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Game 135: Nats at Braves

Sep 1, 2011, 7:30 PM EDT

File photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
It's the rubber game of the series at Turner Field tonight.

Though the Braves are near-locks to reach the postseason as the NL's wild card for the second straight season, they've had a devil of a time dealing with the Nationals this year. The two teams have split their first 14 games this season, and with a victory tonight, the Nats would finish 2011 with a 5-4 record at Turner Field.

Chien-Ming Wang will be on the mound, facing a repeat opponent for the first time. The Braves got to him for six runs (only two earned) over five innings on Aug. 3, but he's made significant progress since then. Longtime nemesis Tim Hudson (12-3, 1.97 ERA in his career vs. the franchise) starts for Atlanta.

Enjoy the game, and be sure to keep an eye on Harrisburg, where Stephen Strasburg tonight makes his final rehab start in preparation for Tuesday's return to the big leagues…

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 5 mph RF to LF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (63-71)
SS Ian Desmond
CF Jayson Werth
3B Ryan Zimmerman
LF Michael Morse

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169 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. NatStat - Sep 1, 2011 at 7:38 PM

    I'm keeping my eye on Mickey Morse, hoping that he progresses to 30 HRs or more. 100 RBIs is a bit of a stretch, but it's been a good season for The Beast!

  2. MC 703 - Sep 1, 2011 at 7:40 PM

    I'm a little disappointed to see all the tickets available for the Tuesday game. I can't make it to as many games as I'd like to b/c of my work schedule / work location (Ashburn ugh) but I took off for this one. The atmosphere at Strasmas #1 was the best I've ever seen at RFK or Nats Park so far.

  3. P. Cole - Sep 1, 2011 at 7:45 PM

    Stephen who?Just kidding. Can't wait for Tuesday! GO NATS

  4. A DC Wonk - Sep 1, 2011 at 7:47 PM

    MC 703 said… I'm a little disappointed to see all the tickets available for the Tuesday game.I'm waiting till after I hear SS pitched tonight (i.e., no rainouts, injuries, etc.)I'm fully expecting on purchasing them tomorrow morning!

  5. Rod - Sep 1, 2011 at 7:52 PM

    Mark, congratulations on entering fatherhood, one of the greatest adventures in life. I'm surprised there hasn't been much discussion here or elsewhere about resigning Wang. Why have the Nats not signed Wang to extended contract yet? It would be a tragedy to lose him to another team in the off-season after all that the team has invested in his rehab. Do you have a feel for how that may all play out?

  6. baseballswami - Sep 1, 2011 at 8:13 PM

    Natstat – are you true to your name and can you give us an idea of how many of MM's hits/hrs had people on base vs empty? Seems like 136 hits, 24 of which were round trippers, should translate to more rbi's. If the bases are empty in front of you, those hits are just noise. With Zim having been out and problems with the lead-off and number 2, I would imagine that was often the case. Can you imagine what his rbi total would be if people were on base in front him more?

  7. Anonymous - Sep 1, 2011 at 8:13 PM

    Werth creates a huge hole no matter where he bats in the lineup. I can't believe we are stuck with this strikeout machine for six more years.

  8. Gonat - Sep 1, 2011 at 8:26 PM

    baseballswami, out of Morse's, 30 of Beast's 45 career home runs have been solo. 15 of his 24 this season have been solo.

  9. Bowdenball - Sep 1, 2011 at 8:27 PM

    Rod-Wang has honestly just not been very good. He's got a WHIP of 1.33 and has walked more guys than he's struck out.Even at his best he was never a strikeout artist, but he at least was striking out about 5 guys every nine innings. The fact that he's only striking out about 2.5 every nine innings is troubling. He's not fooling anyone- I'm guessing many of those strikeouts are of the pitcher.It's true that his ERA is a respectable 3.82, but keep in mind that he's made only six starts. In one of those starts he was charged with only two earned runs after allowing six runs because a rally came after a single error, and in another he was charged with 2 earned runs despite allowing four runs.The Nats have cheaper and better options in their farm system. Wang is a nice story, but he'll likely never be a real contributor on a contending team.

  10. sunderland - Sep 1, 2011 at 8:28 PM

    I think both Wang's camp and Rizzo want to see a bit more of Wang before they can negotiate a new deal. I would hope that Wang would sign another incentive laden deal here, but we're not going to know until he does sign. If he gets to free agency, I would guess that we're out of it. That would mean that Wang's camp and Rizzo were too far apart to get it done.

  11. Bowdenball - Sep 1, 2011 at 8:32 PM

    Regarding my previous post, I know we haven't seen much of Wang yet, so my conclusion is a tad bit premature. But so far I think most would agree that the signs are not good. I personally haven't seen anything that leads me to believe he's anything better than a replacement level starter at this point.

  12. MC 703 - Sep 1, 2011 at 8:35 PM

    Sign Wang to another incentive stacked deal now.

  13. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 1, 2011 at 8:37 PM

    And free agency for Wang doesnt start till 5 days after the World Series. There's plenty of time for negotiations.{And nobody in our minor league system brings an Asian contingent of Nats fans.)

  14. SonnyG10 - Sep 1, 2011 at 8:38 PM

    For the Braves lineup, Constanza's first name is Jose, not Michael.

  15. Gonat - Sep 1, 2011 at 8:39 PM

    For those interested in the Coco Crisp watch, 39th stolen base today going 3 for 5 w/ 2 more RBIs. He will be a 40XBH/40steal/40walk guy this season.What is unprecedented is that a 31 year old player sets a career high for steals and will be at least 30% increase from his previous high.Also, he looks to be at his career best in K/9%.

  16. jd - Sep 1, 2011 at 8:43 PM

    Bowdenball, I disagree. For starters you have to take the 1st 2 start out of your analysis; you have to give a guy who has been out for 2 years a couple of starts to shake off the rust. Generally speaking I like to see a higher number of strike outs myself but Wang has always been an extreme ground ball pitcher and he's rarely hit hard. The velocity is almost all there; the command isn't and that's not really surprising. Now; I wouldn't jump to re sign him just yet and under no circumstances would I give him more than a 1 + 1 contract and I wouldn't sign him for more than 5 – 6 mil. but a contract like that has an excellent chance of providing decent value. I also disagree that we have better options in our organization. If you are talking about Milone and Peacock there's absolutely no guarantee that they can get major league hitters out and Cole, Meyer et al are still a ways away.

  17. Gonat - Sep 1, 2011 at 8:43 PM

    On the MLB Network, they did their 'Pen Station segment on the 'pens of the Atlanta Braves "big 3" and Arizona Diamondbacks JJ Putz.Hope you got to see it. It is nice they recognize bullpen guys with this segment dedicated to the bullpen pitchers.

  18. jd - Sep 1, 2011 at 8:45 PM

    Gonat, And that leads one to believe that he will require a contract which he will have a hard time living up to.

  19. HHover - Sep 1, 2011 at 8:46 PM

    Nats have re-activated Slaten from the DL. Any chance this is a prelude to DFA'ing him to clear a spot on the 40-man roster?

  20. Gonat - Sep 1, 2011 at 8:50 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… And free agency for Wang doesnt start till 5 days after the World Series. There's plenty of time for negotiations.{And nobody in our minor league system brings an Asian contingent of Nats fans.) September 1, 2011 4:37 PM ________________________________Sorry NatsJack, the Asian contingent was false hype. It never materialized. You had to look long and hard to find Asians. They were there and the Media had to find them to show them on camera. I was at his last home start and was very surprised since on TV they would show "Wang" loyalists. I think I would safe to say, less than 250 Asian ticket buyers, by the way, plenty with Media Credentials. Also, those fans aren't Nationals fans so who really cares. You will get more non-Asians that will show up to see Wang because he is a big name.And you know better than anybody, you win and they will come.

  21. Get Some Players - Sep 1, 2011 at 8:50 PM

    Yu Darvish needs to be a National.

  22. Gonat - Sep 1, 2011 at 8:53 PM

    HHover said… Nats have re-activated Slaten from the DL. Any chance this is a prelude to DFA'ing him to clear a spot on the 40-man roster? September 1, 2011 4:46 PM ____________________________The Nats have LaRoche and Kimball to move to the 60 day if they need the 2 spots for September callups. They will decide on Slaten after the season.They brought him back saying his troubles before was injury related.

  23. Big Cat - Sep 1, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    I'll tell ya what, Wang has shown enough velocity and movement on his fastball to be a stud again in this league. When he has been right, he has been pretty much unhittable. Now….will he show the consistency to bring his A game everytime out, that is the question. Also….strikeouts are overrated with a sinkerballer, being that most pitch to contact. This last month is gonna be very interesting with our starting pitchers, namely Wang, Strasburg, Milone, and hopefully Peacock. Gorzo has been throwing well out of the pen and may have just clinched our "long man" role for next year

  24. Big Cat - Sep 1, 2011 at 9:00 PM

    I'll tell ya what, Wang has shown enough velocity and movement on his fastball to be a stud again in this league. When he has been right, he has been pretty much unhittable. Now….will he show the consistency to bring his A game everytime out, that is the question. Also….strikeouts are overrated with a sinkerballer, being that most pitch to contact. This last month is gonna be very interesting with our starting pitchers, namely Wang, Strasburg, Milone, and hopefully Peacock. Gorzo has been throwing well out of the pen and may have just clinched our "long man" role for next year

  25. HHover - Sep 1, 2011 at 9:02 PM

    GonatRight – but they already need 2 spots for Strasburg and Milone, so they'll need to clear more spots for Lombo, Peacock, and/or anyone else beyond that.Maybe that was just wishful thinking on my part – I suppose it's worth seeing if Slaten really is healthy and worth keeping on, but I have serious doubts.

  26. A DC Wonk - Sep 1, 2011 at 9:02 PM

    Wang has honestly just not been very good. He's got a WHIP of 1.33 and has walked more guys than he's struck out.The NL average for WHIP is 1.314 — and given that Wang's second two starts were much better than his first two, I agree with (part) of your follow up post!…my conclusion is a tad bit premature… ;-)

  27. Bowdenball - Sep 1, 2011 at 9:03 PM

    jd-We can agree to disagree. I understand your argument. But throwing out his first two starts seems more like selective perception than a rational way to evaluate a pitcher. It's not like he hadn't thrown a full speed pitch until six starts ago. He'd rehabbed forever and made several minor league starts.I just don't see anything to get excited about. From a subjective standpoint I think they are hitting him hard and he's getting somewhat lucky in the outings that do go well. And the numbers back me up. His groundball rate is down between 5-10% from his peak year of effectiveness. His BABIP is .254, far lower than during his peak years. At his best he depended on two or three things- an extraordinary ground ball rate, a related extraordinarily low HR rate, and a K/BB ratio above 2.0. I don't see any of that in the new Wang, as much as I'd like to.

  28. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 1, 2011 at 9:06 PM

    I would defer to the merchandising department on internet sales to the Asian market on Nats gear. There's more to Wang than ticket sales.And as for better options in our minor league system…. really??? Anybody else aside from Livan approach having one, much less 2 seasons with 18 wins on their resume?

  29. Bowdenball - Sep 1, 2011 at 9:17 PM

    NatsJack in Florida-Even if you ignore the fact that wins are the most misleading statistic in sports, past win totals are probably not the best indicator of future performance. Do you think the Nats should sign Steve Carlton to start for us in 2011? He's got 324 career wins and six 20+ win seasons.Actually, that would drive the Phillies fans crazy :)

  30. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 1, 2011 at 9:24 PM

    Funny, but I haven't said sign him (Wang) or not sign him. I've just said we have until 5 days after the World Series to negotiate with him exclusively. I need to see a few more starts but I can say his improvement since late June to his most recent performance is measureably better than any improvement I saw from last Fall till June.

  31. jd - Sep 1, 2011 at 9:24 PM

    Bowdenball, I am clearly not in the camp of those who wish to sign Wang to a long term expensive deal. The discrepancy you point out between the pre injury Wang and the current one can be easily explained away by the difficult comeback trail. He is not coming back from TJ surgery where you regain all of your physical tools fairly quickly; he is coming back from serious shoulder injury. I do feel that there is something to be excited about because in spots this year he has hit 96 on the gun and his sinker had the familiar bite. Has he been consistently effective? no. Just to be argumentative; I think throwing out the 1st 2 games is not being selective. If out of 6 games I would tell you to throw out game 3 and 5 that would be selective but to allow give someone a 2 game benefit of the doubt after a 2 year injury doesnt sound unreasonable to me.

  32. baseballswami - Sep 1, 2011 at 9:29 PM

    Gonat – thanks for the stats on Morse – this guy would have huge rbi numbers if more people were on base for him. As much as I love to watch the ball fly into orbit when he hits it out, I always wish somebody, anybody had been on base.A walk, a hbp, a weak single – anything. It would appear to be only about a third of the time that someone is on for him. Check my math – but that's what it looks like to me.1 through 3 – please get on!

  33. A DC Wonk - Sep 1, 2011 at 9:30 PM

    Even if you ignore the fact that wins are the most misleading statistic in sportsI have a better one — he was runner in up Cy Young in n 2006 (and had just about an equally good season in '07, and was pretty decent in '08).In no way am I saying he's going to be a great addition.But — in no way would I disagree with the statement: "good upside potential, jury is still out."

  34. Bowdenball - Sep 1, 2011 at 9:31 PM

    I hope you're right, jd. He would be a great find if he returns to anything approaching his 2007 and 2008 form. Both my eyes and the numbers in my previous post tell me he's not in the same galaxy, but I'm a Nats fan above all else so I hope I'm completely totally wrong. I'll enjoy filling in the blanks a bit more tonight.

  35. David - Sep 1, 2011 at 9:31 PM

    I agree with JD that Wang is more of a sure thing, even being less effective than he was in 2006, because of his track record of getting MLB hitters out. I would resign him for an incentive laden deal starting around 3 to 4 million. Milone and Peacock are both dreams for now. But we'll get a better idea after Saturday about one of those two. Keep Livo and Gorzo in the pen for your right lefty long relievers. JZimm, Stras, Lannan, Wang, and Milone or Peacock should be our rotation next year. Package trade Detwiler and Desmond for an outfield prospect or a good MLB experienced reliever to compliment Clippard.

  36. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 1, 2011 at 9:32 PM

    On another note, if you have the MiLB internet package, th Harrisburg game is televised tonite.

  37. A DC Wonk - Sep 1, 2011 at 9:35 PM

    baseballswami said… Gonat – thanks for the stats on Morse Here's some more:With men on base:207 plate appearances, 9 HR, 62 RBI, .335/.406/.547 (he leads the team in BA)With bases empty:267 plate appearances, 15 HR, .304/.348/.568

  38. David - Sep 1, 2011 at 9:37 PM

    So Morse is just unlucky that there happens to be no one base, cuz he hits well with runners on.

  39. Eugene in Oregon - Sep 1, 2011 at 9:41 PM

    @ 4:13 p.m. baseballswami said……can you give us an idea of how many of MM's hits/hrs had people on base vs empty? Seems like 136 hits, 24 of which were round trippers, should translate to more rbi's. If the bases are empty in front of you, those hits are just noise…—————–I would suggest that those non-RBI hits aren't 'just noise' if you're putting yourself in scoring position (particularly if you then score), moving up runners, or otherwise just keeping the inning going.Some of the more-advanced stats purport to factor a multitude of variables into a single number, but one less-advanced stat that I've always been attracted to is 'runs produced': Runs + RBIs – HRs (to avoid double counting). Yes, it's a fairly simplistic 'counting' stat, but to me it says something important about how much an individual player contributes to winning games by either scoring or driving in runs.In Morse's case, we know that he is tied (with Espinosa) for the Nats lead with 60 runs scored, so some of those non-RBI hits are leading to runs driven in by others. Werth, by the way, is third on the Nats with 56 runs scored.Morse's 'runs produced' number is 113 (60 runs + 77 RBIs – 24 HRs), while Espinosa's is 100 (60 + 59 – 19). Werth is third on the team with 90 (56 + 50 – 16). Desmond's in fourth with 81 runs produced and Zimmerman (despite missing two months) is fifth with 69, just slightly ahead of Ramos and Nix.Given that the Nats have only scored 514 runs this year, Morse is 'responsible' (and I admit I use that word loosely) for about 22 percent of the Nats runs. I'm not saying it wouldn't be nice if more of his HRs were with a man (or two) on base, but Morse is still doing more than anyone else to put runs across the plate for the Nats.

  40. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2011 at 9:50 PM

    Put me down in the Wang camp. One more good start, we should make him an offer. Two more good starts and other teams will notice. If we don't make him a reasonable offer after at most two more good starts, he can't be blamed for waiting until WS+5 and testing free agency.

  41. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2011 at 9:55 PM

    As for trashing the Wang fans because they are "not Nats fans" that is just plain silly. Fans are fans. I root for the Indians because I'm a Manny Acta fan. Would love to see us play his team in the World Series… (Would root for the Nats, but it would be a close call!)I hope I would still root for the Nats if they traded my boy Clipp, but it would be REALLY hard. You get attached to players, that's half the fun.

  42. Drew8 - Sep 1, 2011 at 10:05 PM

    The Nats are 17th out of 30 teams with 128 home runs, but they're tied for 28th with 514 runs scored.Which is why new table setters are so important. We could well have two new bats at the top of the lineup next year or in 2013.Wouldn't surprise me to see the new cf up there with Rendon.As noted earlier, Marrero has a fine on base percentage. Don't be surprised if Derek Norris gets some games in the No. 2 hole someday. Norris is batting .201 this year, but his career on base percentage tops .400.

  43. Gonat - Sep 1, 2011 at 10:12 PM

    NatsLady, TRASHING? That's a strong word and rude. I didn't trash him or his fans. I gave my opinion and I don't believe these are true Nats fans, I think they are Wang fans, there is a big difference. I also believe the only reason they will ever go to Nats Park is to see Wang. If he leaves, they won't return.In this case with Wang, the winner is the MLB Ticket and MLB.com and the makers of Wang Nats gear and merchandise and MASN (Peter Angelos).There was an article written on Yao Ming in Houston about the "Yao" effect. They didn't feel they retained any of those fans when Yao was injured.I think there is some pure Strasburg fans that follow him. The difference is Strasburg is here long-term so some of those people will become Nats fans.

  44. sunderland - Sep 1, 2011 at 10:39 PM

    Projecting Norris to be an MLB player is a stretch. Projecting him to be an upper part of the batting order is even more of a stretch.He's had roughly 200 MLB games (2008 – 2009) where he hit roughly .283.His had 230 games (2007, 2010, 2011) where he hit roughly .212.He was good in low-A in 2009, bad in high-A in 2010 and downright terrible in AA in 2011.Who cares that he has walked 71 times and has an OBP of .355 this year. MLB guys ain't gonna walk a no hit, easy to strike out catcher. He has struck out 113 times in 323 AB's, that's 35% of the time. Against AA pitchers.There is no one who is any everyday hitter in the NL who strikes out 35% of the time.His A ball and AA ball OBP is a mirage.It's time to quit considering him a prospect, let alone a sure thing, a legit bargaining chip.

  45. Mark'd - Sep 1, 2011 at 10:41 PM

    With Wang, definitely a lot of cultural pride with Wang. This is a positive for MLB and why they play the WBC to get more baseball fans internationally.With that said, very surprised on what I saw in person as small groupings of Wang fans. Agree on TV they were showing the Wang fans which led you to believe they were everywhere. My guess is NatsLady didn't attend any Wang games in person.Tuesday Aug 16 attendance was 23,888 and the next night 20,374 and the reason I went to that Wang game was $2 Tuesday.

  46. Gonat - Sep 1, 2011 at 10:46 PM

    sunderland said… Projecting Norris to be an MLB player is a stretch. Projecting him to be an upper part of the batting order is even more of a stretch.He's had roughly 200 MLB games (2008 – 2009) where he hit roughly .283.His had 230 games (2007, 2010, 2011) where he hit roughly .212.He was good in low-A in 2009, bad in high-A in 2010 and downright terrible in AA in 2011.Who cares that he has walked 71 times and has an OBP of .355 this year. MLB guys ain't gonna walk a no hit, easy to strike out catcher. He has struck out 113 times in 323 AB's, that's 35% of the time. Against AA pitchers.There is no one who is any everyday hitter in the NL who strikes out 35% of the time.His A ball and AA ball OBP is a mirage.It's time to quit considering him a prospect, let alone a sure thing, a legit bargaining chip. September 1, 2011 6:39 PM ______________________________I thought the same before when I wrote something similar a month ago when he was batting around .215 and caught some grief. I think he needs to get a little more aggressive, work the counts, and get that Batting Average up to progress. Also, lets see how he does at AAA (if he makes it to that level) to see if throwing him more strikes makes a difference.

  47. sunderland - Sep 1, 2011 at 10:55 PM

    gonat, so a month ago you were trashing Norris?Ah, I jest. See how I did that?

  48. Drew8 - Sep 1, 2011 at 11:05 PM

    If Mike Rizzo didn't consider Norris a very important prospect, he wouldn't be sending him to the Arizona Fall League for the second year in a row.Those slots are limited and the Nats are sending Norris with Harper, Rendon, Purke, Solis and relievers Rafael Martin and Pat Lehman.

  49. Anonymous - Sep 1, 2011 at 11:23 PM

    Ump's got a low zone so far.

  50. Mark'd - Sep 1, 2011 at 11:25 PM

    On Norris he is still getting out 4 out of 5 official at-bats. No matter how many walks he gets in MiLB, it will only get worse at the next level. The walks are fine, he needs to get that BA up 25 to 50 points minimum.

  51. natsfan1a - Sep 1, 2011 at 11:42 PM

    Okay, just got home and haven't seen any of the game. That said, here's hoping we give the Braves a devil of a time tonight and that the fans have no reason to brandish those flaccid foam hatchets of theirs.(And I'm rooting for Manny's Tribe along with you, NatsLady. Plus, my aunt is a long-time fan and it makes her happy when they win.)

  52. baseballswami - Sep 1, 2011 at 11:43 PM

    Eugene – thanks for the perspective on Morse getting on base. I am so used to thinking of him as being a clean up guy that I forgot that he can get on base for other people to knock in.I checked the stats and he has scored a lot. Hard for me to see him as an on-base guy, thought – I guess somebody behind him is knocking him in! The thing with stats is that it just depends on how you interpret them and if you have enough balance to get an accurate picture.

  53. gonatsgo - Sep 1, 2011 at 11:46 PM

    Bombs away! Going to be a long night? Had a runner at third, but, well you know how that story ends….

  54. NatsLady - Sep 2, 2011 at 12:00 AM

    Mark'd: Yes, I attended a Wang game in person, in Chicago. That's when I got on board his train.

  55. NatsLady - Sep 2, 2011 at 12:07 AM

    Also watched him pitch in person against the Phillies on August 21. So two games I have watched Wang pitch in person.

  56. Gonat - Sep 2, 2011 at 12:19 AM

    NatsLady said… Also watched him pitch in person against the Phillies on August 21. So two games I have watched Wang pitch in person. September 1, 2011 8:07 PM ___________________________________So did you see a lot of Wang fans there or is that a trashing type of question?

  57. Anon-A-Troll - Sep 2, 2011 at 12:25 AM

    With adding another reliever to the roster, sorry, I am going to a pinch hitter for Wang. Need runs Davey.

  58. Gonat - Sep 2, 2011 at 12:28 AM

    Anon, I think Davey wants to see how far Wang can go plus he already had to pull Nix so a man short now.

  59. Andrew - Sep 2, 2011 at 12:42 AM

    Stephen King grand slam in Harrisburg game. 9-0

  60. Anonymous - Sep 2, 2011 at 12:47 AM

    A loss tonight would make Davey Johnson's record 23-34 since he tooke over.

  61. Anon-A-Troll - Sep 2, 2011 at 12:58 AM

    Nice to see Freddie Gonzalez pull his pitcher. Its nice to see a Manager put winning over a pitcher's ego. Hey, and what do I know.

  62. CBinDC - Sep 2, 2011 at 1:11 AM

    Ohhhh really sad when it looked as if this team was going to make progress has regressed the last last week and may do no better then last year …..but please can we get rid of Debbie Taylor she makes losing so hard to take

  63. baseballswami - Sep 2, 2011 at 1:14 AM

    Isn't it generally kind of accepted right now in major league baseball that once you get to O'Flaherty, Venters and Kimbrel that the game is pretty much over? Sheesh. Our entire offense right now consists of the occasional home run. I never thought I would beg for some small ball.

  64. baseballswami - Sep 2, 2011 at 1:16 AM

    CBinDC — I really thought John Lannan was going to punch Debbie Taylor in the face last night.She was going on and on to him about how did it feel to give up Chippers 450th and DLowe's first. He was looking murderous towards her. She does know that she works for our team doesn't she? I mean, what is her approach?

  65. Andrew - Sep 2, 2011 at 1:20 AM

    Stras w/ 6 shutout innings w/ 1 hit no walks 4 K's. All done and headed to DC

  66. Gonat - Sep 2, 2011 at 1:22 AM

    baseballswami said… Isn't it generally kind of accepted right now in major league baseball that once you get to O'Flaherty, Venters and Kimbrel that the game is pretty much over? Sheesh. Our entire offense right now consists of the occasional home run. I never thought I would beg for some small ball. September 1, 2011 9:14 PM_______________________________They are tough to score against. The good news, it can happen. MLB Network called them the 2010's version of the Nasty Boys.

  67. NatsLady - Sep 2, 2011 at 1:32 AM

    There was a clutch of fans at the Chi game wearing Nats gear, but I couldn't tell how many because I was on the other side of the field. At the Fillies game there were a lot of Fillies fans but a family near me (non-Asian) all had Wang jerseys. Didn't see Wang pitch today because I was at work, but from Charlie and Dave's comments on the way home I gather this was not a "good" outing for him as the sinker was up.

  68. Gonat - Sep 2, 2011 at 1:32 AM

    What was Gomes thinking? The squeeze wasn't werth the juice even if you are safe.

  69. gonatsgo - Sep 2, 2011 at 1:33 AM

    Andrew – thanks for the good news. Shutting out the other team seems to be our only chance to win a game these days.

  70. NatsLady - Sep 2, 2011 at 1:36 AM

    So Stras has given up 3 hits in 12 innings, and both times he gave up the hits in his last inning of work? Lookin' good.

  71. Anonymous8 - Sep 2, 2011 at 1:40 AM

    Whoa, a hanging slider to Jesus Flores, swing & miss. Has Davey seen his RISP average? Real bad.

  72. Gonat - Sep 2, 2011 at 1:44 AM

    Followed by a bad at-bat by Espinosa. If ever you had Venters on the rope, that was it after Chipper booted the double play ball.

  73. ehay2k - Sep 2, 2011 at 1:55 AM

    Summer re-runs in full swing in Atlanta: Nats load the bases because the pitcher CANNOT THROW STRIKES! Then we start swinging at everything and let him off the hook. Please please please FIRE THE HITTING COACH, THE BENCH COACH , anyone responsible for getting the hitters ready. This is an epic failure of instruction. I can't believe DJ allows this to continue to happen. As a fan it is sickening to watch.

  74. CBinDC - Sep 2, 2011 at 1:55 AM

    Does not anybody get mad on this team I mean REALLY MAD ……the umpires roll over losing teams and this is a losing team ….and nobody gets BAT TO THE COOLER MAD ….and tonight Bob is annoying me highly along with Debbie this sucks

  75. CBinDC - Sep 2, 2011 at 1:58 AM

    I really do not care if the hitting coach is the damn nicest guy in the world this years hitting had been awful ….painful and awful ….base loaded no outs no runs scored AWFUL ..AWFUL ….and this game sucks

  76. Anonymous - Sep 2, 2011 at 1:59 AM

    Marquis got mad, ONCE.

  77. CBinDC - Sep 2, 2011 at 2:02 AM

    All I can say I hope that next year we get BETTER people in some positions on this broadcast …… I am tired of the AAA quality of information that MASN has presented this last 7 years …..and really can anybody with the FO get this team better coverage on it's own networks

  78. Gonat - Sep 2, 2011 at 2:03 AM

    CB, I checked the PitchFX and it was much better than what we saw in the Reds series where the Umps blew multiple calls.By the way, Bob is clueless.

  79. CBinDC - Sep 2, 2011 at 2:17 AM

    Ray is right …..this team is not playing the right way at all …FP mantra aside ….BTW can we please can the cliches PLEASE ……TO MUCH SWINGING FOR THE FENCES ….they should watch some Japan league games what hitting and running is all about …..BTW DOES DAVY REALLY TALK TO HIS TEAM ABOUT WHAT HE OBSERVES ….he says these things in interviews but nothing changes…..really ARRRGH

  80. CBinDC - Sep 2, 2011 at 2:20 AM

    BTW I am tired of talking about what maybe in the future as if it is here and now …..what ever you think is going to happen HAS NOT YET …..and the culture of losing that has been the hallmark of this team is still alive and well

  81. Anonymous8 - Sep 2, 2011 at 2:25 AM

    Nats BA with RISP got a little worse with that 0-8 tonight. Even the big boys in the middle of the order didn't get it done.

  82. Whynat - Sep 2, 2011 at 2:40 AM

    We've got alot of home games left, against a fairly weak schedule. If Davey can't get these guys to play at least .500 ball the rest of the way, and get to 76 wins, I don't want to see him back. That's my imaginary Nats playoff race.

  83. Anonymous - Sep 2, 2011 at 3:18 AM

    Losers gotta lose! Lets some more big bucks for these nobody's

  84. MikeD - Sep 2, 2011 at 3:21 AM

    Was it just me or did I hear Carpenter misspeak about stuff about a dozen times, including the score? Wow, what an off night.

  85. NatsLady - Sep 2, 2011 at 3:58 AM

    @MikeD– if he's auditioning for another job, that's sure not the way to go about it. :)

  86. swinging for the fences - Sep 2, 2011 at 10:50 AM

    is my name, cliche is my game. Pleased to meet you!

  87. baseballswami - Sep 2, 2011 at 11:19 AM

    I am kind of fed up with the " we've got to see what we've got for next year" story. Not that we don't, but that's not the part of the game that is failing. I am just sooo glad that davey was happy with that 9-2 win the other night – that was just his kind of game, by golly. The problem is, that's not the kind of offense that we usually have. We run into some home runs, especially if the pitcher is having an off night. How often does that happen in this league? You can't just sit back with this team and wait for the big inning. The manager is actually supposed to do something during the game to try to scrape out a run. Do you ever see him actually talk to a player during the game? I'm sorry if some of you "like" him or think he's an interesting character. He is a very ineffective manager. On any other team, with any other manager auditioning for a job for next year, there would be no question that he is not up to the job. There is no intensity, either and doesn't appear to be any direction or plan. I am very disappointed at this point of the season after having been very encouraged earlier on. My plan right now is to watch the call ups with great interest, root for my guys and start keeping an eye on playoff races.Hoping the guys can find some energy this weekend at home and go after the Mets!

  88. sunderland - Sep 2, 2011 at 11:22 AM

    I've reached the point where I'm hoping that DJ does not come back next year. This team has regressed, not just in W/L but in quality of play. And DJ seems to lay blame that the roster is not constructed the way he wants. That roster was a .500 team, without a healthy RZ. He thinks pep talks and false confidence gets the job done.

  89. Feel Wood - Sep 2, 2011 at 12:23 PM

    This team has regressed, not just in W/L but in quality of play. And DJ seems to lay blame that the roster is not constructed the way he wants. That roster was a .500 team, without a healthy RZ.You know the old saying that a team is never as good as it looks when it's winning or as bad as it looks when it's losing? On June 9th, under Riggleman, they were 27-36. Then they went on that 13-2 tear that put them 2 over .500 and culminated with Riggleman quitting. Since then, under Johnson, they are 23-33. In other words, take away that one 15 game stretch when they were winning even though they weren't really that good, and you have virtually identical performance under Riggleman and Johnson. This roster was never a .500 team, and it hasn't regressed under Johnson.

  90. natsfan1a - Sep 2, 2011 at 12:35 PM

    That's way too rational for the interwebz, Feel Wood. ;-)In other news (and from the Nats Insider Homer Department), it's not too late to vote for Nats Insider in the CBS DC blog election. You can cast one vote per day via the URL below until September 9, I believe.http://washington.cbslocal.com/most-valuable-blogger-voting/And if you meant to order a gift for baby Brian but haven't yet done so – well, get on over to Amazon and do it, y'all. Good gifts are still available. :-)Don't have the link handy at the moment but it's possible to search the baby registry (typing "Rachel Zuckerman" in the search box will get you where you want to go).

  91. NatsLady - Sep 2, 2011 at 12:35 PM

    Hey, three teams got the "E" before the Nats (Astros, Marlins, O's). That's something, isn't it?So, maybe Riggs knew how to manage a losing team. He couldn't handle a winner. Maybe Davey is the opposite. Let's hope.

  92. natsfan1a - Sep 2, 2011 at 12:38 PM

    Okay, I'm going to make it really easy for you guys and gals:http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/registry.html?ie=UTF8&type=baby&id=37Z2X6WXQ8IUCAnd thanks, NatsLady. I knew that the O's were close but hadn't been keeping track of the latest. Hadn't realized that the Marlins were, though.

  93. Bowdenball - Sep 2, 2011 at 12:48 PM

    In this case I hate being right.For guys like Wang to be effective they have to keep the ball in the park. Wang's not doing it. At his best his HR/9 rate was below .5 even though half his starts came in the old Yankee Stadium. In his seven starts this year he's at 1.16 even though most of his starts have come in pitcher's parks (NY, ATL, DC).The incredible lack of strikeouts is a problem, but that's more symptom than disease. The disease is that he's not fooling anyone. Seems like every hitter makes solid contact. His BABIP is still close to 50 points lower than it was at his peak, which means that he's actually been getting pretty lucky this far.We can give him another start or two because we don't have much to lose, but I'm just not sure what it accomplishes.

  94. Big Cat - Sep 2, 2011 at 12:54 PM

    Well…..put that Wang start in the unimpressive column. Could of been Stammen out there tonight and you wouldn't of noticed. Forgot to mention Detwiler earlier. He has a lot riding on this last month alsoDidn't you just know that Flores and Espi were gonna strike out with the bases loaded there in the eighth. Didn't you just know that Espi would chase another one in the dirt. The pitch to Flores looked like a badly hanging slider right in his wheelhouse….course Flores missed it. No big deal…..another game tonight……we stagger to the finish line. Eck must go….please

  95. NatsLady - Sep 2, 2011 at 1:02 PM

    Have to agree on Wang, though I was hoping for better. Three runs in two games. Clipp practicing his off-pitches. Ho-hum.

  96. m20832 - Sep 2, 2011 at 1:12 PM

    This club was two games over .500 when he quit. Most of us bitched about his management of the club. He had RZimm out and LaRoche was hurt. The defense was pretty darn good. And he used what he had to make the boys a winner. And what a good feeling it was too. Wasn't it?Now there's a manager that has a different philosophy that doesn't fit the players that he has. The defense has gone downhill and the players bats are soooo inconsistent at the plate. I wonder if they are as frustrated as those of us that watch them.There needs to be a manager hired next year that uses the talent that this club has rather than trying to force a plan on them that they will try but fail at.Oh well, it will be Strassmus all over agin on Tuesday!GYFNG!!!

  97. m20832 - Sep 2, 2011 at 1:16 PM

    again…geeezzzz….spellchecker!

  98. Feel Wood - Sep 2, 2011 at 1:30 PM

    For all those obsessing over the team being two games over .500 when Riggleman quit, consider this. In those 78 games they were 40-38. In the 72 games since June 9th, they are 36-36 (.500) Who has been manager most of that time? Johnson.

  99. CBinDC - Sep 2, 2011 at 1:40 PM

    baseballswami said… I really thought John Lannan was going to punch Debbie Taylor in the face last night…….He was looking murderous towards her………baseballswami did you notice the same in Werth last night when she went on about what is it you need to get those pesky bats going …..and he looked at her as if WHY DO I HAVE TO TALK TO YOU ???? only when the other reporters asked some questions did he perk up and start to explain what he thought …..until the culture of losing air of losing changes and that includes the Miss Sally sideline reporter will anything with this team change …..it smells like losing it is losing

  100. A DC Wonk - Sep 2, 2011 at 1:41 PM

    Big Cat said… Didn't you just know that Flores and Espi were gonna strike out with the bases loaded there in the eighth. Didn't you just know that Espi would chase another one in the dirt.No, actually, I didn't know that. Espi has been one of the top run-producers for the Nats with men on base. While the Nats, collectively, hit .242 with men on base, Espi hits close to .300 with men on base. (But that means he's going to fail 70% of the time).OTOH, the Braves have some good relievers, no? (Venters has an outstanding WHIP of less than 1.0 this season).Hey, can you picks stocks for me too? ;-) Bowdenball said… For guys like Wang to be effective they have to keep the ball in the park…. The incredible lack of strikeouts is a problem, but that's more symptom than disease. The disease is that he's not fooling anyone. Seems like every hitter makes solid contact.Isn't the problem, simply, that his sinker wasn't sinking so well and/or he was throwing it a bit up?

  101. A DC Wonk - Sep 2, 2011 at 1:55 PM

    In defense of Davey:baseballswami said…I am just sooo glad that davey was happy with that 9-2 win the other night – that was just his kind of game, by golly. The problem is, that's not the kind of offense that we usually have.Well, yes and no. Poring over the splits, I think Davey might be on to something here. While the Nats are 14th in the league in batting, they are 11th in the league in slugging. Which means that, proportionally, they are a somewhat overachieving in terms of extra base hits. So, perhaps they do get a slightly bigger bang for their buck by playing for the extra base hit, rather than a sac-bunt followed by a single.For what it's worth, DJ *does* have a long history of adopting his philosophy to the talent that his teams have. E.g., the Cin. Reds had a bunch of fast players, DJ turned them loose and the team stole tons of bases. Then with the Orioles he went to a power game. (So I think those that say he's forcing the team to his own philosophy are off base).Sabermaticians can show you stat after stat that, over decades, consistently, a sac bunt yields *slightly fewer* runs than not playing for a sac bunt. (I think NatsLady noted this here a short while back). My guess is that this is not true for teams which have an overabundance of singles hitters — but the fact is that the Nats do not have singles hitters. Morse, Zim, Espi, Werth all have slugging averages that are above average given their batting averages.I feel pretty confident that if *I* could notice this, then Davey, as a stats geek (and masters degree in Math) is quite aware of this.

  102. Big Cat - Sep 2, 2011 at 2:17 PM

    Yeah yeah Wonk, whatever you say…whatever you say. You are like the carnival barker, yapping just to yap.The main difference I have noticed between Riggs and DJ is that it appears we were much more aggressive on the bases with Riggs. Of course we had Bernadina at that time also. I don't have any stats to back that up, but thats what it looks to me

  103. Bowdenball - Sep 2, 2011 at 2:23 PM

    DC Wonk-The stupidity of regular bunting is true for every team, including those that hit well for average. Bunts are almost always a silly thing to do. There are some rare instances where they are wise … say if are in a tie game in the 9th with a runner on first and a terrible hitter but skilled bunter at the plate to be followed by two outstanding hitters for average. But those instances are very few and far between.The reason is simple: expected runs with nobody out and a man on first are MUCH higher than expected runs with one out and a man on second. Here's a chart with data from 1977-1992:http://baseballanalysts.com/archives/2006/07/empirical_analy_1.phpThat means even if you had 100% success on bunt attempts you are still reducing your expected runs that inning from .82 to .65 on average. And of course bunt attempts fail all the time, leaving you with a drop in expected runs for .82 to .49. It takes an extraordinary set of facts to stray so far from these averages as to make a bunt good strategy.

  104. baseballswami - Sep 2, 2011 at 2:26 PM

    Any official news yet on the return of Sharkadina? I think he will bring a welcome shot of energy with him when he gets here. Reading the posts about the manager situation, which seems to be a daily thing so it's obvious it's an issue. Every manager is first and foremost a coach. He talks a good game, but once again, do you see any results? Funny thing is, I will admit that he is doing better with the pitchers now. Sloppy defense and ineffective at bats, though , continue to be a problem – and he is supposed to be an offensive specialist? To me, it looks like he isn't actually doing anything that helps, just talking about what he likes and doesn't like and waiting for his wishes to come true.

  105. natsfan1a - Sep 2, 2011 at 2:29 PM

    Um, doesn't yapping just to yap pretty much apply to all of us interweb commenters? I'm just saying…

  106. CBinDC - Sep 2, 2011 at 2:38 PM

    So has anybody noticed that now balls hit to Desmond may or may not be in time to throw the running out.. suddenly the great range is not so great ….you watch the MLB channel and see SS after SS throw out runners and Desmond can not now get to the ball early enough to catch runners if the ball is hit deep and this has thrown off Zimm and Espy …..this now going on almost 2 weeks and seems to have gained momentum during this losing streak ….I know Bob and Johnny try and cover up Desi by claiming great speed on the runner but you hear FP question the play and later Ray gets deeper into what should be routine …can not Desi hit and play at the same time or the same could be said for Espy …. but he is getting to many balls that would go for hits …his hits are what are missing

  107. Big Cat - Sep 2, 2011 at 2:40 PM

    You have a good point Natsfan, a good point indeed.

  108. CBinDC - Sep 2, 2011 at 2:43 PM

    Well I am yapping to yap and let the thoughts that run through my mind go forward and multiply and create a world that includes greatness and peace and love and understanding and curses for ills that have plagued man and woman kind and produce the dawning of a new world …..and yeah just to yap really

  109. PAY TO PLAY - Sep 2, 2011 at 2:43 PM

    @Feel Wood said… For all those obsessing over the team being two games over .500 when Riggleman quit, consider this. In those 78 games they were 40-38. In the 72 games since June 9th, they are 36-36 (.500) Who has been manager most of that time? Johnson. September 2, 2011 9:30 AM You have to be a politician with the spin you put on that. Doesn't work that way. It is how you do when you are in charge. People may not like "Double Switch" Riggleman which is fine but give the man some credit for taking over from Acta in 2009 and improving a horrible product. What he did in 2011 with essentially no Zimmerman, an injured LaRoche batting .170's, a slumping Werth, Gaudin/Slaten/Burnett, and MATT STAIRS is mind boggling that he got that team over .500You know what, I didn't think Riggleman was the right guy for the job as he made some ridiculous moves. He also had a lousy resume'. He never smiled. He supposedly wanted to fight Marquis. This is my opinion as a hindsight look back, he did a very good job under the circumstances and the team won.

  110. Anonymous - Sep 2, 2011 at 2:44 PM

    Bernadina is not the answer.What was the question? I forget.

  111. Anonymous - Sep 2, 2011 at 2:45 PM

    The play on wed. night, Desi went in the hole and got the ball, then took his sweet time getting rid of the ball and the guy was safe. Ruled a hit. Runner scores from third

  112. natsfan1a - Sep 2, 2011 at 2:46 PM

    +1, CBinDC. :-)

  113. Chef Boyardee - Sep 2, 2011 at 2:47 PM

    Davey Johnson unfortunately is Joe Gibbs in the baseball edition. We love both Joe and Davey and while Joe was great at helping his owner and his image, Davey wasn't brought here for a PR trip unless you consider that Rizzo really blundered the whole handling of Riggleman.Ponder that for a few moments.

  114. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 2, 2011 at 3:02 PM

    What's to ponder? Rizzo needed a manager now and it was either somebody on the coaching staff, all hired by Riggleman, or somebody else within the oranization. Pondering complete.

  115. PAY TO PLAY - Sep 2, 2011 at 3:05 PM

    Are we back to blaming Desi for the slight downturn in the Nats? Last night the Nats rolled into 2 double plays with men on 1st and 3rd. When Zim has RISP his contact rate on the ground is 51.9%. The Nats are 3rd worse in ground ball to fly ball % with RISP. As we know, Zim also hits HRs with RISP so is it bad luck as hard hit grounders also find holes and aren't always inning ending double plays. Gomes twice this year has hit sure DP grounders in 9th innings that turned into errors on the opposing teams. The Nats had many opportunities yesterday and Chien-Ming Wang didn't do much to help Davey win that game. Maybe as an Anon suggested, Davey should have pinch hit for him in the 4th with a runner on 2nd and 1 out.

  116. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 2, 2011 at 3:10 PM

    Hey Chef Boyardee… that almost sounds like one of JayB's conspiracy slants. I kinda' miss those.

  117. Chef Boyardee - Sep 2, 2011 at 3:14 PM

    What's to ponder? I have been through a divorce so it seems clear Rizzo wanted out of the marriage and Riggleman wanted a new post-marital agreement (contract) to stay in the bad marriage.Riggleman wasn't happy either and when you have a bad marriage sometimes you do dumb things. Riggleman walked out. They always tell you in a divorce never leave that way. I think Rizzo made every day for Riggleman a living hell. The whole time Rizzo had Davey in his back pocket so he wasn't going to stay unmarried for a long time (3 days).Sounds like a soap opera and thats what it was. The new spouse ain't looking to good, eh, Rizzo?

  118. Chef Boyardee - Sep 2, 2011 at 3:18 PM

    NatsJack, if I messed up some word spelling it would be like JayB and besides JayB wanted Riggleman out on the first train to nowhere.What I really don't like about Davey is how often he blames losses on his starting pitchers and the constant whining about how he needs 2 long relievers and some big bats on the bench.Why did Davey get rid of Matt Stairs!

  119. A DC Wonk - Sep 2, 2011 at 3:22 PM

    I think Rizzo made every day for Riggleman a living hell. I think Riggleman made every day a living hell for Rigglemen.To re-hash old stuff — Rizzo himself was on a one-year contract just the year before. He wasn't happy about it, but just sucked it up and was determined to do such a good job that he's get extended. And he did.Riggleman was in the same position. He should have sucked it up, brought the Nats to .500 (if he _could_) for a whole season, and then he'd either get extended, or hired somewhere else.But, no, instead, reports say that Riggleman was not only unhappy about it, but managed to bring up his lame duck status into way way too many conversations, including many with players on the team. It was dragging on everybody.So, no: it was Riggleman that made Riggleman's life hell.

  120. Steve M. - Sep 2, 2011 at 3:23 PM

    The Nats have 17 straight games against teams with below .500 record. Its the best span they have ever had. I don't know about you all but this is where Davey has a chance to turn it all around as positive as he can.Yesterday is behind us and so is Tuesdays game. I know the Nats can get on a roll so this is going to define Davey's season.

  121. CBinDC - Sep 2, 2011 at 3:30 PM

    "Why did Davey get rid of Matt Stairs!"That has to be the HUHHHHHH statement of the year.Davy did not get rid of Stairs …Stairs got rid of Stairs …I am sure he was great for all those other teams but he goes into the Paul Lo Duca hall of fame …..another of the long line of washed up was good players that we the fans have been asked to pay some big bucks to see play terrible and the MASN selling them as some great find. How many times did you see Taylor ask a player about their great past and what did they think of the future instead of the obvious WHY DO YOU SUCK …or some form of that question :)

  122. Chef Boyardee - Sep 2, 2011 at 3:34 PM

    CBinDC, I was totally joking about Matt Stairs. How in the world did Stairs last as long as he did. Just funny that Davey whines about not having Big Bats on the bench. He had the greatest pinch hit HR guy in the history of baseball and did what Giggleman couldnt do and that was give him his walking papers.

  123. Anonymouse - Sep 2, 2011 at 3:40 PM

    If Davey has to have 2 long men in the bullpen and has Gorzolanny. He can add Craig Stammen who is available to be called up.Personaly I cannot stand when a Manager whines at what he does not have. Manny Acta and Jim Riggleman never said they can't win because…

  124. CBinDC - Sep 2, 2011 at 3:45 PM

    Chef Boyardee said.. Sorry really thought you were serious ….ahhh hard to hear irony on the interpipes …I want Cole Kimbal back if just to sit on the bench …now there was intensity …..I also think a lot of intensity was lost when Hairston and Marquis were traded ….so far no one left with the team has any of the intense I hate losing personality …..so we are back to same energy that lost them some 300 games in 3 years ….if I am wrong let me know who you think on this team does match the energies of those who are now gone …well Kimbal hopefully will be back

  125. Anonymouse - Sep 2, 2011 at 3:45 PM

    "NatsLady said… Put me down in the Wang camp. One more good start, we should make him an offer. Two more good starts and other teams will notice. If we don't make him a reasonable offer after at most two more good starts, he can't be blamed for waiting until WS+5 and testing free agency. "Your joking, right. Every team knows who he is. Other teams can't contact him for 2 more months. Right now Detwiler is better and less expensive. Why do the Nats need him.

  126. Steve M. - Sep 2, 2011 at 3:52 PM

    CBinDC said… I also think a lot of intensity was lost when Hairston and Marquis were traded I have thought the same about Marquis. There has to be some intangible with this guy that the team played harder for him. Some say you take on the personality of your leader. Well, that may be far fetched changing day to day based on your pitcher but still unexplainable how you score runs for 1 pitcher consistently and not for another.

  127. Chef Boyardee - Sep 2, 2011 at 3:54 PM

    NatsLady said… Put me down in the Wang camp.Ponder that statement.

  128. NatsLady - Sep 2, 2011 at 4:04 PM

    Chef–I'm still in the Wang camp, but last night was not his best. The thing that makes me root for him is not only his "stuff," which I sincerely hope comes around on a consistent basis, but that, in seeing JZimm's meltdowns, you need a guy like that, been through the fires and come out the other side. I don't know whether he "communicates" with the other pitchers, but his example communicates.

  129. A DC Wonk - Sep 2, 2011 at 4:04 PM

    Just got my Stramas tix. I asked for the upper level infield gallery — and I got Sec 406 Row L (!!). Nosebleed seats as far to the right of home plate as possible (for upper infield). I'm taking that as a sign that lots of tix are already sold (well, at least the upper infield gallery are selling well!)

  130. A DC Wonk - Sep 2, 2011 at 4:06 PM

    (I meant: as far to the _left_ of home plate as possible — not that anyone particularly cares, but I don't like saying incorrect stuff)

  131. NatsLady - Sep 2, 2011 at 4:23 PM

    Wonk==> good! I'll be working, but I will have one eye on the game, and if it goes well, can watch it on replay. Did you see Kraut's article in the WaPo? Some Nats love there.

  132. Mark'd - Sep 2, 2011 at 4:26 PM

    Hey NatsLady, JZim's meltdowns? If you consider a few times out of 26 starts that he showed how pissed he was and gave up a HR, it isn't a pattern. I am more concerned that his own team doesn't give him offense.On Wang, it was a so-so outing. I thought it was going to be worse. No strikeouts and a few fastballs that didnt sink that also should have been HRs. I thought Wang was lucky.

  133. natsfan1a - Sep 2, 2011 at 4:36 PM

    I suspect that may have been an attempt at innuendo, NatsLady. I'll be at home watching on Tuesday, but I'll be in the park on Monday. Hope that NatsTown will turn out then as well, and the day after, so that there won't be the dreaded post-big-crowd letdown phenomenon.Nice to see some Nats love in the local rag, I agree.

  134. natsfan1a - Sep 2, 2011 at 4:37 PM

    (That the chef was trying to cook up, to be clearer.)I suspect that may have been an attempt at innuendo, NatsLady.

  135. Steve M. - Sep 2, 2011 at 4:42 PM

    Lannan used to do the same thing as JZim with showing his frustration and then coming back with a pitch missing the target. That happened to JZim in that 0-0 game against Arizona with Burroughs HR and the Carlos Pena HR in Chicago.I think for many of the Nats pitchers it still comes back to that they are pitching in games where they have little to no run support.Wang last night dug his own hole early and it still comes down to consistency and Wang has pitched well in 2 games, not great in 3. Like all the other Nats pitchers, you score 6 to 8 runs and you still can win all of those games.Even the bullpen has been better lately. It is this consistent lack of clutch hitting and too much reliance on the 3-4 hitters in the lineup. Jesus Flores and Danny Espinosa both had bad atbats in the 8th inning last night with bases loaded. Flores went up to the plate and took a borderline pitch and then missed a hanging slider. Sometimes you only get 1 hittable pitch. Michael Morse would have sent that same pitch into orbit.

  136. Anonymous - Sep 2, 2011 at 4:42 PM

    NatsLady is in the Wang camp. NatsLady would never ever go down on Wang.

  137. NatsLady - Sep 2, 2011 at 4:46 PM

    1A: Ha! If JZimm lets his emotions get a hold of him and blows two games when we are in contention, that won't be cute. Bunch of people on here (don't know if you were one, Mark'd) saying JZimm needs to toughen up emotionally, work out of jams, don't pull him too soon, he's got the whole winter to think about it, etc., etc. Other than his first start, Wang has been cool as a cucumber (cliche intentional). He hits a guy, defense behind him drops the ball, his sinker's not sinking, he moves right on. That's the difference between 31 and 24, between a veteran and an almost rookie. BTW, I am not in the Marquis-admiration society. I think he was more lucky than good, and I didn't like what he did in Arizona they day his leg was broken. I would not want him setting the example for the baby pitchers.

  138. NatsLady - Sep 2, 2011 at 4:56 PM

    Did y'all see Marrero's leaping catch yesterday? We might have ourselves a first baseman here.On another topic: I knew this, but Klaw explained very well on Baseball Today (9/1 podcast) why teams skip guys from AA to the majors, and, speaking of Bernadina, I wonder what the atmosphere in the Syracuse clubhouse is like.Klaw pointed out that teams use their AAA club as a place to keep ML subs in case of injury, basically as an extended bench. They hire, say, an aging ML shortstop who can fill in for a couple of weeks without being a disaster. These guys tend to be older (by MLB standards), 28+ and perhaps bitter that they didn't get the "time" they were promised at the ML level.So, do you want your star 20-year-old prospect in the clubhouse with that kind of sour attitude (he didn't mention it, but also, 28 year olds catch diseases you maybe don't want your 20-year old to catch).This probably affects pitchers less than position players, and someone like Strasburg probably not at all. But I'm wondering what kind of attitude Bernie brought with him, when he clearly didn't expect to be sent down.

  139. PAY TO PLAY - Sep 2, 2011 at 5:00 PM

    Have you noticed when McCatty goes out to talk to his young pitchers that the next pitch or 2 ends up going into the seats. What in the world does he say to them.I like McCatty's overall philosphy, it is possibly the Managers philosophy and I think when you have a great bullpen you then can err on the side of caution and pull your pitchers earlier.That quote on Sparky Anderson being "Captain Hook" was a good one. If you have a good bullpen, the starters may get upsed but it is about getting the Wins and in the end you have happier starters when they have better W/L records.

  140. jd - Sep 2, 2011 at 5:02 PM

    NatsLady, Totally agree on all counts. JZimm will be fine and I think that there's no need to define him as a 6 inning pitcher; pulling him out at the first sign of trouble. Wang should be re signed for 2 reasons. 1) insurance if Milone and/or Peacock don't cut it in the big leagues and 2) there is enough potential that he might regain his pre injury form. I wouldn't go crazy and sign him for big bucks and I certainly wouldn't sign him for more than 1 year + 1 mutual option but I think $5 mil sounds just about right. Marquis to me is the definition of a mediocre pitcher. what you get from him you can get from a Stammen at a fraction of the cost.

  141. A DC Wonk - Sep 2, 2011 at 5:04 PM

    Chef Boyardee said… Davey Johnson unfortunately is Joe Gibbs in the baseball editionI don't buy that at all. When Gibbs left the Redskins the first time, he completely left football for 11 years, managing his race car team. (Further, when Gibbs came back, albiet no way as good as before, he still led the 'Skins to the playoffs.) (Further, football strategies move light years' faster than baseball. And further, further: football depends a lot more on offensive and defensive schemes, X's and O's — baseball (other than the relief pitcher specialist) has been fairly similar for the last 80+ years.DJ, on the other hand, while he was away from managing in MLB for 11 years, was still involved (e.g., He coached the Netherlands team in the 2003 European championships; U.S. squad at the 2008 Summer Olympics; etc.) Davey's four gold gloves, his knowledge of fielding, isn't going to go out of date.Baseball managing is much more: how do you manage the bullpen, the players, platoons, etc etc., how do you deal with players on a personal level, and so forth. Davey's always been great at that. There's a reason why so many of the players are raving about Davey.

  142. NatsLady - Sep 2, 2011 at 5:06 PM

    Pay to Play– must be his luck ran out. Earlier in the season I noticed exactly the opposite. Cat would go out there and the pitcher would settle right down. Happened so often I was starting to wonder if he was hypnotizing 'em. On the W/L record of pitchers: Many have suggested that needs to be re-thought, both in arbitration and in incentive clauses. That stat is SO not an individual stat, and if it is hampering the manager or affecting the pitcher's morale or the rotation's morale, the McCatty or someone should work on it.Get the WHIP down and the wins will come (if you get some offense, which is usually–but not always–not under the pitcher's control).

  143. jd - Sep 2, 2011 at 5:08 PM

    NatsLady, KLaw is not very excited about Marrero overall and also thinks that Milone is a 5th starter at best (average fast ball and no secondary out pitch). Might not be what Nats fans want to hear but it may also be true.

  144. NatsLady - Sep 2, 2011 at 5:12 PM

    I take everything the players say with a MOUNTAIN of salt. It'll be a while, I expect, before Danny Espinosa is honest with a reporter again. That said, RZimm and his brothers mumbled the standard stuff when Riggs departed, with, in my opinion, a noticeable lack of enthusiasm. Their agents or the PR department told them what to say and they said it. I have no idea what they really think about Davey, but I BET they don't think he's Riggleman, and I would bet a lotta money they don't want Riggleman back.A DC Wonk said…There's a reason why so many of the players are raving about Davey.

  145. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 2, 2011 at 5:13 PM

    It wasn't a good outcome, and he didn't have his best stuff, but he saws off Gonzalez's bat (it *was* Gonzalez, right?) in the sixth with two outs, and the guy dinks one into left. That gets caught and he's through six, with only three runs. Which still wouldn't be good enough around here because they can throw a shutout (as Znn well knows) and still lose. So if he's trying to be a little too fine on a B-stuff day, and comes withing one pitch of pulling it off, that's not all on him.

  146. NatsLady - Sep 2, 2011 at 5:15 PM

    @jd–I wouldn't call myself excited about Marrero. I haven't seen the next Mark Texeira there. I just don't think we are keeping LaRoche past next year's July trade deadline and would like to see Marrero as a solid guy in that position. It's one less position you have to worry about in the free agent/trade market.

  147. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 2, 2011 at 5:16 PM

    (he didn't mention it, but also, 28 year olds catch diseases you maybe don't want your 20-year old to catch).Fungus on their shower shoes?

  148. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 2, 2011 at 5:19 PM

    I think you have to figure on a full season here for LaRoche. IF he comes back and is healthy, which is a big IF, there's no telling who else goes on the DL, or what other teams will need next year.

  149. NatsLady - Sep 2, 2011 at 5:19 PM

    Sofa–yeah, something like that.

  150. NatsLady - Sep 2, 2011 at 5:20 PM

    Sofa, I don't think either Marrero or LaRoche is flexible. I know LaRoche said he could not play the outfield because he isn't fast enough. So one of them is going to have to sit, if they're both here.

  151. Feel Wood - Sep 2, 2011 at 5:22 PM

    By all accounts Jim Riggleman hated to lose. As for Davey Johnson, it's clear that he loves to win. Which attitude do you want instilled in your players? When deciding what to do, most people generally try harder to do something they love than to not do something they hate. Maybe that's why the saying "Let's not lose one for the Gipper!" never caught on.

  152. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 2, 2011 at 5:24 PM

    NatsLady, agreed, but if I had to guess (and I do not, but I will anyway), it's Marrero who won't be in DC. I don't think he'll stick long at this level.

  153. Anonymous - Sep 2, 2011 at 5:27 PM

    (he didn't mention it, but also, 28 year olds catch diseases you maybe don't want your 20-year old to catch).I couldn't for the life of me think what these diseases might be, until I remembered that NatsLady loves Wang.

  154. m20832 - Sep 2, 2011 at 5:33 PM

    Feel Wood said… For all those obsessing over the team being two games over .500 when Riggleman quit, consider this. In those 78 games they were 40-38. In the 72 games since June 9th, they are 36-36 (.500) Who has been manager most of that time? Johnson.Ok, I was wrong about the 2 games over. When Riggs quit on June 23 after the Mariner's game (which was won in the ninth inning with a Nix sac fly to left as Bixler raced home. I was behind home plate watching), Riggs was one game over at 38-37. McLaren took over and won two and lost one game. Then Johnson took the reins and since that day, Johnson has won 22 and lost 34. So where is the 36-36 in 72 games? Johnson has managed 56 games. And now try and yap about Johnson being superior…

  155. A DC Wonk - Sep 2, 2011 at 5:35 PM

    Feel Wood said… By all accounts Jim Riggleman hated to lose. As for Davey Johnson, it's clear that he loves to win.It's not only that, imho, it's that DJ knows what it takes to get to the playoffs, and it OK losing games in the short run, if it fits his ultimate goal of playoffs in the long run.======(word id: "gorsteme" — a sign that the Gorse will get going again tonight?)I just read this awesome story about how he let Ron Darling (then a young pitcher) stay in after he gave up six runs through the first two innings. Darling was even up with men on base in the 4th, and DJ wouldn't pinch hit for him. Darling ended up finishing the sixth inning, with the last four being shutout innings. Davey thought Darling had it in him, and thought that the experience was terrific for Darling's development (being able to exit on a high note: four shutout innings), etc. Davey wasn't worried about that one game, he was more concerned with developing Darling, who he thought would be a great pitcher with more experience.(I can't find the article now — but I'll look for it)If there were blogs in those days, I shudder to think what the Mets fans would have thought of that one! I mean, look what happens here when JZimm pitches a seventh inning after six shutout innings! ;-)

  156. PAY TO PLAY - Sep 2, 2011 at 5:35 PM

    jd said… NatsLady,KLaw is not very excited about Marrero overall and also thinks that Milone is a 5th starter at best (average fast ball and no secondary out pitch). Might not be what Nats fans want to hear but it may also be true. September 2, 2011 1:08 PM Maybe, maybe not and that is why they play the game. It will be good to see for ourselves what Milone can do against the Mets. Settling for 5th starters isn't what the Nats need as that was the old way of sticking in a Stammen type to fill space. I don't know Milone's arsenal of pitches to comment either way until I see him against Major Leaguers. If Milone needs another pitch, he doesn't need to be rushed to the Majors in 2012 because we have all seen how counterproductive that has been in the past.We will also get to see Peacock. Doubtful we see Martis who is a guy who added a plus changeup to his arsenal of pitches and having success. I think Martis is the most improved pitcher in the system.

  157. m20832 - Sep 2, 2011 at 5:36 PM

    Yap….yap…yap…we are the yappers…GYFNG!!!

  158. Big Cat - Sep 2, 2011 at 5:38 PM

    Milone won his last 3 starts in AAA and is now 12-6 with an era in the 2.00's. He has 155 k's in 148 innings with only 16 walks. The kid has earned a shot. Bring him up

  159. PAY TO PLAY - Sep 2, 2011 at 5:44 PM

    @Sec 3, My Sofa said… "NatsLady, agreed, but if I had to guess (and I do not, but I will anyway), it's Marrero who won't be in DC. I don't think he'll stick long at this level. September 2, 2011 1:24 PM "I try not to judge a book by its cover and I initially did that with Marrero. He doesn't look athletic. He doesn't have a great stance. He isn't great in an interview. So far, he is holding his own if you remove those 2 errors and a couple swing and misses. Then yesterday he jumps out of his cleats twice and one of them was a sure double in the corner he snared for an out. Maybe, maybe not and that is why they play the game.

  160. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 2, 2011 at 5:44 PM

    If there were blogs in those days, I shudder to think what the Mets fans would have thought of that one! I mean, look what happens here when JZimm pitches a seventh inning after six shutout innings! ;-) Not to worry, this yapping won't be remembered any more that theirs is.

  161. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 2, 2011 at 5:44 PM

    *than

  162. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 2, 2011 at 5:47 PM

    Maybe, maybe not and that is why they play the game.I agree completely with that.

  163. Feel Wood - Sep 2, 2011 at 5:55 PM

    And here I always thought they played the game because the Presidents Race and all that other between-innings hoopla would be rather stupid without it. Thanks for setting me straight.

  164. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 2, 2011 at 6:24 PM

    Some people do seem to be under the impression that the game gets in the way of the stats. Just sayin.

  165. NatsLady - Sep 2, 2011 at 6:36 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  166. natsfan1a - Sep 2, 2011 at 7:07 PM

    I sound my barbaric yap over the roofs of the world.

  167. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 3, 2011 at 3:05 AM

    Nicely played, 1a

  168. natsfan1a - Sep 3, 2011 at 1:33 PM

    I thought you might like that. ;-)

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