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Game 46: Nats at Braves

May 26, 2012, 3:30 PM EDT

File photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Stephen Strasburg looks to pitch the Nats to another win at Turner Field.

How big was last night's win for the Nationals? Well, they scored seven runs off Tim Hudson for the first time ever. And Ryan Zimmerman delivered his biggest hit of a the season (a three-run double after Hudson pitched around 19-year-old Bryce Harper). And Chien-Ming Wang earned the victory in his season debut (and perhaps pushed Ross Detwiler to the bullpen in the process).

More significant than all that, though, was the fact the Nationals extended their lead over the Braves to two games. Which means even in a worst-case scenario, they'll still be tied atop the NL East come Monday. Which would really represent a worst-case scenario, because they now get to send Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez to the mound the next two nights.

Can't ask for a situation much more advantageous than that. It begins at 4:05 p.m. today when Strasburg gets the nod against struggling left-hander Mike Minor (0-3, 10.46 ERA over his last five starts). As you know, I'm not in Atlanta this weekend, so please enjoy the conversation among yourself again…

Where: Turner Field
Gametime: 4:05 p.m. EDT
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 185
Weather: Partly cloudy, 91 degrees, Wind 8 mph in from LF

2B Danny Espinosa
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche

Read more »

265 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - May 27, 2012 at 12:59 AM

    Davey sez Tracy was hopeful he "just popped some scar tissue" and won't have to go on the disabled list.We're all day-to-day when you get right down to it.

  2. baseballswami - May 27, 2012 at 1:01 AM

    Note to Nats: if Davey Johnson tells you you're his guy, watch your back. Just ask Lannan and Detweiler. New starter, 3-3, era under 4, gets the boot after 46 games. Way to develop our future pitching staff Nats organization. The fragile, high-maintenance has-been gets years of chances but our own draft pick doesn't. One more game in ATL then on to Miami. The National League East is truly a gauntlet. First Philly, who has started to win again, then Atlanta, now Miami. The Mets are hot now, too. We have to go through all of them multiple times PLUS the American League East. The good news? They have to go through US, too! GO NATS! SWEEP!!!!! caveat: we don't seem to play very well on national tv – time to change that, too!

  3. NatsJack in Florida - May 27, 2012 at 1:11 AM

    Cwj….check the pitch counts. Anything over 14 pitchez for me (and most pitching coaches) is unacceptable.And Derek….Gator amd I are going Miami Monday sitting about 15 rows behind the Nats dugout.

  4. erocks33 - May 27, 2012 at 1:31 AM

    Swift Eagle said…Tracy is .400 w/RISP with 12 RBI in 49 ABs for $750KWerth is .192 w/RISP wiht 12 RBI in 98 ABS for $13MilWhen I looked up his stats, I see that Werth was hitting .192 / .364 / .346 with 10 RBI in only 26 AB's with RISP. Werth seems to have only 98 AB's for the entire season. While he wasn't getting a lot of hits, he was still getting on base with RISP.BTW, here's what the other Nats were hitting with RISP:Desmond: .271 / .294 / .354 with 15 RBI in 48 ABZimmerman: .200 / .400 / .360 with 13 RBI in 25 ABLaRoche: .277 / .400 / .426 with 21 RBI in 47 ABHarper: .250 / .345 / .500 with 7 RBI in 24 ABEspinosa: .038 / .161 / .077 with 3 RBI in 26 ABAnkiel: .259 / .355 / .444 with 8 RBI in 27 ABFlores: .222 / .273 / .278 with 5 RBI in 18 ABLombardozzi: .300/ .417 / .400 with 4 RBI in 20 ABTracy: .333 / .462 / .333 with 7 RBI in 9 AB

  5. JaneB - May 27, 2012 at 1:36 AM

    I am not familiar with why people would take off Harper's helmet after the homer. I've been watching baseball for decades and somehow never noticed anything like that. Can someone 'splain me please?

  6. djinFl. - May 27, 2012 at 1:45 AM

    From an article in the Atlanta Constitution:"Most important, the Braves not only lack any semblance of clutch in their offense — 15 stranded runners in two games — but their pitchers are being dismembered, and their defense Saturday looked one Volkswagen and a pair of exploding shoes short of a clown act."

  7. erocks33 - May 27, 2012 at 1:47 AM

    @Swami — Det has been struggling lately (5.51 ERA in his last 6 starts) and has only pitched into the 7th once in his 9 starts this season. In fact, in his last 6 starts he's managed to only toss 32.2 IP (just over 5.1 IP per start). He will be back in the starting lineup later this season (once Stras gets shelved or once another SP goes onto the DL — heaven forbid!).

  8. rogieshan - May 27, 2012 at 1:54 AM

    Anyone know if Corey Brown was held out of the Chiefs lineup tonight because he may be coming up to replace Tracy tomorrow?

  9. NatsLady - May 27, 2012 at 2:03 AM

    Kyle Kendrick is 27. He's been in and out of the Fillies bullpen (Gio beat him 2-1 last week). Today he pitched a complete game shutout against StL and was "dominant." There is hope for Detwiler, and it's not the worst thing in the world to be in the bullpen…

  10. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 27, 2012 at 2:06 AM

    Corey Brown for Chad Tracy? Wang for Detwiler?

  11. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 27, 2012 at 2:12 AM

    Wouldn't be surprised to see Corey Brown for Moore and have Rizzo wait to see how Tracy is with Morse a few days to a week away from returning.

  12. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 27, 2012 at 2:25 AM

    I am not familiar with why people would take off Harper's helmet after the homer. I've been watching baseball for decades and somehow never noticed anything like that. Can someone 'splain me please? Jane, it's a custom on some teams. FP (I think it was FP) mentioned that Desmond started it, but said LaRoche says he's been on other teams that do it, it's not unique to the Nats. It's supposed to allow the guy to go all the way through the dugout high-fiving teammates without having to navigate back through the crowd to put his hat away, and then back again to go sit down and tell somebody about his home run.

  13. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 27, 2012 at 2:29 AM

    Wouldn't be surprised to see Corey Brown for Moore and have Rizzo wait to see how Tracy is with Morse a few days to a week away from returning. Indeed, it doesn't seem to make much sense having minor-leaguer Moore up here trying to play left, so they can have his bat on the bench, when they have an actual outfielder who seems to be hitting just fine in AAA, and room on the 40-man to put him in.

  14. mick - May 27, 2012 at 2:37 AM

    excellent decision by Davey to go with Wang, just like I said 3 days ago

  15. Gonat - May 27, 2012 at 2:37 AM

    Still leaves room for Morse to replace Nady if Chad Tracy is okay.

  16. Gonat - May 27, 2012 at 2:43 AM

    mick, there have been people saying here that Detwiler's September performance was a mirage so not sure you discovered anything people have questioned for a while. If you don't believe it read through comments.He did short outings on extra rest which really didn't give the full picture of what you would get pitching Detwiler every 5 days. This season he started strong but just couldn't put batters away and threw too many pitches in too few of innings.My feeling is the same. The kid lacks stamina.

  17. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 27, 2012 at 3:50 AM

    Going for a sweep again (I count the raind shortened series against the marlins in APril as a sweep though most seem to ignore that). So for those count it one way lets get our first sweep, and for those who count like me, lets get our second one.

  18. natsfan1a - May 27, 2012 at 10:48 AM

    NF05, eh, let's split the difference and I'll take the peanuts. :-)swami, indeed on the continuing challenges in NL East, as MIA is currently 2.5 back, as are the Mets.JaneB, this season the Nats have a dugout tradition of removing the helmet of a returning teammate who has homered (or, in some cases, had a key hit). It is removed as he makes his way through the dugout getting high fives. It was recently revealed that the thinking is that he won't have to travel the length of the dugout after the high five sequence, to return his helmet to the rack (awk-ward). Tracy has done the honors most often, though Desmond has been known to do so on occasion. I believe that both have been credited with…dang, I just read sec3's explanation. Nevermind. (Adds Coke to shopping list.)dj, nice pull on the quote. Never did like clown acts.On sweeps, would love to win this one. otoh, I'm not gonna complain about not finishing off sweeps when we're not all that far from the day when we worried about avoiding them. But that's just me. :-)NatsFan05 said… @ natsfan1a said… May 26, 2012 7:31 PM Oh, nevermind. I owe NF05 a Coke. :-) How about a beer and bag of peanuts….LOL May 26, 2012 7:57 PM

  19. Joe Seamhead - May 27, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    As mentioned earlier, it is rather curious that after setting the Chiefs record by hitting home runs in 5 consecutive games that Corey Brown did not play yesterday. I hope that it means that he's getting a call up. He deserves it. I could enjoy seeing an OF consisting of MM in left, Brown in center, and The Kid in right. Tyler Moore needs to go back down, as there is no place for him to play here right now.I guess the hardest thing is how you fit Lombo on a regular basis? Super utility guy, spelling Espi, RZ,Desi, and MM?

  20. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 27, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    I count the raind shortened series against the marlins in April as a sweep though most seem to ignore that.We're not ignoring it–they haven't finished the series yet. They still have to play game 3. If they win that, it's a sweep, but just like today's game, they haven't played it yet.

  21. MicheleS - May 27, 2012 at 11:46 AM

    JaneB.. A Helpful Link on the Helmut Snatching

  22. MicheleS - May 27, 2012 at 11:52 AM

    And from Kilgore to explain the arm shaking..It was not a sign of a physical issue at all, Strasburg said. His flicked his fingers because in the sticky Atlanta heat, he could think of no other way to get the sweat off them. “I wasn’t really shaking it out,” Strasburg said. “It was so hot out there that I just had sweat dripping off my hands. That’s just something I do to get the sweat off my hands. Maybe I shouldn’t be doing it so you guys wouldn’t be so alarmed. It’s hard, because my whole jersey is soaked, too. When I wipe, when I try that it just gets even more sweaty. I need to maybe get my sweat glands taken out of my hand, I don’t know.”

  23. MicheleS - May 27, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    Your Morning Atlanta Paper:Braves Sports Page

  24. Free Corey Brown - May 27, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    Michele thanks for the link to the Braves page. I enjoy reading the posts of other team's fans when things aren't going so well. Makes me appreciate this season even more.

  25. natsfan1a - May 27, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    Wait, I'd owe NF05 the peanuts. Friends don't let friends blog without their morning coffee. Also, who is Helmut and why was he snatched? Oh. Never mind. (We kid because we love. :-))Also on the AK front, loved the gamer from last night (I'd normally not point to it here but seeing as how our humble reporter was unable to make the trip, I figured it would be okay this time). Fave parts included the Uggla jersey/build description, the recounting of Harper's hits and baserunning, and, last but not least, the last two paragraphs.Okay, heading out for some remembrance activities. Type at y'all later.

  26. mick - May 27, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    I would think Corey Brown for Moore makes sense, assuming Tracey is OK.When Morse is back, Moore probably goes back to minors period. What is exciting is knowing your team has a pitching staff that can win a championship. Are we a center fielder away of being complete? It would have been Werth until his injury. Wonder if we have that CF already or does Rizzo make that one trade at All Star break to get him?

  27. mick - May 27, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    looking at the schedule, it is brutal, so far a great start. man I wish Ramos did not get hurt

  28. mick - May 27, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    any one, where would Rendon fit into the picture in 2013

  29. Steady Eddie - May 27, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    mick — Realistically, re Rendon, while he may be one of the most talented hitters in the Nats' organization, he needs to show he can stay healthy and play most of a season of pro ball right now. The Nats may have struck gold with him, or his repeated injuries may end up explaining why he fell to 6th in the draft last year. Another illustration of why the draft can't avoid being a crapshoot most of the time.

  30. Steady Eddie - May 27, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    Also, the Braves may be showing they're far more dependent on Chipper than we are on the Beast. They're something like 7-17 without him in the lineup, which makes our playing 6 of our 18 games against them in the time he's on the 15-day DL pretty fortuitous. It also suggests that at least at this point in the season, they're a less resilient team than we are proving to be. That resilience in our squad so far is — along with our phenomenal pitching — the most remarkable part of the Nats' 2012 story. For everyone who still says "2013 is the year", that resilience indicates to me at least that this team already has the character to go all the way. Combination of Werth and Tracy in the dugout and Harp, Gio, JZimm, ALR, Desi (don't forget his leadership) on the field is the stuff that championships are made of.

  31. JaneB - May 27, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    Thanks to Soul Sofa, 1a and MichelleS for the helmet removal tutorial. Now, I'm worried about it, too.And the morning reading was DeLIGHTful, MichelleS.Eddie, I think you are right on about the resilience.I am loving life and my Nats very much this morning.

  32. Drew - May 27, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    Chiefs skipper Tony Beasley told the Syracuse paper that he gave Corey Brown a routine day off."He just had a day. We just wanted to give him that. It was kind of tough, but I had to do it. He's healthy. He's fine. It was a decision that we had to make. Corey was good with it. He understands."Maybe that is all it is, but the timing sure seems odd, given his five homers in five games and then Tracy's injury.

  33. UnkyD - May 27, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    'Morning, all!! I'm hoping Brown is on his way, to play CF every day, for the next couple of months. If he can hit reasonably well (make that a little better than Nady/Ankiel/Bernadina), what would we think of him getting 2 starts a week, in relief of each of Morse/Harper/Werth, and Lombo doing the same with Espy/Desi/Face? Get the rotation right, and one of those two can lead off, most days, and we'd have one of the regulars available for Hairy Chest Duty, most days, as well as what ever other bench options, for late game double switch situations. It just seems like, absent Browns potential contributions, Rizzo will have Togo shopping

  34. UnkyD - May 27, 2012 at 3:52 PM

    …to go shopping, at the deadline, and that could be avoided, if possible…GYFGOGOGOGO!!!!!!!

  35. UnkyD - May 27, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    Hi Davey……..

  36. UnkyD - May 27, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    I'm… Of course, I was referring to a defensive rotation, post ASB, through the WS…. In case it wasn't obvious….

  37. UnkyD - May 27, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    Just think…. Up/down by 1…. 6th/7th inning… You can slip IN one of your starting power, bats, when there's 2 on base….. I'm liking this….. Gonna repost tonight!!

  38. Faraz Shaikh - May 27, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    I think Mark posted this before, but what is Rizzo or Davey's email? Is it

  39. SonnyG10 - May 27, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    Hello imaginary friends. I've enjoyed reading all the posts herein. Thanks for the links, especially the one to the Braves sports page, MicheleS. I think I'll go watch a replay of last night's game. I love seeing that oppo-boppo frozen rope Harper hit.

  40. Swift Eagle - May 27, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    I'd like to see Brown too…but let's remember he's 26 and has had 3 MLB at bats…There's a reason 2 organizations have moved younger players to The Show ahead of him…

  41. MicheleS - May 27, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    Some really good GIO love from ESPN

  42. Steady Eddie - May 27, 2012 at 5:16 PM

    Eagle — not to speak for peric or anything, but Brown hasn't risen quickly in the minors because he seems to take longer to get acclimated at each higher level than most other prospects who have the talent to get to the Show. But on the other very important hand, he clearly has mastered each level once he puts in the time to do it, and there's every reason to think he can do the same in the Show. Maybe the Nats just have a bit more patience than other organizations.

  43. UnkyD - May 27, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    Taking a moment, here, to feel awful about LannEn…. Clearly he's not as hideous as his AAA #s are showing now. At this rate, nobody will offer a bag of balls for his salary, this year. I just hope he can hook on with someone who can use him, over the winter, and have a chance to live out a journeyman's career, as a #4-5 for someone. Tough breaks for him, this year…

  44. NatsLady - May 27, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    This is a fascinating article. Lots of stuff to chew on, including Davey–not so much the drugs, pain, lying, etc., which you could have guessed.Is it really that easy to diagnose and "fix" problems with a pitcher's delivery? If so, why doesn't it happen more often?I headed off the mound and signaled to my pitching coach, Mike Roarke, to follow me to the locker room. I told him straight out what happened, and followed with this: “I’m not coming out of the game.” He said he had to pull me. I was supposed to go to the big club any day, and they needed to know. Not to mention he did not want to see me ruin my arm.What he did not know is that my arm had been bad for years.He was a mountain of a man, an old catcher with busted hands; he knew how to play with pain. I told him that this was my shot and that if he didn’t help me, I would deny this conversation ever happened. Right then and there, he reworked my delivery to take pressure off my shoulder, and I headed back out to the game.the-former-met-bob-ojeda-relives-both-glory-and-pain

  45. NatsLady - May 27, 2012 at 5:43 PM

    Unkyd, there are trade rumors out there that the Nats are looking for a veteran reliever and offering Lannan (maybe eat salary?). This doesn't make sense to me, because the bullpen will be really overcrowded when Mattheus, Storen and Lidge come back.However, Lannan is not thriving in Syracuse, one wonders if he's worth it even as an "insurance policy." Suppose he came back here. You have to assume he'd be professional, but would he be enthusiastic?

  46. NatsLady - May 27, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    Maybe we'll get one of our rule 5 boys back! Wouldn't that be nice?The Nationals could be interested in bringing back Erik Komatsu, who was DFA'd by the Twins earlier today, tweets Amanda Comak of the Washington Times.

  47. UnkyD - May 27, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    Lady: Agree, seen the rumors, can't see any wanting him for their big league club this year, even for free (sadly). Can't see him here next year… Too many actual prospects… he'd be in the way. So, it'll have to be somewhere else, most likely on a minor league deal. Pretty long odds, but I'll be pulling for him…

  48. Faraz Shaikh - May 27, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    how pathetic is GABP? It is 7-2 cin in bottom 4th and 8 of those runs have been scored on 6 home runs, 4 by reds and 2 by rockies.

  49. NatsLady - May 27, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    Halladay gives up a slam (and then a double) in the 1st inning, it's 4-0 Cards. Is something wrong with the good Doctor?And another outfielder who can't find the wall in his own park, so Posey gets a double in Miami.Cuddyer homered in the top of the 5th, so that's another one at GABP, 7-3.

  50. NatsLady - May 27, 2012 at 6:56 PM

    CarGo hits another at in the 6th at GABP, so it's 7-4. Guess the Rox feel right at home.

  51. NatsLady - May 27, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    Halladay lifted for a PH (Pete Orr, w/ sacrifice bunt), in the top of the THIRD. Twitter not giving me an explanation of this, yet.

  52. NatsLady - May 27, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    Tweet of interest:William Ladson ‏@washingnatsFYI — For the second day in a row, OF Corey Brown is not in the lineup for Triple A Syracuse. There is nothing wrong with him. #Nats #MLB

  53. Faraz Shaikh - May 27, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    uh oh, I thought Doc was struggling before because of some family issue. Whatever it is, I hope he sorts it out because he is a pleasure to watch against other teams besides Nats.Fowler homered at Cincy as well.

  54. NatsLady - May 27, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    FS, yes, I recall that he was "away from the team" awhile back. Other speculation is that he got heat exhaustion, which he had last year. It's 90+ and sunny in St. Louis, although not particularly humid.

  55. NatsLady - May 27, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    Rockies have five runs and a .000 BABIP today.That must have broken the record at GABP, because I read before the stadium record was eight HR.

  56. NatsLady - May 27, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    Halladay left game with "right shoulder soreness," per an official announcement. Move was "a precaution."

  57. Faraz Shaikh - May 27, 2012 at 7:35 PM was 9 back in 1999 so I guess they tied it I type, Votto drives one to edge of their LF which CarGo caught it for an out.Read about Halladay, sorry to hear.

  58. NatsLady - May 27, 2012 at 7:41 PM

    Yes, definitely a stand-up guy (in contrast to his rotation-mate). Loved his comment about Gio ("I wish I were a lefty throwing what he has.").

  59. UnkyD - May 27, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    Swift Eagle said…I'd like to see Brown too…but let's remember he's 26 and has had 3 MLB at bats…There's a reason 2 organizations have moved younger players to The Show ahead of him…—————–Yep. That's why I'm thinking "If not now, when?". He'll be 27, next year… He's raking, and if he comes up now, he can play every day, until Werth comes back. Somebody tell me when a better opportunity will come along… Anybody? If he doesn't come up now…we'll never know. We'll stick with the weaky-streaky bench outfielders, and hope their streaks time out efficiently, and next year, he turns into a pumpkin….

  60. NatsLady - May 27, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    Here is a note on Halladay from before today's game. Makes you wonder about Stras' shoulder, because he hasn't had his good fastball either recently. If the Phillies were ranking their top five biggest worries, Roy Halladay probably wouldn't make the list. Still, after watching him Tuesday against Washington, one scout said: "I've never, ever seen him pitch like that — not since the Blue Jays sent him back to the minor leagues [in 2000]. He had no command of his fastball, and he didn't even want to use his fastball. I've never seen his command that off or his pitch selection that bad." In 2010, Halladay averaged 40 fastballs a game. In his start Tuesday, he threw just 14 all night. People keep speculating that "something's up." But Halladay remains adamant that he's healthy.

  61. NatsLady - May 27, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    Braves thinking this is not the moment to be on national TV… losing streak, goofy defense and all…Giants just failed on a suicide squeeze. Ozzie guessed right. Giants still leading 3-2.uninvited neighbor ESPN

  62. Faraz Shaikh - May 27, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    they do have their best SP on the mound. GG will have to be pretty good too.

  63. NatsLady - May 27, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    The nine HR were a stadium record (according to Twitter–which is never wrong.)

  64. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 27, 2012 at 9:19 PM

    @ Mick, where does Rendon fit in 2013? Probably Harrisburg, if he's healthy. You won't see him up here next season, I predict.

  65. Faraz Shaikh - May 27, 2012 at 11:56 PM

    yep I was wrong. the one I mentioned was Reds record, not GABP record.




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