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About that third inning

May 10, 2012, 3:04 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Ross Detwiler gave up three runs last night, all in the third inning.

PITTSBURGH — The overarching storyline to last night's 4-2 loss, of course, was the Nationals' utter inability to make contact at the plate. But the evening's outcome might also have been different if not for a very strange bottom of the third inning in which the Pirates scored three runs in less-than-conventional fashion.

"We definitely want the third inning back," said Ross Detwiler, who had the misfortune of standing on the mound as it all played out.

Here's a recap of the inning…

– Detwiler strikes out Pirates pitcher Brad Lincoln, but the ball gets away from catcher Wilson Ramos, and Lincoln winds up reaching first base on the wild pitch.

– Jose Tabata smokes a ball back up the middle, it ricochets off Detwiler's foot and into shallow right field for a single.Read more »

101 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 10, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    Desmond just needed to throw it home and McCutchen is out by 25 feet. he had a grip, so that sounds more like excuse making. 9 out of 10 times the runner heads back to third. This is the 1 in 10 he didn't and a throw home has him out.Ramos on a strike 3 just needs to keep the ball in from of him and he throws the guy out. Ramos is not nearly as agile as last year, and balls he kept in front of him last year are getting by. The catcher knows when he called a breaking ball and should be totally prepared in case it is short.Detwiler might pitch completely different with 2 outs and no one on.The team doesn't score enough to have mental errors.

  2. JD - May 10, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    Manassas, You are 100% right. I can't believe Desmond is rationalizing his brain fart. He double pumped twice while McCutchen was racing home. There are no options here; you have to throw home immediately. I saw a lot of Ramos defending yesterday when discussing Henry's melt down but putting all of that aside he is really having a bad year receiving; the umpire saved him another 'wild pitch' by blocking the ball.

  3. JD - May 10, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    Mark, As far as you know; is Morse on track to resume baseball activities in 2 weeks?

  4. JamesFan - May 10, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    It wasn't the third inning that costs us the game. It was the 8th and 9th.

  5. carolync - May 10, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    Come on, Ian, what kind of babble is that? Admit you blew it. The play was at home and McCutchen should have been out easily. I guess McCutchen knows Desmond and rightly thought it worth a shot.

  6. JD - May 10, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    JamesFan,It was both.

  7. John - May 10, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    Agree with all the comments. If Desmond is a leader-in-the-making, then he needs to take ownership of his mistakes. Even Detwiler was frank in his own assessment.

  8. natscan reduxit - May 10, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    "“Modern closer usage is insane,” says Keith Law, an ESPN baseball analyst …" – [http://www.thestar.com/sports/baseball/mlb/article/1175865--does-baseball-really-need-closers]… here we sit waiting on pins and needles, for the return of Brad Lidge, the arrival of Drew Storen, and the reintroduction of Henry Rodriquez because they are Nats' closers and therefore far more important to the team that anyone else in the bullpen. Phooey, say I. Who can make a substantial claim that Ryan Mattheus, or Sean Burnett, or Tom Gorzelanny could not finish a game with three outs in the ninth? Who has fed us the Kool-Aid about closers and their saves?… while we moan about frozen lumber, we might want to take a moment to consider a misused stagnant bullpen.Go Nats!!

  9. Mark Zuckerman - May 10, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    JD said…Mark, As far as you know; is Morse on track to resume baseball activities in 2 weeks?His 6-week shutdown period will end in about 2 weeks. At that point, the Nats doctors will re-evaluate him, and if the injury has healed, he'll be allowed to start up baseball activities again.Best-case scenario: Morse could be back DHing for the interleague series in Boston and Toronto June 8-13.

  10. Gonat - May 10, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    JD, Pittsburgh had 1 wild pitch and would have had a 2nd if Barajas didn't barehand a throw. Wild Pitches are part of the game and are only being magnified because of Ole Henry. You block and corral the pitches and unfortunately Detwiler's ricocheted. Its all part of that lucky/unlucky factor just like the ball that hit off of Detwiler's back foot that was possibly a tailor made doubleplay.

  11. Unknown - May 10, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    Desmond is full of crap. McCutchen scored because Desmond held on to the ball too long. On another subject. what is wrong with Ramos? He's half the defensive catcher he was last year and his bat is nothing special either.

  12. Kirbs - May 10, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    How dare Ross dare have one bad inning, doesn't he know he's has to be perfect every inning!!!!!!! (Thanks offense)

  13. Ann Ominous - May 10, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    "Desmond is full of crap. McCutchen scored because Desmond held on to the ball too long."Perhaps there's a reason for that. Desmond: "He saw that I fielded it, and he looked at me and then just darted towards home. I had to make sure I had a good grip on the ball. It was just too late."You would have preferred he just throw the ball before he had a good grip on it? Because runners tearing in from third never score when the throw is bad.

  14. whatsanattau - May 10, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    I'm reading the same statement above as the rest of you, but I don't see any excuse or rationalization on Desmond's part. He answered a reporter's question. What do you expect him to do lash himself with cat-o-nine tails? You guys can take care of that. I thought he was being accountable.

  15. Gonat - May 10, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    Unknown, while I agree Ramos isn't as good defensively, he will improve in that area. He's actually hitting better than last year vs his OBP numbers but behind the fast pace he started at in 2011. His current slash is .260/.348/.364/.712 Expect most of the Nats hitters power numbers to pick up as they get some warmer weather games.

  16. MurrayTheRed - May 10, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    Can't help noticing we have a lot of new commenters in NatsInsider recently, great! But some of the old guys are missing, or just being drowned out?Ramos still has the bat, but his defensive skill seems to have left the team with Pudge. I say play Flores more, perhaps a lot more.Mark – do you know if a Ramos/Flores switch has been discussed by management or the coaching staff?

  17. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 10, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    Desmond just seemed to brainlock on McCutchen's (excellent, because he didn't get thrown out, dumb otherwise) baserunning. I do remember seeing Shawon Dunston score from second on a routine two-hopper right at the shortstop, and the only way they could have stopped him was to eat the easy out. Man, he was fast.

  18. #4 - May 10, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    Gonat,I can't say I agree with you. Wild pitches are not "part of the game" any more than home runs are. Like good pitchers can minimize HRs, good catchers can minimize WPs. It's not luck. I don't now if Ramos has put weight on, but he's not moving as well this year.

  19. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 10, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    But some of the old guys are missing, or just being drowned out?Missing, Murray, or dialing it back considerably.

  20. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 10, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    You would have preferred he just throw the ball before he had a good grip on it? Because runners tearing in from third never score when the throw is bad. He was getting set to throw the ball to first, for which he already had a grip–he just froze.

  21. Mr Baseball - May 10, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    I think Flores has blocked more pitches in games than Ramos. If you notice, Flores shifts his weight and goes to his knees to round the ball, the way you are suppose to do.

  22. JaneB - May 10, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    Iam with Ann. Desmond double pumped for areas on. He didn't throw the ball immediately for a reason, a reflective kinestetic reason: it didn't feel right in his hand. Why people always leap to so-and-so is a bonehead or an idiot or a badlayer is just beyond me and today it's really pinging my nerves.These guys, to a person, are all terrific ball players. To a person, they all do their best. To a person they all want to win and hate hate hate losing, whether or not they demonstrate that they way you would prefer. There is so much going on in any given play that we don't know about, can't know about and wouldn't even see as a possibility.What is your job? What if you had people commenting on your qualifications to do it, people without your skill or knowledge base, or talent? I've deleted way more tha I'm actually posting, but I've made the point. Generosity of spirit people!

  23. Ann Ominous - May 10, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    "He was getting set to throw the ball to first, for which he already had a grip–he just froze."Maybe he froze because he realized he didn't already have a grip. Are you going to check the Zapruder film to verify that he wasn't adjusting his grip during the milliseconds before and after he froze, or should I?

  24. JD - May 10, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    Gonat, The Pirate broadcasters were all over Ramos for missing that pitch. It was a difficult block but we've seen a lot more difficult pitches blocked. The point also is that this is recurring frequently. I want to point out that I still think that Ramos has the potential to be a top notch catcher but for whatever reason he's not playing as well this year as last.

  25. Jeff - May 10, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    Baseball scoring question. How do you score or write up the strikout but guy reaching 1st due to the passed ball? Is it K (pb)? And, obviously it isn't a single but would still factor in for OBP?

  26. JD - May 10, 2012 at 5:06 PM

    Ann, He was looking at 3rd and double pumping. Maybe he didn't have a good grip but the body language said that he just took too long to process the situation; it's an excusable offense but own up to it.

  27. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 10, 2012 at 5:06 PM

    Maybe he froze because he realized he didn't already have a grip. Are you going to check the Zapruder film to verify that he wasn't adjusting his grip during the milliseconds before and after he froze, or should I? Knock yourself out. And look at his eyes, while you're at it. Deer in the headlights.

  28. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 10, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    Jeff, it's K-WP. That's why the run was earned. If it's an E-2 it's an unearned run.

  29. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 10, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    And it doesn't go toward his OBP. Same as ROE.

  30. #4 - May 10, 2012 at 5:09 PM

    I believe a K-PB would also be unearned.

  31. JD - May 10, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    Here is the problem with Desmond. He is entering tonight's game with an .294 OBP which is killing the team and you can bet your bottom dollar that he will hack at the 1st pitch thrown today; he may get a hit, he may even hit a home run but it doesn't matter. He doesn't think he's performing poorly and therefore he won't improve.

  32. Pilchard - May 10, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    The Nats are tied for 2nd in the NL in wild pitches, yet only 1 team has surrendered fewer walks. So, control does not seem to be massive issue for the staff. Ramos looks really sloppy behind the plate. He does not move his body when a pitch is low or wide as he instead tries to just reach. Rarely do you see him square-up to the ball to block it. I really like Ramos as a player, but he needs to upgrade his defense (he also has been awful at hanging on to throws when there is a play at the plate). Ramos is a decent offensive catcher, but not good enough to give away runs that a typical MLB catcher would prevent. His defense has already cost the Nats a couple of games this year.

  33. Section 215 Row A - May 10, 2012 at 5:18 PM

    JaneBThank you…there is way too much sturm and drang here. Relax everyone. Please. It's a long season. The Nats are a good team…not great, good. They should win more than they lose. Next year even more than that. Enjoy.No one is an idiot. No one needs to be fired.

  34. Section 222 - May 10, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    Wait, Desmond's OBP is down to .294? But I thought he had proven all the critics wrong with his hot start….Desmond looked like he was trying to catch McCutcheon in a run down by running at him (like Zim did on the previous play_). But McCutcheon wasn't dancing in between the bases, he was breaking for home. Desmond just didn't recognize that in time. The grip thing just sounds like an excuse. I'm more worried about his hitting than whether he makes that play. McCutcheon is a superstar. I wish we had him playing CF on our team.

  35. #4 - May 10, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    Here's my issue with stats (BA, OBP, OPS) and Ian Desmond. The stat I would like to see kept is BG – bases gained. The point of baseball is to get you and your teammates around the bases to score. I would like to see a stat in which we count the bases for each plate appearance. For instance, if Desmond batted with runners on 1st and 2nd, and he singled advancing the other runners two bases each, he would receive a "5" for that at bat. If he subsequently stole second base, he'd get a "6". If he got thrown out trying to steal, he'd get a "4". If he hit into a double play, he'd get a "-1". In reality, a home run is worth four walks. Hitting with runners on base is more important than with the bases empty. BA, OBP, and OPS don't quite capture that. They also don't reward guys for moving runners with sacrifices, SFs, ground balls, etc. I wonder if Desmond might look better with a stat like that. I don't know.

  36. The Great Unwashed - May 10, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    I've got to agree with the people defending Desmond. What happened was an unusual circumstance and it caught him off guard. It happens. Desmond said as much when he said that 9 times out of 10, the runner stops and tries to dive back into third when the ball is fielded where it was. He wasn't expecting McCutchen to continue running and he had a split second to make a decision.How many people posting on this board do their jobs in front of thousands of people and then get called out if they make a mistake? Geez, people. Put it into perspective.People are looking for a scapegoat because the Nats lost last night. Desmond is the wrong guy to blame. Blame just about every hitter. You can't score two runs per night and expect to win on a consistent basis. Besides, the Nats still would've lost because of McCutchen's HR later in the game.Oh wait, start the Stammen bashing because he's not perfect either.

  37. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 10, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    It's not mutually exclusive. He had a brain fart. As you say, it happens. But "it happens" doesn't mean "it didn't happen." Overall, I like Desmond at short, and I think he's doing what they asked him to do in hitting leadoff, which is not a natural fit for him, but he's mucking in, which is to his credit.

  38. Ann Ominous - May 10, 2012 at 5:43 PM

    "The Nats are tied for 2nd in the NL in wild pitches, yet only 1 team has surrendered fewer walks. So, control does not seem to be massive issue for the staff."Your two sentences are at cross purposes with each other. A wild pitch can only be scored when there are men on base, which is exactly the time when having good control is most important. So if the Nats are near the top in wild pitches, that says that they have massive issues with control at the most critical times.

  39. The Great Unwashed - May 10, 2012 at 5:43 PM

    Section 3, I'm not understanding your point. But my point was that unusual circumsances sometimes happen during games, and when they happen, you can't expect typical results.

  40. Theophilus T. S. - May 10, 2012 at 5:44 PM

    #4 is making sense. If you're going to evaluate Desmond as a lead-off man, then measure what he does when he's leading off. Otherwise, you're measuring something else, including in positions that are affected situationally, e.g., whether the team is up or down, whether there are runners that he needs to advance by giving himself up, etc. Too many variables, and some imponderables, to get a hand on with a single statistic, or even a set of statistics. While Johnson, et al., are certainly aware of all of the "advanced metrics," my guess is their evaluation boils down to what they see with their eyes, "Is this guy helping/putting the team in a position to win?"

  41. baseballswami - May 10, 2012 at 5:45 PM

    Can we please remember how young these guys are? How many major league starts does det have? One semi- glitchy inning where some weird things happened. They will be fine. We just hate losing now.

  42. Ann Ominous - May 10, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    So if a batter strikes out but reaches first after a wild pitch when the catcher throws wide and pulls the first baseman's foot off the bag, it would be scored as a K-WP-E2. But if the first baseman drops the ball, it's a K-WP-E3. And if the batter doesn't notice the catcher dropped the ball and doesn't run until late, and the catcher forgets to tag the batter and starts throwing the ball around the horn, it could even be a K-WP-2-5-4-6-3. So many possibilities.

  43. Ann Ominous - May 10, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    Sofaboy's point is that it always looks easy from the sofa in hindsight, therefore Sofaboy is always right and the player screwed up. Sofaboy could have done it, if only he could be bothered to get up off the sofa.

  44. JD - May 10, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    Sorry guys. My criticism of certain players is not at all personal. I am sure they are all good guys and I am sure they all want to win badly. I am not forgetting that we are 18-12 (based almost totally on fantastic starting pitching for which Rizzo should be congratulated) but I think it's fair to analyze players and situations in the context of a baseball discussion.

  45. A DC Wonk - May 10, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    Wow . . . quite a dichotomy here, some commenters want to string our Nats players up, others, such as JaneB say:Generosity of spirit people! Oh, JaneB, don't you know that half of the folks here can't be generous of spirit after a loss?baseballswami noted:Can we please remember how young these guys are? Indeed. Wilson Ramos is 24. He's still got some experience to acquire, too.

  46. NatsLady - May 10, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    Det faulting himself for not stepping off and "slowing the game down" is good, hopefully he will remember that. Did Desi or LaRoche go to the mound, like LaRoche did with Henry? Was impressed ALR did that. Also Det pitched well for 3 innings afterwards, "keeping his team in the game" as they say, and it would be true if the Nats had any offense.I've always liked McCutchen. Too bad the Pirates extended him, he is their Ryan Zimmerman.

  47. natsfan1a - May 10, 2012 at 6:19 PM

    Or posting with new/different monkiers.Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said… But some of the old guys are missing, or just being drowned out? Missing, Murray, or dialing it back considerably. May 10, 2012 12:47 PM

  48. natsfan1a - May 10, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    Curse you, Firefox spell checker! monikers

  49. pwilly - May 10, 2012 at 6:22 PM

    Really not that complicated and Desmond said it himself. 9/10 times the runner dives back to third. Desmond anticipated this and started to throw to 3rd then double clutched when McCutchen kept motoring home. By the time he tried to throw home it was too late because of the speed of the runner.Also, Desi is not a prototypical lead off. He's aggressive and does not go deep into counts. Davey wants him to keep his aggressiveness. He's not the reason this team isn't scoring enough runs.

  50. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 10, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    So if a batter strikes out but reaches first after a wild pitch when the catcher throws wide and pulls the first baseman's foot off the bag, it would be scored as a K-WP-E2.No E2 on a wild pitch. Either it's an E2, or it's a wild pitch, as the scorer decides. Runner can't advance one base on two different causes.

  51. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 10, 2012 at 6:25 PM

    And for Desmond, my only point was, he did make a mistake, he froze. Doesn't make him a bum, or a bad shortstop, but it was a mistake.

  52. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 10, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    And I'm mostly in left, these days. Where do you play, Ann?

  53. natsfan1a - May 10, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    So, their GM sez the Phillies could be sellers at the trade deadline.

  54. natsfan1a - May 10, 2012 at 6:27 PM

    I've always been way out in left field, myself.

  55. NatsLady - May 10, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    Do they have anything we want to buy, other than Pence? I believe the rap on him was defense (although he certainly helped Clip out in the All Star Game).

  56. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 10, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    Chase did a fine job digging this up to once again prove Rob Dibble distorts and sometimes outright tells lies or misremembers to make his stories sound more credible:http://www.csnwashington.com/baseball-washington-nationals/nationals-talk/Rob-Dibble-sides-with-Hamels

  57. jeffwx - May 10, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    You think 24 is young….poor Bryce Harper at 19, starting OF and the weight of the offensive on his shoulders after 10 days in the majors….At least Mantle, Mays were brought up with partnering outfielders and surrounded by great offenses.

  58. jeffwx - May 10, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    So here's my lineup tonight (in my Nats fantasy world):LomboHarperZimmLaRocheTracy – LFDesmondAnkielFloresand hard hitting Strasburg with 2 doubles is outhitting most of the bench (except for Edwin Jackson of course).

  59. JaneB - May 10, 2012 at 6:43 PM

    My last post on this. He didn't freeze. He was prepared to throw, and that preparation was based on what he knew was the case almost all the time: the guy dives back to third. Then, in the middle of the impulse to throw, he sees the guy ISN'T going back and there you have it. He didn't have the ball in hand well enough to throw home because he was preparing to throw somewhere else.I do believe it's great to have a discussion about what people wish would happen, wish didn't happen, etc. It's the name calling and motive impugning (I know that's not a real word) and nonsense that is getting to me today.I love my Imaginary Friends. Somedays, I wish they would just be kinder to each other and to my Baseball Player Friends. Somedays. I even wish they'd be kinder to My Own Personal Sports Writer, but fortunately I don't have to wish that today.Done now.

  60. ehay2k - May 10, 2012 at 6:43 PM

    Lol Natsfan1a – monkiers is a pretty good term for some of the renamed posters!Thread summary haiku:Desi, get a grip.Offense, don't try for a rip.Eck, please take a trip.

  61. natsfan1a - May 10, 2012 at 6:44 PM

    I was going more for Schadenfreude potential there (with a little bit of distraction mixed in). :-)NatsLady said… Do they have anything we want to buy, other than Pence? I believe the rap on him was defense (although he certainly helped Clip out in the All Star Game). May 10, 2012 2:38 PM

  62. Tcostant - May 10, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    To me, the biggest joke was Desmond's play. He had the guy dead and just stood there flatfooted. Just a bad baseball play on his part. You have to get the ball out sooner.

  63. JD - May 10, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    'Also, Desi is not a prototypical lead off. He's aggressive and does not go deep into counts. Davey wants him to keep his aggressiveness. He's not the reason this team isn't scoring enough runs.'He is a big part of it. The Nats are last in the majors scoring runs in the 1st inning and that is squarely on Desi. There is no denying his talent but he needs to find a way to combine his aggressiveness with some common sense.

  64. SCNatsFan - May 10, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    there is nothing wrong with this team that a 5 game winning streak and a couple of games scoring more then 5 runs wouldn't cure

  65. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 10, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    JD said… Sorry guys. My criticism of certain players is not at all personal. I am sure they are all good guys and I am sure they all want to win badly. May 10, 2012 2:02 PM JD, you seem to be fair and unbiased in your assessments. No player is perfect and even players like Kemp and Josh Hamilton eventually have slumps.Many players 'failed' and 'flailed' yesterday. Nady was one of the few who came through. The spotlight usually shines on the ones who have a history of failing and the ones who failed at the most critical times.Reading over the game comments, -only- Gonat was quoted during the 3rd inning talking about the Detwiler meltdown going down as reminiscent of his meltdown against the Reds when he eventually gave up 4 unearned runs.I would have to agree. Its this frustration factor and part of the learning curve, but now it is twice in a little over a month he let a small adversity get the best of him.Big deal. A man on 1st with one out who should have been out. Happens every day in baseball. The good pitchers get themselves past small adversity of wild pitch K's and a runner who was out at 1st who was called safe.My 2 cents.

  66. Ann Ominous - May 10, 2012 at 6:49 PM

    "No E2 on a wild pitch. Either it's an E2, or it's a wild pitch, as the scorer decides. Runner can't advance one base on two different causes."The runner gains the right to attempt to advance to first on a strikeout because of the wild pitch (or passed ball, depending on how the official scorer rules.) Thus the wild pitch exists, and a successful putout via a throw to first would properly be scored K WP 2-3, perhaps abbreviated as K 2-3. But if there is an error on the throw, allowing the batter to reach base when otherwise he would have been thrown out, the only proper scoring would have to be K WP E2 or K WP E3.

  67. Tcostant - May 10, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    After readin all the comments, I like to add (or second) the following on Wilson Ramos:- He can't catch the ball from the OF. I remember this problem last year too, even though some are saying this is a new issue. I assure you this happen to much last year.- He is just bad at blocking balls in the dirt. I second the comments that he need to move his entire body and get in from of the ball. he tries to backhand to many and that is lazy.- I was happy to see him throw out a guy tring to steal; he did that well last year (but not this year).- He calls a nice game, but I think Flores calls a better one.

  68. JD - May 10, 2012 at 6:56 PM

    JaneB We will have to agree to disagree. I watched the play like 10 times; McCutchen was barely around third when Desi started double clutching. The difference between the good players and the great players is the ability to process situations quickly and react appropriately. Desi clearly didn't do that here.

  69. JD - May 10, 2012 at 7:00 PM

    Steve, Your Det points are fair although he did induce a ground ball from Tabatha right after the wild pitch which could easily have been a double play but bounced off his foot for a hit. the next 2 guys got clean hard hits and you are right that's on Det.

  70. NatsLady - May 10, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    Ghost, I saw that post too, and it reminded me of how JZ would react last year when something didn't go his way, and the contrast with Clip–when he doesn't get a strike called he just throws an extra one, so there. Hopefully, JZ is past that, and Det will get past it too–maturity. I was thinking about Henry and why Davey left him in Tuesday after he already "learned" that lesson from LA. My students cry when they mess up in a recital or a show. Some of them learn it's not the end of the world, there is another performance. Some of them fold up, discontinue taking lessons and I never see them again. They all have talent (to a greater or lesser degree.) Bottom line is, they HAVE to fail, sometimes more than once. Not only that, but they have to deal with the failure of their fellow-performers.Texas failed two years running in the WS. Do you see them folding?

  71. jeffwx - May 10, 2012 at 7:10 PM

    Don't have to worry about practicing failing at the plate or with runners in scoring position. I think several on the team have learned enough to graduate. All we are saying…………..Is give Lomb a chance (and Tracy and ….)

  72. JaneB - May 10, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    Post of the day. Maybe the month.NatsLady writes:I was thinking about Henry and why Davey left him in Tuesday after he already "learned" that lesson from LA. My students cry when they mess up in a recital or a show. Some of them learn it's not the end of the world, there is another performance. Some of them fold up, discontinue taking lessons and I never see them again. They all have talent (to a greater or lesser degree.) Bottom line is, they HAVE to fail, sometimes more than once. Not only that, but they have to deal with the failure of their fellow-performers.

  73. jeffwx - May 10, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    And the pitching and defense can fail all they….what difference does it make if you lose 3-2 or 8-2…it's the trailing number 2 that needs improving upon.It's the economy and the offense that matters most right now. Our pitching in defense is so much better than what our offense can produce.

  74. jeffwx - May 10, 2012 at 7:16 PM

    reminds me of the REM song, Everybody Fails Sometimes

  75. jeffwx - May 10, 2012 at 7:17 PM

    or the old post, you can fail some of the fans some of the time, or all of the fans some of the time, but you can't fail all of the fans all of the time.

  76. NatsLady - May 10, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    jeffwz–LOL, you got that right. However, I don't have as much faith as some do in Lombo, and certainly not in Tracy. There is a lot of wishful thinking on this board. Lombo is a rookie and Tracy is a bit-player. They may be doing better than expected, and that's nice, but it should not alter the direction Rizzo and Davey are going with this team. I promise you, if either one of them stayed in the starting lineup for a month we would be back screaming that Lombo needs more time for "developement" and Tracy should be on the bench.

  77. SCNatsFan - May 10, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    Jeff I think it is everybody hurts :)

  78. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 10, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    NatsLady, you nailed it. Total JZim like that Burroughs HR after he didn't get the strikeout call last year.Detwiler may be becoming a pitcher right before our eyes, he just has to channel that anger on the next batter and keep focus. McCatty has to recognize that and maybe go out to talk to him.

  79. jeffwx - May 10, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    NL, You may be right about Tracy. He's more of a proven commodity, but I like Lombo's patience at the plate, his high OBP, and his high performance in AAA. He reminds me of a classic moneyball kind of player that gets on base (OK, read the book twice and the movie, so am a convert), which is worth a try at 2nd at least until Morse gets back.Besides Tracy, I'm lost at what to do in left field to improve the lineup. I have to go with Berni AND Ankiel in the lineup. One is doable, but both are two risky.Kind of like last night with the bases loaded, its good to reduce the chances of two batters in a row failing.Thanks SCNats…I'm getting old, so I

  80. jeffwx - May 10, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    Sorry, SCNats, forgot to finish my postI'm getting old, so I get forgetful with song lyrics.

  81. ehay2k - May 10, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    Whew jeffwx – when you trailed off like that, I was about to say, "Well, at least he went out doing what he loved!"

  82. jeffwx - May 10, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    LOL…I want to die with my blog on ;)

  83. jeffwx - May 10, 2012 at 7:34 PM

    MLB Network compares Mickey Mantle and Bryce Harperhttp://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dc-sports-bog/post/mlb-network-compares-mickey-mantle-and-bryce-harper/2012/05/10/gIQAnrE5FU_blog.html?wprss=rss_dc-sports-bogI've been unfairly comparing him to Mantle also.I saw a web page compare him to Charlie Hustle.

  84. Section 222 - May 10, 2012 at 7:35 PM

    NatsLady (and JaneB too, I guess) — Sorry, but I don't buy it. These are not students or youngsters who need the experience of failing to reach their full potential. They are highly trained, and highly compensated, professional atheletes, all over the age of 20. If they were going to fold over a failure they would have done so long ago. (I'm sure many of them had tearful failures in junior high or something and learned from them.) I stand by my position, expressed at too much length I'm sure, that Davey should have pulled H-Rod, both in LA and in PGH. He shouldn't have to coddle his substitute closer like some delicate flower who can't handle being pulled from a game when he doesn't have command, nor, frankly, will you ever convince me that H-Rod benefited in any way from giving up the walk-off to Barajas or the tying run in LA.

  85. Eugene in Oregon - May 10, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    However you choose to score the third inning, to whomever you attribute blame or responsibility, and for whatever reasons the various mental or physical mistakes may or may not have happened, the bottom line is that the Nats' pitchers (and their overall defense) again gave up fewer — albeit by the tiniest of fractions this time — than the league average in runs/game yesterday. And they're doing that consistently. Thus, the fundamental issue here isn't why the pitchers/defense gave up 3 runs instead of 2, or 2 runs instead of 0, or even 4 runs instead of 3. The big issue is when (or whether) the offense will be able to start scoring more than 3.4 runs/game. I'm an optimistic realist, so I'm torn on the question of when/whether that's going to happen (Mr. Morse's return? An acquisition at the trade deadline? Mr. Werth's eventual recovery? Next season?). But until then, I fear we're going to see too many of these close games go the wrong way, As I wrote yesterday: Sigh.

  86. Ann Ominous - May 10, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    "I watched the play like 10 times; McCutchen was barely around third when Desi started double clutching. The difference between the good players and the great players is the ability to process situations quickly and react appropriately. Desi clearly didn't do that here."You had to view a replay 10 times before you were able to process the situation correctly. How can you come down on Desi just because he didn't process it correctly on his one and only shot in real time?

  87. baseballswami - May 10, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    I think one of the things that has to happen is failure – a situation arises, you handle it wrong, you learn from it so that the next time you know what to do. But– there also have to be coping mechanisms in place to help. With HRod, McCatty or ALR or somebody is just going to have to go out there and settle him down. If he is completely ker-fluey, someone else will probably have to go in. With Detweiler, who is by far the least experienced, the catcher, ALR, Zim, Desi — someone has to do something to hit the re-set button. I remember once last year when JZIM was pitching out of the stretch with no one on base or some such thing. Nobody helped. By the way – who is allowed to call time on the field? Can the guys just throw the ball around the horn and stall, can they tie their shoe, can they pretend to have something in their eye? Sometimes that might be all it will take. I love all the talent and energy, but there are just going to be kinks that need to be worked out.You have to admit that third inning had it's share of craziness that might have distracted almost anyone.Lots of things bounced the Pittsburgh way – even the pitching changed worked against our line up.

  88. JD - May 10, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    Ann, no, no. I watched it like 10 times because the Pirate crew replayed it that many times. My 1st impression was confirmed over and over and I specifically looked for any sign of 'loss of grip'. I am coming down hard on Desi because of his own lack of self criticism both of his hitting and defense; that is why he has not become the player he can become. When you think you are doing ok with a .294 OBP you won't get better.

  89. Ann Ominous - May 10, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    "I stand by my position, expressed at too much length I'm sure, that Davey should have pulled H-Rod, both in LA and in PGH. He shouldn't have to coddle his substitute closer like some delicate flower who can't handle being pulled from a game when he doesn't have command, nor, frankly, will you ever convince me that H-Rod benefited in any way from giving up the walk-off to Barajas or the tying run in LA."So if you follow this approach, then what do you do when the second guy fails, and then the third guy you bring in after the first two guys fail also fails, and on and on and on? You can't just keep bringing in a new guy. At some point you need to find out if a guy can bounce back after a failure and not fail the next time he's put in the same situation. The only way to find out if your players can learn from their mistakes is to give them the chance to try again, and in some cases again and again and again, before you give up on them. And even then, giving up on them can be a mistake. Look at Joel Hanrahan. He was worse than Henry as a closer, the Nats gave up on him, and then he turned into an All Star in Pittsburgh. Clearly Hanrahan benefited from making his mistakes, and so might Henry. And the key word there is "might" – we'll never know if he's not given the chance.

  90. JD - May 10, 2012 at 7:55 PM

    Ann, I agree with our Henry comments. The hardest thing for a closer is the ability to let things go and have a short memory and you have to experience the devastation of blowing a game or several in order to find out if you have it in you.

  91. The Great Unwashed - May 10, 2012 at 7:55 PM

    What Eugene at 3:36 and Ann at 3:38 said. Both are excellent points.Rest assured, if the Nats win tonight, Desi gets three hits and HRod closes it out, all of the haters will instantly turn into lovers, and will log on to espouse that they always knew the potential of these guys, etc.

  92. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 10, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    Shoulda looked it up in the first place. I was wrong about the E2."10.14(f)(1) No error shall be charged when the batter is awarded first base on four called balls or because he was touched by a pitched ball, or when he reaches first base as the result of a wild pitch or passed ball.(i) When the third strike is a wild pitch, permitting the batter to reach first base, score a strikeout and a wild pitch.(ii) When the third strike is a passed ball, permitting the batter to reach first base, score a strikeout and a passed ball."So no, there's no E2 possible; it's like a stolen base.

  93. ejs1111 - May 10, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    Because Desi is the professional baseball player and it happened to him specifically- we are just watching video in 3rd person.I only needed to see the replay once to see Desi hesitated. When in doubt, you throw the ball to the forward base to PREVENT the baserunner from advancing. That is little league baseball stuff.It was a bonehead play by Desi, plain and simple… if you watch the whole replay- he hesitated so long he nearly threw the ball away at home- Ramos had to stretch for the high throw.

  94. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 10, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    I was right about the earned run part, though–if it's a wild pitch, the pitcher earned the run; if it's a passed ball, that's like a fielding error, not his fault, and an unearned run.

  95. The Great Unwashed - May 10, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    Here's another take at what Ann at 3:49 said. What if the shoe were on the other foot? What if Hanrahan loaded the bases, Clint Hurdle then decided to leave him in to see if he could get out of it, and then he end up giving up a granny? Would we all be criticizing that failure? No, we'd be happy that we were fortunate enough to capitalize on it. The truth of the matter is, guys are left on the mound or at bat all the time when they're much more likely to fail than succeed. Just being knee jerk and saying you should pull guys as soon as they run into trouble is asking for issues in the clubhouse.Again, Desmond isn't the issue here anyway. The lack of offense and stranding runners is. If Desi had gotten McCutchen out, the Nats still would've lost because of the HR that Stammen gave up. And Stammen's been money so far. It happens. (Ooops, I realize some people don't like the "it happens" explanation).

  96. natsfan1a - May 10, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    Perhaps I misunderstood Jane's point. My interpretation was that, while players can and should be held accountable for their actions, some fans seem to personalize a player's poor performance and attribute it to, say, a character flaw or a mental deficiency.Section 222 said… NatsLady (and JaneB too, I guess) — Sorry, but I don't buy it. These are not students or youngsters who need the experience of failing to reach their full potential. They are highly trained, and highly compensated, professional atheletes, all over the age of 20. If they were going to fold over a failure they would have done so long ago. (I'm sure many of them had tearful failures in junior high or something and learned from them.) I stand by my position, expressed at too much length I'm sure, that Davey should have pulled H-Rod, both in LA and in PGH. He shouldn't have to coddle his substitute closer like some delicate flower who can't handle being pulled from a game when he doesn't have command, nor, frankly, will you ever convince me that H-Rod benefited in any way from giving up the walk-off to Barajas or the tying run in LA. May 10, 2012 3:35 PM

  97. ejs1111 - May 10, 2012 at 8:08 PM

    Desi's mistake aside… our lack of situational hitting cost us the ballgame. Period.Our inability to make contact with RISP was brutal last night. I cannot remember a baseball team with so many K's on BAD pitches when the pitcher is at a disadvantage… ie- RISP.Well, not counting the Nats last year! haha…Its looks like nobody on the team is willing to just poke a single, they all want to swing for the fences.

  98. natsfan1a - May 10, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    Better "it happens" than, er, never mind…

  99. ejs1111 - May 10, 2012 at 8:17 PM

    I too am in the boat of having an additional arm ready when HRod is closing… for the 2/10 times he 'doesn't have his sh*t together'Last time I checked, this team is trying to WIN BASEBALL GAMES. If that is true, then why keep HRod in the game when he clearly doesn't have it?On a similar matter, the gloves/coddling needs to stop with Espi by Davey. Lombo should be platooning with Espi at 2B. Perhaps a little competition will light a fire for Espi, who knows?

  100. NatsLady - May 10, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    Well, Davey had an additional arm, he had Brad Lidge warming several times when he got nervous about Henry. Brad Lidge isn't there. Who is it you have warming up when Henry leaves the bullpen, who is a guy who can warm up quickly and not worry about him losing it? Looking at the cast of characters… Not Clip or Stammen, they have other roles. Gorzy? Not by me. Perry, forget it. Mattheus–maybe. Burnett–maybe. But remember, if Henry starts to blow it (and doesn't completely succeed) and you are in a tie game you have to have resources for extra innings–and for tomorrow. If Henry succeeds you have just gotten a guy tired for nothing. Can't do that every night. Henry has to learn to close road games.

  101. Theophilus T. S. - May 10, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    Nats being last in 1st inning runs scored not on Desmond. W/ Espinosa, Zimmerman behind, even w/ LaRoche hitting .300-something, Desmond could have a 30-game streak of 1st-inning base hits going and he still would have scored only about 30 percent of the time.In the medical business they call it systemic organ failure.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

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ATLANTA 58 52 1.5
MIAMI 53 56 6.0
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SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
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