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A front-line starter emerges

Jun 3, 2011, 6:29 AM EDT

US Presswire photo
Jordan Zimmermann turned in his sixth straight quality start Thursday night.

PHOENIX — For nearly four years, since the day the Nationals drafted him out of tiny Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Jordan Zimmermann had been more concept than reality. The right-hander would show glimpses of his immense ability, but the inconsistencies of a young pitcher along with major elbow surgery kept his status firmly in the category of “prospect,” not “front-line, big-league starter.”

At last, though, that transition appears to be happening before our eyes. Zimmermann has begun to not only flash his potential, but sustain a level of success that suggests this guy is no longer a project. He’s the real deal.

“He’s learned how to pitch at this level,” Steve McCatty, the Nationals pitching coach, said. “He got here so quick. Now he’s actually learned how to pitch.”

Never was that more on display than during Washington’s 6-1 victory over the Diamondbacks Thursday night, when Zimmermann mixed and matched his pitches over seven sterling innings to continue his prolonged stretch of success.

In a brief career that spans only 34 starts, the 25-year-old has enjoyed flashier outings. He struck out 11 Braves last month. He
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  1. Big Cat - Jun 3, 2011 at 9:57 AM

    I have always said that Zim throws too many strikes. He pumps strike after strike in there……which is great….most of the time. Last night he was setting guys up a little better. Bouncing curves when need be, getting them to chase. Also, he was throwing his change more. Good going ZimI hope Riggs has a quick hook tonight with Maya. Don't wait until we are down 5 or 7 runs Sad Man

  2. Rabbit - Jun 3, 2011 at 11:08 AM

    To keep Lance Nix out of the lineup is a SIN! I don't care who the opposing pitcher is or if he pitches right or left footed.

  3. Cwj - Jun 3, 2011 at 11:15 AM

    He's definitely the real deal.A true power pitcher with great control. His K/9 is a wee bit low for him, but that will likely change.His K/BB ratio is outstanding.

  4. Souldrummer - Jun 3, 2011 at 11:20 AM

    I don't think we need to give up on Maya yet. He's a tweener, and I'd like to give him a chance to work his way through some of the puzzles of MLB at bats. We know he can pitch at AAA. Let's give him a little bit more rope to hang himself. If not, guys like Tom Milone will be ready to replace him! 9K:0BB for Milone in his last AAA start, a tough luck loss.

  5. dale - Jun 3, 2011 at 11:41 AM

    Sometimes, when a mist clouds one's mind it is possible to imagine a dominant Nat's team playing games such as this one. Visions of 2013 is how I would label such hallucinations.

  6. baseballswami - Jun 3, 2011 at 12:09 PM

    Tonight is Maya – hope everyone in the bp is available and ready to go – we may need them all.

  7. Anonymous - Jun 3, 2011 at 12:13 PM

    Hey, Kimball and Rodriguez are itching to bring the heat.

  8. Cwj - Jun 3, 2011 at 12:14 PM

    I agree Souldrummer. We need to see Maya in at least a few more starts (he's only pitched once this season!) before making any judgements.He may pan out, but he's definitely no Zimmermann.

  9. baseballswami - Jun 3, 2011 at 12:14 PM

    Oh – and another thing — what's up with JZimm swinging the bat and hustling down to first? Competing with Marquis?? Livo and Gorzelanny can also hit — isn't this unusual or is this a new trend emerging in mlb so that we don't have to waste ab's? I like it!!

  10. Cwj - Jun 3, 2011 at 12:16 PM

    Hmmm, I wonder if Henry Rodriguez is so wild because he only pitches once a week. How can he stay sharp? Riggs needs to use him more. He's fun to watch. You really never know where his 100mph fastball is going…

  11. Andrew - Jun 3, 2011 at 12:24 PM

    A great performance. The breaking ball to the lefties was a nice pitch.The umpire blew that 3-2 call in the first IMO and Ray and Carp thought so too.As far as being a front-line starter, you could see it on April 20, 2009 and while TJ surgery delayed this young man's career you knew once he could get his breaking pitches back, he would be dangerous. The funny thing is his curveball still isn't totally back to 2009 form. He has that knee buckler to right handed batters that we will see again.Great to see and worth the lack of sleep to watch it!

  12. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 3, 2011 at 12:28 PM

    Jordan Zimmermann considers himself to be a solid hitter. Having Jason Marquis and Livan setting the standard doesn't hurt. Heck, even John Lannan (now Lannen against the Phillies) even smacked two balls hard the other day.On another note…. not that it will break too many hearts, get ready to say goodbye to Matt Chico. He got shelled again in Harrisburg last nite raising his ERA to over 11.00.

  13. Peter - Jun 3, 2011 at 12:36 PM

    Jeez, I always feel like a pathetic loser when I see an athlete that's younger than me perform so well and earn millions. First it was Lebron, but now it's happening too often.

  14. Cwj - Jun 3, 2011 at 12:44 PM

    NatsJack- Not very surprising about Chico. Seemed like a good guy, but just not a big league pitcher. Zero upside.

  15. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 3, 2011 at 1:01 PM

    BinM…. just finished reading the thread from last nites game and wanted to commend you on your description of "Anonymous" posters. Since I skip all Anonymous posts, I'm sure you've nudged ahead of me in the Peric rants. I did see that one where it appears that some one titled "Software Engineer" with alot of other words strung together claims to be him. I was always under the impression that he was in some sort of "black or white" profession since he either hates or likes certain people and consistently refrences numbers to prove his points. Baseball is so much more than an "either/or" propositionI prefer my running dialogue with JayB who certainly expresses a much deeper understanding of the game, despite his siding with Peric on the Riggleman issue. But again, Thanks.

  16. Tcostant - Jun 3, 2011 at 1:06 PM

    I'm glad to see Zimmermann pitch so well, but I've never been a believer in this "try to get a ground ball vs. a strike out approach". When a ball is in play, anything can happen.On Desmond's hustle, I read to two places (Washington Post and here) how his hustle got him a double last night. Stop that – running hard is what your suppose to do. Don't praise a guy for that; just criticize a guy who doesn't hustle.

  17. Big Cat - Jun 3, 2011 at 1:07 PM

    Sad about Chico, but he can always tell his kids that he pitched in "the show" Also, when he gets to be 50-55, not sure about age, he will be eligible for the MLB pension. All you need is one day in the bigs to qualify and that ain't too shabby

  18. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 3, 2011 at 1:25 PM

    Big Cat… Agreed. I always appreciated his toughness. I was at that game back in July of 2007 when he beat the Cardinals on a hot Sunday afternoon.Hard to believe he started out as the #2 man out of Spring Training in 2008.Anybody heard what's going on with that Peric favorite Boomer Whiting?

  19. fpcsteve - Jun 3, 2011 at 1:26 PM

    I like to remind myself that baseball is the most gracious sport or occupation in the world. The greatest stars fail 7 out of every 10 AB's. The borderline players fail 8 out of 10 AB's. The line between medicority and excellence is razor thin. That said, all of the players get to come back the next day and compete again. Imagine that scenario in most Monday-Friday occupations. Baseball is an amazing game. On another note, NatsJack, what's the report on CMW?

  20. Unkyd - Jun 3, 2011 at 1:27 PM

    Tcostant said:On Desmond's hustle, I read to two places (Washington Post and here) how his hustle got him a double last night. Stop that – running hard is what your suppose to do. Don't praise a guy for that; just criticize a guy who doesn't hustle.WRONG!!! No need to mollycoddle, that much us true, but positive reinforcement is what encourages development and maintenance of good habits, in the principle, as well as other teammates, who are observant. Lack of acknowledgment of jobs, well done, can lead to bitterness. Please tell me, if you are a parent, that this isn't your strategy.Geeze…. Who doesn't want to hear "Good Job!", once in awhile?

  21. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 3, 2011 at 1:35 PM

    fpcsteve…. I'm going to Kissimmee tomorrow morning and watch his last extended Spring Training start against the Astros. I'll let you know how he looks.Watching these games are always a blast because there is practically nobody there except for Bob Boone and a couple of scouts. Unkyd…. well said. All one has to do is watch Hanley Ramirez for a couple of innings to see the opposite of Desmond when it comes to hustle.And wait till you get to see Bryce Harper every day.

  22. Anonymous - Jun 3, 2011 at 1:48 PM

    "On Desmond's hustle, I read to two places (Washington Post and here) how his hustle got him a double last night. Stop that – running hard is what your suppose to do."So he did what he was supposed to do, got a double, and the reporters said that by doing what he was supposed to do he got a double. Where's the problem with that?

  23. BobFromBoise - Jun 3, 2011 at 2:01 PM

    I always liked Chico. I will never forget how he accidentally threw a pitch so wild it went over the dugout in Atlanta…he just shook it off and went back to pitching like nothing had happened.

  24. Steve M. - Jun 3, 2011 at 2:05 PM

    A front-line starter emerges That title should gets Nats Nation excited. 6 straight quality starts and with some run support and bullpen help JZim could easily be 6-3 now. ERA at 3.61 (unadjusted for IR Scoring) so that is an inflated number. WHIP is at an Ace level of 1.14 We all hope Strasburg can follow JZim's TJ regimen and progress so this may be the emergence of the 1-2 top of the rotation every playoff team must have.It was interesting watching JZim's approach in the game after he didn't get that 3-2 pitch in the 1st. He seemed to change his strategy and went off of the corners and went after the plate.Ray Knight made some great observations that his late movement on his fastball wasn't allowing hitters to center the ball. It was a good point and probably last night was really an education with on-the-job-training. I also liked his use of his curve ball to lefties.From @Andrew "his curveball still isn't totally back to 2009 form. He has that knee buckler to right handed batters that we will see again"I remember David Wright said in 2009 that Jordan Zimmermann had a curve ball that came straight towards him and then made a sharp right hand turn.With that curveball to righties or a better developed changeup, JZim will have a 4 seam, a 2 seam, a curveball, slider, and a good change up would give him 5 plus pitches. One other thought since the Draft is next week. Jordan Zimmermann was picked as a comp pick from the Cubs for Alfonso Soriano. Just wanted to remind everyone who thinks you have to trade a Type A player during the season like a Soriano or Dunn. That's not the case which was my point with handling Jason Marquis properly.

  25. masnstinks - Jun 3, 2011 at 2:06 PM

    Saw some clips this morning as I was unable to stay up and watch the game — looks like Mikey Morse is doing more than hitting – there were a couple of very flashy plays at 1B that he made. He looks very natural there, also. It's kind of nice to see a silver lining happening in the team. LaRoche struggles, MM loses playing time to Nix after the knee issue and batting chill — then LaRoche has to give up, MM performs stupendously — nice story. Also happy for JZimm finally getting run support and Danny Espinosa getting some well-deserved attention.

  26. BinM - Jun 3, 2011 at 2:07 PM

    NatsJack: Thanks, and so far as Boomer goes, he got his walking papers a couple of weeks ago from Syracuse. Kind of a shame, as he was a favorite of Trent Jewett & might have been the fastest player in the Organization.

  27. Steve M. - Jun 3, 2011 at 2:16 PM

    NatsJack said…Unkyd…. well said. All one has to do is watch Hanley Ramirez for a couple of innings to see the opposite of Desmond when it comes to hustle.And wait till you get to see Bryce Harper every day. June 3, 2011 9:35 AM So true on Hanley. Danny Espinosa, Ian Desmond, and Jayson Werth have hustled all season. Even when they have been in slumps, they have still hustled.Pete Rose may not be your favorite person but Pete Rose the baseball player was a sight to behold. Not gifted with great speed, he still ran everything out. I know Bryce Harper has said he wants to play the game that way and that becomes contagious on a team so glad to see many of these guys play hard and I think when Bryce gets to DC he will inspire some of the crusty veterans with his youthful exuberance and Charlie Hustle. Bixler may not be long for this team but he is my Jamie Carroll type of guy and I would find a place for him if I was managing as he his that hustle guy who rides the pine.Note on Bryce Harper – Picked off 1st last night on that pitcher look to 3rd move that everyone says never works. Ooops. Well all is forgiven after his WALKOFF in Hagerstown last night!

  28. Steve M. - Jun 3, 2011 at 2:27 PM

    BinM said… and so far as Boomer goes, he got his walking papers a couple of weeks ago from Syracuse. Kind of a shame, as he was a favorite of Trent Jewett & might have been the fastest player in the Organization. June 3, 2011 10:07 AM I thought Boomer deserved a September callup last year based on his hard work and maybe his last shot. That kid is a hustler. A switch hitter, little guy, works hard. Totally reminded me of a speedier version of FP Santangelo! I think FP was about the same age as Boomer when he got a late season callup and stuck for a while.

  29. Harper_ROY_2012 - Jun 3, 2011 at 2:41 PM

    J-Zimm is not a #1 but a solid #2 or #3 guy, hope he stays with the Nats for years to come.

  30. Richard - Jun 3, 2011 at 2:53 PM

    I'm sorry to see Boomer go, too, for the reasons mentioned above and with the Nats seemingly challenged for leadoff players. With I knew more re the rationale for letting him go. A low BA doesn't seem to spell the exit of Ankiel or others … Speaking of prospects, glad the Nats FO had the good sense to put Harper in the outfield after what happened to Buster Posey. (Maybe Emperor Rizzo IS wearing clothes?) Interestingly, it was the Marlins that gave Morgan such grief last year after he ran into their catcher, eventually hitting him twice with pitches and instigating a brawl. Their treatment of him could have contributed to Morgan's exit from DC and thus the absence of a Nats' leadoff hitter this year. What will that hypocritical pile of stinkin' fish (that felt good to write) say now? Hey, Cousins didn't mean it? They didn't accept that from Morgan nor did many others.

  31. PAY TO PLAY - Jun 3, 2011 at 2:58 PM

    Richard, if Nyjer didn't cheap shot the Cardinals catcher, the lunge into the Marlins catcher probably wouldn't have been such a big deal. Just sayin' and glad that DBag is gone!Talking about being hit, Werth on the elbow looked questionably intentional to me, just sayin'.

  32. Unkyd - Jun 3, 2011 at 3:04 PM

    Good point, Richard. My tiny bwain didn't make the connection…

  33. Anonymous - Jun 3, 2011 at 3:11 PM

    Mark… Fyi, a link (at left on your homepage) doesn't work correctly:"nationals.comWerth listed as day to day with injured elbow7 hours ago"http://therocket.mlblogs.com/2011/06/03/2127887/&partnerId=rss_was————This similar URL is correct:http://therocket.mlblogs.com/2011/06/03/2127887/

  34. Eugene in Oregon - Jun 3, 2011 at 3:25 PM

    For those who didn't see the game, an image that didn't get any of the press coverage (not that it should have) but has stuck with me and, IMHO, is worth sharing: Top of the seventh, Nats up 4-1, Werth on second, two out, Espinosa batting, JZimm had just had a somewhat rough half inning in the bottom of the sixth. Espinosa worked the count to two-two, then swung at a high pitch for his third strike. He was furious — threw his bat down, slammed his helmet to the ground. What made the biggest impression on me was that he seemed most upset not that he had struck out, but that he had failed to drive in Werth. He clearly recognized that the Nats needed an insurance run and he was mad at himself for not providing it. That, to me, is the sort of put-them-away mentality that the Nats need and have sometimes been lacking (what some would call the 'killer instinct'). It was a brief display, but quite telling in a positive sense.

  35. Eugene in Oregon - Jun 3, 2011 at 3:28 PM

    @Pay to PlayThe D-backs' announcers (or, at least, Mark Grace) made clear that he thought the Werth HBP was intentional — pay-back for the Nats hitting Upton an inning earlier.

  36. Nattydread - Jun 3, 2011 at 3:29 PM

    Nice to see a 3 game winning streak! Problem was the 2-10 stretch before that, because we have a LONG WAY to go before we catch up to where we were. Let's go Nats — make this a GOOD road trip.

  37. Anonymous - Jun 3, 2011 at 3:41 PM

    @Eugene in Oregon…Very interesting, thanks. Btw does Grace do D'backs TV? Or were you listening to the XM radio feed? Either way it may be 'werth' tuning in again periodically tonight (sorry..lol).

  38. Steve M. - Jun 3, 2011 at 4:07 PM

    Eugene in Oregon said… @Pay to PlayThe D-backs' announcers (or, at least, Mark Grace) made clear that he thought the Werth HBP was intentional — pay-back for the Nats hitting Upton an inning earlier. June 3, 2011 11:28 AM I just watched that HBP on Justin Upton. With the game on the line, there is NO WAY Sean Burnett on a 1-2 pitch hit Upton on purpose.If Mark Grace said it was payback, he is working for "shock" value because I am 100% certain that was just a poor pitch by Burnett although I did think Heilmann intentionally came way inside on Werth and the result was a nice knot on Werth's elbow.

  39. Anonymous - Jun 3, 2011 at 4:07 PM

    "What made the biggest impression on me was that he seemed most upset not that he had struck out, but that he had failed to drive in Werth."You could be right but you have no way of knowing that.I would suspect that making them separate things to be upset about is your error.

  40. natsfan1a - Jun 3, 2011 at 4:10 PM

    If I recall correctly, Chico's "just a little bit outside" blooper was at the Marlins. Regardless of his skill set, he answered the bell back in the day when few did or could, so there's that.

  41. Latin is dead to me - Jun 3, 2011 at 4:17 PM

    With Boomer Whiting, Peric tends to downplay (or omit) when his prized possessions are on a cold spell. Until Morse got hot recently, he was saying he wasn't a superstar. It seems that he is high on all of Rizzo's acquisitions but when they start losing he'll question it. His rants just get boring. The "Giggleman's Isle" has lasted over a year. Trading Lannan ditto. He tends to overvalue the farm system, while decent isn't one of the best in baseball.A famous declaration last year by him was that Sabean was a horrible GM. The same GM who constructed arguably the best rotation in baseball and had the fortitude to sign the castoffs who won the Series, something Rizzo can only dream of. What's Rizzo done, drafted the two most highly touted players in atleast a decade (if not more) and his signature trade has now gone in favor of the Pirates.My guess is he isn't even a software engineer. He studies the Nats on hours at end, I would apply for a job with the team if I were him.

  42. natsfan1a - Jun 3, 2011 at 4:20 PM

    Also, catching up on a few things after running through replay on DVR:Agree with Steve M. re. Upton HBP. Wouldn't have made sense to do so intentionally at that juncture. Also agree with Steve M. re. Jamey Carroll – he was a fave of mine.Re. Boomer Whiting, I have fond memories of his role in the P-Nats' first championship series, and I'm glad that I got to see him lay down a nice bunt in the spring training game we attended earlier this year. They can't take either of those away from the dude.

  43. Steve M. - Jun 3, 2011 at 4:23 PM

    Eugene in Oregon said… For those who didn't see the game, an image that didn't get any of the press coverage (not that it should have) but has stuck with me and, IMHO, is worth sharing: Top of the seventh, Nats up 4-1, Werth on second, two out, Espinosa batting, JZimm had just had a somewhat rough half inning in the bottom of the sixth. Espinosa worked the count to two-two, then swung at a high pitch for his third strike. He was furious — threw his bat down, slammed his helmet to the ground. What made the biggest impression on me was that he seemed most upset not that he had struck out, but that he had failed to drive in Werth. He clearly recognized that the Nats needed an insurance run and he was mad at himself for not providing it. That, to me, is the sort of put-them-away mentality that the Nats need and have sometimes been lacking (what some would call the 'killer instinct'). It was a brief display, but quite telling in a positive sense. June 3, 2011 11:25 AM Glad you pointed that out about the 'killer instinct'. I have been saying all year and especially with a small lead they lacked the killer instinct. Too many one run leads have turned into one run losses. You turn that 1 run record around and all of a sudden you are above .500Zim is taking live pitching now so this team will feel like they just signed an All-Star if they get him back on June 14th for the next home series.That could be a pivotal series with the Cardinals as Matt Holliday may miss some or all of that series as he has a quad injury. I wouldn't be upset if Holliday took extended time off on the DL.The Nats can seek a little revenge on the Padres with 4 games in San Diego. Mon-Wed in San Fran and their bats are heating up some. Jordan Zimmermann should be facing Sanchez on Tuesday.

  44. natsfan1a - Jun 3, 2011 at 4:30 PM

    I've likewise been making such comments, to the amusement of my husband (don't let him off the ropes, finish them off, and so forth). I don't tend to be a particularly bloodthirsty type, so he laughs at me when I talk like that. I'm like, gosh, honey, it's just baseball talk. ;-)

  45. Steve M. - Jun 3, 2011 at 4:34 PM

    natsfan1a said… Also, catching up on a few things after running through replay on DVR:Agree with Steve M. re. Upton HBP. Wouldn't have made sense to do so intentionally at that juncture. Also agree with Steve M. re. Jamey Carroll – he was a fave of mine.Re. Boomer Whiting, I have fond memories of his role in the P-Nats' first championship series, and I'm glad that I got to see him lay down a nice bunt in the spring training game we attended earlier this year. They can't take either of those away from the dude. June 3, 2011 12:20 PMThis is a new record and I thank you NatsFan1a. To get anyone to agree with me in March was tough. In April to June to get one person to agree once is a little more common, but you agreed with me twice!I am a small ball guy even though I loved Earl Weaver, I don't see Boog Powell, Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson or Davey Johnson collectively on this team. I see a bunch of Mark Belanger's with a couple of Paul Blair's so this team has to work to its strengths. Give me a bunch of Jamey Carroll types for attitude and baseball IQ and effort and surround them with a Bryce Harper, Zim, Werth, Ramos, Morse, Espi, and Desi and some good pitching and this team may be a playoff calibre team. You have to have the right X factor role players to get to that point so I don't believe in worn out vets to fill a bench.In a Jamey Carroll story, my friend went to a Hagerstown game to see Bryce Harper and after the game runs into this red headed kid. It turned out to be Blake Kelso. He said to him, "Do you know who Jamey Carroll is?" Blake said he did. My friend said "Do what he does and hustle hard and keep a great attitude". He said Kelso appreciated the comparison.

  46. natsfan1a - Jun 3, 2011 at 4:42 PM

    My pleasure, Steve M. I was so upset when the Nats sold Jamey (he went for cash, as I recall) that I vowed to steel myself by not caring about any future Nats. (Yeah, that vow really worked out well for me – not). Thanks for sharing the Hagerstown story.

  47. SonnyG10 - Jun 3, 2011 at 4:56 PM

    Wow, a lot of good comments and insights on this thread. I've enjoyed reading them. Thanks, everyone.

  48. FS - Jun 3, 2011 at 5:03 PM

    Any links to where I can watch Espinosa's play last night?I could not find it at mlb, espn, or yahoo.

  49. Tcostant - Jun 3, 2011 at 5:11 PM

    Unkyd said… On Desmond's hustle, WRONG!!! No need to mollycoddle, that much us true, but positive reinforcement is what encourages development and maintenance of good habits, in the principle, as well as other teammates, who are observant. Lack of acknowledgment of jobs, well done, can lead to bitterness. Please tell me, if you are a parent, that this isn't your strategy.Geeze…. Who doesn't want to hear "Good Job!", once in awhile? I am a parent, but you missed my point. I'm talking about the press. The PRESS, not his teammates or management. I agree they should say "good job", but the PRESS and fans should expect hard play. That is all I'm saying.

  50. Slidell - Jun 3, 2011 at 5:14 PM

    ESPN has just reported that nine MLB teams are "out of debt compliance"; i.e., supposedly on shaky financial footing with more than a 10 to 1 ratio of debt to revenue. The Dodgers and Mets are of course on the list. Two others are the Orioles and the Nats!Not being a financial know-it-all, I don't know if it really means anything.

  51. JaneB - Jun 3, 2011 at 5:18 PM

    I just looked, FP, and couldn't find it either. Imagine him diving face first into the grass, headed up the line from first to second, with his arm out to spear the ball as it's about to scream past him into no man's land. But he has it! Then he pulls his legs beneath his torso, as he is turning to first,standing up, to rifle the ball to first for the out. It should be a highlight. I can't understand why it wasn't. They have a lame snag by Roberts as a highlight, which was (yawn) something Zimmie does routinely.

  52. PAY TO PLAY - Jun 3, 2011 at 5:18 PM

    Slidell, all that may mean is that the owners have had slower revenue from various sources and will have to infuse their own capital into the team to retire some more debt. If they don't have it, then there is a concern.I am not concerned about the Lerner's pumping cash into it. Their limited partners won't like it but there is the issue with baseball revenues dropping due mostly to the economy.

  53. Steve M. - Jun 3, 2011 at 5:22 PM

    FROM MIKE RIZZO'S MASN FAN-CHATComment From GlennGlenn: ] The team is doing well this year with how long it is taking the offense to come around. The starting pitching has been very solid the entire season so far. The bullpen started off good, but has had some struggles as of late. With both Burnett and Slaten struggling from the left side, do you think any changes need to be made to the bullpen to help bridge the game to Storen? Friday June 3, 2011 12:54 Glenn 12:56 Mike says, "We've created the bullpen to become a strength of the club. We feel comfortable with the present guys that we have in the bullpen. We feel that we have several players that can contribute as a bridge to the ninth inning. As you look down the bullpen roster, you see players having very good years, and with the exception of a few isolated outings, the bullpen has performed admirably. It has gone from a deficiency to a strength over the last couple years." Mike is in the right town because this one and a few other zingers are so politically correct and disengeuous.Say it Mike, Slaten has to be replaced!

  54. Anonymous - Jun 3, 2011 at 5:22 PM

    Anybody heard what's going on with that Peric favorite Boomer Whiting?Actually I prefer Corey Brown and did throughout ST. But what about that original peric favorite Michael Morse, that old codgers like you NatsJack and BinM, the self-proclaimed doctor of baseball, called AAAA? Hmmm, and then there's the oft heard refrain: "He's AAAA because of TJ". How's Jordan Zimmermann doing? Ajd Sean Burnett? How about Strasburg are you going to say that about him. No you don't really know much about baseball … not much at all.Yeah, and I happen to really like Maya because I think he can be an almost carbon copy replacement for Livo. Souldrummer's right. His problem is he relies to much on the Livo off-speed stuff. He isn't going inside with the 93-94 mph fastball like he used to. Because your ump can vary his off speed stuff (just as with Livo) can too often be called for balls and he ends up with walks because he doesn't have Livo's reputation.Once the batters get a decent gauge on what the umps are going to call and what Maya's pitches look coming out of his hand he gets in trouble. He isn't hiding his pitches as well as Livo does. In the majors they are far better at doing this than in AAA.

  55. Steve M. - Jun 3, 2011 at 5:24 PM

    Enjoy this one!!! FROM MIKE RIZZO'S MASN FAN-CHATComment From FrankFrank: ] Why is Matt Stairs still on the team? Friday June 3, 2011 12:51 Frank 12:54 Mike says, "Matt Stairs brings a lot to the ballclub, both on the field as a left-handed presence off the bench and in the clubhouse as a team leader and an experienced teammate. The duties of a pinch hitter are very difficult. He has shown throughout his career that he has a propensity to get big hits at crucial parts of the game. We feel that he's still capable of helping this club win ballgames, with his bat, with his presence and with his leadership qualities."

  56. Anonymous - Jun 3, 2011 at 5:25 PM

    But in the end Maya has one of the largest repertoire's of pitches on the major league staff. The trick is to get them over and called for strikes and to manage them so that batters don't see them all in the first 3 innings. He has the ability to go deep into ballgames.

  57. Anonymous - Jun 3, 2011 at 5:28 PM

    with his presence and with his leadership qualities.And that's Riggleman talking not Rizzo.Last night Riggleman was reluctant about complimenting Morse's fielding because he wants LaRoche back in his lineup at first base. This is Riggleman baseball … less about winning more about having his kind of clubhouse with his kind of player in it.

  58. Latin is dead to me - Jun 3, 2011 at 5:28 PM

    Why not just be Peric instead of anonymous, you aren't fooling no one?

  59. Anonymous - Jun 3, 2011 at 5:55 PM

    Why not just be Peric instead of anonymous, you aren't fooling no one?Why not throw the rest of your name in adding he "D" after the capital "M" BinM? You do it for Carpy why not for us dude?

  60. Eugene in Oregon - Jun 3, 2011 at 6:18 PM

    Responding to a couple of posts:Just to be clear, Grace never suggested that Upton had been hit purposefully by the Nats, but rather that Werth's HBP was payback (he spoke of 'old school' traditions, more along the lines of 'you hit my guy' — even if by accident — 'and I'll hit yours').Grace seemed to be their regular or semi-regular color commentator, but they also mentioned that he would be away from the team Friday and Saturday for 'network duties,' then back again on Sunday. Grace was also quite impressed with the story (told by the play-by-play guy) about JZimm playing a year of college ball with his broken jaw wired shut.

  61. Anonymous - Jun 3, 2011 at 6:36 PM

    @DaveBinMD, dude you are in many, many more Nationals based blogs and internet portals than I am … where DO YOU find the time? I work with computers day-in-and-day-out. WTF do you do?

  62. Anonymous - Jun 3, 2011 at 6:39 PM

    Grace seemed to be their regular or semi-regular color commentator,Many teams have more than one … tomorrow night there will be a different color analyst probably a pitcher I guess … but I do like Grace …

  63. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 3, 2011 at 7:02 PM

    Grace was on the TV side regularly when I was last there for a spell. Nice guy, never cared for him in the booth.Ray Knight also expressed the opinion that the Werth HBP was intentional, but just because it was easier than walking him. Ray didn't like that.

  64. BinM - Jun 3, 2011 at 7:27 PM

    Clearly, someone has a vivid imagination. I've never used an anon handle on any board or blog I've posted to – And my handle (BinM) is just a truncation of my original WaPo signin back in the Svrulga days, Bob in Manassas.

  65. Anonymous - Jun 3, 2011 at 7:35 PM

    I used to like BinM, when I thought it stood for Betsy in Maryland. Now I find out that Betsy is Bob! And he's a Virginian!!! This is creepy.

  66. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 3, 2011 at 7:48 PM

    If by "creepy" you mean "boring," then yes, it is.

  67. Anonymous - Jun 3, 2011 at 8:18 PM

    If by "creepy" you mean "boring," then yes, it is.You've got that right … when someone has nothing better to do than find reasons to go after a poster whether its 'peric', 'JayB'; whomever they need to find a hobby and fast! Its one thing to disagree with what they might say … even violently disagree … its quite another to pursue them across various blogs, bulletin boards, etc. … that I believe might constitute a form of stalking.

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