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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…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at ATLANTA BRAVES
Where: Turner Field
Gametime: 4:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 185
Weather: Partly cloudy, 91 degrees, Wind 8 mph in from LF

NATIONALS (27-18)
2B Danny Espinosa
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche

Read more »

265 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Doc - May 26, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    May The Face be with us! Here we are at Memorial Day, and we have his biggest hit of the young season. The Face is starting to use the rest of his body.

  2. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 26, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    Chicka-boom, chicka-boom, doncha jus lovit?

  3. Faraz Shaikh - May 26, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    1. Michael Bourn (L) CF2. Tyler Pastornicky (R) SS3. Martin Prado (R) LF4. Dan Uggla (R) 2B5. Freddie Freeman (L) 1B6. Jason Heyward (L) RF7. Juan Francisco (L) 3B8. J.C. Boscan (R) C9. Mike Minor (R) PCouldn't find Nats lineup yet.

  4. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 26, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    Strasburg better change his approach to Uggla to all soft stuff away .Braves stack 3 Lefties together which is perfect for Burnett.

  5. Faraz Shaikh - May 26, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    is there a way to find out which pitches Uggla has hits off of SS besides going through all game logs?anyways, let's hope Minor does not look like Cy tonight.

  6. Doc - May 26, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    Lefty is back in town!Amazin' what few sunflower seeds will do to improve the BP!!GooooooooooooooLefty! GoooooooooooooooooNats!!

  7. Candide - May 26, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    Visiting the family in NJ for the weekend and for some reason the Nats aren't on local TV. So please cheer the boys on for me.GYFNG!

  8. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 26, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    Who is charge of the Icy Hot? I feel good as long as someone control the Icy Hot. I believe Jayson Werth could be the one in charge if he is on the trip.

  9. baseballswami - May 26, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    Should it be necessary, the bullpen should be in fine fettle the rest of the weekend. SB and TC had very short outings after a day off, everyone else fresh and hopefully rarin' to go! Seems like the starters have been in a phase where they are struggling a little bit – maybe starting to tire a little, or the league is catching on to them. I would love to see them settle in and start to be consistent, go longer. Don't be so quick to write off Detweiler – he is one of the main reasons we are the belle of the ball right now. Now might not be the time to ditch him for a date that suddenly looks prettier :) Go Nats!!!!!

  10. Faraz Shaikh - May 26, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    Espinosa 2BHarper CFZimmerman 3BLaRoche 1BDesmond SSNady RFMoore LFFlores CStrasburg P

  11. Faraz Shaikh - May 26, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    thanks to Amanda C.

  12. D'Gourds - May 26, 2012 at 5:04 PM

    What a game last night! It was so different from their protoypical win. Detweiler was mediocre at best, but we had timely two out hitting and Wang was outstanding. I'm so glad Davey let him get the innings. Great move. Clippard was nails as closer–again. Stras and Gio to follow. Biggest win of the season in my opinion. Sent a clear message to baseball that we're for real. Believe!

  13. NatsLady - May 26, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    Wang/Det and Stras/Gorzy. Ejax goes 8 or CG, and we should start expecting that from JZ also. Gio goes 7+ (but I really don't mind only 6, he will need to get used to the heat/humidity in the East). That is your plan until the All-Star Break. Then you re-evaluate. Gio wants to pitch in Miami, so pray for rain tomorrow (78% chance of precip according to Accu-weather). I don't care if it's a rainout for ESPN, I'd rather Gio is happy!!!!!

  14. NatsLady - May 26, 2012 at 5:06 PM

    FS, that catch is amazing. Thanks for the link.

  15. NatsLady - May 26, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    This is not our best outfield. Stas needs to go for the K's (and ground balls) even if it ups his pitch count. Gorzy and the 'pen are rested, not to worry.

  16. Eugene in Oregon - May 26, 2012 at 5:13 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. The Retired Journalist - May 26, 2012 at 5:16 PM

    Along with the Braves broadcast on XM185, the Sirius website says the "national broadcast" will be available on XM187. I don't know what national radio network is carrying the game but that may be a reason behind the 4:00pm-ish start.

  18. Eugene in Oregon - May 26, 2012 at 5:18 PM

    Just spent a little time over on Baseball Prospectus and their computers do not love the Nats. They have them going 57-60 for the rest of the season, with only a 27% chance of making the playoffs. Part of the issue seems to be that — although they're projecting him to do well once he returns — they only have Michael Morse playing 70% of the remaining innings (55% in LF and 15% at 1B). They also have Adam LaRoche's production slowing down significantly, which is probably not an unfair assumption. Interestingly, they do have Corey Brown playing 25% of the Nats' remaining innings, split between CF and LF.On the pitching side, they've got the % of quality starts going down and a lot of the pitchers' peripheral numbers going up. But Ross Detwiller is the only current starting pitcher they're projecting to have a (slightly) negative WAR for the rest of the season (although they also anticipate both Stammen and Mattheus will have slightly negative WARs in relief for the rest of the season). It would seem — eyeballing the BP projections — that swapping Wang's and Detwiller's projected starts would add a win or two to the anticipated total. To be clear, I'm not suggesting these numbers are right; just offering one more bit of data for consideration.On the other side of the coin, in dissecting the Nats' current won-loss record, the BP computers do three different evaluations. One of them has the Nats with a somewhat worse W-L (two fewer wins), one has them better by a win, and the third has them exactly the same. They also have the Nats as fifth in the majors in their as-of-now, based-only-on-numbers version of 'power rankings' — even if they don't expect them to stay there over the long term.

  19. TimDz - May 26, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    Journalist…FOX network has the rights to the pm games…so all games that are being broadcast by local TV must be played outside of that four hour window.

  20. The Retired Journalist - May 26, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    Thanx, TimDz. There was a reason I hung out in the newsroom and left the other stuff to management.

  21. NatsLady - May 26, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    Here are some remarks from fangraphs on Stras and today's game:Regarding Who Pitches for WashingtonRight-hander Stephen Strasburg (53.0 IP, 70 xFIP-, 1.8 WAR) pitches for them.A Notable Comment Regarding StrasburgHere’s a recent comment — notable because of who made it — regarding Strasburg: William Ladson@washingnats Chipper Jones on #Strasburg: "He has the best stuff, the best repertoire of pitches that I've seen on any one single pitcher." #Nats #MLB25 May 12What We Can Say About the Aforementioned RepertoireAccording to PITCHf/x, here’s Strasburg’s repertoire this season, accompanied by the average velocity and usage of each pitch:• Four-Seam Fastball: 96.0 mph, 47.0%• Two-Seam Fastball: 94.8 mph, 16.4%• Curveball: 80.3 mph, 21.4%• Changeup: 88.5 mph, 15.1%What Else We Can Say About the Aforemented RepertoireWhile it’s difficult to for us (read: the present author) to say objectively that Strasburg’s repertoire is the best in the league (or that Chipper Jones has ever seen), one thing we do know is that, according to pitch-type linear weights, none of his (i.e. Strasburg’s) pitches have ever profiled as below-average during his three years in the majors.Additionally, A Third Thing We Can SayA third thing we can say is, let’s trust Chipper Jones, how about.A Note on the Camera Angle HereAtlanta’s center-field camera angle is probably the best in the league. This is the first time Strasburg will have pitched in front of it this season — and only the second time he’s done so in his career (June 28th, 2010).Readers’ Preferred BroadcastPer the results of our offseason crowdsourcing project, FanGraphs like Atlanta and Washington Radio about the same.

  22. Faraz Shaikh - May 26, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    WOW what a post NatsLady!

  23. MicheleS - May 26, 2012 at 5:47 PM

    Gee Stras.. here is a poop stick of a lineup to back you up (not including our 3 infielders – notice I don't say 4). Don't let the hitters get anything to the OF.Okay.. enough of the grousing. Go Stras! GO OF! GYFNG!!

  24. NatsLady - May 26, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    FS, thanks. I didn't compose it, though. Carson Cistulli of fangraphs.com did. I just copied. :)

  25. The Fox - May 26, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    The Braves placed Chipper Jones on the 15-day disabled list with a bruised left leg and recalled catcher J.C. Boscan from Triple-A Gwinnett who will be strarting this game.

  26. Eugene in Oregon - May 26, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    MicheleS @ 1:47 p.m. — Sorry, I'm missing some subtle humor or perhaps a pointed reference there. I get your point about the lack of experience and/or range in the OF, but what do you mean by "…our 3 infielders – notice I didn't say 4"?

  27. baseballswami - May 26, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    MicheleS is that a faint glimmer of a negative comment there? Surely not! I have decided to take the attitude ( Natitude) that someone is going to surprise me today. Zim really surprised me last night – shouldn't have , I know – but I think he surprised the Braves more! That was a sure-fire way to stop that obnoxious, rascist chopping thing. I hope that they come out of the gate with hot bats again – Strassie and Gio would probably faint dead away if they had a four run lead after the top of the first.

  28. NCNatsie - May 26, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    Davy has gone with Espinosa in the leadoff spot a few times lately. The leadoff question will become top line once Morse returns, because it removes Lombardozzi from the possible choices, leaving us pretty much with just Espi or Desi. (Who else? Ankiel??? Harper???) If there is ever going to be a moment to test Brown, that would seem to be it, but do you think Davy is seriously (in spite of saying he doesn't do that sort of thing) auditioning Espi for the job?

  29. The Fox - May 26, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    Eugene, interesting stats from BP but their "prediction" is pretty much the Nat's record over the last month (13-14). I'm still high on the Nats as long as the pitching and defense holds up. The hard part of the equation to figure out is how good is the competition? Everyone in the East has their own problems. The Braves look tough on paper but without Chipper have been horrible.The Phillies pitching staff does not look invincible and the line up is getting a little long in the tooth. I’m still a little worried about the Marlins and the way they have had their way with us in the past, but right now they don’t seem to have a closer. The series in Miami might help clear up the picture or maybe it’s still too early to tell. Tonight the Nats need to score early and often, ESPN says, Mike Minor has a 10.46 ERA in his last five starts. He's allowed 11 home runs over that time, more than any other pitcher in baseball.Davey's loaded the line-up with right handed bats but I think ALR might have a good game because Minor is mostly a fastball pitcher especially when he gets behind in the count.

  30. Corky - May 26, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    Eugene, with regard to the Baseball Prospectus rankings, I think it is a bit more accurate to say that the Nationals have had the third-best season in MLB so far (behind Texas and St. Louis). This is using their most sophisticated measure, called Third-Order Winning Percentage, and, as you said, it takes into account the inputs to runs for and runs against, as well as controlling for quality of competition.

  31. MicheleS - May 26, 2012 at 7:07 PM

    I saw Nady in the OF and his batting average. Hoping Danny is going good. Nady just clouds my view point. But Fox gives me hope with that Minor ERA.

  32. phil dunton - May 26, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    Why would any manager in his right mind bat the strikeout machine in the leadoff position?

  33. rdexposfan - May 26, 2012 at 7:23 PM

    Eugene, interesting post concerning Baseball Prospectus. At the beginning of the season, I predicted 84-85 wins for the Nats with them contending until the end. With Strasburg being shut down in August and Wang coming back from a abbreviated season last year, the prediction looks accurate. It is going to be an exciting year this year and definitely WS contention next year with the team at full strength and another year of experience under the young players belt.

  34. NatsLady - May 26, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    Boy, if you want a team to beat the Mets, you sure don't want the Padres…

  35. phil dunton - May 26, 2012 at 7:31 PM

    Outfield defense extremely weak today. Maybe it could be justified if Moore and Nady provided some offense but they don't.

  36. The Fox - May 26, 2012 at 7:52 PM

    Phil,My 2 cents for what its worth,Both Danny (.291) and the X-man (.299) hit well against LH pitchers especially ones who throw fastballs, which Minor does 60% of the time. Both have good power and Mr. Minor has given up a lot of HR’s lately. Davey would like to get out to an early lead. If the Nats get Minor on the ropes they need to go in for the kill shot before the Braves go to the bullpen. HRs can be that kill shot. Moore is playing because Davey plays all his players and he’s right handed.Davey is putting his players in the best position for them to succeed, wheather it works or not is to be seen. The X-man is a decent OF'er but not Moore. I expect him to come out of the game for a defensive replacement if we have a lead. That's how it's suppose to work on paper :-).

  37. natsfan1a - May 26, 2012 at 7:55 PM

    Go, SS! Go, NATS!! Go, BATS!! (sec3, thanks for the link in the previous thread. Love that song. :-))

  38. Swift Eagle - May 26, 2012 at 8:17 PM

    LaRoche has been so great, both at the plate and the field…I was a doubter, good thing I'm not the GM..

  39. Swift Eagle - May 26, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    Stras's first pitch to Prado was 97 mph on the corner, per Pitch F/X a Nasty Factor of 90…never seen that before

  40. Faraz Shaikh - May 26, 2012 at 8:26 PM

    Yes, Uggla does not come with a runner on base.

  41. Faraz Shaikh - May 26, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    Stanton over there is killing it. Beware when we visit Fish next week.

  42. Swift Eagle - May 26, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    Stras batting over .400 now

  43. Swift Eagle - May 26, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    Thank you Danny!!!!

  44. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 26, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    CHICA-BOOM! Don't you just love it!

  45. NatsLady - May 26, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    Read that Mike Minor has given up more home runs than any other Braves starter since 2007. Looks like it's true. :)That is some battery we got here.

  46. MicheleS - May 26, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    Anyone listening to radio? it was reported on twitter that Charlie and Dave said det eas demoted and CMW is now starting.Okay i take back anything bad i said or thought about Espi. GO DANNY! !!"

  47. Faraz Shaikh - May 26, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    Oh yeah, Danny Boy!!!!His splits, notice the drastic change in OPS from left to right: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=espinda01&year=2012&t=b#plato::none

  48. Unknown - May 26, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    Espinosa is coming out of his ice age. Could be a short day for Minor.Nattydread

  49. NatsLady - May 26, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    No, we DON'T want Minor to have a high pitch count. We LIKE him!!!

  50. Section 222 - May 26, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    Out of town for the weekend, enjoying the great outdoors and checking in on the game Via the MLB App on my iPhone and this blog. Hoping that Moore has a big game and Stras is lights out. Back to do battle with peric on Monday. Until then, Go Nats!

  51. Swift Eagle - May 26, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    Michelle, I haven't seen any reports yet. Was Det moved to Syc? or just out of the rotation. I'm actually listening to the Braves radio b/c I still like Sutton..

  52. waddu eye no - May 26, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    the real danny? i hope i hope i hope i hope i hope i hope i hope gyfng sweep

  53. MicheleS - May 26, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    Swift. Det to bullpen. No options so he can't go down.

  54. Drew - May 26, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    Wow. The Nats open the extra-large can on the Braves again. GYFNG!!!

  55. Swift Eagle - May 26, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    The Moneyball types will never like Desmond or Espi, and while I admit they have their flaws, they also are good enough 2 way players to be core guys for years to come…Learn to like them Stat Boys, OBP and WAR aren't everything

  56. dabassguy1 - May 26, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    I was listening to the Gameday Audio as I drove home and they did announce that CMW has replaced Det in the rotation. They said it was as much for the bullpen as the rotation, because CMW can only pitch every 5 days.

  57. MicheleS - May 26, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    Thanks dabassguy.

  58. Swift Eagle - May 26, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    From Kilgore's page at 3:20pmManager Davey Johnson, though, has left the question open. Johnson has evaluated whether to keep Detwiler as the fifth starter or move him to the bullpen and replace him in the rotation with Chien-Ming Wang. He expects a resolution to come Sunday.“I thought about it,” Johnson said. “I’m still thinking about it.”

  59. Swift Eagle - May 26, 2012 at 8:46 PM

    Detwiler quote:“As soon as you start wondering about that [stuff], then it [messes] you up with everything else,” Detwiler said. “Stay away from it.”

  60. NatsLady - May 26, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    Bam-Bam: I repeat, please, please, please acknowledge the existence of the cutoff man. Please.

  61. Swift Eagle - May 26, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    Yep, that was a double play ball if Harp hits the cutoff..

  62. NatsLady - May 26, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    See, and now a run scores on the ground ball.

  63. Brother Juniper - May 26, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    For a while there Harper was hitting the cut off man. I see he's gone back to throwing home when there is no chance of getting the runner at home and letting the other runners advance a base. Drives ya crazy.

  64. Faraz Shaikh - May 26, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    put some more on Nats.

  65. Swift Eagle - May 26, 2012 at 9:08 PM

    Not a good walk, Uggla hits Stras well..

  66. Faraz Shaikh - May 26, 2012 at 9:10 PM

    OMG AK's recent tweet worries me.

  67. Fear and Ignorance - May 26, 2012 at 9:11 PM

    Strasburg looking horrible in his last 3 starts now. Way too much junk being thrown up there when you throw 99 MPH. He doesn't look like he can even make it through 4 innings…again.

  68. Faraz Shaikh - May 26, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    thank you Hinske.

  69. Swift Eagle - May 26, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    Actually very similar to Detwiler's start last night..63 pitches, 33 strikes.. and it was 4-0 early

  70. djinFl. - May 26, 2012 at 9:14 PM

    @FarazWas that the one from a scout thinking Strass has an injury?

  71. Faraz Shaikh - May 26, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    Article about that catch I posted earlier, pretty good read.http://sports.yahoo.com/news/catch-for-the-ages–derrick-salberg-gains-instant-fame-with-one-giant-leap.html

  72. Drew - May 26, 2012 at 9:17 PM

    That is a terrible at bat by Moore. He has to advance the runner, as Zim did so well earlier.

  73. Faraz Shaikh - May 26, 2012 at 9:18 PM

    AK: Strasburg's delivery out of whack. He's opening up early and pulling pitches to the outside (to a righty) part of the plate. McCatty out.

  74. Swift Eagle - May 26, 2012 at 9:23 PM

    34 balls, 34 strikes…

  75. Faraz Shaikh - May 26, 2012 at 9:26 PM

    I am switching off. Can't watch SS struggle. :(

  76. Henry Upton - May 26, 2012 at 9:26 PM

    After "bicep soreness" last start, I find this very troubling…

  77. Fear and Ignorance - May 26, 2012 at 9:27 PM

    Gotta get him out of there!!! He looks like he is either sick or hurt.

  78. Swift Eagle - May 26, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    Wow Better lucky than good!

  79. djinFl. - May 26, 2012 at 9:29 PM

    Thanks Faraz-We have the Braves broadcast team in Fl.Someone received a tweet from a scout last week who felt Strass had an arm injury. He does not look to be normal Strass these last couple starts. We know now he had some tightness last start, but here we are again.Way to end that threat boys.

  80. baseballswami - May 26, 2012 at 9:31 PM

    You know, we just need to relax about this. He is a 23 year old pitcher, never had a full year – he is going to labor, get tired, struggle with mechanics. It's just going to be part of this year. Jordan had some tough days last year, too. There is not going to be any way to avoid it. We need to suck this up and wait it out.

  81. Swift Eagle - May 26, 2012 at 9:31 PM

    Hard to imagine he would still be throwing 97-99 fastballs and 90 change ups if he's hurt. Also, he still is throwing all his breaking pitches..Fastball command has been a problem, seems like that would be mechanics, not an injury, but I'm no doctor

  82. Henry Upton - May 26, 2012 at 9:31 PM

    Figures. Last night, after a few drinks, I bet my friend the entry fee into our fantasy league that the Nats would make the playoffs. I have Icy Hot on my soul. At least they're letting him hit…that's a good sign.

  83. Drew - May 26, 2012 at 9:33 PM

    Big play by Desmond. Strasburg doesn't look like himself. I hope it's the heat (no, wise guys, not the Icy Hot) or just a mechanical issue.For all of their manifest gifts, our starters are throwing way too many pitches in the early innings.

  84. Swift Eagle - May 26, 2012 at 9:34 PM

    Way inside per pitch f/x, Danny has a right to be mad at that one

  85. Henry Upton - May 26, 2012 at 9:37 PM

    Gotta love that kid.

  86. Swift Eagle - May 26, 2012 at 9:37 PM

    Why can't they all play like that???

  87. Drew - May 26, 2012 at 9:38 PM

    Way to hustle, Kid!

  88. hmm... - May 26, 2012 at 9:38 PM

    nyce double

  89. JaneB - May 26, 2012 at 9:38 PM

    That'll teach them not to treat the kid like he's just a kid…..I love his hustle!

  90. Swift Eagle - May 26, 2012 at 9:39 PM

    Single and an error? That hustle deserves better..

  91. baseballswami - May 26, 2012 at 9:43 PM

    Strassie probably hitting a little bit of a fatigue wall – weather getting hot, games piling up. Bryce just full of hustle. What a kid! Hate to see the offense not piling on, though. They should be picking SS up with Minor pitching and tiring.

  92. Swift Eagle - May 26, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    Stras throwing curves to take advantage of the shadows…looks good

  93. Henry Upton - May 26, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    Via Kilgore: Strasburg 7th on the Nats in offensive WAR.

  94. Steady Eddie - May 26, 2012 at 9:46 PM

    Carp had some useful insight on Stras' situation. Said he had a long interview withJZimm who said the first full year back fromTJ is unpredictable in terms of command. Somedays everything is there and others you have trouble locating. Every bad moment with Stras Doesn't always have to be the sign of impending doom.Now he's back to being nasty again with the off speed stuff.Breathe in,breathe out….

  95. Swift Eagle - May 26, 2012 at 9:47 PM

    Great point Eddie, it's easy to forget that he is not 100% yet…

  96. phil dunton - May 26, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    Moore is a hge liability in LF.

  97. Fear and Ignorance - May 26, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    Should have taken him out after the 4th. He was clearly done.

  98. Steady Eddie - May 26, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    Uggla has always been trouble for Stras. Just not enough movement on that fheater.

  99. phil dunton - May 26, 2012 at 9:52 PM

    Blame those two runs on Davey for putting a triple A first baseman in LF. Dumb!

  100. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 26, 2012 at 9:52 PM

    The only problem with that pitch to Uggla was location–it wound up over the fence.

  101. Swift Eagle - May 26, 2012 at 9:53 PM

    The Moore misplay was worse than the HR…that ball needs to be caught

  102. Henry Upton - May 26, 2012 at 9:54 PM

    Pseudo related question:If Nats are in contention come August and Strasburg is approaching his innings limit, would the team consider making him the closer for the rest of the way? I can imagine numerous reasons they wouldn't do that, but I find the idea intriguing considering the vacancy in the closer's role and having your ace in high leverage situations.What do you think?

  103. Steady Eddie - May 26, 2012 at 9:55 PM

    Good thing with Madlen is he did give up that slam to Mesoraco against the Reds. Hope Desi can take him deep.

  104. Fear and Ignorance - May 26, 2012 at 9:55 PM

    I gotta say…I am EXTREMELY worried about Strasburg. This is looking like Mark Prior all over again. I hope I am just paranoid, but after living in Chicago for that whole mess…this is how it started.

  105. Steady Eddie - May 26, 2012 at 9:56 PM

    This ump's strike zone is very erratic.

  106. baseballswami - May 26, 2012 at 9:56 PM

    Strassie going through a rough stretch. He'll be fine. Offense needs to pick him up, though. Det having some struggles and all too many people are ready to throw him under the bus. Those 5 guys have gotten us to a really good place. Let's not go all Filthy Fan on them. Strassie and Det are the least experienced, seems to me. Gio had a rough day recently when he just couldn't throw the curve. The Braves are a good team. The road is never smooth. I'll stick with our guys any day.

  107. Drew - May 26, 2012 at 9:57 PM

    That sequence was just plain Uggla.(Can't fall behind to that guy.)

  108. Swift Eagle - May 26, 2012 at 9:59 PM

    There's no way they will move Stras to close and change his routine. They are following an established rehab schedule for a major elbow surgery. And it's proven to be very successful with other pitchers

  109. Swift Eagle - May 26, 2012 at 9:59 PM

    Good teams come right back…just like that

  110. phil dunton - May 26, 2012 at 10:00 PM

    The injury curse strikes again!!

  111. Steady Eddie - May 26, 2012 at 10:00 PM

    Now Tracy? Geez we can't afford to lose his bat.

  112. Drew - May 26, 2012 at 10:01 PM

    Good job advancing the runner.Nice shot, Tracy.Paging Corey Brown!!!

  113. MicheleS - May 26, 2012 at 10:01 PM

    Crud. I hope chad is okay

  114. Swift Eagle - May 26, 2012 at 10:01 PM

    That may be C. Brown's phone you hear ringing…

  115. Steady Eddie - May 26, 2012 at 10:02 PM

    Medley is apparently also in his first year back from TJ. Hopefully we've at least got him on an off day in his recovery.

  116. Fear and Ignorance - May 26, 2012 at 10:03 PM

    Tracy going down might mean a Corey Brown call-up…or Teahan. Really hope it is Brown.

  117. Swift Eagle - May 26, 2012 at 10:04 PM

    Sweet!

  118. Steady Eddie - May 26, 2012 at 10:05 PM

    Ankiel lucked out on that… Shadows 1, Braves 0.

  119. Henry Upton - May 26, 2012 at 10:05 PM

    Wow! Michael Bourne celebrating the anniversary of Jose Canseco's skull aided homerun with a beautiful play of his own.

  120. Swift Eagle - May 26, 2012 at 10:05 PM

    Hit his head on the wall! Lol

  121. Steady Eddie - May 26, 2012 at 10:06 PM

    Or rather CF wall 1' Braves 0.

  122. Swift Eagle - May 26, 2012 at 10:06 PM

    LH Danyy..Ugh

  123. phil dunton - May 26, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    Danny should bat right handed all the time. He can't hit from the left side.

  124. baseballswami - May 26, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    That AB was Danny a few weeks ago – swinging out of his shoes at bad pitches. Hope it's temporary. The lead goon pulls up lame – depressing. Corey Brown?

  125. Fear and Ignorance - May 26, 2012 at 10:09 PM

    Gotta love the guys who pimp out there with sunglasses on their heads instead of their faces. Managers have to love stuff like that. May not have been the sun, but still…just the feeling of those falling off of your head is a major distraction.

  126. Unknown - May 26, 2012 at 10:11 PM

    Bench is sooo much more clutch this year! DJ management.Nattydread

  127. Swift Eagle - May 26, 2012 at 10:13 PM

    The offense has been so much better since Werth was hurt and Desi started hitting 5th. I honestly think the lineup is better w/out Werth. His BA was good, but he was not producing any runs..

  128. Swift Eagle - May 26, 2012 at 10:19 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  129. Faraz Shaikh - May 26, 2012 at 10:20 PM

    are you kidding me? replace Nady or Moore with Werth and this offense will definitely perform better. Also one main factor is Danny batting right-handed. He might have to give up switch-hitting I think.By your same logic, we don't need Morse either.

  130. JaneB - May 26, 2012 at 10:20 PM

    It is so much fun! Go Kid!

  131. JaneB - May 26, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    Swift, Werth was reallyndoingngreat for us. We need him back. Both Danny and Zimm are producing better and Desi is really better in the five hole….that stuff has nothing to do with Werth being gone. I mean, imagine how good they are with Werth and Morse back?

  132. Swift Eagle - May 26, 2012 at 10:23 PM

    No, I think Morse produces runs. Nady and Moore are not the regulars. Werth was poor w/ RISP. The avg runs are up since he's been out…Just an opinion

  133. Drew - May 26, 2012 at 10:23 PM

    Something Ventered, something gained!Go Kid, Go!

  134. ehay2k - May 26, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    Not watching the game. Just getting SMS updated on my phone. I believe that was the first oppo-boppo?

  135. ehay2k - May 26, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  136. ehay2k - May 26, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  137. djinFl. - May 26, 2012 at 10:28 PM

    If it is Tracy's groin, maybe Morse could just come on up instead of going to Potomac. I would love his bat in Miami. We have another dragon to slay starting Monday.

  138. Brother Juniper - May 26, 2012 at 10:32 PM

    My wife is very disappointed that no one in the Nats dugout took Harper's helmet off after his HR at the beginning of the 7th inning. Any thoughts as to why?

  139. Unknown - May 26, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    Great job by Gorzelanny.Nattydread

  140. Swift Eagle - May 26, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    Just looked this up. Werth was hitting .276 overall. But .192 w/RISP, and .077 w/RISP and 2 outs.With no one on base, he was hitting .353. Accumulating numbers, but not producing runs

  141. NatsLady - May 26, 2012 at 10:41 PM

    Durbin is their human towel? Not much love for him on Barves boards. Too bad, I was hoping he would work out.

  142. Cwj - May 26, 2012 at 10:41 PM

    Strasburg will be fine. Remember, this was only his 27th career start. Not even the equivalent of a full season.He had trouble locating his fastball today, but still struck out 6. Velocity was 95-99mph.ERA now sits at a very good 2.64 for the season.For comparison, through his first 10 starts in 2010 he was: 5-3 with an ERA of 3.07.Basically, I'm not even slightly concerned about him. He an elite pitcher who happened to give up 4 runs today.

  143. MicheleS - May 26, 2012 at 10:42 PM

    Here are couple of tweets from Boz about Stras..Thomas Boswell‏@ThomasBoswellWPPitching w a lead is acquired skill but not hard. Strasburg/Detwiler: talk to Jim Palmer. Last 2 days=ridiculous. Davey must be goin' nutsStrasburg & Flores=awful day. Up 4-0 throw FASTBALLS, get ahead, TRY to give up solo HR. U won't. SS hit 99mph Arm's OK. POUND, don't nibble

  144. Grandstander - May 26, 2012 at 10:43 PM

    My wife is very disappointed that no one in the Nats dugout took Harper's helmet off after his HR at the beginning of the 7th inning. Any thoughts as to why?I was wondering about that too. My theory is that it's the rookie treatment.

  145. Cwj - May 26, 2012 at 10:45 PM

    Thanks for the tweets Michele!Hopefully Boz mentioned that Stras is a 23 year old with 27 starts under his belt.Mentioning Detwiler in the same sentence as Strasburg is silly.I've soured on Boz this year (in case you cant tell):-)

  146. Swift Eagle - May 26, 2012 at 10:45 PM

    Michelle, I agree with most of Bos's points. But I think he was trying to throw fastballs, and couldn't throw it for a strike. At least he was able to hang in there with his other pitches. I don't think he was nibbling, I think he was missing

  147. NatsLady - May 26, 2012 at 10:47 PM

    Can't blame Flores. If the FB isn't working you have to try alternatives.

  148. Swift Eagle - May 26, 2012 at 10:51 PM

    Not fair that Nats have to play a night game tomorrow and a day game at Miami Mon…I'd send JZim to South Beach tomorrow to get a good night sleep

  149. NatsLady - May 26, 2012 at 10:52 PM

    NICE JOB, Gorzy!

  150. NatsLady - May 26, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    Good. Harper gets a look at Kimbrall in a low leverage situation.

  151. mick - May 26, 2012 at 11:01 PM

    Mick's observations…Strass will be fine. I wish Espinoza would either give up hitting left side or work harder at it. I knew the Marlins would be back with Ozzie. i fear them more than any other Easy team. Do you all think Davey should go with Gorzo in 9th?

  152. baseballswami - May 26, 2012 at 11:02 PM

    Mick – are you taking over my job of seeing all and knowing all? Gorzo in the 9th.

  153. NatsLady - May 26, 2012 at 11:02 PM

    Kimbrel. Re: Schedule. It could rain. Also, indoors in Miami, so a break from the heat. Mark my words, Davey will not want to go extra innings tomorrow. WOW, Gorzy in for the save the hard way!

  154. mick - May 26, 2012 at 11:02 PM

    lol swami

  155. baseballswami - May 26, 2012 at 11:05 PM

    Well, for just a minute at least. Short hook!

  156. NatsLady - May 26, 2012 at 11:06 PM

    Ok, didn't work, but sure worth a try. Bulldog alert. Stammen in to finsh the job.

  157. Swift Eagle - May 26, 2012 at 11:07 PM

    Espi can change to RH only, but not during the season. That's a drastic move that requires an off-season. Remember when they changed R Zimm's throwing motion mid-season? Yikes! He was fine the next year

  158. Cwj - May 26, 2012 at 11:07 PM

    Exactly! Well said.On some days a pitcher might not have command of one of his pitches, so he'll use secondary pitches more often.Also agree that he wasn't nibbling. Swift Eagle said… "Michelle, I agree with most of Bos's points. But I think he was trying to throw fastballs, and couldn't throw it for a strike. At least he was able to hang in there with his other pitches. I don't think he was nibbling, I think he was missing"

  159. mick - May 26, 2012 at 11:09 PM

    cant we make this easy?

  160. Cwj - May 26, 2012 at 11:10 PM

    I'd bring in Clippard right now.And as I typed that Davey's doing just that :-)

  161. mick - May 26, 2012 at 11:10 PM

    would it be the ultimate twilight zone moment if Henry came in, lol

  162. NatsLady - May 26, 2012 at 11:10 PM

    Really short hook. Davey wants this one!

  163. Cwj - May 26, 2012 at 11:11 PM

    BTW, I completely missed seeing Wang pitch last night. Was he really throwing 94mph sinkers??

  164. Cwj - May 26, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    Mick- Hahaha! Henry LIVES in the Twilight Zone:-)

  165. MicheleS - May 26, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    Davey wants the series win right now. GO CLIPP!

  166. baseballswami - May 26, 2012 at 11:13 PM

    Nothing is ever easy for the Nats – I miss Drew…I appreciated him last year, but I don't think I appreciated him nearly enough. Can't breathe.

  167. mick - May 26, 2012 at 11:14 PM

    the Bourne identity KO, lol

  168. mick - May 26, 2012 at 11:16 PM

    Its the big one elizabeth!

  169. Swift Eagle - May 26, 2012 at 11:16 PM

    Lets hear it Michelle…

  170. mick - May 26, 2012 at 11:16 PM

    Oh man whewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

  171. Cwj - May 26, 2012 at 11:17 PM

    Awesome!10 games over .500!Go Nats!!!!

  172. NatsLady - May 26, 2012 at 11:17 PM

    And my man Clip shows why he is THE BEST.

  173. MicheleS - May 26, 2012 at 11:18 PM

    WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!Another Series Win!

  174. mick - May 26, 2012 at 11:18 PM

    any news on Tracy?

  175. MicheleS - May 26, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    Swift.. it's my job…didn't get to do it much the last few years, must revel in it now!!!

  176. baseballswami - May 26, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    Can I get a WOOOOOHOOOOOOO. Gonna have to be Burnett to save it tomorrow, folks. Clip is racking up the numbers in a hurry. Where is all this offense coming from? I like it!

  177. Swift Eagle - May 26, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    Nice, very, very nice…Can Gio break "no sweep" streak tomorrow on ESPN?

  178. mick - May 26, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    Clip is the man and Bryce is a BEAST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  179. NatsFan05 - May 26, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    @ Grandstander – May 26, 2012 6:43 PM I think it was mainly Tracey’s job and he pulled his hammy. He was probably getting treatment.

  180. natsfan1a - May 26, 2012 at 11:21 PM

    Hey, the lineup got it done! Wooooooooooo Hoooooooooo!!

  181. Swift Eagle - May 26, 2012 at 11:22 PM

    The 6th inning bounce back after giving up the lead as the sign of a good team…Clutch

  182. natsfan1a - May 26, 2012 at 11:23 PM

    Also, I lol'd at Carp's leadoff malapropism in the 8th – I think it was – Ugly (for Uggla and Hinski). Oh, and stay classy, Hinsky. :-)

  183. Swift Eagle - May 26, 2012 at 11:23 PM

    Better keep Bryce away from that Scotty M. concert…That many teenage girls could get him in trouble..

  184. mick - May 26, 2012 at 11:24 PM

    Swift Eagle, I wish I had those problems back in the day, lol

  185. natsfan1a - May 26, 2012 at 11:29 PM

    My guess was that Tracy, who usually does the honors, wasn't there because of the injury.Grandstander said… My wife is very disappointed that no one in the Nats dugout took Harper's helmet off after his HR at the beginning of the 7th inning. Any thoughts as to why? I was wondering about that too. My theory is that it's the rookie treatment. May 26, 2012 6:43 PM

  186. natsfan1a - May 26, 2012 at 11:31 PM

    Oh, nevermind. I owe NF05 a Coke. :-)NatsFan05 said… @ Grandstander – May 26, 2012 6:43 PM I think it was mainly Tracey’s job and he pulled his hammy. He was probably getting treatment. May 26, 2012 7:19 PM

  187. baseballswami - May 26, 2012 at 11:31 PM

    The pitchers stumble just a little bit and the offense picks them up. People get hurt, others step up. The other team ties it up, we go ahead immediately. These are all very, very good things. I feel proud of my team this year and it's not just the standings or the win totals. I am proud of the way they are overcoming obstacles and playing with hustle. Zim might not have hit a ton yet since he came back, but he hustles, too.

  188. NatsJack in Florida - May 26, 2012 at 11:44 PM

    Derek….watched the game with Gator at our favorite watering hole……all I could do was scream about pitch efficiency.We haven't had a well pitched game in 2 weekks.

  189. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 26, 2012 at 11:44 PM

    So I went back and looked at the two balls to center. Uggla's HR may have ticked off Harper's glove, he was very, very close to catching that. Bourne absolutely lost the ball, almost certainly in the sun, with his glasses on the back of his head. (Cue Nelson Munz: HA-ha!) That ball ticked off the heel of his glove, between the glove and his head, and hit him in the back of the head coming off the wall. Ankiel was wearing glasses. Harper was wearing glasses.

  190. 164abb6e-9075-11e1-aba1-000bcdcb471e - May 26, 2012 at 11:45 PM

    Great win but two weak outings in a row from Strasburg, particularly one where he can't through his fastball for strikes, is a concern.

  191. Swift Eagle - May 26, 2012 at 11:48 PM

    Jack…tell Gator hello for me. It's OK to win with offense every now and then…The hitters have adjusted to our young guns, the game plan is clearly to drive up pitch counts…time for the Fantastic Four to adjust…

  192. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 26, 2012 at 11:49 PM

    Question: Do you recall the Braves under Bobby Cox lollygagging, or getting hit in the head with fly balls because they forgot they have glasses?

  193. Swift Eagle - May 26, 2012 at 11:50 PM

    Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said… Question: Do you recall the Braves under Bobby Cox lollygagging, or getting hit in the head with fly balls because they forgot they have glasses? May 26, 2012 7:49 PM Only in the Play-Offs…

  194. Cwj - May 26, 2012 at 11:54 PM

    Natsjack- Actually that's not true.Stras, Gio, Zimmermann and Jackson have all had multiple good starts (3 runs or less) in the past 14 days.

  195. Swift Eagle - May 26, 2012 at 11:54 PM

    Tracy is .400 w/RISP with 12 RBI in 49 ABs for $750KWerth is .192 w/RISP wiht 12 RBI in 98 ABS for $13Mil

  196. NatsFan05 - May 26, 2012 at 11:57 PM

    @ natsfan1a said… May 26, 2012 7:31 PM Oh, nevermind. I owe NF05 a Coke. :-)How about a beer and bag of peanuts….LOL

  197. Candide - May 27, 2012 at 12:14 AM

    Didn't see the game, but saw a summary that said Nady popped up into a double play. WTF? Someone please explain.

  198. Swift Eagle - May 27, 2012 at 12:18 AM

    Nady was acutally on 2nd. I believe Flores hit a flair towards the middle 2B who caught it on the run and easily beat Nady to the bag

  199. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 27, 2012 at 12:19 AM

    Not quite, Candide. Nady led off with a double, but Tyler Moore popped out to first, and when Flores hit a soft liner right over the bag, but an easy play for the (ss? 2b? I forget) fielder, Nady was NOT back on the bag, even tho it was a soft liner. Ponce de Leon mistake. Can't do that.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 56 44 --
ATLANTA 55 48 2.5
MIAMI 49 53 8.0
NEW YORK 49 54 8.5
PHILADELPHIA 45 58 12.5
Through Friday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
SAT: Nats at Reds, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Reds, 1:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 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.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

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