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Nats fall to Dodgers as Storen takes loss

Sep 9, 2011, 12:16 AM EDT

US Presswire photo
Drew Storen gave up three ninth-inning runs to take the loss.

The Nationals fell to the Dodgers, 7-4, on Thursday afternoon after closer Drew Storen allowed three runs in the top of the ninth inning to take the loss.

Pitching in just his third game since Aug. 22, and with rain pouring down, Storen (6-3) looked shaky from the start of the ninth. He hit Jerry Sands with a 97 mph pitch in the back, then allowed a single to Rod Barajas to spot two men on. Two batters later Tony Gwynn, Jr. doubled to center over Jayson Werth’s head and L.A. took a lead it would not relinquish.

Manager Davey Johnson was asked after the game if gripping the ball was an issue.

“I don’t think it was a weather thing, he just didn’t have command today,” he said. “He’s been logging a lot of innings and has had some rough spots at times, but it’s his first real full year so I can deal with that.”

Storen also downplayed the rain as a factor.

“It didn’t seem to affect anybody else, I’m not going to sit here and make excuses. I just didn’t get it done, it’s just one of those days,” he said.
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  1. Anonymous - Sep 8, 2011 at 11:13 PM

    Storen hasn't been any good since his name came up in trade talks with the Twins.

  2. NatsFanJim - Sep 8, 2011 at 11:39 PM

    It's the elephant in the living room — or rather the locker room, that Clippard is the true closer on the Nats. For some politically correct reason, which I don't understand, the switch is not made at Closer from Storen to Clippard. Just like the Nat's relucantce to make the move at SS and move Espinosa over there, where most will agree belongs there (especially if you one of those, like me, are embarassed by the sub-stanard, even horrible, play at SS by Desmond). Have some Kahonas, Davey: make these changes and show us you are an innovator and not an office boy to Rizzo.

  3. SCNatsFan - Sep 8, 2011 at 11:48 PM

    Put simply, this team doesn't know how to win. Werth was supposed to be a player tht changed that but with his horrid season he couldn't be much of a shining example. Until they learn how to put teams away when they have them on the ropes like good teams do then we will have a perrenial loser here and an angry (but hopeful) forum year after year.

  4. baseballswami - Sep 9, 2011 at 12:16 AM

    How can you say in one interview that Drew has only pitched 3 times since Aug. 22cd and then turn around in another interview and say he has been logging a lot of innings? Typical Davey Johnson craziness. And – Drew Storen is 9th in saves in mlb, even with a mediocre team – but he's not closer material? huh? There is no leadership at the very top. Leadership is an intangible that anyone in the military, law enforcement, teaching , sports, business can recognize. It teaches and inspires those that you lead to perform at the top of their game and to the best of their abilities. Davey Johnson maybe a smart man but he does not appear to have leadership qualities anymore — if he ever did.

  5. NatsLady - Sep 9, 2011 at 12:48 AM

    NatsFanJim==> Clippard is the best reliever on this team. He is not the closer. The closer is not necessarily the "best" reliever on some teams because what Clip does is more critical and more difficult than coming in with clean bases to pitch one inning.Davey knows this. When trade talks came up, he said "Clip is not going anywhere. If he goes, I go." He didn't say that about Storen. Storen was drafted to be a closer, and he relishes that role. Now, whether he is going through a rough patch or whether there is a deeper problem is a different question. But they are not going to swap Clippard and Storen, nor should they. Hope everyone gets home safely. Listening to the road closures in Fairfax County–wow. Those are roads I would be driving on if it were Monday or Tuesday.

  6. A DC Wonk - Sep 9, 2011 at 2:02 AM

    NatsLady said… NatsFanJim==> Clippard is the best reliever on this team. He is not the closer. The closer is not necessarily the "best" reliever on some teams because what Clip does is more critical and more difficult than coming in with clean bases to pitch one inning.Well put, NatsLady! This is something that sabermaticians know, but not a whole lot of other folks.The "common wisdom" is you put your best pitcher to pitch the ninth, and then it's like you just have to be ahead after 8 innings.But sabermaticians asked the simple question: would you rather have your best reliever to pitch a shutout 9th inning — or your best reliever to come in when there are two on and one out in the 7th or 8th.The latter are known has "high leverage" situations — and you want your best pitcher there.Davey, being a stats head, surely knows this. As does NatsLady, other stats heads, and etc.baseballswami said… How can you say in one interview that Drew has only pitched 3 times since Aug. 22cd and then turn around in another interview and say he has been logging a lot of innings?What's the conflict there? He _has_ pitched more innings this year, despite not pitching a lot in the 10 days.

  7. NatsLady - Sep 9, 2011 at 2:14 AM

    I do have a little difficulty understanding how relievers can get so "rusty" as Storen supposedly was tonight (hitting guys, etc.). Can't they "simulate" a game situation every couple of days by throwing an inning during warmups with actual batters? I understand it's wear and tear on the arm to throw at full strength, but wouldn't it be worth it?

  8. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 9, 2011 at 2:25 AM

    Kahonas?? What is that, Hawaiian?It's not about the work for a closer, NL–they're adrenaline junkies, and you can't simulate that.

  9. natsfan1a - Sep 9, 2011 at 2:28 AM

    Yeah, I think so. I think it's a surfing term – the Big Kahona. No, wait.

  10. NatsLady - Sep 9, 2011 at 2:29 AM

    Agree you can't simulate the adrenaline. But is there a problem with Storen's mechanics (as Clipp said he had a couple of weeks ago, and noticed, and fixed)–and if so, wouldn't "simulated sessions" bring that to light?

  11. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 9, 2011 at 2:39 AM

    I have no idea if there's a problem with his basic mechanics, but closers have long been notorious for just not being all there in a non-save situation. I mean, everything about throwing a baseball is mechanics, isn't it? Well, after pitch selection, which isn't affected by side sessions.

  12. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 9, 2011 at 2:47 AM

    Oh, and there's only one Big Kahuna

  13. CBinDC - Sep 9, 2011 at 3:01 AM

    If anything speaks to the continued constant pervasive culture of losing that this team represents is this curious fact of comparison,Tonight the Phillies Cole Hamel finished his 3rd complete game of the year and the Phillie pitchers have 17 complete games this year .The Nationals have just ONE complete game and that game was a LOSS….yes a LOSS

  14. Scooter - Sep 9, 2011 at 3:20 AM

    That is an excellent point, CB. Unfortunately, you're going to hear from the sheep with their blinders on, who will try to confuse you with lies like:- Livan Hernandez won a complete game on 6/15- Marquis won a complete game on 4/29- JORDAN's complete-game loss makes a total of 3 on the year- Last year's World Champeens also have 3, as do the Braves (the Braves!!!)- First-place Milwaukee has only 1But you should not listen to that swill. Clearly, people who raise that kind of smoke screen are merely excusing and perpetuating the culture of losing that has led to NO accountability, NO winning seasons, NO progress in the last 7 years, and NO free ice cream at the stadium when I stub my toe.Stay strong, my brother.

  15. NatsLady - Sep 9, 2011 at 3:41 AM

    The Fillies did look awfully good playing their second string batters against Milwaukee.

  16. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 9, 2011 at 3:43 AM

    Scooter, it's no good pouring the chianti of reason on the vinegar of discontent.

  17. Scooter - Sep 9, 2011 at 3:54 AM

    But [Gee whiz], but it sure was fun to let my inner [jerk] out to play. Now I see why people do it so often.

  18. NatsLady - Sep 9, 2011 at 4:02 AM

    Well, there is this:65-76Can't get away from it.

  19. Scooter - Sep 9, 2011 at 4:22 AM

    Exactly, NatsLady! So why make [stuff] up and pretend that things are even worse than they really are?I just don't get some people.

  20. NatsLady - Sep 9, 2011 at 5:01 AM

    September 8 through the years…2010 60-802009 47-912008 58-882007 63-792006 61-802005 72-69

  21. Nats Nut - Sep 9, 2011 at 5:14 AM

    Does anyone have ERA stats on Stor, before and after the ASG this year?Seems like his ERA stats, post ASG, would be like 5+

  22. NatsLady - Sep 9, 2011 at 5:18 AM

    Let's dream… With two aces at the top of the rotation and they both perform to their stats and stay healthy.Stras makes 23 starts and wins 14 of them (far from inconceivable).JZimm makes 30 starts and wins 18 of them (easy, if he gets run support).JLannan makes 30 starts and wins 16 of them (that's only 1 about .500).4 and 5 make 60 starts and win 25. (that's under .500)That's 73.Bullpen wins 17, there's your 90 wins.

  23. NatsLady - Sep 9, 2011 at 5:37 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  24. NatsLady - Sep 9, 2011 at 5:38 AM

    Drew StorenERA 1st half = 2.53ERA 2nd half = 3.63 (doesn't include 9/8 game).Not the best stat for relievers, butWHIP (Walks and Hits per inning pitched)1st half – .9712nd half – 1.154Compare ClippardWHIP = .880 (2nd in NL)

  25. sunderland - Sep 9, 2011 at 11:12 AM

    Drew StorenERA 1st half = 2.53ERA 2nd half = 5.00 (does include 9/8 game).WHIP 1st half – .971WHIP 2nd half – 1.33Entire Pitching StaffERA 1st half = 3.53ERA 2nd half = 4.18WHIP 1st half – 1.30WHIP 2nd half – 1.39

  26. sjm308 - Sep 9, 2011 at 11:21 AM

    I wake up to someone pouring chianti on vinegar, what a good waste of wine! Scooter, way to come on strong with actual facts! Now, we know natslady does this on a regular basis and I don't know what our quota is for actual facts but we have to be careful here. People might actually start to learn a little about baseball and our Nationals and that would be a good thing. Not just rants about fire ###, get rid of **** bench $$$$. CBinDC even with unfactual data does make one valid point and that is we need one more pitcher. Looking forward to seeing what Rizzo does this off season. Its a very small sample size but to my eye, Jason Werth looks comfortable in CF (way more comfortable then Morse does in LF but that is not a fair comparison). I am suggesting that they think about leaving Werth there for 2012 and concentrate on signing another top pitcher to go along with our two golden boys. I realize Lombardozi went 0 fer yesterday but he hit the ball hard his first at bat, battled on several others and again its too early to tell anything but hopefully Sept will allow us to see what we have.Sec 3, call me the next time you get an urge to start pouring out the chianti but I have tell you that was a great quote and I had never heard it before. Back at the park tonight – hope we play better against these guys up here then we did down there.Go Nats

  27. natsfan1a - Sep 9, 2011 at 11:44 AM

    EEEEEE!!! (faints) Sec 3, My Sofa said… Oh, and there's only one Big Kahuna September 8, 2011 10:47 PM

  28. m20832 - Sep 9, 2011 at 11:48 AM

    Kahonas, Cojones, Kahunas. It's all good. And I Luv me some chianti with my spaghetti and meatballs! When Lombardozzi had that 12 pitch at bat, I was thinking that DJ has to make room for this kid. The experimentation with the call ups is pretty cool. Shows me they will be good in 2012 or 13.GYFNG!!!

  29. natsfan1a - Sep 9, 2011 at 11:50 AM

    G*d help me, my first thought was to be pleased that we're still on pace to improve about 5 games over last year. Now, where'd I put my blinders? baaaaa…NatsLady said… Well, there is this: 65-76 Can't get away from it. September 9, 2011 12:02 AM NatsLady said… September 8 through the years… 2010 60-80 2009 47-91 2008 58-88 2007 63-79 2006 61-80 2005 72-69 September 9, 2011 1:01 AM

  30. Natty Bo - Sep 9, 2011 at 12:29 PM

    About a month ago I was still really wishing for a 79 win season. Now I'm pulling for 74. With the cancellation from yesterday, we need to go 9-11. Think we can do it?Also, is it me or does Lombardozzi look to be about 5' 3" and about 140lb?

  31. Big Cat - Sep 9, 2011 at 1:28 PM

    Lets not get all worked up about this one. The bottom line is…..the air is out of the balloon and we are limping, or, crawling to the finish line. We are playing Sept call ups, wisely looking to next year. It has pretty much been a good year, Sad Man is gone, the future looks bright.As for Storen, he was rusty and blew a save. So what. He is 23-24 years old, throws 97 mph with a vicious slider. He is fine, Clip is fine, my boy HRod is fine……well, most of the time. So lets just look at the kids and see what we got

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

    We are again repeating the same results …..but when you look the team is falling again at the end of the season. The Davey is a winner effect has yet to over come the persistent losing. All players who looked to be having or expected to have notable years have crashed and burned. Well sorry one has not but I worry about him continuing while the rest muck to the end. It is a tired refrain about the NEXT YEAR, NEXT YEAR, NEXT YEAR that has been a hallmark for this team the last 6 years. Yes the paper outlook for next has promise but all it is, is promise. The result team right now is the Capitals (yeah I know all about the cup playoffs) a team you could say is just one step, one moment, one belief to cross over to the final greatness. The Nationals right now would like a good series to not look so lost and befuddled. BTW the curious thing is in DC we have two coaches whose past season records are tops in their leagues but one did his winning elsewhere and the other did all his winning here in good old DC. Oh and I bring up hockey not only because the Caps win but both leagues are structured in a similar fashion.

  33. NatsLady - Sep 9, 2011 at 2:03 PM

    Werth isn't mailing it in. The pitching staff isn't mailing it in. Morse is learning to be an outfielder. Ramos not mailing it in. Every other "regular", mail it in, that's fine with me. Let the baby players try out and don't you guys with initials RZ bust your gut running the bases and get injured.

  34. NatsLady - Sep 9, 2011 at 2:05 PM

    And for chrissakes, stop raining, will ya???

  35. Nats Nut - Sep 9, 2011 at 2:07 PM

    Thanks for the stats on Stor NatsLady and Sunderland. Just as I expected. Seems he should have been making some adjustments a month or two ago. What's he not doing in the 2nd half that he did in the 1st half. FP says the hitters are sitting on his 1st pitch FBs, but there has to be more to it.Where's McCatty when you need him?

  36. NatsLady - Sep 9, 2011 at 2:18 PM

    Agree with Big Cat. Not worried about Clip and Store. If something needs to be fixed with Store, McCatty and Livo will find it. Keep working HRod. Also, keep working Wang. Maybe his warm-up routine needs to be adjusted or give him a simulated first inning.

  37. Big Cat - Sep 9, 2011 at 2:27 PM

    Yes, Natslady. This is getting to be a pattern isn't it for Wang? Get beat around for an inning or so, then settle in and do fine. i thought the same thing. Change his warm up routine

  38. baseballswami - Sep 9, 2011 at 2:32 PM

    I am not worried about clip and store, either. Since I am the Swami and all – I must say that I predicted that meltdown several times recently when Drew really needed to pitch and wasn't getting any innings. Just rust. Didn't really take a swami or a genius to see that coming. I hate the brand of baseball the guys have been playing, though – no energy, no intensity. Surprisingly, I don't see that the newbies are what's hurting the team. It is glaring that when Zim isn't hitting a lot, or he and Morse in tandem, our offense stutters. As much as I try not to be too hater-ish ( like hitter-ish, only a bad thing) toward Johnson, I think that the lack of leadership is just terrible. It's not personal against, him , but it's just so disappointing. Losing is one thing, but looking so lost and flat is depressing to watch. I am almost more worried about this series than the previous ones — we have been playing good, high -level or hot teams. Now it's really a team we need to beat. Getting swept by the Astros would be the last nail in the coffin that is the second half of the 2011 season.

  39. NatsLady - Sep 9, 2011 at 2:36 PM

    Don't care about the Astros. Won't see half those players next year, and won't see them often. Spring Training, as NatsJack said yesterday. Keep up what remains of energy for our division teams. Let the new guys see players the WILL be seeing a lot of next year, and focus on them. Also would rather beat the Fish 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 times more than the Astros.

  40. sjm308 - Sep 9, 2011 at 2:49 PM

    I just want to beat somebody!! Losing is just not fun for this fan and can't believe anyone else. I hated when we would lose and Riggs would get up there with his sour face and say "well, we played a good clean game" I want wins!! I don't care if we make 3 errors and let in 8 runs as long as we have 9 runs. This team is always going to be my team and I will not stop rooting, just start winning damn it!OK, I am breathing again. Will look forward to seeing how Davey handles Lombardozi/Espinosa/Desmond. He has basically allowed Marrero to start most games since he has come up and I am wondering if Lombardozzi will get as much time. Pretty obvious that Espinosa will not win rookie of the year so moving him over to SS for a few games in Sept seems like a decent move to me. Spring training should be fun!Go Nats

  41. MikeD - Sep 9, 2011 at 3:02 PM

    Since Johnson took over: 25-38. That pretty much sums things up.

  42. JamesFan - Sep 9, 2011 at 3:16 PM

    Imagine where this season would be without Morse and Clip. I don't do the numbers thing, just watch a lot of games.

  43. Big Cat - Sep 9, 2011 at 3:41 PM

    Do you think Davey might try and see how Espi looks at SS while getting Lombo playing time at 2B. Might be interesting

  44. Feel Wood - Sep 9, 2011 at 3:59 PM

    MikeD said… Since Johnson took over: 25-38. That pretty much sums things up.So it sounds like you think they should shake things up a bit? Well, consider this. Since the earthquake hit: 3-12. That pretty much sums things up.

  45. m20832 - Sep 9, 2011 at 5:03 PM

    That must be it!!! The earthquake made them lose all 12 of those games! The sky is falling! The sky is falling! Well, it is in Upper Marlboro…

  46. NatsFanJim - Sep 9, 2011 at 7:25 PM

    Thanks Natslady for the lecture on pitching. I learned alot.Clearly Clippard is the Nats best short man. In my opinion, he would be an ideal closer. Don't even begin to pretend that the set up — while terribly important — is perhaps more valuable than the closer. Storen's pitches are flat as is his sporadic slider. Fat pitches = homeruns. And that is how Storen bloss games: he gives up the walk-off tater.d Not so with Clippard.Lay down some friendly Nats Town Super dollars: Clippard is the closer in 2012 and Storen is with another team — he will be traded.

  47. Anonymous - Sep 9, 2011 at 7:34 PM

    I find it impossible to believe that Davey said if Clip goes, I go. What a crock of blogger hooey. Hell, Dabey can barely remember these guys names from game to game.Davey is not the answer — Riggs outcoached Davey hands down.NEWSFLASH: The players aren't mailing it it — Davey is.

  48. Dave - Sep 9, 2011 at 8:00 PM

    "he gives up the walk-off tater.d Not so with Clippard."Actually Clippard has allowed more HR/9 innings this year than Storen. Obviously not the walk-off variety due to him being the set up man.

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