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Game 134: Nats at Braves

Aug 31, 2011, 8:04 PM EDT

File photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nats try to make it two in a row tonight at Turner Field.

Fresh off a 9-2 thumping of the Braves last night, the Nationals are back in Atlanta tonight in search of their second straight win. John Lannan gets the nod against Derek Lowe.

Jayson Werth is in center field again, with Laynce Nix in right field and Rick Ankiel on the bench. Chris Marrero starts at first base, and Jesus Flores makes his second straight start behind the plate in place of ailing catcher Wilson Ramos.

Enjoy the game…

NATIONALS at BRAVES
Where: Turner Field
Gametime: 7:10 p.m.
TV: MASN
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 184
Weather: Partly cloudy, 87 degrees, Wind 6 mph in from RF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (63-70)
SS Ian Desmond
CF Jayson Werth
3B Ryan Zimmerman
LF Michael Morse

Read more »

212 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. gonatsgo - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:18 PM

    Not as upset with the idea of Flores for another day as I would have been a month ago. I still wonder if the pitchers do as well – that would be tough to evaluate, but he seems to be playing better overall.

  2. m20832 - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:26 PM

    GYFNG!!!

  3. natsfan1a - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:32 PM

    Thanks for the thread, Mark.Let's go, LannEn! clap-clap clap-clap-clapAnd howzabout you give him some *real* run support like you gave Livo last night, boys? Yeah, that's what I'm talking about!Seems to me that Flores has shaken off some rust from earlier in his return. Don't get the feeling that he and the pitcher are struggling to get on the same page so much and feel more comfortable with his handling of baserunners.

  4. NatsLady - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:33 PM

    swami– if we could just not lose series to BAD teams (Fish, Astros, Dodgers, Cubs, etc.) that would improve our record. The Nats should feast on those teams! It seems like the Nats are "up" for the Braves and Fillies but not so much for the bottom-feeders. Davey needs to tell them a win is a win.Speaking of salary dumps, are the Giants also giving up? They just released Tejada and Rowland.

  5. jd - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:36 PM

    NatsLady, I don't know if releasing Rowand and Tejada qualifies as giving up. They are both awfull

  6. bigfitzva - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:42 PM

    Rowland is a right handed bat that plays centerfield. Could be a cheap stop gap replacement.

  7. NatsLady - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:42 PM

    jd– agree on their awfulness. But this comment? Strange… Weren't they already on a contender's postseason roster? And if they were good enough to get on one, why release them? "General manager Brian Sabean said he would try to trade Rowand and Tejada by Wednesday night's 9 p.m. PT deadline so they could continue their careers and join a contender's postseason roster." [italics mine]That made me laugh.

  8. baseballswami - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:44 PM

    The Giants just don't know WHAT to do and so they are going to try anything. Last installment of "The Franchise" tonight. They really have been killed by injuries, especially Posey.I noticed the Pirates are releasing people, too. Anyone on the scrap heap we are looking at? Or do we just not need to do that anymore? I know Milone is on for Saturday, Marrero is already here – who else do we think we will see? I heard . along with Danny, from the reporter, that we might see Lombardozzi but I have not heard anything official,yet. Tomorrow is September.

  9. jd - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:45 PM

    NatsLady, That is funny. But in truth they are close to being toast. They are 6 games out with less than 30 to play and their lineup is really bad. There's only so much you can expect from Lincecum et. al.

  10. natsfan1a - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:46 PM

    NatsLady, tell me about it. On last night's broadcast, they had a graphic illustrating how well the Nats had played against teams over .500. My comment to the tv set was "okay, do that with the teams under .500 and we'll have something." Heh.I had the same thought re. the Giants. They've had a number of injuries, I think. Wish they could repeat but don't know that they'll be able to do it.Back to the Nats-Braves, it's not to Jurrjens ownage levels, but I think our boys done pretty well against Lowe in recent years. Found some stats on current Nats batting against him. Espi, Gomes, Zimm (who else?), and Nix stand out (small sample, yada yada yada). Crud. Lost the link. Back in a bit.

  11. gonatsgo - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:48 PM

    White Sox/Twins game on tv – adam dunn just struck out in the bottom of the ninth, one out, 2 on base. What happened to him? He makes Jayson Werth look like Babe Ruth. It's really very sad to see what has become of him – he's a good guy. But he is terrible.

  12. jd - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:49 PM

    swami, Syracuse's season ends on the weekend (Monday?) I think that: Bernadina and Lombardozzi are sure call ups and Antonelli and Peacock are maybes. Peacock has moved up 2 levels this year so they may not feel a need to promote him but he will definitely get a spring training invite and he will get a serious look next spring.

  13. SonnyG10 - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:49 PM

    Jesus handled pitchers just fine before he was hurt, so I'm feeling good about him being behind the plate. Tomorrow is roster expansion day so I look forward to having the extra guys up to get a look at. Meanwhile…GYFNG!!!

  14. natsfan1a - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:50 PM

    Here 'tis.http://tinyurl.com/3rsqwp6Yeah, I feel bad for Dunn, too.

  15. N. Cognito - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:50 PM

    bigfitzva said… "Rowland is a right handed bat that plays centerfield. Could be a cheap stop gap replacement."Nooooooooo!He's got another year on his inflated contract. He would provide the Nats NOTHING.

  16. baseballswami - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:54 PM

    Rowan and Tejada are very respected veterans who helped win a world series just 10 months ago. Yikes. The business of baseball is not for wimps.

  17. natsfan1a - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:54 PM

    Similar batting trends with last year included, but with Werth added into the mix (I know):http://tinyurl.com/3nklb7uI always liked the way Rowand played hard no matter what. At the same time, he really used to irritate me when he was a Phillie (which, I realize, was some years ago).

  18. natsfan1a - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    And he was also on the White Sox 2005 World Series team, so there's that.

  19. sjm308 - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    No to any and all "stop gap" replacements. We have done a good job of filling up our minor league rosters (still not done but from where we started a good job). Some one above asked about Peacock. I think I saw a quote from Davey about starting SS and having Peacock come in and try and go the last 5 innings. Of course Davey says lots of stuff, I kind of like that compared to how tight lipped Riggs was. Getting back to releases, we will be doing the same thing as we reshape our 40 man roster. Can't wait to see how that plays out.Go Nats

  20. natsfan1a - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:59 PM

    Not to mention his postseason play with the Phillies. But it's a "what have you done for me lately" business, as we know.

  21. natsfan1a - Aug 31, 2011 at 9:02 PM

    On another note, Pay to Play wins the interwebz on the Braves lineup (right field category).

  22. jd - Aug 31, 2011 at 9:03 PM

    Rowand's OBP = .274 Tejada = .270. Enough said.

  23. natsfan1a - Aug 31, 2011 at 9:03 PM

    btw, I'm not Aaron Rowand's mom. Just duly noting that, even if he may be awful now, he wasn't always.

  24. N. Cognito - Aug 31, 2011 at 9:06 PM

    "btw, I'm not Aaron Rowand's mom. Just duly noting that, even if he may be awful now, he wasn't always."Same could be said for Babe Ruth.

  25. sjm308 - Aug 31, 2011 at 9:07 PM

    Yes people, just stop with adding other peoples trash. We are past that. I can deal with bad trades or signings but picking up castoffs with the hopes of striking gold at this time of year just doesn't make sense. We need to play people like C.Brown, or even Bernadina and actually see what we have. I have already defended the Willingham trade, not for what we got but because it gave Morse his big shot but the reality is, I still don't trust HROD and while Brown has improved in the last month, he has not set the world on fire either. Still, bringing in a Rowand makes absolutely no sense.

  26. Gonat - Aug 31, 2011 at 9:09 PM

    Baseballswami – the Giants x-factor guy was Posey last year. The loss of him and the fact Sabean didn't replace him with a decent Catcher has cost them. I thought their pickup of Keppinger was good and Beltran was ok. Torres stinks at leadoff for them and that has hurt them.I give them credit for dumping Rowand and Tejada as they just aren't better than some of their Minor Leaguers.Too many teams stick with their mistakes because of what they have invested in them. Teams that want to win bite the bullet on the cash and move forward. SFG can still pull it out.

  27. A DC Wonk - Aug 31, 2011 at 9:11 PM

    From last thread:(Re: Hanrahan and HRod)Steve M. said… Big difference is Hanrahan has 2 plus pitches with movement and what he is doing is hitting location.MPHRod does have two pitches — he's got a wicked slider. As for location — we agree — it's sometimes awful.How do you explain how Henry looks better in low stress innings?Maturity. Which is my whole point. He's 24, has a slider, and can hit 100 mph. That's something worth waiting on in case it develops.Again — check out just how awful Nolan Ryan was at age 24 (1971). In 152 innings he hit 15 batters, and issued 116 walks. His WHIP was pretty bad: 1.586.Previously I wrote:But he just turned 23 in July — the youngest guy on the 40-man, almost a full year younger than Storen and Ramos.And, catching the error, Feel Wood writes: No, the youngest guy on the 40-man is Bryce Harper. About five years yonger than Marrero.Yep, you got me! I meant: youngest guy on the 40-man who has played a big league game.

  28. jd - Aug 31, 2011 at 9:12 PM

    natsfan1a, No you are right, he has regressed and the fact that he's earning $12.6 mil kind of makes you wander. Tejada is actually -0.6 WAR which means that he's performed worse than a replacement player would have and at $6.5 mil. I hope we are not looking at these kind of numbers with our own Jayson Werth in a couple of years.

  29. A DC Wonk - Aug 31, 2011 at 9:13 PM

    (errr . . . that last part, being age 23, was Marerro, not HRod, who's 24)

  30. baseballswami - Aug 31, 2011 at 9:14 PM

    Gonat – agreed. Kind of weird that their entire franchise has faded because they lost their 2cd year catcher. Granted, he was rookie of the year – that just shows that he deserved that award. Interesting watching him on The Franchise – he looks like he's 12, and now has twin babies. Talk about the Face of the Franchise.

  31. gonatsgo - Aug 31, 2011 at 9:17 PM

    On the wild, young pitcher discussion. Randy Johnson was crazy-wild when he was young. I just don't think I fall on either side with HRod. Maybe McCatty can work with him. You all think McCatty stays on next year?

  32. Gonat - Aug 31, 2011 at 9:21 PM

    sjm308 said… Yes people, just stop with adding other peoples trash. We are past that. I can deal with bad trades or signings but picking up castoffs with the hopes of striking gold at this time of year just doesn't make sense. We need to play people like C.Brown, or even Bernadina and actually see what we have. I have already defended the Willingham trade, not for what we got but because it gave Morse his big shot but the reality is, I still don't trust HROD and while Brown has improved in the last month, he has not set the world on fire either. Still, bringing in a Rowand makes absolutely no sense. August 31, 2011 5:07 PM _______________________________Don't defend the Willingham trade because it gave Morse a spot. Defend it if you think it was a good trade. I think you can only defend it if Corey Brown works out. Trading a Josh Willingham for an unproven reliever is bad business. Nobody does that. It was a bad trade to look at it any other way than Corey Brown + a throw-in. I would take Josh Willingham over Jayson Werth.As discussed yesterday, if Nyjer and Willingham were used like their current teams have them, they would have contributed at a higher level than 2010. Nyjer is the same guy he was a year ago except the Brewers had a plan. The A's had a plan for Willingham.Nyjer Morgan has made 13 steal attempts controlled by his coaches and he is 10 for 13. Last year he was caught a staggering 17 times. Riggleman gave him a green light. I'm not saying anything different than I said 12 months ago.

  33. Gonat - Aug 31, 2011 at 9:32 PM

    jd said… natsfan1a,No you are right, he has regressed and the fact that he's earning $12.6 mil kind of makes you wander. Tejada is actually -0.6 WAR which means that he's performed worse than a replacement player would have and at $6.5 mil.I hope we are not looking at these kind of numbers with our own Jayson Werth in a couple of years. August 31, 2011 5:12 PM __________________________________Jayson Werth, a couple of years? How's about next year? If you believe his pinacle was 2010, his OPS is down over 200 POINTS!!!! He has mirrored his 2005 numbers when he was a part time player in 102 games. Unless you think this year was due to injury or he goes BEAST MODE hot in September, his numbers will mirror 2005 when Jayson was with the Dodgers.Unfortunately, the earlier comparison to Chicago's dilemna with Soriano isn't even good as Soriano is better. I think money will dictate Werth's standing on the team and unfortunately this is just a bad deal and still has 6 more years left. UG-Lee

  34. gonatsgo - Aug 31, 2011 at 9:35 PM

    Our slogan for the Jayson Werth contract –"He's not as bad as Adam Dunn".

  35. Anonymous - Aug 31, 2011 at 9:37 PM

    I really would like to see us finish no worse then 5 games under 500. Thats what I am rooting for.

  36. A DC Wonk - Aug 31, 2011 at 9:37 PM

    Randy Johnson . . . good call.Both Johnson and Ryan have a couple of similarities worth noting — that even after they started to become unhittable, they _still_ had problems with control in their early years.I find the following amazing:At age 28, Big Unit let the league in walks (for the third time in a row), but also led the league in K's and in fewest hits per inning. What a weird combination of categories to lead the league, no?Nolan Ryan led in those three categories simultaneously *four* times in his career! (First time at age 25, last time at age 35). All told he led the league in walks 8 times, wild piches 6 times, fewest hits/inn 12 times, K's 11 times, WHIP twice. He led the league in WP's at age 42 (!!). The point being that he had problems with his control from time to time over his entire career. OTOH, Johnson seemed to master his control by the time he was age 29

  37. Bowdenball - Aug 31, 2011 at 9:42 PM

    Werth's current WAR for his "terrible" 2011 season is 2.1 according to Fangraphs and 1.6 according to Baseball Reference.Soriano comes in at 1.1 and 1.0 (same sources).Soriano is also three years older than Werth.Gonat's statement about the comparison with Soriano not being a good one was correct, but he was 100% wrong about why.

  38. sunderland - Aug 31, 2011 at 9:43 PM

    gonat, keep in mind that the Willingham trade was 1 year of Josh for 6 years of HRod and Corey Brown. Josh was team controlled for only 1 more year, both Brown and HRod for 6 seasons. I don't think it was a brilliant trade, but it also certainly was not a terrible trade. Especially when there was, and always seems to be, a 50 – 50 shot at Willingham being healthy thsi season.

  39. NatStat - Aug 31, 2011 at 9:47 PM

    @ sjm308: I like Davey's B.S. too! It's fun good quality B.S. Davey talks like a man that has 'been there, done that'. He also understands the stats of baseball, and that on any given night, almost anything can happen—and he's not afraid of it happening.Frequently, after a Nats' win Davey has been quoted as saying, "..that was fun…". He obviously has learned a few lessons from Earl The Pearl. Needs to get kicked out of a few more games before he meets Weaver's mark!Tight lipped manager guys like Wiggleman don't interest me.

  40. Gonat - Aug 31, 2011 at 9:49 PM

    sunderland said… gonat, keep in mind that the Willingham trade was 1 year of Josh for 6 years of HRod and Corey Brown. Josh was team controlled for only 1 more year, both Brown and HRod for 6 seasons. I don't think it was a brilliant trade, but it also certainly was not a terrible trade. Especially when there was, and always seems to be, a 50 – 50 shot at Willingham being healthy thsi season. August 31, 2011 5:43 PM __________________________Yes, which is why I said you have to see how Corey Brown does. Henry Rodriguez has to be looked as a throw-in on the deal.

  41. Gonat - Aug 31, 2011 at 9:54 PM

    Bowdenball said… Werth's current WAR for his "terrible" 2011 season is 2.1 according to Fangraphs and 1.6 according to Baseball Reference.Soriano comes in at 1.1 and 1.0 (same sources).Soriano is also three years older than Werth.Gonat's statement about the comparison with Soriano not being a good one was correct, but he was 100% wrong about why. August 31, 2011 5:42 PM _____________________________I am projecting out on how I believe they are similar deals, similar type of money and both are outfielders that went to their teams at about the same age 31 vs 32. Not this season. Look at Soriano in 2008 when they were the same age and you will see Soriano's numbers and how poor they got. Soriano has a .284 OBP this season…..

  42. natsfan1a - Aug 31, 2011 at 10:11 PM

    True. She's not Aaron Rowand's mom either. But I once saw this very special baseball that she'd evidently signed.N. Cognito said… "btw, I'm not Aaron Rowand's mom. Just duly noting that, even if he may be awful now, he wasn't always." Same could be said for Babe Ruth. August 31, 2011 5:06 PM

  43. natsfan1a - Aug 31, 2011 at 10:12 PM

    But then the dog ate it. But I digress.

  44. gonatsgo - Aug 31, 2011 at 10:12 PM

    I also do not pay as much attention to walks as some people do.If you look at Ryan and Johnson – a really good pitcher appreciates the value of a smart walk. The old"unintentional, intentional walk" — is much better than a multi-run hit. Even John Lannan – I have heard people criticize his walk numbers, but I have seen him not be afraid to put someone on and then get the next guy. Walks only hurt you if they usually score, if you strand them, no problem.

  45. LoveDaNats - Aug 31, 2011 at 10:13 PM

    I'm sorry to see Dunn struggling this year as well. He was a good guy. I honestly think that he would not be this terrible if he was still with us. I think he's suffering from the "OMG, I just signed a big, fat contract, sure hope I can live up to the hype" mantra. As is our own Jayson Werth. In hindsight, I am glad we made the trade. For both guys, I guess.

  46. baseballswami - Aug 31, 2011 at 10:16 PM

    It seems like a couple of times a week we are still hearing comparisons of Riggleman vs. Johnson. Riggleman is no longer a choice — my vote is "none of the above" or "other". The organization needs to move forward with someone suited to take this team and run with it. I don't want to see the caretaker manager or the accidental manager.

  47. natsfan1a - Aug 31, 2011 at 10:20 PM

    Or the disappearing manager. Just thinking out loud here.

  48. Anonymous - Aug 31, 2011 at 10:24 PM

    Morneau out again with concussion problems. That non-deal for Span is looking very good now, isn't it?

  49. NatsLady - Aug 31, 2011 at 10:28 PM

    The Nats are 32-29 when playing against an opponent with a winning record. Win 7 of the other games, that is play .500 against the bad teams, and you have a record of 70-63 record right now (sadly, still only 3rd place in the NL East…). Nats need to learn to beat bad teams and play better on the road.

  50. Gonat - Aug 31, 2011 at 10:37 PM

    LoveDaNats said… I'm sorry to see Dunn struggling this year as well. He was a good guy. I honestly think that he would not be this terrible if he was still with us. I think he's suffering from the "OMG, I just signed a big, fat contract, sure hope I can live up to the hype" mantra. As is our own Jayson Werth. In hindsight, I am glad we made the trade. For both guys, I guess. August 31, 2011 6:13 PM _____________________________I have thought the same thing if Dunn stayed. Dunn was this era's Hondo. Big loveable guy.

  51. Anonymous8 - Aug 31, 2011 at 10:50 PM

    The Braves wasted no time getting Matt Diaz into their lineup. They must have sent a private jet for him!

  52. Drew8 - Aug 31, 2011 at 10:59 PM

    Off the wall thought No. 1.If Marrero were to hold a starting job next year or in 2013 (admittedly that's hard to see, with LaRoche, Morse and Harper in the mix) might he be a good No. 2 hitter?Think about it. He doesn't have great power, but he draws walks and has a pretty good on base percentage.That would enable the club to keep Espinosa and Werth lower in RBI slots.It will be interesting to see whether Rendon works best as a slasher near the top of the order, or a lower power bat.

  53. Anonymous8 - Aug 31, 2011 at 11:14 PM

    Well, that sucked. Desmond worked a single and then promptly gets caught leaning.

  54. jeffwx - Aug 31, 2011 at 11:17 PM

    Could a been a Nat…nice catch

  55. Anonymous8 - Aug 31, 2011 at 11:19 PM

    Zim crushed that ball and a nice play by Bourn.

  56. sunderland - Aug 31, 2011 at 11:22 PM

    "Pizza Hut spokesman two years running"Who did he beat out this year?And what's the record for most consecutive years as PHS?

  57. Anonymous8 - Aug 31, 2011 at 11:22 PM

    Lannan starting things interesting with a 3-0 count to Bourn. Woo Then a quick Prado K

  58. sunderland - Aug 31, 2011 at 11:24 PM

    Next year's commercial. "Three time defending Pizza Hut Spokesman"

  59. jeffwx - Aug 31, 2011 at 11:26 PM

    He's never, never, never just as good.

  60. sunderland - Aug 31, 2011 at 11:42 PM

    That's a break for the Nats. Freeman rips a ball into the hole and Diaz can't get out of the way. Two out, one on, rather than one out with men on on the corners.Usually this is a baserunner error, but Diaz could not get out of the way.

  61. jeffwx - Aug 31, 2011 at 11:43 PM

    Nice Nats plug from baseball insiderMilone, a 24-year-old product of USC, has risen methodically through the Nationals’ system, a level per year, though he hasn’t garnered much attention from prospect hounds. Baseball America ranked his control as the best of the Nationals’ minor leaguers, but left him off their top 10 list. That should be seen not as an indictment of Milone, but as a reminder of just how good the Nationals could be in the near future.

  62. Drew8 - Aug 31, 2011 at 11:44 PM

    Off the Wall thought No. 2.Get used to the idea of Hall of Famer Johnny Damon. Amid the earthquake and the hurricane, Damon passed 2,700 career hits.At 37 he's 63rd on the all-time list with 2,703.Of the 62 players ahead of Damon, only 16 are not in the Hall of Fame, most because they are not eligible.Damon will soon pass six who are in the "excellent but not quite" group:Doc Cramer 2,705Dave Parker 2,712Bill Buckner 2,715Rusty Staub 2,716Al Oliver 2,743Vada Pinson 2,757Here are the others who aren't yet in the Hall:AROD 2,765 (not yet eligible)Griffey 2,781 (not yet eligible)Vizquel 2,838 (not yet eligible)Pudge 2,842 (not yet eligible)Baines 2,866 (excellent, not quite)Bonds 2,935 (not yet eligible, etc.)Raffy 3,020 (roids)Jeter 3,059 (not yet eligible)Biggio 3,060 (not yet eligible)Rose 4,256 (not eligible)Put another way: In the history of baseball, Harold Baines is the only eligible player with 2,800 hits who isn't in the Hall of Fame.Hall of Famer Johnny Damon. I know it sounds crazy, but get used to the idea.

  63. Gonat - Aug 31, 2011 at 11:46 PM

    Lannan has to lay a bunt down. 2 games in a row he couldn't advance the runner.

  64. Anonymous8 - Aug 31, 2011 at 11:51 PM

    Well, Lannan inability to advance Flores on a bunt cost the Nats a run. Unacceptable.

  65. gonatsgo - Aug 31, 2011 at 11:53 PM

    He needs some schooling by Livan!

  66. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 31, 2011 at 11:55 PM

    Score?Squabl

  67. Gonat - Aug 31, 2011 at 11:55 PM

    Lannan then starts off the bottom of the 3rd with a ridiculous 8 pitch at-bat homer to the opposing pitcher because he got into a 3-0 count to start him off.

  68. sunderland - Aug 31, 2011 at 11:57 PM

    Not sure the failed bunt cost them a run. Flores would not have scored on Desmond's hit. He would have paused, ground ball ahead of him, and advanced to third but no further. Everything changes everything of course, but he also would not have scored on Werth's K or Zimm's 5-3.

  69. Anonymous8 - Aug 31, 2011 at 11:59 PM

    Nats making alot of mistakes, and most of them are between the starting battery mates.

  70. Joe Seamhead - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:05 AM

    This is a very ugly inning. Flores, Ian, Lannan, you guys are supposed to be pros. Make the freaking plays.

  71. Gonat - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:05 AM

    Anonymous8 said… Nats making alot of mistakes, and most of them are between the starting battery mates. August 31, 2011 7:59 PM ____________________________Lannan with mental mistakes, batting mistake, and fielding mistake. Credit to Chipper on his HR but the other 2 runs were spotting them an easy 2 runw. A 3-0 count to Lowe was not smart then the walk eventually scores.

  72. baseballswami - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:05 AM

    wtf is up with Lannan tonight – someone needs to settle him down.

  73. Joe Seamhead - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:11 AM

    The better the seats, the less they know about baseball.(or something close to that) Bill Veeck.It seems like virtually every person in the big money seats behind home plate are somewhere other then into the ballgame.

  74. Anonymous8 - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:16 AM

    @baseballswami said… "wtf is up with Lannan tonight – someone needs to settle him down." His head is somewhere else. As soon as we start annointing this guy a #3 or #4, he slides back into John Lannan 2009. Bad fundamentals, pitching to corners, falling behind batters.That is why Rizzo has to get a legit veteran #3 here to slide Lannan back to #4 or maybe #5 if you keep Wang.

  75. baseballswami - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:23 AM

    I would actually love to set a new goal — how about 2 measly games in a row with NO errors?

  76. jeffwx - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:26 AM

    My goal for the nats…score 4 runs or more 4 games in a row

  77. NatsLady in a BAD mood - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:29 AM

    Does anyone here belong to Gold's gym? Been under the weather for a week, finally felt up to a workout, get to the gym and they can't/won't put the Nats game on because of a "corporate policy"– two of the tv's have to be on the Gold's channel, yada yada. Have you ever heard of this?????? So I gave notice, and filled out the feedback form, and I plan to email the Gold's general manager tomorrow and also the Nationals PR. Because of paying for the first month when you join, I can work out until October–by which time the baseball season will be over, for the Nats anyway.And on the way home I had to listen to the bottom of the 4th–very aggravating!!!!

  78. sunderland - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:29 AM

    Braves in 2011 worst team in NL vs left handed pitching. But that was before Diaz of course. JohnBoy needs to hold them at 3 runs.

  79. Anonymous8 - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:31 AM

    Hoping for a Nats HR here in the 6th.

  80. sunderland - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:33 AM

    NatsLady, my gym also does not have any sets tuned to MASN. And "No one is allowed to ever change the channels". just one more reason I'm not at the gym now.

  81. Anonymous8 - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:37 AM

    How silly has Jayson Werth looked in his at-bats tonight. 2 ABs looking at strike 3.Then you have to wonder how much they are slipping Eric Cooper behind the dish tonight. Some very iffy strike calls tonight. Not a strike 3 to Zimmerman.

  82. Anonymous8 - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:39 AM

    Lombardozzi at 3rd base tonight for Syracuse. I think they are prepping him to be a super utlity infield guy.

  83. Wally - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:40 AM

    I don't think that the Willingham trade was so bad. HRod may not turn out to be a good reliever (admittedly not good right now, but his career is just starting), but for potential stuff, not a bad gamble. So I am making something of a process over results comment.But the real point that I would add to the discussion is that Willingham does not have nearly the trade value we (including me) thought he did. Here are the facts, as I see them:We felt like we stole him and Olsen for Bonafacio and a few middling prospects.Rizzo tried hard to trade him at last year's trade deadline, and couldn't find anything worth taking.Rizzo trades him this offseason for a maybe reliever and middling prospect.The A's, going nowhere and looking to trade guys, don't find anything worth trading him for this trade deadline.I agree that he should be worth more on the trade market, but the data suggests otherwise.

  84. Anonymous8 - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:47 AM

    Anonymous8 said… Hoping for a Nats HR here in the 6th. August 31, 2011 8:31 PM BEAST MODE

  85. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:50 AM

    I also don't think the Willingham trade was so bad. Henry is 24 and a risk worth taking. Willingham, at the time, was aging and injury-prone. If Henry develops, he will still be pitching long after Josh retires. So what if we kept him for another year–he wasn't going to make the difference between us making the playoffs this year, and not.

  86. Drew8 - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:54 AM

    Well, I still don't have power.But Michael Morse sure does.Gorse Hackage!

  87. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:55 AM

    Drew8– you must have some GREAT batteries.

  88. Anonymous8 - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:57 AM

    So that Willingham conga-line basically it all started with Jon Rauch and is currently at Corey Brown/Henry Rodriguez. "Don't judge me now, judge me when my day is done"

  89. Anonymous8 - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:02 AM

    Well, Carpenter says "Lannan outstanding through 7"I guess everyone has opinions!

  90. Wally - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:03 AM

    It is good to see Mighty Morse's hitting isn't affected by playing the OF. I mean, no reason that it should have been, but that is actually kind of good to know for next year.

  91. baseballswami - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:04 AM

    Even though Lannan hasn't looked good at all tonight, or at least he didn't look good early in the game – he really has only given up 3 and he has gone 7. That really should be ok with any offense at all.Nice recovery 4-7.

  92. Gonat - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:05 AM

    Anonymous8 said… So that Willingham conga-line basically it all started with Jon Rauch and is currently at Corey Brown/Henry Rodriguez. "Don't judge me now, judge me when my day is done" August 31, 2011 8:57 PM__________________________________Hows about starting with Carl Everett for Jon Rauch!

  93. Wally - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:06 AM

    Just realized that I may never have seen Bixler hit the ball into the outfield on a fly. Ever.

  94. Drew8 - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:07 AM

    Actually, NL, I work in an office with an excellent generator.My battery isn't much better than Lannan and Flores.But it's MUCH better than Voldemort and Flores.

  95. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:09 AM

    Wally, Bix had a triple the other day. It was stunning.

  96. Wally - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:11 AM

    Ah, always a good day when there is a Drew8 Voldemort reference.NatsLady – grounder over the bag, or one of those 'Little League' triples?

  97. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:11 AM

    Ah, speaking of Henry–here he comes. Brace for it.

  98. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:12 AM

    No, he (Bix) had the real deal triple. Right up to the wall. Didn't know he had it in him.

  99. Wally - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:14 AM

    The 'thwap' on Kimbrel's warm up pitch was so loud it woke up my son.I figured out how to kow if its going to be Good Henry or Bad Henry. If he comes out with that expression like someone handed him a warm beer, it is Good Henry.

  100. Anonymous - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:17 AM

    It's that old, familiar Nationals song:No run support for a quality startHappy talk, but so little heartHype and hyperbole, Nationals' styleThe team that loses with a smile

  101. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:17 AM

    with his speed, bixler has no business hitting a lot of fly balls.

  102. gonatsgo - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:18 AM

    swami – Lannan's line 7 hits, 3 runs, only 1 walk and 6 K's – on paper, you can't really argue with that.

  103. Wally - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:19 AM

    Kimbrel : 105 Ks in 64 innings. Not looking good for the Good Guys.

  104. Anonymous8 - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:19 AM

    Werth looks like he did back in April. 3 K's looking. How bad is that?

  105. Slidell - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:22 AM

    In the Things Could Be Worse category: Orioles are down 13-0, at home. Listening to the O's announcing team for an inning makes me appreciate all the more Charley and Dave.

  106. Gonat - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:22 AM

    People, you just saw what an elite bullpen looks like SHUTDOWN. O'Flaherty to Venters to Kimbrel.How many wins have these 3 collectively perserved.This is what Rizzo should be trying to blueprint.

  107. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:22 AM

    have I mentioned how much I hate the braves?

  108. sunderland - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:23 AM

    Kimbrel – ROY

  109. Gonat - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:24 AM

    Anonymous8 said… Werth looks like he did back in April. 3 K's looking. How bad is that? August 31, 2011 9:19 PM ___________________________Just awful.

  110. baseballswami - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:24 AM

    2 hours and 12 minutes – about half of Sunday's game. Yes, I hate them, too, but their 8th and 9th inning guys are sillier than clip and store.

  111. baseballswami - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:26 AM

    Less than half – I am very bad at math

  112. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:27 AM

    swami, that kimbrel kid should be nicknamed "pigpen"

  113. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:28 AM

    @Gonat– Well, he's got the 8 and 9. Now just need the starters to go seven. Which Lannan did. So, that's NOT enough. Need more than 1 run in a game!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  114. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:30 AM

    what have they scored, a run a start for lannEn in the month of August?

  115. Mark'd - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:31 AM

    Baseballswami, add Oflaherty also. Simply surgical from the 7th inning on.If Detwiler paired up with Clip and Store to make each game a sure thing after 6 innings, that would be impressive.

  116. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:31 AM

    I don't hate the Braves. They are a good team, and we didn't earn a win. I HATE THE MARLINS, they are not a good team and we should not lose to them. We should not lose to the Astros. We should not lose to the Dodgers, Cubs, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.

  117. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:34 AM

    I have hated them for years because they are good. That's the best reason.Carp, FP, and especially Ray are all sounding frankly disgusted with called third strike fastballs. Ray is (again) saying Werth's approach is "unacceptable."

  118. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:35 AM

    But I really do hate that 1800 tequila guy the most.

  119. Gonat - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:37 AM

    NatsLady said… @Gonat– Well, he's got the 8 and 9. Now just need the starters to go seven. Which Lannan did. So, that's NOT enough. Need more than 1 run in a game!!!!!!!!!!!!!! August 31, 2011 9:28 PM ________________________________Yep, Rizzo has the 8 and 9 and the reality is you don't have Halladay, Hamels and Lee so you need a 7th inning guy which Rizzo doesn't have.You see JZim went an average of 6+ every game and same with Lannan. The reality is the Braves have something no other team has in 3 back-end relievers with a combined 1.70 ERA.It is smart because the Braves don't have great starters any more as Jurrjens is their best, they are very good as a group. Their offense isn't great. They have a tight defense.

  120. baseballswami - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:39 AM

    Once again — the team with the best record in the nl, plus Hallady, Lee, Hamels AND the wild card leading team with the back of the bullpen we saw tonight. Both in our division. Well I hope it's true that whatever doesn't eat you makes you stronger. But you are right NatsLady – we play those teams better than we play the fish and that is not acceptable. Mets coming up – hoping the offense shows up for that series. Should be some good crowds at the park with the promotions and concert, along with some horrible mets fans – and we know our guys get up for that.

  121. LoveDaNats - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:41 AM

    I could go for a nice 6 game winning streak. how bout it? Mets, then Dodgers? Tired of losing. Got tickets for Strasmas. Can't wait.

  122. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:43 AM

    @Gonat: agree. That was the Padres' model, make it into a 6-inning game. JZimm should be able to go longer next year, but Stras–maybe not. So would be great to have that 7th inning guy. Also, Desi better up his game if you want tight defense. He's got the talent, but he doesn't have the consistency, does his mind wander or what?

  123. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:47 AM

    Got tickets for every Sept. game that I can possibly go to, hope Stras pitches in one of them. Missed him last year, but I DID enjoy the Miss Iowa game!

  124. Anonymous8 - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:47 AM

    The Brewers are trying to do what you describe GOnat when they got KRod to put together with Axford and they moved Loe back to the 7th but he is no O'Flaherty.My suggestion is the Nats get a closer quality guy like KRod and make him the 8th inning setup guy and Clippard can be in that OFlaherty role

  125. Wally - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:48 AM

    Davey was just asked if he felt he had the personnel to have a good offense, and he just kind of looked away and gave a complete non answer

  126. Anonymous - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:50 AM

    It's so nice we've reverted to our statistical mean: lifeless.

  127. Gonat - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:54 AM

    NatsLady said… @Gonat: agree. That was the Padres' model, make it into a 6-inning game. JZimm should be able to go longer next year, but Stras–maybe not. So would be great to have that 7th inning guy. _____________________________Re-thought, JZim averaged 6 1/3 innings so he actually lasted on average until the 1st out in the 7th inning.Agree with you on Stras.

  128. gonatsgo - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:55 AM

    Wally – but he does have personnel capable of offense. Look at each person in the line-up. Desi has never been a high average hitter, but every other person has some history of hitting well,or the potential to hit well. I have never been one to jump on the crucify Eckstein bandwagon – but there does not seem to be a good plan up there. Maybe it's true that he can't do anymore than anyone else could, they are pros and should be able to do it. I don't know – but this team "should " be capable of more offense. They show it sometimes, but not consistently.

  129. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:57 AM

    A8, that is not a bad plan. Also, I think Davey would be flexible on using Clipp and XXX in 7th OR 8th based on who needs to put out a fire.

  130. baseballswami - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:58 AM

    I heard Larry Bowa talking about the giants yesterday — good baseball guy. He was saying that on teams with an anemic offense, you have just got to manufacture runs with some small ball. Our offense reminds me of the Giants.Since we generally have difficulty generating offense, what would it hurt to try some things to move runners and scratch out some runs?

  131. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2011 at 2:01 AM

    FWIW: yesterday I went on the Braves site, their fans felt Nats have a "good approach" at the plate (while complaining about the Braves' offense).So, hitting coach would have two jobs:1) tweak the hitters' approach in general2) make sure that every hitter has a plan for every at-bat in particular (situational).Seems like Eckstein gets good reviews on #1, but #2 is questionable.

  132. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2011 at 2:03 AM

    @swami: was thinking the same while listening to the Detroit game this afternoon. First inning, leadoff double. Then sac bunt, then sac fly. Ergo, one run. (Game went back and forth, but KC eventually blew it).

  133. Anonymous8 - Sep 1, 2011 at 2:08 AM

    NatsLady, there are plenty of closers that are Free Agents. Sure, you may have some bruised egos if they don't close here. Oh well.I think I would rather stick with Bernadina in CF if it meant the Nats got a top closer to give you a 7-8-9 that owned the last 3 innings of each game. Those guys in Atlanta give up 1 run on average every 8 games they appear in.Then you have a guy like Detwiler that needs to give you a full 6 innings which is probably more doable than pushing him into the 7th.

  134. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2011 at 2:09 AM

    Coco Crisp just went in as a pinch runner and promptly stole a base. (Indians game in the 10th– go Manny!!)

  135. Anonymous - Sep 1, 2011 at 2:10 AM

    Hey…Losers gotta Lose #71 IS IN THE BOOKS!

  136. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2011 at 2:11 AM

    @A8: Not worried about closers' egos. Really. Just, let's not have Matt Capps back. Who are the other FA's?

  137. Anonymous8 - Sep 1, 2011 at 2:17 AM

    Octavio Dotel RP (Closer) / RP (Right-Handed) Blue Jays 1 $3.500MM Brian Fuentes RP (Closer) / RP (Left-Handed) Athletics 2 $10.500MM Kevin Gregg RP (Closer) / RP (Right-Handed) Orioles 2 $10.000MM J.J. Putz RP (Right-Handed) / RP (Closer) Diamondbacks 2 $10.000MM Chad Qualls RP (Closer) / RP (Right-Handed) Padres 1 $2.550MM Jon Rauch RP (Closer) / RP (Right-Handed) Blue Jays $3.500MM

  138. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2011 at 2:27 AM

    A8: TY. Will look up their records tomorrow and play GM to see which one we should acquire. All righties.

  139. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2011 at 2:28 AM

    ooops, sorry, Fuentes=lefty. Read too fast.

  140. baseballswami - Sep 1, 2011 at 2:38 AM

    Had to take a "franchise" break – last episode.This series has been very dramatic and it doesn't really matter what team it was, you just get to see things from the inside. I will be interested to see how that division turns out. With the Nats, I am more than interested – I am waaay too emotionally invested in what happens to this team. Sometimes I definitely lose perspective – as has been pointed out to me by friends and co-workers ( also the ones that make fun of my imaginary friends). Now – about the back of the bullpen situation – what do you think we should do? Are Coffey or Burnett capable of the 7th, HRod maybe? How will it play out? The fans need to know!

  141. ehay2k - Sep 1, 2011 at 2:39 AM

    I loved FP's comments about what hitters need to do with 2 strikes. He was taking a shot at the Nats and whoever it is who has the job to teach them about hitting and situational hitting in particular. At the moment, I am now convinced that there is no such person. That is the only way to explain a full season of RISP ineptitude, or looking at the third strike over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. Or was that just Werth?

  142. gonatsgo - Sep 1, 2011 at 2:40 AM

    swami — less caffeine maybe?

  143. baseballswami - Sep 1, 2011 at 2:42 AM

    Sorry, the frustration – errors, watching called third strikes, again and again and again. I may see Jayson Werth watching third strikes go by in my nightmares tonight. I hate losing, but hate bad baseball more.

  144. masnstinks - Sep 1, 2011 at 2:47 AM

    ehay2k — Even though FP was not the greatest player, he has also coached and he seems to have a very good grasp of many aspects of the game. He doesn't criticize openly in an offensive way, but he does manage to get his point across by talking about how his coach asked each hitter what his plan was before he could go to the on deck circle. He spoke tonight about 2 strike approaches. He is quite knowledgeable, and if you listen to him you can see some of what is missing. I hope someone else is listening.

  145. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2011 at 2:50 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  146. A DC Wonk - Sep 1, 2011 at 4:00 AM

    That is the only way to explain a full season of RISP ineptitudeSo, does anybody know how one finds the Nats overall RISP average? (And how it compares to other teams, etc., taking into account team batting averages, etc.?)

  147. Scooter - Sep 1, 2011 at 4:24 AM

    Wonky: I can start you out with the Nats' splits and the NL's splits. I don't know how to get a page showing each individual team's RISPiness. You could, of course, go to each team's page on bb-ref and then, in the line right above where it says "Game Results," mouse over Batting and then click on Splits from the drop-down menu. But that's quite a process for 30 teams.On another note, I realized something watching tonight's game. Of course we all envy the Braves their bullpen. But saying "Darn it, if only we had a bullpen as good as the Braves'!" is about like saying "Darn it, if only we had a rotation like the Phillies'!" or "… a shortstop like the Rockies'!"Sure, it's a goal — it's THE goal — but wondering what would happen IF the Nats suddenly became the best on the planet at [xxxx] might not be the most instructive exercise to determine what could have been.

  148. Scooter - Sep 1, 2011 at 4:28 AM

    Hey Wonkster, I think I found it: splits!

  149. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:05 PM

    Hey, Scooter. Thanks, just what I needed to see first thing in the morning. Us and the Giants, bottom of the pack.

  150. Gonat - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:08 PM

    Scooter, great job, now I am sick. Also, look at the stud bench Rizzo put together, Cora/Nix/Ankiel are all at or below the Mendoza line.Livan Hernandez leads the team. Another good thing about Ian Desmond like last year is that he hits better when RISP.http://www.fangraphs.com/winss.aspx?team=Nationals&pos=all&stats=bat&qual=0&type=0&season=2011&month=29&season1=2011

  151. Mark'd - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:24 PM

    Rizzo needs to construct his 2012 bench and fill his CF job based on BA with RISP. I really like how Ian Desmonds BA goes up with RISP.

  152. natsfan1a - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:26 PM

    When they showed LannEn hanging his head on the bench after he'd come out of the game, I was visualizing this thought balloon over his head, "If you'd given me half – just half – of the run support you gave Livo last night…but noooooooo…Sec 3, My Sofa said… what have they scored, a run a start for lannEn in the month of August? August 31, 2011 9:30 PM

  153. natsfan1a - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:30 PM

    Speaking of successful teams and if onlys, I came across this piece the other day and it seems like a good time to post it. I dearly hope some day to find out how I handle team success and increasing expectations (test me, baseball g*ds, test me)…http://espn.go.com/espn/commentary/story/_/page/bryant-110824/philadelphia-phillies-fans-downside-following-baseball-superpower

  154. natsfan1a - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:32 PM

    Meant to post this earlier but it was evidently lost somewhere in cyberspace (or in the windmills of my mind – your call):I don't hate the Braves. But that tomahawk chop? grrrr…

  155. natsfan1a - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:37 PM

    On the plus paw, the P-Nats clinched another playoff berth last night.

  156. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:39 PM

    Klaw says the most important of the "basic" team stats is OBP because you don't get runs if you don't get men on base. Nats team OBP is .309. Top is Red Sox/Yankees at approx. .350. The Braves are at .310. So, at least between the Nats and the Braves, the difference is not OBP.But, the Braves are better at bringing them in (Nats 514 runs, Braves 554 runs). Just think what we coulda done with 50 more runs.

  157. natsfan1a - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:47 PM

    As did the Senators, I believe.Go, P-NATS!! Go, SENATORS!!natsfan1a said… On the plus paw, the P-Nats clinched another playoff berth last night. September 1, 2011 8:37 AM

  158. A DC Wonk - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:49 PM

    Scooter — thanks!So, I didn't look at all the teams, only the Nats vs the NL. And here's what I found:NL: overall BA .253, RISP BA .252 — so, with RISP, the league basically hits for average.Nats: overall BA .242, RISP BA .225 — uggh, Nats do worse with RISP(Scooter: the fangraphs splits don't have RISP! Unless I missed something).

  159. Gonat - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:51 PM

    natsfan1a said… Lannen "If you'd given me half – just half – of the run support you gave Livo last night…but noooooooo…"Uh, if they gave JZim just 3 runs while he was in the game he probably would have been an 18 game winner since he had 18 games of 2 runs or less. Of course the bullpen would have to HOLD the lead.Again, 18 game winner!

  160. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:55 PM

    Wonk, Scooter sent the Fangraphs link with RISP splits. Here it is:http://www.fangraphs.com/teams.aspx?pos=all&stats=bat&lg=all&type=0&season=2011&month=29&season1=2011

  161. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:05 PM

    According to Fangraphs, with RISP Nats are at .224 BA, only the Giants are worse (.217).Nats overall team BA is .241 (only Padres, Giants and Mariners are worse).At first glance, the Cards hit substantially better RISP than whole season– .290 vs. .270. A lot of teams hit about the same.To do more than that I'd have to export both graphs to a spreadsheet and compare RISP average to overall average.

  162. A DC Wonk - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:08 PM

    Whoops — hold the phone. Here's another amazing stat — that argues the other way.The Nats are *fifth* in league BA when hitting in "high leverage" situations. They are batting .261, almost 20 points *higher* than their overall average. (Given that they are 14th in the league in overall batting, that's pretty good).The NL as a whole, however, bats .254 in "high leverage" situations, which is only .001 higher than their overall average.So, how do we reconcile these stats with what I just posted? My *guess* is that while the Nats generally do poorly with RISP, when the game is "on the line, in the late innings" they actually do pretty well. (If anyone has any other theories, I'm all ears!)Nats bat .260 in the 9th inning (5th beat in the league!!), and .320 in extra innings (3rd best in the league)Cute stat: they bat .292 against the Orioles, far and away better than against any other team!(Scooter — you can get the whole league, sorted, at baseball-reference by clicking on the item in the lefthand column)

  163. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:13 PM

    Bottom line is…. the Nats need to score more runs…period. That's the only stat that counts and actually leads to wins.

  164. lesatcsc - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:15 PM

    Looking at the splits on RISP, not only are the Nats second to last in MLB hitting with runners in scoring position, they lead the league in Ks in that situation! So not only are they not getting clutch hits, they're not even putting the ball in play and causing the defence to make a play. It would be interesting to know how many of those wiffs were on called strikes (Werth) or swinging at pitches well out of the strike zone (Espinosa, Ankiel).

  165. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:15 PM

    Here are two graphs showing average over the season (150PA) to average with RISP (60PA, that is 60 opportunities):Nats hitters BA for seasonNats hitters BA with RISP

  166. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:21 PM

    NatsJack– yep! See my comment about about Nats runs compared to Braves runs. Personally, I think the Nats and Braves are two comparable teams, constructed similarly, good pitching, good bullpen, (hoping for) good D.The difference, IMO, is those 50 runs. Wonk, that's been part of the problem with the Nats– they are "up" for the high-leverage situations, bottom of the 9th, good team, extra innings, Fillies fans yelling…They need to win in the low-leverage situations, get a bunch of runs in the first few innings against bad teams and hold the lead.

  167. A DC Wonk - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:38 PM

    NatsLady said… NatsJack– yep! See my comment about about Nats runs compared to Braves runs. Personally, I think the Nats and Braves are two comparable teams, constructed similarly, good pitching, good bullpen, (hoping for) good D. The difference, IMO, is those 50 runs.Yep — good point. It's not RISP so much as: hitting in general.Wonk, that's been part of the problem with the Nats– they are "up" for the high-leverage situations, bottom of the 9th, good team, extra innings, Fillies fans yelling…Good point. So here's how I can reconcile that they are good in "high leverage situations" and still be bad overall in RISP:Now, I'm not sure how they define "high leverage", but I'm guessing that "early innings" don't count so much.So, in a game where they fall behind early, they might be 0-12 in RISP but not a single at bat in a high leverage situation. But if they are behind, say, only 2-0 in the 7th inning or later, they do _better_ than the league does on average (which is pretty good considering their batting average). The problem is that in those games they lose, they are often behind early.Bottom line, as everyone's been saying, as has been clear as day for a while: they just gotta hit better, period. _Any_ situation.(PS/Tangent: I'm glad you recognize, overall, NatsLady, that the Nats bullpen is not bad. Overall, WHIP is slightly better than league average, and relievers' ERA is *fourth* in the league. (Yes, I know ERA for relievers is not the best measure, but it's not a worthless stat either)).

  168. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:44 PM

    Gonat– the "Mendoza line" is .200. Maybe you were thinking .250?Although Cora (.218), Bixler (.213) and Ankiel (.236) are near the Mendoza line, they're not actually below it.If you look at August, Jonny Gomes is closest (.200) with Nix right in there (.211).Our boy Bixler, BTW, is hitting .292 for August.Nats BA for August (20+ PA).

  169. masnstinks - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:48 PM

    Next year, next year, next year. I genuinely would like to see what some of these pitchers could do with run support. I think it's not only the final score that shows the frustration for the pitchers, it's pitching every single inning either behind, tied, or up by just a tad.It's knowing that just one bad pitch will lose the entire game ( see Zimmermann, Jordan). Hopefully these situations have battle-hardened them and if they get some well-deserved offensive support next year, they will feel that pitching deep into a game is much less taxing.

  170. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:51 PM

    The Nats bullpen is not bad, and getting better. The guys were great in the spring–when the rotation was stable and reliable (except for Maya). They went through a really rough patch, and also got overused, when there were injuries and other problems with the rotation, and also some mismanagement (e.g., Coffey–both overworked and also not a closer). Also challenging for the BP was transitioning from all "short" guys to throwing Gorzy and Detwiler in there, not to mention Balestar, in his quest for long relievers. And of course you have the MPHRod "project", which I think is worthwhile, but it does count against their stats. I also observe that Clipp has been experimenting with more use of his change-up, and that didn't work out in the one game he gave up the three runs (which we were already losing anyway).

  171. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2011 at 2:33 PM

    Here is an interesting chart on the ways players contribute (or not) to Nats wins.I thought Jerry Hairston was a better fielder than this chart shows. Werth is just about earning his salary (of course, Morse is vastly underpaid).Gomes is not that great a fielder (IMO) but he has make a couple of game-saving catches.Value by player for Nats not pitchers.

  172. Steve M. - Sep 1, 2011 at 2:39 PM

    NatsLady said… Gonat– the "Mendoza line" is .200. Maybe you were thinking .250?Although Cora (.218), Bixler (.213) and Ankiel (.236) are near the Mendoza line, they're not actually below it.If you look at August, Jonny Gomes is closest (.200) with Nix right in there (.211).Our boy Bixler, BTW, is hitting .292 for August.Nats BA for August (20+ PA). September 1, 2011 9:44 AM Click on that link. He is talking about batting averages on RISP for the original bench players that are still here. Cora .208 Nix .192 Ankiel .174 They average as a group well below Mendoza.The other note on BAs for RISP is how dramatically it will change with a hot streak because the sample sizes are smaller. For instance Brian Bixler at 3 for 14 is .214 and with 1 more hit w/ RISP he jumps to .267If Jayson Werth goes 4 for 4 in his next 4 ABs w/ RISP he jumps to .250To me, the minimum is .260 for RISP for players you are looking at. It isn't the ultimate in clutch as hits with 2 outs and RISP or high leverage game on line situations. Also, breaking down by High Leverage is a good indicator.

  173. baseballswami - Sep 1, 2011 at 2:41 PM

    I was fascinated by the absolute speed of that game – two hours and twelve minutes. I think that had to be our fastest this year.Anybody recall a faster one? Basically, not many base runners for either team, we only made one pitching change, between innings,they did 7,8, 9 but nothing during innings. With 6 strike outs,1BB and 2HR,and that's just for Lannan, both defenses barely got dirty.

  174. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2011 at 2:57 PM

    Steve M– sorry, I didn't click on the link, and you are also correct about small sample sizes. The only batter with RISP in 150 chances is Werth and he is hitting .227 RISP– just about his average overall.Here are some trends for the Nationals:Nationals batting averages by year.Nationals pitching averages by year.The reason I post this is because it doesn't seem to correlate team BA or even OPS with winning percentage. The year we lost 103 games, 2009, we scored 4.38 runs per game. (This year, 3.84).However, that year the team ERA was 5.00. To me, more runs is fine BUT, if you are going to look at gross stats you have to keep the team ERA below the team runs per game.If I have time later, I'll see if I can correlate team ERA/Runs per game against team win % for all the teams.

  175. natsfan1a - Sep 1, 2011 at 3:00 PM

    With all due props to Z'nn, I'm a bit confused as to the relevance here: the 3 runs were scored by the Braves, while the Nats scored only the 1.Gonat said… natsfan1a said… Lannen "If you'd given me half – just half – of the run support you gave Livo last night…but noooooooo…" Uh, if they gave JZim just 3 runs while he was in the game he probably would have been an 18 game winner since he had 18 games of 2 runs or less. Of course the bullpen would have to HOLD the lead. Again, 18 game winner! September 1, 2011 8:51 AM

  176. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2011 at 3:09 PM

    Gotta go to the gym now–before work–because after work the stupid gym won't put the Nats on TV. This cuts in to my stats time… Grrrrrrrrrrr!1A– I think Gonat was saying JZim has as much, if not more, to complain about than Lannan. Of course, Livo has suffered from lack of offense also. Speaking of our bunting champ, they were listing the top all-time strikeout pitchers on Baseball Today. The other pitchers had last names or two names. And in the list was our "Livan." There is only one "Livan," like, y'know, "Madonna."

  177. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2011 at 3:13 PM

    And, how do you like this, Miss Iowa starting for the Mets tonight!http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2011_09_01_flomlb_nynmlb_1&mode=preview

  178. natsfan1a - Sep 1, 2011 at 3:14 PM

    Yeah, seems to me that Marquis was the only one who got decent run support, but then again he tended to help himself, too.Funny about Livo's listing.

  179. natsfan1a - Sep 1, 2011 at 3:16 PM

    I'd wish for him that he would do as well tonight as he did upon stepping in for SS…but it's the Mets.

  180. Steve M. - Sep 1, 2011 at 3:19 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… Bottom line is…. the Nats need to score more runs…period. That's the only stat that counts and actually leads to wins. September 1, 2011 9:13 AM That is the bottomline. It is the way as a GM to construct your team with the correct balance to always outscore your opponent which is: You Play to Win the Game – Herm EdwardsThe The Nats balance is certainly better in pitching and defense and worse in runs scored. Nats scored an average of 4.04 runs per game last year. Remember last year how poor the Nats were in Extra Inning games? That has been a significant improvement.The key is that .37 runs per game differential to get the Nats above the League average. League average is 562 right now and the Nats are 514. The Nats are averaging 3.83 runs per game. They need to be around 4.25 and the Nats were 4.04 in 2010. Given the Nats low ERA with the starting rotation, just an extra .37 runs per game would be worth 12 more wins and 12 less losses. That would give the Nats a 75-59 record and be in the playoff hunt -IF- they could score on average that extra .37 runs per game.Losing Adam LaRoche was a big loss considering he was a big Runs Created player. Its one of the major reasons besides the demise of Jayson Werth and the low OBP in the leadoff.

  181. Steve M. - Sep 1, 2011 at 3:30 PM

    http://www.fangraphs.com/winss.aspx?team=Nationals&pos=all&stats=rel&qual=0&type=3&season=2011&month=0&season1=2011I like this FanGraphs chart for Relievers. If you go by WinProbability (WPA), probably gives the best assessment for your bullpen.Sorted from worst to best:Name WPA Sean Burnett -1.59Collin Balester -0.88Doug Slaten -0.88Henry Rodriguez -0.67Craig Stammen -0.37Brian Broderick -0.35Chad Gaudin -0.28Tom Gorzelanny -0.06Ryan Mattheus 0.06Cole Kimball 0.27Todd Coffey 0.32Ross Detwiler 0.44Drew Storen 2.32Tyler Clippard 4.84

  182. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2011 at 3:40 PM

    Steve M., yeah nice chart, looks pretty much on the money. Coffey is a free agent, would you re-sign him?2012 Contract Status: Signed thru 2011, 1 yr/$1.35M Service Time (01/2010): 4.024, Free Agent: 2012

  183. jd - Sep 1, 2011 at 3:40 PM

    As far as I'm concerned W/L record for a pitcher is essentially meaningless and the baseball community is beginning to get it. Felix Hernandez won the Cy Young last year and as I recall he was something like 12 – 13 (I could be off a bit). Everyone knows that Zimmermann is waay better than Marquis but; all the reasonable pitching metrics tell you that but you wouldn't know it from the W/L record. That's why when I read that so and so blew a game for Znn etc I cringe because it;s only meaningful from a team point of view; it doesn't reallt take away anything from Znn.

  184. jd - Sep 1, 2011 at 3:44 PM

    Lannan is not blameless for yesterday's loss. He failed miserably on a sacrifice which if successful would have produced a run; he gave up a home run to a pitcher who has never hit one then walked the next batter which led to another run. If you look at his line you figure he had a pretty good game but when you look at the details you see some critical mistakes which had a large part in the loss.

  185. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2011 at 3:49 PM

    I'm keeping Clip and StoreHenryCoffeyDetwiler (or trade if you can get something good)MattheusKimball (assuming his recovery goes ok)What lefties would you keep in the BP?Detwiler?Burnett is signed through 2012 (with a mutual option for 2013). He's a lefty, but I don't know how much you'd get for him unless you package him with some others, and you'd still want a lefty in the BP, so probably have to keep him.Gorzy is eligible for arbitration. Would you offer it?

  186. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2011 at 3:53 PM

    jd, don't forget Lannan's error and the passed ball. I know a PB is one that "should be" handled by the catcher, but unless the catcher is ASLEEP, you have to assess some of the blame to the pitcher.

  187. natsfan1a - Sep 1, 2011 at 3:58 PM

    Agreed re. W-L records for pitchers, jd.Re. LannEn specifically, wasn't watching the middle innings so missed seeing the error committed (though I saw it in the boxscore later). Agreed re. bunting skillz (or lack thereof).

  188. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2011 at 4:00 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  189. baseballswami - Sep 1, 2011 at 4:02 PM

    I was just looking over last night's box score ( I know, not much to look at), and I noticed the attendance was 20K — is that normal for Atlanta now? They are the Wild Card leaders and it's late in the season! They are a good team! What's up with that? I know it was a Tuesday night, but the weather is decent and , for goodness sake, did I mention they are playing for the post-season? I thought the theory was that if you do well, your fans will come?

  190. Steve M. - Sep 1, 2011 at 4:04 PM

    Off of what NatsLady was saying about Jordan Zimmermann, here is Jordan Zimmermann's 26 game season for 2011. It is sorted by Earned Runs given up and the last column is how he exited the game with a lead, tie, or behind. For instance a -2 means he left losing by 2 runs.For the 1st line, Jordan gave up no earned runs, exited at 1-0 got the Win and the final score was 3-1. Line 6 is interesting, gave up no earned runs and lost on an unearned run on June 29th in a complete game against the Angels. Jordan got 3 no decisions and 1 loss in games he gave up NO RUNS.It goes to show you what 1 extra run usually means to the outcome of a game when a pitcher has a low ERA. Score Decis. ER Exited1 W,3-1 W 0 12 W,3-2 ND 0 03 W,2-0 W 0 14 W,9-5 ND 0 05 W,2-0 ND 0 06 L,0-1 L 0 -17 W,2-1 W 1 18 W,6-1 W 1 39 L,0-4 L 1 -210 L,1-2 L 2 -211 W,5-2 W 2 112 L,2-11 L 2 -213 W,6-2 W 2 114 W,5-3 W 2 415 W,3-2 ND 2 016 L,0-2 L 2 -217 W,4-2 W 2 218 L,1-2 L 2 -119 L,4-5 ND 3 -120 L,5-6 ND 3 421 W,5-4 ND 4 -222 L,3-4 L 4 -323 L,4-6 L 5 024 L,3-5 L 5 -225 L,6-7 L 6 -426 L,2-11 L 6 -3

  191. Steve M. - Sep 1, 2011 at 4:06 PM

    Well, so much for the pretty columns I formatted.

  192. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2011 at 4:07 PM

    @swami– yeah, lots of complaints about ATL attendance, only 17K on Tuesday night.@Anon8: reviewing your list of closers, Brian Fuentes (LHP) is signed through 2012 with a team option for 2013. So if you want him you'd have to trade for him. Also, he's 36.2012 Contract Status: Signed thru 2012, 2 yrs/$10.5M (11-12) & 13 team option (details)Service Time (01/2010): 7.125, Free Agent: 2013

  193. natsfan1a - Sep 1, 2011 at 4:08 PM

    Eh, we can get the gist of it, even without the nice spacing, Steve M. :-)

  194. natsfan1a - Sep 1, 2011 at 4:09 PM

    On the broadcast, Carp said (tongue in cheek, I think), that the fans were saving up for postseason tix.

  195. natsfan1a - Sep 1, 2011 at 4:10 PM

    Though such tix don't come cheap, either.

  196. jd - Sep 1, 2011 at 4:19 PM

    I don't think it';s wise to spend big bucks on FA relievers. I think Detwiler makes a lot of sense as a key reliever and I also think that Mock will be a sleeper in the pen next year. I like Livo in the miss Iowa role and I would bring Coffee back but for not much more than he's making now; he's decent, he's a good team mate but he is replaceable. NatsLady, Didn't Kimball have a rotator cuff injury? if that's the case it's tough to project him for next year.

  197. Steve M. - Sep 1, 2011 at 4:19 PM

    NatsLady said… Steve M., yeah nice chart, looks pretty much on the money. Coffey is a free agent, would you re-sign him?2012 Contract Status: Signed thru 2011, 1 yr/$1.35M Service Time (01/2010): 4.024, Free Agent: 2012 September 1, 2011 11:40 AM Love Coffey if the Nats didn't destroy his arm. I only love Coffey as a 2 batter stopper. Strictly situational. Can't burn him out.I said before that I am a believer in bullpen by assignment. 1) Mop-up/Long Relief is 1 person (call him Livo)2) LOOGY pitches to 1 lefty batter and the next one if he is also a lefty (call him Gorzo)3) ROOGY stopper pitches to 1 or 2 batters in the highest stress situations before the 7th inning (call him Hot Pot)4) *6th inning man (call him New Guy)5) 7th inning setup (call him O'Flaherty)6) 8th inning setup (call him Tyler Clippard)7) Closer (call him Drew Storen)*6th inning man is Mattheus/Kimball type and is under-used and gets clean innings. Sometimes fills in for the 7th and 8th inning guys if they are over-used.

  198. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2011 at 4:24 PM

    Yeah, Z'nn didn't have a lot of bad games, but they came mostly in August. He had an incredible June (42 IP, 0.85 ERA). So, for next year, for Z'nn, is the issue he didn't go long enough in games, or he didn't go long enough in the season? It makes sense he was shut down in September– should he have been shut down earlier? On what basis was the 160-inning limit set? And should it be reviewed/revised? This is also a key question for me in terms of Stras next year.

  199. Steve M. - Sep 1, 2011 at 4:24 PM

    jd said… I don't think it';s wise to spend big bucks on FA relievers. I think Detwiler makes a lot of sense as a key reliever and I also think that Mock will be a sleeper in the pen next year. I like Livo in the miss Iowa role and I would bring Coffee back but for not much more than he's making now; he's decent, he's a good team mate but he is replaceable.NatsLady,Didn't Kimball have a rotator cuff injury? if that's the case it's tough to project him for next year. September 1, 2011 12:19 PM Yes on Kimball. Agree on FA closers, none of them are worth that cash. No on Fuentes. Need a top LOOGY. Not sure if Gorzy can do it but I have more faith in him then Burnett. He is also expensive for a LOOGY.I want to see Mock if he can be my #4 guy and I want Detwiler for my #5 guy.

  200. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2011 at 4:28 PM

    jd– yes, that's why I'm not at all sure you can count on Kimball coming back. Also am worried about Mattheus. I think he could be the 7th inning guy, and I think he could even close if we got lucky enough to wear out Storen with a bunch of 9th inning leads in a row, doubleheaders, etc. But I don't know if he can stay healthy.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 57 45 --
ATLANTA 57 48 1.5
MIAMI 51 53 7.0
NEW YORK 50 55 8.5
PHILADELPHIA 46 59 12.5
Through Sunday's games

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