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Back in business

May 13, 2011, 4:42 PM EST

If you’ve been trying to access since Thursday afternoon, you’ve surely noticed the site hasn’t been working properly. That’s because Google’s Blogger platform, under which Nats Insider is published, experienced a major technological glitch Thursday while attempting to institute an update.

All Blogger-published blogs around the world, including Nats Insider, were stuck in “Read-Only” mode for nearly 24 hours. It wasn’t possible to create or edit articles, and it wasn’t possible for anyone to post comments.

Google insisted it was working round the clock on fixing this obviously major glitch and hoped to restore every site to its normal state soon. Well, it appears we’re back up and running, though we’ve lost several postings from Wednesday evening and all day Thursday. I’ll attempt to get those back up at some point.

Hopefully this is the end of the technical difficulties, though please note if you do continue to experience problems: I’ll be running my regular posts on I’ve already got this morning’s Nats-Marlins series preview up there, and should I be unable to post on Nats Insider later, you can find tonight’s game thread (with live updates from Nationals Park) there as well.

To all Nats Insider readers: Thank you for your patience, thanks for your loyalty and thanks for understanding why this all has happened.

  1. TimDz - May 13, 2011 at 4:58 PM

    All I can say is…THANK GOD….After last nights debacle, we probably ALL could have used this site for therapeutic purposes…

  2. Doc - May 13, 2011 at 5:14 PM

    Glitches will come and go Mark, but Nats Insider will always prevail. Speaking of prevailing, predictions of what was going to happen to the Nats' BP, happened last night in the Land of the Phoney Tomahawk. A total bummer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!A truly great performance by JZim was ruined by the Ratzo/Wiggleman approach to stocking the BP. C'mon now, 2-3 innings of extra inning relief by our LOOGY Slaten. To paraphrase Mark Twain, you can fool some of the Nats' Fans all of the time, and you can fool all of the Nats' Fans some of the time, but you can't fool all of the Nats' Fans alllllllllll of the time!!No question about it, Ratzo and Wiggleman lost that game for us. Are we to assume that this year doesn't count, and we should only get serious about next year???If so, wake me up when Ratzo and Wiggleman decide that they really want to win!!!!My condolances to JZim, on really fine performance!

  3. Dave - May 13, 2011 at 5:17 PM

    Great to have it back up and running.Anyone have any thoughts on giving Scott Podsednik a shot in AAA & eventually as a 5/6 outfielder, late inning replacement like (or in place of) Matt Stairs.I know he has struggled with injuries the past couple of years, but he is a decent outfielder who has speed, and is a pretty good onbase guy.Can't be any worse than Stairs or the trio of AAA outfielders who are sucking it up right now.

  4. JaneB - May 13, 2011 at 5:38 PM

    It's just as well we couldn't talk to each last night, because things would have progressed from rapturous to venomous, I think.SO glad you are back!A pre-Anthem shout out to Gene — break a leg.GO NATS! No broken anything for you (except maybe the streak of being beaten by the Fish).

  5. JaneB - May 13, 2011 at 5:39 PM

    …not streak. History.

  6. Anonymous - May 13, 2011 at 5:51 PM

    So Saturday is 'pups in the park' and apparently they'll let 10 dogs in with one person… really want someone to do this.

  7. P. Cole - May 13, 2011 at 5:57 PM

    Can't wait to sit with a bunch of wet dogs on Saturday.

  8. JD - May 13, 2011 at 5:58 PM

    Doc, You are unbelievable; they could go 161-1 and you'd write a blog detailing how Riggleman screwed up.

  9. masnstinks - May 13, 2011 at 6:26 PM

    Now that the blog is back up and running,let's hope we can get the team back up and running – sorry, still have that bitter taste in my mouth. Feeling really sorry for JZimm, too.

  10. Mark'd - May 13, 2011 at 6:29 PM

    I feel bad for Jordan Zimmermann. His stuff was filthy last night and he should have left the game with 1 earned run and waited for the win. If it weren't for Burnett allowing the inherited runners to score in this game and Slaten in other JZim starts, JZ would have an ERA near 3.00 instead of 4.10+Clearly to me on JZim and Lannan only, Riggleman has to not allow them out there for another inning when they begin to labor.Also reading WaPo basically confirming no faith in Broderick and HenRod, gives more reason to dump Slaten for Detwiler.Besides the injury additions of Bernadina and Bixlers, Rizzo has done nothing to fortify this team. How can you pitch with 5/7 of your bullpen and last night leave in Burnett against Prado? Simple, you are 2 guys short.

  11. Cwj - May 13, 2011 at 6:36 PM

    Good to have you back!What's funny is that it's probably a good thing we couldn't post during last night's game :)Wow, Zimmermann was awesome. What a deceptive 3 earned runs those were. Burnett…ouch. Hope he regains his form soon.Go Nats!

  12. Cwj - May 13, 2011 at 6:46 PM

    I believe last night's game, after the 7th inning, would have been a great chance to test Henry Rodriguez. We all really need to know much more about him. Maybe he really dominates in a close/tied game? Maybe he should remain as a mop up guy? We wont know until they actually try him out in high leverage situations.Clippard and Storen are simply elite. Burnett needs to (and probably will) get back on track (the umpires really screw him).

  13. Cwj - May 13, 2011 at 6:51 PM

    My ideal Bullpen for now. Definitely subject to change :)1. Storen2. Clippard3. Burnett4. Balester5. Coffey6. Rodriguez7. anyone other than Gaudin, Broderick, Slaten

  14. Unkyd - May 13, 2011 at 6:55 PM

    Missed you guys…. Dozed off twice last night. Awoke to hear Pudge go yard, and again for the game losing hit. Imagine my surprise upon checking and seeing Slaten in for so long! KImball and Ballystar can't show soon enough. Slaten and Broderick…..

  15. JD - May 13, 2011 at 7:01 PM

    CWJ, No need to over analyze. Burnett was actually pitching well and could have been out of the inning if the UMP gave him the check swing calls. Prado fouled off 3 or 4 nasty pitches; sometimes you have to give the other guys credit; the margin between success and failure is minute. Just ask Kimbrel how these things go.

  16. Cwj - May 13, 2011 at 7:02 PM

    Interesting stat from Fangraphs: Average fastball velocityStoren- 94.8Clippard- 92.8Burnett- 91.2Balester- 94.1 (last season)Coffey- 92.2Rodriguez- 97.5That's a lot of hard throwers! The avg fastball in MLB is about 90.5 Obviously this stat may mean nothing, but it's pretty cool :)

  17. Cwj - May 13, 2011 at 7:06 PM

    Agree JD!The umpires have been very unfair to Burnett I've noticed.

  18. Angela - May 13, 2011 at 7:10 PM

    Slaten has been fine this year. He got the Nats through the 8th and 9th last night.Matt Stairs is another story. Mind-boggling for the Nats to think that there is not another player available that could help the Nats win games. We are now 7 weeks into the season, and Stairs has one hit (a single in 18 ABs) and 7 innings in the field to show for his efforts to date. Also, it's not like this is an aberration as Stairs is 43 and is coming off two horrid seasons. Look up the definition of "dead weight" and you will find a picture of his #24 2011 Nats jersey.If Stairs is such an outstanding character guy, make him a special assistant to Clint, but it's dumb for the Nats to essetially be playing with a short roster.

  19. Cwj - May 13, 2011 at 7:13 PM

    Angela- I really think that the Nats are waiting for Stairs to retire on his own. I think he probably will.

  20. Doc - May 13, 2011 at 7:13 PM

    @ Cwj:Thanks for the data on staff FBs!Also, my BP would be like yours, with the addition of Cole Kimball.I agree that the umps mis-called several of Burnett's low pitches; if he got the calls that he deserved, it may have been a different game.Lefty Burn is still one of my favorite Nats!

  21. Cwj - May 13, 2011 at 7:19 PM

    I'll add that of course the Nats know there is a better replacement. But I'm thinking that they are just giving respect to a 43 year old veteran who has had a solid major league career.I really do hope he retires by the All-Star break.He simply can't catch up to many pitches anymore.

  22. Ernie - May 13, 2011 at 7:28 PM

    It would be interesting to see a follow-up interview with Stairs after the one Mark posted a few weeks ago. At that point it seemed he was willing to admit defeat and retire. Has his thinking changed? What does he see himself contributing to a team that is effectively reduced to a 22-man roster (not counting Stairs, H-Rod and Broderick)?

  23. masnstinks - May 13, 2011 at 7:33 PM

    Angela, CWJ = Agreed about Matt Stairs – he needs to step up and retire – I think the Nats fo is waiting for him to do the right thing. We now have 2 bp spots and 1 bench spot that are dead weight. That, with Zimmerman on the dl — no wonder it's a battle every game. As much as some bloggers love to spew the bile – this team really does dig in and fight.

  24. sjm308 - May 13, 2011 at 7:35 PM

    How great was it that Mark answered my email asking if it was my problem – I am totally uneducated on computers and thought I was doing something wrong, but for Mark to take the time and let me know was refreshing.My bullpen would also include Balester and Kimball and we just have to try and trade for Broderick if they think he is worth keeping or start to throw him into games like last night. Also want to see more of HRod. Was not happy with Slaten pitching more then one inning. Yes, he is a professional but he has been "programmed" to do one thing and to ask for 3 innings is ridiculous.

  25. Cwj - May 13, 2011 at 7:35 PM

    Doc- No prob!I agree about Kimball. I'd love to see him pitch.Apparently he's been doing quite well :)Do you think he'll be called up at any time this season?Here are the avg Fastball vel. for Nats Starters:Zimmermann- 93.2Lannan- 89.4 (a career high so far)Marquis- 89.1Gorzelanny- 88.7 (thought he threw harder)Hernandez- 83.9

  26. Angela - May 13, 2011 at 7:38 PM

    While it would be nice for Stairs to fall on his sword and retire, in the words of Tony Soprano "We are running a business here". So, the Nats can't wait for Stairs to retire on his own; they have to act in their team's best interest (at least you can argue that keeping Brodrick on the roster is in the team's long term interest) and move on.Also, lets not make Stairs out to be Hank Aaron. He is a journeyman who has played less than two months for this organization. The Nats do not owe Stairs a graceful exit; heck, Stairs should appreciate the Nats for keeping a 43 year-old has been on the roster this long. Time to cut ties and add players that can help at the plate, on the bases and in the field.

  27. Unkyd - May 13, 2011 at 7:49 PM

    Love to say bye bye to Stairs… and Angela, Slaten's ERA is hiding the plethora of inherited runners he's allowed to cross. Anybody have a # for that? Seems to me like it's pretty close to "all of 'em", bit I wanna be fair….

  28. Cwj - May 13, 2011 at 7:56 PM

    Unkyd- Slaten has allowed 9 of 20 inherited runners to score (bad) :)

  29. Unkyd - May 13, 2011 at 8:07 PM

    Yep. Bad. And props to Z for answering my email, as well! WhattaGuy!

  30. Manassas Nats Fan - May 13, 2011 at 8:35 PM

    Big Cat and I were texting during the game, and I told him, F.P Santagelo hit the exact point I was saying to Big Cat. The Grand ham was not the problem in the 7th inning. It was that two of the runners on were there because of walks. Very rarely is a grand slam hit where a walk is not involved in it. The other problem of course was that Pudge's homer with one out in the 6th was the last hit by the Nats. the last 4 2/3 innings no hits.The 11th inning in game 2 was what I have been calling for all season. 4 hits and each one was hit on the first strike thrown. Do not give the pitcher the advantage of getting ahead 0-1.

  31. Richard - May 13, 2011 at 8:41 PM

    Wow, that was awful. The Nats lose a heart breaker and no blog to go to where I can whine or throw someone under the bus! Whew, I'm glad that's over and I can again demand that Slaten be DFAed or Riggs' fired.

  32. JoeGish - May 13, 2011 at 8:41 PM

    With all the talk about how well Storen is pitching, does he become potential trade bait at mid-season. We got a really fine catcher last year for Capps. How about trading Storen to a contending AL East team for a CF and a SS with some pop this season?

  33. erocks33 - May 13, 2011 at 8:42 PM

    Slaten's WHIP is 1.89. For a reliever (especially a LOOGY), that is horrific!

  34. Cwj - May 13, 2011 at 8:42 PM

    Manassas- No doubt. Walks seem to always be involved in big innings. In my opinion nothing is more frustrating than allowing a walk at any time during the game.

  35. Knoxville Nat - May 13, 2011 at 8:45 PM

    Cwj,You can't put HRod into a situation such as last nights 7th inning (one out and two on base with a 4 run lead) until such time as he can show Riggleman and McCatty that he can deliver in less pressurized situations. In my opinion he hasn't done that as of yet. He is far too likely to walk(or hit)every batter he faces.

  36. Cwj - May 13, 2011 at 8:55 PM

    Knoxville Nat- We'll never know unless he's given a chance to prove himself. Why not take a chance and throw him out there when the game is tied?I had never seen HRodriguez pitch before this season. He's only pitched 5 innings so far,and as you said his control has been pretty bad.

  37. natsfan1a - May 13, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    Missed you, Mark and Insiders!(Oh, and he answered my email, too. Mark's the best, even when we're all spamming him. :-))Re. the outcome last night, yeah, it was a bummer. However, who would have thought after the Phillies sweep that the Nats would come away from the trip 4-5? It would have been cool to see them featured in the "winning road trips" segment on TWIB, though. Eh, next time maybe. Is it lame that I even thought about that possibility last night? You don't need to answer that, seeing as how it's rhetorical and all.

  38. JaneB - May 13, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    JoeGish, eat your words. Nothing we could get for Storen would be worth losing him. We need him now and for next year especially, when we are in the hunt. That's when we get Strasburg back and Harper up. That'll be a nice lift, no trades needed. At least not with Drew involved.

  39. Anonymous - May 13, 2011 at 8:59 PM

    Poor Slaten. He was left out there as the sacrificial lamb, because our leader quit. Thats right, threw in the towel after the grandslam. Just sat and moped. we had Broderick and HRod totally rested. And why Burnett was allowed to face the righty in the first place is a mystery. He is the tying frickin run!! Clippard, Storen? This one is on Riggs. Period

  40. Doc - May 13, 2011 at 9:00 PM

    Again, its like Broderick is being protected for future contributions. Wad' 'bout this year??Cwj I think we'll see both BallyStar and Kimball this year, but it will probably be in September, unless the Nats have to 'engineer' and injury sometime soon.

  41. Cwj - May 13, 2011 at 9:05 PM

    JoeGish- I second JaneB. Storen was signed to be the closer for years to come. Any doubts (if any) the Nats may have had about him have been completely erased by his performance. He's now topping out at 97mph with a tight slider (have you seen him pitch lately?).Storen should remain a Nat for a long time.

  42. TimDz - May 13, 2011 at 9:10 PM

    JoeGish said… With all the talk about how well Storen is pitching, does he become potential trade bait at mid-season. We got a really fine catcher last year for Capps. How about trading Storen to a contending AL East team for a CF and a SS with some pop this season? Dude (and I mean this with ALL due respect and tongue firmly in cheek)…ARE YOU NUTS?Maybe you were kidding?In all seriousness, Storen is the exact player we need to keep. He's young and under team control for (I think…someone help me here) another four years. You just don't give up someone like this. Besides, I don't see another team giving up two major league ready players for Storen. I believe Storen may have been part of a package to lure Greinke from KC…I for one am glad that deal didn't happen…

  43. Unkyd - May 13, 2011 at 9:13 PM

    Trade Storen?! OH HE// NO!!!!!!

  44. Big Cat - May 13, 2011 at 10:28 PM

    Trade Storen? No no no……….Pitching and defense wins.





As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...

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