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No panic after 3 straight losses

Aug 26, 2012, 4:07 AM EDT

Associated Press photo
Gio Gonzalez reacts to serving up John Mayberry’s go-ahead homer in the sixth.

PHILADELPHIA — It may be difficult to remember these things, but the Nationals actually have endured through several losing streaks this season. Indeed, they’ve experienced five streaks of at least three losses in 2012, and even once lost five straight games.

And how did they respond to each mini-slump? By winning four in a row, three in a row, nine of 11, three of four and six in a row.

Suffice it to say, nobody inside the Nationals’ clubhouse following Saturday night’s 4-2 loss to the Phillies — their third straight — was ready to jump off the Ben Franklin Bridge.

“Three! Ugh, we’re ready to quit,” Ryan Zimmerman said with tongue firmly planted in cheek. “Everything’s going to go into shambles.”
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  1. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 26, 2012 at 4:18 AM

    Jordan pitch a great game

  2. Doc - Aug 26, 2012 at 10:42 AM

    My question about stealing bases,Mark, did Davey ever think that the pitchers weren't the problem, and Suzuki could do what Ramos, Solano, Leon, Maldanado, and Flores couldn't do??Obviously, there were some on the coaching staff who preferred to put the blame more recently on Flores—they were dead wrong. Suzuki has just proved they didn't know what they were talking about.Now the Nats, with Suzuki, have a C for $4mm that can't do what he did in the American League when it comes to CS's (38% for the A's–6% for us!), and can't hit to boot.By the way, in a very recent limited sample, JFlo's CS's is 50%!!!!!

  3. rabbit34 - Aug 26, 2012 at 11:19 AM

    And, we'll have no panic right into going home at the regular season's end. We just don't have the bats. And, that's my opinion. The movie I watched from 7-10 was great. I enjoyed myself.

  4. NatsLady - Aug 26, 2012 at 11:19 AM

    Gonna be a long day…again. Rain (thunderstorms) predicted in Philadelphia. Luckily, Jordan is one tough kid. But you have to figure Lee is looking for redemption, and it will be a full house. Gints have Timmy out there against Hudson for the "Sunday Night Game" (an odd start time, 5 p.m. on the West Coast, right?). Then they go to see the Pads, who are NOT a cakewalk, they just took 2 from the D-backs (going for the sweep), and before that they swept the Pirates. Barves beat them 3/4 on the last go-round. But if I were in the ATL, I wouldn't be takin' the Friars for granted.According to FP and Carp, Randy Knorr has been working with the starters to improve their moves with runners on base, but they've left the relievers pretty much alone. The philosophy has been to focus on the "stuff." Clip is good at walking the tightrope, some of the other guys–not so much. In their defense, it's not any different (in the result) than if Burnett had given up a solo HR. For relievers, the key is not to let the leadoff guy get on base. So while the steals are aggravating, I'm not sure that this late in the season you want to mess with success.

  5. LoveDaNats - Aug 26, 2012 at 11:52 AM

    Fine. Then I'll panic quietly here at home.

  6. baseballswami - Aug 26, 2012 at 11:56 AM

    Leaving the country for 8 days. No internet or phone access. My friends are tormenting me because I am having issues with leaving my team when they are down a bit. Cheer them on for me. Still plenty of baseball left. Just hoping those bats come around. The pitching might not have been lights out this week but it wasn't that bad. In one week when I return I am hoping to see us still right where we need to be. I will miss you my baseball friends – my vacation friends just don't get it. They keep telling me I need to relax. I keep telling them there's a pennant race going on – I can relax in the off-season.

  7. hiramhover - Aug 26, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    DocFP and Carp and numerous commenters here have made the pt about pitchers responsibility for SBs–seems unlikely the only ones not to figure it out are the baseball professionals.As for the broader pt about Suzuki–Flo was clearly wearing down and not up to being the everyday catcher. The question is whether the combo of Suzuki and Flores is better than the combo of Flores plus a AAA catcher. The answer is yes.

  8. Secret wasian man - Aug 26, 2012 at 12:59 PM

    Not only is Ryan Zimmerman not panicking. He's not putting any wood on the ball. Love da nats I'm with ya.

  9. rmoore446 - Aug 26, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    Great post NatsLady. Yes, the pitchers can and should do more to hold the runners but you are absolutely right about keeping the lead-off man off base. More than almost anything, walks by relief pitchers drive me crazy especially when the batter is some banjo-hitting sub in the 8-spot.

  10. JaneB - Aug 26, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    Have a great trip, swami! I love Desi, as everyone by now knows. But Lombo produces when he's in, and he seems only to be in when Desi is out. Not a bad substitution. We'd miss Mikey less if ALR and Zimm and Jayson were hitting better. Here's to the start of a nice long hitting streak for at least two of them.

  11. fast eddie - Aug 26, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    Zimm, ALR and Morse are all classic streak hitters. As of now, they're all in a slump. The rookies need to step up until they get hot again.TyMo needs to spell ALR at 1B and not be used in LF. Glad to see Davey will rest Harper vs. lefties.It was similar in April/May when SP dominated until the hitting finally came around.

  12. sm13 - Aug 26, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    This will be another teaching moment for Davey and the coaching staff as we deal with adversity and teams spot some weakneses to exploit. The playoffs will be just like this (as will the September crunch games). The only reason to panic is if this team shows any sign of giving up — and, so far, they've shown just the opposite. When we've had obstacles thrown in our path, the boys rally and figure out ways to get threw them. Let's win today and sweep the two in Miami. Then we'll be poised for a resurgent Cards team and some pre-playoff big games.Go Nats!

  13. JD - Aug 26, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    Doc, If you can't see that Suzuki is a great defensive catcher (forger the stolen bases) then you are not paying attention.

  14. Doc - Aug 26, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    JDPresumably the next defensive stat after CS's is blocked pitches in the dirt. Davey described JFlo as "the best in the NL". What other defensive stats do we both need to pay attention to????? Maybe a secret poll from the pitching staff on who they prefer to throw to would help us both with our attention spans! LOL!!!!

  15. JamesFan - Aug 26, 2012 at 3:00 PM

    I join the chorus: More JFlo–better bat and equal or better defense.

  16. Doc - Aug 26, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    JamesFanWe need to make it a movement!Maybe we should start by hiding Davey's chewin' bacckie' on him.

  17. peric - Aug 26, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    Looks like either Riggleman or Pudge gets credit for instilling the notion of holding the runners on and getting to the plate quickly so Pudge could throw them out. I'm betting on Pudge myself.

  18. peric - Aug 26, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    They need to get Tyler Moore regular reps because it seems highly likely he will be needed in the playoffs. Adam LaRoche is ending up moving toward his mean which is a .250 to .260 batting average and 25 homers. Not the 30+ everyone was touting in July. If he is still cold in the playoffs they will need to have other bat[s] ready.LaRoche's offensive RAA still stands at about 14.3 which is a lot higher than his norm which is close to 0 or average.

  19. peric - Aug 26, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    Obviously, there were some on the coaching staff who preferred to put the blame more recently on Flores—they were dead wrong.1. Nats management never once mentioned the run of bases stolen as that is typically on the pitcher. What Ladson set loose, from his source, was that they weren't happy with the game Flores was calling. Individual pitches. They felt he was too worried about his offense and not worried enough about his #1 priority which is being a backstop and calling games.2. Flores was catching 3/4 of the games. This would be his very FIRST full year as a major league catcher due to his surgeries and extended rehab resulting from his shoulder surgery. Flores was beat up and just up about done when the acquired Suzuki.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 58 47 --
ATLANTA 58 50 1.5
MIAMI 53 54 6.0
NEW YORK 52 56 7.5
PHILADELPHIA 47 61 12.5
Through Wednesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
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.
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets 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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