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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…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at NEW YORK METS
Where: Citi Field
Gametime: 1:10 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 184
Weather: Sunny, 80 degrees, Wind 9 mph LF to RF

NATIONALS (57-39)
2B Steve Lombardozzi
RF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche

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228 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Candide - Jul 25, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    Noon start, nice day, I think, "Hmmm, maybe I want to go out there today…"Then I remember they're in NYC.D'oh!

  2. 'Chili Mo' -- Section 3, My Sofa - Jul 25, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    Keep the updates coming, Mark, and thanks, but be sure to spend some quality time with your friends in the stands while Strasburg is still in the game.

  3. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    July 5, 2005 was also the beginning of the end for a team that didn't have Ace starting pitching.This team has no similarities to that team except the name on the front of the jersey.The best team in the NL right now is the Nationals and 19 games over .500 is part of battle to win the war. Another victory on the march to winning it all.

  4. Candide - Jul 25, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said…This team has no similarities to that team except the name on the front of the jersey.Not even that. The 2005 Nats' jerseys said "NATIONALS" across the front. That's been replaced by the Curly W.

  5. Candide - Jul 25, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    Come September, there'll be one more similarity – the guy patrolling third base was there in September 2005.

  6. mick - Jul 25, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    assuming Flores injuries are rest related, could Davey employ a bullpen type situation with Leon/Solano playing 7 innings and then Flores (games he does not start) coming in with the relief pitchers for defensive purposes?

  7. natsfan1a - Jul 25, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    Yay, Valdespin in the lineup, so no pinch-hit dingers! Plus, there's a bowler in the OF!! Plus, my boss said I could take off to watch the game on tv!!! Yes!!!! (She's pretty awesome that way. ;-)) Go, SS! Go, NATS BATS!! (Er, did I just use too many exclamation points?? My aunt does that, so it must run in the family.)

  8. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 25, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    i have a meeting at 12. can't even do gameday until 1. go nats!!!

  9. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 25, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    wow I wanna work for your boss, 1a.

  10. natsfan1a - Jul 25, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    She's a big Nats fan. Only thing is, it's a one-person office. :-)

  11. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    Candide, good point. Just the same city, not even the same stadium.

  12. Tcostant - Jul 25, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    I hate lunch time meetings,

  13. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    Mick, Davey has to hope September 1st gets here quickly where he can callup Solano and Maldanado and carry 4 catchers. With 4 catchers, who knows. I could see Davey pinch-hitting and changing it up. Goal is to keep JFlo fresh. When JFlo is fresh, he will get you hits.

  14. Natslifer - Jul 25, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    Once we reach this 19 game over mark, I'd like to be done comparing this team to '05. It is completely different now. I love listening and learning from Davey and understanding how a manager adds to the team. His discussion about "taking it 5 games at a time" (i.e., going from 15 to 20 to 25 games above .500) was a great little nugget about how to keep a great team motivated.In this year, no matter the occasional stinker, there's enough of a body of work to convince me we're the best team in the NL East (and right now the whole NL) top to bottom. We're all learning how to be front-runners but I think it's time to turn the switch. Imagine you were a Phils fan on your way to any of the 100 win seasons. Don't think defensively – no sky is falling ever – just every day know that we're better than the team we're playing. We might lose a few but so be it. I've had a such a great time this season and I'm making the switch.

  15. natsfan1a - Jul 25, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    Agreed re. 2005 comparisons, Natslifer, but I don't think that they'll stop. Baseball's all about comparisons. Also, a fan terminology quibble: we're learning how to be winners, not front-runners (that's for the bandwagon fans). ;-)

  16. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 25, 2012 at 3:44 PM

    I think he meant front-runner for the team, not for fans.

  17. natsfan1a - Jul 25, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    That would make sense, Faraz.

  18. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    NatsNut said…Also, was there any specific commentary from announcers or writers on why Danny chose to hit Dickey from the right?I read answers in the last thread regarding Danny's right handedness, etc., but I heard a completely different reason from Charlie and Dave last night. One of them said that it was the way Dickey's knuckler tailed in or out — the movement was a bit more like one would see from a left-handed pitcher than a RHP.FWIW

  19. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    Hey — great story about DRo suggesting to Shark about using a lighter bat (and spreading the idea to LaRoche for Dickey).(And… recalling Werth's advice to Harper about when/how to steal against Hamels…)When folk talk about having some "veteran presence" on the bench — this is probably exactly what they mean.And, fwiw, I think it's one of the extras that Davey Johnson (who hit 43 HR's one year, four time all-star and three-time gold glove winner at 2B) brings as a manager, too.

  20. Theophilus T. S. - Jul 25, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    Espinosa said, on Loverro's program, I think, that Dickey's hard knuckler acts "like a cutter," breaking away from a LH hitter.

  21. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    BTW, Nats _average_ home attendance now slightly over 30K per game (!). Quite a jump from last year at this time (slightly under 22.5K per).(Where are those stupid sports junkies, or whoever, on this?)

  22. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    T.S. — I'll take a coke please. Preferably on game one of the playoffs! ;-)

  23. Steady Eddie - Jul 25, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    Actually, Ghost and Csndide, I think the name in the front of the uniforms they're wearing today (on the road) IS the same as 2005 — Washington.Isn't it great that we can sit around and babble on about such crucial topics? After 33 years of baseball drought and seven years in the "spoiler at best" wilderness, I live every moment of this! And I love this team, not just because they're winners, but because rhey're a really worthy bunch of guys to take that winners role. How can you not loce a team with a guy like Morse who plays practical jokes in his teammates and then goes around the dugout hugging them?

  24. Grandstander - Jul 25, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    Nice shout out to Mark by FP.

  25. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    Other random notes from yesterday's games (as I get antsy waiting for the game) from youjustcantpredictbaseball:- Zack Greinke homered off of Cliff Lee. Greinke now has as many home runs on the season as Cliff Lee has wins.- the Pirates have the best home record in baseball.- in a span of five batters, King Felix hit three of them.

  26. Natslifer - Jul 25, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    I did mean "front-runner" for the team :) – I think we in here can safely say we're about as far opposite of front-runners as you can get. BTW, despite me going to both Friday and Saturday morning's games, I did have one really great moment with my 8 year old on Saturday morning. He's been playing baseball for four years, is pretty knowledgeable but still a kid. As HRod walked out of the game with his head hung low, there was a lot of booing and a smattering of clapping. I looked at him and had him stand with me and clap. When we sat down, I said "son, you can think whatever you want of the team but with me you will never boo your own guys and you will never do the wave at this ballpark." He thought about it for a second and shook on it… just laying the foundation for a great decade to come.

  27. GYFNG - Jul 25, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    Candide said…Not even that. The 2005 Nats' jerseys said "NATIONALS" across the front. That's been replaced by the Curly W.They might have said "Natinals."

  28. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    Steady Eddie wrote:After 33 years of baseball drought and seven years in the "spoiler at best" wilderness, I live every moment of this! And I love this team, not just because they're winners, but because rhey're a really worthy bunch of guys to take that winners role. How can you not loce a team with a guy like Morse who plays practical jokes in his teammates and then goes around the dugout hugging them? I "live" this, too ;-)But seriously. This is awesome. Another aspect of this season that makes it particularly fun for me is that we got to see the Nats build a team, almost from scratch, brick-by-brick. It's not like some good team got transplanted here — it was a bad team with a depleted farm system. Kasten, and then Rizzo, had to start at ground zero. For the fan, it takes longer, but it's more fun, and definitely more rewarding that way.And, thanks to the 'Net — we had a ton of easily accessible information, to see which guys were coming up from the farm, draft day info, etc etc.And, the FO did it the right way — by stressing youth, and the future, and signing "good" guys, and getting rid of bad influences. No relying on old aging players year after year to prop up a couple more wins.And, by doing it the right way, we see a _great_ future ahead of us.Consider: not only are the Nats one of the, if not _the_ best teams in the NL, but they are also the _youngest_ team in the NL. What a combination!Fun and _good_ solid baseball for years to come!I'm lovin' it!! (And I've been off kool-ade for a while!)

  29. Candide - Jul 25, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    Hey, I just noticed – they're not wearing the red batting helmets on the road this trip.

  30. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    Strasburg first inning: 9 pitches, 8 for strikes, 2 K's and a ground out.I love it when he starts that way ;-)

  31. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 25, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    Best inning of pitching Stras has had in quite awhile.

  32. dabassguy1 - Jul 25, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    Gorse-hackin'.Love it.

  33. Schumatrix - Jul 25, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    Gooot heeeeeeeeem!

  34. dabassguy1 - Jul 25, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    Espy was jealous. He wanted a dinger too.

  35. Natslifer - Jul 25, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    Woooooo hooooooooo!!!!

  36. Swift Eagle - Jul 25, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    Espi's LH swing gets better everyday, don't see the loop any more…Coming out of the Soph Slump?

  37. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    Hefner had Espi 0-2 (!!), but Espi kept fouling it off, and hit that HR on the 10th pitch of that at bat!!

  38. Schumatrix - Jul 25, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    Yeah, Espi's swing is way more compact than it was when he was striking out every AB.

  39. Schumatrix - Jul 25, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    With our best hitter (Strasburg) not contributing, how are we ever going to win the division? :/

  40. Feel Wood - Jul 25, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    Best hitter Strasburg? That's soooooooo last month.

  41. Schumatrix - Jul 25, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    Nice recovery right there. The ol' 4-6-3!

  42. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    Oh, well, one run, but after two, Stras is still sitting at only 20 pitches (15 strikes).

  43. Swift Eagle - Jul 25, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    Stras looking the best he has all year to me…Jack, looks like the old,easy motion,no stress…Here it is, Hit it…

  44. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 25, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    After seeing that third strike to Tejada, that's the first time I've seen a pitch I would call a "power change".

  45. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 25, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    Right Derek. This is the best he's looked in a while.

  46. Swift Eagle - Jul 25, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    Berni and his Wonderboy bat still hitting line drives…Fake bunt, steal would be a good play here…

  47. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 25, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    How about a swinging bunt?

  48. Swift Eagle - Jul 25, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    Of course, swinging bunt-E2 works too

  49. Swift Eagle - Jul 25, 2012 at 5:11 PM

    Lots of strikes from Stras today, guess he wants to stay in a while…Watch for the Mets to swing early in the count…

  50. Swift Eagle - Jul 25, 2012 at 5:13 PM

    Another filthy change

  51. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 5:19 PM

    4th inning, 12 more pitches, two more K's.Total: 4 innings, 47 pitches, 7 K's, 2 H, 1 ER.

  52. Steady Eddie - Jul 25, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    Actually, Wonk, as you might imagine, that "live" this team was an iPhone autocorrect typo. But I'll take the Zen meaning anyway. And in terms of the way the Nats seem to be pushing other things like work and yard chores out of the way, "live" seems to be accurate in more ways too…Looks like Stras is out for double digit Ks AND a low pitch count. Can only do that by relentlessly attacking the zone which is his MO today. Great to see.

  53. Schumatrix - Jul 25, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    It's so nice when our guys throw strikes.

  54. djinFl. - Jul 25, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    McCatty must have one heck of a meeting last week. We have now gone through the entire rotation without any of them nibbling at the corners.

  55. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 5:34 PM

    OK, another hit.After five complete:5 IP, 68 pitches (48 strikes), 3 H, 1 ER, 8 K's

  56. Fear and Ignorance - Jul 25, 2012 at 5:36 PM

    These innings today shouldn't even count towards his innings limit. #cruisecontrol

  57. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 5:36 PM

    Steady Eddie said… Actually, Wonk, as you might imagine, that "live" this team was an iPhone autocorrect typo. But I'll take the Zen meaning anyway.I suspected it was a typo, but, either way, I was trying to imply that I agree with both meanings.It appears we are both living this and loving it! ;-)Thanks!

  58. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    djinFl. said… McCatty must have one heck of a meeting last week. We have now gone through the entire rotation without any of them nibbling at the corners. July 25, 2012 1:31 PM Right you are. This is the only reason to get power pitchers is to go after hitters. Nibbling corners is for the soft-tossers who lack movement.Its taken a while and JZim has really been schooling the rest of the staff based on the Cat's preachings to the youngsters of pitch to contact and quick innings. Stras still likes to get that K when he has 2 strikes on them.

  59. Drew - Jul 25, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    Thole dented the pitch count a bit, but five innings in 68 pitches is very economical.Davey's lesson about trusting your stuff and pounding the strike zone clearly hit home with the Big Fella.

  60. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    I gotta say, Hefner is hanging in there better than I thought he would. Nats had him on the ropes a couple of times, but he didn't break.(And, yes, I'm trying to jinx him ;-)

  61. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 25, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    where did this guy's curveball come from? referring to mets pitcher.

  62. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2012 at 5:43 PM

    This is Hefner's last inning and into their 'pen!Have to love the Shark getting a walk and pushing up that OBP. Batting average at .297Still laugh at all those that said he was a waste on this team. While I didn't see Bernie as a starter, I certainly saw him as a key bench piece.Brown is sitting another game. Would like to see him get some time.

  63. Steady Eddie - Jul 25, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    Another thing with Stras — we need always to keep in mind that in a first full post-TJ year, the command is going to come and go from one game to the next, as JZimm has testified. Clearly it's partly a matter of mindset, but it didn't seem in the Barves' game that Stras was intending to nibble. He just did not have command of his fastball, it was going all over the place. Kind if interesting that that wasn't mentioned in any of the Nats' remarks about it last time when JZimm had made such an emphatic point about it earlier this year (in talking about his greater reliability and command this year).

  64. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    Davey's lesson about trusting your stuff and pounding the strike zone clearly hit home with the Big Fella. Sometimes it takes getting bit a couple of times for new guys to learn (especially if they are already great). Lifetime, this is only his 37th start in the big leagues.

  65. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    Steady Eddie said…… it didn't seem in the Barves' game that Stras was intending to nibble. He just did not have command of his fastball, it was going all over the place. Good point, Eddie. That's how I saw it, too.

  66. Steady Eddie - Jul 25, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    And he hits double digit Ks!Probably done for the day at 84 pitches and six innings, with his FB speed tailing off.

  67. MicheleS - Jul 25, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    I love when Stras is dealing! I wish I had a TV, but Charlie and Dave are soo sweet to listen too!Do you all think that Stras will be out in the 7th? He is only at 84 pitches right now.

  68. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 25, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    Ghost…. I think you and I have been consistent in our view of Bernadina. Solid athlete that needed some cosistent playing time to establish some confidence.Davey is a master at getting guys to achieve their potential.

  69. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2012 at 5:56 PM

    Shark's OBP up to .375 That is just incredible. Smaller bat, better bat speed, and have to wonder if he took a shot of Zim's magic potion.What I love is Shark is not trying to be a HR hitter like he thought he had to be in the 2011 off-season to win the corner OF position. Slap hitter with speed is a great thing when you can put up those big BA/OBP numbers.Just another pleasant surprise this season.

  70. Candide - Jul 25, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    Sometimes it takes getting bit a couple of times for new guys to learn (especially if they are already great). Lifetime, this is only his 37th start in the big leagues. Imagine Stras's 2013 comparing to his 2012 the way Znn's 2012 is comparing to his 2011.'Scuse me – I need to go get a tissue, wipe the drool off the keyboard.

  71. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 5:58 PM

    MLB "scout" pointed out that all of Strasburg's fastballs to the last batter were 93 and 94 — which is lower than earlier in the game.In any event, after 6 full innings: 84 pitches, 4 Hits, 1 R, 10K's.So far, this is proving the stat-geeks correct. It is not strike-outs that drive a pitch count up. It's primarily walks, and then hits. Strasburg's count is down, despite 10 K's, because he has zero walks and only four hits.

  72. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 5:58 PM

    Candide said… Imagine Stras's 2013 comparing to his 2012 the way Znn's 2012 is comparing to his 2011.Wow.A scary thought to anybody else in the league!

  73. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    I never thought I would say this — but, it's good we got Hefner out of there (!?!) to get to their weak bullpen.

  74. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:00 PM

    OK, folks: manager time. Instead of second-guessing Davey _after_ the fact — let's put your words out ahead of time.Assuming Stras gets pulled after seven — do we go to Burnett/Clip _again_, or somebody else?

  75. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    NatsJack, further on your point. Yes, Davey is the master with these hitters and while Rizzo doesn't like Bernie, Davey does and that's what I love is that it is Davey's 25 men. He stuck with Danny probably longer than any Manager should of and they have made each other look good. I still thought Danny needed AAA time again but Davey found a way of making it work and all credit to him.Davey also has a way of giving credit to Ecksteeeen instead of himself.

  76. PFB Balls of Fire - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    Not sure how good the correlation really is, but keep in mind it is really pleasant, not too warm, not humid day in NY today. Just the way Stras likes it.

  77. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:03 PM

    And with JZimm, it's just the begining. He'll be a beast for years to come.

  78. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:03 PM

    Wonk, 8 man bullpen. Go double barrel and situational lefty/righty as needed and Clip for the 9th. Need to win this one for Stras.

  79. Candide - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    F.P. – "That's why McKeesport never got a baseball stadium."That plus the fact that it's only about ten miles from McKeesport to PNC Park, as the crow flies…

  80. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… And with JZimm, it's just the begining. He'll be a beast for years to come. July 25, 2012 2:03 PM Davey has done a great job in making him his post-All Star number 1 and JZim has responded well.

  81. Candide - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    Seems it was just yesterday that it was fashionable to call injured and ineffective LaRoche, "LaWhiff."

  82. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    OK, never mind. It's not quite as crucial with a 5-1 lead.Thank you, Mr. LaRoche!!

  83. Old Wino - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:07 PM

    Air must be thin in NY today…

  84. Schumatrix - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:07 PM

    The Mets' bullpen is our best player!

  85. Candide - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    Eighth inning – Henry. All that talk about the 25-man team, let's see it. If a four-run lead in the 8th isn't the time and place to bring in Henry, why is he still on the roster?

  86. Old Wino - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    LaRoche leading the team in HRs, who predicted that?

  87. Candide - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:09 PM

    …but have Mattheus warming up, just in case Henry's first pitch sails over the ump's head…

  88. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:10 PM

    NatsJack, and how about Stras looking more and more Verlanderish in these good starts. Moving locations and the 4 seamer with extra velo. Lots of K's looking today.I wonder how many No-hitters Stras has in his future. I still think Leyland over-uses Verlie during the regular season and Davey is smart enough to save innings. Complete games are somewhat over-rated when the bigger picture is being an Ace into the post-season.

  89. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    Candide said… Eighth inning – Henry. And/or Drew

  90. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    Old Wino said… LaRoche leading the team in HRs, who predicted that? July 25, 2012 2:08 PM In January I had Prince Fielder leading the Nats in HRs.

  91. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:12 PM

    Newbie-type question (from a fan of almost a half-century):How does one distinguish (if you don't see the grip on the baseball) a 4-seamer from a 2-seamer?

  92. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:12 PM

    I was going to make a point against 'MLB scout' but it did so all by itself by claiming 'SS has plenty left in tank' after saying in the earlier inning that 'SS velocity has gone down'.

  93. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:12 PM

    In January I had Prince Fielder leading the Nats in HRs. Well . . . you had the right _position_ ;-)

  94. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    Schumatrix said… The Mets' bullpen is our best player! July 25, 2012 2:07 PM The Nats did to Hefner what the Yankees did to the Nats. Saw lots of pitches and got into the bullpen early.Perfect formula to keep this going.

  95. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    Let Stras pitch eight? Or save the inning for later in the season? (I vote for saving it, we have a deep bullpen and a four-run lead).

  96. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    By the way, I would saved this inning from Stras with the 5-1 lead and sent him to the showers early.

  97. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    Wonk, 4 vs. the 2 is grip only and the 2 seamer dips down. 4 has more velo.Wang throws the power 2 seamer.

  98. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    Stras: 7 IP, 94 pitches (63 strikes), 4H, 1R, 11K, zero BBMasterful

  99. Candide - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    Four-seamer has little movement, it's just blazing speed. Two-seamer moves like a screwball.

  100. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    Ghost wrote: the 2 seamer dips down. 4 has more velo.Ahhh, that's what I was missing.Thanks.

  101. MicheleS - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    I hope they replay this game tonight on MASN. I want to see it all.

  102. JD - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    Storen for an inning?

  103. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    Ghost…. It seems it's 85 pitches and the inning it occurs. Like he starts the 7th under 85 and as long as no one gets on, he finishes the inning. But ad soon as he hits 85 and someone gets on, he's done.

  104. Candide - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:19 PM

    MicheleS said…I hope they replay this game tonight on MASN. I want to see it all. That's why God invented Tivo.FWIW, MASN rebroadcasts games the following am, so set your DVR.

  105. Candide - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    Awright, Henry's warming up with Stammen! Did I call it or what?(Okay, almost – I said Mattheus…)

  106. JD - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:22 PM

    The lead is not big enough for Henry. LOL

  107. MicheleS - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:23 PM

    Look a Corey Brown Sighting!

  108. Candide - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:23 PM

    JD said…The lead is not big enough for Henry. LOLIt's plenty big enough for GOOD Henry.Twelve runs might not be enough for Bad Henry.

  109. djinFl. - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    Mets announcer just said he hopes Stammen comes in. Henry can be wild and they have a long flight ahead.

  110. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:25 PM

    See Corey, that's a double in AAA. Here, not so much.

  111. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    are you serious, dj? haha, guess they don't get their wish. Henry it is. let's hope it is GOOD henry.

  112. Candide - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    Thanks, Henry. Have a nice day.

  113. JD - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    Why do we need this?

  114. blovy8 - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    well, that seemed typical

  115. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    nice, a four pitch walk. this guy is unreal.

  116. SCNatsFan - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    You can't be serious

  117. Tcostant - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    I think Davey must have Clipper on his fantasy team; bring in HRod so that Clipper can get into a save situation…

  118. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    Oy! Short leash! Quick hook, Davey!!

  119. Candide - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    Hell, we coulda kept Ankiel if we wanted this kind of pitching, and we'd have a great defensive outfielder to boot.

  120. MicheleS - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    That's it.. Yank Henry (sorry, have no patience today). We do not need to blow another game

  121. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:31 PM

    JD said… Why do we need this?5-1 was too boring.

  122. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:31 PM

    I applaud Davey for trying. But two walks is my limit. I hope it's Davey's.

  123. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:32 PM

    that was a strike, ump.

  124. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:34 PM

    It's called insanity Rizzo.

  125. djinFl. - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:34 PM

    Well that didn't work out. No surprise to any one here.Now the Mets announcers can start packing up.

  126. NatsLady - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:34 PM

    JD, Davey said he wasn't using Storen today after he warmed up yesterday.

  127. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:34 PM

    DFA THIS USELESS PIECE OF $%$#!!! Yes, I'm a little worked up.A beautiful game turned murky because of this Project???He will be released tonight. And good, let someone else 'bring him along."

  128. Fear and Ignorance - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:34 PM

    Davey…GET A CLUE!!! Do not pitch this guy again this year. Stash him away on the DL if you want to keep him in the organization. This is absurd.

  129. SCNatsFan - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:34 PM

    Henry's only hope it to reinjure (cough) that finger

  130. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:34 PM

    I don't think nats have had a triple play in their short history.

  131. Old Wino - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    Oh well, keep hoping Henry will come around.

  132. JD - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    That's called opening the door to a team that's dead in the water. I don't think we can keep doing this with Henry; not after the Friday disaster against the Braves.

  133. NatsLady - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    Feel bad for Stammen. Not a lot of room for error.

  134. Drew - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    For God's sake. What must he do to lose his job?

  135. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    A pennant contender just can't afford to experiment with a 'diamond in the rough' (real rough) in late July. gotta let him go.

  136. mick - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    I have turned over a new leaf, no more nasty posts… following sjm advice..Let me just say this though… I know HRod is a good kid, but I am speechless.

  137. Davide - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    Why don't they send Henry to AAA and bring back Ankiel??Two batters,two walks is too much for everybody..

  138. NatsLady - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    Problem is, he knows it. He knows his job is on the line with every pitch. No chance for Henry now, not here.

  139. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    Stammen has to bring it in there ….

  140. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    Uh oh.

  141. rogieshan - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    I say trade HRod back to Oakland for Brad Peacock. Call it even.

  142. mick - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    stay calm gang…. hee hee

  143. Schumatrix - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    Throwing strikes is really important. I'm surprised these guys haven't learned that yet…

  144. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    No problem. Sinker – 6-4-3 only one scores.

  145. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    Fear and Ignorance said… Davey…GET A CLUE!!!Typical. Nobody, I mean nobody, objected here to using him _before_ he blew up. And he was mentioned specifically.

  146. JayB - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    uh….i may have mentioned how stupid Rizzo is for forcing HROD on this team. We are going to screw with the best season in 80 years in this town because of Rizzo's ego……Amazingly stupid baseball move.

  147. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    Nightmare: David Wright batting this inning.

  148. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    Rogie, Beane isn't insane.

  149. mick - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    Nice play by the shark!

  150. Candide - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    Nice play, Shark Man!

  151. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    Lots of wood on that line shot!!! Good job, shark.

  152. m20832 - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    Can the HRod experiment be over? Please. He just doesn't have it.

  153. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    More like Pea Bradcock and I'll call it even.

  154. JaneB - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    Thank you Roger! I agree about Henry, he is needing a fresh start elsewhere. No hope here.

  155. mick - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    if we can get out of this with only giving up 1-2 runs, I'll take it

  156. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    Oh man … I hope Burnette is throwing strikes right of the bat (if you'll excuse the accidental pun).

  157. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    mick said… stay calm gang…. hee heeWhaaaa????!!!!???Mick, we're all so proud of you!!!

  158. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    JayB….you really hate Rizzo, don't you?

  159. mick - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:42 PM

    lol Wonk

  160. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:42 PM

    Question is, What team would really want Henry.1 will get you 5 that Henry would clear waivers. then he can spend the rest of the year at AA learning something.

  161. m20832 - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:42 PM

    Let's hope the BP doesn't blow the second of Stras's nice pitching!

  162. JaneB - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:42 PM

    Valdespin HAS to have a bad day some time, like now. Right?

  163. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:43 PM

    Phew. That Two!!!

  164. mick - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:43 PM

    Nice play, no problem giving up the run

  165. JD - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:43 PM

    This is Davie playing the role of the gambler.It doesn't have anything to do with Rizzo. Rizzo wants to keep the kid because of his potential; there are games when we are behind when he can be used not in a situation like this.

  166. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:44 PM

    Okay Storen. Welcome back to the Bigs, Big Guy. Storen is just a week removed from getting rocked in Single A. (or was that AA)Good luck, kid.

  167. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:44 PM

    We are going to screw with the best season in 80 years in this town because of Rizzo's egoOh, puleeze, stop with that pants wetting psych-babble already, will you?And even _if_ all Rizzo cared about was his ego (which I think is a crazy notion), surely he knows that if the Nats get to the World Series, he'd be lauded as GM of the year.

  168. MicheleS - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:44 PM

    OMG.. I can't believe Drew is coming in so quickly. Did he have time to warm up?

  169. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:44 PM

    WOW Storen against Wright?

  170. NatsLady - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    Wonk, I was in the shower, hard to type from there. But I still might not have objected. If Henry can't succeed with bases clean, 80 degree day, sunny, 5-1 and the bottom of the order coming up, when can he? So the answer is, he can't. End of story–even I have lost hope.Guess Davey is going to use Storen.

  171. JaneB - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    David is 0-6 against Drew? Glad Davey is bringing him in.

  172. djinFl. - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    Time to walk Mr. Wright!

  173. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    JaneB said… Valdespin HAS to have a bad day some time, like now. Right?Of course! He wasn't pinch hitting!!

  174. Candide - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    NFSS, I think you're right. You take Henry, you take his contract, and honestly, would you pay him a bag of cheeseburgers, let alone the remainder of this $491,000 salary for this year?

  175. mick - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    Wright 0-6 verse Drew lifetime, Davey playing the odds

  176. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:46 PM

    Ummm . . . _this_ wasn't the situation I had in mind for Drew!!Gulp!

  177. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:46 PM

    How amped up must Storen be?

  178. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:46 PM

    Wright is OVERDUE

  179. mick - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:46 PM

    Storen may not throw him anything

  180. Tcostant - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    Just like I said, he wants Clipper to get a save…

  181. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    Flat slider Ball 1

  182. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    Lively slider, low Ball 2

  183. mick - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    I would have rather seen Davey start off with drew this inning in hindsight

  184. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    Good slider 2-1Wright sitting on a fast ball lookout

  185. Candide - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    Way to go, Drew!!!

  186. mick - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    hee hee way to go Drew my boy!

  187. MicheleS - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    Mick..I am soo proud of you! Major progress or no Corona today.And PHEW.. Wright must hate seeing Storen come in!

  188. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:49 PM

    HOOOOOOO HOOOOOOO!!!!!!!The the Big Leagues, Baby!!!!!!Henry: Get outta my sight and off my team!!!!!!

  189. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:49 PM

    Druuuuuuuuuuuuu!!!!!!!!!!!!

  190. mick - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:49 PM

    how bout letting Drew close this one?

  191. NatsLady - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:49 PM

    THANK YOU, Mr. Stammen, Mr. Burnett, and Mr. Storen. Now, guys, get a run so Clip can rest up for the Brewers.

  192. NatsLady - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    mick, no. Don't push our luck. Really hope Davey doesn't push his.

  193. mick - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    Michele, to early to drink today, lol

  194. MicheleS - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    NatsLady.. I woul like more than 1 run. Like say several more? Want the 9th to be a laugher.

  195. mick - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    it was just a thought natslady

  196. rogieshan - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    Storen deserves to finish the game and collect his own save here.

  197. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    Now, we add on a couple more — Harper hits his 10th. Cruising for Clip.

  198. JD - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    As I said if Rizzo absolutely wants to protect Henry for possible future greatness Davie must only use him if we are behind be enough runs that a comeback is not likely; like last week's Gio game. I don't think we should tempt fate again like this.

  199. Candide - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    You know, we're still allowed to tack on a couple or three more runs here in the 9th. Ain't no law says we gotta sit on a three-run lead.

  200. Tcostant - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    Come on NatsFanSincetheStart; Henry wouldn't get past the Rookies if released.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 91 64 --
ATLANTA 76 79 15.0
NEW YORK 76 80 15.5
MIAMI 74 81 17.0
PHILADELPHIA 71 85 20.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Sunday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON (4) 91 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 89 67 2.5
y-ST. LOUIS 87 69 4.5
-------------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 71 7.0 --
PITTSBURGH 84 71 7.0 --
MILWAUKEE 80 76 11.5 4.5
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Sunday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Marlins at Nats, 1:35 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.
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