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Beltway Baseball – 8/20/12

Aug 20, 2012, 2:00 PM EST

Why has the reaction to the Stephen Strasburg shutdown been different in Washington than it’s been elsewhere in the country? Why has Jayson Werth been so effective as the Nationals’ leadoff hitter? Which National League contenders should the Nats be most concerned about?

Chase Hughes and I tackled all those topics and answered your questions on the latest episode of Beltway Baseball. Enjoy the show!

  1. natsfan1a - Aug 20, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    What is the best way to get a praying mantis off one's baseball glove? Okay, I'll come up with a better question, seriously. :-)

  2. mick - Aug 20, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    Mark is fantastic! He nails it on Strass. Mark is correct, Strass is slowing down a bit due to the TJ surgery. Look at Jordan Zimmerman period , last year to this season. The idiots calling the Yanks-Sox game yesterday simply are not qualified too be doing a T-ball game among 1st graders!

  3. efowl4 - Aug 20, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    I think there is something to be said about the DC Sports Fan. Many of who are Redskins Fans and who have seen rash / impulse decisions backfire. The fact that the Nats and Rizzo have a plan and are thinking longterm is a reason why there is such a disconnect between the national media / talking heads and the true Nat's fan.

  4. Tcostant - Aug 20, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    I was shocked that all the "Sports Reports" on ESPN weekend show say he should pitch. They just don't get it and refuse to look into the real story.

  5. peric - Aug 20, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    Given that more than one enormous preying mantis has been found in Nats Park maybe they should add a Preying Mantis along with the shark to the President's Race? Maybe one of the players should get the monicker of "preying mantis". When Alex Meyer makes it to the big leagues he might be a good choice for that monicker. But, maybe he'd hate it …

  6. A DC Wonk - Aug 20, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    Totally off-topic — but I just wanted to share.Yesterday I was driving from NY to DC, and got to listen to the game on the NY radio Mets station. I was looking forward to it because I wanted to hear what other folks thought of the Nats, particularly this crew, because I think Howie Rose (the main Mets guy) is a fantstic radio baseball announcer — one of the best, imho.So, here were some of his (or their, as he had a sidekick with him) observations:– at the top of the show, when he announced the starting pitchers, he spent a bit of time raving about how good Gio is (except for some control issues), and then segued into how great the Nats starting rotation is, even without Stras. He said that the combination of Gio and JZ (combined with a serviceable EJax and Det — that was his adjective, sorry) will take the Nats "deep" into the playoffs, even without Stras. (They even mentioned that with a win, Gio would break the Nats record for most wins, and then mentioned the franchise record, Expos, etc. — I thought that was nice of them).– When Harper came up the first time, he talked about "there's so much hype, one forgets that he's only hitting .248". But then immediately balanced that out by explaining how his stats are historic for a teenager, and noted that he already has the fifth most homers of any teenager (then he put in the Mets' nostalgic note that Kranepool was #6 on that list). Later on in the game they raved about how the ball jumps off Harpers bat harder than anyone else. The sidekick noted how he had thought it ridiculous that SI would front-cover a 16-year old, and was turned off by the hype — until he actually saw him play, and then realized that the hype was all true.– After Espinoza's HR, the sidekick marveled that the Nats have two middle infielders that are capable of being 20-20 men (20 HR 20 SB)– During Roche's AB, they noted he leads all 1B in HR's.– When Stammen came in, he talked about how the Nats have an excellent bullpen, and was a major factor as to why the Nats have the best ERA in baseball.– They were very impressed at how large the crowd was after such a long delay– Howie Rose talked about how Davey Johnson, pre-season, had compared this Nats team, position by position, to the 1984 Mets, and then mused if the Nats were closer to the 1986 Mets.and . . . best comments:– Toward the end of the game, they were talking about playoffs, wild card possibilities for various NL teams, and Howie Rose made the observation that of all the NL teams he had seen during the year, the Nats were clearly the best team he had seen. Rose noted that he hadn't seen the AL teams as much — but then noted while it seemed the Yankees and Rangers were the best of the AL, that both have pitching vulnerabilities. He didn't say it explicitly, but he was clearly implying that the Nats were, in his opinion, the best team in baseball this year thus far.It was really fun to get that perspective!!

  7. Santangelo for President 2012 - Aug 20, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    To this day I find it hard to believe all the talk outside the DC area, and even some from within the DC area, that shutting Strasburg down is the end of the world. Is the team better with him than without him? Sure. But I still think a Strasless rotation is as good if not better than any other roation that we may see in the postseason. I was at the very first game at RFK in 2005. Since then this team has given me a lot of highs and lows. In the past by August 20th the only thing that was in question was where the Nationals would pick in the following year's draft. Now that's all changed. The next three days could very well prove to be some of the biggest games this team has ever played since they arrived in DC. And this year on August 20th the number we are worried about has nothing to do with draft position. It's all about magic.36 to clinch the division.30 to clinch a playoff spot.

  8. peric - Aug 20, 2012 at 3:31 PM

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  9. peric - Aug 20, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    I think Mark underestimates Davey. If Rendon hits well enough in Harrisburg I still believe he'll get the call up. Why? Because unlike Riggleman Davey likes to be intimately involved in player development and unlike Riggleman that is where he started when he signed on with the Nats under Rizzo. Observing the Nats system and making recommendations.I suspect that is still in Davey's job description. I listened to the recent Mike Rizzo show and a fan asked him point blank about bringing up Rendon and moving Zim to first base. Its one of the very few times I've heard Rizzo do a little tap dance, on his left foot, then his right foot … trying very hard not to be specific while still asserting that Rendon was on the fast track and they had very high hopes for Anthony Rendon the player. So, the point? He gets called up so that Davey can make the evaluation as to whether Rendon could be ready in the near term, (from his perspective as the guy who would ostensibly manage him), or if he still needed development time in AA/AAA. To me that means Davey is definitely going to use him and he will get a start[s] at third base in September. Yes, even in a pennant race. The Nats mantra is player development while winning and Davey as their manager fits that to a "tee". Its not "just win baby" its develop and keep winning.

  10. peric - Aug 20, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    And I don't know where Chase Hughes gets his ideas. Alex Meyer coming up when they already have Ryan Perry? On the 40-man and their best starter in AA. LIght-years better than CM Wang? With low to mid-nineties stuff? Who just finished a dominating complete game win? Alex Meyer isn't doing that Chase … check your minor league prospects from time-to-time if you please.

  11. baseballswami - Aug 20, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    So I had an early dental appointment before work this morning – fine way to spend a Monday morning ? After I had finished with the hygeinist, the dentist came in and immediately started talking Nats baseball. We were excitedly catching up on the season so far. The hygienist just stood there and looked at us like we were speaking another language. Everywhere I go, church, stores, social gatherings, people are talking Nats. It's so much fun. Everyone used to just ignore me and now they use me as a resource. Ka-ching!

  12. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 20, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    So, the point? He gets called up so that Davey can make the evaluation as to whether Rendon could be ready in the near term, (from his perspective as the guy who would ostensibly manage him), or if he still needed development time in AA/AAA. To me that means Davey is definitely going to use him and he will get a start[s] at third base in September.Sure, Davey likes to be intimately involved in player development. But this September he's intimately involved in something much more important – a pennant race. The only player development he has time for is the development of players who will be helpful in this pennant race, e.g. getting enough playing time for Lombo, TyMo, Tracy, DeRosa, Bernie, etc, so that he can decide which of them to use in the postseason and make sure that the ones he chooses are ready to perform their jobs then. Rendon does not fit this mold at all. Under no scenario is he going to go anywhere other than AA/AAA next spring, and there will be plenty of time during the AFL and next year in spring training for Davey to get his eyes on him and figure out how fast he's moving on the fast track, or if he's somehow gotten derailed.

  13. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 20, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    peric said… And I don't know where Chase Hughes gets his ideas. Alex Meyer coming up when they already have Ryan Perry?He was just answering a question posed by some nimrod reader, nimrod.

  14. Gonat - Aug 20, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    Good interview with Clip on 106.7 Worth a listen on the podcast

  15. MicheleS - Aug 20, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    Gonat.. I listened to that interview.. My gosh was he SKINNY!

  16. Section 222 - Aug 20, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    Wonk, thanks for that recap. Not off topic at all. In fact, it was right on point!Counting the hours till tonight's game. I'll be in the park tonight and tomorrow, then head out of the country for vacation, but back in time for the Cards over Labor Day weekend. Clever how I did that eh?

  17. NatsLady - Aug 20, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    MicheleS–you could see him? Are they on News Channel 8 or something? I thought he had lost weight, but wasn't sure if it was my imagination. He was pretty thin in spring training also.

  18. baseballswami - Aug 20, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    Directions on how to get the interview or a link, please? I can't tell you how much I appreciate it when you techie type people help me find things!! So many interviews this season! So far I only see Stras with the endorsement deals, though. How much do you think that Toyota deal is worth? I would like to see some of the other guys get some deals, too.

  19. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 20, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    Maybe some sports psychologist told Clippard that the best way to master walking the tightrope every night is to become the tightrope.

  20. natsfan1a - Aug 20, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    I still don't know who these Redskins are that people keep mentioning? 😉

  21. peric - Aug 20, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  22. peric - Aug 20, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  23. peric - Aug 20, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    He was just answering a question posed by some nimrod reader, nimrod.As usual you weren't listening pBrain. Chase said he himself threw that in because of something the Ori'holes were desperately thinking about doing. No fan asked about an Alex Meyer getting called up because most all the fans (excluding you of course dimwit) were smart enough to know he was still young and not on the 40-man roster. Try actually listening to these videocasts pNumbNuts.

  24. waddu eye no - Aug 20, 2012 at 5:46 PM mantis – don dixon – 80's rock.(his spelling btw)

  25. Tcostant - Aug 20, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    peric could be right about Davey. As a former Mets fan, Davey pushed for Gregg Jefferies to come up and play in a playoff race and he play great as a young player in 1988. So while I think Rendon stays down, I think peric is making valid points as to what Davey may opush Rizzo to do. In the end, I think Rendon doesn't come up, because I don't see a starting spot for him (or Lombo would be starting!) and it's not worth burning a month of major league service time to sit on the bench. But – who knows?





As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...

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