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Game 121: Reds at Nats

Aug 17, 2011, 9:00 PM EDT

File photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Ross Detwiler faces Johnny Cueto tonight at Nationals Park.

Way back when this season began, Ian Desmond was the Nationals' leadoff hitter. Wow, does that seem like a long time ago, or what? By April 15, the shortstop had been dropped in the order, and he's spent the majority two months batting either seventh or eighth. But he's started to get hot again, having hit .283 over his last 12 games, so tonight Desmond is back in the leadoff spot for the first time since April 14.

The residual effect: red-hot Rick Ankiel gets bumped down to No. 2, with slumping Danny Espinosa now in the 6-hole. What tangible effect this all has on the Nationals' lineup remains to be seen.

Ross Detwiler will be on the mound, looking once again to establish his ability to pitch deep into a game, something he's struggled with in the past. He and the Nats have a tough challenge ahead of them, facing Reds right-hander Johnny Cueto, who leads the NL with a 1.94 ERA.

As you know, I'm in Hagerstown tonight for Stephen Strasburg's rehab start. So I won't have updates or a postgame article from Nationals Park. Please keep up the conversation as always here, and be sure to check for my full Strasburg recap later on the site…

REDS at NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
TV: MASN2
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 187
Weather: Partly cloudy, 85 degrees, Wind 8 mph in from RF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (58-62)
SS Ian Desmond
CF Rick Ankiel
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Michael Morse

Read more »

202 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Anonymous - Aug 17, 2011 at 9:07 PM

    I have a question. Since when does the manager's "I like to see him play" take precedence over what's best for a player.

  2. Anonymous - Aug 17, 2011 at 9:12 PM

    Heading to Hagerstown. Go Nats. Lets string 5 or 6 wins together.

  3. baseballswami - Aug 17, 2011 at 9:18 PM

    Agreed – to both things. And …GYFNG!It's going to take some serious hitting against this guys. RossD is due for a good game.

  4. Natty Bo - Aug 17, 2011 at 9:24 PM

    That crafty Davey Johnson realizes Desmond is a .500 hitter against Cueto.

  5. Natty Bo - Aug 17, 2011 at 9:35 PM

    My apologies if this has come up before, but did anyone see this intriguing article on one of our lost brethren (aka Tony Plush):http://www.slate.com/id/2301477/

  6. Gonat - Aug 17, 2011 at 9:46 PM

    http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/chat/2011/2612226.htmlNice Jim Callis Q&A chat. Many questions on the Nats. All good.He thinks Rendon to 2nd or corner outfield too.

  7. Anonymous - Aug 17, 2011 at 10:06 PM

    Chances are slim that they beat Ceuto with Detwiler starting. I guess evntually after several more losses they will realize that Ross Detwiler is a Relief Pitcher.

  8. natsfan1a - Aug 17, 2011 at 10:12 PM

    Go, Det. Go, NATS!! (Initiate countdown to reverse lock in 3…2…1…)

  9. natsfan1a - Aug 17, 2011 at 10:13 PM

    fwiw, my cable list an O's game on MASN starting at 3:30, with a postgame to follow. OTOH, MASN2 lists local (non-sports) programming for the Nats game timeframe.

  10. flynnie321 - Aug 17, 2011 at 10:23 PM

    Thanks, Natty Bo! "[Nyjer] was mostly known for his bizarre and petulant on-field behavior—throwing a ball at a fan, instigating a brawl, and other assorted jackassery." But what a splendid article on the loneliness of moving and the refuge that is baseball. "I was consumed by baseball thoughts in a way I hadn't been since I was 10, a time when mastering Ben Oglivie's batting stance qualified as an afternoon well spent." It is an afternoon well-spent.@Gonat – Thanks for the encouraging Callis chat. I like that it won't take the Nats 3 or 4 years to contend in the NL East, "especially if Strasburg and Harper become everything they're supposed to" and after this year "you have to" give Harper more credit as a legitimate .300+ MLB hitter. Very nice.

  11. NatsLady - Aug 17, 2011 at 10:24 PM

    Oddsmakers give the Nats 18% chance to win against Cueto tonight. We can BEAT those odds!!

  12. MicheleS - Aug 17, 2011 at 10:25 PM

    1A/JaneB… sorry I missed you at Potomac.. I had 3 teenagers to deal with – it was like herding cats!Let's hope Stras does well tonight and we can all see him in DC in September!

  13. baseballswami - Aug 17, 2011 at 10:27 PM

    natsfan1a – noticed the same thing – we'll see in a few minutes but the o's game just ended. I think I will try the masn2 option first.

  14. baseballswami - Aug 17, 2011 at 10:30 PM

    And it's masn2.

  15. MicheleS - Aug 17, 2011 at 10:33 PM

    Yup.. MASN 2! at least for a little while!

  16. MicheleS - Aug 17, 2011 at 10:36 PM

    Can I have Debbie's Job???.. Surely I could do better. I think we should have the gang of female reporters.. Me, 1A, JaneB, Natslady.. and anyone else I might be missing.. We could comment on which food goes with Maalox and Bourbon, and ask better questions instead of "what were you feeling at that moment?" Ugh. Okay.. I will stop venting about Debbie

  17. baseballswami - Aug 17, 2011 at 10:59 PM

    Michele don't hold back – tell me – what was your approach on that question? Listening to her right now – kind of nauseous. Is the game going to switch back to Masn?

  18. natsfan1a - Aug 17, 2011 at 11:00 PM

    Yep, MASN2 for me, too.Don't know about the reporting job for me, MicheleS, but would be fun to meet you at a future game.

  19. Anonymous - Aug 17, 2011 at 11:09 PM

    MLB Network has the stras game on

  20. MIcheleS - Aug 17, 2011 at 11:10 PM

    I am assuming once the O's get off the air after lamenting yet another LOSS, then we switch to MASN.

  21. MicheleS - Aug 17, 2011 at 11:12 PM

    Swami… my approach was not to beat my head against the wall every time she opens her mouth!

  22. Anonymous - Aug 17, 2011 at 11:14 PM

    Stras is getting lit up tonight..

  23. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:11 AM

    No Mark? I tried to get my boss to send me to cover Strasburg, but he wouldn't go for it. Not surprising, it's nothing like what I get paid for.So I'm just now getting here. Bottom of four, Reds up 1-0, Detwiler has apparently struck out 7 through his half of four.

  24. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:23 AM

    Rally, rally! Nevermind.Ankiel leads off with another one of those massé shots, this one off the border of the mound on a comebacker, for a leadoff hit, and Zimm drills a line drive into left. FP thought Cueto looked uncomfortable and bothered, with 4-5-6 coming up.But Cueto did a nice job of sucking it up and pitching, sawing off and breaking the bats of, in order, Morse on a full count dribbler to short, Werth on a soft liner to short, and then Espinosa likewise to second, the last two on the first pitch, IICR.Still 1-0 through 4.

  25. flynnie - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:23 AM

    We'd a paid for it, Sec. 3. What's going on w/ no comments for the last 57 minutes?

  26. Gonat - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:27 AM

    OK, Detwiler has now passed the long reliever threshold with good movement tonight. It will be the next 2 innings that will show us if Detwiler has progressed in arm endurance/stamina.

  27. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:27 AM

    Easy fifth for Detwiler. Bottom of the order coming up.And Flynnie, thanks, but if you're not going to read any better than that…well, I guess that was a little oblique. And strained. I had to work late. Then there's dinner to make, cats to pet, beer to open…

  28. Gonat - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:30 AM

    ITS CALLED TIE GOES TO THE RUNNER BUT THE REPLAY CLEARLY SHOWED GOMES WAS SAFE

  29. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:32 AM

    gonat, Detwiler is at 87 pitches, I doubt he has 2 more innings.WHAT!!?? Gomes gets jobbed on an unambiguously blown call (close, but still…) at first on a ground ball to short. Davey came out object, and you could tell right away by the look in Ed Rapuano's eyes that he knew he blew the call.Detwiler likewise grounds out to short.1-0, and it's official.

  30. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:33 AM

    Talk among yourself, my tortelli's ready.

  31. Gonat - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:38 AM

    Gonat said… ITS CALLED TIE GOES TO THE RUNNER BUT THE REPLAY CLEARLY SHOWED GOMES WAS SAFE August 17, 2011 8:30 PM ___________________________Well, tie goes to the runner worked for the Reds. Great backhand by Zim, just didn't put mustard on that ball.

  32. baseballswami - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:49 AM

    Proud of RossD for hanging in there. Been out for most of the game and catching up now. It would be nice if the offense showed up about now. I know Cueto is very tough – but GYFNG!

  33. MicheleS - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:54 AM

    Where is the offense? I thought for sure after Cueto tweaked his oblique we would get to them. I am glad to see Ross D pitch well…now let's hope Coffey can get a 1-2-3 inning!

  34. flynnie - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:56 AM

    If you'd bet me my life's earnings that Detwiler would have a better outing against last year's central division champion Reds with that lineup than Strasburg with the Lexington Low-A's, I's have taken that bet.

  35. flynnie - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:58 AM

    Cueto has the best ERA in the NL. Nobody hits against him. At least Wiley Dets kept it close.

  36. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:58 AM

    There are no ties in baseball.Final line on Detwiler: Good job, kid.6 innings, 1 run, seven strikeouts–a career high.Votto's HR in the first inning was the only mistake he paid for all night. Coffey just finished off the a 1-2-3 seventh. Werth, Espinosa, Gomes. I want a weather balloon. That looks so cool.

  37. flynnie - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:59 AM

    K-K-Cofey!

  38. MicheleS - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:01 AM

    Sec 3… I am drinkin a nice burgundy that would go with your Tortelli!

  39. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:06 AM

    Bring it on down sometime, Michelle!Oh, and Ross gave up six other hits, and two walks, both of them to Votto, too. Cueto is looking very impressive. Four hits, four K's, through seven. ERA (yeah, yeah, I know) OF 1.85.

  40. baseballswami - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:06 AM

    Just a question – when was the last time Gorzelanny pitched and when will he pitch again? Why is he on the team if he is never going to be used? Not saying I think he's the greatest pitcher on earth,not saying he should be in this game, just doesn't seem to be any kind of plan with our pitchers. If he is not useful to us, he should be replaced by a reliever – do you think he is frustrated by his situation? Doug Slaten pitching in Hagerstown – does that mean he is on his way back here? We seriously need some offense before we get 6 more outs.

  41. Anonymous - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:09 AM

    Burnett = Lighter Fluid + Match…

  42. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:09 AM

    Burnett in to start the 8th, and see to it the Nats have the tying run leading off the bottom.Well, Votto hits lots of lefties well, so keeping him to a single is about as much as anybody else has done. Jay Bruce, OTOH, singles Votto to third with no outs, and gets Mattheus up and throwing in a hurry.

  43. Anonymous - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:10 AM

    And Sean Burnett is at it again!

  44. Gonat - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:10 AM

    I guess Burnett moving to the right side of the pitching rubber had no effect. Faces 2 lefties and 2 hard singles. Gets lucky on the nice comebacker.

  45. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:11 AM

    Oooh, there's a break. Burnett skies nicely to bring down a comeback one-high-hopper, and catches Votto off third. I think he could dunk.

  46. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:15 AM

    Swami, I think Gorzelanny pitched last week in Philly, following Zimmermann, yes? But he's a long guy, and they don't pitch every day. Burnett walks Stubbs. Here's Mattheus with one out and the bases loaded. Irony would have him stranding runners he inherited from Burnett.

  47. Gonat - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:17 AM

    Yep, Sec, there's a break and gave 'em bases loaded back on a free pass. Why didn't Davey pull him. It was a 1 run game.Worst reliever based on Wins added which was a negative number so it means he is losing games for your team.

  48. Drew8 - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:17 AM

    Jesse Orosco would be a big improvement over Burnett.At 54 years old.

  49. Gonat - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:18 AM

    Well, there is another inherited run scoring and another Earned on Burnett. 1-0 would have been nice to keep it.

  50. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:20 AM

    It was 11 days ago, at Colorado, actually. OK, *that* was just bad luck. A nice two-hopper over second that Espinosa gets to, and then slips–his foot just went out from under him. He recovered to get to second trying for the force, but too late, so they only get one, and the Reds score.

  51. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:23 AM

    Well, to be fair, Matteus did get the double-play ball. Reds leave them loaded on a weak ground ball to second. 2-0 Reds now, Cueto still in for the 8th.

  52. MicheleS - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:25 AM

    @Drew8.. I bet Davey has Jesse on speed dial! And HROD is warming up… Lord Save us.. Will it be good Henry (MPHROD) or bad Henry…

  53. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:26 AM

    Ramos pulls a ten-hopper thru the hole for a lead off single. I think Cueto has more broken bats than strikeouts–that's gotta be double digits by now.Nix hitting for the pitcher.

  54. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:27 AM

    Nix striking out swinging, for the pitcher. 95 MPH, at the collarbones. The Linda Ronstadt.

  55. baseballswami - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:28 AM

    I guess you could say that it was a minor miracle that the Reds only scored one in that frame. Of course,if we keep that zero, it doesn't matter very much if they have one or two.

  56. Anonymous - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:30 AM

    Ankiel – swinging for the fences , again. Shocker.

  57. gonatsgo - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:31 AM

    Is it just me, or does Laynce Nix seem to have lost his hitting mojo? Is it the foot, or is he just in a big slump?

  58. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:32 AM

    Cueto just abused Desmond, who gets the sombrero in his return, probably not for long, to the leadoff. Ankiel, OTOH, puts it onto the warning track in center, just missed that one. But it's an F8 in the box score. Going to the ninth, 2-0, HRod coming in. Better tell Screech to get some cover.

  59. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:35 AM

    gonatsgo, I don't know about Nix, but I've blown an Achilles, and it's sorta like having a very large nail in your heel every time you step. Hurts like a … well, it hurts.And in that AB, I want Ankiel swinging for the fences. FWIW.OOOOH Webgem for Zimm there on hard shorthop to his right. If it doesn't make the highlights it'll be because it was just too fast to see.

  60. baseballswami - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:36 AM

    Zim!!!!!!He can really pick it! Nice throw, too.

  61. Drew8 - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:36 AM

    Sofa: Love the "Linda Ronstadt" reference. Blew. By. You.Speaking of someone who blows, here comes HWMNBN.(He who must not be named.)

  62. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:36 AM

    Am I the only one who keeps wondering when the Reds signed Dave Chappell?

  63. Mick - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:37 AM

    Why Brunett??? Don't give give me this left handed batter garbage, I will take any of our Right handed pitchers in the bull pen over Brunett. I know Clipp pitched last night, i get that. Brunett really needs to go. This is where I question Davey as a manager. he has no feel for his players. It was clear Brunett did not have it by the first 4-5 pitches he threw. Everyone in the ball park knows it except the manager. Matheus should have started the 8th. On another note our great pitching won't matter if we hit like stiffs. Desmond leading off, are you joking?? All I know is Nats were 2 over 500 when Riggs left and without Ryan Zimmerman. With zero injuries and Zimmerman, Davey is well under 500 and he has cost this team at least 8 games this season with his bizzare moves.

  64. MicheleS - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:37 AM

    GOOD HENRY!!!!

  65. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:38 AM

    1-2-3 ninth for Henry Rodriguez's Good Twin. Zimmerman, Morse, Werth. Two to tie, three to win.Let's go get 'em.

  66. gonatsgo - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:39 AM

    Ok – so tonight it was good MPHRod.Nicely done! So we are seeing everyone BUT Clippard and Storen. Oh, and our old friend Tom Gorzelanny – remember him? He used to pitch for us.

  67. Wally - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:39 AM

    Hey all, from sunny Maine vacationland. Not able to watch game, but kids off to bed so I figured I'd scroll through. Appreciate the play by play, Sec3, and really liked the Screech comment.As I got to the Burnett posts, was really hoping for a Drew8 redux of Burnett=Voldemort post from several games ago, tho.

  68. Anonymous - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:40 AM

    The Zim-a – nator!!

  69. Gonat - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:41 AM

    Now you see why Burnett kills your team. Zim with a monster HR in what was a pitchers duel.

  70. MicheleS - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:41 AM

    Must sign Ryan!

  71. yankish2 - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:41 AM

    Does anyone think the Nats have a chance for .500 with Espinosa and Werth looking so lost at the plate? And let's not forget Ankiel and Desmond. This is not a very good team on offense. Sure glad Rizzo is excited with the draft signings; his big league team stinks. Quit drinking the kool aid Nats fans.

  72. Mick - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:41 AM

    Way to go Ryan, nice HR, you can thank Davey for losing this one by putting in a pitcher who would get rocked in A ball. this will be the 10th gamae Davey has lost for Nats. I am trying to think of any game he has out managed for a win???

  73. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:41 AM

    Mr. Red Porch, meet Ryan Zimmerman. Ryan Zimmerman, Red Porch.That was squared UP. 2-1, and Cueto is done.

  74. Anonymous - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:43 AM

    @Yankish2.. go back to watching the O's …

  75. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:44 AM

    Mr. Mark is not done. He was in Harrisburg. Strasburg wishes he wasn't, apparently.

  76. Mick - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:45 AM

    I also have never heard Davey say, this one was on me. Is he that arrogant? Glad I am not at the park tonight, you all would have heard me, lol

  77. Gonat - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:45 AM

    Mick said… you can thank Davey for losing this one by putting in a pitcher who would get rocked in A ball. August 17, 2011 9:41 PM ________________________________That was my point on Burnett. He and Gorzo are the only lefties in the 'pen. Burnett would be gone if he wasn't on a 2 year deal.

  78. baseballswami - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:46 AM

    Mick – I think you are correct that poor management of pitching has cost us some games. Ryan Zimmerman is awesome and I just love it when he ambushes the pitcher. Wouldn't it be nice if Werth could find his swing?

  79. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:47 AM

    Morse grounds out weakly against Cordero for the first out, but Werth works his way on base with a walk to bring Espinosa up with the winning run, if they can get it.

  80. baseballswami - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:47 AM

    Or walk?

  81. MicheleS - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:48 AM

    I like seeing Danny hit…

  82. Anonymous - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:48 AM

    This is interesting…

  83. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:49 AM

    Nice line drive to right for Danny's first hit in, what, a week? Seems like it. First and second with one out, 1-run game. Gomes. "The game is at home plate," as the man said.

  84. Anonymous8 - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:49 AM

    I am on the other side of Henry. He couldn't put away the leadoff and if Zim doesn't turn a spiffy fielding paly, I think Henry folds like a cheap suit.Will give credit as he smoked Votto. That was sweet!

  85. Gonat - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:52 AM

    Wow, Davey finally went unconventional and it worked. Running on 3-2……

  86. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:52 AM

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAand on a full count, Davey sends the runners, which seemed to disombobulate the shortstop for an error.But as soon as I type that…

  87. Anonymous - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:53 AM

    Well – that was depressing.

  88. MIcheleS - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:53 AM

    YUK

  89. Mick - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:53 AM

    sick to my stomach, why swing on first pitch Wilson Ramos?? Brilliant Davey, you are TERRIBLE!!!

  90. Anonymous8 - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:53 AM

    Another piece of *(^T at bat with bases loaded. Ramos has been clutch before and will go back to it. Why wasn't the take sign on??????

  91. CBinDC - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:54 AM

    THAT WAS THE STUPIDEST AT BAT ALL SEASON YOU SHOULD ASHAMED RAMOS

  92. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:55 AM

    Dang. Wilson Ramos swings at the first pitch he sees, and GIDPs this one into the books.2-1.

  93. Gonat - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:57 AM

    CB, this is a rookie. He also has had a walk-off. If they weren't cheating towards the middle it could have been a single. DAVEY SHOULD HAVE HAD THE TAKE SIGN ON!

  94. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:58 AM

    It's not that it was the first pitch. If he hits it out, we all love him. But it wasn't HIS pitch, and with the tying run on third with one out, it's like a 3-0 count–you have to take anything you won't crush. Of course, that means you have to identify it.

  95. josh f - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:58 AM

    UGH – Seems like the walkoff wins of June have been replaced by the near-misses of July and August: fly balls caught at the track and game-ending DPs with the bases loaded. Young players will learn better plate discipline, you hope, but that's another tough one to swallow.

  96. Mick - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:59 AM

    Reds pitcher all over the plate, bases loaded, make him throw a strike, you teach this in little league. I will be first to unfortunately say that Davey is not the long term solution. If Ramos swung on his own, then I expect Davey to call his ass out like Billy Martin would. If Davey had him swing then Rizzo should tell Davey that he can move back into the front office after the 162nd game is over. This is painful and I can't take a full season Davey as manager.

  97. Anonymous - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:02 AM

    Burnett Is a *** **** JOKE!

  98. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:02 AM

    And did anyone yet mention that add-on run the Reds got? Oh, man. This is the difference between where they were and where they're going.They ARE going, make no mistake about that. This is what getting there feels like, though.

  99. CBinDC - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:03 AM

    NO EXCUSES ANY MORE ……that is unacceptable it was as dumb as any dumb at bat in the whole 7 years of this team and that is saying a lot ……he gets no free pass on this one ……what is using a golf club to left that ball …..all you need is long fly to tie …hit to win ….and he does neither ……if the culture of losing is to end so is excusing that type of at bat

  100. Mick - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:04 AM

    Sec3, exactly!

  101. Anonymous - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:04 AM

    I Hate stupid Baseball and that Ramos just displayed STUPID baseball

  102. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:04 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  103. Anonymous - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:05 AM

    CBinDC says it all

  104. Mick - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:06 AM

    CBinDC: right on!!! So I am not the only one ticked off at this. That was a typical culture of losing AB, period. i am sick of of it too!

  105. Anonymous - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:07 AM

    Oh boy we are going to ne winners some day. I can't wait. I will hold my breath

  106. flynnie - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:09 AM

    Twice in a week. Tonight and last Thursday in Chicago. My heiny hurts. With Strasburg's implosion against the Mighty Lexington Legends, my roster for next year is hereby revised.flynnie321 said… Next spring, how do y'all see the starting pitching lining up?1))JZimm 2)Lannan 3) 4)& 5) – at least a 2 man fight between Strasburg, Livo (please keep him!); Detwiler; Wang; Stammen; Slaten; HenryRod; Maya; Gorzelanny; Peacock; Milone; Purke (already on major league contract)And I hope Wally's right that tonight's Strasburg outing was attributable to something that is fleeting, temporary, and quickly shaken off by his arm and mind of iron.

  107. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:10 AM

    I know this is a minority opinion, but I like Ray Knight. He knows a lot of baseball. He isn't the most articulate announcer around, but his insights are interesting, and on point. Which is what you might expect, looking at the back of his baseball card.

  108. flynnie - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:10 AM

    Not 2 – 12 men in the fight,

  109. Anonymous8 - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:12 AM

    flynnie, you can't be for real.

  110. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:13 AM

    and Flynnie, for Strasburg — relax, Ok? I don't care if the AAGBPL reunion team lights him up. You know what he's going to do.

  111. flynnie - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:13 AM

    As do I, sec 3! Three or so weeks ago, he absolutely broke through a very dark and depressed Ian Desmond. He's likeable, he got his head shaved for Johnny's grandson's cancer treatment, but he does have a southern accent, which is OK for Matlock ande Andy Griffith, but not OK for some Nats fans. I like Ray very much.

  112. CBinDC - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:14 AM

    Last night there were 5 walk off endings ….MLB Quick Pitch had them on in a row …..Grand Slam by Houston among them and tonight the Nationals fans get the Abbott and Costello version a SLINK OFF

  113. Anonymous8 - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:14 AM

    Why isn't anyone jumping on Michael Morse? That was a horrible at-bat after Zim's monster HR. Great job by Werth. Gomes hit a double play ball too.You peeps are over reacting. It was a slider that he hit on top of. Good pitch and unfortunately Ramos wasn't taking.

  114. Anonymous - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:14 AM

    The only player worst in that situation is Ian Desmond.If we could put Nick Johnson's baseball brain in Wilson Ramos' and/or Ian Desmond's head, we'd have two more All Stars.

  115. flynnie - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:15 AM

    My 19:13 comment was about Ray Knight, not Strasburg.

  116. Anonymous - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:15 AM

    I am with Mick. Its on Davey. Bad job of managing the bullpen once again. Burnett just doesnt have it.

  117. Mick - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:16 AM

    Strass will be fine and I hope Nats do not rush him back. Hell, is this another Davey move? I have lost all faith in Davey and if he is full time next year, Ramos' AB tonight will be the norm next season. Hell, I could see the Nats losing 90 next season. i want to be positive but it is hard,it is the same crap since Davey took over, they play well one game and then they play like the 62 Mets the next night. There is no consistency with this club at all

  118. flynnie - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:16 AM

    Oh, for Nick the Stick! We'd be watching extra innings, at least – he had a pitch track in his optic nerve!

  119. Gonat - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:23 AM

    You know, Detwiler did a decent job. To me, 6 good innings is a step up. Still not convinced he is a starter. He got himself in many jams and had to throw to many pitches. Still thinking he could be a lights out reliever and there is nothing wrong with that because Burnett stinks and Matteus just isn't doing it and HenRod is inconsistent.

  120. Mick - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:24 AM

    I loved Billy Martin and this club needs a manager like that. Billy was good with young players and showed a lot of tough love while developing them. Billy would have been up Werth's ass months ago, would have shown Brunett the door in June and I guarantee Wilson Ramos would never again swing at the first pitch after tonight with Billy.

  121. josh f - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:24 AM

    It's baseball. This stuff's gonna happen. Give the guys a break and root for 'em tomorrow.

  122. Mick - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:26 AM

    josh f, this stuff has been happening with frequency since Davey took over and its gotten old.

  123. Anonymous8 - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:28 AM

    josh f, exactly. Only Zim and Werth did good in the 9th. It was luck on Gomes (reached on error), game over at that point. Wilson Ramos will learn. Again he won that game against Seattle on a 3 run walk-off.

  124. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:28 AM

    flynnie said… My 19:13 comment was about Ray Knight, not Strasburg.19:13?? I don't see one of them.

  125. Anonymous8 - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:31 AM

    Mick, I'm not giving Davey a Free Pass. I am giving the players a free pass. It isn't as bad as the game in Chicago in a similar situation. Davey should have pulled Burnett after he made that play at 3rd as he didn't have it. That ball up the middle Burnett made a great fielding play. He was fortunate and what did he do, walked the next batter. That inning had disaster written all over it. Lucky it was only 2-0

  126. Anonymous - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:32 AM

    >>>Again he won that game against Seattle on a 3 run walk-off. <<<<Nope. No go.He swung at a bad first pitch from a pitcher who was out of the zone in a situation where we didn't need a hit, the deep fly would have sufficed. This is inexcusable. He can't get a pass for it regardless of what happened in the Seattle game.When this is just accepted as "just baseball", you continue to be a losing franchise.

  127. Mick - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:34 AM

    well said Anony

  128. Big Cat - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:39 AM

    First of all….great job Det. I've been very critical of you over the years. Keep it upNow, and as always, we go to hitting with men in scoring posistion. Just pitiful. Jason Werth…..it is time you gave back some of your salary. You are no better than Austin Kearns. In fact, I would prefer Kearns. Everytime you come up during a rally, you know its over. I would have hope if you were up there ripping and fouling it back…..but you look weak as a kitten…even when its 3-1 or 2-0. Pitiful.I am over Desmond at the plate. Not because he isn't hitting, but because he has quit. Look at his eyes. He has quit. Sit his ass down and lets get Lombordozza(sp) up here and see what all these people are talking about. Ramos…..what the hell are you doing? Bases loaded, down a run, pitcher struggling big time. Your thought process is "I'm looking fastball right down the middle. Anything offspeed or spinning funny….I take." So what do you do? You blindly chase a slider down and away and hit into a double play. A little leaguer takes that pitch. Eckstein…..you are as big a problm with these hitters as anyone. Hitting is so much mental and I have been watching this horsesh#t now for too long. You and your clipboard need to go!

  129. CBinDC - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:40 AM

    They only have this short home stand and then back on the road Friday …….really you get only so many of these games and they just can not pull out anything clutch under Davy Johnson but they sure have blown up a lot of games …really does no one talk about situational approach …..like hey I want you to XYZ this time …..or is it what ever ….look Davy has had no bigger cheerleader the Boswell and if you look at his chat this week you well see he is surprised at what has transpired so far

  130. Anonymous8 - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:43 AM

    You can't pin it on one player, one play is the point. What about Gomes? What about Morse? What about Burnett? What about Matteus? What about Morse earlier in the game with 2 on base?I'm not happy with Ramos at-bat. Wish he had a take sign from Davey. Hernandez threw the perfect pitch thinking he would be aggressive. Ramos got on top of the ball. Not a great ball to drive. Ramos has been a decent hitter in game on the line situations.It happens. Step back from the ledge. Geez.

  131. Joe Seamhead - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:44 AM

    You all are killing me. Yes, it was a heartwretching loss, and, no, Ramos did not make a good decision swinging at the first pitch. But how about Ross Det throwing maybe the best game of his career? Espy got a key hit. Zimm jacked one. Coffey and HRod each gave us a good inning. We got slighted by the ump on the play at second on Ankiel's throw. In his last outing Burnett gave us a solid appearance. If Espy doesn't slip, he turns two and it's still a 1-0 game. Oh, but that's Davey's mismanaging, I forgot. And anon 10:14 wants to pin it on Morse. How about the guys we left on third earlier? And to claim that Davey has cost us ten wins with his management of the pen? Ten? Poppycock! the pen? Ten? Poppycock!

  132. Drew8 - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:45 AM

    Can't wait until Harper and Rendon bring their bats to the lineup.BTW, Baby Beast Kevin Keyes has 57 RBI in 69 games.Here's something to be encouraged about after a bitter loss.Amanda Comak of The Washington Times interviewed Matt Purke. He said he and his family thought Rizzo and the Lerners refreshingly straightforward and he wanted to join a team on the rise:“While I was doing my college recruiting process and I was taking my visits to schools, when I got to TCU, I just kind of felt a sense of ‘This is a place that I can feel at home. I connect to these people,’ ” he said. “When me and my family traveled to Washington to do my medicals and we were around the stadium and the field and the owners and everything, I got the same kind of feeling.“These people are good people that I can connect to and can call this place home. … This team is going to be very, very good in a short amount of time. They’re going to be somebody that other teams are going to have to deal with. I knew that I wanted to be a part of that.”

  133. Waddu eye no - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:45 AM

    Anonymous8 said…Why isn't anyone jumping on Michael Morse? That was a horrible at-bat after Zim's monster HR. Probably because:.323 .372 .566. 21. 71

  134. baseballswami - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:46 AM

    Oh, I just hate losing,especially when Zim gave me hope.It's not like I started watching the game thinking we would win – I saw the stats just like everyone else did. But then, RossD really hung in there and kept us in the game. Then the roller coaster when down when Burnett showed up, then they "only" scored 1, then the roller coaster went back up – Zim scored, up, up, up, bases loaded. Then – CRASH!!! Oh, I really do hate losing.

  135. SCNatsFan - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:47 AM

    Big Cat, giving back salary. C'mon, we know that will never happen in any job at any time.Ramos, I agree… another one of our young 'studs' who doesn't know how to approach an at bat. I can't blame Eck for a player swinging the bat but I can blame him for not teaching player how to mentally approach an at bat.Tommorow we'll here from the powers at be all the positives from the game and not to worry, all these young guys will straighten it out. Same old corporate line, same lack of accountability that the rest of us in this world have to deal with. And tomorrow we'll put the same mentally weak team on the diamond. And, just like every day since they moved to DC, I'll be rooting for them… and cursing them at the same time.

  136. Gonat - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:48 AM

    CBinDC said… They only have this short home stand and then back on the road Friday …….really you get only so many of these games and they just can not pull out anything clutch under Davy Johnson but they sure have blown up a lot of games …really does no one talk about situational approach …..like hey I want you to XYZ this time …..or is it what ever ….look Davy has had no bigger cheerleader the Boswell and if you look at his chat this week you well see he is surprised at what has transpired so far August 17, 2011 10:40 PM _______________________________Eckstein's job is to prep them before they get out on the on-deck circle and Davey and his bench coach need to be more demonstrative with the young players.Someone said it, Davey takes none of the blame. Still, there are personnel issues on this team that still need to be address (Burnett) and this team went from winning 1 run games to choking on them.Twice in a week with that gaffer in Chicago last week with bases loaded.Kardiac Kids Krash tonight. Go get them tomorrow!

  137. Anonymous - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:50 AM

    >>>>Wish he had a take sign from Davey.<<<<Maybe Davey didn't give him a sign. You're making a big assumption there. I don't think he instructed Ramos to take though he shouldn't have had to. A major league baseball player should know to take in that situation.Just as Davey didn't instruct Desmond to not swing in the 9th against the Cubs. Things like this is precisely why I think Davey Johnson is a bad manager. He can't read situations well and he still doesn't know his players.And, again, if you're willing to just let things like this go, you'll always be a losing franchise.

  138. Anonymous8 - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:50 AM

    Waddu eye no said… Anonymous8 said…Why isn't anyone jumping on Michael Morse? That was a horrible at-bat after Zim's monster HR. Probably because:.323 .372 .566. 21. 71 August 17, 2011 10:45 PM Yep, so right.

  139. josh f - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:51 AM

    I'm not looking to pick a fight, but…1) The team stinks since Davey took over? Which team have you been watching since 2006? Most likely, we will STILL finish the year with our best record since Year 1. You want to argue it's because of the team's great start with Riggleman? Fine. What was our record last year?2) No, Ramos probably shouldn't have swung at the first pitch. But at least he didn't swing at a ball in the dirt and strike out on a 3-2 count. He made hard, solid contact – it just didn't go our way tonight. Ramos doesn't even bat if Janish holds onto the ball that Gomes hit. The baseball gods giveth, and the baseball gods taketh away.This is how you learn. We're a YOUNG TEAM, and Ramos and most of these other guys are going to be here awhile. I'd rather have them learning now in high-pressure situations, when we're not in contention, so that in a year or two, in the same situation, he's approaching the at-bat older and wiser.3) It could be worse – we could be the Orioles. 'Nuff said.

  140. baseballswami - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:54 AM

    Ryan Zimmerman is really back. He is making the defensive plays and 2 days in a row he has hit a couple of the best homers I have ever seen him hit. And that is my positive statement of the night. My hope for tomorrow – I would love to see JZim pitch a gem of a game since he is close to being shut down — and I sincerely wish for him some RUN SUPPORT and NO ERRORS.

  141. Wally - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:56 AM

    With Stras, I think we all have to dramatically lower expectations for this year. He is rebuilding his arm, and the important thing is arm strength and muscle development so that next year he is closer to normal. He is going to leave pitches over the middle, miss where he doesn't want to miss, and have some bad outings. Some good ones too, but I expect that he will be erratic. So as long as no pain, it is all good.And I don't agree with the Davey bashers. I mean, should he kill Clip and Storen to win 80 games this year instead of 75? I vote no. He isn't a stupid guy. he is managing these games right now primarily with next year in mind, trying to see if some bubble guys are keepers, trying to put younger guys in pressure spots to let them learn and develop. I understand why people might disagree with that approach, but I think it is exactly the right way to play it for the rest of this year. It might make it tough to watch some games, though.Ok, let me have it.

  142. baseballswami - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:56 AM

    Oh and another thing – since I am determined to be POSITIVE ( even if it hurts me) — Clip and Store will be fresh for tomorrow!

  143. Big Cat - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:58 AM

    SCNatsfan…..back in 78-79…..I forget what year, Lyman Bostock signed a huge free agent contract with the Angels. Huge for the times that is. Well, he started horribly and after the first month gave back his salary to ownership. So it has happenned. Werth has performed pitifully this year and think he should give back a lot of his salary. And he is not close to correcting anything…..his swing is horrible

  144. NatsLady - Aug 18, 2011 at 3:01 AM

    A-8: Mattheus did OK. He came on with the bases loaded and got a DP ball which Espi didn't turn and so a runner scored. Honestly, Mattheus has taken SO many for the team, I've lost count, plus he's a rookie, so please take him off your list.Coffey done good, Henry done good. Ramos is a rookie, Eckstein needed to advise him, "hello, this pitcher is struggling, WAIT for your pitch." Eck may work plenty hard during BP, I understand that, but there seems to be MILES AND MILES of difference between him and McCatty. The pitchers LISTEN to Cat when he goes to the mound, do the hitter listen to Eck during the game? But, all in all, given that Cueto was lights out, it was lucky we even had a chance in this one. It's just frustrating when the other team tries to give it to you with a walk and an error, and you don't take it.

  145. masnstinks - Aug 18, 2011 at 3:06 AM

    Wally – not going to let you have it.You , just like everyone else, are entitled to your opinion. Yes, next year should be kept in mind. But – it doesn't have to be just one thing or just the other. You can keep the team development going and still manage well. The team is not clicking under him and he doesn't seem to "get" them. It's more like a poor match than anything. Whatever he is doing – it's just not effective. If the relationship between manager and player is working, then the best is brought out of each player.Can you honestly say that you see that? Been trying to withhold judgement – haven't posted in a while, but now I need to weigh in. What I see is that this team and this manager are not a good fit.They seem to have regressed. So – not a matter of wrong or right , just not working.

  146. N. Cognito - Aug 18, 2011 at 3:09 AM

    "Burnett Is a *** **** JOKE!"You misspelled "*******."

  147. Anonymous - Aug 18, 2011 at 3:09 AM

    And why was Ian Desmond leading off today? Do we have any idea about that?

  148. N. Cognito - Aug 18, 2011 at 3:10 AM

    Nats simply continue to have too many bad at bats…too many times when they get themselves out.

  149. Gonat - Aug 18, 2011 at 3:13 AM

    Jorge Posada just struck out looking at 2 straight strikes with bases loaded to end the game.It happens.

  150. Golfersal - Aug 18, 2011 at 3:16 AM

    A pissed off season ticket holder.For you folks that haven't heard, just found out that after paying for our season tickets the first of November, we have to pay 25% of our tickets on September 15th, before the season even ends.Now the good news, if you call this good news, is that we get a 5% discount but even with the payment plan we will have to pay for 70% of the tickets by January 1st. Guess the Nats are getting some gall by asking us to pay for something, before we even finished the previous years tickets.Hope I am not the only one pissed off over this.

  151. Anonymous - Aug 18, 2011 at 3:17 AM

    >Jorge Posada just struck out looking at 2 straight strikes with bases loaded to end the game.It happens. <That's much better than what Ramos did because it was only one out…and he needed a hit to keep the game going.Ramos' at-bat was inexcusable beyond words. Johnson should have pinch hit for him. I'd rather have Alex Cora at-bat than Wilson Ramos in that situation.

  152. Anonymous - Aug 18, 2011 at 3:19 AM

    Speaking of other games, Jerry Hairston was the Player of the Game for the Brewers tonight.I'd rather have had him at the plate too, than Wilson Ramos.

  153. Mick - Aug 18, 2011 at 3:22 AM

    Anony: Bingo, that is it in a nutshell and it goes back to what I said that Davey has NO feel for his players.

  154. Gonat - Aug 18, 2011 at 3:23 AM

    I hate pinning a loss on one guy except to say Burnett has to go. Cueto is a stud. Pitched great and the Nats had there chances. Morse is human and showed it tonight.Agree with NatsLady on Matteus except he gets behind in to many counts.Davey just seems lost at times. He has to manage the young players. Good managers teach. Can't assume in game on the line situations. Its like a guy swinging at a 3-0 count when the ball isn't grooved.

  155. NatsLady - Aug 18, 2011 at 3:25 AM

    Manny's team beat Adam Dunn's team, and Detroit lost, so the Indians are only two games out.

  156. Mick - Aug 18, 2011 at 3:27 AM

    Here is where I think most of us Nats fans are: Nats have a very promising future but tonight illustrated the culture of losing that has to stop going into 2012. Nobody expects Nats to win the NL in 2012, but we expect a winning record and a manager that puts his players in the best possible situations to succeed and win. That is not happening now with Davey and in fact, this manager has lost close to 10 games for this team and maybe has won 1 or 2 with his moves since he has taken over. That will be unacceptable in 2012.

  157. Andrew - Aug 18, 2011 at 3:27 AM

    You guys want to play a blame game. Unless there is a history of a player who is hurting the team its not fair.With that said, I am ok with the critics of Matt Stairs, Sean Burnett, Doug Slaten, as there is clearly a pattern there.

  158. Mick - Aug 18, 2011 at 3:32 AM

    Like I said, this team needs a Billy Martin type Manager. Billy won divisions with Twins, Tigers, A's and several with Yankees and of course 77 WS. In fact, he took our old Senators in Texas in 1974 to a second place finish behind the A's. The common denominator was that all these teams were young and needed a kick in the ass.

  159. Mick - Aug 18, 2011 at 3:33 AM

    I love Phil Wood and agree with him 99% of the time, but on this he needs to stop protecting Davey

  160. NatsLady - Aug 18, 2011 at 3:37 AM

    Not blaming. We didn't have much of a chance to win this one from the get-go, if you compare Cueto to Detwiler. Detwiler pitched way better than expected. Nats were in it until the very last pitch. They didn't give up, and they didn't give in–and Ramos will learn from this, believe you me. But we could have paid dearly for Davey's mistake yesterday if we had needed Clip today. I get that he is managing "for the future" but he should not have put Wang in for the 7th, and then needed Clip to rescue him. I think people need to chill on Sean Burnett. There is a good lefty reliever in there somewhere, just maybe not this season. We need to learn a lesson from the Gas-Canrahan situation and not be so quick to drive a guy to another team where he flourishes.

  161. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 18, 2011 at 3:46 AM

    N. Cognito said… "Burnett Is a *** **** JOKE!" You misspelled "*******." August 17, 2011 11:09 PMAnd N.Cog comes in late for the steal.POD.

  162. Drew8 - Aug 18, 2011 at 3:46 AM

    Jessie H. (Get Thee to A) Nunery of the Rocky Mount (N.C.) Telegram got a brief interview with Brian Goodwin:Coupla excerpts:Rocky Mount native Brian Goodwin celebrated his first day as a professional baseball player like any good son would.He hung out with his mother.Brenda Goodwin took off from work, and the two spent a nice day together after Brian agreed to a contract with the Washington Nationals late Monday night.“I’m excited,” Goodwin said. “It doesn’t seem like it’s true, but I’m ready to start.”Goodwin, who was the 34th selection in June’s MLB Amatuer Draft, was part of a group the Nationals signed to nearly $14 million in bonuses Monday night. All four of Washington’s signees were represented by the Scott Boras Agency, which has a reputation for helping their clients receive top monetary compensation.“The Nationals are trying to compete, and the only way to do that is invest in your farm system,” Goodwin said. “I am blessed to be a part of that. My (advisors) do a good job of getting across how much their guys value school. Teams know it will take something that would be able to put school aside for the time being.”Goodwin spoke with Washington Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo on Tuesday, and the two will speak again soon when the organization decides whether Goodwin will play any of the remainding minor league season.Goodwin is a professional baseball player, and true to form, he did not sit back Tuesday evening and think about his signing bonus.He headed to the batting cage to work on a swing that has helped him reach this point of his career, a stroke that could ultimately catapult him to the major leagues in the near future.

  163. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 18, 2011 at 3:55 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  164. CBinDC - Aug 18, 2011 at 4:02 AM

    I always expect the Nationals to win the NL every year that is not being naive it is just that in any process which is a baseball season you should expect success until proven otherwise. With that said every sports has it's high probability of success moments and if you fail in those moments you need to examine your process because it is you and not the fates that caused the failure. Hockey it is 5 on 3 with two minutes in Football it is 1st and 10 on the one yard line and in Baseball it is bases loaded with no outs or even one out and again tonight the Nationals failed again. That has been failure mark at least 5 times in the past month and a half. Tonight it was Ramos who failed hugely and as Phil Wood tried to blow it off as a teachable moment (which should be one of those things reserved for elementary school) I find it systemic of the culture of losing and I would sure be happy to find out that something was destroyed later as a result.

  165. Anonymous - Aug 18, 2011 at 4:03 AM

    >This whole "accountability" thing still has me baffled. What are you going to do, beat the soles of their feet with bamboo? Shake a finger in their faces and send them to bed? <I want players to not make easily avoidable mistakes/bad plays, like Ramos' tonight and when they do, I want it made clear to them that they did do something wrong. We won't necessarily know that happens because it doesn't happen in public but the result is that we should not see those players, Ramos in this case, do it again. That's the proof that they've learned, that it doesn't happen again.I fear that there's not much learning going on with this team, with this staff.

  166. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 18, 2011 at 4:03 AM

    I guess I'm squarely in the It's Only A Game, But WTH Was Ramos Thinking?? camp. It doesn't matter. It really doesn't. Well, maybe to people whose jobs depend on it, but if Wilson Ramos not recognizing a breaking ball is the worst thing that happened to me, it was a good day.

  167. Scooter - Aug 18, 2011 at 4:13 AM

    Man, Cueto was [Utley] awesome, wasn't he? And Dusty Baker, letting him bat in the 7th AND the 8th. Good old-fashioned country hardball, is what that was.What a great game. Too bad about the end.

  168. NatsLady - Aug 18, 2011 at 4:15 AM

    Uh, it'll happen again (Ramos–or Desi–making dumb mistakes at the plate). Hopefully, it will happen less and less often. The day it never happens is the day the young guys are old and wise and slow…

  169. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 18, 2011 at 4:23 AM

    NatsLady, I was about to say something to the same effect. Zimm will GIDP, Strasburg will get lit up, I'll miss a deadline, and somebody who knows better will leave their keys in the car. These guys are better at what they do than most of us will ever be at anything.

  170. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 18, 2011 at 4:25 AM

    And Scooter, yes he was. Storen, last night, was cartoonishly filthy.

  171. Anonymous - Aug 18, 2011 at 10:38 AM

    AH Yes. Nats nation continues to use that word. "learning" A word used to pacify the fans and hide what is truly wrong. "Too Many Minor Leaguers on this team." Ramos's GAFF was unforgivable. He won't learn from this. He will keep doing it because that's what bad players do. I AM DISGUSTED!!!!

  172. dale - Aug 18, 2011 at 11:22 AM

    it is a broken record, stuck in the same track ,endlessly skipping….Werth had two opportunities earlier in the game to drive in runs with less than two outs. Failed both times, of course. Davey's post game comments acknowledge the problem with the hitters' approach. Contrast Davey's comments with those of Werth whose explanation for his batting failure borders on arrogance. What I am seeing in this organization is that players abandon the things that they work on in the off season to improve. For example, Espinoza spent the winter shortening his swing to advoid strike outs, and we see where he is now. Desmond never changes his over aggresive approach, claiming that "This is who I am." Batters did a good job of working the count in the Spring, only to abandon that in the heat of Summer. This is where I blame the coaches, they let the players' focus evaporate and never yank them back.

  173. Dave - Aug 18, 2011 at 11:26 AM

    @ Golfersal: "For you folks that haven't heard, just found out that after paying for our season tickets the first of November, we have to pay 25% of our tickets on September 15th, before the season even ends."What are you talking about? You get a discount if you pay early. You pay full price if you don't. Are you really complaining about an early-pay discount?This'll be the seventh year I've had a season ticket. Never had a discount yet. (And they're still giving those Red Carpet points.) I'll be paying early for my discount. Thanks, Nats!Golfersal, you should find something real to complain about.

  174. Joe Seamhead - Aug 18, 2011 at 11:29 AM

    You're at the plate, facing a ML pitcher, bottom of the 9th, 2 out, bases loaded. You're looking fastball. Here comes one! You swing, just as the bottom falls out of the "fastball" and you lamely hit the top of what is actually a slider. Welcome to the big leagues, rookie. It happened, and it will happen again at some point. There will be days when the results are better. If it happens that you only fail 75% of the time in these situations, you'll have a pretty good career. But many of the bloggers on Nats Insider,[who have never seen a slider at any level of play], will throw you under the bus !00% of the times when you screw it up.

  175. Joe Seamhead - Aug 18, 2011 at 11:31 AM

    Or maybe it happens in the bottom of the 9th and there's one out, and you hit into a double play, as what happened last night.

  176. baseballswami - Aug 18, 2011 at 11:55 AM

    Just saw on "another" blog site the very creative and insightful headline that Davey Johnson would like people to hit better with runners in scoring positions. Thank you Captain Obvious – you're kidding me right? A seven-year old could figure that one out. We had a team, a flawed team, but with potential. The coaches ( NOT just riggs, the whole staff) had figured out how to get the most out of them and they were playing over their abilities. Then we had the Riggs/Rizzo tiff and instead of holding on to McClaren and the other coaches for some stability, Dave Johnson comes in , doesn't like the team he is given – publicly whines that this isn't the kind of team ( or ice cream or toy) that he wants. He tries to change it or show why it's bad in the middle of the season. The second half of the season has been his tantrum – he doesn't like the pitching staff the way it is, so – here – I'll show you why it's bad. It's like he didn't get what he wanted for Christmas or something – will Rizzo appease him and change the team for him? And – I know I've said it before – but I am so sick of him saying "MY" team, "MY" closer", "MY right -handed bat" – has the man ever heard of the word "OUR". Sorry – cranky this morning – maybe more caffeine. Go Jordan!

  177. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:06 PM

    Joe… I'm not arguing with you because I also agree that the complainers on this site need to get a grip.But… that's precisely why a professional hitter will ALWAYS take at least one strike in the situation that Ramos was in. And for those of you complaining about Morse's at bat in the 9th inning…. please… you sound like those Phillie fans that constantly complain about their team.Anyone who thinks that in a 162 game schedule that you won't get your heart broken at least a dozen times (and I'm talking about a playoff caliber team) is greatly mistaken.Eventually, Ramos will understand how to handle that particular situation, and Davey will tell Rizzo that he's given Burnett all the rope he's going to give him so "dump him", and the Nats will lose another game everyone thinks they should win.This team is improved and will continue to improve. Just relax and enjoy.

  178. natsfan1a - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:12 PM

    Plus, dude has a windup like a lawn sprinkler. In other news, it'd always fun to read comments after the fact. Also had my WTH moment in the final at-bat but have since moved on (after regaling my husband with the high, um, low points of the game).Scooter said… Man, Cueto was [Utley] awesome, wasn't he? And Dusty Baker, letting him bat in the 7th AND the 8th. Good old-fashioned country hardball, is what that was. What a great game. Too bad about the end. August 18, 2011 12:13 AM

  179. natsfan1a - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:13 PM

    it'd? Evidently I could use some more coffee, too.

  180. Anonymous - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:21 PM

    This'll be the seventh year I've had a season ticket. Never had a discount yet. (And they're still giving those Red Carpet points.) I'll be paying early for my discount. Thanks, Nats!The last two years they gave NatsBucks to STH who renewed early. This year they're offering the discount, but from what I can tell no more NatsBucks.I actually like the NatsBucks better. That got me $100 in food credit at the ballpark. Since my single seat 20-game plan goes for around $400, with the 5% discount I only save about 20 bucks. That will probably be enough to offset the service charge when I do my renewal. But I can see how the discount will be more of a benefit to people in the more expensive seats or with groups where it's hard to divvy up stuff like NatsBucks and Red Carpet Rewards. Bottom line though is that as the team gets better and demand for tickets goes up, these kinds of incentives will be going away. Enjoy them while you can.

  181. NatsLady - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:29 PM

    Yeah, the best incentive (for me) already went away, namely the Nats Express bus and the free parking at RFK. Sigh.

  182. Gonat - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:29 PM

    Time to turn to some good news from Matt Purke:"When me and my family traveled to Washington to do my medical, and we were around the stadium and the field and the owners and everything, I got the same kind of feeling. These people are good people that I can connect to and can call this place home. That's why I felt like this was a really good fit for me.""Not only do I feel comfortable with it, but also the things that they're doing now with the prospects they're bringing in and the talent that they have coming up, this team is going to be very, very good in a short amount of time. They're going to be somebody that other teams are going to have to deal with. I knew that I wanted to be a part of that and be involved in that kind of team, that kind of organization that's on the rise."

  183. Wally - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:50 PM

    Masnstinks – yeah, overall, team isn't clicking under Davey but parts are (like hitting). Does he get credit for that (or HRod's solid inning?). But this isn't the roster that competes for a WC (we need somewhere from 5-10 different players), and my view is, is he the right guy for that team? Most current gripes are about bullpen management, but looking at his career, most say one of his biggest skills is his bullpen management, and I don't think he has just lost that skill. Given his track record, if he says he needs different guys, I am inclined to believe him. Guess I am just preaching for the rest of this year.Here is a little humor I found on Twitter:@DonRickles "Regis you gotta stop getting out of your car in traffic and yelling "It's me Reege"

  184. Gonat - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:22 PM

    Wally, I think you are correct on Davey's perception. Davey didn't construct this team but this by definition was a winning team when he took it over as they had a winning record. Good managers deal with the cards they have been dealt and Davey hasn't excelled in that.I also think he has a better lineup then Riggleman had as Davey has had a healthy Zim and no LaRoche. Morse is even hotter and unfortunately Espinosa is ice cold and Ankiel is warm. Net/net, I think we can all agree this is a better offensive team now than what we had on May 1st.The front of the bullpen has been inconsistent all year long mainly due to poor construction. Now Davey likes 2 long men in the bullpen which I think he has in Gorzo and Balester. Here's where the difference is in my opinion, its this small ball/smart ball thing. This team aggressiveness to get that ONE RUN isn't there. Riggleman played for the one run. Davey plays for big innings. Riggleman had a slightly better feel for the pitchers. Riggleman had a few walk-off HRs (Morse/Espinosa/Ramos) and Davey hasn't had any so far and he is due.

  185. Gonat - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:38 PM

    Steve M. said… Bingo! That has to be the focus for the remainder of the year. A winning record (82-80)and 3rd place. It is doable and that is what a team with the recent history of 90 & 100 loss last place finishes needs to build on for 2012 and not just for the players and potential Free Agents, but for the fans too.August 17, 2011 11:32 AM _________________________________Interesting discussion yesterday on Mark's "Setting up for a strong finish". So Tom Boswell writes similar sentiments as SteveM with Boswell flair. Boswell writes…"Like any perennial loser, the Nats feel pressure to show their own players and fans, as well as free agents and stars with no-trade clauses, that they are making true progress." "If the Nats get to .500 this year, or finish ahead of the Marlins and Mets, they’ll do it the hard way…"

  186. A DC Wonk - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:40 PM

    Anonymous8 said… You can't pin it on one player, one play is the point. What about Gomes? What about Morse? What about Burnett? What about Matteus? What about Morse earlier in the game with 2 on base? I'm not happy with Ramos at-bat. Wish he had a take sign from Davey. Hernandez threw the perfect pitch thinking he would be aggressive. Ramos got on top of the ball. Not a great ball to drive. Ramos has been a decent hitter in game on the line situations. It happens. Step back from the ledge. Geez.Right on, A8. The criticisms here are ridiculous, and one tiny little change and everybody would be jumping for joy that we won a game that Cueto started. (Anyone remember that the pre-game Vegas odds of a Nats win was 18%)As for criticisms of Ramos — let's not forget he's just turned 24. Hello? He's going to make some mistakes. Putting on a take sign is ridiculous. Yes, Ramos should have been selective and looking only for his pitch but, you know, sometimes 24 year old rookies get fooled against MLB pitching.(I just saw JoeSeamhead's description above — great comment — I heartily recommend it).As for criticisms of Davey, taking him out after 5 pitches (as suggested above) would have been utterly ridiculous. It wasn't the 7th game of the world series. How many lefties does he have in that situation? He's gotta use what he has.As for the comment above:All I know is Nats were 2 over 500 when Riggs left and…If that's all you know, then there's a whole lot you need to learn. (Anybody remember what a lousy career record Joe Torre used to have after he had managed the Mets for a number of years?)More criticisms of Davey:The second half of the season has been his tantrum – he doesn't like the pitching staff the way it is, so – here – I'll show you why it's bad.Riiiight. This is a perfect example of not understanding short term pain for long term gain. You play your pitchers to see what you have next year, to help establish (or, in some cases, re-establish) confidence (which is why you generally don't take a pitcher out after 5 pitches), and so forth. Burnett's one of a very few lefty relievers. The Nats need the lefties they have (at least for August).And if the commenters here are mad now, wait until September, when rookies get played, and get left in "too long", because the team is building for next year, and thinks it is a higher priority then hitting .500 this year.Seamhead and A8 — nice posts!

  187. A DC Wonk - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:50 PM

    Bingo! That has to be the focus for the remainder of the year. A winning record (82-80)and 3rd place.No, no, a thousand times no.It is doable and that is what a team with the recent history of 90 & 100 loss last place finishes needs to build on for 2012 and not just for the players and potential Free Agents, No, no, a thousand times no.Look, free agents and players, etc., all know what direction the Nats are heading in. (Anybody read the above comments re: Purke?) With our young core, and with LaRoche and Strass coming back next year, and Harper and Rendon and etc., waiting in the wings . . . Much better to focus on being competitive in 2012 and playoffs in 2013 than trying to reach .500 in 2011 to impress other players, or even fans. If the Nats are competitive in 2012 and playoffs in 2013, don't worry, the fans will come.

  188. Anonymous8 - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:50 PM

    Wonk, here is an interesting quote from Davey:“All season I asked ’em, ‘Man, how are you doin’ it?’ All the things I was warning them about started happening as soon as I got here.”

  189. NatsLady - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:59 PM

    Someone posted, Is Davey going to blow out Clip's and Storen's arms to make 80 wins vs. 75?? (paraphrasing). BINGOI'm sorry Ramos didn't take in an "OBVIOUS" take situation. But he's a rookie and a catcher, and a very talented one at that. With luck, Pudge will be around to tell him what he coulda shoulda done. But I'm not worried what other front-offices think of the Nats– we have a GREAT farm system and a young team. If free agents don't want to be a part of it, their loss. Wally, I loved that Regis line, LOL– really.Guess what? It's August 18, and we are NOT gonna lose a hundred games this year!

  190. Gonat - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:05 PM

    This is a good Purke video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UU-31efx6w&feature=relatedI don't know how long John LannEn will be here as he is a Free Agent after 2013, but the Nats are putting together an impressive pipeline of quality lefties. Milone, Purke, Turnbull, and this Detwiler kid.You want to compete in the NL East? You better have quality lefties in the starting rotation and in the bullpen.

  191. NatsLady - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:08 PM

    Saw that Jerry Hairston had a good game in Milwaukee yesterday. I would root for him, but his last remarks left a bad taste. I'll root for Nyjer's team. :)

  192. Joe Seamhead - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:09 PM

    I know that "the buck stops here" pertains to Davey, but doesn't Steve McCatty also play a part in bullpen management, especially in the early days of the midseason manager change? I had a good view of the dugout on the night when we left Livo in and blew the big lead against the Cubs. It sure looked like those two were in a heated exchange.Nats Jack, I agree that Ramos should have taken the first pitch last night, though often some pitchers have a perpencity to throw a first pitch fastball, and you may not see another one the rest of the AB. If you go up looking fastball, you never swing at anything other then a fastball. With very few exceptions, you should never swing at any off speed pitch on the first pitch. My main point is, it's easy to see it was a slider that ended up low and away with TV replays, not always so easy to see in the batter's box.As to Mick saying that we need a Billy Martin type manager, I say, yes, Billy won everywhere he went, but he also left everywhere he went in shambles. Martin chewed up more pitchers and spit them out then any manager that I ever saw, the worst case being Ron Guidry. Billy would've had a Clippard type guy pitching two innings every night until his arm was shot. This is certainly not the year to over extend our young guys.

  193. Joe Seamhead - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:11 PM

    When I said you never swing at anything other then a fastball, I meant on the first pitch.

  194. SCNatsFan - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:20 PM

    NatsLady, I said that about the arms and think we as fans need to balance our wanting to win now vs. realizing we need to shine the pieces for when we are really ready instead of blowing them up now.Ramos, I'm still upset. I don't want to hear he's 24; he's a major league starting catcher and has been playing for years, probably always being one of the better players at any level. He keeps trying to hit like he is better then the pitchers which isn't true at this level. It's not like he has learned this from many of his other poor ABs this season; time to get your head in the game young man and realize talent can only take you so far, at this level there are no gimmees.

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

    Re-posting a Don Rickles – Regis Philbin twitter post here? We have reached a new low. The world might be officially coming to an end.

  196. NatsLady - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:22 PM

    @Seamhead: yeah, would have like to be a fly on someone's shoulder for that one. Several times Davey has said things contradicting McCatty, not quite disparaging but close. I've watch Cat in action, and I would hate for Davey's ego to get in the way of a solid pitching coach. http://www.thenatsblog.com/2010-articles/january/an-insight-into-nationals-pitching-coach-steve-mccatty.html

  197. A DC Wonk - Aug 18, 2011 at 3:31 PM

    As to Mick saying that we need a Billy Martin type manager, I say, yes, Billy won everywhere he went, but he also left everywhere he went in shambles. Martin chewed up more pitchers and spit them out then any manager that I ever saw, the worst case being Ron Guidry. Billy would've had a Clippard type guy pitching two innings every night until his arm was shot. This is certainly not the year to over extend our young guys.Let me pile on for two more points:1. Davey has _also_ won everywhere he's been — and that's three teams in two leagues.2. A lot of folks were saying, last year around this time, "what we need is a Buck Showalter type manager, see what the O's are doing". Ahem, how's that working out for them?Ramos, I'm still upset. I don't want to hear he's 24; he's a major league starting catcher and has been playing for yearsHe's a major league starting catcher who's in his rookie season. He's only been playing against MLB-level pitching for one year — he has around 400 lifetime plate appearances in the big leagues. And, guess what, while he's not perfect — but he's fourth on the team in terms of WAR (playing only in 87 games).As others have said: yeah, you only swing at a fastball in that situation — but it's not always easy to see if the pitch is a fastball or not until one starts to swing (has anyone here ever faced a big league slider?)(Anybody remember the Mets' Carlos Beltran ending game 7 NLCS by striking out looking? The point being: even the best get fooled.)

  198. Golfersal - Aug 18, 2011 at 4:04 PM

    Dave…The Nats are giving 5% discount for paying on September 15. For my $7,200 tickets that is a savings of $350. Of course nothing to sneeze about but I now have to come up with at least $1,800 before the season is over and have to pay about $5,700 before the year is up. According to my ticket guy, I have to pay a deposit on September 15 or lose my tickets, since I have front row I am forced to pay up now.Yes you are right we still have red carpet rewards but I still don't like to give my money to some organization seven months before I reap the rewards of getting to go to a game.It's just getting earlier and earlier to pay off my tickets.

  199. Anonymous - Aug 18, 2011 at 4:21 PM

    A winning team when Johnson took over??? They had to win 12 out of 13 to get there, it was inevitable that they would revert to form regardless of who was managing. I'm not sure what some folks expectations were for this year but they are better than they've been in the past and are building a solid future. As far as Ramos goes, let's talk again when he's an all-star`(I personally think he has that kind of potential). I'll be glad to help Desmond pack when he gets traded this winter…

  200. Pay up and STFU, not necessarily in that order - Aug 18, 2011 at 4:42 PM

    Yes you are right we still have red carpet rewards but I still don't like to give my money to some organization seven months before I reap the rewards of getting to go to a game.Well perhaps you should have gone for the Bob Uecker front row seats instead, then you wouldn't be having this problem. You're complaining about being given the right of first refusal (at a discount, yet) for prime seats next season and being asked to put your money where your mouth is by ponying up a deposit to hold those seats for you. There may well be other people who are asking about those seats now and who are willing to pay for them now – either present STH looking to upgrade their seats or new STH. Why should the club turn them down just because you say you want to renew? You don't own those seats, you're just renting them year to year. Even the most "loyal" of renters can and will fly the coop when their lease is up. Your word means nothing without cash on hand to back it up. What part of that don't you understand?The alternative, of course, would be for the Nats to go to Personal Seat Licenses or force everyone into multi-year contracts like they do now for the Presidents Club. Bet you'd love that, wouldn't you?

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

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

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

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

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