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A swift and ugly implosion

Sep 11, 2011, 3:34 AM EDT

Associated Press photo
John Lannan was tagged for six runs in the third inning before getting yanked.

The ball trickled about 40 feet from the plate, between the mound and third base, a little dribbler that might have allowed John Lannan to escape the third inning Saturday night without suffering extensive damage.

Instead, the inning collapsed on Lannan and the Nationals when the left-hander picked up the ball and rushed a throw to the plate that wound up sailing way off-line and allowing two runs to score.

Realizing the magnitude of his error, Lannan fell to his knees and threw both hands onto his head, a look of utter defeat.

“I really don’t show that emotion on the field. I showed some there,” he said. “Really down on myself for making that errant throw.”

Moments later — after he had allowed another run to score on a suicide squeeze fielded by nobody — Lannan was out of the game and the Nationals were well on their way to a 9-3 loss to the Astros that included as ugly an inning as they’ve featured all season.

“In reality, I think I should just let the ball go and let [third baseman Ryan Zimmerman] have it,” Lannan said. “But it happened so fast that I just want to kind of get an out there, and I think I had a little more
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  1. Anonymous - Sep 11, 2011 at 3:40 AM

    There is the weird illogical thinking that the Nats are "moving in the right direction" toward some fixed position…when the reality is the Phillies and Braves are moving, fast, to improve every single day. They are moving faster than we are.I would say the Phils and Braves have 1 or 2 pathetic, desultory, lifeless, anemic, who cares?, phone-it-in, run out the string losses this year. The Nats have 20 or 25. We really do suck, people.We are # 2 of 30 teams in strikeouts, and I believe we can top the moribund Padres and take the # 1 spot this year. DOES ANYONE CARE HOW FEW BALLS WE PUT IN PLAY? I say "Forget the 'We're moving in the right direction' BS and demand that the Nationals put the ball in play." I'm sorry, folks, all Redskins/Nationals hype aside, we suck.More bad news: we are a low-baseball-IQ team. Our players do dumb things, on offense, defense, on the bases, that smart teams do not do. I like having our Minor League Pitcher/Player of the Year there tonight; it gives me a sense of ceremony and pomp and circumstance. But it does not change the fact that the Nationals have a "dumb" culture.Finally, the tendency to choke at the plate, with runners on base, has been imprinted deep, deep, into this team's DNA, and it will be decades before that DNA-based behavior changes.

  2. Gonat - Sep 11, 2011 at 4:03 AM

    Anon, you said a lot and most are your opinions. I can agree with some and disagree with some. Losing is contagious and hitting on this team is not.I disagree about IQ players. Just because they have regressed in defense doesn't mean it is due to IQ.Can't disagree about facts like strikeouts, run production, and clutch hitting. I don't see guys mailing it in because I see hustle and fight. What I see is a tired team. Here is some of my observations, I see a team that has been unwilling to sit slumping players that have hurt the team. Be it LaRoche which was due to injury and not ability, Werth, and Espinosa, it has hurt the team immensely. Is it team depth? Do they have other options?Did they rush some players back too quick from injury like Wang and Zimmerman and again, did they have options? Both players in the short-term weren't in game shape.Did they stick with some duds like Stairs, Burnett, Broderick, Slaten, Maya, and others that shouldn't be on this team?Maybe they have done all of this because the GM and Manager didn't see this team in the playoff hunt and they made the decision to ride it out.

  3. Anonymous - Sep 11, 2011 at 4:14 AM

    Look at the K's, and look at teams we'd like to model ourselves after–the scrappy Brewers and Rangers.The Brewers have NO players with more than 100 K's9 (even slugger Fielder!), while the Nats have FOUR (Espi/148, Werth/141, Desi/125, Morse/110. If Zimm had had a healthy 2011, we'd have FIVE guys with more than 100 K's!)The Rangers have ONE guy with more than 100 K's at the plate, and NO OTHER PLAYER with as many as 90 K's.FYI the Yankees have 2 guys with more than 100 K's, and Detroit does also. It just becomes more and more clear that the Nats are strikeout team (1. swinging at balls and, 2. watching called third strikes) and this is a sign our future is dim.Everyone defends Eckstein, the hitting coach, by saying, "Wait a minute. This guy isn't telling major league players how to hit." I AGREE. But he IS telling them that if you watch 3 balls, then 3 strikes in DC, then you had a quality at bat!We are in deep, deep trouble in every facet of the game.

  4. Gonat - Sep 11, 2011 at 4:34 AM

    Steve M. said… Mark'd / CBinDC – What would I change going forward:1) #1 priority is signing Ryan Zimmerman to an extension as soon as possible. His situation has to be resolved now as he goes into 2012 as a "short term" player. Rendon's future with this team is largely predicated by Zim's future.2) Extend Michael Morse also. He has earned it.3) Get a solid upgrade at #3 in the rotation from the Free Agent market. Clearly you have a great 1-2 in JZim & Stras. Lannan needs to be a #4 on this team and the Manager can then have the remaining internal candidates battle it out for the #54) The team needs to find a short-term answer for leadoff as a good stop gap. If Desmond turns out to be the answer at lead-off, great then you have a situation of an extra player! Just don't go into 2012 thinking Desmond is the solution.5) Blow up the bullpen and start over. Don't keep Burnett just because he is under contract for 20126) Make sure all the pitchers can lay down a sacrifice as well as JZim and Livo. I think Strasburg is sound. Lannan and Detwiler don't look comfortable.7) Don't make another trade deadline a distraction to the team. 8) Don't make off-season trades for the sake of making trades. I could see Rizzo trading LaRoche because he becomes short-term so only do it if you get an overwhelmingly great deal.9) Pick a Manager who will be here for the long-term with a philosophy that matches the core personnel you have September 9, 2011 2:22 PM________________________________I was just quoting this on Twitter and this is nothing new for Steve to state, just reiterating it. Funny how his #6 reared its ugly head tonight with Maya.His #3 showed you that Lannan may have stats of a #3 except he doesn't have the stuff of a #3 for this team to make the playoffs.Anon @12:14, I think I am finally coming around to others on Eckstein. While Eckstein can possibly be credited for Morse and Zim, can he be blamed for so many others who can't execute his teachings? Maybe it is just time for change. If it isn't the coach, then time to get some new players that can execute.

  5. Gonat - Sep 11, 2011 at 4:54 AM

    Anonymous said…The Brewers have NO players with more than 100 K's9 (even slugger Fielder!), while the Nats have FOUR (Espi/148, Werth/141, Desi/125, Morse/110. If Zimm had had a healthy 2011, we'd have FIVE guys with more than 100 K's!)__________________________________I have no problem with Morse or Zim. I see Desi improving. Werth has been improving, he sees a lot of pitches and has made some good changes in the last month and still has a .330+ OBP.Espinosa is a problem. While some will look at his WAR, I look at a swing & miss machine and the K's are piling on. As I look at team K's, the Nats are within 42 of the Braves and 32 of Ariznoa and both of those are Playoff teams.Again, is it the students or the teacher?

  6. Anonymous - Sep 11, 2011 at 5:30 AM

    After wasting my money to watch John Lannen crap his pants in front of the entire stadium I now hope this team loses every single game from here on out just to make sure that Nats Nation is NOT satisifed with this season…BECAUSE I AM NOT! They can't hit a lick…and they still have too many low quality ballpayers.

  7. Anonymous - Sep 11, 2011 at 5:30 AM

    Oh And Davey Johnson needs to go

  8. Frediemac - Sep 11, 2011 at 5:35 AM

    Gonat said… Steve M. said… Mark'd / CBinDC – What would I change going forward:1) #1 priority is signing Ryan Zimmerman to an extension as soon as possible. His situation has to be resolved now as he goes into 2012 as a "short term" player. Rendon's future with this team is largely predicated by Zim's future.2) Extend Michael Morse also. He has earned it.3) Get a solid upgrade at #3 in the rotation from the Free Agent market. Clearly you have a great 1-2 in JZim & Stras. Lannan needs to be a #4 on this team and the Manager can then have the remaining internal candidates battle it out for the #54) The team needs to find a short-term answer for leadoff as a good stop gap. If Desmond turns out to be the answer at lead-off, great then you have a situation of an extra player! Just don't go into 2012 thinking Desmond is the solution.5) Blow up the bullpen and start over. Don't keep Burnett just because he is under contract for 20126) Make sure all the pitchers can lay down a sacrifice as well as JZim and Livo. I think Strasburg is sound. Lannan and Detwiler don't look comfortable.7) Don't make another trade deadline a distraction to the team. 8) Don't make off-season trades for the sake of making trades. I could see Rizzo trading LaRoche because he becomes short-term so only do it if you get an overwhelmingly great deal.9) Pick a Manager who will be here for the long-term with a philosophy that matches the core personnel you have ———————————-GONATS I agree with every single point you make the only problem is in some of your concerns it will require the Lerners to spend money and I still question if they are really willing outside of the draft.

  9. Anonymous - Sep 11, 2011 at 5:49 AM

    We don't even win at home anymore 3-5 on this homestand 5-5 & 4-5 before that…sad don't ask about the road record.

  10. Anonymous - Sep 11, 2011 at 6:44 AM

    >>>3) Get a solid upgrade at #3 in the rotation from the Free Agent market. Clearly you have a great 1-2 in JZim & Stras. Lannan needs to be a #4 on this team and the Manager can then have the remaining internal candidates battle it out for the #5<<<<Wrong. We need a #1. Strasburg on an innings limit is a #2 and we'd be well served for 2013 as well.Lannan is an adequate #4. He'd be an outstanding #5, one of the best.

  11. Dave - Sep 11, 2011 at 11:00 AM

    Really, after the Jayson Werth contract, how can we still be saying things like the Lerners won't spend money outside the draft?Can we please let that dead horse rest in peace?

  12. sunderland - Sep 11, 2011 at 12:11 PM

    Free Agent SP's are a pretty big risk. I don't blame any GM for not wanting to shell out a huge contract for a top flight FA pitcher. History shows that the majority have underperformed. For every Halladay, Lee and CC there are plenty of Zito, Pavano, Park, Santana, Brown, Peavy, Dreifort, Hampton, Neagle, Navarro, Irabu, etc.That's one reason why the whole "home grown rotation" thing is important.

  13. Anonymous - Sep 11, 2011 at 12:42 PM

    Our farm system with the exception of Bryce and Stras show nothing. Maybe maybe maybe the Marrero kid. But others are aaa players. The minute Riggs left the inmates starting running the asylum and it was over. Also, has Espinosa hit a breaking ball this season?

  14. Richard - Sep 11, 2011 at 12:47 PM

    This morning I told myself not to rant. Don't do it. Helps nothing. And the Nats are doing some good stuff — drafting well, developing a good minor league system, building up an inventory of arms. And the long-suffering Lerners seem to do everything asked of them. Okay, one small rant. I was at the game last night and the Astros looked like the up-and-coming, the pro team rather than the Nats. They've out hit the Nats badly both games so far. The Nats hitting is incredibly bad, as we all know. The Nats are 27th in hitting as a team. Their leadoff position is the worst in MLB in both BA (.213, approaching Mendoza) and OBP (.276!). Their #2 hole is 29th. And they don't seem to be able to adjust. Last night the Astros made adjusts to Lannan and crushed him the 2nd time around, in the 3rd inning. The Nats seldom make adjustments it seems. And poor Espinoza is 0 for his last 15, is batting .167 in his last 10 games, and looks lost. Swinging and missing again and again. He seems like a great kid. SOMEBODY HELP HIM! And as noted above, their strikeouts are unbelievable. Last night in the 4th Zimmerman hit an infield single and Morse scorched a single to right and a passed ball put them on 2nd and 3rd. Next up: Gomes. Strikes out looking on a 3-2 pitch. (Gomes did get 2 hits last night. Thanks Johnny.) And Espinoza strikes out swining on 3 or 4 pitches. Chris Marrero saved the inning with a nice 2 strike liner to center for a hit after battling Wandy Rodriquez. (BTW, I hope Chris gets the first base job next year and they find something to do with LaRoche.) One final rant. I don't understand Johnson letting Maya bat in the bottom of the 3rd last night down by 6, with a man on second, no outs and lots of arms in the pen — unless it's spring training in September yet again or he's mailing it in. Maya doesn't need the work. He's shown all he needs to show. Why have 18 arms in the pen and yet hav Maya bat there? Maya already got you out of the top of the 3rd. He did a good job. … It's been a tough 3 weeks in Nats Nation.

  15. Mick - Sep 11, 2011 at 12:47 PM

    R U NUTS?? who ever posted this5) Blow up the bullpen and start over. Don't keep Burnett just because he is under contract for 2012

  16. Mick - Sep 11, 2011 at 12:49 PM

    only free agent we need is a leadoff CF period, if we believe in our talent, 2012 is the time to step it up. We DO NOT NEED a free agent starter. The one thing we do need is a new manager, Davey is TERRIBLE

  17. Anonymous8 - Sep 11, 2011 at 1:04 PM

    Mick, the blow up the bullpen obviously doesn't mean you get rid of Storen and Clippard. It means you put together the best 7 without regard to whether some are under guaranteed contracts.I think Danny would be on the bench if Davey had a replacement. The guys name is Lombardozzi. Lombo is 0-11 I believe.The Nats made a mistake on Wang. The Nats dont need to blow the budget on trying to get a #1 and failing. Spend the money on an attainable veteran who is better than Lannan. Go with Stras, JordanZ, Free Agent, Lannan, and either Peacock/Milone.Yes, a leadoff CF would be nice.

  18. NatsLady - Sep 11, 2011 at 1:09 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  19. NatsLady - Sep 11, 2011 at 1:29 PM

    A8– I don't agree on Wang. After watching Lannan, I'd glad for Wang's smart, cool head. I hope he makes it. Livo needs to get out there and teach ALL the relievers how to lay down a bunt.

  20. NatsLady - Sep 11, 2011 at 1:31 PM

    And at the risk of stirring up trouble (why not?), I asked Phil Wood after the game why only one of the kids who went to the Nats Baseball Camp was African-American. He said, Those are the ones who signed up. I said, you have to do better than that, get out to the schools. He agreed.

  21. Mark'd - Sep 11, 2011 at 1:35 PM

    The last month has shown me that in order to turn the corner on losing this team can't rely on inconsistent starters. Lannen's stock is dropping. The Wang experimentation has proven nothing except another poor 1st inning. Livo is the tale of 2 pitchers rolled into one and I believe Rizzo is moving on without him. Detwiler's latest foray into proving he is a starter didn't prove anything.Danny Espinosa needs to sit for a few games. He's almost an automatic strikeout.

  22. Anonymous - Sep 11, 2011 at 1:40 PM

    NatsLady, do you realize Maya was a starter in Syracuse? He should know how to bunt. Lannan should know how to bunt. Detwiler should know how to bunt. On your 9:31 comment, do we really need to read non-baseball stuff here.

  23. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 11, 2011 at 1:40 PM

    For all the Davey bashers out there…. I imagine most of you are the same people that were lauding the great job Buck Showalter did last season when he came in and whipped the Orioles into a winning club almost immediately. His brash and abrasive approach got the young birds to play above their previous level and got notice around the league for the immediate improvement…..How'd that work out?Maybe a complete and thorough evaluation of the talent on hand, while teaching and mentoring the young talent would have been a beter approach heading into this season rather than the "instant gratification" enjoyed by all Oriole fans….No… I'll take Davey's appraoch any day… This time next year, you can bash him all you want if the club is in the same mode but for now, accept his approach. It will be beneficial in the long run.

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

    Not sure why you are picking on NatsLady, anon. Last time I checked the Nats BASEBALL camp was baseball stuff. All the pitchers, in fact, ALL THE PLAYERS, should know how to bunt.

  25. Anonymous8 - Sep 11, 2011 at 1:53 PM

    @NatsLady said… A8– I don't agree on Wang. After watching Lannan, I'd glad for Wang's smart, cool head. I hope he makes it. Livo needs to get out there and teach ALL the relievers how to lay down a bunt. September 11, 2011 9:29 AM Yes, you have made it clear your adoration of Wang. 2 games in a row his sinker hasn't sunk. Still a lot of risk relying on his shoulder. He is another inconsistent pitcher. Its scarey to me relying on that much inconsistency amongst the September starters (not including Strasburg). One thing playoff teams have in common is consistency in pitching and clutch offenses.If this is indeed a tryout for 2012, I don't take Milone, Wang, Detwiler and based on the recent starts of Lannan, even he is now back to being a question mark. To be fair to Milone, need to see more of him, just not impressed so far with another starter who can't make it through 4 innings.Now Rizzo is forced to look for a Free Agent starter for 2012.

  26. JamesFan - Sep 11, 2011 at 2:04 PM

    We can't go through another season next year with our middle infield hitting .230 and striking out 100 times each. I do not see Desi making the great defensive play; I see him making the game costing error more often.I know they spent a lot of money for Maya but how many chances does he get? Stammen?Our best, most consistent all-round player the last several days has been Marrero. Now that bobblehead is over, sit Espi for awhile. You could cut the frustration in that crowd last night with a knife. It was a big crowd in a happy mood at first. In the 3d, when the Nats were kicking the ball all over the place and the pitcher couldn't get anyone out, the whole place was booing the team. No one mentions that. I think we have most of the players we need to be competitive. We lack discipline and mental toughness.

  27. sunderland - Sep 11, 2011 at 2:09 PM

    NatsJack, I can't imagine how much Riggleman would be ripped if he did what Davey was doing. Why do we need to sacrifice the last 6 weeks of the season to evaluate talent? How does loading the bases for HRod help evaluate HRod? He gets into his own jams plenty. Davey walks the bases loaded, all but declaring the strategy he likes is the GBDP, then takes out the GBDP pitcher (Livo) and inserts the strikeout / wild pitch pitcher. Davey does stuff that makes no sense, unless the goal is to put players in position to not succeed.The guys in uniform know when Davey is not managing to win. I certainly do. NatsLady does. You likely do as well. How does that work with a team that needs to learn to win? And pre-Davey, this team was learning to keep games close and to win. They played much smarter baseball pre-Davey.No one is saying that expanding the roster and playing some newbies is a bad idea. But Davey is way too haphazzard (sp?) for me to see that there's any sort of method to his madness.Plenty of us were unhappy about Peacock's debut. We were chastised for not understanding Davey's brilliance. Every writer I read felt the same way I did, and even Davey seems to feel that way now too. I'll bottom line it. I don't see an approach. I see randomness. Especially with the pitchers and his in-game strategy. Random "ahh, let's try this" sort of stuff.I respect Davey's past accomplishement tremendously. Heck, I respect your baseball acumen tremendously, and I love and appreciate your pre-season postings immensely.But I don't see what you see. Maybe I have eyes but can not see. Dunno.

  28. NatsLady - Sep 11, 2011 at 2:10 PM

    Anon @9:49– thanks for the support, but I'm fine. Not feeling particularly thin-skinned today (yet).It's a sunny day, it's my birthday, I'm going to a memorial service that might actually turn into a baseball game with a phenom pitcher. Anon8 – We'll see on Wang, that's what I'm saying. The question is, do you prefer physical inconsistency or emotional inconsistency? I HOPE Wang can overcome his physical problems. I really didn't like what I saw yesterday in Lannan. There is no crying in baseball, and Lannan came as close to crying on the field as I've ever seen. This is a guy who got hit by a comebacker, and came back from being sent down, etc., etc., and he let an outfielder's fumble blow his game.

  29. Anonymous8 - Sep 11, 2011 at 2:10 PM

    Talking about being an "athletic" team. I am watching MLB Network and the Houston highlights just show me how un-athletic Lannan is. He couldn't field his position yesterday which hurt the team immensely yesterday.He has been the worst bunter on the team this season which is a pitcher fundamental.Lannan's biggest mistake last night was again his inability to get the lefties out. That 3rd inning rally started after he got out WandyRod for the 1st out and then lefty Jordan Shaefer got the double off of him. John has done much better against lefties this year. The last 5 starts all batters are hitting .325 off of Lannan. Basically 1 hit per inning and then add all the walks. The rally started with the lefty.Lannan's biggest problem is only 4 double plays turned in his last 8 games. Turning double plays has been what has saved Lannan and it hasn't been part of his game recently.

  30. CBinDC - Sep 11, 2011 at 2:11 PM

    It would appear that the team now enjoys the rhythm of losing ……lose 3, walk-off win, lose 4, walk-off win, lose 2 walk-off win ….. has it's own beat I know this Phil Woods sneered at the fan expectation of a winning season ……calls them a second division team all the time ( never hear him say that about Baltymure hmmmm ) which is as antique a term as it gets …..but it was and is not an unreasonable expectation that this team and organization show big improvements in all areas of measure and perception this year and right now I would say the season IS LOST …..it has been a complete waste of time if this is the result of a team …..just another repeat of the failure and losing seasons of the past …..the only bright spot is Mike Morse and now he looks "out in left field" at least the bat still works ….the middle infield which has so much promise …..can not hit and really has trouble putting together great fielding (missed triple play anyone?)….the rotation is back to mystery meat status …the outfield is back to being out there, like out there in a like out there way …..the bull pen is a live version of mystery date …..not really sure what you gonna get when the door swings open but if it's a blown save you looking for well they can get that for you …… Well at least we have Zimm who is the everything of this team and that is sad because he deserves better then what has happen since his arrival because Zimm is not only the best 3rd baseman in a generation but has been the best player on this team year after year from the day he arrived …so we got that going for us which is nice

  31. NatsLady - Sep 11, 2011 at 2:14 PM

    I am reading the book about the 1986 Mets that a poster mentioned. I was on the fence about Davey. Am halfway through the book and still on the fence, even more on the fence–is that possible?

  32. sunderland - Sep 11, 2011 at 2:29 PM

    On Wang, I'm with NatsLady. Hard to say Wang was / is a mistake. He was a risk. That was obvious. It wasn't blowing the budget, not by any means. If you balance the risk with the reward, it was a perfectly reasonable deal. It's a stretch to call it more, one way or the other. Wang is pretty close. Will he get there? Who knows. Will he get there in a Nats uni? Who knows. All it cost was a $$. Hard to see any downside.Happy B-Day NL….

  33. Anonymous8 - Sep 11, 2011 at 2:34 PM

    Sunderland, I hear you and I also hear NatsJack. Like NatsLady, I am on the fence.Lets just say I am perplexed with what Davey says and what Davey does like Davey talked about consistency with his lineups when he took over and quickly contradicted himself.I am more concerned that Davey at times doesn't seem to really know his own players. He got a pass for his first few games. You want to experiment? How's about not allowing Espinosa to bat lefty the rest of the season. Can he be any worse going righty/righty?

  34. Anonymous8 - Sep 11, 2011 at 2:36 PM

    Rumor is that Wang just earned a $1 million bonus after his last start. Anyone have any facts on that? NatsLady, Happy Birthday!

  35. Anonymous8 - Sep 11, 2011 at 2:38 PM

    Hard to believe on the morning of July 19th this team was still at .500 and since then almost got it back when he got to within 2 games of .500 on August 22nd. Since August 22nd, only 4 wins. In the 13 losses since then the Nats have averaged 2.46 runs per game. A 4-13 record and consider this, only 6 of those 17 games since Aug 22nd have been against teams with a winning record!

  36. NatsLady - Sep 11, 2011 at 2:42 PM

    I only "adore" one player, and that's my man Clipp. And from the number of his jerseys that I see at the park, I'm far from alone in that. Had to laugh when in the pregame he said he had been trying out stuff (KNEW THAT!) and he maybe shouldn't have been doing it during games (Um, well…), and that he was going back to what had been working. He knows that to be the complete stopper he has been he needs even more in his arsenal, though. Gotta respect him for that.

  37. NatsLady - Sep 11, 2011 at 2:44 PM

    There was a story Friday about CMW's contract incentives. He hasn't earned the extra $1 million yet, but he could, and the Nats have put him in position to do so based on number of starts.http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/nationals-journal/post/chien-ming-wangs-contract-incentives-laid-out/2011/09/09/gIQAsM9uEK_blog.html

  38. Anonymous8 - Sep 11, 2011 at 2:49 PM

    Sunderland, the concern on Wang is multi-tiered. It starts with his health and then to the results which are a mixed bag. Last 2 games his sinker isn't working. Aren't you concerned over that?In his 8 starts, his record in the 1st inning he has given up 11 runs and a .432 BA with a .500 OBP.Hard for a team starved for scoring runs to be behind to start the game.

  39. JohnD - Sep 11, 2011 at 2:51 PM

    I can't wait for the days when september and October games become meaningful!

  40. Gonat - Sep 11, 2011 at 2:55 PM

    Desmond-6, Ankiel-8, Zimmerman-5, Morse-7, Werth-9, Espinosa-4, Marrero-3, Ramos-2, Strasburg-1Espinosa still in there!

  41. NatsLady - Sep 11, 2011 at 2:58 PM

    Didn't Livo go through a period where he was having rough first innings? The time CMW pitched his best game (the one-hitter in Chicago) he warmed up for a LONG time. In regard to his last game, I suspect the warmup he needs was maybe not possible in the rain conditions we had this week, and also he was "over-rested" by a couple of days. That's not an excuse, but it might be an explanation. I didn't see the start before that, so can't comment on it. It would be nice if the Nats weren't "a team starving for runs."

  42. sunderland - Sep 11, 2011 at 2:58 PM

    Concerned about Wang. Sure, a bit, but not much since I haven't been expecting much. And if not Wang, who else gets the starts? Gorzelanny? Balester? Stammen? Any reason to expect much more? Who did we take starts away from? I don't see anything wrong with giving Wang a bunch of starts to see if we want back in next year.

  43. Anonymous8 - Sep 11, 2011 at 2:59 PM

    NatsLady, thanks for the link on Wang's contract. Sounds like he will get to another $1 million plus in bonuses and this is the part I had heard about an initial callup bonus:Wang also earned an unspecified roster bonus for simply joining the roster for his first start, a source told the Post in July.

  44. CBinDC - Sep 11, 2011 at 3:08 PM

    To further illustrate how the Nationals get no love from the media ….it's own flagship station is right now spending 4 hours plus talking about THE REDSKINS ….they will not discuss the Nationals during the week …many of the hosts treat the topic like discussions of bad bathrooms habits, the one called Duke almost screams hate if anybody brings them up, the Junkie boys act as if the team is a rash they have to deal with, I would say at times 980 gives the Nationals a better attitude, Mark playing a large role there. They so get no respect the day games are not even on the FM station ……so while they are spending 4 plus hours for a team they have no broadcast rights …on the one they do have they will not even put them on the main signal even on opening day. But no 4 plus hours of coverage, I wonder if they had 4 total hours all season outside of the broadcast periods. Could this not be a more disagreeable situation. Oh yeah try to find a Nationals signal outside of the area …..I picked up a game outside of Baltemire but it was on 1500 …..no direct station even in the Harrisburg area I can find ….but Baltyymooore all over the dial and Philly ….just another of the long line of mistakes of the past that continue to plague the present

  45. rogieshan - Sep 11, 2011 at 3:09 PM

    It's looking like the most intriguing competition this month is between Lannan and Milone. Can't see the Nats moving forward with two similar, soft tossers in the back end of the rotation. I believe one of the two will be traded, especially if Milone shows he belongs. It's absurd, but if a team can be prudent about protecting a pitcher's arm, why wouldn't it also consider shutting a young position player (like Espinosa) down when he's clearly worn and overstretched?

  46. CBinDC - Sep 11, 2011 at 3:22 PM

    One things last night that captured all that is was Lannan trying to hide by folding his arms over his head and going fetal right there on the field. Well that is what many Nats fans have been doing for 7 years on so that shot and you have the press guide cover for next year with this title …NO MÁS … ESTE AÑO

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UPCOMING SCHEDULE
WED: Nats at Phillies, 7:35 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Nats at Mariners, 10:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Mariners, 9:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Mariners, 4:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 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

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

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