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Bay Area battle awaits Nats

Aug 13, 2012, 2:00 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Stephen Strasburg and the Nats face Buster Posey and the Giants this week.

PHOENIX — A 10-game road trip is a challenge for any club, owners of the best record in baseball or not. And when the final leg of that trip comes against the toughest opponent of the stretch, the challenge becomes all the more daunting.

So the Nationals, fresh off a four-game sweep in Houston and then a two-out-of-three series victory in Arizona, now prepare for one of their tougher tasks this season: a three-game set in San Francisco against the NL West-leading Giants.

It's a task the Nats realize they need to take head-on as they prepare for the stretch run and the first pennant race by a D.C. ballclub in 67 years.

"To go and play teams like this, it's the kind of teams we're going to have to beat to get to where we need to go," third baseman RyanRead more ยป

  1. waddu eye no - Aug 13, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    First! "it gets rowdy out there"The lasting NY legacyGyfng"

  2. Zection 3, My Zofa - Aug 13, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    waddu, the SF fans come by their rowdiness honestly. No transplant effect needed.

  3. sjm308 - Aug 13, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    Not related to this post but I have finally read a fairly definitive article on what they will do with Wang and it does not impact our lads as much as I feared. They can move him to the 60 day which frees up a spot on the 40 man and the thought is that Garcia, who has been lights out for two months would take that spot. Both NatsJack and Peric have been raving about him for quite some time and its a huge plus (again) for our team. I am sorry Wang did not work out but its time to let that dream go.On to the Giants! Have to say that I loved the throwbacks at our place. Wonder if they will do it out there as well?Go Nats!

  4. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 13, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    I have finally read a fairly definitive article on what they will do with Wang and it does not impact our lads as much as I feared. They can move him to the 60 day which frees up a spot on the 40 manUnless there's some rule that a player can't be DFA while on the 15 day DL, why bother moving him to the 60 day? If they did that, they're admitting he's not going to pitch again this season, and there's no possible way they'd sign him again for next year. They might as well just go ahead and DFA him. He gets paid either way, and there's no danger of another team signing him for this year and having him come back to haunt the Nats.

  5. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… MicheleS, less than 12 starts for a pitcher is a small sample size. I give Sheets credit for his comeback so far but it's too soon to annoint him a success much like Wang last year in Wrigley. August 10, 2012 4:38 PM _________________________________MicheleS, it was a good time to see what Sheets could do and last night he looked bad. Fastball wasn't located well and he should have been hit harder. Maybe a bump in the road. Maybe the wear and tear of grinding it out every 5 days is getting to him.Like I said to you last week, sample size. I am reading the Braves will be getting Hanson back so their rotation will be Hudson, Hanson, Sheets, Maholm, Minor going into September.

  6. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    pRAA, if Wang is DFA'd before Sept 1st he could be picked up by a team and be on their post-season roster. If he is DFA'd after Aug 31st, then he can basically go onto a team's 40 man roster.Not sure Rizzo wants to deal with any of that unless he needs to clear a 40 man spot soon for someone like Christian Garcia.

  7. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 13, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… pRAA, if Wang is DFA'd before Sept 1st he could be picked up by a team and be on their post-season roster.Sure. But my point is this: How much damage could he do if another team picked him up at this point? None. There is no reason for Rizzo to hold onto Wang in order to keep him out of the hands of another team. They have held onto him this long out of the hope that he might be useful to the Nats. If they put him on the 60 day DL, they are admitting that he's useless to them for the remainder of this season. Might as well just cut the charade and DFA him.

  8. peric - Aug 13, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    Speaking of mental anxiety bringing on exhaustion. All of this shutdown talk has got to be affecting Stephen Strasburg … not to mention Mike Rizzo adversely. Based on the two rational non stupid jock articles Steinberg pointed to … it may not ever go away. If the Nats make the playoffs and whether they do or don't get to the series the drama of this season will be remembered for a very, very long time.

  9. peric - Aug 13, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    Not sure Rizzo wants to deal with any of that unless he needs to clear a 40 man spot soon for someone like Christian Garcia.Still a choice between DeRosa, Iszturis and Wang when they hit September 1st and Desmond comes back. Outside possibility for Maya but Maya is pitching and pitching fairly solidly in AAA. They'd lose more than 2 million if they release him. They aren't going to let Ryan Perry go at this point. He is definitely looks like another hen house heist by wolf Rizzo when compared to Balester.

  10. nats guy - Aug 13, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    Peric et al,Christian Garcia is a little long in the tooth to be considered a real propect. He spent 6 years in low A and rookie leagues. He had arm trouble and was basically let go by the Yankees. Essentially we're trading one bad arm from the Yankees for another. As a cup of coffee in September maybe. As a big help doubtful.

  11. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    I still think Stras's arm will tell you when he is done. Maybe its 165 or 169. If he isn't going to skip starts to get some post-season starts then I don't see the reason to push it.When you replace Stras with Lannan, your net change is simply about a +1 run differential that the Nats offense would have to overcome. Its not like replacing him with a rookie callup and a true unknown. While +1 run is a lot, the Nats should have their best starting 7 position players all together for the stretch run.Another point is JZim really started to show the wear as he approached 160 last year. Part of it certainly could have been mental as he knew his limit was approaching. There was also no surprise that Jordan's number was 160 innings.If you haven't read it, talking head Steven A. Smith of ESPN has weighed in on the Stephen Strasburg shutdown.

  12. MicheleS - Aug 13, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    Ghost.. not sure if you saw my comment on the previous thread: MicheleS said… Ghost.. As soon as i woke up and saw the braves score – I laughed. Maybe the book on sheets is starting to get written. Earlier than I figured, but I will take it. After listening to Mark and others on radio this weekend, I really don't think CMW ever puts on a Nats uniform again. Byron Kerr made some valid points as well. Can't have a guy rehabbing with the Nats in September. August 13, 2012 6:52 AM

  13. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    Still a choice between DeRosa, Iszturis and Wang when they hit September 1st and Desmond comes back.Desmond is still on the 40 man so if he is brought back after Sept 1st, no moves need to be made.Christian Garcia is a different story. He isn't on the 40 man so a slot would need to be opened for him.

  14. MicheleS - Aug 13, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    Jonah Keri, just moved the Nat's to #1 in the power rankings on ESPN/Grantland

  15. MicheleS - Aug 13, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    Ghost.. Did Stephen A Smith write something or just scream about it on TV?

  16. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    MicheleS, thanks Michele. I was thinking of you as I watched Sheets get bashed last night. The thing to always look at with reclamation guys is what they looked like before their injury. Sheets was bad with Oakland in 2010 although he was good in his last year with the Brewers in 2008. There is now a good scouting report on him. I expect his mixed bag to continue but I wonder if any arm fatigue will play a factor.

  17. baseballswami - Aug 13, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    Watching Stras every pitch, every start, I think he is already showing signs. Lots of full counts, laboring, demeanor.

  18. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    MicheleS said… Ghost.. Did Stephen A Smith write something or just scream about it on TV? Danny Rouhier on 106.7 does a pretty good Smith impression. I got to listen to Danny doing Smith on Strasburg. Funny stuff. Dan Steinberg posted up his transcript with commentary.Unfortunately, Smith is like a radio shock jock. He gets ratings by just saying outrageous stuff.

  19. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 13, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    Sheets is like that rusted-out, 1977 Olds Cutlass that's been given a $59 paint job at Maaco. It looks good…until you turn the key. I admire the guy for coming back and what-not, but it's a sign of the level of the Barves' desperation that he's even on a big league roster, much less starting. I watched last night's game closely. Sheets is getting by purely on savvy; his stuff is less than mediocre. The fact the light-hitting Mets knocked him around is telling. It was the second time the Mets faced him, and they owned him. Same will happen when/if we see him next week.The Nats will beat out the Barves for the NL East title for one simple reason:We are a better team than Atlanta.

  20. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    baseballswami said… Watching Stras every pitch, every start, I think he is already showing signs. Lots of full counts, laboring, demeanor. Yes, that is true, but some of that comes from Stras being a strikeout pitcher and trying to be too fine.The other reason to push him towards 169 2/3 is to keep that 20% year over year progression going. That gets him next year over 200 innings which is important although some think next year he has no limit so that will certainly be the 2013 debate.Again, I see no reason to push it unless you plan on pitching Stephen in a post-season game or 2 and the only way to do that is to skip 2 starts in September.

  21. NatsLady - Aug 13, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    swami, yes. Even under the roof in Arizona Stras was sweating and flushed. You just look at JZ, and you see a calm strength.

  22. MicheleS - Aug 13, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    One good thing, Stras is pitching in SF on Wednesday, so cool temps for him. And it looks like the weather is STARTING (she says hopefully) to break around here and no putridly hot days in the forecast for the next week.

  23. NatsLady - Aug 13, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    The problem with pitching Stras in the postseason is, when do you stop? As I see it, you commit to 230 or you shutdown at @165. In the postseason, which game can you say to Stras, ok, THIS one, though critical, is the limit, sit down? The division seris, championship series? Game 7 of the WS? You sit him down in September, let the furor fly, and go about your business. The playoffs are a crapshoot anyway, why do you (potentially) throw an rehabbing pitcher who is the future of the franchise into the crapshoot?

  24. Exposremains - Aug 13, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    I think that Wang is the mop up guy for sept. To keep the bullpen fresh. That's why they are keeping him not because they think he's gonna be a great addition to the rotation.

  25. NatsLady - Aug 13, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    Expos, you could be right. Especially if the Nats have a good lead in late Sept, the bullpen is ABSOLUTELY key to the playoffs. All teams will be going on a 3-4 man "rotation," and using a quick hook.

  26. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said… Sheets is like that rusted-out, 1977 Olds Cutlass that's been given a $59 paint job at Maaco. It looks good…until you turn the key.Bobby, again I have to love your hindsight on Sheets, and its laughable. Sheets schooled the Phoolies twice within a week and a 1/2. I was critical of all the praise he had been getting but of course I wrote my comments before his blowup game. You on the other hand are trying to bury the guy after the fact.Last week some on here were calling Sheets a steal! A great pickup. Sheets is the reason a GM will sign CMW.Difference between Sheets and CMW was an elbow and flexor tendon vs. a rebuilt shoulder for Wang. Also Sheets was ready to pitch when Atlanta signed him and Rizzo took CMW as a fix and throw rehab reclamation project.

  27. NatsLady - Aug 13, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    AM I correct, the Barfs are off today, so we have a chance to pick up 1/2 game? Go, Gio and Kurt!!! Bet Gio will have a bunch of his Oakland buddies there to cheer him on!

  28. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    Expos, I think the bullpen innings guy(s) will either be Perry, Maya, Wang or HenRod and maybe even Garcia if he is added.Bill Ladson is convinced that Christian Garcia will be added to the 40 man which means a roster move will be made and most are speculating it will be Wang. Not sure how accurate that is.

  29. MurrayTheRed - Aug 13, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    I agree with swammi Stras has not seemed as sharp his last few outings. And the best thing about his shutdown is that of all the people that keep changing or predicting the number will shut up. And the worst thing is that it will not stop the talk about if it was the correct plan – unless we win the WS hee hee he smiling like the Cheshire Cat!

  30. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 13, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    Padres @ Braves 7:10 pm tonight. Stults vs Minor.

  31. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    NatsLady, Padres are at the Braves tonight.

  32. NatsLady - Aug 13, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    Oh, sorry, missed it somehow. Well, Padres haven't been half-bad recently, so let's hope for a full game pick up!!!

  33. Exposremains - Aug 13, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    GhostI see Perry as a project for next year, Hrod can only pitch one inning/build confidence, if possible. Garcia is , show us if you can do it in the mlb but not too much we're in a playoff race. Maya and Wang are the same pitcher, lots of wasted money, can throw multiple innings.

  34. Melissa Rabey - Aug 13, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    Actually, I think we'll all be rooting for the Padres on 8/16 and the Giants on 8/23, because that's who the Braves are playing on those dates which also happen to be off days for the Nats. Atlanta's next off day is 8/30, when the Nationals play the Cards.Long-time lurker, first-time poster. Hi!

  35. Exposremains - Aug 13, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    I guess my point that i dont see any of these pitchers pitch with the game on the line.

  36. NatsLady - Aug 13, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    Well, I'm not Davey, but I don't see letting Henry pitch in September. If it's not a critical game, what's the point? If it is, and he blows it, that's more confidence-destroying. I say, let him stay on the DL and get a fresh start physically and mentally next season. The only question would be winter ball.

  37. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    Exposremains said… GhostI see Perry as a project for next year, Hrod can only pitch one inning/build confidence, if possible. Garcia is , show us if you can do it in the mlb but not too much we're in a playoff race. Maya and Wang are the same pitcher, lots of wasted money, can throw multiple innings. August 13, 2012 12:18 PM See, I detest the word mop-up work on a contending team. If Stammen didn't blow-up yesterday in his job as an "innings eater", the game was still win-able.I don't know what constitutes mop-up work when you have a team like the Nats with a renewed offense. I see it as who can eat up innings coming out of the bullpen without blowing it up.You come into a 4-0 game in the 5th and your job is to keep the game close.Perry seems like the right man for the job to go with some long outings and so does Maya.Davey needs to save innings on all the main starters in September while making sure the Nats continue to win. Certainly a tall order.

  38. NatsLady - Aug 13, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    Between CMW/Perry for "mop-up guy," I'd go with CMW–not based on stuff. I don't see CMW here next year, but he has done everything asked of him, including back on the DL when it was clear he wasn't going to help a contending team. If he's physically able, why not let him show that to other teams? We've already seen Perry in the mop-up role, you want him to start, and I don't see him doing that in September unless we are up LOTSA games, and even then it should be Lannan, again–after the initial blowup he certainly has been a "company man."There will be plenty of time in the spring to see if Perry can cut it as a starter. If he can't, go ahead and trade him before the deadline unless some bad thing happens like Stammen is injured. If he is, fine. He isn't costing much either way.

  39. sjm308 - Aug 13, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    Not sure we can keep Perry unless he is way above solid in spring training. I think one reason we made the trade this year was that he had an option and Ballestar did not. I agree that this could end up a super deal for us but it could be risky keeping him on the 25 man. One thing in his favor is that after this year he will have experience both starting and coming in out of the pen. Maybe your perfect long man but then what do you do with Stammen? What an amazing turnaround that we now have too many players!My guess is we don't see Wang in a nationals uniform at the major league level again (very sad).I was out weeding and had a thought about Suzuki and his detractors. I realize he has not performed. Help me out if I am wrong on this point though. We had gone through 5 or 6 catchers so far this season. Flores was showing signs of fatigue. Rizzo went out and got what was probably the best catcher on the waiver wire and it did not cost us any prospects. It showed the team (and flores) that we were in this race to win. It let Flores know that he needed to play well to keep his job (and I think he will respond to the rest with better play). Again, Suzuki has done nothing to help us on the field but it had to help our guys in the locker room to see that we were not just going to stay pat. Am I off base here. This is what time in the garden is like for me, my mind drifts to baseball.Go Nats!!

  40. baseballswami - Aug 13, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    I usually enjoy watching Buster Posey play. For the next three days he terrifies me and I hope he cools off very quickly and goes into a slump. If the Nats pitching staff can shut him down, it will go a long way towards some curly W's.

  41. NatsLady - Aug 13, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    Ghost, here I'm inclined to fault Davey. Stammen was not given enough time to warm up. If Davey knew Det was under the weather, and still wanted him to start, Stammen should have started his warm up earlier. Stammen as a former starter needs longer to warm up, I've seen him do that before, come in and have a bad first inning or part-inning and then settle down. Characteristic of a starter.

  42. baseballswami - Aug 13, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    Oh – and welcome Melissa! Feel free to post at will!

  43. NatsLady - Aug 13, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    sjm–Suzuki did cost a prospect (Freitas) but not high-ranked or close to ML-ready.

  44. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    NatsLady said… Well, I'm not Davey, but I don't see letting Henry pitch in September. If it's not a critical game, what's the point? If it is, and he blows it, that's more confidence-destroying. I say, let him stay on the DL and get a fresh start physically and mentally next season. The only question would be winter ball. August 13, 2012 12:21 PM Good point if Henry doesn't file a grievance with the MLBPA so is there a long-term injury there or do they leave him on the DL and send him to the Gulf Coast for rehab and forget about him until the off-season. If they do that, he remains on the 40 man w/ his 15 day DL stint. That still won't clear a 40 man spot.DeRosa, Desi, Solano, Wang, and HenRod are all the 15 day DL guys. Desi is coming back. The other 4 are certainly in play if any one of them get moved to the 60 Day DL or Rizzo decides to DFA someone.

  45. UnkyD - Aug 13, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    Hi, Melissa!!

  46. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    sjm308 said… I was out weeding and had a thought about Suzuki and his detractors. I realize he has not performed. Help me out if I am wrong on this point though. We had gone through 5 or 6 catchers so far this season. Flores was showing signs of fatigue. Rizzo went out and got what was probably the best catcher on the waiver wire and it did not cost us any prospects. It showed the team (and flores) that we were in this race to win. It let Flores know that he needed to play well to keep his job (and I think he will respond to the rest with better play). Again, Suzuki has done nothing to help us on the field but it had to help our guys in the locker room to see that we were not just going to stay pat. Am I off base here. This is what time in the garden is like for me, my mind drifts to baseball.Go Nats!!I disagree. Suzuki will improve as a play caller and is already better than the best I have seen in Flores. He's still going through the acclamation period with the pitchers. I really like how he is working locations and trying to keep the pitchers moving speeds. Sure, he is no Ramos, but I see him as a defensive upgrade. So far though, not great on offense.With Flores moving to a smaller role, he has more time to prepare and he won't be as fatigued which will make Flores better.

  47. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    NatsLady said… Ghost, here I'm inclined to fault Davey. Stammen was not given enough time to warm up. If Davey knew Det was under the weather, and still wanted him to start, Stammen should have started his warm up earlier. Stammen as a former starter needs longer to warm up, I've seen him do that before, come in and have a bad first inning or part-inning and then settle down. Characteristic of a starter. August 13, 2012 12:31 PM I didn't follow his warm-up routine so thanks for pointing that out.The end result was it turned into a laugher.

  48. natsfan1a - Aug 13, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    Oh, is it time for a new round of "I said it first"? Wake me when it's over. :-)swami, I also enjoy watching Posey, my late bro's fave player. That said, I'll have to root against his Giants for the next few days (sorry, Buster). Last but not least, will also add a welcome for Melissa.

  49. sjm308 - Aug 13, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    Ghost, you are correct, I should have said nothing offensively. I also like his style behind the plate.

  50. terpman33 - Aug 13, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    Wow! Did not realize the Braves next off day is Aug. 30. That's a long time to go without a break. I think this will be a great series to see where we stand with one of the NL's best. I hope we can win this series (if not sweep) as well. Still can't believe we can ACTUALLY talk about who will be on the playoff roster. Hello to you too, Melissa Rabey. And as usual, GYFNG!

  51. Drew - Aug 13, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    Welcome, Melissa!

  52. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 13, 2012 at 5:21 PM

    I should have said nothing offensively.If only peric had this philosophy.

  53. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    sjm308 said… Ghost, you are correct, I should have said nothing offensively. I also like his style behind the plate.August 13, 2012 12:52 PM The rub on Kurt Suzuki was below average offensively so this is no surprise. While I like him, I see him and JFlo next year competing for the same job. Ramos will prove to be an elite catcher as he was showing in 2011.Rizzo will be able to get back a prospect when he trades either Suzuki or Flores.

  54. RickH - Aug 13, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    Welcome, Melissa!

  55. smurff - Aug 13, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    This should be a very good series to judge where we stand with respect to playoff potential. Unfortunately, I'll have to DVR them, and watch at a later date.Braves have Dodgers at home, before coming to us, and then go out to SF. Also an important set of series for Nationals fans.Good Times!

  56. Section 135 - Aug 13, 2012 at 6:00 PM

    If this team fails down the stretch or in the playoffs it won't be due to Stras' shutdown. It will be due to what's Lille this team most of the season: lack of offense.

  57. smurff - Aug 13, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… …Ramos will prove to be an elite catcher as he was showing in 2011.+++++++++++++++ I hope you're right, but I'll want to see what he looks like in Spring Training after the knee surgeries. And to see if he kept the weight off.

  58. JD - Aug 13, 2012 at 6:07 PM

    Smurff, I'l worry about the Braves if they pass us or get close to us. As far as I'm concerned the only team I'm interested in is the Washington Nationals.

  59. Cwj - Aug 13, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    Ugh, MLB Network STILL obsessed with the Strasburg shutdown.They just said "the story keeps getting odder and odder". What in the world are they talking about??Alana Rizzo says she doesn't buy it (that Stras will miss the post season), Why???Every Nats fan knows that Strasburg will be shut down.Jeez, why doesn't the rest of the world it?

  60. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    Here's the remaining schedules of the Nats and then the Braves. I have given in the 2nd column the # of games remaining and in the 3rd column the number of wins by the opponent. By comparison, the Nats have a slightly more difficult schedule. Atlanta has to play 1 extra game. Atlanta has 25 of 48 games on the road and the Nats have 20 of 47 games on the road.I would say the Nats have the overall advantage in having far fewer road games remaining. ATL 6 66CHC 4 44LAD 3 62MIA 5 52MIL 4 52NYM 6 55PHI 9 52SFG 3 63STL 7 62 47 56.31914894 COL 4 41LAD 3 62MIA 6 52MIL 3 52NYM 6 55PHI 6 52PIT 3 64SDP 7 51SFG 4 63WSN 6 71 48 55.97916667

  61. Ron In Reston - Aug 13, 2012 at 6:09 PM

    Welcome to the party, Melissa!!

  62. Cwj - Aug 13, 2012 at 6:09 PM

    "get it", I mean :-)

  63. JD - Aug 13, 2012 at 6:12 PM

    Ghost, And they are 4.5 games behind us.

  64. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    JD, no doubt. Nats have 7 games against the "hot" Cardinals and they have 3 games against the Pirates.Nats have 28 of the remaining 47 against teams with records below .500 and the Braves have 32 of 48 against teams below .500

  65. NatsLady - Aug 13, 2012 at 6:27 PM

    I was listening to Jayson Stark and he wondered why Rizzo is being so rigid not bringing Lannan up and skipping Stras starts. I think the answer–in addition to roster issues–is that Rizzo is going for the division and not just the WC. Can't afford to lose games with the Braves on 4.5 games behind. If we had a 10 game lead, then Rizzo could worry about the playoffs. First we have to get there.

  66. smurff - Aug 13, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    JD,My interest in ATL's upcoming series is to see how they match up against other teams that could be in the playoffs. And how they match up against them compared to how we do.

  67. SonnyG10 - Aug 13, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    Melissa Rabey said… Actually, I think we'll all be rooting for the Padres on 8/16 and the Giants on 8/23, because that's who the Braves are playing on those dates which also happen to be off days for the Nats. Atlanta's next off day is 8/30, when the Nationals play the Cards.Long-time lurker, first-time poster. Hi!Welcome Melissa and hello.

  68. A DC Wonk - Aug 13, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… I still think Stras's arm will tell you when he is done.It may. But what if he's still strong at 180? 200? 220? The potential damage is long term and may not show up until next spring.

  69. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    NatsLady, I have to agree with Stark, but not until after Sept 1st and the start to skip would be Sept 7th vs. Miami and realign for Stras to pitch Sept 14th vs. Atlanta.Sale of the White Sox skipped a start and came back yesterday and looked great. The other suggestion I read was cutting back on the intensity of Strasburg's side sessions.

  70. baseballswami - Aug 13, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    CWJ – I had the same reaction. It was almost like breaking news. Sheesh. Neon sign at Times Square maybe?

  71. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2012 at 6:49 PM

    A DC Wonk said… Ghost Of Steve M. said…I still think Stras's arm will tell you when he is done.It may. But what if he's still strong at 180? 200? 220? The potential damage is long term and may not show up until next spring.Hah! With the provision that he doesn't go over 180 innings although I personally don't seeing him throwing that much.

  72. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 13, 2012 at 6:57 PM

    I have to agree with Stark, but not until after Sept 1st and the start to skip would be Sept 7th vs. Miami and realign for Stras to pitch Sept 14th vs. Atlanta.Why? Strasburg is undefeated against the Marlins, Lannan is a Braves killer, while Stras has struggled against the Braves as has Lannan vs the Marlins. The games all count the same. Nothing to be gained by jiggering the rotation to line up specific guys against particular teams. It can just as easily backfire on you as help you.

  73. MurrayTheRed - Aug 13, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    I think the team is worried that Ramos will have trouble coming back from his injury. Suzuki is not just to make the team better today but insurance for Ramos next year. If Ramos comes back strong it will be JFlo that will be the odd man out.

  74. MicheleS - Aug 13, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    Yea! Another Girl! Welcome Melissa.

  75. JD - Aug 13, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    MurrayTheRed, Maybe, To me the Suzuki acquisition is very telling. He is scheduled to earn $6.5 mil next year which is a lot for a backup. I think there that there is very real concern about Ramos in the Nats org. I think if they were very confident Ramos will return healthy next year they would have gone for a veteran backup like Torrealba or even Hill. I think that Leon and especially Solano will be good catchers but they are still very raw especially when it comes to receiving. I do agree that Flores is likely to be the odd man out.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 92 64 --
ATLANTA 76 81 16.5
NEW YORK 76 81 16.5
MIAMI 75 81 17.0
PHILADELPHIA 71 86 21.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Tuesday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON (2) 92 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 89 68 3.5
y-ST. LOUIS 88 70 5.0
-------------------------
y-PITTSBURGH 86 71 --
SAN FRANCISCO 85 71 0.5
MILWAUKEE 80 77 6.0
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Tuesday's early games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Marlins at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
(End of regular season)
MON: OFF
TUE: OFF
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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