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Bullpen blow-up dooms Nats

Apr 13, 2013, 4:51 AM EDT

Associated Press
Craig Stammen trudges off the mound after giving up the game-winning homer.

If the first of at least 19 games between the Nationals and Braves this season was a sign of what’s to come, plan on bringing plenty of Maalox to the ballpark when these two NL East titans get together.

And don’t be surprised if you still have a queasy feeling in your stomach when you leave the park at least a few more times.

Evenly matched from top to bottom, the Nationals and Braves are likely to engage in more than their share of intense theater over the next 5 1/2 months. The Nats will win their share of those tense games, but they’re also going to come out on the wrong end from time to time, though they certainly hope none of the losses are as gut-wrenching as Friday’s 6-4, 10-inning affair was.

This one, in which the Nationals blew a late 4-0 lead behind a bullpen implosion, shaky defense and an offensive shutdown after an early explosion, felt eerily similar to the loss they suffered on this very field six months ago to the day: Gam 5 of the NLDS against the Cardinals.

“I think we definitely need to learn from our mistakes,” third baseman Ryan Zimmerman said. “It’s the same thing that kind of got us last year, and why we didn’t maybe move on: Because we couldn’t close games out, both pitching and defense-wise. We need to get better at that and learn from our mistakes.”
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  1. NatsLady - Apr 13, 2013 at 5:13 AM

    Let me say this from being at the game.(1) The boys relaxed after getting the 4-run lead. It was a chilly night, they saw Det was pitching well and they figured, well, if it gets tough we can add-on, but they didn't. Teheran was vulnerable and they didn't run up the score. (2) Davey didn't pull Det because of pitch count or fatigue. According to Charlie&Dave (and I agree with this), Det was overusing his fastball, and hitters were just swinging away. There were a couple of other well-hit balls besides the homerun. Det pitched well–and I don't think he was tired–but by the third time through the order, the hitters had him figured out. Just like we can figure out opponents' starters, good teams can figure out ours. Det needs to mix it up more late in the game.Davey has every right to expect Clip and Storen to protect a three-run lead.(3) Clip's mistake was walking Heyward. He figured he could get away with walking Heyward (who does well against him) and the rest of the inning would take care of itself since there were already two out. He got into a bad count with Heyward and decided he would walk him and get the next guy. There is nothing wrong with that tactic IF you have your strikeout pitches working–but he didn't. I have confidence that Clip will get with the video and with Cat and figure out why he is losing his control. Maybe he got a little overconfident with that perfect spring training…(4) I'm a big fan of Espinosa but he is turning into a rally-killer. ALR's double play also killed a rally since Desi got a single behind him.(5) There is no reason Storen should not have gotten a four-out save. None. He was overthrowing when he started the 9th inning, and he and Suzuki got crossed up. I hold Davey partly responsible, because even if he doesn't tell US what the plan is, he needs to tell Suzuki and the relievers and get them on the same page. (6) RZ played a terrible game. He made a bad throw early, got one single at the plate, it didn't occur to him that the pinch hitter might bunt so he was playing too far back, and we all know about the error. He was the hero last night and the goat tonight.(7) I don't know why Davey didn't doubleswitch when he brought Storen in. It didn't cost, but it could have. (8) Stammen is a bulldog but not a closer.(9) Werth is the only one who has Kimbrall figured out. He should have had a single in the bottom of the 10th and got unlucky BAPIP.Bottom line is, this stuff will work itself out. It was nice to see the stolen bases, finally. We had two "easy" games against the White Sox, where everything was functioning as it should. Also, Fredi didn't make any mistakes with his pinch hitters or his bullpen. You can't rely on him to mis-manage, people do learn. We have been so lucky on injuries–need to take advantage! (Reyes was carted out of the Blue Jays' game). I would like to see Stras go 8 tomorrow. I would like to see Gio have a good game on Sunday. Then when we go to Miami, we can hopefully get some lopsided games so Henry and Zach Duke give the rest of the guys some rest.

  2. NatsLady - Apr 13, 2013 at 5:35 AM

    Wow, Hamilton forgot how many outs there were in the Angels game and got doubled off first base for the last out of the game. Astros (yep, the Astros) shut them out 5-0.

  3. EmDash - Apr 13, 2013 at 6:11 AM

    We're a bit shaky right now, but at least we're not starting out like the Blue Jays or Angels. *g*

  4. nats guy - Apr 13, 2013 at 6:22 AM

    Comments:The Nats bullpen is the major problem. It is vastly overrated.Storens velocity has been down since his injury and he has been nibbling at the corners ever since. Clippard has lost control of his fastball and with it the fear of his changeup. After that there is a whole lot of meh in the bullpen.Without a strong bullpen they are a 3 quarter team and no better than 88 and 74 this year.If I am noticing this with my limited eye than everybody else must also be noticing it, especially Mr. Rizzo. Hopefully he has a Plan B.The sad thing about it is that until last year I would have considered that a great year. Who would have figured.Span has been a great addition but Haren and Soriano not so much. 41 M down the rat hole.

  5. Gonat - Apr 13, 2013 at 8:53 AM

    sjm308 said… Damn! nothing else to say – so disappointed in Clippard and Storen. Mark trying to stay positive but this one hurt. Goodnight all. I pity Gonat and others if you had to fend off the LOD. Who the hell is Ramiro Pena? Ouch.Off to the park early tomorrow – guessing the sun will come up but again, damn! April 12, 2013 10:43 PM ____________________________________I was at the game. Just got home. That was a nightmare. It was like July 20th 2012 all over again but instead of blowing the 9 run lead it was just a 4 run lead.Davey takes no blame in this from anything I saw. The players have to make the plays, but I will give some credit to the Barfs for the comeback. Darn them!

  6. Gonat - Apr 13, 2013 at 9:00 AM

    Good list NatsLady, add to that Suzuki on the 2 strike pitch takes the inside pitch and steps across the plate back towards the dugout…only the ump calls it a ball. Didn't Suzuki learn more than most since he's a catcher that you wait for the umps call? Embarrassing!

  7. Gonat - Apr 13, 2013 at 9:03 AM

    (2) Davey didn't pull Det because of pitch count or fatigue. According to Charlie&Dave (and I agree with this), Det was overusing his fastball, and hitters were just swinging away. There were a couple of other well-hit balls besides the homerun.________________________________We were watching the radar readings. Det starts the 7th and his MPH is dropping. In the past Det would over-throw giving up movement to keep up Velo.Recently he learned that movement is his bread and butter. He's throwing 90, 91. Then we see a 92 and on the HR it was his top speed of the inning at 93.

  8. Gonat - Apr 13, 2013 at 9:22 AM

    http://atmlb.com/12XGG6I That is the link to watch Zim's error. This is from the Brave's feed. There are many things you will see in the clip. 1st off Zimmerman is playing off the line and not guarding the line.2nd he goes back on the ball diagonally instead of straight to the line and no way can make that throw where he fields it. When I saw it live as the ball left Upton's bat, I thought perfect, Zim fields it and races to the bag, but he moved back on it diagonally and his momentum almost took him back to the cut of the grass, but instead of eating the ball where it was only a 4-3 lead he then throws with his weak arm. Heyward was going to be safe regardless and now he let the tying run score. 3rd thing caught by the camera is Suzuki shaking his head side to side.Sorry, it was all bad but what is up with this guy's defeatest head movements. Sure it was ugly but you don't do that as a player. As a fan, sure if you feel the need. The game was tied 4-4 at that point, not lost.This was Game 5 body language. There's 152 regular season games left Kurt.

  9. Laddie Blah Blah - Apr 13, 2013 at 9:25 AM

    Release the Kracken!Davey should have taken a valium and put Henry into the game. Lately, what's the diff between Henry, Clip, and Store? If you've got 6 guys in the pen, plus the closer, you can't keep sending the same 3 guys out there and expect them to hold up.Well, it's still only April, and Detwiler has pitched the 2 most dominating games of the early season, with just a lot of stats to show for them. He is now the designated favorite to become this year's Jordan Zimmerman. But Ross has really come into his own.They have lots of time to figure out how to stop giving away games. That's what they did last night. They beat themselves, again. Stop it!But they are 7 – 3, and have lots of room for improvement. I'll take that.

  10. Gonat - Apr 13, 2013 at 9:29 AM

    Laddie, are you waking up or haven't gone to sleep?

  11. Gonat - Apr 13, 2013 at 9:49 AM

    NatsLady said…(4) I'm a big fan of Espinosa but he is turning into a rally-killer.____________________________________Here's Danny's night:1st AB: Danny Espinosa pops out to first baseman Evan Gattis in foul territory. 1 94mph Fastball (Four-seam) Foul 2 92mph Fastball (Four-seam) 2nd AB: Danny Espinosa grounds out, second baseman Dan Uggla to first baseman Evan Gattis. 1 92mph Fastball (Two-seam) 3rd AB: Danny Espinosa grounds out, second baseman Dan Uggla to first baseman Evan Gattis. 1 80mph Changeup Ball 2 88mph Fastball (Two-seam) Ball 3 88mph Fastball (Two-seam) 4th AB: Danny Espinosa grounds out to first baseman Evan Gattis. 1 86mph Changeup Swinging Strike 2 85mph Changeup Ball 3 94mph Fastball (Four-seam) ____________________________________________Espinosa went 0-4 and left 3 men on base. Probably worse than that, he only saw 9 pitches the entire game. The Nats should have been into the Braves bullpen in the 4th or 5th inning. Should have. Should have. Should have.

  12. Gonat - Apr 13, 2013 at 10:03 AM

    Hard to believe stat: Dan Haren and Ryan Zimmerman are tied with 1 run scored this season.

  13. Gonat - Apr 13, 2013 at 10:04 AM

    OK, it's 6AM, I'm going to sleep for a couple of hours, if I can.

  14. Rabbit34 - Apr 13, 2013 at 10:28 AM

    I still say a .500 season. Our bullpen is not as good as people think. Limiting starters to less than a full game when pitching a superb game, just gives two or three relievers the opportunity to blow it. Tonight, as we will see again, they took advantage of the opportunity and got smoked. Take nothing away from the Braves. The Braves are the team to beat and now should sweep this series. When they leave town, they will not look back. We are still four games over .500. Enjoy. Braves-Phillies-Nats-Mets-Marlins, in that order. Keep it up Bryce. We need all the runs we can get.

  15. DaveB - Apr 13, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    Interesting quote from Davey … "We're all over the place. I've got to take responsibility, probably overusing them or something" … Sounds like he knows he can't go all year with a 5 man bullpen for important games … I'm guessing we'll start seeing Zack & Henry used soon, and if they don't perform Davey will insist on changes.

  16. Joe Seamhead - Apr 13, 2013 at 10:47 AM

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  17. Joe Seamhead - Apr 13, 2013 at 10:51 AM

    I am waking up from a bad dream. No, seriously, I am disappointed by the knee jerk reaction by so many here after the game. NatsLady, great post above. Folks, we just came off of a sweep, then blew a game we should have won, and we fans really wanted to win.The bullpen blew this game, pure and simple. Sure, Ryan Zimmerman contributed mightily, first with a poor decision to throw to 2nd,followed by a bad throw. But it should never have even come to the point that the tying runs were on base. That's all on Storen. He had a crappy outing, pure and simple, he couldn't do his job. Anything more in analysis is over- thinking. Sure we shoulda done that, coulda done this, that, and yada,yada,yada. Drew is supposed to be able to pitch the ninth inning of a game with a two run lead and get us a win and he failed to get the job done.Now, because of this blown save, momentum for this series moved across the field to the Braves. Out number one pitcher is on the mound today and we need to get that momentum back.I really don't want to have a bunch of Braves fans in our house feeling like it's ok to jam that tomahawk chop down our throats.GYFNG!!!

  18. NatsLady - Apr 13, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    The fans didn't start with the stupid chop until the HR in the 7th inning. I don't like it, but they paid their $$ and they were supporting their team. That is what happens in this city of tourists and transplants. I do not want to become like LA–parking lot brawls with fans of other teams (not to mention on-field brawls that cost you an Ace pitcher). I took Metro, and as far as I could see they were not obnoxious drunk or loud like Filly fans, more like Yankee fans or St. Louis fans. (I saw a kid on the Metro with a Filly jacket and a Nats hat, made me smile.)After ten games last year we had a 7-3 record. Remember, people, we are going to be HAPPY if April is 16-11. Closers blow saves all the time. Romo blew one last night after saving 6 in a row, 6 in SF's first 10 games. You just can't keep blowing saves. Teams lose games they "should have won" all the time–that's why they play 9 innings. You just can't keep losing games you should win. Last spring we had no offense but the pitching kept us alive; this year the offense is ahead. That is why you build all aspects of the team. I didn't see the Suzuki head shake or him go to 1B before the ump's call (ALR did that, but he drew the walk on the next call, and all the umps know and respect him). Granted, Suzuki should not have shown emotion, but man, it's hard not to–I closed my eyes and gasped when that error happened.

  19. DJB - Apr 13, 2013 at 11:31 AM

    Fitful night of sleep. First, one blowup during a pressure game and I can chalk it off to inexperience. Two blowups and it is a mental problem. Clippard and Storen are head cases. The only way to solve the problem in the short term is to let starters go longer. The long term solution is to get new relievers. Again, Storen cannot close pressure games. He just has no history of doing it. This was his first chance since Game 5, and look what happened. He is just a head case. We are .500 or WC if we don't solve this problem.

  20. NatsLady - Apr 13, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    Also, sort on topic. I was listening to Dr. James Andrews on the radio yesterday discussing his book. He mentioned that the most likely cause for player injury (specifically pitcher injury) is fatigue. There is (1) event fatigue (2) season fatigue and (3) year-round fatigue. We should not be suffering from #3 in April, obviously. But Davey has to watch for #1 (in-game) and #2 (resting relievers) constantly. I agree with the poster who said Davey should have used Henry. He should have used him in the 10th, instead of Stammen. If Henry blows it, well, fine, other guys blew it in front of him. If he keeps it together, then you have a chance in the bottom of the 10th not facing Kimbrall. Then you put in Duke for as many innings as you need to win or lose the game. Luckily Stammen only went one inning (such as it was) and can go again on Sunday if needed.

  21. NatsLady - Apr 13, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    If Storen is a head case, he better clear it up. Soriano is not going to close every game (for example, he will be away on paternity leave later this month). I still think there is some adjustment going on in that bullpen.I am absolutely not worried about Clippard. He had the same problem last spring. I had a long argument with a couple of bloggers who insisted he was washed up–and then he went on that amazing run in June. Clippard is in it for the long haul, he wants a Mo Rivera type career. You can see that he is working on his cutter and his curve so that he will not be so dependent on deception.

  22. Joe Seamhead - Apr 13, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    NatsLady, I wasn't inferring that the Braves fans were drunk, though I do get bothered when they do the stupid chop in our house. The way to stop it from happening is by our team winning.As to everybody that is clamoring about Det being pulled after seven innings, two points: One, read NatsLady's #2 point in her post at 1:13 a.m. It's spot on. He pitched great, but was wearing down. Could he have won a complete game? Maybe. Maybe even probably. But at what cost later in the season? Secondly, Our heretofore successful M.O. has been to get to the 7th, or 8th, and turn it over to the bullpen. It will probably still be our successful MO more often than not. Again, NatsLady is spot on in her 3rd paragraph in her 7:27 a.m. post. You just can't keep losing the ones you should have won. We won't. It's baseball. Go get 'em today! GYFNG!!!

  23. Joe Seamhead - Apr 13, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    NL, I agree about Tyler Clippard, but what happened to his signature "go to" high heat from a couple of years ago? He seems to have either abandoned it, or lost confidence in it. He seemed to get at least one batter swinging on a deceptive high fastball every appearance in the past. Not seeing it much lately.

  24. NatsLady - Apr 13, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    Joe, that's what I meant about Clipp needing to rely less on deception. I noticed last year that when we were in interleague he used the high heat a lot. But in our own division, guys have seen him and are not fooled as often, so he changes his approach. Strange to say for a guy who is 28 and has been around as long as he has, but when he "matures" he will lock in a consistent approach like the great relievers.

  25. NatsLady - Apr 13, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    Also, one good thing was hardly any "O" in the anthem. Another good thing was the best performance of "God Bless America" that I have heard to date by that Navy singer.

  26. mick - Apr 13, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    Kabooooom goes the bullpen, lolSeriously, I think Unknown's posts are the most accurate on the situation. They will probably be all right, but I also think Peric may be right about Clippard. I think the best of him was 2011 and since then there has been a decline.I did like Storen's interview and in all fairness, RZim's play was stupid for a veteran player and if Ryan holds the damn ball, the 3rd out is next and Nats win 4-3

  27. mick - Apr 13, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    speaking of O's ha ha, I wonder how Adam Jones feels right now, he may have bailed out Zim for the worst play of the night costing his team

  28. JayB - Apr 13, 2013 at 12:22 PM

    SO….it is early but…..This is why I said all winter that game 5 was not something you just dismiss. This is why I was so happy that someone, did learn something and paid for a new closer. The two big problems from last year that caused game 5 issues are still causing them this year.Davey is still making excuses for players and not holding them accountable. Thus you get this clueless response……Storen said. "I think that's one of the things about being a bullpen that makes us special down there: We have short memories and we understand that it's a long season. We're going to swallow that, learn from it, and move on."And Danny is still a easy out and is starting already to push for the HR over being a team player….last night he looked exactly like is 200K self. The bigger the game the worse he looks……And he was late to cover 2nd Base on the Zim play. He has to stop the ball from going into the OF.Would love to hear again Njack why I am completely wrong about all this and that non of it matters…..Please…..

  29. NatsLady - Apr 13, 2013 at 12:23 PM

    I am giving Davey two dings on this one. (1) not doubleswitching when Storen game in; Davey was taken by surprise by Clipp's walks, and rushed to get Storen warming but fell asleep on the switch–though it didn't cost; (2) not using Henry in the 10th and saving Stammen. It remains to be seen if Stammen is going to wear down but you can't afford to have a 5-man bullpen.I'm not dinging him for taking Det out (see above), but that is still 2 dings too many. I would not want to be in that clubhouse when Werth gets on the hitters for not adding on runs and taking advantage of opportunities. Harper is looking good in LF.

  30. Candide - Apr 13, 2013 at 12:23 PM

    This was from the last post, and I don't know if peric did this intentionally or not, but it made me smile in spite of myself (emphasis mine):"Haren is the guy with lots of experience but his arm, like Clip's, may be on its last legs.

  31. mick - Apr 13, 2013 at 12:23 PM

    NatsLady said…Also, sort on topic. I was listening to Dr. James Andrews on …with all due respect, Andrews has lost me with his handling of RGIII, I would take what he has to say with a grain of salt

  32. Laddie Blah Blah - Apr 13, 2013 at 12:25 PM

    "Laddie, are you waking up or haven't gone to sleep?"Waking up. I watched the game on MASN last night, but went to bed right after Stammen gave up that HR. I'm an early riser. Can't help it. Circadian rhythms, I guess.I will never lose sleep over a sporting event. That's Davey's job, not mine. My job is to second guess everything he does. And there's nothing he can do about it.Just kidding. They're a young team, and Davey is going with what he thinks is his best shot. Clip and Store looked just as "timid" last night as they did in game 5. Not Davey's fault.

  33. mick - Apr 13, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    NatsLady… I do not blame Davey at all, accept for his reluctance to use Henry. If he has no confidence in Henry, how much longer does he fill a roster spot? This is on Clip, Storen and RZim. This game never should have gotten to Stammen who was off for only the first time this season as opposed to Clip being off again and again

  34. NatsLady - Apr 13, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    JayB, I don't go by what players or managers say in public. That whole "taking responsibility" thing is a bunch of hoooey, in general. The way you take responsibility is to improve your performance. I love RZ as much as the next person, but as Maddon said (about an ump), "that should not happen in a major-league game.".

  35. natsfan1a - Apr 13, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    I believe he was going to the dugout, not 1B.I didn't see the Suzuki head shake or him go to 1B before the ump's call (ALR did that, but he drew the walk on the next call, and all the umps know and respect him).

  36. natsfan1a - Apr 13, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    He being Suzuki.

  37. MicheleS - Apr 13, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    well that was a pooper. This may not have been the 9-0 blown lead from last year, but it sure felt like it. Mick, I am with you on who this loss belongs too. Det pitched really well and deserved better. The Good News.. New day, and a pissed off Stras is on the mound. See you at the Park.

  38. mick - Apr 13, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    BTW we are 7-3…. not 3-7 as one would think by our reactions

  39. mick - Apr 13, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    Thank you MicheleS

  40. natsfan1a - Apr 13, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    Same here. Well, I *do* sometimes have trouble going to sleep after a most awesome, exciting win, especially an in-person one. What can I say? I get jacked. :-)I will never lose sleep over a sporting event.

  41. mick - Apr 13, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  42. mick - Apr 13, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    has anyone mentioned the triple play last night in O's game? This was after A Jones' drop. In the end, its great to be us and it must really suck to be an O's fan this morning, lol

  43. Laddie Blah Blah - Apr 13, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    Jay B"And he was late to cover 2nd Base on the Zim play."I saw the game on TV and it wasn't clear why he didn't get there to snag that throw. If he makes that routine play, then the Nats still probably win that game. Maybe just a mental error, but a very costly one. The hitter, Justin Upton, was a righty, so Danny was not playing on the OF grass, I would think, and should have been in position to get to 2nd on that grounder deep behind 3rd base.And people are right about Danny's approach last night. He hit weak grounders to the right side by trying to pull outside pitches, and just rolled them over for weak groundouts.Everyone who reads my comments knows that I am very sceptical about Danny's bat. He has been making more frequent contact this year – striking out less frequently – but to little avail, so far.The Nats continue to move Rendon around from 3rd, to 2nd, and, last night, to SS. He will be ready to play any of those positions in short order. Adding his bat to that lineup, in place of Danny's, would make a very good lineup a great one.

  44. natsfan1a - Apr 13, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    No, probably because I didn't watch the O's game. ;-)

  45. natsfan1a - Apr 13, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    Eh, more coffee. That was meant to respond to Mick's comment.

  46. baseballswami - Apr 13, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    I am actually not looking forward to Stras with a head of steam. He does not handle his emotions well at all. First sign of a bad call, sloppy mound or error and he gets outside of himself. He is so very talented, but still young and inexperienced. Again- Steve. McCatty has a very tough job.

  47. NatsLady - Apr 13, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    Eh, mick, that's just fans being fans. Opening Day everyone is enchanted by Soriano, then a week ago Rizzo was duped into getting Soriano, then Soriano saves a couple of games and, well, now Rizzo should trade Clip, Storen, or both.

  48. Muddy - Apr 13, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    Still wondering why Nats didn't spring for about $9 million for 2 years of Sean Burnett. $14 million per for Soriano, who doesn't look like Kimbral, but not $4 million for Burnett. Sure coulda used him last night.

  49. mick - Apr 13, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    Laddie… you have some excellent points. I am pulling for Espi, believe me. I know Rendon is a future All star fielder, but in the mean time, why not play Lombo???If I was Davey, I would give Espi until June to work out hitting left handed. If he can not hit left handed, I tell Danny you are only batting right handed from here on out. 3 Years is enough time. If Danny hits better at the right side than Lombo, fine, he should remain the starter, if not, for goodness sakes, give Lombo a shot to start

  50. mick - Apr 13, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    Natsfan… I saw the highlights of O's, that would be treason if I was watching O's during Nats game, lol

  51. NatsLady - Apr 13, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    mick, LOL on Ballmer. And how would you like to be the Angels? Not only did they get shut out by the Astros, but Hamilton is hitting .179 and got caught in a DP because he forgot how many outs there were, Pujols can barely play the field, and the great Mike Trout is sulking about not playing centerfield while notching a cool .227.Atlanta will come down to earth. Remember the hot May the Fish had last year–how did that end? Nats just need to keep playing solid games, clobbering the bad teams, holding their own against the good teams and work out the kinks, which right now are the bullpen, Espy's hitting and some defensive yips.

  52. MicheleS - Apr 13, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    Mark.. you forgot one thing.. We need bourbon with our Maalox.

  53. mick - Apr 13, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    well stated NatsLady!

  54. Joe Seamhead - Apr 13, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    Again, in two innings Clip & Storen gave up 4 his and 4 walks in two innings. That's the ball game folks. Did Zimm cost us? Yes, but it's easy to second guess him for making a poor choice in the heat of the moment. How many times has he made absolutely incredible, seemingly impossible plays in the heat of the moment? Dozens of times? Probably many dozens of times. I don't want him to be gun shy about doing it.That said, his throws are looking very tentative.That, I must admit, is looking more and more to be a concern. He's getting the ball to first, but not with any real authority.

  55. Steamer - Apr 13, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    We could of used a lefty (Burnett)

  56. JayB - Apr 13, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    Nlady,Not everyone….What I saw in game 5 and shared :) all winter is exactly what we saw last night and this spring…..if Davey and Rizzo do not open their eyes tot he facts we will see it again….This is not longer a team that should be managed and staffed on what plays could do it they improve but rather a team that needs to be managed and roster'ed on what plays do and do consistently.Danny to AAA, Storen to 7th Inning or less only and HROD to the street….he is not trusted to pitch and wasting a need spot in the pen….that is inexcusable for a team that should be winning the WS

  57. NatsLady - Apr 13, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    Laddie, Charlie and Dave said Espy was playing deep, and also probably did not anticipate Zim would throw to 2nd. They also felt the runner would have been safe even if the throw was on-target and caught.

  58. Gabor Mehes - Apr 13, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    There was always a knock on Davey that he can't manage his late innings. He proved it against St. Loius and again yesterday night. He should study Felipe Alou who yanked his relivers at the first sight of trouble. Davey' "philosophy" is swim or sink.

  59. mick - Apr 13, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    Joe… all good points. Let me ask you all this, is the long range plan as follows and by that I mean when ALR retires or is not resigned.. RZim at 1b, Espi/Lombo 2b, Desi SS, Rendon 3b? Here is the 64,000 question, if that is the case, where does TMoore fit in at 1b? and… when werth gets on in years, is the plan to move Harper back to RF, Span in CF and then who plays LF?This is confusing and interesting. I see a lot of posts about RZim at 1b, but then, where is Tmoore? would love some feedback by Peric and others on this

  60. mick - Apr 13, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  61. mick - Apr 13, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    and let me add Perez and Brown to this mix, where does he fit?

  62. NatsLady - Apr 13, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    The thing I hate is getting the early lead and not winning the game. Period. That gives every team hope that they can knock down the mighty Nats (wow, that's strange to write). Any team can get blown out 15-0. That's a once-in-a-season confluence of bad stuff. But when you get a 4-0 lead and your starter is pitching well, you can't coast. Repeat, you CAN'T COAST. It doesn't matter if the opponent is the Fish or the Barves. Hitters need to add on, defense needs to keep their head in the game, bullpen needs to lock down games. Going to work now. GO STRAS, GO NATS!

  63. JayB - Apr 13, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    The problem last night with the Zimm play was not that he tried to get an out but rather that Danny was asleep and did not keep the ball out of second bass…..yes the runner beat the throw. That would have been no different then just putting the ball in your pocket…..Danny not being there to keep a bad throw out of CF…..that is just one more example of why Danny hurts the team and we can not longer afford him on the 25 man roster.

  64. JamesFan - Apr 13, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    This was not about head cases and panic. Last night's loss was due to walks. The other teams have discovere that our pen does not throw strikes (game 5 comes to mind). Zim didn't have a play anywhere and should have held the ball.Danny always has been a rally killer. He's a .220 hitter.

  65. Gonat - Apr 13, 2013 at 1:12 PM

    DaveB said… Interesting quote from Davey … "We're all over the place. I've got to take responsibility, probably overusing them or something" … Sounds like he knows he can't go all year with a 5 man bullpen for important games … I'm guessing we'll start seeing Zack & Henry used soon, and if they don't perform Davey will insist on changes.___________________________________I feel great after 3 hours of sleep. I can't sleep because I'm so agitated.Yes, DaveB, I said the same a few days ago and others agreed its become a 4 man bullpen + Stammen when you consider Mattheus, Clip, Storen and Raffy are getting all the work.Of course in hindsight Davey should have used Henry and if Henry gives up the 2 run HR then Davey is skewered. The fact is Davey doesn't trust him at all.If you aren't going to use him, why is he here?

  66. Joe Seamhead - Apr 13, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    Would somebody break that damn jukebox? The same broken record has started playing again.Mick, who knows. Anybody that thinks that they can predict next year's roster accurately is an idiot, imho. Honestly, barring weird injuries,I don't ever see the Corey or Yuri show starting in Natstown. I like both guys, but I think it's pretty obvious that both of them are the level of players we had in pre-2011. We have better options moving up through the minors.If the coaching staff thought that Tyler Moore was good enough to be playing the field, he'd be playing. I saw enough of him last year in LF to doubt that he would ever be a good starting OF on this team. What I saw was a guy that didn't move any better then Morse, but with a much worse glove, and a dramatically weaker arm. I still haven't seen enough of him at 1B to have a strong opinion one way, or the other. Now. all that said, Nats Jack saw a lot more of him in FL this spring then I did, and Jack said his outfielding had improved since last year.

  67. Gonat - Apr 13, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    I forgot that MLB Network was broadcasting also. They have footage of Drew Storen destroying a blue cooler.Davey gave him a 2nd chance and he was in a tough luck situation. Bloop single. Bunt single. DeWitt gets down the bunt.Not sure Drew deserves all the blame he is getting. He did a great job of striking out Simmons and then gets Upton to roll one on a slider.

  68. Joe Seamhead - Apr 13, 2013 at 1:29 PM

    Meanwhile, down on the farm:Rendon went 1-3 with 2BB's to raise his BA to .250 and his OBP to .429Ryan Perry stunk the place out againBilly Burns in Potomac went 0-2 with 2BB's but still sporting a .621 OBP

  69. Joe Seamhead - Apr 13, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    We have to agree to disagree on Storen last night,Gonat. He was bad company indeed.

  70. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 13, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    I don't usually post nights and weekends but I feel your pain. Feel mine, I had to listen to John Smoltz calling the game on the Friday game of the week. I have no issue with Storen. He wasn't on his A+ game but he also didn't let the tying run score. He once again was the recipient of bad luck. No add on runs after the 2nd innings. A team loss. 7-3. Go get 'em Stras!

  71. Steamer - Apr 13, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    Trade for Burnie he loved D.C.

  72. Rabbit34 - Apr 13, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    I'm glad to see some coming around to share some of my views. .500 season, pitchers finishing games, Storen a head case. Now, sit back and enjoy the rest of a long season. Good 'ole NatsLady will keep me encouraged.

  73. JaneB - Apr 13, 2013 at 1:45 PM

    My take is that both Clip and Store were pitching to not lose. I know that's their job. But they are both best when they challenge the batter, bore in in them. There was this vibe of caution and even FP and Carp were living in it.I agree with NatsLady that the rest if the team acted like they had this in the bag. We need to keep a bunch in the bag coming up or we just reach opponents to come on stronger in the late innings.Leaving for the park in 45 minutes!

  74. Gonat - Apr 13, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    Joe Seamhead said… We have to agree to disagree on Storen last night,Gonat. He was bad company indeed. April 13, 2013 9:30 AM _______________________________He wasn't sharp and most want to pin the blame on him and I don't think when you look at the inning that he deserves all the blame.When Pena came up with a man on 1st, why wasn't Ryan Zimmerman up on the grass to take away the bunt?This hurts, it stings, it sucks and the Nats really need to show they are a championship team today and win today and tomorrow.

  75. #4 - Apr 13, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    Clippard is not "tired" or "washed up". He simply had zero command of his change up last night. Whatever. He had a bad night and will bounce back. The Zim play on the other hand bugs me. He really cannot throw anymore. That play called for a back foot plant and overhand fire to the bag because of the way he fielded it. That's simply something he cannot do anymore. I knew after watching him throw live during warm ups in game 2 of the season that he would cost the Nats a hand full of games this year with his throwing. Last night was #1.

  76. Davide - Apr 13, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    Well, I've seen only three innings due to the late time here, so you can understand my surprise this morning seeing the tough loss. Damn it!Anyway, I don't understand why in the 3rd inning with a 4-0 lead, ALR, Desi and Danny were so aggressive at the plate: Teheran was struggling and instead of make his pitch count raising they hit the ball so soon for a ridiculous 6 (or 7) pitches inning..

  77. NatsLady - Apr 13, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    Steamer, my thought exactly. The Angels are in deep doo-doo. They will be unloading soon and Rizzo can get Burnett back for a prospect and "cash considerations."

  78. Gonat - Apr 13, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    #4 said… Clippard is not "tired" or "washed up". He simply had zero command of his change up last night. Whatever. He had a bad night and will bounce back. The Zim play on the other hand bugs me. He really cannot throw anymore. That play called for a back foot plant and overhand fire to the bag because of the way he fielded it. That's simply something he cannot do anymore. I knew after watching him throw live during warm ups in game 2 of the season that he would cost the Nats a hand full of games this year with his throwing. Last night was #1. April 13, 2013 9:46 AM ___________________________________Unfortunately you are correct. It's still the reason I think Rizzo took LaRoche over Morse as LaRoche is Ryan Zimmerman's crutch. Without Adam's scooping ability Zim would lose the little bit of confidence he has left in throwing.For a veteran player he made a bonehead play on that Upton bouncer. Once he went back diagonally on the ball as you can see in the video he should have eaten the ball. We've said it here dozens of times, discretion is the better part of valor.I'm still wondering though once bases were loaded where you would want to go to no doubles defense like the outfield was, why wouldn't Zim have played the line? A single was only going to tie the game. If Zim is on the line, he snags Upton's ball and steps on 3rd for the force out and Nats win 4-2.

  79. Steamer - Apr 13, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    Natslady,that would be nice the wife and I miss the grandkids since they are out in LA now

  80. natsfan1a - Apr 13, 2013 at 2:04 PM

    Steamer, thanks for hanging with us despite the personnel change.Heading out to the park in a few. Hope for a better outcome today. Go, NATS!!

  81. NatsLady - Apr 13, 2013 at 2:04 PM

    Steamer, I bet with Pujols' injury they would take Marrero. Maybe Rizzo is on the phone right now.

  82. Gonat - Apr 13, 2013 at 2:04 PM

    NatsLady said… Steamer, my thought exactly. The Angels are in deep doo-doo. They will be unloading soon and Rizzo can get Burnett back for a prospect and "cash considerations." April 13, 2013 9:58 AM ________________________________Have you seen Burnie lately? I don't think Rizzo would take him as his 1st choice.

  83. Steamer - Apr 13, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    You guys are welcome love reading all you'll post.

  84. Gonat - Apr 13, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    Ryan Zimmerman: "It’s the same thing that kind of got us last year, and why we didn’t maybe move on. Because we couldn’t close games out both pitching and defense-wise. We need to get better at that and learn from our mistakes." _______________________________Can someone get him a mirror? Learn from out mistakes? Only 1 defensive play was botched Ryan.

  85. Steamer - Apr 13, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    I still love the D.C. Faithful go NATS beat those damn Braves.

  86. NatsLady - Apr 13, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    I've seen him. He's still got back problems. At first I thought it wasn't going to work, but he's managing and he knows how to pitch. If one of the relievers goes down with an injury Rizzo would take Burnett back in a heartbeat. He's not going to bring Chris Young up to do long-relief, and who else would he bring up? Abad–maybe.

  87. Joe Seamhead - Apr 13, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    I think from what I saw this spring, Abad would be abad choice. Bada bing, bada boom….

  88. Mac Guire - Apr 13, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    Laddie Blah BlahI wholeheartedly agree with you. Espinosa is not a reliable hitter. He is just going to hit around .250 and 20 HRs at best, and his occasional pop will disappear in big time moments anyway. If he is working on his left-handed swing, let him do it in the minors. Given the way the team is playing, we cannot afford him on the big league roster. Like Davey mentions somtimes, every single guy on the 25 man roster must contribute.

  89. Mac Guire - Apr 13, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    To folks who are calling for Sean Burnett:I saw the other night he was called on to face two lefties and pulled after walking those two. I have no problem with Rizzo letting him go. It seems to me JC Romero is a better arm for us if we need another lefty in the bullpen.

  90. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 13, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    The Median WHIP in the NL is 1.29. Nats are 1.40Here is the team WHIP indivual WHIPsGio 0.91Detwiler 1.00Henry 1.29Strasburg 1.30Zim 1.31Soriana 1.33Clippard 1.41Storen 1.50 Matthews 1.76Stammen 1.80Haren 2.11Duke 2.25Any relationship to frustration, I believe so. NO reliever is under leage average. In fact only 2 total are. Thos 2 have done exce;;ent;y/

  91. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 13, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    I thought there were 3 hot hitters in spring (correct me if I misremeber.) Harper Espi and Owings. Two are hitting in the .400s as we start the year. What happened to Espi?

  92. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 13, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    Final Rant on last nights activity. OOnly 2 teams have 3 blown saves in the first 10 games. Nats and Cards. Cards closer is inhured. On the positive side of the 3 blown saves we went on to win 2 of the games.

  93. Alex Howard - Apr 13, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    Rizzo destroyed the bullpen in the offseason, its a joke, he got rid of burnett, one of the best lefties in the game, and got awful zach duke who is useless, he got rid of gonzalez who is miles better than h rod, and soriano is the most overated closer, davey is awful too, cost us last year and will cost us again if he babies these pitchers, he IS NOT SUPPOSE TO BE A BABYSITTER, HE IS AN MLB MANAGER AND HE IS DESTROYING OUR BULLPEN!

  94. JamesFan - Apr 13, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    Burnett has been smoked like a cheap cigar this spring. He was not and is not the answer. The pen needs to throw strikes and quit nibbling.

  95. Steamer - Apr 13, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    JamesFan you have to remember in 2010 in spring training he was rocked hard then during the season he had the best era in the bullpen with the Nats and even was rewarded with the golden shoes so spring training doesn't always do justice

  96. Steamer - Apr 13, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    Plus just saying Sean might not be the answer they just need a lefty specialist in the pen got get some of those lefties out in tight situations

  97. Secret wasian man - Apr 13, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    I'm tired of Zimm leaning. He makes terrible decisions at times. And his bat is not good enough to make up for it. And would somebody please tell FP that an out is an out. Even it its hit hard. Learning not leaning. Sorry

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 73 53 --
ATLANTA 67 61 7.0
MIAMI 63 63 10.0
NEW YORK 60 68 14.0
PHILADELPHIA 56 71 17.5
Through Thursday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
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.
WED: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
THU: OFF
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