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On to September

Sep 1, 2012, 4:44 AM EDT

Associated Press photo
Gio Gonzalez got a shaving cream pie to the face after his first career shutout.

Chants of “Let’s go Gio!” as the ninth inning began. A Gatorade shower and shaving cream pie to the face that came moments later. Thumping music in the clubhouse after another lopsided victory. And then applause from those remaining players watching the Braves blow a ninth-inning lead to the Phillies.

These are the sights and sounds of a pennant race, and Washington is smack-dab in the middle of one right now.

A 10-0 whitewashing of the Cardinals Friday night gave the Nationals as many wins as they posted in all of 2011 — one shy of the club record — with 31 games still to play. Atlanta’s meltdown shortly after extended Washington’s lead to 6 1/2 games and lowered the magic number for the NL East title to 25.

“We have a long ways to go, and we haven’t done anything yet,” Ryan Zimmerman cautioned. “But what we have done is give this city a baseball team to cheer for, and they’ve wanted that for a long time.”
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115 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. SonnyG10 - Sep 1, 2012 at 4:56 AM

    Up 20 to nothing in the final game of the World Series and Ryan Zimmerman will be sayingl"We gotta long way to go. Nobody's taking anything for granted.:)

  2. Gonat - Sep 1, 2012 at 8:14 AM

    Happy September 1st to everyone!

  3. Gonat - Sep 1, 2012 at 8:22 AM

    For Theo from Ryan Zimmerman:"This team over here (the Cardinals) is one of the best hitting teams in the league and they are going through the same thing that we just went through. It happens to everyone, no matter how good you are or how bad you are. It is a long season. There is no way everyone can be consistent throughout the whole thing."

  4. Gonat - Sep 1, 2012 at 8:30 AM

    Someone put up the Magic # counter in the upper right-hand corner.

  5. Water23 - Sep 1, 2012 at 10:30 AM

    So, do we send the Marlina & Jeffery Loria a nice bouquet of flowers for outbid the Nats on Beuhrle? With that move, Rizzo took a gamble and traded four players for NatGio and here we are today. In the end, it does seem that both the A's and the Nats have benefited from the trade.

  6. sjm308 - Sep 1, 2012 at 10:41 AM

    Good Morning All!!So after getting home, happy and excited about what I have seen in person two nights in a row. I quickly read Mark's instant analysis and the articles I missed while at the park. Make a comment and go to bed. My spousal equivalent rolls over, in a semi-sleep says "we won" I say yes, and then her next statement wasn't good night but "How did the Braves end up, when I went to sleep they were winning"!!!! This is a lovely women who will go to maybe one or two games if I get her into Stars & Stripes and now even she is following our lads. Things are definitely turning around in Washington DC.Go Nats!! Score First!! Go Playoffs!!thanks for the magic number Mark

  7. Joe Seamhead - Sep 1, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    September 1st and we're 6 1/2 games up! And we're tied for the highest run differential in MLB! Wow! Just, WOW! GYFNG!!!

  8. The Retired Journalist - Sep 1, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    "There'll be a long way to go until there's not any way to go," says Ryan Zimmerman, who must be taking elocution lessons from Yogi Berra.

  9. Faraz Shaikh - Sep 1, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    I was hoping someone will make a comment on run differential. thanks JoeS.btw has a player ever played more than 162 games in a season? it is likely if player is traded from one team to another.

  10. The Retired Journalist - Sep 1, 2012 at 11:04 AM

    The "odds of making the playoffs" page on the Baseball Prospectus website now gives the Nationals a 90.6% chance of winning the division and a 9.3% chance of earning a wild card slot. Yes, that adds up to a 99.9% probability of postseason play.

  11. The Retired Journalist - Sep 1, 2012 at 11:08 AM

    Faraz, it's possible while unlikely due to a trade but if teams are tied for a postseason slot at the end of the regular season they'll play a tiebreaker game, which is treated statistically as game number 163. So anyone who'd played in all 162 for either of the teams in that situation and played in the tiebreaker would play in 163 games that year.

  12. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    Here is the list of players who have played more than 162 regular season games:leadershttp://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/G_season.shtml

  13. natsfan1a - Sep 1, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    Thank you. Thank you very much. :-)"But what we have done is give this city a baseball team to cheer for, and they've wanted that for a long time."

  14. natsfan1a - Sep 1, 2012 at 11:23 AM

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  15. natsfan1a - Sep 1, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    Thanks for the counter, Mark and CSN. Awesome. :-)

  16. Santangelo for President 2012 - Sep 1, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    Completely off topic this morning but I follow cycling even more closely than baseball. And the cycling world is a mess right now. Ran across this story this morning where they talk to Marvin Miller about unions for athletes and thought some of you might find it interesting:http://velonews.competitor.com/2012/08/analysis/commentary-building-a-cycling-union-straight-from-millers-mouth_237069

  17. Another_Sam - Sep 1, 2012 at 11:46 AM

    In the most recent two games, the two starters have pitched what must rank as among the best outings of their careers. Amazing. Keep it coming.

  18. Positively Half St. - Sep 1, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    This is very, very exciting. We truly are at the stage at which posting magic numbers is appropriate. The what-ifs get better all the time, too. If the Nats finish 15-16, the Braves would have to go 22-8 to win the Division. In the same scenario, the Priates would have to go 26-5 to knock the Nats out of the playoffs. You can see how the 99.9% number comes about.(Turning to the empty chair beside me) Yes, Zimm, I know there is a long way to go, but it's my turn to be excited, finally.+1/2St.

  19. Faraz Shaikh - Sep 1, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    thanks for the list NatsLady. Did not know that they sometimes played more than 162 games in a season.

  20. Another_Sam - Sep 1, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    I guess I could look it up. When did the season go from 154 to 162? Wasn't it 154 for quite a while?

  21. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    They had a 3-game playoff to determine the pennant winner in 1962.

  22. JaneB - Sep 1, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    Giddy in Silver Spring writes: I woke up smiling, and the counter at the top makes me smile more! This is the first September in a loooooooong time that I've been excited instead of depressed that it's the last month of the regular season.And nice story about your wife, sjm.It was great to read that the fans truly did pick up Gio last night. I hope we'll be doing that more often, and for more guys. Can't wait to start shouting myself today! Good thing Fox picked up the game and moved it earlier! I don't have to wait as long! Too many exclamation points in this post! I don't care!Welcome John and Eury and Sandy!

  23. Faraz Shaikh - Sep 1, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    1962 in NL and 1961 in AL went to 162 game schedules.Reason for Maury Willis playing 165 games is because Giants and Dodgers were tied after 162 games. They played 3 (instead of one, that is done nowadays) to decide NL pennant.I am gonna go over the list again and discard the players that played extra games due to tie playoff races. I am only looking for players that played more than 162 games because of a trade.

  24. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    1962 for the NL, 1961 for the AL.This was the first 162-game schedule for the National League, as they added the Houston Colt .45s and the New York Mets to their lineup, as the NL returned to New York City, after a four-year absence. The American League had played its first 162-game schedule a year earlier.

  25. Section 222 - Sep 1, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    Third best thing about this morning: the magic number counter. Now I don't have to try to remember how to calculate the stupid thing. Second best thing about this morning: Baseball at 4 instead of 7.Best thing about this morning: Our Nats in 1st place by 6.5 games on Sept. 1. As JoeS said, "Wow, just WOW!".

  26. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    Second best thing about this morning: Baseball at 4 instead of 7.Ha. Now, me, I'm the opposite. Hoping for a 2-3 hour rain day (rain = 30% chance) so I can get to the game. Not selling my ticket. :) :)MicheleS, thanks for the tee. I got there in time to get one, but they only had Large left, so I'm very glad to get the Medium.

  27. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 1, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    Let me stand in for "The Legion of Doom" as all this giddiness just has to stop.First of all, have you all forgotten that 5 game losing streak? Because of that, the Nats are only up a measly 6 1/2 games instead of the 9 or 10 they should be.Second, while Michael Morse did get 3 hits Thursday nite he went 0-5 last nite indicating he has fallen by the wayside and will not be able to muster any power the rest of the season. Didn't you see that weak fly ball to the warning track showing how serious his thumb injury is?And don't get me started on Gio. While he pitched well for the first 4 innings he struggled mightily the next 5 not once getting the side out in order. Horrible!And the big elephant in the room, the bullpen. How are these guys going to accomplish anything if all they do is spit sunflower seeds and tell Clint Eastwood jokes? They've throw a total of one stinking inning since Wednesday indicating a total lack of confidence by Davey.One final note…. the bench hasn't produced anything at all just magnifying the major Rizzo fail.

  28. zregime - Sep 1, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    JaneB, welcome to the shew!Well, y'all, we're on the radar. Everyone's radar, at this point.We're the best team in baseball…or as Ted Williams said, the MFL. (Major and League, yeah, you can guess the middle one.) To quote a little Dylan…how does it feel?Good, right?So what now?Play your game. Play your game. That's what (the late) Herbie Brooks kept saying to the boys during the 3rd period of an Olympic hockey game up in a place called Lake Placid. Play your game.And then a miracle happened.But you know what, my bros and sistahs on Mark's great meeting place? Whe — not if, WHEN –we win it all this year, yes, there will be much rejoicing and popping of corks.But it won't be a miracle. It will be much more a story of a team with best players, winning. As it should be.Humble swag. OUR ballclub. Best team in the MFL.GYFNG!

  29. natsfan1a - Sep 1, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    Programming note (hat tip to the Bog) for those who get MLB Network: set your DVRs for 6:30 PM Saturday or 12:30 PM Sunday for a half-hour My MLB Life special featuring our very own Ryan Zimmerman.

  30. Steady Eddie - Sep 1, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    1961 was also the year the AL added the California Angels and the expansion Senators. The 162 games was especially significant that year because of the debate that that jerk Ford Frick (commish who was buddies with Babe Ruth's widow) engendered re the asterisk next to Maris' name for hitting 61 in more than 154 games. Fortunately, history has overruled Frick.Please, no rain delay! I'm taking my 90 year old Mom to her first game since she took me to see the Nats beat the White Sox with a Don Lock grand slam in 1965.Plus, hopefully this way I can get home to see my Wolverines play Bama.But along with y'all — ain't this great? Crowd last night seemed surprisingly subdued for how dominant we were, until that fabulous "let's go Gio" chant in the 9th.

  31. MicheleS - Sep 1, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    Okay that counter thingy is making me nervous.. I will bust out the lucky rabbit's foot ;-) for luck. Not counting chickens but until that thing is at single digits, I am going to ignore it.But that game was fun last night. I don't know if you all remember the this game from June 15 2011 But I was there for that one and for last night.

  32. Another_Sam - Sep 1, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    NatsJack: to what five game losing streak do you allude? LOLI get your tongue in cheek thought. I'm LOLing. Thanks, man. See you in park on your next trip north. Bring the Gator.

  33. Steady Eddie - Sep 1, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    Nats Jack — great work for a Saturday morning, how did you keep from spraying you second cuppa joe on the keyboard while you wrote it!Also glad to see you were right in your prediction about Garcia. After that little taste of him I got in the Sentors-Baysox game in early April, I'm looking forward to more in September.

  34. Candide - Sep 1, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    When Gio was wearing the Gatorade jug with the shaving cream smile Beast Mode had painted on it, did anyone else flash back to this classic scene from the Marx Brothers' Duck Soup?I can honestly say this was the very best Nats game Cunegonde and I have ever been to. The boys did everything right. And on top of that:1) We got a metered parking at about 5:30, so the hour we needed to pay for cost only $1.00.2) We got "Nationals Wonk" T-shirts.3) The ninth-inning chants of "Lets Go / Gio!" (clap clap clapclapclap) were delightfully out of sync all around the park, proving you can cheer and clap and have raucous fun without some idiot disembodied voice hectoring us to "Every-body clap yo' hands!"4) Neither Cunegonde nor I nor any of the other baby boomers around us could place Werth's walk-up-to-bat music. We were pretty sure it was Led Zep, but finally had to ask an usher (hey, their shirts say "Ask Me!"), who didn't know, but got on his Star Trek communicator thing and a few seconds later had confirmed it was Zep's Dazed and Confused.Best.Game.Ever.GYFNG!!!

  35. Another_Sam - Sep 1, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    Zregime — I too read ball four, and the story of Ted referring to himself in the on deck circle as Ted Effing Williams. I'd not thought of that book, or of TFW's unique self-referential style, in quite a while.Michele — I recall your posting recently saying that your fondness from the game dates to your father taking you to games at an early age. I've read that one basis for a lifetime love of the game is that it's the first topic that one can have a serious discusion with your father about. Worked for me. Mine used to take me to Girffith Stadium to what the club.Steady Eddie — great plan. I hope the game goes perfectly for you. Amazing that you recall that Don Lock game.

  36. Steady Eddie - Sep 1, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    Michele, I wasn't at that one but was the night before (I think it was) where they made up a 6-2 deficit to the Cards with a 6 run rally in the bottom of the 7th and won 8-6. I mention that only because the atmosphere and the fierce and loud cheering in the Park during that rally was a lot like what Nats Park feels like this summer. A real foretaste, in those waning days of Riggleman's tenure (halfway through that 10 game winning streak).

  37. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 1, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    NatsJack, one name from the splintering bench: JAYSON WERTH

  38. NCNatsie - Sep 1, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    Okay, I’m officially confused by the games played list. I get playoff games to determine pennant winners. I get the more-games-because-of-trade concept. But some of the names on the list weren’t either. The ones that caught my eye were Billy Williams and Ernie Banks in 1964. Now I was there for that season, working at WGN in Chicago, the station that carried all the Cubs games. Just to refresh my memory, I checked in the same source where Nats Lady found the last, and the team record is shown as 72-90, which adds up to 162, and jibes with my memory. Billy and Ernie were both with the Cubs the whole season. So what quirk allowed them to play more games than their team did?

  39. NCNatsie - Sep 1, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    Correction, it was 1965, not 1964. My bad.

  40. md_schmidt - Sep 1, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    As I enjoy my morning coffee and revel in the club's success to this point in the season, I was thinking about what changes Rizzo made to produce these results as compared to last year. Obviously a key change has been the individual play of some players who were maybe injured last year, or who are simply producing better this year than last. LaRoche, Espi, Werth, Desmond, Stras, et al. When you look at the rosters, really the key additions have been Gio and EJax. While I cringed seeing the prospects we traded away, you have to recognize how much that has played a role in this season's output. EJax may have commanded a high salary, but he has more than delivered. So to me, those two deals have been the most critical. Beyond that, he made a few more decisions that have paid dividends. Bringing Harper up earlier than many would have recommended has helped. The pickup of Suzuki was a response to all the injuries suffered by the catching corps but was a good one nonetheless. Not to be overlooked is adding M Gonzalez to the bullpen. Early on, he thought maybe Lidge would work out or HRod, but as things unfolded, he added Gonzalez to the mix which has contributed. Opting for Detwiler and making the tough call to send Lannan to AAA was also the right decision. Seems like he knows what he's doing to me. Haven't even mentioned the drafts and some of the talent coming up in the near future, but the club appears to have been built on a pretty good foundation with some flexibility for upgrading and adapting. Oh, and I forgot (almost) to mention his decision to pull Davey into the dugout. No matter how far the Nats go this season, Rizzo has really done a solid job in my opinion. GO NATS!!

  41. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 1, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    Ghost…… you mean that future 6'6", 36 yo back up catcher Jayson Werth? That guy?

  42. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    A's clobbered the Red Sox, 20-2.Just like that, [the] club has equaled its win total from the 2011 campaign — with 31 games still to be played.Sound familiar?

  43. natsfan1a - Sep 1, 2012 at 1:35 PM

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  44. natsfan1a - Sep 1, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    Candide, my husband had to ID the song for me when Werth first used it. (My little brother was the Zeppelin expert in our household.)

  45. natsfan1a - Sep 1, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    p.s. I wouldn't mind seeing footage of FP's air guitar solo. :-)

  46. zregime - Sep 1, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    Another_Sam — You nailed it. Bouton. One of the great sports autobios ever written. Well called sir!

  47. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    Maybe the tie game had something to do with it, NCN.Banks 1965 game loghttp://www.baseball-reference.com/players/gl.cgi?id=bankser01&t=b&year=1965

  48. BigCat - Sep 1, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    Gotta love those Phillies. Took Kimbrell deep in the 9th to tie and then won it with a 3 run bomb in the 10th. That was a devastating blown save for Kimbrell

  49. pRAA with the ISO - Sep 1, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    So what quirk allowed them to play more games than their team did?If a game is called on account of rain before it becomes an official game, the individual player stats still count even though the game doesn't count in the standings. That doesn't happen much any more with the improved drainage systems and such, but back in the day it did occur at least a few times every season.

  50. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    Also, in those days, a game could be called for darkness (2nd game of a doubleheader at Wrigley, for example.) Don't have time right now to see if that happened in 1965.

  51. mick - Sep 1, 2012 at 2:07 PM

    I was able to go last night, what a treat!!!I will toot my own horn.. I said on Wed that I had a good feeling and that it would be along night for Ozzie and his team and I also said that in less than one week a lot of us will feel silly for the doom and gloom talk.

  52. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    Yes, they used to stop games at the first drop when I was a kid. You never saw pitchers in the rain, they didn't have "diamond dry" or any of that stuff.

  53. BigCat - Sep 1, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    The story goes that Ted Williams would psyche himself up for the game during BP by yelling "I'm Ted F-ing Williams. I'm the best f-ing hitter in the major leagues!! Jesus H. Christ Himself couldn't get me out!" Bam! Line drive. "Here comes Jim f-ing Bunning with that little sh-t slider of his! He doesn't really think he can getme out with that sh-t does he!?" Bam! Another line drive. Of course, they say this was done before the public gates opened.

  54. MicheleS - Sep 1, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    Good piece from WaPo about the Reds A reminder of what lies ahead.

  55. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Sep 1, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    @BigCat: That story is true, and Teddy Ballgame was always hitting at Tiger Stadium. That, he said, was the best hitters park in the AL with the best background, short porch in right field, he loved that place at Trumbull and Michigan. That's why he was always hitting off of Bunning.

  56. MicheleS - Sep 1, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    Anyone going to today's game possibly sitting close to the field. Can you please remind Ken Rosenthal that the Nats are more than just 1 player?

  57. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 1, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    NatsJack, that's him. The guy with no power who should be sitting so Eury Perez should be playing.Werth gave a great postgame interview saying it's not about HRs for him, it's about getting on base. I would say he understands his role as a leadoff batter.

  58. Gonat - Sep 1, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    MicheleS said… Anyone going to today's game possibly sitting close to the field. Can you please remind Ken Rosenthal that the Nats are more than just 1 player? September 01, 2012 10:22 AM ______________________________________He can't put his issues with Boras aside as a true professional. He sees Boras=Rizzo=NationalsIts that old issue of guilt by association.

  59. Gonat - Sep 1, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… NatsJack, that's him. The guy with no power who should be sitting so Eury Perez should be playing.Werth gave a great postgame interview saying it's not about HRs for him, it's about getting on base. I would say he understands his role as a leadoff batter. September 01, 2012 10:30 AM __________________________________I know you guys are having fun with Werth's success. Nice being on the right side!

  60. slidell2 - Sep 1, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    Michelle at 10:`14-WaPo should have noted that playing the Cubs and Astros on a regular basis doesn't hurt one's stats.Reds ARE a good team but maybe not that good.

  61. Eugene in Oregon - Sep 1, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    Serious question (not a 'keep Strasburg pitching longer' effort, I assure you): With John Lannan having just been called up (after pitching a complete game a few nights ago), how do the Nats handle him and the rotation between now and mid-September? I'm not aware of any make-up double-headers coming up, so there's no absolute need for Mr. Lannan to pitch. But he needs to keep his arm/body/routine on a starter's schedule, I assume, particularly given the groove he seems to be in. So, do the Nats have him a start a game during this home stand, thus giving the rest of the rotation an off day? Or do they just have him throw a simulated start or two (or three) between now and his formal return to the rotation?

  62. BigCat - Sep 1, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    Sunshine Bobby…..as a kid I read My Turn at Bat. Auto bio on Teddy Ballgame. Great book

  63. Eugene in Oregon - Sep 1, 2012 at 2:47 PM

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  64. Eugene in Oregon - Sep 1, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    BTW, if you're looking for a good Ted Williams book, try 'The Teammates' by David Halberstam. It's a short book that grew out of the research Halberstam did for his better known baseball works. And not only do you get some insight into Mr. Williams, but you learn quite a lot about Dom Dimaggio, Bobby Doerr, and Johnny Pesky

  65. Gonat - Sep 1, 2012 at 2:50 PM

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  66. Gonat - Sep 1, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    Eugene, on the Lannan issue Davey said he won't give away his secrets so we don't know yet but I think you gave the 2 most likely scenarios of being inserted immediately to create a 6 man rotation or throwing simulated games.Keep in mind that John pitched 2 complete games in a row and EJax and Gio both threw long outings.I would think everyone could use an extra days rest and next rest day is Thursday Sept 13th.

  67. BigCat - Sep 1, 2012 at 2:58 PM

    They say the jump from A ball to AA ball is huge and separates the men fro m the boys. Well Rendon k'd 3 times last night and is now hitting a robust .130 in 60 sumthin at bats. He has 1 hr and 1 rbi. Yes…1 ribbie. So lets not move Zim to first just yet. And ever since the colleges put the governor on the trampoline metal bats, Rendon has not shown much power at all. Matt Skole from Ga Tech is hitting .300 at Potomac since his promotion from Hagerstown.

  68. MicheleS - Sep 1, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    Slidell2.. Agree feasting on the Cubs and Astros has helped the Reds, but we have beaten up some bad teams as well. That's what good team do.

  69. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 1, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    John Lannan threw 122 pitches Thursday in his complete game shutout and threw only 87 pitches 5 days before that in his 3 hit shutout if the AAA Barves.That makes 3 Nats starters pushed hard in the last 2 days as Gio threw 119 pitches and EJax threw 123 pitches and Lannan at 122.

  70. Gonat - Sep 1, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    Here's the next 5 games:JZim StLStras StLDet ChiCEJax ChiC (This would be Lannan's normal day)Gio ChiC

  71. natsfan1a - Sep 1, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    Are you saying that JC couldn't hit the curve ball? :-)"Jesus H. Christ Himself couldn't get me out!"

  72. natsfan1a - Sep 1, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    I'd settle for giving his bow tie a snap. :-)"Anyone going to today's game possibly sitting close to the field. Can you please remind Ken Rosenthal that the Nats are more than just 1 player?"

  73. Doc - Sep 1, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    Big bro, and little bro at the top of the lineup has been awesome—almost more than the 3,4,& 5 hitters can handle!GoooooBeard GoooooHarps!!!! GooooooooooNats!

  74. Faraz Shaikh - Sep 1, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    NatsLady, got it right of course that Banks' stats include tie games for some reason. very interesting because neither games lasted more than 11 innings. why would they agree to tie score? one was on opening day so that is even more curious. maybe baseball rules were different to decide a tie game back then. also looking at Banks' game log, I see that after playing 3 games to open the season against Cards. there is one game series between the two sides on April 19th. is that the makeup of the tie? I also see a 5-game series between mets and cubs in july. curious stuff.anyways, I think Reds are an pitching team. Their bullpen is their biggest strength and I don't think we have exactly conquered their starting pitching either (need to re-check). This is the team I would be weary of in postseason, no doubt.

  75. TimDz - Sep 1, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    Hw freaking COOL is it to have a CLINCH-COUNTER on this site?

  76. BigCat - Sep 1, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    What if Harper grew a beard?"Thats a clown beard bro."

  77. Faraz Shaikh - Sep 1, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    I have tickets for next Saturday's game so I would welcome Lannen pitching one of the Cubs game so I can see SS start against Marlins.

  78. The Fox - Sep 1, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    Eugene,From the Nat's Journal in yesterdays WaPost.Johnson said he would add Lannan to the bullpen and have him pitch from there to stay fresh. Lannan will slide into the starting rotation for Stephen Strasburg, who has about two or three more starts left before his shutdown. Johnson said he wouldn’t use Lannan until Sept. 3, his normal schedule “He likes to throw long so maybe we’ll work it out with their bullpen,” Johnson said, joking. “He can throw with their bullpen and they can throw him back.”

  79. Gonat - Sep 1, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… John Lannan threw 122 pitches Thursday in his complete game shutout and threw only 87 pitches 5 days before that in his 3 hit shutout if the AAA Barves.That makes 3 Nats starters pushed hard in the last 2 days as Gio threw 119 pitches and EJax threw 123 pitches and Lannan at 122.September 01, 2012 11:03 AM ____________________________________Lannan did his starts on regular rest while Gio and EJax each had an extra days rest.Gio has thrown 115 pitches and 117 pitches this season so while 119 is a season high it is within his range. EJax on the other hand had a previous high of 111 pitches this year before his new high of 123 on Thursday.

  80. snopes1 - Sep 1, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    A few thoughts about the Nats on this slow Labor Day weekend morning:(1) Q: What do the Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, Kansas City Royals, Cleveland Indians, Miami Marlins, Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros, San Diego Padres, and Colorado Rockies have in common? [Hint: This is a Nats-related question.](2) It's not entirely crazy to start thinking that a Nats-O's World Series is possible. The O's are only two games back of the Yankees for the division title and currently qualify for one of the two AL wild cards. This would be the friendliest "Subway Series" ever, most adult Nats fans have cheered the O's on at some point in our baseball-deprived past.(3) Of course, the O's are doing it with smoke and mirrors. The O's have actually given up more 39 more runs than they've scored. Under the "pythagorean formula" invented by master sabermetrician Bill James, that should translate to a .468 win percentage, rather than their actual .557 win percentage. (4) No smoke and mirrors for the Nats' MLB-best .611 win percentage. After last night's blowout win, the Nats now have a +113 runs scored/runs allowed differential, tied with the Rangers for the best in baseball.(5) Baseball Prospectus has a "Playoff Odds" toy. The algorithm for this is based on the actual record-to-date plus the projected record for the rest of the season, based on their "PECOTA" projections of performance and their estimates playing time for each individual player. They then use these numbers to run through approximately 4 million "Monte Carlo" statistical simulations of the rest of the season. Today's results: The Nationals' playoff odds are 100.0% (95.7% odds of winning the division). [Note to Retired Journalist - BP was slow in updating its Playoff Odds today, so your 7:04 a.m. post actually reflects yesterday's numbers.]Of course, this doesn't mean that BP is saying the Nats are 100% certain to make the playoffs, just that in their 4 million (or so) Monte Carlo simulations, the Nats made the playoffs all 4 million times. But 100% sure sounds good. (Other playoff odds per BP – Braves 88.7%; Orioles 29.0%; Marlins, Mets & Phillies all 0%). (6) A: These are the 11 MLB clubs that do not have a single qualifying starting pitcher with an ERA as good as the Nats' fifth best pitcher (as measured by ERA). Edwin Jackson has a 3.53 ERA, which places him 29th among the 95 MLB starting pitchers with enough innings to qualify for the ERA title. These 11 teams don't have any qualifying pitchers with an ERA as good as Jackson's. (The rankings of the other Nats starters: Zimmermann 2.63, #4; Strasburg 3.05, #17; Gonzalez 3.10, #19; Detwiler 3.32, #23).(7) I've renewed our season ticket package through 2015. This locks in our current prices for that period and gets us a 5% discount for the 2013 season. However, the ticket reps are candid in saying that the Red Carpet Rewards program will be much less generous next year, with more focus on "non-ticket bonuses" (i.e., promotional crap) rather than free games. That's the price of having a winning team, obviously.

  81. Section 222 - Sep 1, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    I know you guys are having fun with Werth's success. Nice being on the right side!NJ and Ghost — Only one commenter here continued to argue that Werth should sit on the pine after he returned. You guys do realize that he's on the West Coast and isn't even up yet at this hour, right? Your put downs are clever, but they may not be hitting their intended target.

  82. Section 222 - Sep 1, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    Eugene — I've been wondering the same thing about how to use Lannan. Awhile ago I suggested that it wouldn't be a bad idea to work Lannan into the rotation right away not to "stretch Strasburg" but to give everyone a little rest and make sure Stras is lined up to pitch in that crucial upcoming Braves series. I'm sure it will be fine to just have him pick up for Stras when the shutdown comes, but both Det and E-Jax have benefited from an extra day off, so there could be an upside to handing the ball to Lannan sometime this week.

  83. Gonat - Sep 1, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    Sect222, Are you saying Peric is a West Coaster? Do you realize its 8:30AM there and most people on the West Coast are up by now. LOL

  84. Section 222 - Sep 1, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    Gonat — Yup. Ever noticed his vociferous posting after midnight? peric, if you're up do say hi. :-) I'm sure we'll hear from him later. I think everyone has noticed that he's been much more collegial since the big meltdown that caused Mark to intervene. Still has some crazy ideas (e.g., re: Werth), but don't we all?

  85. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 1, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    Section 222, my thoughts would be the 6 man rotation and insert Lannan into the rotation after Detwiler and set up for a reshuffle for the Atlanta series on September 14th which should be Stras last start.

  86. Gonat - Sep 1, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    SteveM is West Coast and so is Eugene and I think a few others.

  87. The Fox - Sep 1, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    As for the extra games both Nat's Lady and pRAA are correct with the tied games being suspended do to weather after 5 1/2 innings.Nat's Lady I do think the late games or games stopped due to curfew are picked up where they ended and our not counted as an additional game. I do remember near the end of Tom Seaver's career in Boston he pitched the final inning of a 25 inning game that was stopped due to curfew and the next day he pitched 1 inning got the win and was the starting pitcher for that day and got that win too. By winning 2 games in one day he became the last starting pitcher to have that distinction. It may have been done again since then I don't follow all of baseball like I used to when I was younger. It used to be almost a standard baseball trivia question that's why I have not forgotten it.

  88. Section 222 - Sep 1, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    Some great stuff on MLB Net this morning — An extended interview with Jonny Gomes, which I think was from an earlier episode of Intentional Talk. What a great guy. He raised more than $80K to make sure that all of the families of the Little League team from Petaluma, CA could travel to Williamsburg for the LLWS. Just a very entertaining character. Totally comfortable in his own skin, and superb at bantering with Chris and Kevin. I don't know if Intentional Talk is online, but the interview is well worth tracking down if it is.

  89. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 1, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    Eugene, we apparently should be sleeping now.

  90. Eugene in Oregon - Sep 1, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    Fox: Thanks; missed that NJ post.Section 222: I agree and hope that — or something similar — is what actually happens.I know Davey Johnson doesn't like to fiddle with the line-up too much when things are going well, but I would also like to see Steve Lombardozzi and Tyler Moore get some starts, thus giving the regulars a few breathers. In my mind, at least, it would make sense to have Mr. Lombardozzi start three games each week for the rest of September: one at 2B, one at 3B, and another in LF. All against RHPs. And then let Mr. Moore start at least two games a week, one at 1B and the other in LF, against LHPs. Both have been regularly featured in the line-up this season, so I don't see it as harmful to that elusive 'team chemistry' notion. All that said, I'll rely on the manager to get it right. He's certainly proven trustworthy so far.

  91. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 1, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    222…. our intended targets are those that take the other posters comments seriously.

  92. Section 222 - Sep 1, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    Ghost – I like that rotation suggestion. Davey (hi Davey!), listen to Ghost! If you're confident enough in Lannan to put him in when Stras goes down, why not trust him enough to give everyone a little breather as we prepare for the stretch run? At this point, it's not about getting Stras to the end of the season, it's about getting everyone else there in decent shape for the playoffs.

  93. snopes1 - Sep 1, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    >pRAA with the ISO said…>So what quirk allowed them to play more games than their team did?>If a game is called on account of rain before it becomes an official game, >the individual player stats still count even though the game doesn't count >in the standings.PRAA – I think this isn't correct — if a game is called before it is a regulation game, it's replayed in its entirety and the stats for the innings that have been played don't count. The MLB Rules on this are a little convoluted, but here goes. – Rule 10.03(e)(1) says that the statistics for a called game are included up until the moment that play ended, but this is only for "regulation games"Rule 4.10 defines "regulation games" and reads in relevant part:(c) If a game is called, it is a regulation game:(1) If five innings have been completed;(2) If the home team has scored more runs in four or four and a half inningsthan the visiting team has scored in five completed half-innings;(3) If the home team scores one or more runs in its half of the fifth inning to tie the score….(e) If a game is called before it has become a regulation game, the umpire-in-chief shall declare it “No Game.”For what it's worth, Wikipedia says the same thing — stats for games rained out before they become an official game don't count. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainout_(sports)http://www.ehow.com/list_6770192_rules-baseball-game-rain-out.html

  94. natsfan1a - Sep 1, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    222, that sounds like the "best of IT" episode. For those who don't get MLB Network, live streams, podcasts, and highlight/interview videos are available here.

  95. Section 222 - Sep 1, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    NJ – Oh, so you're teaching the rest of us a lesson, is that it? Seems to me that the only people who are taking those particular comments seriously are those that argue with them, or mock them. And that includes you. Poking the beast isn't the best strategy here, especially when the beast is sleeping.

  96. natsfan1a - Sep 1, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    Agreed on the poking front, 222.

  97. Eugene in Oregon - Sep 1, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    Ghost: You're west coast, too? Didn't know that. I don't know where you are, but — knock on wood, here — my fervent hope is that a certain team draws San Francisco in the playoffs. If that happens, I'll be scratching and clawing to find tickets (and a way to reschedule a class or two) so that I can get there. Knock on wood, yet again.

  98. BigCat - Sep 1, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    I wouldn't put it past Davey to run 3 lefties out there against the Braves. Det, Gio and Lannan.

  99. natsfan1a - Sep 1, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    There's also an IT video podcast link.

  100. Faraz Shaikh - Sep 1, 2012 at 4:11 PM

    out of Ejax, GG, and JL, I trust EJax to pitch on regular rest after a high pitch count start more than the lefties. I would lineup SS, RD, and JL against Braves.

  101. Faraz Shaikh - Sep 1, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    I would like that to be SS's last start this season.

  102. pRAA with the ISO - Sep 1, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    It sure was a lot less argumentative around here while Section 222 was gone. No one was picking fights with anyone. Just sayin…

  103. Section 222 - Sep 1, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    Thanks for the IT info 1a. I resisted that show for awhile — a bit loud and silly for my taste, but it's growing on me. They do good interviews and really let the players' personalities come through. I wasn't able to find the Gomes interview, but here's one with Josh Willingham for ex-Nats fans.

  104. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Sep 1, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    MicheleS said…Anyone going to today's game possibly sitting close to the field. Can you please remind Ken Rosenthal that the Nats are more than just 1 player?September 01, 2012 10:22 AM It won't make any difference. Bow Tie Boy is all about strictly show business these days. He's fighting a losing battle trying to keep pace with ESPN's Buster Olney, who at least still has some credibility left. All Bow Tie Boy is trying to do is audition for EPSN. I'll tell you how you can really rattle the guy: start chanting "Baltimore Evening Sun, Baltimore Evening Sun" whenever Rosenthal is within earshot.

  105. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 1, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    I snark, therefore I am. Guilty as charged.

  106. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Sep 1, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    BTW, Mark, I love the playoff/division magic number countdown clocks. And what a great time to start it, September 1.I went out last night and the place was rocking. The ninth inning chant for Gio was amazing. And now I find out his Mom was there. Given his loquaciousness, she probably started it. Apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

  107. Section 222 - Sep 1, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    I'm a big fan of yours too pRAA. My poking the beast admonition doesn't apply to you because I don't have to do anything but speak my mind for you to come up with a nasty retort. It's like you lie in wait to criticize me. Whatever.

  108. Section 222 - Sep 1, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    Pretty sure someone linked to this already, but Rosenthal has clearly gone off the deep end on Stras. Now he thinks that Rizzo should leave the decision in Scott Boras's hands. Here's the conclusion which may be the most nonsensical 65 words ever written:"Better for Rizzo to shift the onus to Boras and take it off of himself.Why should Rizzo be beholden to Boras — or any agent, for that matter? Why should he continue to foster the perception that the interests of one player supersede the interests of the other 24?Oh, there’s a way out, all right.Rizzo is cornered, but only by his own choice."

  109. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 1, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    Eugene, SoCal for much of the year and other destinations for the rest of the year. Up at 6 most days and asleep by 11 most nights. And yes, I have run into StanK already since he's been here.

  110. natsfan1a - Sep 1, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    You're welcome, 222. I found three Gomes items on the second (podcast) link, for February 7, April 30, and July 12.

  111. JD - Sep 1, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    As we saw the last couple of nights the Nats don't have any starting pitching once they shut Stras down

  112. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 1, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    Section 222, we discussed Kenny yesterday but my new revelation is that he wants the onus on Boras to blame him.Again, not sure why Scotty and Kenny don't like each other, but clearly Kenny wants to keep dredging it up on Stras.

  113. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 1, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    JD, it really trivializes the accomplishments of the other 5 (including Lannan) when the outsiders fixate on Stras.It's called a baseball team not a tennis doubles.

  114. pRAA with the ISO - Sep 1, 2012 at 5:16 PM

    At the Sideline Reporters Annual Picnic every year, Ken Rosenthal is the only one who has to look up at Kristina Akra.

  115. natsfan1a - Sep 1, 2012 at 5:18 PM

    Good one. :-D

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 72 53 --
ATLANTA 66 61 7.0
MIAMI 63 63 9.5
NEW YORK 60 68 13.5
PHILADELPHIA 56 71 17.0
Through Wednesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
THU: Diamondbacks at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
FRI: Giants at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
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.
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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