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Jackson quietly gets the job done

Jun 12, 2012, 10:00 AM EDT

US Presswire photo
Edwin Jackson got plenty of handshakes after last night's win in Toronto.

He's the forgotten man of the best rotation in baseball, even though he's the highest-paid member of the group and has enjoyed the most success in the big leagues.

While Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez battle each other for the league lead in strikeouts and a possible start in next month's All-Star Game, and while Jordan Zimmermann churns out quality start after quality start, and while everyone questions whether Chien-Ming Wang or Ross Detwiler should be the Nationals' No. 5 starter, Edwin Jackson just seems to quietly take the mound every fifth night and do his job.

"The silent assassin," teammate Michael Morse described him last week.

Thing is, if you put together a list of the best outings by Nationals starters this season, Jackson would find himself right in the thick ofRead more »

151 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Unknown - Jun 12, 2012 at 10:37 AM

    Jackson has been great this season. His only flaw is a tendency to fire pick-offs throws away at bad times. But overall he has provided many top quality innings that, even in games with no run support, have allowed the bullpen to get much needed rest. His 7+ innings after the 12-inning, use the entire bullpen win over the Mets, was exactly what the team needed and a huge hidden reason why 5 of the next 6 games were W's!

  2. Positively Half St. - Jun 12, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    It's funny to think that he is only here for a year, with no guarantees that the Nats have him next year. Given the fact that he is making $11M this year, he would be one of the few players to bring back draft compensation if he left. That's for later, though. Let's hope he is strong enough to maintain this quality through the year, and to help the Nats to the playoffs.+1/2St.

  3. joemktg - Jun 12, 2012 at 10:59 AM

    Looking like Jackson is having a career year. Gio's BB/K ratio is way down. Strasburg and Zimm are stellar. Detwiler: best I've seen him so far. Wang on the right track. I dunno: safe to say McCatty has something to do with this?

  4. 320R2S15 - Jun 12, 2012 at 11:26 AM

    I'm sure McAtty is a good coach, but I don't really think we can credit him with all the success, that belongs to Rizzo the draft and $.I don't get the head first slide. One of you stat people can surely provide back up, but the injuries caused by the HFS has gotta be up there in terms of %. It is bad for the game. I went to a little league game recently and saw only head first slides, no cleat firsts. Why?

  5. Joe Seamhead - Jun 12, 2012 at 11:33 AM

    Edwin looked more comfortable on the mound last night as he has in any game since he's been here. Great game.And we move 3 games over the Chop Shop and 8 1/2 over the Phillies!Hey while looking back for something, I came across this post that I posted from last November 1. It made me grin:Joe Seamhead said…I honestly think that the last regular season series against the Phillies next year will be meaningless. The Nats will have the division sewn up and the Phillies will be out of the playoffs. Regardless of what Vegas says, the Phillies are in serious trouble. Starting with Howard, moving on to old age setting in, and with few guys coming up from within. Utley is a shell of his former self, Rollins is insisting on a new five year contract, Polanco and Ibanez are toast, and I don't see the starters carrying this team as they did last year. Those guys threw a lot of innings with a " win now" mentality, and it will show next season. Their bullpen is questionable, at best. The torch gets passed to the Nationals and Braves, starting now, and the Washington club has a better manager and similar talent. GYFNG!!!November 01, 2011 7:38 AM ————————————————-Well, I was wrong about Ibanez, but he's playing pretty well for the Yankees, not Philly. Lee and Doc are showing the effects from throwing too many innings,Utley and Howard have yet to play an inning, Rollins is a past his prime head case, Polanco can't stay healthy, nor can Nix, and now Galvis. They are just not a very good team anymore. It happened quick. Tick tock, tick tock…Gee, time flies sometimes.

  6. MicheleS - Jun 12, 2012 at 11:39 AM

    Mark.. Thanks for the recap on EJax. As you know we can overlook things during the game (see our comment thread). EJax had yet another excellent outing and is a solid rock in our rotation. Going 8+ innings is no small task these days and it saves our Bullpen for today's outing by CMW.I think we have to credit our entire organization for the staff. Starts with Rizzo and the scouts for getting Jordan in the draft, trading the prospects to the A's for GIO, and signing Ejax (jury still out on CMW). Stras fell in our lap and repayment for being craptastic. The bullpen is also credited to Rizzo. However, once they start playing the games, it's on the coaches. McCatty has to deal with all those different personalities and he and Davey need to know when to take a guy out (See Stammen recently).

  7. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 12, 2012 at 11:43 AM

    When the Nats signed, Jackson Rizzo said that the Nats coaching staff saw elements in Jacksons delivery that needed tweaking and that he could be come a more consistent starter. The graphic last night that showed Jackson lead the NL in pitch efficiency at 13.9 pitches per inning says it all. I think the Nats brain trust should be commended.

  8. NatsLady - Jun 12, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    Did you see Davey's comment on Bryce last night. Said he didn't want to move back to RF from CF because he "hadn't made friends yet with all the CF folks, he already made friends with all the folks in RF." That kid is a riot!

  9. MicheleS - Jun 12, 2012 at 11:52 AM

    NatsJack.. Thanks for that info on EJax pitch efficiency I didn't catch that on the broadcast.

  10. Section 215 Row A - Jun 12, 2012 at 11:52 AM

    It's funny you mention the head first slide 32S0R2S15. I had a conversation with Rizzo two winters ago at a STH meeting designed to help us find people to share our packages. Back in those 100 loss days…it wasn't quite as easy to find takers. Anyway…Rizzo was saying the same thing. When he came up he was taught to slide feet first. They were trying to figure out a way to break Nyjer of it but had more or less given up. They were working on having him wear a hand/wrist protector of some kind when he ran the bases. You are a 100% correct…it is dangerous…your hands are just too important to risk jamming fingers or thumbs or getting spiked!

  11. Theophilus T. S. - Jun 12, 2012 at 11:58 AM

    All (well, most) of the pressure on Jackson is off. Early in his career he was the phenom of whom much was expected. Now he's the veteran in a rotation of phenoms and all-stars. With a couple of no-egos types like Strasburg and Zimmerman, and an "everybody into the pool" guy like Gio, he can be just one of the guys, nobody focusing on him for his "potential." Plus, there's no doubt in my mind these guys are helping each other out. Every night you see 2-3 of the starters side-by-side in the dugout, picking apart the opposing lineup in preparation for the next game. It might be the first time since the O's of Palmer, Stone, McNally, Cuellar and Dobson anybody has seen 4-5 guys feed off of each other and push each other this way.

  12. Jimmy - Jun 12, 2012 at 12:06 PM

    Between Jackson pitching effectively deep into the game, the Jay's SP going down early and our offense getting us a big lead, yesterday's game should pay dividends for the immediate future (albeit if you ignore Bernadina's injury – that hurts). It gave us a win, while allowing the bullpen – and Clippard specifically – a much needed rest. They needed to get fresh to finish out this brutal month, and this could go a long way toward that end.Jackson's contributions, namely the ability to eat innings while also providing a number of quality starts, cannot be overstated.

  13. Theophilus T. S. - Jun 12, 2012 at 12:08 PM

    I think there's maybe one argument in favor of the head first slide. Once the runner is into the feet-first slide, he's pretty much committed to a straight line. When the hips hit the ground, there's not much hope of further evasion. Head-first, I think — I haven't gone out in the back yard and tried it — the upper part of the body and especially the extended arms and hands — can go for the corner of the bag that's beyond the immediate reach of the glove. Maybe that's the way it works. Maybe not. The thing that's aggravating is the slide when head-first isn't indicated or, in Bernadina's case, the slide when no slide is required at all. I didn't focus on the replay so don't know what signal Porter was giving. But it looked to me as if he could have walked in.

  14. Marc - Jun 12, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    I think Charlie/Dave said Porter signaled to come in standing up.Harper seems to be a head-first guy as well (though on the play at third last night it was more like shoulder-first). On that play, the issue (besides the great throw) may have been more that he took a wide turn at second than the decision to send him.

  15. Brother Juniper - Jun 12, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    The Nats are 13 games over .500. On July 19, 2005 the Nats were 54-40. I couldn't find a date that beats that 14 games over .500.

  16. SCNatsFan - Jun 12, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    Jackson's problem has always been the starts he just seems to get pounded followed by solid outings. Great signing by Rizzo, the type player we couldn't have got here had Werth not signed and started the ball rolling.

  17. Gonat - Jun 12, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… When the Nats signed, Jackson Rizzo said that the Nats coaching staff saw elements in Jacksons delivery that needed tweaking and that he could be come a more consistent starter. The graphic last night that showed Jackson lead the NL in pitch efficiency at 13.9 pitches per inning says it all. I think the Nats brain trust should be commended._________________________________Good stuff. If he can improve his 1st inning efficiency his stats will reflect that he is also an Ace. He is just outside the Top 15 on ERA but he is within the top 15 in WHIP:#5 Gio#6 EJax#9 Stras#13 JZimOn ERA#4 Gio#7 Stras#15 JZim#18 EJaxK/BB#6 Stras#8 JZim#25 Gio#30 EJaxERC – Check this out!#1 Gio#5 EJax#8 Stras#19 JZimxFIP#2 Gio#3 Stras#15 JZim#37 EJax

  18. Drew - Jun 12, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    The No. 12 pick has signed for $2.3 million.The No. 17 pick has signed for $1.7 million, the straight-up slot recommendation.The UCLA commitment gives Giolito the leverage to exceed the slot value at 16, but the parameters are getting clearer.Little Gio has got to want to play with this bunch. Get 'er done.

  19. Gonat - Jun 12, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    For Peric, I better include siERA#1 Stras#6 Gio#19 JZim#34 Ejax

  20. A DC Wonk - Jun 12, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    Marc said… Harper seems to be a head-first guy as wellI think it depends on the situation. E.g., didn't he slide feet-first for Sunday's winning run?

  21. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 12, 2012 at 12:54 PM

    Harper is a head first guy into bases but a feet first guy into home plate where crashing head first into shin guards doesn't feel so good.

  22. NatsLady - Jun 12, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    Drew, I get the feeling it will be 4:59 on July 13. Here is an article on how things are going.Giolito Savings Planhttp://natsfarm.com/?p=35

  23. A DC Wonk - Jun 12, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    off topic . . . can someone 'splain me the following:At http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/WSN/2012.shtml, why isn't Harper listed as a regular? He has more plate appearances than the three outfielders listed, and has been in more games than two of the three listed.My only idea here is that they must go by specific position, and that he doesn't not have more LF games than the LF'er, or more CF games than the CF'er, etc.Thoughts?

  24. Gonat - Jun 12, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    P/IP as stated by NatsJack#1 EJax#7 JZim#33 Stras#37 Gio

  25. Joe Seamhead - Jun 12, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    On head first slides vs. feet first. Feet first is just better fundamental baseball. A well coached young player that can run the bases is taught to come in cleats first, and the more athletic ones learn the popup slide, where you use your momentum to 'pop up' when you hit the bag, ready to advance if there are any defesive miscues. I've rarely seen anybody knock a ball out a mitt with a head first slide. In Rogers's case, he should have been looking at Bo.

  26. NatsLady - Jun 12, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    In the gamer I said I think Ankiel taught Bryce that hand-hook-around slide he used in the stolen base. Ankiel did it twice in recent memory and relied on the 2B ump to get the call right (which he did in both cases). Not sure if that works as well going into 3B but there was a long talk with hand motions Ankiel to Harper in the dugout after the play.

  27. A DC Wonk - Jun 12, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    Oh, and while I'm at it:Bryce Harper leads the Nats in BA/OPS/SA/OPS, triplesHe's second in runs scored (just one less than the leader), 3rd in walks, 3rd in TB, 3rd in HRAnd zero GIDP.Ugly stat of the day: in half as many plate appearances, Strasburg has more total bases and more runs scored than Morse. (and same number of hits).

  28. Gonat - Jun 12, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    NatsLady said… Drew, I get the feeling it will be 4:59 on July 13. Here is an article on how things are going.Giolito Savings Planhttp://natsfarm.com/?p=35_____________________________I disagree. I think both sides are doing their due dillegence. This is a more complicated deal due to the injury. He is a CAA advised player and it won't be over money. If you look at the track record with Ryan Zimmerman and Drew Storen you know it won't go to the last minute. If it does, its bad news as he will be going to UCLA.

  29. NatsLady - Jun 12, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    I don't think the objective is to knock the ball out with the head-first slide. I think it gives better accuracy and the ability to stick your hand behind the baseman's foot and touch the back corner of the base, especially if there is a race to the bag.So you would slide feet first to break up a double-play or to home plate, where the catcher is there before you.

  30. A DC Wonk - Jun 12, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    Not sure if that works as well going into 3B but there was a long talk with hand motions Ankiel to Harper in the dugout after the play. Gosh — I hope that conversation was primarily on: "you don't make the first or last out at third base"

  31. Frediemac - Jun 12, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    Brother Juniper said… The Nats are 13 games over .500. On July 19, 2005 the Nats were 54-40. I couldn't find a date that beats that 14 games over .500. ———————————————–Yes well on July 3rd 2005 they were 51-30 at the halfway break with a 5 1/2 game lead over the Braves. Then reality set in. LOL Not this time people not this time.

  32. Gonat - Jun 12, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    A DC Wonk said… Oh, and while I'm at it:Bryce Harper leads the Nats in BA/OPS/SA/OPS, triplesHe's second in runs scored (just one less than the leader), 3rd in walks, 3rd in TB, 3rd in HRAnd zero GIDP.Ugly stat of the day: in half as many plate appearances, Strasburg has more total bases and more runs scored than Morse. (and same number of hits). June 12, 2012 9:04 AM ______________________________Yes, yes, and yes and if you break down cumulative numbers and break it down per AB, he leads most of those categories too.As I said last week, Bryce is the team's best position player. Thats more a reflection on Ryan Zimmerman not getting the job done and Michael Morse's injury.Hard to believe the impact he has had at 19 years old. BETTER THAN ADVERTISED.

  33. Frediemac - Jun 12, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    Also The Last time the Nats were more than 13 games over .500 was July 15th, 2005. They were 52-38 and 1 1/2 games ahead of the Braves.

  34. mr baseball - Jun 12, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    As a coach, I want to ask what has happened to the fade-a-way and hook slide. My kids learn it and are very successful, when coming in to third. Also, the pop-up slide still works well going into second.

  35. JR - Jun 12, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    Sunday, July 3rd, 2005 50-31. 19 games over. I'd love it, but I have a hard time seeing it soon. they'd have to go 14-8 to match it.

  36. Gonat - Jun 12, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    Frediemac said… Also The Last time the Nats were more than 13 games over .500 was July 15th, 2005. They were 52-38 and 1 1/2 games ahead of the Braves. June 12, 2012 9:10 AM ______________________________If the Nats owners (MLB) had made some deadline deals, they could have possibly competed the whole way in 2005. Problem is, the Nats didn't have anyone worth much in the Farm System.The 2005 team was old with very little balance. The 2012 team is young with much better pitching.

  37. NatsLady - Jun 12, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    Harper is one smart ballplayer, and he's getting the best of Werth, Ankiel, et al. If he slides in headfirst sometimes, I'm OK with it. Bernie and Nyjer–not so much…

  38. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 12, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    Too bad Burnett was hit for the two out homer with a 6-1 lead as EJax would be under 3 had that not happened. Rare this late into the season to have 4 pitchers under 3.00

  39. A DC Wonk - Jun 12, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    Yes well on July 3rd 2005 they were 51-30 at the halfway breakThey were also 19 games over .500 on July 5th (52-31). I was at that game (Cordero got the save in a 3-2 win over the Mets — where the Mets scored two in the top of the 9th!)And I remember distinctly turning to my wife and saying: "we're in the playoffs for sure. All we have to do is go .500, or even just close to .500 the rest of the way."And then (as we all know) the Nats played the rest of the season going 30-49. Ouch!

  40. Joe Seamhead - Jun 12, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    Nats Lady, part of the reason that the head first slide is frowned upon is just for the reason that the hand is too near the foot. (Jambed shoulders are also a frequent casualty). My point was that feet first is not only safer, but gives the runner a chance to make good offense into good defense. Hands, fingers, and shoulders are subjected to many risks with head firsts. Can you imagine if someone slid hands first against Ty Cobb?

  41. A DC Wonk - Jun 12, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    Also, the pop-up slide still works well going into second. That's what Harper did when he scored the winning run Sunday. I think. Am I remembering right?

  42. NatsLady - Jun 12, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    Well, mr baseball, you still see lots of pop-ups (at least, I do) but apparently you are not the only one wondering about the hook slide. Here is a recent article I found.Hook slide has gone by the waysidehttp://mlb.mlb.com/news/print.jsp?ymd=20120504&content_id=30348562&c_id=mlb

  43. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 12, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    Great stats today. The Phillies don't face the AL East, they get the beaten up Twins. Doesn't seem fair.

  44. Pose of the Cobra - Jun 12, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    A DC Wonk said… Also, the pop-up slide still works well going into second. That's what Harper did when he scored the winning run Sunday. I think. Am I remembering right?No, he took off running on the pitch and never stopped.

  45. rogieshan - Jun 12, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    Gonat said, "If the Nats owners (MLB) had made some deadline deals, they could have possibly competed the whole way in 2005."I still scratch my head over the management's decision to keep Rule V draftee Tony Blanco for that entire season. The bench was virtually a man short the whole year.

  46. Nats In Athens - Jun 12, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    Every time I read a post like this I have to think of those days in ST of 2007 to 2009 when we would run auditions for starters and be happy if by some stroke of luck we were able to land a AAAA rotation…

  47. MicheleS - Jun 12, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    Found the Gammons article on the Nats:Gammons

  48. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 12, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    Gonat, other difference with Giolito vs Zim and Storen is that they were ready for a Minor League assignment. I think Giolito would first go to Florida to rehab.

  49. mick - Jun 12, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    A DC Wonk said…Yes well on July 3rd 2005 they were 51-30 at the halfway breakYou know, 22005 was weird in that Houston and the Phillies caught fire after the All All Star break, Houston of course ending up having a special season. Even after a 50-32 record, we never were more than 4 games in first place in the East. Let's not forget, John Patterson who may have been pitching the best in all MLB before his unfortunate injury that ended his career. If patterson had stayed healthy, the team psyche could have reamined postives. Who knows. I remember taking my 7 year old son to his first game verse the Astros in late July, Hats were about 12 over 500 and in first place by a game. Their bats went dead and in the 114 inning they gave up a grand slam to a 100 hitter and lost. It was at that point, I knew the Nats were done.

  50. mick - Jun 12, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    man I cannot type, i meant 14 inning, lol

  51. A DC Wonk - Jun 12, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    Pose of the Cobra said… A DC Wonk said… Also, the pop-up slide still works well going into second. That's what Harper did when he scored the winning run Sunday. I think. Am I remembering right? No, he took off running on the pitch and never stopped.Let me clarify. Indeed he took off running and never stopped around the bases, but didn't he do a pop-up slide into home plate?

  52. Gonat - Jun 12, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    SteveM, good point. They may know that 2012 for Giolito is only for Rehab and won't see any Minor League action.

  53. mick - Jun 12, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    The difference in 2005 was that the Nats were an aging team, no farm system, other than Zim no future prospects and that team played over its head. We all knew that 2005 would be high water mark for a while

  54. Laddie Blah Blah - Jun 12, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    EJax was a great pickup by Rizzo. Gio was even better (I was so wrong about that one). EJax gives the staff a veteran presence combined with a classy professionalism that seems to be a hallmark of the whole team. Hard to understand why EJax has kicked around the Majors for so long, and been traded away so often. Maybe he just fits in better with the Nats than he did, anywhere else.I do not expect to see CMW back again, next year, but I hope they find a way to keep EJax. The Nats' rotation's top 4 are better than any other top 4 out there, and EJax as a number 4 is a big reason why.The Cyborg may yet turn out to be the best teenager in ML baseball history. Mel Ott is the gold standard. Ott hit about .320 and had 18 homers as an 18-year-old in the early 1930s. It's a more demanding game now, but I would not be surprised to see Bryce beat those numbers this year.Am I imagining things, or is Bryce having as much of an influence on the grizzled Nats' vets as they are on him? Ankiel seems to be aping the Cyborg's selective approach at the plate, as is Bernie, with decidedly better results for both, recently. Harper is the Nats' best hitter, by far, up to now. Can't wait to see how much better he is going to be by year-end. Like EJax and the rest of the team, he has been a class act, through and through.They are becoming a dominant team. The weekend series with the Evil Empire could turn out to be the exclamation point on a demolition tour of the AL East reminiscent of Napoleon's Italian campaign.

  55. Laddie Blah Blah - Jun 12, 2012 at 2:07 PM

    Ooops. Ott was 19 when he hit 18 singers and had a .320 BA, same age as Bryce is now.

  56. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 12, 2012 at 2:07 PM

    Hmmmm. Napoleon may not be the metaphor we want.

  57. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 12, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    ESPN Mike & Mike even discussed Bryce and being an All Star this morning. This will probably become a daily discussion except on DC radio.His bat speed is tremendous. His grounder in the 1st is a routine out if not for the velo on the ball going past the 2nd baseman. Perfect example of why BABIP for Bryce isn't luck. He makes his own luck.

  58. MicheleS - Jun 12, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    And a new story from Grantland on you guessed itBryce Many of the stats that have been mentioned in connection with Bryce are referenced in the article. BAM BAM is really good.

  59. MicheleS - Jun 12, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    Ghost.. not sure if you heard Rosenthal yesterday on 980, but he was absolutely insisting that Trout/Harper HAVE to be at the All Star Game!

  60. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 12, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    MicheleS thanks., I wrote the same here a week ago based on merit and not politics. Rosenthal thinks politics will play a key role. I f you use OPS, Bryce is in. If you use wRC, Bryce is in. If you use BA, he doesn't make it. Does Juan Pierre deserve to go ahead of Harp? I say heck no!Bryce will make it with Gio and Stras on merit!

  61. A DC Wonk - Jun 12, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    Harper is the Nats' best hitter, by far, up to now. Can't wait to see how much better he is going to be by year-end.What mega-scary (or, for us, fun-scary) is that guys that show talent by playing fairly well as 19 year olds in MLB *usually* improve dramatically at age 20 and end up in the Hall of Fame. Really. You can look it up.So, it's one thing to say "isn't Harper great, he's hitting almost .300"But it's quite another to actually look at the 19 year olds who have hit as well as him . . . well, actually, Mel Ott's the only one. If you look at _20_ year olds that have hit with .900 OPS or more — almost all of them are now in the Hall of Fame. We're talking guys like Mickey Mantle, Al Kaline, Frank Robinson, etc.People see ".300" and say "wow, maybe all star game?"Stat-heads see ".300 age 19" and say "wow, Hall of Fame future?"The upside for Harper is flat-out scary-good.And the most amazing thing about this post? I haven't been selective in stats nor am I exaggerating.

  62. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 12, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    DC Wonk, add XX Jimmy F!

  63. Doc - Jun 12, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    Toronto fans love Harper—his play reminds them of a hockey player!!

  64. A DC Wonk - Jun 12, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    OK — sorry — I see that Grantland article said almost the same thing I just said. Except he said it better with more stats to back himself up.But — same conclusion!

  65. A DC Wonk - Jun 12, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… DC Wonk, add XX Jimmy F!Yep — and Robin Yount, A Rod and Ken Griffey.But, again, he's having a better season (so far) than any of them did at 19!As Jazayerli wrote in the Grantland article:"Let's rephrase that: Bryce Harper, age 19, is the best hitter on a first-place team."

  66. Pose of the Cobra - Jun 12, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    Let me clarify. Indeed he took off running and never stopped around the bases, but didn't he do a pop-up slide into home plate?He may have popped up quickly after his slide, but he always does things quickly. The whole point of a popup slide is to be able to advance to the next base in the event of some defensive mishap. At home plate, there's no next base to advance to, therefore no need for a popup slide. So yeah, maybe he used the same technique to get up as he would if he'd slid feet first into second, but it wasn't a popup slide. What is he supposed to do there, linger on the ground a bit before he gets up?

  67. hiramhover - Jun 12, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    Love how EJax has been pitching, and thanks to NatsJack and others for the pt about his pitch efficiency.In part because of that, he's also going the deepest in games among Nats starters–EJax averages just over 6-2/3 IP per start. JZimm is next at a little under 6-1/2. Stras is a hair under 6, Gio is a hair over 6. Ross and CMW–well, 'nuff said. That's really about the only knock on the starting rotation you can make. As a staff, they rank #1 or very highly in a lot of categories (ERA, FIP, etc), but only about 10th in IP per start–and without EJax, they'd be even lower.

  68. JaneB - Jun 12, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    I am not usually one to truck with people who say, "this is too good to be true." In fact, I usually move in to take off that person's head, readjust it and hand it back. Yet reading this post on EJax, and seeing all the cool stats my imaginary friends have provided, has put me in a place of, "It's almost too much, how high the potential is for these guys, and for years to come." Like part of me is more in line with them being ever so slightly out of reach than it is with them just flat out owning every park they play in.I'm going to work on straightening that out. ;-)

  69. Section 222 - Jun 12, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    At this point, I feel more confident with E-Jax on the mound than J-Znn Sacrilidge, I know, but I start worrying about the long ball with J-Znn come the 5th inning. Part of it is having been at his two-hit complete game gem at the beginning of the season, but also his ability to go deep into games when the bullpen needs a rest. He's a very valuable guy and I hope he's back next year.NL, I can't believe you're ok with Harper sliding head first, but not others. He's the one guy I wish would give it up because if he gets injured the effect on the team is calamitous. I won't repost my whole diatribe from last night, but there is no way that Harper is responsible for being thrown out at 3rd (except for maybe his wide turn around 2nd). Davey said Bo sent him, Charlie said Bo sent him, even Carp on the initial call said Bo sent him. The replay doesn't show Bo while Harper was running from first to second, so Boz's analysis on Twitter makes no sense. And FP's analysis ("if you have to freeze, the gig's up") is wrong too. There is no way that Harper can see what's happening behind him. He HAS to watch Bo and do what he's told to do. So all this "don't make the first out at 3rd" stuff is for Bo to consider, not Harper.

  70. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 12, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    I want to say how much I liked Davey's game management yesterday. He gave EJax some rope into the 9th and after the hit to leadoff quickly pulled him.Until the Nats can get distance from the other teams in the NL East it has to be foot down on the gas pedal which is why he may be sticking with Flores as much as he has.With the offense producing better and HRod out of the bullpen, the glaring weakness is the consistency in the #5 pitching spot and the depth the #5's have been going in each game, and now filling in for the injured Bernadina who had really picked up the slack for Tracy.

  71. Pose of the Cobra - Jun 12, 2012 at 3:45 PM

    I won't repost my whole diatribe from last night, but there is no way that Harper is responsible for being thrown out at 3rd (except for maybe his wide turn around 2nd).Of course Harper is responsible. He's the one who gave a kickback to Bo Porter so Porter would go into the dugout and tell Davey "my bad" after the play – which is what Davey said in the postgame interview that Porter told him.

  72. Pose of the Cobra - Jun 12, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    Until the Nats can get distance from the other teams in the NL East it has to be foot down on the gas pedal which is why he may be sticking with Flores as much as he has.Except in situations where there's little gap between the #1 and #2 catchers (which is what the Nats had before Ramos got hurt) the norm in MLB is for the #1 catcher to catch 5 or 6 games a week. That's exactly what Davey is doing with Flores. No "pedal to the metal" involved.

  73. NatsLady - Jun 12, 2012 at 3:52 PM

    From Twitter:danny van leer ‏@MrNatsVLeveryone look at @MLBStatoftheDay: 31 times this season, a @Nationals starter has gone at least 6 innings and allowed no more than 2 runs.

  74. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 12, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    Section 222 said… At this point, I feel more confident with E-Jax on the mound than J-Znn Sacrilidge,June 12, 2012 11:39 AM Why does the discussion have to go from making comparisons between any of the Nats 1 to 4 pitchers. If Gonat's stats don't prove out how good these guys are collectively, why start picking one over the other?Its like saying I'd rather have Gio over Strasburg.Any pitcher with Top 15 stats in my opinion is a #1. Matchups are also the key. Gio/JZim/EJax get the Yankees this weekend. This will be Gio's toughest challenge of the year as the Yankees are very Right-handed vs. the NL East which is very LH.

  75. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 12, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    NatsLady said… From Twitter:danny van leer ‏@MrNatsVLeveryone look at @MLBStatoftheDay: 31 times this season, a @Nationals starter has gone at least 6 innings and allowed no more than 2 runs. June 12, 2012 11:52 AM That's an impressive stat. The other improvement is how improved the unearned run stat is. That has really helped in the run differential.

  76. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 12, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    Pose, yes on Flores should be able to do 5 to 6 days a week as a #1 catcher only he is nicked up. He had a very good game yesterday and looked better yesterday then he did on Sunday.

  77. Laddie Blah Blah - Jun 12, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    DC Wonk"But it's quite another to actually look at the 19 year olds who have hit as well as him . . . well, actually, Mel Ott's the only one. If you look at _20_ year olds that have hit with .900 OPS or more — almost all of them are now in the Hall of Fame. We're talking guys like Mickey Mantle, Al Kaline, Frank Robinson, etc."I am old enough to have seen all of those guys in their prime, and Bryce is ahead of them all, as of now. I had all but given up on the possibility of ever seeing another player as talented as Mantle, but Bryce is better, at a similar age. And Bryce is a student of the game, and of hitting, whereas the Mick was not. When Mike Epstein, who later became a hitting coach, asked Mantle how he did what he did, Mickey simply and honestly said, "I know nothing about hitting." Mantle was a freak. Harper is a freak, but he knows exactly what he is doing. His upside is off the charts.

  78. NatsLady - Jun 12, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    222, if you read the article I posted, you will see the pluses/minuses of the headfirst slide. Suffice it to say, Harper keeps his gloves in his hands, he doesn't slide headfirst for dramatic effect, and you can get banged up sliding foot-first… Harper can–and probably will–get injured any number of ways, banging into outfield walls, swinging, etc. (not to mention self-inflicted injuries). The reason I don't care for Nyjer and Bernie sliding headfirst well, they do have value to the team–Bernie anyway–and I don't believe they are "smart" about sliding. In their cases, safety would prevail.L, I can't believe you're ok with Harper sliding head first, but not others. He's the one guy I wish would give it up because if he gets injured the effect on the team is calamitous.

  79. Laddie Blah Blah - Jun 12, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    Soul Possession"Hmmmm. Napoleon may not be the metaphor we want."Why not? He was undefeated during his Italian campaign, and it led to his inexorable ascent that culminated in a ceremony where he crowned himself as Emperor of the French. Sure, it was downhill sometime after that, but you gotta get to the summit before you can make the fall.

  80. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 12, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    Pose of the Cobra said… Of course Harper is responsible. He's the one who gave a kickback to Bo Porter so Porter would go into the dugout and tell Davey "my bad" after the play – which is what Davey said in the postgame interview that Porter told him. June 12, 2012 11:45 AM I can't definitively read humor from fact in your post. Kickback? Best to put a wink or LOL after comments like that when you are joking.Bo didn't signal at all. Harper said on MLB Network he was testing his luck. I don't blame him for running when the 3rd base coach has his hands in his pocket.Clearly Bo's fault. As mentioned yesterday, Bryce had to hold at first for an instant to make sure the line drive made it ways through, the ball was smoked and got to Bautista quickly, Bautista has a + arm, there were no outs. BO SHOULD HAVE HAD THE STOP SIGN UP IMMEDIATELY.I have said before that with a young team in particular that coaches sometimes need to help players think by giving signs and signals. Hands in the pocket don't help. If you want the batter to "take", give the "take" sign. Don't assume. Luckily the Bryce play had no adverse effect on the outcome of the game.

  81. NatsLady - Jun 12, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    Ghost, maybe saying you would rather have Ejax on the mound than JZ is not the best way of expressing it, but for my part, I have some doubts about JZ that I don't have about Ejax. The doubts have to do with stamina and the tendency JZ has to lose leads after he gets them, and to "overpitch" (overthink?) in some situations. To me, he is much improved over last year, which suggests he will improve again next year. Stras and Gio and Ejax are already there–at the top of their games.

  82. baseballswami - Jun 12, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    Are we sure Bernie strained the Hammy on the slide? Even for a fast guy, he was flying and I think he slid because it's highly unusual to get 2 bases on a wild pitch. You have to think the throw is coming – why wouldn't it be? 99 out of a 100 or more that's a risky move. I think he did it on the turn and adrenaline kept him going into third – the slide was awkward because it hurt already and would not allow him to go feet first. Time will tell – maybe. Anyway – about EJAX — he and JZ seem to like being in the shadow of SS and Gio just like Lombo seems to like the shadow of Harper. Lombo is one amazing rookie!!! I see him and Moore talking in the dugout all the time – I am guessing that they came up through the minors together?

  83. Unknown - Jun 12, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    It's because of that 50-31 start in 2005 that I am not letting my hopes get too high right now. Granted, this is a much better team, but even the best go through a seven or eight game losing streak. Not sure I could handle a 2005-redux.As an aside, I got the chance to cover a couple of Nationals' games for my paper out here in Idaho. Hadn't been home since '86 so it was a great trip.Mark is every bit the nice guy and gentlemen that he appears to be. We got the opportunity to chat for a few minutes and it was a absolute delight. And though I've had the chance to interview some pretty important national figures over the years, I was never so nervous than I was in that press box with Mark, Bill Ladson, Adam Kilgore and Amanda. I sat next to the mlb.com guy and he showed me how the gameday system worked.Visiting the locker room was probably the highlight of the two games (vs. Padres last month). I know it was designed as an oval to keep the players "equal" so to speak regarding locker location, but right at the 12:00 position was Ryan Zimmerman and holding down the very last locker next to the door was Tom Gorzelanny. Bryce Harper was one of the few players completely dressed (it was around 3:00 or so). He came in from the field, changed his shirt, and headed back towards the field. He walked by me and nodded, then noticed my "BYU-Idaho" t-shirt I was wearing. He said, "Dude, neighbors" to me as he walked past with a smile. His home state of Nevada is an adjoining state. I got to see Harper hit his first two major league homers, and watched Strasburg pitch perhaps his worst game of the year. As someone old enough to remember Don Lock, Don Cheney and Ron Hansen, watching the Nationals play for the first time ever was a pretty special event.And did you know that when Davey Johnson enters and exits the interview room, all the reporters stand? It was like I was watching the King of DC come in.Perhaps I was.It was an amazing trip. Farid in Idaho

  84. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 12, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    Laddie Blah Blah said… And Bryce is a student of the game, and of hitting, whereas the Mick was not.Good read. Mick was a switch hitter and in a potent offense. Not sure how studious Mick was or wasn't but I knew he was darn good. Harper is a student of the game. He also has the quickest hands I have seen and like Bonds has the ability to center barrel on ball.There is no telling what his ceiling can be. I will also repeat what I wrote a few weeks ago, its not too soon to start talking about doing what Tampa Bay did with Evan Longoria. This is where that MASN cash should be spent IMHO.The Yankees continued success was based on keeping their core together. The Nats core except for Morse is well defined.HarperStrasGioJZimZimWerthDesmondRamosStoren

  85. Section 222 - Jun 12, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    Ghost — Good points. My point about E-Jax vs. J-Znn was really just to say that E-Jax is really, really good and we're lucky to have him.NL — I haven't read the article yet, but regardless of any supposed advantages of the head first slide, don't you agree we'd be better off overall, and avoid more injuries, if everyone slid feet first? Harper clearly is capable of it. I'd just like to see him do it all the time.

  86. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 12, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    NatsLady said… Ghost, maybe saying you would rather have Ejax on the mound than JZ is not the best way of expressing it, but for my part, I have some doubts about JZ that I don't have about Ejax. The doubts have to do with stamina and the tendency JZ has to lose leads after he gets them, and to "overpitch" (overthink?) in some situations. To me, he is much improved over last year, which suggests he will improve again next year. Stras and Gio and Ejax are already there–at the top of their games. June 12, 2012 12:10 PM 3 earned over 7 innings to the Red Sox? JZim abandoned the changeup pitch he was perfecting in Spring Training and that is the pitch he needs to get him to true #1. Its not stamina. Its putting away the batters 3rd time through the order. I am not concerned at all as you have to look at the players who have burned him recently. David Ortiz and Giancarlo Stanton. Give credit to the hitters. EJax made 3 mistake pitches last night that didn't hurt him.

  87. baseballswami - Jun 12, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    Our line up is looking pretty fierce these days with Lombo, Harper, Zimm, ALR and Morse all bunched up together. Not a lot of places to hide. Even if one is in a mini-slump, they still have the ability to hurt a pitcher. I love it. All this AL play makes me miss seeing our pitchers out there bunting and hitting – I also miss the pinch hitter strategy. I hope their bats are not getting rusty!!! I wonder if they miss being in both sides of the game. Maybe someone will ask them.

  88. NatsLady - Jun 12, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    No. No, I wouldn't. I'd like Harper to be smart about how he slides and when. If he can add the fade-away hook slide to his repertoire, great. But don't subtract anything. NL — I haven't read the article yet, but regardless of any supposed advantages of the head first slide, don't you agree we'd be better off overall, and avoid more injuries, if everyone slid feet first? Harper clearly is capable of it. I'd just like to see him do it all the time.

  89. NatsLady - Jun 12, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  90. NatsLady - Jun 12, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    Swami, Morse already said in an interview he doesn't like DH'ing. Said in Boston there was nothing to do, no batting cage, tee, or a stationary cycle, and he just sat for an hour between at-bats, and then he took the first pitch because he didn't have his eye/rhythm, and got in a hole.I'm starting to see how it took Adam Dunn a season to adjust. Pitchers sit all the time for entire games, but position players don't, not even bench players in the NL.

  91. whatsanattau - Jun 12, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    I thought the leg gave out on the last step off the right leg. As he belly flopped on the slide his right leg is bowed backward. Perhaps he felt it before that final step but every step was a push until that last step then it was push with the left, belly flop, and slide. I suspect he was planning a softer landing with right foot contact. I'd give him a 6.5 he'd have earned an 8 if he stuck the landing….

  92. Section 222 - Jun 12, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    Bo didn't signal at all. Harper said on MLB Network he was testing his luck. I don't blame him for running when the 3rd base coach has his hands in his pocket.Wait, were you at the game, or did you see a replay that showed this, or are you basing it on what Harper said? Because Davey said Bo sent him, and Charlie said the same thing on Twitter, and as the play was developing, Carp said it too: "Harper looks at his coach and Bo Porter says come on over." (Carp's call starts at about 1:40 of highlight.)Totally agree that Bo can't keep his hands in his pocket, particularly on a play like this where the runner MUST NOT look back to see where the ball is. But here, we don't even have to get to that argument, because Bo said "come on over" or at least gave the windmill sign.

  93. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 12, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    Sect 222, going by what I saw on MLB.TV on the Toronto feed. Boz seemed adamant also.

  94. mick - Jun 12, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    section222Davey has his coaches and players back, i like that

  95. mick - Jun 12, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    it was Bo's boo boo but that happens

  96. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 12, 2012 at 4:50 PM

    Sect 222, I saw Charlies Tweet and Boz shooting him down. If.Charlie felt so strongly, why didn't he let Boz know it. instead Charlie didn't respond.

  97. NatsLady - Jun 12, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    Watched the MLB.tv Toronto feed. Bo CLEARLY signaled to come on when Bryce was between first and second. Then he dropped his hands and didn't move them again until he went into the slide signal. So, does the "come on" mean come on, Bautista is not catching it, so go ahead to SECOND base? (Don't worry about being doubled off at first.) Then, I guess you are saying after the GO sign for SECOND base, Bo should have put up the stop sign so Harper doesn't go to THIRD–? Or did Harper misinterpret the sign as the GO to THIRD? This one probably to close to call…

  98. mick - Jun 12, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    Ghost of Steve… everytime I see your name I can't help but think of ..Have you seen the ghost of Tom?Long white bones with the skin all gone.Po-oo-or Old Tom! Wouldn't it be chilly with no skin on?Boo!LOLe

  99. mick - Jun 12, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    hee hee, man its great to be 13 over 500!

  100. Pose of the Cobra - Jun 12, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… Sect 222, I saw Charlies Tweet and Boz shooting him down. If.Charlie felt so strongly, why didn't he let Boz know it. instead Charlie didn't respond.Charlie has better things to be doing during the game. You know, like broadcasting it and talking about IHOP. Boz needs to get a life. If Harper was safe, he'd be going on and on about how brilliant the kid was to take third on the play.

  101. Section 222 - Jun 12, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    If Charlie felt so strongly, why didn't he let Boz know it. instead Charlie didn't respond. Um, maybe because he was working at the time? Charlie isn't a prolific tweeter as you know. I don't know what replays Boz has access to on his TV, but I didn't see any angle that showed Porter while Harper was between 1st and 2nd. Did you? And what about contemporaneous excited utterance (a legal term) from Carp: Bo says "come on over."? Ghost — Actually, what about the contemperanous

  102. JD - Jun 12, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    You know. This is what you get with Harper; his an ultra aggressive player who is always thinking of an extra base; this will produce fielding mistakes, extra runs and yes sometimes he will look silly getting thrown out by a mile. No sense blaming the coaches because I am sure they know not to temper his aggressiveness at least not yet.

  103. NatsLady - Jun 12, 2012 at 5:06 PM

    222, yes. Take a close look at the Toronto feed at the beginning of the MLB clip and you will see Bo signaling.but I didn't see any angle that showed Porter while Harper was between 1st and 2nd. Did you?

  104. JD - Jun 12, 2012 at 5:06 PM

    IMO Flores starts tonight so he can get 2 off days in a row.

  105. NatsLady - Jun 12, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    JD, agree. Also day game after a night game. Too bad Stras will get Solano but he can handle it.Also completely amused that we have such a good team we spend the morning arguing about an, IMO, ambiguous signal from a 3B coach that did not have any effect on the result of the game!

  106. Section 222 - Jun 12, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    Great catch NL — It's at 0:36 of the replay. The videotape doesn't lie. Harper is found not guilty, and Boz should issue an apology.

  107. greg - Jun 12, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    side note: seeing posts about "who's available" brought up this stat line:http://espn.go.com/mlb/player/_/id/5299/coco-crispwhich cost $14m over two years. someone that was proposed by numerous people on many nats sites.i'm much happier with this stat line for $1m.http://espn.go.com/mlb/player/_/id/4159/rick-ankieli thought crisp would have been an interesting stopgap signing, but for $3-4m and 1 yr. still can't figure how he wangled $14m over two years from the As. and he's just *terrible* this season.

  108. JaneB - Jun 12, 2012 at 5:19 PM

    Farid of Idaho — GREAT stories! Thank you for sharing them with us!

  109. NatsLady - Jun 12, 2012 at 5:21 PM

    Guilty on Coco Crisp, though not for anywhere close to money he got. We escaped, thanks to Mike Rizzo, who again proves he's smarter than I am.Even with his slumps and his strikeouts I'll take the Arm.

  110. Drew - Jun 12, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    Farid: that's a very cool story.A few of our fellow Nats fans in Oregon, Beantown snd S.C. might soon be pitching Nats stories to their local papers.I can see it now: "Former USC Gamecock Bryan Harvey pitches for a Wasington Nationals farm team. He alsohas a brother with the organization."

  111. Drew - Jun 12, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    Bryan Harper, not Harvey.Duh.

  112. Water23 - Jun 12, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    Hey, is Mark's event still on for Thursday?

  113. Section 222 - Jun 12, 2012 at 5:27 PM

    NL, sorry, just saw your earlier comment. I don't think it's too close to call at all. If Harper misinterpreted Bo's sign, Bo had plenty of time to put up the stop sign as Harper rounded second. Instead he didn't move until he gave the sign to slide.I love it when the videotape is conclusive. And here's the key point. Harper is not free to disregard Bo's sign because he wants to be cautious or old school or doesn't want to make the first out at 3rd. For all he knew, the ball had bounced away from Bautista. The play is behind him but in front of Bo. It's Bo's call. The only thing Harper did wrong was make too wide a turn around second. Rookie mistake. :-)

  114. Water23 - Jun 12, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    NatsLady,Funny thing is the that just two years ago we could have switched "good" with "bad" and your statement would have been just as true.

  115. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 12, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    re: Crisp…..one has to remember his attitude took a wicked turn towards bad once Cespedis was signed. Probably would have happened here once the decision was to move Bryce to CF, as well.

  116. NatsLady - Jun 12, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    Well, I'm not sure, 222. Bo wouldn't have known Harper misinterpreted the sign until Harper rounded second. He would have had to realize that and put up the stop sign fast, and Harper, obeying, could risk injury suddenly putting on the brakes… Given the bang-bang nature of the play, Bo might have just felt–let him go, this might be the day Bautista stumbles or makes a bad throw or the 3rd baseman doesn't pick it. I agree, Harper has to go with his coach.

  117. JD - Jun 12, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    NatsLady, Maybe I'm paranoid but I am really concerned about SS start tomorrow. 125 pitches last start and he finished the game on fumes. I think they need to be real careful with him tomorrow.

  118. A DC Wonk - Jun 12, 2012 at 5:56 PM

    Water23 said… Hey, is Mark's event still on for Thursday?Yes.I expect to be there!

  119. MicheleS - Jun 12, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    Water23.. Mark has a link to the NI Party at the top of the page.

  120. NatsLady - Jun 12, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    Jd, I'm with you on that. He'll probably have to use Det or Gorzy today, but not both. If I were Davey/Cat I'd pull Stras at the first sign of stress. I keep hearing Mike Rizzo saying Davey knows how to lose games, and if he has to lose one tomorrow, sobeit. Keep the forces ready for the Yanks. Luckily, it won't rain.

  121. MicheleS - Jun 12, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    Wonk.. owe you a beverage

  122. Section 222 - Jun 12, 2012 at 6:00 PM

    In the immortal words of Cobra, don't overthink this. If the sign was merely to go to second, Bo would have known by the speed that Harper had going into second that he had misread it. Plenty of time to put up the stop sign. Surely the risk of injury was higher sliding into third than putting on the brakes. And besides, Harper didn't need a sign to know to go to second. He knew as soon as the ball got by him that Bautista wasn't going to catch it. There is no question that Bo was giving the "come on over" sign. Carp knew it and commented on it at the time, Charlie saw it and Tweeted about it ot Boz, Harper knew it and tore over to third, and Davey confirmed it with Bo and excused both Bo and Harper in the postgame. The weight of the evidence is powerful. But luckily no trees perished because of our overly long discussion. Thanks again for watching the replay so closely.

  123. A DC Wonk - Jun 12, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    JaneB said… I am not usually one to truck with people who say, "this is too good to be true." In fact, I usually move in to take off that person's head, readjust it and hand it back. Yet reading this post on EJax, and seeing all the cool stats my imaginary friends have provided, has put me in a place of, "It's almost too much, how high the potential is for these guys, and for years to come."Yes, yes, and yes. For example, take a look at this "list of core guys" that Ghost of Steve M wrote:HarperStrasGioJZimZimWerthDesmondRamosStoren Consider — except for Werth, every one of those guys is younger than 27 (and RZ is 27). Players usually improve until age 27.If there were any way to keep EJax (who's 28) — we'd be talking about a dynasty in the making.(3rd youngest team for position players, youngest team for pitching staff, in the NL)

  124. A DC Wonk - Jun 12, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    MicheleS said… Wonk.. owe you a beverageCan you pay me Thursday night? ;-)

  125. Scooter - Jun 12, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    And what about contemporaneous excited utteranceI heart you, 222.

  126. MicheleS - Jun 12, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    Wonk If I can get off work and shelp it in from Loudoun County, I will be there.

  127. A DC Wonk - Jun 12, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    MicheleS said… Wonk If I can get off work and shelp it in from Loudoun County, I will be there.That'd be very cool (I realize Loudoun is a shlep!)I'm lucky enough that while I live in Fairfax, I work about six blocks from the event — I'm just going to walk over after work.

  128. baseballswami - Jun 12, 2012 at 6:23 PM

    The thing is with last night's "run until you tag me" event — whether or not it was Bryce's idea or Bo Porters' – Davey Johnson did not see it as a mistake. I don't think he is just covering for his people either because he usually does not hesitate to call out his players for mistakes on the post game interview. Every single night he has something he didn't like – too many pitches, the first inning was too slow, didn't score enough – etc. etc. I think he really does like the aggressive, risky plays. That's how he played.

  129. Water23 - Jun 12, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    MicheleS,Saw it right after I asked.

  130. TimDz - Jun 12, 2012 at 6:31 PM

    Mark (if you are out there monitoring…)What ever came of the MASN arbitration? Its been nearly two weeks since the supposed deadline for the decision (June 1). Was that a hard date or just an estimated time period.I am of the mindset that the number came out bigger than the Antichrist (Angleos) was expecting and he is scrambling for a cable company to hook up with…

  131. TimDz - Jun 12, 2012 at 6:36 PM

    Just found this on http://www.dcrtv.comMore: MLB Delays Nats-MASN Rights Ruling – 6/12 – The Baltimore Business Journal has more on the delay in a Major League Baseball ruling on the media rights fee dispute between the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network and the Washington Nationals. There's a $70 million annual difference between the two sides, with a decision moved from June 1 to sometime in July. It's not clear why MLB has held off on making a ruling, especially since the league originally heard testimony in April. But sources say the league has a concern that any decision will lead to a lawsuit from one side or the other, the BBJ reports…..I thought Arbitration was agreed upon and was going to be binding…This is what you get when you let a lawyer purchase a baseball team…

  132. Section 222 - Jun 12, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    DC Wonk, as a proud native of Pittsburgh and die-hard Pirates fan during the glory years of the 70s, I greatly appreciate being reminded of Dock's historic achievement. I've now put this day into Outlook so I'll never miss the anniversary again. Thanks.

  133. SFNats - Jun 12, 2012 at 6:43 PM

    If Angelos decided to sue over this, it could put the whole anti-trust exemption in jeopardy. Even he isn't that stupid, is he?

  134. peric - Jun 12, 2012 at 6:46 PM

    So, how many of you experts (Natslady et al) still believe this lineup would not be adversely affected with the return of the surly one Jayson Werth?Right now Davey has plenty of offensive flexibility and he is using it to his advantage. Not so with mega-contract laden surly Werth and his beard. His diminished ISO. This way youth is served and continues to develop at its own pace while still winning.

  135. Pose of the Cobra - Jun 12, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    As Boswell has noted, the parity provision in the MASN deal (the one that says the Orioles rights fee is equal to the Nats rights fee) means that Angelos is basically shifting money from one of his pockets (MASN) to the other (Orioles). This has worked out well for him so far, since whatever money MASN is making is clearly greater than twice the current rights fee. The current fee that the Nats receive from MASN is something like $25M-$30M/year IIRC, which would mean that MASN is making at least $50M-$60M/year. But it can't be much more than that, I'd think. They're already at full cable coverage in their markets (and lost out on the NC market in the court ruling), so where is there room for revenue growth? Advertising, perhaps, but more W.B. Mason and Luna ads aren't going to cut it. Which means that if the Nats rights fee goes up considerably, that money will be coming straight out of MASN's (i.e. Angelos's) hide. This is why he's fighting this tooth and nail and will probably sue as soon as the ruling comes down. If the Nats get awarded what they're asking for – or even if the arbitrators split the difference between his offer and the Nats' demand – that sum could possibly even be more than MASN is making now. That would either bankrupt the network or force Angelos to subsidize it.If Angelos was smart he'd be offering to buy out the Lerners' shares in MASN and set them loose to get their best deal from Comcast, etc. Actually, he is smart so it's undoubtedly his stubbornness and pride that has kept him from doing it. But as someone (and I bet it was Kasten) told the Lerners, in the end they'll get their money one way or another. It just may take a while.

  136. hiramhover - Jun 12, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    What's wrong, peric–were you afraid everyone was playing too nicely with one another in your absence? Just trolling for a fight with the same old crap?

  137. pRAA - Jun 12, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    peric said… So, how many of you experts (Natslady et al) still believe this lineup would not be adversely affected with the return of the surly one Jayson Werth?(a) Werth isn't surly. But you are.(b) Any lineup that includes a primary outfield of Morse 7 Harper 8 Werth 9 (or Werth 8 Harper 9) is by definition better than anything they're putting out there now. Your panties would surely be in a wad because Lombo and Moore would be displaced, but there still would be ABs for them. Platoon Lombo and Espi, bump Ankiel/Nady/etc off the roster, etc.They're in good shape now without Werth, but they'll be in better shape when he gets back.

  138. Brother Juniper - Jun 12, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    Frediemac: "Yes well on July 3rd 2005 they were 51-30 at the halfway break"Thanks for the info. The second half was the mirror image of the first, since the Nats ended up 81-81 that year. What a weird year.

  139. Grandstander - Jun 12, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    They should give Flores a rest tonight so he can catch Stras on Wednesday. Not to place to much emphasis on offensive stats for a defensive catcher, but he's gone 1 for 15 with 6 Ks since his last day off.

  140. baseballswami - Jun 12, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    OK – feeding the troll , but just a little. I would be happy to have Jayson back on the team even if all he did was talk to Bryce ( listen to Bryce?) and answer every single one of his questions. One of the best things I saw in last night's game happened in the dugout and not on the field – Rick Ankiel allowing Bryce to explain what he did and then Rick explaining a few things back with Bryce listening intently. I know he seems to be doing fine, well more than fine most of the time, but he needs these guys a lot to continue his development and having Jayson in the dugout and yes, standing in the outfield with him is worth a ton to this team. I was thinking the other day about players that have left here and truly found baseball homes in other cities ( Hairston, JMax,Milone) but there are also players that came here that feel like they belong here to me. Jayson is one of them and Gio is already, too.Ramos felt like that right away. No accounting for chemistry – the Nats seem to really have it right now.

  141. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 12, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    Re: Werth–totally academic question anyway, since, when he gets back and is healthy enough to play, he will start, period. There is no chance they bench a healthy Jayson Werth. Won't happen.

  142. JD - Jun 12, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    Soul, Exactly.

  143. NatsLady - Jun 12, 2012 at 7:35 PM

    Werth is very motivated. Also, he is the Nats best hitter in a stat you might appreciate, late and close (7th inning or later, 1 run or tie game.) You are going to tell me you want Nady out there before Werth when Davey trots out his "right-handed" line-up? Puh-leeeze.And the "intangibles" mentioned above. So, since you call my name, yes, I'll be glad when Werth gets back, hopefully fresh and rested when the schedule is starting to wear on some of the others.

  144. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 12, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    Fresh, rested, and with a massive chip on his shoulder, in time for the Phillies series.

  145. NatsLady - Jun 12, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    Good explanation, Pose. Thank you.

  146. baseballswami - Jun 12, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    Amen! I will be so happy to see Jayson and Drew! I feel that Morse has made an impact on the lineup just by being in it. He started off slowly, mainly because he barely did any rehab starts – must be a record, by the way, for how short it was. As an opposing pitcher you just have to know that he can hurt you at any moment. I love our 1-6 most of the time now. After that it gets a little shaky most games. Can't wait until our power- hitting pitchers are back slugging again!!

  147. Doc - Jun 12, 2012 at 8:08 PM

    Leave it to The Beast to come up with the code name for EJax–The Silent Assassin!It's perfect, particularly when you consider that majority of assassins in spy novels are born in Germany, like the Nats' Silent Assassin.Go SITAN1……GOOOOOOOOOOONAAAAAAATS

  148. sjm308 - Jun 12, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    Bye bye Peric – see you when your next negative idea comes around

  149. realdealnats - Jun 13, 2012 at 12:50 AM

    Sure all you guys have seen this James Blagden cartoon of Doc Ellis' No No while he was doing LSD. But if you haven't, it's hilarious and really fresh in the straight forward way Doc tells the tale. Happy Birthday Doc.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vUhSYLRw14&feature=results_main&playnext=1&list=PL6D5867D98344DA0F

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