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Reaching for new heights

Jul 27, 2012, 11:00 AM EDT

Associated Press photo
Bryce Harper makes a catch against the wall in the eighth inning.

Remember that blown 9-0 lead to the Braves exactly one week ago? That debacle of a ballgame that left some wondering whether the Nationals' charmed season was about to go down the toilet?

Feels like a long time ago, doesn't it?

In the week since, the Nationals have gone 6-1, losing only the opener of Saturday's doubleheader. They've seen their pitching staff produce seven consecutive quality starts, none of those member of the rotation having allowed more than two earned runs. They've scored an average of 5.7 runs per game. They've increased their lead in the NL East to five games. They sit 20 games above .500 for the first time since the franchise arrived in Washington. And, at 59-39, they own the best record in baseball along with the New York Yankees.

We've moved past the point where anyone should consider this a fluke. Guess what, folks: These guys are for real, and they aren't done yet.Read more »

201 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Mr. Doggett - Jul 27, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    Dont look down. Just keep going!!!GYFNG!!!

  2. RickH - Jul 27, 2012 at 11:19 AM

    Series record through the Mets series:Sweeps: 5Series wins: 16Splits: 3Series losses: 5Swept: 3I know there's controversy about how to count make-up games. I counted the Saturday Braves makeup game as part of the series with the first two games before the rainout, which added one series loss and one series win. If you want to do it the other way, add two splits instead.I also counted the series with a yet-to-be-made-up game with the Marlins as a series win since we won the first two. You can count that as a sweep if you prefer. (And it may turn into a sweep if we win the makeup.)GYFNG!!!

  3. MicheleS - Jul 27, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    Wow 98 games in. We have 64 to go. Grab it by the throat boys!

  4. baseballswami - Jul 27, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    The guys on this team seem to all be so very nice. They also appear to be very competitive. I am waiting to see how much. Will they hang around or put their foot on the gas and keep pushing for more separation? I don' t see them letting down , just don't know if they have that killer instinct. Atlanta is not going to just go away and let us have it.

  5. sjm308 - Jul 27, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    To quote Satchel Paige, which I did often when coaching "Don't look back, something might be gaining on you"Go Nats!!

  6. Constant Reader - Jul 27, 2012 at 11:24 AM

    Standings on June 1 by games back.Nats –Mets 1Marlins 1Braves 2Phillies 2.5Standings as of this morning.Nats –Braves 5Mets 11.5Marlins 14Phillies 14.5Keep your foot on the accelerator and don't look back. Bury them.GYFNG!

  7. A DC Wonk - Jul 27, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    Nats have scored more runs in July than any team in baseball.

  8. phil dunton - Jul 27, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    How many more chances does Henry Rodriguez get? Why is this turkey taking up a valuable roster spot? Davey and Rizzo are playing with fire and they are going to get burned if they don't dump him now!

  9. Theophilus T. S. - Jul 27, 2012 at 11:34 AM

    Re: Competitiveness — One guy they're getting back soon, Jason Werth, may be in the NL's top-10 of competitiveness. Not casting fault on Moore or Brown, one of whom he'll replace, but they don't have the experience, let alone playoff experience, to light the gas under the balloon and make it soar.

  10. Positively Half St. - Jul 27, 2012 at 11:34 AM

    phil dunton-My gut says the same thing about Henry Rodriguez, but my brain tells me to trust Davey Johnson.+1/2St.

  11. baseballswami - Jul 27, 2012 at 11:34 AM

    Phil – and to further throw cold water on our fun – isn't Wang's rehab assignment up soon? Can we possibly carry both of them?

  12. sjm308 - Jul 27, 2012 at 11:37 AM

    Phil: besides being bothered by your constant negative harping, please add some facts at least once in your posts. Who would you like them to replace him with from the 40 man roster? Do you want them to bring up another pitcher? Do you want a position player? Or perhaps should they just let this wonderful chemistry that has developed remain intact and LEAVE THINGS ALONE! If you want to complain, head over to an Orioles blog, they have lots of issues you can jump on. Here, not so much.Have a wonderful happy joyous day! (and don't play with matches)Go Nats!!

  13. Theophilus T. S. - Jul 27, 2012 at 11:43 AM

    I've made my views on Rodriguez pretty clear: I don't want to see him on the mound unless the play is an intentional balk. (This is a QWERTY keyboard so that's not a typo.) On the other hand, there are two ways of looking at last night: (A) he stunk (again), which is a minus; (B) he did last a full inning without doing anything fatal, which saved an inning for Mattheus, Stammen or Burnett for tonight or later in the series — a plus.

  14. MicheleS - Jul 27, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    Phil, until Davey raises the white flag on Henry, he stays. last night's 1 pitch not withstanding, Henry actually pitched okay (not great, just okay). The time will come when those decisions have to be made (same for CMW).Try just for 1 day to enjoy the fact that we are 5 games up, 20 games over .500. We are about to put 2008/2009 win totals in the rear view mirror. Probably in the next few weeks we will put 2010, 2006 then 2007 in the rear view. And hopefully by the early part of September, 2011 then 2005.This is a good team, I am not counting my chickens until the magic number is 0. But I am determined to enjoy this ride while we are on it.

  15. baseballswami - Jul 27, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    Theo – good point about Jayson Werth. He has been to the promised land and knows what it takes. He is an intense team leader. He probably won't let anyone in there let up on the gas. 3 guys right now who have been there in the last few years – I think it's Jayson 09, DeRo 10, Jackson 11. I love the way Lombo is playing, by the way. That clutch triple was so sweet – he also made some nice defensive plays. HRod – we have talked it to death,I am sure the organization has talked it to death. Previous poster is right – giving up 2 didn't lose the game and it saved other relievers. For one game, I'll take it. He ended up getting 3 outs this time.

  16. Jim Webster - Jul 27, 2012 at 12:02 PM

    Bulletin to the Lerners: Fire Rizzo and Johnson, hire Phil Dunton. He clearly knows more than they.

  17. natsfan1a - Jul 27, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    Ahhh, fresh mountain air. I remember the old days, when the only reason I needed a Sherpa was to get to my seat in the upper reaches of RFK. Yessir, I'm liking the view from up here just fine. Can we just set up camp here for a bit before moving on up? No? Okay, let me just get my gear ready. :-)And carrying forward without having yet watched the game recording: Yay! Happy game results email. Peeked at the game before going to bed and it was 7-0. My Nats, I think I'll keep them. :-)Last but not least, why would anyone want to do that? Seriously, I don't get it. Whatevs, I'm going to keep on enjoying this ride. Just don't make me pull this car over. :-)"and to further throw cold water on our fun"

  18. A DC Wonk - Jul 27, 2012 at 12:11 PM

    Small glimmer of hope in the media.Last night on the way home from work, listening to WTOP, I heard "Core Values" by Chris Core. I'm not a big fan of his . . . but:Last evening's rant was about the media obsession about the Redskins training camp when (his voice rising) "the home baseball team is running at full steam towards the post seasons in 79 years!"And he closed with:"Right now, in July, Natitude is a Core Value."

  19. 704ee192-d59b-11e1-b06c-000bcdcb2996 - Jul 27, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    Anthony rendon now has 3 home runs in 6 rehab assignment games.

  20. JaneB - Jul 27, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    My favorite thing Mark has ever written:"We've moved past the point where anyone should consider this a fluke. Guess what, folks: These guys are for real, and they aren't done yet."I'm so SO enjoying the 20 games up! By the end of the weekend, we'll have by that horrible 2009 season.GYFNG!

  21. The Fox - Jul 27, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    The Nats have the best record in the NL. You Don't get anything for having the best record plus more wins. When the Nationals don't have the best record than you can start to complain. Bringing up scenarios of what the team might do when other players come off the DL is not complaining, and is fair game in my book.We are in a stretch where we are playing 21 games in a row against teams currently under .500. I was hoping that we could go 13-8 slightly better than the teams overall record so far we are 4-0. I mentioned after the Giants series that this team is one hot streak from winning their division. I still believe this and I think we might be seeing that now. 12-5 might just do it. The Starting pitching staying healthy is the key. Enjoy the ride it doesn't get much better than this.

  22. Feel Wood - Jul 27, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    Last night a Washington baseball team went 20 games over .500, which hasn't happened since 1945. And yesterday a Washington football team "won" its first day of practice, something that hasn't happened since….last year. Guess which story is dominating the DC media this morning.As they say in France, plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

  23. Feel Wood - Jul 27, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    You want to know what's going to happen with Henry Rodriguez and Chien Ming Wang once Jayson Werth and Chad Tracy return? There are two guys who know exactly what will happen. Ask them. Their names are Rick Ankiel and Xavier Nady.

  24. NatsLady - Jul 27, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    This link was posted by FS on the previous thread. Not only is it a detailed analysis of the pitcher the Nats will see tonight, but it gives insight into why Clip is so successful–deception and unpredictability–and how Fiers achieves them. Also had fun reading up on the eephus. michael-fiers-versus-the-radar-gun-how-is-he-winninghttp://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2012/7/9/3146765/michael-fiers-versus-the-radar-gun-how-is-he-winningThe something pitchhttp://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=eephus/080715

  25. terpman33 - Jul 27, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    Yes!!! I knew we would go 20 games over .500. This team is the most dominant we've had in the 8 seasons they've been here. I believe our rotation (now) is probably the best in baseball. Now that our offense has clicked, I don't see any reason why we should have a letdown. I am, however, thinking the philthies will make an improbable run at us. You don't win the NL East 5 years in a row and go out with a wimper. As far as Hrod is concerned, I hope they continue to only use him in games when we are leading by SEVEN RUNS OR MORE! I can't stress this enough. He has some form of competition anxiety, so DJ and Rizzo will try to put him in less stressful situations. Lets sweep the Brew Crew, and GYFNG, baby!!!

  26. hiramhover - Jul 27, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    It's a great time to be a Nats fan. How great? The worst thing that folks can find to complain about is the middle reliever who kept an 8-run victory from being a shut out.

  27. Steven J Berke - Jul 27, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    Well, Feel Wood and others, I gnash my teeth along with you, but a media mindset is a hard thing to change, and doesn't happen overnight (except when something like 9/11 happens). In this case the Redskin obsession has been in place for forty years, dating from when the Senators left, the Bullets were still in Baltimore, the Capitals were several years away from formation, and so the Redskins were literally the only game in town. Then they went to the Super Bowl. After that and to this day, the Redskins are not just the top story, but the top ten stories in the eyes of the sports media, and a great half-season by a baseball team that wasn't here for 38 years and was godawful for years after it did arrive isn't going to change that. It will likely take a world championship, and maybe more than one.

  28. Snivius - Jul 27, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    Amen Phil Dunton.I too think HRod is stinking up the joint, and that for all practical purposes, the Nats have a 24-man roster until the guy figures it out. Keeping him around to eat innings in blow-outs may be tolerable the rest of the regular season, but I wouldn't want to have to find out whether we're getting "good Henry" or "bad Henry" in the post-season.It comes down to whether they will really go so far as to send down an effective reliever like Mattheus or Stammen (who still have an option) when Werth or someone else comes off the DL. It seems they will.Even if Henry manages not to blow another game because Davey restricts him to lopsided games, I'm still concerned that since having to keep him around means one more in the bullpen, that's one less late-inning hairy chest on the bench. That might cost us a win or two.

  29. Steady Eddie - Jul 27, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    Terpman — one clear reason I'm willing to predict the Phillies will NOT make a run for the division: 24 of their remaining games are against us and the Barves. In their fondest dreams, they will get a split out of those games. You don't make up ground playing .500 against the teams you're chasing (and .500 is almost certainly their best case scenario).

  30. Section 222 - Jul 27, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    Saw an interview with Drew Storen this morning on MASN, on that show with Feel's brother Phil and those three Orioles guys. Drew seems to think he'll be back closing at some point this year, but he's "still in rehab" even though he's on the major league club. Not alot of Clipp love there. Phil picked right up on it. Trouble in paradise?

  31. Joe Seamhead - Jul 27, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    Terpman33, we control our own destiny regarding the Phillies, as we have 12 games remaining against them, I think. Basically 2 out of every 3 games on the remaining schedule we play against teams with a losing record. We would have to have a couple of extended losing streaks, coupled with them having extended winning streaks, for the Phillies to catch us, and at least the extended losing streak by us is very unlikely with this staff. Now, look at the things from the Phillies perspective.10 games ago they were 14 games behind us and in last place.Since then they have played .700 ball, winning 7 out of ten. And now? They are 14 1/2 games behind, and still in last place.

  32. Jim Webster - Jul 27, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    Feel Wood, DC Wonk … I'm with you.It's a tragedy that WaPo and local TV will be obsessed with football even though the first pre-season exhibition game is 2 weeks off, even as Nats make the pennant run.I'm already tired of RGIII hype. And I've wondered whether diehard Skins fans got as tired of hearing about Harp and Stras.

  33. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 27, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    '.500 is almost certainly their best case scenario.'WOW that's brutal Steady Eddie. Once they officially go into sell mode, then I will relax. Otherwise I will keep an eye on them, while we continue to distance ourselves from Braves.Nice link on that 'eephus' pitch NatsLady. A good read!about Fiers, I thought his HR/FB% is low for someone who gets lot of FB outs but I guess it is low for a reason. Interesting game tonight, just hope we come out on top.

  34. whatsanattau - Jul 27, 2012 at 12:59 PM

    Old Rants: These guys suck. The Lerner's are cheap. Rizzo's an idiot. Davey is older than God. Team couldn't hit their way out of a paper bag. Pitcher's couldn't the broad side of a barn. If they ran any slower, we'd have to wait for the earth to rotate. Can't believe they traded Peacock and Norris for Gio. $11M for Jackson, what were they thinking. Medical team must have gotten their degrees by mail order. (I feel like I'm missing some). New rants: There are people sitting in my section. We need a backup to our backup catcher. HRod is warming up. The beer is still too damn expensive.

  35. The Fox - Jul 27, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    NatsLady,Nice article on Fiers, the kid is definitely having a good year. I wonder what his time to the plate is on his change ups? Can't seem to find it but I would think you might be able to steal off him with that pitch. With a fast runner on first and a left handed bat at the plate there might be a weakness, look for Harper to have a big night if he can't throw the off speed pitch with a guy on first and Harper sitting on an 88 mile fastball. ALR and Espinosa may also benefit from this. Let see if Davey stacks the line up with LH bats and sends runners.Yesterday when reading the comments I finally felt really confident about this team. After the Giants series when a lot of people noticed how good this team was, (the Giants were hot when they came to town), you were the voice of reason and said there was a lot of the season to go and we just needed to focus on and win series (you were probably right) and we were 4.5 games up at that time. Yesterday I'm reading the comments and you gave the 25 players you would put on the playoff list. After reading that I felt confident in my earlier prediction.

  36. sjm308 - Jul 27, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    I want to make it clear that I love the varied opinions on this blog. I am also frustrated with HRod and can't see him taking a meaningful roster spot in the playoffs but again, until Werth, Tracy, Wang etc are back why would you dump him now? FeelWood is probably right and the dfa might just happen but at least most of the posters in here give valid reasons for why or why not. Phil just seems to want to rant.Not that my opinion matters but I think Brown or Moore will have to go back when Werth is ready. I then wonder if Werth will immediately start or do you let Bernadina ride his hot streak? I honestly think Peric might be right that Werth could start out on the bench and still be a huge help to this team. As for what to do with Wang, I honestly have no clue.Go Nats!!

  37. baseballswami - Jul 27, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    Natsfan1a – just skip the bottom of the 8th – had you stayed up, it might have given you heartburn. It's been worse, but still got the pulses pounding. I am excited about the Core Values thing – probably unreasonable, but still. Sec.222 – is there any website where those interviews can be accessed? I just can't stand to watch that show all the way through and so I miss some of the rare good stuff.

  38. Damnatsfan - Jul 27, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    Barring a complete miss-the-playoffs crash, Davey Johnson will be voted NL manager of the year (a no-brainer). Given the 20+ players on the DL at one time or another, including two starting OFers, two starting IFers, the #1 closer and four catchers, what DJ and his coaches have created is something to marvel at. As noted elsewhere, 41 of the 64 remaining games are against teams currently with losing records. Should the Nats win 41 of the next 64, they'll record (ta-da…) 100 games. Some season.

  39. Eugene in Oregon - Jul 27, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    NatsLady,Thanks for the links. Did you catch that Dave LaRoche — father of Adam — was one of the pitchers cited who threw the eephus (against Gorman Thomas)?

  40. hiramhover - Jul 27, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    whatasanattuI like the new rants – I'd revise the last one: "Not only is the beer still too expensive, but now the lines to buy it are longer too!"

  41. baseballswami - Jul 27, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    Yes, I think Jayson has to start on the bench and be phased in. We saw how it did not work with Morse trying to do it immediately and that was earlier in the season. We needed offense more then, too. I think Moore really needs to go back so that he can play – this is not helping to keep his development going in the right direction. When I was up in Pa last week and the Giants were playing the Phils I heard an interview by Posey – he said that getting knocked around by the Nats was their wake up call. That was refreshing to hear.

  42. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 27, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    at this point, Pirates manager is a strong candidate for MotY also.

  43. natsfan1a - Jul 27, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    swami, I'm such a dork that I'll watch the whole thing (but I'll speed past batters stepp[ing out, pitchers stepping off, commercials, dopey promos, etc.).whatsa, I'd amend to: there are people in my section, and they keep walking in front of me during at-bats (I had to ask – nicely, I believe- a guy to sit down at last Sunday's game, as he was standing up in the front row for several minutes).Natsfan1a – just skip the bottom of the 8th

  44. Bigfish - Jul 27, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    Dan Steinberg mentioned this video this morning. Are our guys cool, or what?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGPplPspYx8

  45. Candide - Jul 27, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    More rant: And the beer's too warm.After lat Friday's debacle – was it really only a week ago? – I said the Nats needed to put a serious hurt on someone if they didn't want to see the season unravel. They then went out and won (up to now) six straight, including a couple of blowouts that allowed Davey to bring in HRod to see what he could do. That's putting serious hurt on the rest of the division.Regarding Henry (wasn't that a Jack Nicholson movie a few years ago?) I was in the "send the bum to Siberia" camp a few days ago, but if the Nats can go into the late innings with a six- or seven-run lead a couple of times a week for the next month, that should give HRod plenty of opportunities to work out his problems – or not. I don't think the odds are good for him – how often does it happen that a guy totally loses the plate and then magically finds it again? – but it's not costing us anything important to find out, at least not until September 1.FWIW, I thought last night was kinda promising for him. Yes, he got tagged for a HR, and a couple of other balls were hit hard. But he got the freakin' ball over the plate. Baby steps…

  46. baseballswami - Jul 27, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    natsfan1a – I was recently at a game where I was in a section full of teenagers from another state wearing matching t shirts. It was all about the taking pictures and tweeting. They were standing up almost constantly. We politely asked their leaders to ask them to sit down to visit or go to the concourse. They acted surprised that we were actually watching the game as they were just there as tourists. They were nice about it and did keep their students seated – and then they left before the end of the game. We are always going to have casual fans and tourists around and at times they irritate me, even though I know we need their money and we need to cultivate new fans. We sit in the very cheap seats and there are never, ever ushers around. Life in the cheap seats.

  47. Brother Juniper - Jul 27, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    My! Those standings sure look pretty this morning. Pretty as a big old hog turning slowly over a bed of coals.The Nats season so far in segments:5apr-25apr: 14-426apr-4jun: 16-185jun-26jul: 29-17"Nobody goes to Nats Park anymore; it's too crowded."

  48. Feel Wood - Jul 27, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    New rants: There are people sitting in my section. We need a backup to our backup catcher. HRod is warming up. The beer is still too damn expensive.Idiots are doing the wave. And apparently it's an idiot NatPack guy starting it.

  49. A DC Wonk - Jul 27, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    Feel Wood said… Last night a Washington baseball team went 20 games over .500, which hasn't happened since 1945. And yesterday a Washington football team "won" its first day of practice, something that hasn't happened since….last year. Guess which story is dominating the DC media this morning.Not where I listened. On the 8:45 sports report with WTOP, they opened with something like, "yesterday was the opening of training camp for the Redskins, but the bigger story is…" and they continued with the Nats. _Then_ they went back to the 'Skins.Baby steps — in the right direction.

  50. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    Enjoying the morning! I was going to post the 100 game stats but Mark has done a reMARKable job of the state of the Nats.Let's reiterate Mark's point from the weekend with hindsight being 20/20 that after the crushing loss on Friday, Lannan's Saturday night win was probably the most significant of the season so far.If the Nats lost Saturday night the lead would've been 1/2 game and all momentum lost.Now the Nats are on a pitching revival like April's Ace dominance and this time the offense is scoring crooked numbers in bunches led on e again by Adam LaRoche. It's like Deja Vous April all over again.

  51. SCNatsFan - Jul 27, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    Regarding Henry, I believe, was a Harrison Ford movie.But regarding Henry, he looked last night like he wanted to be anywhere but on the mound. Every ball was scorched. Like was said before, you can throw 105 but if that's all you have the players will figure out the timing.

  52. Steady Eddie - Jul 27, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    Feel Wood — while the wave belongs in football, just as long as they're not doing it while the Nats are pitching. Of course, people undiscriminating to do it at all are not going to make that distinction. I know it annoys the heck out of Burnett at least.Also, FS, I was writing the .500 thing about the Phil's vs. us and the Barves, which is more than 1/3 of their remaining games. Point being that if you can't gain ground on the folks you're chasing in the head-to-heads, fuggetabowdit.

  53. Laddie Blah Blah - Jul 27, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    "Anthony rendon now has 3 home runs in 6 rehab assignment games."Anthony Rendon is a slugger. He doesn't look like it, at only 6' and 190 lbs, but Hank Aaron was only 6' and 180 lbs. Remember him?When Rendon was 19, he hit 20 HRs, had 72 RBI, hit .388, had 31 walks – and that was in only 61 games as a freshman for Rice. He was just warming up. At age 20, he hit 26 HRs, had a .394 BA, 85 RBI and drew 65 walks in 68 games. His OBP was .496. He not only had more walks than Ks, he had more HRs than Ks. His OPS looked more like a pinball number than a baseball stat, and that has not changed since he became a pro. His aggregate OPS this year, between the GCL, Auburn, and Potomac, is around 1.750 (my rough estimate).That kid is the best hitter in the Nats organization. We lucked out, big time, in getting him with the 6th pick in last year's draft. He is not only good enough to win a future batting title, he may well contend for the triple crown, more than once, if he can stay healthy.Stay tuned, he's probably still a little rusty after being inactive for almost a year. Wait until he starts seeing the ball, again.

  54. Water23 - Jul 27, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    Just a quick thought on Davey & HRod, Maybe he is taking a calculated risk. He is on the roster and use him whenever to rest the BP. If he can squeak out a few more innings a month then the BP will be well rested and not worn out on the dog days of summer.

  55. Candide - Jul 27, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    SCNatsFan said…Regarding Henry, I believe, was a Harrison Ford movie.Argh. You're right. I was thinking of "About Schmidt."

  56. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 27, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    Steady eddie, I got your point earlier but thought it was funny that Phillies' best shot against us is .500. Not so long ago, we would dread a series against them. Times have certainly changed. :D

  57. NatsLady - Jul 27, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    Probably every team has a "Henry," who for one reason or another, they can't cut loose and have to make the best of. We've been really lucky that guys like Lombo and Bernie have stepped up their game–especially Bernie, who has been, like Henry, endlessly frustrating.

  58. NatsLady - Jul 27, 2012 at 2:15 PM

    Went back to listen to the Mets game where Henry walked two before Davey pulled him. The Mets announcers compared him to Koufax (often done, I know). Because Koufax was a "bonus baby" he had to stay in the majors immediately after signing. And he stayed there for five or six years (count 'em) and was "wild as a March hare" before turning into the Koufax people remember–with the help of his catcher.

  59. A DC Wonk - Jul 27, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    especially Bernie, who has been, like Henry, endlessly frustrating. That would be: "who _had_ been …" ;-)

  60. NatsLady - Jul 27, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    Wonk–good correction. Hope it stays that way.

  61. NatsNut - Jul 27, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    I'm enjoying this ride immensely, but man am I stunned. My expectations just can't keep up. Mark, I'm glad you're validating that this is no fluke because with each "important series" I've been just a teeeeeny bit nervous that "this is the one that puts us back in our place." (2007-2010 can do that to a gal)But we've gotten through the scariest series and the worst we've done is a couple of scattered sweeps that we recovered nicely from, and the little Braves smack-down on Friday.I guess I find it so hard to believe because I've never seen what this was really supposed to look like! Don't worry though, I'm seeing now and I'm loving it.

  62. SCNatsFan - Jul 27, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    You have to think that the electric stuff Henry has brought makes it difficult to just give the guy away for nothing – certainly someone claims him if we try to send him down. Heck he'd be the Mets best reliever lol.

  63. mick - Jul 27, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    sjm308 said…I want to make it clear that I love the varied opinions on this blog. I am also frustrated with HRod and can't see him taking a meaningful roster spot in the playoffs but again, until Werth, Tracy, Wang etc are back why would you dump him now? I agree coach, however, I would not use him again this season and would make 2013 spring traning make or break with him.on another note, I gotta ask you coach… did you know this Rick Curl character in all your years of coaching… just unbelievable!

  64. UnkyD - Jul 27, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    Is there a stat for "most innings missed by starting players"? It would be interesting to know how bad it's been for us, historically…

  65. mick - Jul 27, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    That is what I thought, that 1945 Senators were 20 over and missed winning AL Pennant on last game of season.

  66. mick - Jul 27, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    BTW: Love the way Lombo plays 2b

  67. NatsLady - Jul 27, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    Another good thing about the current streak is it means Werth doesn't have to rush back, and he knows it. If Bernadina keeps up the good work, Werth can ease in from the bench. So nice to have reinforcements…

  68. Joe Seamhead - Jul 27, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  69. mick - Jul 27, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    actually, I never thought i would say this… but I do not want to the Shark out of the line up… he needs to play. take your time Jayson, lol

  70. alexva - Jul 27, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    When Werth is back he will start every game he is physically capable of. He'll probably start off slow but that's the nature of the beast. If Bernadina is going to play it will be spot starts and PH appearances.

  71. mick - Jul 27, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    alexeva…. or if LaRoche sits verse a lefty… move Morse to 1st and the shark in outfield… that would be some speed out there with Werth, Harp and Shark

  72. mick - Jul 27, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    in fact, speed wise it could be the fastest in the league?

  73. MicheleS - Jul 27, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    Mick.. Tyler will play first vs lefties. I don't think we see Morse at 1b this year unless something dire happens

  74. mick - Jul 27, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    michele… your right, i was trying to find a scenario for Shark to stay in line up after Werth returns.

  75. Joe Seamhead - Jul 27, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    So, I just called our "flagship station" WJFK 106.7 at 1-800-636-1067, got put on hold immediately, had to listen to a Redskins blip, a guy answered and asked what I was calling about. I asked him if they even knew that The Nats were in a pennant race, and they they were 20 games over .500? He asked me if I knew that Craig Stammen was going to be on later? I told him that I went on their web page early this morning and theat the first entry regarding that Nats was the eighth entry down and it was about Strasburg winning…the night before last! He hung up on me. I wasn't loud, profane. or rude. But I am going to get that way, starting right now. Mark, how do you advise us Nats fans to most effectively voice are sentiments regarding the lack of coverage in the local media?

  76. mick - Jul 27, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    late innings, defensively, a Harp, Shark and Werth outfield would be intimidating

  77. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 27, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    I honestly think this WHOLE franchise is now in total belief mode of what Rizzo and Davey have been preaching.With Rizzo it's been "we are building from the ground up by employing the best scouts, the best evaluators and the best instructiors. We're drafting the best talent with the highest character. We'll make trades only if it improves the team for the long term. We want a winning franchise that is sustainable for the long term." With Davey it's "we have the talent right now to win the division. If we don't make the playoffs I should be fired."This team and this franchise start each day knowing they are good. They know that the organization is good. They know that it isn'all on any one individual and that each and everyone of them will be placed in situations to succeed. Should they fail, no one is going to kick them to the curb because, after all, baseball is based on failing the least and the next opportunity to succeed is right around the corner.Having a whole organization believing in each other, from bottom to top is the recipie for the grestest tasting cool aid I've ever had.

  78. mick - Jul 27, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    Joe… that is not surprising, remember Synder owns the station. It is still frustrating. I am a diehard Skins and Nats fan, but my passion is all Nats and I bet most feel that way, more than we think.

  79. mick - Jul 27, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    I think Natsjack summed it up perfectly

  80. NatsLady - Jul 27, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    Personally, I don't think it's going to be an issue, because Bernie will go back to being his Bernie self, he is playing way over his head. It's fun to watch, and maybe because of it he will get a clue…

  81. do1teach1 - Jul 27, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    This is truly incredible. It is like a dream come true, really.We will all, naturally, fear a collapse. Nobody has battered spouse syndrome like Nationals fans. But there are things that are not going to change:Defense: We have a great defensive team. When guys get hurt, our defense, somehow, gets better. We will be strong defensively for years.Depth: Not just depth-CHART, but character depth, especially the kind of depth that picks up the slack when guys go in slumps or get hurt.Pitching: Cannot be faked. An awesome staff will revert to VERY STRONG when Stras goes out.Leadership: I really should've put this one first, because it's the most important. Rizzo, Davey, team-wide leadership is amazing.Baserunning: smart, aggressive, well-coached, night after night.Offense: I believe the team has abandoned its worship of the false Pitch Count God. The results are showing. If they continue to swing the lumber, they can keep improving on offense. Imagine!Fun: the men on this team are having a blast. The value of this, like leadership, cannot be over-estimated.We can beat anyone, and we can win the World Series, this year.

  82. NatsLady - Jul 27, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    Seamhead–at least he knew Stammen was a Nat…Jason Reid started his story with this::: We briefly interrupt the nonstop coverage of rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III to inform you about the…..Waitforit—Deadskins Defense, which is the team's strength. Good to know.

  83. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 27, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    is there a limit to how much Kool-aid one can have?

  84. NatsLady - Jul 27, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    Here is my 1%. I listen to the radio on an iPhone app called TuneIn Radio. I flip back and forth between stations, seeking Nats news and talk. If no Nats, I'm off. You know they track that, and I'm makin' it easy to spot which segments I'm tuning in for… OK, maybe way less than 1% but it counts.

  85. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 27, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    mick…thanks. And for the record, I stopped being a Skins fan after the whole Jim Zorn fiasco. I now classify myself as a Redskins observer.

  86. Cameron - Jul 27, 2012 at 2:58 PM

    As much as I hate hearing about the Skins(Go Packers), this is a football town first. They cater to their audiance. One would expect more coverage considering this team is now tied for the best record in the entire league! Maybe if the Nats win back-to-back-to-back World Series they will talk about them. Wait nevermind, WS happen during football season.

  87. Joe Seamhead - Jul 27, 2012 at 2:58 PM

    I'm on a tirade about the media thing. I called the Nats main number, pressed "6" for the communications dept. I spoke to a very nice lady thatsaid unfortunately there wasn't much they can do, she'd pass the call on to the marketing guys, etc. She also suggested season ticket holders call their account reps and voice their feelings. I sayNats fans should just start blitzing the local media, particularly WJFK, our supposed flagship station, 1-800-636-1067 and let them know your feelings.I am not real old, but old enough that I was a Senator's fan and a member of the Knothole Club, my first games were at Griffith Stadium. I went to the first Nats game in Philly. We all waited 33 years for DC to get a team back, and another 7 years for us to be seriously competitive. The Nats are drawing big crowds. Everywhere I go people are starting to talk Nationals. Is it too much to expect our local sports station to cover them with some enthusism? If Dan Snyder owns a media sports station then it should report the sports news.

  88. Joe Seamhead - Jul 27, 2012 at 3:04 PM

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  89. Joe Seamhead - Jul 27, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    As to HRod, [the following comments are made tongue in cheek]: Maybe Henry hits a big guy, the big guy decks him, Henry goes on the DL for the rest of the year. Or, maybe Henry walks a couple of more guys, McCatty comes to the mound, McCatty decks him, Henry goes on the DL for the rest of the season.

  90. A DC Wonk - Jul 27, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    One of the best put together and expressed explanation of why the Nats should not be going after Grienke, etc. — by Adam Kilgorehttp://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/nationals-journal/post/nationals-trade-deadline-the-case-against-adding-a-starter-to-replace-stephen-strasburg/2012/07/27/gJQACgrwCX_blog.html

  91. Drew - Jul 27, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    When you think about the Nats' trajectory and factor in the elite prospects moving through the system — Rendon, Meyer, Goodwin, Giolito — this franchise will soon have an unimagined problem: how to carefullyy dispose of major league talent. Consider the great Orioles teams that went to the World Series four times in six years between 1966-71.In 1971 the club had two elite prospects who tore it up in Rochester. Second baseman Bobby Grich hit .336 with 36 home runs. Outfielder Don Baylor hit .313 with 20 homers. No question — those guys had to play.The problem was how the Orioles made room.They dealt Davey Johnson, Pat Dobson, Roric Harrison and Johnny Oates to Atlanta for catcher Earl Williams and minor league infielder Taylor Duncan.Williams flamed out in Baltimore in two years. Davey took some lessons from Henry Aaron and hit 43 home runs.The Orioles made room for Baylor by dealing Frank Robinson and reliever Pete Richert to the Dodgers for Doyle Alexander, Sergio Robles, Bob O'Brien and Royle Stillman.If you're saying "Who?" that's the point.Youth must be served — especially talented youth — but as the Nats think about what to do with LaRoche and how to make room for their new talent, they must dispense quality players carefully and get value in return.

  92. A DC Wonk - Jul 27, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    They cater to their audiance.Well, they _try_ to. They cater to what they _think_ their audience wants.But they are slow to adapt, and I'd bet they are behind the curve here.

  93. whatsanattau - Jul 27, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    I posted this the other night, but still think it is worth a few more eyeballs … HROD has a 1.20 ERA at home and 11.20 on the road. Too bad we can't have a home and away roster. But, I think it is meaningful. I tink he is having performance anxiety on the road. I think it is a legitimate reason for a trip to the DL. It's been done before. Hasn't it?

  94. baseballswami - Jul 27, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    In the old days all of our pitchers were " pitch to contact" and it was the organizational philsophy. Then we went to power pitchers/ strike them all out. Now we are going back to pitching to contact with our power pitchers because it is more efficient, but they can always strike a guy out when they need to. Our defense is tight. One thing I like about this year's team is that is has more speed and very smart base running. Lombo is fast and a really smart baseball kid. Harper and Bernie are both fast, Espi and Desi. Others can take the base intelligently. I wish there was a stat for extra bases taken that are not strictly steas. Even EJax got in on it last night. I bet McCatty had a cow.

  95. mick - Jul 27, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    Natsjack… lol

  96. A DC Wonk - Jul 27, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    Can we have a shout-out for Lombo's fielding last night?

  97. baseballswami - Jul 27, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    DC Wonk – yes!! As long as we add the bases clearing triple along with the fielding!

  98. mick - Jul 27, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    Drew… great points… the only thing is that the O's still were solid another 12 years.. 1979 team lost in 7 to Pirates and of course peaked with winning the 83 series.. They still had great pitching… agreed the Earl Williams trade was really bad

  99. baseballswami - Jul 27, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    Keep me occupied, please. I am at work waiting for someone to show up for a meeting – yes, on Friday. It is very quiet here and I am sleepy because I stayed up watching the Nats and getting way too excited. When will I learn? Probaby never. It was worth it.

  100. original Nats Fan - Jul 27, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    Comcast Sports Net does the same thing. Their coverage this morning was Redskins, Ravens and finally Nats. We get better coverage on MLB Network than on local channels. MASN has the abomination of merged coverage and I only watch the Nats portions, going over to MLB when the Os stuff is on. As for radio, it's sad that there isn't better Nats programing. I used to be a die-hard Redskin fan, but now I can take them or leave them. When we got baseball back, I realized that it was my first love and the best game ever invented. Now that the Nats are playing so well, I am enjoying the ride.

  101. A DC Wonk - Jul 27, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    Random tidbits (from youjustcantpredictbaseball):- The A's are only percentage points ahead of the Tigers, which leads to an interesting possibility: a one game playoff to determine the second wild card team.- Speaking of the Pirates magical season: Starling Marte his a HR on his very first MLB _pitch_.- The Marlins tank season — yesterday, in the first five innings the Marlins had seven walks and seven stolen bases. And one run to show for it.

  102. A DC Wonk - Jul 27, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    I am sleepy because I stayed up watching the Nats and getting way too excited.Same here. I was fine staying up that late, but then when I went to bed I was still wired because of how great they are playing.

  103. MicheleS - Jul 27, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    Wonk.. SHOUT OUT! Maybe Lombo is getting more comfortable with regular playing time. So that is good!

  104. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    NatsJack, Presidents and Congress are supposed to work with checks and balances and never works well. GMs and Managers are always complicated relationships.The Rizzo/Davey politics work because Davey has the final say. They couldn't agree on Detwiler/Lannan as the 5th starter and its working. Davey picked his bullpen and his bench from what was available and quickly got rid of those not carrying their weight – Nady and Ankiel.Davey wanted Bernadina, Moore, Lombo, Harper and Brown. Henry and Wang remain as the teams biggest remaining issues and who replaces Strasburg in September.Davey has done magnificent managing around the injuries. That has truly been amazing.

  105. Steady Eddie - Jul 27, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    What's a — I think if you compared Henry's WHIP and maybe BAA at home & road, there would not be so much difference. His high road ERA is mostly from his meltdowns vs Dodgers, Bucs, Reds earlier in the season. Last night was a recent anomaly for HRod in that he was close enough to the plate that guys could not only swing but hit it. Usually recently his bane has been wild walks followed by wild pitches, no matter where, and hits are less frequent because he generally is too far from the plate, and the contact from frustrated hitters who just want to swing has been singles that they couldn't square up. You can't hit what you can't reach. Plus Davey hasn't been leaving him in long enough to give up runs to guys to guys he put on base. Guys who clean up after him have mostly kept them from scoring.If they decide they're going to try to keep him, they're handling him right. Find it hard to imagine they'll send down Mattheus, much less Stammen, to keep him here. As many have suggested, DL?

  106. waddu eye no - Jul 27, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    Candide said…Argh. You're right. I was thinking of "About Schmidt."you mean there's a movie about mike schmidt? (i've got too much time on my hands this summer)

  107. baseballswami - Jul 27, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    If HRod walks or hits someone with a pitch, then another reliever comes in and those guys score, isn't Henry charged with those runs? I think Stammen had one of those inherited runs score earlier in the week. I know they try to keep them from scoring, but sometimes it's too late to stop the bleeding completely.

  108. Feel Wood - Jul 27, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    you mean there's a movie about mike schmidt?If you didn't know that, you don't know Jack.

  109. sjm308 - Jul 27, 2012 at 3:45 PM

    Mick – sorry to be late to your unrelated question but yes, I knew him & that is all I will say.106.7 is now talking NATS & actually talking intelligent baseball. Maybe Seamhead got thru to themGo Nats!!

  110. Section 222 - Jul 27, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    I'm not too worried about messing up the chemistry when Werth returns. He's a pro, very motivated to win, and the guys (especially Harper) are going to be glad to have him back. I expect him to start within a few games of his return. Davey isn't going to wait until Bernie cools down. He's also had plenty of opportunities to rest ALR against lefties, and he's hardly ever done it. Davey doesn't make nearly as many lineup adjustments as some managers have (see, Riggles, J.) or armchairs managers would (see, us). He "has confidence" in his starters and his bench. So Bernie will go back to the bench and hopefully keep providing key hits as he was before.

  111. Candide - Jul 27, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    do1teach1 said…We will all, naturally, fear a collapse. Nobody has battered spouse syndrome like Nationals fans.I have some friends in Chicago who might dispute that claim…

  112. rmoore446 - Jul 27, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    I must say I enjoyed Davey's comment when asked what he thought of Henry's performance–Well, other than the ball that hit the batter in the head, he threw strikes and that's all I was looking for.I may be off a word or two but that was the gist. Davey has a quirky sense of humor that often cracks me up.

  113. JD - Jul 27, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    Drew, Your points are very well taken. You have to manage attrition to maintain excellence. Teams that won't do it eventually fall off the cliff. The Phills had a great and enviable run but by holding on to everyone and not graduating new talent they risk becoming a bad team all at once. This is why it is very unlikely the Nats will bring ALR back next year. He's doing great but there are younger cheaper alternatives ready to step in.

  114. NatsLady - Jul 27, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    If it's performance anxiety (and we are diagnosing from afar here), then I have a lot of experience in that area, my own, my students, friends, etc., and Davey is handling it exactly right. You have to overcome fear of failure, and for that you have to fail, and come back and fail again. If you are in fear that a single failure will cost your job, it's over. When I overcame mine, finally, it was having jobs where I had to go back, week after week, even after flubs.It could be mechanics, though. That HBP, something slipped.

  115. NatsLady - Jul 27, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    And, don't look now, but MGonzo hasn't been that much better than Henry. OK, better, but not that much better. He could easily have given up two runs in his inning. So bottom line, the two worst relievers (aside from Gorzo, which is a different issue) mopped up after the offense scored 8 and the starter shut them out. Fine. Next game.

  116. Theophilus T. S. - Jul 27, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    Maybe someone has an answer to what bothers me about the "just DL" Henry magic bullet. Do rules/unwritten understandings permit stashing a guy who's gone mental on the DL? The Yankees, to my knowledge, didn't DL Knoblauch; the Mets didn't DL Sasser; I don't think the Pirates DL'd Steve Blass. Does MLB police the DL? Years ago the NFL policed Injured Reserve and disciplined teams for hoarding players that didn't have injuries that prevented them from performing. So, do the Nats risk sanctions of any kind if they put this guy on the DL because he has too many mosquito bites? If there's a line, where is it drawn?

  117. peric - Jul 27, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    In the end its about the young players maturing and getting better. Interesting that two parts come from Montreal in Desmond and Bernadina. The only other guy left is Seth Bynum. The bad news is major league baseball in the form of used car salesman from Milwaukee Bud Selig caught on to the new, better plan. Draft top players and pay overslot bonuses to get them to onboard. Clearly, Selig liked the old plan where the Nats signed old, washed up, Giggleman chia pets. Instead, Johnson strongly prefers drawing from within the system. There's probably no way they sign Werth with Johnson front seat position in terms of FO maneuvering … Everybody is still thinking about this year. I like this FO + Davey and his coaches because they think about this year and five or more years down the road when making decisions about individual players and the roster. Its time for a new dynasty to rise in baseball and its high time that its home was in DC and NOT Neeew Yawk. My expectations are that high. I want revenge for the years of bad ownership foisted on me by baseball's plutocracy. Its time to pull down the empire and demolish the deathstar. So, my hope is that the Nats meet the Yankees in October … and make Mr. Texiera sorry he refused the Nats offer.

  118. peric - Jul 27, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    Do rules/unwritten understandings permit stashing a guy who's gone mental on the DL? Absolutely. Last night they rambled on a bit about a guy who went on the DL with Arachnophobia.

  119. MicheleS - Jul 27, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    Theo.. Aubrey Huff of the Giants was put on the DL this year for anxiety issues.

  120. peric - Jul 27, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    And, don't look now, but MGonzo hasn't been that much better than Henry.They are kind of weak when it comes to left-handed relief. Clippard's xFIP kind of says he has times when he reverts back to bad-Clipp from AAA. As does Burnett's. I think the hope was Gorzelanny could become a top left-handed reliever but like Ryan Perry he looks more like a decent left-handed starter. Meanwhile, Attie Severino in his 3rd year of AAA at age 27? Josh Smoker unable to move past Potomac. McGreary a possible failed Tommy John's. Cory VanAllen demoted after getting shelled in AAA. There just isn't much in the minors with left-handed possibilities.

  121. JD - Jul 27, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    For those of you touting our prospects I always like to introduce a level of balance. I too follow the minor leagues and our system is quite modest compared to power house prospect laden teams such as Tampa and Texas. 1) Rendon – serious health concerns but otherwise a top notch prospect. He should be at least in high A and he should dominate that level. 2) Goodwin – just graduated to AA and is having mixed results so far. Not a lot of contact but continued power.Promising but a ways away still. 3) Perez – Has actually performed well at every level and may be just about ready but he is a singles hitter who rarely walks (Juan Pierre?) 4) Meyer – So far so good but still 3 levels away so no guarantees. 5) Giolito – who knows?

  122. peric - Jul 27, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    Because of his strange motion Clippard can be effective against left-handed hitters.

  123. Feel Wood - Jul 27, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    Reasons for putting a player on the DL can be as oblique as you want them to be.

  124. JD - Jul 27, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    I prefer to use MGonzo as a straight Loogy. His numbers vs. lefties are very good (Ike Davis home run not withstanding). I think Rizzo has determined that he wants to protect Henry from being poached by another team and he only has to do it for 1 more month; the trick is to make sure he doesn't cost us any games in the interim. Someone suggested converting Henry to a starter next year; I think the idea has some merit but he would have to start in the minors and this entire options thing may prevent that.

  125. A DC Wonk - Jul 27, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    Absolutely. Last night they rambled on a bit about a guy who went on the DL with Arachnophobia.If I remember right, that guy, because of the phobia, ended up hurting his knees and elbows (I didn't catch why). But I don't think it was the phobia per se.

  126. ehay2k - Jul 27, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    On vacation, no access to fast internet or televised games. But I get the text messages from MASN during the games. Very pleased to see our boys playing so well. Wearing a Desi shersey yesterday and got an couple of nice comments about the Nats, and also one about the"overnight success story" they were. Sigh. Take another series (do we face Grienke this series? I'd love to see how we hit against him) and move on. Repeat until season end.Cheers all. GYFNG!(Funny how few nega-ninnies post on these threads about how well the Nats are playing. )

  127. natsfan1a - Jul 27, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    After watching, agreed (while noting that there was a hit batsman in there as well). He retired the first two, and I for one find giving up a dinger easier to live with than walking/WP'ing his way to giving up runs. (Of course, I likely would have been more nervous watching in real time, without knowing the ultimate game result, although there was a big lead as well.)Also after watching, in addition to all the Natly contributions to the win, had I fast-forwarded to the 8th as suggested I would have missed the MLB debut of the Brewers reliever, FP's costume-party ump story, and Carp's catching a foul ball, among other things. So I'm glad I did. :-)Candide said…FWIW, I thought last night was kinda promising for him. Yes, he got tagged for a HR, and a couple of other balls were hit hard. But he got the freakin' ball over the plate. Baby steps…

  128. natsfan1a - Jul 27, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    swami, agreed on life in the cheap seats. We rarely see the ushers in our section, except to hurry us out after the game ends. That said, there are plenty of vendors around, often they are also standing in front of us during at-bats as well. :-)

  129. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 27, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    JD re: HRod… I agree… That's what I meant by Rizzo, Davey and McCatty would figure this out. The task is to get to September 1st call ups.There is no way HRod takes up a space on any play off roster.

  130. mick - Jul 27, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    I have a theory on Rendon's injuries and I think the outcome will be positive.. he just turned 22 and he is still growing and that may have a lot to do with his problems. Many young athletes go though this, a good and local example is Roy Hibbert,in basketball, Roy, was injured throughout his 4 years in high school and played no more than 20 games over four years. Doctors attribute his chronic ankle injuries to growth. When he finally grew into his body, his injuries stopped. I think Rendon is experiencing similar ankle injuries as well, when he finally grows into his body, we will have a player who will be able to play a full season.

  131. The Fox - Jul 27, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    JD,You are correct and fans almost always over value their teams prospects including me.I still think Hood has a good chance to be a ML outfielder. I'm not saying star but at least an everyday player.As for stashing players on the DL the MLB players association is the one the will complain and with good reason. In the old day teams keep very good ballplayers stuck in the minors and the players association helped change those rules. Xavier Paul who was hitting very well in Syracuse left the team not because he didn't like them but because he knew he had a better chance making the Reds this year than the Nats. I'm sure Henry loves the Nats but I bet he rather be in the majors than the minors. This is after all a job to these guys its nothing personal.

  132. mick - Jul 27, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    A DC Wonk said…Absolutely. Last night they rambled on a bit about a guy who went on the DL with Arachnophobia.yikes… that would be me too, especially after reading about the guy in Nebraska that has over 20 brown recluse spiders living with him in his apartment… lol

  133. UnkyD - Jul 27, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    JD:"This is why it is very unlikely the Nats will bring ALR back next year. He's doing great but there are younger cheaper alternatives ready to step in."————————–Why would you not bring him back, even if only to trade, at some point, for a prospect, or two? Not picking up his option doesn't seem like "wise attrition" to me…

  134. natsfan1a - Jul 27, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    He cut his foot while sleep running during a spider nightmare.

  135. natsfan1a - Jul 27, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    (That would be #23 on the list.)

  136. mick - Jul 27, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    Unky… a good point but let's say Nats win it all… is there a loyalty factor that comes into play?

  137. natsfan1a - Jul 27, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    See also Dontrelle Willis.Theo.. Aubrey Huff of the Giants was put on the DL this year for anxiety issues.

  138. PlugNPlay - Jul 27, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    I've been noodling around with the idea of translating a baseball season into a football season, so that football fans get a sense of what it is like to follow a baseball team. Every 9 baseball games is one football game, and each one-run game scores a field goal for or against the Nats, and each crooked-number game scores a touchdown for or against the Nats. I've been keeping a spreadsheet tracking these football wins, and our Nats are like a 10-1 football team. That is how dominating they feel. Game 1 (1-9) W 37-6Game 2 (10-18) W 37-14Game 3 (19-27) L 23-16Game 4 (28-36) W 31-24Game 5 (37-45) W 31-20Game 6 (46-54) W 31-24Game 7 (55-63) W 38-21Game 8 (64-72) W 24-23Game 9 (73-81) W 34-17Game 10 (82-90) W 27-20Game 11 (91-99) current score 42-10 with one game to go.This is a beast of a team.

  139. mick - Jul 27, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    natsfan1a, lol

  140. Laddie Blah Blah - Jul 27, 2012 at 4:50 PM

    "Personally, I don't think it's going to be an issue, because Bernie will go back to being his Bernie self, he is playing way over his head. It's fun to watch, and maybe because of it he will get a clue…"Bernie did not put a ball in play last night – 3 ABs and 3 Ks. He did draw a walk. The guy is baseball's version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

  141. Section 222 - Jul 27, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    Bernie did not put a ball in play last night – 3 ABs and 3 Ks. He did draw a walk. The guy is baseball's version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.Oh no! A negative comment. Get thee to a nunnery!

  142. Steady Eddie - Jul 27, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    Plug — that was entertaining, thanks, but better you than me doing all those calculations.

  143. A DC Wonk - Jul 27, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    (Funny how few nega-ninnies post on these threads about how well the Nats are playing. )Yet another pleasant thing about the Nats winning!!

  144. mick - Jul 27, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    The guy is baseball's version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.The Spencer Tracy version is the best, lol

  145. A DC Wonk - Jul 27, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    PlugNPlay said… Wow! Borders the line between off-the-wall and extremely creative.I like it! (Particularly the part about how we're 10-1! ;-) )

  146. A DC Wonk - Jul 27, 2012 at 5:02 PM

    I love these guys . . . Detwiler also made a recent adjustment that has helped him. For the majority of his career, Detwiler relied far more on his sinking, two-seam fastball than his hard, straight four-seamer. He would throw the four-seamer inside to hitters, but that was it.Pitching coach Steve McCatty sat down with Detwiler and suggested he throw more four-seamers, with the intention of making his two-seamer more effective. “He said, ‘Why not save it until you need a ground ball or something?’ ” Detwiler said. “If you throw them a four, four, four and then a two, they’re going to mis-hit it.”

  147. NatsNut - Jul 27, 2012 at 5:02 PM

    I still love Nattering Nat's comment from a week or so ago: "I'm not bipolar, this game is."

  148. Tcostant - Jul 27, 2012 at 5:18 PM

    Another must read, I've been saying these Nats remind me of those old Davey Mets' team all year:http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443477104577549451804210874.html

  149. UnkyD - Jul 27, 2012 at 5:21 PM

    The Tracy is excellent, Mick, but I'll take the Barrymore, thank you ;-)And as for loyalty, it shouldn't trump the good of the team… Loyalty, in contract terms, may be best served in the case of our homegrown stars…?

  150. Steady Eddie - Jul 27, 2012 at 5:26 PM

    NatsNut — re "bipolar", someone (Boz?) wrote back in April or early May that a pennant-winning team basically reels off two or three 8 to 12 game winning streaks and plays .500 ball the rest of the way.There you go.The other side of that coin is preventing equally long losing streaks, a la the Mets now or the Barves and BoSox last September. For which you need solid starting pitching top to bottom of the rotation with at least a couple of guys having shutdown starts even in the bad turns around the rotation. Like us, now.

  151. JD - Jul 27, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    Unkyd, Come the off season this year will be history and the planning for next year will start. If you assume that Harper, Werth and Morse are a lock in the outfield and Corey Brown and Eury Perez are ready to step in then you have to make room for Tyler Moore at 1st base. ALR's option is for $10 million and if you have the horses for the courses why commit that money to this player when you can use it on something else?

  152. alexva - Jul 27, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    DC Wonk, good pull.not meaning to dis the Cat, but it sure helps to be dealing with talent.

  153. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 27, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    JD…..because of the premium Rizzo and Davey place on defense. Tyler has shown terrific improvement at first but he's nowhere near Adam.

  154. MicheleS - Jul 27, 2012 at 5:44 PM

    Miss Iowa to the Braves.

  155. The Fox - Jul 27, 2012 at 5:45 PM

    Thanks Tcostant I can see the comparison lets just hope that Stras and Harper handle success better than Gooden and Strawberry. I think the 86 Mets starter were slightly deeper that year (hard to believe) and the 86 team had had more veterans, Carter was the missing piece and I'm not sure we have that piece yet.The Nats are the closer to the 84 or 85 Mets without have the dominance of Gooden yet especially in 85. His numbers still jump out of the page when you read them. 24 wins, 16 CG, 8 SHO, 276 IP, 268 Ks, 1.53 ERA all by a 20 year old kid. Doesn't seem like 26 years ago.

  156. hiramhover - Jul 27, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    JD – and to add to what NJ said:Offense has been T-Mo's strong suit, but even there, it could be risky to go with him as the main 1B option. He has been good in short stints, but whether those offensive #s would hold up over a whole season is far from a given.I'm inclined to think T-Mo is playing over his head right now, at least a little, and that if his offense regresses, it's not much better than ALR's–and with much worse defense.

  157. Gonat - Jul 27, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… JD…..because of the premium Rizzo and Davey place on defense. Tyler has shown terrific improvement at first but he's nowhere near Adam. July 27, 2012 1:38 PM ______________________________I hear "Adam" and I think Dunn. Better than Dunn and nowhere close to LaRoche yet.Someone said a while ago that TyMo's improvement on defense has been much better year over year.

  158. The Fox - Jul 27, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    JD I have to agree with Nats Jack its the defense.If I'm reading Cot's contracts right we owe ALR a million even if we don't sign him I thought he would get 8 more but you might be right and its 9.I think Rizzo is going to shop Morse and I think it depends what he can get for him that will determine a few other moves. Too early to tell and I know Rizzo likes ALR but I'm not sure he loves him. So if he thinks he can get as much production both offense and defense with someone younger ALR will be gone.

  159. JD - Jul 27, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    Mats Jack and hiramhover, Yes and no. Davie played many games with Moore and Morse together in the same outfield; that's pretty much punting defense. Harper is still learning out there and Bernie makes acrobatic catches but is otherwise a poor defensive center fielder. Here is the real question: how many games extra will the nats win with ALR's defense vs. Moore and is that worth $9.5 million?

  160. JD - Jul 27, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    I disagree on Morse. I think he is a game changing offensive player and he's relatively cheap. I don't think we are trading him.

  161. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 27, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    But LaRoche makes evert one of the infielders better. And keep in mind, an increased payroll is not an issue with the Lerners.

  162. JD - Jul 27, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    Not to mention Lombo and Morse in the outfield together. Davie is not afraid to sacrifice a little defense for some added offense.

  163. A DC Wonk - Jul 27, 2012 at 6:09 PM

    Re: the 1986 Mets. If we don't think we're as good as them yet, that's OK. Let's not forget that team won 108 regular season games! In 1984, under Davey, the Mets started a streak of seven straight years of finishing 2d place or higher.FWIW, I think the Nats are ahead of the '84 Mest, maybe not as good yet as the '85 Mets.But that's OK — all those Mets teams would have been in the playoffs under a format of like today.As Kilgore noted: it's a lock that the Nats make the playoffs, and after that, it's all a crapshoot anyway.

  164. JD - Jul 27, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    NatsJack, I agree about ALR's defense but payroll is an issue with every owner; it's a question of opportunity cost. If the difference between Moore and LaRoche overall is 2 wins a year then it's a close call but if you feel that Moore can provide roughly the same WAR than LaRoche at a fraction of the cost then you spend the extra money on a starter.

  165. JD - Jul 27, 2012 at 6:12 PM

    Wonk, I love where we are but nothing is a lock after 98 games.

  166. A DC Wonk - Jul 27, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    JD said… I disagree on Morse. I think he is a game changing offensive player and he's relatively cheap. I don't think we are trading him.I totally agree. Where else can you get a .300 power hitter for $6,750,000 (which is what his contract goes to next year)?The only question on Morse, really, is what happens after his current bargain contract runs out, at the end of 2013, and he becomes a free agent.

  167. Tcostant - Jul 27, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    Fox I couldn't agree more, but the writter took the easy way out compareing LH Gio to El Sid and Darling yo Zimmermann.I've been saying, Sid compares to Zimmermann, because he always had no-hit stuff, but was offen a hard luck loser.While Gio is a steady #2, like Darling.And your right about Gooden in 1985, I hink he was 24-4 and won the pitching triple crown (wins, So and ERA). I also remeber the Mets pushing him to keep his pitch count down by going for less strike outs, which scares me here, because he was never quite as dominating after that (or it could have been those late nights feeding his demons).I'm so exicited to watch these next few years!

  168. A DC Wonk - Jul 27, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    JD said… Wonk, I love where we are but nothing is a lock after 98 games.True. But I'd bet the odds are pretty darn steep in Vegas that the Nats don't even make the wildcard. The stats-geek websites list the odds as "lock."I'm not arguing with you — just saying that that's the way the betting world sees it.

  169. The Fox - Jul 27, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    JD,Thanks, you might be right. I like Morse and he is cheaper and a good offensive player but he is 30 and not too many peak years left unless you say he does not have the wear and tear on him and will last longer. I just can't see him getting a long term contact more than 3 years and they only have him signed thru 2013. Rizzo won't give him away it depends what he gets but I think he is still looking for a lead off hitter and that most likely will be an OF'r so if that is correct Harper stays in the OF and so does Werth so Morse is the logical trade. Who else is going to lead off. Respect your opinion that's my reasoning.

  170. A DC Wonk - Jul 27, 2012 at 6:19 PM

    Re: which scares me here, because he was never quite as dominating after thatGooden was never quite as dominant after that, imho, because he threw way way too many innings at too young an age. At age 19, 20, and 21 he threw 218, 276, and 246 innings. (And that's not counting the post-season in '86).Yet _another_ reason Davey will be so protective of Strasburg's work load.

  171. hiramhover - Jul 27, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    JDSpot starting Moore in exceptional circumstances–and in the absence of solid alternatives–is not the same thing as being willing to trot him out there every day, day after day, esp. when ALR is a solid and proven alternative.There is also, as I said, the question of whether Moore's offensive #s would hold up as a regular starter. I'm not saying they wouldn't, or that I think ALR is a lock to be back next year. But getting rid of him and installing T-Mo at 1B would be a lot riskier than you seem to acknowledge.

  172. JD - Jul 27, 2012 at 6:25 PM

    Wonk, Re Gooden. You are right on the money. Fox, Your thinking does make sense re Morse I just think that his offense will be hard to replace. I don't think Rizzo needs to get an outfielder because he has a pretty good pipelins in that area (Brown, Perez, Goodwin).

  173. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 27, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    JD… I don't totally disagree. Adam is highly respected in the locker room and after carrying the club offensively for the first 2 months,I would rather the club pick up the mutual option and let him make the call.

  174. The Fox - Jul 27, 2012 at 6:36 PM

    DC Wonk,There are probably a few reason for Gooden's downfall but please remember Davey was Gooden's manager. I love Davey and I'm glad he is the Nationals manager but I've mentioned it before he falls in love with some of his pitchers and then over uses them. I think he know this and has made changes but part of the melt down was him calling on his 2 favorite bullpen guys. After words he said I have to trust my other guys and then he said he did trust them but he had to use them. Look on my best day I could never tell Davey anything about baseball that would be useful to him. The man is smart and gets the most that he can from his players and puts them in the best positions he can so that they can succeed. Davey is a chess master thinking not just 2 or 3 innings ahead but games ahead and now he is planning for the post season.Davey likes to win and he know who his best match ups are, he just uses them too often sometimes which is what most managers do. I got to go this board is getting more interesting when the Nats win. Let's hope for more wins.

  175. Tcostant - Jul 27, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    BTW – In any season ticket holder are not going to the game on Suday August 4th, I would love to use your Picnic In The Park vouchers…

  176. JD - Jul 27, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    hiramrover, That's a fair point too and it could be that Morse ends up at 1st base and Moore platoons with Brown in the outfield or ALR could be brought back. Who knows? My point is that fans fall in love with players; GM's can't. You have to keep restocking the team or you wind up with a bloated payroll where everyone gets old together. Oh, the Phillies.

  177. Fear and Ignorance - Jul 27, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    Has anybody noticed HRod's home and away splits??? Pretty stark contrast. Another sign that his problem is most likely of the mental variety. He has basically been lights out at Nats Park.

  178. A DC Wonk - Jul 27, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    The Fox said… DC Wonk, There are probably a few reason for Gooden's downfall but please remember Davey was Gooden's manager.Right. But that was before anyone knew about innings limits on young pitchers (that was cutting edge SABR stuff at the time).I love Davey and I'm glad he is the Nationals manager but I've mentioned it before he falls in love with some of his pitchers and then over uses them.I can't help but think that after research has come out about over-using pitchers, Davey took it to heart. And I'm sure he looked back at his experiences with Gooden and wishes he knew this stuff back then.All the more so, imho, why he doesn't do that now. The innings pitched by the relief corps on the Nats is pretty well balanced, and no more overused than other teams. The innings not pitched by starters are being made up for by 5th and 6th guys in the bullpen, while many other teams rely on four guys to do most of the pen pitching.

  179. hiramhover - Jul 27, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    JDFair enough–I totally agree about not falling in love with players. I'm not so much in love with ALR as I am risk averse–I have a pretty good idea what a full season of ALR next year will look like–T-Mo, not so much.F&I There may be some psychology involved in the home-road splits, but I think it's more to do with small sample sizes. He issues tons of walks and WPs, home and away–too many to justify his 1.20 home ERA for long. And indeed, his FIP and esp. his xFIP show a much less drastic split.

  180. NatsLady - Jul 27, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    Stammen said interesting things in his interview (love that our guys don't always talk in cliches).(1) The 50 Shades of Grey thing was Clippard's idea(2) The veterans saw right away that this was a playoff team, based on the pitching. The young guys, especially those who had been through 2009 and 2010 where not quick to believe–but they do now.(3) He became a sinker-ball pitcher on the advice of McCatty when McCatty was his coach in Syracuse(4) He's not going back to the minors. I don't mean that he's determined not to go back to the minors, he was told he's not going back to the minors and just do your job.So, IMO, if they ship anyone down, it will be Mattheus. And I think that's the correct move because (a) if Storen is up to his standard, you can let Mattheus go for a few weeks; (b) Mattheus needs some rest, he is pretty close to being over used. If there is trouble in paradise, it's got to be pretty recent because just last week Drew was looking for movie tickets for him and Clip…

  181. NatsLady - Jul 27, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    FWIW, Desmond was fourth highest in MLB in WPA (Win Probability Added) before he got injured. Ahead of him were the likes of Joey Votto. WPA rewards clutch hitting, and boy Desi was clutch-squared. (And Desi was the best fantasy shortstop by far.)Eric Karabell says (and I agree) there is no MVP candidate on this team–especially with Desi out–but there is a MOY. Davey has done amazing things…

  182. Section 222 - Jul 27, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    NL, I didn't mean literally trouble in paradise. I'm sure they're still pals. Just thought it was interesting that Storen didn't give the predictable response — "Hey, my buddy Tyler is doing a great job, I'm just glad to be back in the bigs and I'll do anything I can to help the team. It's all about winning the division and then the championship," or some such nonsense. Instead he was very clear that he thought he would close again this year.

  183. JD - Jul 27, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    NL, Mattheus had a spell on the DL about a month ago. He has pitched in 35 innings all year; I don't think he's over used. Having said that if Rizzo is determined to protect Henry at all cost this may be the only option. At the same time; Tuesday is the trade deadline so we'll see what the roster looks like after Tuesday. You never know.

  184. UnkyD - Jul 27, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    JD said…Unkyd,Come the off season this year will be history and the planning for next year will start. If you assume that Harper, Werth and Morse are a lock in the outfield and Corey Brown and Eury Perez are ready to step in then you have to make room for Tyler Moore at 1st base. ALR's option is for $10 million and if you have the horses for the courses why commit that money to this player when you can use it on something else?NatsJack in Florida said…JD…..because of the premium Rizzo and Davey place on defense. Tyler has shown terrific improvement at first but he's nowhere near Adam.——————————-I guess I'm way out in front of myself, but I'm looking as a couple of best case scenarios: 1) Rendon. If he starts in Harrisburg, next year (assuming, of course, that he can get healthy, and continue to rake, including the fall league), we could (possibly) be looking at him being ready to contribute, next year. I have to think, if that happens, Zim will be at least ALR's equal, defensively at 1B, and bless him, he just beats himself up too much, on the hot corner. So, IF Rendon comes up, your lineup improves by putting a (potentially) .300 power hitter, at 3B and another at 1B, with no drop off in defense. And you just got 10 years younger, and maybe extended Zim's healthy usefulness. As for Morse… We're all in love with the guy, but all the reasons to keep and extend him, are better reasons to find him a good home. It's not like he doesn't get hurt, and if you commit more years to him, you have two older fellows locked into your corner outfield spots, with 3-4 young fast guys, who seem to be hitters, on the outside, looking in (and the young guys will be under control, for YEARS). I'm just saying that, Morse is already here, next year, and if we start out with ALR at 1B, those will be 2 prime bits of trade bait, to restock the system with, by next summer, and TyMo and Lombo are awesome off the bench…really starter-grade, and adding great flexibility… The prospect of good prospects is worth way more to the organization, than ten million to keep LaRoche…And get used to this, cause a few years down the road, if our guys turn out to be who we hope they are (pass the kookade, please) we'll be having this discussion about homegrown guys, who we're REALLY attached to… You can't keep everybody, and if you do, poof!! You turn into a bunch of old, gimpy pumpkins, after 10-12 years…..

  185. JD - Jul 27, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    Desmond is far and away the Nats MVP at 3.7 WAR. Zim and Espi are tied for 2nd at 2.1 the LaRoche at 2.0 and Harper at 1.6. Among pitchers SS is at 3.6, Gio is at 3.3 JZimm is 2.4 is 1.6 and Det is at 1.3. (Clippard is 1.0)

  186. JD - Jul 27, 2012 at 8:20 PM

    Unkyd, I think you are dead on although I think you are wildly optimistic on Rendon; he's raking in rookie league right now so that's not indicative of anything. He was slated to play half a year at Potomac and half at Harrisburg this year so if he can get the Potomac piece accomplished this year and if he starts at Harrisburg next year and if he develops well and if he stays healthy (see what I mean) then you could be right. I am also not so sure Zim is interested in moving to 1st. He still considers himself an accomplished 3rd baseman. We'll have to wait and see.

  187. Tcostant - Jul 27, 2012 at 8:21 PM

    If Pittsburg stays in it until September, I think they be send the MVP award there.

  188. NatsLady - Jul 27, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    222, I'm sure Storen does want to close, and I can't blame him for being open about it. Davey said Storen would be his "backup closer" or co-closer or something like that. Gotta be a challenge to manage all these guys' ambitions.

  189. NatsLady - Jul 27, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    JD, I meant NL MVP, like McCutchen or Votto, the mega star who propels a team to the playoffs. With the Nats it's so much more a team effort, which is why I give the nod to Davey over Clint Hurdle (Pittsburgh) but it's close.

  190. baseballswami - Jul 27, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    NatsLady – where was the Stammen interview – can you direct me to it? I have always liked that aw shucks Ohio kid. About Morse – he is 30 but has never been a full time player, keeps himself in good shape. I think he has some time left to play since he was a late bloomer.

  191. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    Not reading thru all the posts, has Lannan been named Strasburgs replacement?

  192. Section 222 - Jul 27, 2012 at 9:00 PM

    Ghost — Nah. That's what everyone's assuming since he performed well in his one start. And Davey did say right after that game, that he'd be happy to have Lannan take over for Stras. But there's also CMW to deal with. It will be interesting to see who starts the doubleheader game on Aug. 3.

  193. Joe Seamhead - Jul 27, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    NatsLady said…Stammen said interesting things in his interview (love that our guys don't always talk in cliches).(1) The 50 Shades of Grey thing was Clippard's idea(2) The veterans saw right away that this was a playoff team, based on the pitching. The young guys, especially those who had been through 2009 and 2010 where not quick to believe–but they do now.(3) He became a sinker-ball pitcher on the advice of McCatty when McCatty was his coach in Syracuse(4) He's not going back to the minors. I don't mean that he's determined not to go back to the minors, he was told he's not going back to the minors and just do your job.So, IMO, if they ship anyone down, it will be Mattheus. And I think that's the correct move because (a) if Storen is up to his standard, you can let Mattheus go for a few weeks; (b) Mattheus needs some rest, he is pretty close to being over used. If there is trouble in paradise, it's got to be pretty recent because just last week Drew was looking for movie tickets for him and Clip…July 27, 2012 3:53 PM———————————————–Yeah, I heard the Stammen piece, too. It was okay, but, [you knew there was going to be a "but" didn't you?], but, those clowns had to get their off the cuff digs in. First was sarcastically stated, "your magic number is down to only 60 games now." The second was ; "Does anybody in Washington even really know who you are?" I say, to quote a famous man of great witt,"That's a clown question, bro". Sports Flunkies is more like it from those guys.

  194. Feel Wood - Jul 27, 2012 at 9:11 PM

    It will be interesting to see who starts the doubleheader game on Aug. 3.There is absolutely no way it won't be Lannan. Unless Lannan gets hurt, that is.

  195. Joe Seamhead - Jul 27, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    I am thinking of starting a call in to their sponsers.

  196. NatsLady - Jul 27, 2012 at 9:38 PM

    Well, right before Stammen they were discussing (and taking calls on) various moves re: the football team, offseason acquisitions/non-acquisitions, strength/importance of the offensive line, stuff that we would discuss if it were spring training for the Nats. I didn't mind that at all. It's just the unceasing focus on RG3 that gets to me.

  197. baseballswami - Jul 27, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    Thanks for the link – good guy. I am sure that he is going to be recognized more and more.

  198. Candide - Jul 27, 2012 at 9:56 PM

    Joe Seamhead said……those clowns had to get their off the cuff digs in…"Does anybody in Washington even really know who you are?" Possible answers (reaching into the New York bag of snark I've carried around all my life):1) "No. Do you have a clue why that might be?2) "No. Hey, you guys are supposed to be investigative reporters; why don't you do a little investigating, find out, and get back to me?"3) "No, because I'm not the Redskins' third-string defensive tackle."4) "If you covered the team with the best record in baseball the way a real sports network would, you wouldn't have to ask that question."

  199. baseballswami - Jul 27, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    My pick would be #4.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 58 49 --
ATLANTA 58 52 1.5
MIAMI 53 56 6.0
NEW YORK 52 57 7.0
PHILADELPHIA 49 61 10.5
Through Friday's games

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SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Orioles at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
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WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 12:35 p.m.
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