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Master of the moment

Aug 20, 2011, 6:38 AM EDT

US Presswire photo
Ryan Zimmerman gets a Gatorade shower from Michael Morse.

The game had begun 5 hours and 19 minutes earlier, with far more fans in the stands, an ominous-looking storm hovering over the ballpark and no reason to believe it would ever get to this point.

Yet there stood Ryan Zimmerman, at 12:25 a.m. Saturday, knowing he would be the final batter in what had become a wild bottom of the ninth.

The Nationals had already rallied from two runs down to tie the Phillies. The bases were loaded. The count was full. Ryan Madson glared at him from the mound. The entire marathon night had come down to this singular moment, a moment that would leave mere mortals shaking with trepidation but incredibly leaves Zimmerman in his ultimate comfort zone.

How is that even possible?

“The pressure’s on him, man,” Zimmerman said, referring to the pitcher. “It’s not on me. I’m like 0-for-whatever against him. I’m supposed to get out.”

Zimmerman, of course, didn’t make an out. He didn’t even come close to making an out. He turned on Madson’s 3-2 fastball and sent it sailing toward the left-field bleachers and into the already large
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  1. Matthew J - Aug 20, 2011 at 7:56 AM

    I am a fat middle-aged man who likes sitting on the couch, drinking beer, and watching baseball. I am a simple baseball fan. But the fairytale ripping into the night ending of this game made me jump out of my seat and throat a primal scream of finally fulfilled achievement. These Nats. These Nats, these Nats, these Nats.

  2. Bill Stoneman - Aug 20, 2011 at 8:59 AM

    I'm with you Matthew, gotta love those Nats.

  3. natsfan1a - Aug 20, 2011 at 10:02 AM

    Love it! (And glad that I set the DVR after I started nodding off on the couch around 10 and went to bed.)

  4. Another_Sam - Aug 20, 2011 at 11:03 AM

    Nice piece, MZ. I was long asleep by this time and missed it all. Thanks for bringing me up to speed.

  5. NatsLady - Aug 20, 2011 at 11:12 AM

    Er, Mark, I know you wrote this in the middle of the night, but Livan got roughed up for four runs and seven hits (not four runs and seven innings) and the pinch hitter who was intentionally walked in the 9th was Jesus Flores not Wilson Ramos.Great story, though!!

  6. Gonat - Aug 20, 2011 at 11:25 AM

    I had a hard time sleeping last night because I was so excited. The replay on MLB Network has Charlie Slowes radio call with the MASN video. It is werth the watch!

  7. Gonat - Aug 20, 2011 at 11:28 AM

    Mark wrote…"The pressure's on him, man," Zimmerman said, referring to the pitcher. "It's not on me. I'm like 0-for-whatever against him. I'm supposed to get out."______________________________Nice!

  8. Natslifer - Aug 20, 2011 at 11:35 AM

    Thanks Mark – what a way to wake up!

  9. Gonat - Aug 20, 2011 at 12:02 PM

    Andrew said… More crazy Zim Walk Off HR trivia. On the May 12 2007 Walk Off HR it was also a Grand Slam and also after midnight and also with 2 outs.Which player scored in both Grand Slams with Zim? Mr. Jesus Flores One more similarity, they were both in a tie game situation too.__________________________________How's about Zim has a total of 3 Grand Slams now and 2 are Walk Offs and in all 3 Grand Slams, Jesus Flores was on base and they are all 9th inning Grand Slams!Coincidence? The odds have to be astronomical especially when you consider Zim's last grand slam was over 4 years ago!Only 2 other players here tonight were on the field the last time Zim hit a Grand Slam and that is Jesus Flores and the other catcher Brian Schneider except Brian now sits in the Phillies dugout.On the May 12, 2007 Walk Off Grand Slam, Jesus Flores also came on as a pinch hitter and was walked.

  10. Whynat - Aug 20, 2011 at 12:03 PM

    Went to the game with my teenage daughter last night. One hour into the rain delay, when dippin dot and popcorn appeasement was no longer working, I looked out at Lake Zimmerman and decided the game wasn't going to be played anyway. "OK, we can go home" "But I left my cell phone in the cupholder by the seats when it started raining""Grrr. OK, get the phone and let's get out of here."Never leave a ballgame during the first rain delay- rookie mistake. Nats have proved they can beat any team in any situation. Future looks bright this morning.

  11. Mick - Aug 20, 2011 at 12:06 PM

    Wow! OK 3 back of 500 now. This is the type of win that can get a team on a huge roll. Yes, they will still need to shut Jordan Z in Sept, but this is an opportunity for some other young arm to step up. Livian is now inconsistent, you get 1 maybe 2 good outings and 2-3 poor.

  12. baseballswami - Aug 20, 2011 at 12:19 PM

    AAAAAh – what a great story. I was at opening night of Nats Park – that was awesome because the entire stadium was pro-Nats, everyone was still in their seats, and all of the media were there. BUT – this was awesome and epic because there was probably NO chance anyone gave us of coming back and winning this game ( NatsLady – did you check the percentages?). Shutting up all of those obnoxious , drunken, invaders is SOOOO sweet. It's pretty sweet when you have to pick your FAVORITE Zim epic walk-off. Let's see – there's just SO many to choose from…… love it! GYFNG!

  13. Softball Girl - Aug 20, 2011 at 12:22 PM

    The MLB record for walkoffs is 12 (tied by six including Ruth, Mantle and Robinson). Zim isn't even halfway through his career yet.Granted as the Nats improve, hopefully he'll have less opportunity to be playing behind in the bottom of the 9th…

  14. JaneB - Aug 20, 2011 at 12:24 PM

    I couldnt sleep either, even though I needed to be early. SO FUN to see the clip of the TV and radio calls! And what great quotes from ZMan and Livo, Mark!Tuesday, we are guaranteed a win because Traveler8 is celebrating her anniversary in the phoofy seats. But that's Tuesday. We need to win at least one more to take this series and teach those phans it probably isn't worth bringing themselves down here.May it be a fast first inning, so Wang gets to the second when he does better. Or maybe I should say, "even better."It's sleepy out today, but mighty happy, ain't it?

  15. natsfan1a - Aug 20, 2011 at 12:37 PM

    Probably won't be around until shortly before game time today so will get in my order now. I'll take one order of LannEn the Philly-Killer and, oh yeah, could you check on the status of that off-his-game Oswalt that I'd ordered? Eh, just box it up for me and I'll take it home with me. 'kay thanks. :-)

  16. LoveDaNats - Aug 20, 2011 at 12:40 PM

    Sat through the 2 !/2 hour rain delay, got into the game and left in the 7th cause hubby had early morning golf! (grrrr!)Saw the walkoff at home but can't believe I missed it again! (Left early Opening Day at Nats Park).*Sigh*

  17. Gonat - Aug 20, 2011 at 12:44 PM

    Mick – http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/standings/index.jspNats are now in sole possession of 3rd place again and 4th behind Atlanta for the Wild Card. http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/pitching/_/sort/blownSavesNow I wasn't aware of this until I saw it on the MLB Network. The Nats lead the league in a very bad category: Blown Saves with 23 by the team. Sure 3 of those blown saves happened in that Marathon against the Chisox except it is still an ugly stat. The Nats also have won many of their blown save games so it doesn't neccesarily mean losses. The Braves have 15 team blown saves.This team's bullpen works so much better when behind in the game like last night. Gorzo, Burnett, Coffey were all excellent.If I were Rizzo, his deficiencies on the team stand out: Lead-off efficiency and bullpen choking. The problem isn't starting pitching on a whole or clutch hitting although some improvement in those can only help.

  18. Anonymous8 - Aug 20, 2011 at 12:58 PM

    So nice to have a walkoff against the Phillies. The Nats had that chance against Roy Halladay on April 13th with Nix and Espi on base and Stairs at bat with 1 out. Yah, different outcome.Also nice to finally come through with bases loaded. Total team win. Ramos stepped up after angering NatsTown just 2 nights ago.

  19. FS - Aug 20, 2011 at 1:07 PM

    Out of eight, only one has come against non-Eastern team (Padres). Six out of other seven against NL East teams: 3 against FLA, 2 against PHI, and 1 against ATL.By looking at career leaders of walk-off home runs and his rate of at least one walk-off HE a year, he should surpass the leaders before he turns 30.Any current players that are not so far behind on this list? Thome has 11 and Ortiz has 10, followed by ARod at 9.What are the chances Zimm gets 12th before these people?

  20. Section 222 - Aug 20, 2011 at 1:10 PM

    I happen to be in Philly for the weekend. The rain delay was perfectly timed to let me catch the last four innings on TV. Considering the opponent, the closer, the Filthy Phans in the park, and the way it ended, this has to be the greatest Nats comeback ever. And it was a great bonus to be able to watch the Phillies postgame show. Here are some choice comments. (No my memory's not that good, I tweeted them at the time.)"3 straight losses for the Phils at #Nats Park. It's a tough place for them right now." "Most hits and runs that Madson has allowed as a reliever since 2005.""The twitterverse is alive, and popping. hope Madson doesn't kick a cooler.""This all started with a 10 pitch at bat by Jayson Werth. Really set the tone."And the best, about Zim:"I have no idea how he barrelled up that ball. This kid is a stud player." Yup.

  21. flynnie - Aug 20, 2011 at 1:11 PM

    Nats Talk Live at 10 a.m. on MASN with Phil Wod and Mike Wallace. Always worth it, especially after a win – a win that should be accompanied by the Potomac parting beneath a star shining in the East!

  22. NatsLady - Aug 20, 2011 at 1:12 PM

    swami – win probability at the top of the 9th – 6.9%. At the beginning of the bottom of the 9th – 8.5%.http://www.fangraphs.com/plays.aspx?date=2011-08-19&team=Nationals&dh=0&season=2011

  23. MikeD - Aug 20, 2011 at 1:12 PM

    LovaDaNats: Left because the hubby had to play golf in the morning? That was one of the more disturbing posts ever at NatI….lol….Shame on him.

  24. Gonat - Aug 20, 2011 at 1:18 PM

    Gonat said… I had a hard time sleeping last night because I was so excited. The replay on MLB Network has Charlie Slowes radio call with the MASN video. It is werth the watch! August 20, 2011 7:25 AM ______________________________http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=18218177&topic_id=&c_id=mlb&tcid=vpp_copy_18218177&v=3FOUND IT!!!!

  25. NatsLady - Aug 20, 2011 at 1:21 PM

    Gonat — the good side of that stat is to get a blown save you have to be ahead in the game…

  26. Gonat - Aug 20, 2011 at 1:32 PM

    NatsLady, very true plus all of Drew Storen's blownies were all eventually won by the Nats.

  27. LoveDaNats - Aug 20, 2011 at 1:33 PM

    @MikeDI know, right?

  28. Richard - Aug 20, 2011 at 1:34 PM

    The Baseball Gods giveth, the Baseball Gods taketh away. We know this. They taketh on July 7th versus the Cubs, which started the Nats down a bumpy road battling with .500, but oooh did they giveth last night. Thank you Baseball Gods — and if it's not asking so much as to rile your darker, vengeful angels, would you please send the Nats a leadoff hitter? (BTW, like Natsfan1a I'm keeping that segment of DVR storage for a long time.)

  29. Anonymous - Aug 20, 2011 at 1:42 PM

    Don't forget Zim's play in the field, too, last night. Can't wait to see him play in the playoffs.

  30. Mr Walk Off - Aug 20, 2011 at 1:45 PM

    The Nats are pulling away from last place and towards .500. Ye.

  31. NatsLady - Aug 20, 2011 at 1:46 PM

    Gonat — thinking about it, the blown save is not a good stat.First of all, how many of the blown saves were Burnett's when he was trying to be a closer. In fact, how many were Burnett's when he was trying to be a reliever? (Sorry, he done good last night).How many were 2 or 3 run blown saves? I remember Drew blowing a 3 run lead and then vulturing the win.How many were home runs given up by Clip when it was his 2nd or 3rd inning of work, or his 2nd or 3rd night of work in a row?How many were blown saves by HRod when he was put in the game with inherited runners? In all, how many were blown saves where there were inherited runners from the starting pitcher?How many were due to Davey not understanding his bullpen (e.g., putting Henry or Burnett in with runners on base)?Coffey and Clip got overworked and blew some saves. Coffey blew a save when he was used as a closer–I think that experiment lasted one game.Burnett was, well, Burnett. There's your "choking."HRod blew saves because he was not being managed properly.I have to go to work, so can't drill down on the stats right now, but looks like I have a light schedule so might be able to do some later.Will be at the game tonight, might get there after it starts… GO NATS!!!

  32. Feel Wood - Aug 20, 2011 at 1:46 PM

    With Wang starting for the Nats tomorrow, if Lidge and Madson both pitch in relief for the Phillies that would be three Zimmerman walk-off victims appearing in a single game. That would have to be a record, I'd think.

  33. Feel Wood - Aug 20, 2011 at 1:46 PM

    With Wang starting for the Nats tomorrow, if Lidge and Madson both pitch in relief for the Phillies that would be three Zimmerman walk-off victims appearing in a single game. That would have to be a record, I'd think.

  34. NatsLady - Aug 20, 2011 at 1:49 PM

    Oh, and how many times after the reliever "blew" the save, was the game still tied (all games) or within 1 run (home game)? In other words, did the bullpen blow the save, or did the bullpen blow the game???

  35. Gonat - Aug 20, 2011 at 1:51 PM

    NatsLady, some context on the stat, it was a piece on MLB Network that the Cardinals have 22 blown saves only 2nd to the Nationals. Problem for the Cardinals is many of those are from their closers.The better stat would be blown saves that result in a loss. Don't have that stat though. Still, team blown saves isn't great in any context if you are leading the league. Burnett by the way has 6.

  36. CBinDC - Aug 20, 2011 at 2:02 PM

    Really nice top see the Curly W on the MLB Quick Pitch set in third position…most of the time you can not see it at all …the replay on Quick Pitch was the MASN video with Charles call…. GREAT THEATER….also Zim lead off and finished the Play of the Day

  37. Gonat - Aug 20, 2011 at 2:03 PM

    Feel Wood said… With Wang starting for the Nats tomorrow, if Lidge and Madson both pitch in relief for the Phillies that would be three Zimmerman walk-off victims appearing in a single game. That would have to be a record, I'd think. August 20, 2011 9:46 AM_____________________________Funny you mention that because Jayson Werth mentioned that Madson threw so many pitches that the Nats may not see him for the rest of the series.

  38. NatsLady - Aug 20, 2011 at 2:06 PM

    Not saying having 23 blown saves is a great stat. It ain't, because even if you eventually win the game, it puts extra stress on both your bullpen and your offense. However, what I'd like to see how many of the blown saves resulted in immediate losses (walkoffs for the other team) or in a less than 50% chance of winning the game. Also, there is a big difference between a 3 run lead and a 1 run lead. With a three run lead, two relievers can give up a run and blow the imaginary save (this has happened!) and the closer can still get the "save." With a 1 run lead, a mistake is a blown save.

  39. Nats Outsider - Aug 20, 2011 at 2:22 PM

    It's time today for Nats fans to check the standings once again: As of this morning, we are in sole possession of 3rd place. It's only a half-game lead, and the Nats have the next two against the Phillies, of course, but it's where we want to be.

  40. Gonat - Aug 20, 2011 at 2:42 PM

    NatsLady, all good points. The blown save stat is more telling for closers and when the game is lost.The better stat is the bullpen judged by earned runs and inherited runs given up on the starters ERA so you are isolating bullpen runs scored. Below, sort in the IS column which shows the Nats lead the NL in that category which is allowing inherited runners scored. The Nats are 23 runs worse than the league average which equates in pythagorean to 4 to 5 more losses. http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/NL/2011-reliever-pitching.shtml

  41. N. Cognito - Aug 20, 2011 at 2:43 PM

    The excitement of last night's game reminded me of a question I had for Nats management the year Nats Park opened – why are there no advance sales windows at Nats Park?

  42. NatsLady - Aug 20, 2011 at 3:17 PM

    N. Cognito — you can buy advance tickets at any window when the game is not on, I do it all the time, make a morning run over there and get tickets for whatever games…. During the games you get advance tickets at a window in the back of the team store, the big one near the centerfield gate. It's open during day games, but closes (for some reason at 4 p.m.). They used to sell advance tickets at all windoes before games, they changed this year, not sure why, probably to cut the lines. So there IS an advance sales window at Nats Park, just hard to find!

  43. NatsLady - Aug 20, 2011 at 3:21 PM

    Also, if you want to buy advance tickets, you can go to the tent and they will take your order and call you back the next day to get credit card info and mail you the tickets (no service charge).

  44. Gonat - Aug 20, 2011 at 3:33 PM

    Charlie Manuel on the 9th inning:"He's [Madson] ahead of all of those hitters except for Zimmerman. Hell, he had two strikes on every one of them. Werth hit the ball good. The rest were quail hits and a ground ball in the hole. The balls found places. Those things happen."

  45. NatsLady - Aug 20, 2011 at 3:40 PM

    @Gonat– agree, inherited runners a much better stat. Even that can be refined, however.Here is a nice article on why Tyler Clippard is the best reliever in MLB this year.http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/14195Here is another article comparing Clippard and Choate (Choate has stranded the most inherited runners), explaining why Clippard's job is harder than Choate's.http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20110809&content_id=22963998&c_id=mlb&partnerId=rss_mlb&tcid=fb_share

  46. NatsLady - Aug 20, 2011 at 3:42 PM

    @Charlie Manuel: yeah, the balls found places. Zimm's found a place in the stands.

  47. Gonat - Aug 20, 2011 at 3:44 PM

    NatsLady, You don't have to convince me that Clippard is one of the best relievers. Top 3 for sure.

  48. NatsLady - Aug 20, 2011 at 3:51 PM

    Gonat– Didn't I say awhile back when there were trade rumors that I would hate to part with Storen but Clipp is a once in a generation guy? Yes, I did. And that was before I looked at stats, that was just looking at him. Don't blow out his arm, Davey. Don't blow it out in May or June or July next year or the year after. You will need him for the playoffs.I believe he is going into arbitration this year? PAY THE MAN. (And RZimm, too–whatever it takes.)

  49. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 20, 2011 at 4:00 PM

    NatsLady said… @Charlie Manuel: yeah, the balls found places. Zimm's found a place in the stands.His only problem there was location … the ball was in the 15th row.

  50. NaterialGuy - Aug 20, 2011 at 4:09 PM

    It's time management makes sure that Ryan Z retires as a National. 15 Year contract would be good.

  51. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 20, 2011 at 4:20 PM

    Funny how euphoric people can be after a sweet win like that and yet so venemous after a loss like last week against the Cubs. Baseball…. gotta Love it!!!!

  52. Mick - Aug 20, 2011 at 4:20 PM

    Gonat, I agree with 99% of what you state, however, the blown saves are not the reason we are sub to 500 club. It is lack of offense period. clip and Storen are the best 8th and 9th relief in all of MLB, period. Burnett is not the long term left handed relief answer, so they need a lefty. Middle relief must improve.

  53. Mick - Aug 20, 2011 at 4:23 PM

    Natsjack, the Cubs loss was UNACCEPTABLE!!!

  54. CBinDC - Aug 20, 2011 at 4:23 PM

    BTW …note to all going …expect poor Ian's bobble-head to suddenly rain all over the place tonight. They threw bobble-heads the last time the Filthies were in town and they gave out a bobble-head…..really should never give out anything when this group of thugs show up …I saw some thrown out on the beltway the next day I suspect it was from a bus ….to those going let's be careful out there

  55. Mick - Aug 20, 2011 at 4:25 PM

    CBinDC, I hear ya on the Filthies. collectively they are biggest A-Hole fans on the planet

  56. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 20, 2011 at 4:30 PM

    Mick…. unacceptable things happen in a 162 game shedule. You put it behind you and move on.

  57. CBinDC - Aug 20, 2011 at 4:39 PM

    I feel we have reached a point that what is changing that the unacceptable is really that. On the teams of the Nats of the past so much was OH WELL IT IS A LONG SEASON ….that nothing seemed to change and nothing did…so now you hope that what we are seeing is a process that leads to improvement but what really is unacceptable is exactly that and you move on when change occurs ….otherwise you repeat and repeat and repeat The past being so bad it is hard to believe in such change right away.

  58. WillieHarrisUnderpants - Aug 20, 2011 at 4:41 PM

    Livo: "If I don't feel good I'm going to tell Cat and Johnson I don't feel good. I go over there and, because I’m warming up in the cage every 15 minutes. Cat is a little like, 'Oh, are you sure?' I said, 'I never lie in baseball.'"Um. Let's all hope he feels the same way about the witness stand?

  59. SCNatsFan - Aug 20, 2011 at 4:42 PM

    It's easy for Manuel to justify knowing his team is headed into the postseason.I stayed up and watched until the MLB package lost the feed in the 8th. I feel like I've been cheated!

  60. Gonat - Aug 20, 2011 at 4:46 PM

    NatsLady said… @Charlie Manuel: yeah, the balls found places. Zimm's found a place in the stands. August 20, 2011 11:42 AM ______________________Well said and FINALLY, the Nats were the ones frustrating the opponents. The Nats have been on the other end of the frustration a few times this year. Dinks and doinks and grounders that find daylight usually happens in the 9th inning with a man on 1st because they are protecting against the doubles in the outfield and double play depth in the infield or protecting against the bunt. Espinosa's bleeder fell in near the CFer because Mayberry was so deep protecting against doubles. Gomes has them protecting against the bunt and gets his grounder (on 1 strike count BTW) through the space between the SS and 3rd baseman, Desmond's dink falls in possibly because the infield is at double play depth although I think it falls in anyway.

  61. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 20, 2011 at 4:48 PM

    You pretty much have to accept it. It's in the record books. They lost, and there's no changing it. The Phillies are probably going to win the NL East, and maybe the World Series, but they have to accept last night. They just do. No choice.What does "unacceptable" mean, anyway? What are you going to do, refuse to buy season tickets, and watch games from your sofa? Who does that?

  62. Slidell - Aug 20, 2011 at 4:51 PM

    Mick 12:20– Another reason we're still under .500 and struggling to get and stay ahead of the Mets– we don't play well on the road. The Nats are the ONLY NL East team with a losing road record. If we had merely played .500 away from Nats Park thus far, we would be 4 over and within plausible reach of the Braves.Perhaps someone more-knowledgeable than me can explain the causative factor of our continuing problem.

  63. Slidell - Aug 20, 2011 at 4:55 PM

    My math and deductive skills are degrading– we would be 11 over.

  64. Funk, no Wagnall - Aug 20, 2011 at 4:56 PM

    More knowledgeable in the use of hyphen, at least. But Mark is no help to you there.

  65. baseballswami - Aug 20, 2011 at 5:03 PM

    Ryan Zimmerman — Pay the Man!!!

  66. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 20, 2011 at 5:03 PM

    It's not that complicated, Slidell–the Phillies and Braves play well at home, the Marlins still pretty much own them all over. That's a big chunk of the road schedule right there. Piss away a couple of games to everybody on the West Coast trip, and there's your eight or eleven or whatever games.

  67. Mark'd - Aug 20, 2011 at 5:05 PM

    So satisfying watching the Philthies go down like that. Their blogs are on fire right now. LMAO

  68. djohncox - Aug 20, 2011 at 5:11 PM

    I was at the game and after the Nats fans yelled their lungs out with the Grand Slam win, the stadium had a buzz from the distraught Phillie fans. It was a very quiet walk out of the stadium except for a few gaggles of Nats fans who stuck it out. I thing we earned a lot of respect last night. It was a surreal comeback. I will never forget this win.

  69. Theophilus - Aug 20, 2011 at 5:12 PM

    One simple reason teams don't do as well on the road: they don't get the last at-bat. The trick, therefore, is to only do less less-well on the road than at home.

  70. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 20, 2011 at 5:21 PM

    and yet, the Mets, who also have to play in the NL East, are losing at home, and winning on the road. So go figure.The Nats have played 64 road games, 25-39, and they are 60-63 overall. So if, as Slidell says, they were closer to even on the road, 32-32, that's a seven game swing, and they'd now be 67-56. Assuming none of those seven games was against Atlanta or Phila., they'd still be about 13 and 5.5 games out of first, and the WC, respectively. Still a chunk, but 5.5 back is in contention.

  71. Anonymous - Aug 20, 2011 at 5:22 PM

    I wanna believe! I wanna believe! I wanna believe! I wanna believe!

  72. N. Cognito - Aug 20, 2011 at 5:26 PM

    NatsLady said… "you can buy advance tickets at any window when the game is not on…During the games you get advance tickets at a window in the back of the team store, the big one near the centerfield gate."Yeah, I've done all that. I should have been more clear in my original post. I was referring to in-stadium tickets sales, during a game, for future games. Every other MLB stadium I've been to have advance sales ticket windows inside the stadium. Even RFK had one. By not having any at Nats Park (the one in the Team Store doesn't count since it's not visible and therefore easy for the casual fan to forget about) is poor marketing IMHO.

  73. N. Cognito - Aug 20, 2011 at 5:29 PM

    NatsLady said… "Also, if you want to buy advance tickets, you can go to the tent and they will take your order and call you back the next day to get credit card info and mail you the tickets (no service charge)."What tent?

  74. David - Aug 20, 2011 at 5:31 PM

    Natslady not sure if you have seen this article on Clippard? http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/14195

  75. Juana B. Livo - Aug 20, 2011 at 5:32 PM

    N.Cog, do you agree that the advance sales should be closed during Phillies games?

  76. NatsLady - Aug 20, 2011 at 5:45 PM

    N. Cognito — there is a tent (also not clearly labeled!) usually set up on the right side on the main level opposite where the children play. Sometimes it's on the other side, so I guess it depends on what they are promoting and where they have space. I do agree that it would be better if they had a booth among at the ticket sales labeled "ADVANCE SALES" that would be obvious and good. You can also ask the "Ask Me" greeters, they can usually point you to where to get tickets.

  77. NatsLady - Aug 20, 2011 at 5:47 PM

    HI, David– thanks, that's a great article.

  78. Scooter - Aug 20, 2011 at 5:58 PM

    A few thoughts for you, NatsLady, albeit perhaps a bit late:1. As with any stat, when considering blown saves, consider the context and what it means, and decide how important you think it is. For instance, leading the league in batting average doesn't mean a guy is the best hitter, but it's still good.2. By definition, any blown save means the team gave up the lead, not just that they allowed a run. (Definition: pitcher enters game in save situation. While pitcher is on mound, the other team ties and/or takes the lead. This also leads to unfairness with inherited runners. As we said, remember the context.)2a. Of course, unfairness to one pitcher is smoothed over by looking at the whole team, isn't it? I mean, Sean Burnett IS on the team, disirregardless of how you may feel about that.3. Fangraphs has worked up its own two stats — shutdowns and meltdowns — to replace saves and blown saves (or "blownies," as someone here said. Ha!). It's all based on win probability. Like, I think a 3-run bases-empty save isn't a shutdown, but 4 runs with the sacks jammed probably is. I quite like the stats; you might too.4. You're becoming one of our go-to guys for stats on this here weblog. Thanks for that.

  79. NatStat - Aug 20, 2011 at 6:23 PM

    WOW!That 9th inning win over the Philthies made the season for me!I'll be content until the Nats win the divisional title in 2013.

  80. Grandstander - Aug 20, 2011 at 6:32 PM

    The Fangraphs SD/MD is a very handy stat. Let's look at it!Clippard and Storen are actually tied for 4th in the league with 33 shutdowns each (along with Kimbrel). While Venters/Kimbrel are the top 8/9 shutdown combo in the league with 75, Clippard/Storen are second, with 66. That's even more impressive when you consider how many more games the Braves have won.That's pretty interesting, but here's something even more interesting. One of my favorite FanGraphs stats is "clutch". It basically measures how a player does in high leverage situations compared to what they do on average. In this stat, Clippard is the #1 reliever in the league, Storen is #4. Venters and Kimbrel don't even come close to touching them.While most people would say Venters/Kimbrel are the best 8/9 in the league, you could make the case that Clippard/Storen are actually better, but just have less chances.Just sayin'…

  81. N. Cognito - Aug 20, 2011 at 6:35 PM

    Juana B. Livo said… "N.Cog, do you agree that the advance sales should be closed during Phillies games?"Yes (and no).

  82. Grandstander - Aug 20, 2011 at 6:38 PM

    Oh, and for those who are curious, who's the #4 most clutch batter in the league? Why it's Mr. Danny Espinosa of course. Morse is the only other National with a positive clutch rating.

  83. Mick - Aug 20, 2011 at 6:49 PM

    Probably Phillies v Braves in NLCS and Phillies unfortunately win it. ALCS BoSox V Yanks and I have a feeling those bastards from the Bronx pull it out, lolAlso, Werth's AB last night reminded me of Johnny Damon's AB verse Phillies 2 years ago.

  84. Anonymous - Aug 20, 2011 at 6:57 PM

    Hey Nats Lady – I'm headed to the park to try to score tickets. I'll be in the box office line for the 2 hours before. If you haven't left yet, you can bring the Cubs hat and I'll meet you. White shorts, red Curly W T-shirt with Strasburg image on the back, white UNC hat. Hope to see you there!Navy Nats Fan on a computer that won't let me log in to Blogger

  85. NatsLady - Aug 20, 2011 at 7:04 PM

    Navy — I will be in section 304. Can't leave work until 5:30, so I won't make it to the game until after 7. Am wearing my "Fear the Goggles" T and a blue Nats hat. Hope you see this.Someone grab me one of those bobbleheads that the Fillies fans are trashing.

  86. NatsLady - Aug 20, 2011 at 7:32 PM

    Oddsmakers not liking us today. Only 10% chance of Lannan beating Oswalt. We can DO it!!!http://www.thespread.com/mlb-baseball-public-betting-chart

  87. NatsLady - Aug 20, 2011 at 7:39 PM

    Scooter, I'm rooting for Sean Burnett. He's on our team and I want him to do well–but you still gotta laugh at his propensity for giving up a home run (or at the least a single) to the first batter he faces.Thanks for the thoughts, am having fun with the stats.

  88. Navy Nats Fan - Aug 20, 2011 at 9:34 PM

    Nats Lady – I'm in and will try to get you a Desi. Post when you get here!

  89. Navy Nats Fan - Aug 21, 2011 at 12:55 AM

    Hey Nats Lady – are you here? Been to 304 twice, no blue Nats hats…

Archives

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Brent Harris 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.

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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.
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