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Rough end to tough road trip

May 31, 2012, 4:15 AM EDT

Associated Press photo
Giancarlo Stanton clubbed another home run to lead the Marlins over the Nats.

MIAMI — They entered this futuristic, psychedelic ballpark on Monday flying high as a kite, winners in five of the first six games of this key road trip and holding a season-high 2 1/2-game lead in the NL East.

By the time they packed their bags Wednesday night to head home, the Nationals were stinging from a sweep at hands of their longtime nemeses, their stranglehold on baseball's toughest division down to a mere 1/2-game following a 5-3 loss to the resurgent Marlins.

"It's definitely tough," left-hander Ross Detwiler said. "We hit a hot team at the wrong time."

Did they ever. A Miami club that appeared on the verge of self-inflicted implosion not long ago just completed the most-successful month in franchise history, going 21-8 in May. They've got one of the most-feared hitters in the game today in Giancarlo Cruz-Michael Stanton and a deepRead more »

118 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. The Natidude - May 31, 2012 at 4:20 AM

    For all the heat devoted to the Phillies, the Marlins are the team Nats should be worried about. Not only can they hit like crazy but they just have their damn number.

  2. peric - May 31, 2012 at 4:25 AM

    For all the heat devoted to the Phillies, the Marlins are the team Nats should be worried about. Not only can they hit like crazy but they just have their damn number.Yep, particularly given the dearth of success the Nats have had against the Fish historically.

  3. peric - May 31, 2012 at 4:27 AM

    A lot of this is on Davey. He's messing around like Riggleman trying to find places to put favored veterans … like Nady, Wang, etc. And then you look at Bryce. its far better to go young early Davey … you helped invent that approach to the game by using stats pretty much from the get-go. Why are you deviating from that now? Is age catching up finally?

  4. PChuck - May 31, 2012 at 4:49 AM

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  5. PChuck - May 31, 2012 at 4:53 AM

    Stanton is better than our pitchers. Why doesn't Davey Johnson understand that? Does it take losing every game to the Marlins and he STILL won't walk him. Sometimes, in this series, it was SO EASY to walk him. The first run tonight, a runner at 3rd with two outs and first base open. Walk him and see what Morrisson could do. I'll bet they wouldn't have scored.Stanton single-handedly beat the Nationals this series because Davey Johnson wouldn't walk him. Look at what Stanton did to us in this series. If Davey had just put up four fingers when Stanton came to bat, we would have won this series.

  6. rogieshan - May 31, 2012 at 5:09 AM

    If Johnson's intention is to use Brown sparingly like he did with Moore, then I wish the team would just call up Teahen or Michaels, instead. Both youngsters were hitting well and playing regularly at the time of their promotion, but it is ludicrous to expect them to come up here and perform in an unfamiliar role off the bench at the big-league level. Why sacrifice their development when you have veterans in AAA who have the experience to handle the task?As for Espinosa, he of a thousand excuses, "It's the glare from the backdrop…bunting is harder than it looks…", and tonight: "It's tough to play on the road, a new stadium."

  7. Joe Seamhead - May 31, 2012 at 9:37 AM

    Joe Seamhead said…I want to clarify something going back to the game thread. To start with, I love Steve Lombardozzi…as a second baseman. In the fourth inning when Wang walked two batters, got one out , had guys on 2nd and 3rd,Coughlin hit a fly ball to shallow left, scoring Morrison. Lombo made a painfully soft, lollipop throw to the plate. A LF with an average ML arm gets the out at the plate, and the inning would be over with the Nats still winning 3-1.Instead, the run scores, the runner on 2nd advances to 3rd,and scores on the next play . I got blasted on the thread, but I went back and watched it again and Lombo made a weak throw.It's not his fault, but he does not have a ML outfielder's arm. And yes, I think if any other outfielder on the Nats had been playing left field, the runner would have likely been out at the plate.That's my opinion.May 31, 2012 5:34 AM

  8. Dryw Loves the Nats - May 31, 2012 at 9:43 AM

    Does Perry v. Stanton just seem unfair somehow?Last night a friend and I were wondering if we could get a couple of Nats to change their names to Giancarlo. It seems to do crazy-good things to your bat!It's ok, the boys are coming home now, as is Beast Mode. Life is good despite the sweep.

  9. NatsJack in Florida - May 31, 2012 at 9:46 AM

    I vote for "Giancarlo" Morse for starters.

  10. rabbit34 - May 31, 2012 at 9:57 AM

    Walking Stanton in key situations?? I don't know. How'd we like to see Harper walked in key situations…..all the time? That was a great pinch-hit at bat by Ankiel. You could feel that coming. Oh well, this very well may have been a sign of more to come.

  11. Unknown - May 31, 2012 at 10:45 AM

    I don't like Espi's comment – that's a losers mentality – you don't hear pennant winning teams talking about being satisfied with a 5-4 road trip. The vets need to pull him aside and explain to him how winners behave and what they say to the press. Like my old coach used to say, if you want to be a winner, you need to carry yourself like winners. Time to get a lot tougher, Espi or be satisified with .500 baseball in Syracuse!

  12. PChuck - May 31, 2012 at 10:51 AM

    This series was on horrible little spectacle for the offense.Lombardozzi – 5/11 with 1BB and 0KHarper – 2/12 with 0BB and 2KZimmerman – 2/12 with 0BB and 1KLaRoache – 2/11 with 1BB and 5KDesmond – 2/11 with 1BB and 4KEspinosa – 2/8 with 1BB and 4KAnkiel – 1/8 with 0BB and 3KEverybody except Lombardozzi came up craps for this series. It's tough to win with these kind of performances all the the up and down the lineup.And Rick Ankiel shouldn't see the field again for anything other than as a defensive substitute.

  13. AndesAngle - May 31, 2012 at 11:15 AM

    Davey realizes this team has a bright future. That is why he gave Wang a chance and why he is giving Espi a chance. I like that. This team is a surprise in first place. I'd rather win a lot in the future than a little this year.Only question I have…is Eckstein a good hitting coach for the future of this team?

  14. mick - May 31, 2012 at 11:19 AM

    Lombo came to play against Marlins, the rest of the team was half ass

  15. mick - May 31, 2012 at 11:21 AM

    reflecting on the season so far, the Marlins are the best team in the NL, followed by Dodgers, and I think we are the third or fourth best

  16. mick - May 31, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    realistically, Nats are one season away assuming there are not the same insane injuries as this season from contending for a pennant

  17. mick - May 31, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    AndesAngle…. Davey's loyalty has to have limits… Eckstein is one of the last remnants of the culture of losers that should be shown the door YESTERDAY!

  18. dcdingo - May 31, 2012 at 11:36 AM

    We exorcised the Atlanta demon this road trip. Seems the fish still have our number. The crucial thing is whether being swept for the first time this season results in a serious funk, or do we bounce back at home against the Braves?

  19. mick - May 31, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    dcdingo… I would assume we bounce back. I think the Marlins are very good and Ozzie may be the best manager in baseball. I think Davey is very good too, but he was out coached all 3 games by Ozzie.

  20. mick - May 31, 2012 at 11:39 AM

    I know most of you already know this… Davey Johnson is one of the nicest human beings one could ever meet. A nice guy and a winner too

  21. mick - May 31, 2012 at 11:43 AM

    watching turtle man with Matt Lauer before I get to work and I had a thought.. do you all know that there are turtles that are alive that were around when the 1925 Nats won a World Series!I know, i have too much time on my hands, lol

  22. Joe Seamhead - May 31, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    Mick, I disagree that the Nats a re a season away if,and I underline 'if' we get Morse and Storen back healthy. Morse's RBI's missing are obvious. Storen out doesn't just affect the 9th inning, it means tampering and adjusting all of the bull pen, especially the set up guys. I agree that Lombardozzi's bat has been terrific,bordering on unbelievable. He has done an overall good job adjusting to balls hit to him glove-wise, but every team in the league is going to constantly test his arm, and more often than not, they will do so successfully. Because of his bat, and his loyality to Espinosa, Davey is forced to play Steve out of position. Like I said, he will be exploited for his lack of a outfielder's arm.

  23. MicheleS - May 31, 2012 at 11:58 AM

    Mick, I have to disagree that Ozzie is the best manager in baseball. Too many issues off the field. Take a look at the last couple of years in chicago. And take a look at what the White Sox are doing now with basically the same team. He will wear out his welcome in Miami in about 2 or 3 years not only with the fans, but also with the Players (which is where it matters the most)Also, on Eck – I know NOTHING about what a hitting coach does so bear that in mind – Why was no one complaining about him during the Philly and Atlanta games when we were crushing the ball? I also see Harper talking to him A LOT in the dugout, so he can't be all that bad.

  24. NatsLady - May 31, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    J Seamhead, speaking of Lombo in LF, wasn't there a catch that he should have made? I was at work at didn't see a lot of the game, but heard a snippet that there was a catchable ball in the same inning that also could have gotten Wang out of some trouble. Not exactly sure what happened, I saw innings where CMW seemed good, then, when I wasn't watching he walks two guys and then in the next inning when Davey brings him back to pitch to the righties, he gives up singles…I'm not exactly sure why Davey did that. I know it was early in the game, and CMW hadn't qualified for the win, but why not pinch hit for Wang and so Det starts the 5th clean? I know, two righties, etc., but Det is/was a starting pitcher, he's supposed be able to handle them.I understand loyalty and the economics of arbitration but we need to get away from worrying about whether a pitcher wins a game, and more towards whether the team wins. It wouldn't bother me at all if CMW/Det routinely combined for 8-9 innings every 5 days. Give 'em each 1/2 a win.

  25. Gonat - May 31, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    peric said… A lot of this is on Davey. He's messing around like Riggleman trying to find places to put favored veterans … like Nady, Wang, etc. And then you look at Bryce. its far better to go young early Davey … you helped invent that approach to the game by using stats pretty much from the get-go. Why are you deviating from that now? Is age catching up finally? May 31, 2012 12:27 AM _________________________________Davey is stubborn and this love affair with Espi and Ankiel has cost this team dearly. He got 2 good at-bats from Espi and 2 bad at-bats but you got 2 good at-bats from Bernadina who barely gets playing time.This team played better without Ankiel and that is who Davey chooses for the 9th inning pinch-hit over Strasburg? (LOL)

  26. NatsLady - May 31, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    I don't mind Espi's comments at all (in this case). He's right, if you told us beforehand we would be 5-4 against the Fils/Barves/Fishies in their houses who wouldn't have been happy? It was aggravating that it came 5-1 and then 0-3, but in the W/L column it's the same result.Also, as Espi said, the Nats came into an unfamiliar park (especially the first game, no pre-grame practice). The grounds crew has not solved the turf problem, there were clods of mud, lots of slipping and sliding (the Nats just missed a break in the 9th on Tuesday). Whether or not that's an "excuse"–let's face it, the park didn't make CMW walk guys, or Perry give up a home run–I had the exactly same impression as Espi and I'm just an observer.If you think Espi should get better training on cliches from his agent, fine. Then you won't get much insight, so why bother with interviews? Just let the players leave a note for the press like the Axe did.

  27. NatsLady - May 31, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    Have to admit, I'm listening on the radio in the car, and when I heard Ankiel was on-deck as the pinch-hitter, I thought–a frail reed… a frail reed… (And I like Ankiel.) Ducking–because here comes the flack–Lombo's been great, but when Morse comes back, I'd rather have Lombo on the bench to pinch hit in the 9th than in LF. Seriously, with Tracy gone, Lombo should spell guys in the infield and pinch hit, except maybe in Fenway.vs. LHP Morse/Brown or Ankiel/Harpervs. RHP Morse/Harper/Nady or Brown.However, and this is a big however, if Morse has ANY problem throwing, get him outta the outfield and (sigh) put Lombo back in.Repeating a previous question: with Tracy out, who is ALR's backup at first?

  28. Jimmy - May 31, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    I'm also willing to blame Davey for a lot of this season. I blame him for us being 8 games above 500. I blame him for us still being in first place just a day away from June. I blame him for how we've managed to do both of those things while being ravaged by injuries to some of our most important players. We just got swept on the road by the (currently) hottest team in baseball, ending a very tough divisional road-trip at 5-4. It's really too bad Davey has no idea what he's doing. I mean, if he'd only done this or that we probably wouldn't have lost a single game this year! It's so easy, I can't believe he didn't think of it himself.

  29. Joe Seamhead - May 31, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    NatsLady, that next fly all single to left might have have been catchable by a better then average LF, but if there had been a better then average left fielder out there then the third out would have been the play at the plate, before that ball was hit.Look, Wang wasn't sharp, but if a better throw was made on the sac fly Wang gets through the fourth leading 3-1. The game changed right there, as did Wang's line on paper.This series sucked, but we come off a tough road trip 5-4. We're 2-3 against the Marlins so far this season.SS pitches tomorrow, followed by Gio. We're still good! GYFNG!

  30. Gonat - May 31, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    NatsLady, you would rather have Lombo on the bench to pinch-hit rather than 4 to 5 ABs a game?Again, Morse in LF, Brown in CF, Harp in RF. Lombo at 2nd.There you go, you maximize your offense while enhancing your defense.

  31. Joe Seamhead - May 31, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    Great post, Jimmy! Blaming Johnson is just plumb dumb.

  32. Joe Seamhead - May 31, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    Gonat, I like your OF. Johnson is not going to bench Espinosa, at this point. Lombo will be the utility guy until someone goes down, by injury, or benched.NatsLady, I would think Morse would be your backup 1B. Tracy did great as a PH, but he's pretty bad at 1B.

  33. Bzl. - May 31, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    But it's obvious that almost everyone here would win at least 75% of the games if only they were manager. With one hand tied behind their back! And they'd be able to win a Super Bowl with the Redskins at the same time!

  34. natsfan1a - May 31, 2012 at 12:41 PM

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  35. natsfan1a - May 31, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    I'm with NatsLady on Danny's comments. Coming into this stretch, there was media doom and gloom about facing the tough AL and NL East divisions. The Nats took 2/3 at Philly and 3/3 at Atlanta. Then they visited the Marlins, who seem to still own them. (Could it be in their heads? btw, I *told* them that someone needed to bury a Marlins jersey at the new park back in spring training. Way to execute on that idea. Not. ;-) But I digress.)So it wasn't a happy flight, and now they have almost two full half days to stew about it. Or to rest up and be refreshed and ready to go for the next game. Banged up? Yes. Beaten in Florida? Yes. Still in first? Yes. And 8 games over .500. And having the third best record in the majors. I happen to think that's PFB, but that's just me. As I said earlier in the season, I'm going to enjoy this crazy ride while it lasts. Yes, maybe the tailpipe's dragging and the tires are a little squishy. But get 'er into the pit, maybe put a little high-octane Beast fuel in the tank, and let's see what Friday brings. (I think my metaphor just crashed and burned. Oh well. It happens.)In other news, if you haven't yet read it, get on over and read Comak's piece on Ramos helping out a little girl who needs heart surgery. (Hat tip to MicheleS for posting a link in the game thread.)

  36. Gonat - May 31, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    Joe – Davey has been a great motivator and teacher. He has instilled this winning attitude. On the other side, he has been willing to stick with players like Henry, Ankiel, and Danny who have not done the job. At some point you have to no when to hold them and when to fold them. Espi has MiLB options, Ank should be on the bench, and Henry should be a mop up guy.Davey's biggest issue was not pulling Wang earlier yesterday. Detwiler was ready.Also some blame to having Lombo so deep when Josh Johnson came up in the opposite field.The entire series the Nats pitchers tried to challenge Stanton and it didn't go well. The one time Wang threw 2 sliders in a row he got him to strike out. Perry tried the same thing but the slider started outside and landed over a foot outside. Why did he then come back inside? Result, a pulled HR. Not smart.The Nats were really in a position to win all of these games if they executed on offense. If the offense scores 6 runs in any of these games, the Nats win.

  37. NatsLady - May 31, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    Here is what I posted on another site, just to put things in perspective on the Fish series.The FIshies got some good luck there, not facing Gio or Stras, though EJax was excellent except for the pickoff play, and JZimm was only OK when he needed to DOMINATE. Wednesday we put out our 5th starter (Wang-Detwiler) and they couldn’t keep the lead. The human towel (Perry) gave up a dinger to Giancarlo (quelle surprise).Right now, the Fish are healthy, and the Nats–12 guys on the DL and that doesn’t count Flores (resting from a strain), HRod (slammed his finger in a door) and Maldonado (also “resting”), not to mention RZimm (recovering shoulder), LaRoche (tired?) and R. Ankiel (flu, maybe? Bernadina just recovered from it). Solano called his first ML game.Seems like Heath Bell is back to form, so that’s a plus for them. The Fish are hot, clearly, and familiar with playing in their park–which may have The Thing, but apparently doesn’t have grass growing in the outfield…Gonat, what Lombo gains with the extra at-bats he loses in LF (though he's a gamer and really trying). Yes, I would have LOVED to have Lombo on the bench to pinch hit in the top of the 9th instead of Ankiel.

  38. natsfan1a - May 31, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    Also, I believe that they've clung to a half-game lead before, and been tied for first, and been a half-game behind. Did anyone expect to be in first place all season? What are we, Yankee fans? ;-)"Over? Did you say over? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? [Heck] no! And it ain't over now! Cause when the going gets tough, the tough get goin'. Who's with me?" – Animal House

  39. bowdenball - May 31, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    Really nice to see so many fans taking the long view and realizing that this team is way ahead of what anyone would have projected at this point, especially considering the injuries. I expected some doom and gloom after getting swept- that's the way things often are with sports fans on the internet. Great to see my fellow Nats fans keeping perspective!Some perspective for those of you who fear the Marlins- they ducked Strasburg and Gio in this series and were at home against a team at the end of an exhausting roadtrip, and they still only one the three games by a combined six runs. Their run differential even after this sweep is only +2. That's FOURTH in the division, 23 runs behind us and also well behind the Phillies and the Mets. They've had a great May, but also a lucky May, with a lot of close wins against some pretty mediocre competition- take a look at the schedule. They're really not that good.

  40. Gonat - May 31, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    Joe Seamhead said… Gonat, I like your OF. Johnson is not going to bench Espinosa, at this point. Lombo will be the utility guy until someone goes down, by injury, or benched.NatsLady, I would think Morse would be your backup 1B. Tracy did great as a PH, but he's pretty bad at 1B. May 31, 2012 8:38 AM ______________________________You are right on Espi. He won't bench him but that is what he should go with. Not sure what Lombo has to do to prove he won the starting position.Brown needs the starts to see if he can replicate what we saw in AAA.

  41. bowdenball - May 31, 2012 at 12:54 PM

    "won the three games," not "one the three games." Guess I need more coffee.

  42. NatsLady - May 31, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    Bowdenball, no, they're not. They have several regulars hitting at or below the Mendoza line. Here is a comment from a Marlins fan (speaking of perspective). On the downside, Chris Coghlan took yet another ohfer and dropped his BA to .134, while John Buck went an official one for three with an RBI on what was really a blown fielder’s choice, lifting his average to .164. You don’t really want to see either of these guys’ slash lines, which look more like the packages of cut up chicken parts in the salmonella bin at Publix than a line of stats. Slightly better: Bryan Peterson, Tweeter’s favorite hot tub partner, hiked his average to the Mendoza line with a 1-for-2 performance and a couple of walks.

  43. Great PFB Balls of Fire - May 31, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    Gotta love the day after gnashing of teeth. I wouldn't be surprised if we wake up Sept. 1 with everyone in the division having a chance to make the playoffs. Maybe not the Mets.

  44. natsfan1a - May 31, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    Additionally, Nats are 15-8 at home, 11-6 vs. the NL East, and 14-13 on the road – wait, that's a winning record, right? Breathe. It's a marathon, not a sprint. Etc., etc., etc. :-)

  45. NatsLady - May 31, 2012 at 12:59 PM

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  46. Gonat - May 31, 2012 at 12:59 PM

    NatsLady, outside of Stanton, Hanley and Reyes they are pretty bad. The Nats did a great job against Reyes. Not so great against Hanley and embarrassingly bad against Stanton. That's Nats pitchers didn't seem to have a plan against Stanton. This seems to be a reoccuring theme lately as in Votto, McCutcheon and Kemp.

  47. NatsLady - May 31, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    @Great PFB, you think this is bad? Try the comments in the game thread and the "instant analysis." Unreadable.Lombo wasn't in competition for the starting 2B job, so he didn't have anything to prove. The fact that he started in LF is a tribute to his hot bat and general baseball "smarts." The problem with walking or pitching around Stanton is Morrison. Same with Kemp (Ethier). The guy behind Votto (Rolen) was hitting .134, so they could handle him in the first series, then Dusty made some changes and it wasn't so easy. If our 3-4-5 were hitting, it would be a match, that's the issue. Good hitters will hit, we just need somma that.

  48. natsfan1a - May 31, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    Jason Reid has a nice piece on Davey's influence. (Did FP leave him a curly W Kool-Aid packet, too? :-))

  49. lowcountry - May 31, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    I heard that Henry was trying to hit the bathroom sink when he hit the door instead. . .Detwiler as a closer?

  50. NatsLady - May 31, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    Gonat, I personally think they were both embarassing but Ramirez more so. The stats bear me out. FYI:May 28,29,30–Giancarlo .500/.583/1.200H. Ramirez .800/.750/1.300

  51. MicheleS - May 31, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    Jimmy.. You win the post of the day Prize (which is our gratitude for bringing some humor and levity to this thread)!!!!

  52. NatsJack in Florida - May 31, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    Great post Jimmy. I was trying to forulate a similar post but it would have been filled with extreme snarkiness and aimed at several whinners, but I digress.Again, great post.

  53. MicheleS - May 31, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    1A.. Thanks for the Link to the Reid article.. He really has been drinking the Koolaid. He was the one that was lobbying for the previous manager to get an extension. On ESPI… We are going to have to have PATIENCE people. Remember when everyone wanted Ian shipped to outer Siberia? I don't think we want that now.

  54. bowdenball - May 31, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    It would be really nice if Nats fans could set up some sort of way to make a collective donation to help pay for the needed medical care for Wilson Ramos' "little sister" Vicky Cabrera, the girl described in Amanda Comak's article. Does anyone know if there is a way to set this up on the internet so that Nats fans could be assured that they weren't being scammed?

  55. NatsLady - May 31, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    Second place to lowcounty for the HRod comment!Detwiler as closer, hmmmm. Power pitcher, doesn't seem to have the stamina (or whatever) to get through the rotation three times.Only problem is his splits:Righties bat .303 against him, lefties .109. That's why Davey left Wang in to pitch to two righties in the bottom of the 5th. Can't have a lefty closer with that kind of platoon split.

  56. MicheleS - May 31, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    Bowdenball. I bet you could contact the Nats and see if they can do something on the Web site.

  57. A DC Wonk - May 31, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    NatsLady said… @Great PFB, you think this is bad? Try the comments in the game thread and the "instant analysis." Unreadable.I'm glad I wasn't involved in NI last night, and just watched the game with my daughter.The gloom and doom here from some is so ridiculous as to be laughable.We have some guys saying that Davey has too much loyalty to the old guys and the next sentence rip him for playing Espi (who just turned 25). And while Espi is getting ripped, do we even remember he went two for four with a triple and scored two runs last night?We have other guys ripping Davey for not giving LaRoche a rest, because the guy is clearly tired and Davey is burning him out. Anybody notice that he hit two doubles last night?BTW, is Bryce untouchable? Do we blame Davey b/c Bryce struck out on three pitches *with the bases loaded* the other night, or is mentioning that that not politically correct?Why did Davey stick with Wang so long? That's obvious, too. Wang's rusty, and there's only one way to get the rust off. So Davey has to engage in a balancing act between leaving him in to get the rust off, and not leaving him in too long so as to let the game out of hand. It should have been 3-3 when he exited — totally winnable for the Nats. Davey thinks Wang will benefit the team in the future, and we still have 2/3 of the season to play, and so it's worth finding out. While he struggled with control, he also had ooutlandishly-wicked movement on a lot of his pitches, don't you think?NatsLady, outside of Stanton, Hanley and Reyes they are pretty bad.Then how did they end up 20-8, or something like that, for the month of May?And as for "the Marlins have our number" — I don't believe that for a minute. This is a new season. And as NatsLady and bowdenball pointed out: it was the hottest May team in baseball facing our #3, #4, and #5 pitchers, and with Heath just regaining his form, (and umpteen Nats on the DL) and with a bit of luck the Nats easily could have won the series.With perhaps just a single extra timely hit from Bryce, and if Zim makes that throw better, we could have been 7-2 on this so-called killer road trip.But we don't get all the breaks all the time. So, we come back from the killer road trip at "only" 5-4, "only" a 1/2 game in first, with a day off, and the top of the rotation starting on Friday.It's a marathon and not a sprint. Enjoy that fact that our boys are playing on a level light years ahead of the last couple of years, witha d@mn smart manager, with guys (finally!) starting to come _off_ the DL, and keep looking at the standings and focus on who's looking up at us, and who's in first place.

  58. Gonat - May 31, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    I try to take the emotion out as much as I can and watch the game. What I keep seeing and as NatsLady @ 9:21 backs up, Nats pitching did a poor job pitching to both Stanton and Hanley. There was poor execution in at-bats and in the situational pitching. Its not just this series, its almost every series. I watched how they pitched Zim away and 2 seamers when they came back over the plate, LaRoche on breaking pitches, and Desmond up and away to try to neutralize the Nats 3-4-5 guys. They seemed to have a plan and it obviously worked most of the series. THE NATS ONLY HR WAS BY JORDAN ZIMMERMANN

  59. natsfan1a - May 31, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    Not sure how I arrived at that one. Must be the new math or something. Or online editing. Make that two *full* days. natsfan1a regrets the error. :-)So it wasn't a happy flight, and now they have almost two full half days to stew about it.

  60. NatsLady - May 31, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    Burnett's splits much better. That is (to me) why he'll be closing before Detwiler. Det will wind up as a LOOGY/long reliever if he can't start.Against Burnett, righties bat .160 although the OBP is higher because he's walked 6 right-handed batters.Lefties bat .192 and he hasn't walked any.

  61. bowdenball - May 31, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    Good idea, Michelle. Thanks.

  62. Gonat - May 31, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    bowdenball said… It would be really nice if Nats fans could set up some sort of way to make a collective donation to help pay for the needed medical care for Wilson Ramos' "little sister" Vicky Cabrera, the girl described in Amanda Comak's article. Does anyone know if there is a way to set this up on the internet so that Nats fans could be assured that they weren't being scammed? May 31, 2012 9:30 AM ____________________________Kind of pathetic that the shoebox in the Nats clubhouse only raised $3,500 considering 15 millionaires plus a millionaire Manager and DL players that were there when the shoebox was put out. $84 million in gross money just in this group which is about $50 million after taxes which should earn about $42,000 a month in combined interest if they invested 1/2 there gross at 2% and all they could scrounge up together is $3,500Werth, Jayson $16,570,000 Zimmerman, Ryan $12,100,000 Jackson, Edwin $11,000,000 LaRoche, Adam $8,000,000 Strasburg, Stephen $4,875,000 Wang, Chien-Ming $4,000,000 Morse, Michael $3,500,000 Gonzalez, Gio $3,350,000 Gorzelanny, Tom $3,000,000 Burnett, Sean $2,300,000 Zimmermann, Jordan $2,300,000 Harper, Bryce $1,750,000 Clippard, Tyler $1,650,000 Ankiel, Rick $1,250,000 Lidge, Brad $1,000,000 Flores, Jesus $815,000 DeRosa, Mark $800,000 Tracy, Chad $750,000 Nady, Xavier $700,000 Desmond, Ian $512,500 Espinosa, Danny $506,000 Storen, Drew $498,750 Bernadina, Roger $493,500 Ramos, Wilson $491,250 Rodriguez, Henry $491,000 Detwiler, Ross $485,000 Stammen, Craig $485,000 Lombardozzi, Steve $481,000 Mattheus, Ryan $481,000

  63. NatsLady - May 31, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    What I keep seeing and as NatsLady @ 9:21 backs up, Nats pitching did a poor job pitching to both Stanton and Hanley.Or, Stanton and Hanley did a good job hitting against Nats pitching. As they have done against other teams' pitching.Somehow the Nats' pitching did OK against Infante (.167) who was hitting .329 coming into the series. Reyes went 4 for 13, so I'm not sure that was so "great," on the Nats part. 4 for 13 is .308 BA…

  64. hiramhover - May 31, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    Yes, losing sucks. Losing your perspective sucks too, and that's what many commenters–or at least, a few people responsible for many comments–seem to be doing. So thanks to Jimmy and DC Wonk for restoring some perspective–hear, hear!

  65. NatsLady - May 31, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    Gonat just became a scroll-by for me after that last post.

  66. MicheleS - May 31, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    Gonat.. I don't think that is fair.. I would assume most of the guys emptied the wallets of the cash that they had on hand. How many people even keep more than $20 or 30 in their wallets now? So few people use cash now.We also don't know if anything has been done since then.

  67. bowdenball - May 31, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    Gonat said…Kind of pathetic that the shoebox in the Nats clubhouse only raised $3,500 considering 15 millionaires plus a millionaire Manager and DL players that were there when the shoebox was put out.That's a bit of a snap judgment, isn't it? First of all, it's possible that other Nationals players have things like this that they fund. We didn't know about Vicky Cabrera until Amanda Comak wrote the article; maybe there's a lot of Vicky Cabreras out there that the other players help to care for. Second, you don't know the circumstances- maybe the DL guys who are the two highest paid players on the team weren't there that day, maybe nobody really explained in detail what the money was for (likely the case IMO), maybe this sort of thing happens every week in major league clubhouses and there's just a standard practice of throwing $100 or so into the shoebox so nobody seems like they're playing favorites.Lots of players do wonderful things for charities and the community. No reason to jump on this one as an example of bad behavior, especially with so many major leaguers like Ramos and Miguel Cabrera doing so much.

  68. Gonat - May 31, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    NatsLady, sorry that offended you in some way. These are men of extaordinary wealth that could have made a difference. MicheleS, I don't know what they keep in their wallets. Come back the next day with a check.

  69. natsfan1a - May 31, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    I'm with MicheleS and Bowdenball on the donations.

  70. MicheleS - May 31, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    And as I stated in my post…WE also DO NOT Know if anything has been done since then.

  71. Gonat - May 31, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    Bowdenball, many teams do a pass around the plate. This isn't the first time this has been done in a clubhouse. Maybe I took the wrong vibe from Amanda's tone on the amount in the shoebox. I am sure these players all give to other charities. We all do, again, and again and again.$3,500 is about $100 a person when you consider the DL guys + the coaches. That's all. Seems very low, but that's just my take.

  72. natsfan1a - May 31, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    Also thanks to Bowdenball, NatsLady, Great PFB, and, er, don't want to blow my own horn here, so I guess I won't. ;-)So thanks to Jimmy and DC Wonk for restoring some perspective–hear, hear!

  73. DJB - May 31, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    This season will rest on the first two in the rotation. We win those games, and we need only win with one of the three remaining pitchers in the rotation. It's up to Strasburg and Gonzalez to stop the slide. If Strasburg's pitching begins to fade as his arm gets worn out, then we're done, plain and simple. We don't have a sufficient pitcher for fifth in the rotation, or a power bat at the bottom of the lineup, even with Morse back. We need to address this weakness in the off season. Again, my prediction has been for wins in the low to upper 80's this season, and nothing has changed my thinking on this.

  74. baseballswami - May 31, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    I really question Perry vs Stanton and not walking him. Maybe Strassie or Clip you don't walk him , but Perry? I'm sorry but that is just dumb.All of our pitchers are not created equal. Perry is probably the pitcher most on the bubble to not be here. Also – if Corey Brown is going to be here and have any prayer of taking Tracy's place he has to play and get warmed up. NL East today 1 through five only 3 games separate the teams, AL East it's 2 and a half. We play them, too, and very soon. All other divisions is anywhere from 10 – 16. I kind of wish the standings weren't such an every-present thing, because I think this is an exciting team to watch every day. The DL issues have given us such a great look at some of these players who are coming up. I would not have known who Corey Brown and Jhonatan Solano were. Good stuff. My prediction of the day is that in this baseball season each team in the NLEast will spend at least one day in first place. This is going to call for cases and cases of bourbon and maalox. And there will be lots of hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth.

  75. natsfan1a - May 31, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    I'd recommend re-reading the Comak piece. My takeaway is that Ramos spoke to Zimm only about the consult appointment, which cost several thousand dollars. Zimm left out a shoebox on the spur of the moment. It sounds like they collected more than enough for the consult.The piece also says that Wilson (I'm guessing out of pride) did not want to ask his teammates for help more than once. My further guess would be that he went to Amanda this time rather than back to them.

  76. NatsLady - May 31, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    How much the players make is my business because it's part of the evaluation of how the team is managing payroll and evaluating performance.How the players spend their money–unless they spend it on cocaine–is NOT MY BUSINESS.

  77. lowcountry - May 31, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    Interesting point about Detwiler's splits NatsLady. I wonder if we'll see a change in those with him coming out of the bullpen (pitch selection and all). Hopefully, Storen comes back strong and any argument for him to close will be be a mute point. It just seems from his comments that he is embracing his new role as a reliever.

  78. Gonat - May 31, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    natsfan1a, thanks for that perspective. Again, I obviously ticked some people off and that is never my intention. I thought we would have a good debate on it which is why I put it out there and by the clear majority of responses, I was out of line and for that I apologize.

  79. DJB - May 31, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    Also, looking at the stats, a number of things pop up. First, if trends hold up, Bryce is set for a historic first season. Prior to last night, his OPS was at .891, unheard of for a 19-year old. We're talking Mickey Mantle territory. Second, out team WHIP is still the best in the majors, I believe, which bodes well. However, our runs produced/runs allowed split shows our lack of power through the bottom half of the lineup. Espinosa needs to be benched or sent down as pitchers know his spots are low and he chases high fast balls – simply unexcusable. Miami is hot, but their team WHIP is middle of the road right now. Their OBP is also less than one would think, especially Stanton's. He will cool off. I'm philosophically opposed to pick-off moves, and the night before demonstrated why. Pitchers should be discouraged in all but the most necessary circumstances from throwing to first. Finally, the ball park in Miami is a travesty, and the league needs to step in. The only way to realistically score runs is to homer to left (Stanton is a pull-hitting right-hander), or to play the gaps. Plus, the whole aura of the place is an insult to the game.

  80. Gonat - May 31, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    Detwiler was throwing 95 out of the bullpen instead of his 92 to 94 as a starter. He could be a valuable weapon in the bullpen if he embraces the position like "starters" before him have. Remember, there was a time that Clip was a top prospect in the Yankees system as a starter and while Craig Stammen was never in prospect status, he was also a starter

  81. natsfan1a - May 31, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    You're welcome, Gonat, and thanks for your thoughtful response.Gonat said… natsfan1a, thanks for that perspective. Again, I obviously ticked some people off and that is never my intention. I thought we would have a good debate on it which is why I put it out there and by the clear majority of responses, I was out of line and for that I apologize. May 31, 2012 10:30 AM

  82. peric - May 31, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    Detwiler was throwing 95 out of the bullpen instead of his 92 to 94 as a starter. He could be a valuable weapon in the bullpen if he embraces the position like "starters" before him have. Waaay too much potential as a starter … remember he is LEFT HANDED. That's why Davey's decision is more than a tad on the odd side. In the NL East Detwiler is pure gold as a starter. Not a reliever. They now lean way too far to the right side. And in the end choosing Wang and making the Taiwanese media (and trying to spotlight his own brilliance by bringing him along) is going to cost Davey Johnson.I do hope it doesn't end badly, because badly would mean immediate retirement after the season and perhaps before. This was a pretty BIG error on Johnson's part. His biggest to date.

  83. MicheleS - May 31, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    Gonat.. Also a thank you.. proves we can have disagreements without shouting/bolding/name calling.

  84. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 31, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    MicheleS asked why no complaining about ECK during Phillies or Braves series? Because I give him break occasionally. I have asked for a new coach for three years. Obviously management and me don't see it the same way.Our hitting is just inconsistent. We hit like crazy one series and like crap the next. I prefer in between all the time.This series the hitting was not good, however we had leads in all three games, so you would think one of the three starters could do the job and keep the lead, and none of them did. first time all season the starters couldn't do their job well.

  85. peric - May 31, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    On the positive side … its extremely heartening to see Johnatan Solano acquit himself well … he was ex-catcher Randy Knorr's favorite catcher in AAA last season and before. Knorr loves Solano and was always touting him.I'm glad to see that Johnatan is doing everything to support Knorr's evaluation. This is the guy who should be the Nat's backup catcher from here on out.

  86. NatsJack in Florida - May 31, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    I'm willing to bet that ay some point this season, the Nats will get swept again. I'm also willing to bet that at some point this season, the Nats will sweep a series themselves again.It took 6 1/2 weeks for the Nats to sweep and 8 weeks for the Nats to get swept. Neither signal their demise nor their ascension to greatness.

  87. peric - May 31, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    Gonat.. Also a thank you.. proves we can have disagreements without shouting/bolding/name calling.MichelleS are you psychic? Do you hear trees fall a forest that is 1000 miles away? Its ridiculous to equate the use of fonts or even certain adjectives with "shouting". Unless you belong as the lead to Firestarter.

  88. NatsJack in Florida - May 31, 2012 at 3:00 PM

    Shame on you MicheleS.

  89. peric - May 31, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    It took 6 1/2 weeks for the Nats to sweep and 8 weeks for the Nats to get swept. Neither signal their demise nor their ascension to greatness.Perfectly stated! I don't know about you but the thing I am looking for is progression and improvement particularly in the young prospects. Again, replacing Detwiler with Wang for what appear to be egotistical reasons is a mistake since the underlying goal is to continue developing top prospects in the majors while trying to win. Davey went squarely against that goal and into Riggleman-world with that move.

  90. MicheleS - May 31, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    Okay.. to lighten the mood a bit..WaPo Bog got some funny stuff here.. Warning.. some is a bit off colorGIO FUN

  91. MicheleS - May 31, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    Peric, when a poster (not necessarily you), starts bolding the words Moron, Stupid, Idiot, and is completely dismissive of another persons opinion using those techniques, then yes, I do consider that shouting.

  92. A DC Wonk - May 31, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    I really question Perry vs Stanton and not walking him.Huh? We're down to walking guys when we're behind, with the bases empty? It's still May. Talk about surrendering a white flag!

  93. Theophilus T. S. - May 31, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    Missed the game after inning 4. Couldn't stand watching UglyBall. One thing that should be encouraging and I don't see mentioned in this thread was Soltano's performance behind the plate. His tag on the play at the plate was textbook perfect (hope Ramos was watching) and he caught Ramirez twice. The first attempt, I thought Ramirez was safe but the throw was quick and close enough. (Looked a bit like a cutter.) So, apparently, Ramirez wasn't convinced and tried again. Something for him to remember.The point being, if Leon was deemed the superior defensive catcher, then Leon must be the next coming of Johnny Bench (defensively,at least) and maybe the Nats are well set at C for a long time even when Flores departs via trade or FA.

  94. MicheleS - May 31, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    NatsJack.. and you can see how shamed I am ;-)

  95. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 31, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    @NatsLady.Why is Morrison scary. 3 HR 14 RBI and a .231 Average. Not real protection for Stanton. Sounds like a work around walk everytime to me.

  96. Theophilus T. S. - May 31, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    Wang's FB/sinker was 94 mph which would be great for a FB but not so much for a sinker. Up in the zone and he got lit up. Mostly it's a sign of a "live" arm. Within a start or two, it will be down where it belongs. The few times he got it low, it darted 6-8 inches to the inside; completely unhittable.

  97. peric - May 31, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    Repeating a previous question: with Tracy out, who is ALR's backup at first?If I am managing? Its Zimmerman. I'd move Espinosa to 3rd base and Lombo to second. But Espy hasn't had reps at third base … however since he probably is the best all-around fielder on the club doubtless he could do it. And Zimm needs to HEAL THAT SHOULDER! They keep pitching to him outside and he is looking at strike three far too often. But its probably crazy.Morse can play first base … clearly. As well as third base. Just like Tracy. Lombo is probably the other candidate. Nady is another candidate as is Solano.

  98. MicheleS - May 31, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    Peric.. Why not Lombo to 3rd to rest Zim? I realize the arm is weak, but he aquitted himself decently during the stretch he was playing there. Also, DeRosa should be coming soon and he can play 3rd. (not sure what the hitting will be like though)

  99. peric - May 31, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    Detwiler as closer, hmmmm. Power pitcher, doesn't seem to have the stamina (or whatever) to get through the rotation three times.Wang is likely the one that is going to have this problem NOT Detwiler. Wang's decision not to unleash the 93-94.5 mph sinker until the majors CLEARLY are what contributed to his control problems. So … why WAIT?Because WANG CAN'T pitch through five innings consistently with that shoulder. He should be a reliever not a starter. That is abundantly clear. And in the NL East a left-handed power starter (see Gonzalez, Gio) is pure gold.

  100. Theophilus T. S. - May 31, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    Pretty sure Morse would be the backup at first, so long as there is any worry about his arm. Then it's Lombardozzi in left.I don't think Lombardozzi's arm is as weak as people say. The throw from the sliding catch was off balance and still made the play close. In any case, Juan Pierre still starts in LF for the Filthies and he's gotta have the weakest wing in MLB.

  101. NatsJack in Florida - May 31, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    MicheleS ;) back at ya'.

  102. A DC Wonk - May 31, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    replacing Detwiler with Wang for what appear to be egotistical reasonsHuh? You may disagree with the decision, but to assume the reason is egotistical is silly. Right or wrong, he thinks Wang has more up-side — this year — than Detwiler. Detwiler's ERA for all of May (exluding last night) was 5.74, opponents hitting .292 — and he was throwing strikes! And he's a proven long relief guy, too.Does that justify bringing Wang up? I dunno — but to assert the decision was egotistical is, well, as you asked MicheleS: "are you psychic?"

  103. peric - May 31, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    Peric.. Why not Lombo to 3rd to rest Zim? I realize the arm is weak, but he aquitted himself decently during the stretch he was playing there.Espinosa can potentially play gold glove caliber third base. No one else on the team can do it that other than Zim. That's why. Lombo's third base, because of the arm isn't the best … its good in a pinch. Espinosa's ethereal fielding skill is almost wasted at second base. Whereas Lombo's skill and toughness were good enough to get a minor league gold glove at second base. If its me I put Espinosa at third and stick Ryan Zimmerman at first base until that should heals. Which might take the entire season the way things appear right now.

  104. Theophilus T. S. - May 31, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    Peric, bless his pointed little head, is all wet re Wang unable to go more than five. When Wang has his control — and I'll stipulate he didn't have it last night — he's the only starter that can keep his pitch count down — consistently — and go deep. Demonstrated during one of his rehab starts where he went 8+ with a pitch count in the low 90s. All the others — except Z'mann, sometimes — are high strikeout, lots-of-pitches guys who will be on fumes by the seventh if not earlier.

  105. peric - May 31, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    Also, DeRosa should be coming soon and he can play 3rd. (not sure what the hitting will be like though)DeRosa is almost 38 If Zim had problems getting through a month playing third I doubt that DeRosa could do it for a week straight … much less months. He's a bench bat at best that seems clear given how much time he has had to spend on the DL. And who would you replace to bring him back? Nady? That's who I would pick. And then option Ryan Perry because he is being used sparingly to replace Morse. Not sure what that buys Davey. Not much.Davey Johnson should be starting Brown in the outfield with Morse and Harper not Lombardozzi. Putting Lombo back into the super UTL position. Given the Nat's current spate of luck there will undoubtedly be another injury and a position for Lombo to fill sooner rather than later.

  106. peric - May 31, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    Not sure what that buys Davey. Not much.Meant to say not sure what DeRosa buys Davey …Morse for Perry makes sense is what I meant to say. I agree with what @rogieshan said about Brown. He should be playing in Syracuse where he was productive not languishing on the bench like Davey did to Tyler Moore … again this approach is completely out of character for Davey Johnson and more in tune with Jim Riggleman and a last place finish. Playing guys like DeRosa who can barely play if at all? Or Nady? Or Wang who can't last five? This is not the way to develop prospects and win games IMO. Not the right way to manage.

  107. peric - May 31, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    he's the only starter that can keep his pitch count down — consistently — and go deep. Demonstrated during one of his rehab starts where he went 8+ with a pitch count in the low 90s.Theophius, again he was throwing 87-89 mph in the minors. WHY? Can you explain that? Saving his arm? WHY? You're describing the Wang of 2006-2007 (That is how many years ago again!?) . This is the 2012 version of Wang. They ramped him up and started him off too early. He may end up shut down along with Strasburg when that time comes. In fact I'd be willing to lay real money on that. If they had started him out when they shut Strasburg down it would have made more sense. But, I guess you can't always have things the way you want them?If both he and Strasburg are shutdown? Then what? Yunesky Maya or Daniel Rosebaum. I would prefer Rosenbaum the lefty join the rotation because of his performance and because he is a lefty and they NL East looks like it could be a dogfight.

  108. peric - May 31, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    Finally, Detwiler HASN'T HAD ANY injury problems. I'd bet on Detwiler lasting the season and into any possible playoffs over Wang.

  109. natsfan1a - May 31, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    Agree with peric on Solano. I have good memories of watching the kid with the P-Nats. Thanks to MicheleS for the Gio link. Loved the happy place answer. The kid's a flat-out charmer. :-)

  110. Fear and Ignorance - May 31, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    NatsJack-You forgot the sweep by the Dodgers in April, but I understand your point. However, they are now 3-10 against the 3 teams with the best record that they have played. That does not bode well considering 13 of their next 15 series are against teams over .500 with the Rockies being the other two (and they can hit, so Coors Field may not be much fun). The key to this team is the middle of the order. They need MUCH more production from Zimmerman, LaRoche to break out of his slump, and Morse to be the Morse of last year. Those three guys play close to their potential, and this is a playoff team. Every good team has a great middle of the order…right now, ours has been subpar. Our #3 hitter has an OPS 51 points lower than any other team in baseball. That has to change, or this team has no shot.

  111. DJB - May 31, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    Outfield needs to be Morse, Harper, and Ankiel for the time being. As long as the arm is serviceable and won't be injured, defensive play in left and right is less important than the added bat (assuming all can catch the ball). Center is a slightly different story, so keep Ankiel there for the time being. Lombo should go to second and Espinosa should be on the bench or sent down. Zimmerman needs to play. But if he can't, then you can keep Espinosa as his backup, hoping that he'll never have to play. The other option is develop Tyler Moore as Zimmerman's replacement for next year. LaRoche needs to stay at first, to be replaced by a bat with better OPS next season. When and if Werth gets back, move him to right field, move Harper to center, and keep Morse at left. Send Ankiel to the bench or to the minors to work on his batting. Ankiel and Espinosa are one-pitch hitters. In other words, sacrifice defense for bats. The problem is runs scored, not runs allowed.

  112. jeffwx - May 31, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    Do like the lineup of:lombo/Brown, harper, zimm, LaRoche, Morse, Desmond, Espi, FloresWho's left on the DL:Storen – All Star Break ->DeRosa DFAMatheus – ???Tracey – ??? Werth – AugustLeon – ???Ramos- out for season

  113. Jimmy - May 31, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    Ladies and Gents, if I was able to offer some calming perspective it's because I haven't had the pleasure of rooting for a good ball club since the Orioles of 1997. In the meantime, I've seen a lot of awful baseball. These 2012 Nationals are different. I think one has to really lose the forest for the trees to think otherwise. There are going to be bad days, bad weeks, and maybe even (but probably not) bad months. We are a rising ball club. Not quite there yet, but good enough to know it is in reach, and soon. That's how it goes.As someone mentioned around here earlier this week, these injuries have given us the pleasure of a sneak peak into the promise of our farm system. The present is nice and the future is bright. The steady increase in wins year after year and the number of home-grown players we're seeing succeed at the bigs make it clear that this progress is no fluke. I'm not against being upset when the team isn't playing well. I get it. And yes, there is fault to be found with this club. But there is a big difference between not playing well and being a bad team. We all know what a bad team (and franchise) looks like. This isn't one of them.

  114. jeffwx - May 31, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    Bad teams usually have bad pitching staffs. Eg: 2005 Nats: Ramon Ortiz, Armas, L. Hernandez, Astacio, O'Conner. Our staff is so much better and with so much more of a future than that team that won 81 in 2005.

  115. A DC Wonk - May 31, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    Brown. He should be playing in Syracuse where he was productive not languishing on the bench like Davey did to Tyler Moore … again this approach is completely out of character for Davey JohnsonDo we know that he is "languishing" on the bench? He just got here — and he started Tuesday and pinch hit Wednesday.(FWIW, Bernadina was .289/.365/.511 in May.)

  116. NatsLady - May 31, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    Wang was hitting 94 in 'Cuse. I remember because people were saying his velocity was only 89, so I checked into it. He didn't "wait" until he got to the majors to release that velocity. Also he went 8 innings w/ 105 pitches in an earlier start, and then 1 batter into the ninth. Me, I would treat him like Henry, and have a backup plan available for his next few starts and see if both control and stamina are up to par.

  117. Giostras - May 31, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    Sure, it hurts to lose to a good-looking Marlins team whose pitcher topped 95 MPH after struggling all season to hit the low 90's with his F B.But in the middle of all this belly-aching, someone should mention that Solano looked great behind the plate (not to mention his bat-handling) as our Fourth catcher in our organization to get the nod after Ramos went down. Solano would have ranked 5th if we hadn't traded Norris away as part of a super Gio deal. What kind of organizational depth is that! Superior management will have its rewards.

  118. 341f1580-3d97-11e1-ae39-000f20980440 - Jun 1, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    dcdingo said… We exorcised the Atlanta demon this road trip. Seems the fish still have our number. The crucial thing is whether being swept for the first time this season results in a serious funk, or do we bounce back at home against the Braves? ———————————-This was not the first time the Nats were swept this season. You may have forgotten about the Dodgers series in LA.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 89 64 --
ATLANTA 76 77 13.0
MIAMI 74 79 15.0
NEW YORK 74 80 15.5
PHILADELPHIA 70 83 19.0
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Friday's early games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON 89 64 --
LOS ANGELES 88 66 1.5
ST. LOUIS 86 68 3.5
-----------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 68 4.5 +1.5
PITTSBURGH 83 70 6.0 --
MILWAUKEE 79 75 10.5 4.5
x-Clinched division title
Through Friday's early games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
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.
Full season schedule

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ON THE RADIO

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TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
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