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A rare chance to breathe easy

Apr 26, 2012, 10:00 AM EDT

Associated Press photo
Adam LaRoche went 3-for-4 in last night's 7-2 victory in San Diego.

You'll have to forgive just about everyone who was inside the Nationals dugout late during last night's game showing off their pearly whites. They certainly haven't had many opportunities this season to smile wide while games were still underway.

Of their 13 previous victories, six had come by just one run, two had come by two runs, three had come by three runs and two had come by four runs.

Thus, a 7-2 dismantling of the Padres was welcome relief for a Nationals club that to date had experienced nothing but tense baseball through the season's first three weeks.

They needed this one, they really did. That may sound strange when you consider this is a 14-4 ballclub we're talking about, owners of theRead more ยป

224 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. NatsLady - Apr 26, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    I have not gotten my card, but take your opening day ticket. They can use that to the bar code and you will get your discount. Takes a bit longer but they will do it for you. Same for tickets at the box office.

  2. Section 222 - Apr 26, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    Natslady — We did discuss it last year and I think you suggested that Rizzo was a genius in cancelling that Dodgers game because it allowwed Znn to qualify. But the rule is clear — 162 innings is the minimum becuase that's how many games are scheduled at the beginning of the year.

  3. MicheleS - Apr 26, 2012 at 9:24 PM

    Thanks NatsLady! I will do that when I go to the games next week. Hopefully the big store will be open.

  4. Section 222 - Apr 26, 2012 at 9:24 PM

    MichelleS — I called my STH rep about the RCR Card and a few days later I got an email saying I could pick my card at ticket services. Have you asked your rep about it?

  5. Gonat - Apr 26, 2012 at 9:26 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… Peric and I agree on alot of stuff. I'm a sycophant snd he's a self proclaimed genius. April 26, 2012 4:59 PM ____________________________NatsJack, if you were a true sycophant, shouldn't you have kissed up to me in Spring Training? ;-) Seriously though, I would expect you and Peric to be on the same page occassionaly. Until this week, I didn't even know who Peric was on here. I think I have agreed with him once so far.

  6. MicheleS - Apr 26, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    222.. Thanks, I called and got the "It will be going out soon" answer. Hmm.. will try again and see what they say.

  7. NatsLady - Apr 26, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Section 222 - Apr 26, 2012 at 9:33 PM

    Incidentally, I thought they should have let Znn pitch an inning in relief in September in order to qualify for the leaderboards. Would that have ruined his career? But I guess they are really serious about shutting those recovering TJ guys down.

  9. NatsLady - Apr 26, 2012 at 9:34 PM

    Well, I don't recall saying Rizzo was a genius for cancelling and NOT RESCHEDULING the game. The weather and the travel did that.There were, in the end, only 161 scheduled games. However, it was felt that if JZ were close to winning an award and the Nats had played all their originally scheduled games that JZ would pitch an inning out of the bullpen. That was not my suggestion, my idea was to shoot that down by saying it was unnecessary because of the above. I still think the rule is somewhat ambiguous, but also that if Stras is anywhere close to 160 innings, they will make sure he pitches 162.It was observed at the time that fangraphs considered him "qualified" and Baseball Reference didn't (or vice-versa), further adding to the "confusion."I doubt it matters unless it is an issue for arbitraion. I'm done now on this subject.

  10. Gonat - Apr 26, 2012 at 9:37 PM

    Bryce Harper back up to .250 and his 3rd RBI of the season which came w/ a single with RISP. Tyler Moore played LF in the 2nd game of the doubleheader.

  11. natscan reduxit - Apr 26, 2012 at 9:40 PM

    "Yes, we're entering uncharted waters here, folks. "… for fans, these uncharted waters are a toss-up between a daily dream come true, and a blood pressure raising adventure into God knows what…. but for the ink-stained wretches presented with an opportunity of a lifetime, that of recording for posterity something which has never gone before, these times must be the most exciting and terrorizing of whole careers. I'm just glad we have Mark Z allowing us to tag along.Go Mark! Go Nats!!

  12. FS=Faraz Shaikh - Apr 26, 2012 at 9:43 PM

    Roger Clemens example? wasn't the guy a user?anyways, read the NewYorker article and comments section. Apparently the guy got lot of stuff wrong.read SI article too.

  13. Fear and Ignorance - Apr 26, 2012 at 9:48 PM

    DC Wonk-Who said 25 extra innings increases his chance for injury??? I have not heard that from anybody in the medical profession. If that can be proved, then fine, shut him down. Simply having a gut feeling he will get injured if he goes beyond some innings limit is beyond subjective and not a good enough reason to jeopardize a chance for a championship, if indeed that is looking possible come September. I would hardly call that immaturity. Saying I want to run him out there for 230 IP would be immaturity, not 185!!!

  14. ExposedinDC - Apr 26, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    Any Ryan Z updates ? Sorry if it has been discussed , to lazy to scroll thru the comments

  15. UnkyD - Apr 26, 2012 at 9:53 PM

    F&I: put me down for 165…. All I wasn't out of it is:"Gee, I guess I sounded like quite an idiot, back on April 26th…hyuh hyuh…)

  16. 417b620e-8e2f-11e1-b06f-000bcdca4d7a - Apr 26, 2012 at 9:54 PM

    "This is totally a side point, probably not worth mentioning. But if all Detwiler's runs were earned, his ERA would be 2.81 — not 5.XX, and certainly not "toast." Worse than it is now, yes, but still darn good."My bad. I read Detwiler's stat line on baseball-reference.com wrong. Pulled a 5 out of the Runs column and thought it was the Earned Runs column. I think my method on the calculation was right, though, which in my 8th grade Algebra I class would have qualified me for partial credit.

  17. MicheleS - Apr 26, 2012 at 9:55 PM

    ExposedinDC.. no updates yet, I think those will come out closer to game time when Ryan has to take some BP to see if he can hit.

  18. JD - Apr 26, 2012 at 10:01 PM

    Fear, You are right that the number is arbitrary but there is a mountain of evidence that suggests that overusing a young pitcher increases the likelihood of a short career. Since there is no hard evidence of what the real number is (its different for different pitchers) it's prudent to establish an arbitrary number (20% over the previous high and 160 sounds pretty good to me) and stick with it.

  19. ExposedinDC - Apr 26, 2012 at 10:04 PM

    MicheleS…Thanks. Keeping my fingers crossed that the face of our franchise is back in the lineup soon.

  20. Sunderland - Apr 26, 2012 at 10:11 PM

    Prior to his surgery, the most Jordan Zimmermann had ever pitched was 134 innings. Post surgery, they let him go about 161+. This was a 20% increase.The most Strasburg has ever thrown prior to surgery was 123 innings. You figure it out.

  21. sm13 - Apr 26, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    Just saw the Marlins-Mets highights. The Marlins are playing sloppy, lazy-looking baseball. I'm not sure that the whole Ozzie thing is working.

  22. NatsLady - Apr 26, 2012 at 10:31 PM

    Saw a funny line on Twitter re: the original topic of this post."Glad Nats had blowout tonight and left me enough fingernails for Caps overtime."

  23. Section 222 - Apr 26, 2012 at 10:35 PM

    Since there are several hours to kill before the game, I'm reposting this, on the assumption that comment 198 out of the first 200 comments will never be read. Time to play GM with our over abundance of great starters:The question remains, what do you do with Detwiler when Wang returns, assuming all the other starters stay healthy, and who do you send down to make room for Wang on the 25 man? Rizzo hasn't said anything about it and I'm interested in what some of the folks here think the answer should be, especially those who are so quick to answer questions by simply quoting what Rizzo or Davey have said or suggested. Here's my suggestion, which is not a prediction since I have no idea what they will do, and besides, an injury might upend everything — (1) Send Mattheus down. Stammen has really shown outstanding stuff and has versatility to pitch more than one inning, which is a good thing to have. (2) Put Detwiler in the pen, but try to keep him stretched out, fresh, and motivated by finding a spot start for him every 10 days or so — maybe in place of someone who's showing signs of wear or has a nagging injury that doesn't require a DL stint, or give everyone an extra day's rest during a long stretch of consecutive games. I guess you could call that a 5.5 man rotation but the point is to give Detwiler some regular starting work as well as LOOGY and one inning work when needed.

  24. Section 222 - Apr 26, 2012 at 10:45 PM

    lesatcsc said… [In 2011] No team in MLB had 5 SPs with 30 or more starts. (Tex came closest with 4 at 30 + and 1 at 29)2 Teams had 4 SPs with 30 + (Det was the other, their 5th starter had 19)8 teams had 3 SPs with 30 + starts. The rest had 2 or 1 (Nats for eg)So, in no case did a team start 5 guys 30 times each , and only 1/3 of teams managed to get 30 + starts out of as many as 3 SPs…. Take what you will from this. While I think you're right, having 5 guys that can all start 30+ games is ideal, in practice not one of the thirty teams managed it. When I looked at most teams there was a significant drop off in starts between the 3rd SP and the 4th SP and a huge drop between 3rd and 5th. December 21, 2011 6:56 pmSomething to keep in mind when thinking about trading away a starting pitcher…

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 58 47 --
ATLANTA 58 50 1.5
MIAMI 53 54 6.0
NEW YORK 52 56 7.5
PHILADELPHIA 47 61 12.5
Through Wednesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Orioles at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets 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.

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