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Game 68: Cardinals at Nats

Jun 15, 2011, 7:35 PM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Livan Hernandez faces Kyle McClellan tonight at Nationals Park.

It's been 21 months since the Nationals last boasted a five-game winning streak, that seven-game upswing to end the 2009 season with 59 victories. Tonight, they've got a chance to make it five in a row in mid-June, hoping to win another one against the Cardinals.

Livan Hernandez takes the mound for the Nats, hoping to bounce back from a rare off-night in San Diego. The big guy has struggled in recent years against St. Louis, posting a 7.13 ERA in his last three head-to-head encounters.

Livo will be opposed by right-hander Kyle McClellan (just activated off the DL today), who will face a lineup that again has Jayson Werth leading off and the pitcher batting eighth. Roger Bernadina is the No. 2 hitter this evening. Ian Desmond has the honor of batting ninth, behind Livo.

Updates to come…

CARDINALS at NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
TV: MASN
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 186
Weather: Sunny, 79 degrees, Wind 6 mph out to RF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (31-36)
RF Jayson Werth
CF Roger Bernadina
3B Ryan Zimmerman
LF Laynce Nix

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108 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. MicheleS - Jun 15, 2011 at 7:39 PM

    Wow.. I wonder how Desi is going to like this?

  2. Anonymous - Jun 15, 2011 at 7:54 PM

    Was that lineup drawn from a hat?! Or maybe LaRussa helped? We'll see.

  3. nattydread - Jun 15, 2011 at 7:58 PM

    If the point of this sabermetric line-up was to put the better hitter 9th, then why did Riggleman put Livan 8th?

  4. Knoxville Nat - Jun 15, 2011 at 7:58 PM

    Anon 3:54…..did you just crawl out from under a rock or what? Riggleman has used this type of lineup for about 4 games now and the Nats have managed to win all 4. Given the players involved and using the pitcher to bat 8th, what lineup would you suggest he use?

  5. Tuna - Jun 15, 2011 at 8:00 PM

    9th is where Desi should be when the pitcher's in the 8th spot…he is not producing at the plate

  6. HHover - Jun 15, 2011 at 8:02 PM

    I'm fine with this line up. Riggleman apparently wants to run for a while with Werth in lead-off and the pitcher batting eighth, and I don't see the harm in either. No, Werth isn't a proper lead-off hitter, but neither really is anyone else on the roster. Desi's low offense and OBP don't merit batting him near the top of the order.

  7. Tim the Enchanter - Jun 15, 2011 at 8:03 PM

    Werth as lead-off is silly. He was hired to hit 70 extra-baggers and knock in 90 runs. Desmond should hit second, Werth third, and Zimmerman fourth.

  8. Anonymous - Jun 15, 2011 at 8:07 PM

    This lineup is a great deal closer to the optimal sabermetrics lineup for this roster. Moving Desmond to bat ninth in front of Werth. Bernadina appears to be getting hot so perhaps that improves his "meh" .321 OBP. Its better than Desmond. Zimmerman, Nix, and Morse follow. It does look pretty good.

  9. Anonymous - Jun 15, 2011 at 8:10 PM

    Werth as lead-off is silly. He was hired to hit 70 extra-baggers and knock in 90 runs. Desmond should hit second, Werth third, and Zimmerman fourth.Again, this is a sabermetrics-based lineup. With Desmond batting ninth instead of the pitcher he could find men on base for RBI opportunities. Plus because Werth is at the top of the order he gets the most at bats and the Nats can take advantage of his high OBP for the hitters that follow.It worked last night and before. He is seeing more situations with men on base. He is getting on base. He is getting every chance to earn the big pay check he received in the off season.What's wrong with that?

  10. Pete - Jun 15, 2011 at 8:11 PM

    As much as I like Nix, I'd prefer "Beast Mode" to bat clean up.

  11. HHover - Jun 15, 2011 at 8:13 PM

    TimBatting someone other than the pitcher 9th increases the likelihood that Werth will come to the plate with someone on base, and he hasn't really demonstrated the power this year that would justify putting him in one of the more traditional slugging slots in the line-up.

  12. Grandstander - Jun 15, 2011 at 8:25 PM

    This isn't a optimized lineup. Werth at leadoff is, and Livo/Desmond, but nothing else is really where it should be.1. Werth2. Zimmerman3. Bernadina4. Morse5. Nix6. Espinosa7. Pudge8. Livo9. DesmondThat's sabremetrically optimized.

  13. Big Cat - Jun 15, 2011 at 8:29 PM

    I think the Nats are gonna break out tonight with a bang. 10 maybe 12 runs. Zim has sparked them. Sad Man = All Star "PLAY BALL!!"

  14. Anonymous - Jun 15, 2011 at 8:31 PM

    It don't matter how you arrange this bunch of banjo hitters, they ain't gonna score doodily squat

  15. HHover - Jun 15, 2011 at 8:38 PM

    Grandstander & PeteRiggs also appears to be going for R-L-R-L at the top of the order, which could account for the variation from your lineup, Grandstander, and for Nix in the 4-hole.

  16. Doc - Jun 15, 2011 at 8:45 PM

    C'mon Nats! Even the Pirates have a .500 winning pct. now!I'm thinking that this may be closer Hanrahan's one-and-only career type year.I'm hoping? that the Nats bats continue breaking out, like last night, and following up on those line drives that didn't drop in, out in Padre land.

  17. P. Cole - Jun 15, 2011 at 8:46 PM

    As much as I like Nix, I'd prefer "Beast Mode" to bat clean up.Tru dat!Also, Werth has about 19 more years left on his contract to hit two-baggers and drive in runs.

  18. Tim the Enchanter - Jun 15, 2011 at 9:10 PM

    HHover: Werth also has not had Zimmerman or a healthy LaRoche batting behind hims all season. Morse didn't hit for the first month of the season. With the much stronger line-up that the Nats have now, I would expect Werth's power numbers to improve.Anonymous: Mathematics is not baseball and Sabermetrics is baseball for dorks. Baseball is about men at a ballpark playing baseball, not some computer geek pounding a keyboard.

  19. Anonymous - Jun 15, 2011 at 9:10 PM

    best lineup i've seen all year.-longterm

  20. Manassas Nats Fan - Jun 15, 2011 at 9:11 PM

    Lets take this series tonight boys.

  21. LeBron James - Jun 15, 2011 at 9:18 PM

    @Tim the enchanter, long after the Nats win or lose this game you have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that you had before you woke up today. You have the same personal problems.

  22. Anonymous - Jun 15, 2011 at 9:35 PM

    Also, Bernadina is a much better bunter than Desmond. Imagine a first inning where Werth gets on and then you can attempt to steal second and then bunt him over to third with one out, or you have Bernadina drag for a hit and move the runner, worse case you have Weth at second with 1 out and Zimmerman and Nix (would prefer Morse here as well) with opportunities to drive him in.

  23. Grandstander - Jun 15, 2011 at 9:36 PM

    I don't need mathematics to tell me Morse is slugging better than Werth. But they are helpful because it's an objective way to measure player performance.The beauty of sabermetrics is the way it eliminates all the BS, hunches, "gut feelings" emotionalism and favortism. Those things are all great as fans to "manage" the team and pontificate on what we would or would not do in certain situations. But I'd like the people paid to create and run my team to use statistical evidence when making decisions and not playing favorites (Ankiel, Stairs, etc.)Computer geek or not, you can't deny the success the implementation of sabermetrics has had at the major league level WRT roster development. It only makes sense to extend that to lineups and game management.

  24. Poorly edumacated - Jun 15, 2011 at 9:42 PM

    I'm not a sabremetrics person but I respect it. I don't understand the difference between batting Werth 1 and Desmond 9 versus batting Desmond 1 and Werth 2, etc. with the pitcher in teh 9 spot. Why is it to the team's advantage to save a hitter until the 9 spot the first time around? It seems like after the first time through the lineup you pretty much have a regular batting order with a weak leadoff hitter. I'm not being facetious. Can someone explain or give a link? Thanks.

  25. Anonymous - Jun 15, 2011 at 9:51 PM

    In an earlier thread, it was mentioned that the Nats have a $1 Internet promotion for next Thursday's game. I couldn't find it on nationals.com. Can someone post the link, please?

  26. Anonymous - Jun 15, 2011 at 9:55 PM

    But I'd like the people paid to create and run my team to use statistical evidence when making decisions and not playing favorites (Ankiel, Stairs, etc.)TRUE DAT! AMEN Grandstander!

  27. Grandstander - Jun 15, 2011 at 9:57 PM

    The advantage comes from having a decent hitter batting in front of the top of the lineup. If you stack your lineup sabermetrically, you'd have your best OBP guy leading off, and your all-around best hitter after him. The theory would be that Desmond could get on at a better rate than the pitcher, and do more on the base paths than the pitcher, which would set up the front of the lineup for RBI opportunities.The $1 Internet promotion is for seniors and is on nationals.com/specials

  28. Anonymous - Jun 15, 2011 at 10:10 PM

    @Poorly Edumacated. Let's drop the BA which isn't the best indicator of production without the two other stats in the 3 slash stat markers.We'll use Grandstander's optimized sabermetrics lineup to demonstrate:1. Jason Werth .348 OBP .750 OPS 5 GiDP 9SB 2CS2. Ryan Zimmerman .452 OBP .968 OPS 2 GiDP 0SB 0CS3. Roger Bernadina .321 OBP .649 OPS 2 GiDP 9SB 0CS4. Michael Morse .347 OBP .865 OPS 4 GiDP 2SB 3CS5. Laynce Nix .335 OBP .881 OPS 0 GiDP 2SB 1CS6. Danny Espinosa .313 OBP .734 OPS 7 GiDP 10SB 5CS7. Ivan Rodriguez .273 OBP .595 OPS 5 GiDP 0SB 0CS8. PITCHER9. Ian Desmond .273 OBP .612 OPS 4 GiDp 18SB 3CSI'm not sure about batting Bernadina third I assume its the alternating lefty righty which follows him? But you can see how the Best OBP is closer to the top followed by better OBP and higher OPS. Note the stolen base stats for the ninth batter and first batter.

  29. natsfan1a - Jun 15, 2011 at 10:15 PM

    If you follow the link above, in addition to the special for seniors that I mentioned in an earlier thread, there is a kids' day special on June 23. It says that one can buy up to four $1 tix for kids aged 3-12 with the purchase of one full-priced adult ticket.

  30. JaneB - Jun 15, 2011 at 10:39 PM

    The other thing this odd order can do…not guaranteed, but since the Cards are my third team, I've been watching Tony play 'em this way for a while… is that the pitcher isn't a rally killing third out as often. I don't keep track and would not know how to verify my anecdotal evidence, but I know I've moaned a bunch of times about how "this time" we'd be so much better off if (any pitcher but Jayson) was in the 8th slot, instead of the 9th. And I don't think you treat Jayson like any old pitcher, frankly. I think you should treat him like a hitter.

  31. Alan_A - Jun 15, 2011 at 10:54 PM

    And yet last night, there were two situations (bottom of the second and bottom of the fourth) where Maya struck out to end the inning with men on base (two on in the second, one on in the fourth). With a competent hitter in that slot, there's a greater chance that runners advance and that at least one additional run scores. In later innings, including the seventh, there were pinch hitters in the eighth slot. So maybe the run-scoring happened in spite of the unorthodox lineup, rather than because of it.

  32. alexva - Jun 15, 2011 at 11:09 PM

    You don't f' with a winning streak. The lineup stays until they lose at the very least.

  33. Eugene in Oregon - Jun 15, 2011 at 11:23 PM

    Alan,Whether you base your line-up on sabremetrics or traditional theory, the test isn't any single game, series, or even month — the test is a 162-game season. Yes, the Nats pitcher last night ended up batting twice with men on base, striking out both times. But using the traditional approach of having your second-best slugger batter fourth, St. Louis saw Berkman ground out to end the game with the tying run on base. Does that one AB negate the value of putting a slugger in the clean-up spot? Of course not. In a game where even the very best hitters don't get a base hit more than 3.5 times out of 10, you can't draw conclusions from a single game.

  34. FS - Jun 15, 2011 at 11:25 PM

    Livo is so awesome. I know he has pitched only two innings but the way he goes about his business is just magnificent. I have seen Roy Halladay worried with bad counts and stuff. Livo never shows those emotions. Love it!!!

  35. Unkyd - Jun 15, 2011 at 11:31 PM

    HoneyDo list:1) Hack gorse…… check!

  36. Anonymous - Jun 15, 2011 at 11:48 PM

    Sabermetrics based lineup: STILL WORKING.

  37. Anonymous - Jun 15, 2011 at 11:49 PM

    And I don't think you treat Jayson like any old pitcher, frankly. I think you should treat him like a hitter. Observe JZimmnn at the plate. I think he's a lot better … oh is he!

  38. Alan_A - Jun 15, 2011 at 11:57 PM

    @Eugene in Oregon – Fair enough. Though I might argue that over time, the number 4 hitter will produce more often in that situation, while a chronically weak hitter like a pitcher will conform more to Maya's performance. More to the point – why do you think a Sabremetric lineup, especially one involving the pitcher out of traditional order, isn't in more use? Am not trying for upsmanship here – it's a genuine question.

  39. Drew8 - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:03 AM

    Who needs the Norse gods when you've got the Gorse Nats?

  40. Wally - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:07 AM

    Strategy for tonight – hit it to Pujols

  41. Unkyd - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:16 AM

    Livo's scratchin' his head….. Tryna remember how to pitch with a 5 run lead…

  42. Candide - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:18 AM

    Three straight Cards have hit the ball hard…

  43. Unkyd - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:24 AM

    That was some tag, on the CS by that "defensive liability" Desi…Just sayin'

  44. Anonymous - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:29 AM

    A Morse is a Gorse of course, of courseand no one can pitch to a Gorse of course …that is of course unless the Gorse splinters his cudgel into shards.

  45. HHover - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:30 AM

    TimYou apparently think that Werth's problem this year is that he hasn't been "protected" in the lineup. I'd point out that sabremetricians think the idea of "protection" is largely bunk, but I know that such pointy-headed nonsense doesn't fly with a grind it out, dirt under the fingernails, spit in your eye, rootin' tootin' type such as yourself.So let me just put it this way – right now, I'm lovin' this line up.

  46. Anonymous - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:34 AM

    So let me just put it this way – right now, I'm lovin' this line up.Concur. It seems, the old, respect the game, respect the veterans old school manager Jim Riggleman does learn new tricks. Its helping him win ball games! Hallelujah Hallelujah Hallelujah!

  47. Wally - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:35 AM

    Desi has actually been kind of amazing. He started the year exactly the same as his entire career and then …. A light went on and he is Mr. Reliable.It has been great to see.Although, I must admit, if Jose Reyes came knocking in the offseason, I wouldn't say no.

  48. dj in Fl. - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:43 AM

    For those that wondered why they walked Pudge last night. I present tonight!Put em on, Move em over, Bring em home!Go Nats!!!!

  49. dryw - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:43 AM

    I don't want to go to sleep 'cause this is more fun than my dreams!!

  50. JaneB - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:45 AM

    I'd say Desi is doing juuuuust fine batting in the 9 hole!

  51. JaneB - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:50 AM

    Unkyd, you're cracking me up. And yes, AIN'T IT NICE to see Desi getting it!

  52. Drew8 - Jun 16, 2011 at 1:00 AM

    Aye, that's some All-Star hackage ladies and gents.

  53. WilliamTells - Jun 16, 2011 at 1:00 AM

    Two orders of hacked gorse, please!

  54. dryw - Jun 16, 2011 at 1:01 AM

    Gonna be no gorse left at this rate!Only thing I don't like about this one is that I'm watching from home, not from the park.

  55. Drew8 - Jun 16, 2011 at 1:02 AM

    No. It's Iowa.

  56. happy nat fan - Jun 16, 2011 at 1:02 AM

    nats 9. cardinals & anonymous doodly squat.

  57. Eugene in Oregon - Jun 16, 2011 at 1:03 AM

    Alan @ 7:57I agree completely that the #4 will produce more in that situation. No question about that. I was only saying that you can't generalize from a small sample. And on the pitcher-batting-eighth scenario I also agree that in most cases the pitcher will strike out (or otherwise not drive in the run). But the fact that Maya came up twice with runners in scoring position and two outs was pretty much just a random event — it could have happened with him batting ninth (or even seventh). What you're trying to do by batting the pitcher eighth is NOT have him come up just in front of your number one hitter.On the question of why more managers don't use it, two responses: (a) managers are generally risk averse. No GM (or newspaper columnist) will criticize his manager for batting the pitcher ninth, so why open yourself up to such criticism; and (b) even the advocates will tell you that the pitcher-batting-eighth scheme will only net you a few extra runs over the course of a full season, so it's not something that calls out for you to do (as a manager).

  58. Joe Seamhead - Jun 16, 2011 at 1:04 AM

    Nope, that Michael Morse guy definitely isn't an everyday player, and oh by the way, Danny Espinosa can't hit from the left side of the plate. Everybody's an expert, eh? Loving me some Pudge tonight, too!

  59. Candide - Jun 16, 2011 at 1:04 AM

    Big Cat 4:29"I think the Nats are gonna break out tonight with a bang. 10 maybe 12 runs."Can I borrow your crystal ball?

  60. Cwj - Jun 16, 2011 at 1:04 AM

    Wow are the Nats on fire or what?Looks like another good crowd as well. With most schools letting out for the Summer I imagine the attendance will go up.Wish I was there…Go Nats!

  61. JaneB - Jun 16, 2011 at 1:07 AM

    It IS Iowa! :-)

  62. Candide - Jun 16, 2011 at 1:11 AM

    @ Joe Seamhead 9:04I got so sick of reading last season and this season's spring training that the Nats' brass didn't see Morse as an every day player because "they think he would have trouble with opponents' best pitchers…"Keep proving 'em wrong, Michael!

  63. Tim - Jun 16, 2011 at 1:21 AM

    Mark said that Morse is just really hot or he's legit.Michael Morse is very close to a career .300 hitter. I think April was just an anomily (sp?). The guy can plain hit… curve balls, fast balls, left field, up the middle, it doesn't matter. #1 starter, converted reliever, it really doesn't matter.I wanna see Werth get hot.

  64. TimDz - Jun 16, 2011 at 1:21 AM

    Gotta say that FP has won me over…his homey (in a non gang related way…) and aw shucks (in a non Andy Griffiths way) is refreshing and fun…what say you Nats Nauon?

  65. TimDz - Jun 16, 2011 at 1:25 AM

    Nation….

  66. Alan_A - Jun 16, 2011 at 1:27 AM

    @Eugene -Points taken. I have to admit I'm finding it hard to argue with the results…

  67. Anonymous - Jun 16, 2011 at 1:29 AM

    Far more interesting and in-depth insight into the game and the players. I've heard a lot of the color guys around the league at this point and I think he may just be the best … however, I still like Mike Flanagan. It was nice to see them both together with FP defending the Nats turf within MASN. That one event was more than enough to convince me that he was a keeper.

  68. Alan_A - Jun 16, 2011 at 1:30 AM

    @TimDZ -Agree. He's low-key but really smart – and does actual reporting, too, unlike a certain ex-color guy I can think of.

  69. Cwj - Jun 16, 2011 at 1:30 AM

    TimDz- I like FP too.Carpenter occasionally says dumb things, but I like him overall as well.

  70. Joe Seamhead - Jun 16, 2011 at 1:31 AM

    Complete game from Livan? I bet he wishes he could put some of those runs in the bank and withdraw them later. Oh, and no walks tonight? Oneout Togo!

  71. Cwj - Jun 16, 2011 at 1:32 AM

    Awesome win!!!!!!!!!Wow! Go Nats!

  72. JaneB - Jun 16, 2011 at 1:33 AM

    Livooooooooooooooooooooo!

  73. RickH - Jun 16, 2011 at 1:33 AM

    Wow! Just got home in time for the top of the 9th. Can't wait to go back and see what happened!!!

  74. waddy eye no - Jun 16, 2011 at 1:37 AM

    livin, lovin…he's just a LIVO

  75. Wally - Jun 16, 2011 at 1:39 AM

    FP – I like him too, but he has an uncomfortable obsession with the X Mo camera. As my 10 year old daughter would say …. AWKWARD.

  76. Anonymous - Jun 16, 2011 at 1:41 AM

    Don't mess with sabermatricians … you might end up in a Galois twisted pretzel.

  77. Wally - Jun 16, 2011 at 1:47 AM

    I'll say this for Morse, he is the happiest guy I have ever seen on these post game interviews. Almost no matter what, he just seems thrilled to be in the majors.Seems like a nice guy.

  78. dryw - Jun 16, 2011 at 1:51 AM

    Wally, I agree. I just sat there and grinned watching him. And I think he may have blushed when Ray started complimenting him on his numbers. I love it!

  79. FS - Jun 16, 2011 at 1:53 AM

    Watching from the highlights, it seems like Desmond missed the tag. FP was funny when they were showing replay of that tag.Anyways, another great win. No complaints here.

  80. Anonymous - Jun 16, 2011 at 1:57 AM

    Two of the most enjoyable games I've watched in a long time. I love this team and it's promising future,including it's near future! Go Nats!!!

  81. Unkyd - Jun 16, 2011 at 2:04 AM

    FS… FrI'm the rear angle, no doubt-great tag!

  82. Drew8 - Jun 16, 2011 at 2:09 AM

    Farm report:Harper played for Hagerstown and knocked in two in the nightcap.Looks like Gaudin started at Potomac and left the game after retiring the first three batters in order. Don't know if that means an injury or just a rain delay.

  83. Joe Seamhead - Jun 16, 2011 at 2:09 AM

    I think that this is the best last place team that I've ever seen.

  84. FS - Jun 16, 2011 at 2:14 AM

    Oh yeah I forgot to make a suggestion. Can we please change the way "W" is written? On my way home, there are two Walgreens and I always feel like we copied their style. Introduce "N" as well or something else? But please do.

  85. natsfan1a - Jun 16, 2011 at 2:15 AM

    Amen, Joe Seamhead. Hey, has anybody seen my gorses? There were four of them, and now I can't find a one. Oh well.Oh, and LIVO!!! Loved his cagey dodging of the pie in the face. Then, after the interview, he removed his hat and surrendered to it. How could a man of such accomplishment never have experienced that before? Because he's wily. Uh huh.On another note, I'm liking FP, too (and I was a Dibble fan). Did anybody else hear FP's call into the Riggins show today? I just happened to turn it on and he was so enthused about the game yesterday. It was kinda endearing, I must say.

  86. Manassas Nats Fan - Jun 16, 2011 at 2:17 AM

    Morse making his case to be on the all star team. Clippard and Morse which ever goes will have earned it.

  87. natsfan1a - Jun 16, 2011 at 2:30 AM

    Oh, and now I understand about Beast Mode (watched the postgame tonight but not last night).

  88. Dave - Jun 16, 2011 at 2:33 AM

    I'm liking FP Santangelo more every game I watch on TV. He's a knowledgeable baseball guy who doesn't talk down to you. Bob and FP are probably my favorite TV booth combo so far.I'm also liking the Nats' offense coming alive. Last night was electric at the ballpark, and on TV it looked like tonight was too.And FS, the curly W is here to stay. Don't know whether Walgreen's had it before the expansion Senators, but it's been on Washington baseball uniforms since the 1960s. And after six and a half years of the new Nats it's started to become iconic. Even people who don't follow baseball wear it.

  89. Nats Outsider - Jun 16, 2011 at 2:38 AM

    Big Cat said: "I think the Nats are gonna break out tonight with a bang. 10 maybe 12 runs. "Big Cat, a few hours ago, I would have offered you pretty good odds against that. Now, however, I just want to know if you have any recommendations on the stock exchange. :-)Interesting crowd tonight. Not the super buzz that people were talking about yesterday. Tonight, what I sensed was quiet confidence. Fans that expect to win help produce a team that expects to win. Go Nats!!

  90. FS - Jun 16, 2011 at 2:47 AM

    Thanks Dave. Actually on careful observation, they are slightly different.

  91. A DC Wonk - Jun 16, 2011 at 2:50 AM

    Anonymous said… It don't matter how you arrange this bunch of banjo hitters, they ain't gonna score doodily squatI guess he was talking about the Cards, eh?

  92. Nats Outsider - Jun 16, 2011 at 2:54 AM

    @ FS:You aren't the only one who thinks that the Nats' Curly W looks too much like the Walgreens' symbol. Walgreens has been threatening to take the Lerners and MLB to court if the Nats don't change the way that W looks or write a big, fat check to soothe their feelings.

  93. Drew8 - Jun 16, 2011 at 3:00 AM

    Buster Olney of ESPN has an interesting video blog about whether — and if so, when — the Rays should trade cf B.J. Upton. Scroll down to Buster's blog.http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=6651634

  94. Grandstander - Jun 16, 2011 at 3:02 AM

    The crowd last night mainly kept the buzzing to the big comeback 7th inning and then the bottom of the ninth. Crowds will be louder in bigger situations and with the game kinda outta reach by the 5th inning the way Livo was pitching, understandable there was more restraint today.What to say that hasn't been said? It was this exact time last year that the wheels came off and the team drained down the pipe to oblivion. Starting with that Houston series (and the Berkman check swing none of us will probably ever forget) and continuing through the interleague play that followed the next two weeks, we starting losing more than winning. After a devastating sweep at Baltimore, we were 10 under .500 and the season seemed all but lost.After game 68 last season, the club was 31-37. Tonight, at the same point, we are 32-36.There have been a lot of comparisons between last year's hot start and this year's slow start, but I'll put this to you. Coming off that West Coast road, and specifically that 3 of 4 series against the Pads, this feels like a team that is suddenly headed in a totally opposite direction.Winning games will always make you look good and feel good about the team, but I think there is a genuine reason to believe in these guys as they put these outings together. And what do you know, another series against the O's coming up…

  95. SonnyG10 - Jun 16, 2011 at 3:06 AM

    Great win today. I was also a big Dibble fan, but I must say FP has also won me over. I really like him.Five game winning streak and we have extended our string of errorless innings to new heights.Go Nats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  96. A DC Wonk - Jun 16, 2011 at 3:07 AM

    … as folks have been saying: when Zim comes back, it's like landing a star free agent for free. Playing decently during his absence (despite atrocious hitting) is really paying off now.Defense has been outstanding. Pitching has been great (in particular I love the way reduced number of walks) for starters and for relievers. All along, all we needed was some hitting. And maybe we're finally getting some of that now, too. I have no idea if "hitting is contagious", but a couple of guys breaking out of their slump at the same time that Zim returns is terrific timing.(And 27K+ attendance two nights in a row)

  97. Sec3MySofa - Jun 16, 2011 at 3:08 AM

    Great game, perfect weather, excellent seats, magnificent full moon, Livo CG shutout, and a big sack o' taters. Man, it just doesn't get any better. OK, the line at Shake Shack was way too long, but then, they were having happy hour.

  98. A DC Wonk - Jun 16, 2011 at 3:09 AM

    (And I forgot to add my near-weekly post that goes like this):Pudge to DC fans: I still ain't dead yet.

  99. Anonymous - Jun 16, 2011 at 3:11 AM

    FS – The Walgreen's logo bothered me too, and I looked it up – they revised their logo in 2008, three years after the Nats brought back the curly W. Walgreen's claims it is based on a logo they used in the 1930's, but the only images I found of their old logo had the "tail" hanging off the right side of the W, not the left side like the Nats. I am amazed the Nats did not sue. Ironically, Walgreens sued Wegmans a year or two ago when they also started using a W, but it was not nearly as close a copy of Walgreens as the Walgreens W was a copy of the Nats W.

  100. Traveler8 - Jun 16, 2011 at 3:13 AM

    I think I will look on line tomorrow for articles or blogs about the game written by the St Louis folks. I am willing to bet that this is one of their most horrible games ever – not as many runs against them as that meltdown against Philadelphia a couple of years ago (which was 17 or 18 as I recall) but I think they actually scored in that game, were not shut out like this one. Yesterday and today were such terrific games for us! AND, (we are still errorless, but I don't want the gods to get angry.)

  101. Sec3MySofa - Jun 16, 2011 at 3:18 AM

    and Morse's second, the moon shot, had to be 12-15 rows deep past the bullpen–430 feet, easy, and as high as the top deck seats. That same ball right down the line would be onto the pavilion. And Espinosa's shot rang off the facade of the second deck and rebounded all the way back to the tarp on the first base side by section 131.

  102. Drew8 - Jun 16, 2011 at 3:25 AM

    Farid made a very good point at MLBTR under a story about who might be available if the Nats become sellers.In essence, he said, this could work out beautifully. 1. LaRoche is healthy by ST.2. Morse begins 2012 in left field.3. At the trade deadline, the Nats deal LaRoche, move Morse back to first and bring up Harper, to man the OF with Werth and either Bernie or Upton.You get more prospects, Morse is under team control until 2014 and you keep on rolling. And that's not to mention Strasburg, Rendon, Cole, Ray, Meyer, Goodwin…There's quite a glare in here. I gotta wear shades.

  103. Sec3MySofa - Jun 16, 2011 at 3:29 AM

    Traveller, the Cardinals fans sitting by us were ironically amused — "Double plays and double switches–that's Tony's game." "Tony must really *hate* this pitcher, he's leaving him in."

  104. Eugene in Oregon - Jun 16, 2011 at 3:37 AM

    —————————-Joe Seamhead said…I think that this is the best last place team that I've ever seen.—————————-But at least we're not the 5th place team — if you check the standings you'll see we're now tied for 4th in the NL East (after Florida dropped two to the Phillies).

  105. A DC Wonk - Jun 16, 2011 at 4:10 AM

    … and just 1-1/2 games out of third place! ;-)

  106. Will - Jun 16, 2011 at 7:58 AM

    Sec3, if you're interested Morse's HR was actually 445 feet, Espinosa's 419.Hit Tracker Online is a great site that compiles info on all the HRs hit, as well as their distance and links to the video. You can even pull up spray charts of each player's HRs on the year.

  107. Dave - Jun 16, 2011 at 9:44 AM

    Oh, I've been thinking about one more thing:How long is that franchise-record errorless streak now?

  108. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 16, 2011 at 3:18 PM

    Will, thanks. Espinosa should get credit for the 200 feet of ricochet.

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