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Game 11: Astros at Nats

Apr 16, 2012, 8:38 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Stephen Strasburg makes his 2012 home debut tonight against the Astros.

Let's see, Stephen Strasburg has already turned in two stellar performances in his first two starts of the year, both on the road. Tonight, he makes his home debut against an Astros lineup that, while producing at a decent clip so far this season, features very few names that incite fear in opposing pitchers. Obviously, you never know what might happen on any given night at the ballpark. But the pieces are certainly in place for Strasburg to do something special.

One significant change to Davey Johnson's lineup tonight: Steve Lombardozzi is starting at second base, with Danny Espinosa taking what the manager called a "mental break." Though Espinosa has a .333 on-base percentage thanks to eight walks, he's batting only .194, and "I see him mentally pressing a little bit," Johnson said.

It's a big night for D.C. sports, with the Capitals hosting the Bruins in Game 3 of their Stanley Cup Playoffs series up the road at Verizon Center. Can't promise any hockey updates here, but I can promise plenty of updates and analysis of this ballgame…

HOUSTON ASTROS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WHFS (1580 AM), XM 188
Weather: Clear, 82 degrees, Wind 13 mph out to LF

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

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160 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Nats1924 - Apr 16, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    This series will give us an idea how good we are. We should easily win two of three, possibly even sweep the 'stros. Lets go Nats!!!!!!!

  2. A DC Wonk - Apr 16, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    First?Interesting stat of the day:Nats lead the league in throwing strikeouts. And, with Strasburg going tonight . . . .

  3. Steady Eddie - Apr 16, 2012 at 8:45 PM

    The worst thing I see in that opposing lineup is "umpires TBA".

  4. Bowdenball - Apr 16, 2012 at 8:46 PM

    It's a four game series, Nats1924. But otherwise I agree with you. Great chance to get a leg up on the division here.

  5. Young Pitchers - Apr 16, 2012 at 8:46 PM

    Espi rides pine tonight!

  6. natsfan1a - Apr 16, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    That's why they play the games, I believe, but sure would be nice to take another series. Go, NATS!!

  7. A DC Wonk - Apr 16, 2012 at 8:55 PM

    Nats1924 . . . I sure hope so.We might recall two years ago, when the Nats were one game above .500, went to Houston who, I think had the worst record in all of baseball at the time, and lost 3-of-4. (Capps losing two of them). The Nats never did reach .500 again that year. For whatever reason, rightly or wrongly, I always saw that series as the turning point.It's payback time.GYFNG!

  8. Steady Eddie - Apr 16, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    DC Wonk — exactly right re that 2010 Houston series, with the Lance Berkman check swing that wasn't but really was. Classic old Nats meltdown mentality. What Det showed the gumption to fight down — mostly — yesterday.

  9. A DC Wonk - Apr 16, 2012 at 9:00 PM

    Wish we could see a little bit more of Flores. I was thinking that after a long extra-inning game yesterday with Ramos catching, we might see Flores start tonight . . . oh well

  10. Anonymous - Apr 16, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    I like the comment, wind blowing out to left. Could a power surge be in the offing? JTinSC

  11. A DC Wonk - Apr 16, 2012 at 9:04 PM

    steady Eddie replied:DC Wonk — exactly right re that 2010 Houston series, with the Lance Berkman check swing that wasn't but really was. Uggh . . . gives me shudders. I remembered the Capps two meltdowns (which is why I was not sad to see him traded later), but had forgotten that Berkman check swing call until you reminded me. UghhhClassic old Nats meltdown mentality. What Det showed the gumption to fight down — mostly — yesterday. Good point. These are the new Nats, not the old Nats.All the more so that they should stamp and stomp out the past with taking at least 3-of-4 from the 'Strohs this series.

  12. Anonymous - Apr 16, 2012 at 9:04 PM

    As for the Astros visiting…its these games that worry me. Hopefully the Nats won't take the strohs lightly and do what they need to do to take this series, at least 3 wins would be wonderful. JTinSC

  13. A DC Wonk - Apr 16, 2012 at 9:04 PM

    I like the comment, wind blowing out to left. Could a power surge be in the offing?Hmmm . . . and I'd say that would benefit RZim the most. And he sure needs it!Nice catch.

  14. Anonymous - Apr 16, 2012 at 9:06 PM

    Wish we could see a little bit more of Flores. I was thinking that after a long extra-inning game yesterday with Ramos catching, we might see Flores start tonight . . . oh wellDavey's been giving them pretty close to equal time … you'll see Flores at about the same frequency I suspect. He and LaRoche are the two best hitters right now.

  15. Section 222 - Apr 16, 2012 at 9:10 PM

    Glad to hear that CSN isn't sending you over to that cold drafty building near Gallery Place, Mark. I too would like to see Flores start a few more games. Ramos could use a rest after this series. I'd also give Bernadina the start in LF against this RHP, but then again, we haven't heard if he's hurting a bit after that play at the plate yesterday. Glad to see Lombo get some ABs. If you can't rest folks against the Astros, they'll never get a day off. See you out there folks. I'll be in Section 314/D.

  16. Mickey Vernon - Apr 16, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    If Ramos continues to stand so far from the plate that he can't reach the outer half, we'll start seeing more of Flores, who has good hitting mechanics and is at least as good a receiver. Go Nats!

  17. Section 222 - Apr 16, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    Davey's been giving them pretty close to equal time … you'll see Flores at about the same frequency I suspect. Wish this were true, but Ramos started 3 of the 4 games against the Reds and 7 of 10 so far this season. If Davey were going to alternate them, tonight would have been a good time to start after the long game yesterday.

  18. Anonymous - Apr 16, 2012 at 9:17 PM

    @cheistWTOP #Nat Tyler Clippard says he is fine. Normal stiffness. "I have thrown more innings than anyone the last 3 years. It isn't a surprise.""Add another pitcher to Riggleman's DL list to go with Storen. Lots of sore arms in Blue Wahoo land I imagine.

  19. Anonymous - Apr 16, 2012 at 9:19 PM

    Wish this were true, but Ramos started 3 of the 4 games against the Reds and 7 of 10 so far this season.Pretty close to the same number of PA's and Johnson double switched Ramos out for Flores in one game. So call it 6 to 4. Again, I expect it will remain pretty close to even in order to keep Flores sharp.

  20. Natsochist - Apr 16, 2012 at 9:24 PM

    Anyone want to offer odds of us being on the wrong side of a reverse lock for the first time tonight?

  21. Gonat - Apr 16, 2012 at 9:26 PM

    A DC Wonk said… Wish we could see a little bit more of Flores. I was thinking that after a long extra-inning game yesterday with Ramos catching, we might see Flores start tonight . . . oh well April 16, 2012 5:00 PM __________________________Just my observation, that first inning with Stras and Flores in NY last week, they weren't on the same page.Ramos handles the pitchers like an All Star. I remember on MLB Network how Jerry Hairston said he would be the top catcher in the NL. The coaching he got from Pudge last year is why Ramos improved so much.

  22. NatSJack at the Tune Inn (warm ups) - Apr 16, 2012 at 9:26 PM

    Mickey Vernon……Wilson has to go to right with that pitch away. He failed miserably moving runners over against the Reds.Until he proves he can go oppo, he'll struggle and will not see anything in his wheelhouse.

  23. A DC Wonk - Apr 16, 2012 at 9:29 PM

    Well, then, Pudge needs to come back as a consultant to teach Flores!

  24. NatsLady - Apr 16, 2012 at 9:29 PM

    So I'm reading the story on MLB.com about the Bobby Valentine vs. Youk flap, and Bobby says (digging himself even deeper), well, Youk didn't throw his helmet often like I saw on TV so I questioned his emotional investment in the games.THIS is what he's going by??????????? So RZim spikes his helmet and throws his bat and Bobby V will be impressed? Also, er, Bobby, what you see on TV are called highlights. Those are, er, selective, and selected for their dramatic value. You want drama, go to the opera–or watch a soap opera. I'll go by the baseball results, thank you very much.What's the over/under on how long he lasts in Boston?Go NATS!!!

  25. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 16, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    Anyone want to offer odds of us being on the wrong side of a reverse lock for the first time tonight?Hmmmm. Weiland is 0-4 in 7 starts, including last year. That would be the setup, wouldn't it? Hope you're knocking on wood. But don't knock FeelWood, we like him.

  26. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 16, 2012 at 9:31 PM

    I see the FLagship station is being daralick of its duty again. I can't believe they choose to broadcast a Wizards game that means nothing compared to the first place Nats. I can understand WTOP, at least the Caps are in the playoff, But the Wizards, and the Word Playoffs don't go together.

  27. A DC Wonk - Apr 16, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    FWIW, I thought RZim's helmet spike was, in part, a protest against the ump (who had completely missed the prior pitch — it should have been 1-1 instad of 0-2) — and that if he had turned around he'd have gotten thrown out. In other words, RZim did the most he could without getting thrown out.

  28. NatsLady - Apr 16, 2012 at 9:37 PM

    I'm all for Pudge coming back as a catchers coach–if he will. He'd be great, and you want him while his player knowledge is current. I don't think a team will pick him up for a chance at those 3,000 hits unless they are desperate.

  29. RickH - Apr 16, 2012 at 9:38 PM

    DC Wonk … That's how I saw it too.

  30. Steady Eddie - Apr 16, 2012 at 9:48 PM

    I third that about RZim's helmet spike. I also took his swinging at the next pitch as his statement to Diaz that he (Zim) had no capacity to be selective about what he swung at if almost anything could be a strike. (Obviously he wanted to hit it if he could, but it was his way of saying "you've robbed me of this AB just like you robbed Det of two strikeouts."It was his only way to ventilate without getting fined or ejected.

  31. A DC Wonk - Apr 16, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    Headed out to the game now. (I work only about 15-20 blocks away) Looking forward.GYFNG!

  32. UnkyD - Apr 16, 2012 at 10:04 PM

    Anon:"Davey's been giving them pretty close to equal time … you'll see Flores at about the same frequency I suspect. He and LaRoche are the two best hitters right now."……………………….Don't start with me! What about Desi?! (sheesh…)

  33. UnkyD - Apr 16, 2012 at 10:05 PM

    And Jayson?!?! BOY!!!

  34. erocks33 - Apr 16, 2012 at 10:16 PM

    I can sort of understand 106.7 not airing the Nats due to some contractual agreement with the Wizards (not saying its the right decision, but I can see it if it's in the contract).But why oh why is it also NOT airing on 1500 AM?! I can't pick up 1580 out here in Vienna. What up with that??

  35. natsfan1a - Apr 16, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    erocks, I don't really follow hockey but I believe the radio situation may have something to do with the playoffs.

  36. Just sayin' - Apr 16, 2012 at 10:33 PM

    Can't take the Astros lightly. Schaefer, Martinez and Altuve are all decent hitters and are off to good starts, and Carlos Lee can always be dangerous.

  37. Alan_A - Apr 16, 2012 at 10:38 PM

    You know, I have no problem with the Nats renting out the stadium to Joel Osteen, but I could have lives without the promotional interview as part of Clint's show. I believe in the Church of Baseball. Let's not mix faiths.

  38. Alan_A - Apr 16, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    That's, "I could have lived.". "I could have lives" is another faith entirely.

  39. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 16, 2012 at 10:47 PM

    They must have a contract with 106.7 too (talking about the nats). With the Wizards being pathetic as a sponsor I much would rather spend my money on the Nats.1500 is easy to understand, they are the flagship station of the Caps, and they are in the playoffs, and are playing tonight. That one makes sense.The Wizards make no sense. They are eliminated from playoff competition.

  40. A DC Wonk - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:02 PM

    I'm here at the park. It's empty here!

  41. Wendell - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:04 PM

    Tomorrow is $2 Tuesday: 2 tickets for $2 each. The seats are in sections in the $30-$40 range. It's a promotion to fill seats during the week & showcase some of the middle range seats. $1 Monday is similar and includes $1 parking among other features.

  42. Gonat - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    2 blown calls on ball 2 and ball 3 to the 2nd batter. Both were strikes on Pitch Track

  43. UnkyD - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:13 PM

    Wonderful. No radio, and "playback error, on At Bat… Enjoy the game, peeps…..:(

  44. SFNats - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:16 PM

    So Stras has 3 Ks and a pop out in the first inning.

  45. Gonat - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:17 PM

    UnkyD, Strasburg throwing 98 with ease. Lots of fastballs in the 1st. Umpiring on batter 2 was typical and on the 3-2 count was actually stuck out as he didn't check his swing on a BALL 4. 2 K's in the 1st.

  46. Gonat - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:18 PM

    Lombo with a solid line drive hit through the middle.

  47. Mississippi Snopes - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:21 PM

    For what it's worth, Charlie and Dave are available tonight on the Internet on the MLB Gameday Audio site. For $15 a year for the radio broadcast of every MLB game, it's a good deal.

  48. Anonymous - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:23 PM

    Zim is still a sucker for the low outside pitch and every pitcher in the NL knows it.

  49. Anonymous - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:25 PM

    Anybody got the score? And a free radio/video stream link of the game?

  50. Gonat - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:26 PM

    Ryan Zimmerman with 2 swing and misses on breaking pitches to strikeout. Ryan seems to have carried yesterday's frustration forward.

  51. NatsLady - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:33 PM

    No score. Bottom of the second coming up.

  52. Gonat - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:39 PM

    Ramos hit a liner to RF, just right at the RF

  53. UnkyD - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:44 PM

    Thanks, Gonat! Got At Bat on the iPhone, now… Dunno what the prob was…Did I hear that Blue already had a word for Stras? Are our Zombies getting lippy? Or is there some kind of target on their backs….?

  54. UnkyD - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:46 PM

    (I hear you, Schaefer….. 78 mph curve. You're right, it's not fair…Hahaha!

  55. Gonat - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:46 PM

    2nd time thru the order, Strasburg introduces his changeup with the fastball and curveball.Leadoff single, no problem.

  56. Gonat - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:50 PM

    Desmond with a ripped single that he challenges with speed out of the box into a double.You have to love this kids hustle.

  57. SFNats - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:50 PM

    Another blow to the Desmond haters.

  58. RickH - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:52 PM

    Lombo!!!'

  59. Gonat - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:52 PM

    Lombo with a suprise bunt that is perfect. Turns into a single and an error and the 1st run of the game.

  60. SFNats - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:52 PM

    That's what speed does for you. Beautiful!

  61. Gonat - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:57 PM

    LaRoche just missed one to right-CF

  62. RickH - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:57 PM

    UnkyD,I was getting a playback error on AtBat at the beginning of the game too. Glad to know it wasnt just my phone.

  63. SFNats - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:58 PM

    Just hit it off the end. Man, that was close.

  64. Gonat - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:59 PM

    SFNats said… Another blow to the Desmond haters. April 16, 2012 7:50 PM ___________________________Some of them are still here, their tongues are just tied.

  65. SFNats - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:02 AM

    Well, 1-0. That's probably all Stras needs.

  66. fpcsteve - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:06 AM

    Lombardozzi makes the most of his chances. In March it was "the best 25 go north." Maybe we should be to the point of saying "the best 8 (position players) play." The "other Steve" makes things happen.

  67. MicheleS - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:14 AM

    OPPO for Wilson!

  68. Joe Seamhead - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:14 AM

    RAMOS!

  69. Gonat - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:15 AM

    fpcsteve, nice to see good fundamentals and Lombo has shown that. I don't think Davey will make the change 2 days in a row for Espi. It will be interesting. Maybe LF?By the way, nice HR by Ramos. Someone was worried about his elevation on balls.

  70. SFNats - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:17 AM

    Well, they said Ramos was pretty peeved about the loss yesterday, so there you go.

  71. Joe Seamhead - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:17 AM

    This will be the break out series for our bats.Can you feel it?

  72. SFNats - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:19 AM

    With the Astros pitching, I sure hope so!

  73. RickH - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:22 AM

    Caps up 1-0 after 1.

  74. NatsJack at Nats Park - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:23 AM

    I'm sorry. Was it NatsJack at the Tune Inn that said Wilson had to go oppo?Golly gee..it sure was.

  75. Joe Seamhead - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:26 AM

    Good one, Jack.

  76. Anonymous - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:26 AM

    Lombardozzi is now 3 for 3. FP says "Lombo making the most of his time in the sun, maybe he plays LF, maybe 3rd base."

  77. SFNats - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:26 AM

    Wish you'd called a HR, but Zim, too.

  78. SFNats - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:26 AM

    FOR Zim, even.

  79. Andrew - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:28 AM

    NatsJack, good call on Wilson Ramos.

  80. fpcsteve - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:28 AM

    Joe Seamhead: Yes, I do feel it. Next: Lombardozzi is the man (tonight anyway). Finally, Gonat, I think DJ may play the hot hand tomorrow. What do you think? BTW, is Lombardozzi a switch-hitter?

  81. jeffwx - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:30 AM

    So I go to buy a 2 buck tix on line for tomorrow but the processing fee is 200% of the price.Anyone interested in going and sharing the proc fee.Otherwise, can you buy at the gate ?

  82. Gonat - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    fpcsteve, I made that comment after the bunt hit. I really like the 3rd hit. I stick with what I said before, I don't think he sits Espi 2 days in a row but like I said, maybe LF and it seems FP agrees with me.

  83. Go Teddy - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    Oh no – not the wave! Cost Strasburg a hit!

  84. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:39 AM

    Boy, I sure hope that's Emancipation Day fireworks I'm hearing…

  85. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:41 AM

    Ankiel!Get back on third, punk!

  86. jeffwx - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:42 AM

    WOW…He AmazinBest arm ever in th OF

  87. SFNats - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:42 AM

    Not gonna test Ankiel's arm. Smart move by the 'Stros.

  88. Gonat - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:44 AM

    Ankiel throws a frozen rope from CF to Ramos and the runner doesn't test his arm.

  89. sm13 - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:44 AM

    FP says move the mound to short center and Ankiel will throw strikes – great line

  90. jeffwx - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:47 AM

    Clutch hittin..I'll still keep my bobblehead

  91. Anonymous - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:47 AM

    Credit to Johnson on Strasburg. He went down to get that ball. That was a really nice pitch.

  92. SFNats - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:48 AM

    Yeah, that was off the top of his shoes. It was a nice hit.

  93. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:48 AM

    Can someone introduce Strasburg to Stammen's concentration guru?

  94. jeffwx - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:49 AM

    Somebody offered me two beers for my bobble head at the trash bar on the black top. Another sign that I'm not an Alcoholic,,,just a Nataholic. Need to go NA.

  95. SFNats - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:52 AM

    Time for some Nattitude

  96. jeffwx - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:52 AM

    Yeah…Nat pitchers must have an ERA under 2. to have a winning record..M&M where are you.

  97. UnkyD - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:52 AM

    How 'bout a BIG INNING, boys?!?!?! Let's bat around!!!

  98. jeffwx - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:53 AM

    Natitude…funny that they serve Nati-Bow in Baltimore

  99. Gonat - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:01 AM

    Desmond with a nice walk. Impressive.

  100. RickH - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:02 AM

    News flash! Desmond walks!!!

  101. sm13 - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:03 AM

    Even after getting "shelled" for 2 runs tonight, I still think Strasburg starts are special.

  102. RickH - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:04 AM

    4 for 4!!!

  103. sm13 - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:04 AM

    Lombo saves the curly W for Stras!

  104. Gonat - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:04 AM

    LOMBARDOZZI!!!! I change my mind. He starts for sure somewhere tomorrow.

  105. Just wonderin' - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:05 AM

    Danny Pipp?

  106. Gonat - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:05 AM

    Strasburg goes from K Street to W Street

  107. Joe Seamhead - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:06 AM

    Wow! Lombo is going to make for a tough decision for Davey pretty soon.

  108. sm13 - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:07 AM

    Ryan catches Lombo fever….

  109. rogieshan - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:08 AM

    No backdrop issue whatsoever for Lombardozzi!

  110. fpcsteve - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:09 AM

    Nope, the "other Steve" starts at 2B tomorrow. Of course, a WaPo article said RZ was due for a day off. Tonight should scare the love of hits into him. But I'm sticking with the "other Steve" at 2B.

  111. Grandstander - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:09 AM

    Free wings!!!!!!!

  112. sm13 - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:12 AM

    Carp quoted Davey saying he'll give Ryan his day off on the road because people in DC come to see Ryan play.

  113. UnkyD - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:12 AM

    I'll take it!

  114. fpcsteve - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:13 AM

    Wow, the love of hits came to RZ sooner than I imagined. Will they let SS finish?

  115. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:14 AM

    sm13, I like that.

  116. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:15 AM

    FPSteve, Shark pinch hit for him already.

  117. Gonat - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:15 AM

    fpcsteve, Bernadina pinch hit for him. Stras done at that point

  118. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:17 AM

    gonat, you owe me a coke!

  119. UnkyD - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:18 AM

    Are they hitting the gap out there, or is Nady not fast enough?

  120. rogieshan - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:18 AM

    Really sweet to have a super-utility player who is capable of pushing the regulars.

  121. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:19 AM

    Ian wouldn't stick one in his pocket with a 4 run lead late for his old buddy, would he? Naaaah.

  122. Anonymous - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:19 AM

    UnkyD, both.

  123. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:19 AM

    I think it's a little of both, Unky D

  124. Gonat - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:21 AM

    Burnett getting Schaefer to K was a huge point in the game. That was no outs, 3-2 pitch with 2 on.

  125. sm13 - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:27 AM

    This bullpen is PFB…

  126. jeffwx - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:28 AM

    Nats could use more hitters in the lineup.Lombo in Left following in the footsteps of Soriono from 2b to LF. gotta like the new 1-2 leadoff combo. If you can put Tyler Moore out there, you can put anyone there.

  127. jeffwx - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:35 AM

    good point about hittin in the cold, FP.Could be some wet weather coming up. Looking forward to breathing again (pollen's been bad for me)

  128. sm13 - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:36 AM

    Interesting idea, Jeffwx. I like the idea of giving Lombo time in left. He's replacing X or deRosa,soit's nott a defensive downgrade. I wouldn't want to sit Danny for an extended time – he needs to break out and he's not going to do that unless he plays regularly.

  129. jeffwx - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:39 AM

    yeah…good OBP kind of lineup with Lombo and Espi in there.

  130. sm13 - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:42 AM

    Wow, Matheus left in to hit. Davey is fully committed to not over working the bullpen.

  131. SCNatsFan - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:42 AM

    I told you all that Lombo needed to play every day at Syracuse. Why doesn't anyone listen to me?

  132. fpcsteve - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:42 AM

    I'm pretty sure Lombardozzi is going to get his 300 AB's. Sorry to be slow on the pitching change. I can only follow the game on the computer by MLB Gamecast (from Nebraska).

  133. Cwj - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:47 AM

    A good solid outing by Strasburg. I was really hoping for 7 innings, but his pitch count got pretty high in the 6th.Still though, yet another good outing by the ace of the staff.He should be 3-0, by the way :-)

  134. Anonymous - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:49 AM

    I don't believe what I just saw. Ank? Really?

  135. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:50 AM

    So, tomorrow it's Gio's turn to go deep and save the bullpen. Of course, if he doesn't actually DO that, it might be a problem. But sufficient unto the game is the second-guessing thereof.

  136. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:52 AM

    Is it me, or does it seem like centerfielders generally, for both teams, have been having trouble here seeing the ball this season?

  137. SFNats - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:55 AM

    Thank you X-Man!

  138. UnkyD - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:55 AM

    Fast enough, that time?

  139. sm13 - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:56 AM

    Forget my earlier comment, X is a fine defensive leftfielder.

  140. RickH - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:56 AM

    Was someone questioning Nady's speed? Great catch!

  141. Anonymous - Apr 17, 2012 at 2:01 AM

    Who is pitching the ninth?

  142. Gonat - Apr 17, 2012 at 2:04 AM

    PAY TO PLAY said… 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? April 16, 2012 9:58 AM ____________________________Good call. A 2 for 4 night. Got Zim over .200

  143. NatsJack at Nats Park - Apr 17, 2012 at 2:04 AM

    The one and only Nasty Boy in baseball. HENRY PFB RODRIGUEZ!!!

  144. sm13 - Apr 17, 2012 at 2:04 AM

    Now that is how to umpire. He saw the whole play, got it right, and explained it to Davey and Ryan. Joe West would have tossed them both for daring to ask for an explanation. I love Bo Porter's aggressive 3rd base coaching.

  145. Just sayin' - Apr 17, 2012 at 2:05 AM

    Just happy Zimmerman didn't end up with a broken wrist…

  146. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 17, 2012 at 2:06 AM

    That was a good play all around, wasn't it?

  147. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 17, 2012 at 2:11 AM

    Pretty Fricken Bueno. Now go get 'em tomorrow.

  148. sm13 - Apr 17, 2012 at 2:13 AM

    Henry!! Well done first place Nats. Hard to believe we needed a win to stay in front of the Mets.

  149. UnkyD - Apr 17, 2012 at 2:14 AM

    Woot!

  150. sm13 - Apr 17, 2012 at 2:15 AM

    We're gonna need to get Kristina a poncho.

  151. SFNats - Apr 17, 2012 at 2:15 AM

    Beautiful. Now it's Gio's turn.

  152. hmmm... - Apr 17, 2012 at 2:21 AM

    sm13 said…We're gonna need to get Kristina a poncho.no way, man

  153. Gonat - Apr 17, 2012 at 2:28 AM

    Davey has Espi back in at 2nd tomorrow. Doesn't say anything about LF

  154. Gonat - Apr 17, 2012 at 2:30 AM

    Phillies all over Lincecum in the 1st. 4 runs in

  155. Gonat - Apr 17, 2012 at 2:32 AM

    Scratch that, Davey says Nady, Werth, DeRosa in the OF but maybe he rethinks that overnight.

  156. Wally - Apr 17, 2012 at 2:32 AM

    Nady, Derosa and Werth tomorrow in OF, per Davey

  157. natsfan1a - Apr 17, 2012 at 2:39 AM

    Yay, Nats win again. I could get used to this. :-)

  158. jeffwx - Apr 17, 2012 at 2:42 AM

    Davey is sly like a fox (silver).He says one thing, thinks another and will do something else.Keep the other team guessing.

  159. FS - Apr 17, 2012 at 3:21 AM

    demote Burriss now. What a foolish hitter!

  160. Erik - Apr 17, 2012 at 4:00 AM

    21-7 start… .500 rest of the way and we are in the playoffs!!! 88-74…and ready to make history!!!

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
WASHINGTON 78 59 -- 18
ATLANTA 72 67 7.0
MIAMI 67 70 11.0
NEW YORK 65 74 14.0
PHILADELPHIA 64 74 14.5
Through Tuesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Braves at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Braves at Nats, 7:05 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.

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