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Game 122: Braves at Nats

Aug 20, 2012, 7:50 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nats open a big, three-game series against the Braves tonight.

One of several national baseball writers who is here tonight just asked me for the last time Washington played in a series as big as this one. My answer: 1945, the last time the Senators were in a pennant race (they finished 1 1/2 games behind the Tigers for the AL title).

Yes, it's been awhile since D.C. has hosted anything along these lines, with the first-place Nationals trying to hold off the second-place Braves over the next three nights and perhaps extend their five-game lead to even greater numbers.

We've got a great pitching matchup to kick this series off: Jordan Zimmermann starts for the Nats against Braves ace Tim Hudson. All the healthy regulars are in both teams' lineups. All that's left to do is play the games.

Check back here, of course, for updates and analysis throughout…

ATLANTA BRAVES 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 183
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 75 degrees, Wind 3 mph in from LF

NATIONALS (75-46)
RF Jayson Werth
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
LF Michael Morse

Read more »

482 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. peric - Aug 20, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    Same lineup as yesterday.

  2. Uncle Atom - Aug 20, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    Flounder said it best in Animal House: "Oh boy, is this great!"

  3. SonnyG10 - Aug 20, 2012 at 8:05 PM

    Here's where the rubber meets the road! GYFNG!!!

  4. Doc - Aug 20, 2012 at 8:08 PM

    Is KSuk dating Rizzo's daughter?Does Rizzo have a daughter??

  5. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 20, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    Face it. Suzuki is the #1 catcher now.

  6. Gonat - Aug 20, 2012 at 8:12 PM

    3B Chipper Jnes_____________________Good, Chipper without the "o"

  7. Laddie Blah Blah - Aug 20, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    The Braves will give it all they've got. They may even have been looking past the Dodgers to this series, and saw themselves slip another notch. Chipper is their emotional trump card. They will do everything they can not to let him down.Our guys are ready. JZ is always ready. While the offense is young, they are tough, too. The kid is as tough as anyone else out there. They will give the Braves all they can handle.It's for games like this that Rizzo signed Werth to go with Zim. ALR is Mr. Cool at all times. An effective mix of youth and exuberance with experience and savvy.Bring it on.

  8. NatsLady - Aug 20, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    Love this lineup. (Wish Ramos were on it.) That is all. Go NATS!!!!!!!

  9. NatsLady - Aug 20, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    Laddie, put some further thoughts back on the "Harper's continuing" thread. Hope it helps, hope there is a "next time."

  10. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 20, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    NCNatsie said… pRAA, I don't see how they could screw a team that tied for its division championship in favaor of a team that finished a potentially distant second in theirs. The thorny problem is when and where would be the game be played.Some people are already pondering such scenarios.

  11. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 20, 2012 at 8:18 PM

    Davey is in playoff race mode.

  12. waddu eye no - Aug 20, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    !!!!!!!!

  13. baseballswami - Aug 20, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    Sounds like JZ getting some love on MLB coming up.Shocked. I guess being a pitcher of the month wasn't enough. Interested to see what they say. Why is it always Amber Theoharis? She is an O's person.

  14. natsfan1a - Aug 20, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    Did the national media also ask about the shu – never mind – don't want to hear it if they did. :-)I think we want Chipper with the o, Gonat, as in oh-fer. (Hey, a gal can dream.)Go, Jordan! Go, NATS!!Oh, and stay classy, Doc.

  15. baseballswami - Aug 20, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    Was 't even mentioned. They apparently asked McCatty how Jordan had such a low era . Seems they have never heard him interviewed. Don't see the connection. Whatever.

  16. JaneB - Aug 20, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    Leaving extra early for the stadium! GYFNG! We have Hudson's number now, and we can beat him.

  17. Laddie Blah Blah - Aug 20, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    NatsLady "Laddie, put some further thoughts back on the "Harper's continuing" thread. Hope it helps, hope there is a "next time."I did go back and have copied the whole thread to a PDF file I stored in my "Documents" folder. Many thanks to both you and Z-Mantis. Anyone else who has the responsibility for assisting an older or physically impaired relative or friend should do the same.

  18. A DC Wonk - Aug 20, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    Wonk, sorry I didn't give you credit for your answer. I just wondered if there was an actual rule, and I'm more and more becoming convinced there isn't, that Bud and the boys just hoped it wouldn't happen. Hopefully they're right.The guys on TV (or radio? perhaps even it was Charlie and Dave) were certainly discussing it as if there were an explicit rule. Because they were phrasing it as: "and there's even a way that there could be two single game playoffs on consecutive days", and went on to describe the scenario that you were talking about. (I see the same thing at the ESPN link cited above. I.e., the questioner presumes the answer already — which is why, again, I'm sure there is already a rule on this. And no matter what we think of Bud — I'm sure it a bunch of stat guys were involved in crafting the wording, and I'm sure they thought of it)

  19. Steady Eddie - Aug 20, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    Nats Lady, thanks for all the accessibility tips. I'm taking my 90 year old mother to her first Nats game vs the Cards on the Sept 1 afternoon game, and am planning to spring for the $25 Yards parking across the street from the park, and to ask before then about access via the underground ramp to our seats (which are at the bottom of sec 135, with a bathroom just up the ramp). She can do a few steps and we'll plan to put her walker on the back wall of the ramp and hope the weather is good. Or get the ADA seats at the back of the section under cover if it's not.

  20. A DC Wonk - Aug 20, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    peric said… Same lineup as yesterday.Let that be an omen for same results as yesterday. I.e, the Nats getting five runs, and, on the Braves side — getting shut out by good pitching.

  21. sjm308 - Aug 20, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    Will be leaving soon. Should be a great pitching match-up. Hope our lads have their hitting shoes on. Would love to see Bryce continue his hot streak. The more I look at this lineup the more excited I get. Werth & Harper look at lots of pitches, draw walks if they are given and set the table for our next 3. If Desmond can just get back to where he was before the injury and Danny keeps improving we really have a tough 1-7. Suzuki is struggling but even that could change. As I look though, Atlanta is just as strong. This should be a great series. Does anyone know when their rookie SS comes off the dl? He was a difference maker for them.Go Nats!!

  22. original Nats Fan - Aug 20, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    it's raining grasshoppers and preying mantises here in Rappahannock county. I hope it goes south from here.

  23. Scooter - Aug 20, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    For what it's worth: praying. With an A.Maybe they're preying on Hairstons, but their appendages make it look like they're praying.GYFNG

  24. Laddie Blah Blah - Aug 20, 2012 at 9:00 PM

    NatsLady and Z-Mantis -Left some comments for you on the Giolito thread, as well.

  25. The Z-Mantis! - Aug 20, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    Can we just agree to refer to it from now on as "The Stephen Strasburg SHUT-UP!!"

  26. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 20, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    NatsJack said it best: "Davey in playoff mode."Probably the most meaningful August game played in Washington since, oh, well, 1933. You guys remember that year, right?Heading out now. I've got goosebumps already.Fredi, you and your Barves have no idea what buzzsaw you're running into here.GYFNG!!

  27. A DC Wonk - Aug 20, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    Fascinating comment by Boz about Davey and Eckstein:Davey Johnson (again) said for a year "This should be a very good offense." It's developed almost exactly as he expected.But, and he didn't say this at the time but has acknowledged it recently, he had to change the organization's hitting "philosophy" from "let the bals travel" and hit a lot to the opposite field __which he absolutely hates and thinks is discredited and ridciulous__ into "hit the ball where it is pitched…get the bat head out…DRIVE the ball (to all fields)."Espinosa, for one, feels like he's been released from a straight jacket. It took him a while. He and Desmond are among the Davey projects. As I've said, Eckstein is excellent and can teach whatever you want taught. But it's not his job to set organizational philosophy.It never occurred to be before that _Eckstein_ was told a hitting philosophy to teach, rather than the other way around. But that was Boz is saying here.Thoughts?

  28. Gonat - Aug 20, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… Davey is in playoff race mode. August 20, 2012 4:18 PM _________________________________Certainly looks like the 1st game of the playoffs roster for the Nats.

  29. Section 222 - Aug 20, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  30. Section 222 - Aug 20, 2012 at 9:25 PM

    Wonk, sounds like a bunch of hogwash to me. Who was setting the organization's "hitting philosophy"? Riggleman? Rizzo? Kasten? Ted Lerner? Was that philosophy followed throughout the organization? For how long? Did Acta have one too? Assuming there was such a thing, did Davey change it? When? When did he become aware of it and why didn't he stamp it out the minute he was in charge? Did he know about it before he took over? Why didn't he say something? Did Eckstein think it was a good idea? Does he have no underlying philosophy or approach, so whatever a manager says is the philosophy he will blindly teach even if he thinks its garbage?So we're supposed to believe that players followed a hitting philosophy dictated by Riggleman or someone else, and taught by Eckstein, and then Eckstein changed on instructiions from Davey, and it took a whole season for the new philosophy to take hold. Fun yarn for Davey to spin, but I'm not buying it. Too many holes and unanswered questions.

  31. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 20, 2012 at 9:26 PM

    DC Wonk, philosophies evolve over time. Having Michael Morse back is huge for this team. The fear of 400 ft HRs was generally missing and pitchers had the ability to back Nats batters into pitching outside to go oppo and taking their chances.Now the batters and especially Werth can fit into more traditional roles while also working to each players strengths like Espi and Desi.The stats prove out what Morse has meant to the team production.

  32. A DC Wonk - Aug 20, 2012 at 9:29 PM

    222 — I'd agree with you — except that we also know that Davey is a big supporter of Eckstein. So, we have the conflicting notions that: (a) Davey changed the hitting philosophy; and (b) he supports Eckstein.The obvious question is: why does/did he support Eckstein if he disagreed completely with Eck's approach. The only answer that makes sense is that it wasn't Eck's approach.But what you say makes sense, too.Which is why I'm confused.

  33. momcd87 - Aug 20, 2012 at 9:29 PM

    lombardozzi should be in the lineup! he was the hottest hitter before davey sat him before the mets series…

  34. Gonat - Aug 20, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    Ghost, I think having Morse and Zim hitting in the same lineup is the answer and adding a leadoff guy like Werth is like getting a July 31st trade done.

  35. A DC Wonk - Aug 20, 2012 at 9:31 PM

    Werth & Harper look at lots of pitches, draw walks if they are given and set the table for our next 3.Indeed. And the stats back that up: Werth takes more pitches than anyone else. Harper is 2d on the team in walks.

  36. baseballswami - Aug 20, 2012 at 9:31 PM

    Z-Mantis – agreed with the shut-up thing! I actually think it might be dying down a little. Oh – wait – who is pitching tomorrow?

  37. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 20, 2012 at 9:31 PM

    Add in a healthy Zim who isn't afraid to drive the away pitch to right field again to Morse and you got all kinds oh philosophical changes.

  38. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 20, 2012 at 9:31 PM

    Davey has been the 2nd batting coach but is the first and last word on this team. The youngsters are his private project.

  39. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 20, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    Hey Gonat….I owe you.

  40. Faraz Shaikh - Aug 20, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    pls don't take hudson lighly. i believe he has been doing very well lately.

  41. baseballswami - Aug 20, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    momcd87 – this worries me, too. Desi looks like a hole in the line up right now. Hope he finds it,soon. Meanwhile one of the hottest hitters on the club sits and gathers rust.

  42. baseballswami - Aug 20, 2012 at 9:34 PM

    faraz – hudson has been pitching out of his mind lately. This won't be easy. But then, sometimes it seems like the Nats have trouble with young pitchers who have just come up and then they hit the pitchers with big reps. It's odd.

  43. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 20, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    Lets win another series boys.

  44. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 20, 2012 at 9:38 PM

    swami….Desi is going to be a "hole" in the lineup until he starts hitting and he won't start hitting sitting on the bench watching Lombo. And he won't start hitting against the AA and AAA guys.Davey knows what he's doing. Lombo did his job as a super sub filling in when Desi was out.

  45. Candide - Aug 20, 2012 at 9:41 PM

    A DC Wonk said…222 — I'd agree with you — except that we also know that Davey is a big supporter of Eckstein. So, we have the conflicting notions that: (a) Davey changed the hitting philosophy; and (b) he supports Eckstein. The obvious question is: why does/did he support Eckstein if he disagreed completely with Eck's approach. The only answer that makes sense is that it wasn't Eck's approach.Um, another answer that makes sense might be along the lines that these guys are human beings, not computers, and when presented with unexpected data, they change their minds and adapt to the new situation, rather than going to ABEND (ABnormal END – i.e., program crash to you non-IT types).

  46. peric - Aug 20, 2012 at 9:55 PM

    Davey knows what he's doing. Lombo did his job as a super sub filling in when Desi was out.And Davey got Lombardozzi the 300+ at bats that he promised the FO he would ensure he received this season as the supersub. So, everyone except perhaps for Lombo is happy. Clearly Lombo won't be unhappy playing for a winning team.

  47. peric - Aug 20, 2012 at 9:59 PM

    It never occurred to be before that _Eckstein_ was told a hitting philosophy to teach, rather than the other way around. But that was Boz is saying here.Davey said the same thing during a live interview and you can view it via the MASN web site.Thoughts? Smart ball, small mind, Giggleman's Island. Glad its back in Florida in Blue Wahoo land.Shall I repost the verse I made for it that created such a fuss?

  48. MicheleS - Aug 20, 2012 at 10:00 PM

    GYFNG!Let's take this game tonight!

  49. peric - Aug 20, 2012 at 10:00 PM

    (ABnormal END – i.e., program crash to you non-IT types)Still prefer old-school core dump.

  50. peric - Aug 20, 2012 at 10:00 PM

    And Guru meditation was always a favorite of mine.

  51. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 20, 2012 at 10:03 PM

    It's playoff baseball in August in DC. GYFNG!!!!

  52. Section 222 - Aug 20, 2012 at 10:06 PM

    Hudson is a very good pitcher, and he's been pitching well lately. For me, this is the house money game. If we lose, we have Stras tomorrow and the lefty Det on Wednesday so can still win the series. If we lose, we will demoralize the Braves by beating their ace.

  53. baseballswami - Aug 20, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    peric – how long will everyone stay happy if Desi doesn't start hitting and Lombo is riding the pine? Will Lombo really be the only unhappy person? ( By the way, he doesn't seem like a whiner at all).I thought winning was supposed to come first at this point of the season. Desi was our mvp before the DL stint. Can he do the job today? Don't get me wrong – I love the guy and have for a long time, but can you rehab in the line up during a pennant race? I hope he gets that first hit out of the way in his first ab – facing Hudson, no less. How many ab's can it go, though? If the rest of the line up can carry him until he finds his stroke, then ok. Seems like there might be a little tick tock tick tock on this one. Cheering for the guy for his sake and for the sake of the entire team. Hope it happens very soon.

  54. Gonat - Aug 20, 2012 at 10:09 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… Hey Gonat….I owe you. August 20, 2012 5:32 PM ______________________________Good minds think alike!

  55. MicheleS - Aug 20, 2012 at 10:09 PM

    The boys won't be taking Hudson lightly, they know what he is capable of.I just want to crush the Braves tonight. Tired of their fans (not the team) taking the Nats lightly and saying we will crash because we don't know how to win. I then remind them of last September and oh only winning 1 series in say 15 years. Sorry, Braves fans are almost as bad as Philly fans.

  56. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 20, 2012 at 10:12 PM

    The Nats can handle Hudson. Look at the left handers that have handled the Nats lately, most recently Niese.No, I have a better feeling about the matchup tonite over facing Maholm and Medlen.

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

    Swami, deep breathes buddy. This is a TEAM. Everyone is pulling for each other. I am sure Davey will get Lombo at bats. He just needs to take some time to get Desi going. He can afford to do that with Werth/Morse/Espi/RZ hitting. Plus Jordan and Stras can hit.They are all happy to be playing for a winning team (you know we have one here in DC!!!!!)

  58. natsfan1a - Aug 20, 2012 at 10:12 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  59. Swift Eagle - Aug 20, 2012 at 10:13 PM

    Braves Spring Training Ballpark is named "Champion Stadium"….15 playoff seasons but they haven't earned the S yet…At least they're ahead of the Buffalo Bills…

  60. natsfan1a - Aug 20, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    To me the term "organizational philosophy" would indicate a broader focus, as in throughout the MLB team and its affiliates vs. referring to the MLB team only. But that's spoken as an editorial type rather than as a journalist, an FO type, or a mind reader type. The person who would know what Boz is saying is probably Boz. The rest of us can only guess. :-)A DC Wonk said…But it's not his job to set organizational philosophy.It never occurred to be before that _Eckstein_ was told a hitting philosophy to teach, rather than the other way around. But that was Boz is saying here.Thoughts?

  61. Gonat - Aug 20, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    Swift, good meeting you Saturday night! The Legion of BOOM!Are you on Twitter

  62. Swift Eagle - Aug 20, 2012 at 10:16 PM

    MLB hitting coaches usually don't have the role of setting the "Organizational Philosophy"…if there even is one, that's the role of player development guys and upper management….At any rate, it's not like Eck showed up with a 700 page playbook like an NFL OC…

  63. The Z-Mantis! - Aug 20, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    Z-Mantis – agreed with the shut-up thing! I actually think it might be dying down a little. Oh – wait – who is pitching tomorrow?I think it's Miss Universe.

  64. Swift Eagle - Aug 20, 2012 at 10:18 PM

    You too Gonat!…I haven't gotten on Twitter yet…time to go BOOM tonight!

  65. NatsLady - Aug 20, 2012 at 10:18 PM

    Charlie Slowes bringin' it on 106.7. Nice job!

  66. Gonat - Aug 20, 2012 at 10:19 PM

    Charlie Slowes has the Legion of ZOOM

  67. natsfan1a - Aug 20, 2012 at 10:20 PM

    Can't stand that chop thing but are we talking about a subset of Braves fans, i.e., Braves fans on the Twittah? Because I would submit that they represent only a segment of Braves fans. I'm sure that there are some perfectly nice Braves fans (well, until they start doing that chop thing). Just a thought. Also, maybe they're talking smack because they're scared of the Nats. That's kinda cool, if so. :-)MicheleS said… The boys won't be taking Hudson lightly, they know what he is capable of. I just want to crush the Braves tonight. Tired of their fans (not the team) taking the Nats lightly and saying we will crash because we don't know how to win. I then remind them of last September and oh only winning 1 series in say 15 years. Sorry, Braves fans are almost as bad as Philly fans. August 20, 2012 6:09 PM

  68. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 20, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    222, Eck is not the boss when it comes to hitting philosophy, and never has been. He's like a teacher in a school, he operates under the principal's auspices not as a freelancer. The organization (FO, manager, player development guys) determines the hitting policy and Eck is capable of teaching whatever way they want. Davey has said as much. It's probably the case that before Davey was manager the org's policy was either incoherent or inconsistent. Riggleman was known to brag about how he didn't know nothin' 'bout pitching and norhin' 'bout hitting. He clearly had no input into hitting philosophy, so Eck was probably taking direction from many sources and trying to sort it all out. Davey is not like that. He has taken charge and put his own stamp on it. But it's not an overnight process. Takes a while to filter down to the play on the field.

  69. natsfan1a - Aug 20, 2012 at 10:24 PM

    In other news, over the new few days, I dearly hope to see lots of Braves players having the type of demeanor evidenced by Mr. Freddie Freeman in the pic topping the thread headlined "Nats have a chance to bury the Braves." :-)

  70. original Nats Fan - Aug 20, 2012 at 10:25 PM

    Scooter, I was trying to be funny with the preying mantissigh

  71. natsfan1a - Aug 20, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    Also, maybe a veteran Nats player should give a pregame speech quoting "Major League" as Chippah did before the A-S game. :-)

  72. NatsLady - Aug 20, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    Just rained here (in Burke) but not for very long. Hope for the same at the park.

  73. MicheleS - Aug 20, 2012 at 10:27 PM

    Here is the link to the Dr James Andrews interview on SVP todaySVP Show

  74. natsfan1a - Aug 20, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    Those are teh awesomez, sec3, er, Mr. Mantis. The hedgehog is awfully cute, too.

  75. MicheleS - Aug 20, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    What did Charlie say? Can you give me a recap?

  76. NatsLady - Aug 20, 2012 at 10:30 PM

    For those not in the area, the Nats-Braves is the free game on MLB.tv.

  77. NatsLady - Aug 20, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    Michele, most of what we already know, very nicely encapsulated. In particular, that if Rizzo reversed course at this point it would put the lie to his whole career as a scout and general manager. Mentioned Giolito. Agreed that he was surprised at the amount of hate and venom spewed by outsiders at the Nats, said the fans and media here know what is being built.Explained about the "fallback plan" (Lannan, etc.); reminded everyone that in the spring we had more starters than we knew what to do with (before injury to CMW) and Rizzo planned all along for the shutdown by having "reserves."Then he went on about Gio and especially JZ… I assume a link will be up soon.

  78. NatsLady - Aug 20, 2012 at 10:35 PM

    Can you put the Clip link up also? I'm at work, my ability to hunt around is limited.

  79. MicheleS - Aug 20, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    Thanks NatsLady. Charlie is sooo good!

  80. NatsLady - Aug 20, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    4.99 pounds (British). Wonder how much the shipping is? Those things are really cool, Z.

  81. MicheleS - Aug 20, 2012 at 10:41 PM

    Natslady.http://washington.cbslocal.com/audio/Look for the Audio on Holden and Danny show for today. It wouldn't do a direct link.

  82. NatsLady - Aug 20, 2012 at 10:42 PM

    We are rooting for the Fillies, right. So our record will continue to outpace the Reds'?

  83. Bigfish - Aug 20, 2012 at 10:42 PM

    "Why is it always Amber Theoharis? She is an O's person."This is pure conjecture on my part, but I wouldn't be surprised if there's a Baltimore Greek community connection: Angelos/Theoharis.

  84. MicheleS - Aug 20, 2012 at 10:48 PM

    Okay.. we need to look out for Dan Kolko of MASN..Dan Kolko‏@masnKolkoHere you go… RT @NFA_Brian: @masnKolko $5 if you put a 'kick me' sign on Mark http://pic.twitter.com/djphn04QHe just put a "Kick Me Sign on Mark"LOOK OUT MARK!!!

  85. baseballswami - Aug 20, 2012 at 10:48 PM

    Rain delay- more suspense.

  86. Candide - Aug 20, 2012 at 11:00 PM

    The Z-Mantis! said…I have got to get me some of these!!!Not so impressive when you actually put it on, IMHO.

  87. Candide - Aug 20, 2012 at 11:04 PM

    Okay, I have a Nats jacket (old, pre-curly-W logo), a few t shirts from giveaways. Cunegonde has an old-style jersey with her last name stitched on the back over the number 7 (she liked Pudge), and we both have a blue alternate home jersey (with the stars and stripes curly W).But we don't have a single red jersey between us, and since we've already put down our $$$ for playoff tix, we need to step up. Nats Park has to be a sea of red in October.

  88. A DC Wonk - Aug 20, 2012 at 11:04 PM

    By 7pm, rain ended in Fairfax. Fwiw…

  89. Candide - Aug 20, 2012 at 11:10 PM

    NatsLady said…Agreed that he was surprised at the amount of hate and venom spewed by outsiders at the Nats, said the fans and media here know what is being built.Rizzo has to know that the real Nats fans totally understand and agree with the shutdown.If you can keep your head when all about youAre losing theirs and blaming it on you,If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you…Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,And – which is more – you'll be a Man, my son!

  90. MicheleS - Aug 20, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    Candide, I stepped up and bought a Harper/Blue Stars and Stripes Jersey. I plan on wearing it in St Louis at the end of September, since they all wear red. I have the Werth/Espinosa Jerseys for home games

  91. Candide - Aug 20, 2012 at 11:14 PM

    MicheleS said…I just want to crush the Braves tonight.Guy at my gym has tix. Told me he hopes it'll be a good game.I told him I hope it's a lousy game, where the Nats jump out to an 8-0 lead in the first inning, then slowly pull away.

  92. peric - Aug 20, 2012 at 11:16 PM

    peric – how long will everyone stay happy if Desi doesn't start hitting and Lombo is riding the pine? Will Lombo really be the only unhappy person? ( By the way, he doesn't seem like a whiner at all).I thought winning was supposed to come first at this point of the season. Desi was our mvp before the DL stint. Can he do the job today?It isn't as if Desmond is Chipper Jones been there done that like Jayson Werth. Like Lombo he is still developing and just now coming into his own before the injury. Now he's back.Lombo is supposed to be somewhat unhappy … just like Tyler Moore … a guy geared up to be a starter is never happy on the bench. And both of those players have always started. But neither player is a "whiner". They are both hard workers and will hopefully keep pushing the envelope.

  93. natsfan1a - Aug 20, 2012 at 11:17 PM

    Why, that whippersnapper! Humph! :-)MicheleS said… Okay.. we need to look out for Dan Kolko of MASN.. Dan Kolko‏@masnKolko Here you go… RT @NFA_Brian: @masnKolko $5 if you put a 'kick me' sign on Mark http://pic.twitter.com/djphn04Q He just put a "Kick Me Sign on Mark" LOOK OUT MARK!!! August 20, 2012 6:48 PM

  94. baseballswami - Aug 20, 2012 at 11:20 PM

    Absolutely – I don't think I have ever known a team that is so full of unselfish players. Only point I was trying to make is that if you are in a pennant race, how long can you wait for someone to rehab in the games? And also – sitting a hot hitter for a long time just seems like a waste of some people on bases that could be potential runs. I mean, loyalty is one thing, but it's not a charity out there when it's almost September.

  95. NatsLady - Aug 20, 2012 at 11:21 PM

    Candide, always liked that poem, though not its author. Had to memorize it when I was in school.

  96. baseballswami - Aug 20, 2012 at 11:35 PM

    Anybody else ever have to memorize "Casey at the Bat"? Now there's a poem!

  97. natsfan1a - Aug 20, 2012 at 11:40 PM

    At our elementary you had to memorize states and capitals and write them over and over if you misbehaved. My younger bro is a whiz at them, fwiw. :-)Speaking of family and totally OT, just as my first paragraph was, RIP Phyllis Diller. One of my mom's faves and a gal with a great, booming laugh, which my mom had as well. Perhaps they're entertaining each other somewhere now. I can almost hear them.

  98. MicheleS - Aug 20, 2012 at 11:41 PM

    Swami,About Lombo

  99. Swift Eagle - Aug 20, 2012 at 11:42 PM

    Haha swami..wasn't there an alternate ending version? The 3rd strike to Casey was actually a wild pitch that got past the catcher, allowing Flynn and Blake to score and tie the game?

  100. baseballswami - Aug 20, 2012 at 11:47 PM

    Lol!!!!!

  101. NatsNut - Aug 20, 2012 at 11:47 PM

    If he's blogging on NI at the time, that pic of Mark and his "kick me" sign is very meta.

  102. baseballswami - Aug 20, 2012 at 11:52 PM

    Michele- thanks for the link. I have become quite attached to our awesome rookies. Not surprised they are working so hard . I know Desi is "the guy" but have been concerned with the zero rehab starts and having to get timing back at this point of the season. Go Desi! But how lucky have we been with this rookie class???

  103. MicheleS - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:00 AM

    OMG. NO PICTURE ON THE TV? I just saw them on MLB Network!

  104. baseballswami - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:00 AM

    So the game is starting but we can't watch it??????

  105. Swift Eagle - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:07 AM

    Good ABs from Prado and Heyward and the Braves are up 1-0…

  106. The Z-Mantis! - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:07 AM

    I'm watching it on MASN HD. Not liking what I'm seeing, but I'm watching.

  107. MicheleS - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:10 AM

    MASN popped back in.. yuk.

  108. baseballswami - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:10 AM

    I am expressing a lot of bad words right now.

  109. Swift Eagle - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:12 AM

    A Gift!!

  110. Swift Eagle - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:13 AM

    Good damage control, only 1-0

  111. The Z-Mantis! - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:14 AM

    So that wasn't as bad as it looked at the start. Nice hoze, Zuki!

  112. MicheleS - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:14 AM

    Oh and Gio called Kurt.. Zuki, so can we stop with the other names.

  113. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:15 AM

    Not only was the throw on the money, Suzuki's release was faster than any Nats catcher this year.

  114. ehay2k - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:15 AM

    Pitch to Heyward was supposed to be down and in. Was outside middle.

  115. Gonat - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:15 AM

    They had Prado in a 2 strike count working him outside and then Suzuki calls an inside fastball.Not sure about the setup.

  116. Swift Eagle - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:16 AM

    Way to go lead off man

  117. Gonat - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:17 AM

    Werth is excited. Nice!

  118. Swift Eagle - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:17 AM

    Important to get to Hudson early…He usually gets tougher

  119. Swift Eagle - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:17 AM

    Just like that

  120. MicheleS - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:17 AM

    WOW.. got to love Werth! Good for Harper!

  121. Candide - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:18 AM

    Suck on THAT, Braves!

  122. Gonat - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:18 AM

    This has definitely been a game of inches. Every hit has been within inches either way.

  123. The Z-Mantis! - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:18 AM

    Wow, no E5 there on Werth's ball? Not even single and an error?

  124. Swift Eagle - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:20 AM

    Here we go….

  125. Swift Eagle - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:21 AM

    Braves radio just said "Now, Hudson gets Morse, who's been hot…but who on the Nationals isn't"…

  126. Candide - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:21 AM

    Yeah, I thought Werth's hit was catchable.

  127. Faraz Shaikh - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:21 AM

    wow I like that line, Swift.

  128. Swift Eagle - Aug 20, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    That hit Hudson's pitching hand…

  129. NatsNut - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:23 AM

    LOL. Looks like another bipolar crowd, I mean game tonight.

  130. Candide - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:24 AM

    Hudson needs to talk with Crash Davis; "When you hit a guy, don't hit him with your pitching hand. Cripes, I can't be giving you all these free lessons…"

  131. Swift Eagle - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:25 AM

    Haha.."it's an egg, hold it like an egg"

  132. The Z-Mantis! - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:25 AM

    I'm not sure Hudson saw that ball very well; it almost looked like he got his hand on it accidentally, not trying to catch it. But it does seem every time the Nats hit a ball off the pitcher, it goes straight to a fielder.

  133. UnkyD - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:25 AM

    baseballswami said…Absolutely – I don't think I have ever known a team that is so full of unselfish players. Only point I was trying to make is that if you are in a pennant race, how long can you wait for someone to rehab in the games? And also – sitting a hot hitter for a long time just seems like a waste of some people on bases that could be potential runs. I mean, loyalty is one thing, but it's not a charity out there when it's almost September.August 20, 2012 7:20 PM———————-Desi's the starter. Lombo's the utility guy. They both know this. The whole team knows this. Wanna kill the Chemistry? Start messing with what everybody "knows"… It's not how Davey plays…. Haven't you been watching?

  134. NatsNut - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:25 AM

    Ohmygosh, Ray Knight, please take a breath every now and then. You don't have to KEEP talking.

  135. Swift Eagle - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:27 AM

    NatsNut, do yourself a favor and switch to radio for your audio..both Braves and Nats radio are great…Ray Knight?? Ugh

  136. Swift Eagle - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:27 AM

    Professional AB by ALR

  137. The Z-Mantis! - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:27 AM

    Ray's excited. He'll leave Bob out there on his own after about the fifth inning, when he gets tired.

  138. ehay2k - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:28 AM

    Ray-ray hates the silence-:-)

  139. Swift Eagle - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:28 AM

    OH YEAHHHHHHHH DOnt Bench Him

  140. Candide - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:28 AM

    YEAH DESI!!!!

  141. Gonat - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:28 AM

    Ian Desmond is DEADLY with 2 outs and man on 3rd!

  142. MicheleS - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:28 AM

    Swami.. Umm Desi is back!BOOM!

  143. The Z-Mantis! - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:28 AM

    Gee, looks kinda rusty still. Better play the rookie.

  144. Candide - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:29 AM

    Please refer to my 7:14 post!

  145. Swift Eagle - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:29 AM

    Would that ball have been out in Syracuse?

  146. Swift Eagle - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:31 AM

    Great start..long way to go. Hudson has a way of settling down and being tough after a bad 1st, a la EJax

  147. Candide - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:32 AM

    That ball would have been out in the Grand Canyon.

  148. MicheleS - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:32 AM

    And in game tweets from FP..F.P. Santangelo‏@FightinHydrantI think that's 3 straight Hudson starts v the Nats that they've scored 4 in the first! Wow! #Nats

  149. A DC Wonk - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:32 AM

    And **THAT's** why Davey played Desi all weekend. Sure, it was re-hab. But it was re-hab in a hurry, so that he'd be ready for the Braves. (And Davey probably also guestimated that against the Mets he could afford going 0-for-11 — if it helped him get ready for the Braves).

  150. Gonat - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:32 AM

    Swift, yes, and in Harrisburg!

  151. Gonat - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:32 AM

    That was an exclamation point on that inning! Desi goes BOOM!

  152. Gonat - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:33 AM

    The Legion of BOOM

  153. Smatt1001 - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:33 AM

    GYFNG!!

  154. baseballswami - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:33 AM

    Happy for Desi, Happy for Jordan – happy for the team.

  155. A DC Wonk - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:34 AM

    Only point I was trying to make is that if you are in a pennant race, how long can you wait for someone to rehab in the games?Well, drats, I didn't get to answer this before the HR, but (I promise!) I _would_ have answered:Given how solid Desi has been all year, and the end of last year, I'm sure it won't take long, and all will be fine.

  156. Swift Eagle - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:34 AM

    LOL…That would have been in the river in Harrisburg! BOOM

  157. MicheleS - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:35 AM

    Swami, just cry uncle on Desi vs Lombo. It will save you (I had to on Ben Sheets)

  158. Smatt1001 - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:36 AM

    GYFNG!!

  159. ehay2k - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:36 AM

    Jordan is having some control issues. Balls left up, tailing fastballs. Probabky becuase of the rain delay, but he needs to buckle down.

  160. baseballswami - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    It was never Desi vs Lombo. It was Desi doing no rehab starts. Trust me – no one is happier about Desi hitting than I am.

  161. UnkyD - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:38 AM

    SEE!!!!

  162. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:39 AM

    People, that is how a champion team answers!

  163. A DC Wonk - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:39 AM

    It was never Desi vs Lombo. It was Desi doing no rehab starts. Trust me – no one is happier about Desi hitting than I am.I get it. My point only was, Davey was probably thinking: "Hey — it's against the Mets — let's do the rehab up here, hopefully speed up the process, and see if he's ready for the Braves"

  164. Swift Eagle - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:41 AM

    It was a fair question, Desi was 0-11 and Lombo had been hot…another example of "In Davey we Trust"…

  165. baseballswami - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:41 AM

    Question – is Jordan on his regular five days or more? Seems like he is always too strong on extra rest and doesn't pitch well. Hope he settles down. 45 pitches should make him tired enough for the ball to sink. We always think of him as being so stoic, but he has not been in this spot before – maybe with the rain delay he is a little amped up. So he is human after all.

  166. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:43 AM

    Suzuki's throw to catch Heyward stealing should just be future referred to as the "bullet"

  167. The Z-Mantis! - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:43 AM

    Swami, we believe you. And it is just like Davey to do what Wonk describes.

  168. Swift Eagle - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:43 AM

    Our lead off man won't swing unless you throw him a strike!!

  169. ehay2k - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:45 AM

    Can Harper homer again?

  170. A DC Wonk - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:45 AM

    Doc said… Is KSuk dating Rizzo's daughter?1. Don't use bad names against our Natsies.2. He's here as a catcher, not a hitter. That was a pretty darn good play throw out Heyward (and help end that inning).BTW — what the heck was Heyward thinking? (Where was he going? ;-) Trying to steal third, with a lefty up and JZ stuggling?

  171. NatsNut - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:46 AM

    no lie, Desi up, I'm thinking "ok Desi, where's that 2-out slugger…" but didn't even finish the THOUGHT, much less a post before he showed me where he was. Am I allowed to say woo hoo before the end of the game?

  172. A DC Wonk - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:47 AM

    In the irony department — after all the talk about how Werth and Harper see so many pitches, and take so many walks . . . in the bottom of the first they tied the game, on a double and a single, in the first four pitches of the game.

  173. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:49 AM

    Zimm is averaging 5 pitches to every hitter…..Not good.

  174. ehay2k - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:50 AM

    Wonk, must be the new approach.

  175. Swift Eagle - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:50 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  176. Joe Seamhead - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:52 AM

    Nice inning for JZimm. Now, let's bury them!

  177. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:53 AM

    OK…Zimm got 3 guys at 4 pitches each. Better but he needs to do that 3 more innings at least.

  178. ehay2k - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:54 AM

    Natsjack, Zimnn looks to be finding his control now. Last 3 pitches looked to be to Zuki's glove.

  179. Faraz Shaikh - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:55 AM

    doesn't hudson have good record against RZ or something?

  180. ehay2k - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:56 AM

    I'm not saying he has a lot of power, but that was a sac bunt by Morse.

  181. Swift Eagle - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:56 AM

    "Zimmerman was here before Scot Boras built the team"— Don SuttonGood one…

  182. Candide - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:56 AM

    NatsNut said…Am I allowed to say woo hoo before the end of the game? I was sorely tempted. I suspect as long as you don't add "(copyright 2012 MicheleS)" after it, you should be okay, but you should check first as a courtesy…

  183. Swift Eagle - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:58 AM

    I dare Hudson to throw Desi a first pitch fastball…

  184. Swift Eagle - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:59 AM

    Lol…Well played Hudson…Jerk

  185. MicheleS - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:00 AM

    Um.. NatsNut.. the WH word should be used sparingly.. Like wins or the birth of a new Nats fan.. just sayin, don't want to diffuse it's overall power. So maybe we can come up with a new in game scream for good stuff?

  186. MicheleS - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:01 AM

    and NatsNut.. I do like when you add the FREAKIN to the WH word.. reminds me of McCatty and the Pretty Freakin Bueno..

  187. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:01 AM

    ehay2k…..that's what I like. A one pitch out to Chipper.

  188. Gonat - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:03 AM

    Ump blew that call on Freeman. Well within the K Zone

  189. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:05 AM

    These guys foul off alot of pitches. 10 pitches for a walk.

  190. ehay2k - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:05 AM

    Agreed Natsjack. Also, has Uggla lost weight, or has his uni not yet been through the dryer on the "Poncharello" setting?

  191. Gonat - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:05 AM

    I can't stand Uggla.

  192. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:08 AM

    Wow! Can't believe that sequence to McCann.

  193. NatsNut - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:09 AM

    Noted MicheleS. Glad I asked! I've seen this crowd. I'd be torn to pieces if I caused anything bad to happen.

  194. MicheleS - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:09 AM

    Rain Delay Question;Yesteraday Gio Had control problems. Davey mentioned that he had warmed up at 12:30 and again at 3 and felt that impacted him.Is Jordan having the same problem with the rain delay? Would he have warmedup early and sat there with the delay?

  195. MicheleS - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:10 AM

    OY.. those walks always come back to bite you.

  196. Gonat - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:11 AM

    2 starts ago Danny had 2 errors. Has to make that play and can't believe that is a single.

  197. Fear and Ignorance - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:12 AM

    Why would you pitch to a #8 hitter with 2 outs and runners on 2nd and 3rd. I don't get it. Janish sucks, but he is still a better hitter than Hudson.

  198. Gonat - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:13 AM

    MicheleS said… OY.. those walks always come back to bite you. August 20, 2012 9:10 PM ___________________________Lead-off walks do. That was with 1 out and keep in mind he threw that fastball clearly that was a strike that was called a ball.

  199. Gonat - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:14 AM

    Fear and Ignorance said… Why would you pitch to a #8 hitter with 2 outs and runners on 2nd and 3rd. I don't get it. Janish sucks, but he is still a better hitter than Hudson. August 20, 2012 9:12 PM _______________________________Come on. That is a play Danny has to make. End of story.

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