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Position analysis: Rotation

Oct 18, 2012, 11:00 AM EDT

US Presswire photo
Stephen Strasburg won't be on a hard innings limit in 2013.

As we transition into offseason mode, we'll start by breaking down the Nationals' roster by position (infield, outfield, catcher, rotation and bullpen) this week and examine where things stand at season's end and where things might stand moving forward. Today's position: The starting rotation…

RHP STEPHEN STRASBURG
Stats: 15-6, 3.16 ERA, 159.1 IP, 1.155 WHIP, 11.1 K/9, 2.7 BB/9
4.3 WAR
2012 salary: $3 million
Contract status: Arbitration-eligible in 2014, free agent in 2017
Where he fits in: Right at the top of the rotation. And straight through September (and into October, should the Nationals get that far). The Shutdown will be a huge topic of discussion all spring, but once the season gets underway, Strasburg will be free to pitch every fifth day with no restrictions (aside from running up pitch counts only Livan Hernandez is allowed to reach). One more year removed from his Tommy John surgery, the right-hander figures to be more consistent from start to start and should feel like he's still got plenty left in the tank late in the year, much as Jordan Zimmermann did this year.

LHP GIO GONZALEZ
Stats: 21-8, 2.89 ERA, 199.1 IP, 1.129 WHIP, 9.3 K/9, 3.4 BB/9Read more »

176 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Steady Eddie - Oct 18, 2012 at 11:26 AM

    Mark, good summary, but two questions:1). Do you think Lannan's performance in the crunch this year has raised his trade value (while the time in the minors without viable trade offers may have cut his arbitration cost) to the point where it's worth getting him under contract to trade?2) no mention of Christian Garcia – is that because his conversion to a starter is so hypothetical at this point that even if it works in ST, they'd likely send him to Syracuse for another or two to get in the groove, meaning he's unlikely to be in the Opening Day rotation?

  2. Steady Eddie - Oct 18, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    Stupid autocorrect strikes again — meant "a month or two" not "another or two".

  3. grimjon - Oct 18, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Section 135 - Oct 18, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    Trade Morse plus prospect for James Shields. Sign him to longer deal. Resign Laroche. Problem solved.

  5. Natslifer - Oct 18, 2012 at 11:52 AM

    Mark – off topic but the most important thing for me right now is when do we hear that Davey is signed???

  6. baseballswami - Oct 18, 2012 at 11:55 AM

    So we will spend our off season speculating on the mystery number 5 starter. Let's not forget what happened last season, though, when we all had JZim written in black sharpie as the number 2 and then Gio came in and he was moved to 3. Det could still get bumped back to 5, but could our 1-3 possibly change if we get someone even " better". Is that even possible? I like it, and even as we speak of Stras, Gio, JZim and Det maturing and developing, we can see all these young arms in the pipeline. Oh, this is just sweet.

  7. baseballswami - Oct 18, 2012 at 11:59 AM

    Responding to rabbit on the last thread — our starters can/ could pitch longer into games. It's not Davey's style. He likes to keep the bullpen involved in games and he loves, loves, loves pinch hitters. Pitchers spot comes up anywhere in the vicinity of inning six and you will see a pinch hitter no matter if we are behind, tied or ahead. Only exception will be if the bullpen has been used before the 7th a lot recently, or we have had extra inning games and everyone has been used more than normal. Then he will want a longer game out of a starter.I am sure that our pitchers would love to stay in games longer. They never look happy when they are pulled. I think that's why they work on their hitting – so they can stay in.

  8. sjm308 - Oct 18, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    I think looking at this analysis makes me even more convinced how powerful we can be for years to come. I realize injury is part of the scenario and like the 3 young arms that are currently injured, not to mention SS & JZ, anything can happen. But the reality is we do have 3 excellent arms at the top of the rotation and I think Detwiler will only get better. I am looking for two things this off-season. Will LaRoche resign and can they extend Zimmermann. If those happen the 5th starter then becomes interesting but if they get those first two things done, I will be happy. I mean how horrible would it be to have John LannEn as your 5th starter for the year? He is durable (I did not say an innings eater but he goes out every 5th day), he is now considered a veteran, he has pitched in big games and he realizes his career is teetering on how he does next season. I think its a good gamble.

  9. Gonat - Oct 18, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    http://view.ed4.net/v/9OJCSI/SUS8AP/BD5659W/7LIGE/MAILACTION=1&FORMAT=H?partnerId=ed-6545414-427931860In case you didn't get this email from the Lerners. GRATITUDE

  10. Gonat - Oct 18, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    Mark must have missed it, Purke's (shoulder) is now going to be shoulder surgery and Ryan Perry so far is stinking up the AFL.Gio has to add another pitch because when your curveball isn't working, its long innings with high pitch counts. Throw a slider or a changeup because nibbling with the fastball as we saw in his 2 starts in the Playoffs just wasn't a great formula. Too many first pitch balls.

  11. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 18, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    JZ deserves an extension. I am not sure how much inclined he will be to sign one, but Nats should try their best to lock him up long term. Besides adding a starter better than EJax, what I would like is stash couple more arms like Duke in AAA. You never know when you might need them. maybe de la rosa, wang, young, or wolf. I don't anyone who can be a decent backup for a month or so if needed.JZ and SS are righties so at best we can see 3 lefties in our rotation. I still hope for a Josh Johnson (if he is completely healthy) or a Felix H as one of our five. That will be a deadly rotation.By the way, isn't Ryan Perry out of options?

  12. Gonat - Oct 18, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    Jordan Zimmermann has a great repertoire of pitches with a deadly curveball and the changeup he was developing but rarely used them and too often in August and Sept and his playoff appearance tried to be an 80% fasball guy. That works for a reliever but is not the most effective way for a starter especially when you are not facing the Houston Astros and facing a good hitting team like the Cardinals.The reason Roy Halladay was always so good for so many years is his arsenal of pitches always kept batters guessing and Roy always kept them off balance.The Nats pitchers with multiple pitches like Stras & JZim need to learn from that.

  13. BigCat - Oct 18, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    Risky business taking pitchers in the high rounds. If they pan out you look great. But unfortunately, injuries are part of the game.

  14. Jimmy - Oct 18, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    Man, what a difference a few years makes. I love reading names like Livo and Lannan as a reminder of how far we've come with this rotation. Early in the season the best explanation for our improvement I could offer non-nats fans was "the opening day starter for the nats the last two seasons couldn't crack the five man rotation this year – that's how much better they got." Sure enough, best rotation in baseball they were. Ditto the mention of Christian Garcia – expected to see him in the discussion. Is it too much of a project to even consider?Also, minor quibble: Mark, would you mind including players' ages in the information listed?

  15. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 18, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    Halladay also has one of the best controls ever. Before this season, he led his league in BB/9 for 3 seasons in a row. Our guys love to walk hitters as much as K them. Lannen showed them in July how to rely on your defense and don't need to too many Ks to have a good start. How to work quickly. They need to go back to those things. They can K guys when in desperate spots. At that time, you can bring your 95+ MPH fastball. Look at how JV pitches. His FB velocity earlier in the game is lower than later in the game, always.

  16. sm13 - Oct 18, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    I think we're passed John Lannan. Our rotation needs to be strong 1-5. If David Price or Shields can be had gor a Go–type package, we should go for it. Rizzo should shop for high end talent, not bargains.

  17. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 18, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    Sorry for Lannen. Wish there was a place for him in the rotation but Nats seem to be moving in a different direction. Thanks for all the good work.

  18. Constant Reader - Oct 18, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the rule for arbitration that the player can't LOSE money? In other words, going to arbitration with Lannan will cost at least $5M? Following up on yesterday, non-tendering Lannan and spending the money on Flores as a trading chip makes much more financial sense.Maya's got to be worth something after his solid AAA season. I raised his name and I know someone else did as well … James Shields. Morse, Flores, Maya, and someone in our minor league inventory (Kobernus?) … are we looking at a package to get the perpetually cash-strapped Rays out from under $21M of salary committed to Shields?

  19. UnkyD - Oct 18, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    "grimjon said…I think Lannan may be as much a victim of being a "good" lefty on a staff with three "great" lefty's as anything. Realistically, he's got the stuff to be a credible 4 or 5 somewhere, but I can't see the Nats featuring a five-man rotation with four southpaws. It just makes them too one-dimensional. E Jax isn't the answer, but they need a viable RHP to mix things up a little, as the Cards series clearly showed."————–Um…… I'm struggling with the math, here….

  20. Sophie's Dad - Oct 18, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    The good thing, unlike last year, is a vet would LOVE to be a part of this team. Instead of waiting and hoping one will sign, the Nats may have their pick this Winter. Only question: Who?

  21. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 18, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    Gonat, hard to disagree with you. Gio throws 2 pitches, fastball and curveball and early in the game his fastball has excellent movement. He throws both the four and two seam fastball. The curveball is a "touch" pitch. When he can't throw it for strikes, he's in trouble. 11 walks in his brief 2 postseason games are the result of what has to be fixed.Must add a split, slider or changeup.

  22. Taino in DC - Oct 18, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    I think the player to get is Jake Peavey for 3 years 48 millions . Our payroll is low so we are in the years to paid the price to get veterans help . I will paid the money instead of empty the farm again .Peavey is 31 , almost 200 strikeouts , 200 IP , and a Whip of 1.10 in the American League . 2013 should be a year to go all out , before our payroll became too big .

  23. natsfan1a - Oct 18, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    We interrupt this thread for the obligatory cute uncle picture. awwww…

  24. alm - Oct 18, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    So who has a link to the 2013 free agent pitchers?

  25. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 18, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    Thanks natsfan1a. Cute!

  26. MicheleS - Oct 18, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    Bryce looks so young in that picture…

  27. Theophilus T. S. - Oct 18, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    At the start of the last off season, I don't think anyone had a clue that Gonzalez was available in trade, at any price. (And I think Oakland is the only team in baseball that would trade a 26 y/o All-Star still under team control for four years.)Right now, the good pitchers — the ones who are really good, not the Bruce Chens of the world — who seem to be on the market are limited to Price and Shields. If things went true to form, there would be tremendous competition for both of them, hence no reason to be confident Rizzo would be able to pull it off. This is more problematic because the Nats don't have three ready-for-the-majors prospects to fork over.Looking at the Gonzalez trade, however, I'm pretty certain he'll be able to pull a bunny out of the hat. Last year they were making do w/ Bret Carroll, Xavier Nady, Rick Ankiel and Mark DeRosa. This year they have a handful of surplus players on the major league roster (this is why it makes sense to tender Lannan and Flores) plus a couple of AA/A+ minor league prospects that should be able to fetch something. They might even be able to get a real minor-league pitching prospect as part of the deal — because they could use some more good ones.Unlike the Gonzalez deal, the Nats could be satisfied with an older pitcher w/ a year or two remaining on his contract because they are only looking for a #5 starter, not a #2 or #3.

  28. NatsNut - Oct 18, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    There's also the rumor they could make Christian Garcia a starter.

  29. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 18, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    Peavy makes sense but 3 years,$48 million is too much for a guy with only one season of 150+innings in last four seasons. I would like to have him, but not for that price.alm, here is the link for all free agents: http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/04/2013-mlb-free-agents.html

  30. Tcostant - Oct 18, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    Constant Reader asked about arbitration rules. A team can offer up to a 20% paycut or $4M in the Lannan case, but they would still risk losing the case. Paycuts are rare, but do happen. As a old Mets fan I remember the Mets offering Doc Gooden a $50K salary cut and winning the case the offseason after he missed time because of a failed drug test.

  31. NatsNut - Oct 18, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    Oops. Didn't realize Eddie and Jimmy already brought up Garcia.

  32. NatsLady - Oct 18, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    Looking back, the rumors about the Nats' interest in Gio started about one week before the trade, and even then they were in the mix with other teams. Rizzo (and the organization) are pretty close-mouthed when it comes to deals. And remember, GMs "hate" him and don't want his team to succeed. LOL. Kind of reminds me of Joe Maddon saying no one would want to play for the Davey Johnson after the pine-tar incident.Big dysfunction in the Yankees organization–if they don't fix it in the next few years Bryce won't want to play there. :)

  33. NatsLady - Oct 18, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    At first I thought it was a lock they would non-tender Lannan. But now I think it might be wise to offer him the $5MM and trade him. Can't believe a reliable lefty wouldn't command $5MM on the FA market, so why shouldn't we get something for him?

  34. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 18, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    NatsLady, I think it is because everyone knows that Nats do not see Lannen in their rotation next season and that he is out of options.

  35. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 18, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    NatsLady, I would definitely tender Lannan a contract as more of an insurance policy if they can't secure a 5th starter who is an upgrade.Lannan showed he is a "big game" pitcher. I still think his July 21st start saved the Nats season and I still think he would have beaten the Cardinals if given the opportunity.Its more than having a 95 mph fastball and gawdy stats. Lannan has shown that if you put good defense behind him he will deliver and he did it in 2011 and certainly in 2012.A bonus is how well Lannan pitches against the Braves.

  36. NatsLady - Oct 18, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    FS–maybe. So stick Lannan in the bullpen as the next Gorzy. It won't last long because a pitcher (on another team) will get injured. Or he'll survive as a long reliever.

  37. NatsLady - Oct 18, 2012 at 2:15 PM

    Ghost, also a good point. We paid him $5MM as an insurance policy last year, pay it again.

  38. sjm308 - Oct 18, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    Ghost: that is exactly what I was trying to say. He is not the definitive answer for this team but he sure as hell is a nice insurance policy. The big problem is that he is out of options so if we do go to arbitration and keep him we then either bring him North or trade him during spring training. Someone surely will scoop him up if we try and start him in Syracuse. I still take that gamble, and try and get something for him rather then just let him go.

  39. 3on2out - Oct 18, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    but I can't see the Nats featuring a five-man rotation with four southpaws.How do we get to four southpaws? Stras and JZ are righthanded.

  40. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 18, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    Edwin Jackson finished with a 4.03 ERA and 0-1 in the post-season and a 10-11 record in the regular season. More troubling was his team record of 12-19 on days he started which was by a wide margin worst on the team.Mark's term "eat up innings" isn't a term to use on a good team as that's what we said when the Nats were losing 100. Edwin ended up at the same IP/G as JZim did who the team throttled back in the 2nd half of the season. Completing 6 full innings on average isn't much to get excited about as that should be the minimum expected.The Edwin Jackson experiment was almost a complete waste and his use in the post-season to me is one of the main reasons the Nats aren't still playing. Rizzo had other alternatives and EJax didn't deliver when it counted most.

  41. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 18, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    as much as I would like Nats and Lannen together next season, I don't think it is happening. we may not non-tender him but we will try very hard to trade him.all the GMs in the world can hate Rizzo. He still has his buddy in Oakland to do trades.

  42. D'Gourds - Oct 18, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    I'm not a fan of free agency, but this is the situation to use it. Grenke, Lohse, Peavy all would be great additions. This is where we should spend the money.

  43. JamesFan - Oct 18, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    A tough 200 inning 4 or 5 slot pitcher to replace Ejax is the biggest need for the Nats this winter. Unfortunately, EJax faded away at the end instead of stepping up. Had he finished differently, this would be another discussion.My preference is a strong up-and-comer in a trade, but they will probably go for experience.We were very lucky that we had no injuries among starter in 2012. We cannot count on that next year, so Rizzo needs to stock AAA with back up starting talent. Right now, we don't have much depth.Lannan needs a change of scenery. He'll have a nice career elsewhere. He doesn't fit the mold here.Given two TJs, I don't see Garcia in the rotation next year. Keep him in the pen.Extend Jordan for as long as possible.

  44. NatsLady - Oct 18, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    FS–that's what I think will happen. They will tender Lannan and trade him. I don't think GMs worry that Lannan doesn't have a place in the Nats rotation and thus are motivated to lower the price. I think GMs look at their own rotations and what they can afford to give up to get a guy like Lannan. As long as there is a possibility that the Nats will keep Lannan (and there is) his "value" is based on the market for his skills.

  45. MicheleS - Oct 18, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    Det still needs to go through the off season Craig Stammen Big Booty training program. Watch the Nats Classics last night and Det looks virtually the same as he did in 2010.

  46. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 18, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    The Nats no longer have a revenue problem. Rizzo's gamble with Lannan paidoff. While Lannan was upset more from an ego hit, Rizzo made the right call going with Detwiler and that paid dividends in the 2nd half and in the post-season with a great start.Detwiler's change in the 2nd half to feature more fastballs but moving them inside, outside, up and down and alternating between his 4 seamer and a true sinker while using his slider 10 to 15% of the time with a few changeups worked perfectly for Ross.Ross was able to maintain his Velo to pitch 40 and instead of overthrowing in the later innings to keep up Velo, the big change with Ross was not overthrowing and giving up movement rather allow his Velo be what it was going to be. The result for Ross on pitch 70 was generally a loss of 3mph but he didn't sacrifice movement.Ross has a changeup and needs to perfect that pitch which is 10 mph slower than his 4 seamer and needs to be a + pitch in his repertoire.If Ross adds lower body girth and perfects that changeup, he will be an All Star. His stuff right now is that good!

  47. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 18, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  48. NatsLady - Oct 18, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    all the GMs in the world can hate Rizzo. He still has his buddy in Oakland to do tradesThat sure did work out for both sides. Neither team would have reached the playoffs without the trades.

  49. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 18, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    MicheleS, read my last paragraph. We are on the same page there.

  50. MicheleS - Oct 18, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    Ghost.. yup.. Det needs to bulk up the legs and booty. That will also help go longer into games (if Davey needs him to go long)

  51. NatsLady - Oct 18, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    Ghost, and that (revenue) is the bottom line. TV share for Game 5 was phenomenal, plus five (extra) sellouts–Nats get a piece from StL too…And because of the late start on Friday they sold every hot dog they could cook. Plus the area is affluent enough to spend big $$ on gear. That won't stop. Go into 2013 with Stras at full strength, two (maybe three) potential Cy Young candidates, the Kid… etc. etc. Nats Park will be the place to be next year. Just have to start strong. Maybe not 14-4, but a strong April.

  52. bowdenball - Oct 18, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    NatsLady said…"all the GMs in the world can hate Rizzo. He still has his buddy in Oakland to do tradesThat sure did work out for both sides. Neither team would have reached the playoffs without the trades."Oakland would have reached the playoffs without the trade. In fact they probably would have won more games. Derek Norris basically played at replacement level, so they pretty much swapped Gio Gonzalez for Tom Milone in their rotation. Milone was fine this year, but Gio was MUCH better.Oakland made the trade for the future, to give them a deeper talent pool and to avoid Gio's salary as he moved towards arbitration, not for 2012. They made the playoffs in spite of the trade, not because of it.

  53. bowdenball - Oct 18, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    Also, the Nats would have made the playoffs without Gio. They were ELEVEN games clear of the second wild card. No pitcher in baseball is worth eleven wins over replacement- and with the Nats pitching depth, especially if Milone and Peacock were still there, they would have done better than replacement level in replacing him.

  54. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 18, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    NatsLady at 10:31, makes sense what you say. We will just have to see how the Lannen saga further develops. I wish him well wherever he ends up.

  55. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 18, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    I believe the Nats can start to settle in around $120 million in payroll. Easy for me to spend their money. They will no longer be spending big on Draft Picks and the shift now has to be to extending current players (JZim and Desi) while re-signing ALR and grabbing 1 key starter that will make an impact. If they do that, all key roster spots will be under control in 2014 and 2015 as well with the exception of Morse and a backup catcher.After watching Lohse last night and in Game 4 last week, he is the guy for the Nats I believe plus grabbing the Cards best starter is sweet REVENGE!

  56. NatsLady - Oct 18, 2012 at 2:58 PM

    bowdenball, maybe. The Nats had a good team, but only won the division by four. Yes, the second-wild card was within reach without Gio and with Milone but don't forget Suzuki because it wasn't just the Gio trade. I'm not exactly sure how the A's got so good, so unexpectedly. A lot of players "stepped up" offensively, and none of the rookie pitchers stumbled. (If you want to have fun, look back at predictions for the AL West). Granted it wasn't just the trade.

  57. mick - Oct 18, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    I would submit that the Nats have 4 solid starters and Det finally showed why he was one of the top prospects 5 years ago. I would also submit that our 4 remind me of the 1970 O's who had four 20 game winners. So, is it possible, just suggesting that resigning Edwin or going with Lannan as a 5th pitcher is still on the table?

  58. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 18, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  59. mick - Oct 18, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    I am also intrigued by Perry and if the Nats can find that 5th starter within, why make a trade or a free agent signing at all? Why not make a trade or a free agent signing for one more bat or that one more stopper?

  60. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 18, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    GoSM, it is revenge only if Cards are also interested in bringing him back. However, based on rumors, they do not seem interested.Also I prefer my revenge by sweeping them the next time we face them in postseason.

  61. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 18, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  62. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 18, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    bowdenball said… Also, the Nats would have made the playoffs without Gio. They were ELEVEN games clear of the second wild card. No pitcher in baseball is worth eleven wins over replacement- and with the Nats pitching depth, especially if Milone and Peacock were still there, they would have done better than replacement level in replacing him. October 18, 2012 10:53 AM Using simple math, you are correct but you can't gauge it that way as the intangibles play a big part. Gio's 1st start was beyond bad but after that was red hot and got the Nats off to a fast start. Unfortunately he just failed too often on national TV which I think was more a function of losing 'touch' on this curveball and relying too much on nibbling with the fastball.

  63. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 18, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    Faraz Shaikh said… GoSM, it is revenge only if Cards are also interested in bringing him back. However, based on rumors, they do not seem interested.Also I prefer my revenge by sweeping them the next time we face them in postseason. October 18, 2012 11:02 AM Of course they want him back but they are smart enough to know that he won't stay. This is Lohse's opportunity to set himself for life.Rizzo has extra incentive now to get Lohse and his "big game" ability is for real as compared to EJax who really didn't have "big game" ability when you look at his true record.There is risk with Lohse as he just turned 34 and just pitched the best season of his career.

  64. Theophilus T. S. - Oct 18, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    "My preference is a strong up-and-comer in a trade, but they will probably go for experience."They will go for experience in part because they don't have enough spare parts to pay for a "strong up-and-comer." Right now they've probably got 5-6 guys in the system (Myers, Giolito, Karns and maybe Garcia, Perry and Purke) they could foresee as possible starters in 3-4 years. The Gio deal says you need to deal three prospects to get one "strong up-and-comer." They can't afford to strip the system — again — for one arm when, starting in 2016-17, they may need to replace 3/5 of the rotation.Better to get one good veteran approaching the end of his contract who would fill the #5 gap for one or two years and hope one of their young guys surprises and is ready to make an impact in 2014.

  65. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 18, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    mick said… I am also intrigued by Perry and if the Nats can find that 5th starter within, why make a trade or a free agent signing at all? Why not make a trade or a free agent signing for one more bat or that one more stopper? October 18, 2012 11:01 AM Unfortunately, so far so bad for Perry in the AFL and the Nats are no longer have the ability to take a flyer on a guy like him.I'm not sure why they decided to convert him back to a starter when he is out of MiLB options.

  66. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 18, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    Agreed Theo. as much as I would like to trade for a Johnson, a Felix, a James, or a David, that is not our best course action perhaps. also with their recent performance, FAs might be more willing to come here now than before.BTW I remember why Peavy was not discussed further before. Because of his comments on SS shutdown. I don't think that will actually be a barrier if the sides wanna talk a deal.

  67. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 18, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    Faraz, keep in mind that Boras is Lohse's agent.

  68. mick - Oct 18, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    Looks like a repeat of the 1968 WS… remember watching game 7 in elementary school and Bill Freehan and Micky Lolich hugging at the conclusion… memories of 44 years ago like last week…Joe Gargailoa interviewing Bob Gibson and his 9 year old daughter after he struck out 17 batters in game 1 on the Today showMickey Stanley playing out of his mind for the TigersLolich winning 3 games and hitting a home run as a 150 hitter as a pitcher, that was his first big league homer!Curt Flood and Lou Brock running stealing bases with ease. Nelson Briles, Steve Carlton who were aces along with Gibson… McClain bombing in game one and pitching solidly in game 4. Earl Wilson, Lolich and McClain were the aces for Tigers. Norm Cash, Al Kaline, Willie Horton, Jim Northrup, Dick McCauliffe, Gates Brown… Tim McCarver, Mike Shannon, Roger Maris with Cards… what memories.

  69. Theophilus T. S. - Oct 18, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    As a footnote to the above, I'm not sure Karns has demonstrated anything more than that he is an above average A+-ball pitcher. Reviews suggest he needs one more + pitch to be starter material. Garcia and Perry are obviously projects, Giolito hasn't thrown a professional inning, and Purke is a walking orthopedic ward.

  70. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 18, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    Peavy's comments on Strasburg would be a clubhouse distraction and not a good thing. I don't see him being on the Nats radar.The only way the Nats get any stud like Price or King Felix is to include Detwiler.After what we saw last Thursday with Det, I don't see Rizzo doing that which makes any trade for a stud almost dead in the water.

  71. mick - Oct 18, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    Thanks fir the update on Perry Ghost.I have a great story for you NIers that relates to a great Tigers player and Maryland's former US Senator Paul Sarbanes…..Sarbanes was an All American high school baseball player from the Eastern Shore… he was playing in an All star game with other all stars from around the state. The coach before the game tells Sarbanes… you are playing short stop… Sarbanes an outfielder says, coach, I can't play short stop, I am an out fielder. Coach says, your playing SS. A few minutes later Sarbanes goes over and says Coach, I have never played SS in my life, I want to play in the out field. The Coach says one last time, Sarbanes your playing SS, Kaline is playing right field

  72. NatsLady - Oct 18, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    FS, don't know about Peavy but I agree comments on Stras are moot and not a barrier. (Well, I wouldn't take Wainwright…)

  73. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 18, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    mick, great story! Kaline! I heard he turned into a decent ballplayer ;)

  74. NatsLady - Oct 18, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    Is there any way to watch the Arizona Fall League games? Not necessarily in real-time. I would like to get a good look at our guys.

  75. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 18, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    http://www.masnsports.com/byron_kerr/2012/10/salt-river-wins-12-9-rendon-big-game-robbie-ray-update.htmlMick, keep an eye on this Rendon kid. He's the real deal from a Rice program that turns the best hitters into future superstars. Rendon could be the surprise to make the team at some point in 2013 if Danny falters.

  76. mick - Oct 18, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    Ghost…. now that is a bit of an understatementthanks buddy!

  77. mick - Oct 18, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    Ghost… I am anticipating Rendon the same way I did about a certain rookie this year, gosh, what was his name?? lol

  78. 83e6e538-1939-11e2-a022-000bcdca4d7a - Oct 18, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    I really expect them to try to get Zach Greinke. With the way the salary is structured, going 5 years, $125 million (6, $140?) should not be too onerous on a year to year basis. From what I have read, I think that he'd prefer to be one of the guys rather than the face of the team. I have to imagine that with Strassburg and Harper (and Zim), that Greinke would never be looked to as the "face" of the team. D.C. is an easier market than NY or Bos media wise. Depends on how much he has liked his time in LA, I suppose. And with Lannan, isn't there some provision where they can take him through arbitration, than decided to give him his unconditional release waivers during spring training and owe him only a small fraction of his contract? Is this right? I can't see the Nats just letting him go considering the other candidates for the 5th pitcher spot if one of the current top 4 (or 5 after a signing) is hurt during spring training. I still think that holding onto Lannan through spring training is a better option than anyone else they can sign for the 6th starting pitcher spot, or that is currently "ready" on the farm.

  79. MicheleS - Oct 18, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    Have we had any news on where the Nats will settle for a new Spring Training site? I know Ft Myers area was in the loop, but I thought from their recent elections, that the person supporting the Nats got dumped.

  80. NatsLady - Oct 18, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    Lacy Lusk ‏@lacylusk3B Matt Skole, who finished the season at high A Potomac, leads the Arizona Fall League with a .533 avg. and 1.517 OPS in 15 ABs. #Nats

  81. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 18, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    mick said… Ghost… I am anticipating Rendon the same way I did about a certain rookie this year, gosh, what was his name?? lol October 18, 2012 11:35 AM I went to Spring Training early last year for 2 reasons, Rendon and Purke.Both are future studs if they can stay healthy. Rendon is a small guy about Danny's size but didn't have nearly the muscle mass Danny has. I was kind of surprised by his physique but when I saw him put bat on ball and especially the low pitches you could see a kid with a great eye who could center the bat barrel on ball anywhere in the zone.Rendon could be a huge upside if he stays healthy and starts to hit consistently.

  82. Taino in DC - Oct 18, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    I think the question to ask is Rizzo is , are we going with the mindset of reaching the World Series or this is going to be another development year . If we are going all in , a top of the rotation pitcher is a priority. In the NL East you will need 95+ wins to be on the race at the end , braves , Phily are going to be back , and we cant beat the Marlins. If we just get a one year number 5 rental , then Rizzo is telling me again that we are waiting to develop . Like I said these are the years to spend on veterans for a few years , before the young guys become too expensive .

  83. Feel Wood - Oct 18, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    And with Lannan, isn't there some provision where they can take him through arbitration, than decided to give him his unconditional release waivers during spring training and owe him only a small fraction of his contract?Yes. Players who experience this process are said to be Pattersoned, after John Patterson who perfected it.

  84. grimjon - Oct 18, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    Um, yeah. Brain cramp. Move along… nothing to see here…

  85. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 18, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    Kilgore writes: The Nationals biggest offseason priority will be finding a No. 4 starter.I hate to tell him that unless he is considering Detwiler a #5 with a 3.40 ERA and 1.22 WHIP, that No. 4 starter Kilgore refers to will look like most team's #1 or #2.

  86. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 18, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    Taino, the difference in 2013 is that the training wheels come off of Strasburg.The Nats have 4 starters you can project to the playoffs if they don't get anyone high up in the rotation like Lohse.Stras, Gio, JZim, Det on paper are 4 studs. Their fallback isn't too bad if they had to put Lannan in the #5, but it would be smart to shoot high this year.

  87. NatsLady - Oct 18, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    This has got to be the all-in year, IMO. What are you waiting for? Only Danny. Every other player on the team–and I include the Kid–is ready for primetime. We as fans and the team have been through the fire of Game 5, and are hungry for more. If you want to keep Morse in LF, fine–as someone wrote, just think of him as the Hammer and let Perez or Brown be his late inning replacement. I wouldn't strip the farm system, but I would be ready to spend the Lerners' money on free agents.

  88. NatsLady - Oct 18, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    The other thing is, it doesn't all have to be done in the off-season. I would keep some prospect trade chips back for teams that will have a disappointing first half and be ready to deal in July (or afterwards, as Rizzo has shown).

  89. NatsLady - Oct 18, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    Ghost, I think the training wheels are off Stras in more ways than just innings limit. We are not going to see him mis-applying Hot Stuff, or nicking his fingernails, or not adjusting to the Fish (remember that scene in Miami when he and McCatty stayed late?). He'll take his IV when it's hot, he'll make sure the ump calls a rain delay when conditions are intolerable, and he'll get past bad calls and errors behind him. He's mature, and if he has a touch of angry in him, so much the better.

  90. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 18, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    NatsLady at 12:09. Exactly on deadline trade for stud rental.

  91. Taino in DC - Oct 18, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    Agree with you Natslady , 2013 happen in 2012 .People are thinking just about a short 5 game series , Iam thnking about winning the division so we can play in the playoffs . Another Top of the rotation pitcher will make that happen Money should be no object, this is a quote from an analyst about about missing the World Serie and maybe 3000 new season ticket holders "Bernie Mullin, CEO of The Aspire Group, a sports consultancy firm, thinks the potential loss is closer to $65 million to $75 million. Mullin says he thinks the average season ticket, including premium areas, is closer to $3,000. He thinks the Nationals could hold 3,000 new season-ticket holders over five years for a $45 million gain. Adding parking, food and beverage, and sponsorships leads Mullin to push his estimate as high as $75 million. As we can see it paid to win . Let go Rizzo , take my money :)

  92. NatsLady - Oct 18, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    He's a funny guy. "The Playoffs Ain't Brain Surgery."Brandon McCarthyhttp://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1206160/index.htm

  93. hiramhover - Oct 18, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    I'm surprised at all this talk of Greinke, David Price, etc. The Nats have three top-flight starters, and a solid #4 already in Det. They're looking for a #5 starter, not an ace, and they can't–and shouldn't–compete with other clubs that are going to throw buckets of cash and long contracts at those A-list free agents.

  94. bowdenball - Oct 18, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    I don't understand why people get hung up on numbering starters. It's stupid. They all make 30+ starts if healthy. If a team had a rotation of Price, Verlander, Strasburg, Felix and Kershaw, do you think they'd suffer because they'd have guys that weren't well-suited for the #4 and #5 starter roles?The idea isn't to fill roles on the roster. The idea is to win baseball games. The better your five starters are, the more baseball games you win. Who cares what number you assign them? Why not have 4 aces if you can? You need five starters in the regular season and four in the postseason, so nobody's losing starts or innings pitched.

  95. Dave - Oct 18, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    I wouldn't like to see Detwiler in any trade whatsoever. He was pretty solid the last third of the season or so.I tend to agree with hiramhover. We already have a three-way tie for ace, basically, so we're looking for a solid #5. What EJax was supposed to be, but wasn't in the post-season.

  96. MicheleS - Oct 18, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    Bill Rohland‏@BillRohland Tonight on Overtime. @TylerClippard will join us at 830. Going to ge interesting to get his thoughts on the season and playoffs.

  97. MicheleS - Oct 18, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    Bowdenball has a good point (I have been educated today on this) Get the best guy you can regardless of what # he is in the rotation. My only concern if we blow $$$ – I want that money for JZ, or lose prospects in trade that would hurt us down the road.Plus with the $$$ it's Ted's money (granted he gets it from us), so we can spend his money.

  98. bowdenball - Oct 18, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    MicheleS said…"Plus with the $$$ it's Ted's money (granted he gets it from us), so we can spend his money."Especially since they just stole $500,000 from us!http://deadspin.com/5952871/the-nationals-and-orioles-are-not-refunding-the-service-charge-on-playoff-tickets-for-games-that-dont-exist

  99. MicheleS - Oct 18, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    Bowdenball. Is that the ticket broker fee? Just wondering? And saw that it was actualy less than $200K.

  100. Theophilus T. S. - Oct 18, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    All the people who are hyperventilating about Lohse apparently didn't see his line from last night — 7H, 5BB in five innings. Yeah, we need more of that.

  101. NatsLady - Oct 18, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    I don't get why people are bent about the fees or why they expect (want?) them to be refunded. It clearly states they are not refundable.

  102. Dave - Oct 18, 2012 at 5:13 PM

    Besides which, it was MLB that handled the post-season tickets, not the Nats organization.

  103. NatsLady - Oct 18, 2012 at 5:14 PM

    Deadspin is a site that tries to stir up false controversy. That is the same site that claimed Clip was spitting on ducks in the bullpen when he was actually feeding them with sunflower seeds.

  104. NatsLady - Oct 18, 2012 at 5:16 PM

    Are the Reds, A's, Atlanta or Texas refunding?

  105. NatsLady - Oct 18, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    A's only refund the "convenience fee." From their site.:Any tickets purchased through Tickets.com, over the phone or online, for games that go unplayed will have the face value of the ticket and the convenience fee refunded. All other fees are non-refundable.

  106. MicheleS - Oct 18, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    NatsLady The false controversy actually started on the WaPo site. Deadspin (as per usual) is just rehashing.

  107. MicheleS - Oct 18, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    Anyone going to Duffy's? From 5-7 tonight free wings for folks in Nats Gear.

  108. NatsLady - Oct 18, 2012 at 5:26 PM

    Reds site is not specific, same for Rangers. Altanta site doesn't even discuss ticket refunds–it's as if it never happened…

  109. NatsLady - Oct 18, 2012 at 5:27 PM

    Well, then, no thanks to the WaPo.

  110. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 18, 2012 at 5:28 PM

    I remember reading about another writer for Express (which is WaPo's sidekick) that suggested banning playoff games in case of metro situation is not resolved. are you kidding me? first, you cry about not having a team for years and then you talk about not supporting the team?

  111. John C. - Oct 18, 2012 at 5:28 PM

    The Nats are going for it this year, but that doesn't mean they are going to roll all their dice on one year. The goal is to keep the window open for years (to maximize the chances at successfully negotiating the playoffs). Which is my only hesitation at going after Greinke. The team already has long term $$ deals with Werth and Zimmerman, and any team that binds up too much payroll in a handful of players is asking for trouble. If signing Greinke would inhibit the team's ability to sign Zimmermann, Strasburg or Harper to long term contracts down the road then I'd say no, thanks. Lannan, EJax, Gorzelanny, DeRosa, Flores and CMW will presumably come off the books, freeing up $22.6 million. But remember that built in raises to Werth, Zimmerman and Morse will eat up $8.5 million of that. If you bring back LaRoche, that's likely another $10 million. Several players (Zimmermann, Detwiler, Clippard, Desmond, Storen, Bernadina, Perry and Stammen) are arbitration eligible, and their costs will go up varying amounts. The team has a mutual option with Burnett that would give him a raise of $1.1 million, and Strasburg is going to get a raise even though he's not arbitration eligible until next year. So absent further moves (letting LaRoche walk, trading Morse, etc) the payroll will at least remain about where it was this year ($92.5 million according to Cots; $81.3 million according to USA Today) and may increase slightly even without any significant free agent signings.In the short term, this is not a big deal; the team can easily afford (not my money!) to go over $100 million in this market. But they have to be careful not to end up tying their own hands by 2015 or so. The team has $46 million committed to just three players in 2015, and none of them are Strasburg, Harper, Zimmermann or Desmond.

  112. hiramhover - Oct 18, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    # in the rotation matters sometimes, and sometimes doesn't. On opening day, yes, because someone has to pitch first. In the middle of the season, no–you've just got to keep track of whose turn it is. In the play-offs, yes, it matters, for obvious reasons. And for what is now the off-season for us, yes, it matters, because it's a short-hand way of talking about the quality of a starting pitcher, which directly correlates to his price–which matters a lot. As for it's being Ted's money: yes, it is, but even if his wallet is bigger than yours and mine (or all of ours, put together), it's not bottomless. Money that gets spent on a top-flight starting pitcher is money that doesn't get spent on something else next year. And offering a long-term contract, or giving up a lot in trade chips, to snare one of those top-flight guys can easily handcuff the team down the road (see Phillies, Philadephia, and Yankees, NY).That's one of the things that made EJax a good deal last year, his inconsistency notwithstanding.

  113. MicheleS - Oct 18, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    John C.. All you have to do is look at the bloated Yankees to see what happens when you tie up too much payroll.Also see Boston who cleared the books of all that gunk with the trade to LA this year.

  114. NatsLady - Oct 18, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    EJax was okay, he wasn't the (only) reason we didn't go further in the playoffs and he was part of the reason we got there. If he accepts the offer which Rizzo will certainly make, it wouldn't bother me in the least.

  115. NatsLady - Oct 18, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    Cute kitty pic. Just for fun!Kitties find a place to nap.http://twitpic.com/ay3d0t

  116. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 18, 2012 at 5:45 PM

    Let's be real. We will not be able to extend all homegrown talent that excels unless we adapt Rays' strategy for Moore.

  117. natsfan1a - Oct 18, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  118. natsfan1a - Oct 18, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  119. natsfan1a - Oct 18, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    NatsLady, I have the Animal Planet kitten cam bookmarked. They took down the Natitude towel a few days ago but it's still fun to check out. :-)Re. the fees controversy, I don't get that, either, given that it was laid out in the purchase policy. Maybe a way to direct the emotions that came with the abrupt end, or, for the media, to pile on the Nationals.On another note, won't make it to Duffy's, but I have been wearing my Nats gear every day.

  120. NatsLady - Oct 18, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    I wore my Bryce gear on his birthday, but I'm pretty much back to earrings and a hat now. I want it to be special when I take out the gear again in the spring.

  121. NatsLady - Oct 18, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    Here are two names the Fillies are looking at. (Figure it doesn't hurt to scope out the opposition). They have problems in their rotation, after Lee and Hamels. Is Halladay declining? Can Worley come back?One name to consider is Scott Baker. The Twins have a $9.5 million option on his contract that will likely be declined. In the event Baker doesn’t take a more team-friendly contract with them, the Phillies could make a play for the 31-year-old on a cheap one- or two-year deal. Before succumbing to an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery on April 17, Baker arguably had his best two years in 2010-11, posting a 3.63 SIERA with a 3.93 ERA with a slightly above-average strikeout rate and a strikeout-to-walk ratio approaching four to one.Carlos Villanueva is another name to keep an eye on, as the right-hander looked good after moving to the Toronto Blue Jays’ rotation at the end of June. From June 29 to August 30, the soon-to-be 29-year-old posted a 3.03 ERA with 65 strikeouts and 17 walks in 65 and one-third innings. His production declined precipitously in September, however, allowing 24 runs in 26 and two-thirds innings, thanks in large part to 10 home runs allowed. Villanueva earned less than $2.3 million in 2012 in his final year of arbitration, so he would come at a relatively cheap price if the Phillies were to pursue him.

  122. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 18, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    Idea of Phillies pursuing pitchers is absurd. They desperately need hitting and should only need to look for pitching in case of a setback to Halladay.

  123. alexva - Oct 18, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    ok, great we sign Scott Baker he goes 13-2 then we have to shut him down right before the playoffs. what could be wrong with that plan? everyone would understand, right?

  124. NatsJack in Florida - Oct 18, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    Faraz…..there isn't a team in baseball that isn't pursuing more pitching, including the Nats and especially the Phillies.

  125. NatsJack in Florida - Oct 18, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    As with Adam Wainrighr, Scott Baker is a fully developed pitcher and is NOT subject to the same lmit considerations applied to a 23 yo developing pitcher. …..Sheesh…

  126. SonnyG10 - Oct 18, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    I believe our starting rotation will be better in 2013, such that we win at least 106 games and repeat as the National League East champions. Strasburg should be a lot better, and Gio, Det, and JZ should all be better. With a decent fifth starter we should be good to go. I believe we need to improve the BP a little and we need a consistent hitter whose BA is considerably over .300, say .320 or .330.

  127. alexva - Oct 18, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    I was being facetious old boy, relax.

  128. Section 222 - Oct 18, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    On the fees, just because an unreasonable policy is announced in advance, doesn't mean it's not unreasonable. Keeping a half a million dollars of your loyal fans' money doesn't seem much like "GRATITUDE" to me, especially considering all the money they made from us at the three sold out home games. The Nats did learn a lesson from the Yankees, who Elliot Spitzer forced to return 90% of the fees they tried to keep after they lost in the 2002 ALDS. The Yankees seem to have tried to keep a per ticket fee, which we know affectionately as the convenience fee, and which the Nats are refunding.So I guess we can consider ourselves lucky.

  129. NatsJack in Florida - Oct 18, 2012 at 7:52 PM

    Sorry, alexva……I am way past humor on that subject……

  130. livernonions - Oct 18, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    John C,Any thoughts of moving your seats next year? Everyone around you would be grateful. You're annoying by yourself, but even worse when with your chucklehead brother. Thanks,The Rest of Section 311

  131. Eugene in Oregon - Oct 18, 2012 at 8:32 PM

    Ghost of Steve M. and others on Edwin Jackson's future: I think the real question isn't so much 'do the Nats want EJax back?' (they shouldn't) but whether — under the new CBA — they're willing to take a chance and make a so-called qualifying offer. If the Nats front office truly believes that Mr. Jackson will insist on a multi-year contract, then they could make the qualifying offer (one year at about $13.4 million), let him turn it down, and secure the draft choice. If they worry that Mr. Jackson might just surprise them and accept the one-year deal, then don't make it. Because I agree with you that the Nats can do better in the free agent market.

  132. alexva - Oct 18, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    NJack, to be honest me too. cheers

  133. NatsLady - Oct 18, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    Not a problem If Jackson accepts the deal, you can trade him in June (if he doesn't perform) and keep him if he does. Nats picking so low in the draft means they need to stockpile picks.

  134. Tcostant - Oct 18, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    In case anyone is wondering:"Refunds for un-played 2012 Washington Nationals postseason games will begin to be issued on Monday, October 22. Please note that refunds may take 7-10 days to process."I say this on the Nats website.

  135. John C. - Oct 18, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    livernonions said… John C,Any thoughts of moving your seats next year? Everyone around you would be grateful. You're annoying by yourself, but even worse when with your chucklehead brother. Thanks,The Rest of Section 311Actually, you'd no doubt be surprised by the amount of encouragement that we get for our vocal support of the Nationals. The encouragement far outweighs the very few complaints that we get. The infield gallery sections behind home plate have a number of colorful types (the "N-A-T-S NATS NATS NATS group in section 313; the guy with the microphone doing his announcer schtick, etc). I suspect it's because the seat price and location appeals to a certain set of dedicated-but-not-wealthy fans. My brother tends to be a bit more negative than I do; I've spoken with him about that. :)Most of what we do is pretty standard cheering in the "Let's go, Nats!" or "Let's go, [name of player]!" The rest of it is mostly harmless stuff, although admittedly noisy. But if you're tired of listening to us, just get the section fired up with your own cheers. Just imagine how crazy the ballpark would be if we ALL got up and cheered all the time. It would be like, well, the way it was in Game Four, actually. So … Join us, liverandonions! Together we can make sure that Nats Park rules the galaxy! Er .. MLB!

  136. Oldguy - Oct 18, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    Boy am I glad we didn't get Fielder.

  137. NatsLady - Oct 18, 2012 at 9:06 PM

    Oldguy–yeah. Even though Scherzer got out of the inning, lots of extra pitches.

  138. Feel Wood - Oct 18, 2012 at 9:11 PM

    Section 222 said… On the fees, just because an unreasonable policy is announced in advance, doesn't mean it's not unreasonable. Keeping a half a million dollars of your loyal fans' money doesn't seem much like "GRATITUDE" to me, especially considering all the money they made from us at the three sold out home games.The muckraking Washington Post reporter has already had to back off that half million dollar claim.Given that only the $4 per order service charge is nonrefundable – not the $6 per ticket "convenience fee" as the reporter originally claimed – that does not seem unreasonable. The team is still liable for the credit card transaction fees even though the ticket purchase was ultimately cancelled. They may also have to pay credit card fees on the transaction that refunds the money back to the purchasers' cards. Given the typical size of a playoff ticket order, four bucks is probably less than 1% of the purchase price.

  139. John C. - Oct 18, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    If Storen had gotten the same strike zone that Scherzer is getting, the Nats would still be playing :(I have to admit that every game I see where some pitcher is getting an extension built into the strike zone, this flash of "oh, NOW that's a strike" irritation goes through me. I'm trying to let it go, but it's tough.

  140. NatsLady - Oct 18, 2012 at 9:17 PM

    Thanks for the warning. I upgraded my seats to $15 seats, so I have to check if they are near 311.

  141. John C. - Oct 18, 2012 at 9:24 PM

    Natslady, if you prefer a fan experience that is more quiet than "colorful" you should be OK. The $15 seats are in the lower right field terrace (400 level). That's a long way from 311 :)

  142. natsfan1a - Oct 18, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    I was able to attend all three of the home playoff games and loved having the whole crowd be into it and cheering, as opposed to the few, the proud who are often trying to carry their sections in that department. :-)John C. said… Just imagine how crazy the ballpark would be if we ALL got up and cheered all the time. It would be like, well, the way it was in Game Four, actually. So …

  143. mick - Oct 18, 2012 at 9:41 PM

    natsfan1a said…I was able to attend all three of the home playoff games and loved having the whole crowd be into it and cheering, as opposed to the few, the proud who are often trying to carry their sections in that department. :-)I was there for games 4 and 5 and as I said the one exciting positive that I have waited my lifetime for as a DC baseball fan was to hear a crowd on par with Yankee stadium in the 1970's!What Werth did in game 4 electrified an entire city and I felt I could have flown home!

  144. mick - Oct 18, 2012 at 9:47 PM

    To put it in perspective natsfan1a… I remember taking my youngest son to a game in Nationals Park in July of 2008, the Nats were just terrible and they won in 10 innings. I remember feeling like they lost because there was zero enthusiasm and emotion. Fast FW to Werth's HR heard around the region and the noise and emotion that moment made that dreadful day in 2008 seemed so distant.

  145. NatsLady - Oct 18, 2012 at 9:48 PM

    Most of the time I like a "quieter" experience so I can focus and keep score. But I do like excitement and screaming for the boys too.Oh, wait, CC isn't pitching any better than EJax? I guess he's just inconsistent. :)

  146. Oldguy - Oct 18, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    Yanks are done. Stick a fork in 'em. Rumor about ARod & Miami. Hmmmmmm.

  147. natsfan1a - Oct 18, 2012 at 9:57 PM

    Me, too, Mick!What Werth did in game 4 electrified an entire city and I felt I could have flown home!

  148. SonnyG10 - Oct 18, 2012 at 9:58 PM

    John C. said…Natslady, if you prefer a fan experience that is more quiet than "colorful" you should be OK. The $15 seats are in the lower right field terrace (400 level). That's a long way from 311 :)October 18, 2012 5:24 PMI don't know you John C., but you must be a pretty level headed guy to take this ribbing/criticism in such a friendly fashion. I don't know if I would like your "colorful" cheering or not. I don't like to hear fans yell negative things at our players, but I like positive cheering. I'm an introvert myself, so it's hard for me to be vocal during the games at the stadium, but I sure was during the playoffs. Of course its a different matter at home watching TV. I've been known to make my dog run and hide in her hidey-hole when one of our guys does something stupid.

  149. natsfan1a - Oct 18, 2012 at 9:58 PM

    I guess he could be called a reporter, but I wouldn't call him a journalist given that he didn't get the facts straight before getting the story out.The muckraking Washington Post reporter has already had to back off that half million dollar claim.

  150. natsfan1a - Oct 18, 2012 at 9:59 PM

    Agreed.I don't know you John C., but you must be a pretty level headed guy to take this ribbing/criticism in such a friendly fashion.

  151. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 18, 2012 at 10:02 PM

    Scherzerrrr with a no-no going into the 7th.

  152. NatsLady - Oct 18, 2012 at 10:04 PM

    You know, after Werth's homerun, I was so happy I said I didn't care if we lost the last game. Turned out I did care. A LOT. Live and learn.

  153. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 18, 2012 at 10:06 PM

    John C. did you see Motte's strike zone in the 8th last night. He got low and high. Pagan on the bench was going nuts watching it.

  154. SonnyG10 - Oct 18, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    NatsLady said…You know, after Werth's homerun, I was so happy I said I didn't care if we lost the last game. Turned out I did care. A LOT. Live and learn.October 18, 2012 6:04 PMYou and me both NatsLady. I thought just winning the National League East would make me happy enough to not care about the playoffs. Wrong!!!

  155. Manassas Nats' Fan - Oct 18, 2012 at 10:20 PM

    I believe Detroit's pitchrr learned from Gio with a 6 run lead just throw strikes

  156. Manassas Nats' Fan - Oct 18, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    Got pulled now for walking Texiera

  157. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 18, 2012 at 11:18 PM

    NatsLady, thanks for putting a smile on my face. I think it was the way the team lost that hurts. They had it. Still, we had a run. Better than the Barves and Phoolies.

  158. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 18, 2012 at 11:18 PM

    I think I jinxed Sherzerrrrs no no.

  159. Constant Reader - Oct 18, 2012 at 11:29 PM

    Nats Lady and Sonny …I think I posted this. I could live with us losing, just nothing stupid. Worst collapse in playoff history counts as stupid. Now to living with it.

  160. MicheleS - Oct 18, 2012 at 11:38 PM

    Constant. See 2004 Yankees for worst collapse

  161. baseballswami - Oct 18, 2012 at 11:59 PM

    Seriously – how bad did the Yankees look in this series? Their Lifetime Movie Channel shenanigans are tedious.

  162. NatsLady - Oct 19, 2012 at 12:00 AM

    Actually, see 2012 Yankees for worst collapse.

  163. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 19, 2012 at 12:08 AM

    Yankees with a no-show.

  164. NatsLady - Oct 19, 2012 at 12:08 AM

    This made me smile.Andrew Baggarly ‏@CSNBaggsNLCS Game 4 about to start, and how rare is this? You are about to see two groups of people fight each other for the right to go to Detroit.

  165. peric - Oct 19, 2012 at 12:43 AM

    and is NOT subject to the same lmit considerations applied to a 23 yo developing pitcher. …..Sheesh…AND remember ALL stats the medical accumulated on recovery protocols for TJ surgery were all pretty much for YOUNG pitchers. Average age younger than Stras … but Stras still falls within 3 standard deviations whereas Wainwright would be well outside of that.

  166. Constant Reader - Oct 19, 2012 at 12:48 AM

    Yes, concur that the '04 Yankees, as the only team in baseball to blow a 3-0 series lead was the biggest SERIES collapse. No point in rehashing how Friday was historic.

  167. baseballswami - Oct 19, 2012 at 2:28 AM

    The Nats in a game five of a playoff series, playing in Nats Park was actually quite historic in many ways, not just one negative way. I feel badly that so many good things have been temporarily forgotten. Bryce's performance was epic. I am choosing to dwell on Thursday rather than Friday. That's the team I know they can be.

  168. Steady Eddie - Oct 19, 2012 at 2:47 AM

    Swami — good point re Thursday, particularly with respect to the Nats pitching, which was up to its customary levels only in that game, and to some degree in Game1.One thing that wasn't discussed above was insurance. While three of our four rotation starters for next year have lost essentially entire seasons to injury (including Det with his hip in 2010), we were very lucky to have the whole rotation pretty healthy throughout this year. While Lannan's core function was to fill in for Stras in September and for the two DHs, he was also insurance against the risk of a more serious injury to any of the starters. Who do we have this year? I'd be surprised if Duke doesn't get at least an invitation to some other team's spring training with the possibility of a starter's slot, which we won't dangle. Maybe Rizzo will find someone with options who we can stash at Syracuse, but there's no one good for that role already in Syracuse (please, no more Maya). Garcia might be able to take that role out of the bullpen but he'd have to get some AAA mileage as a starter first. Maybe him and Gorzelanny? Sure hope Rizzo is working on this over the winter. Great if we never actually have to worry about this, like this year, but we don't want to risk bing caught short.

  169. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Oct 19, 2012 at 2:50 AM

    Well said, Schwam…

  170. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Oct 19, 2012 at 2:52 AM

    Just heard McCarverization of America check in on the Strasburg "debate," calling it a "reasonable question."Earth to Tim: No it isn't.Moreover, that ship captained by Admiral Feinstein already has sailed — and sank.

  171. baseballswami - Oct 19, 2012 at 3:04 AM

    You know, it's just right neighborly of soooo very many people to be so concerned with the Nats organization and whether or not they win the world series. I didn't realize that sooooo very many people had the Nats best interests at heart and just want they very best for this tip-top organization. That is their motivation, right?

  172. NatsLady - Oct 19, 2012 at 3:48 AM

    Ironically, the Giants (and their fans and writers) feel the same way about outsiders saying they should have activated Melky. Y'know, because they are going to lose the NLCS for lack of an outfielder.

  173. baseballswami - Oct 19, 2012 at 9:27 AM

    Nats lady- seems like the ire has transferred to Girardi for ostracizing ARod . Odd stuff going on there. Weird to see Alex look like he is being picked on by his big bully manager.

  174. natsfan1a - Oct 19, 2012 at 10:29 AM

    Well played, sir. (In other news, stoopid Cardinals. grrr…)baseballswami said… You know, it's just right neighborly of soooo very many people to be so concerned with the Nats organization and whether or not they win the world series. I didn't realize that sooooo very many people had the Nats best interests at heart and just want they very best for this tip-top organization. That is their motivation, right? October 18, 2012 11:04 PM

  175. natsfan1a - Oct 19, 2012 at 10:29 AM

    Normally, I like his stuff but that's just rude. imo.NatsLady said… This made me smile. Andrew Baggarly ‏@CSNBaggs NLCS Game 4 about to start, and how rare is this? You are about to see two groups of people fight each other for the right to go to Detroit. October 18, 2012 8:08 PM

  176. DJB - Oct 20, 2012 at 10:49 PM

    Right or wrong, the Strasburg Shutdown debate is over. The bigger question is whether the Nats need to trade or acquire a number 2. I have a feeling that Gio's game is not suited for October. He pitches at a fast pace, gets amped up, and relies on touch pitches too much. The jury is out as to whether he is a head case, but I think the team needs to go all in for a co-Ace at the top of the rotation. Doing that will allow the team to sit him during the short series if we make it back.

Archives

FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS

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

NL POSTSEASON SCHEDULE

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

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

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

ON THE RADIO

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

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