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A wild day, a wild game, another win

Jun 25, 2011, 7:00 AM EDT

Associated Press photo
John McLaren was ejected following an overturned call in the eighth inning.

CHICAGO — They’d seen their manager quit in a huff moments after winning a game in dramatic fashion. They’d seen their interim manager get ejected, leaving a consortium of coaches to run the show for another six innings. They’d heard rumors about their next manager, who has the job but won’t officially take over quite yet.

They’d seen their bullpen blow not one, not two, but three save opportunities in the span of four innings. They’d seen star players go hitless in seven plate appearances, unheralded role players out-hustle everyone else on the field and a center fielder stone-cold rob an ex-teammate of a home run. They’d experienced enough twists and turns and drama normally reserved for a full season squeezed into 36 hours of pure insanity.

And at the end of all that, what did the Washington Nationals do? The same thing they’ve been doing for the last two weeks.

They won the ballgame.

“That’s as much intensity as I’ve seen in the game in 24 years,” John McLaren said after a 9-5, 14-inning, 4-hour and 58-minute victory over the Chicago White Sox. “It was incredible, the passion they had
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  1. MicheleS - Jun 25, 2011 at 9:31 AM

    Amazing recap! Wish I could have seen it!

  2. MicheleS - Jun 25, 2011 at 9:50 AM

    And I would like to thank Mark and all the chatters for wonderful game coverage! If this is the only way I could follow the game, I will take it!

  3. natsfan1a - Jun 25, 2011 at 11:14 AM

    Hokey smokes. I couldn't stay awake far enough into extra innings and finally went to bed after setting the DVR (yeah, I know). Woke up and had a very, very happy game results email to read. I think the Nats showed us something last night, uh, this morning. Ladies and gents, I do believe we have ourselves a baseball team.(Oh, and McLaren's rant was pretty epic, imho, and thanks to FP for the info on Desi's cap smudge, which I'd been wondering about.)

  4. Big Cat - Jun 25, 2011 at 11:20 AM

    Man o man, what a ride. Did you see McClaren getting after it? Holy smoke. And now Davey coming in? And its not even the all star break yet. Things could get very very interesting. Wild card nothin…..lets set our sights on the Phillies! WARP 8 MR Zulu….Photon Torpedoes ready!

  5. Nats Outsider - Jun 25, 2011 at 11:24 AM

    New slogan for the Nats:Cardiac arrest: Expect It

  6. Steve M. - Jun 25, 2011 at 11:26 AM

    Natsfan1a, I drank 4 Red Bull, and I still haven't gone to bed. Sitting in my hotel room and the clock says 6:21 in Chicago time.Luckily I have NatsInsider to read and the MLB package to watch the game on my computer. I picked another good game to come to and this afternoon's should be interesting if I can stay awake!

  7. Nats Outsider - Jun 25, 2011 at 11:27 AM

    Mark, a serious question: Who will be available in the bullpen for today's game? It seems like they had to burn the whole 'pen last night, uhh, this morning. And Clip and Storen clearly needed rest even before the last game.

  8. baseballswami - Jun 25, 2011 at 11:35 AM

    So sorry that I fell asleep – I really tried! Natstown has been a crazy place lately. the new manager situation feels a little tainted to me. First , I think this was Rizzo's plan all along and he knew he was setting Riggs up for this to happen. Second – Johnson hasn't managed in 11 years and gets a long-term contract? Really. A little bit of " in-your-face" here? I don't like what I have seen of Rizzo in the last day or so at all. I think Riggs played right into his hands. Rizzo probably beats his own kids at Candyland and rubs it in. Save it for Boras – and , oh, maybe instead of going on tv constantly to show what a big man you are, you should maybe be using that big ego to get boras to sign some players before the eleventh hour. Regarding the team – so great to see that they still played with the same determination and grit that they have been – I love these guys! sounds like McClaren out-Ozzied, Ozzie!

  9. Anonymous - Jun 25, 2011 at 11:35 AM

    Riggs need to keep quiet now. He quit and took his ball home. Now he is going after the sports writers. You quit in a huff. Fine. You had your say. Now lets move on.

  10. sjm308 - Jun 25, 2011 at 11:41 AM

    Wow!!I made it through the Clippard inning and ran out of tums. How great to get up, go to the computer and read from Mark just what happened. So many heros!! Bixler, Bernadina, Nix, Morse etc, etc. But our pitching!! I have been crowing about this bullpen and I realize there were 3 blown saves but did any of you think Coffey was going to hold them to just 1 run with the bases loaded and only one out after throwing a wild pitch/passed ball?Outsider, I figure Rodriguez only threw to 3 batters, Burnett to just one and I think Matheus had a pretty easy inning as well. Its not great but it is what it is. The guy I worry about is Ramos. Catching 14 innings has to be tough.Just checked, only 4 teams ahead of us in the wild card and its down to 3.5 games. Here we come!!Go Nats! ( I will be busy now as I read through probably 200 comments on last nights game – I really need to get a life)

  11. Anonymous - Jun 25, 2011 at 11:44 AM

    Wow! This team is on fire!! They are showing unbelievable grit this season. I hate to start a negative thread but someone has talk about the 800 pound gorilla on the team, that is Jayson Werth's inept performance at the plate. No one was happier than me when the Nats signed him but what in the hell has happened to him this season? 4 out of 7 ABs last game were strikeouts. It seems like every plate appearance starts off with him looking at the 1st pitch for a strike. Then he'll look at a pitch for ball one followed for by hitting a foul ball. Eventually he'll either look at strike three or swing meekly at a pitch out of the strike zone. Then he walks away when a dumb look on his face of indifference that says, "Oh well, I struck out again. I don't care." What is wrong with him? It is an embarrassment to have him lead off. He looks completely lost at the plate. Plus he is looking bad playing RF. Yet another error last night. Maybe he needs to be benched for a couple of games. At the very least, he needs to be dropped to 7th or 8th in the batting order.Again, I truly like him as a player. He was always a Nats killer when he played for Nats. I was ecstatic when the Nats signed him. Now something has to be done to straighten him out. Any thoughts Mark on what the Nats have to do to get Werth back on track? Go Nats!Rob from Waldorf, MDGYFNG

  12. Big Cat - Jun 25, 2011 at 11:46 AM

    Now….who was part of that wild mid 80's Mets bunch, that is still active in baseball? Ray Knight of course. Man, he was gushing praise on Davey before the game. And there is one very interesting name out there who is managing in AA this year. Wally Backman. I'll bet Davey brings him in next spring as a coach. I don't know if that will be good or bad…..but Wally wins wherever he goes. Check him out on You tube

  13. Steve M. - Jun 25, 2011 at 11:47 AM

    Mark Zuckerman wrote…Jordan Zimmermann authored yet another brilliant pitching performance, tossing seven scoreless innings to notch his 10th consecutive quality start and lower his ERA to 2.85. Roger Bernadina robbed Adam Dunn of a sure home run. Michael Morse clubbed his 12th homer in 31 daysJordan Zimmermann started shakey but wasn't helped by his defense in the 1st because of that errror by Werth. With runners on 1st and 2nd, he gets that comebacker, guess what, double play. The other time he got in trouble was the the robbery by Bernadina on a struggling Adam Dunn. Other than that, Jordan Zimmermann has put up All Star numbers. ERA is now sub-2.99 which puts you in the conversation with the big boys only that W/L tells an ugly tale of missed opportunities on most games JZim has pitched. To me, this kid is looking as good as almost any #2 out there and better than some #1's.I wrote in the GameDay log about Brian Bixler. He is my new Jamey Carroll (only faster). He makes the defense rush throws. Every playoff contending team needs 1 X-factor guy, and to me that is Brian Bixler. Sadly, I don't think Rizzo would agree with me.Michael Morse with the big HR and made so many plays at 1st base. I thought he got Konerko out. They showed the replay on the big board here. By the way, they never showed the replay of Bernadina's catch but it was great watching it on Sportscenter!!!!!!I hope both Clippard and Storen learned from their mistakes tonight and a comment to Nats Outsider on the bullpens, the Nats bullpen is fresher than the White Sox bullpen. Those White Sox pitch counts grew huge tonight on some of their relievers.

  14. sjm308 - Jun 25, 2011 at 11:50 AM

    @swami – where do you see it written that Johnson has a "long term contract"? I read Mark and see he is interim through this year and will be under consideration. To me, what they will do is have this entire season to evaluate and Davey will have that time to see if its something he things he can handle at 68. I like both Jewitt and Knorr and feel like we are in a place where people will be coming to us for this job as well. Not sure why you are crushing Rizzo, he didn't go to Riggs, Riggs came to him. Whether there was an ultimatum or not, Riggs was probably not the long term guy and this put Rizzo in a position where he had to act sooner than later and he did. By the way, I loved beating my kids in any game and they knew that when they did win, it was because they won and not because I let them. Go Nats!

  15. sjm308 - Jun 25, 2011 at 11:51 AM

    thinks not things

  16. masnstinks - Jun 25, 2011 at 12:00 PM

    I have found myself mentally compiling a wish list for the new manager:1. Get rid of Stairs2. Motivate Werth – PLEASE3.Use Brian Bixler more,he is a younger, faster version of Cora and is more the future of the team.4. Keep Bernie in CF – did you see that catch? 5.Talk the fo into letting Teddy win!Anybody else have a wish list for Davey?

  17. natsfan1a - Jun 25, 2011 at 12:03 PM

    SteveM, thanks for representing us last night, and good luck with staying awake today. We could use another 9 from you if you think you've got it in you. ;-)Interesting observation about Bixler. Loved Carroll and was so bummed when he was, basically, sold down the river by the Nats. But then he had a wild ride with the Rockies so I guess it worked out for him.Oh, if you see Ken Rosenthal, could you give him a noogie for me (should be there for the Fox coverage)? Just kidding…

  18. natsfan1a - Jun 25, 2011 at 12:06 PM

    Masnstinks, yeah…1. Just win.(Oh, and funny stuff in the game thread last night, uh, this morning, Mark.)

  19. Steve M. - Jun 25, 2011 at 12:21 PM

    By the way cellular service at US Cellular Field sucks. natsfan1a, there were a few dozen Nats fans, maybe more, in attendence. I did my best to represent while also being respectful as a visitor although I went nuts after Morse's HR which I (incorrectly) told everyone is how the Nats win games these days. I don't know if they showed it on TV on the MASN feed but it was MULLETT night and fireworks night so it brought out a strange mix of characters. I really did worry a bit leaving in Nats jersey and cap that I may get into a fight and exited stage right quickly while the fireworks show started.Funny thing about me is I only wear Nats gear on the road and wore my 2010 road Brian Bruney!!!!! PS, natsfan1a, if I see Ken Rosenthal, I will definitely give him your regards with a noogie!

  20. Steve M. - Jun 25, 2011 at 12:26 PM

    Mark Zuckerman wrote…#Nats are only 6th team since 1969 to blow 3 saves and still win gameI definitely like the name for this team of the "Kardiac Kids". Someone should Trademark that!

  21. Bill B - Jun 25, 2011 at 12:33 PM

    The Nats inspired some of your best prose of the year, Mark! Beautiful article!

  22. masnstinks - Jun 25, 2011 at 12:40 PM

    I was just catching up on some of the video clips from last night and I have to say FP Santangelo comes up with some interesting things to say. "You can't get cheese by a rat" – the Nix HR. Seems like he is always coming up with colorful phrases. I really like him. He knows a lot about the game and is entertaining also.

  23. Nats Outsider - Jun 25, 2011 at 12:55 PM

    Bill B said, "The Nats inspired some of your best prose of the year, Mark! Beautiful article!"Even more so, because you had to write it after working the whole day. At 3:00 (2:00 Chicago time), most of us were asleep, or very ready to go to sleep. Mark, you amaze us. Thank you.

  24. Dave - Jun 25, 2011 at 12:56 PM

    Hey, masnstinks, did you figure out that cheese-rat thing that FP said? I commented on it too, in the game thread.I do like him in the broadcast booth. A "colorful talker" without being a jerk. And an excellent explainer of baseball things.

  25. Dave - Jun 25, 2011 at 12:57 PM

    Oh yes, and I wanted to give my heartfelt thanks to Mark Z. for hosting this site where we can come together and run a gameday thread of nearly 300 comments. It's a great way to commune about the Nats' highs and lows.

  26. Joe Seamhead - Jun 25, 2011 at 1:29 PM

    Wow! What a whirlwind of trip the past couple of days have been! And, Mark Zuckerman, your columns have been simply amazing the past 48 hours! As to Davey Johnson being the next manager, I say, BRING IT ON!!!baseballswami, I don't get where you heard that there has been any talk of a long term deal for Davey Johnson. As to Mike Rizzo's handling of the Riggleman fiasco, I personally don't share your perception at all. Riggleman made his own bed and fell out of it. When it comes to baseball decisions, is Mike Rizzo a nice guy? Heck, no. That's not his job. His job is to build a successful, sustainable franchise, and heaven help anybody that gets in his way. After Riggs quit, Rizzo caught flack for not letting Riggs address the players, to let them know that he quit. Well, why would he? Jim Riggleman ceased to be an employee of the Nationals the moment he quit, and as such, the players were no longer "his" team. GYFNG!

  27. JaneB - Jun 25, 2011 at 1:31 PM

    Agree with Dave, natsfan,Nats outsider, and lots of others: thank you for a great wrap up, a really great live blog, and for this site. It was great to feel the Insiders pack last night. Greater numbers of even smarter fans is what this team needs, and Mark Z is helping grow them, and so many smart commenters here are sharing great knowledge.I also really enjoy FP. Makes watching the game on TV entertaining and I learn something from him every time. You can bet someone in my life will gear that rat and cheese line repeated within the next fortnight.

  28. natsfan1a - Jun 25, 2011 at 1:33 PM

    I'll third the thanks to Mark for his writing and the site. SteveM, that's funny about the Bruney jersey. They did mention the promotion and show some of the mullets on tv. Before they did, my husband commented as to how it was a strange-looking crowd. He's like, I know it's a big city and all but…dang… :-) Maybe this game will go down in Nats history as the mullet game. Maybe the Nats need to grow mullets, or do we need to as fans? hmmm…not sure how that would work. Back to the drawing board. Thanks for having our backs in Chicago (and for your intention to give Rosenthal my regards). ;-)Masnstinks and Dave, I'm liking FP, too.Also, after watching the rest of the game and the postgame, I really liked McLaren's comments about the team's resolve. Have to say that I got a little verklempt myself, just as I after Sunday's win.

  29. Section 222 - Jun 25, 2011 at 1:38 PM

    I managed to stay up for the end of the game (started watching during the 8th inning). Whew! Great recap Mark, really captured the ups and downs. And nice behind the scenes info about how the managerial role was divided after McLaren's exit. (That was truly an epic meltdown he had.) Speaking of meltdowns, JHJr. really has to keep his act together. He hurt the team by getting tossed for no reason other than he's a hot head. Oh wait, I guess he didn't hurt the team because Bixler replaced him. Ha! When things are going good….Someone asked why Davey Johnson gets a long term deal and Riggleman couldn't have one. Three words — "lifetime winning percentage." Or better — "World Series ring". This is what Riggleman just didn't get. You have to prove yourself to deserve job security as a manager. He hadn't done it yet. I sure don't blame Davey for wanting the chance to manage in 2012 and 2013 as well finish out this year. As much fun as this is, that's when the payoff will be. And he had the leverage to get that deal from Rizzo. Riggleman just didn't. Now can we dream of signing Fielder or Pujols this off season? With DJ as manager, I think so.

  30. Dave - Jun 25, 2011 at 1:44 PM

    @Section 222, in Kilgore's gamer in the Post, Hairston says he went nuts AFTER he was tossed. In his account, he was just talking and almost joking with Konerko and Baines (first-base coach) in the general scrum along the baseline when he was tossed. Then he went ballistic, which is what we saw on TV.

  31. Doc - Jun 25, 2011 at 1:47 PM

    Being in the viewing area (like 400 miles from Chicago!), I was ****out of wathcing this great game on MLB.Com. Wad a bummer! Even more so since I pay a monthly to help fund Bud The Spud's $18 million vacation plan job.Mark, hats off to what must have been a record number of posters (300+) to last night's game! Thanks for the ride, MarkMeister!Gooooooooooo Kardiac Kids!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  32. Joe Seamhead - Jun 25, 2011 at 1:54 PM

    By the way, if Johnson is signed for next year, and maybe 2013, I think the Nats become a much more attractive possibility for free agents.

  33. Ex O's Fan - Jun 25, 2011 at 2:03 PM

    Man, that was the craziest game I've seen in a long time. I'm just glad it was Friday night and not a work night. Instant classic.I echo the comments about FP. He's a great color guy. I liked his line in the 13th or 14th inning about getting ready to turn it over to the Fox pre-game crew. FP's reality show idea "Team America" is turning out to be spot on.

  34. Nats Outsider - Jun 25, 2011 at 2:10 PM

    Joe Seamhead–the Nats may be more attractive to free agents, if their current success carries through the season and they avoid an August wilt. Remember, some of our pitching is going to be shut down later on. The Nats will also want to bring up some minor leaguers late in the season. That's a necessary task, but it is not conducive to winning games against pennant contenders. But if we can finish the season with, say, 85 wins, then yes, free agents may see the Nats as needing just one or two more pieces. That would be great — if the right player are there and the Nats can compete with the big money teams, like the Yankees.

  35. Manassas Nats Fan - Jun 25, 2011 at 2:12 PM

    @ MASNstinks Despite the winning I still have this wish. Send the batters to the eye doctor. Too many swings at pitches out of the strike zone. To many takes of pitches down the middle. Very few swing strike out at pitches in the strike zone. last night only 2. Morse and Nix had 1 each. Nix's followed swinging at a strike not in the zone. Zimmerman took a third strike last night that looked like it was low that one excused. the other 14 no excuse. We are second in the league in strike outs and we are not a power team.

  36. Feel Wood - Jun 25, 2011 at 2:12 PM

    Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated tweeted last night during the game that Davey Johnson will get a contract through 2013. The rest of this year plus two more. None of the local writers (Zuckerman, Kilgore, Goessling) seem to have picked up on this yet.Why does Johnson rate a long-term deal now when Riggleman couldn't command an extension? First, don't forget that Riggleman was on the second year of an existing two year contract, and still did have an option that could have been picked up after this season. (And if the team continued to exceed expectations the rest of the season under him, he would have forced their hand to pick up that option and add on more years. He just didn't have the guts to take that course.) Second, Johnson has a track record of winning wherever he goes – four different teams over two decades. Riggleman had a track record of having the worst W-L record in history of any manager with 10+ years on the job. In negotiating with Rizzo, Davey Johnson had the upper hand. Riggleman didn't. Whatever Davey wants, Davey gets.

  37. natsfan1a - Jun 25, 2011 at 2:18 PM

    To recap, hand is everything.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8g3tQaqizh0

  38. Joe Seamhead - Jun 25, 2011 at 2:31 PM

    All good points, Outsider and Feel Wood. Davey Johnson holds a lot more cards then the last guy. J.Zimm will be shut down in late August. Jeez, what if we did make the playoffs? If St. Stephen pitches again this year, how much do you all see the FO allowing him to do?JaneB, your constant sunshiny disposition brings a wonderful civility to this blog!

  39. FS - Jun 25, 2011 at 3:00 PM

    Our three most reliable relievers blew the leads and we still won it. Hats off to this team, love the spirit. Hats off to ChiSox as well for keep coming back, but bottom line is we won.I was trying to see Os last night. For some reason, game was sold out (WHAT!!!). We stayed out of the stadium until end of 11th inning. After that, we were too tired and headed to campus. Tried 1500 AM and the call I hear is Teahan's 3-run shot to tie the game. My friend, ChiSox fan, is too happy and I am too sad. I thought we had lost the mojo last night and can not possibly pull this off now. Then on way home, my friend called me about Nix's homer. I was like 'alright lead back and now a 1-2-3 inning will do it for us.' I got home and checked the score, tied 4-4 with bases loaded and Coffey pitching to Lillebridge with only one out. I was like no way we can pull it off now. I went to bed and woke up at 2:20 for some reason. I was like 'might as well check now that I am awake.' I was expecting a 10-inning, 4-5 loss, but instead I saw a 9-5 win. I still had not realized that we blew another save before winning this game until I came here and read Mark's tweet about us being only the sixth team and all. Finally went to bed for good. Wild night for me and the team.

  40. Whynat - Jun 25, 2011 at 3:07 PM

    These guys just don't quit!!When was the last time you've seen an ump reverse a safe/out judgement call? That seemed pretty extreme. Rookie ump browbeat by others.

  41. Section 222 - Jun 25, 2011 at 3:09 PM

    @FS — Moral of the story — the game is 27… er 42, outs. @NatsOutsider — I don't think we need 85 wins to attract top FA talent. Just need to be competitive and moving forward. The money shouldn't be a problem. Repeat after me — "The Lerners are Billionaires. The Lerners are Billionaires. They are the richest, yes, the richest owners in MLB." With Strasburg back and Harper on his way, it's time to buy a team Ted.

  42. Wally - Jun 25, 2011 at 3:13 PM

    What a game. I couldn't believe how down I got after Teahen's homer. What a resilient team. It just felt like they were not going to lose, no matter what. Lots of fun blogging with Dave, JaneB, Grandstander, MicheleS, …. iPad makes that easy to do. I finally checked out in the 12th. My 4 yr old comes looking for daddy around 6:30 each morning, and he won't be denied, so I needed some sleep.I said this last night, but want to say it here to the larger crowd. We have been having a lot of fun guessing who will be the ASG rep, but the Nats have a very legit case for more than 1 player. JZimm, Morse, Danny, Storen and Clip all can make a good case. My picks are in the order I listed them, but none of them would be a big shock or reach.

  43. Drew8 - Jun 25, 2011 at 3:29 PM

    Goodness I was drained after that one, but I'm pumped for today.As to Z-NN's innings limit: last night BP brought the gas again at Harrisburg.Mr. Peacock threw 6.2 scoreless innings with six strikeouts and one walk. For the season he has 114 strikeouts, 18 walks and a 2.28 ERA.Futures game, indeed.

  44. Bill Stoneman - Jun 25, 2011 at 3:39 PM

    Re: Desmond's cap, my guess is tobacco juice. Leather rarely if ever leaks dye. Give up the habit Ian.Really enjoying this blog and the Nats. As along time Expos fan (thus the handle) I'm really enjoying this. The best part? It's only going to get better.

  45. Unkyd - Jun 25, 2011 at 4:02 PM

    I would LOVE to see vid of Mac getting tossed, if anyone can furnish a link… I didn't even get audio, fir some reason, at that point (iPhone may have been charging, at that point…it sure worked overtime, last night…!)I wonder if we can curtail the rehashing of Riggs departure… Plenty of is on each side of that fence, and with all of the posnergy being generated by this club, wouldn't it be nice to leave that behind us, as we step into The New Era? I wish there was an alternate blog for "pissing and moaning"….Posnergy…. English keeps evolving!!!

  46. Manassas Nats Fan - Jun 25, 2011 at 4:03 PM

    @Whynat.When did I last see a reverse call similar to last night. Last night. about 15 minutes later the home plate ump made a call, Jack McCuen came out argued, and after about 3 minutes the ump went to the other three umps and 3 minutes late they reversed the call. Twice in one night.Eric Wedge went ballistic, but didn't get tossed.

  47. Wally - Jun 25, 2011 at 4:04 PM

    Unkyd – who is this Riggs person that you refer to?Btw, I am also happy to see Davey get the job. Credibility in a manager is huge, and he certainly has it. He also is very comfortable being the public face of a franchise, and that is a positive for the Nats, with no President and a GM that is not very comfortable in that role.Good call.

  48. N. Cognito - Jun 25, 2011 at 4:11 PM

    Whynat said… "When was the last time you've seen an ump reverse a safe/out judgement call? That seemed pretty extreme. Rookie ump browbeat by others."Unless it's Joe "I'm an ass and have to inject myself into the play, oh and I'm a lousy ump, too" West, it's rare that another umpire heads across the infield to offer input. Most often, umpires will wait until the umpire that made the call asks for help. But if they got the call right (video was inconclusive), that is what counts.

  49. NatsLady - Jun 25, 2011 at 4:14 PM

    I can't believe I stayed up for the whole thing. Boy, am I draggin' today.Knew Clipp was going to give up either a homer or a walk the second he came in, he was tired. Too bad it was a homer. Didn't know Store was going to make a mistake, though. Note to the boys: Get the 9 runs in regulation next time, it really helps the bullpen.GO NATS!!

  50. natsfan1a - Jun 25, 2011 at 4:15 PM

    here you go, Unk:http://tinyurl.com/63c29hg

  51. natsfan1a - Jun 25, 2011 at 4:21 PM

    Desmond's cap (per FP) = from moistening his finger and then rubbing it on his black glove so as to keep it pliable on the field. Desi then touches his cap to straighten it or what-not and voila, a black cap splotch. As FP also noted, a guy might not be inclined to change a cap during a streak (which, as we all know, you don't mess with). FP then stated, I'll tell you even more stories if we go 14 innings (or something like that). :-)

  52. natsfan1a - Jun 25, 2011 at 4:23 PM

    (Oh, missed a step, Desi's knuckles inadvertently pick up black stuff from the glove in between there…)

  53. Dave - Jun 25, 2011 at 4:26 PM

    Boy, I wish I could see the MASN clip of that reversed-call, McLaren-ejection scene.I have never, ever heard Bob Carpenter so exercised about a bad call. FP literally had to settle him down so that he could coordinate with the truck to take them to commercial.

  54. natsfan1a - Jun 25, 2011 at 4:27 PM

    Oops, in rereading that, Bill probably saw the explanation but was doubting it (on first reading, I thought he was wondering what the explanation had been). (And the Captcha is "cause"? [Twilight Zone theme plays]).

  55. Sec3MySofa - Jun 25, 2011 at 4:46 PM

    As long as we're all exercising: hoping this is ok for me to post, Mark (I gain nothing from it myself):$9 – Washington Nationals July 4th Weekend Games, Half Offwww.travelzoo.com/local-deals/deal/3055

  56. Cwj - Jun 25, 2011 at 4:52 PM

    Weird, wild stuff last night!Amazing.BTW, the Nats have won 12 of 13 (as everyone knows), but also I found an interesting stat while looking over my Nats results chart:The Nats have scored 8 or more runs 10 times this season. They have given up 8 or more only 5 times.Pretty cool :)

  57. meixler - Jun 25, 2011 at 4:53 PM

    Very well written article Mark. It actually made me chuckle a few times.

  58. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 25, 2011 at 4:56 PM

    Man, I'm still giddy from last nite's roller coaster ride!In the immortal words of Cosmo Kramer, "These games are making me thirsty".

  59. Cwj - Jun 25, 2011 at 5:08 PM

    NatsJack- Indeed!Think I'll pick up a 6-pack for today's game, because… "these pretzels are making me thirsty!":)

  60. Nattydread - Jun 25, 2011 at 5:17 PM

    Woke up at 6AM this time zone (Nairobi) and saw the score tied in the 9th. Listened to the last 5 innings on WJFK, almost missed a Saturday breakfast meeting.Was concerned about how the team would weather this storm. Right now, it seems that the players, vets and rookies all, are running the show. All management has to do is drop them off at the park, they seem to use what resources they do have to pull off miracles.Thanks Mark for this article and for your candid assessment of Riggleman's walk off. I really respect the guy and wish things had turned out better. However, I like the way the players focused on what they had to do.WHAT A RUN THIS HAS BEEN!!!! GYFNG!

  61. Unkyd - Jun 25, 2011 at 5:29 PM

    Thanks for the link, NatsFan1A! Unfortunately, some links her don't open for me…don't know why, but thanks for the effort…

  62. natsfan1a - Jun 25, 2011 at 5:41 PM

    You're welcome, Unk. Possible workaround, try navigating to the Nats team site. Under headlines in midpage, click on "ejections part of crazy night" item. There's a video embedded in that story.

  63. Drew8 - Jun 25, 2011 at 5:52 PM

    In a somber aside, those of us who grew up in the Washington area and are boomerish (and hitterish) or even bloomers-ish, will fondly remember Nick Charles, the WRC-TV 4 sportscaster who preceded George Michael.Charles has died at 64 after a two-year fight with bladder cancer.Charles left Channel 4 in 1980 to go to CNN, where he paired with Fred Hickman for many years.RIP Nick.

Archives

FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 96 66 --
ATLANTA 79 83 17.0
NEW YORK 79 83 17.0
MIAMI 77 85 19.0
PHILADELPHIA 73 89 23.0

NL POSTSEASON SCHEDULE

NL WILD CARD GAME
WED: Giants at Pirates, 8:07 p.m. (ESPN)

NLDS
FRI: Game 1, Pirates at Nats, 12:07 p.m.,
OR Giants at Nats, 3:07 p.m. (FS1)
SAT: Game 2, PIT/SF at Nats, 5:37 p.m. (FS1)
MON: Game 3, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (MLBN)
OCT. 7: Game 4, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (FS1)*
OCT. 9: Game 5, PIT/SF at Nats, TBA (FS1)*
*if necessary

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.

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