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Rattled by the Rockies

Jun 26, 2012, 11:00 AM EDT

US Presswire photo
Stephen Strasburg came undone in the bottom of the sixth inning.

The Nationals' 4-2 loss to the Rockies last night was disappointing/frustrating/maddening/pick another adjective for a number of reasons, but let's focus on the two most significant ones…

1. Stephen Strasburg came undone during what proved to be the decisive bottom of the sixth inning.

How often does Strasburg take the mound with a lead in hand, give it back and wind up taking the loss? Well, in 31 career starts prior to last night, he had never done it.

But in that fateful bottom of the sixth at Coors Field, Strasburg (who one inning earlier had staked himself to a 2-1 lead thanks to an RBI double) imploded in a manner we had never seen before.

It began with a Dexter Fowler leadoff triple down the right-field line, then turned scary when Strasburg drilled Marco Scutaro in the headRead more »

222 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. SCNatsFan - Jun 26, 2012 at 11:18 AM

    Fire. Your. Hitting. Coach.Enough excuses, enough chances. He is supposed to get guys out of slumps, make adjustments. Just look at our team BA and realize we have no one in our lineup tht scares anyone at the plate. Rid ourselves of him before he ruins Harper.Enough of old school Davey sticking with his guys. You keep your job based on results and the results are we are horrific at the plate. If you want to wait until we fall out of first to do it then its just a matter of time until we do.

  2. baseballswami - Jun 26, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    Also time for Davey to give up on his own aggressive philosophy and try some working the count. If it's not working , try something else to shake things up.

  3. ehay2k - Jun 26, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    JaneB, so sorry about your father. At the same time, it was cool to know you and he shared a love for the Nats, and that he was a Desi fan. My father paused away long before the Nats came to town, so I never had the chance to share the experience.(A Skins fan, he's up there dissing Snyder anyway.)

  4. m20832 - Jun 26, 2012 at 11:43 AM

    Hey! Guys! The Nats are still in first place! It's a 162 game season. This is winning baseball according to some on here. Although I obviously know nothing about baseball because losing to a pitcher that has a 2012 7.23 ERA and having your number 8 batter and pitcher almost win the game for you just sucks. Not winning baseball to me. Sorry.What can the Nats do to improve their BA? They have to do something, because the Met and Braves aren't going to be 3.5 games behind for long.

  5. terpman33 - Jun 26, 2012 at 11:44 AM

    Here's an adjective….pathetic. And I won't once mention the word offense because it would be an "offense" to say so. Our hitting is downright awful. Strausburg had a another quality start. How many teams would take a game where the starter gives up 3 runs over six? Im gonna say all of them. Even if we fired Eckstein, would it really make a difference? It might, but I dont know. Also, if i see one more comment of "we're still in first place", I may start a protest at Nats Park. I mean, really, who gives a damn! If we don't improve our anemic hitting, we'll be in last by the end of July. I'm a "glass is half full" kind of guy, but this is getting rediculous. Hopefully, Gio can get us back in the win column. And I mean by giving up only 1 run, cause it seems that's the only way we can win. GYFNG, I hope!!!

  6. ehay2k - Jun 26, 2012 at 11:57 AM

    MicheleS said…I love watching Stras pitch.. It's like watching Michelangelo paint the Sistine Chapel——–Yes, only without the stiff neck!Sadly, the Vatican staff provided better run support than Stras' teammates.

  7. Major Jammage - Jun 26, 2012 at 11:57 AM

    Here are the offensive stats over the last 30 games–pretty rough. Offensive may be the operative term. Only one every day starter over .250 (Harper). Morse at .217 and Laroche, and Zimmerman are below .200. Most surprising as Lombardozzi at .203. As Carpenter said last night, there isn't really one hitter in the lineup last night that you would say was hot.Player AVG OPSZimmermann, J 0.667 2.000Moore, T 0.435 1.334Solano, J 0.375 1.063Harper, B 0.281 0.834Bernadina, R 0.250 0.760Flores, J 0.242 0.649Nady, X 0.238 0.590Desmond, I 0.237 0.656Espinosa, D 0.231 0.694Morse, M 0.217 0.552Lombardozzi, S 0.203 0.546Strasburg, S 0.200 0.600Zimmerman, R 0.184 0.450LaRoche, A 0.174 0.657Ankiel, R 0.147 0.531

  8. Gonat - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:02 PM

    Major Jammage, why is Lombardozzi most surprising? He has been in a slump for weeks. The quality of his at-bats also have been poor.Like I said yesterday, Davey/Rizzo better shake this up.

  9. natsfan1a - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:08 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Tim - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    I do thinkk it's all about philosophy and approach. Is anybody asking that question in the Nationals' clubhouse? Is anyone questioning Davey or Eck about approach?We could have learned something from the AL East teams… Patience at the plate. Let the pitcher work. Raise his pitch count. Make him work.put the pressure on him.I think the elephant is in the room.

  11. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    For all the Eck bashers, you finally have a ray of hope. When Davey states that "we've been thinking too much at the plate" followed by "I'll talk with Eck about this" indicates the first crack in his total belief in Rick.But just remember how loyal Davey is to his choices (and Eck IS a Davey choice).

  12. natsfan1a - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    We're still in first place. See you at the park. I guess you'll be the one carrying the sign? (Well, you *did* set that one up on a tee for someone.) :-) This is probably a waste of breath, but the idea is, if one can't be happy when one's team is in first place, what's the point of watching at all (and can one ever be happy)? Raise your hand if you thought we'd be in first place at this point in the season, and for this long of a stretch? Yeah, I thought so. What are we, Yankees fans?On a game note, didn't see the game (too late for me), but not surprised that accidentally beaning someone would shake up a pitcher. Hope that the guy's okay.Also, if i see one more comment of "we're still in first place", I may start a protest at Nats Park.

  13. Sunderland - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    It's not as though there are easy answers. Fire Eckstein? Sure. That's popular. But there are signs he's doing a decent job, including pitchers who can hit and some of the most effective pitch hitting in the NL. Bench Espi? And replace with who? Zim to DL? Replace with DeRosa or Lombardozzi. It's not a dumb move, but it ain't gonna help the offense. What we need is Morse and Zim to hit like Morse and Zim. That will fix a lot. And aside from a possible DL stint or stronger cortisone, the only other thing to do is have faith and be patient.

  14. natsfan1a - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    (Oops, I meant to add an "enjoy the ride" in there. As if. :-))

  15. A DC Wonk - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    Patience at the plate. Let the pitcher work. Raise his pitch count. Make him work.put the pressure on him.I don't see how that would necessarily work against a guy who kept throwing first-pitch strikes. Wanna keep taking pitches after the count is 0-1?

  16. A DC Wonk - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    JaneB, I just read your note from last night. Sincere condolences from the Wonk clan over here.

  17. Gonat - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… For all the Eck bashers, you finally have a ray of hope. When Davey states that "we've been thinking too much at the plate" followed by "I'll talk with Eck about this" indicates the first crack in his total belief in Rick.But just remember how loyal Davey is to his choices (and Eck IS a Davey choice). June 26, 2012 8:17 AM ______________________________There were some decent at-bats last night. There were some really bad at-bats last night by the middle of the lineup. Zim 1st pitch swinging and Morse striking out on 3 pitches.Will say it again, Zim needs to be dropped to 6th or 7th and Tyler Moore should be playing everyday for a while in the #3.

  18. SCNatsFan - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    natsfan1a, I am happy yet surprised we are in first place; just because we are there doesn't mean that there aren't glaring cracks in the team. Waiting until the rest of the NL East passes us by to address them isn't a good plan.Rizzo either needs to go get us a hitter or Eck has to make one out of what we have here. Despite Peric's rants Brown is not a savior. Sure, with the lights out pitching we might sneak by and get into the playoffs but no way this team makes noise once we get there scoring 2 runs a game against pitiful arms.

  19. NatsLady - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    You can blame Eckstein all you want but:1. Lombardozzi is turning out to be what he was projected to be, an average-hitting utility guy.Espinosa is improving, but isn't there yet, in his sophomore year.2. The league has caught up with Harper, and he hasn't adjusted back. Every week he plays in a new ballpark against pitchers he hasn't seen. He's probably also aching and just now discovering what a grind the major-league season is. Don't forget the team got in very late the night before with storms in Denver.3. RZ is hurt.4. LaRoche is hurt.5. Morse is not the hitter people thought he was based on last year. He's good, but he's not Joey Votto/Josh Hamilton good.6. Desi is hurt.7. Ankiel/Nady/LaRosa/Bernadina–a hit is a pleasant surprise. Moore, we shall see.8. Flores/Solano fine.9. Pitchers. Stras, JZ and EJax are glad to be back in NL parks, and Gio has fun. Det hopefully can bunt.So you have three guys playing hurt, two rookies and a sophomore struggling, and Morse not producing.

  20. natsfan1a - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    Yes, but that's outside of my control, and yours. Doesn't matter whether we yell at the tv, or on here. We don't make those decisions, or those moves. I don't worry about what I can't change, but that's just me.natsfan1a, I am happy yet surprised we are in first place; just because we are there doesn't mean that there aren't glaring cracks in the team. Waiting until the rest of the NL East passes us by to address them isn't a good plan.

  21. Gonat - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    "We've faced some pitchers everybody jumps on, and they look like Sandy Koufax over there," the manager told reporters following the game.How many times have we said that here. In the NYY series that was my arguement in that series that the Nats made Hughes and Nova look like Cy Young.Glad Davey finally said it.

  22. Section 135 - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    Morse is so bad right now. So is Laroche. Having them hit in a row really kills any momentum. Davey keeps sticking with same batting order which kills everyone when they are slumping. Need to shake up the order. Maybe Desi 3rd, Zim 2nd Harper 4th Moore 5th. Need to start resting Laroche every 3rd day. Lombo has no longer earned a start in left. I can't see them getting any better soon until fully healthy or out of their slumps.

  23. Darin H - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    Here is my Encouraging / Discouraging:ENCOURAGING:1. Our starting pitchingEven with Strasburg melting down he still technically had a quality start.DISCOURAGING:1. Our entire line upBryce Harper – in a MAJOR slump, league has clearly figured him out, he needs to go back to AAA and re-adjust.Zimmerman- 60 DL, enough saidDesmond – Believing his own hype and hurt, slumping, I say trade him along with Espinosa for a big veteran bat ASAP, sell high!Morse – This guy is a waste, last year was a one hit wonder, looks hapless at the plateI agree with the other posters here, we should not be excited that we are "still in first place". This team is AWFUL! The bullpen is starting to crack, the hitting is historically terrible, the only thing we have is starting pitching and even those guys are hitting that mid-summer wall.Rizzo is a MORON for not getting some good hitting in here. We have staked our wagons to good fielding, poor hitting young guys who cant even work a count. We make a bum like Francis look like a Cy Young contender.My prediction, without at least TWO major moves for bats we are in last place by the end of July.

  24. LoveDaNats - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    Anyone know? How's Scutaro?

  25. Gonat - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    NatsLady,Interesting comments. I agree with most of what you said except Harper.I will repeat what I said last week. They have changed their approach to Harper. Don't throw him many strikes and make him expand his strike zone. Let him walk if he wants because the guy behind him in the #3 won't do anything.Also, it took a little longer for Lombo to regress but it goes back to what I said about him in Spring Training that he is a light hitting guy lacking big speed. I did think he won a spot on the roster in Spring Training but there was nothing to say he would be a star. Those annointing him the leadoff man in Spring Training looked good for a while but baseball is about the long-term.Espi is still below Mendoza batting LH. Not sure what else you can say. His contact is better. It looks more encouraging.

  26. NatsLady - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    Waiting until the rest of the NL East passes us by to address them isn't a good plan.The rest of the NL East isn't going to pass us, or at least not by so much that we can't recover.The Mets just got wiped out by the Cubs, the absolute worst team in baseball. And R.A. Dickey is human. I still worry about them, but not too much.The Marlins, oh, the Fish—you wanna talk frustration, look at their box score from last night.The Fillies? Cholly, the TwitterWorld second-guessing you is the least of your problems. Atlanta, like us, is climbing back from injuries. I still think Atlanta has the best chance to catch up, and we'll have to doook it out with them this weekend. Raise your hand if you thought we were going to be leading the division by ten games at the All-Star Break. Just raise your hand.

  27. Faraz Shaikh - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    JaneB, sorry to hear about your father.I love NIs. It is either 'oh, we are still in first place. no worries.' or 'we are doomed to end up in last place soon.'

  28. NatsLady - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    LOL===> Darin H, at it again!!

  29. Section 135 - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    Send Harper to AAA? That would be the worst idea ever. He is slumping but he's still been the best hitter besides Moore over the last few weeks. He doesn't get much to hit with Zim slumping behind him. He is trying to do too much because he knows a walk will be followed by a GIDP. The real problem is Rizzo and Daveys fascination with trying to revitalize careers of has beens who no longer have anything left. DeRosa, Nady, Lidge etc. Now Zim playing hurt. I suspect Morse and Laroche are hurting. Need to rest the ailing stars and get rid of the has beens. Play the kids. Get some fresh troops for the bench. Adjust the lineup.

  30. Mr Baseball - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    I tired of all the excuses! When you are hurting and it effects your bat speed, what should you do; number one rule choke up, which helps increase bat speed and it will also help you have better bat control. (Didn't Barry Bonds use a 32-33, inch bat and choke up? Especially Espi from the left side and Lombo. It would help Zim with his injury, also. Morse needs to bring his arms a little closer to his body. That's why he is so late with his swing. Bernie should also be a choke hitter to make contact, which allow him to use his speed! We are not the Earl Weaver Orioles and play and hit for the HR!!

  31. Faraz Shaikh - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    Just saw Marco's HBP. Couldn't see it all because video had a little bit fowler's triple replay in it but I am sure taking 95mph fastball to the head isn't easy.

  32. NatsLady - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    The guys need to get a good night's sleep, get adjusted to the time zone, get in the hot-tubs, and remember they are a first-place team.Gio, who doesn't give up homeruns, is pitching tonight.JZ, who gives up homeruns but doesn't walk people, is pitching tomorrow night.EJax, who is tough as nails, is pitching the day game on Thursday.(If Desi has the jitters, hopefully he can get past it, but something bad seems to happen at Coors for the Nats.) Rizzo is on the phone, I'm sure, but there is not a lot out there, I checked some rosters yesterday.Why is anyone surprised it's a struggle?

  33. carolync - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    I feel bad for Strasburg. He was clearly shaken by hitting Scutaro and who can blame him? It was a sickening sound and Scutaro had no chance to avoid being hit. I hope he continues to be OK. I think they will do a precautionary MRI.This reinforces my belief we should get rid of Henry and his scattershot fastball. There have been enough comments about our pitiful hitting and I thought Davey nailed it in his postgame comments. But will he be able to change the approach of our regular hitters? Step One is to stop calling wild flailing at bad pitches "aggressive" hitting.Go Gio!

  34. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    The Nats are now 3rd from last in scoring in the Majors. 3.73 runs per game.3.73 runs would have won 3 more games in the last 10 games.Since the Yankees series 10 games ago the Nats are averaging only 2.5 runs per game.

  35. Pete - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    Zim, Morse, LaRoche in the 3,4,5 spots is really killing this team. I think you need Harper in the 3 hole, Desmond batting cleanup (only guy with any power thus far), and maybe keep ALR in the 5 spot. Zim really needs to be in the 6-7 hole.

  36. 164abb6e-9075-11e1-aba1-000bcdcb471e - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    Agree Harper needs to make some adjustments and relax a bit but the real problem is he won't see much to hit with an injured RZ hitting behind him.Under the circumstances, because we are dealing with injuries rather than slumps, hope is not a strategy. I agree with those who say reorder the lineup, play the kids, replace Eckstein. Staying pat will give the rest of the division time to catch up, and before long we will be looking at third place.

  37. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:59 PM

    Tommy Milone with a road shutout. Very happy for him.

  38. NatsLady - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:59 PM

    carolync, absolutely right on Stras. Last year, Desi nailed their pitcher (Nicasio, I believe) with a comebacker and he broke his neck. Some bad vibes in Coors. This is from last night, haven't see a report from this morning.A club official reported that Scutaro said he was "fine" after the game, and his status is day-to-day.

  39. Knoxville Nat - Jun 26, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said……"But just remember how loyal Davey is to his choices (and Eck IS a Davey choice)."Eck is also a Rizzo choice or I suspect he would have been gone a long time ago.

  40. NatsLady - Jun 26, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    Ghost, watched his seventh inning after our game, he looked excellent. Didn't get a lot of run support, though, it was 1-0. :)

  41. Gonat - Jun 26, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    164abb6e-9075-11e1-aba1-000bcdcb471e said… Agree Harper needs to make some adjustments and relax a bit but the real problem is he won't see much to hit with an injured RZ hitting behind him.___________________________I said that last week and was chastised for saying that by a poster here.It didn't take a genius to see it coming. Its one of the common issues with an aggressive batter with no bat behind him.

  42. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 26, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    NatsLady, Milone makes it happen on control and movement. I will still take Gio. Happy for both.

  43. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 26, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    Another observation, Harper's throws from the outfield don't have the zip they did before. I think his back is hurting and he needs a day off or 2.Yes, Gonat he isnt getting many pitches near the zone and should be working his counts into hitters counts. Too many 1-2 counts won't help.

  44. Gonat - Jun 26, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    Luckily the Nats didn't take Marlon Byrd as some suggested. He was suspended for using a masking drug to hide PEDs. Suspended 50 games.

  45. NatsLady - Jun 26, 2012 at 1:15 PM

    Seriously, if Harper is adjusting his game and not taking walks because he is worried that RZ will GIDP behind him, then he needs the "you-can-only-control-what-you-can-control" talk from McCatty. You know, the one he give the pitchers.I don't actually think that's the case, however. Between the league adjusting to him, the travel, and an aching back, Harper is in a little slump.Look, LaRoche, Morse and Desi are not going to change their hitting approach. RZ we already discussed, and he probably should adjust because we are talking the rest of the season. Espi is already tinkering endlessly with his approach, with some marginal improvement.Who's left that's going to benefit from this new and improved approach, Lombardozzi?"Approach" only gets you so far. With the Rockies four-man rotation 75-pitch limit, the "tiring out the starter" is not the way to go. The starter is coming out after 4 or 5 innings, and is very motivated to not nibble/walk guys so he can go 5 and qualify for the win. The Rockies pitchers walk rate has plummeted since they started this experiment.After they get out of the hot tubs the guys need to get energized and hit some outta that park. Go Gio, Go Nats.

  46. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 26, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    Yes, Gonat, he isn't getting many pitches near the zone, and should be working his counts into hitters counts. Too many 1-2 counts won't help. Although, to be fair, quite a few of those pitches nowhere near the plate are still getting called strikes when he takes them. So there's that.

  47. jcj5y - Jun 26, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    I don't think the 3-2 curve to Gonzalez was a mistake pitch. It wasn't perfect, maybe, but it had to be a strike. Gonzalez was fooled, but he's a good hitter and he grounded it into the hole.If we're going to complain about a pitch, how about the 0-2 curve to Helton, which he managed to lift into relatively deep center. It wasn't terrible, and Helton (a smart hitter) appeared to be sitting on it. But he needed a strikeout there. That pitch should have been unhittable.Bottom line, no pitcher can shut out the other team every start. Nats need to pile up some runs the rest of this series. I think they will.

  48. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 26, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    Soul, yes, that is true that the umps aren't helping. NatsLady, that is the mantra Bryce has to follow. I want to see Desi in leadoff, Harp then TyMo in the #3 followed by LaRoche and Morse.Shake it up.

  49. NatsLady - Jun 26, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    You can fire Eckstein all you want. It's nothing but scapegoating. You fired Manny Acta, how'd that work out? All that happened is Cleveland got a good manager and we got…OK, we got Davey :).

  50. Laddie Blah Blah - Jun 26, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    Jane B, I grew up a Dodger fan and my Dad and I looked forward to the highlight of every summer, going to Ebbets Field to see Campy and Reese, Hodges and Snider, Robinson and Furillo – "The Boys of Summer." He passed away a long time ago, and he probably died wishing he could have had 10 minutes alone in a room with Walter O'Malley. Lucky he never did, because my Dad probably would have killed him!I know how you feel. All my best to you and your Dad. The memories will never die.

  51. Gonat - Jun 26, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… Another observation, Harper's throws from the outfield don't have the zip they did before. I think his back is hurting and he needs a day off or 2.June 26, 2012 9:12 AM _______________________________Good point. The Rockies tagged from 1st to 2nd on him. Earlier in the season he was throwing lasers and nobody would have tried that.

  52. NatsLady - Jun 26, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    JaneB, my Pop died years ago and I think of him every day. It will take a while, but the sadness will pass and the happy memories will remain.

  53. mick - Jun 26, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    I hear what Mark is saying Strass, but I thought he handled a tough situation well in the 6th, yes the Umpired sucked and yes when you hit a batter in the head it shakes you up mentally. However, after all that it is only a 3–2 game verse the WORSE pitching staff in baseball with 9 more outs to get at least a run. Instead, Davey is right except EVERY pitcher, no matter how awful that faces our lineup is Sandy Koufax

  54. rogieshan - Jun 26, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    Boys need to take a cold shower, not chillax in the hot tub, and bring the natitude to the altitude.

  55. MicheleS - Jun 26, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    1A.. Coke and bon bons are on me.NatsLady, ditto.Being the Voice of reason and I am too tired to argue, especially since I got told to "Bite Me" yesterday.Ghost.. they were reporting that Harper is still receiving treatment on his back.

  56. NatsLady - Jun 26, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    Speaking of umps, HOW DOES THIS GUY KEEP HIS JOB??? I hate it when I know the umpire's name. Angel Hernandez, Tim Timmons, and y'know, Balkin' Bob Davidson.bob-davidson-screws-up-a-double-switch-costs-the-cardinals-a-hitterhttp://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/06/26/bob-davidson-screws-up-a-double-switch-costs-the-cardinals-a-hitter/

  57. Laddie Blah Blah - Jun 26, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    We should not even be talking about the missed call and the Rockies' 2-run rally, which got them to 3 runs against our best guy. Who would not be a little rattled after blasting a guy in the head with a 96 mph FB? And then the ump decides the middle of the plate is not in the strike zone.Last night's loss clearly belongs to the offense, again. To get 2 runs against the worst staff in the majors, in one of the friendliest hitter's parks in existence, is incomprehensible. Everyone except for Tyler Moore seems to have come down with Ankiel-Espinoza syndrome – swing for the fences on the first pitch you see, get behind in the count, and make yourself an easy out. I swear, I could get those guys out pitching under-handed from behind the mound, with my right-hand tied behind my back. I would not be able to get within 2 feet of the plate, but who cares? They'd swing, anyway.Kudos to Moore for showing the rest of them how it should be done, and to JFlo and SS for doing it.Babe Ruth was the best pitcher in baseball in his time, and still has the second best winning percentage, of all time, for pitchers with at least 50 decisions. And he held the record for most consecutive scoreless innings in the WS for decades until Whitey Ford broke it in 1960.Strassburg is starting to look like the 2nd coming of the original "Natural." The guy is the most consistent hitter on the club, and not just for singles, and may be the best pitcher in the game, as well. Really, Davey needs to use him as a PH. He certainly would not have done worse than Lombo last night, and SS is a legitimate power threat who could have tied the game had he been given the chance. He would have got it, if it had been my call.

  58. JD - Jun 26, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    I heard Sandy Alderson discussing the Mets hitting philosophy last week and it was clear that plate discipline is an organizational priority throughout the system. This is worth noting because their team has 1 David Wright and a basket full of Rotinos, Valdespins and Newenhouses none of whom would crack the Nats lineup but they routinely produce better offense than the Nats. From top to bottom the Nats lineup treats walks like the plague, no one works the count,everyone just goes up hacking and the results are not good. Everyone dismisses OBP but if you don't get on base you don't score runs.

  59. SCNatsFan - Jun 26, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    JaneB, didn't see where you posted about your loss but sorry for you. Lost my Mom and Dad in the last 2 years, it gets easier but doesn't go away. Thoughts are with you.RE: Marlon Byrd I remember seeing on Real Sports that he was training with Victor Conti, yes the Victor Conti of BALCO fame. Some people never learn.

  60. sm13 - Jun 26, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    When your offense is struggling, having a reliever come in and give up a quick run is no help. Gorzo seems to be having increasing trouble putting up zeroes in his relief appearances. That's not what this team needs right now.

  61. NatsLady - Jun 26, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    He certainly would not have done worse than Lombo last night, and SS is a legitimate power threat who could have tied the game had he been given the chance. He would have got it, if it had been my call.Someone (you?) suggested that last night, let Stras hit for himself and then let Lombo pinch-run. I would have done it, too, but I think Stras did enough getting out of the inning and might have been mentally exhausted. I suggested that Davey ignore the DH rule and let JZ hit for himself because it's got to be a helpless feeling when you are a good hitter and can't help your own cause. I was told it's "not his job." I really hate the DH.

  62. JaneB - Jun 26, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    I would write you individually if I knew how, but I don't: Thanks for the kind words about my Dad. One of the best parts of baseball is the way it passes from generation to generation, don't you think?

  63. snopes1 - Jun 26, 2012 at 2:07 PM

    Major Jammage did a real service in posting the Nats' OPS's over the last 30 games. It's a nice reality check.Harper's OPS over that period is .834, not All-Star caliber but perfectly respectable. So why are there so many comments about Harper's "slump"? Sample sizes matter. If you draw conclusions from any player's last 5-10 games, you'll end up chasing the wind.

  64. baseballswami - Jun 26, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    I know some of us get annoyed with the "armchair GM" stuff. But I think most of us have watched millions of hours of baseball and are pretty knowledgeable. I don't think there is any question that the aggressive approach is killing us. The coaching staff in general likes to stick with things and people at length. Watching the Yankees should have brought home a point – they work the count, foul off, foul, off and make themselves a tough out. Our guys are easy outs. One pitch, 2 pitches, 3 swings at pitches out of the zone. Only Moore seems to have professional at bats. I guess he hasn't been here long enough to have been ruined. Lombo used to do that, Harper is now going away from it, too. Sounds to me like it's organizational not just Eck. It also sounds like he is good one on one with mechanics and scouting reports. Not so much with a plan and approach when they go up to bat. It's pretty obvious.Do you have to hit bottom before you start climbing back up? Was last night the bottom?

  65. NatsLady - Jun 26, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    Agree, Gorzo is not helping the cause with his 1 run per appearance act, and if we had gotten a run in the ninth inning, he would be taking some heat. Right now, he is just a footnote.

  66. NatsNut - Jun 26, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    Folks, it's not the offense making us lose. It's me. I think I talked a little too much about October recently. I'm really sorry.

  67. JB - Jun 26, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    I was discouraged by Angel Hernandez's strike zone. Inner half of the plate was a ball, but he was calling strikes well over the outside into the opposite batter's box.

  68. Feel Wood - Jun 26, 2012 at 2:24 PM

    Gonat said… Luckily the Nats didn't take Marlon Byrd as some suggested. He was suspended for using a masking drug to hide PEDs. Suspended 50 games.He must have gotten the placebo, like Nook Logan did.

  69. NatsLady - Jun 26, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    It also sounds like he [Eckstein] is good one on one with mechanics and scouting reports. Not so much with a plan and approach when they go up to bat.I'm not sure that's his job. The vets shouldn't need an adviser to give them a plan and an approach in a game situation, and I'm thinking if the rookies do then it might be the bench coach's job to provide it (or the veterans').

  70. NatsLady - Jun 26, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    Feel Wood with the zinger! After post-of-the day yesterday on Nady's "injury." On fire!

  71. lls45 - Jun 26, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    NatsLady, it never is good to know the name of an umpire. No name terrifies me more than Joe West.Completely agree with sm13 about Gorzo. Our relievers have to be able to come in and us out of the inning without adding to the amount of runs that we will need to (but inevitably not be able to) score. I don't think Gorzo's appearance last night was as bad as the appearances where he has blown the lead or given up a key homerun, but it's still a pattern he needs to break if he has a prayer of remaining on this team.

  72. phil dunton - Jun 26, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    Since the beginning of time, whenever a team has problems with their offense for an extended period, the hitting coach is the first to go. For the Nats, offense has been a problem for 3 years, yet Rizzo and now Johnson still protect Eckstein. Supposedly, the hitters are tuning him out. There is an old saying that, if the students fail to learn, the teacher has failed to teach. Why would the hitters listen to him anyway, he never played professional baseball.

  73. sm13 - Jun 26, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    I was glad to see that the dynamic umpiring duo of Angel Hernandez and Country Joe was broken up by mlb, but how the heck could they promote Hernandez to crew chief?

  74. baseballswami - Jun 26, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    I was listening to the mlb guys yesterday talking about Joey Bats. Apparently Toronto has a hitting coach that was a great major league hitter and he has turned many guys into good hitters. Bautista was a pretty bad hitter until he got there. I think we are starting to figure out that there are many facets to this job – individual mechanics, scouting, approach, batting eye, etc. I remember a hitting coach that just played cards with the guys and said "good job". The hitting approach or lack or one does seem to be organizational at this point. How many times do you have to bang your head against a wall before you stop doing it? NatsLady is right , though – a veteran should know better.

  75. Laddie Blah Blah - Jun 26, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    Natslady"Someone (you?) suggested that last night, let Stras hit for himself and then let Lombo pinch-run."That was not I. I was too disgusted to post last night, but why not let your best hitter hit? It was not Babe Ruth's job, either, until it was. When one of the bench players starts putting up better numbers than SS, go with that guy, if that should ever happen. Davey had Lombo, Bernie, DeRosa, Ankiel and Solano. I would go with SS every time, given those choices.

  76. Laddie Blah Blah - Jun 26, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    Jane B"One of the best parts of baseball is the way it passes from generation to generation, don't you think?"I do. One of the few things I disliked about this area was the lack of a BB team. I did not get to take my son to a game until he was all grown-up. He was not a BB fan, at all, until he got to see his first game in Nats' Park. He was hooked in the first 10 minutes.He is, of course, a big fan of the Cyborg. Reminds him of the Terminator.

  77. JamesFan - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    I can take last night's loss. Stras can't win them all. Psychologically down after a tough run, etc. However, we can't come out of Colorado with worse than a split going into Atlanta.What worries me is that the pitching approach to Zim, Morse and Harper is always the same and it works. I'm not believing that the shot is going to cure Zim. We'll see. It is hard to believe that Harper can't adjust to slow breaking balls down and away or that he can't stop swinging at balls off the plate.I see other teams being very careful with Moore who has the potential to break every game open. MM right now does not. I still have confidence that Lombo will be around a .300 hitter in the majors and that will put him in somebody's everyday line up. I will be surprised if Danny ends the season higher than .250 and less than 150 strikeouts.

  78. Feel Wood - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    Rizzo and now Johnson still protect Eckstein. Supposedly, the hitters are tuning him out.Who is supposing this, other than you?Why would the hitters listen to him anyway, he never played professional baseball.Charlie Lau, generally regarded as the best hitting coach ever, only managed to put up a .255/.318/.365 slash line in 1311 plate appearances spread over 11 seasons as a big leaguer. Why did anyone listen to him anyway?

  79. Feel Wood - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    how the heck could they promote Hernandez to crew chief? It's called the Peter Principle.

  80. NatsLady - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    How can some people here claim that Eck is ruining hitters' approach and others claim the hitters are tuning him out? LOLEck gave an interview not that long ago (fangraphs, I believe). He views his job as monitoring and improving the hitters swing/stance/motion on an individual basis, and he gave examples. Not once during the interview did he mention in-game tactics. My suspicion is that they hold pre-game (or pre-series) meetings where Eck gives his scouting reports and recommendations. If advice is needed during the game, it probably comes from the vets or the bench coach. Really, too much whispering in a rookie's ear is probably more distracting than helpful.Desi gave the best advice, watch from the on-deck circle how the pitcher throws to the guy before you.

  81. rogieshan - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    When you have two rookies back-to-back at the top of the order (Lombardozzi & Harper), your 3-5 guys who are all slow healers and always hurt(Zimmerman, LaRoche & Morse), followed by two hyperactive, free swingers (Desmond & Espinosa) and a catcher who has never played full-time before(Flores), should we really be surprised with the results of their collective effort?I'm just really curious as to what Rizzo and Davey are thinking right now and have up their sleeves. Do they stay the course and hope the bats will eventually come around? Make a not-so-subtle statement to the players by firing Eckstein? Pull off a trade to bring in an impact player? Why are they sitting on their hands? Is the threshold higher simply because the team is in first place? The most frustrating thing for me is that we have perhaps the best pitching staff in baseball and, arguably, the worst hitting team.

  82. NatsFanJim - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    Dave was right when he said this team needs a better 'approach." It's horriblr. Seldom have I ever seen an entire flail at pitches the way this one does — top to bottom. I don't know if it Eck's fault, but nevertheless, it is his job to get into the hitter's heads and make ajustments. We have to assume that is not happening. Still, these are big boys who work on their hitting and watch tape all day. How much responsible to they shoulder for their own hitting problems? Much, I would think. Davey needs to step in here and override Eck. Davey was telegraphing that very thought last night. I am guessing that Davey has left Eck alone to his own devices … until now. I am confident that Davey will get the hitting approach solved given some time – with or without the full cooperation of Eck (who I personally think is very sub-par hitting instructor).Demoted to DH did a number on Morse's head. Recall last year that he hit squat until he was handed 1B for the season – then he hit immediately. I think he just doesnt feel 'into it' as an outfielder, and worse, goes into a mental slump when made the DH for every interleage game. Still, he 'aint' playing first base for this team anytime soon, so he better get his mind right and figure out how to get his stroke back.Shame on Zimmerman for not telling anyone about his shoulder. How much did his selfishness cost this team?LaRoche is all that you see. He is hitting to his fullest potential. That's it and there aint no more for LaRoche.Espinosa is improving, but remains a low i.q. hitter. This might be all he can be too.Harper looks like a boy at the plate, swinging wildly at balls in the dirt. He's impatient and both of his feet move on his swing as he's pulling out — just awful.Lombo needs to learn to hit like Matty Alou of old: line drives to the outfield that drop softly in front of the fielder: Manny hit in the .330's with this approach. Soft flyballs to the track are not his answer.Flores is fine and will get better.Our pitchers are hitting because they have an approach and are just smarter than the rather dumb jocks that litter this poor hitting lineup. Another might say that our pitchers are hitting because they DON'T work with Eck. But I won't go that far. Davey is alarmed at the hitting and should be. It is so bad that one can easily see our pitchers getting overworked and overtaxed and having the only reason we're on top (pitching) go south on us by July and August. Davey can see what we all can see: a swoon so serious for the Nats that a finish 4-5 games above .500 would not be impossible.

  83. alexva - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    rogieshan – my guess is that they are not surprised, to a point. they decided to build around pitching and defense. I think they expected better offense but recognized the lineup had flaws. I also think they are pleasantly surprised that the pitching is great, not just good-very good. Injuries have derailed some plans, slumps have created problems. being where they are they have to do what they can to go for it but IMO 2013 and beyond is still when this team will really get rolling.

  84. NatsLady - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    Pull off a trade to bring in an impact player? Why are they sitting on their hands? Is the threshold higher simply because the team is in first place?Yes, I think so, especially when you didn't expect that 2012 was our year, and it still may not be. Why rush to trade off 2013-15? Rizzo probably does have a trade candidate or two in mind, but it's more than a month until the trade deadline, and maybe he's waiting until some marginal–"we are not out of the second wildcard race yet"–teams decide to sell. Last year's frenzied September doesn't help the cause of rational thinking, either.He's not going to go for much except a mid-level bat and a starting pitcher to help out in August-September, and I wouldn't either, in his shoes. This is not the moment to panic, it's the moment to look around for a team that is panicking and take advantage.

  85. NatsFanJim - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    And who do the Nats bring up to replace a very washed up X. Nady? the very washed up 3/37 Derosa.Things are not improving.

  86. NatsLady - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    alexva, as you see, we had the same thought. If you think back to how bad the pitching and defense was in previous years, you have to be happy. Once Fielder was out of the picture, there were no big impact bats to be had for only $$, and the prospects were spent–wisely–on Gio. There is only so much you can fix in any given year. Harper has turned out to be better than everyone (except me and Davey) expected in his first season. But all along the plan was for 2013 and following, and it may still be, despite fans' excitement at a six-game winning streak in June.

  87. NatsFanJim - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    Pull off a trade for an impact player? Sounds good. So who do we have to trade that everyone wants so badly? Only our pitchers — and of course, that would be like trading filet mignon in order get a hot potato?We already trade four tip-top prospects to get Gio — Milone is throwing shutouts and Norris hit a mammoth, ninth inning homerun just the other night.Are we going to trade away 4 more prospects and gut our system? I think not.Nope, ladies and gentleman, a trade for an impact players is just not going to happen anytime soon.

  88. natsfan1a - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    Thanks, MicheleS, and the imperative that was directed at you is an example of why I don't tend to take part in game threads.MicheleS said…1A.. Coke and bon bons are on me.NatsLady, ditto.Being the Voice of reason and I am too tired to argue, especially since I got told to "Bite Me" yesterday.NatsNut, okay, I'll cop to that, too (not that we seriously have an effect on the outcome of games but… :-)).NatsNut said… Folks, it's not the offense making us lose. It's me. I think I talked a little too much about October recently. I'm really sorry. June 26, 2012 10:11 AM

  89. peric - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    Meanwhile, in Syracuse the Chiefs uncorked another offensive display, a 15 hit attack led by Mark Teahen, Chris Marrero, etc. They continue to roll offensively with just enough good pitching to get by. They even used Zach Duke, a pitcher, as a pinch hitter. He too got a hit.There's something wrong with your AAA affiliate is raking and your major league club is pathetic offensively. Injured guys (Zimmerman, et al) need to go on the DL not tough it out. Yes, the team is finally winning and you want to be there but how are you going to feel when they drop below .500 eventually because you can't perform Zim?We've seen the results of "toughing it out" it leads eventually to complete collapse over time not improved performance? Not when you have "rakers" in your AAA affiliate?Now, even Harper, the only reliable bat in the lineup is injured. I wonder if these guys can last an entire 162 game season? Right now it doesn't look like it.

  90. NatsFanJim - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    Not that far to Nirvanna, really.Lombo learns to place his singlesEspi bats right handed permanentlyZim regains his formMorse regains his formThat would do it: October here we come. But, easier said that done.

  91. peric - Jun 26, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    Being the Voice of reason and I am too tired to argue, especially since I got told to "Bite Me" yesterday.Directed to NatsNut. Well deserved I think. I think its the height of rudeness to tell someone "who cares watch the game" and then gets congratulated and offered a beer. Completely well deserved and appropriate Michele, and NatsNut.

  92. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 26, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    NatsJack, I think you and I were defending Rick Eckstein for many years. Always the question is it the student or the teacher. I knew that Zim supported Eckstein in the past and many of the players do which is why Eckstein stayed and Davey has almost been the de facto 2nd hitting coach.Each hitting coach has a philosophy and the successful hitting coaches are the ones where their players carry out the philosoply into results. I have for years praised Kevin Long of the Yankees and Mark McGwire of the Cardinals.The words "plan", "patience", "confidence", "encouragement", are words that I would use for their combined approach. Then you have technique where they talk about removing extraneous movement and get quicker to the ball and make contact.You can talk Charlie Lau or Charlie Hustle and its the end result that matters. 3.73 runs per game and 2.50 runs per game over the last 10 games won't cut it. It has cost the Nats 3 wins in the last 10 games. Don't blame the pitchers, don't blame the bullpen, blame the offense.

  93. NatsLady - Jun 26, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    The problem with RZ going on the DL is he tried it before and it didn't work. That's what he said, he went on the DL for the 15-days and it wasn't enough. He either plays hurt or he gets the surgery mid-season and misses 60 games and comes back in late August without his tempo. I'm sorry, but I don't want to play 60 games without RZ, even if he's only at 80% (or 50%). If he can hit even .230, take walks and keep the D, fine.

  94. SonnyG10 - Jun 26, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    JaneB, I'm so sorry for your loss.

  95. peric - Jun 26, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    So you have three guys playing hurt, two rookies and a sophomore struggling, and Morse not producing.And in AAA Syracuse they're raking. Nightly. Moore appears to have improved from his recent visit there. Perhaps the denigrators of Rick Eckstein have it right … maybe they should promote the Chief's hitting coach. Because the offense is what boosted them from deep in the cellar to winning streaks and over .500 ball.

  96. NatsLady - Jun 26, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    Ghost, we are blaming the offense–even me, who is as hard on the pitchers as can be. Everyone knows what the problem is, we just don't know what the solution is…*Big trade – no, I don't think so.*Fire Eckstein – for what purpose? If the hitters haven't gotten the message by losing games, then they are deaf. Even if a new hitting coach came in, he's not going to work miracles.*Fuss with the lineup – OK, but that will have minimal impact*Bring up random guys from Syracuse – Rizzo is bringing them up as fast as he can find roster spots for them. *Wait it out – that's all we on the sidelines can do.If we take 2/3 from the Rox and 2/3 from the Barfs everyone will be talking WS again… Such is life on Nats Insider.

  97. David - Jun 26, 2012 at 4:11 PM

    Corey Brown is not a savior… but we need a spark. BADLY. Davey is pulling a Riggleman by sticking with these struggling vets, ahem Nady, for too long. I think this franchsie would be much better served to have Brown take those at bats instead. He has fine splits against RHP and LHP. We need a shot in the arm. The vets aren't getting it down. Let's play someone who's hungry…

  98. peric - Jun 26, 2012 at 4:11 PM

    The problem with RZ going on the DL is he tried it before and it didn't work. That's what he said, he went on the DL for the 15-days and it wasn't enough.It worked great last year. In spite of the shortened year Zim ended up as the best hitter after Michael Morse. They need to get him the surgery, whatever he needs to get his bat back as quickly as possible. They need to do it now.

  99. David - Jun 26, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    16 HR's and .958 OPS at AAA over 250 at bats. Yet we continue to trot out DeNady…

  100. peric - Jun 26, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    Corey Brown is not a savior… but we need a spark. BADLY. Honestly, at this point I think I would replace Mark DeRosa with Mark Teahen. He leads the Chiefs in RBI and doubles. So, **** Brown isn't the only one! *** Marerro is hitting. Moore was hitting and is hitting. He should be starting at first base and LaRoche placed on the DL for an extended period. Both LaRoche and Zim do not "gut it out" well. Solano came from AAA Syracuse. How's his hitting? There is this concept of team chemistry and interrupting it … but right now they are expecting WERTH not Brown to be the savior. And Werth is anything but. They need to play Moore MORE. Get Brown up and in the lineup. Rest Harper MORE or put him and his back on the DL. Zim needs to get on the DL. LaRoche needs to go on the DL or be rested a lot more. As for Morse, you're just going to have to be patient. It took him a while last season before he got on track. As long as he's healthy eventually he will get on track. But that's still just one bat.

  101. peric - Jun 26, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    If we take 2/3 from the Rox and 2/3 from the Barfs everyone will be talking WS again… Such is life on Nats Insider.Atlanta is the key series. And NO Natslady there may not be any solution that can make this lineup a major league average one offensively. Not with so many young players. But continuing to play injured veterans who just can't do it when they are hurt makes absolutely no sense. Bringing back Mark DeRosa makes absolutely no sense when, again, you have guys in AAA raking! And they are improving as the year goes on and the Nats offense is getting decidedly worse now that Harper is injured. It may make sense to replace Eckstein with the Chief's hitting coach given the fact that every year Eckstein has coached the offense they have been far below the major league average? Perhaps it is time for a change.

  102. Feel Wood - Jun 26, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    peric said… So you have three guys playing hurt, two rookies and a sophomore struggling, and Morse not producing.And in AAA Syracuse they're raking. Nightly.Yes, and as we all know if you can perform in AAA you can perform in the show. That's why they don't have the World Series winner every year play the top AAA club after the season for bragging rights. The World Series winners are chicken. And the AAA Hall of Fame hasn't been built because there's not enough vacant land in Cooperstown to hold a building with plaques for all those players.

  103. JamesFan - Jun 26, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    Jesus Flores, by the way, is a hero for this team. No drama, no flash, just steady catching behind the plate and decent hitting. I expect his hitting to improve. Can you imagine the pressure on this guy to be a one-man band behind the plate with the best pitching in baseball. Goes out there every night and does his job.

  104. JamesFan - Jun 26, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    I don't care about Eck. Frankly, you don't need to be told what they are doing to you if you are any of the slumpling guys. Findaing an adjustment should be a matter of talking to Eck and asking a few other guys.I do not want the Nats to trade away the farm to go after a hope to fix the offense. That would likely result in another guy who gets hurt or slumps. I want to see them give our own guys a chance. Play Moore in left and hit him in the three hole. Bring up Brown. Before we go ater an unknown, let's use what we have.

  105. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 26, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    NatsLady, I'm not in panic time. I'm not firing Eckstein yet because I think he is playing with wounded guys. Best thing he can do is pump them up and encourage them.Morse carried this team on his back last year, I'm hopeful he will do it again.If I did one thing, I would switch Tyler Moore and Zim in the batting order. Bryce Harper needs that confidence boost.Start with small things. I would also move Desi to leadoff instead of Lombo.

  106. NatsLady - Jun 26, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    This website that predicts final results seems to think the Nats are getting 5.5 runs tonight… OK, I'll take the under on that. Can we just have the 5? :)nationals-rockies-2012-06-26http://www.teamrankings.com/mlb/matchup/nationals-rockies-2012-06-26

  107. peric - Jun 26, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    Yes, and as we all know if you can perform in AAA you can perform in the show. That's why they don't have the World Series winner every year play the top AAA club after the season for bragging rights.And if you hit .081 in the majors and then .091 in Potomac which is A+ ball? What are you doing on a major league club.Gee FeelWood most of the lineup had its roots in AAA Syracuse including Harper. Espinosa, Desmond, Lombardozzi, Tyler Moore. They are are still learning … unlike the veterans they improve and get better because they are young. Morse brought his big stick from Syracuse.Is AAA the same as the show. No. but only a someone who has no concept of baseball would make a completely silly and honestly imbecilic comment like yours. But then I suppose one should expect as much from you … Youth is where its at. Its been proven time and again. But, you have to try them to find out if they can do the job. We saw the best example of it with the Tampa Bay Rays.

  108. peric - Jun 26, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    Start with small things. I would also move Desi to leadoff instead of Lombo.Or bring up Brown. Start him in center and at lead off. Davey did tell him that if he did the things he knew he was capable of doing they wouldn't need a Bourn or any other CF? Well, he's been doing it.

  109. NatsLady - Jun 26, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    JamesFan, 100% agree on Flores. So much talk of trading him (for an "impact" bat?). Very glad now that didn't materialize even if we could really use the bat right about now.I don't have as much faith in Morse as some do, but would be delighted to be wrong. It's taking him longer than it should to get back to form. That could be a combination of (a) he didn't like DH'ing; (b) he's still not completely healed; and (c) last year he overachieved.Desi could be the one, when we look back, who "carries the team." He's capable of it. I know, I know, shortstop is not a power position…

  110. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 26, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    Peric, I would agree the DeRosa call-up after the short and unproductive rehab in A ball is a head scratcher.I thought it had to do with another possible DL or demotion so we will have to see how it plays out.Again, Corey Brown doesn't have a Major League hit. If he was inserted into the lineup, we don't know how he will do.Michael Morse is going to be a key to this team in the short run. He isn't seeing the ball well. When he starts seeing it well, he can carry this team.

  111. baseballswami - Jun 26, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    I don't think I am ready to panic yet, either. It seems that when we struggle, the rest of the nl east struggles, too. In May, the Marlins were unbeatable, now they are awful. This Nats team is basically the same team that swept Boston and Toronto back to back. Hitting is very streaky and when you start with a low offense to begin with, a slump takes it down to nothing. We still don't need 8 runs a game to win ,so if we generate any more offense at all we will win more than we lose. It's just frustrating to watch. I would imagine the hitters are frustrated, too. They don't often take it to their defense, which is great. Just once I would love to hear Davey Johnson say that maybe HE needs to change his philosophy or HE needs to communicate a better approach or HE needs to change the line up. Ultimately the line up, the game plan and motivation come from him. What will he do as the manager to help things turn around? For the most part these are talented major leaguers who have wanted to do this for most of their lives. Failing in public is not fun for them. If you have ever been on a bad run in your life then you know that it's not as easy as it looks to turn things around. One good game with a few lucky calls or bounces and it could get contagious.

  112. baseballswami - Jun 26, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    Oh – and I completely disagree with automatically pinch hitting for the pitcher or automatically bunting the pitcher. Strassie and JZim are both as good with the bat as anyone in the line up. Think outside the box, please.

  113. Ron In Reston - Jun 26, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    NatsLady said… Speaking of umps, HOW DOES THIS GUY KEEP HIS JOB??? I hate it when I know the umpire's name. Angel Hernandez, Tim Timmons, and y'know, Balkin' Bob Davidson.How did you manage to leave Lazhole Diaz and Joe "@$%#&%^$^%^%$&%^$" West off of your list? those two, along with Hernandez are the worst three by far. Timmons has hurt us recently but is not always that bad and Davidson is just completely incompetent.

  114. Ron In Reston - Jun 26, 2012 at 5:02 PM

    And JaneB, my condolences as well.

  115. David - Jun 26, 2012 at 5:04 PM

    Im not panicking… the odds are actually in favor of Corey Brown hitting over .157 in the majors. So why Nady keeps getting AB's confounds me.

  116. JD - Jun 26, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    Peric, Teahen is 30 years old, has been around the majors since 2005 and has only been above replacement level in 2 of these years. How does he fall into your serve the youth approach? Brown should be up and leading off; I said so on many occasions. Marrero = meh. Desmond = .291 OBP; only acceptable because of unexpected (and maybe unsustainable power numbers). Espinosa has regressed. Zim is now exactly at replacement level; if he needs surgery let's do it now and come back healthy whenever.

  117. Feel Wood - Jun 26, 2012 at 5:11 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… Peric, I would agree the DeRosa call-up after the short and unproductive rehab in A ball is a head scratcher.I thought it had to do with another possible DL or demotion so we will have to see how it plays out.They can't cut a player while he is on the DL. Or while he is on a rehab assignment. Not sure if they can reactivate a player from the DL and immediately cut him, but if it's allowed and a GM ever did it, it would be the ultimate of dick moves. So for players who have been put on the DL for real or made-up reasons, the only real option a GM has is to bring them back, play them for a while to see what he's got, and then fish or cut bait on them. This is what you will see happen this year with DeRosa, Tracy, Nady, HRod, Wang, Lidge, and probably others. Lidge was already brought back and ended up cut, Wang is on thin ice, and maybe HRod will be too after he gets back. Tracy will probably stick when he gets back, but DeRosa may not. If he's got anything left, he will have to show it now or he'll be gone. Likewise with Nady. This is what happens when veteran guys make the team out of spring training or later. If they perform, it's great to have them. But if/when they falter, it takes a kabuki dance to get rid of them.

  118. JD - Jun 26, 2012 at 5:11 PM

    SteveM said: 'Again, Corey Brown doesn't have a Major League hit. If he was inserted into the lineup, we don't know how he will do'. You may be right but let's find out. I want whoever is behind the Mets offense. They put in Newenheis and he hits, they bring up Rotino, Valdespin and they all look the same; tough disciplined at bats. It can't be a coincidence.

  119. SonnyG10 - Jun 26, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    Back in the '80s I used to fly to Denver quite often for my job and every time I landed in Denver I would struggle to get oxygen. The Nats had a late tiring flight into Denver and I bet that caused some of their troubles. I am hopeful that they have now adjusted to the altitude and we'll play well enough to win the next three against the Rockies.

  120. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 26, 2012 at 5:20 PM

    JD, I was stating the fact on Corey Brown which is true that he doesn't have a MLB hit, its not an indictment of his future as he has only a few at-bats this year. Some people are doing what they did with Lombo that he was the "answer" and now he is just another question.It doesn't mean I wouldn't personally bring him up especially if you want to give LaRoche time off as Beast or TyMo can play 1st, but only do it if you are committed to playing Corey Brown.It just so happens that the 2 best hitters over the last month is Harp and TyMo and the Beast should start to hit so you don't want to start sitting guys who are hitting for a "maybe".Right now my Outfield is TyMo, Harp, Beast, but I wouldn't be opposed to Brown, Harp, Beast and move TyMo to play some 1st base.

  121. mick - Jun 26, 2012 at 5:27 PM

    I think Davey and Rizzo will make serious decisions based on how the next 3 games of this series with Col goes. As fans, we should also see how these 3 games play out. If we are not scoring more than 3 or 4 runs per game against this awful team, then the Nats are in serious trouble now and in the future. It means that Rizzo will have to bring guys up and essentially admit that the teams 3,4 and 5 hitters are failures to compete at a playoff levelHere is the good news gang.. as long as you have a pitching staff like the Nats you always will compete as it will be always be easier to fix the offensive. it took Nats 7 seasons to build this staff, it may take another 1-2 for the offense.Remember what Charlie Manuel said last year, he felt the Nats were going to roll by 2014 season maybe 2013. He is CORRECT. our offense is a joke and will remain a joke in 2012.Our sorry no-account hitters will make us an 82-83 win team. I think Harper, Werth, Moore, Desmond, Ramos, Lombo and 2-3 minor prospects are the futre of this team's offense long term. Morse is a one year wonder and is just terrible, Zim is over rated and LaRoche is too inconsistent. Flores is a great back up and in fact the Nats I think have two very good hitters in Ramos and Solodano. Espi is mark Belanger, great fielder but couldn't hit himslef out of a paper bag.

  122. David - Jun 26, 2012 at 5:28 PM

    Can TyMo play 3rd base? I forget… can he give Zim some breathers. Keep ALR at 1st cept when he needs a breather. Bring up Brown and have an outfield of Brown, Harper, Morse.

  123. mick - Jun 26, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    You Zim amd Morse fans can blast me all you want, I think the facts speak for themselves

  124. mick - Jun 26, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    1. Stephen Strasburg came undone during what proved to be the decisive bottom of the sixth inning.I love and agree with Mark 99% of the time, on this, I take exception. Strass only gave up 2 runs given the circumstances and perhaps his mind set is different because he knows he has ZERO offense. My goodness, Nats should be scoring at least 5 runs a game verse this pitching staff. The decisive moments was our top of 7 when Zim, Morse and LaRoche STUNK IT UP!!!!

  125. peric - Jun 26, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    Hate to disagree but I don't see Lombo as anything other than a UTL guy. The Nats offense long-term depends on: Bryce Harper, Brian Goodwin, Anthony Rendon, a healthy Ryan Zimmerman at first base, Jesus Flores, Danny Espinosa, a rapidly aging Jayson Werth, and Ian Desmond. Ghost of Steve M says it best; then there are the potential sleepers: the questions: Tyler Moore, Corey Brown, Erik Komatsu, Chris Marrero, Destin Hood, Jeff Kobernus, Jeff Hague, Matt Skole, Michael Taylor, and David Freitas, and Wilson Ramos.

  126. peric - Jun 26, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    Lombo, Morse, and LaRoche will likely all be gone … (and I am a Morse fan and always have been) and certainly Solano looks like an excellent find for backup catcher!

  127. NatsNut - Jun 26, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    Thanks Jamesfan, very well said. That guy is so steady and quiet, doing his thing without a lot of fanfare. I LOVE him for just these reasons. That, and he's just so EARNEST. JamesFan said… Jesus Flores, by the way, is a hero for this team. No drama, no flash, just steady catching behind the plate and decent hitting. I expect his hitting to improve. Can you imagine the pressure on this guy to be a one-man band behind the plate with the best pitching in baseball. Goes out there every night and does his job.

  128. peric - Jun 26, 2012 at 6:10 PM

    Nevertheless Jesus Flores is still a question. Given his injury history. Given that its surprising that Davey doesn't play the high-energy mini-Pudge Jhonatan Solano more. Solano is a favorite of the system and especially of former catcher Randy Knorr.

  129. NatsLady - Jun 26, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    GM's DFA guys coming off the DL all the time. You don't hear about it much because they are (obviously) marginal players.

  130. jeffwx - Jun 26, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    From MASNIf the team wants to make a change, the most obvious move would be to attempt to move LaRoche along with some prospects for an everyday outfielder. This way Morse can be moved to first base, a more natural position, and the Nats can improve hopefully both their defense and their offense in one move.

  131. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 26, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    hmmmm…..could Jeff Hague really be Rick Hague at Potomac? He of the robust .211 batting average?

  132. NatsLady - Jun 26, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    Adam Kilgore ‏@AdamKilgoreWPBryce Harper now just 1 PA away from qualifying. Even after a 10-day mini-slump (.184/.262/.237), he'd still rank 20th in NL with a 129 OPS+

  133. Feel Wood - Jun 26, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    NatsLady said… GM's DFA guys coming off the DL all the time. You don't hear about it much because they are (obviously) marginal players.I'd be willing to bet that they almost always give them a week or two back on the big league roster first as a lovely parting gift. Except for those GMs who are dicks, of which there obviously are some. It would seem though that Rizzo is trying not to be one of them, wouldn't it?

  134. Ron In Reston - Jun 26, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    This is strange. I made two posts around 1pm today, saw them posted, but now they've disappeared. One was just offering my condolences to JaneB on her father's passing, not exactly something I would imagine would get removed…..what gives?

  135. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 26, 2012 at 6:42 PM

    "Trade your steak to get a baked potato" — I love it. POD.

  136. sjm308 - Jun 26, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    Late in this but you are in my thoughts JaneB. I just read your thoughts and they were touching to say the least. What my son and I have is only enhanced through baseball and these last two years have been special for lots of reasons but going to ballgames is certainly one.I have been depressed by our offense and who wouldn't be. Not smart enough to know the answers and have read lots on here about possible answers. I would say no to a big trade because I have no idea who is out there and do not want to give up more prospects. If we can trade Wang, HRod and Lannan and get something of value then hooray but we all know that won't happen.I would say yes to moving Zimm down in the order, bringing up C. Brown and giving Moore time at first base while resting LaRoche. I am hoping that like last year, Morse starts to figure things out but I am not convinced that will happen.I had a good talk at the gym this morning and I guess it is true that if we knew we would be 10+ games over .500 at this point, most of us would have jumped at those results. Bottom line is we have lost 3 or 4 games lately that were definitely winnable and that hurts just a little more. One thing I do know is I will be rooting again tonight.Go Nats!!

  137. A DC Wonk - Jun 26, 2012 at 6:59 PM

    Adam Kilgore ‏@AdamKilgoreWPBryce Harper now just 1 PA away from qualifying. Even after a 10-day mini-slump (.184/.262/.237), he'd still rank 20th in NL with a 129 OPS+ But with one more game, the requirement goes up by 3.1 — I have no idea what MLB does with fractions, so he'll need either 4 or 5 PA's tonight to qualify.If the Nats can hit like any other team in MLB at Coors, he ought to get his 5 PA's. ;-)

  138. NatsLady - Jun 26, 2012 at 7:00 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  139. A DC Wonk - Jun 26, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    mick wrote:Our sorry no-account hitters will make us an 82-83 win team… You Zim amd Morse fans can blast me all you want, I think the facts speak for themselveshey mick — you wanna bet on that? I'm betting they get more than 83 wins.

  140. fresh2death1997 - Jun 26, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    When the Angels fired their hitting coach, everyone started hitting, including Albert Pujols. Maybe it's time to fire our hitting coach?

  141. NatsLady - Jun 26, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    In DeRosa's case, yes, certainly. He never did anything wrong and he just lost his father. In fact, the more I think about it, you are right, FW. There was no urgency to put Nady on the DL and bring back DeRosa before he had done the full rehab and was in game shape.

  142. A DC Wonk - Jun 26, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    a shout-out to NatsLady for, in my opinion, being the voice of reason here. Particularly your comments at 8:25am and 12:10pm (and most of your comments in between those posts).Well done! I have nothing to add to those comments. You said them well, and they make a lot of sense to me.(sheesh, I can't wait until we win one and get all this negativity outta here (which will last only until the next loss, naturally). Our offense is sub-par. Duh. We've known that since the first week. If the solution were obvious or easy it would have been done by now. But, now I'm starting to repeat what you've said…)

  143. mick - Jun 26, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    A DC Wonk said…hey mick — you wanna bet on that? I'm betting they get more than 83 wins.DC Wonk, sure maybe 84, 85. your right

  144. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 26, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    NatsLady, Ghost…..the rapid move to the roster could be a joint effort to accelerate DeRosa's DFA and open a spot on the 40 man.

  145. baseballswami - Jun 26, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    We have rushed people back too soon this whole season. They are no good to the team if they are not healthy and major-league ready. What could it hurt to try one or two games of flip-a-coin lineups? When things aren't clicking you never know what a shake up will do. Yes, the team did have a tiring flight in after a losing series. Then their flight was diverted and they had to take a bus. Denver is having record heat and there is the altitude to contend with. I am sure that they were dealing with a lot last night. Let's see if there is a need for an excuse tonight. Hope not. I would love to see them do one game with a mixed up hitting order, throw out the scouting paperwork and just see-ball-hit-ball. Simplify. Could it turn out a lot worse?

  146. mick - Jun 26, 2012 at 7:17 PM

    what is being forgotten in all this is with our number 1 pitcher, we lose to the Rockies. Against a team like Col, you expect wins from Strass and Gio. I think Strass did his job only giving up 3 runs. If we lose to night, we could get swept all 4 games.

  147. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 26, 2012 at 7:17 PM

    So mick is betting the Nats go 42-49 the rest of the way. I'll take all that action.

  148. mick - Jun 26, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    Natsjack… I obviously hope I am dead wrong, If we lose this series to Colorado, I don't think my prediction is that far off.

  149. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 26, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    And again, we get the 16 game season mentality applied to baseball.

  150. mick - Jun 26, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    OK Nats jack, if this was Braves, Reds, Dodgers, Yankees, you know good teams, I would agree with you. This is the Rockies, this is like NY Giants losing to the Colts twice in a 16 game season

  151. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 26, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    We lost a series to San Diego. But we swept Boston and Toronto on the road.How do either relate to a full season projection?

  152. Oldguy - Jun 26, 2012 at 7:23 PM

    All the suggestions about hitting are fine, but go back and check what Ted Williams did when he managed the Senators. No strategy, no "approach"; he told them to try to hit the bottom half of the ball. Result?–more focus on seeing the thing you're supposed to hit. Result 2? Team batting average rose significantly.

  153. mick - Jun 26, 2012 at 7:23 PM

    we won series verse Padres Natsjack?

  154. mick - Jun 26, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    Natsjack…@ PadresW 3-125@ PadresW 7-226@ PadresL 1-227

  155. mick - Jun 26, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    Oldguy said…All the suggestions about hitting are fine, but go back and check what Ted Williams did when he managed the Senators. No strategy, no "approach"; he told them to try to hit the bottom half of the ball. Result?–more focus on seeing the thing you're supposed to hit. Result 2? Team batting average rose significantly.Bingo… I wish there was a way we could get Ted's head and put it on Eckstein, lol. No disrespect to Ted

  156. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 26, 2012 at 7:31 PM

    OK….the Marlins swept us. I was forgetting that the Padres were only here for a 2 game stand which we split.Still, none of that relates to a whole season projection.

  157. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 26, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    Our huitting just need to make better contact, quit swing at so many non fast ball 0-0 counts, and quit swing at pitches no in the strike zone. The better teams make outs like we do too, but less of them, because they approach the plate with better thoughs.

  158. mick - Jun 26, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    Below is link to Ted Williams' head story for our younger fans in here who have no idea what I meant about Ted's head, lolhttp://www.cbsnews.com/2100-201_162-533849.html

  159. mick - Jun 26, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    Natsjack… I hope your right

  160. NatsLady - Jun 26, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    Is it supposed to be this hot again in Denver tonight?Capital Weather Gang ‏@capitalweatherCities w/ hottest June temps on record Mon: Denver, Galveston, Houston, Little Rock: http://wapo.st/MYxm8e

  161. Feel Wood - Jun 26, 2012 at 7:35 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… And again, we get the 16 game season mentality applied to baseball.Makes sense. People like JayB and peric were screaming clear through spring training that we didn't win the Offseason Championship.

  162. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 26, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    Speaking of the Fish, the blogs are just blowing up Loria and his hiring of Ozzie. Most are calling for a blow up and restart.

  163. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 26, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    Ted could have been a green bay packer, and his head could have been preserved at the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field.

  164. Theophilus T. S. - Jun 26, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    This idea of hitting coaches who "talk" to hitters — and I use the term loosely — instead of showing them how to hit is like having a psychiatrist who thinks his job is to show the patient how to live w/ his neuroses. There are rules for how to hit: see Charlie Lau, see Walt Hriniak. George Brett was a great hitter because Lau showed him HOW TO HIT. There are dozens of people in the Nats' organization who can tell every single one of those players exactly what they are doing wrong at the plate, and every single one of them seems to think they can ignore the free wisdom and solve their problems by meditating about it. If we're paying players so much money they don't have to accept instruction I'd rather move to Kansas City and root for a team where low-paid players want to learn whatever it takes to hit for a high average and get traded out of town or hit it big in free agency.

  165. baseballswami - Jun 26, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    I don't really have stats to back this up, but it seems like we have had a history of getting "up" for good teams and then losing to the bad teams. Any team can be hot or cold at a particular time of the season and some of it depends on when you get them. We got the Marlins red hot and then they fizzled. We are fizzling a little now. But things don't stay the same for very long. We can heat up again – and by heat up I mean score 3 or 4 runs again instead of 1 or 2. Let's not get crazy here.

  166. Feel Wood - Jun 26, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    Theophilus T. S. said… This idea of hitting coaches who "talk" to hitters — and I use the term loosely — instead of showing them how to hit is like having a psychiatrist who thinks his job is to show the patient how to live w/ his neuroses.Fine. How then does a hitting coach show a hitter how to have a good approach at the plate, or to have a "plan" for each at bat, when the hitting coach can never take an AB against live pitching in a game situation?

  167. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 26, 2012 at 7:52 PM

    Ted Williams was not a good manager. You'd do better to cite Frank. He could hit some, and his teams actually won a game now and then.

  168. Feel Wood - Jun 26, 2012 at 7:54 PM

    Wait. I've got it. Hitting coaches should play MLB12 The Show with all the hitters!Well played, Mauer.

  169. Laddie Blah Blah - Jun 26, 2012 at 7:55 PM

    Rizzo has surprised everyone before, and I would not be surprised to see him do it, again. Nady and DeRosa did not work out, but Tracy did, until he got hurt. No one knew the Gio trade or the EJax signing were coming, until they are announced.We need offense now. I have speculated on what Mike might do (Drew? Ellsbury?), but no one really knows. But I am confident he is working on something, and we won't know about it unless he is able to pull it off. This team is very close. He could make room for new blood by DFAing Nady and/or DeRosa, or by packaging a current 40-man guy in a trade (Morse, ALR, Lannen).

  170. Feel Wood - Jun 26, 2012 at 7:57 PM

    Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said… Ted Williams was not a good manager.Maybe not. But as the Senators manager in 1969, he did do a lot to improve the performance of many of his hitters. Eddie Brinkman, for one.And Ted Williams is definitely the best manager ever to become a cryogenically frozen disembodied head.

  171. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 26, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    Seriously, though, Theo, I have no idea what you mean by "talk to hitters, instead of showing them." You mean sit with video, and show them that way? Or actually physically model what they, the coaches, are proposing, by copying the stance and physical style of (by the end of the season) a couple of dozen different players? I really can't tell what you're suggesting, there.

  172. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 26, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    And Ted Williams is definitely the best manager ever to become a cryogenically frozen disembodied head. Well, so far, sure. I bet Skip catches him eventually, though. Probably LaRussa, too.

  173. NatsLady - Jun 26, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    I'm sorry, but I didn't follow this analogy. What is the job of a psychiatrist? If it's not to help patients live with their illness, what is it? This idea of hitting coaches who "talk" to hitters — and I use the term loosely — instead of showing them how to hit is like having a psychiatrist who thinks his job is to show the patient how to live w/ his neuroses.

  174. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 26, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    Speaking of the Fish, the blogs are just blowing up Loria and his hiring of Ozzie. Most are calling for a blow up and restart.Fun to know and watch happening, but really, what are they going to do? Stop attending games?

  175. Feel Wood - Jun 26, 2012 at 8:05 PM

    Or actually physically model what they, the coaches, are proposing, by copying the stance and physical style of (by the end of the season) a couple of dozen different players?Gar Ryness for hitting coach!

  176. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 26, 2012 at 8:06 PM

    NatsLady, I think he meant the point was to cure the patient, not give them better coping mechanisms.

  177. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 26, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    Bob Fosse would have made an excellent hitting coach.

  178. Feel Wood - Jun 26, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said… Speaking of the Fish, the blogs are just blowing up Loria and his hiring of Ozzie. Most are calling for a blow up and restart.Fun to know and watch happening, but really, what are they going to do? Stop attending games?Judging from the last few Fish games I've seen om MLB Network, many of them already have.

  179. SCNatsFan - Jun 26, 2012 at 8:08 PM

    I see many comments saying the hitting instructor doesn't actually teach hitting… my question then is what does he do? Just sit around, smack the butt and say "go got em boy"? If the argument is they don't actually teach hitting, they try to figure out what a player is doing wrong and adjust things as needed then Eck is doing a miserable job righting the multiple sinking ships on this team.If you don't really teach them hot to hit, you are just a good guy on the bech who can chart well, then please hire me… I am a really nice guy and own my own colored pencils.

  180. NatsLady - Jun 26, 2012 at 8:08 PM

    Thanks for the kind words, Wonk. If we lose tonight, I'm not posting tomorrow. Actually, I'm probably not posting anyway because I work three jobs on Wednesdays.(sheesh, I can't wait until we win one and get all this negativity outta here (which will last only until the next loss, naturally)

  181. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 26, 2012 at 8:08 PM

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  182. Feel Wood - Jun 26, 2012 at 8:10 PM

    Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said… NatsLady, I think he meant the point was to cure the patient, not give them better coping mechanisms.What is hitting, if not the day by day coping with the reality that someone is throwing a ball at you and trying to make you look stupid?

  183. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 26, 2012 at 8:10 PM

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  184. NatsLady - Jun 26, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    SCNatsFan, according to Eckstein, he does teaching hitting. He monitors videos and tweaks the players on an individual basis. Apparently, Davey does also upon occasion. I'm really not certain what people are expecting.The pitching improved when we got better pitchers. With all due respect to McCatty, he doesn't teach them how to pitch. The hitting will improve when we get better hitters.

  185. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 26, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    What is hitting, if not the day by day coping with the reality that someone is throwing a ball at you and trying to make you look stupid? See, FWood gets it. THAT is an approach.

  186. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 26, 2012 at 8:13 PM

    Feel…..the past two Fish games have posted attendences of over 27,000 however the park has been less than half full indicating about 17,000 actual attendees.

  187. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 26, 2012 at 8:13 PM

    Fun to know and watch happening, but really, what are they going to do? Stop attending games?———————————-Judging from the last few Fish games I've seen om MLB Network, many of them already have. Exactly my point. Thank you.

  188. sjm308 - Jun 26, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    Mick – is it sort of like the Redskins beating the Giants? Oh wait, that happened and who won the Super Bowl?Just relax, enjoy this team being better then most of us thought and hopefully we start hitting so you don't fire everyone.I will also take that bet of more then 83 wins and I thought 85 would be a fine season. I am now looking for 88 – 90.Go Nats!!

  189. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 26, 2012 at 8:18 PM

    More than 83?Seems likely.

  190. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jun 26, 2012 at 8:19 PM

    There is something wrong with your HTML counter.

  191. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jun 26, 2012 at 8:19 PM

    My goodness. I hated yesterday's game as much as anyone and was disappointed while at Sunday's game, but this year's team was only supposed to contend this year, not win it all. No one had any idea that Gonzalez and Jackson would pitch so well, nor did we expect the bullpen, except for Gorzo and Rodriguez to be quite so good.No, the season is not over if we lose 3 of 4 or even 4 of 4 to Colorado. Did anyone follow St. Louis's season last year? Baseball has much more of a random pattern than most other popular sports in the U.S. and quite often, loss streaks of up to 6 or 8 games can mean ZERO. That is why the World Series is, and has always been a bit of a crapshoot, unlike the Super Bowl or NBA Finals. The Orioles from 1969 to 1972 had one of the greatest teams of all time and yet, lost in the World Series to two distinctly inferior clubs, in 1969 and 1971, the Mets and Pirates, while beating two teams that were roughly equally good, the Reds and A's in the 1970 and 1971 post-seasons.

  192. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jun 26, 2012 at 8:20 PM

    That being said, we know that this Nats team is challenged in terms of hitting. So were the 1969 Mets (a similar team in my book). With a healthy Werth and with Zimmerman at at least a semblance of himself, things should be a bit better. I am not sure about Morse. He has had a couple of good years, but they can't stand a whole lot more of his lack of productivity at the plate.Strasburg's performance was fine last night. He gave up a fluke triple that was almost foul, hit a batsman, where the ball almost hit the bat and then had a couple of scratch hits off him, before fighting out of it in a tough pitcher's park. Including last night's game, he is still the number one pitcher in baseball in terms of FIP. Gio is third. Stras's BABIP is very high, which sounds bad, but is actually good. It means he is 9-2 and he is an unlucky 9-2. An unusual among of balls are either dropping in or going for homers against him. We can expect this to drop. Among top pitchers, only Greinke has a BABIP higher than Steven's.I, too think Strasburg should have been left in to bat last night, but perhaps management was worried about him getting beaned. As an aside, Babe Ruth was never close to being the best pitcher of his generation. He was a very good pitcher who was great as a pitcher in a couple of World Series, but he was nowhere close to the level of a Walter Johnson or Lefty Grove as a regular starter. He was more on the level of a Nolan Ryan, another overrated pitcher based on era+ and whip.162 games is a long season and the Nats' run-differential stats indicate, that they are for real, which is not the case for the Mets or Orioles, who have won many one run games, sort of like the Nats did back in 2005 in the first half.While I can't deny that the Nats seem to be swinging too much early in the count, it is hard to see how firing the batting coach is going to do a whole lot. Working the count is not rocket science. Remember from Little League, "a walk is as good as a single?" Players are going to do it or they aren't. According to Moneyball, this was actually not a very teachable skill according to Billy Beane. Guys either seemed to get it or they didn't. Certain guys like Joe Morgan and Willie Mays got it; other guys didn't and never quite reached those same levels of achievement. Former Nat, Eddie Yost is probably the greatest example in the history of baseball. Yost hit .231 for Washington in 1956, which is not far from the so-called Mendoza line. Yet, Yost had an On Base Percentage that year of .412, which is almost staggering. He walked 151 times!I don't think anyone taught Yost to do that. Moore seems to have the right instincts, as does Harper. I think I would play Moore over Morse until Morse figures out what he is doing wrong. With Moore, Harper and Werth in the outfield and Morse as first sub and pinch-hitter, and a decent Zimmerman, this team should be the favorite to win the division.

  193. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 26, 2012 at 8:20 PM

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  194. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 26, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    This is a good point, WODL. Basic skills are generally not acquired at an elite level. By that time, there's no tall columns in the pareto.

  195. baseballswami - Jun 26, 2012 at 8:26 PM

    I do think the hitting coach should understand the mechanics of hitting, how pitchers might attack you and how to counteract it, know each individual's swing, strengths and weaknesses and help them not look stupid on a daily basis. Feel Wood – you make me laugh. I don't think we need to hire more people who can then go into their own slumps. Most major league position players CAN hit. We just need the guys we have to start doing it consistently and together. They have the ability to do it and it is assumed that they have the motivation. That leaves injuries, mechanical issues, a poor plan and mental stuff. The hitting coach should be able to diagnosis what the problem is in his guys and help them get past it, or at least cope with it until they get make it better. Hitting is very streaky for most players and we need some of these players to dig down, be smart, keep their heads on right and figure it out. Better the devil you know than the devil you don't know? Do we need new guys with new problems?

  196. baseballswami - Jun 26, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    Ask Adam Dunn how hard it is to figure out hitting problems.

  197. NatsLady - Jun 26, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    Really? There are cures for neuroses? I thought there were medications and strategies for coping etc., but I didn't know there were cures! When did this happen? Does Greinke know?

  198. rogieshan - Jun 26, 2012 at 8:45 PM

    With talk of the Brewers shopping Zack Greinke, I wonder if Rizzo isn't going to make another run for the pending free agent. Adding him would certainly bolster the starting staff and fill the hole of once Strasburg is shut down. My only question is whether the GM is willing to give up a similar package to the one he offered to the Royals (Jordan Zimmermann, Drew Storen, and Danny Espinosa) for the former Cy Young pitcher.

  199. JayB - Jun 26, 2012 at 8:46 PM

    Njack….so let me understand this now……Davey will never agree to fire Eck….except now he might….Nady and DeRosa are huge off season bats that will drive the offense off the bench…except now they are being activated just so they can be cut?Is there no limit to the back tracking…….The failed off season is killing the team. The team has at least 10 games due to the failed off season moves and by season end the team will under perform by 20 loses due to the failed Rizzo off season. He did not sign the bats he could have or should have. I know you do not agree but at I am consistent and the data on the one run 5 hit efforts back up the pre season issues I pointed out all winter.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 76 57 --
ATLANTA 71 64 6.0
MIAMI 65 68 11.0
NEW YORK 63 72 14.0
PHILADELPHIA 61 73 15.5
Through Friday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
SAT: Nats at Mariners, 9:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Mariners, 4:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 4:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 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.

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