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Game 97: Nats at Mets

Jul 25, 2012, 3:00 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Stephen Strasburg starts today's series finale at Citi Field.

NEW YORK — Does the date July 5, 2005 mean anything to you? It should, because it was a milestone day in Nationals history. With a 3-2 victory over the Mets at RFK Stadium that evening, the Nats improved to 51-32. They haven't been 19 games over .500 since.

Today, they have the opportunity to get back to that high-water mark as they seek a sweep of the same Mets, this time at Citi Field. And who better to send to the mound for such a game than Stephen Strasburg, who undoubtedly is motivated to rebound from his last start in which he helped instigate that blown 9-0 lead against the Braves. There may be no pitcher in baseball teams would rather not have to face than Strasburg coming off a shaky outing. He's given up four or more earned runs only four times in his career; his ERA the start after he gave up those runs: 1.06.

Only one change to Davey Johnson's lineup from last night: Sandy Leon will be behind the plate. Jesus Flores (who has been dealing with a stiff back) came out of last night's game fine, and he made a couple of nice plays in the process, but Johnson didn't want to take his chances throwing Flores back out there after a short turnaround.

We've got a really early, 12:10 p.m. start today. If you're stuck in the office and can't watch, you're in luck — plenty of updates and analysis to come right here…

Where: Citi Field
Gametime: 1:10 p.m. EDT
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 184
Weather: Sunny, 80 degrees, Wind 9 mph LF to RF

2B Steve Lombardozzi
RF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche

Read more »

228 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. JD - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    JayB,We already know how you feel about Rizzo; enough already. Try to add something to the conversation when you post.

  2. Candide - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    Mick, I would like to join the rest of the crew here in appreciation of your civility today.

  3. MicheleS - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    What's fun about today, My Crazy Mets Fan Co-worker and I are going back and forth on instant messanger. He is resigned to the fact that the Mets stink this year.

  4. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    In the what have you done for me lately department, will the HRod haters at least recognize his play in April.The Nats are where we are, in part, because of the blazing 14-4 start we had. At the end of those 18 games, Henry had pitched 9 times, had 5 saves (in 5 save opportunities), and had allowed only one hit. Henry was a major factor in that 14-4 start.

  5. Schumatrix - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    Storen's the man. I think it might be time to end the HROD experiment.

  6. mick - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    Bobby C says only the 1962 Mets had a worst start after the All star break at 1-14 than these Mets. If we finish this off the Mets will be 1-12 since break

  7. mick - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:56 PM

    Candide said…Mick, I would like to join the rest of the crew here in appreciation of your civility today.thank you….

  8. NatsLady - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:56 PM

    Wonk, I'm fine with what Henry did in April. I'm fine with all the patience Davey (and Rizzo) have displayed. But keeping Henry means you have to keep the 8-man BP, or use him in situations like today–and that's really hard on the rest of the BP. Davey used four pitchers in that inning.

  9. Tcostant - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    Clipper in for the 9th.

  10. NatsLady - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    BTW, Ankiel contributed a lot to the early wins also. At a certain point, it is what have you done lately?

  11. JayB - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    Njack,I think Rizzo is great for the team….other than his refusal to admit his mistakes and move on when it is oh so clear that HROD is hurting his team. Look back several Rizzo years and you can find many Matt Stairs types…..which is bad enough but if he trades for your….you get to stay no matter what. That is Rizzo's flaw and I wish he could get over it.

  12. Section 135 - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    Trade Henry for backup infielder or backup catcher or as throw in for SP

  13. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:00 PM

    I say put him on DL and work with him in off-season and check back in ST if he improves against major leaguers. If not, cut him.

  14. Tcostant - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    I trade HRod to the Rookies for Marco Scutaro, right now.

  15. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    Hey — thanks to Henry, we don't have to worry about the top three in the Mets order this inning! (ducks and runs . . . ;-) )

  16. NatsLady - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    Coors would be the end of Henry.

  17. Schumatrix - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    Let's break out these brooms Clip!

  18. mick - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    looking ahead Brewers are 44-52

  19. MicheleS - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:04 PM


  20. Schumatrix - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    LOMBO! Sweep!

  21. JD - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    Put it in the books. Clip seems to have his mojo back.

  22. m20832 - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    Nice play Lombo!

  23. JD - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:07 PM

    NatsLady, He might just do fine in coors. All these meaningless and pressure less games?

  24. Candide - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    And if the Mariners manage to top the Yankees later this pm, the Nats will have the best record in baseball.Okay, who saw THAT coming back in February?

  25. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    Note: I wasn't writing about April-Henry as an argument to cut or keep him — just that the haters should realize he helped immensely — he was lights out for a while, and, obviously, there's a big debate going on over whether he could ever do it again.Given Rizzo's/Davey's track record on sticking with guys that we all wanted to DFA or send back to the minors (Ian, Espi, Shark, etc.) I trust their judgement. If they see potential, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt.Davey obviously thought he could move HRod up to a minorly-stressful 4-run lead. (And it appeared HRod struck that second guy out). He didn't. Everyone would have agreed it was worth a try, if it had worked. But nobody has a crystal ball.

  26. blovy8 - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    Someone is always going to give a guy who throws 100 a chance, he wouldn't clear waivers.

  27. Candide - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    Maybe HRod wouldn't clear waivers, but I don't care. Remember what Rizzo said when he released Daniel Cabrera? "I was tired of watching him." The D-Backs picked him up on waivers and after six appearances, they were tired of watching him, too.It's not like all that's standing between us and a good BP is a lights-out Henry. It's not 2008; we don't need to keep him and pray that he'll come around and help us field a decent team. Again, right now, we are tied for the best record in baseball with the New York Yankees. Would the Yanks put up with this?

  28. natsfan1a - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    Just read the game thread. I wish to associate myself with the comments of my colleagues in lauding Mick's calm commentary therein. Atta way, Mick!




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