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Game 6: Nats at Mets

Apr 11, 2012, 3:08 PM EDT

US Presswire file photo
Aces Stephen Strasburg and Johan Santana meet today at Citi Field.

With the title of "staff ace" comes an important responsibility: The daunting task of going up against fellow aces, especially early in the season when most teams' rotations are in sync.

So Stephen Strasburg isn't only facing the Mets lineup this afternoon at Citi Field. He's also facing Johan Santana, the two-time Cy Young Award winner who is now attempting to return from the same shoulder surgery that sidelined Chien-Ming Wang for two years. Obviously, Strasburg isn't going head-to-head with Santana (except when the pitchers bat) but he has to figure his lineup is going to struggle to score runs against the New York left-hander, making his own strong performance all the more necessary.

Speaking of the Nats lineup, Davey Johnson is going with more tweaks today than we've seen in any of the previous five games because his club is facing a left-handed starter for the first time. So Jayson Werth (fresh off a four-hit game last night) is hitting cleanup, with Mark DeRosa behind him and Adam LaRoche bumped all the way down to the 6-hole. Werth also is starting in center field for the first time this year, with Xavier Nady in right. Jesus Flores also makes his second start behind the plate in three days.

As you know, I'm not in New York for this series (though I'll be watching this game with particular interest and will post some instant analysis as soon as it ends). Enjoy this great early-season matchup and the conversation that comes with it…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at NEW YORK METS
Where: Citi Field
Gametime: 1:10 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB Network (outside D.C. area), MLB.tv
Radio: WFED (1500 AM), WHFS (1580 AM), XM 183
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 52 degrees, Wind 10 mph out to RF

NATIONALS (3-2)
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
CF Jayson Werth

Read more »

275 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. UNTERP - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    I bought my Bourbon yesterday and it worked well. The key is to have a couple of shots before the game. It makes me human as opposed to the Hulk! Signed 93 – 69, all season

  2. Tcostant - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    I nailed it last night, so today I'm predicting 4 runs for the Nationals. Should be enough for a win, I hope.

  3. UnkyD - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    I've looked pretty hard, can't seem to find a clip of Desi's play, from last night, if anyone can come up with a link, there's a glass of spiked KookAid in it, for ya….

  4. Natsochist - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    Mark, has Brett Michaels played at all this year? It seems like Nady came in and instantly took his playing time away.After Davey seemed so impressed this spring, I'm surprised we haven't gotten much of a glimpse yet.

  5. Will - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    Odd that Werth is playing in LF. He hasn't played there (semi)regularly in 7 years.Nady is a terrible defender, so why field two guys in uncomfortable positions, rather than just one? Doesn't make much sense to me…

  6. Anonymous - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    Will said…Not LF, CF, see above.

  7. Sunderland - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    Espinosa right handed. Looking forward to that.

  8. Will - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    Natsochist,Hahaha. I think you mean Brett Carroll (who beat out Jason Michaels), not the frontman of Poison.And yes, it does seem as if Nady has taken all Carroll's playing time.

  9. Will - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    Anon, thanks. I guess I read it too quickly.That makes a lot more sense!

  10. Diz - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    David Wright is out with a fractured pinkie too, so we aren't the only team with injuries it seems.

  11. natsfan1a - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    Oh, wait. Anon beat me to it.natsfan1a said… Found something for you, Unkyd: http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=20518359&c_id=mlb UnkyD said… Rats!! MLB.com's highlight pkg for last nights game did NOT include Desi's leaping throw! Anybody got a link where I can see it? April 11, 2012 7:51 AM April 11, 2012 11:24 AM

  12. Section 222 - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    A comment on the last post. Darn work for keeping me from finishing it in a timely way!I'm still upset at the mishandling of Flores injury, but it's too early to blast the Nats' medical staff on Morse since we don't know yet the real diagnosis or extent of the injury. On the other hand, it's long past time that we stopped giving any credence at all to what Davey or Rizzo say about the health of a player. How many times did Davey tell the assembled beat writers that he "wasn't worried" about Morse, or Ankiel, or Storen? I imagine he's just extrapolating from what the medical staff, or even worse, the player, has told him, and maybe there's an evil genius strategy in never letting the opposition know until you absolutely have to that someone may be seriously injured. But he and the Nats PR folks might want to think through how they approach this. I'm still feeling the whiplash from these headlines: Mar. 22 Nationals JournalMorse’s status for opening day unclearMar. 23 Nationals JournalRizzo Optimistic on MorseMar. 28 NJ Michael Morse cleared to ‘accelerate’ baseball activity, still unlikely for opening dayApr. 2 Nats InsiderMorse, Ankiel to DLApr. 7 NIMorse getting treatment in New York,Apr. 9 NJMichael Morse likely to return for the Nationals home openerTues. Apr. 10 NJMichael Morse suffers setback, out indefinitely

  13. natsfan1a - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    Yay, we get instant analysis today! May the lineup be the only thing that is tweaked from here on. Go, NATS!!

  14. Water23 - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    All,I have two tickets to Nats Opening day I cannot use. They come with a parking pass in the C parking lot next to the stadiumLet me know if you want them.BTW, awesome win last night!!!

  15. Grandstander - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    Mark, can I ask why you'll be watching this game with particular interest?

  16. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    As you know, I'm not in New York for this series (though I'll be watching this game with particular interest and will post some instant analysis as soon as it ends).Ha! Looks like Mark isn't going to let me get away with that again!

  17. UnkyD - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    Thanks, Anon (and 1A)!! WOW!!! If he was any deeper in the hole, he'd have needed a ladder to get out!!! Quite a throw!! (I understand he can handle a bat, as well…) ;-) That's My Boy!!

  18. natsfan1a - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    Aw, I liked your analysis, sec3. :-)(There has to be an "analyze this" line in there somewhere but I'm too hungry to brainstorm right now.)

  19. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    Well … a lineup like that, Santana on for the Mets, there is NO WAY the Nats will score any runs. Especially in the first inning. Just impossible. Probably getting no-hit. They don't have a chance.

  20. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    1a, you'd think "analysis" and "sofa" would go together naturally, wouldn't you? But I just keep thinking about killing the Padres. Weird. Go figure.

  21. DWS - Apr 11, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    Wow. Has it come down to plagues and poxes, never mind reverse psychology?!?I'm in. Nats no hit through five.

  22. DWS - Apr 11, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    Also debating whether to enjoy on the big screen or watch on the computer and watch the comments. Nah, who am I kidding, read the game thread later.

  23. Stew Magnuson - Apr 11, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    Have informed my boss that I am taking my lunch hour from 1 to 2 today. I'll be at Summers at Courthouse having a soft drink, at least for the first few innings.

  24. UnkyD - Apr 11, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    Well, since nobody asked, here's my take on the Nats handling of injuries:Lord, Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,The Courage to change the things I can change, And the Wisdom to know the difference.That was on the wall, in our foyer, in needlepoint, throughout my entire upbringing. There's not a thing I can do about the way My Nats train, or how the staff evaluates owies, or about what they choose to tell me about them, or when. What I can do, is ROOT ROOT ROOT for the guys that take the field each day, enjoy them when they excel, and bum out when they don't, remembering that it's 10 times worse on them, than it is on me.

  25. Wally - Apr 11, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    Sec 222 – I agree with your post. You actually missed one in your timeline – Davey or Rizzo saying that a MRI showed that the lat tear has healed. I think it is very difficult to know if we are actually suffering more injuries than other teams, but we certainly do not disseminate information in a way that makes me feel confident that the medical staff knows what it is doing.It wouldn't surprise me at all if Morse needs to surgically repair his tear, like Zim did. If you are Rizzo and think Morse may miss 3 months, do you try to trade for a slugger for this year, or go with the kids? I'd look hard at getting someone more than a fill in. It would be a shame to waste this pitching this year, especially with the Phils missing key players for long periods.

  26. Anonymous - Apr 11, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    Mark leaves out a lot IMO seems to be asbiased as Ladson with his Desi the Lake Monster "T"Last Post comment:1. NatsJack is right about Damon. And now we knowwhy Davey wanted Nady. Once he finishes hisSting Training he might be that replacement RHbat. There's also T_Mo in Syracuse. Harper isn'tlooking even close to ready and he's a lefty. Looksto me like Corey Brown might be and he's alefty.2. Ryan Matheus is a legitimate Closer possibilityfor this team. They do not have to rely on theaging Lidge or the inconsistent HRod.He's right about the margin of error tho depthis now marginal but not exhausted.

  27. NatsNut - Apr 11, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    before complaining too much about the ability of the medical staff, we should keep in mind that there is very likely a very big (probably deliberate) difference between what's really going on and what they tell US. Add in the factors that players' will likely be reluctant to disclose an injury, or will at least delay the disclosure, and opposing teams are reading the papers too, and you'd be crazy to expect anything but the vague, incomplete, sometimes wrong, answers and quotes that we always get. Especially with medical information, they only really owe us truthiness.It might APPEAR that they're all idiots, but I bet they have some of the best medical staffs in the nation.

  28. Mark'd - Apr 11, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    What did Brett Carroll do wrong to Davey?

  29. Bowdenball - Apr 11, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    Mark'd-I'm gonna go with "not play baseball well."

  30. Feel Wood - Apr 11, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    Section 3, My PFB Sofa said… FeelWood addresses a good question that maybe doesn't get enough consideration: Is it the team's job to manage public expectations of players' injury status?Of course not. The team does not even need to address players' injury status with the public at all. The only reason NFL teams are required to do that is because of the massive gambling industry the NFL has become. Whether or not a particular player will play in a given game can have massive effects on the betting line, so teams are required to list players as probable, questionable, etc, to avoid any possible accusations that they are tainting the process. The only thing baseball does toward that end is to list the pitchers as probable. A manager could know weeks in advance that he plans to field a lineup of scrubs for a game, but he doesn't have to reveal that to anyone until he hands his lineup card to the umpire.

  31. jd - Apr 11, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    Mark'd I guess we know who is the 1st player out the door? I think Davey prefers Nady and DeRosa because they have a better track record than Carroll.

  32. jd - Apr 11, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    BTW, Where is Steve M? is he on a rehab assignment or something?

  33. natsfan1a - Apr 11, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    I actually started to type something about having dibs on the couch for the first session, but I was afraid that it could be misinterpreted. :-)Section 3, My PFB Sofa said… 1a, you'd think "analysis" and "sofa" would go together naturally, wouldn't you? But I just keep thinking about killing the Padres. Weird. Go figure. April 11, 2012 11:55 AM

  34. Maijo - Apr 11, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    The Radio listing indicates that the flagship station, 106.7, is not broadcasting the home opener. But as my outrage was building to volcanic levels, I checked the radio and I hear the mellifluous tones of Charlie and Dave.

  35. Homer - Apr 11, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    They can't cut Carroll. Flanders told me he's the third catcher. Stupid Flanders.

  36. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 11, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    That's the literal reading, of course, but the complaints seem to be more of a fan-experience/marketing variety. Not to speak for 222, for instance, but is it bad for business if the customers consistently feel like they are getting their chains yanked? For my part, I have no idea whether they are blowing the diagnoses, but I don't put much stock in predictions anyway, so I'm not bothered. But maybe that's just me.

  37. Anonymous - Apr 11, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    Just got to citi field for the game. Long lines for tickets and lots of nats fans considering its a Wednesday day game. Go nats.TZ

  38. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    Didn't Brian Lawrence have a lat tear, or was it some other kind of career-ending injury? I know it's pitcher-outfielder-apples-oranges comparison, but just wondering.GYFNG!!!! (and Jesus too)

  39. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:09 PM

    Getting ready to go into my stupid stupid meeting. Going to switch over to At Bat Lite so I can sneak some peeks at the game.Good news is I'll be hitting the road to DC immediately after the home opener and will be at games the games for the next 7 days. In the words of MicheleS "WOO HOO!"

  40. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:11 PM

    Hey, it's Humm Baby! Roger Craig throwing out the first pitch!

  41. runyetirun - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    Anyone else not getting the game on the internet stream of 106.7, 1500 or 1580? I'm getting their regular talk programming…

  42. MicheleS - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:20 PM

    runyetirun. On internet, you have to pay the $20 to MLB to get MLB Radio. Otherwise, you have to have an actual radio to listen.

  43. Feel Wood - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    Radio stations aren't allowed to stream their live broadcasts of games. If you want to listen on the internet, you need Gameday Audio, the MLB At Bat app for your smartphone, or the like. And you have to pay for it. The good news is that there are no blackout restrictions on audio.

  44. runyetirun - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    I thought I smelled Selig around here somewhere…Thanks dude

  45. Gonat - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    These umps are just blowing calls. Danny was clearly safe.

  46. Dave - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    If you have a smart phone, though, the MLB At Bat app is the bomb. It is far and away the best $15.00 a year I spend. I hate hate hate to see an attack on Santana squelched with a Caught Stealing. But at least there's not a no-hitter going for Johan.

  47. Scott from Burke - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    I'm listening on 106.7..get your radio folks..and Espi got called out trying to steal third with 2 outs? Why is he stealing with 2 outs when he's already in scoring position? DUMB

  48. Tcostant - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    Water23, send me some info about the seats you have for tomorrow.E-mail me @ my user name with @hotmail.com after it.Thanks

  49. Gonat - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    Another blown call. Unreal. Strasburg throws Strike 3 and its called a ball. Now it did knuckle on Flores but Flores needs to hold it there. That blown call turns into a single. There goes the no hitter.

  50. Dave - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    Also not a no-no for St. Stephen.

  51. Gonat - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:32 PM

    4 straight balls to Murphy. 1st and 2nd with no outs. Sheesh

  52. Diz - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    and a 4 pitch walk?

  53. MicheleS - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    What is up with umps this series! Good lord

  54. UnkyD - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    My radio said the ump was barking at Stras?! WTH?!

  55. Diz - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:34 PM

    6 straight balls before a called strike

  56. Dave - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:34 PM

    On Gameday, that fourth ball looked like a bit fat strike right down the middle. Ump fail again.

  57. Bowdenball - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:36 PM

    The ump gave Santana a few generous calls, too. I hate conspiracy theories, but man does it look like this grey haired fellow behind the plate has something against hotshot youngsters.

  58. Diz - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    Stras wild pitch?is something wrong?

  59. Dave - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    Really–y'all look at the Gameday strike zone. All the pitches are clearly in the middle of the box, and they're all called balls. Not even close. I'd throw a wild pitch, too, if I was being squeezed like that. Squeezed is not even an adequate word.

  60. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    Home plate (Vannover) is really inconsistent for both pitchers. Espinosa struck out before he walked.

  61. dj inFl. - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    Stras is off his game because of this ump. Why would Davy let the ump go out and give Stras grief and not get out there. Defend him and settle him back down.

  62. Bowdenball - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    Diz-He does not look his best. Looks like he's holding the ball too long, a lot of pitches missing low.They also had a shot on TV of him shaking his hand a bit after one delivery.Hopefully this will be a rehash of Detwiler's night last night. IIRC Detwiler also got pinched on a third strike call in the first.

  63. Sunderland - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    Dave, your Gameday strike zone ain't matching what my eyes see on TV. Ball 4 was certianly a ball. One tough call for Strasburg, but his troubles that inning were on him, not the ump.

  64. SFNats - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    What is it with the Umps in this series? Are they not "stretched out" for the season?

  65. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:43 PM

    Dave, the TV pitchtrack has the same thing. FP is laughing wryly. He knows this isn't going to get any better today.

  66. Steady Eddie - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:43 PM

    Vannover is the guy who blew the call at second on LaRoche's double Monday that contributed to the loss (right before Wirth's triple). You gotta work the refs on stuff like that or you face stuff like this.

  67. LoveDaNats - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    Clearly a terrible call, but Stras cannot let it mess him up like that. I hope he's not so delicate that he can't recover from a blown strike call.

  68. Bowdenball - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    The great news for the Nats, other than the second inning rally, is that Santana is not long for this game. Advantage Nats to be sure.

  69. Sunderland - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    If you guys want cameras and computers to umpire baseball, then say so. If you want humans, then quit whining. They ain't perfect and there are dozens of calls every game that could go either way. This has been going on in baseball for 100+ years. It evens out. It'll be OK. Try umpiring for a while. You learn quickly it ain't easy.

  70. Bowdenball - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    I want cameras and computers to umpire baseball.Can I complain about blown calls that hurt my team now?

  71. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    Awww, c'mon. "You're blind, ump!" is one of the first prayers you learn in the Church of Baseball.

  72. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    That, OTOH, was a totally pissed away AB for Strasburg.

  73. NaterialGuy - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    Karma!

  74. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:56 PM

    FWIW, I thought Espinosa was out at third, unless the swipe tag missed his leg, which I couldn't tell from that camera angle.

  75. SFNats - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:58 PM

    Yeah, telling baseball fans not to bitch about the umpires is like telling Americans not to bitch about Congress. It's what we do, a time-honored tradition.

  76. jd - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    Sunderland,I agree with you with 1 caveat. I can't stand it when an umpire is out of position. LaRoche hit a ball down the line the other night and the 2nd base ump had a long time to get in position yet in the end he was circling around the players trying to get a good look and blew the call. That wasn't a simple blown strike call; that cost us 2 runs and ultimately the game.

  77. Erik - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    Hey ump!!! If you had a good eye you'd be a cyclops!!!

  78. Funkyalligator - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:00 PM

    Is anyone actually watching the game? I'm trying to figure out how much the Ump is squeezing Stras because it looks almost as bad as the Gio game.

  79. Feel Wood - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:00 PM

    Bowdenball said… I want cameras and computers to umpire baseball.Can I complain about blown calls that hurt my team now?Sure. But prepare for a lot of time on hold waiting to talk with the help desk in India about the poor service you're getting.

  80. Gonat - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    Stras is not getting calls but I don't like how Flores is catching him.

  81. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    I agree with FP: If we need three angles and stop-motion to tell, it was a good call regardless.

  82. MicheleS - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    Mark Z.. Can you let us know the next time we see this umpiring crew? That way we can be prepared for this.

  83. Sunderland - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:03 PM

    I'm watching, I don't see Stras or Santana gettin' squeezed. I see them both struggling to hit spots. Stras looks a lot better in the 2nd inning.

  84. Gonat - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:03 PM

    Last 2 batters, Stras struck out and Flores framed them perfectly. Took a while.

  85. LoveDaNats - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    Just wondering……do the umpires travel as a crew all year or are they all randomly assigned to games?

  86. baseballswami - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    I do think Stras has gotten some bad calls. But – he also lost his cool about it – kind of the way Gio did. Strassie's temperament worries me. He seems to have trouble controlling his temper and letting go of things. Hope he calms down because he will not be going very deep into this game if he continues to struggle. Who will be his "Stammen" today? Gorzo?

  87. dj in Fl. - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    Yes funkyalligator, it is similar. But feels different, and more eratic. Stras just got a couple calls he didn't the previous inning.

  88. Gonat - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    Sunderland, what broadcast are you watching? They showed twice the pitch track and the ball wasn't even on the corners. They did miss where Flores set up but again, they weren't on the corner.

  89. SFNats - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:07 PM

    LoveDaNats — they work in crews. And generally get better as the season goes on. To be fair, it is early in the year for the umps, too.

  90. Section 222 - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    Lots of Ks, but it looks like Strasburg is headed for a five-inning game, at best. "Mr. Gorzalanny, Paging Mr. Tom Gorzalanny. Please meet your party at the white courtesy phone in the bullpen."

  91. LoveDaNats - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:09 PM

    Thanks, SFNats.

  92. Harper is Awesome - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    You would think by the year 2012 it would be possible to watch a baseball game for free online? Nonetheless, Strasburg seems to be finding the zone now and is starting to calm down.

  93. Bowdenball - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    Nats should consider brainwashing their starters and telling them its the second inning before the first pitch.

  94. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:22 PM

    You would think by the year 2012 it would be possible to watch a baseball game for free online?It's possible to watch in person for free, too.

  95. Anonymous - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:22 PM

    Come on, did you see that Strike 2 against LaRoche. He should have walked.

  96. Anonymous - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:25 PM

    MLB charges for their premium At Bat service and they still show Nady in a Diamondbacks cap. They have no problem taking our money but can't photoshop in a Nats cap?

  97. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    Just went back and looked at it again. Looked good to me.

  98. Cwj - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    Strasburg very good in the 3rd.Remember guys, he's only 23 and has a mere 18 starts under his belt. He'll learn how to cope with bad umpires as he matures.Good to see Desmond, Zimmerman and Flores talk to him on the mound.(And he was absolutely squeezed in the 1st and 2nd innings. The pitch tracker showed as much.)

  99. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:27 PM

    MLB charges for their premium At Bat service and they still show Nady in a Diamondbacks cap. They have no problem taking our money but can't photoshop in a Nats cap?Nomination for picayunish complaint of the day.

  100. Cwj - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    The umpires have been terrible in this series.

  101. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    Agreed, first two innings were pretty bad, but they seem to have settled down, mainly.

  102. Anonymous - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    Strasburgs ball has so much today that Flores was not anticipating where it was going. He set up his glove and got his glove moving too much. Stras started to get the strikes when Flores was catching and framing.

  103. Anonymous - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    FP thinks the ump is watching Stras to see if he will give him grief or let it go.

  104. Anonymous - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    *so much movement today

  105. baseballswami - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:32 PM

    Flores and Ramos both have to catch a steady diet of power pitches and wild curve balls. They have their work cut out for them. Can't be easy.

  106. Gonat - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:32 PM

    Must they tease us with the Morse/Storen MASN commercial?

  107. Section 222 - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    I suppose it would be nice if MLB offered the option to listen online to your home team's radio feed if you are located in that radio station's listening are for free, but $15/year to listen from anywhere in the country to both the home and away broadcasts of every MLB game being played anywhere strikes me as a pretty darn good deal. I'd pay that just to be able to hear Charlie and Dave as I drive out of town for the weekend on a Friday night, losing the radio signal somewhere between Frederick and Hagerstown. I'm with @Dave, it's the best $15 I spend all year.

  108. baseballswami - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    Gonat — and I cringe when I hear Danny say " I'm going to be you" — I hope so……..

  109. baseballswami - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    Rather — "beat you" not "be you" , of course — sheesh…

  110. SFNats - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    Looks like after some hiccups in the first, this game is living up to its billing.

  111. Anonymous - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    Zim, Espi and Werth have to lay off of that high pitch. Has to be part of their scouting report. Santana has climbed the ladder many times.

  112. jd - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    I'm shocked Santana is still out there. 100 pitches.

  113. Gonat - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    Much credit to the Nats for seeing a lot of pitches to knock Santana out of the game!

  114. jd - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    So much for that.

  115. Gonat - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:56 PM

    Sec 222, I bought the Audio for my phone only. That way I have it while I'm away and if I am by my TV I can plug my phone in the charger and still listen. Only bummer is the audio on Gameday lags the TV by quite a bit.

  116. Anonymous - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:57 PM

    Surprised Davey doesn't pull DeRosa right now for Bernadina and lay down a bunt. That's right, that's small ball. LOL

  117. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    If he's going to bunt, why bring in Bernadina? DeRosa can bunt. And anybody can take four.

  118. Gonat - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    Good thing Davey didn't play small ball/smart ball Anon

  119. jd - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    Anon @ 2:57 Or you play it straight up and go for the big inning.

  120. Section 222 - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    @Gonat, I love the iPhone app for when I'm out of town or on the road where there's no signal, or on the bus or walking home. At first I was bummed about the lag as well, but then I realized that being behind allows you to sync it with the TV broadcast (if you have a DVR and can pause the TV for 15 seconds or so) when I'm watching TV but in the mood for Charlie and Dave. The regular radio broadcast is about 4 seconds ahead of MASN-HD, and there's no way to adjust for that.

  121. Wally - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    We have to score several runs here. Let's go, X-man.Stras probably gets PH'd this inning.

  122. Diz - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    3 straight walks to lead off the 6th!

  123. Anonymous - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    DeRosa, seriously? You just killed the inning.

  124. Wally - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    Son of a flippin' @#!@&

  125. Tcostant - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    Bases loaded, no out. Lets get some runs, pitch-hit for Strasburg (84 pitches already) and call it a day.

  126. Anonymous - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    How does a Veteran get caught so far off the base on contact. The Mets were conceding the run on a double play ball to the right side.

  127. Tcostant - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    So much for that, a double play that doesn't even get a run in. What ever happen to the Sac fly?

  128. Diz - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:07 PM

    Bases loaded, nobody out and they can't score.

  129. Anonymous - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:07 PM

    Flores would have been a Sac Fly, instead the 3rd out. That just doesn't happen—scratch that, shouldn't happen.

  130. Anonymous - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:07 PM

    Three straight walks with no outs and we don't score any? That's just bad baseball, folks. That should not happen. This team is so frustrating to watch.

  131. Tcostant - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    Okay, a guess the hitters wanted to see Strasburg pitch another inning. Mid 5th ends with the Nats 8th place hitter.

  132. Water23 - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    Tcostant said…Water23, send me some info about the seats you have for tomorrow.E-mail me @ my user name with @hotmail.com after it. Thanks——Done

  133. UnkyD - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    I guess it's hard to blame Nady for making good contact-line drive. That's bad luck, ladies and gents…

  134. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    Bad luck for Nady. Bad baserunning to get caught off second.

  135. Anonymous - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:16 PM

    100 pitches and time to get him the heck out of there!

  136. Anonymous - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:17 PM

    You are correct – if things were not stressful it would be different – but this has been one stressful pitch after another.

  137. Anonymous - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    He's at 104, the most of his career on a cold day and his second start with men on and only one out? Really?

  138. Anonymous - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    Twitter says 102, gameday says 104

  139. UnkyD - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    Didn't see it, of course… To much lead?

  140. Erik - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    Gotta love the make-up call by the umpire…so predictable!!!

  141. baseballswami - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    Who is our manager – Nolan Ryan?

  142. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    So now Vannover comes all the way back and starts calling strikes six inches outside? That, ladies and gentlemen, is just plain bad umpiring.

  143. Cwj - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    Erik- It all balances out in the end :-)Gutty performance by Strasburg. On a day he lacked command, he still shut them down.Good job kid! :-)

  144. dj in fl - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:23 PM

    Great job by Stras. Never thought he would last this long, much less with a shuout,after that first inning.

  145. Cwj - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:23 PM

    Man, I've been on the edge of my seat all game! :-)

  146. Will - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    UnkyD, it wasn't very well hit. It looked like Nady got jammed and broke his bat. Didn't help that it went STRAIGHT at the 2B for a very quick DP.

  147. Cwj - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    Kudos to Davey. I would not have sent Strasburg out to pitch the 6th.

  148. Will - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    Desmond is looking very good. Long may it continue!

  149. UnkyD - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    Six manly innings from The Kid. Love that he got out of that last jam!

  150. Cwj - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    Strasburg's final line:6 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 9 SO And a wild pitch and hit batsmen (of all things)He was effectively wild :-)

  151. UnkyD - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    Thanks, Will….sux, but we're still up one…

  152. jd - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    Cmon Zimm !!!

  153. Will - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    More RISP. Let's not strand them this time. C'mon Mr. Clutch.

  154. Wally - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    Espy has been having some pretty good ABs lately. He has been laying off some close pitches.And even though Desi hasn't walked much, it does seem like he is mostly avoiding swinging at those bad, low and away pitches that usually kill him.

  155. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    Meetongd over. Didn' miss much, I see. Bunch of K's, a wild pitch. 1 – 0 lead, Stras is out. OK, lets get some runs!

  156. jd - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    Wally, We could use a clutch hit here. no?

  157. Will - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    Watching gamecast and it says Collins was ejected. What was he arguing about?

  158. dj in Fl. - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    Collins must have informed the ump of our opinion of him.

  159. jd - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    OMG. One more time.

  160. UnkyD - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    Just saw the replay… Concurr-snoozing…

  161. Wally - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:34 PM

    jd said… Wally, We could use a clutch hit here. no??Amen, brother. Be nice to see Werth be a hero, too.

  162. jd - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:35 PM

    One of these games.

  163. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:35 PM

    Collins went out to make a double switch, and while they were discussing the lineup, he probably said something to the effect of "And this guy says you suck, and this guy says you suck, oh, and THIS guy says you suck, too! Hey, all these guys think you suck."

  164. Will - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    What a terribly frustrating team.We load the bases twice in a row now with 0 and 1 outs, and invent new ways to screw things up.Did I hear someone say Werthless?

  165. Wally - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    Please, please …..

  166. Wally - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    Hell, I'll take it.

  167. Erik - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    Atta boy DeRosa…great AB!!!

  168. SFNats - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    Another RBI on a bases-loaded walk? The Nats might set a record for those this season.

  169. Will - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    fantastic AB by DeRosa. What was that, 6 foul balls? Good stuff.

  170. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:41 PM

    We load the bases twice in a row now with 0 and 1 outs, and invent new ways to screw things up.To be fair, swinging at curve balls in the dirt is a time-honored way of screwing up.

  171. jd - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:41 PM

    I'll take it.

  172. TimDz - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    Would like to see that power stroke by LaRoche now…

  173. Will - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    These guys gotta learn that you can get a sac fly when there's already two outs.But at least we got one….

  174. LoveDaNats - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    …….and watching as the Mets beat themselves.

  175. MicheleS - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    At least we got 1 more run! Now aour awesome bullpen can show its stuff!(also suprised that Stras didn't let one of the pitches accidentally hit the umpire)

  176. Wally - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    Do you guys think being able to foul off a ball is a skill?I am not sure I do, meaning that I am not sure I think that a batter can just decide to do it on command.

  177. UnkyD - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    PFB…lmao!!! ;-)

  178. Will - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    Haha, I need to learn too. That should read "These guys gotta learn that you can't get a sac fly when there's already two outs.

  179. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    Me, too.

  180. Will - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    Wally, you can't strike out if you keep making contact.That's a skill Jayson Werth was not able to demonstrate.So yes, I think it is a skill.

  181. Bowdenball - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    Werthless? Over the last two games the guy has a .600 OBP, made a great baserunning play, and hasn't made any mistakes in the field or on the basepaths. Cut him just a little bit of slack.

  182. baseballswami - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    This is a contest: who looks worse, the Mets pitchers or our hitters? I think it's a toss-up. We have been given many, many gifts today – at least we cashed in twice. I hate the way the offense forces the pitchers to walk a tightrope each and every game. This has not changed from last year.

  183. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    Do you guys think being able to foul off a ball is a skill? I am not sure I do, meaning that I am not sure I think that a batter can just decide to do it on command.Absolutely. Eddie Murray used to spend whole BP sessions practicing it.

  184. MicheleS - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    GRRRRRR.. throw a strike.

  185. Anonymous - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    Mattheus scares me…

  186. jd - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    Mattheus? Really? This is where we miss Storen. Would have used Lidge here.

  187. RickH - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    Will … I was wondering how you can get a sac fly with two outs. Thought I'd missed something.

  188. Anonymous - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    Betting if the Mets get bases loaded, someone will get a hit. Mattheus our weak link.

  189. jd - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    'Mattheus scares me' Me too.

  190. LoveDaNats - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    You said it, swami. Pretty disheartening.

  191. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    Something I learned listening to him talking about it in an interview: He worked hard on being able to foul off tough pitches–foul them off, not put them in play. Good hitters foul off tough pitches–lesser hitters put them in play, but weakly, for outs, because they ARE good pitches. So Murray wanted to foul them off until he got one he liked.

  192. Will - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    Anon,Me too.Put me down in the Mattheus-skeptic camp. That 2.81 ERA he put up last year was a mirage. He was very wild (walked 15 guys in 32 IP), and struck almost no one out (only 12 K). That's a recipe for disaster.

  193. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    Weak link? The guy had what, one bad outing so far? What is wrong with you people?

  194. jd - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:54 PM

    One more out to get to Clip.

  195. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:54 PM

    Yeah, the good results don't count, just peripherals.

  196. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:55 PM

    You guys are a bunch of scaredy cats. Mattheus just makes you stronger. Piece of cake.

  197. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    Ahem.

  198. Wally - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    Sec 3 – you'd think that you would hear more batters talk about practicing it though, wouldn't you?

  199. MicheleS - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    That was nice. Glad McCatty came out and said "Throw strikes" It worked!

Archives

FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 96 66 --
ATLANTA 79 83 17.0
NEW YORK 79 83 17.0
MIAMI 77 85 19.0
PHILADELPHIA 73 89 23.0

NL POSTSEASON SCHEDULE

NL WILD CARD GAME
WED: Giants at Pirates, 8:07 p.m. (ESPN)

NLDS
FRI: Game 1, Pirates at Nats, 12:07 p.m.,
OR Giants at Nats, 3:07 p.m. (FS1)
SAT: Game 2, PIT/SF at Nats, 5:37 p.m. (FS1)
MON: Game 3, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (MLBN)
TUE: Game 4, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (FS1)*
OCT. 9: Game 5, PIT/SF at Nats, TBA (FS1)*
*if necessary

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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)...

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