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Game 120: Mets at Nats

Aug 18, 2012, 7:36 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
The Nationals try to improve to 30 games over .500 tonight against the Mets.

Considering Bryce Harper just had his best offensive performance in weeks, going 2-for-3 with a homer and a walk, you might have been surprised when Davey Johnson revealed after last night's game the rookie wouldn't be in tonight's lineup. Johnson, though, had been planning that day off all along for Harper, and he's planning to give him even more of them over the remainder of the season.

"He had a great game," Johnson said. "Just relax. Catch your breath. Let me let some of the other guys get into it."

So Tyler Moore will get the start tonight in left field, with Jayson Werth shifting to center field and Michael Morse shifting to right field. Look for more lineup finagling in the coming days as Johnson tries to find opportunities to keep Moore, Steve Lombardozzi and Roger Bernadina fresh.

As for tonight's game, Edwin Jackson is on the mound, looking to bounce back from a bit of a ragged start last week in Arizona (though he did still earn the win that night). Left-hander Jon Niese pitches for the Mets.

Plenty of updates to come, so please check back…

NEW YORK METS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 89
Weather: Clear, 81 degrees, Wind 7 mph in from CF

NATIONALS (74-45)
CF Jayson Werth
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
RF Michael Morse

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  1. mick - Aug 18, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    43 games left and counting…. fun stuff!!

  2. mick - Aug 18, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    The Land Shark is considered the cleverest of all sharks. Unlike the Great White shark, which tends to inhabit the waters and harbors of recreational beach areas, the Land Shark inhabits baseball parks and will strike at any time during the course of game. It is capable of disguising its voice, and generally preys on National League teams in the East.lol

  3. peric - Aug 18, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    Natslady isn't going to be happy with this outfield. Moore and Morse in the outfield. Plus Jayson in center.

  4. mick - Aug 18, 2012 at 8:06 PM

    Recent Land Shark attack: MinuteMaid Park, Houston, TX.Brett Wallace: swings his bat, the ball takess offVoice: (mumbling) Mr. Allaccehhh?Wallace: Who?Voice: (mumbling) Mr. Wallace?Wallace: Who is it?Voice: Flowers.Wallace: Flowers for whom?Voice: Plumber, sirm.Wallace I don't need a plumber. You're that clever shark, aren't you?Voice: Candygram.Wallace: Candygram, my foot! now wwatch my game winning hit and you get out of here before I call the police! You're the shark, and you know it!Voice: Wait. I-I'm only a dolphin, sir.Wallace: A dolphin? Well… Okay. ahhhhhhhhh

  5. m20832 - Aug 18, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    This is FUN!!!!GYFNG!!!

  6. Laddie Blah Blah - Aug 18, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    Davey is doing a terrific job with this team. Imagine having Harp, Bernie, Tracy and Lombo on the bench if the Mets bring in a RH reliever in a key situation to pitch to Moore, or Desi, or some other RH hitter, and Davey can counter with any one of those guys, if needed.EJax is starting to remind me a little of Henry. There is a good EJax and a bad EJax. We need the good one to show up tonight. Niese is pretty good.

  7. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 18, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    The all RH outfield. If this works it could be the blueprint for the remainder of the season.Also significant that Bull Moose is leading off and not Espi.

  8. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 18, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    Should have said the blueprint vs LH pitching.

  9. PFB Balls of Fire - Aug 18, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    Love Werth as the lead-off.

  10. baseballswami - Aug 18, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    Hoping for good Ejax tonight. Or at least a hot hitting line up to counter balance if he is not.

  11. Candide - Aug 18, 2012 at 9:41 PM

    Thirty games over .500. Sorry, I can't take it – air is too thin at this altitude, can't breathe…Ah, screw it. Hypoxia is a small price to pay…GYFNG!!!

  12. peric - Aug 18, 2012 at 9:41 PM

    And Espinosa is in the slot Davey thinks he would fit best in. Werth could be the perfect #1 hitter. Someone who knows how to get on anyway he can yet still packs enough power to garner respect from pitchers. If accepts the role and it seems like he just might this time …

  13. Candide - Aug 18, 2012 at 9:43 PM

    Valddespin in the Metropolitans' starting lineup. Good omen.

  14. Another_Sam - Aug 18, 2012 at 9:46 PM

    NatsJack – what section?

  15. baseballswami - Aug 18, 2012 at 10:02 PM

    Any of you who are parents – do you often find the care and feeding of Bryce Harper humorous? He got two hits last night, including a home run. After the game Davey called attention to his missing the cutoff man. Is Bryce in time out? I have been reading some tweets about how Bryce reacts, things he needs to learn to accept. Like the fact that some of the other little boys need a turn to play. Seems like parenting 101 to me. Some days he seems more like 19 than others.

  16. Wendell - Aug 18, 2012 at 10:02 PM

    What a bunch of IDIOTS on Fox (Yankees-Sox).They're back on the Stras shutdown & are saying that no one supports it and that there are no reasons to support it.

  17. DannyEllinosa - Aug 18, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    Tim McCarver having conniptions and Fox doing 1933 cost of living graphics related to the last time DC was in pennant race. IDIOTS!

  18. DannyEllinosa - Aug 18, 2012 at 10:11 PM

    We've waited this long so why make Strasburg a human sacrifice?

  19. NatsNut - Aug 18, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    Candide, you're being sarcastic, right? Valdespin has been a Nat killer.

  20. Wendell - Aug 18, 2012 at 10:16 PM

    Danny -Mr. Applegate has already taken care of it.

  21. Steady Eddie - Aug 18, 2012 at 10:25 PM

    No, NatsNut, Valdespin has been a Nats killer when he pinch hits.. Not so great when he's starting, and I'd ge's starting that means he can't pinch hit. Get with the code, dude! ;-)

  22. DannyEllinosa - Aug 18, 2012 at 10:33 PM

    Thx Wendell. I heard the FOX idiots too. And impressed that they dragged out 1933 numbers with graphIcs to press their point of how long DC has been waitIng. They do anything to stir the pot.

  23. Steady Eddie - Aug 18, 2012 at 10:47 PM

    mick @ 4:06 — love it!Actually one of the few OK Clint moments was last night in one of the pre-game competitions when the contestants we're asked to identify pictures of various kinds of sharks. One of the choices was actually "land shark" — and when one of them chose it, Clint said "well, you'll make someone from SNL very happy!" Almost made him likable at the time…

  24. NatsNut - Aug 18, 2012 at 10:50 PM

    Haha. Got it!

  25. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 18, 2012 at 10:56 PM

    Going for 30 games over .500!GYFNG!!

  26. ExposedinDC - Aug 18, 2012 at 11:08 PM

    Wendell, just curious, does your comment mean you support shutting Stras down 100% ?

  27. Candide - Aug 18, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    WHERE WAS MOORE on that hit? Ball got past Werth and Moore was nowhere around.

  28. baseballswami - Aug 18, 2012 at 11:13 PM

    But Ejax left that ball up really fat and juicy for the hitter.

  29. Candide - Aug 18, 2012 at 11:13 PM

    Thanks, SteadyEddie.

  30. djinFl. - Aug 18, 2012 at 11:13 PM

    Did Werth hurt himself diving for the ball? He did not look well after catching the flyball.

  31. Candide - Aug 18, 2012 at 11:23 PM

    Pretty quiet here tonight. Are all the NI people at the game?

  32. RickH - Aug 18, 2012 at 11:33 PM

    The good EJax.

  33. baseballswami - Aug 18, 2012 at 11:33 PM

    I'm here – post away. Offense putting a little pressure on the pitcher in the first. Keep it up.

  34. NatsNut - Aug 18, 2012 at 11:41 PM

    I don't have a TV so it's nice when I do get a chance to watch the game on TV, but I couldn't really take Ray Knight for very long. Had to mute and put Charlie and Dave on. When is FP supposed to be back?

  35. Faraz Shaikh - Aug 18, 2012 at 11:43 PM

    back to back to back jacks against Sheets, 3-1 Dodgers.

  36. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 18, 2012 at 11:44 PM

    MicheleS, I just heard about Sheets. Repeat after me, small sample size.

  37. Candide - Aug 19, 2012 at 12:02 AM

    Jackson looking great.

  38. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 19, 2012 at 12:04 AM

    You folks can't say I didn't warn you about the impending Ben Sheets breakdown. Again, think rusted-out 1977 Olds Cutlass. Nothing left in the tank.

  39. NatsNut - Aug 19, 2012 at 12:05 AM

    Mark, anytime you're ready for a trip to the stands, go ahead. We'll wait.

  40. Santangelo for President 2012 - Aug 19, 2012 at 12:05 AM

    Edwin looking really good tonight.

  41. baseballswami - Aug 19, 2012 at 12:06 AM

    NatsNut I think FP is gone just for the weekend. It's his daughter's birthday. He has been watching and tweeting humorous things. I appreciated Ray Knight's career and I love his wife, but this is not his forte. Would rather have had Byron Kerr or Phil Wood.

  42. ehay2k - Aug 19, 2012 at 12:09 AM

    Ejax is throwing nasty stuff tonight. Slider sets up fastball down and in to lefties. Sweet.

  43. Candide - Aug 19, 2012 at 12:10 AM

    Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said…You folks can't say I didn't warn you about the impending Ben Sheets breakdown.You didn't warn us about the impending Ben Sheets breakdown.I has a keyboard. I can says anythings I wants.

  44. ehay2k - Aug 19, 2012 at 12:14 AM

    Sunshine does get credit for calling Sheets' downfall in a thread a while back. I seem to recall the Cutlass reference

  45. ehay2k - Aug 19, 2012 at 12:18 AM

    Time to break out the jamage meter!

  46. Nattering Nat - Aug 19, 2012 at 12:25 AM

    Two things. As for when FP will be back, I heard Bob Carpenter say, assuming I heard correctly, that he was gone "for the home stand", staying West. I guess that means he misses the Braves series, though hard to believe.The other thing has to do with how the Nats attendance is reported. I was there last night, walked around the stadium, and you could count the empty seats in the hundreds, that's all. Yet attendance was announced at under 35k. All I can figure is that season ticket holders get points that entitle them to a bunch of free extra tickets (like around 25 a season per seat), and maybe there were a bunch of freebies in the seats last night. Otherwise, I don't get it, the place was very close to full.

  47. ehay2k - Aug 19, 2012 at 12:27 AM

    Just figured out that if you stream the game on At Bat, you can delay the TV feed to match with Charlie and Dave's calling of the game! Heaven!

  48. Joe Seamhead - Aug 19, 2012 at 12:32 AM

    I thought it was just me and the Mrs! Ray Knight is gawd awful as a game time commentator.Hurry back, FP!

  49. Nattering Nat - Aug 19, 2012 at 12:36 AM

    And did you hear Dave J just say why Ryan Dempster couldn't make the trip to Toronto to pitch for the Rangers? Because he couldn't find his passport! And he's Canadian.

  50. Santangelo for President 2012 - Aug 19, 2012 at 12:38 AM

    Alright now we need some bats guys.

  51. ehay2k - Aug 19, 2012 at 12:39 AM

    He was with the Cubs, why would he need to go to Canada (during the season) after interleage play ends? Now, about these immigrants taking our jobs… ;-)

  52. RickH - Aug 19, 2012 at 12:39 AM

    EJax has been great!

  53. ehay2k - Aug 19, 2012 at 12:40 AM

    Ray is a good post-game analyst. During the game, different skills are required.

  54. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 19, 2012 at 12:41 AM

    Thanks Ehay2K for the institutional memory. I still say it's a sign of the Barves' desperation that they even signed Sheets to begin with.

  55. ehay2k - Aug 19, 2012 at 12:42 AM

    Espi, deadly from the right side! Lol.

  56. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 19, 2012 at 12:45 AM

    NatsTown is rocking. Need some Nats O!!!!

  57. Candide - Aug 19, 2012 at 12:45 AM

    Dodgers lead the Braves 6-1 now!

  58. ehay2k - Aug 19, 2012 at 12:46 AM

    Sunshine – my thoughts exactly. You knew they had a problem early in the season when they picked up Livo as quickly as they did. (And I love me some Livo, but that was a desperate pickup even to me. )Barves lacked quality pitching depth all year.

  59. NatsNut - Aug 19, 2012 at 12:53 AM

    eyay2K, Dempster is with the Rangers now. Roy Oswalt had to make take his start.

  60. NatsNut - Aug 19, 2012 at 12:53 AM

    oh. oops. eyay2K =ehay2K, although I like the yay better. LOL

  61. ehay2k - Aug 19, 2012 at 12:55 AM

    Natsnut, I know – I said Dempster WAS with the Cubs, which is why he didn't need a passport after Interleague play ended (Expos gone and all.)

  62. NatsNut - Aug 19, 2012 at 12:56 AM

    oh. oops again ehay2K. you meant he hasn't needed it for a long time. Sorry!

  63. ehay2k - Aug 19, 2012 at 12:56 AM

    On the other hand, one could argue that Texas is a foreign country, so he should have had his passport ready.

  64. NatsNut - Aug 19, 2012 at 12:56 AM

    ok, crawling under a rock now.

  65. peric - Aug 19, 2012 at 1:01 AM

    FP's tweet said he would be back for the Phillie's series. Write MASN and ask for Dan Kolko or Byron Kerr instead of Ray Knight next time that happens.

  66. ehay2k - Aug 19, 2012 at 1:03 AM

    Way outside on Moore.

  67. Nattering Nat - Aug 19, 2012 at 1:07 AM

    I'm ignoring a two-hit, 2-0 deficit for the moment.On attendance, though no one else has responded and maybe cares, I note that tonight's game is a sellout, and I assume one reason is no season ticket points tickets were allowed for this game.

  68. ehay2k - Aug 19, 2012 at 1:08 AM

    Does Ejax have issues throwing from the stretch?

  69. djinFl. - Aug 19, 2012 at 1:10 AM

    Zuckerman just tweeted that the skins are on the tube and we still have a sell out!Wow the town is catching on.

  70. ehay2k - Aug 19, 2012 at 1:12 AM

    A lot of Skins fans are partial to 3rd Eye Blind, apparently.

  71. mick - Aug 19, 2012 at 1:13 AM

    thanks eddie, lolI had to wash some dishes, how did Mets get their 2 runs? Good pitching duel tonight

  72. ehay2k - Aug 19, 2012 at 1:15 AM

    Walked Wright, then Ike hits a HR.

  73. mick - Aug 19, 2012 at 1:15 AM

    thanks ehay

  74. mick - Aug 19, 2012 at 1:16 AM

    Ejax I thought pitched well

  75. ehay2k - Aug 19, 2012 at 1:17 AM

    He did pitch well. Probably could have gone back out. Davey is either saving Ejax for the postseason, or his ear from Bryce's chirping! :-)

  76. mick - Aug 19, 2012 at 1:17 AM

    Niese is a hell of a pitcher

  77. ehay2k - Aug 19, 2012 at 1:18 AM

    Does tattoo removal hurt more on the back of your neck?

  78. mick - Aug 19, 2012 at 1:19 AM

    ehay2k agreed

  79. mick - Aug 19, 2012 at 1:20 AM

    sell out proves this town is into BASEBALL, by the way how are the skins doing, lol

  80. blovy8 - Aug 19, 2012 at 1:20 AM

    I don't remember Rauch ever throwing 94 for us.

  81. mick - Aug 19, 2012 at 1:20 AM

    Time for a LAND SHARK ATTACK, lol

  82. mick - Aug 19, 2012 at 1:23 AM

    If we can keep it 2-0, I have a good feeling in 9th

  83. ehay2k - Aug 19, 2012 at 1:23 AM

    Mick, this town craves a winner. Explains why the Kastles sell out.

  84. mick - Aug 19, 2012 at 1:23 AM

    Go Dodgers!!!

  85. mick - Aug 19, 2012 at 1:27 AM

    Ejac only gave up 2 hits, not bad

  86. ehay2k - Aug 19, 2012 at 1:27 AM

    Lol – mick= misty may

  87. mick - Aug 19, 2012 at 1:28 AM

    With Davis and Wright you would think the Mets would be a tad better

  88. ehay2k - Aug 19, 2012 at 1:29 AM

    Who's Tad?

  89. mick - Aug 19, 2012 at 1:29 AM

    lol ehay, ha ha ok

  90. baseballswami - Aug 19, 2012 at 1:30 AM

    What a strange game – EJax and Mattheus were as sharp as I have ever seen either of them. We have more hits than the Mets. Weird.

  91. mick - Aug 19, 2012 at 1:31 AM

    swami… but give Neise credit, very under rated pitcher

  92. mick - Aug 19, 2012 at 1:32 AM

    and a 216 hitter is having a great game against us

  93. mick - Aug 19, 2012 at 1:34 AM

    I know this may be heresy here… but Brandon Banks just ran back a 91 yd TD punt…. now let's get 3 in the 9th boys!!

  94. waddu eye no - Aug 19, 2012 at 1:35 AM

    Playing right into our hands

  95. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 19, 2012 at 1:36 AM

    Who is Brandon Banks? And what was he thinking? What was in watching? Where was he going?

  96. ehay2k - Aug 19, 2012 at 1:45 AM

    Uh oh – Phillies are gaining on us! Win tomorrow, take the series, keep going.

  97. Secret wasian man - Aug 19, 2012 at 1:55 AM

    Perfect example of why a 1 game playoff is an absolute JOKE!!. Mediocre pitcher gets hot. Thats why we have to win this division.

  98. natsfan1a - Aug 19, 2012 at 2:08 AM

    At least the Dodgers won. :-)

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 69 4.5
-------------------------
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.

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