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A cathartic blowout

May 5, 2012, 10:11 PM EST

Associated Press photo
Jayson Werth is congratulated after hitting a three-run homer.

It seems like an odd notion, given the manner in which they've stormed out to the top of the NL East through the season's first month, but the Nationals really needed to do today exactly what they did.

Seven innings of one-run ball from Gio Gonzalez? Check.

A rare offensive explosion, ignited by Jayson Werth's first home run and RBI in nine days? Double-check.

And a blowout victory over the Phillies, dealing yet another blow to the five-time kings of the division and their legion of fans who attempted to invade South Capitol Street yet again? Triple-check.

Perhaps one word best describes today's 7-1 thumping at Nationals Park: Catharsis.

After battling their way through nothing but tense nailbiters on a nightly basis, after failing to capitalize on countless scoring opportunities, after playing pinata to the Phillies' 34-ounce Louisville Slugger and watching their ballpark overtaken by fans from the north, it felt like the Nationals exorcised all their demons over the course of 2 hours and 27 minutes ofRead more »

159 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. NatsFanJim - May 5, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    The Philly fans who trekked down to Natitude Park must be finding solace in their beer by this time. If we can sweep this tomorrow, I'll bet we won't be seeing too many Phils fans nextt time around. Go Nats.

  2. pk24 - May 5, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Stew Magnuson - May 5, 2012 at 10:43 PM

    You know what, we have got the makings of a real baseball rivarly here in Washington and Philadephia. One that someday may be as intense as Dodgers-Giants, Yanks-BoSox and Cardinals and Cubs. 10 or 20 years from now, it may be spoken of in those terms. First, our team has to embarass the Phils a lot more. Second, the Nationals fans have to get the fire in their belly. Thoughts?

  4. pk24 - May 5, 2012 at 10:44 PM

    Back from the game. There were quite a few Phillies fans where I was sitting (Section 113) but generally well-behaved. Great moment was Werth's home run that landed in Phillies bullpen – just below the left field bleachers which were full of loud Phillies fans. That definitely shut them up :-)The Nats have done a great job with all of the promos this weekend. There was one piece on the scoreboard during the game which started with 2 "special fans" being picked from the stands. Crowd booed when the two selected were a couple of guys in Phillies gear. Then switch to video of the guys being thrwon in the back of a van and driven up Route 95 by Screech, ending with them being dumped out of the van in front of Citizens Bank Park. Hilarious.Agree with NatitudeLady that we are fine with our current CF (the one with the cannon arm who is hitting .310 – after having gone 6-7 plus a walk in this series)

  5. peric - May 5, 2012 at 10:50 PM

    Agree with NatitudeLady that we are fine with our current CF (the one with the cannon arm who is hitting .310 – after having gone 6-7 plus a walk in this series)Who sits when Morse gets back? With Harper starting every day there really isn't a slot open for him with Ankiel in CF. It'll be interesting to see how that ends up.

  6. DCGuy7 - May 5, 2012 at 11:07 PM

    when he left the (very polite) philly fan next to me said: "looks like your team is for real" – and then he walked of shaking his head. felt goooood.

  7. do1teach1 - May 5, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    Who was listening to the post-game on 106.7 when the guy called in and said the most beautiful sound in the world is the sound of Phillies fans shutting up?You all really must read the story on this game in the Philadelphia Inquirer (a paper noted, over the decades, for being vastly inferior to our Washington Post.)Early in the story is this gem: The Nationals believe they have carved a new existence in the National League East, an idea perpetuated by a 7-1 victory Saturday. Whether true or not, some relics will always remain: When Werth trotted to right field in the first inning, he was booed lustily by visiting Phillies fans. Werth doffed his cap in jest, and then delivered the ultimate silencer four innings later.And they DID shut up. I was watching from the platform down the left field line, as the Filthies Clowns taunted our people after Bryce got out. And then after the Werth HR they just…shut…up!In the 8th and 9th the crawled out of our park like the scum they are. It was beautiful.And here is the conclusion to the Filthadelphia Inquirer story:When it ended, the Nationals did not dance like they did Friday. The message “OUR PARK” again flashed on the giant scoreboard. And it was no longer a novelty.This was a big, big day in Nationals history. I could not be happier.

  8. jeffwx - May 5, 2012 at 11:21 PM

    At the last minute, went down to the park,picked a tix….not a whole lot phillies fans in sect. 214….The Nats fans were loud and we had a lot to cheer. Also when the Caps scored…word got around the stadium. Walked past the parking lot on M where the phillie buses hung out…very somber even with all the mind altering beverages they drunk down I95 and at the game. Lots of philly fans on the streets of Washington (took the metro to U after the game). They seemed kind of reserved.Another 3 hits plus a walk for Lombo today…Would be hard to keep him out of the lineup when RZ is back.Can't wait for game 3.

  9. JamesFan - May 5, 2012 at 11:32 PM

    I actually think the Nats' rivalry this year will be with the Braves and Marlins. It's fun to beat the Phils, but I see them as a team in serious decline. They are flat on the field, old and their pitching is not that great anymore. Meanwhile, Nats, Braves and Marlins have youth, skill and energy. My guess is that September will be a close race between at least two of the three, and even if the Nats don't get into October, the team will be critical to deciding who does make it.

  10. Scott from Burke - May 5, 2012 at 11:45 PM

    looking at the standings..12 and 3 at home is very good..but the rays are 13 and 1 at home…speaking of old and flat…would love to see yankees miss playoffs

  11. Steady Eddie - May 5, 2012 at 11:47 PM

    Beautiful day! I brought my 11 year old daughter who had vowed after the August, Desmond tying homer and Gomes HBP walk off game that she would never go to a Phillies game again, "with those awful, obnoxious fans". I lured her with the promise that she really should see Bryce Harper and that we outnumbered and out shouted them last night.Not only did she leave thrilled, she was so excited by the shutting down of the aphillies and the shutting up of their fans that she wasn't even embarrassed by her Dad's constant "Gio, Gio!" chants . (How can any Nats fan not find his grin and his joy contagious, and his breaking ball awe-inspiring?)Anyway, ghosts purged for good! Nuff said.

  12. Steady Eddie - May 5, 2012 at 11:50 PM

    JamesFan — Maybe true re the real future rivalry being with the Braves (two young teams on the rise), but you've still gotta bring the garlic and drive that silver spike through the creature's heart.

  13. Doc - May 5, 2012 at 11:51 PM

    So much for the so-called sports experts that predicted that the Philthies would dominate and win our division.It makes you wonder about how little data that they really go on.Even before the beginning of the season I thought that it would be between us and the Braveless.Let's see who is kicking baseball butt at the end of May!!!!

  14. NatsJack in Florida - May 5, 2012 at 11:54 PM

    JamesFan…..scratch the Marlins from your list. Hanley went 1 – 5 to RAISE his average to .197. Josh Johnson raised his ERA to 6.67 and then there's the whole closer issue. (See Heath Bell.)Giancarlo has finally showing signs of life but the one guy I thought was solid, Gabby Sanchez, is hitting right at .200. And Ozzie still has another huge blow up coming.

  15. Exposremains - May 5, 2012 at 11:57 PM

    just finish watching the game. I'm glad all the complaining I did about Werth finally paid off. Now, lets see more of that on a regular basis. I like Mad Werth.

  16. Scott from Burke - May 6, 2012 at 12:00 AM

    scratch the Marlins from your list.Baseball is like marriage…it's a looong season

  17. jeffwx - May 6, 2012 at 12:05 AM

    yeah..with the O's having the 2nd lowest ERA (behind the Nats)…Is that sustainable…unlikely

  18. natsfan1a - May 6, 2012 at 12:12 AM

    Wooooooooooooo Hoooooooooooooo! That was a fun game, even if I don't have any voice left. There were lots of Phillies Phans in our section and about 9 of us Nats fans were trying to carry the rest of the Nats fans on our backs. My sincere thanks to the team for making it easier on us as the game went along. You quieted them down very nicely, I thought. I may even be able to talk tomorrow. :-)

  19. natsfan1a - May 6, 2012 at 12:13 AM

    Also, I love Gio. I just do. (And my husband's fine with it. I think.)

  20. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - May 6, 2012 at 12:22 AM

    Phillies are O-L-D. And Jimmy Rollins has no bat speed any longer.There were plenty of Philthies in Section 133, mostly well-behaved. Werth shut them up when his homer. And the best sight was after Gio mowed 'em down in the seventh was hundreds of Philthie Phans heading to the exits like they just heard the Walt Whitman Bridge was closing for repairs.They're not as smug as they were for Opening Day 2010. Those World Series replica jerseys seem to be fitting a little tighter around their ample bellies. But they are not nearly as smug. Not at all.All in all, a highly pleasant day at the ballpark. Catharsis. That's exactly the correct word, Mark. Perfect.

  21. mick - May 6, 2012 at 12:29 AM

    I got 5 tickets to tomorrow nights game and I plan to attend to watch the SWEEEEEEP

  22. mick - May 6, 2012 at 12:30 AM

    I will be in Dice Clay mode tomorrow for any freakin Phillie fans I run into, LOL

  23. mick - May 6, 2012 at 12:31 AM

    so excited, hey Phillie fans, Charlie Manuel and your mother, lol

  24. mick - May 6, 2012 at 12:33 AM

    how's that I 95 ride home going for ya you SMUCKS!!!!

  25. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - May 6, 2012 at 12:55 AM

    natsfan1a said… Wooooooooooooo Hoooooooooooooo! You forgot "Copyright, MicheleS, 2011."

  26. baseballswami - May 6, 2012 at 1:00 AM

    Do you think there will be a lot of the phans still around tomorrow night? Late game for people with jobs to go to on Monday.Late game for me to even watch on tv. I am sincerely hoping that those bats stay alive. I just love watching these young guys play – and not just the one in the spotlight. Lombo and TyMo are looking very good. They must have had some good coaching in the minors. Some of the older guys got going today, too. Please, don't let this be a fluke. I am guessing that Moore is back on the plane to syracuse Monday, unless Nady is a dfa. Seriously, he is the only player I would vote off the island right now.

  27. FS=Faraz Shaikh - May 6, 2012 at 1:02 AM

    fact of the day: Chipper Jones is facing a pitcher almost ten years older than him. AMAZING!!!I usually don't care about how other teams are doing in the division but Braves are getting pounded against Moyer, 6-0.

  28. SCNatsFan - May 6, 2012 at 1:10 AM

    Hey… when it is all said and done… anyone else really enjoying the Nats kicking butt and taking names?This is sooooo much more fun then being the doormat. For those who have put up with those days – and you know who you are, and I was an Expos fan – isn't this sweet?

  29. natsfan1a - May 6, 2012 at 1:12 AM

    Thanks for picking me up, Sunshine. :-)Yep, definitely enjoying that, SC.

  30. Bzl. - May 6, 2012 at 1:15 AM

    I don't think my Philthy Phans will be at tomorrow night's game. It's going to be a large, very pro-Nats crowd. Can't wait! I just hope we sweep; Hamels ain't a push-over.

  31. NatitudeLady - May 6, 2012 at 1:15 AM

    This Rox-ATL game is wild. I think it's the free game on so anyone can watch. Jamie Moyer got his first hit in two years. Tulo whiffed at a ball for his 7th error so far this year, Cargo dropped a ball in the outfield, and the Rox are leading 6-1 (Grand Slam in the first inning).

  32. Whynat - May 6, 2012 at 1:16 AM

    What are the three best ways to beat a hated rival? I think best is walk-off in extras. Second best is a complete lopsided beat down. What's third best? – need to tee that one up for tomorrow-

  33. NatitudeLady - May 6, 2012 at 1:16 AM

    Anyone who was at the game today, a girl named Lauryn Smith was supposed to sing the Anthem. How'd she do?

  34. jeffwx - May 6, 2012 at 1:17 AM

    It's the pitching staff that still amazes me. We are seeing a very special performance for that reason alone. i never have nor likely never will see a staff like this. And top it off with a once in a generation player's rookie year…I'd like to have their strat-o-matic cards

  35. SFNats - May 6, 2012 at 1:17 AM

    With Rivera out for the season, Moyer might be the only player in baseball older than Chipper.

  36. jeffwx - May 6, 2012 at 1:19 AM

    Yeah…Atl pitching staff not like the mid 90's team when Moyer thought about retiring the 1st time.

  37. sjm308 - May 6, 2012 at 1:19 AM

    Oh, one other funny moment from our friends up north. We had quite a large group in 308 and when they showed the Capitals score and then a view video's from the game, we had already put the Philthies away and they started chanting "lets go flyers" – never heard them cheer for a hockey team at the ballpark but I guess they had to cheer for someone since their boys were getting crushed.For what it's worth, about 50% of the philthy fans were coming back tomorrow – most had decent seats down in the 130's – heard lots of nice comments on our park and our pitching. The sober ones really are ok.

  38. jeffwx - May 6, 2012 at 1:21 AM

    Nats Lady…didn't hear it…was haggling on 1/2 street at the time….got a good deal for sect 314 ($10) then went down to 214 for an even better view

  39. sjm308 - May 6, 2012 at 1:21 AM

    NatsLady – very nice – a little slower paced then I would like but she nailed the high parts. Great name for her group, the Major Minors (at least I think that what was mentioned). She was calm and in control and I think we all know, that is not an easy song to sing.

  40. Whynat - May 6, 2012 at 1:21 AM

    NL – I thought the young lady who sang the anthem did a nice job. Musical, poised, nice emotion.

  41. Soul Possession, Unholy Table, My PFB Hitterish Sofa, - May 6, 2012 at 1:22 AM

    N-Lady, not bad. She has that C-W twangy thing, which I personally don't happen to favor, but she sang well enough. Nice voice.

  42. SFNats - May 6, 2012 at 1:22 AM

    My guess is that the Phans are better behaved when they're being humbled. Nothing to be a swaggering jerk about.

  43. SCNatsFan - May 6, 2012 at 1:22 AM

    jeffwx, I agree, the staff is amazing and you have to think if Wang is the 20 game winner Wang – I know, a longshot, but I can hope – then I think this is a staff that can dominate every series. Its amazing to think if the pen holds out that if we can score 2 runs a game we will win more then we will lose. And I was in the camp that thought we gave up too much for Gio – I thought adding Norris was OK but needed to keep one of the three pitchers – but it shows why Rizzo has his job and I don't. Glad Gio has proven me wrong.

  44. mick - May 6, 2012 at 1:26 AM

    hey philthy fans, here's a nursery ryhme for ya from the Dice Man, Georgie porgie pudding and pie….. lol

  45. mick - May 6, 2012 at 1:27 AM

    ha ha, I'm loving this!!!! hee hee het diddle diddle the cat in the fiddle…… ha ha ha

  46. mick - May 6, 2012 at 1:27 AM

    and finally… Mary Mary quite contrary…..

  47. jeffwx - May 6, 2012 at 1:28 AM

    Same here…Good to see Milone in the majors and given a chanc…I've never seen such depth on a staff since the 1971 Orioles. The bullpen gets so much stronger when Storen/Lidge/kimball are healthy…Really not sure what to do with Wang who could win 10-15 (as could Lannan IMHO) somewhere else. Heard the Yanks are trying to yank one of our relievers from us for Gardner. We should wait for Cano 😉

  48. sjm308 - May 6, 2012 at 1:28 AM

    SCNats – put me in that same camp that wants to see Wang come close to what he was in 2007. If he even comes close our pitching will be just out of control. It is already the best in the NL and I honestly don't see a big downturn. Everyone talks about the pitching regressing as the hitting progresses but what if it doesn't? I can easily see SS as one of the top 3 pitchers in the NL and Gio, and Jordan are right behind him. I am hoping that Wang will take over when SS hits his inning limit plus Detwiler will be fresh from his time in the pen and of course there is still Jackson. Its just ridiculous I tell you.

  49. mick - May 6, 2012 at 1:29 AM

    jeffwx… Palmer, McNally, Cuellar, Dobson and ?

  50. jeffwx - May 6, 2012 at 1:31 AM

    1971 O'sCuellarDobsonPalmerMcNallyAll won 20 or more games

  51. jeffwx - May 6, 2012 at 1:32 AM

    Mick,they went with a 4 man rotation back then. It really was a different ERA.Grant Jackson started 9 games however

  52. SFNats - May 6, 2012 at 1:34 AM

    It's tough for Detwiler who has just been lights out this season, but it would be the best thing for the team if Wang could come back somewhere close to his old form. Det would have to spend a couple months in the 'pen until Stras reaches his innings limit, but it would set them up with a strong starting staff in September when SS gets shut down.And Det has to know that he's a permanent member of the Big 4 starting next year.

  53. jeffwx - May 6, 2012 at 1:34 AM

    Personally, I wouldn't put Detw in the pen. If it aint broke, why try to change it. Detwiler has one the leagues best ERAs.

  54. mick - May 6, 2012 at 1:35 AM

    jeffwx… good point and then O's sent Grant Jackson to Senators in 71 or was it visa versa?

  55. peric - May 6, 2012 at 1:37 AM

    its kind of interesting to see the O's keeping lockstep with the Nats … serendipity or a part of the cathartic nature of Nats sudden rise to prominence?

  56. SCNatsFan - May 6, 2012 at 1:39 AM

    A couple of years ago there was a rumor the Yanks were offering Cano and Wang for, I believe, Soriano (I could be wrong about our player but I know that was the Yanks supposed offer. Gardner would be amazing but you have to think Harper and Werth are in the outfield for the forseeable future and hard to kick LaRoche to the curb now; when everyone is healthy this year we don't need outfield help, and if you believe in Moore we won't need any next year either so you wonder where a Gardner would fit.Poor Jordan, he seems to be the guy this year who will have an amazing ERA but a poor W-L percentage. Would be nice if we could score a bit for him.

  57. peric - May 6, 2012 at 1:39 AM

    The bullpen gets so much stronger when Storen/Lidge/kimball are healthy…I wouldn't put a lot of stock in Lidge given he is now recovering from 2 surgeries: shoulder and sports hernias.In Kimball's case his recovery will likely span this season and go into the next as it was a serious shoulder issue. Storen, you can probably count on … but they will take it slow with him to ensure he doesn't burn out early like the Chief.

  58. jeffwx - May 6, 2012 at 1:40 AM

    i don't see that Grant Mudcat Jackson pitched for the Senators unless you mean the 82 Expos.He did come from the phillies coincidentally

  59. SCNatsFan - May 6, 2012 at 1:41 AM

    And I think if Detwiler goes to the pen with the understanding he's in the rotation next year, or later this year, then he takes it like a pro. Say what you want about Harper but his Pete Rose type attitude shows the team and winning comes first and lets hope it rubs off on everyone.

  60. baseballswami - May 6, 2012 at 1:41 AM

    Crazy stats of the day Jamie Moyer's era — 3.14 Tim Lincecum's era — 5.68 Here's another one — Espi's batting average — 200, Albert Pujol's batting average — 194. Nice to see the Braves behind in the game but looks like they are chipping away. Jamie Moyer was pitching when some of these guys were born.

  61. SCNatsFan - May 6, 2012 at 1:43 AM

    peric, I think management burns Storen out; closers have a short life span anyway so I think if the team believes this is the year then you use what you have. As far as Lidge I'm not sure how much a sports hernia would effect your motion. Kimball, well, I think its best you hope for nothing out of him because he'll be a longshot to recover.

  62. baseballswami - May 6, 2012 at 1:44 AM

    SCNatsFan – winning is what I am worried about right now. Det is part of a winning formula that is working. Wang may at some point be a decent pitcher but I have absolutely no confidence that he will ever be the guy he was 5 years ago. Even if he gets there – how long will it take and how many wins will we have to sacrifice to get him there? It just stinks that we can't put him at syracuse for a while.

  63. mick - May 6, 2012 at 1:45 AM

    jeffwx, your right, I was thinking of Grant Jackson…. man I'm an old geezer

  64. peric - May 6, 2012 at 1:46 AM

    when everyone is healthy this year we don't need outfield help, and if you believe in Moore we won't need any next year either so you wonder where a Gardner would fit.And Ankiel is suddenly hitting as Davey surmised in spring training. Not sure how "permanent" that is.Outfield help? NO. Not with Brown, Hood, Goodwin., Perez, Taylor, Kobernus (infield now but might make a better outfielder), Rahl, Skole, Burns, Ramsay, and Keyes. Although many like to speak from their ass and claim that Rizzo doesn't know talent and had it easy picking Strasburg and Harper … look at the ensemble he has collected to surround them with. And Rizzo himself likes to say the next wave is on its way … and the wave after that.Rizzo probably would only go for BJ Upton given that he is the type of talent he is looking for and he's homegrown. Not sure how Davey Johnson feels about that. Davey has a huge say in personnel decisions.

  65. SonnyG10 - May 6, 2012 at 1:47 AM

    NatitudeLady…Lauryn sang the Anthem great!

  66. SCNatsFan - May 6, 2012 at 1:47 AM

    I agree Swami – hard to break with what is working. As Wang has no other place then I think we use him nd he gets the short leash; at a minimum he gets a couple of starts to prove himself or he is banished to the bullpen, destined to be the guy who gets the starts when SS gets shut down, leaving us awfully thin in the pen.

  67. Steady Eddie - May 6, 2012 at 1:48 AM

    NatsLady — re the Anthem singer, her voice through most of it was fairly soft but sweet, and as sjm308 said, much stronger and more powerful in the higher registers (a soprano, I suppose). She did one weird thing a couple of times, though, (I'm not sure how best to describe it), making one of the progressions (at "early light" and similar points) minor rather than major. Noticeable but not especially annoying.And sjm308 — agree re the rotation. If the hitting continues when the big guns return and the pitching is even 75% as good as it is now, we'll be in the playoffs and able to make a good showing there even with a shutdown Strasberg. The future is now, and 2013, 2014, 2015….. But the LONG suffering baseball fans of DC have earned every bit of it. For all the BoSox and Cubs' fans' angst, not having a team at all is much worse than a frustrating one.

  68. jeffwx - May 6, 2012 at 1:50 AM

    I think Lidge can start rehab in 2-3 weeks. Personally, I'm counting on him to be back in the pen by around the same time as Storen.Kimball is rehabbing from rotator cuff surgery from July 2011 but agree he is the most uncertain on return.

  69. waddu eye no - May 6, 2012 at 1:50 AM

    interestingall these people talking about "sober and polite" phillies fans. maybe the real baseball fans came south, and the morons who just wanted to see "losers" stayed north. where they can see losers every game.sweep tomorrow – jz vs hamels should be a pfb ticket.gyfng

  70. peric - May 6, 2012 at 1:50 AM

    Crazy stats of the day Jamie Moyer's era — 3.14 Tim Lincecum's era — 5.68 Here's another one — Espi's batting average — 200, Espi's got the sophomore jinx just like Desmond did last year. He still needs his 1000 at bats. Sorry but that's baseball the right move is to continue to develop and let Espinosa play. The only way Espinosa leaves is via trade because they have someone better lined up. (I would have thought Rendon but his history of injuries can't be considered lightly.) They are going to want him to perform because even in that scenario they would like to get something valuable for him. That would likely be more prospects folks sorry if you don't like it.And not a Gardner, just doesn't fit the spec's Rizzo has laid out.

  71. SCNatsFan - May 6, 2012 at 1:50 AM

    I agree with you Peric – trading for outfiled help right now, unless it is purely cash for a sort term rental, isn't worth it. And you might bash Stan and the plan but we see it playing out right now. The Nats could have signed mediocre players and eeked out a few more wins, missing out on SS and Harper – for the moment we are positioned as well as any team in MLB.

  72. SFNats - May 6, 2012 at 1:51 AM

    The Nats just don't need another outfielder for this season. They might sign or trade for a CF over the offseason. But unless Morse's injury is far worse than anyone thinks, we should have Morse/Harper/Werth starting in June and for the rest of the year. There's just not a tremendous need for another OF this season.

  73. peric - May 6, 2012 at 1:53 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  74. SonnyG10 - May 6, 2012 at 1:54 AM

    Man, I don't know if I would have the energy to be a full STH. I had my regular quarter season ticket last night, took my 40 year old daughter to today's game and will be taking a friend to tomorrow night's game. I am plum worn out. Sure have enjoyed watching the Phillies get beat. I must say that all the Phillie fans I've been around these two days have been polite, normal fans. That was much appreciated by me.

  75. peric - May 6, 2012 at 1:54 AM

    I think Lidge can start rehab in 2-3 weeks.Lidge did not look good, and often looked shaky well before the hernias. The shoulder hasn't fully recovered … he was picking up velocity as his arm got stronger. He's a guy you stash in AAA letting him work there until it looks like he's ready but there's no way they'd be able to do that.

  76. do1teach1 - May 6, 2012 at 1:54 AM

    The most important baseball-related item on today's game was FP's on-air comment that he thought Ramos had a "case of the yips" because of the THIRD throw to home he had dropped this season.I agree with FP. If Ramos were a receiver catching a short-post over the middle in a football game, afraid of getting hit, we would say he had "alligator arms" when he heard the footsteps of a linebacker coming to take him out. Rizzo is here for only one reason: to win. I am certain he is looking at this problem.

  77. mick - May 6, 2012 at 1:55 AM

    Let's assume all is healthy in a month or so, imagine a lineup of:Desmond ssLombo 2bZim 3b Harper cfMorse lfLaRouche 1bWerth rf Ramos cEspinoza will have to earn a spot back but on roster and can play 2b or ss in late inningspinch hitters: Moore, Tracy, AnkielThis would be scary and I think almost unbeatable in terms of any team winning 2 out of 3. The pitching situation is truly a gift when Storen comes back

  78. waddu eye no - May 6, 2012 at 1:55 AM

    nats lady – looks like one of your divas sang the anthem? good for her. heard from the entertainment guy the other night that he's booked through july. i'll keep at him

  79. mick - May 6, 2012 at 1:57 AM

    the pitching issue which is a problem EVERY other MLB teams wishes they had must be dealt with delicately. I believe there is no such thing as too much pitching and I think Rizzo and Davey would agree with that. Having said that, either Wang or Lannan probably should be traded for perhaps a draft pick or something. again, this assumes all is healthy.

  80. jeffwx - May 6, 2012 at 1:58 AM

    Peric, I think some folk are considering bench help this year if needed. Of course, most of the minor leaguers you mention would not be ready or be an improvement on their current staff.The bench is looking better with Lombo, Tracey, Ankiel hitting so agree, the Nats can sit pretty atop the catbird seat with Morse/Harper/Werth outfield in a month or so.

  81. Steady Eddie - May 6, 2012 at 2:00 AM

    Mick — agree with your point but for the 27th time:LaRoche is the slugging, GoldGlove-quality first baseman.Larouche is the whacko.OK?

  82. jeffwx - May 6, 2012 at 2:01 AM

    Yes, I heard only 5 of 30 ML teams have used the same 5 starters so far this season. Of course, we are one of the fortunate five.McAtty was quoted as saying he didn't know who is number 3 starter would be 2 years ago.

  83. SCNatsFan - May 6, 2012 at 2:02 AM

    Lannan, you just have to feel sorry for the guy. He is a MLB starter – back of the rotation – and paid his dues here but no way Rizzo just lets him walk for nothing. I understand and agree with waht management is doing to him but I still feel for the guy. I wish he'd post some stellar numbers in AAA so we could get someting more then a bag of balls for him. Still, he is making 5M this year so…

  84. mick - May 6, 2012 at 2:02 AM

    the issue of shutting down Strass will grow bigger and bigger as the season goes. This will become one hell of a controversy if Nats are top in the East at the end of August. Mike and Mike will talk about this for a week, let alone the boys on 980

  85. mick - May 6, 2012 at 2:04 AM

    Steady Eddie, lololol just a bad habit

  86. mick - May 6, 2012 at 2:05 AM

    If Wang struggles, Lannan will be back, if he does not, then his only way back barring injury to any of the other starters would be sending Gorzo down. Frankly, i would rather have Lannan now instead of Gorzo

  87. peric - May 6, 2012 at 2:07 AM

    we should have Morse/Harper/Werth starting in June and for the rest of the year. And if "the Arm" keeps on hitting? This is the best I think I've ever seen from this guy this early on. He's not going to walk much (he's a lot like Desmond who really shouldn't lead off with a sub .300 OBP), but he is hitting and he has good power to all fields. Are you going to bench Ankiel and put Werth in center? Or are you going to bench Werth and move Harper to right field? These guys have to know they are competing for jobs … if the send down Moore for Zimmerman who gets swapped out for Morse? Bernadina who is hardly used now? Nady? (That'd be my guess.) Or do they go with six relievers as Davey suggested he would. And that would mean returning Ryan Perry to Syracuse.In any case the starting lineups become an interesting exercise for Davey. He'll likely pull Morse out early if he thinks he's still recovering from the Lat. The way Morse suggested he would DH and use the rest of the time to come back at a slower pace. Right now the leader in HR's is Desmond and his .295 OBP (Espi is at .294). and La Roche with 4. Lombo now has a .410 OBP. They do need more punch in the lineup. That seems to be Morse more than Nady.

  88. Gonat - May 6, 2012 at 2:08 AM

    Every time I'm ready to write-off Chad Tracy and Rick Ankiel they do things to help this team win.I've always believed Jayson Werth is a good (not great) baseball player so not surprised by him.This game went from a pitcher's duel to a blowout shocker as Jayson Werth crushed a 2 out 3 run HR to send the Phillies into SHOCK!No Kardiac Kids today!

  89. Gonat - May 6, 2012 at 2:10 AM

    NatsJack, Heath Bell out as closer of the Marlins. What took Ozzie so long?

  90. mick - May 6, 2012 at 2:12 AM

    peric, this is a no brainer, you tell both Bernadina and Nady not to let the the door hit them in the ass on the way out, lol

  91. peric - May 6, 2012 at 2:12 AM

    Frankly, i would rather have Lannan now instead of GorzoMore fan silliness and foolishness. When's the last time you saw Gorzo pitch in relief? Just the other night right?LANNAN DOES NOT DO RELIEF ANG GOT SHELLED every time he tried in ST!Lannan isn't even the best pitcher in the minors right now … its Daniel Rosenbaum also a left-hander. He looks ready for the majors right now.Before typing gibberish about Lannan look at his stats in Syracuse now look at Rosenbaum's? Believe me you will see Rosenbaum well before Lannan the way he is pitching. And Gorzo stays. Why? BECAUSE he's a left handed pitcher who can start and pitch in relief and fits the model of long relief that Davey has just as Stammen does.

  92. mick - May 6, 2012 at 2:13 AM

    when storen is back Perry has to be the guy that goes to Cuse

  93. Gonat - May 6, 2012 at 2:15 AM

    Baseball Tonight on ESPN giving love to Nats. Rick Sutcliffe said he would take the Nats rotation over the Phillies.

  94. mick - May 6, 2012 at 2:17 AM

    peric its not gibberish and I would rather have Lannan who can start and pitch middle relief. He is a proven veteran and Gorzo is just too inconsistent. Also, Lannan's last outing was pretty good

  95. peric - May 6, 2012 at 2:17 AM

    I actually think the Nats' rivalry this year will be with the Braves … I think just the Braves. Truly the only team that can match the Nats pitching the entire season. Its probably going to be neck-and-neck at the end.

  96. SFNats - May 6, 2012 at 2:18 AM

    peric,I think Ank goes to the bench when Morse comes back — that's what he was signed for, basically. Unless they deside to send Harp back down, but I don't see that happening at this point. Then it's Morse in left, Harper in center, Werth in right, and Harper can switch to left in the late innings if they do want to rest Morse. That's the only way I see it playing out. And Ank gets one start a week or so to give Harper or Werth a night off.And, yeah, I'd bet on Nady being gone when Morse comes back. Or Bernie, but Bernie is useful as a pinch runner and defensive replacement, so I'm guessing it's Nady who goes down.

  97. mick - May 6, 2012 at 2:20 AM

    enough about Bernadina, he has proven to be a flop

  98. peric - May 6, 2012 at 2:20 AM

    peric its not gibberish and I would rather have Lannan who can start and pitch middle relief. He is a proven veteran and Gorzo is just too inconsistent. Also, Lannan's last outing was pretty goodLannan CANNOT pitch MIDDLE RELIF. He can't pitch short relief period. He can only start! That is the main reason he was sent down. My God what planet were you on during ST? Lannan has never pitched in relief and abhors it. Gorzelanny was willing to do whatever it took to help the ball club. He's rescued the team in some critical situations … and honestly given that he was an AllStar caliber pitcher in Pittsburgh in 2007 and didn't do badly for the Cubbies I'd take his 90+ mph heater and repertoire over soft tossing Lannan who won't pitch in relief? Ever!!

  99. SFNats - May 6, 2012 at 2:20 AM

    Gorzo is a much better relief pitcher than Lannan, who's never been good out of the 'pen.

  100. mick - May 6, 2012 at 2:21 AM

    with the extra Wild Card 1 game playoff this season, I think it is safe to say the Nats have at least a 50/50 shot of post season at this point

  101. mick - May 6, 2012 at 2:23 AM

    all right peric… have Gorzo, I hope your right. but, the first2-3 run lead he blows, hee hee, I will remember your vigorous defense of him

  102. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - May 6, 2012 at 2:24 AM

    @NatitudeLady: I'm no music critic — but I thought Ms. Smith did swell. But at 18-and-9, the sweetest sound to me is that naval horn we sound when we win and hit homers. What is the exact name of that horn again? Starts with a K…

  103. SFNats - May 6, 2012 at 2:25 AM

    50/50 sounds about right. They're taking advantage of some good opportunities early in the season, and if they can avoid any major injuries after the big hitters come back, there's no reason the Nats shouldn't be contending for a playoff spot in September.

  104. peric - May 6, 2012 at 2:25 AM

    Unless they deside to send Harp back down, but I don't see that happening at this point. Then it's Morse in left, Harper in center, Werth in right, and Harper can switch to left in the late innings if they do want to rest Morse.They've let the prized stallion out of the barn and brought him to the Derby. He ain't goin' back. His outfield play still needs a lot of work he missed a catchable ball by taking the wrong route today. BUT, he's better there than Josh Willingham or Adam Dunn. Yes, and Ankiel in CF in the late innings? I see Harper in CF over Werth at this point … albeit its risky … at some point Morse is going to have be in there for entire games again, so unless LaRoche goes down (certainly a good possibility) and Davey reneges and puts Morse at first? It sure looks tricky to me but that's why Davey wanted this job to iron out all those details out for his successor.

  105. baseballswami - May 6, 2012 at 2:28 AM

    I feel like I am in an alternative universe with all this talk about what in the world we can possibly do with ALL of the EXTRA pitchers and outfielders? And it really is a problem, not just a hypothetical scenario. Seems a little like being too rich or too thin. And about that Rockies/ Braves game? Tied at 8 last I checked. I would love to have seen Jamie Moyer and Livo in a pitcher's duel. Would have felt like a softball game at the old folks home!

  106. mick - May 6, 2012 at 2:30 AM

    peric saidHis outfield play still needs a lot of work he missed a catchable ball by taking the wrong route today. BUT, he's better there than Josh Willingham or Adam Dunn. Now that is an understatement if I ever heard of one and on par with saying you rather kiss Jackie Kennedy instead of Eleanor Roosevelt (thinking of what the grandma in Wedding Crashers said about her, lol).

  107. peric - May 6, 2012 at 2:31 AM

    all right peric… have Gorzo, I hope your right. but, the first2-3 run lead he blows, hee hee, I will remember your vigorous defense of himThey are all going to have those games. Seems to me the Nats stopper allowed 2 home runs because he was distracted by runners who were timing his pitches and stealing on him? Yep, that's right Strasburg.If there is a catastrophic rash of injuries and slots open up in the rotation you'll see Lannan. Otherwise, he and his new wife are stuck shopping at the Wegman's in Camilllus. And here's why in AA Harrisburg Daniel Rosenbaum has a 0.76 ERA a FIP of 2.44, 2 walks against 23 strike outs and a 3 wins zero losses record. Yep, Rosenbaum could ostensibly pitch in relief. Could be Gorzo's replacement next year or perhaps even the #5 starter with EJax and Wang on 1 year contracts and Stras for an entire season.

  108. Scott from Burke - May 6, 2012 at 2:42 AM

    i hope lannan's shadow is never cast on the carpet in the Nats clubhouse…he works slow and pitches around guys to get to the pitcher whenevr he can…bringing that poor mans jaff ballard to pitch to a slugger with the bases loaded? no

  109. SFNats - May 6, 2012 at 2:48 AM

    A sweep tomorrow means the 5-game losing streak is erased and the Nats are back to 10 games over .500.

  110. sjm308 - May 6, 2012 at 2:54 AM

    I am also in the camp of hoping never to see Lannan in relief. I can see him as a Sept callup after we have clinched first place in the NL East and used as a spot starter to get our rotation set for the playoffs but that is really the only scenerio I want to see with Mr. Lannan. Great National, took some real lumps for us but this is a new team people. I also agree with Peric that Gorzo is much more important then people give him credit for. One thing I am not sure people notice is that Davey has him warming up a great deal more then the other relief pitchers. He can handle that, even if he doesn't get in the game. He was actually warming this afternoon. Gorzo can go LOOGY, he can go long and he can start if needed. Much more valuable then you would think if you just looked at era. I also like that he is another power pitcher. I think the Pirates stole a few mph from his arm with overuse but he can still go 92+ when needed. Finally, not just for this team but also for the Cubs, he pitched where they needed him, not where he wanted! He is a team guy and I have never seen him pout.

  111. sjm308 - May 6, 2012 at 2:56 AM

    Rosenbaum is doing well. Where is Mr. Purke??

  112. MicheleS - May 6, 2012 at 3:03 AM

    How unbelievably weird is it that the Nats and O's are lead stories on ESPN. Please don't wake me up.

  113. Gonat - May 6, 2012 at 3:03 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  114. Gonat - May 6, 2012 at 3:03 AM

    Nats getting top billing on SportsCenter on ESPN. Now you know the world has turned on its axis.

  115. ehay2k - May 6, 2012 at 3:05 AM

    Pete Orr and Laynce Nix on the Philthies 25 man roster? Must have needed to bring in guys who know how to keep it together on a losing team. Best I can figure.Braves at Rockies game is now a 12-9 slugfest in the 7th. Weren't the Braves down 0-6?

  116. Gonat - May 6, 2012 at 3:06 AM

    mick said… enough about Bernadina, he has proven to be a flop May 05, 2012 10:20 PM _____________________________He's not a starter but has been a decent role player. Speed, defense, left-handed bat off of the bench.

  117. Fear and Ignorance - May 6, 2012 at 3:08 AM

    If Wang comes back in the next 10 days or so, it has to be Jackson that is sent to the bullpen. Detwiler has been better and is a part of the future here in D.C. Jackson is a one year rental and is really not any better than Lannan. If Wang truly is back to form, you may just have your 5-man rotation set for the next few years. Jackson becomes a nice insurance policy. Detwiler also gives you 2 LHP in the rotation.

  118. mick - May 6, 2012 at 3:13 AM

    Fear and Ign you may be right about Jackson, if becomes consistent as it appears he is and Wang is back, Jackson could be the odd man out in the rotation

  119. Scott from Burke - May 6, 2012 at 3:14 AM

    I lean towards agreeing with you..would like to see what happens over the next start or 2..if Det is clearly better Jax should go to the pen…with Jackson's age, if Det is only a little better, I wouold move det to pen until Ejax struggles…lot of pressure on Jackson

  120. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - May 6, 2012 at 3:27 AM

    We're going to need a sixth starter at some point to take over for Jesus when he reaches his 160-inning limit. So there's not going to be any "odd man out," unless you count Lannan, who's already out. I think he may have thrown his last pitch in D.C. The September rotation, post-Jesus:GioJ-ZimmEJackDetWangWang has proven himself to be a horribly slow healer. I can see him just going 4-5 innings at the start any way. That leaves the door open for Gorzo or Matheus or even Stammen to work some mutli-inning relief.

  121. Scott from Burke - May 6, 2012 at 3:36 AM

    Wang is building up his strength in Cuse…the chances of him coming to dc and not getting injured again? i was watching when he tried to cover first vs the Yankees…the odds of him making every start after the rehab assignment? 15 to 1

  122. Scott from Burke - May 6, 2012 at 3:41 AM

    the nats shut down stras as promised and make the theyput him on the post season roster just in case? world series roster? they let him do some slow tosses to keep his arm ready, and game 7 of the world series, with the starters taxed, here he comes to save the day..oh the drama

  123. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa w/ Unholy Table - May 6, 2012 at 3:51 AM

    Scott, no. "Shut down" means shut down, period. They have three possibly dominant starters (at least) without him, and in the playoffs, that's enough.

  124. peric - May 6, 2012 at 3:52 AM

    Rosenbaum is doing well. Where is Mr. Purke??Thankfully the dapper Mr. Byron Kerr has been keeping track … it seems both he and Ray were held back in XST. Rizzo told Byron that there were no injury issues and both were about ready to start pitching for a affiliate. Robby Ray just pitched his first game in Potomac I believe? Rizzo seems as good as his word so we can assume Purke will follow suit at some point soon.Meanwhile Danny Rosenbaum looks ready to graduate and join the rotation in September. He's probably the reason they let finally Tommy Milone go in the trade … As for Purke and Solis they look to be a couple of years down the road at this point.

  125. peric - May 6, 2012 at 3:58 AM

    Scott, no. "Shut down" means shut down, period. They have three possibly dominant starters (at least) without him, and in the playoffs, that's enough.Right now they have plenty of guys who can replace him … and as Rizzo said he would be a poor steward of this unique talent if he didn't follow the protocol. So, he built in a bunch of contingencies which have become a bit of a problem because the starters are all pitching extremely well, and are all healthy … no one needs to be swapped out for Wang, Rosenbaum, or much less Lannan. Wang gets one more start and then after that they have to do something with him. Lannan is a non-tender candidate. They paid him 5 million this season, at least five times more than he would be worth on the open market as recompense for service to the organization during the lean years. Next year he'll be on his own to get what he can … doubtless he should be grateful to be offered 1 million five.

  126. SCNatsFan - May 6, 2012 at 4:01 AM

    From what I remember reading the worst thing they can do with Stras is to shut him down then restart him. Don't see Rizzo doing that.

  127. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 6, 2012 at 4:02 AM

    Bottom line has always been don't fix what isn't broken. SOmething will happen that will take care of who goes where. I would not move anyoneanywhere before I had too. Theno only if I have too. Your 18-9 the way it is now. Don't play with it.

  128. Scott from Burke - May 6, 2012 at 4:11 AM

    The Nats are one of the 3 or 4 best teams in the majors right now…it's 5 months until October…will be interesting to see how it plays out…where were we a year ago last year?

  129. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - May 6, 2012 at 4:45 AM

    Don't know if anybody's still watching on MLB, but Livo is in line for his first save in his 17-year career as he takes a four-run lead for Atlanta into the ninth at Coors Field.

  130. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - May 6, 2012 at 4:48 AM

    Way to go, Livo! In his 485th career game, he gets a save. Nicely done.

  131. SonnyG10 - May 6, 2012 at 4:55 AM

    Wow, a lot of good thought-provoking blogs tonight. Enjoyed reading all. Thanks NIs!

  132. JaneB - May 6, 2012 at 9:12 AM

    What a cherry on the whipped cream of taking the series today:Livo gets a save! Thanks for that report, Sunshine! One of my favorite posts, Mark!

  133. rabbit34 - May 6, 2012 at 10:45 AM

    I think the lineup is feeding off of Harper. That kid is doing so much for this team. He is confident, agressive, and definately has a can-do attitude that is rubbing off. Right now, in spite of his HR, I would rather see Harper at bat with RISP than Werth. The reason is I have more confidence in Harper making contact. Right now I love what is happening more than the pre-Harper era. Keep in up Nats. GO NATIONALS!!!

  134. sjm308 - May 6, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    I enjoy the Livo love people but he is now pitching for the Braves and they are the team that worries me the most as we charge toward our first NL East Championship. I now ask that you stop rooting for the enemy!

  135. natsfan1a - May 6, 2012 at 11:46 AM

    For the record, those fans were represented, too, at least in our section. We met and spoke to a number of sober and polite fans before the game, but we pulled the drunk and belligerent card for our section, in which Nats fans were outnumbered. The fans got surlier (and quieter) as the game progressed – thanks, Gio, Jayson, and crew! I was getting hoarse trying to outshout them by the middle innings. One of the funniest things was that they had a Mets fan buddy with them. At one point a Phillies batter whiffed and he was clapping along with the Nats fans. A couple of 20-something Phillies phan girls to his left started clapping, too. One of their Phillies phan male escorts turned on them with a "What are you clapping for?" That was funny. They got faked out a few other times in clapping along for two strikes on a Philly batter. heehee.Good news is that they came late, left for one or two innings at a time, and left early (enjoyed watching the droves of Phans streaming out of the CF gate in the 8th and 9th). Among the lowlights: after one Nats dinger, a burly 20-something guy started violently shaking his popcorn box up in the air, strewing the popcorn all over seatmates in his and adjacent rows. He needs to work on his aim, as most of it was landing on his brother fans and missed Nats fans. Two younger (high school, perhaps) who were in the line of fire looked over, and he made an apologetic gesture and put his hand up for a conciliatory high five. When the nearest kid reached out to return it, the Phan jerked his hand away and then slapped the kid on the butt. Didn't progress beyond that, though. He gave them the phisheye throughout in subsequent innings but left when the Phils were down by, oh, I think it was 6 runs? After another Nats dinger, a petite blonde 20-something sporting some kind of "I love" Phillies tee frowned and pointed at cheering Nats fans in front of and behind her: "f" you and "f" you and "you're a SOB." I guess she wasn't enjoying the game at that point, and she didn't stay much longer.waddu eye no said… interesting all these people talking about "sober and polite" phillies fans. maybe the real baseball fans came south, and the morons who just wanted to see "losers" stayed north. where they can see losers every game. sweep tomorrow – jz vs hamels should be a pfb ticket. gyfng May 05, 2012 9:50 PM

  136. natsfan1a - May 6, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    Sorry, but I have to root for Livo to do well. I can multitask, though, so I'll also root for the Braves not to do better than us. :-) Don't really care about that team up north so no thoughts on that front.Oh, one other thing from the game yesterday. Before the Nats had scored, but they were mounting a rally, Screech came up to our section (lots of Phans, remember?) and was doing a lot of shtick with them. It went on and on as our runners got on base. People were standing up to call out to Screech and nobody was watching the game. I broke into a chant of "let's watch baseball." Nobody else took part, but it drew a laugh or two.One other dinger note, which I don't think I'd mentioned. After the Werth dinger, the Nats fan next to me says loudly "Who hit that home run? Wasn't that Jayson Werth?" I reply, "Yes, I believe it was him. Didn't he used to play for the Phillies?" That was kinda fun, too. Thanks, Jayson. Thanks, Nats.Last but not least, my husband suggested a counter-cheer should "let's go, Phillies" break out at the park. It's "last place, Phillies." Feel free to use it today if you're there. I'll be at home watching, or maybe asleep on the couch. I'm not sure. :-)

  137. NatsJack in Florida - May 6, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    I just finished reading comments on a Philly website and feel the need to go back and apologize for some of the Nats posters being extremely childish (I know, but I speak from experience).And NO…. I want Livo to get shelled every time he takes the mound for someone other than the Nats and ESPECIALLY for a division rival.

  138. NatitudeLady - May 6, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    Boy, you really can't depend on the Rockies to take care of business, can you? Agree, ATL is the team to watch–and beat. Hope Freddi has NOT learned is lesson on bullpen management.Thanks for the report on the anthem, I will pass it along right away."Last place Phillies" nice ring to that chant. Are we sure it's not tempting Fate? Oh, right…been there….

  139. NatitudeLady - May 6, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    learned his lesson. Hey, NJ, "childish" OK, but remember we're kinda new at this First Place stuff. Need a while to feel the gleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

  140. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 6, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    Does Wang have options becasue that could be the option we need to start with? I believe he didn't go up and down with the Yanks so I am pretty sure he has several options left at least.

  141. natsfan1a - May 6, 2012 at 12:54 PM

    I've not posted on any Phillies site, so no worries there. NL, not tempting fate, or a possible counter-cheer based on the current standings. You could always keep it in your back pocket, as they say. ;-)My husband recalled another Phillies Phan in-game comment that I missed (too busy trying to outcheer the boos). When Harper was first announced, a Phillies Phan stood up and shouted "Welcome to the big leagues – f you."Results on a postgame incident are inconclusive, as the fan did have plausible deniability. Was riding the Navy Yard Metro escalator with a couple of gal friends, my hubby was behind us and a male Philly fan in front of us. A group of male Philly fans were descending on the escalator next to us. One of them looked over, grinned, and flipped the bird in our direction as he passed. One of my friends said, that wasn't very nice. The guy behind him says "What? I didn't see anything?" and grins. The guy in front of us turns to us laughs and says "No, that's just my good friend and he was doing it to me." So, yeah, maybe that's what it was. Like I said, plausible deniability and all. :-)

  142. Doc - May 6, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    The King is dead, or at least on his last ABs!Long live the Nats, and our new monarch, Prince Oppo Boppo!!!!!!!!!!!!!Onward and forward to vanquishing those pesky peasants from the south who are lurking in the bushes, disguised as indian Braves!

  143. Positively Half St. - May 6, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    Here is an entertaining (if odd) comment from the Phillies blog "The Good Phight:" "If I never hear the word "Natitude" again it will be too soon. It sounds like a noise someone makes while vomiting."I don't know where he/she got that, but I enjoy the despair behind it. Let's hope the Nats can get the sweep and compound their unhappiness. They are free then to go home and take back their own park.+1/2St.

  144. Grandstander - May 6, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    Lannan is a non-tender candidate.You don't say?

  145. natsfan1a - May 6, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    On a happier note, before the game started, we were looking out towards the Navy Yard from a ramp in the ballpark. In addition to the unloading Phillies buses, we espied a stretch limo from which a wedding party was disembarking. The groom was in a military uni and the bridge in a long white gown. We thought it might be a photo opp on the ballpark steps, but they proceeded to enter the park. The guests had red foam fingers (a wedding favor?) and red Nats caps. Would be interested to know the back story there, as we didn't see where they ended up sitting, and I've not watched the replay of the game. That's my kind of wedding party, though I might have changed out of my dress to avoid any food- or beverage-related mishaps!

  146. Joe Seamhead - May 6, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    Well, as soon as I heard that this was an ESPN game i bought the four tix in the RF bleachers just to give some Nats support to Werth in the most notorious, obnoxous Phillies Phan occupied area in NATIONALS PARK. It's our park, damn it, even in RF. My hope today is that we can give JZimm some run support against the guy who has so far been the most daunting pitcher on the Phillies staff, and just sweep those carpetbaggers back home with some brooms between their, uh..legs. Now, my most far-fetched dream would be for Harper's 1st oppo-boppo to land in my hands!Nats Jack, I also thought that some of our fans had crossed the line of decency on the Phillies blog when I was on there yesterday. I occasionally post on their blogs and have always been pretty well received. My most obnoxous dig is "Tick-tock, Tick-tock… " which I have been using for over a year, and many of their posters agree that they are quickly getting old.On Livo, well, I'm kind of tickled that he's making the adjustment, but sorry, I have to look at the bigger picture. The Braves and Nats are going to be "THE" rivalry for the forseeable future. They are both well run, well stocked, young teams. I want to focus on chopping their chops to bits. GYFNG!!!

  147. natsfan1a - May 6, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    I don't know, to me any of the following sounds closer to that noise: Qualls, Ruiz, and, of course, Kratz. :-)"If I never hear the word "Natitude" again it will be too soon. It sounds like a noise someone makes while vomiting."

  148. JT - May 6, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    So far, the Nats have been unsuccessful in every attempt at a sweep. Hamels proposes a problem and the tendency for the Nats to get Zimmermann any run support does not give me a lot of hope tonight. I hope they can overcome the sweep demons this time around. GO NATS

  149. zregime - May 6, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    I am SO into the Natties right now I pulled out my "Twins Win!" video from 1987 and punched it into the VCR last night. Darn thing quit working about halfway into the program! So then it was the 1991 World Series highlights video, which at least worked. That was the last time I was emotionally invested in MLB. And now I am again. Do you know how absolutely cool it would be to see Davey get one more ring? Tears would be flowin', I'm here to tell ya…BTW, the '87 Twins had a pretty good second baseman, by the name of: Steve Lombardozzi. And of course the Minnesota franchise used to be: Our Senators. It's all coming together now. May the circle be unbroken…SUPPORT THIS BALLCLUB!!

  150. mick - May 6, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    Amen zregime!Exactly!! I am reborn, I feel like a kid in DC back in 1969 again when Ted Williams came to the Nats, the team went 86-76, Hondo hit 48 HRS, Mike Epstein hit 30 HRS, Dick Bosman 14-5, Darrel Knowles back from Nam goes 9-2, make All Star Team along with Hondo and Ken McMullen, and wins MLB ERA award, Ed Brinkman raises his batting average 70 points, Ted Williams in Manager of Year.And now, after the past 7 season's of building this team, the dream of a truly great baseball team for years to come is here AT LAST!!!!I will be in the Par tonight!!

  151. mick - May 6, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    I meant the park tonight not the par, although I will in the bar too, lol

  152. mick - May 6, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    my daughter just asked me when I stopped drinking. I had to be honest wit her so I told her about 2 hours ago, lol

  153. natsfan1a - May 6, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    Not sure we're there to stay yet, Mick, but I'm definitely enjoying the journey. Have fun at the park and be safe.

  154. zregime - May 6, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    Yo Mick — You may have this book or have read the story already, but in case not…from Baseball Anecdotes by Daniel Okrent and Steve Wulf:"No one thought it possible, but in 1969 Washington Senators owner Bob Short lured Ted Williams out of retirement to become his manager. Williams inspired the sad-sack club to an 86-76 record — far above expectations — and was voted AL Managerof the year. Williams got the news while on safari in Africa when Bob Addie of the Washington Post somehow managed to reach him by phone. 'Are you sure?' asked an excited Williams. When Addie confirmed it, Williams said 'I'll tell you something. It was just another case of the writers being wrong again. Weaver and Martin deserved it more.'On that same safari, a Rhodesian hunter named Mike Cameron saw right through Williams's assertion that he loved hunting more than baseball. 'He is pleased, but he will not dream of the buffalo,' said Cameron. 'He will relax with the problem of adding 50 percentage points to Mr. [Paul] Casanova's batting figure. Or how to make Mr. [Joe] Coleman a better pitcher. Because he is a magnificent fraud, your Ted. He is genuinely enthusiastic about everything. He argues about the strength of fishing line and ballistics, and he is very positive in his arguments, but I suspect he has only one true love, and he denies her.'"Broom time tonite! Methinks J-Z is gonna twirl a beauty…

  155. Corky - May 6, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    Now that our Nats are on top, and the Phillies are not, we have a choice: we can either get verbal revenge for Phillie fan verbal abuse in the past, which would be a bit cathartic in the short term, OR we can refuse to behave as they have, and always retain the self-knowledge that we are above that sort of thing. In other words, we can be DIFFERENT, and BETTER. I hope all Nats fans will choose the latter.

  156. natsfan1a - May 6, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    I wouldn't want to be abusive like the "negatory" fans. That said, I see no problem friendly banter or with defending the house and cheering on *our* team in *our* park. imho, there's still room for improvement in the last department.

  157. natsfan1a - May 6, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    Now that I think about it, maybe we need a series of "Fanatitude" commercials. Like the ones with the players, but with fans. (spoken in affectless monotone) "When opposing fans are trying to take over the house, I bring it with the counter-cheers. I look in the opposing fan seating area. I want to make sure they hear me." Just kidding. Sort of. :-)

  158. Corky - May 6, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    I am completely with you, natsfan1a!

  159. natsfan1a - May 6, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    Thanks, Corky!





As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...

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