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Series preview: Nats at Astros

Jul 18, 2011, 2:09 PM EDT

Monday, 8:05 p.m. — RHP Jason Marquis (7-4, 4.05) vs. RHP Jordan Lyles (0-4, 4.60)
TV: MASN2 Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 185

Tuesday, 8:05 p.m. — RHP Jordan Zimmermann (6-7, 2.66) vs. LHP J.A. Happ (3-11, 5.76)
TV: MASN2 Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 185

Wednesday, 2:05 p.m. — RHP Livan Hernandez (5-9, 4.09) vs. RHP Brett Myers (3-10, 4.86)
TV: MASN2 Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 185

ASTROS UPDATE
If nothing else, the Astros are consistent. They beat the Rangers on June 22 … and proceeded to lose five straight. Then they beat the Rangers again on June 30 … and proceeded to lose five straight. Then they beat the Pirates on July 6 … and proceeded to lose five straight. Guess what? They beat the Pirates on Saturday, then lost yesterday in extra innings. If history holds form, the Nationals are guaranteed a sweep at Minute Maid Park.

Suffice it to say, it's been a long season already deep in the heart of Texas. The Astros have baseball's worst record (31-64) and haven't exactly been playing competitive baseball of late. When Mark Melancon recorded the final three outs of Saturday's victory, it markedRead more ยป

  1. Doc - Jul 18, 2011 at 2:15 PM

    Great research again, kid!Thanks!

  2. NatinBeantown - Jul 18, 2011 at 2:51 PM

    I would like to beat Houston like a drum and then take their CF Bourn before the deadline, please. Thanks.

  3. UNTERP.NAT - Jul 18, 2011 at 2:53 PM

    I say Werth will break out of his funk at least for this series and go 6 for 12, two hrs, 2 doubles, and 6 rbi…

  4. natsfan1a - Jul 18, 2011 at 3:03 PM

    I'll take what Beantown and UNTERP are having, as I'd love a series win and a Werth breakout. Mark, are you in Houston for the series? It's always interesting to read your in-game posts after the fact, particularly with the late-start games, which I don't tend to watch in real-time.

  5. FS - Jul 18, 2011 at 3:09 PM

    Agree with Beantown. Sweep Astros so bad that they feel oblige to give us Bourn as war loot.Hope our bats beat the s*** out of their pitching. Danny, Zimm, Morse, Werth, all have multihomer games in this series and we score a bunch. Above all, we sweep. Let's go and get that wild card spot.

  6. FS - Jul 18, 2011 at 3:11 PM

    actually scratch that wild card dream. if we dream, dream big. we want the division title guys. GYFNG.

  7. Drew8 - Jul 18, 2011 at 3:20 PM

    Grab Your Fleet New Guy.(and his .290 average, .351 OBP, 35 steals….)

  8. The Great Unwashed - Jul 18, 2011 at 3:24 PM

    Why do I get the feeling that this series vs. the Astros will be long and low scoring, with at least one extra inning game and every final being decided by one run? Oh yeah, and the Nats will struggle mightily against the least of their pitchers. Why do I feel that way?

  9. NatinBeantown - Jul 18, 2011 at 3:28 PM

    Drew8: nice.And also plugging Mark's attendance with the folks "upstairs" at CSN.

  10. Les in NC - Jul 18, 2011 at 3:45 PM

    @ Great Unwashed:Because our boys enjoy playing to the level of the competition. In this case it's a lower level….

  11. SonnyG10 - Jul 18, 2011 at 4:02 PM

    Like to see us two above .500 at the end of this series.NatinBeantown, I like your idea!

  12. sjm308 - Jul 18, 2011 at 4:12 PM

    OK, here we go. Winning 5 of the next 6 and coming home on a tear. Marquis needs to go deep with Coffey pitching the 8th and 9th holding a 5 run lead. Then JZimmnn goes a solid 6 (keeping him on a tight leash) but the bullpen is rested and finishes the job. Livan struggles but Detwiler is now fully rested and takes over for the last four innings as we come from behind with a big 7th inning rally!Go Nats

  13. Unkyd - Jul 18, 2011 at 4:17 PM

    YEAHBABY!!! I like the tenor of this thread!!!!I'm seriously considering avoiding the post game portion of any losing gamethread…. Just can't deal….

  14. sjm308 - Jul 18, 2011 at 4:34 PM

    unkyd – isn't it crazy, we win and its a beautiful day, we lose and its just the pits and they do this for 162 games! I have to get a life, off to the gym. Keep up the positive vibes Insiders, I will be back later.Go Nats

  15. gonatsgo - Jul 18, 2011 at 4:51 PM

    You do realize that the reverse-lock is now in effect, don't you? It's not only baseball players that are superstitious – it's the fans, too! Look what happened when everyone said we couldn't win on Saturday! I must say, though – except for Friday, we played well against a seriously good team. I liked the way we messed with Jurrgens head early in the game. I would love to see more of that – with our starters going long and our bullpen managed well. GYFNG!

  16. JimHoy - Jul 18, 2011 at 5:03 PM

    I live in Austin. For the last few years, they come to Houston in the middle of the week, guaranteeing I can't make the trip. Ah well. At least I can watch on Fox Sports SW.I'm a big Michael Bourn fan. The 'Stro's are gonna want prospects. Who would you give up for him? I wonder if a pick two of Derek Norris, Chris Marrero or some pitcher would get it done.

  17. Mark'd - Jul 18, 2011 at 5:04 PM

    SJM, losing sucks when 7 position players played great and even MphRod and Clip were good in most of their relief.To have Kimbrel on the ropes and see another game under by Werth really adds the sting to the pain.

  18. Nats1924 - Jul 18, 2011 at 5:08 PM

    a sweep is needed here badly. If your a good team, you need to beat the bad teams consistantly

  19. Anonymous - Jul 18, 2011 at 5:20 PM

    NatinBeantown said… I would like to beat Houston like a drum and then take their CF Bourn before the deadline, please. Thanks.Uh, I don't think that's going to happen? And why should it again?Roger Bernadina against right handed pitching TODAY:in 180 AB, .289 BA, .350 OBP (Bourne is only .351 NOT over .400 people), with a .778 OPS. NOT TOO SHABBY? Bernadina ALSO HAS 15 SB with 2 CS in a much smaller sample size that Bourne.BOURNE IS ALSO 28 OLDER THAN BERNADINA. Doesn't have the power potential and bats right handed? Bernadina bats left handed and also has the potential to hit 20 home runs from the lead-off spot.STOP. Bourne is way to expensive. Doesn't fit in as a "future piece" as Rizzo would put it. Now, if you're talking Peter Bourjous? That's a different story. YES. HE might be worth it. But he too would be prohibitively expensive prospect-wise.The problem isn't leadoff as Ladson likes to claim. Bernadina has done enough to show that he might fit the bill. Let it ride at least for this season will ya? And leave my prospects alone. Don't you go trading them for a right handed Morgan.The problems is still batters hitting with RISP which we saw again in the Atlanta series albeit not as much. In the end that boils down to Zim and Werth picking up the pace in the 2nd half. You can't rely on Espinosa (although right now I'd say Espinosa is going to be a more valuable player than Zim perhaps as soon as this year or next.), Morse and Nix solely.The other glaring problem is the lack of effective left-handed relief out of the bullpen. Finally, you can't expect to compete for a wild card or even .500 when LIvan Hernandez is your #1 starter. You just can't it ain't going to happen. Livo belongs in the bullpen as a #6 starter/long guy/mop up who doesn't need a lot of rest to tee it up again. And Marquis needs to get traded before he starts getting bombed.They need to find out out about Milone, Stammen and Meyers (when he gets off the DL). Unless they can trade for a reasonably young under 30 ace like Anibel Sanchez I don't think they should be pulling any triggers except those that move Marquis, Stairs, Coffey, etc. for prospects.

  20. Anonymous - Jul 18, 2011 at 5:29 PM

    A baseball info site claims we are interested in Bourne and Clippard is in the discussion. I wonder who they've been talking to.Houston is all up in the air because of talk of moving them to the AL. That will likely happen, or they will move to the NL West and AZ goes to the Al. That's apparently less likely.

  21. Steve M. - Jul 18, 2011 at 5:31 PM

    My main observation from a long weekend of baseball is that Davey Johnson needs to get on the learning curve quickly and make the really tough decision on Jayson Werth. Very disappointing for his use of the bullpen and I said this after the home game where Jayson Werth ended the game hitting into a double play that in all seriousness, Davey has to think of using a pinch hitter. Werth just hasn't been clutch and I would rather see him batting 8th right now until he proves he is better than the current #8 guy. I know he isn't better than the current #7 hitter (Wilson Ramos).1) Bernadina2) Espinosa3) Zim4) Nix5) Morse6) Ramos7) Desmond8) WerthI would also sit Werth, for Ankiel to CF, and Nix to RF against some righty pitchers until Werth earns a spot on this starting lineup. When is enough, enough?The easy blame goes on the bullpen, the more focused blame should be on Jayson Werth for not getting it done yesterday. Like someone said, they had Kimbrel on the ropes with a walk to Zim and the single by Morse that pushed Zim to 3rd. A hit scores one and gets Storen in for the save.Instead it is the Rookie Fred Freeman who gets the clutch single with 2 outs to win the game not the superstar veteran Jayson Werth in the same situation at the top of the 9th.Matteus is another guy I am concerned about as he doesn't have a lot of experience under his belt. He came within inches (foul) of giving up a 2 run double on Saturday night so while he has "stuff" he isn't Clip or Storen yet.Davey needs to get his roles set in the bullpen although yesterday was a complete cluster fudge after Gorzelanny went down but still, get this done correctly and bring back Balester for Burnett.

  22. sparkler - Jul 18, 2011 at 5:35 PM

    Anon 1:20, nice spin job.You'll compare Bourn, who has a .351 OBP with Bernadina by citing Bernadina's OBP only against righties? Bourn has been nice and balanced this year, very moderate differences between his righty and lefty splits.Roger is lousy against lefties.Roger's sample size is plenty big enough to compare SB's. Bourn is 35 out of 40 with 376 AB's. Roger is 15 out of 17 in 243 AB's. Do the math. Bourn is better. And watch with your eyes. On the basepaths, Bourn is better.Bourn is way too expensive? Where did that come from? As an arb eligible player, he is getting what he, his team, and / or the arb panel believe is reasonable. And he is arb eligible next year too. If he's too expensive at $4.4M, then there's no reason to even think about re-signing Zimmerman.I'm not saying we should agresively pursue Bourn. I am saying your arguement is pathetic.

  23. Anonymous - Jul 18, 2011 at 5:41 PM

    Bourn is way too expensive? Where did that come from? As an arb eligible player, he is getting what he, his team, and / or the arb panel believe is reasonable. And he is arb eligible next year too. If he's too expensive at $4.4M, then there's no reason to even think about re-signing Zimmerman.You've had a disconnect with your brain sparkler. Expensive doesn't MEAN $$$? It MEANS PROSPECTS which the Nats still have in limited quantity. The Nats are NOT Tampa Bay who have the best farm system in baseball and a plethora of prospects. And WAIT they could use Bourne? They aren't sure about their prospect Desmond Jennings and BJ Upton has not been having his best year offensively. AND UPTON is likely the guy the Nats will likely pursue as a free agent for a lot of reasons. They'd take him in trade for the right price. Same age range as Bourne, power, speed superior fielding. LOOK again at your numbers dude. Do you really believe Bourne is worth trading the farm for? He's NOT period. End of story.

  24. sparkler - Jul 18, 2011 at 5:49 PM

    I never said he was worth trading for. I said you were spinning things by citing Roger's stats on from the right, by saying the sample size is too small to decide who is a more effective base stealer, by unilateraly declaring he is too expensive.You build a very flawed arguement, add some UPPER CASE LETTERS, declare End of Story and expect what? We all bow to your genius and insight?

  25. Anonymous - Jul 18, 2011 at 5:50 PM

    Davey needs to get his roles set in the bullpen although yesterday was a complete cluster fudge after Gorzelanny went down but still, get this done correctly and bring back Balester for Burnett.Who's your lefty out of the bullpen? You wanna drag decrepit Riggleman/Rizzo fav Ron Vilone out of retirement? Howza about Joe Beimel? Or they could reactivate Doug Slaten. Oh maybe you were thinking Detwiler? But he hasn't been all that effective and most still see him as a future starter? Shall we bring up Tom Milone as a reliever? OMG no brains in this group today.

  26. sparkler - Jul 18, 2011 at 5:56 PM

    Anon declared – OMG no brains in this group today. Yeah, we are not worthy. Take your genius somewhere where it will be appreciated and leave us to wallow in our stupidity.

  27. Knoxville Nat - Jul 18, 2011 at 6:03 PM

    Well I'll add my "no brains" to the conversation….Wang to the starting rotation and Gorzelanny to the BP if his injury isn't serious. Otherwise I have no respect for guys like 1:41/1:50 who have to post in such a condescending manner to the rest of us. Your posts read like something a know it all Yankee or Red Sox fan would write.

  28. Anonymous - Jul 18, 2011 at 6:12 PM

    Well I'll add my "no brains" to the conversation….Wang to the starting rotation and Gorzelanny to the BP if his injury isn't serious.Perhaps. I would rather see Livo or Marquis replaced with fresh blood at this juncture. Gorzelanny has good stuff and he is left-handed. You already have a starter in the bullpen waiting for a slot in the rotation. With Detwiler, Wang and Milone you have three pitchers needing a slot. Livo to the bullpen NOT Gorzelanny (All of Livo's stats are worst on the staff at this point) and Marquis should get traded.

  29. Anonymous - Jul 18, 2011 at 6:14 PM

    Yeah, we are not worthy. Take your genius somewhere where it will be appreciated and leave us to wallow in our stupidity.And telling someone that their "argument is pathetic" isn't condescending? I was here way before you dude. Here's a nickel go play in traffic "sparkler".

  30. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 18, 2011 at 6:15 PM

    To be fair, there are know-it-alls pretty much everywhere. Not that I'm defending Yankee or Red Sox fans.But it's a false dilemma–Bernadina isn't really the center fielder anyway, not in the FO's estimation–they want him to play left. The real reason you don't get Bourn is coming (maybe–PLEEZE) next year. Or the year after that. But soon enough that they don't want to trade good inventory for a guy who isn't going to win that many more games for them than the guys they have now.

  31. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 18, 2011 at 6:16 PM

    Here's a nickel go play in traffic "sparkler".What, now they're charging a nickel for that?

  32. JD - Jul 18, 2011 at 6:20 PM

    IMO we need to bring up the following after July 31st: 1) Wang – maybe sooner if Gorzelany is DL'd 2) Milone – after we trade Marquis 3) Lombardozzi, Antonelli, Marrero – replace Cora and Stairs and whichever veteran gets traded. 4) Stammen – after Coffee gets traded. I'd like to see all the guys who have had solid AAA season before September so we can have a solid look at them and they can have a real taste of the bigs.

  33. josh f - Jul 18, 2011 at 6:22 PM

    Ken Rosenthal says we're listening on trades for Storen and Clippard, and Desmond could be included to get Lombardozzi up (with Espy moving to SS). I don't want to trade Storen, but I'll move Clippard and Desmond for the right players. Thoughts?

  34. sparkler - Jul 18, 2011 at 6:25 PM

    Yo Anon, you started the condecension, not anyone else. But you are only condescending because we have no brains.And your arguement was pathetic, get it? Bourn's OBP is only .351 and Roger has a good OBP against right handed pitching? That's not pathetic? Bourn steals more bases than anyone in baseball but you say Roger's sample size is too msmall to compare? Bourn is simply declared too expensive by you. See, it IS pathetic, and when I use UPPER CASE LETTERS then you must know I am RIGHT. End of story. But since you were here first, and everyone here seems to admire you and appreciate your genius, I'll go dancing with the cars.

  35. JD - Jul 18, 2011 at 6:25 PM

    Josh f, I love Clippard and Storen but they are relievers and as such are replaceable parts. They cannot be untouchable; given the right circumstance and package of course you consider moving them.

  36. SCNatsFan - Jul 18, 2011 at 6:31 PM

    To get true talent you'll need to move someone special like a Clippard, Desmond or Storen; you aren't getting Upton or Bourne for Stairs and Cora. If you think Clip is for real the having both Storen and Clip is a luxury; moving one and adding someone like Desmond to the mix will bring some real talent back. I still don't see Rizzo moving either Desmond or Storen.

  37. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 18, 2011 at 6:32 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  38. bobn - Jul 18, 2011 at 6:44 PM

    How about Werth checking in with Harper's opthamologist?

  39. masnstinks - Jul 18, 2011 at 6:45 PM

    As to the pitching – I think it might be time to move Livo to the pen – he would be a great long guy since he could probably throw every day and pile up many innings. If we have guys ready to come up, then it's time to do that and give them some major league experience. I am in favor of HRod and Matheus taking their mlb lumps this year, too. They are not going to be perfect, but letting them learn this year should pay off next year. Letting Storen or Clippard go – Clip is older and as much as I like him, ok. But – isn't Storen only about a year in? I'm just not sure he should go – especially considering how badly some of the free agent signings and trades have gone in the last year or so. I just don't like to see a good piece for the future given up for an Adam Dunn, Dan Uggla, Jayson Werth -type disappointment.

  40. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 18, 2011 at 6:47 PM

    How about Werth checking in with Harper's opthamologist? Or at the very least, Dmitri Young's masseuse?

  41. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 18, 2011 at 6:52 PM

    "I'm just not sure he should go – especially considering how badly some of the free agent signings and trades have gone in the last year or so."AGAIN, it's not about who "should" go–if the Red Sox will trade Adrian Gonzales straight up for Matt Stairs, swell. But that's not how it works, most of the time. Maybe you can occasionally get a Lou Brock for Ernie Broglio, but as a rule, it's got to be value for value.And if you don't have confidence in your abilities as a GM (since it is the GM doing the trading, not us), you're in the wrong job.

  42. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 18, 2011 at 6:55 PM

    I just don't like to see a good piece for the future given up for an Adam Dunn-, Dan Uggla-, Jayson Werth-type disappointment.Anyhow, rest easy. Those would be free agent disappointments, not trades.

  43. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 18, 2011 at 6:56 PM

    *Gonzalezwith a z.Adrian, if you're reading–sorry, dude.

  44. jeffwx - Jul 18, 2011 at 7:00 PM

    See mlbtraderumors.comNats need a lead off center fielder who can get on base and run. You put Bernie in left. Nix is not in the plans except as a sub/PH if they ever unload Stairs.They trade Clippard AND Desmond for Bourne or a similar fast, high OBP CEnterfielder (Rasmus…).

  45. jeffwx - Jul 18, 2011 at 7:15 PM

    Nats lineup on August first1. Bourne2. Lombardozzi (2b)3. Espinosa (ss)4. Zimm5. Morse6. Werth7. Ramos8 BernadinaStarting: Zimm, Lannon, Livan, Wang,Gorz,Strasburg replaces Zimm in Sept.Relief: H.Rod, Matheus, Balester, Storen, Detwiller, and the LOOGY whose name shall not be mentionedTraded: Clippard ;(, Desmond, Marquis

  46. baseballswami - Jul 18, 2011 at 7:17 PM

    jeffwx – ok , nice list – now tell me who is ( or is not) on the bench and I will tell you whether or not I am buying what you are selling.

  47. masnstinks - Jul 18, 2011 at 7:23 PM

    section 3 sofa — understood that those were free agents, but they just as easily could have been trades. We were screaming for Dunn to be traded last year. Just seems like changing teams has not worked out well for some. And then there is Adrian Gonzalez………….jackpot for the Red Sox. Kind of interesting results from previous closer/ set up trades — Hanrahan, Rauch, Capps.

  48. jeffwx - Jul 18, 2011 at 7:26 PM

    Nats in late 2012C: Ramos/Norris1b: Laroche, Morse2b: Lombardozziss: Espi3b: Zimmlf: Harper/BernadinaCF: BourneRF: WerthWow!LineupBourneLombardozziZimmHarperEspinosaWerthLarouche/MorseRamos

  49. jeffwd - Jul 18, 2011 at 7:33 PM

    SwamiBench on August 1st should include:L. Nix, J. Hairston jr, Cora, Bixler, I. Rod and I don't know (3rd Base ;)

  50. Wally - Jul 18, 2011 at 7:40 PM

    I agree with JD on Clippard and Storen (and Sec 3, on the 'should' comment). Good relievers are valuable; and the better ones come in during high leverage situations, so when they do something good, we remember it for quite a while. But they still only pitch 60-80 innings a year, so if you can get a quality position player for one, you have to do it. That is 1300 innings v. 80. And at this time of year, relievers have a disproportionate value to contenders (especially someone like Clip who is effective to both LH and RH), because a contender will 'value' each additional win more than a non contender. So, if it took Clip and Desi, which CF would you want out of the group Rosenthal mentions? I would rank them Span (assuming he continues to recover from the concussion), Rasmus, Bourn. I wouldn't do the Upton deal.PS Uggla was a trade, although not sure why I even mention it.

  51. Gonat - Jul 18, 2011 at 7:41 PM

    My FEAR is Rizzo has been lost without Kasten overseeing him. Rizzo is a horrible trader and every GMs job is to take advantage of the other team.It is like an adult trading baseball cards with a 12 year old kid who has a 1952 Mickey Mantle and you are offering in return a 1969 Frank Howard knowing the kid loves the Senators to complete his collection.I mean seriously, Jordan Zimmermann, Drew Storen and Danny Espinosa for Greinke.Basically trade 3 guys who this year will respectively receive (not neccesarily win) votes for Cy Young, Fireman of the Year, and Rookie of the Year.

  52. Harper_ROY_2012 - Jul 18, 2011 at 7:43 PM

    If the Nats do not take 2 out of 3 from the Astros, it will be an embarrassment!

  53. Mark'd - Jul 18, 2011 at 7:43 PM

    Gonat, like FEAR THE RIZZLE?

  54. Unkyd - Jul 18, 2011 at 7:52 PM

    Don't like trading Desmond, without a proven MI on board. Maybe Antonelli/ Lombardozzi will be better at 2nd than Desi is at SS… But maybe not..Potentially a BAD move…

  55. Wally - Jul 18, 2011 at 7:52 PM

    Gonat – I know what you are saying because Rizzo does seem to lock in on certain players, but I don't think it is quite as bad as that. On the Greinke almost-trade, I don't think that it was ever certain that all three were in there. The way that I remember it, Storen and Espy were in, the Royals wanted JZimm but the Nats were refusing and offering others. At some point in there the Nats asked to talk to Greinke and that is when he said no. So I don't think the package was agreed to. Plus that Nats package would have been twice as much as what Mil gave up, so I kind of doubt that Rizzo would have agreed to all that. I could easily be wrong but these are also the hardest things ever to know the truth about.I will say this: it seems like when Rizzo gives up on someone, he wants them gone and just takes the best deal out there, not necessarily a good deal.

  56. gonatsgo - Jul 18, 2011 at 7:53 PM

    I think Jayson Werth should see Harper's opthamologist, Dimitri Young's Masseuse, the team shrink, his little league coach, his grandmother, his astrologist and anyone else who might have a friggin clue how to help him.

  57. Gonat - Jul 18, 2011 at 7:56 PM

    Yah, break up the band for the sake of looking like you are making things happen.I am so nervous reading about trading Clippard, Storen and anybody not named Stairs.Trade the guys out of contract like Marquis, Coffey, Pudge, and Nix ONLY if you can get good value in return as there is still a season to play!!!!!!!!!!!!Trade back Burnett for Hanrahan if you can also (ha ha).In 2013, the Nats still control Morse and of course Werth and have Bryce Harper for the outfield. So you have Morse for LF or 1st base. Hopefully Goodwin is the Centerfielder of the future. If Ryan Zimmerman is signed long-term, then you have Rendon for left field which the scouts feel is doable.Michael Bourn is a short-term stop-gap and not a long-term solution unless you get him with a Scott Boras extension in-hand then you have value there. Let me add though, that Roger Bernadina is essentially 20 points behind Bourn's numbers and Houston is a hitters park. Let's not get too carried away like we were in the off-season with Jayson Werth. Just sayin to the voice of reason.

  58. Gonat - Jul 18, 2011 at 7:58 PM

    Wally said… Gonat – I know what you are saying because Rizzo does seem to lock in on certain players, but I don't think it is quite as bad as that. On the Greinke almost-trade, I don't think that it was ever certain that all three were in there. The way that I remember it, Storen and Espy were in, the Royals wanted JZimm but the Nats were refusing and offering others. At some point in there the Nats asked to talk to Greinke and that is when he said no. So I don't think the package was agreed to. Plus that Nats package would have been twice as much as what Mil gave up, so I kind of doubt that Rizzo would have agreed to all that. I could easily be wrong but these are also the hardest things ever to know the truth about.I will say this: it seems like when Rizzo gives up on someone, he wants them gone and just takes the best deal out there, not necessarily a good deal. July 18, 2011 3:52 PM ___________________________I think Greinke himself confirmed who was there. Scarey.

  59. baseballswami - Jul 18, 2011 at 8:01 PM

    Rizzo was a really good scout, he was a good assistant gm and he has done some good things as the gm. The problem is that no one is good at every single aspect of a job that is that big. I think we are seeing the results of Kasten being gone – Rizzo digs in on things and loses perspective. He seems to have a serious need to be right and never give ground. Right now there are contracts that need to be negotiated, trades to consider and some roster issues. Along with that – his boy,Davey Johnson, who he idolizes( along with Matt Stairs and Jayson Werth), is just not the miracle worker he thought he was getting when he very quickly jumped on that bandwagon with both feet.I think he is in over his head, understandably, for a guy who has not been in his job all that long. I hope he is the kind of person who can delegate, ask for help and adapt on the fly, by I'm just not thinking so.It will be interesting to see if the owners continue to let him be the one and only guy calling all the shots in all the areas.

  60. NatsLady - Jul 18, 2011 at 8:08 PM

    What is this obsession with Upton? I assume you mean BJ and not his brother–??? I've been watching him on MLB.tv and, no thank you.

  61. sjm308 - Jul 18, 2011 at 8:12 PM

    Wow, we got a little testy there boys, need to have fun and play nice.Sec. 3 – he is using Dimitri's massage therapist, how about that!! Hasn't seemed to help but Dimitri had a back problem. Hard to massage Werth's head.Agree that a top CF would be worth the two relievers but I still do not want to see Desmond gone. He has had a good two weeks and I just don't want to move Espinosa in the middle of the season to SS. I realize he has played it all his life but not in the majors and yes folks, there is a difference. I have said it before but I think we have one of the best double play combinations in the majors and its only going to get better.Not sure which Anon talked about Bourjos, hope it wasn't one of the snarky ones, but he was impressive in the short time I saw him. This is only his 2nd season and its a small sample size but he can certainly run and field. I do like Bourn as well and if I get a nickel I will gladly go play in traffic since I live on a cul-de-sac and won't get lost. Also true I have no brain but who is counting.OK, big series tonight and we can't start a sweep without winning the first.Can only imagine how this talk will increase as the trade deadline draws near.Any word on signing our top 5 prospects or will they all be last minute deals?Go Nats

  62. Mark'd - Jul 18, 2011 at 8:24 PM

    Baseballswami, well written. You nailed it. Rizzo is good in some areas and learning in others.His man-crushes on the Upton's is well known. He can't get a fair trade when the other GMs know the cards he is holding and the cards he needs the most.

  63. Knoxville Nat - Jul 18, 2011 at 8:28 PM

    Swami…all good points on Rizzo and I'll add one more. Not to say Rizzo was wrong on how he handled Riggleman, or to say that Riggleman was right….not at all in either case, I just wonder how things might have been handled differently if Kasten was still around. Seems to me StanK would have found a way to get them to play together in a much better way so that both of them had their respective needs listened to, understood and met. Would certainly have saved the Nats some unwelcomed drama at a time they were the talk of baseball.

  64. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 18, 2011 at 8:41 PM

    "every GMs job is to take advantage of the other team."I think this is a wrong understanding. This is, I think, how Bowden might have looked at it, but a good GM expects to keep his job for a while, and he's going to have to deal with these teams again, repeatedly. If he's good at taking advantage of other GMs, they very shortly will quit dealing with him.

  65. N. Cognito - Jul 18, 2011 at 8:43 PM

    In spite of his recent hitting, I'm not sure Desmond is learning anything – maybe, maybe not. He's had hot streaks in the past and every time he has had one it's been followed by impatient, overagressiveness at the plate; trying to pull everything.He doesn't have a whole lot of time left to prove himself – maybe into or all of next season at the most.

  66. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 18, 2011 at 8:46 PM

    MASNstinks, I know you know that. I was making a joke.

  67. Tim the Enchanter - Jul 18, 2011 at 8:46 PM

    Sure wish the Nats had Hunter Pence in right field than Jayson Werth.

  68. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 18, 2011 at 8:49 PM

    and I wish they had a 1954-model Willie Mays in center.It's OK to want it.

  69. Mark'd - Jul 18, 2011 at 8:51 PM

    If StanK stayed in the backgrounds and was seen and not heard he would have been perfect. He knows baseball but is burned out on people skills and believe-ability.His plan was right and his philosophy on holding Type A free agents like Soriano and Dunn yielded more in Draft picks then he was offered in trade.I may get pissed off on short-term results being sub-par while believing in long-term progress and NEVER trade away the future for short-term unless the results get you PLAYOFFS!!!!

  70. baseballswami - Jul 18, 2011 at 8:56 PM

    Desi has played some nice D this year. Hitting 8 is not an easy place to be either, with the pitcher next. I like his intensity and he seems to mesh well with Zim, Danny and MM. Jury is still out on what kind of player he will turn out to be.Watched him at Potomac way back when — seems like it's always been that way – ups and downs. I always hear that he has a great work ethic and is a leader. I guess maybe that earns him a little more time, since the guys who are supposed to be mature, polished players are struggling as much, if not more than he is.

  71. David - Jul 18, 2011 at 8:57 PM

    I'm still ready for Marquis to be traded. With Peacock dominating and Milone looking like a stud, and Wang pitching beautifully so far, we dont him around. Time to give these youngsters a shot to prove they can be a part of a winning 2012 team. And then if Wang, knock on wood, stays healthy and pitches decent, he could be our Marquis next year.

  72. JD - Jul 18, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    Mark'd Really? holding on to Dunn for draft choices was brilliant? tell me that you are sure Alex Meyer will be as good as Daniel Hudson already is. NatsLady, The fascination with Upton is that even in a down year he is 1.8 WAR so far. Michael Bourn is an excellent player too.

  73. David - Jul 18, 2011 at 9:00 PM

    So to continue, I'm ready to see a rotation of Zimmermann, Strasburg, Peacock, Wang and Lannan next year. Or if Peacock falters, put Milone in there. Or if they both outpitch Lannan, trade him too. Even though he's a fan favorite, I think a healthy Wang is a better pitcher.

  74. Mark'd - Jul 18, 2011 at 9:15 PM

    JD, there you go again adding and deleting words to make yourself look good. Never said Brilliant and you left out Goodwin and for Soriano you got Jordan Zimmermann and Smoker.

  75. gonatsgo - Jul 18, 2011 at 9:15 PM

    Marquis can go – provided he pitches a complete game tonight, of course. And — a healthy Wang is always a good thing….

  76. Gonat - Jul 18, 2011 at 9:29 PM

    Sec 3, My Sofa said… "every GMs job is to take advantage of the other team."I think this is a wrong understanding. This is, I think, how Bowden might have looked at it, but a good GM expects to keep his job for a while, and he's going to have to deal with these teams again, repeatedly. If he's good at taking advantage of other GMs, they very shortly will quit dealing with him. July 18, 2011 4:41 PM ___________________________The phrasing "take advantage" sounds bad and really means do better and not worse and often times GMs do take advantage of another GM who isn't seasoned or smart enough in his job. The best trades are the mutually beneficial ones and Rizzo will learn that. Look at the Twins fans, they hated the Capps/Ramos trade. Always trade from a position of strength.Rizzo is the new guy on the block and many are taking advantage of him. Come on, Nyjer Morgan for Cutter Dykstra? A minor league reliever and a mid-grade AA OF for a top OBP guy Josh Willingham? A Cy Young no more Zach Greinke for Jordan Zimmermann, Danny Espinosa and Drew Storen?That is taking advantage if Rizzo will allow it.

  77. Gonat - Jul 18, 2011 at 9:39 PM

    David said… So to continue, I'm ready to see a rotation of Zimmermann, Strasburg, Peacock, Wang and Lannan next year. Or if Peacock falters, put Milone in there. Or if they both outpitch Lannan, trade him too. Even though he's a fan favorite, I think a healthy Wang is a better pitcher. July 18, 2011 5:00 PM _________________________________Hate to say it, that is a losing team on the surface. Strasburg will have innings limits. Peacock is unknown. Wang coming off of shoulder surgery and no MLB innings to gauge how good he will be in a real game. So basically start with Jordan Zimmermann and John Lannan and 140 to 160 innings of Strasburg and his 1st 45 days will be up & down.I really hope they extend Marquis. He is a 1st half of the season stud. He isn't an Ace. Always been a 1st half winner except his partial seasons. If you keep Marquis, then you maybe take a chance on Peacock or Wang as your 5th starter.

  78. NatsLady - Jul 18, 2011 at 9:49 PM

    You would pay $7.5 million for a pitcher who is only good for half a season (Marquis)? He's has a couple of nice games, but he hasn't shown that much to me, and he's not real good at taking direction.

  79. JD - Jul 18, 2011 at 9:50 PM

    Mark'd Soriano was a separate incident.In Dunn's case Hudson was available and yes I prefer a sure thing Hudson to two potentials like Meyer and Goodwin.

  80. My Two Cents - Jul 18, 2011 at 9:59 PM

    Gonat – "A minor league reliever and a mid-grade AA OF for a top OBP guy Josh Willingham?"Keep in mind, Willingham, never healthy for too long, and with only 1 arb year left until free agency. So he gave up Willingham, yes, but only for 1 season and 2 months.And in return, two good to decent prospects, under team control for 6 years. If one of those two pans out, it's a solid trade. I think it was a smart time to trade Willingham. His value was higher last year (with 1 arbitration year remaining) than it is this year. If LaRoche stayed healthy, we would not have missed Willingham at all this year. Could Rizzo have gotten more? Maybe. Who knows.

  81. David - Jul 18, 2011 at 10:01 PM

    Peacock should have a chance this year to prove he's not an "unknown" for next year. And if Wang falters at some point next season we could always resign Livo.

  82. Gonat - Jul 18, 2011 at 10:28 PM

    JD said… Mark'dSoriano was a separate incident.In Dunn's case Hudson was available and yes I prefer a sure thing Hudson to two potentials like Meyer and Goodwin. July 18, 2011 5:50 PM __________________________Hudson was never a done deal. Just sayin….

  83. Gonat - Jul 18, 2011 at 10:35 PM

    My Two Cents said… Gonat – "A minor league reliever and a mid-grade AA OF for a top OBP guy Josh Willingham?"Keep in mind, Willingham, never healthy for too long, and with only 1 arb year left until free agency. So he gave up Willingham, yes, but only for 1 season and 2 months.And in return, two good to decent prospects, under team control for 6 years. If one of those two pans out, it's a solid trade. I think it was a smart time to trade Willingham. His value was higher last year (with 1 arbitration year remaining) than it is this year. If LaRoche stayed healthy, we would not have missed Willingham at all this year. Could Rizzo have gotten more? Maybe. Who knows. July 18, 2011 5:59 PM ____________________________Willingham had to be traded. My point was the A's got the better of the deal. Do you think the Astros would take Henry Rodriguez and Corey Brown for Michael Bourn?

  84. My Two Cents - Jul 18, 2011 at 10:59 PM

    Gonat – My bad – Fair point. I'll keep my cents in my pocket.

  85. Anonymous - Jul 18, 2011 at 11:08 PM

    does Willinham=Bourn??

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 71 53 --
ATLANTA 66 60 6.0
MIAMI 63 62 8.5
NEW YORK 59 68 13.5
PHILADELPHIA 55 71 17.0
Through Tuesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
WED: Diamondbacks at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Diamondbacks at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
FRI: Giants at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Giants at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Giants at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 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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