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Coping with a rare loss

Aug 13, 2012, 12:50 AM EST

US Presswire photo
Ryan Zimmerman couldn’t corral Kurt Suzuki’s wild throw in the second inning.

PHOENIX — Kurt Suzuki arrived in Washington on Aug. 4 and professed his excitement to join a Nationals club that was in first place and gearing up for the stretch run. Little did he know what he was in for.

The Nationals won Suzuki’s debut, 10-7 over the Marlins. Then they won the next day to wrap up a homestand. Then they swept the Astros in Houston. Then they won two straight in Arizona, improving to 8-0 since the veteran catcher joined the roster.

What, then, was Suzuki to make of Sunday’s series finale against the Diamondbacks, a 7-4 loss that conjured up emotions not felt around here in quite some time?

“Anytime you lose, it stinks no matter what,” he said. “But I mean, that’s the first time I lost here. So it was a little different.”
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  1. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 13, 2012 at 1:13 AM

    Just one game, they didn't quit playing until the 27th out, so they booted a few? Won't hurt. Mets are taking care of the Barves.Still going to be a four and a-half game bulge.No problems, blue skies, seashells and balloons.

  2. Section 222 - Aug 13, 2012 at 1:19 AM

    Looks like the Shark has prevailed in the second battle of the sea against Trout. BBTN has already set up the next showdown, against Rajai Davis's amazing catch in a blowout against the Yankees. That one may be tough to beat.

  3. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 13, 2012 at 1:39 AM

    Ben Sheets imploding. I said give it a while before you call him a success. Case and point tonight.

  4. Doc - Aug 13, 2012 at 1:41 AM

    Suzuki is now 0 for 9 in CS's—not much different than JFlo's 5 for 50 except that Suzuki is making about 10X what JFlo is making. I think that unles Kurt turns the hitting around, we'll have to assume that he's a more expensive version of Nieves.

  5. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 13, 2012 at 1:45 AM

    Ben Sheets is looking like dogmeat. I don't understand how he gets anybody out. Fastball tops at 89-90. This guy wouldn't be a long reliever on the Nats' staff.Here's another reason the Braves won't be catching the Nats.They're not as good.

  6. mick - Aug 13, 2012 at 1:46 AM

    go Mets! What Suzuki does well is play good D and he calls good pitches and seems to be a calming force for them.He is not much of a hitter and in fact may be the weakest hitter on the roster. The only thing I am down about with him are his throw downs, I thought he was considered one of the better catchers when it came to throwing runners out?

  7. mick - Aug 13, 2012 at 1:48 AM

    DocI think Flores will be starting most of the games down the stretch. Suzuki and Flores will compliment each other by allowing the other to be rested

  8. baseballswami - Aug 13, 2012 at 1:54 AM

    Mick- I have seen no evidence so far that Suzuki plays good D. Gio loves him. He can be his personal catcher. I know it's only been a week, but so far he is just another catcher.

  9. SonnyG10 - Aug 13, 2012 at 2:03 AM

    Good observation, Mick. I agree Suzuki compliments Flores. Jesus really needed a break to get healthier.

  10. mick - Aug 13, 2012 at 2:06 AM

    Watching Eric Idle…. too funny!!

  11. mick - Aug 13, 2012 at 2:06 AM

    how did they pull that off…. ha ha ha

  12. mick - Aug 13, 2012 at 2:07 AM

    swami… we will see, I understand your point

  13. mick - Aug 13, 2012 at 2:07 AM

    SonnyG… agreed

  14. Faraz Shaikh - Aug 13, 2012 at 2:39 AM

    Mets and their pathetic bullpen.

  15. Swift Eagle - Aug 13, 2012 at 2:45 AM

    Haha..the Mets would be all over Henry if we DFA'd him!! He'd be the "control guy" in their pen!Wow

  16. Faraz Shaikh - Aug 13, 2012 at 2:50 AM

    what a mess! they should change their name NY Mess.

  17. Swift Eagle - Aug 13, 2012 at 2:54 AM

    Thank you John Rauch…Lead is still 4.5….not pretty

  18. SonnyG10 - Aug 13, 2012 at 2:55 AM

    Yeah! Mets won 6-5.

  19. Faraz Shaikh - Aug 13, 2012 at 2:55 AM

    unbelievable! Heyward almost beat out the dropped third strike by Johnson off of Rauch. Braves lose 6-5 and remain four and a half game behind us. Go Nats!!!

  20. Faraz Shaikh - Aug 12, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    If I am Terry Collins, I go to emergency care before I talk to media or do anything else.

  21. peric - Aug 13, 2012 at 2:57 AM

    Suzuki isn't just a waiver wire pick up. The Nats traded away one of their top 10 prospects according to some analysts to get him. He is only 28, so he'll be around for a bit longer … Give players like Suzuki, Leon, and Solano a chance to adjust when they are working behind the plate. No one remembers what it was like before Ramos? There was Pudge who really could no longer hit and was hitting 40 years old and the Nieves? Flores was still getting shoulder surgeries and rehabbing. There was Norris but he wasn't even close to ready … How soon they forget.

  22. sjm308 - Aug 13, 2012 at 3:04 AM

    Hey everyone!Just got home from a family thing where I was forced to watch the game with a group of Oriole fans. At least they let the Nationals game stay on instead of the Olympics but it was a tough crowd and my team didn't give me much ammunition.Just finished watching the Mets almost blow it but we are still 4.5 up which is a good thing.On to San Francisco and I realize all these matchups are quality but we do not see Cain on this trip so that is a plus.Not sure what to make of Suzuki but he certainly has not been solid either offensively or defensively. Flores is getting some needed rest though so maybe things will turn around soon.Go Nats!!

  23. Zection 3, My Zofa - Aug 13, 2012 at 3:06 AM

    Who had Freitas as a top 10? Or even top 25?

  24. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 13, 2012 at 3:09 AM

    Big Jon Rauch…still helping out the Nats.Thanks, big fella.Barves come up just a little short. Aw. That's a shame.

  25. sjm308 - Aug 13, 2012 at 3:09 AM

    Maybe he meant he was one of our top ten catching prospects

  26. sjm308 - Aug 13, 2012 at 3:13 AM

    OK – Werth was rested, Flores was rested and Burnett & Clippard were rested along with Gorzo & Gonzalez. We are throwing our top 3 guys with a much easier travel situation and we don't jump time zones. San Francisco used 5 pitchers today but are coming off a win. This is a huge series for them as the Dodgers are right there. Should be exciting.Go Nats!!

  27. Zection 3, My Zofa - Aug 13, 2012 at 3:16 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  28. Faraz Shaikh - Aug 13, 2012 at 3:16 AM

    btw watch out for Davis' HR robbing catch tomorrow against Yanks. He will probably be up against Bernie, who beat Trout again today.

  29. Zection 3, My Zofa - Aug 13, 2012 at 3:17 AM

    Let's try that again, this time with Spelling!I'm not saying Freitas was only worth a bag of balls, just that Baseball America had him much lower than top ten, so if someone else had him high, I'd be interested to know who that was.

  30. Zection 3, My Zofa - Aug 13, 2012 at 3:19 AM

    IN point. Case IN point.

  31. Zection 3, My Zofa - Aug 13, 2012 at 3:19 AM

    And nobody's having stress … she's WEARING A DRESS.

  32. peric - Aug 13, 2012 at 4:00 AM

    Coping with a Rare Loss????That has to be facetious … how many since 2005? 71 wins at this point is like breathing rarified air along the summits of the Himalayas. It already well past any and all expectations. Anything further and we arrive at Shambala.

  33. peric - Aug 13, 2012 at 4:01 AM

    Who had Freitas as a top 10? Or even top 25?Wrong question, its more like who didn't?

  34. peric - Aug 13, 2012 at 4:03 AM

    Gorzo doesn't have to pitch until Wednesday … in case Stras gets in trouble. But I have a feelilng (given the crowd and given Lincecum and given its in Stras's home state) that he will be more than ready for that game.

  35. peric - Aug 13, 2012 at 4:11 AM

    FYI just perusing NationalsProspect Freitas was ranked 13th by Sickels and 20th by Baseball Prospectus.

  36. peric - Aug 13, 2012 at 4:27 AM

    Nice tweet by Boz taking a page from BHarp:Mets relievers should arrive in a clown car.

  37. Drew - Aug 13, 2012 at 4:45 AM

    Some of the IFs (imaginary friends) might recall a conversation here around the Giolito signing deadline. Peric, citing analysts' assessments, suggested the Nats' 2012 draft was Giolito or bust. I said I don't know the other draftees, but the Nats have a pretty good record of spotting talent, so I hope an additional player from this class will make the bigs someday.In the early returns it's fair to say there is no additional standout so far, but here are a few guys to watch:Mike McQuillan — A 33rd rounder from the University of Iowa, this second baseman is playing rings around his heralded Auburn teammate, 2nd round pick Tony Renda. McQuillan has an OPS of .806 at Auburn. Renda's is .578. The college experience gives McQuillan polish, but he'll turn 23 in October. He needs to scoot.Brett Mooneyham — The 6'5 lefty from Stanford has a 3.08 ERA in six starts at Auburn.Brett Miller — An outfielder from Samford, he has two homers and six RBIs in his first eight games at Auburn.Derek Self — Auburn's closer, this 9th rounder from the University of Louisville has 10 saves, 21 strikeouts and seven walks.Blake Schwartz — One of three pitchers in the Nats' 2012 draft class who have been promoted to Hagerstown, this 17th rounder from Oklahoma City has a 3.80 ERA in his first four starts.Will Hudgins — A 6'4 righty from Notre Dame, this 22nd rounder is 4-3 with a 2.34 ERA in the Gulf Coast League. He has 23 strikeouts and just three walks.

  38. peric - Aug 13, 2012 at 5:34 AM

    At this point the the guy to watch might be the catcher Spencer Kieboom from Clemson. Plus Manual Craig who played with Rendon and Hague at Rice. I'll wait and see how Luke Erickson and Brian Oliver appraise the picks before passing any judgement. But their first take was Giolito made the draft and Moneyham was a decent bet. Elliot Waterman may also be interesting to watch.

  39. peric - Aug 13, 2012 at 5:37 AM

    Also Nicholas Lee with 43 strikeouts against 11 walks looks interesting.

  40. NatsLady - Aug 13, 2012 at 10:11 AM

    That was some catch by Davis. He is 5'9, the wall is 10 ft. You try it! :) Wanna still vote for Bernie, but…

  41. MicheleS - Aug 13, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    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.

  42. Nats In Athens - Aug 13, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    Just a small note on the Harper vs Trout discussion. Trout has played a full two and a hlaf years in the minors, played a full third of a season in the majors last year (where he batted .220) and is a year older. Also he did not have to cope with all the hoopla surrounding Bryce. Yes Bryce is in a slump, but his average is still very high for a rookie teenager.On the other hand his performance at the plate has nose dived since the 'bro comment. Could he have offended the baseball gods into teaching him a lesson?

  43. baseballswami - Aug 13, 2012 at 11:33 AM

    I feel that Bryce had lost some of his swagger- maybe he had been told to hide it? But I think it's a part of who he is. Maybe that flamboyance is too hard for him to tamp down. Maybe he can't be himself for fear of "not respecting the game" and such. Too much attention from everyone, media and fans. They swarm him and watch every move. Fans claw at him. He is so good hearted that he is trying to be everything to everyone. No wonder he is little beaten down.

  44. NCNatsie - Aug 13, 2012 at 11:52 AM

    What? The Nats lost? I miss one game because I have an event I have to go to and look what happens. OK, here's my spin. For the 10 game road trip, the worst we can do is .600, a percentage which projects to 97 wins. If we can manage even one win against the vaunted Giants pitching staff, then the road trip would be .700, which projects to 113 wins, and then we get to come home and play the hapless Mets.So I don't wnat to hear any whining, ok?

  45. hiramhover - Aug 13, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    Hard to believe the baseball gods care about a question about drinking beer in Canada. Sometimes a slump is just a slump.

  46. sjm308 - Aug 13, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    Not sure Nats fans care about that Braves game except for the score but they were down 6-1 with two outs in the 9th. Francisco walked 4 & hit a batter to bring it to 6-3 (2 runs on no hits!). At that point I couldn't stand it and turned it off. Came back later to see that big John Rauch had taken care of the last out but man, that would have been tough if we started today 3.5. I just love that every game we play for the remainder of the season is meaningful and so are about 6 other teams games. Go Nats!!peric & drew – I appreciate the updates on our new guys as well

  47. Zection 3, My Zofa - Aug 13, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    So, nobody had Freitas as top ten. Thanks.

  48. baseballswami - Aug 13, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    And sometimes a kid struggles just like you would expect him to. Real life is not like a Disney Movie. I woke up today to the happy news that the Braves lost, but it sounds like the Mets really tried to let them have the game. I was talking to a family member last week and asked him how he can be a fan of a sport where there are only 16 games, only 8 home games, per season ( pointy ball) and asked him if he felt cheated. He asked me how I can be a fan of a game that has ups and downs every single day for more than half a year. Good point. It can be pretty consuming. I love it.

  49. natsfan1a - Aug 13, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    What the? Although the ESPN poll teaser showed Bernie/Davis, the poll is up with Trout/Davis. Evidently a late rush for Trout on the West Coast?

  50. Section 222 - Aug 13, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    1a, it's probably for the best. Whoever won yesterday is just a sacrifical lamb for Davis. That catch could be play of the year, even though it was in a 10-4 game. And it will be good to see Trout immediately dethroned (deboned?).

  51. Nats In Athens - Aug 13, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    Anyone know what is the latest on the local TV contract? It is is funny to me that so much is said about you know who and his shutdown and how important it is to this team's future, while nothing is said about an even more important aspect of our future: will we have money to keep both him and Bryce in a few years.

  52. Joe Seamhead - Aug 13, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    Oh Happy Day! Shoot, we're still in first by 4 1/2 games, we still have the best record in baseball, we're heading to SF with the front end of our rotation starting, and the sun is shining. The only bummer is that the Marlins fell 1/2 game in back of the Phillies. "LAST PLACE PHILLIES" had such a nice ring to it.

  53. Gonat - Aug 13, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    The Mets made us feel at home last night with a Kardiac moment. They even made the 3rd strike in the dirt with the throw to 1st a bang bang play.Braves fans have to start thinking 2011 meltdown deja vu.

  54. natsfan1a - Aug 13, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    Davis was in Spiderman mode, for sure, 222. Just odd that the match-up from the program's video teaser and the site's text teaser is not the one in the poll.Athens fan, they were supposed to decide at the owners' meetings, which are August 15-16. That said, would not be surprised if Bud pushes the decision back again because, you know, it's Bud.Definitely a happy day, Joe S. :-)

  55. Section 222 - Aug 13, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    I agree that it's odd, 1a. I was doing alot of voting last night and Shark was up 55-45 when I stopped, but there was a constant discrepancy between the vote reported on the front page and the vote you found if you clicked through to the state by state map. I'll be just as glad to not be voting on that site on a daily basis anymore.

  56. natsfan1a - Aug 13, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    Thanks, 222. I noticed that there was a count discrepancy back when I voted for Roger in the original poll. True that we wouldn't want to go on the DL for repetitive voting stress injuries down the stretch.

  57. natsfan1a - Aug 13, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  58. natsfan1a - Aug 13, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    On another note, someone on a SABR discussion list pointed out that under the new CBA, players can send in plays for review on their own (whereas before only teams could do so). I suppose one could call the previous review process Old School. :-)

  59. Faraz Shaikh - Aug 13, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    good one, 1a.surprised to see trout vs davis but voting davis because that was an incredible catch. he taught trout how to rob a home run.

  60. mick - Aug 13, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    It was either Natsjack or djinfl that mentioned a young pitcher who throws an incredible slider in Nats organization…. who is he, what are the details… I would greatly appreciate it

  61. baseballswami - Aug 13, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    So who will be staying up late this week and be sleep deprived every single gosh darned day? Oh – only two days – Wednesday is during the day? Maybe I can do it if it's only two!

  62. Faraz Shaikh - Aug 13, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    I will probably be asleep before first pitch.

  63. Faraz Shaikh - Aug 13, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    btw head to mlbtraderumors if you want to read some funny posts regarding SS shutdown.

  64. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 13, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    mick…. Christian Garcia. Check his stats at Syracuse.

  65. sjm308 - Aug 13, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    Mick – click on the article by Byron Kerr of MASN that Mark provides on the left hand side of this blog

  66. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 13, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    Hey sjm308… I'll be at the games Friday and Saturday this week. If you are at the Park, I'll be in section 235.

  67. Zection 3, My Zofa - Aug 13, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    He asked me how I can be a fan of a game that has ups and downs every single day for more than half a year.Are you kidding? How can you NOT be a fan of that?

  68. Joe Seamhead - Aug 13, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    Hell, I never look at the season as being anywhere near as long as the off season!

  69. fast eddie - Aug 13, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    Swami:For the late night games this week, no problem.That's why God gave us DVRs.

  70. peric - Aug 13, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    I feel that Bryce had lost some of his swagger- maybe he had been told to hide it? But I think it's a part of who he is.Harper is just mentally tired the grind plus all that you describe plus the game at this level probably creates a great deal of high anxiety in a 19 year old. He isn't used to it. He probably wasn't ready for it. That's not to say he isn't ready physically as he has all the tools. And he has been reasonably steady emotionally. Its the mental grind.

  71. peric - Aug 13, 2012 at 3:19 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.

  72. mick - Aug 13, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    Thanks coach!

  73. natsfan1a - Aug 13, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    Likewise (but my DVR won't be).I will probably be asleep before first pitch.

  74. realdealnats - Aug 13, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    Swami–I'll be up watching SF-Nats. Last week of vacation up here on the Cape with the great whites. Once back in DC, not sure how I'm gonna work my 60 hour full time job with my Nats full time job–especially when their out west.Drew and Peric–I like all the info on prospects you guys regularly offer up as well. Thanks.My vote for Come Back Blogger of the Year is Mick. Outstanding how the axis of your perception has changed Mick. Love the corona po po stories and the new positive natitute. Got the whole package going now.

  75. realdealnats - Aug 13, 2012 at 3:45 PM

    Come what may in San Francisco, nothing better than seeing two 1st place healthy teams go head to head with no excuses. This season is great no matter what happens, so be prepared, play aggressive, figure out when to work counts and when to go after it, and all you guys not playing, keep watching together from the fence and the bench and keep figuring out how to steal the next base and the next run. With these pitching matchups we'll go a long way toward seeing what we're made of 70% through this season long road trip or no. GYFNG!

  76. ehay2k - Aug 13, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    Healthy? You mean besides missing our starting catcher and shortstop, right? 😉 We only seem healthy now because less than fifty percent of the team is on the DL.

  77. realdealnats - Aug 13, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    ehay–you're right. We've had so many injured so long that now that we're not decimated, it feels healthy! It's a tribute to how the rookies have stepped up.





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