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Game 41: Orioles at Nats

May 20, 2012, 3:30 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nats try to avoid a disheartening sweep against the Orioles this afternoon.

Remember all those close games the Nationals were winning? Yeah, not so much anymore. In dropping the first two games of this series to the Orioles by scores of 2-1 and 6-5, the Nats have lost their first two one-run games at home this season. They had been 8-0 at Nationals Park. Overall, they've gone 4-7 in their last 11 one-run contests after opening the season 6-1 in those ultra-close ballgames.

If they are to reverse that trend today (and salvage one game from this Battle of the Beltways series) they'll both need Stephen Strasburg to bounce back from his shaky start against the Padres — here's guessing he avoids all ointments, creams and other topical medications this morning — and their lineup to produce early against Orioles left-hander Wie-Yin Chen.

Not wanting to tinker too much with the reconfigured lineup he used last night, Davey Johnson is sticking with his second baseman as his leadoff man. That man, however, is not Steve Lombardozzi as it was last night but Danny Espinosa, who returns after getting one night off. Though he hasn't done it yet this year, Espinosa has led off 38 times in his career … producing a .162 average and .235 on-base percentage.

Plenty of updates to come, so please check back…

BALTIMORE ORIOLES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 1:35 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MASN2, Ch. 50, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WWXT (92.7 FM), WWXX (94.3 FM), WTEM (980 AM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 184
Weather: Partly cloudy, 79 degrees, Wind 14 mph in from CF

NATIONALS (23-17)
2B Danny Espinosa
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche

Read more »

221 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. JaneB - May 20, 2012 at 3:44 PM

    I'm not the manager. I'm not the manager. I have to keep telling myself that. Because I really thought we'd see Lombo again.

  2. JT - May 20, 2012 at 3:45 PM

    I just don't get the Espinosa love. He came up from the minors and was on fire. The league adjusted to him and he has yet to make the readjustment. What must Lombardozzi do to get an extended look? Patience and loyalty only go so far and to that point, now is far enough.

  3. Jim Webster - May 20, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    Off to Section 313 to watch 'em avoid the sweep and start a new winning streak. My daughter brings the right karma.

  4. Joe Seamhead - May 20, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    I give support to Davey almost to a fault, but I really don't like this move. Maybe he figures that Danny won't srand so many runners from the leadoff spot. At this point I think Espy needs to sit. I can only hope that Johnson proves us wrong.

  5. Joe Seamhead - May 20, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    I meant to say that maybe Danny won't strand so many runners.

  6. jeffwx - May 20, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    Poor Davey, needs to put Espy in positions to fail so that Espy can work himself out of the lineup

  7. Doc - May 20, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    I think that Strasie should make a positive out of the ointment debacle.Both The Babe and Reggie had their candy bars.SS could have "Preparation S"—works faster than a speeding baseball!Seems like such a marketing campaign would be up agent Borass's alley–per se.

  8. Joe Seamhead - May 20, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    BTW_ So nice to see Brian Goodwin playing again, and doing well, in Hagerstown. Also Cutter Dykstra in hitting .330 and now playing 2B. Look out, Danny Espinosa!

  9. A DC Wonk - May 20, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    I'm off to Sec 406, row B . . . wearing a blue Nats shirt.BTW, while we're criticizing Espi leading off, let's not over look that Moore is going to get a shot today. Looking forward . . . (although I hear this Chen kid is pretty good ;-)

  10. A DC Wonk - May 20, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    >Also Cutter Dykstra in hitting .330 and now playing 2B(There sure was a lot of Cutter-hate last year — I never did understand why)

  11. Doc - May 20, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    One game on the bench is not enough for Espi. I know he's a digger, but I think he needs a break from the daily routine.I still believe in Espi's potential, but Mini Z is handling 2nd, and doing OK in leadoff.

  12. Swift Eagle - May 20, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    I like this idea. Having Danny lead off may get him to cut down his swing a little. I understand why so many want to see Lombo, but I still think Espi is the far superior player, patience is a must

  13. A DC Wonk - May 20, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    If mini-Z keeps it up, I'm sure we'll see a lot more of him. Remember, we still have over 3/4 of the season still to play.

  14. terpman33 - May 20, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    Well, we've lost 3 straight, but as long as we don't lose 4 or more, we'll be fine. Looking for Straus to win us the game today. GYFNG!

  15. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 4:11 PM

    I have never seen a manager so afraid to do the right thing with his lineup — that, or Davey is an uber-dolt.Batting Espi leadoff is a collosal joke. He leads the bigs in k's, has a micro mini oba. and he is not hitting. He is the quintessential number 8 hitter. What is it that Davey doesnt get? Does Davey make a declaration: "You are my guy" and then won't allow reality to respond: "Ah, but you are wrong, Davey." Is Davey headstrong, ignorant, a great managerial pretender?More bizarre is this: Lombo is sitting the bench with a .400 plus Oba — Lombo produces in the leadoff spot yesterday — does Davey think that by osmosis that Espi should bat 1st as well? Does Davey truly think that since Espi "is better" than lombo that he should give Espi the chance to 'better" Lombo's leadoff performance in order to 1. help Espi 2. justify Davey's declaration that Espi is his guy 3. to help Espi somehow showup Lombo's performance to solidify Davey's opinion of Espi?I just dont get Johnson. He is not performing well for this team and is beginning to cause them games.

  16. NatsJack in Florida - May 20, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    Derek …….you and I are in agreement but a stint to AAA ala Gabby Samchez (who I consider an even better player) for Espi may be in order. I mean, if the Fish are willing to play Logan Morrison and Austin (is that my belt buckle I'm lookin' at?) Kearns at first for two weeks, the Nats could certainly afford to play Lombo at second.

  17. Drew - May 20, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    Golly, this has to be frustrating for Lombo. He goes 2 for 5 and battles deep in the count in his fifth at bat, missing a third knock as the other guys make a fine play.He's getting on base at a .400 clip and he's playing good defense. What more does he have to do?Well, in the words of that great scout, Anthony Michael Hall, let's hope the weird science works out.

  18. Swift Eagle - May 20, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    Jack…that makes sense, I think Boston did that with Pedroia back in the day. If Espi goes to Syc,and Lombo starts, who is the back-up middle infielder?

  19. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    Espi or Lombo: Who should lead off? Who should play at all? avg oba slg ops K's per at batLombo .324 .400 .394 .794 1/16.6 espi .207 .291 .307 .598 1/3Uh Davey … hello?

  20. whatsanattau - May 20, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    I wonder if there is an expiration date in Davey and Mike Rizzo's head for Danny. Perhaps they have committed to such a date to give him a chance. He's such a valuable asset if he gets it together – in terms of performance, money, and trade value. Give up to soon and you squander it.

  21. Swift Eagle - May 20, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    I'll side with Davey's track record over stats from 40 games…Do you Stats Guys also think LaRoche is a better 1B than Albert and Prince? The 40 game Stats say he is…

  22. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    The question should be: How best can the team win today? Not, let's be patient with the underperforming player; he might be good one day.Lombo gives the team a better chance to win than does Espinosa — baseball is a game of statistics like no other sport. You have to play the percentages.Even in the minors, Lombo outhit espinosa in nearly every category — 20 plus points higher in avg alone.You have to play the better or hotter player. That's how teams get to the playoffs. I guess Davey learned little from the little genius, Early Weaver, who played the percentages and won like no other –

  23. Swift Eagle - May 20, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    Good points Jim, but if Earl had a 25 year old 2B who hit 20 HRs as a rookie, he would NEVER bench him!Nobody loved the long ball as much as Earl

  24. Drew - May 20, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    Anthony Michael Hall's Weird Science produced Kelly LeBrock.I just hope Davey's produces Lou Brock.

  25. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    Swift: Davey's track record? He has a team on the verge of free-fall and is purposely making moves that are not helping.Davey couldnt win a pennant with the O's when they had one of the best teams on the planet.Davey won a world series because a first baseman misjudged a little hop.And … Davey did not outmanage Riggleman with last year's Nats.And .. the reason for our great start was simply pitching. Not Davey's doing at all.Now that the pitching is returning to earth, it's Davey's job to keep pace — he 'aint.'I am not overly impressed with Davey's track record. Riggleman was easily his equal.

  26. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    Swift: You are so right about Earl — but even Earl would ask: What have you done for me lately? And Espi can only answer that question with his head hung low. Nope, Earl would have benched him, shipped him out for more seasoning, or fixed his loopy swing. My bet is that Earl would have fixed his swing.

  27. Section 135 - May 20, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    Riggleman is his equal. You're insane. Stop posting on this site if you're gonna say such nonsense. Stop trying to manage from your mom's basement. Either cheer for this team or not. I'm sick of all the negativity. So we lost 2 close games to a good team. The Nats are what they are. Without Morse and Werth, they are a 0.500 team playing above their level based on great pitching.

  28. Swift Eagle - May 20, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    Fair enough. My opinion is that Espi has all-star potential, and soph slumps likes this are very common. I agree that a trip to AAA wouldn't hurt him at all, but I'd prefer to just ride it outAs for DJ v Riggleman…I think every MLB GM would choose DJ, but everyone's entitled to their opinion

  29. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    Whatsanat: True, but unless somebody, somewhere, somehow, can fix that extreme loop in Espi's swing — and get him to be more selective (hard to teach) he is never going to reach any 'potential' that some think that he has. He didnt hit much in the minors — and he isnt hitting much in the Bigs. He had a great 2 months when pitchers didnt know him. Well, they do now, dont they?

  30. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    Swift: I celebrated when Riggs "retired.' I hooted and hollered that we had Davey coming on. then I saw an american league type manager who disdained small bunt, didnt like to steal, and was devoid of any imagination. I watched how Riggs w/l record was better than Davey's until the last 10 days, when we faced teams who werent playing all out and resting star players. I liked how Riggs handled the bull pen. I dont like how Davey handles it. I used to like Rigg's lineup (they made perfect sense). I dont like Davey's and sometimes they make no sense at all.I really hate to admit it, especially in public, that Riggs is Davey's equal at managing — a very politically incorrect thing to say — but I'm saying it and sticking by it.

  31. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    section 135: We are talking baseball — not posting insults on an internet chat room.If you are unable to discuss the ups and downs of the game and OUR team, then maybe you aren't emotionally stable enough to be posting here.I will continue to post here; I suggest you get a grip on yourselfLets talk baseball — not hurl insults.

  32. John - May 20, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    Warren Morris, anyone?

  33. PChuck - May 20, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    Espinosa leading off is the precisely the reason why I don't like Davey Johnson as manager of this team.

  34. sm13 - May 20, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    I'm going to boldly say, I hope this works for Danny and the team. Davey deserves the benefit of the doubt. Today's game is big for the Nats- we don't want to head up to Philly in a tailspin. Go Nats! Go Stras!

  35. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    Section 135: reminder: Riggs had this team .500 baseball with Lannan as his #1 pitcher — Livo #2. Davey has the luxury of a superlative starting rotation, strong 1 through 5.Yep, Riggs did a phenomenal job and doesnt much credit for it.

  36. hiramhover - May 20, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    Forgive me if someone mentioned this, but it's worth remembering – Chen is LH, and Davey is playing the match-ups–rather than the LH Lombo, he's going with the switch hitting Espi, who is better as a righty than a lefty–this year, he's batting .240/.367/.280 from the right side.

  37. hiramhover - May 20, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    Excuse the brain fart – of course Lombo is a switch hitter too. But Danny does bat better from the right side than Lombo does, in the small # of chances both have had this season.

  38. Exposremains - May 20, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    I'm gonna start to root for flu-like symptoms for espinosa so we can see Lombo for a few days in there.

  39. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 5:06 PM

    Hiram: good point. I guess we'll see if .240/.367/.280 (yikes) is up to Chen. Ought to interesting. I hope Espi tears it up!!

  40. PChuck - May 20, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  41. Swift Eagle - May 20, 2012 at 5:13 PM

    Lombo's 40 game stats are better than Zimm's too, should he be starting at 3rd? His 40 game numbers are better than Pedroia's, think Boston would do a straight up trade?He's started maybe 20 games… not quite ready for Cooperstown yet. Stats after 40 games don't mean much

  42. phil dunton - May 20, 2012 at 5:20 PM

    Johnson must have a death wish–having Espinosa in the lineup and then batting him leadoff. His OBP is barely above the Mendosa line. The more I see of Johnson, the more I question his mental state. Has dementia set in?

  43. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 5:20 PM

    Swift: I think the Espi vs. Lombo discussion just boils down to let's play the hottest player. Let's compare apples to apples. We arent comparing Lombo to established stars, we are comparing him to Espi — These guys are both brand new young players; and thus far, the 40 game sample has Lombo superior. Not rocket science. I dont understand the abject loyalty to a player who is killing the team at the plate.

  44. whatsanattau - May 20, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    OK, OK, we get it. You don't like Davey and you think Riggleman was better. Just be aware that puts you in the extreme far side of the debate. Davey has five decades of success in major league baseball. And I believe is the most successful active manager in baseball. And you're not.Next.

  45. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    haha or course not. But we are comparing one rookie to a one year player — not established vets to rookies.I think the Lombo fans only want the team to play the hot player (lombo) until HE proves can't do it. Thus far, all we see is an insistence on playing a player who is not getting it done and a bench role for the hot player.I dont get the blind loyalty to a player who hasnt hit since July of '11. Potential? Sure, espi's got potential, but they all do. Bottom line is that Espi is hurting the team; Lombo is helping the team.Why should a player 'learn' at the major league level? and Espi needs lots of learn'in.

  46. Swift Eagle - May 20, 2012 at 5:28 PM

    Jim- It appears DJ and Rizzo have no doubt who the better player is, so I'm choosing to side with those who know the players a lot better than we do. And a small sample size of stats doesn't appear to have changed their mindAdd to that, my untrained eyes tell me that Espi is by far the better player. It's not about loyalty or who's hot, I'll always choose the best player

  47. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    Hey Whats: Numbers are numbers, dude. I don't make them up.To fracture a cliche: You are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own stats.It's as simple as that. When you can explain the insane lineups turned in by Davey When you can explain why Davey didn't bunt in the eighth inning the other night with no out, one run down — result? runner stranded at first — game lost.When you can explain all the weird things Davey has done, or not done, then I will agree that I hold an extreme view.I don't think you can.

  48. PChuck - May 20, 2012 at 5:32 PM

    >>>Add to that, my untrained eyes tell me that Espi is by far the better player.<<<Perhaps you, like Danny, need an eye exam?

  49. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    Swift: Interesting — I see Lombardozzi and see a superior player. I see a Davey Johnson and see a manager well beyond his prime. Haha and I don't resign the field to anyone here as far as knowing the players.But that's why we watch this game. It's a tradition to manage and general manage from home. That's what makes this a great game.I just scratch my head at the fans who get all emotional about it. It's just a game; and we do what fans have been doing for over a 100 years.Go Nats.

  50. Swift Eagle - May 20, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    Agree. GYFNG

  51. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 5:36 PM

    Swift: one more note. I see Espi and I see a loopy swing that just can't make contact. I see a player who makes poor decisions on pitches.I do see a Superior defensive player. Love him on defense. But his swing is fatal — it needs fixing — if it can be fixed. We'll see.

  52. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    Avery is a good player!!

  53. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    Stras is painting the black so far

  54. whatsanattau - May 20, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    Davey Johnson: .561 winning percentage in 2,160 gamesPuts him 17th on the ALL TIME list.If he wants to bunt he can bunt.

  55. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 5:43 PM

    Their swinging early …

  56. NatsJack in Florida - May 20, 2012 at 5:44 PM

    Mike Bordick is unlistenable.

  57. Exposremains - May 20, 2012 at 5:44 PM

    Can any pitcher make these guys uncomfortable at the plate? It looks way too easy.

  58. Swift Eagle - May 20, 2012 at 5:45 PM

    This just in.. the O's are good. By far the best team the Nats have played this year

  59. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 5:45 PM

    Whats: I really want to watch the game But … Davey has only managed phenomenal teams. Riggs has only managed Bum teams. Fact: Riggs as well, if not better, than Johnson with the 2011 Nats.I will stipulate to the fact that Davey can win with good teams.Can we move on to today's game now?

  60. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    Agreed. The O's are flat out good.

  61. NatsJack in Florida - May 20, 2012 at 5:47 PM

    I thought there were too many fast balls thrown to the same spot.

  62. whatsanattau - May 20, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    You can stop responding at any time, but Davey's teams were good in part because he managed them. Riggs teams were bad in part because he managed them. Lots of managers manage good teams and don't succeed. Davey has succeeded.

  63. Unknown - May 20, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    This is beginning to look rather grim. The once invincible starting pitching is heading south, the closer is unreliable and there is no offense. The upcoming road trip could be painful.

  64. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    1st pitch: taken for a called strike2nd pitch: swing and miss — center cut3rd pitch: Swing and miss: center, upEspi strikes out yet again.

  65. NatsJack in Florida - May 20, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    That's sad.

  66. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    Harper is still pulling out.

  67. Unknown - May 20, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    What's wrong with this picture? Espinosa has been in a slump for nearly a year and he still plays over Lombardozzi, who is batting .325. This team deserves to lose. By the way, where is Jim Palmer? His replacement, Mike Bordick, is about as dull as a mashed potato sandwich.

  68. NatsJack in Florida - May 20, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    Wow….a Baltimore chop.

  69. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    I noticed that Bordick wasnt getting some of F.P's humor yesterday — I was embarassed for him. Love Palmer — listening to him is like a 3 hour clinic. He and F.P. would have made a good duo.

  70. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    Desi's up in a good spot.

  71. whatsanattau - May 20, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    Espinosa has options. I'm trying to think of a player who has struggled as long as Espinosa who then subsequently turned it around. More than a year, consistently missing contact, and then pulls out of it? There are quite a few who had longer track records of success before their slump (*Dunn*), but Espinosa feels more like Adam Lind than Adam Dunn.

  72. rdexposfan - May 20, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    NatsfanJim as Mark Twain said:"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics."

  73. Drew - May 20, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    Despite the flyout, this is why I like moving Desmond down. For the second time in two games he's come to the plate with two runners on base. He just needs one to fall in or clang off the wall.

  74. NatsJack in Florida - May 20, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    If Stras can't get his fastball over on strike 1, he's in trouble……that and having two out of position rookie outfielders.

  75. Swift Eagle - May 20, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    Bam-Bam obviously needed a little more eye-black on that one

  76. Eugene in Oregon - May 20, 2012 at 6:03 PM

    How one NL East team is handling a slumping young player with lots of potential (from the Miami Herald):"Gaby Sanchez was an All-Star last year. He’s a minor-leaguer now.The Marlins demoted the slumping first baseman to Triple A New Orleans on Saturday after an 0-for-3 day at the plate lowered his average to .197.“We don’t think he’s a .190 hitter,” Marlins general manager Michael Hill said after the move was announced.“We think he’s better than he’s showing here. We think he’s pressing. We want to take some of the pressure off him, get him down to Triple A, and get him right.”

  77. NatsJack in Florida - May 20, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    It's obvious that Angelos has sold his soul to the devil (again).

  78. Exposremains - May 20, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    Where's Strasburg fire and everybody's actually? They look beaten.

  79. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    rdexpos: haha good one. Only sam clemens knew nothing about baseball …

  80. NatsJack in Florida - May 20, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    Eugene… I covered that a little earlier.

  81. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 6:07 PM

    Stras is tired of clown baseball.Left fielder who cant play the outfieldCenterfielder who cant play the outfieldIf I were Stras, I'd be a little frustrated too.

  82. baseballswami - May 20, 2012 at 6:07 PM

    Just checking in today – what happened to my Nats team? Has someone replaced them with another team? Getting scored on early a lot lately. I know that half our lineup shouldn't be our lineup, but I was hoping that the bench players would step up given a starting opportunity. These guys need to settle down and focus.This road trip coming up looks to be brutal. The Marlins just put Boni on the dl, though.

  83. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    tired of cathers who cant catch him …Stras is Pissed!!! Look at him!

  84. NatsJack in Florida - May 20, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    NatsFanJim……better check your Sam Clemens history.

  85. Exposremains - May 20, 2012 at 6:09 PM

    This getting worst and worst.

  86. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 6:09 PM

    I said before — and I'll reiterate it again.This team is on the verge of freefall. Stras is not going to like this clown baseball behind him.Johnson, dont let this turn into a joke.

  87. baseballswami - May 20, 2012 at 6:10 PM

    Yeah, well if Stras was doing a better job himself he would have the right to be pissed at someone else. Maybe he better look in the mirror. Was it wise to put two rookie outfielders out there together, both of whom are inexperienced outfielders? Against a team that actually hits it to the outfield?

  88. Eugene in Oregon - May 20, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    NatsJack – saw that, but wanted to get the GM's actual comments on the record. Strikes me as exactly the right approach.

  89. NatsJack in Florida - May 20, 2012 at 6:12 PM

    Stras has no confidence in his fastball command.

  90. Unknown - May 20, 2012 at 6:12 PM

    Yes Eugene, the Marlins sent Sanchez down for not hitting and his slump has been only this season. Also, the Angels fired their hitting coach after a slow start. The Nats have had hitting problems for two years, yet the clueless Eckstein continues to stand in the dugout looking at his binder. One of the major problems with this franchise is that there has been no accountabily ever since Rizzo became the GM.

  91. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    Ouch.Harper better stop chewing out umps for their strikezones. He better stop yelling F#@# so close to the dugout that young fans can hear him — Harper better start to hitWe can take immaturity if you're winning games .. but Harper is hurting this team.

  92. Swift Eagle - May 20, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    You mean as opposed to Jim "Mr. Accountable" Bowden??? Lol…

  93. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    Strasburg deserves better.

  94. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    How is Andino better than Harper?Andino catches fly balls.

  95. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    Good swing, Moore.

  96. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 6:19 PM

    time for Jesus to go deep

  97. Exposremains - May 20, 2012 at 6:22 PM

    I guess Ramos and Werth had much bigger impact on this team than we thought. 5-8 with down Werth. 2-5 with down Ramos.

  98. NatsJack in Florida - May 20, 2012 at 6:22 PM

    Unknown….ok on the Sanchez/Espi call but your call on Eck shows you don't know much about baseball organizations.The Angels are in a lttle power struggle between a GM selected by the owner and Mike Socsia who still hasn't explained to his owner Mike Napoli got away for nothing.So the fall guy becomes Mickey Hatcher, the happy go lucky drinking buddy of Mike Socsia.Eck works at his job and Rizzo, Davey and Mark Lerner are committed to long term developement.Mark learned his lesson with the "I'm your best buddy" years with Jim Bowden.

  99. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 6:22 PM

    Hey Unknown: But you will admit, this Franchise has Loyalty — which is a good thing. maybe Loyal to a fault, but loyalty nevertheless.Oh .. unless your name is Lannan, that is. "Oh, John, by the way, pack your things — your'e leaving on the next train. Thanks for coming."

  100. Drew - May 20, 2012 at 6:27 PM

    Unknown: No accountability under Rizzo? Messrs Milledge, Morgan, Maya and Lannan beg to differ.

  101. Exposremains - May 20, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    Lots of opinions here, I'm just curious anybody here advocating the status quo?

  102. Swift Eagle - May 20, 2012 at 6:32 PM

    Count me in! Stay the Course. 2013 is the year to contend. 2012 is still a building year, and the Nats play a lot of games v AL East teams…82 wins is still a great year based on all the injuries and the schedule

  103. NatsJack in Florida - May 20, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    Notice the lack of a glove target by Wieters?

  104. Swift Eagle - May 20, 2012 at 6:36 PM

    Hey Jack, looks like a Viera game today, every ball in the air is an adventure…

  105. NatsJack in Florida - May 20, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    NatsFanJim… So notice Harper pulling out on that 3-2 curve?

  106. MicheleS - May 20, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    NJ.. wieters not catching today.And I am going to break a promised that I made about not speaking about the previous manager, but under NO cirumstances would i trade Davey for Riggs. There not even in the same class. Just look at the winning % of both managers. And while their might be 1 or 2 of you that want him back, not any other GM or even Arm Chair GM would take him back as a manager.Oh. and we are back in the game! GYFNG!

  107. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    Yes, I did. then again, the pitch was 71 mph

  108. NatsJack in Florida - May 20, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    That's no stinkin' wind. Come to Florida We'll show you wind.

  109. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    to Michele S. haha that was truly funny, YOu go, girl.

  110. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    NatsJack: there's plenty enough wind in this forum than in all of Fla and D.C.

  111. Drew - May 20, 2012 at 6:42 PM

    Nice hit by Espinosa. Way to go Brice! Here's Desmond again with ducks on the pond. Gotta come through.

  112. NatsJack in Florida - May 20, 2012 at 6:43 PM

    Thanks Michele…had to mute because Bordick is beyond a BORE!But still no real glove target.

  113. MicheleS - May 20, 2012 at 6:44 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  114. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 6:44 PM

    to Michele S. What is it about Riggs that you didnt like?

  115. MicheleS - May 20, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    Expos.. I think Wilson and the SP's had developed a comfort level that may be hard to replace. They all stated what a good game he called and how much they loved to have him behind the plate. It may take a little while to get that comfort level with JFlo.And yes, we are going to miss Werth as well.

  116. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 6:46 PM

    No one ever accused Desi of being a smart player.

  117. Swift Eagle - May 20, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    You mean other than the worst W-L record ever for a guy who managed over 1000 games?…

  118. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    hmm no one ever accused Desi of being a smart player ….is there a high school diploma's worth of credits between Desi and Espi combined?

  119. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 6:49 PM

    Swift: that's not quite fair to Riggs. How did Riggs do here? answer? very well.given a semblance of a team, he made the most of it. Seldom did he make a bonehead moe.If you don't agree, please enlighten me.

  120. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    Sit down, Davis!!

  121. baseballswami - May 20, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    They always say speed never slumps – hustle never slumps either. It was hustle that got that third run across. Kudos for the guys for not waiting until the sixth. Last few games, that run on third doesn't score.

  122. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    way to beat out the groundball, andino

  123. NatsJack in Florida - May 20, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    NatsFanJim…….you're kidding; right?

  124. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    ooh, that ball did look a bit foul …

  125. MicheleS - May 20, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    Also, on the Lombo love (which I have now), FP mentioned something at the top of the broadcast that DJ was going to be letting Espi and Lombo duke it out and the he wouldn't be suprised to see Lombo getting more games over the next week. I didn't see anything from Mark/Amanda, etc on twitter, so I hope it happens.

  126. Drew - May 20, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    Nice hustle by Desmond. Way to get down the line and plate the tying run.P.S. Mike Bordick, who I think is from Maine, has the same New England monotone as the late, lamented Flanny. It makes for rather colorless color commentary.

  127. Swift Eagle - May 20, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    So you bash Espi based on poor stats from 40 games, but defend Rigs and his poor stats from over 1000 games…I think Rigs is better than his record, but at best he is a .500 manager

  128. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    Bordick just broke the rule of the MASN folk:Dont refer to Zimmerman's throw at a lollipop. OOps.

  129. baseballswami - May 20, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    Warning! If you have dyxlexia you will probably confuse NatsJack in Florida with NatsFanJim – I'm fine and I actually have to look twice to see which one it is.

  130. NatsJack in Florida - May 20, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    That was re: Riggs…. A guy I genuinely liked as a person but questioned on his skills. Davey is so far beond Riggs in baseball accumen it's ridiculous.

  131. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 6:57 PM

    NatsJack: Try this out for size.How did Riggsy do worse, much worse than Davey with the Nats?Not talking about the 80's and 90's now; we're talking about the Nationals of 11 and 12.I look forward to your analysis.

  132. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 6:59 PM

    Sit down, rookie

  133. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 7:00 PM

    Wow, I agree with other posters – Bordick is mighty dull, and intensely boring at the color man — FP is more superior to Bordick than Davey is to Riggs.

  134. NatsJack in Florida - May 20, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    Turned the sound back on a little bit ago. Next time I go to the dentist, I'm going to take a recording of Bordick to both put me under and remind me how little pain I'm in after the procedure.

  135. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    Go Jesus!!!By August 1, all these guys will be askingWilson who?????

  136. Swift Eagle - May 20, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    I'm starting to think NatsFanJim is actually Riggleman himself…

  137. Swift Eagle - May 20, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    Stras goes Yard!!! 0-2!!

  138. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    Go Stras!!!!Thats what happens when you follow Jesus!!!!!

  139. NatsJack in Florida - May 20, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    Again….Jim….you have to be kidding.

  140. Drew - May 20, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    Stras Mash!!!

  141. TimDz - May 20, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    Jesus and Jesus…Back to back…

  142. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    Swift: hahaha Nah, I would have done better than riggs hahaa

  143. Section 222 - May 20, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    What is it about Riggs that you didnt like?This Riggs vs. Davey is a dumb discussion, but here's one thing about Riggs I will never forget or forgive — Morse doubleswitched after 2 HR.OMG — SS just hit a dinger. Awesome!

  144. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    Nats Jack: kidding about what? Bordick, Stras, Jesus, the weather, the wind the rain, what?

  145. NatsJack in Florida - May 20, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    OK…..now let's see if Stras can pound the strike zone with that 98mph 2 seamer.

  146. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    Section: haha You made that up, dude. Never happened.Dont start making stuff up, people.

  147. Another_Sam - May 20, 2012 at 7:07 PM

    Even before the SS clout, I was preparing to opine that I'll bet this club leads the league in solo home runs.

  148. TimDz - May 20, 2012 at 7:07 PM

    The only bad thing about the Stras homer is that I had Gio in the pool…I can live with that…

  149. djinFl. - May 20, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    Is Mark out of the box again?

  150. baseballswami - May 20, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    Number 8 and 9 hitters back to back! Quick, somebody do some quick stat work and see when was the last time that happened!! That was very cool to watch.

  151. MicheleS - May 20, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    So Riggs was 140-172 with the Nats. Davey is 63-60. And before you start talking about lack of talent for Riggs, Let's see, No #4 hitter, No Closer to start the season. Your RF broke his wrist, your LF situation has been atrocious, your 2nd closer had a hernia, and 3rd closer is a total head case. Your 2b is a mess as well. I will give you that Davey's Starting Pitchers are better. Riggs at least had the bats of Dunn and Willingham on his team. Davey also has the history of developing players which is what this club is about right now. I also think Davey can manage the clubhouse better.

  152. baseballswami - May 20, 2012 at 7:10 PM

    OK – so Riggs wasn't as bad as you think he was and Davey is not as good as you think he will be. Different situations, apples and oranges in so many ways.

  153. NatsJack in Florida - May 20, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    Jim…. The Riggs/Davey thing.And 222…..that was the one thing we all couldn't stand. The penchant to reward retreads and ignore guys producing. And for the record, Espinosa is not a retread.

  154. MicheleS - May 20, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    Swami.. so what do you think the bet was among the SP's on the first home run of the year. I thought for sure EJax would have gotten, and would have LOVED to see Gio's reaction if he had gotten it.

  155. Another_Sam - May 20, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    Of course FP and Bob are practioners of the old Oriole syndrome from a few years ago: every Nats fly ball just misses the stands. Every Nats ground out requires a spectacular devensive play and the Nats runner almost beat it out. Every Nats slumper is the victim of such bad luck. And so on. You get the idea.

  156. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    I give you the clubhouse point. But every other point you make can be debated and hashed out for days and days.Lets just agree to disagree and call it a day.No about of spinning will change my mind that riggs did well with what he had. and no amount of spin will make Davey a better manager. Maybe he was better in the 90's, but he is an embarassment today.

  157. baseballswami - May 20, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    And on a lighter note (!) — all of these guys named Xavier are confusing me! I have never even met a Xavier in my life, and that's a long time, and now there are 2 in the game and one in the minors. We have the market cornered on X's and Z's!

  158. MicheleS - May 20, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    And one thing I would like to compliment the O's fans on. The one's sitting in my section yesterday were very friendly, and were good natured (even when they were beating us by 6-0). Comiserated about their bad owner and how he has screwed both teams over. Made up for some of the lunkheads that we saw in the Sunday Night Phillie game.

  159. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    Hey NatsJack: Espinosa is far from a retread: agreed.But He is struggling mightily to find some traction!!

  160. NatsJack in Florida - May 20, 2012 at 7:16 PM

    See….there's where you lose it.You call for a truce and immediately call Davey an embarassment. Pretty low.

  161. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 7:16 PM

    Michele S: Interesting comment. Just a thought. Everyone coming to the ballpark this weekend were O's fans a short time ago. So, when you see O's fans, you are looking in a mirror. They are (or were) us.

  162. Drew - May 20, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    This is Desmond's third at bat today with two guys on base. This is great for the team, with his XBH power.

  163. MicheleS - May 20, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    Free Wings!!!

  164. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    Truce? Didnt know there was a war going on??This is baseball folks, not life. Relax NatsfanJack from Fla. haha

  165. MicheleS - May 20, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    NatsFanJim.. I don't think you can say that with the amount of transplants in the area. Quite a few on this board were White Sox/Cubs/Expos/Mets fans before they were Nats Fans

  166. Section 222 - May 20, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    Section: haha You made that up, dude. Never happened.Which? The Morse doubleswitch, or the Strasburg HR? :-) Both happened, believe it or not!

  167. MicheleS - May 20, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    Swami, I think I heard them say there is another Xavier in the Nats Minor Leagues as well. Yup we have the X market cornered.

  168. baseballswami - May 20, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    Ok – on another lighter note ( please?) — try to wrap your mind around Flores and Strasburg hitting back to back home runs! I keep thinking about it and it's truly astonishing!

  169. NatsJack in Florida - May 20, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    And again….Jim …..you're kidding. I've despised the Orioles forever. I've appreciated various players but team wise, I've despised them my entire life…or at least since they moved from St. Louis.

  170. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    hahahSo that's what's wrong with this board. Not you, Michelle.But other rather rude, namecalling posters: gotta be former Mets, or Phillies, or Sox fans.LOL

  171. baseballswami - May 20, 2012 at 7:23 PM

    MicheleS – and the Z's! Two Zims, Gorzo, Lombo — really quite odd.

  172. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    NatsfanJack. You're starting to worry me, dude. You're starting to obsess. Relax dude. Feel free to let a comment or two of mine go without feeling the need to attack me on it.

  173. MicheleS - May 20, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    Swami. Agree. can't get over the Back to Back's. Especially by the 8/9 hitter. Who knew we had Pop at the end of the order!

  174. MicheleS - May 20, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    NatsFanJim. I believe you attacked JaneB yesterday about the Smile question posed by another poster, so if you don't want the attacks, the don't attack others.

  175. Drew - May 20, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    Desmond with 2 RBIs from the 5 hole. Outstanding!To paraphrase what Churchill said about Americans, we can count on the Nats to do the right thing, after they've exhausted every conceivable alternative.

  176. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    Another Note to Obsessive NatsfanjackIf you "despise" a team, you are waaaaat to emotionally involved in it. Repeat to yourself 10 times: This is just a game. This is just a game ……Hopefully, you not one of those sick posters that I have to mute.

  177. Swift Eagle - May 20, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    Stras done at 90 pitches? If so, a good bounce back start against a good lineup. He overcame poor defense and didn't have FB command early. Felt like a veteran outing today..

  178. NatsFanJim - May 20, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    Michele S: oh sorry, It felt like a gathering of the pom pom girls. I thought this was a baseball forum.I guess you're a dumb ass, too.Where did you say your dumb self was from? Ms. Baseball genius?

  179. NatsJack in Florida - May 20, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    Please…feel free to mute me. And nobody expounds the element of entertainment that baseball is for me and the passionate others that frequent this site.

  180. MicheleS - May 20, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    Was Nady pulled for a reason? or was it just the pitcher/batter match up? I thought I heard yesterday that Nady had the ususal suspect oblique tweak.

  181. NatsJack in Florida - May 20, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    I think Jim's medication is wearing off.

  182. baseballswami - May 20, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    Hey, MicheleS – I don't know? Are we back to talking about baseball politely?

  183. Swift Eagle - May 20, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    I'm not sure b/c Gameday isnt working, but it may be a double switch?

  184. NatsJack in Florida - May 20, 2012 at 7:34 PM

    I just checked the box and Nady is still in and Moore went out for Ankiel.But it wouldn't suprise me to see the old double switch for both left handed hitting and defensive help if Bernie is in with Ank and Harpet back to rigjt.

  185. MicheleS - May 20, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    Thanks NatsJack.. Missed the Moore Move.

  186. Swift Eagle - May 20, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    Pitcher's spot isleading off this inning, is Ankiel in that spot?

  187. NatsJack in Florida - May 20, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    Just checked again and Nady moved to left with Harper going to right.

  188. Swift Eagle - May 20, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    actually 2nd, I'm helpless with out Gameday

  189. NatsJack in Florida - May 20, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    No. He batted for Moore.

  190. baseballswami - May 20, 2012 at 7:41 PM

    Gorzo one two three inning as per twitter.

  191. MicheleS - May 20, 2012 at 7:41 PM

    Swift. Have you tried the CBS Sports site? That one might be better today for the game tracker

  192. Drew - May 20, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    Hey NatsFanJim:Knock it off with the personal insults.Lighten up, Francis.

  193. NatsJack in Florida - May 20, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    9 outs to go. Toughest 9 outs in baseball.

  194. Swift Eagle - May 20, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    Awesome! Thanks MicheleS

  195. MicheleS - May 20, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    NatsJack.. Boston took it to Lee today. He gave up 5 ER. Wow.

  196. Swift Eagle - May 20, 2012 at 7:45 PM

    But now I have a desire to go to Wendy's…Lol

  197. Eugene in Oregon - May 20, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    At some risk of being flamed (is that term?), may I suggest we introduce NatsFanJim and peric for a polite discussion of the relative merits of Jim Riggleman and Davey Johnson? Perhaps Mark Z. could even set them up with their own blog for said discussion?

  198. NatsJack in Florida - May 20, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    Yes but it looks like everbody else in the division is in the win column.

  199. baseballswami - May 20, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    On any given day, I don't care who the pitcher is, things can just go wrong. We really have to remember that Stras, Det and JZim are all relatively inexperienced, young pitchers. They don't act like it most of the time, but they are. Sometime after the game I might look up the number of professional starts by each. I am sure that the number won't be very high. You can't rush experience. I think these guys are going to be like fine wine – once they age, they will be incredible.

  200. phil dunton - May 20, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    Another 42,000 crowd—good to see the fans finally coming out in big numbers.

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