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Rizzo, Strasburg on shutdown

Sep 3, 2012, 12:01 AM EST

Photo by AP

After six innings of work on Sunday, the Stephen Strasburg innings count now sits at 156.1 and the expected shutdown range of 160-180 innings is quickly approaching. Neither Strasburg, Mike Rizzo, or Davey Johnson will say exactly when he will be shutdown, but it has been narrowed to his next two starts.

“I think two starts. Unless I let him pitch 10 the next one out, which I’m not going to. I think his last start will be on the 12th,” Johnson said.

Rizzo wasn’t quite as specific.

“It depends on the same thing it’s always depended on. When we feel that he’s had enough in and around that area of innings, and we take into account all the things we’ve talked about taking into account, stressful innings, pitches, and that type of thing, then we’ll make that decision and shut him down.”

According to Strasburg, he hasn’t been talking with management about the subject as much as one might think. He is keeping his approach day-by-day, trying to block everything out. But with the end of his season apparently near, the Nats’ ace did acknowledge something will have to happen soon.

“I’m just focused on the next start. That’s all I can really focus on right now. But we’re going to have to have a sit down and talk here soon,” he said.Read more »

136 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. NatsLady - Sep 3, 2012 at 12:27 AM

    This was inevitable from the moment he felt that pop in his elbow.

  2. Swift Eagle - Sep 3, 2012 at 12:33 AM

    Shutdown-Gate is almost upon us, although I doubt the conversations about it will end anytime soon…Everyone outside of the viewing area thinks it's crazy…except the doctors, that is. Of course, if they let him pitch, the noise would be just as loud about the Nats "Ignoring medical advice and ruining the Arm of the Century"… There was no way to avoid a controversy (except by having another losing season)

  3. NatsLady - Sep 3, 2012 at 12:34 AM

    This is for Mike Rizzo, who is true to his word. Thank you for "meaningful games in September"–and very probably in October.If you can keep your head when all about youAre losing theirs and blaming it on you,If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,But make allowance for their doubting too;If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,Or being hated, don't give way to hating,And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;If you can meet with Triumph and DisasterAnd treat those two impostors just the same;If you can bear to hear the truth you've spokenTwisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools:If you can make one heap of all your winningsAnd risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,And lose, and start again at your beginningsAnd never breathe a word about your loss;If you can force your heart and nerve and sinewTo serve your turn long after they are gone,And so hold on when there is nothing in youExcept the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch,If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,If all men count with you, but none too much;If you can fill the unforgiving minuteWith sixty seconds' worth of distance run -Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,And – which is more – you'll be a Man my son!-Kipling

  4. Eugene in Oregon - Sep 3, 2012 at 12:34 AM

    Phillies just gave it away; Chipper Jones walk-off HR.

  5. Swift Eagle - Sep 3, 2012 at 12:34 AM

    Chipper with a walk off WOW….

  6. Gonat - Sep 3, 2012 at 12:35 AM

    I know. Crazy. Chipper.

  7. Faraz Shaikh - Sep 3, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    That 3rd baseman of Phillies suck.

  8. Swift Eagle - Sep 3, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    a 5 run 9th for the Braves to win it…Sorry, I was happy when it happened, I simply cannot route for the Phillies…

  9. Faraz Shaikh - Sep 3, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    so does Papelbon.

  10. NatsLady - Sep 3, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    Unbelievable. Barfs won after being down 7-3 in the bottom of the ninth–with Papelbon giving it up.

  11. Swift Eagle - Sep 3, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    or even root for the Phillies…

  12. Faraz Shaikh - Sep 3, 2012 at 12:38 AM

    Swift, I was very much conflicted until the end. I think six and half games up against Braves is not bad at the end of the day. Crushing loss like this for Phillies is fun.

  13. Gonat - Sep 3, 2012 at 12:38 AM

    That has to be a low for the Phillies. To lose a lead like that for Hamels just is horrible when your overpaid closer can't do his job.

  14. NatsLady - Sep 3, 2012 at 12:39 AM

    Talk about a game that could turn around their season. And of course it was Chipper, who else.

  15. Swift Eagle - Sep 3, 2012 at 12:40 AM

    Phillies should move Rendon to 3rd..oh wait,sorry, got confused for a sec…Instead they should just fire Eck…

  16. NatsLady - Sep 3, 2012 at 12:41 AM

    So, who was worried about the Fillies? You are right, I can't root for them. We should be safe with 6.5 lead and a series with the Cubs upcoming (not taking them for granted, of course).

  17. Swift Eagle - Sep 3, 2012 at 12:43 AM

    No, I think the Phillies are dead, but I am concerned about playing them 6 more times, they are tough, esp v. the Nats…I'd be thrilled to go 2-4 in those games…

  18. hiramhover - Sep 3, 2012 at 12:43 AM

    Wow–how are the Phillies going to make the post-season if they keep playing like this?

  19. Eugene in Oregon - Sep 3, 2012 at 12:44 AM

    [Correcting an error and reposting from the previous thread.]Early in the season — maybe even before it started — I recall making a post to the effect that you only need to check the standings three times before the final few weeks of the season: Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day. The Memorial Day check tells you how teams have done out of the blocks; any earlier and they just haven't played enough games for the results to be meaningful. The July 4th peek tells you who's been able to keep it up for half a season and — maybe — who's already out of it. And the Labor Day look tells you who's a serious threat to make the playoffs and who to track over the final month. (Of course, that didn't stop me from checking the NL East standings on an almost daily basis.)With Labor Day upon us, I went back and confirmed what I thought I remembered:– On Memorial Day, the Nats were in first place, 2.5 games in front of Miami;– On the Fourth of July, the Nats were in first place, 4 games in front of the Mets; and– When Labor Day dawns tomorrow, the Nats will be in first place, 6.5 games in front of the Braves.Anyone notice a trend-line there? And can folks say 'consistency'?I'm not ready to declare victory quite yet, and I'm certainly knocking on some imitation wood-grain as I write this. But I can recall telling a professional colleague a few years ago that I wasn't so much demanding a pennant or World Series as I was just looking forward to finally watching the Nats play meaningful games in September. And I'm now getting my wish, a full season earlier than I expected. And maybe we're all going to get just a tiny bit more.

  20. baseballswami - Sep 3, 2012 at 12:45 AM

    Dagger. I just got in from an eight day cruise in the Caribbean. No cel, no internet, no news. I know- tough life. Early this morning I was stewing about what I would find out about the last week for the Nats when I finally got a signal. My friend walked up to me and said – we are still six and a half up, relax and turn on your phone. I have lots of news and highlights to catch up on now. Sounds like Gio and EJax had some good starts and my boy Jordan had some stinkers. Bryce seems to be recovering from his funk — were Werth and LaRoche hurt today? Can't believe it's September and here we are. Magic numbers are being posted. I really need to get back in the loop. Looks like Atlanta won't give up. So should we be worried about the Phils? Feel free to share anything noteworthy that I missed. Glad to be back in the land of the Nats, although I saw many curly W's on the ship! Also many Phils, Mets and Yankees hats and shirts, though. Day off tomorrow and a Nats game. Go Nats!!!!

  21. peric - Sep 3, 2012 at 12:48 AM

    The Cubs (and the Phillies) have nothing to lose and everything to win. Its not going to be easy here on out.

  22. Swift Eagle - Sep 3, 2012 at 12:48 AM

    You have most of the Nats info Swami…but if you Google "Clint Eastwood" you may be a little shocked…

  23. natsfan1a - Sep 3, 2012 at 12:50 AM

    Darn you, Chippa.

  24. hiramhover - Sep 3, 2012 at 12:52 AM

    PericI take your pt–but they don't really have everything to win.

  25. NatsLady - Sep 3, 2012 at 12:55 AM

    Clint Eastwood in a baseball movie, right? "Trouble with the Curve." That's what you get when you Google–I mean, as far as I know….

  26. DWS - Sep 3, 2012 at 12:57 AM

    Anybody got tickets to the Mets game Sept 12?

  27. natsfan1a - Sep 3, 2012 at 12:58 AM

    From the promos, it looks pretty good, NL.

  28. hiramhover - Sep 3, 2012 at 12:59 AM

    I dunno — seems to me Clint threw Romney a great curve.

  29. Swift Eagle - Sep 3, 2012 at 12:59 AM

    Speaking of Meaningful Games in Sept…I was at Nats Park for the last meaningful game in Sept…It was Sept 27, 2008 v. the Marlins…The Nats lost 9-4, decided to cancel the game the next day, ended the season with 3 more losses at Phi to finish 59-102, "ahead" of the 61-101 Mariners….Yes, the Nats turned that #1 draft pick into one S. Strasburg

  30. slidell2 - Sep 3, 2012 at 12:59 AM

    They don't have the "Wrap" up yet at MLB for the Braves-Phillies. Probably had something just about done and then had to do a re-write.

  31. DWS - Sep 3, 2012 at 1:05 AM

    SS shutdown date. According to Davey.

  32. natsfan1a - Sep 3, 2012 at 1:05 AM

    I would guess that's the case, slidell. swami, it didn't sound to me as though ALR was hurt but just getting an off day, but there was nothing definite on that. I believe Werth's hamstring cramped up late in yesterday's game.

  33. natsfan1a - Sep 3, 2012 at 1:07 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  34. natsfan1a - Sep 3, 2012 at 1:10 AM

    New, improved post. Now, with link.Oh, wait a minute, evidently Davey said LaRoche was resting a sore back.

  35. Swift Eagle - Sep 3, 2012 at 1:13 AM

    Actually, the date of that game was Sept 24, 2008…Starting pitcher Tim Redding was the "hard luck" loser that day, giving up only 7 earned in 2+ innings…The game the next day was actually Fan Appreciation Day, and the most fans were happy the game was canceled as part of the "Suck for Stras" campaign…

  36. Candide - Sep 3, 2012 at 1:17 AM

    baseballswami said…Dagger. I just got in from an eight day cruise in the Caribbean. No cel, no internet, no news. I know- tough life.Cry me a river – you think you got it bad? Cunegonde and I are going to be on a cruise the first 1-1/2 weeks in October… and the guy who manages the season tickets for our group is going to want to know this week what two playoff/WS games we want tickets for. I guess we're just gonna go for the gusto – screw the playoffs, go for games one and seven against the AL champs and hope it actually comes to that (worst case scenario – the money for WS tix for unplayed games will go towards our tix for next season).Cunegonde thinks they won't go far in the playoffs. I forgive her, because six months ago, I didn't think the Nats would win more than 85 games this season.

  37. MicheleS - Sep 3, 2012 at 1:29 AM

    CandideCunegonde heard that. 😉

  38. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Sep 3, 2012 at 1:31 AM

    Wow. Kipling on a Nats blog!He was that backup shortstop that went in the Ryan Langershlang deal, right?Thanks, NL.

  39. Candide - Sep 3, 2012 at 1:33 AM

    MicheleS said…Cunegonde heard that. 😉Cunegonde has such good hearing, she could tell what I was typing from hearing the keystrokes.While she was downstairs in the kitchen.Talking on the phone with her mom.

  40. MicheleS - Sep 3, 2012 at 1:43 AM

    CandideShe heard that too! No doubt she is telling her Mom all tje details!

  41. Candide - Sep 3, 2012 at 1:49 AM

    MicheleS, she heard what you wrote…

  42. pRAA with the ISO - Sep 3, 2012 at 1:51 AM

    If the Nats fail to go deep into the playoffs, it won't be because of the Strasburg shutdown. It will be because other teams can steal bases with abandon off every pitcher on their staff, and because their third baseman is turning into Chuck Knoblauch.

  43. JaneB - Sep 3, 2012 at 1:54 AM

    Funny stuff, Candide. And I know you love her, but I think Cunegonde is wrong. Welcome back, swami.The Chipper walk-off will be epic in Atlanta for years. So, now we have a date. It was interesting how definitive Davey was. I, for one, am even more proud to be a Nats fan, because these guys are doing what's right for the player, and the LONG term of the team. I wish it could start a trend in all other areas of life. And welcome to the bigs, Eury. Glad to have you. Go Nats! I can't believe how happy they make me.

  44. Swift Eagle - Sep 3, 2012 at 1:56 AM

    Ryan has 12 errors (9 throwing)…not exactly a huge number…Ramerez and Beltre have 6 and 8…Ryan saves more bases with his glove than he gives up with his arm…

  45. NatsLady - Sep 3, 2012 at 1:56 AM

    Chris Sale is skinnier than Detwiler. Didn't think it was possible.

  46. 5c3cd06e-cef8-11e1-abe6-000bcdcb2996 - Sep 3, 2012 at 2:00 AM

    The reason the Strasburg shut down debate continues to be debated is that there is no overwhelming consensus amongst doctors that Rizzo's handling of this was proper. I can't stand hearing the homers criticize the masses of players and columnists questioning Rizzo, on the grounds of "if they aren't doctor's they can go suck a lemon". A James Wagner piece in the post quoted.."If a team has playoff potential, Texas Rangers team doctor Keith Meister said, he works with Rangers coaches to manage the pitcher's innings: skipping starts, adding an extra day of rest or pushing him to the back of the rotation. He said he generally sticks to the 150-200-inning range in the first full season back, and anything beyond that is worrisome.""I wish I could tell you there was science behind it," he said. "But there is none." "There is no book, no number, no magic, no 'You can pitch all the way until October,' " said Timothy Kremchek, the Cincinnati Reds team doctor. He performs nearly 60 Tommy John surgeries a year on pitchers across the country. "Nobody knows that, and many of us are afraid to take the chance with these guys."This is simply a matter of teams erring on the side of caution with their talent. To propose a mountain of medical evidence exists on this situation is ignorant. If the evidence was out there, no one in their right mind what question the decision.

  47. peric - Sep 3, 2012 at 2:06 AM

    They are now 9 wins short of 90 on the season. Wonder what the over and under of them achieving that milestone before Stras is shutdown?I'd still like to know what happened to Nate Karns? He must certainly have been considered a possibility for the Arizona Fall League. Losing him sure hurt Potomac. He is coming off shoulder surgery that sidelined him for over a year almost right after the draft with a slap tear in his labrum. Did he get shutdown as well?

  48. MicheleS - Sep 3, 2012 at 2:09 AM

    Googlymoogly letters numbers posterI think most of us know there is not some mountain of data to support this, but Strasburg just turned 24, hasn't pitched this many innings anywhere, and Lord knows how many have analyzed his mechanics. Erring on the side of caution may not be popular but is prudent.

  49. baseballswami - Sep 3, 2012 at 2:13 AM

    Catching up — some questions. Did Bryce get ejected from one of the Miami games? Why? Arguing balls and strikes? Corey Brown didn't get called up for September? Perez, Lannan and Leon only? ( Did Peric go absolutely nuts about it?)Is that going to be it? Was there a piece about Ryan's life on mlb? Might there be a site where I can find it? Trying to hit the re-set button here. Also hoping to see Werth and ALR tomorrow. Can't wait to watch a game again.

  50. MicheleS - Sep 3, 2012 at 2:13 AM

    CandideWhat does Cunegonde said about operation shutdown?

  51. JaneB - Sep 3, 2012 at 2:13 AM

    What MichelleS said.

  52. peric - Sep 3, 2012 at 2:16 AM

    This is simply a matter of teams erring on the side of caution with their talent. To propose a mountain of medical evidence exists on this situation is ignorant. If the evidence was out there, no one in their right mind what question the decision. And a lot of these quotes where like taken out of context to some extent in order to make a juicy story.Again, I read the two stories recommended by the SportsBog and Steinburg and came away with an understanding of the logic … THERE IS SCIENTIFIC evidence. To say that there isn't truly is ignorant. The problem with said evidence is that it pertains to teenaged boys who are in their teens, do not pitch as often for as long as a major leaguer.They pitch and are handled differently. Professional pitching is a different animal and far more stressful on the arm. That is an unquestionable fact that any surgeon worth a damn will state without hesitation.But, how can you produce reasonable statistical evidence when your population is small? You can't … that is of course unless you take the the statistical evidence produced by teenagers and use it. For the umpteenth time Stras isn't that old yet so he is likely with 3 standard deviations of the age of the teenaged boys. You can attempt to extrapolate given additional data points such as those Boras and his organization have produced about pitchers who pitched far too many innings, and far too high pitch counts early in their careers. Is it exact science? No. Is any surgery and protocol for recovery exact science? No. Is the protocol for cancer treatment an exact science? No. Remember the Hippocratic oath? First do no harm. By making these statements these "doctors" may have broken the hippocratic oath because to do no harm one must err on the side of caution. In other words take aconservative approach especially when a patient's livelihood is at stake.

  53. MicheleS - Sep 3, 2012 at 2:16 AM

    Swami. If you have MLB network set the DVR for 4 Am on Monday. Ryan and Heather are going to have some beautiful babies.

  54. tayo - Sep 3, 2012 at 2:17 AM

    I think Karns hit innings limit and is shutdown for the year according to the guys on

  55. JaneB - Sep 3, 2012 at 2:17 AM

    Swami, Bam Bam threw his helmet down in disgust at HIMSELF for whiffing, and the umpire ejected him. Some say it's because the ump thought the toss was directed at him. Others say any behavior like that deserves a cruise to the showers. The next night, he got called out at firsthand threw nothing. Kicked to dirt, smiled at the sky, probably pounded something in tne dugout. But I love him still.

  56. MicheleS - Sep 3, 2012 at 2:19 AM

    This is a firstStanding next to Peric nodding and getting an Amen from the congregation

  57. baseballswami - Sep 3, 2012 at 2:20 AM

    Thanks for the quick answers! Setting the dvr now.

  58. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Sep 3, 2012 at 2:22 AM

    Oh. Joy. Yet another Jesus shutdown debate.Sheesh.

  59. MicheleS - Sep 3, 2012 at 2:22 AM

    SwamiMatt Kemp did the same thing with helmet today and nothing happened. Can you say double standard?

  60. peric - Sep 3, 2012 at 2:23 AM

    After Karns, who is on an innings limit after the shoulder surgery, was removed,Yes I know. Per However, it would be nice to get the official announcement as was done with a healthy Alex Meyer in order to serve further notice that this approach is consistent organization-wide and is something the Nats medical staff put together with the surgeons they rely on to repair arm issues.

  61. peric - Sep 3, 2012 at 2:25 AM

    Matt Kemp did the same thing with helmet today and nothing happened. Can you say double standard?He's young, he's brash, he's Bryce … probably how the umpires see him. Noting how quickly Chipper ( a previous critic) warmed up to BHarp once he got to know him at the All Star game. He's a gamer and he's dedicated to baseball … kind of hard for even the most curmudgeonly veteran not to like. Might take some time with the umpires but they'll come around eventually.

  62. Fear and Ignorance - Sep 3, 2012 at 2:30 AM

    5c3 (10:00)-I agree 100%. Rizzo couldn't have handled this more poorly if he had tried. So many things could have been done. When a player is a June blister/sprained ankle away from being able to pitch in the playoffs…the decision to shut him down, and the manner in which it was handled, is so idiotic it defies explanation. The "magic" medical information that Rizzo is using will be obsolete in 10 years, but Rizzo will still be the laughing stock of the baseball world for making this decision.

  63. Candide - Sep 3, 2012 at 2:31 AM

    MicheleS, Cunegonde is totally on board with shutting SS down. She thinks Davey is even smarter than I am.

  64. tayo - Sep 3, 2012 at 2:34 AM

    The "magic" medical information that Rizzo is using will be obsolete in 10 yearsYou Know this how? Pray tell

  65. tayo - Sep 3, 2012 at 2:37 AM

    And If I am Rizzo, I would rather be the laughing stock for this decision than for the alternative decision of allowing Stras to pitch and then him blowing his arm out as a result and putting his future in serious jeopardy.

  66. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Sep 3, 2012 at 2:42 AM

    Two words for the anti-Rizzo set:Kerry Wood

  67. Swift Eagle - Sep 3, 2012 at 2:53 AM

    From Boswell's column:Even WITHOUT Stras, The Nats have 4 of top 15 among starting pitchers in the NL in both ERA and WHIP….and 4 of the top 9 average fastball velocities…Still a pretty good staff I'd say

  68. Fear and Ignorance - Sep 3, 2012 at 3:04 AM

    I love when people mention Kerry Wood as an example of an "abused" pitcher. Sunshine obviously isn't too bright, because Kerry Wood followed the Verducci plan to the letter. I was there. Innings Pitched:1996-1141997-1511998-1761999-Hurt2000-1562001-1742002-2132003-2382004-140 and got hurtYOU CAN'T PREDICT INJURIES!!!!!!!!!!!

  69. 5c3cd06e-cef8-11e1-abe6-000bcdcb2996 - Sep 3, 2012 at 3:05 AM

    @Peric:"But, how can you produce reasonable statistical evidence when your population is small? You can't"Sure you can. Just ask Sunshine Bob @10:42Nothing was taken out of context to mislead. The quotes were taken verbatim, and I am sure Wagner wasn't out to "show up" Rizzo with his article. If anyone needs to put their words in context it is you. You drop "likely within 3 standard deviations" to layman with the obvious intent to show your vast intellect. If I drop standard deviation as measure of stock volatility to a client they will generally stop questioning my logic because, "this guy must know his stuff".

  70. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Sep 3, 2012 at 3:12 AM

    The aptly named Curt Shill-ing sez it's a big mistake to shut down Jesus.Now I KNOW it's the right thing to do.

  71. Fear and Ignorance - Sep 3, 2012 at 3:17 AM

    And Mike Wise supports it, so take your pick. Yeah…what does Schilling know about winning the World Series. Nothing compared to Sunshine I guess.

  72. SonnyG10 - Sep 3, 2012 at 3:49 AM

    What peric said!!!!!

  73. Drew - Sep 3, 2012 at 3:50 AM

    Announcing the Pick to Stick Callenge:Virtual friends, you may recall the discussion about whether the Nats' 2012 draft was Giolito or bust. I suspect there's a Stammen, Lombo or Tommy Milone in there somewhere.Here's your chance to play armchair GM and to do some good in the process. Here's the challenge. Pick one player from the Nats' 2012 draft — other than Giolito — who you think will make the Show one day.If your player ever plays a pitch in the major leagues I — and whoever else decides to play — will make a contribution to the Boys and Girls Club in your town. Same goes for the club in my town if the player I pick makes the majors.Proposed rules:1. You can't pick Giolito. This is about hidden gems.2. You may only pick one player.3. No duplication. As in the draft, once a player is picked, he's off the boards.4. The first person to pick a player gets the player.5. The people who choose to play will decide for themselves how much to contribute and can make the donations privately on the honor system. We're presumably of different means and situations. This is supposed to be fun — and every little bit helps.So, here goes: My Pick to Stick is Outfielder Brandon Miller, the Nats fourth rounder out of Samford University.That leaves 26 other signed players from the Nats' 2012 draft. Get your player while you can.Who else is up for the challenge?

  74. Drew - Sep 3, 2012 at 3:53 AM

    Looks like I'm spelling Challenged.

  75. peric - Sep 3, 2012 at 4:20 AM

    You drop "likely within 3 standard deviations" to layman with the obvious intent to show your vast intellect. One of the basic tenets of statistics? There isn't even any calculus involved. I mean its simple addition, subtraction, multiplication and division? Geometry and Trigonometry are harder to grasp and far more abstract that this dude! But you weren't here when we had fun with Boz's measuring Werth's long spring training home run that bounced and hit his truck in the parking lot. Basically if there is one thing that is consistent in nature its the bell curve or the parabola. The closer you get to the middle the more area you have as the peak rises. The further you get to the outside the smaller the area. Once you get past a certain point measurements almost become meaningless as the curve becomes a straight line that tends toward the horizontal axis in microscopic increments toward that axis. You must have data within the "peak" where there is a significant slope as the parabola curves toward the axis and eventually going out to infinity. Anything within 3 standard deviations is within that range. Because of his relative youth just about any medical type will agree with that. That's fundamental, basic, elementary statistics right? If I am "showing off myintelligence" it doesn't say a lot about our education system … thereis definitely something wrong and some children were definitely left behind. You'd think I was demonstrating that I could prove Fermat's last theorem or something?It doesn't matter what Wagner says since Dr. James Andrews is behind the plan. Or you can listen to Bill James who does know a thing or two about statistics and professional baseball. Perhaps more than doctors since he has access to a larger trove and has a deeper understanding of the relationships between the numbers that your average physician who is not a research fellow at NIH likely would not.Well….I think it is reasonable, yes. There are three issues. There is a belief — which I gather is founded on bad sabermetrics, I don't know — that a pitcher’s injury risk explodes if he increases his innings pitched in a season by more than 30 a year. We can get by that, based on the belief that the original research doesn’t stand up to scrutiny — but then there are two more issues. Strasburg is coming back from [Tommy] John, and he is still very young. You’re asking him to do A LOT for a pitcher one year away from [Tommy] John, and you’re exposing a 23, 24-year-old pitcher to a full workload. If it was me, I’d err on the side of caution. I don’t know that I would have done it exactly the way the Nationals did. Maybe I would have limited him to 80 pitches a start for the first half of the year, and then cut him loose late in the year, rather than the other way. But I think I would have erred on the side of caution, rather than risking another injury. Again, the hippocratic oath: err on the side of caution, rather than risk another injury .. FIRST do NO harm.

  76. zregime - Sep 3, 2012 at 4:25 AM

    Would all of y'all just calm the f down?We just took 3 of 4 against the reigning World Series champs.Only in DC would I read the kind of hysteria on this blog tonight. Holy smokes. You'd think the world was coming to its end…and we're still six and a half up on the Kumar Barves.Oh, and BTW, if some of y'all are that much in love with Jipper Chones, either marry him or become a Barves fan. Ridiculous…Come on people. Cowboy the f up.GYFNG!

  77. peric - Sep 3, 2012 at 4:25 AM

    YOU CAN'T PREDICT INJURIES!!!!!!!!!!!YEAH AND YOU CAN'T PREDICT CANCER EITHER!!!!!!! But you still have doctors making recommendations about things they believe contribute to contracting this malady because there is sufficient evidence, although not conclusive, of a causal relationship between certain lifestyle choices and developing Cancer earlier.

  78. peric - Sep 3, 2012 at 4:33 AM

    zregime? Where is Z-mantis? Bring back the Mantis and have him race the presidents!

  79. peric - Sep 3, 2012 at 4:40 AM

    I love when people mention Kerry Wood as an example of an "abused" pitcher. He was because Riggleman himself admitted that the guy was already hurt and he kept sending them out to pitch.Tell me do you send someone who has a concussion back out to risk another? Because that's what the NFL did and its the basis for what could be a record lawsuit against that league.Morons.

  80. natsfan1a - Sep 3, 2012 at 10:30 AM

    Re. the Ryan Zimmerman special on MLB Network, if you just woke and missed the call to set your DVR for 4 AM, you can go ahead and set it for noon instead.

  81. natsfan1a - Sep 3, 2012 at 10:34 AM

    Gee, I don't think I've heard that line since I was about 10 years old (yeah, that's a really long time). :-)Oh, and BTW, if some of y'all are that much in love with Jipper Chones, either marry him or become a Barves fan. Ridiculous…

  82. Doc - Sep 3, 2012 at 10:41 AM

    Then there was Mark Prior, sportsfans!Probably a bunch more; check with Rick Peterson, now organizational pitching coach with the O's.

  83. natsfan1a - Sep 3, 2012 at 10:47 AM

    Speaking of, er, interesting imperative statements, Boz said that shutdown deniers can kiss his press pass. (No, really, he did.)

  84. MicheleS - Sep 3, 2012 at 11:11 AM

    1A.. that's funny coming from Boz, I hope he gives it to all the pundits over the next 2 months.

  85. MicheleS - Sep 3, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    Drew can I pick all of them? ;-)I really hope we have a Milone, Peacock, JZ in the draft. I always love when guys come out of nowhere to make an impact. Not everyone is a 1st rounder and that is one of the things I love.

  86. MicheleS - Sep 3, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    Sorry.. on a posting blitz..On the game yesterday. I was really worried about Stras on the mound in those conditions. as we have seen, sometimes if things are not perfect he gets frustrated and loses focus. Well that rain yesterday may not have been a down pour, but sure was annoying at times. Light mist to steady drizzle to a couple of heavier bursts now and then. Plus the fact that the ump had no idea what the strike zone was (I watched the replay to confirm) and a 3b with a case of the oopsy daisies.I thought he did really well yesterday, showed signs of improvement on the mound presence.Do love the stories on Zuki working with Eck on shortening his swing. I thought it was great that the Cards tried to run on Bryce. I was sitting next to a Cards fan and he got all excited about the guy tagging up at 3b. I looked at him and said he shouldn't do that, Bryce will gun him down. Next thing that happens.. BOOM, guys is out at the plate.Finally, Clipp's clean inning. I could get used to those. No Maalox needed.

  87. md_schmidt - Sep 3, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    Failure to slow down opponents' running games might cost them a game certainly. If you're referring to poor defense, I would agree that that could cost a team in the playoffs; however I don't feel the Nats' defense has been a liability to this point. If you're referring specifically to Zimm's trouble with 'routine' throws, I would only offer that he saves way more runs with his 'non-routine' stops/throws than he gives up in his errors. To me, the biggest threat of not going deep into postseason has got to be: 1) bullpen implosion and 2) streaky hitting. Those could derail their chances faster than not having Strasburg in my opinion.

  88. MicheleS - Sep 3, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    your morning funny (and Kind of sad at the same time):Eye on Baseball‏@EyeOnBaseballNationals have more road wins than Astros have total wins. That is all.

  89. natsfan1a - Sep 3, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    Michele, makes me think of a friendly and baseball-smart gal I chatted with while riding Metro home from a game last summer. She was in town sightseeing with family, saw my Nats gear and asked if I went to the game (which was against someone other than the Astros, who were her team) and who won it. I told her the outcome and we started talking some baseball. She talked some about Biggio (oops, guess I should have told her to marry him- oh well, next time :-)). She had hopes for a better second half for her guys, as she said that they often picked it up after the All-Star break. I wished her luck once we'd faced them in Houston, which would happen after the break. Turns out they didn't really do all that well after the break either. Now I think of her whenever I read about their struggles. I remember how that feels. Not. fun.

  90. baseballswami - Sep 3, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    Watched the special about RZ ( remember, you can catch it at noon on mlb) and it's a full half hour about him and his family. This is the first time I have seen such openness about his personal life. Very proud to have such a person on our team. Also – reading the BOZ article ( after I waded through the enormous O's junk in the fish wrapper) and I was thinking about the rest of the team's quotes. I have theory — "everyone" is saying the Nats can't win without Stras. This could be a nice little motivating factor for the rest of the team and provide a nice little chip on their shoulders. Sometimes Us against You can be very uniting. The rest of the guys will have something to prove. He is not Gladys and they are not the Pips.

  91. Gonat - Sep 3, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    Here is Desi's slash with RISP: .287/.310/.435/.745 Here is Desi's slash w/ 2 outs & Runner on 3rd:.357/.357/.500/.857 When Eury Perez stole 3rd yesterday in the 7th with 2 outs and Ian Desmond at-bat, you should have had a good feeling about Desi scoring Eury!

  92. Drew - Sep 3, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    In case anyone wants to pick a player for the Pick to Stick challenge, here's who's available, listed with the round the Nats chose him in the 2012 draft.2. 2b Tony Renda3. LHP Brett Mooneyham4. (Drew's pick OF Brandon Miller)5. C Spencer Kieboom6. CF Hayden Jennings7. RHP Robert Benicasa8. SS Stephen Perez9. RHP Derek Self10. C Craig Manuel11. RHP Brian Rauh12. 3B Carlos Lopez13. LHP Elliott Waterman14. RHP Jordan Poole16. RHP Ronald Pena17. RHP Blake Schwartz18. RHP David Fischer19. 1B David Lippincott20. SS James Brooks21. C Austin Chibb22. RHP Will Hudgins23. OF Casey Selsor24. RHP Kevin Dicharry28. SS Hunter Bailey29. RHP Leonard Hollins31. RHP Michael Boyden32. LHP Michael Mudron33. 2B Mike McQuillan

  93. Joe Seamhead - Sep 3, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    Too funny,Swami, re: the Pips.I just went through yesterday's game blog and the post game's. I am now just amused by the clown posters that question Davey Johnson's game management. As I've said before,two things everybody thinks that they can do better are running a restaurant and managing a baseball team. The day that Johnson agreed to manage this team the "plan" got accelerated by a couple of years, at the very least. From this grumpy old man's perspective, anybody that doesn't agree with that fact is just not someone to be taken seriously. The Washington Nationals, and we as their fans, are most fortunate indeed that Davey is providing our guys his leadership. Many of us, and our parents, have yearned for our entire lives for a Washington baseball team to finish a season in first place.While waiting for this, trust me, we got a lot of experience to know what a bad field manager was.

  94. natsfan1a - Sep 3, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    Also writing an index because "you just need to know the alphabet." :-)As I've said before,two things everybody thinks that they can do better are running a restaurant and managing a baseball team.

  95. Joe Seamhead - Sep 3, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    Also, I can't help but to tip my hat to the job Buck Showalter has done in Baltimore. That team is playing way over their heads and have the Yankees very nervous.

  96. Section 222 - Sep 3, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    In case people didn't catch the link earlier, Boswell's take on the Nats without Strasburg is brilliant. I almost spit out my coffee on the press pass line.Talk about a guy who's having fun writing about a winner after all these years.

  97. UnkyD - Sep 3, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    Question: with Stras sitting down, and Det and JZim pitching a notch below their high standards of the first 2/3-3/4 of the season, How would we feel, IF (purely hypothetical, here…) the onus falls upon EJax, Gio and LannEn for the post season? Myself…? I wouldn't be throwing in any towels… It would be a big hit to take, but I'd still classify it as having a fighting chance, especially if the lineup is heathy and in sync…. I'm Not Sayin'…!!! Just looking at a worst case scenario… Det and J are both throwing more than ever before, from this point on… Maybe some extra days off…?

  98. UnkyD - Sep 3, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    Drew… I'll take Mooneyham…. Cool name…

  99. Gonat - Sep 3, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    Classic Boz:"So all of the pundits who say the Nats can’t go to the Series or even win it, just because they won’t have Strasburg, can kiss my press pass."

  100. Gonat - Sep 3, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    5. C Spencer KieboomDefinitely KA-BOOM and the Legion of BOOM

  101. MicheleS - Sep 3, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    Per WapoZack duke up

  102. Gonat - Sep 3, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    Zach Duke taking Henry Rodriguez place on the roster.

  103. Gonat - Sep 3, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    Guess that means HenRod to the 60 Day DL

  104. Steady Eddie - Sep 3, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    And to add to Boz's note, for all the attention-seekers and troublemakers who persist in Shutdownpalooza, here's what a real Nats fan would take as the last word, from Werth: it’s real easy for people not in the organization and not on this team to point fingers and call people names and say that this is what should happen and this is what shouldn’t happen. But the bottom line is, this is our guy on our team. And they’re doing what’s right for him and what’s right for our club long term. And I think it’s great.”Gonat — could you imagine him in the batting order after Harper? BAM-BAM KABOOM!

  105. Steady Eddie - Sep 3, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    Gonat — re Duke and HRod, that's the practical effect of HRod's surgery anyway.

  106. Steady Eddie - Sep 3, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    MicheleS — plus Christian Garcia. Nats Jack will be especially psyched, and I am too after watching him pitch that inning against Bowie in April. Big guy mixing mid-90s heat with nasty high 70s-low 80s breaking stuff is very disconcerting for hitters. Hope it carries equally to the Show.

  107. Gonat - Sep 3, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    Steady Eddie, it still doesn't change much going into the off-season as Duke will be a Free Agent unless tendered a contract. Not sure which Rule 5 guys will come up in the off-season that may need protecting.

  108. baseballswami - Sep 3, 2012 at 2:15 PM

    As far as who pitches IF we end up in the post season — whoever is performing the best as we move toward that time. One thing I have seen in post-season play over the years is that you have to ride the hot hands. Both the Giants and St. Louis had players that were peaking in October. They left popular players off their rosters and went with the ones that were getting it done. At that point it has to be unemotional. If JZ and Det are worn down and shaky then the veteran pitchers will have to take over. I do think Det could do long relief, though.This is one fan that blesses the day we missed out on Buehrle and got Gio instead. That move in itself has given Rizzo enormous credibility with me. Look at the construction of this team over a relatively short period of time – brilliant. I have to say I am still surprised that Corey Brown is not here. Does that puzzle any of you?

  109. Gonat - Sep 3, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    Steady Eddie said… Gonat — could you imagine him in the batting order after Harper? BAM-BAM KABOOM! September 03, 2012 10:04 AM _______________________________Werth was sporting a camo KA-BOOM shirt. I think he probably likes blowing things up!

  110. Gonat - Sep 3, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    Gonat said… Zach Duke taking Henry Rodriguez place on the roster. September 03, 2012 10:03 AM _____________________________________Nationals PR ‏@NationalsPR Nationals select RHP Christian Garcia (#56) & LHP Zach Duke (#30) from Syracuse. RHP Henry Rodriguez transferred to 60-Day DL. #Nationals 10:18 AM – 3 Sep 12

  111. Section 222 - Sep 3, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    I assume Corey will be up when the Syracuse season ends. Perez has more value as a pinch runner than he does, and that's all Davey really needs right now. I for one am going to really enjoy watching Davey work with all the moving parts this month. If anyone can get the best out of a 30-35 man roster, it's him. My biggest worry at this point is JZ. If he's not effective the rest of the way, that pitching staff that allowed Boz to write his classic last night will not be nearly as imposing. I feel much better with Det as our No. 4 than our No. 3.

  112. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 3, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    Gonat, look at you bringing the insiders news of the day.

  113. baseballswami - Sep 3, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    Perez will have value as a pinch runner as long as he follows the directions. Coming up to the bigs and crossing Davey is not a good plan. It worked out, but he better not make it a regular thing. I remember a recent game where Bryce hit really well but missed a cut off man. Which thing did Davey "mention" in the post- game? Missing the cut off man. Seems like a task-master when it comes to doing things the right way.

  114. Drew - Sep 3, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    Thanks, UnkyD.Good luck with Mooneyham, the lanky lefty.Gonat: Are you picking Kieboom, or just musing on his name?

  115. Gonat - Sep 3, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    Drew, both!

  116. Section 222 - Sep 3, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    I think it's a bit much saying that Perez crossed Davey or didn't follow directions. I heard Davey say he didn't like what Perez did, not that Perez disobeyed instructions. Perez thought he had a green light to go if he thought he could steal the base. Apparently he was wrong about that, but I didn't hear Davey say he had been told not to steal. Anyway, at the time I thought — "Ah, now I know why Davey put in Perez and pulled one of his best hitters (Morse) in a tie game. Because he wanted him to steal third to make scoring that go ahead run easier." Guess I didn't read Davey's mind right on that one, but it seemed like a clever play at the time. By the way, did anyone notice Harper calling off Bernadina on the fly ball to right center where he ended up throwing the running out at home? That was pretty cool. The rookie saying, "I got this one."

  117. Drew - Sep 3, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    Good deal, Gonat.Best of luck with the Kieboom Ka-Boom!

  118. RPrecupjr - Sep 3, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    Hey, this is RPrecupjr, not sure why it's calling me "Unknown". Different computer, I guess.I'll be at the game today with my wife, daughter and my folks. We'll be in Sec 416, Row G, Seats in the 20s. Would love to mee some of my imaginry friends if you're there and willing to hike up there :)Today we clinch our first ever winning season!!! To quote Michelle:WoooooofrigginHoooooo!!!!!!GYFGN!!!!!!!!!

  119. Joe Seamhead - Sep 3, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    222, I really don't think that Shark makes that throw.Davey also mentioned that Bryce threw too high up earlier in the season. A great outfielders drill is to take a trash can,lay it on its side facing the outfield and have the players throw to bounce the ball on a one hop into the can. We taught that high throws to the plate were not only not as effective on getting the out, but too often got your catcher injured when he was extended up in the air when a runner came in to the plate.

  120. natsfan1a - Sep 3, 2012 at 2:58 PM

    We're in 409 today.

  121. natsfan1a - Sep 3, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    Heading out now. Later, folks.

  122. sjm308 - Sep 3, 2012 at 3:00 PM

    Just watched most of last nights game on MASN.Good call on Harper calling off Bernadina but did you also notice that Suzuki had to go out and move the bat from in front of the plate while the ball was in the air. Hard to believe all the little things you miss the first time around.Go Nats!!

  123. natsfan1a - Sep 3, 2012 at 3:00 PM

    Oh, yeah. Go, DET! Go, NATS BATS!!

  124. sjm308 - Sep 3, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    Those in the 400 sections – come on down to 308 and say hi to my son and I!! Row E the first 5 seats.

  125. Section 222 - Sep 3, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  126. Section 222 - Sep 3, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    JoeS, totally agree that Bernadina doesn't make that throw. Harper is The New Arm. And to think that the kid first played the outfield in the AFL in 2010. Very, very Impressive.

  127. Section 222 - Sep 3, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    I heartily endorse visits to 308. Very congenial group there. Didn't notice that pro move by Suzuki. That's the kind of thing that makes baseball a great game to watch, and re-watch.I'm going to miss today's game, but it looks like I'll be taking in the rest of the Cubs series at Nats Park. Funny how the Cubs aren't much of a draw, or is it the DNC? If anyone here is looking for seats in the Infield Gallery for T, W, or Th, I'll make you a well below face value offer. Just email me at

  128. NatsLady - Sep 3, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    Will be in 313 today. Expect there will be plenty of time to chat during the rain delays. Later, folks.GO NATS!

  129. Faraz Shaikh - Sep 3, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    1 PM game today? Nice.

  130. Gonat - Sep 3, 2012 at 3:45 PM

    Drew – This kid is doing very well in the Minors. Not sure there will be room for him here. 17. RHP Blake Schwartz

  131. TimDz - Sep 3, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    Question for the wise denizens of this blog:What will happen to John Lannen after this year? He is still under team control, but will get a bump in salary thru arbitration. Ray Knight talked about trading him in the off season, but wouldn't that mean tendering an offer? The other side of the coin is that, if he is non tendered, they risk losing him (although they could always sign him at a lower salary after non-tendering him). The options as I see it are:Offering Arbitration and then attempt to trade him.Non-Tendering him and attempting to resign him at a lower salary.Non-Tendering him and letting him go.Didn’t the Nats trade for Gorzellanny when he was in the arbitration process? Not sure if they would do that with Lannen. Thoughts?

  132. original Nats Fan - Sep 3, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    Drew, I'll take Jordan Poole

  133. peric - Sep 3, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    If Lannan does well in September … and that means he will have to do something he is notoriously poor at: pitch in relief until Stras gets shutdown. Then, they might be able to package him in a deal. Next season Nate Karns should be able to pitch more innings and should make AAA. As will Alex Meyer but they can take their time with him given his still relatively young age. Rosenbaum is still there on the left-hand side. Albeit one wonders if he wasn't injured this season? Or they could bring Lannan back again. A lot depends on what they decide to do about EJax. He isn't under team control next season and is no longer a Boras client. The Nats have been really extremely fortunate this season in that injuries to the starting rotation were relatively minor. With the exception of CM Wang. Next season might be a different story so they have to be prepared for that possibility.

  134. Drew - Sep 3, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    Thanks, Original Nats Fan.Good luck. I hope we'll see another Jordan with the Nats.





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