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One ugly ballgame

Jul 16, 2011, 4:41 AM EST

US Presswire photo
Ian Desmond committed one of the Nationals’ five errors tonight.

ATLANTA — Eleven runs allowed on 13 hits. Nine runners left on base. Zero hits with men in scoring position. Oh, and five errors, matching a season high.

Safe to say the Nationals came out of the All-Star break a little flat?

“We were ahead 1-0 after our first half of the first, against a guy like that who has historically dominated our team,” insisted Ryan Zimmerman, citing the early run he and his teammates scored off Braves ace Tim Hudson.

Fair enough. At one point Friday night, the Nationals looked very much capable of winning this game.

Then the Braves came up to bat in the bottom of the first.

Two hours and 56 minutes of repugnant baseball later, the Nationals were on the wrong end of an 11-1 ballgame, an unsightly opening act to the second half of their season.

Were they flat? Tepid? Off their game? Victimized by a poor infield? Simply outplayed by a better opponent? It doesn’t really matter. The
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  1. TimDz - Jul 16, 2011 at 8:39 AM

    Pretty accurate assessment, Mark…except …You noted in your gamer that, after the first, the Nats trailled 4-0…I know they play cruddy, but was it so bad that they took AWAY their only run?Not that it wouldn't have been warranted …

  2. NatsLady - Jul 16, 2011 at 11:04 AM

    I can't believe I listened to the whole game… Is today another day? Please?

  3. dabassguy1 - Jul 16, 2011 at 11:17 AM

    I actually watched the whole thing. I had been missing real games so bad, and then to endure that.But today's another day.GYFNG!!J

  4. sjm308 - Jul 16, 2011 at 12:36 PM

    The key to this is Davey needs to wear a different warm up jersey. I realize he doesn't have the guns Riggs did and probably doesn't like the uni look but just change warmups after a loss like that and he will be amazed at the results.Looking for LannEn to keep up his stellar work, but worried he will be too strong after the break and his ball will be up in the zone which will be a disaster. Go Nats

  5. natsfan1a - Jul 16, 2011 at 12:43 PM

    I have to confess that I didn't watch the whole thing, but it's a whole new ballgame today. Let's get 'em, boys!

  6. Stranded_in_Philly - Jul 16, 2011 at 12:46 PM

    Sounds like its time for early ground ball practice today, whether its to get a feel for whatever's wrong at Turner… or for whatever's wrong with the Nationals.

  7. MicheleS - Jul 16, 2011 at 12:50 PM

    I saw bits and pieces and that was a stinker for sure!But today is a new day,Stras is on his way back! and the Sun still came up!GYFNG!

  8. Gonat - Jul 16, 2011 at 1:31 PM

    Livan got a 1-0 lead to start and build on and while he wasn't helped in the first from that Morse double error to put a runner on 2nd, he didn't clamp down on the Braves and the result when he left was Braves 6 and Nats 1 with 8 hits given up and 1 walk. With that 4-1 lead going into the 2nd, Hudson really shut the Nats down the rest of the way.On a serious note, Werth looked good at the plate. Maybe something to build on.

  9. sjm308 - Jul 16, 2011 at 1:54 PM

    Werth did look good. Hate to bring this up but if Livan has another rotten outing or two, how long will Davey stay with him?Mark: any word on Detwiler? He was obviously limping as he came off the field.Love to see us bounce back tonight.

  10. Ivan Tuski - Jul 16, 2011 at 2:01 PM

    I thought the most discouraging thing was that once again we had runners on and failed to capitalize. We could have easily been up by 3 or 4 runs in the first inning which changes everything. Puts their team on the defensive, gets them pressing at the plate and gets their pitch count up. We have got to start hitting with runners on base.

  11. CBinDC - Jul 16, 2011 at 2:01 PM

    I would like to know what management thinks about the Business Journal rating of the Nationals as the MOST DIFFICULT team to root for in ALL OF pro sport. And after last night you could see the point but really why does no one in management of the Nationals ever address fan issues. NO ONE ever defends the fan base against the snark and bile of the Colon Cowards of the world. In the 7 years not once have I heard a impassioned defense of the fan base or even a honest assessment of the criticisms. Kasten never said he was sorry for the Filthy invasion and always was dismissive of the real Nationals fan base. The Lerners speak of the fan base of the future never mention the troubled ones they have over charged the last 5 years and never complain about the 4th class citizens status on their own TV network.

  12. LoveDaNats - Jul 16, 2011 at 2:34 PM

    @CBinDCThanks for posting the link. I read it and it strengthened my position that Nats fans are the most resilient people in sports. It takes a lot of character to be a Nats fan, much less admit it. The players, however, appreciate it. They are getting better (last night's stinker excepted). They are my team. We'll get 'em tonight. Tomorrow is another day. Yadda, yadda….

  13. Gonat - Jul 16, 2011 at 2:41 PM

    LoveDaNats said… @CBinDCThanks for posting the link. I read it and it strengthened my position that Nats fans are the most resilient people in sports. It takes a lot of character to be a Nats fan, much less admit it. The players, however, appreciate it. They are getting better (last night's stinker excepted). They are my team. We'll get 'em tonight. Tomorrow is another day. Yadda, yadda…. July 16, 2011 10:34 AM ________________________________Well said and I don't put much stock in those types of projections. There is real passion growing in Washington and when Strasburg and Bryce Harper are here full-time, this team will continue its fanbase excitement and of course we all know what winning does for fanbase growth and excitement.While Kasten was a good architect for the team's future, he was a lousy voice of the fan. Always dismissive of suggestions and especially criticisms.

  14. Unkyd - Jul 16, 2011 at 2:42 PM

    Just checked in on gameday, several times last night… Oy.A beautiful morning… Another day… GYFNG!!!!!!

  15. Gonat - Jul 16, 2011 at 3:02 PM

    sjm308 said… Mark: any word on Detwiler? He was obviously limping as he came off the field.Love to see us bounce back tonight. July 16, 2011 9:54 AM______________________________Ross said he twisted his ankle and will be fine. It looked more serious and just glad it wasn't his hip.Personally, I thought the mound and infield dirt had too much clay mix and got hard and lumpy and not enough dry aggregate in there. Reminded me of what the Nats saw in the Angels series sans the bad turf.The Braves did a great job of just putting the bat on the ball and had a very fortunate BABIP.

  16. natsfan1a - Jul 16, 2011 at 3:18 PM

    CB, I might give a rat's patoot what the guy thought if he wrote for, say, a baseball journal rather than a business journal. Then again, nah, probably not. I tend to base my rooting on my own observations and inclinations rather than on what some pundit says. But that's just me.In other news, I'm hoping for someone to embrace the role of Nats McClout at the plate today (an appearance by Nats McClutch would be even better). I'm also hoping for good things from Nats McCatch and Nats McChuck (AKA LannEn). Today's a new day and a whole new ballgame. Let's go NATS!!

  17. Drew8 - Jul 16, 2011 at 3:28 PM

    As for the team's following, consider the number of comments on Mark's blog. When the Nats started playing well and reached the vicinity of .500, Mark's gamers started getting 200 comments a day.Granted, our new friends finally found an island of reporting and writing chops amid a sea of meanspiritedillinformedpontificatingwebdreck.But I think the growth of NI is analogous to that of the team. When Strasburg, Harper and Rendon join the party, casual fans will flock every night. The ballyard and NI will be off the hook.If you build it…..

  18. Mark'd - Jul 16, 2011 at 4:02 PM

    Extra infielder practice today.

  19. Big Cat - Jul 16, 2011 at 4:05 PM

    I think me… a lot of poster on this board drank the kool aid early about the Nats maybe making a run this year. The bottom line is that we can't hit a lick. When runners get in scoring posistion, we fold up the tent…..period

  20. natsfan1a - Jul 16, 2011 at 4:12 PM

    True, Drew (hey, that rhymes!). We saw what happened to attendance and ratings with the advent of Strasburg. Wish that more of those fans had stuck around, but I'm betting that they'll be back when he is. Eventually, maybe the Nats, too, can be a team for which it's "easy to root." Until then, for those who prefer such teams, there's always the Yankees (or, for fans who are more of the Johnny- or Jill-come-lately ilk, the Red Sox or the Phillies – oh no, I didn't. ;-)).

  21. CBinDC - Jul 16, 2011 at 4:25 PM

    On the "can the Nationals gain attention" question I do have one observation from the Riggleman quitting period that on that day the Post Nationals Insider logged over 1000 comments and on here I think it was 300 very intelligent comments (a higher standard to be sure). I had not seem such a response from any story involving any team in DC like what happened in those 4 days. I did want to again point out that the image of the Nationals and the fans is not completely but mostly dismissive and that I had hoped that the ownership would,take a page from the best owner in town, and start to fight back against the snark and address the real issues in a open and honest manner, So far this year it's been better but no where near the level to be truly effective.

  22. Dave - Jul 16, 2011 at 4:33 PM

    Hey 1a, not obsessed with Nate McClouth, are we? He only went 2 for 5 with one RBI–hardly a trickle in last night's deluge. I too do not give a flip what some pundit in some business newspaper says about how easy the Nats are to root for. That person doesn't necessarily know a baseball from a rotten orange.

  23. Dave - Jul 16, 2011 at 4:37 PM

    PS: I'd say the national media are Indeed giving the Nats more respect. ESPN, particularly the Baseball Today podcast guys, consider the Bats relevant this year. And the main host, Eric Karabell, is a professed Phillies fan.

  24. Dave - Jul 16, 2011 at 4:40 PM

    The Nats. Whose Bats are rather quiet. Damn iPhone.

  25. natsfan1a - Jul 16, 2011 at 5:01 PM

    Dave, nah. See the "bests" and "worsts" in the series preview post. :-)

  26. Mark'd - Jul 16, 2011 at 5:29 PM

    Craig Stammen got crushed in AAA last night. Milone is the next great hope in AAA unless Rizzo thinks its Wang or Peacock.I am concerned about the last 5 starts out of Livan. Take a lead, any lead and be the man!I think you make the hitting better by promoting a young guy from AAA to bring youthful exuberance. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn't.Desmond did extend his hitting streak to 6 games so let's hope he can get on track to.

  27. Bzl. - Jul 16, 2011 at 5:44 PM

    That "hardest team to root for" stat is largely based on this:Seasons since last title: 41Seasons since last title game or series appearance: 41So, it seems that the real "winner" is the Montreal Expose, not the Washington Nationals

  28. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 16, 2011 at 6:08 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  29. sjm308 - Jul 16, 2011 at 6:10 PM

    I am not going to speak for CBinDC but what I think he asking for is more positive interaction from the Lerners as well as a response from them on the basically negative article. I don't remember Angelos doing much on this front either and look where his team has fallen. I would love to see a few more positive comments from our owners, don't expect them to be as visable as Ted L. but they are almost a non factor. Then again, after Snyder maybe this is a better stance.

  30. Anonymous - Jul 16, 2011 at 6:11 PM

    If the US defaults the ownership of every team (not just the Mets, Dodgers, etc) will be immensely affected. So, maybe it will all even out? ~smiles~Will everyone start dumping payroll?

  31. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 16, 2011 at 6:11 PM

    There is such a thing as "difficult team to root for," I am sure, but the premise here, that winning is everything, is wrong, as one commenter on the site points out that the Cubs are listed as 3rd-worst, which is obviously silly. This is the measure only for a frontrunner fan, or trend-follower, not someone with brand loyalty to the team or the game. They don't control for anything–what does he mean by "root for"? And if the premise is wrong, how would he know–what's the test? If people do, in fact, seem to be rooting for a team ranked 3rd worst, what's happening there? Sloppy stuff, maybe ok for a blog post, but it's not journalism.

  32. Anonymous - Jul 16, 2011 at 6:14 PM

    Then again, after Snyder maybe this is a better stance.One must assume that Snyder's amazing and continuing stupidity (How did this guy get a billion dollars? He's an idiot?) must have had an effect on how owners in DC approach being in the public eye. In the Lerner's case, the less said, the less they know about the machinations of player acquisitions the better.

  33. Anonymous - Jul 16, 2011 at 6:15 PM

    meant to say — the less WE know about the machinations of player acquisitions the better.

  34. n - Jul 16, 2011 at 6:26 PM

    I'm really trying to learn the system here. How do you get your picture? Is there any way to avoid having to type in strange words (hard to do when I'm on the treadmill at my gym and posting from the iPhone). If you know secret, pretty please???My word for this post is "distr" which about describes last night's game — disaster. There went my optimism and who cares about the outfield, anyway?

  35. NatsLady - Jul 16, 2011 at 6:27 PM

    Ooops, that should have been "NatsLady".

  36. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 16, 2011 at 6:36 PM

    NatsLady, the easiest way, I think, is to create a Google ID, and log in with that.

  37. nationals7 - Jul 16, 2011 at 6:43 PM

    Sec3- I have a Google acct & still have to type in super secret code word.. is there another way?

  38. Anonymous - Jul 16, 2011 at 7:13 PM

    We might not score again in this series

  39. NatsLady - Jul 16, 2011 at 7:32 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  40. NatsLady - Jul 16, 2011 at 7:33 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  41. NatsLady - Jul 16, 2011 at 7:35 PM

    However, I can now delete comments. Maybe I should?

  42. NatsLady - Jul 16, 2011 at 7:39 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  43. NatsLady - Jul 16, 2011 at 7:40 PM

    OK, some progress. Got the picture. Still have to enter silly word. Is it time for baseball yet?

  44. Dave - Jul 16, 2011 at 8:04 PM

    Super-secret code word is going to stay, I imagine. Otherwise we get bizarre and random spam comments. (Not that some of the random comments here are never bizarre, but they all seems to have something to do with the Nationals.)

  45. N. Cognito from Nigeria - Jul 16, 2011 at 9:32 PM

    Have founded much oil in Nigeria. Please to send many many dollars to invest. You make lot of money. Yes.Also have many devices for enlarging things. Give free for every $1,000 in US moneys you send me.I root much for nats.

  46. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 16, 2011 at 9:48 PM

    by "super-secret code word" you mean the captcha text ("word verification")? yeah, that's part of the blog. no option there.

  47. Increased bat speed and size! - Jul 16, 2011 at 10:18 PM

    Жил-был король когда-то, при нем плоха жилаЯ иду куда сам царь идет пешком

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

    So one needs to have an account in order to remove one's own posts? I was wondering how that worked. (Not that I've wanted to do so particularly. Editing, yes. Deleting, not so much.) (And now you're just showing off. Besides, as we all know, bat size isn't everything. ;-))





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