Skip to content

Game 128: Nats at Marlins

Aug 28, 2012, 7:50 PM EDT

US Presswire file photo
Stephen Strasburg tries to snap the Nats' losing streak tonight at Marlins Park.

The Nationals have done a remarkable job all season overcoming injuries to key players, but let's be honest: They really missed Michael Morse and Ian Desmond while getting swept in Philadelphia over the weekend. The return of both players to the lineup for tonight's two-game series opener in Miami can only be viewed as a positive thing.

Morse (bruised hand) and Desmond (mild hamstring strain) will be hitting fifth and sixth, respectively, in manager Davey Johnson's lineup. That bumps Jayson Werth and his .391 on-base percentage back up to the leadoff spot, giving the Nationals as potent a lineup as they're going to field at this point in the season.

They've also got the man they want on the mound when they're trying to snap a losing streak: Stephen Strasburg. Not only is the right-hander 3-0 without giving up a run against the Marlins this season, he's also 4-0 with a 1.44 ERA when starting with the Nationals on a losing streak of three games or more.

I'm not in Miami for this series, the last road trip I'm scheduled to miss for the remainder of the season. I will, however, be appearing live on CSN's SportsNet Central at 10 p.m. with analysis of tonight's game, so be sure to tune in for that. In the meantime, enjoy the game and the conversation here…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at MIAMI MARLINS
Where: Marlins Park
Gametime: 7:10 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 187
Weather: Indoors

NATIONALS (77-50)
RF Jayson Werth
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche

Read more ยป

288 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. ehay2k - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:08 AM

    Wait, am I a homer, or a critic of the team? Really can't tell fromNatsfanjim or WODL's comments. But I see Jim has called me a troll, but also a homer. So personal are OK as long as they come from you, but no one else? Go take your truckload of bile somewhere else. As for Desmond, you are not there to see if he can run, stretch, etc. They would not keep him out of games if they thought he was healthy, because he is too important to the team. How can you argue otherwise, given this year's performance by Desi?

  2. mick - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:09 AM

    Fear and Ignorance Did Verlander have TJ surgery? I was not aware?Strass is scheduled to be shut down which is what i totally support. my point was that the shutdown could be very helpful for Strass because I think he is tiring and he some immaturity is starting to show with him.your Verlander comparison confuses me, unless he had TJ surgery

  3. Swift Eagle - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:09 AM

    OK, that's fair..The Nats have not looked as sharp mentally lately, and are playing bad baseball right now….but why is only "instructive" to show up during these losses to point this out? Isn't it also "instructive" to point out the approach that has resulted in the most wins in MLB?…To me, the true fan is able to see both good AND bad

  4. blovy8 - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:10 AM

    More elbow room for me DJB. Nobody watching the excellent, winning club the Nats put out there will either. You try to win, but you have to look to tomorrow as well, or you don't win much.

  5. NatsFanJim - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:10 AM

    Secret: and I am exactly like you!! Good for us — the true fans. Unfortunately, that's not the general fan base. And if you are a native, and have been following All of our teams for many years, you would know that is true.

  6. ehay2k - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:12 AM

    POTD from mick @9:09

  7. NatsFanJim - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:12 AM

    Ehay: haha like an umpire, I can only call them the way I see them — maybe I miss a corner now and then, but not often. "Troll" is insulting? Then don't be one.

  8. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:12 AM

    The problem is that the Nats' as an organization want a healthy organization that has great players who win for years and years. They probably do not care all that much about winning a title, which, unless you are the Yankees, requires a lot of good fortune. So the Nats don't mind that much whether they win it all or not, as long as they get a result that makes the team more popular going forward.The fans and the players on this year's squad may feel differently.Outside of horse racing, someone please provide an example of a non-injured player who has ever skipped an entire post-season? Sandy Koufax skipped one start for the Jewish holidays, but I can't think of anyone who refused to play in the post-season in order to lengthen his career. Barry Bonds never won a World Series, nor did Ted Williams. Walter Johnson, Hank Aaron and Willie Mays won one each. There are no guarantees.

  9. mick - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:13 AM

    Oh well, lets get em tomorrow night… think I will watch some of the JB Society Convention, lol, hee hee

  10. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:14 AM

    It is called risk aversion, Ebay2k. It is a fundamental concept in economics and life insurance and life in general. The whole Strasburg debate involves risk aversion and the notion that many think the Nats are overly risk averse, to the point where it diminishes their chances to win this year.

  11. NatsFanJim - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:16 AM

    On a Bright Note:I have no worries. The Nats have been playing all year like every series was a Big one, another opportunity to Prove themselves.Well, we peaked against Atlanta last week. Facing the Phillies – 15 games out — became the first series the Nats seemed like they could not get up for.Now, it is up to Davey to teach them how to win and get up for games from the prospective of the Top Dog and not the underdog: two totally different approaches.Every loss and every win is Now squarely on Davey's shoulders. This is when he earns his money.I think he can do it, but proof is in the pudding. He hasn't done it yet.

  12. Swift Eagle - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:16 AM

    Stras is not "refusing" to play…He is being shut down by his superiors based on the instructions of the doctor who performed the surgery…He is basically still on rehab from the surgery

  13. Nats Fan in Brazil - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:17 AM

    For everyone frinking out, varlander just allowed 7 ruins in 2 in against The ROYALS….just saying

  14. ehay2k - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:17 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. phil dunton - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:17 AM

    Don't worry Nats fans, H-Rod will be back on Sep. 1. He will turn things around.

  16. Swift Eagle - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:18 AM

    Haha!! It's Roll Call time for the Legion of Doom

  17. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:19 AM

    I think I was on here after the big Milwaukee win and a couple of the Houston ones. I am simply more interested in analysis and pure "homers" tend not to provide a whole lot of that and posters tend not to be in much of a speculative mode after a big win.One interesting thing is that the Nats had the best run differential in baseball about ten days ago. It has since dropped like a stone and we are now 30 runs or so behind St. Louis.

  18. ehay2k - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:20 AM

    Just as there are no guarantees that WITH Stras, the Nats will win or even make it to a WS. That's where the argument to not shut him down because of playoff and WS potential breaks down. Stras pitched tonight, but we didn't win. It's just too hard to speculate. But shutting him down cannot be shown to HURT his career, whereas over pitching has been shown to do harm. Remember, he spent little time in the minors.

  19. Swift Eagle - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:20 AM

    Maybe it's time to sacrifice a live chicken in the clubhouse…or is it a rooster? I always forget

  20. Fear and Ignorance - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:21 AM

    William 9:12-POTD. Rizzo fancies himself as an athletic director…he just wants to build a good program…he doesn't really care about winning it all. Just remember…when you see 10,000 people filing for the exits at Nats Park in the 8th inning…ehay2k is one of them. Some people just don't get it.

  21. NatsFanJim - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:21 AM

    Swift: You Troll for Trolls — even imaginary ones.Rarely do you give insightful opinions — How about now? What will it take to pull the Nats out of this swoon?Go on the record, dude. Man up and put yourself on the line — for once this season.

  22. DJB - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:21 AM

    Listen all you "true fans" can fill up that special 10% of Nats Park and cry when the Nationals leave town again and wonder why. The Senators left because they put out a poor product and people stopped going to games. You win when you can. Flags fly forever. You never accept the psychology of a losing team. And you never assume the future.

  23. NatsFanJim - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:23 AM

    Prediction: Stras gets shut down tonight.That was his last start in a successful '12 season. Let's see if I'm not spot on.

  24. blovy8 - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:23 AM

    By that logic, why aren't there still four man rotations and guys completing games with 150 pitches? After all, Strasburg is the best pitcher, he should keep pitching until he stops getting outs or gets hurt every game. He's better than anyone coming in from the bullpen. This is the game now, you protect your young pitchers. The Braves did it differently, but they also did it with Medlin.The reason they don't is he loses effectiveness over pitches, over starts, and needs to build up to normal workload. Add recovery from major surgery to that, and any however slight reinjury risk to that. The difference between a Detwiler start and a Strasburg start at this point in the season is what? The team needs to hit, and we'll see what happens. The other clubs have their own issues. I still say 94/95 wins at this point and a few games above the Braves.I mean, how much money do the Dodgers HAVE after all? Ha.

  25. Nats Fan in Brazil - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:23 AM

    By The way, The los angeles all The money u can spent dogers, are losing 4 Nothing against colorado….just saying

  26. ehay2k - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:25 AM

    DJB – how can you call one of the best tesms in baseball, let alone outpr division, a poor product? It's just a nonsensical comment.

  27. NatsFanJim - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:25 AM

    DJB has a point. Although I feel Stras ought to get shut down — the best advice I have ever heard back in my coaching days was "Win the game your in; tomorrow will take care of himself." Valuable, priceless advice for a baseball team. Win today!!!

  28. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:26 AM

    It is not the Legion of Doom.Semantics about Strasburg–He is going to have to make a public statement or he will be viewed during his career as being soft. That's the way it is. "Rizzo wouldn't let me play" is not going to wash in public opinion if the Nats lose a close post-season series, especially, since I see no evidence that Strasburg actually is pushing the Nats to allow him to play.That doesn't make Strasburg a bad guy or anything. It might be the right decision although it will never be confirmed because it is not susceptible to proof.Strasburg is a man and I doubt that if he and his family were pushing hard for him to pitch that he would be shut down, especially given that he should/could have been yanked after the 2nd tonight, to preserve his arm. I have no idea why he was still out there throwing after the score was 5-0 but I hope to find out.

  29. Ondeck13 - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:26 AM

    Nats Jack – do you think Stasburg's loss of command is due to fatigue like FP said?

  30. Swift Eagle - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:27 AM

    "They're going to have to rip the ball out of my hand"That actually IS a Stephen Strasburg quote

  31. ehay2k - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:29 AM

    F&I, I have been to more Nats games than you have commented on.

  32. JayB - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:31 AM

    Yea Davey is right….they don't need a kick in the ass……not an bit of difference in their focus the past week…..only difference is bad luck and great pitchers like Ricky N and K Kendrick…..not…..They are doggin it and the Vets are showing zero leadership. No wonder Rizzo is hot.

  33. Fear and Ignorance - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:31 AM

    Considering I have season tickets ehay2k…I doubt that is possible.

  34. NatsFanJim - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:32 AM

    "They're going to have to rip the ball out of my hand …" Who is he kidding? The guy with composure issues: the heat bothers him, humidity bothers him, errors bother him, hits bother him, umpires bother him.Sorry, Stras. You haven't earned the right to talk like a bad ass — not yet.

  35. ehay2k - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:32 AM

    F&I, no one as negative as you would buy season tickets. Maybe buy one ticket from a season ticket holder, but not a full plan.

  36. blovy8 - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:33 AM

    You root for the team you have, not the one you wish you had. Should SF fans stop watching the team now that their best player is suspended? They could still win that division despite A-Gon being added to the LA club, and even a mediocre Beckett will probably help them. Same thing in Cincy, what if they lose their lead to St Louis, does that make them chokers, or just a slightly worse team than the .600 club they are right now?

  37. NatsFanJim - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:33 AM

    I think JAYB summed it up rather succinctly.

  38. ehay2k - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:34 AM

    Natsfanjim- Stras pitched today, they did not win. Hard to make an argument to not shut him down because they MIGHT lose without him. Baseball is just not that predictable.

  39. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:34 AM

    Tigers are only losing 7-6

  40. NatsFanJim - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:35 AM

    Yep, this is an ideal time (night) to shut him down.

  41. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:35 AM

    I agree that the differences among the Nats pitchers is smaller than most people think. It often varies based upon whip, era, and era+ and fips. The damaging thing about Strasburg is the whole mentality of it. The Nats never intended to win this year and it has screwed up their plans and they really have not dealt with the situation well.Honestly, if he is not going to be on the squad for a post-season, it probably is better to get him out by Sept. 1 so that the 25 guys in the dug-out know who he is on-board for this year. There is the notion that he could pitch them into the play-offs in a big game in September but I see little evidence that Stephen would be better at that than Jordan or Gio or Edwin or Det. When Stephen is bad, he often is very bad it seems.

  42. rabbit34 - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:36 AM

    Never make it to the finish line. Nope. But that's ok. Our year was supposed to be next year. This year is all gravy. We've got to GET SOME BATS!!! At least I didn't waste my time watching this game. 9-0 is it in the ninth??!! GET SOME BATS!!

  43. NatsFanJim - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:36 AM

    If we think our slump is bad now, wait until the Cards get a hold of us.

  44. Swift Eagle - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:36 AM

    Mark not in FLA to provide the Instant Analysis…Pretty easy tonight, Nats Stunk.

  45. Fear and Ignorance - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:37 AM

    ehay2k…lol, if you would like to see my ticket stubs, I have saved them all. Don't you have a metro to catch…my bad, they are on the road.

  46. ehay2k - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:39 AM

    F&I – I have had season tix since 06, and I park in the ballpark garage. If I ever leave a game early, it's because my kids have to get to bed. You think that's wrong of me? I'm OK with that.

  47. NatsFanJim - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:40 AM

    Stras really needs to work on gettting rid of or adjusting that Reverse W delivery of his — he would last longer, throw faster, and gain far better control of his pitches.Everytime I see him pitch, I cringe watching his Uber Torque in his elbow when he Reverse W's. Uh? MCCatty, do you know anything?

  48. blovy8 - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:40 AM

    A couple of good starts from our pitchers andn some timely hits against them, and the Cards will be wondering how the Nats could have lost five in a row.

  49. NatsFanJim - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:41 AM

    Ehay and F&I: My pecker is bigger than your's. That's what you guys are doing. Silly. )especially when everyone knows, I have the biggest one)

  50. blovy8 - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:42 AM

    Well, it might be the mechanics that make Strasburg so good, so unless he gets hurt AGAIN, I would not mess with it.

  51. NatsFanJim - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:43 AM

    The ladies must be out and cruising the bars tonight

  52. Eugene in Oregon - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:44 AM

    Ugly game; unfortunately some ugly comments to match; tomorrow's another day, another game; tonight, Go Padres.

  53. NatsFanJim - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:45 AM

    blovy8: perhaps, but an arm like his is a gift from God — he could vastly improve his skill set.I wonder if he has the maturity to do that, though. His composure issues have really surprised me about him. Either he is immature or is a very quirky guy.

  54. ehay2k - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:47 AM

    WODL, I agree with your post @9:35, where you question Stras' effectiveness. All the Nats SP's are pretty close, and can win games on any given day. And as you said, when SS is bad, he's pretty bad. I do not know how they could have changed they way they are handling it. If the decision was made at the beginning of the season, and they let SS pitch all year long as if he'd be shut down, what else could they do but stay the course? Besides, at this point, he may be proving them right.

  55. NatsNut - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:51 AM

    They probably had too many days off in the last 10 days. It threw off their timing, momentum, whatever. They'll get it back. In the meantime, Davey, start throwing bats at the lollygaggers. Scare 'em.

  56. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:51 AM

    I see no evidence that Strasburg will ever get better as a pitcher in terms of arm strength. He has been fairly consistent, although last year was actually his best, brief as it was. He may still improve his fielding, cunning and composure, but basically any team would take 15-6 every year with a 3.00 ERA.

  57. NatsNut - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:53 AM

    Also…just to balance out the doom and gloom…Hooray! Marlins didn't score in the 7th or 8th innings!

  58. blovy8 - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:55 AM

    There's plenty of room for Strasburg to actually get better, the guy is pretty inexperienced. What he needs to do is learn to hold runners.

  59. DJB - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:56 AM

    If we play like this, we're looking at a sweep by the Cardinals. Our season will be over, and, no, that is not acceptable. This year is not just "gravy." You win when you can, or you never win. We had the opportunity to get Pujols to provide lineup protection for Bryce, but we passed. Same with Fielder.

  60. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:59 AM

    We will the next 5, That is what I say.By the way I have been anti Eck at the beggining when they werem't hitting. I was anti Eck when they were hitting in July. And I am still anti Eck. That I ahve been since 2010 and continue to be.That being said. Losing is part of the game, scoring 6 runs in 5 games and leading in none of them because your starters having fiven up runs early 4 of the 5) is pathetic. That being said tomorrow is another day, and the least we will be in front is 4, but enough is enough.By the way the Quit-o-meter said 99,7% quuit tonight the last 4 innings. Michael Gonzales got the only passing grade.

  61. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 29, 2012 at 2:00 AM

    Left out the word win.We will win the next 5….

  62. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 29, 2012 at 2:01 AM

    My issue with the Nats is that this needs to be a team decision in deference to the players. Will the Shark ever have another chance to win a title? How about La Roche? Jackson may not. I think the plan would have worked better if they had said what the plan was at the beginning of the season. By never fully spelling things out, the other players and fans are left out drifting in the wind.What I mean is, yes, they said they were shutting him down, but they never said (and have never said) when and under what circumstances. They could have said September 1 or they could have said 150 innings or they could have said 25 games or whatever. So once you state a plan that has no rules, you are basically making the other players scratch their heads and wonder what is going on.I still don't understand why he can't pitch ten innings of relief in the post-season. At least that way, he is still dialed in with his teammates. Oh that won't work because … Rhythm or something? Walter Johnson pitched in relief in the World Series. Nolan Ryan never pitched in the World Series except for relief.How is ten innings in the post-season going to blow up the man's arm? And I won't accept any answers that involve rhythm….

  63. NatsNut - Aug 29, 2012 at 2:05 AM

    GYFPadresG!

  64. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 29, 2012 at 2:05 AM

    So Babip applies to pitchers and not to hitters? Let's face it, the Nats were on a pace to win 101 games with the trend line only increasing. They were not quite that good in reality. They lack big bats and they lack an ability to "manufacture" runs, which is not going to develop this year because they have little or no speed.The 1975 Reds lost 6 games in a row, albeit in May, I think, but it can happen to anyone. Baseball and golf are humbling games.

  65. BigCat - Aug 29, 2012 at 2:10 AM

    I fell asleep after the 3rd inning. I dreamed I was on 2nd base and Manassas Nats Fan was on first. We were in the bigs! The Show! Strasburg was pitching. We are both in our 50's. Im 15 pounds overweight, Nats Fan….oh…maybe 17 lbs. I glanced at him at first, I knew by his stare he was thinking the same thing. We were gonna steal! The count got to 2 and 0 on the hitter. Of course, Strasburg was not even looking at us. He didn't give one rats behind about us old farts. Well let me tell you, we exploded after Big Stra gave that final "no look." I felt like Ralph Garr as I barreled into third…safe!! But as every good catcher might do, he threw behind me, looking to get the slower…older Nats Fan. But Nats Fan had gotten a great jump also. Years ago he had told me his idol was Ed "Streak" Stroud and had learned a lot from him. I watched in amazement as Fan went like a locomotive into second with a late "pop up" slide that Davey Lopes and the whole 1970's Dodger organization would be proud of. The ball kicked loose and rolled into center field. I raced home….Nats Fan to third. I glanced at him at 3rd on my way back to the adoring dugout. He smiled. I glanced at Big Stra on the mound…..the urine stain on his pant leg grew wider and darker as I watched. I thought to myself "This can't be the big leagues, they hold runners on in the big leagues. I woke up with my wife shaking me, my Yankee book had fallen to the floor. In my stupor I glanced at the TV…..hmmmm….Marlins 9 Nats 0 Woulda been different if they'd of thrown Joe Coleman I thought. My dog nipped at my leg as I headed upstairs.

  66. blovy8 - Aug 29, 2012 at 2:14 AM

    A Healthy Desmond steals 30 bases. An everyday Bernadina does too. Espy can steal if you don't pay attention. So can Werth and Harper.

  67. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 29, 2012 at 2:18 AM

    I hope so because we have seen so many games where just one run could be the difference…

  68. blovy8 - Aug 29, 2012 at 2:20 AM

    Edwin Jackson won a ring with the Cardinals, who were a wildcard team without their best pitcher, Wainwright, all year. It's an odd game.

  69. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 29, 2012 at 2:20 AM

    ED STROUD taught me how to steal bases. Freddy Valentine taught me how to field.

  70. blovy8 - Aug 29, 2012 at 2:23 AM

    The point is the lineup would have a few guys who can steal, it's just not a high percentage play usually, and you have to get on base to do it, which they ain't lately.

  71. BigCat - Aug 29, 2012 at 2:26 AM

    Ol Tastey Cake Fred. Who taught you to hit? Brant Alyea? Cap Peterson? Oh oh….please don't tell me Jim French

  72. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 29, 2012 at 2:26 AM

    Not a high percentage play? Against us it is 95% successful.

  73. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 29, 2012 at 2:28 AM

    The Cardinals are better this year than last year, without Pujols, Jackson and one of their top pitchers. The have the best run differential by far in baseball, but have lost most of their close games.

  74. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 29, 2012 at 2:34 AM

    Jim French always won the cow milking contest. Genie Allen and Paul Casanova taught me to hit.RISP the past 5 games 7 for 40. That is a .175 average

  75. NatsLady - Aug 29, 2012 at 2:40 AM

    Sale came out after 4. Sale (15-5) has been Chicago's most consistent pitcher this season, but he worked just four innings. He gave up four runs on six hits with five strikeouts and three walks… (The O's won 6-0). So is Sale hitting the "wall" or do we even know? He has already pitched more than double what he did last year.My observation is this: the leaders are tired and banged up; they have (mostly) played their regulars all year. The under .500 teams are calling up rookies–who, even if they might not be as talented or experienced as the leaders' regulars, are hungry and fresh. Think of Harper when he first came up–now he didn't hustle to make a base hit.Desi is hurt. He is only playing so he doesn't lose his batter's eye while he heals.

  76. BigCat - Aug 29, 2012 at 2:41 AM

    What game you watching blov? Tonight Raymond Burr would of stole on us. Riz needs to go in and yell at McCatty. This is stuff you learn at the age of 13-14 when you transition to to the big field. Strasburg was a joke tonight. Its one thing to get hit. Its another just to just zone out and let evryone rip the bags out of the ground. Even Carlos Lee stole. In all seriousness, we should shut Stra down now. He has had a very good year. I would guess he is at about 80% He has no location….much like JZimm last year. He is 24 years old. The guy has a tremendous future. If we don't finish the year great….so what. And besides…Lannan has earned it

  77. NatsLady - Aug 29, 2012 at 2:53 AM

    BigCat, agree (well, except about Lannan). The sense of "entitlement" here is amazing–to me. The guys busted their butts (and their bodies) to get the record they have, but whoever got entranced by the 99% chance of playoffs or 90% chance of winning the division has not watched baseball. It gets harder from here, not easier.

  78. JaneB - Aug 29, 2012 at 2:56 AM

    I'm going to sleep. Let's get 'em tomorrow. Go Padres! Go go go!

  79. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 29, 2012 at 3:18 AM

    Nats Lady gets the eagle eye observation of the night for this: "Desi is hurt. He is only playing so he doesn't lose his batter's eye while he heals."Great point, and you're probably right. After 128 games (and 30 ST games), the wall is real. I think we'll be fine.In Davey We Trust.

  80. Sec.3, My Sofa - Aug 29, 2012 at 3:20 AM

    Would have stolen.

  81. Schumatrix - Aug 29, 2012 at 3:33 AM

    I don't think that It's bad to say that I'm a little nervous after these losses. 9-0 to the Marlins is never good, regardless of the circumstances.

  82. Drew - Aug 29, 2012 at 4:15 AM

    In other news:Matt Skole has 101 RBIs in 113 games.Potomac outfielder Kevin Keyes, the 2010 seventh-round pick from U. of Texas, becomes the fifth player in the Nats' system with 20 home runs, joining Skole, Corey Brown, Steven Souza Jr. and Jason Martinson.Keyes' on base percentage is woeful, but he's got pop. He hit 17 homers last year at Hagerstown.

  83. peric - Aug 29, 2012 at 4:33 AM

    Hmmm well at least now there are lots of new neg-anons for everyone to complain about. Maybe Sec3 will finally stop blaming me for them.

  84. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 29, 2012 at 4:49 AM

    Barves win. Medlen's scoreless streak at 28 and a-third innings.Barves four game. They'll stay there.Back away from the ledge, people. We're in the middle of our worst stretch of ball all season … and we still have a four-game lead.In Davey We Trust.

  85. Maurymania - Aug 29, 2012 at 4:58 AM

    So many trolls. Ye of little faith. You are going to look silly in a week when the ship is righted and we are up 6 games again with about 25 to go. Remember I said it.

  86. rabbit34 - Aug 29, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    NatsFanJim……absolutely correct. You hit it right on the head. If I say it, I'm a troll. Watch out. If you don't agree with the other posters because you don't live in Fantasy Land with them, you'll be trolling too. WE NEED BATS!

  87. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 29, 2012 at 11:56 AM

    At some point, we all are trolls to somebody else.

  88. Sec.3, My Sofa - Aug 29, 2012 at 10:03 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
x-WASHINGTON 87 63 -- 0
ATLANTA 75 76 12.5
MIAMI 73 77 14.0
NEW YORK 73 79 15.0
PHILADELPHIA 69 81 18.0
Through Tuesday's early games
x-Clinched division title
UPCOMING SCHEDULE
WED: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
THU: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
TUE: 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

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

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.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

Follow us on Twitter