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Blown calls, missed opportunities

Apr 15, 2012, 11:29 PM EDT

Associated Press photo
Ryan Zimmerman can't watch as Ryan Ludwick rounds the bases on a grand slam.

The blown calls came in rapid fire — Bang! Bang! Bang! — on three consecutive at-bats in the top of the first, each umpiring gaffe enraging the Nationals more than the previous one.

Standing on the mound, Ross Detwiler knew there was nothing he could about it. Yes, he should have been out of the inning on only 20 pitches, the scoreboard showing a big, fat zero for the Reds. But nothing he said or did at that point was going to change anything.

As much as he wanted to believe he could cast the calls aside and bear down on his next pitch to Ryan Ludwick, Detwiler admitted that was easier said than done.

"I need to stay in it and focus mentally on my next pitch," he said. "I think I let it go a little bit. It wasn't completely gone, but I let it go a little bit. And that's when you make your mistake."

Indeed, Detwiler's 2-2 pitch to Ludwick was the mistake he couldn't afford to make. A fastball that was supposed to be in on the right-Read more »

124 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Rabbit - Apr 15, 2012 at 11:36 PM

    The umpires beat us in this game. Umpires seem to be getting worse and worse, but that could be because of all the technology available to review plays. They are probably just as bad as they have always been. However, this loss will be made up by losses of other teams for the same reason. GO NATIONALS!!

  2. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 15, 2012 at 11:48 PM

    My wish has always beem that the umpires had to face the piblic like players do after they screw up, but MLB has always defended them. I wish that someone from the Nats organization could sit with Joe Torre and the umpiires and look at the file and tell the Nats with a straight face, they still believed they were right.The mistakes today changed the whole tone of the game. 1 mustake is bad, but on three consecutive batters. How could they possibly defend that.I am sure Mark nor any of the press had a chance to talk to the officials, as I said before MLB protects them (When there is no reason to protect them.) One mistake it happens, three as my mother would say, takes some 'spaning to justify.

  3. Cwj - Apr 15, 2012 at 11:53 PM

    I missed the first few innings, but just re-watched on DVR.The umpiring in the 1st inning really did cost the Nats this game.A 2 out blown call that turned into a big inning.

  4. baseballswami - Apr 15, 2012 at 11:53 PM

    The other day Brooks Laich of the Washington Capitals had a great quote. He said "Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want." I think every one of these experiences and battles is hardening this team into steel. They actually need to be tested. This will pay off later in the season.

  5. ehay2k - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:00 AM

    Clip has a sore shoulder? NOoooooooo!!!!!!!Other than that, I thought we wuz robbed. That terrible call at first cost us the game, plain and simple. There's also a ripple effect on the bullpen, which got a lot more use than it would have otherwise. Might have an impact in the next series. I would have liked to see DJ get after the umps a little. Maybe it's too early in the season?

  6. For the statsheads - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:02 AM

    Has Ramos hit anything in the air yet this season? Seems like everything is on the ground.

  7. Dale - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:07 AM

    At some point MLB has to realize that bad umpiring, I mean really bad umpiring like Laz Diaz has consistently showed in his career has to be addressed. It is not fair to the fans, not fair to the players of both teams and a black mark against the integrity of the game. With some umpires it becomes clear that they are incompetent at the major league level, and it tarnishes a whole crew.

  8. NatsLady - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:08 AM

    Clip looked ok yesterday when he was warming up in EJax's complete game. He had his usual motion and stride.But today when he was warming he didn't look right. Haven't watched Burnett as closely, but heard that he was dealing with those back spasms again. So those were the last men standing (assuming Davey wants Gorzy for tomorrow with Stras.) Just watched the re-run on MLB.tv, looks to me like Clip was in pain when he first got on the mound, but not from the slip. He couldn't get anything working the way he wanted until the final pitch, his trade-mark change to get the strikeout.Those are my observations as a Clip-watcher.

  9. NatsLady - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:12 AM

    Swami, expect you are right. JZimm had to deal with that stuff last year and it got to him a couple of times. Hopefully, he's tougher this year. Davey did come out to argue the first-base call, and I think he came out yesterday or Friday. Not so much as to get ejected but he was out there.

  10. Section 222 - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:18 AM

    Afterward, Johnson admitted he was hoping to avoid using his top setup man, who had been complaining of some shoulder soreness. Clippard, though, insisted his arm is fine.Ruh roh…I have it on good authority that Laz Diaz has a very bad reputation among the other umpires. Let's hope we don't see him behind the plate again any time soon. As for the call at first, I just watched the tape of the broadcast. As FP explained, the ump watches first base and listens for the ball hitting the glove. My guess is that when he first saw that LaRoche took his foot off the base, he immediately then switched his focus to whether he could make a swipe tag and didn't even see the foot come back down. Hard to look at two things at once, so as unfortunate and wrong as the call was, it was understandable.

  11. JaneB - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:24 AM

    I know that umpiring goes both ways, and that sometimes you get the calls and sometimes you don't. At the same time, I hope there is some way to get the umpiring powers that be to look at the pitch track record for today's game, because that guy blew it all over the place. It's a good thing I'm not a pitcher, because I would have aimed a fast ball right at his head. Of course, my fast ball would have been going only 19 miles an hour, so not much harm would have been. done. I AM serious about the question though: is there a way to get that guy's calls looked at?

  12. NatsLady - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:26 AM

    Wow, speaking of blown calls, check this one out in the Dodgers-Padres game:bud-black-ejected-after-bizarre-triple-playhttp://www.cbssports.com/mlb/blog/eye-on-baseball/18586014/bud-black-ejected-after-bizarre-triple-play

  13. Joe Seamhead - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:42 AM

    You just have to move on. What would really stink is if at the end of the season we miss the playoffs by a half game, or one game.

  14. Anonymous - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:44 AM

    I can't decide which umpire is worse: Larry Vanover or Laz Diaz. How these guys continue to work major league games is a true mystery indeed. Where is Joe West when we need him?

  15. Mick - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:51 AM

    What is exciting and scary is that can you imagine if Morse, Storen and Clip were 100% I'm not even talking about Harper and the other big boy. We finally have a very good team in DC. I don't mind today's loss at all. Let's play 600 ball at home and close to 500 on the road and we are talking baseball in DC in October!

  16. Mick - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:53 AM

    Anony, its called MLB's good ole boy club with umpires, Vanover and Diaz SUCK period. ba ba booey to y'all, lol

  17. baseballswami - Apr 16, 2012 at 1:02 AM

    Who is that horrible big umpire guy they call"Cowboy Joe"? – seems to me I remember him being pretty bad and the type that gets his ego stepped on pretty easily. What I hate is when they try to teach a guy a lesson or pay them back for being shown up. So petty.

  18. Anonymous - Apr 16, 2012 at 1:03 AM

    I was there today, and you could see Detwiler struggling to hold it together in the face of the blown calls. I felt sorry for him, since he has come a long way and I like watching him pitch. I know baseball is very conservative about change, but someday–someday, probably long after I have passed from the scene, baseball will simply have to let a computer call balls and strikes. Not other things, but balls and strikes. The technology is already there, so fan disgruntlement just gets greater and greater. It would be like instant reply in tennis, there is it, and there's no arguing with it! Some would miss the umpiring, but not me-I hate seeing players robbed by incompetence.

  19. Arlington BigFish - Apr 16, 2012 at 1:30 AM

    I knew as soon as I saw that Laz Diaz was umpiring behind the plate today that we were in for big trouble. The guy has the most erratic strike zone in the bigs, & an enormous chip on his shoulder. How he's lasted 14 years is simply beyond me. I've always wondered: do teams keep a book on umps the way they do on opposing players?

  20. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 16, 2012 at 1:31 AM

    Pitching a ball is fairly hard, hittin a ball much harder. Being an ump is easy. All you have to do is watch the play and call it. LaRoche's foot was on the bag. The position the 2B ump had could have easily seen it as he was inside the infield. First base ump calls him safe, 2b ump goes to him and says did he beat it, the guys footbame back on the bag, then ump corrects himself. However umps rarely ever correct another. It is the code. They would rather get the call wrong, then to make one of their own look bad. That is my second biggest gripe about baseball umps. (The first they do not have to face the press).Football and basektball umps have no problem getting together and correcting a call. Not sure why baseball has such a problem. It is not good for the sport.As for the 1b ump, I have not seen the replavy, but I think the Nats got a call later, on the sacrifice bunt that Ramos tried to catch, and Zim threw oout Phillips. From my angle he looked safe.

  21. NatsBrat - Apr 16, 2012 at 1:35 AM

    Some things can't be overcome—bully umpiring is one of them. MLB lets them be right, even when they are wrong. Diaz was missing calls all game long, but nothing as crucial as the balls and strikes to Ludwick.Nats could have won to-day, and Det could have pitched another couple of innings!

  22. Gonat - Apr 16, 2012 at 1:38 AM

    For the statsheads said… Has Ramos hit anything in the air yet this season? Seems like everything is on the ground. April 15, 2012 8:02 PM ___________________________Ramos crushed a double to CF that was a line drive. He smashed that ball to end the game that was snagged by Votto. I guess same could be said for Ryan Zimmerman and Danny Espinosa.The good news is Werth, LaRoche, and Desmond are picking these guys up.When Zim, Espi and Ramos get rolling, this team will be scoring a lot more runs.I see LF and CF as dead spots as nobody in those spots are doing much of anything and none of them really have recent histories of sustained offensive numbers (Ankiel, Bernadina, DeRosa, Nady).Might be time to give Bernadina and Lombo a shot in LF.

  23. Manassas nats' Fan - Apr 16, 2012 at 1:54 AM

    Go Nat I was just thinking. How batters 1 4,and 5 are carrying the load in hitting, 2 and 3 might hit the ball hard, but not for hits yet. batters 6 and 7 have been worse than bad. Batter 8 altogether fine, but excellent when Fores has been up. The NL has 5 hitters with at least 14 hits, Three of them nats, Desmond 17, Werth and LaRoche 14 each. We have three pitchers in the top 10 in WERA with Stras 3,Detwiler 6th and Zim 10 (Det will drop out after tomorrow night's game as you have to have at least as many innings as your team has played games. The hitters though need to just keep hacking and the hits should fall. Espi though looked like he was clueless in some of his at bats today (despite getting a single). He looked like he couldn't see the ball (I guess he was trying to imitate Laz Diez who also couldn't see the ball).

  24. Catcher50 - Apr 16, 2012 at 2:03 AM

    No, being an umpire is not easy. Guess what, they don't have super slo-mo.That having been said, there is a reason that umpires have abandoned the "scissors" position (which Laz Diaz uses). It creates problems in calling both high and low pitches, as well as making calling the outside corner almost impossible. There is a reason that Diaz has a negative reputation.What is amazing is that many people, especially MLB administrators, don't do anything about these problem umpires. The announcers should be saying something before a call goes against their team. Truth is, the fact that the moderately involved fan can name the Joe Wests, Laz Diaz', and Angel Hernandez' should tell anyone all that they need to know about these inadequate officials.

  25. Gonat - Apr 16, 2012 at 2:04 AM

    Manassas nats' Fan, yep, that's my point. Those 3 are carrying the rest. Its only 10 games into the season and May 15th really sets the mark at the 1/4 pole to see who's real and who isn't.I think Adam LaRoche is going to have a career year based on his fast start and will only look better when Morse is back in the lineup.Werth is getting on base and hoping he is no fluke and getting back to what Rizzo paid for.Desmond looks very comfortable his 2nd and 3rd times through the order. Seeing a lot more pitches.

  26. waddu eye no - Apr 16, 2012 at 2:05 AM

    oyi wouldn't want to use the technology to judge balls and strikes, but i'd definitely want it used to call whether the best or the worst are behind the plate, so they could try to insure it's the former, not the laz. i mean latter.grrr.

  27. natsfan1a - Apr 16, 2012 at 2:11 AM

    That would be Joe West.Who is that horrible big umpire guy they call"Cowboy Joe"?

  28. natsfan1a - Apr 16, 2012 at 2:13 AM

    Said the moderately involved fan. ;-)

  29. Mick - Apr 16, 2012 at 2:14 AM

    I have waited since 1967 for this in DC… better late than never!

  30. Anonymous - Apr 16, 2012 at 2:16 AM

    May 15 is far too early to determine who is a true contender – the wheat and chaff don't get separated until,as Ken Beatrice used to say, "come the dog days" of July and August. I'd say Aug 1 – 15 is the real cutoff for this. In the end, to quote Beatrice again, "talent will out" but especially in baseball, it takes a long time to see. Relax. Enjoy this team. Be patient. Judge slowly, no, even more slowly than that.

  31. Mick - Apr 16, 2012 at 2:16 AM

    In 1967, just a young child who loved the game, and thought Hondo was Superman, next to my folks of course who will be my real heros

  32. Mick - Apr 16, 2012 at 2:20 AM

    how is old Ken Beatrice doing… your next!!!

  33. The Great Unwashed - Apr 16, 2012 at 2:24 AM

    I don't think a computer should call balls and strikes, but baseball is way behind in the instant replay department. Using it only to judge home runs is like your car insurance company telling you they only provide coverage for accidents on Tuesdays.The NFL has been mucking it up of late by reviewing all scoring calls, but at its essence, it's a two challenge per game system with a third challenge only if you get the first two right. As for the "delay to the game" that the purists always bring up when arguing against it, don't get me started about the numerous delays in baseball that already occur as part of the game.

  34. Anonymous - Apr 16, 2012 at 2:25 AM

    This is why Rizzo has collected power arms … not just to start but for the bullpen. Its why he drafted Elvin Ramirez in the rule 5. He didn't work out. But they do have Hassan Pena and Attie Severino. Both are in AAA. Pena has been used the most in pressure situations so I expect he is being groomed a possible replacement. Erik Arneson continues to shine and Mitch Atkins has pitched two straight almost flawless starts. They can and should move Clippard to the 15-day DL to ensure he doesn't pester Johnson about using him until the soreness subsides. Using him could lead to something more serious : Storen. And Burnett's back has been acting up! Then there's Wang. Would've though Lidge would have something start acting up but so far he seems to be okay.Again, this is why pitchers like Gorzelanny and Stammen were important to have on the roster on opening day. Davey knows that injuries to pitchers seem more likely to occur with cold weather and when first starting out. Once they are in a rhythm they seem to be able to get through the season with the coming of warmer weather. But, I guess we'll see.

  35. The Great Unwashed - Apr 16, 2012 at 2:29 AM

    By the way, for every Laz Diaz and Joe West, there's an umpire who is honorable. Remember the umpire who screwed up Armando Galarraga's perfect game in 2010? I think his name is Jim Joyce. He manned up. They're not all that bad, you know.

  36. Anonymous - Apr 16, 2012 at 2:30 AM

    Might as well move on from the complaints about the umpiring. I'm positive that's what Davey told the team. Look, they still have 152 games. The first base ump gave the Nats an out /the call on Zim's handling of the bunt pop-up. He tried to make up for his gaffe albeit it was too late … but that's baseball. You move on.They're off to a good start. They just need to start a new wining streak and starting off with Strasburg, Gio, and JZimmnn is just the ticket to doing just that. And if Jackson and Detwiler continue to follow suit?

  37. The Great Unwashed - Apr 16, 2012 at 2:38 AM

    Maybe this was covered in the last thread, so apologies since I'm behind on my NI reading, but Detweiler also benefited from a called 3rd strike on Votto that was clearly out of the zone. And as some have mentioned before, Zimmerman's throw later in the game to nail Leake at first was late yet he was called out. As long as bad calls go both ways, you can't argue too much. Besides, Detweiler was the one who gave up the granny on a mistake pitch, not the umpire. THAT's what was costly. Had he struck out the side and not let anyone score, we would all be talking about how brilliant he was. Ultimately, it was the final mistake he made that did him in. He'll be okay though. Sometimes you have to experience adversity to get better in the long run.

  38. Anonymous - Apr 16, 2012 at 2:40 AM

    The technology is there to eliminate the home plate umpire calling balls and strikes. Let him stand behind the plate, but give him an earpiece that tells him ball or strike. He can determine foul tips, check swings, and give the catcher a new ball every now and then.Also, two challenges per game on plays in the field. Most would take about two seconds to review. (Jayson Stark reported today that MLB is planning a replay overhaul that may involve a replay ump at stadium or a central location like the NHL)….give me more replay and less bad calls!!!!

  39. Anonymous - Apr 16, 2012 at 2:48 AM

    Anon @10:40, if they could make a quick overturn like the play at 1st where the umps aren't going under the hood, then that is great.Here's why that call was so large in scope, the Nats are in the hunt and that play in hindsight appears to have cost the Nats a "W".

  40. Anonymous - Apr 16, 2012 at 3:08 AM

    The problem I have with allowing umps to continue to call balls and strikes is that with the technology already in place everybody, except for the ump and the players, now KNOWS whether the call was right or wrong. These add up over the course of a game. And the mistakes are preventable. You could even give the manager two or three challenges a game, like the NFL or tennis per set, the big problem there being that as umps calls are overturned, being human they can hold a grudge against the manager and get revenge in other ways. But it is inevitable, the technology simply shows the umps to be wrong too often to allow it to continue for years and years. The pressure to change will build, coming form a major error or three int he playoffs, like two bad calls at crucial times against Serena Williams in the US Open cost her the match and led to the introduction of instant replay the next year. Betchya if the Yankees were on the wrong end of such calls in the WOrld Series, things would change pronto.

  41. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 16, 2012 at 3:09 AM

    ANother interesting number. Nats are second in number of hits, but only 10th in runs. Aparently the hitting with RISP is far lower than the overall hitting. That is not new. Pitchers desrve some runs. Especially Zim. Nava of the Yanks got 8 more runs tonight to play with he had the most last year too.

  42. Grandstander - Apr 16, 2012 at 3:14 AM

    If Joe West and CB Bucknor had a baby and then gouged out his eyes with a rusty knife, it would still be a better umpire than Diaz. That guy needs to be fired.

  43. JaneB - Apr 16, 2012 at 3:16 AM

    Clearly I've missed something. Clip is playing HURT? Ummmmm…what?

  44. Anonymous - Apr 16, 2012 at 3:17 AM

    Joe West, CB Bucknor and Laz Diaz are like the ole bad things come in 3's.Just a stain on the game. #Incompetence

  45. Anonymous - Apr 16, 2012 at 3:24 AM

    Clearly I've missed something. Clip is playing HURT? Ummmmm…what?Looks like a case where Davey gave him the benefit of the doubt and decided to trust him based on knowing him for so long. I think that Clip might get his wings clipped for a bit. ;) Given his unique pitching motion using him could potentially create something more serious.

  46. Anonymous - Apr 16, 2012 at 3:28 AM

    The technology is there to eliminate the home plate umpire calling balls and strikes. Let him stand behind the plate, but give him an earpiece that tells him ball or strike.That would be far worse than the DH. Hope it never happens.

  47. Anonymous - Apr 16, 2012 at 3:40 AM

    In toto … the Nats have had 370 plate appearances … a lot due to the extra inning games. And currently the highest in baseball BTW. Looking at weighted (or advanced stats) that attempt to remove defense and park related variables the Nats have an 11.4% probability of walking which is 4th in the MLB. They have a 19.2% probability of striking out and that is 14th in the MLB.Power-wise the Nat's ISO is .111 currently making them 28th in major league baseball. Thus, the impetus the restart the Tyler Moore in left-field experiment. They are 4th in OBP so they are getting on base regularly.The Nats are seventh in BAPIP at .302 which makes them fairly lucky at this point.Onto the important stats: their wOBA or weighted OBA is 19th at .307 which is about average and is reflected in the bRAA which is -0.3 which again is about average. This is actually a vast improvement over last season if they manage to keep it here for the rest of the season. Probably the main reason they aren't driving in runs? The low ISO of .111 which means that the heart of the batting order is either walking or hitting singles when they hit with men on.

  48. Anonymous - Apr 16, 2012 at 3:49 AM

    BTW, Tyler Moore will be playing 1 out of 3 games in left field starting tomorrow as long as it goes well.

  49. Whatsanattau - Apr 16, 2012 at 3:52 AM

    The lack of extra base hits is a little troubling. Once Zimmerman gets hot that should help, but it would be nice to see Espinosa, Ramos, and DeRosa join the party soon. I would also like to see a few more stolen bases, but the fast guys would probably need to be on base for that to happen. Perhaps Houston will provide an assist.

  50. Anonymous - Apr 16, 2012 at 4:02 AM

    I have it on good authority that Bryce Harper will be playing 2 out of 3 games in center field. He is better in right, still adjusting to center but improving especially when it comes to feeding the cut-off man. He is starting to adjust to advanced left-handed pitching he has begun to see regularly both in AA and now in AAA. He is not overmatched and is improving. Tyler Moore and Corey Brown have had very good starts to the year. Both are showing more mature plate discipline which is allowing them to see better pitches. Teahen has been extremely good so far.IMO I wouldn't rush Harper to get up in June. I'd wait until after the All Star or even September. But, of course that's up to him. Everyone is just going to have to be patient.

  51. Anonymous - Apr 16, 2012 at 6:55 AM

    >>>Maybe this was covered in the last thread, so apologies since I'm behind on my NI reading, but Detweiler also benefited from a called 3rd strike on Votto that was clearly out of the zone. And as some have mentioned before, Zimmerman's throw later in the game to nail Leake at first was late yet he was called out. As long as bad calls go both ways, you can't argue too much. <<<Actually you can. First, the Votto call would have resulted in a 2-2 count if it had been called a ball. The "mistakes" against the Nationals were all inning ending. Getting to the point of a grand slam should have never happened because a) the third out was recorded at first and b) two successive batter were struck out for the third out.If a strike isn't a strike then what is a strike? If an out isn't an out then what is an out? Detwiler did his job, twice. How many times should he have to strike out a batter before the batter is struck out?And Leake was out. I watched the replay multiple times.

  52. Anonymous - Apr 16, 2012 at 10:32 AM

    Bernadina would have caught the double in the 11th

  53. baseballswami - Apr 16, 2012 at 10:37 AM

    I would love to see Zim, Espinosa and Ramos discover a power stroke. Espi is walking and playing fine defense and looks better at the plate. Zim is well, Zim and is taking away hits and grinding it out – he'll be fine. I do wish he would quit swinging for the hr every time up, though. Ramos has to handle some new pitchers and has a lot of responsibility – I think we should leave him to that for a while and give him a pass on the hitting ( or catching pop ups?). If he can continue to help Gio and EJAX {and det),learn the hitters then he is of great value no matter what he is hitting. The pitchers don't seem to be calling him off at all. By the way — I think all of our pitchers are pitching quickly this season – organizational decision? I think it may be contributing to hitters being off-balance. Not shaking off the catcher is helping.They are pitching like they have a train to catch…

  54. NatsLady - Apr 16, 2012 at 10:45 AM

    Anon@6:32 I think he might have. DeRosa did not have a good jump on the ball and he seems to be a lot slower than Bernie. I sit on the LF side, and I thought he had a good chance for it, but he got there late and timed his leap wrong. Watching the replay, I thought FP and Carp were generous in saying he had "no shot, it went over his head."This is the second time I saw DeRosa miss what I thought was a catchable ball. People are worried about his wrist and his hitting, and I know he's a righty so that's why he was playing LF, but not sure that's working. We have that big outfield, Clip's a flyball pitcher–need fast outfielders. (Bernie, however, had already PH, and done a good job at it.)

  55. NatsLady - Apr 16, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  56. NatsLady - Apr 16, 2012 at 10:54 AM

    Maybe Davey would have kept Bernie in LF for defense after he pinch hit, but the Reds' closer is a lefty, so I assume he kept DeRosa in for the matchup.Bernadina hitting .143, DeRosa at 0.90 — not much to choose between them, so might as well choose defense–and base-running.

  57. MIcheleS - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:26 AM

    Your morning glass of Boz Koolaid Yesterday on twitter, he was really interesting. He was calling them like he saw them and did call out the umps, but also called out our situational hitting woes.Stras will be the stopper today. Any word on Bernie? He looked a little tentative when he scored that run?GYFNG!

  58. NatsLady - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    I like this from Boz. Ya gotta have heart, lots and lots of heart, but talent helps, too.The Nats left their park late and still annoyed: No six-game winning streak this time. Washington has no familiarity with baseball teams that feel such emotions. Johnson does. “Chemistry wins ballgames,” he said. That and having Strasburg, Gonzalez, Zimmermann and Jackson all lined up.

  59. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:56 AM

    The Nats are seventh in BAPIP at .302 which makes them fairly lucky at this point.I thought a BABIP around .300 was considered baseline, neither lucky nor unlucky?

  60. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    The problems with having umps AND electronic b/s callers include timing–you can't have the human in the middle of the process, that would be too slow. Either the machine calls balls/strikes, or the person does. In tennis, there's no real downside to returning a ball that gets called out, but a catcher sometimes has to decide whether to throw based on the call, so it can matter, and in those situations it has to be fast.

  61. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    Any word on Bernie? He looked a little tentative when he scored that run?Maybe that's part of the reason he wasn't in left for the 11th.

  62. Anonymous - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    Bad calls happen. Whining is not a habit we should get into.dfh21

  63. NatsLady - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    Dfh21. Right. Detwiler didn't whine. Said he was "terrible" and stressed the bullpen.

  64. Gonat - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    dfh21, agreed. Its how you handle the adversity. Yes, Detwiler should have been out of the inning but mistakes happen in this game. Detwiler then put Bruce on base in a lefty/lefty matchup with a walk, and still gave up the Grand Slam to Ryan Ludwick. While the runs weren't technically against his ERA, he still gave them up. If the official scorer changed Desmond's error (err the ump's error) to a hit, then all of a sudden Detwiler's line score and stats look beyond bad.That was not a routine play by Desmond.

  65. Anonymous - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    There are very few routine plays when it comes to Ian Desmond.

  66. Anonymous - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    The whining is by Zuckerman. His post is largely about blown calls and how Detwiler should have been in the dugout with a Zero on the board. He should have pitched better and Desmond's throw should not have been errant.

  67. Mark'd - Apr 16, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    Gonat, well said. It isn't like a routine ball was dropped and 4 runs scored. No runs scored on that play.

  68. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 16, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    Desmond's throw was not so errant that LaRoche didn't come down with it and tag the bag a step and a half before the runner got there. Not a good throw, but the error was arbitrigenic–an artifact of the bad call.

  69. george - Apr 16, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    However, there are a lot of routine posts by this paticular anon. Boring, tedious, predictable, and nasty. Yep–routine, for him.

  70. Anonymous - Apr 16, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    Even with made-up words like "arbitrigenic" it's still whining.

  71. NatsLady - Apr 16, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    Would miss Clipp terribly, but I agree with posters who say he should go on the DL. If he says this is "normal" for him but taking longer into the season than usual, let him have a couple weeks off while we are playing Houston, Miami, the Padres and the Dodgers. Stros and Pads are what they are, Miami's got trouble and the Dodgers (I think) are overperforming. We should be able to beat up on those teams with the rest of the bullpen.Rizzo doesn't have to make the decision today. If Clipp doesn't pitch tonight or tomorrow night while they assess the shoulder Rizzo can backdate the DL to April 15, and Clip would be back for the D-Backs series.

  72. whatsanattau - Apr 16, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    Why are some people like they are? The story was a facutal retelling of the game including some decidedly bad calls and the Nats reaction to it. Bad umpiring happens all the time. No to replay, no to automated balls/strikes. But it would be ok to fire bad umpires – this crew and West/Hernandez would be a good start.

  73. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 16, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    The home plate strike zone was horrible all day, inconsistent first to last. That said, it is unseemly to dwell on bad calls in Game 10. This wasn't a heartbreaking loss, it was an off-pissing loss they should and probably will take out on Houston and Miami.

  74. Anonymous - Apr 16, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    Desmond had another multi hit game and a tough call on the error, but his golove has been very good. The kid is playing well and I did not expect him to do so. The starters and the pen look great, LaRoche is producing and Werth is showing signs of life. So, I am thrilled. 7 and 3 folks.dfh21

  75. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 16, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    But I LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIKE made-up worrrrrds…

  76. FS - Apr 16, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    change of topic: what would be your walk-up song as a baseball player? mine would be 20th century boy by T Rex. the beginning is electrifying, like Strasburg's start is gonna be today.

  77. Theophilus - Apr 16, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    How can you be critical of Desmond over a play where the batter was clearly out? That call at 1B was so bush league. Not Denkinger close, not Jim Joyce close. Not close at all. As FP said, if the zebra wasn't looking at the bag, what was he looking at? Scrabble on his iPhone? He should be umping in the Dominican Summer League — soon! Diaz, too — the Eric Gregg of the 21st Century.

  78. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 16, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    @George, FWIW, I think there are at least 3 or 4 distinct regular trolls who post as anonymous. They could post with their SSN and an image of their birthmark, and they'd still be here just to be antisocial, but the point is, there is more than one.

  79. NatsLady - Apr 16, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    Still trying to figure out the Cincy 5-way chili, which turned out to be chili on spaghetti noodles topped with cheese and onions. I guess you count the beans?

  80. natsfan1a - Apr 16, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    NatsLady, I believe it goes like this:1-way: chili only2-way: chili over spaghetti3-way: chili, spaghetti, and cheese4-way: chili, spaghetti, cheese, and onions5-way: chili, spaghetti, cheese, onions, and beans

  81. PAY TO PLAY - Apr 16, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    Really like the positives with Desmond, LaRoche and Werth. The top 4 starters have been amazing and the bullpen has been very good.The 2 holes so far have been in LF and CF. Time to put Bernie in LF because if you aren't going to hit you might as well get better defense than what you get from DeRosa or Nady.

  82. Section 222 - Apr 16, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    As FP said, if the zebra wasn't looking at the bag, what was he looking at? Given that the play wasn't close at all, it's pretty clear he wan't looking at the base. So just a thought, maybe he was looking at ALR's effort to make a swipe tag once he saw his foot come off the base. If ALR had come down off the base but made the tag, could the ump have seen (or heard it) if he had kept his eyes on the base to see if ALR came down in time? Any former umps in here that can tell us if there's an accepted protocol on what the ump should do on a play like that? I'm going to ask my friend who went to umpire school about it and report back.

  83. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 16, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    Easy one, FS: Dance to the Music.Wait, no, that's my closer run-in song.At bat music is I Wanna Take You Higher (BOOM lackalackalacka)Or maybe vice-versa.

  84. NatsLady - Apr 16, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    LOL, thanks, 1A. Good we can all still count around here.

  85. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 16, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    Although "BOOM lacka lacka lacka" may not be the best auditory metaphor for a closer. Just sayin.

  86. MicheleS - Apr 16, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    I do like the fact that RZ is at least acknowledging his tough start at the plate. Some superstars wouldn't even make a peep about that. I was still a little suprised when he started to Jaw with the umpire yesterday, very un-Zim-like.

  87. natsfan1a - Apr 16, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    There may also be some "monikered" posters who use Anon when they want to slam Mark or someone else but not "own" it. Section 3, My PFB Sofa said… @George, FWIW, I think there are at least 3 or 4 distinct regular trolls who post as anonymous. They could post with their SSN and an image of their birthmark, and they'd still be here just to be antisocial, but the point is, there is more than one. April 16, 2012 9:40 AM

  88. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 16, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    Zebra??

  89. whatsanattau - Apr 16, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    My walk Up: Always Look on the Bright Side of Life. Monty Python: Life of Brian.

  90. NatsLady - Apr 16, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    MicheleS, yes and he threw his helmet and slammed his bat down. Also unZim-like. Several players did that in this series, I guess you don't get called for it any more?

  91. natsfan1a - Apr 16, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    I suppose because the refs wear black and white in other sports.On music, was looking for a song with a different vamp and accidentally turned up this video. Lol at the first comment.

  92. natsfan1a - Apr 16, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    Er, make that the third comment.

  93. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 16, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    Maybe Funkadelic, if there was any way they'd let me use that. Which there isn't. Maybe the guitar solo. Which kind of defeats the purpose. So nevermind.NSFW, btw.

  94. NatsLady - Apr 16, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    Walk-up, I'm going for the Anvil Chorus (not the rock band, the real Anvil Chorus). I'm editing out the slow parts and just going for the hammering!Anvil Chorushttp://www.last.fm/music/Giuseppe+Verdi/_/Anvil+Chorus

  95. Theophilus - Apr 16, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    Section 3 — some basketball coach, whose name I don't remember, once said he couldn't comment on the officiating from the previous night's game but he had a dream in which "I shot every damn zebra in sight."So, it's a simile.

  96. PAY TO PLAY - Apr 16, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    Zim has struggled before with the bat. He once joked that he could be the designated fielder. He was killing the ball in ST and will do so again in a hot streak this week.Zim will come out of it. A 3 for 4 will bump that BA up quickly from .179 to .233. His OBP is still decent at .313 and he leads the team in runs scored at 9 right now.That is very good run production for a #3 hitter. Can you imagine what happens when Zim starts knocking in runs?

  97. Section 222 - Apr 16, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    There may also be some "monikered" posters who use Anon when they want to slam Mark or someone else but not "own" it. Or they might want to criticize a player or DJ and not be mocked, demeaned, flamed or called a hater or a troll by the sometimes cruel or arrogant monikered posters here.Or they might want to respond to a particularly nasty Anon without putting a target on their back for that Anon's inevitable retort. Just like some people leave games before the third out in the ninth inning for a reasonable reason, there may be reasonable reasons to be Anonymous here.

  98. NatsLady - Apr 16, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    1A–that video==>UNREAL. I laughed so hard my stomach hurts.

  99. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 16, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    NatsLady, they often get some leeway when Blue knows he's wrong.

  100. natsfan1a - Apr 16, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    Me, too, NatsLady. What was he thinking? :-DAnd Mark steps up with a new post.

  101. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 16, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    NatsLady, I can't ever hear that without seeing in my head Harpo and Chico…

  102. Anonymous - Apr 16, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    Tough to win when you have to get 7 outs in an inning. But they had a great chance to win so I count the day as a success overall. Not to mention 3 series, 3 series WINS for the year. Still a lot to build on.

  103. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 16, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    some basketball coach, whose name I don't remember, once said he couldn't comment on the officiating from the previous night's game but he had a dream in which "I shot every damn zebra in sight."I can see how "Blue" doesn't work, there.

  104. NatsLady - Apr 16, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    Sorry, never saw Harpo and Chico. Avoided them all my life. Had to leave the room a lot of times because my hub was a big fan.

  105. natsfan1a - Apr 16, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    And agreed that there are other reasons for Anon posts, sec 222. It's not necessarily always the same person, which I think was sec 3's point (though I may be wrong there). Whether or not a given reason for doing so is good is subjective, of course, and I'm not going to to there. ;-)

  106. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 16, 2012 at 2:24 PM

    Sorry, never saw Harpo and Chico. Avoided them all my life. Had to leave the room a lot of times because my hub was a big fan.Srsly? Dare I ask how you feel about The Three Stooges?

  107. natsfan1a - Apr 16, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    Harpo was probably my fave, 'cause he was so sweet. :-)

  108. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 16, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    1a is of course correct, that was the gist of my point. FWIW, I don't mind anonymous posting. There are, as you and others have pointed out, plenty of good reasons, and most, nevermind all, who posts anonymously or pseudonymously are demonstrably not anything like trolls.

  109. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 16, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    I started out a Groucho acolyte, but came around to Harpo, for the same reason. Chico was apparently a very charismatic guy (hence the appellation–he was Prince Charming, not Prince Faithful). Someone (I forget who) said of them, that if you talk to Chico for five minutes you'll think he's the greatest guy in the world. If you talk to Harpo for five minutes, you'll think you are. Great line.

  110. Section 222 - Apr 16, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    Absolutely right sec3 and 1a. Anon is not one person, or are all the anon comments obnoxious or even negative. (It's possible to be negative without being obnoxious of course. If this blog were just a cheering section, I, for one, would find it boring.) I think we waste way too much energy complaining about anonymous comments. It's like a TV set, if you don't like the program, change the channel (or press the mute button). I do hope all of the regular anon commenters realize that you don't have to "sign in" or do anything heroic to pick a moniker for this blog. Right above "Anonymous" in the drop down "Comment as" box is "Name/URL." If you type in a name there (and just leave URL blank) you can join the conversation.

  111. natsfan1a - Apr 16, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    Plus, Harpo had his own rendition of "Take Me Out To The Ballgame." :-)

  112. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 16, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    I think we waste way too much energy complaining about anonymous comments. Well, this is a social gathering, and social opprobrium is the only real check available for unwelcome rudeness. That said, we *do* spend an awful lot of pixels telling people how and what to post/think/feel/be fans, or not. I'm probably in the 10 Most Wanted for that, too. Sometimes, the facepalms are just won't be denied.

  113. Anonymous - Apr 16, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    @George, FWIW, I think there are at least 3 or 4 distinct regular trolls who post as anonymous. They could post with their SSN and an image of their birthmark, and they'd still be here just to be antisocial, but the point is, there is more than one.You know my opinion on this sec 3. Yes, there are a number of anon's who I believe to be Oriole fans … or frustrated Redskins fans. The two aren't dichotomous they seem almost to be the same type. But, in the end, I have been here the longest. And I still see people trying to ram their fists down JayB's throat for his posts. Do you actually believe they are being "social"? "Courteous"? If you do we were raised differently … and I still remember getting reamed from all directions for pointing out the great performances of a AAA player in Syracuse named Michael Morse who had just been acquired for Langerhans. Beyond offensive and insulting.So, I just love to turn on alt.flame mode and use the rapier I have sharpened to nice point from those halcyon days of System High when the Internet needed no security. In my opinion many of these people deserve it and then some. You and these others sit here on high bemoaning anon's without looking at your own posts! Which too often are ridiculous in their poor comportment? Its no wonder this country is as polarized as it is today making us one of the more dysfunctional democracies. Its sad. I remember that preacher who used to post here … and has since left. He left after I pointed out how disturbing his posts were coming from someone of the cloth. What a poor example he was … far, far worse than anything I've ever said. Blogs aren't for everyone and he is a better man for it. All of you need to look in the mirror before pointing out someone else's flaws. All that's served by being sanctimonious is to fall as easy prey to easy alt.flame rapier. In summation, YOUR perception isn't necessarily the right one sec3 I am sorry to say. And you need to consider other possibilities.And just so you know, this is my first post of the day.

  114. Anonymous - Apr 16, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    Aa to this Anon v non-Anon: Now, the Star-Bell Sneetches had bellies with stars. The Plain-Belly Sneetches had none upon thars. . . .And Zeppo.dfh21

  115. NatsLady - Apr 16, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    Sec 3, Three Stooges — detested 'em. Didn't care for Charlie Chaplin at all. Slapstick humor not my thing.

  116. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 16, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    11:40, a long conga line of straw men there. I'm not even going to bother.

  117. The Dude Abides - Apr 16, 2012 at 4:11 PM

    And the bold posting anon would be Peric.

  118. waddu eye now - Apr 16, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    walk up song – Rhapsody in Red by jerry garcia. i'd stop at the vocal. just a great opening riff. although the team color thing works too.finally gonna have a night off that's warm enough to take the tv outside on the deckspeaking of singers (nats lady and swami) anybody want to try to lobby for a Nats Insider trio/quartet or some group to sing an anthem at a game? mark z – got any pull with tom davis, entertainment guy? 'i've averaged an anthem a year, and it's great fun. gyfng

  119. natsfan1a - Apr 16, 2012 at 5:16 PM

    We have at least NI one anthem singer who is already part of a (barbershop) quartet, sec 222. :-)

  120. waddu eye no - Apr 16, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    sec222 – same offer goes to you. or anyone else.

  121. FS - Apr 16, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    great video, 1a.sec 3, liked your Funkadelic choice. Guitar solo is good enough I think.

  122. NatsLady - Apr 16, 2012 at 6:09 PM

    Waddu eye no– I would go for it, if we can figure a time to rehearse. Sunday afternoons? Get together after the Marlins game?

  123. blovy8 - Apr 16, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    An umpire can't see the whole strike zone from the usual position because of the catcher, and can't watch the ball, the mitt and the runner at the same time. You have to fight anticipating action, so you don't end up like Dale Scott this past weekend. Tag plays are the only natural call, and even then you have to be prepared, and in the right spot to see it. It actually isn't that easy to be 100 percent in anything, nevermind having those guess plays. And they are – because you have to call things you can't see. Never mind the added etiquette that umpires rarely overrule each other when they see mistakes made. Now, until there are cameras in every conceivable spot, or some sort of electronic grid and infrared contact system with uniform material and the ball, perhaps a robotic law of the balk rule and the intent behind hit batsmen, there will be missed calls by people. While the viewers at home often have a better view, the participants often do not. For all the kvetching about balls and strikes, announcers are far worse at calling pitches than umpires, and are quite often mistaken when they see the replays. It will still take a bit of time to work out an equitable system that won't delay things. But the technology seems to be there to have pitches called by computer with an indicator for the home plate umpire as a suggestion in the interim. It would likely be faster than Tim McClelland, in any case.

  124. Jorgath - Apr 16, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    If we ARE to expand replay, I have a specific area to improve, based on what I saw in the Little League World Series last year: foul/fair calls. Basically, the setup there was that you could get an umpire review on those; if replay shows a foul ball was called fair, they reverse the situation, if a fair ball was called foul, they declare it a no-pitch (because they can't declare how far runners would have advanced if they'd called it fair).

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 92 64 --
ATLANTA 76 81 16.5
NEW YORK 76 81 16.5
MIAMI 75 81 17.0
PHILADELPHIA 71 86 21.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Tuesday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON (2) 92 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 89 68 3.5
y-ST. LOUIS 88 69 4.5
-------------------------
y-PITTSBURGH 86 71 --
SAN FRANCISCO 85 71 0.5
MILWAUKEE 80 77 6.0
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Tuesday's early games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
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.
(End of regular season)
MON: OFF
TUE: OFF
Full season schedule

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ON THE RADIO

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TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
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