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Game 80: Nats at Angels

Jun 28, 2011, 10:15 PM EDT

File photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nats try to give Davey Johnson his first win tonight at Angel Stadium.

Lost amid all the hullabaloo over the Nationals managerial overhaul is this cold, hard fact: They still aren't hitting as a team. In their last three games, the Nats have produced a total of five runs and 11 hits. They've struck out 26 times while drawing only five walks. All five runs during those three games were scored via home run (three solo, one two-run shot).

The challenge for Davey Johnson, then, is to figure out whether any tweaks need to be made to his lineup. During his introductory news conference yesterday, he said he prefers to keep a stable lineup and avoiding the everyday mixing and matching that Jim Riggleman often did. True to form, Davey's second lineup as manager is identical to his first one.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Nationals pitching staff remains in top form, and they'll hope Jason Marquis continues the trend tonight. Marquis, of course, pitched a gem Thursday against the Mariners … only to get completely overshadowed by Riggleman's surprise resignation.

I've actually departed Anaheim and am en route home to D.C. as we speak. I wasn't originally scheduled to make that trip, but Davey's debut was too big a story to miss, so CSN was able to find a way to send me out west for the first game of the series. Enjoy tonight's game and the conversation among yourselves, and I'll be back at the ballpark for this weekend's series against the Pirates…

NATIONALS at ANGELS
Where: Angel Stadium of Anaheim
Gametime: 10:05 p.m.
TV: MASN2
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 182
Weather: Clear, 72 degrees, Wind 8 mph out to RF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (40-39)
CF Roger Bernadina
RF Jayson Werth
3B Ryan Zimmerman
LF Laynce Nix

Read more »

260 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. dryw - Jun 28, 2011 at 10:18 PM

    Oh no! What will I do with no commentary from Mark? Insiders, pleeease help me out here! As sad as it is to watch games without Mark, it's UNBEARABLE when I'm out of town with no Nats on TV/radio….I'll be watching on gameday, but will definitely need the support of my fellow Nats addicts…um, I mean fans….GYFNG!!!!

  2. Nats1924 - Jun 28, 2011 at 10:25 PM

    N-A-T-S nats nats nats!!!!!1

  3. TimDz - Jun 28, 2011 at 10:28 PM

    OK Dominion VA Electric…You have 3 1/2 hours to get my electricity back on…Then again, if the cable is out, it won't make much difference…

  4. Anonymous - Jun 28, 2011 at 10:32 PM

    Here in Burke, VA no power or cable outages (for now)…John Lannan has gone 5 and 2/3 for 2 straight starts…NOT GOOD ENOUGH…he needs to start eating up some innings

  5. SonnyG10 - Jun 28, 2011 at 10:36 PM

    Let's go Nats! We still have a chance to take this series. GYFNG!!!

  6. Arlington BigFish - Jun 28, 2011 at 10:39 PM

    And can someone find out what kind of drug Jayson Werth is on? He seems to be lethargic to the point of being comatose.

  7. natsfan1a - Jun 28, 2011 at 10:40 PM

    Bummer that Mark won't be there for the rest of the series, but thanks to CSN for letting him cover the entire McLaren era and the first game of the DJ era.Still have power here (knocks on wood) in the midst of a thunder boomer. Now for the Nats to get their bats booming and find their powers.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2HBdRCroks

  8. N. Cognito - Jun 28, 2011 at 10:40 PM

    Anonymous said… "Here in Burke, VA no power or cable outages (for now)…John Lannan has gone 5 and 2/3 for 2 straight starts…NOT GOOD ENOUGH…he needs to start eating up some innings"If the Nats need someone to eat innings, they should sign Ray King.

  9. Frediemac - Jun 28, 2011 at 10:42 PM

    Even though Lannan has pitch his best just recently I don't think he's a starting pitcher for a playoff contending team and I am not sure about Gorzelanny either. (Jury still out) I think this off season the Nats need to find another quality Starting pitcher.1. Strasburg2. Zimmerman3. Vacant 4 Marquis5. Hernandez

  10. Unkyd - Jun 28, 2011 at 11:03 PM

    dryw: if you have Gameday, don't you have the radio feed, to? That's my life, pretty much…. Charlie and Dave get it done, for me! I barely feel deprived at all, with a decent radio booth in play. Always have loved Baseball on the radio…GYFNGOOOO!!!!!

  11. Bill B - Jun 28, 2011 at 11:12 PM

    What does "GYFNG" mean?

  12. NatsLady - Jun 28, 2011 at 11:17 PM

    Stairs again?? I'm all for stability in the line-up but there HAS to be an exception.

  13. TimDz - Jun 28, 2011 at 11:19 PM

    Power and cable restored…All is well again…

  14. FS - Jun 28, 2011 at 11:21 PM

    oh snaps, we are going to miss Mark's updates for sure. I don't think I can stay awake that late back to back nights.Oh and Congrats to LAA on 50 years of existence. Did not know until I saw the pic above.Frediemac, not sure Marquis will be in my future rotation either. Lannan carried this rotation in its darkest times 09-08 I believe. But even now his splits against right handed hitters are ordinary and I am not sure how long he can survive up here with such numbers. I just hope that our in-house options pick up pace in their development so we do not have rely on FA market.

  15. natsfan1a - Jun 28, 2011 at 11:29 PM

    GYFNG = Go You Freaking Nats Go

  16. Grandstander - Jun 28, 2011 at 11:30 PM

    It'd be swell if we could give the pen a night off. Clippard and Storen have a combined 85.1 IP. Clipp threw 91 last year and it looks likes he's headed there again with Storen joining him.Now we hear yesterday he needs to be shut down with arm fatigue. We could really use over 7 IP tonight from Marquis.

  17. Unkyd - Jun 28, 2011 at 11:30 PM

    Bill B: Go You Freakin' Nats Go!!!!

  18. Cwj - Jun 28, 2011 at 11:31 PM

    Scoring more runs than you give up is what winning baseball is all about :)Winning 2-1, or winning 10-1 doesn't matter at all. It's all about wins.Nevertheless, I think Werth should be benched tonight. He is way off his game with Zero signs of improvement. Maybe a night on the bench would fire him up and get him back on track.

  19. MicheleS - Jun 28, 2011 at 11:36 PM

    Debate of the night:Okay.. so here is my guess on why Stairs is now in the line up.. he was brought in to be a stabilizing influence, provide veteran leadership, but never got the chance because the previous manager was in love with Ankiel. my guess.. Ankiel goes before Stairs. Thoughts?Also, sad to see that the Markmeister is not in LAA, but I am sure Mrs. Z appreciates having him home.

  20. nationals7 - Jun 28, 2011 at 11:40 PM

    Stairs….. shoot me now.

  21. Anomynous - Jun 28, 2011 at 11:47 PM

    FS, the Angels came into the league the same year as the original Curly W's, the expansion Senators (though it took a couple of seasons for the W to go curly).

  22. dj in Fl. - Jun 28, 2011 at 11:49 PM

    So MLB Trade Rumors says the Nats are willing to trade Clip, want a centerfielder in retun, and have their eyes on Upton. Huh????What is it him that has someone so focused on getting him ? Isn't he a bit of a headcase, and haven't we had enough with that negative influence ?And I didn't think our pen was that deep yet.

  23. natsfan1a - Jun 28, 2011 at 11:53 PM

    And now for something completely different. The most awesome part, imo, is that after the acrobatics, the dude fires a strike. My husband did question, however, whether that would be considered a balk. :-)http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/blog/big_league_stew/post/Cirque-du-Soleil-performer-gets-nutty-with-Padre?urn=mlb-wp10971

  24. Anonymous - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:00 AM

    Rizzo likes Upton, who is hitting .224 and batted .230 last year. He will fit right in with Werth and with the long list of center field failures that the Nats have had for seven long seasons.

  25. HHover - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:01 AM

    FredieMac – You're probably a little premature in planning the bottom end of the Nats rotation for when they contend. But if you must … most contending teams, don't typically have all stars at the #4 and #5 spots in the rotation. Mediocre guys wouldn't be that uncommon–esp. not mediocre guys who had the luck to get hot at the right time. Those bottom of the rotation guys typically see little time in the post-season.

  26. nationals7 - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:10 AM

    If someone would PLEASE explain why Bernadina is not viewed as our ctrfielder of the future? Steady. Decent. Fast..Good numbers. Seriously, they keep stairs around & this trade talk for a centerfielder leaves me flummoxed. Can't there be time allowed for him to develop? He's a rookie-ish type.

  27. Unkyd - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:11 AM

    Bernie: .276Upton: .224What am I missing, here…..?

  28. devilsadvocate - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:15 AM

    It kind of feels like Dj is going things different just to be different from riggleman. A lot of the things Riggs was doing were working quite well and you don't need to fix things that aren't broken. The hitting is broken, we know that and throwing Matt Stairs in there is not going to fix it. Using the same line up every day sounds good but then you don't get the benefit of resting Nix's owies and getting Hairston in there. Again, just because it's different than last week doesn't mean it's good. Prove to me that your new way will produce wins or go back to what was working. My guess is that this guy is too proud to admit that someone else might have been right.

  29. NatsLady - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:19 AM

    The only reason I can think of for Stairs DH'ing is that Davey doesn't want to waste a position player. In case of an extra inning game (when have we ever had one of those?) you want to be able to PH for Stairs (as happened last night) and let the position player stay in the game. People get tired in a long, West Coast Series. My opinion is that Stairs is in there so someone else who is rested can come in late in the game. Whether that is wise or not, I can't say, but you have the guy on the roster, and that's about the only use for him, namely as a place-holder early in the game. Obviously, you can't do the reverse unless you want Mr. Stairs playing first base. On another topic, there was a discussion on Baseball Today earlier today that a sacrifice bunt was a complete waste, which is what Davey was saying. The exceptions are a pitcher who can't hit and a guy who is drag-bunting for a hit. The other exception is bunting men on 1st and 2nd to 2nd and 3rd with none out, which slightly increases the chance of getting a run in. Otherwise, statistically, the traditional sacrifice bunt (giving up an out to move a runner from 1st to 2nd) DECREASES the chances of scoring a run in that inning.

  30. baseballswami - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:19 AM

    Nationals7 – I completely and totally agree with you about Bernie. I see no reason why he can't become a prototypical center fielder. This is definitely one of those situations that leaves me scratching my head. One thing I have noticed is that the FO is in love with players ( and managers) with well-know names. They are star-struck and impressed with reputations. That's how we ended up with Jayson Werth and Matt Stairs. Bernie has been very impressive and will only improve with consistent playing time.

  31. HHover - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:19 AM

    Anon@8I don't like Upton that much myself, but to be fair, Rizzo isn't being crazy. He's having a down year but has averaged about 4 fWAR for each of the last 4 years. If you think he's just in a slump, now wouldn't necessarily be a bad time to buy.But I'm not sure it's just a slump, and I don't know how he fits into the team's long term plans–he hits FA in 2013 and would be expensive in the meantime (he's making almost $5M this year). I don't know that I'd give up Clipp–who doesn't hit FA til 2016–for that. Unkyd/Nationals7Upton has pretty good power #s even tho his BA is low this year. But to really find the difference, look at their defensive #s. I like Bernie, but his defense isn't that great. He makes some great plays but can also botch routine ones–like that flyball that turned him around and turned into a double this weekend in Chicago.

  32. Cwj - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:22 AM

    Trading Clippard for a center-fielder, (if there's any truth to that rumor) would be disastrous. The bullpen would be destroyed.That would be a sad day indeed.The Nats have a center fielder in Bernadina.I say nay to Upton.

  33. Manassas Nats Fan - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:23 AM

    The original Angels with Leon Wagner who never held his hands together on the bat. Albie Pearson, Bobo Bilinski Ryan Duran. Jim Fregosi. Benny Daniels could take the mound for the Nats tonight. Werth needs his 5 hour energy drink.We need 2 now to win the series.

  34. The Dude Abides - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:25 AM

    Bull Crap…. 3 weeks ago people like you were all over Riggleman. And people like you were all over the "old guy" bench of Hairston and Cora. Now, after 1 game, Dj (known as Davey by people that know baseball)is doing things to spite Riggleman. You're laughable.

  35. nationals7 - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:26 AM

    Baseball Swami/ hhover- Thnx for the perspectives. I hope the GM gives the Shark time to learn the routes, etc. Bernie has been circuitous at times, but, a TEAM player. This Snyder-esque infatuation with names is a no winner. Hhover- what does FA stand for?

  36. NatsLady - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:27 AM

    We have the BEST bullpen in the business. Don't mess with success. With the offense we presently have, we can't afford to have the BP giving up runs. We know we are probably going to trade Marquis and/or Gorzy, so maybe, maybe, we can upgrade the outfield/offense. Or maybe we just have to live with it until we see where we stand closer to the trade deadline. We don't know who will be injured, etc., on our team or others. I say hold your horses with the trade rumors for about three weeks.

  37. Cwj - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:27 AM

    Devilsadvocate- you get all that from one game?Man, give Johnson some time to get to know his team.

  38. The Dude Abides - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:28 AM

    That last rant was for the neganon @ 8:15.

  39. Unkyd - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:32 AM

    Bernie, like Desi, is worth looking at every day, for the rest of the year.

  40. devilsadvocate - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:36 AM

    cWj – we have been told that he knows the team very well and has been tight with them since spring training. Supposedly he has actually watched all the games, too. Believe me, I am all about this team – just feel like the fo is blowing sunshine up our #@$%!*. I will freely eat breakfast, lunch and dinner of crow if and when proved wrong.He may turn out to be a fabulous manager and we go to the playoffs – awesome. My fear is that his ego is too big for this situation. Just hoping the boys can continue their battling until the all star break and then get a rest. Again, not trying to be negative at all and looking forward to a great second half. I can't wait to see what they can do and hope their bats wake up! GYFNG!

  41. Unkyd - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:37 AM

    We knew that, Dude….

  42. devilsadvocate - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:38 AM

    The Dude Abides – just because someone expresses a different opinion does not make them a neganon. You are entitled to your opinion and so are others.

  43. Unkyd - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:40 AM

    " Again, not trying to be negative at all"Guess you just can't help yourself?

  44. HHover - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:43 AM

    Nats7FA = Free agencyI'd be extremely happy to see Bernadina improve his defense in CF, but don't count on it. He played CF almost exclusively in the minors and is actually a few months older than Upton. If he hasn't picked it up yet, he probably won't. That said, I think he's the best option in CF this season, unless the Nats can pick up someone better than Upton.

  45. nationals7 - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:45 AM

    Hhover. Tnx..

  46. WhatsaNattaU - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:46 AM

    "I wasn't originally scheduled to make that trip, but Davey's debut was too big a story to miss, so CSN was able to find a way to send me out west for the first game of the series. "IMO, all 162 games are worthy of a story, … I mean Mark made it work when he didn't even have an employer, but hey … it's not like they're a regional sports network… (No slight to Mark intended)

  47. JaneB - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:47 AM

    I am really bummed we don't have Mark for the rest of the trip. Once they paid the airfare, they might as well have left him thereANYWAY. I'm in the camp that says Bernie is better than Upton, already, and that we should let him get a chance to become The Guy. because Ankiel isn't. He just isn't. GYFNG!

  48. Anonymous - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:47 AM

    Maybe Davey's giving Stairs a chance to either prove that he can contribute or prove that he's over the hill and needs to retire.Can anyone tell me why I have to sign up for Blogger just to be able to make a "signed" comment? Sometimes Google just makes me mad!MJR

  49. yankish2 - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:50 AM

    Kilgore reports that Tyler Clippard was not available last night because of a tired arm. Clip says he can go tonight but Davey might give him another night off.Is it just me or should Wilson Ramos stand a little closer to home plate? I know, I've never hit a major league pitch let alone a 75MPH fast ball in a batting cage but it just seems like he can't cover the outside of the plate.

  50. Feel Wood - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:51 AM

    "In case of an extra inning game (when have we ever had one of those?) you want to be able to PH for Stairs (as happened last night) and let the position player stay in the game." If you pinch hit for the DH and the pinch hitter stays in the game to play a position, then you lose the DH and the pitcher has to bat. You don't want the pitcher having to bat in an extra inning game. However, you can pinch hit for the DH and leave that pinch hitter in the game as the new DH.To put it simply, you can't double switch with the DH. Maybe that's why Riggleman had such trouble grasping the concept of DH.

  51. Unkyd - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:52 AM

    Choose name/URL, and I don't think you have to sign up…

  52. WhatsaNattaU - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:59 AM

    I was out of town through much of the hub-bub so I missed the opportunity to applaud McLaren's short tenure, revel in the continued winning, and thrill in the hiring of Davey Johnson. I am appropriately applauding, reveling, and thrilling. I mean Davey-Freaking-Johnson. There just aren't very many resumes like that one out there. Now if they can just find a lead off hitter….

  53. Tim - Jun 29, 2011 at 1:01 AM

    Tonight's the night for Stairs!GYFNG!

  54. NatsLady - Jun 29, 2011 at 1:09 AM

    OK, sorry, not that familiar with AL rules. Last time I rooted for an AL team was the 1959 White Sox… Then I don't know why Stairs is in there as DH.Yeah, I don't know how to post here without "select profile" and then having to enter stupid letters. Definitely minimizes my posting. Going back to WaPo for the night.

  55. Tim - Jun 29, 2011 at 1:10 AM

    Oh yeah… If we're shopping for a CFer, how 'bout Michael Bourne? The Astros will be sellers and they have Borgouis (sp?) in the wings. He bats .280, is a prototypical leadoff hitter who steals a lot of bags, and patrols CF with the best.Upton is a head case. We don't need them. They're not Werth it.Go JuggerNats!

  56. Sec3MySofa - Jun 29, 2011 at 1:15 AM

    IITYWYBMAD?GYFNG!

  57. Unkyd - Jun 29, 2011 at 1:16 AM

    Bernie's batting .307, for june….

  58. MicheleS - Jun 29, 2011 at 1:29 AM

    Anybody thinking that "Bryce Harper out with bone bruise" is really Bryce Haper has a broken Hand??? i don't trust the team medical staff….

  59. natsfan1a - Jun 29, 2011 at 1:30 AM

    MLB Network has Boston at Philadelphia and they keep going on and on about a potential Serious matchup. Geez. It's not even halfway through the season and I think there's some reason they play the games, isn't there? (Plus, that would mean I couldn't watch the Serious because…puleeze.)

  60. NatStat - Jun 29, 2011 at 1:32 AM

    I like Bernie, and he covers a lot of CF side to side; but he has lots of problems going back on a ball, as witnessed in Chicago. He should have been able to learn that skill a few hundred games ago, but hasn't so I'm assuming that he won't. That's why he was always talked about as being better for LF.

  61. MicheleS - Jun 29, 2011 at 1:33 AM

    1A.. I have been listening to it as well and thank the lord is it 9:30 and Ray and Johnny are on so I can turn off MLB and get the Nats game on

  62. natsfan1a - Jun 29, 2011 at 1:36 AM

    LOL, Michele. They are loathsome, offensive brutes, yet I can't look away… At least the Nats are back on at a decent hour tomorrow.

  63. nationals7 - Jun 29, 2011 at 1:37 AM

    MichelleS, hadn't even thought of that! Trust your intuition.

  64. MicheleS - Jun 29, 2011 at 1:40 AM

    nationals7..I HOPE I AM WRONG!!! Just a feeling of dread about this.. Stras (arm falls off), Zim (surgery), LaRoche (surgery)

  65. MicheleS - Jun 29, 2011 at 1:41 AM

    1A… can't stand the west coast swings.. the alarm goes off too early in the morning for me to stay up late.. Tommorrow JZNN at 7.. Thank God!

  66. Gonat - Jun 29, 2011 at 1:55 AM

    Did Davey J watch the game last night? Nix struggled in LF and probably should be the DH and Stairs looked his normal self which was a problem….

  67. ExposedinDC - Jun 29, 2011 at 1:55 AM

    Stairs better days are behind him…..time to move on Riz

  68. nationals7 - Jun 29, 2011 at 1:58 AM

    Play Ball!

  69. Gonat - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:00 AM

    For anyone who wanted Zach Greinke. 2 innings tonight, 7 earned runs, 5.63 ERA. I am with all of those who cringe at the thought that he could have been here and the Nats would be void of Jordan Z'nn, Espy, and Storen. Hard to imagine what Rizzo was willing to do to get a #1 pitcher or is he?

  70. Anonymous8 - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:07 AM

    Wanted to bring this article to everyone's attention on the NL 2nd baseman. NO MENTION of DANNY ESPINOSA. Discusses Weeks, Phillips and Utley. No respect.http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20110628&content_id=21099970&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb

  71. Sec3MySofa - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:10 AM

    10:07: First-pitch strike to the Shark, and we're under way. 10:08 Second-pitch grounder to second. One out.

  72. RickH - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:10 AM

    A double for Worth! Finally!

  73. Grandstander - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:11 AM

    There ya go Werth! Nice baserunning! That's how hot streaks begin folks.

  74. RickH - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:12 AM

    I know … Werth.

  75. nationals7 - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:12 AM

    Am I allowed to call the mlb guys jackasses? Even if I'm not, they are. Danny is the real deal.

  76. Sec3MySofa - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:13 AM

    That was encouraging: Werth just dumps an outside pitch into right, and takes second on Torii Hunter taking his time getting to the ball. (To be fair, Hunter is probably not 100% after crashing into the center field wall last week.)A wild pitch *cough*passed ball*cough takes him to third, and a ground ball over second from Zimm gets him in. 1-0, Grey team.

  77. Gonat - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:15 AM

    RickH said… A double for Worth! Finally! June 28, 2011 10:10 PM ——————————-I will take it but lets call it what it was. A doink off of the end of the bat. That is so much better than looking at Strike 3

  78. MicheleS - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:17 AM

    Gonat.. In the box score it's going to look like a line drive….not a doink.. and if it gets him going.. I will call it a rocket off the bat!

  79. RickH - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:18 AM

    Gonat: Yeah, let's take what we can get!

  80. JaneB - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:19 AM

    Grandstander, from your fingers to god's ears to Werth's bat.GYFNG.P.S. I reallyreallyreally hope i can manage to turn this off by 11:45. I am exhausted from late night and early morning and tomorrow is another early morning. But Mark's not blogging it, so I won't get to read it later to find out how we got the win.

  81. JaneB - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:20 AM

    nationals7: yes. Yes you are.

  82. Sec3MySofa - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:21 AM

    Nix singled high off the wall in right. Torii Hunter stood on the track and pounded his glove as if he had it all the way; Zimmerman probably was muttering "Yeah, THAT could work." on his way to third. Beast Mode…still loading. More like GIDP mode there. 1-0 Nats, baja 1.

  83. Gonat - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:21 AM

    Trust me, I am ecstatic about Werth's double but we all know what it was. Maybe it will be the start of something good!!!!

  84. MicheleS - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:21 AM

    JaneB…I am up until 11.. and then I have to turn it off or I will be toast tomorrow..On another note.. I think you started the thread over the weekend.. I like FP too. Let's keep him.

  85. Anonymous8 - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:22 AM

    Marquis gets ripped on that ball 4. That sucks! on 3-2 pitches that usually goes the pitchers way. Pitch track had it as a strike.

  86. Sec3MySofa - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:24 AM

    Got you covered, Jane … I ain't there, and I sure ain't Mark, but such as it is…

  87. SilverSpring8 - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:25 AM

    @MicheleSAdd me to the list of F.P. fans.

  88. Anonymous8 - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:27 AM

    We give Danny all this 'love' and he pulls that error. Extends the darn inning and pitch count.

  89. Sec3MySofa - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:29 AM

    Danny Espinosa just lost a ground ball in the sun. No, really. With Hunter, who walked, running in front of him, the ball hopped into a bit of sun coming in low across the right side of the infield, and I think that's how he missed it clean, right through his legs.

  90. MicheleS - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:29 AM

    Is anyone's Masn signal going out? I am on FIOS in Loudoun and it keeps getting stuck..

  91. Sec3MySofa - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:31 AM

    But Marquis gets Vernon Wells. No damage.Espinosa leads off the second.

  92. Grandstander - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:31 AM

    Time for Danny to make up for that error.Whoooooops!Is anyone else having issues with the game broadcast? Mine keeps cutting out but all other channels seem to come in clearly.

  93. Mark'd - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:32 AM

    If that was Desi on that error, look out. No excuse Sec. 3 Add 5 to the pitch count.

  94. Sec3MySofa - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:32 AM

    MicheleS, I think that might be the feed; it is hanging up for me here in DC, as well.

  95. MicheleS - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:33 AM

    Grandstander…I am having the issues. I am in loudoun on FIOS.. so you are not alone. Maybe once the O's stuff is off, they will flip it to main MASN and not on 2

  96. Sec3MySofa - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:34 AM

    Ummm…like, right now.

  97. DannyEllinosa - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:34 AM

    MASN on FIOS in PG keeps getting stuck too

  98. Grandstander - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:35 AM

    That's what I'm hoping Michele, I'm on FIOS too in Arlington. O's game is already over so shouldn't be much longer.*Paging masnstinks

  99. MicheleS - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:35 AM

    Anyone going to the July 4th game?

  100. DL in VA - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:37 AM

    I'm having MASN problems too! Comcast in Alexandria.That's in addition to my usual hatred of MASN. Tonight I can't even watch the game!HOLY CRAP, Stairs got a hit!!! And now he's a baserunner!

  101. Grandstander - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:37 AM

    I'm on the phone with the New York Times right now, they're making it the lead on the website as we speak.

  102. MicheleS - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:37 AM

    Also.. I am going to go to masn and watch Ben's interview with Stras… he actually smiled and looked pretty bulked up. Crossing fingers.. Hoping our boy is back and 100 % healthy…

  103. Angie W - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:39 AM

    Having the same problem with MASN in Prince William County with Direct TV but seems to be back to normal now.GYFNG!!!!

  104. MicheleS - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:40 AM

    Okay the Bob Light Bulb Comment about 1 being ou and FP's response that is was sitting next to him was a CLASSIC!

  105. DL in VA - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:40 AM

    Re Danny Espinosa: I lead a cheer for him every time I go to the game. (Perhaps a couple of you have heard me? :) )Here's the deal – he's good, y'all. The problem is, the team except for the last couple weeks hasn't been a real newsmaker. Why is he in the ROY conversation now? Because we're winning! I feel like that's the thing: the team has to keep winning, stay relevant, in order for him to get real notice as a ROY candidate.

  106. Sec3MySofa - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:40 AM

    Not an excuse, I'm just sayin', I think that's what happened. The runner wasn't in the way, and he whiffed on a slow three-hopper, thigh-high.

  107. nationals7 - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:41 AM

    Problems with rcn/masn in dc too.

  108. DannyEllinosa - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:42 AM

    Werth & Stairs both have hits in their first at bats, an omen of major offense to come… GYFNG!

  109. Anonymous - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:43 AM

    The broadcast issue was happening earlier during the birds telecast on the main MASN channel as well. I'm on comcast.

  110. nationals7 - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:43 AM

    I'm enjoying FP much more than expected.

  111. MicheleS - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:47 AM

    Oky.. fading fast.. have to get up super early. I hope you all can stay up and keep me laughing when I get my coffe tomorrow…So good night nationals7, Gonat, Grandstaner, Sec3mysofa, JaneB, everyone else and john boy wherever you are. Keep up the good work!

  112. TimDz - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:47 AM

    Comcast here in Stafford having issues too…We had a big thunderstorm earlier, so I figured that was the cause…

  113. Gonat - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:48 AM

    DL in VA said… Re Danny Espinosa: I lead a cheer for him every time I go to the game. (Perhaps a couple of you have heard me? :) )Here's the deal – he's good, y'all. The problem is, the team except for the last couple weeks hasn't been a real newsmaker. Why is he in the ROY conversation now? Because we're winning! I feel like that's the thing: the team has to keep winning, stay relevant, in order for him to get real notice as a ROY candidate. June 28, 2011 10:40 PM __________________________________Sorry, not correct. Peter Gammons picked Espi as his pre-season pick for ROY. With Fantasy Baseball so big, the astute managers know who he is. It won't get him to the All Star game as the #1 vote because in this case Rickie Weeks is better and Phillips may be too and one of them will be voted in. Different story for Rookies, Danny is the #1 right now if the vote was today. A long way to go though for end of the season awards.

  114. Sec3MySofa - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:48 AM

    Another little dumpy hit into center after a walk, but Marquis gets a ground ball from Aybar.Still 1-0 Nats after 2.

  115. nationals7 - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:48 AM

    Good night fans!

  116. MicheleS - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:50 AM

    Sec3MySofa.. keep posting.. we will appreciate it in the morning….I promise

  117. RickH - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:51 AM

    Werth … I'll take it again!

  118. FS - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:51 AM

    Keep up the good work sec3. Thanks.

  119. Sec3MySofa - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:54 AM

    You're welcome. I hope this doesn't go til 1:30 again, though.

  120. RickH - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:54 AM

    MicheleS: Yes to the 4th. My wife and daughters got tickets as a Father's Day present. First game ever for my wife.

  121. MicheleS - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:56 AM

    RickH.. just warning yuo.. Cubs fans will be coming…. for the most part they are okay, but they can be a bit loud. I may try to got to the Saturday night game as well…

  122. Sec3MySofa - Jun 29, 2011 at 3:03 AM

    Several balls hit hard off Piniero so far, but Michael Morse doesn't seem to have much going on. Fooled badly a couple of times to strike out swinging with Werth and Nix on to end the Nats third.

  123. RickH - Jun 29, 2011 at 3:08 AM

    Double play ends the inning! (Whew!)

  124. Gonat - Jun 29, 2011 at 3:09 AM

    Another nice double play turn 4-6-3!!!

  125. Sec3MySofa - Jun 29, 2011 at 3:11 AM

    Jason Marquis's 57th pitch walks Kendrick to load the bases. His 58th gets a 4-6-3 from Alberto Callaspo. Still 1-0 Nats, after 3, but I don't think he's going to go deep into the game tonight, at that rate.

  126. Gonat - Jun 29, 2011 at 3:14 AM

    Ramos and Stairs 1st pitch swinging. Way to help him boys.

  127. Sec3MySofa - Jun 29, 2011 at 3:15 AM

    Alto 4, on the other hand, only took Joel Piniero 9 pitches, the last one a routine fly ball to left-center by Matt Stairs. I hate to say it, but I worry that he did get all of that one.

  128. Sec3MySofa - Jun 29, 2011 at 3:19 AM

    Michele, if the Cubs fans start to get rowdy, do what I do: start chanting "NINE-teen oh-EIGHT!"

  129. JaneB - Jun 29, 2011 at 3:19 AM

    I was so hoping to be sleepy now but instead I am mad that there seem to be two different strike zones, depending on whether you are a gray guy or a red guy. But I'm glad we have Sec3 to count on for a game report. Might turn off the TV and listen on the radio, and fall asleep to the game, like I did when Davey was a player. Wonder why Marquis isn't as strong on the slider as he has been. It's not all the umpire. Thank goodness for Wilson.

  130. Anonymous - Jun 29, 2011 at 3:20 AM

    Sorry, not correct. Peter Gammons picked Espi as his pre-season pick for ROY. With Fantasy Baseball so big, the astute managers know who he is. It won't get him to the All Star game as the #1 vote because in this case Rickie Weeks is better and Phillips may be too and one of them will be voted in. Not to mention about 50 major league scouts well before the Nats had even played in a single major league game. Espinosa is scary good. The only thing holding him back his attempt to become a platoon batter. Espinosa in the third round is like getting a Rendon or a Harper 2 rounds later. This was an amazing find. Its a good thing too given that Destin Hood and Aaron Crow were picked before him and Graham Hicks afterward.

  131. dj in Fl. - Jun 29, 2011 at 3:21 AM

    Jason owes Ramos big time tonight. He needs to add another 3 ft. to his sliders.

  132. Sec3MySofa - Jun 29, 2011 at 3:24 AM

    Aybar pulls a ground ball double right over first base, scoring Mark Trumbo. Torii grounds out to third, but we're tied at 1 after four.

  133. JaneB - Jun 29, 2011 at 3:25 AM

    Sec3, I plan to chant, "Bart–man! Bart– man!" if the Cubbies fans start acting all Phillies- like.

  134. Sec3MySofa - Jun 29, 2011 at 3:28 AM

    Eric Aybar can fly, Bob Carpenter says. Impressive, but Livan can control time and space.

  135. Sec3MySofa - Jun 29, 2011 at 3:32 AM

    Another quick 1-2-3-and-more-Marquis. Bottom of the fifth–and hey, the Maalox is getting short, too, now that you mention it.

  136. DannyEllinosa - Jun 29, 2011 at 3:34 AM

    Ian got him

  137. Anonymous8 - Jun 29, 2011 at 3:35 AM

    Nice play by Desi. So close. Nats not getting the close calls.

  138. TimDz - Jun 29, 2011 at 3:35 AM

    Marquis' slider seems to be different on the west coast…I remember him struggling in Arizona too…

  139. Sec3MySofa - Jun 29, 2011 at 3:41 AM

    Nice play deep in the hole by Desmond, but Wells just beats the throw. And Howie Kendrick breaks his bat in half dumping a dying quail into left, with one out. Marquis is beating these guys, and they still manage to get on. I'm beginning to think maybe there's more to this hitting thing than just luck.Marquis has thrown a lot of 58-foot sliders tonight–gear or no, Ramos is going to have some marks on him tomorrow. And on pitch #85, he walks his fourth to load the bases, again, with one out. Bullpen is quiet, though…

  140. greg - Jun 29, 2011 at 3:43 AM

    anyone else lose their feed on cox about half an hour ago? i've had "temporarily off air" for the last 30 minutes.

  141. Gonat - Jun 29, 2011 at 3:43 AM

    Got his double play ball and botched. Such a shame tonight. To use Mark Zuckerman's title "Missed Opportunities".

  142. DL in VA - Jun 29, 2011 at 3:44 AM

    Jayson Werth is warming up in the bullpen. :)

  143. Sec3MySofa - Jun 29, 2011 at 3:44 AM

    Oh, man.He GETS the ground ball to short, and Desmond throws it before he has it, kicking it into center. Two runs score, one earned. 3-1, Angels.Balester is up now.

  144. FS - Jun 29, 2011 at 3:45 AM

    That will do it for me. Screen kinda froze for me when Trumbo hit it. But I think Desi made an error there for two runs to score. Well Marquis is equally for responsible. He is putting himself in crappy situations.Anyways, would love to go to DH this weekend.

  145. Grandstander - Jun 29, 2011 at 3:45 AM

    Sloppy defensive, ineffective pitching, what's going on? If we lose that, we just don't have a chance with the way the offense has been going.

  146. Will - Jun 29, 2011 at 3:46 AM

    Can someone remind me why Desmond is in Washington and not Harrisburg? I'm not trying to be overly negative…just, if you think Desmond is the answer at SS, why?

  147. DannyEllinosa - Jun 29, 2011 at 3:46 AM

    Ian is alright. Time for the team to pick up the kids at 2B & SS. GYFNG!

  148. Drew8 - Jun 29, 2011 at 3:48 AM

    As for Marquis:"You couldn't hit water if you fell out of a … boat."Between Desi's feeble hitting and that brutal boot, I can't wait to see Rendon.

  149. RickH - Jun 29, 2011 at 3:48 AM

    Ryan was safe!

  150. Sec3MySofa - Jun 29, 2011 at 3:49 AM

    Oh, sure…NOW he catches it. Basically the same ground ball, after a K, to Desmond to end the inning.To be fair, the ball is kind of all over the place tonight.Marquis keeps it at 3-1.

  151. RickH - Jun 29, 2011 at 3:49 AM

    LANCE NIX! Solo homer (but should have been two if Ryan had been called safe at first).

  152. Gonat - Jun 29, 2011 at 3:49 AM

    That would have tied the game with that HR. These umps, sheesh.

  153. Calm in Cali - Jun 29, 2011 at 3:50 AM

    Should be a tie game.

  154. DannyEllinosa - Jun 29, 2011 at 3:50 AM

    Yes Ryan was safe, shoulda been two, just gotta work harder.

  155. dj in Fl. - Jun 29, 2011 at 3:51 AM

    Jason has been so slow, the fielders are back on their heels instead of on their toes ready for each pitch. I guess Davey heard about the tantrum he throws if you take him out, and didn't want to deal with it.

  156. Sec3MySofa - Jun 29, 2011 at 3:53 AM

    Indeed, RickH. The infield is so crappy, even the first-base umpire is having trouble. The Vernon Wells play was very close, at least. That was not.And Laynce Nix puts where there are no bad hops. 3-2, and Morse follows with a single.

  157. Drew8 - Jun 29, 2011 at 3:57 AM

    Bugsy turned to Shifty and he said Nix NixI wanna stick around a while and get my kicksLet's Rock!

  158. Grandstander - Jun 29, 2011 at 3:58 AM

    If you want to know how bad Matt Stairs is, Scioscia is going with a righty to face him out of the bullpen. That is straight-up disrespect. Too bad everyone knows but Mike Rizzo and Davey Johnson.

  159. Grandstander - Jun 29, 2011 at 3:59 AM

    Ah, my bad, thought they were calling in a righty, but I'm SHOCKED to see Stairs in there against a lefty. Are you kidding me?

  160. Sec3MySofa - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:00 AM

    Hard line drive single to center by Ramos, and here comes Mike Scioscia, and here comes Hisonori Takahashi. Matt Stairs due up… The balls on the grass are kicking up so much sand or whatever that is, I gotta think that field really is in bad shape. I mean, it's way better than I get in Geezer Little League, but still.

  161. RickH - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:01 AM

    Matt Stairs ties the game! First RBI has a Nat!!!

  162. Smatt1001 - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:02 AM

    Matt Stairs has an RBI?!?!

  163. dj in Fl. - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:02 AM

    So much for those theories on why you start Stairs, and have a righty ready to come in.And holy cow he comes through with an rbi single.

  164. Gonat - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:02 AM

    Grandstander, you saw him carrying his glove tucked in his left arm walking out of the bullpen. No biggie.Bigger surprise is Stairs first RBI of the year!

  165. Grandstander - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:02 AM

    I…I dont know what to say…Um…Congrats Matt Stairs on your first RBI?I feel dirty…

  166. Waddy eye no - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:02 AM

    Miracle!

  167. Sec3MySofa - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:02 AM

    Hey, if Stairs gets one here, do you think they'll give him the silent treatment in the dugout?Well, RBI single in the hole, and that, ladies and gentlemen, is Matt Stairs first RBI this year.And his first hit off a lefty, fwiw. Dang, that Davey Johnson is a smart guy.

  168. DannyEllinosa - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:02 AM

    Way to go Stairs! Clap your hands if you believe!

  169. SilverSpring8 - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:03 AM

    Matt Stairs gets an RBI!?!?!? Maybe Davey J is onto something with letting the veterans play …

  170. Grandstander - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:05 AM

    Here comes the Flying Dutchman! Keep the line moving!

  171. SilverSpring8 - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:06 AM

    C'mon Bernie …

  172. dj in Fl. - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:06 AM

    Maybe that bad call put the chip back on the boys shoulder.All the good press killed our edge.

  173. Sec3MySofa - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:07 AM

    3-2, 2 outs, bases loaded, tie game…

  174. RickH - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:08 AM

    Stairs scores from 2nd??? Whoa, Nellie!

  175. DannyEllinosa - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:08 AM

    Even Stairsy scored on that one! The baseball Gods are crazy!

  176. SilverSpring8 - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:09 AM

    Yesssss!!!! It's about time we starting catching the breaks.

  177. Gonat - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:09 AM

    I disagree with FP on that one. Trumbo rushed because Bernadina was up and took his eye off of the ball. Yes, it took a very small hop.SPEED KILLS

  178. Gonat - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:10 AM

    OK, Bob Carpenter just agreed with me. LOL

  179. Sec3MySofa - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:10 AM

    And Mark Trumbo can't handle Bernardina's three-hopper. Two runs score, really a push on Desmond's error, and that infield must be really substandard.5-3, Nats, with Werth up, first and third. Send the Shark?

  180. dj in Fl. - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:11 AM

    At some point MLB is going to end these concerts that destroy the fields. That includes you also Mr. Pope

  181. DannyEllinosa - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:11 AM

    GONAT… it was a Shark attack

  182. Navy Nats Fan - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:13 AM

    For those not watching the telecast, they said the entire grass field was re-turfed after a U2 concert last week. There are obvious seams and many many bad hops. May expect more trouble than usual fielding grounders.So which was more unbelievable – Stairs with his first RBI or Desmond working a walk?

  183. Anonymous - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:14 AM

    Or Werth striking out – swinging

  184. Anonymous8 - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:15 AM

    DannyEllinosa, it was a Shark!

  185. Sec3MySofa - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:15 AM

    Well, at least he swung at that one. Sorta.

  186. Drew8 - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:16 AM

    I'm glad Stairs got the RBI and scored, but the sight of him churning around third would have made Ahab grab the harpoon.

  187. Gonat - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:16 AM

    This home plate ump needs new contacts. Come on.

  188. SilverSpring8 - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:16 AM

    I wonder if the guy who types the play-by-play of the game keeps "Werth struck out" stored on a function key for quick retrieval?

  189. Sec3MySofa - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:18 AM

    And with a lead, and 93 pitches in the books (54-43), Marquis is out for the sixth.Maybe Davey isn't that smart. Aybar goes down the right field line.5-4, Nats.Colin, you warm yet? You're in.

  190. Gonat - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:19 AM

    Give the home plate ump an assist on that HR. Big difference working from 2-2 count vs. 3-2

  191. dj in Fl. - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:22 AM

    I am shocked Jason came out for the 6th. He was off all night, and there was no way he was going to find his groove at this point.

  192. Sec3MySofa - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:22 AM

    If you are DVR-ing this game…don't save it anywhere your kids might find it.

  193. dj in Fl. - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:24 AM

    Good point Sec3There is a reason this game is on late at night.

  194. SilverSpring8 - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:26 AM

    Ballystar: "Oops."

  195. Sec3MySofa - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:26 AM

    Vernon Wells with a man on. 6-5, LAA, and Marquis is not going to figure in the decision tonight.

  196. Grandstander - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:27 AM

    I'm starting to lose faith here, and the fact I have to be up in the morning isn't helping.

  197. RickH - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:28 AM

    Time to let the DVR take over.

  198. DannyEllinosa - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:28 AM

    is Morse the best 1st baseman ever or what?

  199. SilverSpring8 - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:29 AM

    Is it just me, or is something wrong, wrong, wrong with Zim's arm? I know he tried changing his mechanics to protect his abdominal muscle, but it looks like more than just a different throwing motion.

  200. Gonat - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:29 AM

    Remind me again why Colin Balester is here? Just AAAA. Never a difference with this guy. Balester, Stammen, Mock, etc. Just not MLB material.Then Ryan Zimmerman makes his 2nd horrible throw of the game but this one is an E.

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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