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Game 99: Nats at Dodgers

Jul 22, 2011, 10:17 PM EDT

US Presswire file photo
The Nationals open a weekend series at Dodger Stadium.

If you're like me, currently sweating it out in D.C. and wondering what exactly the formula is for determining the heat index, you may not want to look closely below at tonight's forecast in Los Angeles. Suffice it to say, those of us not on this road trip are mighty jealous of those who are.

There is, however, a tangible effect those cool temps in La-La Land should have on tonight's series opener between the Nationals and Dodgers: The ball probably won't be carrying very well through the cool, dense air. Dodger Stadium is notoriously a tough hitter's park at night, only more so when the temperature is down.

Of course, neither the Nats nor the Dodgers boast especially potent lineups, so that could have more to do with the result tonight than anything. John Lannan and Hiroki Kuroda should be poised to put forth a couple of quality starts.

Like I said, I'm not covering this series in person, but I'll be staying up late to watch the game on TV and will probably share a few thoughts along the way. I'll try to answer some of your questions, too, if you want to ask them in the comments section. Just do me a favor and wait until the game starts to post them, because I'm not going to be in front of my computer until then…

NATIONALS at DODGERS
Where: Dodger Stadium
Gametime: 10:10 p.m.
TV: MASN2
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 189
Weather: Sunny, 68 degrees, Wind 7 mph out to RF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (48-50)
CF Roger Bernadina
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Michael Morse

Read more »

242 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. FS - Jul 22, 2011 at 10:32 PM

    Question or not, you are awesome Mark Z.let's hope Lannan throws a no-hitter tonight. 😀

  2. natsfan1a - Jul 22, 2011 at 10:51 PM

    Go, LannEn! Go, NATS!! Go, Zuckerman!!!(Oh, look! Jamey's in the lineup!! Oh, wait. I forgot. He's nothing to me for the next three days. One polite golf clap and then, grrr…let's get those Dodgers tonight! ;-))

  3. NervousNatsFan - Jul 22, 2011 at 10:54 PM

    Hi Mark – A note on the blog format (apologies if this has already been addressed). I noticed there are recently things under each post with "you might like" pictures. Since these are just random instead of sequential, they really just seem like useless clutter. Any way to make them point to recent posts?

  4. Anonymous - Jul 22, 2011 at 11:00 PM

    Want to get an opinion of our minor league system and who do you guys think have the best chance of being solid contributors to the nats in the distant future (other than Harper). Ignore draft picks yet to be signed. Personally, I think there will be a future for Hood on this team. What do you guys think?

  5. sjm308 - Jul 23, 2011 at 12:08 AM

    I think pitching is always iffy but I really like some of the young arms in the system. People are always talking about Peacock and Milone and they are good, but there are others. We have very quietly (imo) built quite a decent group of relief pitchers, and I look for some of them to make noise in the next few years.Two I really like are Robbie Ray(starter drafted last year) and the young man from Mexico Rafael Martin. I am tired of waiting for Stammen, JD Martin, Maya and others we bring up and send down. I want the young kids to start being promoted. Probably can't do it because of roster and contract situations but I am ready for change.

  6. Anonymous - Jul 23, 2011 at 12:25 AM

    meant to write not too distant future

  7. Scooter - Jul 23, 2011 at 12:27 AM

    Thanks for coming here to post, Destin. I've seen you at Potomac a couple times, and you're a good-looking ballplayer. Just keep your head down and put your work in, and you'll do fine.I always liked watching Lombardozzi with the P-Nats, though he so often seemed an afterthought. Of course, I may have just seen him on his good days that year. The fellas sjm308 mentioned sound swell. I'm intrigued by Danny Rosenbaum too.

  8. Anonymous - Jul 23, 2011 at 12:28 AM

    could Marrero be our first baseman. seems to be hitting for a good average but less power this year.

  9. Anonymous - Jul 23, 2011 at 12:38 AM

    who thinks Solano should have gotten the call to replace Pudge instead of Flores. he has been great all season for Syracuse. i am pretty amazed at our catching depth across all levels. We would still be in a great position even if Norris doesn't pan out.

  10. Anonymous - Jul 23, 2011 at 12:43 AM

    Hard to see Marerro manning first base with Morse putting up elite numbers there and pretty solid fielding plus Adam LaRoche coming back next year.Marerro is blocked. Looks like trade bait or AAA depth for another year to see how he matures. Whether the power comes back. Of course then you'd have to decide what to do with Tyler Moore who is 2 years older playing in AA who must might hit close to or at 40 homers this year. Neither, along with LaRoche, can play any other position in the majors … unlike Morse.

  11. Anonymous - Jul 23, 2011 at 12:45 AM

    If Pudge wasn't on the roster Solano would almost certainly be Ramos' backup and just might be out of ST next year. He looks a guy you want to bring up in late September instead of Flores who no longer has the arm strength to play catcher. That might improve with another good year in AAA.

  12. Eugene in Oregon - Jul 23, 2011 at 12:48 AM

    Regarding Mark's comments about the temperature, went to a single A (short season Northwest League) game last night and the opening-pitch temperature was 72. Not to gloat, but my daughter and I were freezing as we biked home. We miss the DC area for any number of reasons, but the summer weather isn't one of them.

  13. sjm308 - Jul 23, 2011 at 12:53 AM

    Eugene: gloat away – it is brutal right now

  14. flynnie - Jul 23, 2011 at 1:03 AM

    Mark, you should be at Chavez Ravine. We would've passed the hat and had a "Raise the Rent" party, if you had but said so. I'd like to see a picture of Zuckerman and Vin Scully!

  15. Anonymous8 - Jul 23, 2011 at 1:06 AM

    sjm308 said… UNTERP – as silly as it sounds I always got just a little upset with your profile name. Spent 7 wonderful years as a student and got to come back and fill a dream as a head coach in the late 80's early 90's so I have a lot of Terp love. Glad to know what unterp means.____________________________Me too sjm. Spent some of my best years at UofM so I was thinking he was a Dukie. Glad to know it is UnitedNationsTerp.

  16. flynnie - Jul 23, 2011 at 1:11 AM

    "We miss the DC area for any number of reasons, but the summer weather isn't one of them." Eugene in OregonEugene, my doctor's boy was a sunny lad, never troubled by a dark thought in his life, until he went to school in Oregon. "We visited in summer-it was a paradise! The trees bent with fruit, the cool summer breeze!" When the boy came home for Thanksgiving, my doctor didn't recognize his own son – pale, morose. Doc gave him a vitamin D injection and he brightened right up. Enjoy the sun while it shines, and let us live while we are alive! May Lannan's sinker sink (unlike the last time he was in that cool night air in Anaheim) and may we all enoy another unlikely Nats victory (considering the last few years)!

  17. Drew8 - Jul 23, 2011 at 1:34 AM

    Well, well, well. I wonder if this has ever happened before.The Richmond Flying Squirrels are tugging on Superman's cape. They just intentionally walked Tyler Moore to get to Bryce Harper.Harper followed with an infield single to load the bases.Had to work tonight, so I'm not at the ballpark sauna. So far Harper is 2-3 in the nightcap, after going 1-3 in the first game.

  18. Gonat - Jul 23, 2011 at 1:48 AM

    Drew8, that type of BHarp night will get you over the Mendoza line when you don't have a lot of at-bats.

  19. Unkyd - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:03 AM

    GGGGGGYFNGGGGG!!!!!!

  20. Anonymous - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:09 AM

    This should be fun, a late night game watching at home with MZ in thw mix. Before it gets started, I have a serious suggestion. Buy this week's Sports Illustrated. The print version. Joe Posnanski's article is an all-time keeper, and the photo spreads are spectacular. Seriously, read it.Now GYFNG!

  21. sjm308 - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:09 AM

    Drew8 – I know others have already said this but I really appreciate the minor league updates, especially almost in real timeThankssjm

  22. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:14 AM

    ball one from Hiroke Kuroda to Bernadina at 10:11 Eastern. We're under way! BEAT L.A.!

  23. FS - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:19 AM

    I will try to stay awake as long as possible.Using regular gameday as guide for the first time this season, I usually use the classic gameday. But this new one is not bad. Just wish I could watch the game.Reading Scully describing Livo's story.

  24. NatsLady - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:20 AM

    Ah, home from work. Can watch the WHOLE game. Wonderful! Love these West Coast swings.And, a run.

  25. JaneB - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:22 AM

    Nice steal by Ryan. Who doesn't often steal, it seems to me.I also like the minor league updates.We need the good jayson video posted again, quick.

  26. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:22 AM

    Roger Bernadina and Danny Espinosa both backed Tony Gwynn Jr to the warning track in left (didn't his dad play baseball? I think he's a coach somewhere now–has he coached anybody good?). Zimm singled hard on the ground to the hole at short. Kuroda seemed to be worried about Zimmerman stealing (bwaa hah h… what??), and so he does, altho if Furcal had handled the throw it might have gotten him for the third out.But no. And Morse then roped the fourth hard-hit ball of the inning past third for an RBI double. Werth Ks, but the swing was good. So there's that.1-0, Nats, middle of the first.

  27. JaneB - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:24 AM

    FS, where are you seeing Vin Scully writing about Livo?

  28. FS - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:28 AM

    JaneB, I think it is not recent. It is on the left column, under Federal Baseball site "Wash. Nat.' Livan… as told by Vin Scully".

  29. baseballswami - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:29 AM

    Michael Morse just scalded that ball with 2 outs and 2 strikes. That was awesome. Trying to stay awake – have guests and they retired early.

  30. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:30 AM

    Lannan gets Gwynn swinging at a breaking ball in the dirt, and Furcal on an easy three-bouncer to short. Ethier, from the left side, pulls a ground ball past Espinosa (infield looks quick tonight). Kemp, from the right side, he struck out on three pitches.1-0 after 1.Beat LA!

  31. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:32 AM

    I'm wondering something: did Zimm get the idea to steal because Kuroda kept throwing over, or did he throw over because they stole the sign?

  32. Mark Zuckerman - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:34 AM

    Sec3: I think Zim went because of all the throws over by Kuroda. At some point, you say: "OK, he's asking for it." Also helped that the count was 2-2 with 2 outs, a good spot to run.

  33. gonatsgo - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:34 AM

    Did they say that the temps there are in the 70's? The guys won't want to come home!

  34. JaneB - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:35 AM

    Thanks, FS. What a lovely piece!

  35. baseballswami - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:35 AM

    Desi!!! I love the 2 out, 2 strike hitting!

  36. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:36 AM

    That started out a lot less interesting, but it picked up.Nix and Ramos both got out early in the AB with simple 6-3s. Desmond, hitting in the preantepenultimate 2-hole, lined a single up the middle to clear the pitcher, which is not a good time to steal. Well, it's ok to steal, it's not OK to get throw out trying.Because Lannan just might clock one, you never know.

  37. Gonat - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:36 AM

    JOHN LANNeN

  38. FS - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:36 AM

    Is Lannan really someone we can see become part of our rotation for years to come?I love Lannan for 08-09 years when he looked like a one-eyed king among blind men.Did he just hit a home run? WOW

  39. NatsLady - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:37 AM

    ROFL!!!!! Lannan HOME RUN!!

  40. gonatsgo - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:38 AM

    Did that just happen?

  41. JaneB - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:39 AM

    LannEn! How fantastic! And speaking of Livo, how cool was it to see him love that hit?

  42. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:39 AM

    Didn't hear a distance announced, but Lannan's dinger (and if ever there were two words I didn't expect to be typing together, it's those) just cleared the wall in right.And the dugout completely ignores Lannan when he gets back. That's really funny.And then they congratulate him enthusiastically.Bernadina strikes out.3-0, Nats.

  43. NatsLady - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:39 AM

    Hey, Sofa===? You got some kind of crystal ball there???

  44. nationals7 - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:39 AM

    Beast LannEN

  45. baseballswami - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:39 AM

    sec 3 – you clairvoyant?

  46. Wally - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:41 AM

    Well, I am guessing that Detroit is liking what they are seeing from Kuroda. But I am!Mark – do you think the organization tries to do trade for a CF? Who would be their first choice if they did?

  47. Wally - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:43 AM

    Er, should have been 'isn't' (detroit is rumored to be scouting him for a trade)

  48. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:45 AM

    No, I just backed the DVR up by one minute before I turned it on, so I get a head start. And I know some quick-posting tricks. ; )

  49. Waddu eye no - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:46 AM

    Note to eckstein-Nasal contusions for everyone

  50. Gonat - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:49 AM

    Jamey Carroll, really like that guy and glad he hit into a double play.

  51. FS - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:50 AM

    Oh and I was trying to ask you a question Mark Z, about Lannan and his future with Nationals when John shocked me. or what is the possibility that we trade him for something valuable? Is his value at its peak right now?Oh and interested to know about Wally's question too.You're welcome, JaneB.

  52. Mark Zuckerman - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:50 AM

    Wally said…Mark – do you think the organization tries to do trade for a CF? Who would be their first choice if they did?I do think Rizzo has his sights on acquiring a leadoff-hitting center fielder. Obviously Michael Bourn is the prominent name out there, though he's not going to come cheap.I think it's more likely that Rizzo will respond to any teams who call about Marquis seeking a young center fielder out of their farm system. Maybe a guy still in the minors who is close to big-league ready.

  53. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:50 AM

    Well, the running around the bases couldn't have tired him out that much. But LannEn walked two of the first three hitters around an out, but old buddy Jamey Carroll hits a ground ball to Zimmerman, which is generally not a high-percentage play, and they turn a nice, clean, careful 5-4-3. See, it's important to clear the pitcher when you're hitting 8th.

  54. Wally - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:50 AM

    Double play Johnny. Is he leading the league in throwing DPs?

  55. Gonat - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:52 AM

    10:35 p.m. — Holy cow. I don't believe what I just saw.Nice tribute to Harry Carey and then Jack Buck. Can you mix Cubs and Cardinals Mark?

  56. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:52 AM

    Uh oh. Mark really is watching. Pressures on, Sofa, the Master is in da house.

  57. Luqman Sh-Hersi - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:53 AM

    My question is will the Nationals be buyers or sellers in the trade deadline to either improve the roster by building more arms in the bullpen or sell players to other teams like they have done in years past? What does the Nationals need to do to have a strong second half?

  58. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:54 AM

    *pressure'ssee what I mean?And Harry did the Cardinals games long before he came to Chicago.

  59. Mark Zuckerman - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:54 AM

    FS said…Oh and I was trying to ask you a question Mark Z, about Lannan and his future with Nationals when John shocked me. or what is the possibility that we trade him for something valuable? Is his value at its peak right now?I think what Lannan has done this season cements his place in the rotation for next season. This is a guy who has posted a sub-4.00 ERA in three of his four big-league seasons. A guy who churns out innings. A left-hander who remains relatively affordable and can't become a free agent until 2014. And (apparently) a guy who can swing a mighty bat, too.What team wouldn't want this guy as their No. 4 starter?

  60. TimDz - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:56 AM

    And…with his home run, Lannan has given Davey Johnson another left handed option late in the game and, more importantly, another excuse to not take the Stairs…

  61. Steady Eddie - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:58 AM

    Note to eckstein-Nasal contusions for everyoneAnd waddu eye no wins the thread!

  62. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:58 AM

    So next year looks like Zimmermann, Strasburg, LannEn, and at the very worst, Livan, plus either Marquis or maybe, just maybe, Wang, or whoever has a really good spring. That's not so bad.

  63. JaneB - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:58 AM

    Mark, my question is why would we trade for an almost ready CF when we are growing one who will eithe play R, and Werth moves C, or will play C himself? I thought he was on pace to come up June of next year? How does that serve us? I'd rather have the pitching, if we don't get someone fully baked AND better than Roger is now. Thanks in advance for your answer.

  64. JaneB - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:00 AM

    Waddy eye no…hilarious!

  65. nationals7 - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:00 AM

    I love the Nationals!!!!!

  66. Gonat - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:00 AM

    Sec 3, My Sofa said… And Harry did the Cardinals games long before he came to Chicago. July 22, 2011 10:54 PM_____________________________Oh I am aware and Jack Buck replaced Harry when he was fired so he wanted to be known as the Cubs man hence mixing both cultures and broadcasting teams. Go homage to both in the same line too!

  67. nationals7 - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:02 AM

    The new Nats…… everybody runs~

  68. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:02 AM

    Alto 3, Zimmerman got his second hit tonight with one out. Morse missed a fastball away–looked like he might have been guessing, which I was always taught not to do, but so what of that?With Werth up, Zimm tries for second on a ball in the dirt. Do not. There is no try.Still 3-zip.

  69. Wally - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:02 AM

    Thanks Mark. JaneB- are you talking about Harper? Seems hard to believe the team views him as a CF (or Werth). Just my two cents, but interested in Mark's take.I feel a little bit like a kid in a candy store right now, so I will keep firing away. How is the team responding to Davey's leadership? Do you notice any difference in attitude by the players from when Riggs was here?

  70. Mark Zuckerman - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:03 AM

    Luqman Sh-Hersi said…My question is will the Nationals be buyers or sellers in the trade deadline to either improve the roster by building more arms in the bullpen or sell players to other teams like they have done in years past?Honestly, I don't think the Nats fall into either the traditional "buyer" or "seller" category. They've got a few guys who would make sense to try to trade (Marquis, Coffey) and they've got a couple of areas they'd like to improve (leadoff man, bench, lefty reliever). Rizzo isn't going to be actively shopping a lot of players around, but if another GM makes him a decent offer, he'll pull the trigger.

  71. Gonat - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:04 AM

    Sec 3, My Sofa said… So next year looks like Zimmermann, Strasburg, LannEn, and at the very worst, Livan, plus either Marquis or maybe, just maybe, Wang, or whoever has a really good spring. That's not so bad. July 22, 2011 10:58 PM _____________________________As much as I like Livan, I think this ship has sailed and time to move forward without Livan in the rotation and get a real #3 to pair with JZim and Stras. I still think LannEn in a great rotation is a #4 or #5.

  72. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:04 AM

    Jane, don't count your center fielders before they're hatched. "slighted" — but they don't say who.

  73. Mark Zuckerman - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:07 AM

    JaneB said…Mark, my question is why would we trade for an almost ready CF when we are growing one who will eithe play R, and Werth moves C, or will play C himself? I thought he was on pace to come up June of next year? How does that serve us? I'd rather have the pitching, if we don't get someone fully baked AND better than Roger is now. Thanks in advance for your answer.We really don't know if Harper is going to wind up playing CF in the big leagues. I find it interesting that they've had him almost exclusively in LF at Harrisburg. Seems to me they're setting this up for Harper to play left and Werth to play right next season. Perhaps down the road, they swap spots. Or perhaps Harper proves he can play center field.Really, what the Nats need is a leadoff hitter who gets on base at a high rate and runs well. Technically, he doesn't have to play center field. But given the state of the Nats' lineup as it currently stands and projects in the near future, there really isn't another obvious position to fill with a leadoff guy.

  74. Wally - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:10 AM

    You know, Lannen has taken a clear step forward this year,imo. He is faster, his slurvy pitch seems to have much more break, and he is better against lefties.But these walks drive me crazy, and may hold him back from reaching the next level.

  75. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:12 AM

    Lannan still dealing in the fourth, but he's not shuffling the deck very well. Dismissed Kuroda swinging, but walked Gwynn, before Rafael Furcal popped up behind the mound to Desmond, and Ethier grounds out.after 3, still 3-0.

  76. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:13 AM

    Gonat, we've heard that before about Livo. Someday it will be true, I know. I don't see any reason to think this is the time. We'll see.

  77. JaneB - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:14 AM

    Thanks Mark. For some reason I had in my head they were playing him at CF. Now the tough question:* what is the deal with Matt Stairs? How is he still on the roster? What value is he adding that makes it worth keeping him? It feels like there has ti be a hidden story somewhere. * I know the tough question REALLY is what is up with Werth. But I figure no one really knows.

  78. NatsLady - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:15 AM

    Werth— not the greatest hit, but it works.

  79. Anonymous - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:15 AM

    Hey Mark, thanks for doing this! Something just occurred to me when they talked about the Dodgers hitting coach being a former pinch-hitter. Of course, it made me think of Lenny Harris. I don't know how to keep this question short, but maybe just some of your thoughts on the coaching styles you've seen? Seems that Lenny Harris was to Rick Eckstein what Steve McCatty is to Randy St. Claire. As in, focusing on mentality and approach vs. lots of video work and a focus on technique. [Reader Matt]

  80. NervousNatsFan - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:16 AM

    Have you been keeping an eye on Zimmerman's throws? Seems like he's throwing weakly when he shouldn't be, and things like that. Do you think it's his abs still not 100%? His arm?Also, just saw BJ Upton pulled from TB, and CF from Durham pulled. Any chance he's coming to the Nats?

  81. Dave - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:17 AM

    Mark,Thanks very much for taking our questions and comments. I think I speak for everyone when I say that we really enjoy your writing on this blog. We wish you could make every road trip.A quick question about the minor league guys. What is the organization's take on Lombardozzi and Moore? Do they see Lombardozzi as a guy who can actually be the everyday 2B, or is he more of a Jamie Carrol? Regarding Moore, I know he was the organization's player of the year last year and is putting up huge numbers again. Does the front office talk about him as the first baseman of the future?Thanks again.

  82. Wally - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:17 AM

    Mark – can you convince Shaggy that the anti- fu manchu isn't a look worth keeping?

  83. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:20 AM

    Whoops. Sorry, Mark, didn't mean to step on your updates, there. Can't see them from down here.

  84. Waddu eye no - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:20 AM

    Is that a bruise on werths nose?Oh enough already. Getting on my own nerves

  85. Mark'd - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:21 AM

    Mark, off of Jane's question, SteveM brought this up, how's about Bernadina in a platoon with a right-handed OF like Lorenzo Cain. Cain is very good against LH and struggles against RH pitchers.

  86. nationals7 - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:22 AM

    Werth's uniform is dirty! Go Fu!

  87. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:23 AM

    So if I'm Kuroda, do I worry about a guy on deck who homered in his last at bat, or do I think to myself, "What are the odds John Lannan is going to do THAT twice in his life, nevermind back to back?"

  88. Wally - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:24 AM

    Sec 3 – iPad? I have thhe same issue, although if you do this on an iPad, you have to tell me your quick posting trick. It takes forever.Here is a site suggestion, Mark – anyway to have it automatically refrsh the comments, like some chats do?

  89. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:25 AM

    No, just a Vaio.Oh, I think Nix got in there…replay…No, he didn't.

  90. nationals7 - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:26 AM

    FP."Defensive ADD." … great stuff

  91. NatsLady - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:26 AM

    I'm all for aggressive base running, but what was the point of that, Mr. Nix? Now a sac fly is no good.

  92. Gonat - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:26 AM

    Sec 3, My Sofa said… Gonat, we've heard that before about Livo. Someday it will be true, I know. I don't see any reason to think this is the time. We'll see. July 22, 2011 11:13 PM _______________________________If you want to be a playoff team, he isn't the same guy who dominated so many years ago. If you want same 'ole, then he is your guy.

  93. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:31 AM

    NatsLady, chances are Nix wasn't running on his own, and the point is to get two guys into scoring position now, with the pitcher on deck (even if it is Babe LannEn).

  94. Gonat - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:31 AM

    NatsLady said… I'm all for aggressive base running, but what was the point of that, Mr. Nix? Now a sac fly is no good. July 22, 2011 11:26 PM ___________________________Agreed, who called for that? Aggressive is great but you have a man on 3rd with 1 out and Kuroda was throwing up in the zone as it was. Sac fly looked good to me.

  95. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:32 AM

    It's still fairly early to be playing for (just) one run.

  96. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:33 AM

    And you can't have it both ways. Aggressive base running runs into outs sometimes, by definition.

  97. Mark Zuckerman - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:34 AM

    Anonymous said…Hey Mark, thanks for doing this! Something just occurred to me when they talked about the Dodgers hitting coach being a former pinch-hitter. Of course, it made me think of Lenny Harris. I don't know how to keep this question short, but maybe just some of your thoughts on the coaching styles you've seen? Seems that Lenny Harris was to Rick Eckstein what Steve McCatty is to Randy St. Claire. As in, focusing on mentality and approach vs. lots of video work and a focus on technique. [Reader Matt]Lenny Harris was … hmm, how do I put this? … not the most hands-on hitting coach I've ever covered. Wasn't especially good at adapting to different hitters' different styles. Seemed to think everyone should be able to do it the way he did during his playing days.Rick Eckstein, of course, is big on video and mechanics. So in that respect, he's like Randy St. Claire. Steve McCatty, though, is very hands-on with his pitchers. He may not be into video as much as St. Claire was, but he works tirelessly with his guys, both on mental approach and on making mechanical tweaks in the bullpen.

  98. Anonymous - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:34 AM

    Mark Z,We really enjoy your reporting and your blog. Have you thought in the future to either take questions from readers during every road trip, or opening a Q&A sessions from fans? What is your overall take from your readers?

  99. Gonat - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:35 AM

    Is tonight Free Pass Friday? At some point those guys will score.

  100. sjm308 - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:39 AM

    I have no problems with Davey calling for a hit & run in that situation, pretty sure that wasn't a straight steal with Desmond swinging at the high fast ball – Just like that 3 batters and two runs for the Dodgers, ouch.Mark, Thanks so much for taking the time to answer questions while you are watching the game. Makes it even more fun. I am guessing there are two options when Wang is called up. Do you see Detwiler being sent down or Stairs dfa'd?

  101. Luqman Sh-Hersi - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:40 AM

    What's wrong with Desmond, does he has butterfingers?

  102. Gonat - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:40 AM

    Sec 3, My Sofa said… It's still fairly early to be playing for (just) one run. July 22, 2011 11:32 PM _____________________________Those add-on runs are huge so it wasn't playing for one run. How big does that look right now?

  103. NatsLady - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:40 AM

    Yuck. I'm about to take back all the good things I said about Desi.

  104. Luqman Sh-Hersi - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:43 AM

    Good job Lannan getting out of two jams!

  105. NatinBeantown - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:43 AM

    Mark,Based on your firsthand observations, who are the leaders in the clubhouse? There are a lot of vets on the team, and some younger players like Desmond who are vocal. I've also always read that RZim is a quiet guy. Werth is a natural, but is new and hasn't played up to it. Thoughts?

  106. sjm308 - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:47 AM

    My guess is LannEn will get through two more innings tops. It will be interesting to see how Davey uses his bullpen with everyone rested. Would like to see us touch Kuroda up for another run or two.

  107. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:48 AM

    Those add-on runs are huge so it wasn't playing for one run. How big does that look right now? Add-on runs are huge. Two are better than one, and playing for the sac fly there, with the pitcher up, is playing for one. Not saying that's bad, but the logic of sending the runner was to play for the big(ger) inning, early in the game, and that's standard strategy, nothing unusual about it. And they do figure to get into the Dodgers bullpen pretty soon, here.

  108. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:49 AM

    *with the pitcher up after the SF

  109. Mark Zuckerman - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:49 AM

    Dave said…A quick question about the minor league guys. What is the organization's take on Lombardozzi and Moore? Do they see Lombardozzi as a guy who can actually be the everyday 2B, or is he more of a Jamie Carrol? Regarding Moore, I know he was the organization's player of the year last year and is putting up huge numbers again. Does the front office talk about him as the first baseman of the future?Club officials are high on Lombardozzi and believe he could be an everyday 2B in the big leagues. Not necessarily right now, but in the not-too-distant future. Now, that doesn't mean he's a slam-dunk prospect the way Espinosa was. So I wouldn't say the club is itching to dump Desmond, move Espinosa to short and insert Lombardozzi into the lineup. Is it possible that happens at some point? Yes, but it's just as likely (if not more so) that the status quo remains in the middle infield.As for Tyler Moore, I really don't hear much of anything from the front office on him. Not that he doesn't have a chance to make it someday. But I don't hear anyone with the organization speculating on him being the Nats' first baseman anytime soon.

  110. Gonat - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:50 AM

    Bernie and Espi with 3-2 counts and can't get on to start the inning. That is disappointing.

  111. sjm308 - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:51 AM

    Sec 3 – agreed, and that had to be a hit & run and if that works we maybe get two runs on a single, we definitely stay out of the double play and its good aggressive baseball which I think sends a nice message to our club and also the Dodgers. Now, it didn't work but I still like the play. Would have a hard time believing the Nix went on his own.

  112. Anonymous - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:51 AM

    Scott from Burke says:mark, I have to disagree with your description of Lannan as someone who "churns out innings" I think 3 out of his last 5 outings or so he has failed to get out of the 6th…he's th ekind of pitcher that will hurt the team the next day even when they win because they have to use their pen for 2 or 3 innings at least…he pitches his heart out and is a serviceable (sp?) #4/5..but not an inning eater like Livo can be when he's right.

  113. sjm308 - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:55 AM

    OK LannEn – no more walks!!!

  114. NatsLady - Jul 23, 2011 at 4:00 AM

    When did Lannan become a strikeout pitcher?

  115. Mark Zuckerman - Jul 23, 2011 at 4:02 AM

    Scott from Burke says:mark, I have to disagree with your description of Lannan as someone who "churns out innings" I think 3 out of his last 5 outings or so he has failed to get out of the 6th…he's th ekind of pitcher that will hurt the team the next day even when they win because they have to use their pen for 2 or 3 innings at least…he pitches his heart out and is a serviceable (sp?) #4/5..but not an inning eater like Livo can be when he's right.Lannan has pitched into the 6th inning in all but 3 starts this season. And one of those early departures came when he took a line drive to the face (he had been dominating to that point). After tonight's start, he'll rank in the top 30 in innings pitched among all NL starters. To my recollection, he's only missed one start in his career due to injury (May 2010 when he was dealing with a forearm issue).With all due respect, that to me is the definition of an "innings eater."

  116. sjm308 - Jul 23, 2011 at 4:02 AM

    His best inning yet and this sets us up nicely. If he can get the next inning just as easily we will have our bullpen set, again, I want to see who Davey will use in the 7th. A couple runs here would be sweet!

  117. Mark Zuckerman - Jul 23, 2011 at 4:08 AM

    Anonymous said…Mark Z,We really enjoy your reporting and your blog. Have you thought in the future to either take questions from readers during every road trip, or opening a Q&A sessions from fans? What is your overall take from your readers?Thanks for the kind words. The ability to interact with all of you is by far the most rewarding part of this job. But it would be tough to do this kind of open forum on a game thread on a regular basis, especially when I'm covering the game in person. There's just too much going on during the course of a game to devote my attention to a Q&A or "live chat." I do try to answer direct questions when I have a chance. We also take questions during our weekly "Beltway Baseball" video show on CSNwashington.com.

  118. Anonymous - Jul 23, 2011 at 4:08 AM

    Scott from Burke says:Mark, I wasnt counting the shot to the face game, but I went to a game a few weeks ago when he came out after 5 2/3 and got a standing O…for 5 2/3?…granted, he has stayed healthy and not missed many starts, but to me an inning eater is a guy who goes 7 or even 8…i think a some pitchers are obsessed with going 5 so they can qualify for the win and everything else is gravy…

  119. Exposremains - Jul 23, 2011 at 4:09 AM

    Mark,are the Nats still trying to acquire an ace pitcher? Will they wait until free agency or we could see something this week? Or maybe they think they have good young pitchers?

  120. Gonat - Jul 23, 2011 at 4:09 AM

    Here we go again with the tune of silent Nats bats….

  121. Gonat - Jul 23, 2011 at 4:12 AM

    Now that was a nice LannEn inning!!!

  122. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 23, 2011 at 4:13 AM

    And he's through six.But seriously, what team doesn't use its bullpen for two innings a game? Starters don't go nine anymore, and they haven't for a long, long time.

  123. Gonat - Jul 23, 2011 at 4:18 AM

    Sec 3, My Sofa said… And he's through six.But seriously, what team doesn't use its bullpen for two innings a game? Starters don't go nine anymore, and they haven't for a long, long time. July 23, 2011 12:13 AM ______________________________Very true. Looks like LannEn will pitch the 7th also.My question is will Davey have a compliment of pitchers warming up.

  124. Mark'd - Jul 23, 2011 at 4:21 AM

    How's about pinch hitting here for Lannan.

  125. Anonymous - Jul 23, 2011 at 4:21 AM

    Scott from Burke says: I just looked it up..Lannan is 61st in the NL in innings per start..61st does not an inning eater make.

  126. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 23, 2011 at 4:21 AM

    Was Honeycutt with the A's when McCatty was there? (too lazy to look it up, unsurprisingly).You can't stop John LannEn, you can only hope to contain him!

  127. Gonat - Jul 23, 2011 at 4:22 AM

    Mark'd, because LannEn has 1 HR and Stairs has zero.

  128. NatsLady - Jul 23, 2011 at 4:22 AM

    Gonat– except for Lannan! He must have been taking some SERIOUS batting practice.

  129. Mark Zuckerman - Jul 23, 2011 at 4:23 AM

    sjm308 said…Mark, Thanks so much for taking the time to answer questions while you are watching the game. Makes it even more fun. I am guessing there are two options when Wang is called up. Do you see Detwiler being sent down or Stairs dfa'd?Well, the options would seem to be who gets bumped out of the rotation to make room for Wang. It could be Marquis if he's traded. It could be Gorzelanny, perhaps bumped to the bullpen, which would then probably send Detwiler back to Syracuse. Can't see them going with a 13-man pitching staff, though, so I don't think Wang's arrival spells the end for Stairs or any other position player.Speaking of Stairs … I know a lot of you have repeatedly asked why he remains on the roster. Some of you also seem to think it would be appropriate for me or another beat writer to point-blank ask Davey Johnson or Mike Rizzo on the record why Stairs is still on the roster. While I certainly understand your frustration with the guy, you just don't ask a question like that in that manner. Look, everyone in the organization knows how little Stairs has done to contribute. Why is he still on the roster? Well, they believe his experience and leadership is important. They believe he's a better hitter than he showed during the season's first half (and indeed he has looked better in the last month, not that he's tearing it up or anything). And there's also reason to believe a dumping of a respected veteran like Stairs would not go over well in the clubhouse, certainly not among a large portion of the roster that reveres him.Will Stairs' day of reckoning come? Perhaps. But it's really not worth agonizing over every time he makes an out or a roster move appears to be pending.

  130. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 23, 2011 at 4:26 AM

    He said innings-eater, not innings-per-start-eater. The guy takes the ball. Every time. And usually keeps them in the game. No, he's not Bob Gibson. Or Ted Radcliffe. Or Roy Halladay.

  131. Anonymous - Jul 23, 2011 at 4:26 AM

    Scott from Burke says:And also, this description of the game he got hit in the face is not accurate. "he had been dominating to that point." In fact, the ball that hit him in the face was the third of three straight line drives, and the first of those missed hitting him in the face by about a foot. That's three straight hitters who were were teeing off. I will say, he was sharp those first 2 innings or whatever it was. And yeah, I love a good argument.

  132. NatsLady - Jul 23, 2011 at 4:27 AM

    Shot of Kuroda on the bench. Not a happy camper.

  133. sjm308 - Jul 23, 2011 at 4:35 AM

    Not to jump on Scott but at the end of the season, LannEn will not have missed a start, he will have jumped from 44th in total innings to probably in the top 30 and that indeed is an innings eater. I think the key is that except for that one missed start he takes the ball every 5th game. No, he doesn't go deep in games but few do these days.If he is our number 4/5 starter next year we are in very good shape.Go Nats and thanks Mark for the detailed answer and more about Stairs, I had obviously not thought about most of what you explained.

  134. Anonymous - Jul 23, 2011 at 4:35 AM

    Scott from Burke says:Gonat said… Scott from Burke, LannEn is 44th in total innings pitched so he is middle of the pack..ok, middle of the pack..fine..and Mark made the point after today he'll be 30th..but where will he be in 4 days? i think average innings per start is a more telling stat…i like Lannan…an average major league pitcher who stays healthy…Go Nats!

  135. Gonat - Jul 23, 2011 at 4:42 AM

    Glad to see Davey was proactive and then I see Burnett with a non-clean inning. Here we go again.

  136. NatsLady - Jul 23, 2011 at 4:42 AM

    Here comes trouble. OK, people, here is your chance to second-guess Davey.

  137. Exposremains - Jul 23, 2011 at 4:42 AM

    no not Burnett, now I'm scared

  138. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 23, 2011 at 4:43 AM

    What?? 44th is NOT the middle of –lessee, 30 teams, five starters each at any given time, that's 150. Half of 150 is NOT 44.

  139. Gonat - Jul 23, 2011 at 4:45 AM

    Scott, you really have to wait until the end of the season to put that "innings eater" tag on someone. If he is in the top 25, that is impressive.

  140. Anonymous - Jul 23, 2011 at 4:45 AM

    Scott from Burke says:Six and One Third…he gets through 7 and it's Clippard and Storen and 90%+ chance of win..but here somes Burnett, who has been awful the last couple of weeks..I hope they pull it out but I know you all are getting nervous and asking "Why couldn't he get 2 more outs?" Get through SEVEN!!! Thats the magic # with this team…After Clipp and Storen it's very hit and miss.

  141. Mark Zuckerman - Jul 23, 2011 at 4:48 AM

    Scott, you make good points and you're certainly entitled to your opinion. Maybe "innings eater" isn't the best description of Lannan. Maybe he's just "reliable" or a "workhorse" or something else. Point is, he's established himself as a solid, big-league starter and an important part of the Nats rotation.Also, if you want to avoid using the Anonymous handle, just select "Name/URL" instead when posting your comment, then type in your name in the field. No need to include a URL.

  142. Gonat - Jul 23, 2011 at 4:48 AM

    Sec 3, My Sofa said… What?? 44th is NOT the middle of –lessee, 30 teams, five starters each at any given time, that's 150. Half of 150 is NOT 44. July 23, 2011 12:43 AM ________________________________Sec 3, come on and stop questioning me. It is too late to argue with someone who doesn't want to take the time to take the link I gave. That is the NL stats if you checked and is right in the middle.

  143. NatsLady - Jul 23, 2011 at 4:49 AM

    Whew. Shaky, almost a wild pitch, but he got through it. Some fist pumps from Lannan.

  144. Anonymous - Jul 23, 2011 at 4:50 AM

    Scott from Burke says:Hey SOFA: I just looked it up..he's 51st in the National League..time to redo your math.

  145. NatsLady - Jul 23, 2011 at 4:51 AM

    Come on, boys. Score 5 runs so Clipp can have another day of rest.

  146. Eugene in Oregon - Jul 23, 2011 at 4:52 AM

    Just back from my daughter's birthday dinner. Not surprised by the score, but rather how we got there. With 3-4-5 coming up, wouldn't an extra run or two be nice?

  147. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 23, 2011 at 4:52 AM

    44 wasn't my number, but whatever.

  148. Scott from Burke - Jul 23, 2011 at 4:53 AM

    One guy I really like…Mark Zuckerman

  149. sjm308 - Jul 23, 2011 at 4:54 AM

    I hope everyone here understands how great National League baseball is.Just look at the moves Davey has made tonight.Does he pinch hit for LannEn?Does he sacrifice?Does he let Bernadina hit vs lefty?Does he bring in Ankiel to play center?Who does he bring in when he takes out LannEn? and it goes on and on.I watched the Orioles earlier and there were minimal moves and not one sacrifice bunt or strategic move that I can remember.

  150. Gonat - Jul 23, 2011 at 4:56 AM

    Anonymous said… Scott from Burke says:Hey SOFA: I just looked it up..he's 51st in the National League..time to redo your math. July 23, 2011 12:50 AM_______________________________At the start of the day he was 44th. Put in the link from MLB.com and whether it is 44th or 51st he is middle of the pack in the NL. Lets get on to another subject.

  151. sjm308 - Jul 23, 2011 at 4:57 AM

    Who the heck was that relief pitcher from the Dodgers and why is there record so bad with pitching like that? Very impressive, I think it was 9 pitches but I could be wrong. He definitely struck out Zimm, Morse and Werth on minimal pitches

  152. Gonat - Jul 23, 2011 at 4:59 AM

    sjm308, Morse had a full count before he was struck down.

  153. NatsLady - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:02 AM

    Clipp'd.

  154. Gonat - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:04 AM

    I want to hear Carp break out the "SEE YOU LATER". Can one of the Nats give us a HR in the 9th?

  155. Scott from Burke - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:04 AM

    SJM: Jansen, a converted catcher, was untouchable last year. He did get off to a bumpy start this year and spent some time in the minors (Broxton, by the way, was awful..even when he got saves it was Mitch Williams let the bases get loaded kind of scene) when he's on he is awesome..my favorite team is the Dodgers (with Nats a solid #2) but this season is such a mess, with HORRIBLE ownership..so I'm rooting for the Nats this weekend.

  156. Eugene in Oregon - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:08 AM

    sjm308 @ 12:54 on the superiority of NL baseball: Precisely.

  157. NatsLady - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:11 AM

    Mark, I apologize if you covered this, but Charlie and Dave mentioned there is bad news about Pudge– he is going back on the DL and shutting down all baseball activities and going to see a physical therapist.

  158. Exposremains - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:11 AM

    Good old Macdougal!

  159. Scott from Burke - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:12 AM

    NL is better than AL? No doubt. I hate the DH..HATE IT

  160. Gonat - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:12 AM

    Desmond with 3 walks. Impressive. That helps a OBP.

  161. Mark Zuckerman - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:15 AM

    NatsLady said…Mark, I apologize if you covered this, but Charlie and Dave mentioned there is bad news about Pudge– he is going back on the DL and shutting down all baseball activities and going to see a physical therapist.I only know what I've read from my counterparts out in L.A. this evening. But apparently Pudge experienced a setback while taking BP in Houston earlier this week, so the Nats have shut him down and are sending him home to Miami to work with a personal therapist. Sounds like it will be at least a couple of weeks before he can return from the DL, perhaps longer.Can't say I'm terribly surprised. Oblique strains tend to take quite a while to heal, almost always at least one month, sometimes more.

  162. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:17 AM

    so who IS the emergency catcher?

  163. Anonymous - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:18 AM

    I have a late night question apropos to this moment …From Jhonatan Solano:Today Jhonatan Solano had a huge day with a home run leading the Chiefs to victory. He has been a mainstay in Syracuse and one of Randy Knorr's favorite players. He is hitting over .300. He does not have the arm issues nor the dearth of offense that Flores has and projects pretty well as a backup catcher. What is the organization's take on him?

  164. Anonymous - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:22 AM

    so who IS the emergency catcher?At least he isn't at his son's high school graduation with no possible backup as happened earlier this season.

  165. Mark Zuckerman - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:23 AM

    I've never heard of Solano referred to as anything more than organizational filler. Perhaps a guy they could call up in a pinch to help out, but not seen as someone who projects to being a regular in the big leagues. He's about to turn 26 and is in AAA for the first time. And while he's hitting .300 this season, he's never hit better than .256 in any previous minor-league season.

  166. Scott from Burke - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:24 AM

    THE emergency catcher is Len Sakata

  167. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:24 AM

    JerHair!

  168. NatsLady - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:24 AM

    Jerry, JUNIOR!!!!!!! Thank you. (Er, what was that about the Dodgers pitching?)

  169. Gonat - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:25 AM

    Gonat said… I want to hear Carp break out the "SEE YOU LATER". Can one of the Nats give us a HR in the 9th? July 23, 2011 1:04 AM___________________________I like that. Thank you Jerry Hairston for answering my call!!!! GRAND SLAM

  170. NatinBeantown - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:25 AM

    Worth the wait… Jerry!!

  171. Joe - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:26 AM

    Is BJ Upton getting traded? I guess he was pulled form his game and a triple AAA player from the marlins got called up?

  172. Not Werth It - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:27 AM

    HAIRSTON! holy crap.Hey Mark, obviously it worked, but why do you think DJ pinch hit Hairston for Bernadina earlier?

  173. Scott from Burke - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:28 AM

    Mattingly was managing that inning like it was game 7..he got waxed

  174. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:28 AM

    Ray says "Cora says he can catch."

  175. NatsLady - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:29 AM

    Is Detwiler in the bullpen?

  176. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:29 AM

    and YES, good call there, gonats!

  177. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:30 AM

    Joe, go up and read Mark's update at 11:50

  178. Exposremains - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:31 AM

    Scott:I was thinking the same thing, does Mattingly thins this is the World Series? I'm glad the Nats are winning but this game is long for no reason.

  179. Gonat - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:32 AM

    Michael Morse can catch if you remember his interview last year.

  180. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:32 AM

    can I start chanting yet?

  181. Eugene in Oregon - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:33 AM

    Maybe Matt Stairs is the "double secret emergency catcher" and that's why he's still on the team?

  182. Mark Zuckerman - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:34 AM

    Nice win for the Nats, who certainly needed one like that. Thanks to everyone who stayed up late to chat, and apologies that I couldn't get to every question that was asked. I tried to address as many as I could while typing up in-game updates and still keeping one eye on the TV. I'm going to be out tomorrow evening, so probably won't be able to do this again, but perhaps we can find another game down the road to do this.Good night, everybody!

  183. Joe - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:34 AM

    Did Bernadina get pulled from the game?

  184. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:36 AM

    Sodgers Duck! Sodgers Duck!

  185. Gonat - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:36 AM

    That was worth staying up for unlike those Angels games…..Burnett made Davey look good as that was the ballgame as we all know getting the Nats into the 8th with a lead.

  186. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:36 AM

    Hairston pinch-hit for Bernadina, Joe.

  187. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:37 AM

    Thanks, Mark. Fun having you here.

  188. Gonat - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:38 AM

    Joe said… Did Bernadina get pulled from the game? July 23, 2011 1:34 AM _________________________No, Dodgers went to the 'pen and Davey put in Hairston for the matchup.

  189. SonnyG10 - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:40 AM

    Great win! Go John Lannan, GYFNG!!!

  190. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:40 AM

    Eugene in Oregon said…Maybe Matt Stairs is the "double secret emergency catcher" and that's why he's still on the team?Secret Stairs! I love it.

  191. Scott from Burke - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:41 AM

    Mattingly should have let the right hander face Stairs…look at the #'s…what's Stairs ba this year? Over thinking…tough first year for a guy who was such an amazing player. Oh well…Frank McCourt is like Darth Vader..hopefully Selig is about to rip off his mask.

  192. Anonymous - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:41 AM

    And tomorrow night Sec 3, My Sofa will be calling the game here on the blog with his guest Tracee Hamilton former Nationals Journal blog mom.

  193. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:44 AM

    Grandslam? YES. Finally. Nice Game.

  194. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:45 AM

    Bud … I am your father!Nooooooooooooo!

  195. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:47 AM

    I would be thrilled and honored to have the Blogmother as a guest, here or anywhere else, but I can't confirm my own participation, nevermind hers.

  196. NATSONE - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:52 AM

    Mark, thanks for staying up with us.

  197. Scott from Burke - Jul 23, 2011 at 6:01 AM

    There was an article on CNNSI today about how no player has ever been elected to the HOF with a unanimous vote..i can think of reasons for some of the greatest players (disrespected game (Ruth..who got caught stealing 2nd to end world series when his team was down 2) Cobb (nasty racist) Ted Williams (nast to the press) but who the heck wouldn't vote for Lou Gehrig? LOU GEHRIG for gods sake.

  198. Anonymous - Jul 23, 2011 at 9:10 AM

    My overnight guests just got up and decided to leave for home – what's the first things I do after they pull out of the driveway? Check on the game! GYFNG!!! Awesome – love LannEn and Jer Hair! Now – back to bed for me.

  199. Jim Webster - Jul 23, 2011 at 11:08 AM

    …the perils of falling asleep before 10 p.m. Have to look at the highlight clips to get my kicks for the day.

  200. natsfan1a - Jul 23, 2011 at 11:51 AM

    Me, too, Anon and Jim. No way I can stay up until 1 a.m. Heck, sometimes I can't even make it to 10 p.m. I receive the postgame email updates, so I had the happy results in my in-box this a.m. and came here to read the details. Did record the game and will watch it later. Wish I could have stayed up late enough to see the surprise LannEn HR in real time. Thanks for doing the in-game commentary despite not being on road duty, Mark. Always fun to read after the game, even if I've watched it in real time. Also nice to see Flynnie stop in.(And the captcha is "ungrate," which I am never. ;-))

  201. natsfan1a - Jul 23, 2011 at 11:53 AM

    Also, FIRST (on the new page)!!! (Aren't people who do that really annoying? Oh, wait.)

  202. sjm308 - Jul 23, 2011 at 12:11 PM

    Not you! Never!Went through all that last night and exited after I saw Hairston go deep and saw Storen on the mound. I never realized that Mark was not only answering our questions but keeping a game summery running as well. That had to be difficult and Thanks again Mark. I loved all the various moves made last night but could the Dodgers starter have been any slower when someone got on base? Great relief pitching to match LannEn and except for Espinosa everyone contributed at the plate. Not sure it will be mentioned but Ramos got runners to 3rd twice in this game with productive outs.Also want to thank GoNat for his clairvoyance.Sweep starts with the first winGo Nats!!

  203. Nats Outsider - Jul 23, 2011 at 12:12 PM

    Wow! Over 200 comments on a game that was basically routine. (Okay, Lannan got a home run. I suppose that takes it out of the routine, but still.) Mark, I hope you realize what a tribute that is to what you have created here. Since you first set up this blog a year and a half ago, it has grown into a must-read. That is completely due to your ability to write so well and to do it from the fans' perspective. I've emailed your column to baseball fans who are not in the DC area, just to let them read a particularly insightful column. They are very appreciative.There are not many reporters who would stay up and stay online to chat with fans while covering a game. That's the kind of commitment that generates community; reader comments at 2:00 am attest to that. I hope it serves you as well, by giving you some practice in staying up late. You might need that this fall. Kudos as well to CSNWashington, for providing you the financial stability that makes this blog possible and for recognizing its value. Thanks, Mark.

  204. Gonat - Jul 23, 2011 at 12:41 PM

    Game 100 tonight and the Nats need the 50/50!!!! Fun staying up past 1:30 last night with all of you and unfortunately up way too early this morning!

  205. Gonat - Jul 23, 2011 at 12:47 PM

    12:48 a.m. — Credit to Sean Burnett on a job well done. The lefty has obviously struggled plenty this season, especially of late. But he just came through big-time to strand the tying runner in scoring position. Still 3-2 after seven.______________________This was how the Nats stayed in the game for anyone that didn't see it. Burnett came in with a man on 2nd and 1 out and got out the next 2 batters.When was the last time that Burnett came in with an inherited runner that he didn't allow to score? June 24th in the marathon game in Chicago White Sox.

  206. Gonat - Jul 23, 2011 at 12:54 PM

    Remember in the off-season when Brandon Webb chose the Texas Rangers over the Washington Nationals? He still hasn't thrown a pitch for the Rangers and won't as he will need additional shoulder surgery and his season is over.

  207. gonatsgo - Jul 23, 2011 at 1:06 PM

    Wish I could have stayed up – went to bed right after LannEn hit his big HR. I thought it was a good idea to go to sleep happy. Even happier when I woke up to the good news and JerHair's grannie! Just finished browsing through the comments – thanks, Mark – now I kind of feel like I watched it. Sounds like Desi had a little bit of a lapse last night….

  208. flynnie - Jul 23, 2011 at 1:11 PM

    What stat or memory produced Davey's hunch to pinch hit Hairston, Jr.? Loved Debbi's moniker: "Long Ball Lannan." Baseball rewards you with the most improbable happenings. It made for a good night's sleep and happy dreams. Good morning and have a great Saturday, everybody! Especially Sec. 3, who made following this blog extra-entertaining during last night's game.

  209. Gonat - Jul 23, 2011 at 1:18 PM

    flynnie, Hairston went in earlier to PH for Bernadina so he was already in the game when he hit the Grand Slam. Funny thing was he tinkered about countering with Cora when Mattingly brought in the rightie and he probably would have if he had another outfielder.

  210. flynnie - Jul 23, 2011 at 1:21 PM

    sjm308 said… I loved all the various moves made last night but could the Dodgers starter have been any slower when someone got on base? I think Kuroda's own infield wanted him to lose. That guy's pace had Carpy saying, "He has to throw it sometime tonight."

  211. sunderland - Jul 23, 2011 at 1:21 PM

    Morning lads and ladies. Missed the whole game last night, prefer to catch up by reading this blog more than any other way. Dig this cyber-clan.Mark – really appreciate your comments about Matt Stairs. I'm in the "why is he here?" club, but very glad you threw some perspective on this issue.

  212. Gonat - Jul 23, 2011 at 1:23 PM

    Question: Another Burnett stat since he faced 2 batters and got them both out (Gwynn and Furcal). While he wasn't facing Murderers Row, the last time Sean Burnett came in as a reliever and didn't allow at least 1 base hit?Answer: June 26th in ChicagoComment: This guy is lucky to still be employed

  213. flynnie - Jul 23, 2011 at 1:29 PM

    Thanks, Gonat. I must've drifted off in the bottom of the 8th. I was so proud of Flores and Desi for "not chasing" to quote Davey. And with the bases loaded, and Donnie Baseball making the pitching change, and Jerry Jr coming tugging on his batting gloves, striding up to the plate, I once again thought, "How could anyone say baseball is boring?"

  214. flynnie - Jul 23, 2011 at 1:34 PM

    NatsFan1A said: Also nice to see Flynnie stop in.(And the captcha is "ungrate," which I am never. ;-))Thanks, 1A! I just saw this, and what a nice way to start the weekend! "Gratitude is the mother of all virtues." Chesterton

  215. flynnie - Jul 23, 2011 at 1:40 PM

    Davey's post game comments are always worth a visit to MASN. Lannan tired of Livo et. al. ride him on his hitting, and began taking a lot of time in the cage. "Now Livo says we have three good hitters – himself (of course), Lannan and Marquis." Love Livo. Love Davey.

  216. Gonat - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:01 PM

    flynnie said… Davey's post game comments are always worth a visit to MASN. Lannan tired of Livo et. al. ride him on his hitting, and began taking a lot of time in the cage. "Now Livo says we have three good hitters – himself (of course), Lannan and Marquis." Love Livo. Love Davey. July 23, 2011 9:40 AM____________________________Well, Jordan Zimmermann has a .172 BA and leads all Nats starting pitchers in OBP with .226The real shame is all starting pitchers except Gorzo now have more RBIs than pinch hitting extraodinaire Matt Stairs.DID DAVEY MENTION THAT? Yah, I didn't think so.

  217. Mark'd - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:08 PM

    Gonat, after Lannen got that HR he passed Stairs in clutch hits, RBIs and Home Runs.

  218. flynnie - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:13 PM

    Didn't the sight of Stairs in the on-deck circle induce a pitching change? Other managers still fear him. He did win the one game here with a walk-off against the wall. Maybe he's waking up. It would be nice to have some more pop off the bench.

  219. Gonat - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:36 PM

    flynnie, you are joking, right? Mattingly forced Davey's hand bringing in the lefty and Flores PH for Stairs and walked.The only person who fears Matt Stairs is Mike Rizzo because he didn't have the balls to dump his sorry you-know-what 3 months ago.As said before, they are going by the law of averages that even the lucky squirrel finds a nut and hits the elusive big one.The problem is REPLACEMENT. Rizzo has lost out as this guy does nothing other than pinch hit. Doesn't run the bases, doesn't play defense, doesn't pitch. A waste of a roster spot. Think of all the other Free Agent bench players to choose from and Rizzo chose Stairs.

  220. UNTERP.NAT - Jul 23, 2011 at 2:49 PM

    Just watched the longest game in MLB history. I went to bed just after Davey relieved Lannan. Woke up and fast forwarded the game to the point when Lannan was taken out. And watched the rest of the game to 9:30AM when the game ended. That's 11:20 hours minutes. Why did the game take so long? Was there a rain delay?

  221. NatsLady - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:28 PM

    Unterp.nat –Nope, no rain delay. Just the world's slowest starting pitcher and 93 pitching changes by the Dodger's manager in the top of the 9th.

  222. nats guy - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:46 PM

    Eugene in Oregon,I live in Corvallis. Its not often that you run in to Nats fans out here. I too miss DC but not for the heat. Go Nats.

  223. FS - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:58 PM

    Fell asleep while following the game here and gameday. Woke up at 3:45 to see us win by 7-2. Good job guys and thanks Mark.

  224. baseballswami - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:10 PM

    Our starting pitchers have 24 hits this year – is that a lot or normal? Seems like a lot to me. Oh — and Sean Burnett is batting 1000. 3 Starting pitchers above Stairs, 2 just under him. That's pretty pathetic. I understand what Mark said last night in his comments – it was well put, but still extremely frustrating. One of the funnier pitcher at-bats was MPHRod being taught how to bunt in the dugout right before he had to try it in the game.( I think the game Gorzo had to come out of) He failed, but at least didn't hit in to the double play. Hopefully he has been tutored since then.

  225. Scooter - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:17 PM

    Sunderland (and a few others), Matt Stairs illustrates one of my favorite fan fallacies. Zuckerman's reply last night touched on this:Although Matt Stairs has hit .100 (or whatever), that does not mean that Matt Stairs is a .100 (or whatever) hitter. Too often, we assume that what a guy did is what he is.(Disclaimer: at his age, of course, Stairs could just be washed up. I suspect he is. The Nats apparently do not think so — as evidenced by the fact that he is still around. Fin.)

  226. Scooter - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:31 PM

    Swami, here's the best I got for you:Nats' hitting by position (you already found this)NL hitting by positionSo you can see that overall, Nats pitchers are about league average. How they compare to each individual team, I don't know. I don't know of a page that lists just that information all together.

  227. flynnie - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:54 PM

    GoNats – Not joking. Can't get worked up over Stairs. Too delirious that this team is @500 and that the Lerners budget don't have them starting Matt Chico, Mike Bascik, Jason Bergmann, Shawn Hill, Tim Redding and Jason Simontacchi like they did to open the new ballpark with 100+ loss season after season. I don't know who else Rizzo had available and whether he was given the money. The Lerners could afford to bring Adam Dunn in with present contract. I'd love that. But Stairs is who we got and I'm grateful for the one walk-off win, looking for more.

  228. Drew8 - Jul 23, 2011 at 5:57 PM

    Good to see Brad Peacock revert to form last night. He gave up one earned over 5 in Syracuse.Sammy Solis didn't fare as well for Potomac, getting knocked around and giving up 4 earned in four innings. Solis is now 3-1 with a 3.91 ERA since his promotion.Tommy Milone goes for Syracuse tonight. We haven't seen Taylor Jordan of Hagerstown for awhile. I guess the ASB and rainouts have messed up his routine.A buddy and I are headed out to the ballpark to see the nightcap of the Richmond-Harrisburg Bake Off. I hope Harper will play, but won't be surprised if they sit him after the 1:05 p.m. scorcher.If he does play, it will be a really good test. Richmond, a Giants affiliate, is throwing ace Eric Surkamp, a lefty who is 7-3 with a 2.05 ERA, 118 strikeouts and only 32 walks. A lot of teams missed on Surkamp, a 6th round pick in 2008 out of N.C. State.

  229. Gonat - Jul 23, 2011 at 6:18 PM

    flynnie, if I had to choose between Willie Harris, Justin Maxwell or Matt Stairs, I go with Willie Harris.The problem was when final cuts were made it was down to Bernadina, Ankiel, Nix, and Stairs (pick 3). How do you pick Stairs before Bernadina?One day I think we find the truth from Riggleman as the rumor was he didn't want Stairs and Rizzo made the decision.Stairs comments at times are mind boggling on how he prepares for a game and how he approaches pitchers. Not a guy I want on my team.

  230. Anonymous8 - Jul 23, 2011 at 6:35 PM

    BJ Upton back in the news. His stats vs. RH pitchers are sub-par and vs LH Starters this season he is .231/.305.Rizzo is not going to get him for next to nothing and he won't help this team any more than Bernadina. Why is this rumor still persisting?

  231. Sorta like this, gonat? - Jul 23, 2011 at 6:36 PM

    ‘PROFESSIONAL HITTER’ MATT STAIRS, 43, STICKS WITH GAMEBy Courtney Lofgren, USA TODAYWASHINGTON — With today’s technological advances, hitters can pour over material to prepare for every at-bat. Scouting reports, video and computers allow hitters to prepare for all pitchers they could see.So how does the man known as “the professional hitter” prepare?“(It’s) very easy, I don’t do nothing,” Matt Stairs says, a smile creeping across his face. “I take batting practice. I don’t watch video. I try not to watch my swing, because the majority of the time I’m getting out. I just try to stay happy.”

  232. Unkyd - Jul 23, 2011 at 7:13 PM

    (slaps own forehead…) WOW… I just realized… Life is WAY too short for me to pay any more attention to pointless pissing over Matt Stairs! Mark stated the obvious, last night, as to why nobody has "the cojones" (puhleese!) to hold someone's feet to the fire over Stairs' presence: any reporter wishing to have further questions treated with respect, would do well to avoid seeming to insist on management throwing current players under the bus. No dugout or FO personell is gonna give you anything other than vague platitudes and cliches, concerning unproductive players. Venting here is one thing, denigrating Mark, and his colleagues, for not risking their livelihood on questions they know won't be answered, is just silly.Stairs is who he is… I don't like it either, but I'll be the one with my hands over my ears, going "LALALALA…!!!", during any future capitalized rants….Don't let that stop you, though…. It's a free country 😉

  233. Unkyd - Jul 23, 2011 at 7:19 PM

    That was, basically a cumulative rant, rather than aimed at any specific recent post…. The ones preceding it were actually mild, and rather amusing…. Never can oredict when a gasket will blow…..Hot as Heck, ain't it…?

  234. Drew8 - Jul 23, 2011 at 7:22 PM

    Harper goes 0 for 3 in the early game at Richmond. In his first 15 games with Harrisburg, he's 10 for 49, .204, with 0 extra base hits.Davey and F.P. are right about Harper getting challenged in double A. This is from a Harper-comes-to-town report by John O'Connor of the Richmond Times-Dispatch:"He fits in the clubhouse. He's going about his business and handling himself real well," said Harrisburg outfielder Chris Rahl, 27 and a former William and Mary standout. "He's kept a level head about everything."At Class A Hagerstown, where Harper began his professional career this season, he batted .318 with 14 homers, 46 RBIs and 19 stolen bases in 72 games. The Nationals bumped him up to Harrisburg on July 4, and Harper immediately recognized the difference in pitching."It's not like you see one guy that's good, one guy that's OK, one guy that's good, one guy that's mediocre," Harper said. "You're seeing guys all day that are coming out of the pen that are throwing 95, 94 (mph), and spotting up."It's the biggest jump in baseball, Class A to Double-A. Richmond hitting coach Ken Joyce says most Double-A pitchers have two or three "secondary pitches" they throw for strikes, and regularly change speeds. Not so in Class A, where the fastball is king."In Double-A, just because it's a fastball count doesn't mean you're going to see a fastball," Rahl said. "That's the biggest adjustment."But he's definitely got all of the baseball tools, for sure. He's got a ton of power and a really good arm. It's just a matter of him making the adjustments he's got to make, which he'll do."

  235. Mark'd - Jul 23, 2011 at 7:22 PM

    If I were a Phillies fan I would laugh about that Matt Stairs article except I'm a Nats fan so I am crying though I am glad that Matt "try to stay happy" on his $900,000 salary while we watch in misery.

  236. m20832 - Jul 23, 2011 at 7:29 PM

    Get 'em tonight Boys!! Watched the whole game last night and just woke up! :-) JerHar has been hitting the cover off that ball, hasn't he! So many positives from that game! C'mon, it's got to be infectious and carry over to tonight's game!GYFNG!!!

  237. sjm308 - Jul 23, 2011 at 8:24 PM

    I have to agree that there really is no more need to bash Matt Stairs. I am in the camp of letting him go but Mark made excellent points and I respect both he and the FO a lot more than the fandom that inhabits planet NI. That is not to say I don't respect the comments here, its just that the point has been made, remade and made again. Unlike Mark'd, I don't watch Stairs in misery because this is the best team we have fielded since we got here. Stairs is the 25th man on the roster. He has won one game for us. How many games does the 25th man win in a season? We are at 100 games and we have won 49. Last year we won a total of 69. This is so much more fun. Rather than worry about who is not doing well I will chose to look at who is doing well.Will have the best of both worlds today. Emmy Lou Harris at Wolf Trap followed by Charlie and Dave on the radio as I battle the wonderful roads of Virginia back into Maryland. Should be home in time to hit the dvr and watch the beginning of another great win.Go Nats!!

  238. BinM - Jul 23, 2011 at 8:26 PM

    Somebody has to have called Mr.Z. on this already, but at the risk of being redundant, "the ball won't be carrying very well…". Oh, really? I saw 6RBI's worth of balls that won't carry last night; Hah! I kid because it's fun – Keep up the good work, Mark.

  239. flynnie - Jul 23, 2011 at 8:42 PM

    Drew8 – I really do enjoy the Bryce Harper updates. I'm pulling for him, especially after reading Sheinen's Sunday Magazine feature on him. But . . .he wasn't bored at Hagerstown – he was in a slump which has continued. I don't see him prowling the outfield of NatsPark anytime soon.On the Nats, Espi seems to be struggling of late.

  240. embittered former proofreaders - Jul 23, 2011 at 9:27 PM

    So how does the writer known as Courtney Lofgren prepare an article? "It's very easy, I don't do nothing. I don't use dictionaries or waste time pouring over the copy because the spellchecker will catch everything. I just try to stay happy."

  241. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 23, 2011 at 9:31 PM

    Aww, cut her some slack, efp. She poured a hole pot of coffee to right that.

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