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LaRoche’s power stroke is back

Apr 9, 2012, 12:58 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Adam LaRoche has clubbed two homers in as many days.

CHICAGO — Forget for a moment the Nationals' offensive woes during yesterday's 4-3 loss to the Cubs. Forget Jordan Zimmermann's efficient seven innings of work. Forget Gio Gonzalez's struggles on Saturday. And forget the dominant performances from just about every member of the bullpen over the weekend.

If there's only one thing to take away from the Nationals' season-opening series at Wrigley Field, it might just be the re-emergence of Adam LaRoche's power stroke.

Seriously. You have to be careful to read too much into the first three games of the year, so it's probably not worth agonizing over Jayson Werth's 0-for-10 start or exulting over Henry Rodriguez's 94 mph changeup.

But there's nothing wrong with reading something into LaRoche's two home runs against the Cubs: his two-run blast Saturday off theRead more ยป

  1. NatsLady - Apr 9, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    (from previous post discussion on winning the series vs. going all out for the sweep) T8 and Fast Eddie–agree. And I think Davey agrees. That's why he didn't bust Clip or JZ's arm to win yesterday. He would like to have won–he had Lidge warming in case we got ahead for the 9th–but 2 of 3 for every series is a WIN. Thinking it over, Mattheus only threw 10 pitches Saturday, so I guess Davey wanted to see if he could be effective two days in a row. Probably a good thought. Also, Burnett MUST learn to deal with inherited runners. So I guess it was a teaching/learning moment.Ken Rosenthal, butting his nose into the Marlins' business, thinks Ozzie should be suspended for a month, or at least five games, for his Castro comments. Also says it won't happen. Good– it's too early to put a cap on Ozzie's entertainment value.

  2. Binx Bolling - Apr 9, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    One lefty- La Roche- had a fine weekend. Another- Lannan- did poorly which is what I expected. I would expect Lannan to pitch poorly for a few more games until he buckles down and reignites his competitive drive in order to return to the Majors.

  3. Joe Seamhead - Apr 9, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    I have a lot of confidence and expectations when considering ALR. and consider his re-emergence as a legit 25-30HR/85-100 RBI guy to be a huge key to the Nats success this year, if he stays healthy.

  4. RickH - Apr 9, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    Welcome back, Adam!

  5. The Great Unwashed - Apr 9, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    I look at this first series like this: Game 1, same old Nats. Game 2, the new and improved Nats. Yes, they didn't hit until late in the game, but when they had the opportunity they cashed in in a big way. Teams with good line ups do that. The Yankees are famous for coming back on you at the end and capitalizing on your mistakes. That's encouraging and if we see that regularly, this team will contend. Game 3, sloppily played, same old Nats. It looked as if the Nats were content to take 2 out of 3 and the Cubs just outhustled them. Again, they took 2 of 3 so that's all that matters. Desmond has been a nice surprise. Espinosa doesn't look lost at the plate. Zimm will hit and he got robbed of two HR by the wind in game 1. LaRoche is silencing the worries that he's not fully healed. Morse will be back soon. They'll all be fine, but I'm hoping to see the new Nats instead of the old ones. That when we'll know this team is substance and not hype.

  6. whatsanattau - Apr 9, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    The All Ex-Nats Team:C – Rodriguez (FA)1B – Dunn (CHW)2B – Orr (PHI)SS – Blanco (PHI)3B – Hairston (LAD)LF – Willingham (MIN)CF – Morgan (MIL)RF – Nix (PHI)DH – Johnson (BAL)SP – Milone (OAK), Hernandez (ATL)RP – Capps (MIN), Coffey (?)Others – Estrada, Bard, Durbin, Byrd, Soriano, Galaraga, Harris, …I know I'm missing a few…. someone fill in the others please.I don't think Nieves is in the majors and maybe not Cora. I guess you could count Crow, but he was never a Nat (and I don't think anyone would trade Storen straight up for Crow)Throw in a few Expos and of course you get Sizemore, Phillips, Bay, Lee, Guerrero, Colon, etc…. but I think the statue of limitations is up on those crimes.

  7. A DC Wonk - Apr 9, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    From game #1:Anonymous said… Laroche sucks. He is awful. I called this earlier on here and was criticized. Now what do you think.Can I help you wipe some egg off your face? ;-)

  8. A DC Wonk - Apr 9, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    And, interestingly, the first use of the word "sucks" during opening day was by JayB — applying the epithet to Tracy — the guy who got the two out double in the ninth.Just sayin'…

  9. bdrube - Apr 9, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    Funny how some of the guys who were getting the most crap around here during ST, (Desmond, LaRoche) and a guy some were bemoaning even made the team (Tracy) have had the best starts to the season.

  10. natsfan1a - Apr 9, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    Off the top of my head:Jamey Carroll is with the Twins; Jonny Gomes is with the Athletics; Ramon Ortiz is the the Yankees.whatsanattau said… The All Ex-Nats Team:

  11. natsfan1a - Apr 9, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    Oh, Austin Kearns is with the Marlins.

  12. Mick - Apr 9, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    why do I feel that even after Morse is back and Harper comes up in June, we still may need one more big bat?

  13. Big Cat - Apr 9, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    Milone goes today for OaklandMets closer has saved all 3 games for 3-0 Mets. Would be surprised if he's available today.

  14. natsfan1a - Apr 9, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    Alberto Gonzalez is with the Rangers; Joel Hanrahan is with the Pirates; Jon Rauch is with the Mets.

  15. whatsanattau - Apr 9, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    tossing eggs is fun !!!

  16. Gonat - Apr 9, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    Accolades for LaRoche and Desmond and a bench player like Chad Tracy? How things change fast on here. These are the 2 guys and "the bench" that many of the Anons and a few others with Avatars have made target practice of.The lesson is 1 game or 5 games isn't a season. Ryan Zimmerman isn't going to bat .091 for the season and Werth isn't going to bat .000 The unfortunate part of yesterday was it was deja vous all over again watching JZim take a loss after giving up 1 earned over 7 innings. This team has to score runs for their Aces.Overall, this team's end result over the weekend was what they were supposed to do. Win the games against the teams that will finish below .500 like the Cubs. Same results with the Mets.

  17. whatsanattau - Apr 9, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    thanks for the roster names. Can't believe I left off Hanrahan, I carry his autograph around on my back every game…. (getting old sucks)

  18. natsfan1a - Apr 9, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    Let those who have never had egg on their faces cast the first one. Dang, that leaves me out. ;-)

  19. natsfan1a - Apr 9, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    You're welcome, whatsanattau. I'm sure that I left some out as well, as I am similarly memory-challenged.

  20. whatsanattau - Apr 9, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    Say!I like green eggs and ham!I do!! I like them, Sam-I-am!And I would eat them in a boat!And I would eat them with a goat…And I will eat them in the rain.And in the dark. And on a train.And in a car. And in a tree.They are so good so good you see!

  21. Anonymous - Apr 9, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    SS – Blanco (PHI)SS – Jamey Carroll (MIN)Blanco never played a single regular season game with the Nats.

  22. natsfan1a - Apr 9, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    Just stumbled on this blog item re. former Expos still playing in the majors. At first glance, the roll call seems to be up to date.

  23. natsfan1a - Apr 9, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    (And smacking myself upside the head for forgetting Schneider.)

  24. A DC Wonk - Apr 9, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    natsfan1a said… Let those who have never had egg on their faces cast the first one.While I'm sure I've had egg on my face, too — I don't mind being called on it. Further, I can assure you that I have never written stupid stuff of the variety like: "so and so will never xyz", or, in the middle of the 5th inning "the Nats will lose 1-0", and so on. For those things, I am going to call on others — in a probably vain and useless effort to cut down others' stupid negative comments.

  25. UnkyD - Apr 9, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    A DC Wonk…….of The Mancha…;-)

  26. Diz - Apr 9, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    ALR's first weekend was good, but what killed me yesterday were the little things that cost us the ball game.Espy's failure to move Desi to 3rd in the first cost us a run as Zim would have easily had a Sac Fly.And then Wilson failing to catch Zim's pitch when Castro was stealing 2nd gave him an extra base and he scored because of it.That's 2 runs in a close game, which we will have all year, that costs us a sweep. Just hope they can turn that around against a very surprising Mets team.

  27. pdowdy83 - Apr 9, 2012 at 3:00 PM

    The All Ex-Nats Team (current organization):N. Morgan CFE. Bonifacio 2BJ. Willingham LFA. Dunn 1BL. Nix RFJ. Hairston 3BJ. Carroll SSI. Rodriguez CBench – N. Johnson (BAL), A. Kearns (MIA), A. Gonzalez (TEX), Nieves (COL), W. Harris (CIN)Rotation – J. Marquis (MIN) T. Milone (OAK)L. Hernandez (ATL)S. Olsen (CHI AL)S. Martis (PIT)BullpenJ. Hanrahan (PIT)M. Capps (MIN)J. Rauch (NYM)T. Coffey (LA)J. Beimel (TEX)L. Ayala (NYY)M. Batista (STL)The bullpen would actually be pretty decent. The rotation makes you say yuck though. Is it bad that out of most of those players I would only really want to take back Bonifacio, Hanrahan, Jamey Carroll and maybe Dunn?Thank god for the new roster lol

  28. MicheleS - Apr 9, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    I am still suprised that Pudge hasn't been picked up even as a backup.

  29. DL in VA - Apr 9, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    A DC Wonk said…And, interestingly, the first use of the word "sucks" during opening day was by JayB — applying the epithet to Tracy — the guy who got the two out double in the ninth.Just sayin'…And that's why I don't think JayB is much of a fan. He's nowhere to be seen when the team and players he criticize are doing well. I am ABSOLUTELY LOVING LaRoche showing his power stroke again.

  30. Anonymous - Apr 9, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    ALR has been hitting to all fields, and with authority, since that game 1 fiasco. Right now, a return to form for him seems likely, if he stays healthy. If the Beast can come back and hit somewhere close to his numbers last year, the Nats will have a formidable middle of the order, with Zim, Morse, and La Roche.Both Desi and Spinner have been getting on base. Danny looks much better at the plate, and is hitting to LF with regularity, the wind at Wrigley probably depriving him of one or two more hits over the weekend.Werth, Ankiel and Ramos are a pretty good bottom of the order, even if they perform no better than they did last year.The Nats will score more runs this year than last, hit more dingers, and have a higher team BA. Of course, everyone has to stay healthy. And none of that includes Harper, should he develop into a ML caliber hitter sometime this year.The bench has already helped them win their first 2 games, and is much better than last year's reserves.I like this team. A lot of character guys, too. That helps.Laddie_Blah_Blah

  31. baseballswami - Apr 9, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    Very cool seeing LaRoche healthy and hitting. My pleasant surprise of the first three games is Desi. He is playing well on both sides of the ball. I would love it if we could keep this version of him. Now time to knock the Mets off the top of the NLEast — wait, did I just type that? Really?

  32. Anonymous - Apr 9, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    My only real concern after the first three games is Gio Gonzales. He did not look great during spring training and he bombed in his first regular season game.There were already question marks about his walk totals before we acquired him – I just hope its a blip and not a trend.

  33. Kirbs - Apr 9, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    Think Coffey is in SD?

  34. Kirbs - Apr 9, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    I'm excited to see what Zim, ALR and Morse do when they are protecting. As for Werth? Let's hope for 300 walks……

  35. Kirbs - Apr 9, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    Protecting each other….

  36. Anonymous - Apr 9, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    Todd Coffey is in the Dodgers bullpen now.

  37. Maijo - Apr 9, 2012 at 3:44 PM

    For some reason, left-handed batters seem to have picture-perfect swings in far greater proportion to the population of hitters overall. ALR is one of those guys. Maybe I am biased as an old southpaw myself, but if ALR can sustain this unusual early season groove, there is no reason he can't have a 30 HR, 90 RBI season this year.

  38. UNTERP - Apr 9, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    All I can say about ALR if he keeps it up, extend his contract for another two yrs…

  39. sjm308 - Apr 9, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    I have long been a supporter of LaRoche when many wanted him gone. I am not going to go crazy over 3 games but it is sure better then the alternative. We have a one year extension if we wish with a buyout clause as well. I am going to suggest caution and patience here. Marrero is still mending, Morse will need a position if Harper does what most think he is capable of, and Tyler Moore looks like he is going to continue to make us look up and take notice. Just like having 3 or 4 catchers is certainly a good thing, I think the same with our first base situation.On the ex-Nats, I was scrolling and waiting for Bonifacio and PDowdey finally noted him. He is the one guy I would want back. I also love that Nick seems to be doing well with the O's but we don't need him or Dunn at this point. My second choice would be Hanrahan but he was mentally spent when he left and needed that change of scenery. I am betting he would come back now with a totally different attitude.Looking for 2 out of 3 again. Have to switch hats for the first time this season (going to the 2011 Spring Training away hat). Go Nats!!!

  40. Young Pitchers - Apr 9, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    "Maijo said… For some reason, left-handed batters seem to have picture-perfect swings…"remember David Justice?

  41. baseballswami - Apr 9, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    Anyone else feel shaky about EJax? He just feels really inconsistent to me. It has nothing to do with his record or era or past history. It's just what I see with my own eyes. Hoping for the best, though!!

  42. A DC Wonk - Apr 9, 2012 at 5:04 PM

    Can the good folks here at NI help me out? My daughter wants to see Strasburg. What's the most likely date he pitches in DC? I'm thinking Monday night, Apr 16 vs Houston — is that what others would guess?

  43. Anonymous - Apr 9, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    Rod Carew definitely did not have a picture perfect swing.

  44. David - Apr 9, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    Corey Brown is off to a good start as well….

  45. Anonymous - Apr 9, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    Assuming there are no rainouts, Strasburg's first home start will indeed be on Monday the 16th against the Astros.

  46. Anonymous - Apr 9, 2012 at 5:15 PM

    MicheleS said… "I am still suprised that Pudge hasn't been picked up even as a backup."I'm not. He can't hit anymore.

  47. Anonymous - Apr 9, 2012 at 5:21 PM

    Despite Mark's opinion that Werth is just off to a slow start, what we have seen since the beginning of last season is what we are going to get with this turkey in the future. He appears to be just going through the motions to collect his fat salary and that's the way it is going to be for six more years. He looks like a beaten man before he gets in the batter's box because he knows down deep he's a fraud. Wait until the "Andre Blatche" boos start and they are coming!

  48. Section 222 - Apr 9, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    @A DC Wonk — Here's the rotation schedule as best I can predict it, through the first homestand:Thurs. Apr. 5 @CHC SStrasburgFri. Apr. 6 off daySat. Apr. 7 @CHC GioSun. Apr. 8 @ HC JZnnMon. Apr. 9 @NYM E-JaxTues. Apr. 10 @NYM DetwilerWed. Apr. 11 @NYM SSThurs. Apr. 12 CIN GioFri. Apr. 13 CIN JZSat. Apr. 14 CIN E-JaxSun. Apr. 15 CIN DetMon. Apr 16 HOU SSTues. Apr. 17 HOU GioWed. Apr. 18 HOU JZThurs. Apr. 19 HOU E-JaxFri. Apr. 20 MIA DetSat. Apr. 21 MIA SSSun. Apr. 22 MIA Gio

  49. Kirbs - Apr 9, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    Just saw Justin Maxwell was claimed by Houston. Best of luck and hope he gets a shot.

  50. JaneB - Apr 9, 2012 at 5:28 PM

    Someone wrote:And that's why I don't think JayB is much of a fan. He's nowhere to be seen when the team and players he criticize are doing well. I disagree. I think he IS a fan. He cares and knows a lot about this team. I think he just doesn't comment (often) in the positive. It's just a way of communicating. But he IS a Nats fan, in the way my Dad is a Jane-fan: "Do better! Do better! Not good enough." On this thread: I am glad ALR is totally healed. I was a "trade him and get Morse back on first" person. Might still be. But now I am seeing why we signed ALR to begin with, and that he has more than defense to offer us.

  51. Anonymous - Apr 9, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    Might not get another one right all year, so…"Anonymous said…I don't like the Byrd trade, nor do I want LaRoche to be traded – I want him to have a .280/25/80 season and play stellar defense at first base well into the playoffs.Lannan should not be traded, they're going to need him.-JimApril 06, 2012 4:39 PM"This was on Friday as everyone was calling for his head. I don't think his 2 HRs over the weekend guarantee anything, but I'd be very happy if he puts up the numbers I suggested on Friday – .280/25/80 with stellar defense, saving Zimm, Ian, and Danny quite a few throwing errors along the way while being a steadying influence in the dugout. Go Adam!-Jim

  52. MicheleS - Apr 9, 2012 at 5:47 PM

    Anon 1:15. I know he can't hit (the reason he isn't here anymore). Bur for a team that has either a young catcher or a young pitching staff that needs to be guided/tutored, he is perfect. Not saying play him more than 60 games

  53. JaneB - Apr 9, 2012 at 5:56 PM

    MichelleS, me too. I think the same thing.

  54. SCNatsFan - Apr 9, 2012 at 6:03 PM

    RE JayB being a fan… if I'm not mistaken he has season tix which means he spends boatloads more then I do supporting the team and if he wants to look at the negative aspects of the team then that's his right, just like it is my right to disagree with his statements when I believe they are incorrect. It is alot easier to change the channel from the MLB network – and much cheaper – then to go see the Nats and support them after the product they have put out in the past, I can see where any longtime ST holder could become disillusioned.

  55. baseballswami - Apr 9, 2012 at 6:03 PM

    Last day of school break – watching the Phils and Marlins on the Phils home opener with Cole Hamels. Here are my issues: A.I hate listening to the horrible philly accents and total homer announcers. They say horrible things about other teams and their fans and have absolutely no objectivity. B. Who do I want to lose? I have to have someone to root against, but that means rooting FOR one of them and I am sorry but I just can't DO that! I am hoping that those are the only issues I have for the rest of the day – right up until the Nats play.

  56. jd - Apr 9, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    I disagree with the conclusion that ALR is back or any conclusion based on 3 games. Let's play 40 games and then maybe we can have a reasonable assessment of any player. I am not surprised that Lannan was rocked in his Syracuse debut. He is clearly not OK with his demotion and it will take him a while to understand that if he wants more $5 mil contracts he will have to convince some GM that he is worth it and he can't do it through talking.

  57. UnkyD - Apr 9, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    I'm with you, SC… I'm not the guy who hands out Fan Badges.

  58. jd - Apr 9, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    I think that the venom spewed out at Werth is by the same Anons who attacked Lannan, Desmond, Maxwell, Morgan, Stairs etc. THey are miserable human beings who aren't happy unless they have something nasty to say. I am on record as having said that the Werth contract was a horrible signing but that's based on the idea that you don't give a 32 year old a mega deal for 7 years when he is very likely starting his decline years. Having said that I don't question his motivation, effort or leadership.

  59. Smurff - Apr 9, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    SCNatsFan,Where in SC? I was born in Walterboro, raised in Aiken, graduated from Clemson….

  60. UNTERP - Apr 9, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    jd said… am on record as having said that the Werth contract was a horrible signing but that's based on the idea that you don't give a 32 year old a mega deal for 7 years when he is very likely starting his decline years.I'm not on record saying it was a bad signing. I am on record saying he was done mid-May 2011, and people made fun of me when I said he lost his hand eye coordination. What I meant by that is not that u lose all of it, u lose two or 3% of it and you're aging, u don't get it back. It sounds funny to say "losing hand eye coordination" but if it wasn't the case, Willie Mays would have played until 50. Be that as it may, I hope I'm wrong, or maybe he just needs Lasik surgery…

  61. Anonymous - Apr 9, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    SCNatsFan said… RE JayB being a fan… if I'm not mistaken he has season tix which Well, yeah, he _says_ he has season tix. But why would somebody who is: "if I don't have something negative to say, I won't join in the conversation" — bother getting tix? You'd think a fan might enjoy the good stuff — it seems he's only happy when he can harp on the bad stuff. That's a fan? Let him go get Wizard tix and hang out there if he enjoys misery.

  62. SCNatsFan - Apr 9, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    Smurff I went to MUSC and landed in Myrtle Beach. Love the upstate however.

  63. whatsanattau - Apr 9, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    pdowdy, thank you for ex Nats roster.

  64. Smurff - Apr 9, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    Happy that Desmond and Espinosa are starting well. Relieved that Laroche seems to be over the shoulder issues. Hopeful that Morse repeats last year's numbers. Confidant that Zimmerman will hit to his averages. Nervous that Werth may not. Curious about who goes down when Morse and Ankiel return.

  65. Anonymous - Apr 9, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    Looks to me like competition (Prince Fielder, Tyler Moore, Chris Marerro, and of course Beast Mode Morse, even Mark DeRosa) has helped with that resurgence more than anything else Mark. Davey pushed the envelope even further telling LaRoche he was going to be platooned … ~laughing gleefully~ Let's hope he continues with the consistent hitting to all fields and with men on base. A good number of walks with very few strikeouts …. the competition is still there Adam, no slacking off this season … hopefully the power stroke will then be frosting on the cake. The return of Morse to the lineup should help Adam quite a bit … and Zim who hasn't had a good start. Moving Werth to the #6 spot seems almost a foregone conclusion. Werth has no competition as does LaRoche and every other position player other than Zimmerman. We'll have to see how that plays out.

  66. pdowdy83 - Apr 9, 2012 at 6:56 PM

    To all the Werth haters, he was robbed of 2 or 3 hits in the Cubs series. You add those in with his 3 walks than he is sitting with a .300/.462/.400. I do believe everybody would take that. Also all 3 of Werth's walks came at a time when the team badly needed baserunners. If he doesn't walk on Thursday the inning is over and the winning run doesn't score. If he didn't walk on Saturday the runners aren't moved up another base for Tracy to drive them in. He also walked yesterday when they were down by 1 run in the 9th. Sure his results haven't been what everybody hoped for but he has played a big part in 2 of the teams wins. I know people want him to hit .300 and hit 30 HRs and drive in 100 but just because he doesn't have a hit yet doesn't mean he hasn't contributed. Zimmerman only has 1 hit and I don't see any comments about him…

  67. Smurff - Apr 9, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    SCNatsFan,Very cool. My brother went to MUSC as well. Between us, we have the state pretty well covered….

  68. Anonymous - Apr 9, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    Under the heading of competition works wonders : (that ought to be the headliner here): Corey Brown didn't strike out until his 14th at bat.

  69. Anonymous - Apr 9, 2012 at 7:00 PM

    Zimmerman only has 1 hit and I don't see any comments about him…Zimmerman has been pretty consistent though out his career. He has a track record. Werth's track record is far more checkered. He has to work harder to be successful.

  70. pdowdy83 - Apr 9, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    I would also like to point out that the bench already has 3 PH RBIs. Did they even have 3 all of last year? haha

  71. Smurff - Apr 9, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    In other news, the Phillies are getting worked by the Marlins. 5-0 at the stretch.

  72. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 9, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    Anibal Sanchez cruising into the 7th giving up 4 singles with a 5 – 0 lead over the Phillies.

  73. Feel Wood - Apr 9, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    If the score holds in the Phillies-Marlins game the Phillies will have a total of only six runs in their first four games. And people are worried about the Nats offense (12 runs in three games)?

  74. pdowdy83 - Apr 9, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    Is it too early to say this is a must win series? It would be nice to hop out a few games in front of the Marlins, Phils and Braves while they have losing records. I know it is only April but our schedule only gets tougher and it seems to me that a win now is just as good as a win in September, except that if you win more now you don't have to push as hard later…

  75. MicheleS - Apr 9, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    Love the updates about the Phillies. NJ, what is the reaction in FL to Ozzie's Castro comments? Will it blow over (I heard that he is flying back to Miami tomorrow for a press conference).

  76. Nattydread - Apr 9, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    Very glad to see ALR performing. I admit to being skeptical. Sometimes its nice to be proven wrong.

  77. UNTERP - Apr 9, 2012 at 7:16 PM

    I'll go on record to say that the Nationals will be in the middle of the pack of the NL for runs scored at the end of the season, which will be more than enough to win 93 games…

  78. blovy8 - Apr 9, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    I'm most encouraged by the bench production too. Marmol and Wood aren't slouches to have solid at bats against. But I'm not going overboard, the Cubs are not very good. Even if it's another series win, it's the Mets- and really they are a below-.500 team on paper too. It'll be interesting to think that the Nats might hit better in Citi Field than they did at Wrigley.

  79. Scooter - Apr 9, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    U.N. Terp, your predictions always make me smile.And yes, pdowdy, it's way too early. But don't let that stop you!

  80. UNTERP - Apr 9, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    Scooter said… Thanks Scooter…

  81. Mark'd - Apr 9, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    It is very difficult the last week sifting thru the reams of mindless posts like mine.The Anons and off-topic is keeping me away.

  82. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 9, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    MicheleS…..Ozzie has some serious damage control to perform tomorrow with the Miami Cuban community. I'm not sure he'll be able to pull it off.Now he really understands the hatred the Cuban community has towards Castro. Most of the people down there are related to people who or are people that escaped with only their lives.He didn't before making his idiotic comments

  83. jd - Apr 9, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    NatsJack, You knew Ozzie will put his foot in his mouth sooner or later; I just didn't expect it to be in the 1st week of the season. And he may have a real hard time getting out of this one. I hear the ward boycott mentioned in the Cuban community in Miami. Loria must love that (couldn't happened to a better guy).

  84. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 9, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    Got am e-mail from Sandy Alderson this afternoon announcing "The Clash oh the Titans tonite in Flushing".

  85. NatsLady - Apr 9, 2012 at 7:45 PM

    Was Ozzie living under a rock? I am not Latino, and I don't live in Miami, but even I know about the Cubano hatred of Castro.Didn't he also say something about getting drunk every night on road trips? Hope he wasn't driving.

  86. DWS - Apr 9, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    Perhaps Mr Flores can kick start the offense.Didn't take Ozzie long…of all the things to say in Miami? Idiot.

  87. Joe Seamhead - Apr 9, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    Phillies lose again. Papelbon pitched the 9th with them behind and gave up a dinger to left to our old buddy Austin Kearns. I really think Papelbon is a poor fit for the Phillies park. They're about jumping off off bridges up in Philly. Tick-tock.

  88. blovy8 - Apr 9, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    If I'm Lannan, I don't worry about results and I just treat it like extended spring training and work on stuff. It makes no difference at all what happens in the first few starts. It'd help if he could develop a better change up anyway, and that'll help him more in the long run than five shutout innings against bums at this point.

  89. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 9, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    Re:Ozzie. Both Jayson Stark and Keith Olberman are calling for a suspension. Loria won't do that unless the locals demonstrate and it affects attendance.But you're right jd…..it couldn't happen to a more deserving low life like Loria.

  90. Joe Seamhead - Apr 9, 2012 at 7:55 PM

    Between Ozzie and Marion Berry there were some very stupid comments made the past few days.

  91. NatsLady - Apr 9, 2012 at 7:57 PM

    I don't know why Stark and Olberman (and Rosenthal) should be calling for suspensions. It's a free country, and it's between him and the Marlins if they are not happy with him as an employee. Commentators who value free speech should be on Ozzie's side in this and they really, really need to butt out of the Marlins' business. That said, the Marlins will probably want to discipline him in some way to support their fans.

  92. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 9, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    NatsLady….. That's what they were calling for. They think the Fish should suspend him, not MLB.The Fish went to great efforts to get the stadium built in Little Havana, for crying out loud. This could get interesting.

  93. blovy8 - Apr 9, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    Nothing should happen. Ozzie is a loose cannon, and it builds interest. He already apologized. He can be wrong a lot and still manage that club.

  94. natsfan1a - Apr 9, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    Thanks to pdowdy for the additional ex-Nat roster work and to everybody else for the Phillies loss updates. A part of me is loathe to weigh in on who is or isn't a "true fan" because it's not for any of us to judge, imho. But to me JayB's passion for the team is clear. Oh, and I'm not surprised that Ozzie is already in hot water for something he said.

  95. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 9, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    A Modest Proposal: Let's not be too hasty with this. What if we DID have somebody here who was officially in charge of authenticating who is and isn't a fan? That would settle a lot of arguments. Nobody could get authenticated anonymously, obviously, pretty much by definition. Is anyone here a notary in DC?

  96. natsfan1a - Apr 10, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    hmmm, interesting. Maybe we could we also have a check for Anon bias/conflicts of interest (e.g., connection to a specific player or agency; connection to a specific team or to MLB generally). Just thinking out loud, er, on the keyboard, here. As for me, I'll just continue to take anything posted here, whether by an Anon or not, with a grain of salt. Well, probably not Mark's posts. :-)

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 91 64 --
ATLANTA 76 79 15.0
NEW YORK 76 80 15.5
MIAMI 74 81 17.0
PHILADELPHIA 71 85 20.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Sunday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON (4) 91 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 89 67 2.5
y-ST. LOUIS 87 68 4.0
-------------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 71 7.0 --
PITTSBURGH 84 71 7.0 --
MILWAUKEE 80 76 11.5 4.5
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Sunday's early games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Marlins at Nats, 1:35 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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