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Game 98: Nats at Astros

Jul 20, 2011, 3:37 PM EDT

US Presswire file photo
Livan Hernandez faces Brett Myers in today's series finale at Minute Maid Park.

Remember that remarkable run the Nationals went on in early-to-mid June? You know, when they won 12 of 13 games, seemingly all of them by one run? Well, they've fallen back into a more consistent pattern since then. Basically, they win a game or two, then they lose a game or two.

Indeed, since June 17, the Nats have been no better than two games over .500, nor have they been worse than two games under .500. Consistent mediocrity, I guess you could call it. Which is still a significant improvement from years past, of course.

Today, the Nationals try to get back to the break-even point yet again, needing a win over the Astros to take this series in Houston. Livan Hernandez, who went only four innings in his last start and boasts a 5.27 ERA in his last five outings, needs to get himself back on track. Veteran Brett Myers will face a Nats lineup that is without Ian Desmond or Laynce Nix (both getting a day off to rest nagging ailments).

As you know, I haven't been in Houston for this series. Enjoy the weekday matinee and the back-and-forth conversation as always…

NATIONALS at ASTROS
Where: Minute Maid Park
Gametime: 2:05 p.m.
TV: MASN2
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 185
Weather: Dome (Outside: 91 degrees, Wind 6 mph in from RF)

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (48-49)
LF Roger Bernadina
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Michael Morse

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270 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 20, 2011 at 3:45 PM

    I hope it doesn't mess with the Shark's head too much to be flipped between left and center like this. There really are differences in how you play them, for most guys.

  2. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 20, 2011 at 3:47 PM

    Does Davey have a schedule of when guys get days off (Desmond, in this case), or is he just playing it by feel, day games after night games?

  3. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 20, 2011 at 3:48 PM

    I know, "nagging ailments," but it's late July, everybody has nagging ailments.

  4. SCNatsFan - Jul 20, 2011 at 3:49 PM

    For a .500 team this team shows absolutely no ability to hit in the clutch. We should have put the game away early last night like soooo many other nights. I guess this is one of the reasons we signed Werth but that isn't panning out (obviously); someone at an early age told Jason 'a hit is as good as a walk' and he has never forgot that, it seems like that is his swing thought as he either walks, strikes out or weakly pulls a breaking ball.

  5. Not Werth It - Jul 20, 2011 at 3:49 PM

    Today would be a really good day for Good Livo to show up again. Considering today's 5-8 hitters, we're not gonna win this one if Bad Livo takes the mound for a third straight time.Nats Win 3-1, with Morse going deep again.

  6. Anonymous - Jul 20, 2011 at 4:07 PM

    Important for the Nats to win this game. .500 teams (which I consider good, not mediocre) should beat teams like the Astros two-out-of-three while losing to the good teams by the same ratio. There won't be enough games in the season where the Nats will beat the elite teams an extra time to make up for games like Tuesday.If the Nats trade three or four of their veterans, then 76-78 wins seems about right. But–and this is just a hunch–if Tom Milone and Brad Peacock replace Livan and Marquis (and if they trade Desmond, move Desi to short and bring up Stephen Lombardozzi), the kids could provide enough ooomph to get to 80-82 wins.But really, we're just playing out the string until 2012 when Strasburg, Zimmermann, Lannan, and perhaps Milone and Peacock fill out the rotation along with a healthy Adam LaRoche at first, Ryan Zimmerman at third and a sane and sober Jayson Werth in right.If Milone & Peacock are the real deal, that's a 87-90 win team.And I'm glad Harper is struggling in Double-A. He needs a helping of humble pie, and then *BANG* he'll start whacking the ball. And after all, he's 18 playing against 24-year-olds. Farid

  7. Jenn Jenson - Jul 20, 2011 at 4:10 PM

    Hey Mark, Thanks for updating the feed to Nationals Fangirl. I appreciate it. You're one of my best referrers!Jenn

  8. natsfan1a - Jul 20, 2011 at 4:24 PM

    Another vote for Good Livo today (and carrying over from the last post): Speaking of PBP, I'll get to watch today's game in real-time (yay!), which won't be the case on Friday or Saturday (we interrupt this post for a statement regarding my platform: the games are too dang late). Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, we need Good Livo on the mound and some hits with RISP in the top half of innings. (Feel free to strand 'em in the bottom half – if you even get any base runners at all, which you shouldn't feel obligated to do.) Then, a curly w and series win in the books and off to LaLa Land and an off day. 'kay thanks.

  9. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 20, 2011 at 4:25 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Anonymous - Jul 20, 2011 at 4:27 PM

    Rizzo had better be doing more than just sitting around and fielding calls right now, he ahd better be making them too. This passive tone he gives out — never actively shopping anyone, only listening — is beyond annoying. This club has players that should be in demand and he should be trying to make deals to garb some players from other organizations that can help going forward.dfh21

  11. Knoxville Nat - Jul 20, 2011 at 4:30 PM

    Sec 3…..I think the day off for Desmond and Nix is more related to tomorrow being an off day gives both of them a 2 day period to rest and hopefully heal some from whatever nags them. Now if Werth would just go and heal hisproblem(s) for a day or two and comeback the way he was in Philly, maybe we could see why Rizzo committed so much money to one contract. I do not understand DJ's stubborn desire to bat this guy 5th while he continues to struggle day in and day out.

  12. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 20, 2011 at 4:34 PM

    Dfh, I don't know, but I assume he is calling around after players he is interested in. Who announces that in the press? Desperate teams with no bargaining leverage, mainly.

  13. Unkyd - Jul 20, 2011 at 4:35 PM

    Farid. What would you expect to get, for Desi, in a trade? Isn't he worth at least twice as much to us as anyone else? You're the most (seemingly) reasonable of those calling for him to be gone, but seriously, I just don't see a more prudent option option than playing him every day, 'til at least this time next year. The odds seem even, between him being a .240 hitter, and being .290, or better. I can't stop scratching my head, over the apparent willingness to give up on a player who is quite serviceable now, and has enormous upside…

  14. Anonymous - Jul 20, 2011 at 4:40 PM

    If "Consistent mediocrity" is all we have to look forward to here, I'm going to start following the Pirates! At least they're making their season really interesting and fun to watch on MLB TV!

  15. Harper_ROY_2012 - Jul 20, 2011 at 4:44 PM

    It will be interesting to see how the Astros phenom Altuve does against Livo!

  16. Anonymous - Jul 20, 2011 at 4:46 PM

    Sec3 — I hear you. Who knows what is really going on. But let's be clear about who are talking about. This is Mike Rizzo, who either was too foolish to move Dunn at the deadline last year or who lacked the gravitas in his own organization to talk his bosses into making the move. All last sumemr he assured the world that he was not shopping Dunn, only listening to offers — he said he would have to be overwhelmed to move the guy (which made zero sense). Whatever the strategy was behind closed doors versus what Rizzo said publicly last summer, I do not know, but I know that the strategy did not work. Rizzo blew it in a big way while holding one of the most valuable guys on the market. I think I am not being too hard on the guy now when I ask to see some aggressiveness from him in this market. dfh21

  17. UNTERP.NAT - Jul 20, 2011 at 4:50 PM

    Almost by definition .500 in baseball is mediocre, which means average. To say they are good is stretching it, but they are definitely improved over the last two seasons and competitive…

  18. Anonymous - Jul 20, 2011 at 4:52 PM

    I hope Werth gets a refresher course on how to run the bases. Monday night he tries to fake an advance to home and draw a erroned throw; the only thing he drew was being thrown out at third. Last night he doesn't advance on a WP, and ends up as the first out in a DP when he should have been standing on third. And who knows, maybe he would have ended up scoring on Bernadina's 4-3 out; which would have tied the game in the 7th.

  19. Dave - Jul 20, 2011 at 4:52 PM

    Somebody at 12:40 posted something about switching to the Pirates–presumably because the Nats are only very much improved over last year, not leading their division.If you wanted a dictionary illustration of a front-runner, that's it.

  20. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 20, 2011 at 4:53 PM

    Knoxville, I think I do understand it. I don't like it, but I can see why. Simply, it's too soon to write off $128,000,000.Werth seems to me to have lost the press, as well as the fans. That makes me think he is, how to say this, an intense personality. Anybody would be cranky, going thru a patch like he is, but unlike us, the media get in the same room, and talk with him, or try to. And these same guys make fun of his failures, which makes me think he is not exactly Dale Carnagie, if you catch my drift.Now, I am talking thru my hat here, I know, but if I am right, and he is an Alpha Hotel, this contract will be a disaster of Albert Belle proportions.I really hope I am wrong.

  21. Anonymous - Jul 20, 2011 at 4:56 PM

    Unkynd — this enormous upside for Desmond is overstated. You know that I am no big fan of the guy's game, but objectively, Desmond has never dominated at any level either with the bat or with the glove and he's not super young either. He might turn out to be a high quality SS in the bigs, but I think that expectations that he is verging on some big breakout are not supported by the guy's history. He has never hit for pwoer and never been a good OBP guy, he has had one season where he raked, in 2009, and since then he's been hovering at his career minor league level of a .690 OPS kind of guy and with a less than dead-stop reliable glove. Right now, he's much more likely to be a .240 guy than a .290 guy, based upon a failry large sample size as an everyday over the last season and a half in the bigs. And in 2012 there are all kinds of SS options that will be available — stars (Reys and Rollins), all glove no hit guys (Wilson), in betweeners (Furcal, Scutaro, Gonzalez), so it is not like the landscape will be devoid of SS options in 2012.dfh21

  22. UNTERP.NAT - Jul 20, 2011 at 4:56 PM

    Werth's play this season is precisely why the Nationals are mediocre. His lack of production has cost them too many games to speak of. Unfortunately, there's nothing that can be done about it. Stupidly, the manager continues to bat him 5th. This is what you call stupid!

  23. A DC Wonk - Jul 20, 2011 at 4:57 PM

    For a .500 team this team shows absolutely no ability to hit in the clutch.That's not actually true. The Nats rank 7th overall (of 30 teams) in MLB for that. (See http://www.fangraphs.com/teams.aspx?pos=all&stats=bat&lg=all&type=3&season=2011&month=0&season1=2011)However, please note that the number tells you that they hit better than their average in the clutch. Since their overall overage is so low, this isn't great — but it *does* say that they *do* hit better than their average in the clutch.

  24. Kevin Rusch, Section406 - Jul 20, 2011 at 4:58 PM

    Ya know, for Desmond, his career numbers in the majors are 255/295/379. For a guy with plus defense, which he now has, is that so awful? I really think that with the pitching improvements coming, the team should just pursue a leadoff/CF guy and spend some time late in the season getting a good look at Lombardozzi, Marrero, et al. I'd like this month to get some idea of how good Marrero might be, since I'm sure we're getting interest in Michael Morse. (And don't get me wrong, I have a man-crush on the Beast, but I can't shake the feeling we're riding his career year.)

  25. baseballswami - Jul 20, 2011 at 5:00 PM

    I don't see that we are just playing out the string at all. It's too early to write off any tea, even the nats. This team is capable of going on a tear.The mostly younger/inexperienced guys also need to practice winning and playing out a whole season so that they are ready to do it in the future. You can't phone in a good chunk of the season. I see the the Stros have a new guy today — seems like every new guy hits a home run in his debut these days. Hope not. Hoping for Good Livo and some offense – and a bullpen that doesn't leak.

  26. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 20, 2011 at 5:02 PM

    dfh, I know you, among others, would have preferred a trade to the draft picks, and maybe that would have been better. But even if it wasn't the best option in hindsight, it wasn't foolish.

  27. Anonymous - Jul 20, 2011 at 5:02 PM

    Dave,I know the Nats are going to have another win streak. I just hope the don't have a loosing streak before that happens.The Pirates record is virtually the same as the Nats. They just don't have the Braves or Phillies in their division.

  28. gonatsgo - Jul 20, 2011 at 5:05 PM

    Day game today? Will have to follow at work on the computer and do it low key. Please post updates if you can watch live! Lunch now but won't be able to read anything long -winded this afternoon. Interesting line up. When does Werth get a day off? on MM — don't know if this will be his career year – maybe just a late bloomer and a guy who never really got a chance before? In any case – fun to watch him hit!

  29. A DC Wonk - Jul 20, 2011 at 5:05 PM

    Anonymous said… If "Consistent mediocrity" is all we have to look forward to here, I'm going to start following the Pirates! At least they're making their season really interesting and fun to watch on MLB TV!Great idea! Go watch the Pirates. Please. Even better — take your comments over to their boards, too, while you're at it.The rest of us realize that for a team that very recently lost 100+ games two years in a row — to win 69 the next year (second largest improvement in baseball) and to flirt with .500 the year after that is a very good sign. All the more so considering that the team's core is stacked with youngsters who are not yet 27 years old.All the more so that they are doing it without Strasburg, without LaRoche, and with Ryan Z missing a 1/3 of a season.

  30. JD - Jul 20, 2011 at 5:09 PM

    Sec3, The Werth contract was doomed to be a colossal disaster before the ink dried on that agreement and every sensible analyst said so; we here called them anti National media and biased. What I didn't anticipate is the disaster happening so soon (and there is a strong chance that this will still be reversed). BTW; the Desmond discussion has gotten too silly and nonobjective. Let's be fair; the guy is just about the best defensive shortstop in baseball today and if you don't agree you haven't been paying attention.

  31. Pirate fans - Jul 20, 2011 at 5:10 PM

    Consistent mediocrity? We used to dream of consistent mediocrity. Would've been like a pennant to us.

  32. Manassas Nats Fan - Jul 20, 2011 at 5:15 PM

    I am confused I thought 106.7 The Fan didn't do day games?GYFNG

  33. A DC Wonk - Jul 20, 2011 at 5:16 PM

    dfh — give it a break with the Rizzo bashing already.This is Mike Rizzo, who either was too foolish to move Dunn at the deadline last year or…It was his walk year. It seems likely that Rizzo was getting diddly squat in offers. Let's not forget that Dunn was awful in the field, awful at baserunning, and struck out 199 times. Since he was a Type A free agent, he knew he'd get some good draft picks.So, it was a pretty good move. In hindsight, it looks even better.And that's what you're bashing him over?

  34. JD - Jul 20, 2011 at 5:16 PM

    Pirate fans, You had dreams? luxury !! we were too busy losing to have dreams.

  35. Anonymous - Jul 20, 2011 at 5:17 PM

    Desomond does have his defense going for him but his bat isn't their. With what Espinoso has shown at second this year who's to say he can't be just as good at SS, but with better offensive numbers.Then bring in a guy with a weaker arm but with a more offensive demeanor to play second.

  36. JD - Jul 20, 2011 at 5:23 PM

    A DC WONK, You may be right but the criticism (mine at least) is based on the assumption that we could have had Daniel Hudson for Adam Dunn and if this is accurate then it was clearly a mistake not to pull the trigger last July (IMHO).

  37. UNTERP.NAT - Jul 20, 2011 at 5:29 PM

    This should be the everyday lineup:CF/LF Roger BernadinaSS Ian Desmond3B Ryan Zimmerman1B Michael Morse2B Danny EspinosaLF Lance Nix/CF AnkielC Wilson Ramos/Pudge/Jesus FloresRF Jayson WerthPitcher

  38. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 20, 2011 at 5:30 PM

    JD said…Sec3,The Werth contract was doomed to be a colossal disaster before the ink dried on that agreement and every sensible analyst said soThey did, but because he was overpaid and unlikely to reproduce his Philly production here, not because he was a clubhouse problem when things were not going well for him, or that he'd hit .215. That's what I'm worried about–he's untradable, practically unbenchable, and if he drags them down with him, worst case: they won't recover for a decade. I didn't think much of the idea myself at the time, but I figured we had to give it a chance to surprise us before we started pissing and moaning about it.

  39. Anonymous - Jul 20, 2011 at 5:34 PM

    DC Wonk — It is not bashing to call it like it is. Rizzo either would not trade Dunn (he did in fact say on many occasions that he was not actively trying to trade the guy and that he'd have to be knocked over with great value to move him in any event — I guess they would have really finished even laster without Dunn) or he could not convince Stan and the Lerners to make the trade (as has been rumored in the Post and other places). Why they held the guy, no one really knows, but some notion that there was no value on the market for the 40 HR hitting slugger on a last place club in his walk year does not pass the laugh test — and I think Kenny Williams in Chicago might say he offered a lot. And you are flat out wrong on the Type A status being known when they let Dunn stay on the roster on August 1, 2010. Elias does not come out with that info until after the season and it turned out that Dunn barely made A, he could have been a Type B. Rizzo got lucky.dfh21

  40. F. Lopez - Jul 20, 2011 at 5:35 PM

    Then bring in a guy with a weaker arm but with a more offensive demeanor to play second. I got yer offensive demeanor right here…

  41. UNTERP.NAT - Jul 20, 2011 at 5:38 PM

    Sec 3, My Sofa said…They did, but because he was overpaid and unlikely to reproduce his Philly production here, not because he was a clubhouse problem when things were not going well for him, or that he'd hit .215. That's what I'm worried about–he's untradable, practically unbenchable, and if he drags them down with him, worst case: they won't recover for a decade. what can you do? It is what it is. No one had an idea he'd be this piss poor. Until he can undo the funk in his head, this will be what you get with him. Davey Johnson and the Nationals can't continue to baby him. And damn sure Davey can't continue to bat him 5TH. How freaking smart do you have to be to realize that Werth is killing them in the 5th spot?

  42. Wally - Jul 20, 2011 at 5:40 PM

    JD said… A DC WONK, You may be right but the criticism (mine at least) is based on the assumption that we could have had Daniel Hudson for Adam Dunn and if this is accurate then it was clearly a mistake not to pull the trigger last July (IMHO).Agree, with a 'But'. Almost all mainstream, analyst-types did not predict Hudson rising to his current level. Not sure whether it was a tick up in velo or a third pitch, but I suspect Rizzo fell in that camp, since it didn't seem like he wanted him.And, there is always Boz' belated story that Rizzo was overruled by kasten/Lerners on Dunn for E. Jackson (glad that one didn't happen).And even though I was in favor of the Hudson trade at the time, I think things worked out pretty well – two picks, one of which was Meyer.

  43. Gonat - Jul 20, 2011 at 5:42 PM

    DCWonk/dfh21 – Elias has a running tally going and it is predictable on the ratings on August 1 unless the numbers are borderline. Dunn was firmly a Type A on July 31st last year and fell back some. It is always a gamble and it turned out good for the Nats. When we see what happens with Meyer and Goodwin we can determine the rest.http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/07/elias-rankings-update-1.html

  44. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 20, 2011 at 5:43 PM

    Unterp, I'd prefer they got him out of there altogether, for his own good, at this point–he's become a danger to himself and others on the bases, when he gets on, which isn't much. But since I brought it up, I will say that this one bad year, bad as it is, is not the last word on a seven-year contract. If next year, when they *should be contending*, is like this, then we're all doomed. Or something.

  45. Gonat - Jul 20, 2011 at 5:45 PM

    FWIW, as was discussed yesterday Jason Marquis using the Elias 2 year average is not rated due to his 2010.

  46. Anonymous - Jul 20, 2011 at 5:51 PM

    I wonder if Livo is going to plunk Carlos Lee in retaliation for that unitentional / intentional HB on Morse in the 9th last night?

  47. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 20, 2011 at 5:53 PM

    This year, he's not costing them a post-season — if he were doing C+ work, they'd be about five games back of the wild card instead of nine, probably. Next year. So do whatever it takes to get him right, now. If anyone can figure out what that it. Because they need him to be right.

  48. Anonymous - Jul 20, 2011 at 5:54 PM

    That was the best way with the fewest amount of pitches to get the best bat off the plate, and on to the ever struggling Werth.

  49. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 20, 2011 at 5:56 PM

    what that *is.and the captcha was "bilable" – guess I'd better get back to work.

  50. SCNatsFan - Jul 20, 2011 at 5:57 PM

    Sec 3, I agree that the worrisome thing about Werth isn't this year and isn't year 7, its being dragged down for 7 years and then some because of an anchor. I liked the signing and how it made people stand up and notice this destination; no one could have imagined it would go this bad this fast. Lets hope Werth gets his head together and gets on board with the plan of becoming competitive.

  51. Steve M. - Jul 20, 2011 at 5:58 PM

    Love the day games since I stay off the computer generally at night!This team is so stuck with Werth that unless Davey gets bold and sits his a$$, we have to hope for the best.How's about Hairston last night! Sort of surprised that Davey didn't give him a start today.

  52. Gonat - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:03 PM

    Hey SteveM!To those not watching FP and Bob, FP says there may be retaliation for Morse getting drilled. He said the guys weren't happy about it.

  53. Steve M. - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:08 PM

    UNTERP.NAT said… This should be the everyday lineup:CF/LF Roger BernadinaSS Ian Desmond3B Ryan Zimmerman1B Michael Morse2B Danny EspinosaLF Lance Nix/CF AnkielC Wilson Ramos/Pudge/Jesus FloresRF Jayson WerthPitcher July 20, 2011 1:29 PM I like that as the lineup against RH pitchers. I just don't know how Espi will play there in the 5 hole.I think you have to look at the net result of moving Espi out and Desi into the 2.

  54. Knoxville Nat - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:11 PM

    Steve M,Agree on Hairston last night. Would have liked to see Werth sit this one out, take two days to clear his head and let the Nats play an outfield of Hairston in LF, Ankiel in CF and Bernadina in RF. Mental health days are just as important as a day off for physical reasons.

  55. Gonat - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:14 PM

    Morse flattened that ball. Unlucky there.

  56. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:15 PM

    gonat, you got the summaries today?

  57. Steve M. - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:16 PM

    Already 0-3 with RISP. Have to really appreciate Bernadina and what he is doing. Gets on base and immediately into scoring position. Danny's job was to move him over as Zim would have scored him. 1 opportunity lost.

  58. Gonat - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:17 PM

    Nix doesn't get to that though FP. Nice play Bernadina!

  59. Gonat - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:19 PM

    Sec 3, I will try. Unlucky scoreboard bounce for Pence to get a triple.

  60. Anonymous - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:20 PM

    Listen, it is compelte and utter excuse-making to think that the pick compensation for Dunn might turn out to have been the right play in hindsight uf they turn out to be studs. Rizzo paid Dunn Millions to stay on the last place club, risked not having him qualify as a Type A and then shelled out additional big coins for less projectable draft pick guys who stand to help the club further down the line than the MLB ready SP pitcher that Rizzo by most accounts could have had on the Nats roster in return for Dunn. They blew it. They did not elect some other tact that made sense for the organization's long term vision, they froze like a deer in headlights.The Nats look like idiots for not moving Dunn when he had real vlaue and when they had no real reason to kepp him, and that rockheaded move is the kind of thing that may have caused Grienke to think twice about coming here. Last place every year club, no urgency to increase payroll, can't get out of its own way to make a deal — KC likely looked better to him than DC. And the wake of that stupid non move may have added to them being desperados on the hot stove and throwing all those coins at a 30-something toolsy, yet not spectacular, and now widly underperforming and seemingly not so lovely in the clubhouse Werth. dfh21

  61. Gonat - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:21 PM

    Carlos Lee singles up the middle for a 1-0 lead. Carpenter questioned pitching to him….

  62. Steve M. - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:23 PM

    Yep, Carpenter was right but Livan isn't getting his outside corner. Davey should have put up 4 fingers. Runs are too tough to get.

  63. Gonat - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:23 PM

    Top 2. 1-0 them as Wallace weakly grounds out.

  64. A DC Wonk - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:24 PM

    Steve M. said… Already 0-3 with RISP.Proves that Livo is sub-par, eh? ;-)

  65. Manassas Nats Fan - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:24 PM

    My biggest complaint all year rears ugly head in inning 1. We go 0 for 3 RISP. (bunt by Espinosa killed them as Roger would have scored on Zim's ground out). We go 0 for 3First chance for Astros and Lee single in Pense. They go 1 for 1.We have the lowest batting average with RISP and it shows every game.

  66. Gonat - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:25 PM

    Werth up and pops up to the outfield on a 2-0 count. Just bad.

  67. sjm308 - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:26 PM

    Love the afternoon games and also the comments on here. This is why I will move to Charlie and Dave sooner then later – not sure its an exact quote but pretty damn closeSunshine Bobby (not our poster but the guy on TV)"Zimm has his batting ave. up now – hitting .248 with 2 for 8 in this series" Seriously??They have hit Livan hard already in the first inning. Lets hope he can settle in, 3 bad starts in a row would make me unhappy.On Werth – my "source" says this slump IS affecting his demeanor. There was an incident in Atlanta where he actually yelled at a couple of kids in the hotel who were excited to see ballplayers in the lobby. I understand him being upset but you don't take it out on kids, take it out on posters and beat reporters.Go Nats!!

  68. Anonymous - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:26 PM

    what's an "SP pitcher"? As opposed to a starting pitcher shortstop?or was that a tackless question?

  69. Anonymous - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:27 PM

    This stadium is a complete joke. Routine fly balls become home runs. Doubles become either singles or triples or outs. There's a freakin' hill and flagpole in centerfield.

  70. Gonat - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:28 PM

    Ankiel a weak infield popup and Flores ropes a single into the left field corner, should have been a double and then of course Cora hits a seeing eye through the middle for a single.

  71. sjm308 - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:28 PM

    Agreed with RISP – I don't have stats but it always seems like we 1. have a hard time getting runners into scoring position and B. we don't get them home.We now have runners on 1st and 3rd but there are 2 outs and Livan is up. This will probably not end well for us. I will post now to make the reverse jinx in play.

  72. sjm308 - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:29 PM

    Reverse jinx not working either

  73. Gonat - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:30 PM

    Livan slaps one right to 2nd base right after Bob tells us that Livan owns Meyers with a 3 for 5 hitting against him.Bottom 2….

  74. A DC Wonk - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:30 PM

    Anonymous said… Listen, it is compelte and utter excuse-making to think that the pick compensation for Dunn might turn out to have been the right play in hindsightHuh? I think Gonat already disproved you. He wrote: Elias has a running tally going and it is predictable on the ratings on August 1 unless the numbers are borderline. Dunn was firmly a Type A on July 31st last year and fell back some.

  75. Manassas Nats Fan - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:31 PM

    0 for 4 RISP. FP said his hitting coaches always talked to the players to see what their plan for the at bat was. Anytime we see Eckstein he is by himself. He is not coaching anyone during the game. I would suggest getting more engaged in the game.

  76. masnstinks - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:34 PM

    Manassas – agreed. I often feel like we have offense all over the place, risp constantly but just can't FINISH. Then the opposing team will pop out two hits in a row and score instantly. Get them on, get them over , get them in. 2 out of three just won't cut it.

  77. Steve M. - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:35 PM

    sjm308…On Werth – my "source" says this slump IS affecting his demeanor. There was an incident in Atlanta where he actually yelled at a couple of kids in the hotel who were excited to see ballplayers in the lobby. I understand him being upset but you don't take it out on kids, take it out on posters and beat reporters.Go Nats!! July 20, 2011 2:26 PM SteveM308, if true, a real shame except my buddy in New Jersey that follows the Phillies says even when he was good there he was not a real fan guy. Find that video of him and the foul ball in the right field seats.

  78. gonatsgo - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:36 PM

    Can't watch the game – is Livo getting shelled or is the other team getting lucky breaks? how does it look?

  79. NatsLady - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:38 PM

    sigh – it might be bad Livo again. Not getting his pitches down. Had maybe one of his great floaters.

  80. Gonat - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:39 PM

    Here is the Werth fan video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIqp0iiHuhc&feature=related2-0 Astros. Quintero with a hit and run double. Mills is rolling the dice to get offense.

  81. NatsLady - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:40 PM

    Livo got lucky. Ball hit right at an infielder.

  82. Steve M. - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:44 PM

    Yep, Livo looks like he wants to be somewhere else. Just not impressed with him. Livo had 2 on and a chance to help himself with the bat and looked like Werth up there.

  83. Gonat - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:45 PM

    Espi with a 1 out single. Zim steps up.

  84. Anonymous - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:45 PM

    With their 5th hit down the left field line of the series the Astros go up 2-0. Man can they find the corners.

  85. sjm308 - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:46 PM

    Gonatsgo – it pretty much looks to me like "bad Livan" he is not fooling anyone, almost everyone is making contact. When he is on, he gets lots of swinging strikes.Gonat, thanks for the video, I am guessing my guy was right on about the lobby interaction, kind of sad.This has nothing to do with today but in looking at the wrap on all of our minor league teams, did you guys realize that our relief pitchers gave up ZERO runs last night. Every single team played and not one run was scored on our relief guys. For that matter our starters did not give up much either. A good night for our prospects.

  86. Gonat - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:46 PM

    Zim reaches for a ball and pops it up to RF and then Espi gets picked off diving back to 1st with MORSE up.Are you kidding me.

  87. Steve M. - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:49 PM

    Gonat said… Zim reaches for a ball and pops it up to RF and then Espi gets picked off diving back to 1st with MORSE up.Are you kidding me. July 20, 2011 2:46 PM Zim lunged for that ball on the outside like Werth. What is going on here.

  88. Knoxville Nat - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:49 PM

    sjm308 & Steve M,I've been told by someone who was in a position to know that Werth was not a real good clubhouse guy when he was with the Dodgers. I would venture a guess that he might have cleaned up his act a bit in Philly because of the strong veteran presence of guys like Utley, Polanco, Howard, Rollins and others. If that was the case than his good performance both on the field and in the clubhouse could possibly be attributed more to his surroundings (small ball park, great team personalities)than his own abilities.

  89. NatsLady - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:53 PM

    well, gotta go to work. Y'all take care of this for me. GO NATS!!!

  90. Gonat - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:53 PM

    To be fair, good Werth here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B78Fr3AolOk&feature=relatedLivan walks Hunter Pence.

  91. Gonat - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:55 PM

    Alex Cora with a Web Gem nominee stretching all the way out on dive from a weak Carlos Lee liner.

  92. Anonymous - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:56 PM

    amazing dive by Cora to his right to get the 2nd out in the third.

  93. baseballswami - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:56 PM

    Actually – today I don't mind Livo walking Hunter Pence. And if the offense could start stringing some of this stuff together we might have something to show for it. Morse up with one on – big juicy opportunity, now the bases will be empty when he comes back up. Hopefully soon….

  94. Gonat - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:58 PM

    Nice strike out of Wallace. Livan jawboning with the ump. He didn't get a 1/2 on black 1/2 on plate strike.Livan has a good argument.

  95. Gonat - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:00 PM

    Michael Morse with a very fortunate do-over foul to the roof girders and then strikes out looking bad…..

  96. Gonat - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:01 PM

    Werth with his best swing in 2 months. A smash double to Centerfield

  97. Joe Seamhead - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:03 PM

    Nice rip, Jason Werth.

  98. Gonat - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:03 PM

    Ankiel and Flores can get in Werth 0-6 with RISP today

  99. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:04 PM

    on a first-pitch fastball, you notice.

  100. Manassas Nats Fan - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:05 PM

    0 for 6 RISP now. No plans are apparent .

  101. nationals7 - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:05 PM

    Not bad Livo– ego driven umpiring

  102. Anonymous - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:06 PM

    Werth doubles, but left stranded following an Ankiel P7 and Flores 4-3.Livo back on the mound w/ pitch count already at 50 and a non-couperative ump with the outside corner.

  103. Gonat - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:06 PM

    Should say "can't". Johnson leads off the bottom of the 4th with a single.

  104. baseballswami - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:06 PM

    At least they didn't score again in the third – of course, neither did we. Is it my imagination or do some of our hitters look really lost up there? No plan at the plate. Jayson Werth had the best looking swing of the game so far – wait – did I just type that? Livo will get NO calls now that he has been jawing. Come on offense! I have also noticed that our pitchers have not looked good coming off the all star break. What were they doing on break?

  105. Anonymous - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:12 PM

    Gonat – Morse's K was swinging. Not a good swing, but still a swing.

  106. nationals7 - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:13 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  107. Steve M. - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:13 PM

    baseballswami, missed opportunities. Danny Espinosa doesn't get the no out bunt down in the 1st with Berndina on 2nd. 0-6 with RISP. You have slow Carlos Lee in LF that makes Willingham look fast and Flores hits a double but stays on 1st because they didn't want a replay of Hairston last night.

  108. Anonymous - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:14 PM

    were already in the 5th? why are nats games so fast?

  109. Steve M. - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:17 PM

    Now Livan gets his hit!

  110. Gonat - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:19 PM

    Bernadina on with a fielder's choice with 2 outs and Espinosa up. Only the speed of Bernadina keeps that from being a double play.

  111. Gonat - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:22 PM

    Steve M. said… baseballswami, missed opportunities. Danny Espinosa doesn't get the no out bunt down in the 1st with Berndina on 2nd. 0-6 with RISP. You have slow Carlos Lee in LF that makes Willingham look fast and Flores hits a double but stays on 1st because they didn't want a replay of Hairston last night. July 20, 2011 3:13 PM__________________________You forgot the pickoff of Espinosa with Morse on deck. Off to the bottom of the 5th on a Espinosa strikeout.

  112. Gonat - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:25 PM

    Bourn leads off with a bunt single.

  113. A DC Wonk - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:25 PM

    masnstinks said… Manassas – agreed. I often feel like we have offense all over the place, risp constantly but just can't FINISH.To repeat an earlier post, I don't think that's true.Fangraphs shows that the Nats are among the best teams at "Clutch" which is batting above your average in clutch situations.(Remember, the Nats as a team are batting under .240).Does anybody know what the Nationals RISP average is? Compared to the overall average?

  114. Manassas Nats Fan - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:27 PM

    Espi comes up with man in RISP and he gets out and singles next time. Hernandez comes up with RISP and gets out and gets hit next time.

  115. LoveDaNats - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:27 PM

    Why are the Nats making these guys look like all-stars?

  116. Anonymous - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:30 PM

    Bunts, infield singles, Suicied Squeezes – i thought that was how the Nats played ball, not the AstrosMaybe that Pirate fan from earlier will start following the Astros.

  117. Gonat - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:30 PM

    Here we go again. 1st base open and Livan pitching to Carlos Lee and got lucky this time. Top of the 6th…2-0 them.

  118. Anonymous - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:32 PM

    no pitching last night. No hits today. Thats why this is a bad team. To lose 2 of 3 to Houston is awful. Nats are still bad and will finish 5th in NL East. Davey not the answer.

  119. LoveDaNats - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:32 PM

    At least the 6th inning in here. That's when the Nats seem to perk up.Of course Carp needs to say hitting is terrible in the 6th to make the bats start up.

  120. Gonat - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:35 PM

    JAYSON WERTH with a Crawford Box 2 run HR

  121. LoveDaNats - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:35 PM

    who is that bearded man and what have you done with our right fielder?

  122. Joe Seamhead - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:36 PM

    Hah! Werth heating up?

  123. Anonymous - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:36 PM

    Jason Werth #11 of the year, you guestd it, HR. Game tied 2-2

  124. Gonat - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:38 PM

    It was right after I posted the "Good Werth" video that we got some good mojo!!!! LOL

  125. Anonymous - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:38 PM

    Myers is giving his old buddy some gifts to get back on track.

  126. Tcostant - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:39 PM

    Unexpected but nice, they need to get back to .500; we should win from here!

  127. Eugene in Oregon - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:39 PM

    Am I correct that both of Werth's hits — double and HR — were on first-pitch fastballs? Perhaps he's reading this blog and recognized that he was being too predictable in taking those?

  128. Gonat - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:42 PM

    Anonymous said… no pitching last night. No hits today. Thats why this is a bad team. To lose 2 of 3 to Houston is awful. Nats are still bad and will finish 5th in NL East. Davey not the answer. July 20, 2011 3:32 PM ______________________________Who wants to hear your whining. No pitching last night? A bona fide ace who had his shin chopped off and sucked it up. JZim looked great in the 1st and after the shot to the shin in the 2nd fell apart. Should he have pulled himself out of the game in the 2nd?Disappointed in Davey for throwing him under the bus after the game.

  129. Anonymous - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:43 PM

    I think I figured it out. Not swing on the first pitch has been Werth's plan all along. Luring the pitchers to throw nice of the plate called strikes then he goes for a double the follows it up with a shot to left (both on BP pithces over the plate)

  130. Unkyd - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:43 PM

    Anonymous said…no pitching last night. No hits today. Thats why this is a bad team. To lose 2 of 3 to Houston is awful. Nats are still bad and will finish 5th in NL East. Davey not the answer.HAW HAW!!!!!!!! Love when a neganon calls the shot!!! Now…. Who convinced Jayson to swing at a few 1st pitches, and how do I buy him a beer…?

  131. Anonymous - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:43 PM

    Hopefully Eckstein is the one doing the analysis and giving the advice.

  132. A DC Wonk - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:44 PM

    OK, ready, here we go.From http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/NL/2011-situational-batting.shtmlI'm comparing Nationals average to League Average:1. Sacrifice bunt success rate: 80% vs 73% (second in the league)2. Ground into DP: 10% vs 10% (average)3. Productive out 39% vs 30% (leads the league!)4. Pct of all baserunners who score: 13% vs 14%5. Runner on 3rd, less than two out, scores: 53% vs 51%6. No out, runner on 2d, advances: 59% vs 56% (near the top of the league.)What does this say:The Nats do pretty well in clutch hitting, especially compared to their batting average.The problem isn't that they can't hit in the clutch — it's that they can't hit at all. THe hproblem isn't situational hitting, it's that overall they are hitting .236 (second to worst), and OBP of .307 (second to worst).So, let's get rid of this urban myth that the Nats can't hit with RISP. It just seems that way, because when we lose we remember those situations where we could have won, and it stings.But the bottom line is that a team that is 15th in hitting, and 15th in OBP, is 12th in runs scored, which mean they are making the most of their opportunities compared to other teams.I know it doesn't seem that way (especially today!), but thems are the numbers.

  133. David - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:45 PM

    a Werth HR and double in the same game! heck yeah. i'm staying positive with this one. cheering him on…

  134. Unkyd - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:47 PM

    JInx, Gonat….. You owe me a coke!

  135. A DC Wonk - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:51 PM

    LoveDaNats said… who is that bearded man and what have you done with our right fielder?Ha! I was just going to write the exact same thing.I was also going to write (a la Unkyd): Who convinced Jayson to swing at a few 1st pitches, and how do I buy him a beer…? Unterp wrote:Stupidly, the manager continues to bat him 5th. This is what you call stupid!Maybe Davey's been telling the truth that, overall, he thinks he's been swinging well as of late, and thinks he might break out.Last item, all on my own:Dare we hope that this is the beginning of him getting on track? (Even though our hearts have been broken so many times before . . . )

  136. JD - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:52 PM

    A DC Wonk, Exactly right. When you look at Baseball through a microscope you tend to form and change opinions on a daily basis.

  137. Anonymous - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:52 PM

    I'm glad Cora got that last out; Stairs was on deck to PH. We could use another inning from Livo if not two. Hey Lannan had a two hit game on Monday, maybe Livo can too.

  138. Unkyd - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:53 PM

    Wonk: EXCELLENT research!!! That really adds posnergy to my attitude! Just Hit, fellas! They are, you know…. Even the outs are more sharply smacked, lately…

  139. Steve M. - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:54 PM

    Unkyd, best to ignore the losers. This team can frustrate us but the smart ones know there will be a day soon that this will be a very good team.If you can't see the progress having above average pitching, above average defense, above average athleticism, then you aren't watching.I can name a few glaring problems on this team and my only hope is that Rizzo doesn't Greinke this team.Speaking of Greinke, he is a Free Agent after 2012.

  140. Gonat - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:55 PM

    Livan is pinch hit for in the top of the 7th. A Matt Stairs sighting….with normal efficiency. A looking K

  141. Eugene in Oregon - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:56 PM

    DC Wonk,Many thanks for doing that research. I am particularly surprised at #5; I had the distinct (anecdotal) impression that the Nats were leaving an awful lot of runners on third with zero or one outs. And I think — rather obviously — that your analysis is spot-on. You've got to put runners on base in the first place, thus the need to work on that OBP ranking (even more than BA). What's the story on pinch-hitting (apropos of Stairs' strikeout)?

  142. Anonymous - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:56 PM

    Matt Stairs:Strike (looking), Ball, Strike (looking), Foul, Foul, Ball, Strike (looking), M Stairs struck out looking

  143. Anonymous - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:57 PM

    Livo's BA is higher than Stairs. He could have stood there and got a called third strike just as easy as Stairs did. But Stairs can't pitch the 7th, yet even run the bases if he gets on.

  144. A DC Wonk - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:57 PM

    Gotta hand it to Livo. He started rough, but ended with a quality start. He allowed at least one baserunner every inning, but the hits were (for the most part) scattered, and so only two runs.

  145. Manassas Nats Fan - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:59 PM

    Werth's head is staying still today, thus really good results. If he had more days like this people would get off his back.

  146. A DC Wonk - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:02 PM

    Eugene — thanks for the call out.I think, for the fans, it's psychological. We're in a lot of close games, and so those times when we lose by one run, and there was a guy on third with no out and he didn't score — those we remember a lot. A guy scoring on a sac fly or a grounder — it's not so impressive and doesn't stand out.FWIW, I looked at the stats having no idea what I would find, and was just as surprised as, I think, most everybody else here.

  147. A DC Wonk - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:05 PM

    Hah. The new prospect, Altuve (batting close to .400 in AA) — tough to give him his first ever MLB start against wiley ole' Livo! Now Altuve's timing will be way off (for who knows how long).Welcome to the bigs, kid.As for Altuve — he's probably thinking, "damn, I haven't seen pitches that slow since Babe Ruth league!"

  148. Anonymous - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:05 PM

    Can the bullpen get a quick third out finally?

  149. A DC Wonk - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:08 PM

    … and, as if on cue, Altuve has to face 98 mph fastballs by H-Rod. He did manage to foul two of them off, before striking out on a 82 mph slider.Nasty stuff. Almost unfair for a just-turned-21-year-old to have to face that after Livo's stuff.

  150. NatsLady - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:09 PM

    Wait, I was with a student, couldn't quite pay attention to two things at once, my bad on multi-tasking.Did I hear correctly? In the middle of all the bad mouthing, playing Werth's trash videos, etc, he doubled and then tied the game with a homer???? OK, so go ahead with knocking Werth, guess he heard you and got mad…

  151. RickH - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:09 PM

    MEMO TO: Jayson WerthFROM: Nats FansYes, that's what we've been looking for! Please don't make us wait so long for the next one.

  152. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:11 PM

    Manassas Nats Fan said…Werth's head is staying still today, thus really good results. If he had more days like this people would get off his back.I know I would.

  153. Unkyd - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:11 PM

    Aluve….. That's why they call it The Bigs…Nice job, Big H!!!

  154. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:11 PM

    captcha was gorsaddlfeeling a little gorse-addled myself.

  155. sjm308 - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:12 PM

    Wonk – great research and that sure surprised me but I think you also nailed the analysis. Its our overall hitting that needs to perk up. What are the odds Werth swings on the first pitch a 3rd time. What are the odds the pitcher throws it near the plate?Here we go.We have cut down on the complete neganons as we hover around .500 but they will never all go away.OK Strike one looking. His swing and foul on strike two looked good. His ground out to SS, not so good but still 2-4 today 1-3 yesterday plus 2 walks. Maybe he is coming around.Will Davey throw HRod two innings? Hope not with a day off tomorrow.

  156. Gonat - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:14 PM

    Manassas Nats Fan said… Werth's head is staying still today, thus really good results. If he had more days like this people would get off his back. July 20, 2011 3:59 PM ____________________________More so it was like a hitter pouncing on a 3-0 get me over fastball. Werth jumped on the 1st pitch which was a grooved fastball like he would deposit in BP.He didn't miss it luckily.

  157. gonatsgo - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:16 PM

    Just got out of a meeting – do my eyes deceive me? Nice. Just checking the gameday recap – is there any reason why you would put Matt Stairs out there to pinch hit for Livo when Livo has a better batting average?Why should this be automatic to pinch hit. And in a tie game in a critical spot. No chance Stairs and Werth both bust out on the same day. Worst case scenario you have saved a pinch hitter for later in a tie game. Add to the list of things I just don't get.

  158. A DC Wonk - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:16 PM

    Thanks, sjm. Yup — I think it surprised us all.As for Werth, I guess he's hitting .429 (with a .555 OBP) over his last two games. (Wait, did somebody say "sample size"). Here's hoping we're witnessing the beginning of a long sustained "progression" to the mean!

  159. Gonat - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:17 PM

    Here we go with Davey. Fresh bullpen and MPHRod comes out for a 2nd inning.

  160. sjm308 - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:17 PM

    I hate second guessing the manager but 1. I would not have pinch hit for Livan2. I would not throw HRod two innings.

  161. Gonat - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:19 PM

    Oh boy, just walked Hunter Pence to start the inning.

  162. sjm308 - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:19 PM

    Daggone it Davey!!What are you thinking? Leadoff runner on and he has speed. I think its early for the maalox and Jameson but I am headed that way.No one warming up either? What is going on in the dugout?

  163. Anonymous - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:20 PM

    H Rod starts the 8th off with a walk; Clippard jumps up in the bullpen.

  164. Steve M. - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:22 PM

    Davey, this isn't Spring Training. Everyone in the bullpen should be fresh.

  165. Anonymous - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:23 PM

    could use a Double play ball right about now

  166. Gonat - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:25 PM

    Wild Pitch but Flores didn't block it. Davey, this is on you!

  167. sjm308 - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:27 PM

    I realize who threw the pitch but this is ALL ON DAVEY. Clippard fresh, nothing since Sunday and he throws HRod for a second inning. Damn I hate this game at times. I skipped the maalox and went right into the Irish Whiskey. Its gonna be a long night.

  168. Manassas Nats Fan - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:27 PM

    Davey up to his bad control of pitching again. HROD 1 inning is all I can take. NEver, Never, Never walk lead off batter late. Now he walked two. What is Davey waiting for?

  169. Unkyd - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:28 PM

    Hard to fathom tryna get two from HRod, here….

  170. JD - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:29 PM

    I tend to agree with the pack today. I would have gone with Clip here especially with the middle of their order. This is old school thinking where you don't use your best relievers unless you have the lead but I think you have to protect the tie first.

  171. Gonat - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:31 PM

    Davey has mis-used his bullpen almost all of the time. Even last night Coffey fell apart as he stinks in full innings of work.

  172. Anonymous - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:31 PM

    did i see Davey call for a double switch?Yup. Nix in at left batting 9th, Bernadina to CF. Pitcher spot now the #6 spot.Clippard intentially walks Johnson to load the bases. 1 out

  173. Gonat - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:33 PM

    JD said… I tend to agree with the pack today. I would have gone with Clip here especially with the middle of their order. This is old school thinking where you don't use your best relievers unless you have the lead but I think you have to protect the tie first. July 20, 2011 4:29 PM _______________________________Can I say it? BINGO, we have a winner!

  174. Steve M. - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:36 PM

    Davey has no excuses. This bullpen is so predictable these days that Davey should know. He got a pass the first week but no longer. Just a poor handling of the assets he has.BTW, Clippard save Davey's butt.

  175. LoveDaNats - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:36 PM

    I've never seen anyone get out of a jam better than Clipp! Don't trade him, please

  176. Gonat - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:38 PM

    Let's see if Davey has learned anything.1) Does he bring Clip out next inning2) Say thank you, see you Friday in LA

  177. sjm308 - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:38 PM

    TYLER CLIPPARD to the rescue!!Still not happy with Davey but love that relief job.OK, here we go, I only have 1/2 bottle of Jameson so please end this here.

  178. A DC Wonk - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:41 PM

    Guys, guys, guys . . . chill out at bit on the Davey bashing and his bullpen. The question is not whether Clippard is fresh _today_, or whether we have a day off _tomorrow_. The question is if we want to burn him out for the season. He's now pitched in 44 of our 98 games, and thrown more innings than any other releiver on the team!It's a marathon, not a sprint.Anyone remember Clippard performance at the end of last year?Trying to get two out of a young H-Rod was the right thing to try, imho.

  179. sjm308 - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:42 PM

    Gonat – totally different bringing Clippard out for a 2nd inning. Rodriguez is erratic and we all hold our breath even when its one inning. Clippard is solid and can probably get through a 2nd inning. We do have a fresh bullpen with an off day tomorrow. What killed me was no one was even warming up when HRod went out for his second inning. We are going meekly here in the 9th. Not good.Interesting that the Astro's have their closer in with a tie game. They must not have the same journal that Davey uses.

  180. Gonat - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:44 PM

    Clippard shouldn't have pitched 2 innings in Atlanta and it cost the Nats in more ways than 1. When he is over-used his ball flattens out. He is too valuable to be over-used. That is the point and Clippard would never complain. It is on the Manager to manage his players and know their tendencies and abilities.

  181. sjm308 - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:45 PM

    Wonk, I will politely disagree. I don't think using HRod for two innings is a good thing in any situation. He throws heat and I think for one inning when he is one, he is super. We have everyone available today and yes, we do overuse Clippard so what about Mattheus, or Detwiler, or Coffey, just not HRod for two innings, ever.

  182. JD - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:46 PM

    A DC Wonk, I disagree, Clip hasn't pitched since Sunday and we have a day off tomorrow. Using him today was very reasonable.

  183. Steve M. - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:46 PM

    Gonat, I agree with you. This is the perfect spot for Detwiler as he can go 1 to 3 innings if needed. Perfect short-man and long innings if you need it.

  184. Gonat - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:50 PM

    One inning for each as you have everyone fresh. Why push it?

  185. LoveDaNats - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:52 PM

    Jayson! Dive for that ball!

  186. Gonat - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:53 PM

    Now you got Clippard into his 7th hitter. It doesn't matter the outcome. It is knowing your players.

  187. Steve M. - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:55 PM

    Werth did not get a good jump on that Altuve hit and Clippard is on fumes now.

  188. A DC Wonk - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:55 PM

    Gonat said… One inning for each as you have everyone fresh. Why push it?Because he's trying to use fewer pitchers. We can't just go to Clip and Store every single 8th and 9th inning.Clips leads the team in innings pitched (for relievers), and Store leads the team in appearances.I think everybody's ignoring that point, except sjm who said: "we do overuse Clippard so what about Mattheus, or Detwiler, or Coffey"If Det comes in and blows the lead, everybody's still screaming why not Clip.As for Mattheus, Coffey, I dunno.But this wasn't as dumb as some of the Davey-bashers made it out to be.

  189. sjm308 - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:55 PM

    Agreed to one inning each and save Detwiler for more if you need him. Not upset if Storen pitches next. Of course Bob C is not giving us any information on anyone warming up in the bullpen.Kid gets his first hit and now Clippard is struggling these guys are killing me. I bring Storen in right here. This is the game.

  190. N. Cognito - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:57 PM

    "It is knowing your players."And it's apparent everyone here knows them better than the Davey does.

  191. Steve M. - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    Gonat said… Now you got Clippard into his 7th hitter. It doesn't matter the outcome. It is knowing your players. July 20, 2011 4:53 PM Agreed, most others don't agree though. It doesn't matter the outcome right or wrong just like Atlanta.

  192. sjm308 - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:59 PM

    Whew!

  193. Gonat - Jul 20, 2011 at 9:00 PM

    N. Cognito, well yes. LOL

  194. Anonymous - Jul 20, 2011 at 9:02 PM

    How close was Lee's out to being gone? MLB.com field view shows it on the wall…

  195. Steve M. - Jul 20, 2011 at 9:02 PM

    I have on pitch track and that pitch to Carlos Lee was right down the middle.

  196. Gonat - Jul 20, 2011 at 9:04 PM

    Smoked to CF. Not close to the wall since he didn't get elevation (luckily)

  197. A DC Wonk - Jul 20, 2011 at 9:04 PM

    N. Cognito said… "It is knowing your players." And it's apparent everyone here knows them better than the Davey does.Yeah, no kidding, NC! It's not only knowing the players, but it's seeing the context of the entire season (see Clippard's July meltdown last year). It's not like this game is the 7th game of the world series. There's still 63 more games to play.Trying to get two out of H-Rod, made sense to me. Once Clippard is in, then trying to get two out of him makes sense to me.People may disagree, but that's different from saying that Davey's doing something stupid. It's eminently defensible, even if others would make a different choice.

  198. Gonat - Jul 20, 2011 at 9:07 PM

    Have Werth and Zimmerman changed for a day? Can't these guys both rake in the same games?2 groundouts and a strikeout from the Nats 1-2-3 hitters.

  199. A DC Wonk - Jul 20, 2011 at 9:09 PM

    Gonat said… Have Werth and Zimmerman changed for a day?Well, that _would_ explain a lot! (not only the double and homer, but the first pitch swing! ;-)

  200. Anonymous - Jul 20, 2011 at 9:11 PM

    Game over. First-pitch single, watch the Stros execute to perfection with a bunt and a base hit.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
WASHINGTON 78 58 -- 19
ATLANTA 72 66 7.0
MIAMI 67 69 11.0
NEW YORK 64 74 15.0
PHILADELPHIA 63 74 15.5
Through Monday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Braves at Nats, 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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