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Caught napping

Aug 26, 2012, 11:23 PM EDT

Associated Press photo
Adam LaRoche is tagged out by Jimmy Rollins after mistakenly thinking he homered.

PHILADELPHIA — For nearly five months, they’ve cruised along with no real hint of adversity, ascending to their sport’s best record and putting themselves in position to reach the playoffs and win their division for the first time.

The Nationals, though, haven’t actually accomplished any of that yet, lest anyone forget. There are still 35 games to be played, and nothing has been assured other than the fact they’re in a better position than any other club to accomplish their goal.

If they needed a reminder of that, perhaps this weekend’s series did the trick. Facing a Phillies club that has little left to play for except for pride, the Nationals came out flat and got swept, dropping Sunday’s series finale 4-1 to extend their losing streak to four games.

Time to panic? Well, no. This team still boasts baseball’s best record at 77-50 and still holds either a 4 1/2- or 5 1/2-game lead over the Braves (pending the outcome of Atlanta’s late contest in San Francisco).
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125 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. peric - Aug 26, 2012 at 11:30 PM

    First "stras-gate" and now "For whom the Bell Tolls it tolls for thee Nationals" yell-gate.

  2. peric - Aug 26, 2012 at 11:37 PM

    Here is the self-annointed worst Nationals fan on twitter or the web's take:@needham_chris:You can't simultaneously argue that we're really building for next year and that we need to be doing more this yet. Esp w Stras looming.I don't care what that bald headed armpit sniffer thinks. Unless Davey walked out and took a shit in the mound leave him the fuck alone.I can never tell if he's serious or if its satirical commentary … ~laughing~

  3. Gonat - Aug 26, 2012 at 11:39 PM

    peric, do we really need to be copying and pasting garbage like that here?

  4. peric - Aug 26, 2012 at 11:42 PM

    Sorry gonat. Since we were on the topic of twitter and yelling I thought our satirical Nats fan and blogger's tweets were apropos? Didn't mean to offend.

  5. peric - Aug 26, 2012 at 11:43 PM

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  6. peric - Aug 26, 2012 at 11:44 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. peric - Aug 26, 2012 at 11:45 PM

    Eury Perez gets his first AAA triple.

  8. Gonat - Aug 26, 2012 at 11:46 PM

    Also, the title tells the story "Caught Napping" and just add to that All Weekend. The bats were quiet (except TyMo) and EJax and Gio began both their games putting their team behind.Baseball is such a cause and effect sport that I think todays 5th inning Jordan Zimmermann mini meltdown really did start with the passed ball. That caused his entire inning to change.Time to start a new winning streak.

  9. peric - Aug 26, 2012 at 11:51 PM

    The bats were quiet (except TyMo) And Lombo. Two out of three of the rookies. Lombo came close to tripling today. Time to play the youth just as Davey did last year methinks. The younger guys will at least hustle and not make any "assumptions". They know both their future employment and a spot on the playoff roster is at stake. They have more of a vested interest I think.

  10. peric - Aug 26, 2012 at 11:53 PM

    Riggleman's smart ball, small brain is finally paying off in AA. His guy Billy Hamilton just stole his 150th base. But they are only playing .500 ball at best. So, just as in the majors, it isn't helping.

  11. NatsLady - Aug 26, 2012 at 11:53 PM

    Some days I really like Davey. Treat your guys like grown ups, and pros, because, y'know what, they are."These guys ain't easing off the gas pedal," the manager said. "They're grinding. You're never as bad as you look when you lose, and you're never as good as you look when you win. Just remember that, you know? These guys don't need a pep talk, they don't need anything. A couple guys need to get healthy, and we'll be fine."

  12. Gonat - Aug 26, 2012 at 11:55 PM

    Lombo was 1-11 in the series however he did have 2 Ribbies yesterday which was a lot better than some were in the series.

  13. SonnyG10 - Aug 27, 2012 at 12:04 AM

    I don't mind so much if some of our NIers lose it, but I surely don't want to see Davie and Mike lose it. Please no cancer in the clubhouse or the FO!!!

  14. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 27, 2012 at 12:08 AM

    2 for 16 for batters 1-4 today2 for 16 for batters 1-4 yesterday3 for 13 for batters 1-4 Friday Ryan Zimmerman 1-11 for the weekend

  15. Steady Eddie - Aug 27, 2012 at 12:08 AM

    Don't forget Shark either. Not a rookie but playing with a lot of spirit and focus. That bunt single was a delight to behold. I suspect Davey is helping him get his game together. His problem was always intermittent focus, as some folks have said, occasional brain freezes.

  16. mick - Aug 27, 2012 at 12:10 AM

    If this blow out did happen as reported… my guess is that Rizzo's anger could stem from the golf outing and maybe he felt Davey was too laid back with the players instead going into the Phillies series. My guess is also that the base running error may have been the icing on the cake, that the approach was too laid back and compound that with the Lerners and Rizzo's hatred for the Phillies, it was like lighting a match on gasoline.

  17. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2012 at 12:12 AM

    Just watched Bourn steal on Timmy. It's not just us.

  18. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 27, 2012 at 12:16 AM

    Shark and TyMo were the offensive stars if the weekend and that's not a real positive statement for the rest of the offense.The lack of XBH and clutch was evident. Not having the Beast in the lineup is big in overall impact.

  19. Knoxville Nat - Aug 27, 2012 at 12:18 AM

    Uh Peric,Billy Hamilton stole 104 of those 150 bases while playing for Bakersfield (82 games) which is A ball. I believe Hamilton has only played about 45 games or so for Riggleman in AA ball.

  20. mick - Aug 27, 2012 at 12:19 AM

    agreed Ghost and that is what is upsetting… veteran players Werth, Zim, LaRoche all not hitting at once. I hope the 3 of them know that a great deal is expected of them if the team is going to play in October

  21. phil dunton - Aug 27, 2012 at 12:22 AM

    If Davey Johnson is interested in turning around this sinking ship, he will sit Bryce Harper down and replace him with Roger Bernadina. Also, it might be time to give Zim's shoulder another shot of juice.

  22. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2012 at 12:24 AM

    mick. They know. One thing to know, another to execute.Re: Harper. I was 19 once. Every little thing was the END OF THE WORLD. I like his fire, but it needs to be channeled.

  23. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 27, 2012 at 12:25 AM

    Mick, a friend saw my rage about the golf outing and made a good point, it was the timing of the golf. Why are you getting your guys waking up before the sun rises on a few hours sleep. Why not a noon t tee time and if you can't do that CANCEL IT.Same with that Picnic, cancel it since you have a scheduled doubleheader. The night of the Dream Gala after an extra inning game and a 1:30 game the next day, not smart scheduling even if it weren't an extra inning game. Discretion is the better part of valor, or something like that.

  24. mick - Aug 27, 2012 at 12:27 AM

    Ghost…. all good points.. I know the management is well intended, but common sense as to come into play here

  25. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 27, 2012 at 12:28 AM

    As Al Davis says "Just win baby"

  26. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2012 at 12:29 AM

    Ghost, things like the golf outing and the Metro are the signs of a team (and an ownership) that were not prepared for a pennant run a year early. Well, they better GET READY. No fooling around, total focus has to be on the PLAYERS and the GAME. And no Red Sox bullsh–. Don't want to hear it.

  27. Gonat - Aug 27, 2012 at 12:32 AM

    mick said… Ghost…. all good points.. I know the management is well intended, but common sense as to come into play here August 26, 2012 8:27 PM ____________________________________True. Well intended. Just not great timing.

  28. mick - Aug 27, 2012 at 12:33 AM

    natslady… your right… but you can do those things and with better scheduling. When Ron Wilson coached the Caps to the Stanley Cup, he would have the team do things like go bowling in order to bond, but, not at 6AM.

  29. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 27, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    Phil, Davey will figure it out with Bryce.

  30. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 27, 2012 at 12:42 AM

    Mick, that's the point. These players are night people. Early morning appointments are not good. They need their rest. Football players are early morning people. That's why they have curfews.

  31. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2012 at 12:46 AM

    As best as an observer can see from looking at the dugout, the team is plenty bonded–bonded by desire to WIN and a bit of the bunker mentality from the Stras shutdown. I always HATED those artificial "bonding" exercises. Agree Davey will work it out with Bryce. See Kilgore's article. Bryce will learn he is part of a team, and a short-handed team right now. I wonder if Rizzo/Davey was like that car ad where they are arguing about the DH and the wife thinks he is bargaining for a deal on the price.

  32. Gonat - Aug 27, 2012 at 12:48 AM

    "You take nothing for granted in this game," Johnson said. "I mean this is a game you never take anything for granted. My two veteran players took it for granted that the ball was out. I asked Rochie, I said, 'Rochie what were you thinking?' He said, 'I was going for three.' I said, 'Well you weren't going very fast.' But you know, that's kind of a mental mistake because you can always review it. You never put yourself in position with the ball still on the field, and two veteran players messed that up."I think it was an assumption taken for granted that it was a home run so (Werth) went into the trot and you can't do that. You just can't do it. One of my rules is if you hit a hard ground ball to the shortstop and you don't run down there you're taking it for granted that he's going to catch it and make a good throw. That's a losing attitude. Same way on that play there. If you assume when the ball's hit up there like you think it's gone, and the ball's still in play, that's a losing attitude."

  33. peric - Aug 27, 2012 at 12:50 AM

    Looks like Jeff Mandel continued his breakout season as a starter with a complete game shut out. Just like John Lannan.

  34. peric - Aug 27, 2012 at 12:53 AM

    Uh Peric,Billy Hamilton stole 104 of those 150 bases while playing for Bakersfield (82 games) which is A ball. I believe Hamilton has only played about 45 games or so for Riggleman in AA ball. I was being facetious Knoxville Nat. When it comes to Riggleman I am always at the very least facetious.

  35. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2012 at 12:54 AM

    So odd to see Posey without the catcher's gear. Panda not the worst 3B I've ever seen.Davey is fearless. Lectures his multi-millionaire vets as if they were first-year rookies.

  36. peric - Aug 27, 2012 at 12:55 AM

    Sheesh,I didn't know the ship had sunk already Phil Dunton? Last I looked the Nats still owned the best record in baseball?The real "adversity" comes when the entire world dumps on them as Rizzo does his due diligence and shuts Strasburg down. That my friends will be real adversity for a very young team not used to the "big spotlight" glaring down as if they were a team from New Yawk.

  37. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2012 at 12:56 AM

    Hamilton is a freak. It will be fun to watch him in the majors. Questions are (a) can he steal when the pitchers and catchers are smarter and (b) can he do anything besides run?

  38. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2012 at 12:58 AM

    Peric. Absolutely. I hope every fan, in fact, every citizen of the DMV comes out for Stras' last game and gives him a standing O for every pitch. And then the team wins a WS for him. That's what I mean about "bunker" mentality. You ain't seen nothing yet.

  39. peric - Aug 27, 2012 at 12:58 AM

    Davey is fearless. Lectures his multi-millionaire vets as if they were first-year rookies.Davey's been to world series when he was a part of one of the best double play combos in major league baseball: Mark "no bat Blade" Belanger and Johnson up the middle. He has hit over 40 home runs in a year. He's been to the series and playoffs as a manager. He's made a fortune separate from baseball (he played in the days of artificial ceilings on salaries). And he's a pretty smart guy in his own right.That's what's gotten him into trouble in the past. He still has that old 60's-70's Oriole arrogance of being the best and everyone else chumps.

  40. mick - Aug 27, 2012 at 12:59 AM

    Ghost and nats lady… your both right…. Nats just need to win again

  41. peric - Aug 27, 2012 at 1:03 AM

    Hamilton is a freak. It will be fun to watch him in the majors. Question is can he even get on 150 times? Guys like Brock always were leaders in hits and OBP. Can Hamilton even do that in the majors?

  42. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2012 at 1:03 AM

    Don't worry, mick. They will. I fully believe we will win the division. How far we will go in the playoffs, that is another story. There are some good teams we will be facing.

  43. mick - Aug 27, 2012 at 1:04 AM

    peric… good run down on Davey as a player and let me add, back in the day, guys like Davey and his era could play 3-4 hour game, go out and drink bourbon, dance with the ladies until 3-4 AM and still get up and play a hard nose game that day.What gets Davey in trouble is thinking today's players can handle a golf outing at 6AM if he and the boys back in the 60's could handle booze and babes night in and night out and still leave it out there on the field.

  44. mick - Aug 27, 2012 at 1:06 AM

    Natslady… I see us in post season too

  45. peric - Aug 27, 2012 at 1:06 AM

    Now we've got Terry Bradshaw and John Feinstein weighing in on Strasburg?This really could affect the Nats ability to win the division and even get into the playoffs. Not because Stras gets shutdown but because of all the unnecessary fall out that will ensue when it happens. And that is ridiculous but admittedly, for a team from DC in an election year? Par for the course I guess.

  46. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 27, 2012 at 1:06 AM

    Mick, expect the Nats bats to heat up. If the offense scored 5 runs a game since last Saturday, the Nats go 9 wins and 1 game into extra innings in the last 10.The lousy offense has made the pitching look worse than they were.

  47. mick - Aug 27, 2012 at 1:07 AM

    peric… are you serious? I respect Junior Feinstein… but what the hell would Bradshaw know about the Nats and baseball?

  48. mick - Aug 27, 2012 at 1:08 AM

    Ghost… agreed

  49. peric - Aug 27, 2012 at 1:09 AM

    What gets Davey in trouble is thinking today's players can handle a golf outing at 6AMMick I really sincerely doubt that ALL the players could do that. Not even MOST. It probably ended with a trip to AAA and out of baseball for too many. But, Davey? Yes, he definitely could. And the reason he does the golf outings on days off is that he likes to beat these guys and win money from them! He brags about how he would golf with Weaver and take his money.

  50. peric - Aug 27, 2012 at 1:11 AM

    peric… are you serious? I respect Junior Feinstein… but what the hell would Bradshaw know about the Nats and baseball?Yes, and Bradshaw is the golden armed quarterback of the Stillers. So, of course he is an expert and can render an opinion on arms …That's being facetious in case anyone misses it.

  51. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2012 at 1:11 AM

    Terry Bradshaw? Really? He is a clown, bro. And Feinstein needs to stick to golf.

  52. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2012 at 1:13 AM

    I have liked some of Feinstein's opinions. But ever since he stiffed Tony K, I have not respected him.

  53. mick - Aug 27, 2012 at 1:14 AM

    peric… that is funny about Davey and Weaver and I would pay top dollar to have heard the Earl express himself after he lost to DaveyWell said on Bradshaw peric and Natslady

  54. rabbit34 - Aug 27, 2012 at 1:14 AM

    "Time to panic? Well, no. This team still boasts baseball's best record at 77-50 and still holds either a 4 1/2- or 5 1/2-game lead over the Braves (pending the outcome of Atlanta's late contest in San Francisco)".Don't believe it. It's time to panic. In one week we'll be like a bomb in free-fall.

  55. mick - Aug 27, 2012 at 1:15 AM

    Natslady… when did he stiff Tony?

  56. Gonat - Aug 27, 2012 at 1:17 AM

    mick said… back in the day, guys like Davey and his era could play 3-4 hour game, go out and drink bourbon, dance with the ladies until 3-4 AM and still get up and play a hard nose game that day.August 26, 2012 9:04 PM ________________________________Things have changed with respect to Davey's playing days as players have a more rigorous workout schedule and post-game routine plus they have a new world order in media and social media. The camera is always on these guys.

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

    Gonat…. agreed

  58. mick - Aug 27, 2012 at 1:20 AM

    imagine if that new world order in social media were around when Mantle played, lol

  59. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2012 at 1:21 AM

    He came on maybe once a week and was actually worth listening to, though he was also promoting his books. Then they didn't pay him enough, so he couldn't be bothered. Tony said he understood, but I didn't.

  60. mick - Aug 27, 2012 at 1:23 AM

    Nats lady… thanks for the info… what a schmuck Junior is, lolwell speaking of drinking bourbon… its time for night cap gang, so you all have a great evening and a blessed week, back at you all tomorrow!

  61. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 27, 2012 at 1:25 AM

    Speaking of Lannan's AAA complete game gem, I'm a little surprised Lannan isn't taking it easy to save his arm for September for the Nats.

  62. Gonat - Aug 27, 2012 at 1:27 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  63. Gonat - Aug 27, 2012 at 1:29 AM

    mick said… imagine if that new world order in social media were around when Mantle played, lol August 26, 2012 9:20 PM ________________________________He would be a star of TMZ and that wouldn't be a good thing. In his playing days men were supposed to be gentleman in public and assumed to be gentleman in private (at least that's what my grandfather and uncle told me.

  64. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2012 at 1:31 AM

    Giants look like the Nats. Starter gives up 3 runs and game over. C'mon, guys!

  65. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 27, 2012 at 1:39 AM

    JFlo's pass ball sucked the MoJo out of JZim .Which is to bad as he was pitching great. JZim. and all pitchers need to work on minimize damage

  66. peric - Aug 27, 2012 at 1:42 AM

    Speaking of Lannan's AAA complete game gem, I'm a little surprised Lannan isn't taking it easy to save his arm for September for the Nats.Lannan's got competition: Ryan Perry and Yunesky Maya at the very least. I'm not sure but the way Zach Duke has been pitching he might be a good choice for a lefty starter as well. He has been the Syracuse ace this season. Let's face it the Syracuse rotation is probably getting paid more than the 2008 and 2009 rotations. Not much less than 2010 and 2011. Its at least 10 million all told to pitch AAA games. One would think their records would be better and the overall team won/loss record would be better given that.They've had some decent relievers … and some bad ones … still …

  67. peric - Aug 27, 2012 at 1:45 AM

    Giants look like the Nats. Starter gives up 3 runs and game over. C'mon, guys!There's a decided different Natslady. The Nats are going to get waaaaay better offensively in the near term with each passing season. The future does look so bright you've got to wear shades.

  68. Gonat - Aug 27, 2012 at 1:50 AM

    Manassas Nats' Fan said… JFlo's pass ball sucked the MoJo out of JZim .Which is to bad as he was pitching great. JZim. and all pitchers need to work on minimize damage August 26, 2012 9:39 PM _________________________________Absolutely. JZim and Stras are definitely pitchers that work in a groove. They don't react well to errors behind them or in this case in front of them. Go back 4 starts ago when Espinosa had 2 errors behind him. It created a total meltdown. At that point, JZim was cruising in his season with all those quality starts.Today was JZim's best start since that point and that one passed ball changed the entire complexion of the game.

  69. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2012 at 1:58 AM

    Peric, I was being facetious (am I allowed?). It was a frustrating few games for the Nats–and now for the Giants–but NO WAY would I trade teams!

  70. Gonat - Aug 27, 2012 at 2:03 AM

    Orel Hersheiser just lost his brain. Talking about Tim Hudson, huh? Hudson isn't pitching. That's the Giants pitching. Awkward!

  71. peric - Aug 27, 2012 at 2:07 AM

    Absolutely. JZim and Stras are definitely pitchers that work in a groove. They don't react well to errors behind them or in this case in front of them.As is Detwiler and even Gio. Surprisingly you see it in EJax the guy who supposedly has been there done that?This is probably the absolute BEST learning experience a very young, highlyl talented team like the Nationals are could have! Its actually more than providential if you think about it. They will be getting the experience of a tight pennant race under the glare of the National spotlight with some huge adversity looming toward the end of their regular season. Then the playoffs. ANG THIS is why I HOPE that Davey brings as many top prospects up as possible while bringing in much needed bullpen help … and yes, including Rendon. Yes and especially Rendon, not because "he's ready" he probably isn't completely "rehabbed" and isn't entirely in baseball shape. But the complexion, the nuances, the experience of a pennant race is something that would be invaluable for him if he is going to be a big piece of the puzzle going forward. Just like Harper. I am certain Davey could orchestrate things to ensure it so that he can maximize the benefit of having them around before some go off to the Arizona Fall League starting in early October. This is something only Davey would risk doing … it certainly would never even be entertained in the mind of Jim Riggleman.

  72. SonnyG10 - Aug 27, 2012 at 2:15 AM

    Peric, I like your outlook for the Nats near term future. I agree and its a comforting thought.

  73. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 27, 2012 at 2:15 AM

    peric said… Now we've got Terry Bradshaw and John Feinstein weighing in on Strasburg?Whatever those idiots said, put me down in the opposite column.

  74. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2012 at 2:49 AM

    Giants throwing batting practice. Oh, well.

  75. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 27, 2012 at 2:49 AM

    Giants/Braves now a laugher.

  76. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 27, 2012 at 2:50 AM

    You people know how I feel about the Barves? That I don't even think they'll make the playoffs.Well, what does that tell you about what I think about the Giants?San Francisco = dogbreath

  77. peric - Aug 27, 2012 at 2:57 AM

    4.5 down now … its going to be a tight race down to the finish. Fortunately, the Nats have most of the games in September at home including 3 to finish with those Phillies.

  78. Gonat - Aug 27, 2012 at 3:04 AM

    Giants laid an egg.

  79. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2012 at 3:06 AM

    Sunshine, LOL. Giants don't win the series in their own house. Hudson pitched a good game, but a lot of holes in the ATL team.

  80. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2012 at 3:07 AM

    Fredi might have learned his lesson, though. Being very careful with the bullpen.

  81. peric - Aug 27, 2012 at 3:14 AM

    Meanwhile Hanley is making lots of new friends in LA. 2 strikeouts an error in an LA loss to the Marlins. It'll be an interesting series against Stan and the Dodgers coming up.

  82. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 27, 2012 at 9:28 AM

    Just looked at the weather report for Miami for Tuesday and Wednesday and looks like the weather in Miami will be fine as Hurricane Isaac took a Western track.

  83. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2012 at 9:54 AM

    Yeah, New Orleans could get hit again.

  84. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    P.S. I cursed out my boss (over the phone)a couple of months ago when he gave me bad directions on the job. I'm still employed and I'm betting Davey is too.

  85. mick - Aug 27, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    I remember Billy Martin and G. Steinbrenner almost coming to blows on more than one occasion in 1977, the end result, Yanks win WS, Reggie, Reggie, Reggie

  86. mick - Aug 27, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    almost forgot…. good morning!

  87. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 27, 2012 at 11:44 AM

    Lots of rain here in Central Florida. All outer bands from Isaac. Very little wind. Great day for sitting in the "Archie Bunker" chair with my "Bushville Wins!" book, the story of the 1957 Braves.

  88. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 27, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    NatsJack, glad you are safe and mostly dry. That radar on Saturday looked bad.

  89. BigCat - Aug 27, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    Off day will help the Nats. Get Morse n Desi healed up

  90. BigCat - Aug 27, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    Rizzo has a lot of balls coming down into Davey's office and questioning him.

  91. Gonat - Aug 27, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    BigCat said… Rizzo has a lot of balls coming down into Davey's office and questioning him.August 27, 2012 8:29 AM __________________________________You never know, it could have been a pre-planned "bad cop/good cop" behind the scenes shout off to get some energy back.The veterans named Ryan Zimmerman, Werth and LaRoche seemed off their game all weekend.

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

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… 2 for 16 for batters 1-4 today2 for 16 for batters 1-4 yesterday3 for 13 for batters 1-4 Friday Ryan Zimmerman 1-11 for the weekend August 26, 2012 8:08 PM _________________________________I have to run out the door but every game was win-able with run support. Can't get run support without offense.Day off today, Stras on the mound vs Nolasco on Tuesday. Let's do it!

  93. BigCat - Aug 27, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    Well, did we think the Nats were never going to have a rough spell? The kitchen gets hotter. This is gonna get very interesting.

  94. mick - Aug 27, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    NatsJack in Florida…. mentioning you Archie Bunker chair reminds me of the Sammy Davis, Jr appearance on All in the Family…. that was one of the funniest GD episodes of all time, lol

  95. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 27, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    That one was definitely a classic, mick.

  96. Brother Juniper - Aug 27, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    mick said:"I would pay top dollar to have heard the Earl express himself after he lost to Davey."Someone once had the bright idea to wire Weaver during a game. And as luck would have it he had a "minor" disagreement with an ump. All on you-tube if anyone cares to search; you won't be disappointed. Maybe Earl was a little calmer playing golf.

  97. natsfan1a - Aug 27, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    Didn't see the game but happened to hear the final out when we turned on the radio on the way home. Am also behind in comment reading and won't be catching up any time soon, as work and a medical appointment call. For those of you who are caught up, is it the end of the world as we know it? (Again?) For me, I'm pretty sure the sun rose this morning, and I'll be watching with interest on Tuesday night (sounds like there will be a game to watch).

  98. JamesFan - Aug 27, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    We are about to find out just how much "character" this team really has. For one thning, someone needs to stop the clubhouse tantrums by Harper and play him down the stretch according to his skills, not his hype.

  99. mick - Aug 27, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    Thank you Bro Juniper

  100. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 27, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    http://www.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2012_08_26_wasmlb_phimlb_1&mode=recap&c_id=wasHas any other member of the Nats media reported or corroborated the "You come down and manage the team" quote or just Ladson.

  101. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 27, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    There have been some very controversial mistakes made the past few days which calls into question conflicting reports between coaching and player.Was Espi given the steal sign on Saturday in the 9th or steal on his own. Who had Harper playing so shallow in CF against Cliff Lee in a 0-0 game in the 5th inning on Sunday. Generally the opposite field OF plays shallower against the pitcher and the CF would play in a few steps.What was Bo Porter doing on 3rd base when LaRoche hit that "almost" HR.These were all large mistakes in the small picture. There were other costly mistakes over the weekend like passed balls, walking leadoff batters, failure to make contact at the plate, etc.Overall, if the offense scored runs, there wouldn't be an issue. While the Nats starters weren't great, they didn't give up a lot of runs. The bullpen was good.Bottomline – Can't win generally scoring 1 or 2 runs a game.

  102. sjm308 - Aug 27, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    Good morning all!Not a great week-end and I went through lots of hats to try and stop this streak and obviously none worked. I actually went back and did read comments and I want to commend Swift Eagle and his legion. While there were criticisms which should be expected when we play poorly, there were also snippets of thought letting me know that most of our commentators do want the team to succeed. I would just hope that when we do start to play well again that those who wrote negatives, will contribute positives as well. This is one reason SS is so important to this team. If he is the stopper, its time to stop this nonsense and get back on track. Go Nats!

  103. sjm308 - Aug 27, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    Ghost, lots of people pile on Porter with some regularity but I was wondering the same thing. Unfortunately, I was in the car and Charlie and Dave were as confused as Werth & LaRoche. It was pretty neat that they went and got the umpires copy of the ground rules to explain the differences between left and right field but Porter's role was never mentioned. As soon as he saw the CF'r running for the ball he needed to speed up Werth to get home and hold up LaRoche.Good thing most pro athletes have a short memory. On to Fla.NatsJack – if you are reading "Bushville" I think a good compliment would be "Bushmills", although as McNulty lets us know in The Wire "thats a Protestant Whiskey".

  104. hiramhover - Aug 27, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    GhostKilgore had that quote too.Agree with your list of coaching mistakes. I missed the gameday thread so perhaps it was discussed there – on that non-HR by LaRoche, he and Werth should have been running, not trotting, til they were sure. But at some point, they did have their backs to the 1B umpire who signalled it was a fair ball, and to the action behind them. Porter should have been watching that.

  105. JaneB - Aug 27, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    A day off will do everyone good. Enjoy the Archie Bunker chair and the book, NatsJack. Everyone else…just tune out the dialogue about shutting down Stras and all predictions of the end of the world as we hoped it. 35 games to go. And, whether we end up in the playoffs or not (and I'm betting we will), we will be unhappy that the regular season is over so fast. And it will feel fast on October 3. Enjoy them now. RYFNR!

  106. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 27, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    sjm308, when your GM has a meltdown, it almost confirms that he doesn't like what he saw nor should the rest of a rational fanbase.Hope should still abound. 4 1/2 game lead and best record in baseball and the Nats didn't have Desi the entire series and Morse after his 1st AB on Friday.Still, there were too many mental mistakes. Yesterday was a game the Nats easily could have won. You have to back up your Aces.Let me recap the top of the 4th. Cliff Lee faces the heart of the order: Harper, Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth in a 0-0 game. Lee blows thru them in NINE PITCHES and 2 of them were squirters back to Lee followed by a Jayson Werth K on 3 pitches.In the top of the 5th was the 1st inning the Nats had a runner in scoring position, LaRoche K's. TyMo smacks a double and Flores K's on 3 straight fastballs at 92mph.Sorry, but Cliff Lee was hittable all day and Davey knows it. Rizzo saw some awful baseball like the rest of us.How long can you sit back and watch Jordan Zimmermann's excellent performances get derailed by either lack of run support or bad mistakes around him?I'm sure that was the straw that broke the camels back.

  107. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 27, 2012 at 2:24 PM

    What was Bo Porter doing on 3rd base when LaRoche hit that "almost" HR.A caller to the Junkies radio show this morning said she was at the game yesterday and Bo Porter was signaling HR after the ball presumably went out. If that's true and if LaRoche and/or Werth caught that signal, it could explain the home run trots. But we'll never know whether it's true or not, because both LaRoche and Werth are too professional to throw Porter under the bus.

  108. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 27, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    hiramhover said… GhostKilgore had that quote too.Thanks. Glad to hear it was corroborated by at least someone else.

  109. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 27, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    pRAA with the ISO said… A caller to the Junkies radio show this morning said she was at the game yesterday and Bo Porter was signaling HR after the ball presumably went out. If that's true and if LaRoche and/or Werth caught that signal, it could explain the home run trots. But we'll never know whether it's true or not, because both LaRoche and Werth are too professional to throw Porter under the bus.August 27, 2012 10:24 AM Thanks, because that corroborates what I heard happened from someone else who was there that Bo was also asleep at the wheel clapping it up like it was a HR.I also agree that Werth and LaRoche wouldn't blame Bo.

  110. JD - Aug 27, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    Ghost, You can't let JZim off the hook the way you did. 1st of all the hit to Lee was a lousy pitch and it was crushed; yes Harper had a long ways to go and yes he took a funny rout to the ball but it was crushed. Secondly; once you fall behind 1 – 0 there is no law that says you have to fall behind 3 – 0. He carried his frustration over to the next hitter and that's a sign of inexperience. The loss was a team effort and JZimm was definitely part of that effort just as Gio was the previous night when he threw that cookie to Mayberry right after the team tied the score.

  111. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 27, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    Jordan Zimmermann quotes from yesterday and took the blame for the 5th inning:“The first four innings were kind of a breeze. In the fifth inning, I just hit a wall and got in a little bit of trouble. I definitely felt strong, which is a good thing. The stuff was pretty sharp. I got to take some positive out of it. My arm feels great. I feel strong. I’m definitely not tired. I feel like I can definitely pitch a lot more.”

  112. John C. - Aug 27, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    I hate the title of this post. The Nationals weren't "caught napping" – they got beat. It happens. The current Phillies are actually a solid (not great) team; since the ASB they are 24-17. They've got Utley and Howard back, and trading the 2012 version Hunter Pence was addition by subtraction. Any team whose rotation starts with Hamels, Halladay and Lee can't be discounted. To those upset yesterday because the Nats were aggressive: Lee (as usual) was pounding the zone. To take pitches against Lee is to find oneself staring at an 0-2 count. Not smart.The surprising thing about August up until now had been the lack of the "DOOOM!" moment that regularly leads to wailing, rending of garments and gnashing of teeth by some. Swept by the Dodgers in April (as part of a five game losing streak), by the Marlins in May, by the Yankees in June (four game losing streak), the back-to-back ugly loses to Atlanta in July. All were the sure sign of the coming apocalypse/collapse. August's moment is late in coming, but the DOOMsters are out in force.I said it in July after the debacle against the Braves, and I'll say it now: fortunately, the Nationals are much tougher mentally than most of their fans.

  113. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 27, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    JD, these are rhythm pitchers like most pitchers should be and Jordan was throwing a gem. The great pitchers get into their rhythm with great concentration.In the 5th, Frandsen leads off with a single then the passed ball happens. Kratz lines out for out #1. There is no way your CF can play that shallow against a decent hitting pitcher as you have to protect against a big inning in a 0-0 game. Cliff Lee has over 2 dozen hits the last 2 years. He can handle a bat. He saw Harper in shallow and swung out of his cleats. If Harper was playing normal depth he catches that ball for the 2nd out and you pitch Rollins differently with 1st base open.Jordan didn't make up excuses for his performance.

  114. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 27, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    John C., you correctly mention other sweeps. The Nats bounced back from each one.Why do you think after this sweep Rizzo got so incensed?

  115. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 27, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    Why do you think after this sweep Rizzo got so incensed?Why do you think it was Rizzo that was incensed? All the news reports, such as they are, report Davey as the one who was yelling, not Rizzo. And think about it for a minute. If you're standing outside a closed door (even with a glass pressed against it listening like a spy) and you can hear Davey Johnson yelling, he must have been pretty incensed. I mean you can normally hardly hear the guy when he's talking into a mic!

  116. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 27, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    pRAA, good point on Davey. That big teethy smile and nothing seems to get him mad generally. A good Nats winning streak and all this is put to rest.

  117. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    If you look at this clip you can see Bo Porter just finishing the HR signal with his finger (that circle move the umps make). However, at that point, it also looks like ALR has stopped running and is looking around confused.mlb cliphttp://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2012_08_26_wasmlb_phimlb_1&mode=gameday

  118. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 27, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    It wouldn't suprise me if Rizzo got a phone call from Mark Lerner and then went to Davey to get some answers for him.Now that would really set Davey off.

  119. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 27, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… It wouldn't suprise me if Rizzo got a phone call from Mark Lerner and then went to Davey to get some answers for him.Now that would really set Davey off. August 27, 2012 11:17 AM People that love each other argue all the time. Davey and Rizzo love each other. Just a little bump in the road in the marriage. I think its healthy that it boiled to the top while the Nats still have a healthy lead. Better to be proactive at this point in the season.

  120. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    No, not Rizzo's style to bring questions from Mark Lerner to Davey. He's perfectly capable of answering them himself, and it's his job to be the buffer. I wouldn't be surprised if the whole thing was staged, like that car ad, where the wife is watching the guy "negotiate" and they are actually arguing over the DH. If not, maybe Rizzo picked the wrong moment to ask why Bryce got double-switched. Who knows? Honestly, who really cares? We are not the Red Sox. I'm more interested in how Morse and Desi are doing.

  121. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 27, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… It wouldn't suprise me if Rizzo got a phone call from Mark Lerner and then went to Davey to get some answers for him.Now that would really set Davey off.By all reports the Lerners are about as hands-off as owners can get. They're the anti-Steinbrenner.It wouldn't surprise me if Davey, who is the consummate pro in never betraying his true feelings to the press, just took advantage of Rizzo popping his head into the office to let off some steam and vent. Why? Because he could. Nothing Rizzo said probably set him off. Rizzo might have just asked if he had dinner plans. Managers (unless they're Ozzie Guillen) never have the luxury of being able to go into the tunnel and smash some bats or helmets. They have to have a release somewhere. Venting to Rizzo is like coming home and venting to the wife after a bad day at the office.

  122. JD - Aug 27, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    Ghost, I agree that Jordan is not making excuses for his performance but I think the fans are. I also disagree with your strategy against Lee. in a scoreless game with a man on second and a pitcher hitting (yes even a good hitting pitcher) you protect against a single; you don't expect him to crush the ball to the warning track. I don't want to come off as a JZimm critic because I am actually a huge fan of his but he is still showing some inexperience which when gained will get him through situations such as yesterday's without allowing the extra runs.

  123. JD - Aug 27, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    I agree with NL that the Davie/Rizzo spat is much ado about nothing. It was a crappy weekend in Philly with a couple of injuries to boot so every one was a bit testy. so what?

  124. sjm308 - Aug 27, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    No doubt Rizzo/Davey have been on the same page for a long time. Not sure who or why and don't really care. What I care is that we start to play the kind of baseball that got us where we are right now and the last few days have not been that kind of ball. Mental mistakes, lack of hitting, and falling behind early in games is not going to work in the playoffs. I wonder if Davey going off in the locker room would get any type of results. It is not his style and might just get peoples attention. I realize baseball is unlike any other game in that the season is relentless and you probably need to keep emotions level. Still, he must have been upset and it would not be a bad thing for the players to see that. I will say that I got more teaching/coaching done after a win then after a loss.Go Nats!

  125. Sec.3, My Sofa - Aug 27, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    Davey would not be the first manager to get upset after a game.For instance, there's Hal McCraetotally NSFW

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 73 54 --
ATLANTA 68 61 6.0
MIAMI 64 63 9.0
NEW YORK 60 69 14.0
PHILADELPHIA 57 71 17.5
Through Friday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
SAT: Giants at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Giants at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Nats at Mariners, 10:10 p.m.
Full season schedule

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TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
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