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Banged-up Nats beaten up by Bucs

Jul 3, 2011, 10:53 PM EDT

Associated Press photo
Jason Marquis gave up seven runs in only 1 1/3 innings.

The left fielder and cleanup hitter is already banged-up, dealing with a nagging Achilles’ tendon strain. The first baseman and potential All-Star sat out Sunday’s game with a bruised forearm and could miss another day. The $126 million right fielder had to come out of the game after taking a fastball to his left wrist and is unlikely to start Monday.

Meanwhile, the Face-of-the-Franchise third baseman is hitting .224 and still trying to find his swing after missing more than two months due to injury. The young shortstop has been playing with a sore thigh for weeks and probably needs a couple of days off.

And those are only the injuries we know about.

Throw in Jason Marquis’ dreadful start Sunday afternoon, leading to a 10-2 thumping at the hands of the Pirates, and the Nationals reach Independence Day in something of a tenuous position.

“I’m real concerned about it,” manager Davey Johnson said. “We kind of start getting healthy, and then, bang, something else happens. But
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  1. SonnyG10 - Jul 3, 2011 at 11:09 PM

    Come on boys, let's step it up. We want to at least hang around .500.

  2. JaneB - Jul 3, 2011 at 11:19 PM

    We just need to see them hang in there, relatively even, till the all star break and then hope for some miracle healing. Yep. That's the best plan I got.Is it really the case that a player THAT expensive gets to say, "no, you can't xray my wrist"? Seriously?

  3. Richard - Jul 3, 2011 at 11:23 PM

    I'm wondering why the Nats didn't retaliate after frist Morse then Werth is hit unintentionally by a pitch. I didn't watch either game and maybe this has been discussed, but it seems the Pirates were allowed to pitch these guys recklessly tight. They both were knocked of games. When the Nats hit guys the opponents seem to find a Nat to hit, then the benches are warned, then a Nats pitcher gets tossed. Why didn't "uber manager" Johnson retaliate? But I didn't see the game so maybe Balester pitched inside, too, but with better control.

  4. Anonymous - Jul 3, 2011 at 11:26 PM

    After sitting in the RF corner for the DH on Saturday, I noticed that Jayson Werth is the last player to take the field between innings – every single time, and sometimes significantly so. Does anybody know why?

  5. dj in Fl. - Jul 4, 2011 at 12:10 AM

    FP stated today "that the clubhouse is a lot more upbeat with Davey at the helm. You go in there and they are just having fun. Sorry but that is the way it is." Well maybe being a bit more serious is in order here boys. Maybe there was a reason the prior staff was known for being hard nosed. They saw the results with a players manager, Accta, and decided on some tough love. They kept it private, but tough love interefered with fun, so the calls to agents started.So we now have a players manager again, our fun loving, but losing club back. I liked the winners better! Sorry boys but it is a job that requires positive results, just like everybodyelse's.

  6. HHover - Jul 4, 2011 at 12:11 AM

    I see that Ryan Dempster, who was scheduled to start for the Cubs tomorrow, has been scratched and is day to day with a bad back. Zambrano's out too. It's just that time of year.Starting tomorrow will be Casey Coleman, proud owner of a 7.78 ERA.Here's hoping the Nats weak offense can get jump started vs. the Cubbies, whose pitching was already 2d worst in the NL.

  7. Anonymous - Jul 4, 2011 at 12:18 AM

    Eck has to go. The hitting is just pitiful. Guys taking pitches down the middle, swinging at balls WAY out of the zone. Its just a joke. As soon as that 3rd run plated for the Pirates today the game was over and everybody knew it. If the pitcher hadn't hit Ramos's bat we would of been shut out again. Come on man, this is supposed to be a major league team. An average college pitcher could blank us. No more excuses. Pay him for the rest of the season and lets move on.

  8. MicheleS - Jul 4, 2011 at 12:22 AM

    Blech.. that was a stinker,But the we have another game tomorrow and we are still at 2-2 for the homestand. The cubs coming to town with and we have a chance to take that series (this coming from a life long cubs fan – it's genetic and I can't get rid of it)

  9. Knoxville Nat - Jul 4, 2011 at 12:41 AM

    If I'm not mistaken Casey Coleman (son of former Senator Joe Coleman)pitched one heck of a game against the Nats last year. Hopefully he won't replicate that feat this season.

  10. AndesAngle - Jul 4, 2011 at 1:23 AM

    I hope we can pull out of this hitting slump. I would like to see this current home-grown team be successful. I like my team.http://andesangle.blogspot.com/2011/07/this-weeks-top-5-with-andesangle.html

  11. NatStat - Jul 4, 2011 at 1:23 AM

    Cause and effect is a hard thing to establish in sports, but it seems that the Nats are back to their frequent game-error ways that had almost disappeared with Riggleman.

  12. Anonymous - Jul 4, 2011 at 1:24 AM

    Marquis stunk it up today and the game was lost in no time; the club was overdue for a starting pitcher to implode early. Hopefully, they go another 60 games or so before the next one of those.Anyway, I never thought that I would miss Cristian Guzman, but at least he could hit. Desmond is simply woeful. Rizzo, get your head out of the sand, see the facts: Desmond is not a MLB SS at this point. He has options and he needs to learn to play the poston in the minors. Why is Espinosa to SS and Lombardozzi to 2B so hard to consider? dfh21

  13. baseballswami - Jul 4, 2011 at 1:29 AM

    Believe me , I am thrilled that we split this series with the Bucs – but, really – how the heck did we do it? This team manages to win with just smoke and mirrors and how long can you keep that up? @Dj in Fla – I was thinking the same thing – it's nice when the clubhouse is loose and people are smiling, but when this team was winning there was a lot of concentration and total intensity. I don't see much energy – I know they are just wanting the break to come, but there is a week left.I was hoping that they could feed off of the loud crowds. Come on boys, shake off all the daily changes and just play some "good old fashioned country hardball"! Also – they didn't lose just one coach, they lost 3 and I know that some of them have to be struggling to adjust.

  14. Anonymous - Jul 4, 2011 at 2:08 AM

    Hey, why all the whining? They split 4 with the Pirates. Okay, they didn't hit but they never do. How many 2-1 victories did they have in June? Soon kind of record maybe. I'll take 2 out of 4. … But I'd bring up Lombardozzi soon, too. He had 3 more hits today and his BA is over .400 again. If the team could hit a little bit I'd say, fine, call him up in September. But this team is in need of some bats ASAP. The Giants gave Crawford a chance and he's is doing fine, up from A ball.

  15. Roberto - Jul 4, 2011 at 2:08 AM

    "Why is Espinosa to SS and Lombardozzi to 2B so hard to consider?"Amen to that! Desmond will probably never be more than an athletic "super sub." He is an offensive black hole. Johnson once played Howard John at shortstop because he knows that you cannot give up outs by playing a .200 hitter every day. As Bill James once wrote, the Orioles won when Mark Belanger hit .230, not when he hit .190. Lombardozzi may never be more than a middle-of-the-pack 2B but a Espinosa/Lombardozzi combination will probably be an upgrade. At least that question is open, unlike the one about Desmond's hitting ability. This is a rare instance where the Nats really do have an option.

  16. Roberto - Jul 4, 2011 at 2:10 AM

    I meant "Johnson once played Howard Johnson at shortstop."

  17. HHover - Jul 4, 2011 at 2:25 AM

    Slow down, people. Lombardozzi is 22 years old, and has played all of 12 games at AAA. We'll see him in Sept.Aside from the fact that management takes a longer view than internet commenters and is going to give Desmond time to get his offense back on track, they also know they have a great thing with Danny at 2B, and they aren't going to risk screwing it up by switching his position half-way thru his rookie season.

  18. The Great Unwashed - Jul 4, 2011 at 2:39 AM

    What are the odds that Marquis called his agent to complain about being yanked early?

  19. Anonymous - Jul 4, 2011 at 2:53 AM

    >>>Slow down, people. Lombardozzi is 22 years old, and has played all of 12 games at AAA. We'll see him in Sept.<<<And he'll still be 22 in September, so why not call him up now, when it can actually do some good? Also, Lombardozzi and Espinosa have already played together, last year in Harrisburg.This is the point of the season when this organization's roster stagnation is really going to bite us. And stagnation is precisely the word for this team roster management. For a team that has been under .500 for most of the season, there has been no roster turnover, other than Brian Broderick. It's stability when you're winning. It's stagnation when you're losing.The All-Star break gives the team four free days, when no games will be played. Those days should be used by putting putting players on the DL, now, starting with Ian Desmond. His quads are crying out for a DL stay.Put Adam LaRoche on the 60-day DL (could someone explain why he's not already?), purchase Lombardozzi's contract and call him up tomorrow.Laynce Nix's achilles could probably use some DL time too.Or Michael Morse's wrist or Jayson Werth's wrist/hip flexor.Could this team be proactive once, for a change?

  20. Anonymous - Jul 4, 2011 at 2:54 AM

    Also, I forgot in my previous post, Lombardozzi has more than 1500 ABs in the minors so he's certainly not being rushed.

  21. Anonymous - Jul 4, 2011 at 2:59 AM

    And (I'm also anon 10:53 and 10:54), Espinosa had 95 at-bats in Syracuse. That's all.Also, Espinosa only had about 1000 at-bat in the minors, far fewer than Lombardozzi.HE'S READY!

  22. Anonymous - Jul 4, 2011 at 3:05 AM

    I'm beginning to think Desmond could use some time to clear his head in AAA. Look what it did for Lannan. He came back a better player. Even Cliff Lee endured a demotion and look where he is now. What I'm getting at is a demotion isn't always that bad. It's what you make of it. If he can use it as motivation to work his way back up to the big leagues, he might be better off for it.

  23. ExposedinDC - Jul 4, 2011 at 3:35 AM

    Proactive, c'mon we are talking about our Nationals, hot prospects only work for teams that are willing to play them, we have historically tried the Laroche….Ankiel…approach. It wasn't long ago that Tampa played the kids and it worked out pretty good for them. Give em a chance Riz

  24. NatsLady - Jul 4, 2011 at 3:51 AM

    Re: Jason Marquis. He let himself get flustered by the "throwing error" in the first inning (which could have just as easily been Espinosa's error, as it looked to me and to Charlie and Dave that the ball was catchable). OK. McCatty comes out and settles him down (that man is a MAGICIAN, I swear).But, for whatever reason, Jason doesn't have his focus in the 2nd inning, and that's it. McCatty can't CAMP OUT on the pitcher's mound!!!Davey J. didn't do anything wrong in this one. Balester did a yeoman's job in the spot he really seems suited for, Coffey was fine, Hot-Rod was wild (what else is new?). Bottom line, there is too much drama in Jason Marquis. Three runs is not insurmountable, even the Nattles can, once in a blue moon, overcome that. Livo often and often has a rough first inning and then pitches great. Marquis should take note.Congrats to Clipp– WELL DESERVED. Cannot understand why McCutchen is not an All-Star. That is just bizarre.Went online and voted about 20 times for Morse. Go Nats.

  25. Drew8 - Jul 4, 2011 at 4:36 AM

    Tonight's farm report:Lombardozzi is an interesting cat. Hitting .403 over 62 at bats is some impressive hackage, but it bothers me that he doesn't have a single walk.Marrerro, who is hitting .300, has a .370 on base percentage because he's not averse to taking walks. I wish he had more than 8 home runs.At Syracuse tonight, Craig Stammen upped his record to 8-3, tho his 4.19 ERA isn't too impressive. Old friend Mike O'Connor took the loss for Buffalo, a Mets affiliate.At Harrisburg, Tanner Roark, one of the two pitchers acquired from Texas in the Guzzy deal, has a ghastly 6.20 ERA in 10 starts.The other "prize" prize in that deal, reliever Ryan Tatusko, has a 5.40 ERA in Syracuse. Hey, it's better than his 5.94 ERA in Harrisburg. (Can't imagine why they promoted him to Syracuse, unless it was some sort of contractual obligation. His performance can be summed up in two words: Bow wow.)At Hagerstown, Harper is showing signs of emerging from his slump. He had two more hits and an RBI tonight and now is 5 for his last 11. He's hitting .318.Hagerstown lefty Matt Grace, an 8th Round 2010 pick out of UCLA, improved his record to 9-5, going 7 innings and allowing no earned runs. He lowered his ERA from 4.91 to 4.50.The bad news at Hagerstown is that McCatty's son, Shane, is getting bludgeoned in relief. He has a 6.21 ERA. Folks back home in Michigan will soon be calling: "Shane! Come Back!"Potomac's game was suspended in the fifth because of rain. I wish the Nats' game had been called in the second.

  26. Anonymous - Jul 4, 2011 at 5:22 AM

    Look at all the teams, THIS SEASON, that have called up young prospects, San Diego, Kansas City, Cleveland, Seattle, among others.I don't know what Mike Rizzo is doing. I don't even think he knows what he's doing. As I posted here before, before the Riggleman incident, Riggleman was just the symptom, Rizzo is the illness.If not Lombardozzi (and I have no idea why it shouldn't be him) then call up Antonelli. He's had ONE season in the majors. They can't be ready to write him off after that short period of time.Ian Desmond needs a break. It's not good for him or the team to keep trotting him out there when he's playing like this, especially when his poor play might be injury related.

  27. HHover - Jul 4, 2011 at 12:09 PM

    AnonsIf 2B were open, they might take a flyer on Lombardozzi now–tho my guess is they'd call up Antonelli and platoon him with Cora, and let Lomb. play every day in AAA.But 2B isn't open (as it was when Danny won the position after–yes!–a Sept call up last year). The problem with your plan is that it calls for switching Danny mid-season out of the position at which he's having a potential ROY season. You don't screw with that kind of success.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 89 64 --
ATLANTA 76 77 13.0
MIAMI 74 79 15.0
NEW YORK 74 80 15.5
PHILADELPHIA 70 84 19.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Friday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON 89 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 88 66 1.5
ST. LOUIS 86 68 3.5
-------------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 69 5.0 +1.0
PITTSBURGH 83 70 6.0 --
MILWAUKEE 79 75 10.5 4.5
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Friday's games

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SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
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WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
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