Skip to content

Leftovers for lunch

Jun 15, 2011, 4:19 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Yunesky Maya faces an uncertain future after another shaky start last night.

In writing about last night's 8-6 win, I wound up focusing almost entirely on two half-innings: The bottom of the seventh, when the Nationals rallied to score six runs, and the top of the ninth, when Drew Storen intentionally walked Albert Pujols and got Lance Berkman to end the game.

There was, of course, plenty else going on during that wildly entertaining ballgame. So as you pull out your lunchboxes and enjoy leftovers of whatever you are for dinner last night, here are some leftovers from last night's game to chew on as well…

YUNESKY MAYA
Has the Cuban right-hander's time run out? He certainly hasn't done much of anything to warrant another opportunity after another stinker last night. For the sixth time in nine career starts, Maya failed to reach the sixth inning. For the third time in four starts this season, he failed to get out of the fifth.

Remember, in only six of the Nationals' 67 games this year has the starting pitcher been unable to complete five innings. Maya was theRead more »

  1. Anonymous - Jun 15, 2011 at 4:29 PM

    Maya will get sent back to Cuse, and he will likely get a chance to start in DC again this year when either: 1) Jason Marquis is traded or 2) Jordan Zimmerman hits his innings limit. With that said, would guess that Rizzo wishes he had a re-do on Maya's contract. Similarly, Rick Ankiel's future on this team looks dim. Simply stated, Ankiel is the worst option of the 3 LH batting OF's on the team. His defense and arm are nice, but to be a regular MLB OFer, you must produce runs, and Ankiel simply does not. The Nats still need an everyday CFer, and Ankiel is not the answer. Pilchard

  2. Anonymous - Jun 15, 2011 at 4:33 PM

    Memo to Rick Ankiel: take a long rest. For the remainder of the season. Your injury made yesterday's rally possible, by keeping you out of the lineup and putting Bernadina in. Most Valuable Injury.

  3. P. Cole - Jun 15, 2011 at 4:51 PM

    Thanks for focusing on baseball, Mark.BUT, is anyone else annoyed by the NY invasion in Nats Park? All of the new "iconic" (aka overpriced) NY restaurants and our new official office supplier W.B. Mason.Long live Ben's Chili Bowl!

  4. Grandstander - Jun 15, 2011 at 4:52 PM

    Ankiel getting injured + Zim coming back is just the 1-2 combo this team needs. Kinda sad that a guy getting injured could be considered a positive, but Riggs needs to literally be forced to use his best options.Mark nailed ii with the word "predictable". No one who follows this team thought good things would happen when Maya trotted back out there. Others have said, and I agree, that his only hope to stay with this team is to be converted to mop up/long relief. And I would never use him with a lead, no matter how big. The ways in which he reminds me of Batista are scary.If this Mattheus kid can keep this up once the league gets more video of him, we could have another really good arm on this team. Here's to hoping for 5 tonight! I will be sitting in the same seat and I hope you all will as well.

  5. Mark'd - Jun 15, 2011 at 4:54 PM

    The good news is Ankiel is like Stairs in a way, wouldn't be missed if he was gone but should be DL'd immediately so one of the young Minor Leaguers gets a chance to play and I like Marrero so Morse if needed could play some left field.

  6. Grandstander - Jun 15, 2011 at 4:58 PM

    @ P ColeI've always associated WB Mason with Boston and the Red Sox. I think they advertise in Philly too. We've still got Ben's and Hard Times. Unfortunately they replaced the Giffords ice cream store with Breyers. No local brews in the Red Bar either. Perhaps we should petition them to get some Port City on tap. Email campaign anyone?Can anyone comment on the lines at Shake Shack? I want to see what all the fuss is about but wasn't about to miss 3 innings to find out. Those Mariners games next week look like a good opportunity to try some of the new offerings.

  7. Bowdenball - Jun 15, 2011 at 4:59 PM

    Mark'd-Bringing in Marrero and moving Morse to left field results in a defensive downgrade at two positions. Not sure how that would be a good idea.At the moment they're only carrying six relievers. I'm thinking a bullpen callup is probably a good idea. Maybe move Maya to the bullpen for long relief and make way for Gorzelanny's return.

  8. N. Cognito - Jun 15, 2011 at 5:04 PM

    Mark said…"The organization invested four years and $6 million in this guy, and there are still 2 1/2 years and about $4 million remaining on the contract. He's done little to date to suggest he can be a big-league starter. Might be time to see if he can handle another role."Couldn't agree more. Release Stairs and let Maya be the pinch hitter.

  9. Grandstander - Jun 15, 2011 at 5:09 PM

    Stairs is hitting .125. Last year Maya hit .143. Could be a sly baseball move there.

  10. natsfan1a - Jun 15, 2011 at 5:14 PM

    Yeah, I can't see an injury as a positive, no matter how the individual has been performing, but that's just me.On the menu offerings, I don't mind that they originated in New York, and I'm looking forward to trying the tacos, as previously noted. (Speaking of eating, my leftovers were rotini with sausage and tomatoes. mmm…)Re. the Mariners series, just noticed that the team has an Internet senior special for next Thursday's afternoon game. Those who have weekday flexibility, and are of a certain age (55 and over) and willing to cop to it for $2 tickets, may wish to indulge.

  11. natsfan1a - Jun 15, 2011 at 5:17 PM

    Dang, make that $1 tickets. Chalk it up to a senior moment. :-)

  12. Steve M. - Jun 15, 2011 at 5:17 PM

    Bowdenball said… Mark'd-Bringing in Marrero and moving Morse to left field results in a defensive downgrade at two positions. Not sure how that would be a good idea.At the moment they're only carrying six relievers. I'm thinking a bullpen callup is probably a good idea. Maybe move Maya to the bullpen for long relief and make way for Gorzelanny's return. June 15, 2011 12:59 PM This isn't more than the 1-2 times a week you face LH pitchers and this team clearly lacks RH outfielders. This is a good idea for a RH move and I don't see it as a defensive downgrade when you are replacing Morse with Nix and we haven't seen Marrero defend 1st base although from what I have seen of Morse that may be a downgrade. You are probably correct overall that it is a defensive downgrade but it should also be an offensive upgrade. Nix hasn't shown much ability to hit lefties so you need to creatively look at your options instead of putting Bixler in LF.Right now, I agree. DL Ankiel and bring someone up and Marrero is hot in the Minors.

  13. Anonymous - Jun 15, 2011 at 5:23 PM

    Wow, quick to pull the Maya has no chops trigger at this point, no? The guy has something like 100 professional innings under his belt, give him a break. His breaking stuff looks good and he gets 90 MPH veloictiy on the fastball so he has a good chance to get outs as a starting pitcher in MLB, should he right the ship. He is not a strikeout guy; if he gets his control and pitch selection down, he has a chance to produce as a middle of the rotation guy; they should not be worried about having to quit on him at this point (what is it like 10 total MLB starts?). Where is this kind of "time to fish or cut bait" analysis from Mark when it comes to position players? Paging Ian Demsond! (I know I harp on it, but the never-ending patience with that guy which the Nats (and media guys like Mark and Adam Kilgore) show makes me crazy.)Anyway, I am betting Maya gets sent down to take the ball every 5th day in Cuse to work on his approach (which is what should happen – the guy needs to face professional hitters as often as possible, not grab an inning or two of mop-up work in the bigs). We'll see.dfh21

  14. Bowdenball - Jun 15, 2011 at 5:23 PM

    Steve M.-You make some good points. Personally I'd much rather see Morse at 1B full time, though. His defensive play has been a very pleasant surprise, and the organization should see if he can play at that position full time and continue to excel defensively. I'm also not sold on Marrero. Even if he's hot at the moment his line on the season is still not very impressive considering he's facing AAA competition. And all the reports I've heard suggest he's still pretty bad defensively- so it would be a huge downgrade from Morse.

  15. Tim - Jun 15, 2011 at 5:27 PM

    I hope Gorzy looks like he did before he was shelved… minus the gopher balls. Early on, he was… dominant's not the right word… maybe sharp is a better description. If he looks the way he did earlier, we could make a nice run here til the All-Star break.We do need an additional arm in the bullpen for long relief and mop-up, so that's the best roster move: DL Ankiel, activate Gorzy, move Maya to bullpen into mop-up duty.BTW, who's our backup first baseman? Cora? If so, we need some help there, too.

  16. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 15, 2011 at 5:33 PM

    The knock on Desmond was all the E6s–he may have fixed that, it seems. Hitting, he's a shortstop, he doesn't need that much if the D is there. Would be nice if he started swinging at strikes, but whatever.

  17. Anonymous - Jun 15, 2011 at 5:38 PM

    "Can anyone comment on the lines at Shake Shack? I want to see what all the fuss is about but wasn't about to miss 3 innings to find out."Why not try getting there earlier and eating before the game? That's a strategey that's always worked for me. Or are you one of those typical pompous Washingtonians who thinks the world revolves around them so much that they can't sneak out of work an hour early on occasion?

  18. sjm308 - Jun 15, 2011 at 5:41 PM

    I think they can play Hairston, Cora, and maybe even Bixler at first but also remember that Pudge was taking ground balls early in the season also.Not sure which Anon this is but I am hoping its a different one then the one who wants Riggs gone all the time. I am not sure what you are seeing in Desmond and honestly would like to hear your assesment. Granted he is not hitting but his defense has been good to very good the last month or so and apparently his leadership qualities are also appreciated by both players and management.He is often listed as a trade possibility on blogs but I don't hear the FO making any kind of inquiries yet (although I imagine they would keep that sort of stuff quiet). I guess Espinosa can easily move to SS with Lombardozi moving up but I kind of like what we have with our infield right now. Maybe I am just not seeing what Anon sees, and would love to be educated.Grandstander is sitting in the same seat and I have my same hat so #5 is looking good!!Go Nats

  19. MicheleS - Jun 15, 2011 at 5:46 PM

    Any thought of having Pudge catch Maya? Maybe he just needs a more veteran presence behind the plate to help him adjust (and to give Ramos 1 day off). I don't expect that to happen, since I am sure he will be sent back to Cuse when Gorzy is fine. One other thing that might be an issue-Maya's family is still stuck in Cuba and I don't think he gets to talk to them much. Any hope of getting them out of there? As we have seen with Desi, when your mind is occupied by Family issues, you can't necessarily focus on the job. As soon as Desi's baby was born, he has been rock solid.

  20. Typical Pompous Washingtonian - Jun 15, 2011 at 5:49 PM

    The world would not come to an end if I left my job an hour early, but do you really think it makes a lot of sense to do that to beat the line at a ballpark food vendor? Perhaps that's an hour I'd rather not have to make up some other time to all because of a milkshake. The inquiry, you self-absorbed simpleton, was simply an inquiry.

  21. HHover - Jun 15, 2011 at 5:51 PM

    dfh21Seems to me that difference bwn Maya and Desmond is pretty clear.Maya isn't showing improvement, and his current level of performance would not be that difficult to replace. Desmond is showing improvement defensively (the big knock on him last year), and he would not be easy to replace–seems to me that's exactly the situation where you show patience.I agreee that sending Maya back down to Syracuse might help him as a starter, and given the money they've sunk into him, it makes sense to try. If that doesn't work, they'd presumably try him as a reliever, but I'm not sure how well his soft-tossing, depends-on-command-that-often-isn't-there approach would work in the BP either.

  22. MicheleS - Jun 15, 2011 at 5:55 PM

    Grandstander… I saw a few comments about the Box Frites not being worth the wait. Over on WaPO, they showed the lines, but no comments on the actual food. Don't worry about getting there extra early. I usually go and get in lines for food about 45 minutes before the game. Or just wait until the next time you go to the game, the newness may have worn off by then. And totally agree with your simpleton comment.. No need for that kind of comment from Anon 1:38.. We are nice people here!

  23. MicheleS - Jun 15, 2011 at 5:58 PM

    Mark Z,A comment yesterday from another poster. Harper hasn't been playing lately. Any Reason? Just resting, injury,????Thanks

  24. MurrayTheRed - Jun 15, 2011 at 6:03 PM

    In regards to the "Shake Shack". The line was long, there were 120 people in line ahead of me (yes it was actually counted), but there were 8 order takers. So the line moved well, I missed a full inning waiting in line. Thank god it wasn't the 7th! I had the milk shake – it was very good, but kinda small. I'd get it again if the line is shorter.

  25. Anonymous - Jun 15, 2011 at 6:04 PM

    Marrero has just 2 errors in 557 chances for a .996 Fielding%. How is that bad defensively?

  26. Anonymous - Jun 15, 2011 at 6:06 PM

    I've never understood the mentality of these pompasses who constantly complain about having to miss an inning or two because they were waiting in line for food or beer. Are they coming to watch a baseball game or are they coming to eat and get their drink on? You know they're not going to stop the game for you to go get your food, so if it's that important that you eat (or that you eat the most popular food and nothing else will do) then why not get there an hour or so early when (a) the lines are always short and (b) even if they're not, you're not missing anyhing while you wait in line? Either you ARE the most pompous and self-centered person in the world, or you're an idiot. Or maybe both.

  27. Grandstander - Jun 15, 2011 at 6:07 PM

    Some notes on Maya. I'm using career numbers, his numbers from this season are even worse, but the sample size is small.Innings 1-3 – .263 BAA with a .737 OPSInnings 4-6 – .363 BAA with a 1.027 OPSRiSP – .408 BAA with a 1.127 OPS1st PA for batter – .278 BAA with a .822 OPS2nd PA for batter – .314 BAA with a .858 OPS3rd PA for batter – .351 BAA with a .968 OPSIn 9 games, he's only made it to the 6th inning 3 times, logging a mere 7 total 6th inning outs and sporting a 19.29 ERA, .500 BAA and 1.157 OPS.He hasn't proven himself at any level in America sporting decent, but not good, numbers in the minor leagues. I'm not saying it's time to cut bait and eat his contract. I'm just saying maybe there's something to trying him out in long relief to limit his exposure.

  28. DFL - Jun 15, 2011 at 6:21 PM

    Marrero's in line for a September call-up even if it is to determine his value and market him for trade. The Nats will likely be 20 games behind by Labor Day. Learning about their young players should get precedence over whether they win 73 or 76 games.

  29. Tcostant - Jun 15, 2011 at 6:24 PM

    From the homw page:ESPN-980 AM's "Nats Insider," Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the current schedule (subject to change)…MON: 2:45 p.m.TUE: 12:40 p.m., 6:00 p.m.WED: 2:25 p.m.THU: 1:45 p.m.FRI: 5:30 p.m.SAT: 11:25 a.m.*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com.Me – Is your time on Wednesdays really 2:45pm?Please advise

  30. Steve M. - Jun 15, 2011 at 6:44 PM

    DFL said… Marrero's in line for a September call-up even if it is to determine his value and market him for trade. The Nats will likely be 20 games behind by Labor Day. Learning about their young players should get precedence over whether they win 73 or 76 games. June 15, 2011 2:21 PM 20 games behind 1st place? Could be but I dont see anyone they bring up costing them games.They are getting young and deserving relievers in like Mattheus and Kimball and re-tried Stammen and Balester again!It is time to give more than just Bixler a shot. I am thinking Antonelli and Marrero and in September Lombardozzi. No way these guys cost the Nats 3 games.The way I see it young players generally give their team an immediate boost because there is no scouting on them, and then when the league figures them out like Brandon Belt you see if your player can adjust so they can stick like Mike Stanton.

  31. N. Cognito - Jun 15, 2011 at 7:05 PM

    MicheleS said… "A comment yesterday from another poster. Harper hasn't been playing lately. Any Reason? Just resting, injury,????"He's been in line at the Shake Shack.

  32. N. Cognito - Jun 15, 2011 at 7:08 PM

    Actually, Harper's out due to a little soreness.http://www.rotoworld.com/content/playerpages/playerbreakingnews.asp?sport=MLB&id=5764&line=328616&spln=1

  33. Drew8 - Jun 15, 2011 at 7:10 PM

    Thanks for the Harper update. The Delmarva Shorebirds announced today that Harper will headline the home run contest at the Sally League All-Star Game June 21, so I guess he's not too banged up.

  34. Mark Zuckerman - Jun 15, 2011 at 7:14 PM

    You guys beat me to it, but yes, Harper just has a minor injury. And yes, he's still slated to play in the Sally League All-Star Game next week.

  35. MicheleS - Jun 15, 2011 at 7:15 PM

    N Cognito…Thanks for the update on Harper and for the laugh on the Shake Shack line. I am sure some would chastise him for his poor planning and not getting to the Park early!Good to see he will be in the HR contest.. Hopefully he will hit SOME BOMBS and we can see the video highligts. Or is it on TV some where? MLB TV maybe?

  36. N. Cognito - Jun 15, 2011 at 7:17 PM

    And the Sally League Homerun Derby.Google is my friend.

  37. N. Cognito - Jun 15, 2011 at 7:19 PM

    Oooops. Didn't see that Drew8. I usually peruse bottom to top.

  38. happy nat fan - Jun 15, 2011 at 7:21 PM

    is there a "prozac shack" open for anonymous? of course, he'd whine about that, too. unless his insurance covers it and stankds on line for him so he can watch riggleman suck. cheer up or grow up.

  39. Mark'd - Jun 15, 2011 at 7:31 PM

    SteveM, your points on Brandon Belt and new callups are spot on. Anthony Rizzo was pitched to carefully and treated like Pujols over the weekend and in todays game and the past 2 they have a book on him and getting him out so as of his 1st at bat today he is now batting .167

  40. Tcostant - Jun 15, 2011 at 7:35 PM

    I pulled this interesting tidbit off of Baseball America’s prospect sheet:Matt Antonelli, 2b/3b, Nationals. Taken by the Padres with the 17th overall pick in the 2006 draft, Antonelli rose to prominence as a prospect with a strong '07 season that included 21 homers, 28 steals, and an .894 OPS. But then he suffered through injury-logged campaigns in 2009-10 and played in just 60 games. He essentially missed all of last year and in '09 batted just .196 for Triple-A Portland in 189 at-bats. In light of recent events, San Diego non-tendered Antonelli last December, and he settled on Washington as a landing spot because they offered him the best chance of upward mobility. The 26-year-old has made the most of his second chance by refashioning himself as a utility player. Antonelli has called on his strong athleticism to hold down second base (10 games), third base (eight) and even a little shortstop (three) for Triple-A Syracuse. He batted 10-for-27 (.370) this week with a homer, a triple and two doubles. In 18 games for the Chiefs he sports a .364/.425/.576 batting line, which gives him a chance to atone for an ugly cup of coffee (.573 OPS in 65 PA) with the '08 Padres.

  41. MurrayTheRed - Jun 15, 2011 at 8:10 PM

    Actually Anymouse I always get to the park an hour early to eat the buffet that is provided with my seat. But the Nats advertised the Shake Shake so highly during the game I thought I'd try it out. Someone asked how fast the line was and the quality of the food, so I was responding to them, not you. Now who is really the pompous one?

  42. Big Cat - Jun 15, 2011 at 8:23 PM

    If you watch Maya's location of pitches, he consistently misses the glove by a foot or more. On Puhols 2nd at bat, the call was for a low and away fastball. It was right down the middle. He was lucky…..ground out to short. HRod can get away with this cause he is in the upper 90's. I would try and trade Maya. If you don't have any interest….I would release him. But he would never start another game in the bigs again

  43. ronk - Jun 15, 2011 at 8:33 PM

    Maya had a a bit of bad luck last night in the 5th. A double play ball was hit to Desmond who had trouble getting it out of his glove and could only get the force at second. If Desi makes that play, 3 Cardinal runs don't later score and Maya survives to pitch another inning. This was all overshadowed by the Nats 7th inning explosion. He still may not pan out, but shouldn't be cut based on last night's performance alone.

  44. JaneB - Jun 15, 2011 at 9:01 PM

    I like the idea of trying Maya in the bull pen. I might have hated Clip as a starter, too, from what I've read. But I love love love him as the set up man. And even as the set up the set up man. After September, and his not great production at Syracuse, and these appearances at Nats, I think he has to become some sort of reclamation project — out of the pen, back in Syracuse, or on some other team. Hey, the Mets owe us for taking on their reclamation project (possibly still worth the gamble, we will see) in Perez. Maybe another team can do something with him. Getting them to try is a whole 'mother story, I know.

  45. Anonymous - Jun 15, 2011 at 9:41 PM

    Right now, I agree. DL Ankiel and bring someone up and Marrero is hot in the Minors.Antonelli is hotter now at .358? Even better? He has a .422 OBP. Antonelli is older at age 26 and more seasoned. Antonelli is the better fielder and can play multiple positions across the infield. Marerro is 22. He is still learning to get better defensively at first base after failing miserably at third base and the outfield in the majors. Folks its going to be Antonelli next especially if they decide to release 28 year old Brian Bixler. They aren't going to rush 22 year old Marerro to the majors. Its NOT going to happen. Jim Bowden and his leather pants no longer run the show.

  46. Anonymous - Jun 15, 2011 at 9:42 PM

    after failing miserably at third base and the outfield in the majors. Meant to say in the minors

  47. Anonymous - Jun 15, 2011 at 9:50 PM

    Anyway, I am betting Maya gets sent down to take the ball every 5th day in Cuse to work on his approach (which is what should happen – the guy needs to face professional hitters as often as possible, not grab an inning or two of mop-up work in the bigs). We'll see.Good spot-on guess @dfh21 or anon. ~smiles~ Given that guys like Gaudin and Mock are still on the 40-man and hey they have a potential left-handed specialist in Athualpo Severino on the 40-man. He is just now starting to pitch after being recalled from X-ST? There is no reason not to give Maya a chance to work things through in Syracuse where he was having decent success, give that context? He is slightly older than one Garrett Mock. I hope Maya works on that fast ball and not just the Livo mickey mouse curves.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
x-WASHINGTON 87 63 -- 0
ATLANTA 75 76 12.5
MIAMI 73 77 14.0
NEW YORK 73 79 15.0
PHILADELPHIA 69 81 18.0
Through Tuesday's early games
x-Clinched division title
UPCOMING SCHEDULE
WED: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
THU: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

Follow us on Twitter