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Rotation suddenly faltering

Jul 28, 2011, 4:51 AM EDT

They had been the one constant during a season that had featured plenty of ups and downs in other areas. If nothing else, the Nationals knew they could count on whichever starting pitcher they sent to the mound to churn out a quality performance and give his teammates a chance to win.

Perhaps it was inevitable this rotation would hit a bump in the road at some point. It’s not like we’re talking about the 1971 Orioles staff or the current Phillies unit. This is a rotation that gets by on guile and guts more than physical prowess, and that can only take you so far.

On Wednesday night, Livan Hernandez became the latest culprit, knocked out by the Marlins before recording an out in the fifth inning and putting his Nationals teammates in a deep hole. Despite their best effort to catapult themselves out of it with a stirring, ninth-inning rally, they still came up short in a 7-5 loss that ended on Laynce Nix’s drive to the right-field warning track.

Thus the Nationals lost their fourth straight game, all of them featuring less-than-stellar performances from their starting pitchers. During that stretch of starts by Tom Gorzelanny, Jason Marquis, Jordan Zimmermann and Hernandez, the unit has combined to post an 8.24
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  1. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 28, 2011 at 5:42 AM

    So, Chien Ming…no pressure, but… it would be really good if Friday goes well.

  2. Scooter - Jul 28, 2011 at 6:09 AM

    Please forgive me for veering off topic so early in the thread. I'll just toss this in for y'all to consider.A few folks have commented on how the team isn't running since Johnson took over. I was surprised when I looked up the following (from baseball-reference; does not include Weds night's game). For each month, I present the Nats' steals and caughts:April 19-8 (27 attempts in 26 games)May 26-7 (33 attempts in 28 games)June 22-4 (26 attempts in 27 games)July 17-4 (21 attempts in 21 games)I can't recall what date Johnson took over, but that page listed him as having managed 24 games. So July roughly coincides with his tenure.As I said, I was surprised. I thought that the running game had gone away, or at least way down. Maybe it's just a sense that all one-run strategies, in general, are going away. But just eyeballing sac bunts, I wouldn't say those have gone down either. I don't know what's going on here, but I think it may rhyme with "schmonfirmation bias."

  3. sunderland - Jul 28, 2011 at 9:23 AM

    Scooter, thanks for looking that stuff up. And I'm not good at rhyming games. I can't think of anything that rhymes with bias.Captcha – schmonfimation.Who'da thunk?

  4. Anonymous - Jul 28, 2011 at 10:09 AM

    It was only a matter of time before the pitching completely broke down. The total lack of hitting all season long eventually put too much pressure on both the starting and the relief pitching. Blame the ever hesitant Rizzo, who needed to be proactive early on but chose to sit on his hands. The acquisition of Jason Werth was just plain dumb and keeping an incompeftent hitting coach around is dumber than dumb.

  5. dale - Jul 28, 2011 at 10:32 AM

    This year's team really counted on JZimmerman to keep losing streaks from happening. When the stopper fades and Livan becomes Livan, and when Gorzelanny pitches himself into the bullpen one can only hope that Lannan and Marquis can win games by the score of 2 to 1. Winning games in the ninth inning is nice, but counting on that to happen while your bullpen is hemorraging runs is what drives managers into thoughts of Florida retirement.I stand firmly behind Davey's benching of the regulars who contribute nothing offensively these days to the lineup, with one exception–Ramos. Flores is a shadow of what he once was and the drop off is too evident.

  6. Spark - Jul 28, 2011 at 11:23 AM

    Ramos needs days off. Espinosa needs days off. "Blame the ever hesitant Rizzo"Hard to argue with this….

  7. CBinDC - Jul 28, 2011 at 11:29 AM

    This morning the Nats find themselves in last again. The team hitting is getting worse, the ERA is rising, the team errors are climbing, the starting pitching now can not get past the 5th inning and the team is,with football back in business, falling down the sports page. If anybody really expected Davy Johnson to carry this team to greater heights I would think that has been dashed. But if Rizzo trades Storen for Span then I really have lost all respect, What is this search for another broken player who had performed by using one of your best players this season ???

  8. A DC Wonk - Jul 28, 2011 at 11:59 AM

    Always critic CBinDC writes:If anybody really expected Davy Johnson to carry this team to greater heights I would think that has been dashed.Right. Because one can certainly evaluate a manager after 24 games (and ignore his other 2000 games).The team hitting is getting worse…Nats hitting during June: .231Nats hitting during July: .243Biased critics should at least their facts straight.Sunderland — "confirmation bias" is the tendency of people to find facts that tend to confirm what they already think. But the above is not such an example — as it is just "made up facts."I'd previously pointed out that Sac Bunts had not gone done.Thanks for also pointing out that Stolen bases had not gone done.As I've said before, and I'll say again: a team is never as good as it appears during a winning streak, and never as bad as it seems during a losing streak. Since we're in a losing streak it just seems "everything" is crummy. But it's not. It's just as MZ says: the pitching is not holding up — most everything else is the same — but we were in enough one-run games such that if the pitching doesn't hold up, those wins turn to losses.

  9. NatsLady - Jul 28, 2011 at 12:02 PM

    Ryan Zimmerman:"We win three or four in a row, we're right back where we need to be and then go from there."Listen to the man. This is not the team of two years ago.

  10. NatsLady - Jul 28, 2011 at 12:08 PM

    I'd only fault Davey on his bullpen management, and that's only come into play because the starting rotation hasn't been solid. Actually, it's pretty amazing that JZimm, Marquis, Lannan, and Livo have held up as well as they have. Have any of them missed a turn?

  11. UNTERP.NAT - Jul 28, 2011 at 12:09 PM

    I guess it's true. It's not how you fall. It's how you get up. I think they just need to hand out to all the Nationals in the clubhouse and the first 20,000 fans at the next game a Riggleman rag doll like a rally monkey…

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

    The starting pitching is coming around to expectations: iffy. Nothing resembling an Ace, a bunch of softballers and an still on the way back JZim on an innings cap. Thank you Mr. Rizzo.

  13. HHover - Jul 28, 2011 at 12:36 PM

    Scooter – Thanks for the stats about base-stealing. You're right about sac bunts too. They averaged about 1 sac bunt per every two games under Riggs; they've had 14 in 24 games under Davey, or essentially the same.And thanks to Mark Z. for reminding us how this team's tenuous success has come, and what's different now–pitching. The hitting has frankly been lousy all season long. As much as we complain about it, that's a constant. Good starters and a good BP have at least given them a chance to win low-scoring games. It's tough to win consistently with an offense that often produces only 1-3 runs per game. It's impossible when your pitchers are regularly giving up 7, 9, and 11 runs per game. And in the 10 games since the ASB, they've given up 7 or more runs in half of them. Ouch.

  14. arcorcoran - Jul 28, 2011 at 12:45 PM

    When will we bring up Peacock?

  15. Gonat - Jul 28, 2011 at 12:53 PM

    Scooter, the running game has gone away. Now you have Zim stealing and Werth and Nix and your guys that make it happen like Desmond and Bernadina and Espi are the ones who aren't getting the successful steals.It isn't the number of attempts, it is the situation.

  16. CBinDC - Jul 28, 2011 at 12:54 PM

    Ok look I am not always the critic it just seems that way, but can you say a team that did not get a hit over 12 innings spread over 2 games is hitting better ? Two bright sports in this bleak landscape are Ryan and Michael other wise it's been downhill. I said that if you expected Davy Johnson to bring the team to GREATER HEIGHTS now, well results are results. The future who knows but here is hoping. The future is again the only selling point for this team, and when you see teams that were just as bad the Nats if some not worse now breaking out you wonder "hey where is my beautiful reward". Last night was again a team that they should have a handle on beating just making everyone look silly. They should have, if this team was improved from the past years, SWEPT the CUBS, ASTROS and DODGERS and took at least one more game then they did from the Braves and Angels and they failed to so in spectacular fashion. So if I point out that these are markers of a team that has not put behind it's culture of losing do not think that is where I want things to stand forever. I am cautious about positive change since much of it has been so fragile.

  17. A DC Wonk - Jul 28, 2011 at 1:05 PM

    Gonat said… Scooter, the running game has gone away. Now you have Zim stealing and Werth and Nix and your guys that make it happen like Desmond and Bernadina and Espi are the ones who aren't getting the successful steals.C'mon guys — can we look things up before we make assertions like that.I went and looked up one guy that you mention who I think might be the best stealer on the team — Roger Bernadina.Stolen bases in June (when he was hitting .278): 4Stolen bases in July (when he's hitting .220): 5=======OK, I looked up another one (also arguably the best base stealer):EspinosaJune (27 games) 5July (22 games) 3==================So — sorry — I just don't see a big difference.I'll say again: it all just _looks_ bad because we're losing. I haven't seen any evidence presented here that the "running game is going away".And we're losing because of faltering pitching. Sometimes it really is as simple as that.

  18. sparking - Jul 28, 2011 at 1:10 PM

    There's only 1 way to "break the culture of losing", and that is by winning. And the 25 guys as have today suiting up are unlikely to accomplish this.Hope for the future comes from Zimmerman and Werth returning to form, LaRoche returning from injury, Strasburg, Peacock, Malone. Incremental improvements from Desmond, Espinosa and Ramos. Harper's performance demanding a 2012 call up. Rizzo finding a legit CF. But you can't count on this. That's what Redskin fans have learned.

  19. NatinBeantown - Jul 28, 2011 at 1:11 PM

    DC Wonk, this is the internet. Reasoned evaluation has no place here.Seriously, I have no idea how people are so surprised by this. This team had every indication in the spring that they would be a 75-80 win team, improved over last year, but not ready to contend. That's exactly who they are.The rotation was a pleasant surprise in the first half, but sooner or later, we knew Livo and Marquis would regress to what their career stats say they are. We also knew JZ'nn would hit a wall at some point–in his next start he will surpass his career high of 134IP, which he hasn't come near in three years. He's on fumes.With all this regression to the mean, one thing we can reasonably expect is hitting to get better. It's already on the upswing. RZimm is breaking out. Nix/Gomes could be a night L/R platoon. Hairston on the bench makes that group much improved. Even Werth looks headed in the right direction.Barring a trade for a CF or a trade of/for a SP, the only move that needs to be made is sending Flores back down and calling up Solano. Jesus currently can't throw or hit (it really hurt last night). Solano out-hit Flores in AAA (.297/.341/.426). It will burn a spot on the 40 man, but there's still plenty of 07-09 deadwood on there anyway.C'mon Nats, pick up today right where you left off in the 9th yesterday and get a new streak going.

  20. NatinBeantown - Jul 28, 2011 at 1:14 PM

    …er, Gomes and Nix could be a "nice" L/R platoon.

  21. NatsLady - Jul 28, 2011 at 1:15 PM

    Is anyone going to the game today? I am going to move some pieces and get there. Will sit on 3B side to get some shade (I hope!).

  22. A DC Wonk - Jul 28, 2011 at 1:16 PM

    CBinDC said… Ok look I am not always the critic it just seems that way, but can you say a team that did not get a hit over 12 innings spread over 2 games is hitting better ?Why is that _that_ specific two game sample more telling than using a whole month? Two weeks ago they had 20 hits in two games against Atlanta. Why not use that sample? (Because two weeks ago is ancient history, no doubt).Let me turn the question back at you: when a team is hitting .243 in July and .231 in June, how can you possibly say they aren't hitting better?As a team, their hitting WAR is June already higher than June, and they still have a couple games left to play. Their pitching WAR is lower. So I can't understand how one can say that hitting is down. It's the pitching that's down.

  23. A DC Wonk - Jul 28, 2011 at 1:18 PM

    NatinBeantown said… DC Wonk, this is the internet. Reasoned evaluation has no place here. Seriously, I have no idea how people are so surprised by this. This team had every indication in the spring that they would be a 75-80 win team, improved over last year, but not ready to contend. That's exactly who they are.Both your points are spot on Beanie.Look — to all — we had a streak of losing 10 of 12 games in May under Riggs, too. Many here were pulling their hair out then, too.That's what happens to .500 teams. Streaks, in both directions, happen.

  24. Anonymous - Jul 28, 2011 at 1:19 PM

    Wil Nieves was traded to the Braves for $1.

  25. A DC Wonk - Jul 28, 2011 at 1:20 PM

    errr, I meant: "As a team, their hitting WAR in July is already higher than June"

  26. Don - Jul 28, 2011 at 1:22 PM

    C'mon guys, really?Does everyone forget that this is a 75-78 win team. Just because some people have been unrealistic about this and for some reason thought we would make a wild card run doesn't mean it's true.We all knew in March we would be lucky to hit .500. The ESPN computer model put us in last place in the NL East. Most analysts thought we would end up 4th ahead of the Mets and maybe we could push for 3rd if the Marlins stumbled. So far neither of these things happened and we are right where we were expected to land. We happen to play in the toughest division in baseball, sucks, but true.We knew DJ wasn't going to turn this into a contender this year. Just take a deep breath and enjoy the roller coaster ride. It's half the fun.-Don

  27. A DC Wonk - Jul 28, 2011 at 1:26 PM

    Anonymous said… Wil Nieves was traded to the Braves for $1.Ouch! At first I thought you were joking!As a blogger elsewhere wrote: "I know we all joke that we would trade so-and-so from our favorite team for a bag of balls or a 6 pack, but this is brutal."As for his stats: Over his 23 games in AAA this year, Nieves only managed a line of .170/.213/.227.

  28. Scooter - Jul 28, 2011 at 1:28 PM

    NatsLady, I'll be in Section 317 today. I will send commenterish thoughts of good will in your general direction.

  29. NatsLady - Jul 28, 2011 at 1:30 PM

    http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/article/20110727/GPG0206/110727161/Brewers-send-Nieves-Braves-cash?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|GPG-Sports|sMaybe not $1, but close enough.

  30. baseballswami - Jul 28, 2011 at 1:37 PM

    This just in – The Washington Nationals are playing some bad baseball right now and no one seems to know what to do about it. I for one, hope things turn around today. Last night's rally was fun but a little too late – at least they showed signs of life. Maybe the regulars will be focused and happy to play today. Everyone think good thoughts!

  31. NatinBeantown - Jul 28, 2011 at 1:37 PM

    They should have, if this team was improved from the past years, SWEPT the CUBS, ASTROS and DODGERS and took at least one more game then they did from the Braves and Angels and they failed to so in spectacular fashion.Do you know how many times the Astros have been swept at home? Four. Out of 17 home series.The Dodgers? Twice, out of 17 home series.How many times have the Cubs been swept on the road? Three, out of 16 series.This is baseball. Winning 6 of 10 is spectacular. Cool the drama.

  32. Scooter - Jul 28, 2011 at 1:51 PM

    NatinBeantown said…This is baseball. Winning 6 of 10 is spectacular. Cool the drama.But then what would we all do with our Shift keys?

  33. Steve M. - Jul 28, 2011 at 2:01 PM

    From MLBTradeRumors. I have heard of the proverbial bag of balls for a player that may be worth $20 but $1 for Wil Nieves? WHO, Wil Nieves!•The Brewers obtained $1 from the Braves for catcher Wil Nieves, according to Adam McCalvy of MLB.com (on Twitter). That's right – one dollar. The Braves will pay Nieves' remaining salary while he plays for their Triple-A affiliate.

  34. Anonymous - Jul 28, 2011 at 2:19 PM

    No to Storen for Span but yes to Storen for Bourn.

  35. Bigfish - Jul 28, 2011 at 2:22 PM

    Steve M. : "From MLBTradeRumors. I have heard of the proverbial bag of balls for a player that may be worth $20 but $1 for Wil Nieves? WHO, Wil Nieves!"Does this mean that when the Braves come to town, there's an off chance that we'll be able to see Wil strike out again on sliders low & away? ;-)Last night, Livo seemed to be really having problems with (Angel) Hernandez' notoriously-fickle strike zone. Does anyone know if teams know who's going to be their umpiring crew for each series? If they did, maybe they could adjust the rotations accordingly. I realize this would add another level of complexity to pitcher preparation, but maybe someone like JZimm, who doesn't rely quite so much on finesse & trickery, would be able to cope better with an umpire who won't let you work the corners.

  36. A DC Wonk - Jul 28, 2011 at 2:23 PM

    Scooter said… NatinBeantown said… This is baseball. Winning 6 of 10 is spectacular. Cool the drama. But then what would we all do with our Shift keys?And we have our first nomination for comment of the day!!

  37. Scooter - Jul 28, 2011 at 2:26 PM

    Does this mean that when the Braves come to town, there's an off chance that we'll be able to see Wil strike out again on sliders low & away? ;-)Just remember, Bigfish, they won't be booing; they'll be saying "Whooooooooooooooo?"And your idea about matching up with umpires is intriguing. It seems, though, that teams don't really match up starters at all these days, not even based on opponent. (A competitive advantage to be had?)

  38. gonatsgo - Jul 28, 2011 at 2:26 PM

    Having been at the game last night, Livo was definitely getting squeezed by the ump – it very obviously led to problems. He was actually still squeezing the zone when Storen was in. It was enough of an issue to affect the game and pretty apparent seeing it live.

  39. UNTERP.NAT - Jul 28, 2011 at 2:33 PM

    The STOPPER is pitching today. So let's win this one and take it from here…

  40. Scooter - Jul 28, 2011 at 2:39 PM

    Speaking of things teams don't do anymore, I still haven't figured out why nobody really breaks in young starters any more by using them in relief. It used to be a pretty common practice, I think. Some recent fellas have done it: Pedro did a year out of the bullpen; Johan Santana actually came in relief a lot in his first few years. Heck, I recently saw that Roy Halladay started only half his games his rookie year. He also worked in relief several times the next two seasons. Other pitchers, of course, have moved to the pen and stayed there — the Hutt's move appears to be permanent, and Feliz's book is not yet written. But moving to the bullpen is the natural state of things anyway.I understand wanting to keep a guy "stretched out" during a given year; that makes sense. But I don't know the rationale for not taking a potential starter and just treating him as a reliever for one season, getting him used to the bigs and picking his matchups.Note: it's not really that I don't get it, or think the reasoning is wrong. It's that I don't know what the reasoning IS. Perhaps someone here can enlighten me. (The Nats tie-in, of course, is Detwiler, and this sort of half-[hearted] way they're using him, but there are tons of other potential examples.)

  41. Steve M. - Jul 28, 2011 at 2:39 PM

    DC Wonk, being fair, Gonat did not give a timeline. He is exactly right for the last 4 games and on the players mentioned.Going back, I am looking at games since Davey took over on June 27 and his 25 games and 25 games back for comparison as far as steals, and I don't even have to look at anybody except Ian Desmond. He has NO steal attempts while Davey has taken over and he stole 4 in the 25 games before Davey took over.In the last 4 games which is this losing streak, Bernadina hasn't made any steal attempts.Yes, in the very short term, Davey seemed to get nervous after Nix was caught stealing (botched hit and run maybe). Numbers are skewed since Zim and Werth are the ONLY players in the last 4 games to attempt steals. That is 4 losses and 2 steals.Not sure if there is a pattern but Desmond definitely isn't running with Davey.

  42. Feel Wood - Jul 28, 2011 at 2:41 PM

    Wil Nieves was traded to the Braves for $1.Too bad the Braves gave up that dollar.That dollar and Wil Nieves would have gotten them either a ticket, a hot dog, peanuts, popcorn or parking when they show up at Nats Park next Monday. Not sure what having just Wil Nieves will get them.

  43. NatsLady - Jul 28, 2011 at 2:43 PM

    Desmond not stealing because he is batting 8th. If he gets on base with 2 outs, you don't want to steal and be the 3rd out, because then the pitcher leads off the next inning.If you get on base with 1 or 2 outs the pitcher is bunting.Ergo, no steals.

  44. NatsLady - Jul 28, 2011 at 2:43 PM

    Sorry, meant, if you get on base with 0 or 1 out.

  45. UNTERP.NAT - Jul 28, 2011 at 2:45 PM

    Scooter said… Speaking of things teams don't do anymore, I still haven't figured out why nobody really breaks in young starters any more by using them in relief.You make a splendid comment. Keep it up…

  46. NatsLady - Jul 28, 2011 at 2:52 PM

    Now, whether you should have a fast guy batting 8th is another question. If Flores is in, move him to 8. But not sure you want Ramos in the 8 spot, he is hitting a little better than Desi, right?

  47. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 28, 2011 at 2:52 PM

    NatsLady, good one!

  48. NatsLady - Jul 28, 2011 at 2:58 PM

    Sofa, thanks. I owe it to Charlie and Dave, they are the BEST.

  49. NatsLady - Jul 28, 2011 at 2:59 PM

    Will tweet from game. Can't post here, too difficult. Tried on Sunday, all I got was laughs…

  50. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 28, 2011 at 3:00 PM

    Scooter, I understood your confirmation bias point to be referring to the selective memory of commenters, vs. the actual numbers, which you give there, and aren't actually made up, I trust.But what they do prove–excuse me, DO PROVE!!– is that the team has played fewer games per month under Johnson (to date), which is obviously because the LERNERS ARE CHEAP!

  51. NatsLady - Jul 28, 2011 at 3:02 PM

    Feel Wood said…My nomination for the Post of the Day goes to—Feel Wood forToo bad the Braves gave up that dollar.That dollar and Wil Nieves would have gotten them either a ticket, a hot dog, peanuts, popcorn or parking when they show up at Nats Park next Monday. Not sure what having just Wil Nieves will get them.

  52. A DC Wonk - Jul 28, 2011 at 3:03 PM

    Steve M. said… Going back, I am looking at games since Davey took over on June 27 and his 25 games and 25 games back for comparison as far as steals, and I don't even have to look at anybody except Ian Desmond. Are you saying that you can look at a single player, and deduce Davey's strategy for the whole team based on that?Really?Looking at only Ian is cherry picking. Bernadina's steals have gone up, despite getting on base less. That's supposed to be irrelevant? (And NatsLady makes a good point, too, regarding Ian's place in the batting order)

  53. Wally - Jul 28, 2011 at 3:03 PM

    Hey DC, I think that you are channeling Sisyphus today. That is a tough road to walk, but I am with you, buddy.So, regardless of the win total (and despite this god-awful stretch of games), here is an awesomely, amazingly positive development to come out of this season: Espy, Ramos, JZimm and Morse are all keepers; young, bona fide above average players at key positions that we can add to Stras and RZimm and Werth to build a championship team around. And I am close to adding Lannan to that mix, although I am not quite there (but I want to be). None of that could be said before the season. It was a bunch of 'I hopes' and 'maybes' and the occasional headscratcher (cough.. Ankiel as CF …cough).So, I don't enjoy games like we have been playing lately, kind of nauseating, but it is a long season and these kinds of stretches happen to the best of teams. Remember the Red Sox at the beginning of the year? We are obviously not in that league, but I think that it is important to keep a sense of the bigger picture. All the griping about 7 years of losing, missed opportunities, Bowden etc still doesn't change the reality of where we are, and this has been a great year of progress for us. I would like to see us finish at .500, too, but maybe even more, I would like to see some of the young SPs like Milone and Peacock this year to check them out. Imagine if Peacock keeps going like this up here?

  54. Steve M. - Jul 28, 2011 at 3:10 PM

    NatsLady, if there are 2 outs when Desmond gets on and is in the 8 hole that is a great point but Desmond was the top base stealer the first half and he has been on base with 1 out and no outs and maybe you steal ahead of a sacrifice. Just saying, it is still a pattern which is why his steals curtailed in June under Riggleman also when he got moved back in the order. I think the bigger observation I have seen the last 4 games is more conservative baseball and a lousy bullpen and faltering starting pitching for a few of the games.I don't see Livo being brought back next year and Rizzo has to be steaming mad as all of the guys he wanted to trade except Marquis have been near awful. Coffey is now worth zero. I said it before that Coffey is basically a ROOGY x 2. Use him against 2 batters and he is done. They burned him out early. He is toast and it is a shame. He was one of the positive surprises for 2 1/2 months. Rizzo is looking worse as the season progresses as almost all of his pickups are just falling apart at this point. LaRoche, Werth, Gorzelanny, Ankiel, Stairs, Henry Rodriguez, Corey Brown, and my favorite Cutter Dykstra. Nix has been his one crowning achievement as being better than advertised which isn't saying much, and to be fair Hairston and Cora are as expected.My biggest issue as I stated over a week ago is the mis-use of the bullpen. I got heat for saying that but I still stand by that as you saw with Coffey yesterday. Storen's hiccup happens as we have seen when he goes in for non-save situations.

  55. Steve M. - Jul 28, 2011 at 3:20 PM

    A DC Wonk said… Steve M. said…Going back, I am looking at games since Davey took over on June 27 and his 25 games and 25 games back for comparison as far as steals, and I don't even have to look at anybody except Ian Desmond. Are you saying that you can look at a single player, and deduce Davey's strategy for the whole team based on that?Really?Looking at only Ian is cherry picking. Bernadina's steals have gone up, despite getting on base less. That's supposed to be irrelevant? (And NatsLady makes a good point, too, regarding Ian's place in the batting order) July 28, 2011 11:03 AM Wonk, who's cherrypicking? I looked at the last 4 days and Desmond over the whole season as I stated. Desmond was the team's top base stealer and he has made no attempts under Davey. Those were the only observations that bothered me. I wasn't the one making other comments but proved those were right in the last 4 games. There have been NO steal attempts the last 3 games. Look, I embraced smart ball/small ball as that worked for this team. Bo Porter has looked like a genius at times at 3rd base. Not sure why he sent Zim in the 9th last night but it worked.Smart and aggressive is what is needed and smart and conservative with the bullpen. Why did Davey leave Livan in for the 5th after almost pulling him in the 4th last night?

  56. Mark'd - Jul 28, 2011 at 3:39 PM

    SteveM, don't get baited in. You made your point. This is what NatsJack and others were referring to.

  57. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 28, 2011 at 5:39 PM

    Idk, I was enjoying the rational disagreement between them (even if steve is arguing uphill). I think it's the ignorant stuff and the insults that annoy people, speaking strictly for me.

  58. Steve M. - Jul 28, 2011 at 6:11 PM

    Sec3, hmmm, whats interesting is my Desmond point at 10:39 ends up being exactly what Davey Johnson commented on before the game for moving Desmond up to the 7th spot."There was a lot of things," Johnson said when asked what went into the decision to alter the bottom of his lineup. "Number one, I get more speed in front of (Ramos). I can run Desmond more often. (Ramos) has been struggling, Ramos, and but the main thing is that I've got some speed in front of him.

  59. JaneB - Jul 29, 2011 at 1:31 AM

    Mark Z., loved this report. I hope they let you make lots of videos like this.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 76 57 --
ATLANTA 71 64 6.0
MIAMI 65 68 11.0
NEW YORK 63 72 14.0
PHILADELPHIA 61 73 15.5
Through Friday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
SAT: Nats at Mariners, 9:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Mariners, 4:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 4:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
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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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