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Game 92: Braves at Nats

Jul 21, 2012, 4:00 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Nationals Park hosts a day-night doubleheader today.

Call me a hopeless romantic — and believe me, I've been called worse — but among the many things I love about baseball is the fact there's always another game to be played. Unlike football and every other sport, you can't celebrate wins or agonize over losses for days, because you've got to immediately shift your focus to the next day's game. Or, as the case may be, the next day's TWO games.

That's right. Last night's debacle of an 11-10 loss is ancient history, because we've got a day-night doubleheader to be played. Edwin Jackson will face Ben Sheets in the 1:05 p.m. opener. John Lannan then makes his 2012 big-league debut against Randall Delgado in the 7:05 p.m. nightcap.

Your morning injury updates: Jesus Flores' stiff back is fine and he'll be behind the plate for the opener. Ian Desmond's oblique is good enough that manager Davey Johnson may let his shortstop play both games. Everyone in the bullpen is officially available, Davey says, though he'd prefer to stay away from Craig Stammen (who threw four innings on Thursday) and Michael Gonzalez (who threw 30 pitches last night).

Plenty of baseball on tap today, which means plenty of updates right here, so please check back often…

ATLANTA BRAVES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS (Game 1)
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 188
Weather: Scattered storms, 74 degrees, Wind 7 mph in from RF

NATIONALS (53-38)
LF Steve Lombardozzi
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
RF Michael Morse

Read more »

204 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Drew - Jul 21, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    Nothing is over until we decide it is!Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

  2. Candide - Jul 21, 2012 at 4:11 PM

    My $0.02: The next three games will tell us how far the Nats are going to go this year. If they don't put a major beat-down on the Braves, don't look for them to go far in the playoffs (assuming they get there). Good teams don't let you up once they have their foot on your throat. They need to come out angry and looking to put a major hurt on someone; if they do, we'll know they're for real. Otherwise…

  3. WA2CHI - Jul 21, 2012 at 4:11 PM

    Let's DO IT!

  4. joemktg - Jul 21, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    These four games are an important part of the pennant race, and pennant race baseball is different from regular season baseball. The main difference: playing under stress (and managing under stress). In this environment, successful teams have their foots on the throat of their competitors and they don't let up. That did not happen last night.I posed the question during the last edition of Beltway Baseball if this team had the wherewithal to withstand the stresses and strains of pennant race and playoff baseball. Still an open question, but the first step towards answering that question was not good.

  5. natsfan1a - Jul 21, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    Thanks, Drew. I was going to post the speech in honor of MicheleS, but you beat me to it. I'd post a link to the Animal House video, but it's kinda not family-blog suitable. Go, Edwin! Go, NATS!!

  6. SonnyG10 - Jul 21, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    Candide, I disagree. The only thing the next three games will tell us is where we are in the standings after the three games. Even if we drop out of first place, I fully expect us to take it back. I think we will be in first when the regular season ends.

  7. hiramhover - Jul 21, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    My 2 centsAs long as the Nats win 2 of the next 3–which seems imminently do-able given who ATL is putting on the mound–they'll be exactly as many games ahead as they were on Thursday, and all this sturm-und-drang will be for naught.

  8. Frediemac - Jul 21, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    Sure wish JZ was pitching today or Gio or even Detwiler. These games now make me nervous. Middle of last nights game I as crowing about how the Braves can't beat us and now…

  9. NatsLady - Jul 21, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    It's often the case that a team plays flat after an exciting win. That would be the Barves. Let's take advantage.

  10. NatsLady - Jul 21, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    Frediemac, Ejax was hired for this exact situation. His job, and he knows it, is to give the team good innings. Lannan has every incentive to focus and pitch well (either to get traded or to be part of the picture in September). I'm less worried about the pitching than the catching and the D.

  11. baseballswami - Jul 21, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    I completely disagree that this is our season. I thought we hit bottom after the Dodgers sweep, after the Miami sweep, after the Yankees, Orioles week. We rebounded nicely. We have absolutely fallen in love with being in first place. The last two years the world series winners were not anywhere close to that at this point, or even later, and the division leaders at this point mostly failed epically. This team has given new meaning to " don't get too high or too low" – they have broken that rule. Try to get used to the idea that there is a lot of ball to be played, this game is streaky and we can reach the playoffs even if we happen to fall out of first place, even for an extended period of time.The sky isn't falling. If this was September 21st, maybe, but not July 21st.

  12. JayB - Jul 21, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    "A surprise member of the Nationals' Opening Day roster, Nady hit .157 with three homers and six RBI in 40 big-league games this season."Mike Camaron, Rick A. Mark DeRosa, Roger B. and Chad Tracy….the worst off season bench ever?Nats are luck that Lombo and Moore worked out….Rizzo's plan sure did not.

  13. LoveDaNats - Jul 21, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    Hoping for a much better outcome today. Let's hope Edwin can pitch the way he is capable of doing and Clipp can overcome his baseball "yips".And keep those bats hitting.

  14. NatsLady - Jul 21, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    baseballswami said…I completely disagree that this is our season.It could be our season, it's just not a lock. The rest of your post I agree with.

  15. ehay2k - Jul 21, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    JayB – you need to have a chat with Boz who will set you straight.

  16. NatsLady - Jul 21, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    I vote for Clip getting a rest today. All day. Burnett, too, if possible.

  17. JayB - Jul 21, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    Read that junk…..you can make stats fit any view point….my view point is look at the stats Rizzo's off season plan has….it is ugly.

  18. hiramhover - Jul 21, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    Nats are luck [sic] that Lombo and Moore worked out….Rizzo's plan sure did not.Remind me – whose plan, exactly, are Moore and Lombo part of?

  19. baseballswami - Jul 21, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    Lots of stuff going on off the field these days. I hope they can block it all out and have fun playing baseball for a living.

  20. JayB - Jul 21, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    Johnson who had the worst day managing I have ever seen. Both Rizzo and Johnson have done good and bad this year. Both could have done better if they were not so dam arrogant and stubborn. That game last night was winnable in 100 different ways…..BUT all of them hinged on Johnson changing his mind…and that was not going to happen so a two game swing and a fried Bull Pen is the cost. Very Very High cost for last July in a pennant race for the first time in club history…..Completely avoidable.

  21. snopes1 - Jul 21, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    JayB -Mike Cameron retired in February 2012, without ever playing a game for the Nationals.

  22. baseballswami - Jul 21, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    Still some good stuff going on, especially if the pitching can pull it back together. Some felt that Morse's power was gone – not. Danny is hitting, Desi is back, Zim still hitting. We have lost the last two games in weird fashion, but we have also scored 15 runs.

  23. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 21, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    That's the trouble with you, Snopes…always confusing the issue with facts.

  24. Fear and Ignorance - Jul 21, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    This team is in 1st place despite Rizzo…not because of him.

  25. baseballswami - Jul 21, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    My personal challenge of the day – watch the games, let them play out and most of all – no panic.

  26. howl31 - Jul 21, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    Who deserves the credit for putting the team together then?

  27. Frediemac - Jul 21, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    NatsLady said… Frediemac, Ejax was hired for this exact situation. His job, and he knows it, is to give the team good innings. Lannan has every incentive to focus and pitch well (either to get traded or to be part of the picture in September). I'm less worried about the pitching than the catching and the D. ————————————remember Nats Lady JESUS SAVES! Flores playing both games today LOL

  28. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 21, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    If the Nationals wind up going into a deep slump, then this game, in the post-season version of the story, will look like the start of it. If they don't, then this will be a tough lesson and a tough Braves team, but a bump in the road. If they lose a bunch of games in August and/or September, then *that* will cost them the division, not this game. There is no more narrative thread to this game than there is to flipping coins.

  29. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 21, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    Credit for putting this team together goes directly to this blog. Clearly, we include the only group who knows anything. "It's a shame everybody who *really* knows how to run the country is too busy driving cabs and cutting hair."

  30. peric - Jul 21, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    Only somebody like Peric is even still debating the wisdom of that deal. Jeesh.Yep, Sunshine still sitting here wishing NOT that Rizzo not have made the deal … you read too much into my comment dude! Rizzo did not want to trade Milone. He offered them Lannan. He offered other pitchers. But Beane wouldn't pull the trigger without Milone. I really do wish Rizzo could have convinced Beane to take someone else other than Tommy Milone who did a tremendous job in our system!So sue me for wanting to keep one of the best true pitchers the Nats had.

  31. John C. - Jul 21, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    I have always marveled that, at any one time, the 30 dumbest people in the world are the 30 managers of the major league baseball teams. I say this because it is obvious to everyone that anyone else would not make the stupid, boneheaded moves that the managers do. Every single internet poster and fan in the stands knows better! I've realized that the 31-60th dumbest people on the planet are clearly the general managers of the 30 major league teams.I guess the only reason that the team has come so far under Rizzo's guidance, and the only reason that Davey has one of the best managerial records in baseball history, is that the people they are directly competing with are … also some of the dumbest people in the world.Honestly, people.

  32. JayB - Jul 21, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    Mike C was Rizzo's plan…..he retired instead of playing which left the team with even fewer bats off the bench.

  33. peric - Jul 21, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    remember Nats Lady JESUS SAVES! Flores playing both games today LOLDon't listen to Natslady and her defense. Adam Dunn was okay but boy was she all over a guy who hit 30+ home runs last year for his fielding at first base and he really wasn't that bad. Sometimes I think Natslady would be happier if we were losing with Riggleman's smart ball small brain brand of baseball.

  34. peric - Jul 21, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    As for catcher; give Sandy Leon a chance. The guy is the best defensive catcher in the system but he is still a young catcher. The Nats system prides itself on having young, hustling prospects that grow into players.THEY HAVE GROWING PAINS!! My gawd Natslady et al would only be happy with Pudge the automatic GIDP behind the plate and 20 games behind the Phillies in the standings.

  35. JayB - Jul 21, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    Love Johnson….he is the single biggest reason this team is where it is. That does not mean he can not be better and should not still be responsible for dumb moves. He knows he was being stupid and countless ways….just ask him now. The whole section I was in was talking about how stupid and pig headed he was being. Braves fans were amazed at the gift he was giving them….walk after walk…..passed ball after past ball

  36. peric - Jul 21, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    And JayB go back to pinning Rizzo down about the lack of International signings and a presence. You are spot on about that.

  37. peric - Jul 21, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    Braves fans were amazed at the gift he was giving them….walk after walk…..passed ball after past ballAgain, Davey had a substantial lead. So, he started bringing in the backups to give them some reps and that included Storen and Leon. Lots of managers including LaRussa do that JayB. The difference is this is Atlanta. I am willing to bet Davey will never do that again against the Braves even if the Nats are up 14 to zippy.

  38. John C. - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    Davey did what all good managers do – took responsibility for failure while handing out credit for success. By making it about him, he takes pressure off the players and lets them perform better. Davey didn't fail to execute in the crappy conditions – he didn't walk the hitters or fail to catch the pitches or throw the ball away on defense. Every move he made makes sense – if the players execute. They didn't. If he had the very moves that the hindsight captains are pining for, and those moves had failed, he would have been just as castigated – probably by the very same people that are giving him hell now. It's part of the job of baseball manager, so Davey knows the score.

  39. peric - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    This team is in 1st place despite Rizzo…not because of him.Leave it to an Orioles fan. No, Mike Rizzo and Roy Clark the asst. GM who built the god damned Braves know nothing about building a winning team?Wow Orioles fans have the real brains.

  40. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    Time for EJax to throws gem!

  41. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:06 PM

    Time for EJax to throw another gem! A W and save the bullpen!

  42. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:09 PM

    A sweep of this twin bill will absolutely negate last night's nightmare.Let's get it done Messrs. Jackson and Lannan.Good Luck Xavier — thanks for the help.

  43. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:11 PM

    Good Start two straight K's. Good

  44. RickH - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:16 PM

    Whew! Nice first inning for Ejax.

  45. UnkyD - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:16 PM

    Stubborn and arrogant =…..failing to adhere to JayB's plan?

  46. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:18 PM

    They need bigger catcher's mitts, though. Maybe some rubberized ones, with that sticky stuff they use on cat-hair-remover rollers in the infomercials.

  47. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:19 PM

    I think they're going to lose both ends of the doubleheader by a combined score of 1,450-0.I think the Lerners will sell the team to Bain Capital, which will offshore it to Mumbai, India.The free world will cease to exist as we know it, and there will be turmoil in the streets.OK, JayB, Mick, Peric, and all the other negative nannies out today. Match me.

  48. peric - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:21 PM

    Apparently Sandy Leon has issues catching with bunters at the plate. Randy Knorr is the bench coach I'm sure he'll work with him.

  49. RickH - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:21 PM

    Uh, not good.

  50. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    I decided I'd rather yell for Long-ball LannEn (maybe one last time, for old times' sake) tonight, than stand in the rain today. Getting tickets might be an issue. We'll see.

  51. JayB - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    Problem is Johnson's moves is he did not react to pull pitchers who clearly did not have anything. Johnson also risked too much for little value by messing around with a team right behind you. What value is Storen or Leon playing. What value is using up your top two BP arms with walk after walk?

  52. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    C'mon, Sunshine, you didn't even blame anyone, and you didn't take credit for having said it first, either.

  53. peric - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    OK, JayB, Mick, Peric, and all the other negative nannies out today. Match me.Uh Sunshine, last I looked I've been defending Davey's moves because they made sense to me. Uhmmm what part of that is negative? If anything you are the negative energy around here claiming that I was against the Gio trade? Yeah right dude.

  54. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:26 PM

    Chuck n' Duck!

  55. peric - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:27 PM

    I decided I'd rather yell for Long-ball LannEn (maybe one last time, for old times' sake) tonight, than stand in the rain today. Getting tickets might be an issue. We'll see.I don't think that's going to help Sofa. Lannan has allowed 4 homers in July and has a 7.46 ERA along with an 0-3 record in AAA? The Braves are licking their chops thinking about "long ball" Lannan. But instead of Lannan hitting one they are likely thinking about padding their own home run columns.

  56. RickH - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:27 PM

    Not sure you guys have noticed, but the game has started.

  57. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    Swing n' Miss!

  58. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    I don't think that's going to help Sofa.That depends on what one is trying to help. But thanks for not being negative.

  59. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    Guess I'll go grill some hotdogs. That should help. That always helps.

  60. NatsLady - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:32 PM

    peric, are you kidding??? I HATED Riggleman!! Didn't read the rest of your stuff. When you put my name and his in the same sentence I just roll right past.

  61. baseballswami - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:32 PM

    Ok – I managed to enjoy the first inning with no panic. 17 more to go. How did I miss the fact that Lombo has like a 13 game hit streak going? So – does anyone think that the ongoing catcher carousel is messing with the pitchers?

  62. peric - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    That depends on what one is trying to help. But thanks for not being negative.Sorry, but IMO that is why Davey made all of those strange moves. To do the Riggleman thing: yank Johnny before he gets too deep and throw Gorzelanny in there to bail him out since Stammen had to pitch 3+ on Thursday.

  63. baseballswami - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    And here we go…

  64. peric - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    So – does anyone think that the ongoing catcher carousel is messing with the pitchers?Well, I suspect, and its just a suspicion mind you, that we'll be seeing Koyie HIll added to the roster soon. That guy knows how to handle pitchers and his a pretty decent glove defensively. He's made a huge difference in Syracuse helped turn the train around getting them back to the .500 mark. That has to have been noticed by management.

  65. RickH - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    Man, if only Ian had made that same catch last night!

  66. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    NatsLady ……a certain poster makes up stuff for their own benefit. Just disregard his misguided imagination.

  67. ehay2k - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    Oh my, what was Rizzo thinking with signing Ejax? He's terrible. Pull him now!!! The team is doomed!!! We should have signed anyone else, and if you disagree then you are stoopid and I am the genius!!Seems that is the appropriate in-game post these days.

  68. peric - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:44 PM

    peril, are you kidding??? I HATED Riggleman!! Didn't read the rest of your stuff. When you put my name and his in the same sentence I just roll right past.I think what I said was sometimes I WONDER if you would be happier? Not that you liked the guy? Choices the GM and manager have to make: Tyler Moore is likely worse when it comes to fielding than Michael Morse. Are you going to pile on him as well? He can barely manage in left-field as it is after just learning to be competent to first base! Morse can actually still play positions like third base and second. There are lots of players who are a lot worse in the outfield. BUT you want their bats … Morse is back to hitting .300 now all that is left is redevelop the power … Moore is on the same track. Be nice is one of the two was a left-hander. But the LaRoche might be gone because Zimmerman and his cortisone shot are about to pass him just as Desmond did.ALR should be batting sixth and Desmond fifth at this point. In fact if it weren't for the left-handed bat Moore should be playing there.

  69. ehay2k - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:44 PM

    Peric,weren't you also praising Sandy Leon's defense when he first came up? If so, then your scouting report leaves a lot to be desired. Two passed balls last night, and just seems to be a poor blocker of the ball in general, but a terrible receiver in bunting situations.

  70. peric - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    I understand Natsjack thinks Albert Pujols is a AAAA player.

  71. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    Tommy Milone shut down the Yankees last night. 7 innings with NO walks and TEN Ks! ERA down to 3.34

  72. peric - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:47 PM

    Peric,weren't you also praising Sandy Leon's defense when he first came up? If so, then your scouting report leaves a lot to be desired.He was the best defensive catcher in the system until Rizzo signed veteran Koyie Hill. Now it would have to be Hill. But HIll's offense is pretty pathetic.

  73. peric - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    Tommy Milone shut down the Yankees last night. 7 innings with NO walks and TEN Ks! ERA down to 3.34He can't be that good because Natsjack and Sunshine Bobby think he is a AAAA player.

  74. peric - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    Peric,weren't you also praising Sandy Leon's defense when he first came up? If so, then your scouting report leaves a lot to be desired.He's a young catcher never played above AA and is now in the majors. He is going to have his hiccups just like Solano did.

  75. Steady Eddie - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    Ghost — No question Milone is a quality pitcher. But just check out his home-road splits. They do play half the games away.

  76. baseballswami - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    About Tommy Milone – I just love the kid and I am so happy for him. He really landed in the right place, though. His slow, pitch to contact stuff is perfect for the huge park he pitches in. His team is not in the spotlight and there is not a huge expectation there. They are young and building. In a few years, if they continue to build their team,he will be their John Lannan. I loved seeing him take it to the yankees and I sincerely hope he becomes the next Maddux.

  77. Fear and Ignorance - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    Milone has been awesome and is a big reason why the A's are only a .5 game back of a playoff spot. Last 41 IP he has given up just 5 ER and 3 walks with about 35 K's. For all of you who keep saying that Gio is a better pitcher…not so fast my friends!!!

  78. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    Steady, no doubt there's a huge disparity. Sort of like Greinke. It's an issue that Milone will overcome.This is more a slam on those that consistently slam pitchers that don't throw much over 90.

  79. baseballswami - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    Maybe they will ice Bryce's ankle down, do some exrays, which will hopefully be negative, and he will play the second game. Bernie is quite good in the outfield, he has been hitting while Bryce has not been. It's all good. Maybe Strassie and JZim will get those pinch hitter appearances today, though.

  80. baseballswami - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:58 PM

    No panic here, absolutely none.

  81. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    Making up stuff again.

  82. Fear and Ignorance - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    Steve M-Our GM is one of those people!!!

  83. Gonat - Jul 21, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    baseballswami, I don't care how "wide" the A's stadium is, as he shutout the Yankees on 6 hits and no walks. The A's outfield dimensions are no easier/harder than the average park as Cespedes and Gomes has shown.

  84. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jul 21, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    peric said… Tommy Milone shut down the Yankees last night. 7 innings with NO walks and TEN Ks! ERA down to 3.34 He can't be that good because Natsjack and Sunshine Bobby think he is a AAAA player.Thanks, Peric, for the compliment. I'm honored to be mentioned anytime, anywhere on anything with NatsJack.

  85. hiramhover - Jul 21, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    About Milone–It's not uncommon for OAK pitchers to have big home-away splits. Gio's ERA was a full pt better at home. But Milone's is crazy–0.91 at the Coliseum and 5.69 away. Both sides of that are out of whack–it remains to be seen where he ends up overall when they adjust.

  86. Steady Eddie - Jul 21, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    Also, as to the ridiculous Mike C/NadyDeRosa = Rizzo bench fail trope, ever heard of a diversified portfolio? The minors guys were also part of that portfolio. And with DeRosa hurt initially and then DL'd, still too soon on that one to judge. And Shark and Tracy are part of the bench too.

  87. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    Fear, true but I don't fault Rizzo on that. I said my peace in the off-season. I like Gio. I didn't like the trade. What's done is done.

  88. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2012 at 6:07 PM

    The bench is good. It will be even better in September.

  89. NatsLady - Jul 21, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    The time for strange moves and teaching and stretching is over. Davey was good at that, and I understood what he was doing. Now it's time to win games. He's done that before, too.And the reason I don't favor Dunn and Morse on D is exactly the same reason I love Danny. I'm happy with ALR, and am counting the minutes until Werth gets back. I don't know if Moore can learn the outfield. Remains to be seen. Lombo certainly has–he's almost better there than 2B, although that might be because switching between the positions is not easy. Morse is pitiful in RF. I don't know if it's because he's old, slow, or injured, and I really don't care. If he gives you three runs with the bat and takes away two with his D (and his baserunning), and I'm a pitcher, I'd rather have Werth who might only give you one with the bat but won't take runs away. oooooh, lookit Bernie go! And Morse wipes it out with a doubleplay, just when Sheets is struggling. Grrrrrrr.

  90. baseballswami - Jul 21, 2012 at 6:10 PM

    Gonat – point taken – hadn't seen the game info. I really love that kid.

  91. Gonat - Jul 21, 2012 at 6:10 PM

    MASN with another timely Text Message: "Runner at the corners for Morse. Nats threatening to tie Braves in third, down 1-0"Instanteously, Morse bounces into a doubleplay.

  92. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 6:22 PM

    Gonat…. I posted this morning…mick said… Davey, R Zim and the leaders on this club HAVE to be leaders todayJuly 21, 2012 11:22 AMMorse's AB does not se that example

  93. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2012 at 6:23 PM

    NatsLady, yes, the outfield needs a healthy Werth back to move Morse to LF. Lombo needs to work on his arm strength in the off-season which is one of the weakest in the NL. Lombo really has become a good utility guy which is where his value is.

  94. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    I don't see how any one blames Rizzo?? Rizzo had nothing to do with both Davey and McCatty's worse coaching job of their careers, or Burnett's pitiful no-account performance last night!

  95. rogieshan - Jul 21, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    Dunn was a human pylon in the field, so there's no clearly argument there with LaRoche at first. However, when Rizzo traded away Willingham, he reiterated the same message about the need to upgrade defensively. But with each passing day, Morse is looking more and more a DH in waiting. Is it a coincidence there are rumors circulating lately about him being swapped for one of the Upton brothers?

  96. MicheleS - Jul 21, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    GYFNG! come on Nats get some runs!

  97. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 21, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    We need a new blog. We just do.

  98. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 21, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    Or maybe just me.

  99. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    This team needs Lombo long term… like I have been saying, 2013 is the season we should judge where we are. Everyone healthy, the rookies will be in their 2nd season and hopefully the garbage that still lingers on this team is long gone

  100. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    difference between Braves and Nats…. Braves best players are stepping up like they have done for the past 20 years, Nats so called best players and so called leaders are showing why they are part of teams that had back to back 100 loss seasons. Its that simple and until that changes, we will be stuck in the what if mode…

  101. rogieshan - Jul 21, 2012 at 6:31 PM

    Paul Janish and Ben Sheets are making noise this weekend. Who woulda thunk it?

  102. Gonat - Jul 21, 2012 at 6:33 PM

    I hear from the knowledgable that this guy on the bench Bernadina is a good Goon Squad guy.

  103. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 6:34 PM

    what really hurt last night was after Espi's home run, we had momemtum back, Kimbtrell was done, Gorzo gets the Braves out 1-2-3, the top of our order is up and the at bast were just so bad among guys you expect to step up against a reliever who gives up 4 runs per inning.today, we are suppose to hit Sheets and our guys are making him look like Denny McClain back in 1968!

  104. waddu eye no - Jul 21, 2012 at 6:36 PM

    the umps giveth, the umps taketh away. that time they giveth.

  105. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 6:36 PM

    Ejax is doing his job well… and we cant hit?

  106. Gonat - Jul 21, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    Talking about soft-tossers. Ben Sheets fastball is 88 to 90 and the Nats keep squandering opportunities.

  107. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    Gonat… maybe we just are not that good when it counts… we get a break with Ejax pitching a good game and now we cant hit a pitcher we should be shelling

  108. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    we need Ramos next season, Flores is just a stiff, good kid and defensive catcher and a quality back up, but basically a stiff at the plate

  109. baseballswami - Jul 21, 2012 at 6:44 PM

    Mick – Flores isn't a stiff – he is playing hurt. So it seems that we either get to choose pitching or hitting and not both in the same game. Hope Bryce can go in the second half. If not, I foresee Jordan pinch hitting tonight. Strassie will want to, but they won't let him.

  110. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    swami… heard on radio that Nats could have Corey Brown come up for 2nd game

  111. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 21, 2012 at 6:49 PM

    Gonat……don't tell anybody but Roger Bernadina is considered one of the best bench players in the NL, no matter what our good friend JayB says.

  112. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 21, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    My last three comments concerning Corey Brown said he is injury insurance.

  113. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    Adam already 2 K's with 2 men on, wowZim looks at a 3rd strike.so much for the leaders stepping up, instead they are showing the younger players what the culture of losing is about

  114. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    Too bad… Edwin stepped up today

  115. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    I really think the younger players on this team and at Syracuse and Potomac would give us a better chance to win.

  116. peric - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    oooooh, lookit Bernie go! And Morse wipes it out with a doubleplay, just when Sheets is struggling. Grrrrrrr.Meanwhile your hero ALR's batting average continue to drop and the strikeouts go up? I'll take Morse or Moore at first base honestly. And I can't wait until Jayson Werth at age 33 going on 34 starts up the GIDP act batting .234 act … I'll be here to remind you Natslady.

  117. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:07 PM

    peric… totally agree with you

  118. peric - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    My last three comments concerning Corey Brown said he is injury insurance.I hope you're wrong but you could be right. They DH'ed Brown and put Perez in CF in Syracuse.

  119. baseballswami - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    Just keep us in the game. You know, Mick – I was wondering how long it would take Brown to get here but apparently he is playing in Syracuse as we speak? Also wondering if they ex-rayed Bryce. Short bench and Flores is in some serious pain.

  120. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:10 PM

    let's win this thing guys. come on!

  121. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:10 PM

    swami.. ok, the radio guys made it sound that Corey was available

  122. Secret wasian man - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:10 PM

    Nick you seem to always be correct. This team is loser mentality central. Sunday morning will be the last time its sees first place this year

  123. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    wasian…. I would love to be wrong here

  124. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    again its clear Ejax is tired… i guess Davey is just trying to get 7 innings.

  125. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    think about it… Braves down 9 runs in 6th, come back with confidencewe are down 1-0 and yet it feels like 9-0

  126. happy 2 pylon - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:17 PM

    .

  127. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:17 PM

    Kudos Ejax!

  128. RickH - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:17 PM

    Nice day for EJAx!

  129. happy 2 pylon - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:17 PM

    "I would love to be wrong here"go with your strengths…..

  130. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    Bobby c just said what did, lol

  131. baseballswami - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    Thank you Edwin – one of our starters went 7, gave up only 1 run – the trend is hereby reversed. Now if our bullpen can reverse course, too, that would be nice. Keep it to one and maybe the offense can squeak out 2. More worried about the short bench, Harper and Flores hurting. At least it's a cool day today and the game does not appear to be extremely strenuous.

  132. Drew - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    Excellent outing by EJAX: Seven innings and one run on a solo shot by a six-time All-Star.We'd take that every time.

  133. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    wow, MLB player can not even bunt

  134. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    what a luck!

  135. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    that was terrible!!

  136. baseballswami - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    Ok – so that really sucked big time. Still no panic here. Consternation maybe.

  137. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    Flores hurting had nothing to do with that lame bunt, crowd is sensing the collapse that is why they booedc!!

  138. rogieshan - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:23 PM

    Tying the game won't save the bullpen unless we can win it in regulation.And playing conservatively won't get it done. Thanks for the bunt attempt, JFlo.

  139. Fear and Ignorance - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:23 PM

    You could put a piece of plywood behind home plate with a strike zone painted on it and it would be more valuable than Flores.

  140. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    perfect.. Hrod, now the 2007-2009 circus is back, lol

  141. phil dunton - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    You would think a major league hitter would know better than to try to bunt a high pitch out of the strike zone. You learn that in Little League.

  142. Secret wasian man - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    Hahahahahaha. Your a major leagued and cant bunt. Flores is a disgrace. He makes me sick

  143. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    Harper's injury has nothing to do with Zim, Morse and LaRouche letting the team down

  144. phil dunton - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    H-Rod can't be worse than Clippard has been lately.

  145. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    like I said hope Ramos is 100% in 2013 and go with Solano or Leon as your number 2 and trade this stiff

  146. Moose - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    You know, I was just a young lad when the Senators left, and pined away for 34 years, paying deposits on season ticket plans in 92 and 97 as we tried to get teams here, and bought my first Nats hat from the trailer in RFK parking lot the weekend after they set up the store. I thought this blog was a great place for fans to cheer on their team. However, Mick and Peric have lifted the scales from my eyes. The Nationals suck. Rizzo is a disaster, most of the team are has beens or never were's, and the rest are merely filler. Break up this team, fire the front office. I wish they stayed in Montreal. Wow, I feel much better pointing out everything that is wrong. You guys are my new heroes. Please, do you have a newsletter to which I can subscribe?

  147. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    Moose… Flores is a hell of catcher, he cant hit, he cant bunt and he cant throw down… what am i missing?

  148. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:31 PM

    Moose… be happy the circus is back, lol

  149. Drew - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:31 PM

    I thought Harry had vanquished Voldemort.

  150. Secret wasian man - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    1.5 games and lannan coming next. Somebody hand me a fork

  151. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:34 PM

    way to go Hrod

  152. happy 2 pylon - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:35 PM

    "what am i missing?"53 wins worth of perspective.

  153. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa haaaaaaaaaaaa, Barnum and Baily in DCstep right up, lol

  154. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    just too funny

  155. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    now Shaggy is in, scoobie scoobie doo where are you, lol

  156. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    You guys (and ladies) are right about BadHenry:Cut him.He's a goner once Werth is activated.

  157. Secret wasian man - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    Please tell me this game isn't on national Tv. How are some of these guys still playing.

  158. phil dunton - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    Not so bad Henry; now you fit right in with the rest of the totally burned out bullpen.

  159. peric - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    Peric have lifted the scales from my eyes. The Nationals suck.Because I (and there are others) happen to prefer Tyler Moore, Michael Morse, and Tommy Milone to Adam LaRoche, Jayson Werth, and John Lannan does not mean I think they suck.Last I looked Mr. Moose and Señor Greenjeans if he is there I predicted this team would win the division because of their bullpen when "Mr. Negatives" such as Mark Zuckerman picked them to finish behind the Marlins. Sheesh!I like the players I like and they usually pan out bearing out my opinions. I still pick this team to win the division. But don't depend on Lannan, Werth and LaRcohe to key that. Its going to be the young players and YES NATSLADY it WILL be Michael Morse along with Zim.

  160. Drew - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    The faith in this clueless gascan is incomprehensible.How many times must you burn your freakin hand before you stop touching the stove?

  161. Gonat - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    Oh boy, besides being a fun guy to watch, why is this Henry Rodriguez on this team? Again, besides Velo and an occassional sparkling appearance, this guy is just not made for this team. Nothing new, I've said it a few dozen times before. I know the answer, Rizzo doesn't want to give him away for nothing. No teams will offer much more than a AA guy or some AAAA has-been.

  162. baseballswami - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    Oh, Come on , guys – every team goes through bad times and losing streaks. I do question whether or not we can go forward with Henry Rodriguez, though. That run was totally and completely on him.

  163. peric - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:41 PM

    You guys (and ladies) are right about BadHenry:Cut him.He's a goner once Werth is activated.Have you been watching Clippard and Burnett lately? And Michael Gonzalez allowing those inherited runners to score?Not yet Sunshine, Not yet.

  164. peric - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    Clippard's xFIP is 3.81 last time it was close to this high it was 2009.

  165. happy 2 pylon - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    alr and zim flashing that loser mentality again

  166. phil dunton - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    Baseball Swami— Let me remind you that we have been through 7 years of bad times!

  167. peric - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    So, Mattheus is your hot guy do you now make him the closer? Something I have been espousing they try NOW FOR MONTHS! Meanwhile, put Henry back on the DL and keep trying to rebuild his confidence in the minors with rehab assignments.

  168. baseballswami - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    Yes, we have – but so much less this year. It's easy to fall into the loser mentality as a fan, too and just expect this to be the beginning of the end. Ryan Mattheus can stay, by the way. Lots of offense today, but instead of clutch hits, some epic fails.

  169. Michael Dempsey - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    HROD does not need to go on the DL, he needs to go on a bus. Johnson has done some crazy stuff, but bringing HROD in there might be the dumbest of the year. WTF was he thinking was going to happen?

  170. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:54 PM

    I wish the late Billy Martin was managing the nats right now for this game

  171. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    very disappointed in the lack of leadership by the vets on this team, they look passive and scared at the plate and that trickles down to younger players.

  172. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    If there are any Hrod fans still, I have a bridge in New York I would like to sell you, lol

  173. baseballswami - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    Eh – flat game pretty much on both sides. I may do some Charlie and Dave for the next game with the tv on mute. For some reason Bob Carpenter is on my last nerve today. The Braves, blah, blah, blah, the Braves, blah , blah, blah. EJax and Mattheus ok today. Offense hit and miss.

  174. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    so where was Mattheus last night as well as at the start of the 8th today Davey????

  175. Fear and Ignorance - Jul 21, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    Turner Field North!!!

  176. peric - Jul 21, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    Looks like Mattheus is feeling the same bad Karma the rest of the bullpen is. Looks like they are ALL in a slump. Not just Henry.

  177. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    Chipper is a Hall of Fame player, kudos to him. Learn a lesson Nats, Chipper is a winner you all are still, well you know…

  178. baseballswami - Jul 21, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    Ok – so I spoke too soon. McCatty must be losing his mind these days.And he tends to be a pretty blunt and salty guy. Too bad he is not miked. May have to load him up with bourbon and maalox. Lots of Braves fans in the park today?

  179. m20832 - Jul 21, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    So looks like I'm a doom and gloom fan. But our boys are going to get swept. I just feel it.

  180. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 21, 2012 at 8:03 PM

    Yea, right. Hollering for Mattheus as closer for months now. Some people just don't know when to be quiet.

  181. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 8:03 PM

    what I can not accept is being shutout after last night, there is no excuse for that and the Nats laid down today at the plate.

  182. peric - Jul 21, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    If there are any Hrod fans still, I have a bridge in New York I would like to sell you, lolSaid the same thing about Clippard at the start of 2010. And then Burnett last year? They just aren't hitting on all cylinders right now. It happens. Just have to hope they weather it … I believe they will.

  183. peric - Jul 21, 2012 at 8:05 PM

    Yea, right. Hollering for Mattheus as closer for months now. Some people just don't know when to be quiet.We might be seeing your guy Christian Garcia soon genius. Better hope he's good.

  184. peric - Jul 21, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    This will make it three straight losses … that's not good Davey.

  185. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    m20832 said…So looks like I'm a doom and gloom fan. But our boys are going to get swept. I just feel it.your not doom and gloom, you are realistic. there are still over rated players on this team who instead of stepping up, they wimper like little puppies… 2013, I guarantee the remaining garbage on this roster will be long goneI bet anyone this club will not even finish 2nd in the East and in fact will not win 85 games

  186. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    pericClip and Matthues combine have never thrown as many wild pitches as your boy HrodHrod is a joke

  187. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 8:12 PM

    maybe a Billy Marin type manager is what the Nats need, i know he would be up in several players grills

  188. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 8:13 PM

    all 3 vets have looked at 3rd strikes…. unbelievable!!

  189. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    just awful

  190. joemktg - Jul 21, 2012 at 8:15 PM

    mick: Billy Martin would only get in a player's grill if he knew that's what would work to change the player. He was smart enough to know when that would be counterproductive.

  191. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 8:19 PM

    like I said… the circus is back in DC, enjoy the last 2 1/2 months of the season as it will end mercifully Sept 30. At least we will be able to watch the prospects in Sept that will be part of a winning club in 2013. I have another prediction… we will be eliminated earlier than we were in 2005 and what makes that bad is that there is an extra playoff team now..

  192. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 21, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    "Better hope he's good"????!Is that some sort of threat? Do I need to be worried? Is Boomer Whiting looking me?

  193. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    Davey is starting to sound like Norv, lol

  194. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    Davey will throw Henry tonight… how arrogant

  195. JayB - Jul 21, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    Garbage on this roster that should have been gone THIS year…no need to waste a year cleaning it up. This was, is and always will be my problem with Rizzo….HRODRick AMark DeRosaRoger BChin Ming WNadyTracyGonzolezGorzoover 30% of this roster is wasted dead space that Rizzo is too proud to admit he was wrong about…..and yes I understand that Rick and Nady just got cut……..THIS WEEK….Too little too late.

  196. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 21, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    IF Flores is hurt shut him down, this is ridiculous he has been a rally killer since the all star game.if the bullpen is tired I don't get it. Didn't we just have the all star break, and except for Thursday the starter has gone 6, so I don'tbuy that at all. Clippard has been pathetic since the all star break, what did he do on break? I suggest never doing it again.Yesterday Stras was good for 5, then pathetic, the bullpen was all pathetic. Today Ejax was great Hrod pathetic, Matheus a split edcision, but since he allowed 2 to score in the 8th will call it pathetic. (could have been worse).Hitter yesterday through 5 great, the last 16 innings pathetic. Way to many called 3rd strikes.Here comes the savior John Lannan will pitch great tonight.

  197. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    Lannan I am afraid will ensure that the circus is back, lol

  198. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 21, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    @008-2010 I got used to losing and I hated it, 2012 I got used to winning and liked it. Hoover now hate losing more than ever. I always get the feeling that we hate losing more than the players. Seems it should be the opposite logically, but isn't.

  199. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 21, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    If we win the next two the team will be off my calling them the CAPS list. But now they are reminding me of the Caps.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 75 57 --
ATLANTA 69 64 6.5
MIAMI 65 66 9.5
NEW YORK 62 71 13.5
PHILADELPHIA 61 72 14.5
Through Wednesday's early games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
THU: OFF
FRI: Nats at Mariners, 10:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Mariners, 9:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Mariners, 4:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 4:10 p.m.
Full season schedule

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ON THE RADIO

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