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An emotional night ends with smiles

May 15, 2012, 5:14 AM EDT

US Presswire photo
Bryce Harper and Sean Burnett each contributed to the Nationals' 8-5 win.

The range of emotions inside the Nationals' clubhouse Monday night following a wild, 8-5 victory over the Padres was on display for all to witness.

In one corner stood Bryce Harper, proudly talking about the first home run of his career and the curtain call that followed. Across the room, Sandy Leon gingerly maneuvered around with his right leg in a brace and propped up on a cart, a severe ankle sprain having derailed his big-league debut in less than four innings.

Over in another corner stood Sean Burnett, the surprise hero of the night after entering with the bases loaded in the top of the ninth and inducing a game-ending, 1-2-3 double play off the bat of San Diego's Jesus Guzman. Only a few feet away, Henry Rodriguez's locker sat empty, the right-hander having kept himself out of sight after loading the bases on three walks in that ninth inning and getting unceremoniously yanked by Davey Johnson to a chorus of boos.

How does one club deal with so many mixed emotions in such a short time span? From the deflation of Sunday night's crushing loss in Cincinnati to the elation of Harper's first home run to the devastation of Leon's frightening injury to the resignation of Rodriguez's latestRead more »

128 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. JaneB - May 15, 2012 at 5:48 AM

    I have been wondering what the clubhouse was like tonight, Mark. Thank you so much for telling us, and so beautifully, too.

  2. SpingfieldNatsFan1 - May 15, 2012 at 8:27 AM

    I hope HRod can get his act together…my heart can't take many more of those ninth innings!

  3. JayB - May 15, 2012 at 9:44 AM

    Davey J "John Lannan is my 5th starter" for sure…done deal….5 days later……John you are off the team…..Henry R is not going to be pitching the 9th inning of a 1 run game again. And that is a very good thing. Just not his skill set.

  4. Section 215 Row A - May 15, 2012 at 10:08 AM

    JayB…Davey was listening. Played it just like you suggested yesterday. Go get Henry help before all the wheels come off….I appreciate hearing the story behind the curtain call…I thought it was a little premature in Bam Bam's career but if he realized it was a sensitive area and Jayson told him to go ahead…it's all good!

  5. Joe Seamhead - May 15, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    Last year we all watched HRod lead the league in wild pitches. It was an adventure every time he came in. No one could dispute that the kid could throw, but only a minority thought that he could pitch. Then in September, McCatty and Johnson seemed to instill a bit of confidence in him. Then in a game against the Reds Henry struck Joey Votto out and Henry seemed to be about three feet off the ground when he left the field. From then to the Dodgers game a couple of weeks ago, we had pretty much Good Henry. His stuff was devastating. Then he lost his good ju-ju against the Dodgers and he's been scared to death of failing every since, with the one exception of his ten pitch, 3K game. Henry still has devastating stuff, but has lost all of his self confidence. The kid is terrified, but I wouldn't throw him under the bus yet.He needs a short break, then get in a couple of low pressure appearances. I think that he will still be a huge part of this team's success down the stretch.As to DJ's handling of him lately, it's easy to question why he can't see that we got 'Bad Henry' right away, as it seems that we can. I was taken aback when he was brought in last night, as it was the 3rd game in a row, and uncharted territory.Johnson got away with it, and ultimately I hope something good comes from it, but it won't likely be giving up on HRod. Davey not only wants the kid to succeed, he needs him to, but it doesn't seem that Henry can just pitch through this right away.

  6. Snivius - May 15, 2012 at 10:57 AM

    +1Yeah, the post-homer reaction went down like I hoped it would. Harper rounded the bases briskly, and only went up for his curtain call after the elder statesman of the team gave him a blessing to do so.What a bittersweet night for Sandy Leon! I hope he recovers fully, to at least get a September callup if not sooner. I cringe at the thought that for some reason his skill set erodes and his only taste of the show was four innings and striking out!

  7. Mr. Doggett - May 15, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    It's great to hear the back story in the curtain call. I dont care if the Padres felt like they were being shown up, but what matters is that his teammates supported the move. It's more important that he has the respect of team leaders like Werth and Zim.

  8. sjm308 - May 15, 2012 at 11:02 AM

    From last night – Thanks to Mr. Oregon and Sec 222. I will go for the app without Natsfan1a's help as my official computer fixerupper. Spousal equivilant has nixed both the Bratslavia & Prague baseball fixes. She says I need a break. I am not telling her about the mlb app and will surprise her.Am only taking 3 Nationals hats (Well, one actual nationals hat and two senator hats) Would be great if we stay on a winning streak so I don't have to rotate.Mark – thanks for the great insight you are able to get and lets get this game in today!!Go Nats!

  9. mick - May 15, 2012 at 11:16 AM

    let's see, in Chicago many moons a go a gypsy was insulted and cursed the Cubs, how do we know Mike Rizzo did not insult a gypsy and a an invisible, mischief, little elf that was summoned to cause injuries to our Nats? lol

  10. NatsLady - May 15, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. NatsLady - May 15, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    Congratulations to the pitching staff on 300 strikeouts. Despite not the greatest night for Detwiler, still leading the league in ERA, WHIP, K's…etc. etc. etc. Just read across the line.All right, not so many GIDP– but that number 15 that Burnett got, that should be extra credit.MLB pitching statshttp://mlb.mlb.com/stats/sortable.jsp?c_id=mlb&tcid=mm_mlb_stats#sectionType=st&playerType=QUALIFIER&statType=pitching&page_type=SortablePlayer&season=2012&season_type=ANY&sportCode='mlb'&league_code='MLB'&split=&team_id=&active_sw=&game_type='R'&position=&sortOrder='asc'&sortColumn=era&results=&page=1&perPage=50&timeframe=&extended=0&last_x_days=&ts=1337080502043&tab_level=child&click_text=Sortable+Team+pitching

  12. Constant Reader - May 15, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    So having a night to sleep on it, I'll admit the Sandy Leon story is on the front of my mind. Second day on the roster. First big league game. One plate appearance where he strikes out. And then out and on the DL after a collision at the plate in the fourth inning. What a modern day Moonlight Graham story. Mark, put me down as someone interested in knowing how the Nats treat the kid as he recovers. I'd feel better about our franchise knowing they put as much into his recovery as they would Morse or Storen or Werth.

  13. Gonat - May 15, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    NatsLady said… See, now, I'm not as willing to give Detwiler as much rope as Henry, so there you are… Just not a fan. I mean, I'm glad he did well, and I don't disagree with sending Lannan down so Det could have a chance (because I don't like Lannan either). But I thing Wang will be great for us, experienced and tough and smart, and Jeez, been through every kind of fire you can imagine, including his personal life all over the headlines, and he is still sinking that sinker. May 15, 2012 12:42 AM ____________________________Disappointed in McCatty in the handling of Detwiler. The kid has stuff but he also is on the big stage and is like a Rookie in terms of innings. From a mile away, I saw how that 4th inning was going last night after Det didn't get the K call on the 1-2 count. He eventually walks that batter and the wheels started coming off the bus.McCatty or at the very least Flores needed to calm the kid down. Its just another 5 inning performance that further puts in question whether this kid can work in a 5 day rotation and get to some 7 inning games. His top outings this year ended at 6.1 innings.On the other side, who gives the team the best chance to win, Wang or Detwiler? Detwiler is still sporting a 2.75 ERA although some of his unearned runs could have been earned runs given 1 very questionable error call which gives me some pause to come to conclusions right now.

  14. Steady Eddie - May 15, 2012 at 11:57 AM

    Constant — and worse, K's on a pitch that Gameday showed as way inside.The kid has too great a baseball skill set, hopefully, to be a Moonlight Graham. Here's hoping for him that he gets back this season unimpaired.

  15. LoveDaNats - May 15, 2012 at 11:58 AM

    I almost didn't go to the game last night because of the weather, but my daughter said I'd be a wuss if I didn't and actually it wasn't too bad. Loved seeing Bam Bam's first homer and he HAD to come out and acknowledge because the crowd wouldn't stop cheering.It was oddly silent during Henry's outing. I kept rooting for the Nats to pile on so it wouldn't be a save situation but there was Henry and we could tell by the second pitch it was "bad" Henry. Relief all around when Davey came out but was sorry Henry got booed by the crowd. We are a fickle lot.

  16. NatsLady - May 15, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    The question is, who will give the Nats the better chance to win this year?. For me that's Wang. Detwiler needs to toughen up, just like JZimm did, and not let bad calls throw him. As I said, I give him a pass when his baby catcher goes down in front of him, but JZ didn't blink when the same happened to him. So glad we got the game in last night, but how about a washout today to give Flores some rest? I know it creates problems down the road trying to find a common off-day when the Pods are in the neighborhood, but…

  17. Mr. Doggett - May 15, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    Show confidence in Wang, stick him in the rotation for a month, then package him along with someone else for a mean leadoff/CF monster. I know, I know, easier said than done…but what are the chances that Wang himself will actually give us a return that we are pleased with after everything that was invested in him? Better to try our luck and focus on positions where we lack production. Wang's value will never be higher than it will be a month after his MLB comeback.

  18. natsfan1a - May 15, 2012 at 12:06 PM

    Carrying forward my reply: I understand that, and I did say I was glad that Davey took him out. I felt bad for Henry on a personal level, and I make no apologies for that. Whatever one thinks of his performance, he is a human being with feelings. sjm308 said… Natsfan1a – you know we love you but you felt bad for Henry?? Please, he needed to be taken out and thank god Davey sucked it up before we lost another heart breaker. May 14, 2012 10:33 PM May 15, 2012 8:01 AM

  19. hiramhover - May 15, 2012 at 12:06 PM

    "I mean, that's the first time he's actually been wild."Um, no – but +1 for bringing the funny.

  20. ehay2k - May 15, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    Of topic: Anyone notice that Shyam Days, the arbitrator that rule in favor of overturning Braun's suspension, was fired by Selig? Calls into question the fairness of the arbitration process if they fire the guys that make decisions against the wishes of MLB. I wonder what the players' union will do?

  21. natsfan1a - May 15, 2012 at 12:11 PM

    That's okay. I could help with links but other stuff is probably above my pay grade. Luckily, my husband is a techie and helps me out. :-) Have a good trip!In other news, will be at the game today with a non-imaginary, non-baseball-blogging friend. Not sure where we'll be sitting as she's getting the tix. Club level, I think.I will go for the app without Natsfan1a's help as my official computer fixerupper.

  22. NatsLady - May 15, 2012 at 12:11 PM

    Rendon doesn't think he'll be back this year. (courtesy nationalsprospects.com). Here is an article from the Houston Chronicle.former-rice-star-rendon-on-the-mend-from-ankle-injury-in-second-minor-league-gamehttp://blog.chron.com/owls/2012/05/former-rice-star-rendon-on-the-mend-from-ankle-injury-in-second-minor-league-game/

  23. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 15, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    So far Det has been pitching a little more than long relief averaging just over 5 innings per game. He has to go deeper into games.I don't expect Wang to do much better. Det has to bounce back this weekend then Rizzo/Davey have a tough decision to make.On Henry, my opinion of him hasn't changed since the Nats traded for him. Overated.

  24. JT - May 15, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    Davey says, this is the first time he's been wild. Huh? I don't get that quote at all. The facial expressions of HRod warming up in the bullpen seemed to show anxiety. I agree that his stuff is extremely nasty but the lack of command in crucial situations is worrisome. I hope he can find it again and soon.

  25. Mr. Doggett - May 15, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    I couldn't believe it when I heard Davey say this! Why would he even suggest that this was a new thing? I have been a Henry supporter all around, but where did "Bad Henry/Good Henry" come from if this is the first time he's been wild??? Insane… hiramhover said…"I mean, that's the first time he's actually been wild."Um, no – but +1 for bringing the funny.May 15, 2012 8:06 AM

  26. whatsanattau - May 15, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    OK, all that stuff I said yesterday about not needing a veteran because they couldn't find one better than Leon – now a moot point.Today, I think it sure would be great if they could acquire a veteran to help out. Maldonado might be fine, but I'm not as confident. I saw the report from Cafardo that the Nats are scouting the catchers in Boston – Salty and Shoppach. One of them may become available if their prize rookie catcher gets called up. Not sure which is of more interest, but Shoppach got the start on Monday (2-4 with HR). Boston needs pitching, Washington needs a MLB catcher. Sounds like Peanut Butter and Chocolate to me…..

  27. whatsanattau - May 15, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    BTW, I am in no way down on Flores. I think he is solid and detined to start. But let's get those wheelbarrows, hoses, and buckets of the field before he comes out of the dugout. Put a security detail on him. And maybe don't throw 101 MPH uncontrollable pitches at his shoulder or groin.

  28. whatsanattau - May 15, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    …destined.

  29. Mr. Doggett - May 15, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    LOL…this is one thing we cannot promise. whatsanattau said……And maybe don't throw 101 MPH uncontrollable pitches at his shoulder or groin.

  30. Theophilus T. S. - May 15, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    That was a pretty grim-looking ankle sprain but, so far as we know, only an ankle sprain. Johnson said they "immediately" put him on the 60-day DL, which spared cutting someone on the 40-man roster in order to bring up Maldonado (ugh). Coincidentally, that could be a reasonable prognosis for recovering from a high ankle sprain — assuming that's what it is. So, maybe, Leon is available again in August. Unfortunately, I don't think they can make it that far w/ Maldonado as the back-up catcher, because he really is only a "break glass in case of emergency" player. That means spending prospects for somebody else's Eli Whiteside, etc. I can't believe, in the Nats' present state of desperation, anybody will give anything of value for Lannan.Rodriguez's bases-on-balls number is hair-raising. Worse, if he's really as "terrified" as Mark says, he should be spending more time on a psychiatrist's couch than in the bullpen. Hypnosis, acupuncture, Rolfing, EST — anything but letting him near a close ballgame (defined as anything with a margin of less than six runs). After July 31, he's the first player that should be put on revocable waivers, made somebody else's conundrum.

  31. baseballswami - May 15, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    Anybody else have a sneaking suspicion that Gio will go on the 15 day dl for his hand issues? If he can't throw the big curve, he can't get by in another game without it. Conveniently, everyone else could move up, Wang takes the 5 spot. That brings us into June, when moves can be made. Or some other pitcher gets a hangnail and needs two weeks off. With Detweiler being new at starting – I can't imagine he can do 200 innings this season. He is generally doing well, just will need this inaugural season to toughen up and stretch out. Personally, I think it's the haircut that jinxed him. He needs to grow it out again to keep his natitude. My new Nats mantra — Everyone Healthy in July!!!

  32. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 15, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    Pitching is about consistency and it goes hand in hand with winning. I don't give a darn about 2 hitters followed up by 4 duds or a 10 pitch inning sandwiched by 3 meltdown innings or a 1 earned run game where 4 unearned were still in the pitchers control.Consistently good = Winning

  33. Gonat - May 15, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    Baseballswami – Unless they are holding back information, they said its Gio's right hand that he hurt not his pitching hand. He throws left-handed. Do you know something the rest of us don't?I brought this up his last start that the last 2 innings he didn't throw a curveball but threw plenty of heaters. Certainly was odd.

  34. Gonat - May 15, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… Pitching is about consistency and it goes hand in hand with winning. I don't give a darn about 2 hitters followed up by 4 duds or a 10 pitch inning sandwiched by 3 meltdown innings or a 1 earned run game where 4 unearned were still in the pitchers control.Consistently good = Winning May 15, 2012 8:29 AM _____________________________You have been consistently right with your evaluations and assessments, especially in Spring Training. You were on the Craig Stammen bandwagon early in March.I think you feel better about Detwiler although last night sure has to leave you shaking your head.I still like Det better than EJax and just think with Wang, Det, EJax and Lannan you have a whole lot of 4's and 5's and Detwiler is the one with the most future potential.

  35. Doc - May 15, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    Let's hope that Davey can give other guys in the BP some opportunities. Could be that if Sean Burnett came in against Votto (or a few batters previously), we might have wrapped it up in Cincy. Stammen and Mattheus have closer moxie too!Like MPHRod and totally want him to do well. But there continues to be something missing in his mental and/or physical approach. Still remember, though, the time late in last season (Braves??) when he came in and K'd the side on about 9 pitches!

  36. SCNatsFan - May 15, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    I'd be interested in hearing what HRod has to say; you would think someone who could handle the pressure of being a closer could also handle the pressure of the media.

  37. NatsLady - May 15, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    They said a few days ago Gio was "also receiving treatment for his pitching hand" and it wasn't considered serious. A quote that reminded me of, oh, I dunno…

  38. natsfan1a - May 15, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    I posted about this yesterday. Both Comak and Kilgore said he'd injured his left and right hands in the slide (you may recall that at one point he was more or less on his hands and knees). Kilgore also noted that he'd received treatment on his left.Gonat said… Baseballswami – Unless they are holding back information, they said its Gio's right hand that he hurt not his pitching hand. He throws left-handed. Do you know something the rest of us don't? I brought this up his last start that the last 2 innings he didn't throw a curveball but threw plenty of heaters. Certainly was odd. May 15, 2012 8:35 AM

  39. natsfan1a - May 15, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    Now I owe NatsLady a coke. Link here.

  40. NatsLady - May 15, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    swami, yes, I said that after Gio's last start. He'll make this start (since CMW just pitched yesterday) and then they'll keep in the dugout as long as they can and maybe backdate a DL so he would only miss two starts. That's if he's really hurting. You aren't going to get the full story, and why should you? Play your cards close to the chest when you can.

  41. natsfan1a - May 15, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    I also posted about this the other day, it was an April Kilgore item about how Henry had done his first English-language postgame media session after a bad game. If memory serves, Kilgore Tweetered at the time "#standup," and I woudl agree.SCNatsFan said… I'd be interested in hearing what HRod has to say; you would think someone who could handle the pressure of being a closer could also handle the pressure of the media. May 15, 2012 8:43 AM

  42. natsfan1a - May 15, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    I *would* agree. (Thanks for having my back, Firefox spell checker – not! :-)).

  43. natsfan1a - May 15, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    Repost of relevant passage:natsfan1a said… "If the ninth inning shook Rodriguez, he did not show it Monday night. After Murphy’s single, Rodriguez walked off the mound slowly, staring straight ahead, betraying no emotion. In the clubhouse, reporters gathered around him. Rodriguez had never before given a group interview in English. Monday, he agreed to stand up and speak." 'Nobody wants to go out there in the ninth and walk the first batter,' Rodriguez said. 'I feel pretty bad about myself.'"

  44. Andrew - May 15, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    I do not understand why fans of a first-place home team would boo one of their own players as he came off the field in a game the team eventually won? Yes H-Rod is pitching very poorly and he needed to be replaced…but lack of confidence is the most definitive problem for closers. Booing him as he walks off the field is just cruel and utlimately counterproductive. Are we such an entitled society that one player's failures entitles us to publicly ridicule him? If the Nationals were in last place and struggling indifferently then I could understand the boos. But they are in first place and have played extraordinarily well despite tough circumstances. If anything, the fans should be shamed for showing up in such small numbers night after night while the team is in first place.

  45. NatsLady - May 15, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    Henry also spoke to the media after the blown save/loss in Cincy. I didn't see the interview (can't find a link on MASN) but several people on this blog noted he looked pretty down.Matt Kemp on the 15-day DL.

  46. natsfan1a - May 15, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    Agreed, Andrew.

  47. natsfan1a - May 15, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    (On the booing part, anyway. Not big on shaming for anyone. ;-))natsfan1a said… Agreed, Andrew.

  48. fast eddie - May 15, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    Theophilus:You're right about Hank needing a sports shrink. Maybe the Lerners would spring for one (and one for me if I have to watch Hank close again).My wife and dog have threatened to leave after one more tantrum.

  49. JamesFan - May 15, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    Booing Henry is really bad form–Phillie-esque. I'm confident that he will be a major factor in the success of this season. I vote for Wang in the rotation. They just need to sit down with Det and tell him that he is a long-term stud for this team, but they have invested three years in Wang, CMW is an experienced, high quality pitcher on a one-year deal and they have to keep pitching backed up given the situation with Stras. If Det is interested in the team, he'll settle in for a stint in the pen.

  50. Gonat - May 15, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    Andrew said… I do not understand why fans of a first-place home team would boo one of their own players as he came off the field in a game the team eventually won? Yes H-Rod is pitching very poorly and he needed to be replaced…but lack of confidence is the most definitive problem for closers. Booing him as he walks off the field is just cruel and utlimately counterproductive. Are we such an entitled society that one player's failures entitles us to publicly ridicule him? If the Nationals were in last place and struggling indifferently then I could understand the boos. But they are in first place and have played extraordinarily well despite tough circumstances. If anything, the fans should be shamed for showing up in such small numbers night after night while the team is in first place. May 15, 2012 8:56 AM _______________________________I agree however I think they were boo'ing more out of frustration in "what took Davey so long to make the switch". 3 walk-off HRs given up by Henry on the road — Kemp in LA, Barajas in Pitt and Votto in Cincy. In each of those games, he started with the mid to bottom of the order. The meltdowns each time were controlable just like last night.

  51. NatsLady - May 15, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    Andrew–agree. I DO NOT understand booing your own players! Henry is trying as hard as he can, too hard probably. I don't want Henry to get fixed by another team (a la Gascanrahan) or Emilio Bonifacio (what's up with him, anyway?). Speaking of small numbers, while the Nats only drew 19K on a rainy night for the Pods, your first-place Ballmer team drew about 16K for the Yanks game with the exact same rain. Musta been the $1 hot dogs that got 'em in Nats Park. Yeah, right.

  52. NatsLady - May 15, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    JamesFan, agree. And I bet they long since had that talk with Detwiler. If Gio doesn't go on the DL, that's the right choice by me. Rotation is Stras, Gio, JZ, EJax, CMW until at least July, baseball gods willing. We need some GIDP to up our count on the team pitching line. :)

  53. NatsLady - May 15, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    Gonat– Henry didn't give up the game-running dinger to Kemp, Gorzy did. Henry blew the save, but Gorzy tried to challenge Kemp in the bottom of the 10th with a fastball and Kemp said, OK, fine.

  54. SCNatsFan - May 15, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    Thanks Natsfan1A, I hadn't seen that reported.Booing, well, I think the fan base isn't used to expecting to win and seeing another game handed to the other team… I understand the frustration. Just like the team is learning to be a winner with missteps along that path the same is true for the suffering fan base.

  55. natsfan1a - May 15, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    You're welcome, SC.Good catch on the attendance up north, NatsLady. No doubt the WaPo will be publishing an expose about that shortly. Yeah, right. ;-)

  56. NatsJack in Florida - May 15, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    Count me in as agreeing with JanesFan and Andrew on both topics. Detwiler still has alot of maturing to do if he plans on having a successful career.

  57. DCGuy7 - May 15, 2012 at 1:15 PM

    sorry this is off topic – anyone happen to know the number you can call to reserve ahead for an outdoor table at the red porch (yes, i'm an optimist). thanks

  58. fast eddie - May 15, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    Here's the latest NL stats that will confirm what most of you already suspect re: our Nats:Hitting–Runs–14thDoubles–1st (!)Triples–16thLOBs–16th (ominous)SOs–14thPitching–First in ERA, fewest hits, fewest runs, fewest HRs and most SOs!

  59. NatsLady - May 15, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    Hey, optimist, the clouds are clearing and the sun is breaking out here in Foggy Bottom so can 20003 be far behind? I would just call the main number and let them transfer you.Phone: (202) 675-6287

  60. DCGuy7 - May 15, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    thanks NatsLady – i'm in Foggy Bottom too, btw. I had tried the main number already but no one is answering. will try later. good day to play hooky!

  61. NatsLady - May 15, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    BTW, was that Rick Ankiel taking not one but two unintentional walks last night? Would the real Mr. Eckstein please stand up, the traffic on this blog is pretty light without calls for your job. Oh, wait, we're after McCatty now because Detwiler had a bad night.

  62. Ann Ominous - May 15, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    I also posted about this the other day, it was an April Kilgore item about how Henry had done his first English-language postgame media session after a bad game. If memory serves, Kilgore Tweetered at the time "#standup," and I woudl agree.That's a low bar, considering how Kilgore performed in his own first English-language postgame media session. #flopsweat

  63. jeffwx - May 15, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    No, McCatty's pitching staff is one of the best I've ever seen….Unless, your name is Riggleman, no firing please while you're on a role ;)And Thank you DJ, by doing right for the Team and for HROD by taking him out after getting the bases loaded. It was a good situation to try him in with a 3 run lead. Stammen and Clip were very impressive again.

  64. Faraz Shaikh - May 15, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    go to fangraphs and check our starters stats in comparison to the league before we complain about Steve's job. Second youngest rotation that has been as good as Phillies and worth the same while in reality getting paid way less than Roy and company.And agree about booing.

  65. sjm308 - May 15, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    I am in the camp of having Wang start and moving Detwiler to the pen. Not with the idea of a trade but with the idea that this is a veteran pitcher who has worked for 3 years to return to his job and before all the various injuries was one of the tops in his craft. Now, he might not return to that level but if its 75-80% then I think we have another strong piece to help us on this wonderful playoff run. SS will be shut down, Detwiler will return to the starting rotation for the last month and hopefully will have stayed sharp in the pen.Go Nats!!

  66. NatsLady - May 15, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    FS–McCatty is a treasure! I feel he is maybe the 2nd best pitching coach in the majors (next to the miracle worker they have in Chicago), maybe the best. There were some rough spots when Davey first came on and argued with McCatty in the dugout, but that's all in the past.

  67. SCNatsFan - May 15, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    C'mon NatsLady, you look at the stats posted above and unless Eck is just teaching the guys just how to hit doubles he didn't become Ted Williams overnight. Just like one bad game doesn't count for much one good game doesn't either.

  68. NatsLady - May 15, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    Ann Ominous: McCaffee Security wouldn't let me go to that site, said it was "behaving badly." But I've seen that video before, it cracked me up.

  69. NatsLady - May 15, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  70. NatsLady - May 15, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    SCNatsFan–that was exactly my point. If Eckstein was that bad at his job last week, before we got 27 hits in two days, isn't he still bad at it? There really needs to be an "irony" emoticon.

  71. Faraz Shaikh - May 15, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    NatsLady, not sure about Steve being 2nd best. There is also Duncan. Isn't he also supposedly very good?Anyways, something interesting:Phils rotation: 65.5 million dollarsNats rotation: 20.05 million dollarsI love the way this team is built. Having said that, we have to get some contract extension with our starting pitchers (I mean SS and JZ) out of the way soon.

  72. NatsLady - May 15, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    Looking up Dave Duncan….Looking…."jury is still out." At any rate, he's retired, so let's say McCatty best or second best among active pitching coaches.was-dave-duncan-overrated-as-cardinals-pitching-coachhttp://bleacherreport.com/articles/1177245-was-dave-duncan-overrated-as-cardinals-pitching-coach

  73. Wendell - May 15, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    A shrink did it for John Smoltz. He even had a seat behind home plate. http://madduxglavinesmoltz.blogspot.com/2011/07/smoltz-collection-1995-finest-313.html

  74. natsfan1a - May 15, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    If memory serves, the mental health consultant the Nats use is the same one the Braves once used. Not sure whether his services date from that Braves era, though. One of the FLA newspapers had a piece about him in spring training. Don't have time to look it up right now because I'm heading out to the park. Yay!

  75. SCNatsFan - May 15, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    I do think Henry is just another couple of wild outings (as defined by everyone else on the planet, not Davey) from his head imploding. I bet Ankiel is watching and thinking he is looking at a video from his past.

  76. natsfan1a - May 15, 2012 at 2:15 PM

    Okay, I found a link.

  77. A DC Wonk - May 15, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    Would the real Mr. Eckstein please stand up, the traffic on this blog is pretty light without calls for your job.then:C'mon NatsLady, you look at the stats posted above and unless Eck is just teaching the guys just how to hit doubles he didn't become Ted Williams overnight. Just like one bad game doesn't count for much one good game doesn't either. Right now, the Nats are batting, as a team, .003 less than the league average. And OBP is .003 above the league average.Maybe it wasn't Eckstein, but just a couple of guys getting off to miserable starts (which often happens, y'know — not only Espi & Bernadina, but RZim, too).

  78. NatsLady - May 15, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    This tickled me. Bleacher report's analysis of every team's off season regret (so far). Y'know, Pujols, et al. Here is the report for the Nats biggest off-season regret.every-mlb-teams-biggest-offseason-regrethttp://bleacherreport.com/articles/1181484-every-mlb-teams-biggest-offseason-regret/page/20

  79. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 15, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    NatsJack, where are we now on Detwiler? I'm of the opinion that if he isn't getting that inside strike call with his fastball on RH batters, it will be a long night, and still needs to get some 7 inning games in the books.There has to be another strategy for Det when the strike zone is tight. One of the few teams worse than the Nats on offense is the Padres which frustrated me even more about last night's 4th inning semi-meltdown.Pitch-track confirmed the ump's call on that pitch that Det got all lathered up over. Talking about the great McCatty, come up with something for young Ross on approach when you get frustrated.

  80. Wendell - May 15, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    Great link 1a. I grew up in Atlanta a Braves fan. I'll never forget '91 & the shrink behind home plate.

  81. A DC Wonk - May 15, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    I do think Henry is just another couple of wild outings (as defined by everyone else on the planet, not Davey) from his head imploding.But he also might be just a couple of outings away from overcoming his problem, too.I bet Ankiel is watching and thinking he is looking at a video from his past. Ouch! Truth be told, I was thinking the exact same thing when he hit the backstop last night!

  82. A DC Wonk - May 15, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    If Eckstein was that bad at his job last week, before we got 27 hits in two daysBut it's not just two days! I *thought* I saw a graphic on TV last night that the Nats, as a team, were batting .281 over the last 11 games. That sort of blew me away. Is that correct.That didn't include last night — so here's a question for my fellow stat-heads:Is there a semi-easy way to figure out what the Nats team BA is over the last 12 games (without having to look at 12 different box scores, and adding up hits and AB's)?

  83. Exposremains - May 15, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    Detwiler could be more useful in the pen, assuming Wang pitches decent. He could be the left-handed Stammen, he could probably throw harder if he only pitches 1 or 2 innings. Later in the year you move him back to the rotation.

  84. NatsLady - May 15, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    Whatever worked for JZ, who had the same problem last year– as long as it's not throwing bats against the wall._________________________________________________Talking about the great McCatty, come up with something for young Ross on approach when you get frustrated.

  85. SCNatsFan - May 15, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    DC Wonk, I agree… a stable outing from him, not hitting the backstop or bouncing it 2 feet short, could get him right back on track.

  86. carolync - May 15, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    I thought catchers in these post-Posey days were standing away from the plate in order to make a swipe tag on a runner from third and that the optimum position for blocking the plate is on your knees facing the runner. Leon seemed to be in the worst possible place, in a semi-kneeling position right in the middle of the plate facing the pitcher to take Espinosa's low throw. The runner had no choice but to barrel into him sideways. Just curious as I saw a catcher positioning tutorial by Rick Dempsey during a recent Orioles telecast. Sure hope his ankle sprain is not as bad as it sounds.Henry is surely finished as a closer for the time being at least. Matteus and Burnett can share the role. I can't imagine Davey saying to them, "Well, boys, I'm putting Henry in for the 9th so I need you warmed up in case he loads the bases with the heart of the order coming up."

  87. DHamm - May 15, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    I suspect it was the pseudo-fans that were booing, and there are many of those. I saw a few who stood and called out real words of encouragement.

  88. NatsLady - May 15, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    Here ya go, Wonk. Team BA for April = .226. Team BA for May = .280baseball referencehttp://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/split.cgi?t=b&team=WSN&year=2012

  89. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 15, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    DC Wonk, But he also might be just a couple of outings away from overcoming his problem, too. Seriously? This isn't 2007 all over again. It was bad enough having Henry learn on the job last year while the games counted. He is not the closer here the day Storen comes back so this is a failed attempt at forcing what isn't there. Stammen should get the ball. He has been perfect in each of his 1st innings of work this year.Points by others on giving Espi similar treatment as was mentioned isn't apples to apples as batting is 99% of the time going to be in the best circumstances a greater chance of failure than success while being a closer doesn't cut it at the 50% failure mark (or worse) that Oh Henry has been performing at.Time to turn the page. I just don't get this attachment to Henry Rodriguez. I'm with Mick, I'd rather see him on someone else's team.

  90. NatsLady - May 15, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    carolync, I thought so too, and had just explained that this morning to my Mother–one of those "bandwagon" Nats fans you hear about. Maybe that was a problem with Leon coming up directly from AA where the focus has been on his hitting. Not that I am hindsighting the promotion, I still think it was the right choice, but he might not have been trained yet in the new method.

  91. Candide - May 15, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    Bad news and good news:Bad news: I'm afraid to turn on the TV for this afternoon's game, because I don't want to know who gets hurt next. Cripes, a broken wrist, a torn ACL, and a bad ankle sprain all in the last week. It's like the curse of Nick Johnson or something.Good news: Here's how many runs the Nats scored in their games April 20 – May 1: 2,3,3,7,1,2,3,0,1. And here's how many they've scored in each game since: 5,2,4,7,3,4,2,4,7,2,6,8.Okay, those last four came in Cincy and here against the Padres. But still…

  92. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 15, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    Exposremains said… Detwiler could be more useful in the pen, assuming Wang pitches decent. He could be the left-handed Stammen, he could probably throw harder if he only pitches 1 or 2 innings. Later in the year you move him back to the rotation. May 15, 2012 10:25 AM _____________________________That was my argument the last 2 seasons and his velo hit 95+ working out of the 'pen but now I have a possible reversal of thinking.Detwiler is still performing 4th best on this team and the biggest red flag are the 4 starts where he was pulled after 5 innings. That is what may do him in as he isn't going deep into games. Also, this team really needs 2 lefty starters to be most effective against the Phillies and Braves. Chances are that Ross goes to the 'pen but maybe Rizzo does something extreme and Wang or EJax goes to the 'pen.

  93. A DC Wonk - May 15, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    To be 100% accurate, this is what I was thinking:"Holy cr@p — Ankiel in CF is probably getting a good view of this — I hope he's not getting shaken up thinking he's having flashbacks."(As a Mets fan, back in 2000, I saw Ankiel blow up badly. One of the few times I felt sorry for an opposing pitcher. He started NLCS game two, and lasted only 20 pitches, five of which hit the backstop (but three were with bases empty, so it was only to WPs) — allowed three walks followed by a double in 2/3 of an inning).(Ankiel's all time nightmare inning — possibly the worst inning ever for a pitcher in modern day play — was the outing prior to that: after pitching two scoreless innings against the Braves in game one of the playoffs, his third inning was: 8 batters faced, 35 pitches, 4 earned runs, 2 hits, 4 walks, 5 wild pitches, then was removed with two outs).

  94. A DC Wonk - May 15, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    DC Wonk, I agree… a stable outing from him, not hitting the backstop or bouncing it 2 feet short, could get him right back on track. Gee, you set an awfully high bar there! ;-)

  95. SCNatsFan - May 15, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    Ghost of Steve M, Henry is going nowhere – nowhere. You'd get squat for him in a trade and his upside is too high to let him walk. Best you can hope for is he is regulated to Perry like duties until he figures things out.

  96. NatsLady - May 15, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    FS, thanks, that is even cooler than the other baseball reference page I had linked! Spreadsheet FUN!!!

  97. NatsJack in Florida - May 15, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    Ghost…..my post earlier said what I think about Detwiler. He needs some serious maturing to do and he certainly needs to develope mental toughness.He has the "stuff" but then so did Mock (from what they tell me, I never saw it) and alot of others who never made it.I think he goes to the pen as originally planned.

  98. whatsanattau - May 15, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    Who relieves in the 9th today if it is a save situation?I think it will be Burnett or Matthues based on recent usage, but I'm thinking a 5 run lead would put the ball in the hands of Gorzo for the late afternoon.

  99. Faraz Shaikh - May 15, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    no probs natslady. thanks to bbref guys.anyways, only thing that worries me about our offense is strikeouts.

  100. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 15, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    I remember listening in on a conversation between Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Jeff Gordon. Jeff Gordon was complaining about the fans booing. Dale Sr. told him, "You want to be cheered or booed, because you are relative, it is when they greet you with indifference you no longer relative." Maybe in baseball that doesn't apply.However, there is one easy way not to get booed. Perform.

  101. MicheleS - May 15, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    On Det.. Totally agree on the maturation and the need to develop some mental toughness.I still think conditioning is a problem. After conversations back from Viera, Det just doesn't have the lower half that the other pitchers do. So dude still needs to eat an bulk up the bottom.Stras, JZ, and Gio all have solid lower body Legs, butt, etc (yes I know I am checking out the butts). Ejax, seems a little thin, but not as bad as Det.Leon.. I want him to get another shot. Seems like he could be a good backup. Thank God we have JFLO!!!!

  102. MicheleS - May 15, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    Oh.. and Mark.. Thanks for the story behind the scenes. I always like hearing what is going on behind the curtain.

  103. Steady Eddie - May 15, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    FS — it's not even so much strikeouts as such that's the biggest problem, as three or four pitch, free swinging strikeouts (think Danny or Rick, or more occasionally Wilson flailing weakly at breaking balls way outside) that are entirely unproductive in every respect. At least if you go 7 or 8 pitches against a starter before striking out, you're running up his pitch count. Another encouraging thing with Danny lately is he's mostly returned to working the count, as he did at the beginning of the season, when he got a lot of walks and solidly hit balls with unlucky BAPIP. Now he seems to be getting some hits late in the count too.

  104. Exposremains - May 15, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    I'm sure its a very small percentage of players that will feed off getting booed by the home fans. Not sure how it helps the confidence.

  105. waddu eye no - May 15, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    rain rain go away….off to the park. sec 214 row H. blue nats jacket and blue hat. anyone around? see you & stras on Kstgyfng -

  106. Mr. Doggett - May 15, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    Just listened to Gio being interviewed by Holden and Danny on The Station That Shall Not Be Named… and I just feel the need to mention that if he stays here for long enough, he could end up being on the fans' list of favorite Nats players ever. His honestly is unparalleled.

  107. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 15, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    I enjoy Gio, he enjoys the game.GYFNG

  108. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 15, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    Davey said Henry won't pitch at all today as he needs a day off.

  109. Doc - May 15, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    Maldonado is in the house!Two healthy C's at the park–at least to start the game!GooooooooooJFlo! GooooooooooooooooooNats!!!!!!!!!!

  110. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 15, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    NatsJack, I think that is how it will go down. I don't necesarily agree with it but Det's performance last night was a stinker.

  111. A DC Wonk - May 15, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    A DC Wonk, is this what you were referring to?http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/tgl.cgi?team=WSN&t=b&year=2012&share=1.21#24-34-sum:team_batting_gamelogs Thanks. I changed the "34" to the "35", and what I come up with:Nats are batting .287 in the last 12 games.Slash line: .287/.354/.487, 17 HR.Eck!! ;-)

  112. A DC Wonk - May 15, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    SCNatsFan said… Ghost of Steve M, Henry is going nowhere – nowhere. How can you possibly know that? And, seriously, don't you think Rizzo, Davey, McCatty have more info to go on, and more experience, to make that call?This happens all the time — particularly with fireballers. Mets gave up on Nolan Ryan (and I applauded the move at the time! But I was young and foolish, what did I know?)Most folks here were making the same pronouncement about Ian last year, and about Espi earlier this year, right?

  113. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 15, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    SCNatsFan said… Ghost of Steve M, Henry is going nowhere – nowhere. You'd get squat for him in a trade and his upside is too high to let him walk. Best you can hope for is he is regulated to Perry like duties until he figures things out. May 15, 2012 10:46 AM In reality, I don't disagree, just wishful thinking on my part. You wouldn't get much in a trade this week after the recent meltdowns.

  114. A DC Wonk - May 15, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    Det's performance last night was a stinker. Agreed. But, here's my question. In 7 starts, Det has been great in 3 of them, stinky in 3, and average in one — although he hasn't blown up in any of them.That's not great . . . but, I can't help but suspect that that's pretty good for a #5 pitcher, no?Am I in the ballpark here? (metaphoricly thinking . . . as I am here at work, a 20 minute walk from the real ballpark, and trying to figure out of I can play hookey and see Stras today . . . ;-)

  115. NatsLady - May 15, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    What did Gio say? I am stupidly listening to Mr. Tony & crew talk golfing which bores me silly!

  116. Doug - May 15, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    I didnt get to go to the game last night but was curious if anybody ran into the grass to get the home run ball? That thing could have significant value although I hope somebody gave it to Harper.

  117. Doc - May 15, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    Shame on Shyam!!MLB fires arbitrator Shyam Das!Too bad we can't fire judges the way MLB fires arbitrators.

  118. SCNatsFan - May 15, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    DC Wonk, you just have to look at a guy like Hanrahan who needed to mentally get it together despite having great stuff. You are correct – if someone makes a reasonable offfer then he goes but what is the sense of trading a guy with potential lights out stuff for a roster filler guy.And your right, I have no special insight into the team, just my opinion. Just like you.

  119. hiramhover - May 15, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    DougKilgore's story this morning said that a Nats employee retrieved it.

  120. Doug - May 15, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    Thanks hiram….Nice to see Harper got it…does anybody know the rules about that grass? I've never seen anybody go onto it to retrieve a home run ball. I do know that if you reach into the flower pots in left field to grab a ball that you will be asked to leave the stadium as it is considered part of the playing field.

  121. fast eddie - May 15, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    Any ideas as to why we're first in the NL in doubles and last in triples?Do we have a bunch of line-drive gap hitters who are slow-footed?Just wondering . . .

  122. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 15, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    hiramhover, the ball actually rolled down the grass like a golf ball and it went through that new ornamental fencing and between the outfield fence to where it was picked up. I just wonder how many other balls were there from BP. The good news is this ball would have a nice fresh rub of Mississippi mud. Glad Bryce got it without the normal wranglings to get your 1st HR ball.

  123. Ann Ominous - May 15, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    I think the Nats have a rule forbidding fans from going out on the batter's eye grass. Doing so would probably get you ejected from the ballpark. I've seen home run balls just sit out there for several innings before an employee goes out to get them.The Texas Rangers apparently do not have such a rule for their batter's eye grass, as swarms of fans went out there after home run balls in last year's playoffs. Being Texas, they're probably allowed to have firearms and open containers with them when they go out there, too.

  124. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 15, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    A DC Wonk said… Det's performance last night was a stinker. Agreed. But, here's my question. In 7 starts, Det has been great in 3 of them, stinky in 3, and average in one — although he hasn't blown up in any of them.That's not great . . . but, I can't help but suspect that that's pretty good for a #5 pitcher, no?Am I in the ballpark here? (metaphoricly thinking . . . as I am here at work, a 20 minute walk from the real ballpark, and trying to figure out of I can play hookey and see Stras today . . . ;-) May 15, 2012 11:28 AM Many of his metrics say he is a #2 right now but visually he looks like a #4 on this team ahead of EJax. He has to get deeper into games. That's been his problem since the beginning regarding his stamina and apparently still is.In his last 2 starts and the start at home where he gave up the 4 unearned in the Grand Slam, he has allowed his frustrations to take hold.Its happening with too much regularity. You have to like the fire he has, but he has to control it.

  125. hiramhover - May 15, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    GhostThanks for the info. I only saw it on TV, and I think their shots cut away as it was rolling down hill.

  126. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 15, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    Ann Ominous said…I think the Nats have a rule forbidding fans from going out on the batter's eye grass. Doing so would probably get you ejected from the ballpark.Yes. Yes they do, and yes it does, and I don't like to talk about it. The Jack-Booted Thugs.

  127. natsfan1a - May 16, 2012 at 1:47 AM

    I knew that was coming, sec3. :-) The fans did the same at Busch after Freese hit one out there, if memory serves.The Texas Rangers apparently do not have such a rule for their batter's eye grass, as swarms of fans went out there after home run balls in last year's playoffs. Being Texas, they're probably allowed to have firearms and open containers with them when they go out there, too.

Archives

FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 96 66 --
ATLANTA 79 83 17.0
NEW YORK 79 83 17.0
MIAMI 77 85 19.0
PHILADELPHIA 73 89 23.0

NL POSTSEASON SCHEDULE

NL WILD CARD GAME
WED: Giants at Pirates, 8:07 p.m. (ESPN)

NLDS
FRI: Game 1, Pirates at Nats, 12:07 p.m.,
OR Giants at Nats, 3:07 p.m. (FS1)
SAT: Game 2, PIT/SF at Nats, 5:37 p.m. (FS1)
MON: Game 3, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (MLBN)
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OCT. 9: Game 5, PIT/SF at Nats, TBA (FS1)*
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