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The kid gets his moment

Jun 6, 2012, 5:40 AM EDT

US Presswire photo
Bryce Harper exults after recording the first game-winning hit of his career.

He'd already had multiple opportunities to be the hero, in the bottom of the ninth and the bottom of the 11th. That Bryce Harper found himself with yet another chance to deliver for the Nationals in the bottom of the 12th was a remarkable twist of fate in a marathon ballgame that featured enough twists and turns to leave even the most ardent of roller coaster enthusiasts nauseous.

Harper had done something rare in his previous at-bat, chasing pitches from Mets rookie right-hander Elvin Ramirez well out of the zone and striking out to leave the winning run stranded on base. Now, one inning later, he had another opportunity against Ramirez, and he was determined not to waste this one.

"I've been pretty patient the whole time I've been up here, so for him to get me like that, I was pretty pissed off about that right there," Harper said. "I wasn't going to go up there and do the same thing."

The 19-year-old lived up to his promise. Though he fell behind in the count, Harper didn't let the moment get the best of him. He calmlyRead more ยป

123 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Bote Man - Jun 6, 2012 at 5:58 AM

    I heartily recommend to Jesus Flores that he wear a cup.

  2. rogieshan - Jun 6, 2012 at 6:05 AM

    Desmond, "I wasn't trying to win the game with a home run."No fairer words were spoken. I just pray Espinosa was nearby listening.

  3. Scooter - Jun 6, 2012 at 6:10 AM

    Amen, rogieshan.You know, as perverse as this may be — no, strike that; as perverse as this IS — I kind of like how Harper's looked like an immature fool a couple times recently. I mean, he's a kid. He needs something he can improve. Makes him real.

  4. Scooter - Jun 6, 2012 at 6:15 AM

    "Makes him real." What an odd thing to say. I guess on some level I must still wonder if this is really just some fevered dream, and tomorrow morning Manny Acta will shake me awake, saying, "Come on, man, get up. Elijah still won't lay off that low-outside slider. Maybe you can get through to him. He's waiting outside, sleep-deprived and really angry; I want you to go make him do some calisthenics. C'mon, Scooter, quick, before we lose again and they move the team to Vegas."

  5. Scooter - Jun 6, 2012 at 6:17 AM

    … I've said too much.Good night, my friends, if night indeed this be.

  6. Uncle Atom - Jun 6, 2012 at 8:08 AM

    YOU have that dream too? Here's a nice big glass of Koolaid – you're grape, right?

  7. Positively Half St. - Jun 6, 2012 at 9:03 AM

    Scooter-It's nice to be awake the next morning to see it was just a dream.+1/2St.

  8. Positively Half St. - Jun 6, 2012 at 9:03 AM

    Scooter-It's nice to be awake the next morning to see it was just a dream.+1/2St.

  9. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 6, 2012 at 9:28 AM

    Man, that was one ugly game, except for Ian Desmond. Can somebody, anybody, come up with any plausible reason Detwiler was bunting? It had to be on orders, Bo Porter was talking right into his ear before that AB. Why in the name of sanity wasn't he simply told to take a strike, or better yet, two? Three, even.

  10. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 6, 2012 at 9:31 AM

    And technically, Zimmerman didn't "leap into [Harper's] waiting arms"–that was a chest bump. Just sayin.

  11. D'Gourds - Jun 6, 2012 at 11:04 AM

    Davey explained later that he was told to bunt–to put it in play. There was 1 out at the time, runners on 2nd and 3rd. It was a safety squeeze. Probably a pretty bad call since their pitcher couldn't find the plate. But this was the Nats night since Detweiler walked anyway. This game was such a gift. Those errors/misplays made the Mets look like a little league team. But what nobody has commented on is that this was the result of their manager making so many pinch hitting subs during the first nine. He sacrificed offense for defence. Valderim (sp?) was a force at the plate with his pinch hit HR and later a clutch double, but he also cost the Mets the game with his glove. Pretty interesting.

  12. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 6, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    I got a kick out of reading Casey Sterns tweets. If you don't know, he's Jim Bowdens side kick on Inside Pitch on MLB Radio and a severe Mets apologist. One minute he's enthralled with everything Mets and the next he's lampooning them for being destined for last place and baseballs laughing stock.He tweeted that while Bryce harper got the walk off hit "look who he hit it off, sheesh!" and a previous tweet called out Davey for managing the game horribly. He sounded like a typical troll commenting on a blog. I thought he was better than that.

  13. alexva - Jun 6, 2012 at 11:33 AM

    The Mets just refused to win this game. Not the Nats best performance but I'll take the curly W and move on.

  14. MicheleS - Jun 6, 2012 at 11:37 AM

    I have had about 4 hours of sleep and that was one of the CRAZIEST games I have ever been too.. While all the hightlights will show Byrce, the real hero of the game was Ian. Wow, just amazing on the clutch hits to keep us in the game. And the bare hand play, holy moly, all I could think was "Don't throw it away" and he didn't, ALR made a slick play on the back end as well. ALR Makes our infield look really good.

  15. Scooter - Jun 6, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    Sec3, I informed my TV that it was unpossible that Porter told Detwiler to do that. It was the Chewbacca Defense of strategies: it did not. Make. Sense.And call it a chest bump if you want; whatever it was supposed to be, the boys whiffed pretty bad.

  16. NatsNut - Jun 6, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    last night's game made sure to wipe out any of that extra rest they got from 2 off days in one week.BTW, I'm a little concerned how personally satisfied I feel after we win a game like that. I mean, I felt good about *myself* going to bed last night. LOL

  17. hiramhover - Jun 6, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    I'm glad they pulled it out–it doesn't erase the ugliness of the game, but it should lighten the mood in the comments here today.

  18. Theophilus T. S. - Jun 6, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    Left in the top of the ninth when Rodriguez started throwing the game away; got out of the Metro 40 minutes later to listen to them blow the opportunity in the 11th(?); finally, turned the radio back on as Nady bounced out to first. More ugly wins like that and I'll start following team tennis.Running through his entire bullpen like that was not one of Johnson's scrapbook moments. I'm not sure why he gave up on Zimmerman so early — I guess two HRs could have galvanized his thinking but I would have tried to get another inning out of him, and he wasn't going to be an automatic out if his turn in the batting order came up. And there was no compelling reason to bring in Burnett after one inning of Gorzelanny. The consequence was having to bring in Rodriguez, who shouldn't be entrusted in anything more meaningful than extended Spring Training.

  19. Theophilus T. S. - Jun 6, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    Zimmermann w/ two nn's.

  20. WA2CHI - Jun 6, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    I'm surprised no one commented on how lost Morse looked in left field last night. Luckily, it appears that by the end of the game he found his hitting groove. With all the moving folks around in the outfield, it might have been better to take LaRoche out, put Morse at first and leave Lombo in the lineup playing left rather than taking Lombo out on the double switch for Burnett in the 8th.

  21. Gonat - Jun 6, 2012 at 12:08 PM

    Just watched hilights last night from the Mets broadcast. Here is what the Mets announcer said when Henry threw his curve in the dirt, "they have a scatter arm pitcher on the mound".Tough to hear what other team's say about your players. I wonder what they really thought of Elvin Rameriz in the 12th inning.

  22. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 6, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    Lots of heroes last night Harper at the end, Ian three times (though the SS for the Mets helped on the second attempt). Maalox was started in the 10th when HRod came in. That poor fellow just has a hard time throwing the curve once a guy is on base. He needs to learn to throw it 61 feet to get low not 58,Harper second time he sees a pitcher is hitting incredible.Morse good to see him drive to right center, as that means his hitting eye is coming back.RZim 2 hits.JZim 5 great innings. We need to get rid of the one bad inning a game (at least doesn't walk people before the HR)

  23. Doc - Jun 6, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    If Elvin Ramirez (injured Rule 5,'11) can't pitch for us, it's good to know that we can use him for batting practice.

  24. Tcostant - Jun 6, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    Scooter said… "Makes him real." What an odd thing to say. I guess on some level I must still wonder if this is really just some fevered dream, and tomorrow morning Manny Acta will shake me awake, saying, "Come on, man, get up. Elijah still won't lay off that low-outside slider. Maybe you can get through to him. He's waiting outside, sleep-deprived and really angry; I want you to go make him do some calisthenics. C'mon, Scooter, quick, before we lose again and they move the team to Vegas."Me: I think a lot of us thing this way, LOL at this post! Nothing like a good team to watch. Another good crowd last night. I don't think we'll see a weekend game under 30,000 paid for the rest of the year.

  25. fast eddie - Jun 6, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    Hey, a curly W is a curly W, however, let's get back to reality:–Laroche and Zimm need a couple days off (when do deRosa and Tracy come back?)–Lombo needs to replace Espi at 2B–Ank: pop-up bunt and two K's (say goodbye)

  26. The Fox - Jun 6, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    Gonat yea he did say that but he also blamed Jesus for not blocking the curve-ball. I was at the game and I saw the ball go off Jesus glove without him getting his body behind it which is unusual for him.I can see why it was called a WP, but it was not a 58 foot fastball it was a curve in the dirt. Henry really did not pitch that badly and after the WP he got the outs he needed. I'm slightly encouraged be what I saw. It was an ugly win last night and I felt dirty when I went to bed but this morning the game is still in the win column and I feel clean.

  27. Jim Webster - Jun 6, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    This game took me back in time to the demolition derbies at stock car tracks in eastern Nebraska in my misspent youth, 60 some years ago.

  28. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 6, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    Not a great night for the bullpen as a group. Henry saws off Hairston who gets a bleeder. Henry threw strikes and the curve in the dirt was unfortunate but so was Stammen's performance and Burnetts. JZim didn't throw any walks in 6 innings, too many given up in the remaining 6 innings.Ian Desmond was so clutch. I think Monday's day off really helped him.Hoping Ryan Zimmerman is back and Morse looks 80 to 90% towards being in full beast mode. JZim great with the bat again and Bryce Harper wasn't to be denied in the 12th.

  29. NatsLady - Jun 6, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    Yes, I was puzzled Davey lifted Gorzo for a PH after only 1 inning of work, Gorzy is a starting pitcher, I think he can hit a little, at least better than Det. Other than that, he did a LOT better with the bullpen than Collins. Bernie also clutch, Ankiel–not so much, grrrrrrrrr. Morse looked lost or tired or hurting in the outfield. But the postgame interview was fun, he's so glad to be back. The Kid sure says all the right things, love it.

  30. MicheleS - Jun 6, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    Fast Eddie.. Tracy out at least another 6 weeks, DeRosa – not sure, but from Twitter – one of the Beats (think it was Amanda) said he left the team to go be with his ailing father.

  31. baseballswami - Jun 6, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    Desi was truly the catalyst last night but so was JZim — his hits were at the center of the action. His pitching was just fine and he most likely would have pulled it back together just like the other pitchers do when they give up early runs. And it's not like you have to pinch hit for him. Let the 12 innings be a lesson on bullpen management – probably Johnson's weakest area. Burnett/Stammen gave it up – HRod gave it up — Detweiler gave it up. Plenty of oopsy daisy stuff to go around. Ank and ALR sure are rally killers, aren't they? How long do you think Davey is going to let HRod work out his demons with the big club with the way this division is going?

  32. A DC Wonk - Jun 6, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    He needs to learn to throw it 61 feet to get low not 58,Actually, he did throw it 61 feet. I think the world of Flores, but this one was on Flores. That's an easy block for him. He looked really tired on that, by backhanding it and not putting his body in front of it.

  33. MicheleS - Jun 6, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    The post game with MLB Network

  34. Gonat - Jun 6, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    baseballswami, I give credit to the batter against Detwiler and especially where Det looked ticked off and bent but didn't break only giving up the 1 run. If Detwiler gives up 2 or 3 runs in the top of the 12th, the Nats probably fold the tent up.The come from behind Nats showed what they were made of. Great to see. I hope we see that type of fight more often. I think the difference was Michael Morse in the lineup.My cry for help is for Adam LaRoche. I've been saying for about a month now he isn't right. If he needs time off, get him some. If he needs a 15 day DL, now's the time to do it. He had that injury in his side. Have to wonder if it is still hampering him.

  35. sjm308 - Jun 6, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    Still excited over last night!!He doesn't have a huge sample size but what a nice move signing M.Gonzalez and sending Perry back. One pitch got him out of that inning. I would think he and Burnett and Stammen are all that Davey has for tonight and lets hope Jackson can go 7 strong.I read about LaRoche needing a rest, and that might be true but his defense is just so good. He made several plays look easy last night that Dunn or Morse would have just waved at. He caught a wicked linedrive that didn't even make the plays of the game that I thought was just super.Loved Desmond's clutch hitting but that barehanded play on the ball that took a strange hop was to me, one of the better defensive plays I have seen live.Wonder who will go down when Lidge returns?, and we also have Mattheus coming soon and Storen not too far away. I sure wouldn't want to make those calls.ps: my score book from last night is an absolute mess. Does Collins always make so many damn moves? and Davey using 8 pitchers was just crazy.Go Nats!!

  36. SCNatsFan - Jun 6, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    I still think Rizzo needs to go out and get an outfield bat; if not a starter then someone more reliable then Nady, who should be retired, or Ankiel, who has become a windmill. Sure Ankiel will have that great 2 game stretch to make us all believe but we can't carry two guys with skills this limited. I'm sure DeRosa takes one spot.HRod, who knows what to do but he's useless without his slider and, like has been said many times, you can catch up to heat if you know it is coming.Espi, don't know how the powers that be can't see this guy is overmatched at this level right now. This isn't a slump; he doesn't have the bat skills to be here and sitting on the bench does him no good. Send him back to AAA and see if he can figure it out. Thanks Mets and Valdemort for the win last night.

  37. sm13 - Jun 6, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    A month ago, I got skewered when I noted that Bryce intentionally tries to go to left field when he has 2 strikes on him. From my view in sec 310 last night,it was pretty clear that is exactly what he does. His approach with 2 strikes is way beyond his years. He almost won it with his line drive to deep left in the 9th and then, of course, the walkoff was rapped to left- with 2 strikes. None of this is accidental – the kid has a plan. I'm sleepy, but glad we woke up today in sole posession.

  38. Scott from Burke - Jun 6, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    The beauty of baseball: There's another game tonight.

  39. MicheleS - Jun 6, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    I just saw the awkward chest bump/man hug thing between Harper and Zim. Boys.. you need to work on that.(isn't it great when we only have the awkward celebrations to complain about?)Also, HROD looked much better last night. JFLO should have had the WP. Det, was impressed that he buckled down after giving up the HR. I am beginning to really dislike the Hairston family.

  40. Tcostant - Jun 6, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    Looks like Rizzo and his fellow GM's needed something to talk about during the draft. Sounds like Lannan ain't going anywhere unless Rizzo pays part of his 2012 salary and/or drops his asking price.http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/06/05/the-dodgers-and-rockies-have-talked-with-the-nationals-about-john-lannan/

  41. A DC Wonk - Jun 6, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    Hey, a curly W is a curly W, however, let's get back to reality:–Laroche and Zimm need a couple days off RZ hit the ball hard, got two hits, two RBI's, and scored a run.

  42. JaneB - Jun 6, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    HRod DID look better last night. ANd I agree that it's Ian who made that walk-off chest bump possible. Mostly I am noticing that my face hurts today from smiling all night long.We have YEARS of The Kid ahead of us. And years of Mark Z. writing about him. And years of us sharing cokes and the Nats Cocktail and Koolaid. How sweet is life!

  43. NatsNut - Jun 6, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    Saw Harper's post-game interview. In addition to all the other superlatives about the kid, he has also mastered the cliche. Dude is seriously giving Jeter a run for his money.

  44. pRAA - Jun 6, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    A DC Wonk said… He needs to learn to throw it 61 feet to get low not 58,Actually, he did throw it 61 feet. I think the world of Flores, but this one was on Flores. That's an easy block for him. He looked really tired on that, by backhanding it and not putting his body in front of it.You try squatting down night after night for nine innings (or more) and still being an Energizer bunny back there late in the game. Henry is coming in fresh. He needs to make his pitch. If he doesn't, it's on him.

  45. SCNatsFan - Jun 6, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    I think they catchers are probably as nervous as Henry when he comes in. You can't fault Flores, he has no better idea where the ball is going then we do.

  46. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 6, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    How bad do we miss Chad Tracy. The Mets have Scott Hairston off their bench and the Nats have Ankiel. I thought Ankiel was going to come through last night and create a debate today of "how valuable" Ankiel is. Bases loaded with a pitcher who can't find the plate on a 3-0 count and Ank stands like a statue giving Ramirez an open lane to throw a strike. If Ank walks, its a walk-off walk and some redemption for him.On 3-1 Ank swings to make it a 3-2 count. He gave Ramirez confidence which you don't want to give a struggling pitcher in a dire situation.Why wasn't Ankiel making Ramirez's job tougher? Put your bat across the plate like you are bunting and pull the bat back. Creep in as close as you can to the plate. Do something except the 3-0 statue pose.By the way, Ankiel was part of the Web Gems last night only on the wrong side of things. On his bunt over the pitchers head, David Wright got a Web Gem for fielding that horrible bunt attempt.Is it time to start using Stras, EJax, and JZim as pinch hitters when you are looking for contact? Not sure how they would react in a High Leverage situation, but it sure is interesting to ponder.

  47. A DC Wonk - Jun 6, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    A note about last night, after reading the thread:Some choice comments:mick said… Cameron.. AGREED R Zim SUCKS!!!!Two hits, two rbi's, a run scored.Heart of the order has NO HEART3-4-5 combined for four hits, two doubles, three runs scored . . . phil dunton said… nats offense is pathetic.13 hits last night; 7-for-20 with RISP.DJB said… Nats may be the worst hitting team in the Majors.Nats batting .242; which is sub-par, but not close to, say, Pittsburgh, batting .223. Nats are 11th in OBP.Will said… HRod. Game over. 'Night.Err, no.phil dunton said… Davey Johnson gives another game away.Err, no.Will said… I hate this lineup. I truly do.I suppose you ougghta root for a different team then, because the lineup isn't going to change all that much.mick said… I bet Nats do not get 81 wins this yearoooh, me, me, me! I want to take that bet!!

  48. SCNatsFan - Jun 6, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    Ghost, I've been saying now that Ankiel has no chance of starting on a regular basis that he has become useless expect for late inning defensive help. As a pinch hitter, cold off the bench after sitting for a day or two, his chances to succeed are minimal. He is being forced into a role that he cannot fill, he doesn't have the skills.

  49. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 6, 2012 at 2:07 PM

    Two guys who qualfy as mini-trolls on this site are mick and that rabbit guy. They always constantly claim complete and utter failure at any given point during a game.

  50. A DC Wonk - Jun 6, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    You try squatting down night after night for nine innings (or more) and still being an Energizer bunny back there late in the game. Henry is coming in fresh. He needs to make his pitch. If he doesn't, it's on him. Flores is half my age and he's getting paid close to $1m. I didn't say it was easy, but just because he was tired doesn't mean it's not on him. Everybody throws pitches in the dirt — heck, lots of stikeouts are on pitches in the dirt. Flores makes that play 99 times out of 100.

  51. A DC Wonk - Jun 6, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    Two guys who qualfy as mini-trolls on this site are mick and that rabbit guy. They always constantly claim complete and utter failure at any given point during a game. And will and phil, who disappear after the Nats take the lead.Some of them let out their frustrations worse than my 17-year-old daughter. At least my daughter has "I'm only 17" as an excuse.

  52. Water23 - Jun 6, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    So, is there a thought to whether an Evan Longoria deal can be made for Bryce. 6yrs 17 Million plus two options years into FA. Granted, I know he is represented by Boras but the early money might be enough to get the ball rolling. And yes it is early in his deals but nowadays you strike early and it should work out.

  53. SCNatsFan - Jun 6, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    True DC wonk but its easier to make that play if you aren't also concerned Henry is going to airmail one like Vaughn over your head.

  54. alexva - Jun 6, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    @ Wonk and NatsJack, don't you realize that every time our guys fail it's all on them. The other teams are not major leaguers who sometimes just win the battle. That being said they were lousy last night, thankfully the Mets were worse.

  55. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 6, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    SCNatsFan said… I think they catchers are probably as nervous as Henry when he comes in. You can't fault Flores, he has no better idea where the ball is going then we do. June 06, 2012 9:52 AM Flores was exhausted. Surprised Davey didn't bring in Solano to pinch hit and give Flores the rest of the night off given Flores leg issues. Ray Knight was critical of Flores saying he only used his mitt to stab at the Wild Pitch and didn't use his body. I give Flores a pass on that.Henry is now a target for even the slowest runners to steal. Flores had no chance when Hairston stole 2nd. The Nats have to use a pitchout sometimes and guess right to help Henry out.Luckily Henry was bailed out in the bottom of the 10th just like Burnett, Stammen, and Detwiler.The other good news is that the Nats really rattled the Mets bullpen. Since Young only pitched 5 innings, the Mets bullpen absorbed 6 2/3 innings over 5 relievers and the Nats bullpen only absorbed 6 innings over 7 relievers.Strategy tonight has to be to see a lot of pitches early in tonight's game. Collins will probably leave in his starter Hefner longer than he would normally.

  56. A DC Wonk - Jun 6, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    Nats attendance up 7,649 per game. Third best in MLB. Where are those attendance detractors?

  57. erocks33 - Jun 6, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    I thought HRod pitched pretty good last night. The Hairston hit was on a low pitch that caught the end of the bat and blooped in for a single. If Morse wasn't playing deep (the dreaded "no doubles" defense), then I think he could've caught that.The WP was a good pitch. If you watch it again, Flores put his glove out totally expecting to catch it, but then it looked like he misjudged it and never moved his body to keep the ball in front of him. I even think the guys on MLB Network commented that it was a pretty good pitch by HRod and a poor decision by Flores.Detwiler got lucky last night, IMO. He went 0-2 on a number of batters, then started throwing junk pitches that were nowhere near the plate. Ended up going to a lot of 2-2 and 3-2 counts (walking a couple and then hanging the off-speed to Hairston who crushed the ball). For about a month or so, something just hasn't been right with that kid. He has not been consistent and I think it's more of a mental issue as he seems to lack focus when he's out there.Finally, I *LOVE* JZim. But once again, he's terrific for 5 innings, then for some reason the 6th comes around and he loses it. How many times (in his short career), has this happened? Seems to happen quite a bit. Sometimes I think he's hitting a wall because his pitch counts had been pretty high at that point, but last night he was cruising and was so efficient. Maybe someone should tell him in the dugout that instead of the 6th, he's about to go out to pitch the 3rd or 4th inning … maybe that will get him over the hump.

  58. A DC Wonk - Jun 6, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    Strategy tonight has to be to see a lot of pitches early in tonight's game.100% correct.Can somebody please post that over the clubhouse door!! Mark, got any connections here?(Unless Davey's read this far — Hi Davey!! ;-)

  59. pRAA - Jun 6, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    Flores is half my age and he's getting paid close to $1m. I didn't say it was easy, but just because he was tired doesn't mean it's not on him. Everybody throws pitches in the dirt — heck, lots of stikeouts are on pitches in the dirt. Flores makes that play 99 times out of 100.I seriously doubt that Flores called for a pitch in the dirt with a runner on third late in a tied ballgame. Again, Rodriguez needs to execute the pitch that Flores called, not gamble on him being able to block a pitch in the dirt. That one was 100% on Henry.

  60. Section 222 - Jun 6, 2012 at 2:24 PM

    Talk about needing to rub your eyes to make sure you're not dreaming: The Nats have the 3rd best record in baseball this morning, behind only the Dodgers and the Rangers. Whoa!So this is a serious question for the armchair managers — If for some reason Detwiler had to come out of the game, would Davey really have used a position player to pitch rather than sending one of our starters out there? I seem to remember Livo volunteering to pitch a few innings in such a situation on a day that he threw a side session, or maybe the day before he was scheduled to do so. Before the game Davey mentioned that because of the off days and the rainout, everyone's really well rested. The best candidate would be Jackson but he's slated to start tonight. I guess the Mets were in the same boat, and we had the better of the pitching matchup at the end, but suppose they were already relying on a position player and all we had to do was get through the top half of the inning to have a shot at winning the game in the bottom half. Could we send Gio out there for an inning, for example? (He had a pretty short outing the last time out.) And who is our emergency position player pitcher? Is it really LaRoche, or was Davey just joking? And with the bench already depleted, does Solano play the outfield? Fun to contemplate all this, and so glad we never got to that point.

  61. pRAA - Jun 6, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    The WP was a good pitch. If you watch it again, Flores put his glove out totally expecting to catch it, but then it looked like he misjudged it and never moved his body to keep the ball in front of him. I even think the guys on MLB Network commented that it was a pretty good pitch by HRod and a poor decision by Flores.The official scorer took a long, long time to rule on that pitch. No doubt he watched multiple replays. In the end, he ruled wild pitch not passed ball. It's on Henry.

  62. Tcostant - Jun 6, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    Walter23 you won't see a deal like that because the Nats already have a contract with Harper for his non-arbitration years http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=5468993). The Longoria deal was "buying out" those two or three years when his contacy could have just been renewed at any amount.By the time 2015 hits; you'll be talking much bigger money (we hope, means Harper is what we think he'll become) as he'll hope to buy out arbitration years…Boras also likes to get his guys to free agency as soon as possible; so they might not be even interested in listening by then.Nice idea – but it won't happen here; as the situation is very different (and the fact that Longoria deal was a bad deal for the player – agents notice those things),

  63. carolync - Jun 6, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    First results of the All-Star Game voting came out yesterday. The only faint blip we have on the radar is Adam LaRoche who is a distant fifth of five at 1B. We have no one in the top five at any other position or in the gaggle of NL outfielders. I think we should get 2 maybe 3 pitchers selected and maybe LaRussa will select our exciting Harper.Sincere thanks to the New York Mets whose shortstops recruited from the Bad News Bears and depleted, incompetent bullpen allowed a Curly W.I apologize for the negativity but struggling home on single-tracking Metro didn't put me in a good mood. Apparently part of the problem was police activity at one of the Green Line stations.

  64. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 6, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    DC Wonk, I wrote basically the same post yesterday afternoon about Young (instead of Hefner) and the short bullpen the Mets had and got one of those dreaded blog errors so it didn't post.Some horrible at-bats. I watched the TV broadcast this morning and saw the cool graphic of JZim's stride vs. Young's stride, but FPs explanation of Young's stride makes his 84 mph seem so much faster. True, any deception or reduced reaction time would make 84mph faster. At most Young's stride was 12 inches further than JZim's. That is approximately 2% off the reaction time which at best makes 84 mph into 86 mph. Mark, what's your thoughts on that from talking to the players?

  65. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 6, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    pRAA said… The official scorer took a long, long time to rule on that pitch. No doubt he watched multiple replays. In the end, he ruled wild pitch not passed ball. It's on Henry. June 06, 2012 10:25 AM The ball hit the dirt before reaching the catcher. As far as I know, that will always be scored a wild pitch.

  66. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 6, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    From MLB official scorer's handbook, the definition of a Wild Pitch:A WILD PITCH is one so high, so low, or so wide of the plate that it cannot be handled with ordinary effort by the catcher.

  67. pRAA - Jun 6, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    The ball hit the dirt before reaching the catcher. As far as I know, that will always be scored a wild pitch.And again, not a situation for calling a ball in the dirt. Henry's fault, all the way. What is with all the Henry apologists here? "He pitched well last night" translates to "His pitches weren't as wild as usual." That is NOT a good thing.

  68. erocks33 - Jun 6, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    Is it time to let Bernie start against RHP and sit Ankiel? And to start Lombo at 2B and sit Espi? I'd like to see this lineup versus righty pitching:Lombo – 2B (S)Harper – CF (L)Zim – 3B (R)LaRoche – 1B (L)Morse – RF (R)Desmond – SS (R)Bernie – LF (L)Flores – C (R)And while I'm all for letting LaRoche rest vs LHP and letting Morse play 1B, I'm not that thrilled with the OF bats available (Nady, DeRosa when healthy) since the rest of the OF's are all lefty (Ankiel, Bernie) and they stink vs LHP (Harper being the lone lefty I'd keep in the lineup, of course).The Nats need some right handed OF bats, capable of at least hitting a sac fly or two.

  69. erocks33 - Jun 6, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    I'm not apologizing for HRod. Just stating that sometimes, a catcher calls for a pitch to be in the dirt to make the batter chase. Was that the case here? I dunno. It sure looked like Flores was set up for a low pitch and it looked like HRod threw it where Flores' mitt was placed.But upon review, it looked like Flores had a bead on it, then for whatever reason he lost focus and did not move his body to block the ball. That is totally on the catcher. If a pitcher can't trust his catcher to block a ball in the dirt, then that pitcher will get clobbered each and every time he goes out there because every batter will know to sit on the fastball.

  70. A DC Wonk - Jun 6, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    Interesting goings on in Syracuse yesterday: From AK:"John Lannan allowed one run in nine innings on four hits and a walk, striking out six. Corey Brown went 3 for 4 with a home run and a walk. Tyler Moore went 2 for 4 with a home run and a double. Erik Komatsu went 3 for 5 with a home run."

  71. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 6, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    On Henry–look at it this way: If Flores does block that pitch, and the consensus seems to be that he does so 99 times out of 100, then he probably gets out of the inning clean.

  72. sjm308 - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:00 PM

    Wonk: your post on 10:03 is perfect and a reason I try not to look at Insider while the game is going on. I am not sure that "troll" is the right word since I believe some of those posters do want us to do well. I think a troll is just someone who wants to be provocative and stir things up. Most of these guys just jump off and start the negativity stuff. I also realize some of us are maybe a bit too positive but its how I was brought up, I root for my team, good times or bad (its been bad for so long this good stuff is really fun).Anyway, hope your daughter doesn't get too spoiled in her first season of fandom. Keep up the great work!Go Nats!!

  73. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    But nevermind Henry, how about Ian Desmond? Team MVP right now? That play on the short hop was some serious reflexes.

  74. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    pRAA, ok, that I can agree with and so you know, I'm not a Henry fan and anyone who has followed my thoughts on Henry going back to the Willingham trade, through Spring Training 2011 to the present should know that I think he is a not ready for MLB action and I have called him a thrower who has no clue where his pitches are going. His moments of greatness have been seen a few times like his 10 pitch 3 strikeout inning. Like I have said, I'm hoping he is traded to an American League, or put on the DL, or worse case DFA'd when Lidge is ready. He is the weak link in the bullpen.With all that said, he pitched better than Stammen last night and I say that because that single to start off the 10th should have been caught with normal defense. The Nats should know that playing no doubles defense when Henry is pitching is counter-intuitive to his style of pitching which is most base hits are flairs, bleeders and bloopers as most batters don't get good contact. Henry's biggest issue is wildness. If Hairston wasn't on base, there wouldn't have been a wild pitch.

  75. Section 222 - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    Wow, is someone seriously suggesting trading Harper for Longoria? Raise your hand if you'd do that deal. The guy has a chance to be a historic player, and is already showing he's better than the hype. AND HE'S JUST 19. I'm not sure I'd trade him for anyone in baseball right now. Maybe Matt Kemp? Nah.

  76. Tcostant - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    I've watched a lot of baseball in my time and even spent a summer as an official scorer for the Middleburg Rangers (since move to Heymarket with a new name) and that was a pass ball. The ball did not touch the grown; it hit Flores glove in the air. Should have been a PB.

  77. dan roberts - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    Great quote from Carp when Ramirez almost threw an intentional ball to the backstop to end the game: "If that one gets away from them, Santa Claus is throwing out the first pitch tomorrow."

  78. Tcostant - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    Sec 222 I think your mistaken. Walter23 suggested a Longeria type contract for Haprper now, which I respond to being unlikely.

  79. A DC Wonk - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    Section 222 said… Wow, is someone seriously suggesting trading Harper for Longoria?That's what I thought at first — but, read it again. He's suggesting that the Nats do a contract similar to how Longoria's was done. ("a deal for Bryce" meaning: a contract for him — and not using the word "deal" as in "trade for")

  80. A DC Wonk - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    Tcost:first: I owe you a cokesecond: HRod's pitch _did_ hit the ground first. But a non-tired Flores makes that stop every time.

  81. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    A DC Wonk said… Interesting goings on in Syracuse yesterday: From AK:"John Lannan allowed one run in nine innings on four hits and a walk, striking out six. Corey Brown went 3 for 4 with a home run and a walk. Tyler Moore went 2 for 4 with a home run and a double. Erik Komatsu went 3 for 5 with a home run." June 06, 2012 10:53 AM Thanks again to the Cardinals for training Komatsu. Good payback for the Nats doing that for Broderick last year.On Lannan, its about time. On Corey Brown, he should be doing that here in DC. Here's my thoughts on the Nats lineup, give LaRoche a rest and send back Maldanado and bring back Brown.Lombo – 2B (S)Harper – RF (L)Zim – 3B (R)Morse – 1B (R)Desmond – SS (R)Brown – CF (L)Flores – C (R)Bernadina – LF (L)Give LaRoche several days off to get healthy. Glue Ankiel to the bench. Espinosa has to earn his way back on. In a week and until Werth is ready to come back:Lombo – 2B (S)Harper – RF (L)Zim – 3B (R)LaRoche – 1B (L)Morse – LF (R)Desmond – SS (R)Brown – CF (L)Flores – C (R)

  82. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:14 PM

    Tcostant said… I've watched a lot of baseball in my time and even spent a summer as an official scorer for the Middleburg Rangers (since move to Heymarket with a new name) and that was a pass ball. The ball did not touch the grown; it hit Flores glove in the air. Should have been a PB. June 06, 2012 11:06 AM That ball was a Passed Ball that Flores had clank off of his glove. The ball everyone was talking about was the curve that hit in the dirt that Flores tried to glove.

  83. jeffwx - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    Look forward to seeing Corey Brown back up soon. Nats need some bench OF who can also PH while Tracey is down.

  84. A DC Wonk - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    (childish humor mode=on)So, last time it was Wang-vs-Johnson, and tomorrow Wang-vs-Dickey?(childish humor mode=off)

  85. Scooter - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    Lookit, y'all, an official scorer can't give two thirds of a wild pitch and a third of a passed ball. But just because the scoring decision is an either/or, that doesn't mean the blame or credit all has to go in one place. Like, a muffed double-play grounder might be scored a fielder's choice (with no error), but the infielder still screwed up.And way to advance the conversation, pRAA.

  86. Scooter - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    Wonk: you have an "off" switch for yours?

  87. natsfan1a - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  88. MicheleS - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    I don't think Mick or Rabbit are trolls. Mick reminds me of my Dad (long suffering Cubs fan). Would blow his gasket when things went wrong and would just sit there dumbfounded when good things happened. Mick, If I am wrong, sorry. (Oh and my Dad drank PBR, Corona was too expensive)Rabbit, are doing the reverse jinx on things? Sometimes I think you just do that – Like the Halladay/Hudson stuff.

  89. Scooter - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    "gorse avatar"?Wait, you mean gorse is, like, a thing? Lemme check the Google machine …Oh, my. So it is.Excuse me, I need to go work with Ronnie; he's trying out a new deep-positioning-at-second-base thing.

  90. natsfan1a - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    Catching up with posts and comments after a late night. Can I give Scooter's fever (pitch?) dream Post of the Day? Love the gorse avatar, sec3. Funny observation on the self-esteem front, NatsNut.Generally on comments: the game threads can be brutal, but not really a fan of pulling out and reposting comments in order to call individuals out. No doubt we all make some ill-advised comments in the heat of the moment. It's just that we don't all publish them online. :-) That said, some of the player descriptors were certainly, um, colorful.Last but not least on crowd increases, my anecdotal evidence contribution. Whenever I've talked Nats to a colleague* of my husband's over the years, it's been "Aren't they a [stinky] team?" or "They have a bunch of thugs on the roster." Granted, he may have had a point or two back in the day. I nattered on about rebuilding and payroll and so forth and so on. Well sir, now he's ready to hop on the bandwagon and wants to attend a game with us. We're still trying to work out a date but it should be fun (Assuming that tickets will be available for his chosen date, which will not include the Yankees series. Yeah, evidently they draw okay, too. :-))*Who happens to be a Yankees fan, but he did grow up in New Jersey so I'll cut him some slack.

  91. natsfan1a - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    I didn't recognize it as such, Scooter, but when I did a "view" on the photo, it was so labeled.

  92. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    The Nats need to play tonight like a playoff game. This is a pitcher they have to beat to take the series and hope for the best against Dickey who has been tough to beat this year.

  93. Candide - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    Missed most of the game last night due to a previous inescapable social engagement. Got in the car in time to hear the boys make the lead 3-0 (or rather, in time to hear the Mets throw the ball all over the park to give the boys a 3-0 lead), and was still in the car when Znn gave up his two dingers (seems to be becoming a habit; what is WRONG with that boy?). Had to say hello and actually socialize with Cunegonde when I got home, and the score was 4-3 Mets when I put the game back on.Okay, to be honest, I turned it off when HRod wild-pitched the lead run in in the 9th; I regard seeing HRod in the late innings of a tight game as being Davy's equivalent of sending up a white flag. Cunegonde came up a little later to tell me the Nats had tied it up at 6 (a first: I'm normally the one with the in-game status reports), but it was getting close to lights-out time. Have my clock radio set for 6:14 am on WTOP, so one minute after I woke up, I heard how Bam-Bam won the game. Woo-HOO!

  94. Tcostant - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:45 PM

    PRAA I know I'm the worse speller ever, but that still hurt.

  95. NatsNut - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:52 PM

    snicker…don't forget Wang vs. Hand

  96. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 6, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    For the record, I said "mini"trolls…like, not really a troll but a little troll like.

  97. MicheleS - Jun 6, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    NJ.. ahh.. and considering some can't enjoy a win regardless that makes sense..

  98. #4 - Jun 6, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    A couple of thoughts reading through the comments:1. Neither Ankiel nor any other big league player will ever do anything except stand there like a statue on a 3-0 count. They won't fake a bunt, wave the bat, or crowd the plate. This isn't Bethesda Little League. They would be breaking MLB protocol and would most assuredly get the first pitch in the ribs the next day.2. If for some reason the Nats had to send out someone else to pitch last night, it almost certainly would have been a position player. Strasburg would be the guy throwing a side session yesterday or today. There is no way they would have taken that chance. Wang would be the other possibility, and he's just coming off an injury.

  99. rabbit34 - Jun 6, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    To MicheleS………your comment to me made me smile!! Things were working out well there for a while, weren't they!? Poor NatsJack, it seems as if impulsive comments by posters, reflecting the way they feel, reallly gets him worked up, doesn't it??!! GO NATIONALS!!

  100. A DC Wonk - Jun 6, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    Generally on comments: the game threads can be brutal, but not really a fan of pulling out and reposting comments in order to call individuals out.Yeah, I was thinking of just posting the comments and not the names, and then I forgot. Mea culpa.It's one thing to get frustrated and Ankiel (when it got to 3-2 I turned to my daughter and said, "how can this _not_ turn into a strikeout?" right before he struck out.)But it strikes me (and maybe it's just me) as quite another to say that Davey cost us the game (when it's not even in the 9th inning yet), or that RZ sucks, or that the entire team sucks, or that the Nats have the worst hitting team in baseball, and so forth. Hello? Even guys who hit .300 with RISP are still going to fail 70% of the time with RISP.Frankly: it's just childish and immature (or, as Joe Seamhead wrote: it comes "across as very uninformed, and juvenile." And I'm calling it out because I'm an eternal optimist, and I'm hoping we can see less of it, because it makes taking part in the threads during game time a bit of a drag. (And, perhaps the ones who actually are fans might consider lightening up).I did want to cite Mick, however, because he offered to bet the Nats will finish under .500, and I wanted to take that bet!

  101. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 6, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    Neither Ankiel nor any other big league player will ever do anything except stand there like a statue on a 3-0 count.Some people do have green lights on 3-0, although why they'd do anything but take in that situation, I don't know. If for some reason the Nats had to send out someone else to pitch last night, it almost certainly would have been a position playerSo just for fun, with everybody but Solano and Maldonado used already, and assuming they'd forfeit before they let Harper pitch, who could they have used? Ankiel was already out of the game. Maybe one of the backup catchers, I suppose.

  102. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 6, 2012 at 5:04 PM

    "that situation" being Ankiel's, last night.

  103. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 6, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    #4 must not remember the Dodgers series or Pittsburgh series when opposing players were almost taunting Henry Rodriguez.Sorry, this isn't Little League.

  104. #4 - Jun 6, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    Agreed. I'll guess Solano.And yes, a green light was a possibility, but probably not in that situation.

  105. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 6, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    Talking about Little League, did you see those Mets fans right being uber obnoxious?

  106. JD - Jun 6, 2012 at 5:28 PM

    A couple of my observations from last night: 1) The Mets gave this game away in the 10th. Parnell was dealing but Davis and Valdespin threw it away. 2) Flores had a really poor game last night; WP or PB the pitches he missed weren't very wild. 3) Henry's control was pretty good last night. He looked a lot less frazzled and actually pitched ok. 4) The Det pitch to Hairston on the HR was awful. 5) Nady can't hit anything except a real bad mistake; waist of a roster spot. 6) Ankiel isn't much better. 7) Espinosa has to be nearing the end of the rope; I,m not saying trade or DFA him but he needs to work on recognizing and laying off junk in Syracuse. 8) Harper's at bat in the 11th was the worst at bat he has had since his promotion and true to form he corrected it by going to the opposite field for the game winner. 9)I like Steve's lineup (the 2nd one) with the possible exception of flipping Brown and Lombo.10) a win is a win is a win.

  107. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 6, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    Sorry, this isn't Little League. It did look a lot like Ponce de Leon rec league, though.

  108. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 6, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    I don't think Espinosa is going to learn to hit major league breaking balls in the minor leagues. He needs to do that up here, and it's going to be painful for a while, maybe a long while. Fortunately, his D makes up for some of it.

  109. Tcostant - Jun 6, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    #4 on who could pitch next. Davey mentioned post game that he talked to LaRoche about pitching if he needed to hit for Det. With tha said, I think the next guy up would have been Jackson. Wang could have pitched today on normial rest if need. As well as Stras and Gio next on regular rest. After that a spot start or minor league guy could have filled in since they likely would have wanted Zimmermann on 3 days rest. Just a though.

  110. Scooter - Jun 6, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    You may be right about the breaking balls, Sec3. But it still might be worth a shot. They throw [junk] in the dirt there too.(I'm not advocating anything. Just saying I'm not convinced this is the only place he can work on this skill.)

  111. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 6, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    Better if they put Strasburg in left, Morse at first, if LaRoche had to pitch.

  112. Michael J. Hayde - Jun 6, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    Don't see any comments on it, but I'm really ticked that Rottino tried to sell the idea that he caught Harper's hit… as if it wasn't blatantly obvious that it bounced in front of him. Then he clearly got ticked off that it wasn't working. Totally, infuriatingly bush league.

  113. JD - Jun 6, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    Soul, I disagree. They throw breaking balls in the minors; the quality isn't the same but it's still useful and I completely disagree that his defense makes up for his poor offense; his defense this year (according to fan graphs is -0.1 which is average at best) his over all WAR is 0.3. Lombo plays more than adequate 2nd base and his overall WAR is 0.6 in half the opportunities Espi has.

  114. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 6, 2012 at 5:43 PM

    FWIW, Scooter, I get the sense that Davey isn't convinced pitch identification is Danny's problem, but that he's overswinging and trying to pull everything. Just my sense of what Davey seems to be saying.

  115. Scooter - Jun 6, 2012 at 5:47 PM

    Yes, Sec3, I think you've got that exactly right.By the by, I also don't think Espinosa is swinging over as many bouncers this past week. Could be that the fix the manager wanted is taking care of the problem we saw.

  116. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 6, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    Defensive stats are notoriously dependent on sample size, and we're only a third through the season, but fair enough. They gave Desmond over two years to get it right, albeit not years they were contending.Of course, if Lombardozzi replaces him in the lineup, someone has to replace Lombardozzi on the bench as a middle infielder/utility guy, which is not an insurmountable problem, but it is a consideration. If he is going to quit switch-hitting, he definitely has to do that in AAA.

  117. Scooter - Jun 6, 2012 at 6:00 PM

    Oh brother, we're not back to "quit switch hitting," are we? I would gladly trade five draft picks to move on from that one.

  118. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 6, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    I was just sayin. If.

  119. Candide - Jun 6, 2012 at 6:59 PM

    Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said…Of course, if Lombardozzi replaces him in the lineup, someone has to replace Lombardozzi on the bench as a middle infielder/utility guy, which is not an insurmountable problem, but it is a consideration.I think if Espinosa can't figure out his problems, he'd make an excellent middle infielder/utility/late-inning defensive replacement.

  120. David - Jun 6, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    Great win! I was in 108 until the end of the 11th inning. I couldn't chance missing the last Metro. So when is Brown getting called up? :-) Isn't it about time he comes down with an injury that needs "resting" until it's fully healed?… ala DeRosa.

  121. David - Jun 6, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    I meant, maybe it's time Nady gets *injured* like DeRosa.

  122. natsfan1a - Jun 6, 2012 at 8:06 PM

    Just for the record, in addition to his injury, according to Comak DeRosa has been spending time with his father, who is seriously ill.

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