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Slogging their way through a losing streak

Jul 28, 2011, 10:34 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Ryan Zimmerman, who had four hits, tries to cool off on a hot afternoon.

Their starting pitcher issued four walks, three of them to begin innings. They ran themselves into a needless out on a double steal that was never called by the manager. Their newest acquisition came up to bat with the bases loaded and one out, then grounded into a double play on the first pitch he saw.

By the time they had slogged their way through Thursday’s 3-hour, 38-minute ordeal, the Nationals had dropped a 5-2 decision to the Marlins, their fifth-straight loss and the latest in a growing string of uninspired performances from a ballclub that suddenly appears headed in the wrong direction.

“I’d say up until this point we’ve been doing the little things to help us win games, help us stay in games,” said right fielder Jayson Werth, who drove in both runs. “I’d say the last few nights, for sure, seems like fundamentally we haven’t been that sound.”

That’s an understatement. The Nationals had already looked a bit sluggish in the field and on the bases at various points since the All-Star break. On Thursday, though, they appeared to sleepwalk their way through this matinee on a scorching afternoon in the District.

It certainly didn’t help that starter John Lannan was uncharacteristically out of sync, issuing four walks, plunking Marlins slugger Mike Stanton in the head and needing a whopping 115 pitches
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  1. ehay2k - Jul 28, 2011 at 10:59 PM

    I hate to say it, but they were playing better baseball under Riggleman. They have take several steps backwards. DJ is still learning how to handle his pitchers, and it shows. At least Werth hit tonight.Funny – the captcha code to post this (originally) was dervisa. If only Rizzo and the Lerners had broken out Der Visa and paid Riggs his measly 600K for next year….

  2. Anonymous - Jul 28, 2011 at 11:02 PM

    I'm surprised that the Nats can "still" attract 24,000 people to the stadium with the way they've been playing since the All Star break. Either "hope springs eternal," or 24,000 people thought it was $1 hot dog day! Methinks it was the latter.

  3. LoveDaNats - Jul 28, 2011 at 11:28 PM

    Did anyone ever consider that Riggleman bailing has affected them more than they want to admit? Maybe it isn't Davey's management, maybe it's Riggleman's abandonment .

  4. UNTERP.NAT - Jul 28, 2011 at 11:29 PM

    I look forward to Wang tomorrow, win or lose.I look forward to September call ups, Peacock, and Strasburg.I look forward to the off season who Rizzo will sign and spring training whether Peacock, Milone make starting rotation.I hope the Nats can finish .500 next season.That is all…

  5. sparkler - Jul 28, 2011 at 11:31 PM

    But OMG, can you imagine how optimistic we'll feel tomorrow if CMW pitches a gem and we soundly beat the Mets.And since it's baseball, it's possible!

  6. gonatsgo - Jul 28, 2011 at 11:31 PM

    Last night at the game, many, many people had left before the ninth – the people who stayed were into every pitch and really cheering the team on. Look around you when you are out and about in the MetroDC area — there are curly W's all over the place. People I know in other states report sightings of nats fans, too. The team is becoming part of the fabric of life in this area. Even people I know who don't follow baseball like Ryan Zimmerman and know about Beast Mode. This season they have not been perceived as the hapless losers. I hope we don't go back to that. But I also think that the franchise has gone out of it's way to become a part of the community and that breeds loyalty. Some tourists behind us absolutely loved being able to come to a game on a dc vacation and see the capitol and washington monument from the stadium — they tooks tons of pictures and plan on coming back every summer. I hear people talking about the team. If the franchise continues to build this team, it's going to be fun!

  7. dale - Jul 28, 2011 at 11:36 PM

    Trade chatter talk becoming the latest excuse for unfundamental baseball? When I heard that from Werth I wanted to scream. Actually, that is the well worn excuse the Nats always pull out this time of year, as the season pivots.Remember when "pitching and defense" was the slogan of 2011? That was what got this team to heights of .500 ball. Rizzo is listening to what Davey wants, and does Davey want players like Gomes? No defense and a bat that goes silent against right handed pitchers? At least he is better than Stairs.Meanwhile, down on the farm….

  8. baseballswami - Jul 28, 2011 at 11:37 PM

    LoveDaNats – I think you are in the ballpark, so to speak. I think the entire episode – lots of unresolved tension, the ultimatum, the shocking resignation, the whole sale coaching changes, the surprising ineptness of someone who was thought to be the savior — this is a mostly young team and there has been a lot of extra crap to deal with – they were putting wins together with duct tape as it was. I think a lot of the background noise has affected these guys more than we will ever know. I also am guessing that Rizzo is the type guy that doesn't talk about stuff – just stuff it down and move on. I have been in work situations were leadership was in turmoil and it takes its toll.

  9. Anonymous - Jul 28, 2011 at 11:40 PM

    I am looking forward to the final trade[s] yet to be made. Clearly at least one will involve the starting pitching rotation which has started to become unraveled.Still think that perhaps, perhaps they might consider sending Livo to the bullpen to be the long man, trading Marquis, getting rid of Wang, (he's over 30 and he will likely get slaughtered by the amazing Mets who are being sold off piecemeal yet still manage to win), and then maybe getting Stammen, Milone and Peacock up to the majors now instead of later.

  10. natsfan1a - Jul 28, 2011 at 11:51 PM

    Speaking only for myself, I was wondering about the trade deadline effect even before reading Mark's piece. They're human, and I would think that adding and subtracting personnel must have some effect on team dynamics. Was also wondering how much they might miss Pudge. Even when he's not on the field, he always seems to be really into the game from the dugout. Almost felt like having an extra base coach.

  11. natsfan1a - Jul 28, 2011 at 11:54 PM

    From the Misery Loves Company Department, was watching MLB Network and noted that a couple of other teams had sweeps completed on them today – the Cubs and…I forget the other one. D'oh! From the Former Nat Sales Department, saw that Felipe Lopez went from the Rays to the Brewers for cash considerations.

  12. bups - Jul 28, 2011 at 11:55 PM

    Gomes fits right in with this sad sack team. Just another terrific acquisition by Mike Rizzo.

  13. masnstinks - Jul 28, 2011 at 11:57 PM

    I also believe that the pitching rotation and bullpen will look very different a couple of weeks from now. It's difficult for me to look at a calendar and see that September call-ups are also not that long from now – on Monday it will be August and today was game 104 — 77-78 left? Trades now, signings in 2 weeks,September call ups. I hope that the good memories of this season are not all behind us and that there are still some good ones coming. I think Zimm has at least one good walk off due.Hopefully this is just some mid-summer doldrums and they can finish strong. Anyone want to play at guessing the rotation on – say – Labor Day weekend?

  14. baseballswami - Jul 29, 2011 at 12:01 AM

    natsfan1a – you are on my wavelength — more instability and the absence of Pudge. Is it a coincidence that our pitching staff is struggling now and he is not playing? I know that some of them have had some trouble with Flores, too. And – how does Flop continue to get jobs in mlb?

  15. NatsLady - Jul 29, 2011 at 12:08 AM

    Agree, I think the pitchers and other players miss Pudge. I think they would not have had that missed sign/double squeeze if Pudge were here. I know Cora does some on-field "management", but he wasn't playing today either.I'm also noticing lots of curly-W hats around.

  16. CBinDC - Jul 29, 2011 at 12:22 AM

    Well if nobody noticed that a certain person posting on a certain papers website comments has been beat down by the moderators at that site ….finally… guess the day was not total loss

  17. gonatsgo - Jul 29, 2011 at 12:27 AM

    cb — really? Sounds like there might be more to this story. Interesting.

  18. CBinDC - Jul 29, 2011 at 12:44 AM

    This afternoon a sudden tag came up saying that the poster had violated the sites standards for each comment posting ….and if you know the person who has trolled there for over a year well now was getting banged by the moderators ….finally

  19. JaneB - Jul 29, 2011 at 1:11 AM

    Interesting thought, that Pudge being in Miami might be part of the missing ingredient here. Also, that the shock of having Riggleman up and leave and take so many guys with him could be having larger consequences. And if the team, like many posters here, thought Davey was the secret weapon lying in wait, it could be discombobulating to find out he was not paying attention in class these last few years. That all adds up to a major balance shift. Makes sense.Somehow, it makes me less worried, and more confident that they can get it together. It's a balance thing; they just need to find it again, and they can. It may take a player on the team to lead them through it. I wonder who will step up to do it? Even though it was a flat game, I was so happy to see whom ever came to bat, come to bat. Well, not yet Jonny, but I loved Werth about three months earlier than I thought, so maybe I will love him by the end of the week. When Clip came out, even though it was the wrong time, I was grateful to see him, and still in OUR uniform. I think they can still do .500 THIS year. I do. I'm hoping Wang is right for our boys.

  20. gonatsgo - Jul 29, 2011 at 1:18 AM

    CB – I am glad to hear that – I like his writing, but find the site format annoying and some of the posters — one in particular – to be annoying also.Jane B — I am hoping for the magic to return. You never know what's going to start it. Did anyone else think that Davey maybe should have intervened today when the ump basically went after Clipp and started yelling at him? Even Ray, who adores Davey, seemed to expect him to at least go out and stick up for his guy. Has he gone out at all to argue anything? I thought that was a little unusual and alarming for the ump to do that.

  21. LoveDaNats - Jul 29, 2011 at 1:38 AM

    Thanks, baseballswami. I agree with you 100%. These intangibles can affect play.

  22. Anonymous - Jul 29, 2011 at 1:45 AM

    To paraphrase George Harrison, "The Nats are a drag. A well-known drag." Game after game, then week after week, then month after month, of an offense that simply sucks. They are SO painful to watch. Nothing ever happens. Then the endless commentary from the TV and radio guys about how long till they break out.Hint: this season is over. They are NEVER going to break out in 2011. All we are watching is a salvage operation to find some bright spot in the last two months which the Nats PR operation can "build on" for the 2012 hypefest.For some reason, we have drawn a low character team–that is, a team that does not rise to the occasion, night after night. Our franchise is built around a third baseman who cannot reliably throw to second (DP) or first. It is a hollow, empty team, based 100 percent on talk.The idea that we would overtake the Braves for the wildcard–a team that wins night after night after night–is just more, pure MASN spin.We suck.

  23. NatsLady - Jul 29, 2011 at 1:50 AM

    Davey doesn't go out much, and when he does, he seems to just say something to an umpire and then retreat. Maybe he is just waiting for his moment. I too was glad to see Clip — had my "Fear the Goggles" jersey on. Hopefully, we'll get back to some "Clip and Store" games VERY soon.The most impressive crowd had to be Wednesday night, when it wasn't a promotion and it wasn't kids from summer camps. 21K folks came out to a mid-week game, gotta love that. (I wasn't one of them).

  24. NatsLady - Jul 29, 2011 at 1:52 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  25. Scooter - Jul 29, 2011 at 2:36 AM

    Hey, what was that about, when the umpire was talking to Clippard? I assume Clippard had started jawing, or rolling his eyes or something? The view from the 3's is more about seeing the whole picture and can be short on detail. (And, oddly, I don't much feel like watching my tape of today's game.)

  26. sjm308 - Jul 29, 2011 at 2:42 AM

    I rarely comment on an anon post but "low character"?? who has been arrested, who has embarassed themselves in public, who have you seen not playing hard? They might not play well but they play hard. Low character is putting a post up like that and signing off anonymous. None of us hear are happy we are losing but most of us want to see better days and will hang in. When we do start winning the good news will be that you will not be around whatever your name is. Low character my as*.

  27. sjm308 - Jul 29, 2011 at 2:45 AM

    Maybe that person banned or whatever from NJ is now hear as one of the many anons. I honestly read Adams work but never go to the comment section because of that certain poster. Will still not go there because I like most of what I read here but I am glad someone finally stepped up. Don't suppose this blog will eliminate anons so we will never know if its just one idiot or a group that continues to beat our boys up.

  28. NatsLady - Jul 29, 2011 at 3:36 AM

    Re: Clip. There was a 3rd strike that was not called. Clip said something like "C'mon" to the umpire, who then stepped out to yell at Clip. Clip took his normal turn around the mound, which he always does, and the ump took offense, thinking that Clip was "dissing" him. Clip threw the next pitch and tempers cooled (I guess).

  29. Scooter - Jul 29, 2011 at 3:57 AM

    Thanks, NatsLady. That makes sense, especially the part about Clippard's normal routine looking to the uninitiated like he was being disrespectful.

  30. MikeD - Jul 29, 2011 at 4:21 AM

    The Ump was out of line, as usual. They need to clean house with some of these arrogant tools.

  31. MikeD - Jul 29, 2011 at 4:24 AM

    And what I mean is, would you seen a NFL official do that crap? NO. NHL ref? NO. NBA ref? NO.The MLB needs to so something about the umps, they are out of control, and some are just plain inept.

  32. Rabbit - Jul 29, 2011 at 10:28 AM

    Thanks to MLB TV, I got to watch a real baseball team – the Red Sox – yesterday afternoon.

  33. Rabbit - Jul 29, 2011 at 10:34 AM

    Reading about the Gomes performance (I don't watch many games any more), he will fit in just fine in Washington.

  34. natsfan1a - Jul 29, 2011 at 10:37 AM

    Yeah, I think that ump is going on my list of, well, umps of whom I am not fond. I wound back and watched the sequence a couple of times but still didn't catch when/what Clip said. Maybe the weather had the ump hot and bothered.On plus side, nice to see Werth's at-bat in the 7th (11 pitches, I think) before his second RBI (the first RBI having been rather flukey). Good to see fans standing up and cheering for him afterwards, too. Earlier in the at-bat, I thought I heard a heckler saying something like "I want to kill you, you hippie." Hope I misheard that because…dang. Heard the guy go off a couple of times and then he stopped so maybe someone intervened.

  35. JaneB - Jul 29, 2011 at 10:39 AM

    Rabbit, no need for that this early in the morning. These guys are a real major league team…just not firing on all cylinders.And the priceless capcha here: gerouch. Kinda the way the blues pronounce "strike" as "ste-rike!" Applies to BOTH of us, this morning!

  36. NatsLady - Jul 29, 2011 at 10:52 AM

    1A, according to in-game tweets, the fan was shouting, "Go back to Philly, you dirty hippie."

  37. NatsLady - Jul 29, 2011 at 11:20 AM

    According to Klaw, on Baseball Today, with Betran traded to the Giants, and the Astros wavering on Pence, BJ Upton is now the biggest chip in the outfielder market. So the Rays can sit back and wait for bidders and it will take more than "Tyler Clippard from the Nationals."Says something about the market when an iffy .221 hitter all that's left. Better wait until the off-season.

  38. natsfan1a - Jul 29, 2011 at 11:28 AM

    Thanks, NatsLady. Maybe I need to get my hearing checked (that, or the home plate mic needs adjusting). :-) Never mind, as Emily Litella would say. Calling somebody a hippie is rather a throwback heckle, isn't it? Very 1970s. Of course, it was also used against Lincecum in the NLCS last year. Not having watched all of the game last night, don't know whether that, or the wolf whistles, were recycled there. I liked Lincecum's reply last fall, "the Phillies fans must really think I'm good looking." :-DWatched bits and pieces of the Giants/Phillies game last night and they had an interview with Beltran on the pregame.

  39. Anonymous - Jul 29, 2011 at 11:33 AM

    I went to disney world and saw many W hats. But none of them new anything about the team. They said they just like the hat because to them the W stood for "Im a winner."

  40. Anonymous - Jul 29, 2011 at 11:41 AM

    anon 9:45pm you could not have said it more perfectly. However you should not slam Ryan Zimm. He was a former golden glover who has had some injuries. But right now he is the only guy I see who seems like he actually cares. This season was ruined when Mike Rizzo put his ego ahead of the team by not negotiating with Riggleman.

  41. mjames1 - Jul 29, 2011 at 11:49 AM

    It is so discouraging to watch this team year after year. I wish Nats management would employ the Expos and now Marlins player management style. Neither team had or has the money to rely on projects, aging veterans or retreads projects like Wang, Stairs, Cora, Ankiel, Hernandez, etc. The Expos who were noted for their player development abilities. They would focus on the draft and bring up players and let them develop in the majors. The Marlin do the same to some degree. We should be seeing Manero, Peacock, Milan, Lombardozzi, etc. Look at the Mets they are employing this style now and bringing up young guys. They do not have the money to play the retreads or aging veterans. I don't understand Rizzo. It is almost as if he is afraid to test his draft choices in the majors. On a closing note what has hurt this team since it has moved to the DC is the drafting. We are terrible at that. We can not seem to draft a Stanton. Our drafts choices either retire or idle in the minors. I want to a Manero or a a Tyler Moore over an Ankile, Cora. That is my rant for the year.

  42. baseballswami - Jul 29, 2011 at 12:01 PM

    I think it's kind of strange that we were winning when Zim ( R,not J) was on the dl- we were eking out wins. Now he is back and just raking and we lose.Love to watch him hit! Agree with above posters about the fact that this team is NOT low-character. – I read it yesterday and kind of ignored the troll, but now feel I must chime in. Also agreed about the umpire situation. MLB really needs to take care of these egotistical blowhards. I do think that DJ should have stood up for his player even if he got tossed. That was a really aggressive move by the ump and the game was at a very stressful point.Wang tonight against a hot Mets team. Should be interesting to say the least…

  43. natscan reduxit - Jul 29, 2011 at 12:03 PM

    Hi Fans,… it was no great surprise to me. That the Nats had to pull the plug on Matt Stairs was completely understandable – as a baseball decision, as well as a personal one. Matt had enjoyed a helluva run, but you'd have had to be wearing blinders not to see that the run was over.… still, he was pretty damn successful in the greatest game in the world, and the fact that he hails from a small place, a small place in a backwater part of a country, a country which although it boasts a great and proud baseball tradition, can only in recent years claim to be a force to be reckoned with when it comes to MLB. Nad Matt was 'our' homegrown star. We revelled in his every at bat, and gloried in all those pinch hit dingers.… he's off the field now for the last time, and before long will exchange his cleats for skates. Good luck to you, Matt, and stop in and say hello next time you're up this way.… anyone who wants to, can read the home town story about Matt's last move, by visiting: http://dailygleaner.canadaeast.com/sports/article/1427567… and oh yeah. It happened in Washington – twice – so why couldn't it happen in Montreal? Read: http://sports.nationalpost.com/2011/07/27/expos-fans-can-still-only-dream-of-baseball’s-return/natscan reduxitGo Nats!!

  44. Anonymous - Jul 29, 2011 at 12:05 PM

    "That is my rant for the year."McFly! Hello McFly. Anybody home?

  45. Anonymous - Jul 29, 2011 at 12:12 PM

    "I think it's kind of strange that we were winning when Zim was on the dl"This board needs to make up its mind.Was it DJ's fault or Zimms fault?We know it CAN'T be because the team simply isn't very good. Take out the stretch just before the All Star game, where they won 11 of 12 (10 by 2 runs or less or in extra innings) and even Stevie Wonder can see that the Nats are a less than mediocre team.

  46. Roberto - Jul 29, 2011 at 12:15 PM

    "It is so discouraging to watch this team year after year."I agree. Every step forward is quickly followed by at least two back. "On a closing note what has hurt this team since it has moved to the DC is the drafting."Yep. Apart from Peacock, the 2006 draft is a total bust. Nothing. 2007? Detweiler is heading for the pen; Smoker and McGreary are nowhere near anywhere. Only Zimmermann and, possibly, Norris will salvage that mess. 2008 is shaping up to be somewhere between 2006 and 2007, IOW, awful. 2009 and 2010 look much better but then again the baseball gods gifted the Nats with once-in-a-decade top picks. Storen of course has done very well. For a team that wants to build through the draft and farm system, its track record in both is discouraging.

  47. NatsLady - Jul 29, 2011 at 12:17 PM

    @natscan reduxit: thanks for posting this. Sometimes we forget.

  48. natsfan1a - Jul 29, 2011 at 12:26 PM

    Second NatsLady re. the links. Thanks, natscan, and good luck to Montreal on the baseball possibility.

  49. A DC Wonk - Jul 29, 2011 at 12:48 PM

    LoveDaNats said… Did anyone ever consider that Riggleman bailing has affected them more than they want to admit? Maybe it isn't Davey's management, maybe it's Riggleman's abandonment .Or maybe it's mostly just that the pitching has regressed to the mean.bups said… Gomes fits right in with this sad sack team.Riiiggghht. Because we can surely judge the worth of a trade after a single game.Rizzo is listening to what Davey wants, and does Davey want players like Gomes?And who said that?Look, betting that Gomes is better than the guy who he replaced, Stairs, is a no brainer.But the important part of the trade is that if we let him walk, since he's Type B, we get a sandwich (better than 2d round) pick.This is a trade for the long run — as opposed to, say, measuring its worth after a single game.mjames wrote:We should be seeing Manero, Peacock, Milan, Lombardozzi, etc. Look at the Mets they are employing this style now and bringing up young guys. They do not have the money to play the retreads or aging veterans. I don't understand Rizzo. It is almost as if he is afraid to test his draft choices in the majors.He's being smart and making sure the guys in the minors are fully ready. Bringing guys up too soon, and then having them bounce between the Nats and AAA is not useful.On a closing note what has hurt this team since it has moved to the DC is the drafting.In fact, I do remember the criticism when the Nats "wasted" a 10th pick on Drew Storen. "Why are we drafting a reliever? They are a dime a dozen!"Roberto said…Every step forward is quickly followed by at least two back.Let's see — two 100+ loss seasons followed by a 10 game improvement — the second largest improvement in MLB baseball. And this year looks improved over last. And next year, presumably, we'll be adding LaRoche & Strasburg. JZimm ought to be able to pitch a full year next year. Harper's on the horizon — as is Peacock.It's more like: every two steps forward there's one step backward.But you know what — that's what it looks like with every improving team. MLB baseball destroyed our farm system and sold off anything worthwhile. It takes years to recover from that.It's a marathon, not a sprint.

  50. sparking - Jul 29, 2011 at 12:52 PM

    RE: We are terrible at drafting.Come on, this is silly. No one is going to argue with you that we did not draft well early on. And of course our farm system was a shambles in 2005. But 2009 was a good draft, 2010 was very good and 2011 was very good. So what's he point of the rant? No one has a crystal ball. Complain we don't find a Stanton? I don't even know what that means. We can't find a highly touted HS kid and draft him in the 2nd round? Every team can do that. And how many become capable MLB players? In 2008 the Marlins with the 6th pick in the draft took a HS catcher Kyle Skipworth. He's hitting .198 with an SLG of .300 in AA. Some HS players make it, most don't. True for Florida, true for Nats, true for everyone.How about Lannan, a seviceable MLB SP drafted in the 11th round in 2005. Brad Peacock, now a highly regarded prospect that the Nats drafted in 2006 in round 41.Cherry pick all you want, but rants without perspective are idiotic.

  51. sparkem - Jul 29, 2011 at 12:56 PM

    DC Wonk – Why do you say Gomes is a Type B? That's just goofy! FA status gets decided at the end of the season. Gomes will be ranked against all OF's, all DH's and all 1B's, for performance over 2 years. And his stats stink for this year. Will he be in the top 40% of that group? Maybe. Maybe not.Maybe he gets TypeB. We'll find out in late October. Calling him a TypeB now is nutty.

  52. CBinDC - Jul 29, 2011 at 12:59 PM

    So to show you the lack of respect the team gets and the fan base along with it. This morning the Junkies have Nomar Garciaparra on and they DO NOT ask even one question on the Nationals …..this is the flagship station mind you …..they did talk about the current Red Sox since the as the host is a Red Sox fan ……but not even a quick question about what he thought of the current situation since he is a member of the Baseball Tonight team on ESPN I am sure he would have a quick opinion …..but no Nationals are LOSERS no need to talk about them on THE FLAGSHIP STATION

  53. sparks - Jul 29, 2011 at 1:02 PM

    Additionally, if Gomes is tagged TypeB, then we only get the sandwich pick if we offer him arbitration, and he declines. So what if we offer him arbitration and he accepts? Then we end up with a $2M right handed bat off the bench. Not saying this is good. Not saying this is bad. Just saying there's no reason to presume we get a sandwich pick for Gomes at this point.

  54. Anonymous - Jul 29, 2011 at 1:03 PM

    another anon here. just because anons dont post 10+ times a day doesn't mean their opinions are any less meaningful than those with ids.anyway, the team is just not that good – yet.they have young talent but… (a few random thoughts)Werth is overpaid and has never shown the superstar abilities that correspond with how much money the nats gave him. he is not a leader but a diva and there is plenty of data to back that up.Zim is worth every dollar relatively speaking but he is too quiet to be a team leader – not a knock just the factsand that is what this team is missing – leadership and offensive talentdavey is going to lose this team soon especially with a divisive presence like Werth in the locker roomevery fan base thinks their young guys are the next best thing – its no different hereanother issue I see is that they overpay for role players – let the young guys including AAA play and see what you have – Stairs, Hairston, Cora, Pudge, Ankiel, Nix, Gomes? i can see 2 or 3 but we collect those guys here. i would keep Cora and Pudge for the respect they garner in the clubhouse – ship the rest out and let the youngins play. I don't get the philosophy.the pitching has overachieved all year and is just coming back to earth. this will be a very good staff soon but not yet. Livan, Gorzo, Marquis, Wang are not the future here so don't have that be your expectationLannan, Strasburg, J Zimm and 2 TBD should be your rotation and Livan and Gorzo should be holding those spots until they are filled. Lannan is not a #1 or #2 dont expect that – its unrealistic.finally, this team needs an identity. are we a speed & defense team or the yankees. that needs to be decided and the front office needs to grow this team in a direction not scattered like they do now.i am sure i am leaving out quite a bit but thats enough from an anon

  55. Anonymous - Jul 29, 2011 at 1:21 PM

    Even if Gomes is a Type B free agent, the Nats would be stupid to offer him arbitration, because Gomes would be even stupider to decline it.

  56. HHover - Jul 29, 2011 at 1:30 PM

    Re: Gomes and Type B statusIt's true that what matters is his standing in the Elias rankings at the end of the season, but mlbtr has "reverse engineered" them so you can check how players currently rate.Earlier this week, they rated Gomes towards the bottom of the Type B's.http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/07/eli.html

  57. Hates anonymous posters - Jul 29, 2011 at 1:30 PM

    Anon 9:03, so Werth is a "diva" (he talks too much?), and RZimm is not a leader (he doesn't talk enough?). What are you, a fly on the clubhouse wall? Great reasoning. Stick to being anonymous.

  58. JaneB - Jul 29, 2011 at 1:35 PM

    Anon at 9:03…to be clear, though Im speaking for myself, and guesstimating that others agree… it's the anonymous SNIPING that so many people don't like. A few get on here and vomit venom all over the place and then hide. Others think they are hiding but are identifiable (I think( from other places they post. Yours was a thoughtful post, and if I knew what to call you beyond Anon at 9:03, I would use your handle. I agree the team needs an identity. Rizzo was choosing good defensive and sneaking up on speed. Davey doesn't play that way, or he'd be drilling defense. We have a little identity confusion for sure!

  59. JaneB - Jul 29, 2011 at 1:36 PM

    Ooops…not speaking for HatesAnonymousPosters, clearly! LOL

  60. Anonymous - Jul 29, 2011 at 1:37 PM

    hates at 9:03i know a lot more than you ever will…lets leave it at thatif you know anyone close to the organization ask about Werth…nearly unanimous opinion of him

  61. Anonymous - Jul 29, 2011 at 1:39 PM

    "anon9:03" I like it! that will be my new name although I won't sign in – don't care to subscribe to this and everything else under the sun – have enough to worry about in my life

  62. UNTERP.NAT - Jul 29, 2011 at 1:41 PM

    Anonymous said… hates at 9:03 i know a lot more than you ever will…lets leave it at thatYou can't possibly know more than me. I don't know anything. Therefore, what you know times don't know anything equals you don't know anything either. Just something to ponder…

  63. natsfan1a - Jul 29, 2011 at 1:41 PM

    Kinda hard to tell how many times a day any given Anon posts because they're all, you know, Anonymous (kinda like Spartacus, but I digress). One solution to being lumped with other Anons, if that's an issue, might be to consistently use a specific name/moniker. I'm just saying.Also, I thought the issue as framed previously was that Werth didn't talk enough. Now he talks too much? I'm sooo confused.

  64. natsfan1a - Jul 29, 2011 at 1:44 PM

    9:03, just fyi, you don't need to subscribe or have an account to sign in. You can select the Name/URL "comment as" option, type a name or moniker in the "name" box, and leave the "URL" box blank.

  65. Anonymous - Jul 29, 2011 at 1:46 PM

    anon9:03 here (thanks to JaneB)my comment re Werth is that he is divisive in the clubhouse and a diva and there is plenty of data to back that up – he talks plenty just not constructivelyhe is very competitive and takes his job very seriously unlike many athletes today (good things) but is flatly an arrogant prick – that is his personalityi hope his struggles humble him a bit because that would help this team enormously. he has the personality to lead but he chooses to see himself above his teammates and the coaches and at times the organization. if and until that changes, he will hurt this more than help it

  66. Anonymous - Jul 29, 2011 at 1:46 PM

    Who on this team is a legitimate professional hitter and a tough out except Zimmerman, Morse, and maybe Hairston? I think the jury is still out on Espinosa being able to hit .250 for a season. Desmond would literally be more productive if he bunted every single AB. Rendon can't get here fast enough. Team needs hitter everywhere. Our guys strike out against everybody, even the pitchers who are not strikeout pitchers. Every good bat in our system who is even close to ready deserves a call up. Please. Watching this team try to hit is excruciating.

  67. anon9:03 - Jul 29, 2011 at 1:48 PM

    natsfan1a – thanks for the tipthis is a test message and then i go back to work – sucked in too long here

  68. gonatsgo - Jul 29, 2011 at 2:10 PM

    Since I don't want to get involved in the " anonymous" argument ( aren't we all anonymous anyway?) — regarding 106.7 THE FAN — what a joke. I am surprised that I don't hear more negative things on this post about it. I supposed it's because, like me – not very many people actually tune in unless it's just for Charlie and Dave. It's a terrible excuse for a flagship station – they openly don't care about baseball (I know, grammar awful) and their knowledge of it is really shallow. Sometimes I turn to it in the car and it's pretty much NFL or something stupid and not accurate about the Nats. I guess we are used to having bad coverage because of masn — really — Debbie Taylor? Although I do like FP. I tend to focus on the stadium, the team, etc. — but the Nationals franchise has a ways to go in this town with media, also. Does anyone know if the MASN thing has a number of years attached to it – it Angelos' blackmail of MLB Endless? I don't know how many more years of the O's-Nats " Joint coverage" I can stand. Flagship Station my a$@.

  69. natsfan1a - Jul 29, 2011 at 2:20 PM

    I don't listen to 106.7 other than when I can't get a Nats game on tv, so I can't weigh in re. other programming. Re. tv, will be glad to have FP back and hope that his mom is doing better. I like Ray but not so much as a color guy (will that qualify as a flagship rant? :-)).

  70. UNTERP.NAT - Jul 29, 2011 at 2:24 PM

    In defense of negative posters (SNIPERS et al), anons, and myself, I don't think the negative posts are negative for negative sake. I don't think posters are taking shots at the Nationals as much as they are criticisms of flaws that has been a constant since the last several games of the 2005 season in a culture of losing that are the Washington Nationals. And the main reason aside from what we might think about the former GM, Ownership, and the current GM, is, what is the plan going forward? With the negative posts I believe the tendancy to want instant gratification in place of future payoff conflicts with the reality of where the Nationals now stand. Not very good, young, perhaps unspectacular, but competitive. The angst is this, will the core of this team going forward (even with Strasburg and Harper) be good enough to contend in 2013 and beyond. Maybe it doesn't matter. I think I remember in 2004 not having a team at all. And I have to check myself and even pinch myself every summer day, and repeat three time like Dorothy when she says 'there's no place like home,' "we have a ball club, we have a ball club, we have a ball club."Winning may be the only thing. But it's not everything…

  71. Anonymous - Jul 29, 2011 at 2:28 PM

    I've never seen a chat site where people spend more time hating anonymous posters! Can we focus on content instead of identity from now on?

  72. Hates anonymous posters - Jul 29, 2011 at 2:32 PM

    Apparently, you don't know much. You don't have to subscribe to ANYTHING to sign your own name. Simply go where it says Name/Url and put in a name or handle that you would like to use so that people can feel they are "speaking" to someone identifiable.

  73. NatsLady - Jul 29, 2011 at 2:47 PM

    @UNTERP.NAT: I think part of the problem (other than impatience and other than losing) is that people want drama. When there is controversy (e.g., Riggleman, e.g., the Werth signing) there is opportunity to make opinions known, legitimate opinions on both sides.Now we are kind of in a dead/waiting zone. Not a good team, but not a hopeless team. I still think Rizzo's plan was to go young, seed the team with some veterans (Pudge, Livo, Werth), and get speed and defense. For that he sacrificed the big bats (Dunn, Willingham) that were the 3-4-5, and lots of fun to watch. Now, developing young talent takes time and involves risk (cf., Desmond). Even "established" vets can backfire (Pudge on DL, Werth slump, Livo getting tired). Also, people want immediate fixes, yet they don't want to give up anything. Get Bourne/Pence/Upton, et al., don't give up Storen, Clippard, or $1.Personally, I'm willing to wait a year or two. When Stras, Harper, Peacock, Millone, etc. are here–if we STILL don't win, then I'm mad. In the meantime, I love baseball and am SO glad we have it here./End of rant

  74. NatsLady - Jul 29, 2011 at 2:58 PM

    Also, agree with JaneB that Rizzo/Riggs had one idea about the team (young, defense, speed, pitching), Davey has another (offense). I think in that respect, though obviously not in others, Rizzo and Riggs were on the same page. It will be interesting to see if Rizzo adapts his plan to Davey's vision, or vice-versa. I do think it may lead to some confusion.Re: Werth. I have absolutely NO problem with a hard-driving guy, arrogant anatomical part even, if he has the talent to match, and if it motivates teammates–and even the "motivate teammates" part is optional… The jury is still out on Werth, and since we have another 6.25 years, it's not time to bring in the verdict.In fact, there were some comments here that Davey was being too much of a nice guy, players' manager. I'd like to imagine Werth had something to say to Gomes, but maybe not, because Werth has had his bad days also.

  75. m20832 - Jul 29, 2011 at 3:18 PM

    m20832 said… My daughter and I were at the game yesterday in section c behind homeplate. My daughter was wearing a black armless shirt and the sun just had its way with her shoulders and arms. It was just so freakin' HOT! Even when the clouds came in. I sweated through my Espinosa teeshirt three times. RZimm is back! Four hits and some real nice catches. Werth hits two (one was very lucky) and LannEn pitched his usual pretty good game. It was funny on Werth's second hit. There was a guy in B section that was yelling for Werth the dirty smelly hippy to go back to filthidelphia. Then Werth hits the line drive over the second baseman's glove driving in RZimm. Shut that guy up! Luved it! I was complementing the ump all afternoon on his calls. His strike zone was a little low, but he was fair about it calling it for both teams. But when Clippard threw the inside pitch (I forget the batters name and it was a strike), he said something and turned around to go back on the mound, the umpire blew up and started yelling at Clip, it got real quiet, everybody expected Clip to be ejected. I yelled as loud as I could "Hey ump, the game isn't about you! Get your butt back behind the plate!" The umpire actually stopped hands on hips, looked like he was thinking about something, turned around and came back behind the plate. Another thing around the fifth-sixth inning, I looked to my right and saw Lerner's head bobbing up and own and the next thing he was sleeping. If the owner of the team is that bored with the game, maybe he ought to do something that would make the team a little bit more exciting. Just putting that out there….. July 29, 2011 10:21 AM

  76. Steve M. - Jul 29, 2011 at 3:25 PM

    Great points NatsLady!

  77. natsfan1a - Jul 29, 2011 at 3:29 PM

    LOL, atta way re. the ump, m20832!Re. sleepy owners, I don't know how old you are, but some of us, um, older folks do enjoy the occasional afternoon nap. Sometimes we go down deliberately and sometimes we just happen to nod off while in the upright position… ;-)

  78. natsfan1a - Jul 29, 2011 at 3:31 PM

    And I agree with NatsLady on the, er, anatomical parts question in this case.

  79. NatsLady - Jul 29, 2011 at 3:39 PM

    1A: Does he have more than one??? Interesting.

  80. natsfan1a - Jul 29, 2011 at 3:44 PM

    NatsLady, LOL! I don't have any insider information to share on that, um, front.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

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WASHINGTON 55 44 --
ATLANTA 55 46 1.0
NEW YORK 48 53 8.0
MIAMI 47 52 8.5
PHILADELPHIA 43 57 12.5
Through Wednesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
THU: OFF
FRI: Nats at Reds, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Reds, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Reds, 1:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
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