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Game 44: Nats at Phillies

May 23, 2012, 7:47 PM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nats try to make it seven in a row at Citizens Bank Park.

PHILADELPHIA — Cole Hamels faces the Nationals tonight. The last time Cole Hamels faced the Nationals … well, you know what happened. Will there be any carryover tonight? The hunch here is that there won't be. Hamels clearly realizes he woke up a sleeping giant with his intentional plunking of Bryce Harper. And the Nats seem to realize they're much better off exacting their revenge on the scoreboard.

So they'll be going for their 10th win in their last 11 games against the Phillies, their seventh straight at Citizens Bank Park and their first three-game sweep of the season. They've actually had eight previous opportunities this season to finish off a sweep of a two-, three- or four-game series and have failed to do it each time. This will be opportunity No. 9.

The good news is the Nationals will have Ryan Zimmerman back in the lineup and at third base after he was held out by Davey Johnson last night with a recurrence of soreness in his right shoulder. In a bit of a surprise, Johnson isn't stacking his lineup with right-handed hitters against Hamels, though he tried a similar thing last time, citing the effectiveness of Hamels' changeup against righties.

A friendly reminder that tonight's game will be on ESPN2 … but you can only watch that broadcast if you live outside the MASN viewing area. Live updates and analysis to come, so please check back…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
Where: Citizens Bank Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, ESPN2 (outside D.C. area) MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 183
Weather: Scattered storms, 74 degrees, Wind 5 mph out to LF

NATIONALS (26-17)
2B Danny Espinosa
RF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche

Read more »

194 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. DCJohn - May 23, 2012 at 7:52 PM

    I told my wife that the triple by Harper off Halladay was the real start of the Harper Era. Tonight, we might see something special, again.

  2. do1teach1 - May 23, 2012 at 7:57 PM

    I think something VERY important just happened for the Nationals. Very important. In fact I think it is the most important thing that has happened all season.After years of worshiping the Pitch Count God (PCG) under Bishop Eckstein, Cardinal Johnson has formally issued the edict that the Washington Nationals shall swing the bat and quit watching strikes all day.Yesterday (22 May 2012 A.D.) at 508pm I posted this:do1teach1 said… I will be watching tonight to see if the Nats are determined to cut down on their K's, especially K's looking.Eckstein told me at a fan event that the reason he wants guys watching lots of pitches, even strikes, against Halladay, is to tire Halladay out and get into the bullpen. He told me flatly, "You're not going to beat Roy Halladay."Meantime, Davey has said this team "watches too many strikes."Tonight I think we'll see which philosophy is winning out: the belief in watching lots and lots of strikes to increase pitch count, or the belief in being men and hitting the GD baseball.(END OF YESTERDAY’S POST)As I watched the game last night I was shocked (and overjoyed) at how aggressive the Nats were at the plate. They seemed to believe, contrary to what Eckstein told me, that they COULD beat Roy Halladay.Adam Kilgore wrote, “They attacked him early in the count, not allowing him to dice them with his arsenal of sinkers, cutters, sliders and change-ups, all of which look the same until they dart a few feet in front of the plate. Eight of their nine hits came within the first three pitches of an at-bat, four on the very first pitch.”DJ said, after praising Halladay, that if you face him, “You better be up there swinging.”I think this is a gigantic change in philosophy. For years, as we have risen in team strikeouts to lead the entire NL, Eckstein has told hitters to wait for that perfect pitch, drive up the pitch count, and try to get in the opposition’s bullpen. Now it appears Davey Johnson has changed the approach to “be aggressive and put the baseball in play.”Harper clearly doesn’t give a damn about pitch count; he’s up there to do damage. Same for Lombardozzi—in 93 plate appearances he has 6 walks and 5 K’s. If Lombo were a PCG sheeple he would have 20 K’s and the undying adoration of Eckstein.With the new philosophy we can go deep into the playoffs. If we return to PCG worship, we will not make the playoffs at all.

  3. Bigfish - May 23, 2012 at 8:03 PM

    What do1teach1 sez. Swing the damn bat.

  4. Doc - May 23, 2012 at 8:06 PM

    It will be interesting to see if Hole Camels…er,..Cole Hamels goes after Oppo Boppo. I think not. I do think that our guy will get some hits.

  5. baseballswami - May 23, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    I have heard FP say – when you make contact, good things can happen. Especially when there is someone on third, a productive out can score the run. If they have to make an out, it needs to be productive in some way. They either get a look at all of the pitches by taking a lot of them, or they make some kind of contact. Sometimes it looks like they are just making it way too easy on the opposing pitcher. I like the concept of being a tough out. One thing you can say about Lombardozzi – he makes a lot of contact. Seems like the younger guys do well when they get here and then they fall into the Nats mentality after a while. I hope they don't.

  6. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 23, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    apologies if this has already been mentioned: Tigers DFA Balester

  7. bowdenball - May 23, 2012 at 8:12 PM

    "Swing the damn bat" is great against Halladay. Less so against guys that walk batters regularly. Take a look back through the stats of past seasons, and you'll see that the teams that lead the league in walks are almost always the teams that go to the playoffs. It's not a coincidence.The right way to approach a plate appearance depends on the pitcher, period. A team should never have a rule or philosophy to be aggressive regardless of who is on the mound.

  8. SweetBlues - May 23, 2012 at 8:20 PM

    TeachOne is right. get on base. As many as they leave stranded, they need more chances.

  9. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 23, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    Hamels clearly realizes he woke up a sleeping giant with his intentional plunking of Bryce Harper.Or perhaps called up something he could not put back down. That's Lesson One from the Really Old School.

  10. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 23, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    The right way to approach a plate appearance depends on the pitcher, period. A team should never have a rule or philosophy to be aggressive regardless of who is on the mound.Agree in part and disagree in part–the pitcher, yes, but also, you have to lead with your particular strengths, not just his weaknesses. As The Ghost has been saying, among others, they need a plan for each at-bat. I maintain "see the ball, hit the ball" is not a plan. Unless you're Vladimir Guerrero, who could hit pretty much anything he could reach.

  11. freshee - May 23, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    Agreed with bowdenball. Just get on base. I don't have the stats so I can't be sure, but the best strategy for getting on base would seem to be pitcher specific. With pitchers like Halladay, Zimmermann and Buehrle it's swining. With pitchers like Darvish, Wilson and (sometimes) Gio, it's waiting for them to beat you.

  12. Gonat - May 23, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    When I see Xavier Nady starting in LF it makes me miss Michael Morse even more. Morse kills Philly pitching. I remember last year when he took Hamels oppo for a HR early last year.In 2011, Beast hit HRs off of Hamels, Oswalt and Halladay. In 2005, Morse's 1st career HR was off of Phillie's Ryan Madson who was a set-up man back then.

  13. joemktg - May 23, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    Getting to the point where Lombo needs to be in the lineup each game. The kid is seeing the ball well, hitting .381 over his last 10 games, and has a .389 OBP. Would like to see him tested on a daily basis.Even if he slows down a bit at the plate, he still has a shot at ROY honors. Got to give him that opportunity.

  14. baseballswami - May 23, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    Are Morse and Storen in Florida? I think we lose track when the team goes on the road. Hoping that Morse is headed to a rehab assignment very soon. My guess is he will skip the lower levels and go straight to syracuse? Mark – let us know when you get the straight skinny so that we can make travel plans! I can't tell you how much I miss seeing the regular guys – Storen, Morse, Werth, Ramos – it just doesn't seem right. I love what some of the kids are doing, but the outfield is some kind of adventure every night. We should have a daily game called " guess tonight's outfield"

  15. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 23, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    Gonat, not that the 2012 version of Nady is particularly relevant but he hits Philly lifetime at .320 with a .370 OBP

  16. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 23, 2012 at 8:46 PM

    Interestingly If Hamals slips and actually accidently hits Harper in the first, I bet you he gets tossed (accident or no accident).Lets get the broom out and use it this time.

  17. JaneB - May 23, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    I'm disappointed that Lombo isn't in tonight…based on nothing but that I like him. And his batting average. Of course, I always want my guys to win. But tonight, I REALLY want them to win. From the start. A no-doubt-about-it-goodnight-Colbert kind of win. Though I'll take any kind of win. I'm curious to know if Morse is in Viera, too.GYFNG!

  18. JD - May 23, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    soul possession, Exactly right. Haladay is like Greg Maddux. Once he got ahead of you he had you and he was always around the plate so the best way to approach him was to be aggressive. This does not mean that you swing at a pitcher's pitches out of the strike zone because then you are getting yourself out.

  19. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 23, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    Gonat, I guess I see your point, Nady lifetime vs Hamels is .000 0-6 with a K.

  20. Adam - May 23, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    Bummed the game is on ESPN – those announcers make Carp sound like Vin Scully.

  21. bowdenball - May 23, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    Lombo lovers-He's really not very good against lefties. You can maybe make an argument for him over Nady in LF if you truly hate Nady I guess but it's not like we're sitting an offensive powerhouse once you consider which side of the mound the pitches are coming from. Espinosa at 2B is definitely the correct move.

  22. psp8517 - May 23, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    If the pitcher is gonna throw strikes, you have to get your bat off your shoulder. Watching pitches only works when the pitcher is having troubles hitting the zone. Davey's approach to Halladay took away Halladay's ability to get ahead in the count and make guys swing at balls. Same strategy should work against Hamels tonight.

  23. Gonat - May 23, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… Gonat, I guess I see your point, Nady lifetime vs Hamels is .000 0-6 with a K. May 23, 2012 4:49 PM ________________________Steve, yes, that was more my point. I know Lombo doesn't hit righty as well as lefty but if Lombo is going to be here long term, it would be good to get him some ABs against aces like Hamels.Here's hoping XNady does something great tonight.

  24. erocks33 - May 23, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    Did anyone else notice that Espi started choking up on the bat last night, particularly when he had two strikes on him? FINALLY!! That's one of the easiest ways to cut back on the strikeouts. Hope this is something that he continues to do. Just put the ball in play!!

  25. natsfan1a - May 23, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    A win against Mr. Nouveau Old School would be awesome. Go, Edwin! Go, BATS!! Go, NATS!!

  26. JD - May 23, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    Steve, I almost understand Nady in against a lefty but why is Ankiel in the lineup?

  27. Gonat - May 23, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    Adam said… Bummed the game is on ESPN – those announcers make Carp sound like Vin Scully. May 23, 2012 4:50 PM ________________________I believe in the DC area ESPN is blacked out and we get Carp and FP on MASN

  28. JD - May 23, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    0 for 6 is not a relevant sample size anyway. Heck; Ankiel is 4 for 10 lifetime against Hammels but this is not meaningful either.

  29. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 23, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    JD, its because Ankiel has great numbers vs Hamels with a .400 BA and 1.255 OP5

  30. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 23, 2012 at 9:04 PM

    Young rookie getting off to a slow, 0-for-ever start, starting to feel pretty bad about it. The old manager comes over, puts his arm around the kid's shoulder, and says gently, "You want that first hit pretty bad, don't you, son?""Yes, sir, I do," the rookie admits."THEN SWING AT [EFFING] STRIKES!!!" the manager says.

  31. Gonat - May 23, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    JD said… Steve,I almost understand Nady in against a lefty but why is Ankiel in the lineup? May 23, 2012 4:59 PM _____________________________Using the small samples, Ankiel does well against Hamels. Go figure

  32. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 23, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    4 for 10 is very relevant, because in 10 ABs he's probably seen the full repertoire, and he probably remembers what he hit, and what he did to get the hits, and the simple fact that he's had repeated success, not just one or two lucky bounces. Which matters. "Small sample size" is important in fantasy baseball. In any given AB, it's totally irrelevant. You play the game one pitch at a time.

  33. JD - May 23, 2012 at 9:11 PM

    Soul, 4 for 10 over 5 years means nothing. 4 hits does not represent 'repeated success'. How do you know that 3 of these hits weren't bloopers?

  34. Doc - May 23, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    Over the past few years, the Yanks and Red Sox have had lineups that went deep into the count, and arguably were amongst the best hitting teams in MLB.Could be that the Nats don't have that kind of talent???? Although, I don't think, as time goes by, that Harper won't do anything but frequently go deep in the count. Successful hitting is all about finding a pitch that you can drive.

  35. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 23, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    Because I saw them, for one thing, but you're missing the point.

  36. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 23, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    JD, don't shoot the messenger (wink). I go Lombo, Ank, Harper and just hope that Nady turns that 0-fer into something with Positivity

  37. joemktg - May 23, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    Lombo has only 19 ABs vs. LHs this year. Enough evidence to sit him against leftys? I thought I heard FP last night mention a potential platoon between Lombo and Espy. Two switch hitters platooning? Look: if Lombo proves over 50 or so ABs vs. LHs that he's not performing, OK. But he needs the opportunity to prove that he can. Hey: they're giving Espy opportunities to get out of this year long slump…

  38. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 23, 2012 at 9:17 PM

    A hit = success. Four hits = success + success + success + success. That' "success" repeated four times. And they are all line drives in the box score. That's why baseball is the perfect game.But as I said, the point is that Ankiel knows he can hit Hamels. He's likely to be confident. And sample size doesn't matter, because he's only likely to get a few at bats, at most, tonight, against Hamels anyway. So sample size is totally beside the point. Just like Hamels knows he can get Ankiel out. It's not "compared to perfect," it's "compared to the alternative." Davey can't play people who aren't on the roster.

  39. MicheleS - May 23, 2012 at 9:18 PM

    I would like another win just like last nights. Boom sticks out for the Nats Hitters and drill it where the Phillies ain't playing. A short outing for COLBERT. BamBam gets his revenge (again) and just runs wild!

  40. Section 222 - May 23, 2012 at 9:21 PM

    We're seeing Hamels again, only two and a half weeks after that Sunday night game. Could that mean that the first time through the lineup won't be like most first times through the lineup? I'm really hoping Harper does some damage to Mr. Old School tonight. A couple of shots into Harper Valley, or beyond, would be just great.

  41. joemktg - May 23, 2012 at 9:21 PM

    You can go deep into a count if you can hit with two strikes. There's the problem with the Nats and building pitch counts: issues hitting with two strikes. Ranked #23 2012 YTD, finished ranked #24 in 2011, #28 in 2010.

  42. Gonat - May 23, 2012 at 9:23 PM

    joemktg said… Lombo has only 19 ABs vs. LHs this year. Enough evidence to sit him against leftys? I thought I heard FP last night mention a potential platoon between Lombo and Espy. Two switch hitters platooning? Look: if Lombo proves over 50 or so ABs vs. LHs that he's not performing, OK. But he needs the opportunity to prove that he can. Hey: they're giving Espy opportunities to get out of this year long slump… May 23, 2012 5:15 PM _________________________________That was my point. Lombo is under team control for the rest of this season plus 5 more years and needs RH at-bats. Nady is here for as long as he stays on the roster only this year. My thinking is Lombo gets the start as Nady is 0-6 in a small sample size and Lombo could use the experience and I believe will do more than Nady.I guess this is why we watch the game. Nady better prove Davey right!!!!

  43. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 23, 2012 at 9:25 PM

    OK, GYFNG, TTMP, and BBL. Here's to the prestigious old-school sweep.

  44. JaneB - May 23, 2012 at 9:27 PM

    Gonat said:I believe in the DC area ESPN is blacked out and we get Carp and FP on MASNWE WIN! But I'm glad our Imaginary Friends outside the area get to see a game. And how cool is it that the Nats are the game again on Sunday? People are noticing.

  45. MicheleS - May 23, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    Sofa… TTPM? BBL? I missed those I get the Tick Tock part, but PM?

  46. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 23, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    I can't stand MNOS. Mr. Neveau Old Schools needs a good whippin' behind the woodshed tonight.

  47. Gonat - May 23, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  48. bowdenball - May 23, 2012 at 9:31 PM

    joemktg said…Lombo has only 19 ABs vs. LHs this year. Enough evidence to sit him against leftys?My argument was not that he's always going to be terrible against lefties. It was more that you can't argue that he has earned increased playing time this year and therefore should start today, because (unlike Espi) he hasn't earned it with a lefty on the mound. Small difference, but a difference.

  49. Gonat - May 23, 2012 at 9:31 PM

    JaneB, great point. Media coverage of the Nats is huge when they do well.

  50. NatsLady - May 23, 2012 at 9:38 PM

    Just had an intense thunderstorm here (in Baileys Crossroads). Hope if one happens in Filly they don't try to play through it. I wonder if the umps got flack/feedback on the Strasburg game.

  51. joemktg - May 23, 2012 at 9:39 PM

    bowdenball said…It was more that you can't argue that he has earned increased playing time this year and therefore should start today, because (unlike Espi) he hasn't earned it with a lefty on the mound. _________________________________________I think Espi has lost his earnings vs. RHs (.198 so far in 2012, down from a smoldering .223 last year). So perhaps Lombo hasn't earned it with a lefty on the mound: seemingly Espi has lost it with a righty on the bump.

  52. baseballswami - May 23, 2012 at 9:40 PM

    Mark – thanks for the answer about Morse on twitter – He IS in Viera, rehab assignment next week and on target for June 8th – I miss his bat and his smile and his absolute joy on the field.

  53. hiramhover - May 23, 2012 at 9:41 PM

    On Lombo vs. leftiesTo repeat something I posted the other day:Lombo was bad enough vs. lefties during his early years in the minors that in 2011 Baseball Prospectus suggested he was a "SHINO"–switch hitter in name only. His splits were much better in the minors in 2011, but don't look look that good in limited ABs in the majors.None of this is determinative of future success, as bowdenball says, but it does provide some basis for the decision.

  54. NatsLady - May 23, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    Watched a little of the Mets game. They mentioned that the Pirates ratio of strikeouts to walks is 4:1. That's never happened for a full season. The worst was 3.2:1 for the 1968 Mets (I think). Curious, what is the Nats ratio? I know we strike out a lot.BTW, the team best at taking walks is–you guessed it–Manny Acta's Indians. They preach plate discipline, plate discipline, plate discipline over there. Are "aggression" and "plate discipline" mutually exclusive?

  55. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 23, 2012 at 9:53 PM

    Media coverage on the flagship station still sucks, and I write them every day. Lavar Dukes almost never speak a word about the Nats. Lets get Phil Wood on instead, that would be a better afternoon show.

  56. NatsLady - May 23, 2012 at 10:02 PM

    Manassas, not to defend them but they had a long interview/Q&A with Mike Rizzo this morning, and apparently that's a regular thing.

  57. Faraz Shaikh - May 23, 2012 at 10:02 PM

    I thought we could watch ESPN games no matter where we live because I watched the previous Nationals game on ESPN without any issues.

  58. natsfan1a - May 23, 2012 at 10:13 PM

    Not sure why this was the case, FS, but MASN did not air the prior ESPN game. It was on ESPN only, so local people watched it on that channel. Tonight MASN is airing it, so you can watch it there if you're local. If you're not local, it's on ESPN2. Does that make sense? If so, good, because now I'm confused. :-)

  59. natsfan1a - May 23, 2012 at 10:13 PM

    In other news, why the heck is Google asking me to add my mobile phone number, which I have no intention of doing? Does that mean my account was hacked?

  60. Faraz Shaikh - May 23, 2012 at 10:19 PM

    no it was not. you can skip this step. they ask me the same question from time to time, I never put it there.thanks for espn info. I was excited that I could watch this game on espn360, guess not.

  61. mick - May 23, 2012 at 10:21 PM

    If Hammel hits are boy, I would love to see a good old fashion bench clearing brawl, lol

  62. Sue Dominus - May 23, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    Faraz Shaikh said… I thought we could watch ESPN games no matter where we live because I watched the previous Nationals game on ESPN without any issues.The Sunday night ESPN game operates under different rules than the Monday and Wednesday ESPN games. The Sunday night game is like the Fox Saturday game – total national blackout of any other game broadcast at that time. For the Mon/Wed ESPN game, as well as MLB Network games, the competing teams' local broadcasts black out the national broadcast.

  63. mick - May 23, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    If Hammel hits are boy, I would love to see a good old fashion bench clearing brawl, lol

  64. NatsLady - May 23, 2012 at 10:28 PM

    It's possible that the ump's will issue warnings before the game, which would mean automatic ejections for the pitcher and the manager even if it's "not intentional." Problem is, that takes away the inside brushback pitch.Colbert's fine was $500K. He doesn't figure to do it again–can you imagine saying to your wife I blew $1 million dollars to teach some kid what "old school baseball" is? Also, ya gotta love Rizzo for making sure JZ didn't get fined.

  65. A DC Wonk - May 23, 2012 at 10:31 PM

    If Hammel hits are boy, I would love to see a good old fashion bench clearing brawl, lol No need — Hammel _and_ Manuel will get thrown out immediately.BTW, I'm sure this must have been mentioned somewhere, but I haven't seen it yet: when was the last time a teenager had three triples?Also: has any other teenager gotten three triples before his 100th plate appearance?Stat of the day: Bryce is _4th_ on the team in total bases.(And he has more sac flies (one) than Ankiel + Nady + Bernadina put together . . . just sayin')

  66. MicheleS - May 23, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    I love listening to JZ's Wisconsin accent. Make's me miss home.

  67. A DC Wonk - May 23, 2012 at 10:35 PM

    Does anybody else think that Hamels respects Harper. Whatever warped view of "old school" that Hamels happens to have — I'm sure it includes "stealing home on a pitcher that just hit you."I think Hamels was saying (with his pitch): "take, that, rookie, welcome to the bigs, teenager". And Harper, with his steal said, "thanks for the welcome to the bigs, now, take _that_ Mr Old School."I think Hamels finished that inning thinking: "d@mn, that kid _is_ good."

  68. MicheleS - May 23, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    Wonk.. I think the enitre Phllies team is thinking the "d@mn, that kid _is_ good." I heard Charlie on the radio the last few days and he certainly has that view and he also loves GIO (but then who doesn't).

  69. MicheleS - May 23, 2012 at 10:43 PM

    From Kilgore…Adam Kilgore‏@AdamKilgoreWPKeep Mark DeRosa in your thoughts. His father is sick, not doing well. "That’s too real for me right now," he said.

  70. Eugene in Oregon - May 23, 2012 at 10:46 PM

    NatsLady – $500,000? Really? You're sure that's not $50,000.

  71. Faraz Shaikh - May 23, 2012 at 10:48 PM

    that was funny, NatsLady.and thanks Sue.

  72. Steady Eddie - May 23, 2012 at 10:48 PM

    Wonk — there was a story today, I think on McPaper's website (can't find it now), in which they interviewed Hamels and he said essentially what you just did about Harp. The theme of the piece was the Phillies' "respect" for Harp. What person who genuinely loves baseball WOULDN'T respect Harp? He's already earned it.

  73. NatsLady - May 23, 2012 at 10:50 PM

    It was on the radio–including the comment about the wife and the $1 million… Of course, I dunno if you can trust the radio.

  74. NatsLady - May 23, 2012 at 10:56 PM

    Here is an article that mentions the amount of Colbert's fine. "Nearly $400,00" and you have to add the amount of pay he lost from his $15million salary.hamels fined/suspendedhttp://realsportgeek.wordpress.com/2012/05/08/cole-hamels-finedsuspended/

  75. NatsLady - May 23, 2012 at 10:56 PM

    Make that "nearly $400,000"

  76. Gonat - May 23, 2012 at 11:02 PM

    CARP, there was no mind-reading taking place as Hamels admitted he purposely threw at Bryce.

  77. Gonat - May 23, 2012 at 11:07 PM

    Xavier Nady has been around so long that he actually hit against Rick Ankiel and was 1-1 and Nady took many AL hacks against Gio Gonzalez and bats .600 against Gio.

  78. Eugene in Oregon - May 23, 2012 at 11:11 PM

    Wow. That certainly falls into the 'significant deterrent' category (even for an MLB player with a multi-million dollar contract). I gotta wonder, though, if it's true. The article isn't particularly well sourced and a quick check didn't reveal any more-authoritative reports to that effect. I'd take that number with a big, big grain of salt.

  79. Gonat - May 23, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    Faraz Shaikh said… I thought we could watch ESPN games no matter where we live because I watched the previous Nationals game on ESPN without any issues. May 23, 2012 6:02 PM ___________________________Only when MASN isn't broadcasting. FOX Saturday I know takes precendence and I believe ESPN Sunday Night takes precedence.

  80. MicheleS - May 23, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    Wait.. Did Danny just walk? Are the Mayans around again??

  81. NatsLady - May 23, 2012 at 11:13 PM

    Eugene, true on the article, it was just the first one I grabbed from a search engine. Nevertheless, I wouldn't be surprised someone leaked the amount

  82. Candide - May 23, 2012 at 11:14 PM

    Okay, they're not all Philthy. When Harper was announced, amid the booing, there was a fat guy sitting on the 1B side wearing a "P" t-shirt, and he was applauding.

  83. Gonat - May 23, 2012 at 11:14 PM

    Espi should have been tagging on that shot to left with Pierre's weak arm. Opportunity missed there.

  84. NatsJack in Florida - May 23, 2012 at 11:15 PM

    If you are out of market like me and have Directv, you get all the feeds except for Saturday Fox and Sunday night ESPN.

  85. Gonat - May 23, 2012 at 11:15 PM

    OK, he stole it.

  86. MicheleS - May 23, 2012 at 11:15 PM

    Wait.. Espi is on second base??? Mayans are at work. here.

  87. MicheleS - May 23, 2012 at 11:16 PM

    Lombo should be playing third tonight.. ;-)

  88. Gonat - May 23, 2012 at 11:24 PM

    Wow, 4 pitch walk to start the game. smh

  89. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - May 23, 2012 at 11:26 PM

    Advantage, Harper. Nice throw, kid.

  90. Gonat - May 23, 2012 at 11:26 PM

    Bryce Harper threw a rope to LaRoche. Glove didn't move

  91. Candide - May 23, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    Way to suck the air out of the Phans.

  92. Gonat - May 23, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    Jackson is missing 2 to 3 gloves

  93. NatsLady - May 23, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    Harper– double play!!!! He learned that from Werth!!!

  94. NatsLady - May 23, 2012 at 11:29 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  95. Gonat - May 23, 2012 at 11:30 PM

    Thank you Pence. Swinging on 3-0. That had the makings of a large pitch count inning. Faces the minimum.I'm sure you all realize they moved up Pence to 3rd and Victorino back to 5th.EJax faced the minimum number of batters in the 1st.

  96. ehay2k - May 23, 2012 at 11:33 PM

    Oh, the phans must be posting bile already. Double play on a hit and run. I guess they thought Harper would misplay it.

  97. Gonat - May 23, 2012 at 11:34 PM

    Hamels set Ankiel up with that high fastball out of the zone and Ank obliged him with a swing & miss strikeout.

  98. JaneB - May 23, 2012 at 11:38 PM

    Gonat — fun link! We've been all Nats, all the time for a while. I'm glad others are now, too! Thanks!

  99. Joe Seamhead - May 23, 2012 at 11:51 PM

    Lombo can't hit LH's? Oh, blah, blah, blah. For two years I heard that MM couldn't hit RH's as he repeatedly got double switched. Poppycock, I say, poppycock! Show us that he can't before you just say it.

  100. Unknown - May 24, 2012 at 12:00 AM

    Davey is a G

  101. TheNatsMovement - May 24, 2012 at 12:01 AM

    Davey Johnson ran the catcher, so Harper could lead off the next inning, because harper was having a bad at bat. That is quick and smart thinking.

  102. Gonat - May 24, 2012 at 12:05 AM

    Hoping EJax finds his delivery. How long before Flores or McCatty take a trip to the mound?

  103. baseballswami - May 24, 2012 at 12:08 AM

    I have noticed that McCatty doesn't go to the mound very much. The reason I have noticed is that some of the other pitching coaches beat a path out there. Was it the Orioles series that they were having tea parties out there? Is this going to be another one of those games where we have to pray for a very long time into the game that we don't get no-hit? Please, no. Especially not in CB and by Hamels. That would just suck really badly.

  104. MicheleS - May 24, 2012 at 12:09 AM

    Gonat.. Agree.. Ejax.. not hitting his spots tonight.

  105. Gonat - May 24, 2012 at 12:09 AM

    EJax has nothing and the good hitters are just going with singles. When opposing pitchers have nothing, the Nats batters try to hit HRs and strike out.Still, no McCatty or Flores to the mound to calm him down.

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

    Lucky to be down only 2-0. Wiggington was going for 3 run jack and ended up with warning track.This is what is so disappointing with EJax. Very inconsistent as a pitcher.

  107. Eugene in Oregon - May 24, 2012 at 12:13 AM

    Mark Z. @ 8:00 p.m.,I think TheNatsMovement at 8:01 p.m. has it right.

  108. Gonat - May 24, 2012 at 12:16 AM

    Bryce is in Hamels head. I love it. FP and Carp talking old school and mocking Hamels.

  109. Gonat - May 24, 2012 at 12:17 AM

    Harper did what Espinosa needed to do in the 1st inning.

  110. Joe Seamhead - May 24, 2012 at 12:20 AM

    Oh,my, he just did it twice! Hey, Kid,wadda ya say, Kid?

  111. Gonat - May 24, 2012 at 12:21 AM

    These Philthie fans groan at any pitch called a ball that isn't 5 balls off the plate.

  112. Faraz Shaikh - May 24, 2012 at 12:23 AM

    let's not get no-hit by Hamels please.

  113. baseballswami - May 24, 2012 at 12:23 AM

    Heck with the pitching – we need a darn hit!!!!!

  114. baseballswami - May 24, 2012 at 12:24 AM

    FS — seriously.

  115. Eugene in Oregon - May 24, 2012 at 12:27 AM

    Did anyone notice that Cole Hamels has a no-hitter going?

  116. Candide - May 24, 2012 at 12:29 AM

    Carp and FP noticed.

  117. Candide - May 24, 2012 at 12:31 AM

    Hamels is in too much of a rhythm. Nats batters need to call time now and then, disrupt things a bit. Guy looks too comfortable out there.

  118. Fear and Ignorance - May 24, 2012 at 12:32 AM

    Bryce is in Hamels head so much that he is throwing a no-hitter on his way to a 7-1 record…after he shut us down on Sunday Night Baseball.

  119. Eugene in Oregon - May 24, 2012 at 12:33 AM

    Not that I'm superstitious or anything. But it's still going. I've wondered a few times this year which comes first: one of the Nats pitchers throwing a no-no or the hitters being no-hit.

  120. Joe Seamhead - May 24, 2012 at 12:35 AM

    OK, that's just quite enough of that stuff. Score some runs! Of course Colbert can not be allowed a no-no against us.Score some runs, darn it!Well now, Harper made that interesting!

  121. baseballswami - May 24, 2012 at 12:36 AM

    Did we notice? OK – here's my off- the-wall theory. If he does, it's just a loss and the Phils will still be in last place. Then, Hamels price as a free agent will sky-rocket and he will leave the NLEast to go to the Yankees or RedSox. then we won't face him for another 3 years. That being said – GO NATS- HIT THE FREAKING BALL!! Why is it that a 19 year old has the most professional at bats on the team??? Put Lombardozzi in – he usually makes contact! They are barely even making him work for it. Sheesh.

  122. joemktg - May 24, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    I don't think Pence blinks his eyes.

  123. baseballswami - May 24, 2012 at 12:38 AM

    ok , let's get serious here. JINX JINX JINX – no hitter no hitter no hitter no hitter. JINX JINX JINX

  124. MicheleS - May 24, 2012 at 12:39 AM

    I am jinking the no hitter as well!

  125. Eugene in Oregon - May 24, 2012 at 12:39 AM

    Sure would be nice if Mr. Jackson could break up that NO HITTER THAT HAMELS IS THROWING. Baseball gods — you listening?

  126. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 24, 2012 at 12:41 AM

    Michele said…Sofa… TTPM? BBL? I missed those I get the Tick Tock part, but PM?Michele, that's TTMP. The P is for the "Phillies f".and BBL is Be Back Later. It's later now.And WTH? They're letting Colbert get away with this? What happened to Plans?

  127. Candide - May 24, 2012 at 12:42 AM

    You guys know you're not supposed to mention that a pitcher has a no-hitter going, right? Because it's bad luck.[/sarcasm]

  128. MicheleS - May 24, 2012 at 12:43 AM

    Thank you Danny!

  129. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 24, 2012 at 12:44 AM

    OK, I'm taking credit for that.

  130. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - May 24, 2012 at 12:44 AM

    Thank you, Espi. Can we now get serious with Mr. Good-Looking, and knock this chump out of the game?

  131. Candide - May 24, 2012 at 12:44 AM

    See? I told you.

  132. Eugene in Oregon - May 24, 2012 at 12:44 AM

    Nope, Candide. Never heard that before. Never.

  133. Faraz Shaikh - May 24, 2012 at 12:44 AM

    Yes, Danny boy!

  134. Gonat - May 24, 2012 at 12:45 AM

    What was Bo thinking there with Zim on deck and 1 out?

  135. Faraz Shaikh - May 24, 2012 at 12:45 AM

    come on!

  136. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 24, 2012 at 12:46 AM

    OK, Bo, not on Pence. Altho, if Danny slides headfirst, away, he gets in.

  137. MicheleS - May 24, 2012 at 12:46 AM

    Gonat.. I think FP agrees with you.

  138. ehay2k - May 24, 2012 at 12:46 AM

    Agreed. That was Pence, not Pierre. No reason to send him with one out.

  139. ehay2k - May 24, 2012 at 12:47 AM

    Yep cost us a run.

  140. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - May 24, 2012 at 12:48 AM

    I think you've got to be half Nyjer Morgan-crazy to slide headfirst into home with a catcher like Ruiz blocking the plate. That's two months on the DL … not worth it even if he makes it.

  141. Joe Seamhead - May 24, 2012 at 12:49 AM

    Dumb move,Bo, even if the ump blew the call. You stay at third on the short of a hit Bo Porter.

  142. Gonat - May 24, 2012 at 12:49 AM

    Bo rarely makes a mistake. It happens.

  143. baseballswami - May 24, 2012 at 12:50 AM

    Well – we did jinx it! Except for the whole Danny thing, and well, Bo -why did you do it? well, Davey likes agressiveness and then Zim hit – oh, dear. ALR has cooled down to ice and ……whatever.

  144. ehay2k - May 24, 2012 at 12:51 AM

    Harper I would send, not Espi.

  145. Fear and Ignorance - May 24, 2012 at 12:51 AM

    I think we are now seeing the LaRoche we were expecting before the season. At least he carried us for a month or so. I bet he hits about .240 with about 12 HR's the rest of the year.

  146. ehay2k - May 24, 2012 at 12:55 AM

    My lord F'n I, you are sooooo negative! LaRoche has a couple bad games, and you pefg his performance back to his injury year?Please go post on the "How I lost at Bingo" blog where nonsensical whining belongs.

  147. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 24, 2012 at 12:57 AM

    I think you've got to be half Nyjer Morgan-crazy to slide headfirst into home with a catcher like Ruiz blocking the plate. That's two months on the DL … not worth it even if he makes it. Hence "away"–not into contact. No, nobody with any sense at all would slide headfirst into Ruiz. The throw was up a little bit, and if he slides around on the foul side and gets his hand in, maybe the tag (which got him on the elbow about three feet off the ground) might miss him. If you're going to slide into a play at the plate, that's as good a way to go as any.Still, never should have sent him.

  148. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 24, 2012 at 12:59 AM

    At least he acknowledged LaRoche carried them. That's positive. Wouldn't call that whining, IMO, FWIW.

  149. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 24, 2012 at 1:02 AM

    You're not as good as you look when you're hot, and not as bad as you look when you're in a slump. LaRoche will get hot again, and carry them again, eventually. And Great Googley-Moogley, will somebody get a clue at the plate please???

  150. ehay2k - May 24, 2012 at 1:03 AM

    "…betting he hits .240" was what got my attention.LaRoche's career average is better than that, by a lot.

  151. Fear and Ignorance - May 24, 2012 at 1:04 AM

    Ehay2k-Just asking…do you know anything about baseball, or are you just a Nationals fan? If he does what I said, he will end up right around his yearly averages. He was clearly playing over his head early this year. Just because you are delusional, that doesn't mean you are some great fan or something. Give me a break!!!

  152. ehay2k - May 24, 2012 at 1:06 AM

    PFB – Maybe Eck got into the hitters after they swung too early last night?

  153. Gonat - May 24, 2012 at 1:08 AM

    Again, you know it is coming as FP and Bob did, PITCH THE BALL OUT

  154. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 24, 2012 at 1:09 AM

    I wonder if Harper is playing too shallow. He seems to have had an inordinate number of balls get to the wall on him. Or is that just me?

  155. MicheleS - May 24, 2012 at 1:12 AM

    JFLO!!! Way to go!!!

  156. Marty - May 24, 2012 at 1:13 AM

    Please don't be hurt Flores.

  157. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 24, 2012 at 1:16 AM

    Again, you know it is coming as FP and Bob did, PITCH THE BALL OUTYes, that was interesting. FP saw the shoes-tapping and recognized it as a "wilco" to the squeeze sign. In hindsight/replay, it really seemed like Pierre's expression changed, no poker face at all.

  158. ehay2k - May 24, 2012 at 1:17 AM

    F'n I, you have him batting .254, and 19, both HR well below his career average, including last year's abysmal season. So, maybe I know a hell of a lot more about baseball than you do a calculator. And yes, I am a Nats fan, so I err on the positive, and post here. What's YOUR excuse?

  159. DWS - May 24, 2012 at 1:18 AM

    F+I,I guess MVP's are a fluke…averages and all.Negative waves are useful with substance.

  160. Joe Seamhead - May 24, 2012 at 1:19 AM

    Dumb, dumb, dumb! Flores should stay on third until the ball is either caught or it drops, either way you score.Run half way home and you don't score.It's Baserunning 101. Just plumb dumb.

  161. baseballswami - May 24, 2012 at 1:20 AM

    Runner on third no outs – sure run, right? Wrong – most of the time with the Nats, wrong, wrong, wrong. Pathetic.

  162. MicheleS - May 24, 2012 at 1:20 AM

    oy.. Head SLap.. how do you not get that run in!

  163. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 24, 2012 at 1:20 AM

    Joe, there's no way Flores scores tagging up on that ball. Not a chance. Harper, maybe.

  164. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 24, 2012 at 1:22 AM

    That said, Geeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeezuz. This should be tied.

  165. Joe Seamhead - May 24, 2012 at 1:23 AM

    Two baserunning errors at third= two runs not scored. We can't keep doing that.

  166. ehay2k - May 24, 2012 at 1:23 AM

    Would rather give up the run than lose another catcherl .'

  167. Candide - May 24, 2012 at 1:24 AM

    Well, at least we don't have to worry about Bad Henry blowing the save tonight.

  168. joemktg - May 24, 2012 at 1:24 AM

    dear lord henry…

  169. MicheleS - May 24, 2012 at 1:24 AM

    Not good, it's time to get him out of there. Not sure what would work at this point.

  170. djinFl. - May 24, 2012 at 1:25 AM

    Flores bounced on his chest sliding in and knocked the wind out of himself, the reason for the trainer's visit. He was gassed and needed a hit to get him home. He did his part, some one else needed to step up.

  171. Gonat - May 24, 2012 at 1:25 AM

    To all those that think catching HenRod is easy, just look. 2 balls to Pence that Flores can't handle.

  172. Joe Seamhead - May 24, 2012 at 1:26 AM

    I disagree, Sofa, but it's water under the bridge. My point is, he should not have been half way down the line when the ball was caught.

  173. Drew - May 24, 2012 at 1:26 AM

    Hey Henry: When someone yells "Kill the ump" it's not a directive.

  174. ehay2k - May 24, 2012 at 1:28 AM

    Lol Drew. And thanks again, Mr. Pence!

  175. SCNatsFan - May 24, 2012 at 1:28 AM

    I feel like I'm watching the end of HRod's career

  176. MicheleS - May 24, 2012 at 1:30 AM

    come on Henry.. Trust in your stuff.. you have 2 outs now..

  177. ehay2k - May 24, 2012 at 1:30 AM

    Or the beginning. So hard to know with fireballers (hot stuff abusers excepted)

  178. MicheleS - May 24, 2012 at 1:32 AM

    I am okay with that HR. He was challenging the guy and threw a stike. He got 3 outs and that is all we needed. Now if we lose 4-3.. I take that back

  179. Candide - May 24, 2012 at 1:32 AM

    Say good night, Gracie.

  180. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - May 24, 2012 at 1:35 AM

    Well, thanks to Victo's HR, this isn't a save situation for Papelbum. That's a shame. [DEEP SARCASM]

  181. Section 222 - May 24, 2012 at 1:35 AM

    No one said catching H-Rod is easy, just that JFlo can do it better than Ramos. I still believe that, notwithstanding the fact that some balls get past JFlo. So sue me.Good to see him get out of the inning with only one walk and one homer. He's a work in progress, that's for sure. But no reason to give up on him yet.

  182. baseballswami - May 24, 2012 at 1:38 AM

    Why are we so bad when we are on national tv? and can we cancel the rest of our appearances?

  183. MicheleS - May 24, 2012 at 1:39 AM

    Good for ALR.

  184. baseballswami - May 24, 2012 at 1:40 AM

    Whaaaaaat? Nice.

  185. MicheleS - May 24, 2012 at 1:40 AM

    Hey their 9th inning guy is a head case too.

  186. baseballswami - May 24, 2012 at 1:41 AM

    Would so love to see Papelbon choke.

  187. ehay2k - May 24, 2012 at 1:41 AM

    So F 'n I, only 11 more HR for LaRoche the rest of the season?

  188. baseballswami - May 24, 2012 at 1:44 AM

    Repeat after me – we didn't get no hit, we weren't shut out, we won the series, so far we are 4-2 with the Phils. The sky is not falling.

  189. ehay2k - May 24, 2012 at 1:49 AM

    Would have loved to have swept, but not playing sloppy ball. Gotta learn to earn those wins. Still, another series win , on the road, against a division rival (and a good one at that.) Win the next two series against the Barves and the fish, and no one will be worrying about sweeps.

  190. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - May 24, 2012 at 1:52 AM

    Meh, give 'em one. They start to whine otherwise.Let's take Atlanta the way that old southpaw Sherman did 150 years ago in the old Civil War League.

  191. natsfan1a - May 24, 2012 at 1:57 AM

    Second that, swami. Also, I have a feeling that the Phillies aren't taking the Nats for granted any longer. They didn't look all that confident in the top of the 9th, imo.

  192. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - May 24, 2012 at 2:22 AM

    Braves lose in Cinci! May 23, and still in soul possession of first place in the NL East.

  193. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 24, 2012 at 3:06 AM

    I disagree, Sofa, but it's water under the bridge. My point is, he should not have been half way down the line when the ball was caught.Have to agree to disagree, there, but indeed, rotten at-bats did the real damage. Cheesy little ground ball to the right side gets the run in.

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