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Marathon men

Aug 21, 2012, 6:47 AM EDT

US Presswire photo
Nationals fans celebrate as Danny Espinosa scores in the bottom of the 13th.

In a marathon ballgame that featured plenty of young players in Nationals uniforms experiencing pennant race baseball for the first time in their lives, who would have thought the winning run would wind up scoring because of a brain cramp by the Braves’ three-time All-Star and seven-year veteran?

Maybe there truly is something special about the 2012 Nationals, who kept trying to find ways to lose Monday night’s showdown with Atlanta yet managed to hang around long enough to watch Dan Uggla butcher Chad Tracy’s sharp grounder in the bottom of the 13th, allowing Danny Espinosa to slide across the plate with the run that gave the home team a thrilling 5-4 victory in the most significant game in the club’s brief history.

“We’re very young,” manager Davey Johnson said. “This is great. This is the learning curve. This is experience.”

The opener of a three-game series that could see the Nationals all but bury the Braves in the division race — or allow their lone remaining competitor to close the gap — turned into an epic battle deep into the night.
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178 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. The Z-Mantis! - Aug 21, 2012 at 7:00 AM

    Weren't they 30 games over .500 the other day?

  2. Another_Sam - Aug 21, 2012 at 8:58 AM

    I slept through it. Very good to wake up to this.

  3. Another_Sam - Aug 21, 2012 at 9:02 AM

    BTW, it's a good thing that I don'thave to rely on the home delivered Post for the results.

  4. natsfan1a - Aug 21, 2012 at 10:47 AM

    Carrying forward (yawn):What with the rain delay, I was only able to stay awake until about 11:30 (yawn), but awoke to a happy game results email this morning. Glad that they were finally able to put another one over (and hold off the Bravos). Hope my DVR got the rest of it, as the guide showed an O's replay coming up next. Atta way, Nats!

  5. Faraz Shaikh - Aug 21, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    Ace opportunity for Strasburg. Bullpen used last night, tough team for him to face, and keeping them one more game down. Can he actually beat Uggla-McCann-Heyward lineup? Should be interesting against Maholm. I am guessing Flores will play tonight after that long game for Zuki.

  6. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 21, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    Still savoring this!

  7. Faraz Shaikh - Aug 21, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    another thought regarding the game's ending, I was actually surprised Braves making multiple mental mistakes in 13th inning. That is not expected of a contender.

  8. Candide - Aug 21, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    Went to bed after the 7th. Looking at the replay, I don't see how Uggla could have thrown Espi out with anything less than a perfect bullet, and with no hesitation. Smart base running by KSuz.Oh, and WOO-HOOOOOO!! (copyright 2012 MicheleS all rights reserved, void where prohibited).

  9. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 21, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    Mark said…Nationals, who kept trying to find ways to lose…Sounds like a Legion Of Doom comment. I think the Nats couldn't put them away earlier and find a way to win.

  10. natsfan1a - Aug 21, 2012 at 11:02 AM

    Memo to Bravos: I think that whole Monday high-stocking good luck thing might be over now. Sorry. Well, not really. I'm actually kinda happy. No offense. :-)

  11. natsfan1a - Aug 21, 2012 at 11:03 AM

    Mark's not Legion of Doom. He's a beat writer.

  12. sjm308 - Aug 21, 2012 at 11:08 AM

    Good morning!We did not stay for the whole game! Figured Red Carpet tickets, coming back Wed. etc etc. Still able to get home to listen to extra innings on the radio and actually watch Werth come close. Hate to say I went to bed but I did. Love waking up and at least reading what happened.I am sure it is covered in prior posts but except for Clip, all the other guys threw at least 20 pitches out of the bullpen. I guess Burnett is fairly fresh with a couple days of rest but who else will he throw? I have to think Stammen is totally done for the rest of this series but hope the others will just consider it part of what goes on in a pennant race.This is one game I would love to see SS go 7 strong innings.(but seriously doubt if Davey will allow that)Go Nats!!

  13. A DC Wonk - Aug 21, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    "We're very young," manager Davey Johnson said. "This is great. This is the learning curve. This is experience."Davey's comments after the game were very insightful. Among other things he stressed that players need to keep their emotions on an even keel all season, for each and every game, and not get too amped up for certain games (such as last night) because each game counts.More interestingly, he thought the missed plays by the Espi and Desi (and there were three) were attributable to their being too amped up, and he also blamed JZ's shaky first inning on that.This puts the comments I quoted above in better context. Davey is happy that his young team is getting some high pressure sort-of-playoff-ish games right now, so that when the playoffs _do_ come, the team will be more used to this situation.

  14. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 21, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    NatsFan1a, what did the Nats do to try to lose?

  15. A DC Wonk - Aug 21, 2012 at 11:15 AM

    Went to bed after the 7th. Looking at the replay, I don't see how Uggla could have thrown Espi out with anything less than a perfect bullet, and with no hesitation.I think that's what Uggla thought, too, which is why he thought about the easier DP, but KSuz confounded him by just standing there.And, major kudos, again, to possibly the most important play of the game — Espi's aggressive running when he saw nobody covering third base. (Ray Knight thought the catcher should have been covering third on that, but didn't because reactions are slow after 13 innings. I'm not sure I've seen a catcher cover such a play. McCann _did_ run over there, but was way late on it. Any former baseball coaches out there want to comment on that?)

  16. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 21, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    I don't know Ghost…. how many walks did the Nats staff give up that didn't score? That's where I think they may have seemed like they were trying to give it away.

  17. A DC Wonk - Aug 21, 2012 at 11:18 AM

    The Z-Mantis! said… Weren't they 30 games over .500 the other day?Nope. +29 was their previous high this year.

  18. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 21, 2012 at 11:21 AM

    Wonk, JZ backed up what Davey said as he fessed up that he was amped in the 1st.

  19. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 21, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    This certainly isn't a knock on the people that were in the stands last nite because you sure sounded like a great crowd but I was almost ashamed that there were only 21K+ in the stands. And I don't care about threatening weather. This is the biggest home series played in DC since the early 40's. Hopefully it will be better tonite.

  20. baseballswami - Aug 21, 2012 at 11:26 AM

    Desi and Suzuki with smart base running and Tracy put the ball in play. Simple stuff. For those of you who will be watching on DVR- prepare for your heart to stop on three plays- missed home runs, literally by inches. Jayson is close, my friends and his ankle is fine . Desi broke out, but super rookie Lombo had a pinch hit. Pretty soon I will be needing a thesaurus to talk about this team.

  21. MicheleS - Aug 21, 2012 at 11:27 AM

    NatsJack, kids went back to school yesterday. So that could have caused part of the problem.You all were troopers staying up so late.Post of the night:NatsNut said… woo (yawn) hoo! August 21, 2012 12:35 AM

  22. joemktg - Aug 21, 2012 at 11:27 AM

    Huge win last night. That was a gut-check, and a prelude as to how they can handle post-season.

  23. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 21, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    NatsJack, walks stink, but finding ways to lose, that's the Braves headline. The Nats were the better team. Nats missed walkoff HRs by feet twice and other missed opportunities. The Nats persevered.Better team won.

  24. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 21, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    Nats getting lots of air time in ESPN. I was hoping Bryce would be the walk-off hero.

  25. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 21, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    Ghost… I agree totally. Just putting Mark's comment in perspective.

  26. Gonat - Aug 21, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    When I say "GOOD MORNING", I mean (say it slowly), goooood morning!76 wins, 30 games over .500, 6 game lead in the East, 9-4 record against the Braves, best record in the Majors.It's a goooood morning!

  27. sjm308 - Aug 21, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    No comments on the fact that Davey had a hit and run on in the 13th with Suzuki. That to me was the key as Danny was already at full speed and its also the reason that Kurt was reaching for a ball out of the strike zone. If Danny is not at full speed as he hits 2nd it might have been a tougher play. Davey also eluded in his press conference that he was probably going to run Suzuki on the next pitch as well. He is definitely pushing all the right buttons.!!Go Nats!

  28. baseballswami - Aug 21, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    Yes, it was a rainy Monday night with some schools starting, tourists leaving, people still out of town. We are not yet at the point where we would still get 35 k — the weekends are going to draw. If this was a month from now, I think those issues won't matter. Stras may draw more with a better forecast for tonight.Metro is such an issue. I lived in the Seattle area for many years and the Kingdome would just clear out right before the last ferry was leaving. No other way to get home. My grown sons swear they are still scarred from leaving a tie game that the Mariner's ultimately won.

  29. mick - Aug 21, 2012 at 11:52 AM

    Is it safe, lol

  30. MicheleS - Aug 21, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    All the comments on hitting yesterday, I swear Boz reads this blog. Not sure if this was posted yesterday, but here is a linkNats Hitting Approach

  31. mick - Aug 21, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    Gonat said…When I say "GOOD MORNING", I mean (say it slowly), goooood morning!let me add..Oh what a beautiful morning,Oh what a beautiful day,I've got a wonderful feeling,Everything's going my way.

  32. Gonat - Aug 21, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    sjm308 said… No comments on the fact that Davey had a hit and run on in the 13th with Suzuki. _____________________________________They were just starting the runner on a 3-2 pitch and absolutely Danny with a heads up play to take 3rd. You knew he would do something to help this team after his bad play on Janish in the 5th and the lousy bunt back to the pitcher in the 13th that was almost a doubleplay.

  33. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 21, 2012 at 11:56 AM

    Yes, a good morning!

  34. Gonat - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    I just read that Uggla's botched play on the Tracy grounder was changed to a RBI single.Talk about blind love.

  35. Gonat - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:02 PM

    MicheleS said… All the comments on hitting yesterday, I swear Boz reads this blog. Not sure if this was posted yesterday, but here is a linkNats Hitting Approach August 21, 2012 7:53 AM __________________________________We certainly have some good analysts here.

  36. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    mick… Ghost… I'm more of a "Rascals" fan so "It's a Beautiful Mornin!".

  37. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    NatsJack, I'm with that too! It's a Beautiful Mornin!

  38. The Z-Mantis! - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    I just read that Uggla's botched play on the Tracy grounder was changed to a RBI single. Talk about blind love.I would have given Tracy a fielder's choice, Suzuki safe and run scored on an error, I suppose, since Uggla did drop the ball, but after Zuki stopped and Uggla froze, by that time I think he had no play. I'd have to see it again. I suppose the ruling was that the whole thing was a product of his freezing and standing there with his mouth open, which is scored a hit.

  39. baseballswami - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    It is – a little blurry from lack of sleep, but beautiful none the less. I am wondering how last night will affect each team. Can Chipper play tonight on his 80 year old knees? Will Desi be rejuvenated? Will the Nats bear down? Will the Braves be annoyed? Stay tuned, because on any given night we have absolutely no idea what is going to happen.

  40. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… Nats getting lots of air time in ESPN. I was hoping Bryce would be the walk-off hero.Are they replaying the new play he invented, the walk-off broken bat strikeout? You know, the one where you come up in the bottom of the 11th in a tie game, with a man on and two out. Then you strike out with a violent swing, smash your bat on the plate with an even more violent swing, shattering it into pieces, and then walk off. He should trademark that one just like he trademarked the clown question, bro.

  41. The Z-Mantis! - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    Here you go

  42. The Z-Mantis! - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    And Wonk, thanks for the correction. 30+ for the first time, it is.

  43. Gonat - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    The Z-Mantis! said… Here you go August 21, 2012 8:18 AM ________________________________That is perfect! I didn't know what NatsJack was talking about and when I Googled I got "YOUNG RASCALS"http://www.last.fm/music/The+Young+Rascals/_/Its+A+Beautiful+Morning

  44. Candide - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said…mick… Ghost… I'm more of a "Rascals" fan so "It's a Beautiful Mornin!".And for the opera lovers out there (surely there has to be one besides me somewhere):Heil dir, Sonne! Heil dir, Licht! Heil dir, leuchtender Tag! (Hail, Sun! Hail, light! Hail, bright day!)

  45. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    They were the "Young Rascals" when they recorded that but changed to "The Rascals" shortly thereafter. I used to always get reprimanded when I called them "The Young Rascals".

  46. MicheleS - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    And the view from Atlanta….

  47. MicheleS - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    And from Chipper:Chipper Jones‏@RealCJ10No comment!!!

  48. Gonat - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… They were the "Young Rascals" when they recorded that but changed to "The Rascals" shortly thereafter. I used to always get reprimanded when I called them "The Young Rascals". August 21, 2012 8:29 AM ___________________________________Almost a great nickname for our Kardiac Kids (Young Rascals)

  49. Gonat - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    Craig Stay-man now has a 6-1 record.

  50. Gonat - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    I'm wondering if Chipper and Brian McCann will be in the starting lineup tonight for the Barves.

  51. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    And I don't care about threatening weather.That was a weird weather situation. It never actually rained at the ballpark, beyond a few drops. When I got there at 5:30 it was bright and sunny. By 6:30 it had clouded up and they had the tarp on the field ready to pull it over the infield. It sat like that until 7:00 when they announced the rain delay. They did eventually cover the infield as a big dark cloud moved slowly overhead. It got windy for about five minutes. Then once the dark cloud moved on, they started the game.But I gather there was a good bit of rain in some suburbs, which probably discouraged anyone who was planning on coming down by Metro. They had to know that a rain delay would push the game so late that they'd have to miss the end to catch the last train home. I was impressed by the number of people who hung around late into the game. Seemed like nearly everyone was still there til that rally fizzled in the bottom of the 8th. It was 11:00 at that point, and there was a mass exodus. I stuck it out until midnight myself, but since I have a 6:00 am alarm I reluctantly had to leave and was able to hear the end of the game on the drive home.

  52. Candide - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    Lots of hatin' for Uggla and Chipper in Atlanta. If all you knew was the AJC's comments section, you'd think the Braves were fighting the Phillies for last place.

  53. Gonat - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    Nats have a much needed day off on Thursday. Davey can really push it with that wonderful rest day. Probably Flores in tonight.With the LHP on the mound, does Bryce sit?

  54. MicheleS - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    Gonat.. interesting question on Chipper and McCann. Before last night, Chipper said he intended to play all 3 games. I wonder if his knees are barking today, i still expect them both to play. Thankfully our guys are younger and have more energy.

  55. Doc - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    Thanks for the background story Mark. Desi got lucky with the Official Scorer last night–hope the DL rust is wearing off.

  56. Candide - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    pRAA with the ISO said…But I gather there was a good bit of rain in some suburbs…It was threatening in Alexandria, 'cuz Samoa (our evil-spawn-of-Satan cat) came down into the TV room and hunched down onto the floor, SOP for her when there's thunder anywhere in the known universe.Then she accidentally discovered her catnip mouse and life was beautiful again.

  57. Candide - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    BTW, it looks like there's a Nats version of Poopy McPoop posting in the AJC – see comment by NATS NUTT (not ours, thankfully) at 1:23.

  58. The Z-Mantis! - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    BTW, it looks like there's a Nats version of Poopy McPoop posting in the AJC21,000 on a rainy Monday in August, I can live with, but THAT is embarrassing.

  59. blovy8 - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    I love how Kimbrel warmed up basically every inning without coming into the game. He's might be as tired as the rest of their bullpen.

  60. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    You don't pitch Jason Hayward middle or low in the zone especially low middle to outside as he has power oppo. You pitch him anywhere high in the zone.On the HR to Heyward, JZim threw it to wear Suzuki set up and should've been set-up higher.Ray Knight said a few times how Jordan was shaking off Suzuki. Big play was the Janish liner to Espi in the 4th that was ruled a RBI single. That set-up that 5th with a high pitch count and starting with the top of the Braves order instead of facing the pitcher to leadoff.

  61. natsfan1a - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    Thanks, NatsJack, for pinch-hitting for me (was off watching the part of the game that I missed).Mick, I was going to use that (Marathon Man) line this morning after reading the headline but then forgot about doing it. Thanks for picking me up (and I like the show tunes so I'm with you on that).It was pouring here (NoVa) at game time. Our time-share cat growls and then hides under the bed when there's thunder, or fireworks.

  62. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    One correction, Heyward does have power upper middle.

  63. natsfan1a - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  64. natsfan1a - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  65. natsfan1a - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    A few random points after watching the rest of the game:- funny line by Bob after observing a handful of upper deck, top row holdouts in the 12th (everybody else had moved down for an extra-innings seat upgrade) "they're distant relatives of Bob Uecker- how quiet was it in the bottom of the inning? So quiet that you could hear a "ding" as LaRoche fouled one off the second "N" in the Nationals Park sign behind the dish (hit the N, win a kewpie doll)- loved Clip's dugout rally cap in the 13th

  66. natscan reduxit - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    … you all should read this: http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8284551/visiting-washington-nationalsif for no other reason than that Charlie Pierce is one of the best writers around anywhere these days.Way to Go, Nats!! and Do It Again.

  67. Laddie Blah Blah - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    "Nats missed walkoff HRs by feet twice and other missed opportunities."If the game had been played in Atlanta, Werth's 8th inning shot would have been a grand slam and the game would have been a 9-inning, regulation 8-4 laugher.I think Marc may have been referring to the poor MiF play which gave the Braves 3 extra outs and an extra run. Without those, the game would have been a 4-3 squeaker, but the Nats would still have won. When you give away 3 outs and an extra run, you often give away the game, too.Still, the Nats came away with the win. I think the Braves had 13 LOB, or something close to it. They lost the game more than the Nats won it. The Braves capitalized on many Nats' mistakes for only one run, but when the Nats finally exploited a Braves' miscue, it was the ball game.Good big game experience for JZ. He and Zuke were not on the same page all night. JZ's rhythm may have been affected since he had to slow down his usual rapid-fire delivery until he and Zuke could agree on how to attack the hitter. You rarely saw him shake off Flo, but he kept nodding "no" to most of what Zuke wanted to go with. They need to better synchronize their approach on how to manage the game.Very tough loss for the Braves. If it were not for one badly managed loss of a 9-run lead, the Nats would be up on them 10-3 for the season, with what should be an 8-game lead instead of just a 6-game lead.. As it is, the Nats continue to dominate the matchup at 9-4.Today will show what they are made of. Lots of pressure on Maholm.

  68. natsfan1a - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    Good point on the fielding as well, Laddie.Definitely a tough loss for the Barves.

  69. Section 222 - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    I stuck it out for the whole game last night, and am paying the price this morning, but what a great win. A few observations:1. Our bullpen is so clutch. They bended (bent?) but didn't break. Very, very impressive, especially Stammen pitching multiple innings for the second night in the row. I said to my friend in the 13th, "with all this power, I'm surprised no Brave has hit one out." Thank goodness they couldn't.2. When we say Jackson start warming, it was clear he was the incoming pitcher if we had to pinch hit for Stammen. What a gamer he is. At least we didn't have to see what kind of stuff LaRoche had. Davey sure didn't anticipate this result when he burned through the builpen on one inning a a piece.3. The Braves infield play in the 13th seemed to be the product mostly of being tired. They were scurrying around like crazy people on Suzuki's slow roller, almost like that wild play in Houston. (Wasn't Suzuki involved in that one too?) And then on last play, from my vantage paint Uggla could have thrown Danny out, but he would have had to come home immediately. As hard as the ball was hit, he also probably could have gone for the DP by throwing quickly to second (Tracy is not a speed demon), but he hesitated, hoping for the quick DP by tagging Suzuki — who was no where to be found. Great heads up play by Suzuki, and Uggla just didn't have anything in the tank.4. Glad to hear, not that I had any doubt, that Davey is playing to win each game. This is a magical season, regardless of Strasburg's situation. No playing for 2013 going on here.5. Fun to have SteadyEddie join me at my seats last night, at least until the last call for Metro was announced. The NI mafia was well represented.

  70. NCNatsie - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    Ok, I'm late to post because I stayed up for the whole game and the postgame show, which provided one last chuckle for the evening. Our beloved Davey, after praising Stay-man several times got a question from a reporter who pronounced the name correctly in phrasing his question. Davey answered, and pronounced it correctly n his answer — then reverted to Stay-man later. So he just needs to be reminded.

  71. sm13 - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    There may have neen 21k last night, but they were a very loud 21k. It was a playoff atmosphere, especially during key at bats, like Werth with the bases loaded and each time the bullpen wiggled out of jams. The downer was seeing the stands empty out when the scoreboard posted the the time of the last Metro train – 11:20. The Lerners need to step up and leave a standing order with Metro to stay open after closing time. Given all the extra ticket revenue this year, the amount they have to pay Metro shoild be easy to justify.

  72. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    I'm with Section 222: went the distance, blew off the last subway home, made the choice to stick it out and glad I did. We ended up walking (with my 22-year-old daughter, not really a baseball fan) to Capitol Hill, catching a 30 bus and then a $15 cab from Friendship Heights. Got home at 2:20. All worth it.Because the Nats never announce paid attendance at the park (unless it's a sellout. Why?), I had no idea the PA was just 22K. It sounded like 32K. But I have to tell you that's still very weak for pennant race baseball. I'm sure that's going to ignite the flames of those national commentators who still don't think D.C. is a baseball town, though we all know differently. Tonight, with Jesus, we should top 30K. If we don't, it's a shame.Still groggy, and my herbal tea isn't getting the job done this morning…

  73. Candide - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    Don't complain about 21,000 on a rainy Monday night. Other recent August Monday games:2010 – Nats v. Cubs, August 23 – 17,000 (okay, it was the Cubs…).2011 – Nats v. D-Backs, August 22 – 19,000, and the D-Backs were a GOOD team, fighting for a playoff spot.

  74. waddu eye no - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    candide:Die Strahlen der Sonne vertreiben die Nacht, Zernichten der Heuchler erschlichene Macht. (sang that at constitution hall once with victor borge conducting)best of all possible games

  75. Candide - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    waddu eye no said…candide: Die Strahlen der Sonne vertreiben die Nacht, Zernichten der Heuchler erschlichene Macht. (sang that at constitution hall once with victor borge conducting)Ah, Victor Borge – the Bob Uecker of classical music!

  76. natsfan1a - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    Great points by 222 but wasn't it a chopper by Zuki as opposed to a slow roller? Agreed with sm13 re. the Metro. Was commenting to my husband on that the other day, in the context of, er, October games, which tend to run long with multiple pitching changes and what-not. It would kinda [stink] to need to leave due to the last train heading out. Props to all who were there and stayed 'til the end (or who stayed up to watch it all – yawn). If memory serves, tonight there's some kind of discount ticket deal and Strasburg's toeing the rubber. I'm guessing the crowd will be larger.

  77. natsfan1a - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    My mom, who was of Danish heritage and an English major, loved Borge! (I got your phonetic punctuation right here.)

  78. JaneB - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    There was only one point last night when the crowd got so quiet, I had to shake myself awake and remind our section there was still a game being played. Some people up in the gods were trying to start the Wave but it didn't take. I will say I was wondering why Davey held back Lombo so long. I woulda played him ahead of Roger. But if someone has an insight into that, I'd appreciate it.Staying alert to NOT make ugglaE errors is what our guys did, and it gave them the game. Let's get another tonight!

  79. Dan! - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    Nats magic numbers: 35 for division, 31 for a playoff spot. Just saying.

  80. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    After torturing us for so many years with the Marlins, great to see Fat Boy Uggla get that brain cramp in the 13th. Should they end up giving him an error on the play?I was down the RF line and couldn't see the 'pen. So glad to hear EJax was volunteering to work the 14th (and beyond). I'm totally in the tank for the guy and really hope he re-signs, though his history would indicate he won't. Guy is talented, tough and smart…just not as consistent as we would all like. But he's a great athlete, and an unbelievable No. 4. He may end up being our ace in the hole in October.

  81. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    @JaneB: I agree about the crowd. It was like a library out there at times. Then it would get really raucous, like when Werth was up with the bases jammed. Weird. Whole night was weird. I feel today like an extra in a Fellini film. You remember him? Shortstop for the Dodgers back in the day…

  82. natsfan1a - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    I thought he played 8(1/2). :-)

  83. JaneB - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    Thanks for all the great links, Imaginary Friends! Fun reading!

  84. natsfan1a - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    More from Boz on organizational hitting philosophy, which someone (sorry, can't recall who) had questioned the other day.

  85. Section 222 - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    Ok, 1a, it was a chopper, but a slow chopper. :-)On the attendance, definitely seemed like more than 21 K were there. My guess is that there were several thousand Red Carpet Rewards tickets given out for this game — knowledgable STHs getting extras several weeks ago when it became apparent this was a big series. Those seats are not counted toward the paid attendance. Plus, it was a Monday night, with rain threatening. That has to have killed the walkup gate. And I'll bet a lot of those potential walkups were glad they stayed home, what with the delays and the metro issues.Also, unless you were there, no complaining about the attendance. People in glass houses and all that.

  86. Candide - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said…After torturing us for so many years with the Marlins, great to see Fat Boy Uggla get that brain cramp in the 13th.I'm not sure I'd call it a brain cramp.I think the only way he had a chance at Espi would have been if he'd thrown an instant, on-target bullet to McCann. No time to think about it, and even then, far from a sure thing. So when he DID think about it for a split-second, he realized his only remaining option was to go for the DP, and KSuz made that a lot tougher by stopping.At that point, Uggla might have been able to run right at KSuz, tag him, and step on first for the DP. But Espi would have been across the plate by that time, so the run would have scored.So IMHO, Uggla's "brain cramp" amounted to looking to see if he had a play at the plate before throwing home. Tough, tough play for him, and I'm not sure that even Espi would have made that play had the situation been reversed.

  87. natsfan1a - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    222, and it *did* roll after the Bravos IF kicked it, so there's that.No attendance mocking here. I was actually trying to stand up for the fans. :-)

  88. MicheleS - Aug 21, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    Boz will be on 106.7 at 10:30

  89. Water23 - Aug 21, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    Just a little off topic but I read that Davey asked Ejax if he could pitch if needed last night. He said he was game and started warming up. Rumors are Ejax wants to stay and get a multi-year deal. Granted he is our 3-4 but he is a workhorse and a good clubhouse guy. Maybe there is a way to show the teams appreciation for a loyal soldier?

  90. alm - Aug 21, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    Great to wake up to a win. Watched until midnight – end of the 11th.With this win I think we take the frontrunner status from the Braves. We matched them pitching and hitting and in the end our “kids” didn’t choke – they did. Let’s get another one tonight. Focus on today, with an eye on tomorrow…I will be there, hopefully it will end before midnight.

  91. fast eddie - Aug 21, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    Candide:I agree on the Uggla play. He had no chance to throw out Espi. He should have run at Suki, tagged him and stepped on first for the DP.But would Espi's run still count if he scored before Uggla reached first?

  92. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 21, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    I will say I was wondering why Davey held back Lombo so long. I woulda played him ahead of Roger. But if someone has an insight into that, I'd appreciate it.If the Shark had gotten a hit there and sparked a rally to put the Nats ahead, Davey might have planned to leave him in the game for defense.

  93. NatsLady - Aug 21, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    Have to agree with Davey and Fredi on this. Get the guy at the plate. Don't get greedy for the double play. Fredi could have brought Kimbrell in for the K, and Jackson would still be out there. Davey would do anything to "not use LaRoche." LOL. You sure Davey doesn't know how to pronounce Stammen's name? 'Cause he sure is our "Stayin' Man."When asked if he had to do it over again, Uggla said he would still go for the double play. But with the infield in, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez wanted him to go home.“You can’t go anywhere else but the play at the plate,” Gonzalez said. “We can’t take a chance of turning a double play there and not turning it, and the game’s over.”

  94. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 21, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    fast eddie….. No, the run would not count.

  95. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 21, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    Water23 said… Ejax Granted he is our 3-4 but he is a workhorse and a good clubhouse guy. August 21, 2012 10:08 AM Less than 6 1/3 innings per start is not a workhorse and that's exactly what John Lannan pitched for the Nats in 2009.Just wondering, how do you know he's a good clubhouse guy? I'm not doubting it, just wondering why you are saying that.The Nats have 1 opening for next season in the starting rotation and not sure paying EJax $13+ million a year is smart money when you have to extend JZim and Detwiler.On the bright side, I was warm and fuzzy inside watching EJax jump into the bullpen in the 13th and hearing Davey's comments afterwards.

  96. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 21, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    He should have run at Suki, tagged him and stepped on first for the DP.But would Espi's run still count if he scored before Uggla reached first?Not if it played out like you described it. But if he had done the DP the other way around by first getting the force at first base and then taking a throw back to get Suzuki out, the run would have counted if he crossed the plate before the tag. If the last out of an inning is a force play, then it negates any runners who cross the plate before it is made.

  97. NatsLady - Aug 21, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    Water, here is what Davey said in the presser. EJax didn't throw today even though it was his normal throw day, because of the off-day Thursday. So "we" (I assume McCat) went and asked him if he was okay to throw, and he said yes. Then they called out to the BP to see if he was ready, and he said he was. When asked specifically about EJax wanting to re-sign, and if this was a factor in the Nats' wanting him back, Davey answered–in the affirmative.Davey said if EJax had not been ready or avaiable (and it was EJax's option), then he would have used "Stay-man" for seven innings, because he was not going to sue LaRoche.

  98. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 21, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    Just wondering, how do you know he's a good clubhouse guy? I'm not doubting it, just wondering why you are saying that.There have been multiple quotes from Nats players saying they'd like to have Jackson back next year. The most recent from JZimm after last night's game. That would indicate he's probably a good clubhouse guy.

  99. NatsLady - Aug 21, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    Oh, gosh, my typo-ing!…if EJax had not been ready or available…and he was not going to USE LaRoche (probably wasn't going to SUE him either).

  100. baseballswami - Aug 21, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    Leftover impressions from last night — JZ and Suzuki are not working well together at all. McCatty needs to step in and get it fixed. Jayson Werth is sooooo close to HR power. Desi is coming back but it's not just his hitting that is a little shaky still. And – Lombo can still walk up to the plate and make contact. I understand that statistically he makes contact 85 percent of the time and rarely strikes out. A good quality in a pinch hitter. Craig Sta(y)mmen is a treasure – he has something like 6 wins – that means when he comes into the game we are behind, tied, or the starter failed. Not an easy time to enter a game. My lasting impression is of the ball just sitting there on the grass after the game. Like the ball was abandoned because it did something wrong. I supposed the StrasNoMas situation will rear it's ugly head again today. sigh.

  101. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 21, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    NatsLady said… Have to agree with Davey and Fredi on this. Get the guy at the plate. Don't get greedy for the double play.There was a reason the Barves were playing infield in. The play was at the plate. On Tracy, his job was to get a ball to drive. Since he has come back from the DL, this is at least the 2nd time he has driven a ball in a similar situation into the ground and in the beginning of the season he had the ability to get under the balls. Its a concern.Davey's big bats last night let him down in TyMo and Tracy and Bernie K'd. Lombo came through in style.

  102. Joe Seamhead - Aug 21, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    Well,now, I'm feeling guilty about not going, though I stayed up watching on the boob tube. I went to Friday night's game, skipped Saturday's, got to Sunday's game at 11:00 a.m. with my grandson and stayed until the end, getting home after 8:00 p.m. I'm going tonight and tomorrow night.I thought about going last night, but it is about 50 miles round trip for me with no Metro option, and between the weather and being a bit tired out, I couldn't do it.ALR looked very spaced out during his last AB. Werth's 10,or was it 11, pitch AB before flying out to the RF fence was very impressive. Harper needs to sit in the corner for his temper tantrum. Joe West will throw his butt out for less. The ball Espy tried to backhand appeared to me to hit the heel of his mitt, not "pop out" of it as Bob Carpenter said. Michael Morse had a horrible night at the plate. Espy's reaching third on Suzuki's chopper was very Harper-like base running.Davey got away with grand larceny on this one.Mark Zuckerman is unbelievable. Did anyone notice what time he made this last post?

  103. NatsLady - Aug 21, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    You can think Espy would have made it to the plate–or would have been DOA. You don't know, but you try to prevent the run. If he beats you, he beats you. Uggla got greedy (or cute), and it cost him.

  104. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 21, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    Ghost…. last February, 10 days before pitchers and catchers reported, the three guys throwing side sessions in Viera were Jordan, Ross, and Ejax. There were a couple of minor leaguers as well but they were the first 3 to start early workouts. Ejax would engage anyone around in friendly conversation and later, when kids would show up, he was the one guy that would go out of his way to chat with them.I got the impression early on that he was genuinely a good guy. Not sure how that plays out in the clubhouse but he seems to get along with everyone.

  105. Fear and Ignorance - Aug 21, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    21,000 for the biggest regular season game to date in Washington in 75 years does not bode well for the playoffs. I could easily see 15,000 empty seats for the 1st round of the playoffs. D.C. would be the laughing stock of the baseball world. Good thing we don't have a stadium that seats 48,000.

  106. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 21, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    baseballswami said… Leftover impressions from last night — JZ and Suzuki are not working well together at all. McCatty needs to step in and get it fixed.Suzuki isn't doing his homework. You can have a great arm and block balls but if you don't know where to set up and what to call, PROBLEM. Ray Knight mentioned it more than once and Ray was frustrated. JZ was frustrated. McCatty was frustrated.Prado is being pounded outside and then he calls inside fastball. JZim hits his spot and Prado smokes it for a double over Desi in a 2 strike count.Heyward's hot zone and power zone hot charts are readily available so we know Suzuki has it. What are you doing setting up inside middle in his honey zone? Inside high or outside high or down in the dirt on a biting slider or a great changeup after fastballs is how you get him out.

  107. NatsLady - Aug 21, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    I do think Davey used Gorzy too early, should have used MGonzo or even Burnett in the 6th if he wanted to use a lefty 1-inning guy and PH for him in the next inning. As soon as it got tied up I thought this was likely to be an extra-inning game (and if not, nothing stopped him from using Gorzy later, or saving him for today. Hasn't worked in a week, what's one more day of rest?) I promise this isn't hindsight, I would have posted it at the time but I was working.

  108. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 21, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… Ghost…. last February, 10 days before pitchers and catchers reported, the three guys throwing side sessions in Viera were Jordan, Ross, and Ejax. There were a couple of minor leaguers as well but they were the first 3 to start early workouts. Ejax would engage anyone around in friendly conversation and later, when kids would show up, he was the one guy that would go out of his way to chat with them.I got the impression early on that he was genuinely a good guy. Not sure how that plays out in the clubhouse but he seems to get along with everyone. August 21, 2012 10:31 AM He was great with me at Spring Training too. To make a clubhouse comment, I just wondered where he got that info. I heard he is likeable but sticks to himself. No opinion either way.

  109. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 21, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    Boz analyzing the last play last night. How great.

  110. NatsLady - Aug 21, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    Ghost, well then Suzuki needs to get off the radio and start doing it. I'm prepared to like the guy, but he has nothing but cliches (I'm not objecting to cliches, that's fine, you're the newbie here) so why keep interviewing him?

  111. fast eddie - Aug 21, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    pRAA/ISO:Thanks for the explanation. So, if Uggla tagged 1B and threw home, Suki could have returned to 1B since there'd be no force at second. Moot point since Espi would have beaten the throw. Game over.

  112. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 21, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    JZ and Suzuki are not working well together at all. McCatty needs to step in and get it fixed.Probably more a function of JZ not having command of his stuff last night. The catcher is going to call the pitches based on the expectation that the pitcher can deliver his normal stuff. If the pitcher knows that he can't trust one or more of his pitches, he is likely to shake off the catcher if it's called in a crucial spot. The catcher is the one who initiates the pitch calling sequence. He can't read the pitcher's mind to know how he feels about his pitches. If the pitcher is having an off night like JZimm did last night, you're going to see a lot of shaking off. If all of the pitcher's pitches are on, though, it works like clockwork.

  113. Candide - Aug 21, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    Thanks for the clarification on the DP rule, pRAA.

  114. alm - Aug 21, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    Didn't see others comment but one of the things that sticks in my mind was the grounder that "Larry" let slip under his glove in the first.There is lots of love for him and his hall-of-fame career out there (none from me), but that play shows that it is time for him to go.It's the Nats time now Larry and crew. You're not getting back on top.

  115. Water23 - Aug 21, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    NatsJack/Fast Eddie,I agree that if Uggla had tagged Suzuki and then thrown out Tracy at first that the run would not have counted but I think that is why Suzuki stopped. If then, Uggla threw to first and then got Suzuki in a run-down the run would have counted. Suzuki stopped making it almost a suicide squeeze. Uggla should have gone home then McCann could have thrown out Tracy for the difficult DP.

  116. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 21, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    NatsLady said… Ghost, well then Suzuki needs to get off the radio and start doing it. I'm prepared to like the guy, but he has nothing but cliches (I'm not objecting to cliches, that's fine, you're the newbie here) so why keep interviewing him? August 21, 2012 10:40 AM Can't disagree. Pudge was the best handler of pitchers I have ever seen. Yadier Molina a great #2 to Pudge. Ramos is spectacular. The pitchers all love him.Davey and McCatty have a small problem here and they will figure it out. You always have to know the boppers hot zones.Way too much shaking off and location issues. Flores and Strasburg had this problem before too.

  117. Water23 - Aug 21, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    As to Ejax signing, there are some nice players coming up from the minors but remember outside of Strasburg's shutdown no SP has had any DL issues this year. That is very rare (and I hope I did not just jinx them) so having another solid SP who fits well provides depth. And as Grienke is demonstrating with the Angels not everyone great pitcher can find the right fit.

  118. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 21, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    I thought Suzuki handled Bourn, Uggla and Chipper and Freeman almost as well as you can.

  119. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 21, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    106.7 ragging on the attendance last night. Oh boy……..

  120. Section 222 - Aug 21, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    I could easily see 15,000 empty seats for the 1st round of the playoffs. D.C. would be the laughing stock of the baseball world. Wanna bet? :-)

  121. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 21, 2012 at 2:58 PM

    1st idiot caller saying people are showing up because of steroids.

  122. NatsLady - Aug 21, 2012 at 2:58 PM

    Ghost–yes, there is that. It's why he's here. He seems like a smart guy, wants to contribute on his first contending team. Agree on JZ, it was an off-night for him, there is only so much the catcher can do.

  123. NatsLady - Aug 21, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    People are taking 'roids so they can go to baseball games? Wow, them are some dedicated fans.

  124. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    Water23… thats all baseball 101. anything other than tagging Suzuki first would have negated a double play eliminating the ability for the run to score. Of course, throwing home initially would have been the proper play but Suzuki's quick thinking by stopping so short made Uggla flinch and botch the whole play.

  125. Laddie Blah Blah - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    This was Suzuki's first called game against the Braves, and it was also JZ's first game against the Braves this year.You would expect the appropriate adjustments will be made the second time around, for both men.

  126. Joe Seamhead - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    Fear and Ignorance said… 21,000 for the biggest regular season game to date in Washington in 75 years does not bode well for the playoffs. I could easily see 15,000 empty seats for the 1st round of the playoffs. D.C. would be the laughing stock of the baseball world. Good thing we don't have a stadium that seats 48,000. August 21, 2012 10:34 AM ——————————–Can't resist, but that's a clown comment,Bro.

  127. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    I have to think the casual fans stayed away due to the weather and many probably assumed it was going to be a sell-out. Add back-to-school and last minute vacations.21,000 more than fills Verizon Center past capacity so I cringe when I hear comparisons to what the Capitals pull (18 to 19,000)

  128. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    Fast Eddie the only way he could do a double play and have the run count, would be if they got Tracy first and tagged Suzuki after Espi crossed the plate. then in reality it would not be a double play as the game would be over before the third out. Agreed we got lucky Uggla got confused with Suzuki's dancing. The play was not hard tage Suzuki step on first. But the dance threw his brain off.Ejax wanting an extention seems fine to me. Sign him to a 3 year deal before Free agent season.

  129. blovy8 - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    Did anyone call to complain about not knowing what kind of pillow RGIII was sleeping on at that moment?

  130. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    Laddie Blah Blah said… This was Suzuki's first called game against the Braves, and it was also JZ's first game against the Braves this year.You would expect the appropriate adjustments will be made the second time around, for both men. August 21, 2012 11:01 AM All good points and McCatty takes care of much business behind the scenes. It will get fixed.

  131. TimDz - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    Off topic and may have been discussed…Since this is Chippers last series here, do the Nats plan on doing anything? I think it would be a classy thing to do…

  132. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    Manassas Nats' Fan said… Ejax wanting an extention seems fine to me. Sign him to a 3 year deal before Free agent season. August 21, 2012 11:03 AM Next year set:1) Stras2) JZim3) Gio4) DetwilerAre you going to spend $13+ million for a #5 or spend more for a #2?I think you are settling to extend EJax and a 3.69 ERA

  133. alm - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    TimDz,Yeah, they plan on beating him 3 times and sending him packing.

  134. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    TimDz said… Off topic and may have been discussed…Since this is Chippers last series here, do the Nats plan on doing anything? I think it would be a classy thing to do… August 21, 2012 11:05 AM I think they are presenting him with a pre-game present prior to Wednesday's game.

  135. Laddie Blah Blah - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    "And as Grienke is demonstrating with the Angels not everyone great pitcher can find the right fit."And there's CJ Wilson, too. The Angels spent a bundle this year (Pujols, also), and their best player is a 20-year-old rookie who is getting paid peanuts, by comparison.Rizzo refused to chase after overpaid free agents, signing only EJax to a 1-year deal, and look who has the best record in baseball, with one of the lowest payrolls.

  136. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    TimDz said… Off topic and may have been discussed…Since this is Chippers last series here, do the Nats plan on doing anything? I think it would be a classy thing to do…I'm sure they will do something, probably before the game on Wednesday. Didn't they do something for Bobby Cox his last game here?Perhaps they could get the Nats bullpen to do a staged reading of his ASG pregame talk like they did Fifty Shades of Grey.

  137. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    Strasburg's guy to get is Uggla and Heyward who both have hit him well in the past.

  138. NatsLady - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    Harper's heat map. Bet some catchers have seen this.heat maphttp://yfrog.com/h7yl8rp

  139. Fear and Ignorance - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    Ghost-That is the problem with the DC area baseball fans…95% of the people at the games are casual fans. I have heard at least 10 people this year utter the words "points" or "referee". They get up and down 5 times a game…right between pitches, no less. They come to their seats in the 3rd inning (usually during a rally so I have to miss half of the AB) and leave in the 8th. A complete lack of atmosphere…topped off by a lunatic (Terrance) running up and down the aisle like he just drank 10 Red Bulls laced with crack. Throw in the wave…usually while the other team is hitting with men on base late in the game, and you have the total Nationals fan experience.

  140. Water23 - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    NatsJack/MansassNat, Agreed but many are making it seem like Uggla totally bungled the play. But not only did Espy make a nice play but the whole thing only works because Kurt was very smart and stopped. In looking at the play, if Uggla had gone for him, kurt could have retreated almost all the way back to 1st giving enough time for Tracy reach first and Espy's run would score. Anyway you look at it Suzuki decision was brilliant.

  141. Section 222 - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    Agree with NL and Ghost that the play was at home. Why else draw the infield in instead of putting it at DP depth, at least up the middle? Uggla had a brain freeze in that he hesitated. With the game on the line, you throw home, period. As I said before, I think the Braves were just tired, and who can blame them? Zuk made the heads up play to stop in his tracks. By the way, has anyone else noticed that he is pretty darn fast on the basepaths? And how about Zim motoring down the line in the 12th and almost beating out an infield single to short? The Harper Effect. I'd like to see him exert that kind of effort more often.E-Jax's average innings per start may not be as high as you'd want, but it's still the highest on the team. And he's eaten innings when the bullpen really needed it. He's also pitched 7 or more innings 12 times, by far the most on the team. I give him a lot of credit for the effort he puts into every game. And sometimes, like Saturday, his stuff is truly nasty. NL, I'm pretty sure Davey would have sent Gorzo out for the 7th, but his spot in the batting order came up in the 6th when we put two men on and Davey had to pinch hit for him. Of course, if Bernie had delivered we wouldn't have gone to extras. Putting Gorzo in to follow a RH starter who doesn't make it through 6 has been Davey's pattern all year long. Just didn't work out this time. The move he might have made was to try to get more than an inning out of Mattheus, who pitched well in the 7th. With the score tied after 7, the chances of going to extra were getting pretty high.

  142. A DC Wonk - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    Fear and Ignorance said… 21,000 for the biggest regular season game to date in Washington in 75 years does not bode well for the playoffs.A negative comment from F&I? My! What a surprise! (And, of course, a rainy-rain-delayed Monday night in August is an _exact_ predictor of playoff attendance, right? Not).I could easily see 15,000 empty seats for the 1st round of the playoffs. D.C. would be the laughing stock of the baseball world.I see that Sec 222 already responded with:Wanna bet? :-)Sec222 — you're taking a page out of my playbook!Nice job!! ;-)

  143. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    NatsLady said… Harper's heat map. Bet some catchers have seen this.heat maphttp://yfrog.com/h7yl8rp August 21, 2012 11:15 AM Those are the best heat maps when they show what he does vs. LHPs and RHPs side by side.An overview of power zones is interesting if they did that also.

  144. A DC Wonk - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    Water23 said… NatsJack/MansassNat, Agreed but many are making it seem like Uggla totally bungled the play. But not only did Espy make a nice play but the whole thing only works because Kurt was very smart and stopped.I wonder, also, if it was because the ball was hit so hard.This is what I imagine Uggla was thinking:(before the pitch) "if I comes to me, I'm throwing it home, going home going home"(smash hit to him): "holy crap, that was so hard I can get a DP instead, oh, wait, no I can't, damn…"someone else wrote: My lasting impression is of the ball just sitting there on the grass after the game. Indeed. I'm not sure I've ever seen that before. It was a beautiful and artistic ending, I thought.And also a reminder that the Nats won the game with three hits that inning, yet none of them out of the infield. (IIRC)

  145. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    106.7 is still going on and on about the attendance. They can't talk about anything but negative.

  146. NatsLady - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    Agree that is Davey's plan for Gorzy as "long man" after righties. Just was thinking this might have been the day to vary that. OTOH, MGonz had just pitched on Sunday, so maybe he didn't want to go to that well again, and Burnett has not been Burnett, though he's been getting through it most of the time.Not sure he could have gotten two out of Mattheus, he's tried before. In the end, better to save Mattheus for today.

  147. Section 222 - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    Fear, you obviously are having a horrible time at the games and the stress and anger is taking years off your life. Do yourself a favor and just stay home and watch Carp and FP. More seriously, whenever I get frustrated with bandwagon fan behavior at the games, I ask myself, would I prefer the atmosphere circa 2009, when it far less crowded in my section, there was little fan movement during play, the only time the place got loud was when the scoreboard exhorted us to, and the wave was rare and shortlived? That one's easy.

  148. NatsLady - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    I don't mind Ray Knight as much as some do. Yes, he talks non-stop and repeats himself (as does FP). But he knows a lot about the game, and he tells you. Over and over again I watched him predict what would happen (he's going to throw outside here; he'll be taking to give the starter a rest…etc.).

  149. NatsLady - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    Just read this. Is it true?Ankiel headed to the Giants.

  150. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    Seems reasonable. Melky Cabrera without the PED's and with a better arm.

  151. Grandstander - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:44 PM

    Regarding attendance, I think it's just a factor of this town still having a lot of casual fans. A ton of people came out for the weekend series against the Mets because it was the weekend, it was the Mets, and there was promos and the concert.Those fans are clearly not baseball fans, but they'll come out under the right circumstances. During the rain delay on Sunday as they were showing the Dodgers/Braves game on the scoreboard, I could hear nearly everyone around me wondering why people were cheering for LA. They don't really care about the aspects of the pennant race.I think that's why we saw such a drop in attendance on Monday. For us, it's the first game of the biggest series in the history of this team. For them, it's a Monday in August and it's rainy out.

  152. alm - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:45 PM

    Natslady,I hated Ray when Dibs left – he tried too hard and talked to much, especially about when he was a player/scout/hitting coach/managager.But he has been much better these past 4 games. MUCH better than FP. I especially like when he ignores the stupid set-up questions that Carpenter likes to feed. I assume he is looking at notes or making notes. He has done a good job this time around.

  153. Section 222 - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    Mattheus pitched 1 2/3 innings successfully on Saturday against the Mets and also back on Aug. 4 against the Marlins in that wild 10-7 game that Espi's bomb won. He hasn't given up a run since the meltdown in Milwaukee on July 29. With the score tied, if he didn't want Mattheus to go 2 full innings, maybe Davey should have tried to cover the 7th, 8th, and 9th, with Mattheus and Gonzo (or Storen). Anyway, it all worked out, but my point is just that there were a variety of things he could have done, short of not pitching Gorzo in the 6th. How great to have a guy like Stammen who Davey feels can go unlimited innings to finish an extra inning game right after pitching two tough innings the day before. Hard to believe he was "on the bubble" at the beginning of the year because he had options. In many ways, he's the MVP of the bullpen this year. Certainly he's the workhorse, having pitched 12 more innings than any other reliever.

  154. NatsLady - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    Yeah, that was funny him ignoring Carp about three times on the "But do you like it—?" Forgot what it was, but clearly Knight didn't want to give his opinion.

  155. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    NatsLady said… Just read this. Is it true?Ankiel headed to the Giants.Last week the rumors were X. Nady. Six of one, half dozen of the other.

  156. Santangelo for President 2012 - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    Just for the fun of it I thought I would check out the Atlanta Journal Constitution site today and read a few comments on the game story. Man the Braves and Uggla are getting killed over there. Did my heart good.

  157. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:52 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… Seems reasonable. Melky Cabrera without the PED's and with a better arm. August 21, 2012 11:39 AM That is funny. Come on, Melky can still hit .250 without 'roids, can Ankiel?

  158. NatsLady - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:52 PM

    He still says stuff like "That really bothers you as a manager…" but, y'know, it probably does. He gets off his butt in the pre-game and shows hitting/catching/fielding tips–kind of awkward with his weight, yet, he makes his points.

  159. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    someone else wrote: My lasting impression is of the ball just sitting there on the grass after the game. Indeed. I'm not sure I've ever seen that before. It was a beautiful and artistic ending, I thought.I saw it once a couple of years ago when the game ended on a walkoff single. I forget the specifics, but when I walked down the ramp from the upper concourse to the CF plaza after the game and looked out at the field, the ball was still sitting there in the outfield grass.

  160. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 21, 2012 at 11:56 AM

    Santangelo for President 2012 said… Just for the fun of it I thought I would check out the Atlanta Journal Constitution site today and read a few comments on the game story. Man the Braves and Uggla are getting killed over there. Did my heart good. August 21, 2012 11:50 AM They all remember too well their teams meltdown last year and last night was a reminder of what they fear this year.

  161. NCNatsie - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    I've looked at Uggla's play several times, and think the problem was that he had to make a split second decision on a problem that required more than a split second of research to solve. He has said he thought he could make the tag as Suzuki went past him. If he could do that, it is by far the best play, because they are out of the inning. Making the play at the plate seems like the "safe" choice, but it's not a cinch, because it's not a force, and the result is not as good because it leaves a runner in scoring position. The 4-6-3 is his other option, but it's far from a certainty. So he needs to know where Suzuki is, how close Espinosa is to home plate and how far from first Tracy is. And all the while he's figuring that out, keep his eye on the ball.Pretty tough assignment in the time allowed, especially as Suzuki upset his default setting by stopping out of Uggla's reach.All of which justifies the revised scoring decision.

  162. Joe Hardy - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    We were at the game. Left home in a driving rain. Kept listing to Charlie and Dave's encouraging words to keep coming. But I can't hold it against others who didn't. ….When you win, They will come. When the Nats destroy the Yankees in Game 7 of the World Series. Everybody in this town will be onboard. RGIII. Who's that? LETS GO NATS!

  163. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 21, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    As well as the bullpen got their job done last night, they lead the league in innings and the extra innings games don't help.17 extra inning games so far this year will take its toll.Davey needs some help for them in September.

  164. Section 222 - Aug 21, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    Grandstander I think you sell the fans short. Last night, there was a family behind me celebrating the Dad's birthday. Definitely not STHs. Two teenage girls and a teenage boy, plus the Dad and Mom. Very engaged in the game, very knowledgable and having a fantastic time. In the 13th when we were all on our feet, I looked around the stadium and everyone was standing and screaming, from the seats behind the dugouts to the farthest reaches of the Upper Right Field Terrace. There will always be people at baseball games who don't know the game as well as we do, or don't pay attention every single moment. In my view, one of the things that makes this game a great spectator sport is it's accessiblity to even casual fans. The more they see, the more into it they will be come. But you have to give them a chance because if only fanatics were permitted entry the paid attendance would be limited to the MASN 9,000, and that wouldn't be nearly as much fun.

  165. Fear and Ignorance - Aug 21, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    Another overlooked aspect of that Uggla play last night was the decision by Davey to have Espi go on contact. Great move in that situation, because even if he gets thrown out, you still have a runner in scoring position. With nobody on 1st, we might still be playing because I am not sure Davey makes the same call.

  166. natsfan1a - Aug 21, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    That, or it's a giveaway to the first 10,000 fans.NatsLady said… People are taking 'roids so they can go to baseball games? Wow, them are some dedicated fans.

  167. Section 222 - Aug 21, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    Great point Fear. Tracy hit the ball very sharply and right at Uggla. I was surprised how close to home Danny was. The out at home was by no means assured, which may have been why Uggla (seeing Danny running right in front of him) hesitated to throw home. And as we all know, he who hesitates, loses. Hahaha!The comments on that AJC story are brutal. I think they are even worse than our comments when we lose. But then again we're in first place.

  168. natsfan1a - Aug 21, 2012 at 4:11 PM

    I was at that one and do recall some sort of tribute before the game.Didn't they do something for Bobby Cox his last game here?

  169. natsfan1a - Aug 21, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  170. natsfan1a - Aug 21, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    Ray commented on it after the play. Something to the effect that there's been so much focus on the ball all night and now it's just sitting there on the grass.someone else wrote: My lasting impression is of the ball just sitting there on the grass after the game.

  171. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 21, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    I'm surprised MLB Authenticator Guy, who is at every game, didn't get that ball and put a sticker on it for Dan's Uggla-est Error. Maybe MLB Authenticator Guy takes Metro to the game.

  172. UnkyD - Aug 21, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    Classic F&I…… 30 (THIRTY!!!) games over, 6 games up, and this clown's whinin' about potential empty seats in the playoffs…. Do you ever read your stuff, before hitting "publish"? ….Whatta joke…..

  173. mick - Aug 21, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    NatsJack and ghost..lol love the Rascals too!

  174. Ron In Reston - Aug 21, 2012 at 4:50 PM

    I read the comments on the AJC as well, most were brutal, I saw our own esteemed Cadide trying to talk them in off the ledge to no avail. Thought this was a funny comment though:If they have a special night for Dan Uggla, they should give away Dan Uggla BobbleHAND toys.Also:NatsLady said… Yeah, that was funny him ignoring Carp about three times on the "But do you like it—?" Forgot what it was, but clearly Knight didn't want to give his opinion. Actually, it was the opposite. Knight asked Carp like three times whether he liked the new one-game "playoff" between the wild card teams. After no response (seemed very awkward) Carpenter started TALKING about the one-game playoff as if knight has never said anything, then KNight asked again, Carp said he didn't like it, Knight concurred and the broadcast went on. It was very strange….I thought maybe I was falling asleep and hearing things.One final thing, I was watching the game in a DVR-delayed mode as my daughter and I were making cookies at the same time. The nice thing about that is you can skip the insipid commercials, but you can't post about the game when you're three innings behind. But I saw where Heyward was in the batter's box (far from the plate) and then saw where Suzuki set up (inside – essentially a meatball pitch) and said to her, "Oh no, that's not right" and in a blink it was gone.She is showing more interest now not only in the games, but in what the announcers are talking about. She already knows that "serious jammage" should be banned from the baseball lexicon and the other day asked me to explain what an opposite field hit was following Morse's grand slam (we were in the car listening so she didn't see it).Man, this is fun. And I concur with the poster (sorry, don't remember who) who said he/she thought we were done with the late night games. As long as they end like this one did, I'll take em every time.

  175. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 21, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    Uggla is now strUggla and JugglE and UgglaE

  176. Steady Eddie - Aug 21, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    Had a fun and interesting evening with 222 sharing observations on a taut and mostly well-played game until the Metro call became insistent. And agree that the crowd looked more like 28K, with likely lots of RC tickets.For me, what the play with Uggla ultimately comes down to is baseball instincts. As NL and others said, the only only only play is to home. Why? Because once the ball is in play, the runner at third is the only guy on the field who can beat you. The others don't matter on that play. Agree that KSuz's smart baserunning helped to throw Uggla off. But it was when Uggla didn't follow baseball instincts and started thinking that he was lost. And agree with natsfan 1a on the first two syllables of F&I. To post a comment like that after a game like that in a season like this — what a silly person.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 57 46 --
ATLANTA 58 48 0.5
MIAMI 52 53 6.0
NEW YORK 51 55 7.5
PHILADELPHIA 46 60 12.5
Through Monday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Orioles at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
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

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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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