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Instant analysis: Reds 6, Nats 3

Apr 7, 2013, 8:18 PM EDT

Associated Press
Stephen Strasburg was charged with six earned runs in 5 1/3 innings.

Game in a nutshell: It was billed as a premier pitching matchup between Stephen Strasburg and Johnny Cueto, but on this afternoon in this ballpark, it turned into another slugfest of sorts. Strasburg gave up three quick runs in the bottom of the first. Cueto followed by giving all three runs back in the top of the second on Kurt Suzuki's blast to left field. Both starters settled down some after that, but Strasburg again got into trouble in the sixth. The real big mistake, though, came from second baseman Danny Espinosa, who bypassed an easy 4-6-3 double play to make a difficult throw at the plate to try to get speedy rookie Derrick Robinson. That throw was slightly off-line, leaving everybody safe and setting up the Reds for a big inning. They wound up scoring three runs before it was finally over, with Strasburg pulled after 114 pitches (second-most in his career). Needing to mount another rally against the Cincinnati bullpen, the Nationals couldn't pull it off. Sean Marshall, Jonathan Broxton and Aroldis Chapman closed out the victory and sent the Nationals to their first series loss of the young season.

Hitting highlight: Who says Wilson Ramos is the only Nationals catcher who poses a power threat at the plate? Suzuki wielded aRead more »

  1. peric - Apr 7, 2013 at 8:23 PM

    Its big Dunkey time.

  2. EmDash - Apr 7, 2013 at 8:24 PM

    I love Davey, but leaving Strasburg in to hit and then pitch the 6th was crazy. He'd already thrown 92 pitches and was pretty clearly gassed. I just don't get that.

  3. NatsJim - Apr 7, 2013 at 8:26 PM

    For the 2nd day in a row, I think Davey made a mistake with pulling the starting pitcher. Yesterday Det was cruising with 82 pitches through 6, less than 14/inning, and Davey pulled him. I thought he should have sent him back out for the 7th. Today, Stras is struggling with 92 pitches through 5, and his spot in the order comes up with 2 outs and the go-ahead run in scoring position, and Davey lets him hit. I think all the BS about pulling Stras after 82 in the opener influenced his decision. With an off day tomorrow pretty much the entire pen was available, I don't understand letting Stras hit in that situation given how he had struggled all day, as Mark noted in the recap. Oh well, the Reds are a good club, I'm glad to be out of that park for the year. Makes me appreciate the numbers that Cueto put up last year all the more, pitching to that ERA in that park is impressive.

  4. NatsLady - Apr 7, 2013 at 8:27 PM

    Wouldn't the run have scored on the doubleplay anyway? So the Nats would have lost 4-3 instead of 6-3. Seriously, I'm OK with Espy taking the chance, just wish he had made a better throw. You know you are facing their bullpen, you want Stras to have a chance for the win, those things make me agree with Espy on this.

  5. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Apr 7, 2013 at 8:29 PM

    The Sunshine take on the bright side of things:We not only have the four best starters in baseball, we have to best catching duo.And, after the series at home with these guys later this month, we won't see Aroldis and the boys until the postseason.

  6. peric - Apr 7, 2013 at 8:31 PM

    He'd already thrown 92 pitches and was pretty clearly gassed. I just don't get that.I do. Stras has probably been hammering at 'Cat and mebbe Davey about getting yanked too soon. So, this time they leave him in the band box. Great learning experience for Stras. Probably needed.Plus? Both Stammen and Duke used heavily in the previous 2 games so there really wasn't much in the way of middle relief that was available to go 2 innings at that point. So, they bring in Mattheus and then Henry to work on his control.Now, most of the bullpen gets an extra day of rest … this is Davey managing his bullpen.

  7. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 7, 2013 at 8:35 PM

    8 for 46 RISP is a big problem.

  8. NatsLady - Apr 7, 2013 at 8:36 PM

    NatsJim, I hear you. However, that is Davey's style. Think back to last year. Davey let pitchers explore their limits. Then in the second half of the season he was Captain Hook (except in the ATL game, which still bothers me). Last game, Stras got pulled after 80 pitches and maybe he was upset about it. Stras was beginning to struggle in that game, but maybe his mind resented Davey's early pull. Davey is showing Stras, look, you are good, but you are NOT superhuman. "If I take you out, you live with that." The other good aspect is this is it should silence all the critics of Stras pitch limits. It's time, it's REALLY time, to manage Stras like any other pitcher. I 100% agree Davey could have pinch-hit for Stras, and if he were any other pitcher with any other history, he probably would have. But you are dealing with human beings. You have to give Stras the chance to pitch the 6th inning and possibly win the game.

  9. NatsLady - Apr 7, 2013 at 8:37 PM

    peric==I am not in the drinking game but SAME THOUGHT on Stras! Good post.

  10. peric - Apr 7, 2013 at 8:37 PM

    Subract Span put Werth back at lead off and Harper batting 2nd where Harper probably scores over 100 runs with a full season. Move Tyler Moore into the #5 spot behind LaRoche (Morse's old spot) …RISP problem solved.

  11. SonnyG10 - Apr 7, 2013 at 8:39 PM

    NatsLady, yes the run would have scored anyway, but four runs are a lot easier to overcome than six runs. Danny had no chance to get the runner because he was so fast and Danny had to pivot and throw across his body. Also Davey had them playing at double play depth, conceding the run, and that's how Danny should have played it.

  12. peric - Apr 7, 2013 at 8:39 PM

    And again, Stras is still learning. This will be his very full major league season. He is still an ace in training, a work in progress. I like the progress Stammen has made I hope he gets a chance to start again.

  13. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 7, 2013 at 8:41 PM

    All 3 runs in the first could been stopped with proper plays. Espi throw allowed 2 extra runs to score.Lack of proper plays caused extra problems. In a small park you cant do that.Our pitching as a whole terrible this weekend.Not sure if this speaks more of us, the Reds or the Marlins.

  14. peric - Apr 7, 2013 at 8:42 PM

    Also Davey had them playing at double play depth, conceding the run, and that's how Danny should have played it.BHarp yesterday, Danny today … Desmond letting easy grounders go by. Learning experiences they are still young.

  15. NatsLady - Apr 7, 2013 at 8:42 PM

    ooops. Peric, you are kidding, surely. Span is over .400 in OPS. The man GETS ON BASE! That is his job. Plus, he is not a power hitter, so you are not looking to him for RBIs. Now that Werth is getting a bit of his power back, he is fine in the 2-spot. If he gets more power, Then I would swap him and Espy. Strange as that would seem, 1 – Span2 – Espy3 -Harper4 – RZ5 – ALR6 – Desi/Werth7 – Werth/Desi8 – POWER CATCHERS!9 – PitcherThat is a scary lineup.

  16. phil dunton - Apr 7, 2013 at 8:43 PM

    You can't solve the problem of virtually giving Morse away and being stuck with Laroche for two more years for around $25 million. By the end of this season, Morse is going to make Rizzo look very stupid.

  17. Bob Saget Nats Fan 101 - Apr 7, 2013 at 8:44 PM

    One good thing about such a long season is that even goods teams like the Reds and Nats can go into slumps. Whether it is hitting, fielding (plays and decisions) or pitching, good teams can bounce back. I think it is a plus that it is still early April and we are slumping now instead of later in the season. I had/have a few issues (not excuses). 1: The field is too hitter friendly. 2: The home plate ump sucked today. Both teams got bad balls/strikes calls. 3: That ball girl. That would have changed the course of the game. 4: Espi dude, why didn’t you go for the double play instead of throwing home? That too would have changed the course of the game. Nationals, learn from this.The nationals will learn from this game and series. They will move on and get better as the season progresses.

  18. peric - Apr 7, 2013 at 8:44 PM

    Our pitching as a whole terrible this weekend.Detwiler and Stammen pitched well. Henry is improving. Matheus is still pretty damned good. Haren, Storen and Soriano not so good, but that was not unexpected. Stras is fine. Gio is fine. JZimmn is fine.

  19. NatsLady - Apr 7, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    Sonny, I understand what you are saying, but I still think Espy did the right thing (and Harper didn't, yesterday). If there is anyway you can let Stras leave with the game tied, you should do it. In this case, it's not a matter of percentages, it's a matter of your Ace pitching and struggling.

  20. NatsNut - Apr 7, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    I recall our hitters were stone cold for most of April last year (except LaRoche) and we did ok. This year it looks like the defense is stone cold. They'll come around. See you next week, boys!Go Nats!

  21. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 7, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    We need a rally. 5 runs scored that is .all that was not scored on a homer. Poor hitting for syre.

  22. SonnyG10 - Apr 7, 2013 at 8:47 PM

    I am disappointed, but it is a long season and the cream will rise to the top.

  23. NatsLady - Apr 7, 2013 at 8:47 PM

    Mr. Saget===> It was a ball BOY. Have already given my reasons why I'm OK with what Espy did. (Infield) fielding DEFINITELY needs to get tighter.

  24. peric - Apr 7, 2013 at 8:48 PM

    ooops. Peric, you are kidding, surely. Span is over .400 in OPS. The man GETS ON BASE!And so does Werth. The difference? He has some pop and they fear Werth a great deal more than they do Span. Harper was far more productive behind Werth as lead-off. Do you think Harper is going to score 100 runs? I don't not they way things look right now ..Nick the Stick was ACTUALLY A FAR BETTER OBP machine than Span. AND? He had power! He also was gold glove caliber at first base. Did that help those Nationals teams? No.OBP means nothing if you don't have the run producers behind the table setters. WERTH needs to lead off with Harper batting 2nd. That was the chemistry that turned a .500 team into a team that won 98 games last season.

  25. natsfan1a - Apr 7, 2013 at 8:49 PM

    Eh, the day after tomorrow is another day (so is tomorrow, actually, but there's no game then). In moniker news, Ramos now prefers Bison to Buffalo, per per Ladson.

  26. natsfan1a - Apr 7, 2013 at 8:50 PM

    hmmm…make that one "per"

  27. peric - Apr 7, 2013 at 8:50 PM

    Duke is this year's Gorzo. He's the mop up guy. He's the Miss Iowa. They don't expect much from him and the way Stammen is pitching doubtless Duke will remain in that slot.

  28. NatsLady - Apr 7, 2013 at 8:51 PM

    Manassas, I think I remember from last year that you have some typing challenges. But I didn't understand your point. Did you mean, "Poor hitting for SURE"? I am watching Sox-M's. Not for Morse, but to scope out our next opponents. They just had a miscommunication between fielders, but it didn't cost. Not liking the uniforms that much.

  29. NatsLady - Apr 7, 2013 at 8:53 PM

    Wow, Sox just IBB'd Morales in front of Morse (w/ two out). Interesting choice.

  30. Joe Seamhead - Apr 7, 2013 at 8:57 PM

    NatsLady, the defense was positioned in DP depth by proper baseball strategy. It's a long shot for Espy to make that throw home on a ball hit that far to his left. It is a good play to have difference in opinion over,though.We're 4-2 despite playing poorly in two games to the team with the second best record in baseball on their home turf. I'll take 4-2.

  31. NatsLady - Apr 7, 2013 at 8:58 PM

    And… it was the right choice as Morse K's swinging vs. their closer (Addison Reed) in the top of the 10th. Guy has some nasty stuff, get ready.

  32. Steady Eddie - Apr 7, 2013 at 8:59 PM

    And Morse struck out (though he did hit a two run dinger earlier in the game).Presumably there was some history between Reed (the RH reliever) and Morales (a lefty).

  33. Steady Eddie - Apr 7, 2013 at 9:00 PM

    NL, I guess I'm lucky you're not in the drinks tally.

  34. Secret wasian man - Apr 7, 2013 at 9:00 PM

    Royals hang on

  35. NatsLady - Apr 7, 2013 at 9:00 PM

    Seamhead, I also will take 4-2. ATL has played the Fillies (who are not what they used to be) and the Cubs. Let's say Marlins = Cubs, but Reds >> Fillies. We are still OK on the 16-11 that I'm hoping for in April.

  36. UnkyD - Apr 7, 2013 at 9:01 PM

    Yesterday and today…. Wurst. Game threads. Ever.

  37. Steady Eddie - Apr 7, 2013 at 9:01 PM

    NL — and ATL is next heading to play the Fish. A very easy start for them.

  38. Bob Saget Nats Fan 101 - Apr 7, 2013 at 9:02 PM

    Natslady, my mistake. I see your point. Espi instinctively did what he thought was best; prevent a run from scoring. Peric, just curious, what is your ideal nats lineup with Werth leading off?I may be mistaken but didnt the nats sign werth to be a power force?

  39. Joe Seamhead - Apr 7, 2013 at 9:03 PM

    Though Atlanta beat the Cubs again, Justin came crashing back down to earth today. 0-4 with 4 strikeouts.

  40. Joe Seamhead - Apr 7, 2013 at 9:04 PM

    I agree UnkyD @ 5:01 pm

  41. NatsLady - Apr 7, 2013 at 9:05 PM

    And the Sox walk off with a bomb from Viciedo. Our turn on Tuesday.

  42. NatsLady - Apr 7, 2013 at 9:08 PM

    Unkyd, I looked at today's thread and saw who was on. It would have disturbed my peace of mind to participate. I'm working on tomorrow's post to see how the Aces are doing–actually, other than Kershaw, so far, not so great…

  43. Joe Seamhead - Apr 7, 2013 at 9:12 PM

    KC holds on 9-8 after almost blowing a 9-4 lead in the 9th to the Philth. Cole got bombed early.

  44. NatsLady - Apr 7, 2013 at 9:13 PM

    If the Nats win the WS and give away replica rings, I don't care how much it cost or when the game is, I'm getting a ring…

  45. peric - Apr 7, 2013 at 9:13 PM

    The game link wasn't worth the trouble. Too much complaining and grousing. Its still early. Things are bound to change for a variety of reasons all in due time.

  46. NatsJim - Apr 7, 2013 at 9:13 PM

    The game threads are the dominion of the Legion of Doom… just a toxic wasteland.

  47. NatsLady - Apr 7, 2013 at 9:17 PM

    peric–on the money. The worst we have so far is ALR out for a few days with a tight back. Injuries are starting to pile up for other teams…

  48. peric - Apr 7, 2013 at 9:19 PM

    Peric, just curious, what is your ideal nats lineup with Werth leading off?Pretty close to what they had last year:Werth RFHarper CFZimmeran 3bLaRoche 1bMoore lfEspinosa 2bDesmond ssRamos/Suzuki CStill have the left-right-left that Davey prefers. I may be mistaken but didnt the nats sign werth to be a power force?He's never going to repeat those years he had in Philadelphia although he sure seems like he is bound and determined to prove anyone who said as much wrong. Werth is going to 34 in a little more than a month. He himself will admit that his biggest challenge and adversity will be injury. Lots of guys with power have led off. Brady Anderson, Soriano, Werth last season. The notion you have to have a banjo or slap hitter leading off isn't statistically provable. Especially in the won-loss column.

  49. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Apr 7, 2013 at 9:20 PM

    NatsJim said… The game threads are the dominion of the Legion of Doom… just a toxic wasteland.Agree, NJ. But this instant analysis is drawing many recruits for the LOD.

  50. NatsLady - Apr 7, 2013 at 9:27 PM

    Here is an analysis of the Aces for today. Makes for interesting reading, so I've quoted it at length.Four Cy Young Award winners, a World Series MVP, and one Stephen Strasburg took the hill early Sunday afternoon. It did not go well for almost all of them.A look at the vanquished No. 1 starters, and the greater meaning of their rough outings:R.A. DickeySunday: Gave up 10 hits, seven earned runs and two of Will Middlebrooks' three home runs in 4 2/3 innings of the Blue Jays' 13-0 loss to the Boston Red Sox.Through two starts: 0-2, an 8.44 ERA and a 1.97 WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched) in 10 2/3 innings.WILL THE THRILL: Middlebrooks slugs three homers in routCause for concern: Significant. Any player switching leagues always bears extra scrutiny. When it's a 38-year-old knuckleballer coming off what appears to be an unsustainable Cy Young season, that concern only increases. Is this the end of Dickey's Cinderella run? Way too early to say that, of course. But he will be facing tougher lineups – like the Red Sox – with greater frequency, a factor that will only exacerbate woes brought on by the iffy command of his knuckler.David PriceSunday: Gave up 10 hits and eight earned runs in five innings of the Rays' 13-0 loss to the IndiansThrough two starts: 0-2, an 8.18 ERA and 17 hits given up in 11 innings.Cause for concern: Moderate. Price was the AL ERA champion (2.56) in winning the 2012 Cy Young Award, and also gave up just 173 hits in his 211 innings. It would stand to reason he'd iron out whatever ails him soon. His hits allowed per nine innings the past three seasons (7.3, 7.7, 7.4) speak to a consistency that should return soon.Cole HamelsSunday: Gave up nine hits and eight earned runs in 5 2/3 innings of a 9-4 Phillies loss to the Royals.Through two starts: 0-2, 10.97 ERA, 16 hits allowed in 10 2/3 innings.Cause for concern: Moderate. Not so much for Hamels' sake – like Price, he's a lefty seemingly in his prime who should figure it out. No, the concern moreso is for the Phillies at large. With Roy Halladay appearing a shell of his former self – a national TV audience will see his third start Monday, against the Mets – the Phillies need Hamels and Cliff Lee to be nothing less than outstanding almost every time out. Now there's no dodging the fact Hamels is out of the gate slowly, as well.Justin VerlanderSunday: Gave up three runs and seven hits in 7 1/3 innings of a 7-0 loss to the Yankees.Through two starts: 1-1, 2.19 ERA.Cause for concern: None. It was just rather jarring to see the pop-gun Yankees offense get to Verlander for three runs in the second inning Sunday. He was all zeroes after that.Stephen StrasburgSunday: Gave up nine hits and six earned runs in 5 1/3 innings of a 6-3 loss to the Reds.Through two starts: 1-1, 4.38 ERA, eight strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings.Cause for concern: Minimal. Sunday, baseball fans wanting to see the limitations removed from Strasburg got their wish: Nationals manager Davey Johnson allowed Strasburg to throw 114 pitches and later called him "my horse." Alas, Strasburg's final pitch turned into an RBI single for Brandon Phillips, ending Strasburg's day. He showed great efficiency in his first start, striking out three in seven shutout innings. Sunday, he got into more trouble and thus dialed up his power stuff a little more, striking out five Reds. Strasburg, 24, is still figuring out how best to harness his exceptional stuff; it figures that will occur as the season goes on, and it may be something to behold.http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/2013/04/07/mlb-cy-young-award-winners-roughed-up-ra-dickey-justin-verlander-david-price/2061291/

  51. Laddie Blah Blah - Apr 7, 2013 at 9:27 PM

    The Nats need to tighten up their defense. Too many mistakes making what should be a team strength into a liability. They lead the majors in errors and Desi is on pace to make about 130 of 'em. And that does't include mental errors, like Danny choosing to throw home when he could have had 2 outs. Stras then would have 2-out and none on, and the Reds would not have scored another run.Davey could have played a much different game being behind by only one run, instead of 3. Danny should let the manager manage.Then there was Harper yesterday. If they just play fundamentally sound defense instead of hero baseball then they improve their chances of winning.Still, the Reds got a number of bleeders, bloopers and squibbers that went for hits. There are going to be games like that.

  52. mick - Apr 7, 2013 at 9:30 PM

    my thoughts… strange game, both aces start slow, recover to be average, not great. after Suzuki HR, I really thought Nats would rock Cueto. But, he recovered. Bryce had a tough game at the plate and lost this time to Cuoto, he will get him next time. I must admit the errors are getting old, Espi's throw was terrible to the plate, but it is what it is. Infield is sub par so far, but the good news is they will get better. Davey really should have pulled Stras after 5

  53. mick - Apr 7, 2013 at 9:30 PM

    I will take 4-2

  54. Mark Zuckerman - Apr 7, 2013 at 9:31 PM

    I just posted this at the end of the game thread, but since everyone has probably moved over here now, I'll repeat it …Steve Hayes and Manassas Nats Fan (and everybody else, for that matter): If you don't mind, could you try to condense your thoughts into fewer posts? Instead of posting one line every 60 seconds, maybe wait five minutes and string together several thoughts? I think everyone would appreciate it because it makes it easier to read and keep up with what everyone is saying.Thanks!

  55. Alphabet Soup Erik - Apr 7, 2013 at 9:37 PM

    The main thing I took away from today's game is that Strasburg still has a long way to go before he can be considered a true ace. He has great difficulty in limiting the damage when he doesn't have his best stuff (which has been far too often dating back to his last 10 starts last year). He has now had 5 poor starts out of his last 12 and in those starts his ERA is about 12.00. His good starts are great, but he will never live up to expectations until he does a better job of fighting when he isn't at his best. He is starting to remind me of Carlos Zambrano of old.

  56. NatsLady - Apr 7, 2013 at 9:41 PM

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  57. NatsLady - Apr 7, 2013 at 9:43 PM

    Alphabet, agree, and I think that is what Davey is trying to help him with. If you always pull the pitcher when he's sailing, he doesn't learn to work through adversity. And adversity IS going to happen, whether it's fielders, weather, or hot hitters in the opposition.Sometimes you forget that Stras is only 24, because we've watched him for so long, from the draft to his debut, his TJ, The Shutdown, etc.

  58. Secret wasian man - Apr 7, 2013 at 9:43 PM

    Stras first game was at home in a real sized park. If you make a mistake in cincy it can really hurt you. I think he will do much better at home and in bigger parks. As FP stated yesterday it will be nice to get back to a park where a fly ball is a fly ball. We will get the series against the reds at home.

  59. NatsLady - Apr 7, 2013 at 9:46 PM

    Secret, FP made a good point. In a park like that, you maybe should forget "pitch to contact" and go for the K's. I understand that K's are harder on the arm, but maybe you make a change based on the situation.

  60. NatsLady - Apr 7, 2013 at 9:47 PM

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  61. sjm308 - Apr 7, 2013 at 9:49 PM

    Hey everyone:Couple of thoughts:UNKD – did you really go back and read game threads? I actually started but when I saw the abundance of negativity I just stopped. I knew what had happened and did not need that aggrevation.Someone early actually used the words slumping and Nationals in the same sentence! People, we are 4-2 in a 162 game season. We would be in the playoffs if the season ended today (that's a joke people). We lost 2 of 3 to a playoff caliber team after sweeping our opening series. Slumping? Seriously?? We lost to a good team in what I think is a horrible ballpark with no calls from the umpires. If Phillips get called out we might still be playing.I do have a quandry. I like Moore and would have liked to seen him at first today but I also love what Span has done. Not sure what Peric is missing there but Span is not the problem in my opinion. I just don't see many at bats for Tyler if LaRoche turns it around. NatsLady – that information on the starters makes another reason why this site is so good. Thanks for that.Will be enjoying the Inn at Little Washington tomorrow and hiking in the Shenandoah's on Tuesday. Whatever you do, don't tell my spousal equivalent that I planned this around our off day.See you all on Tuesday night.Go Nats!!

  62. NatsLady - Apr 7, 2013 at 9:50 PM

    Speaking of a bad day for Aces, Cain is already out of the game in the 4th inning, with Cards leading SF 7-2 and the bases loaded.Oooops, reliever came in and let 2 inherited runners score. Cain is charged with 9 earned… so far… Hoo, boy.

  63. baseballswami - Apr 7, 2013 at 9:58 PM

    So- that park is a joke, the ump sucked, the boys look sloppy- those half day spring training" workouts coming back to haunt? Stras is still inexperienced, but Gio struggled a bit, too, but got better results. The guys heard over and over how good they were and that they are World Series bound. Perhaps an early serving of humble pie is not a bad thing. Still think Det should be four, hope the middle infield cleans up it's act, hope the collective 1b's find some hits. Come home, lick your wounds and get back after it!

  64. nats guy - Apr 7, 2013 at 9:58 PM

    The 2 things to be concerned about are the very shoddy defense and the somewhat overrated bullpen. The Nats are not a team that can get in slugfests and win. Their defense is something they can control and they looked pretty P*** poor in Cincinnati. If they get that under control and we see what Dan Haren really has in DC all will be OK.

  65. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 7, 2013 at 10:08 PM

    Need to win next series to get the mo going.Did I wait long enough?

  66. NatsJim - Apr 7, 2013 at 10:21 PM

    Swami, I don't care what order Davey runs them out there, Det's my number 4 in this rotation… 8) Also agree with the sentiment that a little early season humbling isn't the worst thing in the world (for any team, not just the Nats) and as sjm pointed out losing 2 of 3 in Cincinnati isn't the end of the world… we'll get them back when they come to town later this month.

  67. EmDash - Apr 7, 2013 at 10:24 PM

    Positive thoughts: Desi and Espi seem to recognize the problem and I'm sure will work on it, and Strasburg will no doubt be working tirelessly to identify the problem he was having.I was pretty amused by how snarky Bob and FP were this game. They pointed out Friday's homeplate umpire was a "minor league umpire called for the game." Then, questioning today's ump' s strike zone, they said something like "I'm surprised he doesn't see those low strikes, as short as he is." Then the bit about Brandon Phillips annoying people. They must not have been feeling this series.

  68. NatsLady - Apr 7, 2013 at 10:25 PM

    There was a weirdness in the D-backs Brewers game. The Brewers are going with a 13-man pitching staff and a short bench. As a consequence in the 11th inning, down one run and men on 1st and 3rd, 2 out, they sent up KYLE LOHSE (career .158 hitter). He K's looking, game over.

  69. Unknown - Apr 7, 2013 at 10:38 PM

    Nats Lady — On Espi throwing home vice taking the DP – it's usually an ok play, but NOT in Cincy's bandbox. Runs are not hard to come by there, so trading 2 outs for 1 run vice risking a big inning – especially with a tired ace and bullpen is better.On Morse v. Span – both are switching leagues and those new leagues are still figuring them out. Both are doing what they were signed to do. Nats did trade power for improved defense and OBA. Morse doesn't walk much and the AL will figure that out soon enough. Span has no power and the NL will figure that out soon enough.Also, Nats got AJ Cole back for the Beast, now SEA Beast, so they DID get something – a potential #2 starter in 2015. Patience is a virtue in life and baseball. The RISP will come around as it did last season, but will be below league avg because the Nats K so much.A four two record given the Reds won 97 last year with Votto for half a season and no Choo and the troubles the Nats have had with the Fish is fine.And trolls? Ignore 'em. Not worth your time.

  70. peric - Apr 8, 2013 at 2:59 AM

    Also, Nats got AJ Cole back for the Beast, now SEA Beast, so they DID get something – a potential #2 starter in 2015. Yes, plus two other pitchers to develop … BUT, the reason it was deemed safe to part with Morse was because of the development of prospect Tyler Moore.BOTTOM LINE: Rizzo made the mistake that is considered the ultimate sin to any engineer: with Span he attempted to fix something that really wasn't even close to be broken. Period. End of story. And, like any engineer he will pay for that mistake.

  71. Rabbit34 - Apr 8, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    Obama watching the Nats and WSox at Nationals Park is like a Philly fan at Nationals park….you wish they'd just go home.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
WASHINGTON 78 58 -- 18
ATLANTA 72 67 7.5
MIAMI 67 70 11.5
NEW YORK 65 74 14.5
PHILADELPHIA 64 74 15.0
Through Tuesday's early games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Braves at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Braves at Nats, 7:05 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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