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Who starts on Sunday?

Sep 20, 2012, 3:00 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Craig Stammen is a candidate to start Sunday's game against the Brewers.

Perhaps the most significant domino effect of yesterday's doubleheader against the Dodgers is the fact the Nationals will need to find a fill-in starter for Sunday's game against the Brewers.

Not wanting to bring back either Jordan Zimmermann or John Lannan on short rest, manager Davey Johnson has said he'll use someone out of his bullpen, almost certainly a right-hander (to combat Milwaukee's right-handed-heavy lineup).

The two prime candidates, then, are Chien-Ming Wang and Craig Stammen, creating a bit of a dilemma for Johnson.

Wang, obviously, has more experience as a starter, both over his career and over this season. But the veteran has been plagued by injuries and until last night hadn't appeared in any game at any level since aRead more ยป

  1. JaneB - Sep 20, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    Ummmm. I'm voting for Stammen.

  2. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 20, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    I think you don't want to put the mileage on Stammen's arm. I also don't think its imperative to pitch a RH. Braun hits righties and lefties and same with Aramis Ramirez.If you have to go RH I would go Wang and hope for the best or go with Duke.Also of note, Marco Estrada (former Nats castoff) pitched 7 innings of 3 hit shutout ball last night and will face the Nats on Monday.

  3. Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa - Sep 20, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    If Stammen starts, does that make CMW the long man?

  4. Alex Howard - Sep 20, 2012 at 3:14 PM

    how can davey even think wang can pitch another game for this team let alone another start. STAMMEN

  5. peric - Sep 20, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    And if its Ryan Perry Mark? You know I'll be insufferable if he goes with him … and Davey did basically infer as much to Bryon Kerr ..Better to have Stammen and Gorzo to back him up in relief then lose one or the other for an extended period of time due to a start.Perhaps Duke but Davey used him again. He's been very effective out of the bullpen.Wait for it … the big: AH HA!

  6. Feel Wood - Sep 20, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    Don't be surprised if this decision is not made (or if made, not announced) until the outcome of today's, Friday's and Saturday's games is known. Things will look a lot different depending on who might be needed out of the bullpen before Sunday to win a tight game, whether they head into Sunday on a winning roll or are mired in a losing streak, or any manner of other factors. Lannan had a short outing yesterday, so it's not out of the realm of possibility for Davey to start him again on Sunday for a planned short outing before going to the bullpen. As Earl Weaver said and Boswell often repeats, everything changes everything.

  7. Doc - Sep 20, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    Stammen for 4-5, then let the committee march in.

  8. Tcostant - Sep 20, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    I don't care if Dukes is a lefty, I'd start him.

  9. SCNatsFan - Sep 20, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    Don't see the logic in stretching Stammen at this point of the season. Use Duke or Perry and hope for the best!

  10. bowdenball - Sep 20, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    SCNatsFan said…"Don't see the logic in stretching Stammen at this point of the season. Use Duke or Perry and hope for the best!"The logic would be that winning the division is really important, and if a Stammen start gives us the best chance to win the game and improve our chances of winning the division, the benefit outweighs the cost of putting a few extra innings on his arm. A rested Stammen does us no good if we end up in the play-in game and possibly eliminated before we even get to the division series.

  11. hiramhover - Sep 20, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    It all depends on the state of the divisional race. The more secure the lead over ATL, the more willing they'll be to throw CMW out there and hope for the best.

  12. NatsLady - Sep 20, 2012 at 3:52 PM

    peric, yeah, but I'll be insufferable if it's Wang, so there's that. I think it depends on whether Stammen is needed in these three games, and also depends on how close the Division race is at that point. I'd say the chances are high that (1) Stammen will be needed before Sunday and (2) the Sunday game will not be critical to clinching, so, guessing, I would say it's CMW to start with a very quick hook.

  13. Doc - Sep 20, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    Is Perry on the expanded roster? They'd have to call him from his couch, at this point.

  14. Section 222 - Sep 20, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    Strenuously disagree with NL on the Dodger hot dog (ugh!), but agree about Sunday's starter. If it turns out that Stammen is not needed in the next 3 games, and the Sunday game is crucial, then maybe you start him. But I sure wouldn't keep him out of a critical situation in order to make sure he's rested for Sunday.The wild pitch aside, CMW wasn't terrible last night. And Duke was fine. I'd go with them and save Stammen for what he's been great at all year long.

  15. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 20, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    The Brewers are pitching their Ace Gallardo on Sunday. Nats get Marcum/EJax on Friday and Gio faces the call-up Wily Peralta on Saturday and Marco Estrada on Monday.Peralta is a callup and just shutout the Mets in 8 innings with 2 hits and his start before that beat Atlanta with 1 earned over 6 innings.Marco Estrada is pitching Monday and he will either give you a gem or a dud.Nothing easy coming up.

  16. natsfan1a - Sep 20, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    My math isn't the best but, seeing as how the Barves are off today and Monday, wouldn't it be at least Tuesday before the division could be decided?

  17. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 20, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    natsfan1a, you are correct that if the Nats won every game from tonight thru Monday and the Braves lost all games this weekend the Magic Number would be 1 after Monday.

  18. natsfan1a - Sep 20, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    Thanks, SteveM.

  19. DaveB - Sep 20, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    I agree, it depends a little on the Div race, but Coolstandings currently shows our odds of winning the div at over 96%. If it stays around there through Sunday, I think Davey gives CMW another shot. They will need to sign a couple of pitchers for next year (#5 & #6 starters). If CMW is willing to sign a minor league contract (perhaps out of loyalty to the Nats for all the patience they have had with him), he is the one pitcher that Nats have far more insight into his actual potential than any other team. It sure seems from the outside like that insight would be screaming "STAY AWAY", but Davey obviously still sees something.

  20. Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa - Sep 20, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    1a, if you are implying you can't count, I would never have inferred that from reading your posts. So there's that.

  21. MicheleS - Sep 20, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    So a reason to give kudos to Mr RosenthalThis weeks Bow Tie

  22. NatsLady - Sep 20, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    DaveB, even if he pitches well in a couple of starts, I can't see another team offering CMW a major-league contract with his injury history. So if he's not going to retire (and it doesn't seem like he is), he might as well take the minor-league contract with the Nats where he knows the coaches.According to C&D (Charlie and Dave), Davey was "raving" about Wang's bullpen sessions.

  23. natsfan1a - Sep 20, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    I tend to get confused with magic numbers, where a loss counts as a whole number instead of a half. But maybe that's just me.Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa said… 1a, if you are implying you can't count, I would never have inferred that from reading your posts. So there's that. September 20, 2012 12:10 PM

  24. SCNatsFan - Sep 20, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    bowdenball, I understand the need to win the division, but asking a guy who hasn't gone long very often this season to do it late in the season could play havoc with Stammen's arm. Will his start be that much better then Duke or (dare I say) Wang that it is worth the risk of injuring him?

  25. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 20, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    MicheleS, thanks for that link. Ken Rosenthal is a good guy except when his mind becomes convoluted with his issues with Scott Boras and it spills over to making comments that are tainted (see Stras comments).

  26. DaveB - Sep 20, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    NL … yes, I agree … that was my point also, and I think Davey & Mike will still want to see another start to confirm what they see in bullpen sessions before trying to bring him back for yet another year (even at a minor league level).

  27. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 20, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    I again say no way do you mess with Stammen's role and put any more mileage on his arm.Duke is my pick but I think Davey goes with Wang and a short leash.

  28. Section 222 - Sep 20, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    DaveB and NL, while I agree that CMW is a likely choice for Sunday's starter, I don't think Davey/Rizzo/anyone else are or should be thinking about it as a chance to showcase him, or see what he has for purposes of what kind of contract he might be offered for next year. It's all about winning the division this year. If they think that going with Stammen is the best choice for reaching that goal, so be it. I happen to think that having Stammen available for the next three games, and the games early next week, is more important. But the call will be made on that basis, not as part of a long range plan for CMW.

  29. NatsLady - Sep 20, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    Another reason not to start Stammen is this: He is going to be on the postseason roster. No reason at all to ask him to stretch out as a starter when he won't be starting in October (barring injury). OTOH, CMW and Duke won't be on the postseason roster, at least, I can't imagine they will. So let them make the spot start.

  30. NatsLady - Sep 20, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    I'm not thinking of it as a long range plan for CMW (or Duke). That's coincidental. I'm more thinking that the reason CMW and Duke are on the September roster is for the exact contingency we have–to make a spot start so the rotation can stay on regular rest and the bullpen keeps the roles that have made them successful to-date.

  31. Section 222 - Sep 20, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    Well said NL. And to pitch (or maybe even start) the last few games of the season after we've clinched. :)

  32. Section 222 - Sep 20, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    I so want to see the A's beat out the Angels for the WC spot in the AL, and the Cards to beat out the Dodgers in the NL. That would mean that the teams that made the biggest splashes in the free agent market in the off season (Angels and Marlins), along with the team that took on the most big contracts mid-season (Dodgers) all failed to reach the post season. Too sweet.

  33. NatsLady - Sep 20, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    I did squirt a few chopped onions on the hot dog, 222…

  34. JD - Sep 20, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    Ghost, I read your comments in the previous post analyzing Lannan's 3rd inning. I disagree somewhat; the trouble started when there were 2 outs and no one on. After the hit by Victorino Lannan started pitching ultra conservatively, almost scared. In my view he should have gone after Kemp hard because the worst that can happen is a 2 run homer which is not the end of the world. Once you start putting people on base the problem snowballs and you get a big crooked number put up by the opposition. In my view this has always been Lannan's problem; he is good enough to get big league hitters out until he starts walking people. He is not able to manage through tough spots because I don't believe he has enough confidence in his own pitches.

  35. JaneB - Sep 20, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    Okay, you guys.. You convinced me that I should be rooting for CMW to get the spot start but I will be watching from between the fingers of the hands clasped over my eyes. And rooting to be wrong, wrong, wrong. I saw what Peralta did to the Mets. I'm hoping that was a fluke.

  36. JD - Sep 20, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    100% no way we should start Stammen. With Gallardo starting for the Brewers there's a good chance we will lose this game anyway. Go with Duke or CMW and leave the pen intact.

  37. joemktg - Sep 20, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    I think Davey ran CMW out there last night to see what he had. After a shaky first few batters, CMW settled down a bit, and I thought pitched well enough. I seem to recall when he pitched last year that he continually improved with every outing.This seems like a no-brainer: go with CMW, and keep Stammen in his current role as a long reliever, so should CMW falter Stammen can do what he has been doing best.

  38. NatsLady - Sep 20, 2012 at 5:09 PM

    A's need Tommy Milone to pitch good to avoid the sweep. Hmmm, A's lead the majors in strikeouts. And here I thought it was Espy single-handed.

  39. Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa - Sep 20, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    I dunno, JD, they beat him last time, back in July. Of course, that was the last time the Brewers lost one of his starts, but still.

  40. Theophilus T. S. - Sep 20, 2012 at 5:13 PM

    NatsLady is exactly right — Wang and Duke were added so they could pitch throw-away innings (how Johnson viewed last night's game until the eighth) and in emergencies, which Sunday will be. Having said that, Wang pitched two plus innings, first time out in two weeks, and his arm/hip have been shaky enough that I think Johnson won't ask Wang to start even if he's only chewing gum and baling wire to the Nats over the long term. I'm inclined to think it's a bullpen game and Stammen starts, because the point of a bullpen game is to not fall behind early. If Stammen gets through three — which has been his max so far this year — then Wang, then Duke — to preserve all of the others for the last 8(?) games. And Peric might be right — Perry gets called up to make an appearance in case things get out of hand. I know Wang has been miserable this year but with no off days I'm happy he's around.

  41. JD - Sep 20, 2012 at 5:14 PM

    The umpiring screw up was disturbing on several levels: 1) The home plate umpire made no call at all until the Dodgers complained which means he wasn't even aware that he had a call to make. 2) When Davie challenged him he immediately asked for help (I am not against asking for help) which means he wasn't paying attention to the play which was right in front of him and was not close at all. 3) The other umpires got together and in the end they all got it wrong which means none of them were paying attention (the 3rd base ump gets a pass because he had a play he had to call). This is incredible and they should all be disciplined for this and should not be allowed to work in the post season; MLB can do that. The Ump who blew the play on Saturday at 1st base should be similarly disciplined. This happens every year and it shouldn't be ignored. Umpires laziness should not influence pennant races; their only job is to get these plays right. We are not talking about bang bang plays here or strike zones which are open to some discretion; we are talking about easy calls which cannot be missed.

  42. Theophilus T. S. - Sep 20, 2012 at 5:18 PM

    Agree w/ JD re Lannan. Except that Lannan's lack of confidence is only part of the problem. The other part is he doesn't have a pitch to finish hitters off after two strikes. If he's not going to put the pitch where they can hit it, he has no hope at all. Which is why the walks always kill him.

  43. Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa - Sep 20, 2012 at 5:19 PM

    Says Clippard is in the "chatting cage" today at 3:00. Be nice.

  44. Ron In Reston - Sep 20, 2012 at 5:19 PM

    I'll be at the game Sunday and to be honest, don't really care much who is pitching. I go to see my Nats, win or lose. I'm thrilled when we win and I'm bummed when we lose, but there is nothing like being there in person. And since my chances of going to a postseason game are pretty slim, this is my last one for the year.Now, to take one last swing at the nearly dead horse that is last night's bogus call, my suggestion is this: Review every scoring play that involves an actual "play". That means any play at the plate or timing play like last night. No need to review the guy scoring from third on a sac fly with no throw to the plate or the upper deck three-run homer. But reviewing plays like last night, or TyMo's play against the Yankees should just be routine. There aren't that many per game, so it wouldn't slow things down and obviously only review it if one of the managers requests it. So if there are five potentially reviewable calls in a game, two might actually get reviewed. Seems pretty simple and easy to implement, since the review is already in place for disputed home run calls.Ok, the horse is dead now, RIP.

  45. Steady Eddie - Sep 20, 2012 at 5:20 PM

    I saw what Peralta did to the Mets. I'm hoping that was a fluke.JaneB, you just answered your own question. It was the no-offense Mets.

  46. Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa - Sep 20, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    For Sunday, I've got to go with whoever is more likely to give them five or six innings, and that's not Wang. They have no days off until the end of the regular season, and I imagine that's what Davey was thinking having Wang as the long guy yesterday. But if they start Stammen, and he can't go five, we'd better hope the bats are hot.

  47. hiramhover - Sep 20, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    Stammen has shown his value in the BP–Davey and Rizzo understand that as well as any of us, and they're not going to do anything to endanger it. For what it's worth, Stammen's longest appearance this year, both in terms of pitch count and IP, was 7/19 vs the Mets–62 pitches in 3.1 IP. That was on 4 days rest. As is, he hasn't pitched since last Sunday. One other factor in considering whether he'd start next Sunday–IP is at least as important as pitch count, since it means more times up and down.

  48. NatsLady - Sep 20, 2012 at 5:26 PM

    Milone doing a John Lannan. (After a double, he just walked Cabrera and Fielder). And, looking at his face, he's nervous. And, he gets the double-play–out of the jam, but it doesn't inspire confidence…

  49. Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa - Sep 20, 2012 at 5:28 PM

    Ron, just put one ump a night in the press box with a TV and a wireless feed to the HP ump. If they can unambiguously reverse a call, or uphold a disputed call, they get the call right.

  50. Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa - Sep 20, 2012 at 5:32 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  51. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 20, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    Steady, Peralta also held Atlanta to 1 run over 6 innings. It could be a fluke. His start before that wasn't great but 2 very good starts in a row and hopefully the Nats bash him on Saturday.

  52. NatsLady - Sep 20, 2012 at 5:44 PM

    Is it me, or are almost all the Detroit players carrying a few extra pounds?

  53. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 20, 2012 at 5:45 PM

    JD, John Lannan has always used walks almost as a pitch around tactic and did that with Kemp. His guy to get was Adrian Gonzalez in lefty/lefty. Lannan's effectiveness is sparingly walking batters to get to a matchup he wants which is why the Adrian Gonzalez at-bat with 2 outs was the key.

  54. JD - Sep 20, 2012 at 5:47 PM

    This is what I discovered about having your team in a pennant race in September (I don't have much experience in that regard). It's wonderful and exhilarating but it's also uncomfortable and excruciating. The magic number isn't dropping fast enough and thoughts of past collapses (other teams) are always there in the back of your mind (mine at least).

  55. Theophilus T. S. - Sep 20, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    Section 3 — You can't ask the review ump to look at every "disputed call." Otherwise, every game involving Bobby Valentine (if the next week isn't his last) would last five hours. You shouldn't do anything to further encourage V'tine, Guillen and similar others to make spectacles of themselves. However, Porter and his crew should be banished to the Florida Instructional League without pay, or made to sit outside Nats Park wearing dark glasses and holding tin cups.

  56. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 20, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    I brought this up last night about Gary Thorne's rant on the Orioles MASN broadcast about the Nats. NatsEnquirer has a few quotes:http://www.natsenquirer.com/2012/09/masns-gary-thorne-trashed-nats-decision-to-shut-down-strasburg-during-last-nights-os-broadcast.html

  57. JD - Sep 20, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    Ghost, That's why (IMO) Lannan has never been and never will be a top notch pitcher. Adrian is no slouch and now you are facing him with 2 men on instead of one and if you can't get him you have Hanley lurking and now you are looking at a 4 run inning when there were 2 outs and no one on base. I get your point but to me unless I am at the bottom of the order I go after the hitter (Kemp) and as I said the worst thing that happens is a 2 run homer and he's done ok against Kemp before.

  58. JD - Sep 20, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    Theo, Exactly right. The issue here isn't a replay. 4 umpires can't get an easy play wrong because they aren't paying attention.

  59. Steady Eddie - Sep 20, 2012 at 6:00 PM

    JD — totally get where you're coming from, both as to the novelty of the whole experience (how bizarre to root passionately for the Fish and even the Phils — when they're playing the Barves) and the nerves.One thing about the latter. If a collapse should come (both games yesterday don't suggest it will, tho), it will be hard enough in real time, and having agonized about it in advance will not help at all. So why expand the agony before the fact when it's pointless to help with a bad outcome and gets in the way of enjoying the journey to a good outcome?I know, that's just how some people's temperament works. I was somewhat that way until I had personal experiences that enabled me to put these small diversions called sports in perspective. But apart from that, if nothing can prepare you for something that's out of your control, why inflict it on yourself? Enjoy the journey!

  60. Steady Eddie - Sep 20, 2012 at 6:03 PM

    JD — NOT that the fourth inning yesterday was enjoyable! But that's about agonizing, for a bit, over what's already happened or is happening. Part of the inevitable baseball experience with even the winning teams that will lose 60+ times a year.

  61. JD - Sep 20, 2012 at 6:07 PM

    Steady Eddie, Oh I am enjoying every minute of it. It's just not a relaxed enjoyment. My logical side tells me that a collapse is very unlikely but I did follow the Mets collapse of a couple of years ago (7 games up with 17 to play) because I live in the NY area.

  62. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 20, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    JD said… Ghost,That's why (IMO) Lannan has never been and never will be a top notch pitcher. Adrian is no slouch and now you are facing him with 2 men on instead of one and if you can't get him you have Hanley lurking and now you are looking at a 4 run inning when there were 2 outs and no one on base.I get your point but to me unless I am at the bottom of the order I go after the hitter (Kemp) and as I said the worst thing that happens is a 2 run homer and he's done ok against Kemp before. September 20, 2012 1:53 PM But this is Lannan and how he approaches it and when he has a bad outing its because something like this backfires on him.This is why he will always be a fringe #3 on average and sometimes look like a hack as happened last night, but up until now, he's been great.A game of inches and execution.

  63. NatsLady - Sep 20, 2012 at 6:10 PM

    JD, so true. But keep this thought. If the Nats go .500 for the rest of the games, they will end with 97 wins. For Atlanta to get 98 wins they would have to go 12-0. Atlanta's schedule is 3 each against the Fillies, Fish, Mets, and Pirates. They could reasonably go 9-3, and end with 95 wins. That means we need to win 6 of the next 14 games. Just six. Take care of business–we can do that.

  64. Theophilus T. S. - Sep 20, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    "Up until now, he's been great." — Ghost of SteveHuh? In his first start, he fell two runs behind early and scared the crap out of everybody; in his second start he struggled to go six and scared the crap out of everybody; in his third start he couldn't go six, and in his fourth start he got blown up. That's great? It's better than Jackson has done over the last four starts but that's damning w/ faint praise.

  65. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 20, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    Theo, he's not an Ace and for some reason people around here won't accept him for what he is which is a #3/4 starter who sometimes gives you an occassional gem while other times ripping out your heart.Lannan got the job done each time prior to yesterday even though he makes the fanbase nervous. Lannan will rarely win pretty because he puts people on base (high WHIP) but he has a knack for keeping them from scoring and if he gets good run support will get more W's than L's.I would take him over Edwin Jackson as he costs much less, is a lefty, and over the season will slightly outperform Edwin.

  66. JD - Sep 20, 2012 at 6:31 PM

    'I would take him over Edwin Jackson as he costs much less, is a lefty, and over the season will slightly outperform Edwin.' I will agree from a cost point of view but not performance. Heck; given our other 4 starters for next year I have no problem going with Zach Duke as a 5th starter for $1 – 2 mil a year and spend the difference elsewhere.

  67. hiramhover - Sep 20, 2012 at 6:34 PM

    TheoGhost is grading on a curve–as in, "great" by the standards of what you can reasonably expect from John Lannan.And maybe he's being too charitable, but Lannan gets such an unfairly bad rap from some folks that I can understand leaning the other way.

  68. mick - Sep 20, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    I think either Stammen or as Peric has suggested Perry would be the choice on Sunday, perhaps they combine and pitch 6-7 innings. On the umpiring, I am getting sick of them but when post season hits, much of the garbage we are seeing now will not be umpiring

  69. Theophilus T. S. - Sep 20, 2012 at 6:36 PM

    Lannan is not a #3 or #4. The only place he's pitched a "gem" in the last three years has been in Syracuse. The only thing you and I agree on, Ghost, is that he's better than Jackson has been for the last month or so and, as to that, cost does no enter my consideration.

  70. hiramhover - Sep 20, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    "over the season will slightly outperform Edwin"Ok, that's probably leaning TOO far the other way….

  71. Pilchard - Sep 20, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    The Nats are over-playing the lefty v. righty starter angle. Versus LH starters the Brewers BA/OBP/SLG splits are .260/.332/.457 against RH starters the same splits are .250/.325/.432. That does not appear to be big enough statistical difference to justify taking Stammen out of the pen for 4+days or to start Wang (who has been awful at every level this year). Zach Duke out performed Lannan in AAA this year, and has been solid in his MLB outings 6.2 IP 5 HITS 2 BB 5 Ks 1.35 ERA and 0.9 WHIP. I would start Duke; realize that Davey won't do it, but removing Stammen from the pen was a mistake (Davey might have used Stammen last night to start the 9th, rather than Clippard for the 2nd time yesterday; if not for the notion that he wants to start Stammen on Sunday).

  72. JD - Sep 20, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    '(Davey might have used Stammen last night to start the 9th, rather than Clippard for the 2nd time yesterday; if not for the notion that he wants to start Stammen on Sunday).' In a tie game in the top of the 9th at home you are supposed to pitch your closer because there won't be save opportunity; having said that I do feel that it's time to start easing Storen into the closer's role.

  73. NatsLady - Sep 20, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    Well, yesterday both Clip and Storen had already pitched in the first game (as had Burnett). So the alternative would be to put Garcia in for the 9th. However, if the game is still tied, you have to put Clip or Storen in for the 10th, so you might as well use one of them in the 9th and save Garcia for another day. Whoever you use twice in one day is probably unavailable for today and possibly tomorrow.

  74. Steady Eddie - Sep 20, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    JD @2:58 — agree in general but because Stammen is a middle innings guy and Davey thinks it's best to keep guys in relatively predictable roles so they can keep their heads and their preparation properly focused, which is a good idea. But I still think "you are supposed to pitch your closer in the top of the ninth in a tie game at home" was not right when Clip had already saved the day game, had the second most innings out of the pen this year next to long man Stammen with the prospect of more postseason innings ahead, and when we had a capable late inning fireman in Garcia totally fresh in the pen. Plus Davey has several times this year not gone to Clip in a 9th inning home tie when he'd closed the previous game (much less the same day).Agree overall as to getting Storen more save opps but he had also pitched in the day game. With no more days off in the regular season, it was time for Garcia.

  75. Drew - Sep 20, 2012 at 7:23 PM

    You always get your wayOn Rosenthal chevron day.

  76. NCNatsie - Sep 20, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    I like the umpire in the pressbox idea, but it shouldn't be an appeal situation. No one can appeal to him — not the umps on the field or a manager or player. The guy self-initiates any action he decides to make based on what he sees. If he needs some more time, he can call time and look at replays. If he sees something clearly that the field umps have missed, he simply overrules the call.Ne can't do balls and strikes. Ideally, I'm for doing that with the lasers, but I know that's controversal.

  77. Steady Eddie - Sep 20, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    NCNatsie, agree on all. The way the ump in the box gets the practical (not just the technical) authority to overrule field decisions is to make the fifth ump a part of the regular crew, so everyone in the crew takes the role every fifth day. The virtue of that approach is that they have to document their decisions with video evidence either way, if they overrule or if they don't and the team that lost the ruling requests it of the league. A team request wouldn't stop or change anything in the game itself but it gives an authoritative record of both the box and the field umps' performance. The reason for this is that it takes away the box ump's inclination to go along with the field crew, because their own performance in the box is at stake.Umps' incentive to accept this is getting 25% more umps. MLB gets a way to answer whiny teams. And the game is improved.One thing about your idea that I'm not sure works is the ability to self-initiate action on any play other than balls and strikes. At least starting out, should be for defined situations, or could be arbitrarily disruptive (Joe West with the in-box beeper, anyone?). Because the judgments he would make would all be subject to objective verification via the video record, it would restrain his inclination to be a cowboy.Who are we kidding? This is all too rational, transparent and accountable for the MLB oligarchy to every accept it.

  78. peric - Sep 20, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    Is Perry on the expanded rosterPerry is on the 40-man. He is being sent to the AFL just because of the surprising year he's had as a first time professional starter. They need to make a decision about him this off season. And yes, Davey (the so-called asst. GM by Ladson) will be a part of that. Does Davey want to see him start? Would that benefit the staff by resting various assets that would be needed to ensure a division title?Sorry Natslady but CMW is gone after this season. You can root for him in the Indy league.

  79. Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa - Sep 20, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    You can't ask the review ump to look at every "disputed call." Otherwise, every game involving Bobby Valentine (if the next week isn't his last) would last five hours. You shouldn't do anything to further encourage V'tine, Guillen and similar others to make spectacles of themselves. Well, that's a good point, but I don't think it would take as much time as it does now, and it shouldn't increase the number of arguments–hopefully, it would shorten the ones they do have. Ozzie and Bobby &c. would still be coming out asking "Get help!" and complaining bitterly and profanely about the call, but it shouldn't take any longer to get them back in the dugout than it does now, I would hope.One question on the 25% increase in umpire jobs–who's paying for that?Rhetorical question, I know.

  80. Sam - Sep 20, 2012 at 9:43 PM

    I really think Maya should get the start!No, no, I'm just kidding. I couldn't even type that with a straight face.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 58 48 --
ATLANTA 58 51 1.5
MIAMI 53 55 6.0
NEW YORK 52 56 7.0
PHILADELPHIA 48 61 11.5
Through Thursday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Orioles at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 12:35 p.m.
Full season schedule

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

ON THE RADIO

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.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

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