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Game 47: Nats at Braves

May 27, 2012, 8:00 PM EDT

US Presswire file photo
The Nats try to pull off a sweep on Sunday Night Baseball from Turner Field.

This scenario may sound a bit familiar: The Nationals have taken the first two games from a division rival in convincing fashion and now have an opportunity to sweep the series in front of a nationally televised audience. Yes, we've seen this one before. Perhaps the outcome will be different this time around, considering the Nats have had nine previous opportunities to sweep a series and have yet to pull it off.

You couldn't ask for a better pitching matchup for Sunday Night Baseball, with Gio Gonzalez (6-1, 1.98) facing Brandon Beachy (5-2, 1.77). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it's the first time two pitchers with sub-2.00 ERAs and sub-.200 opponents' batting averages and at least 50 innings pitched have met each other since 1985. Wow.

I'll actually be en route from Washington to Miami for the first portion of the game, the only way I could get down there in time for tomorrow afternoon's Memorial Day game against the Marlins. Until then, enjoy the proceedings and the conversation here as always…

Where: Turner Field
Gametime: 8:05 p.m. EDT
Radio: WWXT (92.7 FM), WWXX (94.3 FM), WJFK (106.7 FM), WTEM (980 AM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 89
Weather: Clear, 83 degrees, Wind 8 mph in from RF

LF Steve Lombardozzi
RF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche

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443 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. fast eddie - May 28, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    Everything relevant has already been said–I just wanted to be Comment #400.

  2. Gonat - May 28, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… More 2005 trivia, on this evening in 2005, the Nats were 24-25 and then the Nats went on a 15-2 run. May 28, 2012 9:42 AM ___________________________One similarity to 2005 is how good and balanced the entire NL East is this year. In 2005, no NL East teams finished below .500

  3. ehay2k - May 28, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    You'd think a Northwestern championship deserved a tweet from an alum who just happens to be a sportswriter. (I am pretty sure Kilgore tweeted when Syracuse made it to the Final Four of the Solo Red-Cup Stacking tourney.)

  4. natsfan1a - May 28, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    What is there left to say? Well, other than #403. :-)

  5. Gonat - May 28, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    I just saw the Brewers/DBacks hilights and low-lights.The low-light is provided by Nyjer Morgan. With bases loaded and 1 out, Nyjer hits a grounder to shortstop with the infield drawn in and the shortstop went home for out #2 and the catcher then threw Nyjer out at 1st for the inning ending doubleplay. Nyjer basically jogged to 1st looking behind him at the play at the plate. The announcers bashed him including the fact that Nyjer has NO RBIs this year!

  6. Faraz Shaikh - May 28, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    if anyone finds a video link of Harper's K, please put it here. I wanna see it again.

  7. UnkyD - May 28, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    Tryna be patient…… Where's the new thread?!

  8. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 28, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    How can a guy like Rick Ankiel be super clutch but not clutch? Last night in the 4th inning, Ankiel struck out with bases loaded and no outs.Ankiel is now only 2 for 14 (.143) with RISP and less than 2 outs but is an amazing 6 for 15 (.400) with RISP with 2 outs.Ank has struck out in 6 of his 14 ABs with RISP and less than 2 outs.Ankiel is batting .231 overall in high leverage situations. My theory is that Ankiel gets amped up in the obvious RBI situations and relaxes more when there are 2 outs in the same situations.

  9. natsfan1a - May 28, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    Stupid LiveJournal ate my post. To reiterate, pitching probables for this series look like Zim-Zamb, Jackson-Sanchez, and Wang-Johnson (you just need to behave on that last one, boys ;-)).

  10. Gonat - May 28, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    Mark Z. just tweeting a confirmation that Corey Brown is at the ballpark and so is Chad Tracy.

  11. UnkyD - May 28, 2012 at 2:30 PM


  12. Gonat - May 28, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… How can a guy like Rick Ankiel be super clutch but not clutch? Last night in the 4th inning, Ankiel struck out with bases loaded and no outs.Ankiel is now only 2 for 14 (.143) with RISP and less than 2 outs but is an amazing 6 for 15 (.400) with RISP with 2 outs.Ank has struck out in 6 of his 14 ABs with RISP and less than 2 outs.Ankiel is batting .231 overall in high leverage situations. My theory is that Ankiel gets amped up in the obvious RBI situations and relaxes more when there are 2 outs in the same situations. May 28, 2012 10:25 AM _________________________________It certainly seemed like Ankiel sometimes comes through and its nice to see what the stats look like. Good theory. Just wish he could ONCE lay off of that high heat.

  13. Faraz Shaikh - May 28, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    Ghost, have you looked at matchups? was he facing a righty in all those at bats? my understanding is that he is a weaker hitter against lefties. anyways, either way that's two few at bats to say anything concrete.

  14. NatsLady - May 28, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    The Braves organist is at it again–for the Cards. Too funny!Matthew Kaminski ‏@bravesorganist#Braves vs. #Cards – Coal Miner's Daughter for Lynn

  15. ehay2k - May 28, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    Funny quote from Nyjer "It's about ME" Morgan on his getting caught running slowly to first while he looked back at home plate: "I thought Rick [Weeks, the runner at third] was going to blast him, to tell you the truth. I was looking back to see some action, got caught up looking at the play and that cost me a little bit of speed there."Yes Nyjer, you would really make a good spectator. I am so, so glad you are no longer a National.

  16. Gonat - May 28, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    ehay2k, thanks for picking that quote. The guy is a clown. It was a force at home! Why would Weeks blast him? Catcher steps on plate and throws to 1st.Nyjer's faithful in Milwaukee are slowly turning on him. Reminds me of what happened on here. I don't think it will turn out well for Nyjer in Milwaukee.

  17. Faraz Shaikh - May 28, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    that sounds like an excuse. Why can't he just admit that he made a mistake?

  18. mick - May 28, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    Niger, Manny, Dukes,100 plus losses, etc the culture of LOSERS is gone, the curse is over!!!The only thing from the past I would love to see/hear would be 25 to 6 to 4 Chicago as the Nats theme song on MASN as it was in 1968 on WTOP for the Senators. lol

  19. Gonat - May 28, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    Speaking of Nyjer, his tradee to the Nats Cutter Dykstra is doing well, sort of. I'm reading through the Nats MiLB stats and see Cutter Dykstra had a big day in A ball. The strange thing is that Dykstra was demoted. He is now playing in Hagerstown Low A as he ended the season last year in Potomac High A.

  20. NatsLady - May 28, 2012 at 3:00 PM

    Marlin's blog "Fish Stripes" predicts the Nats will win 5-2. I appreciate the honesty, but–really? Your own team?Fish Stripes

  21. baseballswami - May 28, 2012 at 3:00 PM

    Finally caught up on last night's game. Didn't know what you were talking about re; the ump – watched it again – yikes. He is a champion for staying in that game. Any Flo news? He has played an awful lot recently after only playing a time or two a week. He also ran the bases last night a lot :) — his legs may just need a break. Maldonado is a big guy, no? Nats must be pretty tired today, although I am figuring that the trip was not long and they were in a good mood. Who will surprise me today? Or, rather, why does anything surprise me at this point? Go Nats! Go ZNN!

  22. UnkyD - May 28, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    For Corey: get 1 or 2 hits and a walk every day…and never look back…

  23. mick - May 28, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    swami… I bet Nats play good today, where the fatigue catches up will be on Tuesday, I look for a tough game on Tuesday, maybe Wang can carry them? Bryce Harper as the opportunity to do what Ovechkin has failed to do so far In DC and that is become an icon like Jordan in Chicago.this is exciting for all DC and well deserved

  24. Gonat - May 28, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    From Chase on JFlo: hope Lombardozzi is taking some pitches in the bullpen just in case.

  25. NatsLady - May 28, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    mick, right. The adrenalin is probably still pumping. You know I am a big CMW fan, want to see him do great tomorrown and Det for about 3-4 innings in GOOD relief. Roof will be closed so Det should not get too tired.In the meantime, let's get some of those runs for JZ!Changing my pic for today. Remember those in uniform, living and dead.

  26. NatsLady - May 28, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    Mark and Amanda tweeted some pics of the Marlins' stadium. It looks really pretty except for The Thing (which blocks the view of Miami). How about let's NOT light it up!

  27. mick - May 28, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    God Bless you Nats lady. I just spoke with my Uncle a few days ago who is 89 and going strong, he fought and was wounded in Italy. I can not even imagine a young 19 year old today facing what the greatest generation faced back then

  28. Gonat - May 28, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    Good news via MarkZ:Jesus Flores says his hamstring feels much better today. Hoping to play tomorrow but will wait to see how it feels.

  29. hmm... - May 28, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    mick – its nyjer. and you know it. shame on you.

  30. Gonat - May 28, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    Its official. Corey Brown on the roster! Lets do it CB!!!!

  31. NatsLady - May 28, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    Looking at the replay, bottom of the ninth. Hinsky's face when he realizes he has to face ANOTHER lefty–priceless!

  32. UnkyD - May 28, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    Chase was apparently distracted enough to think Jesus scored a run on that play…by jogging into 2nd? Actually liking that he took himself out there… Didn't look hurt, and I'll bet he could have toughed it out…and possibly wound up on the DL… Good on ya, JFlo!!

  33. NatsLady - May 28, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    mick, my father was in the South Pacific (radio operator).

  34. Gonat - May 28, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    Why not get CBrown in against the RH pitcher in place of Ankiel?Lineup: Lombardozzi LF, Harper RF, Zimmerman 3B, LaRoche 1B, Desmond SS, Espinosa 2B, Ankiel CF, Maldonado C, Zimmermann RHP

  35. waddu eye no - May 28, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    saw a lot of the returning kids at the capital reception last nite – after the rainout. the only reason it doesn't completely break your heart is that they've got the best attitudes in the crowd. the humility before the praise they get (and deserve) and love for each other – and country – is breathtaking to see. they're a pretty great generation themselves.anybody in a position to hire someone? call walter reed

  36. waddu eye no - May 28, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    as per nats lady: nominate you for insider foreign press correspondent.

  37. NatsLady - May 28, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    Gonat, I would say because of defense–unfamiliar park. Yes, it's unfamiliar to Ank, but he has a better chance. Another righty tomorrow (Anibal Sanchez) gives Corey Brown opportunity to shag a few flies and see how it plays.

  38. jeffwx - May 28, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    I would think they would not play Lombo since he is the backup catcher. Brown in CF.

  39. Gonat - May 28, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    NatsLady, that's probably what Davey will do. Many managers will get the new HOT call-up right in there. Davey will probably use him as a PH. Ugh

  40. realdealnats - May 28, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    Just got in from Memphis and wow The Energizer Thread is still going…Drew @ 1:27–great post. Great problems to have. Love Rendon but fear injuries throughout his career. Let Rendon force his way into the lineup with a couple seasons injury free before trading valuable pieces, like Espi and Lombo, already in the fold. Seamhead @ 8:09 have always loved Rizzo–especially when he deepened the scouting dept and brought Davey aboard. Now they remind me of Beathard and Gibbs. But seem to get along better. Nats ability to keep plugging in talent when holes open up is noteworthy. And, agreed, looking for more of the same in 2012 draft.Mick @ 11:04–love the reference to Ovechkin. I always post late so don't often get into the back and forth of the threads, unfortunately, but I've said at least twice–and this applies to Joe Seamhead too–hey–let's steal this WS THIS year while we're still young and naive. Before we put too much pressure on ourselves. It does indeed appear to be a perfect storm forming. But it is a marathon…Would also like to end by saying what a cool group this is commenting night in and night out. Insightful, witty, prescient, thorough. For all the inches of copy, there are not many I gloss over. In this sense, this thread is its own perfect storm. Thanks MarkZ! PFB…GYFNGoGo

  41. mick - May 28, 2012 at 4:50 PM

    hmm..I swear, that was a typo, if I offended anyone I apologize!

  42. mick - May 28, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    realdealnats…. TY!

  43. mick - May 28, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    Nats lady: God Bless your Father!



x-WASHINGTON 90 64 --
ATLANTA 76 78 14.0
NEW YORK 75 80 15.5
MIAMI 74 80 16.0
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Saturday's games


x-WASHINGTON (5) 90 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 88 67 2.5
ST. LOUIS 87 68 3.5
SAN FRANCISCO 84 70 6.0 +1.0
PITTSBURGH 83 71 7.0 --
MILWAUKEE 80 75 10.5 3.5
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Saturday's games

SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 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.


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 Click here for past audio clips.

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