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Eventful day marred by lopsided loss

Jul 19, 2012, 10:20 PM EDT

Associated Press photo
Gio Gonzalez was roughed up for six runs in only 3 1/3 innings.

At the end of a day that saw the Nationals activate one of their best relievers for the first time this season, part ways with a popular veteran outfielder, prepare to send their highest-paid player out on a rehab assignment, prepare their All-Star shortstop to return to the lineup, swap out backup catchers and see their top prospect return to the field for the first time in 3 1/2 months, the 3 hours and 1 minute spent slogging their way through a 9-5 loss to the Mets almost felt incidental in the big picture.

“It’s not always just a complete bad day,” manager Davey Johnson said. “There were a lot of good things that happened that I was really proud to see.”

Perhaps so, but that ballgame was as ugly as anything the Nationals have experienced in a while. With Gio Gonzalez roughed up for six early runs and the Mets building a 9-1 lead in the fourth, Johnson all but waved a white flag from his dugout perch and spent the rest of the afternoon resting some of his regulars while getting bench players and relievers much-needed work.

And still the Nationals found themselves in position to make things interesting late, bringing the tying run to the on-deck circle in both the eighth and ninth innings and forcing New York manager Terry Collins to use up four relievers to record the game’s final five outs.
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  1. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 19, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    Will be facing Dickey again next week.

  2. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 19, 2012 at 10:31 PM

    I just realized looking at the schedule that we have some serious schedule coming up, in terms of number of games in coming weeks. Until the end of this month, we play 12 in 12 with one off-day on Monday the 30th july. Once we start Phillies series on 31st, we play 16 games in 15 days with a doubleheader against Marlins in there. This is gonna be a brutal stretch. Let's see how we fare.

  3. baseballswami - Jul 19, 2012 at 10:33 PM

    Our hitters, almost to a man, got to see lots of Dickey pitches today. They got the bat on the ball and they are facing him again pretty soon. Good practice. As I posted in the last thread – we actually threatened them after they were up 9-1, and that's cool. We came pretty darned close to coming back. They will know they were here because we made them pay for every single out. We need to make every single team dread coming here and leave exhausted.

  4. sjm308 - Jul 19, 2012 at 10:41 PM

    Obviously not a happy day but we did win another series and are 4-3 after the first week. If we keep winning 4 of 7 it will be difficult to catch our lads.Go Nats!!

  5. UnkyD - Jul 19, 2012 at 11:24 PM

    308: " are 4-3 after the first week."?The heat has slowed my faculties… First week?

  6. baseballswami - Jul 19, 2012 at 11:26 PM

    After the All Star Break?

  7. NatsLady - Jul 19, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    Interesting comment by Davey. "I see a guy that's having trouble, I'm not going to let him stay out there just to save my bullpen," Johnson said.Here are all of us fans worried about the bullpen (because of Atlanta last year, thinking Gio might be left in to "take one for the team" but Davey more concerned with his starter. Same yesterday with pulling JZ and the day before with Det. (Of course, you never know if you can believe what Davey says). With the Stras shutdown looming and no trade in sight–or at least no reasonable trade–you can see why he would want to preserve his other starters.

  8. baseballswami - Jul 19, 2012 at 11:34 PM

    Listening to Davey ( confusing as it sometimes is), it seems like the first half, now the first week back, he has wanted the starters to have success, first and foremost. It sounds like he wants them to build up to the point where they are going longer later on in the season. I don't see the point with Strasburg, I would rather he not go more than six. But with Gio, EJax and JZim, I think it's time to let them stay in if they are doing well.Ejax has already gone deep, Zim sure looks like he is ready, but remember that the most innings he has thrown in a season is 161-ish. Wouldn't want a late season fade ala the Braves circa 2011. Det probably needs more time. Also – in the first half the bullpen was almost automatic.

  9. A DC Wonk - Jul 20, 2012 at 12:03 AM

    Not mentioned in the eventful day: HRod coming in with a guy in scoring position, then retiring the four men he faced with 3 ground outs and a pop up.

  10. baseballswami - Jul 20, 2012 at 12:15 AM

    Good Henry and Drew Storen are two very bright spots in the day. You know, this really was a very crazy day for this team. Lots of roster moves. They started the second half with a tough four days in Miami, got in here at 4:30 am on Tuesday , extra innings, then another close game, then early game today. Despite that, they never quit. Things won't get easier. More goodbyes and hellos and battles ahead.

  11. ehay2k - Jul 20, 2012 at 12:19 AM

    Tough loss, but I am in agreement with whoever said it somehow didn't feel like a blowout. Lots of good things come out of this game, despite the loss. Some ABs for DeRosa and an oblique test for Desi, Low pressure for Henry who did very well, and Storen looks pretty good for his first time back. Now, am I the only one that sees a very crowded 1st base, and wonders if Morse might go in a trade? It makes sense to move someone for prospects, in what is apparently a slim market for 1st basemen. Given that we have ALR and Moore already to play there, plus we would rather have a true LF guy, maybe Morse is hacked loose?And don't get me wrong, I really like Morse – he carried us last year. But this is a better team.

  12. NatsNut - Jul 20, 2012 at 12:20 AM

    I don't think this team is one to wallow too long, but losing Ankiel had to have been a blow to the clubhouse today. If they all get along as much as it sounds like they do, and all accounts say Ankiel was popular too, it must really sting to lose him.

  13. peric - Jul 20, 2012 at 12:25 AM

    Zim is not moving to 1st anytime soon; the value under which he was signed presupposes that he plays 3rd base for years to come.What this also means is that once and if Rendon regains his health and reaches the form expected from him he will more than likely be used in a trade to fill a needed spot (I don't think he's moving to 2nd base).Zim's value has ALWAYS been first and foremost in his bat. The way he plays third base with reckless abandon has also adversely affected his hitting. In the end he is more valuable, healthy, playing close-to-entire seasons at first base. Rendon will also stay they signed him for too much not to at this point. The Nats have accumulated what amounts to tremendous depth at third base (albeit a couple guys like Zach Walters can play short). Why would they do that if they weren't planning on moving Zim to third. And it starts in AAA when they went ahead and claimed 23 year old Carlos Rivero from the Phillies this year, to AA with Zach Walters, to Potomac with Anthony Rendon, to A Hagerstown with Matt Skole (albeit not much of a fielder).

  14. baseballswami - Jul 20, 2012 at 12:32 AM

    We could have ALR at first, smooth on defense, nice offensive surprise for me this season. We could have Mike Morse, like last season with the huge offense and not terrible defense. We could have TylerMoore, good defense, power bat, huge upside. Them there is Chris Marrero and a few more. Choices, choices. Wow.

  15. peric - Jul 20, 2012 at 12:36 AM

    if Morse might go in a trade? It makes sense to move someone for prospects, in what is apparently a slim market for 1st basemen.Bowden claims to have heard rumors of a 1 for 1 Morse for BJ Upton trade. Given the progress of Tyler Moore and Corey Brown in Syracuse this might be something the Nats might consider. Harper, Werth, Upton, Moore, Brown, and Bernadina would be a pretty good six player outfield. They could move Moore to first base next season.And JD et al YES IT IS possible to bench Jayson Werth. The guy has suffered another major injury at age 33 going on 34. He hasn't been that consistent from 2009 until now. Lots of ups-and-downs and he isn't getting younger.In other words there's your Mark DeRosa in the making.In other words: Barry Zito exact same numbers for exactly the same number of years. If ownership supports it I don't see Rizzo having any fear of making Werth a utility outfielder for the rest of the way.

  16. peric - Jul 20, 2012 at 12:38 AM

    They could move Moore to first base next season.But I still think the plan is to move Ryan Zimmerman to first base. Two years in a row the guy has had injuries that have affected his performance and ability to maintain his productivity over the long haul. They must have his bat for longer than 1/2 a season average!

  17. baseballswami - Jul 20, 2012 at 12:40 AM

    You know, DeRosa is not looking all that bad lately.

  18. peric - Jul 20, 2012 at 12:47 AM

    You know, DeRosa is not looking all that bad lately.As long as you don't put him in the outfield … he looked terrible out there. He is after all 37. He'll be 38 next year. I don't see them keeping him for another year albeit you never know.

  19. baseballswami - Jul 20, 2012 at 12:51 AM

    Is he really that old? I say they keep him around. He, Jayson, EJax have post season experience, which the organization wants to have around. Although a lot of our minor league guys have done some winning the last couple of years. I think they liked it.

  20. peric - Jul 20, 2012 at 1:10 AM

    He, Jayson, EJax have post season experience, which the organization wants to have around. Although a lot of our minor league guys have done some winning the last couple of years.I think it depends. If young guys like Desmond and Harper get post season experience this year … and Werth has quite a bit as well. Why would you need them?

  21. fresh2death1997 - Jul 20, 2012 at 1:25 AM

    I say trading Morse would be great.. Ty Moore is doing great.

  22. baseballswami - Jul 20, 2012 at 1:32 AM

    I think the Nats organization is in a tough, but awesome spot. They thought this year would still be building and somewhere along the line just look at what happened! So now, they still have some moves to make for the future. Trading Morse means giving up his offense ( well, what we think his offense is going to get back to being), and continuing to let the rookies get experience. If they are set on winning this year, maybe they trade for some rentals, if it's the future then we continue to develop what we have. It looks like they are going to let the chips fall with the home grown talent for the most part. Should be interesting to see what the organizational philosophy turns out to be. As if things aren't interesting enough already.

  23. NatsLady - Jul 20, 2012 at 1:53 AM

    Been saying for quite a while they should trade Morse, if not now then in the off-season. You are not the only one.

  24. Laddie Blah Blah - Jul 20, 2012 at 2:03 AM

    "Now, am I the only one that sees a very crowded 1st base, and wonders if Morse might go in a trade?"No. The Beast is in his early 30s, will never have higher trade value, and the Nats already have ALR and TyMo to use over there. Morse is not a very good OFer. He does not hustle after balls and runners take the extra base on him with abandon.An OF of Werth, Brown and Harp would be a slugging OF, as well as a very good defensive lineup, potentially a great one, with plus arms and speed at every position. They would also have a slugging IF, from Zim all the way around to 1b, with either ALR or TyMo over there. Ramos back at catcher would give them a slugging presence from top to bottom in the order, and when SS was pitching, they would not have a weak sister in the entire lineup.Brown would give them a guy with a .380 OBP, excellent speed, and rare power in a leadoff guy. He won't hit .300 in the bigs, probably, but he is a big step up from what they have had for years. He is on pace for 35 HRs this year, and, next to Ankiel, is the best defensive CFer they have had in recent memory.They would improve their offense, especially at the top of the order, improve their OF defense from mediocre, at the corners, to excellent, all-around. They would get younger, faster, and better. Morse is the most likely to go, of everyone they have. And they are loaded in the minors, at most positions, with young, developing talent. Next year the wasteland that has been their MiL pitching corps will be transformed back into a bed of roses. Solis will be back from TJ surgery, and Purke will likely be ready to start his career in earnest, finally. Meyer and Giolito will make it to AA and A, respectively. Karns will probably make the jump to AA.They have a number of other young guys, from Taylor Jordan to Danny Rosenbaum, who may turn into next year's Brad Peacock and Tommy Milone. That does not even take into account other recent high picks, like Turnbull, Mooneyhan, and Robbie Ray, or the recent return of Jack McGeary. Remember him? He is the guy who wanted to go to Stanford. He did, has got his philosophy degree, but had to have TJ surgery last year. He is now making his comeback, first in the GCL early this year, and now promoted to the Penn League, playing for the Doubledays. I like character guys, so I keep tracking his progress, and do not rule out a ML career for him.There are other special cases (e.g. Ryan Perry), but I can't remember them all. Next year, Lannen and CMW will not be at the top of the list of the MiL pitching corps. Two, three, maybe four of the names listed, above, will be.

  25. NatsLady - Jul 20, 2012 at 2:20 AM

    Eury Perez, remember him? Just got promoted to Syracuse. Speed, speed, speed. I wouldn't convict Morse of not hustling. He's just a big, slow guy who is probably hurting. Nevertheless, I think his time on the Nationals is about to expire.

  26. ehay2k - Jul 20, 2012 at 2:31 AM

    Wow – I was waiting for people to smack me down for the mere suggestion that Morse was tradeable. Glad to see a thoughtful discussion of the possibility and of all the options. That alone shows just how far this team has gone in just a couple of years.Laddie, nice writeup. I had forgotten about McGeary. I hope he makes a comeback because he seemed like a solid guy. Besides, what kind of a job can a philosophy major get in this economy? ;-)

  27. peric - Jul 20, 2012 at 2:34 AM

    An OF of Werth, Brown and Harp would be a slugging OF, as well as a very good defensive lineup, potentially a great one, with plus arms and speed at every position.Natslady Morse used to be a ML shortstop. He isn't slow … he's clearly had some injury problems and in spite of what good ol' NJ says he is still having problem with the hamstring … as he has for the past two or three years.If they trade Morse one up for BJ Upton you add another right handed outfielder with speed, speed, speed and power. Now you would have Harper, Werth, Upton, Brown, Bernadina, and Moore because Moore is now a left-fielder … and I'm not sure he will get ensconced at first base with Zimmerman seemingly destined to end up.there. BUT, that would give the Nats three right handed hitters and three left-handed hitters in the outfield. With the option to extend Upton; making that an interesting scenario to follow.So, I can see them doing that … if I am the Nats I am thinking package deal attempting to acquire some pitching from the Rays as well. I guess we'll have to see what happens.

  28. peric - Jul 20, 2012 at 2:35 AM

    Eury Perez, remember him? Just got promoted to Syracuse. Speed, speed, speed. If Perez is in Syracuse then Brown is on his way to the majors very soon. Either via a trade or call up.

  29. NatsLady - Jul 20, 2012 at 2:39 AM

    peric, he may have been a shortstop, but that was years ago. The Morse I see see now is slow, was a statue at 1B, has a below-average arm, and doesn't have the best instincts in the outfield. He does occasionally make good catches, which suggests to me that his eye is still there.

  30. peric - Jul 20, 2012 at 2:39 AM

    Looks like Brian Goodwin is replacing Eury Perez in Harrisburg. So, now in CF you have:1. Bryce Harper LHB majors2. Corey Brown LHB majors/AAA3. Eury Perez RHB AAA4. Brian Goodwin LHB AA5. Michael Taylor RHB A+6. Billy Burns RHB AI think the whole discussion about seƱor Bourn is moot. He ain't coming here.

  31. fresh2death1997 - Jul 20, 2012 at 2:39 AM

    Peric – great logic there, i hope it's true. love morse, but think he has to go, if yankees are looking a Ankiel, they should be looking at morse!

  32. fresh2death1997 - Jul 20, 2012 at 2:41 AM

    To be honest, if Brown can produce, i think re-signing ALR would be better than competing for Borne.

  33. baseballswami - Jul 20, 2012 at 2:43 AM

    It's not just the organization that has reached a transition. I think as fans, we have a different thought process now, too. Rick Ankiel – great guy, been with us for a while now, mentored Bryce, some memorable throws. The only reaction I read today was, well it was time for him to go. Sorry Dude, hope you get another job. We let Dunn go, but it was hard – then we saw how it turned out to be better. Now I think we don't just want the guy whose personality we like anymore. Now I think we want the best team that can be put on the field. More changes coming. Some will be a relief, some will be hard. Lots of adjustments to be made.

  34. NatsLady - Jul 20, 2012 at 2:47 AM

    swami, I hope this doesn't turn out to be a rare Davey mistake, Bernie over Ankiel, for a few points in batting average. Bernie makes a lot of mistakes, some of them covered up by his speed. Ankiel makes hardly any mistakes. You know that Rizzo made this decision based on Davey's recommendation.

  35. NatsLady - Jul 20, 2012 at 2:50 AM

    Sorry, overused the word "mistake" in that post. But Bernie is the guy who missed the squeeze sign, etc., etc. We are not talking high baseball IQ here, just youth and athletic ability.

  36. peric - Jul 20, 2012 at 2:50 AM

    swami, Ankiel was brought in as a placeholder: until Harper, Brown, Goodwin, et al were ready … its why he joined because he knew he would get the chance to start.In two years Rick Ankiel at 30+ was given plenty of opportunities to prove he could be the starter for a major league team. And just when it seemed like he turned the corner on his approach to the plate at the end of last year and the beginning of this he went back to the little league approach of swinging at everything hard in case he hit it. And sometimes he did. Just not often enough. There's the "arm" but there's also the "K's". He is still a good left-handed pitcher with a decent bat …. for a pitcher … not a starting CF.

  37. peric - Jul 20, 2012 at 2:52 AM

    Bernie makes a lot of mistakes, some of them covered up by his speed. Ankiel makes hardly any mistakes.That's where Corey Brown comes in. I think he'll prove to be the better fielder than both Ankiel and Bernadina. But no one will have Ankiel's powerpitcher arm.

  38. peric - Jul 20, 2012 at 2:53 AM

    Have to assume the Nats are on the cusp of making a trade given the sudden flurry of minor league moves …Haven't seen anything yet …

  39. NatsLady - Jul 20, 2012 at 2:59 AM

    peric, not saying Ankiel should be a starter. Just not convinced Bernadina is the better bench option.

  40. peric - Jul 20, 2012 at 3:03 AM

    peric, not saying Ankiel should be a starter. Just not convinced Bernadina is the better bench option.Bernadina has something Ankiel does not: a ceiling.

  41. peric - Jul 20, 2012 at 3:05 AM

    Besides, Natslady, it sure feels like the trigger is about to be pulled on a trade … and Bernadina could be involved. You just never know. If there is a deal in place for either Upton but likely BJ because he is going to be cheaper … ??

  42. Section 222 - Jul 20, 2012 at 3:08 AM

    Peric — It's one thing to say that you think they should move Zim to 1B. You've been saying that for months, and everyone's entitled to their opinion. It's another to assert that that's "the plan," when there's absolutely no evidence of that. (And no, the fact that they drafted Rendon and Matt Skole is not evidence that Zim is not long for 3B. Please.)Laddie BB — The Beast's trade value was pretty high this off season because of his breakout year last year. Right now, probably not so high. But he's still worth a lot more than BJ Upton. Ugh.And people — Corey Brown has had a great year in AAA. But he's 26 and has had 7 PAs in the majors, and no hits. Let's not be making reservations for his Cooperstown induction quite yet.

  43. Section 222 - Jul 20, 2012 at 3:11 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  44. Section 222 - Jul 20, 2012 at 3:13 AM

    [Ankiel] is still a good left-handed pitcher with a decent bat.Hasn't thrown a pitch in over a decade, but yeah, sure.

  45. 5c3cd06e-cef8-11e1-abe6-000bcdcb2996 - Jul 20, 2012 at 3:13 AM

    I'll be a fan of Rick wherever he ends up. Nat's made a mistake letting him go. While DeRosa may be more versatile, it honestly doesn't matter because I can't imagine we will ever need DeRosa on the field with the talent we have on the bench.

  46. NatsLady - Jul 20, 2012 at 3:19 AM

    In two years Rick Ankiel at 30+ was given plenty of opportunities to prove he could be the starter for a major league team.Yeah, and ditto for a LOT more years on Bernadina, who doesn't have the excuse of being 30+.

  47. Swift Eagle - Jul 20, 2012 at 3:38 AM

    During the off-season, I was hoping for Fielder…But watching ALR every day has been eye-opening…His bat is one thing, but is value at first is sky-high, with the erratic arms of Ryan, Ian, and Danny, I hope ALR stays another year or 2…I'd much rather see them trade Morse

  48. peric - Jul 20, 2012 at 3:39 AM

    While DeRosa may be more versatile, it honestly doesn't matter because I can't imagine we will ever need DeRosa on the field with the talent we have on the bench.With Desmond still hurting and barely able to hit at times. With Chad Tracy still out. Who else is there to back up in the infield? That isn't where Ankiel plays.The only reason Rick Ankiel signed on in 2011 and again in 2012 was he had a legitimate chance at starting. Otherwise he would not have signed with the Nats. He blew two perfectly good chances. As for Bernadina, Natslady, he is working out as a decent bench bat, pinch hitter and late inning replacement. Not a starter.

  49. peric - Jul 20, 2012 at 3:41 AM

    I hope ALR stays another year or 2They are going to move Zim over there to preserve his bat and his career throughout the term of his now very long contract. If he doesn't go there then Tyler Moore will.ALR is gone next year.

  50. peric - Jul 20, 2012 at 3:48 AM

    And people — Corey Brown has had a great year in AAA. But he's 26 and has had 7 PAs in the majors, and no hits. Let's not be making reservations for his Cooperstown induction quite yet.Either way you look at it 222 HE IS HIGHLY LIKELY A LOT BETTER than Ankiel offensively and almost as good defensively. AND HE IS YOUNGER at age 26. He was a five tool pretty high up first round pick outfielder like Harper. So, his CEILING IS HIGH at age 26. His stats in a healthy year inAAA are off the chart good.That's not Cooperstown … but its good enough to start in the Nat's outfield and minimally? Good enough and well past time for a call up to the majors to see legitimately see what he can do.As for Zim? Okay well Boz has been saying the same thing for about 3 years now section 222. I happen to think Boz is right. The advances stats I look at indicate that Zim is by far the best hitter on this team. When that bat leaves the lineup it becomes close to pathetic. They need the bat more than the glove at third.

  51. SonnyG10 - Jul 20, 2012 at 5:34 AM

    I really like Mikey Morse, but I can also see the value in trading him, if we can get something good in return. He is 30 and we may see more of these back and leg muscle problems over the next couple years if he stays with us.

  52. Laddie Blah Blah - Jul 20, 2012 at 7:34 AM

    "Besides, what kind of a job can a philosophy major get in this economy? ;-)"Blowhard. There seems to be no shortage of them in spite of unprecedented demand. You can see them all over cable TV. It's a boom market for anyone who can count the number of angels standing on the head of a pin, split hairs to the point of insubstantiality, or argue in circles redundantly concentric to the point of unintelligibility.

  53. Laddie Blah Blah - Jul 20, 2012 at 7:44 AM

    "Eury Perez, remember him? Just got promoted to Syracuse. Speed, speed, speed. "I think Brian Goodwin has eclipsed Perez, Michael Taylor, Destin Hood, et. al., as the presumptive CFer of the future, and unheralded Billy Burns is a better all-around player than Perez, with speed to kill. Besides, how can you miss with a name like that? Who would you rather have running the bases, Eury Perez or Billy Burns?

  54. Laddie Blah Blah - Jul 20, 2012 at 7:49 AM

    "Laddie BB — The Beast's trade value was pretty high this off season because of his breakout year last year. Right now, probably not so high."So, you are saying that his trade value is going down, no? How does that contradict "his trade value will never be higher than it is right now?" Actually, if he starts hitting those tape-measure moon shots again, it could go up from where it is now. Regardless, he is expendable because the Nats have younger, better all-around players to play either in the OF or at 1b.My respect for the way Rizzo has built this team and systematically replenished the inventory of skilled young talent just keeps growing.

  55. Laddie Blah Blah - Jul 20, 2012 at 8:02 AM

    "Bernie makes a lot of mistakes, some of them covered up by his speed. Ankiel makes hardly any mistakes."Boy, does he ever, like that routine, high hop that he promptly dropped, then picked up and threw to 3rd base, which was the only base not in play by a base runner. You wonder where his mind has gone off to, because it is not in the game.But he has proven to be a much better bat off the bench than Rick was, and that is what Davey prefers, so it doesn't matter what we think. If I ever met Ankiel, the first question I would ask would be about the high FB, and why he could simply lay off and take a ball, or two, or three, to put himself in a hitter's count, etc., etc., etc. Rick is a cerebral player, as well as a terrific athlete. I just never understood how he could make the same mistake, over and over again, expecting a different result, each time that he did. That was Einstein's definition of insanity, and Rick's eternal, fruitless quest to hit the high FB was, well, insane. That was only one mistake, but Rick kept on making it, over and over and over, again. Drove me nuts watching him do it.

  56. baseballswami - Jul 20, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    Agreed that Rick wasn't producing and was probably past the point where that would happen. Bernie had been a surprise off the bench and does have speed. Not saying he is great, just marginally better than Rick until someone better appears. Rick was obviously liked and respected, though, and that empty locker is a reminder that you are only there if you produce. I wonder how the kid took it.

  57. sjm308 - Jul 20, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    Yes Swami, I forgot to put "after the all-star break" but I figured most here would have that understood. Good point about Ankiel and I also liked reading about how he and LaRoche spent time with Harper outside the park. Lots of teams would let the kid flounder but we have some quality people as well as players. Not saying he should have stayed, it was probably the right move with this double header coming up but it still is difficult to lose anyone you have spent the last 5 or 6 months with as a teammate.

  58. sjm308 - Jul 20, 2012 at 11:44 AM

    OK: As we near the double header, I feel the need to let those posters whose opinions I value know, I will just be reading Mark and not the comments. This won't bother anyone and is not shocking news. I use the comments to gain knowledge and get a feel for what true fans are thinking. They sometime bring comic relief as well when we have battling egos/posts/opinions and a certain someone just can't say he is ever wrong. My point is, with LannEn starting its a no-win here for me on Nats Insider. There will be multiple posts, especially if he doesn't throw a perfect game citing all sorts of statistics telling us how he should never put on a major league uniform with a curly W. If he loses, there will be multiple posts citing his superior knowledge of the situation and how "he told you so" in either bold or italics. I just need to keep my eyes on our lads during this difficult stretch and not get pulled into that distraction. It's just one game but this season, every game is important. No matter who has our uniform on is someone I will be rooting for. I almost get the feeling that at least one member of this group will actually be pleased if LannEn fails so he can once again rise up over us.god forbid Zimm goes to first base in the next year or so. We already get 17 posts a day on that. I realize its on me to read who I want and whenbut I don't do therapy anymore so this was my time to vent.Hope everyone gets a good laugh out of this but I won't be around to read it. I will see you guys on Monday but I will be rooting just as hard.Oh, Mick, no matter what, don't fire anyone and don't jump off any tall buildings. We will be fine.

  59. baseballswami - Jul 20, 2012 at 11:46 AM

    It seems like Bryce has particularly counted on Werth ( minors today), Ankiel (dfa yesterday) and LaRoche. I often see ALR talking to him. As long as he has older veterans to talk to then he will handle the hard stuff. Maybe the first time he had seen it first hand. Harsh realities of the business side.

  60. natsfan1a - Jul 20, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    Definitely an eventful day at the ballpark. Agree with Davey on the positives to come out of the game. Another positive for me, the cooling room. After the 7th inning stretch, my baseball buddy and I took refuge from the sun. Oh. My. G*d. Loved that sweet, sweet AC and that cold, cold water. Earlier, we'd chatted with a congenial and knowledgeable Mets fan in our section. He said he wouldn't mind if we won the division, as long as the Phillies didn't do so. I could get on board with that. :-)Good luck to Rick and thanks for all teh awesomez throws!1!

  61. natsfan1a - Jul 20, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    And swami, the same thought had occurred to me re. Bryce and Ankiel.

  62. UnkyD - Jul 20, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    Welcome to Harrisburg, Brian Goodwin!!

  63. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 20, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    That's how you fast track a prospect. Goodwin has already exhibited the skills Rizzo wants as a CF candidate. Those skills have placed him ahead of Perez and Brown in organiztonal ranking. A successful 50 game run at AA will earn an invite to the ML camp next February.

  64. UnkyD - Jul 20, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    Love Mikey, but agree-no better time to move him…for prospects. I like to see Laroche's option picked up, Rendon up this time next year, Zim to first (agree with Peric-it's the only way to keep his bat in he line-up, long term), and Adam traded for more prospects, at that point. Gimme Brown, now, and move him, for more prospects, when Goodwin comes to town, next year…This pie in the sky brought to you by Mrs. Smith!!!

  65. Laddie Blah Blah - Jul 20, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    "That's how you fast track a prospect. Goodwin has already exhibited the skills Rizzo wants as a CF candidate. Those skills have placed him ahead of Perez and Brown in organiztonal ranking."What a difference from just a few months ago, when CF was considered the Nats main deficiency. Those 3 give Rizzo even more flexibility going forward. He is suddenly very deep in CF, which is now an organizational strength, instead of a weakness. Another nice problem to have, if you are the GM. He can concentrate on whatever need he believes must be addressed now, and one of those guys can be moved to make that happen without hurting the overall strength and depth of their OF talent.Let's see what Brian does in AA this year. He is going to make it, sometime, whether it is next year or the year after, barring injury. If not Brian next year, then Corey.Speaking of injuries, Anthony Rendon saw his first action yesterday since breaking his ankle last spring, going 0 – 2 in the GCL. That kid is a natural hitter, if ever there was one. Stay healthy Tony, and do what comes so much more naturally to you than it does to almost anyone else.

  66. snopes1 - Jul 20, 2012 at 9:39 PM

    Werth in Amanda's column yesterday in the Washington Times:"But you know, you build chemistry and you start cultivating what it is to be a winning team and that's what we're doing. That's a big, big part of it. As time goes on and we had a chance to keep this team together for a long time. Everybody's young, except for me, and that's a good thing. This is that part of this team's progression right now. We're building relationships and chemistry that could go on for the rest of our lives. This is a fun time. This is what it's all about right here."Building relationships that "could go on for the rest of our lives"! That's good clubhouse chemistry, to say the least. I can't see a trade of the very popular Mike Morse while these guys are playing so well. It would have a terrible effect on morale. Why mess with success?

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 57 47 --
ATLANTA 58 49 0.5
MIAMI 53 53 5.0
NEW YORK 51 56 7.5
PHILADELPHIA 47 60 11.5
Through Tuesday's games

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