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Confidence men

Aug 12, 2012, 5:28 AM EDT

US Presswire photo
Davey Johnson has plenty of reason to smile these days.

PHOENIX — They trailed early by three runs, facing perhaps the NL Rookie of the Year frontrunner. Their two best setup men were shelved for the evening due to overuse. The relievers who replaced them wound up putting the tying runner in scoring position in three consecutive innings.

Yet, not one uniformed member of the Nationals appeared to break a sweat during Saturday night’s 6-5 victory over the Diamondbacks. (And, no, that had nothing to do with the 108-degree dry heat outside Chase Field.)

What gives? Do the Nationals ever worry about losing a ballgame? Evidently not.

“The confidence is at an all-time high right now,” right-hander Ryan Mattheus said.

And why wouldn’t it be the way things are going for the best team in baseball? This nailbiter resulted in the Nationals’ eighth consecutive win, the last six of them coming on the road. They’re now 71-43, a full 28 games over .500, knowing they can go 24-24 the rest of the way and still finish with 95 wins.
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  1. Gonat - Aug 12, 2012 at 5:43 AM

    In these wins there are multiple players contributing at high performance towards the win vs. earlier in the season when the team wasn't scoring a lot of runs where you could point at the "who was" and "who wasn't".It was nice not thinking the Nats were out of this game when they were behind by 3.I remember a game before the All Star break where a poster said that the Nats were out of the game when they were 1 run behind past the 5th inning. While I didn't agree, I didn't have full confidence the Nats could come back.The July 20th meltdown was the lowpoint of the season and since the Lannan start the following day, the Nats have been rolling.Yep, I agree with Mark's thoughts on July 21 that the Lannan start was possibly the biggest win of the season as a loss in that game would have narrowed the Nats lead to the Braves to a 1/2 game.

  2. Theophilus T. S. - Aug 12, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    What, nobody else up at this hour of the morning? I took inspiration from Flores's RBI single and the "caught stealing." I'm pretty sure the workload and bumps and bruises were getting to him. Some have predicted that sliding back to starting once every several days would actually help Flores. He did play a pretty heavy load in Venezuela last winter — some 40 games, I think.My personal jury is still out on Suzuki. Today will see if he can keep Detwiler focused. Sometimes I wonder if Detwiler is mad at the umpires, himself, or fate — but he's often agitated. Most recently he's managed to stay on course. A steadying influence from his catcher will help. Oh, and if the catcher could hit that would be a big plus. Chris Young being pinned to the bench removes AZ's biggest base-stealing threat, which also will be helpful.

  3. Faraz Shaikh - Aug 12, 2012 at 10:30 AM

    Saw the score 6-5 before going to sleep in 6th or 7th I think, hoping that would be enough and it was. Great win. Loving this stuff!haven't heard 'fire rick' in a while.

  4. Faraz Shaikh - Aug 12, 2012 at 10:35 AM

    btw it is trout vs bernadina again on baseball tonight. poll isn't up yet.

  5. sjm308 - Aug 12, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    Faraz – I mentioned yesterday that there doesn't seem to be anyone clammering about EcksteinI also felt that resting Flores would help both him and the team and so far that is looking good as well. This is the first game I did not stay up to the finish. I really wanted to watch the mens 4 x 100 relay as well but NBC keeps teasing the heck out of stuff and I had two late nights in a row with our lads so it was off to bed at 6-5, fairly confident in Davey, the bullpen and our offense. I was actually surprised this morning to see us at 6. I remember reading once that a lot of games are decided by that one big inning and this one sure was. Can't wait to see if Detwiler can put another outstanding effort out there. If he does, does he move to our #3 starter when the playoffs start? I realize that EJax is the only starter with experience but Detwiler has really been bringing it lately.Go Nats!!

  6. natsfan1a - Aug 12, 2012 at 11:11 AM

    Nice comeback and win, and I watched the whole thing (yawn). Well, I may have dozed off a time or two in the late innings (yawn). Will be out and about for today's game, but recording it to watch later.

  7. natsfan1a - Aug 12, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    I liked the quote below from Clip. Could work for fans as well. :-)"It's a calm confidence," Clippard said. "Nobody gets too high or too low. Nothing changes. We're not walking around like: 'Oh, we're the best.' We're just keeping our heads down and going about our business, playing each game like it's a must-win game.

  8. NatsLady - Aug 12, 2012 at 11:16 AM

    Trout robbed a home run with his catch but it didn't affect the result. M's still beat the Angels. Starting to wonder about the Halos, they were supposed to be stacked.

  9. Positively Half St. - Aug 12, 2012 at 11:18 AM

    It is important to recognize that while the 15-4 run didn't shake the Braves, it definitely soldified the Nats' chances of making the playoffs. If the Braves did in fact catch the Nats, our boys would currently not only have to fall behind Pittsburgh but also the Cardinals to miss the playoffs. Washington currently holds a 9-game lead on St. Louis. Because of last years collapses, and because St. Louis made one of those charges to become champs, I do not feel this is over. The Nats' chances have improved quite a bit over the last month, though.+1/2St.

  10. Faraz Shaikh - Aug 12, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    Agreed. At this point, however, I would like Nats to end up with the division title.NatsLady, true that. Not only it did not have any effect on the game, I thought Inge's play at third was better where he dislocated his shoulder but got up and put it back in himself. that's something.sjm, missed your post on Rick. Agree about Flores that he might get some of his mojo back with frequent breaks.

  11. Doc - Aug 12, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    I liked your perceptions on JFlo, sjm308.He was more relaxed at the plate and had some solid AB's. Not only did he get a hit and an RBI, but he threw a runner out–something that KSuk hasn't done yet in 7 chances.Hope Davey was watchin'!In other news, I'm forced to watch and listen to out of town announcers, on away games. The good news is that you pick up some occasional unique perspectives. Mark Grace & Company thought that the Nats were the best team that they have played this year.Also, Gracie, who should know a few things about hitting (most hits in the 90's) is really impressed with Tyler Moore.

  12. Positively Half St. - Aug 12, 2012 at 11:58 AM

    Doc-Glad to hear other teams giving the Nats some props. Tyler Moore has been fun to watch as he rose throught the ranks, even as Keith Law or Kevin Goldstein and other prospect chatters downplayed his chances. The story isn't over, of course- it isn't like he is a starter, but he has upheld his hitting at every level, and is doing it part-time at the big-league level.It makes me think that Chris Marrero's star has fallen, and it can't get up. As always, though, I hope Marrero finds something and makes a logjam. It's the kind of situation trades are made of.+1/2St.

  13. Laddie Blah Blah - Aug 12, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    Ho hum. So boring. I miss the angry naysayers. If this goes on much longer, I may start bad-mouthing the team, myself, just to break the monotony.

  14. baseballswami - Aug 12, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    Most impressive to me was Clip with only 5 pitches to close out the game. Hoping this means he is truly back on track. Also – with our line up right now, where anyone can hurt you, you just can't pitch around anyone at all. And that's without Desi.

  15. fast eddie - Aug 12, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    Here's a great quote from Jason Reid that succinctly summarizes the Nats' brief history:"…their rocky road from disgraceful to dominant."

  16. NatsFirin'BBs - Aug 12, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    As I read a post earlier, I got to thinking: The playoff setup this year, assuming of course that the Nats do hang on to win the division, is actually good for them. They are playing .600 ball at home, but are .650 on the road. If they have to open up with two playoff games away, I feel like they will certainly put whatever team they are playing in a hole and come back to DC with a chance to win a playoff series at home. Imagine the atmosphere at the Park when that happens…Can't really see any squad in the leave overcoming that.

  17. Section 222 - Aug 12, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    Checking in from Western MA. Got to watch much of both games via MLB.TV, and really enjoyed the out of town feed (which I listened to intentionally to get a break from our cheering squad on MASN). Those guys are really impressed with the Nats. Very impressed with the builpen's resilience last night and, of course, with Clipp getting back on track after a little rest. Yeah, he's ready to be a closer. Found out that a waiter up here was a baseball fan and mentioned were are from DC. His face brightened. "Whoa, nice season your team is having. Strasburg having a year, and lots of young guys playing well. Impressive." It would be an overstatement I think to say that the Nats are the talk of the country, but they are definitely the talk of the baseball world right now. I'm loving it.Trout's fans in CA and AZ will be out for revenge today. Make sure to vote.

  18. UnkyD - Aug 12, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    Doc…. I fully realize I'm being an old lady, here, but could you at least make it Kzuk, with a "z"? Just less of a negative connotation…. (and here… Let me straighten your tie…..and smooth out your cowlick…. There you go!)

  19. A DC Wonk - Aug 12, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    Another point: while we may not of made up ground on the Braves over the last 15-20 games, we do have the same lead with 15-20 fewer games left. I.e., our magic number decreased by 15-20

  20. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 12, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    Yes, JFlo is an able backup just like we saw in April. Bernadina is an able backup. Now the question is, what is Harper? Can he play better in a platoon or does he just need rest.MLB is made up of many players who have succeeded as backups and role players.The book on Flores has been confirmed although I am sure some with short memories will down the road say he can be a starter.

  21. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 12, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    By the way, I'm not questioning what Harper will be just that he is a mess at the plate right now. What does Davey do in the Harper?

  22. natsfan1a - Aug 12, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    If it makes you feel any better, Unk, I made a similar plea a short time ago (can't recall exactly how long ago but not that long seeing as how the guy has only been with the team for a week…).UnkyD said… Doc…. I fully realize I'm being an old lady, here, but could you at least make it Kzuk, with a "z"? Just less of a negative connotation…. (and here… Let me straighten your tie…..and smooth out your cowlick…. There you go!) August 12, 2012 8:50 AM

  23. natsfan1a - Aug 12, 2012 at 12:59 PM

    Oh, and heading out for the day now, so in advance, on a game note: Go, DET! Go, NATS!!

  24. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 12, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    Wonk, agreed. It's a diminishing number of games. In 30 days, the Magic number will be set.As I've said, Nats need to look in the mirror and worry about their own biZness and that's all you can do when you're the leader. On the other hand, the Braves are scoreboard watching.The biggest games will be those head to head games with the Braves.

  25. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 12, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    Today is National Det Day. Hoping his ERA continues to drop in his Bull market.

  26. UnkyD - Aug 12, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    Ghost: Flo may yet be a good starting catcher. This whole year is, in a sense, rehab for that shoulder. We see in all sports, that endurance is a factor for a full year, and more, after major joint surgery, and the throwing shoulder certainly is a factor, offensively, as well as defensively. A couple of starts a week will benefit Moise, next year, as it would have for Flo this year. Getting Suzuki was a GREAT move, by Rizzo.

  27. UnkyD - Aug 12, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    Moose….will benefit Moose….(sheesh!)

  28. Joe Seamhead - Aug 12, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    For the record,I find the KSuk thing very offensive.I agree that Jesus needed a rest, and it shows that it is doing him some good.He just seemed to have a whole different,positive air last night.As to the Kid, I think Davey made a statement, last night by bringing him in to play center in the ninth. Davey was saying that "I have all the confidence in you." with the game on the line. This is an example of one of the nuances that make Johnson a great manager. He not only smooths any feathers that might have been ruffled for getting sat down again, but also put a better fielder in CF for the ninth.What a good job by the bullpen last night!GYFNG!!!

  29. karlkolchak - Aug 12, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    @Laddie Blah Blah – if you want to read naysayers and trolls, just head on over to the comPost's Nats' articles comments section. Apparently, no one moderates over there unless a reader gets pissed off that they can't discuss the Nats without being harassed. They'll delete any angry response to trolls, but not the troll comments themselves.It's pathetic. No wonder that crappy paper's circulation is dropping like a stone.

  30. phil dunton - Aug 12, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    Davey needs to learn how to yank pitchers when they have no control. He nearly blew the game last night when he stayed with Gonzalez, who could not throw a strike. Only the Diamondback hitters bailed Gonzalez out by swinging at bad pitches. Otherwise, the outcome would have been different.

  31. Another_Sam - Aug 12, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    IMHO the two landmark, landscape events as the season unfolded sofar are: 1. Harper's arrival and bringing an astounding level of energy to the club. 2. Zimmerman's reawakening after the shot. In this fan's view, even from the bench harper brings a new level of excitement to the game.

  32. mick - Aug 12, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    Imagine Desmond back and imagine if Ramos never were hurt… every player in the lineup is a threat to homer!

  33. Another_Sam - Aug 12, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    And PD: nice thought; DJ needs to learn a few things. LOL Just kidding.

  34. mick - Aug 12, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    Another Sam… I think Werth's coming back gave this team a jump start as wellI also think Lombo is the most under rated player in baseballphil dunton… I assume Davey will havea quicker hook in post season… did i just say post season??hee hee I love this!!!

  35. mick - Aug 12, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    is there a lineup more deadly than the Nationals in the NL?

  36. UnkyD - Aug 12, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    Phil Dunton……..(shakes his head….)

  37. Another_Sam - Aug 12, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    mick — right on, regarding your thoughts on werth and lombo. and as long as it's a love fest, larouche's performance is in the mix too. but still, for me, the big event of the season is harper's burtsing on the scene and envigorating players and fans alike. it just seems to me that his arrival triggered the rest of the stuff.

  38. mick - Aug 12, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    Another Sam… i totally agree with you on HarperAdam L is not only MLB come back player of the year… maybe, just maybe could be a league MVP.Now ee see what a loss it was last season for the Nats when LaRoche went down

  39. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 12, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    Catchers like Pudge, Ramos, Suzuki take the game planning to a different level. Ramoose is above average with the bat, Suzuki is below average.

  40. mick - Aug 12, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    I love Flores and all he has done for Nats, I think highly of Leon and Solano. I think Suzuki is another great move and the nats lucked out getting him, he has a great rapport with the pitchers….. but, could you imagine this team if Ramos was healthy! wow!!

  41. Swift Eagle - Aug 12, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    As others have mentioned…it's the best team in baseball, and b/c of the injuries to Morse, Werth, Ramos, and Desmond their best 8 will not play together in even 1 game all season…

  42. mick - Aug 12, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    Swift…exactly… that is why it is fun to imagine this team healthy 100%. The positive of the injuries is it forced the young players to play and showed the organization that their plan is working far beyond expectations

  43. Joe Seamhead - Aug 12, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    phil dunton,why don't you teach Davey Johnson a thing or two about how to manage a pitching situation? This Davey Johnson managed team is in first place, has the best record in baseball, is 28 games over .500, and you don't think Johnson knows as much as phil dunton as to how long to leave a pitcher in? Do you have any idea how un-informed your statement comes across? For that matter, do you ever say anything positive about the Nats?

  44. realdealnats - Aug 12, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    Seamhead–Agree 100% on Davey's move w/Harp in the 9th. Great intuition–not just rational thought. He knows how to challenge, cajole, instruct, soothe, inspire–he's an artist with human egos. He feels people and how they need to fit in, besides getting the metrics of the game. We're really lucky to have him. Someone tell the GM, Mr. Dunton, we should pick up Davey's contract for another year._________________Seamhead said:As to the Kid, I think Davey made a statement, last night by bringing him in to play center in the ninth. Davey was saying that "I have all the confidence in you." with the game on the line. This is an example of one of the nuances that make Johnson a great manager. He not only smooths any feathers that might have been ruffled for getting sat down again, but also put a better fielder in CF for the ninth.

  45. Swift Eagle - Aug 12, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    Lol…If you gave Phil Dunton a gold bar, he's complain that it was too heavy…

  46. ehay2k - Aug 12, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    Just read Reid's column in the Post, and am more convinced than ever that he should stick to football and perhaps beach volleyball, where he can discuss the uniforms.He clearly doesn't watch baseball regularly, and definitely not the Nats apart from video clips on ESPN. Otherwise he'd know Bernie is NOT a lock to make those catches (he took three steps back and then had to run up to a liner which he missed, in the SAME series). He was also concerned Shark was injured when he "hit the wall in Houston." "How long will he be out?" wondered Jason. Well, you actually never saw how hard he hit the wall, and he bounced up smiling less than half a second after he disappeared to make the catch. And the ballpark in Houston has a lot of padding on the bullpen wall, which, if Jason watched enough baseball, he might know. Or he could have just taken note of that during the actual game, had he been watching. He says the Nats "can't shake those pesky Braves" and cites the current lead of "only" 4 1/2 games. But of course, the lead was a lot tighter (1 1/2 games, correct Jason?) less than a month ago, and despite the Barves' torrid pace, it is they who have fallen behind and cannot catch our pesky Nats.Telling fans they should "Immediately" start tracking "the Braves by the second" is just hyped up nonsense. What the hell can we do to impact the Barves? Why should we get worked up over what they are doing? he needs to start tracking them, and better by actually watching watching the games than via stats updates on a tablet, not us. He can wind the hype machine while we watch the Nats play the best baseball in their short existence. None of which, by the way, I would call "disgraceful", except from the perspective of MLB's dealing with the franchise. Please Jason, go back to the NFL section of ESPN and be in the lookout for RG III tidbits, and leave the baseball writing, which requires more than casual viewing and a long-term, this-game-is-not-as-important-as-the-next-two perspective.And I see Olympic each volleyball is over. I'm sorry for your loss..

  47. MicheleS - Aug 12, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    Phil Dunton.. excuse me, but are you watching this TEAM? You know the one that never gives up or quits (okay, let's just forget about that 1st game against the Braves last month – one blip). Deep breathes buddy, the sky didn't fall in last night. And it's about time the offense picked up the pitchers a few times.

  48. Candide - Aug 12, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    sjm308 said…I remember reading once that a lot of games are decided by that one big inning and this one sure was. SJM, as it happens, I was perusing the box scores this am in the WaComPost, and decided to check in on one of my favorite pieces of baseball trivia: the fact that on any given day, at least half the box scores show that the winning team scored as many runs or more runs IN ONE INNING than the losing team did IN THE ENTIRE GAME.Today's results (excepting late scores that didn't make the dead-tree edition): — In eight games, the winning team scored MORE runs in one inning than the losing team did in the entire game.– In three games, the winning team scored AS MANY runs in one inning as the losing team did in the entire game (last night's Nats game falls into that category).– In four games, the losing team scored more runs in the entire game than the winning team did in any one inning.It sounds remarkable until you realize that games where the losing team was shut out or scored only one run will automatically go into one of the first two categories above. But it's a fun fact.

  49. Laddie Blah Blah - Aug 12, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    Karl"@Laddie Blah Blah – if you want to read naysayers and trolls, just head on over to the comPost's Nats' articles comments section."Haven't read the WaPo ever since they dropped the double-crostic puzzle from the Sunday magazine. Haven't missed it, a lick. I am not worried. The naysayers will be back here, in force, the same day the Nats finally lose one. I can wait it out, until then.

  50. Swift Eagle - Aug 12, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    ehay, you are so right. Other than Boswell, the Post guys should just stay away from baseball..The only thing more pathetic is when 980 tries to discuss the Nats…when interviewing EJax, Sheehan asked him if the game last week was the first time he has ever been asked to pinch-run…but he sure knows how many times Cooley has lined up in the slot on 3rd and long situations against the wind, on the road, in division games…

  51. Candide - Aug 12, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    Thanks for the giggle, Phil Dunton. Why don't you give Mike Rizzo a call, tell him you're available to educate Davey?

  52. Fear and Ignorance - Aug 12, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    I just read Reid's article and don't understand the criticism of the guy. I personally have never cared too much for him, but he was a beat writer for the Dodgers, so he does have the credentials to talk about baseball. Thought the article made a few good points and overall was a positive assessment of where they stand.

  53. Fear and Ignorance - Aug 12, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    Now 980 and 106.7…that is a different story. Those stations have nobody that is even interested in baseball. Very sad.

  54. Candide - Aug 12, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    Joe Seamhead said…For the record,I find the KSuk thing very offensive.Add me to the vote tally for that also. I got annoyed last year every time I saw "LaWhoosh" from people who knew LaRoche was trying to play through an injury. Don't recall seeing any mea maxima culpas from any of them. This KSuk business is doubly annoying because it adds vulgarity to the stew.

  55. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 12, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    Jason Reid has only two types of baseball columns: Captain Obvious and Clueless Joe. Today was a Captain Obvious.IOW, Jason Reid and insight about baseball are complete strangers.

  56. Swift Eagle - Aug 12, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    A couple Capt Obvious lines from Reid's column…"after being the division doormat for most of their existence, the Nationals want to win the NL East title.""The Nationals are scoreboard watching. They’re keeping tabs on the Braves"Wow, who knew??

  57. realdealnats - Aug 12, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    By the way, didn't it seem like we broke a lot of bats during the first 4 innings of last night's game?

  58. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 12, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    I don't think the Nats are scoreboard watching Eagle. Of course they are going to check what the Braves are going to be doing,.but that's not the same as scoreboard watching.Just take care of your own biZness Nats and let the Braves scoreboard watch.

  59. NCNatsie - Aug 12, 2012 at 3:45 PM

    I can hate the WaPo with the best of them, but trust me, having to live with nothing but a pathetic small city daily like the Raleigh News and Observer in the driveway each morning can make you long for the good ol' days and be grateful for the Internet at the same time. And if you think the Post OD's on the Skins, try living in a place where it's all about UNC and NC State. Don't get me wrong, I love it here, but I sure am glad for DirecTV and Nats Insider!!! Reid's piece was pedestrian at best, but I do think Kilgore has done some good writing on the Nats recently.

  60. sjm308 - Aug 12, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    Candide – thanks, I knew I had read that somewhere before and while yours is a small sample size, its pretty amazing.PhilD – just once, once I would love to hear you say something positive – it doesn't even have to be about the Nationals – just maybe, what a wonderful day it is! I envision a man/woman who just wakes up waiting for something bad to happen. Your comment today borders on ridiculous because I am not sure if you are aware but we WON the game! Gonzalez allowed ZERO runs. I realize you will be back with a passion when we lose a game or two but until then I will enjoy the time without you.Talk radio – all I can say about Kevin Sheehan is that in the spring he commented that he had never played catch with his boys. I mean that basically says it all right there. He does know who that 3rd right tackle on the scout team is though. Not sure how Mark deals with it on a daily basis but I am hoping he is getting a check for his suffering.Can't wait for Det to continue his climb to a perch alongside JZimmnn, Gio & SS. One or two more shutdown starts and he is there.Go Nats!!

  61. Another_Sam - Aug 12, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    Eagle — regarding the Post coverage: I'm annnoyed that the most insignificant 'Skins news is above the fold, and day after day the big sports story in this town is below the fold.

  62. sjm308 - Aug 12, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    By the way – Swift Eagle,what a great picture!!

  63. Swift Eagle - Aug 12, 2012 at 3:52 PM

    phil dunton said… Davey needs to learn how to yank pitchers when they have no control. He nearly blew the game last night when he stayed with Gonzalez, who could not throw a strike.___________________________________________Lol…I hope Davey "nearly" blows every game the rest of the season…That would make the Nats undefeated…You know you're good when your critics resort to "They ALMOST lost"…

  64. sjm308 - Aug 12, 2012 at 3:52 PM

    Sam – if the Skins played an exhibition game that lasted until 11pm or later, I guarantee you the story and stats would still make the next day paper. The Nationals are playing meaningful games in a pennant race with the best team in baseball and they still can't be included. It just boggles the mind

  65. sjm308 - Aug 12, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    Swift – I am not going to tell you how to run your "legion of doom" team but I am going to nominate PhilD for captain.

  66. Swift Eagle - Aug 12, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    SJM, that photo was taken at ST 2010 when Davey was just "hanging around"…The photographer was NatsJack!…

  67. sjm308 - Aug 12, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    Swift – how great – I am waiting for the time I can talk my spousal equivalent into taking a trip south. Must have been great fun!!

  68. Another_Sam - Aug 12, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    SJM — you'll love the guilty of spring training.

  69. Candide - Aug 12, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    sjm308 said…Candide – thanks, I knew I had read that somewhere before and while yours is a small sample size, its pretty amazing. Small sample size, true, but every time I've checked it, it's been a law as reliable as the law of gravity.

  70. sjm308 - Aug 12, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    Candide – I believe you although I thought your expertise was in letters, not science!

  71. Candide - Aug 12, 2012 at 4:11 PM

    sjm308 said…Swift – I am not going to tell you how to run your "legion of doom" team but I am going to nominate PhilD for captain.I used to work with a lady who could find death and destruction lurking around every corner. She was always the first one with the "news" that there were going to be RIFs (mass layoffs for you non-government types) any minute now; seriously, who ever heard of a federal employee getting fired? One time, a security guard in our building hit the lottery for $100,000 (at least that was the rumor), and her reaction was, "Think about how much his tax bill is going to be…"Anyway, one day after she'd dropped her latest tiding of comfort and joy on the rest of us, someone remarked, "She could find something bad to say about an orgasm…"

  72. Candide - Aug 12, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    sjm308 said…Candide – I believe you although I thought your expertise was in letters, not science!I am a veritable geyser of useless information. Cunegonde's mother has told me repeatedly, "You should go on "Jeopardy."Flattering, but a life of honest poverty and a conscience that has grown torpid through inactivity is all I desire in life.Plus the Nats winning the final game of the 2012 post-season.

  73. peric - Aug 12, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    Not sure about Rivero or Rendon.I would like to see them get something for Rivero since the Nat's system is the one that completed the turnaround. So, you may be right about Rivero.As for Rendon, as Davey keeps repeating. I like to build a roster that is better than the one I left after I get fired. Clearly this is one gig where he won't get fired but will instead be folded permanently back into the FO. And the reason is his long standing interest and canny ability to develop prospects … in his mind Davey is the finishing school for prospects thus the reason why Harper is in the majors at 19 instead of the minors.Anthony Rendon is a college graduate who will be 23 next season. He already has 3 triples and 2 doubles in Potomac. And don't hand me the small sample size … in his total rehab covering 59 at bats he has 5 doubles, 3 triples and 3 home runs out of 18 hits. That's 11 out of 18. That's huge by any measure or sample size. Anthony Rendon is already a very refined, matur,e 2-way player who just might be ready for the majors right now. He's already a potential gold glove. He was considered the best college baseball hitter in over a decade. If Manny Machado is ready? Rendon probably is even more so.And he is exactly what Davey Johnson is keenly interested in. Its why Davey decided to manage this team. And its why I will be surprised, given those stats, if he isn't recalled and doesn't seem some action under the watchful eye of Davey Johnson. And then its off to the Arizona Fall League.

  74. Joe Seamhead - Aug 12, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    I really like this blog that Mark has put together for our enjoyment.Most of the posters are articulate,mature, positive,baseball informed,fun people that have the common denominator of being crazy about the Nats. GYFNG!!!

  75. MicheleS - Aug 12, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    F&I.. 106.7 is getting better with coverage. I follow them on Twitter so I know when they are talking about baseball. That way I don't have to listen to the rest of the stuff they talk about. 980 is owned by the Redskins so I don't think it will ever get better over there.

  76. pRAA is a pencil head who uses Depends - Aug 12, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    Jason Reid has only two types of baseball columns: Captain Obvious and Clueless Joe. Today was a Captain Obvious.IOW, Jason Reid and insight about baseball are complete strangers.Jason Reid gives you the middle finger salute.

  77. tayo - Aug 12, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    @ Phil Dunn. If we loose that game just because Gonzales cant throw strikes, well then we loose the game. One game does not a season make and burning out a tired bullpen in this case was not worth it. This is what Gonzales and Gorzolanny always do anyway. they don't come out throwing strikes but they still seem to get out the inning untouched most times.

  78. peric - Aug 12, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    For the record,I find the KSuk thing very offensive.I agree that Jesus needed a rest, and it shows that it is doing him some good.He just seemed to have a whole different,positive air last night.Its a better move for the same reason that Davey reached out for older, no longer viable Mark DeRosa. He knew Suzuki from when he had DeRosa. He was comfortable with having him at catcher. And he is still only 28. That move allows the Nats to continue the development of Leon, give Ramos plenty of time to rehabilitate and evaluate whether they should keep Flores or Solano. At this point I think I would go with Solano as the third catcher.

  79. peric - Aug 12, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    I don't have to listen to the rest of the stuff they talk about. 980 is owned by the Redskins so I don't think it will ever get better over there.If Davey and his Nats somehow manage to complete the miracle turnaround and that is get deep into the playoffs or unbelievably win the world series I believe this is a problem that will take care of it itself. As long as Snyder owns the Redskins they will continue to short-circuit end up releasing all their players, and dumpster dive and bottom feed. Now, they've used up all of their high round draft picks for the next 5 years? And more importantly, a good number of ex-NFL players are now suing the NFL for their completely moronic handling of concussions. I expect they will win their case and it could end up costing the NFL billions while changing the game.

  80. sjm308 - Aug 12, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    Agree with Peric about Rendon – its not like he is a 20 year old, he is 23 and if his hitting stroke is back what is the issue with letting him sit on the major league bench after Potomac is finished? You could do a lot worse for a pinch-hitter and if we have clinched, I would love to see him play 3rd this season as well. I can't see moving Zimm this next year but I do see that it is a possibility in the future.I think of all the call-ups our 3rd catcher will see the most time as I think but Suzuki and Flores will play well in the post-season when rested. That 3rd catcher already has major league experience whether its Solano or Leon so its a win/win situation.Go Nats!

  81. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 12, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    Peric, Rendon is a special player. Like Harper, can get barrel on ball with bat speed. If Davey wants him, Rizzo won't say no, just not sure where Rendon can contribute at this point in time.

  82. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 12, 2012 at 5:26 PM

    It is ROger against Trout again. Rogers ctach much more important to the game, and just as difficult. Jumping at the fence is great but not nearly as hard sprintin across the field avoiding a pillar and running into the fence and by the way you miss you lose.Vote for ROger at http://espn.go.com/mlb/baseballtonightLatest score Roger up by 4 %. Trout brings the votes in .

  83. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 12, 2012 at 5:28 PM

    Roger is winning by 11 votes right now California is killing Virginia and maryland in the voting. Ccome on guys

  84. Laddie Blah Blah - Aug 12, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    "If Davey wants him, Rizzo won't say no, just not sure where Rendon can contribute at this point in time."Davey has TyMo as a RH power bat off the bench, plus only slappers DeRo and Lombo (when Desi returns). Rendon would give him a RH power hitter off the bench. If I were Davey, I would want him on my bench for the September stretch. Plus, I'd like to see the kid, for myself.He already can do things that cannot be taught. He sees the ball extremely well – 2Ks in Potomac against 6 BBs, last I looked. His hand-eye coordination must be off the charts the way he not only consistently makes contact, but also the way he drives the ball when he does. He does not have much speed, but he has lightning fast reflexes, hence his plus defense at 3rd, and his ability to wait until the last possible moment to flick out those forearms and roll over his wrists to smack the baseball, whatever the pitch. It looks effortless, like Freddie Couples' old golf swing, but it generates amazing power when he connects.Hank Aaron hit the same way, which is why I compared Rendon to Aaron a few weeks back. If this kid stays healthy, he will be in the majors as early as next year.

  85. NatsLady - Aug 12, 2012 at 5:36 PM

    I know it's getting crowded there, but can Rendon play first base, and be another LaRoche? If he is a better fielder than TyMo–and keep RZ at 3B?

  86. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 12, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    Muke Trout is now leading Get out there and vote

  87. Faraz Shaikh - Aug 12, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    literally no votes from VA and MD.

  88. baseballswami - Aug 12, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    I have to force myself all the time to enjoy watching what this team does. What I love about it the most is that it is a team in every sense of the word. Look at someone like Morse, with the whole hit streak thing. He laughs it off, only cares about the team winning. Then follows it up with more hits. This team is truly the right place for Bryce to grow up in front of everyone's eyes. He is not being thrown to the wolves, his development is being thoughtfully carried out, he has mentors and the fans seem to love him no matter what. Sitting out a bit shows him that they success or failure of the team is just not all on him.He is a great kid with a bright future ahead of him — in the future. Now he needs to learn, and endure the trials of being a major leaguer.I have not only enjoyed watching them play and win, the way they go about their business has actually inspired me personally – the focus, the teamwork, the perseverance. How often can you say that the sports team you follow has inspired you?

  89. baseballswami - Aug 12, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    Faraz – I voted from VA yesterday – it would only let me vote once.

  90. MicheleS - Aug 12, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    I voted and the stupid browser won't clear my history, so I can't vote again. GEESH. Sometimes I hate technology.

  91. MicheleS - Aug 12, 2012 at 5:56 PM

    JoeS.. Great Article from Kerr. Just proves its a TEAM and not 1 or 2 guys.

  92. NatsLady - Aug 12, 2012 at 5:58 PM

    Re: Gonzalez. Davey said he wasn't going to use Burnett and Storen. Clip he was saving for the 9th. He had Stammen up, but probably didn't want to use him either, in case Det has a short outing today. Gorzy and Matthues had already pitched.That's your inventory. It's all well and good to say Davey should take Gonzalez out because he didn't get three-up three-down, but you can't use Stammen every day. Plus, Stammen has been known to give up a dinger, especially when he's tired.

  93. NatsLady - Aug 12, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    I voted this morning. My provider is in MD (though I am in DC).

  94. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 12, 2012 at 6:59 PM

    Your suppose to be able to vote every day. Not many from our area. The internationalvote is the biggest difference today. THough California is killing us too. Very few local votes to go against either of them

  95. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 12, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    I put the link on my twitter and my facebook, and several of my facebooks friends who would never voted came through, if we all did that it would hlep.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 88 64 --
ATLANTA 76 76 12.0
MIAMI 74 78 14.0
NEW YORK 73 80 15.5
PHILADELPHIA 70 82 18.0
Through Thursday's early games
x-Clinched division title

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
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.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
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ON THE RADIO

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TUE: 2:30 p.m.
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