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VIDEO: Part two of Davey Johnson sitdown

Jul 9, 2012, 11:30 AM EDT

In part two of Kelli Johnson’s sitdown with Davey Johnson, the Nationals manager talks about his new expectations for the team at the halfway point. Now that he has seen them for half of a season, he doesn’t expect anything less than a division title.

  1. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 9, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    Davey talks about out-scoring the opponents. Seems logical. He probably saw the same stats I saw and JZim's W/L.. Final 1st half stats are complete and JZim finished 6th in ERA yet finished with a 5-6 record.What's sad is he is the ONLY pitcher in the Top 20 with a losing record.You would have to go to Edinson Volquez at #22 and his 3.52 ERA for the Padres to find the only other losing pitcher in the Top 25 with a losing record.Go through the list and you will see Lance Lynn with his 3.41 ERA and 11-4 record and All Star selection.Nothing though is a bigger quandary for Davey when he compares ERA, WHIP, and W/L on his own staff and has to analyze the disparity.When Rizzo looks at trades, he has to consider how players will translate here. Even Edwin Jackson and his 3.73 ERA has a winning record.Can Wandy and his 3.38 ERA be productive in DC?hiw

  2. baseballswami - Jul 9, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    Another thing I would have to look up is how the pitching match ups workedout. Which of our pitchers was out there against the other teams ace? I would actually love to see that- if I get a few minutes later I may check. Our offense is probably going to be down when facing the opposing. Team's #one. I am sure it wasn't usually Stras. JZ faced Lincecum, who had a bad game but who has been their ace.After the first week the matchups get off.

  3. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 9, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    Seeing how Wandy will be a salary dump for the Astro's and that Mark Lerner has already stated that adding payroll at the trade deadline is an agreeable situation for them, I'm with you on this one Ghost. He could come at a mid level prospect cost and provide veteran leadership to the staff down the stretch.

  4. baseballswami - Jul 9, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    I see Wandy as a decent fit. We are not looking at a one through three , our staff could use some more experience, he would probably be over the moon at joining a winning team ( the Nats!!!), and Greinke is going to be way too expensive and high maintenance.

  5. baseballswami - Jul 9, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    Gonat- thanks, I will save that juicy stat page for perusal later today. On first glance, though. Dempster has a 1.99 era and only 4 wins, but plays for a losing team. Kershaw has a 2.91 with 6 wins, Vogelsong has a 2.36 with 7. I have mostly heard JZim and Vogelsong compared as being in similar situations. It is pretty glaringly awful, though. Maybe the second half? He just seems to get stronger with each outing.

  6. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 9, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    Thanks for the info. I didn't see Zack Duke or Yunesky Maya on that list.

  7. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 9, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    Oh… my bad. That list is only for guys that produce at the Major League level.

  8. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    Zach Duke is not on the 40 man. He is intriguing.

  9. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    I like Duke. It's just that he's really struggled up until this year.And I watched Maya throw batting practice yesterday on NESN. He didn't miss a bat all day.

  10. The Fox - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    So if the Nats pick up Wandy who do they send down? They also have Storen coming back so what happens Gorzelanny get traded and Det gets sent to the pen and either HRod gets traded too or Gonzalez gets cut or Mattheus get sent down? None of these guys are pitching poorly except maybe HRod.I can see how Wandy helps us when they shut down Stras and maybe in the playoffs but I'm not so sure if the slight improvement in the starter Wandy for Det actually improves the bullpen. On paper I guess I can see the improvement but you also have to wonder how it might effect team chemistry. I doubt Wandy make more than a 2 game difference, which may matter but I'm not positive it is the most important pick up. If the team could get a high OBP guy to lead off I think it might make a bigger difference to the team. Don't hate the idea of picking up Wandy just not certain it make the most sense.

  11. Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    If the team could get a high OBP guy to lead off I think it might make a bigger difference to the team.It might, but they aren't mutually exclusive; pretty much unrelated for roster purposes.

  12. The Fox - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    Maybe but I don't really see them remaking the team at this point especially when they are in first place.The OBP of the Nats if pretty bad I know the players they have now are mostly an aggressive bunch of hitters that have pretty good power and I don't expect that to change very much.Maybe they will try and get both but I'd be surprised. Wandy still seem more of a luxury as compared to a lead-off hitter.

  13. Feel Wood - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    JZ faced Lincecum, who had a bad game but who has been their ace.You clearly haven't been paying attention this season. Lincecum is 3-10 with a 6.42 ERA in 18 starts. He's only had three or four games this season that couldn't be considered bad games.But you were right about one thing. He has been their ace – in 2008 and 2009. But not lately.

  14. #4 - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    NatsJack,Perhaps this was discussed yesterday, so I'm sorry if I'm beating a dead horse. I was out of town yesterday at my daughter's softball tournament and didn't have time to read through all the comments.I'm still wondering if the organization is touting Solano's receiving abilities after yesterday. I have to say that particularly on Clippard's change-up, I thought he was bad. His hands just aren't soft and quick like they need to be.

  15. NatsLady - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    Highheatstats (among others) thought that Clip's WP should have been a passed ball. I posted on the previous thread.

  16. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    Everyone commented on Solano's failure to block the change up from T-Clip. The Gonzalez wild pitch was alot tougher but certainly blockable.Other than those 2 pitches, he handled everything well.

  17. #4 - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    Thanks, NatsLady. It's good to see if verified somewhere else. I brought the subject up to NatsJack because we had a friendly discussion several days ago about Solano's receiving abilities.

  18. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    #4, yes, there was a lot of discussion yesterday on Solano and also by Davey. No excuse with the go-ahead run on 3rd that he didn't square up behind the ball in the dirt. It wasn't like it was a 99 MPH heater. He had time to anticipate and get over.With all that said, no reason to use that one bad play to define his defensive skills. He calls a good game. He has generally been good at blocking balls in the dirt. Nobody has said he is a 'starter' type, just looks to be a good backup catcher.

  19. NatsLady - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    Here is info on the 2012 draft picks. Giolito is not the only top pick who has not yet signed.status of 2012 draft pickshttp://www.milb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120612&content_id=33176378&fext=.jsp&vkey=news_milb

  20. NatsLady - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    NatsJack, that may be true, but those two pitches were the difference in the game. Or, of course, it might have been the friend with me who was so hot and drained by the 8th inning she didn't care who won or lost as long as there was not (a) extra innings or (b) a rain delay…

  21. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    Not to make an excuse for Solano, but he hasn't been getting the playing time and getting used to the heat. By the 7th inning he seemed to be fading. NatsLady, given the Official Scorer's discretion, I would call that a Passed Ball because it was a change-up.

  22. #4 - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    Well… catcher's make their reps on pitches like those. Obviously no player is perfect, but frankly it's really inexcusable with a runner on third to allow a change-up – particularly one that doesn't bounce – to go by you. A supposed "catch-throw" guy like Solano who has "a great defensive reputation" cannot have that happen. To me it was symptomatic of his shortcomings.I'll let it go at that, since apparently you folks have already hashed it out.

  23. NatsLady - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    Again, not to put all the blame on Solano. A three-run game against Rox pitching??????

  24. JD - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    Ghost, I think we worry too much about a pitcher's w/l record. This stat is real close to meaningless. There are too many factors outside a pitcher's control which influence this stat. JZimm has been absolutely outstanding over the past month or so and has overall been very very good all year. For the 1st half he's a notch below SS and Gio but has actually outpitched both of them over the past month.

  25. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    Right NatsLady….like I said yesterday….2 runs off Jeremy Guthrie…..pathetic.

  26. NatsLady - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    Seriously, I was at the game, and once it was 3-1, the offense didn't seem to think it was necessary to add on. Now, given our bullpen (40-2 when leading after 7), and the heat, that seems understandable, but in this case, it ended up in a fizzle in the bottom of the 9th. Also, Solano would not have been in the position to give up the game-tying and game-losing runs if Burnett and Clip had been totally "on" their games, especially Burnett. Has he been over-used?I assume Davey pinch-hit Flores in the 9th instead of DeRosa in case of extra innings, being as how Flores was already going to be in the game with Solano out for a PH?

  27. JD - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    When Storen is ready to return next week Rizzo will be faced with a tough choice: 1)Demote Mike Gonzalez – he has been a very effective loogy. 2)Demote Matheus – he has been a very effective middle reliever. 3)DFA HRod – my personal choice. 4)Demote Gorzo or Stammen – effective long men from either side. 5)DL someone to postpone the decision. 6) none of the above.

  28. Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    From the post-game comments, Clippard among others, they as much as said they were looking past the Rox. Always a mistake.This is still the Washington Nationals–they have no business talking about "not getting overconfident." Go win something, then you can worry about that.

  29. NatsLady - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    The way JZ is pitching gives me a lot of hope for Stras next year.(1) He is strong as a horse, even in the heat;(2) He seems to have overcome his anxiety/nerves/lack of focus when bad things happen;(3) He is not going for 10-12 strikeouts a game, more "pitching to contact." He was quite efficient yesterday, despite one long inning. Now, there are two schools of thought on the strikeouts. BAPIP says about 1/3 of balls-in-play will do damage, so strikeouts (obviously) ensure the out. However, they tend to increase the pitch count. OTOH, we have a top infield, and Werth's return will substantially improve the outfield, so there's that. Whatever JZ is doing, it's working. The "wins" will come. We have another Ace here, and that is scary.

  30. baseballswami - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    Feel Wood – about Lincecum, I meant in other seasons, not this one. They started the season with him at the number one slot because of his past history. Yes, this season he sucks – hence, Jordan gets a rare win because Timmy boy leaks runs like a sieve. Re: bullpen – Gonzalez is ok but doesn't set my world on fire, Mattheus is still young and has a lot of baseball ahead of him – trade piece? Re: yesterday's wild pitches – they were pretty darned wild and I am not sure that Flo or Ramos would have had them either. Re: yesterday's loss – yes, it was mostly on the offense. Going forward – Will Gorzo or Stammen get stretched out and go back to starting? One more thing about Desi – he is a stand up guy, sounds like he discussed his situation openly with many people, even if it is 50% oblique and 50% personal, if he is willing to give up such an extreme honor to ensure that he is 100% ready for the second half, then so be it. I hope every single player is doing whatever he needs to do to recover and prepare. I for one cannot believe the season is half over.

  31. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/pitching/_/order/falseJordan Zimmermann is Top 10 in all of Baseball in ERA and Stras Top 15 and Gio Top 20. Not every team has an Ace and some teams have more than 1. The Nats clearly have 3 and should have 4. JZim, Stras, and Gio.If Edwin Jackson can get through his 1st innings giving up no runs, his ERA after the 1st inning is 2.64 vs. his actual ERA of 3.73 Edwin has given up 17 runs in the 1st inning of his 16 starts.

  32. MicheleS - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    JD.. I take #5. Gorzo won't go – I don't think he has options. Stammen has an option.

  33. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    When Rizzo and Davey and the Coaches do their next sit down, they need to strategize on:1. The leadoff situation2. Trade possibilities,3. EJax's 1st inning meltdowns 4. Gio's pitch count in the 1st inning, 5. Winning games in JZim's starts, 6. Lefty bench bat, 7. Who Storen replaces, 8. Strasburg's innings

  34. NatsLady - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    Sofa, I don't think it's so much they were looking past the Rox as looking forward to getting out of the heat and into the break. Not saying that's an excuse, because working guys are in that heat all day, too (I mean road crews, electrical crews, etc.). Someone asked Clip what it was like sitting out in the bullpen all game, he said, they try to go back into the tunnel when they can; they had a guy come out and test the temperature Saturday–on the field it was 140 degrees!

  35. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    JD, I'm posting away and see you covered the #7. I think its option Mattheus to AAA unfortunately or an unlikely DL with Gorzo or Gonzalez. I think they want to give HenRod one more chance to see if he can do it.

  36. NatsLady - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    I think Mattheus will go before Stammen because Davey needs innings from a RH'er. Mattheus and Storen are both 1 inning guys. Gorzo (leak-a-run-or-two) will stay as the lefty "long reliever." Gonzalez and Burnett will both stay because Davey loves his lefties. I seriously think Burnett has been overworked–more than Clip because sometimes by the time the 9th comes around it's a "non-save" situation. So they will keep Gonzalez for a while.

  37. Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    I like Solano a lot–I think I may have mentioned it once or twice–but the effort on Clippard's bounced changeup was just bad. Gonzalez's WP was in fact a wild pitch, and that's on him, but backhanding anything in the dirt with the winning run on third in the 9th is not OK.

  38. Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    I suspected at the time he was crossed up, since it seemed so unlike both of them.

  39. natsfan1a - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:24 PM

    New post up, from the Z-man. Thanks much for all the fill-ins in his absence, Chase.

  40. The Fox - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    Nats Lady I think you are right that Burnett has been over used lately. If I remember correctly he was used sparingly at the beginning of the season. I did wonder in yesterdays game with score tied why Davey brought Clip in instead of Stammen. I think it was because Davey remembered Stammen giving up the 2 runs the last time he pitched. If the game had stayed tied would Clip have pitched the 10th too?This is the basic patten I've mentioned before about Davey, when he really wants a win he uses his favorite bullpen guys a little too much. Not unreasonable and I'm sure if Stammen had given up a run everyone would have said Cilp should have come instead and with the break he could easily pitch 2 innings. As for the bullpen I think your right it will be Mattheus who has pitched well lately. I'm not worried about JZim and wins they will come if he keeps pitching the way he has been unless someone put a curse on him and I think we can get a rosters head to take it off if need be.

  41. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    NatsLady said… The way JZ is pitching gives me a lot of hope for Stras next year.(1) He is strong as a horse, even in the heat;(2) He seems to have overcome his anxiety/nerves/lack of focus when bad things happen;(3) He is not going for 10-12 strikeouts a game, more "pitching to contact." He was quite efficient yesterday, despite one long inning. Now, there are two schools of thought on the strikeouts. BAPIP says about 1/3 of balls-in-play will do damage, so strikeouts (obviously) ensure the out. However, they tend to increase the pitch count. OTOH, we have a top infield, and Werth's return will substantially improve the outfield, so there's that. Whatever JZ is doing, it's working. The "wins" will come. We have another Ace here, and that is scary. July 09, 2012 10:01 AM I agree with your assessment of JZ. His pitch to contact formula has worked well where he couples that with K's (6.0/9) and GDPs (11) when needed has been working great plus his BB/9 is 8th in the Majors. Don't worry about Stras. He has Verlander potential which is real no-hit type of stuff. Gio is the one I worry about. In his first 5 starts, he didn't throw over 97 pitches in any of those starts and his Curveball was his K pitch and now his Fastball is his K pitch and he isn't getting out of 1st innings under 20 pitches except 1 time in his last 5 starts.Now in his last 6 starts, Gio is averaging 104 pitches in just under 6 innings per start vs. 91 pitches per start at 6 1/2 innings per start from his 2nd to 5th start of the season. EJax has terrific late movement on his pitches and has to make adjustments before he even enters the game. Like I said, 17 earned runs in the 1st innings of his 16 starts is horrible. After that, he goes into Ace mode.There is a Sabre stat for what is deemed a "Tough Loss" and Mark Buerhle leads the Majors with 5 followed by JZim and Wandy tied with 4.

  42. Feel Wood - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:58 PM

    I did wonder in yesterdays game with score tied why Davey brought Clip in instead of Stammen.That move was totally in concordance with the rules for using a closer. In a tie game at home, the closer pitches the ninth inning because there's no way there will be a save opportunity in the game.People were very anxious to pin Davey down into anointing Clippard with the closer role. Nothing wrong with that, but they should realize that by doing so they have lost their opportunity to second-guess him when he uses Clippard in accordance with the established closer rules.

  43. JD - Jul 9, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    My only objection with Davie yesterday was sacrificing with Espinosa. That left it to the bottom of the order and pinch hitters to try and salvage the game. I would have had Desi steal early in the count and then really put the pressure on the rockies by having at least 3 opportunities to score.

  44. Steady Eddie - Jul 9, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    Some pitching possibilities — Agree with the comments re potential overuse of Burnett and Clip, re Davey's proclivities. Remember that Burnett's other recent meltdown (against the O's, giving up the 2 run dinger with a 1-0 lead in the 8th) came on a second consecutive day appearance, just like yesterday. And Clip's was second straight day appearance — and third of the last four — in really hot weather.Suggests that with a LOT of hot weather games ahead in the division the second half, Davey should give close thought to having "A" and "A1" bullpens, where Mattheus spells Burnett in second day leads in the 8th, and Storen does the same for Clip in the ninth. Keeps people mostly in "roles" as Davey likes to do, reduces wear and tear in the heat and any possible resentments about chances to work with the game on the line in the heat of a pennant race (though Rizzo's clubhouse chemistry experiment seems to be neutralizing that pretty well so far).As to a potential trade for a starter, I'm with those looking at a Wandy, who would send Det back to the pen, and trade Gorzy with his tendency to give up add-on runs to someone else who needs a starter, preferably in the AL. Don't think Wang is coming back and would bet they give him a close to 30 full days' rehab to showcase any potential capability he may show to get what they can for him (and probably eat a chunk of his remaining salary, but it's less than $2m right now).My $.02, anyway.

  45. JD - Jul 9, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    Ghost, I thinks it's fairly obvious that the lineup is what it is. I don't think we are acquiring a lead off hitter and I don't think we are inserting Corey Brown into that role either. When Werth returns the combo of Lombo and TyMo become super subs. It looks that Espi is the current favorite to lead off from both sides and while this is not ideal it's not awful either. My personal preference would be to hit Werth at leadoff against all pitchers and leave Espi batting 7th. I would try to upgrade the Ankiel/DeRosa tandem and I am intrigued by Sandy Leon who I think is being groomed to be more than just a backup.

  46. Steady Eddie - Jul 9, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    JD — agree on the sac bunt as Nats were running successfully on Rockies' pitchers all day (and obviously did so on Betancourt later that inning), and if Espi had the potential to move Desi to third by hitting to the right side, you get Moore up who's gotten at least one sac fly this year in very limited appearnaces.Also agree re Werth at leadoff. Part of the Yankees' offensive success is in wearing down pitchers with a potent lineup from #1 to at least #6, which is what you'd have then instead of a too-frequent out at the top. Plus, Werth was the team's master in taking and fouling off pitches, and Harp has picked that up and would feed off Werth on that, so we'd start to wear down pitchers from the get-go — one of our offense's greatest failings so far this year has been giving them the 5-6-7 pitch inning.

  47. Theophilus T. S. - Jul 9, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    If the Nats were to trade for Rodriguez, I think they would have to give up more than a "mid-level prospect." Maybe a high-A prospect who projects to the major league level, if that's what mid-level means. But the Astros aren't going to try to build their organization w/ Zach Walters, Trevor Holder or the like. I think there are enough teams looking for a starter that there would be better offers from which to choose. Orioles are ready to give up on Matusz, who would at least intrigue someone (tho' not me). I would guess the Astros' price would be one player from Potomac and a pitcher (Stammen, Mattheus?) off the ML roster. And that's not a deal that I would make.

  48. The Fox - Jul 9, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    Theo,I think you would be correct about the prospects and it depends if there is a bidding war but If you sign Rodriguez I think you are on the hook for 30 million for the next 2 years so it might keep the bidding down. Not sure if its worth it for the Nats either.

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