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Game 92: Rockies at Nats

Jul 10, 2011, 3:33 PM EST

File photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nats need to win today to enter the All-Star break at .500.

I wrote a few days ago about the Nationals' penchant for winning one-run games, and how the law of averages made it near-impossible for them to continue winning those tight contests at that ridiculous rate. Well, it appears the law of averages has come down hard on South Capitol Street. After winning three straight one-run games over the Cubs, the Nats have now lost three straight one-run games to the Cubs and Rockies.

They'll hope to reverse the trend — or, at least, play a game decided by two or more runs — this afternoon in the first-half finale of the season. Jordan Zimmermann gets the start, hoping to bounce back from his one mildly sub-par outing in months (four runs in six innings).

Jhoulys Chacin, an emerging young right-hander himself, starts for the Rockies. Davey Johnson goes with his regular lineup, including the struggling Jayson Werth (hitting .157 with a .541 OPS since June 1) in the 6-hole.

I'm in Phoenix now for this week's All-Star festivities. My colleague Ryan O'Halloran will have coverage of today's game on, and I'll be sure to link to his articles. Check back here this evening for a live game thread from the All-Star Futures Game (featuring Bryce Harper and Brad Peacock)…

Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 1:35 p.m.
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 188
Weather: Sunny, 90 degrees, Wind 3 mph RF to LF

CF Roger Bernadina
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
LF Laynce Nix


  1. Stranded_in_Philly - Jul 10, 2011 at 3:39 PM

    I hate to pile on Werth, but last night wasn't even surprising to me. I had zero confidence in him coming to the plate in that situation.But, I have to believe he'll snap out of this. At the very least, he's got plenty of time to do it!

  2. Doc - Jul 10, 2011 at 3:49 PM

    Is anybody televising the Futures' Game?

  3. Mark Zuckerman - Jul 10, 2011 at 3:52 PM

    Doc: Futures Game is on ESPN2 at 6 p.m. Eastern.

  4. Andrew - Jul 10, 2011 at 3:56 PM

    Mark, thanks, TiVo set!

  5. FS aka Spoiled Brat - Jul 10, 2011 at 4:01 PM

    Mark, are we going to have a thread for Futures' game and game updates since you are covering it?I plan to watch that game on espn online.Zmann's last outing was very good, if our defense was not sleeping or daydreaming. At least two or three botched plays when he was on the mound.

  6. Doc - Jul 10, 2011 at 4:07 PM

    Hey Mark, you're on it!I know what the great Oppo Boppo can do. Interested in seeing a Peacock strut his feathers on the mound!

  7. Gonat - Jul 10, 2011 at 4:10 PM

    FS aka Spoiled Brat said… Zmann's last outing was very good, if our defense was not sleeping or daydreaming. At least two or three botched plays when he was on the mound. July 10, 2011 12:01 PM______________________________So true with those 3 earned runs that all could have been caught, and another day game and Davey goes with the same outfield alignment. Perfect game to sit Werth and put Ankiel in CF, Bernie in LF and Nix in RF.

  8. Doc - Jul 10, 2011 at 4:18 PM

    @ Gonat: My sentiments exactly!Might also add, vis-a-vis Ray Knight's comments, Werth wants to be wrong his way!

  9. Manassas Nats Fan - Jul 10, 2011 at 5:26 PM

    In case you didn't see my listing. I have gone through and listed Batting averages with no RISP and compared to average with RISPBernadina 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.

  10. Unkyd - Jul 10, 2011 at 6:12 PM

    So…. Werth with the first pitch pop up…. Didn't see it; was it a good pitch, or blind flail…?

  11. FS - Jul 10, 2011 at 6:18 PM

    WOW no comments since game started. I guess everyone went to the game.Anyways, bottom 3rd and Rockies' pitcher has started another perfect game with 8 straight outs I believe. He has thrown only 30 pitches to record those outs. Maybe someone who is watching could tell us whether he is locked in or not. Our Zmann is doing his usual dominant stuff. 3 IP, 1 base runner, and 5 SO. I guess after his last outing, he decided not to rely on the defense too much. LOLAnd for those interested, Pirates are sending three players to ASG this week. McCutchen is replacing Victorino and Correia (11 wins and 4.01 ERA)is replacing Hamels I believe. Wish another Nats position player could go to AZ.

  12. Anonymous - Jul 10, 2011 at 6:27 PM

    Yeah, like Danny or Morse!

  13. dj in Fl. - Jul 10, 2011 at 6:41 PM

    Erratic cable in Fl. today, so no mlb extra innings yet. Have the radio team on the computer and watched the USA beat Brazil in a shoot out. Way to go ladies!!! Now its the Nats time to win one before the break.

  14. Anonymous - Jul 10, 2011 at 6:43 PM

    Hahaha, gotta love FP, "He's a Philly, never gonna be on my ballot!" You have to agree with that on Ryan Howard, no matter how good he is, he's a Philly.

  15. Anonymous - Jul 10, 2011 at 6:45 PM

    I have to say, JZ is totally living up to expectations. Hope Strasburg can come back from Tommy John this well.

  16. Anonymous - Jul 10, 2011 at 6:46 PM

    Wow, great double play, go Espinosa!

  17. CBinDC - Jul 10, 2011 at 6:48 PM

    So we are again an after thought in the ranks of baseball when it looked like the team would finally get past the misery years …..the Pirates get three replacement players and I heard ESPN today banging the drum that the Nats do not deserve one player "who wants to see Tyler Clippard" was the statement I recall ……

  18. dj in Fl. - Jul 10, 2011 at 6:51 PM

    In tonights futures game Starling Marte, from the Pirates organization, is the starting centerfielder/leadoff man for the World team. One would have to wonder if they will be looking to move McCutcheon rather than pay what he will demand.

  19. Anonymous - Jul 10, 2011 at 6:51 PM

    Ugh, stupid people on ESPN. Who wants to see you guys?

  20. Anonymous - Jul 10, 2011 at 6:55 PM

    Great job by Roger Bernadina, driving the first run of the game!

  21. CBinDC - Jul 10, 2011 at 6:59 PM

    Wait a minute was not Roger safe on that steal ???? or were my eyes playing tricks

  22. Unkyd - Jul 10, 2011 at 7:01 PM

    Stop looking, boyz&gurlz….. Our SS has found his bat….

  23. Anonymous - Jul 10, 2011 at 7:06 PM

    I thought he was safe as well. Ugh but whatever. Wait, why are they pulling JZ?

  24. Mark'd - Jul 10, 2011 at 7:12 PM

    Not sure if it has been said but time Werth is treated like the player he currently is. Now he needs to bat 8 or 7th in the lineup and be pinch hit for and sit.

  25. CBinDC - Jul 10, 2011 at 7:23 PM

    You know you are in a dark place when the play by play guy is rooting that you do something positive …..I do not think I ever heard Carpenter do that for anybody

  26. Anonymous - Jul 10, 2011 at 7:26 PM

    Morrse needed that ball to go out that will cost us. WERTH PLEASE!!!!!! Its not amusing anymore.

  27. Unkyd - Jul 10, 2011 at 7:36 PM

    You know….. With us just hoping to finish even, for the year…shouldn't most decision making be made with an eye toward next year, and beyond? And if so, isn't there real value in treating Werth as though he will break out of his funk, tomorrow? Isn't the message, to the team, that the organization has faith that it's proven veteran core will perform up to their abilities? Isn't Jayson more likely to listen to advice, concerning his approach, from that manager, as opposed to the one who sits him for ten games, TV camera showing him at the end of the bench? At this stage of his first season, d'ya really wanna sour him on the team, for the next 6 years? Next year, everything counts… If the pay on the back doesn't get it done this year, presumably we'll have more effective bench players to threaten him with…. I just wanna give him the benefit of the doubt, til next year, that he WILL snap out of it, and spend the next 6years preaching the Gospel of what a supportive crew these Washington Nationals are…It could happen……

  28. FS - Jul 10, 2011 at 7:40 PM

    That looked safe to me too, unless I was looking wrong.Anyways, glad we took the lead and now time to hold onto it. I think this is the first time in the series we have taken the lead, am I right?Wondering why JZ was pulled?BTW any reason Sabathia should not become a free agent by opting out of remaining four years and $92 million at age 31? He can easily demand a seven year contract at this age.

  29. FS - Jul 10, 2011 at 7:49 PM

    LOL too late on commenting Bernie' CS.Let's see if we can add some know I was about to say that Ankiel needs to be PH for but proved me wrong.

  30. Unkyd - Jul 10, 2011 at 7:51 PM

    This is how to use Ankiel….

  31. Anonymous - Jul 10, 2011 at 7:54 PM

    You have to like the way Rick came back from the DL, two homers and other good ABs. That's how to do it.

  32. Anonymous - Jul 10, 2011 at 7:55 PM

    Let's go Storen!

  33. Anonymous - Jul 10, 2011 at 7:58 PM

    That home run by Ankiel is looking bigger now…

  34. Anonymous - Jul 10, 2011 at 8:00 PM

    Nats are .500 at the All-Star Break! Amazing!

  35. Unkyd - Jul 10, 2011 at 8:02 PM

    I lI've me some Klaxon!!!

  36. Joe Seamhead - Jul 10, 2011 at 8:05 PM

    Great win. Good grief, having a hard time believing that we won by more then one run, going into the break at.500, and Jordan Zimmerman gets the win!

  37. FS - Jul 10, 2011 at 8:08 PM

    Would have loved a homestand of better than 6-5 but I will gladly take 6-5 at this point. Lots of injuries, dead arms and what not have fallen in our lap. let's hope ASB can cure all that and we come back stronger than before. Rest well guys.

  38. sjm308 - Jul 10, 2011 at 8:11 PM

    How nice to be at .500. Looks as if Davey is getting his leg under him. Nice double switch with Ankiel moving to CF and hitting a jack. Also like the confidence in the entire bullpen right now (ok, maybe he is a little worried with Burnett). Detwiler has proved he can go two and so has HRod. Coffey has quietly done a super job and Matheus, Clippard and Storen are what look to be the big 3.We gave up 5 runs in this 3 game series and still lost two but if we keep pitching like this we will be fine.I loved Unkyd's perspective on Werth and while we are pretty sure players and FO don't read this stuff it was well said. I also don't see anyone in the majors getting benched for 10 games, that just isn't done so that is our knee jerk reaction posters. Werth has already shown how tough he is when getting hit on his bad wrist and not missing a game. Davey can rest him a game now and then if Nix & Ankiel keep producing but he is going to do more to help us by playing through this then being benched.Go Nats!!

  39. nationals7 - Jul 10, 2011 at 8:11 PM

    See y'all on the other side

  40. Anonymous - Jul 10, 2011 at 8:11 PM

    Good luck to Tyler Clippard in the All-Star Game!

  41. sjm308 - Jul 10, 2011 at 8:14 PM

    Another thing, who cares how many players another team has in the All-Star game. Its not important. I remember when almost the entire Reds team made it on fan voting, its an exhibition, its politics. I would much rather have our players relaxing, getting healthy and ready for the last 3 months of the season then flying out to Arizona and putting up with all the hype.

  42. Doc - Jul 10, 2011 at 8:22 PM

    @ CBinDC and FSYeah, my eyes said he was safe too. Funny, that FP and Carp didn't review it more closely!

  43. Anonymous - Jul 10, 2011 at 8:22 PM

    Fewer double switches and only when the make sense. Fewer attempts at bunts and only when they count.Can we call this the real "smart ball"? Boy I am so much happier with the way this ball club looks right now. Even with the still sluggish offense.

  44. Joe Seamhead - Jul 10, 2011 at 8:22 PM

    Great job by Clip, Ankiel, and Storen, but I think that Ryan Matheus deserves an "unsung hero" award for his seventh inning hold, getting two huge outs.

  45. MicheleS - Jul 10, 2011 at 8:35 PM

    I was watching this ball game and the home team won by 2 runs. It couldn't have been a Nats game ๐Ÿ˜‰.Glad for the win and happy for the break. Some guys need the break mentally(Werth) and physically (the rest of the team)See you all on Friday night!

  46. Gonat - Jul 10, 2011 at 8:39 PM

    Jordan Zimmermann, amazing!!! 7th best going into the All Star break for ERA. I knew he was a 2 or 3 but didn't expect him to turn into an Ace. Strasburg + JZim = Playoffs Home grown talent with great defense, top of the rotation pitchers, athleticism and all you need to do is add 'timely' hitting. I think with Detwiler added to the bullpen of Clip and Storen and proper roles for the 'pen they will be the best in the MLB.

  47. SonnyG10 - Jul 10, 2011 at 8:59 PM


  48. Anonymous - Jul 10, 2011 at 9:04 PM

    CBinDC, FS & Doc: From Sec 313, it looked like the right call. Bernie seemed to have hesitated a split second before he took off.

  49. SonnyG10 - Jul 10, 2011 at 9:17 PM

    Slow motion replay showed Bernie was out, but it did look like he could have been safe in real time.On Jayson Werth, I agree with Unkyd and sjm308. He needs to play himself out of his funk. Sooner or later he is going to sink so low that he can't go any lower and then he'll give up trying too hard, relax and break out.

  50. Mark'd - Jul 10, 2011 at 9:18 PM

    @Gonat, Aces!! Still need a dominant #3 and another RH outfielder and hoping Rendon can play Leftfield. Nice to see Desi have 2 good games here this weekend and give him All Star break rest. Bernadina looked good too.

  51. JaneB - Jul 10, 2011 at 9:31 PM

    Manassas Nats Fan — I hope Davey see that list you compiled. tells me we oughta go to Bixler with guys on in a pinch hit. I'm surprised Werth's stats are so even between none on/guys on. And Stairs? 'Nuff said.It was nice to be at the park today. Nice to win and leave there at .500 at the break. Nice to be with a crowd of people who know now you stand as Drew gets that third out. Expect it!A part of me can't wait to go back, and part of me is so happy for this break. I hope every one of our guys has a plane that gets them home on time, and that they get as much rest and home happiness as humanly possible over these next days.MAN it's nice to have a real, major league team to root for, isn't it? I just love them. The halo effect of loving them was even extending to the vendors today — "Oh! HE'S my favorite!" "No, HE'S my favorite" — just like I do when the guys come up.See you Friday. Rest well, Insiders! Lay off the bourbon on the break. We'll need it again soon enough.

  52. Anonymous8 - Jul 10, 2011 at 9:36 PM

    Bochy goes with his boy Pablo Sandoval to replace Jose Reyes over Danny Espinosa and he added another Pirate to the roster in Kevin Correia as a pitcher who doesn't even have stats better than Jordan Zimmermann. Michael Morse is a big time snub unless someone else drops out.

  53. CBinDC - Jul 10, 2011 at 9:38 PM

    Well here goes the week of WHAT AM I GOING TO DO NOW ????I think I should let my mind relax and think cool thoughts while drinking every damn summer ale in the store …oh maybe not everyone … I can bot wait to see the Futures Game ……thankz to FS Doc and Sec313 on that call I guess since they did win it becomes moot so back to cool thoughts on summer ales

  54. Mark'd - Jul 10, 2011 at 10:25 PM

    Anon8, JZim started today so wouldn't be eligible to pitch per MLB rules but snubs to Morse and Espy. Can you believe Kung Fu Panda over our guys?SNUBSVILLE!

  55. natsfan1a - Jul 10, 2011 at 11:03 PM

    Mission accomplished. Was at the game today and that was a fun win. Nice to get back to .500 before the break! My wish for the team now is to rest and recharge so as to pick up where they left off next week.Funny thing, on the ride home I sat next to a lady who was an Astros fan (she saw me reading the Nats program and asked about the game). We chatted about baseball a bit, and she allowed as how her team always did a lot better in the second half. I'm like, oh, great, because we're heading there after the break. We did end up wishing each other's teams luck – starting immediately after that series. :-)"They'll hope to reverse the trend — or, at least, play a game decided by two or more runs — this afternoon in the first-half finale of the season."

  56. Anonymous - Jul 10, 2011 at 11:23 PM

    On May 30, the Nats were 22-31, a percentage of .415. To reach .500, they've gone 24-15, a percentage of .615. Sustain that over a season and you have 99.7 wins. Obviously they're going to have some down stretch over the next 70 games, but a year ago after 92 games they were 40-52 (.435) and ended up 69-93 (.426). It may be a trifle optimistic to think they'll be in the hunt next year, but they certainly are headed in that direction.

  57. Anonymous - Jul 10, 2011 at 11:37 PM

    If the Nats were in the NL Central they would be 3 games out of first place. Damn those divisions.



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As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...

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