Skip to content

Game 10: Reds at Nats

Apr 15, 2012, 2:38 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nationals seek a four-game sweep of the Reds and a six-game winning streak.

We've focused so much on the Nationals' pitching staff through the season's first week-plus, and with good reason. Steve McCatty's group leads all of baseball with a 1.82 ERA, 0.952 WHIP and 88 strikeouts. But let's not entirely dump on the Nats' lineup, which may not be scoring runs in bunches but is producing at a significantly higher rate than we've been accustomed to around here.

For example, did you know the Nationals' team on-base percentage this morning is .342, third-best in the majors behind the Red Sox and Cardinals? That ain't shabby, and obviously represents a huge increase over last year's .309 mark (MLB rank: 25th). The problem hasn't been getting guys on base; it's been getting them in. The Nats are scoring only 3.78 runs per game so far (21st in the majors).

So we'll see whether today's lineup can continue to reach base at such a high clip and perhaps actually score at a higher rate, giving starter Ross Detwiler a little bit of cushion as he takes the mound in search of the Nationals' sixth straight victory.

Updates and analysis to come all afternoon…

CINCINNATI REDS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 1:35 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, Ch. 50, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 189
Weather: Mostly sunny, 82 degrees, Wind 11 mph out to RF

NATIONALS (7-2)
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche

Read more ยป

171 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Grandstander - Apr 15, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    Also, the Nats lead the league in walks with 42. Every player with 10 plate appearances or more has at least 1 base on balls.Espinosa especially has been grinding out some at bats, second in the league in walks with 8. I think "scrappy" gets thrown around too much in the world of sports adjectives but it really perfectly describes that kid. Love watching him hit.

  2. UNTERP - Apr 15, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    The Five Kays: Kay 5 is in the house today. Just do it… Signed 93(103?) – 69(59?), All Season

  3. Doc - Apr 15, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    And Grandstander, Espi will get better. Now that he's taking pitches that he used to swing at, he'll soon start parking pitches that he likes in the stands, and on the OF grass.The year will come when he really does complete a 30+ HR year.Goooooooooooooo Danny! Goooooooooooo Nats!!!!

  4. Nats in Athens - Apr 15, 2012 at 2:58 PM

    I agree with you Doc: There is no reason why Espi cannot go back to what he was 1st Half of last year.

  5. Steady Eddie - Apr 15, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    Thing I've noticed with both Espy and RZim — and Ankiel in a couple of his ABs yesterday — is that they've hit the ball really hard, just right at people (or in the case of Zim, three would-be dingers right into the teeth of a 15+ mph wind, including his first AB in the home opener). Law of BAPIP says those will start falling shortly. (Of course, that also suggests that some of ALR's liners and Caveman Wirth's seeing eye grounders could get caught, except that they're both such seasoned professional hitters that their ball placement is not exactly accidental.) GYFNG! PFB!

  6. Grandstander - Apr 15, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    Team BABIP is .306, well above the league average of .278, so there will definitely be some regression to the mean in the case of our high BABIP guys like LaRoche (.435) and Werth (.462) but that's to be expected. Danny (.217) and Zim (.226) should help pick them up.

  7. Anonymous - Apr 15, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    I know its early, but to glance at the Phillthy Phan pages and to read the doom and gloom coming out of their fans brings a smile to my face. They are in real trouble. No runner past 2nd base against Niese. No power in the lineup. And probably regression by at least one of their starters.

  8. JaneB - Apr 15, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    Anon at 11:12 — I'm smiling too!Can't wait for the Reds to see the fourth component of K Street!GYFNG!

  9. UNTERP - Apr 15, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    42

  10. ehay2k - Apr 15, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    Thanks for the reminder UNTerp. Good to remember number 42.

  11. Let Teddy Win - Apr 15, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    Mark,The record is outstanding, the OBP is good, and people keep talking about patience at the plate, but I remain concerned that this lineup can't get on base against decent pitching. Even after Saturday's 10-hit breakout (against a pretty bad Homer Bailey), the Nats have generated 38% of their baserunners by BBs and HBPs. 38%! Now how many of those have come in late innings against bad bullpens (Cubs, Mets, Reds)? If the team is going to be without Morse, now is the time. Houston is next, and they're visiting the Padres soon. This team could end April with an awesome record, but they might need a cushion because pretty soon it'll be a lot of NL East and AL East. This team is going to have to figure out how to get on base against Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Buehrle, Johnson, Sanchez, Zambrano, Jurrjens, Hanson, etc. Lord knows I'm pinching myself about the current performance, but I think we need to temper expectations until then.

  12. lesatcsc - Apr 15, 2012 at 3:45 PM

    Hey Mark,Last time out Davey Johnson said before the game that he would only let Ross D go five because he wasn't "stretched out" like the other starters. Any idea if he has a similar restriction on him today? Six innings maybe?

  13. HHover - Apr 15, 2012 at 3:45 PM

    Grandstander That's a great pt about BABIP–our batters have been getting lucky, and the team OBP will come down.Our pitchers have been getting lucky too – their BABIP is the second best in the NL. When more of the opposing teams' batted balls fall in for hits, those WHIP and ERA #s that Mark cites are going to go up.But I'm going to enjoy it as long as it lasts!

  14. jeffwx - Apr 15, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    What I've seen so far….The Nats starting pitching keeps them in the game in order to get to the visiting bullpen. Then, if the bullpen is weak, they can take advantage. They haven't seen a good bullpen yet so I guess that will be challenging

  15. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 15, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    One other thing about BABIP: there is a range, not a single number, it will move to, given enough instances, but even over a full season, there's no guarantee they can't stay lucky. It's less likely the more they play, but every year, somebody is the "luckiest" team in the league, and somebody is the unluckiest. They don't all fall into the middle. So GYFNG.

  16. NatsJack in DC - Apr 15, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    Good call Section3……at what point did St. Louis "return to the mean" last season?

  17. sm13 - Apr 15, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    Interesting that Davey went with his regular lineup today. I was guessing that Lombo would get a start and that he might rest Jason or Adam L. Davey clearly wants to win today and keep the momentum going. He's got the fever and knows that wins in April count just as much as wins in September. Sweeeeeeeeeeep!! Go Nats!

  18. HHover - Apr 15, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    Section 3That's true, but there's luck, and then there's luck.The BABIP for the Nats pitchers right now is .233. Over the last three years, league average has been about 60 pts higher, and no team's pitchers have finished the season with a BABIP better than .265.

  19. lesatcsc - Apr 15, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    HHover,Has than been a pitching staff over the past three years that has had as many power arms and the type of K to IP ratio as this year's Nats staff? I ask because I'm wondering if the low BABIP number is a direct function of weak contact by hitters struggling just to put the bat on the ball.

  20. Steady Eddie - Apr 15, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    sm13 — you real spect the streak. I went to the first three home games and after Thursday's walk off,, no way was Igoing to wear anything different than my 2010 Stras jersey and my Senators curly W cap!

  21. Steady Eddie - Apr 15, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    That's "respect the streak".Stupid autocorrect.

  22. sm13 - Apr 15, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    Yep, another reason I have o much respect for Davey.

  23. sm13 - Apr 15, 2012 at 5:06 PM

    So much respect….

  24. sjm308 - Apr 15, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    Steady Eddie – I am right there with you!! Keep that wardrobe going!!DC Wonk (from a previous post) – hate to give away the row since there is a threat of beer showers but I will look over your way sometime during the first few innings. Problem is, with my memory, I will forget by Monday. Go Nats!!

  25. JaneB - Apr 15, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    42?

  26. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 15, 2012 at 5:13 PM

    Jackie Robinson

  27. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 15, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    sjm, a wise person once told me, "If a junkie threatens to kill you, run. If a junkie says they'll be back in half an hour to kill you, put it out of your mind." I think that applies to trolls in this case, too.

  28. natsfan1a - Apr 15, 2012 at 5:20 PM

    Okay, yard work is done. Lunch is ready. I've started to attack Mt. Washmore (to be tackled while sitting in front of the tv, natch – it's called multitasking :-)) Go, Nats, GO!!

  29. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 15, 2012 at 5:21 PM

    HHover, thanks for that. Someone(s) else(s) also pointed out that this is the relatively easier part of the schedule, and things will get tougher soon enough. But it's nice to know those teams are looking at the schedule, seeing "DC" and thinking their schedule is about to get tougher.

  30. UnkyD - Apr 15, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    How's that leg feeling, CMW…..?

  31. Joe Seamhead - Apr 15, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    Good grief. Diaz is killing us.

  32. Anonymous - Apr 15, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    And the Umpires are on the board and lead the Nationals 4-0

  33. Anonymous - Apr 15, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    Blown call at 1st. Blown 3rd strike on Bruce. Blown 3rd strike on Ludwick. Ridiculous

  34. Pdowdy83 - Apr 15, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    So we have to record 6 outs in an inning? That is absolutely some of the WORST umpiring I have ever seen. Both the home plate ump and the first base ump need to get fined for that crap.

  35. sm13 - Apr 15, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    That's zero earned runs for Ross, 4 earned runs for the umpires

  36. Anonymous - Apr 15, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    Oh, no – there goes the K Street Era!

  37. Just sayin' - Apr 15, 2012 at 5:56 PM

    Detwiller records a six-out inning.

  38. Anonymous - Apr 15, 2012 at 5:56 PM

    Listening on the radio in the car — was the guy safe at first or out on the error?

  39. Joe Seamhead - Apr 15, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    That's really screwed up. We had to get six outs here. Ian gets an error on an out. Det got screwed out of two strikeouts.

  40. baseballswami - Apr 15, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    I am not near a tv either – what's up with the calls? Balls and strikes or plays at bases? Come on RossyD — hold them the rest of the game! It's time for the offense to catch fire!

  41. SCNatsFan - Apr 15, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    Clearly out. Wasn't even close. Nor were the pitches.

  42. baseballswami - Apr 15, 2012 at 6:00 PM

    I will be near a tv soon – twitter going crazy with umpire trashing!

  43. sm13 - Apr 15, 2012 at 6:00 PM

    Agree with SC. Not even close.

  44. UnkyD - Apr 15, 2012 at 6:00 PM

    Ouch…. 38 pitches… Gonna be a big day fir the pen. Hope Blue starts calling strikes, in the 2nd…..

  45. Navy Nats Fan - Apr 15, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    On the play at first, Ian drew ALR off the bag, but ALR got his foot on it a step and a half ahead of the runner. All I can think is the umpire was looking for the swipe tag (which missed) and not watching the foot.Home plate umpire blew two 3rd strike calls after ringing up Joey Votto on a pitch that was outside. Two makeup calls by Diaz for one in our favor. But the strikes he didn't call were more inside the strike zone than the one he did was out of it. If that makes any sense.

  46. Anonymous - Apr 15, 2012 at 6:03 PM

    FP thinks chirping from Votto and the Reds dugout might have affected the home plate umpire. Seems like the most plausible explanation.

  47. Joe Seamhead - Apr 15, 2012 at 6:03 PM

    Swami the play at first wasn't even close. Then two,two strike calls on two different batters that were near the middle of the plate were called balls.As bad as I've seen in MLB.

  48. Section 220 - Apr 15, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    Regression to the mean is something that is supposed to happen on its own, umps. You don't have to help…

  49. Anonymous - Apr 15, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    What is Brandon Phillips wearing on his hands/arms? Looks like boxing gloves that go part way up to his elbows?

  50. baseballswami - Apr 15, 2012 at 6:07 PM

    Just saw a couple of photos on twitter – those calls were missed by a couple of miles.

  51. Section 220 - Apr 15, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    I feel like Adam should turn to the 1B ump and scream, "ARE YOU EFFING SURE?!?!" on every out at first for the rest of the game. You know, given that we're dealing with a step and a half margin of error here…

  52. Anonymous - Apr 15, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    There's not much you can do. Pissing off the umps would only make it worse. This is the day the Nats offense needs to wake up. But, it just isn't there. Its why Tyler Moore is going to work with Tarasco in left field in Syracuse again. They need some power bats. It ain't going to come from Werth, DeRosa, or LaRoche.

  53. Just wonderin' - Apr 15, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    I normally don't like to bash the umps too much — the bad calls tend to even out — but those calls were so bad I've got to ask: Does the MLB office review the calls for each and every game? Does the team have to ask? I know they won't change the calls, but will they point out the errors to the umps involved?

  54. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 15, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    FP seems pretty sure Votto (who got rung up on a pitch off the plate) said something to get Diaz to turn around some makeup calls.

  55. sm13 - Apr 15, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    Way to settle down,Ross. Showing some poise and maturity.

  56. Anonymous - Apr 15, 2012 at 6:34 PM

    They need offense today. The big "O" needs to get to work. Looked to me like the ump at first made up for his bad call. Too late 5-0 ump. It should be 1-0.

  57. baseballswami - Apr 15, 2012 at 6:34 PM

    Ross needs a cookie! And then he need to tap into his inner Natitude. He is the least experienced of our staff ( I think – maybe it's strassie?) and the last one to make the staff. I think he is going to need half a season to get consistent. He has what they call a "high ceiling" — it will sometimes be fun and sometimes not so fun watching him develop.

  58. Anonymous - Apr 15, 2012 at 6:36 PM

    I hope the offense wasn't planning on waiting until the 8th to show up….

  59. sm13 - Apr 15, 2012 at 6:46 PM

    ADAM!!!

  60. Anonymous - Apr 15, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    Okay, now it'sUmpires 4Reds 1Nats 2

  61. Navy Nats Fan - Apr 15, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    Umps 4Reds 1Nats 3

  62. MicheleS - Apr 15, 2012 at 6:57 PM

    I may have to get a LaRoche shirt.

  63. Anonymous - Apr 15, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    Detwiler has got one inning left if he can get out of this inning now.

  64. Anonymous - Apr 15, 2012 at 6:59 PM

    Maybe 2 if Davey let's him hit the 100 mark instead of 90.

  65. Navy Nats Fan - Apr 15, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    81 pitches after five – depending on how the 6th goes, Ross could certainly come back for the 7th and maybe even the 8th. But with a rested bullpen, Davey has options.

  66. Navy Nats Fan - Apr 15, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    Oh well – pinch hitter (Shark) for Ross, his day is over.

  67. Anonymous - Apr 15, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    Interesting – Ross pitches with a mouthguard. Haven't seen that out of many pitchers. Must be a grinder.

  68. Steady Eddie - Apr 15, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    I was always thinking before that we let ALR go after this year and move Morse to first. But seeing how easy ALR made that DP rocket from Votto look — and every other great scoop he's made — I'd say we need to keep him as long as he stays reasonably healthy and reasonably productive (even 70% as well as he's doing now) offensively.His defense not only saves runs in themselves, it make the rest of the IF that much better. Knowing that ALR can scoop anything that's anywhere near 1B, it lets the other IFs relax and not feel as pressured to make their throws perfect on tough plays. Which means they make them better.

  69. Steady Eddie - Apr 15, 2012 at 7:07 PM

    I'd say Desi's whole game has come together for real.

  70. sm13 - Apr 15, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    Bo Porter is a very aggressive 3rd base coach. The polar opposite of Pat (stop sign) Listach.

  71. Anonymous - Apr 15, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    okay, we are now beating the Reds and tied with the Umps, but losing to the combined forces.Umps 4Reds 1Nats 4

  72. Anonymous - Apr 15, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    Just pathetic with man at 3rd and less than 2 outs.

  73. Steady Eddie - Apr 15, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    RZim, on the other hand, is in a real rut at the plate. I wonder if having those three dingers and 6 or 7 RBIs taken away from him by the wind has gotten into his head a bit.

  74. Anonymous - Apr 15, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    Tyler Moore now has 5 home runs … already.

  75. sm13 - Apr 15, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    Stammen had now struck out 8 of the last 9 he's faced.

  76. UNTERP - Apr 15, 2012 at 7:16 PM

    Stammen is the best pitcher in the bullpen. Easily could be the closer…

  77. Steady Eddie - Apr 15, 2012 at 7:17 PM

    On the other other hand, what has gotten into Stammen? I don't remember him ever being this dominant he was a starting pitcher, even for a couple of innings in a row. Maybe the "his game has come together" works for him too?I guess we could send Mattheus down and let him be the closer in Syracuse when Wang comes back, but what the heck are we going to do when Storen returns?

  78. Anonymous - Apr 15, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    I guess we could send Mattheus down and let him be the closer in Syracuse when Wang comes back, but what the heck are we going to do when Storen returns?I wouldn't worry about it. He's going to have start all over doing the ST thing, then do rehab starts. Storen won't be available until after the AllStar break. AND Storen has options. They could just option him to Syracuse until they think he is completely ready. I don't think Mattheus is going anywhere. The trade possibilities might have just been damaged because Bernadina might have injured himself ala Rendon and Goodwin coming around third base.

  79. Joe Seamhead - Apr 15, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    Jeez…this guy Diaz just sucks all the way around.

  80. Anonymous - Apr 15, 2012 at 7:23 PM

    Stammen is the best pitcher in the bullpen. Easily could be the closer…Small sample size … he's not a closer. He's a starter, a decent 4th or 5th for a number of teams. Stop trying to make him into something he isn't.

  81. Anonymous - Apr 15, 2012 at 7:23 PM

    Laz Diaz is so bad.

  82. sm13 - Apr 15, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    I think what Stammen has become is an excellent middle to late inning relief pitcher. He didn't seem to have enough stuff to be a starter, but has more than enough for one time through a batting order. It was either FP or Ray that mentioned that he thought Lidge may have worked with Craig on his slider. He always had the good sinker.

  83. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 15, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    Interesting, sm13, isn't it, that they get Lidge, and then we start hearing about multiple pitchers' sliders getting better. Best million dollars they spent all winter, I'm telling you.

  84. Anonymous - Apr 15, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    Situational hitting, awful.

  85. sm13 - Apr 15, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    Good point Sec.3. More props to Rizzo.

  86. Drew - Apr 15, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    Wilson Has to get that runner to third. Why didn't he bunt? (Yes, I know Davey doesn't like to give up outs, but Wilson has to advance that runner.)

  87. NatsFan05 - Apr 15, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    Rally Cap Time…Go Nats

  88. UnkyD - Apr 15, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    Nice observation, Sofa… And Stammen, to me at this point,seems to be whatever we need him to be. Maybe, when Drew is ready (agreed, that his doesn't have to come much before the ASB, we send Stammen to 'Cuse to stretch him back out as another option for post-Stras…. So many ways to look at so many of our issues… Love to play GM!

  89. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 15, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    Ramos I don't mind, he can give them the lead. Now, why Espinosa didn't bunt, don't ask me. DESMOND!@!

  90. Steady Eddie - Apr 15, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    Ian Desmond = PFB!!!!!

  91. UNTERP - Apr 15, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    Let's send Ian Desmond down to the minors and move Espi to first and let Lombo play 2nd…

  92. UnkyD - Apr 15, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    Hanigan needs a new mitt…. Tomorrow

  93. NatsFan05 - Apr 15, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    Let's go Danny….

  94. sm13 - Apr 15, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    How 'bout those comeback Nats!

  95. George W Bush - Apr 15, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    Finally – beating the Umps, beating the Reds, tied with the Axis of Evil.Umps 4Reds 1Nats 5

  96. NatsFan05 - Apr 15, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    5-5…OK, we'll get this…

  97. MicheleS - Apr 15, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO QUIT IN THIS TEAM!GYFNG!!!

  98. baseballswami - Apr 15, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    I like the way the Nats battle back every time. But – could they save one or two of those runs for Jordan? Those five runs could win two or three games for him!

  99. sm13 - Apr 15, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    That's the Ryan wr know and love – a web gem!

  100. FS - Apr 15, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    wish I was there again.

  101. NatsFan05 - Apr 15, 2012 at 7:57 PM

    That was different…an infield double….

  102. Steady Eddie - Apr 15, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    Ugh… looks like Hanigan is not the only catcher who needs a new mitt. Though as FP said, one of the infielders needed to call Ramos off of that popup, just as they should have called Stras off that pop that landed next to the mound against the Mets.

  103. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 15, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    Popups are always tough for a catcher, but I promise Wilson is kicking himself for that one.

  104. NatsFan05 - Apr 15, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    Love Stammen! Go nats!

  105. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 15, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    So, Aroldis Chapman or Henry Rodriquez?

  106. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 15, 2012 at 8:03 PM

    We love him, too, NatsFan05, but that was Mattheus.

  107. Steady Eddie - Apr 15, 2012 at 8:05 PM

    Huge difference from last year, when that kind of error would have flustered most of the pitchers into giving up a go-ahead hit to the next batter. This year they just shrug it off and zap the next guy. Section 3, I think you're right about the benign influence of Lidge in putting the right kind of seasoning into our young guys' heads.

  108. NatsFan05 - Apr 15, 2012 at 8:05 PM

    Sec 3, my bad…ops..The 42's had me confused…

  109. UnkyD - Apr 15, 2012 at 8:08 PM

    Can't tell the players WITH a scorecard, today! ;)

  110. Section 42, My PFB Sofa - Apr 15, 2012 at 8:08 PM

    NatsFan05, I can imagine. Not sure what too ME so long.

  111. Section 42, My PFB Sofa - Apr 15, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    *tookI think Laz Diaz just took a K away from me.

  112. Steady Eddie - Apr 15, 2012 at 8:15 PM

    Wow, RZim and now Desi shining in the field. There's something really almost magical going on out there. The same "competition makes the pitching staff better" is "infielders don't want to let each other down by not rising to the next level on every tough play." Espi's the only one who hasn't had the chance to make the highlight reel today.

  113. NatsFan05 - Apr 15, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    OK, Brad Lidge,#42…I got it,hehe..Great inning!Wow…It ours for the taking now! Go Nats!

  114. Section 42, My PFB Sofa - Apr 15, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    And did I mention Lidge can pitch some, on occasion? Big outs, there.

  115. FS - Apr 15, 2012 at 8:26 PM

    was that Led Zeppelin on after Lidge's strikeout on WJFK?

  116. Section 42, My PFB Sofa - Apr 15, 2012 at 8:29 PM

    I've got to feel a little for Phillips, though. The guy is trying to play on a bad Achilles tendon, and he hits a ball he has to go hard on. Could have been worse–could have been a bloop double down the line.

  117. Section 42, My PFB Sofa - Apr 15, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    Free baseball with every fill-up!

  118. NatsFan05 - Apr 15, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    Hopefully Chapman isn't coming back in for a third inning…

  119. Section 42, My PFB Sofa - Apr 15, 2012 at 8:32 PM

    Also a little late, but it occurs to me the Nationals by now have fans who were born after they got to DC.

  120. Anonymous - Apr 15, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    Would've been nice to get Desi in from 3rd with one out or not have werth pop out with 2nd and 3rd and no out and only end up getting one in.

  121. NatsFan05 - Apr 15, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    OK…Let's go Nats! Let get it done!

  122. Section 42, My PFB Sofa - Apr 15, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    Would also be nice to know what game Diaz is calling strikes in. Cuz it ain't this one.

  123. baseballswami - Apr 15, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    I looked at the title of this post — Game 10. Does anybody else feel like it's the middle of the season already? This last 10 days has been insane. I am choosing to believe that all of this early battling will make this team tough as nails. As if they aren't already…

  124. Erik - Apr 15, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    Espinosa is awful…he really needs to be in Syracuse right now. Completely clueless up there.

  125. sm13 - Apr 15, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    Swami, it feels like September baseball

  126. Section 42, My PFB Sofa - Apr 15, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    What is he using to call balls and strikes, a magic 8 ball??

  127. MicheleS - Apr 15, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    The umps suck today. It's like we have had the A ball umps in NY and now here. Geesh

  128. UnkyD - Apr 15, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    ….speechless…..

  129. Anonymous - Apr 15, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    Incompetence on display all day. Way to represent on Jackie Robinson day Laz. Embarrassing.

  130. Steady Eddie - Apr 15, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    Diaz should be suspended for this parody of a strike zone. It looked for a second like Zim was going to throw his helmet at Diaz. And if looks could maim, the old fart would have left in a basket.

  131. Section 42, My PFB Sofa - Apr 15, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    Swami, it's early. Put in a case each of bourbon and Maalox and enjoy the ride. It's a long season, and it's just getting started.

  132. sm13 - Apr 15, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    Very acrobatic move by Tyler. Glad he didn't get hurt.

  133. Pdowdy83 - Apr 15, 2012 at 8:55 PM

    Erik if Espinosa is soclueless why does he have a .350 obp? Guess you want to send Zimmerman down too?

  134. Section 42, My PFB Sofa - Apr 15, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    He's not clueless but he's not comfortable, either. He still looks like he's pressing, but maybe he just always looks like that. Some guys do.

  135. Steady Eddie - Apr 15, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    Erik, just back off about Nats strikeouts for today, by Espi or anyone else. What kind of AB plan can they execute without having a clue where the strike zone is going to be?

  136. Anonymous - Apr 15, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    Joey Votto=What Zimmerman and Werth wish they could be, but sadly will never be close to.

  137. Anonymous - Apr 15, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    Looks like Clipp's ERA is going to be HUGE and looks like he'll take the loss.

  138. sm13 - Apr 15, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    You can't hold Votto off forever.

  139. FS - Apr 15, 2012 at 9:04 PM

    a little rusty I guess.

  140. Anonymous - Apr 15, 2012 at 9:06 PM

    Joey Votto=What Zimmerman and Werth wish they could be, but sadly will never be close to.Joey Votto is an elite hitter up there with Pujols, Fielder, and Berkman. There really isn't anyone else "up there" with them. The Nats closest possibility is Michael Morse right now. Hopefully someday Harper and Rendon. Right now Tyler Moore is coming on …

  141. Section 42, My PFB Sofa - Apr 15, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    One bad inning, not even finished, and the trolls come out of the woodwork. Boric acid. We need boric acid.

  142. sm13 - Apr 15, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    I wonder if that first pitch stumble had an effect on Tyler – maybe making him a bit tentative?

  143. Anonymous - Apr 15, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    Clippard with a 7.20 ERA … I guess Clipp's got the baton as the "weak link" for now …

  144. baseballswami - Apr 15, 2012 at 9:08 PM

    So I guess Tyler Clippard is, in fact, actually human. That's the way it goes. I am strangely calm about this game today. The guys are battling without Storen and Morse and they have been doing us proud. Especially the starters and the bullpen. This crap just happens to every team.Especially when the umpire is the 10th guy in the line up. Let's get this game over and start again tomorrow. And no, I am not writing off this game – this team never gives up and could put a huge inning together. They have won the first three series – next?

  145. FS - Apr 15, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    seriously, anons are annoying. Gotta agree with that, for most part.

  146. Hanging On - Apr 15, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    Hope Clip can find that high rising fastball again soon. Was by far his best pitch and he's looked rather ordinary this year without it. I can't believe i'm saying he makes me nervous now when he comes in the game, but he does.Love the guy but he doesn't look like the 2011 version so far.

  147. Joe Seamhead - Apr 15, 2012 at 9:14 PM

    Werth broke up that possible DP.

  148. Section 42, My PFB Sofa - Apr 15, 2012 at 9:14 PM

    Bad inning for Clippard, but he broke one guy's bat, gave up a hit to a good hitter, and a double to an elite hitter. Some days you get the bear, some days the bear gets you.

  149. Anonymous - Apr 15, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    FS-You should leave the blog early like you did the game the other day. But you're a TRUE fan aren't you?

  150. Section 42, My PFB Sofa - Apr 15, 2012 at 9:18 PM

    ,,,, bait ….

  151. Anonymous - Apr 15, 2012 at 9:18 PM

    FS said…seriously, anons are annoying. Gotta agree with that, for most part.Last I looked FS == Anonymous.And yeah you are annoying.

  152. Section 42, My PFB Sofa - Apr 15, 2012 at 9:18 PM

    I wonder if Clipp doesn't thrive better on the amount of work he was getting.

  153. Section 42, My PFB Sofa - Apr 15, 2012 at 9:20 PM

    But if the field conditions were as bad for both teams as the umpiring has been, the grounds crew would have some serious 'splainin to do.

  154. FS - Apr 15, 2012 at 9:20 PM

    I think I gave a reason in my post if you read it again.

  155. Section 42, My PFB Sofa - Apr 15, 2012 at 9:21 PM

    Ok, 3 out of 4, won every series so far, and last I looked, there's no place above first place. Go get 'em tomorrow…

  156. Section 42, My PFB Sofa - Apr 15, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    Bait. Don't rise to it.

  157. FS - Apr 15, 2012 at 9:23 PM

    anyways, not gonna say anything more and waste time.Gonna watch highlights in 90 minutes. hurts to see them lose after winning five in a row. hopefully SS shuts down Astros tomorrow.

  158. Section 42, My PFB Sofa - Apr 15, 2012 at 9:24 PM

    Sucks, but still, money's worth. We get to whinge about the umps, see a great play by Zimmerman, an exciting comeback. Worth a ticket, these guys.

  159. baseballswami - Apr 15, 2012 at 9:25 PM

    Bounce back tomorrow. Seriously, if you are a Reds fan – how hard did they have to work for four days to come up with one win? We scored five runs today! (That's my glass is half full moment)

  160. Section 42, My PFB Sofa - Apr 15, 2012 at 9:26 PM

    Guess I have to go wallpaper that bathroom now. Could have used a few more innings, there, guys…

  161. FS - Apr 15, 2012 at 9:26 PM

    Should be worth the highlights then. you know when Ramos was up with two on, I was thinking about that Seattle game.

  162. Steady Eddie -- actually as to the "Eddie" not really even a pseudonym - Apr 15, 2012 at 9:27 PM

    Last I looked FS == Anonymous.Ohoh, so here's the Humpty Dumpty Neganon again.Pseudonymous= use of a fictitious or pen name by an author.Anonymous=without any name acknowledged; name withheld.But for Humpty Neganon, words mean what he wants them to mean. The problem you create for the respectful readers on this blog is that you don't have at a minimum the courtesy to other readers to use a consistent pseudonym so we can ignore you consistently if we choose.

  163. UnkyD - Apr 15, 2012 at 9:29 PM

    Well. That sucked. Since I make it a point not to whine about Blue, I guess I'm out…. That's three series wins. Bring on those 'Stros…!

  164. Anonymous - Apr 15, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    Sucks, but still, money's worth. We get to whinge about the umps, see a great play by Zimmerman, an exciting comeback. Worth a ticket, these guys.Well JayB might not agree. Last vestige of the Lerner's are cheap snipers. Albeit all I've read (and it goes against what Boswell said) Stan Kasten was mostly responsible for that? Guess we'll see how the Dodgers fare with Kasten at the helm.With Tyler Moore's 5th home run he now has five dingers and a double. Bryce may be ready to break out, today he hit yet another double that give him 4 XBH, 3 doubles and a triple. Corey Brown continues to play well. And Jeff Kobernus continues to shred the Eastern League. 2 more hits today and 2 stolen bases. And its he and not Perez that lead the EL in stolen bases with 7. Have to figure Kobernus to Syracuse at the half, given the dearth of any infield in Syracuse right now. Why is this important? Well Kobernus is eligible for the rule V draft if they don't put him on the 40-man roster. There are other players that could be drafted by other teams. They need to find out about Kobernus now and not later.

  165. natsfan1a - Apr 15, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    Now, *that* was funny. :-)Section 42, My PFB Sofa said… *took I think Laz Diaz just took a K away from me. April 15, 2012 4:09 PM

  166. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 15, 2012 at 9:40 PM

    Thankyerverrymuch. I'm here all week! Try the veal. Tip your waiter.

  167. Anonymous - Apr 15, 2012 at 9:42 PM

    Steady Eddie saidBut for Humpty Neganon, words mean what he wants them to mean. The problem you create for the respectful readers on this blog is that you don't have at a minimum the courtesy to other readers to use a consistent pseudonym so we can ignore you consistently if we choose.The mother of cretins continues to produce her defective spawn. And she apparently named this one Eddie.Having been no the Internet since the early 80's having a "recognizable label" doesn't MEAN SQUAT clown. All it means is that you can make up a name and type it in as you've just proven with your wonderful new label. Cretins and idiots seem to come in the dozens and most are over a certain age which is even more surprising.I've been following this team a lot longer than you and have a longer history with these people. Suffice it to say that isn't what would happen.A recognizable label would more than likely the wonderfully courteous people here would use it as an excuse to start spewing and sputtering their alphabets. Honestly, and even then they still call me out even when the post isn't mine?

  168. NatsFan05 - Apr 15, 2012 at 9:43 PM

    8 and 2 would be better, but if we can go 7 and 3 every 10 games or even close to that. Then it's going be a great year!Still in first place. Let's take 3 out four from Houston and keep it going. Go Nats!

  169. Anonymous - Apr 15, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    In point of fact most of the anonymous posts here have not been mine. Mine usually feature a pretty decent vocabulary … or at least so I've been told … ~smiles~

  170. Section 222 - Apr 15, 2012 at 10:16 PM

    Back from the game. A tough loss for sure. I sit directly behind home plate in Section 314 and the strike zone was a total mystery. Ramos had a pretty terrible game though, what with the dropped popup and four groundouts. I think as long as Flores is raking he should get three starts a week, at least until Ramos gets his stroke back. Chapman is a force out there. I'm glad we only saw him twice in this series. The Reds need to figure out how to make him a starter, but hopefully not before we play our series at the Great American Ballpark.ALR's play in the field is impressive. That 3-6-3 DP was a thing of beauty. And it was nice to see Zim back in the saddle defensively. Now if only his bat would wake up. How great is it that after a tough loss we have Strasburg pitching the next night?

  171. UNTERP - Apr 15, 2012 at 10:21 PM

    I know it's cliche and all of you know this, bad umping is a part of the game. One thing, however,how many years does it seem that when a call go against the Nats bad things happen right afterwards. Also, when you leave games in the hands of the umps your asking for trouble. If Ian had made a better throw the ump wouldn't have had to make the wrong call, just sayin'. Lastly, glad that Detwiler didn't have to take the loss. Let's get 'em tomorrow…

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.

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

Follow us on Twitter