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Game 118: Nats at Phillies

Aug 12, 2011, 9:00 PM EDT

File photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Livan Hernandez faces Cole Hamels tonight at Citizens Bank Park.

As if the challenge facing the Nationals this weekend in Philadelphia wasn't tough enough, they're going to have to go up against the NL East division leaders tonight without their best hitter. Though X-rays taken on Michael Morse's left elbow were negative, the cleanup hitter and first baseman is not in Davey Johnson's lineup for the series opener at Citzens Bank Park.

Johnson is already dealing with a short bench because of an eight-man bullpen, so barring some other roster move, the Nationals will have only three healthy reserves tonight: Alex Cora, Laynce Nix and Jesus Flores. Jonny Gomes, meanwhile, will take Morse's spot in the No. 4 spot in the lineup. Brian Bixler makes his first career start at first base and will bat eighth.

That lineup will be up against lefty Cole Hamels, who has posted a 1.76 ERA his last four starts. He'll be opposed by Livan Hernandez, who has a 7.06 ERA over his last six outings.

I'm at Potomac tonight for Stephen Strasburg's rehab start, so there won't be updates on this game here. But I'll be driving up to Philly tomorrow for the rest of the series. Enjoy tonight's games…

NATIONALS at PHILLIES
Where: Citizens Bank Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
TV: MASN
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 185
Weather: Sunny, 81 degrees, Wind 5 mph in from LF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (56-61)
CF Rick Ankiel
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
LF Jonny Gomes

Read more »

108 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. JayB - Aug 12, 2011 at 9:04 PM

    OK….I have a problem with a MLB team starting Bixler at 1B…..that just can not happen. It is a complete surrender and those days are gone. I have been quite and happy for a month…BUT this is just wrong even for 1 game and it will be more than that…Call up Chris M that is what a real team who wants to win would do. NOT HAPPY

  2. DCJohn - Aug 12, 2011 at 9:07 PM

    Totally Agreewith JayB. Should have Bixler back to Syracuse and called Up Chris. They are going to do it anyway. Whay not now?

  3. Court - Aug 12, 2011 at 9:26 PM

    Maybe they heard you: Bixler's out and Nix is in.

  4. carolync - Aug 12, 2011 at 9:26 PM

    Earlier lineup I saw had Nix at first and batting 7th. So Nix must have gotten sick or injured again.Let's hope these guys step up and surprise us. Might not be too ugly if Livo has a good game. Go Nats!

  5. Gonat - Aug 12, 2011 at 9:42 PM

    Here's what I don't get. They are carrying both Gorzelanny and Balester and don't need both of them. They could have called up the RH Chris Marrero last night and had him in Philly for the weekend and probably through his Sept 1st callup for a longer taste of the MLB.I don't get this reluctance to bring up Marrero especially when Nix is hobbled himself.

  6. Mark'd - Aug 12, 2011 at 9:53 PM

    Gonat, uh, that would make to much sense.

  7. Anonymous - Aug 12, 2011 at 9:54 PM

    I don't think putting Marrero against the best pitching staff in baseball will be a smart move. Breath, relax, breath.

  8. JaneB - Aug 12, 2011 at 9:59 PM

    Wisdom from Anon at 5:54.GYFNG!

  9. Anonymous8 - Aug 12, 2011 at 10:00 PM

    You know what, if Marrero is going to be playing with the big boys, you might as well jump into it. A lefty righty matchup would be a good start.

  10. Scooter - Aug 12, 2011 at 10:01 PM

    JayB said…I have been quite and happy for a month…JayB, you know that you're allowed to post when you're happy, right? I mean, I know you know some ball, so your perspective is not unwelcome. Drop by some time and tell us whose swing looks good to you, or whose footwork at second is amazing, or something.Otherwise, it seems kinda like you think we're your therapists, here only to listen to what you're upset about. And while I'm flattered that you think I'm qualified, it's just not a job I want.

  11. Anonymous8 - Aug 12, 2011 at 10:05 PM

    Austin Kearns is available at league minimum as the Indians DFA'd him this afternoon.

  12. Gonat - Aug 12, 2011 at 10:09 PM

    Anon8, are you suggesting picking Kearns up?

  13. Anonymous8 - Aug 12, 2011 at 10:11 PM

    Gonat, no, just giving current events that JimBo's boy Kearns is available again. I am sure some team will take a chance on him next season.

  14. Another_Sam - Aug 12, 2011 at 10:12 PM

    There's no one more in the tank for Livan than me. But he's looked tired for his last few starts, and the last time out he looked almost disinterested — at least on the tube. I'm hoping for a turnaround tonight.

  15. gonatsgo - Aug 12, 2011 at 11:14 PM

    You know what's good about tonight's game vs. Philadelphia? First – there are absolutely no expectations that we will win the game – does Vegas carry odds on baseball? Second – EVERYone is watching the PNats and Steven Strasburg. Hope Zim continues his streak!

  16. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 12, 2011 at 11:37 PM

    Jageler in the TV booth, Sunshine Bobby out.Any word? Is this vacation for SB? Or an open mike tryout for 2012?

  17. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 12, 2011 at 11:42 PM

    What an upgrade Jageler is from that other guy. What was that other fella's name again?

  18. Waddu eye no - Aug 12, 2011 at 11:48 PM

    Someone fill us in on the booth tonite. Is this an audition for Dave ? I'd read that carp's contract is up. Dave sounds great but I'd miss him w charlie on the short wave. Nice steal by ankiel btwGyfng

  19. baseballswami - Aug 12, 2011 at 11:52 PM

    Danny flashing the leather!Everyone should be back soon – Strassie is probably done so they will lose interest.

  20. gonatsgo - Aug 12, 2011 at 11:56 PM

    Funny – listening to the pnats radio broadcast – 3 cops in the bullpen with ss as he throws some more pitches to get up to 50.

  21. Exposremains - Aug 13, 2011 at 12:03 AM

    Can anybody explain to me why Desmond swing for the fences all the time. He has 4 homeruns. Livo has a better approach.

  22. Anonymous - Aug 13, 2011 at 12:04 AM

    Well – this is interesting…

  23. Anonymous - Aug 13, 2011 at 12:05 AM

    Man I sure love Dave in the booth tonight on the broadcast. Don't miss Carpenter AT ALL!!!!!!!

  24. baseballswami - Aug 13, 2011 at 12:06 AM

    It's very strange hearing Dave on the tv broadcast – I like it – it's just somehow odd. I don't care how long it lasts – it's sweet hearing Citizen's Bank very, very quiet.

  25. Curious - Aug 13, 2011 at 12:08 AM

    JayB. What has made you happy over the last month? The Nats were two games above .500 when Riggleman quit. Davey Johnson is 6 games under .500. You said we'd be off and running with a new manager but in actuality, it has been quite the opposite.

  26. baseballswami - Aug 13, 2011 at 12:14 AM

    Curious – I have really been wondering about this manager issue. I have been very vocal in my dislike of Davey – but I admit that it's just a personal thing. But – since I can't really be objective, I am wondering if you can be a good manager if the guys don't play well for you. I also had always heard that DJ was a "players manager" – but I don't see him go out and stick up for guys at all and he calls them out in public. Those of you who have a fairer approach than I do — is this working out?

  27. phil dunn - Aug 13, 2011 at 12:14 AM

    Next year, in the booth, Dave and FP. They finally got it right.

  28. Curious - Aug 13, 2011 at 12:17 AM

    Show me a players' manager, i'll show you a loser.

  29. Anonymous - Aug 13, 2011 at 12:22 AM

    Phil Dunn – would hate to break up the radio team.

  30. phil dunn - Aug 13, 2011 at 12:33 AM

    Hire Vin Scully to replace Dave on the radio.

  31. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 13, 2011 at 12:41 AM

    I don't know; I like Dave with Charlie, and I like FP, but they don't sound comfortable together. Dave is used to doing radio–he talks too much. FP has had to bite off a few comments in the inning or so I've been in.Still, I'm sure they'd get used to it.

  32. Another_Sam - Aug 13, 2011 at 12:42 AM

    Players' manager? Earl Weaver.

  33. baseballswami - Aug 13, 2011 at 12:42 AM

    Dave does not exactly have a face made for tv….Maybe we can replace Debbie Taylor?

  34. John B. Ramsey - Aug 13, 2011 at 12:47 AM

    Bill Ladson reports that Jageler is subbing for Carpenter while Carpenter is on vacation.http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20110809&content_id=22972070&notebook_id=22978328&vkey=notebook_was&c_id=was

  35. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 13, 2011 at 12:47 AM

    And as long as we're sharing, I like having Bixler on the bench, he brings something they don't really have much of, otherwise: speed and plug-n-play defense. No, he can't hit much.What's wrong with Dave's face??

  36. RickH - Aug 13, 2011 at 12:50 AM

    Love Dave in the booth.

  37. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 13, 2011 at 12:52 AM

    OK, now I'm intrigued: whose footwork do you like, Jaybee?

  38. Scott from Burke - Aug 13, 2011 at 12:54 AM

    Professionalism in the tv booth..fp is biting off his comments because he realizes the guy next to him is'nt an easily ammused stooge

  39. Exposremains - Aug 13, 2011 at 1:00 AM

    twice in 2 days, bases full no outs, one run, pathetic.

  40. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 13, 2011 at 1:01 AM

    Who you callin ammused?

  41. Anonymous - Aug 13, 2011 at 1:05 AM

    My Sofa: Wasn't sure if you were kidding or not..and yeah, I misspelled amused..obviously I was referring to Mr. Carpenter..on a $1 ticket night FP was joking about what scalpers might charge for the $1 tickets..and Carpenter, in all seriousness, said "Whatever they charge they'll get arrested" Ugh..what a douche..he's awful.

  42. ehay2k - Aug 13, 2011 at 1:12 AM

    Ok after another bases loaded, no out situation, I would like to once again recommend that WE FIRE THE HITTING COACH.No plan, no skilz, only 1 run on a poorly hit ball (Werth, big surprise) to first, and only because Ankiel was on third.Perhaps if we had someone in the organization who understood situational hitting, they could part that to the guys who are supposed to hit.FIRE THE HITTING COACH.

  43. Anonymous - Aug 13, 2011 at 1:14 AM

    Exposremains you are correct it is pathetic and someone on this board will show you on fangraphs thats all they should score :P

  44. ehay2k - Aug 13, 2011 at 1:14 AM

    Even better, hire Livo as the hitting coach.

  45. John B. Ramsey - Aug 13, 2011 at 1:17 AM

    Ya gotta love Livo tonight! Two hits for Livo and three hits for the whole Phillies lineup.

  46. Another_Sam - Aug 13, 2011 at 1:20 AM

    Livan! Livan! Livan! Enough said.

  47. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 13, 2011 at 1:21 AM

    OK, here's a challenge for negs and pozzes alike: show how it's done. I need a shortstop, and you can never have too much pitching. Gotta be 48+, games are in Md. or Va., but near DC. It's real baseball, just not very good. Y chromosomes optional, by the way.

  48. Bob "Wally Pipp" Carpenter - Aug 13, 2011 at 1:21 AM

    Hey, am I missing anything tonight?

  49. Anonymous - Aug 13, 2011 at 1:23 AM

    Sec 3, you can have Desmond. Maybe he can pitch.

  50. Anonymous - Aug 13, 2011 at 1:26 AM

    ehay2k said… Next time Eckstein strikes out, I'll second your motion. Until the, blame the batters.

  51. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 13, 2011 at 1:29 AM

    Watching the score crawl below the picture, thinking, "Wow, Tampa Bay is really putting it to KC, 15-0! Giants getting beat bad, too–losing 10-0 to…wait a minute, New Orleans doesn't have an MLB team! Guess it's getting late in the season.

  52. Jim Webster - Aug 13, 2011 at 1:30 AM

    I've been a Bob Carpenter fan from day 1, just about done with my second copy of his scorebook, in part because of his (and my dad's) Cardinals background. But I gotta say Jagler is better. Dave also works well with FP. With experience he can get over radio tendency to talk over the play, and let the picture and the action tell the story.

  53. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 13, 2011 at 1:35 AM

    More phodder there for the philly phan haters: even when they mess up, it winds up costing the Nats. Zimmerman pops up into the seats down the line in right, but only one row in–Hunter Pence is there and ready for it, but the guy in the grey Howard jersey beats him to it. Got thoroughly and deservedly booed, too; looked pretty mad at himself, even. But then Zimmerman GIDPs, so the foul pop actually would have been better.

  54. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 13, 2011 at 1:37 AM

    I"ll tell you what, I'd very gladly take Livo at short in a ten years.

  55. Anonymous - Aug 13, 2011 at 1:39 AM

    Their ball girl interfered with Desi's hit, too. I think he should have gotten an extra base for that.

  56. ehay2k - Aug 13, 2011 at 1:39 AM

    Ahhhh, but we have Livo. He better get gold glove consideration

  57. Anonymous - Aug 13, 2011 at 1:42 AM

    Sec 3, Livo is already age-eligible for your league!

  58. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 13, 2011 at 1:43 AM

    Actually, 9:39, she did whiff on it, I'm pretty sure. Still interference, which is always 2 bases in plays like that, but she missed it. I don't think she realized it was fair until the fans in the seats right there were laughing at her.

  59. Cwj - Aug 13, 2011 at 1:43 AM

    Clippard in with two outs, runner on in the 7th. Nice. Johnson skipped the lower guys and went right to Clip and presumably Storen in the 9th.Simple, effective managing. Livo was awesome tonight!Go Nats!!!

  60. Nats Outsider - Aug 13, 2011 at 1:47 AM

    You're right, Cwj. I can never understand how Livo gets batters out, but when he is on, he is truly awesome.Every time I get ready to say he's through, he turns in a performance like this. It gives hope to middle aged guys.

  61. Cwj - Aug 13, 2011 at 1:49 AM

    By the way, does anyone here enjoy authentic Philly Cheese Steaks?I've only tried local Va/DC, Subway imitations but would like to sample a 'steak in Philly. Though I can't envision myself ever going to that horrid city :D Home made cheese steaks would be awesome as well.

  62. JaneB - Aug 13, 2011 at 1:50 AM

    I just love Livo. Love. Him. I'm so glad he had a terrific night.

  63. Nats Outsider - Aug 13, 2011 at 1:53 AM

    By the way, Livo leaves the game with a .231 batting average for the year. That puts him ahead of several of the Nats position players in the game.

  64. Nats Outsider - Aug 13, 2011 at 1:54 AM

    The radio announcers just passed along the news that Austin Kearns has been DFA'd by Cleveland.

  65. ehay2k - Aug 13, 2011 at 1:56 AM

    Mark Zuckerman, pleas find out who Livo's hitting coach is.

  66. Cwj - Aug 13, 2011 at 2:00 AM

    I too like Jageler. But he and Charlie Slowes are such an outstanding radio team that I'd hate to see it broken up.I don't dislike Carpenter at all. I think he and FP are a pretty solid tv broadcast team.Good job Clippard!No doubt Storen is soon to follow.A single win in Philly would be great this series…I'd consider it a moral victory. Lets face it, the Nats are not yet in the same class as the Phillies.Go Nats!

  67. dj in Fl. - Aug 13, 2011 at 2:03 AM

    Livo also left the game very angry. We have the Philly tv broadcast here tonight and they showed Livo go down the steps and say something to McCatty who had his back to him, and McCatty spun around with a shocked look on his face. He then slapped hands with a few guys, knocked stuff off the bench and went into the clubhouse. They then showed Davey, McCatty and Jewitt all huddled together.

  68. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 13, 2011 at 2:04 AM

    Late addition for post of the day:Bob "Wally Pipp" Carpenter said… Hey, am I missing anything tonight? Wonderful. Just wonderful.Better stock up on those Bob Carpenter Scorebooks now. Come to think of it, there may be a pile of them by the curb outside Nats Park on Oct. 2.What a refreshing bit of honest announcing by Jags tonight.

  69. Cwj - Aug 13, 2011 at 2:07 AM

    Antacid time. Bottom of 9th with a 4-1 lead. 3 runs sounds like a good lead to me. Come on Storen. Close down that hated team.

  70. Cwj - Aug 13, 2011 at 2:14 AM

    HUGE strikeout of Howard.DP time!Note to Storen, More Sliders!

  71. Cwj - Aug 13, 2011 at 2:17 AM

    Awesome Nats win 4-2!!!

  72. Waddu eye no - Aug 13, 2011 at 2:18 AM

    Listened to 2 inngs while out running. Charlie did ok alone. Dave ending it great though. Welcome back livo

  73. ehay2k - Aug 13, 2011 at 2:20 AM

    Livo gets the win!! Fire the hitting coach and I'm in heaven. :-)

  74. LoveDaNats - Aug 13, 2011 at 2:20 AM

    I LOVE it when we beat the Phillies!!

  75. Gonat - Aug 13, 2011 at 2:23 AM

    The Nats did tonight what they couldn't do yesterday vs. the Cubs. Early runS and Web Gems.Good Livo tonight.

  76. Gonat - Aug 13, 2011 at 2:25 AM

    Nats Outsider said… The radio announcers just passed along the news that Austin Kearns has been DFA'd by Cleveland. August 12, 2011 9:54 PM ______________________Well, one of our Insiders wrote that here at 6:05

  77. Anonymous - Aug 13, 2011 at 2:25 AM

    Maybe Livo pulled a Riggleman and told McCatty he's going to retire if the Nats don't extend him.

  78. Anonymous - Aug 13, 2011 at 2:26 AM

    4-2 with the tying run at the plate.Kardiac Kids

  79. baseballswami - Aug 13, 2011 at 2:26 AM

    I can't believe what I just saw. Livo( who has been atrocious lately) vs. Hamels ( who has been superb lately) in Philadelphia. That's why we don't play the games on paper, I guess. Drew in a spot of trouble, but once he got Howard, he was on. Another example though, of why you need to be ahead by more than one run so that your pitchers don't have to be perfect. Nice to see vintage Livo tonight, too. And Zim is probably happier with the win than he would have been extending his streak and losing. Hurrah and Ole, Nats!

  80. josh f - Aug 13, 2011 at 2:37 AM

    Livo with the forget-me-not gem. Wow!

  81. Gonat - Aug 13, 2011 at 2:38 AM

    Bryce Harper had a Walk Off HR Harrisburg was losing 2-1 and Bryce Harper in a 3-2 count hit a 2 run jack for the Walk Off. Nice day by the Nats 2 big Minor Leaguers.

  82. RickH - Aug 13, 2011 at 2:44 AM

    Go Nats! Go Senators! Go P-Nats!

  83. Anonymous - Aug 13, 2011 at 2:47 AM

    awesome day for dc sports: nats beat phillies and livo has an awesome game, strasmus in potomac and ss continues to dominate minor leagues and work his way back to the majors, and the redskins beat the steelers in first spring training game. great stuff

  84. gonatsgo - Aug 13, 2011 at 2:49 AM

    The Big Leagues,AA and A –the Trifecta– and exciting nights for all 3 clubs!! Very cool.Sounds like the Pfitz was packed tonight.

  85. Gonat - Aug 13, 2011 at 3:00 AM

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dPgkXG4gx0Fast forward to the 2 minute mark. This was a BOMB by Bryce Harper. Enjoy

  86. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 13, 2011 at 3:08 AM

    OK… Just breezed through the thread and have to say that if you don't know why JayB's happy, you aren't an original INSIDER.Tonite maybe the most enjoyable game I've watched this season.

  87. Drew8 - Aug 13, 2011 at 3:57 AM

    The Nats are a very respectable 6-5 on this road trip. That makes Saturday's game against Oswalt very important with Doc looming on Sunday.The good news is that the Nats then come home for a 10-game stretch as they try to scratch their way back to .500. The bad news is that they play host to tough cookies — the Reds, the Phillies again and the Diamondbacks.

  88. Anonymous - Aug 13, 2011 at 12:07 PM

    Just when you think Levo is through. He pulls off a great game. Awesome.

  89. Gonat - Aug 13, 2011 at 12:29 PM

    Mark'd said… Livo's starts. Good, bad, good, good, bad, good for March/April. Bad, bad, good, good, good, bad for May. Good, bad, great, bad, good for June. Good, bad, good, good, bad for July. Great, awful for August. August 6, 2011 9:42 PM ______________________________Can I update,Livo's starts: Good, bad, good, good, bad, good March/April. Bad, bad, good, good, good, bad for May. Good, bad, great, bad, good for June. Good, bad, good, good, bad for July. Great, awful, Great for August. I hope Livo can change the August pattern. The team is now 8-17 in Livan starts. Livan lowers his ERA to 4.21A couple of interesting notes. FP Santangelo after the game referenced this Livo W/L pattern to.Davey said he should have pulled Livan earlier in the 7th for Sean Burnett right after the double play. Instead, Davey goes to Clippard for a tough 1 1/3 innings which probably makes him unavailable for tonight.It is this need Davey has to keep going to Clippard in the 7th that has to change. I like how Davey acknowledged he made a mistake however he has acknowledged this before.

  90. Gonat - Aug 13, 2011 at 12:35 PM

    Gonat said… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dPgkXG4gx0Fast forward to the 2 minute mark. This was a BOMB by Bryce Harper. Enjoy August 12, 2011 11:00 PM _________________________________patriotnews_gmo Geoff Morrow by HbgSenators@HbgSenators hitting coach Troy Gingrich estimates Bryce Harper's walk-off HR traveled 460-480 feet. Longest to CF at Metro Bank Park.10 hours ago

  91. NatsLady - Aug 13, 2011 at 1:05 PM

    @Gonat: Ha. That would have made Livo even ANGRIER! But it is true, Burnett needs clean bases. So you either put him in at the start of the 7th or after the double play. Once there is a man on base, you can't go to either Burnett or HotRod. That leaves either Clip or Coffey. To the person who asked about Vegas odds, yes, they do post odds for MLB. They are a little tricky to read, but suffice it to say the Nats were substantial underdogs at -270 (meaning that you bet $100 to win $270). On another site that gives percentages, the Nats had a 16% chance to win. There were a couple of teams that only had a 10% chance to win…Gonat said:Davey said he should have pulled Livan earlier in the 7th for Sean Burnett right after the double play. Instead, Davey goes to Clippard for a tough 1 1/3 innings which probably makes him unavailable for tonight.

  92. NatsLady - Aug 13, 2011 at 1:14 PM

    Here is a website with the betting lines and the percentages (pie chart). This is for today's game.http://www.thespread.com/mlb-baseball-public-betting-chart

  93. Unkyd - Aug 13, 2011 at 1:28 PM

    Pleeeeeeeease, oh please…..Leave Jags with Charlie…… Please….Quality announcing is SO much more vital to the radio broadcast, and they're SO wonderful, together…..Please.

  94. Gonat - Aug 13, 2011 at 1:29 PM

    NatsLady said… @Gonat: Ha. That would have made Livo even ANGRIER! But it is true, Burnett needs clean bases. So you either put him in at the start of the 7th or after the double play. Once there is a man on base, you can't go to either Burnett or HotRod. That leaves either Clip or Coffey. ___________________________________Yep, you are correct and that is what Davey basically said without saying what you said because if he said what you said he basically would have been saying I don't trust Burnett with man on base with a 3 run lead.

  95. natsfan1a - Aug 13, 2011 at 1:52 PM

    Haven't read the thread but was happy to hear that Livo got some ribeyes and the win. Listened to the last 20 minutes or so while driving home from the Pfitz. Did DVR the game so maybe I'll power through the recording today.

  96. NatsLady - Aug 13, 2011 at 1:56 PM

    Speaking of plans (as we were in regard to hitters planning at-bats), why doesn't Davey have a game plan that he communicates to Livo:You go six. If we're ahead by two or more runs, I'm going Burn, Clip, Store. And, we now see what to do to get the "good" Livo– get some Nats fans to dress in home uni's and rag on him in the bullpen.

  97. m20832 - Aug 13, 2011 at 2:12 PM

    Great pitching by Livo! Jags was sooooo much better than Carpenter. Our Boys have beaten Oswalt this year and they can do it again!Go LannEn! GYFNG!!!

  98. natsfan1a - Aug 13, 2011 at 2:34 PM

    If memory serves, they'd beaten him as an Astro, too (even if blisters and short-fused umps were factors :-)).Go, LannEn! Go, NATS!!

  99. Mick - Aug 13, 2011 at 2:45 PM

    The one thing that is impressive is the mental toughness of the team. I was thinking after the Cubs series that the Nats were due for the walls to cave in last night. So as much as I have bashed Davey, I will give him his due when it comes to getting the boys to refocus for the next game. Strassburg was unreal last night. I wish it was 2012

  100. baseballswami - Aug 13, 2011 at 3:08 PM

    Mick – I agree with you on the mental toughness thing. So much is made of a players "tools" – but mental toughness in a player is very critical. I think Rizzo looks for those kind of guys. Gomes is an example of a hard-working guy with a lot of focus and a competitive spirit. I am constantly amazed at some of our younger players that are mature and poised out there. Yes, Jordan made a mistake out there on Thursday – high-pressure situation – this is his first full season, AND his catcher was also a rookie. Ramos, Espi, JZ,Storen – young guys, but with that hard-nosed attitude. Even though RZim is quiet – he has a very constant demeanor. Not too fiery, but always in the game.Ankiel has shown that kind of toughness as his baseball history has shown. Give me that kind of players any day of the week as an example to kids and as our team guys. Be thankful we don't have a Zambrano – oh, wait – Chicago doesn't have him anymore either, or do they? No loose cannons for the Nats, please.

  101. Mick - Aug 13, 2011 at 4:16 PM

    baseballswami, very good points. In fact, Storen showed he is the real deal last night in Philly after his botched play allowing the lead off batter to first base. At that point the crowd came alive and I was thinking this could be a Calvin Shiraldi moment if he blows the save. after all, he had to have been thinking about last season's blown save when Werth blasted a two run shot in the 9th. I was just watching Phil Wood and Mike Wallace and its seems that everyone, Nats fans and management are on the same page for 2012. I just hope we do not deal off pitchers impulsively unless we can a get a for sure thing such as a lead off guy. which brings me to, why can't Ankiel be that guy next season?

  102. natsfan1a - Aug 13, 2011 at 4:21 PM

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't they 3-4 on the road trip to date?Drew8 said… The Nats are a very respectable 6-5 on this road trip. That makes Saturday's game against Oswalt very important with Doc looming on Sunday.

  103. NatsLady - Aug 13, 2011 at 4:36 PM

    For the road trip the Nats are 4-4. For August the Nats are 6-5.

  104. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 13, 2011 at 5:39 PM

    he had to have been thinking about last season's blown saveI don't think so. One thing good closers seem to have in common is amnesia. I'm convinced he was entirely focused on the game at home plate.

  105. natsfan1a - Aug 13, 2011 at 5:39 PM

    Thanks, NatsLady. I think I missed counting one of the wins in the series at Colorado.

  106. NatsLady - Aug 13, 2011 at 6:57 PM

    Wow, didn't no what you meant. Apparently, Zambrano pulled a Riggleman and cleaned out his locker and "retired" after giving up 5 homeruns and being ejected. OK. No, let's not sign him in the off-season.baseballswami said, Be thankful we don't have a Zambrano – oh, wait – Chicago doesn't have him anymore either, or do they? No loose cannons for the Nats, please.

  107. natsfan1a - Aug 13, 2011 at 7:18 PM

    Wow, I hadn't heard of his latest episode either (plenty of earlier ones, but not that one). Just say no to Zambrano.http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/chi-rogers-zambranos-exit-long-overdue-20110813,0,3408819.story

  108. baseballswami - Aug 13, 2011 at 8:09 PM

    Zambrano is one scary dude – they have had problems with him for years. By the way – new post!

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 77 56 --
ATLANTA 72 65 6.0
MIAMI 68 69 11.0
NEW YORK 64 73 14.0
PHILADELPHIA 62 74 15.5
Through Sunday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 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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