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Nats let another one slip away

Apr 10, 2011, 4:13 AM EDT

Associated Press photo
Tom Gorzelanny reacts to one of Carlos Beltran’s two homers.

NEW YORK — Jerry Hairston has played 1,120 games in the big leagues, spending time at seven different positions around the diamond, everything but pitcher and catcher. And if a manager asked him to do either of those, he’d probably jump at the opportunity.

When you make your living as a utilityman, you have to have the confidence in yourself to be able to shift from position to position, knowing you can be counted on to play each of them with aplomb.

“I pride myself, wherever I’m at,” Hairston said. “I make the plays, period. Whether I’m playing short, center. No excuse.”

So Hairston made no excuses for his botched play on Carlos Beltran’s relatively routine flyball to left in the sixth inning Saturday night at Citi Field, the play that more than anything defined the Nationals’ 8-4 loss to the Mets.

“I just missed it, flat-out,” he said. “I put us behind the 8-ball tonight. I really feel responsible for the loss.”
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  1. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Apr 10, 2011 at 4:26 AM

    I give Hairston points for being a straight-up guy.Now, I'd straight-up release him.

  2. Cwj - Apr 10, 2011 at 4:29 AM

    Not too crazy about your new pessimistic attitude this year Mark. Those SportsTalk 980AM guys getting to ya?Just kidding :) Love your coverage.Yeah, this wasn't a great game. I'm glad that Hairston took some credit for the loss. He should share that with Broderick.Offense is going to click eventually. I'm still liking these '11 Nats.

  3. JaneB - Apr 10, 2011 at 4:35 AM

    Mark, what do you think is going on with Broderick? He was so good this spring . Confident and productive.

  4. Anonymous8 - Apr 10, 2011 at 4:54 AM

    Hairston has been a big bust to this point as has Nix. This bench may be worse than last year and that is saying a lot.Only good news is the season isn't even 2 weeks old.Also, what is up with Broderick's fastball? MLB showed it at barely 90 MPH.

  5. Doc - Apr 10, 2011 at 5:04 AM

    Nothing wrong with Broderick–it's just that he should be at AA-AAA. The Nats have at least 2 relievers on their depth chart(s) that are better than him.

  6. dale - Apr 10, 2011 at 10:53 AM

    I have been one of the more upbeat people populating the blog, but I am getting really tired of seeing the trend of veteran players making rookie mistakes. Methinks that Rizzo put way too much stock in weighing the results of the "veteran presence" on the club. I sincerely hope that this is the last year of Hairston, Nix, Stairs and Pudge on the roster as position players. None of these players have value as tradeable assets. So far nothing tangible has been gained by having them on the field.

  7. JayB - Apr 10, 2011 at 12:10 PM

    Pudge has value for sure as do the others in lesser degrees. All will be gone before the trade deadline if Rizzo gets his plan going.As I have said, I am not a fan of this approach to building the team but I am also a believer that by end of Sept this team will be at or above .500. The roster is going to be completely different soon enough and Riggs will be gone….Porter is going to take over and we will see a major shift to playing youth later this year.

  8. OldguyJim - Apr 10, 2011 at 12:18 PM

    So far it seems that GM Mike has made some good and some not so good moves. This is a better team than last year but does need some changes as the season is moves on. The easy problems to fix include the much too veteran bench! Two of those guys need to go and bring up a couple young guys to get some at bats and be able to play some innings three or four times a week. It is not like we are going to win the division this year. Next the folks here commenting on a regular basis need to understand that ST is not anything like playing regular season games in places like NY, Philly and ATL. Michael Morse can hit but most probably not like he did in March in Viera and Kissimee. He needs to be able to find his self confidence again and not be pressing like he is on every pitch. Bring Bernadina back and give Morse a break. The next easy thing to address is the bullpen. That has to change and soon. Broderick is far from ready to play in the Bigs. Lots of upside but Rizzo needs to make a deal with StL or send him back. This is just unfair to the kid. Gaudin, Coffee don't seem to have it. Staten should try to recover his '10 form in Harrisburg if he has options. Is HROD ready, maybe. The young arms in AAA are better than Gaudin and Coffee. The hard part to fix is getting the "A" team to start to hit and hit in the clutch. No problem with Zim. By the way, if Werth is worth $126M, so is Zim, maybe more… Get it done not Dunn! Ankiel is a good guy but has to hit to be an everyday CF. Get Werth back to where he can drive in some runs. Ian has the Gusman problem. Face it that Ramos is the catcher, period. Pudge has been great but that is past. He is only the back up till he can be moved later since he still wants to play. LaRouche may be heading to the DL with his shoulder, maybe just a matter of time better plan for it. Move Danny to the #2 hole. Lead off from time to time. He is and will hit better than the #7 or #8 guy.There is nothing wrong with our starters that a better bullpen won't fix. Marquis is well now, Zimm is our #2 of the future, Lannon is OK, Gorzy is better than a #5 guy on this team.

  9. Big Cat - Apr 10, 2011 at 12:26 PM

    This was a bad loss. That Hairston fly ball will stick in my craw for the rest of the season. Taking the high road, there were some positives. Thought Gorzy looked good. Results were not very good…..but he looked like an established major league pitcher. Morse had some quality ab's. His last ab when he fought Parnell off time after time and finally lined a base hit to right might get him out of his slump. And how about this Ramos….wow…Pudge, I love ya, but you're a backup now partner. Once again…..Rizzo STOLE this guy

  10. Rabbit - Apr 10, 2011 at 12:36 PM

    Boy, there is a lot of fine tuning that still needs to be done. Adam has had it. Time to look for a new first baseman. Espi and Zim are the two I favor so far. Oh yes, and Ramos also. Well, the year is still new. The pitching isn't too bad. I do like Zimm. Ramble, ramble, ramble.

  11. fpcsteve - Apr 10, 2011 at 12:44 PM

    It seems to me that Hairston's error isn't more consequential than the lack of production we're getting from Morse. Hairston let runs in; Morse didn't score or drive any in.

  12. JD - Apr 10, 2011 at 12:46 PM

    The guy made an error; it happens. Not that big of a deal. we had 3 innings to come back and all we needed was 1 big hit. Let's not kill the guy after 1 week.

  13. Theophilus - Apr 10, 2011 at 12:52 PM

    "Gorzy is better than a #5 guy on this team." What game were you watching? In the game I saw, the pitcher in the red jersey watched two balls fly into the stratosphere and one land in the deepest part of the deepest field in baseball. And registered 89-90 most of the night, instead of the advertised 94. And walked a couple (out of 24 batters, which works out to at least four per nine innings). In fact, given the amount of rust he's accumulated since Spring Training, he was better than I expected. There was some "whip" to his arm that was good to see. But if he turns out to be a Home Run Derby guy, that isn't gonna do the Nats any good. Wait at least another start or two before pronouncing yourself satisfied.

  14. Anonymous - Apr 10, 2011 at 1:30 PM

    Cole Kimball is 1-0 with a save in 2 games with Syracuse. 2 innings 1 hit 0 runs and 3 k's.

  15. LoveDaNats - Apr 10, 2011 at 1:49 PM

    JayB…Why do you think Porter will become manager? Just curious.

  16. Theophilus - Apr 10, 2011 at 2:07 PM

    JayB believes the Nats didn't give Manny Acta enough opportunity to overcome his total lack of experience and be a major league manager.

  17. JayB - Apr 10, 2011 at 2:28 PM

    Theo….what are you talking about? You have not been around the NatsBlogs long have you?Ldnats….He is cheap young and aggressive. He fits (within there budget) what they need. They should go out and find a Clint H./Buck S. type but they cost too much. Porter is the guy…you watch. He will do well because the talent is rising and he showed me he will be much more aggressive and hold players accountable without making excuses like Riggs does all the time.

  18. jd - Apr 10, 2011 at 2:41 PM

    I don't know much about Porter but in a small sample he has been lousy as a 3rd base coach.

  19. JamesFan - Apr 10, 2011 at 2:56 PM

    Frankly, I thought that Gorzy looked great considering that he hasn't pitched in a game in 15 days. Broderick also looked good considering the disaster of his first outing. I'm willing to stick with this kid for awhile because I think that by the end of the season, he'll be one of the studs in the pen. The fact that bloggers want to throw every player under the bus after every mistake, and bring up someone in the minors who is not ready just shows how immature baseball fans are in Washington. Does anyone recall the easy fly ball that Bernie missed in ST? The 2011 Nats are much better than the 2010 version. Starting pitching has been far superior; Ramos looks like the real deal at catcher; Despenoza, plus Zmn looks like a young, capable infield for a long time. Morse will break out; Ankiel is the best thing we've had in center in years and Werth adds an element that has been missing from the team. I like these Nats and expect them to get much better as the season goes along.

  20. Anonymous - Apr 10, 2011 at 2:58 PM

    JaneB I think Doc hit the nail on the head. He was coming into games in the spring facing guys that are now in the minor leagues. I think he was a great story this spring, but I don't see how he sticks with this team much longer.

  21. Anonymous - Apr 10, 2011 at 3:09 PM

    Jayb…..I don't know much about Porter, but I agree, we need a young aggressive manager who isn't scared to make someone mad. Someone with a spine. It kills me when Riggs goes out to argue with the umps. The umps brush him off like he was Opie Taylor coming out to argue. You can almost hear the ump telling him "Beat it little man, you bother me!" Riggs shuffles around a little and then heads back to his corner of the dugout

  22. natsfan1a - Apr 10, 2011 at 5:05 PM

    Plus 1 for the Opie Taylor reference. Wait. That doesn't make me Aunt Bea, does it?

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ATLANTA 55 47 1.5
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