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Game 91: Braves at Nats

Jul 20, 2012, 7:47 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Birthday boy Stephen Strasburg faces the Braves tonight at Nationals Park.

I feel like I suggest this notion every few weeks, but tonight the Nationals open arguably the biggest series in team history. (And, assuming things continue the way they have been, I'll probably be making the same declaration several more times over the next two months.) But you can't dispute the importance of this four-games-in-three-days showdown with the Braves, who enter 3 1/2 games back in the NL East.

And who better to send to the mound for tonight's opener than Stephen Strasburg, who will be pitching on his 24th birthday (and hoping to have better luck against the Braves than he did earlier this month in the record heat at Turner Field)? Ian Desmond, meanwhile, is back in the Nationals' lineup for the first time in six days, an encouraging sign. And throwing out the ceremonial first pitch: None other than ex-Nationals closer Chad Cordero.

The forecast isn't great — good chance of storms throughout the afternoon and evening — but with a doubleheader scheduled tomorrow, they'll do whatever they can to try to get this one in.

Check back for updates…

ATLANTA BRAVES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 185
Weather: Storms, 79 degrees, Wind 12 mph in from CF

NATIONALS (53-37)
LF Steve Lombardozzi
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche

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200 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Natitude - Jul 20, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    So if tonight's game gets rained out, presumably Strasburg would pitch one of the games tomorrow … leaving Lannan in Syracuse.

  2. Tcostant - Jul 20, 2012 at 7:54 PM

    Chad Cordero is just a reminder, how fast fame can fade. Welcome back Chad, you meant a lot to us in those early days!I'm going Sunday – I want to bring a broom.

  3. Theophilus T. S. - Jul 20, 2012 at 7:57 PM

    Nothing going on in the weather out here in western F'fax County that would suggest a postponement.

  4. Section 222 - Jul 20, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    Got new posted, and I'm really interested in your reactions.There is absolutely no way Stephen Strasburg will ever go to the minors again, unless it's on a rehab assignment.Not so sure about that. Of course, he's not going to pitch in the minors, but last year when JZimm was shut down there wasn't an issue of who would be on the post season 25 man roster, because the Nats had no chance of making the playoffs. JZimm could stay on the 40 man September roster. This year, I seriously doubt that Davey will want Strasburg to occupy a position on the 25 man roster that's eligible for the postseason if he's not going to pitch. So unless they put him on the DL when they shut him down, they may actually have to option him to the minors to free up a spot on the 25 man for the playoffs. They could bring him up for September if he hasn't reached his innings limit, as part of the expanded September roster, but that would mean he'd have to wait in the minors for 10 days, right? Am I missing something here?

  5. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jul 20, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    The National League East (and pennant) will be decided on depth of pitching. Braves are in deep: Jesus vs. Tommy Hanson. 'Nuf said.Four games in three days. If Fredi pulls off a split, he'll be luckyGYFNG!!

  6. JD - Jul 20, 2012 at 8:05 PM

    I am a little worried on how SS has pitched in inclement weather in the past; not just in the heat but also through some light rain. Really seemed to bother him.

  7. JD - Jul 20, 2012 at 8:06 PM

    The Braves lineup is really very good and deep. Solid 1 through 7.

  8. NatsLady - Jul 20, 2012 at 8:12 PM

    Yes, Stras wasn't happy the day they had the 7-minute rain delay. If you recall, three guys (among them Ankiel) let a fly ball drop between them for a double. It then started to rain, and Stras with many grabs of the resin bag and glares at the umpire, loaded the bases and got to a 3-2 count, and finally the game was delayed. Some comedy with the tarp rollers ensued, and the game was restarted 7 minutes later. Stras came out and gave up a single.

  9. Feel Wood - Jul 20, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    Am I missing something here?Yes. There's nothing that requires that every single player who is on the 25 man roster on Aug 31 go onto the playoff roster. Even if a team is not going to shut down one of their five starters in September, they still will only need a maximum of four starters in the postseason, so they're going to want to keep one of their five Aug 31 starters off the postseason roster so that they can carry another reliever or position player instead. There are ways to do this, like placing extra guys on the DL on the Aug 31 deadline so they'll be eligible for the playoffs. All playoff teams do it, every year. You can be sure Rizzo knows the drill.

  10. Diz - Jul 20, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    Nat,With a DH and no off day, you will need JL to pitch Sat. regardless of a rain out.I am surprised though that he's pitching Game 2 versus Game 1.Diz

  11. Steady Eddie - Jul 20, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    Am I missing something here?Yes, though I'm not sure I understand how the points Feel Wood raised apply. Stras' innings limit is almost certain to carry him into early September at least, given how Davey is keeping a weather eye out for his innings in every start. So the question of "do you keep him on the 25 man at the end of August?" is very unlikely to come into play.Also, what could the point of sending him to the minors possibly be after you shut him down? You're certainly not going to use up any of his innings there. Also also (though this is really irrelevant) the minors' seasons basically end around Labor Day, so there's nowhere to send him even if you wanted to.This is really overthinking. Stras will be on the 25 man through August 31, at which point it becomes the 40 man.

  12. NatsLady - Jul 20, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    Diz, so am I. Would have thought it would be Lannan for the afternoon game and EJax for the night game. Not sure I get Davey's reasoning. Randy Knorr, when asked the most surprising–good–thing about Davey, said, the way he manages the bullpen. Said he's good with the players, treats them will respect, etc., but Knorr really admires the bullpen management.

  13. Section 222 - Jul 20, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    Feel — Good point on only needing 4 starters for the playoffs. I think I understand what you're saying, but if you put someone on the DL on Aug. 31, they can't play for 15 days from the time the date they last played, so that's not much of an option for anyone who's needed for the stretch run in September. Since we'll carry only four starters for the playoffs, if Strasburg reaches his innings limit in September, he can be DL'd so that another player can replace him on the 25 man for the playoffs. (And that player can be from anywhere in the organization.) But if for some reason that can't be done (is a protective innings limit a valid injury?), or if he reaches his limit in late August, they might option him in order to have the spot available before the playoff rosters are set. I'm sure he would understand, once they pry the ball from his hand. Actually, there's the injury they'll need! Strained finger from ball being pried from hand.

  14. Feel Wood - Jul 20, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    Steady Eddie said… Am I missing something here? Yes, though I'm not sure I understand how the points Feel Wood raised apply.222's concern was that if Strasburg was occupying a 25 man roster spot on Aug 31st but was shut down before the playoffs, then that roster spot he was occupying on the 31st would be blocking someone else from possible playoff eligibility. That's not the case, for the reason I mentioned.

  15. CN - Jul 20, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    Maybe EJax is opening the DH so that Flores can catch him and Detweiler on Sunday. Thus having Leon catch Lannan, even though Leon was at Harrisburg while Lannan was up in 'Cuse. The battery combo might be to maximize chemistry more than anything.If tonight's game is rained out (big if), then it makes sense to push EJax to Sunday, with Strasburg being bumped to tomorrow. Regardless, Lannan has to pitch tomorrow else they will need a 6th starter later in the week.

  16. Feel Wood - Jul 20, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    But if for some reason that can't be done (is a protective innings limit a valid injury?)You're getting way too wound up in this. There are ways around the issue without having to option Strasburg over the Aug 31 window. Have you ever heard of another team sending their playoff-superfluous fifth starter to the minors over Aug 31st, or indeed any other such nonsense? Whatever Rizzo needs to do, he'll do it.

  17. Feel Wood - Jul 20, 2012 at 8:46 PM

    Maybe EJax is opening the DH so that Flores can catch him and Detweiler on Sunday.Or maybe Davey just said "Edwin, you're pitching one of the doubleheader games. Which one you want?" Jackson is the senior guy, so why shouldn't it be his choice?

  18. Bzl. - Jul 20, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    Seems to me that EJax would pitch the first game in the event that they can only get 1 of them in, due to weather.

  19. CN - Jul 20, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    And there you have it, at least 3 diff answers to why Jackson is pitching the first game of the split DH tomorrow. Good work by all…

  20. Section 222 - Jul 20, 2012 at 9:04 PM

    Feel, I'm not wound up around it at all. I'm just curious, enjoy the intricacies of the business of baseball, and passing time until first pitch. (This discussion is more interesting to me than rehashing for the millionth time whether Corey Brown should come up or Zim should move to 1B.)From the sounds of your last answer, you don't know exactly how it's going to work either, and that's fine. Maybe someone else does, or knows exactly how teams have been able to reduce their 5 man rotations to 4 before the playoff roster is finalized.Eddie, I wasn't suggesting he'd be "sent to the minors," just optioned so he's off the 25 man. Maybe as Feel suggests that won't be necessary, but you certainly don't want him on the playoff roster if he's not going to pitch.

  21. Candide - Jul 20, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    Tcostant said…I'm going Sunday – I want to bring a broom.So are Cunegonde and I. If we get to use a broom on Sunday, that would put the Nats 7-1/2 games in front of the Braves.Unlikely, but it's always nice to dream.

  22. Old Wino - Jul 20, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    This weekend is gonna be a marathon. I'm sick that I won't be able to watch live the Sat & Sun games. Go Nats!

  23. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 20, 2012 at 9:44 PM

    I wasn't suggesting he'd be "sent to the minors," just optioned so he's off the 25 man. Same thing. But as FW said, there's no need. He can be on the 25-man on 8/31 without costing them a roster spot in the playoffs (assuming they win the division), and yes, he would be able to go on the DL. Recall, for instance, the Giants left Zito off their playoff roster a couple of years back, for instance.

  24. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 20, 2012 at 9:44 PM

    For double-secret instance.

  25. A DC Wonk - Jul 20, 2012 at 9:47 PM

    CN said… And there you have it, at least 3 diff answers to why Jackson is pitching the first game of the split DH tomorrow. Good work by all…And here's one more. It is my vague recollection (when DH's were more commonplace — note, that it's the NL where DH stands for doubleheader, ahem) that managers would put their best lineup for the first game. The idea being that you want to pressure the other team into "avoiding a sweep" rather than the other way around. Put your best foot forward and keep the pressure on.

  26. Grandstander - Jul 20, 2012 at 10:04 PM

    Tom Hallion's behind the plate? We should be in for a lot of entertaining ringups tonight with Strasburg on the mound!

  27. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jul 20, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    Everybody seems a bit testy tonight. Relax, fellas. We're still in soul possession.

  28. natsfan1a - Jul 20, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    Go, Chief! Go, SS! Go, NATS!

  29. mick - Jul 20, 2012 at 11:24 PM

    BEAST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. phil dunton - Jul 20, 2012 at 11:25 PM

    Great to see The Beast's power return.

  31. sm13 - Jul 20, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    Wow!!! All I can say is WOW!

  32. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jul 20, 2012 at 11:28 PM

    To all those doctoral candidates who want to trade Morse, please view replay of his first inning HR. You don't trade a guy in the middle of gorse-hacking. Everybody knows that.

  33. ehay2k - Jul 20, 2012 at 11:28 PM

    Oh my frickin Gorse, that was FAR!

  34. ehay2k - Jul 20, 2012 at 11:29 PM

    He just raised his trade value! :-)

  35. Grandstander - Jul 20, 2012 at 11:36 PM

    He got an MMM Bopper off Hansen

  36. Nattering Nat - Jul 20, 2012 at 11:42 PM

    Anybody else notice that Stras has been behind virtually every hitter? Hmmmm……

  37. Nattering Nat - Jul 20, 2012 at 11:45 PM

    I'm a devout believer in reverse psychology, by the way….

  38. Theophilus T. S. - Jul 20, 2012 at 11:46 PM

    Why you throw a waste pitch to the 1-31 opposing pitcher is beyond me. You like wearing your arm out in six innings?

  39. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 21, 2012 at 12:07 AM

    at this point, I will take five scoreless from him. too many pitches in 3 innings I think, 59 total. Also seems to have trouble finding strikezone.

  40. Fear and Ignorance - Jul 21, 2012 at 12:16 AM

    Man this team sees a lot of breaking stuff at the plate. These guys really need to sit on that crap…we would be scoring 8 runs a game!!!

  41. ehay2k - Jul 21, 2012 at 12:18 AM

    If we could score 8 runs a game, we'd be in first place by now. Oh, wait. Nevermind.

  42. ehay2k - Jul 21, 2012 at 12:25 AM

    I think Flores should wear a red belt. The black one breaks up the catcher's ensemble. He can change into a black belt when he takes off his gear to hit.

  43. ehay2k - Jul 21, 2012 at 12:25 AM

    And yes, I will post anything to break up the in-game negativity.'

  44. Fear and Ignorance - Jul 21, 2012 at 12:31 AM

    ehay2k-Leave the game early again??? If you can't stay for the whole game, you are not the superfan you think you are with your holier than thou comments every night.

  45. ehay2k - Jul 21, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    F&I, I left the game the other night because I care more about my family – in that case getting my young son home to bed – than I do about seeing the last out from the Nats. If you think that makes me holier than you, I'll accept that.But stating that if our guys were to "sit on" major league breaking balls we'd score eight runs per game only accentuates the last word in your name.

  46. ehay2k - Jul 21, 2012 at 12:39 AM

    Better to sit on fastballs – as Zimmerman just demonstrated.

  47. TimDz - Jul 21, 2012 at 12:46 AM

    COME ON OFFICIAL GAME!!!

  48. DWS - Jul 21, 2012 at 12:47 AM

    Watching MLB on the computer and Carp sounds different. Almost like a Braves announcer.ehay 2k getting close to 8 runs. Perhaps the negative waves will subside for a bit.

  49. Theophilus T. S. - Jul 21, 2012 at 12:50 AM

    They're serving the Earl Weaver Special at the Waffle House tonight.

  50. ehay2k - Jul 21, 2012 at 12:50 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  51. ehay2k - Jul 21, 2012 at 12:57 AM

    Auto correct can be most unhelpful. With an NL-style DH tomorrow, there is an increased possibility they will call the game if it looks like the rain won't let up. Nice to see us put some big numbers on Tommy H. tonight.

  52. DWS - Jul 21, 2012 at 1:03 AM

    Well 9 runs will put a damper on somebodies Friday night.

  53. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jul 21, 2012 at 1:05 AM

    9-0 with Jesus on the mound. Ladies and Gents, I'm packing it in for the night. You all are responsible for the holds and the saves. Night.

  54. ehay2k - Jul 21, 2012 at 1:08 AM

    Team is getting better and better. Morse is definitely getting his eye and timing back. Zimmerman's OPS must be around 3.500 these days, with all the homers he's jacked. And we get Jurrjens tomorrow? Can we bring Livo back, just to hit?

  55. Secret wasian man - Jul 21, 2012 at 1:10 AM

    Jesus is not on mound. Strasburg is. His great but not God.

  56. ehay2k - Jul 21, 2012 at 1:12 AM

    I think the nickname for Stras is Jeezuz.

  57. ehay2k - Jul 21, 2012 at 1:19 AM

    Proper spelling will avoid confusion with Flores.

  58. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 21, 2012 at 1:22 AM

    Portrait of a man; more specifically, a baseball player: one Ryan Wallace Zimmerman. Moiling in baseball purgatory for years, he may get his shot at baseball paradise–a shot that could mark the difference between walking away, and walking off–the difference between night and day, a difference he may become too familiar with–next stop: The Corti-Zone!

  59. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 21, 2012 at 1:24 AM

    Jeezuz, or Baseball Jeezuz. Both work.

  60. ehay2k - Jul 21, 2012 at 1:26 AM

    Lol Sec3- thanks for joining the fun tonight.

  61. ehay2k - Jul 21, 2012 at 1:27 AM

    Nice looking K. :-)

  62. DaveB - Jul 21, 2012 at 1:29 AM

    I'm guessing Davey would have pulled Baseball Jeezuz after 5 given the rain, his time on the bases, and the 9-0 lead if it wasn't for the DH tomorrow. Unfortunately, he seemed to lose focus with that lead.

  63. Bigfish - Jul 21, 2012 at 1:30 AM

    Maybe it's because he's 24. Maybe it's because he's so focused when he's pitching. But Steven Strasburg does not seem to handle adversity well. Rain, heat, bad footing on the mound, an ump with an erratic strike zone — anything out of the ordinary seems to really mess with his mind.

  64. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 21, 2012 at 1:32 AM

    Just got back in, EHay, thanks for holding down the fort and standing up for the good stuff.

  65. ehay2k - Jul 21, 2012 at 1:32 AM

    DaveB, could be that he lost focus, but also could be that with the lead, and a wet, slick ball, he couldn't grip the ball well enough to throw breaking pitches, so he was left to challenge with an imperfectly-controlled fastball.

  66. ehay2k - Jul 21, 2012 at 1:35 AM

    Sec3., my pleasure. Want to make the in-game comments a little friendlier. I miss the fun of the gang posting during the games.

  67. Joe Seamhead - Jul 21, 2012 at 1:36 AM

    I fear that there is a lot of ignorance on this blog sometimes.

  68. ehay2k - Jul 21, 2012 at 1:38 AM

    You said it joe,

  69. BigCat - Jul 21, 2012 at 1:38 AM

    Yeah….well now its 9-4. So we gotta go to the pen in the bottom of 6th. We gt a DH tomorrow. Stra had only 85 pitches going into inning. So now its raining a little, Stra is falling off the mound, looking at his hand. His velocity is down to 93 and the Braves smoke 4 in a row off him. You know Davey doesn't want to go to the pen with a DH tomorrow, but Mouseburg is done. Looking at his hand after each pitch. He gets to the dugout and looks sheepishly out to the field. This guy is a frickin wimp. Yeah, you heard it here first. Shut his butt down now. He is weak as a kitten mentally. The sad thing is…. he will probably get another win.

  70. Knoxville Nat - Jul 21, 2012 at 1:40 AM

    Okay like most everyone else on this board I'll give Davey Johnson his props when due but for the life I me I cannot understand why he let SS go out for the sixth inning! I mean, seriously, a 9-0 lead (he would be in line for a W if the Nats hold the lead), the GM has many times indicated that his innings this year will be limited (and rightly so I will add), Stras just ran the bases after walking and Lombo getting a base hit, and the finally the heart of the Braves line up coming to bat. Can somebody give me an explanation why he would do that? I know, a 4 game weekend, but we did add an extra pitcher for the DH and it's not that stressful for a relief pitcher with a 9 run lead. I mean really,I just don't see a logical reason for Stras having gone out for that sixth inning.

  71. Secret wasian man - Jul 21, 2012 at 1:43 AM

    Lannan tommorow. We better hang on. Tarp should be on

  72. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 21, 2012 at 1:44 AM

    could be that with the lead, and a wet, slick ball, he couldn't grip the ball well enough to throw breaking pitches, so he was left to challenge with an imperfectly-controlled fastball.I hear pine tar is good for that.

  73. ehay2k - Jul 21, 2012 at 1:45 AM

    I can understand the passion people have for the game and the Nats, and it's actually a good thing to see. But to go nuts like this game, or this inning , is the most important one ever played, is not reasonable in the middle of a 162 (or 161, like last year) season.I have been guilty of criticizing the Nats (OK, mainly Eckstein ) but that was not ever for one game, it was for a moribund body of work.

  74. hmm... - Jul 21, 2012 at 1:50 AM

    "I cannot understand why he let SS go out for the sixth inning!"SS has four days off after this. The bullpen doesnt. Just a guess.

  75. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 21, 2012 at 1:50 AM

    Is it me or did Leon put on 20 lbs while he was out?

  76. ehay2k - Jul 21, 2012 at 1:51 AM

    Sec3 , speaking of pine tar, do you think opposing pitchers are afraid to use it now when playing the Nats? Avilan looked really uncomfortable with his grip, and I couldn't help but wonder if he might have wanted to use a little PT.

  77. ehay2k - Jul 21, 2012 at 1:52 AM

    When Uggla's jersey get wet, it shrinks just enough that he can't stretch out and get those grounders. Viva Poncharello!

  78. hmm... - Jul 21, 2012 at 1:53 AM

    "I cannot understand why he let SS go out for the sixth inning!"SS has four days off after this. The bullpen doesnt. Just a guess.

  79. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 21, 2012 at 1:56 AM

    I never noticed that before–the Nats' bullpen is covered, but the visitors' isn't. I like that. Nice job, architect.

  80. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 21, 2012 at 1:58 AM

    Pine tar intimidation? Well, there's always the rosin, but no, I would figure he's unlikely to check someone again so soon.

  81. BigCat - Jul 21, 2012 at 1:58 AM

    I think Davey was making a statement when he went Zim, Gio and Mousey as his pitchers after the All Star break.

  82. ehay2k - Jul 21, 2012 at 1:58 AM

    @Hmm.. I think you are correct. Also, Strasburg is still learning how to handle conditions like this. Better to do it in a blowout than a close game. Remember, he has not yet pitched a full season in MLB. Amazing stuff, but still learning the craft.

  83. Knoxville Nat - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:01 AM

    hmm,We have an extra starting pitcher on the roster for the DH tomorrow and we have an 8 man bullpen for the whole darn weekend, why hold out for tomorrow when we could have used a reliever today and kept Strasburg from throwing a needless inning tonight?

  84. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:02 AM

    FP wondering out loud if Davey would pitch Storen 3 days in a row, and doubting he would, but he *is* about as fresh as he'll ever get. Maybe in one of the two games, if needed, he would. Or use him tonight to save somebody else for tomorrow, and have him for Sunday.All of which is mooted if he can't get through this eighth…

  85. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:03 AM

    Which he won't. Burnett comes in.

  86. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:05 AM

    I don't think Strasburg stayed in to save the bullpen. As we are seeing, it ain't working out that way, anyhow.

  87. ehay2k - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:07 AM

    BigCat, I agree – both Davey and McCatty were saying – "We need to give our All Star pitchers a break, but still keep a R/L/R order in the rotation. Zimmermann also needs to start before he gets rusty."Or were you thinking of some other statement?

  88. Secret wasian man - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:16 AM

    This is getting ugly. Cmon guys

  89. ehay2k - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:18 AM

    Good outside pitch – and a very good hit by Chipper.

  90. Secret wasian man - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:19 AM

    What a joke. This will kill us. Just cant happen

  91. phil dunton - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:19 AM

    The Nationals relief pitching has been junraveling like a cheap suit.

  92. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:20 AM

    Oh, man. Davey is looking like he needs the bathroom and the door is locked.

  93. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:20 AM

    trying to keep my cool, why pitch Storen the very next day with 2 tomorrow, why not come in with Mattheus verse Chipper.Storen now has blown 3 games in hiss last 6. Gang, if Nats lose this after 9-0 at HOME …..

  94. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:21 AM

    we can not lose this game!!!

  95. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:21 AM

    Oh NOES!~! What a horrible team. We're doomed! A bad inning! The heck with the women and children, let me at the life boats!

  96. ehay2k - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:22 AM

    Ah, Mick, I was wondering when you'd show up to spread some cheer. ;-) If the Nats lose, its still one game. Hard to get that across in a football town.

  97. Secret wasian man - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:22 AM

    As fans we don't deserve this suffering night after night

  98. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:23 AM

    sofa, 9-0 lead, then 9-4 now 9-8, tell me what is good about that?? and tell me when you have 8 relievers, why do not use them??/

  99. phil dunton - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:23 AM

    Clip is no sure thing in the 9th since he went into a nasty slump five games ago.

  100. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:24 AM

    In the interests of fairness, if the Doom Squad is only going to come out when things aren't going their way, somebody should only post when things are good. Seriously, that poster slump has got us under the Internetz Medoza line.

  101. ehay2k - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:24 AM

    Carp is one inning ahead.

  102. Schumatrix - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:24 AM

    That's what happens when you can't throw strikes.

  103. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:24 AM

    ehay… if they blow this, is that OK?? I guarantee historically a playoff team has NEVER blown a 9-0 lead at home. if you can show me where it happen in late July, then i will keep quiet

  104. JaneB - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:24 AM

    Storen isin the equivalent of spring training. That's why you bring him in when Davey did. They gotta pull this out. And they can.

  105. A DC Wonk - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:25 AM

    Mick. Duh. What's good about it is that our team has the 9 and they have the eight. What's good about it is that we have the lead going into the ninth

  106. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:25 AM

    Begging the question, Mick. We have diametrically opposed attitudes toward watching baseball, but we are in here, sharing them in the same venue. No way around that. We are never going to enjoy reading one another's posts, I think.

  107. Secret wasian man - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:26 AM

    Nick I agree. To blow 9 0 would be awful. Not like losing 3. 2

  108. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:27 AM

    if you can show me where it happen in late July, then i will keep quiet Oh, if ONLY I thought you'd remember saying that, in the morning.

  109. A DC Wonk - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:27 AM

    Didn't the playoff bound Phillies blow a five run lead in the ninth to a sub-.500 team just last year?

  110. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:27 AM

    jane Bthen Davey should not pitch Drew 2 games in a row, when he has 8 relievers!!!!

  111. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:28 AM

    DC…. true

  112. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:29 AM

    sofa true..

  113. Secret wasian man - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:29 AM

    What's bad Wink is clipped is coming in. You watched him lately

  114. ehay2k - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:30 AM

    Mick, I bet the Sox have lost a nine run lead to the Yankees.

  115. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:32 AM

    ehay…. I'm sure, but unlike the Sox and Yankees, we are just trying to make our first postseason in my lifetime. A loss would be devastating on a number of levels for this franchise

  116. A DC Wonk - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:34 AM

    Drew only threw nine pitches yesterday

  117. A DC Wonk - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:35 AM

    Well put, mick. A loss would be devasting on many levels. To you ;-)

  118. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:35 AM

    Davey really made some bad moves tonight… he was right to pull Strass when he did, why he had Storen come in is BEYOND me!!1 and why he stuck with Burnett after the left handed batters were up is stunning

  119. ehay2k - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:36 AM

    Mick, I have to believe you will be much more devastated than the team. But a few coronas tomorrow will set you right. :-)

  120. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:38 AM

    ehay… maybe, lol

  121. ehay2k - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:39 AM

    Who put the Teflon on the baseballs?

  122. Schumatrix - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:39 AM

    Is it impossible to throw strikes tonight…

  123. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:39 AM

    wow, I hope Davey for once takes a some responsibility as well as not defend the guys who lost one of the worst losses in Nats history

  124. peric - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:40 AM

    Clippard is starting to look like bad Clippard from 2010 and before. And everyone is all worked up about Henry? Me thinks they are going to need that guy before all is said and done. Clippard can't find the plate.Looks like a loss looming instead of a blowout.

  125. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:40 AM

    Get Henry up…

  126. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:40 AM

    by the way, this umpire is terrible

  127. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:41 AM

    Can we get a macro for "Nats get a break"?

  128. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:41 AM

    peric you may be right

  129. peric - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:42 AM

    why he had Storen come in is BEYOND me!!Uh Mick? They had a HUGE lead that absolutely is the right time to bringin a Storen or an H-Rod. Who knew both Burnett and Clippard would decide to implode?

  130. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:42 AM

    Oh, wait, I almost forgot: This is all Chad Cordero's fault. We'll be fine.

  131. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:43 AM

    Or not.

  132. Schumatrix - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:43 AM

    Well, that's awesome…

  133. ehay2k - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:44 AM

    Morse misplayed that. Cost us a run there.

  134. peric - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:44 AM

    Clippard and Storen may need DL time.

  135. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:44 AM

    Clip your just are a joke. this is the worse loss in meaningful game for this team. Peric… I agree Clip is an over rated JOKE.

  136. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:44 AM

    Another "teaching moment" for a young team. The lessons aren't always easy.

  137. peric - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:45 AM

    Clippard's ERA now 3.24 looks to me like he may reach Henry if he keeps pitching like this.

  138. Schumatrix - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:45 AM

    BP needs sit down with JZimm for a "here's how you throw strikes 101."

  139. rogieshan - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:47 AM

    Instant analysis, part deux.

  140. peric - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:47 AM

    Another "teaching moment" for a young team. The lessons aren't always easy.I don't have a problem with it. Let's hope the FO doesn't overreact … well Davey is there to keep things level.

  141. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:47 AM

    we will see what we do in the 9th, I dont want to hear about Braves closer's that is BS

  142. Fear and Ignorance - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:47 AM

    Say good-bye to the division!!! I don't see them recovering from this!!! This was the worst choke job I have ever seen…and I was at the Steve Bartman game!!!

  143. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:48 AM

    if Braves can score 5 runs in 2 innings, I would think we could muster at least a run in the 9th…. I can not believe we are at this point!!!

  144. ehay2k - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:48 AM

    Did it also stop rainng at the park? I thought I saw some folded umbrellas as they panned the stands when the inning ended.

  145. Secret wasian man - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:48 AM

    Just miserable. With Jackson and lannan tommorow. We will be out of first by Monday. This team has proven that it does not know how to win or hang with the big boys. And all you rose colored glasses people who want to say its just one game; Please check back to me in 1 month when the season is over. BLAHHHHHHHH

  146. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:48 AM

    at HOME

  147. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:49 AM

    wasianman… you are correct and this loss will snowball

  148. phil dunton - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:49 AM

    Clippard has definitely caught the H-Rod disease. This will be a very destructive loss.

  149. ehay2k - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:49 AM

    So now we know where Bartman has been hiding !

  150. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:49 AM

    OK, one to tie, two to win. Let's go get 'em!

  151. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:50 AM

    Burnett is a clown… he himself blew games and leads against the O's, Rockies and now tonight

  152. Secret wasian man - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:50 AM

    Thank you Mick. Now if youll excuse me I have to go throw up and go to bed. BLAHHHHHHH

  153. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:50 AM

    I bet we go down 1-2-3, like a team use to losing 100 games a year

  154. Swift Eagle - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:52 AM

    Uh OH…Dont cancel the season yet!!!

  155. ehay2k - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:52 AM

    Blahhhhh back at you.

  156. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:52 AM

    like I said we should get at least 1 run

  157. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:52 AM

    Bang!!!!!!!!!!!!!!ZOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!

  158. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:52 AM

    blahhhhh, blahhhhhh…blahhhh this is crazy

  159. UnkyD - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:53 AM

    Spinner.

  160. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:53 AM

    98, on the black, at the knees. For a teaching moment, I'd say they're learning fast.

  161. Schumatrix - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:54 AM

    Dafuq did I see….

  162. hmm... - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:54 AM

    And danny sux from the left side. What will he do against superman? Mick, f&i. You're right. We're doomed forever. Oh, wait a minute

  163. Schumatrix - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:54 AM

    And Mick, you can go back to the cave you came from.

  164. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:55 AM

    FP says Clip feels he let the team down …. you think FP,, Actually Burnett is the Dog tonight

  165. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:56 AM

    OKAY! Free baseball! Let's go get 'em!

  166. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:56 AM

    schum…. what???

  167. Knoxville Nat - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:56 AM

    Keep things level? Stras never should have been out there in the 6th inning! Give the BP a clean slate to work with and not a 2 runs in, two men on situation. Not to exonerate the BP but darn I have a hard time understanding what the heck Johnsom was thinking in sending Steven out for another inning given the situation at hand.

  168. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:57 AM

    Hey, ladies and gentlemen. I took a little two-hour mid-game nap. Did I miss anything?Oh. Wait. What the … ?Ladies and gentlemen, the bar is back open. Bourbon and Maalox all around. It's the 10-10 special. All drinks are on the house.

  169. ehay2k - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:57 AM

    The umps are the dogs for continuing the game in this slop. Up 9-0, they could have called it early with a DH tomorrow.

  170. Knoxville Nat - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:58 AM

    "Johnson" not "Johnsom".

  171. ehay2k - Jul 21, 2012 at 2:59 AM

    Oooh the 10-10 special? I think last time I had anything like that was the game in Chicago last year!

  172. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 21, 2012 at 3:01 AM

    The whole bullpen has been terible the last 2 games. What suddenlt has happened there. a total of 19 runs in 18 innings for the staff. That is not like a division winning staff suddenly. Wakke up guys.

  173. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 21, 2012 at 3:02 AM

    Dear Friends, THIS is the Church of Baseball. Suck it up and get tough, this is no game for sprinters. It's a marathon. A marathon of the spirit, a test of character for players and fans, and not everyone passes the test. Gorzelanny, like a boss!Any old kind of a run wins it!

  174. A DC Wonk - Jul 21, 2012 at 3:03 AM

    I guess Espinoza didn't get the mome from mick and F&I that they ween't supposed to play in the bottom of the ninth, because, you know, the game was already lost. As for the entire team being out of it in a month, can I bet on that?

  175. Swift Eagle - Jul 21, 2012 at 3:05 AM

    The Sky is falling! The Sky is falling! A lot of Chicken Little's on here tonight.This is 1 of 162 folks….Long way to goI think I even saw a "Fire Eck" post, despite the 10 runs….

  176. BigCat - Jul 21, 2012 at 3:08 AM

    Gotta love Espi. Davey has stood behind him the whole time. Not me though. I've written him off more than once over the last year. 98 the other way. Go on with your ass Danny!! Memo to Clip….The kitchen gets hot in the closers role. It ain't that easy.

  177. ehay2k - Jul 21, 2012 at 3:08 AM

    Swift – that wasn't a Fire Eck post, I was just saying I have criticized him in the past.'

  178. ehay2k - Jul 21, 2012 at 3:11 AM

    Wow.

  179. ehay2k - Jul 21, 2012 at 3:14 AM

    Can we hit any more pitchers than we have in the last few days?

  180. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 21, 2012 at 3:16 AM

    Big Cat I told you Espi would dio it. But then again I thought harper would do it in the 10th

  181. Knoxville Nat - Jul 21, 2012 at 3:18 AM

    Can't fault Gorz, should have been a runner on first and the infield playing back. If so that pop up is caught by Desmond.

  182. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 21, 2012 at 3:20 AM

    NcCatty what has happened to your people, They have all gone to hell in a hand basket since the top of the 6th inning. Total lack of focus once ahead looks like it cost you. This is the same crap the Caps do regularly.

  183. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 21, 2012 at 3:20 AM

    OK, we're going to need a live chicken.

  184. Swift Eagle - Jul 21, 2012 at 3:22 AM

    Haha..now we're going to start to the "Fire McCatty" campaign….The NI In-Game Legion of Doom posters has returned….You guys are hilarious

  185. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 21, 2012 at 3:23 AM

    OK, let's do it again… one to tie, let's get that second one here. Big boyz up, let's go get 'em!

  186. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 21, 2012 at 3:24 AM

    The Caps have a bad bullpen, too? I hadn't heard that before.

  187. Knoxville Nat - Jul 21, 2012 at 3:26 AM

    BTW, anyone else notice how every opposing base runner is not afraid to challenge Michael Morse's arm? I mean even McCann, the Braves catcher went from second to third on a rather routine fly ball to RF early in this game. Should we make the playoffs, and I think we will, this could really be an issue for the Nats.

  188. Swift Eagle - Jul 21, 2012 at 3:27 AM

    Haha…Yes Sofa, the Caps bullpen is terrible..I too have not quite got the connection between hockey and a bad night for the Nats bullpen…must be too deep for me

  189. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 21, 2012 at 3:27 AM

    Knoxville, yes, it was pointed out in here a few times, but Morse won't be in right for the playoffs.

  190. Swift Eagle - Jul 21, 2012 at 3:28 AM

    And Mark, the wrap of this game won't fit in a nutshell

  191. ehay2k - Jul 21, 2012 at 3:28 AM

    The last few games have really exposed how weak our outfield defense is at the moment.. Morse belongs in LF – he has no arm for RF. Inexperienced Lombo in LF increases the chances of Harper trying to take over catches (he did tonight and missed the ball that Lombo could have caught). Bernadina is always an adventure in CF. Werth's return will help, but we will still have some deficiencies there. Not sure how to fix that. Morse for Upton?

  192. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 21, 2012 at 3:29 AM

    OK, go get 'em tomorrow.

  193. ehay2k - Jul 21, 2012 at 3:29 AM

    Sigh. Gotta bounce back tomorrow. Gnite all. Mark Z – save the wrap up for tomorrow AM. :-)

  194. SonnyG10 - Jul 21, 2012 at 3:30 AM

    Crap! This is disgusting!

  195. Knoxville Nat - Jul 21, 2012 at 3:31 AM

    I'm not sure Morse even belongs in left field. His arm is so weak I'm not sure he is over his injury at all.From a 9 to 0 lead to 11-10 loss…flat out embarassing.

  196. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 21, 2012 at 3:32 AM

    Can some explain how come one would check a swing on a low pitch but a beautful fast ball middle cut you take for strike 3. Simpluy makes no sense to me, never has and mever will watching the game over 50 years now.As Big Cat told me as the lead kept shrinking on the phone, the relievers showed no heart. I am not sure about that, but they sure have stunk in comparison to before the all star game. Not sure what the problem is, but beter come out tomorrow and win 2, because this game was in the bag and then they quit (escept Espi). Zim's field allowed runs 3 and 4 to score and that really started the down fall, and that been feilded cleanly and the inning ended 9-2, they probably would fall in place. thenZIm's fielding in the 11th allowed run 11.he was not the only problem, but he was the final problem.

  197. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 21, 2012 at 3:54 AM

    It will be hard to sleep tonight.

  198. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 21, 2012 at 4:01 AM

    Of course I take losses much harder than the players. One of the reason I quite watching for a while is I just couln't sleep as i would go over every play, and what could have gone differently. tonight a long night as there are too many plays.

  199. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 4:10 AM

    Now I know how the Houston Oiler fans felt after blowing a 34 point lead verse Bills in 1993, lolthis was terrible and i'm afraid Nats will struggle to win 85 games if they are swept this weekend. Ejax has played on 6 different teams for a reason and we are going to see why tomorrow and then i bet Lannan will get lit up and of course we will stop hitting

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 58 47 --
ATLANTA 58 49 1.0
MIAMI 53 54 6.0
NEW YORK 52 56 7.5
PHILADELPHIA 47 61 12.5
Through Wednesday's early games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
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.
WED: 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

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MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
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