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Harper heating up again

Aug 30, 2012, 11:00 AM EST

US Presswire photo
Bryce Harper rounds the bases after hitting one of his two homers last night.

You know that prolonged slump Bryce Harper has been in for months now, the one that turned his much-ballyhooed rookie season into nothing more than a pedestrian campaign?

This just in: The kid is heating up again, and last night's two-homer performance during the Nationals' 8-4 victory in Miami was only the latest example.

Yep, over his last 11 games, Harper is hitting .293, slugging .610 and posting a .920 OPS that has suddenly turned him into a formidable threat at the plate again.

Sure, there have been some less-than-spectacular performances during that span. His golden sombrero last week against the Braves wasRead more »

122 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. TimDz - Aug 30, 2012 at 11:37 AM

    While this serves as yet ANOTHER example of an umpire injecting himself into the game, Harper needs to learn some restraint …Yes, playing with emotion is good, but it needs to be controlled…

  2. MicheleS - Aug 30, 2012 at 11:39 AM

    Waking up after a win is just great!Happy Harper is busting out of his slump, but just as happy to see DRUUUUUU slam the door in the 8th! Plus Clipp had a quick and clean 9th!

  3. Gonat - Aug 30, 2012 at 11:43 AM

    MicheleS, yep I feel better after a win.

  4. Gonat - Aug 30, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    We have to keep reminding ourselves that 19 year olds are sometimes just finishing High School. They say the jump from 19 to 20 is large.

  5. BigCat - Aug 30, 2012 at 11:55 AM

    Anybody give an estimated distance on his second homer? That was one of his longest this year. Probably rivals the one he hit in Toronto

  6. natsfan1a - Aug 30, 2012 at 11:57 AM

    Me, toooo (carrying forward). btw, there was a moment earlier in the game where Harper was busting down the line trying to beat out a play. He was clearly upset with himself after he didn't (I think he may have said a naughty word or two :-)).natsfan1a said…Ahhh, that was nice. The Nats won (#rally birthday kid) and the Bravos lost. Druuuu looked good, the Zuk-man went yard, and, oh yeah, so did Bryce, a couple of times (and got tossed but he'd already had himself a pretty good game by then). Guess that the old man could sleep pretty good last night. Yeah, I slept pretty good myself. :-)August 30, 2012 6:46 AM

  7. Gonat - Aug 30, 2012 at 12:02 PM

    From Bryce: “I just need to stop getting angry and just live with it and there’s nothing you can change. I just need to grow up in that mentality a little bit. Try not to bash stuff in and things like that I’ve always done my whole life and those need to change.”

  8. Gonat - Aug 30, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    BigCat, hard to believe, only 416 feet.

  9. Gonat - Aug 30, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    From Amanda on Harper:"I felt good up there," Harper said. "I think that's what pissed me off the most. When you feel good up there and you roll crap over and you miss some pitches you should drive I think that makes you more upset."

  10. Laddie Blah Blah - Aug 30, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    Anyone who doesn't think Davey is mgr of the year only has to look at the Nats' performance in the first Marlins' game, before his team meeting, and the second Marlins' game, after his team meeting. Something had to be done and Davey did it. I don't think a meeting held by, say, Ozzie, would have had the same effect. The Nats went from team-wide mass fail mode directly to team-wide beast mode. My only minor quibble is that he should have done it on that off-day before the first Marlins game.That Marlins rookie tried to get 2 FBs in the zone past the kid, and found out why everyone else gives him a steady diet of slow breaking stuff. If he saw pitches like that every game he would hit 30 by the end of September.

  11. blovy8 - Aug 30, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    I love that Storen had so much confidence in his slider, but some of those high ones he really got lucky with. The effect was more of a change of pace rather than movement.Harper had to drop his bat before running to first, it's only natural that he would attempt to destroy the helmet a different way. That second homer looked to be more than 416, for sure.

  12. natsfan1a - Aug 30, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    Candidate for Quote of the Year? Words to live by. 😀Try not to bash stuff in and things like that I’ve always done my whole life and those need to change.

  13. Gonat - Aug 30, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    From Elias: Bryce Harper hit two home runs on Wednesday to become only the third teenage centerfielder to have a multiple-homer game in major-league history. Ken Griffey Jr. did that twice in 1989 for the Mariners and Brian McCall did so for the White Sox on Sept. 30, 1962. Those were the only two homers of McCall's seven-game major-league career.

  14. natsfan1a - Aug 30, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    Atta way, kid.

  15. Theophilus T. S. - Aug 30, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    I've been saying for weeks there wasn't anything wrong w/ Harper that he wouldn't fix by himself. Good production last night from 1 thru 6 — augurs well for Cardinals. Jackson, however, needs to take his adderall and keep the Cards shut down for 4-5 innings and allow the offense to get untracked before he starts giving up walks, cheap hits and dingers by .200-hitters.

  16. Gonat - Aug 30, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    Harper is now at 14 HRs but here's the tweet after his 1st homer:ESPN Stats & Info ‏@ESPNStatsInfo 19-year-old Bryce Harper with his 13th HR of the season. That's same number of HR Mickey Mantle hit at age 19 in 1951.

  17. Steady Eddie - Aug 30, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    Wisdom of Davey conveyed and clearly received by Harp:Reality #1 — some umps will be jerks, and that will never change.Reality #2 — Harp will have a bigger target on his back than probably any other player his entire career but especially when he's so young.Consequence — doesn't matter how fair or unfair ##1&2 may be, if you ignore them you will hurt yourself and the team.This is a gifted young man growing up fast, and he, the team, and we are exceptionally lucky to have a teacher with a life story and a character that makes Harp open to learning from him.

  18. sjm308 - Aug 30, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    Big Cat – Post is estimating 425' – I think it is further as well but certainly was easy for our boy Bobby to call that one.Looking forward to tonight!And I will say right here that I must be wrong about Morse's hand. If he does have a small break and can hit the ball that hard and that far then he truly is a beast!Go Nats!

  19. joemktg - Aug 30, 2012 at 12:23 PM

    Fewer ABs were given away last night vs. previous week: hitting is contagious.Clearly Master Harper is coming out of his funk, but I don't know if you want to give away his ABs vs. lefties come crunch time. Mark posted stats for last 11 games, but anyone have recent splits vs. lefties, i.e., has that improved?

  20. The Fox - Aug 30, 2012 at 12:23 PM

    Not to take anything away from Haper but I think he got the center cut fastball because it was a 3-0 count. Intresting that Davey gave him the green light but they did have a 4-0 lead at the time. The bullpen came up big especially Storen but the strikeout of Stanton by Mattheus was a thing of beauty.

  21. Gonat - Aug 30, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    blovy8 said… I love that Storen had so much confidence in his slider, but some of those high ones he really got lucky with. The effect was more of a change of pace rather than movement.August 30, 2012 8:15 AM ________________________________Like we had been discussing during the losing streak was how unlucky the Nats were. Last night the Nats were lucky in many ways and Storen's pitches to the previously RED HOT Stanton looked like they were 450 foot HRs. 2 of them came back over the plate several inches from where Suzuki was set up plus that 3rd pitch should have been a HBP and not sure how Stanton got out of the way.

  22. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 30, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    Unless Harper directed something at CB Buckner there is no need to toss him. Unless Buckner tosses 100% of players who toss things. Looked to see if a pool report reported a comment from Buckner but couldn't find where One did any investigative reporting.I know Angel Campos kicked Kemp out for encouraging Dirtier in a game last week. I have come to the Contusion the umps love the attention.

  23. Gonat - Aug 30, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    Fox, yes, the 2nd Harper homer was on a 3-0 pitch.How often do you see a majestic HR off of a 3-0 pitch? Rarely. I think that was the 1st Nats HR off of a 3-0 pitch this year.Adam Dunn was the one who used pulverize 3-0 fastballs.

  24. natsfan1a - Aug 30, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    Ouch. That'll leave a mark. :-)I have come to the Contusion the umps love the attention.

  25. Gonat - Aug 30, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    Lots of good stats down on the farm for Corey Brown, Zach Duke, Walters, Teahan and Eury Perez went 2-5 and extended his hitting streak to 17 games. Eury's BA is .331 in AAA.

  26. hiramhover - Aug 30, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    Put me down as happy that Harper got booted after slinging his helmet last night.It's a lesson he needs to learn–it's something he shouldn't do, and something that players do get ejected for, whether we arm chair umps at home think it's fair or not. Sounds to me from his post-game comments like he got the message.Learning it this way–on an otherwise great night for him, in the 9th inning of a game that wasn't on the line–is about as painless as the lesson gets.

  27. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 30, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    Hitting a slider thrown anywhere in the strike zone is virtually impossible when you're sitting on a fastball. And Stanton was clearly sitting on a fastball.I've watched alot of Marlins baseball this year and Stanton hits a majority of his home runs on fastballs and change ups up in the zone. He very seldom crushes breaking stuff but does mange to put them in play more than he did last year.

  28. Brother Juniper - Aug 30, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    "Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman echoed Johnson's sentiment, saying nothing the rookie has done is malicious — just that it's immature, and everyone around him has already learned not to act out that way." – Adam Berry, Nats homepageAnd I was glad to hear that Harper echoed the same sentiments. If he recognizes the problem, there is the possibility for improvement. His temper tantrums are more like the terrible twos than what I expect from a 19 year old man.

  29. The Fox - Aug 30, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    Gonat,You are correct that Storen got a little lucky with Stanton he left one slider, which didn't slide over the plate and why Stanton didn't pulverize it I don't know.I'm a little concerned about Burnett who I think has had 2 bad outings in a row. The Nat need him to be on his game.

  30. blovy8 - Aug 30, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    Burnett's stuff seemed ok, Zim should have had that grounder, it was just matchup issues to take him out.

  31. Gonat - Aug 30, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    blovy8 said… Burnett's stuff seemed ok, Zim should have had that grounder, it was just matchup issues to take him out. August 30, 2012 8:49 AM ______________________________I agree as Solano's hit was just a shot that found grass up the middle. The Reyes double was on a changeup and was on poor contact. Not Burnett's fault that Zim whiffed on it.Burnett was just a victim of bad luck BABIP.

  32. natscan reduxit - Aug 30, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    … any baseball fan knows Harper was not directing his helmet at C.B. Buckner. Baseball fans understand the reasons for obvious ejections arise out of any actions or words designed to show up the umps, and spiking one's helmet is not such an action. … that's why it is so disheartening to hear Davey and some of the vets, specifically Ryan Z, capitulate so they won't be on record as supporting this kind of thing in the eyes of the league, thereby drawing more ire from the officials.… I hope MLB is not moving in the same direction as other leagues, notably the NFL, and try to eliminate any displays of passion from the field of play. Fans don't deserve that.Go Nats!!

  33. Joe Seamhead - Aug 30, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    Looking at the replay it didn't look like Buckner even saw Harper flip his helmet off.Buckner was still looking at the bag and Bryce was 8-10 feet past the bag, behind the umps line of sight. All the ump saw was the helmet bouncing on the ground.I'm not sticking up for the Kid, but I thought both Harp's flipping the helmet and Buckner's call were bush league. Bryce keeps this crap up and he's going to get tossed at a more important point in a game. He is so talented and mature in so many other respects, but he needs to out grow these displays.I agree with Nats Jack about Storen's sliders. He was lucky, but only because Stanton was looking fastball.

  34. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 30, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    Joe, there's a great baseball Q&A Q: What do you call a slider that doesn't slide?A: A Home Run!

  35. The Fox - Aug 30, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    I'll defer to NatsJack on Stanton who sees him play more often than I do. When you only see the hi-lite reel of Stanton especilly in the last 2 weeks he seems super human. He was averaging a homerun a game in Coors field and hit a HR almost 500 ft there. That is why I really was impressed with the way Mattheus pitched him. I've been very impressed with Mattheus this year, he had the bad game in Milwaukee but I like the way he pitches in pressure situation. He is not afaid to go after any hitter.

  36. Joe Seamhead - Aug 30, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    I also think that Johnson has done a good job on not over reacting to Bryce's screwups.As to folks calling for Bryce to sit against left handers, I disagree for two reasons. If you sit Bryce then Werth plays CF, and though he's "okay" in center, he's really not a very good CF, so the defense of the entire outfield suffers. Secondly, Bryce is our CFer for years to come. He will improve against lefty pitching, but not if he doesn't get lots of ABs against them. He improves very little sitting against them. It will interesting to see how the Sept expansion roster looks.Will Perez and Brown come up?GYFNG!!!

  37. The Fox - Aug 30, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    Or breaking ball that doesn't break.

  38. Joe Seamhead - Aug 30, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    Ghost, that first one that Stanton watched was a definite gift for Drew,

  39. Sec.3, My Sofa - Aug 30, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    I'm not pointing fingers, I'm just saying.Listening to complainers is bad for your brain

  40. Sec.3, My Sofa - Aug 30, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    Even worse, being exposed to too much complaining can actually make you dumb. Research shows that exposure to 30 minutes or more of negativity–including viewing such material on TV–actually peels away neurons in the brain's hippocampus. "That's the part of your brain you need for problem solving," he says. "Basically, it turns your brain to mush."

  41. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 30, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    Good link, Sofa. JayB would not subscribe to those theory's at all.

  42. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 30, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    I posted this on the previous thread but it bears repeating.When watching Bryce's terrific throw to the plate on Carlos Lee's sac line drive attempt in the 8th inning, notice how the savy veteran strategically places his bat 3' on the infield grass in line with the area from which Bryce's throw comes. It was perfectly placed so as to create a potential obstacle to the throw.While it didn't affect the play, it sure could have.

  43. Gonat - Aug 30, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    NatsJack, funny you say that. It was straight across and parallel to the plate a few feet in front. I wondered how it got to that resting spot and the ball luckily missed it. I didn't see him toss it there.

  44. Joe Hardy - Aug 30, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    Observations: Dave Jageler giving the official scorer holy hell after they gave Solano a double vice an error on Harper. Dave is usually the calm one… Great to see Suzuki get as F.P. called it, "…his first N.L. tater"Lombo was Mr. Consistency again. Hope he is in the line up against these Red Birds. I heard that Bob Gibson is pitching tonight.

  45. Gonat - Aug 30, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    I can't find any video of Lee placing the bat but you can clearly see where it ended up in this highlight clip:

  46. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 30, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    Gonat….Lee practically placed it there.

  47. JamesFan - Aug 30, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    I'm with the umps on this. If a 19 year old can continuously openly challenge the umpires on the field over every call that doesn't go his way and trashes the clubhouse again and again, what kind of future player do we have?I've been willing to give this guy a pass because he's 19 and this is the major leagues, but no more. He needs to get a grip or someone in authority needs to come down hard on him. I'm not buying the "aw shucks" interviews after the game every time this happens–and it happens all the time.Harper is his own worst enemy. He has potential, but his performance so far is just that–more potential than reality. We have better current players on the bench. I worry what kind of team mate he will become in the future, what kind of clubhouse guy he will be and how future managers will deal with him. Will he be great or will he be poison?If he can't get his anger under control and stop the tantrums, I don't want him on the Nats in the future.

  48. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 30, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    Gonat….the Marlins feed had a shot from behind home plate that showed it clearly.

  49. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 30, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    JamesFan……get real. Even the Marlins announcers were all over Bucknor for thinking it was all about him. Bryce was upset with himself, not the umpire or the call. Everbody saw that.

  50. natsfan1a - Aug 30, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    Nice link. There was also this,"This will damage your brain even if you're just passively listening. And if you try to change their behavior, you'll become the target of the complaint."And there were the three suggested coping strategies: distance yourself, ask complainer to fix problem, shield yourself/go to your happy place. I tend to like #1 and #3 myself, 'cause when one starts complaining about complainers, well…er…um…yeah :-)

  51. Steady Eddie - Aug 30, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    NJ and Gonat — clearly intentional. I just looked again at the replays and though they don't show Lee actually dropping the bat (because the camera view shifts to Harper in the outfield), it does show Lee holding the bat out behind him straight across the front of the plate. Even if he couldn't be sure at that point whether the ball would drop in or not, he knew that the uncertainty would mean Solano would have to hold up at third and that either way, there would likely be a close play at the plate. Savvy vet indeed.And Sofa — thanks, good story. I see that all the time at work — the distinction between the people who just complain and those who generally try to propose an alternative approach, that is, who try to be constructive about it.

  52. natsfan1a - Aug 30, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    otoh re. complaining, sometimes people just need to blow off some steam.

  53. NatsLady - Aug 30, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    I would not go so far as JamesFan, but tossing or slamming equipment can be dangerous, and I include that habit of Werth's (and others') of slinging the bat wildly after drawing a walk. When Bryce broke his bat on home plate shards could have run up into someone's eye. Just don't do it.

  54. NatsLady - Aug 30, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    Umps should not have to inquire into "motives." The fact is he slammed equipment, and it wasn't his first offense.

  55. Faraz Shaikh - Aug 30, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    there should be a rule against throws hitting baseball equipment of opposing teams.anyways, did you guys check Lee's other at bats? whether he has similar habit or not?

  56. natsfan1a - Aug 30, 2012 at 2:07 PM

    From the Synchronicity Department, the Word for the Day that landed in my in-box yesterday. Yes, please, I'd like two tickets to paradise. :-)A thankful person is thankful under all circumstances. A complaining soul complains even in paradise.–Baha'u'llah

  57. bowdenball - Aug 30, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    People realize that lots of players slam their helmets in frustration all the time, right? I've seen Zim do it multiple times this season.This is a total non-story. He's 19 and he plays with passion,. so maybe we see a little more from him than we're used to seeing from guys who've been playing pro ball for years and years. And because he's under the microscope and he has a reputation, every flareup- and they're pretty rare- becomes a story. The manager will help him rein it in a bit so he doesn't hurt the club, and that's the end of it.

  58. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 30, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    NatsJack again showing why the wealth of knowledge here is unmatched.Great analysis on Carlos Lee. Truly a game of inches.

  59. NatsLady - Aug 30, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    Didn't like it when Zim did it either, for the record. The argument that "everyone" does it holds little sway with me.

  60. natsfan1a - Aug 30, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    Okay, who just heard their mom's voice saying, "If your friends jumped off a bridge, would you do it, too?" (Well, that was before bungee jumping was cool but, still, no.) :-)

  61. -Dan- - Aug 30, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    I actually agree with the umpire. I mean, it's not a really big thing, but he's been doing this kind of stuff for too much time, and it's not something a baseball player should do. Let's hope this thing (which luckily came in the ninth when the Nats were leading by 4, so didn't have much impact on the game) will really help him to manage his anger, or umpires will always be against him, and this could hurt the Nats in a pennant race matchup.

  62. JD - Aug 30, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    NL, Throwing or shattering bats is one thing. Slamming your helmet to the ground in frustration is something else. Sorry, they are not playing chess here; they should be allowed to express some emotion. This is total BS and it's all about an umpire wanting to show up a young player. Bryce wasn't putting anyone in danger and should have been disciplined or even reprimanded.

  63. JD - Aug 30, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    Should not have been.

  64. JD - Aug 30, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    Dan, What are you talking about? You can't get angry at yourself after you have hit into a double play? Have any of you been watching baseball for the past 50 years? This happens all the time and there's nothing wrong with it.

  65. Swift Eagle - Aug 30, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    Every player knows you're not supposed to spike your helmet like that…You're taught in Little League that helmets break when you do that, and coaches hate buying replacements…Most youth/HS coaches will bench players for throwing a helmet…The players know it's a No-NoOf course, lots of MLB players still do it, ejecting Bryce was another example of selective enforcement…

  66. Andrew L. - Aug 30, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    You never know when a play like Bryce's can really hurt your team.Morse was already out of the game. Tracy was used as a pinch-hitter. Lombo replaced Espi at 2nd. Bernadina and Werth were in which left only Tyler Moore as the remaining outfielder and Flores as the remaining bench player.The what-ifs go to if the game went to extra innings the Nats would have been super thin.That play was a Deja Vous moment for me as a former coach and parent. We were in a tournament and one of our best players spiked his helmet down after his consecutive hit streak was snapped. Not only was he thrown out of the game, he was thrown out for the remainder of the tournament and hurt his team. Our team eventually lost in the Finals.

  67. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 30, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    Best athlete on the team (except for maybe Bernie), and the smartest. Keep the fire. It's what drives him.

  68. NatsLady - Aug 30, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    I grant that it's selective enforcement. Something Bryce will have to deal with for a long time.

  69. -Dan- - Aug 30, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    JD,I've actually been playing baseball for 15 years, and believe me, throwing the helmet or the bat it's one of the most frustrating things that can happen on the field. I don't say this have never happened before or, when it has happened, player were always ejected, but I don't see any problem in seeing a player who regularly does it being ejected. What if every out turned in someone smashing his equipment? It would be REALLY annoying, and probably it wouldn't be baseball anymore

  70. Andrew L. - Aug 30, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    The kid I referred to that spiked his helmet was 9 years old at the time and never did it again.I need to ask him one day about it as I'm sure he still remembers. By the way, he's 18 years old and turned into a great lefty player and was Drafted but took a scholarship to LaSalle University: will have to share with you all one day our stories of playing on adjacent fields with Bryce Harper. Even when Bryce was 12 to 14 years old everyone on travel ball knew who he was in the tournaments and that was before his Sports Illustrated cover.Hope Bryce learned from his experience.

  71. -Dan- - Aug 30, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    And yes, maybe it's really selective enforcement. But it has happened before several times, for example I remind attending a game in 2009 at Nats Park in which Braun got ejected for a play like that

  72. Andrew L. - Aug 30, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    @Swift Eagle said… Every player knows you're not supposed to spike your helmet like that…You're taught in Little League that helmets break when you do that, and coaches hate buying replacements…Most youth/HS coaches will bench players for throwing a helmet…The players know it's a No-No\Exactly. It doesn't happen much but when it does, hopefully lesson learned.

  73. NatsLady - Aug 30, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    JD, of course you get angry with yourself, it's how you express that anger that differentiates mature human beings from children. That's all some of us are saying here: Bryce is full of talent and fire–but if he hurts himself (he has), his team, or the batboy with his antics it won't be funny.

  74. The Fox - Aug 30, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    We all remember when Nyger Morgan threw his glove down on the ground when he did not make a catch and he thought the ball had gone over the wall. When you act out of frustration you can not think clearly and mistakes are made and people can get injuried. You also become a role model for younger kids. When you make it to the show you are a professional ballplayer and you should act accorrdingly.

  75. JD - Aug 30, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    I coached kids as well and when they had tantrums I took them out of the game myself. This does not equate to a major league player in a pennant race showing frustration with himself.

  76. JD - Aug 30, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    I think we beat this issue to death. It's time to discuss something else.

  77. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 30, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    JD, he still is a kid who is playing with adults. These tantrums are getting tiresome to watch.What would have happened if TyMo pinched hit earlier? Strasburg in leftfield.I want to say to Bryce GROW UP!

  78. NatsLady - Aug 30, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    I think we beat this issue to death. It's time to discuss something else.Yup. Will be going to the games over the weekend, in particular looking forward to the Gio/Wainwright matchup. OTOH, seems to me the Nats are not at their best against lefties–of which Garcia is one, correct?

  79. Doc - Aug 30, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    Question, sportsfans.Todd Frazier is listed on the Rookie Leaders of the Nats' Stats MLB Homepage. He was in 41 games and had 112 AB's in 2011. I thought you couldn't be considered a rookie unless you had less than a 100 AB's. Someone please bring me up-to-date.Also, I've been checking that site regularly and TyMo is not listed on it. Wad happened didn't he pay his union dues???

  80. MicheleS - Aug 30, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    JD.. New Topic. Let's break down the Cards:They have a thumper of a line up. Will our Pitchers be able to keep it in check?Is Molina out still?Outside of Wainwright (who we see in the series), how is their Pitching staff?Do our hitters match up against their bullpen? Outside of Motte, who are their good relievers?Off to a meeting soon, so would love to see some insight on this.

  81. NatsLady - Aug 30, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    Interesting article on how the O's are managing to stay in the playoff hunt. Quite a contrast to how Davey/Rizzo work–of course, with a completely different set of issues and talent.Davey and Rizzo seem to aim for stability and roles to allow the players to "express" their immense talent, whereas Duquette and especially Showalter are drawing the maximum out of some marginal players and scraping around the edges.baltimore-orioles-aggressive-roster-moves-keep-them-in-al-east-race

  82. A DC Wonk - Aug 30, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    OK, new subject:Re Davey & team meeting:My only minor quibble is that he should have done it on that off-day before the first Marlins game.I disagree. They were "in" each game against the Phillies. One or two plays could have changed everything. It's easy to think "it's ok, we got this."But after a 9-0 blow-out — _that_ got their attention. It's harder to say "we got this", and some doubts can creep in.Clearly, what Davey did was to get them to throw away those doubts. Reports of the meeting were that he reminded them they are a great team, loosen up, and have fun.That kind of message is more needed after a 9-0 loss. I think he timed it perfectly.

  83. NatsLady - Aug 30, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    MicheleS–are you going to the game Friday? I would love a tee shirt to go with the maybe two dozen I have already. Won't get off work until 6, so probably zero chance I'll get to the game on time.

  84. MicheleS - Aug 30, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    NatsLady, I might be going, what size?

  85. hiramhover - Aug 30, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    DocBasically, the cut off is 45 days on a major league roster, exclusive of Sept call ups, or 130 ABs.

  86. A DC Wonk - Aug 30, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    Outside of Wainwright (who we see in the series), how is their Pitching staff?Kyle Loshe is pitching lights out. 14-2, 2.64, WHIP of 1.080 (better WHIP than any starter on the Nats).Two great relievers: Boggs and Motte (WHIP under 1.0!)Overall, they are sixth in team ERA and 7th in WHIP.As for hitting:Five starters hit over .300 — their team batting average is the best in the NL — by a lot.I want to know, how in the heck are they not in first place? Perhaps they score their runs at the wrong time? They are playing six games under their Pythag.The Cards scare me.

  87. NatsLady - Aug 30, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    MicheleS –medium if they have it. Large otherwise, though large makes me look, er, large(r).

  88. NatsLady - Aug 30, 2012 at 3:14 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  89. NatsLady - Aug 30, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    Wonk, I see you mentioned the bullpen. That is always the first place I look when I see a team with good offense–is the bullpen costing them games?

  90. JD - Aug 30, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    For the Cardinals: Wainwright has been great in August, Lohse and Lynn have been solid all year and Westbrook has been so so. Garcia was out during the 1st half and has been average or below since his return and I think we have a pretty decent history against him. Molina is out; their lineup has been great all year but the Pirates Mc.Donald and Rodriguez shot them down totally over the last couple of days so it can be done.

  91. JD - Aug 30, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    Lohse has also been very lucky. .258 BABIP. Philly is sending Halladay, Lee and possibly Hammels against Atlanta. I will be very disappointed if they don't put forth a similar effort to what they did against us last weekend.

  92. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 30, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    JD, Good synopsis.

  93. JD - Aug 30, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    Wonk, I do agree with you that this is a very dangerous series for us. If we navigate through this weekend and come out still 4 – 5 games ahead of Atlanta I will become very optimistic.

  94. -Dan- - Aug 30, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    Jaime Garcia will be the pitcher tonight, in his last 3 starts against the Nats, he's 2-0 with a 1.65 ERA, while during his last 7 starts, he has a ERA of 4.50. Morse, Bernadina and Espinosa have gone 9-19 combined against him, while LaRoche and Zimmerman have always had trouble against him, both holding a .167 average against him over 6 at bats.EJax in his last 4 starts against the Cards is 0-1 with a 3.46 ERA. Holliday (.308 AVG, 4-13) and Molina (.875 AVG, 7-8) are the only Cardinals hitter with a average against higher than 300.

  95. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 30, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    Hamels may pitch before Halladay based on skipping him due to his stomach virus.

  96. bowdenball - Aug 30, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    NatsLady-The 2012 Nats are pretty much the same against lefties and righties. The balance is one of their strengths in my opinion.Against RHP: 256/318/408Against LHP: .260/.315/.425My concern about the offense at the moment is the lack of walks. The Nats are currently 20th in MLB in walks. The only team behind them that would make the playoffs if the season ended today is the White Sox. Meanwhile, four of the top five teams in the league and six of the top ten would make the playoffs. There's lots of ways to score runs and win, but I'd still like to see them in the middle of the pack at least.

  97. -Dan- - Aug 30, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    I guess i said "against him" too many times, have to read my posts better before sending them from now on. I guess Cardinals problem is that they haven't won many 1 Run Games, just 14 out of 35.

  98. sjm308 - Aug 30, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    Cards really are the real thing. Besides Wonk's evaluation, look at the run differential which I believe is the best in baseball. I feel like this first game is another huge one. Jump on them early and get the lead and its a good day in Washington.I heard last night on TV that when we score first, we have the best record in baseball.Go Nats!!

  99. The Fox - Aug 30, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    Hard to beleive we have not faced the Cards until August 30th?Their middle relief has been responsible for giving back many wins. Marc Rzepczynski who was a good reliever with the Blue Jays is having a tough year on the road with almost a 6 era. A little know fact about Marc, he was 15 years old before he could spell his own name correctly 😉

  100. Doc - Aug 30, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    Thanks for the info on rookie status hiramhover!

  101. NatsLady - Aug 30, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    In the period Mark mentioned (last 11 games) Bryce has only walked once (with 10 K's).

  102. mick - Aug 30, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    The Fox said…Hard to beleive we have not faced the Cards until August 30th?we face them again in St Louis as well

  103. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 30, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    Is that our JD who just called in on 106.7

  104. mick - Aug 30, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    Always love the Cards uniforms, very cool

  105. mick - Aug 30, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    I remember sweet Lou Brock, Curt Flood, Mike Shannon, Tim McCarver, Bob Gibson, Steve Carlton, and Nelson Briles, like yesterday!!

  106. NatsLady - Aug 30, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    Interesting point about the 1-run games. Here is an article that I found a while back and saved on the subject. Another thing about one-run games is they might be disheartening because you mull over the missed chances. I wonder what the W/L record is for a team the game after a 1-run loss. ten-things-about-one-run-games

  107. mick - Aug 30, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    Nelson Briles was a character, he could do one of the funniest and best Nixon impersonations

  108. bowdenball - Aug 30, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    Another interesting thing I discovered while looking at splits- Michael Morse actually has hit right-handed pitchers better than lefties each of the last two seasons. This season the split is somewhat sizable, as his OPS is about 50 points higher against right-handers.Funny how everyone talks about how we'll be desperately short of left-handed bats in 2013 if we don't have LaRoche in the middle of the lineup next year, but nobody bothers to check and see if the absence leaves us especially vulnerable to righties. Given Morse's splits and Harper's presumed continuing development, to me the answer is no.

  109. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 30, 2012 at 3:45 PM

    Danny Rouhier going off now on the Bryce helmet slam.Danny didn't agree with JD on the pitches he us seeing.

  110. NatsLady - Aug 30, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    Didn't hear it. Tuned in just in time for the rant to be cut off by "breaking news" on the NFL front–which turned out to be a rules change on IR. Boy, if they had those rules in MLB Rizzo would be out of luck!!! How is Henry, by the way? Will we see him in September, any "rehab" appearances?

  111. JaneB - Aug 30, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    We never get the Cards here till August, at least not since the last few years. My husband's team growing up was the Cards. I hope this year he has converted enough that I can sit next to him in the stands without having to go take a walk. They are certainly the real deal, and I hope they are in a slump of their own, now. I didn't see Molina on the DL, so my bet is we'll see him this weekend, if not tonight.

  112. JD - Aug 30, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    Wasn't me. Unfortunately I had to do a little work.

  113. JD - Aug 30, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    Does anyone know who the September call ups are?

  114. JD - Aug 30, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    Molina hopes to return today or tomorrow.

  115. peric - Aug 30, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    Harper had the best road trip of all the hitters so we'll see how he does against the Cards,

  116. NatsLady - Aug 30, 2012 at 5:04 PM

    Some analysis of Kris Medlen (who we will probably see again.)As for Medlen's actual stats in his starts…there is mostly a lot of good here. He's allowing just a .492 OPS as a starter, but the .283 BABIP he's allowing actually isn't horrifically low in comparison to other small sample size wonders. Medlen's strikeout and walk rates are amazing, but he's always been able to keep them strong. Then, the elephanst in the room: strand rate and homer/fly ball rate. 95.4% of the baserunners that Medlen is allowing this year haven't scored. The league average is 72.4%. There could be a hefty regression coming in regards to that over the season's final month. As for the homers…well, Medlen has allowed one homer as a starter this year. That one homer has resulted in only 3.5% of his flyballs resulted in home runs. Medlen never has been one to allow homers, but he's not going to keep a rate that low all season. The league average is 11.3%, and the lowest by any qualified starter in baseball this year is 5.9%, held by Johnny Cueto and Jarrod Parker. Over a full season, Medlen's HR/FB will likely end up doubling at the absolute bare minimum.–Joe Lucia, The Outside Corner

  117. -Dan- - Aug 30, 2012 at 5:26 PM

    NatsLady said…Interesting point about the 1-run games. Here is an article that I found a while back and saved on the subject. Another thing about one-run games is they might be disheartening because you mull over the missed chances. I wonder what the W/L record is for a team the game after a 1-run loss. Really interesting article. I've looked for Nats record after a one run loss, and it's right at .500, 8-8 (I didn't count the game after the All Star Break because of the break itself. The record would be 9-8 counting that game). I'll do the same for the Cardinals later

  118. -Dan- - Aug 30, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    The Cardinals, the game after a one run loss have actually a winning record, 11-10. I guess that's what a winning team needs to do, try to limit the damage and avoid the long losing streaks that can cost you a pennant.

  119. Faraz Shaikh - Aug 30, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    I think this link was posted here or somewhere. some of the comments also, very informative.

  120. NatsLady - Aug 30, 2012 at 6:07 PM

    FS–hadn't read that article before, TY.Interesting paragraph. I also think (with the author) that winning close games can be attributed to astute managing and good bullpen–along with luck. Just takes a little BABIP to win or lost a 1-run game. Updating, the Cards bullpen is at ERA of 3.95 today. So apparently they had a good August.One-run records are approximately one part managing, one part relief pitching, two parts team quality, and six parts luck. Maybe seven parts luck. The Cardinals are good, but that's not done them any good. Their relief pitchers have compiled a 4.28 ERA this season, which is 10th in the National League and significantly higher than the league average (3.87). About the managing … well, it's still early but nobody's yet mistaken Mike Matheny for his Hall of Fame predecessor.

  121. Sec.3, My Sofa - Aug 30, 2012 at 6:22 PM

    well, it's still early but nobody's yet mistaken Mike Matheny for his Hall of Fame predecessor.Let's put it this way: do you think Bobby Cox would not have won 1 more game than Fredi Gonzales last season?

  122. natsfan1a - Aug 30, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    otoh, the man is still not afraid to don the tools of ignorance. :-)





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