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Game 38: Pirates at Nats

May 17, 2012, 7:45 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Jordan Zimmermann tries to pitch the Nationals to a two-game sweep of the Pirates.

Don't look now, but the Nationals are scoring runs in bunches. They've scored 32 runs over their last six games (an average of 5.2 per contest) and produced 58 hits (an average of 9.7). Obviously, Adam LaRoche has played a big role in that, but offensive production is also coming from the likes of Ian Desmond, Danny Espinosa, Xavier Nady and (of course) Bryce Harper.

It kind of got lost in last night's game, but Harper nearly homered for the third straight day, settling instead for his first career triple. He's now slugging .460 in 17 big-league games. Not bad for a 19-year-old. Not bad at all.

The Nationals can only hope to keep this offensive surge going tonight against the Pirates and in the process give Jordan Zimmermann some much-deserved run support. Despite earning a quality start in each of his seven outings this season, the right-hander's record entering tonight is a disappointing 2-3.

Updates to come. Please check back…

PITTSBURGH PIRATES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 184
Weather: Clear, 72 degrees, Wind 7 mph in from CF

NATIONALS (23-14)
SS Ian Desmond
LF Roger Bernadina
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche

Read more »

184 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Tcostant - May 17, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    I see a 2-1 win tonight. Zimmermann with a ND; at least he isn't a hard luck losser…

  2. bowdenball - May 17, 2012 at 8:05 PM

    There are not a lot of things about being a fan of the 2012 Washington Nationals that have sucked so far. But one of them is that every five games, we have to be reminded that people still care about a pitcher's W-L record for some stupid reason.

  3. peric - May 17, 2012 at 8:18 PM

    There are not a lot of things about being a fan of the 2012 Washington Nationals that have sucked so far.The number of highest quality quality starts to win ratio isn't so great and I do think they care about going deep into games and coming up with the win if they can. It was probably set as one of their goals as a staff this season.

  4. MicheleS - May 17, 2012 at 8:19 PM

    Curly W in the books tonight. I see RZ having a big game!

  5. Grandstander - May 17, 2012 at 8:21 PM

    Bowdenball, I gave up that fight years ago. People are always going to be concerned about useless stats because they were taught to care about useless stats.

  6. Knoxville Nat - May 17, 2012 at 8:29 PM

    Hope you are right MicheleS! Would be nice to see Zimmerman break out in time for the stretch that is coming up over the next several weeks.

  7. Tcostant - May 17, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    I also see a big Zimmermann game, but I also see quite bats for the Nationals. It's just the way it is when Zimm pitches.

  8. bowdenball - May 17, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    Peric-I'm sure what you say is true, but I think that's mostly just a product of fans and media and agents and arbitrators and Cy Young voters stupidly caring about a pitcher's W-L record. It forces them to care when they shouldn't.Grandstander-I can understand giving up. The problem is that caring about useless stats has consequences. It makes people not appreciate how great Zimmermann is. On the other side of the coin, it makes people thing someone like Wang was a lot better at his peak than he actually was.

  9. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 17, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    Maybe, but having a handy, easy-to-grasp metric, even if it is grossly imperfect, has advantages, especially if it has real world correspondences. It's one of the few things about baseball that's really easy to understand: the team with the most runs at the end of the game wins, and the team that wins the most games is in first place. Anybody can grasp that. At the end of the season, they don't award first place, and ultimately the World Series, to the team with the best advanced stats–it goes to the team that won the most games. It doesn't matter if they "deserved" to win, if the other team got jobbed by the umps, or somebody got lucky, or had nicer uniforms. How you measure depends on what you want to measure. If you're trying to win an argument in a bar about "who's better, Verlander or Cy Young", then yeah, bring on all the stats you got. But for a casual fan, who wants one easy thing to get a bearing on "Is this guy any good?" it's accessible. Misleading, but accessible. But there's the rub–EVERYTHING is misleading, taken in isolation, and nothing is foolproof in the hands of a fool.

  10. JaneB - May 17, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    Apropos of nothing, I've been in Las Vegas all week. The morning local news commences every day with news of Bryce Harper. It's kinda fun. They're growing Nats fans in the desert.

  11. JD - May 17, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    Bowdenball and Grandstander, If you ever win this argument we should try taking on other useless stats like RBI, runs scored, saves,holds and partially useless stats like batting average and ERA.

  12. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 17, 2012 at 8:55 PM

    Which is not to say all naive baseball fans are fools–well, no more than the rest of us–but there is no perfect solution, because it's an imperfect question, "Who's better?"

  13. JD - May 17, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    Sec 3, I think most fans are smart enough to understand that an individual's stat which is greatly influenced by actions not taken by that individual are at best misleading.

  14. natsfan1a - May 17, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    Keep surging. Give that kid some run support, daggone it! ;-) Go, JZ! Go, NATS! Go, BATS! Go, Goon Squad!I think that Peric makes good points about staff goals. Additionally, there's more pressure on a pitcher to be perfect when the offense isn't putting up many runs. Last but not least, pitcher W-L or ND aside, if they don't score more than the other team, they lose the game. So there's that. As Mr. Sheen might say: duh, winning. :-)

  15. bowdenball - May 17, 2012 at 9:00 PM

    JD, I'll let you know.Section 3- no stat is perfect but some is better than other. ERA strikes a decent balance between accessible and useful. Even casual fans know generally what a good ERA is, and although it's not perfect, it's impossible for a pitcher having a very good season to have a below average ERA, and it's impossible for a pitcher having a very bad season to have an above average ERA. Obviously you can't say the same for W-L.

  16. natsfan1a - May 17, 2012 at 9:00 PM

    Dang, sec3 beat me to the punch, and with fewer words. Oh well, I'll get 'em next time. :-)

  17. JD - May 17, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    natsfan1a, but JZ has a W/L record of 2 – 3. Do you think that represents his true performance? The year king Felix won the Cy Young he had something like 12 – 14 wins so the voters were smart enough to look beyond this archaic stat.

  18. JamesFan - May 17, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    Remember when we were in a state of misery because there weren't enough fans at Nats Park for a cold, rainy game against somebody and pundits were declaring Washington not a baseball town? Well, last night the stadium was very full of 25K enthusiastic fans for a Wednesday night game in May against the Pirates.

  19. natsfan1a - May 17, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    That said, if rooting for the Nats has taught long-time fans anything, it's that a pitcher can do a very good job and end up with an L, and I think most of us know to look at more than a guy's W-L record. ;-)

  20. natsfan1a - May 17, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    No, I know to look at more than W-L record for a pitcher. See my subsequent post.JD said… natsfan1a, but JZ has a W/L record of 2 – 3. Do you think that represents his true performance?

  21. Grandstander - May 17, 2012 at 9:04 PM

    Ooohh, Sabermetrics time?In Sabermetrics, evaluating pitchers relies mostly upon the "golden trifecta" of FIP, xFIP and tERA. Let's compare Wang's 2006 season, to Zimmermann last season:FIP/xFIP/tERAWang (2006) – 3.91/4.19/4.06Zimmermann (2011) – 3.16/3.78/3.35Wang went 19-6 that season, Zimmermann went 8-11. Now, you can make the argument that with the adjustment to the NL, Wang's numbers will go down, but let me remind, I'm cherry-picking his best season where he finished 2nd in Cy Young voting. Also, for those curious, here's Zimmermann's stats this season in those categories:Zimmermann (2012) – 2.80/3.30/3.55His W-L? 2-3.So I say, pshaw W-L record! I'm gonna enjoy the heck outta one of the best pitchers in baseball!

  22. natsfan1a - May 17, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    JamesFan, and the announced crowd for the Tuesday afternoon game was close to 25K, fwiw.

  23. natsfan1a - May 17, 2012 at 9:06 PM

    Eh, fun as it is to try and prove who is smarter and who knows more, I have stuff to do before the game. Knock yourselves out and I'll read through it all later (maybe) :-)

  24. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 17, 2012 at 9:11 PM

    Bowdenball, I'm not at all sure either is impossible, especially for non-starting pitchers, but let that go for now. There's a difference between imperfect and useless. Wins is not a useless stat. Imperfect, and more imperfect than lots of others, depending on what you're trying to show, but not useless, and that, not some conspiracy of sportswriters, is why it persists, I think. Grantland Rice notwithstanding, they DO mark whether you won or lost, at the end of a day. Yeah, they (and I) care "how you played the game," but they keep score.

  25. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 17, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    GYFNG …

  26. Eugene in Oregon - May 17, 2012 at 9:14 PM

    For what it's worth — as we discuss pitchers' stats — there's also a good argument to be made for replacing ERA with just plain old RA (runs average). While ERA was originally created to try to isolate the pitcher's performance from that of his (often erratic) defense, as defenses have improved over the past century it may well be that official scorers' assignment of errors are more erratic/subjective than are modern defenses.

  27. Doc - May 17, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    This McDonald kid has real stuff. The current rash of offensive production seems to be leaving RZim behind. Doesn't look good for him to-night—maybe he'll surprise us??Afterall, it's baseball–anything can happen, on any given night!

  28. MicheleS - May 17, 2012 at 9:17 PM

    Seriously People!!! Drink some Kookaid! Enjoy the game! GYFNG!!!

  29. MicheleS - May 17, 2012 at 9:18 PM

    And yes.. I meant KOOKAID!!!!

  30. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 17, 2012 at 9:26 PM

    I have a good feeling about tonight's game. The Zims will both have good nights.Congrats to ALR. I believe he qualifies for the All Star game if he continues at the present pace.

  31. NatsNut - May 17, 2012 at 9:26 PM

    Did ya'll see Svrluga's chat today (sorry Mark)? His final answer was kinda cool, talking about only in baseball did he get a chance to really *know* his subjects well.

  32. Theophilus T. S. - May 17, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    Mark — appreciate your response to my somewhat peckish question on the last thread. If you thought I was questioning your credibility, I apologize. I know your reporting is as good as the information you are provided. That, however, is my point . . ..The difference of opinion between Rendon ("out for the season") and the FO (first, "August or September", then "September") may have seemed trivial but tellingly symbolic of the lack of a continuing stream of cogent information regarding two prospects in whom the Nats have invested major league contracts, a bunch of money, and high hopes for the future. For what was described as a "chip" in the ankle (in one report; in another, something that would heal more easily than a "high ankle sprain") I was really surprised to hear he's still in a boot and using crutches. Maybe I had no reason to be optimistic but this begins to look like a really extended recovery. (Like something we'd expect from Nick Johnson.) The Nats guard information on their prospects like it was secret satellite intelligence on the Iranian nuclear program. (Maybe better.) It's not like they're giving away trade secrets to competitors as these guys are unlikely to be in the major leagues until 2014 — and in the case of Rendon's injury I don't see how he's likely to navigate through the minors by then even under optimistic assumptions. Solis has somehow evolved from "high draft choice" to "blue chip prospect" to "injured blue chip prospect," and I really haven't heard (A) exactly what he did to merit the higher expectations; (B) when they expect him to pitch (in a real live game); (C) how long they expect it will take for him to be major-league ready given the injury.People on the site — self included — spend endless hours speculating on developments years down the road without benefit of anything more from the FO except gloss. Hence, GIGO.

  33. A DC Wonk - May 17, 2012 at 9:34 PM

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  34. A DC Wonk - May 17, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    Not sure if I missed this or not:Why Bernadina at 2d and Harper 5th, as opposed to the other way around? Just protection for ALR?

  35. NatsLady - May 17, 2012 at 9:36 PM

    Good post, sofa. There is also this. If a guy is leading 6-0 in the 5th inning he's not going to pitch the same way as if he were leading 1-0. He's going to save his arm, and maybe give up a run or two. That's because guys are NOT pitching to the stats (usually), they are pitching to win as many games as possible, including the next one and the next one.

  36. Section 222 - May 17, 2012 at 9:39 PM

    Didn't see that Svrulga chat NN, and though I could search for it, if you have a link, please post.Could the Nats actually sweep a series, albeit only 2 games, tonight? I'll be out there in section 314 cheering them on, wearing my "This Is ZNN" shirt. Hoping that that JZnn gets a meaningless "W" tonight, since that would mean that a win would also go in the only column where that stat means anything — the standings in the NL East.

  37. A DC Wonk - May 17, 2012 at 9:41 PM

    they DO mark whether you won or lost, at the end of a day. Yeah, they (and I) care "how you played the game," but they keep score. Well, duh. C'mon really. Of course wins are the most important stat.For the team.The problem is the mechanical rules for assinging said win or loss to a pitcher.Correct me if I'm wrong:Pitcher A starts the game, gives up a walk, and leaves the game.Pitcher B relieves, gives up lots of his, HR's, and losing 9-0 after one inning.The team ends up losing 12-8.Pitcher A gets the loss, right?Of course, anyone can come up with such examples.But my point is: nobody's arguing that wins aren't important — their arguing about how wins assigned to pitchers are an indication of how good the pitcher is. Two completely different things.

  38. Section 222 - May 17, 2012 at 9:43 PM

    Oh, and here's a couple of interesting pieces to pass the time before game time — on framing pitches, and the respect that Harper is already getting from pitchers.

  39. Wendell - May 17, 2012 at 9:46 PM

    Svrulga also said that, much as he loves baseball & the Nats, being the baseball beat writing is brutal. You're at work until 1am & expected to post something the next morning. The constant travel makes family life very difficult. Hats off to Mark. Adam & Amanda.

  40. hiramhover - May 17, 2012 at 9:46 PM

    TheophilusOf course, the fact that fans are endlessly speculating and criticizing is one reason for the FO to be vague. Medical diagnoses and forecasts aren't perfect, but as soon as one turns out to be wrong, intertubez commenters start ranting about conspiracies and accusing medical staffs of incompetence and malpratice.

  41. NatsFan05 - May 17, 2012 at 9:47 PM

    @ DC WonkWhy Bernadina at 2d and Harper 5th, as opposed to the other way around? Just protection for ALR? May 17, 2012 5:35 PM =============This is Davey's RHP line up and last night's line up was for a LHP with Harper in the 2 hole and Nady in the 6th.

  42. TheManBearPig - May 17, 2012 at 9:53 PM

    Don't be too quick to dismiss runs scored as a useless stat. Yes, it does often depend on what teammates do at the plate, but a player can't score if he doesn't get on base and he probably won't score very much unless he gets into scoring position. I'm a homer, so I'll give Desmond as an example. Not typical lead-off hitter stats: OBP .300, but he's 1st amont NL lead-off hitters in extra base hits – 1st in HR and tied for 1st in doubles. He's tied for 3rd among NL lead-off hitters in runs scored (with Jordan Schaefer of the Astros), behind only Furcal and Bourn. Is Desmond an effective lead-off hitter? Appears to be, and I would argue the runs scored proves it.

  43. hiramhover - May 17, 2012 at 9:58 PM

    ManBearPigInteresting info – thanks.I'm curious – what website did you use to track that down?

  44. NatsLady - May 17, 2012 at 10:06 PM

    How many days in a row has Flores caught? Hope he gets a day off soon, even if that means Maldanado!

  45. MicheleS - May 17, 2012 at 10:18 PM

    NatsLady .. i am guessing that he gets Saturday off. Stras is pitching on Sunday.

  46. TimDz - May 17, 2012 at 10:21 PM

    JamesFan said… Remember when we were in a state of misery because there weren't enough fans at Nats Park for a cold, rainy game against somebody and pundits were declaring Washington not a baseball town? Well, last night the stadium was very full of 25K enthusiastic fans for a Wednesday night game in May against the Pirates. —————————-You have to remember that it was Military appreciation night and that folks with military ID's got in for free.That said, I believe the numbers are up from last year and will probably increase once schools let out.

  47. Grandstander - May 17, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    And Sunday is a day game as well, so you wouldn't want him pitching in both. I believe Davey said Flores would see a much expanded role, starting 5-6 games a week. This is where he really needs to step it up.

  48. TimDz - May 17, 2012 at 10:22 PM

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  49. TimDz - May 17, 2012 at 10:22 PM

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  50. TimDz - May 17, 2012 at 10:22 PM

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  51. TimDz - May 17, 2012 at 10:22 PM

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  52. TimDz - May 17, 2012 at 10:22 PM

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  53. JaneB - May 17, 2012 at 10:30 PM

    Hmmmm…I guess we have to remember it was military appreciation day and everyone got in free. But that it will get better when school is out, :-)))GYFNG!

  54. UnkyD - May 17, 2012 at 10:48 PM

    TimZ…… STOP IT!!!!!!

  55. baseballswami - May 17, 2012 at 10:51 PM

    Really? Do we have to remember that? I think they still came to the game instead of staying home. I am sure there were other things they could have been doing. It is way past time for this team to help Jordan out and give him some good offensive production. Pittsburgh is the kind of team we need to beat up on.

  56. natsfan1a - May 17, 2012 at 10:53 PM

    I would, Michele, but FP took it. He said something about Ripken, I didn't catch it.And, JaneB, yeah, I think I read that somewhere. :-)I saw the chat, NN. I even submitted a question. sec222, if you use the Nats Journal link at left, you'll see a link for the chat around mid-page, on the right.In other news, was watching the replay of the LaRoche dinger, which I missed in real time. Did anybody else notice Eckstein trying to lift the helmet from Adam's head? He had one hand on there but seemed to be having trouble. Tracy comes up and puts his hand on Eck's arm like, stand back – I got this. Then he takes it off easily. Seems like it's usually Desi or Tracy who does the honors. :-)MicheleS said… Seriously People!!! Drink some Kookaid! Enjoy the game! GYFNG!!! May 17, 2012 5:17 PM

  57. MicheleS - May 17, 2012 at 10:59 PM

    NatsLady .. apparently its ladies night at the park. Ryan Perry, Druuuu, and yes.. Clipp were the guests of honor

  58. Candide - May 17, 2012 at 11:02 PM

    University of Dubuque just sang a wonderful rendition of The Star Spangled Banner.Cunegonde and I are in section 219 tonight. GYFNG!!!

  59. NatsLady - May 17, 2012 at 11:04 PM

    Aw, I missed that. Working……….. (sigh)

  60. NatsLady - May 17, 2012 at 11:06 PM

    Drew got Desi and Ryan Mattheus on Twitter. Desi tweeted that football weather is over, here comes baseball weather he's got his Nattitude [sic]. Fun.

  61. NatsLady - May 17, 2012 at 11:09 PM

    Just walk McCutchen. Just walk him.

  62. NatsJack in Florida - May 17, 2012 at 11:10 PM

    McCutchen….Like I said….special.

  63. MicheleS - May 17, 2012 at 11:10 PM

    4 fingers every time he comes to bat. Geesh.

  64. Grandstander - May 17, 2012 at 11:11 PM

    I don't think Cutch is gonna see another pitch this game, especially with this lineup.

  65. NatsLady - May 17, 2012 at 11:13 PM

    I don't care if the bases are loaded, one run is cheaper than four. Walk the man.

  66. NatsJack in Florida - May 17, 2012 at 11:13 PM

    Just read the whole thread…TimDz……we got it.

  67. NatsLady - May 17, 2012 at 11:14 PM

    The Nats are No. 5 in homeruns? Who knew?

  68. UnkyD - May 17, 2012 at 11:15 PM

    Boy, that McCutcheon kid would look good in a red cap….

  69. Gonat - May 17, 2012 at 11:29 PM

    The ump is squeezing JZim. 2 balls on the black not called.

  70. Gonat - May 17, 2012 at 11:30 PM

    Make it 3 strikes not called. I can see how this is going to go.

  71. Exposremains - May 17, 2012 at 11:33 PM

    it seems like less and less the high strike is called

  72. NatsJack in Florida - May 17, 2012 at 11:35 PM

    This kid McDonald can bring it.

  73. NatsJack in Florida - May 17, 2012 at 11:39 PM

    We got to get him in a stretch and soon.

  74. Exposremains - May 17, 2012 at 11:41 PM

    this could be a looong night.

  75. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 17, 2012 at 11:42 PM

    We must be going against another Cy Young, as we have 5 K's after 6 at bats. and 4 of them were sswinging at pitches probably out of the zone. Desmond's was a questionable one, and he was the only one with a decent at bat. Pitching to McCutchen I just had told Big Cat before the at bat. Pitch everything tight to him nothing over the plate from the middle to outer third, and low and behoold pitched one right where McCutchen wants it.

  76. Gonat - May 17, 2012 at 11:43 PM

    FP is reading NatsInsider!

  77. Gonat - May 17, 2012 at 11:49 PM

    There you go! DOUBLE PLAY

  78. Gonat - May 17, 2012 at 11:55 PM

    Carp, enough with the accolades for James McDonald. Plenty of time to go. Lets see how it looks 2nd time through the order

  79. NatsJack in Florida - May 17, 2012 at 11:55 PM

    So LaRoche says hitting is contaigious. It appears striking out is as well.

  80. Exposremains - May 17, 2012 at 11:57 PM

    was watching yesterday the 1980 world series on MLB NEtwork. Looking at Pete Rose and even Bowa, choking way up on the bat, small compact swing. Espinosa, Ankiel and others could really learn something from those guys.

  81. Gonat - May 18, 2012 at 12:00 AM

    Interesting how the pitcher could make contact

  82. baseballswami - May 18, 2012 at 12:00 AM

    The curse of ZNN. The good news is he gets to play Nolan Ryan for the night – the bad news is the other guy gets to play Cy Young. I know he looks calm on the outside, but the dugout/tunnel wall better watch out because inside he is probably seething.

  83. Exposremains - May 18, 2012 at 12:01 AM

    It seems these days every player in the league except a few obvious ones see themselves has a homerun hitter.

  84. TimDz - May 18, 2012 at 12:01 AM

    NI Faithful….I submitted that comment once…I have NO idea what happened …

  85. Exposremains - May 18, 2012 at 12:02 AM

    I know JZim says that he doesn't mind the run support but I bet it really annoys him.

  86. Gonat - May 18, 2012 at 12:03 AM

    JZim doesn't get the 2-1 strike call to the batter he walked. Oh boy

  87. NatsJack in Florida - May 18, 2012 at 12:04 AM

    Don't worry TimDz…it's happened to all of us. I was just bustin' your chops for fun.

  88. baseballswami - May 18, 2012 at 12:04 AM

    I have seen this movie before and it does not have a happy ending :(

  89. UnkyD - May 18, 2012 at 12:06 AM

    (tight-lipped, he grits his teeth, a la Seinfeld)…. Barajas!!…

  90. Gonat - May 18, 2012 at 12:07 AM

    Davey should be barking. Hows about the same calls on both sides?

  91. NatsJack in Florida - May 18, 2012 at 12:08 AM

    How many times are our pitchers going to walk guys and then give up the HR?This game is all but over unless we can get to their bull pen.

  92. Gonat - May 18, 2012 at 12:09 AM

    Blew the call at 1st. That sucks

  93. Faraz Shaikh - May 18, 2012 at 12:12 AM

    a perfect game? glad I decided not to go.

  94. Exposremains - May 18, 2012 at 12:12 AM

    Can someone tell me why FP and Carp are not saying that he has a no-hitter

  95. scrabble08 - May 18, 2012 at 12:12 AM

    James McDonald has a clear pitch tell..his index finger in his glove twitches when he throws a fastball and stays motionless when it's offspeed..Tell me I'm wrong.

  96. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 18, 2012 at 12:13 AM

    Vu McDonald still pitching. We aren't even bothering to swing now.Bernadina was clearly safe.Did Zimermann watch the game vs. The Bucs when HRod blew the save. he putched the pitch is the same spot to Barajas, with the same result. Come on learn your history.As for this series and walks. The Bucs have walked 3 times now and 3 have scored. That is a trend that I do not like.

  97. baseballswami - May 18, 2012 at 12:14 AM

    So why is it that their guy is getting every questionable call and Jordan is getting nothing? Like the guy really needs help from the ump tonight!! Somebody needs to find some grass real quick with a baseball.

  98. Gonat - May 18, 2012 at 12:15 AM

    Home plate ump as absolutely decided there will be 2 strike zones tonight. This just isn't right

  99. NatsJack in Florida - May 18, 2012 at 12:15 AM

    That's easy to see from CF camera. Not so much from the batters box.

  100. NatsJack in Florida - May 18, 2012 at 12:17 AM

    Gonat..I agree totally. But the guys stuff is electric tonite.

  101. Exposremains - May 18, 2012 at 12:18 AM

    all right Laroche walks and homerun Harper. There I said it.

  102. Gonat - May 18, 2012 at 12:20 AM

    NatsJack in Florida said… Gonat..I agree totally. But the guys stuff is electric tonite. May 17, 2012 8:17 PM ___________________________His stuff is good but don't help him more than he deserves is my only point and JZim deserves the same calls.

  103. NatsJack in Florida - May 18, 2012 at 12:20 AM

    Jordan may be none to happy with the strike zone tonite, and I don't blame him.But I'm not to happy with the gopher ball to Barrajas.

  104. NatsJack in Florida - May 18, 2012 at 12:21 AM

    Don't need any other reason to know you are watching something special.

  105. NatsJack in Florida - May 18, 2012 at 12:22 AM

    Bryce got a break on the ball 3 call.

  106. NatsJack in Florida - May 18, 2012 at 12:24 AM

    Finally. From the stretch.

  107. Faraz Shaikh - May 18, 2012 at 12:24 AM

    let's get a hit now.

  108. ehay2k - May 18, 2012 at 12:24 AM

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  109. Exposremains - May 18, 2012 at 12:28 AM

    I guess they do read this Blog, now Carp cant stop saying the Nats have no hits.

  110. baseballswami - May 18, 2012 at 12:30 AM

    I have generally not been one to call for the head of Eckstein, but I do think McCatty has a better style for this young team. Don't walk anyone, throw strikes – very simple. Eckstein seems very academic and technical. I think maybe they need a simpler approach. And while we're at it – do you think we could just walk McCutcheon?

  111. Drew - May 18, 2012 at 12:30 AM

    I'm at the ballpark in Richmond, sitting behind the plate and watching Danny Rosenbaum. He's having an off night.. He's through 7 innings and he's already allowed four hits. (No runs, of course).Danny doesn't have overpowering stuff. His fastball topped out at 88 and 89 if the gun here is to be believed, but he had poise, impeccable control and bewildered Richmond's hitters by changing speeds. His breaking ball sat at 81 and 82 and he threw a change that moseyed up at 76 or 77. The kid's an artist.Danny came out of the game after seven. We're scoreless in the bottom of the eighth. It's time for Hood or Kobernus to send a few of us home happy.

  112. ehay2k - May 18, 2012 at 12:31 AM

    Sigh – Zimnn is being too fine once again. And he doesn't get a call and then loses focus. He needs to address that.McDonald has 39 strikeouts in 7 previous starts. He has 9 through just four innings. It takes us 5 innings to get our first baserunner. We – the entire team still can't hit a breaking ball. If we ever face Livo, he will have a nice night.About that hitting coach…

  113. Gonat - May 18, 2012 at 12:32 AM

    Have JZim and Flores read the charts on McCutcheon? Inside high and inside low.

  114. Jim Webster - May 18, 2012 at 12:34 AM

    I hope never to see McCutcheon again (unless in a Nats uniform). Offer half he farm system in a trade.

  115. Faraz Shaikh - May 18, 2012 at 12:38 AM

    actually this will be the last time this season we see him.

  116. ehay2k - May 18, 2012 at 12:39 AM

    Zimnn is not sharp. Missing up and in on a pitch low and away is a bad miss if Barajas is batting. Mccutcheon should get four unhittable pitches. W throw him cookies. If that masn stat is correct, all but one of his homers are against the Nats. I am starting to wonder if our young staff is getting figured out.

  117. MicheleS - May 18, 2012 at 12:41 AM

    JINXING THE NO HITTER! We will get a hit this inning!

  118. NatsJack in Florida - May 18, 2012 at 12:42 AM

    If Davy brings on Ryan "the human towel" Perry, we can chalk this one up in the loss column.

  119. Doc - May 18, 2012 at 12:43 AM

    Question: Why is the Nats' broadcast crew afraid of jinxing the other teams' no-hitter???They're on our side right?

  120. Gonat - May 18, 2012 at 12:44 AM

    2 hit, uh, I mean 1st hit of the game

  121. ehay2k - May 18, 2012 at 12:44 AM

    Funny NatsJack! In terms of value, we couldn't trade Perry for a bag of Cutter Dykstras.

  122. Gonat - May 18, 2012 at 12:45 AM

    Again, why isn't Lombardozzi starting?

  123. NatsJack in Florida - May 18, 2012 at 12:45 AM

    Whew!…..still 12 outs to work with.

  124. Gonat - May 18, 2012 at 12:45 AM

    Bo Porter gave the run sign to Jesus Flores and he didn't go.

  125. Exposremains - May 18, 2012 at 12:47 AM

    situational hitting…still awful

  126. MicheleS - May 18, 2012 at 12:47 AM

    And now we will get some runs!

  127. ehay2k - May 18, 2012 at 12:49 AM

    No need for Flores to get injured on a close play at home in a four run game.

  128. Gonat - May 18, 2012 at 12:50 AM

    No outs, runners on 2nd and 3rd. Zim picks up his teammates

  129. ehay2k - May 18, 2012 at 12:50 AM

    Our Venezuelan Catcher tree is out of fruit.

  130. MicheleS - May 18, 2012 at 12:50 AM

    I am playing the lottery tomorrow!

  131. Gonat - May 18, 2012 at 12:50 AM

    If ALR picks up Zim here, its a brand new ballgame.

  132. NatsJack in Florida - May 18, 2012 at 12:51 AM

    Awful? .. Oh really? …How about Zim away as those of us that know have been saying?

  133. Exposremains - May 18, 2012 at 12:52 AM

    clutch hitting… great

  134. Gonat - May 18, 2012 at 12:53 AM

    That didn't miss by much.

  135. MicheleS - May 18, 2012 at 12:54 AM

    If anyone in the Nats marketing department is reading this. THERE BETTER BE AN ALR SHERSEY IN THE TEAM STORE THIS WEEKEND!

  136. NatsJack in Florida - May 18, 2012 at 12:54 AM

    Any doubt ALR is inching up the MVP ladder?

  137. NatsJack in Florida - May 18, 2012 at 12:56 AM

    Here's the bull pen I wanted to get to.

  138. Gonat - May 18, 2012 at 12:59 AM

    Back in this game!

  139. baseballswami - May 18, 2012 at 1:01 AM

    Well, ok – McDonald doesn't go as deep into the game as ZNN. Who would have thought? It's a game now. Lombardozzi NEEDS TO PLAY!!!

  140. Gonat - May 18, 2012 at 1:02 AM

    Lombo in LF

  141. RickH - May 18, 2012 at 1:02 AM

    Hmmm … I'm thinking Mark has been down in the stands for the last half inning.

  142. Exposremains - May 18, 2012 at 1:02 AM

    these pirates are like the Marlins

  143. Faraz Shaikh - May 18, 2012 at 1:03 AM

    MVP? not yet.

  144. ehay2k - May 18, 2012 at 1:06 AM

    @TimDZ – multiple posts are due to a site error. But you can always delete the duplicates to help out your fellow posters. :-)

  145. Gonat - May 18, 2012 at 1:07 AM

    Was wondering if a pitchout would be a good play here. Suicide squeeze?

  146. ehay2k - May 18, 2012 at 1:07 AM

    ALR is our Most Valuable (ex) Pirate.

  147. Gonat - May 18, 2012 at 1:08 AM

    That is Stammen's 1st run given up in his 1st inning of relief work.

  148. Drew - May 18, 2012 at 1:10 AM

    Rosenbaum lowers his ERA to 0.62. Is that good? (ha).Now let's get these two runs. GYFNG!!!

  149. Gonat - May 18, 2012 at 1:20 AM

    Where's that bunt been all year? Now lets get a hit!

  150. NatsJack in Florida - May 18, 2012 at 1:22 AM

    That was extremly prodessional by Jesus.

  151. NatsJack in Florida - May 18, 2012 at 1:23 AM

    And not very professional by Lombardozi.

  152. Fear and Ignorance - May 18, 2012 at 1:24 AM

    Why can every other team in the league get guys home from 3B with less than 2 outs??? Terrible baseball!!!

  153. NatsJack in Florida - May 18, 2012 at 1:25 AM

    And now the wave. How embarassing.

  154. ehay2k - May 18, 2012 at 1:25 AM

    Kudos to Gonat on the bunt request.

  155. Exposremains - May 18, 2012 at 1:29 AM

    situational hitting…disgusting

  156. Fear and Ignorance - May 18, 2012 at 1:29 AM

    Good teams get runs there. This was a winnable game.

  157. ehay2k - May 18, 2012 at 1:31 AM

    F & I – our poor situational hitting transcends several rosters and managers. There is, however, one constant…

  158. TimDz - May 18, 2012 at 1:32 AM

    ehay2k said… @TimDZ – multiple posts are due to a site error. But you can always delete the duplicates to help out your fellow posters. :-) __________________________________At the risk of having this post 3.6 million times…done…and thanks for everyone's understanding…

  159. NatsJack in Florida - May 18, 2012 at 1:33 AM

    What do you mean "was"?

  160. TimDz - May 18, 2012 at 1:36 AM

    We owe Pittsburgh a walk off…Just saying….

  161. NatsJack in Florida - May 18, 2012 at 1:37 AM

    And still, not one single poster to this or any site has been able to describe what a hitting coach does. Believe me. It has nothing to do with something as elementary as situational hitting.

  162. MicheleS - May 18, 2012 at 1:38 AM

    We are getting runs this inning

  163. Gonat - May 18, 2012 at 1:39 AM

    Zim is really moved off the plate recently

  164. NatsJack in Florida - May 18, 2012 at 1:40 AM

    This guy pitching is the son of the guy who did the color commentary for Syracuse on Monday.

  165. Fear and Ignorance - May 18, 2012 at 1:43 AM

    NatsJack-All the momentum they had is gone. Scoring runs is just way too hard for this team.

  166. ehay2k - May 18, 2012 at 1:43 AM

    Michele, Pepto Bismol will help…Oh, never mind.

  167. Gonat - May 18, 2012 at 1:46 AM

    Chad Tracy does his job and Zim, LaRoche and BamBam can't do anything.

  168. NatsJack in Florida - May 18, 2012 at 1:48 AM

    It didn't seem so difficult in the 6th.

  169. Eugene in Oregon - May 18, 2012 at 1:49 AM

    An earlier poster wrote: "Why can every other team in the league get guys home from 3B with less than 2 outs??? Terrible baseball!!!"———————————-Is this statement true? Let's look at the stats. We can use batting average rather than OBP, because a walk doesn't score a run. You know what? Going into tonight's game, the Nats were actually better than "every other team" (represented by league average) with one out, but fractionally worse with two outs.Nats 2012 stats (going into tonight):With runners on 2nd and 3rd, one out: BA = .364With runners on 2nd and 3rd, two outs: BA = .182NL average for 2012 (going into tonight):With runners on 2nd and 3rd, one out: BA = .297With runners on 2nd and 3rd, two outs: BA = .194.

  170. ehay2k - May 18, 2012 at 1:49 AM

    NatsJack, if what you say is true, then the Nats need to hire a Situational Hitting Coach.But they will still need a hitting coach who can teach them how to recognize pitches, know what a pitcher likes to throw in what counts, etc. At the moment, they have a "Spin that little roulette wheel in your head to pick the pitch", and "you can hit that high fastball" coach.

  171. NatsJack in Florida - May 18, 2012 at 1:50 AM

    And they sure didn't have any momentum before that.

  172. baseballswami - May 18, 2012 at 1:52 AM

    So at first I was just terrified of the perfecto, then the nono, then the shutout and feeling bad for Jordan. Then I was excited and hopeful – now the roller coaster has taken me back to frustrated. Two questions — why in the heck was that umpire allowing those guys to basically have a tea party out there every other pitch??? That was just unacceptable! Second – Why is it that when we get a runner on third no one, absolutely no one knows how to sacrifice them in? They seem to hit balls out to the track at other times, but not with someone on third and less than two outs! So from depression to hope and back to frustration – welcome to Natstown.

  173. Exposremains - May 18, 2012 at 1:52 AM

    Meet the Texas Pirates

  174. ehay2k - May 18, 2012 at 1:53 AM

    Nice 2-5-3. Nice to see Flores play so well.

  175. NatsJack in Florida - May 18, 2012 at 1:55 AM

    And describe to me what a "situational hitting coach" would do.The only thing you got right was the "know what a pitcher likes to throw in what counts".The rest of the stuff can't be taught.

  176. Fear and Ignorance - May 18, 2012 at 2:01 AM

    NatsJack-They still had to do it all with 2 outs in the 6th. It is never easy and that takes a toll on a team over the course of 162 games. You are already seeing that with Zimmermann over his last 4 starts. It certainly seems like they have to grind for every run.Eugene-Batting Avg. in that situation is rather meaningless. I am talking about getting runs home. They were at like 40% the other night(and they have failed twice tonight) in that situation, so take away the hits and they almost never get the guy home.

  177. ehay2k - May 18, 2012 at 2:02 AM

    OK, a Situational Hitting Coach would say things like: "Bases are loaded, the pitcher just walked two on 8 pitches, so suggest you leave the bat in the dugout.""They have a ridiculous shift on you – just bunt or tap it down the third base line and you will have a double.""Our hottest hitter, who has ten HR against this pitcher in 20 at bats, is behind you. Strike out swinging hard at good pitches and laying off anything you cannot drive, rather than hit into a double play by swinging at junk."

  178. Eugene in Oregon - May 18, 2012 at 2:06 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  179. NatsJack in Florida - May 18, 2012 at 2:06 AM

    Sounds about right for little league.

  180. Gonat - May 18, 2012 at 2:06 AM

    The Nats had every reliever on the ropes and let them off.

  181. ehay2k - May 18, 2012 at 2:07 AM

    If FP knew a slider away was coming, why didn't Desmond?Oh, right…

  182. Exposremains - May 18, 2012 at 2:08 AM

    well the Pirates tried really hard to give this game to the Nats. Now its about to get real tough.

  183. Eugene in Oregon - May 18, 2012 at 2:11 AM

    F&I: I agree that batting average is often a less-than-useful stat. But with runners on 2nd and especially 3rd, almost any hit is going to score at least one run, often two. And BA measures hits. I'm not suggesting that the stats I've offered are a perfect metric. But an extreme statement — "Why can every other team…" — is pretty meaningless. Show us the stats you would use to back up your assertion that the Nats are the worst team in baseball for getting runs home from third with less than two outs. Please.

  184. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 18, 2012 at 3:28 AM

    I am not sure what a batting coach does, but I oulwd hope he could figure out how to keep a team from swinging at pitches out of the strike zone, and hit ones that are in. All I know is we are 12 the in the league in scoring. The hitting coach isn't batting, but I don't do the job of those under me either, but I assure my bosses that they do their job, so that is what I see a hitting coach does. he makes sure that at heast they hit the ball. We do not hit the ball enough for my taste.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

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