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Approaching the "boiling point"

Jul 27, 2011, 4:57 AM EDT

US Presswire photo
Ryan Zimmerman reacts after striking out in the eighth.

Since taking over the manager’s office at Nationals Park one month ago, Davey Johnson has maintained an even-keel demeanor, never getting too high after wins, never lashing out after losses.

After an 11-2 thumping at the hands of the Marlins Tuesday night, one that knocked the Nationals into last place in the NL East for the first time since June 14, Johnson’s calm exterior began to show a few cracks.

“It’s not sitting well with me,” he said. “I have a high boiling point, and I’m getting closer to it.”

Johnson had every right to be seething after a tepid performance from his team. Returning home following a disappointing 3-6 road trip that featured several unsettling losses, this was the time to get things back on track and make some headway against a division rival.

Instead, the Nationals fell behind early and never had a chance. Jordan Zimmermann was roughed up for the second time in seven days. Counterpart Ricky Nolasco didn’t surrender a hit until the fifth. Reliever Henry Rodriguez imploded late, giving up five runs in
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  1. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 27, 2011 at 5:45 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. flynnie - Jul 27, 2011 at 6:10 AM

    There were times in his youth that Gomes, his mother Michelle and older brother Joey, lived literally hand-to-mouth. Occasionally homeless, the Gomes family would sometimes have to spend the night in a shelter. "It's two totally different aspects of life — a hard time in baseball vs. the hard time in life," Gomes said. "The hard time in life is you don't know where your next meal is going to be." Gomes' pride in his hometown of Petaluma stems from the citizens' generosity. His family often had friends give them a place to sleep and meals to eat. "We were surrounded by great people. Our friends took us in all the time," Gomes said. "I never wanted to go to the shelter. Sometimes it was the last option. I felt like that was rock bottom going there. My mom would go way more than we would, because we could stay at our friends' houses and stuff. "We rallied together. Talking about it, it might seem like, 'Oh my gosh,' or a tough story. It really wasn't while you're there. It was tough, but it was just the hand we were dealt. We just rolled with it. We didn't drop our heads and feel sorry for ourselves."His baseball talent would eventually lift Gomes out of poverty. Drafted in the 18th round by the Rays in 2001, he debuted in the Majors with Tampa Bay in 2003. Brother Joey is also a professional ballplayer and just finished his season with an independent league team in Schaumburg, Ill. That didn't mean a full escape from scary life-altering moments. In 1997 while in high school, Gomes was a backseat passenger in a car accident that killed his best friend, Adam Westcott, who was seated next to him in the car. Gomes, who has numerous tattoos, carries the initials "A.W." on one of them. On Christmas Eve 2002 after he turned 23, Gomes suffered a heart attack even though he was in exemplary health and had good habits. He didn't realize it because he had indigestion, and stopped breathing 27 hours later. An emergency angioplasty procedure to unclog an artery saved his life. Gomes hasn't forgotten Petaluma and has the town's 707 area code on his gloves and shoes. He also wears T-shirts in the clubhouse that affectionately say "Petalocos 707" on the front and has passed them out to several teammates. "I had so many chances with the fork in the road to take a wrong turn," Gomes said. "It's the same in baseball. You can go 0-for-8 or 0-for-12. Instead of trying to nip it in the bud and fixing it, you can start swinging harder and trying to hit that three-run homer when no one is on base." Having had odds stacked against him so many times, Gomes takes nothing for granted — ever. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100923&a

  3. Anonymous - Jul 27, 2011 at 10:22 AM

    I blame this whole losing thing on Rizzo. We had a good thing going and by not agreeing to even SPEAK to Riggleman this whole thing went awry. He put his own ego and selfishness ahead of whats best for the team.

  4. Dale - Jul 27, 2011 at 10:36 AM

    Watching the approach of our hitters at the plate is what gets me to the boiling point. What are we–the team with the second most strikeouts in the league? We get to two strikes and then never change our approach–seemed stupid in little league ball, seems even more stupid now. And yet it continues. Sunday's first inning failure to score again after having the bases loaded and no outs due to three strikeouts is the prime example of this team. Other clubs manufacture runs in this situation, we can't even make contact.What is being taught to these guys? Is there an overall philosophy of trying to go for the long ball and accepting lack of contact? This team will never be a winner as long as the current modus operandi of hitting is in place. DJ has a lot to be frustrated about with this team, the pitching meltdowns are statistically overdue, but the hitting ineptness has been rather consistent. I think that this goes higher than Epstein, he works with the detail of the swing, when the overall philosophy of the club needs to be changed.

  5. m20832 - Jul 27, 2011 at 11:09 AM

    Is this bunch of players back to their annual culture of losing? Winning was a heck of a lot more fun. Last place again. A lackluster effort. What is going to change to make this team better? What is going to make RZimm swing at one of the three pitches that were in the middle of the plate? What is going to make HRod a control pitcher? I don't know the answers to these and many more questions. And I'm guessing Rizzo/DJ/Corrales/Eckstein don't either.

  6. Anonymous - Jul 27, 2011 at 11:57 AM

    They gotta 86 Rizzo. He is just not good at this job. Ths Gomes move is way too little too late of an add to a club he designed on a shoe-string budget — after thrwoping $126M at a 30-something less than stellar OF — to stink in the first place. Next.

  7. Anonymous - Jul 27, 2011 at 11:58 AM

    Somewhere Riggs is ordering another beer.

  8. Big Cat - Jul 27, 2011 at 12:01 PM

    Tyler Moore another bomb last night. 24 now

  9. Gonat - Jul 27, 2011 at 12:09 PM

    You have to get on base to score runs. Simple math.

  10. natsfan1a - Jul 27, 2011 at 12:10 PM

    I may have reached the boiling point if I wasn't channel surfing a bunch last night. Evidently the Marlins still own us.fwiw, I don't have a problem with the trade. (Rizzo: Whew! 1a's on board. We dodged a bullet that time – not. ;-))In other news, did anyone ever point out to Bob that the insect on the Fish player's cap was neither a grasshopper nor a praying mantis? Looked like a katydid to me.

  11. natsfan1a - Jul 27, 2011 at 12:13 PM

    Then again, I'm not an entomologist, nor do I play one on tv.

  12. LoveDaNats - Jul 27, 2011 at 12:20 PM

    That loud thud last night was us hitting rock bottom in the division. I thought we were gonna stay outa there. Disappointing .

  13. Anonymous - Jul 27, 2011 at 12:20 PM

    Certain members of this roster have to go and H. Rodriguez and Matt Stairs are at the top of the list along with Flores. They need to show the door to Rick Eckstein too. It is about time that Johnson woke up.

  14. gonatsgo - Jul 27, 2011 at 12:25 PM

    Maybe he and Rizzo should start by looking in the mirror.

  15. baseballswami - Jul 27, 2011 at 12:31 PM

    I think it's very interesting that Davey Johnson seems to make no connection between his arrival and the team's slide back in to not only last place, but bad baseball. He's frustrated? Really? I wonder how the guys feel? But, I don't think it's just him, McClaren was a really good bullpen coach – you always saw him talking, motivating, calming. Pat Corrales may be a good old baseball guy – but he just sits there and does nothing but say yes to Davey. Another respected veteran with nothing more to bring to the table. Bo Porter is the only coach on the field ( not pitching or hitting coaches)that is the same – and he is awesome by the way. Agreed gonatsgo – we know this team can play good baseball – we saw it. Witnessing the slide has been very sad.

  16. Harper_ROY_2012 - Jul 27, 2011 at 12:33 PM

    I think JZimm has hit the wall in terms of innings a year after his TJ surgery. I think the plan now needs to be maybe use him from the pen for August and shut him doen in Sept., the Nats cannot afford horrible performances like he has been giveing lately if they want to be respectable and preserve his arm. If CMW has a good start on Friday, I think Gorzellany falls into JZimm's slot next time around the rotation.

  17. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 27, 2011 at 12:34 PM

    So somebody want to tell me where that all star performing, front end, young right handed pitcher we had last month went? The last two outings are more reminiscent of his prevous inconsitent outings of early this season. I was REALLY hoping he would be the one guy we could count on every 5 days to be the stopper of tailspins like the one we're encountering. But apparently not.

  18. carolync - Jul 27, 2011 at 12:38 PM

    Thank you. 1a, for coming up with something I feel like commenting on after that depressing debacle last night. I know a little about baseball and a lot about bugs. That was a large and very beautiful praying mantis on the guy's hat and I hope someone took charge of it and got it to a safe place.I hope Livan pitches a great game tonight to snap the team out of its funk and to stop what is beginning to look like a downward spiral. The unexpected departure of Riggleman has clearly had more of an effect on the team than was initially thought.Go, Nats!

  19. natsfan1a - Jul 27, 2011 at 12:52 PM

    HarperROY, I was wondering the same as (well, okay, at the times when) I was watching last night. Thanks for the ID, carolync. Also hope that someone took charge and relocated the mantis to a nice garden or some such.

  20. A DC Wonk - Jul 27, 2011 at 12:52 PM

    Relax, folks. The old saying that has been true for over 100 years is still true today: "a team is never as good as it looks during a winning streak, and is never as bad as it seems during a losing streak."What's happening is, for the most part, pretty simple. The hitting stinks, and has continued to stink. The pitching was awesome, and now it's average, and that's costing us big time. We knew guys like Marquis and Livo would regress to their mean at some point. We knew that JZ would have a bad outing now and then. And so forth.(BTW — let's join together and not feed the Anony-trolls).Tangent: I (along with Mrs Wonk (? — I think she'd probably prefer Wonkette, but that seems to be taken, I'll have to ask her)) met Nationals Outsider last night. The problem was that in the very few minutes we spoke, the Fish scored three runs!Sec308 — I'm sorry I didn't stop by. I was waiting for a while at the Pub, nobody else came by, the Fish scored three, and I went back to my seat, and I completely forgot I was going to stop by Sec 308. Sorry!Also — everyone — don't blame Rizzo or Davey — the loss was completely my fault. After JZ retired the first batter of the game, I turned to Wonkette and said: "Hey, JZ still has his perfect game going", which was immediately followed by Infante hitting a triple. I didn't realize I had such a powerful reverse jinx going on last night.(And, ahh, the beautiful naivete of youth — although I almost never leave any game early, I was ready to leave in the 9th (although I did want to see if HRod could get three outs), and my 16-yo daughter insisted we stay, arguing, "hey, we're only two grand slams behind!". When it reached 11-2 she said, "I'm not leaving unless they get 13". I didn't want to stomp on her buzz, so we stayed . . . )

  21. JaneB - Jul 27, 2011 at 12:53 PM

    swami, I hadn't thought much about the near total change in coaching staff, but you may be on to something there. And again I ask, what happened to fielding practices, and when are they coming back?Lynnie, thanks for that piece on Gomes. I still don't see what he has to offer that we don't already have, unless we are fixing to lose Nix (and this is a trade down) or Stairs. And doesn't someone need to come off the 40 man and the 25 man today, to make room for him?NatsJack, I bet JZimm is just at the end of his stamina for post-surgery pitching. How else can you be as great as he was a month ago, and then not be? Except, of course, for a new injury. Which I devoutly hope is not the case.We couldn't turn on the game till the 6th inning, and I had to fight my husband for the remote, because he kept turning the channel. I hope my wiley Livo snaps things back into shape tonight.GYFNG! Seriously.

  22. HHover - Jul 27, 2011 at 1:12 PM

    Big CatI skipped the Nats to see the Senators last night, and it was actually Derek Norris who homered (Moore doubled last night, homered Monday night). Harper was 0-2 but reached twice, on a BB and an E4. Norris also gunned down a basestealer.To go off topic a bit – Didn't see Harper at H-town, so this was the first time I've seen the treatment he gets. This was a bit of a hometown crowd–there were lots of Nats fans in attendance–but certainly last night he was no Jackie Robinson. He got plenty of attention, good and bad–more the former than the latter.We were close to the visitor's on-deck circle, and esp before his first at-bats, Harper was getting razzed, mostly by 1-2 guys–"Give us a kiss, Bryce." "Look, Bryce, a pretty girl." "When are you going to get that .170 average up, Bryce?" Actually, his average was .220-something after Monday night, as somebody else pointed out. The first heckler also drew a "Show him your W-2, Bryce," after which the guy did seem to cool it. Harper ignored it all, and kept his back to the stands the whole time.There was plenty of cheering for him too, every time he stepped to the plate. After Moore had a lead-off double in the 9th last night, someone started a "Let's go, Harper" chant, and Harper drew cheers for his walk.The captcha was "nonving"–maybe they meant "non-swing"?

  23. UNTERP.NAT - Jul 27, 2011 at 1:19 PM

    Anonymous said… I blame this whole losing thing on Rizzo. We had a good thing going and by not agreeing to even SPEAK to Riggleman this whole thing went awry. He put his own ego and selfishness ahead of whats best for the team. July 27, 2011 6:22 AM I think you are right about Rizzo to a degree, but Riggleman QUIT! on the team. Be that as it may, Riggleman picked the absolute perfect time to derail them. He had impeccable timing. The team came off the tracks and stayed off the tracks. But none of us know whether Riggleman staying if the team would have retracted at some point (the whole matter comes or much of the matter comes down to a lack of offense a lack of hitting, which they didn't have under Riggleman as well; it was inevitably going to catch up with them), but it would be foolish not to think the Riggleman fiasco didn't have a stifling effect.Over the course of the season and the last couple of days there has been good amount of speculation about the future makeup of the team. This is what concerns me the most. I am in no way an evaluator of baseball talent. I can see what's directly in front of me but not what's ahead. With Ramos, Werth, Desmond, Espinosa, Zimmerman, I just don't know if this core can get it done over the long haul. I question all their abilities and with a couple of them, their stamina and their approach to various aspects of the game.Collectively, this is a power hitting team. Everyone swings big which makes them susceptible to striking out and going hit-less. Except for Morse, Hairston, and Cora, I don't see that they will be better down the road and Hairston and Cora of course are not the present much less the future. To a man and I believe this, every one of them needs to choke up on their bats and stop swinging for the fences. They don't hit because they can't control their bats and they just think too damn much. Are they all working on their dissertations at the plate? Can they see fast balls down the middle of plate after two strikes?One other thing. I was so wrong about John Lannan. I use to say that he was the sixth man in a five man rotation. He is becoming my favorite player. He is the best pitcher in their rotation…

  24. A DC Wonk - Jul 27, 2011 at 1:23 PM

    JaneB said…. I still don't see what he has to offer that we don't already haveThat's an easy one.Batting averages thus far in 2011:Nix vs righties: .289Nix vs lefties: .083Gomes vs righties: .171Gomes vs lefties: .333So — essentially, he is Nix for when there's a left pitcher. And he can play outfield. So, presuming he is replacing Stairs, that's two reasons why it makes sense.His overall WAR (for 2011) is 1.2 — better than Stairs -0.5All in all — a definite, but somewhat small, improvement, imho.

  25. CBinDC - Jul 27, 2011 at 1:29 PM

    The interesting statement that Davy has ALMOST reached a boiling point. Seems that a watched Davy never boils. I reached my point on the Cubs game two weeks ago I guess my point is much lower.We had hoped that the Culture OF LOSING was behind the team and it was just a matter of being good enough in time for the playoffs and other rewards. But NO, as I have fretted they have not taken seriously how fragile their success was and that proves that just a belief in your potential is not enough to shake a long and sad past this team has represented. In every area you look for this team you see nothing but the description of a bright future and yet the present is looking so bleak. Lets see if Rizzo has some good news on this bright horizon but so far the past moves are not really moving this team in the positive. Call it bad luck or the baseball gods revenge if you will but that does nothing to improve the situation. Only a resolve to be honest as to where things are coupled with a little anger is EVER going to changed things with this team, the front office and the fanbase. Play happy, happy, joy, joy and all you will have is another losing team rated last of all teams in all sports to root for, playing in the 27th rated ballpark, televised on the 27th rated sports network, while the fans sit waiting for Godot

  26. UNTERP.NAT - Jul 27, 2011 at 1:33 PM

    CBinDC said… I reached mine well over a week before the Allstar game when the team was two games above .500 after a win. LOL…

  27. Anonymous - Jul 27, 2011 at 1:35 PM

    unterp thanks. Yes Riggleman quit, but I think he was disrespected. Yes Riggleman may have tanked if still here. But we don't know that. What we do know is they are worse without him. 102 games in and everyone says we are just in a hitting slump. It's not a slump. Nats can't hit. Riggleman new this and managed accordingly. DJ just jeeps waiting for the hits to start coming. "They are not coming."

  28. UNTERP.NAT - Jul 27, 2011 at 1:39 PM

    Anonymous said… 9:35 AMYou are right. Wasn't thinking about that way.Also, I never saw it as a slump either…

  29. JamesFan - Jul 27, 2011 at 1:40 PM

    I do not blame Rizzo and I do not want Riggleman back. I also do not want to see the Nats panic and trade capability for hope. Lots of these names in trade rumors do not fit our needs and would not be an upgrade. Rizzo is working hard to build a team and Riggs wasn't the long-term solution. It looks like DJ may be a one year deal too. He has to take some responsibility for this losing streak. Where is the vaunted "leadership" and "team chemistry" we keep reading about? I would dump Ekstein now. Ramos is unbelievable at the plate in his stance. When the team can't hit over this time frame, someone has to be held accountable. I also think that its time to set and DL people who aren't performing.

  30. A DC Wonk - Jul 27, 2011 at 1:41 PM

    Anonymous said… unterp thanks. Yes Riggleman quit, but I think he was disrespected.Right. A guy with one of all time losing-est records, who signed a one year contract, has the right to issue ultimatums mid-season? And it's a big Dis for the GM to say, "don't come to me in the middle of a winning streak — you got a decent team, manage them for a whole season and then we'll talk."? And he's making an ultimatum to a GM who was *also* in the same situation last year! (i.e., Rizzo also had a one year contract!)Remind me again how many other managers are also on the last year of their contract and hadn't been renewed?

  31. joemktg - Jul 27, 2011 at 1:45 PM

    Hate to say it, but if Rizzo believes in selling high, then maximize the value from Michael Morse to continue to fix the fundamental issues.

  32. CBinDC - Jul 27, 2011 at 1:47 PM

    When it comes to discussions on changes in support personal or players, I understand that many are well regarded and fine people BUT really if your PH player can not PH do you not say HEY we need one who can or if the teams hitting is NOT HITTING do you not look as to WHO can change that in the positive. For me I have no personal negatives to the people who make up this team BUT really does not SOME CHANGE NEED TO BE MADE

  33. UNTERP.NAT - Jul 27, 2011 at 1:48 PM

    A DC Wonk said…I don't disagree with you at all. Anonymous was saying that Riggleman managed accordingly. That's what I was agreeing to. I know this sounds harsh, but I'd rather sink with this team than swim with Riggleman…

  34. A DC Wonk - Jul 27, 2011 at 2:04 PM

    UNTERP.NAT said… A DC Wonk said… I don't disagree with you at all. Anonymous was saying that Riggleman managed accordingly. I'm not convinced that Davey is not managing accordingly. In another thread I posted some stats showing that the Nats had the second most number of sacrifice bunts of any team during the month of July. So, yes, Davey thinks we're going to be hitting (and, gee, don't we all think that, e.g., Ryan Zimm will hit better than his current average?), but that doesn't mean he's jettisoning the bunt.I know this sounds harsh, but I'd rather sink with this team than swim with Riggleman…Interesting comment. I think I'm with you on that. Things may seem tougher now, but I think you're saying (or, at least I am thinking) that's there more potential upside now.

  35. Section 222 - Jul 27, 2011 at 2:10 PM

    At least there are some awfully interesting roster decisions coming up to keep us all on the edge of our seats as we watch the Nats descend into the cellar. Who goes to make room for Gomes? Does the Detwiler long relief experiment end to be replaced by the Gorzelanny long relief experiment so that Wang can start? How many bad starts does Wang get before he too ends up in long relief?As for Davey's boiling point, who cares? If the Nats were going to play better because Davey has boiled over, one would hope he would have done that a long time ago. And if they aren't going to play better, then why boil over ? You just make a mess and burn innocent bystanders.I'm normally a die hard stay to the last out guy when I'm at Nats Park, but I will confess that after HRod's first walk in the 9th, I headed for the exits. Not because I expected a 5 run blowup but because he is so darn slow and it was clear the game would last at least another half hour with the result already certain. Boy am I glad I made that decision. Finally, I will pile on against the "You might also Like". Whose idea was that anyway? One this morning was pretty ironic — "Nix emerging as every day leftfielder". And this on the day after the Nats traded for Gomes who presumably will platoon with Nix in LF. By the way, I thought Davey didn't like platoons and wanted to give Nix ABs vs. lefties– that sure didn't last long.

  36. Feel Wood - Jul 27, 2011 at 2:21 PM

    I was at the game last night, not watching on TV so I did not see this insect of which you guys speak. But it brings to mind one equally sticky night last season when I was sitting in the back row of one of the Infield Gallery sections and a large praying mantis just plopped into my lap – and then quickly onto the floor after I swiped it off with my scorecard. Thing had to be a good four inches long. It stayed on the floor long enough to freak out a few nearby kids and for me to snap a photo of it, and then it scampered off somewhere else. So based on what you guys are saying about last night's bug, it would seem it was not alone and that it and its fellows probably have figured out how to survive in Nationals Park. Could be worse. I hear RFK is colonized by rats, although I never saw any there myself.

  37. UNTERP.NAT - Jul 27, 2011 at 2:24 PM

    Feel Wood said… If I recall, there was one on a Marlins' player on his ball cap…

  38. Scooter - Jul 27, 2011 at 2:28 PM

    Wonk, I think I might like your daughter even more than I like you. You have done well, good sir.

  39. A DC Wonk - Jul 27, 2011 at 2:30 PM

    Sec222 wrote:I'm normally a die hard stay to the last out guy when I'm at Nats Park, but I will confess that after HRod's first walk in the 9th, I headed for the exits. Not because I expected a 5 run blowup but because he is so darn slow and it was clear the game would last at least another half hour with the result already certain. Boy am I glad I made that decision. I wrote up above earlier why I had to stay. So, me and Wonkette bided our time seeing if HRod could hit either 100mph or the backstop. He didn't, but did reach 99 mph a few times. He was still getting hit, though. He did throw a couple of 82 mph off speed pitches, and they would have been very effective — but he couldn't get them over.Tangent: I'm an old Mets fan, and HRod's troubles remind me of Nolan Ryan's early troubles. Nolan averaged over 6.5 BB's per 9 innings for two straight years, before the Mets finally gave up on him. Nolan was the ripe age of 24 at the time. HRod is also 24, and averaging 7.0 BB's per 9 inn. I'm not saying that HRod is Nolan Ryan. But I am saying that he throws too hard and he's too young to give up on him.Other random thoughts — I was mystified by JZ. Other than the 3rd inning (which I missed when trying to meet some other NatsInsiders) he looked pretty good to me. (Which shows why I'm not a professional scout). He was hitting low-to-mid 90's in his fastball, and had a curve and slider working.In the 4th, 5th, and 6th he looked terrific and almost unhittable (indeed, he struck out the side in the 6th). He was efficient, too. Even though he threw one more inning than Nolasco, he threw 21 fewer pitches(!).But, a few guys connected, and that made all the difference. (Again, I saw all the innings _except_ the 3rd).Also — I noticed that the little side scoreboards now post "WHIP" along side ERA for the current pitcher's stats. I'm happy to see *any* more advanced stats being bandied around!

  40. Wally - Jul 27, 2011 at 2:33 PM

    There might be something to the 'JZimm is wearing down' argument. This is his career high already in innings (in major league innings; he had a few more minor league innings in 2008). But rather than put him in the bullpen, why not give him a few weeks off, bring him back in mid/late Aug and have him finish out the season?An added bonus is that if Strasburg does throw a few games in Sep, we can get a taste of what it is like for both to be in the rotation at the same time

  41. Anonymous - Jul 27, 2011 at 2:52 PM

    "I'm not saying that HRod is Nolan Ryan."Of course he's not. He's Jackie Robinson!

  42. Grandstander - Jul 27, 2011 at 3:02 PM

    Last night, Matt Stairs came out to PH, but they pulled him back and sent out Cora instead. Since the ASB, he's had 2 PAs. I have to imagine he's being shown the door at the moment.

  43. masnstinks - Jul 27, 2011 at 3:15 PM

    re: JZ — he has never pitched a full season and, despite his obvious gifts, is still a young guy. I have seen posters comment that he has been our most consistent pitcher – true. I have also thought to myself – good , Jordan is pitching, we'll have a chance.That's a lot to expect from a guys with as few major league starts as he has, after missing so much time. Right around the break there was talk of resting him more and then it switched to riding him til he was done. I really hope they realize what a valuable piece of our future team he is and treat him with care. His body may be wearing down – but the strain of being "the ace" on a team that doesn't score many runs for him may also be wearing on him. He's a very tough minded kid, but again, very young.

  44. gonatsgo - Jul 27, 2011 at 3:17 PM

    The only news I want to hear today from the Washington Nationals is that Matt Stairs retired.

  45. JaneB - Jul 27, 2011 at 3:28 PM

    Thanks Wonk. I can always count on you for the stats. And I agree with Scooter about the way you raised your daughter.

  46. sjm308 - Jul 27, 2011 at 3:36 PM

    DC Wonk – Sorry I missed you last night but there will be other gamesSec 222 – this is not funny but I also left early for the first time this year and actually had a smooth metro trip home (about the only good thing from this game)Scooter – I will not be in 308 tonight but 311 with Red Carpet reward tickets, I gave you wrong information last nightAm wondering why it takes so long to make the announcement about who is being moved with the addition of Gomes and Wang? Seems like a no brainer on the first with Stairs leaving. I am not so harsh as some of the anons (fire Rizzo, dump HRod, Flores etc) I realize this man has given his entire life to playing a game he probably loves and he has been rewarded for that but it truely is time for him to go. I think the only move they can make for Wang is to send Detwiler down, I think he is the only pitcher who has options. I also think Wang is not ready but they are kinda stuck with seeing what he can do and I hope they give it two or three shots to see if there is improvement. I think Friday will be quite messy.I hate being in last place (again!) and really didn't think it was going to happen this year, but here we are. Will keep going, rooting (not booing but there were some STH around me that were) and hope we can change this slide.Go Nats!!

  47. A DC Wonk - Jul 27, 2011 at 4:28 PM

    JaneB said… Thanks Wonk. I can always count on you for the stats. And I agree with Scooter about the way you raised your daughter.Wow — thanks to both of you. (And, Wonkette gets a lot of credit, too!)My daughter is awesome at ballgames. Her philosophy is simple: she comes to a ballgame to have fun, and she has fun no matter what. If the Nats are winning, she'll scream her head off and root. If they are losing, she'll sing out the songs between innings, schmooze with friends, invent nicknames for players, walk around the stadium and do people-watching.She's your typical non-fan fan. If pressed, she could name, maybe two Nats players off the top of her head. But she loves to come to the park and have fun — whether its rooting, singing, or (gasp) doing the wave — and she always does have fun. Even an 11-2 drubbing didn't bother her a whit. She obviously didn't learn all that from me! Perhaps I should learn a little more from her!

  48. NatinBeantown - Jul 27, 2011 at 5:40 PM

    I'm assuming the Stairs announcement is coming at any time. It would be great if it was paired with an announcement about a new role in the organization somewhere, a la Matt LeCroy.I'm completely ok with the Gomes trade. Gomes for Stairs is a significant upgrade of one of the 25 spots on the roster, at little cost in terms of prospects.

  49. Steve M. - Jul 27, 2011 at 5:42 PM

    It will be OK everyone

  50. NatsLady - Jul 27, 2011 at 6:37 PM

    Heard on the radio that Oppo-Boppo hit his first AA home run today. Keep smiling, folks!

  51. Scooter - Jul 27, 2011 at 7:19 PM

    Keep shining, NatsLady.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
x-WASHINGTON 87 63 -- 0
ATLANTA 75 76 12.5
MIAMI 73 77 14.0
NEW YORK 73 79 15.0
PHILADELPHIA 69 82 18.5
Through Tuesday's games
x-Clinched division title

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
WED: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
THU: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

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