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Sep 13, 2012, 3:00 PM EDT

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Ryan Zimmerman has hit .339 with 19 homers and 62 RBI over his last 72 games.

NEW YORK — Mark DeRosa was talking to Ryan Zimmerman after last night's game at Citi Field, one in which Zimmerman had homered (yet again) and driven in a run (yet again), and noted how far the 27-year-old third baseman had come since his stunningly poor start to the season.

"You made it back," DeRosa told his teammate.

"Well," Zimmerman responded, "I made it back to where I guess it's respectable now."

OK, so Zimmerman's overall season numbers — a .287 average, 22 homers, 84 RBI, an .835 OPS — aren't off-the-charts good. Especially for a guy who has in his career cracked the 30-homer barrier, theRead more »

  1. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 13, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    The last 2 night's hitting those low pitches for long HRs is impressive. His 60 day totals are off the charts good.

  2. MicheleS - Sep 13, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    And that is why he is the Face of the Franchise.

  3. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 13, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    periculum wrote on NatsJournal:9/12/2012 2:36 PM CDT Lannan has to literally prove that HE TOO IS INA ACE! Its not just DC but the whole country and some parts of the world. HUGE pressure especially from back home in Long Island. If he wants to wear an NY on his uni … he has to come through in every single start from here on out. If he does not he's not going to be remembered for those two double header startsThe Zim story is great but I still think there was a turning point in this season within 24 hours of the most devestating defeat of the season in losing the 9-0 lead in the July 20th game against the Braves. This biggest game of the year was the 2nd game of the doubleheader against the Braves with John Lannan pitching on July 21st. The Nats had just lost 2 straight emotional games against the Braves and the Nats lead was reduced to 1 1/2 games.Lannan is liked by his teammates. Clearly you can read some comments from his teammates (see below). I wonder if it goes further than his personality into a guy who isn't too athletic but was able to do one thing well in throwing a baseball but still didn't have the ability to throw mid-90's, can't bunt, can hit a HR if the ball finds his barrel. Is he the teammate that everyone wants to see exceed? I think there's a bigger story here.From Mark: "I don't think anybody in here was concerned about what John was going to give us," shortstop Ian Desmond said. "We've all seen him enough. … We don't think he has to prove anything to us. We've seen him pitch. He's done well and he worked his tail off down there in Triple-A, and he comes up and picks up right where he left off, if not better.""If you're not pulling for him, you're not human," reliever Sean Burnett said. "To see what he went through in late March and to deal with what he did and the way he handled it … he earned a lot of respect in this clubhouse. We're all pulling for him, and a lot of fans are, too."I wasn't a Lannan supporter until Spring Training 2011 as I saw a better and different Lannan, and while he will never be an Ace he can throw Ace performances like last night and is a good #3-#4 and on this team is #5 because the team has 3 Aces and Detwiler who could very well turn into an Ace.

  4. Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa - Sep 13, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    So, with 19 games left, let's say he gets about 65 more at-bats, he'd need about 27 hits (that'[s approximately .415) to get to .300. He could do that.

  5. LoveDaNats - Sep 13, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    I have followed Zim's career since UVA. He is truly a classy guy and I'm so glad to see him become himself again.

  6. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 13, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    LoveDaNats said… I have followed Zim's career since UVA. He is truly a classy guy and I'm so glad to see him become himself again.Once he can play 155 games with no serious injuries, he can then truly get to elite status. While Zim will probably play in 145 games this year, he played for over a month where he was injured so I'm not sure how many games Zim played where he was at the top of his game. The final stats line is impressive given that point this season where he was falling towards the Mendoza-line.Now we have to hope that Morse gets healthy. This lineup is lethal with Werth, Bryce, Zim, LaRoche, Morse, Desi, Espi, Zuk all healthy and locked in.

  7. hiramhover - Sep 13, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    GhostAgree with much of what you write. But why'd you drag that peric quote over from NJ? I was enjoying his absence from the last few threads.

  8. natsfan1a - Sep 13, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    Agreed re. pulling quotes from comments on other blogs (generally speaking).

  9. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 13, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    hiramhover, He's in hiding because he can't complain about Lannan. A real man stands up and says they were wrong. He won't do that on Werth and he won't do that on Lannan.

  10. Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa - Sep 13, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    And we care because …?

  11. MicheleS - Sep 13, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    LoveDa. one of the things I am happiest about is that this season is what Ryan has wanted all along. He just wanted to compete and win. For all the guys that went through the soul-sucking years, this has to be heaven.

  12. NatsLady - Sep 13, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    Sec 3, I don't know. Sometimes entire threads are hijacked by guys (I assume "guys") hyperventilating about who was right when, who was right first, and who isn't "man" enough to admit he wasn't right.Let me say it now: I've been wrong plenty of times. If I were always right I'd spend my time at the racetrack instead of here.

  13. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 13, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    I can't stand his chicken**** approach to spew his garbage over the Natmosphere and wanted to put it here to see if he has the guts to man up.Like Sean Burnett said, "If you're not pulling for [Lannan], you're not human".

  14. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 13, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    MicheleS said… LoveDa. one of the things I am happiest about is that this season is what Ryan has wanted all along. He just wanted to compete and win. For all the guys that went through the soul-sucking years, this has to be heaven.Think of all the players who left or wouldn't come here in Free Agency because they said winning was central to their decision.

  15. NatsLady - Sep 13, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    BTW, I liked the article a lot. I don't usually go for the "touchy-feelie" stuff when it comes to athletes, but we were ALL worried about RZ, so it's no surprise (and no shame) that he was worried about himself. Had to be hard (as I wrote in an essay at the time) watching stars and future stars like Harper shine while you are struggling at .214 and no end in sight. But in a long season, Harper eventually slumped and RZ rebounded. Now Harper is figuring out lefties and off-speed stuff. Someone wrote that the main benefit of the famous shot was to alleviate the pain for a while so RZ could stop compensating and get his mechanics straightened out. In other words, he always knew how to hit, and he recovered that skill. I'm still not sure what his problem is with the overhand tosses (he made one yesterday that was fine).

  16. JD - Sep 13, 2012 at 4:50 PM

    NatsLady, I couldn't have said it better myself. Not only is each of us wrong occasionally (or more than occasionally) but in fact so are GM's. The practice of saying 'I told you so' does not add any credibility to one's point of view nor does it add anything to the discussion.

  17. Drew - Sep 13, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    Please don't poke the bear.Or squeeze the Charmin.Or eat the daisies.

  18. JD - Sep 13, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    NatsLady, The defense at 3rd especially the throwing is definitely something to be concerned about and I think Ryan will correct it in spring training next year.

  19. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 13, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    JD, Ryan's throwing will hopefully improve. I also think his future at 3rd will largely depend on the development of Anthony Rendon coupled with the team's future at 1st base. It is clear ALR is only staying if he gets a new deal and also consider Morse will be in his last year of his contract next year.

  20. Natslifer - Sep 13, 2012 at 5:06 PM

    I'm all in for everything Nats and love Zimmy as much as the next person but I think this conversation isn't complete unless you talk about the grounder he completely missed and where his throwing is right now. Carp and FP were so shocked they could barely say anything he missed it so badly. I've played a lot of baseball in my life and unfortunately, the way I see it he misses that grounder because he's already thinking about the throw (as opposed to the awesome charging fling a couple innings later). Please disagree with me and set me straight 'cause it made my stomach a little queasy.C'mon Zimmy – get all Zen-like on us and just start ripping it over there!!

  21. natsfan1a - Sep 13, 2012 at 5:13 PM

    What sec3 said (and NatsLady, and JD, and Drew). (I always assume "guys," as well, but I won't go into why so as not to inflame things further. ;-))On topic, agreed with Michele re. being particularly happy for Zim in this special season.

  22. natsfan1a - Sep 13, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    Oh, and me, too, on being wrong sometimes. Only I'd save the world instead of going to the racetrack. 0:-)

  23. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 13, 2012 at 5:28 PM

    Ghost….I get the feeling Morse may not be part of the team next season. Just a hunch.

  24. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 13, 2012 at 5:32 PM

    Natslifer…..I understand your concern on Zims throwing but the grounder is a total fluke That play happens to eberybody at some point and it:s the first one I remember happening to Zim in some time

  25. Eugene in Oregon - Sep 13, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    The new threads are coming fast and furious and I've been away from the computer a lot over the past 36 hours. May I briefly return to the question of a 'balanced' schedule?From reading some earlier threads, it's clear that different folks have different interpretations of what such a schedule might be. My definition is that each team plays each of the other teams in its own league (not simply in its division) an equal number of times. I know that inter-league play changed the equation, as did the arrangement in which the AL and NL had an unequal number of teams.I'm not enough of a math guy to know exactly what would and wouldn't be possible now that the Astros are moving to the AL. But I had hoped and expected — based on a few articles I had read a year or so ago — that the Houston move would allow for a 'more balanced' schedule, using my definition. Maybe not perfectly balanced, but something that reduced the number of intra-division and increased the number against teams in the other two divisions. That obviously didn't happen; in fact we seem to have added intra-divisional games. Not what I had hoped for or expected.

  26. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 13, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    NatsJack, the team controls him next year. Are you thinking a trade? I have talked to a few people that have said the Morse future situation hasn't been decided which doesn't give you a warm and fuzzy feeling. I'm neutral on it right now as we have to see what they do with LaRoche, Rendon, a CF, etc. and then there is the future of Tyler Moore. I just think you have to have a veteran big bat behind Zim which needs to be LaRoche (lefty) or Morse or keep it "as is" with both. Morse has to stay healthy. The team has largely gone through this season without a healthy Morse.This team is built around pitching and I expect next year to be even better but it sure has been nice that the offense has picked up the pitchers a few times.

  27. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 13, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    Tcostant said… Very interesting:http://www.latimes.com/sports/sportsnow/lat-sp-sn-stephen-strasburg-nationals-shutdown-20120913,0,6916702.story Mike Wise was railing over this. This site has put together a good analysis and other quotes to give a smart perspective:http://www.federalbaseball.com/2012/9/13/3326860/los-angeles-times-bill-shaikin-stephen-strasburgs-surgeon-on

  28. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 13, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    Ghost…yes…trade. And it's that lack of warm and fuzzy and knowing Davey draws the line at jovial and is not a fan of"goofy".

  29. SonnyG10 - Sep 13, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    I'm not sure about why Ryan has a hard time throwing from 3rd base. I think its in his head, but then I wonder if he is worried about hurting his shoulder. The problem is as I see it, he is trying to aim the ball to first by soft-tossing. I think he should cut loose and try to throw the ball through the firstbaseman. Kinda like when a pitche trys to aim the ball to the plate instead of trying to throw the ball through the catcher. I know I always had more control when I threw the ball hard as opposed to aiming the ball. But then, I am not in Ryan's body, so I don't know how it is for him.

  30. SonnyG10 - Sep 13, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    **pitcher**

  31. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 13, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… Ghost…yes…trade. And it's that lack of warm and fuzzy and knowing Davey draws the line at jovial and is not a fan of"goofy".That in-game benching was about the "goofy" otherwise I think its more about performance and health. Sub-par defense and the fact he will only appear in about 100 games this year brings his health to the top of the conversation. I still think you need the big hairy bat behind Zim and Morse is that scary guy back there.I wouldn't have Morse swing a bat tomorrow. I would hold him out until he feels better. His bat is needed more in the post-season than the next 2 weeks.

  32. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 13, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    Agree, Ghost. Just adding it all together.

  33. Tcostant - Sep 13, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    Zimm has really come a long way. In May I was convinced if Zimm came up with less than two out he would ground into a double play. Moreover, I was convinced that Harpers base running (streaking a single into a double) was because he didn't want to be doubled up with Zimm.To quote Virginia Slim, "you've come a long way baby"

  34. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 13, 2012 at 6:03 PM

    SonnyG10 said… I'm not sure about why Ryan has a hard time throwing from 3rd base. I think its in his head, but then I wonder if he is worried about hurting his shoulder. The problem is as I see it, he is trying to aim the ball to first by soft-tossing. I think he should cut loose and try to throw the ball through the firstbaseman. Kinda like when a pitche trys to aim the ball to the plate instead of trying to throw the ball through the catcher. I know I always had more control when I threw the ball hard as opposed to aiming the ball. But then, I am not in Ryan's body, so I don't know how it is for him. Not sure what it is but if I had to guess I would agree with you that its mental over physical.

  35. SonnyG10 - Sep 13, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    I also wouldn't be surprised to see Morse traded next year. I really like him, but we have power hitters coming in the pipeline (or already here in TyMo's case). However, Morse has been hitting for average as well as power, so his replacement needs to do both as well. Of course I'd be happy to keep Michael if he can stay healthy.

  36. Exposremains - Sep 13, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    You can almost always tell from Zim body language or face that he is about to make a bad throw. Looks like mental which is hard to fix. The mind can really play bad tricks on you.

  37. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 13, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    Exposremains said… You can almost always tell from Zim body language or face that he is about to make a bad throw. Looks like mental which is hard to fix. The mind can really play bad tricks on you. There is great work sports psychiatrists do. Jake Arrieta of the Orioles is seeing a sports psychiatrist as well as dozens of others. Most that see psychiatrists aren't shared publicly.

  38. Exposremains - Sep 13, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    I think it takes a long time to fix. There is no cortisone shot for the head.

  39. Taino in DC - Sep 13, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    Look like another city paper , was able to pick up the phone and get the opinion from the Doctor that know more than anybody else about SS. Mark you got no phone to make a call ?.This make you look like you are part of the front don't bother to investigate , just agree with Rizzo and failed to do your homework .Here is the link :http://www.latimes.com/sports/sportsnow/lat-sp-sn-stephen-strasburg-nationals-shutdown-20120913,0,6916702.story

  40. natsfan1a - Sep 13, 2012 at 6:25 PM

    :eyeroll:

  41. Laddie Blah Blah - Sep 13, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    "Let me say it now: I've been wrong plenty of times. If I were always right I'd spend my time at the racetrack instead of here."Far more often right than wrong, NatsLady, by far.

  42. Feel Wood - Sep 13, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    Exposremains said… You can almost always tell from Zim body language or face that he is about to make a bad throw. Looks like mental which is hard to fix. The mind can really play bad tricks on you.They basically remade Zimmerman's throwing mechanics several years ago because they thought his old mechanics were contributing to or aggravating his various injuries. I've lost track now, but hasn't he had to deal with shoulder, oblique and abdominal injuries at one time or another? So now he has these new mechanics that don't hurt him but also aren't at all instinctual to him, and he has it in his head that he can't trust them. It's like the old Simpsons episode where Homer gets on the elevator with the beautiful woman, starts saying to himself "Think unsexy thoughts, think unsexy thoughts" and the next thing you know he's undressing her in his mind. The more time Zim has to think about an upcoming throw and worry about his mechanics, the better the chance he's going to throw it away. So it's definitely in his head.This is not unlike the situation where they tried to change Detwiler's "across the body" pitching mechanics. The only remedy for that turned out to be abandoning the change entirely and going back to the old way. They might need to do the same with Zim.

  43. Section 222 - Sep 13, 2012 at 6:32 PM

    A few people have mentioned here the question of whether the Nats will play all their regulars against the Phillies in those two seasons at the end of the year, if the Phillies are still in the hunt for the WC and we've clinched. I think the word "sportsmanship" has even been thrown around. My view is that once we've clinched, who we play is totally dependent on what makes the most sense for maximizing our playoff performance and gives us the best chance to win the World Series. If Davey and Rizzo think our chances are improved by getting the first seed, then we keep the pedal to the medal. If they think that knocking out the Phillies as a potentially dangerous opponent, then fine, keep our starting rotation working until they are eliminated. On the other hand, if they want to rest Gio and JZnn to line up the rotation for the NLDS, or if they want to rest some of our regulars who are suffering from minor aches and pains, there's nothing unsportsmanlike about doing that. I'm not talking about throwing games or the guys on the field not giving 100% effort. But remember that amazing last game of the season last year when the Rays came back against the Yankees in the last few innings? No one could claim that the Yanks used their best personnel in that game, and no one complained about it (except maybe Red Sox fans). This is major league baseball, not tiddlywinks.

  44. SonnyG10 - Sep 13, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    Taino, I'm not sure what your point is. I read your link and it is by no means an endorsement to not shutdown Stras. In fact Dr Yocum suggests Rizzo may have set a trend for all of major league baseball to follow.

  45. Section 222 - Sep 13, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    I remember reading this piece by Dave Sheinin about Harper back when it came out, but a blog post I was taking a look at to avoid the rehashed Strasburg Shutdown discussion relinked to it and it's definitely worth another look on this off day. We thought we knew what we were getting with the kid, but it's been better than our wildest dreams, wouldn't you say?

  46. NatsLady - Sep 13, 2012 at 6:46 PM

    Sonny. Exactly. I read the entire article, and if anything, he supports Rizzo based on Rizzo's experience and track record, especially with Zimmermann. Why would Rizzo call Yokum, except to do another surgery–which I believe he did, on Giolito, right? I expect they are on very good terms.

  47. Laddie Blah Blah - Sep 13, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    "Ghost…yes…trade. And it's that lack of warm and fuzzy and knowing Davey draws the line at jovial and is not a fan of"goofy"."I have noticed that there has not been a single post-game Gatorade bath since Morse was pulled out of that game. Not a one. It has occurred to me that is not a coincidence.For that reason, ALR's fate may not determine Mikey Mo's, IMO, as Rizzo has TyMo, who has better power numbers than Morse, and Matt Skole, whom they could also convert to 1b. There are better alternatives to Morse in the OF, too, where he is adequate, at best. If ALR goes, which seems likely, they will need another power lefty bat, and they already have Corey Brown, who put up better power numbers at Syracuse than either TyMo or Harp when those two guys were still there. He can also spell Werth at leadoff, if necessary, since he had about a .360 OBP, with plenty of walks to go with his power.I think ALR goes elsewhere. Rizzo undoubtedly has an amount and a contract tenure in mind, just as he had with Adam Dunn, Prince, Buerhle, et. al., that he will not exceed, even if he is willing to tear up ALR's old contract and offer him a new one. Chances are some other team will be willing to pay ALR more than Rizzo will, and for a longer period of time, as happened with Dunn and the others. This is ALR's last chance at a big contract for multiple years, and the pickings for FA 1b men are mighty slim this year, so he is in a better negotiating position than he will ever be in, again. No one should blame him if he cares more about the future of that little guy who comes out of the clubhouse to give his dad a hug after a dinger than he does about playing for the Nats, again, as much as he likes it here.There will be both a new 1b man next year and a new OFer. And maybe a new 2b man.The Nats are reportedly going to ease Rendon into playing 2nd base. If he progresses as rapidly as Harp did in the AFL last year, we could see him at 2B as early as mid-season next year. Danny Ks far too much, and Rendon is his mirror image at the plate – the ultimate contact guy who puts the ball in play for a high average, hits with power, and has a very high OBP. If Danny falters as badly as he did this year, right out of the gate, next year, Rendon is there for Rizzo to make a move.Both Skole and Rendon are slated for the AFL, along with Jason Martinson and Brian Goodwin, but both Skole and Rendon are 3b men. Obviously, they are not both going to be playing 3b in the AFL. We should get a hint of what Rizzo is thinking when the AFL starts play.Rizzo has given himself and the Nats so many good options, he can do just about anything he wishes, and make the Nats an even better, even younger, even more athletic team than they are now.Watching that guy operate is like watching Bobby Fisher play chess. You don't know what his next move will be, but you know he is going to make it a winner. If Zim can stay healthy for just one whole season, he will be among the top 5 players in all of baseball. He has been stymied by injuries for large portions of the past 3 seasons, including this one. Fortunately for the Nats, he is just entering his prime. Zim's next 5 years could be epic.

  48. Steady Eddie - Sep 13, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    Ghost and NatsJack,While in general I tend to agree with you about Morse and next year, especially as to the ambivalence, a great deal will depend on how he does in the postseason (assuming his hands are in shape to make him a regular starter). The lineup and bench usage you build to succeed in the regular season may or may not be successful in the playoffs — some guys step up/flourish, others struggle. While Davey's shown he's not a guy to suddenly reshuffle the whole deck, he's also experienced enough to know the playoffs may not give you time to afford letting someone "play out of" a sudden slump. So the team he and Rizzo put together for next year (regardless of whether or not he's going to manage it, which I expect everyone here hopes he is) will be assembled with an eye both to regular and postseason performance, which again may not be the same thing.And of course, we won't know which is which until that particular pudding is eaten.

  49. Steady Eddie - Sep 13, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    I have noticed that there has not been a single post-game Gatorade bath since Morse was pulled out of that game. Not a one.Um, Laddie, while the benching was obviously not a coincidence, you don't have to go looking for hidden factors to explain Morse's lack of Gatorade. Because of his hand injuries, almost all of his hitting has been a bunch of singles. And while some of his hitting has usefully contributed to rallies, none of it has been pivotal to the outcome of a game. I don't think Davey is into vetoing Gatorade baths. The simple fact is that Morse's performance hasn't earned any since before his benching. And he's basically said as much in the past couple of days.

  50. natsfan1a - Sep 13, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    I didn't see the September 6-10 games, having been out of town, but I believe that there have been bubble gum showers if not Gatorade showers. Does that count? Plus there have been some, you know, losses. And some road games. ;-)

  51. hiramhover - Sep 13, 2012 at 7:23 PM

    Laddie You're jumping the gun on Rendon–while there was some chatter about the Nats shifting him to 2B, I'm not sure there was ever a "plan" to do so. He's played 3B exclusively, so far as I know, in the minors, and is batting poorly at AA. In other words, he's unlikely to see much playing time in the majors before 2014, period, and there's no way he challenges Espi for the 2B job by midseason next year.

  52. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 13, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    Taino= second rate troll. Read the article and didn't find anything I haven't read before.So thanks, Mark, for not wasting your valuable time.

  53. Steady Eddie - Sep 13, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    natsfan — Both Laddie and I meant "no Gatorade baths for Morse". I distinctly remember Mattheus administering one to Gio for his CG against the Cards, and Morse painting the smiley face on it.

  54. NCNatsie - Sep 13, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    Laddie, I don't think Espinoza is going anywhere as long as Davey has anything to say about it.

  55. hiramhover - Sep 13, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    NCNatsieRight, and it would be hard to fault Davey for that. Despite his early season miseries, and despite remaining weaker from the left side, Danny has been better at the plate since June or so. That, combined with consistently strong defense, has him on the way to a 3-4 WAR season. Nobody gives up on that.

  56. natsfan1a - Sep 13, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    I was in town for that one, and also remember it well. I was actually trying to make light of the idea of Gatorade showers as a measure of a given player's standing with the team. :-)Steady Eddie said… natsfan — Both Laddie and I meant "no Gatorade baths for Morse". I distinctly remember Mattheus administering one to Gio for his CG against the Cards, and Morse painting the smiley face on it. September 13, 2012 3:26 PM

  57. Drew - Sep 13, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    I won't have any hard feelings if Adam moves on for a three-year deal. It's his right and he's earned it.That said, I don't have any doubt about his ability to support his little guy.The man makes what, $10 million a year? Most of us wouldn't make that in several working lifetimes.

  58. NatsLady - Sep 13, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    Actually, it's a good sign if ALR leaves–it means we are developing talent within the organization. Nevertheless, he has added an awful lot to this season, and seems like a real "character" guy.

  59. Laddie Blah Blah - Sep 13, 2012 at 8:45 PM

    "Um, Laddie, while the benching was obviously not a coincidence, you don't have to go looking for hidden factors to explain Morse's lack of Gatorade."Morse is almost always the guy who dishes out the Gatorade. None since he was pulled. Nor have their been any shaving cream pies. From anyone, to anyone. Those are the facts. I do not believe that is a coincidence. We each are entitled to our own interpretation, but not to our own facts.

  60. The Fox - Sep 13, 2012 at 8:55 PM

    Nat's Lady I'd say I agree with you 80% of the time, disagree 10% and the other 10% I either don't understand it or you have thought about it in a way that has never crossed my mind ;-). As for right and wrong I rarely think of the posts here in those terms and I've never seen you make a post that I think is confrontational in anyway. Baseball is many different things to different people and many people in my own family look at it and enjoy it for different reasons. I will say the times that I'm the happiest about my post are when I might mention something and Mark later brings up the same or similar point. I then feel my observation skills are pretty good. I still get things wrong and many things still surprise me but I think that's why I still enjoy it after all these years. I know that I'm not that good at blogging, if that's what I'm doing, because many times it seems like the point I'm trying to make does not come across. I've agreed with people before and it has sent them off on a diatribe that usually I have to laugh at, I wonder what would they have written if I disagreed? I do think the medium does lend itself to be confrontational for some reason. I'm sure if I was at a ball game with most of the people here we could all talk baseball all night long.

  61. peric - Sep 13, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    This biggest game of the year was the 2nd game of the doubleheader against the Braves with John Lannan pitching on July 21st. The Nats had just lost 2 straight emotional games against the Braves and the Nats lead was reduced to 1 1/2 games.John Lannan had a solid, bordering on spectacular start … it wasn't because he got yanked in the fifth after he walked a batter. In order to ensure John Lannan acquitted himself admirably, hopefully getting a win, in a solid start … Dave yanked him for Christian Garcia. To ensure there would be no implosion.However, five relievers were used and as Davey said he wanted to stay away from Clippard. Who has been looking like he's on the ragged edge.

  62. Laddie Blah Blah - Sep 13, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    HiramFrom seedlingstostars.com"Rendon, when healthy, features an outstanding combination of pure bat speed, power, and plate discipline that gives him a chance to be a special player someday, hitting as high as .320 with a great on-base percentage and 30-homer power. Defensively, he looks outstanding when healthy at third base- but he’ll be hard-pressed to earn time there with the Nationals as they have a franchise cornerstone in Ryan Zimmerman playing the position. But Rendon has solid speed, even after his injuries, and the Nationals are going to try him at second base, where they currently have their only below-average regular other than at catcher in Danny Espinosa (98 OPS+)."They may be wrong, of course, but there is a source "reporting" that Rendon will be tried at 2nd base. Do you have a source that reports that he will not?"…he's unlikely to see much playing time in the majors before 2014, period, and there's no way he challenges Espi for the 2B job by midseason next year."Then they won't be playing him at 2nd base in the AFL, now, will they? We will see, soon enough. There is no reason to stick with Danny if he does not get his game together, and Rendon does. The Nats have been fast-tracking Rendon ever since he was able to return to the playing field. He is too good not to get into the Nats lineup, especially since there is a hole there.Danny has improved this year, for sure, but he is no Rendon, and never will be.

  63. SonnyG10 - Sep 13, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    Personally, I don't think Espy is going to be challenged at 2nd base by anyone. I think he is going to be an all-star at the position and I think he will overcome his propensity for strike outs. I expect to see a jump in his offense much like that of Desi and I expect Desi to also improve. I predict Desi and Espy are going to be the best middle infielders in major league baseball.

  64. Laddie Blah Blah - Sep 13, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    "I predict Desi and Espy are going to be the best middle infielders in major league baseball."You could make a case that they already are. That does not mean that the middle infield cannot get better. It can."I think he is going to be an all-star at the position and I think he will overcome his propensity for strike outs."He made a big step in the right direction this year by learning to lay off the high FB. But he still does not recognize the inside curve ball and regularly Ks trying to hit that thing as it almost hits his rear foot. He has not stopped swinging for the fences in certain situations, as when he hits with the bases loaded. His K rate seems to go up in those situations, when just a bloop over the infield could mean 2 runs to the team.Harp made the adjustment and has been hitting lights out since he dialed back his swing, learned to keep his weight back, on his rear foot, and to keep his shoulder closed as he steps into his swing. He has been getting most of his recent hits to LF, and he still has enough balance to torque one to kingdom come in RF, when he sees an opportunity.Harp is only 19, a rookie, and Danny has had years of pro ball on his resume. But there is no comparison in talent.If you think Davey will not make a hard decision to make the team better, just remember "John's my guy" Lannan.

  65. Steady Eddie - Sep 13, 2012 at 9:36 PM

    Laddie @ 4:45 — I thought you were referring only to Morse as having not received a Gatorade bath as the measure of an extraordinary performance. Which he hasn't had for a while.You're really talking about tracking the "facts" of whether Morse is dumping the Gatorade on someone else versus painting a smiley face on it? Really? If you're into going back through home victory celebrations to keep track of who dumps Gatorade or administers face pies how many times, well, I'm delighted to leave you to be the master collector of all those "facts". I thought we were talking about players' baseball performance.

  66. SonnyG10 - Sep 13, 2012 at 9:52 PM

    Laddie, I have no doubt that Davey, or Mike Rizzo for that matter, will make the hard decisions to make the team better. That's one of the reasons I like them both.Bryce is an exceptional talent, like you say. I would not compare other players ability to make adjustments with what Bryce can do because I consider him in a class by himself.I base my opinion on what I see on the major league team. If someone else proves to be better, then I have no problem with them being chosen by Davey. I want the Nationals to field the best team possible. However, until someone does prove to be better, I hold on to the opinion that Danny is our 2nd baseman. Of course this is assuming he is not traded by Rizzo.

  67. hiramhover - Sep 13, 2012 at 10:06 PM

    LaddieThat report says the Nats are going to "try him out" at 2B, not that they plan to convert him to that position. That much was reported back in the spring–including here on NatsInsider and from Kilgore. Fact is, even the "trying out" hasn't happened yet–not in ST, and then after his return from the injury, not in the minors. Maybe they want to make sure the ankle is back 100% before trying him out at a more demanding position. Could it happen in the AFL? Maybe. But it would be odd to start him at a new position when the Nats won't even have their own full complement of coaches there. More likely, they'd wait til next year. The AFL does have the DH, so Skole and Rendon could both get time at the plate. As for Rendon being no Danny–you're right. Danny is a proven, above average major leaguer. Rendon is only a prospect, even if a great one. If Rendon pans out and Danny continues to perform, the Nats will find a use for both of them. There's plenty of time to figure that out.

  68. Joe Seamhead - Sep 13, 2012 at 10:24 PM

    Espy's play at 2B is exceptional to a level to be able to look past his short-comings at the plate, which are becoming fewer and fewer. Davey Johnson made it clear in the very beginning of Lombo showing his worth that "Danny is my second baseman." My hat's off to Danny, and Davaey, as Johnson's faith in him, and Danny's improvement at the plate,are testimonials to both men.

  69. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 13, 2012 at 10:33 PM

    I'll let you know whats going on with Rendon after my trip to DC next week and I get a chance to attend Fall Instructs the following week.

  70. SonnyG10 - Sep 13, 2012 at 11:23 PM

    Thanks NatsJack, much appreciated.

  71. peric - Sep 13, 2012 at 11:52 PM

    On Morse.I think a lot depends on La Roach and what they mutually decide … His is the only left ganded impact bat except for one: our new Teddy Ballgame Bam Bam Bryce. Cept he's too big to be a splendid splinter.As i keep saying, Zim IS THE BEST hitter the Nats have. Mark looks at old school stars the stas I look at condistently, uneaveringly that he's the msn. He just isn't flashy nor a young phenom like Bryce, Second is Morse. Zim, Morse, LaRoach, Wreth, and Now Desmond share the sam problem, they get injuted far too often. And that's why you go for youth.So, the best thing they could do is move Zim to first and see if he can be a 40 HR guy with 40 doubles 100 RBI. Move Bryce to the #3 spot now that he knows about knucklers. Rendon and Werth are your OBP guys at 1st and 2nd in the order. Desmond us your #5 guy. Then the switch hitter Espinisa. By now you see the problem: too right handed. So , you need a left hsnded hitter in left or center. Dovyou trade? Ni. Bernadina, Brown, and. Goodwin fit. Athleticism to the max. Be nice to have a switch hitter like Weiter at catcher but they've got sll righties. This is where a surprising trade could occur given the injury situation at catcher. But this might be a year away so Mirse for 1 more and then a trade.

Archives

FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 96 66 --
ATLANTA 79 83 17.0
NEW YORK 79 83 17.0
MIAMI 77 85 19.0
PHILADELPHIA 73 89 23.0

NL POSTSEASON SCHEDULE

NL WILD CARD GAME
WED: Giants at Pirates, 8:07 p.m. (ESPN)

NLDS
FRI: Game 1, Pirates at Nats, 12:07 p.m.,
OR Giants at Nats, 3:07 p.m. (FS1)
SAT: Game 2, PIT/SF at Nats, 5:37 p.m. (FS1)
MON: Game 3, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (MLBN)
OCT. 7: Game 4, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (FS1)*
OCT. 9: Game 5, PIT/SF at Nats, TBA (FS1)*
*if necessary

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
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