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State of the Nats-4/15

Apr 15, 2013, 12:00 PM EDT

Photo by USA Today
Team Record: 7-5 (3-3)

N.L. East Standings


Offensive Game of the Week:
 
Adam LaRoche 4/9 vs. White Sox – 2-for-4 with 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R

Pitching Line of the Week: Ross Detwiler 4/12 vs. Braves – 7.0 IP, ER, 5 SO, 4 H, 2 BB, HR, 90 pitches (58 strikes)

Top Storylines

Wilson Ramos pulls hamstring – In the second game of their series with the Braves, the Nationals suffered their first injury to a major contributor this season. Ramos pulled his left hamstring running out a groundball for the third out of the eighth inning. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list as the Nationals brought up Jhonatan Solano from Triple-A Syracuse. The team is lucky to have Kurt Suzuki in store ready to start in his absence.

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103 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. NatsJim - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    I like how that pitching sets up; 6-0 this week, Go Nats!!

  2. Gonat - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. baseballswami - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    Just hit re- set. One pitch at a time, one swing at a time. These guys are too talented and motivated not to play better. And the fans need to calm the heck down.

  4. Gonat - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    Harvey pitched Saturday for the Mets and they had a rainout on Sunday. His next start was scheduled for Thursday before the rainout. If they skip a starter, Harvey will pitch Thursday, and if they don't he will pitch Friday vs. Strasburg.

  5. Steady Eddie - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    Gonat — I think the regular rotation would have Harvey face Stras on Friday (he pitched Saturday as did Stras).

  6. Joe Seamhead - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    My matra: Relax. We got this.GYFNG

  7. Steady Eddie - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    Gonat — I'd forgotten yesterday's Mets rainout. But that effectively puts them (without a scheduled off day this week) on the same rotation as the Nats, meaning Harvey is likely to go on Friday (I also assume they'd want to send up their best against us).

  8. Gonat - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    Ryan Zimmerman's throwing errors – Zimmerman committed another throwing error in Sunday's loss to the Braves, his third consecutive game with one. The first two also happened to occur during big game situations. The Nats defense now has 12 errors through their first 12 games. What is considered to be one of baseball's best defenses on paper, all of a sudden has questions in the field.__________________________________Zimmerman was interviewed Saturday post-game on FOX and he was asked about his recent throwing costly throwing errors and Ryan said he would have more errors.I expected a different answer like "errors happen. They are part of the game" or maybe that he was making adjustments. Something that gives us real hope for the future.Clearly Zim is frustrated. The local media doesn't want to ask it but the national media don't really care and asked him.

  9. NatsLady - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    The Mets are going to Colorado where they could have snow postponements again. Hard to predict their pitchers.

  10. Navy Nats Fan - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    Definitely evil bobblehead Gio on Sunday as his head snapped watching all the rockets off the Barves bats. Get em next time Gio!

  11. Laddie Blah Blah - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    "(T)he fans need to calm the heck down."True, but not likely, at least until the next win. When you look at the Braves series, two guys really stand out, Johnson and Gattis.Johnson is a 28-year-old journeyman with a career .276 going into this season. For anyone who would care to make the bet, I will put my life savings on the line that he does not end up hitting .405 (his current BA) by the end of this year.Gattis is an unknown quantity. No one has a book on him, as yet. The league will cut him down to size, as well, over the course of the year.Chances are very strong that we just caught both guys at the peak of their seasons. Both ALR and Zim, on the other hand, have yet to get untracked. Zim will not end up the year hitting .230, nor will ALR be a .160 hitter by year end.Anyone who thinks Paul Maholm has been remade into Sandy Koufax, and that Johnson and Gattis are Albert Pujols in his prime, should have his head examined. Justin Upton is hitting .340. He's good, but not that good.The Braves have only one guy who could even make the Nats rotation, and he's 37 years old and could wear down over the course of the year.The Braves had better overall pitching, especially from the pen, and played better defense, even with Uggla at 2nd, Johnson and Gattis sharing 1st base, and Justin Upton in LF. The Nats pen will shape up, and over the course of a full season, they will prove to have the better defense.Strasburg was right. The Nats are the better team. By the end of this year, they will prove it.

  12. Laddie Blah Blah - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:46 PM

    "(T)he fans need to calm the heck down."True, but not likely, at least until the next win. When you look at the Braves series, two guys really stand out, Johnson and Gattis.Johnson is a 28-year-old journeyman with a career .276 going into this season. For anyone who would care to make the bet, I will put my life savings on the line that he does not end up hitting .405 (his current BA) by the end of this year.Gattis is an unknown quantity. No one has a book on him, as yet. The league will cut him down to size, as well, over the course of the year.Chances are very strong that we just caught both guys at the peak of their seasons. Both ALR and Zim, on the other hand, have yet to get untracked. Zim will not end up the year hitting .230, nor will ALR be a .160 hitter by year end.Anyone who thinks Paul Maholm has been remade into Sandy Koufax, and that Johnson and Gattis are Albert Pujols in his prime, should have his head examined. Justin Upton is hitting .340. He's good, but not that good.The Braves have only one guy who could even make the Nats rotation, and he's 37 years old and could wear down over the course of the year.The Braves had better overall pitching, especially from the pen, and played better defense, even with Uggla at 2nd, Johnson and Gattis sharing 1st base, and Justin Upton in LF. The Nats pen will shape up, and over the course of a full season, they will prove to have the better defense.Strasburg was right. The Nats are the better team. By the end of this year, they will prove it.

  13. Gonat - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    NatsLady, great point on Colorado but a doubleheader would be real nice to screw things up for the Mets!

  14. RaleighNat - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    I like the calming sentiments. The Braves are good but so are the Nats. We'll just have to see how it plays out. Zimm will settle down, the rotation will get into its groove. The bullpen concerns me a bit as they've always been a bit cardiac prone (too many baserunners.)I'm reserving judgment and will give the guys time. That said, it was terribly frustrating series. Time to turn the page.

  15. A DC Wonk - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    Just hit re- set. One pitch at a time, one swing at a time. These guys are too talented and motivated not to play better. And the fans need to calm the heck down. Time to dust off the old mantra again:A team is never as good as they look during a winning streak, and they're never as bad as they seem during a losing streak.

  16. A DC Wonk - Apr 15, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    Poor Cubbie fans — after enduring a 100+ loss season last year:Yesterday, Cubs threw five wild pitches in _one_ inning — a new MLB record. (Two by EJax, then three more by reliever Michael Bowden). Cubs' reliever Shawn Camp later balked in the go-ahead run in the 10th.

  17. baseballswami - Apr 15, 2013 at 1:01 PM

    More reasonable thoughts– the Angels have Trout, Pujols and Hamilton and just now win their first series. Anyone think that situation will stay the same? It's helpful to me to look at MLB as a whole and see that this weirdness at the beginning of the season is not peculiar to the Nats. First two weeks are not a true indicator. Do I want things to look a little better? Sure. But things are not as bad as they feel. Can 't wait to watch JZim pitch. Love his pitching and his demeanor on the mound.

  18. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 15, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    Great point, Swami. It's all baseball to me and while my love of the Nats is paramount, my passion is baseball.Keep the games coming and the cream will rise tothe top. Plus I'll be in DC for the next home stand. WHOOPEE :-)

  19. Faraz Shaikh - Apr 15, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    'What is considered to be one of baseball's best defenses on paper' I don't think that was ever the case. I consider our defense to be better than they have shown past few games but I wouldn't say the best defense on paper.anyways, rough weekend. time to move on.

  20. Eric - Apr 15, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    "Can 't wait to watch JZim pitch. Love his pitching and his demeanor on the mound."He has my favorite attitude on the mound so far this year…Detwiler is close behind. I love Gio and Stras, but to me they aren't hitting a rhythm. I don't know if they're over thinking, the league has them figured out, or what, but they just don't seem to be hitting a groove. Don't know what to think about Haren yet, but there were times in his last start where I could see what he has to offer.

  21. natsfan1a - Apr 15, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    What Swami said. And Raleigh Nat. And Wonk. It's a marathon, not a sprint. Deep breaths, and the mantra "Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaats." Ahhh, that's better…

  22. baseballswami - Apr 15, 2013 at 1:45 PM

    Honoring Jackie 42 today. Please take a moment to think about what this man did for all of us.

  23. A DC Wonk - Apr 15, 2013 at 1:54 PM

    'What is considered to be one of baseball's best defenses on paper' I don't think that was ever the case. I consider our defense to be better than they have shown past few games but I wouldn't say the best defense on paper.I beg to differ.RZim is a former Gold Glove (and if he ever straightened out his throws could do so again); LaRoche won a Gold Glove last year, and Ian Desmond was one of three finalists for GG last year. As for Espi, most say that he's just as good as Ian.So, yes, at least for infield, I think the Nats have the potential to have the best defense in the league.

  24. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 15, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    Went to the movie Friday morning at 10:30 AM for the first showing that day and I loved the movie.Makes one proud to be a baseball fan and realize how the game is woven into the fabric that makes our country great.

  25. SCNatsFan - Apr 15, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    I'm proud of myself staying off this board this weekend while I was pulling my hair out, realizing we can't win them all, can't look great every day, every series.Thankfully I had the greatest golf tournament in the world to distract me.

  26. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 15, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    Meanwhile, I'm not sure if this is from the See, It's Not Just Us file, or the OMG They're Like The Cubs file. But a couple of ex-Nats figure in it, so…from Cubs beat writer Bruce MilesGo to a baseball game, and you'll see something new every day, such as 5 wild pitches in one inning. Heck, Carlos Marmol was the most effective pitcher. Amazingly, the Cubs were not charged with any errors, but a forceout saved one on a dropped flyball in right. Are the Cubs hurting your eyes yet?Also in line for mea culpas was starting pitcher Jackson, who is without a quality start in his 3 outings and now has a 6.06 ERA."To have the lead like that and give it up because of walks and then battle back and take the lead and to have two outs and two strikes to put the game away and end up losing the game, that's as tough as any of them so far," said manager Dale Sveum, whose Cubs fell to 4-8.[Yeah, Dale. Tell us about that.]The Cubs have been plagued by poor or inattentive defense for most of the early going. "We had the lead. We swung the bats good early. We had some big hits. (Infielder Alberto) Gonzalez came up big a couple times.

  27. EmDash - Apr 15, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    Perspective on the Braves' start: the other 4 teams to start 11-1 after 2000 were the '02 Indians (finished 74-88), '03 Royals (83-79), '03 Giants (100-61, with a first round exit in the playoffs, and the had Barry Bonds), '09 Marlins (finished 87-75).

  28. Faraz Shaikh - Apr 15, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    Wonk, I love our infield but lately my confidence in both Desmond and Zimmerman as far as their throwing is concerned is lessening. They can both get to balls that not many SS and 3B get to but I honestly think that without ALR, Desmond would have committed couple more throwing errors. His throws always seem to arrive low, don't they?

  29. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 15, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    FS, that's true, but just pointing out, might that be, at least in part, because Desmond knows who is on first?(You see what I did there? I kill me sometimes.)

  30. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 15, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    EmDash, that's a good point, but 10 games over .500 is still a great asset. They could go .500 the entire rest of the season, and win 86 games, which might be good enough for a wild card. I'm guessing they'll do better than that.

  31. JD - Apr 15, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    Laddie, Yours is a very good analysis. I was thinking the same thing watching the series. Johnson, Gattis and Maholm are all playing out of their minds right now and you know that's not lasting. On the other hand Justin Upton looks like he's back on track and that's a scary thought because he has MVP type skills. The Braves are a very good team and so are the Nats and when the summer rolls around these 2 teams will distance themselves from the rest of the division. On the bright side Anthony Rendon is starting to really come around in Harrisburg with an OBP of .471 through 11 games.

  32. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 15, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    Looks like everyone is alive and healthy here. Reading about all the hand grenades lobbed at each other over the weekend….I was reading, just not responding. My favorite post was "Steve J., Alexandria" who claimed he was me and was the one in 2011 pre-season that exposed that Ryan didn't have a groin injury that it was really his abdominals to which he later had surgery on.He didn't have much credibility before, but now he has less than zero. Claimed the J key is above the M key so he posted as Steve M. Sad person. He'll be back as a new person soon enough spreading his hate. It's a shame Mark can't ban clowns like him.Now back to real baseball.

  33. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 15, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    Sec3, EJax just couldn't throw the ball in the 5th inning. His stats aren't great but he's a mess out there.

  34. Section 222 - Apr 15, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    Don't look now, but the Nats are in 3rd place in the NL East. Last year, they were never worse than 2nd in the division. We may be the best team in baseball, but we still have to play and win the games. Thank goodness the Fish are next. This weekend's disaster needs to be put quickly in the rear view mirror.

  35. JD - Apr 15, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    Espi's injury may be a blessing in disguise. Lombo needs at bats badly as do Bernadina and Moore. The only way they will perform coming off the bench is if they get some regular playing time here and there.

  36. Don - Apr 15, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    The left side infield D is suspect. Ian was never sterling with the glove until last year and last year he was decent not great. I had hoped his strong 2012 was a big step on the path to him getting his glove game together in a big way, but so far in the small sample we have in that is not the case. He's just not a high caliber SS in the field right now and he is going to have to hit a ton to make up for not making the plays that need to be made. There is a reason that SS is a glove first position. Ian needs to step-up — championship clubs need a SS who makes the plays. And Zim's problems have to be seriously evaluated. The guy is not right. Maybe it is mental, maybe it is physical, or some combo, who knows. But his statements and the club's that all is well, the shoulder is fine, his throws are stronger than last year, are the stuff of the emporer's new clothes — my 6 year-old tells me that he does not throw right, his throws look awful. He can barely reach 1B without a running start. He does not throw hard EVER, anymore. They need to fix this guy, and if he cannot be fixed, then they need to find a place for him to play (2B maybe? — paging Jeff Kent! — OF is jammed, 1B too), because they are not winning without his monster bat.

  37. Faraz Shaikh - Apr 15, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    Justin Upton stats: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=uptonju01&year=2013&t=b#bases::nonewhen a guy has 7 HR and 11 RBI, you know something is up. then again heyward who is hitting in front of JUp has had a terrible start to the season. once he gets going, it is possible JUp will produce better with more opportunities to drive in runs.anyways, we don't need to worry about braves, etc just yet. do our thing right and we will be good at the end.

  38. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 15, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    Ghost, they had to replace Soriano's contract with somebody's after next year, sooner if they trade him. Theo might as well get started stocking the payroll now.

  39. JD - Apr 15, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    Sec222, I have to tell you that I don't find it necessary to look at this year's team through last year's prism. It's a new season, a fairly new lineup and a vastly different opposition landscape. I still think we have the goods to be a playoff team but this past weekend's kick to our rear ends should remind everyone that you still have to play the games.

  40. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 15, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    Laddie, I was a little miffed that the Nats didn't have good advanced scouting on Gattis and a lesser extent Johnson.Gattis is Ruf, if you remember Ruf from September 2012. Sure, sometimes there are 27 year olds that turn into stars. We've seen it before although I don't see Gattis as a future star.So, the advanced scouting was disappointing or the Nats execution using the scouting was disappointing. Should've been working him outside or way inside instead of jamming him inside is what I saw and each time made them pay.Not sure I agree on Maholm. He discovered himself at the age of 29 and became a viable #3 pitcher who needed to further work on movement and not over-throw. Too many lefties want to be power pitchers and they get lit up. Maholm was excellent yesterday. He will have some bad outings but right now he has confidence and has had 3 great starts and looking like an Ace. History says he will end up a 3.50 to 3.70 ERA when all is said and done.

  41. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 15, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  42. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 15, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    Whoops, missed a phrase there.Don, Desmond looks to me like he's lost his rhythm in the field, which I believe he will find again, but I am beginning to wonder if Zim's shoulder really got fixed. It will ever again be like it was when he was younger and healthier.In other words,Stay calm, and don't get old.

  43. JD - Apr 15, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    Ghost, Not saying Maholm won't do well but he has a 0.00 ERA after 3 games. He won't do THAT well. Hudson also pitched a great game on Saturday but I think the Nats approached him wrongly as well. Like with Cliff Lee you can't work the counts with Hudson because he will get ahead of you and then you are toast. Hudson's entire game depends on pitching ahead in the count and I think you have to approach pitchers like that aggressively.

  44. Faraz Shaikh - Apr 15, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    Has anyone seen minor league games? Nate Karns in particular?

  45. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 15, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    *will never againsheesh, don't you people have editors?

  46. peric - Apr 15, 2013 at 3:03 PM

    Zim's problems were even more serious last season before the cortisone shot when he was playing much further in at third base. He needs to move to first base eventually but he's going to be good enough at third for now. Could be worse you could have Mark Reynolds over there as Arizona used to do. The Nats have in-house solutions to these problems.I'm more worried about how the shoulder affects Zim's offense. Having him as a hole in the batting order for an extended period of time again doesn't seem like it will work this year. Not with Morse gone and Span replacing him. Danny's rotation cuff plus the wrist concern me. It does seem to be affecting his offense when he bats left-handed just as it was last season.We still need 40 games to get a reasonable early gauge of the state of the Nationals. But right now it seems clear that this will be a much weaker team offensively given the starting lineup. I expect the defense and pitching will get better as they progress through the season. But I suspect the offense will have lots of fits and starts and games where scoring runs is going to be difficult.

  47. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 15, 2013 at 3:03 PM

    Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said… Ghost, they had to replace Soriano's contract with somebody's after next year, sooner if they trade him. Theo might as well get started stocking the payroll now. April 15, 2013 10:54 AM I sure wasn't sad to see EJax go and to see him in regression and looking vintage Ankiel, yeesh. His advanced billing of what he was supposed to be according to Rizzo last year to what he was in October was a real disappointment. If only…….

  48. Tcostant - Apr 15, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    Just a heads up. $1 and $2 tickets are at Nationals.com/specials for Monday and Tuesday next week's games.Buy them before they go.

  49. A DC Wonk - Apr 15, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    Sec 3, I think your comment of 10:18 compared with my comment at 9:00 . . . you might owe me half a drink!!Folks, what do you think?

  50. nats guy - Apr 15, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    I hate to break up the kumbaya this morning but nobody is mentioning the "state of the bullpen". The defense is fixable. Lombardozzi is an excellent replacement for Espinosa. Zimmerman will come around, he always does. The bullpen on the other hand:1. Hrod – Couldn't hit a bull in the butt with a banjo.2. Storen – Love the guy. However, his velocity has never been back since his elbow surgery. He is nibbling on the corners and when the umpires don't give him the "black" of the plate he is dead.3. Clippard – Isn't consistent with control of his fastball and has fallen in love with the chageup. People are waiting on it. Wammoh kabammoh. 4. Soriano – Where's the velocity? Batting practice fastballs so far.5. Duke – If he weren't lefthanded he would be at Syracuse.6. Stammen – Solid, but a long man not a closer.7. Matheus – 50 – 50 but has given up a lot of runs.This is a mess of a bullpen and unless fixed Nats will need 5 run leads consistently to survive late innings. If I were one of the starters and not getting victories because of these guys I would be pissed.

  51. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 15, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    TCos, thanks for the heads-up.Monday seems to be sold out, but I got 2 for Tuesday.If you're there, IOU a beer.

  52. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 15, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    Wonk, that was what prompted me to go look up Miles' story. I should have acknowledged you. I'll stipulate to this one.

  53. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 15, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    Wonk, awww, too bad you aren't listed. Goes into the kitty. Sorry.; )

  54. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 15, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    JD said… Ghost,Not saying Maholm won't do well but he has a 0.00 ERA after 3 games. He won't do THAT well. Hudson also pitched a great game on Saturday but I think the Nats approached him wrongly as well. Like with Cliff Lee you can't work the counts with Hudson because he will get ahead of you and then you are toast. Hudson's entire game depends on pitching ahead in the count and I think you have to approach pitchers like that aggressively. April 15, 2013 11:01 AM The only way Maholm finishes the season with a 0.00 ERA is if he has a tragic injury and his season ends so of course he isn't going to be a 0.00 ERA this season but he is another pitcher who finally learned how to pitch and it started 3 years ago in his transformation. Once he has a few 5 run innings his ERA will steady out as he will have bad outings.On Hudson, the time to get him is early in the game and the Nats were so darn unlucky in that 1st inning against Hudson. Span doubles and Werth smokes a liner right to BJ Upton and Span lost his brain and was running home instead of being a baserunner using his brain so the Nats quickly ran themselves out of a possible big inning with that doubleplay and also the bad luck BABIP many times over bit the Nats. On top of that, the Nats with Zim and LaRoche were a virtual dead space in the middle of the lineup the entire series. Zim topped just about every ball he made contact with and LaRoche's buddy Hudson made him look silly on a couple of ABs.How can Zim get plate coverage when the only balls he has been hitting well lately are mistake pitches but he doesn't capitalize on all of them as if it's BP. He is so far off the plate I'd swear yesterday he was about 4 inches from the chalk of the right-handers batters box. In his 1st AB, Maholm throws a changeup that stayed up inside half and Zim watches it for a strike. Next pitch he tops a 2 seamer at the bottom edge of the strike zone. Zim's final 2 ABs Sunday he did the same thing in weak groundouts. His current stats are .220/.313/.317/.630

  55. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 15, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    nats guy, don't get so caught up on Velo with the bullpen guys. Did you learn anything from Hudson and Maholm? Its about stuff and hitting spots. Movement and deception has been Hudson's bread and butter.Now on Henry Rodriguez, you are correct. He can't hit spots. His 1st Spring Training here in 2011, I was questioning how they could put him on the team as he wasn't ready and had no options and here he is now in his 3rd season.It's this perpetuation of how Henry has been given so many chances to prove he belongs. His inconsistencies are well written about and people point to a bunch of great outings but that's what's expected. You can't make the exception the rule and Rizzo has allowed this to continue as part of this poor trade that was made for Willingham.Stop the insanity!

  56. Unknown - Apr 15, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    Dave Jaegler pointed out on the radio on Sunday exactly what I have been saying since mid-season 2012. The problem with the burned out bullpen is caused by the starting pitchers' inability to pitch deep into ball games. Most nights, the starter only goes five or six innings. They throw far too many pitches to get hitters out. That's why we have a blownup bullpen; this started last year and culminated in the last game of the playoff against the Cardinals. Now, it is getting worse.

  57. 3on2out - Apr 15, 2013 at 3:36 PM

    Henry's chances? I am reminded of Earl Weaver's famouse quote: "I gave Mike Cuellar more chances than I gave my first wife."

  58. Section 222 - Apr 15, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    Hilarious story over at NJ about Span not understanding why he was taken out of the game in a double switch. He wondered why he was being benched, and was still baffled after the double switch concept was explained to him: "If I ever manage, it's going to be in the American League."

  59. SonnyG10 - Apr 15, 2013 at 3:42 PM

    Hi everyone, I'm just lurking right now.GYFNG!

  60. Tcostant - Apr 15, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    Sec 3; glad I could help :)The rest of you get Tueday for $2 before they sell out.

  61. natscan reduxit - Apr 15, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    … I realise this comes from a story in the 'other' source but it still reveals one of the saddest things about baseball I've ever read. Denard Span was confused about, didn't understand, Davey's double switch yesterday. A guy has made it all the way to playing in the bigs, and still doesn't know the game. All I can say is "Thank you, Mr. D-H."Go Nats!!

  62. bob chambers - Apr 15, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    I know this statement is fluff, but I do beleive it. We traded away the heart and sould of this team to Seattle.

  63. NatsLady - Apr 15, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    Even if he didn't understand the double-switch, I love Span's attitude–did I not hustle??? The man wants to be in there, and be at his best.

  64. Bob Saget Nats Fan 101 - Apr 15, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    From Nationals Arms Race: "Braves sweep shows some areas of concern" http://www.nationalsarmrace.com/?p=6480From D.C. Baseball History: "Three reasons not to hit the panic button" http://dcbaseballhistory.com/2013/04/theee-reasons-not-to-hit-the-panic-button/Nice read for both sides of the arguement

  65. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 15, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    Section 222 said… Hilarious story over at NJ about Span not understanding why he was taken out of the game in a double switch. He wondered why he was being benched, and was still baffled after the double switch concept was explained to him: "If I ever manage, it's going to be in the American League." April 15, 2013 11:37 AM Sure NatsLady it's cute but seriously, he's been in Major League baseball for how long?Funny but kind of sad if he truly was baffled as again his brain isn't shifting into gear. His baserunning reminded me of a Lastings Milledge screwup and that's not a good thing. He has already been caught up in some "stuff" he got himself into after the trade like the Sandy Hook conspiracies that he Tweeted about.I really like him as you can tell he is a good person but this kid has to learn from his mistakes and think before talking. Bryce last year as a 19 year old would never be baffled by that move. Maybe not a great comparison because Bryce is smarter than I am but come on, a double-switch?

  66. natscan reduxit - Apr 15, 2013 at 4:11 PM

    … absolutely true, NatsLady. Denard is a great addition to the team, and that has been proven. But it worries me about what it reveals about the state of the game in general, that he is so ill-informed.

  67. peric - Apr 15, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    I hate to break up the kumbaya this morning but nobody is mentioning the "state of the bullpen".The bullpen in Syracuse appears to be going gangbusters. They are for the most part getting guys out. Abad appears to be the best of the bunch and he is left-handed. Its only a matter of time.Davey's not going to cut bait and panic like Riggleman might have … he's going to wait and see if they improve.

  68. peric - Apr 15, 2013 at 4:18 PM

    taken out of the game in a double switch. He wondered why he was being benched, and was still baffled after the double switch concept was explained to himReal simple, you don't produce runs. You're a table setter just like Lombo and Lombo might be better. They needed to produce runs with men on base.

  69. peric - Apr 15, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    At some point Span is going to sit more and more as runs become fleeting. Shut outs aren't going to win him more at bats.

  70. NatsLady - Apr 15, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    Ghost, weren't you here last year when the Yankee outfield couldn't figure out the double-switch?? That video was a comedy routine. Doesn't bother me in the least. I file it in the Sherlock Holmes category. Why bother giving it room in his head? Understanding the double-switch doesn't affect either his hitting or his fielding approach. I'm fine with that.

  71. Faraz Shaikh - Apr 15, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    peric, you think a guy who is hitting .300, getting on base at .400+, and plays great CF right now is going to get less at bats? Nats are fifth in ISO already this season. they are also 12th in XBH.

  72. EmDash - Apr 15, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    Whatever you think of Span in the long term, he wasn't benched in that game because he doesn't produce runs. He was taken out because it was a blow-out game, so they might as well let the bench guys get some playing time.

  73. natsfan1a - Apr 15, 2013 at 4:37 PM

    What?Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said… FS, that's true, but just pointing out, might that be, at least in part, because Desmond knows who is on first? (You see what I did there? I kill me sometimes.) April 15, 2013 10:29 AM

  74. Laddie Blah Blah - Apr 15, 2013 at 4:47 PM

    "Makes one proud to be a baseball fan and realize how the game is woven into the fabric that makes our country great."Baseball is not just a game, it is American history. Not only Jackie, but guys like Ted Williams (served his country in 2 major wars, during what would have been the prime of his career), and Roberto Clemente, who gave his life, literally, helping people badly in need of it.For every knucklehead, you can find a dozen like those guys.

  75. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 15, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    NatsLady, the Yankees know what a double switch is but Girardi had a problem executing it properly and that's the difference. It's a baseball term and he's not a Rookie.Funny but a head scratcher.

  76. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 15, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    peric said… At some point Span is going to sit more and more as runs become fleeting. Shut outs aren't going to win him more at bats. April 15, 2013 12:19 PM Faraz, you beat me to it. This is what I don't get about Peric to a point that I have to wonder if you understand Denard Span's role on this team.His job at leadoff is to get on base, stay on base and then score the runs.Other than his baserunning blunder on Saturday, he has done a terrific job and he has also collected some RBIs.In fact he is #2 on the Nats only behind Bryce Harper in RC/9 which is Runs Created per 9 innings.So far so good and Denard isn't the problem here. The problems that exist are team defense, bullpen, and the lack of hitting from Zim, ALR, and Espi.Batters, 1,2,3, and 8 have done their jobs both offensively and defensively!

  77. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 15, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    By the way, Girardi managed the Fish so he understands what a double-switch is.

  78. 3on2out - Apr 15, 2013 at 4:56 PM

    Who's on first, natsfan1a.What's on second…and so forth

  79. Alphabet Soup Erik - Apr 15, 2013 at 4:56 PM

    "Natitudinal Adjustment" is needed. They got punched in the face several times this weekend and didn't fight back, or even get up off of the mat. That is what worries me the most. That didn't happen last year.

  80. sjm308 - Apr 15, 2013 at 5:02 PM

    As much as I need to stay away during game posts, what I read here actually helped. Not upset or disappointed but just thought we might start even better than we did last year. You guys are correct, its a long season and things will settle down.My favorite pitcher so far this year is Detwiler. I like everything about him including his windup which is different. I think by the end of the year we will have four solid pieces heading into the playoffs.Go Nats!!

  81. Laddie Blah Blah - Apr 15, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    "Laddie, I was a little miffed that the Nats didn't have good advanced scouting on Gattis and a lesser extent Johnson."Johnson is just hot. When a hitter sees the ball as he is seeing it right now, fuggedaboutit. That HR he hit against Detwiler looked like a 2-seamer breaking down and in. He must have been sitting on it. Hardly any rightie ever makes good contact on that pitch, but he caught it and golfed it over the CF fence like John Daley uncorking his driver. I don't know where the scouts could have gotten a good read on Gattis so soon in the season. He hit a high FB from Stras over the LF bull pen, and then smacked a low FB out of the park, later on (I forget who was pitching). He is going to be seeing a lot of junk breaking balls for awhile, changes of speed, a lot of movement – they will work him until they find his weakness.Maholm could replace Haren, but no one else in the Nats rotation. He has an ERA this year of 0.00, but his lifetime (9 years) ERA is 4.20, and last year, his best since his rookie year, he posted an ERA of 3.54. He is pitching way over his head, no matter how you cut it. He will regress to his historical mean.I will take a matchup between Maholm and Gio 10 times out of 10. Gio had a bit of a slow start last year, too. The key Nats in the heart of the order, Zim and ALR, are just not hitting. Unless there really is something seriously wrong with Zim's shoulder, that will change. I don't know why Zim is standing so far off the plate. Maybe the shoulder is still making it difficult for him to get around on the inside pitches. Naturally, they are pitching him outside, and the only hits he seems to be getting are to RF. Something going on there, for sure.ALR is usually a slow starter. But at 4 and 5 in the lineup, they are stalling out the offense with DP grounders. I wouldn't be too hard on either one of them, at this point, though. There will come stretches in the season when either of them, or both, will carry that team.

  82. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 15, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    sjm, what you saw with Maholm swinging that fastball pinpointed inside and outside is what you have with Detwiler but with more Velo. I still think Det has to throw more of his secondary pitches. He is throwing 91% fastballs and if he overthrows one as he sometimes does when his stamina starts going, they get hit very far as we saw Friday.I agree with you, "four solid pieces heading into the playoffs".This team is fine but some of the pre-season worries have proven to be problems.I wrote them somewhere and they included:1. Zim's health2. Espi's shorter swing and effective approach3. Henry's control issuesThose are all valid problems after exactly 2 weeks. 1. Obviously Zim isn't going anywhere unless he is in fact injured and needs a rest. 2. Espi has shown a shorter swing and a longer swing and is still inconsistent but his approach isn't working. He's batting .175 Even though strikeouts are way down, he still isn't getting on base.3. Henry is the same guy with bone chips and without. A shame. Insanity definition verbatim.

  83. natsfan1a - Apr 15, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    Naturally (hence my original response). :-)3on2out said… Who's on first, natsfan1a. What's on second…and so forth April 15, 2013 12:56 PM

  84. 3on2out - Apr 15, 2013 at 5:33 PM

    Natsfan1a…I don't know!

  85. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 15, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    Laddie, you are right on Gattis on the high heat on Strasburg and it wasn't elevated enough couple with it was inside and that Gattis is seeing baseballs the size of beach balls.Still, you could see you have to throw him like Michael Morse and that's sliders away and fastballs away and that's how they got him on a bunch of groundouts on the slider and 2 seamers away.When Anthony Rizzo got a callup on June 9 2011 against the Nats as a Padre he killed the Nats in that 4 game series with a 1.463 OPS. In the next series against Colorado they shut him down to the point he got 1 single in 13 ABs and he was sent down to the Minors the following month because he couldn't make the adjustements.Gattis had enough ABs to get a decent scouting report on him.

  86. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 15, 2013 at 6:03 PM

    http://www.brooksbaseball.net/pfxVB/pfx.php?s_type=3&sp_type=1&batterX=8&inning1=y&inning2=y&inning3=y&inning4=y&inning5=y&inning6=y&inning7=y&inning8=y&inning9=y&month=04&day=07&game=gid_2013_04_07_chnmlb_atlmlb_1%2F&year=2013&pitchSel=502188&prevGame=gid_2013_04_07_chnmlb_atlmlb_1%2FThe Cubs got Gattis 0-3 with 2 K's with a steady diet of sliders. In fact in this at-bat Samardjia struck him out throwing him 4 sliders and 1 fastball. Everything low in the zone.Strasburg doesn't throw a slider so that's an issue and Gio doesn't throw a slider so you have to give him a steady diet of 2-seamers way in and away and low in the zone.

  87. Dave - Apr 15, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    I'd like to see another sweep of the Fish this week. I wouldn't want to be one of the 12 Marlins fans this year.In other news, I got an email yesterday about my season-ticket game swap. However, I'm really not too thrilled with the location of the new seats. Five sections away from my normal one, for a Monday night. I may be doing some seat-hopping if the place isn't full.We're no longer in the days, I guess, when season-ticket holders were a small and elite group.

  88. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 15, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    And I don't give a [darn].1a said…Naturally (hence my original response). :-)3on2out said…Who's on first, natsfan1a.What's on second…and so forth

  89. Depot Master - Apr 15, 2013 at 6:26 PM

    As a long time fantasy baseball players, I have two words that aply in both realms…"It's APRIL."

  90. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 15, 2013 at 6:26 PM

    Ghost, bro, you really need to learn to make links. C&P on a phone is cumbersome.

  91. Faraz Shaikh - Apr 15, 2013 at 6:44 PM

    so cousin told me yesterday about #killthewave movement. haha, fun stuff.

  92. baseballswami - Apr 15, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    Ok – just hopping on today, Someone earlier posted that our bullpen is burned out because the starters can't go deep. Bull hockey. JZ and Det both could have stayed in their games. Yes, there were times last year that a couple of guys threw a lot of pitches, but there were also many, many times when they were taken out for a PINCH HITTER. It's an NL thing, you know. We were in so many close games that we needed the extra bat at that point. Our manager has also said many, many times that he likes keeping the bullpen and bench involved. It's part of his style of managing. I hate seeing the pitchers blamed for the manager's style or the lack of offense. And as for the bullpen being tired – Puh-lease. It's April for goodness sake. A lot of those guys were starters previously. They are not little pansies. As a matter of fact, one thing that I see going on that I don't like is everyone being too careful. Spring training was all about not getting hurt – well maybe they should have worked a little harder instead of getting their work in and then playing golf or instead of the veterans know how many reps or at bats they need and so we won't start them out for a few weeks. Maybe they actually did need the practice? Sorry about the rant – I restrained myself all weekend, but I really do think there has been an abundance of caution. You get paid many dollars, let go and play like Bryce. You get hurt in the process – it happens. You lose – it happens, but let's see a full on effort. I am not saying that they are dogging it, but it does seems that they are a little too casual.

  93. Laddie Blah Blah - Apr 15, 2013 at 6:53 PM

    "3. Henry's control issues."Good grief. Henry has not been the problem out of the pen. Clippard, Storen and Matheus have been the chief culprits. Even though Soriano has blown only one save, he hasn't been lights out, either. Let's put the blame where it belongs. And it's not on Henry."He is throwing 91% fastballs and if he overthrows one as he sometimes does when his stamina starts going, they get hit very far as we saw Friday."I don't get it Ghost. Detwiler has given up exactly 1 earned run this year. They should all be pitching as well as he has been. He is not a problem, either. Koufax gave up some real moon shots, too, whenever someone managed to square up his FB."Strasburg doesn't throw a slider so that's an issue and Gio doesn't throw a slider so you have to give him a steady diet of 2-seamers way in and away and low in the zone."So how do you know the scouts did not come back and tell Davey to throw him sliders? Even if they did, neither Stras nor Gio could have used that info. He hit a low FB from here to Kingdom Come, as well as Stras' high FB, which, BTW, was out of the zone, so I don't know about throwing him FBs, no matter where they are located, 2-seam or 4-seam. Sliders off the outside of the plate sound good. They work against Uggla, too, which is who he reminds me of. Both guys have short arms.The Nats have one of the best scouting operations in the biz. They could have had the best info available on that guy, but if you don't have the tools (i.e. sliders) to use it, can't blame them. Of course, I haven't seen their scouting report, but I don't think he will have the same success against the Nats the 2nd time around, whether they throw him sliders or something else. Strasburg actually overpowered him with heat until he caught that high FB on the screws. Changes of speed had him late all day, until that one.

  94. baseballswami - Apr 15, 2013 at 7:11 PM

    About Gattis — Stras said he threw him a ball up at his neck and the guy reached way up and hit a home run. How do you scout that?

  95. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 15, 2013 at 7:13 PM

    Laddie, Henry is a long-term problem, I believe everyone else in the bullpen except Duke will improve.Let's see how Gattis does in the next 2 series then get back to me. On Detwiler, I love what he's doing. He just can't worry later in games about his Velo dropping as the movement on his pitches are more important than overthrowing and giving up 1 earned is a great outing.

  96. Rabbit34 - Apr 15, 2013 at 7:14 PM

    What's to worry??? Hey, as everyone says to make themselves feel better…it's too early to judge! We're above .500 (so far). Smile! What a great day!

  97. baseballswami - Apr 15, 2013 at 7:14 PM

    You see what's going on in Boston?? Sick.

  98. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 15, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    Baseballswami, 96 up high and not many can hit it and it's credit to Gattis. I wouldn't say it was at the level of his neck and it was also inner half.That's the Espinosa K pitch. I thought Stras didn't throw it high enough but he was also pissed after Zim's error.

  99. baseballswami - Apr 15, 2013 at 7:24 PM

    Beginner's luck. The league will adjust. Right now he closes his eyes and swings. Let me know what his average is at the end of the season.

  100. baseballswami - Apr 15, 2013 at 7:24 PM

    Ok I just responded to a post that no longer exists. Oh, we'll.

  101. A DC Wonk - Apr 15, 2013 at 7:34 PM

    baseballswami said… You see what's going on in Boston?? Sick.Whoa! I thought you were talking about the walk-off win of the Red Sox.But I just saw: Bombing at Boston Marathon!

  102. Laddie Blah Blah - Apr 15, 2013 at 7:36 PM

    "On Detwiler, I love what he's doing. He just can't worry later in games about his Velo dropping as the movement on his pitches are more important than overthrowing and giving up 1 earned is a great outing."That's more like it. For awhile, I thought you were trying to give me a run for my money as the blog grouch. I feel better now.

  103. natsfan1a - Apr 15, 2013 at 8:10 PM

    ;-)Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said… And I don't give a [darn]. 1a said… Naturally (hence my original response). :-) 3on2out said… Who's on first, natsfan1a. What's on second…and so forth April 15, 2013 2:24 PM

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