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Game 29: Nats at Pirates

May 8, 2012, 7:19 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Sparkling PNC Park hosts Ryan Zimmerman and the Nationals tonight.

PITTSBURGH — They've had nearly 48 hours to recover from the craziness of Sunday night's game against the Phillies (and the chaos that followed). Now the Nationals return to the field, beginning a six-game road trip to Pittsburgh and Cincinnati with tonight's series opener at PNC Park.

Davey Johnson's lineup includes both Ryan Zimmerman (activated off the DL) and Adam LaRoche (back after missing four games with a sore oblique). It also features Bryce Harper in the 2-hole for the first time. (Hey, maybe Davey reads this blog!)

Edwin Jackson, meanwhile, gets the start against A.J. Burnett. Given the great pitching (and lack of run production) both of these teams have gotten so far this season, I would highly expect some low-scoring, tense ballgames. Either that, or a 14-13 slugfest.

Updates to come, so please check back…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at PITTSBURGH PIRATES
Where: PNC Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 185
Weather: Scattered storms, 69 degrees, Wind 7 mph out to LF

NATIONALS (18-10)
SS Ian Desmond
RF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche

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219 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Scott from Burke - May 8, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    Bryce Harper, in the eyes of some, may be his own worst enemy. One of the most appealing things about Bryce Harper is his ferocious style of play. A rival scout, however, expresses concern that the Nationals' left fielder is too physical with his swing. "He is an amazing athlete and will be great if he stays healthy," the scout says. "But there is a huge difference between him and (Ken) Griffey and Alex (Rodriguez). "Those guys had easy, non-violent swings. This guy uses his lower half so much, it's like the old golfers who rotated their hips with such violence. You wonder when the lower back issues will begin." … "Does he have great bat speed? Yes. Unreal power? Yes. But it's a little like a max-effort pitcher."

  2. baseballswami - May 8, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    Re-post. This offense really should have Mini-Z in the line up. We need his bat.

  3. Michael J. Hayde - May 8, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    "I would highly expect some low-scoring, tense ballgames. Either that, or a 14-13 slugfest."Hey, we're talking about A.J. Burnett, the guy the Yankees are paying to "pitch" for Pittsburgh. I'm expecting a 14-3 rout!

  4. Nats1924 - May 8, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    Ive always like Bernie, hopefully he runs with this opportunity while Werth is out

  5. Section 222 - May 8, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    New posted:So this lineup is better than the one that we had before Zim went down. By a long shot.I meant "after" Zim went down (but before ALR did, where there's no comparison). It's also better than the one we had before Zim went down because I'd rather have Harper in the lineup than Werth. But that's debatable I suppose.

  6. do1teach1 - May 8, 2012 at 7:34 PM

    I would look at the next few games as determining factors in whether Espy goes to Syracuse.In an earlier thread, someone said a lot is riding on whether Espy can return to his career norms. The problem there is his career average is .227. As we all know, he's around .200 now and leads almost every man in baseball in whiffs. And where his futility used to be mostly from the left side, this year his splits show futility from both sides.We heard about the post-All Star Game "temporary falloff" last year. Then we heard about the batter's eye in Viera. Now we've seen a full month of Mendozian-level performance.I trust Davey's instincts, but DJ also knows there are a thousand players who started hot their first half-season, got figured out by pitchers, and simply could not stay in the big leagues.

  7. Unknown - May 8, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    With all due respect to Jayson Werth, and I hope he gets well, soon, I think we have a MORE potent lineup, tonight, than the one we had with Werth but without the Z-man and ALR. And we were winning back then, too!

  8. baseballswami - May 8, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    MJH – don't say that! Reverse lock will be in effect! McCutcheon just returning tonight,too , after an illness. Hope they have medics standing by for all the walking wounded. And, please, baseball gods – no casualty reports after tonight's game. It's time to start getting everyone back and not adding anymore to the list.

  9. JZimm's only fan... - May 8, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. JZimm's only fan... - May 8, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    Replace Shark with Lombo and I like this a lot

  11. A DC Wonk - May 8, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    re-post, off topic:Whenever I think the first name is too informal, and Mr lastname is too formal — I split the difference and use both, and so:"Dear Jayson Werth," . . .

  12. Section 222 - May 8, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    Kilgore reported that the Nats were 11-4 with Zim, and 7-6 without him. That's pretty significant. Welcome back!

  13. phil dunton - May 8, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    Lombardozzi should be starting at second base. Espinosa needs to sit or go to Syracuse.

  14. A DC Wonk - May 8, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    Hey, we're talking about A.J. Burnett, the guy the Yankees are paying to "pitch" for Pittsburgh. I'm expecting a 14-3 rout! Burnett looked pretty good in his first two outings (he blew up in his third outing, and this is his fourth). He shut out St. Louis over seven innings, and then pitched 6 against the Braves, allowing 2 runs.(his ERA of 8+ is all because of the third game: 12 runs in 2-2/3 innings). Heck, we'd sweep if we could get 12 runs in 2-2/3 games!

  15. hiramhover - May 8, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    Burnett melted down his last outing vs St Louis, and he's erratic rather than gawdawful, so I don't expect a meltdown this time too.

  16. Bill B - May 8, 2012 at 7:54 PM

    I guess Davey doesn't have confidence in Lombo in LF. There's no offensive-minded reason to play Bernie instead.

  17. baseballswami - May 8, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    3:44 — You are absolutely, positively , not JZimm's only fan – he is so good that a bad game for him is still a quality start. But we do need to start a telethon for him to drum up some run support.

  18. hiramhover - May 8, 2012 at 7:57 PM

    Section 222I'm glad to see Zimm back, but that Kilgore stat seems like one of those interesting but meaningless bits of trivia that TV announcers like to throw around. Yes, that was the record with and without Zimm, but given his poor production at the plate, you'd be hard pressed to say the Nats went 11-4 *because* of him.I'm hoping to see a much better Zimm come back than the one we saw in the first 2 weeks.

  19. Ann Ominous - May 8, 2012 at 8:05 PM

    "Kilgore reported that the Nats were 11-4 with Zim, and 7-6 without him. That's pretty significant."That's the definition of small sample size.

  20. Eugene in Oregon - May 8, 2012 at 8:06 PM

    I think it's Nate Silver who uses 1000 bats as the minimum to establish a player's 'natural abilities' (again, I think that's the term he uses, meaning average level of production — whether you measure production by AVG, OBP, OPS+ or some other, more advanced stats). And the closer you get to that 1000th AB, the harder it will be to 'correct' it upwards.In Danny Espinosa's case, he's already at 774 ABs, and his career slash line is .227/.313/.397. His OPS+ is 93. I know others can cite different stats as being more appropriate or better measures, but by whatever metric you choose Mr. Espinosa is not going to compare well to many other hitters. And even if he starts hitting the way he did in the first half of the 2011 season, he's not going to change his 'natural' level a whole lot in the next 226 ABs. I wish I could be more positive, but I'm just not sure that Mr. Espinosa's numbers are going to change significantly. I hope they do, but the Nats shouldn't be counting on it.

  21. baseballswami - May 8, 2012 at 8:08 PM

    Miss Iowa starting for the Mets tonight against the Phils! I hope he crushes them! I know the Mets are in our division, too – but from this moment on I will root for any team that is playing the NL Evil Empire ( the Yankees being the AL Evil Empire). By the way – lots of managers offering opinions today on Plunking-gate — throwing Hamels waaaay under the bus.

  22. JZimm's only fan... - May 8, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    @baseballswami its an inside joke I was at the team store and they had no jerseys or merchandise for him. I told a friend it would be the first time in history you need a custom jersey for someone actually on the team

  23. alexva - May 8, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    Espinosa arrived with a bang, flashed some serious pop in his bat, speed and great defense. Then the other teams realized that he will regularly chase pitches out of the zone. And until he stops doing that we will only have his defense.

  24. bowdenball - May 8, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    Eugene in Oregon:An OPS of .710 would actually rank Espinosa right around the middle of the second basemen who had at least 400 plate appearances in 2011. I understand your point that at this point what you see with Espi is probably what you get, but when you consider his value it's important to remember that he plays excellent defense at a position where outstanding offensive players are very few and far between.His numbers would be terrible for a corner outfielder to be sure, but that's not the right criteria.

  25. rabbit34 - May 8, 2012 at 8:17 PM

    If only Lombo was in the lineup!!

  26. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 8, 2012 at 8:21 PM

    Mark, Davey may read the blog. I really believe Carp and FP do in-game and not giving myself a pat on the back as I rarely post in-game…..although I do read when I have WiFi in-game

  27. rabbit34 - May 8, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    Baseballswami……….please don't elevate the bush-league Filthy Phillies to the level of the Yankees. The Yankees earned that title. I hate the Yankees because I respect them and all their titles. The Phillies have the title because they play dirty baseball. There is a big difference between the teams.

  28. natsfan1a - May 8, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    Also reposting, sort of on topic. (Glad to see that Mark will be in the press box at Pittsburgh tonight, except when he makes his excursions, of course. ;-))natsfan1a said… Really? Does it help the bats when he makes trips from the press box, too, as with his dad? Oh, wait. You probably meant the *other* Mini-Z. :-) baseballswami said… Our offense is really going to miss Mini-Z. May 08, 2012 3:21 PM May 08, 2012 4:17 PM Post a Comment

  29. baseballswami - May 8, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    JZIMM fan – typical — I guess we all need to buy some of those iron-on letters and just add an N. Can you believe as valuable as he is to the team, they didn't have merchandise? I think they should make shirts that say "This is ZNN" – I wish it could have the voice from the commercial, though.And once again, may I add to the chorus of Lombo, Lombo, Lombo, Lombo!!!!!

  30. A DC Wonk - May 8, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    I guess Davey doesn't have confidence in Lombo in LF. There's no offensive-minded reason to play Bernie instead. Perhaps he's giving Bernadina "one last shot." When Ankiel got a bunch of AB's he responded. So did Chad Tracy. I think he's telling Bernie: LF is yours for a week (or against RHP, or whatever) — so just relax, and show us what you got.

  31. natsfan1a - May 8, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    I like that shirt idea, swami!

  32. NatsLady - May 8, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but if a player is on the 60-day DL and hence not on the 40-man roster, he can't be hanging in the dugout, can he? Might be another reason to keep a guy on the 15-day if you don't need the spot.

  33. Eugene in Oregon - May 8, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    bowdenball,Agree completely. My point was only about his offensive numbers. The Nats' calculus may well be that his offensive numbers are sufficient for his position/defensive skills. But, like others, I'm not particularly comfortable with the metrics — old or new, traditional or advanced — that purport to measure defense. The most significant element in the equation, however, is likely to become Mr. Lombardozzi combination of both offensive and defensive skills. We'll see what happens.

  34. natsfan1a - May 8, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    While I don't post there, I do sometimes read threads in the message board on the team site. fwiw, Bob does post there.Ghost Of Steve M. said… Mark, Davey may read the blog. I really believe Carp and FP do in-game and not giving myself a pat on the back as I rarely post in-game…..although I do read when I have WiFi in-game May 08, 2012 4:21 PM

  35. natsfan1a - May 8, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    I wouldn't think they'd get a lot out of reading game threads, though, as posts tend to be along the lines of "WTG [player name]!" or "WTH [player name]!" (And on a good say some "WOOOOO HOOOO" [copyright MicheleS) posts at the end.) ;-)

  36. natsfan1a - May 8, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    on a good *day*

  37. natsfan1a - May 8, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    and ] rather than )and I need to have something to eat now…later…

  38. bowdenball - May 8, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    Eugene-I agree about Lombo, but it's gonna be hard to evaluate both guys with only one available starting spot. Those who are jumping on the Lombardozzi bandwagon based on his productive season to date might want to take a look at Espi's numbers at this exact point of his rookie season. A hot April from a rookie is no guarantee of continued excellence. We just have to trust the front office and the process and remember that having two potential major league level starters under age 26 for one middle infield position is definitely a "good problem."I also agree about the problems with defensive metrics. My eyes do tell me that Espinosa can play a mean second base, which is worth something.

  39. Bzl. - May 8, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    Wow, amazing lineup prediction! I was thinking they'd move Zim to 4th, and go from there. I guess Davey doesn't read *my* blog.

  40. Section 222 - May 8, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    I think they should make shirts that say "This is ZNN" – I wish it could have the voice from the commercial, though.I got a shirt that says that last year from a guy who is Section138 on Twitter. See this link. Not sure if he's still making them.

  41. RickH - May 8, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    I like it. And I think Lombo will get plenty of chances as he spells people. Regarding Danny, I keep going back to last year when everyone was yelling for Morse to get sent down after a bad April.

  42. Eugene in Oregon - May 8, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    bowdenball,Again, I agree pretty much completely. Mr. Lombardozzi has had some games where he looked like Ty Cobb (without the attitude) and others where he looked like, well, Danny Espinosa on a bad day. It's way too early to tell. Like some other posters, I'm hoping that he gets a bunch of ABs playing left field over the coming weeks. Given the lack of production from Messrs. Bernadina and Nady, I would gladly trade a bit of defense for the chance that he'll prove to be a pretty consistent hitter. But we won't know unless and until he gets those ABs.

  43. baseballswami - May 8, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    So Rizzo got fined, too. Where does that money go , by the way? I hope it goes to some charity.

  44. A DC Wonk - May 8, 2012 at 9:17 PM

    Rebuttal to:A rival scout, however, expresses concern that the Nationals' left fielder is too physical with his swing. "He is an amazing athlete and will be great if he stays healthy," the scout says. "But there is a huge difference between him and (Ken) Griffey and Alex (Rodriguez). "Those guys had easy, non-violent swings. This guy uses his lower half so much, it's like the old golfers who rotated their hips with such violence. You wonder when the lower back issues will begin."Now, I was just a teenager when Willie Mays retired, but I vaguely recall that Willie Mays had such a swing, too, even into his 40's. Anyone?

  45. Todd Boss - May 8, 2012 at 9:21 PM

    Why harper 2nd? Why not go LaRoche-Zim-Harper if you want to break up L-R-L? Can't believe Lombardozzi sits while Roger ".619 OPS" plays. Also can't believe Johnson is messing with the top of his order, which has been producing so well the last week or so.Des-Lom-LaRoche-Zimm-Harper-Ramos-Ankiel-Espy with Lombardozzi playing LF. Why did you work him out in Left in spring training if you weren't going to use him?

  46. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 8, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    Burnett melted down his last outing vs St Louis,Burnett hasn't pitched against St. Louis this year. By and large, he's been very good to excellent when he has pitched.

  47. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 8, 2012 at 9:27 PM

    @NatsNut, I'm going with "Dear Jayson" for letters from anyone much over the age of 12, in which case Dear Mr. Werth might show more respect, coming from a kid. Hand delivery to his house might be a little sketchy, but definitely don't show up in his living room watching Rio Bravo at 3:00 am.

  48. mick - May 8, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    we play the Pirates arghhhhhhhhhhh

  49. mick - May 8, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    just to clarify, there is an extra playoff team this season, in other words the two Wild Card teams play a 1 game playoff, correct?

  50. NatsLady - May 8, 2012 at 9:31 PM

    Better Rizzo fined than Zimmermann–which might have been his intention.

  51. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 8, 2012 at 9:31 PM

    Now, I was just a teenager when Willie Mays retired, but I vaguely recall that Willie Mays had such a swing, too, even into his 40's. Anyone? Willie Mays' SwingYou decide.

  52. NatsNut - May 8, 2012 at 9:33 PM

    Thanks for the advice ya'll, and I promise not to stalk. =)Part of the hesitation comes from reading Dirk Hayhurst, who hates it when fans call him by his first name. But I also think he means people who shout and shout and shout at him to throw them balls, so I'll probably go with "Dear Jayson."GYFNG!

  53. mick - May 8, 2012 at 9:33 PM

    why was Rizzo fined???? are you joking? I thought his comments were actually mellow compared to the punk ass act of intentionally hitting a player. Bud Selg or whomever can go to hell!!

  54. mick - May 8, 2012 at 9:34 PM

    Lombo needs to be in line up period

  55. Section 222 - May 8, 2012 at 9:34 PM

    Burnett hasn't pitched against St. Louis this year. By and large, he's been very good to excellent when he has pitched. I think he was referring to A.J., not Sean.

  56. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 8, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    Rizzo got fined?? For what? Calling Hamels a punk poser?

  57. Kirbs - May 8, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    Lombo needs to be in left. Period. (He's also earned the 2nd base job)

  58. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 8, 2012 at 9:36 PM

    I think he was referring to A.J., not Sean. Oh. Nevermind.

  59. Section 222 - May 8, 2012 at 9:37 PM

    I guess Rizzo's fine just shows when you tell the truth, MLB will dock you.

  60. mick - May 8, 2012 at 9:38 PM

    could you imagine if Nats and O's played in WS? That would be the greatest sporting event in the history of the metro area. The odds are not great, but the fact that both teams are doing so well at least makes it fun to imagine

  61. mick - May 8, 2012 at 9:38 PM

    section 222…. well said

  62. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 8, 2012 at 9:42 PM

    So, to summarize: Corey Brown needs to stay in the minors, or come up; Lombardozzi needs to play second and left; and NatsNut should just mail her card and stay out of Jayson's house.

  63. Will - May 8, 2012 at 9:47 PM

    Nats just signed Mike Gonzalez to a minor league deal. I'm not really sure what Gonzalez was thinking… Surely, he had other suitors who could have offered him a much better chance of getting a shot.

  64. Will - May 8, 2012 at 9:47 PM

    Nevermind, just read Gonzalez is a Boras client. It all makes sense now.

  65. mick - May 8, 2012 at 9:48 PM

    This is slightly off the Nats and baseball, but what the heck, many of you are born and raised in the DC metro area. You old DC dudes over 50 will like this and maybe some of you were even there or played in the game.I thought my first experience at RFK in 1968 (the last year it was called DC stadium), Nats verse Red Sox. My Mom tells me I was wrong. Apparently I was there in the Fall of 1962 as a little tot watching the football city Championship, St John's verse Eastern. I honestly do not remember the game, but I remember the family that took me left abruptly before the famous riot broke out. Would love to know if any of you were around then or played in that game?

  66. Eugene in Oregon - May 8, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    Soul Possession @ 5:42: Well said.mick @ 5:30: I'm calling the WC vs. WC contest the 'play in' game, with the playoffs starting once they've narrowed the field to four teams in each league. But that's just me; not MLB approved parlance.

  67. ehay2k - May 8, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    Nice instant blog analysis Soul Possession!

  68. mick - May 8, 2012 at 9:50 PM

    Eugene thank you, so 2 Wild Cards

  69. mick - May 8, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    Eugene… whatever we call it, I just want to see playoff baseball in DC in my lifetime

  70. Cwj - May 8, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    Mick- Orioles and Nats in the WS would be awesome.I don't hate the Orioles (just their owner), so it would be a lot of fun.

  71. waddu eye no - May 8, 2012 at 10:09 PM

    And nats nut- no cooking him rabbit for dinner. Didnt work for glenn close, either ;-/

  72. mick - May 8, 2012 at 10:09 PM

    here here Cwj, I agree with you about the owner

  73. UnkyD - May 8, 2012 at 10:09 PM

    Eugene in Oregon said…Soul Possession @ 5:42: Well said.mick @ 5:30: I'm calling the WC vs. WC contest the 'play in' game, with the playoffs starting once they've narrowed the field to four teams in each league. But that's just me; not MLB approved parlance.————— I'll even let them call ita Playoff Game, if they want. But they seem to want to bill it as "Round One"…..This is…uh…well… Notsomuch….

  74. mick - May 8, 2012 at 10:10 PM

    waddu eye, lololo ha ha, thats good.

  75. sjm308 - May 8, 2012 at 10:27 PM

    Mick: I might have this wrong but I am pretty sure that St. Johns/Eastern game was played at Griffith Stadium. I know that RFK (not originally called that) opened in 1961 or 62 and that they held the All-Star game there but I think the "City Championship" football game was still held at Griffith. I was definitely there and remember the troubles during that game and am pretty sure it was not held again after that. Again, memory is a horrible thing to waste.Bernadina is in for his defense and I realize Lombo has made a great impression with lots of us. Davey did use him in spring training and has probably concluded that Lombo and the nationals will be better served with him staying in the infield. I was impressed with his improvement at 3rd base and was waiting for NatsJack to sort of issue some sort of retraction. He was no Zimm but he made some very athletic plays on some very tough hops. Have to agree that he does have the arm of a 2nd baseman.This has to be Bernadina's last shot.Loved Cal talking about Hammels and I have not heard one player or manager who has backed him.Basically Scott from Burke and Tony Kornhesier.

  76. NatsJack in Florida - May 8, 2012 at 10:32 PM

    It was the first ever event at "DC Stadium".

  77. Mark Zuckerman - May 8, 2012 at 10:33 PM

    Hey guys, while you wait for the game to start, be sure to read my just-posted article on Mike Rizzo getting fined by MLB for his comments on Cole Hamels. There's also reaction from Davey Johnson and Bryce Harper in that article.

  78. mick - May 8, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    sjm308… I think Griffith stadium was gone by then? JFK thew out first pitch in DC Stadium opener in April 1962. who knows, I was so young and my Mom could be wrong, but she always says the game was at DC stadium

  79. NatsJack in Florida - May 8, 2012 at 10:35 PM

    Lombo has shown improvement at third but his arm still scares me a little. He's got a ways to go to be a true utility guy. I'd love to see him get regular playing time at second.

  80. mick - May 8, 2012 at 10:35 PM

    will do Mark

  81. NatsJack in Florida - May 8, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    Read it off twitter, Mark.

  82. peric - May 8, 2012 at 10:39 PM

    Now, I was just a teenager when Willie Mays retired, but I vaguely recall that Willie Mays had such a swing, too, even into his 40's. Anyone?He's 19 and won't be 20 until October. He should be playing either High School or JC ball right now … or in the low minors of some major league team.A lot of this will adjust with time and experience. But I do hope he doesn't lose his so-called "aggressive" style of play which actually is the only thing about the other night that truly was an "old school" throwback. It didn't hurt Pete Rose to play that way (it did hurt Ray Fosse because he did) hopefully it won't hurt Harper.As for Espinosa. He is a switch hitter and a power guy … it takes longer people. Given the athlete that he is (Many of us still believe he is the superior shortstop to Desmond( you don't give up on him given the rule-of-thumb for switch hitters is 1000 at bats. I'm sorry people but there are too many of you who are here because the Nats are finally winning. To truly achieve success and a modicum of vindication and dare I say it? Revenge. The Nats need to be a team in contention year-in and year-out. Nothing would suit me more than watching the Nats completely demolish the damned Yankees I say … (sorry BHarp34). THAT means this ***IS*** a development year. It is not time to go out and bring in decrepit guys with bad knees like Willingham nor any of the other decrepit names that keep creeping in as "solutions" to the offense and losing Werth. THEY ARE STUPID MOVES PERIOD. They go comletely against everything that has led to this point, to this pitching staff to the current standings.So, you play prospects like Danny Espinosa until someone else (perhaps Lombo, perhaps Rendon, perhaps even Kobernus) prove they are better … BUT THE the knowledgeable among us will continue to wonder if Espinosa and not Desmond with his .299 OBP isn't the better shortstop? This team WILL NOT follow the Riggleman mantra of respect the veterans respect the game. Stop asking for that! Its bad Karma for the Nats!Rizzo and Johnson will develop new prospects both in the minors and the majors … until they get to a point where they are a perennial deep into the playoffs team. And if they go outside for talent it will be players who are young, with high ceilings … YES like BJ Upton or perhaps Peter Borjous. NOT Denard Span. NOT Josh Willingham.

  83. Scott from Burke - May 8, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    SJM said: Loved Cal talking about Hammels and I have not heard one player or manager who has backed him.Basically Scott from Burke and Tony Kornhesier. sjm: you are thinking about me way too much

  84. NatsJack in Florida - May 8, 2012 at 10:41 PM

    I meant first ever High School event. It was also the last.

  85. Scott from Burke - May 8, 2012 at 10:43 PM

    and is it possible you don't read very much?

  86. sjm308 - May 8, 2012 at 10:45 PM

    NatsJack – you are right and it was the first and last. I was watching from the end zone and my buddies and I could tell this was not going to be your normal HS football game. Mick, your mom was correct and as usual I was wrong.We did host the All-Star game that year though right?

  87. Scott from Burke - May 8, 2012 at 10:46 PM

    and another for sjm:http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/jason_turbow/05/07/hamels.harper/index.htmllike the man said in Glengarry Glen Ross: Don't talk until you know the shot

  88. sjm308 - May 8, 2012 at 10:48 PM

    Scott, I stand corrected – I honestly had not seen that and had heard from Leyland, Ripken, Schilling and others, and had also noticed, read that the Phillies shied away from it as well.

  89. Scott from Burke - May 8, 2012 at 10:51 PM

    I'm sure I could find a dozen examples but don't feel like wasting more time.

  90. NatsJack in Florida - May 8, 2012 at 10:52 PM

    If I remember, it was one of two All Star games when they did that sort of thing

  91. sjm308 - May 8, 2012 at 10:52 PM

    There is no way I will get into a movie quoting match with Scott. He has shown that to be a huge strength. Now, if I could ever talk my youngest son into getting interested in baseball I think he could go back and forth with Scott on movie quotes. He has one of the more worthless Masters in the Universe (Film Studies from the University of Glasgow), which is why he is working in DC in the govt. Scott would you at least concede that more people spoke out against Hammels than for him?

  92. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 8, 2012 at 10:53 PM

    It was in DC Stadium (now RFK): Return to RFK? Bring Back the Title Game!

  93. Scott from Burke - May 8, 2012 at 10:56 PM

    sure, sjm…whatever you say..more people who are in the national media…but if it was discussed the next day in the DBacks pitchers meeting i doubt they were trashing cole hamels…are we gonna read about it? no

  94. Scott from Burke - May 8, 2012 at 10:58 PM

    btw sjm i'm sure you're son would be a treat to talk to..if you knew as much about baseball as he does about movies we would never have a disagreement

  95. Scott from Burke - May 8, 2012 at 11:03 PM

    If anyone on here has caps tix tomorrow and is resigned to their fate and would like to sell please let me know

  96. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 8, 2012 at 11:05 PM

    just making friends everywhere he goes. Embrace the chickenbleep—it is the only way.

  97. Mark Zuckerman - May 8, 2012 at 11:06 PM

    And also be sure to read my post on the Nats signing Mike Gonzalez to a minor-league contract.

  98. MicheleS - May 8, 2012 at 11:09 PM

    Glad Bryce is batting second. He will just create havoc on the bade paths.

  99. MicheleS - May 8, 2012 at 11:10 PM

    BASE path. What is up with auto correct

  100. Fear and Ignorance - May 8, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    Nice catch Bernadina…well played.

  101. MicheleS - May 8, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    Umm. Roger this is your shot. Do not blow it.

  102. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 8, 2012 at 11:26 PM

    That looked like he lost the ball in the grey sky. Gotta make that catch, there.

  103. SFNats - May 8, 2012 at 11:32 PM

    This is the same AJ Burnett who gave up 12 earned in 2+ innings his last time out, right?

  104. Scott from Burke - May 8, 2012 at 11:34 PM

    sjm: if he hasnt yet ask your son to watch bang the drum slowly…deniros first movie…wonderful baseball picture

  105. djinFl. - May 8, 2012 at 11:38 PM

    And the same AJ Burnett that had a 9.53 era in his minor league rehab before throwing seven scoreless against the Cards.

  106. SFNats - May 8, 2012 at 11:42 PM

    There you go — THAT's the AJ Burnett I was looking for.

  107. Joe Seamhead - May 8, 2012 at 11:54 PM

    What fun watching this kid!

  108. Fear and Ignorance - May 8, 2012 at 11:59 PM

    Espinosa is the worst player in baseball and has been for close to 100 games now. Why is he playing over Lombardozzi??? Our entire pitching staff has better AB's than he does. He is killing us.

  109. John - May 9, 2012 at 12:00 AM

    Johnson may want to pull a LaRussa and hit Espinosa in the 9th spot.

  110. burns15 - May 9, 2012 at 12:00 AM

    Can we please play Lombo over Espinosa? The kid can;t recognize a breaking ball to save his life

  111. Scott from Burke - May 9, 2012 at 12:02 AM

    huge hit by ankiel..how about that woman directly behind home plate 2 rows back? bovine

  112. Scott from Burke - May 9, 2012 at 12:03 AM

    3 hits in the inning…good stuffi wonder holw close johnson is to sending espinosa to syracuse

  113. Joe Seamhead - May 9, 2012 at 12:10 AM

    Referring to some lady as " bovine?" Scott, if this was my place I'd throw your ass out of the bar.

  114. Scott from Burke - May 9, 2012 at 12:10 AM

    mr wang, there is an opening in the rotation for you

  115. MicheleS - May 9, 2012 at 12:16 AM

    While walking the dogs, we go up 2. I walk back into the house and boom boom we are tied. I may drag the dogs out for the rest of the game

  116. Scott from Burke - May 9, 2012 at 12:17 AM

    seamhead you're as interesting as a box of crackers

  117. Scott from Burke - May 9, 2012 at 12:19 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  118. Scott from Burke - May 9, 2012 at 12:19 AM

    seamhead: what do you think mcmurtry would say?

  119. MicheleS - May 9, 2012 at 12:20 AM

    Seamhead. I am sure by the later innings when someone has their beer goggles on she will be compared to Marylin Monroe.

  120. Scott from Burke - May 9, 2012 at 12:21 AM

    Norma Jeane Baker

  121. NatsJack in Florida - May 9, 2012 at 12:23 AM

    About the best thing Jackson has done is limit them to solo shots. At least he didn't precede them with walks like he's prone to do.

  122. NatsJack in Florida - May 9, 2012 at 12:33 AM

    And we have to watch Danny again. Oh well.

  123. baseballswami - May 9, 2012 at 12:33 AM

    Just got home from a rehearsal – turned on the radio when i left, nats 2-0. I didn't take many miles to be 2-2. Jackson has half of the nats hits? Pitchers are getting desperate for runs. Is there anyone at that game – it sounds awful quiet.

  124. TimDz - May 9, 2012 at 12:34 AM

    Why do I get the feeling that the Bucs will pitch around Jackson to get to Desi?

  125. baseballswami - May 9, 2012 at 12:34 AM

    Hey, at least Danny made contact and didn't K.

  126. Matthew J - May 9, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    Danny Espinosa: waste of space. Now they're just pitching around LaRoche to get to him.

  127. TimDz - May 9, 2012 at 12:46 AM

    Message to Nats Bats….Stop swinging…he's tossing nothing but breaking stuff…

  128. John - May 9, 2012 at 12:56 AM

    Johnson needs to pinch hit for Espinosa if the go-ahead run is on base this inning.

  129. Scott from Burke - May 9, 2012 at 12:56 AM

    bilge pillow? are boats designed to put oil into the water?

  130. Eugene in Oregon - May 9, 2012 at 12:59 AM

    Home runs and all, Edwin Jackson can't be faulted for pitching seven innings, giving up three hits, and two runs. I'm not fond of the 'quality start' stat, but this one counts as such. It's up to the hitters to provide some run support when a pitcher contributes like Mr. Jackson has contributed. Not sure where Mr. Wang will end up, but it shouldn't be in Mr. Jackson's spot.

  131. MicheleS - May 9, 2012 at 1:00 AM

    Can they do a double switch and put Lombo in the game? Geez Burnett is dealing

  132. Scott from Burke - May 9, 2012 at 1:02 AM

    it looked like it was gonna fall apart when he gave up 2 taters in the span of what, 3 hitters? but he collected himself and had an excellent start…

  133. Grandstander - May 9, 2012 at 1:10 AM

    Visions of Lance Berkman dancing through my head on that non-check swing by McLouth.

  134. MicheleS - May 9, 2012 at 1:11 AM

    NatsJack. I think we will have to take a wait and see on the O's. 8-1 Rangers and Hamilton has 3 HRs

  135. Scott from Burke - May 9, 2012 at 1:13 AM

    the rangers are animals…i think they would have walked McCutcheon even if there was a runner on 1st..very dangerous hitter..and mcclouth swung

  136. baseballswami - May 9, 2012 at 1:14 AM

    Once again, a struggling pitcher on a mediocre team channels his inner Cy Young and schools the nats hitters. Clippard should have been out of the inning with a double play – the opposing team executes the sacrifice — you know what that is, don't you? It's small ball – giving up an out for a run – some people actually play that way. Sheesh. Although you might have expected Zim and LaRoche to need some live pitching before they get their stroke back. Maybe EJax can be the new hitting coach.

  137. Scott from Burke - May 9, 2012 at 1:19 AM

    if they lose they will be under .500 on the road

  138. MicheleS - May 9, 2012 at 1:23 AM

    Gascanrahan!

  139. Scott from Burke - May 9, 2012 at 1:23 AM

    if they win they will be over .500 on the road…LAROCHE!!!!!!!!!!!!warm up hrod

  140. RickH - May 9, 2012 at 1:23 AM

    Welcome back Ryan and Adam!!!

  141. UnkyD - May 9, 2012 at 1:23 AM

    Gascanrahan!!!

  142. Navy Nats Fan - May 9, 2012 at 1:23 AM

    And Tyler Clippard is in line for a classic Clippard vulture win…

  143. djinFl. - May 9, 2012 at 1:23 AM

    @ScottWhy such a loser attitudeNats are comeback kings

  144. RickH - May 9, 2012 at 1:24 AM

    Danny … Now would be a good time to turn things around.

  145. MicheleS - May 9, 2012 at 1:24 AM

    Can we just exercise ALRs option now?

  146. Scott from Burke - May 9, 2012 at 1:24 AM

    during the offseason the idea of laroche playing 1st base was disturbing to me..coming off an injury..older…i was wrong

  147. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - May 9, 2012 at 1:24 AM

    Gascanrahan lives!Barkeep, bourbon and Maalox all around for my friends! Drink up, Nats Insiders!

  148. RickH - May 9, 2012 at 1:25 AM

    But, no.

  149. phil dunton - May 9, 2012 at 1:25 AM

    Now we have to suffer through H-Rod in the bottom of the 9th.

  150. MicheleS - May 9, 2012 at 1:26 AM

    Espi needs a mental health day(s)

  151. Scott from Burke - May 9, 2012 at 1:27 AM

    Carp: if the ball veered into foul territory its a foul ball

  152. mick - May 9, 2012 at 1:27 AM

    Davey should have let Jackson hit and then move him to 2b, since e can field. I am done with Espinoza, what worthless at bat he has become.thank goodness for Zim and Laroche!

  153. JaneB - May 9, 2012 at 1:28 AM

    I love that ALR got the 1000th homer. I was wrong so long ago about him, but I still have to apologize. I'm glad Scott is once again proven wrong too, but not nearly so glad as I am that ALR is OURS and not theirs. Now, to make sure we see GOOD Henry. And only good Henry.

  154. mick - May 9, 2012 at 1:28 AM

    The HP umpire is terrible, the score should be 4-2, I'm happy Clip won't get e loss and now may get a win

  155. SCNatsFan - May 9, 2012 at 1:28 AM

    MicheleS, Espi needs a vacation. I'm thinking Syracuse has some nice short stay hotels.Go Adam…. keep proving us wrong who doubted you last year.

  156. Scott from Burke - May 9, 2012 at 1:28 AM

    djinfl: i posted a FACT..what does that have to do with my attitude?and it was easy for you to post AFTER laroche home run

  157. pdowdy83 - May 9, 2012 at 1:29 AM

    I know some people argue with Scott but at least he admits when he is wrong and is a true fan of the team!Where would we be without ALR this year?

  158. baseballswami - May 9, 2012 at 1:29 AM

    Welcome back to the line up Zim and LaRoche – and welcome back to Ramos' bat.

  159. pdowdy83 - May 9, 2012 at 1:30 AM

    Agreed Mick, this has been a rather wide strike zone all night. I believe they said the home plate ump was the JR member of the crew.

  160. Scott from Burke - May 9, 2012 at 1:31 AM

    looks like bernardina is stepping towards the 1st base dugout

  161. mick - May 9, 2012 at 1:32 AM

    I've been done with Bernadina, he looks so weak at the plate no confidence at all

  162. TimDz - May 9, 2012 at 1:32 AM

    Adam says…I got your strained oblique right here…

  163. pdowdy83 - May 9, 2012 at 1:32 AM

    He might as well be since he is just going to walk back to it every at bat. I don't get why Davey won't play Lombo or Moore out there. I love Davey but that is one thing I don't get.

  164. John - May 9, 2012 at 1:32 AM

    Winning this game would be sweet, but it doesn't diminish the fact that Espinosa has clearly become a detriment to the team's offense.

  165. Scott from Burke - May 9, 2012 at 1:33 AM

    thanks pdowdy..i am a huge fan of the team…they are EASILY my 2nd fave team in the league…i've been a dodger fan since th emets traded tom seaver…but them being one the west coast it's difficult to stay engaged

  166. LoveDaNats - May 9, 2012 at 1:34 AM

    Three shots of bourbon lined up with a Maaloxx chaser, waiting for Henry.

  167. Scott from Burke - May 9, 2012 at 1:35 AM

    give bernardina a couple of days to get comfy..and the pitcher hurdle brought in looks like murder on lefties..hurdle knew johnson wouldnt pinch hit because he wants bernardinas defense out there

  168. jeffwx - May 9, 2012 at 1:36 AM

    Well my prognisticating on Espinosa was about as good as his 3 strike out. Ghost…you are the man.

  169. pdowdy83 - May 9, 2012 at 1:36 AM

    I understand how that goes. I grew up a Cubs fan so I still have a soft spot for them but as soon as the Nats moved to DC I started rooting for them.Obviously everybody has an opinion about the team they root for I just think some people get a bit uptight about their own sometimes. I know I've been guilty of it before.

  170. djinFl. - May 9, 2012 at 1:37 AM

    @ScottI may not be a speedy typist, but I keep a positive outlook until the last out. I do know now, to keep my bright outlook, do not read your post.GYFN

  171. MicheleS - May 9, 2012 at 1:38 AM

    Josh H is up to 4 HRs

  172. Scott from Burke - May 9, 2012 at 1:38 AM

    i wrote IF the lost…IF..not when

  173. baseballswami - May 9, 2012 at 1:38 AM

    Chad Tracy heated up with some playing time. Maybe Bernie will, too. He is an exciting player when he gets going. Danny was just so good in September 2010 and the first half of 2011 – it can't be just the pitchers making adjustments. Whatever Eckstein and DJ are doing – it's just not working. You can be critical and angry if you want – but I think it's just sad to watch. He's a great kid and works very hard, probably too hard.

  174. Scott from Burke - May 9, 2012 at 1:39 AM

    by the way djin fl..looks like a you have a nice dog

  175. jeffwx - May 9, 2012 at 1:39 AM

    We already have lost enough offense with the loss of Morse and Werth…CAn't afford to wait for Espinosa when you have Lombo and one of the teams highest OBP sitting on the bench. Keepin Espi in the lineup does not help the Nats, Lombo or Espi who clearly needs some help.

  176. pdowdy83 - May 9, 2012 at 1:40 AM

    Ramos has not looked good defensively this year…

  177. MicheleS - May 9, 2012 at 1:40 AM

    MAALOX PLEASE

  178. jeffwx - May 9, 2012 at 1:41 AM

    D…. you Henry…….this is ridiculous.

  179. mick - May 9, 2012 at 1:41 AM

    sorry you HRod defenders, pl;ease explain!!!!!

  180. mick - May 9, 2012 at 1:42 AM

    Is Ramos or McCatty nUTS

  181. pdowdy83 - May 9, 2012 at 1:43 AM

    If Ramos is going to call for the curve in the dirt he needs to keep it in front of him. They are sharp breakers but if you can't handle it don't call for it. That is about 5 of those that have gotten away with the two of them since the Dodgers game.

  182. MicheleS - May 9, 2012 at 1:43 AM

    That sucks

  183. jeffwx - May 9, 2012 at 1:43 AM

    Unbelievable

  184. Scott from Burke - May 9, 2012 at 1:43 AM

    well that kinda sucked

  185. pdowdy83 - May 9, 2012 at 1:43 AM

    Ar you effing kidding me…

  186. mick - May 9, 2012 at 1:43 AM

    you have a 200 no confident hitter 0-2 on count , why the HELL are you throwing a pitch you have not thrown well all season????that is on HRod, Ramos and McCatty

  187. LoveDaNats - May 9, 2012 at 1:43 AM

    Effing unbelievable!!!

  188. JaneB - May 9, 2012 at 1:43 AM

    Noooooo!

  189. jeffwx - May 9, 2012 at 1:44 AM

    HROD to 2nd….Espi to relieve

  190. sjm308 - May 9, 2012 at 1:44 AM

    Ouch!

  191. whatsanattau - May 9, 2012 at 1:44 AM

    so that sucked

  192. mick - May 9, 2012 at 1:44 AM

    Overall HRod is bum!!! a total loser, he has lost 3 game this year on his stupid sinking curve ball he cant control

  193. pdowdy83 - May 9, 2012 at 1:45 AM

    Ramos and HRod definitely haven't been in sync

  194. phil dunton - May 9, 2012 at 1:45 AM

    When will Grandpa Johnson wake up???

  195. jeffwx - May 9, 2012 at 1:45 AM

    This is on HROD….If you call for a curve, one would expect it to go 60' not 50'

  196. pdowdy83 - May 9, 2012 at 1:45 AM

    Mike Gonzalez, eh?

  197. mick - May 9, 2012 at 1:45 AM

    This is where I wish the ghost of Billy Martin was around.

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