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Game 111: Nats at Astros

Aug 8, 2012, 8:51 PM EDT

US Presswire file photo
The Nats look to make it three in a row tonight at Minute Maid Park.

They've won twice in a row in dramatic fashion in extra innings. Tonight, the Nationals will try to win a game against the Astros in regulation, and in the process improve to 25 games over .500 for the first time.

Jayson Werth returns to the lineup after sitting out last night's game with tired legs. He'll be in right field, which should provide a little less wear and tear. Bryce Harper will be responsible for covering the spacious, treacherous and hilly center field at Minute Maid Park.

Gio Gonzalez gets the start, looking to duplicate Ross Detwiler's seven-inning outing from last night and take some pressure off a Nationals bullpen that has been extended nearly to the limit in recent days.

As you know by now, I'm not in Houston for this series. Enjoy the game and the conversation. And like me, pray the final out is recorded before the stroke of midnight for a change…

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 187
Weather: Indoors

NATIONALS (67-43)
2B Steve Lombardozzi
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche

Read more »

337 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:09 AM

    Why does Davey just sit there, while AHNGEL appears to cheat for the other team? MLB needs to get Hernandez out of there. The guy is not good.

  2. Eugene in Oregon - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:10 AM

    Let's hope Danny Espinosa is telling Gio to clear his mind, repeat his mantra, and focus.

  3. RickH - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:10 AM

    Nice catch, Gio!

  4. Secret wasian man - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:10 AM

    I am no longer nervous. I am pissed. Angle says no catch. he trapped it. jack …….s

  5. Zection 3, My Zofa - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:10 AM

    Honestly, Hernandez has always been a lousy umpire, but rec leagues get better umpires.

  6. Section 222 - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:10 AM

    Unbelieveable. Surprising that Angel hasn't tossed Harper, which would make this completely absurd. Took alot of restraint for Harper not to just go after him. Maybe that bat slamming incident in Miami was good for him.

  7. Gonat - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:11 AM

    Maxwell K's and Angel keeps his hand in his pocket. This is ridiculous. This guy shouldn't be ump'ing real games.

  8. Secret wasian man - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:12 AM

    William o I agree. Although arguing will just make that premadona idoit hernandez get even worse.

  9. Secret wasian man - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:13 AM

    Stop it Fp. We have been cheated out of two runs.

  10. Joe Seamhead - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:13 AM

    Angel is really making me question his integrity.

  11. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:14 AM

    I despise the name Angel Hernandez.

  12. Zection 3, My Zofa - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:14 AM

    Speaking of "put it back in your pocket"–Hernandez isn't going anywhere, and he isn't getting in any trouble for a crappy strike zone, or ringing up a rookie. Just ain't happening. Gio's response to Suzuki getting drilled is how you have to approach this. Davey getting tossed is entertaining, but won't accomplish anything whatsoever as far as improving this guy's umpiring.

  13. rogieshan - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:15 AM

    We've all seen this movie before with Angel. Zero accountability and no transparency with the umpires union. Sad.

  14. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:16 AM

    I am going to say Ryan has moved a couple inches closer to the plate and Houston has decided to pound him inside. Thank you very much.

  15. Secret wasian man - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:16 AM

    we dont score here i cant blame angel. come on

  16. Joe Seamhead - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:16 AM

    A curse on Angel's hemmorroids.

  17. Gonat - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:18 AM

    The cleanup man and the beast can't get balls out of the infield against a reliever who has an opponents BA of over .400

  18. Zection 3, My Zofa - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:19 AM

    That'll haved to do.

  19. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:19 AM

    Mr. Hernandez's father certainly lacked insight or creativity when naming his son. "Hmm, let's name him, Angel…"I heard a story by Dizzy Dean about how he was actually a good runner, like Edwin Jackson and how one game he made a great slide into third but was erroneously called out by the ump. Diz went nuts and turned to the ump, who told him, "Diz, that was the best slide that I ever saw by a pitcher. You did everything right. The throw beat you by such a tiny margin that I almost called it the other way. Great running."Dizzy went off the field so proud of his running that he was surprised when the dugout told him that it was the worst call they ever saw and wanted to know why he didn't argue harder….

  20. Eugene in Oregon - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:19 AM

    Ugly, but accept it.

  21. NatsLady - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:19 AM

    Well, Hernandez takes away, but the Astros give it back.

  22. Gonat - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:20 AM

    Eugene, no kidding. Without a doubt.

  23. rogieshan - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:20 AM

    Poetic justice.

  24. Exposremains - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:20 AM

    you know we can complain all we want about Angel. The fact is the Nats are awful tonight offensively

  25. Grandstander - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:20 AM

    I'm surprised Angel didn't ring Espinosa up on that iBB

  26. NatsLady - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:21 AM

    Win or lose, Rizzo needs to get on the horn to Torre. This is not acceptable. What if Hernandez officiates a playoff game????

  27. Exposremains - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:21 AM

    They're lucky the astros are so bad

  28. Gonat - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:22 AM

    Does Angel hate every team or is it just the Nats?

  29. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:24 AM

    I am not sure, but I have to believe the nats catchers as a whole have to have among the lowest batting average as agroup of any collection in the majors. But they make up for it by not throwing anyone out either. Not sure how we are in wild pitches and pass balls but not too good.So far Suzuki has done nothing at the plate except the goofy bunt to improess me, and guys are on base for him.

  30. ehay2k - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:24 AM

    Angel hates every player because they get all the money but HE has all the skills.

  31. NatsLady - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:27 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  32. Old Wino - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:27 AM

    Great teams overcome evil umpires. This is a great lesson in patience, hopefully Angel will be eliminated soon from the game. Baseball should be about the game, not some umpire with an attitude. Go Nats! We shall overcome! ;)

  33. Eugene in Oregon - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:27 AM

    Seven pitches.

  34. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:28 AM

    Any of you folks still clamoring for Tommy Milone?

  35. Gonat - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:28 AM

    ehay2K, he has missed so many pitches. I think Davey should pinch hit for Bryce. Call it a night and give Shark some innings.

  36. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:28 AM

    I remember in a baseball movie that they claimed that there was one phrase that automatically will get any player, coach or manager kicked out of a game.

  37. NatsLady - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:29 AM

    Gio is mad. He is not going to let Hernandez beat him or his team. Don't forget how protective the boys are of Bryce.

  38. rogieshan - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:29 AM

    Angel Hernandez will be part of a playoff crew, as will his mentor Joe West.

  39. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:31 AM

    the nakor leahues has like 15 or 17 teams of umpires. that is a total of 72 people. OF the 72 I would say 35-40 are terrible. Are you telling me in all the world we cannot find 72 good men and women who have good eyesight and judgement to call baseball games. It can't be that hard. We're a county of about 150 million working adults. Sure we can find 72 real good umpires.In any game they can be bad for us or against us. I want neither I want good umpiring.

  40. Section 222 - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:32 AM

    Harper should have said, "that's a clown call, bro."

  41. Gonat - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:32 AM

    Bryce needs to hit a 500 foot HR here or draw a walk.

  42. Moose - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:33 AM

    I think even Gio is furious with Hernandez. He stormed off at the end of the 6th after making that great catch, and was scowling through the 7th and he mowed everyone down. I kind of like the Angry Gio…

  43. ehay2k - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:34 AM

    OMG, Bryce WALKED! Even more amazing, Angel LET him!

  44. rogieshan - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:34 AM

    Who knew Hernandez tweets between innings?

  45. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:35 AM

    William O. Douglas Loeffler said… I remember in a baseball movie that they claimed that there was one phrase that automatically will get any player, coach or manager kicked out of a game."Clown call, bro?"

  46. Old Wino - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:35 AM

    Angry Gio time! I like it :)

  47. mick - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:38 AM

    angel the freakin a-hole, nuff said

  48. NatsLady - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:38 AM

    I think the Stros gave Harper that walk. Serously–that guy suddenly lost his control? No one likes Hernandez. Wow, Lombo and ALR!!! Nice.

  49. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:39 AM

    Hernandez only called the walk because no one was on. None of the 4 pitches were close, but then again 5 of the previous 6 weren't eitherAll I want is 72 good men or wome to umpire is that asking to much. I don't want them cheating for me or against me. A wrong call is not cheating. More than a few becomes cheating. hernandez has had more than a few this game.TOrre doesn't care anymore with his cushy job. I wah hoping he would clean the game up, but he refuses too.DFA a bunch of the umps.

  50. mick - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:43 AM

    come on GIO

  51. Gonat - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:45 AM

    Exhale…..

  52. Zection 3, My Zofa - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:46 AM

    Just in case you were wondering: No, it's not a meritocracy.From MLB"Special Event selectionASSIGNMENTAll major league umpires are eligible to work any Special Event. The Office of the Commissioner shall have absolute and exclusive discretion in the assignment of umpires to work Special Events. There shall be no restriction on the number of Special Events to which an umpire may be assigned to work in any given year, provided however that an umpire shall not work back-to-back Special Event series (excluding the All-Star Game) and, an umpire shall not work consecutive World Series.NOTIFICATIONUmpires assigned to work the Mid-Summer Classic shall be notified of their assignment not less than 30 days prior to the game. Umpires assigned to work the Division Series shall be notified of their assignment on the next to last Saturday of the regular season. Umpires assigned to work the League Championship Series shall be notified of their assignment on the last Saturday of the regular season. Umpires assigned to work the World Series shall be notified of their assignment on the day after the end of the last Division Series.ROTATIONSix (6) umpires shall be assigned to work each Special Event. Rotation of umpiring positions on the field will be followed in any Special Event that is a series. The Office of the Commissioner shall determine the initial position of each umpire in such series."

  53. Eugene in Oregon - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:46 AM

    So does Gio come out in the 9th?

  54. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:47 AM

    Angel screwed another one the one he called strike 2 to Snyder 4 inches outside. should have been 3-1. I hate when he has the playte. 2 nights in a row terrible umpiring at the plate.

  55. ExposedinDC - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:47 AM

    Don't worry folks we got Gio…..they have Angel

  56. A DC Wonk - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:48 AM

    I hope I'm not jinxing at this point: but this game is a blowout compared to the last two!Just what we wanted, right? ;-)

  57. Eugene in Oregon - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:48 AM

    No one throwing; give him a breather, hitters.

  58. Gonat - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:49 AM

    Bottom of the order for Houston in the 9th

  59. Swift Eagle - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:49 AM

    You know, if all the Nats hitters were hot, and driving in all these runners, the Nats would have a big lead and….We would all be on here worried that there's no way they could sustain this type of play for 2.5 more months….That's what's great about baseball, there's always reason for angst AND hope….Enjoy the ride folks, this is the FUN part…

  60. Eugene in Oregon - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:51 AM

    Was that four pitches? Five? That's not a breather.

  61. Moose - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:51 AM

    Stay angry, Gio. The Astros won't like you when you get angry…

  62. Zection 3, My Zofa - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:51 AM

    The very first post of this thread was "Oy, Hernandez is behind the dish tonight." So we can't say this is much of a surprise.OK, Babe Gonzales, let's go get it.

  63. ehay2k - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:51 AM

    How will we extend this game into tomorrow? It would take an Angel….

  64. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:52 AM

    Batters 4,5,6 go easy without a wimper.Go gio in the 9th

  65. Section 222 - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:00 AM

    NL, you're kidding about the Astros walking Harper on purpose, right?

  66. ehay2k - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:00 AM

    Sigh, teenagers.

  67. Zection 3, My Zofa - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:01 AM

    Oh, and I had Mack the Knife all cued up.Everybody who wanted it easy–well, sorry.

  68. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:02 AM

    Barkeep!Late-inning, emergency shot of bourbon and Maalox, for my friends.

  69. ehay2k - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:02 AM

    Cue MicheleS…

  70. Zection 3, My Zofa - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:02 AM

    Man, this is exciting stuff!

  71. Eugene in Oregon - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:03 AM

    Oy vey!

  72. RickH - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:03 AM

    Does it always have to be this hard???

  73. Schumatrix - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:03 AM

    Yeah baby! Nice job out there, Gio!!

  74. Gonat - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:03 AM

    Breath in, breath out….Kardiac Kids are killing me.Nothing is easy!

  75. Swift Eagle - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:03 AM

    Curly W #68 is in the books…Yes, that's more than anyone else…

  76. Zection 3, My Zofa - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:03 AM

    Wooooooooo HooooooooooooooTradeMark Michele

  77. Joe Seamhead - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:04 AM

    Oh my god! Well, that's one way to get to be 25 over .500.Bryce needs to be sat down for a game.

  78. Gonat - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:04 AM

    What did you all think about Suzuki's throw down to 1st on the strikeout to end the game?

  79. ehay2k - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:04 AM

    OK, time for a nightcap. Needed to stay sober form the game, especially with a devil calling the game behind home plate.Nice job Gio!

  80. Old Wino - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:04 AM

    Davey is a genius with this group of guys. Complete game for Gio…. Perfect!

  81. Scooter - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:05 AM

    Wow.

  82. Zection 3, My Zofa - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:05 AM

    I think he got the out, Gonat. Don't overthink it.

  83. Eugene in Oregon - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:05 AM

    Complete game. Home run. Win. But a lot of anxiety included.

  84. bluejeener - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:05 AM

    Complete game Natitude for Gio! More antacid for the rest of us.

  85. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:05 AM

    Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said… William O. Douglas Loeffler said… I remember in a baseball movie that they claimed that there was one phrase that automatically will get any player, coach or manager kicked out of a game. "Clown call, bro?"I like that! Behold the new phrase to get automatically kicked out of a game and it is so much less homophobic….

  86. Swift Eagle - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:05 AM

    Preparing for another 21 hours of Posts that start something like "I know they won, but…"

  87. ehay2k - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:06 AM

    Wait, it's not even midnight? TWO nightcaps then!

  88. Timothy Folk - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:07 AM

    Gio seems like a bargain contract wise!!

  89. Drew - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:07 AM

    I am not getting enough rest at work to prepare for these games. Way to preserve the pen Nat Gio.

  90. Section 222 - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:07 AM

    Another great save by ALR on that throw. Way to go Gio, way to save the bullpen, and win your own game with a HR. Fantastic.Zofa — on umpire selection for post season, just because the Commish has complete discretion doesn't mean the selection isn't made on merit. My friend who went to umpire school and who has several friends who are MLB umps says the best are chosen. Angel won't be there, nor will Laz.

  91. Zection 3, My Zofa - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:07 AM

    Prestigious Old School Way sighting! Welcome back, dude!

  92. ehay2k - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:08 AM

    Oh, can you imagine the Barves clubhouse tonight? Barkeep, new furniture for all my friends!

  93. Swift Eagle - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:08 AM

    All the players are a bargain for people as rich as the LernersWhen they write a check the bank bounces…

  94. Secret wasian man - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:09 AM

    Swift, it goes in one column or the other. Its another one in the W column. Ill go with "I know they won but, something still needs to be done about ANGEL HERNANDEZ. Totally unprofessional.

  95. ehay2k - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:10 AM

    Hey Scooter, good to see ya!

  96. Zection 3, My Zofa - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:10 AM

    222, I know they cleaned it up some after 2009, but I was reacting to the rule that no umpire may work consecutive World Series. Not that there aren't 12 good umps–there are–but that's what I was thinking of, mainly.

  97. NatsLady - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:10 AM

    And now you know why Kurt Suzuki is on this team.

  98. NatsLady - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:13 AM

    222, no, I wasn't. Ballplayers have their own code. Guy has perfect control and suddenly walks Harper on four pitches that even Hernandez couldn't call strikes? Might as well have held up the four fingers.

  99. Secret wasian man - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:13 AM

    I ref middle and High School basketball. Just for some exercise and a little extra money. I won't even make an obvious bad call just to teach a kid a lesson. disgraceful

  100. Zection 3, My Zofa - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:14 AM

    NL, I just figured that with the strike zone Harper was going to have, there was no point throwing it near the plate, and it took him four pitches to figure out it wasn't THAT big.

  101. Swift Eagle - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:15 AM

    Angel is definitely a Clown Umpire, Bro…But tonight I bet he's happy b/c he's getting exactly what he wants…All the Attention

  102. NatsLady - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:16 AM

    Zofa, LOL!

  103. Section 222 - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:17 AM

    NL, respectfully, that's crazy. Pitchers lose the strike zone all the time. And no team is going to give away a walk in a close game.

  104. NatsLady - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:21 AM

    222, you are thinking like a fan and not a ballplayer. There is a whole world of stuff going on below the surface.

  105. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:22 AM

    I heard Edwin on the 980 the Team today and, let me tell you, we should enjoy this team. This is a rare group of guys. We don't have a single great player and yet somehow, we have the best record in the major leagues.No, we don't have a single great player. No one on our team has an OBP the last time I checked of .350 (which is decent buy not great–check out Eddie Yost's numbers from the 50's Nats) or over. None of our hitters leads or comes close to leading in any major category. We have, perhaps, two great fielders in Zimmerman and Bernadina, when he is in. La Roche is a very good fielder and Werth and Harper are good fielders, but not quite Cesar Geronimo's, yet.Our relievers are quite competent, but obviously far from overpowering. Who do we resemble? The 1969 Mets, although they did in fact have a great pitcher in Tom Seaver, and Jerry Koosman was probably better than anyone we have. They also had Nolan Ryan, who I regard as overrated (and a jerk) both on that team and in general, and Gary Gentry. Our staff may be better than that Mets staff, but that Mets staff was further along in 1969 than ours is. Koosman and Seaver were already more than established in 1969. Except for Gio and Jackson, who is a bit of an accomplished joureyman, our guys are still up and coming.The 1969 Mets had a whole host of guys who had career years in 1969 and somehow it happened for them, even though their pythagorean numbers were actually lower than those of the Cubs and close to 20 games lower than the far superior team that they upset in the World Series. In 7 games anything can happen.I wouldn't write this year off for the future because nothing is guaranteed. The 1969 Mets won 100 games and counting the post-season, went 107 and 63. The Mets wouldn't win 100 games again with that core and except for a fluke win over the Reds in 1973 when the Mets won 83 games in the regular season, the Mets never came close to making the World Series again.

  106. Timothy Folk - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:24 AM

    This team is so much more than Stras/Harper… but you can tell Zim looks at this team like a proud dad who's son has finally made it@

  107. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:26 AM

    Had to run to the store as my Malaax was out. Took some and I feel better already.When in a victory did we have 3 up 3 down last inning (or at least in a game that was within 3 runs).

  108. NatsLady - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:27 AM

    Wow==> SF 15 Cards 0. Look at all these 10+ run games… and here we are with three 1-run wins in a row. At least it wasn't extra innings! Thank you, Gio!!! Great game.

  109. JaneB - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:32 AM

    So much to celebrate in this game! Not remotely a laugher, unless you count the bogus and bad calls by Angel Hernandez. Would have been that much better if the freakin' Phillies had won, too. But WE did! Go Nats! 'nite friends!

  110. Section 222 - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:32 AM

    NL — Don't be patronizing. I know there's a lot going on below the surface, but it doesn't include giving makeup calls or otherwise not trying to get someone out. What if Harper had come around to score and the Stros ended up losing by 1 run? We're talking Black Sox type scandal here.

  111. NatsLady - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:39 AM

    222, are you kidding? Black Sox type scandal? Might as well say that for every HBP that is in "retaliation." I'm done here.

  112. Drew - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:43 AM

    Matt Skole hits two more home runs for Hagerstown.He has 27 homers and 90 RBIs in 98 games.

  113. baseballswami - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:45 AM

    So I just got back to my hotel room, started checking posts and the MLB recap. Wow. So Gio went nine AND hit a homer? Sounds like Angel was the devil. Two balks and a punch out to Bryce that was actually a "message"? That about right? How did Zim look? Power? Weak? Sounds crazy. This trip to Houston his been nutty. Go Nats! Any win is a good win.

  114. NatsLady - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:55 AM

    Swami, Zim looked OK, solid hits. Gio got mad. I think Bernie misplayed a ball in the 9th, but Carp and FP didn't come right out and say that, and I didn't see the route he took. Harper threw to 3rd trying to be a hero so the winning run took 2nd. Gio was tough, man, was he tough. He picked up Bernie and Harper, not to mention the entire bullpen. The walk to Harper cost the Astros .7% on their Win Expectancy. They went from 15.8% chance to win to 15.1% chance to win.

  115. NatsLady - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:57 AM

    The O's just promoted Machado from AA. He was phenomenal in the Futures Game. Have no idea if he is ready for the Show, but they are really trying.

  116. NatsLady - Aug 9, 2012 at 4:00 AM

    Suzuki HBP cost the Astros 1.3% of Win Expectancy.

  117. Eugene in Oregon - Aug 9, 2012 at 4:13 AM

    swami,One additional point to add to NatLady's quick wrap-up of the 9th: Not only did Mr. Harper throw to third rather than first, but he threw waaaayyyy off-line. Ryan Zimmerman couldn't get it and it would likely have been a run scored except that Gio was backing up the play perfectly. Gio deserves a lot (maybe even all) of the credit for that game — pitching, hitting, fielding. And he was on a mission in the 7th and 8th; focused and firing.

  118. Section 222 - Aug 9, 2012 at 4:14 AM

    Ok fine, it's not the Black Sox scandal because a gangster wasn't paying them off. But I simply don't believe that a team would walk someone in a tight game as a supposed payback for a bad call made by an ump in a previous at bat. I sure hope the Nats won't ever risk losing a game over such misplaced "sportsmanship."

  119. NatsLady - Aug 9, 2012 at 4:20 AM

    Apparently Davey is going to give Harper a "day off" tomorrow. Lombo should be fined also, but he did make a great play…

  120. Section 222 - Aug 9, 2012 at 4:28 AM

    Just watched the postgame. Harper gets day off tomorrow. Davey didn't mince words about how bad that ill-advised throw to third was. Rookie mistake. Baseball 101. "That's not a mistake you need to be making when you're in a pennant race." I sure wish someone would tell Davey how to pronounce Stammen's name.Most important, that's quite a haircut Gio got.Braves can't pick up a game on us no matter how hard they try. I love it!

  121. Eugene in Oregon - Aug 9, 2012 at 4:32 AM

    NatsLady: I missed something. Why should Mr. Lombardozzi be fined?

  122. NatsLady - Aug 9, 2012 at 4:36 AM

    222, I'm not trying to be patronizing, but you are missing the point. It only had a little to do with Harper and a lot to do with the players sending a message that it is not the umpire's privilege to affect the result of a game in order to teach lessons or whatever. Players are supposed to suck it up when bad calls go against them–and assume it will even out–but there is a limit. If Colbert hits Bryce Harper to be "old school", that isn't free. It has a risk, however small, that it could impact the game. (As, in fact, it did). If umpires decide to teach Bryce Harper a lesson, it is essentially risk-free. No consequences–or at least none that impact the game. And that isn't fair. Is it misplayed "sportsmanship" for the players to want the game to be officiated fairly?

  123. NatsLady - Aug 9, 2012 at 4:36 AM

    Lombo ran through Porter's stop sign and was thrown out at home. He had no chance to score.

  124. NatsLady - Aug 9, 2012 at 4:39 AM

    Sorry, not misplayed–"misplaced." Bernie ran through the stop sign, too, of course, and it worked. But that is not something you want Lombo (or any other player to start doing).

  125. SonnyG10 - Aug 9, 2012 at 4:42 AM

    Oy! Nerve racking, but a win. What a night!

  126. Eugene in Oregon - Aug 9, 2012 at 4:42 AM

    NatsLady: Thanks. I missed seeing the first couple of innings because MLT.tv was on the fritz. But now I recall a couple of posts to that effect. Gotta go back and watch that and Gio's home run.

  127. Unknown - Aug 9, 2012 at 4:45 AM

    William O. Douglas Loeffler:I really enjoyed the trip down memory lane regarding those '69 Mets. All through August, I kept thinking that while the Mets were playing really well, there was no chance–none–that they would overtake the Cubs, who were having an amazing season (and who I think had one of the the better infields in my lifetime, Ernie Banks, Don Kessinger, Ron Santo and Glen Beckert & Randy Hundley).But sometime in September, they played the Cubbies, swept them (or close to sweeping) and they pulled past them and never looked back.I loved Tommy Agee and Cleon Jones and without Gary Gentry, there rotation would not have been deep enough to win the pennant. That next spring, Channel 9 had a Senators' special just before spring training was over. Mike Epstein was interviewed as well as Bob (Rot in Hell) Short. I'll never forget his words. "I see no reason why we can't have a Mets-type season here in Washington in 1970."Didn't work out and they were gone two years later.Sorry youngsters for the old-fogy rant. That was a special year, both for the Senators and for the Mets. Farid @ Idaho

  128. NatsLady - Aug 9, 2012 at 4:46 AM

    Not sure I expressed that clearly. The umpires can "teach Bryce a lesson" and by so doing affect the result of the game, but they are not players on the winning (or losing) team. So they influence the result of the game for non-game-related reasons–and yet there is no impact on them. When players deliberately sabatoge the game (like Colbert) they assume risk. Umpires don't.

  129. flynnie - Aug 9, 2012 at 5:22 AM

    Hernandez looked geeked up on sudafed or red bull to me- eyes, face, over-alert, itchy. He wasn't focused. I'm surprise he didn't toss Bryce, and so is Davey. They were bad calls, but they weren't all that bad. In You're Out and You're Ugly Too Durwood Merrill admitted that once he'd called a strike and the batter took the same pitch, he'd call it again and say, "The folks didn't buy a ticket to watch you stand here with your bat on your shoulder!" I've seen Bryce chase, and never see another pitch to hit for five at bats in a row, but maybe he should be less fine and protect the plate when the ump's calling a big zone. Try to foul off 10 in a row. It's harder to do than it is to write. Ron Washington said of Hernandez:"Angel's just bad. That's all there is to it." http://deadspin.com/5906057/better-know-an-umpire-angel-hernandez

  130. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 9, 2012 at 5:27 AM

    The real pproblem with umpires is they are not really ever called accountable by anyone. Not the media not MLB. No one. I guess that is why I love Hawk Harrelson he doesn't mixed words he tells you exactly what he thinks of the umpires. Though Iwish he would interview them and tell them that, but at least he says it. Most of the media is too professional just to call them out, and MLB for some reason thinks they have to protect them from the media. If they are doing their job there is nothing to protect.What I would love to do is sit through a game one time with an umpire,and every time I am pissed at one, they can tell me why I am wrong. I believe they wouldn't have the nerve to sit with people like that because the whole batch is not as good at their profession and the players are at theirs.All we ask for out of 150-175 million working Americans 72 good umpires (ane we get about 40-50 at most). It just can't be that hard. I watch 2-3 games a day, and I know it can't be that hard.Weren't too many bad calls in the Dodger's game. A couple border line high pitches called balls, that I might have called a strike. Please remind me to take my Malaax before the game when Angel is at the plate again (I started doing that with Joe West and Laz Diaz and that has helped.

  131. Section 222 - Aug 9, 2012 at 5:40 AM

    Hopefully these links will work. From Amanda C: Here are Bryce Harper's plots tonight. The 4th inn K he argued And the 6th inn he started to 1B.In my view, the pitch is the 4th was a horrible call (particularly after the third pitch of the AB was called a ball). But the calls in the 6th, while wrong, were not terrible. I think Bryce's reaction, and most of ours for that matter, was influenced by how bad the call was in the 4th.

  132. Section 222 - Aug 9, 2012 at 5:49 AM

    NL — Still not buying it. Who decided to throw obvious balls? The pitcher on his own? The catcher and the pitcher? Was the manager consulted? Is there some unwritten rule that when there's an obvious bad call the pitcher can take it in his own hands to send the umpires a message? It's just not plausible and, in fact, it's kind of insulting to the Astros players. Do you think every player on the field with the Astros would agree with putting a runner on base ahead of our best power hitters in a close game? Not a chance. So who gets to decide what the appropriate way to send the message is? According to Kilgore, ALR asked Angel about the calls. Not only did he say the pitches were strikes (and the plot shows he wasn't that far off on the 6th inning pitches), but he assured ALR that he would never make bad calls to "initiate" Bryce. Even said he loves the way Bryce plays.

  133. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 9, 2012 at 5:52 AM

    Ted Williams and the Nats deserve a series of WaPo articles. The Sixty-Nine Mets are the exception to the over-exposure rule of NY sports. They truly were a delight and to think that the Jets had a similar tale and both got a bit of payback against Balmer for fifty-eight and fifty-nine and the Colts is pretty interesting. Wayne Garrett where are you now?

  134. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 9, 2012 at 5:58 AM

    And by the way, the Rangers and the Padres both have the curse of Bob Short around their necks. In the history of MLB there are three expansion teams that are truly cursed, the Expos, the Rangers and the Padres. The Expos have expiated their sins by moving to DC.

  135. baseballswami - Aug 9, 2012 at 10:40 AM

    There have been a number of series, weeks where we have said – this is it, this is the tough one. This series has been so strange and seemingly challenging. Like they hit a wall. It happens when it happens. Weird park, empty stadium, let down affter a big weekend.i guess we should be grateful it came against a team we could survive and win the series despite the struggles. Espi, Bernie, Gio with the bat. Unlikely heroes again.

  136. Faraz Shaikh - Aug 9, 2012 at 10:41 AM

    WOW Gio saved everyone's behind, didn't he? Our offense should have scored more runs. Anyways, good win.

  137. Zection 3, My Zofa - Aug 9, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    "Hawk Harrelson he doesn't mixed words"There should be a name for a malaprop that is its own example. Good one there.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 57 45 --
ATLANTA 57 48 1.5
MIAMI 51 53 7.0
NEW YORK 50 55 8.5
PHILADELPHIA 46 59 12.5
Through Sunday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
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.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
Full season schedule

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

ON THE RADIO

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

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

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