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Game 3: Nats at Cubs

Apr 8, 2012, 3:25 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nationals go for the three-game sweep this afternoon at Wrigley Field.

CHICAGO — It's been four years since the Nationals last opened a season 3-0. (We'll ignore for now the part where that 2008 club proceeded to 56-102 the rest of the way.) Today, Davey Johnson's team has a chance to complete a sweep of the Cubs, which would certainly be a nice way to open a season in which expectations are far greater than they were back in 2008.

Johnson has one tweak to his lineup for this one: Xavier Nady is starting in left field, with Mark DeRosa returning to the bench. Interestingly enough, Wilson Ramos is behind the plate for his third straight game. I'll be curious to see how often Davey gives Ramos a breather and puts Jesus Flores back there.

Jordan Zimmermann makes his season debut on the mound, hoping to duplicate his stellar start in this very ballpark last summer … well, except for the last two batters he faced. On that August afternoon, Zimmermann was cruising along until he served up back-to-back homers to Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Pena with two outs in the seventh.

Plenty of updates to come on another gorgeous afternoon at the Friendly Confines…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at CHICAGO CUBS
Where: Wrigley Field
Gametime: 2:20 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, Ch. 50, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 185
Weather: Partly cloudy, 61 degrees, Wind 17 mph LF to RF

NATIONALS (2-0)
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche

Read more »

158 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Joe Seamhead - Apr 8, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    This should be interesting today. Samardzija has been a setup reliever his whole career. He has averaged 6 walks per 9 innings and seemingly made the Cubs rotation based on his ST. I figure the Nats will start hitting him hard in the 4th inning.

  2. UNTERP - Apr 8, 2012 at 3:44 PM

    Today, I expect the Nats to play from ahead…

  3. NCNatsie - Apr 8, 2012 at 3:45 PM

    ESPN.com has a column titled POFF in their MLB standings. Hover on it and it says “% chance of making the playoffs.” 1) Is this new this year, or have I just not noticed in the past?2) How would such a thing be calculated? It’s got to have a subjective factor. I’m thinking maybe it’s an algorithm combining last year’s record, some measure of the change in the team since last year (Net WAR?) and this year’s record. As the season progress, this year’s record would become valued higher until eventually, it would become 100%. But would the algorithm also include strength of remaining schedule and a measure of other teams’ records? Both relevant, it seems to me. What else could it include? Anybody know how it’s actually done?3) Good news. Right now, the Nats are 2nd in the NL East with a 31.9 POFF. The Phillies have a 78.3 POFF. The Nats POFF went up from 28-point-something with the win yesterday. 4) Bad news. As of this morning, we’re out of the playoffs. The Phillies have the highest POFF in the league, followed by the Dodgers (60.2), D-Backs (53.5), Brewers (53.0), Cardinals (41.4), and Reds (35.8). Then us, which puts us 7th with only 5 making the playoffs. 5) Who thinks this means anything?

  4. Kirbs - Apr 8, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    Hopefully the ump doesn't squeese the zone today like yesterday. Hopefully we can jump all over the starter cuz my fingernails can't take another one of these. Im recording it cuz of travel today, but go nats!!!! And ZimNN!!! (Will we see Werths first hit?)

  5. Kirbs - Apr 8, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    Don't 6 make it now? And like everything it won't mean much till the all star break. But it will be fun to watch.

  6. Positively Half St. - Apr 8, 2012 at 3:52 PM

    The POFF is meaningless except to get me worked up that the Nats might make the playoffs. We apparently had good news about Rendon. A sprain may not take him out too long.+1/2St.

  7. Joe Seamhead - Apr 8, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    NCNatsie said…5) Who thinks this means anything?—————————————————That POFF and 2bits will get you a gumball out of the candy machine at my grocery store. I wonder what all of these expert pronasticaters had to say before last year? How many had the Phillies, or Yankees knocked out early in the playoffs? Who amoungst them had STL winning the WS?

  8. Joe Seamhead - Apr 8, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    Positively Half St. said… We apparently had good news about Rendon. A sprain may not take him out too long.___________________________________Pos. 1/2 St, that's very encouraging news. Where did you hear that?

  9. Frank_in_206 - Apr 8, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    NCNatsie said… 1) Is this new this year, or have I just not noticed in the past?———————————————Noticed this at end of season last year. Not sure if was new then or not. Think Joe is overestimating it's value at this point…Frank_in_206

  10. Anonymous - Apr 8, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    Joe S..Ladson is reporting the sprain.

  11. Maijo - Apr 8, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    In re Rendon: Ladson's blog is not saying the injury is a sprain. It simply states that "Class A Potomac third baseman Anthony Rendon suffered an ankle INJURY while running the bases in a 7-2 loss to Lynchburg on Saturday. It's not known how serious the injury is."

  12. natsfan1a - Apr 8, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    Mark also has info on the sprain in his Tweeter feed thingy at the top right ^ on this page.

  13. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 8, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    If they couldn't tell whether it was broken without an X-ray, that's a pretty bad sprain. I've had one of those. Several months, at least, before he's back if his is as bad as mine was.

  14. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 8, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    Hopefully we can jump all over the starter cuz my fingernails can't take another one of these. You guys need to toughen up. Vladi never used batting gloves because his hands were tough. Nevermind how he got them that way. You may want try another technique, but whatever works.

  15. NatsLady - Apr 8, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    So, I got everything set up (FINALLY) so I can watch the Nats wherever– I can even change the channel remotely. Have a big cluster of wires on my livingroom floor, of course, and I did have to spend a few dimes.What are people's opinions? MLB.tv (Premium) costs about $125. I would pay more if there were no blackout of the local team–question is, how much more? I understand the cable companies' revenue stream is what leads to lucrative deals that play star players, and I'm OK with that. OK, so seven months of cable will cost me $350. Very likely I will cancel cable when the baseball season is over. The "place-shifting" box cost $110, and the app on each device (e.g., android tablet or iPhone) is about $14.00 (I only bought one). I did this on the cheap, so it's not HD. I may upgrade next season if I find that I use it a lot and miss HD.Bottom line, it cost me close to $500 to –I assume legally–get around the MLB.tv blackout. I feel this is exhorbitant. (Context: I'm spending $500 on a one-day trip for my sister's birthday, and I will not be taking any other vacation this year, so, you pays your money, you takes your choices). Of course, with the "time-shifting" (DVR) and "place-shifting" I can now do my watching pretty much at my own convenience–and not only baseball…

  16. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 8, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    So, tougher fingernails. That's the ticket.

  17. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 8, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    NatsLady, I am told (but have not confirmed) the MLB.com-TV blackout is based on the billing address for the credit card you use to pay for it. Note that may be old information. But if it's so, one could get around the blackout by having someone in another market, e.g., Dallas or Cleveland, put it on their card. I wonder if there's a market for trading account logins, so both parties can watch their own home games? Just a thought…

  18. ExposedinDC - Apr 8, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    Nats lady, I live in nc and my cable co ( time Warner) does not carry masn, and because the Nats are my local team , I suffer from black outs as well, can you provide a little info on your blackout work around.

  19. ExposedinDC - Apr 8, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    Pfb…….not true , I tried without success

  20. NatsLady - Apr 8, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    Sec 3, No, the MLB.tv blackout is based on your ISP (for your computer) and your GPS location (for other devices). You can "fool" MLB.tv in both cases, but I assume this violates the terms-of-service.You can also link to someone else's computer via "the cloud," but unless you pay for it, it's very slow. Hence the "place-shifting" device.

  21. NatsLady - Apr 8, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    ExposedinDC, your workaround is easy, if you live in NC. Just buy MLB.tv and watch on your computer or iPad. The only games that will be blacked out for you are Nats games that fall in the national blackout (late Saturday afternoon and Sunday evening). There isn't much you can do about that.My solution works for people who CAN get MASN, but are blacked out on MLB.tv.

  22. Section 222 - Apr 8, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    I wonder what all of these expert pronasticaters had to say before last year? How many had the Phillies, or Yankees knocked out early in the playoffs? Who amoungst them had STL winning the WS?Probably none. But picking the teams that will win in the playoffs is alot different than picking who is going to be in the playoffs. One game play-ins, short series, etc. Over a long season, the numbers have more meaning. On the other hand, I'll bet most of us could pick 7 or 8 of the 10 teams that will make the playoffs this year without any fancy mathematical models. My picks:YankeesRaysTigersRangersAngelsPhilliesNats (why not, it's a free country)RedsCardsDiamondbacks

  23. Kirbs - Apr 8, 2012 at 5:02 PM

    Wasn't Alou another of the "urine hand soakers"?

  24. NatsBrat - Apr 8, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    Thanks for the suggestion Section 3!I'm looking into some cheap real estate in the Antartic–like 1 square foot! Apparently, I get to make up my own postal code for VISA!

  25. ExposedinDC - Apr 8, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    I am blacked out just like you for MLB.tv…..crazy because the Nats are in no way are local team….in fact, I am the only Nats fan I know….really is braves country, why MLB considers us the local for the Nats is baffling

  26. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 8, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    NatsBrat, sorry for the misinformation; see NatsLady's response (for which, thanks).

  27. NatsLady - Apr 8, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    ExposedinDC– You can check if your zip code is part of the Nats "local" area blackout, you should check before you purchase. If it turns out that MLB.tv does consider NC part of the Nats "local" area AND you can't get MASN, then you would have to find a friend Nats fan in a nearer city who has MASN, buy that person the "place-shifter" (which wouldn't harm or slow down his TV) and go from there.Only one "instance" of the place-shifter is allowed at one time, so you can't (unfortunately) get the box and let your whole family watch on their devices spread all over the county.

  28. Ben - Apr 8, 2012 at 5:09 PM

    Who is starting game 5 on Tuesday… Stras or Ross?

  29. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 8, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    Ross

  30. NatsLady - Apr 8, 2012 at 5:11 PM

    ExposedinDC, that is nuts!! What is MLB.tv thinking?????? Ask one of the Nats Insiders who already has cable and watches games if they would volunteer to be your teammate. The place-shifting device is Vulkano. If you go on their website, you will see that you can get an HD or an SD version. Have your friend hook it up (not that easy!). PROMISE that you won't change the channel remotely!!!! Then you buy the app on whatever device you want (on a PC you don't have to buy anything, for some reason that is free).

  31. Section 222 - Apr 8, 2012 at 5:15 PM

    @NatsLady, sorry but I haven't been following the MLB.tv saga. Are you going to all this trouble to be able to watch Nats games on your phone/iPad when you're away from home but in the local viewing area, or to avoid buying a TV?

  32. NatsLady - Apr 8, 2012 at 5:19 PM

    ExposedinDC–If you want to fool MLB.tv (because you already bought and paid for it) check into proxy servers like "HideMyIP." They are not free (free ones are slow and can be traps.) If you want to fool MLB.tv on your iPhone or iPad you have to jailbreak it and get a "fake location" app. I haven't tried that, because I'm not willing to jailbreak my iPhone, it's critical to my business.

  33. ExposedinDC - Apr 8, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    Probably going to switch to directv once my lease expires ( no dishes allowed , where I currently reside ) really stinks….I would pay a lot of money just to watch my Nats, but apparently bud selig doesn't want my money

  34. NatsBrat - Apr 8, 2012 at 5:28 PM

    The blackout stuff is all about paying Bud Selig's $18mm/yr. salary.I'm calling my friend in the Yukon, see about a little arrangement.Nats' fans will overcome and endure!

  35. ExposedinDC - Apr 8, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    I have considered the fake location app, but every now and then I hear it doesn't work…..if anyone out there has had success on a jail broken iPad I would be interested to see how it works….Nats lady, the hide my ip idea I have tried, feed was very inconsistent, almost unwatchable.

  36. NatsLady - Apr 8, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    Exposed, yes, I had the same problem with the hide-my-ip last year and that's why I went with the expensive solution this year. Sorry it won't work for you, write a letter (not likely to get much response. I have gotten NADA on what is taking so long on android devices. I would try one of the fake-location apps on android but MLB.tv hasn't delivered live streaming or even archive on android tablets, after promises, promises, promises!!

  37. NatsLady - Apr 8, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    Sec 222, I bought a TV (which I subsequently found I didn't need). Objective was to watch the Nats at work on my computer or other devices, in other words, to do what MLB.tv SHOULD DO, except for the blackout.Yes, to watch the Nats while I am in the local area but not physically at home–being as how you can't watch cable TV without a cable. Well, yes, you can…!

  38. DWS - Apr 8, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    My opinion ftiw is proxys are fair at the best of times. MLB uses your ISP so unless you spoof it you're toast. I live in PEI so I can enjoy all the games (Bluejays cough Rogers) not included.Oh and go Jay's just to see the networks scramble in October.

  39. NatsLady - Apr 8, 2012 at 5:43 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  40. JaneB - Apr 8, 2012 at 5:43 PM

    I'll be watching today's game in lo-def, since it helped so much yesterday. ;-)GYFNG!

  41. NatsLady - Apr 8, 2012 at 5:43 PM

    LOL– ExposedinDC! I thought I was a Nats fanatic. Changing apartments–that is true blue! Or true red. Or whatever. That is great.Yeah, Toronto in postseason, that would be really fun! For those of you not aware, MLB.tv blacks out the Jays games in ALL of Canada.

  42. MicheleS - Apr 8, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    Looks like Zambrano is imploding already. Gave up 3 runs in the first. This could be fun to watch.

  43. NatsLady - Apr 8, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    Apparently Ozzie got in trouble for saying he admired Castro. In Miami, yet. Team had to issue a statement. I'm taking the over on team has to issue at least 5 Ozzie "statements" this year.

  44. NatsBrat - Apr 8, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    @ DWS:Maybe you could set up a format for selling lobster and establishing an MLB.TV address for all NatsInsiders. PEI lobster is the best on the East Coast, particularly when watching Nats' games!

  45. NatsBrat - Apr 8, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    Ozzie just wants to be the first MLB manager in Cuba!

  46. Cwj - Apr 8, 2012 at 6:00 PM

    MicheleS- Yeah the Marlins were very much overrated going into the season, IMO.Go Nats!And Happy Easter everyone :-)

  47. Cwj - Apr 8, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    I find Ozzie to be very annoying.

  48. MicheleS - Apr 8, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    Also.. What's up with the Braves? The supposed 2nd/3rd best team in the NL East are losing to the Mets again

  49. Cwj - Apr 8, 2012 at 6:10 PM

    Yeah I'm wondering the same Michele.I figured the Braves would be up there with the Nats fighting for a playoff spot.Interesting, the Orioles are 2-0 behind very good…..Pitching!!! Who would have imagined.That wont last though.Still very early, but the games do count :-)

  50. natsfan1a - Apr 8, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    Me, too. :-)JaneB said… I'll be watching today's game in lo-def, since it helped so much yesterday. ;-) GYFNG! April 08, 2012 1:43 PM

  51. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 8, 2012 at 6:23 PM

    There's that horrible lead off hitter again.

  52. MicheleS - Apr 8, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    Unless those guys can drive it to right field, nothing is going out today. That wind is blowing hard left to right.NJ. I know can you believe that lead off hitter. What were they thinking..And just to jinx the Mets. They are no hitting the braves…

  53. MicheleS - Apr 8, 2012 at 6:27 PM

    Justin Maxwell was claimed off waivers by the Astros. He might actually get a shot with them

  54. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 8, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    Alot of people are going to get a shot with the Astros.

  55. MicheleS - Apr 8, 2012 at 6:34 PM

    NJ.. I wouldn't be suprised if the Astros held try outs with the local beer league softball team.

  56. natsfan1a - Apr 8, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    Goon Squad. I like it.

  57. Anonymous - Apr 8, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    Michele,I think it's pretty obvious you can write Atlanta off at this point.

  58. JaneB - Apr 8, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    Yikes. I remember when WE were the Astros. Still, I'm glad for JMax. I want him to catch in and do well with someone.Still no word on someone needing Pudge, though,

  59. NatsLady - Apr 8, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    Auto correct is at it again. Closed caption on TV at the gym. "Ignite your tattooed."

  60. Cwj - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    I have this strange feeling that the Nats will end up scoring in the 8th and/or 9th inning today :-)

  61. Cwj - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    Ouch, Ramos with a 2-base passed ball that comes back to bite the Nats.Glad Zimmermann is ok after getting nicked.I was terrified there for a second..

  62. NatsLady - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    OK, here we go again. Come from behind baseball for the Nats.

  63. Cwj - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    I wonder if that run Zimmermann gave up would be unearned?

  64. NatsLady - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    I think it was scored stolen base and passed ball. Unearned run.

  65. Dave - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    Wasn't that an unearned run? Castro advanced on PB, right?

  66. Dave - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    Yep, unearned. Showed up in MLB At Bat first as earned, then reversed.

  67. Cwj - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:16 PM

    Dave and NatsLady you are correct. Unearned run.Looks like Niese's no-hitter (and shutout) has been erased by the Braves.Good :-)

  68. Dave - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    It would be nice if the Nats outfielders would do what the Cubs are doing.

  69. natsfan1a - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    Now, that's funny.Auto correct is at it again. Closed caption on TV at the gym. "Ignite your tattooed."

  70. Anonymous - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    Projected record for the Nats starting pitchers combined this year: 0-0. Wins for the bullpen: 86.

  71. Cwj - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    How many home runs would the Nats have in this series if it weren't for that Chicago wind?At least 3 or 4 more I think.Good clutch pitching by Jordan in the 5th.

  72. SayNoToClint - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    Jordan is on fire. We need to get him some runs.

  73. NatsLady - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    Not watching the Masters but just learned fdomTwitter that a double eagle is an "albatross." Shouldn't a double bogey be an albatross? Golf is a strange game.

  74. Cwj - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    Anon 3:21- Hahaha it's certainly looking that way :-)

  75. Dryw - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    Ok, not only was that a perfect bunt, but JZimm ran it out. Gotta love that Natitude!!

  76. NatsLady - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    JZ perfect bunt. Teach that to a Gio, willya?

  77. natsfan1a - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    The organist is also on fire. First, "Hey Look Me Over" after the ball hit J-Zimm, now "Down on the Corner" with runners on 1st and 3rd.

  78. Anonymous - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    What a motley outfield we have! The worst by far is Werth, who is on track to break the single season strike out record.

  79. Erik - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    Nice AB Espi!!!

  80. natsfan1a - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:31 PM

    Yay, tied it up! FP's Chicagoese needs a little bit of work, but funny. :-)

  81. MicheleS - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    a motley outfield and a goon squad for the bench. I think I will take it. Especially since our clean up hitter is still rehabbing right now.

  82. NatsLady - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    Despinosa doing OK today. Sac FLy deep enough for even Ramos to score. Need 5 runs and a win to get 1/2 price pizza. Probably not in NC, though.

  83. bups - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    Ryan Zim, after six seasons, is still a sucker for the low outside pitch, especially when he has two strikes. That's where a competent batting coach could help but the Nats don't have one.

  84. MicheleS - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    SHARK!!!!!

  85. Section 222 - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    Juan Nicasio is getting his first regular season start for the Rockies since he was hit by Ian Desmond's line drive last July. Good for him.

  86. JaneB - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    Sharkadina was beautiful then.

  87. SayNoToClint - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    Darn it I was hoping Jordan was going to be able to pitch out of that. But could have been worse without that Shark catch. Our guys have to start hitting.

  88. Dave - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    Okay, I'm getting pretty dern tired of that Lilliputian chariot commercial. Time for the Nats to create some runs.

  89. Cwj - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:45 PM

    Sec 222- Yeah I remember watching the game when Nicasio was nailed in the head.That was probably the scariest injury I've seen in a Nats game.He could very well have died.Very glad he's ok now.

  90. natsfan1a - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:45 PM

    It was a great catch, and that's good about Nicasio.

  91. JaneB - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    Thanks for tha news, sec222. I have been wondering about him!We are going back and forth between the Nats and the Masters (historic shot on the second hole, maybe best shot ever in the tournament) and missed what happened to JZimm that was scary. We saw Gorzo warming up but see JZimm is still in.The cubs pitcher is pretty good. How come he was a reliever before?

  92. JaneB - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    The organist IS on it! Thanks for pointing it out. I feel bad for Werth.But pretty soon we get their relievers and then we win.

  93. MicheleS - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    Heath bell blew a save and the Marlins lost again

  94. Dave - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    What's up with these slides into first?? Friction against the dirt is slower than running all-out to the outfield, no?

  95. NatsLady - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    Werth robbed again. Wonder why he made head first slide.

  96. Cwj - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    JaneB- Zimmermann caught a comeback drive off his left thigh, but still scrambled to get the runner at first.Then the entire coaching staff ran out to see if Jordan was ok. He made a practice pitch and was fine.Thankfully :-)

  97. JaneB - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    Great news, MichelleS!

  98. jeeves - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    I don't like to be negative about players, some of the posters on this site, well that's a different kettle of fish. But Werth, in the time he's been a Nat has been atrocious. What bothers me more is his arrogance about his poor showing–always an excuse. Please Jayson, make me eat my words. After all you are making 124 million dollars more than I will in my lifetime. That includes my teachers pension even if I live to be ninety.

  99. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    Heath Bell takes the loss when Hanley can't make a play on a ball hit right at him in the bottom of the 9th.

  100. natsfan1a - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    Me, too, on Werth, JaneB. Verrry interresting on the Marlins. Was looking at the box scores this a.m. and saw they'd had three dingers. Was going to look for footage of the Carmen Miranda Memorial Hat/Sculpture but then realized they were on the raod.

  101. Steady Eddie - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    Too bad for Werth. Gets some good wood on a cutter but Ian Stewart makes a great diving stop to take away a double down the left field line.

  102. JaneB - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:52 PM

    Cwj, thanks. Come backers are freaking scary…I agree that Nicasio event was sickeningly scary.

  103. Anonymous - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:52 PM

    We can complain about the commercials, but at least it's not endless Nats promos as in previous years. Advertisers are actually anticipating higher viewership due to a better team. The market has spoken!

  104. natsfan1a - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    JZ to trainer: I got this. It's not like I broke my jaw or something.Then the entire coaching staff ran out to see if Jordan was ok. He made a practice pitch and was fine.

  105. The Caveman Can't Even Swing a Club - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    How bad is the Nationals offense against starting pitchers? It is absurd..

  106. Cwj - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    Be careful what you decide to eat for your Easter feast today. Be sure to cook your food properly: http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/7788984/minnesota-twins-right-hander-liam-hendriks-hospitalized

  107. Cwj - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    Just wanted to point out that I wasn't trying to make light of Hendriks' food poisoning in my last post.Anytime someone is hospitalized by something they eat is pretty scary. I'm sure he'll be fine.

  108. Wally - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    Ok, we have the Cubs right where we want them: down by a run in the 8th.GYFNG!

  109. natsfan1a - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:05 PM

    No worries, Cwj. I didn't think you were.

  110. Section 222 - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:10 PM

    Re: Werth's slide. I've always understood that running through the base is the fastest way to get there. You don't see sprinters diving at the finish line. The only advantage I can think of is when the throw is off the bag and the 1B is trying to swipe tag the runner as he runs past. In that case diving will help the runner avoid the tag. But I don't see how you could anticipate that happening. Not sure Werth would have beaten that throw anyway. He hit the ball pretty hard.

  111. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    Albatrosses are considered good luck by sailors, so killing one is very bad luck indeed, which is why they hung it around your neck, as a punishment.

  112. Section 222 - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    So here's a question: Yesterday on the broadcast Davey explained the A/B bullpen as giving each pitcher one day on and one day off. He said that's the best way to protect their arms. Yet, today, we see Mattheus who pitched yesterday. And yesterday, we saw Clippard for the second day in a row in the 8th after we took the lead. So are we back to the A and B bullpens being the A bullpen pitches when we are tied or ahead and the B when we're behind?

  113. jeffwx - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:18 PM

    Werth 0 for 10, 5 K's. (50% strikeout ratio)It would be good for our O's friends if Werth could break Mark Reynold's 2009 record with 223. I think he he has the capability to do it if Davey doesn't give up on him. Go JW!

  114. Anonymous - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:18 PM

    Everyone had an off day Friday…only Mattheus has pitched 2 days in a row

  115. natsfan1a - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:20 PM

    Hope Zimm's hand is okay.

  116. jeffwx - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    Nat's lineup very holy.The hard part is Des/Esp. after that you just pitch around Zimmerman and bet on outs with 4,5,6 (ALR, JW, and who ever is playing left field). Maybe move JW down and Ramos up in order.When Morse is back we hopefully get 2 bats back (both MM and Zimmmmmmm)..

  117. natsfan1a - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    Well, if the lead holds, they still took the series. Head for NY and shoot for taking one there, too.

  118. Anonymous - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:26 PM

    Manager lost the game in the 1st inning…not moving Desmond to 3rd

  119. JaneB - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    Exactly my thought 1a

  120. Anonymous - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    Play for 1 run in the 1st inning? So if it worked Nats would now be down 4-2 instead of 4-1…Cant agree with that one

  121. JaneB - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    Anon at 4:26, how is that Davey's fault? Hitters didn't advance him. That's hindsight talking…

  122. NatsLady - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    CubsShark not gonna let any relievers in the game. Would you?

  123. JaneB - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    The Cubbies have a terrific pitcher in this guy. He beat us. But NATS take the series. More of that, please.

  124. natsfan1a - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    I had that one outside, too, FP and Danny.

  125. natsfan1a - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    Agreed, JaneB.

  126. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    JaneB……sdon't feed the trolls.

  127. natsfan1a - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    lol at Cubs fans booing if the guy gets the hook

  128. natsfan1a - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    then cheering when he gets to stay in

  129. jeffwx - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    Bunt you Freakin Nat cleanup hitters, Bunt

  130. jeffwx - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    HOLY LAROCHE!!!!

  131. MicheleS - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    ALR!!!!

  132. natsfan1a - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    Holy cr#p. The hitters are holy after all. :-)

  133. JaneB - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    Unbelievable! ALR! I gave up on them before they did! My bad. Please Jayson be the old Jayson!

  134. natsfan1a - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    I guess I owe jeffwx a coke. :-)

  135. MicheleS - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    Oh.. and the Phillies lost as well!

  136. natsfan1a - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    Me, too, JaneB.

  137. natsfan1a - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    Yay, Marmol!

  138. Dave - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    Hey! LaRoche is on pace for a 104-homer season!

  139. MicheleS - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    Marmol must have nightmares about Jayson Werth

  140. natsfan1a - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    Werth keeps it going with another walk. I'm just saying.

  141. Dave - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    Oops, I meant 108 dingers for ALR this year. Werth on first, Xavier to drive him in.

  142. natsfan1a - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    Oh, well. I like this team. They have moxie. :-)

  143. MicheleS - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    Things I have learned from the first weekend of baseball. Desi/Espi doing pretty well. LaRoche has a nice boucne back day on Saturday and a nice jack today. We are scrappy. Morse will help RZ when he gets back. Chad Tracy – who knew! Werth can take a walk, but sadly can't buy a hit (but he is going to break out soon, I just know it). Our Pitching is pretty darn good. (I will chalk up Gio's outing to nerves). Taking 2 of 3 from a team that won't sniff 3rd place in their own division. Not too shabby.

  144. NatsLady - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    Marmol in. Cubs fans holding hands over their eyes but he's not helping us today. :-(

  145. jeffwx - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    I'll take that coke now…..what a series…great entertainment.One thing about JW, good eyes when he doesn't swing

  146. Cwj - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:45 PM

    Damn!Oh well.Phillies are 1-2, and everyone knows the Mets won't remain atop the NL East after the Nats get finished with them.

  147. Section 222 - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:46 PM

    Ack. Too bad. Good point Anon @4:18. So Clipp got a day off, though he appeared the same day as the B bullpen. But now Mattheus has gone twice in a row. Do we have an A/B bullpen or not?

  148. Anonymous - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    wow.. mark already has the instant analysis up..

  149. natsfan1a - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    Okay, hold your glass up to the screen…glug…glug… :-)I'll take that coke now…..what a series…great entertainment.

  150. natsfan1a - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    Mark's darn good. :thumbs up:

  151. Cwj - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    As Mark mentioned, no 162-0 for the Nats this year. Perhaps 161-1? :DWow, does Zimmermann know how to pitch or what?Mattheus probably shouldn't have been starting the 8th (or at all) today.Burnett does much better starting an inning then he does coming in with runners on. He probably should have started the 8th.Still that was a great series and this isn't the Nats team we are used to!Go Nats!

  152. Steady Eddie - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    Sec. 222 – I get your point, but after 2 years in which Clip threw more innings than any other reliever in baseball, Davey didn't want to burn out his arm — or put more pressure on the rest by suggesting he can't rely on anyone else as a set-up man.But point well taken about Mattheus going two straight days. Might have been a moment for Gorzy. Just because he's a long man doesn't mean he has to be only a long man.

  153. NatsLady - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    We have whatever Davey feels like. A or B or C, pretty good bullpen. We just weren't beating Samardzija (sp?) today. 98 in the 8th inning, 96 in the ninth. Pitched like a reliever. Bet he blows out his arm, but he probably doesn't regret it.

  154. Erik - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    Can't wait to hear Davey's answer as to why he pulled Zimmerman after 7 innings and just 80 pitches. Mattheus is also like our 5th best reliever so not sure why Lidge didn't get the call in a 1 run game in the 8th inning. Isn't that why we signed the guy???

  155. Steady Eddie - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    Or, like cwj said, start the 8th with Burnett.

  156. jeffwx - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    Nah….Pitching didn't lose this one…. only 4 hits did.I'm interested to see how they hit against Mets no 4 and 5…Pelfrey and oh Gee. Both did well against the nats last year.

  157. jeffwx - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    Nah…Pitching didn't lose this one.Getting only 4 hits did.

  158. Erik - Apr 8, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    Not to mention HRod sitting in the bullpen. Really don't understand the move. Bottom line is that they have to hit better than .120 in innings 1-7. The 3 and 5-8 hitters are about 5-55. At least they STOLE 2 and got the series. Hurry up Morse and Harper!!!

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 54 43 --
ATLANTA 54 45 1.0
MIAMI 46 52 8.5
NEW YORK 46 53 9.0
PHILADELPHIA 43 56 12.0
Through Monday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
TUE: Nats at Rockies, 8:40 p.m.
WED: Nats at Rockies, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Nats at Reds, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Reds, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Reds, 1:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 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.

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