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Complete game

Jun 16, 2011, 4:05 AM EDT

Before taking the field Tuesday night for the first time in nine weeks, Ryan Zimmerman tried to downplay the impact his return might have on the Nationals’ woebegone lineup.

“Me coming back is not going to make us score 10 runs every night,” he insisted.

Technically speaking, Zimmerman was right. They’re only scoring nine runs per game since his return.

Oh well, that will just have to suffice.

Buoyed by the addition of their best player, the Nationals tore up the Cardinals pitching staff for the second straight day. Tuesday’s 8-6 win was merely the preamble for Wednesday’s 10-0 rout, matching the largest margin of victory in a shutout since the franchise arrived in town.

Winners of five straight, the Nationals are suddenly flying high, thanks in no small part to the return of their Gold Glove and Silver
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  1. Grandstander - Jun 16, 2011 at 4:14 AM

    Back to where it all started. Lannan was the first pitcher to bat 8th. We haven't lost since. Anyone want to take bets he's batting 8th tomorrow?

  2. Sec3MySofa - Jun 16, 2011 at 4:26 AM

    OK, I won't jinx them, but every year, somebody comes out of nowhere. I'm just sayin.

  3. Sec3MySofa - Jun 16, 2011 at 4:34 AM

    By the way, it is nice to have a Mark around, ain't it? You're hitting a stride, dude.

  4. Y is for... - Jun 16, 2011 at 4:38 AM

    Over the past 5 games, Nationals pitchers not named Yunesky have given up only 2 runs total. 2 runs in 5 games!

  5. sjm308 - Jun 16, 2011 at 4:45 AM

    That really is an amazing stat and I believe LannEn's last 3 starts have been lights out! Here we come!!! Grandstander, get back to your seat immediately.

  6. Sec3MySofa - Jun 16, 2011 at 5:07 AM

    This may be the perfect team to put together an "It gets better" video!

  7. Andrew - Jun 16, 2011 at 10:07 AM

    That caught stealing in the 4th was huge as it was a 2-0 lead and not sure why Theriot was trying to steal with Pujols coming up who would have been intentionally walked then with 1st base open, but how nice to get Pujols up with nobody on base and 2 outs.After that inning, Livo just cruised!!! Very nice game!

  8. Andrew - Jun 16, 2011 at 10:14 AM

    Another thought, the SCOUTING was incredible on placing the Nats defense in the perfect positions all night. How many balls were smoked right to Nix and Werth where they didn't have to move much. Same for Danny Espinosa.Again, impecable defense and nice being on the right side of everything going right including HR power and good RISP batting!!!!

  9. Big Cat - Jun 16, 2011 at 10:35 AM

    Another good move from Riz. Trading soft tossing Joe Beimel for Mattheus. It was a gamble cause Mattheus had just undergone Tommy John surgery. We are not to the halfway point yet and the Nats are flying high. Dare I say it? P…P…Playoffs? Manassas Nats Fan said he has ordered playoff tickets.

  10. Gonat - Jun 16, 2011 at 10:52 AM

    8:57 p.m. — Man, I gotta update those Morse numbers again. He just destroyed a pitch from Ryan Franklin for his second homer of the night, this one scoring a pair of runs. Morse now has 12 homers on the season, and the Nats now have an 8-0 lead in the bottom of the seventh.ESPN measured Morse's 2nd HR over the bullpen at 445 feet.The postgame with Riggleman brought up an interesting discussion which was is Morse on a streak. Riggleman says "No" that a streak is like 10 games and this is well over a month. Let's hope it continues.On Mark's All Star poll, 15% said Morse is the guy which put him in 3rd behind Clip and Storen . Nobody really wanted to talk Morse in Mark's thread on the All Star and found this which makes sense for a guy who is getting ESPN air time. Morse had that slumping April, and since has been in BEAST MODE: Steve M. said… Nattydread, consistency? Hate to tell you while that is great for Nats fans, the ASG is about how you finish and not always how you started which is great for Morse. Morse's versatility to play OF and 1B helps the manager too.June 13, 2011 5:12 PM

  11. Anonymous8 - Jun 16, 2011 at 11:12 AM

    Big Cat said… We are not to the halfway point yet and the Nats are flying high. Dare I say it? P…P…Playoffs? Manassas Nats Fan said he has ordered playoff tickets. June 16, 2011 6:35 AM ——————————You didn't say playoffs? Someone may go Jim Mora on you! Playoffs? Playoffs?Just look at the disappointment in Baltimore and Cleveland. Baltimore started off the season on a nice winning streak and now is in their rightful spot in the AL East basement.Cleveland 3 weeks ago had the best record in all of the Majors and now are in a virutal tie with Detroit in 1st place.The Nats are on a 5 game win streak and are now tied for 4th place with the Marlins but still 10 1/2 games out of 1st Place and a long way from even being considered a good team. This is a decent team with good pitching, good relief, good defense, and good base running and poor offense. Two games with Zim back will make the offense better but can they become CONSISTENTLY good?Ah, that word consistent!!!!

  12. Gonat - Jun 16, 2011 at 11:19 AM

    Big Cat/Manassas Nat Fan :http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3-eavMSBnk&feature=relatedPlayoffs?

  13. MicheleS - Jun 16, 2011 at 11:43 AM

    Okay. so I was at the game last night.. Had some awesome seats. There were over 27K in the stands and no Promo's.. didn't see to many Cards fans (again they are polite so they could have been sitting right next to me and i wouldn't have known). The one comment that kept coming up in our section was our stunned happiness. I think that is what most of the crowd was like. We were all so stunned by the outburst of hitting, none of us could wrap our minds around what was going on! When all the homers were being hit late (Morse, Espi, Werth), everyone started to laugh. I think that was the first game I have ever been to that the fans were actually LAUGHING at the good play going on in the game…BTW.. that snag that Espi had in the field where he had to jump up was AWESOME.. that kid is going to win some gold gloves! (And hat's off to Desi for not throwing the one away late – I think it was the last hit that the Cards got)!!!!

  14. UNTERP.NAT - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:12 PM

    The Law of Averages, Myth or Reality?Taking just the past five years the Nationals I would say have had their share of bad luck, dumb luck, missed calls (umpires calling balls strikes against the Nationals and calling strikes balls for the opponent particularly in tight games), bad calls (runners clearly safe but called out and vice versa go against the Nationals), goofy fielding, poor base running, balls thrown past the cut off, balls thrown to the wrong base, pitchers nibbling around the plate but not over the plate, balls laying on the field when the player is rounding the bases and the defensive outfielder jumping up and down ranting that he missed catching the ball from going over the fence, the pitcher throwing a perfect pitch jamming the hitter but the opponent muscling it into open space in the outfield with two outs and scoring two runs instead of none, etc. Now, I've heard it said that over the course of a season the bad calls that go against you return with favorable outcome. I've seen way too many bad calls and situations go against the National the past five years. So, I'm saying this, if the Law of Averages is true, then I say that the Law of Averages will favor the Nationals for the next decade or so, which began with the advent of Ryan Zimmerman on Tuesday. Everything or anything and all that predated Tuesday, June 14, 2011 that went against the Nationals, stays there, done, gone forever, and forgotten. At 7:05PM when the Washington Nationals took the field, it was the dawning of the age of the Nats…

  15. Joe Seamhead - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:17 PM

    Speaking of streaks…how many innings/games has the team gone without making an error, and how many total chances has Morse had without being charged with an error?

  16. m20832 - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:22 PM

    Winning sure feels good!

  17. UNTERP.NAT - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:24 PM

    m20832 said… Winning sure feels good!that's what I was trying to say…

  18. Nats Outsider - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:24 PM

    I noticed one nice moment at the end of yesterday's game. Zimmerman held onto the ball from the final out. As the Nats gathered for the post-game handshakes, he jogged over to place it directly in Livo's hand. It was a small gesture, but symbolically important. Livo pitched wonderfully, of course, but at this stage of his career, there is a very good chance it was his last complete game shutout. The final ball should make a nice keepsake.BTW, before people start talking about playoffs, try to keep some perspective on what teams we've beaten lately. The Cards are good (or were, until the last week or so), but the Padres are not. More importantly, neither of them are NL East teams. This streak is great and enormous fun, but the Nats will not make the playoffs until they start consistently beating teams like Philly and Atlanta. So, let's just enjoy the current good fortune while we can. I propose a new goal. Can we shoot for a 500 record by the All Star break? Is that do-able?

  19. UNTERP.NAT - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:28 PM

    Nats Outsider said… How 'bout the Nats just win the next game?

  20. UNTERP.NAT - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:32 PM

    jmorrisa wrote this:Washingtonpost Nationals JournalAnd with Espi's blast – the Nats now have a run differential of 0 – suggesting .500 play through the course of the season. That's having played the toughest schedule to date of any team in the majors, more road games then any teams in the majors, and with the best player on the team – both offensively and defensively – having played in only 10 of 68 games. And an offense that's been atrocious enough to assume at least some regression. I don't want to get too excited, but maybe all this talk of "maybe they can reach .500" is really a low expectation.

  21. Anonymous8 - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:35 PM

    MicheleS said… BTW.. that snag that Espi had in the field where he had to jump up was AWESOME.. that kid is going to win some gold gloves! (And hat's off to Desi for not throwing the one away late – I think it was the last hit that the Cards got)!!!! June 16, 2011 7:43 AM —————————–When a lot of people wanted Espy at SS, I thought that could put a strain on him. His range and glove at 2nd with a shortstop's arm I said in Spring Training would make him a Gold Glove player only they probably wouldn't give it to him because the best player most of the time doesn't get it when you factor in advanced metrics.Espy has played even better than I envisioned but being a Rookie will still make it tough and he will go up against incumbent Brandon Phillips. In comparison on the #1 stat for all fielders is errors, Danny has 4 and Phillips has 2. .994 vs. .986 fielding percentage.Still a long way to go and in my book Espinosa is the best defensive 2nd baseman which is why I don't like the idea floated of having Rendon at 2nd or even Desi and Espy switching postitions when you have a potential Gold Glover over there.

  22. Arlington BigFish - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:45 PM

    Apropos of not really anything: I noticed in the paper this AM that the Nats' record with Lannan pitching is the same as the Phils with Lee pitching: 8-6. Every time I watch Lannan pitch, he seems so underwhelming. But he just keeps hanging around, & gets the job done more often than not.

  23. Gonat - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:53 PM

    UNTERP.NAT said… jmorrisa wrote this:Washingtonpost Nationals JournalAnd with Espi's blast – the Nats now have a run differential of 0 – suggesting .500 play through the course of the season. That's having played the toughest schedule to date of any team in the majors, more road games then any teams in the majors, and with the best player on the team – both offensively and defensively – having played in only 10 of 68 games. And an offense that's been atrocious enough to assume at least some regression. I don't want to get too excited, but maybe all this talk of "maybe they can reach .500" is really a low expectation. June 16, 2011 8:32 AM ____________________________________I like that although I would go in a different direction with this statement:"And an offense that's been atrocious enough to assume at least some regression."I would say that its been so atrocious to assume it shouldn't get any worse and we should see some PROGRESSION.

  24. UNTERP.NAT - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:55 PM

    Gonat said… I think that was what jmorrisa meant. just didn't come out right…

  25. MichelsS - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:56 PM

    BTW.. checked out the St Louis Post Dispatch today (www.stltoday.com) and it nice to read the about the other team imploding!

  26. UNTERP.NAT - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:56 PM

    I'm just going to take it one game at a time and where the Nats end up, they end up…

  27. natsfan1a - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:58 PM

    GSer, re. the CGO, I made similar remarks after attending Livo's CGO last year (may have been his last etc.). I'm not saying, I'm just saying…

  28. natsfan1a - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:59 PM

    Make that "CGSO." I can has coffee now?

  29. natsfan1a - Jun 16, 2011 at 1:09 PM

    Oh, speaking of Zimm, did anybody notice that after, I think it was, Morse's second dinger or Espinosa's, R-Zimm was walking in the dugout and somebody (might have been J-Zimm but only seen from behind) was following behind and look to be rubbing/tapping their hand on his head? Like he's a lucky mascot now or something? :-) Also seen: Jayson Werth tugging on Morse's hair, which was sticking up through a hole in his helmet; Livo eating a banana (so that's how he keeps his energy level up).And then there's this. There's such a thing as bagpipe hacking? Who'd a thunk it?http://pipehacker.com/about/Also, I hear that they are considering a new addition to the Highland Games. Yeah, that's right. Gorse-hacking.

  30. HHover - Jun 16, 2011 at 1:17 PM

    I'm with Unterp–I'm rooting for the next win, and don't see any point in indulging the irrationally exuberant expectations.

  31. A DC Wonk - Jun 16, 2011 at 1:41 PM

    That caught stealing in the 4th was huge…The Nats lead the league in allowing the fewest stolen bases. Only three teams have allowed fewer than 40 — the Nats have allowed only 22.The Nats defense has an eye-popping 20 caught steals (vs 22 SB's), a ratio that is so ridiculously better than any other team. It's not even close. The ratio of succesful steals with the rest of the league ranges from 66% to 79%. For the Nats it's 52% (!!)Again, impeccable defense and nice…The Nats are tied with the Phils for the fewest errors in the NL.As a team, the Nats are 6th in the NL in ERA.As a team, the Nats are 4th in stolen bases (that was the biggest surprise to me).The Nats have done everything well except hitting. And, if a few guys are breaking out of their slumps, some sunny days may be ahead.

  32. Unkyd - Jun 16, 2011 at 1:50 PM

    Has anybody given any thought to a t-shirt/bumper sticker slogan, featuring gorse hacking? The Washington Nationals:Hacking Through the Gorse!I have a hunch we can do better than that….

  33. MicheleS - Jun 16, 2011 at 1:55 PM

    Maybe we can get Mikey Morse to do his best Braveheart immitation for the scoreboard as a way to get a rally going!

  34. Unkyd - Jun 16, 2011 at 2:00 PM

    I like .500, as a target… Optimizing next years roster depends on several youngsters getting sept. at-bats….In NO WAY should that comment be interpreted as hoping for anything less than every single win we can eke out!!! The sample may be big enough to extrapolate that this may be who we are, re: pitching, defense, baserunning…. A few more hits, in a little more timely fashion, on a slightly more consistent basis, could make a stunning difference.Jes' Sayin'…..

  35. UNTERP.NAT - Jun 16, 2011 at 2:10 PM

    Okay, everybody here knows what's going on. We are entering territory no one has ever been and don't want to get beyond ourselves. I'm just trying to figure out if I should change my undergarments.A poll would be nice!

  36. Unkyd - Jun 16, 2011 at 2:16 PM

    Oh…and that new hitting coach is working out well, too!!! Clearly nothing was gonna change, with that clown, Eckstein, running things… What's that? Eck is still here?! Well, he must have switched brands of chew, or something… maybe a shot of Genius Juice, in his coffee?

  37. Unkyd - Jun 16, 2011 at 2:20 PM

    Keep with the old panties, Unterp… Just make a habit of sitting amongst the visiting fans. Just tell them it's the gorse, they're smelling… ;-)

  38. N. Cognito - Jun 16, 2011 at 2:28 PM

    "Regression" refers to "regression to the mean."In short, things move back to the norm.

  39. N. Cognito - Jun 16, 2011 at 2:31 PM

    A DC Wonk said… "That caught stealing in the 4th was huge…"Desmond needs to be sure he tags the guy next time.

  40. Traveler8 - Jun 16, 2011 at 2:37 PM

    Just read the on-line story from the StL Daily – my favorite quote about Livo is the following:"He was fooling us all night," second baseman Skip Schumaker said. "We knew what he had. It's why he's been around forever. He knows how to pitch."

  41. N. Cognito - Jun 16, 2011 at 2:37 PM

    UNTERP.NAT said… "The Law of Averages, Myth or Reality?"Calls have probably worked out pretty even. More often than not, we've been the worst team on the field the last 6 years, so the miatakes might have ended up costing us more.Better hitting teams, and teams that don't strike out as much as the Nats will get more fluke hits.Better pitchers tend to get the borderline call.Law of Averages is already balanced.

  42. UNTERP.NAT - Jun 16, 2011 at 2:43 PM

    N. Cognito said… More than anything N. Cognito, I was being fictitious and facetious…

  43. N. Cognito - Jun 16, 2011 at 3:10 PM

    Okay, that's good. I know some people really, REALLY get bent-out-of-shape in the "we got screwed" mindset.

  44. A DC Wonk - Jun 16, 2011 at 4:04 PM

    N. Cognito said… A DC Wonk said… "That caught stealing in the 4th was huge…" Desmond needs to be sure he tags the guy next time.Or, at least make the ump *think* you tagged the guy ;-)

  45. Canada's #1 Nats Fan - Jun 16, 2011 at 4:14 PM

    13 straight games without an error. Think about that after the poor defense we've witnessed the past few years. Very impressive. I believe the MLB record is 18 set by the 2009 Yankees. Could the Nats set a new record?

  46. Mark'd - Jun 16, 2011 at 4:56 PM

    Gonat/unterp, good read on the WaPo comment and unterp still has me laughing on the new hitting coaxh

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 55 44 --
ATLANTA 55 46 1.0
NEW YORK 48 53 8.0
MIAMI 47 52 8.5
PHILADELPHIA 43 57 12.5
Through Wednesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
THU: OFF
FRI: Nats at Reds, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Reds, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Reds, 1:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 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.

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