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Game 136: Mets at Nats

Sep 2, 2011, 7:25 PM EDT

File photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nats are back in town for the start of a 10-game homestand.

Losers in eight of their last nine games, the Nationals have seen their one-time firm hold on third place in the NL East come apart. They enter this weekend's series three games behind the Mets for the third slot in the division, so there's plenty at stake at Nationals Park beginning tonight.

Ross Detwiler gets the start, looking to continue his recent run of success. Danny Espinosa gets an extremely rare day off — he's now started all but four games this season, and in the previous three he's still come off the bench to play — so Alex Cora is at second base.

Also, Roger Bernadina is back, recalled from Class AAA Syracuse because the Nats need another healthy outfielder with Laynce Nix battling a groin injury. He and reliever Doug Slaten are the first official September call-ups. Tom Milone will join the group tomorrow and make his big-league debut. More guys should be coming next week after Syracuse's season comes to an end.

I'm still on the paternity leave list, taking care of Mrs. Z and baby Brian, who are both doing well. It's going to be an exciting weekend at the Zuckerman house, with grandparents, aunts, uncles and others invading the place. Enjoy tonight's game…

METS at NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
TV: MASN
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 183
Weather: Mostly sunny, 78 degrees, Wind 7 mph out to LF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (63-72)
SS Ian Desmond
CF Rick Ankiel
3B Ryan Zimmerman
LF Michael Morse

Read more »

110 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. natsfan1a - Sep 2, 2011 at 7:34 PM

    Thanks, Mark. Have fun showing off the kid to the relatives. Go, Det! Go, NATS!! Here's hoping that some home cookin' can help right the ship. (What can I say? Cliches R Us.)

  2. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 2, 2011 at 7:36 PM

    This is actually a comment from Chase's previous post on Strasburg last night. I watched his performance on MiLB last night and the most amazing stat for me was the 15 pitches he threw that WEREN'T strikes. That's LESS than 3 per inning. Amazing command.And thanks for the short update on the family, Mark. We are all proud newly adopted Aunts and Uncles.

  3. Scooter - Sep 2, 2011 at 8:31 PM

    Hey, I wonder whether Mr. Z will cut down on his throwing errors when he gets back from the paternity list.

  4. ehay2k - Sep 2, 2011 at 9:35 PM

    @NavyNatsFan Hey, I just wanted to thank you for the bobblehead swap. I did not see your note about not being able to meet me as originally planned. Thanks for the extra effort to meet me. I hope you did not get a ticket! Enjoy Dmitri's aura on your mantle, or wherever you keep him.And last, but certainly not least, thank you for serving!

  5. Anonymous - Sep 2, 2011 at 9:40 PM

    I would like people to try to keep their comments clean tonight. Last night's posts were a bit lurid : " Wang, blows, JZimm, cucumber " – it's a bit much, I think. Very happy it's Davey and not Bob!

  6. sunderland - Sep 2, 2011 at 10:03 PM

    Scooter +1.5

  7. baseballswami - Sep 2, 2011 at 10:10 PM

    I just saw on mlb that Strassie is replacing Livan in the rotation. I know we have speculated about it, but , still , kind of surprised. Livo to the pen? I guess Milone or a cast of hopefuls are replacing JZim.

  8. Richard - Sep 2, 2011 at 10:24 PM

    A couple of random thoughts FWIW as the Nats prepare for the Mets this weekend. NatsJack mentioned MiLB TV and I gotta say it's a great innovation. I watched the Senators on my desktop and the Chiefs on my laptop simultaneously for about an hour last night! Nice. (A little obsessive? Nah.) I watched the Senators to see Stasburg and a good Senators team win the Eastern League's western title (they didn't show the cowboy monkeys on MiLB TV). And the Chiefs … er, because I could. — Also nice, the MLB stats function on their Web sites, for example, stats for the last 7 days, stats since the allstar game, etc. And, BTW, the stats show Jayson Werth on this career numbers since the allstar break.

  9. Anonymous - Sep 2, 2011 at 11:08 PM

    hello?

  10. baseballswami - Sep 2, 2011 at 11:15 PM

    Oh, no – 3 runs with only one out and with our anemic offense. Time to start grinding it out. GYFNG!

  11. Wally - Sep 2, 2011 at 11:20 PM

    Ah, those joyful newborn times. New life taking shape, everything changing. But then again …The irrational behavior, temper tantrums, angry crying followed by gentle sobbing. Complete inability to communicate. And then sometimes the baby is a problem, too.If you want a preview of the future, Mark, I have a 10 and 5 year old that I can loan you!Just kidding. The best times ever.

  12. Gonat - Sep 2, 2011 at 11:25 PM

    Look at Morse going nice & easy….yah, nice & easy.

  13. Gonat - Sep 2, 2011 at 11:44 PM

    Does Detwiler know he has to earn a rotation spot for 2012?

  14. baseballswami - Sep 2, 2011 at 11:49 PM

    Oh, I think he knows. Not sharp tonight. Maybe he can pull it back together before the game gets out of hand. Of course, with our offense……. Oh – spoke too soon, 6-1 now. We had runners on also, but didn't score them. Bullpen phone ringing and double play turns into no outs at all. Cora hasn't started in over a month – what can you say? Balester coming in – only one out in the inning. ugh.

  15. HHover - Sep 2, 2011 at 11:50 PM

    Gonat2012, hell. How 'bout he shows he deserves a rotation spot for the rest of Sept?

  16. CBinDC - Sep 2, 2011 at 11:52 PM

    well that did not take long ….so what to do now tonight

  17. Anonymous - Sep 2, 2011 at 11:54 PM

    CBinDC – I was just checking the tv lineup for tonight.

  18. CBinDC - Sep 3, 2011 at 12:01 AM

    Well at 8 on TCM Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid HBO 4 Xmases Showtime Letters to Juliet Staz SaltEncore Dumb and Dumber

  19. Anonymous - Sep 3, 2011 at 12:08 AM

    This team breaks my heart way too much. Detwiler is not a major League Starter. This team can never win if it's starters go 5 innings and it's considered a good start. 5 2/3 whatever.

  20. Gonat - Sep 3, 2011 at 12:11 AM

    http://insider.espn.go.com/blog/the-gms-office/post?id=1460&action=login&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fblog%2fthe-gms-office%2fpost%3fid%3d1460SteveM, there you go Mark Buehrle. You opened the box and now he isn't a secret anymore. LOL

  21. baseballswami - Sep 3, 2011 at 12:23 AM

    Anon 8:08 This team breaks my heart too. I can actually tolerate the auditions for Detweiler, Wang, Milone. It's the careless play and weak offense that gets me right in the gut. I think it hurts more because I have seen them play with fire and grit and grind out wins and I miss it. The Mets do not have more talent than we do , but they are a much more disciplined team. Maybe Bernie, Milone,Strassie, more likely Pudge, will provide some kind of spark. To follow up on our daily discussions of leadership, I think our entire coaching staff is ineffective. Motivate, teach, inspire – where is it?

  22. flynnie - Sep 3, 2011 at 12:24 AM

    One thing that Charlie Slowes developed in his years with the woeful Wizards, Devil Rays and Nats games is a sense of humor. He always sounds like he's doing an IHOP commercial – a wonderful, "come hungry, leave happy" cheery irreverence with just a touch of irony – recently, against the Diamondbacks – "The Nats are trying to make a comeback tonight, against Ian Kennedy, who leads the National league in wins!" And Dave, against the Braves, pointed out that they needed experienced infielders, and then named the sub who made "a bushel full of errors" in last year's NLDS, and then named the exact number of errors. He's so good, it's scary. Point being, soon, we won't hear them, even in a crappy 6-1 game with the Mets, and that silence, after 5 months of good cheer, is cold and bleak as winter.

  23. flynnie - Sep 3, 2011 at 12:31 AM

    Oppo Tacos being served, 6-3, and blooms begin to emerge from the steaming pile of fertilizer that was the first 4 1/2 innings. Thanks for the triple Desi! Thanks for the homer, Rick Ankiel!

  24. baseballswami - Sep 3, 2011 at 12:31 AM

    Oh, Flynnie – we can always count on you for perspective. The only thing worse than watching the Nats lose, is not watching the Nats at all.

  25. CBinDC - Sep 3, 2011 at 12:34 AM

    Just a point of order I do not thin Charlie did Wizards.. I think he was just Bullets ….I always liked Charlie and was happy he came back here to the Nats ….Now the Caps have a new radio voice …BTW the 湯ダルビッシュtalk is starting again …..with a line of 1.54 ERA, 47 walks and 222 strikeouts in 202 innings now that is cooking with gas

  26. CBinDC - Sep 3, 2011 at 12:37 AM

    oh and he is tall and of a mix ethnic background (Iran and Japan) Perfect for the Nationals

  27. flynnie - Sep 3, 2011 at 12:40 AM

    Thanks, Swammi! Bullets they were, CB and I remember the Baltimore Bullets with Jumpin' Johnny Green! I'll miss Kolbe, though.

  28. Anon-A-Troll - Sep 3, 2011 at 12:53 AM

    CBinDC said… oh and he is tall and of a mix ethnic background (Iran and Japan) Perfect for the Nationals September 2, 2011 8:37 PMWho cares what ethnicity he is so long as he can play baseball.

  29. flynnie - Sep 3, 2011 at 1:08 AM

    AAT@8:53 What in the name of Shar Pourdanish or Ichiro are you talking about?

  30. flynnie - Sep 3, 2011 at 1:16 AM

    CB – What's Yu Darvish of the Nippon Ham Fighters got to do with the Nats? Although Dar-Cars is owned by the Darvish clan, so he might have ready-made connections here. The very man needed to take on Crystal Koonz!

  31. AAT - Sep 3, 2011 at 1:19 AM

    flynnie, um, I don't care about ethnics only ethics. How old are you, what is your age, what type of person are you. I don't care where you were born, what the color of your skin is, etc. Can you play baseball? Will you be a good teammate? Will you work hard?

  32. flynnie - Sep 3, 2011 at 1:19 AM

    Love Bob and F.P – but whoever just paid F.P. for that promo should insist on Bob. I've no idea what F.P. just promoted.

  33. Gonat - Sep 3, 2011 at 1:24 AM

    AAT, so basically you wouldn't have signed Smiley?

  34. flynnie - Sep 3, 2011 at 1:25 AM

    Preach, AAT, Preach! That's a lot of questions you asked me though. Age? Old. Where born? On the Gulf of Mexico, near the home of Henry Aaron, Cleon Jones, Frank and Milt Bolling Eddie Stankey, Stan Galle, and many others. Skin color? I was once called the "whitest man I ever saw" by a female Williams College swimmer, but bronze up nicely. I really don't think the color of the epidermis should matter so much to you (we are all children of Africa, after all) and Yes to the rest of your questions. How 'bout you?

  35. flynnie - Sep 3, 2011 at 1:27 AM

    Oh, I forgot – Ethnic – yes, Ethics, yes.

  36. NatsLady - Sep 3, 2011 at 1:28 AM

    Oh, Henry is pitching? Nice double-play by Werth, said he was tied for the NL lead in OF assists.

  37. flynnie - Sep 3, 2011 at 1:30 AM

    Hey NatsLady. Nights like this are why God invented Scotch.

  38. CBinDC - Sep 3, 2011 at 1:34 AM

    I hope the rumors of the Nats going after Darvish are true they have been talking about Darvish for two years now ….you can only wonder what a rotation of Strasberg Zimmermann, Wang and Darvish would do to the league and think of all the Japanese media one night and Taiwan the next

  39. AAT - Sep 3, 2011 at 1:34 AM

    I didn't just see that? Henry Rodriguez on 4 pitches walked a PITCHER in his 1st career At-Bat.Just a continuation of the embarassment of this HenRod fascination. The perfect nickname for him is Henry the Hack and I don't care if he struck out Jose Reyes. You can't walk the pitcher.

  40. baseballswami - Sep 3, 2011 at 1:34 AM

    We've had a lot of nights like these lately. it's really getting old. Oh, my Nats – find a way to turn it around, please! That locker room has got to be a sad place these days. Hope Debbie Taylor doesn't step in it tonight.

  41. flynnie - Sep 3, 2011 at 1:37 AM

    HRod did some pitchin' in that inning. Spot 'em the pitcher and come out smelling like a 100 mph rose! The break on those pitches! It must hurt Ramos to block 'em. I'd need to get Knight's Armor from the Rennaiscance Festival.

  42. flynnie - Sep 3, 2011 at 1:44 AM

    “De Haai is terug!” That’s Dutch, Bernadina’s first language, for “The Shark is back!” And he GIDP

  43. CBinDC - Sep 3, 2011 at 1:46 AM

    Did BOB just call the Nats a troubled franchise wow most critical I have ever heard him.

  44. Anonymous - Sep 3, 2011 at 1:46 AM

    You pinch hit for someone that has hit a home run – the pinch hitter has a really low batting average -huh?

  45. AAT - Sep 3, 2011 at 1:48 AM

    Wonder what Davey will have to say after this butt kicking by a AAA team plus Reyes and Wright.

  46. Mark Zuckerman - Sep 3, 2011 at 1:49 AM

    Looks like it was a rough game, but maybe the photo up above will bring a smile to some faces.

  47. flynnie - Sep 3, 2011 at 1:49 AM

    Gomes gets five strikes and strikes out anyhow, and is 0-9 in the pinch. Gotta love 'em – that's why they're underdogs, that's why their next win will be so exhilarating.

  48. baseballswami - Sep 3, 2011 at 1:50 AM

    It really concerns me that Drew Storen has not pitched but maybe once or twice in the last two weeks. He really needs to get in a game. You just can't expect him to come in in a tight game having not pitched. That is a recipe for blown save. We are not ahead in enough games for that risk to be taken.

  49. flynnie - Sep 3, 2011 at 1:51 AM

    Jr. Zuckerman, good in the clubhouse, good team-mate – look at that intensity! Get some sleep, Mark and Mrs. Mark!

  50. Gonat - Sep 3, 2011 at 1:53 AM

    Brian brought the Nats one win. Unfortunately Detwiler didn't help his homecoming. Congrats to the Z's!

  51. baseballswami - Sep 3, 2011 at 1:53 AM

    Mark – sweet picture – just wish the games was better – wouldn't want to give the little guy his first nightmares!

  52. Anonymous - Sep 3, 2011 at 1:54 AM

    Mark, Congrats on the new arrival!On a less positive note, our guys need to pull themselves together or they are going to undermine much of the progress we though they had made this season.

  53. NatsLady - Sep 3, 2011 at 1:55 AM

    Mark:Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!

  54. CBinDC - Sep 3, 2011 at 1:57 AM

    Awww Brian and his first game that is cute …..sorry kid wish it was better but maybe by the time your in high school they finish over 500 …just kidding of course

  55. Arlington BigFish - Sep 3, 2011 at 1:59 AM

    RE: 9:49 pix of the kid: at least he's watching The Franchise take a swing. Just think, if he'd been born last year, he could have been watching Wil Nieves flailing at a slider down & away in the dirt ;-)

  56. NatsLady - Sep 3, 2011 at 1:59 AM

    Maybe the Phillies will blow the month of September, so will the Tigers and the D-backs. Then we could have a World Series of the Indians vs. Atlanta. Who ya got on that one?

  57. AAT - Sep 3, 2011 at 2:01 AM

    Oh Davey…."I am getting to know the players better…" "Playing all year long is admirable" "Bench production is not good"Davey, you have been with the organization for years. You have been Manager for over 2 months. If you don't know them by now, you never will. These BS interviews after a loss is just a sign of being pitiful.

  58. gonatsgo - Sep 3, 2011 at 2:08 AM

    AAT – just don't understand why he seems to be so bulletproof. Just seems to get away with being awful.The deterioration is depressing.

  59. flynnie - Sep 3, 2011 at 2:10 AM

    63-73. 26-0 gets us 89-73. Phillies have won 87, the Braves 81.

  60. Gonat - Sep 3, 2011 at 2:15 AM

    Tonight's post-game press conference for Davey sunk to a new low. I don't have the exact quotes and it still gets a big "Oh my.."Just sick of hearing him make comments like he did again tonight with a statement about the make of his BENCH.I never once heard Riggleman complain about his bench last year when they had the lowest BA in the National League. Can you imagine if Davey had Justin Maxwell and Matt Stairs?

  61. gonatsgo - Sep 3, 2011 at 2:20 AM

    First half the manager had to deal with a terrible Adam LaRoche, Matt Stairs and no Ryan Zimmerman. He – and the coaching staff – made do and the team over-achieved. Now – this is worse than under-achieving. This is absolute and total disarray.

  62. Gonat - Sep 3, 2011 at 2:21 AM

    The Braves give O'Flaherty a night off tonight and go to "others". "Others" promptly take away the win by giving up 5 runs in the 7th inning.Its not the system as much as it is the players in that system.

  63. NatsLady - Sep 3, 2011 at 2:23 AM

    I don't know why you listen to him (Davey). Never listen to him, never listened to Riggleman if I could avoid it, Davey even less worth listening to–no idea if anything he says means anything.But, better he should complain about his bench than about his call-ups or his everyday players. Not much chance we'll see any of those guys next year.

  64. AAT - Sep 3, 2011 at 2:35 AM

    NatsLady, HuH? Instead of reading it, I want to hear it. Davey's speeches just get crazier with each loss. This one is by far his best."The way we have played all year is admirable"

  65. Anonymous - Sep 3, 2011 at 2:46 AM

    The Nats have kicked away a promising season — I look for about a 6-20 finish…sigh. :-(

  66. NatsLady - Sep 3, 2011 at 2:51 AM

    AAT, I don't read it either… but it does sound crazy. So you are saying, listen to Davey for the entertainment value?Can't blame the slump on Werth, he is hot. I read months ago that he is a second-half guy, and no kidding, he is:Jayson Werth split.It's neat to contemplate how fun this might be next year if we are above .500 at the start of August. So, Davey saying he "wasn't worried about Jayson" has some merit.

  67. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Sep 3, 2011 at 3:17 AM

    Eight Nats I won't miss seeing in 2012:1. Det. When you can't figure out what a guy's out pitch is after two years, time to cut bait.2. H-Rod. I don't care if he throws a buck-10, he's dogmeat.3. Bally-Star. I love the guy, but…no.4. Cora. Still helping the Mets.5. Anky. One throw does not a season make.6. Marrero. Adam Dunn, without the power.7. Pudge. Apply for Social Security someplace else.8. Gomer. Altough I dig the haircut and the hustle, talent is just not there.There's probably several others–I certainly am not that high on either catcher, tell you the truth–but that's enough for tonight.This season really can't end soon enough. first time I thought that the entire year. They're beat.

  68. Anonymous - Sep 3, 2011 at 3:19 AM

    A vintage Nationals effort. Quit early. Lots of guys left on base. Quit late. Made a nothing rookie pitcher looks like Cy Young–again. Another laughable, effortless effort as our rich young men play out the string and look forward to the off-season.

  69. Traveler8 - Sep 3, 2011 at 3:30 AM

    Mark, the baby is lovely, even if the game was a mess.

  70. JaneB - Sep 3, 2011 at 3:49 AM

    Brian seems very attentive. It's good to start them early! Have a great weekend. Looking forward to seeing some Insiders at the park this weekend. It will be sad to see Livo in the bullpen instead of in the dugout.

  71. NatsLady - Sep 3, 2011 at 3:59 AM

    JaneB, Maybe Livo can come out of the bullpen, put on his shoes and lay down a bunt.

  72. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Sep 3, 2011 at 4:02 AM

    JaneB, notice Livo is not on my do-not-call in 2012 list. I really, really hope we re-sign him. He'll start out in the bullpen, maybe, but I guarantee you he'll make 18-20 starts due to injuries, et al. Plus, as NatsLady says, he's oftentimes our third or fourth best hitter in the lineup. And, obviously the best bunter.I;m depressed. I hope Milone looks decent Saturday night.

  73. Scooter - Sep 3, 2011 at 4:15 AM

    Ah, just have some more bourbon. You'll feel better. I know it's rough right now, but don't worry, they can't lose ALL of the rest of their ga — um … well, I, uh … hey look! Cute baby pic up top!!!

  74. NatsLady - Sep 3, 2011 at 4:27 AM

    Miracle of miracles, the Giants got six runs. All Beltran (ok, Cody Ross too).

  75. NatsLady - Sep 3, 2011 at 4:29 AM

    Can you imagine how fun it would be if Livo taught the guys in the bullpen to bunt? Or even, hit? I understand Stras wants to take over the title of Oppo Boppo–he hit a bomb in batting practice.

  76. NatsLady - Sep 3, 2011 at 5:32 AM

    Sunshine, y'know what's depressing. All the baseball games are over for tonight. I hate winter.

  77. Anonymous - Sep 3, 2011 at 12:58 PM

    Sunshine 11:17pm I love it. I watched more baseball this year then I have in a LOOOOOOOOOOOOng time. But now I am done. The team has mailed it in and so am I. More on the "Wont miss you list" Burnette and Jesus Flores.

  78. NatsLady - Sep 3, 2011 at 1:26 PM

    Disappointed that Davey Johnson, the so-called "players' manager," is averse to letting Pudge catch Stras on Tuesday. Pudge probably won't be back next season, likely won't get to 3,000 hits. He caught Stras fine in the last rehab. If he's off the DL, let have the "honor" and the fun.

  79. baseballswami - Sep 3, 2011 at 1:34 PM

    Not just that NatsLady – but if they let pudge call the game, it will make things less stressful for Strassie. You know how much hype is all around when he pitches, Pudge is good at keeping him level. And – if he was a "players manager" – these guys would look like they are happy to be out there playing the game for him. Does anybody out there look like they are enjoying playing the game of baseball right now? They look like robots going through the motions. They sound like robots saying what they are expected to say. Hoping they can reach down and find another gear soon.

  80. natsfan1a - Sep 3, 2011 at 1:41 PM

    Awww, sweet pic of the kid, Mark. He already has a pretty good head of hair, too. Wait, is he laughing at the show? ;-)That would be Brooks Conrad, I suppose? Felt bad for the guy. If memory serves, his bat helped get them to the playoffs. But he was booed pretty heavily during the NLDS. I recall in particular the aftermath of one error, when the camera zeroed in on him and he was clearly saying "WTF"?Flynnie said (in part):And Dave, against the Braves, pointed out that they needed experienced infielders, and then named the sub who made "a bushel full of errors" in last year's NLDS, and then named the exact number of errors. He's so good, it's scary.

  81. natsfan1a - Sep 3, 2011 at 1:44 PM

    And the way I read AAT's questions, they were posed hypothetically as regards any potential Nats player. As in, ethnicity would not be a primary criterion.

  82. natsfan1a - Sep 3, 2011 at 1:50 PM

    I'm not a betting woman, but my heart says I'd root for the Indians.NatsLady said… Maybe the Phillies will blow the month of September, so will the Tigers and the D-backs. Then we could have a World Series of the Indians vs. Atlanta. Who ya got on that one? September 2, 2011 9:59 PM

  83. m20832 - Sep 3, 2011 at 1:59 PM

    Mark, I hope Brian wasn't watching Flores strike out. Did he start crying? I did. He's a cutie, though!I'm wondering what is the real reason for the Nats just falling apart this year? I mean beside the obvious. Like change in leadership, inconsistent batting, pitching woes, no baseball smarts(lot of mistakes), laziness and no discipline.Any others?

  84. Joe Seamhead - Sep 3, 2011 at 2:02 PM

    Hey, I'm still a huge Nats fan, but we really went through a lot to get to about 25 games this year, at a huge personal expense and I just feel a general sense of disappointment after tonight's game. I freaking hate losing. I'm beginning to feel like some of these guys know that they won't be here are this season and they are just going through the motions. I always try to stay positive. It's not easy right now.

  85. NatsLady - Sep 3, 2011 at 2:03 PM

    swami, yes, another good point. Nothing against Ramos, but Pudge very experienced at the "hype."

  86. natsfan1a - Sep 3, 2011 at 2:03 PM

    Kinda looks like Brian may have fallen asleep in front of the tv. (That's okay, kid. I did, too.) Or maybe he just couldn't watch anymore and averted his eyes. (Been there, done that.)

  87. Anonymous - Sep 3, 2011 at 2:10 PM

    I'm wondering why the kid ain't working a scorebook?

  88. natsfan1a - Sep 3, 2011 at 2:22 PM

    Good point, Anon.Hey, it just occurred to me what his blog name should be. Brian "the Babe" Zuckerman. The Sultan of Zwieback etc. etc. etc. :-)

  89. Big Cat - Sep 3, 2011 at 2:32 PM

    Sunshine…..that is an interesting list. I'm afraid you might be right on a lot of them. One thing I agree on is Detwiler. I would try and trade him. Enough already

  90. Big Cat - Sep 3, 2011 at 2:43 PM

    I guess the only one I don't agree on is HRod. Man, I never looked at it like that. No wonder we are getting our butts kicked every night. Just not a lot of talent. One thing is for sure, its gonna open up a lot of spaces on the roster. Another question….who has any trade value out of that whole lot. Marrero, Det…maybe Balester, maybe Pudge. Why not get "The kid" in winter ball and try and teach him to play centerfield. He is a good athlete, I'll bet he could do it

  91. NatsLady - Sep 3, 2011 at 3:33 PM

    Speaking as an armchair GM, this isn't hard. Obviously, you don't need four long relievers in the BP, soLHP: Detwiler vs. Gorzy — no trade value for Gorzy, maybe some for Det. If some other team figures him out, God Bless 'em.RHP: Balester vs. Livo — there ya go.Get what you can for Det and Bally. Hire Pudge to coach with the catchers system-wide and also the pitchers on game strategy, he knows all the ML teams and players, and how to pitch them. Make sure Ramos knows how to block the plate and tag runners. Get that caught-stealing pct. back up.

  92. Anonymous8 - Sep 3, 2011 at 3:34 PM

    @Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said… "Eight Nats I won't miss seeing in 2012:1. Det. When you can't figure out what a guy's out pitch is after two years, time to cut bait.2. H-Rod. I don't care if he throws a buck-10, he's dogmeat.3. Bally-Star. I love the guy, but…no.4. Cora. Still helping the Mets.5. Anky. One throw does not a season make.6. Marrero. Adam Dunn, without the power.7. Pudge. Apply for Social Security someplace else.8. Gomer. Altough I dig the haircut and the hustle, talent is just not there.There's probably several others–I certainly am not that high on either catcher, tell you the truth–but that's enough for tonight.This season really can't end soon enough. first time I thought that the entire year. They're beat. "You name quite a few Free Agents in Cora, Ankiel, Pudge and Gomes. So doubtful they will re-sign Cora and Gomes. You never know on Pudge and Ankiel. I take Pudge over Jesus Flores. Flores stats are better than his actual at-bats. 1 HR and lots of swing and misses and quite a few bloop singles. In the clutch, just horrible.Ankiel is a bench role player. If you don't get the CF/Leadoff, then you may consider keeping Ankiel. He happens to be a good guy off the bench in a Rightie matchup when you need a Sac Fly or unfortunately a strikeout. He and Danny Espinosa are the best flyball hitters on contact.Disagree with you on Marrero. Much better hands and slightly better range than AD. Still don't know about his bat. Too early to tell.Detwiler. All you have to do is look at what SteveM and JD have been saying for several months. He is a bullpen guy or you keep him as a disappointing 5th starter who will use up your bullpen.HenRod. Can't pitch under pressure. Either you teach him how to pitch or trade him. Yes, there is potential and reminds me of DANIEL CABRERA.Bally-star. He is a mop-up janitorial reliever. Again low pressure situations and in the end, he will also disappoint. Surprised you didn't put Sean Burnett on your list. WAR, WPA, ERA, InRSc, all horrible stats and the worst performing member of your bullpen. Since he is already under contract for 2012, I guess you see if he makes the team in Spring Training. He has to be a guy you consider trading or cutting.

  93. NatsLady - Sep 3, 2011 at 3:38 PM

    While you are waiting for Prince Oppo-Boppo to learn to play CF (which may never happen), see if Bixler's arm is good enough–he's certainly fast enough. And he CAN hit, probably needs reps.

  94. Anonymous8 - Sep 3, 2011 at 3:40 PM

    I can see why Rizzo would wants Ramos to catch Strasburg as Pudge may not be here next year. Better to do it now and get used to each other.

  95. NatsLady - Sep 3, 2011 at 3:42 PM

    Of the current bench players, I would keep Ankiel and Bixler. Gomes–we traded for the draft pick, but I'm not sure he'll end up being a Type B free agent if his BA keeps sinking.Don't see any reason to re-sign Cora, can't hit and not as good a fielder as he should be for a utility guy (maybe that's unfair, he was better earlier in the year.)

  96. NatsLady - Sep 3, 2011 at 3:43 PM

    Anon8: Ramos and Stras will have three more starts in September to get used to each other, plus spring training. The hype will settle down. I was just speaking of Stras' first comeback start.

  97. Anonymous8 - Sep 3, 2011 at 3:51 PM

    @NatsLady said… "While you are waiting for Prince Oppo-Boppo to learn to play CF (which may never happen), see if Bixler's arm is good enough–he's certainly fast enough. And he CAN hit, probably needs reps."You make some good points then you say this? You say he CAN hit. When and where besides AAA? Bixler is a .250's to .290's OBP guy. Do you ever think he can raise that OBP 30 to 50 points to be legit at the plate? Once you answer that then you can consider him to be an outfielder. Until then it is just jibber jabber and a waste of discussion time.

  98. NatsLady - Sep 3, 2011 at 4:09 PM

    Bixler for last 28 days:.318/.379/.409 (25PA). So–small sample, but apparently yes he can raise his OBP by 100 points. Can he keep it up is the quation.

  99. Mark'd - Sep 3, 2011 at 4:18 PM

    Jose Constanza of the Braves last 28 days says he is a Future Hall of Famer. Bixler's career numbers are AAAA.

  100. Mark'd - Sep 3, 2011 at 4:34 PM

    Desmond at leadoff has been an interesting development. Curious to see how this plays out. That can give Rizzo options like Werth in CF, Morse RF, and Rendon in LF.

  101. NatsLady - Sep 3, 2011 at 4:37 PM

    I agree, you can't go by 28 days. All I said is I would try him out, and he would be one of the ones I would keep on the bench and give him a shot as a platoon or regular.

  102. Anonymous8 - Sep 3, 2011 at 4:49 PM

    Markd, interesting idea IF Ian Desmond can transform himself into a high OBP leadoff. Still too soon to project Rendon in LF. Need to extend Ryan Zimmerman to properly plan Rendon's future. I still think worse case you start the 2012 season spreading Morse, Bernadina, Werth from LF to RF. By June 2012 see if Prince Oppo Boppo and Rendon are ready.July 2012 you can decide on moving LaRoche.If you can do all this then Rizzo can spend his money on getting Buehrle and improving the bullpen.

  103. baseballswami - Sep 3, 2011 at 5:40 PM

    I am surprised that more people aren't making comments about Desi at lead-off. I have to admit he is showing signs that he can do it. Interesting development. Could it be that we teach Desi to lead-off and wait for Prince oppo-boppo for CF, or move Werth over to CF?

  104. NatsLady - Sep 3, 2011 at 5:49 PM

    Desi lead-off and Espi down lower is where you have to give Davey cred. He moved them because (he said) Desi "saw himself" as higher up so he could use his speed and Espi saw himself as more an RBI-type. If the player and the manager are in sync, it would motivate the player. (If you believer Davey.)

  105. Gonat - Sep 3, 2011 at 6:04 PM

    baseballswami, I am in the wait & see camp with Desi. A month ago people here were ready to trade him for a bucket of sunflower seeds. With Bryce Harper's arm he is best in RF but I think can play CF too. Morse moves to 1st permanently in 2013 and maybe in 2012 depedning on LaRoche's status.Opening Day 2012 (if Desi continues playing well)1) Desmond SS2) Werth RF3) Zim 3B4) Morse LF5) LaRoche 1B6) Espinosa 2B7) Bernadina CF8) Ramos COpening Day 2012 (if you get Coco Crisp)1) Crisp CF2) Werth RF3) Zim 3B4) Morse LF5) LaRoche 1B6) Espinosa 2B7) Desmond SS8) Ramos CJuly 2012 (Depending on Rendon and LaRoche)1) Crisp CF2) Desmond SS3) Zim 3B4) Morse 1B5) Werth RF6) Espinosa 2B7) Rendon LF8) Ramos COpening Day 20131) Crisp CF2) Desmond SS3) Zim 3B4) Morse 1B5) Werth RF6) Espinosa 2B7) Rendon LF8) Ramos CJune 8, 2013 (callup Harper, Crisp to Bench)1) Desmond SS2) Rendon LF3) Zim 3B4) Morse 1B5) Werth RF6) Espinosa 2B7) Harper CF8) Ramos C

  106. Drew8 - Sep 3, 2011 at 6:19 PM

    Ian Desmond is not a leadoff hitter. Gracious sakes, folks, the job of a leadoff hitter is to get on base.Ian Desmond has an on base percentage of .290, which ranks 137th out of the 150 qualifying hitters in all of baseball.Ian draws so few walks that his on base percentage is one measly point higher than that of Adam Dunn, who is batting .163!It's not an anomaly. In 1,190 plate appearances, Ian's career on base percentage is a dreadful .301.How bad is that? Dave Kingman, who struck out 1,816 times, had a career on base percentage of .302.I hope Ian Desmond will be happy and well wherever his fortunes take him, but I pray they will lead him away from the top of the Nats' order.CFTBNL and Anthony Rendon, come on down!

  107. Gonat - Sep 3, 2011 at 6:26 PM

    Drew8, we know about Desi. Give it some time. He may be able to pull it off. If not, Plan B. Its only great if he can.

  108. Anonymous8 - Sep 3, 2011 at 6:35 PM

    http://mlb.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=435622Ian Desmond last 10 games (44 ABs) .364 BA/.404 OBPGive it some time. Best span Desi has had all year.

  109. Drew8 - Sep 3, 2011 at 7:02 PM

    I grant you that Ian's had a nice stretch, and if he maintained a .400 OBP the rest of the way, I'd be happy to eat my words.But look at it this way. In August 2010 the nation's jobless rate was 9.6 percent. In August 2011 it was 9.1 percent.It's better, but it ain't good — not yet anyway.Disclaimer: No blame was cast on any politicians in the making of this commercial.On the bright side, I'm looking forward to seeing Tom Milone tonight. Sammy Solis won his sixth game last night at Potomac and dropped his ERA to 2.72. It's exciting to see these guys coming through the pipeline.If only a couple emerge from the bumper crop — Purke, Milone, Peacock, Solis, Cole, Ray, Meyer — then Strasburg and J Zimm will lead a fine rotation.

  110. CBinDC - Sep 3, 2011 at 7:20 PM

    Well going to the Lifehouse concert tonight understand there is some sort of baseball game before the concert …go figure LOL …..oh well off to the Metro

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 56 44 --
ATLANTA 55 48 2.5
MIAMI 49 53 8.0
NEW YORK 49 54 8.5
PHILADELPHIA 45 58 12.5
Through Friday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
SAT: Nats at Reds, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Reds, 1:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

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TUE: 2:30 p.m.
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