4 yesterday and left 4 on base.

Go Espinosa!

Steady Eddie said...

I'm not going to be an apologist for Danny who remains erratic notwithstanding his improvement since June, but Ghost and Gonat, consider a couple of things in saying "this is who he is".

One is to elaborate on Nats Jack's analogy about Desi, which is that in their second years they are (were with Desi, obviously) still trying to figure things out, and it's too early to say "this is who he is". Moreover that only applies to the bat -- it's taken until Desi's third full season for him to approach Danny's GG-level consistency with the glove.

The second thing is that Danny's grandmother's death didn't come suddenly and from nowhere. Ghost, if you acknowledge his double Golden Sombrero came while he's still grieving, then you need also to acknowledge the 2 for 31 has to have been influenced by if not a product of her declining health.

I acknowledge as you noted, Ghost, that whatever the explanation, Danny's funk is still a problem in the heat of a pennant race. Don't know that Lombo is necessarily the answer (with less range and arm at 2B than Danny) as he didn't have a good day yesterday, not only in his last crucial AB but earlier. When it was key for us to respond to Heyward and the blown call in the top of the seventh, he K'd against a tiring Venters when both DeRosa and Werth worked well-earned singles off him. And Lombo was CS after the one hit he did get. Not ragging on Lombo, just suggesting that sitting Danny may not be the answer.

But I trust Davey to get them focused.

One other thing that really puts the blown call into perspective and makes me hope there are serious conversations going on behind the scenes. Not only was that Davey's first ejection of the year, it was the only time I can recall this year when he did anything else about a bad or marginal call than ask for an explanation and go back to the dugout. He should have earned a lot of credibility with the MLB front office with that and I hope they do something quietly to tighten up on umps' right to be arbitrary without consultation with each other (Manassas' good point). I won't hold my breath for it, and if it's done we still wouldn't see anything explicit about it -- but Davey's chits have got to be worth something.

Steady Eddie said...

Actually I should amend the thing about Werth's hit, that it was against Moylan but because DeRosa's got Freddy to pull Venters. But point is the same.

Doc said...

Umpires and their negative authoritarian arrogance was best displayed by Hudson in yesterday's game. These games can turn on the outcome of one call--that's baseball, and that's what happened to the Nats in Atlanta.

It should be the perogative of the team manager to get a second opinion---not some power-hungry ump.

Hudson was out of position, and he knew it. These guys just don't move around enough. It's like they think that it's there job to stand still and look like a cigar store Indian.

Add to that most of them are not very athletic, either by age or natural inclination, and you have a receipe for incompetent calls. In all other sports, the officials move with the play. Best example for me, are hockey refs and linesmen.

Like the incompetent government bureaucrat, the umps win while we lose.

natsfan1a said...

Will probably be out and about when the gamer is posted, so I shall submit my "Go-go, Gio!" and "Go, NATS!!" now. :-)

Gonat said...

steady eddie, all good points. I don't think I'm saying "that is who Danny is" meaning into the future but in the short-term clearly when hs is swinging for the fences his holes are exposed and he is all or nothing - which is mostly K's and a few XBH.

I don't know what he can be in the future as he keeps getting away from what Davey has taught him and back into his bad habits.

Danny had a red hot July. The beginning of September Danny was red hot. The last week, worse than cold.

I want the July 2012 version of Danny Espinosa.

MicheleS said...

Until Davey gives up on Espi, I am not giving up on Espi (plus I have the rookie jersey). I know that sounds like blind faith, but after all my worrying about the entire team over the last several years, Davey and Rizzo pretty much fixed everthing.

natscan reduxit said...

Doc said [in part] ...

Umpires and their negative authoritarian arrogance was best displayed by Hudson in yesterday's game. These games can turn on the outcome of one call ...

It should be the perogative of the team manager to get a second opinion--


... which leads me to ask, does the team manager or GM have any recourse to the league following a missed call? I suspect not, remembering last year when a Detroit pitcher actually lost out on a perfect game because a botch-up, which was never remedied.

... seems to me that there should be something in place to allow a team to question the officiating crew and/or give the officiating crew the opportunity to defend their calls, all after the game is in the books. Not to change anything at that point - the game's over - but to add some transparency for all concerned, including us, the fans.

Go Nats!!

NatsFanJim said...
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NatsFanJim said...

Umpires in general are unadulturated Horses Asses. From little league, to Select, to American Legion, to AAu to College:d they are mostly Horses Asses. With Egos large enough to fill stadiums -- and fat stomaches too!! (why is that, I wonder?)

NatsFanJim said...

Observations of Espinosa: When Espi was hitting and his average climbing,seemingly he was being pitched differently: pitchers weren't pitching to his weaknesses any longer and he was getting good pitches to hit. I figured that the league had given up on his weaknesses and were trying new ways of getting him out.

Enter a good Atlanta Pitching staff: They pitched little Espi in on and his hands and above the belt, then go low and away -- even in the dirt. He has been toast either way. Espi is not a smart hitter who has been able to conquer his holes. And the Atlanta staff is proving that over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over (8) again.

NatsFanJim said...

Umpires are like Sin Eaters: a necessary evil, but no one has them over for dinner.

JamesFan said...

Espinoza is blocking Lombo and I don't know which one will be better for the team. Lombo does not hit the homers, but he makes contact and seems much more consistent at the plate. Espi is inconsistent, hits more homers but whiffs at a record pace. I don't think the defense is that much different. If I had to pick, I would go with Lombo, but I just prefer consistency over periodic flash.

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