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Game 133: Nats at Braves

Aug 30, 2011, 7:41 PM EST

File photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nats face the Braves tonight at Turner Field.

I'll keep this short and sweet, since I've obviously got a few other more pressing things to tend to right now. But I wanted to make sure I posted a thread for tonight's series opener between the Nationals and Braves.

One note: Though I'm not covering the team at the moment, you can still find full articles on all games and any other pertinent news on CSNwashington.com. All Nats-related articles on CSN are linked from the top right corner of Nats Insider. So I encourage you to please click on those links for full stories.

Enjoy the game tonight! I probably won't be paying much attention to it. Can't take my eyes off the newest love of my life…

NATIONALS at BRAVES
Where: Turner Field
Gametime: 7:10 p.m.
TV: MASN
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 184
Weather: Sunny, 87 degrees, Wind 8 mph in from RF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (62-70)
SS Ian Desmond
CF Rick Ankiel
3B Ryan Zimmerman
LF Michael Morse

Read more »

198 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. natsfan1a - Aug 30, 2011 at 7:44 PM

    Thanks for taking the time to post this at such a special family time, Pops. Now go back to attending to that beautiful boy of yours. ;-)

  2. N. Cognito - Aug 30, 2011 at 7:49 PM

    Question: Does anybody know what the top row is in Section 117? Does anybody know of a Nats Park diagram that shows row designations?I turned in some RCR points and got seats in row RR and SS.Thanks.NC

  3. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 30, 2011 at 7:52 PM

    Talk about above and beyond the call of duty! Mark, you're our MVP. Thanks for thinking of us during this wonderful time. Enjoy the baby. Hug the wife. We're on cruise control here at NI.GYFNG. And, GYFBZG!

  4. Feel Wood - Aug 30, 2011 at 7:57 PM

    N. Cognito, the 3-D sightlines tool for Nationals Park is still available.http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/was/ticketing/seats_3d.jsp

  5. N. Cognito - Aug 30, 2011 at 7:59 PM

    "GYFNG. And, GYFBZG!"Wow! Never realized the rows went that high up.

  6. Joe Seamhead - Aug 30, 2011 at 7:59 PM

    Doesn't look like we're getting our money's Werth tonight.

  7. Binx Bolling - Aug 30, 2011 at 8:00 PM

    Looking at the line-ups, I am reminded that all teams have something that surprises. For the Nats, the decline of Werth and Desmond as hitters were surprises. Espinosa's power surprised. The development of Morse as a legitimate slugger surprised. Losing LaRoche to injury was a downer. For the Braves, the terrible start of Uggla was a grave disappointment. Freeman has been a pleasant surprise. Trading for Bourn was another surprise. And who would have guessed at Heyward's decline, so rapid that he is batting eighth tonight.

  8. N. Cognito - Aug 30, 2011 at 8:06 PM

    Feel Wood said… "N. Cognito, the 3-D sightlines tool for Nationals Park is still available."Forgot about that. Thanks.

  9. Grandstander - Aug 30, 2011 at 8:07 PM

    Indeed, thanks for taking the time to post a new thread with lineups. Didn't expect to see a new post for the next 3 days or so. I guess MLB players can get paternity leave but not the writers.Ian Desmond is slashing .349/.404/.488 over his last 10 games. In the words of FP Santangelo, stay hot, Ian Desmond!

  10. baseballswami - Aug 30, 2011 at 8:10 PM

    You know, I think I am at the point where it doesn't even matter to me what the line-up is. We have had what I thought were fantastic line-ups that folded like a cheap suit. We have had horrible looking line-ups that did well. On any given night…… Hoping that whoever is out there tonight has something to play for and is ready to battle. GYFNG! By the way – the GYFNG, Nats Insider ball is a good idea – in honor of baby Brian, maybe? I think you could get 25 people to give $10. After all, we are probably the only blog that was willing to financially support its writer. I still can't believe he posted today – maybe one of his colleagues can step in and help out. Thanks, Dad!

  11. Frediemac - Aug 30, 2011 at 8:24 PM

    Anybody heard who might be pitching Saturday night? Tom Gorzelanny ?

  12. sjm308 - Aug 30, 2011 at 8:26 PM

    Wondering what the group feels about whether this is Livan's last start as a National? We have 3 pitchers in the minors who I think will get looks (SS, Peacock and Milone) plus I think they want to see Wang finish out the year and I am guessing its the same with Detwiler. Not saying I want this to be his last start but it could very well be.

  13. jd - Aug 30, 2011 at 8:36 PM

    sjm308, I speculated as much last week.

  14. A DC Wonk - Aug 30, 2011 at 8:36 PM

    sjm308 said… Wondering what the group feels about whether this is Livan's last start as a National? We have 3 pitchers in the minors who I think will get looks (SS, Peacock and Milone) plus I think they want to see Wang finish out the year and I am guessing its the same with Detwiler. Not saying I want this to be his last start but it could very well be.It's a good question. To float a suggestion I made when this came up earlier — I'd love to see a Strass/Livo tandem for SS started games. Imagine trying to hit 97 mph fastballs for a couple of at bats, and then 63 mph curves in the next ;-)

  15. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 30, 2011 at 8:36 PM

    You know, Mark, you could leave the keys to this place with Chase or somebody. Frediemac, not announced yet probable pitchersbut I wouldn't be surprised by a callup, assuming Davey doesn't talk them into running Znn out there one more time.and on any other day, "pukey" would be a bad omen for a captcha, but under the circumstances, — oh, and the cat seconds the motion!

  16. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 30, 2011 at 8:38 PM

    sjm, I would hope they'd have the sense and basic class to let him do that at home.

  17. sjm308 - Aug 30, 2011 at 8:38 PM

    Wonk: I love that idea! It would give Livan plenty of time to warm up which I have read here he needs and can you imagine going from 97 to 65!jd: I must have missed it but when you get 200+ posts to certain columns its easy to get blurry eyed. Thank you both.

  18. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 30, 2011 at 8:43 PM

    DC Wonk… I got to see that in the spring of 2010. Strasburg's first start against the Tigers. Livo followed him in the 3rd inning and I told my buddy that "this just isn't fair".

  19. Bowdenball - Aug 30, 2011 at 8:44 PM

    Congratulations to Joe Seamhead, the one millionth person to attempt a pun based on the fact that the name of the Nationals' right fielder is a homonym of a word meaning "value"! You win a circa 2008 Dmitri Young Bobblehead. Please find Mark in the press box when he returns to the park to claim your prize.

  20. Chien-Ming Wang - Aug 30, 2011 at 8:55 PM

    Tell me about it.

  21. BJ Upton - Aug 30, 2011 at 9:14 PM

    You think you've got it hard.

  22. Anthony Weiner - Aug 30, 2011 at 9:37 PM

    None of you have any room to complain.

  23. John Boehner - Aug 30, 2011 at 9:41 PM

    I cry when they mispronounce my name.

  24. Anonymous - Aug 30, 2011 at 9:41 PM

    Top row in Section 117 is WW.

  25. Anonymous - Aug 30, 2011 at 9:42 PM

    Milone Saturday.

  26. Randy Johnson - Aug 30, 2011 at 9:44 PM

    I had to dye my beard and do Geico commercials. I'm telling you, it's rough.

  27. Keith Hernandez - Aug 30, 2011 at 10:09 PM

    At least they don't make you drive the bus.

  28. Keith Hernandez - Aug 30, 2011 at 10:24 PM

    Or truck or whatever it is. Maybe all that hair color has gone to my head.

  29. Steady Eddie - Aug 30, 2011 at 10:32 PM

    Along with Milone starting Saturday, MLB.com is now saying (barring the unexpected) that Strasmas II will be on Tuesday vs the Dodgers.

  30. Steady Eddie - Aug 30, 2011 at 10:34 PM

    Captcha says you can bet the "housi" on it.

  31. Big Cat - Aug 30, 2011 at 11:06 PM

    Mark, congrats! I know you've heard this…..but they grow up fast. You will blink your eyes and little Brian will be getting on the school bus. Tell me, was he named after Bixler, much like Mantle named after Mickey Cochrane?We should lock up Zim now. Just bring him in the room and say "what do you want Zim?" And then give it to him. He is a pros pro

  32. natsfan1a - Aug 30, 2011 at 11:10 PM

    Per Nationals Watch at the Times, Ramos scratched (under the weather) and Flores gets the start behind the dish.

  33. Anonymous - Aug 30, 2011 at 11:11 PM

    It'll be interesting to see whether Rendon and Purke go to the AFL as alluded to by Mike Rizzo in one of his recent interviews.Next year the Nats could conceivably have the two top prospects in all of baseball in Syracuse together in Rendon and Harper. Throw in Tyler Moore, Peacock, and hopefully, other pitchers … there's a lot to look forward to besides Strasburg's impending return and Lombardozzi, Wang. Its still in the minors where the Nats will see the most improvement I suspect.

  34. natsfan1a - Aug 30, 2011 at 11:11 PM

    Also, don't forget to check the upper right hand corner links for stories on the CSN site, the most recent regarding a callup and a pitcher's scheduled return to the bigs.

  35. gonatsgo - Aug 30, 2011 at 11:13 PM

    Ryan Zimmerman — SHOW HIM THE MONEY!!!

  36. Big Cat - Aug 30, 2011 at 11:21 PM

    We should work hard to sign Zim before Puhols signs, cause he is goona get 240-250 mil. Once he signs…the market is gonna explode

  37. Jim Webster - Aug 30, 2011 at 11:29 PM

    Breaking news … Livo's glove is gray. What happened to red?

  38. baseballswami - Aug 30, 2011 at 11:32 PM

    Anyone for some gorse hacking?

  39. TimDz - Aug 30, 2011 at 11:37 PM

    Watching the game with my 12 year old son… he left the room when Morse came up to bat… When Morse hit the ball, I heard from the other room, " THAT ball is gone…"

  40. Anonymous - Aug 30, 2011 at 11:45 PM

    Espinosa is upset that he might have to surrender some playing time to Lombardozzi over the last month of the season. Has he looked at his puny batting average over the last half of the season?

  41. Bups - Aug 30, 2011 at 11:48 PM

    This team went to sleep as soon as Davey Johnson became manager. All the players love Davey. No wonder, there is no accountability.

  42. bups - Aug 30, 2011 at 11:53 PM

    Why does Davey Johnson waste starts on washed up Livan when he could be looking at prospects Milone and Peacock? Can someone answer this question for me?

  43. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:03 AM

    Well, it's his turn, for one thing. It's not September yet, for another. Milone is taking Znn's spot in the rotation.DJ is still not the GM. That's Rizzo. The AA and AAA seasons are still going, they have to leave somebody there until September.

  44. gonatsgo - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:03 AM

    Saturday, Bups, Saturday – only a few more days. September starts on Thursday – call=ups are right around the corner.

  45. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:07 AM

    And there's that "accountability" meme again. Public floggings, that what we need. The random beatings will continue until morale improves!

  46. bups - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:09 AM

    I believe the AAA season is over on Labor Day, which is next Monday and Syracuse has a lousy W-L record so they aren't playing for anything. It's Livan's turn to go to the bullpen.

  47. RickH - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:12 AM

    Bups … Davey still wants to win games.

  48. Anonymous8 - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:16 AM

    How long has Danny Espinosa been playing? That is a costly doubleplay to have to leadoff with Livan.

  49. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:16 AM

    The Espinosa comments, as reported by Amanda ComackNationals’ infield combo may be tweakedLombardozzi is likely call-up“I think it was different with me and Kennedy,” Espinosa said, recalling how Kennedy – who he had grown up watching play for the Angels – helped serve as a mentor.“I’m not going to give up my spot just to help someone,” he continued. “I won’t do that. … If that’s what happens, that’s what happens. I hope that doesn’t happen.”Asked about the possibility of sitting to give experience to others, Espinosa was emphatic about the work he and Desmond had put in.“I think we need the opportunity to finish our years,” he said. “We’ve worked too hard, and we’ve played every single game. We’re two young ballplayers. It’s not like we’re two older guys that are on the way out or something.“No one’s talked to us and said that that’s what we’re going to do. I can’t speak for Ian, but the way I feel is that we’ve worked too hard and spent every day working together for someone to come up in September and all of a sudden for us to take the backseat. It’d be different if Desmond and I were 35 and 36 years old, huge difference.”

  50. Anonymous - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:17 AM

    RickH – really? I see no evidence of that.

  51. baseballswami - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:20 AM

    Sec 3 – so what you're saying is – some reporter ambushed a rookie and caught him off-guard with information that is maybe true, maybe not, and then printed everything he blurted out. Journalism at its finest.

  52. baseballswami - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:21 AM

    And I use the term "journalism" quite loosely here.

  53. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:21 AM

    All I did was supply a link, and a cut and paste. Didn't say a thing.

  54. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:25 AM

    Anon 7:45 mentioned it, and I figured somebody asides me would also be wondering just what he said.

  55. Gonat - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:25 AM

    Sec3, thanks for posting that story. My main thought is I like players that have a chip on the shoulder when it comes to their playing time.Clearly Lombo is going to get playing time a 2nd and SS just like Espi did last September.

  56. Bups - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:27 AM

    Rick H Johnson has almost no chance of winning a game with Livan on the mound, especially in view of the total lack of clutch hitting.

  57. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:29 AM

    oh, and that's not the whole article, by a long shot.

  58. Gonat - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:30 AM

    Has it been discussed that Prince Oppo Boppo is back to the Arizona Fall League this year as a full-time player?

  59. Anonymous - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:34 AM

    Espinosa is very selfish and it shows big time when he says: "I am not going to give up my position just to help someone else". Obviously, he is afraid he may never get his starting job back if Lombardozzi starts.

  60. Anonymous - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:38 AM

    Let's face it, the pitchers around the league have discovered Espinosa's flaws with the bat. Unless he makes adjustments, he may be toast. That would take a competent hitting coach and the Nationals don't have one.

  61. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:38 AM

    I smell a home run coming…

  62. Gonat - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:39 AM

    sjm308 said… Wondering what the group feels about whether this is Livan's last start as a National? We have 3 pitchers in the minors who I think will get looks (SS, Peacock and Milone) plus I think they want to see Wang finish out the year and I am guessing its the same with Detwiler. Not saying I want this to be his last start but it could very well be. August 30, 2011 4:26 PM _______________________________I also have no problem with tandem starts if thats what they decide to do and alternate 5-4 4-5 or some other innings combo. To me, it is seeing how they do with real MLB guys not neccesarily seeing if they can go 8 innings like you would wantto see Detwiler do.

  63. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:39 AM

    Thank you. Thank you very much.

  64. baseballswami - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:39 AM

    Espinosa is very young and I want a player out there with a chip on his shoulder who wants to be out there each and every play. He should own his position – I wish every player on this team felt the same way he does. I am sure that IF this happens, someone older and wiser will talk it over with him and he will see that the needs of the team come first. People don't always react well, especially when they are young, when you catch them off-guard. Give him time to think about it.

  65. Gonat - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:41 AM

    Nice to see something other than a solo HR!!!! How come the Nats can't do this for Jordan Zimmermann?

  66. gonatsgo - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:42 AM

    Selfish? What? A professional athlete in his rookie year who is in his early twenties? Have you ever met anyone that age? Have you ever heard of Logan Morrison? Comes with the territory. He'll calm down and be a good boy. Don't hold his first reaction against him.

  67. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:43 AM

    Yeah, that lack of hitting is killing them. I love how Livan runs to second on a double exactly the same way he runs to first on a sac bunt.

  68. Anonymous - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:43 AM

    Like we been sayin' — pay the man!

  69. baseballswami - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:44 AM

    Sec 3 – did you call that? or should I say, smell that?

  70. Anonymous8 - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:44 AM

    baseballswami, I started reading your comment @ 8:39 and think I something that starts the same way somewhere else. Maybe at 8:25?

  71. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:45 AM

    AFL list: Harper, Lehman, Martin, Norris, and Solis, and sometimes Rendon.

  72. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:46 AM

    I totally called that, one pitch ahead. Is that selfish of me to mention it? ; )

  73. Gonat - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:50 AM

    Sec 3, My Sofa said… I love how Livan runs to second on a double exactly the same way he runs to first on a sac bunt. August 30, 2011 8:43 PM _______________________________I like Livo and if one of my kids ran that way to 2nd I would pull them out of the game.

  74. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:52 AM

    but I was away from the TV for that one."disme""Dis me, huh? Take that!"

  75. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:53 AM

    Gonat, of course you would. So would I. That's why it's great–only Livo gets away with that."caped"Cuz Livo is Superman.

  76. gonatsgo - Aug 31, 2011 at 1:03 AM

    When Zim and Morse hit, we score runs. They are the cornerstones of this offense.

  77. JaneB - Aug 31, 2011 at 1:07 AM

    sjm said:Wondering what the group feels about whether this is Livan's last start as a National?I hate this idea. Look how well he is doing tonight. I cannot stress enough how much Livan delights me. And he deserves to stay. He runs hard to first when he needs to. And tonight he didn't need to run hard to second, either.And may we please pay homage to his 50,000 pitch tonight? That is an awesome achievement, even if I didn't love him. Which I do.Did I mention how much I love Livan Hernandez?

  78. Anonymous - Aug 31, 2011 at 1:08 AM

    gonatsgo, how long did it take you to figure that out?

  79. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 31, 2011 at 1:10 AM

    OK, I didn't see that one coming. Nix!And Zimm and Morse are competing for the next triple.

  80. gonatsgo - Aug 31, 2011 at 1:11 AM

    Well anon at 9:08 – oh nameless one — I really figured it out during this past week in the great scoring desert when they were not hitting and so the entire offense folded. They are cold – the whole team is cold. I realize you are being snarky, but when they don't hit, no one else really picks up the slack.

  81. Sec50,000, my sofa - Aug 31, 2011 at 1:13 AM

    I am right there with you, Jane. Not sure Livo will be back, but I'll be wearing the 61 for years to come, inshallah.

  82. dabassguy1 - Aug 31, 2011 at 1:14 AM

    Nine runs in seven innings? We usually take seven DAYS to score nine runs. I like it.Hope they keep it up. SS is on the way.GYFNG!

  83. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 31, 2011 at 1:14 AM

    Gonats, it took you less time than it took Riggleman. That's all I'm sayin.

  84. waddu eye no - Aug 31, 2011 at 1:15 AM

    brian – you are obviously good luck. keep it up. and come tuesday!gyfng

  85. Slidell - Aug 31, 2011 at 1:17 AM

    Hope Livo does better with this 9-1 lead than he did the last time. If he does get in trouble, I hope Davey reacts a bit quicker.

  86. Gonat - Aug 31, 2011 at 1:17 AM

    gonatsgo said… When Zim and Morse hit, we score runs. They are the cornerstones of this offense. August 30, 2011 9:03 PM _______________________________There is probably some cool stat on seeing games where the Nats score 5 or more runs and how ZiMorse do.Also, how do you think Werth feels being out of the lineup and seeing how the team is doing tonight. Kind of a shame since Werth was really starting to be clutch.Another thought is how good Morse is on offense while playing LF. I know people were concerned that could change is MOJO. The Beast is lookin' good!

  87. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 31, 2011 at 1:17 AM

    OK, that comment by FP surprises me. I've seen ML ballplayers use their little finger to signal "one out" for longer than I remember. Yet he says he's never seen it. I know we've seen Nats players do it–Morse just did, for instance.

  88. RickH - Aug 31, 2011 at 1:21 AM

    Bups … Sorry got distracted for awhile. You made a comment that we can't win with Livan on the mound?

  89. she said - Aug 31, 2011 at 1:22 AM

    One of the recent Braves games at Nats Park had tons of obnoxious Tomahawk-chopping. I like seeing some people in Nats gear in Turner Field… Not that I really want to be one of those fans. But you come in our house and do your offensive cheers, we come in yours and score 9 runs with a smattering of some of our fans!

  90. JaneB - Aug 31, 2011 at 1:23 AM

    I admit I was worried there but he got out of the inning. oh, Livo!He is my all time favorite player of my lifetime so far. And I'm sorta old.

  91. Anonymous - Aug 31, 2011 at 1:23 AM

    Look Livan lovers, if that guy is still a starter for the Nats next year then the team is not trying to improve. He needs to be sitting with Goorzlenny or he maybe taking care of his legal problems.His taking 14 seconds to stroll to 2nd base on that double is a embarassment to any child watching this game.

  92. JaneB - Aug 31, 2011 at 1:24 AM

    Right on, shesaid! Right on!

  93. JaneB - Aug 31, 2011 at 1:27 AM

    Now I have to love Joey Votto, when he was just on the "like" list.And Sean Burnett a little more, too.

  94. baseballswami - Aug 31, 2011 at 1:27 AM

    Slidell – I was at that Cubs game when livo was pitching and , well , things got ugly. It has crossed my mind, I have to confess. There is no lead that makes me comfortable. Not even the one we had in Baltimore that glorious Friday night in May.

  95. Anonymous8 - Aug 31, 2011 at 1:28 AM

    Impressive 9 pitch single by Marrero that wasn't a pull job

  96. Gonat - Aug 31, 2011 at 1:37 AM

    Just saw this stat that Nyjer Morgan only has 10 steals this year. Not only were the Brewers smart in platooning him in RH/LH matchups, they appear to have curtailed his running game from being uncontrolled. Only 3 caught stealing this year vs. the 17 last year.As much as I felt the guy had to go because Rizzo wasn't willing to platoon him or curtail his baserunning, the Brewers did it and this guy is going to be a difference maker for them as they win the NL Central.I hope the player the Nats got for him turns out to be a star! *sarcasm*

  97. Anonymous - Aug 31, 2011 at 1:45 AM

    Ragging on Livo for jogging into second for his double is just silly. With no outs, a lead, and more pitching to be done, he strolled into second like any manager would want his SP to run.sunderland

  98. Anonymous - Aug 31, 2011 at 1:47 AM

    Dad's busy tonight and the kids are getting snotty with one another.

  99. Anonymous - Aug 31, 2011 at 1:48 AM

    Are we jealous of the new baby? A little sibling rivalry?

  100. Anonymous - Aug 31, 2011 at 1:54 AM

    Did ya see Morse jog towards first when he hit a comebacker? Where's the indignation?sunderland

  101. she said - Aug 31, 2011 at 1:54 AM

    One more thing: regarding Espy's quotes, he's obviously disappointed. He was up there in all the Rookie of the Year discussions before the All Star Break and he probably wouldn't have been benched for a call up if he was still in the mix or if the Nats were in contention. But the team, and Danny, just had a super frustrating six games, so I'm sure some of that is that disappointment and frustration talking rather than selfishness. He hasn't come across that way before. He seems to often talk about how the We the Team did this and that in wins or we need to do this or that in losses. I feel for him. That comes off as more defensive because he know he's had a rough go of it lately.

  102. Anonymous8 - Aug 31, 2011 at 1:57 AM

    Didn't want to jinx anything about visions of Chicago. Glad we saw good Livan tonight. Tonight they weren't Kardiac Kids! Brian Zuckerman is 1-0

  103. baseballswami - Aug 31, 2011 at 2:04 AM

    Was it just me or did Gorzelanny look really good tonight? Of course, it's kind of easy for your fastball to look like it's 200mph after livo. Speaking of mph, no HRod tonight – my nerves needed a break.

  104. Gonat - Aug 31, 2011 at 2:17 AM

    baseballswami – are you serious? Gorzo had a 7 run lead against a team that looked asleep after the 2nd inning.HenRod could have done the same. These relievers are low stress type of guys outside of Coffey, Clip and Storen.Now could Gorzo develop into a reliever? Maybe.

  105. Anonymous - Aug 31, 2011 at 2:18 AM

    Best stat of the night — a zero in the error column.

  106. Anne O. Mouse - Aug 31, 2011 at 2:26 AM

    You wish, troll. Nice try, though. Anonymous said… Dad's busy tonight and the kids are getting snotty with one another. August 30, 2011 9:47 PM Anonymous said… Are we jealous of the new baby? A little sibling rivalry? August 30, 2011 9:48 PM

  107. Natslifer - Aug 31, 2011 at 2:28 AM

    Mark – Thanks for putting this post together – just another confirmation that you're the best out there in Natsland. Livo haters go find someone else to pick on. He signed under value and has been invaluable eating up innings and throwing up an occasional gem. Probably not going to be a part of the roster next year but what a great run he's had with us. I just logged in and barely a mention of Strasmus V2?? I can't wait! My expectations aren't nearly as high as V1 – really just a big step in our building process – but I'll be there and can't wait.And lastly how about more love for our guys – we are really great against the Braves and have won three games in a row against them when Jurrjens starts – that's some pretty good stuff.

  108. Gonat - Aug 31, 2011 at 2:39 AM

    @washingnats William Ladson on Twitter: RHP Livan Hernandez said he would like to return to the #Nats next season. He is willing to be a long reliever for the club. ________________________________I wonder if Livan saw SteveM's 25 man roster prediction for next year. It is good to see that Livan realizes the jig is up and he can still be part of this team in a new role.

  109. Grandstander - Aug 31, 2011 at 2:47 AM

    Livo clearly knows what's up. Everyone on this blog knows what's up. But Livo is very loyal to our club and the fact he'd take a long reliever to stay with us means he thinks this club is going places and he wants to be a part of it in the only way he can.Plus, Davey has said he wanted 2 long relievers in the pen and possibly shorten it up to a 6 man pen to give him an extra bench player. Livo would be perfect as swing man, able to spot start on short rest and go several innings whenever needed. The side effect is it makes Gorzo an interesting non-tender candidate depending on how some of our other "bubble" pitchers do between now and April.

  110. JaneB - Aug 31, 2011 at 2:49 AM

    I'll take him as a long reliever then. As long as we keep Livan.

  111. Anonymous - Aug 31, 2011 at 2:58 AM

    @Grandstander said… "Livo clearly knows what's up. EVERYONE on this blog knows what's up."1st part true. 2nd part false. Everyone? Just read some of the stupidity written by some who in the past 2 days was still seeing him as a 5th starter. A complete joke. Glad Livan knows the score.

  112. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 31, 2011 at 3:01 AM

    I'm not even jealous of Livo, and he's a superhero. I'm old enough to be his dad, and I'd be happy to have him for a role model for any kids of mine.

  113. Grandstander - Aug 31, 2011 at 3:06 AM

    Well, in all fairness, it's not out of the realm of possibility he makes it as a 5th starter. He's basically hedging against the Nats not offering him a ML contract. He'd rather have the ML contract and incentive-laden deal than test the FA market and have to audition in Spring. By saying he'll accept a long reliever deal, it just makes it easier for the FO to ink him next year and sort out all the BS in the Spring. But that being said, I'm rooting for Livo, always, I just think we have so much pitching talent that with one FA signing, there's just no more room. It fills me with joy he'd stay with us as a long reliever instead of trying to look for a starting gig elsewhere.

  114. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 31, 2011 at 3:09 AM

    somebody mentioned row WW is tops. So here's some Walt Whitman:Down-hearted doubters, dull and excluded, Frivolous, sullen, moping, angry, affected, dishearten’d, anonymous;I know every one of you—I know the sea of torment, doubt, despair and unbelief. I take my place among you as much as among any;The past is the push of you, me, all, precisely the same, And what is yet untried and afterward is for you, me, all, precisely the same. I do not know what is untried and afterward; But I know it will in its turn prove sufficient, and cannot fail.

  115. Anonymous - Aug 31, 2011 at 3:12 AM

    P-Nats just clinched a playoff spot.

  116. Anonymous - Aug 31, 2011 at 3:20 AM

    @Sec 3, My Sofa said… "I'm not even jealous of Livo, and he's a superhero. I'm old enough to be his dad, and I'd be happy to have him for a role model for any kids of mine." You have low standards my friend. This man who associates with known drug dealers? I wouldn't let him babysit mine.

  117. NatsLady - Aug 31, 2011 at 3:27 AM

    Livo not only good as long reliever. Better pinch hitter than M. Stairs. Also, open up a bunting school. Did you see the smile on his face when he was called on for a bunt in Cincy? Rizzo, get him for us… he's so fun.

  118. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 31, 2011 at 3:30 AM

    You have low standards my friend. This man who associates with known drug dealers? I wouldn't let him babysit mine. You're no friend of mine. Don't put on airs.

  119. NatsLady - Aug 31, 2011 at 3:33 AM

    Probably not best to use him (Livo) as a pinch runner, though.

  120. NatsLady - Aug 31, 2011 at 3:35 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  121. Drew8 - Aug 31, 2011 at 3:54 AM

    Cheer up, gang. Brian had a spectacular debut — four walk-on home runs!

  122. sjm308 - Aug 31, 2011 at 4:45 AM

    Hey everyone – back from the Lyle Lovett concert at Wolf Trap. Heard the Morse blast from Charlie and Dave and it must have been huge! Great win and if this was his last start of the year Livan has to be proud. Love 90% of the comments and did not see bups enter anything after his statement about Livan not being able to win hmm, or maybe he turned into an anon. Great win, would love to see Livan as our long guy next year and of course he could spot start as well. Can't wait for Milone, SS and Peacock. Also want to see if Wang can't continue to improve as well. Hasn't Marrero settled in nicely and what a plus that will be. Things look so much better after a win. By the way, Lyle's Large Band was super.go nats

  123. NasJack in Florida - Aug 31, 2011 at 9:32 AM

    Where'd that clown Bups go?

  124. N. Cognito - Aug 31, 2011 at 9:48 AM

    The circus left town.

  125. natsfan1a - Aug 31, 2011 at 10:07 AM

    We can only hope, N. Cog.In other news, I'm still lovin' Livo along with JaneB, sec3, and others. And it was fun to see the team on the good side of a laugher (Does a 7-run lead qualify for a laugher? Heck, the way the offense has been going, I think that a 3-run lead would qualify. :-)) That was some serious gorse hackage, my friends. (Oh, and I loved the WW, sec 3.)

  126. natsfan1a - Aug 31, 2011 at 10:15 AM

    I believe they need to win one more of the series three remaining games against Lynchburg to clinch.P-Nats just clinched a playoff spot.

  127. natsfan1a - Aug 31, 2011 at 10:21 AM

    Oh, and happy 50,000th, Livo!

  128. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 31, 2011 at 11:11 AM

    Add me to the sec 3/WW like column. Took me a second but the light bulb finally came on.

  129. natsfan1a - Aug 31, 2011 at 11:19 AM

    Here's another potential item for the future bandwagoner test. About which player was the following classic call made?WHAT was **** ***** THINKING? WHAT was he WATCHING? WHERE was he GOING?

  130. Anonymous - Aug 31, 2011 at 11:28 AM

    I think Livo can still pitch but I don't get the long reliever transition, his long pregame warmups are legendary. I would much rather have a young future/spot starter on the roster for this duty, much like the Orioles used to do back in the day.alexva

  131. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 31, 2011 at 11:36 AM

    @natsfan1a: All tests should be this easy:Nook Logan.

  132. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 31, 2011 at 11:44 AM

    Hey Sunshine… that was the first name that popped in my head. But I must say, I've muttered that very same line about somebody practically every season.

  133. natsfan1a - Aug 31, 2011 at 11:45 AM

    Right you are, Sunshine. It's easy for us, but for future bandwagon fans I'm thinking not so much.

  134. natsfan1a - Aug 31, 2011 at 11:46 AM

    I know the feeling, NatsJack.

  135. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 31, 2011 at 11:48 AM

    I even said that about Jim Bowden several springs ago as he crashed his Segway into a fence.

  136. natsfan1a - Aug 31, 2011 at 11:48 AM

    "It looks like I'm throwing BP against them all the time," Jurrjens said. ^My fave quote from the gamer on the Braves site.

  137. natsfan1a - Aug 31, 2011 at 11:49 AM

    LOL!

  138. Wally - Aug 31, 2011 at 11:56 AM

    sjm308 said…Hey everyone – back from the Lyle Lovett concert at Wolf Trap. SJM – me too. Good concert (although my wife misses the horn section), but he is starting to show a little wear, I think. Everything was great until trying to get out of the parking lot.Missed the fireworks last night. Nice to see the win and the homers. In the category of meaningless round numbers that I would like to see anyway, would love to see Danny get hot and get to 25, and Morse get to 30 + 95 RBIs.

  139. Gonat - Aug 31, 2011 at 11:57 AM

    Well Bob and FP over-estimated the length of Morse's HR at 460. It was 441 feet and suprisingly Espinosa's blast was only 5 feet less at 436 feet followed by Nix at 425 and Zim at 423 feet.The Nats had the 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th longest HRs of the day yesterday.

  140. Gonat - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:14 PM

    natsfan1a said… "It looks like I'm throwing BP against them all the time," Jurrjens said. ^My fave quote from the gamer on the Braves site. August 31, 2011 7:48 AM _________________________________Some of the best quotes are in the other team's papers except I don't think Flores and Ankiel thought it was BP.I also love the fans comments like "the Nats own us".If you ever want to know how good your pitcher is, see if the other team's players comment.

  141. Unkyd - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:19 PM

    Nice win! Where do o send my $10, for "GYFNG HACKING THE GORSE"?

  142. Mark'd - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:25 PM

    USA Today reporting that O's GM McFAIL will walk away after the season. That is one messed up franchise. Flanny last week, McFAIL this week and arguments with the Yankees over makeup games.

  143. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:30 PM

    It's the frustrated O's fans that provide a majority of the Neganon's comments on this site.

  144. Richard - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:34 PM

    re-sign Livo re-sign Livo re-sign Livo damn it. Like the Nats can't afford insurance and haven't spent millions in the past on players most of whom need surgery during their first Nats season and are gone by August 1 of their second. Hell, they paid Wang to rehab for two years.(BTW, where can I get a "Beast Mode" T-shirt!)

  145. Anonymous8 - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:38 PM

    Beast Mode = http://www.22Fresh.com

  146. sjm308 - Aug 31, 2011 at 1:29 PM

    We are going to have a problem I have not seen here before. Too many quality players!! Great article on Pudge's rehab over on NJ, hoping they bring Norris up but it looks as if he will return to the Arizona League at least. That makes 4 catchers and I am not even counting the guy in AAA who has done really well. And Pitchers, my gosh, we have focused on the new starters but look at the relievers as well. I wonder if they will give Mock a look since he has been lights out as a reliever lately? What a great problem to have.Wally, I wondered about the horns as well.go nats

  147. HHover - Aug 31, 2011 at 1:38 PM

    RichardAgree it needs to be done, and I think it will. I know there are folks who think Livo is part of the past and want to make way for new arms.But some of those new arms won't pan out (or will get innings limited next season). Livo isn't a top of the line pitcher, but he's decent, he's durable, and he's cheap.PS – I was offline due to power outages and haven't had a chance to congrat our host on his new addition. Glad to hear mother and child are well, and the father obviously is too. It's a great time, Mark–enjoy it!PPS – In honor of Livo's slow-ball pitching ways, I guess, the captcha was "ephisu."

  148. A DC Wonk - Aug 31, 2011 at 1:40 PM

    Three quick items from me this morning:Re: LivoWhether we think he's over the hill or not — the fact is: other than JZ, Livo has the most quality starts on the team *and* (again, other than JZ) he is the only pitcher for whom over 50% of his starts have been quality starts. (Livo's at around 54%, JZ was at 62%).BTW, the third highest total for QS was John Lannan — and his pct was 48%.DetwilerInteresting perspective also on another pitcher (granted: small sample size): 50% of Detwiler's starts have been QS. (I think: 3 of 6?)BPAs for JJ's quote: "It looks like I'm throwing BP against them all the time," my intitial reaction is: Livo looks that way *all* the time ;-) No, not the result, of course, but the speed of his pitches. I mean that as a compliment to Livo.

  149. jd - Aug 31, 2011 at 1:45 PM

    Livo is listed as the starter for Sunday's game against the Mets so reports of his demise are premature. I think it's a great idea to bring Livo (rubber arm) back in the miss Iowa role for next year; while you need to make room for younger; livelier arms in the rotation Livo would be invaluable as a quasi assistant coach. I think the younger pitchers can gain a lot from listening to Livo on how to game plan etc.

  150. N. Cognito - Aug 31, 2011 at 2:13 PM

    natsfan1a said… "In other news, I'm still lovin' Livo along with JaneB, sec3, and others."Shame on you. Does your husband know about this?

  151. N. Cognito - Aug 31, 2011 at 2:17 PM

    Richard said… "re-sign Livo re-sign Livo re-sign Livo damn it. Like the Nats can't afford insurance and haven't spent millions in the past on players most of whom need surgery during their first Nats season and are gone by August 1 of their second. Hell, they paid Wang to rehab for two years."You might want to switch to decaf.

  152. Steve M. - Aug 31, 2011 at 2:31 PM

    sjm308 said… I wonder if they will give Mock a look since he has been lights out as a reliever lately? August 31, 2011 9:29 AM Steve, I say yes. He is on the 40 man so it is just a matter of Rizzo adding him.Like I wrote a couple of weeks ago, Mock since his neck injury asked to be a reliever. Here's the most intriguing thing about Mock, he is the quickest reliever I have ever seen to get warm. If the phone in the bullpen rings he only needs 4 to 8 warmup throws. That can make him a valuable reliever.The proof with Mock is always what he is like on a MLB mound.

  153. A DC Wonk - Aug 31, 2011 at 2:36 PM

    Not only should the Nats resign Livo — they should give him a retroactive bonus for never once missing a start. Think of how many time the bullpen needed a rest, and Livo gave it to them.(OK, yeah, I know, it's impractical, but, sheesh, the Nats ought to at least write some incentives into Livo's cheap-as-heck $1m contract. He's led the team in IP yet once again. Last year he threw approx 70 more innings than any Nats pitcher!)

  154. A DC Wonk - Aug 31, 2011 at 2:44 PM

    … and he leads the entire league in Sac Hits and in Games Started.

  155. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 31, 2011 at 2:45 PM

    I am a Livo fan and will not be upset if they decide to bring him back for bull pen work….but….I will not be upset if they decide that there are valuable assets in the minor league system that need to be protected by placing them on the 40 man and Livo plus a couple of others can't take up those spots. I don't mean marginal assets, either. That time is coming and it's sooner rather than later.

  156. Steve M. - Aug 31, 2011 at 2:58 PM

    NatsJack, I would rather keep Livo over Slaten, Burnett, Balester and maybe even Henry Rodriguez.Here is what I had penciled in before with my note on Burnett at the bottom.I don't see any way Livo cracks this starting rotation next year and if he does, that would concern me on what it says about Wang, Milone, Peacock, Detwiler, Martis, Gorzelanny and any Free Agent acquisition as that is who Livo would have to be better than as JZim, Stras and Lannan have 3 of the 5 spots right now.1) New acquisition or Bernadina CF2) Jayson Werth RF3) Ryan Zimmerman 3B4) Michael Morse LF5) Adam LaRoche 1B6) Ian Desmond SS7) Danny Espinosa 2B8) Wilson Ramos C1) JZim2) Strasburg3) Free Agent4) Lannan5) Wang or Milone1) Storen CL2) Clippard SU 8th3) Detwiler SU 7th4) 5)6)7) Livo Long Man1) Ankiel2) Bernadina or Free Agent3) Lombardozzi or Free Agent4) Flores5) Marrero or Free AgentYes, blow up the bullpen and start over. Burnett shouldn't be guaranteed a spot even if he is under a million contract in 2012.Again, top priority in the off season is to extend Ryan Zimmerman then Michael Morse. August 29, 2011 2:11 PM

  157. Steve M. - Aug 31, 2011 at 3:00 PM

    Let me add that Livo's value is like Miss Iowa 2 years ago. Spot starter, decent mop-up and occassional late inning relief.Gaudin and Balester weren't good in that spot and I think Livo can do it.

  158. natsfan1a - Aug 31, 2011 at 3:05 PM

    Come on in to the Livo love pool, N. Cog. The water's fine. :-)N. Cognito said… natsfan1a said… "In other news, I'm still lovin' Livo along with JaneB, sec3, and others." Shame on you. Does your husband know about this? August 31, 2011 10:13 AM

  159. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 31, 2011 at 3:07 PM

    Steve M…. as I said, I have no problem with Livo out of the bullpen and for spot starts. I was merely pointing out how improved our 40 man is rapidly becoming due to the improved development system. The days of Gaudin or Bruney or even Marquis for that matter are over.

  160. fpcsteve - Aug 31, 2011 at 3:21 PM

    Nats Jack and Steve M., there has been some recent grumblings and discontent over the possibility of signing Coco Crisp to play CF and lead off next year. What is your take on him (and/or that possibility)? If not him, who?

  161. Steve M. - Aug 31, 2011 at 3:26 PM

    NatsJack, I was actually in agreement with you. I just think 2012 is going to be a new reality where there is no longer a free cup of coffee to come to DC. All these fringe guys like Balester, Stammen, Martin, etc are going to be on the edge.Rizzo has given many an opportunity in the bullpen. No telling what Matteus and Kimball's prognosis will be with their injuries.I just have to say I am not a HenRod fan. I spent too much time watching Armando Benítez in his years in Balt and Armando had better control on location and movement on his fastball.HenRod is a slinger. Nobody is fooled by his fastball and that is a problem. They see it coming and are putting it in play.In HenRod's case, his 100MPH isn't intimidating anyone in the MLB.So while I think 3 spots are sewn up for the starting rotation, I think 4 spots are sewn up for the bullpen as Detwiler either makes it as a starter or reliever in 2012, Clippard and Storen of course and Livan. Burnett will be given every opportunity also.

  162. N. Cognito - Aug 31, 2011 at 3:34 PM

    natsfan1a said… "I believe [the P`Nats] need to win one more of the series three remaining games against Lynchburg to clinch."I stand corrected. I missed the fact that the P-Nats play a DH later this week. The P-Nats magic number is 1.P-Nats j

  163. Steve M. - Aug 31, 2011 at 3:37 PM

    fpcsteve said… Nats Jack and Steve M., there has been some recent grumblings and discontent over the possibility of signing Coco Crisp to play CF and lead off next year. What is your take on him (and/or that possibility)? If not him, who? August 31, 2011 11:21 AM Crisp is a Free Agent which doesn't cost you trading young studs in the Minors. He isn't a big sexy name out there so I know most aren't excited about him. He is a 2 year stop-gap. He is having a career year in stolen bases which is good to see his legs are still good. The Nats need 1 to 2 years as they have an outfield logjam coming up. I think Crisp would take 2 years here and play NL ball which he hasn't before. Not a super high OBP guy at .330 but better than anyone the Nats have had in a long time. He is a top RISP batter at .317 and like last week he beat the Yankees himself with 2 HRs and 5 RBIs so he enjoys the big stage.Good defense and would probably be good for 140 games. He is a 6 day a week guy and BTW, is a switch hitter. Bernadina would fit fine in a backup role.Here's the issue for 2013 and its a good one. You have Morse to 1st base, Werth in RF, Bryce Harper and the strong possiblity you put Rendon in LF so Bryce Harper I think until Brian Goodwin is ready is the CF. I also believe there is nowhere for Werth to go put platoon bench player in 2014.

  164. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 31, 2011 at 3:39 PM

    I think Steve M. and I both are in favor of Crisp as a "stop gap" till the system spits out a lead off/Centerfielder guy for us.And Steve M… I totally agree on Hrod but with this one caveat… he is strictly a thrower and generates all that speed with little help from his lower body. I think they want to work on his mechanics this off season to see what they can develope. I don't hold much hope, but then I didn't see Wang progressing like he has since he left extended Spring Training.

  165. sunderland - Aug 31, 2011 at 3:45 PM

    SteveM, you're convinced Detwiler is going to be an RP? I'm not ready to concede that yet.And I wouldn't be surprised to see a veteran on the bench as the backup infielder rather than Lombardozzi.

  166. A DC Wonk - Aug 31, 2011 at 4:06 PM

    Steve M — I'm not convinced on HRod either — but I think the potential may be there. Remember, he's only 24. Benitez was variably consistent and inconsistent for a long time. Sure, HRod's 100 mph doesn't fool anybody, but he *does* have a nasty slider — when I saw him last week, he struck out the last guy on a slider that the batter seemed completely helpless on.MPHRod still has to learn _how_ to pitch (although I think he's close), as well as *getting control* — but I'm still effected by the memory of Nolan Ryan having an awful season, in particular with control problems, with the Mets (at age 24), and the Mets trading him away.HRod might be rough, he might be a diamond in the rough — I believe very strongly that nobody knows which it will turn out to be. But that it's worth another year to try to find out.

  167. jd - Aug 31, 2011 at 4:09 PM

    SteveM, From everything I've read I don't see Harper as a center fielder. I also can't imagine Werth as a bench player when he's earning $25 mil a year and I'm also not convinced that Rendon ends up in the outfield. I never worry about logjams; that's a good problem to have and that's where you have the opportunity to make good trades. You never have too much talent. Having said all that I think Crisp or someone like that is well thought out and could be a good solution for a couple of years as long as he doesn't cost $10 mil a year.

  168. jd - Aug 31, 2011 at 4:13 PM

    DC Wonk, I completely agree with your HRod comments. Arms like his are not a dime a dozen and you'd better be damn sure he can't be coached before you discard him. Hanrahan looked pretty bad too on the Nats and look at him now. This is also why Mock is getting every opportunity to succeed.

  169. A DC Wonk - Aug 31, 2011 at 4:18 PM

    jd — thanks — and let me return the compliment — I completely agree with your logjam comment. It's a "wonderful" problem to have — because it means trading opportunities.

  170. jd - Aug 31, 2011 at 4:19 PM

    A couple more thoughts: Desmond continues to have good at bats; he is hitting the ball hard 2 or 3 times a game; getting into long counts and is displaying a much more solid approach. If this is the real deal then you got your solution for leadoff for next year. Keith Law (whose opinion I respect) is not enamored with Marrero. He says that his hands are slow; that he does most of his damage against lefties; plays a minus defense and his upside is a below average regular with plus power. I am not saying he's definitely right but his analysis is generally objective and reasonable.

  171. baseballswami - Aug 31, 2011 at 4:23 PM

    I really don't understand why we would give up on RossD as a starting pitcher because he seems to be able to go only 6 right now. Same with all the fuss over JZ later in the season. These great, veteran pitchers didn't start out that way -it takes time to grow into the role and increase innings as time goes on. Sometimes I think we all expect them to be fully developed in their first few years. Even Drew – I am stunned at the success he has had so early, but you just know he is going to blow some. Even older, more experienced relief pitchers blow some. With our offense these guys are under enough pressure to be perfect – I think the high-pressure situations just add to the problem. The jury is still out on whether or not RossD can be a starting pitcher, too soon to relegate him to the BP. Livo – it may be time for him to wear the Miss Iowa crown. ( ooh another question for newbies – the "Miss Iowa" story.)

  172. Steve M. - Aug 31, 2011 at 4:37 PM

    sunderland said… SteveM, you're convinced Detwiler is going to be an RP? I'm not ready to concede that yet.And I wouldn't be surprised to see a veteran on the bench as the backup infielder rather than Lombardozzi. August 31, 2011 11:45 AM Sunderland, I am not convinced 100% on Detwiler but I see danger ahead based on stamina/endurance. I don't think he will make it through a full season as an effective starter and I base that on how his velo tails off in the 5th inning and his ball flattens out. The rigors of making 30+ starts with 200 innings and grind it out is the toughest test. There are too many pitchers ahead of him on the depth chart where stamina isn't an issue. His best game clearly was against Arizona in the 1st game of the series but when you analyze who he faced it was like the All-Mendoza team with only 2 starters with BAs over .250 and only 1 over .260 in Justin Upton and Goldschmidt was in a mini-slump, I wasn't surprised. Heck, 2 of the starters were at .159 each and another at .209.His last outing against the Reds he was up in the zone and gave up 6 runs and couldn't pitch around Marrero's throwing error. He got good defense and it could have been worse as he barely got through 6. The test will be his next few starts and it wouldn't surprise me to see Rizzo go with him next year and while he is fresh may give you strong outings to start the season like Marquis did. On the other hand, I know he can be lights out in the bullpen and the team needs 2 lefty arms in the bullpen that are good, one as a LOOGY shutdown type and one as a 7th or 8th inning setup with Clippard.

  173. N. Cognito - Aug 31, 2011 at 4:39 PM

    "Having said all that I think Crisp or someone like that is well thought out and could be a good solution for a couple of years as long as he doesn't cost $10 mil a year."He might get $7 mil in his next contract. Don't think he'll ever earn $10 mil a year.

  174. Steve M. - Aug 31, 2011 at 4:50 PM

    jd said… SteveM,From everything I've read I don't see Harper as a center fielder. I also can't imagine Werth as a bench player when he's earning $25 mil a year and I'm also not convinced that Rendon ends up in the outfield. I never worry about logjams; that's a good problem to have and that's where you have the opportunity to make good trades. You never have too much talent. Having said all that I think Crisp or someone like that is well thought out and could be a good solution for a couple of years as long as he doesn't cost $10 mil a year. August 31, 2011 12:09 PM Yep, logjams are good. No clue how this will all shake out in 2 years let alone next year. It is fun to look ahead as we couldn't say that 2 years ago.So much depends on Ryan Zimmerman's contract extension and Michael Morse also. If they both get extended, then Rizzo needs to move Rendon. I am still confident in Danny Espinosa at 2nd. I don't see Werth being above WAR by 2014. I see serious regression and think what we saw this year is what you get. Good arm, aggressive baserunner, takes a lot of pitches, decent OBP and everything else is average or below average. He is still a good player but not werth near what they paid him. It is the Alfonso Soriano situation in Chicago and maybe worse.

  175. Steve L - Aug 31, 2011 at 4:52 PM

    I'm kicking Desmond or Espinosa to the curb, jack.

  176. Steve M. - Aug 31, 2011 at 4:58 PM

    baseballswami said… The jury is still out on whether or not RossD can be a starting pitcher, too soon to relegate him to the BP. August 31, 2011 12:23 PM If Ross is the best available, then he is a starter. If not, my point is don't put him in Syracuse. He will be 26 years old next year and needs a future direction.I believe there are better arms available as an upgrade. Liking Ross is great, we all like him. I am projecting a Veteran #3 starter for 2012 and think the Nats can snag Buehrle. He is LH and the key to being even better in the NL East. That leaves 1 spot left and I see Wang and Milone as the 2 that will fight for that spot. Milone is a lefty, Wang is a veteran.These are good problems to have.

  177. Steve M. - Aug 31, 2011 at 5:06 PM

    jd said… A couple more thoughts:Keith Law (whose opinion I respect) is not enamored with Marrero. He says that his hands are slow; that he does most of his damage against lefties; plays a minus defense and his upside is a below average regular with plus power. I am not saying he's definitely right but his analysis is generally objective and reasonable. August 31, 2011 12:19 PM Marrero may end up a bench player so who knows but he is still learning so don't count him out yet. Just seeing him not pull the ball yesterday was good. The big test will be in a about 1 week when the advanced scouts from the Dodgers and all teams after have a book on him. Let's see if he can make adjustments. He actually held off and recognized the change up and slider out of the zone yesteray so seems to have a decent eye. I like his compact swing and he nearly hit one out to dead center last night.He didn't handle the double play big hop on Desi's throw but he handled the short hops well. Range looks alright.

  178. A DC Wonk - Aug 31, 2011 at 5:17 PM

    Steve M. said… Marrero may end up a bench player so who knows but he is still learning so don't count him out yet.To buttress that point — it's easy to forget how young he is because this is his sixth season with the Nats organization.But he just turned 23 in July — the youngest guy on the 40-man, almost a full year younger than Storen and Ramos.

  179. Steve M. - Aug 31, 2011 at 5:18 PM

    jd said… DC Wonk,I completely agree with your HRod comments. Arms like his are not a dime a dozen and you'd better be damn sure he can't be coached before you discard him. Hanrahan looked pretty bad too on the Nats and look at him now. This is also why Mock is getting every opportunity to succeed. August 31, 2011 12:13 PM Big difference is Hanrahan has 2 plus pitches with movement and what he is doing is hitting location. Unfortunately for Joel, he has tailed off the last 45 days as the Pirates have fallen apart.MPHRod rarely hits the catcher's mitt. If they can work on his delivery in the off-season to create more deception and increase his accuracy then he may be salvageable. Aroldis Chapman's 100 MPH pitch moves a lot more than Henry's and a -flat- 100MPH isn't going to fool most MLB hitters unless they are sitting changeup or breaking pitch.How do you explain how Henry looks better in low stress innings? Can't have relievers who can't handle pressure.

  180. Steve M. - Aug 31, 2011 at 5:21 PM

    A DC Wonk said… Steve M. said…Marrero may end up a bench player so who knows but he is still learning so don't count him out yet.To buttress that point — it's easy to forget how young he is because this is his sixth season with the Nats organization.But he just turned 23 in July — the youngest guy on the 40-man, almost a full year younger than Storen and Ramos. August 31, 2011 1:17 PM Great point, plus he missed 1/2 a season 2 years ago with an injury.

  181. Feel Wood - Aug 31, 2011 at 5:27 PM

    But he just turned 23 in July — the youngest guy on the 40-man, almost a full year younger than Storen and Ramos.No, the youngest guy on the 40-man is Bryce Harper. About five years yonger than Marrero.

  182. Warren Zevon - Aug 31, 2011 at 5:30 PM

    How do you explain how Henry looks better in low stress innings? He's just an excitable boy.

  183. jd - Aug 31, 2011 at 5:37 PM

    SteveM, Wonk, I haven't watched Marrero long enough to form an educated opinion. I was just quoting from a story by an analyst whose opinion I generally trust. If his hands are really slow MLB pitchers will figure this out quickly and they will bust him inside until he proves he can handle it. He has certainly looked OK at the plate so far but really shaky at 1st on some pretty routine plays. Maybe it's just nerves; we'll see.

  184. baseballswami - Aug 31, 2011 at 5:44 PM

    One last thought on RossD before I get back to my actual work that pays me. As has been mentioned before but bears repeating – RossD has got to build up some body mass – he is way too skinny — no wonder he doesn't have tons of endurance – he has also missed time due to injuries and has probably not had a full season yet to build stamina.

  185. Steve M. - Aug 31, 2011 at 5:58 PM

    jd, Marrero put up some very good numbers in Syracuse and the jump to the Majors can best be summed up in marking adjustments. The Braves don't know how to pitch him yet.Freddie Freeman made adjustments, Brandon Belt and Anthony Rizzo couldn't as quickly.BTW, the Braves are getting Matt Diaz and he is on his way to Atlanta.

  186. natsfan1a - Aug 31, 2011 at 6:06 PM

    Word is that Diaz went for cash considerations and a security guard to be named later:http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100921&content_id=14906648&c_id=mlb

  187. Unkyd - Aug 31, 2011 at 6:11 PM

    Warren: (snork!) ;-)……..they all say…Swami: EXACTLY!!!! Didn't Det have to rehab his HIP? Let him work on lower body and stamina, over the winter, and let's see….

  188. jd - Aug 31, 2011 at 6:13 PM

    Steve M.'the jump to the Majors can best be summed up in marking adjustments'. There have always been players who can dominate AAA but are fringe in the majors or even can't make the majors (known as AAAA players). The fact that Marrero put up very good numbers in Syracuse means he merits a try out but it does not guarantee anything. Diaz is a great pick up for the Braves for the playoffs. He is very solid against lefties.

  189. Steve M. - Aug 31, 2011 at 6:21 PM

    natsfan1a, yep, the Pirates are now unloading expensive spare parts and quietly conceding. Diaz and Bowker gone so far and a few more still out there on waivers.

  190. PAY TO PLAY - Aug 31, 2011 at 6:22 PM

    Wouldn't be surprised to see Diaz in RF tonight and Heyward on the bench.

  191. natsfan1a - Aug 31, 2011 at 6:33 PM

    Steve M., actually my security guard link points to his (awesome, imo) fan take-down in Philly – jokey link fail. :-)Kinda feel sad for Pittsburgh fans, though. Earlier this season, I thought they might have a chance, and I would probably have rooted for them to advance. I like the underdogs, and it seems like that organization has jettisoned a lot of fan faves in recent years.

  192. jd - Aug 31, 2011 at 7:05 PM

    natsfan1a, The Pirates never really had a shot. Their run was a mirage and it was essentially built on the weakness of their division. As soon as the Brewers got hot it was game set and match. The Pirates do have a bright future though. Jameison Taillon and Gerit Cole will be some kind of a one two punch in a couple of years.

  193. natsfan1a - Aug 31, 2011 at 7:13 PM

    Wish that we were in a weaker division, JD. Oh well.

  194. natsfan1a - Aug 31, 2011 at 7:14 PM

    But good to know that there's hope on the horizon for Bucs fans (and for us, too, I think).

  195. RPrecupjr - Aug 31, 2011 at 7:28 PM

    Ok, maybe my definition of a "veteran" is different from a number of you. I would consider a veteran to be someone who has played at least five seasons. If that's the case, we already have a lefty veteran, and a pretty decent one at that (as long as he doesn't face the Phillies) in John Lannan. So my rotation/bullpen for next year would look like this:1) JZim2) Strasburg3) Lannan4) Wang5) Milone/Detwiler1) Storen – Closer2) Clippard – 8th inning3) Big Pot – 7th inning4) Slaten – LOOGY+ (looking sharp in rehab)5) MPHRod – if he can harness his pitches6) Gorzy (or Detwiler/Milone, whichever ends up not starting) Long LHP7) Livo Long RHPObviously this is dependant on re-signing Wang, which I think will happen and it gives us two lefties in the starting rotation to handle (I hope) the Phillies and Braves lefty-heavy lineups.Now all we need is someone who can handle the friggin Fish, and we'll be fine.

  196. baseballswami - Aug 31, 2011 at 7:32 PM

    natsfan1a – I know – I look at some of the other divisions and sigh. One of the things I can't believe is that I still hear people talking about St Louis as being in contention. They have 71 wins and I think they are 9.5 back. The Giants have 71 wins and they are 6 back. That's a swing of,what,8 games from where we are at 63? Tell me there weren't 8 more games we should have won. We are -that- close. Looks like the Mets and the Fish are toying with each for a series, would love to move back into third.

  197. Anonymous - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:16 PM

    new post

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