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Instant analysis: Phillies 6, Nats 3

Sep 26, 2012, 2:03 AM EDT

US Presswire photo
Ross Detwiler reacts to Carlos Ruiz's third-inning homer.

Game in a nutshell: Hoping to move another step closer to their first division title, the Nationals dug themselves into an early hole and couldn't climb all the way out. Ross Detwiler, who hadn't allowed a run in his last 14 1/3 innings against the Phillies, was roughed up for five runs during a ragged, two-inning stretch. The Nationals knocked Cole Hamels out after five but couldn't get anything going against the Philadelphia bullpen. And before they knew what hit them, they had dropped the ballgame. Even worse, the Braves rallied in dramatic fashion to beat the Marlins in the bottom of the ninth, clinching a playoff berth and reducing their deficit in the NL East to four games with eight to play. The Nationals' magic number remains stuck at five. And they can no longer wrap up the division title in Philly. The earliest they can do that now: Friday night in St. Louis.

Hitting lowlight: In one regard, the Nationals lineup did a solid job against Hamels, making the left-hander work and driving his pitch count up to the point he had to be pulled after five innings. But given aRead more »

  1. NatsNut - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:06 AM

    This loss was summoned by all ya'll who were doing everything in your power a couple posts ago to convince us that a collapse could happen. Thanks.(gotta blame someone)

  2. ehay2k - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:07 AM

    Dang Mark Z – that was fast. Ross will learn from this.Focus is what he needs to improve. But better to learn now than in the playoffs. The fact that we actually HIT Colbert was a good sign. But you can't spot a team fighting for a playoff spot 4 runs on a few bad pitches. The walks, in particular, need to stop.There is another game tomorrow.

  3. Gonat - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:08 AM

    You beat the other team's ace by throwing zeroes and Detwiler melted down.I'm sure that's why Davey wanted Det for tonight and Lannan for tomorrow night.Back on it tomorrow.

  4. Secret wasian man - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:10 AM

    BEEP BEEP BEEP. The sound of the NATS Backing into the playoffs.

  5. mick - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:10 AM

    My take on tonight, other that Bryce and Suzuki, I thought the rest of teams at bats lacked focus. Det still gets rattled when things go wrong and he needs to improve on 0-2 counts. I think he will be fine.I would think the Nats should be angry at themselves right about now…. beating the Phillies has so much significance and they did not seem to have any killer instinct tonight. they should be mad at being swept the last time they were in Philly.

  6. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:11 AM

    What a waste tonight. Det takes an inning off and we lose.2 hitters showed up.Then Mike Dunn is totally worthless.I headed back to the Maloox as this is reminding of the Caps who never want to finish out the season right.Two things McCatty and Eckstein must work on for 2013 No free passes and keep the pitch count down. Eckstein must work on Espinosa from striking out. so much. He is not a power hitter why almost 200 k. Absolutely not being coached to hit for contact.

  7. mick - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:12 AM

    I bet Davey behind close doors is going to have a rare explosion which will be good for the team.

  8. peric - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:12 AM

    Looks like Zach Duke has effectively replaced Tom Gorzelanny who last pitched on the 8th of September. Methinks we see this man this spring for sure and perhaps in the bullpen for the playoffs …Who says AAA performances don't mean anything? Horse hockey. The guy was 15-5 he looks better than John Lannan for more then 10X less money.Unfortunately, the only backup for Lannan tomorrow is Tom Gorzelanny since both Stammen and Duke were used tonight.

  9. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:13 AM

    Mets are making a comeback against the Pirates in the 8th.

  10. Secret wasian man - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:14 AM

    Mick in all seriousness, it is bad right now. And with Lannan tommorow, it doesnt look good. Perhaps we get hot in St Louis. But MAN!!! Philly OWNS us.

  11. peric - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:14 AM

    Two things McCatty and Eckstein must work on for 2013 No free passes and keep the pitch count down.Let's face it, that problem is far less prominent than it was going to back to well lAST YEAR! So soon they forget! Last year Gio led the league in walks. How is he this year.Let's not overreact.

  12. mick - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:14 AM

    Manassas Nats' Fan my patience with Espi will go into 2013. If he does not get it together, go with Lombo

  13. Dryw Loves the Nats - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:15 AM

    Forward, backward, division champ or wild card. We are GOING to the playoffs.

  14. Veronica - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:16 AM

    Anyone with any reassuring math, please?

  15. Swift Eagle - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:17 AM

    If the Nats go 4-4, the Braves still have to go 8-0 just to tie…

  16. Secret wasian man - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:17 AM

    Wild card is one game. Divsion winner gets a 5 game series. BIIIIIGGGGGGGGGGGG difference.

  17. Secret wasian man - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:18 AM

    Swift I always love your insight. But who are we beating 4 times right now?

  18. Dave - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:19 AM

    Thanks, Dryw. I came over here because the Twitter is all jump-off-the-bridge-it's-all-over.The Nats clinched a post-season appearance last Thursday. That's already happened.

  19. Gonat - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:19 AM

    Look at the pathetic Orioles. 2 straight losses and shutout by Toronto 4-0. If Yankees win, they take a 2 1/2 game lead.White Sox lose and Tigers get a shutout from Anibel Sanchez and they are now tied for 1st place.

  20. mick - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:19 AM

    Secret wasian man said…Mick in all seriousness, it is bad right now. And with Lannan tommorow, it doesnt look good. Perhaps we get hot in St Louis. But MAN!!! Philly OWNS us.I understand how you feel. My concern is that the Nats should be angry with themselves, they have a chance to put to rest all the BS of Philly fans coming to Nats Park, beating us every year, etc.. finally the chance to end the Phillies season in their back yard is on the door step and the Nats come in flat. Part of becoming a contender every year like the Braves is make statements by beating your rival in their back yard and not being SWEPT by them

  21. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:20 AM

    The odds are very low that the Nats will not be in the final four, because everyone seems to forget that first the Braves would have to beat us in a play-off and then we would have to lose a game at home to St. Louis. That being said, the combination of benching at least their second best player to prevent future injury, combined with the lackluster September play, highlighted by terrible bullpen pitching, can only give cause for concern.No one on the Nats will step up and be a leader. Gonzalez had the chance on ESPN versus the Braves but had a mediocre game. Harper hasn't had a homer in games. Morse is either hurt or regressing. La Roche is undependable.I find the up and down quality of the team unnerving. Let's get 5 runs a game and have a bullpen that gets somebody out instead of going double digits three times in a week and then getting skunked all the others.Somebody needs to stand up and say this ends now.

  22. Section 135 - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:20 AM

    Morse is gone after this year. Can't stay healthy and his value is limitd unless he hits for power. Rendon is gonna play second in the AFL. Danny better learn to lay off the high cheese and the curve in the dirt or his days are numbered. Im all for overpaying for Laroche based on D alone. He has saved so many runs this year. Need some more bullpen arms for next year. Harpers development will determine next years offense.

  23. Secret wasian man - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:22 AM

    I totally agree Mick. You can knock those A Holes out and win the division at the same time.

  24. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:23 AM

    Lannan is no less likely to win tomorrow in a significant sense than any other starter on the team save Wang. For some reason, Rizzo and Johnson are in love with Wang and Rodriguez. If neither of those guys had pitched this year, the division would already be clinched.

  25. mick - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:24 AM

    William O. Douglas Loeffler Somebody needs to stand up and say this ends now.you just summed up beautifully what I have been trying to say!!!

  26. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:24 AM

    I could do without Morse getting hurt all the time. He is slow as Christmas and while he is a decent fielder, he doesn't cover that much ground.

  27. Swift Eagle - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:26 AM

    I like Rendon too, but he's not exactly proven he can stay healthy either…I think he's got a chance to be great, but to just assume he's MLB ready at 3B or 2B by next year, when he hasn't even had a cup of coffee….Not to mention that the only time most of us have actually SEEN him play is if you been to ST or a Minor League game….

  28. Secret wasian man - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:26 AM

    William O, why would we have to play Braves in a playoff. There is 8 games with a 4 game lead. We could concievably lose the Division by 3 games. (SORRY EVERBODY) Just hypothetical. We will win.

  29. JaneB - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:26 AM

    I for one have no idea what the Nats "should be." my bet is, neither do they, or they would be it.I am usually a fountain of positivity. But 4-4, given the recent string of 17 games, seems harder than it did before. These guys need some help of some kind.Or maybe it's just the baseball gods trying to get us into second place in the NL. Yeah, THAT'S the ticket.

  30. NatsLady - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:26 AM

    135, agree with your points except Danny. That kid saves 1,000 runs with his D. He will improve on the offense (even though he clearly prefers to be on the field) because he is INTENSE and wants to win.

  31. mick - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:28 AM

    I think Werth will be the leader the rest of the way.

  32. mick - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:28 AM

    why are some of you down on Lannan? he had one bad outing.

  33. Swift Eagle - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:28 AM

    Why is so hard to imagine 4-4? We all agree they have played poorly lately, but you know what the record is in the last 8? It's 4-4…

  34. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:29 AM

    At Phillies they have iut homer us 8-5

  35. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:29 AM

    I think all this stuff about saving pitchers' arms for the post-season is highly suspect. Maybe relievers throw harder given their lesser innings pitched, but we just don't have many guys pitching that many innings. What really happens is when pitchers pitch poorly at the end of the season, their agents tell the Washington Post that it was due to too many innings.It is not Tyler Clippard pitching horribly, you see. It is the innings, alas, the innings. I am tired of this garbage. Go out and pitch and succeed and if you don't then don't blame it on innings pitched and don't have your intermediaries do it.

  36. Gonat - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:29 AM

    Veronica said… Anyone with any reassuring math, please? September 25, 2012 10:16 PM ________________________________If you take 93 + 0 = 93 and the Nats are still in postseason.How reassuring is that?

  37. NatsLady - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:29 AM

    I think Werth does not like to play in Philadelphia. He needs to get past that, remember that he is a NAT!!! And get back to getting on base.

  38. mick - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:31 AM

    NatsLady said…I think Werth does not like to play in Philadelphia. He needs to get past that, remember that he is a NAT!!! And get back to getting on base.The Nats overall need to get past that!!! This where they have to grow up and play like champions!

  39. Bigfish - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:32 AM

    Detwiler & Strasberg have the same problem, and I hope it's a function of their age: they both are lights-out when things are going smoothly, but one little glitch seems to really mess with their minds.

  40. Swift Eagle - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:32 AM

    Ross: "That loss is completely on me"…Also said his FB command wasn't there

  41. hiramhover - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:32 AM

    Wow, the Legion is getting its Doom on tonight.Sec 135 – Morse is under contract for next year–he's not gone unless someone else is willing to pick up the $6.5M he's owed. As for Rendon–people keep hoping and dreaming about him replacing Danny, but where have the Nats said anything about playing him at 2B in the AFL?

  42. NatsLady - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:34 AM

    M Gonzalez is a treasure. And Zach Duke did pretty well for himself. I HATE when it is mental, as with Detwiler–he has the stuff, use it!!! I don't know why Davey took him out, but in the end it didn't matter.

  43. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:34 AM

    It'S the Cap analogy that scares me. That is what playoff activity we have seen the last 20 years.Lannan needs to kick ass tomorrow. He is 2-12 against Nats.Strasburg enough rest time to get back on the saddle.

  44. peric - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:34 AM

    135, agree with your points except Danny. That kid saves 1,000 runs with his D. He will improve on the offense (even though he clearly prefers to be on the field) because he is INTENSE and wants to win.Best athlete on the team. Not Bryce but this guy is Pete Rose incarnate. Just as arrogant an athlete … just as fierce a competitor but with more power, more range, more speed, and hopefully a viable major league switch hitter!

  45. Swift Eagle - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:34 AM

    Mick makes a good point, Davey should show them tapes of the Phils and their fans taking over Nats Park in years past…Remind Ryan how he was booed at the Nats home opener when he received his Silver Slugger b/c it was all Phila fans in the stadiumWe have a chance to bury them in their own yard!! Need to be motivated..

  46. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:35 AM

    If the Nats lose the rest of their regular season games, there is still roughly, better than a 50% chance that they will be the fourth team in the play-offs. There is roughly a 25% chance that they will make it to the NLCS, even if they lose the rest of their regular season games.There is still a 12.5% chance that the Nats will make it to the World Series, even if they lose the rest of their regular season games.There is still a 6.25% chance that the Nats will win the World Series, even if they lose the rest of their World Series games.

  47. NatsLady - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:36 AM

    I am not a member of the Legion of Doom. I look forward to winning the Division, and I am wearing my playoff hat. Would you like to be the White Sox? No, no, no–I like our chances. I like our chances a lot.

  48. peric - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:37 AM

    I don't know why Davey took him out, but in the end it didn't matter.You know the answer to that … he likes to pull his starters … even when they are losing … after a good inning or two so that they feel good about themselves and their performance. Detwiler did that at the end. Davey didn't want to risk any further exposure.Tomorrow, Lannan and Gorzelanny. But third game: Gio. Again, these are dress rehearsals for the playoffs and the players know it. It determines who makes the 25-man playoff rosters.

  49. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:38 AM

    Anyone who mentions the term, "Legion of Doom" will be ignored and his or her posts will not be considered by me. If you have a point about negativity, then make it.People have more than enough reason to be concerned about the team play and decisions made by the team brass during September

  50. mick - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:38 AM

    Manassas Nats' Fan said…It'S the Cap analogy that scares me. That is what playoff activity we have seen the last 20 years.The difference is Davey has won it all before and his teams go far in post season, the Caps are just a sorry organization, Ovie is way over rated and I am not has high on Leonis as i once was.the Nats will be winners, I have no doubt

  51. peric - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:39 AM

    We have a chance to bury them in their own yard!! Need to be motivated..You make some very good points but for that to happen as you've laid out you would need DC fans traveling to Philly to feed them a bit of their own medicine.

  52. mick - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:40 AM

    Swift… thanks man… I forgot about Ryan being booed… I just got fired up, lol!

  53. mick - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:40 AM

    peric…. true and a good point

  54. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:41 AM

    Espinosa is a good kid but he is not Pete Rose. Pete Rose was a force who would not let his team lose, if at all possible. Look at the Reds in 1975 and Phils in 1980. Harper may be more Pete Rose than Pete Rose. People forget that play yesterday because the game became a laugher but Harper's steal and run scored on the throwing error was huge in a desperately important game.Wow, the Yankees blowing a lead in a big game against mediocre opposition. Maybe baseball does have a random element.

  55. DJB - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:41 AM

    Looked at the demeanor of Det, the comments of Knight in the post-game, and am now convinced they won't win the Division. Knight also mentioned the affect Strasburg's absence has had. They'll slip into the WC and lose. If that is the case, then I can't feel good about it, even if they did beat my 88-win estimate. Rizzo will need to be fired, for the damage his stubborness has done to the psyche of this young team. Fire Rizzo. We need Wright on the corner and Zimm on first (unfortunately we're stuck with him). We needed Pujols for his post-season experience.

  56. peric - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:42 AM

    As for Rendon–people keep hoping and dreaming about him replacing Danny, but where have the Nats said anything about playing him at 2B in the AFL?There has been a rumor to that effect. I'm still betting its Ryan Zimmerman at first base and Anthony Rendon at third base. They aren't going to replace Espinosa … goes against everything in the FO's plan: he is a centerpiece for the athleticism the farm system has produced for the major league lineup. Its just unimaginable.

  57. NatsLady - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:42 AM

    Seriously, you people who talk about motivation are NUTS! If anything, the boys are trying TOO hard. They need to remember that they are a .600 team, that they just beat the Brewers 12-2, etc.

  58. JT - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:43 AM

    Was it over when the Japs bombed Pearl Harbor…hell no it wasn't over, and it ain't over for the Nats yet either. The division title is still in there hands, now they just have to bear down and get it. Git r done!!!!!

  59. Swift Eagle - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:44 AM

    Rizzo and B.Beane are the execs of the year…The team is WAY ahead of schedule, and is a few wins away from clinching the division in a year with many key injuries, innings limits on young pitchers, and a difficult schedule being matched up with the NL East….

  60. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:44 AM

    DJB, what about Babe Ruth and Shoeless Joe?Rizzo made no attempt to sign either of them on the last full moon.

  61. mick - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:44 AM

    JT… I thought the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor, lol

  62. peric - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:45 AM

    Rizzo will need to be fired, for the damage his stubborness has done to the psyche of this young team. Fire Rizzo. We need Wright on the corner and Zimm on first (unfortunately we're stuck with him). We needed Pujols for his post-season experience.Stupidest, lame-brained Bandwagon style comment yet put forth. Stoopid is as Stoopid says.Why, because only a bandwagoner fool would not remember what it was like before Rizzo only 2 short years ago. Elijah Dukes? Lastings Milledge? Matt Chico? A really horrible pitching rotation the worst in major league baseball. Go away and haunt another site Kornheiser.

  63. mick - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:45 AM

    Swift… agreed

  64. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:45 AM

    2013 is when I expecter but not that they are in position to do I am still bitter at Davey for bringing Clip vice Drew. Said it to my friend Friday as Clip as he came in.That move has placed bitter taste in my mouth that has not left.Please Davey get my confidence back.

  65. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:46 AM

    Maybe we all need to go to bed.Beating the Brewers 12-2 yesterday, plus 4 quarters will get you a soda from the machine…. I am not sure how that is supposed to give a team confidence. What about that game back in April where they beat the Reds? The Reds are pretty good.

  66. mick - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:47 AM

    William O. Douglas Loeffler said…Maybe we all need to go to bed.agreed, good night to all NI family!

  67. peric - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:48 AM

    Please Davey get my confidence back.How many times have you seen Clipp of late? Not as often as earlier in the season right? Its not like the guy doesn't notice that there's something wrong. But its not like he has that many relievers either. Without Clippard and Burnett he's desperately short. He may be thanking his lucky charms for Duke coming from out of nowhere. There's one. Plus Garcia perhaps although he appears to have a penchant for giving up a long ball.

  68. feelanau - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:49 AM

    DJB, you're either delusional or hilarious.

  69. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:50 AM

    I will never forget Elijah Dukes, Lastings Milledge or Nyger Morgan. If the Mets had Marv Throneberry, the Nats had three Marv Throneberry's…I was laughing my L off last year when Milwaukee kept talking about how much we must be missing Nyger Morgan….

  70. Joe Seamhead - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:52 AM

    Well, the Cards just won, leaving Philly pretty much flatlined as far as their playoff chances are concerned.

  71. hiramhover - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:54 AM

    WODL: Anyone who mentions the term, "Legion of Doom" will be ignored and his or her posts will not be considered by me.You say that like it's a bad thing. Peric:I agree about Espinosa. As far as I can tell, even calling the bit about Rendon playing 2B in the AFL a "rumor" is dignifying it. I haven't seen it mentioned by Mark or any reporter. Not even tweeted by Ladson. Just something the Espi haters wheel out now and then.

  72. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:55 AM

    Honestly, if you love baseball and believe in your team, you shouldn't fear the play-in game. It would be a play-in game at home, so we all get one more time to see our boys play in DC. It would be against a lesser opponent and if we can't beat a lesser opponent at home, then, oh well.And just think, if we tie the Braves, then we might get two extra games at home and the Lerners will have more money to sign all the guys that DJB wants with play-off experience, like Manny Ramirez and Sammy Sosa.

  73. sjm308 - Sep 26, 2012 at 3:02 AM

    I can't believe I read some of this "stuff"Someone on here is actually comparing our baseball team to Hockey? How is that relevant in any way shape or form?Fire Rizzo?? Seriously, why even respond to that but good job Peric!William O. – i am usually one of those positive people you can't stand but I do agree that a certain amount of criticism is more then ok, and needed. Even you have to agree that some of these comments are foolish at best. I am pretty well resigned to finishing at best with the second best record and still have doubts that we will hold the Braves off. No matter what, we ARE in the playoffs although I think we all certainly would rather see us playing solid ball rather then this up and down action that has been going on for a couple of weeks. The key is and always has been pitching and defense. If our starters hold the other guys to 3 or less, we are in great shape.Go Nats!! Score First!!! Win the Division!!

  74. sjm308 - Sep 26, 2012 at 3:05 AM

    Just read WOLD at 10:55 and for some reason, that eased my mind. He is right. The play-in game would not be the worst thing in the world. It would be at home and if we can't win that, we don't deserve much more. We would also get the next two games at home as well and heading to whoever is the #1 seed needing to win just one game out of 3 is certainly not a horrible situation. Of course, I had us winning those first two but I have been dreaming all season, why stop now.

  75. DJB - Sep 26, 2012 at 3:08 AM

    Why is Rizzo the manager of the year? We had the first pick for five years in a row, during a time when two no-doubters were at the top of the draft board. Billy Beane I can agree on, not Rizzo. To think, we could have had both Trout and Harper, but chose a young closer instead.

  76. feelanau - Sep 26, 2012 at 3:08 AM

    We are 13-10 in September. Why does everyone think the wheels have fallen off the cart? Calm down everyone. Besides if Braves go 8-0, which the pretty much must do to win, how is that the Nats failure?

  77. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 26, 2012 at 3:14 AM

    Wheels are falling off just not plsying as well as I like. We have stunk in Philly and I cant stand the Phillies so it makes me angry. I get angrier than the players and that makes me angry. I shouldnt care more than them but I feel I di. Might not be right but it is what it is?

  78. Feel Wood - Sep 26, 2012 at 3:25 AM

    If the Nats are planning to choke away the division title to the Braves, they have their rotation set up perfectly. The last three home games of the season, next week against the Phillies, have been declared "Teddy in 2012." Teddy giveaways each of the three games. A three day celebration of a loser who specializes in snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. How appropriate. What the hell happened to "Natitude Park"?

  79. Bzl. - Sep 26, 2012 at 3:28 AM

    When the Nats clinch, does the Legion of Doom disappear until next year? I remember when this used to be a positive board.

  80. whatsanattau - Sep 26, 2012 at 3:32 AM

    Good grief. Still tied for best record in baseball and the legion of doom stumbles over each other trying to beat the lemmings off the cliff.

  81. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Sep 26, 2012 at 3:40 AM

    This is a good team, not a great one, but MLB is not set up anymore to favor great teams. There is no point in assembling a great team when doing so gives you a very low chance of winning the World Series.The Braves had the best team probably six to eight times from 1991 to 2004 and won one World Series. Back before 1968, a team like that would have easily won multiple World Series. Baseball is not football or basketball and the best team only won in the World Series about fifty percent of the time prior to realignment in 1969. After that, it was a total crapshoot with teams like the 82-79 New York Mets of 1973 almost winning the World Series. Adding the the divisional series made things even worse. The new system is slightly better, but to ease everyone's mind a bit, you still cannot take the MLB play-offs seriously. The best team, whoever you think that is, generally will not win. Baseball is not a sport like football or basketball where a quarterback or center can carry a team. It is much more like hockey where the regular season matters about zero.I still want to win the division and it does up the odds but basically, sit back and enjoy the ride. It is all luck from here on in.

  82. Section 222 - Sep 26, 2012 at 3:45 AM

    sjm, come back from the dark side, no need to panic. We got this. That hasn't changed. I liked how a commenter earlier today put it. There were 18 (now 16) relevant games left. We need a positive result in 5 of those games. They need a positive result in 14 (now 12), just to tie. I'll get worried if the magic number is still 5 with 4 games left. But it won't be. We got this.Now, the No. 1 seed is not a lock, nor is the No. 2. But that's not a huge deal. Seems like Davey might actually prefer to be No. 2 in order to know who he's going to play as early as possible. And being No. 3 means we know who we're playing, and we get to start the NLDS at home. We don't want to play in the do or die WC game though. And we won't.

  83. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Sep 26, 2012 at 3:53 AM

    Nah. That whole spiel about going 5-4 versus 8-1 is pointless. How does that get you anywhere? What is the point of it? How will it change your day or the players day?Just watch the games and enjoy watching the players. They will either win the division or they will be in the play-in but ceaselessly computing what happens if the Nats go 2-6 versus the Braves going 7-1 from here on out will drive anyone crazy. With the exception of exceptional pitchers and players like Pujols in his prime, most of the guys in MLB are about at the same level and guys like Solano, who had never hit a homer before, can suddenly hit two homers.Baseball is about as random as sports come.

  84. John C. - Sep 26, 2012 at 4:44 AM

    DJB said… Why is Rizzo the manager of the year? We had the first pick for five years in a row, during a time when two no-doubters were at the top of the draft board. Billy Beane I can agree on, not Rizzo. To think, we could have had both Trout and Harper, but chose a young closer instead.DJB, excellent effort for the coveted "unintentionally hilarious post of the night award."For starters, Rizzo won't be manager of the year (but Davey likely will). He may well be Executive of the Year, though. You say "wah, wah, anyone could have drafted Strasburg & Harper." OK, fair enough. Rizzo also drafted Jordan Zimmermann, Danny Espinosa, Tyler Moore, and Steve Lombardozzi. He traded for Cy Young candidate Gio Gonzalez, picked up Edwin Jackson for a minimal long term commitment, assembled the "Goon Squad" on the bench. Just as important, he did not make the trades that so many here and on other boards hollered so loudly for last winter. He hung onto Detwiler, Desmond and LaRoche when fans wanted to toss them aside to chase shinier (but not more productive) baubles. He kept Lannan, and Lannan just saved the season with his crucial win over the Braves. Rizzo navigated through the never ending catcher crisis and the Nats came out set at catcher for next year. All while hanging onto a minor league talent pipeline that shows a great deal of promise. THAT is why Rizzo will win EXECUTIVE of the year. Leave the day-to-day management to Davey – he likes that stuff :-)

  85. natsfan1a - Sep 26, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  86. natsfan1a - Sep 26, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    As previously noted, I'm not real big on the tossing out of "Legion of Doom" and other such labels here. I've not read the comments from last night. Did anybody stick one on FP late in the game? I hope not, because I kinda like him and can understand where he was coming from. :-)

  87. Dave - Sep 26, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    Feel Wood @11:25, I have to agree with you 100%. I am really, REALLY tired of the whole Teddy schtick.Teddy Roosevelt was not a fan of baseball (historically). I was reminded this last night while reading a late chapter of John Thorn's "Baseball in the Garden of Eden." He was quoted as saying that baseball was a game for "mollycoddles."It seems clear that Teddy is never, ever going to win that stupid race in the middle of the fourth inning. Fine, so be it. Kids and casual fans get a giggle out of it.But to close out the season celebrating this cartoon figure who can never, ever win seems quite inappropriate.

  88. Dave - Sep 26, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    Sorry, I should have said that Theodore Roosevelt was quoted elsewhere (not in Thorn's book) as finding baseball wimpy.In other words, I've read it in two sources: Thorn's book and also the Smithsonian history-of-baseball book.I could probably also find it on the Internetz if I looked hard enough.

  89. whatsanattau - Sep 26, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    I used the legion of doom handle to describe what i percieve to be an overly pessimistic and plantive cry from cyberspace. I was unaware that there were any badges or signs to hand out. I didn't do it to taunt specifc individuals. Perhaps I can think of a better way to get my point across – like, there's no crying in baseball … I understand losing is frustrating – I've been a fan of this team for quite some time….but the negative thoughts expressed by a few posters late at night sounds a little like they're tossing the barn looking for the pitchforks and torches. I hate the pitchforks and torches. And when they get out the tar and feathers … oh what a mess.

  90. natsfan1a - Sep 26, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    After reading the most recent comments and Feel Wood's original take, agreed re. the Teddy promo.Whatsa, as noted, I've not read comments from last night and wasn't directing my remarks at you in particular. It's more about the trend on the part of a group of commenters to toss out that label whenever someone makes a remark that they perceive as too negative. Also, although those who like to throw that label around do make negative comments themselves on occasion, they don't seem to get tagged with the label.Not that it matters what I think, but I'd prefer to see a reply that addresses a given comment on the merits than one that dismisses the source of that comment as a "Legion of Doom" member (and thus, evidently, unworthy of engaging in discussion).

  91. Section 3, My Sun Monster Sofa - Sep 26, 2012 at 6:23 PM

    So does that include "Phans In Nats Clothing (PhINCs)" then?

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 77 57 --
ATLANTA 71 65 7.0
MIAMI 68 68 11.0
NEW YORK 63 73 15.0
PHILADELPHIA 62 73 15.5
Through Saturday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
SUN: Nats at Mariners, 4:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

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ON THE RADIO

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