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A much-needed win

Aug 1, 2011, 2:00 AM EDT

US Presswire photo
Rick Ankiel is congratulated after scoring the winning run.

After losing five straight series dating back to before the All-Star break, the Nationals finally broke through in a 3-2 win against the New York Mets on Sunday afternoon. Washington took the win and the series on an Ian Desmond walk-off single that bounced off Mets’ pitcher Bobby Parnell’s glove.

It was a win that, while not pretty, could be just what the club needs to get back on the road to .500.

“That stopped the bleeding,” outfielder Jayson Werth said. “It’s a good day, we won the series and hopefully we can build on it.”

Werth and the Nationals have had a year of ebbs and flows, but just recently they lost a season-high six straight games. Now with two consecutive victories and a much-needed series win, there was a sense in the clubhouse that maybe things are back on the way up.

Read Chase Hughes’ full game story on CSNwashington.com.

  1. Steve M. - Aug 1, 2011 at 2:24 AM

    I posted this on the other thread. Braves in town tomorrow so it doesn't get easier. Say hello to Michael Bourn…again!Steve M. said… Also of note, Detwiler is taking Marquis spot in the rotation. For the next 15 to 21 days, here is the rotation as planned:1) Jordan Zimmmermann2) John Lannan3) Livan Hernandez4) Chien-Ming Wang5) Ross DetwilerPass the Maalox, Wang and Detwiler don't look like long inning guys so this could get ugly. July 31, 2011 9:58 PM

  2. Steve M. - Aug 1, 2011 at 2:26 AM

    I think the rotation order starting tomorrow isLivo to Lannan to Wang to Detwiler to JZim.

  3. Exposremains - Aug 1, 2011 at 2:28 AM

    All right, Im reposting too:Exposremains said…Drew8:I agree with you about bourn don't understand why we couldnt come up with a better package. Unfortunately, I think Rizzo explained the reason why he didn't trade for Bourn. He talked about either having to give up too much that would be Span or Rasmus possibly Upton or didn't make sense financially and that would be Bourn who is gonna get a big raise in arbitration. That tells me that this team is not ready to play with the big boys when it comes to payroll.Also what is confusing is that he said that he thinks that they have CF in the system that will be ready in 2 years. It seems that guys like Bourn or Upton would be great stop gap until our own prospects are ready. It worries me because it makes me wonder when this team actually sees itself competing. 2014?July 31, 2011 10:18 PM

  4. Steve M. - Aug 1, 2011 at 2:31 AM

    Davey publicly said he wanted Milone and Peacock to get a chance if a roster spot opened. Looks like Rizzo made the decision here on Detwiler and keeping Gorzo in the wings.Jordan Zimmermann's spot will be open in 3 to 4 more starts then he will be shutdown and of course Wang needs to progress in his next start Wednesday.

  5. NatStat - Aug 1, 2011 at 2:33 AM

    As a post-script to the prospective Span-Storen trade, Denard is hitting .205 at AAA, after 40 or so ABs.

  6. Steve M. - Aug 1, 2011 at 2:38 AM

    Exposremains – I'm not buying that explanation from Rizzo. I agree with Drew8. Could be Rizzo was all in on Span and trading Coffey and lost sight of the Astros getting desparate on moving Bourn.Well, the Nats get Bourn in DC tomorrow, just playing for the Braves.

  7. Wally - Aug 1, 2011 at 2:39 AM

    Well, I have badly angered the All-Powerful Oz Zuckerman, since I have been new posted approximately 15 times in the last day. I deeply and humbly apologize. And since I am beginning to feel like Bruce Willis from the Sixth Sense, I am also going to repost.'This is a pretty tough crowd on Rizzo. Here is how John Sickels graded the players (not the trades, but the prospects themselves)Komatsu (Hairston) grades out as a C, Walters (Marquis) C+.Here are his preseason grades for some Nats prospects:C+: Peacock, Kimball, Marrero, LombardozziC: Milone, Rosenbaum, Tyler MooreSame guy grading both groups. Seems like decent returns for 2 months of Hairston and Marquis.But I do agree that Bourn seemed to go cheaply, and Rizzo probably just wasn't focused on him.'

  8. Mark'd - Aug 1, 2011 at 2:50 AM

    NatStat, that's not a newsflash if you have been reading along here. If Span was batting .275 this would have been a different negotiation.

  9. Steve M. - Aug 1, 2011 at 3:08 AM

    Davey gets it or so it appears."I've got too many pitchers and I don’t have kind of the makeup that I want down there," Johnson said of his bullpen. "I still like to have a bridge between the starters and the closers, and I’m not real comfortable with that. So now that all this has passed, we’ll be addressing more how to (do that). At some point we’ll be thinking about other guys, bringing them up, and having in them in long-relief or putting them in."

  10. Grandstander - Aug 1, 2011 at 6:57 AM

    I'm still unsure of why Mattheus isn't being utilized as a 6th/7th inning bridge guy. He'll give up hits, but at least he doesn't walk batters. You can count on him to come in and throw strikes and other than Clipp and Storen you can't say that about anyone else in the bullpen.

  11. gonatsgo - Aug 1, 2011 at 11:05 AM

    Steve M – the bullpen wouldn't seem so bad if Davey had any idea at all how to use it. We have not had long extra inning games – we don't have any different situation than any other mlb club has. He just is terrible at managing the bullpen. It seems like since he came, he doesn't adjust to the team that we have or the situation we are in – he wants the team changed to suit him. IMO, of course. That being said – I am happy to see RossD get a start, I think he deserves it – also will be happy to see Milone or Peacock get a shot and some experience. The CMW experiment – iffy on that. And about the trade – I agree with some of the recent posters – a healthy Span might have been different story. Concussion situations are just too uncertain to bet the farm on.

  12. natsfan1a - Aug 1, 2011 at 11:29 AM

    In other news, was that Gomes wielding the rosin bag in the celebratory scrum around Desmond? Can't quite make it out in the video or photos, as his back is to the camera.

  13. joemktg - Aug 1, 2011 at 12:09 PM

    natsfan1a: All I saw was a cloud of dust rise up, and thought "what was that?"August is going to be a difficult month for this club:-tough competition: besides ATL, PHI, AZ, you can't discount COL, and CIN is not completely out of it.-SR in flux, esp. the forthcoming J Zimm shutdown-August weather with only 3 off daysIf they can stay around 5 games under .500 after August, I'll be a happy camper. Thinking they may end up 10 games under .500 by the end of the month. July was a killer…

  14. Tim - Aug 1, 2011 at 12:15 PM

    Nobody commenting on the game?Ankiel won that game for us with sheer hustle. Plain and simple.I'm a little tired of all the job evaluations. You guys sound like Yankee fans.

  15. natsfan1a - Aug 1, 2011 at 12:19 PM

    Tim, in our defense, there are lots of comments in the game thread. Agree re. Ankiel's hustle.

  16. sjm308 - Aug 1, 2011 at 12:53 PM

    Wally – thanks for that information and it helped me when my son returned from the beach screaming about losing Marquis and HairstonI also feel Rizzo gets hammered and while he is obviously not perfect (who is?) I like that he seems to speak honestly I mentioned in another post that he clearly stated it would be difficult to trade Storen as a core National and that is what happened. I do also think it must be tough with so many offers going on to focus on more than one deal and I am betting that is what happened with Bourn. He clearly had Span ranked higher or at least more of a priority so I guess that is why we did not land him but we will never know will we.Anyway, two great wins, I was pleased to see Flores improve his throwing although Reyes was safe (please keep replay out! and not just because that call went our way) and while JZimm will not have that many more starts, he was back on form. Ankiel has flaws but he is a pro and taking 3rd on a ball not that far from the catcher was KEY, also liked Bixler picking up on that and making it to 2nd. That ended the double play possibility. Am wondering why the Mets didn't walk Desmond to set up a force at all bases? Guess there are stats on that as well.Tough series coming up followed by 10 on the road with I think just one day off. Bullpen should be tested for sure and lets hope Davey figures those guys out. HRod – One inning please! Mattheus – use him as your guy to get to Clippard & StorenCoffey & Burnett – ????? Gorzo – long relief. There, hope that helped you Davey.Go Nats

  17. NatsLady - Aug 1, 2011 at 12:55 PM

    I'll be in Chi rooting for our guys in Wrigley Field. Hope that will help. : ) ) ) )

  18. joemktg - Aug 1, 2011 at 1:08 PM

    sjm308: "Anyway, two great wins, I was pleased to see Flores improve his throwing…"Second that thought. After those earlier throws, I thought we were heading towards Matt LeCroy Redux. Very nice to see that kid fight back and work towards getting to where he was pre-injury. He may not reach it, but he's in the bigs.

  19. NatsLady - Aug 1, 2011 at 1:08 PM

    And, Nats fans, let's buy out the Phillies series.

  20. natsfan1a - Aug 1, 2011 at 1:11 PM

    Thanks for your plans to represent in Chi-town NatsLady. Have an Italian Beef sandwich or some deep-dish pizza in my name if you're into either one.

  21. Bowdenball - Aug 1, 2011 at 1:42 PM

    An off-topic suggestion:The Nats should mow "10,000" into the outfield grass and put signs up all over the park to commemorate the Braves' 10,000th loss. After the Nats had to deal with all that crap during after the 10,000th win during their last visit to Atlanta, fair is fair.

  22. Mark'd - Aug 1, 2011 at 1:45 PM

    Detwiler will perform better than Wang I think and the problem is neither will go deep into the game. Davey will need Gorzo going behind Wang and someone else behind Detwiler. Joemktg described the competition ahead well and all those teams improved at the trade deadline except for Colorado. SJM308 is right on using the bullpen although I think Detwiler looked great in the 'pen ramping up that fastballs above 95. To finally see a competent 7th inning GUY was great after Burnett and all the others.Unless the team all of a sudden becomes the 1927 Murderers Row, it is, what it is, a low scoring team that ends up with a 1 run lead or 1 run deficit on the final boxscore!The Nats bullpen needs what you will see tonight and the two games to follow where you go OFlaherty to Venters to Kimbrel.

  23. Mark'd - Aug 1, 2011 at 1:50 PM

    Bowdenball, that is funny. That was lame by Atlanta. Hope some creative fans design some 10,000 loss signs.

  24. Navy Nats Fan - Aug 1, 2011 at 2:07 PM

    So this morning I'm sitting inside the Presidents Club watching my sons get tutored on hitting in the Nats batting cages by Steve Lombardozzi (the elder). If his son is anything like him I'm a big fan – the dad's a great guy!

  25. NatsLady - Aug 1, 2011 at 2:11 PM

    Clipp and Store have gone two days in a row. Detwiler is starting later in the week. No complaints in my book about Mattheus.Some guys in the bullpen better step up, and YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE.

  26. Steve M. - Aug 1, 2011 at 2:50 PM

    Mark'd said… Detwiler will perform better than Wang I think and the problem is neither will go deep into the game. Davey will need Gorzo going behind Wang and someone else behind Detwiler. Joemktg described the competition ahead well and all those teams improved at the trade deadline except for Colorado. SJM308 is right on using the bullpen although I think Detwiler looked great in the 'pen ramping up that fastballs above 95. To finally see a competent 7th inning GUY was great after Burnett and all the others.Unless the team all of a sudden becomes the 1927 Murderers Row, it is, what it is, a low scoring team that ends up with a 1 run lead or 1 run deficit on the final boxscore!The Nats bullpen needs what you will see tonight and the two games to follow where you go OFlaherty to Venters to Kimbrel. August 1, 2011 9:45 AM Mark'd, you don't consider scoring 3.86 runs a game Murderer's Row? Just kidding. Last years team averaged 4.05 runs per game so they are scoring on average 1 1/4 runs less a week than last year. The good news is they are giving up less runs per game.The problem is the bullpen has to be better. On average, the bullpen is giving up 1.32 runs per game then add to that the 63 inherited runners the relievers have allowed to score and you have .59 runs per game that has ended up on someone else's ERA.Think that is good? The Braves relief staff has taken over 144 unherited runners and only allowed 31 to score which is .28 per game which is less than 1/2 of what the Nats bullpen has allowed.Then you have the Phillies that have a bullpen that has only allowed 19 inherited runners to score.This is what you are competing against in the NL East but Rizzo who so many think is doing a really good job is not controlling the areas that he can control. You would have to be completely lost not to see what Slaten, Burnett, Gaudin, HenRod and now Coffey is doing to this team. Rizzo basically pulled the "Stares" where he kept thinking it was going to get better and it hasn't. If this team had a stealth bullpen like the Phillies, guess what, PLAYOFFS. We could be talking PLAYOFFS right now.OK, I am crazy talking PLAYOFFS because this team even with a better bullpen still wouldn't be able to compete with Atlanta because the starting pitching isn't as good but how good would it be to have a 58-49 record right now?Instead of Rizzo worrying about a Centerfielder, he should have been working on fixing the bullpen. This team is built more like the 2010 SF Giants. Low scoring and you win by shutting down the other teams offense with pitching, relief pitching and defense. Yesterday was your blueprint. Starter goes 6 without giving up runs. 7th inning reliever gives up 1 run and then the closer blows the save but in Storen's defense he has only blow 4 saves and the 1 run save is always the toughest.

  27. sjm308 - Aug 1, 2011 at 3:07 PM

    Markd – really good point about back to back games with Wang and Detwiler – no way either gets into the 6th inning in my opinion. Just like you mentioned, I see Gorzo behind Wang as an obvious move and if that works I guess he can patch Coffey, Burnett and HRod in the Detwiler game. Wouldn't it be nice if we actually had a 3 or 4 run lead in one of those games, ah, I'm dreaming but it would be nice.I also agree with Steve M that while the playoffs sound silly, just a few tweaks here and there during 162 games can make a big difference. Even if we were just 3 or 4 games OVER .500 we would be in the picture. Great stats on inherited runners and we obviously are not as competitive as I thought in the bullpen. The hitting was obvious, I honestly thought our bullpen was a strength, guess the strenth is Clipp and Storen. Can't imagine Davey using both again tonight but you never know.Go Nats

  28. Mark'd - Aug 1, 2011 at 3:13 PM

    SteveM, you are on a roll! So basically you are saying there were at least 7 games that the bullpen blew. They can't win them all although the Cubs game and a few others were clear W's that turned to L's.You have been talking bullpen all year as a fixable solution and you are right, it was and still is fixable.

  29. Steve M. - Aug 1, 2011 at 3:37 PM

    Steve308/Mark'd, luckily you guys get it. On the surface the bullpen looked like a strength which obviously isn't the case. The bullpen is a 1/2 and 1/2 situation as Clippard and Storen are stealth and the other 1/2 collectively are bad. The problem has been in the 6th and 7th innings where all the bleeding occurs. You need 2 types of relievers for those 6th and 7th innings, shutdown guys when men are on base in the classic inherited run high stress innings and no men on base 6th and 7th inning set-up innings. Coffey was the man in May and June in those high stress inherited runner situations except Riggleman had to overuse him in set-up relief and Coffey got burnt out. He is toast now.I said on April 1st that Detwiler should have been a 7th inning setup guy to give you the triple threat of Det-to-Clip-to-Store.Long inning relief guys come in for 2 reasons, mop-up work when a game is out of hand or for injury/fatigue. To put Detwiler in a mop-up role was a waste of his talent. Balester is your perfect mop-up guy as he would come in and maybe stop the bleeding/maybe not. You are going to lose almost all of those games anyway. Why take one of your better guys to mop-up?Almost every team is going to win their 60 games and lose their 60 games, it is the other 42 games that determines your season.So why was the bullpen that you can change on the 'fly' ignored for so long?

  30. Feel Wood - Aug 1, 2011 at 3:44 PM

    The Braves relief staff has taken over 144 unherited runners and only allowed 31 to score which is .28 per game which is less than 1/2 of what the Nats bullpen has allowed.Then you have the Phillies that have a bullpen that has only allowed 19 inherited runners to score.You do know why this is, don't you? It's not because the Braves/Phillies bullpens are that good compared with the Nats. It's because both of those teams have starting pitchers who go deep into games. (Not just one or two of their starters, either. Virtually ALL of their starters.) Also their starters work their way out of their own jams more often than not, meaning their relievers face fewer situations where they have to deal with inherited runners. A byproduct of this is that whenever there is a situation where they need to bring a reliever in with runners on, that reliever is likely to be one of their better ones since it's probably the 8th inning when it happens and not the 5th or 6th. No team has a staff of seven shutdown relievers. The reason you think the Nats bullpen is so much worse than other teams' bullpens is because the Nats are forced to use all seven of their relievers in high leverage situations, while teams with starting staffs like the Phillies and Braves only need to use their top three or four relievers in such times.

  31. sunderland - Aug 1, 2011 at 3:53 PM

    Bowdenball, great idea. But of course, if we mow a pattern into our outfield grass, one of our outfielders would likely injure himself due to the even cut.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 91 64 --
ATLANTA 76 78 14.5
NEW YORK 75 80 16.0
MIAMI 74 81 17.0
PHILADELPHIA 71 84 20.0
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Sunday's early games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON (4) 91 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 88 67 3.0
ST. LOUIS 87 68 4.0
-------------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 70 6.5 +0.5
PITTSBURGH 84 71 7.0 --
MILWAUKEE 80 76 11.5 4.5
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Sunday's early games

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

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