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Position analysis: Bullpen

Oct 19, 2012, 11:00 AM EDT

US Presswire photo
Drew Storen will try to bounce back from his blown save in Game 5 of the NLDS.

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 bullpen…

RHP DREW STOREN
Stats: 3-1, 2.37 ERA, 4 SV, 30.1 IP, 0.989 WHIP, 7.1 K/9, 2.4 BB/9
0.7 WAR
2012 salary: $498,750
Contract status: Arbitration-eligible (Super 2), free agent in 2017
Where he fits in: Everything was going swimmingly for Storen, who had finally made it all the way back from his elbow surgery and had pitched brilliantly down the stretch. Over a 17-inning stretch from Sept. 3 through Game 4 of the NLDS, he allowed one run on nine hits, walking only one batter while striking out 17. But then came his disastrous ninth inning in Game 5, leaving a bitter taste in his mouth for the winter. Can Storen bounce back from that crushing loss? He certainly seems to have the right mindset to do it. And the Nationals certainly have confidence in the young right-hander to return to form.

RHP TYLER CLIPPARD
Stats: 2-6, 3.72 ERA, 32 SV, 72.2 IP, 1.156 WHIP, 10.4 K/9, 3.6 BB/9Read more »

289 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. NatsJack in Florida - Oct 20, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    So I guess I may be the odd guy in that I would prefer the Cards win this whole thing knowing that the Nats had every opportunity to close them out and didn't. I didn't take offense to the stuff the Cards said after beating the Nats because most of it was true. I firmly believe the experience will make the Nats mentally tougher and go along way to driving them to the Division crown again. Much more to follow over the coming days now that I've fully recovered from my playoff hangover.

  2. Traveler8 - Oct 20, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    I don't care who wins, just enjoying good baseball which is what we are seeing, but otherwise I think your views are spot-on, NatsJack.

  3. Gonat - Oct 20, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    I agree NatsJack. Their feedback is what the Nats had to hear and especially Gio on the "smelling blood" and while Davey doesn't give a rats a$$ maybe an ole dog can learn new tricks.

  4. Gonat - Oct 20, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    The Giants beat the Reds from down 2 and facing 3 straight elimination games to take the series 3-2.Hard to imagine that they take 3 in a row from the Cardinals and now they have to win 2 in a row back in San Fran to do it.

  5. NatsJack in Florida - Oct 20, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    Actually, Gonat, I'm waiting to see if the Cards can close out without the game being an elimination game.And then, if not, which team will be the first to lose an elimination game.But before all that, I have a little Gator game to enjoy as I, hopefully, get to see Spurrier lose one in the Swamp.

  6. Gonat - Oct 20, 2012 at 2:58 PM

    No baseball today unless we head to Arizona! Good luck with the Gators!

  7. SonnyG10 - Oct 20, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    NatsJack, I wouldn't mind seeing the Cards win it all because they are the only team to beat us in the playoffs, and I think that would raise our status…in my mind anyway.I have re-watched the eighth and ninth innings of our game 5 with the Cards and I must say the Cards are incredibly lucky to win that game. Sure, they were good, but dumb blind luck is the only reason they came out on top.There is a silver lining in this. Davey will want to come back because he feels there is unfinished business. Also, before this season we only had a couple of players with playoff experience. Now we have a whole team with playoff experience.Baring injuries, I think we will win 106 regular season games in 2013. That's eight games more than this year, which is reasonable considering Strasburg will be stronger and our youngsters will have developed another year. Our dominance is just beginning folks.

  8. baseballswami - Oct 20, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    SonnyG — Agree so much that there was some magic involved in the Cards comeback. So many people were focused on the end of the last game — I was looking at the slow bleeding that happened almost immediately after we scored those runs and how we never added on. I was also thinking of the two games we lost badly. Can't leave it until the 9th inning of the last game so that one lucky break can turn it the other team's way. You have to take care of business early on so that it isn't a factor and so that you have a large margin for error to compensate for those things happening. I always love watching the playoffs and was not going to miss it this year despite my disappointment. Playoff baseball is usually exciting. Detroit/Yankees not so much, but NL has been a good battle. Anyone read Boz today about the top payroll teams? Good stuff. Building a team is just a weird science experiment.

  9. NatsJack in Florida - Oct 20, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    I wish everybody would let go. The Nats got to their closer with a two run lead. Losing in that situation is damn near inexcusable.

  10. baseballswami - Oct 20, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    NatsJack – yes, the closer has turned out to be the in-your- face symbol of failure,the image burned into everyone's brain, but most of the Nats weren't up to the task this year. I consider this to be valuable training for all of them, players and coaches alike. At some point they just had to experience it and take this step. Now they know and maybe next year they will know how to keep themselves contained a little better. I hope they are watching so that they can see what it takes to climb this mountain successfully. I am looking forward to seeing how this entire season's experience will show up in our players next year in terms of maturity and focus. I think some of them have grown up several years all in one year.

  11. NatsLady - Oct 20, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    So much for getting Chris Young. Billy Beane got him…D'Backs Acquire Heath Bell In Three-Team DealBy Zach Links [October 20, 2012 at 3:19pm CST]The Diamondbacks announced that they have acquired Heath Bell and cash considerations from the Marlins in a three-team deal with the Athletics. Miami will recieve minor league infielder Yordy Cabrera from the A's and Oakland will get outfielder Chris Young from Arizona.

  12. baseballswami - Oct 20, 2012 at 8:32 PM

    So the Hot Stove is heating up already? I think Heath Bell could not wait to leave Miami. Not many folks around today, but, if you know the answer to this – don't we have some kind of deadline coming up? I think it's four days after the series ends and it involves picking up options? Is that the category ALR is in? tick tock tick tock tick tock

  13. NatsLady - Oct 20, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    Can't figure out why Arizona would take Heath Bell, though (even with cash). They picked up the option on Putz.

  14. baseballswami - Oct 20, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    I am just guessing but I did seem some stuff on twitter that indicates people thought he was only bad because Miami was a bad fit all the way. I guess Arizona really thinks he still has the goods and can turn it around?

  15. NatsJack in Florida - Oct 20, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    Start with Dade Co. doesn't allow Pit Bulls which meant he had NOT buy the house his wife wanted and now had to buy in Broward. I don't know about you but if you don't like my dogs and then you make my wife unhappy……well lets just say this isn't srarting out well.Poor Heath Bell.

  16. NatsJack in Florida - Oct 20, 2012 at 10:13 PM

    On anothet note……Gator Football Rocks…. Gamecock Football….not so much.

  17. NatsJack in Florida - Oct 20, 2012 at 10:31 PM

    I meant he "COULD NOT" buy.

  18. baseballswami - Oct 21, 2012 at 12:23 AM

    NatsJack – that is quite humorous – I was not aware of the terrible conditions under which this over-paid athlete had to operate. No wonder he couldn't do his job – I mean really. I guess playing for Ozzie wasn't a factor? And I know a couple of gamecock fans that went to Fla to the game. ouch.

  19. natsfan1a - Oct 21, 2012 at 1:29 AM

    Agreed, swami. I've always kinda liked the guy, and he took a lot of [stuff] from fans over the years. Strikes me (no pun intended) as a smart guy, both on and off the field.baseballswami said… It was nice to see Zito have that redemption game. It was also nice to see an older pitcher, trying to stay in the game by being smart. He threw from 75 to 86 and fooled some very good hitters with location and by keeping them off balance. That Rosenthal kid from the Cards that throws flame made another appearance. Not looking forward to seeing him next season. He has HRod stuff, but with control and poise. October 20, 2012 9:16 AM

  20. natsfan1a - Oct 21, 2012 at 1:33 AM

    I thought it was Buehrle who had the pit bull issue?NatsJack in Florida said… Start with Dade Co. doesn't allow Pit Bulls which meant he had NOT buy the house his wife wanted and now had to buy in Broward. I don't know about you but if you don't like my dogs and then you make my wife unhappy……well lets just say this isn't srarting out well. Poor Heath Bell. October 20, 2012 6:07 PM

  21. SCNatsFan - Oct 21, 2012 at 2:49 AM

    I hope Detroit wins… don't know any Tiger fans

  22. 3on2out - Oct 21, 2012 at 4:58 AM

    Vogelsong and Cain.

  23. natsfan1a - Oct 21, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    There used to be one who posted here when Pudge was with the team.SCNatsFan said… I hope Detroit wins… don't know any Tiger fans

  24. SonnyG10 - Oct 21, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    Man, we need a new thread.

  25. BigCat - Oct 21, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    Phil Wood has an an article in todays Examiner about how the Nats should consider The Tiger's Alvarez as a FA this winter. Have not seen him throw. Have to watch him in the series

  26. Gonat - Oct 21, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    Natslady, Glad Chris Young went to the AL. He was always a Nats killer even when he was in a slump.Billy Beane smells success in a AL West where they already slayed Texas in 2012.Cespedes turned out to be a steal for them but I think they were still over-achievers much like Showalter's team. Good outfield, poor infield, and pitchers that were good at times and poor at others. Which pitching staff will they have in 2013?

  27. Gonat - Oct 21, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    Nationals are now being mentioned as a BIG MARKET CLUB? How quickly things change!http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/10/boras-hints-that-rafael-soriano-will-opt-out-of-contract.html“There is a strong chance that he would have tremendous value as a free agent,” said Boras. Sherman notes that big market clubs like the Angels, Dodgers, Nationals, Red Sox, Giants, and Tigers could all be in the market for a high-end closer this winter.

  28. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 21, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    NatsJack's comment at 12:09 will foreshadow the off-season shocker as Scott Boras will prepare his portfolio titled "Closer Fail" as the reason the Nats didn't win the World Series this year and make the focus on 2 of his client's (Madson and Rafael Soriano) while smearing the competition CAA (Storen) and Elite (Clippard).For overkill, why not an all Boras outfield with Bourn, Werth and Harper.You know these rumors will reach the Hot Stove.

  29. natsfan1a - Oct 21, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    Agreed.SonnyG10 said… Man, we need a new thread. October 21, 2012 9:48 AM

  30. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 21, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    I put Elite instead of Excel for Clippard as his agent is Casey Close who was formerly head of CAA and now head of Excel.

  31. SCNatsFan - Oct 21, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    I couldn't care less if we have an all Boras team as long as he keeps signing superstars

  32. Gonat - Oct 21, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    Stoke up the Hot Stove!SteveM, I think you are correct in what NatsJack said as the Storen blown save will be the focus for Boras pushing an agenda whether right or wrong. Boras has 2 closers that will need a home.Like Baseballswami has said, you can't push all the blame on Storen although that could be the easiest to scapegoat Druuuuuuu and yes, SteveM, why should Boras care as nobody in the Nats bullpen currently is a Boras client.A suggestion to Drew, change agents to Boras [insert wink]

  33. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 21, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    Rizzo brought in the veteran Lidge last offseason. I wouldn't be surprised to see Madson in the mix this year. After Lidge got the boot, Michael Gonzalez was the senior leadership in the bullpen. Madson could take some heat off of Storen while being a needed veteran leader.

  34. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 21, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    Does Boras give 3 for 1 specials?Lohse, Madson and Bourn?

  35. Gonat - Oct 21, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… Does Boras give 3 for 1 specials?Lohse, Madson and Bourn? October 21, 2012 12:13 PM _________________________________Boras wouldn't give his mother a family discount although I think he is the type to make you think you got a deep discount.His fiduciary responsibility is to maximizing value for his client but as we know the Nats are becoming his path of least resistance which gives the appearance that Boras is in bed with the Nats. Add to that like with Prince, he talked Mr. Lerner into being his fallback on Prince until he found a better buyer in Detroit.

  36. natsfan1a - Oct 21, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    zzzzzzz

  37. natsfan1a - Oct 21, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    So, I guess I'm making progress through the stages of recovery. I did step whatever-it-is just now and talked to my neighbor the Cards fan (I've kinda sorta been avoiding him). He was out talking to another neighbor, and, with some encouragement from my husband, I went over and spoke to them. My opening line: [my husband] said that I had to come over here and be a good sport. We all laughed and then talked a little baseball. I told him I rooted for his team last season but couldn't quite bring myself to do it this year (my Giants connection aside). I also covered the "you have a good team" blah blah stuff and he did the "your guys had a good run" woof woof stuff. I do actually feel a little bit better now. Maybe it's just endorphins, from raking the leaves. Anyhoo, baby steps. We now end this session of true Nats fan confessions and return you to your regularly scheduled programming. Thanks for reading. :-)

  38. natsfan1a - Oct 21, 2012 at 7:10 PM

    p.s. I'm really glad that I didn't TP his house instead, as was suggested by a Nats fan that I met at a harvest festival yesterday. It probably wouldn't have set as good an example for the neighbor kids. :-)

  39. baseballswami - Oct 21, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    Glad to hear you have taken a step. I am sure that it was tough to swallow! Did you walk all the way back home mumbling — grrrr, next year? So – will Mark have a new seven am post tomorrow? Wonder what it'll be. Don't we have some options we have to pick up in the next week or so?

  40. MicheleS - Oct 21, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    1A.. you are better than I am.. My Cards friend from STL hasn't called (he is being nice and leaving me alone) and I won't call him you know to have that gee shucks talk. Still can't do it.

  41. natsfan1a - Oct 21, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    Thanks, swami. I do seem to recall saying something about next year to my other neighbor as we both walked back home. :-) I'm also guessing that we'll see a new post in the a.m.

  42. natsfan1a - Oct 21, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    Michele, not sure that I'd have gone there quite yet without my hubby's encouragement. On a somewhat related note, my Cubs fan baseball buddy sent me an email and said that she'd wanted to call and commiserate with me last week but couldn't due to laryngitis. My husband and I were just recalling her visit to Virginia during the 2003 postseason and how we all watched the Bartman game together. Oof.

  43. peric - Oct 21, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    Lohse, Madson and Bourn?Nope, and let's face it … I am usually right ….Bourn? No way Werth and Harper at the top … let that roll for a year or two. Bourn is now over 30. Why? Eury Perez? Johnson is NOT interested except for pinch running. Lombo didn't last long in the lead off spot now did he? Davey will just say NO. And no again. And no again to "slap hitters". When are you going to give this idea up? Puhleeeze! Ladson's "source" has stopped pushing this … suddenly Ladson's recent not speaks about Zimmerman at first base and Rendon at third base. Which makes sense both baseball-wise and financially. That effects the outfield. No space for Moore, Morse, (one of which could be traded unfortunately Moore will be held at the highest value particularly given team control), plus Bernadina, Brown, and soon perhaps Brian Goodwin. And who knows what Destin Hood and Erik Komatsu might do? And Goodwin and Komatsu are left-handed. NO Bourn. Sorry but bzzzzzz wrong again.Werth was an excellent leadoff to Harper at #2. Harper has plenty of time to develop into the #3.Lohse? Is he left-handed? NO. Wrong again Ghost. Davey and Rizzo will both covet another left-handed starter. I think Drew hit it. They will trade for team control and lower cost until 2016. That'll be perennial Cy Young candidate David Price. The better than perfect replacement for Edwin Jackson. Why not the best? Why just go for a #5? Why not get someone who really WILL take the pressure off of Stras and Gio. Price is your man in the strong left-handed hitting NL East. And Rizzo now has experience convincing ownership to go with a blockbuster trade.Price makes a lot of sense both on the field, in the locker room and financially.Madson? Is he left-handed? NO. They need left-handed pitching at the back of the bullpen particularly if they lose Burnett to free agency. All they have is Gorzelanny and perhaps (surprisingly!) Zach Duke and Michael Gonzalez. Nothing forthcoming from the minors. Smoker looks like a complete FAIL. McGreary hasn't recovered from TJ surgery as expected. They are stuck.Trades, not free agent signings given the number of positions blocked or about to be blocked appear to be the best avenue to pursue for the Nats. Its a way of getting just blossoming players with 2-3 years left of team control before free agency. If you look at how the Nats have approached things … this is how they've been doing business.

  44. NatsLady - Oct 21, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    I agree that Rizzo should not "settle" for a No. 4-5 starter. Don't agree it needs to be a lefty. BTW, unless they signed a two-year deal with Zach Duke, he is a free agent. Agree they need lefties in the bullpen. What about Rosenthal, could he be the next "failed" starter who goes to the bullpen?

  45. SCNatsFan - Oct 21, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    nats1A, a Cards fan and I treked up from SC to see the series in September and we went to the games the Nats crushed them. I've avoided him like he has the plague since the game; on a bright note, I didn't gloat when we went up 6-0 despite wanting the twist the knife. We have been civil but I hope the Cards don't win it all again, he will be impossible.

  46. baseballswami - Oct 21, 2012 at 9:52 PM

    I know they will have spots to fill – not nearly as many as some years. Right now I would like to know who we are keeping – tie up ALR and extend JZim first. Anyone else that needs to be held onto before we start looking elsewhere?

  47. natsfan1a - Oct 21, 2012 at 10:00 PM

    Thanks, scnatsfan. As reported here at the time, I had a pleasant discussion with a Cards fan family as we all rode Metro home from the Thursday game. Of course, that was easier on my part since we won that one (I didn't gloat either).

  48. MicheleS - Oct 21, 2012 at 10:21 PM

    DVR Alert On MASN Tomorrow Morning at 9 am Nat's Classic. Wilson's walk off single against the Phillies.

  49. baseballswami - Oct 21, 2012 at 10:49 PM

    Michele – was that 2011? Because I have decided that I just can't watch 2009 anymore. Dibble, Debbie Taylor, a horrible cast of characters. Surprised they can come up with any classics from back in that day. Anything that has a Zim walk off, I guess.

  50. MicheleS - Oct 21, 2012 at 10:50 PM

    Swami.. I think it's this year against the Phillies. The Air Plane walk off by Wilson.

  51. baseballswami - Oct 21, 2012 at 11:06 PM

    Oh, that's awesome!!! It's a class already, nice! I miss Wilson, I miss the Nats — sigh.

  52. NatsLady - Oct 21, 2012 at 11:52 PM

    Yes, miss the boys. Lovely weather coming up this week. So nice for a world series. Sigh.

  53. baseballswami - Oct 21, 2012 at 11:58 PM

    Interesting watching baseball when the teams are not your own. That's how it was for me in several places where I have lived, including here, before 2005. No knots on the stomach, no need for bourbon and maalox, no high pulse rate. I can even go to sleep before the game is over. Very odd.

  54. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 22, 2012 at 12:03 AM

    Peric, Lohse Madson Bourn? Glad to see you critique me in your normal style but where did I say Rizzo would seriously pursue any of them?It was a tongue in cheek comment with 3 for 1 special as in ha ha.I don't see Bourn fitting the plan but I believe Rizzo should pursue Lohse and will be tied to Boras's closers.

  55. baseballswami - Oct 22, 2012 at 12:03 AM

    NLCS off to an interesting start.

  56. NatsLady - Oct 22, 2012 at 12:11 AM

    Keep hearing chatter about Hamilton. Too much drama for my taste, but if Rizzo goes for it, I'll have to trust him. That would be some outfield, for sure.

  57. baseballswami - Oct 22, 2012 at 12:26 AM

    Seriously – it's getting interesting in a way that most of you might really enjoy watching :) NatsLady – Hamilton? Not sure Rizzo is going to go there.

  58. NatsLady - Oct 22, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    Hard for me to imagine Hamilton, because Davey does not like to babysit his players. Watch him during games. Davey is by himself, occasionally walks down the dugout to chat, but mostly watches the game with that eagle eye and then consults his charts. Hamilton constantly hanging on Washington in the dugout, needs more "whispering" than Gio.

  59. 995c0828-8d78-11e1-b794-000bcdcb5194 - Oct 22, 2012 at 12:40 AM

    Wasn't it that idiot peric that wrote Scutaro would be in Syracuse if the Nats had him. I guess you were wrong on that one, huh. Oh Danny Boy…sing it you moron…potential doesn't win championships…guys like Scutaro do. That is something your Baseball America mind will never understand.

  60. NatsLady - Oct 22, 2012 at 12:44 AM

    Scutaro is a fascinating story, to me. He was definitely marginal, struggled in the minors, seemed like a typical "journeyman" bouncing around teams. A guy like that shows you how much of the game is mental.

  61. NatsLady - Oct 22, 2012 at 12:46 AM

    But I wouldn't underestimate "Danny Boy." That is a kid who wants it.

  62. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 22, 2012 at 1:06 AM

    Not a chance on Hamilton.

  63. Gonat - Oct 22, 2012 at 1:12 AM

    Vogelsong is just pounding the Cardinals with inside heat. Only Detwiler was doing that consistently of the Nats pitchers.

  64. Gonat - Oct 22, 2012 at 1:13 AM

    McCarver opens his mouth on the no-hitter and the next batter….hit

  65. MicheleS - Oct 22, 2012 at 1:14 AM

    Just say NO to Hamliton. I will be repeating that until he signs with a team not named the Nats.And Ghost.. I got your snark on the 3 for 1. I think we will hear all those names associated with the Nats mainly b/c Boras will use it to drive up the price for other teams. I hope some one (other than the Nats) bites on the Relievers or Bourn for some ungodly amount

  66. Gonat - Oct 22, 2012 at 1:17 AM

    peric said… Nope, and let's face it … I am usually right ….October 21, 2012 4:42 PM _______________________________peric, really? Because you spotted Skole? How many MLB hits does he have?I'm just shaking my head peric. You are the almighty one here.I think the reason many here agree with you is because the don't want your wrath to disagree with you.

  67. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 22, 2012 at 1:23 AM

    Thank you MicheleS and thank you Gonat.MicheleS, absolutely Boras "big 4" will all be rumored to the Nats especially Bourn.I like Lohse but not necessarily more than others on the market.

  68. MicheleS - Oct 22, 2012 at 1:28 AM

    Ghost I think that is why it ticks of so many other GM's about the Nats. Mid market teams figured they would have to contend with LAA, TX, NYY, BOS, and maybe the PHL for talent, now the LAD's are back in it too (although for the life of me I can't figure out why StanK took those 3 contracts on from BOS). Now they have the Nats to contend with as weel and we are attractive and winning and have a rich owner (sure I will spend his money for him).

  69. MicheleS - Oct 22, 2012 at 1:31 AM

    And if you are on twitter.. @MLBJesus is a SF Giants fan and apparantly wants to smite Buck and McCarver.

  70. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 22, 2012 at 1:41 AM

    MicheleS, McCarver played for the Cardinals and Buck grew up in St Louis. They aren't overtly pulling for the Cards but McCarver knows better than to mention the no-no especially since its the Cards who had no hits.

  71. MicheleS - Oct 22, 2012 at 1:43 AM

    Ghost..yup.. Buck's got a restaurant near the STL Park. so no bias from at all ;-).. plus McCarver probably thinks that Bob Gibson is still playing for STL

  72. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 22, 2012 at 1:45 AM

    MicheleS, yep, StanK went against his own lifelong advice on taking on longterm contracts.Also true that the Nats are stepping closer to being big revenue. Only thing holding the Nats back is that lousy MASN deal.

  73. baseballswami - Oct 22, 2012 at 1:46 AM

    What was all that about grapes? Baseball players are like grapes before it rains? What? I not only miss the Nats, I miss FP, Carp, Charlie and Dave.

  74. baseballswami - Oct 22, 2012 at 1:48 AM

    Ghost- when I think about that masn "deal", I just boil. Blackmail, pure and simple.

  75. Gonat - Oct 22, 2012 at 1:51 AM

    Buck: "Jay nice catch" as he said to end the inning. Really? It was routine. I think Buck has made quite a few overly complimentary comments on the Cardinals.McCarver has to be put out to pasture. The guy is awful just like Joe Morgan was. I wasn't around when they played so maybe its a generational thing with me. I like guys like FP who can relate to the current player not McCarver talking about meal allowances of 50 cents on the road.

  76. Gonat - Oct 22, 2012 at 1:58 AM

    This singer lost it on fashion and on the lyrics. #Fail

  77. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 22, 2012 at 1:59 AM

    baseballswami, the MASN deal will set the revenue that will also help the payroll. I wonder if the Nats will push anyway to $120 million regardless.

  78. baseballswami - Oct 22, 2012 at 2:03 AM

    The singer was awful – get the words right, people.#EpicFail Ghost — the whole Angelos owning MASN thing is what frosts me. Are they ever actually going to get to that re-set thing on the tv deal? Seems like it has been put off numerous times.

  79. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 22, 2012 at 2:08 AM

    baseballswami, the Angelos stall tactic backfired as the Nats viewership skyrocketed and any deal will go back retroactive.Unfortunately, it's the Lerners lawyers and media consultants getting rich at the moment.

  80. baseballswami - Oct 22, 2012 at 2:23 AM

    One of these Fox announcers talks backwards like he thinks he is Yoda.

  81. MicheleS - Oct 22, 2012 at 2:33 AM

    Ian would have had that one too.

  82. natsfan1a - Oct 22, 2012 at 2:46 AM

    So, I clicked over to the game a few times again. Is it just me, or did Matheny have a deer-in-the-headlights look in the dugout just before he went to Mujica? Freese seemed to have it as well, in the top of the 9th? Or maybe I just imagined it. Also, the Giants acted a little weird, like maybe they smelled blood or something? Nah, must have been my imagination. ;-)

  83. natsfan1a - Oct 22, 2012 at 2:50 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  84. Section 222 - Oct 22, 2012 at 2:52 AM

    Because you spotted Skole? How many MLB hits does he have?Let us not forget the incredible contribution made to the Nats' fantastic season by … Matt Antonelli.I couldn't help but think of Drew nine days ago as Romo buzzsawed through Molina, Freese and Descalso in the 9th. You have to throw strikes to get the last outs.

  85. natsfan1a - Oct 22, 2012 at 2:53 AM

    That's the style of costume that's always been worn in the long-running stage show from which the singer came. It's a SFO thing. :-) That said, I turned the channel once the singing began, so I can't speak to the rendition.Gonat said…This singer lost it on fashion and on the lyrics. #Fail

  86. baseballswami - Oct 22, 2012 at 9:31 AM

    She forgot the words.

  87. Dave - Oct 22, 2012 at 9:53 AM

    After that weird rendition of GBA, I found myself hoping the Nats meet the Toronto Blue Jays in the World Series.That means there will be a lot of post-season baseball games that won't have that song sung automatically in the 7th-inning stretch.Right? They're not going to sing "God Bless America" in Canada, are they?

  88. baseballswami - Oct 22, 2012 at 10:15 AM

    No, Dave – but we will get to hear Oh, Canada, which is a nice song. I think GBA is only on Sundays? Not to worry – next year a lot more post season games will be in DC and we will have lots of great renditions :) The National Anthem was the Kingston Trio last night – it was cool.

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NL EAST STANDINGS

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ATLANTA 54 46 2.0
MIAMI 47 52 8.5
NEW YORK 47 53 9.0
PHILADELPHIA 43 57 13.0
Through Tuesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
WED: Nats at Rockies, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Nats at Reds, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Reds, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Reds, 1:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
Full season schedule

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

ON THE RADIO

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

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

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

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