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Game 122: Reds at Nats

Aug 18, 2011, 7:20 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
It's the rubber game of the series against the Reds tonight at Nationals Park.

Davey Johnson tried out a new-look lineup last night, with Ian Desmond hitting leadoff for the first time since mid-April. That new look didn't exactly produce a whole lot — aside from Ryan Zimmerman's ninth-inning homer — but in their defense, the Nationals were up against a dynamite starter in Johnny Cueto.

So Davey will stick with this lineup for at least another day, hoping it fares better tonight against Bronson Arroyo, the veteran right-hander who has struggled this season but has posted a 3.60 ERA over his last three starts.

Jordan Zimmermann, meanwhile, gets the ball for what is going to be one of his final starts of the season. If you're keeping track of such things, Zimmermann's innings count currently stands at 145, so he's got roughly 15 more to go before he's shut down.

I'm back at Nationals Park tonight, so plenty of updates to come, including highlights from Matt Purke's introductory press conference…

REDS at NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
TV: MASN
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 187
Weather: Chance of storms, 85 degrees, Wind 9 mph RF to LF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (58-63)
SS Ian Desmond
CF Rick Ankiel
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Michael Morse

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115 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Anonymous - Aug 18, 2011 at 7:23 PM

    Continued. How bad are the Nationals at the plate? The Nationals are so bad that they not only swing and miss the baseball, they sometimes don't even hit air. Think about.

  2. Anonymous - Aug 18, 2011 at 7:30 PM

    Anonymous at 3:23 Ha- frickin'-HaAnonymous at 3:30

  3. N. Cognito - Aug 18, 2011 at 7:35 PM

    Desmond leading off again!Last night my son and I were hoping that Detwiler would get on base so Desmond wouldn't lead off the next inning.What the hell is "think about?"

  4. Anonymous - Aug 18, 2011 at 7:36 PM

    sorry, think about it.

  5. Grandstander - Aug 18, 2011 at 7:47 PM

    Don't know if it was posted already, but Marc Hulet at FanGraphs praising Rizzo and his aggressiveness in the draft. Worth a read.http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/king-of-the-draft-the-washington-nationals/

  6. NatsLady - Aug 18, 2011 at 8:02 PM

    Grandstander, thanks for the link, I had not read that story, though heard a lot of positive comments on podcasts.The odds are better tonight, 52-48 in the Nats favor. However, rain is also given a 50% chance.

  7. Waddu eye no - Aug 18, 2011 at 8:14 PM

    J Zimm full game shutout!!!!Y not?gyfng

  8. Unkyd - Aug 18, 2011 at 8:15 PM

    Regarding Youth, Inexperience, Excuses, and Reasons…Raise your hands…… Everybody who took their folks' advice, every time it was offered, and never had to learn anything "the hard way"…. I'm waiting….. Yeah, that's what I thought. The REASON we're seeing so many silly swings, and bad choices is because we're building a YOUNG team. A young, talented team. These are not the ribbon clerks who've been driving you crazy, for the last 7 years. And they'll be even younger next year, so if watching silly swings, on bad first pitches, in critical situations represents a health risk to your blood pressure, think about a lot of golf and fishing, for the next year or so. 'Cause if Davey's the smart old skipper I think he is, he'll keep letting his boyz learn the hard way, so the image in their heads the following year, will be the first hand knowledge of what happens when you don't take that pitch, as opposed th the advice the hitting coach keeps telling you…. Heck, I was in my mid-40s, when I lost a finger, doing something I'd been warned about, multiple times… It's human nature (for guys, anyway…) to be convinced that you know it ALL… Until proof to the contrary goes upside yo haid. So let's file this frustration away, to be smiled at, in Sept. of '14, as we pull away from the rest of the NL East. But keep in mind….. Harper, Rendon, Goodwin, Purke, and maybe a couple others will still be learning the hard way…:)

  9. Unkyd - Aug 18, 2011 at 8:19 PM

    ….. And, if everybody learned everything the needed to know about baseball, in little league…. Why would there be minor leagues?

  10. Unkyd - Aug 18, 2011 at 8:21 PM

    Oh yeah……. GYFNGOGOGOGO!!!!!!

  11. NatsLady - Aug 18, 2011 at 8:26 PM

    From the previous thread: the Werth at lead-off experiment was, if I count correctly, 12 games in June, 10 with Riggs and 2 with McClaren. During that time the Nats were 9-3 (happy times). Werth went 9 for 49 for a .183 BA. On June 10 he was batting .244, and on June 27 he was batting .220. Certainly the team was a success in that period, but I'm not sure Werth was at his best in the role.

  12. NatsLady - Aug 18, 2011 at 8:33 PM

    Navy Nats– if you read this, I will be at the games Saturday and Sunday. Will have the Cubs hat for your friend and a couple of other items they gave out free.If you get an extra Desi bobblehead, I will take it off your hands, since I have no chance of getting one. Or maybe a Filly fan will not want hers…

  13. JD - Aug 18, 2011 at 8:33 PM

    NatsLady, That's too small a sample to mean very much. I would revisit because Werth is also having better at bats recently.

  14. NatsLady - Aug 18, 2011 at 8:38 PM

    JD, agree it's a very small sample. However, revisiting Werth at leadoff will be up to Davey. We'll see if he takes advice from us. :)

  15. Grandstander - Aug 18, 2011 at 9:05 PM

    NatsLady, this is one of the scenarios where batting average really shines as an inferior stat.As a leadoff hitter, counting the whole season, Werth has a .163 average, but he also has a .281 OBP. He's not a prototypical speedy leadoff guy, but he does have speed. Leading off he swiped 2 bags in 12 games. That would extrapolate to 27 over the course of a full season. Now, those aren't amazing numbers or anything, but they're definitely not as bad as his AVG suggest. He can get on base and steal, something you want in your leadoff guy. Let's look at those 2 factors (OBP and SB) for the team as a whole.In OBP, Werth is 3rd on the team, behind only Morse and Zimm (neither of whom are going to lead off). His OBP is .331, ahead of Ankiel (.312), Bernadina (.312), Espinosa (.308) and Desmond (.277).While Desmond still has the most SB on the team with 20. Werth is certainly in the mix there too, with 14. But Desmond's also been caught 7 times, Werth only 3. Bernadina is the only other National with more than Werth on the season at 16.And to double down on the OBP argument, Werth is absolutely crushing the team in walks with 62 on the year. That's a stout 12.4 BB%, putting him in the top 10 in the league.I'm not saying it's clearly the way to go, I'm just saying you could make the argument.

  16. Unkyd - Aug 18, 2011 at 9:11 PM

    Actually meant Sept. of '13…….

  17. Big Cat - Aug 18, 2011 at 9:17 PM

    Another J Zimmerman game. Shut those bums out tonight Zim and go get a beer at the local pub

  18. Anonymous - Aug 18, 2011 at 9:22 PM

    Doesn't it seem like we run about half as much with Davey at the helm. Under Riggs we were running at will, taking second and then 3rd. Anybody got any stats on Riggs/Davey steals/attempts.

  19. gonatsgo - Aug 18, 2011 at 9:28 PM

    I actually feel that Bo Porter has been a little subdued. I am wondering if he and McCatty stay if the present manager returns. Porter seemed to be the catalyst for a lot of the running. The team also seemed to be getting an identity for aggressive base-running, bunting for base hits, safety/suicide squeezes, base- stealing – exciting stuff. Now it seems we sit around and wait ( in vain) for the big bomb with runners on. How is that working out for us?

  20. Navy Nats Fan - Aug 18, 2011 at 9:28 PM

    Nats Lady – I'll let you know – trying to decide on Saturday, will need to pay dearly for tickets but it might be worth it. I will be there Sunday, so one way or another it will work.ehay2k – how about 6:45 on the 24th at the STH Service window to the left of the CF gate as you come in.

  21. Navy Nats Fan - Aug 18, 2011 at 9:30 PM

    Oh, for Nats Lady and ehay2k – what state do you call home or have the strongest connection to?

  22. josh f - Aug 18, 2011 at 9:52 PM

    On my way to the game, rain jacket in hand. Go Nats!

  23. NatsLady - Aug 18, 2011 at 9:52 PM

    Navy, you will be lucky to get tickets for Saturday. I went over to the box office on Tuesday, and they only had singles, even for the Diamond Club.Not a state– District of Columbia.

  24. Grandstander - Aug 18, 2011 at 9:53 PM

    RE: Stealing bases under Davey vs. RiggsUnder Riggs – 62 stolen bases (0.8/game), 18 caught stealing (0.2/game), 77.5 SB%Under Davey – 21 stolen bases (0.5/game), 10 caught stealing (0.2/game), 67.7 SB%So not only is team running less, but they're running less effectively.Over the season, the Nats are 5th in the league in SB with 88. In August, we're in dead last, with only 3 SB. However, we're also 6th in SLG %, with .427, ahead of the Phillies, Cards and Braves. That's compared to .378 on the season.Bottom Line – Under Riggs, we averaged 3.9 runs/game. Under Davey, we average 3.8/game. So nothing really has changed. In fact, before last night, the last time we failed to put more than 1 run on the board was the final game in LA on July 24th, a 3-1 loss.

  25. natsfan1a - Aug 18, 2011 at 10:17 PM

    Go, Z'nn! Go, NATS!!

  26. NatsLady - Aug 18, 2011 at 10:28 PM

    Leaving for the game. Need about a 1 hour rain delay so I can see the whole game. Thanks. :)

  27. SCNatsFan - Aug 18, 2011 at 10:29 PM

    Unless Johnson picks up a bat and strolls to the plate I'd expect little to change, maybe an uptick in offense from Zim returning and not wasting ABs on LaRoche. Same players will play like they play. Good article on the Nats draft picks other then our 1st rounders… if that article doesn't excite you then wake up!

  28. Gonat - Aug 18, 2011 at 10:29 PM

    Where is Yonder Alonzo in their lineup? Lefty batter….maybe they don't like the way he tracked balls on defense on Tuesday.

  29. Gonat - Aug 18, 2011 at 10:37 PM

    The good news tonight: Clippard is available if Jordan doesn't go 9 innings!

  30. N. Cognito - Aug 18, 2011 at 11:03 PM

    Unkyd said… "Raise your hands…… Everybody who took their folks' advice, every time it was offered, and never had to learn anything "the hard way"…."Hand raised.Also, I never lie.

  31. Unkyd - Aug 18, 2011 at 11:08 PM

    Hat's off, N!

  32. natsfan1a - Aug 18, 2011 at 11:20 PM

    teeheeN. Cognito said… Unkyd said… "Raise your hands…… Everybody who took their folks' advice, every time it was offered, and never had to learn anything "the hard way"…." Hand raised. Also, I never lie. August 18, 2011 7:03 PM

  33. baseballswami - Aug 18, 2011 at 11:46 PM

    The pitchers still don't seem to be totally in sync and in rhythm with Jesus Flores. Pudge is sorely missed in a lot of ways.

  34. Unkyd - Aug 18, 2011 at 11:49 PM

    Attaboy Desi!!!

  35. Anonymous - Aug 18, 2011 at 11:51 PM

    Oh, Desi…..and Ankiel….. long night again?

  36. Anonymous - Aug 19, 2011 at 12:34 AM

    Hello????????????

  37. Wally - Aug 19, 2011 at 12:34 AM

    So, where is everyone tonight?

  38. Anonymous - Aug 19, 2011 at 12:37 AM

    New rule… Zimmerman and Morse are the only guys allowed to swing for home runs. Everyone else should choke up and try to scratch out a few lousy singles. Wow…does this team need a few lousy .280 hitting singles hitters. Instead we have a half dozen .220 hitters who might win one game out of 20 with a bomb, but ruin the other 19 with K's and unproductive at bats.

  39. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 19, 2011 at 12:37 AM

    Beats me. I just got here. I'm actually not minding Bob and FP interviewing Purke and just letting us watch the game in the meantime.

  40. baseballswami - Aug 19, 2011 at 12:40 AM

    I know Jordan is throwing a lot of pitches but he has gotten squeezed on some pitches early also.

  41. gonatsgo - Aug 19, 2011 at 12:43 AM

    The schedule coming up looks grim – 6 games against the phils and dbacks, division leaders – both of them. ugh

  42. RickH - Aug 19, 2011 at 1:01 AM

    Heard Purke on the radio with Charlie and Dave and then saw him on TV with Bob and F.P. Seems like a quality guy.

  43. RickH - Aug 19, 2011 at 1:01 AM

    Great catch, Gomes!!!

  44. baseballswami - Aug 19, 2011 at 1:06 AM

    Purke – he sure did say "sir" a lot. I think fp and carp found it quite amusing. By the way – Danny got robbed on that Sappelt catch.

  45. FS - Aug 19, 2011 at 1:13 AM

    gonatsgo, it could have been worse. we could be playing those teams at their stadium. I am happy we are at home.baseballswami, just saw that play by Sappelt. Totally agree with you. That could have been a run scoring double if he messes it up.Did not see the catch nor the home run by Flores, but glad we are leading. If our pitcher can see five pitches, why can't Desi? I know seeing pitches is not the best indicator of a good hitter or not. But our pitcher needs some time between innings.

  46. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 19, 2011 at 1:14 AM

    So, Jesus Flores is hitting home runs again, Chien Ming Wang is winning starts, Strasburg is coming back, Zimmerman is healthy, and Mark is at the game. Say Mark, how about going downstairs and taking some pictures or something? Or have we worn that charm out?

  47. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 19, 2011 at 1:17 AM

    So refresh my memory, has Flores caught Wang yet? That has to be the comeback battery of the year.

  48. baseballswami - Aug 19, 2011 at 1:39 AM

    Pretty quiet night up in here….

  49. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 19, 2011 at 1:42 AM

    So let's start doing the wave…Just kidding.GOMES! GOMES! GOMES!

  50. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 19, 2011 at 1:47 AM

    9:38 p.m. — Not so good news from Harrisburg, where Geoff Morrow of the Patriot-News reports Bryce Harper injured his right leg running from first to third base. Manager Tony Beasley had to help him off the field.Please tell me that didn't happen at 9:14, as I was posting about people coming back.

  51. Anonymous - Aug 19, 2011 at 1:58 AM

    What happened to Ryan Mattheus?

  52. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 19, 2011 at 1:59 AM

    nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix.nix…Sounds better when you have a whole bunch of people chanting it…

  53. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 19, 2011 at 2:02 AM

    I think they should have a Big Ben-style gong sound for foul balls to the mask. BONNNG! BONNNNG!Just so the catcher isn't the only one hearing it.

  54. FS - Aug 19, 2011 at 2:06 AM

    WOW sec 3, are you bored or what? :P

  55. Drew8 - Aug 19, 2011 at 2:08 AM

    Worst control in the National League:Henry Rodriguez 12 wild pitches in 46.1 innings !!Kuroda (LAD) 11 wild pitches in 153.1 inningsGarcia (St. Louis) 10 wild pitches in 152.2 inningsI sure hope they didn't make Matt Purke watch WTH-ROD

  56. Gonat - Aug 19, 2011 at 2:14 AM

    No, Michael Morse didn't just do that…1st pitch swinging into a double play with bases loaded. Where have we seen that before?

  57. Drew8 - Aug 19, 2011 at 2:14 AM

    For God's sake!Take a pitch. Work the count.

  58. CBinDC - Aug 19, 2011 at 2:14 AM

    ok what is it a rule on this team swing at the first pitch with the bases loaded …… that was as damn stupid as last night ……nothing nothing nothing again again again

  59. SCNatsFan - Aug 19, 2011 at 2:15 AM

    Our hitters have to be amongst the most stupid in all of baseball.Three straight walks and we hit the first pitch into a DP. C'mon guys.

  60. Gonat - Aug 19, 2011 at 2:16 AM

    Kardiac Kids just can't make things easy on themselves.

  61. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 19, 2011 at 2:20 AM

    Nah, I'm just easily amused, FS.Anybody know what Clippard has tattooed under his left upper arm?

  62. Mark'd - Aug 19, 2011 at 2:21 AM

    Davey walked over to Eckstein and turned his back towards the field and was very animated in the dugout. I don't think they were talking where they were eating dinner after the game.

  63. A DC Wonk - Aug 19, 2011 at 2:27 AM

    ok what is it a rule on this team swing at the first pitch with the bases loadedAnd what's even dumber than that? Suppose it's bases loaded and you take the pitch and it's a ball. So it's 1-0.So, the pitcher throws a splitter and the batter swung! Can you believe it? Don't they learn this stuff in little league?Of course, I hope you all realize that I'm talking about Gomes' two-run single.

  64. A DC Wonk - Aug 19, 2011 at 2:29 AM

    Mark'd said… Davey walked over to Eckstein and turned his back towards the field and was very animated in the dugout.Oh, to be a fly on the dugout wall . . .

  65. FS - Aug 19, 2011 at 2:32 AM

    LOL this team loves getting out on first pitch. Very respectful of opposing pitchers. Don't want them to be too tired. Werth got a single in a five pitch at bat to start the inning, but the next three batters got out in four pitches. Epic!!

  66. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 19, 2011 at 2:34 AM

    I know we discussed this last night, among many, many others, but again, it's not about first pitch, it's about the hitter's pitch. The problem is when you get fooled, which is why the guys on the other team get paid, too.

  67. Gonat - Aug 19, 2011 at 2:40 AM

    Mark'd said… Davey walked over to Eckstein and turned his back towards the field and was very animated in the dugout. I don't think they were talking where they were eating dinner after the game. August 18, 2011 10:21 PM __________________________Was his head bopping up and down like he was crazed or his shoulder shrugs and hands in the air like he does when he is p*ssed at an umpire?

  68. Gonat - Aug 19, 2011 at 2:41 AM

    BRIAN BIXLER!!!!!!!!!!!!

  69. RickH - Aug 19, 2011 at 2:41 AM

    BIXLER!!!

  70. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 19, 2011 at 2:41 AM

    BIXLER! BIXLER! BIXLER!

  71. Anonymous - Aug 19, 2011 at 2:42 AM

    Why don't the Reds batters swing at the 1st pitch?

  72. Anonymous - Aug 19, 2011 at 2:42 AM

    and Davey wants a bench that can hit. BIXLER!

  73. Mark'd - Aug 19, 2011 at 2:45 AM

    @Gonat, the latter like he was upset with an ump!

  74. Gonat - Aug 19, 2011 at 2:47 AM

    KARDIAC KIDS! Are you kidding me!

  75. Anonymous - Aug 19, 2011 at 2:47 AM

    Shouldn't have been that close. What do they say, waisted opportunities.

  76. Gonat - Aug 19, 2011 at 2:48 AM

    How good was JZim, Clip and Storen.

  77. A DC Wonk - Aug 19, 2011 at 2:51 AM

    FS said… LOL this team loves getting out on first pitch.So, now I'm gonna be a Wonk and ask:Is this true? Do the Nats do it more than most teams? or does it just seem that way? Anyone have any stats on this?

  78. SCNatsFan - Aug 19, 2011 at 2:52 AM

    With the September callups right around the corner Bixler might not see the field too much; good for him to make a big play.Boy the Nats don't make things easy on themselves, do they????

  79. Anonymous8 - Aug 19, 2011 at 2:53 AM

    Way to take another series. JWerth and Gomes clutch. Flores with a longball. Espy with some hits and Bixler with a defensive play that saved the game.JZim lowers his ERA and moves to 11th in the NL.

  80. Mick - Aug 19, 2011 at 2:56 AM

    OK, i feel better and the boys played well tonight. Now, can we please get ona 5-6 game streak

  81. Gonat - Aug 19, 2011 at 2:57 AM

    SCNatsFan said… With the September callups right around the corner Bixler might not see the field too much; good for him to make a big play.Boy the Nats don't make things easy on themselves, do they???? August 18, 2011 10:52 PM ___________________________________Bench role players don't need to play every day. Nice to see Bixler step up again as a defensive replacement. He also can be key as a pinch runner. He's making $400,000 a year pro rated for the time he is up and I guarantee you he isn't complaining.

  82. N. Cognito - Aug 19, 2011 at 3:03 AM

    Anonymous said… "What do they say, waisted opportunities."No. They say, "wasted opportunities,"A DC Wonk said… "Of course, I hope you all realize that I'm talking about Gomes' two-run single."No, I didn't realize that, since the single came on a 1-0 count.

  83. baseballswami - Aug 19, 2011 at 3:05 AM

    Winning is just soooooo much better than losing. Either JZim didn't have his best stuff tonight or he was not getting calls, or he isn't in sync with Flores – whatever – he battled his butt off. It took him a lot of long counts, but he just bore down and kept zeroes on the board. Bravo Jordan! Storen actually struggled a little, too,but got the job done. Do I hear the fans yelling droooooo?Hoping Harper and Mattheus are ok.I love to see Espi, Gomes and Werth, Flores hit, Bixler make a great contribution.Nice team effort.

  84. N. Cognito - Aug 19, 2011 at 3:08 AM

    Sec 3, My Sofa said… "I know we discussed this last night, among many, many others, but again, it's not about first pitch, it's about the hitter's pitch. The problem is when you get fooled, which is why the guys on the other team get paid, too."Tonight I missed the play entirely. Was flipping between the game and The Civil War and flipped back only in time to see the replay of the Reds completing the double play.Where was the pitch?

  85. Anonymous8 - Aug 19, 2011 at 3:08 AM

    Mick said… OK, i feel better and the boys played well tonight. Now, can we please get ona 5-6 game streak August 18, 2011 10:56 PM Heres what I dont get. Many biatch'd when Ramos swings at the 1st pitch and a more seasoned Morse swings at the 1st pitch with the same results and nobody seems to peeved about it. Why, because the team won. That is why you shouldn't get all worked up about one play.Mick, were you one of those peeved yesterday on the Ramos?

  86. N. Cognito - Aug 19, 2011 at 3:09 AM

    I thought the ump called a good strike zone until about the 7th or 8th inning, then the outside part of the plate got wider. Fortunately, the Nats took advantage of this more than the Reds did.

  87. Drew8 - Aug 19, 2011 at 3:10 AM

    Glad they got the win, but boy, we could use a laugher.I wish they got the sweep, given that the Phils are coming to town, but it's good to win the series.As we wait for word on Harper's leg, we shouldn't lose sight of two excellent pitching performances down on the farm.In the Harrisburg game, Danny Rosenbaum improved to 2-0 at AA with a 1.40 ERA.At Syracuse, Brad Peacock threw a gem, giving up one hit in 7 innings and improving his ERA to 3.55.In six AAA starts since his lousy debut, Peacock is 3-0 with a 2.13 ERA.See you in September…..

  88. Gonat - Aug 19, 2011 at 3:11 AM

    baseballswami said… Winning is just soooooo much better than losing. Either JZim didn't have his best stuff tonight or he was not getting calls, __________________________JZim had a lively fastball. I think he didn't get calls and I understand the strategy the Reds had was not to swing early in the count and get him out of the game quickly.He definitely got squeezed just like you saw with Storen not getting the black.

  89. N. Cognito - Aug 19, 2011 at 3:11 AM

    "Heres what I dont get. Many biatch'd when Ramos swings at the 1st pitch and a more seasoned Morse swings at the 1st pitch with the same results and nobody seems to peeved about it."I'll be peeved if I find out it wasn't a good pitch to hit.It's indicative of an ongoing problem with this team.

  90. Gonat - Aug 19, 2011 at 3:15 AM

    N. Cognito: From what Mark'd said, Davey chewed on Eckstein in the dugout so should we assume it was talked about after Ramos and it happened again. 3rd time in a week if you include the Cubbies game. Also, who has seen the Everlast heavy bag they installed in the tunnel? Can Mark Zuckerman comment on both?

  91. Gonat - Aug 19, 2011 at 3:17 AM

    N. Cognito said… I thought the ump called a good strike zone until about the 7th or 8th inning, then the outside part of the plate got wider. Fortunately, the Nats took advantage of this more than the Reds did. August 18, 2011 11:09 PM ______________________________You know what, that is a good point. Not sure from a pitchers perspective if Drew would agree.

  92. Gonat - Aug 19, 2011 at 3:25 AM

    2 news hits. Denard Span to the DL after suffering from continued severe headaches.Austin Kearns released after clearing waivers.

  93. Drew8 - Aug 19, 2011 at 3:30 AM

    D.C. Wonk:I don't have seasonal stats, but tonight the Nats were retired on the first pitch for six of their 24 outs according to the pitch by pitch rundown on MLB.com.They were all late in the game. Maybe the guys had dinner reservations:1. Gomes grounded out in the 5th.2. Desmond popped out in the 5th.3. Flores flew out in the 6th.4. Morse #$%^&* in the 7th.5. Espinosa flew out in the 8th.6. Gomes bounced into the force in the 8th.

  94. Unkyd - Aug 19, 2011 at 3:34 AM

    N.Cognito said:DC Wonk said:"Of course, I hope you all realize that I'm talking about Gomes' two-run single."No, I didn't realize that, since the single came on a 1-0 count.August 18, 2011 11:03 PM……………………….Dood, that's just how Wonky described it.

  95. Grandstander - Aug 19, 2011 at 3:35 AM

    Fun Fact: The Nats are slashing .310/.322/.515 on the first pitch. In fact, they're good in every situation where they don't have 2 strikes. With 2 strikes, in every situation, they're slashing .167/.234/.246.

  96. Anonymous - Aug 19, 2011 at 3:37 AM

    I noticed that the post-game manager/press sessions are now being done at a table with a backdrop. I guess the spontaneous chats in the office weren't working.

  97. N. Cognito - Aug 19, 2011 at 3:40 AM

    "In fact, they're good in every situation where they don't have 2 strikes."That's pretty much universal in baseball."Dood, that's just how Wonky described [Gomes' single]"It wan't clear…but that happens a lot on a message board.

  98. N. Cognito - Aug 19, 2011 at 3:44 AM

    "You know what, that is a good point. Not sure from a pitchers perspective if Drew would agree."He had a number of pitches that another umpire might have been calling strikes, but I thought they were off the plate. The wide pitches that the ump called were the ones around the knees. The one Reds inning ended on a called 3rd strike that was, by the book, easily outside and low, but not by much on either.

  99. baseballswami - Aug 19, 2011 at 3:44 AM

    So thankful we didn't give away Drew for Span, who is on the dl with post-concussion problems – as earlier reported by Gonat. Someone also mentioned a battery of Wang/Flores and comebacks – Jordan is making a comeback, too. We seem to have several guys who are coming back from crap — obscurity(Morse), horrible personal stuff ( Gomes) a career collapse and reinvention(Ankiel). I think the team motto needs to be "second chances". Maybe that's what makes them hungry and humble. I like it.

  100. Gonat - Aug 19, 2011 at 4:00 AM

    Bryce Harper, hamstring strain on his right leg. They will re-evaluate tomorrow.

  101. NatsLady - Aug 19, 2011 at 4:02 AM

    1) Y'all might not have been as mad today as yesterday, but Davey mentioned Morse going for the first pitch his postgame interview along with Werth and Ramos yesterday. He is not forgetting those.2) Hot Rod needs to learn how to pitch with runners on base.3) Game was fun, bigger crowd than I thought. Half-hour tain delay was perfect–with light traffic and getting a half-smoke, I was in my seat for the first pitch.

  102. Scooter - Aug 19, 2011 at 5:51 AM

    So it turns out you could have smoked the whole thing, NatsLady!

  103. natsfan1a - Aug 19, 2011 at 10:37 AM

    (rimshot) (Sorry it's late, Scooter, but I went straight to bed after Drew got the last out.)

  104. Anonymous - Aug 19, 2011 at 12:18 PM

    Tonight I missed the play entirely. Was flipping between the game and The Civil WarWhy? You should know who's going to win the Civil War. Watch the frickin' game!

  105. NatsLady - Aug 19, 2011 at 12:32 PM

    Bixler's catch in the 9th is on MLB top plays (Gomes' no–but WE love you!)

  106. N. Cognito - Aug 19, 2011 at 1:12 PM

    Anonymous said… "Why? You should know who's going to win the Civil War. Watch the frickin' game!"I ended up missing the end of the Civil War episode because I was watching the top of the 9th. Anybody know how that Pickett charge thing came out?

  107. Mick - Aug 19, 2011 at 1:21 PM

    To tempting but first of all Bless you Jesus for you Homer, lolN. Cognito. Pickett still got creamed and Gen Lee is still an idiot for ordering it, lol

  108. Mick - Aug 19, 2011 at 1:26 PM

    N Cogniot, I just read your post about was I peeved the other day. you compared Morse to Ramos and your point was why only get mad at Ramos swinging on first pitch. First all Morse can do what he likes, hello, his BA is 80 points higher and he is an All Star and one of the best on base hitters in the game this season. Ramos is struggling an hitting under 230. This is a no brainer.

  109. N. Cognito - Aug 19, 2011 at 1:38 PM

    "First all Morse can do what he likes"BS. If it wasn't a good pitch to hit (still haven't heard where that pitch was), that's inexcusable in that situation. Doesn't matter who's hitting.They certainly weren't too happy in the Nats dugout.

  110. N. Cognito - Aug 19, 2011 at 1:41 PM

    Mick said… "N. Cognito. Pickett still got creamed and Gen Lee is still an idiot for ordering it, lol"Thanks. I just checked the write-up in the paper. Chamberlain came in late and got the win for the Yankees.

  111. Unkyd - Aug 19, 2011 at 1:49 PM

    In the Japanese remake, Lee commits hari-kari…

  112. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 19, 2011 at 2:04 PM

    Also, who has seen the Everlast heavy bag they installed in the tunnel?Have not, but it would be there for BP… helps follow-thru, and it is supposed to help build power. Sort of the bizarroworld version of weighted bats–imagine hitting a 70# baseball, and then a 5.5 oz. one.

  113. natsfan1a - Aug 19, 2011 at 2:37 PM

    N. Cog. wins the interwebz.btw, I wasn't clicking around the dial (I'll explain to all of you kiddies later about how we used to have to get up off the couch to change channels, and we did so using this thingy called the "dial." But I digress. Again.), but I was reading in front of the tv for most of the game. Had recently picked up a copy of Heart of the Game: Life, Death, and Mercy in Minor League America, by S.L. Price. Anyway, the book tells the story of Mike Coolbaugh, the MiLB 1B coach who was struck and killed by a foul ball in 2007. You may recall Price's SI article about Coolbaugh back in the day. I highly recommend the book (fair warning: it's a multi-hanky read), which I could not put down. In addition to detailing Coolbaugh's career in baseball, Price explores his relationships, covering not only his courtship, marriage, and growing family, but also his relationships with other baseball people (including the man who hit the foul ball). The book also provides insights into the business of MiLB, including the numbers game involved in constructing the MLB 40 man roster.The book set me to wondering about how Coolbaugh's family is faring now. Back in the day, there was a memorial fund set up for his wife and kids. I contributed then, but haven't turned up any current info on donations. I did find that there's a memorial golf tournament that takes place each November, and it looks like registration is already full for it. Also found that his brother, Scott, was recently called up as a hitting coach for the Texas Rangers. So I guess I need to start rooting for them. We now return you to your regularly scheduled Nats blog.

  114. m20832 - Aug 19, 2011 at 2:39 PM

    Great Game! Fast little guy aren't you Bixler (Thank God!)?Now let's see youse guys do some damage to the Philthy's.GYFNG!!!

  115. Joe Seamhead - Aug 19, 2011 at 3:23 PM

    N Cognito, I'll tell you how that Pickett's Charge thing really worked out. About a zillion soldiers died and ultimately they opened an overpriced, all you can eat buffet in Gettysburg named in Pickett's honor.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 55 43 --
ATLANTA 54 46 2.0
MIAMI 47 52 8.5
NEW YORK 47 53 9.0
PHILADELPHIA 43 57 13.0
Through Tuesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
WED: Nats at Rockies, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Nats at Reds, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Reds, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Reds, 1:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 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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