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No sweep, no worries

Aug 23, 2012, 4:50 AM EST

Associated Press photo
Ryan Zimmerman can’t corral Kurt Suzuki’s wild throw in the ninth inning.

For a split-second at the end of the eighth inning Wednesday night, as Ian Desmond awkwardly pulled up lame at first base, the fact the Nationals had just squandered another golden scoring opportunity seemed insignificant.

“Being out wasn’t real important in that moment,” said Desmond, who grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to quash a potential rally.

“I forgot about the game when I saw him,” manager Davey Johnson said. “I thought for sure he pulled a hammy.”

Once Desmond realized he hadn’t actually injured himself — he thinks he just hyperextended his knee — he could return to kicking himself over making two outs on one swing of the bat in a crucial moment of what was at that point a one-run game.
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  1. Steady Eddie - Aug 23, 2012 at 5:11 AM

    For all the worry-warts and suddenly-reappearing negative nellies in the instant analysis thread, answer me this: what team leads MLB for wins in August? That's right, our 16-6 Nats, with one more win than the Rays who get called "red hot". Are we vulnerable down the stretch and in the playoffs if we were to continue not to focus, as happened tonight? Of course. Any team can get ambushed if they lose focus. But the fruit fly mentality angst — forget the masochistic gloating — at "only" winning 2of 3 — and winning the season series at 10-5 with 3 games to go — against the team with the third-best record in the NL and the fifth-best record in MLB, is both ridiculous and laughable.

  2. peric - Aug 23, 2012 at 5:52 AM

    As Davey put it a couple of nights ago. Its a learning experience for all the young players. Zim is still under 30 and he's never been in a pennant race so? All are learning … its all a part of player development as is playing 19 year old Bryce Harper, a future superstar, versus Steve Lombardozzi who has played extremely well … he is known of overachieving. They have more than one budding superstar. The evidence is clearly laid out for the discerning fan. Ian Desmond last year and the year before and Ian Desmond this year. Same thing is going to happen for Espinosa and Harper. Count on it. The Nats have a far better chance with they youth they have now of winning this year and 3-4 years hence than the Braves. Another sign of a young team still learning. The spits and starts and inconsistent hitting. It is what it is. It'll get better. Once they Rendon in the lineup the complement will be complete. You'll have four athletic gold glove players at every position in the infield and each should have potent bats. Stop bellyaching. We could still be wriggling and giggling but fortunately Giggleman's island move to tropical climes where it belongs … and the Blue Wahoos are your team if you want to go back.

  3. natsfan1a - Aug 23, 2012 at 10:40 AM

    Eh, you can't win 'em all. Glad that Desi's knee and Kurt's hand seem to be okay. A little bit of R&R today and then take it to Philly. Yeah, that'll work. :-)

  4. MicheleS - Aug 23, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    Glad no one was hurt! That pitch off Kurt's hand looked painful.Now onto Philly and a chance to push them further into the Cellar!

  5. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 23, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    The Barves have that 6 man rotation going and while the Nats this year figured out Tim Hudson or father time has figured out Tim Hudson, he was the game the Nats had to win as Maholm and Medlen are for real and the best if their 6.The way to beat good pitchers is to make them throw you "your" pitch by working the count while your own pitcher has to be as good or better. Also work the count to get their pitch count up and get into the bullpen early.Strasburg was better than Maholm, Medlen was better than Detwiler. The Nats had plenty of opportunities last night to shake and rattle Medlen and they didn't do it.Good news is Nats are in better position than where they were 4 days ago.

  6. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 23, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    I was impressed with Medlins command. Seemed like every pitch was either down in the zone and when not down, it was on the black. He reminded me very much of Gregg Maddux at his best. And his change up was filthy.

  7. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 23, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    I've seen his last three starts and they've all been just like last night. He's definitely their best as well as the best kept secret in baseball.

  8. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 23, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    I must say that after the west coast games last week, burning the candle at both ends last week end in DC and the 3 nite rain delays this week, this is one Nats fan loving an off day.

  9. sjm308 - Aug 23, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    Impressed that the Braves are 16-0 when Medlen starts! Like SteadyEddie, I was kind of disappointed to see so many negative comments from people I have never seen before. Why does it take a loss to have them appear. Lots of people on here disagree and its been much more civil lately but to throw out stuff like, "we can never win with Zimmerman at 3rd base" is just silly. I have to admit that I had never thought about him ending his career at first until Peric brought that up, but I do see that as his final position. Not next year but sooner rather than later. At the game last night we counted at least 4 shattered bats from our lads. The first, from Morse looked really close to the pitcher. Did they show that on a tv replay. Medlen looked shaken and Ross came out to calm him down. Just wondering how close it really was.With a day off I figure Mark can rip off at least 3 other columns today!! Can't wait.Go Nats!!!

  10. Joe Seamhead - Aug 23, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    I was at the game, was very impressed with Medlin. As to Harper, with where he was positioned on that doubleI doubt seriously that he would have caught it anyway. He did come in on it, which is almost always wrong, but regardless some balls are scorched and not catchable. I coached outfielding and one of the things you beat into them is to take a step back first. When you step forward you play a lot of outs into hits, a lot of singles into doubles, or like in the case of a Nyjer Morgan, you make routine outs into circus catches.We won 2 out of 3, a .667 winning percentage against the team that has been on our heals. I'll take it. Keep winning 2 out of 3 and we end up with 100 wins. Personally, my biggest concern over the past month has been, in spite of incredible glove work, Ryan's rainbow lobs from 3rd. They are not only soft, but iffy. ALR has been amazing in covering for Zimm. We can only hope the luck holds out there.NatsJack, Chris Sale of the White Sox had been the best kept secret in baseball until he dismantled the Yankees last night. That kid has put up great numbers with little fanfare outside of Chicago.

  11. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 23, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    No Hamels this weekend for the Nats which is welcome news for the matchups.

  12. NatsLady - Aug 23, 2012 at 1:15 PM

    A couple of years ago (after a coach and a Dodgers fan got injured) there was a movement to fix the shattering bats problem. Now we plant a tree for every broken bat? #DisconnectMedlen won't go more than 130 innings despite Atlanta being in contention. Cue the outra– cue the outra— cue— cue… No outrage?

  13. NatsLady - Aug 23, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    Me'n the Prez would love to see Nats-White Sox this year… With the National League having the same result as 1959.

  14. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 23, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    The Nats have 3 more regular season games against the Barves this season.If Medlen is pitching that series, I think the Nats will do much better against him.

  15. Joe Seamhead - Aug 23, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    sjm308, I agree about the naysayers coming out of the woodwork. This team has too much to be excited about. I'll say that I'm concerned about Ryan's throws, but would I replace him? Hell, no! Though I see Werth as the unofficial captain of this team, Zimmerman is still the quiet leader that sets the bar of excellence.The gloom and doomers that come out of the walls whenever we even fall behind in a game are like cockroaches.I wish I had a can Cyber Raid to kill on contact.

  16. natsfan1a - Aug 23, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    We interrupt this discussion for a brief vocabulary diversion. One of the things I love about baseball is the rich lexicon, which I suppose is what comes of writing or talking about games that take place almost every day for a big chunk of the year. For the past several days, Ray had been using a term I'd not heard before, pea-rod. I'd heard "pea" used for a ball that was hit or thrown hard, so given the context in which it was used, I figured this was something along the same lines. The term wasn't to be found in my trusty Dickson Baseball Dictionary (let's see, pea-?, no; p-?, no; surely not pee-?, nah).Anyhoo, I did a quick online search just now and found a definition. Yeah, that's what I thought. We now return you to your regularly scheduled discussion.

  17. natsfan1a - Aug 23, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  18. natsfan1a - Aug 23, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    Speaking of shattered bats, I noticed at Sunday's game that there's a sponsor for that: after one occurs, the scoreboard displays a bat count with "Waste Management broken bat." How about that? :-)Oh, and yes, the broken bat was replayed.

  19. NatsLady - Aug 23, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    Ryan made a nice overhand throw on a good play on Monday or Tuesday… He can do it. Just seems to lose focus very occasionally, not sure why. Or maybe those overhand throws tax his shoulder and in pinches.I think the whole team lost focus after Desi pulled up in the doubleplay. Don't have a problem with Davey leaving Gorzy in. So maybe if Storen goes we would have lost 2-1 instead of 5-1 because boy, Kimbrall was on his game! It does seem like Gorzy only pitches those lovely three-inning no-run stretches when he's "mopping up" and it doesn't matter. Might be my imagination…

  20. NatsLady - Aug 23, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    Sorry, I mean, is it possible Ryan's shoulder pinches when he makes overhand throws? Is it the same shoulder? Just wondering. Chipper said all classy things about the send-off. I almost got misty myself reading the article but remembered just in time that we have (minimum) three more games against him.personal-send-off-for-chipper-at-nats-park

  21. Theophilus T. S. - Aug 23, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    Desmond's hop to first was scary. Carpenter thought it might be a charley-horse — OK, but could he go back in the field? For a couple of minutes I thought Tracy had already pinch hit and I was casting around for an emergency third-baseman.Which made me think that a lack of true infield depth — Tracy being the most valuable pinch-hitter, less a third-baseman — may be one of the Nats' biggest vulnerabilities the remainder of the season. Which made me think that calling Rendon up might not be such a bad idea after all. (Peric notwithstanding, Rivero is not the answer.)

  22. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 23, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    Joe… Since Sale is from Florida (born in Lakeland, attended Florida Gulf Coast College) he's no secret to me but maybe so with others. I've followed him closely since he was drafted 2 years ago. Medlin on the other hand is returning from TJ surgery and has slowly returned to the starting rotation. 16-0 in his starts with Atlanta is nothing to sneeze at and certainly "under the radar" to most fans not in Atlanta.

  23. Laddie Blah Blah - Aug 23, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    A comedy of errors last night, too many to detail. Unlike game 1, the Braves took efficient advantage of most of them. It happens.Medlen's case is interesting and instructive. He has been more effective than the Phillies' $144 mn man. Regardless, the Nats have had a great deal of trouble the first time around with pitchers this year (Jeff Francis, Drew Pomeranz, Mark Buerhle, Ben Sheets, et. al.). If they face Medlen again, chances are they will do better. They are young, but they are fast learners.Here's hoping Rizzo's Ryan Perry experiment works out as well as Medlen did for the Braves. Last time I looked, they had stretched Perry out to where he pitched a complete 9-inning game, giving up only 1 earned run.The Phils. It's personal. Not with the players, but with their boorish fans. I have not forgotten what they did when Werth went down with a broken wrist, right in his home park. Nothing will be said, but I think the Nats are primed to back up their RFer this weekend. The Phils have one of the worst home records in baseball, but the Nats will be on a mission to make it even worse.

  24. NatsLady - Aug 23, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    Laddie, 100% agree. If I weren't working Sunday morning I would try to find a ticket and a ride up there. But being very careful with my funds right now for the p-p-pl-

  25. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 23, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    See. I can't even get his name right. It's KRIs MedlEn.

  26. SonnyG10 - Aug 23, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    Peric, excellent post re your 1:52 am. I agree wholeheartedly.Joe Seamhead, liked your Cyber Raid can. I want one also.natsfan1a, thanks for the pea rod def. You really amaze me with your searching capability.

  27. NatsLady - Aug 23, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    The Nats RF-er is just as hot-tempered as their CF'er. Did you see the bat and helmet when he grounded out after the Lombo single?

  28. ehay2k - Aug 23, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    Pet peeve alert: can we please ban the phrase "Tommy John Survivor"? As far as I know, no one has died from a UCL tear, or from the surgical process to repair it. The phrase sensationalizes what has become a commonplace surgery for pitchers. How about – "Tommy John Patient"? Or perhaps "Tommy John beneficiary" would be more appropriate for MLB pitchers, given that it extends their lucrative careers, even if only for the couple of years they try to recover from the injury and subsequent surgery.

  29. natsfan1a - Aug 23, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    You're welcome, Sonny.Comak has some Nats player comments on the Chipper sendoff (wonder if he texted LaRoche later about that one at-bat with the bases loaded ;-)).

  30. Another_Sam - Aug 23, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    NatsLady, Candide — I got the arcane discussion of 1-3-5#. On to more obscure chords. LOL

  31. Laddie Blah Blah - Aug 23, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    "Laddie, 100% agree. If I weren't working Sunday morning I would try to find a ticket and a ride up there."You're a brave lady. I am a war veteran, but I would not go near that place. Glad you have to work, instead.

  32. Laddie Blah Blah - Aug 23, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    "Desmond's hop to first was scary."Yeah, especially since Izturis is not coming back. They have no adequate defensive replacements in AAA for the middle infield.

  33. Tcostant - Aug 23, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    Lets take over Phils Park, tickets are going for $3/each on stubhub for the whole weekend:

  34. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 23, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    You can''t win them all, but you can learn from them all.Harper needs to identify a breaking ball better and lay off them. Swing at fast balls over the plate as you get so few.Others swing at pitches not over the plate or in thee dirt. It has been a Habit all season one of the reasons we are second in the NL in strikeouts.Don't walk pitchers to extend innings.Depsite our sometimes undisipline swinging we are 5th in the league in hitting. We could be higher.We are leading the major leagues in winning, yet we could be higher.To settle for is good enough for many. I look to improve every game. Now if I only had good enough eyes, speed and agility when I was younger, but alas I didn't. But I watch the games ever day (at least 2 games yesterday 4) and I know the game rather well.

  35. baseballswami - Aug 23, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    I am kind of hoping that they all got their oopsy daisy moments out of the way all in one game. We have gotten so spoiled that we actually almost think we are going to win every game between now and the end of the season.Philly will not go easy on us. And I am not always sure that our guys play their best after off days. Seems like they focus better when they are in a grind. I still think the line up needs a little hot Lombo right now. Before you jump on me – no, I am not saying go back to Espi/Lombo – although they were doing well. I know Desi is still finding his way back and will be awesome again. But sitting a hot hitter doesn't seem like a good idea. Bryce has had a huge major league season, he can afford a little more bench time. Seems logical to me. Maybe going into Philly after having eaten a little crow will be a good thing. We still have a fantastic record and lead by more than any other division leader, I think. I need to get some sleep tonight, folks.

  36. NatsLady - Aug 23, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    Sam, LOL. I still opine it gives DC Parking Enforcement an unfair advantage when they read this blog!

  37. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 23, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    ehay2k said… Pet peeve alert: can we please ban the phrase "Tommy John Survivor"? As far as I know, no one has died from a UCL tear, or from the surgical process to repair it.Do you also get upset when they say a team has survived a tough road trip? Because AFAIK no team has ever died from a road trip, in MLB anyway.Perhaps we should call Cal Ripken a consecutive games streak survivor. Because at least one guy we know of did not survive his.

  38. peric - Aug 23, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    I don't think you have to worry about Ryan Zimmerman's throws. Once Rendon is ready (and it'll be sooner not later as they say in Oklahoma) Zim will be moving to first base.Rizzo did the Greaseman shuffle on his left foot and his right foot tip tapping out of trouble when he was asked directly via a phone in question. But, that in and of itself convinced me that probably is definitely in the cards.

  39. Nats1924 - Aug 23, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    Josh Beckett was just placed on waivers, any chance the Nats claim him?…im not a huge Beckett fan. But, we are in contention and a change of scenery may do wondersof course as long as we don't give up too much.

  40. SonnyG10 - Aug 23, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    Laddie Blah Blah said… "Laddie, 100% agree. If I weren't working Sunday morning I would try to find a ticket and a ride up there."You're a brave lady. I am a war veteran, but I would not go near that place. Glad you have to work, instead. Laddie, thank you for your service to our country.

  41. BigCat - Aug 23, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    Rendon now 5 for 33 at Harrisburg. Skole 3 for 5 last night at Potomac with 2 doubles. Up to .276 now.

  42. natsfan1a - Aug 23, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    Maybe a bonus of all the beer and chicken he can consume? :-)Nats1924 said… Josh Beckett was just placed on waivers, any chance the Nats claim him? …im not a huge Beckett fan. But, we are in contention and a change of scenery may do wonders of course as long as we don't give up too much. August 23, 2012 10:48 AM

  43. The Z-Mantis! - Aug 23, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    I did a quick online search just now and found a definition. Did you notice there's no definition for "proofreader" on that site?

  44. natsfan1a - Aug 23, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    Nor does this one.

  45. natsfan1a - Aug 23, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    (have a definition of it, that is)

  46. The Z-Mantis! - Aug 23, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    But you can ADD one to that site, which is cool. Cuz they need a lot of help, they're missing most of the good ones.

  47. natsfan1a - Aug 23, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    That is cool. It's also possible to submit new terms for the Dickson dictionary, I believe. I've never done it, though, and my hardcover edition of that one is already pretty darned heavy. :-)

  48. Ron In Reston - Aug 23, 2012 at 5:18 PM

    Z-Man, I took particular notice that the site says thet Tommy John surgery is for the rotastor cuff. Not even close.





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