Skip to content

Talking about Tuesday’s win

Jun 13, 2012, 4:00 AM EDT

Remember how daunting this 33-game stretch against only NL East and AL East teams was supposed to be for the Nationals? Well, with Tuesday night's 4-2 victory in Toronto, they're now two-thirds of the way through this gantlet and they've gone 14-8.

Not bad. Not bad at all. But wait, there's more…

With this latest win, the Nationals are now 37-23, 14 games over .500. That puts them on pace for 100 wins by season's end.

And thanks to the Braves' loss to the Yankees, the Nationals now hold a 4-game lead in the NL East. The last time they held a lead that large? July 6, 2005.

And thanks to the Phillies' loss to the Twins, the Nationals now hold a 9 1/2-game lead over the five-time division champs. Yes, 9 1/2 games.Read more »

  1. SonnyG10 - Jun 13, 2012 at 4:32 AM

    Yea, Ryan Z better get on a hot streak, pronto!

  2. Gonat - Jun 13, 2012 at 4:37 AM

    Wow, you did that prior to tonight's game!

  3. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 13, 2012 at 4:51 AM

    Good stuff Mark!

  4. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 13, 2012 at 4:54 AM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… Lots can change between now and first week of July plus All Star alternates.If I had to pick now its Gio, Stras and Harper. MLB wants ratings. Bryce Harper is the most marketable player outside of NY in my opinion and he is on the fringe of legitimately earning his way in.HR Derby of newbies like Harper and Stanton June 06, 2012 3:17 PM Seems like the last 2 days has everyone talking about Bryce Harper being an All Star and the marketing of Bryce.I went on record a week ago that I thought Bryce was earning his way in.

  5. Unknown - Jun 13, 2012 at 4:56 AM

    I'm not sure that Zimmerman's and Morse's slow starts are having that much of an effect in terms of wins and losses, because when they both start to hit–and they will–the pitching staff will probably have come back to Earth.Just as Zim's and Morse's slumps can't last forever, neither can a team ERA of 2.97. The ERA goes up but so does the team's runs per game. I think, barring even more injuries, this is a 92-94 win team. Farid @ Idaho

  6. rogieshan - Jun 13, 2012 at 5:04 AM

    Two rookies setting the table. Harper has been a god-send, but I've been equally impressed by Lombardozzi's emergence as the team's lead-off hitter. His patience and hit-to-contact approach at the plate is just what this lineup needs at the top of the order. And for whatever reason, Zimmerman is hitting with very little authority and is finding himself caught in too many pitcher's count. I'm afraid to ask, but is he still favoring an injury and has anyone questioned his off-season conditioning?

  7. The Fox - Jun 13, 2012 at 5:20 AM

    One other point that most of us know but rarely gets mentioned by the ESPN or MLB is that the Nats bullpen has been ridiculously good. Davey is a genius but I think you can count on one hand the times someone in the bullpen has not come in and been effective especially after HRod had his "injured" finger. I know these guys are good but they hardly ever put anyone on base. I'm tempted to have Gorzo and the bullpen pitch tomorrows game so Stras, Gio and JZim can all start against the Yankees. I know it won't happen but it would be cool to have the same starters the BoSox had to face pitch against the Yanks.

  8. Come Back Shitty - Jun 13, 2012 at 6:37 AM

    @unkown..back to earth? Strasburg, Gio, and Jordan Z are already on it. They are the real deal. Edwin Jackson has been awesome too, he may not mantain his awesome June, but regardless he is still an excellent number 4. Ya, our 5 is a toss up. Our best pitching prospects are a couple of years away from the bigs. Detwiler did have a really good start to the season..perhaps he can revert back to form.

  9. Brother Juniper - Jun 13, 2012 at 10:02 AM

    The ESPN box score lists Harper's HR at 438 feet. Does that mean the point where the HR hit the Blackberry sign is 438 feet? Or that the HR would have landed 438 feet from home plate if there were nothing there to stop it?

  10. Water23 - Jun 13, 2012 at 11:15 AM

    Is it a little deja vu or does Zimm kinda remind me of 2011 Werth? He seems to be just off ever since the start of the season. A season when he got his big deal. I am a huge Zimm fan and appreciate all that he has done and endured for the team so I hope he shakes it off but he does seem to be taking to many early pitches.

  11. Faraz Shaikh - Jun 13, 2012 at 11:16 AM

    I think that's the calculated distance, so that without that sign where it would land.I agree that our pitching rotation will continue to do well.

  12. upperdeck4 - Jun 13, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    @Brother Juniper. It's the distance the ball would have traveled unimpeded. i.e. hitting the ground.

  13. Doc - Jun 13, 2012 at 11:19 AM

    Cebolla Solano is the best 5th string C in MLB!Rocket arm, and power bat. Probably kiddin' about the bat, but the arm should give him a career in the Bigs.The Face used to do it by himself. Now that he has help, he's stopped doing it.

  14. MicheleS - Jun 13, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    Love all the stats Mark. Astonishing that Bryce is going so good! (thankfully, since RZ not good and Beast is working his way back).14 games over .500. HOLY MOLY! That is good!!!

  15. terpman33 - Jun 13, 2012 at 11:31 AM

    Yeah, Ryan Z. stinks right now, but he will get better. What we have to remember is that he is a good, not great, player. He's not going to average 30hr, or 100 rbi. He's not that kind of player, regardless of the contract. Neither him or Werth. Ryan Z. basically got the contract as a "thank you" for all the horrible years he had to endure as the face of the franchise. As one anonymous MLB general manager said, "The Nats have two 100 million dollar contracts, but ZERO 100 million dollar players". Hate to say it, but I have to agree. Having said all that, GYFNG!

  16. Drew - Jun 13, 2012 at 11:46 AM

    The Kid puts on a show every night. Mark, thanks for spotlighting his last 20 games. If he's this hot at 19, his ceiling is downright scary.P.S. I think we had a rainout that gave Strasburg and Flores an extra day of rest. That reduced the gantlet to 32 games.

  17. rabbit34 - Jun 13, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    Of the players earning(?) 100 million dollars, none are 100 million dollar players. The only player worth 100 million dollars is not earning that, and we all know who that is…HARPER! Outside of Zimmerman's above average defense, he never impressed me much with his bat. He is more lucky than good and it's catching up with him. Is he hurt? I don't know and don't really care. He should be resting along with Werth. Our pitching will continue to be good for years to come. Once we lose the Zimmermans and Werths, Ankiels and Nadys….then really watch out!! GO NATIONALS!!

  18. 320R2S15 - Jun 13, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    What terpman said…including the GYFNG!

  19. hiramhover - Jun 13, 2012 at 11:56 AM

    rogieshanI was impressed with Lombo in May, but his performance has severely tailed off in the last few weeks. For June, he's slashing .167/.242/.300 with a 47 wRC+. I hope he turns it around, and I think he can–he's suffering a crazy low BABIP in June, of .167. But if he doesn't turn it around, those numbers aren't going to keep him in the lead off spot., or even in the line up at all.

  20. UnkyD - Jun 13, 2012 at 11:58 AM

    Ryan Zimmerman….Silver Slugger. Golden Glove. To me, that's a very, VERY good player. Seems silly, and unduly pessimistic to believe that's in the past… Zim will continue to be among the best 3b in baseball, for another 5 years, or so. Stop it, terpy….

  21. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 13, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    Unkyd… and Albert Pujols was all washed up going into late May. There are all these new bandwagon jumpers ( and, yes, rabbit, you qualify) that haven't experienced the 6 week long hot streaks that Zim goes on that make up his season stats. And they will come. But I welcome the bandwaggoners. Observe and learn.

  22. Gonat - Jun 13, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    Brother Juniper said… The ESPN box score lists Harper's HR at 438 feet. Does that mean the point where the HR hit the Blackberry sign is 438 feet? Or that the HR would have landed 438 feet from home plate if there were nothing there to stop it? June 13, 2012 6:02 AM ____________________________ESPN does what they call "true distance". Here is the definition of true distance:True Dist. (True Distance, a.k.a. Actual Distance) – If the home run flew uninterrupted all the way back to field level, the actual distance the ball traveled from home plate, in feet. If the ball's flight was interrupted before returning all the way down to field level (as is usually the case), the estimated distance the ball would have traveled if its flight had continued uninterrupted all the way down to field level.

  23. 320R2S15 - Jun 13, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    bandwaggoners? please, I well remember Del Unser. Truth be told, I hope you aer right NJF.

  24. MicheleS - Jun 13, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    Oh and for all those griping about the hitting coach and what he does, here is an interesting article on the hitting coach:Assistant Hitting Coaches

  25. Gonat - Jun 13, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… Ghost Of Steve M. said… Lots can change between now and first week of July plus All Star alternates.If I had to pick now its Gio, Stras and Harper. MLB wants ratings. Bryce Harper is the most marketable player outside of NY in my opinion and he is on the fringe of legitimately earning his way in.HR Derby of newbies like Harper and Stanton June 06, 2012 3:17 PM Seems like the last 2 days has everyone talking about Bryce Harper being an All Star and the marketing of Bryce.I went on record a week ago that I thought Bryce was earning his way in. June 13, 2012 12:54 AM _______________________________I thought you mentioned it longer ago than that. You were still out there a week before Ken Rosenthal, Jim Bowden, Nats Beat Writers, et al, have hit the media to publicly say it.

  26. JamesFan - Jun 13, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    How many times do players sign a huge contract then go into a funk at the plate. It is more the rule than the exception. Zim falls into that territory. He will pull out of it at some point. Until then, they are eating him up with pitches away.

  27. UnkyD - Jun 13, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    Del Unser…. Little bitty OF, IIRC?

  28. Gonat - Jun 13, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    Giancarlo Stanton struck out 4 times last night and the 4th K was with a man on 3rd and 2 outs in the 9th on a called strike 3. If it was the Nats, that strike 3 would have been a walk-off HR.

  29. UnkyD - Jun 13, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    Oops….6'1", a buck eighty…. Not so itty-bitty…. I do remember him, though…

  30. MicheleS - Jun 13, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    RZ will be fine.. I still think that shoulder is bugging him more that he lets on. Morse is in ST mode, so probably around 7/1 he will start crushing it (plus he hates playing DH).Encouraged by Espi's hitting – Amanda has that article on the Vision drills that he does and Bryce/Lombo have the special glasses (I think they should make those drills mandatory for all the hitters for about 2 weeks and see if it helps all of them)

  31. sjm308 - Jun 13, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    Rabbit:"Once we lose Zimm, Werth etc." You do realize that we have both locked up for a long long time. I guess when you just start to look for something negative you will find it. Werth is a key to us turning around a negative culture on the field and in the clubhouse. Zimm has won the silver slugger and gold glove. Zimm doesn't need to hit 30 hr to earn his contract. If he and LaRoche and actually the entire infield continue this excellent defense, we actually don't need to hit (although I think we will). No one talks about it but I believe we are now one of the best defense teams in baseball, at least in the infield. Not just the fewer errors but their range at all 4 positions is incredible and LaRoche saves so many throwing errors its not funny.Go ahead and hate on Zimm and Werth but this fan is having the time of his life watching his team grow into a contender for a long time WITH Zimm and Werth thank you very much.Go Nats!!

  32. sjm308 - Jun 13, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    UNkyd – you want little bitty – go look up Albie Pearson – rookie of the year for OUR Washington Senators (I believe it was 1956) he was little bittyI also have a great trivia question concerning Albie if anyone wants to win a beer at a bar in the next few days. (hate to give away one of the answers but there it is)Go Nats

  33. A DC Wonk - Jun 13, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    Re RZ: but is he still favoring an injury and has anyone questioned his off-season conditioning? I had thought the shoulder injury had to do with a whole bunch of dives that he made. If so, that's got nothing to do with conditioning.

  34. A DC Wonk - Jun 13, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    "The Nats have two 100 million dollar contracts, but ZERO 100 million dollar players".Sure they do! And the Nats got him for a $9.9m 5 yr contract (if I remember the details right)

  35. UnkyD - Jun 13, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    Interesting piece, MicheleS…. Let's get Eck some help…

  36. Tcostant - Jun 13, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    Some random thoughts:- Wang should be given at least to the All-Star break, I like the way he pitched late last year and this spring. Leave him alone. Det will get his chance, but he is needed more in the pen right now.- I think Harper getting picked off trying to steal, is a direct result of all those Zimm DP's. You watch and you just know a DP is coming, I can't beleive it's only 9 it feels like 20.- The Nats should/could have six All-Stars with my picks beings Stras, Gio, LaRoche, Desi, Haprer & Clipper. Think about how hard in the past it was to find one All-Star on this team. Wow.- I think no Saturday or Sunday game at Nationals Park will draw less than 30,000 the rest of the way. Get your tickets now.- It's a fun time to be a Nationals fan.

  37. A DC Wonk - Jun 13, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    Wang should be given at least to the All-Star break, I like the way he pitched late last year and this spring.Agreed. We know it takes him a long time to gear up . . . As for yesterday, despite having mediocre stuff, he still kept the Jays pretty much off the scoreboard — except for one pitch to an awesome HR hitter.The point is: he may be starting to get his groove back, and we'll see after a few more starts.The main thing is: the Nats won with #5 pitching. Now we get to see #1 through #4!

  38. MicheleS - Jun 13, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    For those questiong Zim's off season conditioning: RZ/Lombo/Werth spent the entire off season at Nats Park working with the trainers.

  39. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 13, 2012 at 12:54 PM

    sjm308…..I believe Pearson was 1957 or 8 and Bob Allison was 1958 or 9 as the Senators had back to back ROY's.

  40. Theophilus T. S. - Jun 13, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    Let's give Zimmerman's disfunction its proper technical name and send him to a specialist — clausis oculis usque duo ferit.

  41. sjm308 - Jun 13, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    NatsJack – that is part of the trivia questionDo you realize that in 58 & 59 the rookie of the year in both leagues came from the same team and played the same position. You already have the two senators who were the two national league rookies and what team and position did they play?thanks for playing!by the way Pearson is listed at 5'5" and 140 lbs in the Baseball Ency.Go Nats!

  42. D'Gourds - Jun 13, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    Wang definitely was not his best last night and got very lucky the wind held quite a few homers in the park. But before considering taking him out of the starting rotation, remember how good he was by the end of Spring training before the injury. He was terriffic–commanded his sinker and slider really well and threw tons of ground balls. It's still in him. A bad hamstring injury takes a while to come back from and there is really nowhere else to put him. He'd be next to useless out of the bullpen and we've invested to much in him the last few years to risk losing him to another team. I have a feeling it may all come back together for him soon.

  43. A DC Wonk - Jun 13, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    Harper stats update:Leads the team in BA/OBP/SA/OPS (he leads BA by .020, and OPS by almost .100!), triples, fewest GIDP (zero — last night was close!)2nd in runs scored, 3rd in HR, BB, Total Bases4th in SB, 4th in hits (that surprised me, given that he's played in only 2/3 of the Nats schedule so far).

  44. John C. - Jun 13, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    Bryce Harper is the Nationals' only $100 million player? Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez find your lack of faith disturbing. Fortunately for the Nationals, none of these players will be signing that deal until 2-3 years from now.

  45. pRAA - Jun 13, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    MicheleS said… For those questiong Zim's off season conditioning: RZ/Lombo/Werth spent the entire off season at Nats Park working with the trainers.Zim is also getting married soon. Married life did wonders for Lannan's game. Oh wait…

  46. NCNatsie - Jun 13, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    Earlier this spring, there was a thread on this blog where many opined on how many home runs Harper would hit. As I recall the over-under was somewhere around 12-15.He has now hit 7 in 40 games. The team has played 60 games, so there are 122 left. If my calculator is working right, that seems to project to a rookie year total of 28.35. So our April over-under guesses may have been a bit conservative. Especially as these calculaations don't take into account Mark's excellent point that he's been much better in his second 20 games than he was in his first 20.

  47. NCNatsie - Jun 13, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    The point several have made about the possible relationship between players getting their big contract and then falling off in performance seems to have some validity, and deserves some careful research. I first noticed it with Jim Rice many years ago. I haven't checked the stats, but I was s huge Bosox guy then, and I know I felt it had happened.The general reasons could be either: 1) losing a bit of edge now that one's future is safely preserved, or 2)feeling over-pressured with the desire to live up to the big money deal, or 3)being distracted by all that goes with becoming a multi-millionaire, which is, I would imagine, rather a large responsibility.There may be other reasons, too, but those are the one's I've thought of.

  48. John C. - Jun 13, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    For those of you concerned about Ryan Zimmerman's performance, a bit of perspective. Remember David Wright? He and Ryan have been exchanging the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards for NL third basemen. Wright had a couple of down years, bottoming out in his age 28 season at .254 last year. There were plenty of Mets fans that wanted to give up on Wright, dump him AND his contract.Well, one year later those fans are all happy the team didn't react that way the fans wanted. Wright is a legit MVP candidate, hitting .352/.454/.576 and flashing the leather again. Zimmerman is 27; those who are rending their garments and proclaiming him finished really don't know much about baseball. Brace yourselves; Zim may not really bounce back this season. There are career years in a positive and negative sense. But when Zimmerman bounces back we will all be happy the team had faith in him.

  49. rabbit34 - Jun 13, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    NatsJack….There are all these new bandwagon jumpers ( and, yes, rabbit, you qualify) that haven't experienced the 6 week long hot streaks that Zim goes on that make up his season stats._______________________________________________I look for consistency.________________________________SJM308…….You do realize that we have both locked up for a long long time.______________________________________________Yes, I realize that. And, like you I know what he won, know what his statistics are. I also know what he is NOT doing. I don't hate Zim or Werth, as you say I do. I love the fact that the Nationals are in first place and hope we win the division. You're entitled to your opinions and I mine. Enjoy the game. I will.

  50. mick - Jun 13, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    Some very good points On Zim's lack of production and his DP balls here.My two cents is that all of it plays a factor, however, I think Zim is a competitor and his play in the field shows a player who is hungry to win. His batting problem becomes a problem if it goes into July. then, it is possible that we paid way to much to retain him. Unless he is injured, the only excuse is a slump. other than that, he has NO EXCUSES! He had hitters in front of him and in back of him in the lineup. If he is not hurt and continues to hot DP balls and have crappy AB's, then ship him as part of a deal in the off season with that contract

  51. mick - Jun 13, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    It sounds like Davey's patience with Zim is running out. That is not good, because Davey may be the most patient manager I have ever seen. Its time for Zim to produce.

  52. Theophilus T. S. - Jun 13, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    Zimmerman's problems are in his head — which is what bothers me, because a guy making $100MM has an obligation to get his head straight. Two functions are not functioning: "That ball is a strike" and "I can't elevate that ball; if by the grace of God I hit it, it will be a groundout/DP to the SS/2B."It's not his shoulder. I do think think he's an inch or two thicker around the middle than optimum. But the real issues are between his eyes.

  53. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 13, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  54. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 13, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    Davey maintains complete patience with Espinosa but is running out of patience with Zim….yah, right.

  55. bowdenball - Jun 13, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    NCNatsie-You missed the obvious reason, which is that because MLB clubs allow teams to control players until their late 20s at the earliest and many players sign extensions, the majority of the big free agent deals go to guys aged 28-35. They're all past peak performance age for most or all of their big contracts, so a dropoff is natural and expected.Still, they're mostly good deals that don't handcuff the clubs too badly. The owners have more than enough thanks to baseball's success and the clubs' ability to control young talent for so long for so cheap relative to their market value. Where else would you rather see the money spent? Other than to keep the cost of beer down at the park, obviously.

  56. mick - Jun 13, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    Natsjack… Davey's comments last night suggest that he is getting annoyed with Zim

  57. mick - Jun 13, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    Natsjack… Davey never made those same comments about Espi

  58. Gonat - Jun 13, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    A DC Wonk said… New article this morningQ&A: Jordan Zimmermann & Gio Gonzalezhttp://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/qa-jordan-zimmermann-gio-gonzalez/ June 13, 2012 8:50 AM _______________________________JZim: “I think my changeup is pretty good right now. I’ve been throwing it more and more each game, and I’m getting more and more and more comfortable with it. It’s a circle change and I’m happy with the progress I’ve made with it. It‘s good to have a four-pitch mix.”_________________________________JZim has slowly increased the use of his changeup but doesn't seem to trust it as it is his least thrown pitch and has his highest ball % (46.15%). In May, JZim threw it 3% of the time and in June 7% of the time.Here's JZim's 2012 pitch mix:4 seam fastball: 53%Slider: 24%Curve: 13%2 Seam fastball: 6%Changeup: 4%

  59. MicheleS - Jun 13, 2012 at 2:07 PM

    Mick.. about 2 weeks ago, Davey called out Espi on his strike outs. I don't think by the comments i saw on MASN that he is annoyed with Zim. I think he was stating facts, same as he does with everyone else.

  60. Bigfish - Jun 13, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    SJM308: Albie Pearson !! Now there's a blast from the past for us oldsters. Here's a pic from yesteryear of Pearson & Hondo together. http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/1963-frank-howard-albie-pearson-la-160499136

  61. Gonat - Jun 13, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    mick said… It sounds like Davey's patience with Zim is running out. That is not good, because Davey may be the most patient manager I have ever seen. Its time for Zim to produce. June 13, 2012 9:45 AM _______________________________Is there a link or video to these comments?

  62. mick - Jun 13, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    maybe your right Michele… we will see. I just hope Zim can be productive, Nats have a good chance to go on a roll and perhaps get up 8-10 games by All Star break

  63. MicheleS - Jun 13, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    Gonat..MASN Post game

  64. baseballjones - Jun 13, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    Have seen an article here or there estimating Harper's HR last night at 430-440 feet. One of the articles mentions that it would have been more had the flight of the ball been unobstructed by the restaurant. But don't distance estimates take into account the full projected flight of the ball? It doesn't seem to make much sense to just tell you the distance to the spot the ball hit without taking into consideration how much further it would have gone had it not hit anything.

  65. mick - Jun 13, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    Gonat…. Davey's post game comments sounded like he was annoyed with Zim, in my opinion

  66. erocks33 - Jun 13, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    Egads! I just can't believe some folks are ready to toss Zim aside because he's struggling at the plate right now. He has shown in the past (and should show in the future) that he will right whatever is wrong with his swing. And IMO, any struggles he's having has absolutely nothing to do with being complacent after signing his contract. Zim has always been (and always will be) a professional, which means he's always going to give 100%. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but questioning Zim's integrity or professionalism is just plain insane.

  67. mick - Jun 13, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    baseballjones… reminds me of Reggie Jackson's HR in 1971 All star game in Tiger stadium. many think, if the ball does not hit a post in the upper seats, the ball could have went 700 feet!!!

  68. SCNatsFan - Jun 13, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    Check out Harper's reaction to a stupid questionhttp://bustedcoverage.com/2012/06/13/bryce-harper-wont-be-enjoying-a-beer-in-canada-you-morons-video/

  69. mick - Jun 13, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    SCnats… you mean reporters ask stupid questions? lol

  70. MicheleS - Jun 13, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    Sports page from the Toronto Star.http://www.thestar.com/sports/baseball

  71. Gonat - Jun 13, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    MicheleS said… Gonat..MASN Post game June 13, 2012 10:09 AM ________________________________Thanks!

  72. erocks33 - Jun 13, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    Wang does deserve to continue starting up to the ASG. Det was struggling for about his last 5-6 starts prior to his being replaced, and he didn't look that sharp last night, either. Wang wasn't sharp, too, but the BIG difference right now between Wang and Det is that Wang knows how to gut out an extra inning or two when he's not 100% sharp, whereas Det hasn't figured it out yet. And the key word there is YET. Having Det hanging around, learning from Wang an EJax and Gio on how to pitch when not on his "A" game will only help him become a good-to-very-good pitcher in the very near future. That and adding a little more mass to his lower part of his body to enhance his stamina.

  73. LoveDaNats - Jun 13, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    Interesting reading this morning. We are leading the NL East by no less than 4 games, second best record in baseball. I have never had as much fun being a Nats fan. I'm watching every game (to my family's dismay) because I can't wait to see what amazing feat the team will accomplish next. This is what we've been waiting for, guys! Whether Zim gets hot now or later (and he will), whether Morse is ever the Beast again, whether we never get a player in the ASG……..I'm having the best time loving this team. GYFNG! Sweep the Jays!

  74. SCNatsFan - Jun 13, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    I actually enjoy going to the home newspaper and blogs of the teams we are playing and reading what other fans and media think of this team. CNNSI has lots of links that makes it easy to do. LOve the blogs where teams think we are the same 'ol Nats rolling into town using smoke and mirrors to win.

  75. Steady Eddie - Jun 13, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    To amplify a bit on Michele and NatsJack — Davey is not "losing patience" or "getting annoyed" with RZim. Davey is simply doing what he does, in his own managerial style, to motivate Zim and get him to focus. Davey has far too much emotional intelligence to allow his public or private responses to players be about his — Davey's — feelings, whatever they may be. This is not Little League or high school.And Davey also knows to handle Espi and RZim very individually. Zim is a 6+ year vet who's shown the capability to have all-around great seasons. Espi is a high ceiling soph who is still trying to find himself at the plate (but is enough of a pro — and self-confident enough due in fair part to Davey's support that he doesn't let his plate struggles affect his great fielding).

  76. baseballswami - Jun 13, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    Need to remember that Morse is not in a slump – he is in spring training. He had maybe 10-12 AB's at Potomac, high A ball and then came straight up after not playing since that goodwill tour in Japan. Looks to me like he is hitting the ball well. One thing I have noticed is that the last week or so our opposing teams have been all over the highlight reels robbing Zim and Morse, especially. I think they will both be fine – right about the time someone else starts cooling off. And so it goes. Where do we keep getting these catchers? Is the supply unlimited? I really like this guy. But how does McCatty do a mound conference with a Chinese pitcher and a catcher from Columbia? Add that to the mad McCatty skills list. I don't think we can say enough about that man!

  77. baseballjones - Jun 13, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    Will look for the jacskon HR in '71 online. I was not even a twinkle in me mum's eye.I want to see if bryce moves up the leader board on the michelin longest drive thing on the mlb site. right now nelson cruz is the leader at 492.nit: Colombia not Columbia.

  78. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 13, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    Mick, I dont know. Davey says the truth, Zim isn't centering and driving the ball. He didn't throw him under the bus.Could have also said he isn't covering the plate and seeing the ball well and failing in the #3 with RISP.At some point you have to move Zim to back of the order if he doesn't start getting the job done.

  79. sjm308 - Jun 13, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    Rabbit: never doubted you were a fan – its just when you say "when we lose Zimm & Werth" I can't see much of a positive to that. Maybe if it was stated, when Zimm and Werth get going we will be even harder to beat might be the glass half full over half empty. Lets both enjoy this run and stay happy.BigFish – great picture & thanksGo Nats!!

  80. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 13, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    baseballswami, agreed on Morse. He is a few days away from getting in a groove.

  81. sjm308 - Jun 13, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    Mick – I agree with Ghost. The players love Davey and his style and loyalty. He is not throwing anyone under the bus. Zimm might not get back to his normal stats for this year but as long as he plays a solid 3rd base and rebounds just a little at the plate we will be fine. Pitching & Defense are what are going to take us to our first World Series since 1933!Go Nats!!

  82. Gonat - Jun 13, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    Steady Eddie said… To amplify a bit on Michele and NatsJack — Davey is not "losing patience" or "getting annoyed" with RZim. Davey is simply doing what he does, in his own managerial style, to motivate Zim and get him to focus. Davey has far too much emotional intelligence to allow his public or private responses to players be about his — Davey's — feelings, whatever they may be. This is not Little League or high school.And Davey also knows to handle Espi and RZim very individually. Zim is a 6+ year vet who's shown the capability to have all-around great seasons. Espi is a high ceiling soph who is still trying to find himself at the plate (but is enough of a pro — and self-confident enough due in fair part to Davey's support that he doesn't let his plate struggles affect his great fielding). June 13, 2012 10:25 AM ____________________________________Would Davey move Zim back to the 6 hole in the batting order and just move everyone else up?Is this a slump or a sore shoulder? Last I check, sore shoulders don't look at 3rd strike fastballs over the plate. I just think he is in a slump.

  83. Gonat - Jun 13, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    sjm308 said… Mick – I agree with Ghost. The players love Davey and his style and loyalty. He is not throwing anyone under the bus. Zimm might not get back to his normal stats for this year but as long as he plays a solid 3rd base and rebounds just a little at the plate we will be fine. Pitching & Defense are what are going to take us to our first World Series since 1933!Go Nats!! June 13, 2012 10:41 AM ________________________________Ozzie and Buck Showalter would have piled on a guy struggling like Zim. Davey was asked a question (by Amanda) and answered it simply. Like SteveM said, he could have added much more critique and go on. Asked and simply answered.

  84. Gonat - Jun 13, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    Nationals Second Acehttp://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/the-nationals-second-ace/

  85. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 13, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    If the big contract supposedly demotivated Zim, it sure did wonders for Gio.

  86. A DC Wonk - Jun 13, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    A story from the Toronto Star said, of Harper's HR:"The home run distance indicator at the Rogers Centre said 434 feet, but that’s only where the ball landed. It was actually still sailing when it struck the cloth; an estimate closer to 500 feet would have better captured the titanic trajectory of the blast."That, obviously, doesn't square with ESPN's estimate of 438 of where it would have landed.What gives?

  87. pRAA - Jun 13, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said… If the big contract supposedly demotivated Zim, it sure did wonders for Gio.Different big contracts. Gio's big contract is the same kind of big contract Zimmerman got in 2009.

  88. A DC Wonk - Jun 13, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    Cheap Lerners, eh?Gio's contract:"the largest-ever contract for a first-time arbitration-eligible pitcher….five-year, $42 million deal, which includes a $12 million club option in 2017 and a $12 million player option in 2018,"

  89. bowdenball - Jun 13, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    DC Wonk-434 sounds right. It is physically impossible for a human being to hit a baseball 500 feet with a wooden bat unless it gets caught in a huge gust of wind or its hit at altitude. Here's an article about it:http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/hey_wait_a_minute/1997/10/the_myth_of_the_500foot_home_run.html

  90. Tcostant - Jun 13, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    Hey DC Wonk, say what you want about Gio's contract, but at the time I thought it was a bargin for the Nationals. And now it looks even better. Good job by Rizzo.On another note, the first round picks in the Rule 4 draft, seem to be adjusting to the new rules better than expected. I figure most would go to deadline time; but to my surprise that hasn't been the case.

  91. The Fox - Jun 13, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    Suprised that no one has posted this link before for Home Runs. You can waste a lot of time on it to. http://hittrackeronline.com/Harper's HR from last night is not listed yet it probably will be there tomorrow.

  92. baseballjones - Jun 13, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    much obliged, fox and bowdenball.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 57 45 --
ATLANTA 57 48 1.5
MIAMI 51 53 7.0
NEW YORK 50 55 8.5
PHILADELPHIA 46 59 12.5
Through Sunday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

Follow us on Twitter