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Aug 30, 2012, 4:00 PM EST

They snapped a five-game losing streak last night in Miami, thanks to Bryce Harper’s two home runs, Ross Detwiler’s strong start and Drew Storen’s impressive escape act in the bottom of the eighth. Now the Nationals return to South Capitol Street for an 11-game homestand, beginning tonight against the contending Cardinals.’s Chase Hughes, the Washington Times’ Amanda Comak and I will have plenty to discuss when we tape our latest episode of Beltway Baseball. But we also need your questions for consideration. Submit them here in the comments section and we’ll pick the best ones to answer on the show (the final version of which will be posted tomorrow morning).

  1. joemktg - Aug 30, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    Assuming the Nats win the NL East, who is the odd man out of the post-season three man rotation?

  2. do1teach1 - Aug 30, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    Mark,I was on a clubhouse tour last year, and I read all the MLB memos and directions that were on the main bulletin board–the one at the main door to the locker room. The board also has big posters on proper uniform wear, etc.I am certain I read an MLB memo that instructed players not to throw helmets after being called out at first base. I am certain of this. I can't remember if it said players would be ejected if they did this, but my general recollection is that is what it was telling players.Am I right? Isn't this why Harper was tossed? Isn't this also why we don't see players spike their helmets all the time when they get called out at first?Thanks/NatMan

  3. hiramhover - Aug 30, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    Predictions for Sept call-ups? In particular, what do you predict for DL exiles like CMW and HRod?

  4. Stew Magnuson - Aug 30, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    In light of the 2014 All-Star decision, what are the chances that Washington will get an All-Star game 2015 or beyond. Are we being snubbed?

  5. peric - Aug 30, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    What happened to Nate Karns? Is he shutdown? Is he injured?

  6. NatsLady - Aug 30, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    Is it me or is Craig Stammen practically side-arming some of his pitches? Did he always and I didn't notice or is this a new approach?

  7. jcj5y - Aug 30, 2012 at 5:02 PM

    Adding on to the first question above: What does the Nats' rotation look like for a postseason series? Does Gio or Zimmermann get the game 1 start? Jackson or Detwiler in game 3?

  8. Doc - Aug 30, 2012 at 5:06 PM

    Wad's up with Matt Purke??He's been DLing a long time.

  9. TimDz - Aug 30, 2012 at 5:14 PM

    What's up with the MASN television rights dispute?This can potentially screw the team out of millions in yearly revenue …Will the Lerners stand for this?

  10. DC - Aug 30, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    What are your thoughts on the Nats trying to trade for Granderson if the Yanks resign swisher and move gardner to CF? Is there any chance of that happening?

  11. Eugene in Oregon - Aug 30, 2012 at 5:27 PM

    It seems obvious to me that if the Nats are going to play deep into October, they'll have to rely on continued solid pitching. Sure, they'll also need some timely hitting, but I don't see this as a team that's going to win many September and October games on the strength of its offense. They got here on the pitchers' arms and they'll have to ride them as far as they can.My concern recently, however, has been that the pitchers seem (my impression, from a distance) to be getting tired, or at least a bit ragged. But then I check the stats/splits and I can't find any significant drop-off in August. The starters are about where they were in May and June; the relievers are actually doing better in August in several important categories than in earlier months. But to my eye it doesn't look that way. And I can't help but worry about the unevenness of many of the recent pitching performances I've been watching.What is your impression — as someone who watches the team in person, on a more-or-less day-to-day basis — of how well the pitching staff is holding up? Are they ready for the rest of the season? For the playoffs? Or are they looking (in person) tired and on the verge of being spent? I'm hoping for a positive answer, but I can't help but worry a bit.

  12. jcj5y - Aug 30, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    Zim's only hit 1 HR and 7 doubles in August, with a .412 slugging percentage. Also a couple of awkward throws in the past two weeks. Any sense that his shoulder pain is returning, or that he might be due for another injection leading up to the playoffs?

  13. Faraz Shaikh - Aug 30, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    When was the last time 3-man rotation used in postseason?

  14. Dave - Aug 30, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    Most fans would assume that the signing of Suzuki was directly attributable to the atrocious caught stealing numbers. Now with him in the fold it has become clear that the majority of the blame lies with the pitching staff.I believe it is a huge problem if the Nats actually make it past the WC game.Do you have a sense if the staff is taking on the challenge to improve this year, or are they chalking it up to youth and ah "we will work on it next year".

  15. Sec.3, My Sofa - Aug 30, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    To follow up on Dave's question, alternatively, is it more of an organizational philosophy of "Get the hitter" rather than spending time and energy on the runner? They were so dominant early on, it was as if they could afford to say they didn't care whether the occasional runner was stranded at first or second–all the same to them.

  16. Steady Eddie - Aug 30, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    As long as we're on the subject of "what's with pitchers on the DL" with Karns and Purke — any news about Cole Kimball? Last I saw was a brief clip that he had started Florida rehab in late June and could throw 100 feet, but nothing since. Is there much chance he could come back next year?

  17. Sec.3, My Sofa - Aug 30, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    Or again, in the alternative, is this a function of Pudge's influence lost? Not that Flores and Suzuki don't take pride in their defense, but Pudge seemed to really focus on holding the runners at a high level.

  18. Sec.3, My Sofa - Aug 30, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    … which includes handling the pitchers, not just catch-and-throw.

  19. hiramhover - Aug 30, 2012 at 6:32 PM

    When was the last time 3-man rotation used in postseason?Yankees, 2009, no?Controversial at the time, but obviously worked for them.As to the signing of Suzuki–it wasn't just the caught stealing #s. Flo was clearly wearing down and had a rotating (and dwindling) cast of AAA guys spelling him.

  20. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 30, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    Cole Hamels will pitch Sunday vs Atlanta Barves

  21. Dave - Aug 30, 2012 at 6:44 PM

    @ Hiram, JFlo was definitely wearing a little bit but the other guys were doing an admirable job (sans Maldonado)Solano – 11 for 35 .314/.351/.571Leon – 7 for 28 .250/.344/.321 (10Ks ugh).They were pretty short stints Suzuki durability and game calling at the MLB level was probably also a factor.

  22. Doc - Aug 30, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    Dave and hiramhover:Ah, c'mon guys, don't get me started on JFlo and Suzuki again!Unnnnnnnnnnnnnnnncle!!!!

  23. hiramhover - Aug 30, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    DaveSome of the back-ups did do well in short stints but also had some DL trips.Agree about Suzki's game calling and durabilty, esp. considering how badly Flo seemed to be wearing down as the primary catcher–in July, his slash line was .167/.190/.183, and a wRC+ of -3.

  24. Dave - Aug 30, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    Welcome to Catcher Talk, looks like its time to turn the channel Doc.

  25. sjm308 - Aug 30, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    Hi Mark:Tomorrow is the last day a player can be added to the roster and be eligible for the playoffs. I realize this is Nationals Insider but do you see any teams making a move this late in the season?The Dodgers might have lost their closer, anyway that HRod is dangled to them? Final question, what do you think they will do with CMW?ThanksGo Nats!!

  26. natsfan1a - Aug 30, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    otoh, it would be kinda funny if the Nats played in the postseason before getting an All-Star game. imho.Stew Magnuson said… In light of the 2014 All-Star decision, what are the chances that Washington will get an All-Star game 2015 or beyond. Are we being snubbed? August 30, 2012 12:27 PM

  27. Pilchard - Aug 30, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    Here is my question:Among NL teams only the non-competitive Cubs, Brewers and Rockies (who are using a 4 man rotation and massively reduced pitch limit) have fewer complete games than the Nats. What is the explanation for the failure of the starting staff to pitch deep into games? Is it an organizational decision to protect a young staff? Is it a general philosophy that 6 innings is a reasonable expectation for a starting pitcher?

  28. Sec.3, My Sofa - Aug 30, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    While leaving the answer for Mark, I would like to point out that you can't "fail" at something you weren't trying to do in the first place. Calling it a failure begs the question.

  29. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 30, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    Sec.3, My Sofa said… While leaving the answer for Mark, I would like to point out that you can't "fail" at something you weren't trying to do in the first place.Sure you can. You can fail to try.

  30. JaneB - Aug 30, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    jcy5y has a question similar to mine. When is it time for Zimm to get a new shot of cortisone? He is seeming to fall off his old Zimm self at the plate. How long do they last? I guess they are trying to eek things out for potential October ball, but it sure seems we need to get him productive again now so there will BE october ball. Do you think the two extra days of rest for Det helped him last night? And if so, if there a utility in doing a (don't groan at me, people) six man rotation to get LannEn going and rest the main guys and maybe stretch out Stras?

  31. Sec.3, My Sofa - Aug 30, 2012 at 9:52 PM

    Sure you can. You can fail to try.A fair point.





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