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Wrapping up an eventful weekend

Sep 4, 2012, 2:15 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Tyler Clippard notched his 30th save of the season yesterday.

If you were out of town over the holiday weekend, you sure missed some eventful stuff at the ballpark. The Nationals took three of four from the Cardinals, informed Stephen Strasburg he'll make only two more starts this season, called up John Lannan, Eury Perez, Sandy Leon, Zach Duke and Christian Garcia from Class AAA Syracuse and lost Sean Burnett, Jayson Werth, Adam LaRoche and Michael Morse for a brief period of time due to injuries.

Oh yeah, and they won their 82nd game of the season, most for any D.C. ballclub since 1969.

Since there's a decent chance you missed some or all of that, let's recap the biggest stories of the weekend, with some links back to the original articles…

– Yesterday's 2-1 victory over the Cubs was the Nationals' 82nd of the year, ensuring the club's first-ever winning season. While the consensus opinion around most of the clubhouse involved shrugs and talk ofRead more »

122 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. natsfan1a - Sep 4, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    Here's to many more such seasons to chronicle. :-)As a reporter, I've obviously got no rooting interest in any team I cover, but I think it's fair to say it's a tad more enjoyable covering a winning team than a losing team. Which has made this season particularly enjoyable to chronicle.

  2. UnkyD - Sep 4, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    " As a reporter, I've obviously got no rooting interest in any team I cover…"————Whatever you say, Mark….;-)

  3. Doc - Sep 4, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    OK MarkMeister, in the interests of objectivity you have to say it—it's probably what makes you so good and the NI a great bit of fun and so hightly successful.However, between you, me, and homeplate, I don't believe it :-) !!!!!!!!!!!!! It's been a great ride Mark, and looking forward to a bunch of Curly W's into October!!!!

  4. Steady Eddie - Sep 4, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    Doc and UnkyD — I think you have to take what Mark wrote very literally: "I've got no rooting interest…" That is, he ain't gonna literally root and display "interest" to the world, but what he may feel inwardly is another matter.Mark, obviously you needn't comment on any of this conversation…..

  5. karlkolchak - Sep 4, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    This seems like a good time to mention that if you add last year's 14-4 finish to this year's 82-52 record it totals 96-56. In other words, the Nats have been playing at a greater than 100-win pace for nearly a full season now.

  6. SonnyG10 - Sep 4, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    Ditto the above.

  7. Section 222 - Sep 4, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    Good stuff Mark. It definitely was an eventful weekend. So many great story lines going on at this point.Your list of possibly injured guys is worrisome. I think all of us are pretty comfortable with the Nats chances of winning the division at this point. But the comfort level goes way down if someone gets hurt, particularly one of our starters. We've had incredible luck so far this year having to use a 6th starter only for doubleheaders. Not sure there's any other team in baseball that has had so few pitchers start games. So if, for example, JZnn is lost to us, that really changes the complexion of the rest of the season. Losing two of our five starters is twice as bad as losing one (Stras). Also, our hitting has really come around since the ASG, but if Morse or ALR is lost for an extended period, that's a problem. We saw that in the Philly series. So along with confidence and exhiliration this morning, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that our guys stay healthy for the next month. BTW, not sure if anyone answered Ghosts questions about the guys in the Price is Right costumes at the game yesterday. They actually said "The Bryce is Right". The outfits were a bit over the top for my taste, but I give them a lot of credit for effort and creativity.

  8. sjm308 - Sep 4, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    Thanks for all the updates Mark!I had missed the Garcia/Dukes post and it was not only a good read but gave me even more appreciation for what both have been through. Very excited to see both in a major league game and like I posted earlier, I was excited to see Davey warming Garcia up in a clutch situation yesterday.Peric & Natsjack have been praising the heck out of both these men and I love seeing them achieve success. I realize we want to focus on the present but I also love looking ahead and won't stop that either. We sure will have lots to talk about as the season continues and the Hot Stove talk will just continue to increase.Go Nats!!

  9. NCNatsie - Sep 4, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    Hey, Mark — that 1996 Northwestern team was something special wasn't it? That was probably the last time I was excited about a team as I am these Nats. And I'm sure you didn't root for the Cats at the Rose Bowl that year.

  10. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 4, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    The Cardinals caught magic last year and someone will catch it this year so why shouldn't it be the Nats. It's anyone's game once you're in the postseason and the Division winner with the best record has a distinct advantage facing the Wild Card but at this point being in any position as the Division winner is great.

  11. Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa - Sep 4, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    222, I think you have to consider Detwiler as replacing an injured Chien Ming Wang, so technically they have lost a starter.

  12. Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa - Sep 4, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    OK, then, this one's for Mark

  13. JD - Sep 4, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    Ghost, I hesitate to declare the race is over because I recall vividly how the Mets blew a 7 game lead with 17 to play about 4 years ago and the Red Sox and the Braves also imploded really late last year. I do however have a sense of optimist for the following reasons: 1)After the 5 game slide the Nats exploded with 5 out 6 including 3 of 4 from a very good Cardinals team. 2)Davie Johnson.

  14. Section 222 - Sep 4, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    Good point Sec3. I had completely forgotten about CMW. Funny how that happened. So the Nats have used only seven starters:Stras – 27 startsGio – 27JZ – 27E-Jax – 25Det – 22CMW — 4Lannan- 2That's still amazing consistency and durability. Matched by any team? Seems doubtful, but one of the stat gurus here can figure it out I'm sure.

  15. JaneB - Sep 4, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    Great post, Mark. We are traveling to Eugene in Oregon's part of the country. But when we saw then won, the two people we were most happy for we're Zimm and you. You stay objective, we know, but you heart has to be etched with some Curlie Ws by now. We will keep that to ourselves, though.

  16. MicheleS - Sep 4, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    222.. check the Reds. I think they have used the same 5 guys all season.

  17. Section 222 - Sep 4, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    Well, forget that. The Giants and Reds have only used 6 starters, as have the Cards. The Braves have used 10, the Dodgers 8. I could just delete my comment, but that would be wrong.

  18. baseballjones - Sep 4, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    I'm guessing someone here has already suggested this, but the Nationals are going to have to hide SS during the postseason. Otherwise, every single time a Nats starter has a bad inning (or even a bad pitch?!), you can count on the TV cameras finding SS and the color guy making some variation of the "what if."

  19. NatsLady - Sep 4, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    Mark may be objective but there were some pretty testy posts during the 5-game losing streak… Everyone is happier now.

  20. Feel Wood - Sep 4, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    Nah, they don't need to hide Strasburg during the postseason. They need to dress him in a #37 Curly W straitjacket and a Hannibal Lecter mask and prop him on the top step of the dugout. Then whenever the other team starts a rally, the mere sight of Davey and Cat ambling over toward him to remove the restraints will be enough to quench it.Although it's probably true that either the doctors or the players union would object to this, so perhaps they could get by with a realistic Strasburg wax dummy while the real Stras lays low in the back of the dugout wearing a Bobby Valentine mustache and glasses.

  21. peric - Sep 4, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    And Corey Brown is on his way after finishing up in Syracuse.

  22. peric - Sep 4, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    As far as testy posts its a damned good thing Fear and Ignorance and his supporters aren't in the medical field. Malpractice suits galore.

  23. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 4, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    Is CMW on the active roster now? A friend saw him in the clubhouse yesterday.

  24. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 4, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    Ghost…..he was in uniform in the dugout during the game.

  25. Donald - Sep 4, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    I know the Nats won't do this, and there's probably some injury-risk reason why, but why don't they push Strasburg into the bullpen now instead of giving him 2 more starts. He could pitch a relief inning every 3-4 days to stay fresh. Imagine having him as an option in the World Series, late in a game. Pitches get moved to the bullpen all the time without getting hurt.

  26. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 4, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    JD, nothing is over until its over but clearly there are a few teams that can't possibly make it without several teams collapsing.Even during the 5 game losing streak I wasn't panicked. It's all about winning series and taking care of your own, business.

  27. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 4, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    Is it me or do some of these people live under a rock?

  28. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 4, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    Case in point for Ghost., just say the 2nd Play In team gets to 87 wins (check the NL standings and you'll see how many teams are close). The "red hot Phillies" would need to go 22-5 just to tie. Not impossible but pretty improbable.

  29. Joe Seamhead - Sep 4, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  30. natsfan1a - Sep 4, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    Which probably makes Mark happier. :-)Everyone is happier now.

  31. Joe Seamhead - Sep 4, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  32. natsfan1a - Sep 4, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    Mark may need to put up a SSS FAQs file. :-)Is it me or do some of these people live under a rock?

  33. NatsLady - Sep 4, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  34. NatsLady - Sep 4, 2012 at 5:20 PM

    Seriously, if we are up 3-1 games in the WS, I could imagine them putting Stras back on the 25-man (injury replaced, Mike, you know how to do that) and letting him throw a pitch or two in the final game (when we're up 10-zip, y'know). The way he pitched helped the Nats get there, and since we have the home field, it could be acknowledged. Mr. Tony is back on and Wilbon gave the "why couldn't they have been more creative?" line. Mr. Tony doesn't take calls, but it's instructive to remember that, in addition to a normal rotation being better for Stras' development, if Stras had started in mid-May or pitched every 8-10 days we might not be leading the NL by 6.5 games. Here are things you hope happen next season:Stras learns to clip his fingernails;Stras doesn't put Hot Stuff on his shoulders in the rain;Stras takes his IV's and pitches in the 102-degree heat;Stras adjusts when hitters sit on his fastball;Stras keeps his cool when fielders drop popups, umps make bad calls, or the mound is muddy.

  35. Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa - Sep 4, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    Is it me or do some of these people live under a rock?If by "live under a rock" you mean "don't spend hours a day in here, like several dozen of us do," then yes, most of the world lives under a rock. Having new people here is a good thing, even though they ask naive questions we're tired of by now. It's when they come in with (Dibble-esque? Dibbelian? Dibble-ite? Dibble-ish? Rosenthaler!) Rosenthaler rhetorical questions about what an idiot Rizzo is, on points that have been busted or mooted months ago, that I get annoyed. But maybe that's just me.

  36. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 4, 2012 at 5:44 PM

    Sofa…..I'm just so over all the continued "why can't they" presentations on Stras.

  37. Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa - Sep 4, 2012 at 5:44 PM

    They need to dress [Strasburg] in a #37 Curly W straitjacket and a Hannibal Lecter mask and prop him on the top step of the dugout. Then whenever the other team starts a rally, the mere sight of Davey and Cat ambling over toward him to remove the restraints will be enough to quench it.Oooh, better yet, have HRod and CMW grow beards, dye them red, and wander around the dugout in #37 jerseys, glaring and snarling like Bryce after a GIDP.

  38. Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa - Sep 4, 2012 at 5:45 PM

    Me too, Jack. Price of the ticket.

  39. Section 222 - Sep 4, 2012 at 5:47 PM

    Donald — Don't be put off by snarky reactions to your comments. Most of us welcome new commenters and new ideas, or even variations on the same ideas. Virtually every suggestion for using Stras's innings in a different way to have him available for some post season pitching has been kicked around here and some people are just tired of the topic. I think Rizzo and whoever he consulted on the Strasburg Shutdown question considered every idea we came up with and many more. They decided it was best for the team and for him to just have him pitch in a regular rotation, every five days, except around the ASG or when off days made it possible to give him a day or two more rest, and run out the string that way. (He actually pitched on five days rest 8 times and 6 days 4 times.)I'm sure when they designed this program, they had little hope we'd still be in the hunt in late September, much less have the best record in baseball. But the JZ template certainly made their initial plan a respectable one though I tend to agree that it wasn't the only choice that could have been made without jeopardizing his health. I'm not surprised they haven't deviated though, even when the heat was turned up by the national media and various know it all ex-players. Rizzo is nothing if not supremely confident in his own decisions.The interesting thing to me is that Davey has commented several times that he thought Stras had more in the tank at the end of certain of his starts but wanted to carefully manage his innings and maximize his starts. Stras only pitched 7 innings 5 times this year, and hasn't done it since July 25. In 9 of his 6 or 7 inning starts he finished with under 95 pitches. So he could have gone out for another inning or at least a few batters quite a few times even without crossing the 100 pitch threshold (which he actually has crossed 10 times so far this year), but Davey didn't let him. So it's clear there was at least some amount of stretching out going on. But while I think every possible permutation was considered, it was clear from the very beginning that they wanted to treat him more or less like a regular starter and not get too cute about saving innings. Most of us here are ok with that. As Boz wrote this weekend, this team has outstanding pitching even without Stras. And it's capable of going all the way with him only serving as a cheerleader and maybe an emergency pinch hitter in an extra inning game.

  40. Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa - Sep 4, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    I'm also over Sweet Caroline, The Wave, "fans" too cool to cheer, Phans In Nats Clothing, people who get up mid-AB, and 4 pm starts to accommodate Fox. But I show up anyhow. And so do you.They had us at "Play Ball!"

  41. Section 222 - Sep 4, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    It's when they come in with (Dibble-esque? Dibbelian? Dibble-ite? Dibble-ish? Rosenthaler!) Rosenthaler rhetorical questions about what an idiot Rizzo is, on points that have been busted or mooted months ago, that I get annoyed.Fair point. I hope you'd agree that Donald's question was not presented in that way. Quite the contrary, it was done humbly and perhaps even overly self-deprecatingly in my opinion. Anyone who is too worn out by the Strasburg Shutdown question could just pass it by. No need for snarky putdowns.

  42. Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa - Sep 4, 2012 at 5:58 PM

    Yes, absolutely. I'd put Donald's question squarely into the naive-but-open bin. It's like that catchy pop song on the radio that you like the first few times, but by the 10,000th time you've heard it in three days, you want to shoot the radio.

  43. Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa - Sep 4, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    Eventually, you get so you don't even hear it anymore. Here's hoping Jack gets there soon.First, there is a mountain. Then, there is no mountain. Then, there is.

  44. JD - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    Section 222, Linda Cohn of ESPN had a story this morning basically saying that the Braves had the same situation with Medlen with the same innings limit but they managed it in a way where Medlen was purposely in the pen for half a season so he can now be in the rotation throughout the playoffs; the slant of the story was clearly favorable to the Braves approach vs. the Nats approach. As NatsLady said many times here; the Nats are in front of the Braves by 6.5 games. If we went the Braves route would we still be 6.5 in front? If the Nats win the division and the Braves have to play in vs. St.Louis then who made the better choice? I think that Rizzo decided right from the get go that he was playing this straight up with no gimmicks and I say more power to Rizzo.

  45. Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    So, Deuces, do you want to answer Donald's question, "Why can't Strasburg pitch out of the bullpen?" or should I?

  46. JD - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    One last point, The idea is to build a team which is in the playoffs or at least in the hunt every year not just this year because what happens in the playoffs has more to do with luck/momentum than anything else. In this sense the maintenance of players health is primary.

  47. Theophilus T. S. - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    This "be creative" stuff is B.S. They skipped Strasburg's spot in the rotation once (after the All-Star break). If they'd done it five more times, he'd have 22 starts — same as Detwiler — and probably about as many innings (140) and in 4-5 more starts — somewhere in the middle of the NLDS — he'd hit his innings ceiling anyway. Think the nattering nabobs would be happier then?

  48. Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    Luck, momentum, and dominant starting pitching.

  49. Steady Eddie - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:10 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  50. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    NatsJack, thanks for the update on CMW. He is still is not listed on the active roster but that doesn't perclude him from sitting on the bench in uniform since he is on the 40 man roster.Just wondering why they wouldn't make it official if he is there to add him to the active roster. Still have to pay him regardless.http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/team/roster_active.jsp?c_id=was

  51. Steady Eddie - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    Sofa @ 1:59 — channeling Casey again? Or Bill Lee?

  52. NatsLady - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    Correct. Davey "tinkered" a little bit, so Stras will make three starts in September and maybe a few more innings than Jordan Zimmermann. Sort of "within the margin of (acceptable)" error. Also bear in mind that with the minor league season over, you don't want Lannan to get too stale sitting in the bullpen. Lannan is a starter and you pretty much want him on a starter's routine–there are only so many side-sessions you can throw, it's not the same as game situations.

  53. Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    Are those my choices? Going with Spaceman, then.

  54. Theophilus T. S. - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:12 PM

    JD — re who made the better choice, Braves or Nats, at the time the Braves were holding Medlen hostage in the BP — and I don't really believe they were counting him to save their bacon at the end of the season, but for the sake of argument I'll assume they were smarter than I think they were — much of their starting rotation was crap. (And still is.) So, now Medlen is the new Maddux and the Braves are still 6.5 behind. Doesn't look very smart to me. The Nats have known pretty much from the beginning their staff was deep enough to row the boat w/out Strasburg. And been proved right.

  55. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    section 222…..you explained the Nats approach to the Stras shutdown perfectly. I've known the approach since ST and have explained the "developement" approach till I'm blue in the face. Most of the time, heck, all of the time I'm told how stupid that approach is. Mostly told this by people that have no clue how young arms are developed in 28 of the 30 organizations. The Nats have been consistant with all their young arms. Karns got shut down around 110 innings and Meyer around 130. Niether one will throw till next February. Bext year both will be allowed approximately a 20-30 inning increase.And you can bet your bottom dollar that Stras will be managed to reach no more than 200 innings.

  56. Steady Eddie - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    Lee may be a better choice as between those two — I was going for the Zen note.

  57. NatsLady - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    Theo, no, they wouldn't be happier. And in a way, it would be worse to sit Stras in the middle of the playoffs, at least worse for his psyche. This way he's got three weeks to stew over it and work through some of the "stages of grief." I doubt he'll get to "acceptance" but he might not punch McCatty out in front of the Fox cameras.

  58. Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    Just wondering why they wouldn't make it official if he is there to add him to the active roster. Still have to pay him regardless.So he won't start bugging Davey to let him pitch?

  59. Joe Seamhead - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    I had a brain flatulence earlier, thus the deleted posts. Anyway, changing the subject, but did you know that only two NL teams had winning records against the AL in inter-league play this year? Also, I came across what I thought was a pretty good baseball trivia question today: Only once in World Series history did the series end on a player caught stealing for the final out. What series, and who was the player?

  60. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:19 PM

    JD said… One last point,The idea is to build a team which is in the playoffs or at least in the hunt every year not just this year because what happens in the playoffs has more to do with luck/momentum than anything else. In this sense the maintenance of players health is primary. September 04, 2012 2:05 PM Luck/momentum. Exactly.I thought Philadelphia was the best team in the Majors the last 4 years and they got 1 World Series and look what happened to their 2012 season. They had (on paper) last year the most dominant looking staff of starters since the 1971 Orioles but it as history shows, it didn't happen and it also comes down to matchups and the Cardinals took them and hung 'em out to dry.The intangibles and the baseball gods work in mysterious ways. Luck/momentum.A guy like Corey Brown could step up the last week of the season and catch fire and find himself on the post-season roster. You just never know which is why this game is so fascinating.

  61. NatsLady - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:19 PM

    In the Braves' defense, sort of–I don't think they knew Medlin was going to be quite this good, and they thought the rest of the rotation was going to be better. So the plan (I assume) was for the Braves to be leading the NL (or close to it); and if that had been the case, who knows if Medlen might not have stayed in the BP until next season or pitched as a starter only in September as Stras did last year. When their rotation faltered, they brought Medlen out and now they look like geniuses. But they haven't made it to the playoffs YET. It's not a stretch to visualize the Dodgers and Cards (or even the Pirates) pushing them out.

  62. Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    Joe, I think that was the Bambino, in the 20s.

  63. Joe Seamhead - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    Hell, I'm still brain damaged about the inter-league play. I think that it was six NL teams.Dolt!!!

  64. Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:22 PM

    Yup. 1926

  65. NatsLady - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:23 PM

    Here's the other thing. Under the new system, one-third of teams make it to the playoffs (counting the WC game). Is it such a stretch to imagine the Nats will be among that 1/3 for the next few years? And, once you are in–things happen.

  66. Section 222 - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    JD — Thanks for pointing out that ESPN story. I think you and NL are quite correct to point out the easy answer to her slant that the Braves approach was superior — the current standings. There's no way to know for sure, of course, but something tells me that Lannan, as good as we was for his two starts so far, would not have been 9-1 with a 2.48 ERA if he had taken Stras's place in the rotation until, say, June 20. As many people have said, "a win in April counts the same as a win in September." Of course, that doesn't answer the question of whether the Nats' approach maximized their wins this year, and it definitely doesn't get to the postseason issue where wins are, actually, more important. I just don't think there was any way to manage Stras's innings to allow him to pitch in the postseason that wouldn't have: (1) interfered with his development; or (2) interfered with the Nats making the playoffs.

  67. MicheleS - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:25 PM

    Donald.. to Add to 222's splendid take on this.There is an organizational philosophy about developing young pitchers. Ramp their innings up so that you don't blow them out young. Alex Meyer got shut down this year at around 139 (in the minor leagues). JZ last year at 161+. And Giolito will be handled the same way. I am sure they are doing it with all the pitchers not just the ones that have been mentioned. It's a good thing because the FO will develop a reputation of taking care of players and not just chewing them up and spitting them out.Other teams are doing this as well, they just don't have the name Strasburg and are not in a pennant chase.

  68. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    If Medlen flopped then what? It didn't matter how they approached it as winning games is winning games and I liked Rizzo's approach with Strasburg. Medlen seems almost a lock to win for them but he pitches only 5 more times for the Braves this regular season. What about their other 4 starters? Not so good. What's up with that Sheets guy and Maholm?The Uggla benching is a long-time coming with that .173 BA the last 2 months and the spotty defense.The thing that blows me away is Chipper Jones playing at the high level he has this year and staying virtually healthy.

  69. Joe Seamhead - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    Ding, Ding, Ding! We have a winner. !926 the Babe for reasons unknown tried to steal second when the Yankees were down in the deciding game.He was a pretty good baserunner, about 50% career, but that was a poor choice on his part.

  70. JD - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    Nats Jack, That's another good point you raise. If you mess around; manage the innings in a way that Stras or someone else can pitch through the playoffs you risk shortening the rest and recovery time the doctors want the young pitchers to have before the start of next season. When you shut Stras down on Sept 12th; his arm has 5 months to heal and recover as little as 3 month if you pitch straight through the end of the world series.

  71. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    JD…..YES! there you have it. It's about conditioning for a starters role AND creating the necessary recuperation period.

  72. MicheleS - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:31 PM

    I nominate Sec 222 and Nats Lady (she did an earlier version of this) to respond to the Stras comments. That way the rest of us can move on and not bash are heads against the wall.

  73. natsfan1a - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:34 PM

    See, that's where the FAQs would be handy. :-)So, Deuces, do you want to answer Donald's question, "Why can't Strasburg pitch out of the bullpen?" or should I?

  74. Joe Seamhead - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:34 PM

    Still trying to change the subject.What say you all now about our new catcher? Suzuki just seems to be getting better and better as he gets more comfortable with the staff.

  75. Section 222 - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    NL, you make a good point about Lannan. That's why I thought it might be a good idea to put him in the rotation immediately and let everyone get a little more rest — plus allow Stras to make his final start a few days later in Atlanta. But I guess Davey and Cat think that a few side sessions will keep Lannan sharp until his likely first start on Sept. 19 against the Dodgers.Assuming we stick with 5 starters, Lannan would make 3 starts, though I can imagine them using the off days on Sept. 13 and 17 to play with the rotation order to try to line things up for the playoffs. How that would be done is a job for Ghost.

  76. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    Did I tell you I really like that Suzuki guy?

  77. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    The Nats have 3 under the radar pitchers in JZim, EJax, and this guy Ross Detwiler.JZim has to get back to using all of his pitches again. This idea of just throwing fastballs and sliders has him looking like he is a relief pitcher. Not sure why he changed because it was working for him before. For Detwiler, different story.Detwiler came back on July 17th with a new approach of throwing fastballs onto the plate with movement. He was trying to live on the inside fastball to RH batters and wasn't getting the calls and that derailed him the 1st half as he was throwing too many pitches.Nobody was harder last year on Ross Detwiler than me and I was right about him then and happily I am right about him now. He has shown the ability to learn and change his approach.Edwin Jackson is another contradiction of successes at all levels. If he can throw quick strikes in the 1st inning and put up zeroes where he has a 7.00 ERA, he will be an Ace.

  78. Steady Eddie - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    Thanks, 222 — you've sparked a couple hours of great "conversation" (leaving out my silly additions above) which is why I love this site, other than when the Nattering Gloomers are rampant.Only thing I would add is to give a little more emphasis to Nats Lady's thought that the Braves thought their starting rotation would be a lot better than it proved to be, especially as to guys like Minor and Teheran.

  79. natsfan1a - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    The FAQ's would be handy here, too. That, or we're gonna need a [boat] load of helmets. :-)I nominate Sec 222 and Nats Lady (she did an earlier version of this) to respond to the Stras comments. That way the rest of us can move on and not bash are heads against the wall.

  80. Section 222 - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    Michele — Continuing in a long line of great statesman from William Tecumseh Sherman through LBJ I say to you now, if nominated I will not accept, and if elected I will not serve.But thanks for your support. :-)

  81. natsfan1a - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    I like Zuke, too. :-)

  82. JD - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    I think that the Suzuki acquisition was greatly under appreciated. You have to be at the game to appreciate his level of competence, calm and experience behind the plate. This stabilized a real trouble spot for the Nats. I am not putting Leon and especially Solano down at all; they did very well given the circumstances but they are both still very raw behind the plate (especially Leon) and catching is an absolutely critical position in a pennant race.

  83. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… Did I tell you I really like that Suzuki guy? September 04, 2012 2:35 PM Talking about luck? How lucky to get him for an A ball catcher. This has been his Spring Training with the pitchers and had a good weekend of work. The Nats will have a glut of catchers going forward and that will be a good thing.I wouldn't be surprised to see Suzuki as the #1 next year and Ramos back to a #2 to get him back slower and JFlo traded.

  84. Section 222 - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    Sec3 — The funny thing is that Donald has almost certainly not checked back in because, as you said, only a few dozen of us spends hours a day in here. If a trees falls in the forest…

  85. NatsLady - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:43 PM

    I've said that a thousand times, too! It's not only the innings, it's that extra month (October) of pitching, and very stressful pitching at that. And if you delay him pitching next year (to give him recovery time), then you eat into next year's chances.

  86. Pipe Dream - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    anyone want a ticket to tonight's game? Outfield reserve (left field, can't remember section) $20. We can meet at centerfield gate.

  87. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:46 PM

    I can yell you Ghost, Tampa Bay is desperate for a #1 catcher.

  88. NatsLady - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    I think Suzuki, after initial adjustments to a new team and league, will be one who greatly benefits from the proverbial "change of scenery." Clearly Gio lobbied for him, and whatever Gio wants Gio gets–as it should be. But the other pitchers are starting to benefit, and his bat is heating up. It's all good.

  89. Section 222 - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    Sec3 and JoeS– I wonder if Ruth would have been safe if he had slid head first…

  90. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    MLBTR has compiled the 2013 team payroll commitments already.The Dodgers numbers are staggering. Nats are 14th in payroll commitments for next year.http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/09/2013-payroll-commitments.html

  91. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… I can yell you Ghost, Tampa Bay is desperate for a #1 catcher. September 04, 2012 2:46 PM They are and so are the Yankees and a few other teams. I was very impressed with Suzuki's leadership while understanding what he stepped into. It really has been Spring Training for him.Happy to see it as its best to ease Ramos back in. Ramos is just better all around so the Nats are in good shape for next year.

  92. Joe Seamhead - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    Many GM's on this blog had Flores traded earlier in the spring. Do you think that his off season value has improved, or gone down since then? Honestly, I always liked Flores, but I felt that he didn't help himself this year, given the chance by Ramos' injury.

  93. MicheleS - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    I like Zuki too! I do appreciate when our posters (Think NatsJack) point out the little things he does, Like kicking the bat out of the way, etc. I have enjoyed the reports on Eck working with him. Looks like he is a keeper.

  94. NatsLady - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    VERY interesting list, Ghost, but it doesn't include arb eligible players, so a bit incomplete if you are thinking of how much money there is available to spend on free agents or extensions.

  95. JD - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    Flores is a decent catcher; better than what the Mets have, the Rays and several other teams. He is not much of a hitter and has some durability issues but he definitely has some value.

  96. JD - Sep 4, 2012 at 7:00 PM

    I dunno Ghost. Ramos can be a very good hitter but his receiving was very so so at the begining of the year.

  97. Snivius - Sep 4, 2012 at 7:00 PM

    Of course Stras would say he wanted to keep going.He's a competitor.Heck, even if his arm is actually starting to bark at him, or if he really DOES believe that he has a greater shot at a few more $30-million seasons if he sits out October in the dugout, why admit it?May as well protest when he knows he's getting shut down regardless.

  98. Section 222 - Sep 4, 2012 at 7:00 PM

    I liked the Zuke trade from the start. Flores simply was not getting the job done as an every day catcher. And we gave up next to nothing for him. Whatever happens next year (and I tend to agree that Ramos may have a battle on his hands to get his job back), this was a trade well worth making.

  99. MicheleS - Sep 4, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    I want Flo to succeed. I think he has been dealt some tough breaks (shoulder) and was just coming back into form when Wilson went down. The everyday beating he took wore him down (thus the Human Bruise Nickname). I feel like since he has been able to rest and heal he is doing really well (so much when our Pro Flo posters start a cheering section for him – and that's a good thing, we should want all of our players to succeed).Plus I would like to see Flo or Det get some post season love – or hardware ;-)

  100. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 4, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    I just went through the MLBTR numbers and found one mistake already which is Chad Tracy already extended for 2013 and is shown as a FA. Interesting, it says Gorzo is under team control for next year and Suzuki has that large option/buyout for 2014.

  101. MicheleS - Sep 4, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    JD.. I think Wilson was a little Chubby coming into Spring Training. Mamma was probably feeding him a TON of food after the kidnapping. That's okay, I figured by late June any extra fluff would have come off. Plus I think most of his receiving issues were with HROD – I think Pudge would have had problems with HROD. And as we have discussed our pitchers need to work on holding the runners. Catcher can only do so much when the pitchers are slow to the plate and ignore runners when they are on base.

  102. TimDz - Sep 4, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    (In support of Donald and in response to some of the regs here):I used to post a great deal earlier in the season, but i saw a trend that pushed me away (this is my take only and not fact). There is truly a high school-like "clique" here, where new commenters or those not "in" the clique are either ignored completely or met with snarkiness. I still read this blog daily, but keep most of my comments to myself. On the times that I have in recent weeks, the comments were basically ignored by those regs talking amongst themselves. Much like the complaints of "bandwagon" fans that show up to the game, instead of embracing them and welcoming them, you bitch and moan about how they act (try enlightening them instead of acting scornfully). The team is playing great now and has attracted a bunch of new (if not frontrunning to a degree) fans. I have followed the team since day one here and have seen this blog morph from a mix of astute seamheads and newbies to a group of haves and have nots. I will continue to read this blog for Mark's superior coverage and insights. As for making comments, I will most likely keep the few and far between, unless I see a change in atmosphere.Again, this is just one person's opinion.

  103. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 4, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    JD said… I dunno Ghost. Ramos can be a very good hitter but his receiving was very so so at the begining of the year. September 04, 2012 3:00 PM You get kidnapped and tell me how your mental side of the game is going. We all saw how good Ramos was in 2011. Ramos will be one of the best catchers in the game and is still a work in progress. Rizzo/Davey both love him and so do the scouts. Suzuki gives them the opportunity to keep the pressure off of Ramos and start him back slowly.

  104. alexva - Sep 4, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    on the Morse matter, this site has a photo sequence of the events. http://www.natsenquirer.com/2012/09/when-michael-morse-pretended-to-catch-a-fly-ball-then-got-benched.htmlhad the ball bounced off Harper's glove Morse would have been jogging back to the dugout rather than backing him up. I'm sure Davey saw the same and will have none of it from his guys.

  105. Feel Wood - Sep 4, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa said… So, Deuces, do you want to answer Donald's question, "Why can't Strasburg pitch out of the bullpen?" or should I?Why can't the Olympic marathon champion come back the next day and win the 100 meters? I mean they're both just running, right?

  106. MicheleS - Sep 4, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    Question: Has anyone seen anything on Jordan? And I am not talking about his comments that he is just fine. His command has been off and well to say he hasn't been Jordan lately is an understatement. Is this just mechanical (shoulder flying open), is he too amped up, or should I really be worried and it's an injury?

  107. MicheleS - Sep 4, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    Harper isn't playing tonight?????

  108. Feel Wood - Sep 4, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    Just wondering why they wouldn't make it official if he is there to add him to the active roster. Still have to pay him regardless.Whether Wang is on the active roster or not, he's going to pitch about as much in September 2012 as Livan Hernandez did in September 2011 – if not less. So really, who cares if he's on the active roster?

  109. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 4, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    NatsLady said… VERY interesting list, Ghost, but it doesn't include arb eligible players, so a bit incomplete if you are thinking of how much money there is available to spend on free agents or extensions. September 04, 2012 2:54 PM The Nats payroll is close to $100 million now (annualized) as Opening Day was $92 million plus the addition of Suzuki.Next years should be $90 to $110 as they have to get . That MLBTR is just actual commitments but like I said it needs updates as Chad Tracy is now under contract for next year.Also interesting is that Burnett according to Cots has a mutual option for next year.

  110. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 4, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    MicheleS said… Question: Has anyone seen anything on Jordan? And I am not talking about his comments that he is just fine. His command has been off and well to say he hasn't been Jordan lately is an understatement. Is this just mechanical (shoulder flying open), is he too amped up, or should I really be worried and it's an injury? September 04, 2012 3:18 PM Velo is great. Just more agitated and like I wrote earlier I think he changed to a fastball/slider guy. His curveball is great and his changeup has to be shown more.Yes, like many pitchers you could see he was opening up his front end more in the Cards game and unfortunately after that 27 pitch first inning it wasn't going to be his day. Davey left him out there too long.

  111. Section 222 - Sep 4, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    Well said TimDz. That's what I was getting at in wanting to take Donald's question seriously. It's always interesting to me that some regular (and quite knowledgable) commenters can be quite negative about certain players from time to time, but are never scorned as being part of the Legion of Doom, while the same comment if made by another less favored person would lead to an immediate tarring and feathering.I haven't yet been deterred from commenting so far but I can definitely see how the atmosphere can be intimidating. And that's a shame. I hope you'll return to the fray more often and know that at least one reg here is on your side.

  112. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 4, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    MicheleS….as promised, Davey said he would rest Harper against certain lefties this month.

  113. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 4, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    MicheleS, they all need rest. Every time I think Danny needs rest he goes out blasting!

  114. alm - Sep 4, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    What TimDz said for me also.

  115. Laddie Blah Blah - Sep 4, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    "I am sure they are doing it with all the pitchers not just the ones that have been mentioned."They are being just as careful with Jack McGeary in the GCL as they are with Strasburg. Rizzo has created a culture of managing the Nats players, at all levels, with their long-term interests in mind, as well as the Nats' own. How many teams would have shown such patience with CMW, for instance? No wonder the Nats are becoming one of the teams players want to play for. You can't give Rizzo enough credit, IMO, for not only turning around the team's performance on the field, but also for turning around the club's reputation as a well-managed team.As some have already noted, above, the Zuke acquisition is looking better by the game. The man had to learn a brand new pitching staff to manage, in the middle of the season, in a new league, where he was unfamiliar with almost every hitter, and had to hit against pitchers whom he had never seen before.This team is very good, but it will get even better in the years to come.

  116. Laddie Blah Blah - Sep 4, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    Oh, Tim, don't be so sensitive. Post here all you want, please. There will always be people here who will put you down, but there are others who will stand you back up.All most people have here are their own opinions, some more informed than others, and you should not be afraid to chime in whenever you have something to say, because even the best connected here often turn out to be wrong.Believe it or not, I have been wrong here on multiple occasions, but, as long as you don't invest your ego in your opinions, you will do just fine.Every large group of normal people form into cliques. That's human nature and is not intended as a slight towards you. The first amendment guarantees the right of free association, and you can think of them as justexercising their constitutional right to do so, and ignore you.That's not a problem unless you think it is, so don't, because it's not.

  117. natsfan1a - Sep 4, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    Very well said, Laddie. I would add that it might not always be a matter of folks ignoring a post. People might not respond to a given post because the subject matter doesn't interest them, because they don't feel qualified to weigh in on the topic, because they're busy and haven't taken the time to read posts (particularly the lengthier ones), or because you were "new posted" (hey, it happens). Not that it matters what I (or anyone else thinks) but I hope that Tim and alm (and Donald, for that matter) will continue to post. I also hope that any lurkers will post when they feel an urge. Sure, sometimes it can get a little prickly in here but that's the interwebz for you.

  118. natsfan1a - Sep 4, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    Or they might be tired of the topic, but that's nothing personal, unless you're Strasburg. :-)

  119. snopes1 - Sep 4, 2012 at 8:26 PM

    I agree with TimDZ. This has started to feel very much like a clique, with only the regular posters' comments being responded to. I posted two substantive and fairly lengthy comments recently, which I put a fair amount of research time and effort into. Complete radio silence. And not for the first time. I know no one is entitled to a response and maybe the postings were boring (one addressed another poster's error in interpreting MLB scoring rules in rained-out games and the other a variety of statistical factoids and Nats-O's post-season fantasies) — but I know I'm not likely to put a lot of time into posting here in the near future. Some of the comments are so much insider jokes that they're almost in code. Section 222, it's not that I'm "intimidated" from posting here. I have a thick skin and I'm a fairly active poster on Baseball Prospectus and elsewhere. It's just that the conversations here seem increasingly insular and self-referential.I've been at every Nats opening day 2005-2012, go to 20-plus Nats games a year, and was a reader of the very first Bill James Baseball Abstract (in a samizdat xeroxed version). I think I know baseball and the Nats and occasionally have some substantive things to say — and I know I am hungry for good Nats discussions. The comments on this page were once "must read" (as Mark's articles continue to be). But now they frankly often remind me of Facebook postings by people I don't know.

  120. natsfan1a - Sep 4, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    In closing, as Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent." (Okay, I'll shut up now. :-)

  121. natsfan1a - Sep 4, 2012 at 8:29 PM

    (Disclaimer: I'd not read the intervening comment when I posted that.)

  122. rabbit34 - Sep 4, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    All you guys should just sit back, relax, and watch the game for the game. Don't analyze anything. You might actually enjoy baseball again!!

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