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A beating with a positive result

Sep 29, 2012, 5:11 AM EDT

Associated Press photo
Edwin Jackson departs after recording only four outs and surrendering nine runs.

ST. LOUIS — They picked just about the worst possible moment to play their worst ballgame of the season, a 2-hour, 51-minute stinker that ended in a 12-2 thumping at the hands of an opponent who looked far more ready for the postseason than they did.

So why weren’t the Nationals completely down in the dumps at the end of a miserable night at Busch Stadium?

“That was a beating, there,” first baseman Adam LaRoche said. “But we’re obviously watching the scoreboard, and the Braves finally lost a game this month. So I guess we can take that as a positive.”

Yes, the best thing that happened to the Nationals Friday night took place 554 miles to the southeast in Atlanta, where the Braves blew a late lead to the Mets and lost 3-1 on Chipper Jones Night, failing to gain any ground in the NL East.

So, guess what, folks: The Nationals, with their magic number down to 2, have a chance to clinch their first-ever division title Saturday night.

That kind of takes the sting out of the most-lopsided loss of the season, doesn’t it?
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104 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. DWS - Sep 29, 2012 at 5:32 AM

    I've seen embarrassing mentioned by a pitcher twice this week. I hope that word is banished from here on out. You're embarrassed? Throw strikes.

  2. NatsFanJim - Sep 29, 2012 at 6:29 AM

    The Nats have had a magical year. Virtually all the breaks went there way — Magic!The Baseball Gods giveth and they taketh away.Let's hope there's enough in the Nats tank to last into October.

  3. D'Gourds - Sep 29, 2012 at 9:01 AM

    If we end the season tied with the Reds for the best record, do we get home field advantage because we won the season series with them? Also, how does the seeding work–if we had the best record, do we play the wild card winner?

  4. baseballswami - Sep 29, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    EJax worries me. Seems like a guy with tons of potential – for goodness sake, he pitched a no hitter and has a world series ring! But he has also been a vagabond. Must be a very frustrating challenge for pitching coaches. The Cards certainly know his stuff and they are playing at home for their baseball lives. It was nice of the Mets to help us out a little bit but I don't think we can count on much else from the Mets or Pirates. The Nats had their stinker, everybody got to play like a little league game – which is not a bad thing, by the way, and now they need to buckle down.Starting pitching, which had been our mainstay through out most of the season, is needing a little bailing out by the offense these days.

  5. natsfan1a - Sep 29, 2012 at 11:00 AM

    Yeah, that was ugly. Hope that it was an anomaly.Was relieved to hear that the Mets won. And the Marlins (buh-bye, Phillies). :-)Definitely nice to see a two up in corner this a.m. Now, about that coffee.

  6. NatsLady - Sep 29, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    Remember a few days ago when Clip blew away Jackson's great start? They've all been there, even the great Verlander got torched for 8 earned runs on Aug 30 and again for 6 earned on Sept 8. Homer Bailey (who?) threw a no-hitter and the White Sox aren't dead yet.Detroit lost to the "lowly" Twins, and the ChiSox beat the Rays. Fun times.

  7. NatsLady - Sep 29, 2012 at 11:07 AM

    D'Gourds, take a look at this link.postseasonhttp://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/standings/postseasonpicture.jsp

  8. NatsLady - Sep 29, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    If we tie for the Division/WC with Atlanta, here is the rule:Two-Club Tie for Division Championship and Wild Card:One tiebreak game will be played on Thursday, October 4th (tentatively) to determine the Division Champion. The loser of the game will be declared a Wild Card. We would have the home field advantage in that game because of this:Nats vs.ATL 10 8 84 69 .556

  9. NatsLady - Sep 29, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    This is the funniest play I've ever seen. I watched it four times and I'm still laughing.Comebackerhttp://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=25158755&topic_id=11493214

  10. Brandon Beylo - Sep 29, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    Nats fans, check out my article about Bryce Harper and comparing him to Ken Griffey Jr. as well as Mike Trout in each of their first year seasons: http://koppettstown.com/2012/09/28/is-bryce-harper-the-kid-2-0-2/Hope you enjoy it!

  11. Gonat - Sep 29, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    NatsLady said… This is the funniest play I've ever seen. I watched it four times and I'm still laughing.Comebackerhttp://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=25158755&topic_id=11493214 September 29, 2012 7:40 AM ________________________________Remember that Keystone Kops play in Houston this year in the Nats game?

  12. Gonat - Sep 29, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    baseballswami said… EJax worries me. Seems like a guy with tons of potential – for goodness sake, he pitched a no hitter and has a world series ring! But he has also been a vagabond. Must be a very frustrating challenge for pitching coaches. The Cards certainly know his stuff and they are playing at home for their baseball lives. It was nice of the Mets to help us out a little bit but I don't think we can count on much else from the Mets or Pirates. The Nats had their stinker, everybody got to play like a little league game – which is not a bad thing, by the way, and now they need to buckle down.Starting pitching, which had been our mainstay through out most of the season, is needing a little bailing out by the offense these days. September 29, 2012 6:53 AM _____________________________________What do you do with a pitcher that struggles in 1/2 of his starts in the first inning of games?Its starting to remind me of "Good Henry" and "Bad Henry".You can only afford "Good Henrys" in the Post-season.At 5-1 the Nats were still in the game. At 9-1, virtually impossible. Its like digging the hole right there and jumping into it. All that top of 1st momentum, gone.

  13. mick - Sep 29, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    The only thing is that in post season scoreboard watching means nothing, you either win your game or you lose. Ejac must havea good last regular season game or Davey has to go with Lannan in post season

  14. Natslifer - Sep 29, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    We get crushed by essentially two innings of baseball, but the Braves lose and the Phillies are officially eliminated from postseason. It'll be nice to play three against someone who's not in the playoff hunt to end the season. Davey's choice with Ejax is a tough one. I lived in Atlanta during the beginning of their boom years and Tom Glavine had the same first inning issue. Painful to watch and always a certain amount of dread when he got started but if he made it through the first and second, he got tougher and tougher as the game wore on. I'm sure Davey will figure it out.We get the Cards ace tonight – will be a nice statement if we bounce back and beat him with Zmann.

  15. Gonat - Sep 29, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    mick said… The only thing is that in post season scoreboard watching means nothing, you either win your game or you lose. Ejac must havea good last regular season game or Davey has to go with Lannan in post season September 29, 2012 8:24 AM ____________________________________I don't think its that simple as discussed in the last thread. Davey may look at team matchups and go lefty heavy in an Atlanta series and more neutral in a Reds series.You also have to believe in a Post-season game EJax is hooked quickly but unfortunately he leaves the game at 5-1 and then Davey burns his bullpen. No great solution for a horrible start.

  16. mick - Sep 29, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    Gonat that is a good point and I know the rosters are re set with each new series in post season. I have no idea how Ejac will be evaluated, maybe last night was just a glitch or, maybe not

  17. Gonat - Sep 29, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    mick, luckily EJax has followed up most of his crappers with good outings in the next start.Only exception was that 8 run beating in Colorado that he followed up with two 4 run starts.

  18. natsfan1a - Sep 29, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    Now that I've had my coffee, I will phrase that more precisely: I was relieved to hear that the Mets won, and happy to hear that the Marlins won (buh-bye, Phillies). :-)

  19. Section 3, My Sofa - Sep 29, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    And congrats also to Mark, for a PB (personal best, but also Pretty Bueno) record number of posts in a month, with a couple of days to go. Thanks, Mark!

  20. Secret wasian man - Sep 29, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    The nats seemed to be off the mediocre style play in Philly. I won't say they reverted back yet. Last night was one persons fault and one only. This was not a team loss.

  21. Theophilus T. S. - Sep 29, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    There are reasons why none of the windows in the Arch can be opened. If Jackson threw a pitch off the Arch, he probably couldn't hit the ground.

  22. natsfan1a - Sep 29, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    MVP! MVP! (Or would that be MVBW?)Section 3, My Sofa said… And congrats also to Mark, for a PB (personal best, but also Pretty Bueno) record number of posts in a month, with a couple of days to go. Thanks, Mark! And congrats also to Mark, for a PB (personal best, but also Pretty Bueno) record number of posts in a month, with a couple of days to go. Thanks, Mark!

  23. natsfan1a - Sep 29, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    Speaking of arches, I liked FP's comment after Carp mentioned how much bigger the STL park looked after Philly. It was something like this: "See that arch pattern in the turf? In Philly, that's where the fences are."

  24. NatsLady - Sep 29, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    Well, we have a couple of tough pitchers to face (Lohse and Lynn). I have a hard time believing both JZ and Det will falter. At least one will come through, and that's what we need. One win in St. Louis and one win here. For Davey's sake though, let's clinch it tonight (Metsies, please!). I don't want that man to have a heart attack. Actually, yesterday was not a heart-attack type game. It was over almost as soon as it started, though even at 9-1 it's not impossible to put together a few crooked numbers and make it a game. (We've seen it happen, we've even done it, if you remember Milwaukee.) Edwin Jackson is a hard guy to figure out. You would think he would come out mad, but he didn't have that intense look, he just didn't. The only time he seemed to focus was, ironically, in his at-bat. I have to feel his arm or shoulder was tired and he couldn't focus. OK, he had a bad first inning, but the second wasn't any better. The A-bullpen got a rest, and so did the regulars for a few innings. It's a night game, so get in some ZZZZZZ's, hot-tubs, muscle-rubs, etc., and come out strong. Let's go, NATS.In regard to Clip–Homer Bailey pitched a no-hitter, his FB velo was 90-91 early on and maxed around 92. Velocity isn't everything. Clip needs to turn on that smart brain of his and locate his pitches.I looked at some pre-season predictions. O's and A's were routinely picked for last place in their respective divisions, Nats for 85 wins, third place, maybe scratching for a WC. I am so glad they actually play the games!

  25. Gonat - Sep 29, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    How come this quote didn't come out with the sun monster quotes:"The sun has been there for 500, 600 years." –Major League Baseball outfielder, Mike Cameron.

  26. natsfan1a - Sep 29, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    I clicked over to MLB Network late in the game and they were showing the bottom of the 8th in Pittsburgh. Clicked back over later to catch the bottom of the 9th. Pretty cool for Bailey. Did feel bad for the Pirates, as it would have been a positive for them to have a winning record on the season.

  27. natsfan1a - Sep 29, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    Bos said something to that effect at the time, Gonat. Can't recall whether it was in a chat or a column.

  28. NatsNut - Sep 29, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    Yes and yes. D'Gourds said… If we end the season tied with the Reds for the best record, do we get home field advantage because we won the season series with them? Also, how does the seeding work–if we had the best record, do we play the wild card winner?

  29. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 29, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    Today is the first day that can mathematically be a Division clinch day!If the baseball gods cooperate, September 29, 2012 can be a day etched in Washington baseball history.

  30. natsfan1a - Sep 29, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    Found this in a chat. Thought I'd seen another one as well but couldn't find it.A.Thomas Boswell :Another mystery of life. I'm at Nats Park now, watching BP. The Nats need to score a few for Z'mann today because this is a big game for them __to get a 4-3 homestand and to push their lead over idle Atlanta to 5 games, not fall back to 4. Yesterday's loss was ugly with two balls lost in the sun.The Nats better learn to play their sun field better than their foes can in the playoffs. Harper especially. I was surprised to see Werth cover his head at the last second yesterday. Come on, put one hand over your face and stick the glove up. Give it a 1-in-100 chance to go in. I'm surprised that more OFers don't do it the old-fashioned way __move your glove and forth __over the sun, off it, back over it__ so that you picked up the ball, lose it for a split seconbd, then picked it up again. Back in the day of no sunglasses, pre-flip-downs, just eyeblack and a glove, you were expected to catch 'em. You know, the sun was still up in the sky back then and few if any routine balls dropped. – September 24, 2012 11:10 AM

  31. Laddie Blah Blah - Sep 29, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    ""The sun has been there for 500, 600 years." –Major League Baseball outfielder, Mike Cameron."LOL. That's even funnier than the video NatsLady posted.

  32. JaneB - Sep 29, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    NatsLady, two great links: the playoff tiers and that come backer! Talk about Sweet Fancy Moses!Fun piece in the Wall Street Journal about the President's Race. WHich Teddy better win this week. Front page. If I knew how to link I would.Finally, these guys are mortal. They have huge skill most of us don't have. They are playing the hardest game in all sports. If they could throw strikes when they need to, they would do it. If they could dump the ball in the gap and score a runner when we want them to, they would. Why are people so hard on them?2. 2. 2. Just keep your eye on that. Det or JZimm will win at least one of these games. But root for the Mets while you're at it.

  33. natsfan1a - Sep 29, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    As previously noted, and me with an early birthday dinner on the calendar, with my hubby and a friend. This morning I told my husband that I want to go to a sports pub. (After all, it *is* my day that we're celebrating.) Oh, and later in the night, I'll be going down to the basement tv-watching sports lair periodically to check the score. It's okay, they're used to it by now. :-)Ghost Of Steve M. said… Today is the first day that can mathematically be a Division clinch day! If the baseball gods cooperate, September 29, 2012 can be a day etched in Washington baseball history. September 29, 2012 9:43 AM

  34. Feel Wood - Sep 29, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    Two-Club Tie for Division Championship and Wild Card:One tiebreak game will be played on Thursday, October 4th (tentatively) to determine the Division Champion. The loser of the game will be declared a Wild Card.So if DET and CWS tie for the AL Central championship, the loser of that tiebreaker game would become a wild card even if their record is worse than BAL and OAK? Interesting…

  35. natsfan1a - Sep 29, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    Teddy link. (Although, seriously? With all that this team has been doing between the lines, the team is hawking Teddy? Sigh.)

  36. natsfan1a - Sep 29, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    (Make that "loser" Teddy. ;-))

  37. sjm308 - Sep 29, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    Surprised how many of you have just assumed that LannEn would be the choice for the playoffs. I realize he has a 4-0 record but I am not sure Davey will place him on the roster in place of someone who has been with the team & working hard for him the entire season. Actually, in this first 5 game series, he can go with 3 starters if he wishes, since there is a travel day after the first two games. He could have Gorzo, Stammen, and even Duke in the pen who could all go long or start in a pinch.I love what LannEn has done but I am not ready to put him on the mound in game 3 or 4 of a playoff.One good thing about last night, along with the Mets win, is a got to leave the bar very early which made the spousal equivalent happy.Tonight we have a wedding so the results of both games will be a surprise to me when I get home.Go Nats!! Go Mets!!

  38. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 29, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    I have to think these blowup outings by EJax are mechanical and something that has to get worked out in a side session. But the Suzuki/Flores differences is something to consider, as well.

  39. Another_Sam - Sep 29, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    I'm laying in the champagne. And watching the Reds' scoreboard Lannan? Not my guy in past years but I love him now. Play ball.

  40. natsfan1a - Sep 29, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    hmmm…I don't drink but I think I may have some sparkling cider around here somewhere…

  41. Another_Sam - Sep 29, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    BTW what we're seeing is of historic, epic dimensions. Long unseen in this area.

  42. NatsLady - Sep 29, 2012 at 2:15 PM

    Laddie, no fair. I spit out my cranberry juice, all over the monitor. Gotta get a wipe now.

  43. NatsLady - Sep 29, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    Will we see Flores before we clinch? Davey isn't giving Suzuki any rest. Maybe tomorrow afternoon?

  44. Feel Wood - Sep 29, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    I love what LannEn has done but I am not ready to put him on the mound in game 3 or 4 of a playoff.The way they have both been pitching for the last month, you don't think Lannan gives the team a better chance to win than Edwin Jackson does? We're not talking one game here. We're talking a whole month.

  45. Theophilus T. S. - Sep 29, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    NatsJack — Your last post was not up to your standards. Of course Jackson's problem was mechanical. He couldn't throw the ball past the Sunset Hills Assisted Living softball team. Doesn't mean it's fixable, especially if the issue is that the gears in his head aren't meshing with the ones in his shoulder. And blaming Suzuki for that fiasco is libelous.

  46. natsfan1a - Sep 29, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    Flores was inserted in the game for Suzuki last night.

  47. natsfan1a - Sep 29, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    Yes, I know that.Another_Sam said… BTW what we're seeing is of historic, epic dimensions. Long unseen in this area. September 29, 2012 10:11 AM

  48. natsfan1a - Sep 29, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    In the bottom of the 5th for Flores.

  49. natsfan1a - Sep 29, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    Speaking of the bubbly stuff, last night I drifted off while musing about the visiting clubhouse being stocked with champagne (sparkling cider for Bryce) before today's game. Maybe some goggles, scuba gear, and what-not as well. :-)

  50. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 29, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    My package from MLB.com arrived yesterday with my Natitude red postseason shirt and the postseason cap. Guess what I'm wearing today!MicheleS, are you staying for tonight's game?

  51. Exposremains - Sep 29, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    All the Nats starters have had a really bad outing in the past 2 weeks. I'd like to say that I feel confident that they're ready for the pressure of the playoff but I'm not.

  52. Laddie Blah Blah - Sep 29, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    "But the Suzuki/Flores differences is something to consider, as well."That occurred to me, as well, especially since JFlo caught Ejax's last game, which was a gem. But EJax had a similar outing in Denver where he was also totally ineffective. He was even worse last night. Felt bad for him, and thought Davey should have taken him out sooner.Thank you Lucas Duda. Niese must be one of the most under-rated pitchers in the NL. He is as effective against the Nats as he was against the Braves last night. Made Ejax's implosion a lot easier to take.Maybe the Mets can do it, again, so the Nats and Davey and the fans can relax and just root for Harp to hit 25 and steal 20.

  53. sjm308 - Sep 29, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    Feel, I guess you are correct. My point was replacing a guy who has been with you since day one for another who you sent to the minors on day one is not a great way to enter the playoffs. From all we have read, EJax is a great guy in the clubhouse, he does have playoff experience and again, while I love LannEn, I just think Davey will stay with Jackson.

  54. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 29, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    sjm, EJax wont be back next year I'm almost certain. Each game can be your last. Davey will put out his best four.

  55. JaneB - Sep 29, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  56. JaneB - Sep 29, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    I actually wonder if part of EJax's issue is reading/hearing everywhere that the three guys likely to form the rotation are Zimm, Det and Gio. When he surely though he was hired for something like this, were it to come to pass. It is so mysterious, and so subtle, what teeny shifts in mind and body make the difference between Edwin's night and Homer Bailey's night.And happy birthday 1a! I am glad to be able to celebrate you as my Imaginary Friend, and possibly even on Clinch Day!

  57. natsfan1a - Sep 29, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    Thanks, JaneB. The actual b-day isn't until next week, but tonight will be the first celebration of it. :-)

  58. baseballswami - Sep 29, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    Go Nats. Go Mets. Ewwww. That 's just icky. Necessary , but gross. Too bad the Barves miss Dickey.

  59. NatsNut - Sep 29, 2012 at 3:45 PM

    Theophilus T.S.:This was a good one. Sofa, isn't this your team? (ducks)"He couldn't throw the ball past the Sunset Hills Assisted Living softball team."

  60. natsfan1a - Sep 29, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    lol, NatsNut! (Sorry, Sofa.)

  61. NatsNut - Sep 29, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    My biggest question about both Jackson's AND Detwiler's starts (And Gio's 1st inning too, for that matter) is why? What is it that's making them all have such freak epic breakdowns so suddenly? Mental? Recovery from last starts taking longer? Insufficient warmups? I keep wondering because pretty all of them have done it recently.

  62. NatsNut - Sep 29, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    1a, how cool is it that us October babies get baseball on our birthdays this year?!?

  63. natsfan1a - Sep 29, 2012 at 3:52 PM

    It is very awesome, NatsNut. :-)

  64. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 29, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    JaneB I like your point on the subtle and mysterious between the no-hitter and the blow-hitter.EJax wasn't hitting his spots and it always starts there and his 1st inning ERA isn't good for his team to constantly be playing from behind.This isn't new for EJax, he has been plain B.A.D. in 1st innings and McCatty hasn't been able to fix him.

  65. Laddie Blah Blah - Sep 29, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    "EJax wont be back next year I'm almost certain." I think you are right, especially considering what he will want, and what they would have to pay for either Garcia or Perry. Haven't seen Perry this year, but Garcia has better stuff than EJax. Perry and Garcia could fight it out in next year's spring training, assuming Perry's AFL performanceis up to snuff.Rizzo might tender EJax an offer, just to get a draft pick when he goes elsewhere, but he might be afraid that EJax would accept it, so he probably won't.Rizzo has left himself with better, cheaper options, as usual. Garcia, in particular, is very impressive. And there are others in the pipeline, not that far down the road.

  66. Another_Sam - Sep 29, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    Jane – I can't believe that these professionals have egos that fragile. We're not talking NBA here. LOL

  67. SonnyG10 - Sep 29, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    EJax couldn't control his fast ball and his slider had no bite. He tried to throw the ball down the middle of the plate to get a strike, but was essentially just throwing batting practice. I think his problems were mechanical at first, then morphed into mental as well. Edwin seems to be prone to this.

  68. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 29, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    Theo….I was at EJax's last start against the Brewers and he was down in the zone and lights out all nite. My point is he continually reverts to flying open and leaving everything up plus losing the snap on his slider.That's mechanical.And the comment on Suzuku/Flores is not a knock on either of those two…..that's on EJax too.

  69. #4 - Sep 29, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    EJax going on an extra day's rest may have had something to do with his performance. He dealt last time out.

  70. NatsLady - Sep 29, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  71. NatsLady - Sep 29, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    LOL at the pros/egos comment. FP was saying that Gio missed EJax in his (Gio's) start because EJax had flown ahead to St. Louis. Gio seems to require a lot of support; I read on an A's site that they had a "Gio-Whisperer." That doesn't bother me–I mean, whatever it takes!

  72. sjm308 - Sep 29, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    Laddie, I will not be upset if he goes elsewhere but I do think Rizzo will tender him the offer. As I understand, the offer can be only for one year, and if it brings a draft pick we are better off then just letting him walk. He has been up & down as NatsJack and others point out but you could do a lot worse at the # 5 spot. I do think you can get better value at that spot with the guys we have behind him. Like Mick says, that next start is really an important one for him both as a teammate and financially. If he stinks and Davey goes another direction(again, I still don't think that will happen), then his earning power has suffered as well.Swami is also correct about my second Go but these are historic times and I want this worrying over.Go Nats!! Go Mets!!

  73. sjm308 - Sep 29, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    I have one more point that maybe has been discussed before. I will be so proud just to see a PENNANT flying from Nationals Park next year! I can't imagine them flying one that states Wild Card contestant or Wild Card Playoff winner. I want that Pennant to read NL EAST DIVISION CHAMPION!!! I will not mind if it gets better than that but that is my minimum criteria for said Pennant. Go Nats!! Go Mets!!

  74. SonnyG10 - Sep 29, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    sjm308 said… I have one more point that maybe has been discussed before. I will be so proud just to see a PENNANT flying from Nationals Park next year! I can't imagine them flying one that states Wild Card contestant or Wild Card Playoff winner. I want that Pennant to read NL EAST DIVISION CHAMPION!!! I will not mind if it gets better than that but that is my minimum criteria for said Pennant. Go Nats!! Go Mets!! September 29, 2012 12:31 PM That exactly how I feel also.

  75. Exposremains - Sep 29, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    I've seen other teams fly a wildcard flag, not that I want one

  76. Section 3, My Sofa - Sep 29, 2012 at 5:02 PM

    This was a good one. Sofa, isn't this your team? (ducks)"He couldn't throw the ball past the Sunset Hills Assisted Living softball team."*****************I am hurt, NN, deeply hurt, that you would suggest we play softball, not baseball. Our unis are totally different. And we gave SHAL all they could handle, I'll have you know. We nearly won the brawl, too.

  77. Feel Wood - Sep 29, 2012 at 5:04 PM

    Teams might fly a wild card flag if they win the play-in game. But if they lose that game, are they going to fly a flag saying "Close But No Cigar"? I think not. That would be like adopting as the Face of your Mascot Franchise a guy who never wins. Oh no…

  78. Section 3, My Sofa - Sep 29, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    "He couldn't throw the ball past the Sunset Hills Assisted Living softball team."And yet he didn't seem to have any trouble getting it by Zuki. I'd be more worried if he had not been good in any starts lately, but the 8 innings last week that Clip pissed away show he is still capable. Sorry he won't get over .500, tho.

  79. Gonat - Sep 29, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    Snarky Cardinals fans thanking EJax for the help.

  80. Navy Nats Fan - Sep 29, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    Just got back from 2 weeks out of town and no STH playoff tickets waiting for me in the mail. Anyone get theirs yet?

  81. Exposremains - Sep 29, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    when a team finishes as the wildcard they put a flag saying wildcard. the same way team put a flag to say they were the division winner.

  82. NatsNut - Sep 29, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    =)

  83. sjm308 - Sep 29, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    They can put that pennant up but I would be much happier with Division Winner!

  84. Dave - Sep 29, 2012 at 6:19 PM

    @Navy, someone posted yesterday that the post/season strip tickets were being SENT today or Monday. Way too late to be reasonableAnd Feel Wood suggested yesterday that if we don't get them today (i.e., before Monday), we need to call our season-ticket reps on Mobday and raise a ruckus. I plan to do just that. We are the people who have paid hundreds or thousands of dollars for tickets over some very bad years of baseball. And they've had out money for a month or more now. And they're treating us like an afterthought. People who went online got their tickets immediately. But not season-ticket folks.

  85. Dave - Sep 29, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    Sorry for non-autocorrect. On Monday. Our money. You know what I mean.

  86. Section 3, My Sofa - Sep 29, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    I thot "Mobday" worked, there.

  87. Dave - Sep 29, 2012 at 6:33 PM

    Well, yeah, I guess we should make it Mobday. With pitchforks and torches.

  88. Feel Wood - Sep 29, 2012 at 6:34 PM

    Navy Nats Fan said… Just got back from 2 weeks out of town and no STH playoff tickets waiting for me in the mail. Anyone get theirs yet?No. But today I got the parking passes for the three NLDS games that I ordered just last week. In a UPS package marked "Extremely Urgent" left on my front porch, no signature required. Yet there seems to be no sense of urgency for them to get me the tickets that I bought and paid for SEVEN WEEKS AGO. WTF, Nationals?

  89. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Sep 29, 2012 at 6:34 PM

    I like Boswell, but somehow I doubt that he is some sort of expert at playing the outfield. I am shocked by how often writers and fans, myself included, reduce fielding fly balls to some sort of simplistic enterprise.Remember, these are the same fans who ooh and aah almost every single fly ball when you are at the park, thinking all of them are going long, virtually every single one.Willie Mays has been unjustly criticized for 40 years for losing a couple of balls in the bright sun of Shea Stadium back in 1973. Somebody should line up Zuckerman and Boswell and some of the other Nats' beat writers and hit them a few on a sunny afternoon. I would love to see Boswell try his old-fashioned technique as 300 foot fly balls rain down upon his face.

  90. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Sep 29, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    I hate this kind of stuff, but I am sure some of the choices for the post-season staff come down to future considerations. Jackson is unlikely to be back, even though I think he would be a great guy to have around. I don't know what the contract status of the various bullpen guys, including Clippard, and Lannan is.

  91. Joe Seamhead - Sep 29, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    I guess I a flying solo here, but I think EJ had a bad game.Period. It happens. Move forward. He'll be fine. We'll be fine. We got this. Man, I got a Highlife in my hand, ( yeah, I'm back in the Highlife again), got a large Boston Butt pork shoulder on the smoker, coleslaw is made, along with deviled eggs, salad, pinnacle upside down cake made,and friends heading this way. Nats are heading to the playoffs. Is this a great country, or what?GYFNG!!!

  92. natsfan1a - Sep 29, 2012 at 7:00 PM

    mmm…I like that menu. Just tell me when and where and I'll be there, Joe. ;-)

  93. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Sep 29, 2012 at 7:00 PM

    I agree with you completely, JS.

  94. Section 222 - Sep 29, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    Playoff tickets are shipping on Monday via Fed Ex or UPS according to my ticket rep. Hopefully we'll have them by the middle of the week. Time is running out since it's at least conceiveable that the Nats first home game will be on Oct. 6.

  95. Joe Seamhead - Sep 29, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    natsfan1a, here, and now. Seriously, though, we will seal the deal tomorrow.How great is that?

  96. natsfan1a - Sep 29, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    Very very very very great. :-)

  97. Section 222 - Sep 29, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    JoeS, I'm with ou too. We got this. And E-Jax will pitch in the playoffs, and will do fine.

  98. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 29, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    Joe I am with you next couple games EJAX will be fine.

  99. Section 222 - Sep 29, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    Dave, I know how you feel, but apparently they did a special off-site print of the playoff strips, as opposed to printing the smaller number of individual game tickets they sold in the online sale. I wish i had them in hand too, but remember, they haven't done this before. :-) Our reps are working really hard now I'm sure. They probably don't need a bunch of angry phone calls on Monday, which they can only answer by saying "sorry, we're sending them out today."

  100. Section 222 - Sep 29, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    I think they will definitely tender a contract to E-Jax to at least get the draft pick. And they may also make him a 2 year offer for serious money and hope he takes it. Garcia has been impressive, but there certainly is no guarantee he'll be a successful starter in his first year back in that role. Perry is probably still a year away for being an serious candidate for No. 5 too, which means he's llkely to be traded because he doesn't have options left. I really don't think Rizzo will go into next season with a rotation that is worse than the one he had this year, which means that if E-Jax doesn't sign, I'd expect him to find another free agent who will take a one year deal.

  101. Navy Nats Fan - Sep 29, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    Sending tickets out Monday when we could still theoretically play a tiebreaker on Thursday? Hate to be negative, but that's ridiculously poor planning.As Charlie Slowes would say, UNBELIEVABLE!!!

  102. Feel Wood - Sep 29, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    Dave, I know how you feel, but apparently they did a special off-site print of the playoff strips, as opposed to printing the smaller number of individual game tickets they sold in the online sale.Not good enough. They were selling these tickets to us SEVEN WEEKS AGO. At that time, they knew everything they needed to know to print the tickets, since they're only going to have TBD for the date/time anyway. They could have printed them all ahead of time. They could have had Leroy Effin Nieman individually hand paint them all and still had them ready to ship in an adequate timeframe for them to arrive before the last possible minute. Instead, they're shipping them on Monday, three days before the day one of those tickets might be needed. And they're shipping them FedEx or UPS signature required to people most of whom aren't going to be home because (a) they have jobs, which are needed to pay the high ticket prices and (b) they're season ticket holders who will be at the games on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Not acceptable. I'm pissed, and I don't even have to distribute any tickets to other parties.Our reps are working really hard now I'm sure. They probably don't need a bunch of angry phone calls on Monday, which they can only answer by saying "sorry, we're sending them out today."Too bad. Someone needs to hear it. If the reps don't want to, they can transfer the call up to their supervisor, or even to Feffer. I'll hold.

  103. Feel Wood - Sep 29, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    I really don't think Rizzo will go into next season with a rotation that is worse than the one he had this year, which means that if E-Jax doesn't sign, I'd expect him to find another free agent who will take a one year deal.They could retain Lannan at $5-6M and let Jackson and his $11M+ go, and still have a rotation every bit as good as this year's.

  104. Section 222 - Sep 29, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    Jeez Feel, lighten up on the Nats' reps. Weren't you the one saying several days go that all the tickets were in My Nationals Tickets anyway, so you can transfer them and give out the souvenirs later? I don't know about yours, but my ticket rep is extremely helpful and responsive. I'm not going to give him a hard time and possibly alienate him just because I wish I had the souvenirs in my hands. You'll get them in time to get in to the games, don't worry. Why so pissed if you don't have others to distribute them to?And on E-Jax, you're entitled to your opinion, but do you really think our rotation this year would have been as good with Lannan for the full year instead of E-Jax? If Rizzo thought that Lannan was as good as E-Jax, he could have had him in the bigs and saved the Lerners $11 million plus the cost of Lannan's bus tickets back and forth to Syracuse. I don't think their respective performances this year have changed his assessment. They haven't changed mine, last night's disasater notwithstanding.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 75 57 --
ATLANTA 69 64 6.5
MIAMI 65 66 9.5
NEW YORK 62 71 13.5
PHILADELPHIA 61 72 14.5
Through Wednesday's early games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
THU: OFF
FRI: Nats at Mariners, 10:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Mariners, 9:10 p.m.
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, 4:10 p.m.
Full season schedule

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