Skip to content

VIDEO: Nats await red-hot Braves

Apr 12, 2013, 4:16 PM EDT

You can never make too much of an early April series between any two teams, but for the first matchup of the year between the Nationals and Braves, baseball fans sure are excited. Both teams made the playoffs with 90+ wins last season and both look improved on paper after changes to their roster. They also happen to hold the two best records in the National League entering tonight.

The players have to act like it doesn't mean much at all, just take this quote from Ryan Zimmerman:

"We get excited for every series. I think we have to play the same way as we do against the Marlins, as we do against the Phillies, as we do against the Mets. As soon as you take other teams for granted or only get up when you play the Braves, or the Dodgers or teams like that, that's when you get in trouble. This team does such a good job of treating every team the same."

Read more ยป

  1. Section 222 - Apr 12, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    Did anyone watch The Baseball Show? Mark said that he wasn't aware of any hitter whose back foot leaves the ground like Harper. I thought there were photos recently comparing him to Ted Williams and Babe Ruth, and maybe others, who did it.Can't say I'll be watching the show religiously from here on in. Way too much on the O's to keep my interest. Plus, they can't show video, there are tons of ads, and, at least so far, it has started 5-10 minutes late so you don't see the whole show if you DVR it. Hey CSN, do you you really have to go overtime with canned talk shows? What's up with that.I hope the show is good for Mark's career, cause making him leave Nats games to go out to Bethesda to tape it at 11 pm doesn't make much sense to me.

  2. Joe Seamhead - Apr 12, 2013 at 4:25 PM

    What 222 said.

  3. peric - Apr 12, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    O-R-I-H-O-L-E-S Baseball Show.

  4. peric - Apr 12, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    All they need is Rick Dempsey.

  5. Alphabet Soup Erik - Apr 12, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    In more recent times, the Big Hurt. You could always watch B-Mitch and Doc try to talk about baseball. Talk about comic relief. They tried to promote the Nats-Braves series for about 30 seconds and screwed up almost everything they said. Washington as a baseball town is still Amateur Night at the Apollo. Half the stadium leaving early every night, no baseball atmosphere in the stadium at all, press coverage very weak overall, hundreds of empty seats every night right behind home plate, etc. I thought the playoff atmosphere last year might carry over into this year…definitely not the case so far.

  6. Section 222 - Apr 12, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    Erik, are you actually going to the games, or are you pontificating based on what you see from your armchair? Because what you say is pretty much fertilizer, as Vin Scully would say.

  7. Alphabet Soup Erik - Apr 12, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    222-I have tickets to 45 games this year and have already been 3 times. Almost half of my entire section on Tuesday night was gone by the top of the 8th inning. It was a close game throughout, the weather was beautiful, lots of offense…and still the people couldn't get out of there fast enough. Very sad.

  8. UnkyD - Apr 12, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    222: Word.

  9. UnkyD - Apr 12, 2013 at 5:02 PM

    Erik: it's a process, and as long there's progress, I'm good with that. If the atmosphere and the attendance are on a par with the good baseball towns after five more years, I. Think the team will deserve a pat on the back…

  10. bobfromalexandria - Apr 12, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    got to agree with 222 in response to Alphabet Soup Eric. I was at Tuesday night's game and found a great feeling in the crowd. The way the score see-sawed I was wondering if people would leave in the 5th. but they stayed for a great game. I'm noticing lots of Nats gear in town, even K street.

  11. Alphabet Soup Erik - Apr 12, 2013 at 5:09 PM

    UnkyD-Certainly not the Nationals fault. They are doing most things right I think (lines are still too slow and $9/Beer is ridiculous) and as someone who attends several Caps games per year, the differences in fan involvement are pretty drastic. You will never see a half-empty stadium and people in large numbers leaving early in a 1-goal game at Verizon Center. Just don't understand the disconnect. I guess hockey is just more exciting than baseball to your average Joe who is not a diehard fan.

  12. Joe Seamhead - Apr 12, 2013 at 5:39 PM

    Erik,I don't what section you were at on Tuesday, but our Section 311 didn't have anybody leaving early. In fact, I hardly saw anybody leaving early anywhere else, either.I will agree about the beer prices, though.On my wife and me, they are losing money because we just won't buy any at all at those prices.$9.00 for Miller lite? That comes to $108 a 12 pack for that swill. $9.75 for Heinekin? $117 for more swill, but out of a green bottle? I'll pound a couple before I go in. We'll buy one Lite each before the game at the Miller Scoreboard for $5 each. For two people to drink 3 crappy beers each after first pitch it's at least $60 with tip. Not gonna pay it.On topic from Chase's post: one guy on the Braves that has not gotten off to a good start is Rf Jason Heyward. Ouch! He's hitting .071 Our boys need jump early tonight and set the tone.

  13. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 12, 2013 at 5:39 PM

    peric said… All they need is Rick Dempsey. April 12, 2013 12:41 PM A friend of mine called Comcast Mid-Atlantic's President Rebecca Schulte to discuss with her the slap in the face this show was to Nationals fans.I'm sure Mark has no control over it and has to do as he is told as that's his employer.The shame is that if ratings fall to far they will probably cancel it instead of wising up that a "Nats Only" show would get good ratings as it's a well produced show just un-watchable if you detest all the Orioles coverage like me.

  14. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 12, 2013 at 5:42 PM

    Not to pile on Erik but this could be the best baseball team ever to play in Washington in any era.These so-called fans that leave early are the type of bandwagon fans who make their cameos at local events to take their pictures for social networking purposes. I don't have an issue with them, they exist in all sports including your Capitals.Just enjoy the ride Erik and take a happy pill!

  15. baseballswami - Apr 12, 2013 at 5:59 PM

    I guess I just don't understand this obsession with numbers in the stadium.EEspecially on cold weeknights in the spring. Where I live, and with my job, I can hardly ever make it to games. That doesn't make me less of a fan. On a week night in April, of course parents with kids or people who have to get up at five are leaving early – that doesn't make them less of a fan either. Like I said – I just don't get this obsession with numbers or a certain level of noise or when you leave the game. Let's make less rules for what constitutes a real fan or whether or not people in the DMV like the Nats. Who died and left you the boss of the fans anyway? Can we just enjoy our team? You enjoy it your way and let everyone else go to the game, or sit quietly, or watch on tv or at a bar or leave when they need to. I know my life is quite complicated at times, but I love, love, love the Nats. Please don't tell me what I have to do to qualify.

  16. Section 222 - Apr 12, 2013 at 6:03 PM

    No need to argue about what we see in the stands. I guess it just depends on whether your glass is half full or half empty. Having endured seven losing and poorly attended seasons before last year, I'm thrilled at what I see at the park. Lots of people having a great time and cheering for the Nats, a winning team. Attendance is now in the mid 20s for weekday games in April. That's a big improvement over the 11,000 total paying customers (many of whom weren't in the park) for a couple of games against the Rockies in April 2010. I will take this opportunity to say, however, that I'm just bothered by people who leave early. A game of baseball, the only major sport without a clock, can take a long time. And at a mid-week game, some people have kids with them, or a long drive or an early morning ahead, or a baby sitter to take home, or maybe they've just had enough because the guys in the seats behind them are annoying or they hate the wave. (And, by the way, maybe some of those people who left your section didn't actually leave the park.) I don't judge people or call them bandwagoners because they don't stay till the last out. Would you rather they not come at all? In my view, if you buy a ticket, you can leave whenever you want. It's not going to affect my enjoyment of the game.

  17. Section 222 - Apr 12, 2013 at 6:06 PM

    Swami, I couldn't have said it better, and I didn't. And now I'll just head over to the NIDO spreadsheet and buy you a drink.

  18. Section 222 - Apr 12, 2013 at 6:08 PM

    Oops, I meant "not bothered". Hopefully that was obvious.

  19. Tcostant - Apr 12, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    That is why the show to watch on MASN is Nats Talk on Saturday mornings at 10am. This is much watch for all Nationals fans.

  20. NatsLady - Apr 12, 2013 at 6:17 PM

    No time to do a blog post today, but I did swing over to look at Teheran. Uses his four-seam FB 60% of the time with average velo of 93-94 mph. So, definition of a "young fireballer." Not much use of a sinker but he does have a curve and a change. He's got a BIG platoon split. Against righties (career) .214/.262/.321Against lefties, .328/.384/.597I'm hoping our lefties can feast against him.Teheranhttp://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=teherju01&year=Career&t=p

  21. JD - Apr 12, 2013 at 6:20 PM

    222 and Swami, On the money. What bothers me is lack of common courtesy by people who walk in front of your face, normally the same people many times during the game. This is not a comment about Nats fans but people in general at most stadiums. I remember the time a lady carrying a tray of food asked my son if she could get through to her seat? his answer: yes; at the end of the inning.

  22. Section 222 - Apr 12, 2013 at 6:20 PM

    Tcostant — Is that the show with Feel's brother Phil? He of the "Micah Owings will come north instead of Ty-Mo," and "Ryan Zimmerman will be on the DL at the beginning of the year"? Is there anyone who's actually good and knowledgeable about the Nats on that show?

  23. NatsLady - Apr 12, 2013 at 6:22 PM

    JD, yes, they have definitely improved the fan experience at the park with the ushers carrying the STOP signs. Just having them makes people aware, especially kids in the "Why?" phase.

  24. NatsLady - Apr 12, 2013 at 6:25 PM

    222, Phil is trying. He's been looking at stats and quoting articles instead of a constant stream of nostalgia. Nevertheless, the same people seem to call in every week with the same questions. I like cue-ball, he brings some insight as a former pitcher and simplifies the game. It's a lot better than most of the call-in sports radio shows, it's focused on our Nats and they don't care about rating so you don't get "shock jock" stuff.

  25. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 12, 2013 at 6:28 PM

    Section 222 said… Tcostant — Is that the show with Feel's brother Phil? He of the "Micah Owings will come north instead of Ty-Mo," and "Ryan Zimmerman will be on the DL at the beginning of the year"? Is there anyone who's actually good and knowledgeable about the Nats on that show? The production quality of that show is "garage" studio look and feel and like Sect222 says Phil Wood has lost it which is why it was so exciting that Mark was getting a show.Mark's show has very good production quality but it hops around between the Nats and Orioles enough to make you dizzy. If you are a dual fan of both teams like some apparently are, then that's the show for them.

  26. natsfan1a - Apr 12, 2013 at 6:28 PM

    What 222 and Joe said.Joe Seamhead said… What 222 said. April 12, 2013 12:25 PM Section 222 said… Did anyone watch The Baseball Show? Mark said that he wasn't aware of any hitter whose back foot leaves the ground like Harper. I thought there were photos recently comparing him to Ted Williams and Babe Ruth, and maybe others, who did it. Can't say I'll be watching the show religiously from here on in. Way too much on the O's to keep my interest. Plus, they can't show video, there are tons of ads, and, at least so far, it has started 5-10 minutes late so you don't see the whole show if you DVR it. Hey CSN, do you you really have to go overtime with canned talk shows? What's up with that. I hope the show is good for Mark's career, cause making him leave Nats games to go out to Bethesda to tape it at 11 pm doesn't make much sense to me. April 12, 2013 12:23 PM

  27. Section 222 - Apr 12, 2013 at 6:37 PM

    Who is cue ball?

  28. Rabbit34 - Apr 12, 2013 at 6:38 PM

    We don't have Haren to worry about in this series. Werth and Espinosa aren't missing the ball and Zimmerman gets a few hits between strike-outs. Desmond chugs along, Span is getting on base and Harper leads the baseball world. Ahhhh.

  29. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 12, 2013 at 6:42 PM

    Cue bal=Mike Wallace? If that's the case, that's not to kind.

  30. Section 222 - Apr 12, 2013 at 6:44 PM

    JD and others who complain about people walking in front of you during play. I feel your pain. There are definitely some people who are completely oblivious and truly obstruct your view. On the other hand, if the usher lets someone start down from the top after a batter makes an out, that person, especially if he or she is elderly or has kids in tow is unlikely to be fully seated by the time the first pitch to the next batter is made. In the lower bowl where there are 50 some rows that's even more true. But surely we don't expect the ushers to hold people at the top for until the half inning is over do we? Furthermore, if there is just one or two people going past you, it's possible to look around them and keep an eye on the game as they go by. As long as people are courteous and apologize or recognize that they are inconveniencing me, which most do, it's not that big a deal.One thing I've always tried to do, particularly when I'm going to sit in the lower bowl, is pick seats on the side of the section that is farthest from home plate. Otherwise, your view may be regularly blocked by people walking up and down the aisles.

  31. Tcostant - Apr 12, 2013 at 6:46 PM

    That is the show, but I do enjoy it; Phil Wood has forgotten more baseball then most of us know. I assume cue ball is Mike Wallace who does the show with Phil. I enjoy the show and I don't care about a nice studio.Since were doing game day staduim gribes, here is mine. If it is befroe the game or during a stop in play, when I come from into the aisle to get to my seat; please get up. Staduims are built different now their is not enough space to pass. Please get up and let me pass.

  32. Section 222 - Apr 12, 2013 at 6:53 PM

    There are many things about the early days of the Nats I don't miss, but Byron Kerr was much better as the host of Nats Talk Live on 106.7 after the games. Phil is longwinded and rude to callers he disagrees with.

  33. Section 222 - Apr 12, 2013 at 6:58 PM

    Steve M, I agree about TBS hopping around. They also have a bunch of filler like that silly Who Am I? trivia question that they stretched out over a few breaks. It's was almost as if they had run out of things to talk about, but Mark could have off of the top of his head come up with five other Nats topics to discuss if they let him.I like the idea of having a guest sportswriter for another team to talk about either the Nats or O's or both. We could all benefit from hearing more of how our team is seen by folks in other cities.

  34. NatsLady - Apr 12, 2013 at 7:04 PM

    Everyone calls him "Cue Ball," I don't think he minds. OK, I collected the links and reports on Teheran and put them up. See you at the game tonight. Go NATS!!!!Fireballerhttp://ladyandthenats.blogspot.com/2013/04/soon-enough-julio-teheran.html

  35. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 12, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    Alphabet Soup Erik said… UnkyD-Certainly not the Nationals fault. They are doing most things right I think (lines are still too slow and $9/Beer is ridiculous) and as someone who attends several Caps games per year,Let me stop you right there since you make a Leonsis comparison… Beer for $9? Erik, you say you go to Verizon for Capital games, equivalent seats sell for much more for Caps over Nats if you compare a typical lower bowl seat to a lower bowl at Nats Park and I believe the beer at Caps games is $8.50 at Verizon for a 12 ounce cup.If you buy a Diamond Seat at Nats for $150 you get a free meal worth $50 and that's conservative, and if you drink 6 of the Free beers that would be $54 then your seat is about $46. That's a great value!http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/was/ticketing/2012season.jsp?tab=premiumA seat in the corner of the Caps rink in Section 120 is $230 and that includes no food and no Free beer.http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/15004A2B7D381E4F?artistid=806039&majorcatid=10004&minorcatid=9Remember, the Caps were rated as the #1 most expensive seat in the NHL for US teams!Give it a rest Erik, you are digging your hole deeper.

  36. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 12, 2013 at 7:15 PM

    http://espn.go.com/nhl/story/_/id/8945052/nhl-ticket-price-hike-surpasses-other-leaguesHere's the source confirming the Capitals are the most expensive ticket in the NHL for US teams.

  37. UnkyD - Apr 12, 2013 at 7:23 PM

    Ill also remind Erik that the Caps weren't filling the Cap Center in their first decade either…

  38. baseballswami - Apr 12, 2013 at 7:29 PM

    Something I am hoping becomes a signature Nats event. Span on, then steal, Werth, Bryce and Zim with move them / score them. Desi if there is anyone still on the bases, then Danny- get on, pitcher bunts you over again Repeat as needed.

  39. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 12, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    One thing I noticed back in the RFK days was the relatively larger percentage of attendees who are not fans of the sport, or the team, particularly, they are just there for the socializing. Somebody back then perceptively pointed out that to these folks, mostly 20-somethings, it's an open-air bar with live entertainment and a cover charge. Their model for this isn't movies, where you are considered rude if you walk in front of people, but concerts, where that doesn't matter. So it's no wonder they look at us like we're nuts when we chirp at them for blocking the view. As for the $8 beer — have you been in a restaurant lately? I mean one that has metal forks, not plastic ones in packages with salt and pepper. That's about the going rate.

  40. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 12, 2013 at 7:39 PM

    Of course, I do not always drink beer.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 71 53 --
ATLANTA 66 60 6.0
MIAMI 63 62 8.5
NEW YORK 59 68 13.5
PHILADELPHIA 55 71 17.0
Through Tuesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
WED: Diamondbacks at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Diamondbacks at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
FRI: Giants at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Giants at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Giants at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Phillies, 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.

Follow us on Twitter