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Game 130: Nats at Reds

Aug 26, 2011, 8:00 PM EDT

File photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nats open a three-game series tonight at Great American Ball Park.

After three straight losses to the Diamondbacks in which they scored a total of only three runs, the Nationals hit the road tonight for the start of a six-game trip through Cincinnati and Atlanta. They'll hope to rediscover their offense in cozy Great American Ball Park, which boasts outfield dimensions roughly comparable to those at the Little League World Series in Williamsport.

With left-hander Dontrelle Willis on the mound for the Reds tonight, Davey Johnson has stacked his lineup with nothing but right-handed hitters. Brian Bixler is again in center field, with Jonny Gomes in left field.

Chien-Ming Wang starts for the Nats, facing the same Cincinnati club he beat 10 days ago and hoping to again make batters swing and miss at his offspeed stuff the way he did five days ago against the Phillies.

I'm not on this road trip, so please enjoy the conversation as always among yourselves…

NATIONALS at REDS
Where: Great American Ball Park
Gametime: 7:10 p.m.
TV: MASN2
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 189
Weather: Sunny, 81 degrees, Wind 5 mph out to RF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (62-67)
SS Ian Desmond
CF Brian Bixler
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Michael Morse

Read more »

169 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. JaneB - Aug 26, 2011 at 8:19 PM

    I really like Dontrelle, and I am glad that he is getting his act together. But I hope he postpones it by at least one game and that we can hit whatever he has got. GYFNG!

  2. natsfan1a - Aug 26, 2011 at 8:24 PM

    I was about to post the same thing re. Dontrelle when I saw your post, Jane. I've always liked the guy, but tonight it would be just ducky if he and the Great American Small Park could help to awaken our sleeping offense.Go, Wang! Go, NATS! Go, Small Park (but only in the top half of the inning)!!

  3. Anonymous - Aug 26, 2011 at 9:26 PM

    Nats need to get on a roll. The last few games hsve been like watching grass grow. Im starting to lose interest.

  4. gonatsgo - Aug 26, 2011 at 9:29 PM

    Last night in the 6th, before the big implosion – I was thinking that the 3 games were exactly the same – lots of zeroes, with a 2 thrown in for the other team. The pitchers really did not stink until late last night, but the offense was truly offensive.

  5. Waddu eye no - Aug 26, 2011 at 10:19 PM

    Just hoping the power/satellite stays onDuring the storm. Gyfng!

  6. Anonymous - Aug 26, 2011 at 10:53 PM

    May the force be with CMW and our bats!

  7. Anonymous - Aug 26, 2011 at 11:07 PM

    Are we the only NL East team playing their full three game series this weekend?

  8. Anonymous - Aug 26, 2011 at 11:46 PM

    Willis walks Wang on 4 pitches. Desmond is up. He swings at the first pitch and grounds out. Inning over. Aaarrrggghhh!

  9. bahou - Aug 26, 2011 at 11:52 PM

    Shairon Martis, AA Harrisburg, just threw a no-hitter against New Hampshire!

  10. SCNatsFan - Aug 26, 2011 at 11:55 PM

    Well the Reds scored so this game appears to be over.Looks like the same 'ol Nats at the plate tonight.

  11. Anonymous - Aug 26, 2011 at 11:57 PM

    Desmond with the E-6 and an unearned run. It is sooo frustrating.

  12. The Donger - Aug 26, 2011 at 11:58 PM

    Anon 7:46. I agree, I don't care what the pitch is, you cannot swing at the first pitch. Though Desmond did shockingly take a walk on his first at bat.Meanwhile, the Wanger does not have it tonight. Oh well.

  13. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 27, 2011 at 12:03 AM

    Ian Desmond displays absolutely no baseball intelligence. None!

  14. gonatsgo - Aug 27, 2011 at 12:08 AM

    Might we see Bixler get a little more playing time? He is very speedy.

  15. The Donger - Aug 27, 2011 at 12:10 AM

    I generally agree that in baseball you should make up your mind slowly. After months of giving him the benefit of the doubt, I've changed my mind. Get rid of Desmond. Too bad his trade value won't be higher.

  16. The Donger - Aug 27, 2011 at 12:13 AM

    BTW, you know it's serious when NatsJack post mid-game.

  17. fpcsteve - Aug 27, 2011 at 12:15 AM

    Ian Desmond has something money can't buy–the support of his manager. The question is why?

  18. fpcsteve - Aug 27, 2011 at 12:20 AM

    Nats Jack, if tomorrow were opening day-2012 and you were the Nats' manager, who would you start at 2B and SS and why? I would pay foldin' money to hear your thoughts on that.

  19. The Donger - Aug 27, 2011 at 12:21 AM

    Why? Maybe I'm over-simplifying, but I think it comes down entirely to his range at SS. All reports are that he is a big-time positive force in the club-house, which I don't entirely discount, but who cares if it doesn't translate to better play on the field by him and others. Seriously, is ID directly contributing to positive play by some other team member?

  20. The Donger - Aug 27, 2011 at 12:27 AM

    Did I mention I love Ramos. And in case you're keeping score Espinosa, I don't care how low his BA is at the moment.

  21. gONAT - Aug 27, 2011 at 12:28 AM

    Finally a big blast. WILSON RAMOS

  22. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2011 at 12:45 AM

    I know it isn't done, but I swear Davey should lose his temper and pull Desi. Maybe THEN it would sink into his dense brain.

  23. Gonat - Aug 27, 2011 at 12:45 AM

    fpcsteve said… Ian Desmond has something money can't buy–the support of his manager. The question is why? August 26, 2011 8:15 PM __________________________That is true and not just Davey, it is opposing teams that think the Nats have one of the top double play combos in the league. 5 more years together.Bottomline is Desmond has to be patient at the plate and work the count. That comes with a plan at the plate and working at it.

  24. baseballswami - Aug 27, 2011 at 12:49 AM

    Sometimes I wonder why all of the criticism is heaped on the younger players. Espinosa"plummets", JZ's inability to be perfect past 6 innings, ID's baseball iq. The last time I looked there were plenty of people out there on the field, not doing a whole lot of anything. Well, Ramos just did, but he gets criticized also – remember the game ending gidp? The older players arent' even deemed good enough to play everyday they are so mediocre. Werth has been somewhat better, Zim has cooled off. Desi has really improved his defense this year and shortstop is a really high-pressure position. I don't think his game has peaked yet, but I think some of you think he will never get any better than he is now. I love the way he and Zim and Danny turn double plays. It's maybe too soon to write him off.

  25. The Donger - Aug 27, 2011 at 12:53 AM

    swami, I agree, you are being the voice of reason. Along the lines of, make your mind up slowly. I just fear that Desmond is running out of time. Would I give him another year? Yes, but if there isn't significant improvement at the plate, that's it.

  26. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2011 at 12:54 AM

    Swami, I'm not writing Desi off. I just can't understand why he doesn't seem to THINK at the plate. What you want is all the good he does, plus the (to me) obvious improvement.

  27. JaneB - Aug 27, 2011 at 1:05 AM

    In the realm of making up your mind slowly, I am now firmly of the view that Wang was a good investment. I'm glad we have him. Desi and Espi together are terrific in tbe double play. I still say keep him. Like it matters what any of us say.

  28. fpcsteve - Aug 27, 2011 at 1:06 AM

    I think NatsLady is making a helpful point. Everyone seems to agree on ID's physical skills. The problematic issue seems to revolve around how he thinks his way though the game. Can he be more consistent by demonstrating that he knows what to do and why? Baseball is a gracious game. You fail 7 times out of 10 and you are a star. I would like to see ID iron out the wrinkles. More consistency, I guess. Just a thought…

  29. Dawn - Aug 27, 2011 at 1:09 AM

    Reflecting on both Wang's and Willis' last couple of years, nice to see them both have some success. Have always liked Dontrelle and his never-ending smile even during his struggles. Desi, Espy and Ramos are all young they are bound to struggle at times. We knock the veterans, well,just because they are veterans. The young one's we make excuses for, there has to be a happy medium.

  30. The Donger - Aug 27, 2011 at 1:10 AM

    Folks, you are awesome. I too, agree that Wang was a good investment. Fascinated to see who much our good-will investment over the last 2 years translates into signing him for next year.I stay up at night wishing ID could put it all together. I'm assuming management will be more patient that the internet mob, but I still think he has about half of next season to put it all together, before he is toast, at least with this oranization.

  31. Gonat - Aug 27, 2011 at 1:12 AM

    One missed strike call on JZim on Tues, TClip on Thurs, Wang tonight results in 6 Earned Runs and many extra pitches thrown.Just a lack of respect for Nats pitchers IMHO

  32. baseballswami - Aug 27, 2011 at 1:14 AM

    fcpsteve -Would love it if our offense could get that failure number to a mere 8 of ten. I, too would like to see Desi improve at the plate, but I don't see why he is singled out when many others on our team have terrible ab's regularly – including those with more experience who really should know better. Go ALL YOU NATS!!

  33. fpcsteve - Aug 27, 2011 at 1:15 AM

    Agree with JaneB, Dawn, and the Donger where Wang is concerned. I hope they send him back out for the 7th inning. At this point, he has only given up one run that is his responsibility.

  34. Unkyd - Aug 27, 2011 at 1:15 AM

    SwamiDongerLady:This is really all I've been saying… Not so much that I'm so sure The Boy will be an All Star, just that… he's got so much going for him! We've seen him hit, and we've seen him field beautifully, steal bases, and he seems the consument clubhouse guy. It's so easy to give up on a youngster, only to see him get a clue, playing up the road, at the rival park… I guess he needs to get that clue by the break, next year, though. Too much MI talent, in the pipeline….

  35. fpcsteve - Aug 27, 2011 at 1:19 AM

    baseball swami, point made and taken. ID singles to get us going.

  36. nationals7 - Aug 27, 2011 at 1:21 AM

    Dontrelle playing hurt.. I know he's pitching for the opposing team but I hate to see him injured.

  37. Unkyd - Aug 27, 2011 at 1:22 AM

    Hmph… Did anyone see Matheus to the DL, shoulder pain?

  38. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2011 at 1:25 AM

    Cincy fans very friendly to the Wang fans who got the bat. Shook the guy's hand, etc.

  39. nationals7 - Aug 27, 2011 at 1:27 AM

    Anywhere but phillie

  40. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2011 at 1:27 AM

    Sheeeeeesh, if that was a strike I'll eat my hat. They didn't show it on pitch tracker.

  41. baseballswami - Aug 27, 2011 at 1:27 AM

    We are so not clutch. I guess we used up our allotment of lucky, clutchiness last weekend against the phils.

  42. gonatsgo - Aug 27, 2011 at 1:28 AM

    I like it so much better when Zim and Morse are hot….

  43. nationals7 - Aug 27, 2011 at 1:30 AM

    "Lucky clutchiness" — a hoot!

  44. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2011 at 1:30 AM

    Re: Mattheus, just saw it. Anyone have details?

  45. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2011 at 1:31 AM

    Come on, Gorzy. Wang deserves this win.

  46. Joe Seamhead - Aug 27, 2011 at 1:33 AM

    Oh, by clutch, you mean the two out, 1-2 count bottom of the ninth HR by Desmond against the Phills? Or was that somebody else?

  47. Unkyd - Aug 27, 2011 at 1:35 AM

    http://m.mlb.com/wsh/news/article/2011082623774722/Davey likes him… Taking no chances. I'm for that…..

  48. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2011 at 1:38 AM

    Good for Davey. I like Mattheus also. His "ERA" has taken several hits for the team and I hope he comes back next year.

  49. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2011 at 1:46 AM

    Well, I never saw this before. Lights out.

  50. JaneB - Aug 27, 2011 at 1:47 AM

    Why couldn't those lights have gone out half an inning ago?Capcha: despop

  51. baseballswami - Aug 27, 2011 at 1:48 AM

    Joe Seamhead – that was LAST weekend, practically an eternity ago in baseball. Since the second DBack game the magic has gone poof. Wasn't that fun, though? Hope it comes back soon!

  52. Jeeves - Aug 27, 2011 at 1:48 AM

    Then Desi has a lot in common with you, Nats Jack. Why intelligent people on this site (and it seems there are quite a few of them–intelligent, I mean) defer to you and your pomposity is beyond me.And Desi, I was only joking. You have nothing in common with NatsJack. You are a good baseball player who is only going to get better. You have no need to be a wannabe.

  53. Anonymous8 - Aug 27, 2011 at 1:56 AM

    Jeeves, haven't you noticed that many here need someone to pick on?Desmond seems to be a target. I just can't figure out how someone can pick on Desmond and support Henry Rodriguez. It seems ironic.

  54. Anonymous - Aug 27, 2011 at 1:56 AM

    So FP Tangelos thinks it is not that important to get to a .500 record for the Nats this year. Now that the fans are also convinced that the Nats won't be a .500 team either, they are bored and tuning out the Nats. Hey, Tangelos. Did you notice the 17,000 fans at Nationals Park lately? Even WaPo called that attendance "paltry."

  55. Anonymous - Aug 27, 2011 at 1:58 AM

    I thought our game would be the only one that was not disrupted by anything this weekend. Silly me. Earthquakes, hurricanes, mysterious power outages. Uh,oh. What's next?

  56. Grandstander - Aug 27, 2011 at 2:01 AM

    I had the TV on mute and came back and FP was talking like someone is getting called up before the rosters expand. Who was he talking about?

  57. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 27, 2011 at 2:01 AM

    Not sure I'm one of the intelligent ones you meant, but when I agree with NatsJack (or anybody), it's because I think they're right, and he seldom attacks people personally, which is really boring. But maybe that's just me.

  58. Gonat - Aug 27, 2011 at 2:02 AM

    fpcsteve said… More consistency, I guess. Just a thought… August 26, 2011 9:06 PM _______________________________"Consistency" has been the word of the day a lot lately.Henry Rodriguez and Livan Hernandez have to be the 2 most baffling players this year when it comes to inconsistent.I don't think a good team can afford that type of inconsistency.

  59. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 27, 2011 at 2:04 AM

    That said, I think Desmond has displayed some.

  60. Gonat - Aug 27, 2011 at 2:04 AM

    Aroldis Chapman's 100MPH looks far quicker on the batter than MPHrod's.Anyone think so?

  61. Anonymous8 - Aug 27, 2011 at 2:06 AM

    Gonat, I think he hides the ball up high behind his head so reaction time is slowed that extra split second.

  62. Mark'd - Aug 27, 2011 at 2:14 AM

    Maybe it is movement on Chapman's pitches. Still can't capitalize with RISP.

  63. Drew8 - Aug 27, 2011 at 2:15 AM

    At Harrisburg tonight, Tyler Moore has cracked his 30th homer and knocked in four runs, so far.Moore has 30 homers and 86 RBI at AA a year after he had 31 homers and 111 RBI for Potomac.Why isn't this guy considered a prospect?I'm all for seeing what Marrero can do, but his career high is 23 home runs and he hit them when he was 18.

  64. Anonymous - Aug 27, 2011 at 2:15 AM

    When it comes to clutch hitting, the Nats are clueless.

  65. Gonat - Aug 27, 2011 at 2:18 AM

    Drew8 said… Moore has 30 homers and 86 RBI at AA a year after he had 31 homers and 111 RBI for Potomac.Why isn't this guy considered a prospect?August 26, 2011 10:15 PM ____________________________I think he was discussed as needing to take more walks.

  66. Gonat - Aug 27, 2011 at 2:18 AM

    Burnett, HOW DO YOU WALK THE 1ST MAN YOU FACE?

  67. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2011 at 2:21 AM

    Ask Gorzy the same question, Gonat.

  68. fpcsteve - Aug 27, 2011 at 2:22 AM

    Desmond likely attracts more attention than HRod because ID plays regularly. Rodriguez plays occasionally, and no one can predict his schedule. And then SS is a star position. It naturally draws attention–the middle of the diamond. Agree with GoNat on consistency and Sec 3, My Sofa on our friend, NatsJack.

  69. Anonymous8 - Aug 27, 2011 at 2:26 AM

    Gonat, agreed but finally he looked LOOGY x2 when it counted.

  70. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2011 at 2:27 AM

    Was going to wonder why the Reds haven't done better this season, but I see they aren't clutch either.

  71. Gonat - Aug 27, 2011 at 2:29 AM

    NatsLady said… Ask Gorzy the same question, Gonat. August 26, 2011 10:21 PM _____________________________Gorzy is also consistent. Consistently bad.

  72. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 27, 2011 at 2:32 AM

    Is leading off the ninth in a tie game a clutch situation? Cuz Desmond just got one nice hit.

  73. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2011 at 2:33 AM

    Desi starts hitting and Zimm stops.

  74. Gonat - Aug 27, 2011 at 2:34 AM

    this Desmond – Bixler combo seems to be clicking together. Can Zim or Morse capitalize behind them?

  75. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 27, 2011 at 2:34 AM

    Oh, and Burnett made Votto look positively ordinary. Nice inning.

  76. fpcsteve - Aug 27, 2011 at 2:38 AM

    Interesting, very interesting (memories of Sgt. Schultz)… DJ goes with a sac bunt and gives up an out. Didn't see that coming.

  77. Anonymous8 - Aug 27, 2011 at 2:38 AM

    Leadoff hit stranded by the 2 best hitters in the lineup.

  78. Drew8 - Aug 27, 2011 at 2:41 AM

    Gonat is right. Tyler Moore's walk totals are appalling. He has 24 walks and 130 strikeouts.Interestingly, Moore and Marrero take very different approaches and finish in just about the same place.Moore at AA .305 OBP + .517 slugging = .823 OPS.Marrero at AAA .375 OBP + .449 slugging = .821 OPS.I guess Marrero's plate discipline is preferable. I hope he can develop more power.

  79. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2011 at 2:45 AM

    Can't say any Nat except Wang and Ramos deserved to win this game. I'll give Desi a pass because the error was a tough play, and he did get on base.

  80. Anonymous8 - Aug 27, 2011 at 2:46 AM

    The lack of clutch costs the Nats again. No lead gives you mop-up Balester instead of Storen. Result is another loss in the bullpen.Was this a lesson to learn by Davey?

  81. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2011 at 2:49 AM

    A8: what did Davey do wrong? He can't go out there and bat for the guys?

  82. Gonat - Aug 27, 2011 at 2:49 AM

    NatsLady, Come on, Zim had 3 strikeouts (0-5) and looked lost. Left 6 men on base himself. Every other position player had a hit and Ramos was the only one with a hit with RISP.A combined 1-13 with RISP.

  83. Anonymous8 - Aug 27, 2011 at 2:52 AM

    NatsLady, I was trying to be funny. Just a head scratcher on the lack of clutch. What the heck is going on?

  84. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2011 at 2:53 AM

    @Gonat: not sure what you are saying?

  85. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2011 at 2:55 AM

    Sorry, A8– I missed the humor because a lot of people are quick to blame Davey for everything.

  86. Gonat - Aug 27, 2011 at 2:57 AM

    NatsLady, You said "Can't say any Nat except Wang and Ramos deserved to win this game. I'll give Desi a pass because the error was a tough play, and he did get on base."Lets call it like it was. Zim was 0-5 with 3 K's and couldn't move up base runners so as we give him praise on his clutch nights he has to minimally be pointed out tonight for lacking with the bat. He had RBI ops all night long. Morse had RBI ops also but mostly with 2 outs.The big boyz didn't get the job done.

  87. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2011 at 3:00 AM

    I believe I said, only Ramos and Wang deserved to win this game. I give Desi a pass, and I guess Coffey and Bix. Everybody else gets an "F", and as a team, deserved to lose. Isn't that telling it like it is?

  88. CBinDC - Aug 27, 2011 at 3:00 AM

    Why does it seem all season we say is this team hitting like a big league team…..and all season the response is wait it is….bad luck …moon…..will come around ….but not the (name fill in here) fault they can not bat for them ….and still this anemic hitting continues so WHAT YOU DO NOW HUH ?

  89. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2011 at 3:01 AM

    Ok, maybe Burnett, but he gave me palpitations and I don't like that.

  90. JaneB - Aug 27, 2011 at 3:01 AM

    I liked it better when we were winning the game.

  91. Anonymous8 - Aug 27, 2011 at 3:01 AM

    @NatsLady said… "Sorry, A8– I missed the humor because a lot of people are quick to blame Davey for everything. "Don't worry. The Anon's will set in later and find a way to blame Davey for something tonight.It has been said that this is a bad bullpen overall. Take out Clip and Storen and it is the worse in the Majors.The bench is short a RH bat. Davey is batting Cora and Ankiel in LH/LH matchups as Pinch-hitters.I don't put any of this on Davey. I put it squarely on Rizzo. I still can't imagine what this team would look like if Storen was traded.

  92. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2011 at 3:04 AM

    A8– and we just lost Mattheus, who I don't think was hopeless. Cora can't hit. Ankiel can't hit enough to be in the starting line-up.

  93. Anonymous8 - Aug 27, 2011 at 3:07 AM

    NatsLady, neither is as effective in Lefty/Lefty matchups. The bench has been 1 short with the 8 man bullpen for a month now. Did you know that?

  94. Unkyd - Aug 27, 2011 at 3:11 AM

    Grandstander said…I had the TV on mute and came back and FP was talking like someone is getting called up before the rosters expand. Who was he talking about?Matheus to DL, shoulder… Davey will bring up a position player, tomorrow…Shark? Marrero?

  95. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2011 at 3:12 AM

    Yes, I did. Someone asked me why we have 13 pitchers. It was because of Detwiler and Wang, but now both have gone six and I don't know why we kept so many relievers for so long.

  96. Anonymous8 - Aug 27, 2011 at 3:13 AM

    Ray Knight. What a bandwagon banjo. There he is talking up Shairon Martis. He throws a 7 inning no-hitter and has actually been quite good for 2 months and now Ray wants to talk him up.I love these hindsight hypocrites. How do you do a word search on here because I know someone here said 2 weeks ago that Shairon Martis was a possible call-up. Those are the people who put it out there with foresight not Ray and his constant jump on the hot guy's bandwagon. Where was Ray a year ago on Michael Morse? Yah, I thought so.

  97. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2011 at 3:18 AM

    A8: I also remember favorable comments about Martis looking good. And the snap reply, "That's what AA pitchers do." (wasn't me).However, Charlie and Dave on the pregame speculating on why he is still around seemed to think he might have been brought up too early and not ready. Apparently he is only 24 now, and that means he came up in 2008 when he was only 21 and was in the rotation in 2009 at 22.

  98. Gonat - Aug 27, 2011 at 3:18 AM

    In other news, the Atlanta Braves will have 3 days off because of the storms before the face the Nats. It just doesn't get any easier. Tonight wasn't a "must win" but it was a much needed win.

  99. Unkyd - Aug 27, 2011 at 3:21 AM

    I think Steve M. Has mentioned Martis, a number of times, and I wanted someone to 'splain to me if his newfound dominance is a AA illusion, or yet another candidate for the rotation, next year….

  100. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2011 at 3:21 AM

    Gonat–maybe they will be rusty?????

  101. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2011 at 3:25 AM

    Non sequitor: Boy, am I glad I don't live in SF. Every time I watch a game there the fans are bundled up like it's a football game in November–and, hello, it's August.

  102. Navy Nats Fan - Aug 27, 2011 at 3:25 AM

    According to Kilgore, Marrero gets the callup to take Mattheus' spot on the roster. Will be in uniform for tomorrow night's game.

  103. Unkyd - Aug 27, 2011 at 3:26 AM

    (Rusty….yeah,yeah……that's the ticket!)…:)

  104. Anonymous8 - Aug 27, 2011 at 3:28 AM

    NatsLady, there are some extremely bright minds here and I am not one of them. I think just like the previous thread on Yonder Alonso it was pointed out that a commentor here has been talking about Alonso for well over a year. Most of us didn't know who this guy was until last week.It is so refreshing to read foresight from people here. Very few people have the ability to see real talent. Its like discussing Tyler Moore. Is he the real deal or a career Minor Leaguer? Someone said on him a few weeks ago that he is an OBP casualty.

  105. Unkyd - Aug 27, 2011 at 3:31 AM

    Marrero is a good move. Let's see how Beast Mode fares, back in left field…Another much needed RH bat!!!

  106. Gonat - Aug 27, 2011 at 3:34 AM

    Unkyd said… I think Steve M. Has mentioned Martis, a number of times, and I wanted someone to 'splain to me if his newfound dominance is a AA illusion, or yet another candidate for the rotation, next year…. August 26, 2011 11:21 PM ______________________________Martis says his problem was he couldn't stay low in the zone. He now has perfected a change-up and throwing a lively 2 seamer. His problem is getting his slider to bite. If he can do that CONSISTENLY, he will be back in the picture.

  107. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2011 at 3:36 AM

    Well, people, y'know, "people," have been wanting to see Marrero for a while, so they got their wish. I do like stats, but they don't tell the whole story, I like to see the person with my own eyes. Case in point, I had reservations about Wang until I saw him pitch in Chicago. I'm on the bandwagon now.

  108. Gonat - Aug 27, 2011 at 3:36 AM

    Unkyd said… Marrero is a good move. Let's see how Beast Mode fares, back in left field…Another much needed RH bat!!! August 26, 2011 11:31 PM ___________________________Its about darn time. He should have been called up 2 months ago when Stairs was let go. This 8 man bullpen has not worked.Bigger question is why wasn't Marrero in Cincy this morning?

  109. Grandstander - Aug 27, 2011 at 3:39 AM

    Thanks for the info Unkyd!Davey was talking about moving Morse back to LF to get him acclimated out there again. I like the move a lot, see what you've got with Marrero, give Morse 5 weeks of LF so he doesn't forget the view. How well Marrero does probably determines what we let LaRoche go for in July (if we're still not in contention, and possibly if we are).And hey, bringing Marrero up now means he'll be eligible for the post-season roster. Right guys? Right?

  110. Gonat - Aug 27, 2011 at 3:40 AM

    NatsLady said… Well, people, y'know, "people," have been wanting to see Marrero for a while, so they got their wish. I do like stats, but they don't tell the whole story, I like to see the person with my own eyes. Case in point, I had reservations about Wang until I saw him pitch in Chicago. I'm on the bandwagon now. August 26, 2011 11:36 PM _______________________________When NatsJack said Wang looked bad in Florida, I think that was the case. His 1st few starts were like pre-Spring Training and was a strain on the team. It is what it is and now the team has a pitcher who has put out 3 good starts in a row. One bad call by the ump cost him a run tonight. He has really come on.

  111. Mark'd - Aug 27, 2011 at 3:58 AM

    Zimmerman/Morse combined 1 for 10. That's the answer to tonights trivia question.

  112. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2011 at 3:59 AM

    Nats 28th with RISP. SF Giants are worse. Oh, well.

  113. Gonat - Aug 27, 2011 at 4:19 AM

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=adams-001matEarlier discussion on 1st baseman in a logjam. If Pujols re-ups with the Cardinals, this Matt Adams kid is stuck. He is probably the best 1st baseman in AA. He is tied with Tyler Moore with Home Runs and the big difference is Adams has a better K/BB ratio and a much better BA/OBP

  114. MikeD - Aug 27, 2011 at 4:31 AM

    Put Bally on a bus to meet Irene. That was horrendous.

  115. Anonymous8 - Aug 27, 2011 at 4:42 AM

    Just give Bally a mop because his only effectiveness is as a mop-up reliever. Gorzo, Bally, Matteus, Coffey, Burnett, HenRod, Clip, Storen.Besides Clip and Storen, who can you count on? Not Matteus, he is on the DL. A lot of 4.00+ ERAs there.

  116. Anonymous - Aug 27, 2011 at 4:55 AM

    Hey Losers got to Lose

  117. Anonymous - Aug 27, 2011 at 5:40 AM

    we have several guys who have been EXCELLENT in relief in (as good as both Matheus and Kimball b4 their callup) in both AAA and AA. why not call them up to see what they can do? However the real problem with this club is hitting with RISP. I swear, the bases could be load with no outs and the odds greatly favor us not scoring a single run. the most likely outcome in this situation would be a pop up/strike out followed by Ramos(or someone else) grounding into a double play.

  118. Drew8 - Aug 27, 2011 at 8:24 AM

    I think the injury to Kimball really hurt this club as it was developing depth in the pen.Also: my ciphering was off above. Marrero's OPS is .825.

  119. Big Cat - Aug 27, 2011 at 12:12 PM

    When o when is some of the blame gonna shift to the little man with the clipboard. Young hitters being stupid at the plate. Young hitters regressing. Guys looking bewildered at the plate. Ray Knight almost let it slip in post game comments. Said 2 for 28 risp is almost unbelievable. Said our hitters approach at the plate appears to be "guessing" Taking pitches down the middle, swinging at balls bouncing. Nix and Ankiel? I would never throw them a strike. Just high fastballs…..see ya.Bottom line…..Let Eck finish the year and then give him his walking papers. he is NOT a big league hitting instructor

  120. Anonymous - Aug 27, 2011 at 12:14 PM

    Zimm was AWFUL. I blame this loss on him. May have been his worse game as a National. Maybe he needs a day off. He just stands there watching pitches. I think Ray Knight nailed it.

  121. Anonymous - Aug 27, 2011 at 12:17 PM

    "Who's pitching for them?""Balester""Whats he got?""Fastball low to mid 90's. Straight as a string. Disregard curve. Look for one right down the middle, you'll get it."Thanks"…..line drive in the gap!…that'll do it….ballgame over!

  122. Anonymous - Aug 27, 2011 at 12:19 PM

    ANOM 8 17. You are correct. But this teams bats have just sucked all year for the most part. This is a loser team. In the hunt next year??? NO WAY

  123. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2011 at 12:23 PM

    Anon 8:17 you make a good point. Why can't more guys learn a sinker type fastball?

  124. Anonymous8 - Aug 27, 2011 at 12:35 PM

    "Anonymous said… we have several guys who have been EXCELLENT in relief (as good as both Matheus and Kimball b4 their callup) in both AAA and AA. why not call them up to see what they can do? "Your definition of EXCELLENT and mine are vastly different. This bullpen overall statistically is in the bottom 1/2 of sabremetric ratings. Take out Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen and you have non-excellent bullpen.Cole Kimball had 1 good appearance. Maybe he was injured when he pitched. A 1.357 for a reliever is NOT EXCELLENT nor is allowing 80% of his inherited runners to score. He is another one with a deceptive ERA as the inherited runners scoring are not calculated into his own ERA.Ryan Mattheus has a 2.40 ERA and a 1.267 WHIP. Not EXCELLENT although he is probably the 4th best reliever behind Coffey, Clippard and Storen.You are right about the offense and RISP, but don't tell me this bullpen has SEVERAL and EXCELLENT in the same sentence.

  125. Anonymous8 - Aug 27, 2011 at 12:37 PM

    "Anonymous said… Zimm was AWFUL. I blame this loss on him. May have been his worse game as a National. Maybe he needs a day off. He just stands there watching pitches. I think Ray Knight nailed it. August 27, 2011 8:14 AM"Hey Ray, I know you posted this. You are so MR. HINDSIGHT and a Davey butt-kisser. I didn't hear you say a thing about Zimmerman in the post-game.

  126. Anon-A-Troll - Aug 27, 2011 at 12:49 PM

    Anonymous said… "Who's pitching for them?""Balester""Whats he got?""Fastball low to mid 90's. Straight as a string. Disregard curve. Look for one right down the middle, you'll get it."Thanks"…..line drive in the gap!…that'll do it….ballgame over! August 27, 2011 8:17 AMAmazing what good preparation from a batting coach will do. The only ones who didn't think bringing in Balester for the 9th would result in a walkoff win for the Reds was Ashley Balester and Davey Johnson. I won't blame Davey because he had no other options except bringing in Rick Ankiel.At this point, Garrett Mock is on the 40 man and he should be given a try as a reliever.

  127. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2011 at 12:50 PM

    A8, cool your jets for a minute. Anon 1:40 wasn't saying Kimball and Mattheus were excellent. He was saying there are relievers in AA and AAA who have posted numbers as good or better than Kimball and Mattheus and we should call them up and see what they got. But he didn't name names.

  128. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2011 at 12:52 PM

    Anon-a-troll: yeah. Howzabout: "Des, this guy is all over the lot, he just walked the pitcher on four pitches. DON'T swing at the the first one."

  129. Big Cat - Aug 27, 2011 at 12:53 PM

    How would this look for next year? Davey brings in Ray Knight as his hitting coach and Wally Backman as his bench coach.

  130. Anonymous - Aug 27, 2011 at 12:54 PM

    Where would Dyksta fit in?

  131. Anonymous - Aug 27, 2011 at 1:11 PM

    Big Cat, hope you aren't serious. you must be a nostalgic type of guy. Bring back Casey Stengel!I remember when the Redskins brought back Joe Gibbs and he brought back Joe Bugel and the gang. At first it was great, then you saw how they shoud have stayed in retirement.

  132. Anonymous8 - Aug 27, 2011 at 1:27 PM

    "NatsLady said… A8, cool your jets for a minute. Anon 1:40 wasn't saying Kimball and Mattheus were excellent. He was saying there are relievers in AA and AAA who have posted numbers as good or better than Kimball and Mattheus and we should call them up and see what they got. But he didn't name names. August 27, 2011 8:50 AM" Outside of Mock and Severino, it means adding more relievers to the 40 man which won't be happening in 2011 except Rizzo should have done it a long time ago when there was a chance to improve that mess of a bullpen. Wilkie and Zinicola may deserve a look but that is roster management and unfortunately Rizzo is all in on the guys he has now. Balester is AAAA. Coffey was burned out early on unfortunately from over-use. Broderick was a bust. Gaudin was a bust. Slaten was a bust. Burnett is very inconsistent. Mattheus and Kimball I explained already. Gorzelanny was finally given a meaningful role last night as 7th inning setup and failed. Henry Rodriguez is a hard thrower and hasn't learned to pitch at the MLB level and don't know if he can ever be consistent which is the word that defines EXCELLENT relievers.That leaves Storen and Clippard. What more can I say? Jets cooled, asked and answered.

  133. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2011 at 1:36 PM

    A8– which shows ta go ya that "relievers are a dime a dozen" is true, but you get what you pay for. Coffey seems to be coming back to form recently with being used less. I know Mattheus wants to come back but since we are not contending (sorry, Grandstander!) I would shut him down for the season.

  134. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2011 at 1:44 PM

    P.S., I'm losing patience with Gorzy, who reportedly went to Davey and said, "I'm here, use me." So Davey uses him and he promptly takes the win away from Wang. But the real problem is, Wang could have gone longer but since we have 1 for 10,000 RISP, Davey pinch hit for him. We have to get runs, runs, runs. All the bullpen management, roster management, etc. etc., doesn't mean sh** if you can't get runs.

  135. Wally - Aug 27, 2011 at 2:01 PM

    OK, question for folks with medical experience/knowledge. Why is HGH banned?I saw this morning that Tommy Hanson has a slight rotator cuff tear. What I remember reading about HGH is that it does not make you bigger, stronger or faster, like steroids. It helps your body heal better and more quickly. My impression is that, like steroids, in everyday life it is a legal medical treatment under a doctor's supervision, so it can't be inherently unsafe. So that led to my question about why it is banned instead of controlled by medical staff like other forms of medical treatment.Do I misunderstand what HGH is, or is there some other reason? Also, if anyone knows the general definition that distinguishes acceptable supplements from banned ones, I would appreciate it.

  136. Gonat - Aug 27, 2011 at 2:37 PM

    Wally, HGH has anabolic effects which syntheticly increases metabolism within the muscles just like an Anabolic steroid increases muscle growth adding strength with quicker recovery time. HGH has a very similar effect just at a lower efficiency.Any synthetic attempt to increase muscle growth is cheating.

  137. Gonat - Aug 27, 2011 at 3:05 PM

    NatsLady said… A8– which shows ta go ya that "relievers are a dime a dozen" is true, but you get what you pay for.Coffey seems to be coming back to form recently with being used less. I know Mattheus wants to come back but since we are not contending (sorry, Grandstander!) I would shut him down for the season. August 27, 2011 9:36 AM ____________________________All mediocre ballplayers are a dime a dozen. Just ask Jim Bowden. Great players and great relievers are not. The Braves are distinctively better in one area—relievers, and while the Braves starters are good they have not performed to their 2010 levels and it is their relievers that have been the reason for their success this year. They are absolutely shutdown.Atlanta's offense has scored 549 runs this season which is only 3 more than the league average so they aren't an offensive juggernaut. Atlanta's team ERA is 3.33 which is 3rd in the NL but they have several starters that are above their average with Derek Lowe at 4.63, Mike Minor 4.37 and Tommy Hanson at 3.60. Jurrjens and Hudson are below their average and Beachy is right on their average.Atlanta has 3 relievers below a 1.75 ERA in Kimbrell, Venters and O'Flaherty.The Nationals have NO RELIEVERS under a 1.75 ERA and Clippard has a 1.91 followed by Storen at 2.77 followed by Coffey at 3.88. Not even worth going through the rest as the ERAs are so bad and that doesn't even include all of the inherited runners the rest have allowed to score.NatsLady, if that doesn't convince you that relievers aren't a dime a dozen then I give up.

  138. sunderland - Aug 27, 2011 at 3:24 PM

    Wally, you raise a good point. I'm not sugesting Gonat is wrong in any way in his response (in her response?), but the lines that are being drawn are inconsistent. We ban HGH, but it's OK to have laser eye surgery? You can not use HGH to help repair an injured joint but you can have a synthetically made tendon inserted in the joint? HGH is banned but PRP (Platelet-rich plasma) is OK? Well, for now anyway.We'll never have consistent and logical rules until we allow everything, and of course that won't happen.

  139. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2011 at 3:29 PM

    You don't have to convince me on relievers! I am the one who thinks relievers are worth their weight in GOLD, just look at what the Padres did. If you have lockdown 7-8-9 bullpen that means you have a six inning game, tremendous advantage (BTW, Clip's ERA would be 1.56 if not for that one game against the D-Backs). The comment about a "dime a dozen" was facetious, because some people think that.

  140. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2011 at 3:32 PM

    Also some people think relievers are failed starters. That may be for some long relievers (Gorzy?) but I promote that it is a different mind-set, the starter is the marathon guy, the reliever is the sprinter.

  141. Gonat - Aug 27, 2011 at 4:04 PM

    NatsLady said… Also some people think relievers are failed starters. That may be for some long relievers (Gorzy?) but I promote that it is a different mind-set, the starter is the marathon guy, the reliever is the sprinter. August 27, 2011 11:32 AM ____________________________I just forwarded your response to my friend Steve. You do get it. It goes back to what some of us have been saying since Spring Training and the 5 ways to win a game theory and the most difficult way to build a winning team is with good starting pitching which somehow the Nats ended up with this year as they did with defense. Where the Nats lost the battle is on clutch hitting and a shutdown bullpen.

  142. Wally - Aug 27, 2011 at 4:18 PM

    Gonat – thanks for the reply. So how is synthetic determined? I assume that there are a variety of synthetic supplements that are ok? Even Vitamins can be made synthetically, right? FWIW, still trying to understand, not take a position yet. Sounds like you are saying HGH converts someone to a fast twitch muscle? I appreciate the input.Sunderland – I find it hard to know where to draw the line, too. It seems easier to draw it on the impact on performance, rather than synthetic v. Natural. If a drug makes you stronger than you otherwise are, etc, no go. If it gets you back to your natural level quicker, yes. On HGH, still seems like the performance is diluted enough that MLB might want to allow it if it gets players back on the field more quickly?But very confusing to a non medical guy.

  143. natsfan1a - Aug 27, 2011 at 4:27 PM

    I'm neither a doctor nor a lawyer, nor have I played either on tv, but isn't MLB drug policy based on which substances are (or are not) illegal as opposed to their effects?

  144. natsfan1a - Aug 27, 2011 at 4:32 PM

    On another note, here's hoping that all Insiders, be they in this area or at more far-flung locations, stay safe during the hurricane.Will be watching the game tonight (assuming we have power). At least, watching until I fall asleep on the couch as I did again last night. At one point I remember seeing Burnett with men on and seeming to be in a precarious situation. Next thing I knew, I awoke to him leaving the field at the end of the inning, with the score still the same, and Bob or FP saying that it was perhaps his best performance of the year. And I slept through it. Dang. On the bright (?) side, I did get to see the end of the game before toddling off to bed.

  145. Anonymous - Aug 27, 2011 at 4:35 PM

    Who here agrees with me that Espinosa should just bat Right-handed even against righties. I heard one of his reasons for doing the swith hitting batting left is to help with bunts for base-hits. Well, he his not even trying to bunt that much so why the switch hitting when he his most likely to get on base batting from the right?? I know it seems like most of his power have come from the left, but i think he could have the same power if he focuses and predominantly bats from the right. What ya think?

  146. Andrew - Aug 27, 2011 at 4:49 PM

    natsfan1a said… I'm neither a doctor nor a lawyer, nor have I played either on tv, but isn't MLB drug policy based on which substances are (or are not) illegal as opposed to their effects? August 27, 2011 12:27 PM Not true. You can get anabolic steroids and HGH with a Doctor's perscription although many states have them listed as controlled substances. They are only illegal when you don't have a perscription.They are performance enhancing drugs rather than using technology like cyber eye which is truly amazing that you can get Ted Williams vision legally. I took my 18 year old son to Dr. Smithson who is the top sports eye specialist. The education was amazing what I learned there while he worked on my son's vision. Cost a lot of money and worth it for the education alone. BTW, there is also a ban on stimulants in the new drug program.

  147. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2011 at 5:02 PM

    Stimulants? Like Diet Coke? I would be in a LOT of trouble if Diet Coke gets banned. :) What about nicotine? All that chewing?

  148. Gonat - Aug 27, 2011 at 5:03 PM

    Wally said… Gonat – thanks for the reply. So how is synthetic determined? I assume that there are a variety of synthetic supplements that are ok? Even Vitamins can be made synthetically, right? FWIW, still trying to understand, not take a position yet. Sounds like you are saying HGH converts someone to a fast twitch muscle? I appreciate the input.Sunderland – I find it hard to know where to draw the line, too. It seems easier to draw it on the impact on performance, rather than synthetic v. Natural. If a drug makes you stronger than you otherwise are, etc, no go. If it gets you back to your natural level quicker, yes. On HGH, still seems like the performance is diluted enough that MLB might want to allow it if it gets players back on the field more quickly?But very confusing to a non medical guy. August 27, 2011 12:18 PM ____________________________Synthetic meaning it isn't produced naturally in your own body. Now your body naturally produces growth hormone and as you get older it produces at lower levels. Yes, you are correct on some vitamins are synthetic but many are extracted in high potency from natural sources. Should we discuss "Rocky Mountain Oysters" as another topic?Andrew/Sunderland, cyber-eye isn't a health hazard unless you gave XRay vision. (LOL) It totally turned Cristian Guzman's career around.

  149. sunderland - Aug 27, 2011 at 5:10 PM

    Is HGH when used to heal a joint a health hazard?

  150. Anonymous - Aug 27, 2011 at 5:13 PM

    On such a dismal day, I am thankful for some of the good discussion. Davey didn't construct this team, Rizzo and Riggleman did. The bullpen has been atrocious this year and hard to watch as has the clutch hitting.If this team scored more runs, it would cancel out some of the horrible play of the bullpen. Case in point, last night. If the team had 4 to 5 runs scores, it would have been Storen for the save instead of Bally for the blowpu.

  151. sunderland - Aug 27, 2011 at 5:19 PM

    Can I offer a change in subjects?What do you folks think about franchise marks that include the Expos?I've never liked this.For example, the winningest pitcher in the history of the franchise of the Minnesota Twins is Walter Johnson. I'd rather start fresh with the Nationals.

  152. Mark'd - Aug 27, 2011 at 5:37 PM

    Case in point, last night. If the team had 4 to 5 runs scores, it would have been Storen for the save instead of Bally for the blowpu. August 27, 2011 1:13 PMGreat point, just tell me what a BLOWPU is?

  153. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2011 at 5:55 PM

    Ha. I think BLOWPU is a mistype of BLOWUP, but I like BLOW-Pooooooooo, 'cause that's what happened.

  154. Mark'd - Aug 27, 2011 at 6:00 PM

    That is a new NI exclusive along with Kardiac Kids, GYFNG, and BLOWPU.

  155. natsfan1a - Aug 27, 2011 at 6:25 PM

    Leave us not forget "hacking the gorse" (hat tip to Unkyd).

  156. sunderland - Aug 27, 2011 at 6:29 PM

    Yeah, :-(, we have not had a good gorse hacking in days.

  157. Mark'd - Aug 27, 2011 at 6:36 PM

    Kardiac Kids, GYFNG, and BLOWPU. And "hacking the gorse".

  158. Wally - Aug 27, 2011 at 6:38 PM

    Sunderland – completely agree. Once a team moves, I say start fresh. Different name, mostly different fan base, plus it doesn't happen that often to make it a real problem.Gonat – do you agree that where MLB draws the distinctions is good? I still don't quite get the logic around using synthetic v. natural as the point to draw the line between ok and not ok.For instance, Andrew said 'They are performance enhancing drugs rather than using technology like cyber eye which is truly amazing that you can get Ted Williams vision legally. 'This doesn't seem like a distinction worth drawing a line on. Surgery which gives you superman vision is ok, but a synthetic drug that provides quicker healing (and I guess something more around the anabolic effect on muscles, but not sure what that effect is), isn't. Why is surgery ok? I assume surgery that gives you Strasburg's arm wouldn't be ok, right? At the end of the day, if it is healthy and supervised appropriately, don't we (and MLB and the players union) want to encourage things that make the players recover quicker and stay on the field longer? I guess that I always assumed the dividing line had something to do with (a) dangerous to the player, and (b) unfair advantage to the user.I'll stop after this next bit, since I don't want to annoy people. But, going back to Tommy Hanson, if you had a shoulder tear that was going to keep you out for 18 months (not the prognosis in his case, just making a theoretical example), but by using HGH you could cut that to 9 months, wouldn't you want to do it and take the 50 game suspension? And why would MLB want to make him do that risk-reward analysis?

  159. Mark'd - Aug 27, 2011 at 6:45 PM

    Wally, you can extract bull testosterone naturally. Doesnt make it ethical as that is cheating.

  160. natsfan1a - Aug 27, 2011 at 6:57 PM

    Some good gorse hacking definitely does seem to be overdue.

  161. Wally - Aug 27, 2011 at 7:09 PM

    Mark'd – that, actually, is a good one since you are crossing the lines drawn above (a 'natural' way to cheat), and get right to the heart of what I am trying to figure out.What is cheating, medically speaking, in the context of baseball? A general way to think about it.

  162. dryw - Aug 27, 2011 at 7:15 PM

    Sunderland, I'm with you, too. The Nats are the Nats, and while I'm happy to maintain ties with the Expos on some levels, I do think that Nats records should belong to people who played in Washington…..

  163. Steve M. - Aug 27, 2011 at 7:19 PM

    Gonat said…All mediocre ballplayers are a dime a dozen. Just ask Jim Bowden. Great players and great relievers are not. Very nice illustration, very impressive! Lets talk quickly about relievers and clutch performers. Rizzo put together a bullpen with too much reliance on his lefty incumbents named Burnett and Slaten who overall cost the team as many as 8 games. All of the new "parts" he added with the exception of Coffey have been bad -to- awful. Everyone loves Velo. Henry Rodriguez put side by side with Aroldis Chapman is what causes this false sense of the love of the 100 MPH pitch since there aren't more than a handful of people in the world that can throw that velo consistently and consistency is the word of the month. Henry Rodriguez is not consistent. He has horrible control and is not MLB ready. The question is, will he ever be MLB ready? Now to segue to clutch, the guy Henry was traded for Josh Willingham has quietly put together a good season and is 26th in all MLB outfielders for Runs Created a stat where the top Nat is 45th on the list (Jayson Werth). Willingham is 10th among all outfielders with 79 RBIs and that is only with 383 ABs! Josh Willingham is 3rd among all Outfielders in RBIs per AB this season and only Prince FielderCurtis Granderson, Lance Berkman and Ryan Howardare ahead of Josh Willingham for RBIs per AB. Josh is at 20.63% which is All Star calibre.The loss of Josh Willingham who by the way has a .321/.400 slash with RISP and my point last year was if you rest Willingham to keep him fresh and healthy and consider moving him to 1st base you get one of the top offensive guys in the Majors. In the OF, Willingham is a liability with a -5.7 UZR but he is a 1.7 WAR. For all the Nix fans, he is a -5.6 UZR and a .6 WAR. Put Willingham and Nix together and you have a pretty good Righty/Lefty platoon. I still consider the Willingham trade to have been a big mistake. Henry Rodriguez was never ready for prime-time and the Nats had the option in the off-season of moving Morse to 1st base and keeping Willingham in LF. While I realize Willingham didn't fit into the mold of defensive assets, neither was Morse as a LF so I didn't get the move then and still don't as Morse as a LF is a -4.4 UZR.http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/batting/_/position/of/sort/runsCreatedPer27Outs/type/sabermetric

  164. jd - Aug 27, 2011 at 7:36 PM

    Steve M., You have to look at player movements within the context of salaries as well. Willingham makes $6 mil a year and is eligible for free agency at the end of this year. Given his 1.7 WAR he is decent value for the money but obviously Rizzo didn't feel that he would be that or that he would stay healthy enough so he made the best move he could. I wouldn't declare HRod a lost cause just yet. As I recall Hanrahan looked nearly as bad and inconsistent when he was here but did put it all together in Pittsburgh. HRod not only throws high 90's but also has 2 other workable pitches. If he learns to control his slider he would be nearly unhittable. Yes he's not ready for the majors but he's also out of options so we need a little patience.

  165. Steve M. - Aug 27, 2011 at 7:37 PM

    I think BLOWPU describes what I have been saying about the bullpen for some time.On Shairon Martis, he is no longer on the 40 man so he will have to keep impressing to try to compete. He had a really uninspiring 2010 so to come back and work so diligently with Randy Tomlin to add a new pitch to his repitoirein his his changeup may resurrect his career. Shairon told me that his big problem in 2009 with the Nats was his slider used to be his best pitch and it was hanging. He thought it was the cooler Spring weather was the problem and I really don't know but the results up until 2 months ago were not good. Now Shairon has 3 good pitches working for him with control of the strike zone and strikeout potential.On Marrero getting a callup, all I can say is, its about time. I hope he does great!

  166. jd - Aug 27, 2011 at 7:40 PM

    To expand my point on salaries; Crisp is a decent solution at center for 2 years but not for $10 mil a year, Wang would be nice to bring back at $5 mil a year etc. If you hire a player and he under performs his WAR you are not doing the team any favors because your money can be better spent elsewhere.

  167. Steve M. - Aug 27, 2011 at 7:50 PM

    jd said… Steve M.,You have to look at player movements within the context of salaries as well. Willingham makes $6 mil a year and is eligible for free agency at the end of this year. Given his 1.7 WAR he is decent value for the money but obviously Rizzo didn't feel that he would be that or that he would stay healthy enough so he made the best move he could.I wouldn't declare HRod a lost cause just yet. As I recall Hanrahan looked nearly as bad and inconsistent when he was here but did put it all together in Pittsburgh. HRod not only throws high 90's but also has 2 other workable pitches. If he learns to control his slider he would be nearly unhittable. Yes he's not ready for the majors but he's also out of options so we need a little patience. August 27, 2011 3:36 PM I don't disagree with you on salary etc just that you don't trade a high OBP position player for a Minor League reliever. I was concerned about his health in 2010 and said over and over how they were over-using him. You have to know your players.I thought Willingham, if traded, would have yielded some top prospects. Rizzo sold low on him and that is the "rub".The contrast with departed players as you mentioned Hanrahan, Nyjer and Willingham, is other organizations have utilitzed them better and they have performed better.Willingham is clutch, high OBP, RBI type of guy. Could they have signed him to an extension and platooned him? Henry Rodriguez has little deception and his pitches don't have enough movement. He isn't fooling anybody but Rizzo. If this team is going to move ahead, 2012 Spring Training has to be his make or break or trade him prior. Hanrahan when he was here was slider, fastball, slider, slider. Yes, Joel would bury that slider in the dirt for some ugly wild pitches. Now Joel is devastating fastball and biting slider with better control. Henry has no options so you are having him learn on the job and not sure if he is learning.

  168. Steve M. - Aug 27, 2011 at 8:00 PM

    jd, so true on salaries but you have to spend money on key players. Rizzo has to do what he did with LaRoche, 2 year contract with 1 option year.That gives the team time to develop the talent in the farm system. I expect big things out of Espinosa in the future and be a Gold Glove .260 to .280 hitter at 2nd base and when the team extends Ryan Zimmerman I believe Rendon will be the future LF for this team in an Alex Gordon way and hopefully more like Ryan Braun if he is as good as some say he is.

  169. NatsLady - Aug 28, 2011 at 12:51 PM

    Nationals fielding and rank in MLB March/April 2.3 9thMay 0.0 13thJune -3.0 21stJuly -2.6 21stAugust -0.3 18thFull Season -3.6 17th (from Fangraphs.com)http://www.fangraphs.com/teams.aspx?pos=all&lg=all&stats=bat&type=8&season=2011&month=0&season1=It seems to me had reasonable fielding when LaRoche and RZimm were here. With Zimm back and in good form (August) fielding is improved. Still the Nats were never tops or close to it in fielding, the Diamondbacks and Red Sox are the top teams consistently.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 75 56 --
ATLANTA 68 64 7.5
MIAMI 65 66 10.0
NEW YORK 62 70 13.5
PHILADELPHIA 60 72 15.5
Through Tuesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
WED: Nats at Phillies, 7:35 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Nats at Mariners, 10:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Mariners, 9:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Mariners, 4:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
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TUE: 2:30 p.m.
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