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Storen not all the way back yet

Aug 15, 2012, 11:00 AM EDT

US Presswire photo
Drew Storen gave up four runs in the eighth, spoiling the Nats' comeback hopes.

At various points over the last few weeks, Davey Johnson has noted Drew Storen looks like he's all the way back from the elbow surgery that sidelined him for the season's first 3 1/2 months.

Storen, though, isn't quite all the way back yet. He's had his moments of dominance, but he's also had the occasional stinker, as was the case late last night in San Francisco.

Handed the ball by Johnson for the bottom of the eighth inning, with the Nationals trailing 2-1 and trying to give themselves a chance at a late rally, Storen instead turned a tight ballgame into a lopsided loss. He gave up four runs while retiring only one batter, his worst outing to date this season.

Storen hadn't been charged with a run in nearly a month, not since he contributed to the Nationals' July 20 implosion against the Braves, turning a 9-0 lead into an 11-10 loss. But he'd had several more shaky outings since, perhaps setting the stage for something like this toRead more ยป

  1. Positively Half St. - Aug 15, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    I suppose that Davey might have played the 9th differently if the score was still 2-1, but as the Nats didn't score again, Storen's blow-up may not really have cost the team anything.On the bright side, at least the Pirates lost, which brings the Nats' magic number to clinch a playoff spot down to 39. I'd rather see other teams like the Braves fall behind the Pirates, but the first order of business is getting the Nats in. Because the magic number is 39, I guess the Nats can't clinch any sooner than 20 days from now, right?+1/2St.

  2. sjm308 - Aug 15, 2012 at 11:44 AM

    Good morning all!Tough loss but we just can't expect a perfect season. I have a story that has nothing to do with the above post but does show you the national's impact. At Wolf Trap last night, besides the large number of curly W hats, Lyle Lovett put on one of his usual outstanding shows. In the middle of Chuck Berry's "Brown Eyed Handsome Man" came a lyric adjusted to include at the end "ROGER BERNADINA WAS A BROWN EYED HANDSOME MAN" It did not get a standing ovation but there were several whoops. I have not seen Lyle outside of this area and I don't know if he adds a ballplayer to that song in other venues that have teams, but it was a warm feeling. Go Nats!!

  3. MicheleS - Aug 15, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    Well, can't win them all (and Madison is a really good pitcher, so no shame in that), Hope DRUUUUUU can find his command soon.And I am SOOO GLAD the West Coast games are done!

  4. Positively Half St. - Aug 15, 2012 at 11:52 AM

    MicheleS-I am with you. I am tired of shambling down the stairs when I wake up at 3:30 to check the score.+1/2St.

  5. JayB - Aug 15, 2012 at 11:52 AM

    agreed on West Coast Baseball….Davey is going to be Davey and that is better than no Davey but just like CMW and HROD before him….he waits too long to pull these project types from games this team can and needs to win. They have had an great season….better than anyone had the right to expect so far. Now they are here they can not mess around. Winning is the focus….not player development. That is what winning teams do….they focus on winning.

  6. UnkyD - Aug 15, 2012 at 12:23 PM

    Getting Drew right IS focusing on winning….

  7. MicheleS - Aug 15, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    JayB..Who are you thinking is still a project? I can see maybe Tyler Moore, but up until last nights adventures, Tyler had aquitted himself well for the most part in the OF. (and from what FP was saying, the winds were swirling out there in SF, so I can give him a pass on that).

  8. MicheleS - Aug 15, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    And you know what I am really excited about:IAN DESMOND RETURNS! I miss him. I think he really is the captain of the IF and he really watches out for the pitchers. Danny has been really great, but I want my DP combination back (and Maybe Lombo can spell some of the other folks that need it – like Morse or maybe put Tyler in for ALR once in awhile).

  9. natsfan1a - Aug 15, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    Eh, not a happy game results email. Still a great road trip, with one more game today, which I hope to actually watch in real time (yay).On another note, behind on watching and reading so don't know whether this was posted yet. WaPo piece on the MASN situation.p.s. There's also a WaPo piece on the shutdown (not again).

  10. mick - Aug 15, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    JayB… I agree with you on Davey. A good example is… last night in a 2-1 game, it was clear after Drew's 4th consecutive slider way outside the strike zone that Davey and/or Cat should have either pulled him or, at least come out and tell Drew to stop with the slider as your main pitch tonight and go with your fast ball. I was more concerned that that Davey and Ca did not go out after the second batter in the lineup to tell Drew too stop with the slider.. This may be nit picking, but in a playoff game, this would be a big deal. Also, earlier in the season, Davey pulled Detweiler early in a game for not being aggressive and not throwing his best pitch. Davey was 100% correct. Last night confuses me as to why he did not at least talk with Drew when it was clear his slider was not happening in a 2-1 game in the 8th.

  11. mick - Aug 15, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    Monday QB is always easy, lol actually, Wed morning

  12. fast eddie - Aug 15, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    Not to defend Storen's performance, but a couple of those singles were seeing-eye grounders. Either could easily have been DPs and we're out of the inning, still down 2-1.

  13. mick - Aug 15, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    I am sick of these Johnny come lately's in the national press commenting on the Strass situation… I wish Rizzo would say collectively to all of them and especially Stephen Smith (idiot) We are shutting Strass down, plain and simple now all of you blow hards, please go to hell!

  14. mick - Aug 15, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. mick - Aug 15, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    Drew will be fine

  16. natsfan1a - Aug 15, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    In other news, Comak has a nice piece on Nats pitching.

  17. mick - Aug 15, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    great links natsfan1a!

  18. natsfan1a - Aug 15, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    Thanks, Mick. In other news, I'm done with that four-letter network and their polls. In this video they state that they kept the polls open later because Bernadina beat out Davis, and "frankly, [he] was just not even close to being as good." So they kept the polls open, Davis went ahead and "the people have spoken." Actually, they spoke before that, but ESPN kept the poll open because they didn't agree with the voters' choice. I'm not saying that one catch was better than the other, but why run a poll if you're going to override the voters' choice? That's a clown poll, bro, and I'm not voting in one again. This rant, er, editorial brought to you by natsfan1a. We now return you to your regular programming. :-)

  19. sjm308 - Aug 15, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    1a – nice article by AmandaI was reading the Post and they are actually suggesting that when Desmond comes back Lombo might be optioned down. I just can't believe that might happen. What do you all think?

  20. mick - Aug 15, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    sjm… Lombo is the most under rated player in MLB… that would be insane to option him down. This kid does great things when it counts, in the filed and at the plate. Lombo needs to be here post season, he should be the first bench player off the bench. Whomever at the Post suggested this makes Stephen Smith look like Einstein!

  21. baseballswami - Aug 15, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    Anyone read the Boswell piece about Rizzo? I have to say that I really enjoyed it. Yes, it starts out with the big Stras deal, talks about Stras' father and Rizzo in a very frank way. But then it goes on to describe the way the organization operates and the way they go their own way no matter what anyone else thinks. Our organization is forming its own identity now. Our team on the field is forming its own style of play and identity, too. Even though I was disappointed we didn't win ( the old JZ run support thing again), we are playing the Giants, at their home field. Did we really think we were just going to breeze on through? Great road trip no matter what. So a " bad" outing from JZ still only gives up 2 and misses the usual 6 innings by only two outs. Oooh. Stop the presses. Even without his best stuff he kept the team in the game. Sorry Drew is struggling – it's to be expected. He has been his old self more and more. Clip has pulled it back together and can hold the fort.

  22. baseballswami - Aug 15, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    Mick – I was thinking maybe Tyler goes down for the two weeks remaining so that he can play every day and stay sharp for September. Also agree on Lombo's value. He is way up there in games with hits during the last month. Savvy player.

  23. mick - Aug 15, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    swami… excellent point and that would make sense

  24. Joe Seamhead - Aug 15, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    No way that Lombo goes anywhere.Izturis may be expendable, though he also could be a pretty good bench guy.Desi comes back, Espy goes back to 2B, that leaves Lombo as a super utility guy. Though I don't like his arm in the OF, he doesn't kill you out there. He can also pinch hit, particularly against lefties,and pinch run. He, Bernadina, and Tracy are a pretty good bench. Tyler Moore? Honestly, where do you all think that Tyler fits in?

  25. Bzl. - Aug 15, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    SJM, yeah that was a Hoot last night! I'm guessing Lyle saw some of the Monday night game, perhaps upon arriving in town. He is evidently a baseball fan, as there were comments comparing hand signals to the sound monitor guy to what a 3rd base coach does. (Great show!)

  26. Tcostant - Aug 15, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    Isn't minor league re-hab where these things should be worked out? Theirs a reason that pitchers get up top 30 days down there to rehab. I said it at the time, Storen should have come up 'til he went back-to-back games in the minors and see how he respoended to that.We need a full Storen, not 75%

  27. Tcostant - Aug 15, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    BTW – I don't think Tyler Moore is going anywhere. Moreover, I think Moore will make the playoff roster too.

  28. SCNatsFan - Aug 15, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    Tcostant I tend to agree that Drew could use more time in Syracuse, pitching every other day, building up that strength. As he has options its not like we would even have to worry if it took 31 days. A major league roster isn't the place for a guy with options to rehab.

  29. Doc - Aug 15, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    Correctomundo Mick, on that which Rizzo should tell some people, including Stephen A. (could that 'A' stand for what I think that it should stand for) Smith to do!It's a medical decision plain and simple, for SS's & the Nats' professional benefit. Rizzo needs to be direct and to the point! It'd be nice for Rizzo to get some support on this issue from an orthopedic guy—any orthopedic guy.Grab a mic Rizzie, and tell everbody to kiss off!!!

  30. Gonat - Aug 15, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    "Storen not all the way back yet"Yah, that title isn't a stretch.

  31. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 15, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    sjm308 said… 1a – nice article by AmandaI was reading the Post and they are actually suggesting that when Desmond comes back Lombo might be optioned down. I just can't believe that might happen. What do you all think?As usual the Post is confused. Lombo is being sent down so they can bring up Rendon. Peric told me they had a sudden urge. And if anyone knows anything about sudden urges, it would be peric.

  32. JD - Aug 15, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    I think Moore stays also. There are simply not enough RH bench bats. I think Izturis is out the door when Desmond returns.

  33. Doc - Aug 15, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    Love Davey's quotes!The latest entry on Rendon coming up in September: "….that stroke will hunt at most levels…"!

  34. whatsanattau - Aug 15, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    I don't have an informed opinion, but if Desmond is ready before September & no one else is hurt, I think dropping Moore makes the most sense. (I love them all). But Davey is on record saying Moore needs to play. Sharpen him up. Then bring him back for the playoff roster at Itzuris' expense if no one else gets hurt.

  35. Faraz Shaikh - Aug 15, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    Amanda article is not opening for some reason. that website itself is slow to response.anyways, tough loss last night. let's get them today.not much aware what the bench is right now actually, but hard to see either moore or lombo going down after desi returns.send drew to re-hab again might not be a bad idea. meanwhile we can use henry instead.

  36. Joe Seamhead - Aug 15, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    JD, your RH bench bat thought is valid, however where to get him AB's? Tcostant, you are probably right about him making the playoff roster for the same reason. When Morse and Werth are healthy how often will he play in the OF? They certainly aren't going to sit ALR very often, barring either an injury, or we run away with the division.

  37. Exposremains - Aug 15, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    Maybe its been talked about already but what about Strasburg as a reliever/closer a la David Price, Wainright a few years ago. I think that if the Nats go far in the post season Strasburg will feel left out. If the other Nats SP falter the players will be upset. No matter what they say, it will not be good for the moral of the team. These players are not thinking long term, they know their career is short and that a trade or free agency can bring them to another team anytime. They won't fully admit it because it looks bad.

  38. Faraz Shaikh - Aug 15, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    read the boswell piece and agree that rizzo has gotta stick with his plan. no point in trying to beat the system, exposremains. I like the plan of pushing his starts a day here and there but shut him down as soon as he reaches his innings limit.price, wainwright, moore were all prospects and had pitched full minor league seasons before doing that bullpen stint. completely different case here.

  39. slidell2 - Aug 15, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    Historical note: Eddie Johnson, Walter Johnson's last surviving son, died Sunday at the age of 94. Assume that he passed on pleased that championship-caliber baseball had at long last returned to Washington.

  40. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    I think Desi needs to go on a rehab assignment although Davey is saying its not the plan.Davey has his system which has backfired in the case if Storen as he needed to get his form back in AAA and some may say the same for others.I think Tyler Moore if Morse is ok could benefit playing every day which amounts to less than 15 days as he can be called back up as a September callup.

  41. MicheleS - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    NatsLady, was that you on 106.7?

  42. Tcostant - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    Amanda article is now opening at Wasington Times. Thanks – is was a great read.

  43. smurff - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    Mike Rizzo will be on 106.7 at 1130

  44. peric - Aug 15, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  45. peric - Aug 15, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    Winning is the focus….not player development. That is what winning teams do….they focus on winning.But its when teams focus on one-and-done years, desperately signing fading veterans for one to two years at best, that they end up rebuilding for the next 2-3 years, (if they are smart and not leveraged by huge payrolls). or else 5-6 or more as the Nats have seen. THEY MUST do player development as a part of winning and that's the real plan JayB, the one you kept asking for. The Nats will never be one-and-done, not on Mike Rizzo, Roy Clark, and Davey Johnson's watch. You'll just have to learn to deal with the growing pains … like Harper's whose hitting continues to slip now …

  46. MicheleS - Aug 15, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    Smurff.. did I hear Rizzo right? I thougth he said that he was not going to have a ton of September Callups. (He did say that Rendon was going to the AZ Fall League).

  47. peric - Aug 15, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  48. smurff - Aug 15, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    Michelle, that's what I heard as well. Only callups will be those that can help the team on the final run. He discounted 'crowding' the dugout with bunches of 'extras'…

  49. peric - Aug 15, 2012 at 4:11 PM

    pRAA with the ISO said…As usual the Post is confused. Lombo is being sent down so they can bring up Rendon. Peric told me they had a sudden urge. And if anyone knows anything about sudden urges, it would be peric.And you my self-appointed meme will soon look like the pencil headed, depends undergarment dependent, moron that you are when Rendon is recalled. When it comes to urges how are those depends working for you eh? You have to realize that every post you make is a clown post bro?

  50. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 15, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    Rumors that I was doing my Mike Rizzo impersonation this morning on 106.7 are greatly exaggerated.

  51. peric - Aug 15, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    I think Tyler Moore if Morse is ok could benefit playing every day which amounts to less than 15 days as he can be called back up as a September call up.That probably would be the better plan for Moore albeit 15 days to work on things in AAA isn't very long. With Iszturis in house now and Desmond back? Cesar can play all three positions in the infield and Lombo really can't. And Moore's bat isn't insignificant, certainly not in Davey's mind. It could very well end up being Lombo … but he's been here for the duration so I would be surprised …And then everyone comes back on the 1st. That's when Davey's real challenge begins … figuring out who to rest, how much, who to play / pitch and when. He claims its fun, but I bet its not fun when they lose games they could have won as they did last night perhaps because he played Harper and Werth instead of Morse and Bernadina.

  52. peric - Aug 15, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    pRAA with the ISO said…Rumors that I was doing my Mike Rizzo impersonation this morning on 106.7 are greatly exaggerated.More like a Willard Scott impersonation of Bozo and Ronald McDonald with your Depends leaking everywhere probably in part due to bariatric bypass surgery.

  53. Section 222 - Aug 15, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    Look for this road trip to be marked by Storen's transition back into the role of primary closer.August 08, 2012 11:29 AM Then again, maybe not. Storen's outing last night was depressing, and I agree that Davey should have pulled him sooner. But it sounded like Gonzalez wasn't really ready until the move was made. Maybe Storen, like H-Rod at one point, needs to have a replacement warming right away, just in case.He may still be our future closer, but our primary closer now, and likely for the rest of the season, is Tyler Clippard. I'm ok with that.

  54. peric - Aug 15, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    Smurff.. did I hear Rizzo right? I thougth he said that he was not going to have a ton of September Callups. (He did say that Rendon was going to the AZ Fall League).Last year the call ups were precipitated and activate entirely by Davey. I am certain the more conservative player development types in the FO and perhaps Rizzo might have recalled less. But it did work last season. Let's face it, reactivating DeRosa and CMW from the DL isn't going to help. Not even a little. Bringing up Brown and Perez just might be what the outfield ordered. Bringing up Rendon can't hurt he's a better fielder and hitter than Lombardozzi. He just needs to be in baseball shape as Davey put it. They are going to bring up Lannan and Ryan Perry certainly given the imminent Strasburg shutdown. They are likely going to release either CMW or DeRosa and place Christian Garcia on the 40-man and recall him. Storen does look like he could've used more time in AAA before the majors. They might recall Maya as he has had a solid year and unlike Lannan can pitch in relief. So, at least 2 outfielders, 1 infielder, and 3 to 4 pitchers totaling around 6 players. I don't think 31 players will crowd up the dugout.

  55. smurff - Aug 15, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    Anyone have thoughts about whether they will bring up Lannen before Sep, so that he's eligible for the playoof roster?

  56. smurff - Aug 15, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    make that playoff roster…

  57. JD - Aug 15, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    Peric, And no doubt one more catcher.

  58. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 15, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    Maybe Storen, like H-Rod at one point, needs to have a replacement warming right away, just in case.Maybe Storen just had a bad outing. It happens. Clippard has had several himself. It's not typical for a manager to have another guy warming up every time he brings in a reliever, "just in case." Usually the only time they do that is if they're playing matchups, in which case they'll have both a lefty and a righty warming up at the same time. If Storen starts looking like he did last night every time out, then yeah, have the fallback guy ready. But he's not in Henry territory yet. Not by a long shot.

  59. Section 222 - Aug 15, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    smurff — There's been a bunch of discussion of the playoff roster rules on here, and Mark covered it in one of his Q&A videos. Bottom line is that Lannan does not need to be brought up before Aug. 31 to be on that roster if Davey wants him. There are ways to adjust the roster (basically by using spots that are held by people like Ramos and Kimball who are on the DL), so a player doesn't have to be on the 25 man on Aug. 31 to be on a playoff roster. h/t Feel Wood

  60. Section 222 - Aug 15, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    Maybe Storen just had a bad outing. It happens. Hope you're right. At least you're not still arguing he should replace Clipp as the closer. Or are you?

  61. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 15, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    smurff said… Anyone have thoughts about whether they will bring up Lannen before Sep, so that he's eligible for the playoof roster?(a) If they bring him up before Sept 1, they have to demote and/or cut someone else to make room. Ain't gonna happen.(b) They won't need Lannan in the playoffs. Four starters (Zimm, Gio, Det and Jax) is enough.(c) Even if they do end up needing Lannan in the playoffs because one of the other guys gets hurt, he doesn't need to be on the roster before 9/1 in order to put him on the roster for a playoff series.

  62. peric - Aug 15, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    And no doubt one more catcher.Sandy Leon or Jhonatan Solano? Solano doesn't seem to be recovered yet. Leon could end up going to the AFL as well. Although he usually plays winter ball. Yes, I guess its nice having that extra insurance given what has already transpired this season so make it seven. But right now its the outfield that looks more than a bit shaky. Both at the plate and in the field … with the exceptions of Morse and Bernadina.

  63. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 15, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    Hope you're right. At least you're not still arguing he should replace Clipp as the closer. Or are you?It's not an argument. It's an opinion. You're the argumentative one.But yes. Unless Storen gets hurt and goes back on the DL, he will be the closer before this season is over. As the pressure builds on Clippard approaching and into the postseason, he'll crumble. He's just not closer material. Storen is.

  64. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 15, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    So, at least 2 outfielders, 1 infielder, and 3 to 4 pitchers totaling around 6 players.Rendon can't do all that by himself? I want my money back!

  65. Tcostant - Aug 15, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    Sumff -Lannen doesn't reallt need to be called up by 8/31. Just by Stras being unable to pitch and the fact that Lannen was on the roster at some point before 8/31, they can just move him over to the playoff roster. With all that said, I don't think he will be on the playoff roster unless one of the other four starters get hurt, because at most you need four starters in the playoffs with all the off days & they won't pitch him out of the pen for the first time in the playoffs.

  66. Tcostant - Aug 15, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    I expect these September Call Ups:John LannanYunesky MayaRyan Perry Sandy LeonJhonatan Solano (if healthy)Chris MarreroCorey BrownCole Kimball (if healthy)Henry Rodriguez (remove from DL)Chien-Ming Wang (remove from DL)Zack Duke (if they can find a way to open a 40 man roster spot)

  67. smurff - Aug 15, 2012 at 6:12 PM

    222, pRAA, Tcostant, good info. I was a little unclear on the rules regarding playoff rosters. Haven't really had to think about that too much in the past.

  68. realdealnats - Aug 15, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    1A–Great WaPo piece on the cable deal. Even I could understand!JayB–Maybe you pull Drew sooner, and what, put Burnet in since he was fairly rested, but you can't put Burney and Clip in each and every time. And then what are you left with? To pull any one of the other six the second he gets in trouble? Davey knows he needs all these guys to call on. I'm sure lots of us expected worse from Gorzy Monday night, but he looked pretty good. Drew will need to be a highly functioning part of the BP by October, and that means work now. Should Davey put him lower pressure situations? Probably. But for how long? Until he seems to be ON? Well he's had good outings lately. So do you finally put him in a pressure situation after a number of good outings and pull him when he gets two guys on? What kind of confidence vote is that? Some of managing is an art not a science. Some. And I, for one, truly believe Davey has done a superb job of walking that razor's edge between the two.

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