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May 6, 2012, 2:00 PM EDT

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Chad Tracy and Danny Espinosa have swung hot bats the last two days.

With their regular Nos. 3, 4 and 5 all sidelined due to injury at the moment, who would have imagined the Nationals' most substantial offensive production the last two days would come from the likes of Chad Tracy, Danny Espinosa and Rick Ankiel?

Well, Davey Johnson, for one.

The Nationals manager has been insisting all week those three hitters were due to get on track, which explains in part why all three have been in the lineup the last two days.

They all made Johnson's decision pay off.

Tracy, subbing for injured first baseman Adam LaRoche, is 5-for-9 with two homers so far in this series against the Phillies. The 31-year-oldRead more ยป

103 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. natsfan1a - May 6, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    At the game yesterday, was telling my hubby and friends how some were complaining about Davey sitting Moore and playing Tracy, and how he said he was trying to get him started. Then I amended to allow as how I was among the "some." Advantage, Davey, as his bat was certainly going on Friday and Saturday.Hoping for Espi to continue in this vein. I'm rooting for you, kid! (Along with the rest of the team, natch.)

  2. Joe Seamhead - May 6, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    Davey, Davey, Davey…you have been pretty amazing with your "hunches" so far. As much as many of us give Jayson Werth credit for bringing a winning attitude to this town, and I believe that he has, the real force has been Johnson. I think that he has been incredable and I am so thankful that we are blessed with him.[Taking nothing away from Mike Rizzo, either!]GYFNG!!!

  3. Scott from Burke - May 6, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    riggelman resigning was a huge break for the team

  4. natsfan1a - May 6, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    Agreed, Joe and Scott.

  5. MicheleS - May 6, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    One last game tonight for me. (that's 5 of the 6 games on this homestand). I can't wait!!!glad to see the goon squad and Espi contributing. It was an excellent team effort the last few days. And yesterday I didn't feel the need for the Bourbon or the Maalox. Hoping for that tonight as well!!Go Goon Squad! GYFNG!!!!

  6. MicheleS - May 6, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    Mark.. feel free to leave the press box at any time tonight! (PLEASE!!!!)

  7. jeffwx - May 6, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    Oh no, I'm joining the goon wagonGYGGG….Go You Goofy Goons Go = G**4

  8. jeffwx - May 6, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    What's so funny about Rick, Chad and Espinosa

  9. natsfan1a - May 6, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    I like that, Jeff. And yes, Mark, a brief stint in the stands would be much appreciated when the Nats are up. ;-)

  10. jeffwx - May 6, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    Desmond, Harper, Zimm, Laroche, Werth, Ankiel, Espi, Ramos when Adam returns (as early as Tuesday) ?Tracey, Lombo, Moore, Bernadina on bench

  11. fasteddie - May 6, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    I've read posts re: Ramos' dropped throws, allowing runners to score. I'm more concerned re: his inability to throw out base-stealers. He's 1 for 20 in nailing runners at second. I assume some of these could be attributable to the pitchers. Once the word gets out, everyone will be running. Did he have this problem in the past? Should Jesus be getting more starts?I'm a huge Nats fan, so don't take this as a negative. Just a concern going forward.

  12. Doc - May 6, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    Not likely that Riggleman would have eyeballed the stats and seen how Hamels does worse against lefties.It would be an interesting article Mark, that would give us NIs a general sense on how Davey works with the Nats' stats nerds up in the FO, of whom Stan Kasten was so proud.Kinda think that Uncle Jimmy never really articulated with them. Presuming Davey more so.But yeah MarkMeister, back to the real world of superstition, please schedule several trips out of the press box to go down to field level.

  13. fasteddie - May 6, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    jeffwx: When RZ returns, Lombo and Espi need to switch roles. Lombo goes to second and Espi to the bench. Likewise, when Morse returns Nady or Bernie need to become historical–take your pick, neither is contributing.

  14. Doc - May 6, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    Re: fasteddie @ 10:52I'd like Ramos to do well, he seems like such a good guy with such great talen. I have watched a lot of Nats games with either Ramos or JFlo behind the plate.It appears to me that JFlo is more agile at digging balls out of the dirt, and has the stronger and more accurate throws to 2nd and 3rd.Ramos looks particularly challenged on throws from the OF, and if he keeps it up will create a record for dropped pop-ups.Can't believe that Davey and Co. haven't noticed the same thing.Like to see both Ramos and JFlo do well.

  15. Scott from Burke - May 6, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    Not likely that Riggleman would have eyeballed the stats and seen how Hamels does worse against lefties.I don't think that's fair..he's an ok manager..not a colwn like Manuel and Guillen (of course they both won it all)…being challenged to a fight by a pitcher isn't gonna make you look too good..i think Marquis deserves some blame on that one…but players clearly respond better to a manager who has won a world series and is so at ease in the spotlight

  16. Candide - May 6, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. Candide - May 6, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    Fasteddie, I have the same concerns about Ramos. I keep hearing the pitchers saying he calls a great game, they never have to shake him off, he keeps the ball moving in and out, up and down. Great. But apart from that, he seems to be a terrible defensive catcher. People were complaining about dropped throws last year, so this isn't something new. His inability to throw runners out, OTOH, does appear to be a new problem. Flores has thrown out three of five so far this season, and Ramos hasn't been that much more effective than Flores with the bat in his hand. Someone mentioned that Ramos appears to be bigger this year than last; maybe he takes too long to get up out of the crouch to get a throw off in time to catch the runner; he's 6'0" and 250 pounds, while Flores is 6'1" and only 210. That's forty more pounds Ramos is carrying around on a slightly shorter frame, and unless it's all leg muscle, he has to be taking more time to get up and throw than Flores does.

  18. Navy Nats Fan - May 6, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    For Sunshine Bobby, the answer to your question from the catharsis post is Klaxon.

  19. NCNatsie - May 6, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    The other guy we've got is De Rosa. What's his status? The injury report only says TBD. Everyone else has some sort of projection. It would seem he's due off the 15-day in a week or so. Davy liked him a lot this spring, and I've learned to respect that, but if he's not a factor, then I go with Ankiel, Tracy, Lombo and Moore on the bench once RZ and LaRoche return. Cross the Morse return bridge when you get to it.Interesting to read Tracy's stmt that he's hitting better because he's starting. Here in Washington, Chad, we call that lobbying. But, hey, you've done well enough to deserve a hearing — though I don't see ALR as Wally Pipp myself.The whole overstocked roster — pitching included — really is a dilemma for the Natsbrass because even if you figure you gought to trade somebody, who do you want to get in return? More prospects, I guess, but it seems like they're backed up, too. An embvarrassment of riches? Sure is different from the cattle call days just a few years ago. It used to be nobody wanted to come to the franchise because we stunk. Now they may not want to do so because they don't see how they can get any playing time. I love it!

  20. NCNatsie - May 6, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    ought, not gought

  21. Joe Seamhead - May 6, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    Not to totally defend Ramos, but opposing runners have stolen quite a few bases on various pitchers when Ramos has been in the game. Clip and Stras especially have had several guys be half way to second before they even threw the ball. Hard to throw a guy out when he's almost on the bag when the catcher gets the ball. As far as his dropping perfect peas thrown to him, and pop ups, I've actually wondered about his mitt as much as his technique. On one pop up that he misplayed,he made such an elementary mistake, I couldn't hardly believe it. A catcher is taught at a very early age to catch pop ups with their backs to the outfield. The reason is because of the spin of the ball, the catcher should put his body in the same position as any other player, whenever possible, i.e. his back to the outfield.Ramos tried to make a catch near the mound with his back to the plate, and thus the ball spun out his mitt.

  22. ehay2k - May 6, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    If we have any hope of making the playoffs and then advancing, it is due in no small part to our depth. Just crazy that we are arguing over whom we will have to send down or part with when one of our wounded rejoins the team. In years past, we were watching the waiver wire to see what castoffs we could pick up when other teams had to make difficult choices. The Plan is clearly working. How else to explain the talk about having so many prospects that we may be blocking some by acquiring more in a trade? Enjoy the ride, plan for a sweep tonight. What better team to be the victim of our first sweep than the Philthies?

  23. SonnyG10 - May 6, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    I think the best reason for a catcher to turn around on pop-ups and face away from the pitcher's mound is because the ball will be curving towards the pitcher's mound because of the spin, and you want the ball to curve towards you and not away from you.

  24. Candide - May 6, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    ehay2k said…What better team to be the victim of our first sweep than the Philthies?How about the winner of this year's American League championship series?

  25. Unknown - May 6, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    Lombardozzi's contribution should've been mentioned. 6 for 10 and a BB the last two games. Espi went 1 for 4 yesterday and his worry about losing his starting jig seems justified at this point given his 2012 record, except for Friday night, and the Nats desperate need for offense. Hope Espi does well, soon; but Lombo seems to be the high OBP guy the Nats need.

  26. JaneB - May 6, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    ALso, WIlson had a very high percentage of put outs on stolen bases last year. This far does seem different, and my sense has been — as Mr. Seamhead above writes — that a lot of the damage has been done before the ball even gets to Wilson. I am glad the Goons are heating up! Looking forward to some Sunday night baseball.

  27. UnkyD - May 6, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    Ramos' game seems full of holes, right now… So much so that I wonder if several weeks in 'Cuse might be beneficial. Besides the % of successful steals (lay some of them on the pitchers…they allow so few base runners, there's not a whole lot of practice opportunities), still 5% ain't gonna make it (going by the figure quoted above). Add the trouble handling plays at the plate, and I still think he's going backhand waay too much, to the glove side, recieving the ball…. I love Moose, but he seems to be a mess defensively, right now. It's none of our business, but, can he be suffering from stress, following his traumatic experience, over the winter? I want him to grow, and catch our studs, for a long time, but I hope he's being handled effectively…. I'm expressing concern here, not tryna be mean, or critical… Thoughts?

  28. NatsJack in Florida - May 6, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    JaneB..throwing out runners is an assist. Tagging out runners is a put out.

  29. SonnyG10 - May 6, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    UnkyD, I've had similar thoughts about Ramos…wondering if the off-season trauma has affected his playing, and maybe his weight. I sure hope he works through it.

  30. SonnyG10 - May 6, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    Who was it that called Lombo "Zimmerman's Mini-Me"? I thought that was so funny and wanted to use it but don't remember who to give the credit to.

  31. peric - May 6, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    I'm still not happy about Davey not playing Moore … but unlike Riggleman I understand his logic …with Giggleman all you heard was how he had to respect his veterans or he'd lose them … and respect the game by putting your best lineup out there (which of course as we now see really WASN'T!!!) Davey said he likes T_Mo12 but he felt it would be unfair to him to stick him out there when he doesn't have a slot for him. He's really not ready for left field. Even Harper isn't really where he needs to be in left field … Morse takes better routes to the ball than Harper and it seems like everyone is always complaining about his outfield play. Harper and T_MO12 are still learning and Tyler Moore is way behind Harper in the left field category. As far as first base Tyler Moore is getting reps late in games there because he has improved significantly playing that position as well as some at bats. But with LaRoche starting plus Tracy and perhaps even Morse there really isn't a slot for Tyler Moore unless a catastrophic injury were to occur. I believe Davey because unlike Riggleman who insisted on sticking Adam Kennedy at first base late in games as well as other over-the-hill veterans Johnson does use top prospects and really tries to get them into the lineup so that he can look at them. And not just Harper.

  32. erocks33 - May 6, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    Easiest way to fix Ramos' problems is to bring Pudge back as a coach. Moose had a pretty good record of caught stealing last year and I'm guessing it was mostly due to the daily teachings of Pudge.

  33. peric - May 6, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    Ramos' game seems full of holes, right now… So much so that I wonder if several weeks in 'Cuse might be beneficial.He's in the right place with Randy Knorr as bench coach. He's best suited to coach Ramos now that Pudge is gone. I suspect Pudge might still be here were it not for his penchant to try to force himself in the lineup and then promptly hit into double plays. Probably reinforced by the terrible winter he had offensively. In the end Pudge would be the right guy to get the catchers straight … but I guess the price was too high for Davey … having Pudge might have been like having a "player manager" who liked inserting his name on the lineup card … ;)

  34. peric - May 6, 2012 at 5:09 PM

    but if he's not a factor, then I go with Ankiel, Tracy, Lombo and Moore on the bench once RZ and LaRoche return. Cross the Morse return bridge when you get to it.Based on what I can glean from listening to him I suspect Davey sees Tyler Moore as a backup to LaRoche. He sees him as a starter NOT a bench player. Then, in the back of Davey's mind there's Marerro. I believe Davey sees Marerro as a bench player more than Moore. Marerro is so positionally challenged there is no way they would ever try him in the outfield. He ripped his hamstring stretching at first for a throw. I believe Davey did not mention DeRosa until Marerro went down in winter ball. Marerro was his idea of a right handed bench bat with the ability to drive in runs. He and the FO see Lombardozzi the same way which is why Davey has basically turned him into a better version of the starting utility guy that Riggleman contrived for Cristian Guzman. In Moore's case he is positionally challenged. He's really only safe playing first base and DH at this juncture. But, he specs out as a starter and is an older prospect who should be playing every day not sitting on the bench.Moore is athletic enough to play the outfield with some training. And he has significant power and the potential to produce a high ISO and OPS.

  35. NatitudeLady - May 6, 2012 at 5:13 PM

    I believe Pudge has a position (or will get one) with Texas, so I don't think he will come here as a coach, much as we would like him .

  36. Scott from Burke - May 6, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    Lady: You hire a coach you fire a coach…someone wouldnt like it

  37. Doc - May 6, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    Good points Joe Seamhead and SonnyG10 on catcher positioning on spinning popups. Where's the coaching when Ramos needs it???Some of these players get into bad habits because of years of non-existent or bad coaching.

  38. Scott from Burke - May 6, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    Major League Baseball restricts the number of uniformed staff to six coaches and one manager during the course of a game

  39. #4 - May 6, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    I would add to the list of woes on Ramos his sub-par receiving. I thought HRod's blown save in LA was at least 30% Ramos' fault. A good receiver, Schneider for instance, catches or blocks those wild pitches.Davey Johnson's wisdom lies in his understanding of one thing. Those who've played or coached baseball at a reasonably high level know that if a batter goes into each at bat with the sense his job is on the line, it's tough to hit. Furthermore generating competition for spots within the ball club is detrimental to a team's success. Guys need to have well-defined roles. The starters need to feel comfortable they can have a few bad games and not fear for their positions. Reserves need to know they will be used and their contributions are valued. This is why successful managers don't listen to screaming fans when a guy blows a save or has a bad week/month at the plate.

  40. peric - May 6, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    Can't believe that Davey and Co. haven't noticed the same thing.The two catchers need to remember they have competition as well! Jhonatan Solano is a pretty good catcher in Syracuse and Davey likes veteran Maldonado also in Syracuse. In Harrisburg switch hitting Sandy Leon might be the best defensive catcher the Nats currently have between the majors and minors. If he learns to hit major league pitching as a switch hitter Davey is going to want to look at him.

  41. NatsJack in Florida - May 6, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    So Tommy Milhone walks the first two Rays he faces.

  42. NatsJack in Florida - May 6, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    And then he doesn't even check the runners and they move up due to indifference.Pena walks to load the bases. Needless to say, the book is out on his penchant for nibbling. Patience seems to be the Rays approach.

  43. JaneB - May 6, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    Thank you NatsJack. I appreciate it.

  44. NatsJack in Florida - May 6, 2012 at 6:03 PM

    Keppinger takes him full before flying out to center for the sac fly. So far, 26 pitches and only 1 out.

  45. NatsJack in Florida - May 6, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    Now he hits Luke Scott to reload the bases.

  46. NatsJack in Florida - May 6, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    28 pitches in and the Rays do not have an official at bat.

  47. NatsJack in Florida - May 6, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    Now an RBI single. I've seen enough.

  48. NatsJack in Florida - May 6, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    37 pitches in, 3 walks, 1 hbp, 2 singles , 4 runs 1, out and not 1 missed bat.

  49. NatsJack in Florida - May 6, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    Finally….dp ball and he's out of the inning after 41 pitches.

  50. natsfan1a - May 6, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    Just went to the MLB site to check on that game. Yuck on the default Gameday that now comes up there. I switched over to classic mode, which I prefer. But that's just me.

  51. Fear and Ignorance - May 6, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    He is a rookie pitching against the best team in baseball NatsJack. Give it a rest. He is, and will be a good major league pitcher.

  52. natsfan1a - May 6, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    Kinda funny (imo) item about a spat between Chipper Jones and Jamie Moyer.

  53. NatsJack in Florida - May 6, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    Meanwhile, Matt Moore is dealin'. Tossing an easy 97.And I want Milhone to succeed. I like his makeup.

  54. #4 - May 6, 2012 at 6:22 PM

    "The two catchers need to remember they have competition as well!"I'm not sure what you are thinking with this comment. Do people really think that MLB players don't realize their jobs are on the line every day? I understand the fear that money may make some guys lazy, but Ramos and Flores aren't in that category. They haven't signed the life-changing contracts yet. Simply having a spot in the big leagues isn't cause for them to relax and not work.

  55. #4 - May 6, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    I'm with you, NJ. I like Milone and hope he does well. My sense of your comments is that they are more a reaction to those who thought it was stupid to give him up in a package for Gio. The bottom line is that he's a soft-tossing #4 or #5, maybe. Gio's a front-liner.On another note I saw the Winter Park reference in your profile. I played four years in Alfond Stadium as a Tar. I hope you get over there occasionally.

  56. NatsJack in Florida - May 6, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    As long as Ramos and Flores stay healthy, the only catcher that stands a chance reaching Davey's bench this season is Maldanaldo. And that chance is practically nil.But I agree with Peric on Leon. His defensive abilities are probably the best in the whole organization.

  57. NatsJack in Florida - May 6, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    4…..I walk to it. During the Rollins Baseball Week, the Tars had John Castino as a guest coach.

  58. peric - May 6, 2012 at 6:34 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  59. peric - May 6, 2012 at 6:36 PM

    Speaking, again, of Lannan … getting shelled again by the Phillie's AAA affiliate Seems like his PHIllies jinx carries over even to AAA! 4 zip in the 2nd. Meanwhile, Rosenbaum pitched a complete game last night …Silly fans need to stop even suggesting Lannan join what is now baseball's best starting rotation. Or the bullpen for that matter.I still can't believe Mark considered him a 3rd starter …

  60. peric - May 6, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    Meanwhile, Matt Moore is dealin'. Tossing an easy 97.Yeah if it weren't for Stan "the Plan" Kasten and his convincing the Lerners not to trade Dunn he would be a National right now.

  61. A DC Wonk - May 6, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    MicheleS said… One last game tonight for me.Hey MicheleS — I'm going, too. I'll be in Sec 309. Anyone else?

  62. baseballswami - May 6, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    SonnyG10 –That was me on the Zim's mini-me for Lombo — I was inspired by watching him make a play at third that he had no business making that looked exactly like Zim. Then, when interviewed he said that he had been picking Zim's brain and learning from him. Hence and ergo: mini-me. That kid has got a brain and instincts for playing some ball and the physical skills to go with it. Love Lombo!As far as Milone goes – he would not be pitching in the majors right now if he wasn't with that team. He is going to have to do an awful lot of learning on the job, especially as a location pitcher. He is just going to take some lumps. I still think he has a decent career ahead of him and is in the right place. I see the Nats/ A's trade as a win- win. Go Nats!!!

  63. A DC Wonk - May 6, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    Meanwhile, Rosenbaum pitched a complete game last night …Question for the cognoscenti:When does Rosenbaum get his promotion to AAA?

  64. NatsJack in Florida - May 6, 2012 at 6:43 PM

    Soon.

  65. A DC Wonk - May 6, 2012 at 6:44 PM

    Zim's mini-meHey — I got it:Mini ZThis works on two levels: one, as discussed. Secondly while the "Z" in RZ is capitalized (and JZ, too, for that matter) — the "z's" in Lombo's name, are small case. (And he's two two there, so, an alternate: "Mini z's"Whaddya think?

  66. baseballswami - May 6, 2012 at 6:46 PM

    I am all for it! He deserves a good nickname and having it associated with Ryan Zimmerman would be a compliment to any player.

  67. NatsJack in Florida - May 6, 2012 at 6:46 PM

    And the Orioles are jumping all over the Deadsox.

  68. baseballswami - May 6, 2012 at 6:46 PM

    Plus – well, he does appear to be kind of on the small size physically. Maybe not as skinny as the National Det, though.

  69. A DC Wonk - May 6, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    Plus – well, he does appear to be kind of on the small size physicallyAgreed. A third reason!(Although, B-R lists him as 6'0" and 195# !)

  70. NatsJack in Florida - May 6, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    I think it's time to acknowledge that the Orioles have something special going on, especially if their pitching is for real.And now the tables have turned in Tampa. Inge crushes a 3-1 fastball upper tank to Tommy back in the lead after 2 1/2 innings. Let's see how he does with the lead, although he's at 55 pitches starting the bottom of the 3rd.

  71. SonnyG10 - May 6, 2012 at 7:00 PM

    Well alright! Mini-Z it is.

  72. SonnyG10 - May 6, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    Go mini-Z. Copyright 2012 by swamiWonk. How's that to snitch 1a's thunder.

  73. #4 - May 6, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    NJ… nice. Castino played there before I did. He used to come back and visit with us. Wonderful person. Glad you get to Baseball Week. It's a great tradition.

  74. SonnyG10 - May 6, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    I'll be at the park tonight in Sec 208, Row C, Seat 12,using my "Take Back the Park" extra ticket. (Not my regular seat) If any NIs nearby, say hello.

  75. waddu eye no - May 6, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    Or-Mini-z for brian zuckerman?Pfb imho btw K?

  76. NatsJack in Florida - May 6, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    Now all Tommy needs is 3 quick outs to be in the line for the win. 8-4 through 4 1/2,

  77. NatitudeLady - May 6, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    I'll be in Sec 304. I have an extra ticket because the friend who was going with me decided she didn't want to go to an 8 pm start on a Sunday. The downside is you have to sit next to me. ;) If no takers the scalpers on 1/2 street will get it…

  78. baseballswami - May 6, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    It is kind of late – don't really like it when it's not our regular guys. Perhaps a quick nap….

  79. peric - May 6, 2012 at 7:41 PM

    And the Orioles are jumping all over the Deadsox.Seems like their goal was to stay lock-step with the Nats since they have the same record? Does it feel to any of you like the O's as an entity feel there is more of a rivalry with the Nats than with the Yankees, Sox? And the Nats biggest rival may be the O's and not the Phillies? Its the sort of rivalry that carries all the way up to ownership and beyond (see Poop__McPoop)? Even to other sports like football where the Ravens can't think of anything they like to do more than humiliate Snyder and his Redskins?

  80. peric - May 6, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    10 – 2 IronPigs over the Chiefs now … even after a long closed door meeting by Beasley … bet he wishes he had Harrisburg's pitching staff instead of what he has now …

  81. carolync - May 6, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    I'm watching women's softball on ESPN and the announcers have really been talking up the Nats and tonight's game. They've twice put up Bryce graphics and showed Bryce highlights. Surprising for a college broadcast even if the game is on ESPN. How times have changed.

  82. NatitudeLady - May 6, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    Not really. I pretty much ignore the O's except when they play the Nats. Maybe people in Maryland sense a rivalry, but I sure don't. To me the games in Balmer are just an extra chance to see the Nats play near to home.

  83. NatitudeLady - May 6, 2012 at 7:55 PM

    oooops, Nicasio just gave up a 3-run dinger to Freddy Freeman. ATL now leading COL 3-0.

  84. NatitudeLady - May 6, 2012 at 8:18 PM

    A suicide squeeze that didn't work, so the Rox got a double play–and it wasn't close at the plate. Not a good bunt at all. But ATL got a run, so it's now 4-0.

  85. baseballswami - May 6, 2012 at 8:18 PM

    You know, I am just not feeling the Balmer rivalry. I absolutely despise Peter Angelos, especially for the whole tv rights/blackmail thing. I don't particularly care for AL baseball either. Wussy pitchers. I really, really don't like the joint coverage, either. What other two teams would ever do that? According to Mark, on twitter, our game tonight is on like 5 radio stations – sometimes you can't even find one. MLB getting on Bryce's case already about making hitting adjustments – I mean, really he is 19 now and has been up for a whole week – what the heck is he waiting for? His career is practically in ruins!

  86. NatitudeLady - May 6, 2012 at 8:21 PM

    swami, yes. I am going to drive instead of Metro because I read that the Nats did not make arrangements for Metro to stay open after midnight like the Caps did when they had the triple overtime (and it could go after midnight if there is a rain delay or extra innings). Also, don't fancy the walk home that late.

  87. FS=Faraz Shaikh - May 6, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    did I tell you guys I don't like night games on weekends?

  88. NatitudeLady - May 6, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    Really? Getting on Bryce's case? He's walked a bunch of times! He's gotten a couple of smashes that they caught. I mean, he's been up for what, a ten days????? How about Pujols making some adjustments?Actually, I'm more hoping he learns how the wind blows in the outfield and takes better routes.

  89. NatsJack in Florida - May 6, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    Got to agree with you, Swami…don't feel the rivalry with the O's.And I really despise AL baseball.As for the national media and Bryce, you have to tune it out. Absolutely none of it comes close to exposing the kid for what he really is. He's a Baseball player with a capital "B". He plays with passion and baseball smarts beyond his years.

  90. NatitudeLady - May 6, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    Saturday night games = fine with me (because I can't go Saturday afternoons). They are not having very many this year, though, which I understand== trying to bring the kids in.

  91. NatitudeLady - May 6, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    Did you hear Davey on Gio yesterday? Davey says, "I was hoping he would just go up there and take three swings because I needed him for another inning and didn't want him tired."Uh, Davey, nope. Gio likes hitting. You watch out, next he'll learn how to slide and start stealing bases. He's a blast!

  92. mick - May 6, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    zregime said…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:Thanks man, I saw your post on the other blog and as am getting ready to take my son and his buddies to tonight's game, I thought I would respond and say thanks, great post and I have read these ancedotes. Martin and weaver in 69 had more to work with. What may have cost Billy Martin the award was that late in the season, Billy punched out one of his 20 game winning pitcher's Dave Boswell. Billy who was still in his young days and managing his first team with the Twins was drunk in a bar one night after Boswell refused to brush back a player on an opposing team. Boswell was a nice young kid and not much of a fighter. However, that night Bos (not to be mistaken for Tom Boswell, Bos, lol) talked back to Martin and in typical Billy Martin fashion, he cold cocked Boswell.

  93. SonnyG10 - May 6, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    swami, I agree with you all the way regarding the rivalry with the O's. Especially about Angelos and about the combined broadcast. I hate that worst of all. I don't like the O's announcers, except for Jim Palmer, and I don't want to hear the announcers getting all kissy face and being overly polite regarding the other team. At least they should talk some smack like FP started to do last year. I bet they got to him to cool it.

  94. natsfan1a - May 6, 2012 at 8:46 PM

    I'm with NatsLady, swami, NatsJack and Sonny on that team up north. Never did follow them and don't now, except when we play them (and I'm not fond of the joint broadcasts, either). NL East offers more rivalry opportunities, imo.In other news, I like both mini-Z ideas. I'm sooo conflicted now. :-)

  95. NatitudeLady - May 6, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    Just showed some stats in Colorado. They have the worst pitching in the NL, fewest number of innings pitched by the starters, etc., etc. So basically, Atlanta is feasting on a bad team. And they are feasting. Nicasio is coming out, and the bullpen will have to pick up four full innings, despite 6 relievers used Friday and 4 used yesterday (in lost causes).

  96. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa w/ Unholy Table - May 6, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    Nat~Lady, Davey also said Gio looked like he didn't even know what city he was in, he was so lost on the bases, but that he'd better learn, because he was going to be on base a lot–he's a good hitter.

  97. natsfan1a - May 6, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    Eh, what the heck. Get old rubber arm in there! (Sorry, folks, but I can't break the Livo habit.)

  98. natsfan1a - May 6, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    I watched the replay on Gio's slide. Wow. That was epic. :-)

  99. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa w/ Unholy Table - May 6, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    And the Red Sox have come all the way back to tie it, top of nine. I have sort of given up on the "rivalry" thing, seeing as how 1.) there ain't none, really; and b.) I'm saving my derision for teams in-division.

  100. natsfan1a - May 6, 2012 at 9:04 PM

    Wasn't Nick the Stick known to have some clumsy slides back in the day, or am I misremembering?

  101. Scott from Burke - May 6, 2012 at 9:06 PM

    colorado's pitchers have a disadvantage…colorado

  102. Scott from Burke - May 6, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    someone needs to teach gio to slide before he gets his spikes caught and his acl/mcl goes bye bye

  103. natsfan1a - May 6, 2012 at 9:11 PM

    Yes, that would not be good.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 89 64 --
ATLANTA 76 77 13.0
MIAMI 74 79 15.0
NEW YORK 74 80 15.5
PHILADELPHIA 70 83 19.0
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Friday's early games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON 89 64 --
LOS ANGELES 88 66 1.5
ST. LOUIS 86 68 3.5
-----------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 68 4.5 +1.5
PITTSBURGH 83 70 6.0 --
MILWAUKEE 79 75 10.5 4.5
x-Clinched division title
Through Friday's early games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

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