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Game 117: Nats at Cubs

Aug 11, 2011, 5:30 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Jordan Zimmermann faces Ryan Dempster in the rubber game at Wrigley Field.

CHICAGO — Jordan Zimmermann makes his 23rd start of the season, and if you have the ability to tune in for this Thursday matinee, you might want to catch a glimpse because there won't be many more opportunities to watch the right-hander in action. Zimmermann's innings count sits at 138 1/3, so he's got only three or four more starts before the Nationals shut him down.

Zimmermann will need to both pitch well and hope for some run support if he wants to get his record over the .500 mark (he enters today 7-9 despite a sparkling 3.12 ERA). The Nationals have begun hitting the ball better in recent weeks, though last night were pretty much shut down by Rodrigo Lopez and three Cubs relievers.

One potential bright spot: Danny Espinosa dropped a perfect bunt single in the eighth inning, perhaps the kind of thing that can help get him going again after struggling through a prolonged slump. Davey Johnson said this morning he had talked to Espinosa about bunting more and believes it can be a big weapon for him. We'll see what effect it may have.

It's another gorgeous day at Wrigley Field. If you can't watch on TV or listen on the radio, check back here for plenty of updates…

NATIONALS at CUBS
Where: Wrigley Field
Gametime: 2:20 p.m.
TV: MASN2
Radio: WFED (1500 AM), WHFS (1580 AM)
Weather: Sunny, 79 degrees, Wind 5 mph in from CF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (56-60)
CF Rick Ankiel
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Michael Morse

Read more »

161 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. SonnyG10 - Aug 11, 2011 at 5:43 PM

    GYFNG!!!

  2. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 11, 2011 at 5:49 PM

    Let's go! Batter up! We're taking the afternoon off!It's a beautiful day for a ballgame, foa a ballgame today.

  3. Nats Outsider - Aug 11, 2011 at 5:49 PM

    There IS a double header today, right? The Nationals' Web page refers to this game (Zimm pitching) as the series finale. I hope the Nats show up for the second game, even if their Webmaster doesn't.

  4. Steve M. - Aug 11, 2011 at 5:55 PM

    fpcsteve said… Nats Jack, I saw Detwiler for the first time last night. What's your take on his stuff? And to what degree is he a nibbler? I had that impression at times last night. Steve M., you, too, if you'd like. August 11, 2011 1:23 PM I thought Detwiler pitched OK. If he got run support, he would have won the game. Detwiler's velocity was down which we have seen in the past when he is the starter, and he wasn't getting that inside corner on the RH batters which he needs. The problem is his arm strength to go deep into games and change up his repitoire 2nd time through the order. My opinion hasn't changed since Opening Day. He is a very good talent but starting is not where he will excel. If I thought he could be a #3 then go for it but to be a #5 AAAA type, the Nats don't need that if he can be a Top 3 lefty relief pitcher in the whole league in the Venters mold. Venters was an All Star this year at 26 (He and Ross are almost exactly 1 year apart in age). Not too shabby and Venters toiled for much too long in the Minors as a starter type early on. Last year was Venters 1st full year. And yes, Jonny with no "H".What I would do with Clippard and Detwiler is alternate them for the 7th and 8th which Atlanta doesn't do with Venters and O'Flaherty as they are both Leftys.Think about it. you have 3 righties for the 7th, bring in Clippard if that will be followed by Lefties. Its not exact science as we know as innings don't always line up but I truly believe the Nats are a PLAYOFF team next year with Coco Crisp and Buehrle added to this team.And talking about Mock, I fully expect him to be given the chance in Spring Training to be a Todd Coffey type. He is Rizzo's boy.

  5. NatStat - Aug 11, 2011 at 5:55 PM

    Not sure why the Nats hitters couldn't do more damage with Lopez on the mound last night. He is as you bloged Mark, "a retread". The Cubs BP is pretty good, so it was too late to get the game started with those guys.Espi has had only one HR since the ASG! Not sure how bunting will restart his power game!

  6. NatsLady - Aug 11, 2011 at 5:55 PM

    (sigh) work…. will try to sneak in a listen or check gameday. Go NATS!!!!

  7. Gonat - Aug 11, 2011 at 5:59 PM

    NatStat, agreed. Amazed to see Nix in there the way he was moving in the clubhouse.Lets score some runs for JZim!

  8. Unkyd - Aug 11, 2011 at 6:01 PM

    GYFNGOGOGO!!!!!!!I always seem make the long post (the one I'd really like feedback, from wiser heads than mine), at the end of posts, as they get abandoned. So, from 1/2 hour ago:GYFNGOGOGO!!!!!I seem to always make the long post (the one I'd love to hear some feedback from wiser heads than mine), at the end of threads, where nobody will likely go back and see. So… From 1/2 hour ago: Unkyd said…A DC Wonk said…Unkyd said…Zim at 1B makes no sense to me.Why not? (After all, isn't the only flaw Zim has is his sometimes unreliable throwing).Ernie Banks made that transition (from SS to 1b) pretty well! (although, at age 31)…………………………………Just seems like wasting resources, to me. We seem to be knee-deep in good 1st basemen. If what we've seen from the Gorse Hacker, this year, is what're get for the next 5 years, then Zim represents no upgrade, whatsoever. LaRoche, Marerro….. We're at least 2 years away from being comfortable enough with Rendon to call him a fit replacement for Zim. Seriously….? I'd trade Zim , before I'd shake up whats turning out to be a respectable line-up to that degree…If RZ gets extended, this winter, give Rendon that big ol' outfielders glove, and give him a whole year to see if it's a easy transition for him…should'nt be too hard to bring him back to the infield, in fall/winter ball, if he doesn't have the aptitude. See, I think that the offensive lineup might be pretty well set, if Rendon can play in the outfield, come '13. If Desi doesn't shake out, as startingSS, you have Lombo (let's see that cup of coffee, please!), with Bernie and Desi, off the bench. Yep, making some assumptions here, but none of it seems far-fetched, to me, and by the end of next year, it should have, for the most part, played out. If I'm close, the only thing to worry about next winter, would be choosing from the bumper crop of FA pitchers…A fella can dream…. No?…………

  9. Unkyd - Aug 11, 2011 at 6:05 PM

    Humph….. Didn't really need to make that first point twice…I suppose…:)

  10. m20832 - Aug 11, 2011 at 6:11 PM

    GYFNG!!!! Take the series Boys!!

  11. natsfan1a - Aug 11, 2011 at 6:12 PM

    In addition, let's score some runs. (I won't be online during TMOTTB, so I'm submitting that comment now. Also, it goes without saying — although I guess I did just say it — that the imperative should apply to the Nats, not the Cubs, today, and that they should feel free to score some runs in earlier innings should they be so inclined. Whew. I think that's all.)(And, Unk, I believe that there's no limit on the number of GYFNGs permitted.)Sec 3, My Sofa said… Let's go! Batter up! We're taking the afternoon off! It's a beautiful day for a ballgame, foa a ballgame today. August 11, 2011 1:49 PM

  12. HALjr - Aug 11, 2011 at 6:12 PM

    Mark Z – Game seems to be on MASN 2

  13. Steve M. - Aug 11, 2011 at 6:13 PM

    Did you hear FP talking about JZim, solid #2, borderline #1. I would tell FP that if he stays away from W/L and looks at Sabre #'s like ERC (Component ERA) JZim is #5 in the whole NL and is straight up #12 in ERA and #7 in WHIP.That is #1 type of numbers FP. Like Michael Morse, way under the radar.Remember, there are 16 teams in the NL, so if you have those rankings, you are #1 for quite a few of those teams. The Phillies have Hamels, Halladay and Cliff Lee who are all Top 10 pitchers and Halladay is considered #1 and they are all on 1 team and the Giants have Lincecum, Cain and Vogelsong who are all Top 15 pitchers and on 1 team.So if Jordan Zimmermann keeps up these numbers and is still a #2 behind Strasburg, that is great news because that would mean Strasburg is doing even better.

  14. natsfan1a - Aug 11, 2011 at 6:13 PM

    Outsider, I believe that they were rained out on Monday and are playing that game today.

  15. Mark Zuckerman - Aug 11, 2011 at 6:14 PM

    HALjr said…Mark Z – Game seems to be on MASN 2Sorry, Nats official pregame notes listed today's game being on MASN. But they've been known to be wrong before, despite their official status.

  16. Steve M. - Aug 11, 2011 at 6:28 PM

    Note to Espi: Don't bunt a few feet to the right side of the mound when a Righty is pitching.

  17. Steve M. - Aug 11, 2011 at 6:29 PM

    Nice Waveland souvenier Zim!!!!Hate to tell FP, that was a clean ball they threw back not the HR ball.

  18. Bowdenball - Aug 11, 2011 at 6:30 PM

    Zimmerman solo homer with two out in top of 1st.MASN apparently not interested in showing it on television.Thanks, Peter!

  19. JaneB - Aug 11, 2011 at 6:30 PM

    Outsider, it's a three game series, not four. And Unkyd, I like the dream of only needing to worry about FA pitchers. That would be nice!

  20. Anonymous - Aug 11, 2011 at 6:31 PM

    Hello, 19-game hitting streak!

  21. Gonat - Aug 11, 2011 at 6:35 PM

    Morse must be back in his Beast Mode shirt.

  22. josh f - Aug 11, 2011 at 6:38 PM

    Brutal call by Carpy on the Zimmerman homer. Lost count of the streak – hopefully didn't jinx him!

  23. Steve M. - Aug 11, 2011 at 6:40 PM

    2:32 p.m. — And Ryan Zimmerman extends his hitting streak to 19 games in style: By parking a 2-1 pitch from Dempster onto Waveland Ave. That's three straight days in which Zim has kept his hit streak alive in the first inning. Very reminiscent of his 30-game run in 2009, when he seemed to smoke the ball in the first inning every single night. Nats take an early 1-0 lead.Mark, lets all hope you write this same thing the next 3+ weeks.

  24. LoveDaNats - Aug 11, 2011 at 6:44 PM

    @ josh fAre you kidding? I have a hole in my coffee table from knocking on wood whenever Carp talks!

  25. Steve M. - Aug 11, 2011 at 6:45 PM

    Dempster threw 25 pitches in the 1st compared to 14 by Jordan Zimmermann.Nats need 4 more innings like that to get rid of Dempster early.

  26. Sec314 - Aug 11, 2011 at 6:52 PM

    Here's how to get Espi hitting… drop him back down to #6 in the Order. Drop Desmond to Syracuse and bring up Lombardozzi to hit Second and play Second.and to mirror that, move Espinosa to the 6 position– Shortstop

  27. Scott from Burke - Aug 11, 2011 at 6:55 PM

    I believe Jordan Zim will win more games in his career than Stras..even though both have had TJ surgery I think Stras will be bothered by injuries his entire career..I like Zim's mecahnics…he is super

  28. Steve M. - Aug 11, 2011 at 6:56 PM

    Sec314, I would move Werth down to #2 and Nix to #5 and Espi back to #6.

  29. Steve M. - Aug 11, 2011 at 6:59 PM

    Scott from Burke, I think Stras will be fine for many years while in a Nationals uniform. His mechanics may catch up with him when he gets older or he can make adjustments. Jordan Zimmermann won't win much if he only gets a couple of runs of offense while he is in the game.

  30. kgwcoach - Aug 11, 2011 at 7:01 PM

    Sec314Any line up that takes Espi out of 2B makes the defense weaker IMO. I don't believe people realize just what Espi has done there. He has made more game saving plays there than he would have had opprotunities to do so at SS.

  31. Steve M. - Aug 11, 2011 at 7:01 PM

    Anonymous said… Glad to see Danny used the bunt to get on. Where has that been? August 10, 2011 10:24 PM For those watching the game, Debbi Taylor just said that Rizzo told Espi 3 games ago that he wanted to see him bunt more.

  32. Anonymous - Aug 11, 2011 at 7:02 PM

    Sec314, I would move Werth down to #2 and Nix to #5 and Espi back to #6.Werth batting second? That's managing-inside-the-box Riggleman thinking!

  33. Davey, really? - Aug 11, 2011 at 7:03 PM

    Why the &*(% are you attempting a steal with Zimmerman up who had just hit a HR the at-bat before.

  34. Steve M. - Aug 11, 2011 at 7:05 PM

    Anon, Sabre says to bat him there based on on-base and speed.Espi isn't getting on much and then gets a bad jump and caught stealing like Nyjer used to do.

  35. Scott from Burke - Aug 11, 2011 at 7:07 PM

    Trying to get in scoring position..it is frustrating to watch him get thrown out, yes, but when since he's been slumping a bit he might feel more pressure to try and do something for the team. So what happens now after getting thrown out? Yep, More pressure.

  36. RPrecupjr - Aug 11, 2011 at 7:12 PM

    I couldn't agree more, DaveyReally….though it means we get Zim, The Beast and DeadWeight to start the next inning

  37. Steve M. - Aug 11, 2011 at 7:12 PM

    BHarp45 Bryan Harper by BHarper3407Officially and finally signed my contract! I am officially a part of the #Washington #Nationals!! #WassupNothin16 minutes ago That's cool. Bryan Harper posting to Bryce Harper

  38. Davey, really? - Aug 11, 2011 at 7:13 PM

    Do you think Reed Johnson will try to steal here?

  39. Steve M. - Aug 11, 2011 at 7:15 PM

    RPrecupjr said… I couldn't agree more, DaveyReally….though it means we get Zim, The Beast and DeadWeight to start the next inning August 11, 2011 3:12 PM This and "Davey, Really?" are hilarious although Jayson Werth may tell you that is Mr. DeadWeight to you!

  40. PAY TO PLAY - Aug 11, 2011 at 7:24 PM

    http://ballhawk.net/ Here is the website of the guy who patrols Waveland Ave. for Home Runs. He has said before that he always carries some spare balls to throw back after he pockets the real HR ball. Carp insisted again the guy threw the ball back. Yah, right Carp.

  41. RPrecupjr - Aug 11, 2011 at 7:24 PM

    This is starting to look like "Groundhog Day"….score in the first and take the rest of the game off.

  42. Steve M. - Aug 11, 2011 at 7:29 PM

    Jayson needs to make some highlight catches. That was catchable. A shame.

  43. Theophilus - Aug 11, 2011 at 7:40 PM

    Not related to the game, but do the Nats have an actual store, i.e., gear shop, that's not in the ballpark? Or are we all stuck w/ ordering from mlb.com online, with their two-week plus delivery schedules?

  44. Mark'd - Aug 11, 2011 at 7:40 PM

    SteveM, so agree. Jayson Werth has to make that catch.

  45. Steve M. - Aug 11, 2011 at 7:40 PM

    P2P, good video of this guy in LA with a HR catch.http://www.youtube.com/user/dodgerfilms#p/a/7704ABC0DB312710/2/DoKXw_zP6Gc

  46. PAY TO PLAY - Aug 11, 2011 at 7:43 PM

    Theophilus said… Not related to the game, but do the Nats have an actual store, i.e., gear shop, that's not in the ballpark? Or are we all stuck w/ ordering from mlb.com online, with their two-week plus delivery schedules? August 11, 2011 3:40 PMCheck out eBay as they have tons of items. You may even save a few bucks.

  47. Steve M. - Aug 11, 2011 at 7:49 PM

    Reed Johnson will be 35 years old and a Free Agent after this season. Why isn't that guy starting every game?

  48. RPrecupjr - Aug 11, 2011 at 7:51 PM

    Just saw the video of Werth's notcatch….that was definitely a catchable ball, especially after the ball he ran down in almost the same spot last night

  49. Steve M. - Aug 11, 2011 at 7:53 PM

    Mark Zuckerman said…3:33 p.m. — And the Cubs tie it up in the bottom of the fourth after Soriano triples off Werth's outstretched glove in right-center field. Tough play for Werth, but not a totally impossible play to make, either.You know Mark, when you play behind an Ace you have to make those plays. This team scores next to nothing while Jordan is "in" the game so every run is a premium.

  50. RPrecupjr - Aug 11, 2011 at 7:57 PM

    Steve, because he's 35 years old and a lifetime 270 hitter with 59 HR and 349 RBIs in nine years. The Cubs have Colvin that they're grooming for the right field spot, which is also why they traded Fukudome.

  51. RPrecupjr - Aug 11, 2011 at 7:58 PM

    Psst, Danny? DON'T TRY TO STEAL.That is all.

  52. Steve M. - Aug 11, 2011 at 7:59 PM

    RPrecupjr said… Just saw the video of Werth's notcatch….that was definitely a catchable ball, especially after the ball he ran down in almost the same spot last night August 11, 2011 3:51 PM The offense doesn't score much for Jordan and the defense doesn't do the spectacular except for Bernadina stealing a HR in Chisox, I can't think of too many highlight reel plays. Then you got that popup to CF that Bernadina lost in the sun that cost him 2 and a few other defensive misplays plus the relievers blowing up his innings which is why some of the Sabre stats look more at WHIP stats to give a Component ERA (ERC) which seems to neutralize a lousy bullpen a little more which is why JZim is #5 overall of all NL pitchers.

  53. RPrecupjr - Aug 11, 2011 at 8:01 PM

    Apparently Danny does not read this blog.

  54. Davey, really? - Aug 11, 2011 at 8:01 PM

    RPrecupjr said… Psst, Danny? DON'T TRY TO STEAL.That is all. August 11, 2011 3:58 PM WTF DAVEY

  55. Steve M. - Aug 11, 2011 at 8:03 PM

    Danny doing his best Nyjer 2010 imitation when he was rarely getting on base. When he got on base, he got caught stealing.Seriously, what is going on here?

  56. Mark'd - Aug 11, 2011 at 8:10 PM

    0' Danny boy, what were you thinking? If you don't get a good jump, don't go for it. That was Nyjer-like.

  57. RPrecupjr - Aug 11, 2011 at 8:11 PM

    If Danny is doing this on his own, i.e. not signs from Porter, he needs to be sat down and told that when the guy behind you has a 19-game hitting streak, you DO NOT try to steal unless you see the catcher's arm fall off. And if you do try and get caught you sure as &^%*&^% DO NOT TRY IT AGAIN.Can you tell I'm a little peeved about this? And yes, Steve, it reminds me exactly of Nyjer last year, but without the attitude problem. But come on, Danny…your job is to get on and let the big guns bring you in. I know we only have two of them right now, but let them do their job. I don't want us to challenge the record that the Giants just tied…..19 consecutive SOLO homers. We have enough trouble getting guys in when they get on with you taking yourself out of the equation.

  58. RPrecupjr - Aug 11, 2011 at 8:17 PM

    Crap….anyone who's watching, what happened to Morse?

  59. Bowdenball - Aug 11, 2011 at 8:17 PM

    Can someone who is watching the game tell us what just happened to Morse? Serious or was he just pulled for precautionary reasons?

  60. Steve M. - Aug 11, 2011 at 8:17 PM

    Why isn't Bixler in there to run and play LF and move Nix to 1st? Speeed, Davey.

  61. Steve M. - Aug 11, 2011 at 8:18 PM

    Morse got hit right on the funny bone on the elbow

  62. josh f - Aug 11, 2011 at 8:18 PM

    HBP right on the elbow.

  63. PAY TO PLAY - Aug 11, 2011 at 8:19 PM

    Jayson Werth un-clutch once again. Can't advance the runner because he struck out once again.

  64. LoveDaNats - Aug 11, 2011 at 8:21 PM

    Morse HBP in left elbow. In a LOT of pain. He looked like he couldn't continue.

  65. Scott from Burke - Aug 11, 2011 at 8:21 PM

    Anyone know the difference between Nats and opponents as far as HBP? We need to RETALIATE for that crap.

  66. Gonat - Aug 11, 2011 at 8:24 PM

    The difference between Quade and Davey is that Quade would have inserted in Campana and well Davey goes to a guy who has stolen 5 bases and caught 3 times. Of course you insert Bixler in that situation.

  67. RPrecupjr - Aug 11, 2011 at 8:25 PM

    Not counting today's game, we've hit 39 batters, we've been hit 49 times, so 50 now.

  68. Steve M. - Aug 11, 2011 at 8:27 PM

    That wasn't intentional on Morse. Let's hope the BEAST is OK.

  69. Steve M. - Aug 11, 2011 at 8:29 PM

    Reed Johnson, are you kidding me?

  70. Scott from Burke - Aug 11, 2011 at 8:31 PM

    The one guy who gets hit is the one who leads the team in HR's and smashed one two days ago? It was intentional..didnt hit the middle of his back but inside enough. We need to let th eother teams know if youre gonna go inside were gonna go inside(r).

  71. Steve M. - Aug 11, 2011 at 8:32 PM

    Pitches a gem. One bad pitch. Unreal.

  72. RPrecupjr - Aug 11, 2011 at 8:32 PM

    And there's your ballgame. Crap.

  73. Scott from Burke - Aug 11, 2011 at 8:33 PM

    Our hitters have been hit 11 more thimes than we've hit them? No..it should be 1:1.

  74. Steve M. - Aug 11, 2011 at 8:36 PM

    Not getting Reed Johnson out is what teams should do. Make them pay. You didn't see Reed Johnson with 2 outs try to steal with Aramis Ramirez at bat.

  75. Scott from Burke - Aug 11, 2011 at 8:39 PM

    Well the good news is Clippard and Storen should be very well rested to beging the series in Philadelphia.

  76. PAY TO PLAY - Aug 11, 2011 at 8:40 PM

    Just a frustrating game that FP summed up well. He said Jordan always has to be perfect because the team isn't scoring for him.

  77. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 11, 2011 at 8:41 PM

    I don't mean to be negative, but could one of our stat geeks please tell me what Jordan Zimermann's numbers are if you remove the month of June from his stats?And am I wrong or has Danny Espinosa been stuck on 17 HR's and 55 RBI's for a month?

  78. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 11, 2011 at 8:43 PM

    And part of my frustration is I'm stuck with the Cubbie's Comcast feed and the announcers are absolutely HORRIBLE!

  79. Canada's #1 Nats Fan - Aug 11, 2011 at 8:45 PM

    I don't care if Morse's HBP was intentional or not. He's been our best hitter all year. We should have nailed one their guys in the 7th. I know the game was tied so I understand not hitting the first guy up, but after the homer made it 3-1 the next guy should have been nailed.

  80. Steve M. - Aug 11, 2011 at 8:45 PM

    Since the Nats are playing the Cubs, an article on whether the Cubs will trade Soriano. http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/6997968-417/will-alfonso-soriano-be-a-fit-with-the-cubs-in-2012.html

  81. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 11, 2011 at 8:53 PM

    Bixler can flat out RUN.

  82. Steve M. - Aug 11, 2011 at 8:54 PM

    That speed of Bixler is amazing.

  83. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 11, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    And now back to my Danny Espinosa question.

  84. PAY TO PLAY - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:01 PM

    Wasn't Kerry Wood once a starter?

  85. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:01 PM

    Kerry Wood can still bring it for a couple of hitters.

  86. PAY TO PLAY - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:04 PM

    Impressive Kerry Wood. 97MPH on his strikeout of Zim.

  87. RPrecupjr - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:07 PM

    Ok, NatsJack:Without June (and today), Zim's stats would be:4-8, 4.13 ERA, 79K in 96 IP, WHIP 1.16And it hasn't been quite a month yet for Espi. He homered and drove in three runs on July 17th and hasn't had either since then.Ouch.

  88. Steve M. - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:08 PM

    Espinosa's last RBIs and HR was in the same game on July 17th. That is an RBI drought for a guy with as many chances as he has had.

  89. A DC Wonk - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:08 PM

    PAY TO PLAY said… Wasn't Kerry Wood once a starter?Oh my — he sure was. He broke in at age 21, led the league in K/IP, and won rookie of the year. In his fifth career start he threw a one-hit, no walk, 20-strikeout shutout.Then, hurt arm — he couldn't finish the season. Then TJ surgery caused him to miss the entire next year. The following year (at age 23) he was mediocre — but starting at age 24 he became a solid pitcher again. A couple of great years, injuries, and at age 30 was converted to a reliever.

  90. PAY TO PLAY - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:12 PM

    Without June (and today), Zim's stats would be:4-8, 4.13 ERA, 79K in 96 IP, WHIP 1.16@Not sure why you would take out June. If you take out April and July he is the best pitcher in the Majors.

  91. Scott from Burke - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:13 PM

    When Kerry Wood broke in it was VERY exciting..like Strasburg..big corn fed kid throowing gas..and that 20K game was insane…too bad about the injuries..not a Cubs fan but I loved watching him

  92. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:14 PM

    RPrecupjr…. thanks.. the WHIP is really what I was interested in. He's still got a ways to go but the with that WHIP he'll be OK.

  93. A DC Wonk - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:14 PM

    Minor correction — he was still 20 when he had that 20K game.

  94. PAY TO PLAY - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:15 PM

    Glad Jonny got that walk. Gomes seemed to get squeezed yesterday and almost got squeezed again by the ump. Pitch track showed the Strike 2 on the black.

  95. NatsLady - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:16 PM

    Ok, we got something going. C'mon, guys!!!!

  96. Scott from Burke - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:16 PM

    Next time we get hit by a pitch, forget about hitting one of them…it's mound charging time…Werth would probably be crazy in a fight

  97. jeffwx - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:16 PM

    Bring up the Chiefs:Steve Lombardozzi’s two-run single highlighted a five-run 6th as the Syracuse Chiefs took their third straight against Buffalo, 6-1. Craig Stammen got with win with seven solid innings, allowing one run on six hits and three walks and six strikeouts. Lee Hyde and Zech Zinicola both turned in a scoreless inning of relief to seal the deal. Roger Bernadina and Lombaradozzi both had three hits in an 11-hit attack

  98. Davey, Really? - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:18 PM

    What in the world was Nix swinging at on the 1st pitch? Needs to read his scouting report. Laid off of that same pitch on pitch #3. Should have been 4-0. Luckily walked on pitch #5

  99. A DC Wonk - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:18 PM

    JZ, WHIP — month by month (not including today:Mar/Apr 1.25 May 1.08 Jun 0.94 Jul 1.20 Aug 1.06

  100. josh f - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:18 PM

    Come on, Desi!

  101. FS - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:18 PM

    yep that is curious. Why Ryan out?NatsJack, in 102 innings, JZ has allowed 48 ER for 4.23 ERA. That's the only thing I could calculate. Don't know about other stats. But in 6 June starts, he faced off against AZ, SF, SD, CW, LA, Os.I know Danny is struggling a lot right now, but when I think about last season's 2B choices, I am very happy to have him. I am sure he will work out of his slump soon.

  102. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:18 PM

    Marmol is fun.

  103. NatsLady - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:19 PM

    If we can't do something with bases loaded no one out, we don't DESERVE to win. COME ON, Desi!!!!

  104. NatsLady - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:20 PM

    Charlie and Dave: Ryan out because he is the last batter, his turn would not come up unless the Nats have a big inning. Very short on position players, wanted to leave Bix in. WHY????? Desi, why swing, this guy is not getting it over?

  105. josh f - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:21 PM

    GAH

  106. JaneB - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:22 PM

    The Buffalo needs to come up with a nice fat hit here. Think Mariners. Think DBacks. C'mon Wilson!

  107. JaneB - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:24 PM

    Little hits work too. C'mon Bix!

  108. Steve M. - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:24 PM

    Another pitch on the black for another batter. Why would the ump give that to a pitcher who can't throw a strike.Good thing Ramos got him back!And this is where a short bench comes into play.

  109. josh f - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:24 PM

    Come on, Bixie!

  110. JaneB - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:26 PM

    Or Rick.

  111. josh f - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:27 PM

    DAMNIT.

  112. NatsLady - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:28 PM

    Or not.

  113. Grandstander - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:28 PM

    This team takes pathetic to the next level. They make failing an art form.

  114. Steve M. - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:28 PM

    Marmol really wanted to give the Nats the game. It was there for the taking.

  115. Exposremains - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:29 PM

    Pathetic!! I know people don't like harsh comments but what a bunch of losers! This team for years now doesn't know how to win. NO outs bases loaded and manage one lucky run. Unbelievable!!

  116. jd - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:29 PM

    Marmol tried to give this game away. Explain to me why Desmond swung at a 2-0 pitch after Marmol just walked Nix to load the bases.

  117. SCNatsFan - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:30 PM

    This team will go nowhere as long as we have players like Desmond and Bixler putting up ABs like that. They should be ashamed. Bixler now career with the bases loaded 0-5 with 4 strikeouts. Either these guys learn how to hit or give up on them. I've been a proponent of keeping Desi at SS but I'm done hoping he learn something; he either doesn't have the talent or doesn't have the brain, either way he will lead us to more losses then victories.

  118. FS - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:31 PM

    Wouldn't squeeze be a better play with speedy guy on third and speedy hitter at plate? or did Quade plan against it? or Bixie does not know how to bunt properly? or Werth is not that good of a runner?Embarrassing loss! 3-4 on the road trip now. Next up the Phillies and Hamels-Oswalt-Halladay. Lee got lucky?

  119. jd - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:32 PM

    Steve M. Desmond, Bixler and Ankiel have to be muzzled by the coaching stuff. They can't go out there hacking when the pitcher is begging to give the game away.

  120. ehay2k - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:34 PM

    Is it the hitting coach's job to prep the players before they go out to hit? if so PLEASE FIRE Eckstein. Marmol could NOT throw a strike, and we swung at EVERY DAMN PITCH. I am SO MAD right now. If Bixler or Ian "Swing Away" Desmond had just stood there, we would be winning the game.The hitting coach needs to be watching the game, not reading his damn stat book. It was SOOOO obvious Marmol had control problems, but no one seemed to change their approach. FIRE THE HITTING COACH

  121. NatsLady - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:35 PM

    jd, I asked the same question at 5:20 BEFORE we lost the game. Why, Desi, Why??? Why did JZimm blow his cool? Why???? Oh, turtles!!!Bix knows how to bunt, I've seen him do it. Not sure why a bunt wasn't called for with his speed. Werth is an EXCELLENT runner, the smartest guy on the basepaths you will ever see– Davey ASLEEP at the switch. I dunno. This whole game is a MYSTERY to me!!!

  122. A DC Wonk - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:37 PM

    ehay2k said… Is it the hitting coach's job to prep the players before they go out to hit? if so PLEASE FIRE Eckstein. Marmol could NOT throw a strike, and we swung at EVERY DAMN PITCH. I am SO MAD right now. If Bixler or Ian "Swing Away" Desmond had just stood there, we would be winning the game.Not exactly. Almost all the pitches they swung at were strikes. (I said almost).FIRE THE HITTING COACH Sometimes, despite what the hitting coach says, a 24 year old can't always execute it.

  123. Anonymous - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:37 PM

    Why on earth did Nixler not take the hit by pitch, he could have move a little and still be hit. we always said take one for the team. There is a chance and moves, then swings at two balls the next two pitches. Why is he here and Roger isn;'t

  124. jd - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:38 PM

    And that's why Ian Desmond should not be an every day major league player. No thought to the game situation whatsoever.

  125. JaneB - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:40 PM

    Getting worried about no word on Morse.

  126. NG - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:41 PM

    Someone needs to ask Davey if he put the stop sign on Desmond after Marmol had thrown 6 consecutive balls out of the zone. If he didn't, then this is really on him as much as Desmond. That one swing literally turned that inning around for the Cubs. If he just holds the bat on his shoulder, it's 3-0, bases loaded, no one out.

  127. josh f - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:42 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  128. Exposremains - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:42 PM

    Like it or not, That's what you get with a 60M payroll, no international signings and apart from No 1 picks a very low rate of good prospects. The player can say whatever they want, they know they're out of it and they play likewise.

  129. FS - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:42 PM

    maybe I am just becoming the victim of anti-Desi talk around these parts, but I am starting to believe that Desi is not baseball-smart when at the plate after seeing at bats like these.

  130. FS - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:46 PM

    it was not his turn josh f. if I am not mistaken, it would have been a pitcher at that spot instead of Bixler. Either way it did not make a difference.

  131. NatsLady - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:46 PM

    Was watching on gameday, so didn't see the (possible) HBP, but Bix would take one for the team if he could, he is pretty fearless. How close was it, maybe he didn't think of it? If someone could teach Bix to hit you would have something there. He's fast and flexible, but he can't hit, and that is a problem.I know we have a short bench, but how long is that going to last? Can't we sent Ballester down and bring Bernie up, surely the time limit has elapsed???

  132. NatsLady - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:47 PM

    Morse went to the hospital to have x-rays.

  133. mick - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:48 PM

    I'm already sick of Davey Johnson's coaching. Bases loaded, zero outs, facing a pitcher who is behind 2-0 on the count and just threw his 7th consecutive ball, who the hell has a 220 hitting no confident, low baseball IQ player in Ian Desmond swinging? This team will remain mediocre until they get a manager who does not lose games for the team. Davey has lost at least 5 games for the Nats with inept decisions that Riggs never would have made. His time is way past and its a shame that Riggs could not have worked this out. I really think Nats would be 5-6 over the 500 mark today with Riggs. Way to go Rizzo and thanks for another crappy season.

  134. CAnada's #1 Nats Fan - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:48 PM

    That has to be one of the most frustrating ends to a game I've ever seen. We definitely have the most polite team in MLB. The other team tries to gift us win and we say "Oh no, I couldn't possibly accept, much too generous". Desmond, Ramos and Bixler all looked like they were shaking in their cleats when it was Marmol who was in all the trouble. Unbelievable!

  135. natsfan1a - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:49 PM

    Haven't read the game thread yet but a couple of those at-bats with the bases juiced in the top of the 9th were…well, they were just…um…dang… (and you know who you are ;-)).

  136. mick - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:51 PM

    The late John McGraw would have booted Bixler is his rear end, however, again, why does Davey have a 196 hitter up, hello????

  137. JaneB - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:51 PM

    Oh Michael.

  138. NatsLady - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:54 PM

    Bixler was up because Davey took Cora out for a lefty/righty matchup, when Cora was ready to pinch hit, THAT'S why. Davey, hello, you DO NOT have the bench to do that. Just let Cora stay in, he is a veteran, he can hit. And even if he doesn't hit, he is in the game and YOU CAN LEAVE RZIMM in the game!!

  139. Mick - Aug 11, 2011 at 10:00 PM

    Your right exactly, NatsLady I should have added that in my post. The point is, I really do not believe Davey can coach like he did 15 years ago. He is a great guy and a Hall of Famer, but his time has passed.

  140. josh f - Aug 11, 2011 at 10:03 PM

    Games like these remind me that we've got a close-to-.500 team right now, but we're not there yet. Good teams — and good players — find a way in that situation. Harper and Rendon are coming…

  141. Manassas Nats Fan - Aug 11, 2011 at 10:03 PM

    The double switch was idiotic.The ball that nearly hit Bixler was more at him than the one that hit Morse. You take it and tie the score. That is high baseball IQ. No he jumps out of the way, makes the count 2-1. then swings at one 6 inches outside, and then another one 2 feet outside. I quit talking the last three weeks as I was on vacation, and was trying to get off Eck's case, but the mentality of the hitters, their baseball IQ whatever you want to call it is low, and when it is low, it is up the coach to coach it up, and it isn't being done. To this day I am not sure why ECK has been here this whole year. I know if I got the results from my job that he has gotten from his I would be canned in a heartbeat.

  142. ehay2k - Aug 11, 2011 at 10:03 PM

    DC Wonk, I just re-watched the last loser hitters and those pitches were NOT strikes. Here is the sequence:Bases loaded, 0 outs Desmond at bat:Pitch 1, low and inside. Ball 1Pitch 2, Low, ball 2Pitch 3, Close, but Low and outside, and Marmol is not going to get that call the way he has been pitching, but desi gives him a swinging strike 1 (should be ball 3)Pitch 4, 83 Mph curve down the middel that Desi was late on. Strike 2 (the only legit strkie)Pitch 5, Inside pitch, should be Ball 4, but Desi fouls it off WITHOUT REALIZING IT!!!! REALLY?Pitch 6, high and inside, Desi fouled it off.Pitch 7, almost in the dirt, but Deis gives Marmol Strike 3 Should have walked. Marmol would have implodedRamos up, 1 out, bases loaded. Gets a hack hit and drives in a run but there was only 1 legitimate strike in that at bat.Bases loaded, Nats down by 1, 1 out.Bixler batting.Pitch 1, inside, called strike 1Pitch 2, Low and inside, almost hit him, Ball 1Pitch 3, Outside pitch, swinging strike 2Pitch 4, 2 feet outside, swinging strike 3Bases loaded, 2 outsAnkiel battingPitch 1, low and outside. Ball 1Pitch 2, Low and outside, Ball2(Why at this point you would swing is BEYOND me)Pitch 3, Curve down the middle, fouled off strike 1 Pitch 4,Curve low and outside, flyout to left.Game over.Not a lot of strikes there that we did not give to Marmol. I wish this were the first time e'd done this, but it's not. WE HAVE NO PLAN AT THE PLATE. This is not the first week after spring training. It's not even the first time we've seen Marmol. THERE IS NO EXCUSE> 24 year-olds not listening to him? THAT'S HIS FAULT!!!FIRE THE HITTING COACH and hire someone who is effective.

  143. David - Aug 11, 2011 at 10:11 PM

    Bixler is not a major league ball player and should never be used except as a pinch runner or a defensive replacement. Livo would have done a better job at the plate.Desmond may have the talent to be a ML ballplayer but he does not understand the game of baseball and he probably never will. Bixler should have gotten Eddie Gaedel marching orders to not swing at any pitch and if he did a sharp shooter on the roof would take him out.

  144. Manassas Nats Fan - Aug 11, 2011 at 10:12 PM

    ehay2k I have been seeing this same sequence for over 250 games. They do go to the plate with no clear plan. I am not sure what the hitting coach does, but he sure doesn't talk during the game to them, and that is pathetic. I coach my students all through out the lesson to make sure we are on the same game plan. Eck works them some before, that isn't any good, work during the game. Je just writes in his useless notebook.

  145. natsfan1a - Aug 11, 2011 at 10:14 PM

    On another note, hope that Morse is okay.

  146. JD - Aug 11, 2011 at 10:16 PM

    natsfan1a, Absolutely; more important than the game.

  147. natsfan1a - Aug 11, 2011 at 10:19 PM

    Definitely, JD.

  148. Mark'd - Aug 11, 2011 at 10:23 PM

    Steve M. said… Why isn't Bixler in there to run and play LF and move Nix to 1st? Speeed, Davey. August 11, 2011 4:17 PMSteveM, you pointed out the biggest difference possibly and we will never know. The bench was short a player so you insert Bixler for Morse. The next few pitches Nix hits into a double play. You save Gomes for a key pinch hit later in the game.Time to send Balester back as you can't afford a 8 man bullpen and get a LH batter back here.

  149. Mark'd - Aug 11, 2011 at 10:29 PM

    Mike Morse is getting a MRI. Waiting on results.

  150. Anonymous - Aug 11, 2011 at 10:33 PM

    Losers gonna Lose. That's Washington Baseball I mean…Sports

  151. Mark'd - Aug 11, 2011 at 10:35 PM

    NatsLady said… Morse went to the hospital to have x-rays.XRay was negative. Waiting on MRI. I am sure if he were a Cub he would have been seen quicker.

  152. A DC Wonk - Aug 11, 2011 at 10:49 PM

    Wow — the Nats fight back from down 4-1, come close, and all we have here is bitterness about it.Folks — fangraphs has it: when a team is down 4-3 in the ninth, with bases loaded and nobody out — that team still loses over 50% of the time. Given that the Nats are a sub-par hitting team, probably even more so.They didn't roll over. They fought back. They lost by one.

  153. Anonymous - Aug 11, 2011 at 10:50 PM

    If you are superstitious, as soon as Morse appeared in Hammer Time instead of Beast Mode he got hammered.

  154. Morkon - Aug 11, 2011 at 10:58 PM

    I just love everyone that complains in hindsight. It is so Rob Dibble which always makes you SEEM and APPEAR100% correct.Fortunately there are a few on here that tell you ahead of time what they would do. Name names,name your rotation for 2012 now not on August 1, 2012.

  155. NatsLady - Aug 11, 2011 at 11:01 PM

    Wonk, it's not bitterness (at least on my part), it's frustration!! If we had lost by 4-1 it would have been yada, yada, the usual. OK, stats are s, but you play the games. Stats said we had .001 chance to win that game in Seattle, but we did. It was so close and SO possible to win this game. That's what you are hearing. Yes, they fought back, but then the stupid "little" things made fighting back not enough. You have to fight, but you also have to be SMART, that includes players, manager, and coaches.

  156. SCNatsFan - Aug 11, 2011 at 11:07 PM

    DC Wonk, my frustration isn't with losing, its with Desmond, who is supposed to be a vital part of our future but just doesn't learn. He and Espinosa think they are in home run derby every at bat and it scares me to think that Eck has done little to show them the folly of their way.I know chicks dig the long ball but when the best we can say about Desmond is he sure is fouling off alot of balls before he strikes out then that isn't good. I'd love to see him become the player we all hope he will but I also hope my home returns to its former value soon too… and we know how that is going!

  157. Mark'd - Aug 11, 2011 at 11:15 PM

    I would had Bixler getting into Marmols head. Setup like a bunt. Marmol is a head case. He was like a boxer on the ropes and they let him off.

  158. Drew8 - Aug 11, 2011 at 11:26 PM

    The good news is that on Monday night Anthony Rendon is no longer theoretical.Yes, he will start out at third base until Zim re-ups, but sooner or later Desmond will be the odd man out.

  159. NatsLady - Aug 11, 2011 at 11:36 PM

    Morkon– now THAT was funny. There are plenty on here who will give you your lineups right now for the next ten years!! Your lineups, the contracts they should sign for, and which day next week the Lerners should can Rizzo…! Lotta lotta expert GM's on here.

  160. Anonymous - Aug 12, 2011 at 12:09 AM

    Drew8 what is the good news? Did they sign Rednon yet?

  161. natsfan1a - Aug 12, 2011 at 1:44 AM

    Nah, blame it on Kevin Mil-lah and the curse of the MLB Network interview. ;-)If you are superstitious, as soon as Morse appeared in Hammer Time instead of Beast Mode he got hammered. ,

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