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Game 42: Nats at Phillies

May 21, 2012, 7:46 PM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Citizens Bank Park welcomes (or something like that) the Nats to town tonight.

PHILADELPHIA — Hello from the City of Brotherly Love, which probably won't be directing much love toward the visiting team tonight. Not that the Nationals would have it any other way. For perhaps the first time in eight seasons of existence, the Phillies and their fans are taking the Nats seriously. Nothing wrong with that, as long as everyone keeps things clean.

Bryce Harper surely will be the subject of plenty of vitriol, though I'm not sure he's done anything yet to warrant it. We'll see if the kid can once again channel his emotions into something positive on the field.

Harper is batting in what has become his now-regular No. 2 spot in the lineup. He'll be hitting behind Steve Lombardozzi, who gets the chance to leadoff again and play … left field. How's that for a surprise? Danny Espinosa (who homered and doubled yesterday) will be at second base, batting sixth.

Gio Gonzalez takes the mound against Kyle Kendrick. The forecast is spotty, so check back for weather and game updates throughout…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
Where: Citizens Bank Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 183
Weather: Rain, 69 degrees, Wind 7 mph RF to LF

NATIONALS (24-17)
LF Steve Lombardozzi
RF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche

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248 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Tcostant - May 21, 2012 at 7:55 PM

    Better win tonight, the Phils pitchers are much harder after tonight… Plan: Win tonight and hope to split one of the remaining two for a series win.

  2. peric - May 21, 2012 at 7:55 PM

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  3. peric - May 21, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    Seems like a decent lineup. Its good to see Bryce getting moved closer to the top so there is less of a tendency to semi-intentionally walk him. Plus he will get to see the full repertoire of every pitcher and get more AB's up near the top.Clearly its not a permanent spot for him but I do believe its a good place to start the training of a future all-star slugger.Given the way they are hitting I like Desmond and Espy where they are. Just wish they'd bring up Corey Brown and bench Ankiel's bat … not his arm and glove. Too bad there isn't a designated fielder position.

  4. Steady Eddie - May 21, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    Interesting putting Lombo in LF. I guess if you're experimenting with novices, may as well go with one who gives you a shot at having something at the plate that the Nats otherwise lack (leadoff hitter, of course). And though there's reason for nervousness about his arm, no reason to think it's any worse than 1B Tyler Moore. Counting the days until Morse gets back and we can have Harp-Zim-ALR-Beast-Desi at 2-6. That's a pretty decent middle of the order. Too uncertain to start counting the days until Werth gets back and our 2-7 becomes more than decent.

  5. Steady Eddie - May 21, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    Hmmm, looks like decent is the word of the day — hope it also applies to our outing tonight….GEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEOOOO! GEEEEEEEEEEEOOOOOO! (I loved chanting that in his Saturday domination of the Phils.)GYFNG!

  6. Grandstander - May 21, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    Strasburg now has a 0.5 WAR in batting (fangraphs), putting him at 7th on the team, ahead of Tracy, Harper, Flores, Ankiel, Bernadina and obviously Espinosa. Zimmerman barely leads him with 0.6.

  7. natsfan1a - May 21, 2012 at 8:22 PM

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  8. natsfan1a - May 21, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    As did I. That turned out to be one fun game (batteries not included – meaning, you know, the kind that you put in flashlights, not the kind that throw and catch – eh, never mind). GEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEOOOO! GEEEEEEEEEEEOOOOOO! (I loved chanting that in his Saturday domination of the Phils.)

  9. JD - May 21, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    Peric, I don't think Lombo's bat will be potent enough for LF and we are sort of punting LF defense as well. On the other hand I think Davey realizes that when you always start the game with low OBP guys you rarely score in the 1st inning and this makes a difference. As you say Corey Brown is intriguing. He is in the top 10 in everything (except for BA) in the international league. I wonder what else he has to do to be called up especially with our struggles at lead off.

  10. RickH - May 21, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    Seems like someone here suggested putting Lombo in the outfield a day or two ago. Maybe Davey DOES read us.

  11. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 21, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    NatsJack, who's in LF tonight. All temporary until Morse comes back but Bryce and Zim need runners on base.On the other side, when does Adam LaRoche get a night off?

  12. A DC Wonk - May 21, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    Is there anybody besides me who thinks that, using the guys on the 25-man, this is the best possible lineup one can construct?I feel like I've been waiting for this one.Playing against the NL East — this is when it starts getting real. I agree with others: must take advantage of their main weak-link: Kendrick.I just read an interesting story that more runs are scored in the 1st inning than any other. It's time to get with that program . . . this batting order will help.On the other side, when does Adam LaRoche get a night off? Yeah — I've been wondering that, too. Especially because he went oh-for-last weekend, (although he did get 4 walks and and RBI)

  13. Steady Eddie - May 21, 2012 at 8:55 PM

    Steve M. said when does Adam LaRoche get a night off?Seems he already had a couple on Friday and Saturday nights… (rimshot)He's enough of a vet that I suspect Davey would let him make that call himself. At least his fill-in would be an easy call.

  14. Nats1924 - May 21, 2012 at 8:55 PM

    I really like Lombo – I think he'll win the leadoff job

  15. jeffwx - May 21, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    except for Ankiel, nice lineup…but good to have the glove in center to help those less experienced out.

  16. Scott from Burke - May 21, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    not a big bob carpenter fan, but watching the saturday game i was shocked by how awful billy ripken was…seemd to constantly try to one up carpenter and came across as rude and a bully…awful

  17. SFNats - May 21, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    What Wonk said — this is the best possible lineup with the current 25-man roster. Hope they can keep swinging and put up 5-6 more runs today.

  18. Gonat - May 21, 2012 at 9:00 PM

    A DC Wonk said… On the other side, when does Adam LaRoche get a night off? Yeah — I've been wondering that, too. Especially because he went oh-for-last weekend, (although he did get 4 walks and and RBI) May 21, 2012 4:52 PM ______________________________Thinking yesterday would have been the perfect day for a breather. I hope he is ok.

  19. Ron In Reston - May 21, 2012 at 9:00 PM

    LaRoche gets a night off on Thursday :)

  20. NatsJack in Florida - May 21, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    Its not the first time. Typical for Davey though to reward Lombo as well as Danny for their production lately.And you are right about LaRoche. Tracey needs to give him a break pretty soon.

  21. NatFanBethesda - May 21, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    I like this lineup. Certainly the defense of Lombo has to be as good as Moore's in left. Lets Hope Lombo continues to make things happen and Espi keeps regaining his swing.

  22. JD - May 21, 2012 at 9:04 PM

    I think when Morse returns there will be more opportunities to give LaRoche a break. Right now he is too big a part of the offense to sit.

  23. NatFanBethesda - May 21, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    To Scott: I noticed that too — I noticed it alot from Bordick who seemed to be giving FP a hard time when FP was trying to be a good guy. Whenever FP would compliment the O's, bordick would agree and not say much about the Nats. I'm glad this combined broadcast stuff is over, for now.

  24. Joe Seamhead - May 21, 2012 at 9:06 PM

    Though I understand the logic from an OBPpoint of view, I'm not crazy about Lombo, or Moore for that matter, playing LF. I'd rather see Brown brought up, and Moore sent back down.If you're going to keep Moore up here have him spell ALR for a game now and then.To Hades with taking 2 out of 3. Dominate them from the top of the 1st and proceed to rub it in until the last out in the bottom of the 9th on Weds! GYFNG,

  25. Candide - May 21, 2012 at 9:17 PM

    Bryce Harper surely will be the subject of plenty of vitriol, though I'm not sure he's done anything yet to warrant it.You're not sure? All I've read is that on the field, he plays hard and respects the game, and off the field, he keeps his nose clean and has shown maturity beyond his chronological age. He hasn't shown up other teams' players (Hamels being the arguable exception, but he when you intentionally hit a batter, don't cry when he steals home on you), hasn't argued balls and strikes or even shown up the umps, AFAIK, hasn't cursed a reporter, hasn't flipped off fans cursing at him from the cheap seats.No need to hedge, Mark – this kid's good for the Nats and good for baseball. Nobody deserves vitriol for being an asset to the game.

  26. Doc - May 21, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    The strange thing about the anti-Hyper hype, is that the Kid hasn't done anything to deserve it. He didn't hit himself, nor did he charge the mound, or make any untowrd gestures to Hamels. Pete Rose, The Babe, George Brett, and/or a passel of other big leaguers would have let the coward Hamels know how they felt. Philthy Fans seem to do their best when they are letting their delusions control their behavior.

  27. Doc - May 21, 2012 at 9:33 PM

    That should be 'anti-Harper hype, above. I guess I was too hyped up!

  28. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 21, 2012 at 9:39 PM

    Lets win these next 5 series. Starting tonight win at least 2 of 3 against the Phils. Winning to night and Wednesday as I surely don't want Hamels to get another win.

  29. Gonat - May 21, 2012 at 9:44 PM

    JD said… I think when Morse returns there will be more opportunities to give LaRoche a break. Right now he is too big a part of the offense to sit. May 21, 2012 5:04 PM _____________________________Even the best players need a day-off when they start showing signs of fatigue. Tracy is there for a reason.

  30. Section 222 - May 21, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    Just took a quick peek at the comments on Nationals Journal on Kilgore's posting of the lineups for tonights game. I feel like taking a shower. I'm back home and not going back. Sheesh.

  31. Gonat - May 21, 2012 at 9:50 PM

    Manny Acta has a player problem. Chris Perez blasted the fans saying when the stands are filled with only 5,000 fans you can hear the boos and what people scream when you're on the mound and he didn't like it or appreciate it. He went as far to suggest that Carlos Beltran wouldn't go to Cleveland becaues of the fanbase and can't believe a 1st place team gets so little support.http://chronicle.northcoastnow.com/2012/05/21/indians-lofton-responds-to-chris-perez/

  32. Gonat - May 21, 2012 at 9:52 PM

    Section 222 said… Just took a quick peek at the comments on Nationals Journal on Kilgore's posting of the lineups for tonights game. I feel like taking a shower. I'm back home and not going back. Sheesh. May 21, 2012 5:45 PM __________________________Friends don't let friends drive to NJ

  33. JD - May 21, 2012 at 9:56 PM

    Gonat,LaRoche will get a day off on Thursday. Tracy is at his best when he gets 1 at bat in a game. When you already have Ankiel in the lineup it's best to make sure everyone else plays. Also; didn't LaRocje get 4 walks in yesterday's game? that's pretty productive as far as I am concerned.

  34. Swift Eagle - May 21, 2012 at 9:57 PM

    Rollins getting a day off? Pence and Ruiz are usually tough v the Nats. Hope Gio can get off to good start GYFNG

  35. Gonat - May 21, 2012 at 9:59 PM

    JD, no hits in 3 days. Yesterday's walks were great. Thursday will be a much needed break for everyone.

  36. Gonat - May 21, 2012 at 10:03 PM

    Not sure this was mentioned, the Nats/Braves game on Sunday is the nationally televised ESPN Sunday Night Game.

  37. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - May 21, 2012 at 10:04 PM

    Looking more and more like Grandpa Davey is a Nats Insider too.GYFNG!

  38. phil dunton - May 21, 2012 at 10:05 PM

    We need to see more of Tracy at first base. Laroche is beginning to slump and could use a day off.

  39. NatsJack in Florida - May 21, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    Gonat……and the Nats get to get on a plane after midnight and fly to Miami for their 1:05 game with the Fish on Monday

  40. NatFanBethesda - May 21, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    I really like this lineup. Lombo can't do worse than Moore out in left and he can make things happen. Meanwhile maybe espinosa keeps getting his swing back. things looking up.

  41. Scott from Burke - May 21, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    Doc said… the Kid…didn't hit himselfActually he hit himself in the face with a bat…i'm sure if an opposing player did same a few nats fans would mention it…with vitriol

  42. Joe Seamhead - May 21, 2012 at 10:38 PM

    Sorry to disagree, but Tracy's glove is a brick.

  43. NatsLady - May 21, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    As long as LaRoche has played this stretch might as well let him play the next three. He apparently diagnosed his own problem of expanding the strike zone and fixed it. Gotta love veterans!

  44. MicheleS - May 21, 2012 at 10:48 PM

    Gonat.. The Wednesday Hammels game is on ESPN too.Rollins' wife had a baby, that's why he isn't in..Love the new Lineup! Hi Davey.. Thanks for taking our suggestions!

  45. MicheleS - May 21, 2012 at 10:51 PM

    Ex Nat news.. The Twins DFA's Marquis

  46. NatsLady - May 21, 2012 at 10:55 PM

    MicheleS, really? The worst team in baseball DFA'd Marquis? He got shafted by you-know-who, and him breaking his leg in Arizona after only three games was tough, and I knew his ERA was high this year–but does that mean his career is over?

  47. MicheleS - May 21, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    here is the link on MarquisMarquis Story

  48. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 21, 2012 at 11:03 PM

    So, have we gotten around to designating Nat Gio as "The New Smiley Gonzalez"?

  49. djinFl. - May 21, 2012 at 11:11 PM

    Empty seats! Thought I saw empty ones Saturday too.So much for that love affair, ya bums.Way to go Harp!

  50. Gonat - May 21, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    These 1st innings for the Nats have to start going their way. Zim smashes the ball and right where the Shortstop is standing……….

  51. Candide - May 21, 2012 at 11:13 PM

    Odd what happened to Marquis. He was perfectly serviceable after he returned to the Nats from his bone chips surgery, and then went totally to hell the minute he went to the D-Backs.

  52. Section 222 - May 21, 2012 at 11:17 PM

    So Placido Polanco is a right handed version of Juan Pierre. Thanks Bob, I'll remember that. Well Gio did strike them both out.

  53. MicheleS - May 21, 2012 at 11:22 PM

    DESI!!!!

  54. Gonat - May 21, 2012 at 11:22 PM

    Have I told you a few dozen times how much I like this Desi kid?

  55. Drew - May 21, 2012 at 11:25 PM

    Love this lineup — it rewards Lombo, gets high on-base percentage at the top and follows LaRoche with two guys who have extra-base pop.Nice going, Davey and thanks for reading! Look, I'm under no illusions that we influence the skipper's decisions, but I think this lineup gives us our best chance until Morse returns.

  56. Gonat - May 21, 2012 at 11:33 PM

    Once Morse is back, the Nats can look to get Lombo more work at 2nd and this lineup will look loaded. Only weak spot will be the 3rd outfielder excluding Morse & Harp.

  57. NatsLady - May 21, 2012 at 11:37 PM

    Oh, Gio. I'm in love.

  58. Gonat - May 21, 2012 at 11:37 PM

    Early observation, Gio throwing the curveball often and early.The last 2 games, there must have been a reason he threw it rarely.

  59. Section 222 - May 21, 2012 at 11:37 PM

    Holy smokes Gio! Sometimes he looks like a man among boys.

  60. MicheleS - May 21, 2012 at 11:39 PM

    Gonat.. he had the hand problems from the flop slide into 3rd, that caused him not to be able to grip the ball right.Boy that curve ball is nasty….

  61. Gonat - May 21, 2012 at 11:39 PM

    NatsLady, so am I. I am more into "stuff" and Gio has it. I'm never impressed with just raw heat if you can't locate it.

  62. Gonat - May 21, 2012 at 11:40 PM

    FP talking about "Going deep" and they cut to a picture of Ian D. with his fingers up his nose. Grossssss

  63. Gonat - May 21, 2012 at 11:44 PM

    Is Flores that slow or did he not get a good secondary jump?

  64. NatsLady - May 21, 2012 at 11:45 PM

    Mattheus on the DL, "hurt his foot conditioning." Why am I not surprised?

  65. Candide - May 21, 2012 at 11:46 PM

    Perfect tag… right in the nuts.

  66. MicheleS - May 21, 2012 at 11:46 PM

    NatsLady.. the report was Plantar Faciatis (SP?) so far, but they are going to look at more. Finally a major leaguer has an injury that I have had!

  67. Gonat - May 21, 2012 at 11:49 PM

    NatsLady said… Mattheus on the DL, "hurt his foot conditioning." Why am I not surprised? May 21, 2012 7:45 PM __________________________Sounds more like it was a build-up to where the pain got to bad.

  68. NatsLady - May 21, 2012 at 11:49 PM

    Oh, I thought Carp said he was on the DL. Must have heard too quickly.

  69. NatsJack in Florida - May 21, 2012 at 11:50 PM

    Gonat…..Chooch was really quick on that. NatsLady…..Amanda tweeted it was plantar fasciatis.And watching Gio sure is fun.

  70. Swift Eagle - May 21, 2012 at 11:51 PM

    Gio looks amazing…but these are the Phillies?? Who are these guys? I've never heard of half of them..

  71. NatsJack in Florida - May 21, 2012 at 11:52 PM

    MicheleS……I've had it too and it doesn't just go away.

  72. Section 222 - May 21, 2012 at 11:52 PM

    Plantar Fasciitis. Painful stuff, and not that easy to cure quickly. Mattheus could be the mystery guest who leaves for Wang. Tough break.

  73. Eugene in Oregon - May 21, 2012 at 11:55 PM

    A lot of pitches.

  74. NatsJack in Florida - May 21, 2012 at 11:56 PM

    OK..I take it back .

  75. Swift Eagle - May 21, 2012 at 11:59 PM

    Has Flores made it home on that wild pitch yet?

  76. Gonat - May 21, 2012 at 11:59 PM

    The inning worked out fine but I feel sometimes Flores isn't keeping the tempo right. Call a timeout and slow Gio down. He needed to get Victorino and not load the bases. Again, it worked out. That was close…

  77. Gonat - May 22, 2012 at 12:00 AM

    Swift Eagle said… Has Flores made it home on that wild pitch yet? May 21, 2012 7:59 PM _________________________Strasburg is still on his way also.

  78. MicheleS - May 22, 2012 at 12:01 AM

    Lots of empty seats for a sell out….

  79. Swift Eagle - May 22, 2012 at 12:03 AM

    So true Michelle, I've seen games at Nats Park with more Phi fans than tonight…Hopefully never again

  80. Faraz Shaikh - May 22, 2012 at 12:04 AM

    there are probably making sure at home whether the game is worth going to.

  81. Gonat - May 22, 2012 at 12:04 AM

    Wow, Harper beat it and I thought he was going to be called out. That throw was right on the bag.

  82. Swift Eagle - May 22, 2012 at 12:05 AM

    If he steals home again, even the Phi fans may cheer for him..

  83. Gonat - May 22, 2012 at 12:06 AM

    The bad news is Gio is at 61 pitches and Kendrick just got to 50.

  84. Gonat - May 22, 2012 at 12:06 AM

    Have I told you a few dozen times I really like this Desi kid?

  85. Swift Eagle - May 22, 2012 at 12:07 AM

    Good coaching by Bo…How was a kid that fast EVER a catcher???

  86. Gonat - May 22, 2012 at 12:08 AM

    The Nats have Kendrick on the ropes. Make him WORK

  87. JB - May 22, 2012 at 12:09 AM

    Desmond needs to stop swinging at the first pitch. He'll never get results that way…NatinBeantown

  88. Section 222 - May 22, 2012 at 12:10 AM

    Can Ankiel do anything but K in this situation?

  89. Gonat - May 22, 2012 at 12:10 AM

    Swift Eagle said… Good coaching by Bo…How was a kid that fast EVER a catcher??? May 21, 2012 8:07 PM __________________________Think about it. He caught as he was growing and light in weight and while he was growing and converted to an outfielder at 18 years old. If he caught for 5 years in the Minors and a few MLB seasons, he would be a few ticks slower for sure.

  90. NatsJack in Florida - May 22, 2012 at 12:11 AM

    For those if us that said this easy was the season for Desi to step up or move on…..well he is certainly stepping up.

  91. Section 222 - May 22, 2012 at 12:11 AM

    Apparently not.

  92. MicheleS - May 22, 2012 at 12:12 AM

    Come on JFLO.. base hit….

  93. jeffwx - May 22, 2012 at 12:12 AM

    Good Ankiel is out…now make room for some hitters in Flores and Gio

  94. MicheleS - May 22, 2012 at 12:12 AM

    Dang it.. I wanted a hit. We could have started into that bullpen early

  95. jeffwx - May 22, 2012 at 12:13 AM

    Why not bat our pitchers 8th ahead of Ankiel if he's only there for his defense

  96. Gonat - May 22, 2012 at 12:13 AM

    Ankiel did it to this team again. Choked with a pitcher on the ropes. How many strikes was he thrown in that sequence. Please move him to the bench and only bring him out in the 8th innings when you are ahead.

  97. Gonat - May 22, 2012 at 12:15 AM

    Kendrick finished the inning at 63 pitches and Gio starts the bottom of the frame at 61 pitches. Poor job by Ankiel and unfortunately Flores did nothing with the 2nd pitch he saw.

  98. jeffwx - May 22, 2012 at 12:17 AM

    Well AROD just struck out with the bases loaded…Ankiel's a lot cheaper K

  99. Section 135 - May 22, 2012 at 12:17 AM

    Ankiel is the worst situational hitter on the team. Rally killer.

  100. Swift Eagle - May 22, 2012 at 12:18 AM

    Jack…Davey told us years ago how good Desmond was the Moneyball types will always dislike Desmond and Espi b/c they K often and don't have the high OBP…Davey has always favored the right mixture of using stats and data, without being a slave to them, while also trusting what he sees…Works for me

  101. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 22, 2012 at 12:18 AM

    How many times does Ankiel have to K with a man on third and less than 2 outs before he is gone?Just hit the ball to the outfield.his real problem he swings way too hard for him to controll. If the advisor would give some advise, maybe he would learn, however, the advisor is waiting for him to ask, so do not expect a change.

  102. Gonat - May 22, 2012 at 12:21 AM

    Zim went do or die on that grab off of Galvis. I am sure we all knew he had it all the time.

  103. MicheleS - May 22, 2012 at 12:22 AM

    Manassas.. I have a feeling with Morse/DeRosa coming back, Ankiel will head to the bench. Harper will probably play center.

  104. jeffwx - May 22, 2012 at 12:22 AM

    Jeeez…RZ continues to amaze…Still arguing in my head whether he's better than Nettles.

  105. Joe Seamhead - May 22, 2012 at 12:22 AM

    Wow! DP's like that will slow that pitch count down. Gio has just been a pleasure to watch.

  106. Gonat - May 22, 2012 at 12:24 AM

    NatsJack in Florida said… For those if us that said this easy was the season for Desi to step up or move on…..well he is certainly stepping up. May 21, 2012 8:11 PM __________________________Clearly a situation where a player responds well to his Manager. You could see it start to turn in Mid-August last year with him.

  107. NatsNut - May 22, 2012 at 12:26 AM

    It's weird. Ankiel doesn't bother me for some reason. Even with a bunch of Ks, I still generally trust him.Espinosa should either practice his media answers or stick with cliches because ever since the spring training batter's eye answer, they've been pretty cringe-worthy. Maybe it comes across differently in print than what he means, but he sounds kinda bratty or something. On the other hand, I can see how Espinosa might be this year's Desmond. Lots of patience from people who know more than us. And he might just be one of those who has never really dealt much with failure and he's trying to figure that out too.

  108. Joe Seamhead - May 22, 2012 at 12:28 AM

    NatsJack, I plead guilty as charged regarding saying that this being Desmond's make or break year.

  109. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 22, 2012 at 12:30 AM

    I am shocked when Ankiel gets an RBI.As for comparing his K to ARod's I can't compare it. Arod has done plenty over the years, Ankiel has not.

  110. Drew - May 22, 2012 at 12:31 AM

    Ankiel's failure in that spot aside, I think this lineup works well. Harper's been on base twice and Desmond has knocked in two.Before moving to the 5 hole Desmond had 16 RBIs. Now he has 20.Gio has electric stuff, but sometimes I wish he didn't strike out quite so many hitters, so he could conserve some pitches and go deeper in the game.

  111. Swift Eagle - May 22, 2012 at 12:32 AM

    Totally agree NatsNut. I think Espi is in a Soph Slump like so many before him, just have to ride it outJoe, I've always liked Desmond, but it was fair for you to say this was a make or break year, he's had plenty of time. He still needs to prove he's a core guy over the full season

  112. jeffwx - May 22, 2012 at 12:35 AM

    Mannassas Nat, Yeah but Ankiel had a better change up. ;)

  113. MicheleS - May 22, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    I thought Zim was supposed to own this guy?

  114. Gonat - May 22, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    Swift Eagle said… Totally agree NatsNut. I think Espi is in a Soph Slump like so many before him, just have to ride it outMay 21, 2012 8:32 PM _____________________Not true. He went ice cold last June and with a few 2 week hot spans at the end of last year has not put together anything meaningful.This is a kid with bad mechanics from the left side and when you couple that with the mental toll the game hands you, it is a recipe for that negative 0.6 WAR you have seen.

  115. Swift Eagle - May 22, 2012 at 12:38 AM

    So the 20 HRs by a rookie 2B were a mirage?

  116. jeffwx - May 22, 2012 at 12:39 AM

    And Ankiel only had one-two good yearS in the majors offensively. He's forced to play regularly given the numerous injuries. Wow…Howard would of missed it (but also hit a couple out ;)

  117. Gonat - May 22, 2012 at 12:44 AM

    This inning has not started well

  118. NatsNut - May 22, 2012 at 12:45 AM

    Like I said, Ankiel doesn't bother me.;)

  119. Gonat - May 22, 2012 at 12:45 AM

    Nice to see Ankiel do something to help his team.

  120. Swift Eagle - May 22, 2012 at 12:46 AM

    Ankiel can't hit, but that catch was as good as 2 RBI…

  121. NatsNut - May 22, 2012 at 12:46 AM

    Go Defense!

  122. Drew - May 22, 2012 at 12:49 AM

    Wow! Freddie Mercury never flashed that much leather.

  123. Joe Seamhead - May 22, 2012 at 12:49 AM

    Why is Ankiel still in the line up? Anymore questions?Also, no way Ramos makes that tag.Come on, Gio! Dig down! Well done, Gio!!!

  124. Section 222 - May 22, 2012 at 12:50 AM

    That was one heck of a sequence. Great D, including Flores diving to make the tag one handed. Very impressive. Of course, if they had plated a few runs the inning before when the bases were juiced with one out, all of these heroic measures wouldn't have been quite as crucial.

  125. NatsNut - May 22, 2012 at 12:51 AM

    Charlie and Dave were laughing that even with Ankiel sprawled out on his stomach, they wouldn't run on him.

  126. Gonat - May 22, 2012 at 12:51 AM

    Joe Seamhead said… Also, no way Ramos makes that tag.May 21, 2012 8:49 PM ____________________________And you know that how? Just a ridiculous statement. Its like saying Bernadina wouldn't have caught that ball in CF.This team has plenty of guys who can make plays except for at 1st base as LaRoche is the only one.

  127. Swift Eagle - May 22, 2012 at 12:52 AM

    The catch by Ankiel has kept the Nats in the lead, but even if they win 2-0, the catch won't help his "WAR"…but in real life he would have saved the game…Good example of why you still have to watch the games..

  128. NatsNut - May 22, 2012 at 12:52 AM

    Experience.Gonat said…Joe Seamhead said… Also, no way Ramos makes that tag.May 21, 2012 8:49 PM ____________________________And you know that how?

  129. Gonat - May 22, 2012 at 12:56 AM

    Swift Eagle said… The catch by Ankiel has kept the Nats in the lead, but even if they win 2-0, the catch won't help his "WAR"…but in real life he would have saved the game…Good example of why you still have to watch the games.. May 21, 2012 8:52 PM ____________________________Again, that is a catch that Bernadina has made before. It was a Web Gem. It was great. It saved at least 1 run.

  130. Candide - May 22, 2012 at 12:57 AM

    Uh, are we looking at HRod in the ninth?Argh.

  131. Swift Eagle - May 22, 2012 at 1:00 AM

    Yes, and it wouldn't improve Berni's "WAR" either..my point is that stats are an important tool, but shouldn't be the sole reason for every decision on and off the field…many games are won by plays that can't be quantified (thank goodness!)

  132. MicheleS - May 22, 2012 at 1:01 AM

    I hope they put the tarp on the field.

  133. MicheleS - May 22, 2012 at 1:04 AM

    Just flipped the channel.. Livo is pitching in relief. Cinci up 4-1 on the braves.

  134. Gonat - May 22, 2012 at 1:05 AM

    Swift, I agree with that which is another reason WAR is sometimes under-rated and over-rated.Ankiel's arm is a registered weapon and teams won't take the extra base against him.

  135. jeffwx - May 22, 2012 at 1:06 AM

    Bernadina makes better sense to me in CF…Ankiel as a late inning replacement.

  136. Joe Seamhead - May 22, 2012 at 1:07 AM

    Honestly, Gonat, Ramos' sheer bulk would have made it pretty unlikely for him to make the turn. I think the world of Ramos, feel that he has a lot of strengths that Flores doesn't, but I don't think he makes that play.As to Ankiel, his reputation regarding his arm, and its accuracy, makes 3B coaches think twice about sending runners that they otherwise might send.Just my ridiculous opinion.

  137. Swift Eagle - May 22, 2012 at 1:09 AM

    The arm is great, but you're correct that his ABs are tough to watch… and there's no doubt WAR and other stats are very usefulAnother great inning from Stam, did it stop raining?

  138. Eugene in Oregon - May 22, 2012 at 1:10 AM

    Swift Eagle,WAR is calculated somewhat differently by Fangraphs and Baseball-Reference.com, but I'm pretty sure that both would credit Rick Ankiel for ranging pretty far in toward the infield to make that play. I'm not suggesting — never have, never will — that stats should be the sole reason for making personnel decisions in baseball, but they can certainly contribute. And in the case of the WAR, it helps balance a player's offensive and defensive contribution in a way the human eye and mind simply can't.

  139. Drew - May 22, 2012 at 1:13 AM

    Big crowd, close game, pressure situation…I'm hoping for three more runs or a monsoon before the bottom of the ninth.

  140. Gonat - May 22, 2012 at 1:15 AM

    Joe Seamhead, you said that a lot more politically crrect. Jesus be nimble Jesus not be quick. Yes, Flores is more nimble.

  141. JaneB - May 22, 2012 at 1:15 AM

    How many innings notice do you think they gave Livo before they sent him in, Michelle?It looks like the rain is over. But Stammen is awesome. I'd like to see him back one more inning and then Clip, not, um, Henry. Not tonight.

  142. SonnyG10 - May 22, 2012 at 1:15 AM

    I'd take three more runs and a monsoon before the bottom of the ninth.

  143. Section 222 - May 22, 2012 at 1:18 AM

    So are FP and Carp right that Clippard is the closer in this game? I'm guessing no. Nor will Stammen finish the game. He sure is pitching the hell out of it though.

  144. MicheleS - May 22, 2012 at 1:20 AM

    JaneB.. the Reds hit 3 homers (back to back to back) in the 4th.. I am sure that' when they told him to get up, he came in in the 7th.

  145. Swift Eagle - May 22, 2012 at 1:21 AM

    Thanks Eugene. There's no doubt the Stats are an important tool. But the great thing about baseball is that if you rely on stats or on old fashioned instincts, you're still just guessing…Now back to the game…getting scary

  146. MicheleS - May 22, 2012 at 1:26 AM

    Anyone remember how we used to cringe when Stammen would pitch.. nope, me either, completely erased that from the memory banks.

  147. Eugene in Oregon - May 22, 2012 at 1:27 AM

    Tempting fate there — Pence up three times with runners in scoring position and less than two outs. Ruiz up a couple times with RISP. But getting out of it each time. Wow. Reminds me of April.

  148. MicheleS - May 22, 2012 at 1:27 AM

    Sunshine.. get the bourbon and the maalox please. Henry is up. We need provisions.

  149. Candide - May 22, 2012 at 1:28 AM

    HRod up. Nice time for the batters to put another five or six runs on the scoreboard, just in case.

  150. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 22, 2012 at 1:29 AM

    MicheleS, again, Stammen came into 2012 on a mission. Best shape of his life. First sign was when he tells you he didn't golf as much this off-season.

  151. Joe Seamhead - May 22, 2012 at 1:30 AM

    Oh, boy, which Henry will we see?

  152. MicheleS - May 22, 2012 at 1:30 AM

    Yup Ghost, plus he beefed up the booty. Det needs to do that .

  153. Swift Eagle - May 22, 2012 at 1:32 AM

    Lol…I think if they threw Desmond the rosin bag on the first pitch, he'd still swing at it..Buckle up for the 9th

  154. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 22, 2012 at 1:32 AM

    Yep MicheleS and I gave you young ladies that news when I saw him in Spring Training. Glutes!

  155. SonnyG10 - May 22, 2012 at 1:33 AM

    Well, no three runs and no monsoon. Guess HRod has to do it.

  156. Drew - May 22, 2012 at 1:33 AM

    God help us. I hope Burnett is getting loose.

  157. JaneB - May 22, 2012 at 1:33 AM

    In fact, I think the "good Henry /bad Henry" began with "good Craig/bad Craig " didn't it? Maalox and bourbon on handy, I'm trying the honey bourbon tonight. Heeeeeeeere's Hemry!

  158. SonnyG10 - May 22, 2012 at 1:34 AM

    Davey better have a short leash.

  159. Eugene in Oregon - May 22, 2012 at 1:34 AM

    No bourbon, but 10mg of Lisinopril, please.

  160. MicheleS - May 22, 2012 at 1:34 AM

    Someone tell Carp to stop mentioning the blown saves. JEEZ.. baseball gods don't like that

  161. Section 222 - May 22, 2012 at 1:35 AM

    Ok Davey. I'm right with you in giving H-Rod a shot. But you better get Clip up if he's wild. DO NOT LET HIM LOSE THIS GAME!

  162. JaneB - May 22, 2012 at 1:35 AM

    Okay. One more of those, get Burnett loose.

  163. djinFl. - May 22, 2012 at 1:35 AM

    Phillies announcers must read NI also. Just said team was reaching for the antacid with Henry in.

  164. Swift Eagle - May 22, 2012 at 1:35 AM

    Just a bit outside…

  165. jeffwx - May 22, 2012 at 1:35 AM

    bad henry, bad

  166. JaneB - May 22, 2012 at 1:35 AM

    DAVEEEEEEY!

  167. SonnyG10 - May 22, 2012 at 1:35 AM

    Uh-oh, looks like Bad Henry

  168. Swift Eagle - May 22, 2012 at 1:36 AM

    Doing his R. Ankiel impersonation?…

  169. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 22, 2012 at 1:37 AM

    OMG, facing 6, 7, 8. Bring in Clippard. Unreal

  170. hiramhover - May 22, 2012 at 1:37 AM

    Rut ro.

  171. SCNatsFan - May 22, 2012 at 1:37 AM

    And so begins the nightmare

  172. jeffwx - May 22, 2012 at 1:37 AM

    Ankiel had better control ;)

  173. jeffwx - May 22, 2012 at 1:38 AM

    but maybe Henry can hit

  174. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 22, 2012 at 1:39 AM

    Please Davey, I'm listening to Charlie and Dave and they sound frustrated. Wet mound, be a closer not a poser.

  175. Drew - May 22, 2012 at 1:39 AM

    I'm gonna be sick or break something. Maybe both.

  176. SonnyG10 - May 22, 2012 at 1:39 AM

    One out means nothing to Bad Henry…keep Sean loose.

  177. hiramhover - May 22, 2012 at 1:39 AM

    Did someone throw something on the field as Bryce was fielding that fly ball?Stay classy, Philthies.

  178. Section 222 - May 22, 2012 at 1:40 AM

    That wasn't really routine. The pitch was up in the zone and hittable. But Galvin is no Hunter Pence. Come on Henry. You found the strike zone. Now keep pounding it. These are not good hitters.

  179. Swift Eagle - May 22, 2012 at 1:40 AM

    How are these guys laying off pitches so close?Ah, Harry Doyle

  180. Steady Eddie - May 22, 2012 at 1:40 AM

    NOW, DAVEY!!!

  181. JaneB - May 22, 2012 at 1:41 AM

    Where is Sean????

  182. Joe Seamhead - May 22, 2012 at 1:41 AM

    I'm going to be sick…

  183. NatsNut - May 22, 2012 at 1:41 AM

    I think I'm going to be sick…

  184. jeffwx - May 22, 2012 at 1:41 AM

    Good sign, he threw the ball where someone can hit it.

  185. SonnyG10 - May 22, 2012 at 1:41 AM

    Bring in Sean, now before its too late!!!!

  186. Section 222 - May 22, 2012 at 1:41 AM

    DO NOT LET HIM LOSE THIS GAME Davey. Please.

  187. NatsNut - May 22, 2012 at 1:41 AM

    who owes who a coke here?

  188. MicheleS - May 22, 2012 at 1:42 AM

    CRAP, I can't watch, I am putting my head between my legs

  189. jeffwx - May 22, 2012 at 1:42 AM

    that's enough…. 2 wild pitches per appearances is too many

  190. Eugene in Oregon - May 22, 2012 at 1:42 AM

    hiram – yes, I saw that too.

  191. NatsNut - May 22, 2012 at 1:42 AM

    I love Charlie's emphasis. Davey is coming out. He's taking Henry out RIGHT NOW.

  192. Candide - May 22, 2012 at 1:42 AM

    About. F-ing. Time, Davey.

  193. jeffwx - May 22, 2012 at 1:43 AM

    time to groom another closer…

  194. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 22, 2012 at 1:43 AM

    Great, this is ridiculous.now you pull him.

  195. joemktg - May 22, 2012 at 1:43 AM

    Just a horrible, unjustifiable performance from a professional. This kid is lost.

  196. SCNatsFan - May 22, 2012 at 1:44 AM

    Can't wait to hear Davey's support tomorrow and how this wsn't really a wild outing

  197. MicheleS - May 22, 2012 at 1:44 AM

    The Braves lost

  198. John - May 22, 2012 at 1:44 AM

    Let the Rodriguez era end tonight. Please.

  199. Steady Eddie - May 22, 2012 at 1:44 AM

    Took you long enough.When even FP says "enough" and Carp says "Henry fails again, it's time to end this Henry the closer nonsense. It's Burnett. (Not Stammen. We need his multi-inning capability.)

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