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Game 109: Nats at Astros

Aug 6, 2012, 9:00 PM EDT

US Presswire file photo
Minute Maid Park hosts the Nationals the next four nights.

There are no sure things in baseball, where any team can beat any other team on any given day. But as they open a four-game series in Houston tonight, the Nationals probably can't help but believe they should be heavily favored to win each night. The Astros, to put it bluntly, are a train wreck, having blown up their roster over the last month and gone almost entirely with kids in advance of their relocation to the AL next season. This team is 3-21 since July 8.

A Nationals club that opens the final third of the regular season on pace to win 97-98 games will send Edwin Jackson to the mound for the series opener. They'll field what figures to be their regular lineup for the next three weeks or so, with Kurt Suzuki behind the plate, Jayson Werth in the outfield and Danny Espinosa and Steve Lombardozzi manning the middle infield positions.

Though they claimed Cesar Izturis off waivers from the Brewers today, the veteran infielder has not arrived in Houston yet, so the Nats may have to play a man down in this game. Mark DeRosa has been placed on the DL with an abdominal strain.

I'm not in Houston for this series, but I will be heading to Phoenix for this weekend's series. In the meantime, enjoy tonight's game and the conversation…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at HOUSTON ASTROS
Where: Minute Maid Park
Gametime: 8:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 185
Weather: Partly cloudy, 88 degrees, Wind 4 mph out to CF

NATIONALS (65-43)
SS Danny Espinosa
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
LF Michael Morse

Read more »

362 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Zection 3, My Zofa - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:05 AM

    Oh, where's your spirit of adventure, Gonat?: )

  2. NatsFanSinceStart - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:07 AM

    Don't throw Maxwell anything fat, Drew. Curves and sliders are his definitive weakness.

  3. Gonat - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:09 AM

    Yah, Maxwell stinks. Here's what he has done vs. Lefty starters this year:.319/.425/.611/1.036

  4. NatsFanSinceStart - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:09 AM

    WHAT KIND OF SWING WAS THAT????

  5. waddu eye no - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:09 AM

    ok drew. you asked for thisgyfng

  6. NatsFanSinceStart - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:10 AM

    Can't hit the curve — period. Never could, never will.

  7. Eugene in Oregon - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:11 AM

    NatsFanSinceStart said…Anyone heard any talk at all about the Nats plans (or no plans) to re-sign LaRoche. I've heard nor read a thing about it.==========================There have been a couple of posts on the 'Other Nats Blogs' to which this site links; I don't recall exactly where/when. It's going to be a more complicated decision than many people anticipate, getting into questions about Michael Morse's future, plans for CF/leadoff, Tyler Moore's future, etc.

  8. NatsFanSinceStart - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:12 AM

    Too bad Storen just doesnt have his good command. He'll get Pearce.

  9. NatsFanSinceStart - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:12 AM

    Storen is throwing sliders literally 2 feet off the plate!!

  10. Cameron - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:13 AM

    Come on ump.

  11. Gonat - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:14 AM

    Zection 3, My Zofa said… Oh, where's your spirit of adventure, Gonat?: ) August 06, 2012 11:05 PM __________________________________Davey didn't go double barrell and played these guys like chumps in the 6th.After Altuve walked and stole. He needed to go to the rightie then and not Gorzo or used a LOOGY appearance from MGonzalez for the lefty. The scouting report on Maxwell is clear. Don't have him face a LH reliever.This time Davey went with Storen. It didn't work but it was the right matchup this time.Should be a 4-1 or 4-2 game worst case at this point.

  12. NatsFanSinceStart - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:14 AM

    Storen is struggling quite a bit.

  13. Nattering Nat - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:15 AM

    OK gang, before the Nats fall behind, I gotta ask, has anyone noticed how while the Braves are easily putting way teams like the Marlins and Phillies and Astros, the Nats have to make two near-miraculous comebacks to beat the Brewers and Marlins and now, after having outhit the Astros something like 11 to 2 at one point, are struggling to stay ahead? Of course you've noticed. The question is–why? Still young, still learning, still not enough clutch hitters, all of the above?

  14. NatsFanSinceStart - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:15 AM

    Uh, Drew. Can we get a strike tonight? No more room left on those bases, Storen.

  15. NatsFanSinceStart - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:16 AM

    Come on Storen. Change your target when throwing that lousy slider 2 feet outside.

  16. NatsFanSinceStart - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:17 AM

    Haha What goes on? Neither Storen nor Clippard throw fastballs anymore?

  17. Gonat - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:18 AM

    Storen just lucked out. Holy shizzle.

  18. NatsFanSinceStart - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:19 AM

    Oh yeah, baby. As FP said, "Just throw it down the middle and think 'lucky,' baby,"It worked.

  19. Zection 3, My Zofa - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:19 AM

    Had 'em all the way. Honestly, you guys must like being miserable. Don't worry, be happy.It's just a game.

  20. Exposremains - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:19 AM

    Storen very lucky here. This was almost a disaster.

  21. Gonat - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:19 AM

    Davey can't get complacent tomorrow. Can't play them like chumps. Altuve and Maxwell going against a lefty seem to be the only ones you really have to worry about if you make your pitches.

  22. Gonat - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:20 AM

    Drew will face Maxwell a few more times in this 4 game series.

  23. Zection 3, My Zofa - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:21 AM

    I think Storen was really, really pissed about that "strike" zone. McCatty talking to him at length in the dugout after the inning.

  24. NatsFanSinceStart - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:21 AM

    Nattering Nat: In response to your question, I think the best answer to give would be this: That's Baseball.

  25. Swift Eagle - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:22 AM

    No such thing as style points…Drew and Sean put up 0 in the 8th somehow…

  26. Gonat - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:23 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  27. Zection 3, My Zofa - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:24 AM

    Nattering Nat–again, "small sample size" with maybe a touch of "confirmation bias."Ask the Braves about that, in the context of last September. It happens. It's baseball.

  28. Swift Eagle - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:24 AM

    GREAT Post at 11:19pm Sofa…I would hate to watch a game with some of the Legion of Doom…They go from Panic to Celebration on a pitch-by-pitch basis…Tough way to live…

  29. NatsLady - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:24 AM

    Eagle, you got that right. Results, man, results. Would be nice to get Clip a run or two here.

  30. NatsFanSinceStart - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:24 AM

    Zection 3: Nah, Storen was mad that his sliders were 2 feet off the plate. It looked like the ump missed one strike.McCatty was giving him major grief about something, though. Maybe, 'grow up, a little'?

  31. Section 222 - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:24 AM

    Drew has no reason to complain about the strike zone in that inning. He wasn't hitting it. But he got the third out, and that's all that matters now.

  32. Zection 3, My Zofa - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:25 AM

    That, and spoiler teams tend to get up more against the first-place teams.

  33. Gonat - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:25 AM

    Storen needed to throw Maxwell 1 high chase fastball after the 3rd or 4th slider, then go back to the slider if that didn't K him.

  34. NatsFanSinceStart - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:25 AM

    I got a good feeling about this harper at bat.

  35. NatsLady - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:26 AM

    Boy, that place is EMPTY. An echo chamber.

  36. NatsFanSinceStart - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:27 AM

    Harper nearly beat that out!

  37. NatsLady - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:27 AM

    All right, Clip. FOCUS. No fooling around.

  38. Zection 3, My Zofa - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:28 AM

    Here's an idea for the emoticons for half-empty and half-full.Glass half-full: |~|Glass half-empty: |~|OK?

  39. Swift Eagle - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:29 AM

    Lol..you really can hear the Echo..I dont want to say the attendance is low, but instead of a PA guy, they players just go in the stands and introduce themselves to the fans personally…"Hello, I'm Ryan, I'll be playing 3B"…

  40. Zection 3, My Zofa - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:29 AM

    Yes, NatsLady, we are at that point in the game where we can hear that leather-lunged guy behind home plate somewhere, word for word, during Harper's at-bat.

  41. NatsFanSinceStart - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:30 AM

    I wonder if Clip will trust his fastball.

  42. NatsFanSinceStart - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:31 AM

    haha I think Clippard needs some meds.

  43. Zection 3, My Zofa - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:31 AM

    Swift, I hear visiting teams bring a ball to the Astros, and ask if they can have the fans autograph it.

  44. Gonat - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:32 AM

    Thank you Klip!!!

  45. NatsFanSinceStart - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:32 AM

    Batter #1 Fastballs: 2 Off-Speed: 4

  46. Swift Eagle - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:32 AM

    Never try to guess w/Clippard…That's why he's so tough to hit…The only things we know for sure are: 1. Wild Delivery, 2. Major Intensity, and 3. Lots of Finger Licking…

  47. NatsLady - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:33 AM

    He made ZERO attempt to get out of the way of that!

  48. Gonat - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:33 AM

    I hope Harrell isn't going to try to steal.

  49. NatsFanSinceStart - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:33 AM

    Batter #2: changeup — He hits the batter.thus putting the tying run on first. He hit him with a freak'n changeup.Pitches: FB's – 2 Offspeeds: 5

  50. Zection 3, My Zofa - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:35 AM

    NatsLady, he scooted back a little. Not enough, but some.

  51. NatsFanSinceStart - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:35 AM

    Batter #31 fastball3 changeupswalked on 4We have a closer who has lost faith in his FB

  52. Gonat - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:36 AM

    Clippard is making life difficult for himself. Can't throw strikes.

  53. NatsFanSinceStart - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:38 AM

    We have a major, major problem with Clip.His last 6 appearnces have been flaky, to say the least.He doesnt throw the FB because it might be gone.

  54. Zection 3, My Zofa - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:38 AM

    Jackson didn't deserve that.

  55. Nattering Nat - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:39 AM

    Thanks for your answers. Perhaps true, but not satisfying. Some days, it just seems preordained. Not happy. If it were 6-1, happy. Not happy.

  56. Exposremains - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:39 AM

    I dont believe this.truly embarassing even if they win.

  57. Swift Eagle - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:40 AM

    OR…Clipp is following the Scouting Report given to him…All the Nats pitchers have used off-speed tonight,prob not a coincidence…A little surprised no Intentional Walk here…

  58. Secret wasian man - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:40 AM

    awful this terrible team????

  59. Secret wasian man - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:41 AM

    clipp hasnt gone 123 in about a month

  60. Zection 3, My Zofa - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:42 AM

    Thanks for your answers. Perhaps true, but not satisfying.Oh, you want satisfying? Sorry. This is the Church of Baseball. Satisfying is a long-term goal, several seasons at a time.

  61. Joe Seamhead - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:43 AM

    Gonat and NatsFanSinceStart, Maxwell did play on the Maryland Patriots, which was an AAU team primarily put together by one of the heads of BCC Baseball. Though Max played with the Patriots, technically an independent AAU team primarily made up of MCBA players, he never actually played for BCC Baseball's MCBA team. One of the Patriots biggest accomplishments was winning the prestigious " Beast of the East" Tournament. I have never mentioned it here before, but my son also played on the Patriots, and BCC's MCBA team.

  62. Zection 3, My Zofa - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:44 AM

    I was about to post a "Fire McCatty NOW!!!" diatribe, but I figure I'll hold it.

  63. waddu eye no - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:44 AM

    exhaling

  64. Swift Eagle - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:44 AM

    Some serious "Football Fan Mentality" on here tonight…and of course, Doom and Gloom…How many games to the Nats have to win before some of you are expecting GOOD things to happen???

  65. Zection 3, My Zofa - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:44 AM

    OKAY!! Free Baseball!

  66. Swift Eagle - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:44 AM

    HAHA Sofa…AWESOME!!

  67. Secret wasian man - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:44 AM

    too little to late. Our bats have done nothing tonight also. Shouldn't be this hard. but it seems like it always is

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

    Ok, new game. Now, how about a few hits other than singles?

  69. Gonat - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:45 AM

    Zofa, first of all, Nats offense only getting 4 runs off of these chumps stinks and that 6th inning handling up 4-0 wasn't handled well.Could be going back to the hotel winning 4-2 or 4-3 now.Just sayin'

  70. Exposremains - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:47 AM

    I dont know if its the pitchers adapting to Suzuki but they all look awkward and different when pitching to Suzuki.

  71. Secret wasian man - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:47 AM

    we play to the level of competition.

  72. SonnyG10 - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:47 AM

    I hate Clip in the closer's role. Too many change-ups. He gets by by trickery and the hitters just have to sit on a change-up because you're going to get one 98% of the time. Argggggg!!!

  73. happy 2 pylon - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:47 AM

    Secret wasian man said…clipp hasnt gone 123 in about a monthme neither. you?

  74. Nats212 - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:48 AM

    Im no doom and gloom, but why did clippard take so long to use his FB?

  75. Gonat - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:49 AM

    In most stadiums you here echos like this after a 2 hour rain delay and the stadium empties out.

  76. A DC Wonk - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:49 AM

    Houston: 0-9 in extra innings this year

  77. Secret wasian man - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:50 AM

    wow! are guns are really crushing today. NOT Just lose already. Total dissapointment.

  78. Swift Eagle - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:51 AM

    Nats212 said… Im no doom and gloom, but why did clippard take so long to use his FB? August 06, 2012 11:48 PM ________________________________________A good question that I'm sure will be asked by the reporters after the game..My guess is it's the Scouting Report on the Astros hittersBlown Saves happen to everyone, Clipp's good has far outweighed his bad. Way too soon to pull him from the role..

  79. Gonat - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:51 AM

    Secret wasian man said… we play to the level of competition. August 06, 2012 11:47 PM ________________________________It happens. A "W" against a lousy team counts the same as a "W" against a great team.Shouldn't come down to this.

  80. Exposremains - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:52 AM

    I think the team came to this series thinking its gonna be a piece of cake. They look unprepared and lack energy.

  81. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:52 AM

    I thought the Astros bullpen was suppose to be terrible. We haven't come close to a hit against them. Our bullpen outside of Mattheus have all pitched terrible. I wish Clippard would pitch a lot more fast balls. they were all good, and his change up caused nothing but problems eexcept right after a fast ball. He never did figure that out.

  82. Swift Eagle - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:53 AM

    Secret wasian man said… wow! are guns are really crushing today. NOT Just lose already. Total dissapointment. August 06, 2012 11:50 PM ______________Help me out here, Do you want the Nats to win, or do you want them to lose?? Getting hard to tell…

  83. Eugene in Oregon - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:53 AM

    wow! are guns are really crushing today. NOT Just lose already. ==============================Anyone know what this means?

  84. Secret wasian man - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:53 AM

    STAMMEN???? goodnight everybody

  85. mick - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:53 AM

    I try to stay positive and have been pretty good the last few weeks. But blowing any lead to team that is so terrible with less than 20 people watching is not good. I am very down on Clip right now.

  86. NatsLady - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:53 AM

    Stammen limping on his way to the mound. I bet he's hurting.

  87. A DC Wonk - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:54 AM

    Secret wasian, what's with you? Just making stuff up? Why? What's the point? Just to annoy?Clippard went 123 for a ninth inning save 4 times in the last two weeks: July 24, 25, 28, and again just last Sunday, Aug 3

  88. Joe Seamhead - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:55 AM

    This game has been very frustrating. We stranded way too many guys earlier.Now we really must buckle down and win this.

  89. Swift Eagle - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:55 AM

    Hang in there Mick…You've been doing so well…dont have a Josh Hamilton relapse on us now!!

  90. Gonat - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:55 AM

    It is so empty there it sounds like a sound check 3 hours before game time.

  91. Secret wasian man - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:56 AM

    eugene. Its a sarcastic way of saying the 3-5 spots are not hitting the ball well. Sorry if you are confused.

  92. Drew - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:56 AM

    I just don't understand the pitch selection early in the counts.Be aggressive. Throw strikes. Get ahead. Then make the hitter expand the zone.

  93. Nats212 - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:56 AM

    swift, i don't think we should take him out of the closer role, I just don't get it. that change up to altuve was stupidy, he had just made a great change up down in the zone, the obvious thing was…go heater up!

  94. mick - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:56 AM

    remember Braves did lose one to Astros in Atlanta, so maybe I should not be that down

  95. mick - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:57 AM

    very nice Mr Stammen, now come on guys, lets get at least 1 in the 11th

  96. Swift Eagle - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:57 AM

    Eugene in Oregon said… wow! are guns are really crushing today. NOT Just lose already. ============================== Anyone know what this means? August 06, 2012 11:53 PM ________________________________________HAHA Eugene..Nobody knows…

  97. Gonat - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:57 AM

    Come on Nats. Lets get some runs here and put this away.Shark is leading off!

  98. Secret wasian man - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:58 AM

    Swift, I always want NATS to win. Just a bit frustrated. Sorry.

  99. Eugene in Oregon - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:59 AM

    If this turns into one of those 17-inning games, two questions:– Which position player (currently on the field, obviously) ends up pitching an inning?– Which starting pitcher comes in to play outfield?

  100. Swift Eagle - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:00 AM

    I agree, Clipp's performance/pitch selection should be questioned…but some of the dopes on here are ready to throw him off the team…Clipp has been one of the best closers in the NL all season, and they all blow saves sometimes….

  101. NatsLady - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:01 AM

    LOL, Astros!!!!

  102. Swift Eagle - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:01 AM

    The Bad News Bears have arrived!….That Kelly Leak is a Bad Mutha….

  103. Swift Eagle - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:02 AM

    If you're scoring at home….Just write "Astros Stink"

  104. Exposremains - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:02 AM

    Wow that's a bad team. Astros completely lost it. Like a circus.

  105. Joe Seamhead - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:02 AM

    WOW! I haven't seen that before.Horrible defense by Houston.

  106. Eugene in Oregon - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:03 AM

    Good planning; just like the manager drew it up.

  107. Swift Eagle - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:03 AM

    Imagine what the Legion of Doom on the Astros Blog must be like…

  108. Drew - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:04 AM

    Clown play, bro.

  109. Exposremains - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:06 AM

    The lombo and tracy at-bats were almost as bad as the Astros play.

  110. Swift Eagle - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:06 AM

    Eugene, I think LaRoche would pitch and Stras in the OF since he wont pitch in the series…Just a guess though…What do you think?

  111. Joe Seamhead - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:08 AM

    Suzuki ending up on third from a ten foot popup bunt is just too funny!

  112. Swift Eagle - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:09 AM

    I've seen a lot of unearned runs, especially by Nats opponents in 2008 and 2009, but never one that was more unearned than that one…

  113. happy 2 pylon - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:11 AM

    Swift Eagle said…If you're scoring at home….Just write "Astros Stink"if i was scoring at home, i wouldnt be watching the game. or reading thislets win this and laugh about it tomorrow.

  114. mick - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:11 AM

    funniest play I have seen in 30 years, hands down, lol. wat makes it really funy was watching the 3rd baseman, what was he doing

  115. Eugene in Oregon - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:11 AM

    Swift Eagle: Definitely Mr. Strasburg to the OF, both for his bat and because he just pitched yesterday.Mr. LaRoche is out of the game, so he can't pitch. Maybe Bryce Harper? Don't know if anyone else has any experience, but it can't really be any of the infielders, as there's no one to take their positions.

  116. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:13 AM

    The Astros tried to give us a second run, but we had 3 batters (the first two who refused to accept it).When a man is on third no out, you do not wing at the first pitch unless you can elevate it to the outfield. Not only did Lombo chip the first pitch into the group Tracy did too. Any pitch you chopped into the group cannot be elevated so you had no business swing at it. That to me is poor hitting and not thinking at all.Espinosa did his usual thing swung hard and this time made no contact on strike 3.

  117. Swift Eagle - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:14 AM

    You're right Eugene, it would have to be an OF…Besides, didn't ALR have the bad shoulder last year? No need to chance it…Hoping we don't find out

  118. Swift Eagle - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:17 AM

    When you're coaching defense v. a bunt…"Florida" means the 1B charges and "Toronto" means the 3B charges…And when 3 guys collide in the infield, it's now called "Houston"

  119. Joe Seamhead - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:18 AM

    Two down!

  120. Nats212 - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:18 AM

    Great joke swift!!

  121. Joe Seamhead - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:19 AM

    Good one, Swift!

  122. Joe Seamhead - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:21 AM

    Where's (Good) Henry when we need him?

  123. Exposremains - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:22 AM

    does the bullpen have 3 months left in them?

  124. Drew - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:22 AM

    For God's sake. You are up 0-2 and you walk the winning run to the plate.T.F.S.!!!!!

  125. kgwcoach - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:23 AM

    Hohum Just another 1 run win. How boring!

  126. Joe Seamhead - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:23 AM

    23 over.500!

  127. Swift Eagle - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:24 AM

    I'll repeat my post from 11:22pmNo Such Thing As Style Points…A Curly W is in the books…

  128. Gonat - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:24 AM

    Oh my…..are you kidding me. Kardiac Kids and Keystone Kops.

  129. SonnyG10 - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:24 AM

    Shouldn't have been that hard, but I'll take it.GYFNG!!!

  130. Eugene in Oregon - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:24 AM

    Take the win and get some sleep, but too bad Edwin Jackson didn't get a W.

  131. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:25 AM

    An ungly win is better than a pretty lost. Where is my Malaax?

  132. NatsLady - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:25 AM

    Tried as hard as we could to give this one to the LAstros, but they just wouldn't take it! Whew.

  133. Gonat - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:26 AM

    Another 1 run win!

  134. Swift Eagle - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:27 AM

    I hate to admit it, but the Legion of Doom made some good points tonight… Some questions need to be asked to the bullpen guys about the pitch selection…A lot of nibbling and off-speed stuff against a really bad team…

  135. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:28 AM

    I am not throwing Clip under the bus. He has been reasonably reliable less os lately.However you cannot throw a change up until you throw some fast ball.s His fast ball was his best pitch tonight, and he was afreaid to use it for some reason.

  136. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:29 AM

    Post of the day goes to Drew for:"Clown play, bro."

  137. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:31 AM

    "WOOOOOOOOOO-HOOOOOOOOOO!!"(Copyright, MicheleS, 2011)Extra inning win on Tuesday!

  138. Joe Seamhead - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:32 AM

    We had 14 hits, 8 more than them, they had 3 errors,and we out scored them by one run? Surreal!

  139. mick - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:32 AM

    Lombo and Tracy's at bats concern me with zero out sanda runner at third.also, I told some of you that we would always see the Shark late in the game. He had a big hit, great base running and a great play in the field. this is a great role for the shark

  140. Swift Eagle - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:35 AM

    Good points Mick…Especially Tracy. His role is to be the veteran bat off the bench who provides a quality AB late in close games…It is THE reason Davey has him on the team…

  141. NatsLady - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:36 AM

    OK, can't shut Stras down after this, right?????(Kidding).

  142. NatsLady - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:40 AM

    If the Barfs didn't get Kardiac arrest watching this one—!!!! We need the TV cameras in their clubhouse to see some Major League cussing. Never mind Ozzie, you wanna hear some serious cussing—???

  143. Swift Eagle - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:40 AM

    Haha Nats Lady…and Corey Brown would have caught the JMax triple, and Rendon would have hit 4 HRs, and obviously….Fire Eck!

  144. Section 222 - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:43 AM

    That was one wacky game. I switched over to watch some Olympics so was behind on the DVR and had to bow out of watching the comments here or following Twitter. Pretty tough to do, but I'm glad I did it because to fully enjoy that game winning run, you had to be surprised by it. It was like little league out there, so totally bizarre I still can't quite believe it happened. I will take this crazy win and hope the guys take it as a sign that nothing is going to be easy, even against the lowly Astros.

  145. baseballswami - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:43 AM

    I really thought I could just ignore it and go to sleep. Not. I will pay for this tomorrow. I believe someone posted earlier that this team was basically a AAA team. O really? Maybe they will get a little more up tomorrow. Wake up call? But then again, they had lots of hits, pitchers only gave up four in 11. Great July, awkward August so far. Hate seeing our pitchers have to struggle with a new catcher from waaay outside the organization , division and league.

  146. The Fox - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:45 AM

    Hey look whose tied for the best record in baseball?How can this team be that bad and have the best record ;-).Hope sawami is all right I know how these game get to him.Did I mention I hate Houston.

  147. Drew - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:46 AM

    Thanks, Sunshine. Just win, baby.Since July 5 the Braves are 22-7 and the Nats are 19-11.Both of these dandy teams must be frustrated that they can't run away with this thing.Think of what's at stake. One of these clubs will line up its pitchers for a playoff series. The other will put a great season on the line in a one-game playoff.Gotta get that division title.

  148. djinFl. - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:47 AM

    Do not forget that the Astros play right at .500in thier park. So if they battle us to some one run game, that is fine as long as we are the team with one more.

  149. Swift Eagle - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:49 AM

    Davey just said that the small ballpark was the reason for all the off-speed stuff tonightPitchers get intimidated by the short porches…They'll adjustAt least that explains it

  150. baseballswami - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:51 AM

    And many thanks to Craig Stammen. He has five wins as a reliever. Those late wins.

  151. Eugene in Oregon - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:54 AM

    We had 14 hits, 8 more than them, they had 3 errors,and we out scored them by one run? Surreal!===================Yes, but the Nats' 14 hits were all singles. Astros had 12 total bases, given a double, triple, and HR (plus five singles).

  152. Swift Eagle - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:55 AM

    Tuesday's Atl v Phi starting pitchers are Minor v. Hamels….Colebert has to win that match up doesn't he?

  153. The Fox - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:58 AM

    Eugene,That's why batting avg. is an overrated statistic. Drew,Can the Braves continue to win at at 75% clip?If they do I tip my hat to them. The Nat's are playing at a 63% clip which is at least close to their record.

  154. NatsLady - Aug 7, 2012 at 5:01 AM

    Colbert is pitching tomorrow for the Fils. OK. Pitch good, man. Hate you and your team, but. Pitch good tomorrow.

  155. baseballswami - Aug 7, 2012 at 5:01 AM

    14 hits. Pitchers only gave up 4 in 11. Really should not have felt so ugly. The guys didn't even look happy at the end.

  156. Eugene in Oregon - Aug 7, 2012 at 5:05 AM

    Fox,Exactly. And I've got to believe that the Nats — who are solidly in the upper half of the NL in doubles, HRs, and SLG% — will do better in the rest of this series.Concur on the winning-percentage point; the Braves' recent hot streak is not sustainable through September.

  157. The Fox - Aug 7, 2012 at 5:07 AM

    One last thing before bed. Was the official scorer Suzuki mother? That had to be a FC. FP saw it, Bernie was dead at second if someone threw it there instead of down the first base line. I guess the official scorer did not want to tack on another error. I don't think I've seen anything like that even from the Nat's in the lean years.

  158. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 7, 2012 at 5:07 AM

    Just for the record Nats Lady complained "he didn't try and get out of the way/" That was the hut by pitch in the 9th by Clippard. According to the rule book you do not have to get out of the way. it only sayd you cannot ,ove to get in the way. Says nothing about moving to get out of the way. One of those myths we always hear about.That is why I always complain when a hitter having trouble gets out of a breaking balls way. Just stand there and get hit.

  159. baseballswami - Aug 7, 2012 at 5:23 AM

    And the Barves keep on winning. But at least they don't go to bed happy after they check the Nats score.There is some seriously strange mojo going on lately. Those chicken sacrificer people might want to get going again. I know on paper it looks fine when you see four out of five, but if you are watching, then you know that's it's been quite an adventure. And against losing teams, too. Late night – wide awake and Arizona and SanFransisco in our future. ugh. Go Nats!!

  160. #4 - Aug 7, 2012 at 5:33 AM

    Catching up from the west coast. 1. When the game was over, we had one more than they did. That's what matters.2. In 1983, the Tigers and the Orioles were locked in a similar pennant race. The Tigers went 22-10 over their last 32 games. It should have been good enough, right? Wrong. The O's went 29-3. As a former Tigers fan, it still hurts.3. Zim moved to 3rd at UVa because of Mark Reynolds, not the other way around.4. Calling the Astros a AAA team is an insult to every guy on their roster. They are in the big leagues. Treat them with respect. If you put the Astros in the International League, they win the pennant going away. They are not a great team, but don't say ridiculous things about them.5. Rendon won't find the AFL much of a challenge? Are kidding me? The AFL has the best prospects in MLB. He won't even be among the best five players on his own team. The idea that a guy takes 100 minor league ABs and is ready to dominate the AFL is ludicrous.That is all.

  161. Section 222 - Aug 7, 2012 at 5:37 AM

    According to the rule book you do not have to get out of the way. it only says you cannot move to get in the way. Says nothing about moving to get out of the way. Right. Remember that walk off HBP by Gomes against the Phillies last year? He stood there and let the ball hit him in the arm and then gave a look at Lidge like "you stupid idiot." Classic.

  162. Zection 3, My Zofa - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    Official rulePer baseball official rule 6.08(b), a batter becomes a baserunner and is awarded first base when he or his equipment (except for his bat): is touched by a pitched ball outside of the strike zone, and he attempts to avoid it (or had no opportunity to avoid it), and he did not swing at the pitch.[1]If all these conditions are met, the ball is dead, and other baserunners advance if they are forced to vacate their base by the batter taking first. Rule 5.09(a) further clarifies that a hit by pitch is also called when a pitch touches a batter's clothing.[2]In the case where a batter swings and the pitch hits him anyway, the ball is dead and a strike is called.[3] If the batter does not attempt to avoid the pitch, he is not awarded first base, and the pitch is ruled either a strike if in the strike zone or a ball if out of the strike zone. In practice, umpires rarely make this call.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 55 44 --
ATLANTA 55 47 1.5
MIAMI 48 52 8.0
NEW YORK 48 54 8.5
PHILADELPHIA 44 58 12.5
Through Thursday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
FRI: Nats at Reds, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Reds, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Reds, 1:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
THU: Phillies 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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