Skip to content

Series preview: Nats at Cubs

Aug 8, 2011, 3:00 PM EDT

Monday, 8:05 p.m. — RHP Chien-Ming Wang (0-2, 6.00) vs. RHP Matt Garza (5-8, 3.78)
TV: MASN Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 187

Tuesday, 8:05 p.m. — LHP Ross Detwiler (1-1, 2.66) vs. RHP Rodrigo Lopez (2-3, 5.17)
TV: MASN Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 187

Wednesday, 8:05 p.m. — RHP Jordan Zimmermann (7-9, 3.12) vs. RHP Ryan Dempster (9-8, 4.87)
TV: MASN Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 187

CUBS UPDATE
A disastrous season the North Side experienced a surprise turn of events over the last week when the Cubs suddenly won seven consecutive games. That streak came to a halt Sunday against the Reds, but the fact remains that this Chicago club is red-hot at the moment, especially at the plate.

An already-productive lineup scored at will during the streak, averaging 7.5 runs per game. Carlos Pena and Aramis Ramirez have already surpassed the 20-homer mark for the season, and Alfonso Soriano is one longball away from joining that group. Dynamic young shortstop Starlin Castro (.313 average) continues to impress.

Pitching remains something of an issue, especially in the bullpen, where manager Mike Quade has been changing closers on a regular basis. The enigmatic Carlos Marmol lost his job at one point,Read more »

  1. m20832 - Aug 8, 2011 at 3:12 PM

    I imagine it will be hard for Wang to get out of the first inning with the cubbies being hot at the plate.GYFNG!!

  2. sjm308 - Aug 8, 2011 at 3:19 PM

    Hate to bring up an error Mark because you are so outstanding but you have Gomes with 0 rbi in the last 14 games – I think he homered just yesterday with 2 rbi. Also looks like you changed formats after lots of people expressed negativity about best and worst vs. whoever was pitching. I was ok with that and also ok with the new stuff. I just like reading your opinions and learning new things about our team.

  3. waddu eye no - Aug 8, 2011 at 3:21 PM

    another ball field beaten up by a rock concert? mccartney?maybe i'm not amazed.was byrd singing "if i fell?"you say you want a revolution? let's put some Wings on the ball.live and let the cub's hot streak die, and send them helerskelter.i do want to spoil their party.nationals field forever! happiness is a warm bat! made of norwegian wood!all you need is offense, in case the cubs get to our fool on the hill.lets come together, with a little help from our friends, and get back to where we once belonged above .500when all our troubles seemed so far away.gyfngi need a life

  4. Knoxville Nat - Aug 8, 2011 at 3:29 PM

    waddu,Let it be, let it be, let it be………Thanks for a nice laugh on a Monday!

  5. dryw - Aug 8, 2011 at 3:33 PM

    Love the new preview, Mark. Definitely good to see who's hot and cold lately. Go NATS!

  6. baseballswami - Aug 8, 2011 at 3:33 PM

    Great post WadduEyeNo! And Mark — I always skimmed over the series preview, somewhat glazed over. I REALLY like what you did today,though. I feel that the info is much more relevant to this series. Now, when I watch the game, I will pay particular attention to who is hot/cold. I will also be hoping that the hot list gets longer for us and the cold list gets shorter! Are you trying out some potential call up material for 2012?

  7. K.D. - Aug 8, 2011 at 3:35 PM

    In his last outing Wang showed progress from his first start, if he continues to improve it will be a successful start. It will be a battle of the bats (with some help from our defense) in that park. Our bullpen is better than the Cubs pen, anyway it will be a fun game to watch at a reasonable hour! My first GYFNG!

  8. Wally - Aug 8, 2011 at 3:42 PM

    I agree that these stats are more interesting.I have a sense that this series will be something of a bellweather for the rest of the season's Win totals. If Wang and Det bomb out, we could be in for a rocky road. If somehow they pitch well and show signs of being able to go 6+, that could be encouraging for replacing JZ and Marquis (and possibly Livo). They don't have to win, but if they can barely get to the 5th inning and already have given up 4 runs, well, that could be a mess.I still see Gorzy coming back into the rotation at some point, especially with none of the young guys knocking down the door.

  9. Steve M. - Aug 8, 2011 at 4:23 PM

    Pass the Maalox, the TUMS, and the Absolut. These next 2 nights are going to be real stomach churners. I guess Balestar is tonight's long-man if needed out of the bullpen?Go Wang! I hope you took extra PFP so you can field your position better too. Time to prove the naysayers wrong (that includes me).

  10. JaneB - Aug 8, 2011 at 4:33 PM

    I liked the old series preview, Mark, and really like this one. It's comforting to see Ross in the "who's hot" category.waddu — hilarious. We have to see Wang getting settled faster and faster, and hope Alfonso is in the line up so he makes it easier on us.GYFNG!

  11. NatinBeantown - Aug 8, 2011 at 4:33 PM

    Adding my own plaudits for the change in preview format. Much more interesting. Likely need a little tweaking (Marmol's W-L stat and "cold" status don't really jibe with the preview text (5 saves last week) and his reliever status). All in all a big improvement.

  12. NatinBeantown - Aug 8, 2011 at 4:35 PM

    Also, Steve M., responding to your post on likely callups based on the 40 man, how do the pitchers shake up. How many Sept callups are not on the 25 man?

  13. baseballswami - Aug 8, 2011 at 4:39 PM

    Which Cubs team will we see tonight? The one with a record worse than ours, or the hot one from the last week? Which Nats team will we see tonight?The shaky Wang/ no clutch hitting team? Or the sharp pitching, sparkly defense/ sluggers? Stay tuned…

  14. baseballswami - Aug 8, 2011 at 4:40 PM

    Thought you might appreciate this — co-worker just asked me if I am talking to my "imaginary friends" again!!

  15. Anonymous - Aug 8, 2011 at 4:46 PM

    I'm not sure how Gomes got lumped into the who isn't hot. He has a .286/.400/.924 slash line as a Nat in his 9 games. Not to mention he drove in 2 runs yesterday with his homer so the 0 RBI stat was off.I've been pleasantly surprised by his play. He is a hard nosed guy and I like the fact that any time somebody else hits a homer he is the first guy on the top step of the dugout when they get back in.PDOWDY83PS for some reason I can't use my google account to log in and post on here anymore.

  16. Mark Zuckerman - Aug 8, 2011 at 4:57 PM

    Thanks for all the comments on the new Series Preview format, both good and bad. I think in the long run, the Hot/Cold feature will be more valuable and interesting to read than the Batter-vs-Pitcher numbers.Sorry about a couple of mistakes in there, particularly missing Gomes' homer from yesterday. Because I knew I'd be traveling all morning from D.C. to Chicago, I had to put the preview together late last night. Evidently, the stats I was using hadn't been updated with yesterday's games.This will be kind of a work in progress over the rest of the season, trying to figure out how to best compile this in a manner that's not too time consuming. Unfortunately, that means I can't scroll through every player on both rosters and arbitrarily find a date in which they got hot or cold. I've got to do them all from the same starting point. In today's case, all the stats are since the All-Star break. Once we get farther into the month, I can switch it up to include August stats only.Appreciate all the feedback, good and bad. As always, my No. 1 goal is to best serve all of you!

  17. Nats1924 - Aug 8, 2011 at 5:04 PM

    Lets sweep this series

  18. NatinBeantown - Aug 8, 2011 at 5:10 PM

    Thanks, as always, Mark.One more comment that may help both the feature and your time consumption: you could limit the stats to the one featured stat that caught your attention. As in, just the slash line, or just the K/IP. Some of the stats (like W-L in a short time span) are just clutter. Again, like the new feature. And as always, love the blog.GYFNG!

  19. Streve M. - Aug 8, 2011 at 5:11 PM

    NatinBeantown said… Also, Steve M., responding to your post on likely callups based on the 40 man, how do the pitchers shake up. How many Sept callups are not on the 25 man? August 8, 2011 12:35 PM Hoping for others to join in especially NatsJack on this. Overall keep in mind that the Nats in the past have not filled the benches with September callups like other teams.I always like that deep bench when other teams will pinch-run to get in a super fast call-up and make things interesting.On the pitchers, my wild-card is that new reliever that Rizzo loves named Garrett Mock. It looks like his days of starter are over and he did have some success as a reliever and is on the 40 man. I expect Craig Stammen and Atahualpa Severino and Yunesky Maya all to work out of the bullpen. The curious ones are Milone and Peacock who are not on the 40 man. Davey wanted them here before and instead got Detwiler but I think if both are healthy they will be here.The team will also carry 3 catchers in Ramos, Flores and Pudge (if healthy). The only players I definitely don't expect to be called up from the 40 man are Bryce Harper and Adam Carr. Corey Brown, Severino and Garrett Mock are 3 interesting ones that may or may not be based on merit. This should be the largest group brought up in September and I can't wait to see how Davey works in Chris Marrero and Lombarozzi. Matt Antonelli, Zech Zinicola, Oliver Perez and Wilkie are the only -other- ones that could merit a callup that aren't on the 40 man that probably won't be added.By the way, Corey Brown named this week's IL Offensive Player of the Week.http://syracuse.chiefs.milb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20110808&content_id=22922720&vkey=pr_t552&fext=.jsp&sid=t552Also, Josh Smoker probably ready for a promotion to AA. Wouldn't he be a great story if he makes it to the Majors one day. Destin Hood, Eury Perez and Blake Kelso haven't moved from their respective "A" ball teams. Wonder when these players will get to test the next level.

  20. Bowdenball - Aug 8, 2011 at 5:24 PM

    Love the new content, Mark. Great stuff. I'm sure you'll continue to tinker with it (for example, no reason to mention hot/cold pitchers who won't appear in the series), but I think on the whole it's more useful. I used to skim right bast the best and worst, but knowing which hitters and pitchers are playing well or poorly in the last couple weeks is the kind of stuff I like to know about when I sit down to watch the Nats.

  21. HHover - Aug 8, 2011 at 5:27 PM

    Put me down as liking the new preview format too

  22. fpcsteve - Aug 8, 2011 at 5:35 PM

    Agree with Steve M.'s request for Nats Jack to chime in. Nats Jack, I would be interested in your take on Milone and especially Peacock.

  23. NatinBeantown - Aug 8, 2011 at 5:46 PM

    My guess is that Peacock is going to AFL and not DC. The month in AAA (25 IP) has not been that kind: 4.97 ERA1.4 HR/95.3 BB/9

  24. baseballswami - Aug 8, 2011 at 5:48 PM

    Let's hear it for Nats 1924!

  25. Water23 - Aug 8, 2011 at 5:49 PM

    Mark,I see you are trying to work the kinks out of this new delivery. Keep up the good work and know that we all for letting you work things out but if you struggle moving to the bullpen or maybe a quick stint to the Patriot-News(Harrisburg) or the Post-Standard(Syracuse) for a quick retool might be necessary. You have been doing a great job of grooming Chase by slowly been building up his stamina. I am sure he could step in for a spot start or two. Keep up the great work!

  26. Feel Wood - Aug 8, 2011 at 5:49 PM

    I think those who are expecting a large number of September callups are going to be extremely disappointed. Keep in mind that this is an evaluation year, but that fact cuts two ways – evaluating what they have now as well as evaluating what they have in the pipeline. And evaluating what they have now takes priority, because decisions need to be made on whether to cut ties with some of these guys before having to evaluate possible replacements for them. So it's more likely that they'd want to get another month of data on the Ankiel/Nix/Gomes outfield before they throw Bernadina back into the mix, since they know what they have in him. There's no need to bring Marrero up, because they know already that with both Morse and LaRoche around next spring there's no room for him then. Lombardozzi is a possibility perhaps to give Desmond/Espinosa an occasional blow, but OTOH they may want more data on someone like Cora before they decide whether to cut him loose or not. On the pitching side, there will of course be backfill for Zimmermann, but with Strasburg around too that may only leave room for one of Peacock/Milone. And any displaced starters such as Livo/Gorzelanny/Detwiler will go to the bullpen, which will limit the number of relievers who get callups.My prediction: Flores, Bernadina (perhaps), Lombardozzi (perhaps), Peacock or Milone or both. That's it.And SteveM, how many other teams that are out of the race are loading up their benches with September callups anyway? I bet if you did some research you'd discover that the Nats have not been alone in having relatively few callups over the years.

  27. Steve M. - Aug 8, 2011 at 5:52 PM

    NatinBeantown, yep, I agree, certainly not a done deal especially since they aren't on the 40 man. Once you put them on, tougher to get them off. Strasburg with a 1 to 2 start gap takes over JZim's spot. There may not be any starter spots anyway unless you sit Livo, Wang or Det or go to a 6 man rotation.Could be Peacock or Milone or neither.

  28. Steve M. - Aug 8, 2011 at 5:58 PM

    Feel Wood said… My prediction: Flores, Bernadina (perhaps), Lombardozzi (perhaps), Peacock or Milone or both. That's it.And SteveM, how many other teams that are out of the race are loading up their benches with September callups anyway? I bet if you did some research you'd discover that the Nats have not been alone in having relatively few callups over the years. August 8, 2011 1:49 PM I agree on loading up the bench, but many teams will bring on a speedster just to pinch-run and a defensive replacement and some bullpen reinforcments.Chris Marrero has to be on your list as I would say almost certainly this is his year for a callup.Stammen I am thinking just to have another arm in the bullpen and Rizzo's favorite Mock could be a fun one as he is hitting above 95MPH out of the bullpen in Syracuse.

  29. Mark'd - Aug 8, 2011 at 6:01 PM

    The Draft deadline is a week away and I hear Boras wants Rendon on the 40 man so that can throw a wrench in your 40 man.

  30. Steve M. - Aug 8, 2011 at 6:04 PM

    Mark'd, which is the best reason to leave off either Milone or Peacock or both. Always a risk once you add a player on to your 40 man.

  31. gonatsgo - Aug 8, 2011 at 6:04 PM

    Ah – the dreaded return of Garret Mock. Not looking forward to that again. Right now I think we should look at Wang/Gorzo or Detweiler/Gorzo or some combination of those guys in the same game. Maybe Balester in that mix, too , since he can go a few innings? I sincerely hope that Todd Coffey has fixed himself and Sean Burnet will also have a sudden transformation back to his old lights-out self.That would be awesome. As far as I am concerned HRod is jekyl and hyde.

  32. JD - Aug 8, 2011 at 6:12 PM

    Steve M. Normally teams in contention will bring up players for specific roles such as pinch running etc.with the Nats I don't really see the point. I would be ok without the usual retreads such as Severino and Stammen but players who had really good years should rewarded. To me Marrero is a no brainer because even if there is no place for him in the Nats lineup he can be an exceptional commodity in the trade market as teams would love to get their hands on a solid hitter under team control for 6 years. I think that Lombardozzi and Antoneli should also get callups based on great years. I wouldn't mind if Milone or Peacock get a start on 2 in DC but I can live without seeing Mock.

  33. JD - Aug 8, 2011 at 6:16 PM

    Steve M. bold prediction from yours truly: Wang will have a better year next year than Jason Marquis. I think that when analyzing Wang this year you put the results on the back burner. The bigger indicators are: velocity, movement and command. I think that the first 2 look pretty good so far and there is a reasonable chance that he will regain his command with repetition.

  34. NatinBeantown - Aug 8, 2011 at 6:16 PM

    Water23,I don't know, you may be right and MZ may need a stint in Syracuse. Month over month, post production has declined since 2010. I think he may have been really pushing last year in his Free Agent year. Seems like the quality is still there, his WAR (writing above replacement) is still among the league leaders.

  35. JD - Aug 8, 2011 at 6:18 PM

    Steve M. One more prediction: Derek Norris will be a solid major league front line catcher (better than Wilson Ramos) and he will reach the majors mid 2012.

  36. Wally - Aug 8, 2011 at 6:33 PM

    I don't pretend to know who they will call up, but here is who I would like to see them call up:Brad MeyersMatt AntonelliCraig StammenJosh wilkieThese guys are all of an age where it seems like time to make a decision on them.I would leave Peacock and Milone down. They haven't pitched well, and may be wearing down. No need to rush them up. Ditto for Lombardozzi and Marrero (for different reasons, just no playing time for them and I can't see why starting their options clock makes sense)

  37. HHover - Aug 8, 2011 at 6:36 PM

    Lombardozzi yes, Antonelli no. Antonelli has cooled off considerably since folks were clamoring for him a few months ago, and he's 3.5 years older . Lombardozzi is the real prospect and should get whatever playing time is to be had.

  38. Joe Seamhead - Aug 8, 2011 at 6:37 PM

    I would throw Shairon Maris in the mix of possible Sept. call ups, too.

  39. Joe Seamhead - Aug 8, 2011 at 6:39 PM

    Darn auto correct! Shairon Martis.BTW, Mark, I also like the new "who's hot & who's cold" format

  40. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 8, 2011 at 6:41 PM

    Steve M…. I agree with Feel Wood…. I don't see alot happening aside from Bernandina, Marerro and Lombardozzi for the general bench and maybe 2 or 3 pitchers to assist in the bullpen. Alot depends on how Detwiler and Wang shake out as starters.

  41. JaneB - Aug 8, 2011 at 6:46 PM

    I am curious to see Mock as a reliever. Clip came up as a starting pitcher, and look how truly amazing and useful he turned out. There is SOMETHING these guys are in love with in Mock. Maybe it's something that can be used beautifully out of the bull pen.Steve m, I've missed the reasons it would be a great story for Josh Smoker to make it up. I wasn't always following as closely as I am these days.Swami, my daughter, the other night, commented on how I was talking to my "baseball" friends the other night. But I laughed out loud about your colleague's comment that we are "imaginary."

  42. NatStat - Aug 8, 2011 at 6:48 PM

    Thank you MarkMeister, as always!BTW, FP and Bobby C. reported that the bench was trying to call the 'pen during the Saturday game with the Rocks, but the phone was busy.I'm guessing that was Big Pot calling out for pizza delivery.

  43. DFL - Aug 8, 2011 at 7:08 PM

    Sad to be the contrarian, but Derek Norris may need another year in AA or at least start the year there. He and Corey Brown are the team's chief minor league disappointments this year and both have struggled to keep their averages above .200. However, at 22, Norris has time. Brown, 26 in November, is fast running out of time.

  44. Feel Wood - Aug 8, 2011 at 7:09 PM

    I agree on loading up the bench, but many teams will bring on a speedster just to pinch-run and a defensive replacement and some bullpen reinforcments.They already have Bixler for the pinch run/defensive replacement roles. If they bring Bernadina back up, he fits that profile too. As for bullpen reinforecements, they have one or two starters who may find themselves in the bullpen. So at most one other bullpen guy – but that could end up being Slaten back from the DL.Chris Marrero has to be on your list as I would say almost certainly this is his year for a callup.To what purpose? Unless they trade LaRoche, Marrero is not in the mix for 2012. They're not going to call him up just to make him feel good. It has to be good for the team, too – and right now there's no compelling team need at first base.

  45. JD - Aug 8, 2011 at 7:24 PM

    DFL, Yeah; but he gets on base 37% of the time and has at every level plus his power is developing nicely as is his defense and base running. Norris will never hit .300 but I suspect he will be a .240 – .260 hitter with an OBP of .370 and ++ power. It's instructive to look beyond the batting average occassionaly. Feel Wood, I suspect that Marrero may never have a spot with the Nats because when Haprer graduates to the bigs Morse will likely slide back yo 1st base (next year he will probably play left field with LaRoche at 1st). At the same time there is no point in sending a player back to the minor when he has graduated all levels so it very well may be that Marrero starts in the majors next year for someone else. With that in mind; would it not make sense to see if he can hit at this level? because if he can you have an extremely valuable commodity on your hands. A good young hitter under team control for 6 years; that should net you something decent on the trade market. Right?

  46. Anonymous - Aug 8, 2011 at 7:32 PM

    Hot Cubs + Loser Wang = Gaping Loss55-60

  47. Mark'd - Aug 8, 2011 at 7:41 PM

    I like the predictions. It is easy to talk smack after the fact. I say Bernadina, Marrero and Lombo. 3rd catcher of Pudge/Flores.Stammen, Mock, Milone for pitchers with Martis as a long shot.

  48. Mark'd - Aug 8, 2011 at 7:47 PM

    JD, I have seen Norris. I think he imay be a bust. No offensive progress this year. He has great patience at the plate and probably too much. He needs to get the bat on ball more for hits.

  49. NatsLady in Chicago - Aug 8, 2011 at 7:52 PM

    Hi, people–and Mark. I will be at the game tonight and tomorrow in Gate K, Aisle 208 Row 23. Anyone who is there–Come and say hello, I will be representing with Nats hat and jersey.

  50. Unkyd - Aug 8, 2011 at 7:52 PM

    Joe Seamhead said…I would throw Shairon Maris in the mix of possible Sept. call ups, too.—————-Was hoping someone would mention this! I understand he's been lights out… NatsJack-Steve M… Has he been tweaked? Added a pitch? Is it anything to get excited about? Worth a spot on the 40, and a couple of starts? In the mix for ST? Thanks!

  51. Feel Wood - Aug 8, 2011 at 7:57 PM

    There's no point to calling Marrero up to find out if he can hit at the major league level in order to increase his trade value. He wouldn't get enough ABs in September to establish it one way or the other. His trade value is what it is. Also, if they don't call him up they don't burn one of his option years – and having one more available option might make him more attractive in trade.

  52. gonatsgo - Aug 8, 2011 at 8:07 PM

    NatsLady – in Chicago , of course — try to describe where you are sitting in terms of first base, center field, how far back,etc. The tv broadcast loves to show Nats fans in the crowd and I am thinking you may be really in the minority at Wrigley. They will probably show you on air – we'll watch for you if we know where to look! I hope we break out the whupping sticks tonight!

  53. DFL - Aug 8, 2011 at 8:13 PM

    Strange how Lombardozzi jumped so fast. His hitting has improved whenever he's jumped a level. He can steal a base. His OBP has hovered around .370 his whole minor league career, a very nice percentage for a lead-off batter. The Nats can contemplate trading Desmond next season if they can get full value. Norris may be ready in 2014. He also may be trade bait. Ramos is a solid receiver with middling power. I wonder if Norris turns out like the Orioles catcher of the 90s Chris Hoiles. The second coming of Johnny Bench is unlikely.Tyler Moore is an enigma. He walks way too little for a man who has put up some very good power numbers and a pretty good batting average. I have to think he will struggle against major league pitching. Marrero looks ready for the bigs but it is unlikely to be in Washington where the Nats have a surplus at first. Morse has pretty much wrapped up first base, a position he plays much better than left-field. Perhaps the Nats can unload Marrero on Baltimore but I wouldn't know who we would really want from the Orioles.

  54. Will - Aug 8, 2011 at 8:19 PM

    September call ups don't count towards the arbitration clock.

  55. Anonymous - Aug 8, 2011 at 8:28 PM

    Unless Morse gets hurt, I would be surprised if Marrero is called in September. I agree that those looking for a mass of youth call-ups will be disappointed, and in fact, are a virtual impossibility given the current 40 many roster. Based upon the roster on the Nats website, the Nats current 40 man roster has 40 players with 2 on the 60 day DL. 60 day DLers don't count toward the 40 man roster during the season, which puts the Nats roster at 38. However, one of the 2 60 day DL players is Strasburg who will be added to the active roster in September, leaving only one open roster spot. As mentioned above, that spot may be taken by Anthony Rendon who may sign a MLB deal. If that happen, the Nats won't have any room to bring up anyone not currently on the 40 man roster absent a waiver deal, concurrent release of a player or moving a player to the 60 day DL. Looks like, Adam Laroche is the only 60 day DL candidate among those currently on the DL. So, there just is much room for non-roster call-ups. Given the current state of the roster, absent waiver deal trades, the Nats will activate Pudge, Stasburg, and if they are available, Kimball or Slaten from the DL. If not, the Nats will call up Severino so they have an extra lefty. Bernadina would be the only other guy likely to come up. All those guys are already on the 40 man roster. Pilchard

  56. David - Aug 8, 2011 at 8:34 PM

    the nats should pick up Thomas Diamond. he was released by the Twins organization. high K rate pitcher… former #10 pick overall out of college by the rangers in 04 or 05. his career was derailed by a large # of injuries and a high walk rate. hey! he struck out 10 in his major league debut last year. i think he could be a closer candidate if they stuck him to that role. he's a power pitcher. over the last 3 years he been switched from starter to reliever at least 3 times. okay i'm a homer because he went to my university when i was there. but i saw him mow down 17 batters one time in person, in a 9 inning complete game his junior year, still throwing mid to upper 90's in the 9th. i know that it was in college back in 2004, but it was the most impressive pitching performance i'd ever seen. you don't forget things like that.

  57. sjm308 - Aug 8, 2011 at 8:52 PM

    What a great group of posts – lots of back and forth and all of it from a positive standpoint. I think all have good points and I learned a lot about some of our minor league talent. Davey has mentioned that he will play it different as we near the end of the season, giving people a chance to show what they can do so that could be interesting. I am guessing from what I have read here, the problem will be getting new or different people onto the 40 man roster. At any rate, we will definitely have some "new blood" up to see how they deal with the big leagues and that is always exciting. I am still holding on for a .500 season and I love the bold prediction of Wang having a better season next year than Marquis. If it turns out we re-sign him and that happens we could be dangerous.

  58. DFL - Aug 8, 2011 at 9:01 PM

    For what it's worth, I looked up Lombardozzi's first season, 2008 at the Gulf Coast Rookie League. He hit .283 with an OBP of .371. Teammates J.R. Highley .346/.486, Chris Curran .311/.397 and Ronnie Labrie .324/.423 all hit better. Highley and Curran languish at Potomac these days and Labrie is out of organized baseball. Some players have huge learning curves and some don't.

  59. JD - Aug 8, 2011 at 9:34 PM

    Mark'd, When you say no offensive progress this year I disagree. This is his 1st year at this level and he has maintained the same level of OBP. Some hitters are more patient and some less but the bottom line is he gets on base a lot and his BABIP is a ridiculously low .247 which means that he has been extremely unlucky. Of course this is just my opinion and I could be wrong but I stand by my earlier prediction that Norris will be a solid above average major league catcher.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 49 40 --
ATLANTA 49 42 1.0
MIAMI 44 47 6.0
NEW YORK 42 49 8.0
PHILADELPHIA 40 51 10.0
Through Wednesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
THU: Nats at Orioles, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Phillies, 7:15 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Phillies, 1:35 p.m.
MON: All-Star break
TUE: All-Star Game at Minneapolis, 8 p.m.
WED: All-Star break
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.

Follow us on Twitter