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Can’t survive the high-wire every night

Apr 27, 2012, 10:00 AM EDT

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Danny Espinosa went 0-for-4 last night and is now hitting .209 for the season.

They've been walking a tightrope for three weeks now, occasionally teetering from side-to-side for a moment or two but always finding their center of gravity just in the nick of time.

Even the best acrobats, though, lose their balance every once in a while. So we shouldn't have been too surprised last night to see the Nationals slip and take a tumble, blowing a late lead to the Padres en route to a 2-1 loss.

Try as they might to defy the odds, you just can't win every single one-run ballgame, especially when you seem to find yourself in those nailbiters five or six times a week.

Thus, the Nationals wasted another superb outing by a member of baseball's best rotation. Edwin Jackson tossed 6 2/3 innings of scoreless ball, refusing to be the weak link of the bunch, and in the processRead more »

174 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. FS=Faraz Shaikh - Apr 27, 2012 at 10:10 AM

    dire need of hitting. what can we possibly do? gamble of promoting youngsters? I just don't see Moore or Harper bringing any immediate help. I think we just gotta get through these tough times (hitting-wise) and once Morse and Zimm are back 100%, they improve our offense.btw which DC teams had 14-4 starts in the past seasons?

  2. Section 215 Row A - Apr 27, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    The goal is to win this next series. But to be honest escaping with a .500 road trip ain't a bad thing.

  3. ehay2k - Apr 27, 2012 at 10:34 AM

    Must I restart my FTHC rant against Eckstein? I hope Davey sees the correlation and acts on it. Werth is the only guy hiring well, and if memory serves, he is not an Eckstein pupil.

  4. ehay2k - Apr 27, 2012 at 10:35 AM

    …hitting well…

  5. MicheleS - Apr 27, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    Ehay2k..ALR is hitting well, but your right, it's not nearly enough. (And thanks for your one comment last night, stopped some of the nonsense that had been going on) This is a question for our scouts out there: I am not sure what is going on with Espi. Is it time to stop hitting Lefty? Maybe go to the right side to get your average up and be productive? I don't think the loop in his left handed swing is fixed.BEAT THE DODGERS! GYFNG!!! (losing stinks)

  6. rmoore446 - Apr 27, 2012 at 10:51 AM

    The hitting has hit the plumb pitiful point. I have no confidence that another shot in that shoulder will get Zimmerman well in time to face Arizona early next week. Might be time to put him on the 15-day DL and backdate to last Saturday and call up Moore or someone who's hitting somewhere.

  7. ehay2k - Apr 27, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    Eckstein told Espi to "keep the loop. It reminds me of Jim Furyk, and he's pretty successful.“Sigh.

  8. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 27, 2012 at 11:02 AM

    In general the relievers have putched pretty well, though nothing compared to the starters. The releivers have wakled way too many, and the walks in later innings are killers. I haven't gone through the numbers, but my guess is that the relievers have walked more than the starters, and pithced many fewer innings. That being saidm the hitting needs to improve especially in LF.

  9. Positively Half St. - Apr 27, 2012 at 11:04 AM

    Seriously, would anybody claim Xavier Nady off waivers right now? I would truly love to see Moore in left field, knowing full well that he is still learning the position. Anyway, if Zimmerman goes on the DL, we wouldn't need to lose Nady. The other choice would be to bring in another of the scrap-heap bench guys that didn't make the team out of Spring training.Jarrett Hoffpauir, anyone?+1/2St.

  10. Joe Seamhead - Apr 27, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    Honestly, in addition to our pitching being other-worldly, our defense has been pretty spectacular. They have gone hand in hand. I don't want to sacrifice the defence by putting an inexperienced guy in the outfield, bring up Corey Brown. The problem there is he has to stay up because I believe he's out of options. He's a very good OF'er, can hit, and is a good baserunner.

  11. Joe Seamhead - Apr 27, 2012 at 11:33 AM

    I may be wrong on the Brown/option thing. Can anyone verify?

  12. sjb - Apr 27, 2012 at 11:43 AM

    What about trading with the Angels for Vernon Wells or Bobby Abreu? The Nats could probably get either at not that much cost (Lannan and a couple of prospects?), though there's also the little matter, especially with Wells, of who pays him. The other question of course, is whether the hit on outfield defense would be worth the offensive boost (as well as how much either of these gentlemen would relish joining the Goon Squad once Morse comes back or Harper comes up). But you're much more likely to get an immediate offensive upgrade than you are with Jarrett Hoffpauir or Tyler Moore.

  13. NatsLady - Apr 27, 2012 at 11:52 AM

    Walks given up by relievers not looking like the best stat. Thirty altogether, 4.6/9. That is almost one walk every other inning. Not wanting to dump on my man Clip, but he got away with the walk in the 7th, he didn't get away with the walk in the 8th. Relievers cannot be walking people. (Except Henry, of course.)On the good side, BP strikeouts are high, and only one homerun.Over the first month, the bullpen is above average, but it's not great. Here are the bullpen stats from Fangraphs.Fangraphs pitching statshttp://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=rel&lg=nl&qual=0&type=8&season=2012&month=0&season1=2012&ind=0&team=0,ts&rost=0&age=0&players=0

  14. Section 215 Row A - Apr 27, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    sjb!Vernon Wells?? In addition to his ridiculous salary have you looked at his numbers? Last year: .215/248/.432. So far this year: .239/.250/.478. Available? Definitely! Desirable? I wouldn't trade John Lannan's batting gloves for him.

  15. Steady Eddie - Apr 27, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    Actually I suspect a few other teams would pick up Nady, but only as a bench bat. He's exposed right now as a semi-regular. But didn't we sign him to a minor league contract anyway? Does anyone know whether that got converted to a different status when we put him on the 25?

  16. D'Gourds - Apr 27, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    Uh, the Nats may not be hitting that well, but you have to give Volquez credit. He was masterful last night. Nady is slumping, but he won me over with his 8th inning pinch hit homer that beat the Reds. I agree that we do have to try bringing up a youngin (Harper?) to give our pitchers some support.

  17. natsfan1a - Apr 27, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    Bummer, no happy game results email this a.m. OTOH, I was making the same point as sec 215 to my husband this a.m. Not that a winning road trip is off the table, but before this one started there was a fair amount of doom and gloom about previous oh-fer West Coast road trips. The Nats took and first series and are on to the second. While I was at it, I made another point about those who say that the wins have been against "bad" teams. Well, (a) just because a team was bad last year doesn't mean it will be "bad" this year, and (b) six of those wins have been on the road, where the Nats are 6-3. Bad teams or not, the opponents were playing on their home turf and had the last at-bat. (Yeah, I was on a roll. Lucky hubby to hear all that over his bowl of cereal, eh? ;-))Haven't watched the replay but thanks to DC Wonk for the late PBP in the game thread. After reading a number of comments about the umps, I decided to change my avatar. (Plus, it's a whole new series. What? Yeah, I know. Enrico usually does the AL games, but work with me, here. :-))

  18. natscan reduxit - Apr 27, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    " … the Nationals' simply don't have adequate replacements for Zimmerman (or Morse)."… now I'll be the first to admit I know nothing of the business side of the game, the contracts hoops and machinations between league, team admins, agents and players. When the topic of conversation turns to dollar figures stacked up against VORPs (whatever they are), my eyes glaze over like an artificial surface in a sleet storm.… so when I make player acquisition suggestions, they come out of the blue because that's where they're born – in the blue regions of my narrow mind.… to cut to the chase then, could or would it be useful or even possible for the Nats to pick up a guy like Brandon Inge to serve as a third base replacement, a guy with proven defensive ability and game experience, a guy who could be called upon to step up and step into a hot position without a lot of preparation, and a guy whose BA, at .234, isn't any worse that the guys doing the job now?… just wondering. Until next time, I'm open to rejections.Go Nats!!

  19. Gonat - Apr 27, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    Mark wrote…Can't survive the high-wire every night_______________________Yep, but also doing unconventional moves that have worked like lefty on lefty pinch hitters and putting relievers in roles they shouldn't be in will catch up with you eventually but its that lack of offense by the Nats that was the real story last night.Also disappointed in the 9th inning effort by the #2 hitter swinging at the 1st pitch he saw.Oh well. You're not going to win everyone.

  20. 417b620e-8e2f-11e1-b06f-000bcdca4d7a - Apr 27, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    "This is a question for our scouts out there: I am not sure what is going on with Espi. Is it time to stop hitting Lefty? Maybe go to the right side to get your average up and be productive? I don't think the loop in his left handed swing is fixed."Easier said than done. If he starts hitting right handed against RHP they'll just start killing him with curve balls that will be breaking the opposite way from what he's used to. He might eventually start picking them up from the right side, but the transition could be ugly. Not something you'd want to attempt midseason.

  21. natsfan1a - Apr 27, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    Oh, yeah. On topic, agree re. lack of offense being an issue (whether getting them on to begin with or moving them over and in once they are on base).

  22. 417b620e-8e2f-11e1-b06f-000bcdca4d7a - Apr 27, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    "But didn't we sign him to a minor league contract anyway? Does anyone know whether that got converted to a different status when we put him on the 25?"Nady signed a minor league deal because he wasn't going on the 40-man roster at the time. But when they put him on the active roster at the start of the season, he is now under a major league contract. You can't play games in the show on a minor league deal.

  23. NatsLady - Apr 27, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  24. NatsLady - Apr 27, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    Problem is, it's a sellers' market for offense. Lots of teams are not getting the offensive production they anticipated– the Tigers are not getting production, they just released Inge so they could bring up a minor-leaguer, the Angels are celebrating a Pujols hit, and they still lost. So, unless we are prepared to give up on Morse returning and spend big in prospects and $$, we might just have to wait out this dry spell. LaRoche is carrying this team. Yes, I'l like more production out of LF, but Espy needs to step up, and Desi needs to make sure he doesn't step down.

  25. nats guy - Apr 27, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    Nobody wants Lannan!!!!!

  26. jeeves - Apr 27, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    Not that I'm suggesting that Harper be brought up, but the odds are he couldn't help but do better than most of the outfielders. Ditto Moore and Brown. And Inge would be an improvement. He can catch as well.

  27. sjm308 - Apr 27, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    lots of numbers & letters beat me to it on the Nady questionSeamhead – we had a huge discussion on Brown and it was never settled, at least I didn't think it was but I think you and I agree that he has NO options and once brought up would have to stay or go through waivers again if sent downOn the hitting coach (or lack of) I am not sure now would be the time to make that move – we obviously are not hitting but that would be a sign of panic. This is the type of move the Red Sox might make since they got off to such a poor start but we are in first place. I realize our hitting did not get us there but we are in first place!!Same thing with a trade. I think we just wait for the cavalry (Morse, Zimm, even Harper). If we do make a move, make it from within. We have options both young and old. I do think Bernadina has been given a bunch of chances and we are not going to get production from him. He might get plucked on waivers but he really has not done much in his years here and it might be time to see what C. Brown can do. He is every bit as good defensively and I would hope he could hit better than .175.The red hat has now been placed at the bottom or the pile and the Blue with 5 red stripes from the red button on top with a blue curly W is now the hat to take us on to LA. Hope I can wear it at least 2 days! (I have cards with Ed Brinkman, Don Ziimmer and some guy named Frank Howard wearing this hat)Go Nats

  28. sm13 - Apr 27, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    Let's not forget that Ryan's bat was heating up just before he he had to sit down with the shoulder. When he returns, the lineup will get a boost. I'm hopping on the Tyler Moore bandwagon now, as I think giving him a shot in left is a better option than losing a prospect in a trade for a veteran on the decline.

  29. sjm308 - Apr 27, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    No Trade – No Trade – No Trade. I was just listening to my Woodstock album (yes, the 3 lps) and they had that same chant. Oh wait, that was about rain, my ears are going.

  30. sjm308 - Apr 27, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    By the way, MichelleS – I do think you nailed it with ehay2k and maybe he will join us at Justin's next home game. I promised him a beer for his comments.

  31. bowdenball - Apr 27, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    Natscan-.234 is Inge's career batting average. In an half-season's worth of plate appearances in 2011, big enough to be a useful sample size, he hit .197 with a .265 on base percentage and a .283 slugging percentage. That is unspeakably awful for a corner infielder. He barely outpaced Jordan Zimmermann. He's not the answer.A better addition is a guy already on the roster- Steve Lombardozzi. Where has he been this week? Is he in Davey's doghouse?Also, let's not forget that there are two teams on the field every night. The Nats' lack of offense last night wasn't all on them- Volquez pitched an outstanding game. He's always been a pitcher with great stuff who's one weakness is control. Last night he had no issues with control. When a guy is pitching like that in a park like Petco, it would be really hard for an all-star team to score runs, let alone an average NL offense missing its 3 and 4 hitters.

  32. Steady Eddie - Apr 27, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    Numbers & letters guy — thanks, I figured that you probably couldn't create an option with a vet just because he starts off with a MiLB contract in ST, but appreciate the explanation.sjm308 — got any Don Lock cards from that era? Loved the pop in that OF with Hondo and Jim King tho defense was iffy (Lock was OK in CF, tho — I'd take him there today until BHarp shows up ;-)). I just picked up that hat, with fond memories, too!

  33. carolync - Apr 27, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    The table setters were the biggest offenders in last nights pitiful hitting effort. Our first three hitters were 0 for 12. ALR and Werth did their part but got hits with no one on base. So bringing boppers up from Syracuse doesn't make sense to me. Asking Moore to learn LF and lead-off hitting on the fly is a bit much. I would like to see Lombardozzi playing 2B to see if he can sustain his hitting success. I have faith that Detweiler can hold down the Dodgers but I imagine Kershaw is licking his chops over this line-up. Perhaps it's not too much to ask for the guys to rise to the occasion.

  34. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    The only way Cory Brown can come up is if somebody gets DFA'd or goes on the 60 day DL.Bernadina is the most likely candidate for DFA unless the Nats want to carry 2 left hand hitting outfielders which is a possibility.

  35. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    I like the Don Lock call but how about Hawk Harrelson?

  36. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    carolync, you are exactly right. The top of the lineup didn't find a way to get on base last night and in the 9th inning when you put the pressure on the closer, Espi swings at the 1st pitch.Difference is, in the first 18 games there were other games like this and the Nats won.Do we know why Burnett didn't come in to face the lefty Kotsay?

  37. natsfan1a - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    You want a Harrelson call? Here you go. Wait, what? :-)

  38. Gonat - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:15 PM

    Joe Seamhead said… I may be wrong on the Brown/option thing. Can anyone verify? April 27, 2012 7:33 AM ______________________________This was answered earlier this week. He has options and there are 39 on the 40 man roster.

  39. sjm308 - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    NatsJack, that is basically what I was refering to. You would have to send Bernadina on his way to get Brown up. Did Harrelson play for Washington? If so, I had totally forgotten.Steady Ed – no, just went through them and no Don Lock although I certainly remember him. Loved going back though, I just spent time with my 1953 Connie Marrero card – the card has him born on May 1, 1915 but I believe that could be wrong as I remember someone saying he was now 100.Ghost – one of the great things about this game is the second guessing you can do. Not the ranting about fire @@@ or dfa @@@, but actual strategy discussion. I realize in the old days a pitcher could handle several innings but today it just seems like coming out for that 2nd inning does lots of people in (also a reason Gorzo is so valuable). Riggs definitely abused this with Clip and I also wondered why Burnett or Stammen or Mattheus was not there in the 8th.

  40. Gonat - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    If you all are complaining about the offense now, don't look, the Cy Young is pitching tonight for the Dodgers.

  41. SFNats - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    A couple thoughts, and I haven't read through all the comments, so apologies if this has already been brought up. But does anyone think that Clip pitches the 8th last night if Davey didn't know that they already had this series won and he's trying to make sure that the 'pen is rested for LA? As for the bats, I know Davey doesn't want to shake up the lineup too much with Zim out, so he's slotting Tracy in the three hole playing third, but he's not getting it done. Lombo may not be the prototypical 3-hole hitter, but he can play 3rd and he's hitting a lot better than Tracy. Time to play him more.And put me in the "bring Moore up" camp. He's got nothing left to prove in the minors, and even if he may be a little shaky in left, that's what Bernie is there for — a late-inning defensive replacement. Plus, Moore would be a more threatening bench bat than we have right now.All that said, it's hard to argue with success, and the Nats have had plenty of that so far this season, but especially if Zim has to spend even a little time on the DL, they need to do something to put a jolt in the lineup.

  42. sjm308 - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    Gonat – are you positive he has options? I certainly hope so but I am thinking he does not after that long discussion. I am old so you are probably right but I am just not sure.

  43. NatsLady - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    Kilgore (via McCatty) is saying what I said last night–they are figuring out Clippard. Clip himself blamed poor pitch selection (going with the heat instead of the change against Kotsay) and poor execution. Clip is not one to blame umps. He said he "felt great."So they are fouling off the change and not biting on the high heat. That makes it tough when those are your two out-pitches. I heard Clip's been working on cutter–hopefully that will work soon and we'll have Mariano Rivera.

  44. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    So they have won every series, but not swept any of them. I can live with that.

  45. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    If you all are complaining about the offense now, don't look, the Cy Young is pitching tonight for the Dodgers.Awww, Cy Young don't scare us. This lineup makes every starter look like Cy Young. We see Cy Young every night, and the Nats are in first place. Bring it on! GYFNG.

  46. NatsLady - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    SFNats, I agree on your point about the series and needing the BP for LA. Let's say Clip only gives up the bunt (that was a REAL good bunt!) and the double, and the game is tied. Now, because you are the visiting team, and you are in for a long night… We as fans are not happy about the result, but, OTOH, relievers pitched except Clip and Burnett for an easy out. Only Gorzy pitched on Wednesday night. The bullpen should be ready for three nights of action.It's not the worst time or the worst way to have a loss.

  47. Andrew L. - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    sjm308 said… Gonat – are you positive he has options? I certainly hope so but I am thinking he does not after that long discussion. I am old so you are probably right but I am just not sure. April 27, 2012 9:18 AM sjm308, I called Corey's agent to get the answer as this came up earlier in the week. Yes, he has options left.Hope that helps.

  48. NatsLady - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    SFNats, on your other point: I suggested Lombo at third yesterday, but NatsJack, a close observer, said Lombo is "scared to death" playing there and was rescued by ALR. I'm not sure you want a kid out there playing scared at this point. Davey's using him to spell Desi and Espi (fine, he's a middle-infielder) and brought him in the late innings of a lopsided game (also fine, though still scary to him).So Davey's doing what he needs to do to bring Lombo along in that utility role–at least for now.

  49. Tcostant - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    Random thoughts:Maybe Clipper needs the heavy work load to be most effective. While these extra off days for him might get him an extra year at the back end of his playing day; it might just give us a worse RP right now, who pitches less offen too.I'm now on board with bring Moore up, sticking him in LF and see what happens.Lombardozzi should play 3B every day until Zimm returns.Where we all asleep when Byrd when from th Cubs to Boston for a song. We should have sung that song.I still love watching these guys, can't get enough.

  50. Gonat - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    sjm308 said… Gonat – are you positive he has options? I certainly hope so but I am thinking he does not after that long discussion. I am old so you are probably right but I am just not sure. April 27, 2012 9:18 AM Andrew L. said…sjm308, I called Corey's agent to get the answer as this came up earlier in the week. Yes, he has options left.Hope that helps. April 27, 2012 9:27 AM _______________________________I tried to search for your other post about Corey Brown and couldn't find it.Also, on the current roster with position players/catchers, it looks like Lombardozzi, Ramos and Espinosa are the only 2 that could be optioned. Not saying they would do that, but in order to bring up a player it would probably have to be to option Lombo, DFA someone like Bernadina or Nady or place Zim on the 15 day DL.

  51. SFNats - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    NatsLady, that makes sense about Lombo. I had missed that point, but I understand it completely. I was thinking about getting a better bat in the lineup, but if Lombo isn't comfortable at third, then that's a non-starter.

  52. sjm308 - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    Thanks Andrew – can't be too many blogs that can get that kind of information -

  53. Theophilus T. S. - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    Agree the top three in the order need to get on base. My impression is that they have been hitting a lot of ropes that turn into at 'em balls. Maybe there is something to this BABIP stuff. Tracy really got a hold of one that just couldn't get out of that canyon of a ball park. Petco Field messes with a lot of hitters, which why the Padres are often more successful than the talent on the field suggests. So it's not a good place for a bunch of all-or-nothing swingers. I question starting Tracy over Lombardozzi; should've saved him for the event when they were desperate for a HR.All reliever's careers have ebbs and flows; I think Clippard is in a (hopefully temporary) down cycle. Probably, Davy needs to change the way he uses him. One full, start-with-the-bases-empty inning only. Also, Clippard's success is tied to his change-up. Without it, his 92-93 mph FB won't get the job done. That was true last year and the year before. How many times does he start a hitter with the change-up and set up the FB for strike three? Not throwing the change to Kotsay last night — big mistake. I am beginning to succumb to the Moore, even Harper drumbeat. Nady/DeRosa — history suggests that one of them has gotta come around. (Bernadina, not so much.) But not by alternating them, looking for the hot hand. And the team just can't go through the season with a .100 LF.

  54. natsfan1a - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    That was me. It was 101 per the< piece. Loved going back though, I just spent time with my 1953 Connie Marrero card – the card has him born on May 1, 1915 but I believe that could be wrong as I remember someone saying he was now 100.

  55. natsfan1a - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    Oops. I was quoting sjm on his cards, but at least the link worked. :-)

  56. baseballswami - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    I say put lombo at third and let him shine. He actually has a future in baseball and lots of nifty skills. By the way, I am out of town and saw riggleman manage last night.

  57. Diz - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    I watched the game last night and on Tuesday and Clip both games looks like he's lost command. It may be that they are "figuring him out", but personally I think that it's be cause he can't locate his fastball.He's leaving it up out of the zone, or he's grooving it, like he did against Kotsay. Then they can lay off his change and sit dead red.But, I am getting nervous now when Mattheus, Lidge or Clip come in to games. Gorzy is Gorzy…it seems like it's always a run or two over 3 and I'm still pretty confident that Stammen will be better than his last outing of a BB and a hit. Needless to say, I think our bull pen was much better last year than this year.

  58. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    I'm lost on this one NatsJack. How come Chad Tracy is so locked in as a pinch hitter yet seemingly doesn't have the same approach with his at-bats as a starter?

  59. NatsLady - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    Theo==> Clip said that himself about not throwing the change to Kotsay. Said he was thinking he'd thrown so many the last time that Kotsay might be ready for the change–in other words, he was overthinking instead of going with his strength and what worked before.—————————————————Also, Clippard's success is tied to his change-up. Without it, his 92-93 mph FB won't get the job done. That was true last year and the year before. How many times does he start a hitter with the change-up and set up the FB for strike three? Not throwing the change to Kotsay last night — big mistake.

  60. sjm308 - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    Since I had my cards out, I thought I would look at the nickname from each year – obviously not anything official but a look back at the culture.1949 – 1954 they are the Washington Senators except a 1952 topps card (a sub set with players face in a baseball diamond) calls them the Nationals.In 54 its the Washington NatsIn 55 its the Nationalsthen back to Senators until we leave

  61. sjm308 - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    natsfan1a – so players have been lying about their ages since time began? its not just a Bowden problem. It would be funny though if Connie is actually just 96/97 instead of the 101 from that article. Love the picture of him with his cigar. Thanks!

  62. natsfan1a - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    btw, I enjoyed the passage below from the Marrero piece. As the (Mark Twain, I believe) quote says: Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.Marrero, who lost his wife about 20 years ago, has four children and many more grandchildren and great grandchildren split between Cuba and the United States. He says he's not sure how he lived so long, but he did offer one secret."I never had hatred for anyone," he says. "I treated everyone equally."

  63. natsfan1a - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    Perhaps so, sjm. I enjoyed the pic, too. :-)sjm308 said… natsfan1a – so players have been lying about their ages since time began? its not just a Bowden problem. It would be funny though if Connie is actually just 96/97 instead of the 101 from that article. Love the picture of him with his cigar. Thanks! April 27, 2012 9:51 AM

  64. Andrew L. - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    sjm308 said… Thanks Andrew – can't be too many blogs that can get that kind of information – April 27, 2012 9:36 AM You are welcome. Through our sports marketing company, we are very fortunate to work with most of the top agents. Unfortunately, I can't post much so I sit on the sidelines here. I was actually sitting with Corey's agent at one of the Spring Training games while Mark Z. was walking by and made the introductions. Glad I could help with the options discussion.If I can do a shameless plug, we work with Wilson Ramos and he is doing an autograph signing on Sunday, May 6th at noon at Hall Of Fame cards in Potomac, MD. Hope to see a bunch of Nats Insiders there.

  65. sjm308 - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    OK, imaginary friends, this has been fun. Off to the gym to get ready for Mr. C. Young tonight. If somehow, we can win a 7th series in a row I will be ecstatic.Go Nats!!

  66. sjm308 - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    Andrew – keep the plugs coming! If I didn't have a race downtown that morning I would be there. Let me/us know about other signings and I am sure you will increase your crowds. Hope Mark is ok with that as well.

  67. Gonat - Apr 27, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    Andrew L. said… If I can do a shameless plug, we work with Wilson Ramos and he is doing an autograph signing on Sunday, May 6th at noon at Hall Of Fame cards in Potomac, MD. Hope to see a bunch of Nats Insiders there. April 27, 2012 9:52 AM _____________________________I just Google'd it and got this weblink. I plan on being there. That is the same day the Nats have the 8PM game against the Phillies.http://www.hofcards.com/servlet/the-template/autographsigninginfo/Page

  68. djinFl. - Apr 27, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    I must say I like the way the Nats are getting the series won in the initial games. I was certainly watching last night and hoping for a sweep. Since we can not win them all, I like them coming off a loss, going into a new series with a renewed focus. All but the Mets series went this way, and a season of such would be just lovely.

  69. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 27, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    Is anyone going to the Frank Robinson 5pm statue unveiling at Camden Yards tomorrow?

  70. DCJohn - Apr 27, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    We're twenty days into the season. One game that didn't go our way. I just want one win in LA. Two would be great. A sweep incredible. We have three hard throwers going for us. Let's grind on. Stay within ourselves. Stay positive.

  71. 164abb6e-9075-11e1-aba1-000bcdcb471e - Apr 27, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    I simply do not understand the downside of bringing up Tyler Moore after he's had some time to adjust to LF. This team runs the risk of squandering one of the great pitching staffs of recent years if it does not act boldly (but in a way that does not trade away the future) to shore up the offense. "Hope" is not a strategy.

  72. natscan reduxit - Apr 27, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    … bowdenball, I think you're right about Inge's most recent numbers. But to my way of thinking, his experience puts those numbers in perspective. I would never have suggested he hit third, or even above six. And he could have been useful as a defensive replacement. As for Lombo, I agree that his absence is perplexing.… but I also agree with all the other posters who point at today's standings, at the team's 14-5 record, and who urge us all to wait. I know how difficult it is to wait when all our lives have been l-o-n-g periods of WAIT. But this team is still well suited to turn in a tremendously good record at the end of September, and still shows all kinds of promise of playing in October. We need to learn the kind of patience that fans of all the big boys know how to do.Go Nats!! Go Rizzo!

  73. Doc - Apr 27, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    Thanks Natsfan1a for the picture of Connie Marrero and, of course, the Mark Twain quote. May I add, whoever said it first, don't get mad, get even. It doesn't get rid of all the anger, but helps temper it.Watching last night's game, late into the night to the bitter end, I kinda think that Clip's days as 2 inning relief should be put on hold.With a loaded and rested BP, the 8th could have been someone else's, most of whom are doing better than Clip at this stage of the season.

  74. natscan reduxit - Apr 27, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    … swami: you "saw riggleman manage last night". Did he stay through the whole game?Go (away) Riggleman! Go Nats!!

  75. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 27, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    Watching Clippard, the thought did occur while watching last night, as NatsLady and others said it did to them, that the league may just be wising up to him, along with his having control issues with the fastball. In hindsight, definitely should have gone with the changeup on Kotsay, and probably shouldn't have been facing him in the first place, in favor of Burnett. In hindsight. But didn't he strike out three guys in the inning? It's not like they lit him up. He got squeezed (and he wasn't the only one) and walked a guy, and a good hitter who does give him trouble guessed right and beat him. One pitch. It happens.

  76. A DC Wonk - Apr 27, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    Responding to various comments:carolync, you are exactly right. The top of the lineup didn't find a way to get on base last nightExactly, which is why I was musing about moving Werth (leads the league in walks) to the three-hole.The goal is to win this next series. But to be honest escaping with a .500 road trip ain't a bad thing. The thing that's great about our pitching staff is that so many are great — meaning: it's hard to conceive of a losing streak. Take our trip to LA, e.g. Sure, we have our #5 Detwiler (who's been pitching lights out) against Mr Cy Young — but then we have Stras and Gio for games 2 & 3.Haven't watched the replay but thanks to DC Wonk for the late PBP in the game thread.Thanks — glad my late-nite scribbling was useful to somebody!If you all are complaining about the offense now, don't look, the Cy Young is pitching tonight for the Dodgers. Time for some reverse lock magic? ;-)Michele S asked about Espi hitting righty. Hexman responded If he starts hitting right handed against RHP they'll just start killing him with curve balls that will be breaking the opposite way from what he's used to. That's exactly right. FP mentioned that last night. His whole career has been against stuff that curves _into_ him — and if he switched, all the stuff would be breaking away from him on the outside corner, and he'd get killed.OTOH, he can bat righty tonight, right?I must say I like the way the Nats are getting the series won in the initial games.Section 3, My PFB Sofa said… So they have won every series, but not swept any of them. Dude! We took 2 of 2 from the Fish!

  77. Steady Eddie - Apr 27, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    Diz — Agree on Clip's lack of location and command. Who's going to chase a first and second pitch that are so far out of the zone that Ramos has to lunge to catch them? But I don't agree on last year's BP being better than this year's. Burnett was terrible until he found his better position on the outside of the rubber in mid-season, and remember Slaten? numbers and letters guy — I'm beginning to come over to your view of bringing up Moore soon. Brown and Harper have both needed time at each new level to adjust their hitting, so promoting either of them is not at all likely to get you an immediate boost of offense. And unless you want to move Brown into CF when Morse comes back — and then where does Harper go? — you take away whatever hitting rhythm he may have found with regular ABs. Based at least on ST and his relatively quick effectiveness at each level, Moore at least could give you some hitting. Question is how much his defense in LF would give back.

  78. Section 222 - Apr 27, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    A few business of baseball questions. First, why would Bernadina have to be DFA'd to bring up Brown? There seems to be one empty spot on the 40 man, and even if there weren't, someone else could be DFA'd to make room for him. Or is your point that the Nats wouldn't bring up another LH outfielder without parting with one that they now have? Second, isn't it true that Nady's minor league contract simply meant that he was not added to the 40 man roster when he signed and could be sent to AAA at the end of spring training if the Nats wanted to do that? Once he made the team, his contract was not "converted" to a major league contract. It did mean, however, that because he's out of options, he'd have to pass through waivers to be sent to the minors. Or are there other provisions of the MLB contract related to salary that he benefits from once he is put on the 40 man roster? Finally, on last night's game, I didn't think it was a terrible idea to send Clipp out for the 8th inning. But once he walked the first guy, Davey should have pulled him. He clearly did not have the command he needed to get through the inning. And no, FP, regardless of how good our bullpen is, a one run lead is not the same as a five run lead. That was one of FP's dumbest comments yet, and he made it twice. Still, you have to feel good about E-Jax's gutsy performance. I was particularly impressed by his refusal to fold when he got into jams and by his athletic play on the other side of the 3-1 putout started by ALR's highlight reel glove toss. Looks like E-Jax has been inspired to up his game by the rest of our fire-throwing rotation and that is a great thing for this team.

  79. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 27, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    2 of 3 from the fish. Game 3 is still TBA.

  80. A DC Wonk - Apr 27, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    Someone was asking about Dodgers park, if it favored hitters or pitchers, and asked about comparisons to Nats Park, and SD:From B-R:(Over 100 favors batters, under 100 favors pitchers.)Nationals Park:multi-year: Batting – 100, Pitching – 100 · one-year: Batting – 98, Pitching – 96 Petco Park: (SD)multi-year: Batting – 92, Pitching – 92 · one-year: Batting – 79, Pitching – 81 Dodgers Stadium:multi-year: Batting – 97, Pitching – 97 · one-year: Batting – 101, Pitching – 100 Bottom line: average, as is Nats Park

  81. A DC Wonk - Apr 27, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    Section 3, My PFB Sofa said… 2 of 3 from the fish. Game 3 is still TBA.Huh. OK. I never thought about it that way. But, OK.

  82. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 27, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    Nady's contract is not the immediate issue, roster is. He's on the ML roster (and was out of options long ago), which means he'd have to clear waivers to get sent down–assuming he would accept the assignment; I believe as a 5-year vet he has the option to decline, please correct me if I'm wrong–and I think the Braves or Phils would pick him up just to mess with Rizzo, if not someone else for their own need for a bench guy (obviously I could be wrong about that). But he would have to clear waivers, and it's not clear he would. Still, if they have a good alternative outfielder who can hit, either in-house or a new free agent, it wouldn't be a catastrophic loss if Nady goes elsewhere, and good luck to him.

  83. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 27, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    SECT 222, for my responses, 1st. Yes, but they are both LH outfielders2nd. No, has to be DFA'd3rd. Agreed

  84. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 27, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    Nady doesn't get DFA'd until either Rizzo feels Moore is MLB ready or Morse is ready to come back in my opinion.

  85. sm13 - Apr 27, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    Andrew keep the plugs coming. My daughter and I will try to be there.Also, saw a mention of Marlon Byrd a few posts back. You may want to watch his fielding lowlights since he's been with Boston, including last night. And, he is batting .133. I don't see him as an upgrade or worth giving anyone up.

  86. JamesFan - Apr 27, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    Boy, do we panic easily. Bringing up Harper who is hitting a weak .250 and thinking that a 19 year old is going to add punch to the lineup is dilusional. Moore has no position to play despite his homer potential. I would rather see him up than Harper. Our problem is not Tyler. We are expecting these arms to be perfect every night. That is not going to happen. Let's play this out and see who of these bench players can step up and dump the ones who can't. Inge just got released by Detroit. That's a possiblity if Lombo can't play third.

  87. DannyEllinosa - Apr 27, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    Did anyone else notice or comment on icy psycho glare from Kotsay aimed at Clip before the game-winning hit? So scary I felt Kotsay was somehow tuned in to the coming pitch.

  88. JD - Apr 27, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    Nats Lady, Last year Clip's BABIP was .197 – that couldn't repeat. This year so far it's .379 – That will regress to a more reasonable .300 which will make him effective again but not nearly as dominant as last year.

  89. peric - Apr 27, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    Hrumph I think we'll se Brown before someone is DFA'ed. But its on condition that he hits. And his bat has cooled some. His ration of walks to strike outs is still good.Moore is still hitting close to .300 and Harper is making some progress.But right now the hot bat in AAA is Mark Teahen's. The left-handed third baseman outfielder has 16 RBI. He's someone who you'd replace Chad Tracy with. Not sure Davey is going to do that. The other interesting bat belongs to former 2nd round pick Jeff Kobernus who leads the EL in stolen bases. His bat is very hot right now and he is the spark plug in the AA Senator's offense. Honestly, his is the only bat I'd think about bringing up … but Rizzo et al are going to want him to continue in AA and then doubtless move to AAA probably this season. In the end many of us warned everyone this team would have a pathetic offense … great pitching and defense but a pathetic offense EVEN WITH Zim and Morse hitting. And even when Willingham and Dunn were still with them the offense was still pathetic. Still close to the bottom 3 rungs. That's not going to change until Desmond learns better plate discipline. Espinosa now is practicing the right plate discipline but we'll have to wait for his bat to come around. Ramos and Flores are two bats that might flourish … and in the minors Harper, Moore, Kobernus, Brown, Skole, Goodwin et al must continue to develop their hitting. Marerro might come back after July.Unfortunately, their best professional hitter in the minors is now recovering from a partially broken ankle and surgery to correct it. He's out for at least a year.Barring making a really stupid trade that would hurt more than help, demolish everything Rizzo has built? You're just going to have to be patient as I have said so very many times. Patience with the Nats player development process.

  90. peric - Apr 27, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    This year so far it's .379 – That will regress to a more reasonable .300 which will make him effective again but not nearly as dominant as last year.Not if he's injured as I suspect. Think Cole Kimball who was hurting starting in spring training last season! But didn't say anything …

  91. JD - Apr 27, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    Some of the players being suggested here to improve the lineup are really quite funny. Marlon Byrd? Vernon Wells? Brandon Inge? These guys are no better than what we have and in Wells case they have toxic contracts to go with the mediocre talent levels. Bryce Harper has 1 home run and 3 RBI's; hardly numbers that scream callup. Moore is a possibility but unfortunately he plays the one position the where the Nats have been productive. I'm not sure I want him to provide a small upgrade at the plate but give that edge away on defense. There is no magic bullit; fortunately the pitching has allowed us to get off to a great start and hopefully we can stay afloat until Zim and Morse return.

  92. JD - Apr 27, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    Peric, .379 BABIP simply implies that he's been very unlucky. He is still striking out 10 men per 9 innings and his velocity is the same as last year. I don't think he's hurt; not as sharp as last year and way less lucky.

  93. Exposremains - Apr 27, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    Nady looks more and more like the guy that was sitting on his couch in mid-march. Tracy is certainly not a more than 1AB a game player. Lombo should play at 3rd until Zim comes back. I like this tweet for Boswell:"Espinosa trying to do far too much. He needs to play (hit) within himself or watch Lombo once or twice a week and get himself under control"

  94. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 27, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    JD, very true on the retreads. Trades will occur at the trade deadline and doubtful Rizzo moves a spare Starter unless Boston or NYY cough up a prospect.

  95. peric - Apr 27, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    .379 BABIP simply implies that he's been very unlucky. He is still striking out 10 men per 9 innings and his velocity is the same as last year. I don't think he's hurt; not as sharp as last year and way less lucky.I'm looking at the walks he gave up. Three including 1 intentional. And his pitching in general. He doesn't seem to have the control he had the past two years. If anything he looks like he is regressing to the Tyler Clippard of 3 years ago. My guess is its an injury waiting to be revealed.

  96. JD - Apr 27, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    Peric, When discussing minor leaguers who can potentially help the big club; anyone below AA shouldn't even be in the conversation. The fact that Skole is dominating in Hagerstown is nice but not all that relevant. Kobernus is having a break out year but I'd wait to see if he continues to hit and stint at AAA against more veteran pitching may be in order. I don't think Marrero adds anything to this team even when healthy; he does nothing especially well. Desmond's OBP is back to career average .306 and he should really be hitting 7th or 8th in a good lineup. I agree that losing Rendon was big but he too plays a position that's covered (forget 2nd base; you don't want players sliding into his ankles regularly). I agree with no panic trades but I am all for trading any reliever for a Denard Span and his .373 OBP.

  97. JD - Apr 27, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    Steve M, I think that the reason the Yankees are not interested in Lannan is that they feel that Manny Banuelos is better than him; mind you Garcia has been gosh awful and Hughes, Nova, Kuroda and even CC have been so so. They are however getting Petite back. The Red Sox actually are in dire need for bullpen help; unfortunately no one in that division has run away so they are not panicking yet.

  98. 417b620e-8e2f-11e1-b06f-000bcdca4d7a - Apr 27, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    "How come Chad Tracy is so locked in as a pinch hitter yet seemingly doesn't have the same approach with his at-bats as a starter?"Pinch hitting and getting 4 ABs per game are two completely different things. A pinch hitter comes in cold, likely facing a reliever with a small arsenal of pitches, and is looking to get a hit. The approach is swing away on the first pitch that looks good.A starter is going to face the same pitcher multiple times, and that pitcher will probably have more pitches than a reliever does. So the approach is going to be geared toward seeing as many of those pitches as possible, having more selectivity in deciding when to swing and when to take, probably with a specific goal of what to do with the pitch (hit the other way, try to advance a runner, foul it off and wait for a better pitch to hit, etc). Such specific goals are possible because the batter has seen this guy's pitches in previous ABs, rather than coming in cold like a pinch hitter does. Also, the pinch hitter may be facing a guy who was brought in specifically to get him out, so the pitcher's approach is known. Whereas the guy getting 4 ABs a game may find himself approached in several different ways by the starting pitcher depending on game situation, whether the pitcher is trying to save one of his pitches for later in the game, etc. Having success as a batter when you know exactly how the pitcher is going to approach you is easier than having to figure out the approach on the fly.Totally different approaches to an at bat, so it's no surprise that someone could do well in one and not the other.

  99. natsfan1a - Apr 27, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    After watching the replay, why did nobody inform me of the appearance of the Famous SD Chicken in last night's game? I love that guy! Saw him at a P-Nats game some years ago. That stuff never gets old, imho.Also, after scanning the game thread, seems like F.P.'s weather-related Anchorman allusion sailed over everyone's head. Come on, people, get your heads in the game. I guess I'll just chalk it up to sleep deprivation. :-)

  100. Unknown - Apr 27, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    Desmond and Espinosa don't get on base much, then the #3 hitter is batting .136. You can't win games this way.

  101. Snivius - Apr 27, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    Perfect headline, Mark!Even with Nats' pitching, the lineup will make every game a coin toss. Will the batted ball squeak inside the line or will it bounce just foul…..

  102. NatsLady - Apr 27, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    The team does not need someone like Byrd because with the flyball pitchers we have we cannot afford bad outfielders. (DeRosa didn't get to a double in one of Clip's previous outings). No subpar outfielders unless they have ++OBP. Period. Not sure why you would want Inge either, he is batting .100. Maybe he is a better defender than DeRosa, but surely not by much and he wouldn't give us offensive production in LF–and the fact that he can catch would maybe mean Davey could use Flores to pinch hit, but that's about it. Myself, I wouldn't bother.We'll find out if Clip is injured when Wang is ready to come back. Until then, he'll tough it out. He needs to stop walking people, which has got to be a control issue, yet he is still striking them out…Bottom line, he's a very smart guy. If he's not injured, he'll figure it out and reinvent himself yet again.

  103. MicheleS - Apr 27, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    1A.. Sleep deprivation and an extremely tense game made us forget all of those things

  104. Theophilus T. S. - Apr 27, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    Something for NatsLady and other research-minded folks: Have the Nats ever had a five-man rotation that was intact four times through the rotation?Unless you reach down to Maya, I don't think the Nats have a "spare starter." You know that someone's gonna have to move into Strasburg's slot, August-September. Somebody's likely to have a "dead arm" or, heaven forbid, worse. Don't think Stammen or Gorzelanny is really a "starter." Unless someone wants to Rent-a-Jackson real bad, don't hold your breath waiting for an ASB trade.

  105. Unknown - Apr 27, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    With his $5 million salary and his awful performance at Syracuse, Lannan has absolutely no trade value. Sending him to Syracuse was the death sentence for his baseball career. Syracuse is a terrible place to have a triple A franchise because it is so cold. Hitters can't hit there and pitchers can pitch. It's like trying to play baseball in the Canadian Arctic. Summer in Syracuse lasts about 4 weeks.

  106. Tom in AR - Apr 27, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    I hope he will be a phenomenal player, but I have a hard time calling a guy with 4 ABs in low A our "best professional hitter."

  107. 417b620e-8e2f-11e1-b06f-000bcdca4d7a - Apr 27, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    "A few business of baseball questions. First, why would Bernadina have to be DFA'd to bring up Brown? There seems to be one empty spot on the 40 man, and even if there weren't, someone else could be DFA'd to make room for him. Or is your point that the Nats wouldn't bring up another LH outfielder without parting with one that they now have?"Bernadina is out of options. The only ways to get him off the 25 man roster are to put him on the DL or DFA him. If he clears waivers in the DFA process he can be signed back to a minor league deal – which would also get him off the 40 man roster."Second, isn't it true that Nady's minor league contract simply meant that he was not added to the 40 man roster when he signed and could be sent to AAA at the end of spring training if the Nats wanted to do that? Once he made the team, his contract was not "converted" to a major league contract. It did mean, however, that because he's out of options, he'd have to pass through waivers to be sent to the minors. Or are there other provisions of the MLB contract related to salary that he benefits from once he is put on the 40 man roster?"A minor league contract only covers service in the minor leagues. To play in the majors, a player has to sign a major league contract. You do sometimes hear of players signing a mixed major and minor league deal in spring training that has one salary for major league service and another one for minor league service. Those players are on the 40 man roster once the season starts, unless they're cut.

  108. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 27, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    May I suggest we just refer to the people with hexadecimal strings for handles as "Alpha-bits"?

  109. NatsLady - Apr 27, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    OK, this is me still trying to understand betting on baseball, having read several articles and thanks to posters who explained it to me.So, the Nats are -200 to the Dodgers, meaning the Dodgers are heavy favorites. Makes sense. (I may not agree, but I see where they are coming from, Clayshaw, Kemp, Ethier, home team advantage.)How can both teams be the favorite, like Boston -110 and Chicago -115 (from the same oddsmaker)?Same with SD and SF, both at -110? Sometimes you see EVEN (that I can understand). Obviously I have too much time this morning… Here is the page I'm reading from, which I assume could change minute-by-minute until game time.Vegas odds for MLBhttp://www.vegasinsider.com/mlb/odds/las-vegas/?s=400

  110. Scott from Burke - Apr 27, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    natslady, please find this information elsewhere

  111. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 27, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    Speaking of gambling, the next time you start to curse Jayson Werth, remember, it could have been a lot werse:Carl Crawford not close to returning to Red Sox; contract looks like a disaster

  112. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 27, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    Scott, what's it to ya?

  113. NatsLady - Apr 27, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    Why? I had to pass through ENDLESS posts about some concert in September, prices, seats, etc. Not baseball related AT ALL.

  114. peric - Apr 27, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    Don't think Stammen or Gorzelanny is really a "starter." Stammen was the Syracuse ace last year. Gorzelanny has been a very effective ML starter? OF COURSE THEY WOULD start doh? That's part of the role of the long/middle reliever in Davey's system. Plus, there's Wang. And Danny Rosenbaum is a major league starting pitching in the offing believe it. Mandel and Arneson are still possibilities albeit remote. They do not have to rely just on Maya, Zach Duke or Mitch Atkins. You worry too much Theophilius. The Nats have plenty of starter firepower.Its in the bullpen where they are short. They don't have much down on the farm in terms of short relief.

  115. Scott from Burke - Apr 27, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    someone was nice enought to explain baseball gambling to her yesterday in detail…she doesn't get it

  116. nwells2 - Apr 27, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    I've said it before. I know it's April and just the start of his second year, but Espinosa is starting to tick me off with that swing of his. I have yet to see a good at bat from him. He is constantly swinging for the fences, getting into 0-2 counts, striking out, with that horrendous uppercut swing where he is missing contact with the ball by a mile. He also needs to pick a side of the plate so he can remain consistent with bettering his swing. On the field, I love him. I think him and Desi are great up the middle, but now Desi is stepping up offensively too. I'm honestly waiting for Lombo to be the everyday guy

  117. 417b620e-8e2f-11e1-b06f-000bcdca4d7a - Apr 27, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    NatsLady, just shut up and bet. If you understand how it works you're no longer eligible for beginner's luck.

  118. peric - Apr 27, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    And section 3, my pfb sofa and Natslady still the major reason why the number of blog posts exceed 2 billion hamburgers served and you have to click newer.Why not follow Mark's advice to me? FEWER posts. Combine your scattered AD/HD thoughts into single posts.Thank you.

  119. NatsLady - Apr 27, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  120. MicheleS - Apr 27, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    So Scott, when you were a kid, you got fractions and long division the first time it was explained to you?

  121. Scott from Burke - Apr 27, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    Lombo had that great 4 hit game, but he doesn't seem to have any power…look at his body…so little muscle mass…i'm with you though…espi needs to start making contact…rendon's injury is a real bummer…maybe thye oculd have tried him at 2b

  122. Scott from Burke - Apr 27, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    No, but i would have asked a math teacher, not my baseball coach

  123. NatsLady - Apr 27, 2012 at 4:50 PM

    If "not getting it" disqualifies someone from posting here—!!!417b — LOL! Post of the day, IMO (but the day is early yet.)peric, sorry your fingers hurt, might want to look into that.

  124. nwells2 - Apr 27, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    Then put Lombo in the leadoff spot since he's shown he can make contact and get those hustle doubles. But if Desmond is thriving at lead off, leave him there. I'll take a multi-hit singles game from a two-hole hitter than a guy who averages multiple strikeouts per game.

  125. NatsLady - Apr 27, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    And whom would you ask about grammar, formatting, spelling and typing?

  126. nwells2 - Apr 27, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    can we talk about baseball again?

  127. nwells2 - Apr 27, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    At this point, we need offense and I think Lombo needs to get more starts at second base. Kind of what Davey does with the Ramos and Flores rotation (Ramos needs to stand closer to the plate btw). The Nationals are simply desperate for SOMEONE to step their bat up right now

  128. NatsLady - Apr 27, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    IMO, Desmond was/is thriving in the leadoff spot, even though he's not the "traditional" model of a leadoff hitter. In an interview he expressed how much it meant to him to come in every day and not worry about whether he was in the lineup and what was his position. I believe that stability has translated into better fielding, and hopefully, long-term, into better hitting. Yes, traditionally you want a guy who looks at a lot of pitches so that the rest of the team can see what the pitcher has on a given day. But with modern immediate video (apparently Werth went in and checked video during the game yesterday), that seems like less of a necessity than it used to be. So if Desi can get on base with hits, and steal or go from 1st to 3rd on a single with his speed, that may suffice.I posted in the past several statistical references to the question of positioning in the lineup. Bottom line, except for just putting people in at random position in the lineup matters only marginally, and the margin is not great enough to matter more than how players feel about where they are in the lineup.

  129. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 27, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    Why not follow Mark's advice to me? FEWER posts.Because it was to you. For a reason. And too many posts wasn't the reason. And I like my transactional communication style.

  130. 417b620e-8e2f-11e1-b06f-000bcdca4d7a - Apr 27, 2012 at 5:02 PM

    "And whom would you ask about grammar, formatting, spelling and typing?"Definitely not Adam Kilgore.

  131. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 27, 2012 at 5:09 PM

    417b, thanks for your thoughts on Chad Tracy in his different roles. Wish he came through in the 9th last night.

  132. NatsLady - Apr 27, 2012 at 5:09 PM

    ooooo, hexie is bringin' it today! In regard to 2B, again, you run into Davey's plan. Davey's plan is to develop Espy (who is, after all, only in his sophomore year) into a top-notch MLB player. You can't do that by platooning him, even if you might have a slightly better hitter to hand. Espy's got to be there day-in-day out, honing his fielding and working through slumps. An occasional day off, fine, but unless you are thinking Lombo for your 2B for the next three or four years, you can't stop Espy's development at this point. Right now, I think Davey wants to use Lombo as much as he can to keep him sharp (and of course to contribute) but he would only be an everyday player if there were an injury to Despinosa.

  133. Section 222 - Apr 27, 2012 at 5:16 PM

    Bernadina is out of options. The only ways to get him off the 25 man roster are to put him on the DL or DFA him. If he clears waivers in the DFA process he can be signed back to a minor league deal – which would also get him off the 40 man roster.Right. My point is that someone else could be dropped from the 40 man if we wanted to bring up Brown and also keep Bernadina. But I agree with Steve M's Ghost and presumably NatsJack that it would seem highly unlikely they will bring up another LH outfielder. So if they want to take a look at Brown, Bernadina isn't likely to stay. I have to say, I doubt very seriously that Bernadina will be DFA's before Harper is ready to come up, and stay.A minor league contract only covers service in the minor leagues. To play in the majors, a player has to sign a major league contract. You do sometimes hear of players signing a mixed major and minor league deal in spring training that has one salary for major league service and another one for minor league service. Those players are on the 40 man roster once the season starts, unless they're cut.Nady pretty clearly did not have a mixed contract. He signed a minor league deal and expected to start the year in the minors. Then Morse got hurt and he got a shot. And clearly now that he's on the 40 and 25 man, if we want to send him to the minors he has to by DFA'd and clear waivers. My question is whether he signed a new contract when he made the team, or his contract was "converted," or he's still on the same contract that he signed in the middle of spring training. Not that it matters really, but I'd like to know the proper terminology to describe his situation. I would say that both Gorzo and Stammen are "spare starters." Stammen started 19 games for us in both 2009 and 2010. Gorzo started 15 games last year. I sure hope both will get a shot here before Maya, and probably either of them, or even Lannan, would fetch more than Maya in a trade. Whether another team wants them bad enough to give us something more than a bag of balls or Cutter Dykstra is another question. But I think Rizzo would part with any of the three for the right price. Detwiler, even after Wang comes back, is untouchable at this point. It looks like last year's rotation of Livo, Lannan, Zimmermann, Marquis, and Gorzalanny started the Nats first 51 games, though not always in precisely that order. That's about 10 times through the rotation. The first person to start other than that original five man rotation was Maya on May 29. So we had a pretty durable rotation for the first half of last year. But oh what an upgrade we have this time around!

  134. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 27, 2012 at 5:18 PM

    NatsLady said… In regard to 2B, again, you run into Davey's plan. Davey's plan is to develop Espy (who is, after all, only in his sophomore year) into a top-notch MLB player. You can't do that by platooning him, even if you might have a slightly better hitter to hand. Espy's got to be there day-in-day out, honing his fielding and working through slumps. An occasional day off, fine, but unless you are thinking Lombo for your 2B for the next three or four years, you can't stop Espy's development at this point. Right now, I think Davey wants to use Lombo as much as he can to keep him sharp (and of course to contribute) but he would only be an everyday player if there were an injury to Despinosa. April 27, 2012 1:09 PM The plan was to get Lombo 300 to 350 ABs and he sure won't get there at the current pace . I agree with NatsJack about 3rd base but I differ with him because I think Lombo can play left-field and he is fine at 2nd.Espi in the 2 hole batting LH is tough to watch and becoming almost as bad as a pitcher batting there. Tonight he is batting RH and hoping he gets some hits. Davey has to figure out something quickly with Espi. His drought in the 2 hole with Zim absent in the 3 hole is almost no production in front of LaRoche & Werth. Tonight against CY lefty would be the perfect night to shake things up a little.

  135. Theophilus T. S. - Apr 27, 2012 at 5:26 PM

    Peric — and I'm starting to like you, a little bit, as Peric, which wasn't possible as an Anon — calling Stammen the "ace" at Syracuse with an ERA of neary 5 is really damning w/ faint praise (or maybe its praising with faint damns). I'm not saying Stammen or Gorzelanny can't start; I'm saying I don't think either can be an effective starter, which I define as the ability to get through the lineup three times. I like Stammen in the role he's got; I like Gorzellany when he isn't melting down like in the Houston game. They are both very valuable as they are currently being used. Sometimes, Peric, I don't understand whether you are focusing on the near term or the long term. Pardon me for saying so, but you seem fixated on minor league guys — Rosenbaum being the best of them — whose arrival in the majors is over the hills and far away, if not entirely problematic. Count me as a long term guy, but not unhappily I see they have a chance to go a long way this year so I'm willing to make some practical, short-term sacrifices. Like being patient w/ Nady, DeRosa a bit longer because the minor league alternatives aren't clearly ready to be every day players.

  136. Get Some Players - Apr 27, 2012 at 5:26 PM

    I would like to know what Eckstein is saying to Espinosa. It's certainly not working. He flails at pitches out of the strike zone almost every AB. Sit him. Lombo can't be worse.

  137. John - Apr 27, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    The issue with Espinosa isn't his fielding – his defense is gold-glove caliber – but his inability to grind out at-bats. He and Desmond's aggressive approach is an all-or-nothing proposition that makes it difficult for this team to manufacture runs at the top of the order. Does he want to be Spike Owen or Brett Boone?

  138. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 27, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    Get Some Players said… I would like to know what Eckstein is saying to Espinosa. It's certainly not working. He flails at pitches out of the strike zone almost every AB. Sit him. Lombo can't be worse. April 27, 2012 1:26 PM I used to be an Eckstein defender and starting to lose my patience. How can Espinosa get up there in the 9th with a 1 run deficit to lead off the inning without a plan?The 2 best hitting coaches I believe are Kevin Long of NYY and McGwire in STL. Their players always have a plan walking up to the plate. Why do our youngsters seem not to have a plan when they step into the batters box especially in crucial situations? In a 1 run deficit in the 9th, its the responsibility for the batter leading off the inning has to work pitches to get on base any way he can. Then the #2 hitter has to move him over to 2nd base. Espi failed miserably last night—-and not to put all the blame on him, outside of Werth, LaRoche and Ramos, nobody provided any offense.

  139. A DC Wonk - Apr 27, 2012 at 5:45 PM

    Scott from Burke said… someone was nice enought to explain baseball gambling to her yesterday in detail…she doesn't get itDo you have something against her? At least it's about baseball. Having two teams with -115 (or, -110 and -115) certainly seems odd, and is worthy of a question. Heck, it's 8-1/2 hours before the game, not a whole lot new since yesterday. Folks were talking about Woodstock, old LP's, Sinatra, Springsteen, etc., this week, which is certainly less related.NatsLady — I also have a degree in math, and I work with numbers as a profession. I have no idea why two opponents would both be -110/-115 (unless it has something to do with the the margin of house-take, but that still seems weird).So, put me down as someone who'd like to know the answer, too.

  140. NatsLady - Apr 27, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    John, agreed on Espy especially. Someone here remarked that the worst thing that happened to him was hitting all those homeruns last year so now he thinks of himself as a power slugger. That may be harsh, but could be true. When Espy was hitting 6th or 7th, he definitely saw himself as an RBI machine–I know he did because he said so in an interview. Now Davey puts him No. 2, and you have to ask why, if he was happy hitting later in the order? Might be because Davey thinks the same as you, namely, Espy should not be thinking of himself as an RBI machine but rather improving his OBP and leaving the RBIs to ALR, Werth and, hopefully Morse.

  141. Steady Eddie - Apr 27, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    The thing that's most disturbing to me about Espi's hitting this year is that at least in the first 3 series or so, he did seem to have a plan. He looked at a lot of pitches, took a lot of walks, and connected solidly and often even though they ended up being outs hit directly at fielders. Very little golfing at dirt balls.Now he's gone back to his post-ASB habits of last season, and it's hard to understand why.

  142. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 27, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    NatsLady, nothing with Espi has changed since that funk he was in mid-season last year with that loopy left-handed swing and he just doesn't make enough contact as there is too much swing & miss.When I brought up my observations of him in Spring Training, it was the next day he was blaming it on the batter's eye in Florida. Luckily his K/9 is improved but now facing better pitchers, his BA/OBP are worse than ST.Its clearly broken and needs fixing. These are swing mechanics. Unless he can change and adapt, not sure how he will improve. My suggestion is to get Lombo more playing time at 2nd against RH pitching and see who is better.

  143. A DC Wonk - Apr 27, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    Why do our youngsters seem not to have a plan when they step into the batters box especially in crucial situations?Perhaps the answer is in your question? I.e., he is a "youngster"?But, yes, the first pitch switch was decidedly against a fundamental rule. And, note, I've defended first-pitch swings often here (if you think you can hit it well, and it's your pitch, swing). But not this time. It's a general rule that when you're behind in the 9th, you start off with a take. When bases are empty, a walk is as good as most hits — as most hits are singles.But even more so when there is a new pitcher in. You take pitches, and grind out the at bat, so that the guys behind you can see what this new pitcher has, what kind of stuff he throws, and, in particular, what kind of stuff is or isn't working for him on that particular day.Yeah — he's a youngster. Sort of. He just turned 25 hits week. By 25, a pro should know better. Brain lock? Needs a day off? I dunno.I'm sure he got a talking to afterwards.

  144. A DC Wonk - Apr 27, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    Hey — just for kicks — anybody remember during ST when it seemed that half the complainers here were screaming for the Nats to get rid of Ian (because since he couldn't hit or field by now, he obviously never would) move Espi to short, and start Lombo at 2d?

  145. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 27, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    If the Nats had Zim and Morse in there hitting, the Nats would have the luxury of moving Espi back to the 8 hole and trade his offense for defense.Right now this team needs everyone scrapping for OBP in front of LaRoche, Werth, Ankiel and Ramos.PS – It didn't help that Nady & Ankiel both looked lost at the plate last night also.

  146. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 27, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    A DC Wonk said… Hey — just for kicks — anybody remember during ST when it seemed that half the complainers here were screaming for the Nats to get rid of Ian (because since he couldn't hit or field by now, he obviously never would) move Espi to short, and start Lombo at 2d? April 27, 2012 1:59 PM All too well + they were the same persons ready to eat LaRoche's salary and DFA him.

  147. NatsLady - Apr 27, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    Wonk, I remember well! Not to mention what was said about Werth, move him to the bench, and eat his salary along with ALR's. Musta been hungry. Ghost, that's the bottom line. Without Morse and RZim, this team has absolutely NO leeway. No leeway in the lineup and no leeway in the bullpen. What time is it in LA? 11:10? RZ is probably at the clinic as we type.

  148. nwells2 - Apr 27, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    Ghost of Steve M, I could not agree with you more. These guys NEED to have a plan up there. As frustrating as it is to see guys like Werth taking first pitch fast balls right down the middle, at least he's working the count, getting the pitch count up, and drawing walks after being behind in the count. However, Espi's case is more than being "lost at the plate," this is truly mechanics as he is golfing at pitches that are up in the zone. Lombo should get more ABs and be given a shot to steal Espi's spot, as tough as it is to admit that. Lombo has a much more compact swing. I know he isn't a power hitter, but he doesn't have to be. Anyone who can hit an inside pitch opposite field is great in my book. Desmond has found that he likes to swing early and there is nothing wrong with that if you are being productive. I've also noticed that when Desi does work the count, he isn't biting on those sliders away anymore. That's the exact production needed from a 26 year old.

  149. John - Apr 27, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    You're right, NatsLady. I also believe Davey Johnson's thinking is that Espinosa would benefit from seeing more fastball counts hitting in the 2 hole; although, in actuality, it has made him more anxious and chase-happy. (The situation is exacerbated by the fact that Desmond is not getting on base enough.)I applaud Johnson for showing patience. But I am curios as to what his next move will be if Espinosa doesn't show a marked improvement going forward.

  150. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 27, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    NatsLady said… Ghost, that's the bottom line. Without Morse and RZim, this team has absolutely NO leeway. No leeway in the lineup and no leeway in the bullpen. April 27, 2012 2:11 PM Here's the good news, when they are all back (Zim, Morse, Storen), this team will be ready to "party". In the meantime, Desi has to get back to a more conservative approach with an occasional ambush swing. Espi has to lay down some bunts and work counts (he led the team last year in HBPs and I don't think has 1 this year). I think Lombo has to get in there more to see if this guy can contribute. Even though the Nats are not good in LF, Bernadina at least can run and play better defense over Nady and DeRosa.

  151. natscan reduxit - Apr 27, 2012 at 6:27 PM

    … hey 'unknown'. Baseball in the Arctic, well, upstate New York anyway. Thanx for reminding me. "What other team in the nation has jet engine heaters in their dugout the middle of April?"read all about it at:http://theintrepid.org/post/5670660022Br,r,r,r and don't freeze your Go Nats!!

  152. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 27, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    nwells2, thanks. If they can't fix Espi's mechanics, the tougher decision will be to start to just have him swing RH. I don't think he could do worse. He actually has a more compact swing from the right-side.One observation from last night, Ramos was the only player who drew a walk. Edinson Volquez prior to last night led the Majors with 15 walks and the Nats shot themselves in the foot by not making him throw more pitches and working the count. This is setting the pre-game PLAN and it wasn't that the Nats weren't capable of hitting, they weren't capable of getting men on base.

  153. erocks33 - Apr 27, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    I think what Espi needs to do from the left side is to simply choke up on the bat a little and just try to make contact. Doing so would allow him to hit more line-drives.As for Lombo, I really like this kid and think he can be an asset, but it looks to me that the way to pitch him is to keep jamming him inside. He will foul off a couple here and there, but for the most part, he tends to swing and miss at those inside (and on a few occasions will get caught looking at a pitch on the outer half after seeing 4-5 consecutive inside pitches). Until he learns to lay off some of the inside pitches, he will struggle to put the ball in play.

  154. John - Apr 27, 2012 at 6:31 PM

    Ghost of Steve, I would agree with you about playing Lombo at 2nd more, but I think Johnson is cognizant of the harmony and stability he is trying to build with his roster, especially with the chemistry between Desmond and Espinosa up the middle. The team's awesome start has bought the manager some time and he can afford to give the regulars a chance to work things out. I get the plan. I think the question is whether Johnson should drop Espinosa down in the batting order and switch him with Ankiel or DeRosa/Bernadina (when either/or is playing left field)?

  155. NatsLady - Apr 27, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    Got this lineup from commenters the MLB.com site for the Dodgers.tonights starting lineup.1.Dee ss2. M Ellis 2b3. Kemp cf4. Ethier, I can hit lefties rf5. Hairston 3b6. Loney, I can hit lefties too and if you don't play me, I'll hit you Donnie, to prove it.7. Gwynn lf8. Conductor AJ And I'm going to catch tomorrow TOO!!!9. Super K.FWIW, the betting articles I read focusing on strategy say you should never take the favorite at over -145. A Dodger fan says the line is way out of line at -200 and that even he, as a Dodger fan, can't take the favorite. Sorry, couldn't resist.

  156. SFNats - Apr 27, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    Wonk, thanks for the numbers about Dodger Stadium, but there's one thing to remember there (and with a lot of the West Coast parks). The difference is night and day, literally. I don't know if anyone has compared the numbers, but my sense from going to games in LA, SF, and Oakland is that at night, or any other time when the marine layer is hanging over the park, the ball dies in the air and they parks play a lot "bigger" than they really are.In the afternoon, when the sun has burned everything off and the air is "lighter", balls will fly out of there. Even in the Oakland Coliseum, which is still a huge park. You see more homers during day games than night games. Dodger Stadium isn't all that huge, so I think the day numbers and night numbers probably even out over the course of the season, and it plays more neutral. Of course, that's all anecdotal, but it's what you hear a lot of fans out here say.

  157. Steady Eddie - Apr 27, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    SFNats — Good point about the when and where of the heavy California air.Looking down the Bay from SF in late afternoon on a sunny day, you can typically see the fog rolling up towards Alcatraz Island. A visual demonstration of what happens in any of those near-the-Pacific ballparks in the early evening.

  158. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 27, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    Awww, Eddie, yer making me homesick…

  159. carolync - Apr 27, 2012 at 7:34 PM

    Since we're just chatting while we wait for the game post, perhaps someone can help me understand what's going on with our base-stealing. The Nats are 25th in MLB with only 8. It seemed to be a big emphasis at the end of last year. Werth and Desmond were supposed to be good at it. Desmond only has 1 so far. Just sayin'. Thoughts? I saw that Jeff Kobernus of Harrisburg leads theEastern League with 15 and his nearest competitor has only 6. So there's someone in the pipeline who must have quite a talent for reading pitchers.I'm stuck in the house while they cut down a huge tree in our front yard so have time to read NI for a change.Go Nats!

  160. Tcostant - Apr 27, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    BTW – for anyone shut out earlier, they have release additional Yankee tickets today (Friday and Sunday games). Go to nationals.com if needed…

  161. John - Apr 27, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    Can't steal if you're seldom on base. But I hear what you're saying…

  162. Section 222 - Apr 27, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    Hey — just for kicks — anybody remember during ST when it seemed that half the complainers here were screaming for the Nats to get rid of Ian (because since he couldn't hit or field by now, he obviously never would)I'm a Desi skeptic (not a hater I hasten to add), and an ALR skeptic too, at least of his offense. To be fair, I never suggest DFAing either of them, only that Desi is not going to be a good leadoff hitter and ALR shouldn't be counted on for 25 HR and 100 RBIs as predictred by his boosters. I am going to be so happy to admit I was wrong — but not yet. If both are performing the way they have so far at the All Star break, or even on June 15, I'll publicly confess error. But the season is still very young, and Desi has hit .195/.244/.317 in his last 10 games. (See, small sample sizes work both ways.) If he falls back to his career norms at the ASG, will those who are making fun of the skeptics now admit the error of their ways? :-)

  163. Les_in_NC - Apr 27, 2012 at 8:21 PM

    I'm right there with you, 222, for being a skeptic (not hater) for both the Wizard of ID and ALR. I hope that one day I can say I was wrong about them both!

  164. Exposremains - Apr 27, 2012 at 8:21 PM

    the problem with Desmond is that in order for him to be a good leadoff he needs to hit .340 because he never walks.

  165. ejs1111 - Apr 27, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    excellent points Sec222.Very interesting sample size regarding the past 10 games! I have always been a Desi skeptic myself.However, I have been primarily skeptical of his defense. His defense this year to date has a negative rating per fangraphs.I hope I eat MAJOR crow regarding Desi- he is certainly a talented athlete.Desi has had a very nice start to the season- I am hoping he keeps it upGO NATS!!!

  166. ejs1111 - Apr 27, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    I do agree with a previous poster regarding Espi… the first couple series he did look like he had a plan- taking pitches, drawing walks, hitting the ball hard… just finding gloves instead of grass with his hits. His OBP was quite high despite the low BA, so the meat of the order had people on base and the opposing SPs were under pressure, higher pitch counts, etc.It really appears that the past 2 series (especially the SD series) he has become alot more aggressive in his approach, almost like he is pressing because his hits are not dropping yet. As a result, his K's are up, walks are down, OBP is down, and he just looks terrible.I'm hopeful that he settles down and becomes more patient again at the plate like he was doing at the beginning of the season.Thankfully, his glove is SOLID.

  167. ejs1111 - Apr 27, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    i stand corrected… according to fangraphs- Espi's fielding is in the negatives just like Desi!

  168. natsfan1a - Apr 27, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    Me, too, sec3. Heck, I'd go with transcendental, even. :-)And I like my transactional communication style.

  169. mick - Apr 27, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    I stayed up Tuesday til 1 AM and last night to the bitter end. After reflecting on it, I can't be mad at Clip, I feel for him. We have to get more than 2 runs a game people! My concern with Zim is that even after he comes back the same damn problem I bet will occur every 2 weeks, this really sucks. We need Morse and why not bring up Moore NOW and wait on Harper til he is ready. Also, I have bad vibes abot Tracy playing 3rd for any extended period of time, where was Lombardozi????

  170. mick - Apr 27, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    This season will expose the few areas we need to fix that I know can be fixed over next winter to put us in the elite of baseball teams:1) we will see if we still need a lead off man after experimenting with Desmond for a whole season2) If Storen is healthy, I conclude we NEED NO MORE PITCHING.3) If Moore and Harper come through, then we are only talking about getting a lead off man period. I forgot about Rendon alsodoes everyone else see it this way or am I missing something?

  171. MicheleS - Apr 27, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    HOLY COW, Mark just posed on Twitter! RZ to DL, BRYCE TOMORROW IN LA

  172. Scott from Burke - Apr 27, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    Bryce Harper…his first at bat tomorrow is gonna be a media frenzy

  173. natsfan1a - Apr 27, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    Wow – there's a new post to that effect as well!

  174. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 27, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    I don't mind swinging at the first pitch as often it is a get me a strike fast ball. If it one right over the middle of the playte I have no problem with someone hitting it. In fact I encourage it.As for Eck I called to replace him the last two years, and have not changed my stance still. I prefer to see Ray Knight at that postiion instead of on Nats Xtra.GO harper.

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