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Game 96: Nats at Mets

Jul 24, 2012, 7:44 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Gio Gonzalez and R.A. Dickey square off again, this time at Citi Field.

NEW YORK — It's only been five days since Gio Gonzalez and R.A. Dickey last faced each other, a matchup that didn't quite live up to its billing. Gonzalez lasted a season-low 3 1/3 innings, giving up six runs. Gonzalez hasn't pitched up to his All-Star standards over the last month or so. The Nationals could certainly use a return to his peak form moving forward.

Dickey, meanwhile, hasn't lost any of his last 16 starts. He's 2-0 with a 1.84 ERA this season against the Nats, who like everyone else in the NL this season have had all kinds of trouble with the veteran knuckleballer.

Plenty of updates to come, so please check back often…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at NEW YORK METS
Where: Citi Field
Gametime: 7:10 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 184
Weather: Isolated storms, 70 degrees, Wind 15 mph LF to RF

NATIONALS (56-39)
2B Steve Lombardozzi
RF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
LF Michael Morse

Read more »

150 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. peric - Jul 24, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    I think you might have meant to say Nats VS. Mets Mark, not Braves. That really confused me … I thought the site had gone bonkers …

  2. peric - Jul 24, 2012 at 7:52 PM

    Washington Nationals Reportedly Testing Infield Market, Looking For Utility ManSource: Nationals’ top trade deadline concern is improving middle infield depthAs I was saying … this makes sense. Catcher? Not unless a Mike Rizzo can find someone to take a reliever for a bonafide top close-to-major-league ready catching prospect that can hit ala Ramos. There's no guarantee Ramos will make it back … Flores is still an unknown quantity and David Freitas is still in Potomac. Defensively at catcher Koyie Hill is what they need right now.

  3. Marty - Jul 24, 2012 at 7:52 PM

    Here's to hoping that Dickey's appearance on Saturday throws his game off today.It would also be lovely to have the in-control, 7 innings of filthy-stuff Gio tonight.

  4. natsfan1a - Jul 24, 2012 at 7:57 PM

    Or Nats @ Mets. Then again, there is the long-standing tradition of Mets/Nats headlines being off-kilter. ;-)I like it, Marty. I'll take one in-control, filthy Gio and one off-kilter, wild Dickey to go, please. Oh, and a side of super hot Nats bats. Thanks!

  5. natsfan1a - Jul 24, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    ummm, that didn't sound quite right, but y'all know what I meant. :-)

  6. Feel Wood - Jul 24, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    Defensively at catcher Koyie Hill is what they need right now.If they needed him, he's there, right under their nose. But they don't need him. He's nothing but organizational filler. Inventory. Not even on the 40 man roster.

  7. Section 222 - Jul 24, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    From the last post: Would [Strasburg] be the same or better if he threw 180 last year? Only someone smarter then me knows that.Actually, no one, no matter how smart, knows that. Anyone who says they do is full of it. But clearly, the safest thing based on the Znn precedent is to shut him down after about 160. If he goes longer and gets hurt or has a bad year next year, Rizzo will be blamed for not sticking to his guns. And if he does well next year, no one will say it's becuase he went 180 this year. On the other hand, if he does 160 this year and comes back like Znn, Rizzo will be lionized for thinking long term. If he does poorly, not one will blame Rizzo. In any event, 20 more innings is three starts. That's not going to make or break the Nats' season. The only thing I can imagine them doing is shutting him down around 160, and then bringing him back in October for one key start in the playoffs. How he'd ramp up for that I don't know, and maybe it would impossible because of the post-season roster situation, but it's hard to imagine that 5 or 6 more innings is going to damage his arm. Ok, flame away.

  8. peric - Jul 24, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    If they needed him, he's there, right under their nose. But they don't need him. He's nothing but organizational filler. Inventory. Not even on the 40 man roster.Neither was Maldonado dufus. Yet somehow they managed to activate him now didn't they? They had discussions about this with Hill before they brought him on board. NOTE brainless he is now starting for Syracuse and Maldonado is backing him up? sheesh. Why not pay attention to the minor leagues sometime eh?

  9. peric - Jul 24, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    How he'd ramp up for that I don't know, and maybe it would impossible because of the post-season roster situation, but it's hard to imagine that 5 or 6 more innings is going to damage his arm. Its called spring training … they'd have to ramp him up in Viera and then minor league starts before that happened … could that damage his arm? No one knows for certain, no one wants to take the chance.yikes the level of intellect is rapidly declining again.

  10. Section 222 - Jul 24, 2012 at 8:12 PM

    Oh put a lid on it peric. Your insults are childish and annoying. I wasn't advocating it, or saying for sure it wouldn't damage his arm. Just raising the possibility for discussion.If the level of intellect here is so beneath you, feel free to take your attitude elsewhere. You won't be missed, believe me.

  11. ff - Jul 24, 2012 at 8:12 PM

    lol@ peric talking about level of intellect. You are the same dude who suggested that the Nats use Strasburg as a relief pitcher a few years ago.

  12. NCNatsie - Jul 24, 2012 at 8:12 PM

    The tone of his commenets aside, as always, Peric's right about Koyie Hill, IMHO. I watached him quite a bit when he was with the Cubs and I couldn't get Nats games anyway, and I think he did a plus job defensively and game-calling. He even helped make Marmol effective.Obviously, the FO doesn't have confidence in Maldonado, of Hill wouldn't even be in the Cuse.

  13. CN - Jul 24, 2012 at 8:13 PM

    The Mets have got Dickey, but we have Jesus on our side tonight. God Bless the Nats!

  14. NCNatsie - Jul 24, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    The tone of his commenets aside, as always, Peric's right about Koyie Hill, IMHO. I watched him quite a bit when he was with the Cubs and I couldn't get Nats games anyway, and I think he did a plus job defensively and game-calling. He even helped make Marmol effective.Obviously, the FO doesn't have confidence in Maldonado, or Hill wouldn't even be in the Cuse.

  15. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 24, 2012 at 8:15 PM

    Really Peric? Hill is in the system as a catcher and not on the 40 man. Leon seems doable as a backup. Health of Flores and not pushing him to exhaustion is key.

  16. TimDz - Jul 24, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    Peric…Since you see the bulk of us here as doofuses (if you insist on insulting us, at least spell correctly ), might I suggest that you set up your own blog and only allow in those having your baseball IQ and level of arrogance …I think we would all be better off…

  17. peric - Jul 24, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    lol@ peric talking about level of intellect. You are the same dude who suggested that the Nats use Strasburg as a relief pitcher a few years ago.Right and what a bunch of hooey … Oh put a lid on it peric. Your insults are childish and annoying. I wasn't advocating it, or saying for sure it wouldn't damage his arm. Just raising the possibility for discussion.Then go to an Orioles blog and spew about it there. Its a horse that's been beaten to death here! Be an Oriole fan an ruin Stras's arm.

  18. peric - Jul 24, 2012 at 8:19 PM

    Really Peric? Hill is in the system as a catcher and not on the 40 man. Leon seems doable as a backup. Health of Flores and not pushing him to exhaustion is key.Then why did the sign him and start him ahead of Maldonado? Why not drop Leon in Syracuse? The Nats SIGNED 2 or 3 filler catchers this season to put veteran presence in the minors. Hill is different: Hill came the latest, Hill stars in AAA over Maldonado who was recalled due to injury this season. Hill has major league experience.

  19. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 24, 2012 at 8:20 PM

    NCNatsie, the key is Hill is not on the 40 man. He is probably 3rd to 5th on depth chart. Still have Solano, Maldonado in the mix and they are both on the 40 man. Solano has another week on the DL.

  20. peric - Jul 24, 2012 at 8:20 PM

    Since you see the bulk of us here as doofuses (if you insist on insulting us, at least spell correctly ), might I suggest that you set up your own blog and only allow in those having your baseball IQ and level of arrogance …I think we would all be better off…And I say you should go to the nearest Oriole blog and shut it here. Too many Ori'hole fans here as it is.

  21. peric - Jul 24, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    NCNatsie, the key is Hill is not on the 40 man. He is probably 3rd to 5th on depth chart.Again, neither was 1.) Sandy Leon 2.) Maldonado at the start of the season. Only Solano was on the 40-man to protect from the rule 5 draft. I would say Hill is probably third. If Leon falters or is injured he's next.

  22. peric - Jul 24, 2012 at 8:26 PM

    Since you see the bulk of us here as doofuses (if you insist on insulting us, at least spell correctly ), And besides FeelWood deserves it. He misspelled the word on this blog insulting me … but I didn't see the uproar I am getting.

  23. baseballswami - Jul 24, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    TIME OUT!!! Can we talk about the game tonight? The Nats at the Mets ( or Braves, whatever). The Nats mission should be one thing, and one thing only — get the starting pitcher out of the game so that you can hit against anyone at all in the Mets bullpen. I hope to hear "foul ball", and "full count", a lot.Although, I really think that during our game with them just last week the guys were figuring it out against Dickey. I don't have stats, but it seems like they were hitting him. Also – if there is any rain predicted up there, Dickey's absolute worst start was in rain, where the ball was wet and he can't get a grip on it. Not at all like when HRod can't get a grip – he really and truly cannot get a grip.

  24. Section 222 - Jul 24, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    Then go to an Orioles blog and spew about it there. Its a horse that's been beaten to death here! Be an Oriole fan an ruin Stras's arm.Sticks and stones will break my bones but nothing you could say or call me will ever make me go to an Orioles blog, or be an Orioles fan! It's going to be hard, because I enjoy the sparring and calling him on his BS, but I think I'm going to experiment with a peric moratorium. For the rest of the day, I'm not going to respond to or even read a peric comment. Don't think I'll miss much, and it's day to day how long the moratorium will last. But at least I won't contribute to making this blog all about peric, which it sometimes seems to be.

  25. peric - Jul 24, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    Hill's weakness: he almost lost fingers in a table saw accident. He can't really hit as a result. He is great defensively but he is a defensive catcher and not really much of a threat at the plate.

  26. NCNatsie - Jul 24, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    Ghost, you may be right, but the key is that none of this matters as long as Flores is healthy. The really good news is that he's starting tonight, so maybe our fears for him are unfounded…although we thought the same about Desi when he came back after the ASG.My guess is that if Flores were to go down, we might see some changes in the 40-man. I don't know how that works, but it's hard to think they'd either a) call up Maldonado when they're playing him behind Hill in AAA, or b) go with two rookie catchers, neither of whom have been particularly impressive defensively.Who can inform me about how changes in the 40-man are made? Is it easy for the team?

  27. peric - Jul 24, 2012 at 8:29 PM

    It's going to be hard, because I enjoy the sparring and calling him on his BS, but I think I'm going to experiment with a peric moratorium. For the rest of the day, I'm not going to respond to or even read a peric comment.That's a good little boy section 222 … pats head.

  28. Candide - Jul 24, 2012 at 8:32 PM

    Section 222 said…Oh put a lid on it peric. Your insults are childish and annoying.To be fair, 222, you did write, "Ok, flame away" (4:00 pm). Looks like peric was just accommodating you… :-)

  29. BigCat - Jul 24, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    Read Davey said that he remembers when he was 19 and he didn't get tired. Obviously he was referencing Harper. Hmmmm…lets see…Davey was 19 in 1962. He played in Stockton of the California League. That was C ball back then. Davey hit 309 with 10 homers. Davey has a good memory

  30. MicheleS - Jul 24, 2012 at 8:45 PM

    Section 222.. welcome to the scroll past club. Swami agree, Let's talk about tonight. Looked at weather.com and it looks like there is a good chance of rain in the 7-8pm hours.Good to see Jesus back in the line up, Hopefully the treatment on his back has helped.I am going to be really curious as to how Gio bounces back from the other day.Just saw on MLB Network, the Phillies are shopping Pence now.

  31. Ron In Reston - Jul 24, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    Testing

  32. Section 222 - Jul 24, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    True Candide. Somehow I don't think he needed that invitation.

  33. Ron In Reston - Jul 24, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    Ok, for a much needed breath of fresh air, here's my "don't ever pitch to" (as in walk him every single time) list for the Nats against the rest of the NL:Atlanta – Chipper JonesNY Mets – David WrightMiami – "Whatevermynameistoday" StantonPhiladelphia – Chase Utley/Ryan HowardCincinnati – Joey VottoPittsburgh – Andrew McCutcheonMilwaukee – Ryan BraunHouston – no issues hereChicago – see HoustonLA Dodgers – Matt KempSan Francisco – Pablo Sandoval AND Melky CabreraColorado – Tyler ColvinArizona – probably Jason KubelThat's my list….talk amongst yourselves. And if you can't keep it civil, keep your mouth shut….my updating of the old, "If you can't say something nice…."

  34. Laddie Blah Blah - Jul 24, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    "Just saw on MLB Network, the Phillies are shopping Pence now."Wow. First the Fish, now the Phils. Only the Braves seem to want to try, at least, to stay in the hunt. They do have the best shot at a wild card, so it does make sense for them.

  35. Section 222 - Jul 24, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    Nice list RiR. I'm with you on Wright, Stanton (but hey, no need to ridicule the guy for wanting people to use his given name), Votto, McCutcheon, Braun and Kemp. I'm actually looking forward our guys challenging Utley and Howard. It was Raul Ibanez who really killed us and he's long gone.

  36. baseballswami - Jul 24, 2012 at 9:04 PM

    Nice list – although I would say you could pitch to Utley or Howard at NatsPark – if they hit anything less than a homer, neither one of them can run. At Citizen's Bank a routine fly ball goes out, so walk them. Neither one can steal or take an extra base. Speaking of base-running ( I know, no one was speaking of base-running), I thought Bryce was going to mow down Lombardozzi on the Zim double last night! The kid is just fast. Lombo is no slouch, but had to make sure the ball wasn't going to be caught – Bryce appeared to have a better view. We have some nice speed on the bases right now. I particularly love the double steal on sunday up six runs.

  37. A DC Wonk - Jul 24, 2012 at 9:10 PM

    Continuing from last thread.Laddie was talking about how great Rendon is, how he might lead the NL in hitting one day, and is a better hitter than Harper.I disagreed that one can make that last statement.He said, "the numbers don't lie."And I wrote:Laddie, I'm not sure you get fully what I'm saying. Baseball history shows, time and time again, that decent hitters at 19 become superstars by 20 or 21.E.g., Al Kaline at 19 — full season, BA .276 with 4 HR. At age 20 he lead the league in hitting at .340 with 27 HR.Mickey Mantle at 19 — 100 games, BA .267. He was .311 at age 20, and led the league in hitting a few years later.ARod — .232 at age 19, led the league in hitting (.358!) the next year.Ken Griffey — .264 at age 19, followed by five straight years of .300-to-.323Mike Trout — .220 at age 19 (last year). This year he leads the AL in both HR and BA.I didn't cherry pick these guys (they were the only ones I could think of off the top of my head who were playing at that age — besides Mel Ott, who was already in his _third_ year at age 19, so I didn'tlook him up). Go ahead — find _anybody_ at age 19 and compare them to their stats at 20.Sure. It doesn't _seem_ like Harper could ever lead the league in hitting. That's what anybody would have thought about Trout last year, too. Right?Until you take his age into account.So, my point: you can't compare Rendon to Harper yet. Let's talk in Sept of 2013 and see.I'll even accept your premise (for the moment) that Rendon will lead the league in hitting. I'm not saying Harper _will_ hit higher than Renden. I _am_ saying that only a fortune teller would know at this point.My point is: we won't have any idea of where Harper's ceiling is until after _next year_.That's not to denigrate Rendon at all. Maybe they will both fight it out for the batting title?But, when you say "the numbers don't lie", my response is: "right, look at the numbers of other 19 year olds and what happens to them when they are 20".Those numbers don't lie! ;-)

  38. A DC Wonk - Jul 24, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    Good list Ron — although my feelings on "walk every time" were made known last night. (I.e., if you literally do that, we'll end up leading the league in walks given up and we'll blow up our ERA all at the same time). Only guys like, say, Bonds-on-steroids should get walked when bases are empty. (And even then, not if you have a lead of more than one run).

  39. Positively Half St. - Jul 24, 2012 at 9:18 PM

    Ron in Reston-Very nice. I will give that some thought.+1/2St.

  40. bowdenball - Jul 24, 2012 at 9:21 PM

    Please stop comparing a 22 year old with two games at High A favorably to a guy with a .272./343./442 slash line in the majors at age 19. I try not to be critical of other posters, so I will just say that comparing the two does not reflect well on the poster, unless the poster concludes as DC Wonk did- that it's really no comparison at all.

  41. Positively Half St. - Jul 24, 2012 at 9:23 PM

    peric, Sec222, all-If we have to have a blow-up like this, I definitely think it is appropriate to have it before playing the Mets. That was a NY-style blog flame-out if ever I saw one. Seriously, that kind of passion over a minor-league catcher is impressive. I am not making fun, really- although civility would be preferred, it did make for some entertaining reading.It also is amazingly encouraging. The team is so complete that we are tinkering with the back-up catcher as the key to the rest of the season? We're on the bandwagon now! Print the playoff tickets (no, really, please do!)+1/2St.

  42. Positively Half St. - Jul 24, 2012 at 9:27 PM

    I hope you are all enjoying Dempster toying with the Braves as much as I am. They are getting Greinke-style disrespect from him right about now – "It is pretty clear where I want to go" (paraphrase). I would not be so worried about him going to the Dodgers.It isn't that I am convinced that Dempster would put Atlanta over the top- heck, I would like them to trade away Delgado. I just would like them to be rejected and then do something desperate. We want the Braves to be diminshed for the future, as well.+1/2St.

  43. A DC Wonk - Jul 24, 2012 at 9:29 PM

    Thanks bowdenball. And, note, I wasn't comparing at all. I'm saying that Harper is a big unknown. His stats say that "first ballot Hall of Fame" is not off the table. (I'm not saying it's likely or unlikely, just that — if you look at other 19 year olds — it's not a pipe dream).I'm convinced that almost everybody in the world doesn't quite see that Harper is having a once-in-a-generation season. It's so easy to look at his .275 average and say, "wow, pretty good, kid", without realizing that he's having a better year than almost every other HoF player in the history of baseball at age 19The numbers don't lie! ;-)

  44. peric - Jul 24, 2012 at 9:29 PM

    Please stop comparing a 22 year old with two games at High A favorably to a guy with a .272./343./442 slash line in the majors at age 19. I try not to be critical of other posters, so I will just say that comparing the two does not reflect well on the poster, unless the poster concludes as DC Wonk did- that it's really no comparison at all.Oh puuuhhleeeese?Sure we can perhaps agree OFFENSIVELY that this may be the case in Harper vs. Rendon. But by ALL accounts Rendon is a potential gold-glove at third base. Johnson felt he could play shortstop. So? DEFENSIVELY it seems highly likely that Rendon would ALWAYS have the edge … all things being equal and injuries excluded. And just because he is 19 does not mean Harper won't run into that problem as time goes by. We need to keep our fingers crossed for both players.

  45. baseballswami - Jul 24, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    I love being a fan of a team where there are no desperate, panic moves going on. Ho-hum, business as usual.Now, let's get to Dickey, and if that doesn't work, get him out and feast on the bullpen.

  46. baseballswami - Jul 24, 2012 at 9:31 PM

    And I must say that looking at the Nats at Braves headline is giving me an anxiety attack.

  47. JaneB - Jul 24, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    Speaking of the bandwagon, a sales person came to the house today wearing a Nats hat, the kind that gets sold by head size. So, it wasn't a give away at the door, and I figure he has to be paying attention. I commented on the team, and thought, "whatever he's selling, I'll see if I can be interested." He says, "Nah, I don't really like them, but I love that guy who an play third base and can pitch, too." Why do you love him, I ask? "He's getting pretty famous now that he's finally playing, isn't he?"" Ummmmm.. Bandwagon fan. GYFNG! May Gio take Dickey down a peg.

  48. MicheleS - Jul 24, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    Rendon? Who? Has he played a complete season yet? Bring the topic up when he has actually stayed healthy and can play a full season. Sorry, all the hype for someone who hasn't played is unwarranted.

  49. 'Chili Mo' -- Section 3, My Sofa - Jul 24, 2012 at 9:37 PM

    Mark is making a meta-comment there. From here on out, it's all Nats v. Braves. No matter whom they are playing.

  50. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 24, 2012 at 9:41 PM

    nice take, sofa.

  51. Section 222 - Jul 24, 2012 at 9:41 PM

    Well played, Sofa. And it pretty much is Nats vs. Braves at this point. Harper (the blogger) has a good piece up about this.

  52. Theophilus T. S. - Jul 24, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    CMoSofa — Probably the most salient thing said on this blog this afternoon.

  53. whatsanattau - Jul 24, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    I think Hill was signed for emergency filler … but this is not an emergency. His presence will not stop the Nats from acquiring another catcher if Rizzo sees a deal he likes. Finding a middle infielder makes sense, but if DeRosa is healthy he is still a decent backup. Take out that 0-21 at the start of the year (approx) and his stats dOnt suck a lot.

  54. whatsanattau - Jul 24, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    Maybe a little.

  55. MicheleS - Jul 24, 2012 at 9:46 PM

    What about Ryan Roberts from AZ as a possible utility guy? AZ just DFA'd him. He was batting .250.

  56. baseballswami - Jul 24, 2012 at 9:50 PM

    Is he the tatoo guy?

  57. MicheleS - Jul 24, 2012 at 9:54 PM

    Swami, yup, he is Tat Man.222, thanks for the link.. Don't want too count chickens right now… not until the magic number is 0

  58. rogieshan - Jul 24, 2012 at 9:58 PM

    Roberts would be a solid fit. Have some pop, can run and play several positions. Very surprised he got DFA. Big prerequisite: must know how to bunt.Getting the feeling Davey Johnson is lobbying to keep DeRosa over bringing in an outside guy.

  59. JaneB - Jul 24, 2012 at 10:02 PM

    If Davey is lobbying for DeRosa, I'm with Davey. He was right about Danny and Desi! He could be right about Mark too, I'm betting he is.

  60. rogieshan - Jul 24, 2012 at 10:03 PM

    If the Nats are seriously considering picking up a catcher for the stretch run, then a name I'd like to see is Francisco Cervelli currently with Scranton W-B. Not sure if the Yankees would make him available, but he's a good catch-and-throw guy.

  61. NatsLady - Jul 24, 2012 at 10:03 PM

    Just saw this:Update: Roberts told MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert that the Diamondbacks informed him a trade is already on the one-yard line. It sounds like it could happen within the next 24 hours.

  62. TheManBearPig - Jul 24, 2012 at 10:04 PM

    Section222, my two cents on 160 vs 180 innings for SS: Seems like there's not enough of an upside to 180 to even consider it. Even if the risk level was low, the Nats have at least two (I would say three) starters who have been more effective than SS during the last month or so. The returns on SS, much like JZ last season, seem to be diminishing as he pitches more innings, so do you take any risk at all when the realistic expectation of what you'll get is 4th or 5th starter performance?

  63. MicheleS - Jul 24, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    NatsLady, saw that too, was wondering if Nats are in on it. Not sure who would be moved? Sad to say, it might be Tyler back to the minors. but not sure

  64. MicheleS - Jul 24, 2012 at 10:10 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  65. rogieshan - Jul 24, 2012 at 10:12 PM

    That's very true, JaneB. I have confidence in Davey's decision-making. I know he values DeRosa's presence in the clubhouse and the intangibles he brings to the team. Letting Ankiel go was already a tough move, given he was another good guy who also had a mentor-ship role for the young players. Davey is mindful of the good chemistry that's been cultivated here.

  66. MicheleS - Jul 24, 2012 at 10:12 PM

    Watching Mark on CSN. I think he is starting his playoff beard already ;-)

  67. Joe Seamhead - Jul 24, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    Jeez, what's with all the name calling and put down? Wow, somebody didn't take their thorzine.

  68. Theophilus T. S. - Jul 24, 2012 at 10:21 PM

    Roberts might be OK for a week or two but that is his ceiling. Not an improvement over the current MI depth chart of Espinosa, Lombardozzi and DeRosa, and not worth shaking up the current 25-man roster. The need is for someone who can be stashed at Syracuse on a "break glass in case of emergency" basis. MLBTradeRumors originally linked Roberts to Rays, who have more to offer anyway.

  69. MicheleS - Jul 24, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    JoeS… you know how it gets when people start arguing about a backup catcher…I think we need to adopt the Bill Cosby Rule of comedy to this blog. Cosby always was a firm believer that you don't need to curse to make people laugh. Maybe we can insitute a rule that you don't need to make your point by name calling or throwing around insults. It can only elevate the discussion…Just sayin…

  70. MicheleS - Jul 24, 2012 at 10:23 PM

    Theo. Agree. I mean what happens when Werth and Tracey come back? Does that mean Corey goes down when Werth Comes back? Who goes when Chad comes back (and we are not rushing them back hopefully)

  71. peric - Jul 24, 2012 at 10:31 PM

    I think Hill was signed for emergency filler … but this is not an emergency. His presence will not stop the Nats from acquiring another catcher if Rizzo sees a deal he likes.Whatsanat, I watched the video interview with Hill and it seems the Nats had to do some wrangling and selling to get Hill on board. He hasn't been in the minors in a while. He is that good defensively. And just looking at how Syracuse jumped from the depths of the basement all the way to playing around .500 with some chance at the playoffs you can see why Rizzo wanted Koyie Hill.Think "Crash" Davis except almost as good as Pudge defensively and just as pathetic offensively, again, because of the table saw accident that almost cost him some fingers. He's made himself into the superlative defensive catcher. In other words this ain't NO Nieves. He's the real deal and a guy you probably wouldn't mind having backing up your starter and on your bench talking to your pitchers. Rizzo has done his due diligence as he likes to say.Now, a catching prospect? Like Ramos? YES, at this point definitely yes. It was thought that was the least of their problems but losing Derrick Norris is now hurting more than anyone thought it would. Two surgeries on that knee does not bode well for Ramos and his catching career. And David Freitas is still in Potomac. We'll know they trust his defense if they move him to Harrisburg but so far that hasn't happened.

  72. NatsLady - Jul 24, 2012 at 10:35 PM

    Yes. Somehow, I didn't mind the pitchers, but even with all the depth we thought we had, I never like to trade away a catcher. They are just as fragile as pitchers and there aren't as many.

  73. MicheleS - Jul 24, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    They are showing the Fan cave stuff with the Bullpen guys. Clipp needs some lessons on the drums.

  74. baseballswami - Jul 24, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    Pretty funny– can't wait to see their skit. Craig Stammen reminds me of Jordan with his quietness. Looks like the guys are loosening him up. Also, the starters get so much attention, it's nice to see the relievers.

  75. peric - Jul 24, 2012 at 10:42 PM

    I mean what happens when Werth and Tracey come back? Does that mean Corey goes down when Werth Comes back? Who goes when Chad comes back (and we are not rushing them back hopefully)I think given Bernadina's performance its going to be hard for Tracy to get his spot back as designated pinch hitter when Werth comes back.If Werth comes back my guess would have to be Tyler Moore. Its really kind of choice between keeping Moore and keeping DeRosa. They spec out to almost the same thing. Tracy would almost have to replace Corey Brown since both are left-handed. But, then you are kind of short on good defensive outfielders without the return of Werth. That just moves Bernadina back to the bench but you still probably need one more and that looks like Brown at this point. As for the moves? So, let's see Davey said he wanted to eventually go with a seven man bullpen, and now he is up to NINE? That's two more than he technically needs. Potentially there's your two spots. But it also probably means 2 of Storen, Mattheus, Stammen, and possibly Clippard (injury) either go on the DL until September or are optioned. H-Rod could be sent to the DL again. And then what do they do when CMW is ready to come back? The guy was terrible when he tried to use him in relief. He is a starter?In the end its past time for Rizzo to make a trade … from his 40/25 man roster … at least one. He has already had to DFA two off of it wasting possible trade opportunities. But, I can see this. The Nats farm system is over crowded with too many C grade and below prospects. They would need a C+->B grade prospect like an Erik Komatsu or a Zach Walters to make it worthwhile for them. As it is they just resigned former rule 5 draftee and Riggleman favorite (according to Boz) Brian Broderick to pitch in AA. That says a lot about both the injuries and the level of prospects that the Nats have in the system. Too many may be just filler after the big Gio trade and the injuries. Its good to get A level players like Rendon back.Its a shame they lost Komatsu to injury for he represents another stellar fielder and left-handed batter in the outfield.

  76. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 24, 2012 at 10:44 PM

    Tonight, Gio bounces back with a 7 inning, 4 hit, 1 run gem.Make it so, Gio.

  77. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 24, 2012 at 10:48 PM

    Bernadina hasn't arrived, folks. He is too old to re-invent himself, or suddenly discover he's a productive hitter. No, sir. Baseball is a game of averages and Bernie will probably return to his avg.: .240Bernie is a good, if not great outfielder. While fleet of foot, Bernie is a proven bonehead on the basepath — that isn't going away.Remarkably, we've discovered this year that Bernie is solid, if not phenomenal pinch hitter — who knows why, but Bernie just is better coming off the bench. One good series does not a star make.We'll have plenty of opportunities now to see if Bernie can be a consistent hitter — I seriously doubt it.

  78. baseballswami - Jul 24, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    I would be more than ok with Bernie off the bench and as a 4th outfielder. Speed, defense, hits. I think TyMo needs to go down for a month because he needs the playing time. Gonzalez trade ? What about Wang and HRod? So much energy has been spent on them.

  79. Old Wino - Jul 24, 2012 at 11:05 PM

    Put your seatbelts on! It's gonna be good one. Go Nats!(Cheerleader moment):)

  80. baseballswami - Jul 24, 2012 at 11:15 PM

    Dickey- ugh. The rookies were totally bamboozled.didn't even watch any. RZim comes up, is patient, and gets a pitch to hit.

  81. hiramhover - Jul 24, 2012 at 11:15 PM

    SinceStartI agree that Bernie's playing over his head, but as long as he does, let's sit back and enjoy it.

  82. baseballswami - Jul 24, 2012 at 11:20 PM

    Gio is channeling his inner John Lannan. Good.

  83. 'Chili Mo' -- Section 3, My Sofa - Jul 24, 2012 at 11:43 PM

    If Espinosa stays with the tag on Hairston there, he over-slid (over-slood?) the bag, and there was an out. And call me dirty, but I have put the ball into hitters who walked in front of me when I was throwing to second. Which also didn't happen here.

  84. 'Chili Mo' -- Section 3, My Sofa - Jul 24, 2012 at 11:47 PM

    OK, since this game may continue to just move right along, what do you all think: who has the better looking fans sitting behind home plate?

  85. Fear and Ignorance - Jul 24, 2012 at 11:53 PM

    This is the 3rd time they have seen Dickey now in 6 weeks. I would rather the Nationals not be the red carpet to his Cy Young Award.

  86. 'Chili Mo' -- Section 3, My Sofa - Jul 24, 2012 at 11:54 PM

    Knuckleball quotes?"I once asked Charlie Hough why more pitchers didn't throw a knuckleball.'Why don't more pitchers throw 95 mph?' Hough shot back. 'Because it's really hard to do!'"Tim Kurkjian

  87. Drew - Jul 25, 2012 at 12:02 AM

    Good work, Gio. Keep it close.Dickey's at 49 through three.Take pitches and get him to 100, so we can flip the turtle and attack the soft underbelly — the Mets' bullpen.Way to go Danny!

  88. 'Chili Mo' -- Section 3, My Sofa - Jul 25, 2012 at 12:04 AM

    Eri Yoshida makes more historyThis is some cool knuckleball news. Maybe the next Peanut Johnson.

  89. Candide - Jul 25, 2012 at 12:07 AM

    Four-pitch fourth inning for Gio. Me likee.

  90. Drew - Jul 25, 2012 at 12:13 AM

    Stop swinging.I would make R.A. throw me two called strikes.Force him to bring that weak fastball.

  91. MicheleS - Jul 25, 2012 at 12:20 AM

    So.. Olbermann has a man crush on Harper..The Care and Feeding of Bryce

  92. MicheleS - Jul 25, 2012 at 12:30 AM

    So dickey is almost up to 90 pitchers. And ALR HITS A BOMB!!AWESOME!

  93. 'Chili Mo' -- Section 3, My Sofa - Jul 25, 2012 at 12:31 AM

    LaRoshe! (I know, I'm spelling fonetikally.)

  94. Candide - Jul 25, 2012 at 12:31 AM

    Just before ALR's blast, Cunegonde said, "Here comes Mister No-Chin."Then she apologized.

  95. 'Chili Mo' -- Section 3, My Sofa - Jul 25, 2012 at 12:32 AM

    C'mon, light this guy up NOW.Shark Week continues!

  96. slidell2 - Jul 25, 2012 at 12:32 AM

    I was saying to myself– hit a home run you . . .And, he did it!

  97. Drew - Jul 25, 2012 at 12:32 AM

    There we go!Dickey's 12 from 100.Wait him out and bring it home.

  98. 'Chili Mo' -- Section 3, My Sofa - Jul 25, 2012 at 12:33 AM

    Hold Him!!! Noooooo!!!Great send, Bo!

  99. Candide - Jul 25, 2012 at 12:34 AM

    …and then my nephew said, "There goes the inning," when Flores came up.We need more trash-talk here.

  100. Joe Seamhead - Jul 25, 2012 at 12:35 AM

    For all of those that said that ALR was a Rizzo "fail" I say four things: Nanny,nanny, boo, boo!And now we get the Shark Attack!I love this game!

  101. 'Chili Mo' -- Section 3, My Sofa - Jul 25, 2012 at 12:35 AM

    That was a two-run version of "send the runner and hope for a bad throw." He gets two runs there–great call. And a great hit for Jesus.

  102. djinFl. - Jul 25, 2012 at 12:36 AM

    The, going to commercial break music, played at the end of the inning sounded like a dirge at a funeral. Honest you can not make that stuff up.

  103. MicheleS - Jul 25, 2012 at 12:36 AM

    I figured out why we scored so many runs.. Mark MUST BE OUT OF THE PRESS BOX.. No posts, no twitter, nothing.

  104. djinFl. - Jul 25, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    Yes i am stuck with the Mets broadcast crew again.

  105. Candide - Jul 25, 2012 at 12:42 AM

    This is the Gio we expected last winter.

  106. Section 222 - Jul 25, 2012 at 12:43 AM

    Awesome call by Bo there. Danny was just rounding third when Bay came up with the ball. As I said this morning, I like Bo's aggressiveness. Two runs home because he's willing to challenge these outfield arms. Well done.

  107. MicheleS - Jul 25, 2012 at 12:44 AM

    Yup.. I was right, Mark was in the stands. Mark just so you know, WHEN we make the playoffs, we will tie you up in the stands

  108. RickH - Jul 25, 2012 at 12:46 AM

    Nice breaking out the bats BEFORE the 10th inning tonight.

  109. 'Chili Mo' -- Section 3, My Sofa - Jul 25, 2012 at 12:56 AM

    Isaac Davis.I was sort of hoping it was Eisenhower Davis.

  110. 'Chili Mo' -- Section 3, My Sofa - Jul 25, 2012 at 12:59 AM

    The going-to-commercial-break music, played at the end of the inning, sounded like a dirge at a funeral.I wonder, would that work? Play really, really relaxing music when the other team is at bat?

  111. 'Chili Mo' -- Section 3, My Sofa - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:00 AM

    For The Record: McCatty visit, next pitch, a ball. Note the date and time.

  112. 'Chili Mo' -- Section 3, My Sofa - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:01 AM

    But it's Saul Good.

  113. MicheleS - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:05 AM

    Sounds like the Pirates are going after Wandy.

  114. MicheleS - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:08 AM

    We finally get a small measure of revenge against a Hairston.

  115. Candide - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:10 AM

    'Chili Mo' — Section 3, My Sofa said…Isaac Davis.I was sort of hoping it was Eisenhower Davis.Anyone know how to get a mouthful of Sticky Wicket Oatmeal Stout out of a laptop's keyboard?

  116. Mr. Doggett - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:10 AM

    Seems like we've been really lucky with the ball popping out of opposing players' gloves lately. It's about time the ball started bouncing our way.

  117. NatsNut - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:13 AM

    Daaaaang SinceStart!!!NatsFanSinceStart said…Tonight, Gio bounces back with a 7 inning, 4 hit, 1 run gem.Make it so, Gio.

  118. MicheleS - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:14 AM

    Since Start…buy some lottery tickets!!!!

  119. MicheleS - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:16 AM

    UGH.. can we not have Valdespin hit an HR off of us? Seriously?

  120. NatsNut - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:17 AM

    Can we add Valdespin to the guys we can't pitch to anymore?

  121. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:17 AM

    Tonight I am finally taking adviced: I'm running down to the Tenley Town store and get some tickets!!!!Go Gio!!!

  122. MicheleS - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:19 AM

    NatsNut. Let's add Valdespin to the list of guys we HIT with pitches!

  123. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:19 AM

    good suggestion, NatsNut. I agree.he has 6 HRs as a sub and 1 as a starter. what is up with this guy?

  124. Section 222 - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:20 AM

    At least there was no one on for Valdespin.

  125. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:21 AM

    If today is my magical day, let me take full advantage …The Nats will win their division by 5 games.NLDS SweepNCLS: 4-3World Series: 4-2

  126. 'Chili Mo' -- Section 3, My Sofa - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:24 AM

    Who can inform me about how changes in the 40-man are made? Is it easy for the team? NCNatsie, sorry, you got caught in my "scroll-past" cruise control, or I could have answered sooner. I suspect a lot of people here could have; it must be a common issue with having to scroll.Short answer, yes and no. I think this DFA article addresses what I think you're asking.One other thing: Some players (notably Bryce Harper, and certain other high draft picks) have major league contracts, so they have to be on the 40-man, but not by rule–the Nats agreed to do that, contractually. No choice there.

  127. NatsNut - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:24 AM

    Thanks, SiinceStart, that will be fine.LOL, MicheleS

  128. NatsNut - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:28 AM

    Charlie and Dave (or maybe Jack Of All Things) are playing the Jeffersons theme song. Nice tribute to Sherman Hemsley, but fitting for our team's position too.

  129. 'Chili Mo' -- Section 3, My Sofa - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:28 AM

    OK, was it just me, or did Carp pause a bit on reporting that broken-bat ground ball? "How much of the Mets' wood has been ruined … by the Nats tonight?" after realizing that might be taken different ways?

  130. 'Chili Mo' -- Section 3, My Sofa - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:28 AM

    NatsFanSinceStart–get the ticket, man! And let us know what numbers!

  131. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:29 AM

    Harper is over due.

  132. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:31 AM

    Yep, Chili. Blue seat box seats for an entire homestand for everyone.

  133. 'Chili Mo' -- Section 3, My Sofa - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:31 AM

    Yeah, he hasn't hit a home run in, like, 26 hours.

  134. 'Chili Mo' -- Section 3, My Sofa - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:32 AM

    That should be our new motto here: Blue Box Seats for Everyone!

  135. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:32 AM

    Lose it in the left field second deck, Zim.

  136. MicheleS - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:32 AM

    NatsNut..Aww…Movin on up…. To the East side! To a Deluxe Apartment in the SKYYYYY!.. Movin On up!

  137. 'Chili Mo' -- Section 3, My Sofa - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:33 AM

    Wouldn't that be cool, though? All the regulars here get a luxury box?

  138. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:33 AM

    Wandy to the Pirates for a Prospect.

  139. MicheleS - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:35 AM

    Chili Mo..Can you imagine the Bourbon/Maalox/Coke/Diet Coke/Bon Bons in the President's club? I bet they are real fancy.And Bryce needs to realize that everyone knows he is going to try to steal

  140. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:36 AM

    Clippard vs. Wright – good way to start the 9th.

  141. 'Chili Mo' -- Section 3, My Sofa - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:36 AM

    Sherman Hemsley was also B.P. Richfield on the really excellent show Dinosaurs.

  142. 'Chili Mo' -- Section 3, My Sofa - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:37 AM

    And Bryce needs to realize that everyone knows he is going to try to steal He knows, Michele.

  143. MicheleS - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:43 AM

    WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

  144. 'Chili Mo' -- Section 3, My Sofa - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:43 AM

    oK, I'm not calling him anything else but Eisenhower Davis. Maybe Dwight.[WoooooooooooooooooHooooooooo] TM Michele

  145. Candide - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:44 AM

    What MicheleS said…

  146. NatsNut - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:46 AM

    ditto

  147. NatsLady - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:49 AM

    Geeeez, Milwaukee is as bad as the Mets for blowing leads!

  148. 'Chili Mo' -- Section 3, My Sofa - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:56 AM

    Ray filling in for Ghost, tonight, reminding us that Espinosa, at short this time, *has* to charge those slow rollers, or the fast guys will beat them out.

  149. 'Chili Mo' -- Section 3, My Sofa - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:57 AM

    Sincey, don't forget to share those powerball numbers, now…

  150. 'Chili Mo' -- Section 3, My Sofa - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:59 AM

    Great Googely Moogely, Johnny… how long have you had that suit???

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 54 43 --
ATLANTA 54 45 1.0
MIAMI 46 52 8.5
NEW YORK 46 53 9.0
PHILADELPHIA 43 56 12.0
Through Monday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
TUE: Nats at Rockies, 8:40 p.m.
WED: Nats at Rockies, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Nats at Reds, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Reds, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Reds, 1:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

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