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A fun, but disappointing night

Jun 28, 2011, 7:11 AM EDT

US Presswire photo
Davey Johnson walks off the mound following a pitching change.

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Davey Johnson hadn’t stood there, in a major-league dugout, wearing a big-league uniform, in 11 years. He wasn’t the same man leaning on a railing at Angel Stadium Monday night as he was doing the same thing up the road at Dodger Stadium more than a decade ago. And the game, much as he doesn’t want to admit it, isn’t the same either.

But there was something comforting about the sight of the Nationals’ new, 68-year-old skipper running the show, high-fiving players, dodging foul balls, making the slow walk to the mound to change pitchers.

Even if the end result — a 4-3, 10-inning loss to the Angels — didn’t provide the storybook angle everyone wanted, Johnson’s debut with the Nationals seemed to leave everyone feeling good about the situation at large.

“It was old hat,” Johnson said of being handed the managerial controls again. “It’s kind of like flying an airplane. You don’t have to fly for a while, but you still get off the ground.”

The team Johnson officially inherited Monday played very much like the one he had been watching from afar over the last two weeks. The
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  1. Nattydread - Jun 28, 2011 at 8:16 AM

    Nice gamer Mark! We almost pulled it off! Espinoza: ROY competition leader.Clippard: Uh-oh….

  2. Sunderland - Jun 28, 2011 at 10:13 AM

    Couldn't stay up to watch the game. Looking at the box score, I noticed we gave up 16 hits, 6 walks, a HBP, put 23 guys on base! Wow. And yet we played overtime.

  3. natsfan1a - Jun 28, 2011 at 10:24 AM

    Aw, heck. Not the game results email I'd hoped for. Eh, we'll just have to get 'em tonight.Agree re. the gamer, Espinosa, and the Clippard uh-oh.

  4. Julie B - Jun 28, 2011 at 10:45 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Stuart - Jun 28, 2011 at 10:47 AM

    Mark, curious for you to expand on your observation,"And the game, much as he doesn't want to admit it, isn't the same either." regarding Johnson's outlook.

  6. Sunderland - Jun 28, 2011 at 11:26 AM

    Stuart – Good question. Hadn't really picked that up. I have my guess as to what Mark's hinting at, but I'll wait to see if he responds.

  7. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 28, 2011 at 11:40 AM

    What's with the Clippard "uh-oh" comments. He and Storen are on pace to pitch 90+ games this season and, if anybody is serious about a play off run, they both need to be fresh come September.With the issues last season between Marquis, Detwiler, and others not speaking up initially, the staff has been adamant that if a guy feels like he doesn't have it then he HAS to tell the staff. Clippard wasn't syaing "my arm is sore". He was saying "my arm is tired". This happens all the time with veteran relievers. Let it (and him)rest.

  8. Oldguy - Jun 28, 2011 at 12:07 PM

    I'd like to rerun that game with Zim at DH, JHJ at 3rd and Bixler in left.

  9. Feel Wood - Jun 28, 2011 at 12:24 PM

    "8:33 p.m. — And in the most-bizarre news of the night: Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports that MLB has suspended John McLaren one game and fined him for his altercation with the umps Friday night in Chicago. Uh, how exactly do you enforce that punishment?"With Osama bin Laden dead and Whitey Bulger captured, there are now a couple of vacancies atop the FBI Most Wanted list. John McLaren, fugitive from justice?

  10. Big Cat - Jun 28, 2011 at 12:41 PM

    Tired arm normally means sore and achey. Not in the panick area of the inside of the elbow or the back area of the shoulder. Our top 4 guys in the pen, like you said Jack, have put in a lot of appearances, not to mention warming up some nights. Probably be good to shut Clip down until after the all star break. Gosh though, every game is a repeat of the last…..tied 1-1 in the 5th, or so it seems. Any word on Kimball? Boy, it would be good to get a blow out win one night.

  11. natsfan1a - Jun 28, 2011 at 12:45 PM

    NatsJack, I would think the apprehension springs from two things, his heavy workload and some of us being gun shy given the way injuries have been handled (or not) in the past. Good for him for speaking up about the tired arm sooner rather than later. Hope that's all it is and that a little rest will be just the thing.

  12. Big Cat - Jun 28, 2011 at 12:47 PM

    Angels are a srappy bunch at the plate. They put the bat on the ball, hitting it hard where its pitched. They also are very aggressive on the bases. Scosia came up in the Dodger chain in the mid 70's where they preached run, run, run. That white guy in center can just fly. Gonna be a tough series

  13. Canada's #1 Nats Fan - Jun 28, 2011 at 12:51 PM

    Hate to rag on our new manager in his first game (but I will anyway), but I'm not sure what he was thinking bringing Burnett on in the 10th to face a bunch of right handed batters. I was expecting to see Coffey (or even Balester) come in which would have made a whole lot more sense.

  14. Anonymous - Jun 28, 2011 at 12:52 PM

    i am so sick of all this pitch count stuff. Man up starters. We are killing the guys in the pen. Oh boy he has 86 pitches, better get the pen up. These guys play once every 5 days for crying out loud

  15. natsfan1a - Jun 28, 2011 at 1:04 PM

    And to be clear, I'm fine with him resting. Keeping our young guys healthy is a priority, imho.

  16. devilsadvocate - Jun 28, 2011 at 1:10 PM

    Just another way of looking at things. I am not a fan of DJ – never have been – his extreme arrogance blinds him. And , well, he hasn't actually managed in 11 years. I take issue with his press conference yesterday where he made it a point to criticize the way things have been managed – " I don't give away outs" , etc, and so on. Every team plays small ball when warranted. All the sycophants on tv are all of a sudden reversing course so hard they may get whip lash – Riggs was a genius for trying things 2 weeks ago, now – what was he thinking leading off Jayson Werth? Like anyone really knows what to do about him right now?! I know it's only been one loss, but maybe DJ should have waited until he got some results before he trashed the people that won 13 of 15 games – obviously some of the things they were doing were working. Same line-up every day sounds nice – but what do you do about Nix/Hairston? Ramos/Pudge? But hey – we lost – so what? at least he had FUN! I hope he has fun tonight also with Matt Stairs and Jayson Werth. It's easy to be an armchair manager – hey , we all do it every day. When you are actually in the dugout and your team doesn't hit the ball , it's not so easy, is it? If you are going to run Matt Stairs out there – be prepared for lots of being "disappointed".

  17. rmoore446 - Jun 28, 2011 at 1:19 PM

    I stayed up for the whole game but doubt I will tonight. The late nights make work the next day difficult.The game had familiar elements. Stairs started the game at DH and struck our twice and walked once. Bixler hit for him late and reached on an error caused by his blazing speed.Werth went 0 for 5 and striking out three times. He looks awful at the plate with a lot of called strikes. His last strikeout was plumb pitiful with the bat unmoved off his shoulder. The best news of the night was signs of life from Zimmerman as he had two of the Nats six hits including an impressive home run.The Angels are a good club and are known for banging out a lot of hits but having trouble getting runs home. Last night they had runners on for most of the game and only DPs kept it close.

  18. Anomynous - Jun 28, 2011 at 1:19 PM

    devilsadvocate – Glad you know it's only one loss. For a moment I thought you had lost all perspective….

  19. The Dude Abides - Jun 28, 2011 at 1:22 PM

    Re: Commenter at 9:10 AM… Don't you just love it when neganons make up stuff for their own rants.

  20. HHover - Jun 28, 2011 at 1:40 PM

    Anon @ 8:52What are you talking about? Lannan threw 102 pitches, not 86, and what really mattered was not the pitch count but the fact that he was melting down. He put on 14 baserunners in 5-2/3 IP. He had to come out if the Nats were going to have a chance.

  21. A DC Wonk - Jun 28, 2011 at 1:42 PM

    devil complained that DJ said: "I don't give away outs" , etc, and so on. Every team plays small ball when warranted.And so does this team under Davey — or didn't you notice the successful bunt by Desmond in the 10th inning?

  22. Anonymous - Jun 28, 2011 at 2:00 PM

    Not talking about just last night. I'm talking about this supposedly unwritten rule that 100 pitches is the magic number. What ever happened to CP's?. Thats right, complete games. GASP! W-w-whats that. I-I-I never heard of that! Does that mean the starting pitcher goes the distance? Heaven forbid, his arm might get tired!

  23. Unkyd - Jun 28, 2011 at 2:00 PM

    "I don't LIKE to give away outs…" big difference from DA's misquote. And the actual quote was followed by "I'll bunt, when I have to…). I read no implicit criticism into Davey's comments, but then I'm not admittedly predisposed against hIm, and his blinding arrogance. And I'm certainly not gonna hack him to pieces, after 1 extra innings loss…'Cause, that would be arrogant…

  24. Water23 - Jun 28, 2011 at 2:07 PM

    Speaking of injured players not telling someone, is it possible Werth is hurt? I have not heard anything but his overall numbers are way way down and lately he has been dreadful. Maybe a recurrence of his old wrist/tendon injury or something else? Maybe he should see an eye doctor a la Guzie or Harper but man is he having a bad year. Granted he could rebound by hitting almost .360 the rest of the way but I just get the sense something is wrong.

  25. Anonymous - Jun 28, 2011 at 2:09 PM

    Yeah, I agree with you Water23, the way he swings(or doesn't!) makes it look like he's really not seeing the ball well.

  26. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 28, 2011 at 2:13 PM

    @Stuart, &c.: from the jump on Mark's previous post:"The game hasn't changed," he said. "As far as managing, every team's different. It's a learning experience of the talent and the abilities of each of player and how you handle them. But no, the game's the same."

  27. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 28, 2011 at 2:18 PM

    'Passionate Johnson returns to dugout'www.csnwashington.com/06/27/11/Passionate-Johnson-returns-to-dugout/

  28. Anonymous - Jun 28, 2011 at 2:22 PM

    I thought the lineup was a disaster last night. Nix made some terrible approaches/throws from left field. The Matt Stairs saga is a joke and in my opinion just makes our team look like amateurs – we can't do better?? How many times do we have to see him strikeout? Nix should have been DHing and Bixler or Hairston should have been in left. I say give Bixler a chance with that speed. I also think its time to move Werth to the 6 hole. Maybe he will wake up – not sure what is wrong with him but I am really sick of these 0-1 looking counts. Here is what I would like to see tonight and Thursday, but what do I know. Worth a conversation. I think moving Nix back in the order would give us some pop. BernadinaDesiZimmermanMorseEspinosaWerthNixRamosHairston/Bixler

  29. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 28, 2011 at 2:23 PM

    Passionate, but comfortable.Which is better than the alternative.

  30. NatsLady - Jun 28, 2011 at 2:23 PM

    We need to get more runners on base, period. We could have won easily if we had 1 or 2 runners on base for those homers. The long ball is great, but get some singles, guys. Jayson's OBP is saved only by his ability to get walks. If he keeps his bat on his shoulder, pitchers are going to throw strikes at him, I mean, why not? Eckstein or Davey need to say, look, swing at the first pitch a few times, just swing at it so they quit throwing first pitch strikes. He's giving away the first pitch of every AB. You can't do that in MLB.

  31. Exposremains - Jun 28, 2011 at 2:27 PM

    anon 10.22id like to see that lineup too

  32. Anonymous - Jun 28, 2011 at 2:31 PM

    Is it me or has the throwing from MLB outfielders gone way down hill. Nix's throws to the plate were pathetic. The first run the Angels scored should of been cut down by 10 feet. Last week when Nix hit the sac fly to win the game, that ball went about 200 feet. The left fielders throw was so weak and off line it was laughable

  33. NatStat - Jun 28, 2011 at 2:33 PM

    Werth is just not putting a good swing on the ball. It's like he is 'waving the bat' at the ball, as opposed to having a fluid batting motion. Leaving the bat on his shoulder for a called strike three, on a pitch that was maybe a little low but across the heart of the plate, is becoming standard operating procedure for him. I agree on shutting Clip down until after the ASG. He's been too valuable for too long to risk injury.

  34. Anonymous - Jun 28, 2011 at 2:38 PM

    Nix has made at least one good throw to the plate this year……..but yes several have been just like last night….so yes he can throw….not like he is Juan Pierre like but he really should be working on this if he sees himself as an everyday OF going forward in his career.Zimm blew it by not cutting a ball that had already bounced…they had him easy at the plate and that was the ball game really. JayB

  35. devilsadvocate - Jun 28, 2011 at 2:48 PM

    The Dude Abides – not a neganon at all, just another side to things – if Riggs had thrown Stairs out there and confessed that he probably left the pitcher in too long to get him a win – you, and every other poster probably would have been all over him. Yes it was only one game, just saying that Riggs was not as bad as some people made him out to be and DJ is not as good as people make him out to be. Manny Acta did not suddenly become a genius in Cleveland. No matter who makes up the line-up they will have to deal with the fact that we do not hit the baseball, we have Matt Stairs on our roster, and Jayson Werth is a real mess right now. DJ has been a good manager in the past and maybe he will be again, just saying that just because he has a celebrity baseball name does not mean he can suddenly spin gold out of straw. Let's see what he can actually do in 2011 before we anoint him as the greatest manager who ever lived.

  36. Steve M. - Jun 28, 2011 at 2:50 PM

    Nix should not be out there in the field until he is healthy. He looked real bad in paths to the ball and that throw home that someone described as "John Wall-like" was spot on.Stairs is a waste of a spot and glad he was replaced. As soon as Bixler went in, he made things happen beating out that error (I would have scored it a hit) but unfortunately the batters after him couldn't get him in.Werth, well, what can you say that hasn't been said or seen. Just lost at the plate. Horrible to witness all the wasted opportunities with him at the plate. I am glad Bob Carpenter didn't sugar-coat it last night.Lannan looked like old Lannan with a twist last night. He and the defense kept him in the game.As far as the bullpen, no different then what I predicted under Riggles. 2 and 1/2 guys to count on. Clip and Storen and 1/2 cup of Coffey. The rest of them aren't as dependable and need to pick up the slack. Those 2 inning 'holds' by Clippard have taken its toll, clearly.I don't think Davey managed things well enough with the Burnett as he didn't have it last night. Oh well.

  37. Water23 - Jun 28, 2011 at 2:51 PM

    NatsLady,I agree with you that the league has a book on Werth that he wants to take a bunch of pitches. He needs to adjust and be prepared to swing on the first/second pitches. I think some of his success in taking pitches previously was related to have a set of great hitters around him in the Phillies lineup. They are not here yet so them up and swing away. What is the worst that could happen? 0-4 0 RBIs.

  38. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 28, 2011 at 2:52 PM

    "Let's see what he can actually do in 2011 before we anoint him as the greatest manager who ever lived." I don't think we need boiling oil to do that, do we?

  39. Anonymous - Jun 28, 2011 at 3:02 PM

    I think Desi needs to get out of the 9 spot. Even though him and Espy seem to be be close and are a great defensive duo, I get the sense he is feeling overshadowed and trying to too hard. He hit .270 last year and he has good speed. Give him another chance in the 2-spot. He might actually get on base unlike our other well-compensated but inexplicably confused 2-hitter.

  40. K.D. - Jun 28, 2011 at 3:14 PM

    Actually stayed up last night, tad glazed driving to work this morning (God Bless Starbucks!). Few observations; Stairs got on base(via BB)more than Werth, Nix, Ramos & Bernadina, I think we could handle one more game of consistent at bats for him to see if he has anything left. Lannan struggled but he was saved by the Nats defense. Burnett wouldn't have been used that way if Clip and Store had been available, hard for me to get too upset about his performance last night. H. Rod just scares me on the road, at home he seems to have much better command and poise (though the pick off at second surprised me). Ramos has been struggling at the plate, would it kill his confidence to give Pudge two games in a row and give him two days of rest? I think Clip should be fine if, they manage him a little better until the All Star break.Above all, if they plan on getting anywhere the training wheels have to come off sometime, they will have to survive the dog days of summer just like any other winning team.

  41. Anonymous - Jun 28, 2011 at 3:15 PM

    Yes, it has gotten to be that everytime Werth comes up with a man in scoring posistion and 2 outs, you just go to the frig or whatever, cause the inning is over. He did throw out a guy at third though. So thats worth a couple mil isn't it?

  42. Steve M. - Jun 28, 2011 at 3:15 PM

    http://syracuse.chiefs.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?sid=t552&t=g_box&gid=2011_06_27_syraaa_rocaaa_1Lombardozzi and Antonelli are killing it in Syracuse. I don't think either are a fluke but sometimes it doesn't translate to the Majors. Here's the thing, both are playing 2nd base. This is probably a NatsJack or MZuckerman question. I thought both were able to play shortstop too? Are they not good enough or are both of these guys just future Alberto Gonzalez types of utility players?My thought seeing Espinosa last year and especially in Spring Training is you have a Gold Glove calibre 2nd baseman. I said it then with the caveat that he probably wouldn't win any Gold Gloves for a while but the hardware is irrelevant because we all know he is the best defensive 2nd baseman in the NL and he is a key part of this 2011 team and would hate to see him make a position change.So if Desi can't cut it and José Reyes isn't reality, then who is there of quality to maybe challenge him next year?Personally I think the biggest issue on the team is Jayson Werth as we speak but he is here to stay so you sometimes look to fix what maybe you can fix.The other thing is that the trade deadline is coming up and if you could get Lombardozzi or Antonelli up here to see what they can do, maybe you have a tradeable part there.The Indians just brought up their new 3rd baseman yesterday for Adam Everett and the kid immediately helped them win. I am just surprised that Rizzo hasn't injected any new youth into the position players and lost someone like Stairs to make room and create some excitement. Most teams do it and usually there is a temporary positive jolt you get from it.

  43. SCNatsFan - Jun 28, 2011 at 3:16 PM

    To me its almost like Werth is looking for walks; for someone hitting as poor as he is he takes an awful lot of strikes, strikes that are right down the middle. Seems like he is always behind in the count. Right now if I was pitching against him I'd hope it was him coming up in a clutch situation because it looks like he has zero confidence.

  44. JD - Jun 28, 2011 at 3:21 PM

    You can't put a player with a .266 OBP in the 2 hole; the bench is a better idea. Werth has been awful but he has still gotten on base 33% of the time so the proposed lineup makes no sense. BTW any comparison between Espinosa and Desmond is ridiculous. One is the clear 1st half team MVP and the other 0.5 over replacement level and that's only because he plays great defense. It's almost Lombardozzi time.

  45. Mrs. Z. - Jun 28, 2011 at 3:26 PM

    @Stuart and Sunderland:In terms of how baseball has changed since Davey Johnson left the dugout in 2000, here's what I'd speculate:Interleague play has only been around since 1997, the Division Series (in the playoffs) since 1995, and the Wild Card since 1994. Those would all have been just starting towards the end of Davey's prior managing experience and are totally routine now. 9-11 hadn't happened and I'm sure there are many changes that have occurred as a result of that–increased security at ballparks and team hotels/planes, etc. Video review was instituted recently, so that's different. Not to mention how the ebbs and flows of team performance have changed. There are teams that are incredibly dominant now who barely made a dent in anything in 2000.We also didn't really have the 24-hour news cycle, Twitter, Facebook, or blogs that are available to all of us now. I'm guessing that the media aspect of the game has significantly expanded since 2000. Players certainly didn't tweet in 2000. I know from personal experience that sports media has changed greatly since 2005 (when I met Mark).Plus, Johnson left at the tail end of the famous Yankee dynasty and *clearly* the end of that changed not only baseball, but the entire world! ;)

  46. JD - Jun 28, 2011 at 3:28 PM

    Steve M. Espinosa's best position is SS; they moved him to 2nd to accommodate Desmond. I think that Lombardozzi is definitely a prospect. The question is how good a prospect? I am almost positive that he would be better than Desmond now. Antonelli has had a couple of shots in the bigs and is 26 years old so it's hard to qualify him as a prospect; more likely a utility infielder.

  47. Steve M. - Jun 28, 2011 at 3:31 PM

    K.D. said… Actually stayed up last night, tad glazed driving to work this morning (God Bless Starbucks!). Few observations; Stairs got on base(via BB)more than Werth, Nix, Ramos & BernadinaIf you stayed up to see that walk to Stairs you saw that the Angels didn't scout him well. They threw him 4 straight balls like they were pitching around him and he was quickly erased in a double play. He is so slow you can't even hit and run with him. At least the other names you mentioned can play defense.The team certainly had chances but don't see Stairs doing anything to help this team. He had his opportunities last night and his 2 strikeouts looked pathetic. Sort of check swings and walked out of the box and back to the dugout even before the ump called him out. Stats aside, Stairs truly is an embarrassment to this team. Anyone who doesn't see that, isn't watching or reading his interviews. He is collecting a rather large paycheck and has done nothing to help this team win. This isn't a 24 year old kid we hope will "get it", this is a 43 year old man past his playing days. He isn't even meeting the law of averages which means he will hit a Home Run sooner or later. I used to think it would happen and just not too sure. He can't DH when you have guys like Cora and Marquis who could do better in his spot.

  48. JD - Jun 28, 2011 at 3:34 PM

    As far as Werth is concerned; I have said it many times that his is a horrible contract, one the Nats will regret for years to come and one we signed just to prove we aren't cheap and we could play with the big boys. Imagine the pieces we could have acquired for $17 mil if we didn't do that contract. Having said that; he is clearly not as bad as he's looked this year especially recently, one can reasonably expect him to return to his normal numbers while also taking into consideration that he is 1 year older and that he is no longer playing in a band box.

  49. Steve M. - Jun 28, 2011 at 3:39 PM

    JD said… Steve M. Espinosa's best position is SS; they moved him to 2nd to accommodate Desmond. I think that Lombardozzi is definitely a prospect. The question is how good a prospect? I am almost positive that he would be better than Desmond now. Antonelli has had a couple of shots in the bigs and is 26 years old so it's hard to qualify him as a prospect; more likely a utility infielder. June 28, 2011 11:28 AM Thanks for your thoughts. I hate to move Espi to Shortstop and mess any of the mojo up. Obviously nothing you have to do this year. Last year he didn't do to well at his couple of games at Shortstop in September but a small sample size. He seems so comfortable at 2nd.The best news would be if Desi picks up the pace on offense and it becomes a moot point. I really want to see Lombardozzi or Antonelli get a chance but not to take time away from Espinosa. Desmond needs some rest (more than 2 days) to get his leg finally healed. I am hoping that will get him back on track.

  50. Will - Jun 28, 2011 at 3:45 PM

    Lombardozzi is certainly a prospect, after all he's only 22 and putting up very good numbers at AA and now AAA, but his defense doesn't translate at SS (Interestingly, both Desmond and Lombardozzi were born on Sept 20th, except Lombardozzi is three years younger). Espinosa's defense, however, does translate at SS.Currently, both of them are better options than Ian Desmond's awful .266 OBP.While it's been nice to see Desmond's defense turn around, it's terribly unlikely that Desmond suddenly gains patience at the plate. Unless he does, he'll never be able to bat at a big league level. Even with a .269 average last year, his OBP was merely .309. That's not good whatever way you look at it, and he doesn't have enough power to compensate for a low average like Espinosa does.The Nats should give Lombardozzi another month or two in AAA before pulling the trigger and relegating Desmond to the bench.

  51. JD - Jun 28, 2011 at 3:47 PM

    Steve M, What in Desmonds 8 years of pro ball leads you to believe that he will suddenly begin to take walks, work a pitch count and avoid making outs on the 1st pitch?

  52. Will - Jun 28, 2011 at 3:50 PM

    Also, promote Tom Milone!The dude's been arguably the best pitcher in Independent League. And check out that 95:5 K:BB ratio!And Brad Peacock too!

  53. masnstinks - Jun 28, 2011 at 3:55 PM

    It will be interesting to see what happens when things in Natstown return to earth. This last couple of weeks have been just insane. As a previous poster said – we still have an anemic offense – I think the lowest ba in the nl. We still have the Matt Stairs issue – wouldn't another reliever be a more valuable use of that spot? we still have the Jayson Werth issue. ( sorry for stealing part of your post devils advocate). What remains for me is this – how the heck did these guys win 13 of 15? Granted – it was liking pulling wisdom teeth the whole way, but, wow – they actually pulled it off. And – can they keep doing it? They are a gritty bunch and I for one have no predictions either way. Nothing would surprise me at this point. Almost the all star break – we will all need to take a breath and peel ourselves off the ceiling.

  54. JaneB - Jun 28, 2011 at 4:02 PM

    JD — Here's what I see in Ian Desmond that leads me to believe he will suddenly begin to take walks, work a pitch count and avoid first pitch outs: He completely changed his defense this year and is way way down in errors. Not speaking for Steve M — this is my take. I think Ian is terrific defensively. They could rest his leg and let it heal, and I bet he starts getting better hits then.Shutting down Clip till after the ASB may or may not be a good idea. But I was screaming at the TV last night, "Where is Clip, Davey? Have you not been paying close attention??" It will be hard to watch him rest but way way WAY harder to see him get injured. I like the "speak up" policy.It sure looks to me like Kimball is going to be out longer than anyone thought. We won't see him till after the ASB, and maybe not till September.

  55. JD - Jun 28, 2011 at 4:02 PM

    Will, I think Milone is the next pitcher to get a call up when a spot becomes available through injury or trade.

  56. K.D. - Jun 28, 2011 at 4:03 PM

    Steve M. Was being a little sarcastic however, I have seen Stairs make a difference on other teams. As an investment you have to give him some consecutive at-bats, he looked totally lost yesterday (even more so than Dunn did in Chicago). I say give him one more game, then all bets are off. Oh and btw, a walk is a walk and as desperate as he is to get a hit, he still got on base.

  57. Larry - Jun 28, 2011 at 4:05 PM

    "How the heck did we win 13 games??"It's a miracle.

  58. JD - Jun 28, 2011 at 4:11 PM

    JaneB, I hope you are right because like you I always root for our home grown players and Desmond looks like a good guy. Personally; I don't see it and I don't know how long you go with it before you look in another direction. I am all for resting Clip until after the ASB. Last year he was overused in the 1st half and stumbled in the 2nd half.

  59. Manassas Nats Fan - Jun 28, 2011 at 4:14 PM

    How about replaying it with Hairsron on in right field. Werth needs a break.

  60. The Great Unwashed - Jun 28, 2011 at 4:21 PM

    Mrs. Z,Great points on your list. You should post more often!I would add one other way baseball has changed since Davey Johnson left the dugout in 2000: The rampant use of steroids is out of the game. That has to make a pretty significant difference in the way the game is managed today. Instead of many 40-50 HR hitters in the league every season, we're now down to just a few per year.

  61. Anonymous - Jun 28, 2011 at 4:22 PM

    Milone, Lombardozzi, Antonelli.. 100% in favor of adding some paisanos to the roster!

  62. jd - Jun 28, 2011 at 4:29 PM

    The Nats record is not a fluke. They have scored 11 more runs than the opposition which should translate to a couple of games over .500 and they have played 44 games on the road and 35 at home. After this series we will have 46 home games left and only 35 road games. Zim will be Zim and Werth will be much better. We likely won't make the playoffs but there is cause for cautions optimism that we can maintain .500.

  63. Anonymous - Jun 28, 2011 at 4:31 PM

    Perhaps Jayson Werth does need a mental health break, Manassas Nats Fan. Hairston has been solid no matter where you put him. Both the the Phormer Phillies are looking pretty flat.

  64. baseballswami - Jun 28, 2011 at 4:36 PM

    I find that I am a bit puzzled by the Jayson Werth comments. He looks tired, he's not used to hitting at certain places in the line- up, he hasn't made the adjustment, he really is a good guy in the dugout. Really? Was he not in shape? His attitude seems blase at times – bare-handing balls idly in the outfield. I don't have any answers, but I will tell you this – pay me one tenth of one percent of his contract and I will absolutely knock myself out to show you how much I care about what I am doing. I will swing at pitches, try different bats, go to a shrink, try to bunt – in general, do anything at all to earn that contract. I think he is being a little bit coddled. On some teams, he would definitely be batting lower and have absolutely no say in it. Maybe he needs a little tough love. Where's FRobbie when you need him?

  65. Steve M. - Jun 28, 2011 at 5:02 PM

    JD – I am hoping this leg injury is keeping Desmond's numbers down. Last year he was an acceptable .269 batter and was still too impatient at the plate and we all hoped for improvement.This years .227 is in-line with Jayson Werth so I don't want to get on a sophomore player who still has time to improve.

  66. Section 222 - Jun 28, 2011 at 5:15 PM

    DJ — "I don't like to give away outs." Natstown — Then why did you put Stairs at DH yesterday?

  67. Sunderland - Jun 28, 2011 at 5:40 PM

    Unwashed, steroids, and the resulting changes in the way a game was managed is exectly what i was thinking. However, if that is what Mr. Z was referring to, yeah, it is change, but it's insignificant. Hard to imagine a manager could be real good in one era and lousy in the next.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 77 56 --
ATLANTA 72 65 6.0
MIAMI 68 69 11.0
NEW YORK 64 73 14.0
PHILADELPHIA 62 74 15.5
Through Sunday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 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.

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