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Game 34: Nats at Reds

May 13, 2012, 4:00 PM EDT

US Presswire file photo
The depleted Nationals go for the sweep today at Great American Ball Park.

For a team enjoying more success right now than it has at any other point since arriving in town seven years ago, the Nationals are also dealing with as much crushing injury news as they've ever experienced. The latest shock, of course, was this morning's revelation that Wilson Ramos will miss most, if not all, of the rest of the season with a torn ACL in his right knee.

Thus, the spotlight now shines brightly on Jesus Flores, the Nationals' one-time, long-term answer behind the plate who will again be asked to take on starting responsibilities. His backup, for now, will be 23-year-old Sandy Leon, promoted all the way from Class AA Harrisburg.

And yet through all of this, the Nationals continue to win. Today, they'll be seeking a series sweep at Great American Ball Park and a continued hold on first place in the NL East. They'll send Edwin Jackson to the mound, and hope their reconfigured lineup can provide the necessary run support.

As you know, I'm not in Cincinnati and have been spending the weekend with family. On that note, a very happy Mother's Day to everyone out there, especially the one and only Rachel Zuckerman, who is celebrating her very first one as a Mom! Enjoy the game and the conversation…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at CINCINNATI REDS
Where: Great American Ball Park
Gametime: 1:10 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, Ch. 50, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 183
Weather: Rain, 60 degrees, Wind 7 mph in from LF

NATIONALS (21-12)
SS Ian Desmond
LF Roger Bernadina
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche

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378 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. whatsanattau - May 13, 2012 at 11:49 PM

    Jackson may not be better, but he's worth every cent I paid for him.

  2. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - May 13, 2012 at 11:51 PM

    Here's the key difference between Lannan and EJax. One (Lannan) has reached his ceiling. EJax has not. If he ever learns to be more consistent — a big wish, granted — watch out. He blows people away. That two-hitter he tossed a few Saturdays ago was one of the best-pitched games in Nats history. Lannan was a plodder; EJax is a thoroughbred.Been busy all day with Mothers of all assorted sizes, ages and stripes. So glad this game has crept into the evening.Do we have an MPH Rod appearance in the future? Should I warm up the snifter of bourbon and Maalox?

  3. FS=Faraz Shaikh - May 13, 2012 at 11:51 PM

    do you walk Phillips (righty) and face lefty (Bruce), who has been hot lately? 2nd and 3rd one out for Burnett.

  4. SFNats - May 13, 2012 at 11:51 PM

    Fear and Ignorance — I'm not worried about what fans would say. I'm just betting that no one who's actually involved with a professional baseball team would take Jackson over Lannan. Other than maybe ERA, which isn't the best way to judge, Jackson is better than Lannan in every measurable way. And signing Jackson at the last minute didn't stop them from spending money on offense. That's simply not true. The fact is, there was no one out there who fit what they needed at the right price. They could have had Fielder, but it would have been insane for an NL team to sign him for the years/$$$ he got. It's pretty insane for an AL team to do it. There weren't any worthwhile CFs on the market. And that's what they really needed at the time.

  5. whatsanattau - May 13, 2012 at 11:52 PM

    Jackson has no-hit capability on any given day. Lannan has no no-hit capability. I'll take Jackson. And if Jackson results in a) a draft choice, b) a decent player in trade, or c) a play-off win, he'w worth every penny of $11M.

  6. SFNats - May 13, 2012 at 11:53 PM

    FS=Faraz Shaikh said… I was gonna make a comment about our defense and errors lately and Desi commits one. Geez!————————-That was a tough error. I'm not sure Desi could have gotten him even if he had fielder the ball cleanly. Just a bad break.

  7. FS=Faraz Shaikh - May 13, 2012 at 11:54 PM

    oh ok, I didn't know. Guess I will cut him some slack.

  8. Gonat - May 13, 2012 at 11:54 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… MicheleS.JFlo is gonna be fine calling pitches. Jacksons location got him in trouble, not the pitch call.Leon will only get maybe 3 out of 14 games. They may feel that he's developed enough defensively to keep him all season. May 13, 2012 7:23 PM ______________________________Agreed. As I pointed out earlier, he was very fortunate that Bruce swung and miss on a dead red fastball that missed its location. EJax for his last 4 starts has been just getting by. Also fortunate for run support.

  9. SFNats - May 13, 2012 at 11:55 PM

    Sorry, above, I meant that no one would take Lannan over Jackson. Clearly, it's nap time!

  10. whatsanattau - May 13, 2012 at 11:55 PM

    Chest thump

  11. MicheleS - May 13, 2012 at 11:58 PM

    YUK>. Bam Bam, lost the ball.. We need this win

  12. Gonat - May 13, 2012 at 11:58 PM

    whatsanattau said… Jackson has no-hit capability on any given day. Lannan has no no-hit capability. I'll take Jackson. And if Jackson results in a) a draft choice, b) a decent player in trade, or c) a play-off win, he'w worth every penny of $11M. May 13, 2012 7:52 PM ____________________________Yes, but he is very inconsistent. 1 great game, 2 good games, and 4 not so good games. The 1 great game could have been a no-hitter. So what. Give me a consistent low ERA guy and while I don't consider Lannan that guy, he was consistently a high 3.80 ERA guy last year, and you are right, he won't pitch any no-hitters.

  13. FS=Faraz Shaikh - May 13, 2012 at 11:59 PM

    wow we never make it easy.

  14. Gonat - May 14, 2012 at 12:00 AM

    Burnett's stats will suffer from that and that is where you need an asterik. He pitched a great relief appearance and a ball caught in the weather got lost. Stinks.

  15. Joe Seamhead - May 14, 2012 at 12:00 AM

    Oofff! The t was painfully!

  16. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 14, 2012 at 12:00 AM

    Desmond's error opened the door. When you give a team that hits well 5 outs they usually do score a crooked number. Ankiel almost bailed Harper out, he almost got to the ball.

  17. SFNats - May 14, 2012 at 12:01 AM

    Yep. Burnett did a great job of pitching out of a jam that really wasn't his fault and limiting the damage. That run that Shark and LaRoche put across really looks big now.

  18. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - May 14, 2012 at 12:01 AM

    One-run lead entering the ninth. Ladies and gentlemen, the bourbon and Maalox are being poured full strength.Barkeep! Bourbon and Maalox all around for my friends. And that includes my very, very best friend, "GOOD HENRY!!!"Please make it be Good Henry.

  19. CN - May 14, 2012 at 12:02 AM

    GoNat, the asterisk will prob be in the form of an unearned run, as the runs came in with two outs after the lead-off error by Desmond.

  20. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 14, 2012 at 12:03 AM

    stats won't suffer, runs unearned due to Desi's error. Should have been 3 outs already

  21. MicheleS - May 14, 2012 at 12:04 AM

    A milkshake would have been nice today Scott, but I am sticking with the bourbon and the Maalox..Here comes Henry in the 9th…

  22. whatsanattau - May 14, 2012 at 12:05 AM

    There are no yes, buts in baseball. (only in blogging)

  23. Gonat - May 14, 2012 at 12:07 AM

    Manassas Nats' Fan said… Desmond's error opened the door. When you give a team that hits well 5 outs they usually do score a crooked number. Ankiel almost bailed Harper out, he almost got to the ball. May 13, 2012 8:00 PM __________________________Some people cut no slack at all. He would have to come across his body to make that throw. Who knows. I give a Hit on that if I'm the official scorer.

  24. whatsanattau - May 14, 2012 at 12:08 AM

    Flores=PopeyeHe's got the beard and he even runs with his forearms moving like Popeye.

  25. SFNats - May 14, 2012 at 12:08 AM

    Agree with GoNat. I guess they gave him an error because he got the glove on it. But that was a tough chance and the runner likely would have been safe either way.

  26. Gonat - May 14, 2012 at 12:09 AM

    Hometown scoring. That Lombo ball to Votto the Gold Glover has been changed to a double from an error.

  27. MicheleS - May 14, 2012 at 12:09 AM

    that was funny… Go Ian.. Shark likes water!!! Get a hit please

  28. sm13 - May 14, 2012 at 12:09 AM

    Henry time is coming….

  29. MicheleS - May 14, 2012 at 12:09 AM

    Okay.. No Shark.. Come on Tyler!

  30. djinFl. - May 14, 2012 at 12:10 AM

    The Reds announcers have had nothing but good things to say about Harper. Even covered for him losing the balls in the mist and evening glow. Said he is just a great kid, and great for the game.Just the opposite of the Pirates announcers, jerks.GYFNG

  31. Marty - May 14, 2012 at 12:11 AM

    Fix it, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,Fix it, dear Henry, dear Henry, fix it.

  32. Gonat - May 14, 2012 at 12:12 AM

    CN said… GoNat, the asterisk will prob be in the form of an unearned run, as the runs came in with two outs after the lead-off error by Desmond. May 13, 2012 8:02 PM ________________________Not true. Mattheus gets an unearned but Burnett gets not only an inherited runner scoring mark but also 1 earned run on his stats.

  33. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 14, 2012 at 12:14 AM

    Good Henry tme.yes Desi's play was hard to do, but in the 8th inning your team depends on you to do it.

  34. baseballswami - May 14, 2012 at 12:15 AM

    I really don't get that pinch hit for bernie. Tyler Moore hasn't played, is cold, cold, cold. Bernie is hot, hot, hot. Poor kid – he gets brought in in the highest leverage situations, with terrible conditions – sidearm, Chapman, now this and in the rain. He needs playing time – probably back in NY. Good Henry or Bad Henry?

  35. Gonat - May 14, 2012 at 12:15 AM

    Bottom of the order to Henry. He needs to be sharp.

  36. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - May 14, 2012 at 12:18 AM

    One request: Feed him the DP pill, Henry.

  37. Gonat - May 14, 2012 at 12:18 AM

    Oh cr-p, here we go again. Kardiac Kids got the blood pressure up.

  38. Gonat - May 14, 2012 at 12:21 AM

    Do you get Clippard warming now?

  39. MicheleS - May 14, 2012 at 12:22 AM

    Love hearing the Lets Go Nats chant!

  40. baseballswami - May 14, 2012 at 12:22 AM

    There is not enough bourbon and maalox in the universe to get me through this season.

  41. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - May 14, 2012 at 12:23 AM

    Pour it on, Henry. Pour it on.I am so glad Florest is behind the dish.Barkeep, pour me another bourbon.

  42. Drew - May 14, 2012 at 12:23 AM

    When the bell tolls for me, the cause of death will say: Henry Rodriguez.

  43. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - May 14, 2012 at 12:24 AM

    Join the club, swami. Join the club. We're all going to alcoholics by Sept. 1.

  44. sm13 - May 14, 2012 at 12:24 AM

    Good visit by McCatty. Try to calm things down.

  45. SFNats - May 14, 2012 at 12:24 AM

    No way, Sunshine. We can quit drinking after the season's over. Not before!

  46. NatsNut - May 14, 2012 at 12:26 AM

    OMFG. HENRY RODRIGUEZ, STOP THIS AND GET HIM OUT FOR THE LOVE OF GAWD.

  47. Gonat - May 14, 2012 at 12:26 AM

    There's the slider

  48. Scott from Burke - May 14, 2012 at 12:27 AM

    time for the gas

  49. Gonat - May 14, 2012 at 12:27 AM

    Pitch track had that as a strike

  50. NatsNut - May 14, 2012 at 12:28 AM

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!??????????

  51. SFNats - May 14, 2012 at 12:29 AM

    Ruh Roh.

  52. Gonat - May 14, 2012 at 12:30 AM

    Davey Davey Davey…

  53. sm13 - May 14, 2012 at 12:30 AM

    First pitch ball = tough outing for Henry.

  54. baseballswami - May 14, 2012 at 12:30 AM

    Definitely Bad Henry. This is just awful – all that hitting goes to waste. I know he was great last night, but sometimes someone else is going to have to close out games. He just can't be consistent.

  55. Gonat - May 14, 2012 at 12:30 AM

    If Henry gets through this, it will be a miraculous type

  56. Gonat - May 14, 2012 at 12:32 AM

    How many times do we have to see this.

  57. Marty - May 14, 2012 at 12:32 AM

    Dude's good…

  58. MicheleS - May 14, 2012 at 12:32 AM

    that just sucked

  59. FS=Faraz Shaikh - May 14, 2012 at 12:33 AM

    OMG

  60. sm13 - May 14, 2012 at 12:33 AM

    Ohhhhhhhh Henry!!Two walk off slams in MLB today – Votto and Stanton.

  61. Joe Seamhead - May 14, 2012 at 12:33 AM

    Desmond killed us once, the ump killed us once again, and Votto sent us to baseball hell.

  62. Fear and Ignorance - May 14, 2012 at 12:34 AM

    That right there is why Davey will never be a great manager!!!

  63. baseballswami - May 14, 2012 at 12:34 AM

    Votto and HRod – what a pair. That was just unnecessary. Whatever happened to closer A and closer B? How many of these games can we afford to have him throw away? Yes, he was great last night, but when he is awful, he is dreadful. Anybody else feel that one coming a mile away?

  64. Gonat - May 14, 2012 at 12:34 AM

    Gonat said… Do you get Clippard warming now? May 13, 2012 8:21 PM __________________________I wrote that 11 minutes ago. He had to get Heisey and he couldn't do it. Votto did what Votto does but its on Henry. He created it and Davey let it roll.

  65. mick - May 14, 2012 at 12:35 AM

    All you HoRod fans, this CLOWN loses as many as he wins, he is worthless and worse than that Davey and McCatty are CLUELESS. Why not bring in Clip, HELLO, HELLo, HELLO, I have decided that Davey Johnson may lead this team to 90 wins one day, but he will always be out coached in any playoff series.

  66. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - May 14, 2012 at 12:35 AM

    Let the Good Henry, Bad Henry debate begin.

  67. Gonat - May 14, 2012 at 12:35 AM

    Nats are now in 2nd place

  68. FS=Faraz Shaikh - May 14, 2012 at 12:35 AM

    F&I, Davey is already considered a great manager.

  69. Dryw Loves the Nats - May 14, 2012 at 12:35 AM

    Ray wonders if it was the mound conditions. Has he not noticed that Bad Henry can neither throw a strike nor hold a lead?

  70. SCNatsFan - May 14, 2012 at 12:35 AM

    When you walk the bases full for Votto you deserve what you get. I can't fathom this is our closer.I predict tomorrow Davey stands behind Henry.

  71. Dave - May 14, 2012 at 12:36 AM

    Epitome of feast or famine.You can't be surprised anymore.

  72. Dryw Loves the Nats - May 14, 2012 at 12:36 AM

    On the bright side, Jesus shows that he can handle the plate. I love Wilson and feel horrible for his injury, but no way he would have stopped that WP.

  73. Drew - May 14, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    How many Hindenburgs do we have to watch?I would never, ever, ever let that stiff pitch in a pressure situation.

  74. mick - May 14, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    better yet let the Smart Davey and CLUELESS Davey debate beginBTW: Do not blame Harper for this, i guarantee Davey and HRod will lose more game in 1 season than Bryce Harper will in his whole career

  75. baseballswami - May 14, 2012 at 12:39 AM

    Have you ever seen a player who is either so completely spectacular or so completely abysmal? He has no in between and you can see it pretty quickly. There has just got to be a plan. I am not saying he shouldn't ever close games – I just think there should be someone else warming up and as soon as you see it's one of those nights, you just bring the quick hook. He also seems to do better with more than one run for a lead. Although a grand slam kind of takes care of a lead for us. We have a record number of hits and score six and it's not enough. That's weird in and of itself.

  76. mick - May 14, 2012 at 12:40 AM

    This is one Davey and HRod PERIOD!!!!! AGAIN. I would think morale among LaRoche, Zim and other players that buts their ass is gong to get down when they start thinking they have a clueless manager and a LOSERof a reliever

  77. Michael J. Hayde - May 14, 2012 at 12:40 AM

    Ugh. It's frustrating enough that Henry Rodriguez has to learn how to be a closer on the job. SOMEbody has to sit him down and talk to him about the closer's mentality. You do NOT try to fool an 0-4 hitter with off-speed and wind up loading the bases for the guy who's 3-4! As F.P. says, you throw your best pitch and if he hits it, he hits it! Lord, I can't wait until Drew Storen returns!

  78. mick - May 14, 2012 at 12:40 AM

    Don't any one tell me that this baseball and that is the way it goes. How hard would it have been to put in Clippard????????????????????????????

  79. NatsNut - May 14, 2012 at 12:41 AM

    no kidding swami. unbelievable.

  80. Gonat - May 14, 2012 at 12:41 AM

    Long plane ride back. The relief pitching through the 8th was great even though the stats will say otherwise. Many clutch hits all game and it all gets erased by a botched 9th inning save situation.If Davey won't do it, Rizzo has to over-ride him. Clippard and Stammen were both available. He should have been warming one of them. Had to get Heisey with Votto on deck. Why did Henry all of sudden throw 4 sliders to Heisey? WHY?

  81. mick - May 14, 2012 at 12:42 AM

    sit HrOd down and say, "hey stupid, if your slider is not working and hitting the freakin ground 3 times in a row, do not throw it again"

  82. John - May 14, 2012 at 12:42 AM

    Happy Mother's Day, Henry.

  83. FS=Faraz Shaikh - May 14, 2012 at 12:43 AM

    r u kidding me? if you are not doing your job which is driving in runs with runners on, you shouldn't be worrying about whether your manager is clueless and reliever is a loser or not. you should shut up and try to get better at your job.

  84. Gonat - May 14, 2012 at 12:44 AM

    baseballswami said… Have you ever seen a player who is either so completely spectacular or so completely abysmal? He has no in between and you can see it pretty quickly. There has just got to be a plan. I am not saying he shouldn't ever close games – I just think there should be someone else warming up and as soon as you see it's one of those nights, you just bring the quick hook. He also seems to do better with more than one run for a lead. Although a grand slam kind of takes care of a lead for us. We have a record number of hits and score six and it's not enough. That's weird in and of itself. May 13, 2012 8:39 PM ___________________________No kidding. Some of us said that after the Dodgers game. You can see it. He couldn't locate his fastball again tonight. When he can't do that, you're toast.

  85. NatsNut - May 14, 2012 at 12:44 AM

    good point dave. don't know why i'm surprised. oh man I feel sorry for those guys. i can't imagine their heads hanging any lower than tonight.

  86. baseballswami - May 14, 2012 at 12:45 AM

    They can't catch up to his fastball but he throws sliders – they lay off and take walks. What is wrong with this theory? Repeat after me: We won the series, we won the season series, we had a .500 road trip, DREW STOREN IS OUR REAL CLOSER AND WILL COME BACK! How do you think he feels watching this crap? He must be jumping out of his skin to come back. I really did appreciate him last year, but now, looking back, I didn't appreciate him nearly enough. Love you Drew!!!!!

  87. mick - May 14, 2012 at 12:46 AM

    Gonat….. BINGO, excatly! I think Rizzo really has to think about Davey in 2012 and get some new blood in 2013, Davey is losing games for this teams like he did last season, HRod is not worth keeping, as soon as Storen is back, get him the hell outta here! He s gong to kill team morale, He may be the most inconsistent pitcher I have seen in 30 years

  88. Gonat - May 14, 2012 at 12:47 AM

    FS=Faraz Shaikh said… r u kidding me? if you are not doing your job which is driving in runs with runners on, you shouldn't be worrying about whether your manager is clueless and reliever is a loser or not. you should shut up and try to get better at your job. May 13, 2012 8:43 PM ______________________________Even the best with RISP are successful 3 of 10 times but the best closers have a better than 5 of 6 success rate. While I would like to agree with you, Henry's very inconsistent and can't be the closer. Can't be.

  89. FS=Faraz Shaikh - May 14, 2012 at 12:47 AM

    well good thing we don't have to see that guy again all season long. Thank GOD.

  90. mick - May 14, 2012 at 12:48 AM

    DC media should be hard on Davey, the should not let him weasel his out of defending HRod. I would expect Davey to own up and say, my coaching cost this team tonight and maybe 3-4 other games this season

  91. Joe Seamhead - May 14, 2012 at 12:49 AM

    Hey! We won another series. We're playing with one arm tied behind our back. We blew this one, but we're still playing over .600 ball. Give it a break, Mick.What, do you want Clip to be set up man and closer every night? Henry was robbed by the ump's call of what should have been strike three on the batter before Votto. We got beat by a very, very good player in Votto after the ump's non- call. It's baseball. Get 'em tomorrow.

  92. mick - May 14, 2012 at 12:50 AM

    I am so sick of this!

  93. NatsLady - May 14, 2012 at 12:50 AM

    FS, I'm with you. Nats should have been leading this game by about 5 runs, and it wouldn't be an issue. The plane ride home will be fine, .500 road trip, Padres and Pirates coming in for the week, Espinosa is hitting and Bryce is learning what it means to be on major league TEAM.The last time there were two walkoff grand slams in one day was 1998.

  94. baseballswami - May 14, 2012 at 12:51 AM

    Mick — I have been watching Davey Johnson his whole career. Yes, he is a baseball guy through and through. But one of his weaknesses is that he has pet players and players he does not favor and he shows it. Another one is that once he decides something he will stick with it even if the evidence shows something different, way past when someone else might. sometimes that really does pay off – Espi is coming around, he was right to be patient with him. His ego has always gotten in the way of his truly brilliant mind. This is a man who has been fired from a winning team. Managing pitching is not a strong suit. Again – no need to give up on him closing some games, just have a plan for Bad Henry times. Once it goes bad, it's not turning around.

  95. mick - May 14, 2012 at 12:52 AM

    Davey says "enough injuries, we have had our share" I say, enough coaching blunders Davey, we have had our share of losing in DC and your coaching is not making things better. A novice would had taken HRod out after the first 2 batters!!

  96. Mr. Doggett - May 14, 2012 at 12:52 AM

    Ok, before you all start ripping Henry again, just remember he's going to be awesome his next time out and he's still improving overall as a pitcher ….

  97. mick - May 14, 2012 at 12:53 AM

    Mr Doggett, let Henry improve any where but DC!!!! I am done with this BUM!!!!

  98. Gonat - May 14, 2012 at 12:53 AM

    mick said… DC media should be hard on Davey, the should not let him weasel his out of defending HRod. I would expect Davey to own up and say, my coaching cost this team tonight and maybe 3-4 other games this season May 13, 2012 8:48 PM ______________________________That won't happen. Davey sees by sticking with Espi that it would eventually pay dividends. Lombo will go with no playing time at the expense of Davey's loyalty. Espi has cost this team and so has Henry.I don't see Davey changing. I'm so over Good Henry and Bad Henry. I want consistent Henry. I will say it again—Henry is a thrower he is not a pitcher. He had the 8 and 9 batters again tonight to start out. Shouldn't be a high leverage situation.

  99. Knoxville Nat - May 14, 2012 at 12:55 AM

    Well that is what, 3 blown saves this season by Henry when DJ either has no one warming in the bullpen or waits until it it way too late to do so? It's about time some of the DC media people hold Johnson's feet to the fire on this closer situation.

  100. mick - May 14, 2012 at 12:56 AM

    OK Gonat, I see your point, except I would say that Henry is a LOSER and needs to become some other teams problems. I really do not see how other players can tolerate this over a 162 game seasonBy the way gang we are now out of first place, thank you Davey and HRod!

  101. NatsLady - May 14, 2012 at 12:56 AM

    Seeing Flores, that is where I might fault Davey. Flores should have been Henry's personal catcher, period. Didn't help tonight, but in the long run, it might.

  102. Unknown - May 14, 2012 at 12:58 AM

    HRod is 8-11 in save situations, better than Heath Bell. Got jobbed on check swing to Heisey — it was a strike anyway and another pitch was 2 feet inside the ump's zone all day long and he called it a ball. Henry needs to learn from adversity. Biggest mistake to Votto was throwing the high heat – even if you walk him by throwing the slider or change the game can still be won. With better pitch selection OR competent umpiring, HRod is 9-11, and even 8-11 is better than Heath Bell. Next 7 at home before BRUTAL trip through NL East. The team's mettle will now be tested. Let's see.

  103. natsfan1a - May 14, 2012 at 1:00 AM

    Thanks, Unknown.

  104. baseballswami - May 14, 2012 at 1:00 AM

    Even though I am highly bitter about what just happened – and well, I am also bitter about the caps, and well, about losing Werth and Ramos. I really planned on being positive now – kind of lost my way for a minute. Oh — and dropping out of first. But – the team has really been grinding and holding on through all of this adversity. It's a great bunch of guys. Did you ever think we would lose a game with that many hits and 6 runs? I know they will continue to battle – I hope they stay close to the top of the standings, maybe being second will get the target off our backs and onto ATLANTA's. Hang in and get a couple of people back and make another run. It's a long season. It does seem like when someone goes down, others step up. Espi and Bernie have stepped up and now so has Flo. GYFNG!!!

  105. NatsLady - May 14, 2012 at 1:00 AM

    I know that's kind of silly, you can't have a personal catcher for a reliever, but it was like night and day seeing Flores' defense. We may lose the power and offense we got from Ramos, but we'll get it back in defense.

  106. mick - May 14, 2012 at 1:00 AM

    Hey JoeNo, I don't want Clip to be closer. Howver, with 1 out why not have Clip come in when it is clear HRod is going to blow another game. What is your rationale for not having Clip in? It can't be because he pitched last night. HRod pitched last night too, Joe Torre any good manager would have made the move to Clip

  107. mick - May 14, 2012 at 1:04 AM

    and we are hanging on by thread and you know what, other guys did come through. Our strong point is suppose to be our pitching and Clip was ready to pitch the final 2 outs or even to Votto. This where a good manager comes in. Injuries to Ramos and Werth had NOTHING TO DO WITH TONIGHT! This was all managing and not pulling a head case of pitcher whewn everyone in the ball park knew he did not have it,Flores caught a great game Nats lady and the proof is how he handled Mattheus. An all start catcher could not have stopped HRod from losing the game tonight!

  108. Dryw Loves the Nats - May 14, 2012 at 1:04 AM

    I'm with you, Swami. That was a hard loss, and really Henry should have been able to get that last out somewhere before Votto came up….but you've got to like these guys and what they're doing. All but two series won, guys playing hard every night and winning some they should lose. A starting rotation that makes people run out of superlatives. And this is without some of our key players. I'm working hard to swallow this ugly loss, but it helps to count our many bright spots!

  109. Gonat - May 14, 2012 at 1:05 AM

    baseballswami said… sometimes that really does pay off – Espi is coming around, he was right to be patient with him. May 13, 2012 8:51 PM _______________________________Why do you think he was right? Because Espi had 3 decent games this weekend? What about the 25 horrible games?Some think Lombo is a star in waiting so Davey possibly shot himself in the foot for allowing a player with options to work out 0-19 with RISP until today to come up with a big hit? A couple of HRs in low leverage situations? Its a good sign but again there is a cause and effect of these decisions.That is the problem as I see it. Cause and effect. This team is on the cusp of doing something special even in the face of adversity with all of these injuries.

  110. natsfan1a - May 14, 2012 at 1:05 AM

    I'm with you, swami. Well, I'm not bitter because I don't follow the Caps (or that pointy ball team, but I digress). Every team deals with injury and adversity. I wasn't expecting the Nats to be in first place this long, but I enjoyed it immensely, and I'll enjoy it when they get back there. Heck, it's only 1/2 game. Do we have to be #1 all year? What are we, Yankees fans? ;-)(Confidential to Michele: I wouldn't mind seeing Chipper get some sort recognition for his career late in the season, but I also understand that it could be awkward what with him being with a division opponent and all. I've actually come to respect the dude.)

  111. NatsLady - May 14, 2012 at 1:06 AM

    You didn't really think the Nats were going to grap ahold of first place in April and stay there until October, did you? Really? Stupid Cardinals, letting themselves get swept by Atlanta.

  112. Joe Seamhead - May 14, 2012 at 1:06 AM

    So, Davey Bashers, who should be our manager? You guys kill me. Look at our DL. Look at our record. I still think Johnson is pulling rabbits out of his hat.

  113. natsfan1a - May 14, 2012 at 1:07 AM

    Also, wonder what was up with those people seated near home plate who put on a horse head and a giraffe head in the bottom of the 2nd and 4th, when Bruce what would come up. Kinda weird.

  114. mick - May 14, 2012 at 1:07 AM

    Joe Seam: that was one hell of rabbit he pulled out tonight wasn't it, lol

  115. Drew - May 14, 2012 at 1:08 AM

    In his career he now has 10 saves and SEVEN blown saves. Is that good? He' not a fireman. He's a ;(&$@" gas can.

  116. sjm308 - May 14, 2012 at 1:09 AM

    Mick: I love your passion but are you really sick of us challenging for first place and being in first for over 30 days?? We lost a really tough game but its 162 games and there will be games other teams blow against us. Just relax and let things work out. HRod is not our closer in Sept if Storen is well. Yes, this was a really really tough loss but it happens. We have Det and SS the next two days against the Padres who are coming East. We need to keep hitting and things will work out.I think I am that 3rd person who liked Bernadina and am very happy for him. Would not have put Moore in that tough spot in the 9th, plus I think you have to place more emphasis on defense at that time so I would have let Bernadina hit against the lefty.Everyone is jumping on HRod but if Desmond makes a routine play and Harper finds the easy fly ball we are not even in this spot.

  117. mick - May 14, 2012 at 1:10 AM

    Drew, he is a LOSER and belongs on one of the Nats teams from 2007 and 2008 that lose 100 plus games

  118. natsfan1a - May 14, 2012 at 1:13 AM

    So, if somebody doesn't perform to expectations on any given day, they're a loser? Sorry, LOSER? Sure glad my mom didn't subscribe to that theory or I might be even more warped than I am. (Yeah, I know.) Thanks, mom. ;-)

  119. Gonat - May 14, 2012 at 1:14 AM

    Joe Seamhead said… So, Davey Bashers, who should be our manager? You guys kill me. Look at our DL. Look at our record. I still think Johnson is pulling rabbits out of his hat. May 13, 2012 9:06 PM ___________________________Davey's the right guy although there's some that maybe would like to flush him, but if he doesn't keep the right balance, he could let it slip away.It isn't as if Davey's whole career is World Series wins. He has many detractors from his past.

  120. mick - May 14, 2012 at 1:14 AM

    sjm 308I am happy for Bernadina and Espinoza. I just think Davey and McCatty better get a read on when to go with Hrod and when to take him out or the morale on this team will sink to point that the season could fall apart

  121. FS=Faraz Shaikh - May 14, 2012 at 1:15 AM

    spot on sjm, but like you said 162 games. luck will favor us sometimes and sometimes it won't. very tough loss to digest but I am not going to question people who have lived and breathed baseball all their lives.

  122. NatsLady - May 14, 2012 at 1:16 AM

    Nelson Cruz just hit a grand slam against Jerrod Weaver and his 0.79 WHIP (5-0, 1.60 ERA). Honestly, would you rather be a Nats fan or an Angels fan?

  123. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - May 14, 2012 at 1:16 AM

    NatsLady, that's what I've been saying since that Dodgers meltdown. Ramos is a great bat, but raw behind the plate. Flores is a much more complete player. It will never show up in the box score but that block he made on one of Henry's 55-foot sliders was as good as it gets. Ramos would have given up three wild pitches and Votto would have never batted. I will miss the Moose, but not his defense.We bounce back. Davey sticking with MPH Rod after the game, calling it "a bump in the road."Hell, the Cross-Bronx Expressway isn't this bumpy. It's a marathon, people. Pods, Bucs and first-place Orioles coming in this week.No time to hang our heads. There's Gorse to be Hacked.Come back soon, Mickey Morse and Drew Storen!

  124. mick - May 14, 2012 at 1:16 AM

    natsfan1A… so how many more games with Hrod losing them is OK for you, 5, 10, 20, hey why not 20 more?

  125. SonnyG10 - May 14, 2012 at 1:18 AM

    You know I really hate to lose a game we should have won. This loss was really hard to take, but sometimes s@#t happens. The baseball gods took one from us.

  126. FS=Faraz Shaikh - May 14, 2012 at 1:20 AM

    Gonat, I am going by records but turning around a 70 win team to win a WS in 3 years (2nd place a year after 68 wins) and consistently doing that with other teams such as Reds and Orioles. That is also impressive besides that WS ring. He only stayed with other teams for two seasons.

  127. peric - May 14, 2012 at 1:23 AM

    325 posts OMG a new record!

  128. NatsLady - May 14, 2012 at 1:25 AM

    I was upset about the LA game, and I think the loss the next day was a direct result of demoralization by that high profile loss. Then the boys came home and lost the next one. Then they stopped losing, and pulled out series wins against the D-Backs and Fillies.The team is young. They can't lose extra games because of one reliever's meltdown. They needed to learn that and I hope they have.

  129. peric - May 14, 2012 at 1:27 AM

    So, if somebody doesn't perform to expectations on any given day, they're a loser? Sorry, LOSER? Sure glad my mom didn't subscribe to that theory or I might be even more warped than I am. (Yeah, I know.) Thanks, mom. ;-)Best post of the day and apropos for Mother's Day.This all a part of the pain and aggravation of developing prospects. Would it be any better if Riggleman were here to trot out Ron Villone and his sexy baseball wife? Because that is what he would have done as soon as Henry got into trouble. And then? Might as well suffer with high ceiling prospects and their growing pains as opposed to decrepit close-to-AAAA types who can't last an entire season.

  130. Gonat - May 14, 2012 at 1:31 AM

    Jerod Weaver's ERA just blew up. 2.83 and he is still responsible for JHamilton at 2nd.

  131. SFNats - May 14, 2012 at 1:32 AM

    Henry's got to learn to stay in there and pitch through it when he gets himself in a jam or doesn't have his best stuff. If he doesn't, he's nothing. Taking him out of a Sunday afternoon game in May when you've already won the series will do nothing but ruin him. It's not Game 7 of the World Series, after all.

  132. Exposremains - May 14, 2012 at 1:32 AM

    terrible way to lose but you kinda deserve it when you score 6 runs on 16 hits.

  133. Gonat - May 14, 2012 at 1:32 AM

    Bill Ladson tweet: William Ladson ‏ @washingnats Just putting it out there: Craig Stammen, Tyler Clippard or Sean Burnett should be given a chance to close games. #Nats

  134. FS=Faraz Shaikh - May 14, 2012 at 1:33 AM

    Gonat, JH is killing everything in sight right now. He has about 20 RBIs on the week I believe.

  135. MicheleS - May 14, 2012 at 1:34 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  136. realdealnats - May 14, 2012 at 1:35 AM

    Mick, Easy, man easy. You sound unhinged. Davey's got us playing 600 ball. Lots of injuries. He's had patience with Espi and Desi and LaRoche and they've come through or are hopefully coming around. Yeah HRod has control problems, but Davey is trying to see what he has in this guy. What if he got Votto? Then we're all singing another song. It was a terrible day weatherwise. You may be right about Henry, but Davey's cool. Keep the faith, Mick, we love you and Davey.

  137. MicheleS - May 14, 2012 at 1:36 AM

    It's a marathon, not a sprint. I am tagging that game on Desi's error (or non error depending on your point of view) and our lack of hitting with RISP. Henry got squeezed in the 9th. Pitch track proved it. Yes, that game was a downer. 1A. your mom and my mom must have talked.And it's 1 out in the 4th, Weaver got yanked after giving up 8 runs.

  138. natsfan1a - May 14, 2012 at 1:36 AM

    Thanks, peric. Best post of the day and apropos for Mother's Day.

  139. NatsLady - May 14, 2012 at 1:37 AM

    Davey might have used Clip or Stammen IF IF he knew there would be a rainout tomorrow. But there is no day off until May 24. He has to manage his bullpen. Jerrod Weaver just got knocked out of the game, after giving up 8 earned in 3.1 innings. Guess what, people–that's going to happen to us. You can bet. In 162 games, lots of bad stuff will happen. Our team has grit. I'm sorry if you're sick of it, but it's fun to me. I've waited a long time.

  140. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 14, 2012 at 1:39 AM

    Someone said it earlier. walking 2 guys to get to Votto is playing with fire. up 0-2 to haidi and he nibbles, throw a fast ball down the middle and blow him away or let him have contact and take your chances, but to walk him then made no sense. remember the pitcher is the one in control of the game, the batters are at the mercy of the hitters especially on 0-2 counts.Henry is so beauty or the beast. he is way to inconsistent to be a closer. Let Stammen get a try, and put HRod back in the 7th inning for a while. Why keep the status quo. Three blown saves by a closer in 14 games is way too many. However another won series so overall good, but we are now 0-5 in Sunday games. That is our worse day of the week for sure. 21-8 in the other 6 days.

  141. FS=Faraz Shaikh - May 14, 2012 at 1:40 AM

    exactly NatsLady.Guys let's not forget the days of Millege, Hanrahan (who sucked with us), and others. Couple of hundred loss seasons and when we had no direction. I am glad where we are now. I don't think one loss, however crushing is going to down this team's spirits.

  142. natsfan1a - May 14, 2012 at 1:40 AM

    Could be re. our moms, MicheleS. They may have chatted over beverages and bon-bons. :-)Agreed re. the Desi error/non-error and the issues with RISP. The ball that Harper lost was also a factor (that was on the weather and the lights, I think).

  143. natsfan1a - May 14, 2012 at 1:42 AM

    Me, three.Our team has grit. I'm sorry if you're sick of it, but it's fun to me. I've waited a long time.

  144. FS=Faraz Shaikh - May 14, 2012 at 1:42 AM

    Manassas, that must be because we are 5-1 the day before Sunday.

  145. NatsLady - May 14, 2012 at 1:45 AM

    Ladson is an idiot.(1) Stammen is MORE valuable in the role he has now. (2) Clip is having a slow start, I'm not sure he's completely over the shoulder stuff and besides that, he's living dangerously by working on new pitches in 1-run ballgames. (Which I think he needs to do if he wants to prolong his career.) (3) Burnett was tried as closer before and blew a bunch of games before Storen took over the job full-time.Peric has been promoting Mattheus as closer, but, for whatever reason, Davey and McCatty don't see it. Face it, we are living with Henry until Drew gets back. End of story.

  146. NatsFanJim - May 14, 2012 at 1:55 AM

    These modern day push-button managers are too cute by one half — including Davey Johnson.Who says you need a pitcher for the 7th, and the eighth, and then the ninth? A modern phenomena. Matheus is going great — LEAVE HIM IN. Nope, gotta go with the lefty to lefty match up. Statistics don't overwhelmingly prove that move out any longer. 9th inning: gotta gto with HENRY, THE IMPLODER. Saving 8/11 is unacceptable — especiallay for a team with high aspirations. If Henry gets 44 chances at saves (which he won't) he would blow 12 games — yep, 12 games. Try making the playoffs giving away 12 games in the 9th.Henry the Imploder is not the answer. Switch Matheus to the closer role — or Clippard. What is wrong with you, Davey?

  147. D'Gourds - May 14, 2012 at 1:57 AM

    I think hrod's problem is he tries to be too fine. Last night he was just painting the black with 98. But you can't do that every night. And when you throw that hard you don't have to. I'm not a hrod "hater". He just has much to learn and closing 1 run games for a 1 st place team is not the place. I still advocate using Stamen. He's been around a while and throws strikes. That said, I really like the job Davey has done. He sees the big picture. This team is still developing. He is the perfect manager for this team. He has more baseball knowledge in his pinkie than any of us have combined. But it's fun to spout of opinions, no?

  148. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 14, 2012 at 1:58 AM

    Ny wife says the Nats loss is my fault on two counts.first Big CCat (whoo has not been on as he can't get his g-mail ccount to work) text me this morning about Votto, and I said he probably would kill us today. She said I am the one that talked Votto's game into the game it was.Second she said I conceded victory as soon as bad Henry allowed the first runner on. that seems to be Henry's M.O. if he gets the first person out, he has no trouble. Iffirst gets on he over throw his sliders.So I apologize for causing the loss. I see us winning 5 of 7 this week.However I would like our losses not to be as painful as many of losses have become.

  149. NatsFanJim - May 14, 2012 at 2:00 AM

    Henry the Imploder is not the answer. What did Davey tell him the other day? 8/10 saves isnt bad? Really, Davey? Have you lost your mind?Henry the Imploder has now saved 8 of his 11 tries. Given 44 chances during the season, Henry the Imploder would blow 12 games. 12 games, Davey! Try making the playoffs blowing 12 games in the 9th.Mattheus is going good; use him or Clippard as the closer. What is the problem not using Clippard to close? I just don't get it. Davey is leaking credibility. He is leaking games. What does Rizzo do with a 69 year old sub-par Know-it-all manager? Davey will not be back next year. I am taking bets.

  150. SFNats - May 14, 2012 at 2:04 AM

    The Nats are playing .600 ball and have been in first place for most of the season. With half of their key players hurt. I wouldn't go firing Davey just yet.

  151. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 14, 2012 at 2:06 AM

    Only 3 teams have more blown saves than the Nats. The Marlins, the ROckies and the Cubs. Of course we have a number of wins in the last couple innings too.Just need more consistent bullpen work. Will have to see bullpen ERA as I know it is going up much faster than the starters.HROd's ERA up to 4.70, Burnett has an earned run so the terror must have been changed to a hit. It was the first run he gave up this season.

  152. peric - May 14, 2012 at 2:11 AM

    Ladson is an idiot.RLMAO!Bill plays favorites. He doesn't like Mattheus and suddenly he likes Desmond and not Bernadina. But I would consider alternating Mattheus with HRod as it was originally set up. I don't think Henry can pitch in games in succession. In fact that is why Johnson pulled Mattheus for Burnett to preserve his bullpen not just to get the lefty-lefty matchup.I think he needs to practice what he preaches with the closer position.

  153. peric - May 14, 2012 at 2:18 AM

    What is the problem not using Clippard to close? I just don't get it. Because you haven't been watching long enough. Clippard implodes if he is over used and if you put him in the wrong situations. Clippard isn't a closer. He is an all star set up guy. Henry was originally slated to alternate with Clipp so that he wouldn't be expected to pitch 200 innings as he almost did last year. It would burn him out. Plus Lidge was there.But Storen went down … so they decided to have alternating closers which I felt could actually work. Then Lidge went down. The problem IMO is that they didn't replace Lidge forcing Henry to come in every close game and often pitch successive days. He isn't up to that yet. Yesterday he was lights out the best pitcher on the planet. Today Henry was less than adequate. Storen and Mattheus are better suited to the closer's role IMO. But Storen is hurt so I would alternate Mattheus and HRod.

  154. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 14, 2012 at 2:19 AM

    Henry just needs to fire it in. He showed he can do it. It is when he starts nibbling and giving the ump to call a ball he has problems. Fird it.Home Runs to McCutchen and Votto didn't tick me off as much as the pitching to the others before that. If no onegets on those guys don't get up. Simple formula. As soon as they came up i was not surprised at all at the results. Was ticked byt not surprised.I think we as fans take losses muchharder than they do. (I guess that is a good thing.) Besides lack of talent, I would not have the patients to be an athelete, because I would expect to win every game (though not realistic)

  155. NatsLady - May 14, 2012 at 2:29 AM

    I'm not sure it's so much that Davey plays favorites as that he has "projects" and he only works on so many of them at one time. So he may be (and I say MAY BE) retarding Lombarozzi's development while he lets Espinosa work through his problems. But it's pretty hard to have two guys starting second base every day. So he's made the decision to give Espi priority over Lombo. In the case of Flores/Ramos, he saw that Flores didn't need development, Ramos did. Perhaps Flores was a trade candidate, also, and didn't fit in the long-term picture.Fans tend to think in the immediacy–why didn't we win this or that game, why not put in this or that pitcher, etc. Every loss that seems winnable SHOULD BE WON. That is Riggleman thinking. Davey doesn't think that way. The Nats are going to lose 60 games (at least). Some will be absolutely unwinnable, for whatever reason–unhittable opposing pitcher, our starter gets shelled, etc. But those games have few lessons to teach young players–it's the games that you CAN win that you have to show the team not only how to win but how to lose, how to lose and go on to win the next game.Pujols got a hit. Wouldn't that be something if the Angels didn't lose this game?

  156. NatsLady - May 14, 2012 at 2:33 AM

    That's a good analysis, peric. I said from the first we would miss Lidge a lot. I'm not sure the alternating closers would work with Mattheus. Something about him makes me nervous, and I can't put my finger on it.

  157. whatsanattau - May 14, 2012 at 2:41 AM

    I'm often amazed at the vitriol spewed by fans after a difficult loss. (me personally I try not to go all spoiled brat, but whatever)Once Drew went down, Davey tried to go A/B with Lidge/Hrod. Lidge got broke. I think Dave would prefer a second closer, but he's running out of candidates. Anyone he moves into that role opens a hole in another area. In my opinion Davey was right to leave Hrod in to get out of that to day, but even if he had succeeded, they would be looking to someone else to close tomorrow. Three days in a row, has always been low on Davey's list.

  158. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 14, 2012 at 2:43 AM

    Just checking another trend I hope doesn't repeat. After the first two HRod meltdown, we lost the following game. Better stop that one now.A;sp the opther trend I hope doesn't follow is I have had a hard time sleeping after the girst two implosions, maybe enough time has lapsed for this one, though I should be in bed, and don't feel like it yet.I am sleeping better this season then in the past, as usually every blown game I have trouble sleeping and 2005-2010 I had many sleepless nights, less last year, only a few this year, but the impossion nights have been hard the old sleep system as I replay the pitches in mind over and over. (Another reason I could not be an athelete, I replay way too much in my mind.)

  159. NatsLady - May 14, 2012 at 2:46 AM

    Whats==I agree and was thinking the same. Also, that minor-league pitcher (Perry) is taking up a bullpen slot, presumably for mop-up duty–which we never seem to have!

  160. Section 222 - May 14, 2012 at 2:48 AM

    Listened to the game on MLB At Bat on my iPhone driving back from Roanoke. Thank you MLB.com. And what a wild game. Espi looks like he's back from the dead. Tracy is a professional hitter. And Charlie and Dave? They are Washington treasures. But Henry, Oh Henry. Once again, I love the guy, and I think he has a great future. He was unhittable last night, but here's the deal Davey, and I know you're reading this because you said you read blogs and Tweeter — hi Davey! — Anyway, you've now been burned three times. Last night everyone was saying what a genius you are because you stuck with Henry in Pgh, and he came through with a great performance. But today Oh Henry showed up instead of Good Henry. And when that happens, you must, must, must get someone up in the bullpen. Not to hook Henry right away, but to make sure he does not pitch with the tying run on 3rd base. Because at that point, his off speed pitches are not an option, even with Flores behind the plate instead of Ramos. And when major league hitters (especially Joey Votto, but also Rod Barajas) can sit on his fastball, they can hit it, I don't care how fast it is.I don't want Clip to close, I don't even want Stammen to close. Not yet. But I do want one of them to come in and try to get the third out in the 9th if there's a runner on third. Henry's a head case now when he gets in trouble, and he's blown three winnable games so far. If you'd learned this lesson after LA, we'd be 23-11 instead of 21-13. Don't let it happen again. You have options, use them. And don't give me this — "he's managing the bullpen" stuff. Bullpens are made to use to win baseball games. Time to use it when the game is on the line. We're playing two of the worst teams in the league over the next four games. We didn't need to save Clip or Stammen from pitching to one guy to keep them fresh for the Padres and Pirates. That's crazy talk. We may not even need them tomorrow or the next day. We should have won this game, plain and simple.

  161. NatsLady - May 14, 2012 at 3:08 AM

    Off topic, but these ESPN guys are terrible. Could they giggle and congratulate each other any more? Hello, fellas, I know it's 13-5, but there is a baseball game going on.

  162. JaneB - May 14, 2012 at 3:09 AM

    It's late, but happy mothers day to Mrs. Z! And a special thank you to all the mothers of our Nats, and almost Nats.

  163. Exposremains - May 14, 2012 at 3:14 AM

    Here's the way I think the Nats see HRod. They know he's an incredible talent who can throw 100mph and can be untouchable but they also know that he has confidence issue and stage fright. Confidence and stage fright are 2 things you can work on but it takes time and the best way to beat it, is to be put into pressure situations as much as possible until it doesn't feel so bad anymore. A lot of people can't overcome it and that's why the closer role is such a tricky and difficult job because it takes a special person to do it.

  164. peric - May 14, 2012 at 3:16 AM

    So he may be (and I say MAY BE) retarding Lombarozzi's development while he lets Espinosa work through his problems. Player development isn't completely on board with that either from what I've heard. They won't pin that on Espinosa working his way through his sophomore season. They want that. Davey sold them on the idea of teaching Lombardozzi multiple roles (UTL). Its not something he was getting in the minors. Even there they typically use ORG veterans for that role. Last year it was Matt Antonelli and Seth Bynum in Syracuse. Its Riggleman's idea for Guzman redux. A "starting" utility guy that could step in almost anywhere at a moment's notice. Given the injury toll you must admit that Lombo has been extremely valuable in that role? Davey wanted a prospect to do it. He didn't much care for last year's bench of Alex Cora et al. Needless to say given the clamor for Lombo one can see that he has been far more successful than either Hairston or Cora. So, from that perspective, Davey looks right on target again.But, is Lombo a starter? On some teams absolutely. But most every team would kill to have Espinosa in their infield. From my perspective, given the rash of injuries, Lombo is a starter.

  165. Exposremains - May 14, 2012 at 3:17 AM

    One more thing, if you give up on Hrod to early, he could become another Hanrahan(all star closer for another team)

  166. peric - May 14, 2012 at 3:19 AM

    I'm not sure it's so much that Davey plays favorites as that he has "projects" Sorry, I meant that LADSON has his favorites. Thus the odd depth chart where he puts favorites in starting positions even though they aren't starting. If he really likes them, when they get injured, he leaves the there. Ladson is an odd duck.

  167. Bigfish - May 14, 2012 at 3:25 AM

    RE: ESPN guys….Am I the only one who can't stand Rick Sutcliffe?

  168. NatsLady - May 14, 2012 at 3:36 AM

    Espos: You and I are in agreement on this. Henry may not make it, because stage fright is a REAL issue. For years, Barbra Streisand could not perform live because of it, and when she did, she wore a headset with someone whispering encouragement. But, his talent is evident. And the Nats CANNOT lose games the next day after he melts down. There is no one on the team who doesn't owe someone that they got their chance, and that includes Mr. call-off-the-middle-infielder-and-dont-ask-for-help-when-you-cant-see-the-ball Harper. I have to say, I was glad to see the last of GasCanrahan, and good luck to him with the Bucs. But Davey is not about to let a talent like Henry slip away without giving it his best shot.Now, I don't know much about the AL. And I certainly didn't learn much from ESPN Sunday Night Baseball except that Albert isn't hitting–which I already surmised.

  169. Exposremains - May 14, 2012 at 3:43 AM

    The mind is very powerful and if the second before Hrod release his pitch a little voice in his head says: "Don't throw it into the backstop" that's all it takes. These guys are professional but also human being and young too. There's a lot more to baseball and performance than physical abilities.

  170. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - May 14, 2012 at 3:45 AM

    @BigFish: You are not alone on Big Sut. I can't stand that idiot. And Orel Argument is only slightly behind.I am so happy the Nats get back in action against a so-so club, the Pods, tomorrow. Flush this game out of their system.I think they're going to have a 5-2 week. I'm going out Saturday night to observe the Balti-morons. Can't wait for the parade of rusted-out 1977 Olds Cutlesses to start from the north.

  171. NatsLady - May 14, 2012 at 3:50 AM

    I thought Tito was a good manager who got a bad rap. But he seems to be fitting right in with the giggle-fest on ESPN. Apparently there is a play-by-play guy who–occasionally–is allowed to mentinon the actual, y'know, game. The "commentators"??? Yuck.

  172. NatsLady - May 14, 2012 at 4:11 AM

    Just went back and reread Manassas Fan's wife's analysis of why the Nats lost this game. Apology accepted. LOL LOL LOL!!

  173. Drew - May 14, 2012 at 4:29 AM

    OK, deep breath. Now for some good news: In addition to his 35 RBIs in 32 games, Matt Skole has nearly as many walks (32) as he does strikeouts (36).The Hagerstown third baseman looks like a good lefty bat.

  174. peric - May 14, 2012 at 4:34 AM

    The Hagerstown third baseman looks like a good lefty bat.You mean future first baseman. There's the Nats hope for a Joey Votto type bat … by playing both first and third I guess the hope is that he will become a decent infielder. He has been terrible at third base. But his bat is legit.Have to see how he does in Potomac in a month or so.

  175. peric - May 14, 2012 at 4:42 AM

    I still advocate using Stamen. He's been around a while and throws strikes.Stammen is a long reliever / starter. He has a low 90's fast ball. Mattheus, Storen, and Rodriguez all throw mid nineties to triple digits. That is the template for a prototypical closer. Its what Aroldis Chapman is. Stop trying to set Stammen et al up for failure people! Sheesh! When they did have these sorts of closers, more often than not THEY LOST ONE RUN games. Now they are at least winning their share. Try to at least know what you are talking about before blathering about changing the closer. We could pick up Mike MacDougal. He's available, throws mid nineties and used to close for the Nats. There's a reason LA DFA'ed him.If we listen to all the noveaux NEGANON Nit wits, we'd have to irrevocably release Harper for losing a fly ball in the twilight. There's 2 runs right there! Well shall we DFA Harper because he is as much responsible as Henry and his 2 walks? STOP acting like blithering idiots.

  176. That old-school, prestigious way of Scooter - May 14, 2012 at 5:29 AM

    Guys, I wasn't here during the game, but catching up now, I think Joe Seamhead actually said it best (while the game was still going on):Oofff! The t was painfully!I think that pretty much says it all.

  177. kc21 - May 14, 2012 at 7:01 AM

    This might have been posted already, but I have an idea on how to save Strasburg innings. We call up Chien Ming-Wang in a few weeks and have them pitch together. Strasburg for the 1st 5 innings, then Wang for the rest of the game.It allows Wang to prepare like a starter and save Strasburg innings for September, when we'll really want him. If Wang pitches well, we could trade him during the stretch run.I know that means we eat up a roster spot on 6 starters, but seems like as the starters stretch out, we'll need less relief help. Burnett and Ryan Perry rarely pitch now as it is.Problem is what do we do when Storen and Lidge come back?

  178. natsfan1a - May 14, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    fwiw, last night he did throw up his hands to indicate that he couldn't see it, and Ankiel was backing him up but didn't quite get to it.There is no one on the team who doesn't owe someone that they got their chance, and that includes Mr. call-off-the-middle-infielder-and-dont-ask-for-help-when-you-cant-see-the-ball Harper.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 56 44 --
ATLANTA 55 48 2.5
MIAMI 49 53 8.0
NEW YORK 49 54 8.5
PHILADELPHIA 45 58 12.5
Through Friday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
SAT: Nats at Reds, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Reds, 1:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 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.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

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