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Game 91: Rockies at Nats

Jul 9, 2011, 4:56 PM EDT

File photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Jason Marquis faces Ubaldo Jimenez tonight at Nationals Park.

For all that they've accomplished over the last month, the Nationals are in a bit of a precarious position this weekend. Having lost two straight (and seven of 12 since Davey Johnson took over as manager), they're back at the .500 mark. Another loss tonight to the Rockies would drop them below the break-even point heading into tomorrow's first-half finale.

So there is some amount of pressure on Jason Marquis, tonight's starter, to bounce back from his horrendous outing last Sunday against the Pirates, when he retired only four batters. His teammates will face a stiff challenges themselves in Ubaldo Jimenez, who has not come close to his dominant form of 2010 yet this season but has pitched well in recent outings.

I won't be covering either of the games this weekend. I'm on my way to Phoenix for the All-Star Game and will be reporting to you live from Chase Field tomorrow at the Futures Game (featuring Bryce Harper and Brad Peacock). Because of my flight schedule, I have to post this before lineups are posted, so if anyone out there would be kind enough to type them into the comments section, it would be much appreciated.

My colleague Chase Hughes will be covering tonight in my stead; you can find his work on CSNwashington.com, and I'll be sure to link to his articles once I arrive in Phoenix. Another colleague, Ryan O'Halloran, will have tomorrow's series finale for you all.

Until then, enjoy the game and the continuing discussion…

ROCKIES at NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
TV: MASN2
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 189
Weather: Clear, 88 degrees, Wind 6 mph in from LF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (45-45)
Lineup TBA

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135 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. FS - Jul 9, 2011 at 5:06 PM

    Go Mark Go!! Looking forward to your coverage of All Star Break.We have it tough tonight. I don't see how we can beat Ubaldo with lineup struggling to produce consistently.

  2. gonatsgo - Jul 9, 2011 at 5:26 PM

    Limping into the All Star Break – literally and figuratively.

  3. Doc - Jul 9, 2011 at 5:35 PM

    Have a great time at the ASG stuff, MarkMeister, including the futures' game. Hope Oppo Boppo's left thumb is on the mend, and he'll bang a few big hits.Go Brad, Bryce, and Clip!

  4. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 9, 2011 at 5:37 PM

    While we're waiting, a Sense of the House question:is GYFNG pronouncedGIFF-ingGUY-fingJIFF-ingJIFE-ingor should we call the whole thing off?

  5. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 9, 2011 at 5:41 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. FS - Jul 9, 2011 at 5:45 PM

    1. Roger Bernadina (L) CF2. Danny Espinosa (S) 2B3. Ryan Zimmerman (R) 3B4. Laynce Nix (L) LF5. Michael Morse (R) 1B6. Jayson Werth (R) RF7. Jesus Flores (R) C8. Ian Desmond (R) SS9. Jason Marquis (L) P*Source: http://baseballpress.com/lineup_team.php?team=WSH

  7. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 9, 2011 at 6:17 PM

    Maybe Gwai Fong?Didn't we have a correspondent here at one time who is in Hong Kong? Or was that just someone posting while traveling?

  8. Dave - Jul 9, 2011 at 6:42 PM

    I vote for GUY-fing

  9. m20832 - Jul 9, 2011 at 7:18 PM

    GEE-YFNG?

  10. UNTERP.NAT - Jul 9, 2011 at 7:26 PM

    My favorite Nat's player is starting for the first time in two seasons. I love Jesus…

  11. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 9, 2011 at 7:31 PM

    Guy-fing. Rhymes with knifing.My obscure-puns gene is acting up–"gwai-fong" is growing on me. If I could figure out the Hong Kong tie-in, I'd be all set. : /m20832, how would that be pronounced?

  12. FS - Jul 9, 2011 at 7:46 PM

    Question, how many rookies have had 30 HR and 100 RBIs rookie campaign? I believe Pujols was the last rookie to get that milestone. thanks.

  13. Anonymous - Jul 9, 2011 at 8:19 PM

    How long do we go with Werth before we sit him on the bench? He is absolutely killing us at the plate. And the bad thing is, he isn't getting any better. He swung at that ball last night that was a foot outside and bounced on the ground. Has it occurred to anybody that the guy isn't gonna get better, that maybe he is washed up? Thats right, finished…..kaput. its happened before, where a guy loses it over night

  14. gonatsgo - Jul 9, 2011 at 8:23 PM

    Werth – he's got the Yips – contagious – got it from Ankiel. Maybe they can trade, Ankiel went pitching to outfield, maybe Werth can go outfield to pitching? The boy needs some serious head shrinking. Uggla looks like he is coming out of his funk, Dunn and Werth – still waiting.

  15. Anonymous - Jul 9, 2011 at 8:31 PM

    Just checked on the mlb batting averages. There are an awful lot of big names under 240. MM is number 22 – tied with Prince Fielder!

  16. JaneB - Jul 9, 2011 at 9:26 PM

    Giff-fongGuy-fongGwai-fong.In my head it always ends in fong. Just as long as it ends in a win at least half the time, plus one, I will pronounce it any way you all decide.UNTERP, I'm thrilled to have him back too. From the moment he hit that dinger in one of his first games (and caught an awesome foul ball the same game, at RFK, I've claimed him a mine, but I'm happy to share.I hope Marquis is brilliant tonight. But don't we all?GYFNG!

  17. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 9, 2011 at 9:41 PM

    What the helk. The sofa is comfy, but nobody here sells beer. Guess I'll take a shot at the upper decks.

  18. Unkyd - Jul 9, 2011 at 9:54 PM

    Sofa….. Your Astair reference did not go unnoticed ;-)The correct pronunciation, is "GO YOU FREAKING NATS GO!!!!!"4:19….. It has occurred to no one. A compleatly original thought. The prevailing opinion is that he will recover from this extended slump, and bat .290, with power, for another 3 plus years, as this is the most likely scenario. It's tough for us to live through, though…

  19. natsfan1a - Jul 9, 2011 at 10:14 PM

    I always read it as Gee Why Eff En Gee myself.Glad to hear that others have appreciated and are happy to see Flores back. Me three.We just got back from the Folklife Festival. Great food, R&B music, and programs, but I'm funked out in more ways than one and will be watching from the air conditioned comfort of my home tonight. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going for a smoothie.GYFNG!!

  20. natsfan1a - Jul 9, 2011 at 10:16 PM

    Oh, and thanks to CSN for sending Mark to All-Star Land. Safe travels and will look forward to your coverage!

  21. FS - Jul 9, 2011 at 10:16 PM

    The lineup Marquis will face off against:1. Ryan Spilborghs (R) CF2. Mark Ellis (R) 2B3. Todd Helton (L) 1B4. Troy Tulowitzki (R) SS5. Seth Smith (L) RF6. Ty Wigginton (R) LF7. Ian Stewart (L) 3B8. Chris Iannetta (R) C9. Ubaldo Jimenez (R) PGood thing CarGo is resting, but Tulo is back. Let's win one tonight.

  22. MicheleS - Jul 9, 2011 at 10:21 PM

    I like Gwai Fong. Sounds almost mystical.So happy Mark Meister is in the AZ.. May the dust cloud disipate on your arrival!1a goes for a smoothie.. I go for a glass of wine and a steak!

  23. MicheleS - Jul 9, 2011 at 10:24 PM

    MRS Z if you are on the blog tonight:Having suffered through a sister who was pregnant during the summer… I wish you nothing but cool thoughts and hope that the house is set at the proper temperature for your comfort. And if Mark Meister complains about the temp.. tell him to put a sweater on!!!!

  24. MicheleS - Jul 9, 2011 at 10:26 PM

    and one final question before I put the steaks on the grill:Anyone going tonight.. Can you check out Pups in the Park? I want to bring the dog to one, but want to be sure it's a good thing.

  25. JaneB - Jul 9, 2011 at 11:06 PM

    Michele, pups in the park is really well organized and I'm finally going to bring one of mine in August. There is a set place for all dogs and humans with dogs to sit, but these dogs are so happy to be here! So happy! It's making me feel guilty I didn't bring her tonight.

  26. nationals7 - Jul 9, 2011 at 11:17 PM

    Pups in the Park is a hoot! Much more room for a whole herd more of pups n people. Water & shade aplenty.

  27. JaneB - Jul 9, 2011 at 11:18 PM

    Michelle, next one is in September, not August. just bought tickets.And what the heck is up with Jesus?

  28. Temporary Like A Killjoy - Jul 9, 2011 at 11:18 PM

    Sofa here, in 419 tonight. Great views!Hey Jane, turn around and wave!Man, Flores has been out there half a dozen times already!

  29. MicheleS - Jul 9, 2011 at 11:22 PM

    I think Jesus is trying to learn the pitching staff on the fly.. He probably never caught in the Marquis de Sade and just wants to make sure they are on the same wave length..Glad to see Spuds Nix out patrolling left field.

  30. nationals7 - Jul 9, 2011 at 11:25 PM

    Maybe Marquis & Jesus (yay!) are messing with the Rockies

  31. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 9, 2011 at 11:28 PM

    Flores airmailed both throws down so far.

  32. Anonymous - Jul 9, 2011 at 11:44 PM

    If Bo Porter is not our manager after DJ hangs it up at say… 72.. can we have Pudge?

  33. nationals7 - Jul 9, 2011 at 11:54 PM

    It's not for nuthin that Rizzo picked up Porter

  34. nationals7 - Jul 10, 2011 at 12:00 AM

    Zimm, throwing overhand & finally looking comfortable.

  35. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 10, 2011 at 12:00 AM

    So if Wiggington smokes Marquis, do they have to drill him?

  36. CBinDC - Jul 10, 2011 at 12:18 AM

    So good evening all ….. I do wonder why they seem so helpless tonight ……..this is not going well to end the first half plus a couple of games

  37. Anonymous - Jul 10, 2011 at 12:18 AM

    Kind of worried about the goose eggs right now. Did anyone see the Dodgers/ Padres result? Padres, one hit, Dodgers, 2 hits with 2 outs in the bottom of the ninth to walk off. No hits up til then.

  38. baseballswami - Jul 10, 2011 at 12:21 AM

    Re the pudge for manager comment – I think he is a natural for coaching. For tonight he can maybe mediate between marquis and Flores who are not exactly in sync. Nice plate blocking by flores for the out, saving a run, though. Marquis just laboring tonight. Our offense is even flatter than usual,too. Not a good combination.

  39. gonatsgo - Jul 10, 2011 at 12:25 AM

    Let's score some runs,now, Nats! We need a blooper, a dying quail, a ground ball with eyes – something to fall our way. Hoping they can find a little energy tonight and tomorrow before they get a nice little rest.

  40. Anonymous - Jul 10, 2011 at 12:27 AM

    I know this pitcher is good , but we are making it way too easy for him.

  41. Nats Outsider - Jul 10, 2011 at 12:28 AM

    Isn't it about time that someone around here jinx Jimenez by pointing out that he has a **NO**HITTER** going?

  42. CBinDC - Jul 10, 2011 at 12:29 AM

    I want to point something out that should have been a factor in the Nationals planning…… air in DC at this time of year will change around the 8:00 to 8:30 mark in periods of hot days changing the pitching dynamic …..this is in part why Livo suddenly could not get the break he was looking for on Thursday when the wheels came off the car …….it is a factor I had hoped the Nationals would take advantage of ….and that the air will updraft making the ball carry better then earlier in the evening

  43. Nats Outsider - Jul 10, 2011 at 12:29 AM

    See — It worked!!!

  44. Anonymous - Jul 10, 2011 at 12:30 AM

    Way to go NatsOutsider!!!

  45. baseballswami - Jul 10, 2011 at 12:31 AM

    Nice to see the "you know what" broken up. Detweiler coming in – he and Flores have worked together a lot in Syracuse – should be better communication. Breaking news – Jayson Werth did not strike out.

  46. gonatsgo - Jul 10, 2011 at 12:34 AM

    Really, really? The umps are ready to go on break, too!Totally out of position! Nothing like a dp to kill the buzz.

  47. CBinDC - Jul 10, 2011 at 12:36 AM

    WHAT's the problem Davy you do not argue ….not even close ……What is this roll over and play dead

  48. Anonymous - Jul 10, 2011 at 12:36 AM

    Did you see how far off the bag the guy was at second? Not even close!

  49. masnstinks - Jul 10, 2011 at 12:37 AM

    If the manager goes out an argues, maybe one of the other umps chimes in – that was atrocious!

  50. MicheleS - Jul 10, 2011 at 12:45 AM

    Good to see Desi hit!

  51. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 10, 2011 at 12:56 AM

    Ok, let's go get em!

  52. Anonymous - Jul 10, 2011 at 1:03 AM

    Terrible officiating tonight….

  53. gonatsgo - Jul 10, 2011 at 1:04 AM

    Another one-run game. It's a curse.

  54. nationals7 - Jul 10, 2011 at 1:12 AM

    Yesssss!

  55. Anonymous - Jul 10, 2011 at 1:12 AM

    Laynce Nix!!!!!!!!!Way to go!!!!!!!

  56. nationals7 - Jul 10, 2011 at 1:15 AM

    lurking… stairs.

  57. Anonymous - Jul 10, 2011 at 1:17 AM

    oh, dear.

  58. baseballswami - Jul 10, 2011 at 1:19 AM

    Seriously – has anyone on our coaching staff actually looked at Matt Stair's batting average or watched him try to hit?

  59. nationals7 - Jul 10, 2011 at 1:19 AM

    @#%&

  60. FS - Jul 10, 2011 at 1:23 AM

    It's a gift and a curse.

  61. MicheleS - Jul 10, 2011 at 1:26 AM

    nationls7…I second that emotion..

  62. gonatsgo - Jul 10, 2011 at 1:27 AM

    @#%$ you say, Nationals 7 – I sawy !@#$ and raise you!@#$%^&**( a few more!!!!!

  63. dj in Fl. - Jul 10, 2011 at 1:31 AM

    It seems the team is just waiting for someone to hit a home run. They have quit trying to manufacture runs. Davey may not like small ball, but I am tired of watching them lose which is what we do when waiting for a homerun.

  64. nationals7 - Jul 10, 2011 at 1:36 AM

    Michele/goNats– I'll see you n raise you @&?$#..Right you are DJ

  65. Unkyd - Jul 10, 2011 at 1:37 AM

    The gorse is as high as an elephants eye….Needs HACKING!!!!!GYFNG!!!!!!!

  66. baseballswami - Jul 10, 2011 at 1:37 AM

    dj in fla – it also seems that we are just waiting for ankiel and stairs to be effective pinch hitters.

  67. Anonymous - Jul 10, 2011 at 1:38 AM

    I'm with you, dk in Fl. Davey may be a legend as a manager, but this team has not done very well by waiting for Dr. Longball. Small ball is often the best way to win close games.

  68. CBinDC - Jul 10, 2011 at 1:38 AM

    Really what does Davy Johnson DO …..I have not seen anything yet …..everytime I think now he will do something……. nothing …..OHH sorry he brings out Matt Stairs I guess that is something …..I said it last night and will say it again what am I missing …..is this team playing better or even the same ???…….I do not want to be negative really I do not….but after all the glowing praise when he came on board I have yet to really see what are his talents

  69. nationals7 - Jul 10, 2011 at 1:38 AM

    BaseballSwami… ouch

  70. Unkyd - Jul 10, 2011 at 1:42 AM

    dj… Two nights ago, this forum was aghast at Ramos and Espi attempting bunts, late, tryna manufacture some runs. Davey's feeling his way, still… I'll bet he has his head wrapped around these guys, after the break…..

  71. nationals7 - Jul 10, 2011 at 1:42 AM

    Beast

  72. baseballswami - Jul 10, 2011 at 1:43 AM

    What can I tell you Nationals 7 – I am in serious psychic pain right now and looking for someone to share it.

  73. Unkyd - Jul 10, 2011 at 1:44 AM

    Just do it, Jayson!!!!

  74. nationals7 - Jul 10, 2011 at 1:46 AM

    Swami . Hope alive.

  75. nationals7 - Jul 10, 2011 at 1:48 AM

    Pffffffttt.

  76. baseballswami - Jul 10, 2011 at 1:48 AM

    Not so much…. Jayson Werth – oh, dear.

  77. CBinDC - Jul 10, 2011 at 1:50 AM

    well here is the start of the Great Davy Johnson era ………I am impressed

  78. Exposremains - Jul 10, 2011 at 1:53 AM

    I was hoping for a K from Werth but I guess I was too optimistic. How many games will he cost us?

  79. Unkyd - Jul 10, 2011 at 1:53 AM

    Rats. No quit in these boys, though…. All these I run games will catch up to ya…

  80. Anonymous - Jul 10, 2011 at 1:55 AM

    Cut Werth, right now and move on. Just eat the loss. We'll be better for it in the end….or send him down to AAA. His performance is SO unacceptable!

  81. CBinDC - Jul 10, 2011 at 1:55 AM

    It is the same everytime Werth bats now …..look at the good strikes and swing at the balls ……until you hit a dribble for a DP …….he has not hit a ball to advance for at least a month …..his greatest moment was from base running ……but nothing in any other situation…does not anybody in the clubhouse talk to him ????

  82. dj in Fl. - Jul 10, 2011 at 1:56 AM

    I personally was not upset about the bunt attempts the other night. I would rather have that effort, than everyone standing there waiting for the big hit, or fly ball tonight, which we do not seem to get. Davey does not have the team to match his style, so he keeps puting Stairs in to hit one out, instead of Bixler who might beat one out.I hope Rizzo sticks around next week and gets the roster straightened out.

  83. Anonymous - Jul 10, 2011 at 1:56 AM

    ok 1 more loss and I can say I told you so. I said blowing that 8 run lead would get us swept by Col. Jason Werth??? really?? This has got to be addressed. This is getting ridiculous. Davey has gotta quit batting this guy just because what he did in Philly. I just can't handle this anymore.

  84. FS - Jul 10, 2011 at 1:57 AM

    You know there have been times in my life when I wished I could go back in time and change my one single decision. Right now I am going through that type of time again. I wish I could go back and advise Rizzo against Werth signing.He probably has improved the ball club with his presence and I can understand all the talk about intangibles and all. But this guy was not paid $126 million for that. Nix's at bat was also unproductive. If he had managed to at least advance Ryan to 2nd base, we would be watching this game into extras. that last swing on a ball in dirt was bad.Anyways, JZ is pitching tomorrow. let's see what we can do.

  85. gonatsgo - Jul 10, 2011 at 1:59 AM

    Some of the players fight and hustle every minute.I have never seen Zim run so fast. We have some dead weight on the team – it's costing us. Alex Cora has much more of a chance of getting a hit than Matt Stairs. Alex Cora could have pinch hit for Jayson Werth and we would have had more of a chance. Can't believe more hasn't been made of the non-double play. It wasn't even close and ended an inning. Lots of crazy ball and strike calls, too. Too bad we get something going and then it just dies.Things don't get easier after the break, either. NL East upcoming – blech, Got to keep on fighting, boys!

  86. Unkyd - Jul 10, 2011 at 2:01 AM

    I'm smiling, here….. Just checked out my crystal ball: we win more than we lose, this year, and ST next year features fierce competition at most positions, with at least 2 SPs relegated to Syracuse, knowing that they are really #s 6&7 in the rotation

  87. Anonymous - Jul 10, 2011 at 2:02 AM

    Ray and Johnny way to upbeat. Doesn't anybody have the cohonas to ROAST Werthless. He is just awful awful awful. Give him tommorow off.

  88. Anonymous - Jul 10, 2011 at 2:03 AM

    anybody watching postgame on MASN. people chanting Jason WERTHLESSSSSSSSS hahaha

  89. CBinDC - Jul 10, 2011 at 2:05 AM

    I am so tired of having to listen to DEBBIE TAYLOR …..hey you all lost but those were some great knots you made to tie your shoes …or what did you think of HOW GREAT THE OTHER TEAM WAS …no one could have beat them except Cy Young or Rogers Hornsby ….arghhhh so MIss Sally

  90. masnstinks - Jul 10, 2011 at 2:06 AM

    I hope the manager goes home on the break and studies film from the first half. It is quite obvious that his " special advisor" status did not include actually watching the team. He is pushing the buttons that sound like they should be ok – but are not actually appropriate for this team in a particular situation. I think the game is going too fast for him and he doesn't know the ins and outs of the players. When we were winning, the games were pretty much flowing along on their own. When things were not going well, he has been very exposed. Not arguing that horrible dp call – wtf? If McClaren is in the dugout – he has all the knowledge – Pat Corrales is a statue in there as he was as a third base coach.

  91. CBinDC - Jul 10, 2011 at 2:09 AM

    I really hope that Davy Johnson is not Joe Gibbs 2.O

  92. Anonymous - Jul 10, 2011 at 2:10 AM

    BRYCE. Bring him up

  93. CBinDC - Jul 10, 2011 at 2:13 AM

    The reason this going south is what Desmond is expressing in the postgame ….ahh this was a fluke game ….and hey who cares if we win tomorrow ……that winning thing is not as important ….WTF ……I tell you this is really worrisome

  94. Anonymous - Jul 10, 2011 at 2:14 AM

    >>>I really hope that Davy Johnson is not Joe Gibbs 2.O <<<Davey Johnson is Joe Gibbs 2.0

  95. Anonymous - Jul 10, 2011 at 2:16 AM

    cb indc I agree. We are settling for mediocrity. NOT GOOD. That why we lose tommorrow.

  96. Anonymous - Jul 10, 2011 at 2:21 AM

    And WHEN will this team stop wasting outs and Matt Stairs???

  97. Anonymous - Jul 10, 2011 at 2:23 AM

    I know there have been some nice pieces written about Werth, recently, and how too many people are doggin him, but he clearly deserves the criticism he is getting. One out, runners on 1st and 3rd, and he LOOKS AT A FASTBALL DOWN THE MIDDLE? Then he lunges and tries to pull a slider off the plate? Into a game-ending DP? REALLY? It's like he has no plan at the plate. To me, it really looks like he's just guessing out there. But there is no excuse for a veteran ball player to fail to get that run in. All we needed was a FLY BALL. And he GOT THE PITCH HE NEEDED. He just chose to swing at one that he could possibly pull.I hope he gets his head together after the ASG.Absolutly horrific. When LaRoche gets back, let's put him at 1B, Morse in RF, and Werth can learn how to PH from Matt Stairs, who is apparently his hitting guru.

  98. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 10, 2011 at 2:27 AM

    Tomorrow is another day.

  99. Anonymous - Jul 10, 2011 at 2:30 AM

    >>>Tomorrow is another day. ……that Matt Stairs will still be on the roster and Jayson Werth will still be in the lineup.

  100. JaneB - Jul 10, 2011 at 2:30 AM

    Poor Jayson looks awful as he comes to the plate. And it's always the worst times for him to be not good! I didn't hear Desi in the interview, but it sounds like he is saying winning doesn't matter. Is that true? I mean, it's NOT true…but did he say it? I was such a proponent last year of we need nice guys on the team (Dunn) and that was more important. I think it was just bargaining behavior, because I knew we wouldn't be winning. Now that we have been winning, I get the vinegar component that contributes to that. I've reformed, you could say. If they didn't like Riggleman but were winning, that's better than liking Davey and losing…rather than not caring about losing. I hope am misreading the comments above.Michele, get your dog at baseball ticket! Tina and I want to meet you! I was so jealous that mine wasn't with me there tonight.

  101. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 10, 2011 at 2:30 AM

    I was a Cubs fan boyredeemed thru painNot thru joy

  102. Anonymous - Jul 10, 2011 at 2:30 AM

    Yes, but Werth will still be batting.

  103. Unkyd - Jul 10, 2011 at 2:32 AM

    I think that, if Davey had marched in here, calling people out, sitting Werth down, DFAing Stairs, throwing his weight around, in the first few games, he would be considered a butthat, and would have lost the clubhouse by now. Everybody now knows that he came in here with an open mind, and will be making decisions based on hisown observations, and those of his staff.I suspect he'sore concerned with the respect of his players, than the respect of the NI blog… Am I making any sense, at all…?

  104. gonatsgo - Jul 10, 2011 at 2:34 AM

    It's hard to be positive when things appear to be on the decline. The manager either has no plan at all or he changes plans by the minute. When you listen to him it is all Me, Me, I – I thought he had a reputation as a good leader, but I don't see it. A few weeks ago, the younger guys were emerging as leaders – it appears that now they are just lowly rookies and the veterans are the favored ones. The people who hustle and lead by example are the ones who will carry the team if they are allowed. It must be very discouraging for them. Desi has been hitting on the screws lately and played very well defensively tonight. Nix continues to be solid – but often sits so that ankiel can play – again, why?

  105. gonatsgo - Jul 10, 2011 at 2:37 AM

    But, yes, tomorrow is another day. GYFNG!!!

  106. The Great Unwashed - Jul 10, 2011 at 2:50 AM

    Hey, let's go back to the pitcher hitting 8th and put Werth in the 9 hole.

  107. dryw - Jul 10, 2011 at 2:50 AM

    JaneB, I didn't hear Ian, but in my mind there's no way he said that he doesn't care about winning. Ian may not be the sharpest crayon in the box, but he has got the drive. He hustles every play and was already called a team leader last year as a rookie. Whatever he said, I know he cares about winning.

  108. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 10, 2011 at 3:00 AM

    I am turning. All I've ever asked for was a halfway decent team. They are.

  109. Unkyd - Jul 10, 2011 at 3:02 AM

    gonatsgo… That's the Spirit!!! Desi and Zim are both making much better contact, and Zim's looking much more comfy with the new throwing motion, too. Don't forget that Nix is nursing a sore Achilles, and that Ankiel has actually had a few clutch hits since coming off the DL. Ankiel, Stairs, Cora, Hairston… Prolly all gone next spring? Replaced by guys getting every day farmwork, now? If you give all your position players a day off per week, those bench guys get a couple of starts, as well (does it ever work like that? I'm just rigging, here…but it sounds good, no?).500 at the break, after tomorrow!!! GYFNG!!!!!

  110. CBinDC - Jul 10, 2011 at 3:05 AM

    I did not transcribe the interview but on the question how important is it to win tomorrow and go into the AS break on a winning note ….Ian said that it was not important to win the next game. He went on to explain all of these points of interest in how you play and other stuff that were more important ….but again said that the winning the game was not that important…….also before that he said that the loss tonight was a fluke….a fluke really

  111. Unkyd - Jul 10, 2011 at 3:05 AM

    Riffing…… Not rigging….

  112. JaneB - Jul 10, 2011 at 3:07 AM

    Sec 3 they ARE! They ARE! Desi looked good tonight, Zimm threw like Zimm, Marquis git back on top of things, LannEn was sitting in the dugout in one piece, Nix made that gobsmacking play to runs…they are so much better than I thought they would be now.GYFNG!

  113. Anonymous - Jul 10, 2011 at 3:09 AM

    Yes, tonight's loss was a fluke, because paying $126 M for a guy who can't hit is a fluke in and of itself. Any game where he becomes the deciding factor is also a fluke.

  114. Unkyd - Jul 10, 2011 at 3:14 AM

    I don't really expect Desi, or anyone else to cry themselves to sleep after every loss, or declare any one of 162 games a "must win" situation. It's a long season, and staying balanced, emotionally, is what winners do. Again… If his teammates are satisfied with his attitude, I hope he won't lose any sleep over how we perceive his postgame chats with Debbie.

  115. Unkyd - Jul 10, 2011 at 3:18 AM

    Well… The last 2 captchas had the word "stop" in them… So I must be blathering ;) Gnite all!

  116. JaneB - Jul 10, 2011 at 3:18 AM

    Right on Unkyd.Till tomorrow!

  117. masnstinks - Jul 10, 2011 at 3:18 AM

    We win a few by one run – we lose a few by one run. We are SOOO much in every game until the last out. When was the last time you didn't feel the need to watch the 9th? Yes, there are some dead spots on the roster. Zim , although he is the FOF – hustles and works every day to get better at his game – he is a true gem, but usually very quiet about it. Lots of great new and new-ish guys – Danny, Ramos, Storen, Morse, Nix — some really good sp's for the future – the new and improved Lannan ( maybe the new face will make him look thuggish and terrifying), the healed JZim – fantastic — Harper and Strassie on the horizon. All the more important that rizzo does a real thorough job and gets a good manager for next year that will be a good match for this team. It's critical. I hope the organization is already putting lots of thought into it.

  118. Natxandria - Jul 10, 2011 at 3:19 AM

    Long-time reader, first time commenter.Werth has the lowest batting average of any regular starter. If he were anyone else, he would platoon with Bixler and/or Ankiel and/or someone else. There's no excuse for him starting every day. I don't object to the signing; the Nats had to show that they were players on the free agent market. But he's hurting the team. There's nothing he's done in the outfield that someone else couldn't have. Laynce Nix has played better outfield defense than Werth.And Stairs? At every pivotal moment, commentors on this site – with whom I've agreed – have said THIS is his last chance – as a DH in an AL park, as a pinch hitter, etc. But he keeps getting more chances. He's an NL player who doesn't play in the field, who has to be pinch run for on the rare ocassion he gets on base. And he's 43, which pains me to say since he's one of a very small group of Nats who are older than me. Put it this way – when Stairs was a rookie in Montreal, his teammate was Rick Cerrone. When Rick Cerrone was a rookie his teammate was Gaylord Perry. When Gaylord Perry was a rookie, his teammate was Don Larsen. When Don Larsen was a rookie, Satchel Paige, who was born in 1906, was his teammate. That same year – 1953 – was when Mantle hit his 565 foot home run in Griffith Stadium. I could go on, but my point is that Stairs is too old and needs to move on to his next calling in baseball.

  119. FS - Jul 10, 2011 at 3:33 AM

    Oh and I remember asking for a 6-5 homestand. We have gotten 5-5 so far. A win tomorrow brings us back to .500 at ASB, I will be happy with that.At this point, I just hope Werth picks it up in the second half.gonatsgo, agree with you on Zimm. He is heating up now and seems to be back his old self again. Throwing, running, and hitting all seem usual now. I wish he was at the plate tonight instead of Werth. He would have tought Jayson how you walk-off with couple of runners on. OMG I hope we extend Ryan asap.Another general question, if anyone can answer. What type of hitters have high BABIP? I looked up career leaders in this particular stat and these names popped up: Ty Cobb, Rogers Hornsby, Rod Carew, Joey Votto, Ichiro Suzuki among others. These players have .350+ BABIP. Do these hitters have any particular characteristic in common that leads to high career BABIP? Thanks. (Still learning about the game and baseball statistics so keep having questions).

  120. Dave - Jul 10, 2011 at 3:35 AM

    Last year I would have been SO happy for the Nats to be a game or two down at the All-Star break. This year they will be there. I think Jayson Werth is probably getting more advice than any human could absorb right now. So I for one pledge not to call into Nats Talk Live or comment here complaining about how much he's making, as if it were coming out of my retirement fund. I saw Marquis settle down and pitch six good innings tonight. I saw Desmond leg out a triple. I saw Espinosa lay himself out and rob a base hit. And I saw the Nats battle back against a pitcher who was in last year's Cy Young discussion. I'll be in sec. 313 Sunday, and I'll cheer for everybody on the team, including Werth. GYFNG.

  121. Anonymous - Jul 10, 2011 at 3:52 AM

    I am done feeling sorry for or making excuses for Werth. He is costing this team, big time. Any other player would have long since been benched. He has not, only because Rizzo and the Nats can't admit the mistake they have made in bringing him here. They can't even PH for him because that would also be a public admission of the mistake. Rizzo's job may be on the line if Werth doesn't turn it around. It's just so sad that the rest of the team and the fans have to put up with this.

  122. SonnyG10 - Jul 10, 2011 at 4:03 AM

    I have the postgame recorded and I went back and listened to Desi's interview twice to make sure I heard right. He did NOT say its not important to win tomorrows game (or any game). He was responding to the question "How important is it to win tomorrow's game to keep the momentum going into the second half of the season?" Desi said they go inning by inning, out by out. He doesn't get caught up in having to win a game to keep the momentum going. He said if we don't win tomorrow, when we come back, we may hit a home run early in the first game and then we got the momentum again. They fight inning by inning and out by out and IMO that's the way it should be!

  123. dryw - Jul 10, 2011 at 4:04 AM

    Natxandria,I feel your pain. I'm pretty sure Stairs is the ONLY Nat older than me. (Pudge is a month or so younger.)Everyone,YES! It is sooooo fun to be where we are now–improved and improving! I'd love to go into the break at .500, but even if we're a game under, we've come so far since last year! So much positive to say about this team!GYFNG!!

  124. Farid Rushdi - Jul 10, 2011 at 4:05 AM

    I firmly believe that Werth will break out of this "slump" (actually, Werth is giving the word a bad name)and by the end of the year hit .250-20-60.For the next couple of years, he'll do well, hitting .280-25-85 or so, but by 2014 he'll be in decline and won't give the team much of a return-on-investment.But that's okay. I think the team's championship window begins next season and can make the playoffs in 2012. Here is (what I think will be) their lineup with probable stats. I am assuming that Adam LaRoche returns and Michael Morse returns to left & that Stephen Lombardozzi takes over second with Espinosa moving over to short:2B-Stephen Lombardozzi: .275-4-45, 25 stealsSS-Daniel Espinosa: .250-25-75, 20 steals3B-Ryan Zimmerman: .285-27-100LF-Michael Morse: .280-25-901B-Adam LaRoche: .260-20-80RF-Jayson Werth: .280-20-80, 20 stealsC-Wilson Ramos: .260-15-60CF-Roger Bernadina: .255-10-50, 25 stealsThat's a pretty potent lineup (of course, it would be this year too if more than two players were hitting their career averages).The rotation will be strong with Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann and John Lannan at the front and some combination of Tom Gorzelanny, Tom Milone, Livan Hernandez and/or a trade/free agent acquisition.That could be/should be a 90+ win team. Of course, we're talking about the Nationals, so …..Regarding Davey Johnson, I think he's cost the team at least one game, maybe two since he took over. No way Riggleman leaves Livan in that long to give up all those runs against the Cubs (he has seen Livan blow up like that before and would have pulled him long before things got ugly.

  125. Unkyd - Jul 10, 2011 at 4:05 AM

    FS… From what I gather, the attribute those gentlemen have in common is… Luck! Batting Ave on Balls In Play counts the # of base hits per balls put into play…that nobody was able to make a play on. Those fellows look like guys who were able to place balls. To hit 'em where they ain't…

  126. Drew8 - Jul 10, 2011 at 4:06 AM

    Keep an eye on Hagerstown's Taylor Jordan, another starting pitcher who is having a breakout season. Tonight he threw 7 scoreless innings.He's now 9-4 with a 2.48 ERA.At Syracuse tonight, Chris Marrero doubled off of a washed up middle reliever for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.His name? Tim Redding.

  127. Manassas Nats Fan - Jul 10, 2011 at 4:07 AM

    Here is a list of the 14 players. I have their Average without RISP followed by RISP average.Bernadina 280, 222Espinosa 230, 299Zimmerman 240, 273Nix 300, 208Morse 310. 302Werth 217, 215Ramos 290, 177Desmond 221, 231Stairs 189, 077Ankiel 257, 128Flores 200, 000Pudge 177, 289Cora 223, 263Bixler 184, 333Hairston 245, 270LaRoche 185, 140A few hit better with men on most hit worse. As FP says the pressure is on the pitcher then, but many of our batters don't know that. Werth has been up far and away the most with men on, and he bats no differently if someone is in scoring position or not.

  128. CBinDC - Jul 10, 2011 at 4:08 AM

    Well here is the reality on Werth ……he is signed to the next 7 years and unless the you think that the Lerners want to eat the whole 126 million in just 4 months he will be here at least for that long so you better hope he finds the inner soul that got him that contract and starts being the player they signed. Now I think he is being stubborn in the way he is addressing this VERY LARGE slump but I do not think he is dog it or pulling a Haynesworth on this contract. BTW he does not make the whole 126 each time he bats and yes we can all make comparisons to our jobs and the pain we would feel if we were not living up to size of the expectation so let us all get past those facts.

  129. Unkyd - Jul 10, 2011 at 4:31 AM

    Farid… Don't you like Beastie at 1st? With Harper up by this time next year, Morse will have to be at 1st, and he seems to be a much better player, there. I REALLY like Bernie, but I hope there's a little better arm available, for CF… Bernie would be the best 4th OF going. Rendon and Lombo do the same thing for the IF. And peacock may be in the mIx, for a rotation spot?

  130. Farid Rushdi - Jul 10, 2011 at 5:11 AM

    Unkyd,I do like Beastie at first but we need to get both guys in the lineup at the same time. Of those starting players I mentioned, I think Bernadina's job is the most tenuous. And I forgot–thanks–to mention Peacock. I think the best rotation (barring trades/free agent signings) will be Strasburg, Zimmermann, Lannan, Peacock and Milone–and man, what a rotation that will turn out to be.And I L-O-V-E Milone. In 78 career starts in the minors, he's gone 32-21, 3.02, 8.8/1.4/8.0. Peacock has gone 10-2, 2.01, 5.7/2.1/11.8 this year.Milone is John Lannan with better stuff and Peacock is somewhere between Zimmermann & Strasburg. Watch out, these guys will be for real.Thanks for pointing out my foible regarding Peacock.

  131. FS - Jul 10, 2011 at 5:27 AM

    Thanks Unkyd for your answer, but I was wondering if it was more than luck. Maybe they are all like line drive hitters or gets lot of infield hits or something. Still 'hit them where they aint' is the only true explanation.Anyways, the reason I am interested in this stat because Morse has a high 'career' BABIP.Farid, I like your lineup except two parts that is proven leadoff hitter and proven CF. I think we have experimented long enough with the leadoff position and there is need for stability there now. Also if Werth can get his numbers to career norms, I will prefer him 2nd in the lineup ahead of Danny, Zimm, and Morse.

  132. Unkyd - Jul 10, 2011 at 12:01 PM

    We're mostly on the same page, Farid… I guess I'm just hoping LaRoche will be fully recovered , and tradable, by the time Harper joins us, as there'll be no place for Morse in the OF, at that point. The most interesting quandary, to me, is what to do with Rendon. If he's healthy, and as ready to play as advertised (barring injury to an infielder), I hope he can learn CF quickly! If you've seen much of my commentary, you know I'm a big fan of Desi's… If I'm right, and he winds up batting .280, then IF would be set, for a good 5 years, or so. And with Rendon leading off, in CF, your lineup suddenly looks scary as heck!!! Insert Harper and Rendon, for LaRoche and Bernie, and we project for even better power and avg.

  133. Unkyd - Jul 10, 2011 at 12:19 PM

    FS… It's worth noting that you list includes batters with much higher BA than even most allstars. Perhaps BABIP tracks closely to BA, in a large (career-long) samples…it would make sense, and Morse's career is close to .300 (small sample, though…)

  134. Anonymous - Jul 10, 2011 at 1:44 PM

    Werth was a Phillie. Once a Phillie always a Phillie. Maybe McNabb and Werth can carpool back to Philthy together. GET OUT YOU BOTH STINK!!!

  135. Bzl. - Jul 10, 2011 at 4:23 PM

    We've last 3 in a row! The sky is falling! The sky is falling! Fire Davey! Cut Werth! Go Redskins!Is there a way to filter out Anonymous postings? These people are as lazy with their "analyses" as they are with posting their names.Let's get 'em today. Go Nats!

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 --
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
Through Friday's games

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