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Delayed start only delays another win

Apr 11, 2013, 4:07 AM EST

USA Today Sports Images
Danny Espinosa delivered a pair of RBI singles in the Nationals’ win.

Players from both clubs were on the field stretching and preparing for what everyone expected to be a 7:05 p.m. first pitch on South Capitol Street. Fans were taking their seats, though upon closer inspection it appeared to be a late-arriving crowd.

And then came an unusual and surprising message on the giant scoreboard in right-center field: The start of the Nationals’ game against the White Sox would be delayed for 15 minutes.

Why? Not because of any bad weather, or the mere threat of bad weather. But because the umpiring crew had gotten caught in traffic and couldn’t get to Nationals Park in time to prepare themselves for Jordan Zimmermann’s scheduled first pitch.

Good thing most Nationals players have spent enough time in this town to sympathize with the crew’s calamity.

“I’ve been stuck in traffic many a time here in D.C.,” shortstop Ian Desmond said. “I’m surprised they got here as fast as they did. It’s always an adventure.”

The umps finally emerged in time for a 7:21 p.m. first pitch, but plenty of fans were still filing into their seats as the game’s first few innings progressed. Fortunately for them, the Nationals saved their best for later in the evening.

Shut down early by White Sox right-hander Gavin Floyd, the Nationals’ lineup finally exploded during the game’s middle innings, scoring all of their runs between the fourth and sixth frames en route to a 5-2 victory.
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  1. SonnyG10 - Apr 11, 2013 at 5:29 AM

    I wasn't at the game, but watched on MASN. Bob and FP said there was going to be a 15 minute delay, but they didn't know why. I thinks to meself…"I know why; the President must be coming to watch the game." Then I think, "why can't he get to the game on time?" Guess I was wrong. :)

  2. Unknown - Apr 11, 2013 at 5:38 AM

    Here they are 6-2 and I'm worried about them not looking as sharp as last year.They started 15-5 in 2012 and will have to go 9-3 to match that start this year. But the team is still not firing on all cylinders. Once Ryan gets going (he's about the only one not hitting now)and Drew and Rafael work out the bullpen, I really think this is still a 95-100 wins.Regarding the Braves, they can't keep playing this well. The Nats just need to stay close and move in when Atlanta comes down to Earth.Farid @ Idaho

  3. Faraz Shaikh - Apr 11, 2013 at 5:51 AM

    6-2 and 9-3 are same ratios so I don't see why Nats cannot manage that. Then again, why is it necessary for this team to go 15-5, not that I would mind that?

  4. Laddie Blah Blah - Apr 11, 2013 at 9:06 AM

    Finally. Great pitching and flawless defense, and plenty of offense to back it up. Refreshing to see JZ getting the support he merits. I have a couple of nitpicks but who cares. If they play every game like they did yesterday they will win over 100 games this year, with JZ winning 20 himself. And that is without Zim really doing much of anything with the bat, as yet.Bryce Harper is only 20 years old.

  5. Candide - Apr 11, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    "Danny Desmond…":-)

  6. NatsLady - Apr 11, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    Farid–Atlanta is good, but the Fish are BAD BAD BAD. Meanwhile, the Nats have survived this from their bullpen.

  7. baseballswami - Apr 11, 2013 at 10:51 AM

    Zimmy had a nice one last night and Danny a couple, ALR back to cold, though. I just love watching the dynamic between Bryce and Jayson. So intriguing.

  8. slidell2 - Apr 11, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    One hour 45 minutes from Connecticut & L to the ballpark; absolute gridlock. We got there at the end of the 1st inning.This was the 1st game on my plan. Along about inning 4, something seemed different; couldn't put my finger on it, then suddenly realized, no Clint! Did I miss something or did he just have the night off?

  9. alexva - Apr 11, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    solid effort last night, IMO their best game of the season.Carp is already getting on my nerves with his gushing praise of everything they do. FP couldn't resist poking fun of his call on JZim's "lovely" bunt

  10. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 11, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    What is wrong with some of you guys? The Nats can lose the next 2 games and still be 6-4 for the first of 16 blocks of 10 games, a pace that puts them at 97-98 wins. Let the games happen and enjoy baseball.I'll admit that having expectations places alot more stress into my baseball watching but it doesn't make me want to analyze each players every at bat or fielding play or pitch selection every game.I'm still on board for a 104 win season.And I don't see the Braves as a juggernaut. They have holes that are going to exposed when they play the better teams.

  11. sjm308 - Apr 11, 2013 at 11:47 AM

    Alexva: can you imagine how giddy Carp will be if we are playing meaningful ball into late Oct? I like that FP will almost immediately call him if he has misspoke or he disagrees. I have not been able to handle 9 innings with him and usually end the game with Dave and Charlie even though I can't sync my tv.Slidell: The Bog over at the Washington Post had a brief comment on Clint not doing nearly as much this season. Don't think he is totally gone as I saw him at both the Yankee's and opening Day.On other broadcast news, I wonder if/when they will bring out the next young lady to do on field broadcasts?

  12. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 11, 2013 at 11:49 AM

    Regarding my rant up above, that wasn't directed at any particular posting in this thread, just at some of the previous comments on previous threads.

  13. sjm308 - Apr 11, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    NatsJack – like I said earlier, we have a bunch of worriers early in the season and while I appreciate the back and forth that baseball can bring, to worry about things you can't control is really a waste of energy. Can you imagine if we were 2-6? Peric is correct that 40 games is a pretty good benchmark. Just keep winning 2 or 3 and before you know it you will be dominating the league.

  14. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 11, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    NatsJack, are you kidding? That post at 7:46 is perfect. It sets expectations in proper perspective.

  15. Gonat - Apr 11, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… NatsJack, are you kidding? That post at 7:46 is perfect. It sets expectations in proper perspective. April 1, 2013 7:55 AM ______________________________I agree. It's actually painful to post anything once the game starts with all the negativity.Yesterday was the best played game all around. A pleasure to watch and a good "team" win.

  16. Gonat - Apr 11, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    sjm, I think 40 games was always a benchmark to see what type of team you have. We already know this is an excellent team. 40 games is the 1/4 poll and will confirm the weaknesses and 20 games in will expose the weaknesses as that is 4 times through the rotation.

  17. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 11, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    Gonat, well said. That first week of May usually defines what you have but I think this year it's just getting to a large enough sample size.Haren gets Start #2 tonight.

  18. Gonat - Apr 11, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    Section 222 said… i tucked in my shirt when Soriano came in and Untucked once the save was recorded. Awesome. ______________________________That seems to be becoming a new tradition. That will be fun if it catches on!

  19. 3on2out - Apr 11, 2013 at 12:23 PM

    No Clint?NOW that is a perfect evening!! Is there a more annoying personality anywhere in the Nats' organization? He is always so wound up that I feel like he is overly medicated. (to keep this PC as possible) Can I get an amen?

  20. natsfan1a - Apr 11, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    Carrying forward (And I will be there on Saturday for my bobblehead, Candide. Infinite, virtual drinks are on me.)natsfan1a said… "Swing by the Tidal Basin, he says. The blossoms are just beautiful at this time of year. Trust me, it won't take that long. Clown." NatsNut said… My brother and I have been cracking up about the poor umpires. Stuck in traffic, late for work, knowing people are waiting for you is stressful enough, but how hopeless must it have felt knowing an ENTIRE STADIUM of people are waiting for you? When do you finally decide to make that telephone call? And who do you call first? And if all 4 are in the car together did they get testy with each other? "Dude, i told you to take that left back there." LOL April 10, 2013 11:14 PM April 11, 2013 8:02 AM

  21. Candide - Apr 11, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    I may be the only person around here who doesn't have a problem with Clint.His job is to provide entertainment for people who might not otherwise be as enthralled by the game as we are. So he does those giveaways and stupid games (the pizza toss thing is idiotic) that keep some people entertained, while not doing anything to chase away the real fans, who, at worst, roll their eyes, or simply ignore him.It's a silly schtick for a lot of us, but he brings genuine energy to what he does, and does well as, essentially, an emcee. Watch him interviewing someone who seems incapable of answering the simplest questions with more than a monosyllable; the guy knows how to ad lib, to keep things moving, when the person he's talking to is as lively as a telephone pole.I think some people are just envious because he gets paid to go to ball games and have a good time.

  22. Candide - Apr 11, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    natsfan1a said… Carrying forward (And I will be there on Saturday for my bobblehead, Candide. Infinite, virtual drinks are on me.)Good thing, because I'll be infinitely thirsty. natsfan1a said… "Swing by the Tidal Basin, he says. The blossoms are just beautiful at this time of year. Trust me, it won't take that long. Clown."Heh – Cunegonde and I went this past Sunday; turned out the blossoms weren't really open yet. We walked from L'Enfant metro, and essentially did a lap around the Tidal Basin. Stopped to visit Jefferson and visited MLK on the way back to L'Enfant. As we walked single file behind the mobs on the bridge going over the Tidal Basin, I noticed that the cars in the street were going no faster than we were. I noticed an SUV that we passed three times in the space of five minutes.Welcome to Our Nation's Capital. It ain't Kansas.

  23. Water23 - Apr 11, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    NJinFL,You old curmudgeon. I bet you are the one grumbling as you walk out to get the newspaper. Something like "kids with there long hair, walking on MY lawn and making noise tapping on their iGadgets. When I was their age I was in the trenches of France holding off the Hun.":)

  24. sjm308 - Apr 11, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    Will do the Blossoms today! Nats on SaturdayLife if good

  25. sjm308 - Apr 11, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    And I can't typeLife IS GOOD

  26. SCNatsFan - Apr 11, 2013 at 12:58 PM Morse is Mr. "He Sings and Misses") Interesting article, not looking to stoke the argument but its in every thread

  27. SCNatsFan - Apr 11, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    Oops is swings and misses, although sings and misses might be a more interesting article

  28. Scooter - Apr 11, 2013 at 1:01 PM

    For what it's worth, NatsJack, I don't think high expectations have anything to do with people nitpicking or over-analyzing. I mean, you've been here the last few years, haven't you? It's just what some of us do. When you get bored reading, start scrolling.

  29. Water23 - Apr 11, 2013 at 1:03 PM

    BTW, did a night stroll around the Tidal Basin last night and it was very cool. The Blossoms we in full bloom.

  30. Scooter - Apr 11, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    SC, I think "sings and misses" is what I do.

  31. Nattering Nat - Apr 11, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    On Clint, I'm indifferent, no harm, but just fyi for those who want to know, there was an article in the Post a couple of weeks ago that he has largely gone on to do other things this year, though he has been and will be back from time to time to do entertainment duties at Nats Park.The team did hit on all cylinders last night, looked effortless as a result. The hardest thing for me this year is dealing with the greatly heightened expectations. Not a bad thing to have to get used to. Last year was special, unexpected early success. It's much harder once the bulls-eye is on your back. But Davey's the right manager to lead this young team through that crucible.

  32. MicheleS - Apr 11, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    I left my house at 3:30 yesterday and it still took me well over an hour to get to the game. I got stuck on 395 right by Reagan Airiport and crawled to the stadium (that alone took 30 minutes)!!!!All around, enjoyed the game last night. Was nice to see a well played game

  33. Joe Seamhead - Apr 11, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    Was the traffic nightmare due to the Cherry Blossoms, or was there some other snafu? We didn't go last night, doubtful for tonight, but are going Fri, Sat, and Sunday. If it was caused by the blossoms, then I am dreading tomorrow night!

  34. natsfan1a - Apr 11, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    I think maybe the issues with Clint are more about the role than the person. He does have a cannon of an arm, if memory serves. (Why, back in the day, I remember how they'd send t-shirts hurtling into the upper deck, with a real cannon. grumble grumble…and you kids get off my lawn!!1)

  35. Theophilus T. S. - Apr 11, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    Expectations are one thing; performance below norms is another. Throw out the first four games — the three against the Benedictine nuns and the Reds rout — and they are +2 in the other four games. That's really nothing but .500 baseball. Since the first Reds game I have turned off the TV and ignored this blog. Is it safe to come out now? (Feeling like the guy in the Kingsford charcoal commercial.)

  36. Rich P. - Apr 11, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    Traffic jam was apparently due to the trifecta of cherry blossoms, Nats game and a big demonstration on the Mall. Today there will be no demonstration, and tomorrow after the storm comes through the cherry blossoms will be gone. Life can return to normal.

  37. SCNatsFan - Apr 11, 2013 at 1:42 PM

    I come up for one Nats series a year sound like, outside of traffic, the cherry blossoms would be a cool thing to see.

  38. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 11, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    From Kilgore this morning: As he sat in the visitors’ dugout at Nationals Park for two games, White Sox Manager Robin Ventura gained an appreciated for the totality of the Nationals lineup. I "appreciate" that Kilgore is going the extra mile although he really needs an editor helping him when you start a first paragraph like that.I suggested in the pre-season that DC media needs to step it up like the NYC media and get quotes from the opposing Manager and hopefully the opposing players.

  39. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 11, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    I actually like Clint. And, no….I was a long haired hippie with sideburns that became my mustache. And a few years later, I had my dirty blonde long haired permed into a monstrous Afro.I just don't deal well with hand wringing whiners.

  40. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 11, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    Clint is a good kid and doing the job he was hired to do. My guess is the people that really take issue with him do it out of jealousy like SBF Nats320.

  41. D'Gourds - Apr 11, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    Clint served his purpose when the Nats were a horrible product and they had to offer some entertainment diversion from the bad baseball. Now that the Nats are themselves entertaining and Nats fans have become more baseball savvy, they no longer need a smarmy mc who really just adds noise to the game experience. You'd never see someone like that at Fenway, Wrigley or Yankee Stadium. It's cheesy and we've moved beyond it. The same goes for having a side line reporter who knows very little about baseball. I like having FP and Carp interview the game mvp. They ask excellent baseball question, not "how did you feel when you hit the homerun?" questions. Johnny Holiday should be the next to go. No more dumbing down of the Nats game experience!

  42. Eric - Apr 11, 2013 at 1:54 PM

    "NatsJack, are you kidding? That post at 7:46 is perfect. It sets expectations in proper perspective."I agree…but even with that knowledge, it's kinda hard to keep that perspective during a tough game. I was thinking about this last night, and I realized I'm reacting to everything exactly how I was before we clinched last year and throughout the NLDS. Recognizing that definitely helped me calm down…or maybe it was the Nats playing like the Nats all night :). Seriously, though, I think where we left off last year has played a huge role in where I picked up this year.

  43. Section 222 - Apr 11, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    I started out hating Clint, but he toned down his schtick after a year or two, and more importantly, he's a genuinely nice person and a big fan of the Nats. (I've chatted with him a few times in the stands when he's come around with the Nat Pack.) If he's moved on to bigger and better things, good for him. How many years could you do that pizza toss night after night? I thought the best development of last night was both Zim and Espi producing with men on base. They've been such rally killers up till now.Theo, I don't get your pessimism. Why not throw out all the games that we won, or all the games we lost? Every game counts the same in the standings, though this weekend's series against the Braves does seem to have some added significance. It would be so great to take the high flying Braves down a peg.

  44. Rich P. - Apr 11, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    Clint doesn't need to be eliminated. He needs to be repurposed. His job should be to stop the wave before it gets started. He needs to become the anti-Terrance.

  45. Joe Seamhead - Apr 11, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    Clint doesn't bother me, though I see him as the Ryan Seacrest of Nats Park. He does have a heck of an arm. He's not allowed to throw to the upper deck after that tragedy in Texas.As to Jack's post at 9:48:He's the hairy, hairy gent, who ran amok in KentLately he's been overheard in MayfairYou better stay away from himHe'll rip your lungs out JimHuh, I'd like to meet his tailor.Ah hooo!

  46. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 11, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    A big takeaway from last night was how well JZim and Kurt Suzuki meshed. The way Kurt was calling for the 4-seamer in and out was a key as the curveball was not working. The changeup was good and the slider looked great.If JZim's curveball was working, I think he would have been unhittable last night. The fact that he is now working in the changeup 6% of the time and will hopefully get that up to 8-12% in the future and the location on the fastball is so precise, I think we could see him throw a no-hitter in a game when all 4 pitches are working.

  47. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 11, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    11 more days, Joe and me and Gator John will be roaming the Score Board Pavillion area for 7 days. AHHH OOOOWA!

  48. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 11, 2013 at 2:15 PM


  49. Doc - Apr 11, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    Right on, NatsJack!How much whining is not game analysis, but self-perpetuating neurosis.The team does the real work; it's up to us to find enjoyment in what they do! Save the Bronx cheers for the umps and guys on the other team.For all of Espi's K's over the past 2 years, I always thought that he'd turn the page, and he has. Similarly for some other players. This blog isn't Congress.

  50. natsfan1a - Apr 11, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    And with that, new post.

  51. SonnyG10 - Apr 11, 2013 at 6:26 PM

    Doc, I like that!





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