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Game 101: Nats at Dodgers

Jul 24, 2011, 5:54 PM EDT

US Presswire file photo
The Nationals face the Dodgers today in the rubber game of their series.

On July 7, the Nationals stormed out to an 8-0 lead against the Cubs, then proceeded to blow it in stunning fashion and lose 10-9. Since that night, they've gone 4-8, falling from two games over .500 to two games under .500.

On the bright side, they've lost seven of those eight games by one run. It's not like they're no match for the competition. If anything, they're making one bad pitch, failing to come through in one key at-bat, on a nightly basis. Basically, it's the exact opposite of what they did during their remarkable hot streak in June.

Today, the Nats will look to reverse the trend and in the process end their road trip on a high note. Jason Marquis makes what could be his final start for this franchise should another team come calling before the trade deadline. He'll face right-hander Chad Billingsley, trying to win the series for the Dodgers.

As you know by now, I'm not in Los Angeles. I'll be back on site Tuesday for the start of the Nationals' upcoming homestand. Until then, please enjoy the conversation as always…

NATIONALS at DODGERS
Where: Dodger Stadium
Gametime: 4:10 p.m.
TV: MASN2, Ch. 50
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 189
Weather: Sunny, 74 degrees, Wind 8 mph out to RF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (49-51)
LF Roger Bernadina
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Michael Morse

Read more »

184 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Doc - Jul 24, 2011 at 6:06 PM

    True to your baseball wisdom MarkMeister, you predicted this 1-run reversal,in a past post; the stats always have a way of 'righting' themselves. 1-run victories, just mean that the Nats are not that much better, or worse, than the other team.When the Nats pull away from the pack in the future, the 1-run syndrome will become a miscellaneous stat. Gooooooooooooooooooo Nats!!!!!!

  2. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 24, 2011 at 6:13 PM

    I don't know, but somehow I don't find "You have to hit enough to have an eight-run lead to blow it" very comforting. I doubt they do, either. Zimm's double-clutch non-error, Desmond's one-hopper to first, Ramos's bobble of a good throw on the play at the plate, and all that before Rodriguez couldn't find the plate with google earth. Dods had a lot of help, there.Well, Storen and Clippard and Coffey are all fresh, and Marquis has something left to prove (and a staff RBI lead to protect, IIRC).

  3. NatsLady - Jul 24, 2011 at 6:13 PM

    The bottom line on Rizzo isWould you rather have this year's team than last year's?Everything else is back seat driving.The bottom line on Rizzo isWould you rather have this year's team than last year's?Everything else is back seat driving.

  4. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 24, 2011 at 6:15 PM

    Just wondering, IS anybody going to Duffy's today?

  5. NatsLady - Jul 24, 2011 at 6:19 PM

    Sofa is there parking?Sofa is there parking?

  6. SonnyG10 - Jul 24, 2011 at 6:23 PM

    Lotta back seat drivers on NI.GYFNG!!!

  7. Anonymous - Jul 24, 2011 at 6:28 PM

    Meanwhile, I fear Wang will make Gorzelanny look like an All Star pitcher.

  8. Drew8 - Jul 24, 2011 at 6:29 PM

    One last purging of the HROD agonistes:National League "leaders" in wild pitches:Hideki Kuroda — 11 in 127 innings pitched.Ian Kennedy — 9 in 107 innings pitched.Todd Lincecum — 9 in 136 innings pitched.Henry Rodriguez — 9 in 35.2 innings pitched.

  9. Anonymous - Jul 24, 2011 at 6:33 PM

    National League "leaders" in wild pitches:You haven't seen Wang yet. Another wild pitch that led to another score. Now with a Mock like ERA of 6.75.

  10. Anonymous - Jul 24, 2011 at 6:34 PM

    Wang now at 73 pitches in 3.2. Allowed 4 runs. A 3-run homer and a double following a wild pitch to move the runner into scoring position.

  11. sunderland - Jul 24, 2011 at 6:46 PM

    NatsLady, seems like there's an echo in here.

  12. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 24, 2011 at 6:46 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 24, 2011 at 6:49 PM

    Who are Hideki Kuroda and Todd Lincecum?NatsLady NatsLady, Yes Yes, on-street on-street.

  14. jd - Jul 24, 2011 at 6:51 PM

    Anon @ 2:33. You are giving us an ERA based on 1 and half games? really?

  15. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 24, 2011 at 6:53 PM

    But it's close enough to the 10th St. exit to the U St. Metro (green line)and speaking of driving, what part of opining here *isn't* back-seat driving?

  16. Anonymous - Jul 24, 2011 at 7:01 PM

    Anon @ 2:33. You are giving us an ERA based on 1 and half games? really?Wang allows 5 runs 8 hits, a home run, 2 doubles, and a wild pitch that helps score a runner. The good news? Only 1 walk. NO PITCH OVER 90. 96 pitches to get through 5. And you are telling me that isn't enough to make a judgment as to whether he should be in the majors?JD, maybe we should bring back Garret Mock? He didn't get that many innings in the majors or ST for that matter. Now did he?

  17. jd - Jul 24, 2011 at 7:01 PM

    Wang is far from a sure thing but he will come up because we have to bring him up or release him by some time next week. We can use the rest of this year as an audition and then decide if we want to re sign him for next year. I don't think that there is much to lose here as he is not taking a spot currently occupied by an effective pitcher.

  18. Drew8 - Jul 24, 2011 at 7:05 PM

    Make that Hiroki and Tim, obviously. My bad.Thanks, Sofa. Wise um… acre.P.S. Coffey has a better whip than HROD.

  19. jd - Jul 24, 2011 at 7:10 PM

    Anon @ 3:01, That's exactly what I,m telling you.

  20. Anonymous - Jul 24, 2011 at 7:14 PM

    That's exactly what I,m telling youThat we should bring back Garret Mock? Why not he at least can throw over 90? Why not give him another shot.Meanwhile, let's at least bring up a soft-tosser that has control and is effective, say like Tom Milone?

  21. SonnyG10 - Jul 24, 2011 at 7:17 PM

    Wilson Ramos needs to do something about his glove, or get a new one. Too many balls are popping out of the pocket at crucial times.

  22. Anonymous - Jul 24, 2011 at 7:21 PM

    No metro today. Don't know why there is double post when I use iPbone (from gym on treadmill). –NatLadyNo metro today. Don't know why there is double post when I use iPbone (from gym on treadmill). –NatsLady

  23. Anonymous - Jul 24, 2011 at 7:24 PM

    Will go to Duffy's–NatsLadyWill go to Duffy's–NatsLady

  24. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 24, 2011 at 7:26 PM

    Sonny, he could be breaking in a new mitt–sorta looked like that yesterday–but I think it would be really unusual to do so in a game situation. Catchers get hurt all the time, little dings and dents that they just play with, but catching a bunch of guys who throw 90-100 all day will do a number on your thumbs. In the alternative, we know Pudge was working with him on taking one-hop throws in plays at the plate–maybe whatever mechanical flaw was showing up there, came out. Or maybe the guy just kicked the ball out of his glove. It happens.

  25. BinM - Jul 24, 2011 at 7:42 PM

    Gee, C-M Wang's numbers after two games in SYR still smell better than Gorzelanny's overall (at least Wang doesn't give up the long ball). Look, the Nationals are in a 'use him or lose him' situation with Wang; I say bring him up & see if he has anything positive to offer – If Gorzelanny has to shift to the b'pen for a couple of weeks as a result, will anybody really miss him?

  26. natsfan1a - Jul 24, 2011 at 7:45 PM

    Go, Jason! Go, NATS!!

  27. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 24, 2011 at 7:47 PM

    BinM, as usual, is right–they have no choice but to bring him in. After two years of rehabbing, it's now or never, and they're going to give him more than a game and a half to make good, after all they've done to get this far.

  28. flynnie - Jul 24, 2011 at 7:48 PM

    The Lerners need to win us back. A first step would be bringing in Carlos Beltran for cash and future considerations. Alderson and the Mets need cash more than they need prospects after Bernie Madoff's investment counseling. Give Beltran Werth money to stay. Then, immediately charge Matt Stair's batting average for each beer, limit 30 per customer. We also need the Giant Baseball that the architect intended to be put on its pedestal at NatsPark. If not a baseball, then an enormous laughing baby, so people know it's ok to laugh and have a good time at NatsPark. Any other suggestions are welcome.

  29. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 24, 2011 at 7:54 PM

    Any other suggestions are welcome. LOL Flynnie! They could have a giant animatronic dancing rally baby! How creepy would that be??How about signing all those guys on the beard-dye commercials? They seem to attract a lot of positive attention after their makeovers.

  30. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 24, 2011 at 7:56 PM

    Which reminds me, I think I saw something about Elwood the Rally Possum working in an independent league somewhere.

  31. jd - Jul 24, 2011 at 7:58 PM

    Sec3 and BinM, Thanks for introducing some sanity and common sense.

  32. sunderland - Jul 24, 2011 at 8:04 PM

    The Nats don't have to bring Wang up. He can go DL again (Shoulder discomfort / inflammation). There is actually no point in bringing him up, unless someone wants to embarrass Wang, screw up our bullpen, and post a couple quick L's. If he can't pitch effectively in Syracuse, there's no reason at all to think maybe he wil be OK against National league lineups.Bringing him up would be just making a not so good situation even worse.

  33. DaveATL - Jul 24, 2011 at 8:11 PM

    I think it'll be Wang taking Gorzy's spot, and Gorzy being the one with "discomfort/inflammation" or a "sore ankle". It doesn't do the Nats any good to shelve Wang for another 15 days and then wait again to see what he has. It's not like we're going to win the pennant this year anyway. I say get him up and see what he has. If he doesn't have anything, then at least we know.If Gorzy hits the 15 day, then Detwiler can take Marquis' spot if he gets traded before Gorzy is able to come off the DL.Just my 2 cents.

  34. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 24, 2011 at 8:11 PM

    They're not going to go past this season with CMW if he isn't worth keeping next year. It's been nearly two years. At some point, they have to find out, up here, if he can still pitch. Might as well be now.

  35. sunderland - Jul 24, 2011 at 8:16 PM

    Loved Bernadina's AB, 10 pitches. So walk and HBP and 2 on for the big bats.

  36. DaveATL - Jul 24, 2011 at 8:22 PM

    Alright Jayson, time for a granny. Continue the breakout!

  37. DaveATL - Jul 24, 2011 at 8:25 PM

    My bad.I'm still optimistic on him. At least the beer prices for the people at Duffy's just went down.

  38. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 24, 2011 at 8:26 PM

    Dibble's old Linda Ronstadt! past Werth and Ankiel…

  39. sunderland - Jul 24, 2011 at 8:27 PM

    dave, I'm pretty sure that's what Eck told Werth when he came back to the dugout."At least the beer prices for the people at Duffy's just went down."

  40. Slidell - Jul 24, 2011 at 8:28 PM

    Yeah, it's "cut bait and fish" time with CMW. I'm not optimistic, but that's why they play ball games.

  41. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 24, 2011 at 8:29 PM

    Wilson Ramos, say hello to my Uncle Charlie …

  42. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 24, 2011 at 8:30 PM

    Cut bait and fish??

  43. DaveATL - Jul 24, 2011 at 8:30 PM

    One can only hope that they have a sense of humor about it. A slump stinks, and the only way to get out of it is to forget it. I'm glad Jayson has been on the road the past week and is climbing out of his hole. Getting booed at home doesn't help you forget.By the way, I did not see that coming from Billingsley after putting the first 4 on.

  44. Exposremains - Jul 24, 2011 at 8:31 PM

    Well that was awful.. "No matter how many excuses you make for Werth, He has simply not produced" -Scully

  45. Drew8 - Jul 24, 2011 at 8:31 PM

    Rally killer….Qu'est-ce que c'est

  46. flynnie - Jul 24, 2011 at 8:33 PM

    Maybe a big desert island to represent all of the stranded runners. I saw something that looked like a big possum with a hairy tail crossing MacArthur Blvd. the other night. Someone told me it was a fisher – a big, porcupine-eating weasel without the weasel's furious temperment. Maybe it was Elwood.

  47. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 24, 2011 at 8:34 PM

    I could watch Danny Espinosa clips all day. It's not just the hands–his footwork is textbook.

  48. flynnie - Jul 24, 2011 at 8:35 PM

    Werth and Flores sure did kill that rally at the top of the first, leaving every base crowded with Nats who could hit.

  49. DaveATL - Jul 24, 2011 at 8:36 PM

    For all the wannabe GMs out there: Would you trade Clippard for Colby Rasmus straight up? Both have contracts through 2011 and are arb-eligible after this year.

  50. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 24, 2011 at 8:37 PM

    The island could double as a Corona ad, Flynnie. Maybe instead they could get a mockup of Apollo 13, for the Smithsonian tie-in. They really don't take enough advantage of the local icons.

  51. flynnie - Jul 24, 2011 at 8:37 PM

    Hooray Marquis! Hooray batting practice! Hooray beer!

  52. sunderland - Jul 24, 2011 at 8:37 PM

    Apologies if any of this is redundant.Wily Mo Pena, dfa'd 10 days ago, given his unconditional release by 'zona.BJ Upton not in today's lineup.Desmond Jennings in 2 for 3 with 2SB's in Upton's place.

  53. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 24, 2011 at 8:38 PM

    Dave, no, not unless I already knew I could re-sign him for several years.

  54. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 24, 2011 at 8:39 PM

    Oooh, that was ugly.

  55. Exposremains - Jul 24, 2011 at 8:40 PM

    The Nats are a weird animal, when they play a bad team it's like they trying to help them win the game. Cubs, Astros, Dodgers comes to mind.

  56. DaveATL - Jul 24, 2011 at 8:41 PM

    Sec3:I think both players would be under team control until 2015, meaning that they are arbitration eligible to make more money, but the team has the rights to sign them.

  57. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 24, 2011 at 8:41 PM

    They are getting tight again…all but Morse, anyway.I'm going for a smoothie.

  58. sjm308 - Jul 24, 2011 at 8:41 PM

    I agree there is no reason for Wang to develop the mysterious injury to prolong his minor league "career". We need to see where he is right now so a decision that can be made. Now, that could be brutal because it won't be just one game but I guess it has to be done.As great as we started, those last 3 strikeouts were just not pretty. Needed Werth or Ankiel to at least hit the ball in the air and Flores was just overmatched. Marquis already in a jam as well, and now we are throwing the ball all over the park just like last year! Arrrgh!!

  59. sunderland - Jul 24, 2011 at 8:42 PM

    DaveATL, yes, I'd give up Clippard for Rasmus.Although if Clippard is a Nat next year, he ought to be given a chance to be a starter.Yep, ugly.

  60. NatsLady - Jul 24, 2011 at 8:44 PM

    Am at Duffy's. Waiter warned me about the hot sauce. I ordered it because already need to cry. –NatsLadyAm at Duffy's. Waiter warned me about the hot sauce. I ordered it because already need to cry. –NatsLady

  61. Bups - Jul 24, 2011 at 8:44 PM

    Flores can't hit, can't catch and can't throw. Can't wait for Pudge to return. The defense has sure fallen apart since Grandpa Johnson took over.

  62. sjm308 - Jul 24, 2011 at 8:44 PM

    DaveAtl – not sure I make that trade straight up but it is intriguing. I guess we will not bring up the other catcher in AAA but Flores sure looks like he is not major league ready. They stole on him in his last game and that play at the plate has to be made.

  63. Exposremains - Jul 24, 2011 at 8:46 PM

    I have a feeling the Nats will not score again

  64. Gonat - Jul 24, 2011 at 8:46 PM

    Jesus Flores just isn't getting it done. Arm strength not there and couldn't handle that throw from Espinosa at home. A game of more missed opportunities.

  65. flynnie - Jul 24, 2011 at 8:46 PM

    SJM – Don't they have to bring him up next week? Davey didn't say maybe – Wang's on his way.

  66. Anonymous - Jul 24, 2011 at 8:49 PM

    WOW!!! Jesus Flores steps up and swings like an 9 year old girl. For an encore he fields the play at the plate like an 8 year old boy. Too many minor league players on this team. Game lost in first inning.

  67. Anonymous - Jul 24, 2011 at 8:52 PM

    Re:Upton–Why do we need another .229 hitter who has behavioral issues for a one year rental?

  68. DaveATL - Jul 24, 2011 at 8:54 PM

    I'd do the trade of Rasmus for Clippard. I love Clippard and would hate to see him go. However, I believe his performance is highlighted in our minds because the rest of the bullpen is so inconsistent. It's clear we need to bring in some more relief talent through free agency or this minors.However, the chance to swap a 8th inning guy for a young centerfielder cannot be passed up. Rasmus has great potential. Relievers (with few exceptions like Rivera, Hoffman, etc.) are normally short term phenomenons. Hitters usually can adapt and figure them out. For example, look at how far Ryan Franklin, formerly of the Cardinals, has fallen. I say if there is a deal out there (and I have no idea if there is), the Nats should pull the trigger.

  69. dj in Fl. - Jul 24, 2011 at 8:54 PM

    I would take Rasmus before Upton. Tampa fans feel about Upton as we did about Morgan. But Clip would be to high a price for either.

  70. phil dunn - Jul 24, 2011 at 8:57 PM

    Rizzo needs to find out why this team plays such terrible baseball on the road. Are they catting around during the wee hours of the morning?

  71. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 24, 2011 at 8:57 PM

    An everyday center fielder and leadoff hitter for a reliever, not even a closer? If Clippard is too much, you're trading him for the wrong guy.

  72. flynnie - Jul 24, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    Michael Morse has gotten all out 3's – plays 1st like a shortstop.

  73. dj in Fl. - Jul 24, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    Vince Scully "the Nationals have met the enemy and it is them"

  74. sunderland - Jul 24, 2011 at 8:59 PM

    Curious about the scoring. Kemp comes home, the throw beats him, the catcher doesn't handle the throw, runner safe. How is this not scored an error? How is this scored an earned run?

  75. Anonymous - Jul 24, 2011 at 8:59 PM

    How can you trade Clippard? Other then Storen, Clip is all we got. Have you watched our bullpen lately? Anyone Know if Davey Johnson is supposed to return next season? Is this temporary?

  76. Gonat - Jul 24, 2011 at 9:00 PM

    phil dunn said… Rizzo needs to find out why this team plays such terrible baseball on the road. Are they catting around during the wee hours of the morning? July 24, 2011 4:57 PM______________________________Of course they are and all the young teams do.

  77. sunderland - Jul 24, 2011 at 9:00 PM

    BTW, headed to Bowie tomorrow for Baysox vs Harpersburg. Anyone else going?

  78. Gonat - Jul 24, 2011 at 9:01 PM

    sunderland said… Curious about the scoring. Kemp comes home, the throw beats him, the catcher doesn't handle the throw, runner safe. How is this not scored an error? How is this scored an earned run? July 24, 2011 4:59 PM ____________________________Ball bounced. Not an error. Just a tough earned run to swallow.

  79. Eugene in Oregon - Jul 24, 2011 at 9:02 PM

    Just joining.Am I reading this correctly? Did we have the bases loaded with nobody out and didn't score any additional runs?The run probability in that situation is somewhere between 2.25 and 2.41. And we got nothing?

  80. Anonymous - Jul 24, 2011 at 9:03 PM

    Anonymous said… How can you trade Clippard? Other then Storen, Clip is all we got. Have you watched our bullpen lately? Think about 2012 and 2013….not about whether this team is .500.

  81. flynnie - Jul 24, 2011 at 9:05 PM

    Why not trade Clippard? We have HennyPennyRod. "The sky is falling! I'm not kidding! Dive! Dive!" They can blow that submarine dive horn they've started playing after each win at Nats Park. With that kind of wild heat headed your way, the horn makes sense.

  82. NatsLady - Jul 24, 2011 at 9:05 PM

    Wings not hot enough for this game.

  83. flynnie - Jul 24, 2011 at 9:06 PM

    Yes, Eugene. Our Nats continue to defy the odds when it comes to RISP.

  84. sunderland - Jul 24, 2011 at 9:09 PM

    Natslady, turn the echo back on. It was fun.

  85. Anonymous - Jul 24, 2011 at 9:09 PM

    Davey Johnson could initiate a curfew but he couldn't enforce it because he's asleep by 7 PM.

  86. Gonat - Jul 24, 2011 at 9:17 PM

    Eugene in Oregon said… Just joining.Am I reading this correctly? Did we have the bases loaded with nobody out and didn't score any additional runs?The run probability in that situation is somewhere between 2.25 and 2.41. And we got nothing? July 24, 2011 5:02 PM _____________________________Bernadina goes from 0-2 to walk. Espinosa goes from 0-2 to get HBP. Hard single to LF by Zim to load the bases followed by a hard single to LF by Morse to score one.Werth strikes out. Ankiel strikes out on 3 pitches. Flores looks lost on breaking pitches and strikes out. Opportunity squandered.

  87. Exposremains - Jul 24, 2011 at 9:18 PM

    The more I look at Desmond the more I want him to be traded. The great plays are good but I want consistency.

  88. NatsLady - Jul 24, 2011 at 9:19 PM

    Glad tech problems are fun. Game not fun.Glad tech problems are fun. Game not fun.

  89. Exposremains - Jul 24, 2011 at 9:20 PM

    Scully has been real tough on Nats and they truly deserve it. Very refreshing to hear someone tell it like it is with class.

  90. flynnie - Jul 24, 2011 at 9:23 PM

    Expos – once Desi got leg-whipped, that dp wasn't going to happen. Did you feel he got to the base late? For #!%!! sake, blue, call a strike! Ahhhhhhhhh-end of the inning!

  91. dryw - Jul 24, 2011 at 9:23 PM

    I think I'd rather be back in the insane heat watching Bryce pop up! At least you don't expect big-league-quality baseball at double A.

  92. dryw - Jul 24, 2011 at 9:24 PM

    Captcha was "slughe." Now, PLEASE let the "he" in that be Zim, Morse, Espinosa….

  93. flynnie - Jul 24, 2011 at 9:25 PM

    I loved Sunny Bob's call of the fatal missed double play – "They'll have to hurry!" I don't think he gets enough credit for how much he knows and the drama he brings to important plays. We're lucky to have him.

  94. DaveATL - Jul 24, 2011 at 9:26 PM

    Marquis is doing his best not to get traded.I would honestly would be shocked if we even got an A-ball prospect for any of our (tradeable) starters besides Lannan. They are all average/below average. It's a credit that the team is close to .500 this late in the season.

  95. Exposremains - Jul 24, 2011 at 9:27 PM

    Flynnie:I think he still makes too many mistakes if you can get an establish player for him and there is no reason to believe that he will be good offensively again(remember Milledge 1sy year numbers), I would do it.

  96. Anonymous - Jul 24, 2011 at 9:29 PM

    Jason struggling but the defense behind him is not helping. Game should be tied at 1. Gotta luv how bad Flores is. At least nobodys complaining about Matt Stairs anymore. Ankiel looks good NOTTTTTTT

  97. NatsLady - Jul 24, 2011 at 9:31 PM

    So, the crowd here boos when Jayson walks. So, the crowd here boos when Jayson walks.

  98. Exposremains - Jul 24, 2011 at 9:31 PM

    I wonder if Scully has something against Werth because for every at-bat that he had, Scully keep saying how he got that huge contract and how awful he has been.

  99. Anonymous - Jul 24, 2011 at 9:34 PM

    its not fair. Can they put the ball on a tee for Flores? "Lean into one Stien"

  100. Phil Dunn - Jul 24, 2011 at 9:36 PM

    What great announcers the Dodgers have! Charley Steiner following Vin Scully–that's as good as it gets. Steiner used to have a great afternoon show on XM Radio. Scully is the best ever.

  101. sunderland - Jul 24, 2011 at 9:36 PM

    Wow. Zimmerman goes sidearm and the throw tails right. Not trying to draw a conclusion, but our defense is not nearly as good as it was before Davey.

  102. Gonat - Jul 24, 2011 at 9:36 PM

    Exposremains said… Scully has been real tough on Nats and they truly deserve it. Very refreshing to hear someone tell it like it is with class. July 24, 2011 5:20 PM _____________________________His own team sucks so he is channeling his frustration on an opponent that is playing like the Bad News Bears again.

  103. Anonymous - Jul 24, 2011 at 9:36 PM

    Florres 2 Ks and 2 stolen bases on him. GREAT GAME!!!

  104. NatsLady - Jul 24, 2011 at 9:39 PM

    Every single is a double.

  105. dj in Fl. - Jul 24, 2011 at 9:40 PM

    Remember- this team complained about the previous staff because they made them do fielding drills, unlike other pro teams. Then were brazen enough to get in their face, in private, when they did not perform to standards.Now they again have a player friendly staff, like Manny was, and we are back to below average performances. Glad the players are happy!! If Davey does not return will Rizzo go after a manager that demands a major league performance. Possibly a mantra again, that practice make perfect, or will we let the players run the show.

  106. Anonymous - Jul 24, 2011 at 9:40 PM

    I went to Duffy's about 4 & couldn't find a seat… went to maddy's on Ct Ave … plenty of seats… BUT, only soccer on tv.. asked the bartender to put on the game.. he blew me off. I'm home with cheap beer and and unobstructed view.

  107. flynnie - Jul 24, 2011 at 9:44 PM

    Welcome to the top of the 5th, Anonymous! Things could be worse – you could be giving the Lerners $7 for that beer.

  108. NatsLady - Jul 24, 2011 at 9:45 PM

    Anon u could have sat with meAnon u could have sat with me

  109. flynnie - Jul 24, 2011 at 9:46 PM

    Espi's 7 for 45 – uugghh. It had to happen, but. . . let's slump bust now!

  110. Anonymous - Jul 24, 2011 at 9:48 PM

    Didn't miss much. The Shark struggling too.It's a rebuilding year…..

  111. Anonymous - Jul 24, 2011 at 9:50 PM

    Tnx NatsLady. Tnx NatsLady. Didn't check blog till I got home.

  112. Anonymous - Jul 24, 2011 at 9:52 PM

    Scully ripping the Nats because we just got a team and his is getting ready to go away. Also an opposing fan was never nearly beaten to death outside our stadium!!

  113. sunderland - Jul 24, 2011 at 9:53 PM

    Anon 5:48 – entry for a haiku contest?

  114. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 24, 2011 at 9:54 PM

    Also an opposing fan was never nearly beaten to death outside our stadium!! That's partly because they weren't outnumbered.

  115. Anonymous - Jul 24, 2011 at 9:57 PM

    Show me a players friendly manager and I will show you a loser manager. A laid back manager like Johnson is the last thing this team needs, especially when they have never had a team leader.

  116. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 24, 2011 at 9:57 PM

    I don't understand that 5-hour energy drink commercial? He doesn't get along with his wife, so this stuff lets him get on her nerves more often??

  117. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 24, 2011 at 10:00 PM

    Uh oh, there went the power…

  118. NatinBeantown - Jul 24, 2011 at 10:01 PM

    I'm actually in sunny Lowell, MA watching our single A (SS) Auburn Doubledays in 80 degree weather. Beer is $4.75. There are worse ways to celebrate a birthday weekend!Said hi to our old friend Smiley…. er, Carlos.

  119. flynnie - Jul 24, 2011 at 10:06 PM

    Sec 3, are you there? Are you there?

  120. flynnie - Jul 24, 2011 at 10:09 PM

    Happy b'day Beantown! Lots of good Laotian food in Lowell! Just like Clint Eastwood enjoyed in Grand Torino. (Are those more of those dumping things?)

  121. Anonymous - Jul 24, 2011 at 10:11 PM

    If Desmond is considered a core player of the Nats future, then the future is bleak.

  122. flynnie - Jul 24, 2011 at 10:14 PM

    Billingsley looks like Livo. And the Nats could never hit Livo.

  123. Eugene in Oregon - Jul 24, 2011 at 10:14 PM

    That may well have been Marquis's last pitch as a Nat. Another serviceable start. From what I understand for the first inning, those 3 earned runs weren't all his fault. I would say he added to his trade value today — or at least didn't subtract from it.

  124. Anonymous - Jul 24, 2011 at 10:14 PM

    Last place, here we come! Oh, that's right, this year's last place team is a whole lot better than last year's last place team. Yeah, right, whatever. Yawn.

  125. Anonymous - Jul 24, 2011 at 10:17 PM

    What ever happened to JayB and his prediction that the Nats fortunes would take off as soon as Riggleman left? They are still the hitless wonders and their pitching and fielding are heading south.

  126. flynnie - Jul 24, 2011 at 10:18 PM

    flynnie said… Happy b'day Beantown! Lots of good Laotian food in Lowell! Just like Clint Eastwood enjoyed in Grand Torino. (Are those more of those dumping things?) July 24, 2011 6:09 PM DUMPLINGS – left out an L, and with it marred a sincere happy birthday wish.

  127. flynnie - Jul 24, 2011 at 10:26 PM

    Very nice inning by Burnett.

  128. Gonat - Jul 24, 2011 at 10:26 PM

    The Nats will be into the Dodgers bullpen so hope after seeing these guys 2 previous days they can get some "Offense" going to take a "W" back to Washington!!!!Let's go Kardiac Kids!!!!

  129. NatsLady - Jul 24, 2011 at 10:28 PM

    Power still on at Duffy's, unfortunately.Power still on at Duffy's, unfortunately.

  130. flynnie - Jul 24, 2011 at 10:29 PM

    The guys on MLB channel say that Alex Cora is like having another manager on the field. I hope he stays on the field in the top of this inning.

  131. Anonymous - Jul 24, 2011 at 10:32 PM

    If the Nats lose today, Johnson will have a 9-14 record. To make matters worse, the schedule has been really soft over the past 19 games.

  132. Anonymous - Jul 24, 2011 at 10:35 PM

    3-6 Awful road trip. I hope riggleman is somewhere laughing his A——— off.

  133. flynnie - Jul 24, 2011 at 10:35 PM

    When we win this game, one blessing is that we won't have to listen to that submarine dive, dive, dive horn at NatsPark. Poor Charlie can't say "Bang, Zoom go the fireworks!" because there's no fireworks. He's had to truncate it to "Bang, Zoom!" And with that horn blasting away, I'm glad he doesn't say, "ahOOga ahOOga goes the Model T!" or "Dive, Dive goes the submarine!"

  134. flynnie - Jul 24, 2011 at 10:37 PM

    I guess we're not trading Coffey.

  135. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 24, 2011 at 10:41 PM

    OK, seems to be back. Thanks, Pepco.Fortunately, the phone gets FM, so I know what I didn't miss.Or something.

  136. baloney - Jul 24, 2011 at 10:41 PM

    Does Rick Eckstein have naked pictures of the entire Lerner family?

  137. Wally - Jul 24, 2011 at 10:42 PM

    Just got back and turned on the game to see the comeback win.I think that i played in a softball league with Aaron Miles a few years ago. He was working for FedEx at the time.

  138. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 24, 2011 at 10:43 PM

    and Happy, beantown!

  139. sjm308 - Jul 24, 2011 at 10:47 PM

    Flynnie – just got back to the computer – where in nationals park can you get a $7 beer?Top of the 9th and our 3-4-5 are coming up. If we are going to do this, here is our best shot.Agree with others that all 3 runs should not have been earned. We really are sloppy since Davey took over. Can't blame it all on him but you have to wonder.In my mind, Flores needs more AAA time.

  140. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 24, 2011 at 10:49 PM

    Do you believe in redemption?Now, more than ever … the world needs the Jedi!

  141. Anonymous - Jul 24, 2011 at 10:50 PM

    anonymous 6:42. Very interesting stat. I miss Riggleman.

  142. sjm308 - Jul 24, 2011 at 10:50 PM

    just looked at the box score – no hits since the first inning – 11 k's – why do we have a hitting coach? and what adjustments are made during a game?

  143. sjm308 - Jul 24, 2011 at 10:53 PM

    I have to keep telling myself, I only thought we could win 75 games this season and we are still on track for that – it just seems like we are going downhill fast -

  144. Anonymous - Jul 24, 2011 at 10:56 PM

    Sheeeesh

  145. flynnie - Jul 24, 2011 at 10:57 PM

    The crowd roars for Werth! Strike-out number 13! So much for the power of positive thinking!

  146. jEugene in Oregon - Jul 24, 2011 at 10:58 PM

    Vin Scully summed it up nicely: "[The Nationals] loaded the bases in the first inning and were never heard from again."

  147. Anonymous - Jul 24, 2011 at 11:02 PM

    Perfect ending to a Werthless game.

  148. sjm308 - Jul 24, 2011 at 11:02 PM

    Wow, how disappointing! I hate, losing but maybe this assures that this is Davey's only year as our manager. I can't put my finger on it but the whole thing with Riggs just didn't feel right. Not saying whose fault it was and its probably not worth debating again but I just don't like what I see since Riggs left. Not in this game but in many others, I just don't like how he uses his bullpen, I am not crazy about how our fielding seems to have gone south and there is just something missing.Its just so disappointing to get so excited about what looked to be a break through season and now we are right back where we have been since 2006.We give teams 4 outs in an inning and when we pitch well, we don't hit and when we hit well, we don't pitch. One of these years we will turn this thing around but this does not look to be that year.

  149. Anonymous - Jul 24, 2011 at 11:12 PM

    @sjm308,Or it could just be the 2nd half. This is typically when this team and franchise begin to really fold the tent dropping way below .500. Players can't maintain the kind of laser beam focus they had at the beginning of the year. The big drop-off. There is nothing that says this wouldn't have happened to Riggelman because let's face it, it already HAS happened with him in charge. This is the real challenge for Johnson. Convincing his players to put their best game in day-in and day-out for the rest of the season. Finding a way to motivate them. One way to do that is with trades which bring in players with "new" energy. Its what Werth was supposed to provide along with the veteran bench. It AIN'T happening. So, at this point, given the lethargy (I watched Aubrey almost WALK from third to home on a double and get thrown out. CUT that guy tomorrow!) they should be making trades. As quickly as possible.

  150. Anonymous - Jul 24, 2011 at 11:14 PM

    NatsLady looks like NatsEcho.

  151. flynnie - Jul 24, 2011 at 11:17 PM

    We requested the echo, NatsLady kept us laughing. And we needed the laughs.

  152. sjm308 - Jul 24, 2011 at 11:18 PM

    Anon: – good point – I had not thought about what a long long season baseball presents and how its just as much mental as it is physical.Wouldn't it be great to be in an actual race for the wild card or pennant?Just heard that Flores is ZERO for whatever in throwing out runners. Not one caught stealing. At least Ramos will be doing the majority of the catching in our next home stand. Would not mind seeing what Solano can do up here and letting Flores continue to develop in Syr.

  153. NatsLady - Jul 24, 2011 at 11:36 PM

    Was posting from my phone at Duffy's. About 75% of my posts didn't make it, and those that did had that echo effect, unless I went in with "edit" and deleted the extra characters.

  154. dj in Fl. - Jul 24, 2011 at 11:38 PM

    I think you were right the first time sjm308. We just lost 2 series againist lousy teams. We have to beat them before we can be anything other than a lousy team ourselves. We have lost the play to win attitude. Like seasons before, we are back trying not to lose. But wait, we have Stairs, and Werth here to change that losing culture and get us through the entire season as competitors. It looks like a tough 2nd half if this was the easy part of our schedule, given our division.

  155. gonatsgo - Jul 24, 2011 at 11:48 PM

    Blech – that game was drivel. It seems like we play one decent game per series. Some serious problems out there – once again Johnson just lets the game play him – he is a deer in headlights in the dugout and you can't tell me that Pat Corrales is good for anything in that dugout. We are not only missing Riggleman's "Dad" demeanor – we are missing McClaren in the dugout something fierce. He was always motivating and communicating in the dugout. Flores does not look good and seems to frustrate the pitchers. Johnson needs to stop riding on his reputation, take the reins and actually lead during the games instead of sitting there wondering what the heck is going on.

  156. m20832 - Jul 24, 2011 at 11:48 PM

    This team (and I use that term very loosely) needs something, anything that will put their collective azzes in gear!It's just soooo frustrating to give the fans hope in the first inning (bases loaded-no outs)and then just squash our hopes (maybe we are all dreaming or fantasizing) like a bug under a jackboot.My daughter and I will be behind homeplate for my birthday on thursday for the last marlins game. After listening to Charlie and Dave and doing a little creative yelling, my wonderful wife says, "If you are this frustrated and angry about this team, why have you spent $700 to see them?" I said, the air conditioning in the president's club restaurant? Ummm…seeing how eckstein tutors and mentors the players in the inside batting cage? Now that's a real fantasy!They better damn well win for my birthday!

  157. baseballswami - Jul 24, 2011 at 11:52 PM

    Been reading the posts from today – this team appears to be flat – I really miss that spark that they had for a while where they battled and believed. I know it's a long season, but I think all of the coaching changes ( not just the manager) have had an effect. I think they miss Pudge too, who does have a winning, professional attitude and is always pumping people up. I hope they are ready for the homestand because things are not going to get any easier. In fact, they are going to get downright tough. I can stomach losing when they are playing good ball and fighting – good ab's in the first but they went away. Bad baseball is just tough to watch, win or lose.

  158. NatsLady - Jul 24, 2011 at 11:53 PM

    That last strikeout by Werth said it all. (I'm not a Werth basher). Just, let's go home.Maybe they are stealing signs or something in Nats Park.

  159. sunderland - Jul 25, 2011 at 12:02 AM

    I think what said it all was Matt Kemp coming around from first to score on a single, Aaron Mles taking second on the throw, and both the throws to home and the subsequent throw to second getting mishandled.Before DJ, the Nats rarely beat themselves. They didn't hit much, they lost their share of games, but they played the game well.

  160. NatsLady - Jul 25, 2011 at 12:05 AM

    Speaking of team leaders, I'm worried about RZimm. He is not himself, or at least, not the self he was before the injury. It's throwing the infield off-kilter.

  161. gonatsgo - Jul 25, 2011 at 12:13 AM

    sunderland – I think you are right. Things are "loose" and need to be tightened up again. I hate to see them lose the disciplined level of defense that they were playing. Supposedly Rizzo wanted to build a team of defense and pitching and although the offense was dreadful, the pitching and defense were sparkling. Now we have a manager who not only doesn't really value that type of team, he doesn't know how to handle them either. Offense is his thing and he hasn't managed a team in this century – post-steroids. He needs to adjust. Bullpen management is pretty bad, too.Hope we don't go any extra innings this week or we will be in trouble since he seems to think they are all made of glass and can't pitch a couple of days in a row.

  162. Anonymous - Jul 25, 2011 at 12:18 AM

    Would not mind seeing what Solano can do up here and letting Flores continue to develop in Syr.Flores belongs in the GCL until he gets completely up to speed. Or on the waiver wire. Not in Syracuse. He was definitely hurting that team as well! Both with his complete lack of offense and his very weak defense. That definitely had something to do with Syracuse's poor record in the first half.

  163. flynnie - Jul 25, 2011 at 12:19 AM

    Kornheiser interviewing Nolan Ryan in 1980 from the first Inside Sports magazine. This is Ryan talking:"Jim Palmer says he wouldn't throw a 3-2 curveball if he could throw 98; he wouldn't throw it down the middle if he could throw 98 — and anyway, he wouldn't know what it's like because he can't throw 98. He never stood on that mound with a bad team and no runs and knew if he threw one bad pitch he'd be beat. He was never in that position. Jim Palmer's always pitched for the best infield in baseball, and his team scored runs.""I've been told all my career that I shouldn't worry about hitting the corners. That's not right. You can get away with going down the middle the first time down the lineup and maybe strike out five or six guys, but the second time they get a piece of you, and by the third time they've got you timed and you're out of there"http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/6761350/bringing-all-back-home

  164. Anonymous - Jul 25, 2011 at 12:22 AM

    There are no leaders on this team. Werth? Lol. That diva only cares about himself. Zimmerman is to quiet and the veterans other than Pudge dont have respect in the clubhouse. Period. It will be interesting when Harper gets to the majors how the clash of egos between Werth and Harper plays out.

  165. Anonymous - Jul 25, 2011 at 12:22 AM

    Zimmerman is not a team leader and never was one. He's not a gold glove third baseman anymore nor is he a silver slugger anymore. Maybe the latter two will come back but he is too lifeless to ever be a team leader.

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

    Hope we don't go any extra innings this week or we will be in trouble since he seems to think they are all made of glass and can't pitch a couple of days in a row.Last year the bullpen's arms got burned out and burned down. Which is why there was such an emphasis on better fielding and starters who could get through 6 this year. Believe me Clippard has been waaaay over used by Riggleman. Storen not so much. They do need those other relievers to step up and today at least they did. That's the good news from today's game.But .167 weak defensive catching Flores has to go on Monday. Absolutely MUST. He is not a major league catcher at this point. At least Stairs is safe on the bench … but Flores spot is too vital to use the majors for "development" Mike Rizzo? Remember, the majors is a performance league? So, why are you foisting half crippled players like Flores and Wang on us? And Wang is starting on Friday. If Flores catches for Wang it'll be a disaster and it will make Brue look right and bring Poopy McPoop back from where he's hiding.

  167. Knoxville Nat - Jul 25, 2011 at 12:28 AM

    3-6 road trip including 2-4 against two of the worst teams in ALL of baseball not just the National league. Nats are now 9-14 since DJ took over…….. and Boswell says that Rizzo "upgraded" the managers position.

  168. Bups - Jul 25, 2011 at 12:29 AM

    By the time Harper gets to the majors, hopefully the Nats will have bought out the remainder of Werth's contract and he will go down as the worst free agent signings ever. Rizzo will be gone too because the Lerners are not fond of pouring $126 million down a rat hole.

  169. SonnyG10 - Jul 25, 2011 at 12:29 AM

    I read or heard somewhere that Flores was not going to be 100% until next year. It sure seems to be true.

  170. baseballswami - Jul 25, 2011 at 12:34 AM

    oh, no – not poopy mcpoop! I think the lack of hustle and fire is having an effect on Espi. If you have ever heard him talk – he is totally competitive and passionate. But – he is a rookie and a rookie, who switch hits and plays middle infield has a lot to think about in his first full year. What is the message to him that the "veterans" are not stepping up?

  171. Anonymous - Jul 25, 2011 at 12:35 AM

    Hope Werth quits and becomes the GEICO Caveman. He'd be perfect.

  172. Anonymous - Jul 25, 2011 at 12:39 AM

    Release Stairs and Ankiel. Send H-Rod and Flores to the minors. Trade Desmond.

  173. masnstinks - Jul 25, 2011 at 12:40 AM

    SonnyG10 – I think you are correct about Flores. I also think the Ryan Zimmerman will not be himself until next season. He is showing flashes of hitting, but his body has not fully recovered. He is fielding and throwing at a percentage of what he did before. Right now, he is our Ryan Zimmerman who has a solid history with the nats – I will take what he has to give right now over any other player. However, I don't think he should have been brought back from major surgery in such a sensitive and difficult to heal area and put in the game day after day after day. I appreciate him wanting to get back quickly, but I think he is struggling physically and won't be 100 percent until next season. I hope he makes it through the rest of this season. Jerry Hairston did a fine job at third and maybe Ryan needs more breaks.

  174. Anonymous - Jul 25, 2011 at 12:42 AM

    One week until the trade deadline – awfully quiet out there…

  175. NatsLady - Jul 25, 2011 at 12:43 AM

    Anon 8:39 – what do you have against Ankiel? He's hitting better since he got back and he doesn't make mistakes in CF. What more do you want from a bench player?

  176. NatsLady - Jul 25, 2011 at 12:45 AM

    Yes, I am not sure what would be best for RZimm. At first, I had the same thought: give him more breaks, since Hairston is back and serviceable at 3B. But the question is, does Zimm need playing time to get back his fielding chops, or rest?Luckily, I'm not in charge.

  177. gonatsgo - Jul 25, 2011 at 12:47 AM

    anon 8:39 – you may be onto something. Sometimes if you are going to play badly and lose games, you might as well shake things up and see what some other people can do. Or,at the very least, get them some big league experience. Right now there is no accountability. No one gets benched or sent down except people like Bixler and Balester, who do everything they are asked – they are sent down to keep spaces for people who don't produce. Swami – talk about messages….

  178. Anonymous - Jul 25, 2011 at 12:50 AM

    I am so sick of all of the comments about Riggs. If the Nats had fired Riggs and replaced him with Johnson, then these comparisons would be relevant. But that's not what happened. Riggs quit. Like a whiny baby. The Nats were forced to scramble for a replacement. We all wish that the results under the replacement were better than they have been to this point. But really, what does Riggs have to do with it?

  179. baseballswami - Jul 25, 2011 at 12:52 AM

    Following the post- game chatter. Some of it may be wrong, some of it may be right, some of it maybe totally out there. But– it's nice as a fan to have a place to vent the frustrations. I love the game and this is my team – I guess this mutual misery is better than getting drunk in a bar somewhere. My friends just do not understand how I can get so worked up over a game. Well — I post here because you all get it.

  180. gonatsgo - Jul 25, 2011 at 12:55 AM

    Natslady – understand your comment about Ankiel, he has hit better since the dl and has a good arm in centerfield. Not sure he actually fields all that well there, though. He seems to be reverting now to his pre-dl form where he just swings for the fences at every pitch. My jury is still out on him.

  181. Anonymous - Jul 25, 2011 at 1:11 AM

    new post

  182. Frediemac - Jul 25, 2011 at 1:19 AM

    Yeah that the problem Ryan Zimmerman…LOLHow about Flores is not a major League CatcherWerth can even make contact in the clutchDesmond is not more than an average ballplayerDavey Johnson is not up to speed on his quality or lack of quality.Back to being losers AGAIN!

  183. Unkyd - Jul 25, 2011 at 1:47 AM

    Anon 8:22…. Sounds like you lI've in the clubhouse. You the towel boy, or what?

  184. JaneB - Jul 25, 2011 at 2:14 AM

    Happy birthday Beantown!I wish they would do the basic drills that (it sounds like) they hated doing, but which was reducing errors and winning games.But, like several of you have said, I'm just glad to have them. Hoping for a productive day off before we get them home Tuesday.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 91 64 --
ATLANTA 76 80 15.5
NEW YORK 76 80 15.5
MIAMI 74 81 17.0
PHILADELPHIA 71 85 20.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Monday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON (4) 91 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 89 67 2.5
y-ST. LOUIS 88 69 4.0
-------------------------
PITTSBURGH 85 71 6.5 --
SAN FRANCISCO 84 71 7.0 0.5
MILWAUKEE 80 76 11.5 5.0
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Monday's early games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Marlins at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
(End of regular season)
MON: OFF
Full season schedule

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