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A capital comeback

Aug 5, 2012, 5:00 AM EDT

US Presswire photo
Danny Espinosa rounds the bases following his go-ahead homer in the eighth.

This was a moment everyone in the crowd of 33,449 had been waiting to experience, some of them since hopping on the Nationals bandwagon this summer, some of them since first adopting this club when it arrived in Washington eight years ago, perhaps some since first attending a ballgame played by one of the District’s two previous franchises decades ago.

This was a moment young players like Bryce Harper and Tyler Moore have wanted to be a part of but hadn’t been around long enough to witness first-hand.

This was a moment veterans on the roster, guys like Jayson Werth and Adam LaRoche, have been a part of before, in other towns.

And this was a moment Danny Espinosa could only hope he’d get to enjoy at the end of what had been shaping up to be one of the worst nights of his baseball career.

When Espinosa clubbed Mike Dunn’s 2-2 slider over the left-field bullpen in the bottom of the eighth inning Saturday night — the defining blow of what became a six-run rally that propelled his team to a stirring, 10-7 victory over the Marlins — Nationals Park experienced a scene like never
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  1. NatsLady - Aug 5, 2012 at 5:47 AM

    From the Sun-Sentinal:Dunn blew it on a night his team’s offense was unexpectedly good. Sans Emilio Bonifacio and with several others ailing, the piecemeal batting order scored five runs (four earned) on seven hits in five innings against Ryan Zimmermann. Since June 27, Zimmermann had allowed five earned runs in seven starts.Who is Ryan Zimmermann?

  2. Jim Webster - Aug 5, 2012 at 7:21 AM

    NatsLady: He's a construct of the Sun-Sentinel.

  3. Eugene in Oregon - Aug 5, 2012 at 7:45 AM

    Watched the first three innings live, then had to depart for an evening engagement. Started watching the replay around 11:30 p.m. (my time) and was convinced that an earlier post I had made in which I compared the Marlins' line-up to a Spring Training split-squad B team had jinxed things. Obviously delighted with the comeback. But also hopeful that some sloppy play over the past five or six games will be deep-sixed by the momentum that (I hope) has now been generated.P.S. – Not a big bobblehead fan or collector, but wish I could be there tomorrow to get the Michael Morse one they previewed on TV. He'd look great next to our Ryan Zimmerman and Dmitri Young.

  4. MicheleS - Aug 5, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    So couldn't post last night, Phone died about 6 o'clock at the game and was too drained by the time i got home.Comments on Picnic in the Park. I had fun. Didn't participate with the Masses on the Autograph or Photo hunts, Instead, Enjoyed the Stars & Stripes club, Davey's Q&A was hilarious, and watched all the other events from the comforts of the AC (although I did go down into the Presidents club to see how the other half lives – man I need to win the lottery)! The guys did a really great job. Heard Stras did the kids story time and read them Bearenstein Bears. OH to listen to that! The one thing I didn't like were the AutoGraph hounds that complained about Players not signing after their session was over (one older lady heckled Jayson). Most of the guys (including Jayson) had been out on the HOT field playing with the kids for most of the afternoon. All in all, I had a great time, wish they could do it earlier in the season when it's not so freaking hot!

  5. MicheleS - Aug 5, 2012 at 11:36 AM

    On the Game..Jose Reyes -GEESH, can you pull you hammy soon?I saw some of the doom and gloom posts..and GEESH.. save your complaining until the end of the game – you know when it is actually over. I was so pumped when Danny hit that homer! WHAT A BOMB. Glad he got a chance to redeem himself after the erros, sometimes I just don't think he knows the strength of his arm.I Heart Adam LaRoche! Will be sporting the shersey at today's game! I was sitting on the 3b side last night and had the perfect view of Ryan's throws to 1b. Oh My, RZ owes ALR a gold glove. there were so many times that I thought ALR was going to be creamed by the oncoming runner. He has no fear.like SJM.. I am on my 5th game in 1 week. GYFNG!!!! Lets Fry the Fish 1 more time today!!!

  6. MicheleS - Aug 5, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    Oh.. almost forgot..WOOOOOOO FREAKIN HOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

  7. slidell2 - Aug 5, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    Was there. I recall that the catcher went out towards the mound in the 8th when Dunn was clearly in trouble, looked towards his dugout, opened his arms questioning, then went back behind the plate! Ozzie was probably so mad and too busy cussing to do what needed to be done.

  8. Joe Seamhead - Aug 5, 2012 at 11:56 AM

    MicheleS, we went for the Picnic in the Park. They need to work on it, but we made the most of it. We were in on the Q&A with Davey, too. Really enjoyed that.Davey was great afterwards about signing autographs. I'm a Grumpy Old Man of Baseball, never was into wearing a player's name on a jersey, but I sort of broke my own rule a couple of weeks ago and got a jersey made in the team store a couple of weeks ago with "JOHNSON" and the # 5 on it. I was as giddy as a little kid in the old Senator's Knothole Club yesterday, because Davey autographed it. Now I don't know whether to wear it, or hang it the wall.

  9. baseballswami - Aug 5, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    I heard that lots of the bullpen guys were being asked to sign a certain book?

  10. MicheleS - Aug 5, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    Yes Swami, they were, however the best comment of the day came when Det, DeRosa, and Beast were doing a fan Q&A on the dugout.A little boy with squeaky voice asked Morse how he got the name Beast. Michael explains the story with Ian and the Beast Mode t-shirts. The little boy then asked "Is that why you are so hairy?" Micheal almost fell out of his chair. Everyone that was watching just busted up laughing.

  11. Faraz Shaikh - Aug 5, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    what book? 'shades of grey'?

  12. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 5, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    On the negative posts here yesterday….. I, for one, reached a frustration level beyond any previous level due to the fact that the Nats continue to allow a severely inferior team (the Fish) endless opportunities to kick their butt. The errors especially threw me over the edge. Hopefully, today, the Nats will play better for a full 9 innings and can take the season lead over this dysfunctional organization.

  13. MicheleS - Aug 5, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    NatsJack, One thing i thought about with the Fish, is this -of all the NL East teams- has had our number for years. We have always played the Braves and the Phillies tough, but for some reason the match up with the Fish is always the worst. I agree on the errors, I can only imagine what they did to even the most staunch supporters. During the game, I kept wondering what the heck was going on with Lombo/Espi, and just kept doing the silent prayer for Ian's oblique. My GEESH comment was directed at the Legion of Doom (Swift, great name) that only shows up when we are behind.Did you get the Pic Tweet of Davey?

  14. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 5, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    Hey Michele…. yes, and thanks. Davey is a "what you see is what you get" sort of guy on the outside but a sly old fox when you dig a little deeper.

  15. MicheleS - Aug 5, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    Just a programming note, since I am sure they will play it 1000 times today.The ESPN Sunday Conversation is with Davey and Tim K (so you know it's good).

  16. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 5, 2012 at 12:59 PM

    NatsJack, it's not only the physical errors, it's the mental errors.That includes pitchers not looking at baserunners, catchers calling poor games, batters swinging at first pitches out of the zone.TheThe Nats were reminding me of 2009 last night. Nats looked

  17. Laddie Blah Blah - Aug 5, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    "The errors especially threw me over the edge."The Nats seem to be extremely inventive in coming up with new ways to deny Jordan a win, even when they score 10 runs! The game should never have come down to that great 8th inning rally.That inning seemed like an exorcism. Maybe it finally drove out the fish demon, once and for all. If they can win 3 of 4 from the Marlins, the Nats will actually be ahead in this year's season series with the fish monster.Danny got 5 pitches in that last AB. The first 4 were way off the plate, but he swung, and missed, at 2 of them, regardless. The 5th pitch must have been a mistake, because it was a hanger over the middle of the plate, knee-high, right in Danny's sweet spot. The way they have been getting Danny out is with pitches way out of the zone. If that pitch had been a foot further inside, chances are Danny probably would have tried to crush it, and would have missed it by 6 inches.Thank goodness the other guys finally made some mistakes that the Nats could capitalize on. And you have to give Danny credit for making the most of the opportunity, at just the right time.These Marlins are no competition for these Nats, or shouldn't be. Same for the Astros, next up. The Nats are facing weak sisters for much of the rest of their schedule. They need to put those teams away. They seem to play up, or down, to whomever they are playing, in any given series.If they play to their talent level, they will win the NL East, going away. I think they will, but I wish they would just get on with it. Maybe the nail-biters are good for the young guys – you know, the character-building stuff. But us old guys are susceptible to heart attacks, strokes, and stomach problems, and we are grouchy.How about those Nats' rookies? I was more impressed with Harp's dinger than with Danny's. Danny hit a cookie, but Harp adjusted his swing to crush a pitcher's pitch that had been frustrating him for weeks, the slow breaker in on his hands. He looked a little like Ichiro in swaying away from the pitch and catching it flush on the barrel. Some piece of hitting from a 19 year old rook.

  18. sjm308 - Aug 5, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    Good Morning everyone!Natsjack – Its funny, but I read your comments and see them as constructive rather then the "legion of doom" that swift eagle so aptly named those that just pop up during losing time. If you have a gripe, I think we know where your heart is.Michelle, Seamhead etal – I just could not put my spousal equivalent through 7 hours of Nationals Park. What did you guys do during the break from 4:30 till game time? Did they let you leave the park? I would have loved to have been able to go onto the field, was that possible?I also vote for this in the spring when the weather is a little more bearable, but it is still a great idea.Seamhead – this will cost some money but get that jersey framed after we win the World Series with a small plaque or try and get a picture of you and Davey as well. That is a memory that will be worth something!Go Nats!!

  19. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 5, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    Laddie Blah Blah said… "The errors especially threw me over the edge."The Nats seem to be extremely inventive in coming up with new ways to deny Jordan a win…On a week where Sports Illustrated put JZim #1 on their Cy Young list, it was time for JZim to shine with the spotlight on him. In JZim style as a master of inducing ground balls for doubleplays this season he did just that in the 2nd. Danny had a tailor made inning ending doubleplay and threw it away. It led to 1 earned and 1 unearned and 11 extra pitches thrown.Then Danny made a good play on a Reyes grounder and threw the ball above LaRoche's reach. Unfortunately the official scorer scored it a single which meant any subsequent hits that would score him and the runner who would have been on 3rd would be earned.JZim's rhythm was toast and the 2 errors cost him another 20 to 30 extra pitches. His streak of 6 inning starts ended, his streak of quality starts ended, his 2 earned run or less streak ended. You have to wonder what effect this game will have on the future of Jordan Zimmermann. Did Danny cost Jordan Zimmermann a Cy Young in that game?Yes, the bigger picture was the Nats won tonight but how will JZim come out for his next start?

  20. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 5, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    Should have said: any subsequent hits that would have score him (Reyes) as if he was on 1st.

  21. mick - Aug 5, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    If Strass has big day, Nats 22 over, another historic first since 1924, the 1933 team was never 22 over

  22. mick - Aug 5, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    anyone who was at park last night, what a memory!!

  23. UnkyD - Aug 5, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    Ghost, I think he'll come out strong. That's why we call him The Bulldog…And Laddie… I LOVE the "Excorcising the Fish Demon"… I'll buy that!!! As far as "up to, and down to" though…. 21 games over….just saying they've played a lot mor "up to", at this point…..

  24. Doc - Aug 5, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    Of all the Nat's players, this was best done by Danny. There's a lot of lightning in that bottle, if only he could learn to plug it in.GooooooooooooEspi!!GoooooooooooooooooNats!!!!!

  25. MicheleS - Aug 5, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    Oh. .Unkyd.. you had post of the night when you said this:UnkyD said… Since Start: thpbbbbbbbbb!!!!!!!!Looking funny EEYORE!!!!!! hAHAHA!!!

  26. Joe Seamhead - Aug 5, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    sjm308 saidSeamhead – this will cost some money but get that jersey framed after we win the World Series with a small plaque or try and get a picture of you and Davey as well. That is a memory that will be worth something!sjm308, at around 60, I'm new to the signed jersey thing! Like I said, do I wear it now, or immediately put it away? It's funny, when I was a kid I was given a broken Joe Pepitone bat at a Yanks/Senators game at was then DC Stadium. I took it home, taped it up, and wore that sucker out!——————————-Though off topic,I brought this post that I made this morning over here from the instant analysis thread, as I thought it was worth repeating.Joe Seamhead said…sjm308, I was at a Phillies game last week, sitting in 311, when in the first inning a guy in a Phillies hat starting booing the Nats. I turned around and told him that " You can't do that here." He said, "Yes I can." I said ,"No, you can't!" and stood up, pointed my finger at him and started yelling, "LAST PLACE PHILLY! LAST PLACE PHILLY! LAST PLACE PHILLY!" Most of sec 311 joined in with the chant, and I said, "No,you can't!" He was "respectful" the rest of the game. This is our house, damn it!

  27. mick - Aug 5, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    from todays Miami Herald sports page… poor Ozzie:Said manager Ozzie Guillen of the turning-point play: “We practice that [expletive] thing from the first day of spring training. We practice that [expletive] 24 [expletive] hours every day. And that was the baseball game right there.”Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/08/05/2933282/miami-marlins-drop-the-ball-during.html#storylink=cpy

  28. natscan reduxit - Aug 5, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    … another – ho-hum – fantastic finish in Nats' history. Wish I'd been there but there'll be more to come in future.… but I need some fan-guidance. I should know this, but I don't. I realise that no player added to the roster after Sept. 1 can play in the post season. And along with all of you, I was quite aware that July 1 was MLB's "trade deadline". But what about Kurt Suzuki? What's his status with the team? I assume he's eligible for October, but what exactly does it mean that he arrived after the deadlne? Just wondering.Go Nats!!

  29. Joe Seamhead - Aug 5, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    Yeah, reduxit, also The Phills' Joe Blanton got traded to the Dodgers yesterday. The trade deadline seems to be a misnomer, [if not a farce].

  30. JamesFan - Aug 5, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    What puzzled me last night was why on earth would Ozzie leave Dunn in that game after the error, after the walk to Werth, after the hit by Lombo, after the hit by Moore. He left in a lefty pitching to Espi who hits much better from the right side? Then he left him in to pitch to Harper after a three run jack? Was this punishment for dropping the ball at first or poor judgment?Poor defense by the Nats early, and Buerlhe was very hittable, but the crowd atmospehere in the 8th was the best I've ever seen at Nats Park. Great, feel good win, actually.

  31. Section 222 - Aug 5, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    Absolutely a fantastic game last night. So glad I went instead of staying in and arguing with pRAA on here. The Nats defensive play was so sloppy that I had a hard time imagining that we'd win the game. I'm actually surprised that four of the five runs Znn gave up were earned. It never seemed like we were out of it though because we kept on squeezing out runs to keep it close. Danny sure redeemed himself in a big way. That home run was one of the most exciting moments at the park I have ever witnessed. The crowd went absolutely berserk. Whatever possessed Ozzie not to bring in a RH pitcher for him? That has to be one of the most boneheaded managerial moves ever. Davey said on the post game that Ozzie was afraid of Tracy coming in to bat, but Tracy might have batted for the pitcher instead of Moore. Once Moore got his hit, there was no reason to leave that guy in against Danny. And then to face Harper too. Crazy. (I hestitate to say it, but reminded me of Davey leaving in Mattheus after he'd given up two HRs.)It was interesting that Davey brought in Clipp with a four run lead. Might have been a moment to test Storen, with Clipp ready just in case. But this is a pennant race. Davey is managing to win ballgames now. Good for him!

  32. DHamm - Aug 5, 2012 at 2:15 PM

    The trade deadliine is neither a misnomer or a farce. However, there really are two "trade deadlines". Anyone can be traded prior to the July 31 trade deadline. After July 31, a player must be put on waivers, and clear waivers, before he can be traded. Suzuki cleared waivers, and the A's traded him.Teams frequently put players on waivers after July 31. They can also "pull back" a player put on waivers. Cliff Lee was put on waivers, but pulled back when the Dodgers claimed him.

  33. Section 222 - Aug 5, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    natscan — Suzuki is eligible for October because he was in the organization as of August 31. Mark had a good (though somewhat truncated) summary of the rule in his video report this past week. FeelWood did some great research on the question a while back. The upshot is that anyone in the organization as of Aug. 31 can play in the postseason, and Davey can construct a new roster for each series. (So, for example, he can beef up the bench (and reduce the starting pitchers) for the World Series to make sure we have our best DH possibilities ready.)

  34. UnkyD - Aug 5, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    YAAAY!!! Post or the night recognition!!! For Nattering…. I've been around here, for a couple of years, now. Those negative clowns used to make my blood boil and my fists clench! Some folks here profess to scroll past anything with certain handles at the top, but I genuinely enjoy them now. Some of it is just the passion of the moment, by the rabid fan (although a few dont seem happy, without something to piss and moan about). Join me, won't you, in keeping it light with our own comments, and not poking the bears when they're cranky. When The Boyz turn it around, like last night, the bears don't mind being poked, so much…. GYFNG!!!!!!

  35. pRAA - Aug 5, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    … but I need some fan-guidance. I should know this, but I don't. I realise that no player added to the roster after Sept. 1 can play in the post season. And along with all of you, I was quite aware that July 1 was MLB's "trade deadline". But what about Kurt Suzuki? What's his status with the team? I assume he's eligible for October, but what exactly does it mean that he arrived after the deadlne? Just wonderingDue to the injury loophole, pretty much any player in the organization at the start of a playoff series can end up on the roster for that series. The Nats have two players on the 60-day DL (Ramos and Kimball) who will serve as the injury slots should the need arise. And assuming Suzuki is still in the organization at the end of the season (which he will be) he can go on a playoff roster.

  36. Joe Seamhead - Aug 5, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    DHamm, I should have phrased that differently. The term "trade deadline" is a misnomer, because of the word "deadline." It confuses many people, along with the rule of not be able to trade a drafted player for one year, which is often done with a wink, under the guise of a "player to be named."

  37. pRAA - Aug 5, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    I'm pretty sure that anyone in the organization at the start of a playoff series is eligible to be placed on a postseason roster, not just anyone who was in the organization on Aug 31st. But practically speaking, since there are no trades allowed after Aug 31st there aren't very many ways to add players to an organization after that. Perhaps a minor league FA signing or somesuch.

  38. NatsLady - Aug 5, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    Apparently Davey still miffed about the ragging on Eckstein. Said in the postgame that the guys are such bombers the hitting coach has to hold them back. I almost had a car wreck I laughed so hard. He is a rip.Phile wood said maybe the Fish relievers weren't warm and the only way Dunn was getting out of the game was to fake an injury. But from his postgame, sounds like Ozzie was punishing his pitcher. He was throwing bp, for which two guys in slumps (Espy and Bryce) say, "Muchas gracias."

  39. NatsLady - Aug 5, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    Apparently Davey still miffed about the ragging on Eckstein. Said in the postgame that the guys are such bombers the hitting coach has to hold them back. I almost had a car wreck I laughed so hard. He is a rip.Phile wood said maybe the Fish relievers weren't warm and the only way Dunn was getting out of the game was to fake an injury. But from his postgame, sounds like Ozzie was punishing his pitcher. He was throwing bp, for which two guys in slumps (Espy and Bryce) say, "Muchas gracias."

  40. UnkyD - Aug 5, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    Oh and, My Bruthas and Sistas, regarding Spinner's challenges at the dish, heave you learned ANYTHING from Desi, and Davey (and ME!) over the last year and a half?! He's young, and he's gonna be awesome, and in a few years we're all gonna be losing sleep over whether we can find enough money to keep him around. In Davey and Rizzo I Trust…..

  41. Bzl. - Aug 5, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    I, too, was there last night, and told my buddy (and the people in front of us) that it was crazy that Ozzie was not turning around Espinosa to the left side. Then BAM! What a moment! I'm in 214, with a full view of Rizzo over my right shoulder; he was beaming and staring right at us as we were all going berserk with joy. Wow, what fun!

  42. #4 - Aug 5, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    From the Captain Obvious file:This team really misses Ian Desmond. If they can just tread water until he returns, they'll be in pretty good shape. I'm really not expecting a lot more than .500 baseball until he does.I'm vacationing and missed the entire game yesterday – even following it on Gameday. It was replaced with seeing the sea lions on 17 Mile Drive in Monterrey, so that wasn't bad though. Nonetheless I'm jealous of those of you who were at the park. Sounds like an amazing game. My question for those of you who saw the game: how did JZ look? Was his velocity and command there? I remain concerned about his shoulder issues given his increased workload.

  43. pRAA - Aug 5, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    Stras needs to pound the strike zone today, just like JZimm, Det and Gio have done lately. Get this game over quick, before the storms hit. I don't want my Mikey Morse bobblehead getting wet.

  44. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 5, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  45. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 5, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    NatsLady @10:30, hard to face Ozzie the way the inning went down, sucks for Dunn. When Ozzie finally had a RH warmed and TyMo stepping in, TyMo hits RH pitching better and Espi has been in a deep slump and Harper the LH was on deck.Let's face it, we have been on the other end of this early in the game. Errors and bloopers. Lombo's hit found a way through and TyMo's hit was a blooper in no man's land. Espi's bat found ball and Harper's was a no-doubter.Ozzie is right, it went back to the error.

  46. #4 - Aug 5, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    One other point I would like to make and forgive me because it is a bit of a repeat from last week. I really struggle with those of you who become irate about physical errors. Baseball is a hard game filled with failure. It's different from the sports of instant gratification – football and basketball. Great players strikeout, make errors, and look awful. I saw others criticizing the "pitch calling" which I find laughable. For anyone on this board to think they have the expertise to question which pitch is called in a given situation is ludicrous. Unless you played several years of professional baseball, preferably as a pitcher or catcher, understanding all that goes into those decisions is way beyond the casual fan. I can tell you that I played and coached enough to know very well what I don't know.It is fair to criticize guys when they are dogging it. I just don't see that much with this team.

  47. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 5, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    Don't get me wrong, but Ozzie is a jerk. I'm not sticking up for him but he is right, it wasn't about his game management, it was about that error.Espi has been swinging for the 500 foot HR for over a week now and the bat met the ball. I'm celebrating the win and the comeback not his consistently erratic play. He is young and I continue to hope as he is "our" shortstop until Desi comes back. People ask me why I stuck by Desmond for all those years and more critical of Espi. The big distinction is that the Nats team was building in the previous years although I still thought the Nats had a chance for the Wild Card last year, the years before that were about building for the future and Desi was the lucky recipient of timing as was Detwiler and Lannan and Stammen.This year can't be about "feel good" and developing while hurting your team. If you develop and can help your team like BHarper, then it works. Espi has been a black hole this year. Lead off yesterday? Werth should have been leading off.Danny is a negative WAR on offense. His swing and eye is bad most of the time. Can he progress? I sure hope so.

  48. Section 222 - Aug 5, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    Since we're sharing "I called it" stories, after Danny's HR when Harper came up, I was talking with the guy behind me about having been on the field for BP on Tuesday. i told him that Harper has a vicious swing. I turned back to the field and on the next pitch, Harper launched his bomb. After we all finished screaming, I turned back to the guy, and said, "As I was saying…"So great to see him get connect with that vicious swing. He's been struggling lately, lots of ground balls to 2B or 1B, which are hard to beat out. Maybe this will help him break out of his slump.On Ozzie's decision, I don't think it can be rationalized. I get that he stuck with his lefty because he'd rather face Moore than Tracy. But with two outs, you have an almost sure out if you turn Espi around. Not a good move to be planning ahead to Harper there.

  49. Section 222 - Aug 5, 2012 at 3:00 PM

    Sure, the error was the beginning of the end, but the Nats got how many two out hits after it? You had a tie game with two outs and a guy who had struck out three times already coming up in Espi. And you want to blame the outcome on an error with one out in the inning? That's lame Ozzie.

  50. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 5, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    Sect 222, Espi I think was 2 for his last 37. Come on, I'm not in Ozzie's brain but I'm thinking the batboy can get Espi out. His hit earlier was a RH defensive type of swing that found grass. Ozzie just saw how he looked against Buehrle.Espi's bat met ball. Harper was on deck. Hindsight is 20/20 and I remember Espi hitting that HR against Kimbrel when he was swinging leftie.Hits happen. HRs happen. Buehrle got 2 hits last night. The error cost the Marlins that game.

  51. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 5, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    Did you all notice Espi didn't get a Gatorade bath.

  52. NCNatsie - Aug 5, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    No Gatorade, Ghost, but the fans behind the dugout, for want of confetti, threw popcorn on him.

  53. mick - Aug 5, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    remember Ozzie from the Ranger Hal show, hee hee?

  54. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 5, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    Popcorn toss is ok and Espi did get a new dugout celebration, a bubblegum shower after the HR, just surpising he didn't get the post-game Gatorade.

  55. mick - Aug 5, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    Ghost that is because there was 1 more inning in the field to play

  56. Section 222 - Aug 5, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    I understand your point Ghost, but Espi's OPS is still 200 points higher against LHP. And errors happen too. You could just as easily say that the walk of Werth was as big a mistake as the error. It put a runner in scoring position after all. Lots of reasons for that loss, and Ozzie's managing is right up there. For Ozzie to blame it on the error is an interesting contrast to Davey taking the blame for the Nats' collapse against the Braves.

  57. Bzl. - Aug 5, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    222, great point on Ozzie vs. Davey. Ass vs. Class.

  58. Laddie Blah Blah - Aug 5, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    "Yes, the bigger picture was the Nats won tonight but how will JZim come out for his next start?"If it was I, instead of Jordan, I'd be fuming for a week. But JZ has weathered this stuff for 2 years now, and come back out, next time, as strong as ever, every single time. He is the strength of the rotation, and the guy Davey would go with if he had to win one game. Me, too.

  59. pRAA - Aug 5, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    I'm not posting today, so now 222 is arguing with Ghost. Guess we know who is the argumentative guy now, don't we?

  60. Laddie Blah Blah - Aug 5, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    Unkyd"As far as "up to, and down to" though…. 21 games over….just saying they've played a lot mor "up to", at this point….."No doubt. But the first part of the season, prior to the ASG, was the tougher half of the schedule, and the Nats dominated, even against the better teams, with the exception of the NYY.It's in the 2nd half where the schedule gets a lot easier, with more home games than away games, more series with losing teams, and where they need to take advantage of a more favorable schedule. Losing 2 of 3 to the dismembered Phils, and then almost losing another 2 of 3 to the dismembered fish, is bad for my digestion. They should be rolling over those teams like road kill.

  61. pRAA - Aug 5, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    BTW, what's your W-L record in arguments, 222? Will you not be satisfied until you turn everyone here into Teddy?

  62. Exposremains - Aug 5, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    NatsjackI agree strongly with your 8.32am comment.

  63. sjm308 - Aug 5, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    Seamhead!!! – we were two rows behind you! You were the man!!! I loved every minute of that and the kid did settle down after that. I am an idiot and thought your away Jersey was a Nick Johnson- so glad you got that signed. I now have to go back and re-read comments after your post but wanted to jump in here to let you know I was looking live at what you did.!Go Nats

  64. sjm308 - Aug 5, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    I am honestly not trying to argue with anyone but when you say anyone in the organization can be chosen for the playoffs, isn't it anyone on the 40 man roster? I still have problems with this even after Mark did a good job on his video. I am also guessing that to be called up after Aug 31st its obvious they are also on the 40 man roster so I guess that is just an assumption everyone makes. The reality is, since Rendon is on the 40 man, he could theoretically make a playoff appearance. I am not suggesting that will happen, I just am trying to figure out the logistics.Thanks in advance for more help on this.Go Nats!!

  65. pRAA - Aug 5, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    No. The eligibility list is set on 8/31 as basically the 25-man plus DLs. At the beginning of each playoff series a roster is assembled from the eligibility list. But if anyone on the eligibility list is injured at that time, their place on the eligibility list can be taken by any player in the organization.

  66. sjm308 - Aug 5, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    thanks pRAA but here then is my question. Strasburg will still be on the 25 man roster on Aug.31 but will be shut down soon after. Do they then have to put him on the DL?, or do they option him to the minors? I am just trying to figure out how it works, and can't get it yet. Please bear with me.

  67. pRAA - Aug 5, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    No they don't need to DL Strasburg, as long as they have several other players DLed then to provide open spots on the eligibility list when the playoffs start. And they will.

  68. Section 3, My Sofa - Aug 5, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    The error on LaRoche's grounder hurt, but all it did was put a slow runner on first with one out. Get the GIDP and you're back in the dugout. The error didn't cost them the game. The walk to Werth hurt more, as was pointed out. Espinosa's HR beat them.

  69. peric - Aug 5, 2012 at 5:47 PM

    I'm starting the LEGION of PATIENCE.Patience with young players and prospects. They aren't going to miracle workers and they haven't been playing for 5 to 10 years like Kurt Suzuki. That has to include Jesus Flores and Ramos when he comes back. It definitely includes olympic champion level athlete Danny Espnosa. And Harper as he adjusts to major league breaking pitches, umpires, and the long grueling season.Even Davey admits he wasn't this patient when he first started managing. But he learned from watching prospects grown before his eyes.

  70. peric - Aug 5, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    No they don't need to DL Strasburg, as long as they have several other players DLed then to provide open spots on the eligibility list when the playoffs start. And they will.If necessary they could move a player like Chris Marerro back to the 60-day DL after reinjuring his hamstring. (Although they are talking about bringing him back in August but I suspect he still needs more time off he was never much of a "speed racer" as Ladson likes to say.) Lots of options. Stras will be in the dugout for the playoffs. And he'll deserve to be there.

  71. peric - Aug 5, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    Did you all notice Espi didn't get a Gatorade bath.But he got pushed out to take a bow by Jayson Werth. Espy is a very serious, super intense athlete. Think Lance Armstrong. You don't douse guys like that. You try to get them to relax as Davey continues to attempt to do.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
x-WASHINGTON 87 64 -- 0
ATLANTA 76 76 11.5
MIAMI 74 77 13.0
NEW YORK 73 80 15.0
PHILADELPHIA 69 82 18.0
Through Wednesday's early games
x-Clinched division title

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
THU: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

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

ON THE RADIO

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

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

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

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