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Game 13: Astros at Nats

Apr 18, 2012, 7:39 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Rain could affect tonight's game against the Astros at Nationals Park.

Uh-oh, that's not an encouraging sight: The tarp is covering the infield here at Nationals Park, and the forecast is calling for rain showers throughout the afternoon and evening. Tough to say at this point if it'll be bad enough to cause a delay or even a postponement. If the rain continues to fall as lightly as it has all day, they should be OK to play through it.

If and when they do play, Jordan Zimmermann will take the mound for the Nationals, seeking to become the final member of the starting rotation to earn a win. Not that the right-hander hasn't deserved two W's already, having allowed one earned run in seven innings in both of his two starts to date. Unfortunately, Zimmermann has once again been the victim of terrible run support, as was too often the case last year.

Fellow right-hander Lucas Harrell, who has pitched well so far, gets the start for the Astros. It's obviously still early in the season, but the Nationals have a golden opportunity tonight to create some separation between themselves and the rest of the NL East. The Mets already lost to the Braves this afternoon, which means a win tonight would leave the Nats 2 1/2 games up on everyone else in the division.

Plenty of updates — game and weather — to come, so please check back…

HOUSTON ASTROS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WFED (1500 AM), WHFS (1580 AM), XM 188
Weather: Showers, 57 degrees, Wind 7 mph in from CF

NATIONALS (9-3)
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche

Read more »

239 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Apr 18, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    Whattya think, guys and gals? With the momentum the Nats have, should they just play through the light rain? Or is prudence the best route and perhaps allow a rainout. Remember, it's the home team's call up until game time.The way we're playing, I think they ought to let Ernie Banks' dictum decide: "Let's play two!"

  2. Soul Possession, PFB Sofa - Apr 18, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    Drizzling here in Shaw all day, a couple miles north. At least it's not cold, but it looks like the train is coming right up out of Roanoke, for the next several hours, on radar.

  3. Meridian - Apr 18, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    The weather is supposed to be beautiful tomorrow. Play 2. (I have tickets for tonight and really don't want to sit through this rain and cold.) Plus cold weather and wet fields cause injuries.

  4. Soul Possession, PFB Sofa - Apr 18, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    Bobby, when you're hot, you always want to play. If they rain it out, when would they make it up?

  5. Feel Wood - Apr 18, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    If the rain stays light they'll almost certainly play through it. Neither team would want to play a doubleheader tomorrow, especially the Astros on their getaway day.

  6. Soul Possession, PFB Sofa - Apr 18, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Soul Possession, PFB Sofa - Apr 18, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    try that again…Just checked, it's not a (getaway) day game Thursday, even tho Houston is going home afterwards and playing a night game on Friday. So I guess they'd play 2 tomorrow, and the Astros would then have to fly back late and get the Dodgers at home.Ouch.

  8. Feel Wood - Apr 18, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    I didn't say it was a getaway day game tomorrow. I said it was the Astros' getaway day, i.e. the day that they leave town. Given that it's not a day game, they'll be leaving rather late in the day. Even still, I'm sure they'd much rather be leaving late in the day after playing one game, not two.

  9. Anonymous - Apr 18, 2012 at 8:10 PM

    I'd much rather see Lombo in left than Bernie, for the bat.

  10. Soul Possession, PFB Sofa - Apr 18, 2012 at 8:10 PM

    Feel Wood, sorry for the ambiguity there, and on my second try, too. No, you didn't. I meant that although it is the last game of the road trip for the Astros, it's not scheduled for the afternoon, it's a night game.

  11. Bowdenball - Apr 18, 2012 at 8:21 PM

    Despite our experience to the contrary last year, suspended games are few and far between in major league baseball. Looking at the forecast it's hard to imagine that they won't find a way to sneak this one in. Especially since everyone can sleep in tomorrow if they do.

  12. natsfan1a - Apr 18, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    I don't have tix for tonight but I'm with Meridian as far as erring on the side of caution should the field not appear to be "playable" at game time. (Not that the team needs or would care about my input. :-))

  13. Section 222 - Apr 18, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    The Astros might prefer not to play two games on their getaway day, but since the game is scheduled as a night game there's an opening for playing a makeup game in the afternoon without changing their travel plans. I don't think the Nats will play games with this one though. They're on a roll and if they can get the game in, they will. I always like rainouts though. Rainchecks are as good as gold for STHs. And standing on the concourse for a rain delay is no fun.

  14. Bozo - Apr 18, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    What's the Nats' magic number?

  15. rmoore446 - Apr 18, 2012 at 8:26 PM

    AccuWeather shows drizzle up to 8 pm and then drizzle returning at 10pm. Of course, these hourly forecasts shift around quite a bit. Temperature drops to mid-50s.Sounds like a cold, damp evening where it will be hard to judge when the mist/drizzle starts or stops–Seattle weather.

  16. Sec. 148, PFB - Apr 18, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    The Magic Number for a division-leading team is 163 minus the number of wins the first place team has, minus the number of losses the second place team has.N = (163 – W1) – L2The Nats are 9-3, the Phillies, for example, are 5-6.So 163 – 9 = 154154 – 6 = 148

  17. A DC Wonk - Apr 18, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    Bozo said… What's the Nats' magic number?Hey, I like that thinking. Perhaps we should have a "magic number" box in the place where there used to be a countdown to the season start! ;-)In any event, the magic number is 148, with 150 left to play.As for playing — I think the Nats are much better suited to playing 2 in one day than any other team — mostly based on: (a) two awesome catchers; and (b) extremely deep bullpenLet's play 2 – tomorrow! (Although I really doubt that will happen).

  18. Gonat - Apr 18, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    Bernadina in LF and Espinosa at 2nd. Ramos moved up to 7th.I'm not on the Lombardozzi bandwagon yet but I think you play the hot hand and would be a great night to have Lombo in there against the Right-handed pitcher.

  19. A DC Wonk - Apr 18, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    Sounds like a cold, damp evening where it will be hard to judge when the mist/drizzle starts or stops–Seattle weather. And then tomorrow, someone can complain about the attendance ;-)

  20. Gonat - Apr 18, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    DC Wonk, the way things are tabulated, nobody factors in a month from now why attendance is so low. Tomorrow is another Caps playoff game, today bad weather, Monday was Caps playoff game, Astros in town for 4 games, tax day, etc

  21. Scott from Burke - Apr 18, 2012 at 8:46 PM

    DC Wonk: If the Nats were to win, say 147, wouldn't that mean they would have had to beat everyone in thier division (minus a couple of games) I think you're high (pun intended)

  22. Section 222 - Apr 18, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    And then tomorrow, someone can complain about the attendance ;-) Well played, sir.

  23. Mr Donkey - Apr 18, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    I'm as excited as most, but I'm going to wait until the Nationals beat some of the marquee teams before I start my magic number countdown. The only projected contender that the Nationals have beat yet are the Reds, and they're not playing that well.

  24. Gonat - Apr 18, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    Mr. Donkey, the Reds were a good team before they arrived in Washington.The strategy of how they neutralized Joey Votto was great.The offense is lagging but the pitching with a few exceptions is nothing short of amazin'

  25. Scott from Burke - Apr 18, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    The Reds lost their second best position player right before they showed up..Phillips not there to get on base made is easier to walk Votto

  26. A DC Wonk - Apr 18, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    DC Wonk: If the Nats were to win, say 147, wouldn't that mean they would have had to beat everyone in thier divisionYes — but recall that if they beat a team they are contending against, the magic number goes down by two, not one.And, hey, Section 222: thanks!Gonat said… DC Wonk, the way things are tabulated, nobody factors in a month from now why attendance is so low.I know. But complaining about it game-by-game on a Monday night in April — without context — is silly.

  27. I love me some Katy Perry - Apr 18, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    Submitted for your consideration:An unlikely duo: Ryan Mattheus and Katy PerryApril 18, 2012 1:52 PM by Dan KolkoComment On This PostMore Dan Kolko |More Sharing ServicesShare When it comes to picking a walk-out song, most major league relievers select something intense, something that will get their adrenaline flowing and pump them up as they jog out to the mound.Longtime Padres closer Trevor Hoffman used AC/DC's "Hells Bells" as his walk-out music. Mariano Rivera is famous for his use of Metallica's "Enter Sandman".Ryan Mattheus goes a different route. A very different route.You might have noticed that when the Nationals call on Mattheus, their 28-year-old reliever, in the late innings of a game, the music that blares through the speakers at Nationals Park is not heavy metal or up-tempo rap. Instead, pop singer Katy Perry's "Firework" is the selection.How did that come to be? Why did Mattheus pick a song that's beloved by pre-teens as his pump-up music?Turns out, it started last year as a joke between Mattheus and then-teammate Cory Van Allen when the two were playing for Double-A Harrisburg."We were just out after a game one time, and we heard the song," Mattheus said. "It was early in the year, so neither of us had a walk-out song yet. I'm like, 'Dude, I'm just gonna do this. Katy Perry.' And it was kind of fun, kind of a joke. And then I got (to the majors), and I had had success using it, so I was like, 'I gotta do it.'"I was kind of nervous about it at first, like 'What's everyone going to think when I run out of the bullpen with "Baby, you're a firework" playing all over the stadium?' I kind of went with it, and last year I didn't give up a run at home, so this year I came back (with it)."Unfortunately, the Katy Perry home scoreless streak ended on Monday when he allowed a run in the eighth inning of a win over the Astros. Mattheus says now that the magical ride is over, he's considered switching his song, but hasn't come to a decision just yet."I'm kind of debating it," Mattheus said. "But I think it's fun. The fans now are starting to get a little reaction out of it. It's just a fun song, kind of a joke. That's why I used it."But what about the whole intensity factor that leads most relievers to pick a song that's a bit – how should I say this – heavier? Doesn't Mattheus worry that the pop song might snap him out of the fierce mound mentality that relievers try to create?"Yeah, see, I think I'm over the top the other way," Mattheus said. "I'm always intense, and when I'm in there anyway, I feel like if I have that song, I can kind of calm down a little bit, maybe. Make me laugh and lighten up instead of getting more intense. It's just fun."As you might expect, Mattheus' teammates have gotten on him about the song a little bit, singing it as he walks by and making Katy Perry jokes from time to time. But Mattheus, who always seems to have a smile on his face, takes it all in stride."They give me a hard time about it all the time," Mattheus said. "Gio (Gonzalez), he hadn't heard it yet, so (Monday) night he was singing it to me. He was going, 'Baby you're a…' It was funny. He loves it. I just hope that's the reaction from everybody."

  28. MicheleS - Apr 18, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    Amanda is reporting the following on twitter:Considering Davey said Brad Lidge had been dealing w/vertigo the past four days, his performance last night looks all the more impressive.Good grief how did he pitch with Vertigo?

  29. Section 222 - Apr 18, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    Here's an explanation of magic numbers, and a Magic Number Calculator. I get 150 for the Nats, before tonight's games. Perhaps a more useful way to look at things at this early stage — we're 10% of the way to 90 wins, having played just 7.4% of the season.

  30. whatsanattau - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    They will play, I will not be there. Obviously attendance is an issue again.

  31. Scott from Burke - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    DC Wonk..that's why I wrote you're number was high..you weren't taking into account…you take facts that show you're wrong and use them as your own argument…I have a cousin who does that..he's 8

  32. A DC Wonk - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    Re: magic numbers — first off, I made a mistake, it's 149 (it's 148 to clinch a tie for first). But here's another way to compute it:Quite simple: if the Nats, at 9-3, win 149 more games, they will end up with 158 wins. (Bear with me). Their nearest opponent, Atlanta and mets, are both 7-5, and with 150 left to play, the most they can win is 157.Boom, magic number is 149.There are other ways to compute it, but they are all mathematically equivalent to the above.Perhaps a more useful way to look at things at this early stage — we're 10% of the way to 90 wins, having played just 7.4% of the season. Or, how about this: if they just _split_ the next four games, they will be at 11-5, with exactly 10% of the season finished, and that will be on pace for 110 wins! ;-)

  33. A DC Wonk - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    Scott from Burke said… DC Wonk..that's why I wrote you're number was high..you weren't taking into account…you take facts that show you're wrong and use them as your own argument…I have a cousin who does that..he's 8Oh, please, I thought we were friends again — or at least had gotten past the name calling.In any event, just because I said the magic number is 148, doesn't mean they are going to win 148 — I never said that. Do the math yourself: their magic number (to _tie_ the division) is indeed 148. So, how am I wrong?You don't want me to dredge up parabola man again, do you?

  34. Scott from Burke - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:19 PM

    you know what..i might be wrong about this one…ugh

  35. Section 222 - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:19 PM

    I didn't realize the Mets and Braves had played this afternoon, so Wonk is right, the magic number is 149. The formula is (Total games in season) plus 1, minus (games won by Nats) minus (games lost by nearest opponent). And @Scott from Burke, Wonk's original number was low, not high. Why are you so unpleasant?

  36. NatsJack leaving the Tune Inn - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:24 PM

    And another nonsensical direction taken by posters.

  37. Soul Possession, PFB Sofa - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:24 PM

    Or, we could start discussing magic numbers for wild cards… might come in handy if the rain gets worse.

  38. Section 222 - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:27 PM

    And another nonsensical direction taken by posters Just passing the time before the game starts, for those of us who aren't on vacation and can't be at a bar yet. But feel free to start a more interesting debate if you wish.

  39. Scott from Burke - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    Espinosa again..Davey must feel certain Espi is better than Lombo..and I'm certain Davey knows more about the game than I do…but I would have liked to see Lombo get rewarded for that game the other night with another start

  40. Feel Wood - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:33 PM

    Scott from Burke said… DC Wonk..that's why I wrote you're number was high..you weren't taking into account…you take facts that show you're wrong and use them as your own argument…I have a cousin who does that..he's 8You clearly don't know what a magic number is. It's not the number of wins the first place team needs to get in order to clinch. It's any combination of wins by the first place team plus losses by the second place team that adds up to that number. In other words, the Nats can clinch by winning way fewer than 148 (or even 149) games now, depending on what the other teams do.

  41. Scott from Burke - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:36 PM

    Feel Wood…thanks

  42. Scott from Burke - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:39 PM

    the Nats can clinch by winning way fewer although I am concerned with your use of the word 'can'..it has to be WOULD..its a complicated formula because one has to take into the acct th enumber of games against the mets and diamondbacks (wild card)…i wonder if there's a website that computes it…

  43. baseballswami - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:47 PM

    So JZ gets the imaginary run support and now he gets the one horrible weather day that we have had in the last month. Who did he tick off? Seems like such a nice boy. His luck has got to turn at some point. Either that, or he needs to start throwing things in the dugout. One of his games would be a nice place for a couple of the Nats to start hitting the ball a wee bit farther than the warning track.

  44. Grandstander - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    Amanda is reporting the following on twitter:Considering Davey said Brad Lidge had been dealing w/vertigo the past four days, his performance last night looks all the more impressive.Good grief how did he pitch with Vertigo?You would think it would look something like this.An unlikely duo: Ryan Mattheus and Katy PerryRyan Perry?Okay, I'm outta here…

  45. Joe Seamhead - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    Section 222 said:But feel free to start a more interesting debate if you wish._____________________________________________________________Please do.I told a guy at the game last night about this blog, and how terrific most of the posters were.

  46. Feel Wood - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:52 PM

    Amanda is reporting the following on twitter:Considering Davey said Brad Lidge had been dealing w/vertigo the past four days, his performance last night looks all the more impressive.Good grief how did he pitch with Vertigo?That's not the real question. If Lidge has vertigo, why is Tyler Clippard the one falling off the mound when he's trying to throw a pitch?

  47. Section 222 - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:55 PM

    @ScottfromBurke — Check out the links in my post above. There's an explanation and a calculator if you don't want to do the math, though the math is pretty darn easy. It's a simple formula and can be applied between any two teams. It answers the question, "what's the magic number for finishing ahead of the other team." The magic number for being assured of finishing with a better record than the Braves and Mets is 149. The magic number for having a better record than the D-backs is 150. Our magic number vis a vis the Phillies is 148.Of course, caring about what the magic number is at this point of the season is, as NatsJack suggests, nonsensical.

  48. Soul Possession, PFB Sofa - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:55 PM

    FP always says "losing is contagious." Maybe that includes losing your balance?

  49. Les in NC - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:59 PM

    another debate? How about, is using 1 pitcher for your teams closer outdated or not?

  50. Eugene in Oregon - Apr 18, 2012 at 10:12 PM

    For those of you in the DC area: Any notion of whether today's game is going to happen?

  51. Anonymous - Apr 18, 2012 at 10:13 PM

    It will happen

  52. Anonymous - Apr 18, 2012 at 10:13 PM

    It won't happen

  53. Scott from Burke - Apr 18, 2012 at 10:16 PM

    It might happen

  54. MicheleS - Apr 18, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    Looks Like Pudge is going to announce his retirement on Monday. (according to the beat writers on twitter)I hope he goes into coaching…

  55. NatsJack in section 235 - Apr 18, 2012 at 10:21 PM

    I'm here at Nats Park and aside from freezing my ass off, I will see a 7:05 start.

  56. Scott from Burke - Apr 18, 2012 at 10:24 PM

    the magic # to make the playoffs is much more complicated than that..i can picture it in a vague way, but couldn't specifically spell it out

  57. carolync - Apr 18, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    Game to start on time at 7:05 according to the Nats' inclement weather update line. We won't be going because of the damp, chilly weather and the crowd will be miniscule. I was hoping for a doubleheader tomorrow. This is on top of poor attendance for Strasmas and cheap seat night.

  58. natsfan1a - Apr 18, 2012 at 10:46 PM

    Agreed.Section 222 said… And then tomorrow, someone can complain about the attendance ;-) Well played, sir. April 18, 2012 4:47 PM

  59. natsfan1a - Apr 18, 2012 at 10:47 PM

    You're tough, NatsJack. I like that. Does the fact that you're doing so guarantee that the game will start on time, as with my carrying an umbrella somewhere with me, guaranteeing that it won't rain? :-)NatsJack in section 235 said… I'm here at Nats Park and aside from freezing my ass off, I will see a 7:05 start. April 18, 2012 6:21 PM

  60. NatsJack section 235 - Apr 18, 2012 at 10:51 PM

    Zimm just finished long toss and has moved to the bullpen. The game will start on time.

  61. natsfan1a - Apr 18, 2012 at 10:51 PM

    And awesome video, Grandstander. Okay, all caught up on reading. Gotta go make dinner now (and don't want to use up my post quota before I eat ;-)).

  62. Dryw - Apr 18, 2012 at 10:56 PM

    MicheleS, to be more specific, I hope he goes into coaching HERE. :-)

  63. whatsanattau - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:00 PM

    Stern and Bowden were stirring it up on XM about Rizzo saying Strasburg would not pitch over an inning limit not yet determined. The big deal being that the Nats would put in jeopardy the post season to protect the long term health of Strasburg. Aside from the fact that they were treating it as new news even though it has been known since March, the discussion was remarkable for the fact that they were acting as though postseason games are a given for the Nats. Finally the Nats are viewed as postseason discussion worthy. But like the Red Sox and the Yankees, the Nats will now be subject to scripted controversy of the day (cool!). Yesterday attendance. Today innings limit. Tomorrow Lombo v. Espinosa. Works for me…

  64. Anonymous - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:00 PM

    I wonder why Pudge would announce his retirement now? He clearly wanted to play this season and it seems only a matter of time before the natural attrition of the long season puts someone on the DL and he'd get the call – why not do what Clemens did all those years and just wait for the phone to ring?

  65. Gonat - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:05 PM

    Just a guess, Davey wrote Espi's name in on the card today…..and Rizzo is probably steaming over it as I would guess he strongly suggested that Lombo should start.Espi better come through for his manager is all I have to say.

  66. Anonymous - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:08 PM

    Assuming none of our other starters get hurt we don't actually NEED 37 in the playoffs; YES, it would be great to have him, but this pitching staff is good enough to win without him, especially in the post-season where you only need 4 guys (if that with travel and weather) in the rotation…

  67. NatsJack secrion 235 - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:08 PM

    Jordan Z the only Nat not wearing an undershirt. Just his short sleeve uni. This is hiskind of weather.

  68. MicheleS - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:10 PM

    Sweet DP!!!!

  69. Scott from Burke - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:13 PM

    what it with Zimmerman's arm? would have liked to see him get that there on the fly..almost blew what should have been an easy double play

  70. MicheleS - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:14 PM

    Gonat.. some how I don't see Rizzo making any comments on who Davey plays, doesn't seem like his style. Plus I am guessing Davey's response would be to tell Rizzo to go stick it in his ear (or some other body part)Anon 7:08.. Excellent points about only needing 4 starters in the Playoffs. If Wang comes back strong, then we should be good to go with our top 4 (Plus Det in the Pen)

  71. whatsanattau - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:14 PM

    puh…lease. There was nothing to criticize there.

  72. whatsanattau - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:16 PM

    I believe Gonat was just playing along with controversy of the day program…

  73. Scott from Burke - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:16 PM

    laroche had to dig out the short hop..zimmerman will only cut it loose if absolutely necesarry..looked like a throw from a high school freshman…if the threw had reached laroche onthe fly there would be nothing to criticize..the fact it didnt is something to criticize..see the difference?

  74. MicheleS - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:21 PM

    Bandwagon Article from CBS Sportsline.Gonat.. if I misinterpreted your take on sarcasm.. my apologies.

  75. Gonat - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:26 PM

    MicheleS, trying to change the subject and get back to baseball.You are right on -if- that happened what Davey would say to Riz.

  76. Gonat - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:29 PM

    Great movement on Jordan's ball in the cold weather! You'd think the guy is from Wisconsin or something….the frozen tundra

  77. MicheleS - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:32 PM

    Has anyone ever seen JZ show any kind of emotion? Seriously, he is one stoic dude.OOO.. FP made a crack about "We are not hearing about the hitting coach this year"

  78. Gonat - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:35 PM

    MicheleS, NatsJack has a photo of the 2 of them with JZim laughing. It should be on NJs twitter pic

  79. Soul Possession, PFB Sofa - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:36 PM

    I wonder why Pudge would announce his retirement now? He clearly wanted to play this season and it seems only a matter of time before the natural attrition of the long season puts someone on the DL and he'd get the call – why not do what Clemens did all those years and just wait for the phone to ring?7:00, it may be he has an offer or a plan to go do something else, and the open-endedness of it all just doesn't sit well with a very, very proud man. And remember, there's nothing irrevocable about it. If the phone does ring, he's still allowed to answer it.

  80. MicheleS - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:38 PM

    Gonat… That Picture cracks me up. It looks like NatsJack is doing the Pull My Finger Joke to JZ!

  81. Gonat - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:39 PM

    I heard there was an interesting discussion on ESPN on the Scott Van Pelt show. He had Buster Olney on as a guest and 1st question was the possibility of a Beltway World Series.From what I understand, Buster said the Orioles won't be part of the World Series but the Nats are his sleeper pick.Maybe someone can find the audio.

  82. Soul Possession, PFB Sofa - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:40 PM

    Dierks Bentley? I think my uncle drove one of those back when he had money.

  83. Gonat - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:40 PM

    Maybe JZim can help his own offensive cause w/ some RBIs

  84. MicheleS - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:43 PM

    Gonat.Here is the link:SVP Show Go to the 4:50 mark.

  85. Gonat - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:50 PM

    MicheleS, you are amazing! Thanks for that!

  86. MicheleS - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:52 PM

    I heard Olney this afternoon and I knew were to look. Love Olney's laugh about the Beltway series.Also, Tim K was all over DC radio today talking about Stras and how good he is. (On WaPO – Bog's got a snippet about it)

  87. Schumatrix - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:54 PM

    Can we get some runs, por favor?

  88. Gonat - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:54 PM

    SVP could have been a little more informed on what the Nats are really doing. Olney backing up the Nats! Love it!

  89. Anonymous - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:02 AM

    That's the only run the Astros will need to beat Zim tonight. I wanted to puke when FP was talking about the great job Eckstein was doing the year.

  90. Exposremains - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:04 AM

    I feel bad for JZim. I'm sorry FP, you can show all the OBP graphics you want, this team is still not hitting well. The pitchers are winning the games for the Nats. I'm not sure the Nats managed to do what the Astros just did in the 4th all year.

  91. Gonat - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:05 AM

    Nats making another pitcher look like a Cy Young candidate and FP wonders why we aren't talking about the hitting coach?

  92. Schumatrix - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:06 AM

    They couldn't get a legitimate hit with RISP if I were pitching…

  93. baseballswami - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:09 AM

    Last three posters – amen, amen and amen. Making it so easy for a mediocre pitcher. Making it so hard for JZim – once again.

  94. Exposremains - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:10 AM

    3 pop-ups…We should trade for this Harrell guy, he is amazing!!

  95. Anonymous - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:11 AM

    One hit in three innings against this guy and the Astro? Are you kidding me? Come on Nats!!!

  96. Candide - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:11 AM

    Maybe JZ needs to dispense with the sangfroid and throw a tantrum in the dugout. Smash a water cooler or throw some bats or something.

  97. Grandstander - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:12 AM

    I'll tell you what, when we go to San Diego next week, it will be like a game out of the dead ball era.

  98. jeffwx - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:14 AM

    We're not a cold weather team…fortunately for the Astros they are.

  99. Mick - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:15 AM

    this is freakin ridiculous, hit the God damn ball!!!!!

  100. jeffwx - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:16 AM

    Hopefully JZ will get to play for the Yanks some day where guys like Phil Hughes with +5 ERAs can win 18.

  101. Exposremains - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:17 AM

    Man, how do FP come up with so many excuses?

  102. Anonymous - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:20 AM

    This is just an absolutely atrocious display of hitting. This team can't even hit the bad pitchers in this league. Yeah, they are 9-3, but that will not last with an offense like this. Best pitching staff in the league and they are going to struggle to be .500!!!

  103. Grandstander - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:21 AM

    R E G R E S S I O N

  104. Soul Possession, PFB Sofa - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:21 AM

    Has anybody heard the attendance tonight? Because I can clearly hear that one loudmouth sitting (I hope) under the booth.

  105. jeffwx - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:21 AM

    Things will get better after April 26 I think, when they can bring players up from minors and not lose a year to free agency, correct ?I think the Bernadina experiment will be over. Ankiel and DeRosa will not be on the team in August.

  106. Lucy Van Pelt - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:22 AM

    My great-grandmother said, if you're too happy today, something bad will happen to you tomorrow.

  107. Grandstander - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:24 AM

    I think Mark fell asleep…

  108. Anonymous - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:24 AM

    Major league hitters. Enough with admiring the approach -good form means nothing if it doesn't lead to results.

  109. Mick - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:25 AM

    The only thing positive is that its always better to have good pitching, we have that, we clearly can't hit worth a crap, Bernadina, Ankiel, derosa SUCK period and if Espi does not start hitting soon, he can go too

  110. jeffwx - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:26 AM

    We need to get real excited when a run scores…kind of like in soccer..GOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLGio for hitting coach

  111. Saul Good - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:26 AM

    Man, how do FP come up with so many excuses?Eh. It's a different model. Some people value criticism and negativity, and like to think of it as "telling it like it is." Some people prefer cheerleading (which the former might characterize as "blowing smoke").

  112. Anonymous - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:26 AM

    Maybe they are playing against the clock and trying to beat last night's time?

  113. NatsJack section 235 - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:26 AM

    MicheleS…..laugh if you will but we were discussing the circle change versus the "evening shade" change ups.He thought it was interesting because he knew what I was talking about AND the change up was what he was determined to master this Spring.

  114. MicheleS - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:27 AM

    GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!! Very Frustrating

  115. Gonat - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:27 AM

    Are you kidding me, he just robbed Desmond. That was a jolt. Not many CFs make that catch.

  116. Mick - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:27 AM

    hell, I think the 2007 and 2008 clubs hit better. that is scary because we would be 0-12 if we had the pitching staffs of then with the bunch of stiffs hitting now

  117. baseballswami - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:27 AM

    Paging Lombardozzi, are you there?

  118. Anonymous - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:28 AM

    Bernadina is playing his last game as a National tonight…one can hope!!! Hopefully DeRosa, Tracy and Ankiel will be soon as well. Bring up the young guys. They cannot be any worse. And BTW…why does Lombardozzi go 4-5 and sit the bench the next two games???

  119. Schumatrix - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:29 AM

    Solid contact and we get robbed. Great play by the CF. Can Roger Bernadina be any more worthless as a player? He can never put anything together.

  120. MicheleS - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:29 AM

    NatsJack.. that's cool info! See that is why you are so valuable to have in Viera. You ask about a change up and I think 'Pull my Finger';-)

  121. Exposremains - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:31 AM

    I'm sure they're great guys and hope they find success but I'm ready for Bernadina to become Maxwell.

  122. Grandstander - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:31 AM

    I think we need to cheer up a bit. With that in mind, here's a gif of Hunter Pence jogging in front of Independence Hall with some bread.

  123. Mick - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:34 AM

    bang bang maxwell hammer, lol

  124. Soul Possession, PFB Sofa - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:35 AM

    Good call, Grandstander! How about this one:Hunter Pence tries to hit with a weighted bat

  125. MicheleS - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    FINALLY!

  126. Anonymous - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:39 AM

    Oh RZim………….

  127. MicheleS really ticked off about not hitting - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:40 AM

    WTF!

  128. Mick - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:40 AM

    WTF is all we can say

  129. Gonat - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:40 AM

    Its 20 innings since the last run scored by the Nats for JZim. For the love of God, score some runs for this young man!

  130. Exposremains - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:41 AM

    wow..these astros are having a great time

  131. Soul Possession, PFB Sofa - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:41 AM

    Watch, they'll tie it late and go extras.

  132. jeffwx - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:41 AM

    It's time for Gio to pinch hit.

  133. Candide - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:41 AM

    Gee, where are all the walks the Nats are supposed to be getting in lieu of hitting?

  134. sm13 - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:42 AM

    I'm officially kinda frustrated with the offense

  135. Grandstander - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:42 AM

    I think we need more Pence

  136. MicheleS - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:42 AM

    JZ just did the Phil Michelson Masters Jump

  137. Mick - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:43 AM

    If we lose without scoring a run, it is time for Davey to get up in these guys grill and tell them that if you want to be part of this team, you need to prepare how you approach every pitch and if you are not embarrassed by your performance thus far, get the F out here!!!!!

  138. jeffwx - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:45 AM

    It just takes one pitch, just one swing.

  139. Candide - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:45 AM

    Mick said…If we lose without scoring a run, it is time for Davey to get up in these guys grill…No it isn't. It was time a week ago.

  140. Just sayin' - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:45 AM

    If you watch on MLB.tv and click on the highlights that pop up in the lower lefthand corner, you actually get some hits…

  141. baseballswami - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:46 AM

    Jordan just pitched a brilliant inning. Who does he have to pay?

  142. Anonymous - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:47 AM

    If the manager let SS go over 100, he should let JZ stay in this game.

  143. jeffwx - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:47 AM

    Harrell's velocity is going down.this should be it for him…last inning

  144. Schumatrix - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:47 AM

    Could this be the worst situational hitting team in baseball?

  145. Mick - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:48 AM

    sick of this

  146. TimDz - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:48 AM

    Jordan needs to change his name to William Thomas Franklin …

  147. Candide - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:51 AM

    Are Harrell's pitches coming up in the strike zone?

  148. jeffwx - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:51 AM

    Pinch hit for Bernadina…you crazy old hound dog.Let RZ hit.

  149. MicheleS - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:52 AM

    That was a bad swing by Ramos

  150. Mick - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:52 AM

    are you kidding me

  151. MicheleS - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:53 AM

    Thank god we have a tie game and JZ is at least of the hook for the loss.

  152. jeffwx - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:53 AM

    Oh my…I'll never doubt Davey again.

  153. Mick - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:54 AM

    all right Roger you can stay one more game

  154. Candide - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:54 AM

    Go Lombo!

  155. Gonat - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:54 AM

    Anonymous said… Bernadina is playing his last game as a National tonight…one can hope!!! Hopefully DeRosa, Tracy and Ankiel will be soon as well. Bring up the young guys. They cannot be any worse. And BTW…why does Lombardozzi go 4-5 and sit the bench the next two games??? April 18, 2012 8:28 PM __________________________Bernadina just got an extra day DBag

  156. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:54 AM

    Anonymous 8:28 said… Bernadina is playing his last game as a National tonight.Would you care to amend your statement, sir or madam?

  157. Exposremains - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:55 AM

    forgive me bernadina, please more..

  158. Soul Possession, PFB Sofa - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:55 AM

    The Shark laughs last.

  159. Anonymous - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:55 AM

    18 straight scoreless innings against the ASTROS (minus the b.s. run yesterday on two dropped pop-ups) isn't a good sign for the future success of this team. They couldn't hit last year and cannot hit this year. This season could turn ugly in a hurry. There is a reason that people crash after drinking Kool-aid!!!

  160. Schumatrix - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:56 AM

    Bout time…

  161. NatsNuts - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:57 AM

    Anon(s), the Nats are getting on base, its a matter of driving in the runs.Bernadina w/ a hit with RISP

  162. Gonat - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:59 AM

    JZim's ERA drops to 1.29 ACES!!!!!!!!!!

  163. jeffwx - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:59 AM

    Amazing…looking at the derivative in Harrell's pitching stats actually was useful to indicate probabilities of being hittable.the mlb gameday screen plots velocity and movement per inning for the pitcher. A strong gradient showed up after 5 inn for Harrell

  164. MicheleS - Apr 19, 2012 at 1:00 AM

    Rosenthal reporting on the MASN TV Fees

  165. NatsNuts - Apr 19, 2012 at 1:01 AM

    Professional AB by Lombo but that 2nd strike was center cut.

  166. Sec 3, but google stole my sofa. - Apr 19, 2012 at 1:02 AM

    18 straight scoreless innings against the ASTROS (minus the b.s. run yesterday on two dropped pop-ups) isn't a good sign for the future success of this teamThat's right, because what actually happens doesn't matter if something bad might happen later. G-d forbid anybody should just enjoy anything.

  167. jeffwx - Apr 19, 2012 at 1:02 AM

    Yeah…another no decision for JZim

  168. Mick - Apr 19, 2012 at 1:03 AM

    wimpy AB for a lead off hitter in a tie game with a runner at third.

  169. Anonymous - Apr 19, 2012 at 1:03 AM

    Give me a break…he got 1 hit…let's build a statue. He is a .238 career hitter with little power.

  170. Schumatrix - Apr 19, 2012 at 1:04 AM

    Glad we got one back, but man we foul out a lot…

  171. Anonymous - Apr 19, 2012 at 1:05 AM

    I guess JZ is going to have to settle for a no decision. He has to have the worst record with the lowest era of any starting pitcher right now. Maybe he doesn't want that extension after all.

  172. NatsJack who has nevet had a neganon say hello in person - Apr 19, 2012 at 1:05 AM

    So, who said this was Bernadinas last game as a Nat?

  173. MicheleS - Apr 19, 2012 at 1:07 AM

    Anon 9:03, not trying to be mean or snarky, but asking this as a serious question: Do you even like the Nats?

  174. MicheleS - Apr 19, 2012 at 1:11 AM

    Nice Play RZ!!!!

  175. MicheleS - Apr 19, 2012 at 1:13 AM

    And RZ again.. Ladies and Gentlemen.. Your 2012 Gold Glove winner!

  176. jeffwx - Apr 19, 2012 at 1:13 AM

    Altuve can hitZimmerman can field….Better than Greg Nettles

  177. sm13 - Apr 19, 2012 at 1:14 AM

    Sec 3 [insert name here] sofa- good luck getting those ad revenues

  178. MicheleS - Apr 19, 2012 at 1:15 AM

    well that stunk

  179. Graig Nettles - Apr 19, 2012 at 1:15 AM

    There's no I in TEAM. But there is one in my name.

  180. Mick - Apr 19, 2012 at 1:16 AM

    way to go Mattheus, you can always tell if a guy has it, the way he was hit it was only a matter of time

  181. Exposremains - Apr 19, 2012 at 1:17 AM

    Mattheus really hasn't been the same pitcher since before his injry

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

    Luck can only last but so long…even against the AAAA Astros.

  183. Rent This Space, My Sofa - Apr 19, 2012 at 1:17 AM

    Yeah, I'm going to need a new account. Fat chance I'm falling for the "send us your phone number" trick.

  184. Mick - Apr 19, 2012 at 1:17 AM

    if this was the Phils, Giants, Cards, you know good teams, I could deal with this better.

  185. jeffwx - Apr 19, 2012 at 1:18 AM

    I grew up idolizing Greg Nettles.Amazing the Rangers already have 21 homers

  186. rogieshan - Apr 19, 2012 at 1:20 AM

    No reason to be in these low-scoring, one-run games. We could be running away with this if we just had another impact bat. Why wait another month for Morse to return? Pull the trigger now!

  187. jeffwx - Apr 19, 2012 at 1:20 AM

    Actually…thinking the Disastros hitting may end up being fairly midling this year. They should corner the market on vertical challenged good hitters.

  188. Wally - Apr 19, 2012 at 1:26 AM

    They flashed a stat that JZ has the lowest run support in baseball since the beginning of last year. Remarkable, really, although I didn't think it was his best effort tonight.Let's go Nats. Need a couple of runs here.

  189. sm (ShakeShack) 13 - Apr 19, 2012 at 1:30 AM

    I don't need ad revenue, just Shackburgers

  190. jeffwx - Apr 19, 2012 at 1:31 AM

    Yeah….now the Nats most productive offensive weapon to come into play…the wild pitch

  191. Wally - Apr 19, 2012 at 1:31 AM

    Quality AB right there by ALR.C'mon JayW!!!!

  192. Candide - Apr 19, 2012 at 1:31 AM

    Bases loaded, no out. There's a small chance the Nats might actually score a run here.

  193. MicheleS - Apr 19, 2012 at 1:32 AM

    That was a really good at bat by LaRoche. Like that he battled back… Let's chew up the Stros bullpen!!!GYFNG!!!!!

  194. NatsJack in section 235 - Apr 19, 2012 at 1:33 AM

    All I want to know is this Bernadinas last game as a Nat as stated earlier by a poser or not?

  195. Candide - Apr 19, 2012 at 1:34 AM

    What are the odds of a triple play here…?

  196. jeffwx - Apr 19, 2012 at 1:36 AM

    or the bases loaded walk

  197. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Apr 19, 2012 at 1:36 AM

    Or second-best offensive weapon: the bases-loaded walk!Now comes the wild pitch…

  198. Wally - Apr 19, 2012 at 1:36 AM

    Wow. Glad for the BB there, actually. Seemed like JayW was looking for the curve that never came.

  199. sm13 - Apr 19, 2012 at 1:37 AM

    We got a call on ball four to Jayson

  200. Wally - Apr 19, 2012 at 1:38 AM

    MOOSE!!!!!!!

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 55 44 --
ATLANTA 55 47 1.5
MIAMI 48 52 8.0
NEW YORK 48 54 8.5
PHILADELPHIA 44 58 12.5
Through Thursday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
FRI: Nats at Reds, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Reds, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Reds, 1:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
THU: Phillies 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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