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A ‘statement series’ for Nats

Jun 10, 2012, 11:45 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Rick Ankiel, Roger Bernadina and Bryce Harper celebrate their series sweep.

BOSTON — All afternoon he sat in the dugout at Fenway Park, pacing around, chomping on bubble gum, unsure what exactly to do with himself. Bryce Harper has rarely ever found himself out of his team's starting lineup, and Sunday marked the first time at all he was on the Nationals' bench.

"I'm pretty antsy when it comes to sitting," the 19-year-old said. "I don't like doing it. I like to get going and play."

Held out by Davey Johnson for the first time in 38 big-league games due to tightness in his lower back, Harper had convinced his manager he could pinch-hit if needed. So as Sunday's series finale against the Red Sox moved into the latter innings, the rookie went down to the batting tunnel to take some swings and get loose.

And when the top of the ninth inning arrived, the Nationals and Red Sox knotted at 3, who should emerge into the on-deck circle but Harper,Read more »

105 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Atlee - Jun 10, 2012 at 11:51 PM

    Seen on Sons of Sam Horn game discussion:"I will be glad to see the Nats leave Boston."Music to my ears.

  2. JaneB - Jun 10, 2012 at 11:59 PM

    How can baseball make me this happy? But it does.

  3. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 11, 2012 at 12:09 AM

    Another Kardiac Kids weekend and this is what they are. So great to see Roger Bernadina as the star today.I am with so many others on the solid start by Jordan Zimmermann. Here's a guy who barely gets run support and got 3 runs today. Big deal that he had a 1 run lead and blew it. The good news is the team got a W.

  4. SCNatsFan - Jun 11, 2012 at 12:11 AM

    A cool thing is free agents will want to come here now. As a long suffering Expos fan this is what I have been waiting for!

  5. m20832 - Jun 11, 2012 at 12:20 AM

    Yeah….Babeeeeee!!!! Let's do it to the jaybirds next! GYFNG!!!!

  6. NatsJim - Jun 11, 2012 at 12:21 AM

    The Prodigy delivers again.

  7. Doug Herbert - Jun 11, 2012 at 12:24 AM

    Another comment from the Sons of Sam Horn game discussion right after that ball caught Flores' knuckles:"Catcher for the Nats is about as safe a job as Al Qaeda second in command."

  8. NatsLady - Jun 11, 2012 at 12:31 AM

    I read that a bunch of Expos fans are going to represent in Toronto. I love it!!!! I wonder if the Nats are allowed to go retro and wear Expos uni's? Davey, please, please, please, Klip is "not available" for a couple of days. Burnett can handle it. You PROMISED not to overused him, we need that arm attached to its shoulder.

  9. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jun 11, 2012 at 12:34 AM

    Tyler "Three-for-Three" Clippard said it all at the end: "They're definitely a good club, and I think we're better. I think we're a lot better." Darn right we are, Clipp. Darn right.Let's punch out those Canadians while we're at it.

  10. SonnyG10 - Jun 11, 2012 at 12:38 AM

    Sweeping Boston is just so much fun and having the Boston fans saying they're glad to see us go is awesome.

  11. SonnyG10 - Jun 11, 2012 at 12:41 AM

    Expos turned Nats fans Canadians exempted, right Sunshine? :)

  12. baseballswami - Jun 11, 2012 at 12:45 AM

    How perfect and clutch was the timing where Bryce was halfway to second just when Bernie triples down the right field line? Textbook and beautiful. I also vote for Clip getting a day off. What do teams do that win a lot of games? -surely they have backup closers? But I guess that would be for games that you are far ahead and that basically never happens to us. Remember Storen actually did two in one day? Just heard Bobby V whining on tv about how the entire series every call went the nats way. Pretty insulting to us that we couldn't beat them without help from the umps. Sore loser. Hope he gets fined — or eventually fired — for being a loser. Still firmly in the JZim camp – if that fourth run is scored earlier he gets a W.

  13. NatsLady - Jun 11, 2012 at 12:54 AM

    Lunch w/ a girlfriend who is going in for surgery, consuming WAY too many calories and watching the game on my phone. Will give myself the pleasure of the replay in HD tomorrow morning…Oh, yes.

  14. SonnyG10 - Jun 11, 2012 at 12:59 AM

    I may give myself the pleasure of a replay tonight. This winning is so addictive…I just can't get enough of it.

  15. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 11, 2012 at 12:59 AM

    From Kilgore “I know we’ve shown the baseball world what kind of team we are,” closer Tyler Clippard said. “This was kind of a statement series for us in doing that. They’re definitely a good club, and I think we’re better. I think we’re a lot better. We feel really good with what we’ve got going on right now.”Interesting that Kilgore referred to Clippard as "closer Tyler Clippard" since I thought it was closer by committee. What will be interesting is who is the "closer" when Storen comes back or will it be closer by committee for the rest of the season.

  16. NCNatsie - Jun 11, 2012 at 1:00 AM

    Swami, I saw the Valentine clip too — posted on the earlier thread — classless and not even remotely true. What a crybaby.Also, DC Wonk posted on that thread the opinion that EJax may be the best #4 in the league. He's right, and if you go by ERA, it's even better than that. This morning's listings show him 19th in the NL in ERA. No other team has more than 2 in the top 20 (We have FOUR.) So Jackson is actually better than anybody else's #3!!!

  17. NatsLady - Jun 11, 2012 at 1:05 AM

    Ghost, Davey called Clip "my closer" a couple of days ago. So I guess it's "official."

  18. NatsNut - Jun 11, 2012 at 1:08 AM

    OMG, I LOVE Jesus Flores!!! This is aDORable)“It’s like, oh my gosh, come on,” Flores said. “Just leave me alone, ball.”(from Kilgore)

  19. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 11, 2012 at 1:09 AM

    NatsLady said… Ghost, Davey called Clip "my closer" a couple of days ago. So I guess it's "official." June 10, 2012 9:05 PM Thanks for that update. I didn't know he did that. I am fine with it. It just sets up for someone to be disappointed when Storen is ready to return.

  20. Section 222 - Jun 11, 2012 at 1:09 AM

    Rather than anoint a substitute closer, I vote for the Nats having an easy win on Tuesday. But yes Davey (hi Davey!), Clip needs more than the off day off.

  21. Theophilus T. S. - Jun 11, 2012 at 1:11 AM

    Valentine is a big-mouth narcissist. In addition to a whiner. In the NFL, NBA or NHL, that rant would get him a good-sized fine and I hope Selig makes in unanimous. I saw a reference to article naming Terry Collins, Valentine and Showalter among the top five managers in baseball and it prompted regurgitation of breakfast. Last year Collins was 25 under .500 — what did he eat over the winter that made him a genius. Showalter may be the only manager in history to blame his third-base coach for the worst team in baseball. Valentine speaks for himself. Waiting for that August afternoon, after Youklis has been run out of town, when Valentine "resigns" because he's "lost [his] passion for the game."

  22. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 11, 2012 at 1:11 AM

    A tweet from JFlo: ‏@JesusFloresN26: Thank you all. My finger is fine. #MyDowntime-IsHistory. I want to reward my absence now playing like I've never done before.

  23. NatsLady - Jun 11, 2012 at 1:18 AM

    Oh, I'm not worried. Storen and Clip and Davey will work it out. It's not as if we have such big leads that we don't need a 9th inning guy almost every game (even when we get 7 runs!).

  24. NatsLady - Jun 11, 2012 at 1:24 AM

    P.S., the world is upside down. Nats are 10 games ahead of the Fils in the loss column and Lincecum is 2-7 with a 6.00 ERA.

  25. baseballswami - Jun 11, 2012 at 1:24 AM

    I was just reading an article written by one of the guys who covers the nats about how far behind all of our guys are in the all star voting. We are a first place team and it's easy to be indignant about that. I know it's a big deal and an honor – but I think the reason is because our team doesn't do the egotistical star thing. They are truly a team and each one plays a role and is important. Sure, Strassie and Harper stand out right now, but most of the time it seems like BH is a guy on the team who will take a walk if that's what the team needs. He will sit the bench if the manager says and he won't throw a tantrum. Different guys stand out in different games and the wins are usually team wins. I would rather have the individuals be less known and recognized and have the team win. I don't even know who I would choose if I had to pick one – maybe Desi? Seems like they also prefer to perform as a unit and not stand out individually. I would love it if a position player went, but I am really ok with a strong team with no head-case stars.

  26. baseballswami - Jun 11, 2012 at 1:25 AM

    NatsLady – and cliff lee has zero wins in 10 starts.

  27. NCNatsie - Jun 11, 2012 at 1:38 AM

    Swami, eveerything you say is true, but the reason we don't have any fan-selected all stars is because — amazingly considering we're from Washington — we haven't yet learned how to stuff ballot boxes. It's still a new franchise in some ways. I remember one year back in the day when Cincinnati fans decided to see how far they could take it and got virtually their whole team in the ASG.All awards, from the Heisman to the Pulitzers to the Nobels are in some way or other rigged, or at least riggable. Even a bunch of diehard Nats fans like us have spend zero post time (I've read almost everything since ST) urging each other to vote early and often for our boys. When we start doing that, we'll have lots of all stars. That said, there is one other factor, which is celebrity. Harper might make it in the post voting fan pick competition.

  28. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jun 11, 2012 at 1:38 AM

    SonnyG10 said… Expos turned Nats fans Canadians exempted, right Sunshine? :)Oh, absolutely. I also issue full exemptions for Habs fans.

  29. Joe Seamhead - Jun 11, 2012 at 1:39 AM

    This from a Phillies blog tonight:These Phillies are four games under .500, eight games out of first place, and 10 games behind the Washington Nationals in the loss column. It has been 1,833 days since the Phillies were this far from the top of the division.Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/phillies/Phillies_fall_to_Orioles_5-4_in_10_innings.html#ixzz1xRcUkema

  30. Gonat - Jun 11, 2012 at 1:53 AM

    baseballswami said… I was just reading an article written by one of the guys who covers the nats about how far behind all of our guys are in the all star voting. June 10, 2012 9:24 PM ____________________________________Its a popularity contest more so than a talent contest and remember, pitchers are chosen by the All Star manager and Bryce Harper wasn't on the All Star ballot which would mean he has to be written in.The Nats have a bunch of players who are injured that are on the ballot.I remember a week or so ago when SteveM predicted that Stras, Gio and Bryce whould get chosen. I saw someone earlier say Clip. Someone else said JZim. The Nats are only guaranteed 1 player and may deserve 5 or 6. Still about 3 weeks to go.

  31. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 11, 2012 at 2:04 AM

    Gonat, I don't see enough write-ins for Bryce which would mean he would have to be picked as a reserve, or in that "Final Vote" or be picked by the manager as an alternate if someone pulls out the week before the game.I believe MLB would benefit by having Bryce in the All Star game.

  32. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 11, 2012 at 2:09 AM

    Who would you pick, from position players, on merit? And do you vote based on this year alone, or consider the second half of last year, too, since it happened after the ASG? Doesn't seem right to just ignore it. I guess you could argue Desmond, since Tulowitzki is probably out for a while now, and may not be back soon. But I can see Tulo getting voted in anyway on the strength of reputation and history, and then sitting it out. LaRoche isn't starting ahead of Votto. Harper is still too new, and too raw in the outfield. Gio should go, Strasburg might. But that's about it.

  33. Unknown - Jun 11, 2012 at 2:13 AM

    So much going on – incredible to sweep a still-tough (although perhaps not as well manged as during the Francona era) BoSox club.A few odds and ends;– The pitch to Youk in game 1 was a strike, strike 2 today to Pedroia wasn't, but it sure looked in there to the naked eye. After years of getting the short end of the stick on close calls, it's nice to have a few go the Nats' way. But, hey, Pedroia still had another strike to go and good teams don't blame the umps for their troubles; they find way to overcome these things.– Clip's quote was fine until here starting saying who was better…those sentiments are better left unsaid to the media (Reference: Nyjer M's "y'all r dead, enjoy watching playoffs on tv" tweet to the current World Champion St. Louis Cardinals). These quotes will cease as the team gets more used to being good.– Does anyone have stats on how often JZim lets the other team score the first time he pitches after the Nats have scored to take the lead, tie the game, or draw within 1 run? He seems to have trouble putting up a 0 after the Nats score, a trait good pitchers have.Anyway, what a difference from the last time the Nats played in Fenway and got swept out of town! Different year, different team! GYFNG!

  34. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 11, 2012 at 2:16 AM

    I understood Clippard to mean the Nats are better than they used to be, not better than the Sox, although I'm probably putting a home town spin on it.

  35. A DC Wonk - Jun 11, 2012 at 2:17 AM

    I don't agree with any of these reasons. See my own reason below:baseballswami said… I was just reading an article written by one of the guys who covers the nats about how far behind all of our guys are in the all star voting…. I think the reason is because our team doesn't do the egotistical star thing.NCNatsie said… …but the reason we don't have any fan-selected all stars is because… we haven't yet learned how to stuff ballot boxes.I think it's much simpler than that:Our best players are our pitchers — who aren't on the ballot. The only non-pitchers who are remotely close to all-star worthy at this point is Harper, and he's not on the ballot either (nor does he even have enough playing time to be counted in the league leaders yet).Of the players that _have_ played all season long, Desmond leads the team in batting with .266. So, no, I don't think we have any all-star worthy hitters (except maybe Harper — but he's at .282).As for pitchers: Stras, Gio, and Clip, are worthy for sure. But, again, pitchers don't get voted on.

  36. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 11, 2012 at 2:20 AM

    Wonk, I wouldn't go by batting average, at least not that alone, especially for a premium defensive position. Ozzie Smith started plenty of ASGs hitting .2-something. Not that Ian is Ozzie. But Desmond does have some other offensive categories to make a case with.

  37. Faraz Shaikh - Jun 11, 2012 at 2:24 AM

    I am reading Willie Mays biography right now and watching Harper play as a 19 year old, if I dare say so, we might be witnessing a legendary player starting his own record book.For curious minds, Danny dominates left-handed pitching like very few in the league. Four or five hitters have a better OPS than Danny against lefties. Danny rocks lefties!

  38. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 11, 2012 at 2:24 AM

    Soul, I'm a homer. I would pick 6 or 7 Nats and Desi and LaRoche are still viable in the discussion as are Clip and Stammen.In the world of reality the Nats may only get 2 or 3 on the All Star team.

  39. Faraz Shaikh - Jun 11, 2012 at 2:27 AM

    And those stats are not updated with today's results where Danny was 2 for 3 with 2 doubles and one walk against Lester.

  40. Section 222 - Jun 11, 2012 at 2:36 AM

    I expect our All Stars will be Stras, Gio, and maybe Harper if he's the final fan favorite or picked to replace someone or fill out the bench. Maybe LaRussa picks Desi but I don't think he really deserves it, nor do any of our other regulars — maybe ALR as a reserve.

  41. ehay2k - Jun 11, 2012 at 2:37 AM

    The only statement I care about: We are in first place!

  42. baseballswami - Jun 11, 2012 at 2:37 AM

    I know it's probably wrong of me, but I still think there is something cool about a first place team with no stars. I love the blue collar, humble team concept where the whole is greater than the individual parts. ( There's a quote like that – I know I botched it horribly). I think I might choose Desi, though, based on all- around performance. Do they need an extra catcher? No – he might get hurt. But I do love Flo!

  43. Section 222 - Jun 11, 2012 at 2:39 AM

    I know everyone's saying Clipp deserves to go, but he went last year, deservedly, to be the sole rep of the Nats. If a reliever is going to go this year, Clipp would not be at the top of the heap. Maybe Kimbrel, but starters are much more likely to be picked for the pitching staff, as they should be.

  44. Mark Grabowsky - Jun 11, 2012 at 2:40 AM

    I was at Fenway for all three games Most fun in a stadium ever (The Nats Insider tour gave us rock star access and even got to sign my name inside the green monster). Boston fans and sports writers are a class act. They saw the Nats for the quality team that they are and gave them proper respect. Bosox fans stopped me in the street raving about Harper.

  45. pRAA - Jun 11, 2012 at 2:43 AM

    Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said… Who would you pick, from position players, on merit? And do you vote based on this year alone, or consider the second half of last year, too, since it happened after the ASG? Doesn't seem right to just ignore it.A DC Wonk said… Our best players are our pitchers — who aren't on the ballot. The only non-pitchers who are remotely close to all-star worthy at this point is Harper, and he's not on the ballot either (nor does he even have enough playing time to be counted in the league leaders yet).Ghost Of Steve M. said… Gonat, I don't see enough write-ins for Bryce which would mean he would have to be picked as a reserve, or in that "Final Vote" or be picked by the manager as an alternate if someone pulls out the week before the game.Want to know why there aren't more Nats players higher up in the All Star voting? It's so-called Nats fans like this who spend time arguing and analyzing the balloting process rather than just stuffing the ballot box like fans in other cities are doing.It's a popularity contest, folks. Nothing more, nothing less. Stop the whining about why your favorite player isn't higher on the list and start voting. You have unlimited opportunities to vote a paper ballot at the ballpark, and also unlimited opportunities to vote by email. Create as many gmail and hotmail accounts as you need to, and vote each one 25 times. Write in Bryce Harper, and punch out the rest of them. Kwitcherbitchen and just do it.

  46. Mark Grabowsky - Jun 11, 2012 at 2:49 AM

    I meant Nats Destinations tour.

  47. pRAA - Jun 11, 2012 at 3:00 AM

    Another thing. There's nothing that requires you to vote for every position on an All Star ballot. Don't know anything about AL players? Don't vote the AL side of the ballot. Don't like Desmond, Espinosa or whoever? Don't vote for that position. Just vote for the players you like, and submit your ballot. You know that's what they're doing in other cities. That's how popularity contests work.The All Star game has nothing to do with merit. Quit arguing merit and just vote. If you don't vote – and vote often – you have no room for complaint if the results aren't to your liking.

  48. baseballswami - Jun 11, 2012 at 3:17 AM

    I am a passionate Nats fan and have been since day one. I did all my online voting. As a life long baseball fan I have to say that ALR does not deserve to be the all star at first – Joey Votto does. He is the very best. I wouldn't say at every position our guy isn't the best, I don't vote against our guys – but you are right , it's a popularity contest. What bothers me is that a lot of those guys who will be selected don't really want to go and are very blase about it. They want the time off. I understand if someone really has an injury situation, but some of those things are imaginary to get out of going. I think our guys would be honored to go.

  49. Section 222 - Jun 11, 2012 at 3:39 AM

    The All Star game has nothing to do with merit. Quit arguing merit and just vote. If you don't vote – and vote often – you have no room for complaint if the results aren't to your liking.The lowest total for a winning position player in the NL last year got over 4 million votes, so yeah, the 30 or so regular posters here could make a huge difference in the outcome if they just quit whining and punch a few thousand ballots each. If you think Desi or ALR really deserves to go, then knock yourself out. I'm content to fill out a few at the park and see what the fans decide. Harper has no chance as a write-in, but I'll do some voting if they put him on the final spot ballot. You say that ASG has nothing to do with merit, but can you really argue that all that many of the fan's decisions (other than Derek Jeter) are wrong? I guess you can even make a decent case for Jeter this year, right? Fortunately for us and the Nats, LaRussa and the players will pick the pitching staff. They know how good Stras and Gio have been. Also, I was wrong about the pitching staff. It's selected mainly by the player/manager vote, and includes 5 starters and 3 relievers. So maybe Clipp has a shot after all.

  50. Drew - Jun 11, 2012 at 3:47 AM

    Debbie Downer alert:In his first 15.1 innings pitched Matt Purke has issued 12 walks and allowed 10 earned runs. The good news is he's struck out 14. Maybe he's just rusty.

  51. rogieshan - Jun 11, 2012 at 5:28 AM

    Not as ugly as 3rd-round pick Brett Mooneyham's final college start tonight: 1 IP 3 H 5 ER 2 BB 0 SO.

  52. JayB - Jun 11, 2012 at 9:42 AM

    Yea I watched that Mooneyham thing too…..he does not have major league potential. His fastball was 88 or so and his off speed was short armed and very easy to read…..just save the money and put toward signing someone else.

  53. rabbit34 - Jun 11, 2012 at 9:54 AM

    Our team is behind in all-star voting because we just can't hit for any kind of average. Some pitchers and Harper should be the only ones considered for the team. Why Harper? Because he's the best player in baseball.

  54. rabbit34 - Jun 11, 2012 at 9:59 AM

    Also, that's the trouble with the quality of players in the all-star game. How does "stuffing" a ballot box get you the best players? It does NOT. Stuffing a ballot box. Geesh, it's like cheating.

  55. djinFl. - Jun 11, 2012 at 11:24 AM

    @ MarkThanks for that insight. I was very impressed with the writers class in the Boston papers.They would not react like that in most cities.As for the All Star game it is not any longer. It is an exercise in ballot stuffing. Just let the players vote and we would get much better results. It only means 4 days without a Nats win to me.

  56. Section 215 Row A - Jun 11, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    I am with you, Rabbit34. When I fill out the All-Star ballot I vote for the best players. With the exception of Desmond, no National's position player should even be considered. Texas Manager Washington will take Stras and Gio. I think Harper is a stretch…it would be nice…but it's a stretch.

  57. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 11, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    I hate the All Star game. It's 3 or 4 days I don't get to watch real baseball during prime baseball playing time.

  58. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 11, 2012 at 11:37 AM

    Are you being funny saying Wash ( the AL Manager) will take Stras and Gio?

  59. MicheleS - Jun 11, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    Vote early, Vote Often. I vote almost everyday on line (you can vote up to 25 times per day per email address). I also have 500 ballots at my house that I am filling out for the NYY saturday game – I am a sucker for Free stuff from the Nats.

  60. MicheleS - Jun 11, 2012 at 11:41 AM

    215 Row A.. The reason that I think Ian has a shot at the AllStar game is that LaRussa gushed over him when he was here. (NL Manager – which is what I am sure you meant, although, I am sure Wash would love to have Harper and Stras on his team).BTW.. A LOT of the National writers are calling for Trout and Harper in the Home Run Derby. And are screaming that both should be either write ins or picked to the team.

  61. MicheleS - Jun 11, 2012 at 11:43 AM

    Oh.. and Next Year's All Star game we will have more of our guys on the team.. Davey will be picking the squad ;-) ..I know.. put the Koolaid down…

  62. NatsLady - Jun 11, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    Love Danny, but I just don't vote in the 2B slot because he's not–YET–an All-Star. I'd like LaRoche to get in for once in his career. No way he's better than Votto, but maybe as a backup. I vote for Morse because he didn't get it last year. I write in Harper and Flores. Clip had those rough games in April, but WOW since then. You have to figure LaRussa is (at least) as smart as Bochy (!) and will take him. And he probably wants to go–but I'd rather he rest.

  63. 95southNatsFan - Jun 11, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    Regarding Clip's comment about being "better. I think we're a lot better." Clip started in the Yanks organization if I remember correctly, so I imagine he's never been a huge Red Sox fan. But beyond that, he's right. The Nats play the game correctly as a unit, the Red Sox do not play well as a unit.

  64. Gonat - Jun 11, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    Each All Star team carries 13 pitchers and the breakdown seems 10 starters and 3 relievers.http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/pitching/_/league/nlIf we use ERA to grade the starters, Gio is #4, Stras #7, JZim #15 and EJax #18

  65. Traveler8 - Jun 11, 2012 at 12:11 PM

    I love watching Bryce Harper play, and seeing him tear around the bases yesterday was terrific. However, this is the only thing that all the stories are about this morning – there should be lots of love for the Shark, coming off the bench to hit a double/triple. That's the real hard part here.

  66. NatsLady - Jun 11, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    T8, I guess you could say Bernie "came off the bench" but not as a pinch hitter. He played the whole game (CF/LF) and went 2 for 4 with a K (2 LOB). He did very well…

  67. ehay2k - Jun 11, 2012 at 12:23 PM

    Writers also ought to devote some ink to Espinosa, who carried the team because the heart of the order was flat. Methinks Espinosa loves that wall.

  68. UnkyD - Jun 11, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    Well…. It's happening. Major NatsLove, on the "official home". Junkies singing praises, just spent the whole phone-in, from Redskins Park, talking Nats. Lurch (big Sawx fan), "forced" to acknowledge that they're baddass, and not going anywhere… Over on 980, Czabe says if you don't like watching The Kid play, you don't like baseball.How cool is it to be on the ground floor, welcoming everybody aboard?!GYFNG!!!!!

  69. Gonat - Jun 11, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    Traveler8 said… I love watching Bryce Harper play, and seeing him tear around the bases yesterday was terrific. However, this is the only thing that all the stories are about this morning – there should be lots of love for the Shark, coming off the bench to hit a double/triple. That's the real hard part here. June 11, 2012 8:11 AM _______________________________Bryce Harper has national prominence as a superstar. If the roles were reversed and Bernie scored from 1st on Harper's hit, they would still be discussing Harper.Bernadina's last 10 games he is 4 for 8 (.500 BA) and 7 for 11 in OBP. With 2 outs and RISP this season, Bernadina is slashing .455/.600/.727/1.327 That is a 15 PA sample size.

  70. m20832 - Jun 11, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    Been voting 25 times everyday. Wrote in Harper and Flores.

  71. Gonat - Jun 11, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    NatsLady, I thought T8's point coming off the bench was acknowledgement that he got a rare start as a bench player. Also in a tough situation where he has been baaaad—those Lefty/Lefty matchups.

  72. MicheleS - Jun 11, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    Morning Boz..Take a look at the second page. The MASN Deal has been delayed until 7/1Lastest Koolaid and MASN Info

  73. MicheleS - Jun 11, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  74. MicheleS - Jun 11, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    Oh and by the way.. I want my Statement Series to be against Jays, then against the NYY, then against TB and then against O's.

  75. Section 215 Row A - Jun 11, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    Pardon my slip! Lack of caffeine. LaRussa will take Gio and Stras. Thanks for keeping me honest, NatsJack.

  76. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 11, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    Much better, 215. Thought maybe you hadn't had your coffee yet.

  77. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 11, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    Thought maybe you hadn't had your coffee yet, 215.

  78. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 11, 2012 at 12:59 PM

    Good point by Michele, that LaRussa seems to be a big Desmond fan. With the 34-man roster, getting one for each team should be less likely to bump some deserving sub off the team, so he may well have a good shot.

  79. Marc - Jun 11, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    If you're voting a full NL all-star ballot, who are the non-Nats that you are voting for? From watching Nats games this year, I would think Kemp, Votto, and Wright… who else?Also, surprised that Sean Burnett doesn't get any mentions.

  80. The Fox - Jun 11, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    NatsLady said… I write in Harper and Flores. ______Please let Flores have the AS game off he needs it. So does Clippard.Harper will be there in one capacity or another baseball executives know advertising demographics.NatsJack, no most don't know who picks who for the AS game. You would blow most of their minds if you told them at one time there were 2 AS games. As for letting an exhibition game that barely resembles the game determine home field advantage for the WS, Bud Selig should burn in HELL! and I'm not kidding.

  81. NatsLady - Jun 11, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    Just got to the bottom of the 5th and saw Espi's web gem. ALR made me smile in one of the stories when he said, "I always have to get back because not much gets past those guys."

  82. NatsLady - Jun 11, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    I go for McCutchen, he is one of my favs. Also I swing over to the AL to punch in the Big Donkey.

  83. NatsLady - Jun 11, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    Please let Flores have the AS game off he needs it. So does Clippard.Good point on Flores, I'll write in Lombo as directed. :)Clip said last year he was happy to go to his first All-Star game… He could go but not be used in the game, that wouldn't be stressful.

  84. The Fox - Jun 11, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    Sorry section 215 didn't see your post before I posted. I'm not a big fan of the AS game after they made it "count" for something. The game has very little to do with real baseball because they take the best players out of the game at the beginning regardless of score. I've been to one before and they are fun just remember it is an exhibition not a real game.

  85. Marc - Jun 11, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    Ah yes, McCutchen definitely. Kudos to him with re-signing in Pittsburgh rather than taking his talents elsewhere.

  86. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 11, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    Hey! And how about the Pirates being the best baseball team in Pennsylvania, huh?!

  87. bowdenball - Jun 11, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    The Shark was great in a big spot in the 9th and deserves credit for it, but let's not forget that he made the Nats' worst play of the weekend two innings earlier on that pop fly bunt attempt with men at second and third and one out.

  88. NatsLady - Jun 11, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    Pirates team BA is .229 and they score 3.2 runs per game. OTOH, their pitching is pretty fine. Third in MLB. Gotta love it.

  89. MicheleS - Jun 11, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    More from the twitter world on MASN Dispute..Eric Fisher‏@EricFisherSBJDecision on MASN-#Nationals TV dispute remains on hold as sides remain more than $70M/yr apart.

  90. bowdenball - Jun 11, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    I feel like I need to come up with a positive post after a negative one considering the weekend results, so here it is …For I believe is the first time this season, the Nats are not only in first place in the NL East, but have the best run differential in the division as well. Run differential is a sign of a team with staying power. Compare the Nats' +33 to the Pirates (-17) or the Orioles (-4) or the Mets (-19), and you see why people expect the Nats to stick around and those other surprise contenders to fall off.

  91. Bigfish - Jun 11, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    I'm with NatsJack & those who say the ASG is a bore. Back when I was a kid & there were virtually no televised games, it was great way to see players we'd never see otherwise. That's obviously not the case any more. Now it's just 3 days when I have to figure out some other way to spend 3 hours each evening.

  92. A DC Wonk - Jun 11, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    Want to know why there aren't more Nats players higher up in the All Star voting? It's so-called Nats fans like this who spend time arguing and analyzing the balloting process rather than just stuffing the ballot box like fans in other cities are doing.pRAA, welcome! I was wondering what you'd have to complain about, now that the Nats swept the Sox. Well done. Nice creativity.The All Star game has nothing to do with merit.Nothing?Then it must have been quite a coincidence that guys like Prince Fielder, Matt Kemp, Troy Tulowitzki, and Ray Halliday started, and that other guys like Votto, Pence, and Reyes were on the team?And while I have you on the phone here, so to speak, I wanted to revisit a disagreement we had last week. You were bitterly complaining about HRod and his wild pitch, saying it was "all on Henry." I pointed out that the pitch was just "in the dirt" and was thrown at least 61 feet. You said it didn't matter; that because it hit the dirt first, then it was all Henry's fault. I said that lots of folks strike out when the pitch is in the dirt, and therefore hitting the dirt is not proof of a bad pitch.I thought about that conversation on the very next day, when I was listening to the next game (June 6, Nats over Mets 5-3). EJax started the game, as you might recall, by striking out the side. Most tellingly, strike three on both batters #2 and #3 that inning were pitches *thrown in the dirt*, that Flores caught, and had to tag the batter out.My point being, simply: that pitches throws in the dirt are often good pitches, and catchers need to block them. And, indeed, Flores did in the first inning of the very next game.

  93. JaneB - Jun 11, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    I didn't realize you could vote 25 times A DAY! I thought it was just 25 times per email address. Of which I now have several, for the occasion. I agree that Desi is our guy who should go. And that Espi and The Shark deserve some love from yesterday. The Kid is so electric, all yes go to him. ANd typing fingers, too, I guess.Thanks for the link to that great Boston piece.

  94. A DC Wonk - Jun 11, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    bowdenball said… For I believe is the first time this season, the Nats are not only in first place in the NL East, but have the best run differential in the division as well. Interesting stat. Nice.The idea, presumably is that we have "just enough hitting" to combine with our obviously awesome pitching.The BoSox have an awesome hitting team (second in MLB for runs per game). But, as the old aphorism goes: good pitching stops good hitting.Nice!NatsJack in Florida said… Hey! And how about the Pirates being the best baseball team in Pennsylvania, huh?!Ouch! I know some Phillie fans that would go nuts if they read that!(I'm not convinced that that's necessarily true, as the Phils play a much tougher schedule by being in the NL East — but, if you go by W-L record, certainly!)

  95. A DC Wonk - Jun 11, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    Thanks for the link to the Boston article. Terrific.Anyone notice that there were two different Bryce quotes where he said "whatnot." "The Whatnot Kid"? Naahhhh . . . not complimentary enough.BTW, one of the announcers yesterday pointed out that Bryce uses a 35" 35oz bat. Holy moley! I didn't think _anyone_ used bats that big anymore. And, despite that size, the quickness! The bat speed! Amazing.

  96. Pose of the Cobra - Jun 11, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    My point being, simply: that pitches throws in the dirt are often good pitches, and catchers need to block them. And, indeed, Flores did in the first inning of the very next game.Game situation matters here. Sure, a pitch in the dirt can be a good pitch if it induces a strikeout. But only in a situation where the catcher blocking it is not critical. Why? Because even the best catcher is not going to be able to block every pitch in the dirt, just as even the best fielder is not going to be able to field every bad hop. With a runner on third late in a close game, a reliever whose only weapon is a pitch in the dirt is playing with fire. That was Joel Hanrahan's problem, and it's one of Henry Rodriguez's problems too.

  97. A DC Wonk - Jun 11, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    With a runner on third late in a close game, a reliever whose only weapon is a pitch in the dirt is playing with fire.I don't think anybody was disagreeing with that.

  98. Pose of the Cobra - Jun 11, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    A DC Wonk said… With a runner on third late in a close game, a reliever whose only weapon is a pitch in the dirt is playing with fire.I don't think anybody was disagreeing with that.You sure were. Rodriguez threw a pitch in the dirt that let in a run. You have been claiming for almost a week now that it was all Flores's fault. In fact, Rodriguez never should have thrown that pitch if he couldn't keep it out of the dirt.

  99. UnkyD - Jun 11, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    (puts helmet on… tightens strap….)Yes, at the risk of hearing a bit of chin music… I freaking HATE the ASG! Any process which allows anybody at least 25 ballots PER DAY, is simply a traveshamockery. If players and coaches made the selections, I could at least respect the process. I was ambivelant until Bud gave undeserved meaning to this farce, by hanging HF AD on the result. The above-mentioned helmet has the word "CURMUDGEON", boldly emblazoned across the front, and "KICK ME", on the back, so I know I sound like somebody's humorless

  100. UnkyD - Jun 11, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    …uncle, who seldom comes out of the basement, and I have no wish to spoil anybody's fun, so vote , early and often….. I'm not offended. I'll just be tapping my foot…waithin for actual games to start, again…GYFNG!!!!

  101. UnkyD - Jun 11, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    WS….. Should, of course read, W(orld) S(eries) AD(vantage)Don't get me started about H(all of) F(ame)……

  102. Section 215 Row A - Jun 11, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    Roger that UnkyD…it's like a bunch of tweens voting for the "American Idol." Meaningless crap.

  103. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 11, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    Desmond compared to other Short StopsBatting 7thRuns 5thHits 3rdDoubles 1stTriples: 7thHone Runs 2ndRBIs 2ndStolen bases 6th OSP 8thSLG 4thOPS 6thFielding 9th (though seems to be much better the last month)If I was not a Nats homer my All star team would beC Ruiz1B Votto2B AltuveSS Furcal3B WrightOF: CabreraOF: McCutcheonOF: Kemp (but if he doesn't plkay soon I would change)How I voted in realityC. Ruiz1b LaRoche2B AltuvaSS: Desond3B: ZImOF: HarperOF McCutcheonOF: Cabrera

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