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Game 118: Nats at Giants

Aug 15, 2012, 5:30 PM EST

US Presswire file photo
Stephen Strasburg faces Tim Lincecum this afternoon at AT&T Park.

If asked back on Opening Day for the best head-to-head pitching matchups you could see at some point during the season, Stephen Strasburg vs. Tim Lincecum surely would have made the short list.

As it turns out, this isn't quite as marquee a showdown as you would have expected, because Lincecum (6-12, 5.35 ERA) hasn't been his Cy Young self most of the year. Don't sell "The Freak" short, though, especially inside AT&T Park, where he still boasts a 3.66 ERA and 1.297 WHIP this season.

As for Strasburg, this outing will provide plenty more fodder both for those who support and those who deride the Nationals' plan to shut him down before season's end. If the right-hander dominates, it will only enrage the naysayers to question Mike Rizzo's sanity even more than they already have. If he struggles, the supporters will insist this is further evidence Rizzo know exactly what he's doing.

Two points: 1) It's truly unfortunate this debate has consumed so many people and in the process taken attention away from both Strasburg's actual performance and the Nationals' best-in-baseball season, and 2) It doesn't matter one lick what anyone thinks or says about this matter, because Rizzo made up his mind almost one year ago and he's not about to change it now.

So how about we just enjoy today's event in San Francisco for what it is: A potentially fantastic ballgame between two of the best teams in baseball, each of which is sending a fantastic young pitcher to the mound in search of a series victory?

I'm not there, unfortunately, but given the early start time and the significance of the game, I'll have some thoughts to share along the way, so please be sure to check back…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
Where: AT&T Park
Gametime: 3:45 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv, MLB Network (outside D.C. market)
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 186
Weather: Sunny, 65 degrees, Wind 9 mph out to RF

NATIONALS (72-45)
2B Steve Lombardozzi
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche

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316 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. MicheleS - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    Joe Madden got ejected from the TB/SEA game.. Weirdwuss

  2. Schumatrix - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    Felix perfect through 6 2/3 and the Weird Wuss is out there arguing balls/strikes. Surprised he didn't get tossed.

  3. Schumatrix - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    Oh, i guess he just did. haha

  4. baseballswami - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:23 PM

    Missed it by thaaaaat much!

  5. NatsLady - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:23 PM

    Rizzo implied on the radio that Desi would go on rehab assignment. He said, "The plan is …blah blah blah… and then we'll find a place for him to get some at-bats."

  6. MicheleS - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:23 PM

    Gonat.. Thanks. Was trying to find the pitching linueps for the weekend and couldn't find them

  7. Gonat - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:23 PM

    That darn singles hitter…..

  8. Schumatrix - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:24 PM

    Jayson's terrible. Why the hell is he still in this game? /sarcasm/

  9. NatsLady - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:24 PM

    Werth does it again.

  10. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:25 PM

    And it's now 21 up and 21 down in Seatle.

  11. Section 222 - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:26 PM

    We chased Vogelsong in 3 innings on Monday and wore out Lincecum in 4 today. That's some seriously impressive hitting guys. Well done. Can we really be headed to an 8-2 roadtrip? Not counting chickens yet, but good grief!

  12. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:26 PM

    Yes but Werth struck out with a man on 3rd last time up so he's washed up.

  13. Swift Eagle - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:26 PM

    King Felix still perfect after 7

  14. Ron In Reston - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:26 PM

    Maddon got tossed on purpose to try and screw up Felix's rhythm.Didn't work.

  15. Schumatrix - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:27 PM

    He is a weird wuss.

  16. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    NatsLady, I was told Desi will play in a simulated game tomorrow and if he does well will be activated Friday.Davey prefers TyMo off the bench over Lombo and Rizzo wants the hot bat of Lombo as he can play LF as well.

  17. baseballswami - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:29 PM

    Danny is killing jaysons ankle.

  18. Gonat - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:29 PM

    Swift, I can't believe you just wrote that about Felix

  19. Gonat - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    At this point in the game, I put in Bernadina right now. This isn't smart.

  20. ehay2k - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:31 PM

    I called into Mike Wise's show today because they were asking fans if they supported the shutdown. I said that they are assuming that if SS is not shut down, he will play the rest of the season and into the playoffs at a high level. I said that in fact, he has fallen off a little since the ASB and mentioned Mark's post about how Zimnn fell off a little after the ASB, and how Stras has been less effective as well. So, they cherry pick at a couple of stats for his last couple of games and say "No, he's still effective." Of course, they cut me off as they went looking for stats to back up their argument, so I didn't get to tell the that since the ASB SS was throwing a lot of pitches per inning, and had been inconsistent in his control as well. But the next caller basically said the SAME thing, and they just went on as if it didn't matter. I don't think these guys actually watch the games. They watch EntertainmentSPN and read box scores. Can't believe they get paid.

  21. Swift Eagle - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:31 PM

    Still a great AB by Danny

  22. Gonat - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… NatsLady, I was told Desi will play in a simulated game tomorrow and if he does well will be activated Friday.Davey prefers TyMo off the bench over Lombo and Rizzo wants the hot bat of Lombo as he can play LF as well. August 15, 2012 5:28 __________________________________Sounds like Rizzo and Davey have a difference of opinion.Let's see who wins out.

  23. Swift Eagle - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:33 PM

    Haha, I'm trying to jinx Felix, the Rays are my AL team…

  24. ehay2k - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    Davey should pinch run Bernie for Werth. He is really laboring to run out there.

  25. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    Werth got lucky on that steal. Cory Brown would have scored by now.

  26. Gonat - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:37 PM

    ehay2k said… Davey should pinch run Bernie for Werth. He is really laboring to run out there. August 15, 2012 5:35 PM __________________________________Davey clearly doesn't see the same game we do. He did the same earlier in the season when Flores hurt his hamstring and wouldn't replace him and Flores hurt himself worse.

  27. MicheleS - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:39 PM

    Ehay2k.. I was bombarding Mike & Mike this morning with articles, etc, plus the poll on WaPo about how 80% of Nats fans support shut down. NOT a single mention of facts, just cherry picked what they wanted to drum up a lame controversy.

  28. Gonat - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:40 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… Werth got lucky on that steal. Cory Brown would have scored by now.______________________________Skole would have scored also.

  29. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:43 PM

    Suzuki is looking more comfortable behind the plate.

  30. Schumatrix - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    So would Danny Rosenbaum.

  31. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:46 PM

    Suzuki knows this team. Wish he caught yesterday.

  32. MicheleS - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:46 PM

    That was a nasty curve to get buster..And now back over to SEA game

  33. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:47 PM

    Perfect through 8 in Seattle.

  34. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    King Felix is dealing it today.

  35. Swift Eagle - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    Corey Brown wouldn't even need the GG Bridge to get to the stadium, he could just walk across the Bay….

  36. Schumatrix - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    Man, Harp's been hitting them well. That's really unfortunate.

  37. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:50 PM

    But I bet Cory Brown could do better.

  38. Schumatrix - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    Corey Brown looks at Barry Bonds' HR record and Pete Rose's hit record with disdain. He's too good for mortal records.

  39. Swift Eagle - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:52 PM

    True story, when my car broke down in Syc, Corey Brown put 2 hands on the hood, started up right away…

  40. NatsLady - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:52 PM

    ehay2k, I think I heard that, and I remember thinking they were working from stats and results– not from actually watching Stras and seeing how chancy his control was, and the sweating even indoors.

  41. MicheleS - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:55 PM

    If Corey's Family is reading this (since a relative posted here once), the boys are not picking on Corey…

  42. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:55 PM

    Anybody else notice that pRAA and peric disappear and reappear at the same times?

  43. peric - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:57 PM

    If Corey's Family is reading this (since a relative posted here once), the boys are not picking on Corey…Sure they are because that is about all they are good at and for. Shiftless reprobates that they are.

  44. MicheleS - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:58 PM

    Paging pRAA

  45. peric - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:58 PM

    Anybody else notice that pRAA and peric disappear and reappear at the same times?Its coincidental, don't get any ideas shiftless Saul.

  46. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:58 PM

    Thanks, Michele. Yes. None of this is directed at Cory. Actually, I see Cory getting a chance with another club next year in an off season trade.

  47. Schumatrix - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:59 PM

    25 up 25 down. I love the MLB package.

  48. peric - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:59 PM

    I wonder if they might consider moving Harper to the DL (not at all sure optioning him to AAA would be the right thing to do) for a blow when Desmond comes back?

  49. MicheleS - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:00 PM

    King Felix is just NASTY!

  50. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:00 PM

    25 down with 2 to go in the 9th.

  51. peric - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:01 PM

    Actually, I see Cory getting a chance with another club next year in an off season trade.They'll get more value for Bernadina at this point. I think Corey makes the team out of ST.

  52. Schumatrix - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:01 PM

    26 up 26 down on a 6-3 putout.

  53. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:01 PM

    26 up .. 26 down.

  54. slidell2 - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:03 PM

    Perfect game King Felix.

  55. peric - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:03 PM

    And you mean pRAA with ISO …

  56. Schumatrix - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:03 PM

    PERFECTO!!!!!!!

  57. MicheleS - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:03 PM

    OH MY That was a thing of beauty! KING FELIX!!!

  58. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:03 PM

    PERFECTION!

  59. peric - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:04 PM

    That's the 4th in 4 years against Tampa Bay … that's really pretty odd since it rarely happens to every other major league team.

  60. Faraz Shaikh - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:04 PM

    Congrats to Felix. Missed the game and it was a free game on MLB site.

  61. Schumatrix - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:05 PM

    Dang, Danny. Bro's en fuego!

  62. Faraz Shaikh - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:06 PM

    I believe that's sixth no-hitter of the year. Couple more and this will be another record breaking year for pitchers.

  63. Schumatrix - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    Does Tampa enjoy getting perfecto'd? When you let Dallas Braden pitch one, you know something's up.

  64. MicheleS - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    Danny's batting average is starting to creep up.. So glad he is getting hot and it is coming at a perfect time!

  65. Schumatrix - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:09 PM

    Also, Philip Humber's PG was against the Mariners this year. I wonder how many teams have thrown a PG and had one thrown against them in the same season?

  66. peric - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:10 PM

    Danny's batting average is starting to creep up.. So glad he is getting hot and it is coming at a perfect time!As is Morse … and then there's Shark week; the problem is I think the Ghost is right its going to take some time to get Desmond's bat untracked.Lombo is 3 for 4 today and will be taking a seat on the pine … he too appears to be getting hot.

  67. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:12 PM

    The price on the King just went up

  68. MicheleS - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:12 PM

    And Werth is 2-3, with a walk, and 3 RBI… don't leave that out..

  69. Gonat - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… The price on the King just went up August 15, 2012 6:12 PM _______________________________You have had everyone on NI talking about King Felix.Look at what you started!

  70. Schumatrix - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    And Werth is 2-3, with a walk, and 3 RBI… don't leave that out..August 15, 2012 6:12 PM__________________________I'd love to see him start hitting for some power though.

  71. MicheleS - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    Shumatrix, i think the power will come, Werth hit that shot in Houston that was on that goofy hill, so it' still there.

  72. Swift Eagle - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    As several have pointed out, Shutdown-Gate has just become latest topic for the "Fake Argument" shows and columns…. They never let the facts get in the way of a good made -up controversy….

  73. Gonat - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:16 PM

    Schumatrix, guy gets 3 clutch steaks and you want a solo HR.Some guys don't get it. Let him be who he is. If he gets back the power great. If not, .300+ BA with clutch hits is very nice.

  74. Schumatrix - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:18 PM

    Dude, i never said anything. I swear, a little bit of non-dogmatic thinking and the freaking buzzards start circling. Calm down, broseidon.

  75. baseballswami - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:18 PM

    First Nat to throw a nono will be Jordan. Anyone wish to add their prediction?

  76. Faraz Shaikh - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:19 PM

    Unless my sarcasm detector is broken, one game really does not drive up a price for an already one of the best pitchers in the league.

  77. MicheleS - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:19 PM

    Shumatrix.. as you can see, the Werth arguement can get a bit touchy. Never thought you were joining the bench Werth crowd.

  78. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:19 PM

    Werth gives you 2 out clutch and now you want 400 feet. You will probably complain about his route on the World Series parade too.

  79. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:21 PM

    Faraz yes, sarcasm.

  80. MicheleS - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:21 PM

    Swami: +1 on Jordan.Also, random observation: Ryan Matheus looks like the younger brother of Ryan Dempster. Lord I hope he pitches better than Dempster.LOMBO!!!!

  81. Schumatrix - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    You people are unbelievable. I never complained about the guy's play. Do you not like XBH's? ANYWAY. Lombo's on fire right now. 2B from the right side is pretty damn impressive.

  82. Gonat - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:23 PM

    Swami, +2 on Jordan. I have to say I was disappointed with his pitch assortment yesterday. Still looked like an Ace though.Strasburg pitched Posey much better although Stras didn't have to contend with Melky before him.

  83. peric - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:24 PM

    Some guys don't get it. Let him be who he is. If he gets back the power great. If not, .300+ BA with clutch hits is very nice.And Lombo gets another hit to make FOUR! And how old is Lombo? Now how old is Werth. I'd agree if it was just for this year like EJax but its not its for the next 5 and the price goes up every year … definitely has an effect on signing another starter like a Grienke or Shambhala dreams like King Feilix. So, NO hitting a few singles isn't good enough it wasn't for the contract wouldn't you think he'd be gone next year?

  84. MicheleS - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:24 PM

    Shum.. I also think Werth has been taking what the pitchers give him and moving the line forward. I think that is one of his positives. XBH would be awesome and not just for Jayson (would love to see Bryce get one)

  85. Faraz Shaikh - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:25 PM

    Cool, Steve.Swami, Gio is my pick.

  86. Gonat - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    Schumatrix said… You people are unbelievable. I never complained about the guy's play. Do you not like XBH's? ___________________________________Yes, you essentially pulled a Peric in your message on his power.For a guy playing a lot of CF, he would have the best CF numbers outside of Kemp since he's comeback.If you want to complain, look at Harper's numbers because everyone on this team is smashing.

  87. Schumatrix - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    I'm not complaining. At all.

  88. MicheleS - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:35 PM

    Hmm.. Buster Posey..

  89. Swift Eagle - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:35 PM

    Power doesn't necessarily just go away…. There's a couple guys named Dunn and Willingham who have had bounce back power numbers….too early to say Werth,s power is gone for the next 5 years…

  90. Schumatrix - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    Sean just made himself a great play.

  91. MicheleS - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    Swift. Good call on the Big Donkey. He is leading the majors with HRs, he is batting like .210, but getting walks. Sadly for him, hittin some solo shots as well. That one he hit in Toronto the other day was just a blast.

  92. waddu eye no - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    Jake's in rehoboth, surrounded by philthies fans. watchin the nats at the bar. Phils lose, we're winning. Life is good

  93. Swift Eagle - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:48 PM

    Just a thought, IMF Rizzo changed his mind on The Shutdown, all the media hype would be focused on the Nats "ignoring the medical advice"…. This was going to be a controversy no matter what, so Rizzo may as well do what's right…..the Nats say all the TJ guys under 25 with "similar stuff" as Stras, broke down when they went to 200 innings the next year….Easy call

  94. MicheleS - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:48 PM

    Waddu Eye, I hope you are at Dog Fish head!

  95. waddu eye no - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:52 PM

    Jakes. Theyre getting tired of watching me nurse this iced teaGood oysters though

  96. MicheleS - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:54 PM

    Waddu.. Good call.. Oysters..mmmmmmmm

  97. Schumatrix - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:56 PM

    Let's go boys. Uno mas.

  98. Schumatrix - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    Swift, my thoughts exactly! Remember when everyone was critical of how the Nats were handling him when he first went down?

  99. MicheleS - Aug 15, 2012 at 11:01 PM

    CRUD!

  100. Schumatrix - Aug 15, 2012 at 11:01 PM

    Oh. My. God.

  101. Swift Eagle - Aug 15, 2012 at 11:02 PM

    Speechless….

  102. Swift Eagle - Aug 15, 2012 at 11:04 PM

    Guess Clipp can get a 4 out save when needed….

  103. Zection 3, My Zofa - Aug 15, 2012 at 11:04 PM

    Wuuuuuuuuuuuuu-Juuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!Gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooollllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll!!!

  104. MicheleS - Aug 15, 2012 at 11:04 PM

    WOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!8-2 Road Trip.

  105. Schumatrix - Aug 15, 2012 at 11:04 PM

    GOOOOT HEEEEEEEEEEEM 8-2 roadie. Gotta love it!

  106. waddu eye no - Aug 15, 2012 at 11:04 PM

    Oysters, mussels, and great roAd trips for me and the nats both And as they say in china – wu hu!

  107. Section 222 - Aug 15, 2012 at 11:04 PM

    Too bad Clipp lacks the mental makeup to be a closer.

  108. natsfan1a - Aug 15, 2012 at 11:06 PM

    OMG, I thought I was going to have a heart attack in the 9th. Glad that they held on for the game and series win. Come on home, boys, we'll be waiting for you. :-)(oh, btw, I called Danny's dinger as payback for the HBP. :-))

  109. djinFl. - Aug 15, 2012 at 11:08 PM

    Excellent road trip, and that includes the games in Houston that had so many predicting the Nats demise.

  110. peric - Aug 15, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    Thank you Clipp! Thank goodness for another day off!

  111. peric - Aug 15, 2012 at 11:17 PM

    For a guy playing a lot of CF, he would have the best CF numbers outside of Kemp since he's comeback.If you want to complain, look at Harper's numbers because everyone on this team is smashing.And Gonat dude? I seem to remember you complaining bitterly about Danny Espinosa? How do you like him now? So were you pulling a 'peric' a??hat? And what did I say then? Be patient he is young.Harper is 19. Werth is 33 going on 34. Do you believe he will be worth 21 million a year when he is 38 a??hat? Do you? Can I sell you a bridge in Brooklyn numbskull?

  112. Gonat - Aug 15, 2012 at 11:29 PM

    peric, of course I critiqued Espi. Danny has been in 2 funks this year. Finally above Mendoza from the left-side.Its all good right now so why should I complain. You complain Werth even when he's done great all year.Just get off of Werth's back. Enjoy it. He isn't going anywhere.

  113. Gonat - Aug 15, 2012 at 11:32 PM

    As much as I love Desi, why do you want to mess with the success. Espi and Lombo are killing it.

  114. Gonat - Aug 15, 2012 at 11:36 PM

    Davey just said it on Strasburg's shutdown, "A lot of guys have been injured this year. We will overcome it".'Nuff said!

  115. Gonat - Aug 15, 2012 at 11:38 PM

    MicheleS said… WOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!8-2 Road Trip. August 15, 2012 7:04 PM ___________________________Oh yes! 10-2 in the last 12. Pressure back on the Braves!

  116. MicheleS - Aug 15, 2012 at 11:40 PM

    Gonat.. new post.

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