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What awaits Nats in Philly?

May 21, 2012, 1:25 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Bryce Harper figures to get a rude welcome from the fans in Philadelphia tonight.

Fresh off an eventful weekend series against their biggest interleague rivals, the Nationals tonight open another important series against their biggest division rivals.

And if you thought the scene at Nationals Park two weeks ago when the Phillies came to town was wild, imagine what the folks at Citizens Bank Park might have in store for the Nats over the next three nights.

"Hopefully I get a couple boos," Bryce Harper said yesterday. "That'd be awesome. I'm excited to get up there and play, and hopefully they don't throw any batteries or whatnot at me."

Whether the Philly faithful give Harper the old J.D. Drew batteries treatment, or whether they elect to go the "whatnot" route instead, the 19-year-old outfielder surely will be the center of attention of a seriesRead more »

111 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. NatsLady - May 21, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    Kendricks seems like the weak link on their staff. Halladay is no longer invincible. We've beaten him. (OK, it's 11-1 Doc, but I have hope.) And the Nats have MOTIVATION for Hammels (who now claims it was "not intentional." Are there any other forks in his tongue?) We can do this. GO NATS!!!!!

  2. Section 215 Row A - May 21, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    I wish Bam Bam hadn't mentioned batteries. Filthadelphians, knuckle-draggers that they are, may say, "Hey! That's an idea!"

  3. mick - May 21, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    Would have like to have seen Nats win 2 of 3 verse O's, but I can live with a 7 over 500 heading into what will define the Nats over the next 6 weeks. Assuming no more injuries and Morse and Storen coming back, I would think playing 500 on road and 600 at home would keep us in contention heading into August

  4. mick - May 21, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    glad I missed the first two games of O's series, had a wonderful time at my daughter's graduation

  5. joemktg - May 21, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    "Hopefully I get a couple boos…That'd be awesome..hopefully they don't throw any batteries or whatnot at me."Unnecessary sound bite. Hoping someone spoke to the kid about that one.

  6. jcj5y - May 21, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    Seriously, I wish everyone would have kept that batteries comment quiet. I'm sure Harper isn't worried, but that could actually happen.Tonight's game is crucial for the series. It's the Nats' only starting pitching advantage of the three.

  7. NatsLady - May 21, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    Speaking of extraneous items on the field–what is it with beach balls in LA? Is that their thing, see if they can outfox the security staff?

  8. JD - May 21, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    At the quarter pole here are my 5 reasons to be concerned: 1)Long term injuries to key players. 2)Starting pitching leveling off a bit. 3)2 of Ankiel,Bernadina,Nady,Moore are in the everyday lineup. 4)One of Desmond or Espinosa is leading off. 5)LaRoche is likely to cool down.and my 5 reasons to be optimistic. 1)Zim is heating up. 2)Morse and Storen are getting close to returning. 3)Harper is learning on the job but he's the real deal. 4)Great starting rotation 5)Davey Johnson.

  9. NatsLady - May 21, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    JD, pretty good bullpen, also. – Human towel pitched 2 scoreless (not that we are likely to see him for long).- Oh, Henry hasn't blown a save or lost a game in one whole week.- Stammen is a bulldog.- Clip back to usual dominating form, plus he is dealing a cutter.- Burnett solid.- Gorzy useful. Quite useful, in fact, given that Stras, JZ, and Det/CMW may not always go 6+ innings.- Mattheus chancy, but bear in mind he is a (officially) a rookie.

  10. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 21, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    Oh, please—like the Philly fans would never have thought of that on their own.

  11. Eugene in Oregon - May 21, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    Two unrelated thoughts:– I understand the notion that the Phillies are the Nats' "biggest division rivals," but — from a distance — I'm actually much more invested in how this year's Nats do against the Braves and Marlins. I view the Phillies as a team in relative decline (which began last year and will accelerate over the coming few seasons). The Braves and Marlins, on the other hand, are teams that Washington is going to have to contend with for playoff spots over the next 2-5 seasons.– For what it's worth, the local newspaper here features one game each day for which they run the full AP gamer (all other games get just the score and a couple of short sentences in a near unreadably small font). Most often it's the Mariners or Giants that get the gamer, but my impression is that the Nats have somehow become their third 'go-to' team for more-detailed coverage. I don't have stats to back that up, but it seems that once a week (sometimes more) they've found the Nats to be the most newsworthy team for attention. And locals are picking up on it, often commenting about the team when I wear a Nats cap around town or campus. Short version: the Nats are generating some buzz around here. Wonder if other Nats fans in other cities outside the mid-Atlantic are picking up the same vibe?P.S. for peric – Sorry you took such offense at my attempted jest yesterday, but it was actually a bit of a compliment to you. I know of no other poster who can make the anti-Riggleman case in such specific detail and with such earnestness (passion might be a better word). You would have easily taken the other fellow's pro-Riggleman assertions apart. That said, I certainly don't intend to take your advice and switch team allegiances or blogs. But thanks anyway for that suggestion.

  12. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 21, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    By the way, speaking of missing yesterday's game–how was Nick (who I see from the box score pinch-hit) received over the weekend by the crowd? I would hope he got some applause.

  13. fast eddie - May 21, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    JD:I agree with your concerns/optimism, and would add the following–Don't expect Morse to start off 'hot". Give him the month of June as his spring training.Lombo is forcing his way into the lineup–could he solve our lead-off void??

  14. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 21, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    NatsLady, it's A Thing there; has been for decades. Sorta like the wave for people too uncoordinated to stand and raise their arms at the same time as their section-mates. They just swat at it, and if they miss, they miss.

  15. jcj5y - May 21, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    Love Davey Johnson as a reason for optimism. He has been masterful this year (outside of a weird sac bunt call last week). I know it's difficult/impossible to measure a manager's contribution to win totals, but I can't imagine anyone I'd rather have in charge of this group over the long haul of the season.

  16. DL in VA - May 21, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    Section 3,I think most people did not notice that that was the same Nick Johnson that used to play for us. No noticeable change in audience volume when he stepped into the box. Man, is there ever a difference between a mob of Phillies fans descending on Nationals Park and a mob of Orioles fans. I'll take the Baltimoreans any day.

  17. NatsLady - May 21, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    Nick looked good, wears the tight uni and the socks. Luckily, with the bases loaded Nick hit a GIDP to rescue Mattheus while Davey had both Burnett and Henry warming. Was he nervous with a 9-3 lead in the 9th or what?

  18. whatsanattau - May 21, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    Nick got mild applause from me on Friday night, but I don't think anyone else around me had the foggiest idea he entered the game. He pinch hit, got on base and then was forced at second. Given the closeness of the game, it would have been weird if he had gotten a big applause when he made that appearance. I didn't go to the other 2 games. BTW, I'm one who defends the fans right to do the wave, but Friday night when they finally got it going, the Nats were in the field with Burnett pitching. (I do not participate myself). Note to Wave practioners – home team's do the wave when the opposition is in the field. It's a distraction to the pitcher and fielders. Anyway, Burnett had to step off the rubber to wait for the wave to pass three times. It was clear he did not want to pitch as the wave approached home plate. He was trying to induce a groundball or pop up and I believe he was defending against the ball being lost in the motion of the crowd by his fielders. So, sure go crazy at the park, but not in the bottom of the tenth with a man on and your own team in the field.

  19. JD - May 21, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    Eddie, Davie is very loyal to his players and it will take a lot to have him bench Espinosa. It's hard to tell whether Lombo is the answer at leadoff; you won't know that until you put him there for at least a month. He hasn't done anything to make you think he can't do it though.

  20. NatsLady - May 21, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    Agree. Same for Red Sox fans. They cheer for their team, and that's fine. But they don't try to ruin the experience for everyone else.Man, is there ever a difference between a mob of Phillies fans descending on Nationals Park and a mob of Orioles fans. I'll take the Baltimoreans any day.

  21. D'Gourds - May 21, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    Jd,, good assessment.

  22. jcj5y - May 21, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    Corey Brown apparently just hit his 9th homer leading off the game for Syracuse. His hot streak and Bernadina's terrible streak (especially in the field) are going to lead to a change sooner rather than later.

  23. NatsLady - May 21, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    whats: I think word has gotten around, even to Terrance. If you must start the wave, do it during a pitching change or something like that. I spoke to a CF usher before Sunday's game and he was nodding before I finished the sentence.

  24. MicheleS - May 21, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    I will take a devil's advocate position on the batteries comment, maybe it's a way for the Nats to let the Phillies know that they had better be on alert for fan behavior. I don't think Bryce thought along those lines. It was probably an off the cuff remark, but hopefully they still have a Jail in CBP like they did in the old Vet.

  25. JD - May 21, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    NatsLady, I generally agree about your bullpen assessment although Henry does not do my heart any good.

  26. Bigfish - May 21, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    DL in VA. Re the folks from Bawlmer: I'm with ya, hon.

  27. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 21, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    I think most people did not notice that that was the same Nick Johnson that used to play for us. No noticeable change in audience volume when he stepped into the box. Thanks, DL. I'm sorry to hear that.

  28. A DC Wonk - May 21, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    I think most people did not notice that that was the same Nick Johnson that used to play for us.I've had a weirdly lucky knack for calling stuff ahead of time (to my wife and/or daughter when we are at Nats Park). Yesterday, I was explaining to my daughter about Nick's history (the broken leg, then wrist injury, etc.). She then got to the bottom line: "is he good". I said "he used to be" and then I added, "he's kinda slow, so a DP's a possibility", which was followed immediately by the game-ending GIDP.(My best call this year to my family: after Hamels hit Harper, I extended my arm and pointed out to them, "hey, look at how big a lead Harper is taking at third!")

  29. Steady Eddie - May 21, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    JD @ 10:10, that was well put, along with NatsLady's amendments re bullpen, noting also there that we'll be adding either Det or Wang shortly (while neither of them, esp. Wang, is ideal as BP material, they're both fairly high quality long arms). But things are slightly better than you framed them. (1) Biggest dropoff from injury is Werth. Flores is a legit starting catcher whose defense we know was better than Wilson's, at least this year, and whose bat is also resuming the capability we saw him have before his shoulder injury and in winter ball. We're incredibly fortunate there that we didn't trade him away. Biggest loss is the opportunity cost of Wilson's growth on D and at the plate from losing a year.3) Very true but it will only be one once Morse gets back, hopefully by June 1; and I'm wondering about Werth's recovery time too. original reports were "at least 12 weeks" which puts his return about the end of July; then recently multiple reports that his surgeon said his having had the surgery done immediately cut three weeks off the recovery time. Does anyone know if that was included in the original 12 week estimate or does it mean we might get Werth back after the ASB?4) As to Desi or Espi leading off, one thing Davey seems to do is give a fair amount of time — not quick auditions — for questionable starters to show what they can do. His putting Desi in the #5 hole this weekend suggests he's learned what he has there, which is a guy with pop and this year, pretty good BA and SLG whose low OBP means he shouldn't be leading off. Espi has this year occasionally shown the ability to take pitches and defend the plate; I have to think that leading off is his temporary alternative to sending him down and putting Lombo at #1. (Putting Harp at #1 is a waste of his pop and the protection he gets in front of Zim.) Maybe Davey makes Espi hit only RH for a while?Can't wait until Beast gets back so we can get Ankiel out of the starting lineup. His occasional streaks are a tease; his lack of professional ABs, of Ks where he needs a well-placed out, have really hurt the team and make him look like a non-Nats pitcher out there.

  30. Steady Eddie - May 21, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    whatsa @10:41 — exactly right on all counts. I was at Friday's frustrating game and there was a smattering of "mild" applause for Nick around me and from me, but more would have been wrong (and interesting that there wasn't more from the O's fans).As noted, exactly right on the wave. Burnett was clearly disconcerted by it.

  31. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 21, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    Maybe Davey makes Espi hit only RH for a while?You mean platoon him? Because he can't just start batting right-handed against RH pitching, after years of looking at breaking balls from the other side, at the top level. Quitting switch-hitting probably means going down to AAA.

  32. A DC Wonk - May 21, 2012 at 3:00 PM

    >[Espi] hasn't done anything to make you think he can't do it though.Ummm . . . 2nd in the league in strike outs?

  33. NatsFanChris - May 21, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    1 (LF) Lombo2 (RF) Harper3 (3B) Zim4 (1B) ALR5 (SS) Dez6 (2B) Espi7 (CF) Ankiel8 (C) Flores9 (SP) —–

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

    After Cole Hamels openly acknowledged plunking Harper in the kidneys on purpose Technically, he only hit him in one kidney. Just sayin.

  35. Faraz Shaikh - May 21, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    yeah Sec 3, I was one of them who didn't recognize him for his services either. I guess I should have.

  36. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 21, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    @FS, well, he has been gone a long time, relatively. I just keep a fondness for the player. Not everybody "roots for the laundry" these days.

  37. natsfan1a - May 21, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    I was thinking that Nick the Stick may have gotten a smattering of applause in his first appearance of the series, but I wasn't there and could be wrong.I was at yesterday's game and he pinch-hit in the 9th, with the bases loaded and one out. When he was announced, I told my husband that normally I would give him a hand but, given the situation, I didn't think it would be prudent to do so. That said, I previously reported here that, while watching the Friday game on tv, I found myself chanting "Niiiick" (as my Chicago baseball buddy was fond of doing) after he singled in the 8th with one out and the score tied. In the next play he was out on a DP (and, also as previously noted, demonstrated that he still slides in a manner that brings to mind a beached whale for this Nats fan – still love ya, Nick! :-))Oh, speaking of ex-Nats, that reminds me. I missed most of this Nat or Not pregame contest, but how about that "Nats fan" who stated that Vinny Castilla had not been a Nat? As I stated to my husband at the time, lol whuuut? Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said… By the way, speaking of missing yesterday's game–how was Nick (who I see from the box score pinch-hit) received over the weekend by the crowd? I would hope he got some applause. May 21, 2012 10:26 AM

  38. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 21, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    Platoon at second base would be interesting as both are switch hitters. Not sure if there has been a platoon like that before in the MLB.

  39. natsfan1a - May 21, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    Ah, I see that other Nick-related reports slid in ahead of mine.

  40. A DC Wonk - May 21, 2012 at 3:14 PM

    >Ah, I see that other Nick-related reports slid in ahead of mine.Appropriately slow on this one? ;-)

  41. natsfan1a - May 21, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    Well, I did cheer after he grounded into a DP, but I'm pretty sure that doesn't count. :-)I was at yesterday's game and he pinch-hit in the 9th, with the bases loaded and one out. When he was announced, I told my husband that normally I would give him a hand but, given the situation, I didn't think it would be prudent to do so.

  42. natsfan1a - May 21, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    Yes, I'm in beached whale mode myself, evidently. :-)Appropriately slow on this one? ;-)

  43. peric - May 21, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    You would have easily taken the other fellow's pro-Riggleman assertions apart. That said, I certainly don't intend to take your advice and switch team allegiances or blogs. But thanks anyway for that suggestion.Wow, Eugene that's a first for me … an apology! Thank you. I am sorry for going "bold" on you … your comment didn't faze me at all until you had to remark that the two of us should take it to another blog.Thus my suggestion that perhaps you need another blog. Especially since I was just letting him rant (who knows maybe he is Riggleman's friend or cousin or some such … after all Riggleman is from this area. Which is of course why I refer to Riggleman as a traitor less interested in winning games for fans and more interested in being the go-to guy for washed up veterans.)From the purely logical perspective, if you don't like posts then the implication is that you should move to another blog. I think that implication makes sense. Especially since your post came completely out of the blue with no impetus from me.

  44. Ann Ominous - May 21, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    there was a smattering of "mild" applause for Nick around me and from me, but more would have been wrong (and interesting that there wasn't more from the O's fansWhy would you expect applause for Nick Johnson from O's fans? He hasn't done anything for them yet. At the plate he was oh for April. He's their Xavier Nady.

  45. natsfan1a - May 21, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    I don't think this counts as calling something, although I have done that on occasion, but around about the bottom of the 6th, my husband was asking whether the Nats offense was done for the day. He noted the outbursts in the 3rd, and I reminded him of those in the 4th and 5th. I also stated that I had a feeling they weren't done yet. (Of course, I then had to say "see, I told you" in the 7th and 8th. Of course, I normally don't go there, but in this case… :-))I've had a weirdly lucky knack for calling stuff ahead of time (to my wife and/or daughter when we are at Nats Park).

  46. Drew - May 21, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    I agree with NatsFanChris. Why not play Lombo in left and have him lead off until Morse returns? Espinosa can follow Desmond in a run-producing spot at 6.Lombo is pretty savvy defensively, and it's not as if Josh, Morse, Bernie and Tyler have been great glovemen in left.

  47. peric - May 21, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    Kids …1 (LF) Lombo2 (RF) Harper3 (3B) Zim4 (1B) ALR5 (SS) Dez6 (2B) Espi7 (CF) Ankiel8 (C) Flores9 (SP) —–I am hoping to see this soon …1 (CF) Brown2 (2B) Espinosa / Lombardozzi3 (3B) Zim4 (1B) ALR5 (LF) Morse / Lombardozzi6 (RF) Harper7 (SS) Desmond / Lombardozzi8 (C) Flores9 (SP) —–Ankiel: BENCH with the rest of the goon squad where he fits best.

  48. NatsLady - May 21, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    On Davey as manager:(1) He talks too much. It was entirely reasonable to pull Stras after 5 innings, 90 pitches, when he had been on base twice, and with the lead. That's all he had to say. With the biceps addition all he did was cause nervous jitters in NatsTown and optimism in Atlanta.(2) I don't mind his "loyalty" to Henry or Espi. Just not sure I would use that term. It's more that he thinks both have talent and futures and he's trying to help them achieve their potential.(3) Someone asked why he "wasted" Stammen bringing him in down 6-0 in the 6th inning when he could have used Perry. I suspect Davey didn't want to signal that the game was over–and it wasn't, since it ended 6-5 with the best hitter at bat. No shame in that loss because knowing we could score 5 after being down by 6 led directly to scoring 9 after being down by 3.OK, so why bring Perry in vs. the Phillies in the 9th with the score 3-1? Well, that game–barring a miracle–was over. Hamels was about to go CG and we had just lost Werth. And we had already won the series. Time to go home and regroup.So, in sum, here's what I like about Davey. I'm still not 100% sold, because he makes mistakes, and he will make them in the future.(1) He has the long term picture in mind, both the long season and future years;(2) He doesn't try to win every game, even the ones that seem winnable if you only look at the box score. He has a sense of when to fold and when to bluff and what to do with a winning hand.(3) He clearly has the adoration of his players, vets and young 'uns (except possibly Stras, Stras might be annoyed, with cause, but he lives in his own world…)P.S., I like LaRoche even more after yesterday. He said he needed to take more walks, and, lo, he walked three times and had a sac fly. How about that for an 0-fer?

  49. NatsLady - May 21, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    Ah, so that's why so many beach balls land in the outfield grass. And here was me thinking it was deliberate, like streaking.______________________________________________Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said…They just swat at it, and if they miss, they miss.

  50. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 21, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    Wow.The guy apologises, and you spend three paragraphs kicking him back. Stay classy, Danger Boy.

  51. NatsLady - May 21, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    Sofa, I didn't see it that way. That was as close as peric comes to a return apology, and then he just defended why he said that about the blog. You may not think it's reasonable, he does and he's entitled to explain his reasoning.

  52. periculum's Really An Asshat - May 21, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said… Wow.The guy apologises, and you spend three paragraphs kicking him back. Stay classy, Danger Boy. Ha! You forgot pRAA, my favorite Saber-metric. There it is, at work again!

  53. Ron In Reston - May 21, 2012 at 3:52 PM

    So here's my "calling it before it happens/tempting the baseball gods/good Orioles fans" story from yesterday's game:My wife, daughter (9), my mother and I were sitting up in section 416. My wife doesn not even remotely believe in the baseball gods, she thinks I'm nuts. So in the third inning, after Harper's triple (holy cow can he run) RZim comes up, my mother says "he's gonna stike out". He does. I tell her to quit tempting the baseball gods. LaRoche walks. Desmond comes up, she says "he's gonna hit into a double play and Harper's gonna die on third". He almost does, barely beats the throw to first, but then gets picked off, so it was as essentially a double play except for Harper scoring. I tell my mother to cut it out and again I mention the baseball gods, my wife rolls her eyes. So now we move on to the fourth inning. There is an O's fan sitting behind us with his buddy, a Nats fan. We've been chatting throughout the game so far. Flores hits his dinger and of course we go crazy. Our wonderful O's fan proceeds to say, "If Strasburg his a dinger, I'll buy you (his buddy) a beer….no, wait, if Strasburg hits one, I'll buy the WHOLE SECTION a beer!" So I turn around and jokingly take out my phone and tell him to say it again so I can record it and he says " Seriously, I'll even sign something" as he finishes saying this….well, you all know what happened. I have never laughed so hard at a baseball game. And I'll be danged if he and his buddy didn't get up and buy eight beers for those in the immediate vicinity. My wife and I don't drink, so we weren't able to take advantage of the situation, but just being there made it all worthwhile. Needless to say, my wife turned to me and said "Ok, I totally believe in the baseball gods now"It felt like one of those MasterCard "Priceless" commercials. Best day at the park EVER.

  54. NatsLady - May 21, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    If they have storm cells tonight at Nats Park North, I hope the umps handle it better than in the Stras game–oh, unless Kendricks is pitching, in that case, fine, let it rain.weatherhttp://www.findlocalweather.com/pinpoint/us/pa/citizens+bank+park/current19344.html

  55. NatsLady - May 21, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    Reston, that is a GREAT story! Thanks so much!

  56. A DC Wonk - May 21, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  57. Faraz Shaikh - May 21, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    WOW interesting story! He should have kept his word and bought drinks for everyone in the section.

  58. MicheleS - May 21, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    Reston!! Great Story. Glad to hear someone else had a good experience.

  59. MicheleS - May 21, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    Does everyone realize we are National TV twice this week? ESPN Wednesday and Sunday. UGH. The boys need to get over the stage fright.

  60. Ron In Reston - May 21, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    FS, luckily for him, not everyone in the section heard him. Also luckily for him, four people from the row in front of us and three from his own row had gone down to….buy beer….when all of this happened. Oops.

  61. A DC Wonk - May 21, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    Bryce Harper, last eight games: .290/.371/.613 Amazing stat: he has more extra base hits than he does singles! (Of course, some of them _should_ have been singles, but with his hustle turned them into doubles)

  62. Steady Eddie - May 21, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    Ann Ominous @ 11:09 — Yes, Nick was 0 for April, but he's also now hitting over .300 (at least at the beginning of the series) and hit a game-winning 2 run dinger a couple of weeks ago. In the "what have you done for me lately?" category, he should score high with O's fans. Plus real fans of any team should cheer when a pinch hitter comes up with a chance to break a tie late in a hard-fought game.

  63. MicheleS - May 21, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    Okay. Can we get Adam Jones? Besides the fact that he is good, he seems like a really good guy and funny too!

  64. MicheleS - May 21, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    1A.. your comment on the Player of the Game (MASN vs At the Game). Boz is chatting and here is his response.Just a possibility to consider: any MASN data about the Nats __with several hundred million dollars in dispute__ is as trustworthy as North Korean election returns.For example, Xavier Avery won the Player of the Game MASN fan-poll on Sunday in a 9-3 O's loss with over 80% of the "vote" and Strasburg barely visible.Come on.

  65. natsfan1a - May 21, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    Thanks, Michele.On another note, in ex-Nat news, a Meat Hook update.

  66. Ann Ominous - May 21, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    Steady Eddie said… Ann Ominous @ 11:09 — Yes, Nick was 0 for April, but he's also now hitting over .300 (at least at the beginning of the series) and hit a game-winning 2 run dinger a couple of weeks ago. In the "what have you done for me lately?" category, he should score high with O's fans. Plus real fans of any team should cheer when a pinch hitter comes up with a chance to break a tie late in a hard-fought game.Again, Nick Johnson has done about as much for the Orioles as Xavier Nady has done for the Nats. I seem to have missed the prolonged cheers from Nats fans whenever Nady steps to the plate, regardless of the game situation.

  67. Steady Eddie - May 21, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    Dinger not finger. But for Stairs, finger works almost as well. (Tho I was at the one game where he got a walk off hit, off the RF wall. That he made it look so effortless only added to the frustration about the rest of his season.)

  68. Section 222 - May 21, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    On the POG vote, could it be that the results are influenced by whose fans are watching on TV rather than at the park? I would have thought that the TV audience would far outpace in person attendance by now (remember "The 9,000?"). But maybe not. It will be interesting to see if the roles are reversed when the Nats are in Baltimore. Then again, maybe O's fans are used to voting for POG after many more years of TV coverage. I sure have never voted after watching on TV, though I do from time to time at the park.

  69. NatsFanChris - May 21, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    Corey Brown Update:12-for-26 (.462), 3 HR, 8 RBIs, SB….over the past week in Syracuse

  70. NatsLady - May 21, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    Not to mention Jackson got no votes night though he pitched better than Friday's overwhelming player of the game, Hammels. Say what?

  71. NatsFanChris - May 21, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    And here is ESPN's (K. Goldstein) take:With Bryce Harper and Tyler Moore having gotten their shots in Washington, Brown might be close behind. Acquired from Oakland in the Josh Willingham deal prior to the 2011 season, Brown has consistently made up for a high strikeout rate with power, patience and a bit of speed, and he's now arguably the hottest hitter in the International League. His ability to play all the outfield positions could get him a look.

  72. Section 222 - May 21, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    Tho I was at the one game where he got a walk off hit, off the RF wall. I was there too. Friday, July 1, 2011, vs. the Pirates. A walk off single. I remember looking up on the way home to see if pigs were flying and wondering about the temperature in Hades.

  73. Section 222 - May 21, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    I love Boz's conspiracy theory, but if MASN is messing with POG voting in order to influence the renegotiation of the TV contract, I call for a congressional investigation!Of course, if MASN thinks that kind of "poll" should or will have any impact on the analysis of viewership, they should have their heads examined.

  74. Ann Ominous - May 21, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    On the POG vote, could it be that the results are influenced by whose fans are watching on TV rather than at the park? I would have thought that the TV audience would far outpace in person attendance by now (remember "The 9,000?"). But maybe not. It will be interesting to see if the roles are reversed when the Nats are in Baltimore.There are two separate player of the game votes. One is on MASN, the other is in the ballpark. Different numbers to text your vote into, and the results are not commingled. The ballpark vote is run by the Nats, and has only Nats players as choices. The MASN vote is a regular part of Orioles broadcasts, and always includes a mix of Orioles and opposing players as choices. Opposing players do get votes, but (unlike Teddy) an Oriole ALWAYS wins. Such was the case again yesterday. Since this vote is not part of a regular Nats broadcast on MASN, I doubt that many (or any, for that matter) Nats fans watching the game on TV even bothered to text in a vote. I know I didn't.

  75. natsfan1a - May 21, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    Thanks for the background, AnnO. I don't watch O's broadcasts, so I didn't know how that worked. As noted, I was in the park, not watching on tv, and I voted in the ballpark poll. On a related note, I noticed that there was no on-field interview with SS after the game. I was waiting around to watch in case he got a face full of shaving cream due to the HR. Maybe the team was just trying to avoid any substance getting onto his body and possibly migrating. Or maybe they were in a hurry to leave for their road trip. Or maybe [insert MASN conspiracy theory here]. :-)

  76. Ann Ominous - May 21, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    On a related note, I noticed that there was no on-field interview with SS after the game.Kristina the Midget Sportsbabe is the one who conducts those interviews. Perhaps you didn't notice that she was apparently given the weekend off to make room for those Orioles announcers crowding their way onto the broadcast.

  77. MicheleS - May 21, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    On Kristina.. she is okay and asks some good questions , but what irritates me is when I turn on the MLB Network and AMBER is the one talking about the Nats. Sometimes we get FP, but what the HECK is Amber answering Nats questions for? Is she ever with the team?Off my rant now.

  78. natsfan1a - May 21, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  79. natsfan1a - May 21, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    Didn't notice that, but I only saw the one MASN broadcast on Friday, what with there being a Fox broadcast on Saturday and me being at the game on Sunday. Didn't watch pre- or postgame stuff on Friday, either.Perhaps you didn't notice that she was apparently given the weekend off to make room for those Orioles announcers crowding their way onto the broadcast.

  80. Ron In Reston - May 21, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    Don't know if this was ever posted about or not and I'm not going back to look at the game thread from Saturday, but anyone else hear Carpenter's wonderful Spoonerism when talking about the O's and Nats being 1 and 2 in wins when trailing after six innings?"Comeberferhind"It has become the new gibberish word for our house.

  81. peric - May 21, 2012 at 5:36 PM

    Danger boy thinks you should consider the sources sec3 and of course some clown had to follow you up natch? It's probably Batsjack or BinM but whatever.Like it or not pRAA clearly showed Lannan's effectiveness as a major league starter. As one of the worst starters in the MLB and looking at his record in AAA Syracuse? I guess it's pretty accurate. I still can't believe the ignoramuses who dared compare his poor pitching to that of EJax. Really low baseball IQ's.

  82. peric - May 21, 2012 at 5:47 PM

    Nats lady is right on with the bullpen. In fact that was my main argument for claiming that Mark was wrong in his ore season predictions. Because both HRod and Mattheus are so very young they are learning and should get better as the season progresses. The older veteran's tend to decline due to injuries from season's past. Plus they get Storen back at some point. And Lidge looks like a far larger risk and problem than is HRod.

  83. Section 222 - May 21, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    I didn't spend any time comparing, but I did check once yesterday when there was an O's-centric ad in between innings yesterday, showing old footage of Brooks and Frank Robinson, and there was a different ad on MASN2. So were there actually two different broadcasts over the weekend on MASN and MASN2, albeit with the same in game announcers? MASN was getting some grief for the broadcasts on the morning call in show on Sunday with Phil Wood (by the way, where's Feel Wood these days?), and he claimed they had received lots of positive comments. Meh.

  84. ehay2k - May 21, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    Amber? I am mercifuly unfamiliar. Kristina is a huge upgrade over Debbi Taylor, in my view.

  85. Section 222 - May 21, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    Agree that Kristina is an upgrade. Much more at ease and better questions. Amber is good too, probably better than both of them. She anchors O's Extras sometimes — but she's an Oriole's announcer. I wonder if Kristina will get to work the OPACY series.

  86. TimDz - May 21, 2012 at 6:19 PM

    NatsLady said:Davey as manager:(1) He talks too much. It was entirely reasonable to pull Stras after 5 innings, 90 pitches, when he had been on base twice, and with the lead. That's all he had to say. With the biceps addition all he did was cause nervous jitters in NatsTown and optimism in Atlanta._____________________________I kinda disagree with you on that one. Davey may want to cause a bit of "optimism" amongst the Atlanta brain-trust. I doubt that it is the first time that Davey has tossed a bit of subterfuge out there.So far, he has pushed mostly all the right buttons and is doing a wonderful job managing the team, both during the games and in the clubhouse…just M.H.O. though….

  87. baseballswami - May 21, 2012 at 6:27 PM

    Kristina actually comes close to asking uncomfortable questions at times. Not nasty or overly intrusive – but maybe the question the fans would like to have asked, but in a nice, smiley, pretty-girl kind of way. Not just " what was your approach?" or " what pitch were you looking for?". She's fine – I just wonder why all the men can look like crap but the female "journalists" have to be attractive.

  88. Theophilus T. S. - May 21, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    Complaint for no purpose, because I don't see any solution: Harper's on-the-job training adventures in CF are costing the Nats runs and games. I accept the possibility he is the CF of the future but at a rate of 30 errors in 150-game season he shouldn't be let out of LF until Spring Training, for his own safety.Unfortunately, there is no RH bat to put in CF until Werth comes back. A month ago I thought Perez might be a short-term answer but his EL numbers seem to show he can't even hit AA pitching.

  89. waddu eye no - May 21, 2012 at 6:42 PM

    "hopefully they don't throw any batteries or whatnot at me."wish i'd bought stock in eveready as soon as he said that.(don't know a manufacturer for whatnot)gyfng – and no rainout!

  90. NatsLady - May 21, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    TimDZ, thought the same after I posted. Could be on the subterfuge…

  91. Ann Ominous - May 21, 2012 at 6:57 PM

    So were there actually two different broadcasts over the weekend on MASN and MASN2, albeit with the same in game announcers?Depends how you define "broadcast." There were different pregame and postgame shows (Nats Xtra on MASN, O's Xtra on MASN2) and it sounds like there were different commercials too. But the actual game part, with the "one happy MASN family" broadcast booth, was the same on MASN and MASN2.As for Amber, the O's are not using a sideline reporter on their games this year, so it appears she has been re-engineered as an all-purpose MASN reporter covering both O's and Nats. MASN must not pay her enough either since she can also frequently be seen doing the weekend sports on Channel 4 news in DC – Lindsay Czarniak's old stomping ground.

  92. whatsanattau - May 21, 2012 at 6:59 PM

    She's fine – I just wonder why all the men can look like crap but the female "journalists" have to be attractive. –Two things. First, Byron Kerr says "your saying I look like crap"And, second [fill in the blank with any femail journalist] says "thank you."oh, and one more thing, sexist me says "yeah she is pretty attractive"

  93. Ann Ominous - May 21, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    "hopefully they don't throw any batteries or whatnot at me."Which hurts more, getting hit by a battery or getting hit by a whatnot? I know throwing a battery can get you tossed out of a ballpark (although maybe not in Philly) but how about throwing a whatnot? Does it matter that there's nothing in the ballpark rules forbidding fans from bringing in a whatnot?And of course the big question. Would Philly fans actually throw a whatnot at Santa Claus?

  94. carolync - May 21, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    natsfan1a:Thanks so much for posting the article on Dmitri Young. He looks great; has lost a ton of weight and so probably has his diabetes under control. I wish they would bring him in as hitting coach. He was some kind of situational hitter even if he was in the twilight of his career when he played for us. I loved to watch him hit.

  95. joe9 - May 21, 2012 at 7:10 PM

    I don't know whether anyone picked up on this but there was one of those DC beauty shots that MASN does just before the start of an inning yesterday. Jim Hunter helpfully commented on the view of the Capitol from down Capitol Street. It was, of course, Pennsylvania Avenue. A street that actually exists in Washington, D.C. Please get these Baltimore jokers off of my TV.

  96. natsfan1a - May 21, 2012 at 7:16 PM

    Neither. The winner is getting hit *in* the whatnot.Which hurts more, getting hit by a battery or getting hit by a whatnot?

  97. A DC Wonk - May 21, 2012 at 7:16 PM

    Harper's on-the-job training adventures in CF are costing the Nats runs and games.Has he cost them any games? As for the runs that were his fault yesterday — he made up for it by driving in two and scoring one.I'm guessing he was CF yesterday because Moore was in LF. But when Ankiel plays, Harper is in LR or RF, isn't he? (btw: Harper's last eight games: .290/.371/.613)

  98. NCNatsie - May 21, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    I didin't think the MASN combo-coverage worked very well. Too much courtesy and not enough incisiveness. Plus, our guys really are better than theirs.

  99. A DC Wonk - May 21, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    >Please get these Baltimore jokers off of my TV. Yet another lasting legacy gift from Peter Angelos.

  100. natsfan1a - May 21, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    I don't know, I think that looks are taken into consideration for tv personalities of either sex. That said, your color commentators may be another story in some cases, being former players and all. (Oh hi, FP. Present company excepted, of course. :-))She's fine – I just wonder why all the men can look like crap but the female "journalists" have to be attractive.

  101. natsfan1a - May 21, 2012 at 7:20 PM

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

    You're welcome, Carolyn. He does look great.

  103. Ann Ominous - May 21, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    NCNatsie said… I didin't think the MASN combo-coverage worked very well. Too much courtesy and not enough incisiveness. Plus, our guys really are better than theirs.The O's sent their B team announcers. Their A team of Gary Thorne and Jim Palmer is arguably better than Carpenter/F.P.

  104. Feel Wood - May 21, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    I don't know, I think that looks are taken into consideration for tv personalities of either sex.You're right about that. For instance, when they ran the focus groups 60% of the people laughed at my brother's haircut while only 40% were frightened by it. If that ratio had been flipped, he probably wouldn't have a job.

  105. Marty - May 21, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    Any new news on DeRosa? The last article I saw (maybe 3 days ago) quoted Davey as saying he thought DeRosa was a week away.I can't help but think that having DeRosa back gives Davey a bit more flexibility with playing Lombo more.So DeRosa comes back and Moore gets sent down. Morse comes back and Xavier goes? Lidge comes back and Perry gets sent back down?

  106. A DC Wonk - May 21, 2012 at 7:34 PM

    He was some kind of situational hitter even if he was in the twilight of his career when he played for us. I loved to watch him hit. I have a memory of taking the family to see a game when he was in the middle of a hot streak. He was hitting over .333 at the time.The Nats were down two, and Ryan Z was on first. Young hit a triple . . . he was chugging around those bases pretty hard. Then Kearns followed with a sac fly, and Young tagged up to score. Fun to watch. Young was giving his all, and the game was tied 2-2.But, alas, Ayala gave up two, and Nats lost 4-2.And you know what? The hitting back then was way worse than now. Other than Young and Belliard (hitting .282), nobody else was hitting above RZimm's .252. Nook Logan was the leadoff guy (.217). Fick started in LF (.210), Langerhans (.179) PH in the game. FLop (.236) was at SS.D'mitri was carrying the offense during that period of time.

  107. A DC Wonk - May 21, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    I can't help but think that having DeRosa back gives Davey a bit more flexibility with playing Lombo more.How would that work?

  108. Eugene in Oregon - May 21, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    peric: Fair enough. And my main interest was getting him (the pro-Riggleman fellow) and the — to me, but perhaps not to others — historical discussion off the game thread. Moving on……to a different subject, I just read through the Boswell chat. Kudos to whomever posted the comment to the effect the progression/regression/renewed progression cycle of O's such as Messrs. Jones, Wieters, and Markakis is a useful lesson for Nats fans. To me the jury remains out on whether Danny Espinosa's 'slump' is (a) simply a slump; (b) his norm; or (c) evidence of a fixable problem that needs 'treatment' in AAA. Mr. Espinosa is now nearing 1000 PAs and has over 800 ABs. Batting left-handed he's got 724 PAs and 637 ABs, and a slash line of .218/.302/.380. In many fewer ABs (only 181) as a right-handed hitter he's at .271/.354/.497. If the Nats' brain trust needs another 200 ABs to come to a decision, fine. But I do hope we see Steve Lombardozzi getting more and more chances to prove himself as a starter, whether at 2B or LF (and not because someone else gets hurt).

  109. NCNatsie - May 21, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    Thanks, Ann. Thorne and Palmer are top tier. Didn't realize that's what had happened. But in a way that only strengthens my other point — don't do the combo. Obviously it must save MASN money (why else would they do it?) so there's probably no hope to change the policy, but I'm just sayin'.

  110. Marty - May 21, 2012 at 7:54 PM

    @A DC Wonk – How would that work? I think it gives Davey a bit more freedom to play Lombo and still know that there is someone on the bench who can play 3rd base in a pinch.If DeRosa had been healthy when Zimmerman came back, I think Davey would have given Espinosa an off day sooner.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 77 56 --
ATLANTA 72 65 6.0
MIAMI 68 69 11.0
NEW YORK 64 73 14.0
PHILADELPHIA 62 74 15.5
Through Sunday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

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