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Instant analysis: Nats 5, Mets 2

Jul 25, 2012, 7:04 PM EDT

Associated Press photo
Michael Morse is all smiles after clubbing his second-inning homer.

Game in a nutshell: They've failed plenty of times this season to pull off a series sweep when given the opportunity, but today the Nationals seized the opportunity and stepped on the Mets' throats. For that, they can thank Stephen Strasburg, who churned out seven dominant innings, striking out 11 while allowing only one run (Ike Davis' solo homer in the second). Strasburg's teammates bolstered him with plenty of run support, with Michael Morse and Danny Espinosa clubbing back-to-back homers in the top of the second and Adam LaRoche adding a two-run bomb in the seventh. Nothing ever comes easy for the Nationals, though, so the bullpen gave everyone a scare in the eighth when Henry Rodriguez walked both batters he faced and then Craig Stammen walked another to load the bases. No worries, because Drew Storen recorded a huge out against David Wright to end the threat, and Tyler Clippard finished off the ninth to secure the sweep and put the Nats 19 games over .500, matching their best record in eight seasons in D.C.

Hitting highlight: How much has Espinosa turned the corner from the left side of the plate? He's gone all the way around the block. With aRead more »

120 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. MicheleS - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    WOOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!It's SWEEP!

  2. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    two 10+ winners on our staff. JZ should be another one.anyways, great times.

  3. Tcostant - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    That is instant! Great sweep by the Nationals, this team is so much fun.

  4. Malphas Minimus - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    Loving it!

  5. bsimon24 - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    The Mets think they have a bad bullpen, but we can't wait to check out Milwaukee's after all they've given up to the Phillies!

  6. natsfan1a - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    Also loving it! Got nervous towards the end but the sweep is sweet.

  7. Ron In Reston - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    Ok, I've been a Henry supporter all along, recognizing the raw talent….but enough is enough. I don't care if he eventually becomes the all-time saves leader, we don't need him here anymore, taking up roster space. Time to cut bait and Henry. Very disappointing. If Tracy is ready to go, have him meet us in Milwaukee and dump Henry somewhere between NYC and there.

  8. Section 222 - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    Just checked in to get an update, and lo and behold it's over. Sweep! Many encouraging things here, but the one I wanted to mention was Davey's quick hook for Bad Henry. I really don't mind giving him a shot in low pressure situations. Just don't give him a chance to lose the game for us. Two walks or one WP should mean an immediate exit, no matter what the score or situation. Unless we're up 9-0. Wait, make that 16-0. Good on Davey for stopping the bleeding before it got out of control.

  9. RickH - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    Ron … I'm afraid you're right.

  10. blovy8 - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    I couldn't be happier to be wrong about Espy turning it around from the left side.Henry could easily end up like Hanrahan.

  11. blovy8 - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    Henryhan, I guess.

  12. Knoxville Nat - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    Henry seems to be this year's Matt Stairs, Rizzo slow to admit he made a mistake.

  13. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:23 PM

    Brewers — I hardly know anything about them.So — knowing nothing about them, looking at stats only — here's my summary:It looks like that besides Grienke, they have three other decent starters: Gallardo (who goes tomorrow) and Marcum — and this guys Mark Fiers, 8 starts, 1.96 ERA! Who's he?!But, they have an awful bullpen (every single person has an ERA over 4.00)Hitting-wise — they seem average (with the exception of Braun, who has an eye-popping 161 OPS+ — he's apparently the Brewer version of McCutchoen, Kemp, Votto, Stanton, D Wright, etc.)As a team, they bat .245, but score 4.45 runs per game (Nats: .257 and 4.29)Overall pitching: Brewers allow 4.58 runs per game (4th worst in the NL). Nats: 3.51 (best)Time to continue beating up on those sub-.500 teams!

  14. phil dunton - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    If Davey ever puts H-Rod in another game, he will win the Dumbest Manager of Year award. HR has already cost us 5 wins and he seems hell bent on costing us more wins. Please, DFA him now.

  15. Ron In Reston - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    A DC Wonk said… Hitting-wise — they seem average (with the exception of Braun, who has an eye-popping 161 OPS+ — he's apparently the Brewer version of McCutchoen, Kemp, Votto, Stanton, D Wright, etc.)Pssst…..see my post last night about who NOT to pitch to :)And Blovy, if he becomes Henryhan, good for him. It just can't happen here. Everytime he comes in you have to immediately warm someone else up. It's time to get rid of the middle man, as it were, and just bring in that second guy. No more Henry…and I think at this point, there's no way anyone could consider this a knee-jerk reaction.

  16. SCNatsFan - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    Ron my feelings exactly. We are too good a team to have a rule 5 guy – and that's what he's like – on this roster right now.

  17. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:31 PM

    As I wrote at the very end of last thread: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, LaRoche, etc etc etc), I trust their judgement. How many times have we heard, from the armchair GM's here: "it's time to cut bait on so-and-so."?I'm not arguing pro or con on Henry. I know that I'd be a lousy GM. But if _they_ see potential, if _they_ think that it's worth taking up a coveted 1-in-25 roster space for just about 5 more weeks (and then see if he can get his head screwed on straight next spring), I'll give them the benefit of the doubt every time. ($491K is darn cheap investment if HRod could duplicate what he did last April).

  18. Joe Seamhead - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:31 PM

    Screw you Phil dunton. Go back under your rock.

  19. tayo - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:31 PM

    nice win Nats. I am done with Hrod. Yeah he has good stuff but it means nothing if you can find the strike zone. We actually can afford to let him go even if he somehow discovers himself and goes on to have a good career somewhere else like Hanrahan. we can afford do this because our AAA AND AA team has abut 6 guys who could get called up right now who will have a good chance of excelling in the majors. Hector Nelo and Christain Garcia and Pat Lehman would prob be September callups who will do miles better than what Hrod is doing

  20. Joe Seamhead - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    What a great Davey Johnson post game talk regarding Stasburg.

  21. natsfan1a - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:33 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!

  22. #4 - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:34 PM

    Great post, Wonk. I agree with you completely. and to Phil Dunton… Davey has to use the guys on his roster. This was a good place to use HRod. He got him out quickly. There's no other way to look at it.

  23. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:35 PM

    HR has already cost us 5 wins.You can't just count losses. Sheesh. Clip has three losses and 3 blown saves, too.HR stopped being our closer in May. In that time he got nine saves.That happens to be the second highest on the Nationals.Can he regain the form? Ever? In DC? I'll trust whatever Rizzo and Davey say on that.

  24. Theophilus T. S. - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:35 PM

    Leon obviously called a good game. Apart from Flores's back I can't think of an argument for wasting prospects to get rent-a-catcher. I know Peric is upset (reasonably) about Ramos's future but that's not something they can really act on until next Spring (if he can't play Winter ball, isn't ready for Spring Training). Then they'll need to get a real catcher, not something like what's available on the market today. Right now the essential job requirements are to (A) control the game; (B) block pitches. There's enough pop elsewhere in the lineup that anything else is gravy.

  25. UnkyD - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    "he will win the Dumbest Manager of Year "——————— Aaannnd another candidate for Dumbest Comment of the Year…

  26. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    Seamhead — agree with your sentiments.And, thanks #4!

  27. Section 222 - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    H-Rod blew 3 games — Dodgers, Pirates, Reds. I don't think he cost us any other game, though he came close. As DC Wonk points out, he also saved 5 games in our crucial hot start. (We were 10 games over .500 after 18 games — and now we're 19 over after 97.) His cumulative impact on the season is still positive I'd say. But barely, which is why Davey's quick hook was the right thing to do today and is a necessary feature of continuing to give him chances to figure it out.

  28. tayo - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  29. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    HR/FB% of 2.8 is pretty low for Michael Fiers who has 44.2% FB, that is lowest among starting pitchers with at least 50 innings. He is due for some regression in that category.

  30. Eugene in Oregon - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    In the 'Nats are being noticed' category, I'm just back from a two-week train trip to Chicago and Glacier National Park. Throughout the trip I proudly wore a red, curly W cap — in the city, on the train, in the mountains. And I was regularly stopped by strangers who wanted to chat about the Nats. The comments were uniformly positive (even from a Braves fan). One San Franciscan couldn't get over the hurt the Nats had put on his Giants (spoken with admiration, not anger) and a Red Sox fan was ready to give Stephen Strasburg the Cy Young Award. As a point of comparison, last year I wore the same cap on a similar trip to Wyoming (Yellowstone and Grand Tetons) and the only comment of any kind that I got was from a fellow Nats fan asking if I had heard about Riggleman's resignation (I had).

  31. NCNatsie - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    With all talented, troubled young players, there's a decision that must be made — how long do you stick with them?You have to balance potential long-term gain against short-term cost. Making that decision is why they pay Davy and Rizzo the big bucks.This much seems clear to me: unless Henry demonstrates his problems are behind him, they can't afford to have him on the postseason roster. Those 25 slots are just too valuable. So my guess is that as long as the team continues to win (in spite of him), they'll give him until late August to shape up, and then, if he does not, make the move, risking the waivers.

  32. Joe Seamhead - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    Ok, sorry,Mark, for my profanity, but calling Johnson " dumbest manager of the year" is just throwing flames, has no redeeming value, and the poster should be taken out beyond the wood shed for a thorough whooping.So, I had to work construction today,in the sun, and listened to the game on the radio, just got home and started going through the threads. Sorry if I get a little more then a little sensitive when it comes to Davey Johnson, but the Nationals fortunes changed the day our former manager resigned, and I thought that very day that Davey took over that the torch had just been past from the Phillies to us.

  33. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:45 PM

    Eugene, nice to hear!I'm going on vacation next week for two weeks (Alabama, then Outer Banks) . . . I'll see what kind of "getting noticed" we'll get.Needless to say: I'm looking forward!

  34. Theophilus T. S. - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    To everybody willing to abide by Rodriguez's shortcomings . . . just remember his "potential" over the next couple of weeks when you're agonizing over what roster moves to make when Werth and Tracy come back, and how you are forced to make hard choices because one roster spot is reserved for a player who is utterly useless (in his present condition) and who has no true "value" because every other team knows that, eventually, now, next month or next Spring, the Nats will be forced to release him.Please pray that they'll be able to palm him off on the Royals, the Indians, Mariners or some other sorry-ass team.

  35. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    Those 25 slots are just too valuable. So my guess is that as long as the team continues to win (in spite of him), they'll give him until late August to shape up, and then, if he does not, make the move, risking the waivers. But if they can just one week after that — until Aug 31 — they expand to 40, and then having him take up a slot is not so important.I wonder if that's what Rizzo's thinking.

  36. UnkyD - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    Anybody notice that the Washington Nationals, at 58-39, are tied for the best record in ALL OF MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL?!?!

  37. Joe Seamhead - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    Oops, our torch had just been passed from the Phillies to us.

  38. JD - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    I am not with the DFA bunch here. Like Wonk and #4 I trust the brain trust to figure this out. What I object to is using Henry in situations which could cost us wins. The fact is that Burnet and Storen were facing the tying run in the 8th inning and the Mets had Valdespin and Wright hitting with a cahance to tie the game. I think that Davie has a bit of a gambler in him and he's hoping to hit the jackpot with Henry just like he did with Desi and Espi and I don't think it's going to work. I think Rizzo has to figure out a way to protect Henry without risking wins and without taking up a roster spot which can be used productively and I think he's shown that he can do this.

  39. natsfan1a - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    Say what, Unk. I couldn't quite hear you. :-)UnkyD said… Anybody notice that the Washington Nationals, at 58-39, are tied for the best record in ALL OF MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL?!?! July 25, 2012 3:48 PM

  40. Secret wasian man - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:52 PM

    Great Job. I thought the boys were cooked after Fridays meltdown. Really showed me something with 5 straight Wins. Can we just forget the HROD experiment??? At least for this season.

  41. UnkyD - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:54 PM

    {=^DTo you, 1A……

  42. Section 222 - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:55 PM

    Maybe it's too early, but I hope that Mark will do a post on the decisions and moves the Nats will have to make (and by what dates exactly) to construct the best possible playoff roster.

  43. NCNatsie - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:57 PM

    Wwonk, I think he can't be on the 25-man roster at midnight, August 31 or he eats up a postseason slot. If that's not true, then I agree with you.The best good news/bad news about Davy's plan for Henry might be this: with a normal team, they'd use him when they're already way behind. But we never get way behind, so there's always a chance he'll cost us, like JD fears.

  44. JD - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    The Phillies are a mess for years to come. They have $150 mil committed to 11 players next year; they are almost guaranteed to have a $30 mil tax bill on top of their payroll and their roster is full of players who can't stay healthy for any extended period of time. The Phills are so desperate to shed payroll they are ready to give away players such as Victorino and Blanton and are listening on players such as Pence. What Amaro should be doing is blowing the whole thing up and stocking up on prospects to rebuild the team but instead he is clinging to the belief that this old bunch can cheat father time and return to their past glory. Good luck with that.

  45. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    Easy. release henry. No one picks him up. We reclaim him – send him to AA to learn to pitch. Or maybe we send him to a shrink and he can fix him.If someone else claims him, good luck to them!!

  46. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    Addendum: But you don't send down the heart of your Bullpenn in a Pennant race just because they have options. That is Stupid. I'm talking about either Stammen or Matheus.

  47. sjm308 - Jul 25, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    Hi everyone: with the early game I just might entertain myself and go back to the actual game post after this.Nice win with some hairy moments in the 8th. Lots of intelligent comments and I was actually surprised to see Phil D. make an appearance since he usually only posts his negative garbage when we are losing. He did not let me down as far as the garbage part, no stats, no reasoning, just the usual garbage. I loved Seamhead & others jumping in quickly and Seamhead, no need to apologize. He deserved it. Dumbest manager of the year did pretty darn well in the 8th. Wonder if last Friday's game will dictate how we handle situations for weeks to come. Loved Burnett for one batter followed by Storen followed by Clip in the 9th. Seriously, how many teams can do that??OK – one more win and we will be 20 games over .500 for, I think, the first time in our history.Go Nats!!!

  48. Gonat - Jul 25, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  49. Gonat - Jul 25, 2012 at 8:10 PM

    5 options1. Trade him for decent return (doubtful)2. DFA him (not likely)3. Keep him and don't pitch him (ridiculous)4. Keep pitching him & expect different results (insanity)5. DL him and bring him back Sept 1st.

  50. Knoxville Nat - Jul 25, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    My whole problem with the Henry thing is that he is out of options and we can't easily send him down where he can learn to develop as a relief pitcher. On top of that, pitching him only in low risk situations such as when we are behind and way out in front, IMO does little to develop him to be prepared to pitch in a tight save situation. Rizzo knew he was out of options when we acquired him in the Willingham trade and that was a calculated risk that unfortunately hasn't worked. Kind of reminds me of the Broderick Rule 5 draftee that didn't work out.

  51. Joe Seamhead - Jul 25, 2012 at 8:13 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  52. Gonat - Jul 25, 2012 at 8:15 PM

    You know why Davey isn't Dumbest Manager of the Year, he had Stammen ready to go if HenRod failed. It was a perfect low leverage spot for Henry. Yes, Henry followed by the walk by Stammen made it a Kardiac Kids moment when this should have been an easy 2 inning closeout as Henry had the bottom of the Mets order.This has to be an executive decision. Limited options on what to do.

  53. Nattering Nat - Jul 25, 2012 at 8:15 PM

    So many good things to say, I'll leave most of that to the others (and no, I won't dwell on the negative!). Just two comments. First, amazing what has happened since The Shark got his go-ahead single in the third game vs. the Braves. Nothing but wins since that crucial turnaround.Second, don't look now, but the Phillies are playing good ball. If Oakland can be 15-2 in July, let's assume for the moment the Phillies do the same or a bit more the next month. Not overreacting, but all I am saying is that I would still keep a keen eye out for them, they won't go down this year without a fight (I'm assuming no wholesale fire sale in the next week, far from it). The games vs. the Phils promise to be VERY interesting, we need a lot of Nats fans in the seats.

  54. Joe Seamhead - Jul 25, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    Joe Seamhead said…I've got a lot of pent up Nationals energy, but I just went through the game thread and I want to tip my Nats hat to our old buddy mick. Stasburg wasn't the only one who had a great day. Keep on the sunny side, mick!

  55. baseballswami - Jul 25, 2012 at 8:17 PM

    Missed it all again, but will watch it on DVR tonight. So , since Saturday , six starting pitchers in a row have had dominating outings. EJax got a loss, JZ a no decision ( of course) but the team won, All against the division. Can you even imagine having to navigate 1-5, oh, and then we have a sixth? Love it!!!

  56. Knoxville Nat - Jul 25, 2012 at 8:18 PM

    To add to Eugene's story about the Nats getting noticed, I was in Denver for a weekend right after the ASB and went to see the Rockies play the Phils on Friday night wearing my road cap and a Nats polo shirt. Not too many comments from the Rox fans, mostly on the "boy you guys are pretty good this year" or "hope we turn it around like you all". However the Phillie fans (and there were a good number of them)had lots to say, some of which I can't print, a lot having to do with shutting Strasburg down ("you guys aren't really going to do that are you?")and some that reluctantly acknowledged our being the better team this year. Man it was fun! Oh, and the Rockies won that night so it made even more fun.

  57. 'Chili Mo' -- Section 3, My Sofa - Jul 25, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    Couldn't make the previous thread, so carrying forward…I trade HRod to the Rookies for Marco Scutaro, right now.I hear The Rookies might be willing to part with Kate Jackson. I'd even take Michael Ontkean.

  58. NatsNut - Jul 25, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    Normally I'd be okay with trusting Davey and Rizzo on Henry. As others have pointed out, many of us were ready to cut bait on Desmond (full disclosure: all the Desmond love last year drove me CRAZY) and look how that turned out.But what has me nervous about keeping Henry is that we really are IN the race right now. And if I'm right in thinking that Davey is absolutely saving his starters for the post-season, then I have to imagine he needs to start thinking about his bullpen too. I just think we're too far in this thing to be able to AFFORD the time and patience Henry's going to need.

  59. JD - Jul 25, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    Gonat, I love Davie but I disagree with calling his game management today brilliant. We were one Valdespin or Wright swing away from another Friday like disaster and it didn't have to be this way. It turned out all right but that's hindsight; the decision to use Henry itself was not a good decision. With having an extra arm in the bullpen I would never use Henry in a situation where he can lose us the game. When he came in on Saturday and turned a 0-1 deficit into a 0-2 deficit I can live with that because we were likely going to lose the game anyway but when you get to the 8th with a good but not huge lead bring in reliable pitchers only. JMHO.

  60. NatsNut - Jul 25, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    JD, good points, all.

  61. baseballswami - Jul 25, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    I feel badly for Henry because I know he wants to do well. He really needs to learn how to pitch in a different situation. We just can't have both he and Wang. They will drag the team down. Can they just line up and let McCatty slam their hands in the door again? Punch a cooling fan maybe?

  62. JD - Jul 25, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    Swami, I don't think it has anything to do with learning; I don't think he can handle the pressure.

  63. joemktg - Jul 25, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    Henry's now a reclamation project. And it's not possible to do this at the major league level, esp. in the midst of this post-break run. You can't sit him in the bullpen and take up a roster spot, you can't pitch him, and you can't turn him around.I know Mike Rizzo regrets the Hanrahan decision, and that may haunt him vis-a-vis Henry. Unfortunately, his hand has been forced by Henry's performance.

  64. Candide - Jul 25, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    (New-posted)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?

  65. 'Chili Mo' -- Section 3, My Sofa - Jul 25, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    Tunnel vision and impatience are not good assets for a fan. Davey, like LaRussa, is playing chess while so many others are playing checkers, and he's thinking 20 moves ahead at that. All his strategies won't work out, but that doesn't mean that overall, he doesn't know what he'd doing. Rizzo has built a really good team, and you can hardly argue Davey is screwing up all the good work of the front office. They have the best record in baseball, and if they finish in first, and win the division, that's as good as they can do. There is no place above first. Playoffs are a crapshoot at the best of times. They have a good rotation, a good bullpen, good D, and some power bats, so I like their chances. Davey and Rizzo have done excellent work, and there's no arguing that. Well, you can always argue, but …That said, the dustbin of MLB history is full of hard-throwing guys with potential. If they think they can afford to keep Henry this year, I'm willing to take their word for it. I mean, what's my alternative? Continue to whinge about it to other fans who are bored to death of hearing it? What would be the point?

  66. natsfan1a - Jul 25, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    +1, sec3. :-)If they think they can afford to keep Henry this year, I'm willing to take their word for it. I mean, what's my alternative? Continue to whinge about it to other fans who are bored to death of hearing it? What would be the point?

  67. baseballswami - Jul 25, 2012 at 8:55 PM

    We are all assuming one of two things. One is that he can settle in and become Hanrahan. The other is that other teams will want him. At this point of the season, maybe, maybe not. Each time he makes one of these appearances, the chances of either thing happening fade.

  68. Theophilus T. S. - Jul 25, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    Gonat's summary of the Henry possibilities is good as far as it goes. But the real question is how long are the Nats willing to be held hostage by his "potential." The last two opening day rosters have been distorted in one way or another because Henry "is out of options." Not a guy that can be trusted but not a guy that can be sent to Viera to learn how to pitch, either. Or, it appears, can be traded. And that 25th spot keeps squeezing them all year long. Let's assume that by some act of legerdemain — that's David Copperfield-speak — he can be made to disappear until September 1. Then what? Are the Nats supposed to go into Spring Training next year saying, "Maybe Henry can learn to pitch between Pitchers&Catchers and Opening Day; otherwise we have to keep a roster spot for him" — again? Just trade him now for someone else's POS and hope we get really lucky.

  69. RickH - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    Swami,Maybe Bryce could show them how to smack the bat against the dugout wall.

  70. baseballswami - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:04 PM

    Catching up on today's posts. How did you all manage over200 posts on a Wednesday noon game? Sounds like Henry took a few hours off your lives again today. How did Drew look? Seems like the 8th was crazy.

  71. baseballswami - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    Rick– now there is a plan. Bryce can show them just how to do it.

  72. Fear and Ignorance - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    Really not looking forward to playing the Phillies right now…they are not going to go quietly, despite the ramblings of the insane who had them buried after 50 games. 12 games with them will go a long way to determine the fate of both teams down the stretch.

  73. SonnyG10 - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    Pretty good observations on HRod posted here today, so I don't need to jump on that bandwagon. (My TV heard a few choice words when Henry came in and promptly walked two batters.)What I wonder is whether LaRoache was using Bernie's bat when he hit his home run today. Anybody know? While I'm mentioning Bernie's bat, I want to correct something I wrote in an earlier thread. I errored in stating the length of Bernie's old bat. His old bat was 34 1/2 inches long, 33 oz. His new bat is 33 1/2 inches long and 30 oz. So his new bat is a full one inch shorter. This is per FP today. Bernie was quoted as saying the new bat took away some of his pop, but not for ALR. I think this is a little telling on Bernie's approach to hitting. I think he wanted to be a home run hitter instead of hitting for average. I am in hopes that he has changed his attitude. If he could hit for high average, and with his speed, he could be a solution to our lead-off problem.

  74. NatsNut - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:14 PM

    I like Mark's tweet on Terry Collins' thoughts on Strasburg.

  75. JD - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:18 PM

    F & I, The Phills are 14 games and in 5th place in the division; they are 9.5 games out and in 9th place in the wild card standings with about 65 games left. You think they are still in it and you are calling others insane?

  76. JD - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:20 PM

    F & I, You will see next week how Amaro feels about their prospects of coming back when he starts selling off anything anyone will take off his hands in an effort to avoid paying a luxury tax on a team past their prime.

  77. NatsLady - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:20 PM

    Would the Yanks put up with this?I spit out my Coke!!! LOL. Are you kidding????? The Yanks put up with Captain Jeter, A-Rod… omigosh, do I have to make a list? There are so many guys on that team that wouldn't carry their weight (or salary) on other teams–I can't even find space AND they just got Ichiro.

  78. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:21 PM

    six starting pitchers in a row have had dominating outingsNote: and that was six _different_ starting pitchers (including, by necessity, our #6 !)

  79. MicheleS - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    +2 Chili Mo!Obviously, Henry is a crap shoot, so I say DL him when Werth or Tracey comes back. Which ever day keeps him off the 25 man on 8/31. Get him back to Spin and a good psychologist and have them work on Henry. Until Davey/Rizzo wave the white flag on Henry, I won't call for him to be DFA'd. I will call for a quick hook, thoughAND PEOPLE WE ARE IN FIRST PLACE AND ON THE VERGE OF THE BEST RECORD IN THE MLB (if the mariners score stays the same)

  80. JD - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    F & I, I am so concerned about the Phills I will root for them against Atlanta all weekend.

  81. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:24 PM

    Are the Nats supposed to go into Spring Training next year saying, "Maybe Henry can learn to pitch between Pitchers&Catchers and Opening Day;No. He already knows how to pitch. It's the pressure. So he gets sent to a sports psychologist over the Winter. We try him in the spring. If that doesn't work, DFA.I'm not saying that's what we _should_ do, but it's a plausible plan.

  82. Section 222 - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:25 PM

    I'm actually looking forward to this Phillies series. Their Phans are probably a bit dispirited despite the recent resurgence, which was built mostly on the backs of the Rockies and the Brewers, and no Take Back Our Park promotion will be needed to fill the place with Nats fans. And when we win the series, which we're going to do, that will put a stake in the heart of their hopes for a comeback. {rubs hands together with glee}.

  83. snopes1 - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    I've always thought that Rizzo's comment about being "tired of watching him" was a rare classless moment for a generally classy guy. Cabrera's career was over — there was no reason for Rizzo to add insult to injury.

  84. JD - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    I am a little concerned about the Milwaukee series despite their record. They have good starting pitching and Ryan Braun and Hart plays like Babe Ruth against us. Let's do no worse than 2 – 2 this weekend and then bring on the Phills.

  85. Michael Dempsey - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    I'm pretty sure Davey Johnson is the lone person on the planet that is unaware that HRod cannot throw a strike.Just HRod's body language should be enough to just DFA him and get it over with.He's pathetic.

  86. A DC Wonk - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    Michael Dempsey said… I'm pretty sure Davey Johnson is the lone person on the planet that is unaware that HRod cannot throw a strike.Wow. Davey must have been real confused, then, when the first guy walked to first base. How did that happen if he thought HRod threw strikes.Or are you saying that you think that Davey thought the ump blew all four calls in that at bat?Absolutely brilliant.

  87. baseballswami - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:37 PM

    Speaking of body language, Strassie's was noticeably better today. Reassuring. Seems like we might have held David Wright down sufficiently this series. That is big.

  88. Candide - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:43 PM

    NatsLady, Jeter currently has an OPS of .758 and is on pace for another 200+ hit season. You can certainly argue he isn't worth what the Yankees pay him, but that's not Henry's problem. Henry's problem is he isn't worth ANYTHING right now, as is evidenced by the fact that no sane person would put him in a game unless the game has already been settled one way or another. I can throw the ball over the catcher's head for half of what Henry gets paid. I couldn't do what Jeter does for all the money on Earth.Ditto Ichiro. Don't know what the Yankees are thinking getting him, but you have to acknowledge he has SOME value. Henry has NONE. So I remain unconvinced that the Yankees would put up with the likes of Henry.

  89. Fear and Ignorance - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:43 PM

    JD-The Cardinals were 67-63 last year on their way to the World Series (with just 1 wild card). To do that, the Phillies have to go 22-9. We have seen too many times what this team CAN do when healthy to ever count them out. 44-21 gets them to 89 wins and they are playing with a large chip on their shoulder right now.

  90. NatsLady - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:44 PM

    The problem with Henry is the same as the problem with Strasburg–balancing the future against the present. In other words, we are–in theory–handicapping ourselves by shutting Stras down in the midst of a pennant race (or worse, playoffs). Let's for a moment assume that he's not hitting the TJ wall–he didn't look like he was hitting it today–and Rizzo shuts him down when he's in good health and eager and capable of contributing. Outsiders are puzzled if not incensed by the decision. This could be our year, maybe our only year for the next ten, and flags only fly once.OK, if you keep Henry on the roster and make him the human towel, you are doing basically the same thing–only not to such an extreme degree. You are saying he is unlikely to help us this year, but he has high enough potential to help us in the future that it's worth the risk. This is not the same as the calculation earlier in the year when it seemed possible that he could make the mental adjustment and help this year. I'm pretty sure he can't–other than being a human towel. If the pressure gets to him on a day like today–well–it ain't getting easier.Also, you would probably want to stretch him into a starter over the winter. I don't know what the solution is. One thing I do know is the decision should not be influenced by the fans. That isn't our job or our expertise–at least, not mine.

  91. ExposedinDC - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    Have we not closed the book on keeping roster spots for potential, really c'mon Riz. Do we really expect the light bulb to come on this year. I am sure we could find a decent use for H rods spot, goodness even Ankiel served a purpose. Let someone else try to fix him, our system is already full of potential.

  92. JD - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:46 PM

    F & I, What happened last year was extremely rare and it was coupled with a total collapse of the Braves. Here the Phills have to pass many teams. It could happen but I don't see it. I still think the Braves are the competition both in terms of talent and their current position in the standings.

  93. Doc - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:47 PM

    Way to go Espi!!!Danny always said that he hit better LHed. Now he's been able to adjust his LH swing to ML pitchers. Shows how long it takes to get into some new habist, with big league pitchers breathing down your neck!As the Mets' broadcasters noted it took 5 freakin' years for SKoufax to come around, with Alston not letting pitch much during that period of time—so maybe there's hope for MPHRod?????

  94. JaneB - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:48 PM

    I've been swamped the last few days and not following along closely. SO I just now heard Hanley Ramirez is a Dodger. MAN if I were a Fish fan, I'd be crying right now. JJohnson gone, too. Those guys are quick to deal!On the other hand, makes life easier for us for the next few months. I don't say DFA HRod. But don't stop looking for a home for him. Hanrahan had to get out of DC to become Hanrahan. So does Henry. But, you know, to become MPHRod again.

  95. JD - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:50 PM

    On the bright side Brian Goodwin hit his 2nd home run in as many days at AA and may be settling in after a slow start.

  96. baseballswami - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:52 PM

    I think Davey is somewhat handicapped right now because he can' t use Drew or Henry freely in the situation he needs them in. I think Drew won't take long to get there, but roster spots are precious and we need all 25 contributing at 100%. That also forces the rest of the pen to cover for them. I do think Drew is well on the way. Henry is a giant weight dragging on the team. We are also short on the bench due to the extra pen spot.

  97. NatsLady - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:52 PM

    Candide, I don't think Henry is worthless. He is just worthless right now. And it's not like Matt Stairs, because Stairs had no future, he was at the end of his career. If he was kept on the roster too long, that was a misjudgment, but not a miscalculation. But, in regard to the Yankees==> there is no perfect team. Believe me, with their resources, they could find a better shortstop–a way better shortstop–than Jeter. His hitting this year is lucky. He would be on the roster and on the field if he were hitting .240.

  98. JD - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:54 PM

    JaneB, Johnson is still a Marlin last I heard.

  99. Joe Seamhead - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:54 PM

    Fear and Ignorance said…Really not looking forward to playing the Phillies right now…they are not going to go quietly, despite the ramblings of the insane who had them buried after 50 games. 12 games with them will go a long way to determine the fate of both teams down the stretch.July 25, 2012 5:12 PM——————————To all that are afraid of the ignorant idea that we should fear the Phillies I say this:Ten games ago the Phillies were 14 games behind us. Since then the Phillies have played.700 ball, and guess what? They are still, ten games later, 14 games behind us. Don't get your panties in a bunch.

  100. ExposedinDC - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:54 PM

    My point exactly Swami

  101. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:59 PM

    NatsLady, come on just because Ichiro is having a difficult season at the plate does not mean he can't contribute on basepaths and defense. I wish we could trade for him. The guy can teach a thing or two to Nats players about how to stay fit in a 162 game season and not rely on cortisone shots to play games.

  102. baseballswami - Jul 25, 2012 at 10:00 PM

    So King Felix broke HRod's hand last night. A little parting gift for grabbing Ichiro.

  103. Steady Eddie - Jul 25, 2012 at 10:04 PM

    Finally getting back to this thread from the game thread after having the extremely annoying distraction of several hours of WORK (the nerve!), I want first to add my voice to the well-deserved chorus in appreciation of mick for his good additions to both the content and the spirit of this blog. Thanks, buddy!At this point in the year, after all the innumerable moments of "Davey's playing with fire there" and "Rizzo must be crazy to keep that guy" (and I confess I've contributed at times), I hereby turn in my wannabee GM card for the duration of the season (unless they should somehow not qualify for the playoffs, spit, spit, salt over the shoulder) and say:In Davey and Rizzo I trust.Like most everyone here, HRod sure looks done to me, and I agree that I can't see sending down a good performer just because they have options to give him a roster spot. I would hope they would try to do a deal of a couple of guys including HRod for pocket change just to control where he goes (the AL). But whatever they decide is OK by me. YMMV, of course. Though if we had known about all the injuries we've had, I doubt any of us NI imaginary friends here would have predicted this great a record at this point in the season, and with every promise of continuing on this course (with the usual baseball ups and downs) until the end.Yeah, there's another game tomorrow that starts 0-0. But for tonight, I'm gonna let myself be a little bit giddy.

  104. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 25, 2012 at 10:06 PM

    Swami, ARod's you mean. Actually he hit Ichiro and Jeter also.

  105. Fear and Ignorance - Jul 25, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    Seamhead…it is not about beating them out for the division…it is about us getting into the playoffs and keeping them out. The Nats still just have about a 4.5 game lead on the 5th wild card spot and with 12 left vs. the Phillies…well, you get the point. If the Nats can take 5-6 of those…I would take that in a heartbeat. JD-Rockies did the same thing in 2007.

  106. Steady Eddie - Jul 25, 2012 at 10:10 PM

    FS — "not rely on cortisone shots to play games"???So much for giddy.Are you serious? Zim needed that shot because he got bone chips in his shoulder from throwing himself around the infield making great plays, not because he didn't know how to take care of himself.If that's what you're gonna be unhappy about, you've picked a great topic. They can win every game right through the WS and you'll still have that one. Nothing can ever take that complaint away from you.

  107. natsfan1a - Jul 25, 2012 at 10:11 PM

    Yeah, I'm pretty sure there's no need to worry about that. ;-)One thing I do know is the decision should not be influenced by the fans.

  108. Michael Dempsey - Jul 25, 2012 at 10:13 PM

    A DC Wonk said… Wow. Davey must have been real confused, then, when the first guy walked to first base. How did that happen if he thought HRod threw strikes. Or are you saying that you think that Davey thought the ump blew all four calls in that at bat?Um… no, I'm saying HRod is pathetic and should not be on the team, and I sure hope it dawns on Davey soon.It seems pretty obvious to everyone else. Did you check out that body language on the guy today? Put a fork in him, he's done..

  109. Joe Seamhead - Jul 25, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    And BTW, F&I, this "insane" rambler dismissed Philly last Nov.1. They are old, have over- pitched Halladay and Lee, is old. Howard is another big blowhard that is past his prime at a young age. Utley was a beast, but the operative word is "was." Mayberry ain't cutting it. Jimmy Rollins is another past his prime premadonna. They grossly over paid for Hunter Pence, a medium high stats guy that plays a crappy outfield and rarely comes through at the plate when the game is on the line. Victorino has become a head case that they want to dump somewhere, anywhere. They are so over committed to a bunch of overly high salaries that they are toast for a long time. They have a terrific catcher in Carlos Ruiz. Their GM is horrible. One thing that they really miss is Jason Werth's leadership and chip on his shoulder. Do you want more as to why I have no fear of the Phills, because I could go on?

  110. Candide - Jul 25, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    NatsLady said…Candide, I don't think Henry is worthless. He is just worthless right now. I said that: "Henry's problem is he isn't worth ANYTHING right now…"And it's not like Matt Stairs, because Stairs had no future, he was at the end of his career.Agree on that.But at what point do you stop trying to fill that inside straight and throw your cards in? My answer (not that Rizzo or Davey care) is, sometime before September 1. Because there's no way on God's Earth that we'll want him clogging up a roster spot in the playoffs. If he prospers somewhere else, we shrug our shoulders and acknowledge that failed reclamation projects are part of the game. But we shouldn't let ourselves be dazzled by a guy just because he has a 100 mph fastball.BTW, after Rick Ankiel's famous 2000 playoffs meltdown, he only appeared in 11 more major league games. The Nats have shown far more patience with Henry.But, in regard to the Yankees==> there is no perfect team. Believe me, with their resources, they could find a better shortstop–a way better shortstop–than Jeter.That may well be, but again, you can't say he has NO value.His hitting this year is lucky. His BABIP is .341, a little lower than his career .356, so it appears he's about as lucky as he's been throughout his long career. And his oWAR is 1.9 this season. Again, you can't say he has NO value to the club.He would be on the roster and on the field if he were hitting .240.Perhaps, but that's not the issue.

  111. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 25, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    Steady Eddie, I am not complaining. I am just pointing out the fact that Ichiro still has something left to teach. Very rarely he missed time while being one of the best performers in the game. Why would I be unhappy about Zim's cortisone shot? It is not illegal and he is being the best we seen him at the plate in a while.

  112. baseballswami - Jul 25, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    New post.

  113. Joe Seamhead - Jul 25, 2012 at 10:16 PM

    Oh, yeah, their bullpen stinks, as does their defense. What me worry?

  114. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 25, 2012 at 10:16 PM

    as Rizzo and co have done it before, i don't see anything wrong with stashing HRod on DL and coming back to him next spring training.

  115. mick - Jul 25, 2012 at 11:25 PM

    If we trust Davey and I know I do, then let's see what comes of Hrod, I only ask that Davey can wait next Spring training, lol

  116. Scott Margenau - Jul 26, 2012 at 12:26 AM

    what was that site (mlb recap??) where you can watc ha game recap without commercials? SOmebody psoted it in another thread…i missed game and me and my son really want to see it! Thanks!

  117. natsfan1a - Jul 26, 2012 at 12:39 AM

    Also, their clubhouse guy dresses them funny. Just wanted to add my input. :-)Joe Seamhead said… Oh, yeah, their bullpen stinks, as does their defense. What me worry? July 25, 2012 6:16 PM

  118. 'Chili Mo' -- Section 3, My Sofa - Jul 26, 2012 at 1:34 AM

    One of the beautiful things about baseball is, the Phillies *could* defy all logic, probability, and the baseball gods, and win a bunch of games — and it would take a WHOLE bunch — against teams that are better than they are, and somehow get back into it. It could happen. It's not going to, but it could. You could watch this game every day for a hundred years, and still see something happen you have never seen before. Great game, eh buddy?

  119. NatsNut - Jul 26, 2012 at 2:41 AM

    @ Scott,go to Nats official website; under the red masthead is a string of links, "news, video, scoreboard, etc.". Hover over "video" and click "watch/listen". You can scroll through dates on the upper left side or click the little calendar to choose a date. Once on that date, there's a list of each game played that day, and each game has different versions of video to watch, audio to listen to, highlights to watch or, as you want to do, click the link to "watch" the "condensed" game.

  120. Scott Margenau - Jul 26, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    Awesome. Thanks natsnut!

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
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ATLANTA 72 65 6.0
MIAMI 68 69 11.0
NEW YORK 64 73 14.0
PHILADELPHIA 62 74 15.5
Through Sunday's games

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MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
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