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After punches to gut, it’s gut-check time

May 14, 2012, 10:00 AM EDT

Associated Press photo
Adam LaRoche watches as Joey Votto circles the bases after his walk-off grand slam.

Any ballclub that has visions of serious contention is going to have to prove its mettle at various points of the season. It's one thing to play well when everything's falling into place. It's quite another to play well when things are collapsing all around you.

The Nationals are about to face one of those challenges. Considering the injuries they've sustained and the red flags that have been popping up on the field in recent days, there's ample reason to question whether they're capable of hanging on.

Jayson Werth's broken wrist was bad enough. Then Wilson Ramos tore the ACL in his right knee. Combined with the extended losses of Michael Morse, Drew Storen and Brad Lidge, it's a minor miracle the Nationals found themselves in position to sweep the Reds yesterday afternoon.

Yet there they were taking the field for the bottom of the ninth at the end of an interminable day of rain delays, up 6-5 and on the verge ofRead more ยป

195 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. JayB - May 14, 2012 at 10:14 AM

    It is not hard to see when we get good Henry of we get bad Henry. Once he walks people….struggles to get ahead in the count…throws ball after ball in the dirt…….why can't Davey make the change. Wins are more important then player psyches. DJ should have warmed up Clippard after the first walk and then put him into the game with two runners on. The point of baseball is to win games. Not develop closers at the expense of winning games.

  2. JayB - May 14, 2012 at 10:15 AM

    of=or….or when we get bad Henery

  3. Section 215 Row A - May 14, 2012 at 10:36 AM

    These words don't come easy to me: I'm inclined to agree with JayB.But I on the other hand…developing players is sometimes a painful yet worthwhile process. Case in point: Sandy Koufax led the league in Wild Pitches before he found himself. A more recent example: Joel Hanrahan self-destructed in a fashion similar to Bad Henry on several occasions. He found himself. I guess they are called growing pains for a reason.

  4. terpman33 - May 14, 2012 at 10:42 AM

    Since I've had a night to sleep on it, I do believe we have to stick with HRod……..for now! I mean, he's our 3rd string closer, and he's doing the best he can. Having said that, the one thing that really worries me is when Hrod blows a save, WE LOSE. At least when Lidge blew his two saves, it just took us to extra innings ( where we eventually won). Overall, Hrod may not be built to be a closer. He may just have to settle for being a 7th inning guy. I believe there is too much pressure for him as a closer, where he may suffer from (as Doc Walker says) Competition Anxiety. So for now (until he becomes somewhere close to being a .500 closer), we have to stick with him…….for now! GYFNG!!!!

  5. mick - May 14, 2012 at 10:42 AM

    JayB that was exactly my point and why I was so enraged with Davey yesterday. Clip could have come in in the 9th after the first batter. There was no excuse for him not to come in. While the Ramos injury is sad, it is not as devastating as one want to believe. Flores is not only a great back up, he is better defensively and was going to be our full time starter before Flores' own injury and before we obtained Ramos.

  6. Bote Man - May 14, 2012 at 10:44 AM

    Early in their careers Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson threw terrifying fastballs with no particular destination dialed in. Nobody gave them much credit before they learned how to pitch with control and to control the situation and the batter at the plate.The question facing the Nationals is how long can they wait for H-Rod to learn? If it means squandering 1/4 of the games he closes, will they still want to stick with him? What are the alternatives?

  7. mick - May 14, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    Hrod with a 2-3 run lead in the 7th may be his spot. Also, why not Stammen as well as Clip last night? This is on Davey and my concerned is team morale. I sense frustration in the other players last night. If i was LaRoche and Tracy, i would be fuming at both Hrod and Davey!

  8. mick - May 14, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    Espinoza and Bernadina finally come around and last night happens, that has to be frustrating. Even though Nats are 1/ game back of Braves, i notice that we are clearly ahead in the Wild Card hunt, lol

  9. mick - May 14, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    need to beat lowly Padres the next two games, before the schedule gets intense. This could be a lot of fun or very frustrating the next 6 weeks

  10. NatsJack in Florida - May 14, 2012 at 11:00 AM

    I get the feeling alot of the newer posters are frustrated Skins fans and they treat each game as if its part of a 16 game season.The highs and lows of a baseball season need to be kept in context of the 162 game schedule. Was yesterday devastating? …..Yes….but only till you wake up the next day and realize another game awaits you and the confidence in your abilities need to be at the highest level. Yesterday is over so bring on the Padres and let's play again.

  11. hokiepokster92 - May 14, 2012 at 11:03 AM

    Henry as a closer is obviously a work in progress. Let's remember that he is forced into this position because of injuries. When he's on he's unhittable! He just lacks the consistency to do it every night.

  12. 320R2S15 - May 14, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    Yea, it was pretty easy to see that bad Henry was out there from the get. I agree that the developmental attitude is getting a little old. Look at Atlanta, you either get it done when you get the chance or you are gone. I love Davy, but I have to agree that he should have seen the train wreck on the way like all us internet managers did, and made the move. the boys put to much heart into that one to have it spoiled by a major league pitcher who could not throw a f@#$%&g strike.

  13. sjm308 - May 14, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    While I also agree with JB, I do want to point out that we had two outs with a man on 2nd. When do you pull HRod, if its after the first walk then you have no idea what might have happened. I do think you get someone up when he walks that first batter and my choice would not have been Clippard. If these guys are as professional as I think they are there is none of the angst that Mick is talking about, especially from Tracy or LaRoche. No one is upset with Davey, no one blames HRod, Desmond or even Harper (that is what fans do, not professional athletes). They are just getting ready for the next game. Do you honestly think that is their first walk off loss? As NatsJack points out, this is not a short season with each game being life and death. Its a marathon and what makes baseball, to me, the most interesting of all sports.Very encouraged with Bernadina the last few days. Yesterday, even his outs were loud and I would not have pinch-hit for him late in the game as he is one of our best defensive players as well. If he does rise from this opportunity, that will be huge when our reinforcements return.If we win the two from the Padres, will that be considered a sweep, or do you need 3 games?Go Nats!!

  14. Unknown - May 14, 2012 at 11:15 AM

    What about the Ump making Henry throw 4 or 5 strikes in order to get a strikeout? I do not remember which batter it was yesterday but according the the pitch tracker he had 5 strikes in the at bat!

  15. 320R2S15 - May 14, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    One nugget that I hope no one missed was Flo. I'm telling you, he is an upgrade. His work yesterday was superb.

  16. Positively Half St. - May 14, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    It is amazing what a fine line this is. Rodriguez was one pitch away from the win, having managed to scrape 2 outs and two strikes before giving up the grand slam. He even had a previous batter struck out looking, but did not get the call.I agree it was Bad Henry. That was clear within 2 pitches. Still, he lost that game by the slimmest of margins, final score notwithstanding.+1/2St.

  17. 320R2S15 - May 14, 2012 at 11:21 AM

    Yea, it was pretty easy to see that bad Henry was out there from the get. I agree that the developmental attitude is getting a little old. Look at Atlanta, you either get it done when you get the chance or you are gone. I love Davy, but I have to agree that he should have seen the train wreck on the way like all us internet managers did, and made the move. the boys put to much heart into that one to have it spoiled by a major league pitcher who could not throw a f@#$%&g strike.

  18. NatsLady - May 14, 2012 at 11:26 AM

    Lemme see. Last year the St. Louis Cardinals had 73 save opportunities and blew 47. The Texas Rangers had 57 and blew 38. Their records in the combined postseason were pretty bad.2011 combined postseason pitching recordHere's the thing. You can't blow a save unless you get to the late innings with a lead. By definition, a blown save is frustrating and a blown save walkoff loss doubly so because there is no chance for recovery. Henry has to learn to close on the road.But here's the other thing. You can hopefully line up your starters for the postseason. But you may need more than one closer. You will very probably need more than one reliever. And your relievers may blow a save or two or five (see Rangers, Texas). As a team you can't be "demoralized" and lose Game 7.

  19. Positively Half St. - May 14, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    NatsLady-Thanks for the ray of hope.+1/2St.

  20. ExposedinDC - May 14, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    Pulling Hrod in that inning only damages an already fragile confidence level, this notion that clippard can't close games is ridiculous, have clip start the inning as Henry pitched the day before anyway

  21. Unknown - May 14, 2012 at 11:31 AM

    Sorry, folks, but Davey Johnson is an elite manager who's forgotten more about baseball than all of us, collectively, will ever know. He's investing for the future in HRod, who must learn composure and mettle under fire or he will fail in whatever inning he pitches in September with a play-off spot on the line. I HATE when this club blows games they should win — and there were a lot of other things that weren't done right — Harper's losing the ball, putrid siutational hitting, inability to get bunts down or make contact — yesterday besides HRod, who did get jobbed by the um on Heisey's at-bat, but who also tried to piant corners with an 0-2 count, 2 men on and Votto on deck — foolish. Make Heisey beat you, not Votto.In any case, I trust Davey Johnson to get the max wins out of this club, which is talented, but decimated with injuries. At 100%, this team is one of baseball's best. We'll see what they are at 75% of that. Keep the faith! (But please don't refer to any other teams as "lowly", let's have at least one 82-win season before we trash other clubs, ok?)

  22. Joe Seamhead - May 14, 2012 at 11:31 AM

    NatsJack in Florida said…I get the feeling alot of the newer posters are frustrated Skins fans and they treat each game as if its part of a 16 game season.The highs and lows of a baseball season need to be kept in context of the 162 game schedule. Was yesterday devastating? …..Yes….but only till you wake up the next day and realize another game awaits you and the confidence in your abilities need to be at the highest level. Yesterday is over so bring on the Padres and let's play again.May 14, 2012 7:00 AM__________________________________________________________________Jack, I agree with you regarding the highs and lows being kept in perspective, and about the football mentality. If a baseball manager starts benching every guy in a slump he loses his team in the locker room. Of course yesterday was frustrating, but I'd bet the house that there isn't one player on the Nationals blaming Johnson's decisions for yesterday's loss. There was a lot more then HRod's implosion to blame for that game getting away. It was a team defeat, along with the elements, and the umpire's odd time to tighten his strike zone. Folks, it's baseball, it's a 162 game season, and if the Nationals can continue to win 2 out 3 games in most of their series then they'll go to the playoffs. If we lose 70 games this year, we'll still have a great year. Think about that, win 92 and lose 70 games and it will be a great year. But you can't have a zillion knee-jerk reactions after every loss and be a playoff caliber team.Now, all that said, it is baseball. We all are going to question the manager's decisions some times. That is our gawd-given American right. I'm pretty sure it's somewhere in the Constitution. One thing that I've learned in my life is that there are two things everybody seems to think that can do better. One is runnning a restaurant. The other is to manage a baseball team. GYFNG!!!

  23. Joe Seamhead - May 14, 2012 at 11:36 AM

    Man, I wish we had an edit button after we post. What I was trying to say is that there are two things everybody seems to think that they can do better.

  24. m20832 - May 14, 2012 at 11:44 AM

    But….but…c'mon Fans! There's only 128 more games left in the regular season! We're doomed…doomed, I tell ya!Let's see how many more players that can be hurt, but our Nats will be in the hunt.I was afraid that Flores was going to be out after he blocked one of HRod's wild in the dirt pitches with his right shoulder. I saw him wince. Wasn't his right shoulder the one that was reconstructed?

  25. NatsJack in Florida - May 14, 2012 at 11:46 AM

    We got it Joe…. Good post.

  26. NatsLady - May 14, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    Yes, Davey is planning for August-September (and October). He does not want to be Freddi Gonzalez and blow out his best bullpen arms with overuse. You may not like that he is training Henry to be the alternate "closer" or shutdown late-inning reliever or whatever you want to call him, but you can best the rest of the bullpen is right on board with him. And for those of you who wanted to bring Clip in with the bases loaded, am I wrong or didn't Clip walk Votto when he faced him? Please tell me you didn't want to go extra innings in the rain or have a suspended game.It's very sad that Ramos had to go down for us to see Flores' value, which was there all along. Really glad Rizzo didn't have time to pull the trigger on whatever "big big" trade he had cooking.

  27. NatsLady - May 14, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    Me too, on the editing. "you can bet…"I had a good laugh on the restaurant runnnnnnnning, Seamhead.

  28. joemktg - May 14, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    The perfect salve for last night is the next seven days: you're home, and the first four games are vs. the Padres and the Pirates, and Detwiler leads them off. As opposed to the handwringing going on right now Regarding Henry, I'm giving him a pass. That was a crappy mound last night, and his plant was sliding all over the place. You can't throw close to triple digits with control with a floating plant. Atop that, it's an injury risk to your arm as you try to compensate.Hey: Espy is looking more compact at the plate, Harper is getting reps, rotation continues to grind, bullpen is strong (regardless of two out of the last three games). Flores is no slouch, as we saw last night, and may be a better defensive catcher right now than Wilson. Zim is coming around. And Ankiel is giving more than expected. Team pitching stats are unreal: keep that up, and this team will weather the forthcoming storms.Bear in mind that last year at this time the Nats were 18-20.

  29. Positively Half St. - May 14, 2012 at 11:58 AM

    Last year the Nats were 18-20, and we were pretty excited about that.I am not so sure that Strasburg is going to get his chace to pitch against his hometown boys, with the weather looking bad tonight. Of course, if that puts him up against Pittsburgh again, expect double-digit Ks and a victory.+1/2St.

  30. NatsLady - May 14, 2012 at 11:59 AM

    OK, I'll give Harper a pass on the lost ball (though one feels if he'd called for help sooner Ankiel would have had more urgency in getting over there), but he is going to take some ribbing for calling off Espinosa and then having to make a Web Gem catch. Good thing for the kid to learn there are eight other guys on the field who know how to play baseball.

  31. NatsLady - May 14, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  32. natsfan1a - May 14, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    That's the spirit, Mick, and it's only .5 game. ;-) Re. LaRoche, I doubt he was fuming. He seems like a very low-key guy, and he's also seemed to be very supportive of H-Rod.mick said… Espinoza and Bernadina finally come around and last night happens, that has to be frustrating. Even though Nats are 1/ game back of Braves, i notice that we are clearly ahead in the Wild Card hunt, lol

  33. natsfan1a - May 14, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    (Maybe Mick just dropped this, "2," in which case never mind. :-))

  34. Section 222 - May 14, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    I would have preferred Stammen the sinkerballer (5.0 SO/BB this year) over Clip (1.89) for the last out in that situation. But yeah, you're right and I take it all back — better that we lose in a walkoff grand slam than go extras. That would have used up the bullpen, and then where would we be for the Padres and Pirates… yeah, right.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.You're hallucinating. Not a single commenter wants to release Harper or blames him for last night's loss. I'm sure glad that help is on the way from Matt Skole though.

  35. NatsLady - May 14, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    Oh, and one other thing because I'm about to get accused of posting too much.While he's at it Davey wants Clip to go to the Hall of Fame. I told you last year he (Clip) was capable of it, and my opinion hasn't changed.

  36. baseballswami - May 14, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    When you are in a situation where you have to use your third string closer, I just don't understand why he has to be the only one running out there game after game. If his ultimate job is going to be set up , I just think that some of the other top-notch bullpen guys can make a ninth inning appearance every 3 or 4 times, especially if it's a Bad Henry night. We have a long stretch coming up with the NL EAst and AL East — not exactly Pittsburgh and Cincy — this will show the mettle. So far I think the pitching and the organizational depth are holding it together. One guy goes down, others step up. Can they keep it together while we wait a bit longer for Morse and Storen? So far they have faced adversity pretty well but could use a few favorable bounces to go our way right now.

  37. NatsLady - May 14, 2012 at 12:23 PM

    222, that's easy to say when you are listening on the radio. Not so easy when you are playing in treacherous conditions. Extra innings when the boys are tired with a wet infield, drenched outfield and muddy mound–another injury coming right up. There are times when I'd almost rather have the loss than the tie, it's an uphill slog when you are the visiting team.And last time I checked we lost 2/3 to the Pirates and a game to the Padres. Obviously they aren't the Rangers, but they're not the Twins either.

  38. hiramhover - May 14, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    Here's the thing. You can't blow a save unless you get to the late innings with a lead.NatsLady, I agree with you, NatsJack and others that this is all is hardly doom and gloom, but those saves stats you give aren't exactly on point.They includes saves "blown" not just by closers but by middle relievers in the 6-7-8 innings (inc. games that those teams went on to win). That's not the Nats' problem this year. Their problem is the 9th inning. And I don't know the team has a good solution to that until/if Storen comes back healthy and in last year's form.

  39. SCNatsFan - May 14, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    Hard not to be frustrated but when you step back and look hard not to be encouraged by the progress the organization is making. Sure HRod has cost us some games but you just hope he is learnning something from it. With all the injuries we have had I'm amazed we sit in the standings where we do. And as much as I want to win this year, I always thought next year was the year for this team and the best thing we can accomplish this year is to get rid of the losing culture.

  40. smurff - May 14, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    Was anyone else having issues with MASN yesterday, or was it just my provider ( Metrocast) ? The guide was showing that the game was scheduled , but SportsCenter was showing instead of the game. Very frustrating…..

  41. hiramhover - May 14, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    erm … "the situation is hardly all doom and gloom"

  42. NatsLady - May 14, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    HH, true on the "blown saves" but I didn't have the energy to look back and see which ones were blown in the ninth inning, and which ones resulted in game losses. But Henry was doing middle-relief last year and it was just as frustrating if not more frustrating, the "dump Henry" calls were pretty loud. He clearly couldn't go two innings, which you would like a middle-reliever to do on occasion. So, if one inning is his limit, where does he go? Right now, he goes to the ninth.

  43. natsfan1a - May 14, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    smurff, we have Verizon FIOS. The game was on MASN2 but didn't show up in the guide. After the delayed start time was established, it showed up in the guide for MASN1 but they were running ESPN programming. What the?

  44. sm13 - May 14, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    Good perspective from Natjack and Joe S. Perspective is an important word in a 162 game season. Winning series is what it's all about and the Nats are doing that as well as any team in baseball.

  45. smurff - May 14, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    1a, wasn't on MASN 2 for me. Trust me , I checked….

  46. NatsLady - May 14, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    I was at the gym. They have DirectTV, where it showed the game in the channel listing as "Postgame" by the time it was going on. The guy was trying to find the game but kept skipping over it until I went to the office and got him to stop surfing and stop on MASN (not sure if it was MASN1 or 2). So if you pre-programmed you wouldn't get the game but it was there on one of the channels.

  47. natsfan1a - May 14, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    Figured you would have, smurff. Just giving feedback on our channel situation yesterday.

  48. UnkyD - May 14, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    Some good points, this morning! I like the football season analogy… Every loss in a 16 game season means something… Not so, here. If things go way better than anyone's rosiest hopes, we're still gonna lose more than60 games. Sometimes your third string closer isn't good enough, and the Vottos of the world sometimes hot 3 taters…. I would hate to start taking Henry out of these games, but maybe we start avoiding consecutive appearances for a couple of weeks… I think we're about to start putting up enough runs to not need to see him every night any way…GYFNG!!!!!!!

  49. NatsLady - May 14, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    That's really odd on the channels. Do the providers swap off MASN and put on ESPN programming when they "think" the game is over? I know MASN puts on ESPN programming for hours at a time, but why would they do that if a game is going? They didn't yesterday, because I watched the game on both DirectTV (at the gym) and RCN (at home later) so you have to look at the providers.

  50. JT - May 14, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    The perfect remedy for yesterday is coming to town, the Padres. With any luck, Dets and Stras can get the first sweep (albeit only a 2 gamer) of the season. Got to stick with HRod for now as Storen is still likely a month away. These injuries could be a blessing in disguise with all these role players getting extra playing time. It could pay dividends when Morse, Storen and others return for the act 2 of this season.

  51. hiramhover - May 14, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    NatsLadyI agree that Henry shouldn't be dumped, but I think we have to see him for what he is. He's not a premium closer in the making. He's a stop gap until Drew returns and he needs to be treated like that. Davey needs to mix it up more, and once it's clear "Bad Henry" has shown up, Davey should be ready to give him the hook. I know others have talked about HRod as a "work in progress" who needs "confidence building." I guess I'm among those who don't see a lot of "progress," and I don't see how multiple meltdowns are building his confidence–and they clearly aren't building up the W side of the team's W-L record.

  52. NatsLady - May 14, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    HH, Henry may not develop into a premium closer, that's true. The homers are distressing to me, because you can't be a short-reliever and give up a walk and a dinger (or a single and a dinger), that's your game right there. Henry is going to give up walks, I don't think that's going to change. But if you give up a walk or two and strand 'em, all you've done is cause cardiac arrest among the fans. Storen could give up a dinger with a two run lead (and he did). Ejax gave up two to Votto but they were solos. I think it's partly confidence (Henry was clearly rattled in LA) but also trust in his "stuff" and better pitch selection. Hopefully he will improve with Flores catching; Ramos dropping so many balls might also have contributed to his shakiness on a night when he didn't have killer stuff. He shook Flores off a couple of times, I wondered why.

  53. A DC Wonk - May 14, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    When you are in a situation where you have to use your third string closer, I just don't understand why he has to be the only one running out there game after game.I think it's pretty obvious. It's because Davey thinks HRod has the potential to be an awesome closer. Now, perhaps you disagree with Davey's assessment . . . but, that seems to be the obvious reason.(And, Davey has a pretty good track record . . . going back decades, but also the past couple of weeks. He stuck with Espi, Bernadina, etc., which certainly paid off over the last series)I agree with the above comments re: (a) this isn't a 16 game season; and (b) it ain't called "growing pains" for nothing; and (c) noting that despite "bad Henry" showing up, he was one strike away (and/or a blown call by the ump) from getting the job done multiple times.

  54. NatsLady - May 14, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    and I don't see how multiple meltdowns are building his confidence…Actually they do. Davey explained that in reference to Espinosa. He doesn't audition players. An athlete can't go out there feeling a bad performance will cost his job. You either have the manager's trust–or you don't, see Lannon, John.Davey's not afraid to change his mind. I think he should have changed it with Ramos/Flores but in the end, the baseball gods changed it for him.

  55. NatsLady - May 14, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    Even in a sixteen-game season you can lose 6 games and have a shot at the playoffs, and 11-5 record is considered pretty good. That's more than a month of losses…

  56. D'Gourds - May 14, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    What we are hopefully experiencing is the evolution of what will become a baseball dynasty. I know we all want to win a world series this year. Not going to happen. That win now attitude is exactly why the skins are pathetic. We have what might become a starting rotation of the decade. We can't take that for granted. We have a great core of young players. And we have a manager who doesn't give a crap what emtoonal fans think. He has the job security to do what he feels is best for this team's future. Thank God this team isn't the redskins. It sucks to lose games like that. But it is truly comforting knowing the team is wisely directed and will soon become a force. Keep the faith!

  57. David - May 14, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    I don't know why everyone is freaking out. We just took another 2 out of 3 from the Reds, by all accounts a playoff worthy team…. oh and btw. Corey Brown is hot again. hitting .375 over his last 10 games. slugging for the season is back up to .449. …. just saying.

  58. hiramhover - May 14, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    NatsLadyIn the abstract, yes, it can build confidence to know you have the support of your boss. But are you actually seeing a more confident Henry out there on the mound? I'm not. And last night's post-game interviews didn't make him sound that way.To change the topic to something that others have raised–I think it's important to keep in mind what this "it's a marathon, not a sprint" analogy actually means. For one thing, it means the team shouldn't do something to win in the short term that would harm its chances of winning in the long term (and compared to football, it's a very long term). It also means that we shouldn't sweat the standings in mid-May–the fact that the Nats are now 1/2 game behind the Braves doesn't really matter. But a loss now does count as much in the final reckoning as a loss in Sept. No need to freak out, but we also shouldn't be indifferent to these losses–esp. when in some cases the W looked to be within reach.

  59. bowdenball - May 14, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    I agree with you, David.If late Wednesday night after the second straight loss to the Pirates, someone had told us that the Nats would get home with a .500 record for the road trip, we all would have jumped for joy.In a similar vein, if someone had told us the Nats would be at or above .500 when Mike Morse returns even though they'd lose Zimmerman, Werth and Ramos to the DL during that time, once again I think we all would have been thrilled. Well, it turns out that they've got a very good chance to make that happen over the next month. My advice: take a moment and enjoy the ride.

  60. NatsLady - May 14, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    Not only do we have young players, but Davey and Rizzo keep bringing them up. Leon vs. Maldanado. Someone suggested they grabbed him because Akron is closer to Cincy than Syracuse. Baloney. They gotta let him play or you blew an option for nothing, which is what got us in the Detwiler bind (although that sure is working out).

  61. JaneB - May 14, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    I'm glad I'm not Davey. I would have done it differently last night, after the second ball in the dirt. And I would have been wrong.We are blessed to have Flo backing up the plate. Espi and Bernadina are coming around. ALR is getting it done. The kid will find his groove again and avoid walls. We have a great off the bench hitter in Chaf Tracy, and lots more games to go. Train Henry now for September and October. I get it today. I do.GYFNG!

  62. NatsLady - May 14, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    I'm not indifferent to the losses, far from it. I was one of the advocates of building up a lead in April when playing against relatively bad teams. Early wins COUNT. There's no doubt it's frustrating, and the "training Henry" argument only goes so far. And it wouldn't have gone on this far if sixteen hits had resulted in more than six runs, etc., etc., etc. I didn't see the interview because I switched over to the Texas game, but I'm glad Henry gave one, and I'm glad he gave it after a loss like that. It's part of his responsibility in the high-profile job. If he doesn't want to close, all he has to do is say so–Mattheus and Burnett can be co-closers until Storen gets back.

  63. David - May 14, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    with that said. how many more chances does HRod get? and if it's not HRod in the future, who do we use, Clippard? switching to Ramos, it was heartbreaking to see him go down. but i honestly believe there won't be a huge dropoff offensively with Flores. Nats fans from 2008 remember the season he had, and how hot he started 2009. it has been a wild ride to 21 wins so far, and i'm sure the craziness isn't over, but this team has depth!

  64. Theophilus T. S. - May 14, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    It's hard to be upbeat. I'm going to be optimistic through the next four games but if they lose two or more out of the SD/Pitt sets I'm gonna be really upset. Yes, it's a long season but to be successful you've got to beat the teams you're supposed to beat, and they just gave away two games they had won. Votto was the seventh batter in the 9th; no way is he supposed to get to the plate.Reasons to be on the edge: (1) They get 22 baserunners and can produce only 6 runs; still struck out 10 times, primarily against a guy who throws spaghetti; (2) If you haven't noticed, Zimmerman is quietly having a Pujols season — and it's not a good thing; (3) You've got a starting pitcher who has to be taken out of the game because you can't trust him to face one hitter.One good sign, a catcher who understands that part of his job is to protect the backstop.Spare us any more Henry-love for a few days. I haven't checked the board in Las Vegas but the odds he's Benitez or Julio are a lot better than the ones that he's Koufax, Ryan or R. Johnson. Or Chapman.I agree he probably stays the closer, unless the meltdown accelerates. But be prepared for him to give away a half-dozen or more saves before Storen comes back — and if Storen comes back as Marquis it isn't going to be any prettier.My mood matches the weather.

  65. Section 222 - May 14, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    @hiramhover– Well put on a number occasions. A voice of reason. I get that it's a marathon not a sprint. I'm not freaking out. I'm excited about the resurrection of Espi circa 1st half of 2011, I'm hopeful that Bernadina will finally, finally, be a major league hitter over a sustained period of time. I can't imagine Zim will be as unproductive as he's been so far for much longer. I'm a Nats fan(atic), and I'll be out at Nats Park in the rain tonight.More to the point, I'm not calling for H-Rod to be DFA'd or even to be removed from his substitute closer position. I don't think he should have been pulled after his first walk. (Gosh, if that happened, he'd almost never finish an inning.) I just think that Davey shouldn't let him pitch with the tying run on 3rd. It limits his pitch selection, and all indications are that at this point in his development, he can't handle the pressure. So bring in Clip, or preferably, Stammen for that last out. And win the ballgame. Another reason that H-Rod should have been on a shorter leash is that he was up over 30 pitches in the inning. That's a very long inning after he had worked the night before. He clearly didn't have his best stuff. What if he had walked Votto, or Flores hadn't made that miraculous save of his 55 foot pitch? Would you have left him in then, to WP in the winning run? There has to be some point when you'd be critical of Davey for letting him lose the game, right? Or is it all for the best in this best of all possible worlds under Davey, no matter what happens? (Candide, help me out here.)

  66. Section 222 - May 14, 2012 at 2:07 PM

    Someone suggested they grabbed him because Akron is closer to Cincy than Syracuse. Baloney. They gotta let him play or you blew an option for nothing, which is what got us in the Detwiler bind (although that sure is working out).That someone was, originally, Amanda Comack. And it's not baloney if they needed a backup catcher for yesterday and no one else could get there on time. That's not wasting an option for nothing. Wasting an option for nothing is showing off your #1 pick the year he's drafted by bringing him up in September and having him pitch one inning in a meaninguless game. That's what Bowden did with Detwiler. No comparison on the baloney meter.We'll see whether Leon stays up for the whole rest of the season. My guess is we see Maldonado or Salano, who are both closer to major league ready, replace him before too long.

  67. NatsLady - May 14, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    If Davey drops Henry down (which I don't think he will, but, yes, there IS a limit, there's gotta be), he'd probably go back to the co-closers with Mattheus and Burnett. Really would be nice not to need closers so often, and I mean we need a few blowout WINS.He's got other ideas for Clip, which is why he's letting Clip live dangerously by working on new pitches in 1-run games–now that's scary! Also, you have to feel they brought on Gonzalez for a reason, and that Perry will be gone as soon as Gonzalez is up to speed.CMW starting today for Syracuse at noon. If you have MiLB.tv you can watch.Syracuse Chiefshttp://www.milb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120513&content_id=31144394&vkey=pr_t552&fext=.jsp&sid=t552

  68. Theophilus T. S. - May 14, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    The reason they grabbed Leon was (A) Akron was closer; (B) Solano is hitting .180 and DL'ed; (C) Maldonado needs to be dragged to 1B on a barge.Not "blowing an option for nothing."

  69. A DC Wonk - May 14, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    FWIW, that Votto blast was only the 5th HR that HRod has allows in his 112.2 inning career.Given Votto's performance over the last few years, we need to apportion at least some of the credit/blame to the hitter, no?

  70. NatsLady - May 14, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    Theo, agree. But I still say they let him play for awhile and see what circumstances brought them. Isn't Maldonado 33? Experience is good, but not a long-term solution. Why/how long is Solano expected to be on the DL?Wonk, yes we all have Votto-fear, and we did in the previous series where he was walked or pitched-around about ten times. He's Atlanta's problem now, and please may he continue his hot streak!

  71. Section 222 - May 14, 2012 at 2:24 PM

    Long term solution? We're just talking about the rest of this season. Next year Ramos is back and depending on how Flores did, he's either the starter or the backup. But we need someone who can catch 1 out of 4 games, especially the day game after a night game. I don't have a problem with giving a 33 year old that job so that Leon can play every day.This is exactly why you have experienced players at AAA. So they can step into a role on the big league club when an injury occurs and not hinder their development. Speaking of which, how long do folks think the Tyler Moore experiment will or should last?

  72. sm13 - May 14, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    Agreed Wonk, there's no shame giving up a blast to Votto. Time to turn the page and sweep the 4 games this week (weather gods permitting ). We could use some positive momentum before the red hot O's roll in.

  73. Section 222 - May 14, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    Certainly that's worth considering Wonk, but it was the second walkoff homer he'd given with a man on 3rd in a week. He grooved the 2-2 fastball at 96 mph to Votto. No big surprise that it left the ballpark.

  74. NatsLady - May 14, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    Sandy Leon signed in 2007, he's played "every day" for five years. It's not slowing his development that he's playing 1 in 4 here vs. every day in AA. Let's see what we got for a month or two.

  75. NatsNut - May 14, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    when i thought about the game again this morning waiting for the bus, i got another sick feeling in my stomach. i can't imagine how the players must feel, especially Henry. Ugh.anyway, it's all good now. there's definitely a calmer, saner tone in the comments this morning too, which helps. I get to go to a game in all three series this week so here's hoping for clear skies, in every sense. =)

  76. whatsanattau - May 14, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    Skipping past the usual is to/is not commentary on HRod & Davey….I do have DVR programming issues on DirecTV when MASN2 is involved. They don't always list the games in advance even though the schedule was made months ago. Then even when I set it to record, games on MASN2 sometimes do not (I suspect because the schedule gets reset). Would love to blame MASN for this, but DirecTV is my provider and should have fixed it.On the baseball front, I have tickets tonight and assume that I will have to go and wait through delays to try to get in a few innings but doubt I will get a full game in if there are any delays. Trying to decide who to lodge my complaint with, then realized – hey, that's what the internet is for….

  77. NatsNut - May 14, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    So Davey is uber-supportive to the media, but this morning I was imagining what other strategies he might have behind doors.Like, maybe he does bawl henry out. Or silently calls him into his office and just lets him squirm in silence. or he makes him do pushups or clean the bathrooms.

  78. NatsNut - May 14, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    I also think that I think too much about this game.

  79. Doc - May 14, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    I don't know what the stats are, but one of the Nats' radio guys mentioned that HRod doesn't do well the 2nd of 2 successive game save situations. I agree that Davey could be mixing it up some more in late relief.In other news, Flores played a great game behind the plate–saving HRod's hiny, and other pitchers' too, on several pitches in the dirt. Got a couple of knocks too!

  80. peric - May 14, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  81. NatsJack in Florida - May 14, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    The only developing Sandy Leon needs is consistent AB's. I'm fairly certain that the organization is totally comfortable with his defensive developement.He improved immensely hitting wise from the fall if 2010 to the fall of 2011 and it's shown in his #'s this year. That would be the only reason he goes back.

  82. whatsanattau - May 14, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    Watching Henry last night, I think he is abusing himself and does not need Davey's help.

  83. peric - May 14, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    But I on the other hand…developing players is sometimes a painful yet worthwhile process.YUP winning is job #1 but this is high priority job #2. JayB, we could always go back to Riggleman who would have had Ron Vilone warming in the pen … or Chad Gaudin? How about Broderick? It might not have ended with a grand slam but they still would have lost.If you must lose, at least learn something of value from it. The Nats (Harper especially in right field) learned from this experience. Because of Harper it went from an almost "laugher" to a game in which Votto could affect the final outcome. He's good.So, both Harper and Rodriguez (both top prospects) learned something from this experience. As did Flores as his catcher. It wasn't such a total loss after all perhaps.

  84. Yudel - May 14, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    First time commenter, long time reader on a different topic: I'm taking my 8 year old son to Saturday's game against the O's. Any suggestions on getting autographs?

  85. NatsLady - May 14, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    whats– I check the guide each morning and set it for whichever one says "Nats Xtra" and lists the Nats game at the scheduled game time. I don't trust the made-months-in-advance schedule. So far that's worked. My provider is RCN cable and they don't change their listings on the fly, so sometimes I re-check when I'm at work to make sure it's recording what I want to record. Half the time I end up watching on MLB.tv anyway and even then you have to negotiate with customer support because they "forgot" to lift the blackout after 90 minutes like they are supposed to.

  86. JamesFan - May 14, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    Stay with Henry. This is an issue of confidence, not ability. He has the potential to be a lights out closer. If DJ stuck with Espi, he is not about to dump Henry.Won the series, .500 on the road. I'll take it. The big test is comeing the last two weeks of May and the first two of June. If the Nats come out of that in good shape, we are in for a real run this season.What is the track record of catchers and ACL surgery? Has any ML catcher ever come back from that? The stress on a catcher's knees is extreme.

  87. peric - May 14, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    The only developing Sandy Leon needs is consistent AB's. I'm fairly certain that the organization is totally comfortable with his defensive development.That's what evoked NationalsProspects Luke Erickson's strong protests to this move. HIs bat just came around this season! And so Luke feels they should bring up 17 year baseball pro, mid thirties Maldonado to catch and return Leon to the minors. I was surprised to read that … Can Davey get him at least 300 AB's as he promised for Lombardozzi? I suspect so … this is Flores first full year back from the shoulder. Is he a guy you can rely on to handle catching for most of the remaining games? Given his injury history? He did manage to get himself in great shape physically and lost a good bit of weight. He looks quicker behind the plate as a result. Still … But Luke is right Sandy Leon needs AB's,

  88. NatsLady - May 14, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    Whats– Wow, your internet is POWERFUL! No matter how much I talk to mine it can't seem to change the weather.

  89. peric - May 14, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    Sandy Leon signed in 2007, he's played "every day" for five years.There were three catchers in Harrisburg and he was the starter … so they could use him as a DH and still be covered. He was there to work on his hitting and it had just now started to come around. He needs to do the same thing in the majors. He needs AB's. At least 300 just like Lombardozzi. Both potential starters, both top Nats prospects providing depth.

  90. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - May 14, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    320R2S15 said… One nugget that I hope no one missed was Flo. I'm telling you, he is an upgrade. His work yesterday was superb.Totally agree. I've been saying that since Ramos helped MPH Rod implode in L.A. three weeks ago. Ramos was an increasingly embarrassing liability behind the plate. He can't block pitches in the dirt and can't hold onto throws from the outfield. I honestly believe the Ramos emergency will allow Kid Flores to shine, offensively and defensively. That's why I'm behind the promotion of the kid catcher from AA too. He's a defensive specialist a la Pudge.Repeat after me: this team was built on pitching and defense. Do not expect 16 hits every day. We'll scratch out a run here and there and hopefully our starters will make it stand up.What hurt yesterday (besides MPH Rod, of course) was Desi's boot at shortstop and Harper's misplay of that high fly in right. We can't afford that. The margins are too thin.Is anybody else rooting for a rainout tonight to allow this team to catch its breath?

  91. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 14, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    Lets see HRod, has only give up 5 Homers. 2 in the past 3 appearances. HE is great until the first person reaches base. He then over throws the pitches, that is what causes the ball to go into the dirt. Relaz and throw accurately.Votto first 33 games 2 Homers, yesterday 3. And Heisi was the batter that had 5 strikes and walked. My answer that is just keep throwing strikes and eventually the ump probably punches him out. The check swing looked like it was checked, but it looked like it should have been a called strike anyway. TOday is another day.For those who say it is a long season remember, had the BRaves and BoSox had blown to less games anytiume during the season (early middle or late), they would make the playoffs. Early games are just important as late games.As I said before I care too much

  92. Theophilus T. S. - May 14, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    Leon can probably get 100 ABs the rest of this year, then play in the Venezuelan Winter League (another 80 or so). Plus the 100 or so already at Harrisburg. Jesus Flores had 180 ABs in his first major league season and survived. C. Maldonado has 62 major league ABs in 17 professional seasons. That tells you how ready he is to contribute significantly on a contending team.

  93. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 14, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    I go in to every game assuming the Nats will will, so I aasuming they will win tonight. Sure hope the rain stops during game time.

  94. SFNats - May 14, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    What D'Gourds said. What we're seeing with the Nats now is what you see a lot in baseball. It's a team that's been bad for a while and is now almost good. It's going to be a sometimes frustrating, up-and-down season because the Nats are almost there, but not quite. The injuries don't help, but you can see the pieces starting to gel together, they're just not quite 100% there yet. They have the makings of a juggernaut, but they have to grow into it, and they may need another piece or two to really get there — although those pieces might currently be on the DL.D'Gourds said… What we are hopefully experiencing is the evolution of what will become a baseball dynasty. I know we all want to win a world series this year. Not going to happen. That win now attitude is exactly why the skins are pathetic. We have what might become a starting rotation of the decade. We can't take that for granted. We have a great core of young players. And we have a manager who doesn't give a crap what emtoonal fans think. He has the job security to do what he feels is best for this team's future. Thank God this team isn't the redskins. It sucks to lose games like that. But it is truly comforting knowing the team is wisely directed and will soon become a force. Keep the faith!

  95. FS=Faraz Shaikh - May 14, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    looking at the weather, there is a strong chance we might get two off-days here.

  96. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 14, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    I could be wrong, but I'm thinking my tickets for tonight are going to wind up being used for a double-header tomorrow or Wed.

  97. NatsLady - May 14, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    Theo, can't tell if you and I are in agreement, but I think so. No point in bringing Maldonado up. He stays in 'Cuse for emergency purposes, and by that I mean a few games not more than half a season.Solano might have gotten the chance if he weren't on the DL or just off it. Leon is here–he already wept and told his Mom. Let's open the package and see what we got.

  98. Faraz Shaikh - May 14, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    Wednesday, they are playing Pirates so not sure when these games will be played again.

  99. whatsanattau - May 14, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    Not Wednesday. This is a 2 game series. Wednesday it's the Pirates.Last year they did not make up the Dodgers rain out, but this year it is likely to be meaningful to the Nats. I think they will try to force playing since it is a west coast team that won't be back….

  100. Faraz Shaikh - May 14, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    actually they can get creative and make it up in August. Let's wait until games really get postponed. Then I will put forth my naive suggestions.I am all for some rest for our players. Lets sort out what has happened in next two days and be ready to receive Pirates and Os. Worry about Padres some other time.

  101. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - May 14, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    Day-night doubleheader Tuesday, I predict. Separate admissions.

  102. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - May 14, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    My experience is anytime the Nats are listed for MASN2, it's a crapshoot. If it's a rain-delayed game, double-crapshoot. I think the only place where MASN2 reliably comes in is in Angelos's basement.It's the price we fans pay for the worst local baseball TV contract in the land.And it all goes back to Peter A.

  103. Theophilus T. S. - May 14, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    NatsLady — We are in agreement. Solano has been moving through the system on the basis of seniority, not due to anybody being dazzled. I don't think either Leon or Solano is guaranteed to hit his weight (in Solano's case, 205) so they should go with the guy whose defense will keep them in games and who might have a long-term future. Due either to an extended recovery for Ramos or a need to trade Flores before his shelf life expires (free agency), the Nats will need a back-up catcher for half or more of 2013. I hate to sound like Peric but they should be developing the guy that's most likely to help them to a pennant.

  104. natsfan1a - May 14, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    To follow up on NatsLady's promo, the Syracuse game is also slated to be shown live on MLB Network.

  105. natsfan1a - May 14, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    LOL, whatsa!"On the baseball front, I have tickets tonight and assume that I will have to go and wait through delays to try to get in a few innings but doubt I will get a full game in if there are any delays. Trying to decide who to lodge my complaint with, then realized – hey, that's what the internet is for…." May 14, 2012 10:41 AM

  106. Faraz Shaikh - May 14, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    Good to hear positive things about new catcher. I honestly didn't know that we are so good at catchers in our farm system. I thought after trading Norris, we were not as strong as before. Good to know we have some depth to absorb Ramos' loss. Very unfortunate events for Wilson since last off-season.Does anyone exact details of our current TV contract? If I am not mistaken, worst part is we share revenue with Angelos, right? Is any work being done on a new deal?

  107. NatsLady - May 14, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    The baseball gods were clearly punishing Bam-Bam for thinking he is the only one on the team that can catch a fly ball. Harsh, but necessary.

  108. natsfan1a - May 14, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    I do that, too (Verizon), but at the scheduled game time yesterday, MASN1 did not list the game, nor did it list it at the time of the actual first pitch, but it did air the game. MASN2 did list the game at the time of the actual first pitch, but it did not air the game. It's all good, because I was able to watch on MASN1, but kinda wacky.NatsLady said… whats– I check the guide each morning and set it for whichever one says "Nats Xtra" and lists the Nats game at the scheduled game time. I don't trust the made-months-in-advance schedule. So far that's worked. My provider is RCN cable and they don't change their listings on the fly, so sometimes I re-check when I'm at work to make sure it's recording what I want to record. Half the time I end up watching on MLB.tv anyway and even then you have to negotiate with customer support because they "forgot" to lift the blackout after 90 minutes like they are supposed to. May 14, 2012 10:47 AM

  109. natsfan1a - May 14, 2012 at 3:44 PM

    Crud, reverse those MASNs. MASN2 did not list it, but aired it. MASN1 listed it, but did not air it.

  110. natsfan1a - May 14, 2012 at 3:52 PM

    FS, here's an April WaPo item re. MASN negotiations.

  111. Faraz Shaikh - May 14, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    Thanks 1a.

  112. natsfan1a - May 14, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    You're welcome, FS. Here's a more recent piece I just turned up from the Sports Business Journal. Sounds like a decision may be coming soon.

  113. bowdenball - May 14, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    Well said, Sunshine.Anyone who calls themselves a Nats fan and an Os fan either (1) doesn't understand the nature of the ridiculous MASN TV deal, or (2) is rooting for the Nats to get good so Angelos and the Os make more money.Forget about the Braves, Marlins, Mets and even Phillies. Peter Angelos is Public Enemy #1 of Nats fans. Faraz:You can find details of the deal all over the internet, but the basic story is that Angelos pretty much single-handedly kept baseball out of DC for years and was willing to relent only after extorting baseball for a sweetheart deal whereby he gets a huge portion of MASN, which controls the rights to broadcast the Nats for the foreseeable future. Other teams get to negotiate their TV rights and use that revenue to build the team, or alternatively the team ownership also owns the TV channel, which also means the revenue generated by broadcasts goes directly to the team. But much of the revenue generated by the Nats now and in the future goes to Angelos.It is a total sham. A plain old-fashioned extortion by Angelos that has and will continue to cost the Nats money that could be used on everything from expanding scouting to free agent contracts to Nats Park renovations to holding down the cost of beer. Think about that next time you feel a twinge of support for the team that man owns.

  114. natsfan1a - May 14, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    After reading the piece, interesting that the three-team panel includes one from the NL East (Mets) and one from the AL East (Rays). hmmm….

  115. NatsJack in Florida - May 14, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    Sweet. Wang's pitching for Syracuse today.

  116. NatsLady - May 14, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    Thanks for the heads-up on MLB Network, 1A. Lot easier to watch. Can you believe the second guy (with the 100-game suspension) got cleared on the same procedural error as Braun? I thought they fixed that.eliezer-alfonzo-suspension-droppedhttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/14/eliezer-alfonzo-suspension-dropped-rockies-mlb_n_1514101.html

  117. A DC Wonk - May 14, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    [Hrod] is great until the first person reaches base. He then over throws the pitches, That's not entirely accurate. Henry has four appearances where one guy got on base (via walk, or other non-hit), but threw a no-hit inning. Including, e.g, last Thrs night (May 10).Overall . . . I'm with D'Gourds (were seeing the early signs, and witnessing the growing pains, of a near-future dynasty) and SFNats (we've been bad for a while, and now were almost good) . . . although I'd change that to "almost great." I think, being past the 1/5th mark of the season, and being in first place something like 33 of the 35 days of the season — that we are already good. But only almost great.

  118. natsfan1a - May 14, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    I'm with Sunshine and bowdenball. I never did follow that team up north, anyway. If the decision does come this week, could make for an interesting combined broadcast for the "Battle of the Beltways." (FP to O's color guy – "Hey, you wanna take it outside, bub?" :-))You're welcome, NatsLady. I also saw that bit of news. I think they're going back and looking at old cases, as I think that suspension dated from last fall.

  119. natsfan1a - May 14, 2012 at 4:11 PM

    (Yeah, I do realize that my scenario wouldn't really happen. ;-))

  120. NatsLady - May 14, 2012 at 4:11 PM

    Nice first inning, three ground balls–except–never mind covering first base, Mr. W–giving me flashbacks!

  121. TheManBearPig - May 14, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    He was pitching to a small strike zone and could have been out of the inning a couple of times on sliders that were just a little bit low. Votto was going to hit anything in the strike zone yesterday. We didn't get good Henry yesterday, but it wasn't bad Henry either. He was pitching, not just throwing, and no mascots were injured. There is reason to be encouraged about HRod.

  122. A DC Wonk - May 14, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    Forget about the Braves, Marlins, Mets and even Phillies. Peter Angelos is Public Enemy #1 of Nats fans.I agree 110% with that. Even more so. ;-)I've happily kept to my pledge (starting back in the 1990's or whevener it was when it started to become clear that PA was trying to stop baseball from coming to DC) of never setting foot in O's stadium until Angelos is no longer the owner.but the basic story is that Angelos pretty much single-handedly kept baseball out of DC for years and was willing to relent only after extorting baseball for a sweetheart deal whereby he gets a huge portion of MASN, which controls the rights to broadcast the Nats for the foreseeable future. True. But I just want to make sure we don't leave Selig out of the blame here. Yes, Angelos extorted him, but Selig rolled over like a pathetic sick dog.

  123. TimDz - May 14, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    natsfan1a said… After reading the piece, interesting that the three-team panel includes one from the NL East (Mets) and one from the AL East (Rays). hmmm…. _______________And the AL East time is from a small market…

  124. Clip&Store - May 14, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    Its not the orioles that i hate really. their fans and players didn't do anything, its Angelos. Thus, its Angelos that i….strongly dislike (family friendly here)

  125. Clip&Store - May 14, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    I actually kinda like the ol' "oriole way" and the stadium and all. I think of them as kinda like a "sibling" rival if that makes sense. While philthies are our real rival

  126. JD - May 14, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    I am all for development; I really am but I think a veteran backup catcher is a great asset because he can help with the development of young pitchers such as Henry. I really think we will miss Ramos bat more than anything else because Flores while he gets some clutch hits his career OBP is .304 (in only 204 at bats). I think Flores will be fine behind the plate but I don't know if Leon is ready to face MLB pitching.

  127. NatsLady - May 14, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    CMW: Two singles, but out of it on GIDP in the 2nd. Still looking good in Syracuse.

  128. peric - May 14, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    I am all for development; I really am but I think a veteran backup catcher is a great asset because he can help with the development of young pitchers such as Henry.First, even Luke Erickson will admit that Sandy Leon may actually be the very best catcher defensively the Nats have. That would include Ramos, Flores, Maldonado, Solano, et al.Second, Maldonado is the only "veteran" in that sense. The reason he isn't in the majors is primarily because of hitting … and also at his age his defense isn't going to come close to Leon or Flores. Third, Don't even think about GIDP Pudge Rodriguez. Don't even go there. He is well past his prime offensively where he couldn't bat .200 in AAA. As for coaching Randy Knorr seems like he might make a reasonable catcher's coach. While he was working in the minors he spent time working with these prospects. The big issue, is, again, getting Sandy Leon regular plate appearances whether against major league or minor league pitching.

  129. smurff - May 14, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    Just took a peek at the upcoming schedule, and things get really interesting after this home stand. In 33 days, the Nationals will be at Phillies/at Braves/at Marlins/Braves here/Marlins here/Mets here (that should shake out the NL East a little bit),then at Red Sox/at Blue Jays/Yankees here/Rays here, and at Orioles.That takes them through June 24. Sure hope that Morse can be back for some of that (at least to DL). Would be nice to have Lidge back for some of it, too.

  130. Ann Ominous - May 14, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said… Day-night doubleheader Tuesday, I predict. Separate admissions.Doubleheader, possibly. Day-night with separate admission? No way. Three reasons:(a) In two opportunities last year to have day-night doubleheaders to make up for rainouts, traditional doubleheaders were played both times.(b) Day-night doubleheader on a weekday is not going to draw any more people than a traditional doubleheader will.(c) Padres have a home game on Wednesday. They will want to get out of town as early as possible. That means the half hour break between games of a traditional twin bill, not the multi-hour break of a day-night doubleheader.

  131. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - May 14, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    DC Wonk said "Yes, Angelos extorted him, but Selig rolled over like a pathetic sick dog."That is a terrible insult to pathetic sick dogs everywhere.Thanks, 1A and bowdenball, for backing me up on Peter A, Public Enemy No. 1 for Nats fans everywhere. And yes, Wonk, Selig has earned himself a special circle of ignominy as well. Not to mention Bowie Kuhn, that hack D.C. lawyer who allowed "Bob Short Still Stinks" to slink out of town in 1971 and then haplessly stood by thereafter. Thanks, pal. For nothing.

  132. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - May 14, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    Good points, Ann. I forgot about Pads' travel plans. It's just about stopped right now, but radar from the West is not encouraging. Maybe it will be a traditional twinbill. With Jesus pitching at the twilight against the Pads, that just could have no-hitter written all over it. I might just go out.

  133. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 14, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    Two games vs. SD, not three. I stand corrected. Thanks. They might wait a little longer tonight to try to get one in, after all, if the forecast for tomorrow isn't any better.

  134. Faraz Shaikh - May 14, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    by the end of this month, Wang has to be in majors, right? Major decision coming soon then?I honestly hope both Padres games are washed out, not just one. Because that is better for players of both teams.

  135. NatsLady - May 14, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    Tough schedule for San Diego, no travel day for cross country travel. Bet they don't want to play any extra inning games on Tuesday.CMW in another jam, walk, sacrifice bunt, single. And another single. Game tied at 1-1. Gotta go to work. Later, peeps.

  136. SFNats - May 14, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    Good point, Wonk. I should have said that the Nats are almost great. They're already "good" in that we can reasonably expect them to finish over .500 this year. This is a winning ballclub. And they're a step or two away from being truly dominant. They're just growing into it this year, so it's probably going to be a wild ride.

  137. NatsLady - May 14, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    Det goes to the pen where he does RH long-relief, spot starts. Perry goes back down. Det has shown he is ready if a member of the rotation gets injured or traded. Otherwise he stays there until Stras is shutdown. More interesting is what happens when Lidge and Storen come back.

  138. Faraz Shaikh - May 14, 2012 at 4:50 PM

    that makes sense NatsLady. But is that the right move for Det's development as a potential starter next season?

  139. NatsLady - May 14, 2012 at 4:50 PM

    Sorry, meant LH long-relief. CMW got out of it with a strikeout and a fly out.

  140. Max L - May 14, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    Look, for those of you suggesting Clip come in in tough 9th inning situations, that's not gonna happen. Davey's made it clear he wants Clip to maintain consistency in that 8th inning spot. However, I don't see why he won't try a guy like Craig Stammen, who's been virutally unhittable in relief this year. I mean, it's one thing for him to have tried every option and failed, but another to continue to go with the same guy when he obviously can't maintain consistency. Changes needed, in my opinion, before things get too far out of hand. H Rod is obviously a dominant force, as eveidenced by Saturday night, but I just don't know if he's cut out for the pressure of a close situation.

  141. SFNats - May 14, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    If they do put Det in the pen, it could be a pretty short-term thing. Showcase Wang for 2-3 starts and then trade him, maybe? Either way, though, I agree that Det knows that he's a key piece of the rotation for the long-term, and I'm sure that's what Davey will tell him if he has to go to the pen for a while, so I wouldn't think it would mess up his development. It happens with first jobs — they bring you in to do something that's really not "you" with the promise that you'll move into a better role when possible. At least that's how it happened with my first job…

  142. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - May 14, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    NatsLady sez, "More interesting is what happens when Lidge and Storen come back."I would liken that to hitting the lottery. Given Lidge's age (37) and injury history (many), I think his career is hanging in the balance. If and when we get him, he's purely insurance. Except for the opener, he was pretty ineffective as a closer.I am not counting on Storen until Aug. 1, if then. Nice addition for our stretch run.And you have it completely right about CMW and Det's future. CMW moves into the No. 5 slot and Det to the pen until Jesus gets shutdown. Then our rotation is Gio, J-Zimm, EJack, CMW and Det. I can live with that.

  143. NatsLady - May 14, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    OK, one last one before I'm late to work. IMO, Detwiler has had enough "development" and has shown he's ready to pitch at the ML level. Maybe not complete games (stamina) or at the Ace level, but ready. Now he has to wait. Just like Flores, clearly a No. 1 catcher who was in the backup role. Not hoping for an injury or anything, but depth is depth. Ya gotta have it.

  144. Exposremains - May 14, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    I think The trade off between Detwiler and Wang is: Detwiler better era, Ks and wins – Wang pitch more innings, trade possibility

  145. Exposremains - May 14, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    Detwiler might be more useful in the bullpen at this point with the injuries and under performance of some members of the bullpen.

  146. SFNats - May 14, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    The other wild card in all of this is Zach Duke, who isn't God's gift by any means, but he's been a pretty decent starting pitcher in the past and is looking pretty good in Syracuse. Another "depth" guy who could end up helping out at the end of the year when Stras is shut down, especially if they do deal Wang or Lannan.

  147. #4 - May 14, 2012 at 5:21 PM

    My least favorite word used in any posting – "showcase".

  148. JD - May 14, 2012 at 5:21 PM

    Peric, You are missing my point. When Henry gets into trouble trying to protect a lead in the 9th it would totally help him to have a veteran game caller with him to help him through these situations.

  149. JD - May 14, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    Peric, I am definitely not considering Maldonado as the veteran to use. Pudge on the other hand is not a terrible idea.(I know he can't hit; Idon't care).

  150. SonnyG10 - May 14, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    Lot of good points make here regarding professional baseball people vs typical baseball fans, so I won't rehash that. I can't pass up the chance to puke on Angelos though. Like Wonk, I will not willingly spend a nickel on Angelos. Hence I never have been to Camden Yard and never will as long as Angelos owns the team. I have nothing against the Orioles team, only against Angelos.

  151. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - May 14, 2012 at 5:32 PM

    Thanks for your puke on Angelos, SonnyG10. You are to be commended. The trouble is we all are contributing to Angelos Inc. through our cable subscription fees to obtain MASN. It's like breathing. Through this arrangement, 10 percent of all the oxygen goes to Peter A. I hope he chokes on his morning Wild Turkey.

  152. whatsanattau - May 14, 2012 at 5:34 PM

    Pudge retired. The team said he was not being considered. He hasn't been training. If they signed him, rushed him through training, and activated him it would be July before he is ready. So that he could play every 5th day and retire again in the winter. ITS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

  153. whatsanattau - May 14, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    sorry, didn't mean to raise my voice.

  154. Section 222 - May 14, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    I have a datapoint to add in the MASN/MASN2 inquiry. I had set my DVR to record the game on MASN2 at the scheduled time. Around 5:30, while listening to the game on the MLB iPhone app while driving back from out of town, I decided to try to record it via my DirecTV iPhone app, expecting to not be able to because there wouldn't be any listings on MASN2 after the "Postgame" concluded. Instead, to my surprise, the game was listed as having started at 4:30. Worked like a charm. But of course, I didn't watch the game, given the result. Oh Henry.I'm guessing they try really hard to get the game tonight in given that rain is expected tomorrow as well.

  155. peric - May 14, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    I am definitely not considering Maldonado as the veteran to use. Pudge on the other hand is not a terrible idea.(I know he can't hit; Idon't care).Apparently DAVEY JOHNSON DOES. Pudge wouldn't leave him alone about getting AB's AB's he stole from young, developing catchers. If Pudge were truly willing to come on board as a defensive specialist they probably would have already pulled the trigger.The guy wants to bat. IN KEY situations. He was terrible this past winter. Think Matt Stares.Forget about Pudge.

  156. JD - May 14, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    whatsanattau I get. Pudge was just an example. There are other veteran catchers who can be useful. I have never seen Leon play so I have no opinion of his abilities. My comments are based on the fact that Henry rarely gets out of a big mess and I have seen veteran catchers get young pitchers through these kind of situations.

  157. JD - May 14, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    Peric, I am not sure you disagree with me but here is what I am saying: No way a veteran catcher lets Henry throw a 1st ball fastball to Barajas who is a notorious 1st ball fast ball hitter and who really can't hit anything else. I know all about the wild pitches but you can never give in like this.

  158. peric - May 14, 2012 at 5:45 PM

    I have never seen Leon play so I have no opinion of his abilities.Bottom Line: Sandy Leon IS THEIR BEST CATCHER DEFENSIVELY BAR NONE and has been for a couple of years. He IS the closest you can get to what you seem to think they need. And as far as that's concerned I thought Flores handled wild Henry fairly well. The problem with Leon is that his offensive skills still need development and refinement. He probably needed another good year and a half to accomplish that as he was making good progress.

  159. peric - May 14, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    No way a veteran catcher lets Henry throw a 1st ball fastball to Barajas who is a notorious 1st ball fast ball hitter and who really can't hit anything elseLeon gets rave reviews for his catching. You'll have to wait to see if he is better. That's why he is there.

  160. JD - May 14, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    Peric, Do you include game calling in defensive catching?

  161. Faraz Shaikh - May 14, 2012 at 6:09 PM

    how about Corey Brown? he is doing pretty well in AAA. Hope he continues to do well and gets a callup in September.

  162. Tcostant - May 14, 2012 at 6:23 PM

    I want to see what Flores can do ever day. I think he calls a better game than Ramos and I think he'll hit better with regular at bats. Bring it on.

  163. psp8517 - May 14, 2012 at 6:34 PM

    Hrod: 60% of the time, he wins every time

  164. peric - May 14, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    Do you include game calling in defensive catching?The scouts do. They assigned him to Harrisburg as the starter and that's where their best pitching in minors is located currently. Devin Ivaney was his backup.

  165. peric - May 14, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    how about Corey Brown? he is doing pretty well in AAA. Hope he continues to do well and gets a callup in September.Might be sooner … depends on Ankiel and Bernadina's bats. Brown is batting lead-off which he did not do often in the past 2 years. Kind of sends a message as to where Davey sees him contributing.We'll see.

  166. peric - May 14, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    Hrod: 60% of the time, he wins every timeBetter to find out now, see if progress can continue to be made before games that matter occur. Of course from one perspective that starts at the end of May through June.

  167. whatsanattau - May 14, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    The list of free agent catchers available are few (3), of poor quality (including Bard), and injury prone. The trade available veterans are not much better. I have read an awful lot about Leon over the past few years in Baseball America and various other sources. There really does seem to be a large consensus of opinion that he is a high quality defensive catcher – by which they mean to include his game calling maturity. Solano might be better offensively but injury and a bad start to 2012 leave that in question. Sooo, those who wish for a veteran can be academically correct, but the question is moot. None available. And certainly none better defensively than Leon at this time.

  168. whatsanattau - May 14, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    i love it when I get to drop a "moot" into the argument ….

  169. peric - May 14, 2012 at 6:43 PM

    That someone was, originally, Amanda Comack. And it's not baloney if they needed a backup catcher for yesterday and no one else could get there on time.Its baloney. She also said John Lannan didn't have any options when I asked her. She doesn't always know what she's talking about … but she tries.They chose Leon because he is their best defensive catcher. They could have gotten Maldonado there in time for the game. They made a choice.

  170. David - May 14, 2012 at 6:46 PM

    another 2-4 day for Corey Brown, BA back up to .275, not bad with a .392 OBP. but more on the pitching…. i've said it before, i think one of our starters is about to find a mystery injury, and hit the DL for about 15 or 30 days so Wang can get some starts in the majors.

  171. peric - May 14, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    i've said it before, i think one of our starters is about to find a mystery injury, and hit the DL for about 15 or 30 days so Wang can get some starts in the majors.If that's the case its going to be Jackson. He is on a 1 year deal. It won't be Detwiler, JZimnn, Strasburg, or Gio. Have to wonder if he's not thinking the same thing … and its been affecting his performance?

  172. Section 222 - May 14, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    They chose Leon because he is their best defensive catcher. They could have gotten Maldonado there in time for the game. They made a choice.And you know this how?All beat writers make mistakes, but believe it or not, I trust Amanda more than I trust you. For one thing, she doesn't have biases, and she doesn't insult people who say things she disagrees with. That helps her credibility, and hurts yours.

  173. peric - May 14, 2012 at 6:57 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  174. Section 222 - May 14, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    Better to find out now, see if progress can continue to be made before games that matter occur. Actually, all games matter equally in the standings last time I checked. So unless you're talking about playoff games, what's your point?

  175. peric - May 14, 2012 at 7:00 PM

    All beat writers make mistakes, but believe it or not, I trust Amanda more than I trust you. For one thing, she doesn't have biases, and she doesn't insult people who say things she disagrees with. That helps her credibility, and hurts yours.Either way ITS B-A-L-O-N-E-Y (for the earning impaired). Whether you think her credible or not I was right and she was wrong about the whole Lannan deal. As were you. Dem's the facts and you can stick that where the sun don't shine.

  176. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 14, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    Some cuts are deeper than others. Last nights loss wasn't as bad as the Dodgers. HRods control was better and its as if the Reds were told to be patient. Still, it was another question mark of Daveys strategy. HRods not the closer here rather a stand-in. I am in the camp that says pull him if he can't throw strikes and yesterday would've been the perfect time.This team is built on pitching and the 2 weakest links showed their bend once again.

  177. peric - May 14, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    So unless you're talking about playoff games, what's your point?They have injuries requiring prospects to develop in the majors. There's a learning curve and growing pains. That's all a part of the plan Davey has been implementing. I like it. Needless to say you don't. Suggest you go root for the Angel'O's who love putting geezing veterans into the lineup like Miguel Tejada.

  178. peric - May 14, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    I am in the camp that says pull him if he can't throw strikes and yesterday would've been the perfect time.Eventually, I suspect that may happen. But its still early. End of this month it starts to get a bit more serious. Lots of guys out there being developed.Still waiting for all the acrimonious comments to come thundering down about Harper losing a playable ball and allowing 2 runs to score. That changed the whole complexion of the game. Without that they likely win.

  179. baseballswami - May 14, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    I am trying to get my sense of humor back after all of last weeks blows – major injuries, a couple of crushing losses. So I decided that we need to make a new stat category. We need something more than Blown Saves – I am thinking "Annihilated Saves" or Obliterated Saves" or "Vaporized Saves" – these would be limited to those saves where the team is leading by more than one, saves that end in grand slams or maybe walk off hit- by – pitch. These would not be your garden variety blown saves by any means – just the really humiliating ones :( HRod and Heath Bell can fight it out for the lead. Any other pitchers you want to nominate? Who was the Mets pitcher that gave it up to Stanton yesterday? But at least he didn't create that problem, he was brought in to end it – and he did.

  180. whatsanattau - May 14, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    I wish to disassociate myself from the rude and lunatic ramblings of a certin person, but I think we can accept that Leon is generally believed to be the best defensive catcher in the organization. Among other sources, I remember an interview with Pat Corrales in which he said so and I believe Rizzo made a similar comment at the time of the Gio trade.

  181. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 14, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    One great point last night was closers success rates better be well over 85% on playoff bound teams. The Nats aren't there. Between Lidge and HRod they have given away hard earned W's. Like I said, wouldn't go with Clip as his role is well defined. I'd go with Stammen and try it.

  182. peric - May 14, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    I wish to disassociate myself from the rude and lunatic ramblings of a certin person, but I think we can accept that Leon is generally believed to be the best defensive catcher in the organization.Right back at ya whatsamaschmuck.

  183. whatsanattau - May 14, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    … and I was worried I was being to cryptic.

  184. NatsJack in Florida - May 14, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    Stay classy peric, stay classy.

  185. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 14, 2012 at 7:31 PM

    NatsJack, what's your solution with the closer situation?

  186. David - May 14, 2012 at 7:35 PM

    I vote for giving Stammen some 9th inning situations.

  187. NatsJack in Florida - May 14, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    Ghost…….Get Storen healthy. In the meantime, assign somebody to the Lidge role and use Henry and the other just like the original plan till Storen gets back. Maybe Matteus, maybe Stammen.

  188. Faraz Shaikh - May 14, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    question for those who watched HRod's blow-ups, was he visited by Davey or pitching coach in any of the outings?is it raining in DC right now? weather still says T-stroms at least until 8 PM.Anyways, Leon is starting tonight.

  189. NatsLady - May 14, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    peric, that was mentioned several times. Including by me–and whether he should have been quicker to call for help so that Ankiel came over with more urgency. However, balls get lost, it happens, and it's embarrassing when it does, but conditions were pretty bad (misty rain, twilight). What irked me more than that was Harper calling off Espi and then making a sliding catch. Either he was showboating or he doesn't trust his teammates to do their jobs (or he doesn't know where his zone is). If I were Davey I'd get on his case about that, because next time it could cost.____________________________________________Still waiting for all the acrimonious comments to come thundering down about Harper losing a playable ball and allowing 2 runs to score. That changed the whole complexion of the game. Without that they likely win.

  190. Steady Eddie - May 14, 2012 at 7:52 PM

    While Stammen would be fine as an alternative closer, he's never done that and Davey is big on clear roles. Stammen has found what could be a long-term (as much as these things can ever be that) role as a great high-leverage fireman/set-up man along with Clip (and to share that workload with Clip). On the other hand, Burnett has closed, he's been totally reliable since he found his place on the rubber in mid-summer, and could share closing with Henry and make it easier for Lett and McCatty to choose between the two based at least in part on how they look warming up that night.The thing that does NOT make this a cut-and-dried thing with HRod's development is that Davey did NOT start off the season saying Henry's the man until Druuu gets back. Why not substitute Burnett for Lidge? It seems that Davey has something with Burnett that's hard to explain, especially as he didn't seem to be stinting on Burnett's appearances late last summer when he found his form again. But Davey doth protest too much when he "explains" his gross underuse of Burnett by saying "match-ups just didn't come out right". Maybe he started the season with Burnett solely in the LOOGY role but it's odd not to give him a share and be adaptable with Burnett (especially with having R AND L closers!) after Lidge DL'd.

  191. rdexposfan - May 14, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    HRod has 8 saves with Lidge and Storen injured. He is tied for 7th in saves. The closer for LAD Javy Guerra has 8 saves and same save % as HRod. Nat fans ran Hanrahan out of town and it took him a few years to get his confidence back and become a good closer. The naysayers here were probably calling to get rid of wild throwing pitchers early in their careers like Randy Johnson because they don't have the patience to allow them to develop.

  192. rdexposfan - May 14, 2012 at 8:03 PM

    HRod has 8 saves with Lidge and Storen injured. He is tied for 7th in saves. The closer for LAD Javy Guerra has 8 saves and same save % as HRod. Nat fans ran Hanrahan out of town and it took him a few years to get his confidence back and become a good closer. The naysayers here were probably calling to get rid of wild throwing pitchers early in their careers like Randy Johnson because they don't have the patience to allow them to develop.

  193. jeffwx - May 14, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    Go out to the game tonight…I doubt we'll see much more in the form of rain. Just a slight chance of one more shower, but that's it.

  194. ehay2k - May 14, 2012 at 8:18 PM

    Consolidating my posts (hopefully setting an example for others):I believe Barajas got a first pitch fastball (and IIRC it was a slow fastball at 96, not a 100 MPHRod fastball) because by that time it was clear Henry could not throw, and Ramos could not block, anything else. A little faster, a tiny bit more movement, and who knows what would have happened? It is not as if they were trying to groove a pitch to him.I have never pitched, but I am thinking that it is probably very hard to do. Even harder if you throw 100MPH. Hard to get down on a guy who throws a 96MPH "mistake" which a guy hitting poorly (wasn't he under .200?) actually gets good wood on.Last night, even Votto had to deliver: it wasn't like Henry turned around and threw the ball over the outfield wall. I'm done agonizing over Henry – he is what he is, and good Henry is PFB. Bad Henry is still not as bad as Slaten. At least you have HOPE that bad Henry can pull out a victory. (There was no Good Slaten).Angelos is not my friend. I will end up taking my son to OPCY because he is an O's fan. I will also start typing masn instead of MASN, because I think the latter makes it look like I am legitimizing them.

  195. JSLSais - May 14, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    Ok, let's take a breather. While last night was a bitter pill to swallow that loss should not all be on the shoulders of Henry. Let's face it, twice we had bases loaded and zilch! Ian's error and Harper's "huh" look were like the nail on the coffin. One thing no one seems to talk about is Harper's problem seeing balls. This isn't the first time he has lost a ball, my count has it at 3. Not to knock Harper especially since they keep moving him around, but I am concerned that he isn't seeing the ball that well. Not sure what is up. Too much adrenaline, lack of focus, unable to see the ball through, not suited to play the outfield, etc. I don't know but he is really good at seeing stuff that is coming straight at him but does appear to have problems with balls that are hit "differently". Can't explain it but I think there are issues that need to be addressed and hopefully someone will step up and help the kid out. I love the way he plays the game.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 57 47 --
ATLANTA 58 49 0.5
MIAMI 53 53 5.0
NEW YORK 51 56 7.5
PHILADELPHIA 47 60 11.5
Through Tuesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Orioles at Nats, 7:05 p.m. TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

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ON THE RADIO

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TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
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