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Game 11: Nats vs. Braves

Apr 13, 2013, 2:31 PM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nats send Stephen Strasburg out to the mound in the second game vs. Atlanta.

The Nationals lost a tough one in extra innings last night due to a collapse by their bullpen. They hope pitching will not be an issue today as ace Stephen Strasburg takes the ball. The Braves will send veteran and longtime Nats nemesis Tim Hudson to the mound.

The Braves' lineup looks a little different today with Evan Gattis starting behind the plate, they have B.J. Upton at the top and Chris Johnson at first. Strasburg was 3-1 against Atlanta last season, but held a 4.10 ERA with 12 ER in 26 1/3 innings pitched. His last outing vs. the Braves was on Aug. 21 when he gave up just one run through six with ten strikeouts.

Could be another great game as these division rivals get to know the 2013 versions of each other.

Updates to come…

ATLANTA BRAVES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EDT
TV: FOX, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM)
Weather: Partly cloudy, 69 degrees, Wind 11 mph out to RF

NATIONALS (7-3)
CF Denard Span
RF Jayson Werth
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman

Read more »

329 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Gonat - Apr 13, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    Manassas Nats' Fan said… The baseball Gods you have to love. Zim comes up with a chance to neutralize his rrror by jhitting a homer. No way just a weak fly to right.I am convinced the shoulder is still bad._______________________________Something sure is wrong. Hudson threw him a straight fastball inside on Pitch 1 that a healthy Zim would have pulled down the line for a long HR and this Zim just watched it go by for a strike.

  2. peric - Apr 13, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    Peric, the Tigers got Kobernus as a relative freebie in Rule 5 and they don't agree with you. In fact the Nats didn't even bother to protect him.He looks a lot different. Apparently his stay with the Tigers was beneficial. He found someone to teach him hitting. Before he and Eury Perez looked like the same player.NOW? He made the Iron Pigs stop pitching to him. He's hitting .545.

  3. mick - Apr 13, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    so are we talking Cortizone shots again for Zim? I hope not

  4. Secret wasian man - Apr 13, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    Right now the braves are the better team. But it's a long season. We will catch them when it matter most. I do think Zimm needs to sit though. And Stras is 3 rd best right now. Time to mix up line up a little

  5. Gonat - Apr 13, 2013 at 6:34 PM

    Without Zim's error. Strasburg would be at 87 pitches now.Davey needs to see what he has with Duke and Henry.

  6. peric - Apr 13, 2013 at 6:34 PM

    so are we talking Cortizone shots again for Zim? I hope notNo. Its early. A trip to the DL. But there's no Morse to anchor the lineup? Who do you put at third base? Tracey? You're joking right? Don't call me George Costanzo who is a left-handed hitter? Carlos Rivero? Now that is a weak lineup. That's when you'd HAVE TO REMOVE SPAN and put Moore in left.

  7. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 13, 2013 at 6:34 PM

    Now time to see if Davey is consistent. Last night he pull Det who was pitching great after 90 pitches. Stras has pitched 95 and not as good ss Det,'s. Who pitches the 6th?

  8. peric - Apr 13, 2013 at 6:35 PM

    Or? Sit LaRoche for Moore. Which we know they won't do.

  9. peric - Apr 13, 2013 at 6:36 PM

    Stras has pitched 95 and not as good ss Det,'s. Who pitches the 6th?Duke. Lefty after righty.

  10. Gonat - Apr 13, 2013 at 6:38 PM

    That certainly helps. Danny "All of Nothing" Espinosa.

  11. peric - Apr 13, 2013 at 6:38 PM

    Danny must have heard me talking about Kobernus …

  12. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 13, 2013 at 6:38 PM

    Finally Espi hits one. Now get the average up. You were hot in the spring.

  13. Gonat - Apr 13, 2013 at 6:39 PM

    "All or Nothing"

  14. Rabbit34 - Apr 13, 2013 at 6:39 PM

    98 wins LAST YEAR won't help us THIS YEAR. Zim is the best hitter???? He doesn't hold a candle to Harper, the best player in baseball. Go away, for a while, Zim.

  15. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 13, 2013 at 6:41 PM

    Anybody who thinks Ryan Zimmerman is anywhere close to the player or hitter that Bryce Harper is, basically knows ZERO about baseball.

  16. EmDash - Apr 13, 2013 at 6:41 PM

    Stras going back in for the 6th on 95 pitches? It seems like Davey is looking at innings more than pitch count, which seems a bit off to me. Don't have a great feeling about the top of the 6th. I guess with the bullpen fatigue there aren't a lot of better options, though.

  17. Secret wasian man - Apr 13, 2013 at 6:41 PM

    It does seem that this is a weaker team than last year. Which is frustrating. I guess Span is a improvement. But we miss morse. He added excitement and flair. And the bullpen?… Tough to look at this as a playoff team right now. Braves clearly not intimidated. It's the other way around I think.

  18. baseballswami - Apr 13, 2013 at 6:42 PM

    I really don't think the Barves are a better team. They are definitely playing better baseball than we are. Even last year, with injuries, the Nats always played smart defensively. Zim got the ball to ALR. There is something that just doesn't feel right at this time. Something is missing- intensity, joy, focus- can't put my finger on it. Almost like they are holding back in fear of injuries or something. It hasn't clicked yet. I hope they find a gear, a spark, or whatever they need. No brawls, please.

  19. Gonat - Apr 13, 2013 at 6:43 PM

    Ryan Zimmerman with a nice play. Espinosa seems to have inspired the team.

  20. Gonat - Apr 13, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    William O. Douglas Loeffler said… Anybody who thinks Ryan Zimmerman is anywhere close to the player or hitter that Bryce Harper is, basically knows ZERO about baseball. ___________________________Hey, don't talk about Peric that way. He knows a little about Minor League baseball.

  21. Gonat - Apr 13, 2013 at 6:46 PM

    Who pinch hits for Strasburg? Bernadina or Tracy or Lombo?

  22. peric - Apr 13, 2013 at 6:46 PM

    Anybody who thinks Ryan Zimmerman is anywhere close to the player or hitter that Bryce Harper is, basically knows ZERO about baseball.This is when the word "moron" tends to escape my often deadly key strokes. Zim is a proven hitter over several seasons. How many seasons has Harper been in the majors again? And how many times has he hit 30 homers? Had over 100 RBI? Done what Zim has done consistently even in the middle of seasons after a long DL stay. Even with weak lineups around him.Only a moron would claim that Harper is the better hitter. He is good and improving and someday he might be an impact hitter like a Pujols or a Berkman. But he ain't there yet.

  23. Gonat - Apr 13, 2013 at 6:46 PM

    Ramos with a "Got Heeeeem" moment. Thought that was strike 3 in the dirt.

  24. waddu eye no - Apr 13, 2013 at 6:46 PM

    Meanwhile in philly:http://onion.com/10Wy5yGyfng

  25. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 13, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    162 games is the number that MLB has decided to play this year. It is amazing how two good teams can play one day and have a 15-0 result and then play the next day and have a different outcome. You rarely see that in football or basketball. It is a shame that people come on here and pretend that baseball outcomes follow a similar pattern. Sparky Anderson probably should have been fired by the Reds back in 1975 given that that team lost four in a row several times that year on their way to winning 108 games and the World Series. A team like that should have won 120 games easy.

  26. peric - Apr 13, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    Bernadina gonat. He's using up his 4th outfielder … in a close game? Interesting move. Now, Tyler Moore and Lombo become the backup outfielders. Maybe he brings Tracy in for Zim in the late innings?

  27. Gonat - Apr 13, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    Got my 1st choice for PH: Roger Bernadina!

  28. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 13, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    Riddle me this.Last night I gave Davey hell for not letting Det pitch the 8th inning.Defenders of Davey said Det's 90 pitches too much.today Stras had 95 and pitch the 6th and did fine.I would take him out now.Davey I still pissed at you from last night.

  29. Drew - Apr 13, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    Even without his sharp breaking ball, Strasburg drops his ERA to 2.95.

  30. EmDash - Apr 13, 2013 at 6:52 PM

    I was wrong about sending Strasburg back out, I will admit that.

  31. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 13, 2013 at 6:52 PM

    Zimmerman has never had an impact year as a hitter. Go check baseball ref.com It ain't that hard. He is probably the best player up to now in Nats' history and that ain't saying much. For a third baseman, he is a better than average hitter, who hit 30 homers once, and who formerly was a very good fielder. I am not sure whether that is true anymore or not in terms of fielding. There are plenty of guys who can hit 25 homers in a year. You might want to research the notice of replacement player and see who was better last year between Harper and Zimmerman.Find me one single baseball analyst anywhere that would rank Zimmerman equal to Harper in value and we will see who the moron is. There is no sober thinking person who would. Just internet bullies who like hearing themselves bloviate.

  32. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 13, 2013 at 6:54 PM

    Strasburg's 2.95 easily still way 4th so far this year.

  33. peric - Apr 13, 2013 at 6:58 PM

    Zimmerman has never had an impact year as a hitter. Go check baseball ref.comFirst mistake and one only someone with little knowledge of baseball would make. I use fangraphs and statcorner which give more accurate, fine grained analyses. But then, I guess I am a pseudo math type like DCWonk. We have an appreciation for such things.Zim may not be at Berkman's or Pujol's level at his height but he is one rung below. And NO ONE ELSE on this team has even sniffed that level.

  34. Gonat - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:00 PM

    Mannasas, if Det didn't give up that HR he would have been out for another inning.When Det's fatigue sets in he start over-throwing.I think Davey made the correct choice last night.Davey is trying to stretch out Strasburg as he looked strong to end the 5th.

  35. NatsLady - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:01 PM

    Wait, wait, did I just hear the announcers say they were fighting the sun???? Can't be, can't possibly be because girls know nothing about baseball.

  36. Gonat - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:03 PM

    peric said… Zimmerman has never had an impact year as a hitter. Go check baseball ref.comFirst mistake and one only someone with little knowledge of baseball would make. I use fangraphs and statcorner which give more accurate, fine grained analyses. But then, I guess I am a pseudo math type like DCWonk. We have an appreciation for such things.Zim may not be at Berkman's or Pujol's level at his height but he is one rung below. And NO ONE ELSE on this team has even sniffed that level._____________________________________I agree with Peric but the 3 hole should make your stats better with more RBI ops and the ability to score a lot more runs and you will see that Bryce Harper in the 3 hole will exceed Zim's best year.

  37. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:04 PM

    We all continue to wait for the inundation of stats to prove that Zimmerman is the Nats' most effective and devastating hitter…. Of course, there are no such stats from any period of time in the recent past that indicate any such thing, so I assume we will all continue to wait and wait and wait while bullies bloviate….Zimmerman has been a fine player whose throwing has been suspect for a long time and whose hitting is streaking. I am a big fan of his. But that is a far different thing from putting him in the league of Pujols or a healthy ARod and everyone on here save one knows that….

  38. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:06 PM

    that is the first time I remember Harper not hustling. Hope that is isolated.

  39. Gonat - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:07 PM

    That was a doubleplay ball by Zim…guess it doesn't matter since nobody was on base.

  40. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    baseball God doesnt allow him to tie it again. Come on Zim you need to make up for your 2 errors

  41. peric - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    Ryan Zimmerman 2009 : 36.6 BatVJosh Willingham 2009: 27.3 BatVAdam Dun 2009: 36.7 BatVRyan Zimmerman 2010: 38.1 BatVJosh Willingham 2010: 21.0 BatVAdam Dunn 2010: 31.8 BatVAlbert Pujols 2009: 78.1 BatVAlbert Pujols 2010: 62.5 BatVLance Berkman 2008: 41.0 BatVLance Berkmann 2011: 47.3 BatVAlbert Pujols 2011:46.1 BatVClearly injuries get in the way because of injuries Zim had a 15.5 BatV and then in 2012 a 21.9 BatV. Most NON elite hitters generate negative numbers in injury riddled years.NEVER YET HAS ZIM.

  42. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    great play by Hayward

  43. Gonat - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    Manassas Nats' Fan said… that is the first time I remember Harper not hustling. Hope that is isolated. April 13, 2013 3:06 PM __________________________________He was upset with himself there but you are right and the energy level of this team is low right now, and they need Bryce to Bryce.

  44. peric - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:11 PM

    Bryce Harper 2012 18.7 BatV. He has A LONGNNNNG WAY TO GO before he matches a healthy Zim. A very loonnnng way.So far in 2013? His BatV is 6.7. You know I hate moronic fans who don't even understand what they have ON THEIR OWN TEAM!@!

  45. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    why are we taking Duke out?

  46. baseballswami - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    You have to admit that the Barves have come out of the chute firing on all cylinders. They seem to be getting the breaks, too. Those things go in cycles. HRod. Gulp.

  47. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    Zimmerman is currently 37th among active NL players in slugging.and 38th in OBS. That is hardly devastating. His best performance in offensive WAR was 8th in 2010, which is nice, but probably not devastating, with Ryan finishing 9th overall in the NL that year in WAR. Zimmerman is a nice guy and a good role model and we all love having him on the team. I just hope he can find his arm and his bat again this year and I suspect he will, but no one should ever compare him, ever, to Bryce Harper, either now, or in terms of potential, and I have never heard a single analyst ever do so, but I am waiting to see the articles and the floods of stats that prove otherwise.

  48. Gonat - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    Why not pitch Duke for 2 innings especially to face the lefty Heyward?

  49. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:15 PM

    Peric you must be a Brian Kenny deciple. I use the eye test mostly. Also whay have done for me lately.

  50. peric - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:15 PM

    Zimmerman is currently 37th among active NL players in slugging.and 38th in OBS. That is hardly devastating. His best performance in offensive WAR was 8th in 2010,That's why a recent Fangraphs article placed Zim in the top 4 WAR and the guy the would pick for their FoF by overwhelming vote. It wasn't Pujols. And this was before Pujols previous season.Again YOU READ crap over at baseball reference. Garbage in Garbage out.

  51. Gonat - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:16 PM

    I guess with the Nats behind Davey wanted to insert Henry to get him some work but Duke could have finished out the game if the Nats don't take the lead.

  52. peric - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:17 PM

    Also whay have done for me lately.162 games. Not many can be consistently good over that many games. Zim has and will again. He's still under 30. And if they move him to first base he could be a potent offensive force for a very long time.

  53. Gonat - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:17 PM

    Here we go. Walk.

  54. EmDash - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    Putting Henry in at this juncture – do not get it. Davey trying to prod Rizzo into making a bullpen move?

  55. Gonat - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    Umps clearly blew that. Remember that when you question how Ramos does on throwing out runners.

  56. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:20 PM

    Here is how you decide who is better. if you could trade even up Harper or Zim for Verlander. Who would you trade.Easy out at second by the way. BAD HENRY has appeared.

  57. Gonat - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:20 PM

    These guys don't know Henry. He can't find the strike zone. It's not like he is pitching around Gattis.

  58. EmDash - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:20 PM

    Hee, the announcers talking about this at-bat being a sign of respect for Gattis. Goodness. Guys don't know Henry.

  59. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    What is Zimmerman's BatV this year? It appears to be negative. At some point, with guys like Morse and Zimmerman, you simply cannot keep blaming injuries when you get injured over and over and over. It is a shame, but it clearly, Zimmerman needs to get healthy. He is not helping his team right now and conjecturing about moving his position is useless, unless he moves to 2nd base because the Nats have no other slots for La Roche or Tyler Moore.

  60. EmDash - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    I now owe Gonat a drink.

  61. Gonat - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    Oh boy…….

  62. baseballswami - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    This is not going to end well for us, Nats fans.

  63. Gonat - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:23 PM

    Emdash, funny, we had the exact thoughts and these announcers are clueless.BTW, Henry makes Uggla look silly. LMAO

  64. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:24 PM

    nice breaking ball Henry. Still not happy. 2 walks.

  65. EmDash - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:24 PM

    We survived a Henry outing!

  66. Gonat - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:24 PM

    He was shakey Henry. Unfortunately Davey had to get Mattheus up warming.

  67. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:25 PM

    I guess I misread Harper's home run totals last year and this year over at Baseball Reference, not to mention his 400 average and 400+ obp. I will go and check his home run totals at fangraphs, brb.

  68. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:26 PM

    good Henry bails out bad Henry.

  69. Joe Seamhead - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:26 PM

    Nice job by Henry. The Nats defense got four outs that inning.

  70. Gonat - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:26 PM

    Let's face it, Davey put him in a lower stress spot even though it was a 1 run game. I think if the Nats were ahead by one in that inning I would be chugging Maalox.

  71. Gonat - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:27 PM

    Pleeeeeeze Nats, lets score some runs and make Henry the Winner!!!!

  72. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    I wouldn't trade Harper even up for anybody. Maybe there was a reason was he was a number one draft pick, widely touted as the most talented player in years, but if fangraphs says he sucks, i guess he must.

  73. baseballswami - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    Our hitters are making things look very easy for the Barves. And that's another lucky break for the bad guys. Probably out – but the breaks have all gone their way.

  74. EmDash - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:32 PM

    9th inning: another inning for Henry (!) or is it Mattheus's turn?

  75. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    Got to love the TV guys after showing 5 great playsby defenders said slyly like I would, that it was an easy defensive play that has Nats losing.

  76. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:35 PM

    If Heyward's ball had gone five feet fewer to the right, the Nats win last night. If we hadn't made a couple of bad fielding plays, we likely win both games. The amount of good and bad luck in a year often cancel out, but not after 12 games. It is a shame because both games were winnable, but it is not that huge a deal in the grand scheme of things. 88 games won will get you in the play-offs.I think we are all just surprised to see so many bad bullpen outings and bad fielding plays grouped so closely together, along with guys like La Roche and Zimmerman and Espinosa starting off so slowly.

  77. nats guy - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:36 PM

    Peric,I know you cannot stand Span but he is doing fine. The major problem is the bullpen.

  78. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:36 PM

    my point exactly. one would trade zim long before harper. so to say Zim is the better becaiusd some stat says so makes my point that eye test is better stat test.

  79. DJB - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:36 PM

    Braves are just a better team. Zimmerman is hurting more than helping. That's two games he cost. I would say platoon him at first right now and bring up Rendon. See what we have in the farm. He has a career ops of around 830, and without his defense, he's just not worth it.

  80. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:38 PM

    easy dp if mattheus lets it drop and possible tripple play, batter never moved.

  81. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:39 PM

    Except for one bonehead play running, Span has been great. Will he add more offensive than a healthy Morse? I doubt it. Will he add more offense than an oft-injured Morse? Possibly.Will he add more value on offense and defense than the oft-injured, slow and clumsy, Morse? Probably.

  82. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:40 PM

    can our relievers not pitch the 8th. That non dp real big now. Terrible fielding.

  83. NatsFanSinceStart - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:42 PM

    ooh boy the insurance run. Ought to be enough for Kimbrel

  84. baseballswami - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:43 PM

    Barves are not a better team– they are currently PLAYING better than the Nats. That has got to turn around soon, tight?

  85. Gonat - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:43 PM

    Espinosa once again misfires on a DP ball as he buries the throw at 2nd to Desi.Come on guys!

  86. phil dunton - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:43 PM

    The good bull pen of 2011 and the first half of 2012 is now in shambles. The starting pitchers, with their 20-25 pitch innings, have destroyed the bullpen.

  87. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:44 PM

    non play by Mattheus allows a run.despite our record, We could be much better with better fielding. This is sickenng.

  88. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:45 PM

    And anyone who says the Braves are just a better team….On what basis? How many games will they play this year? 19?What was the record between the two teams last year?What have the Braves improved? Many analysts claim that the Braves' outfield is in fact, worse, than last year. Chipper Jones is gone. They seem to have roughly an equivalent pitching staff to last year.If the Braves are "just better", in the way that the Nats were just better last year, that equates to a 4 game difference over 162 games (neglecting all the Nats' injuries), which is all but imperceptible on any given day.

  89. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:46 PM

    wow zim makes a play . Why did he not throw that good last night.Lets see if Kimbrel pitches like himself or our bullpen.What do you guess?

  90. DJB - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    Let me get this straight. Poor defense, poor bullpen, inconsistent offense, and good starting rotation. This is what a .500 team looks like. Rizzo looking real bad right now. Reconsider that contract, Mr. Lerner.

  91. Joe Seamhead - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    I wonder why the switch at catcher?Nice play by that gawd awful Zimmerman!MNF, I thought the same thing on the bunt.If no IFF called he could have easily have turned 2, probably a triple play.

  92. NatsFanSinceStart - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    Ha Ha funniest and Best post of the DayGood Henry bails out Bad Henry" Good job, Manassas! very clever, very true

  93. Gonat - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    Kimbrel needs to pitch poorly like he did in the WBC

  94. peric - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:48 PM

    The good bull pen of 2011 and the first half of 2012 is now in shambles.I wouldn't go that far. The problem as I stated earlier and now Kilgore appears to validate is that they have too many one batter to one inning pitchers and not enough multiple inning bullpen types.Having four or five guys who are one and done wonders doesn't work especially when you can't really trust one or more in high leverage situations. They really only have two guys who can go more than 2 and that's Duke and Stammen.

  95. Gonat - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:48 PM

    Joe, hopefully it was just a double-switch.

  96. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:48 PM

    Why not platoon Zimmerman and Espinosa at 2nd until one of them starts hitting, and bring up Rendon if he is that good. It never pays to waste an amazing MLB talent in the minor leagues for very long.

  97. EmDash - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    Duke was solid, so he may be able to take on more of the load going forward.

  98. NatsFanSinceStart - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    Yes, the Braves are better — And they are shy McCann and Freeman — wait til they come back. I think the fans and the team itself bought its own press releases. Now, time to fix the several weakneses this team has — IF, management has the stones to face them.Hard decisions ahead

  99. natscan reduxit - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    … get a grip on this stuff right now, boys, or you'll spend the rest of the summer always trying to catch up.… nonetheless, you ARE the Nats, so Go!

  100. Gonat - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    Dan Kolko‏@masnKolko16mKurt Suzuki in to catch the 9th. Interesting. Saw Wilson Ramos walking off VERY slowly after hustling down the line on his groundout.

  101. peric - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:50 PM

    I wonder why the switch at catcher?Injury. Ramos was limping. Remember he is still coming back from a pretty serious knee reconstruction. This is going to happen.

  102. Joe Seamhead - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:50 PM

    I'm not as discouraged as many of you are. We are beating ourselves and that won't keep happening.

  103. Sj - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:51 PM

    Today…another dumb throwing error by RZim plus weak bats plus the same old story with the bullpen (why is Ryan Mathues wearing a Nats uni) dooms our Nats again. I know I know it's mid April.

  104. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:52 PM

    7-4 is hardly a terrible record in April.

  105. Gonat - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:52 PM

    That's how you close. You do it with dominance. 1-2-3

  106. NatsFanSinceStart - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:52 PM

    I just don't see it your way, Joe Seams.. I see the problems we have as deep rooted and not just anomalies. Zimmerman's arm, Bullpen, lack of power, faulty use of bull pen — and a couple other problems — they wont fix themselves.

  107. EmDash - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:53 PM

    True, three of our four losses are games where we've just beaten ourselves. Still early, but they seem to be playing really anxiously right now.

  108. Gonat - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    Adam Kilgore‏ @AdamKilgoreWPNats lose, 3-1. For the second straight day, it hinged on a Zimmerman error. Nats scored 4 runs in the first 2 innings Friday. One since.

  109. Scott Margenau - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    Peric et all:Rizzo said in an on air interview that T Moore is their first baseman of the future. For what that's worth.

  110. NatsFanSinceStart - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:57 PM

    Beating ourselves is an excuse now? I think Bad teams beat themselves. So, admitting we are beating ourselves is stating "We have a bad team."

  111. peric - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:57 PM

    Now, time to fix the several weakneses this team has — IF, management has the stones to face them.I hate the Tomahawk Chop … now at the end of games after Nats fans all have mostly bailed. Still not supporting the home team people!In any case? They have solutions: Tyler Moore. Tyler Moore. Tyler Moore.Tyler Moore is likely way better than Heyward but he doesn't bat left and there in lies the problem. Moore is likely the superior offensive player to LaRoche. But would Davey swap out a highly paid starting left-handed bat?As for Zim? Again he is absolutely their best hitter when healthy. The problems is getting him healthy. Its why he needs to go to first base NEXT SEASON at the latest in order to attempt to avoid yet another injury on a web gem at third. Hopefully, there will be less of an injury risk at first base and more focus on offense.The bullpen? Clippard probably should have been traded while his value was still high. Storen and Mattheus can capably handle that role. They then could have either added Erik Davis or that left-hander Davey covets. But they do need at least one more guy who can bridge the gap between starters and the back of the bullpen. They are missing that.

  112. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:58 PM

    And the Nats were shy Werth and Harper and Zimmerman last spring and won 98 games.Repeat after me, 12 games in baseball mean essentially ZERO. Again: 12 games in baseball mean essentially ZERO.And if the Braves are slightly better than the Nats over 162 games, guess what, that improves their odds of beating us in the post-season, assuming we make it to the NLDS, by essentially ZERO. That is the way the stats work out.People still analyze baseball in 2013 as though it were 1968 and the media are worse than anyone at this. It is all just to hype things so that we all watch tomorrow.Remember when the Yankees swept us last year? It mean ZERO. Remember when we lost a 9 run lead to the Braves? It meant ZERO. Remember when we lost to the Phillies those few after the All Star break? ZERO.

  113. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:58 PM

    thanks Zim. Tell me is better than Harper.

  114. peric - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:59 PM

    Nats 7 and 4. Braves 10 and 1. Even though its early that is indeed a statement. The gauntlet has been thrown down by the Braves FO. Its up to Rizzo to respond.

  115. NatsFanSinceStart - Apr 13, 2013 at 8:01 PM

    Rizzo said Moore is the 1b of the future? ?? So why did Davey start Chad Tracy the two games Laroche was out? Made no sense to me then and after hearing what Rizzo said about Moore, makes less sense to me today. Is Rizzo full of crap? Is Davey doing what he's famous for — bucking management?

  116. peric - Apr 13, 2013 at 8:02 PM

    Repeat after me, 12 games in baseball mean essentially ZERO. Again: 12 games in baseball mean essentially ZERO.Normally you would be correct. But here we are with the team picked to win the world series and the Braves come to town and outhit, out field, out play, out pitch and out manage the Nats. Their record is now 10-1. They've handed the Nats their first 2 losses in a row at home to make them 7-4.Its early but that is what is called making a statement, throwing the gauntlet down. If you don't believe that then you've never played baseball.

  117. peric - Apr 13, 2013 at 8:03 PM

    Unbelievable as it may sound … tomorrow is already a KEY GAME because perception is everything … and how the Nats perceive themselves and the competition they face may have been adversely affected.

  118. NatsFanSinceStart - Apr 13, 2013 at 8:03 PM

    Yes, Manassas — let me echo that. Thank you, zim. Two games in a row you've cost — time to seek help for your problems and sit until there fixed — If you care about your team,

  119. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 13, 2013 at 8:04 PM

    Zimmerman is the best player in baseball except for Pujols, yes. We could trade him for just amazing value. We could get Verlander and Trout in a 3-way deal because Ryan is a devastating hitter. We must do anything possible to preserve Ryan Zimmerman because of his devastating hitting. Barry Bonds watch out. Steroids or no, 73 homers is in danger if we can just get Zimmerman healthy.Talk about the hidden game of baseball. If only there were some other team in baseball that we could convince of this, just think of the trade value. With a devastating hitter like that there is no reason he has to stay here. Players are resources just like stocks and bonds and real estate. Lets trade Ryan and get a whole slew of amazing guys. I love Ryan but if he has that kind of devastating value, it would not be prudent not to explore trading him.

  120. peric - Apr 13, 2013 at 8:06 PM

    Rizzo said Moore is the 1b of the future?He never said that because Ryan Zimmerman is the first baseman of the future. This is why Moore played both left and right fields almost exclusively in spring training. Moore is the left-fielder of the future. In two years Werth moves to 4th outfielder and Harper to right. Moore to left. And hopefully, Goodwin to center.

  121. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 13, 2013 at 8:06 PM

    I don't believe there are any "stats" guys anywhere who believe that there has ever been a must win in April, ever, under any circumstances.

  122. NatsFanSinceStart - Apr 13, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    Have to agree with Peric here. 12 games in at this point is meaningful — why? The Braves are exposing virtually all of the Nat's weaknesses — for all to see. As Peric Said: time for Rizzo to react. and as I said, time to fix them IF management has the stones. Regrettably, I believe management sowed the seeds of their weaknesses over the winter: dumping MOrse for a couple minor league pitchers, allowing 3 lefties to walk, resigning a peakedout Laroche, having no room for Rendon, not solving or facing Zims problems, sticking with Espi in spite of a torn muscle, sticking with Henry with Young in the minors, and so on and so forth

  123. Secret wasian man - Apr 13, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    Ryan Zimmerman is a mediocre ball player. I'm not an os fan but I would take almost any of,those guys over him.

  124. peric - Apr 13, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    Shut up William O. Douglas Loeffler your name sounds like that of a lawyer and like one you don't know what you are talking about …Written by Dave Cameron of Fangraph's a couple of years ago before Zim's spate of injuries.A few weeks ago, I was asked the popular barstool argument question: if you could start a franchise with just one player – with contracts and dollars being irrelevant – who would it be? I’d guess that a lot of us have had that conversation more than once. It’s a fun topic to talk about.There are a few names that naturally get mentioned early on. Joe Mauer, Evan Longoria, and Hanley Ramirez are popular choices because they’re established stars and still in the earlier stages of their careers. Albert Pujols and Chase Utley get nominated for their sheer greatness, even though they’re already past their primes. Miguel Cabrera draws a mention from people who want to build around a premier young hitter. And then you’ll have the guy who likes pitching and brings up Tim Lincecum, Josh Johnson, Jon Lester, or Felix Hernandez.There’s one guy that never gets brought up, though, who might just be the best answer of them all: Ryan Zimmerman. He shares the spotlight with Adam Dunn and Stephen Strasburg in Washington, but given how good he has become at such a young age, his star should shine the brightest.Last year, Zimmerman had his breakout season, putting up a +6.6 win season that ranked as the ninth best in baseball. This year, he’s followed it up with a +6.0 win season so far, ranking second. Since the beginning of the 2009 season, only Albert Pujols has posted a better WAR than Zimmerman. He has become a complete all-around player, adding patience and power to an already impressive skillset.Because he came up at an early age and was just a good hitter rather than a great one out of the gates, his reputation has seemingly not yet caught up with his abilities. However, let’s just throw this out there:Rest-of-season ZiPS projections:Zimmerman: .289/.366/.526, .388 wOBALongoria: .276/.360/.519, .385 wOBARamirez: .307/.384/.509, .393 wOBAThose are basically an estimate of true talent level, and it sees no discernible differences between the three as hitters. While the other two have significantly better career slash lines, Zimmerman’s performance over his last 1,100 plate appearances has been better than either of the other two.Defensively, he and Longoria couldn’t be more similar, as they are the two premier young defensive third baseman in the game. Which one you like more is basically a matter of preference – they’re both outstanding. Ramirez does not rate out nearly as well, but of course he’s playing a more difficult position and being compared to better defenders overall. I would still place him a bit behind both of the third baseman in defensive value, but the gap isn’t as large as simply comparing their UZRs would suggest.Longoria turns 25 in October, while Zimmerman turns 26 a couple of weeks prior to that. Ramirez turns 27 in December. Ramirez has a bit better offensive track record but is the oldest and worst defender of the trio. Longoria is the youngest, but his best season at the plate is not as good as the best season of either of the other two.It is splitting hairs to pick between them, but gun to my head, I think I’d take Washington’s third baseman. Right now, he’s the perfect blend, combining Ramirez’s offense with Longoria’s defense into one unbelievably good package.If his teammates were more talented, he’d be have a strong case for the NL MVP right now. Zimmerman has truly become of the game’s great young players, and the guy I’d point to if I could only take one player to begin a franchise.

  125. NatsFanSinceStart - Apr 13, 2013 at 8:12 PM

    Was thinking the same thing — with envy. The O's have a phenom at 3b,Michado and we have Zimmerman — who simply can't throw any longer.

  126. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 13, 2013 at 8:16 PM

    I will go with the eye test and the GM test. Harper is the best player on the team regardless your stats say.Ask the other 29 player which woyld take if the Nats would let them have one free. I bet all 29 would take Harper. That is because GMs take eye est.

  127. NatsFanSinceStart - Apr 13, 2013 at 8:23 PM

    Building a franchise? Harper, McCutcheon, Trout, Ryan Zimmerman

  128. Scott Margenau - Apr 13, 2013 at 9:30 PM

    Peric:Hey did say it. I saw it live. It was last year after call up. I have no idea why he said it. Maybe to build confidence. But 100% he said it. Somewhere it's on tape. Ill bet u season tickets he said it. And this is my real name so I'm not hiding behind some "handle"

  129. Scott Margenau - Apr 13, 2013 at 9:36 PM

    Who cares who's better? We need both. We need to get zim healthy AND determine where he should play.

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