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Holding their own against the Braves

Aug 2, 2011, 4:19 AM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Rick Ankiel homered twice to pace the Nationals’ lineup Monday night.

It’s a long way from the basement to the penthouse of the NL East, which may very well be baseball’s toughest division.

Sure, the AL East has the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays. But the Phillies and Braves stack up against anyone else in the game, and the Mets and Marlins (despite some flaws) usually manage to keep themselves near the .500 mark.

Which leaves the Nationals in an unenviable position, trying somehow to leapfrog all those clubs and thrust themselves into the mix. They’ve been unable to make much of any dent in the seven seasons since they arrived in the District, finishing last five times, in fourth place once (2007) and currently sitting dead-last again.

If they have any visions of climbing that ladder, they simply must do a better job holding their own against these division rivals. They haven’t come close to doing that against their biggest nemeses: the Phillies and Marlins. And they’ve been hit-or-miss against the Mets.

But for some reason, the Nationals have been able to get the best of the Braves. Monday night’s 5-3 victory was their 15th in 28 head-to-head games with Atlanta over the last two seasons,
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  1. Anonymous - Aug 2, 2011 at 5:22 AM

    This was one of the finest defensive games the Washington Nationals have ever played. All three double-plays sparkled; the Livan-Desi-Morse DP on the sac bunt was particularly beautiful.A crystalline defensive effort. Fantastic.

  2. dale - Aug 2, 2011 at 10:05 AM

    A most satisfying win.I noticed Davey does not trust Livan now after the sixth inning, pulling him with a four run lead. I am sure the last meltdown in Atlanta is fresh in his mind. I am feeling really bad for Espinosa, every hard hit ball is right at someone. At least he is making contact.

  3. flynnie - Aug 2, 2011 at 11:10 AM

    This from Bill Ladson, which is too bad. I didn't get Angelos not renewing Jon Miller, and I don't get the Lerners not renewing Bob Carpenter. They wanted to replace him with Dan Shulman a few years ago, but Shulman wasn't interested in them. I guess they don't want a cheerful, knowledgable presence in the booth.washingnats William Ladson The #Nats did not tell Bob Carpenter if his option was picked up, and that likely means he will become a free agent after 2011.

  4. Anonymous - Aug 2, 2011 at 11:26 AM

    "The #Nats did not tell Bob Carpenter if his option was picked up, and that likely means he will become a free agent after 2011."Other than Matt Stairs' release, this is the best news all season. I guess they don't want a blabbering, idiotic presence in the booth.

  5. Anonymous - Aug 2, 2011 at 11:30 AM

    Mark:If the Nats want to compete in the NL East, then they should serious try to do that. Under Lerner rule they have yet to really throw their hat in the ring as a legit, playoff worthy club. The Lerners and Rizzo have been unwilling to remake the MLB roster into something that has a chance any year, much less every year. They need to get the horses. Rizzo has to speed up the snail's pace of improvement. 2012 has to be a year where the Nats are on paper in the mix for real come the Spring. No more excuses, no more chicken wire and duct tape rotations and lineups. No more needless delay.dfh21

  6. NatsLady - Aug 2, 2011 at 11:53 AM

    Maybe. But maybe it was more in his mind that he wanted a blowout inning so he could use the back of his bullpen. However, I think he should have used Henry instead of Mattheus. Now he's used Storen three nights in a row, so who will close if needed? Mattheus would have been my choice.dale said…I noticed Davey does not trust Livan now after the sixth inning, pulling him with a four run lead. I am sure the last meltdown in Atlanta is fresh in his mind.

  7. baseballswami - Aug 2, 2011 at 12:03 PM

    Nice game last night. And – Mark, I like the way you titled your piece – holding their own –because at all times during the game I felt that we were playing the Braves head to head. It never felt that we were over-matched at all. I also like it when each game has a different hero. Last night Livo, Ankiel – Saturday, Werth. The defense was much better, little things were executed. I love it that Livo went for the double play on the bunt and Zim went after the line-drive foul ball. Extra things – not just the basics. Drew gave up another hr to a very hot hitter, but – in a perfect world, every game is not a one-run game and you can absorb a solo shot here and there and still stay ahead. Ryan Mattheus seems to be settling into a permanent job, too.

  8. Anonymous - Aug 2, 2011 at 12:12 PM

    washingnats William Ladson The #Nats did not tell Bob Carpenter if his option was picked up, and that likely means he will become a free agent after 2011.See. You. Later.

  9. Anonymous - Aug 2, 2011 at 12:20 PM

    Tough one for Carpenter. I always liked the guy. Hope he lands in another MLB town.dfh21

  10. sunderland - Aug 2, 2011 at 12:23 PM

    I'm puzzled by pulling Livo so early, especially given that the back of the bullpen needed rest. (And I'm puzzled by putting in Gomes to pinch hit for Livo when a RH pitcher was on the mound. Just let Livo hit. Gomes career numbers against RH pitching are the same as Livo's career hitting numbers. Gomes this season against RH pitching is worse than Livo's hitting this year.)Getting pulled after 6 innings and 81 pitches had to eat at Livo a bit. He had a 1-2-3 6th, retired 5 in a row, had a 5 – 1 lead. I just thought this was kinda bizarre. Pulling Livo practically meant Davey was committed to pitching Storen in the 9th. Leaving in Livo might have allowed him to comfortably keep both Storen and Clip in seats last night.Uggla would lead off the 7th, and he had hit Livo well earlier, but with no one on base he could only do so much damage. Heyward and Ross up next had gone pop-up, strikeout in the 2nd and HBP and DP groundout in the 4th.Livo should have come out for the 7th.Captcha – dingr

  11. sunderland - Aug 2, 2011 at 12:25 PM

    And I would be happy to have them keep Carpenter. Wouldn't it be crazy if he pulls a Riggo and bolts early?

  12. sjm308 - Aug 2, 2011 at 12:39 PM

    I have not been a big Carpenter fan but he is certainly not the worst I have heard – I actually really like how he and FP have meshed and they can actually disagree and not have silence or WW III in the booth. Natslady – I also thought it would be HRod in the 8th and Mattheus in the 9th last night. He has to rest Storen at some point. Tonight he will have to let someone else pitch the 9th but I think everyone else will be available. Its the next two games I am worried about. Wang and Detwiler won't be able to get past the 6th and if they get that far I will be surprised. That is why Balester is up. He will go with Gorzo after Wang and Balester after Detwiler. Lets hope LannEn can keep this thing going. Go Nats

  13. Joe Seamhead - Aug 2, 2011 at 12:42 PM

    Great game for the Nats! Livo hasn't had Davey's confidence to finish out games, or to go late in them every since blowing the 8 run lead to the Cubs. Coffey & Burnette are who should scare all of us at this point.I have no problem with Carpenter, or any of our present announcers , for that matter, though I won't be sorry to see Johnny Holliday retire.

  14. natsfan1a - Aug 2, 2011 at 12:48 PM

    I'd be happy to have them keep Carpenter, too. For some reason(cough…MASN…Angelos), constancy on the tv side has not been a feature of this team, although more so on the color commentary side. On a somewhat related note, I don't get the ad hominem attacks made on various broadcasters over the years. I understand if someone's not your cup of tea. For exampled, I find Ray Knight rather annoying as a color man, but I don't feel compelled to question his intelligence or call him names. And sunderland, I don't see Carpenter doing that, no matter how shabbily he might be treated by the network.

  15. Richard - Aug 2, 2011 at 12:49 PM

    Mark's post this morning touches the Nats' future, and in that regard I wonder about Livo's and Bernadina's future. Livo is much belove by the Nats' nation and more importantly is still an effective pitcher in his own unique way, as last night demonstrated; a real work horse capable of some gems. I'm glad he's still on the team after the trade deadline — but maybe he wasn't coveted. Anyway, he's rarely if ever mentioned in media or blogosphere discussions for 2012. And ya gotta doubt the Nats' interest. I'd want him back in 2012 at least, along with Strasburg, JZimm, Lannan, and Detwiler/Peacock/Milone/Wang(?!)/whoever. … Then there's Bernadina. Last night Johnson said he likes Bernadina. Really? Where exactly? The Nats apparently don't like him in CF; and the Nats say a corner outfielder needs to have power, and besides they already have corner outfielders — Werth, Morse (if LaRoche moves him off 1B), Harper, and Nix/Gomes. And Bernadina's stats for 2010 and 2011 — .249 BA and .319 OBP — do not inidcate he's a leadoff man or maybe even a major league hitter. So what exactly does Johnson like, or is it just a make-Bernie-feel-better thing? And what does that say about Johnson?

  16. natsfan1a - Aug 2, 2011 at 12:50 PM

    Sigh, "For example"I'm going for a cuppa Joe.

  17. joemktg - Aug 2, 2011 at 12:59 PM

    natsfan1a said…"I'm going for a cuppa Joe."I'm right here.Sorry to hear that about Carpenter. But he has bcscorebook.com to fall back upon…

  18. Bowdenball - Aug 2, 2011 at 1:11 PM

    Mark seems to imply that the AL East may still be the best division in baseball, although unlike most others he seems to at least recognize that the NL East is right up there.Mark actually undersells it. The NL East is clearly the best division in baseball. The division leader has the best record in baseball by 2.5 games, and the 5 teams in the division has 9 more wins on the season combined than the 5 teams in the AL East. This story seems to have gone completely unnoticed this season; good for Mark for recognizing it.

  19. Steve M. - Aug 2, 2011 at 1:16 PM

    Anonymous said… Steve M.. I agree on Rizzo. he has a hard time admitting he's wrong and waits too long to cut his losses. Plus he saves too many valuable roster spots for the hopeless, when i would rather see some youngsters that are going hot in the minors get a few call ups. Other than the obvious duds, letting Laroche play with that bad wing just killed start of the season along with Morse's mystifying early slump. What's your take on Espi and Desi? Espi is scaring me. His strikeouts, he's not even close to hitting that ball. I've never seen a team swing and miss quite like the Nats. Desi is just not a hitter. He throws his whole body at the ball rather than swinging around his body. August 1, 2011 6:53 PM Espi has the worst swing & miss percentage on the team and that started long before the All Star break and has only gotten worse. As Zim once said, a full MLB season as a Rookie is a tough one playing every day. I think Espi deserves a day or 2 off but there is nobody who can really play middle infield. His first flyout yesterday to LF easily could have been a double but was caught. He is in one of those funks where all of his good shots are being caught. Davey has done a good job of moving him around in the batting order to try to find a comfort zone. I think some days off here and there are needed so maybe the next callup will be Lombardozzi. This is the most baseball Espi has ever played in a season. Espi should do some work in the off-season to shorten up that lefty swing. All in all, I like the guy and tough to watch him stuggle even with the glove recently. I know I am the only person on here that doesn't think he should move to shortstop. On Desi, I actually like his defense and his leadership on the field. He has cut down on the mental errors. Last year he was a clutch guy and did well in the 2 hole. This year he has batted all over the place. He has to learn plate discipline or else he will have to be replaced as .279 OBP is awful however the last month, look at Desi .274/.366/.387 . Since his defense has improved, he keeps his job I believe until Rizzo finds a solid replacement from outside the organization, so Desi stays.

  20. Anonymous - Aug 2, 2011 at 1:18 PM

    Espi – too much swinging from the heels. His homeruns might have gone to his head.

  21. Steve M. - Aug 2, 2011 at 1:28 PM

    Joe Seamhead said… Steve M. Don't forget to include our young Prince Oppo. Boppo when talking players that can soon have an impact on this team? Bryce is the real deal! August 1, 2011 7:26 PM I could never forget "the hitterish" one. After seeing Mike Trout struggle and get demoted to AA yesterday tells me that all of our love for this kid is bad for all of us as we aren't being reasonable and fair to him. He is so advanced but is a kid of 18+ years old and isn't yet destroying AA pitching. I am so glad he bypassed High A and got a real taste of real baseball.You know the earliest we will see him in DC would be June 2012 and the only way he comes here is if he is destroying AA/AAA ball and there is a spot held for him to play everyday in DC. So many factors to consider including LaRoche and Morse being the big ones so far. If LaRoche is healthy and not traded than Morse is in LF and Werth is in rightfield.

  22. NatsLady - Aug 2, 2011 at 1:30 PM

    Didn't see that Balester was back up. What about the other lefty, Severino? (sp?) Did they send him back without pitching an inning, like last year?

  23. NatsLady - Aug 2, 2011 at 1:33 PM

    Can't comment on the TV announcers, I never listen to them.

  24. NatsLady - Aug 2, 2011 at 1:36 PM

    Cora could play 2nd, I'm pretty sure. He's played short several times. Probably Bixler could also.

  25. NatsLady - Aug 2, 2011 at 1:41 PM

    re: Davey and Bernadina.You just never know when Davey's blowing smoke. Said he would leave Storen in there until he cries "uncle" (Chad Cordero, anyone?) and said he would have given Espinosa some days off but he "likes watching him play." I'm feeling he doesn't tip his hand to the press at all. The only time I felt real passion from him was holding on to Tyler Clippard, and who knows, maybe even that was just blah-blah-blah.

  26. Steve M. - Aug 2, 2011 at 1:49 PM

    Steve M. said… 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 runner high stress innings and no men on base 6th and 7th 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? August 1, 2011 11:37 AM That is funny when I wrote about Balester yesterday seeing he is coming back. I would never trust him in a game on the line just that he is the perfect guy in long relief/mop-up.Shows that even Rizzo knows what he has set-up for himself with Wang and Detwiler back-to-back.

  27. sm13 - Aug 2, 2011 at 1:53 PM

    Good point that Espinosa has never played this many games before – the dog days are getting to him. He has proven he's our 4 of the future and deserves a few days off now and then. I vote for keeping Bobby Carpenter. All you need to do is listen to other teams' broadcasts to appreciate his accuracy and calm demeanor. Some of those guys in the booth are shrill homers (White Sox, Yankees ) who just make you cringe.Go Natsa

  28. JaneB - Aug 2, 2011 at 1:57 PM

    I missed the whole game yesterday and was in a location where game day wouldn't even load. So glad to read about it here. Scooter, thank goodness you didn't see more runs given up! I'm glad Collin is up again. Glad Ankiel is his alternate universe self ( which made me laugh out loud, though I forget who wrote that). But i love Livo even more today, for that "take THAT!" RBI. Wouldn't have thought it possible. The more love. Not the RBI. Will miss everything again tonight…I have to drive twenty minutes just to get email reception. AT&T is not all over rural north Carolina.GYFNG!

  29. NatsLady - Aug 2, 2011 at 2:14 PM

    @JaneB: I feel for you. Had same problem when visiting relatives in Southern Illinois.

  30. A DC Wonk - Aug 2, 2011 at 2:22 PM

    prior comments:So what exactly does Johnson like, or is it just a make-Bernie-feel-better thing? And what does that say about Johnson? andSaid he would leave Storen in there until he cries "uncle" (Chad Cordero, anyone?) and said he would have given Espinosa some days off but he "likes watching him play." I'm feeling he doesn't tip his hand to the press at all.Exactly. As to the first comment, what it says about Davey is that he understands that for many players "confidence" is an important factor, and he tries to give his players confidence when he feels they need it. (E.g., praising Bernadina when he has to get sent down to AAA)As for the second, Davey is competitive enough that he doesn't want to tip his hand at all. If there is any scrap of info that might help another team, Davey is very disciplined about keeping it to himself.

  31. A DC Wonk - Aug 2, 2011 at 2:27 PM

    JaneB said… I missed the whole game yesterday and was in a location where game day wouldn't even load.NatsLady said… @JaneB: I feel for you. Had same problem when visiting relatives in Southern Illinois.I completely lucked out. We were also visiting family — in Iowa — and flew back to DC via Minneapolis. Our flight was leaving MPLS just as the game was starting, and we were informed that the plane (Delta) was WiFi-ready and, thanks to a DietCoke sponsor, would be free.So, I fired up my iPad (which is not 3G-ready, so it depends completely on the availability of WiFi), and followed the game! That's a first for me. What a great way to pass the time on a flight . . .

  32. Anonymous - Aug 2, 2011 at 2:29 PM

    Nyger Morgan, .378 RISP

  33. SayNoToClint - Aug 2, 2011 at 2:42 PM

    Not to sidetrack but I've noticed some things about Desmond the last 3 or 4 games I've gone to. Just wanted to throw them out there and see if others think they mean anything, or I'm just hoping they mean something because I think Desmond needs to go.-The last 4 games, Desmond has been taking his pregame throwing with the bat boy.-He stands alone at the end of the line during the national anthem with a gap between him and the rest of the players (although one day he and Ankiel were together, but still apart from the rest of the team).-During at least one pitching change, Desmond remained at his position while the rest of the infield came in to the mound.Am I overanalyzing here because I'd like to see him gone? Or is there something there?

  34. Anonymous - Aug 2, 2011 at 2:49 PM

    Overanalyzing.And I'm one who doesn't believe Desmond will amount to much.

  35. Dave - Aug 2, 2011 at 2:58 PM

    Carpenter's a pro, and a boy scout to boot. (Which may be why many don't like him.) He'll be a pro in the Nats booth until the last game this year. I am nott a card-carrying member of the Carpenter fan club or anything, but I like him. I'll be sorry to see him go. And his scorebook is the best ever. (bcscorebook.com)

  36. NatsLady - Aug 2, 2011 at 3:01 PM

    Anon 10:29 — saw that about Nyjer. He hit a bases-clearing double last night. Gotta let that go, ain't helping my happiness quotient…

  37. Steve M. - Aug 2, 2011 at 3:03 PM

    SayNoToClint, I can't comment on something I haven't seen but I have to give Desi credit. Here he gets named in trade rumors as a throw-in and bashed by many fans and all he does is hustle and play hard.I posted above his last 30 days stats .274/.366/.387 which have been quite good. He has made a few Web Gems also. He has character and I respect that. He certainly has his flaws. It just seems in the blogs everyone wants a goat and he and Werth are the ones.

  38. Mark'd - Aug 2, 2011 at 3:11 PM

    Nyjer is circa 2009 and soon the 2010 Nyjer will emerge unless they keep him in platoon which was a good move.Still, his arm will never get better nor will his decision making and ever bizarre personality.

  39. gonatsgo - Aug 2, 2011 at 3:23 PM

    On the Davey Johnson era – I see above that several posters are trying to figure out what he said, what he meant, what's his motivation, etc. It is my theory that he doesn't plan out anything he ever says ahead of time, he just blurts out whatever pops into his mind and then promptly forgets that he said it. He also has been managing in a very impulsive way. I have to admit, it makes me very nervous. He just never seems to have a plan and when he says he has a plan he doesn't follow through on it. Perhaps some ritalin instead of the chew?

  40. baseballswami - Aug 2, 2011 at 3:26 PM

    Mark'd – have to agree about nyger. His energy can be a little manic at times and it seems to get old after a while. I hope he and the Brewers are very happy together, but it seems like it's inevitable that he will start to slump, get out of control and have an incident. Then it's not so cute anymore.

  41. Anonymous - Aug 2, 2011 at 3:26 PM

    "I posted above [Desmond's] last 30 days stats .274/.366/.387 which have been quite good. He has made a few Web Gems also."Not sure what stats you're looking at.Desmond went .241/.326/.329 in July.http://espn.go.com/mlb/player/gamelog/_/id/29646/ian-desmond

  42. natsfan1a - Aug 2, 2011 at 3:28 PM

    If this theory holds water, then Davey would fit right in on the interwebz. (Not directed at anyone in particular but I'm just saying…)It is my theory that he doesn't plan out anything he ever says ahead of time, he just blurts out whatever pops into his mind and then promptly forgets that he said it.

  43. Steve M. - Aug 2, 2011 at 3:28 PM

    Hey Feel Wood, Jurrjens goes 5 innings and Livan goes 6. Your perception and lack of research baffles me once again.Nats bullpen gives up another 2 runs last night.

  44. A DC Wonk - Aug 2, 2011 at 3:32 PM

    gonatsgo said……It is my theory that he doesn't plan out anything he ever says ahead of time, he just blurts out whatever pops into his mind and then promptly forgets that he said it. He also has been managing in a very impulsive way….. He just never seems to have a planYou've admitted a few times here that you are biased against Davey from the past. Might that be the case here? (Unless that was "gonats"? Or both? I can't remember).But, in any event:How does a guy who's managed over 2000 games — and one of the highest (I think 2d) W/L pcts of any active manager — do so well for so long if he manages impulsively, and never seems to have a plan?Just because we don't understand his moves, doesn't mean that he doesn't know what he's doing.

  45. Feel Wood - Aug 2, 2011 at 3:49 PM

    Hey Feel Wood, Jurrjens goes 5 innings and Livan goes 6. Your perception and lack of research baffles me once again.Your need to cherry-pick a data point to hammer home your "I am always right" attitude on a point on which you've never adequately explained your position in the first place baffles me too. Are you really that insecure? Does this one data point even touch on the answer to the question I asked you yesterday, which I'll repeat here?I've lost track of your point, if indeed you ever had one – other than to say "Look at me, I'm so smart!" Are you saying the Nats relievers aren't as good overall as the Braves relievers are, therefore that's why the Braves are winning more? If so, then I say "Well, duh." Are you saying that if the Nats relievers were used differently from a situational perspective that the team's record would be better? If so, then I would also beg to differ. It's not as simple as that. You can't just say "never use this guy when runners are on board" and other such bromides, because that would have the same three or four relievers pitching all the innings and the other guys riding the pine. If Riggleman/Davey had done that, those three or four guys would be burned out by now. And if you say "well, just use those guys who suck when the team's behind or in a mop-up role" you can't then claim that the inherited runners they allowed to score in those situations cost the team the game, because in those situations the game was already lost.Just because you say "it's so simple even a caveman could do it", that doesn't mean it is.

  46. Steve M. - Aug 2, 2011 at 4:01 PM

    Feel Wood, you are lazy. You won't compute your data, you just pull stuff from your back-side.They have a place for you, Nats Journal. Join Poopy McPoop and the other stars there that do no research and can only pick on each other which unfortunately you are pulling me in to defend myself.You always jump all over me as you feel compromised for some reason.I am not a good writer so my point probably wasn't clear to everyone so sorry you didn't get it but I dis-proved your theory that the Nats bullpen was over-used because the Nats starters don't go as far in games as the Braves.The point just is that the Nats bullpen just isn't that good once you take Storen, Clippard, Detwiler and Mattheus out of the equation.From Amanda Comak today: It's no secret that Nationals manager Davey Johnson isn't completely comfortable with the construction of his bullpen. Johnson makes mention of that often. He'd like another long man, he'd like to not have to rely on Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen every single time there's a semi-close game, the list goes on.

  47. Mark'd - Aug 2, 2011 at 4:11 PM

    Feelwood is threatened for some reason. Steve, just ignore him and don't stoop down to his level. You showed him based on what he thought he saw that he was right. He wasn't and doesn't like being wrong.

  48. The Great Unwashed - Aug 2, 2011 at 4:22 PM

    On vacation in Myrtle Beach. This is Braves territory so you'd think I'd get to see the current series, but TBS doesn't have exclusive rights to the Braves anymore. If anyone knows where I can watch the next game on Time-Warner cable, can you post the info? At least I've got my fellow Insiders to keep me informed but I've missed the last three wins and I need a Nats fix if possible.

  49. Feel Wood - Aug 2, 2011 at 4:44 PM

    Eh, whatev. Who was it that brought this topic up today anyway? Not me. Perhaps if SteveM had taken Mark'd's advice and ignored me rather than calling me out by name upthread, this would never have happened. Goodness knows I try my hardest to ignore SteveM, but it's hard when he never, y'know, stops reminding us how right he always is.

  50. NatsLady - Aug 2, 2011 at 5:00 PM

    Just listened to the Baseball America podcast. Here is their take: Nationals are the "sleeper" team in the trades. They didn't have a lot to trade but they did deal Marquis and Hairston (8 teams in 8 years) for reasonable prospects.They also said that, on average, maybe 20 in 200 prospects that are dealt around the deadline make it to the majors and stay 3 years. FWIW

  51. Dave - Aug 2, 2011 at 5:01 PM

    This thread is getting a little tiresome.I was in the Pacific Northwest this past week, so missed out on the Mets series and the first two games of the Braves, plus all the trade deadline stuff. I know Hairston and Marquis were traded and that Storen wasn't, so I guess I'm up to date on the roster status. I'll be at the game tonight. Maybe a new main game post will put the brakes on all this nanny-nanny-boo-boo, you-shut-up-no-you-shut-up junk.

  52. The Dude Abides - Aug 2, 2011 at 5:01 PM

    Steve M…. you are becoming almost unreadable due to that one long arm you have that keeps patting your own back. Lighten up a little bit.

  53. Mark'd - Aug 2, 2011 at 5:02 PM

    Feelwood, I told SteveM that he used the wrong logic on calculating innings so nobody is perfect. He has good insight and I like both of you. He would probably be the first to admit he is cocky at times. The main thing is he says what the press can't say. I find it odd that he makes some more tamed comments that Amanda Cormack then follows with a story or Rizzo makes a change like Balester as SteveM commented yesterday morning. I give credit where credit is due

  54. Dave - Aug 2, 2011 at 5:04 PM

    Oops, sorry. I missed out on the first ONE game of the Braves series.That's how out of it I've been.

  55. The Dude Abides - Aug 2, 2011 at 5:04 PM

    To The Great Unwashed…. Try to find the Turner South Network. They are usually on that.

  56. The Great Unwashed - Aug 2, 2011 at 5:21 PM

    Thanks, Dude. Googling the channel line up now. Thank God for smart phones. Didn't want to take the computer on vacation.

  57. SteveM's motto - Aug 2, 2011 at 5:23 PM

    When you're as great as I am, it's hard to be humble.

  58. The Great Unwashed - Aug 2, 2011 at 5:25 PM

    The captcha for my last comment was "sweepta." Good sign for this series, no?

  59. natsfan1a - Aug 2, 2011 at 5:55 PM

    One can always hope.Maybe a new main game post will put the brakes on all this nanny-nanny-boo-boo, you-shut-up-no-you-shut-up junk.

  60. NatsLady - Aug 2, 2011 at 6:55 PM

    Honestly, I don't read those posts. Once I see personal remarks, I tune out. So if the posters are trying to educate or be helpful in any way to the rest of us, FAIL.captcha is "bed rat", which about describes it.

  61. Steve M. - Aug 2, 2011 at 8:16 PM

    Sorry for angering some of you. I do speak my mind and share what I can. I like how Mark'd described that I say what the local press can't some times. I was fortunate to have played the game and still involved in baseball. Unfortunately I don't live in the area so I make it to a few games and more on the road.I always thought different points of view is what makes America great. If you don't like something, don't read it. Like the rest of you, I am an armchair quarterback playing Nationals fantasy baseball. I'm not playing with Lerner's money, I am playing with fantasy money.

  62. Bigfish - Aug 2, 2011 at 8:21 PM

    I like Bob. I liked Rob. But given MASN's ownership (i.e. Angelos) why should we expect any consistency or any appreciation for talent? Angelos has destroyed the O's, & will probably figure out some way to do the same to MASN.

  63. natsfan1a - Aug 2, 2011 at 8:27 PM

    Speaking only for myself, I wasn't angered, and I don't have a problem with differing points of view. That said, it's possible to disagree without making personal attacks on one another (and I'm not directing that observation at any one individual). I can, and do, scroll through whatever doesn't happen to interest me in any given thread.(Oh, wait. If we're talking about Angelos and MASN, then I'm angered. :-))

  64. America - Aug 3, 2011 at 3:27 AM

    Hey, don't drag me into your stuff. I ain't got nothing to do with it.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 57 46 --
ATLANTA 58 48 0.5
MIAMI 52 53 6.0
NEW YORK 51 55 7.5
PHILADELPHIA 46 60 12.5
Through Monday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Orioles 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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