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Game 19: Cardinals at Nats

Apr 22, 2013, 7:24 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Cardinals are back in D.C. for the first time since October.

The last time the Cardinals set foot on this field … well, it's probably best not to rehash that one yet again. Point is, the Redbirds are back in D.C. tonight for the start of a three-game series with the Nationals, who probably need to be careful not to think they can exorcise all their St. Louis demons in one feel swoop this week.

Of more importance: Play a good, clean ballgame, something they haven't been doing with consistency through the season's first three weeks. That starts with Dan Haren, still looking to record his first quality start in his fourth outing with his new club. Haren, who will be facing the organization that drafted him and allowed him to make his big-league debut, showed signs of progress through the first three innings of his last start, but then crumbled after Ryan Zimmerman committed an error. He'll need to put forth a more complete effort throughout this outing if he's going to beat a tough Cardinals lineup.

Anthony Rendon, meanwhile, hopes to be a bit more relaxed in his second big-league game after going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and an error yesterday in New York. The rookie third baseman should get a nice ovation from the home crowd when he steps to the plate for the first time in his home uniform.

One other important note: Rafael Soriano is not with the club tonight following the birth of his son earlier today in New York. That means the Nationals' closer tonight — should the situation present itself — would be Drew Storen. Talk about exorcising demons.

Updates to come…

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 184
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 55 degrees, Wind 12 mph in from RF

NATIONALS (10-8)
CF Denard Span
RF Jayson Werth
LF Bryce Harper
1B Adam LaRoche

Read more »

265 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Faraz Shaikh - Apr 22, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    Tough pitcher to exorcise STL demons. Miller is an early NL ROY candidate.

  2. Don - Apr 22, 2013 at 7:34 PM

    Ian Desmond has 7 Errors already and he rightly could have several more but for scoring decisions and ALR. Love the .290 AVG with some good pop — great stuff. Love it. But it is not worth it, if he can't play SS. This club needs his glove more than his bat. He's got to step up.

  3. peric - Apr 22, 2013 at 7:35 PM

    If Haren can't compete there is home grown talent that probably can.

  4. baseballswami - Apr 22, 2013 at 7:39 PM

    You know, Chris Young is starting in Syracuse tonight- so that means he is on the same pitching schedule as Dan Haren— for in case Haren pitches badly again and develops a mysterious HRod- like ailment and needs to go on a DL time out. It might give the team a real lift if Haren has a dominant first inning- or three, or four, or seven. Stir in some offense, some clean defense and — voila– back on track. Oh, please- I am begging….

  5. peric - Apr 22, 2013 at 7:39 PM

    JD, no question. After 2014, we don't have a lefty replacement for ALR in the pipeline, even if Zim stays at 3B. Skole, Marrero, and Ty-Mo are all RH if I'm not mistaken. At least we've got Span and Harper. Matt Skole is DEFINITELY a left-handed power bat and he IS IN the pipeline. There's Corey Brown and Erik Komatsu on the left side as well. Plus Brian Goodwin is in AA. All left-handed hitters. The problem is finding a position.The infield appears to be locked. Its in the outfield that things could become interesting. Werth will be 36 going on 37.

  6. Section 222 - Apr 22, 2013 at 7:40 PM

    So are any Insiders planning to make the trip to Pittsburgh for any of the games May 3, 4, or 5? I'm probably going to go Friday and Saturday. Saturday is a 4:05 start, which means you could do it in as a day trip if you're really ambitious. It would be fun to get some seats together if anyone is heading up and doesn't have tickets yet. I've been following the ticket situation on StubHub. Still good seats available and much less pricey than at Nats Park.

  7. peric - Apr 22, 2013 at 7:41 PM

    You know, Chris Young is starting in Syracuse tonight- so that means he is on the same pitching schedule as Dan Haren—He replaces Tanner Roark who is now in the bullpen and was their opening day starter.He and his 82 mph fast ball have to prove they are better choices than Danny Rosenbaum and his 1.17 WHIP and Nat Karns and his 24 K's to 6 walks. I don't think he can.

  8. peric - Apr 22, 2013 at 7:42 PM

    JD, no question. After 2014, we don't have a lefty replacement for ALR in the pipeline, even if Zim stays at 3B. Skole, Marrero, and Ty-Mo are all RH if I'm not mistaken. At least we've got Span and Harper. And Zach Walters is a pinch hitter so there's another left-handed bat in the pipeline.

  9. Secret wasian man - Apr 22, 2013 at 7:44 PM

    Waiting until closer to the Pitt series to decide. Don't wanna drive 3 hours to sit in the rain.Gonna need a lot of runs tonight

  10. SonnyG10 - Apr 22, 2013 at 7:44 PM

    Getting ready to leave home for the game. GYFNG!

  11. EmDash - Apr 22, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    Please be good, Haren!I still think they should consider exploring setting up a wind machine to blow long fly balls back down during his starts. *g*

  12. natsfan1a - Apr 22, 2013 at 7:51 PM

    I have another commitment during the series at Pittsburgh but, having gone there in the past, I highly recommend it. Lovely ballpark, in a lovely setting, and some fun foodie shopping in the Strip area of town, if you're so inclined.

  13. baseballswami - Apr 22, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    About Chris Young — he seemed to always give us a tough time last year. I guess that makes him qualified and I guess that's why he was signed. He has got to be number one on the list to come up with his mlb experience – it seems like he came to this organization with the understanding that he is number six. Can't see Rizzo passing him over after he agreed to stay with us as depth. I seem to remember that he could get outs – that downhill plane is crazy – and mph is not everything.

  14. baseballswami - Apr 22, 2013 at 7:57 PM

    And as for Pittsburgh — great place to go to a game!

  15. peric - Apr 22, 2013 at 7:58 PM

    And Zach Walters is a pinch hitter so there's another left-handed bat in the pipeline.Meant to say switch hitter … stoopid spell checkers … :/

  16. peric - Apr 22, 2013 at 7:59 PM

    Can't see Rizzo passing him over after he agreed to stay with us as depth.If Rizzo made that promise that's who we'll see first. But if he gets bombed by the International League as he did in ST? So, he has to make a couple of starts at least in Syracuse. I wouldn't bet on him.

  17. peric - Apr 22, 2013 at 8:03 PM

    Someone needs to drink his last Martini and retire for goodness sakes? Well he did do some things but he also was an impediment to many others.From the Bog:“I’m surprised it’s not brought up more that sometimes managers serve as coaches — not managers, but coaches — to train players for the next manager that takes over,” McCarver said during Saturday’s Fox broadcast of the Nats-Mets game. “It happens so, so often. I mean, you look at the Washington Nationals, a guy like Jim Riggleman — who was, what disposed of, I guess, three years ago or so, or quit in the middle of the season — is as much responsible for the success of this franchise, the Nationals, as anyone. And that might be the plight and fate of Terry Collins if the Mets don’t bring him back next year. It seems like baseball more than football, it seems like managers become coaches and help young players and things like that.”

  18. peric - Apr 22, 2013 at 8:05 PM

    Riggleman almost single-handedly ruined Rick Eckstein's career by making every hitter hit to the opposite field all the time.

  19. Dave - Apr 22, 2013 at 8:06 PM

    Wow. That quote from McCarver shows that he barely knows what's going on.As I recall, Riggleman QUIT because Rizzo did not respond sufficiently to his mid-season tantrum.I agree with you, Peric: it's time for McCarver to hang it up.

  20. Section 222 - Apr 22, 2013 at 8:12 PM

    Right you are on Skole. My mistake. Let's hope he's ready by 2015 if Zim doesn't move over there.

  21. JD - Apr 22, 2013 at 8:14 PM

    Another pearl of wisdom from Tim Mc.Carver: PBP man: 'Suzuki's OBP is over .400' Mc.Carver: 'Yeah but that's not the role of an 8th place hitter' me: 'Huh?'

  22. Faraz Shaikh - Apr 22, 2013 at 8:16 PM

    LOL that's funny JD. Maybe he was trying to crack up a joke.

  23. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 22, 2013 at 8:16 PM

    I'm guessing they're friends; Riggleman apparently has a lot of friends among the older players and coaches, among other people (the servers at Caddies, for instance). That's probably how McCarver actually sees it, maybe because Riggleman told him all about it.

  24. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 22, 2013 at 8:18 PM

    I was watching, but I must have missed that one. What did he say *was* the role of the 8th spot, if not to clear the pitcher? I mean, besides helping the team score runs by getting on base?

  25. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 22, 2013 at 8:20 PM

    I'm going to guess McCarver meant the 8 hitter shouldn't be taking walks with runners in scoring position and 2 outs early in the game, leaving it up to the pitcher to drive them in.

  26. Laddie Blah Blah - Apr 22, 2013 at 8:29 PM

    Sorry if this has been posted, already, but I've been out all day and just learned that Rizzo played the super 2 situation with Rendon perfectly, according to the WaPo. Rendon had to be in the minors for 20 days according to the arcane rules for a minor leaguer on the 40-man, and Rizzo did not call him up until after his 20 days were accounted for. As of day 21, Sunday, Rendon was with the Nats, as "quick to the major leagues" as Rizzo could make it.Someone here predicted that Rendon would be called up as soon as the super 2 stuff was dealt with. Hmmm. Smart dude, that guy.

  27. Doc - Apr 22, 2013 at 8:30 PM

    McCarver must be misreading Yogi! When you're deciphering Yogisms, you got to pay attention to what Yogi's not sayin'!!

  28. A DC Wonk - Apr 22, 2013 at 8:32 PM

    I'm going to guess McCarver meant the 8 hitter shouldn't be taking walks with runners in scoring position and 2 outs early in the game, leaving it up to the pitcher to drive them in.I was just thinking that, too. McCarver may talk too much, he might not know a whole lot about the Riggs situation, etc. . . . but he knows a heckuva lot about game-time-on-the-field strategy. A _lot_.(2 time all star catcher for Cards, 2nd place in MVP one year, 21 seasons — and, good for trivia buffs: played in four different decades — he played with the Cards when they were the class of the NL: 3 world series in 5 years, playing with guys like Ken Boyer, Lou Brock, Curt Flood, Orlando Cepeda, Bob Gibson, Steve Carlton)

  29. Faraz Shaikh - Apr 22, 2013 at 8:35 PM

    Sofa, regarding your HBP comment, standings reveal that Choo has a higher OBP than Votto. Going forward if one player has to be chosen for OBP, it will be Votto because he has better plate discipline, not because he can stand closer to plate and take a hit. that's why I think OBP should not account for HBP. It does not strike me as a skill.

  30. MikeinDC - Apr 22, 2013 at 8:36 PM

    I am there and will be booing Kozma every time he moves. GO NATS!

  31. baseballswami - Apr 22, 2013 at 8:37 PM

    Riggleman singled- handedly ensured that the Nats made the play offs in 2012. I don't think you realize what it did for the Nats that he left mid-season. Davey Johnson had half a season to get settled in with the team, a full off- season and then a full spring training. No way that nats win 98 games unless that happens. He didn't do it for those reasons and it has nothing to do with baseball on the field — although he did have a bad team playing as well as they could. I have not one clue why everyone is still villifying him when his walking away when he did was the best thing that could have happened to the Nats. Now – he is a minor league teacher and very , very good at it. I saw his team play a lot and they are fundamentally good. He was entrusted with Billy Hamilton. Some coaches are good at teaching and making do with what they have and rebuilding. Some coaches are only good if they have the talent to work with. Please remember that Riggleman was not given the tools to work with or the support that Johnson has. He had Elijah Dukes, and Lastings Milledge ad John Lannan was his ace. And they were winning when he walked away. Only person he hurt was himself – maybe. Nats came out smelling like a rose.

  32. Faraz Shaikh - Apr 22, 2013 at 8:37 PM

    Congrats to soriano and Storen closing tonight's win would be the best win so far.

  33. Gonat - Apr 22, 2013 at 8:39 PM

    Don said… Ian Desmond has 7 Errors already and he rightly could have several more but for scoring decisions and ALR. Love the .290 AVG with some good pop — great stuff. Love it. But it is not worth it, if he can't play SS. This club needs his glove more than his bat. He's got to step up.______________________________Check again, you need both defense and offense from all players on a championship team. The exception is probably catcher and of course pitchers.

  34. Gonat - Apr 22, 2013 at 8:42 PM

    Davey on what happens to Rendon when Zimmerman comes off DL: "I don't care if he hits .900, he's not going to beat out Ryan Zimmerman."______________________________That says it all and what you expect as someone said they will have to pry 3rd base from RZ. If Rendon is red hot coal, I'm still thinking 2nd base and maybe to rest Zim on some days.

  35. Section 222 - Apr 22, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    Laddie, it's not the Super 2 situation he played perfectly, it's the free agency situation. By being called up this early, Rendon will almost certainly be Super 2. All that means is that he gets to arbitration a year earlier (the Super 2 cutoff is calculated after the season and varies depending on how soon other prospects get called up. The cutoff usually comes sometime in June. But by calling him up on day 21, Rizzo kept team control for another year. You're right, he's a smart guy.

  36. Laddie Blah Blah - Apr 22, 2013 at 8:49 PM

    "But by calling him up on day 21, Rizzo kept team control for another year. You're right, he's a smart guy."That's what I meant, but I am not the guy who knows, or cares, about the collective bargaining agreement, but thanks for the clarification. And the guy who predicted Rendon would be called up as soon as possible was yours truly. You can look it up in the archives. It was a no-brainer.

  37. Section 222 - Apr 22, 2013 at 8:52 PM

    Swami, what you say about Riggleman leaving being the best thing to happen for the Nats is absolutely true. But he didn't do it intentionally, so he still deserves to be villified for, pick one or more: (1) having a terrible career W-L record; (2) throwing a mid-season tantrum and quitting on a team that had just won 10 straight; (3) sending Matt Stairs to the plate over and over again; (4) thinking that Michael Morse was better as a bench player; or (5) double-switching Morse out of a game where he had already hit two home runs!

  38. Eric - Apr 22, 2013 at 8:54 PM

    "Congrats to soriano and Storen closing tonight's win would be the best win so far."Yes and YES!

  39. baseballswami - Apr 22, 2013 at 8:58 PM

    section 222 – purely an off the field observation. I really don't see last season being a 98 win season if he stayed the whole year. And he did get stuck with Matt Stairs.

  40. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 22, 2013 at 8:59 PM

    standings reveal that Choo has a higher OBP than Votto. Going forward if one player has to be chosen for OBP, it will be Votto because he has better plate discipline, not because he can stand closer to plate and take a hit. that's why I think OBP should not account for HBP. It does not strike me as a skill. I think "chosen for OBP" is a non sequitur (and chosen for what, exactly?), but sure. I explained why I think it's a skill; you're unconvinced. OK.

  41. Laddie Blah Blah - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:02 PM

    "If Rendon is red hot coal, I'm still thinking 2nd base and maybe to rest Zim on some days."Second base, or SS, where the real defensive problem lies. Rizzo could send Danny down, instead of Rendon. I mean, really, if you were the GM and that was the option, what would you do? You then move Desi to 2nd base and Rendon to SS. Desi makes errors when he rushes the play. Playing 2nd gives him a shorter throw to first and more time to field and toss to first – less rushing and fumbling. He even fumbled a perfect relay throw from Harper yesterday in his rush to make a throw to home on would have been a close play. And his throw to first was clearly both wide and in the dirt. Any official scorer would have given that error to Desi. It was an easy play for him, and he blew it. I think he would say so, too.Another option for Rizzo would be to place Danny on the DL. He does have a torn rotator cuff, after all. Then he could get the operation to repair the injury and come back next spring and try to make the team. If he can't, he gets sent down to AAA for rehab until he learns how to hit from the left side.Rizzo has those options and, surely, many more (e.g. your 2nd base option). Rendon is likely to stick, both for defensive and offensive reasons. And he is not going to sit on the bench. Rizzo knows how good he is, and he is not going to waste a talent like that, either on the bench or in the minors.

  42. Section 222 - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:06 PM

    Ok, let's go to the videotape:Laddie Blah Blah said…You're probably right. Rendon does not need any more PT in the minors, just as Ryan did not need any more reps in the minors when the Nats brought him up at the age of 20, just weeks after signing him out of Virginia. And we all know Harper, at 19 years of age, was doing poorly in the minors when the Nats brought him up, last year. Rendon is already better than either of them were when they came up. I don't know what Davey and Rizzo are thinking, but they have to consider a lot more than I do about who to play, and where, and when. But it won't be long before we see Mr. Rendon in DC. He is just too darned good.March 10, 2013 11:32 AMWell played. Of course, you also said this in the same comment:I would not be surprised to see the Nats send Moore down to Syracuse to work on improving his game, every day, while Owings takes his slot as a pinch hitter, late-game replacement at either 1b or the OF.A .500 batting percentage is still pretty good. :-)

  43. A DC Wonk - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:10 PM

    Re-visiting: (Or, re-opening a can of worms?)FWIW: Morse is down to .231. and B-R has him at a pretty good 0.5 WAR for offense, and a bad -0.5 WAR for defense. Of course, these stats are not terribly meaningful this early in the season.All trades, etc., need to be evaluated in the long run.But — just a reminder — yeah, Morse was a great guy, and yeah, he's hit 6 HR's already — but also: yeah, he's tied for his team lead in GIDP, hitting .231, and the 31-year old is in the last year before free agency.

  44. Rich P. - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:11 PM

    Well, now we know what Soriano did during the All Star break last year. Took his boys swimming.

  45. Section 222 - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:12 PM

    Swami, you're probably right. If Riggleman had stuck it out and the Nats had continued to play decently, finishing at .500 for the year, he would scored another 1 year deal, maybe even gotten a raise to $750K or a million bucks. And I have little doubt the Nats wouldn't have won 98 times playing his smart ball. Deciding to play chicken with Rizzo was one of the dumbest moves ever made.

  46. jeffwx - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:12 PM

    Espi to be traded for Left Handed Specialist…would be nice but I wonder who is in the market for a 175 hitter with torn rotator cuff

  47. jeffwx - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:15 PM

    Maybe throw in Storen then to get the Lefty in the pen.

  48. A DC Wonk - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:15 PM

    Question: I was looking at Danny's stats, and I see that this year he has a .188 BABIP.Isn't that an awfully low number? (His career BABIP is .302) Does that tell us that he's been very unlucky?

  49. A DC Wonk - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:18 PM

    Deciding to play chicken with Rizzo was one of the dumbest moves ever made. It was even dumber than most realize.You see, Riggs' main complaint was that he was on a one-year contract and it was hard to wield authority with that.Well, guess what? Rizzo had been on a one-year contract himself the year before that. Rizzo, for himeself, took the view: "work hard and well, and prove your worth to the team."So, duh, of course that was Rizzo's message to Riggs.Yep — Riggs sure picked the wrong person to play chicken with.

  50. Faraz Shaikh - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:18 PM

    Wonk, ALR's BABIP seems unlucky to me since we have seen him make good contact and not get hits for it. Danny, I am not so sure.

  51. jeffwx - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:20 PM

    Danny's either unlucky or hurt.

  52. JD - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:20 PM

    Laddie, Since you took the time to point out in great detail all the mistakes Desi made you may have mentioned just in passing that Rendon did drop an easy relay from Desi for a forceout on his very 1st play in the majors. Also; I am not sure you need to dislocated your arm patting yourself on your shoulder for predicting an early call up for Rendon unless of course you feel that the whole Zim injury was staged to make that scenario happen.

  53. SCNatsFan - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:22 PM

    Jeffwx if Danny is unlucky then he has been unlucky since the first half of the season two years ago.

  54. A DC Wonk - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:24 PM

    Another story (if I'm remembering it right — please correct me if I'm not:)With just minutes to go before the signing deadline for draft picks, Strasburg's agent, Boras, gave Rizzo "his final offer."Seconds ticking away, Rizzo says, "sorry, can't do it."Boras gave in, and the deal got done with about 90 seconds left to spare.Nope: you don't play chicken with Rizzo.

  55. jeffwx - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:25 PM

    Yep…Espi…a career .237 average over 3 years ;(A change of scenery may do him good.

  56. JD - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:25 PM

    Wonk,'Isn't that an awfully low number? (His career BABIP is .302) Does that tell us that he's been very unlucky?'Absolutely. To me Danny needs to do one thing to become a complete player. Force the pitchers to throw him strikes when he is hitting with 2 strikes. It's not the end of the world if he gets punched out a few times taking a close pitch but the message has to go out to all the pitchers that you have to throw strikes to get him out. I am not sure Danny can get over his aggressive nature to accomplish that and if he can't then he won't reach his potential which is still very good.

  57. A DC Wonk - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:28 PM

    (and I haven't even mentioned that Rizzo signed Harper with _26_ seconds left in the deadline. Nope, you don't play chicken . . . )(I'm done with that meme now )(for now ;-) )

  58. A DC Wonk - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:29 PM

    Jeffwx if Danny is unlucky then he has been unlucky since the first half of the season two years ago. No — his BABIP was solid last year. The problem was too many K's. No luck there — just way way too many K's.But this year, his K's are way down. And so is his BABIP. Which is why I was asking about it.

  59. jeffwx - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:30 PM

    Well, lucky we have Lombo,Rendon, Zimm to fill 2 positions. Does Espi really fit into a Nats plan

  60. jeffwx - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:33 PM

    I think Danny's hurt and really isn't a switch-hitter..a switch batter maybe

  61. IKN8wxU2 - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:33 PM

    Count me still in the camp that thinks Danny's hitting will come around. He's really dropped his strikeout rate and has been hitting in some tough luck. Just hope the low BA doesn't get in his head.And Danny is a far better defensive player than anyone else at 2B and may be our best SS.

  62. JD - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:33 PM

    Wonk, There is a large legion of fans who have given up on Espi and aren't interested in any logical discussion. I am just not sure how many players not named Bryce Harper can take Craig Kimbrel's 99 MPH fastball deep the way Danny did last year.

  63. jeffwx - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:35 PM

    Good D..no doubt. Unfortunately, 3 years of ML baseball and 1300 ABs is enough of a sample size for me.

  64. NatsNut - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:36 PM

    Riggleman also helped us out in Seattle by winning 2 more games than us in 2008. That got us Strasburg.

  65. jeffwx - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:36 PM

    JD, there's a large legion of fans who look at small samples (one ab vs one pitcher) and aren't interested in any logical discussion.

  66. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:38 PM

    "unless of course you feel that the whole Zim injury was staged to make that scenario [Rendon's callup] happen."I wonder, just speculating, but suppose. Zim's waits and waits to play defense in the spring, knows the throwing isn't right, but is still the FOF, dammit, and wants to stay in. Rizzo says, "Look, Rendon is Plan B, but I can't bring him up for the first few weeks without burning a year of control. Take one for the team, we'll just play through it, and I can DL you around April 19, but hold the fort as best you can until then, OK?"Just speculating.

  67. A DC Wonk - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:38 PM

    Good point, JD.To tell you the truth, I've been getting close to give up on him, too.And so, I went looking at Espi's stats just to see what was going on, and the low BABIP really stuck out at me.The point is: I'm not even trying to argue that "bad luck" is why Espi is hitting .175 — I was only trying to genuinely ask the question. That's a darn low BABIP — which could be the result of really really weak hitting, or bad luck, or . . . ?I mean, I thought _everybody_ had a BABIP over over .250, and most are around .300, no? (From vague memory without looking it up). Danny himself had a .333 BABIP last year.Now, perhaps Espi has stopped swinging hard and as a result: lower K's and lower BABIP. But, perhaps just bad luck.I have no idea — just floating it out there for consideration (among those who aren't too biased to have a discussion about it ;-) )

  68. A DC Wonk - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:40 PM

    jeffwx said… Good D..no doubt. Unfortunately, 3 years of ML baseball and 1300 ABs is enough of a sample size for me.So — go look at the stats instead of just pretending that all three years are the same.Something is very different this year. Go look it up.

  69. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:41 PM

    "Zim's" ???*Zim

  70. jeffwx - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:42 PM

    237 career avg good enuf for you…then keep going with him.

  71. jeffwx - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:44 PM

    Yes…this year he's even worse than his career 189 strike out year of 2012.This year he's worse probably because he has a torn rotator cuff. So just try swinging with one instead of looking at stats.

  72. Theophilus T. S. - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:48 PM

    Storen's got nothing to worry about tonite — probably down 4 or 5 by the time they get to the ninth.

  73. jeffwx - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:49 PM

    And Know, you are probably right. This year, he hitting more weak ground balls but with a similar effect to K's.

  74. JD - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:51 PM

    .237 is not good but a .315 OBP while also not great is more representative and sublime defense leading to an over all WAR of 3.2 in 2011 and 3.4 in 2012 suggests you don't discard this player so easily. I am with you in agreeing that Espi is very frustrating and he definitely must make some adjustments to his game and I wouldn't be opposed if he gets traded provided we get a decent return. I also like Lombo very much based on the understanding that so far he projects to be an average all around 2nd baseman.

  75. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:53 PM

    Win every series. That is my goal

  76. baseballswami - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    Maybe the closer situation will provide the requisite adrenaline. But, really – the timing? Drew our closer and it's STL? Perhaps the reverse lock will be in effect tonight. Haren pitching against a good offensive team that knocked us out of the playoffs. Closer not with the team and ex-closer that melted down against said team the closer of the day. Yeah – reverse lock for sure. Haren has a great game, the offense hits the cover off the ball, the defense clicks, Drew dazzles them with his super slider. It could happen. Really, it could.

  77. jeffwx - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    Beware T.S.A comment construed as Anti-Natsi can often be judged detrimentally (JD for short) as someone with an opinion that differs and therefore can't be discussed.

  78. JD - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:58 PM

    jeffwx,What are you talking about?Danny has 8 strike outs this year. Harper 12, Werth 15 LaRoche 17 Desmond 16 Zim 14 Suzuki 8 Span 8.

  79. jeffwx - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:58 PM

    JD and KIA, yes, Given we have several players that can play IF, maybe we could get a player we are more in need of for a guy with a purty good WAR in 2012.Sometimes, a change a scenery can do wonders. I'd like Danny to succeed but have given up since he is expendable.

  80. jeffwx - Apr 22, 2013 at 10:00 PM

    Yes, that's what im talkin about.He's better at hitting weak grounders this year. Last year he was better (in fact one of the best) at striking out.However, both have similar contributions to productivity.

  81. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 22, 2013 at 10:07 PM

    JD….sitting in Nats Park sippin on some $5 Miller Lites. Looking forward to watching Rendon play live baseball in person (again) which is more than I can say for his favorite fan.

  82. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 22, 2013 at 10:19 PM

    an opinion that differs and therefore can't be discussed. Point of Information: Only Mark can stop someone from posting in here, and he almost never does that, and then only for better reasons than I would need. People disagree. They aren't always as respectful about it as one might wish, especially when it's oneself they are dissing. But nobody stops anybody from posting.

  83. MicheleS - Apr 22, 2013 at 10:37 PM

    NJ.. I will be there tomorrow night! See you then

  84. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 22, 2013 at 10:42 PM

    Looks like there will be a moderate turnout, according to the NIDO Who's Where sheet.

  85. natsfan1a - Apr 22, 2013 at 10:49 PM

    My own initial thought was that maybe McCarver was trying to do *Collins* a favor, as the context was that he felt Collins deserved better. Also, wasn't McCarver a Mets broadcaster for quite a few years? He seemed to drone on about, er, talk them up quite a bit.Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said… I'm guessing they're friends; Riggleman apparently has a lot of friends among the older players and coaches, among other people (the servers at Caddies, for instance). That's probably how McCarver actually sees it, maybe because Riggleman told him all about it. April 22, 2013 4:16 PM

  86. natsfan1a - Apr 22, 2013 at 10:51 PM

    Ooh! Ooh! Can I have number 2?Section 222 said… Swami, what you say about Riggleman leaving being the best thing to happen for the Nats is absolutely true. But he didn't do it intentionally, so he still deserves to be villified for, pick one or more: (1) having a terrible career W-L record; (2) throwing a mid-season tantrum and quitting on a team that had just won 10 straight; (3) sending Matt Stairs to the plate over and over again; (4) thinking that Michael Morse was better as a bench player; or (5) double-switching Morse out of a game where he had already hit two home runs! April 22, 2013 4:52 PM

  87. A DC Wonk - Apr 22, 2013 at 10:58 PM

    Perhaps the reverse lock will be in effect tonight. Hey — we haven't had one of those yet this season, have we?If not — put me down for the reverse lock!Hope springs eternal — especially when it's baseball season in the spring!!GYFNG!

  88. Theophilus T. S. - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:02 PM

    If anyone thinks my comments are anti-Nats, so be it. So far, their play — except when playing the Sisters of the Sacred Heart — has been unwatchable. There are maybe four-and-a half players (I'll give you Harper, Span, Suzuki and Detwiler, and 50 percent credit for Zimmermann) who haven't been nicked or haven't played like their heads were wedged somewhere warm and wet and they haven't any idea what they're supposed to be doing out there. (There's some overlap between the nicked and wedged groups, notably the FOF, who seems to throw like Butch Hobson, hit like Clete — not Ken — Boyer and eat like Miguel Cabrera.) Not showing up ready mentally to play, or in shape for ST, is an unpardonable sin.I was planning on going to five or six games this year (a typical season for me) but I'm not going to shell out a nickel until a bunch of them shape up or get out.

  89. natsfan1a - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:03 PM

    Atta way, Nats fans. :-)Mark Zuckerman @ZuckermanCSNA healthy amount of boos as Pete Kozma's name announced at #Nats Park.

  90. Less Platu - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:05 PM

    Did I hear this right or am I hearing things that Young is starting tomorrow night? If so, what about Det's start?

  91. Less Platu - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:11 PM

    3 down — 24 to go

  92. Less Platu - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    Where do the Cards keep picking up these good, young arms? (looking at Miller)

  93. Less Platu - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:15 PM

    Span falling to earth hitting .271 — near his career mark — I like Span a lot, just not exactly what we needed

  94. Less Platu - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:16 PM

    Miller – 2 ks

  95. Less Platu - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:16 PM

    Anyone here tonight???

  96. MicheleS - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:20 PM

    Theo.. never have I ever thought you were Anti-Nats and I am the biggest Pollyanna here. Always bring good perspective.Less Platu.. most of us leave off during the game thread. it can be a bit rough, plus the reception at Nats Park stinks and posting in game can be difficult.

  97. JaneB - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:21 PM

    I like it much better when Mark is there.Welcome to the world Baby Soriano.Welcome to DC, Anthony.Haren seems to be locating better. May he give us good reason to need to use Drew.

  98. JaneB - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:21 PM

    I can never post from the stadium. I'm glad I'm not there — too cold!

  99. Less Platu - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:23 PM

    Cards hit and run already – I like that!! can we do a little of that, coach?

  100. Less Platu - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:24 PM

    there's a vacant seat next to me, Janet. Sit down, grab a hot chocolate and lets bring these guys home

  101. MicheleS - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:25 PM

    Seriously, that DP was ridiculous! Desi got some hops

  102. Less Platu - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:25 PM

    hmm some solid wood off of Danny boy already —

  103. Gonat - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:25 PM

    Look at that, a drop and furtuitous bounce and a lazy runner equals a sweet doubleplay!

  104. Less Platu - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:26 PM

    Haren survives two – 7 to go!!

  105. Less Platu - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:27 PM

    wish they'd show the XMo on that play at first with Desi's DP — looked awfully close.

  106. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:27 PM

    Gonat. I was about to type the same thing

  107. Gonat - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:29 PM

    Less Platu said… Cards hit and run already – I like that!! can we do a little of that, coach? ____________________________________Sure, they tried that with Espi up and Tracy on base.

  108. Less Platu - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:29 PM

    I see where our old draft pick Peacock is starting for Houston tonight — will face our old hero, Morse!!

  109. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  110. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:31 PM

    Nevermind.

  111. Less Platu - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:31 PM

    Gonat: cant think of a worse duo to hit and run with: swing and miss Espi, slow turtle Tracy — come on coach!! get in the game haha

  112. Less Platu - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:31 PM

    Miller looks awesome

  113. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:32 PM

    Gonat, it was awfully close. He was out by about six inches.

  114. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:33 PM

    Of the 4 Ks Span took one down the middle, Wert swun at 2 to hight. Desi struck out at one over his head. Rendon was the best didnt swing at any to high. Howevet missed the last two at the top of zone. This pitcher likes high part of the zone.

  115. Less Platu - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:35 PM

    Davey on what happens to Rendon when Zimmerman comes off DL: "I don't care if he hits .900, he's not going to beat out Ryan Zimmerman_________________________Part of Davey's bullheaded problem: if you're "one of his guys" everyone else is screwed. If Rendon is tearing it up and gets sent back down for Zim and Zim returns the same player, Davey starts to hear some Boos

  116. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:35 PM

    Big Cat and I call Span "Butter" He looks so smooth going after flies.

  117. Less Platu - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:37 PM

    Title of my new book:BURIED ALIVE: the Lombardozzi story

  118. Less Platu - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:38 PM

    Hey Manassas: I might call Span "Butter" because he looks like he loves his butter!!

  119. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:39 PM

    Miller,' pitches up are strikes, Harens are a little lower and are called balls. Talking about squeezing.

  120. Less Platu - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:40 PM

    My next book:Lost in Space: the Tyler Moore Story

  121. Less Platu - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:40 PM

    ooh boy 2 zip and away we goooooooo!

  122. Less Platu - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:41 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  123. Less Platu - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    Haren FB is just too FAT and FLAT. My hopes are not high

  124. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    did the ball hit wall or glove? I thought that Harper was going to catch rebound.Haren's big mistake walking Carpenter and not pitching to contact.

  125. Gonat - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:43 PM

    Span didn't get a good read on that ball. Those are the plays you just wish this team would make. Very few Web Gems.

  126. Less Platu - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:44 PM

    Espi af. 171 oba 221 yet Buried alive stays buried. Lombo just isn't one of Davey's guys. Davey's not fair

  127. Joe Seamhead - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:45 PM

    Catchable ball. Tough play, but catchable.

  128. Less Platu - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:45 PM

    Espi drops below .165

  129. Less Platu - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:47 PM

    Second time in three games that Ive seen Harp get to a ball faster than Span and harp gives way to the veteran. With the far superior arm, harp should have the right of way. Why is Harp in left? he ought to be in CF or Rf — this is just silly

  130. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:48 PM

    Cozma showed Espi what to do. Ball outside go opposite field. No Espi pulls it an easy out.

  131. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:53 PM

    Span is working himself into my doghouse. His batting average with RISP has to be terrible. Can anyone access it please.Seems lately everytime he is he is out.

  132. Less Platu - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:53 PM

    beginning of 4th Cards with 2 to date. Critical window of time for Haren. Will he still be in there to begin the 6th? If you give me 3-1, I say NO

  133. jeffwx - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:55 PM

    Michele S….My point with a bit too much sarcasm for blog world is that a criticism of a Nats player does not make one close-minded, or unwilling to discuss or even an anti-Natsi. In fact, dissension to sometimes irrational exhuburance doesn't have to be shunned. Now let's here a big Wooooo Hoooo

  134. Gonat - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:56 PM

    Joe Seamhead said… Catchable ball. Tough play, but catchable. April 22, 2013 7:45 PM __________________________He didn't sprint back to it as he likes to glide to the ball. Well, the wind got a hold of it and he wasn't in a horizontal position to make the catch.

  135. Gonat - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    Less Platu said… Gonat: cant think of a worse duo to hit and run with: swing and miss Espi, slow turtle Tracy — come on coach!! get in the game haha April 22, 2013 7:31 PM _______________________________Yes, Suzuki and Haren. Davey is trying anything.

  136. Less Platu - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    Span hasn't been hit by a pitch since 2010 — maybe Span doesn't like contact, with balls or walls

  137. jeffwx - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    And did Sofa mention the name that cannot be spoken ? MZ

  138. Less Platu - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:00 AM

    4 in the books! time to hit!

  139. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:01 AM

    Voldemort?

  140. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:01 AM

    For the batting coaches, what did you notice about Rendons 2 swing and misses?

  141. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:02 AM

    Catchable ballWow. Tough crowd. Must be pitchers.

  142. Gonat - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:04 AM

    The wind did take the ball Untucked. Bernadina makes that catch I believe.

  143. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:04 AM

    OK, THAT was a catchable ball. E-3.

  144. jeffwx - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:04 AM

    wait for the bullpen…Cards relief is for the birds

  145. Less Platu - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:04 AM

    Ghost: Rendon was late — way late

  146. Less Platu - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:05 AM

    e-3 agreed!!

  147. Gonat - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:05 AM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… For the batting coaches, what did you notice about Rendons 2 swing and misses? April 22, 2013 8:01 PM _____________________________Yah, he looked like me with my golf swing. Head off the ball.I'm sure Bryce can take the Rookie aside and give him some advice.

  148. Less Platu - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:06 AM

    Harper can hit Anybody!

  149. Gonat - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:07 AM

    Never an E-3 when the ball bounces just like a Wild Pitch on a bounce to the catcher but yah, that wasn't a tough scoop.

  150. Less Platu - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:08 AM

    Ted Lerner: do a Steinbrenner. Open your billion dollar checkbook and pay anything to get Harvey and Miller here — tomorrow!!

  151. Less Platu - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:10 AM

    Miller literally cruising through this lineup

  152. Gonat - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:11 AM

    I told my friend Desi HR but we will take the double.

  153. Less Platu - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:12 AM

    Miller grooves a curve; Desi all over it!!

  154. jeffwx - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:12 AM

    Yes He who must not be named…the all powerful wizard of this virtual world.Man, so many good young pictures this year….Mller, Harvey, the boys from the braves, Zimm, Det, Stras…Desmond!!!

  155. jeffwx - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:13 AM

    cmon Antnysweet swing

  156. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:14 AM

    Good job NIers. Rendon opening up and swinging late and pulling his head off.

  157. jeffwx - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:15 AM

    Antneeeeeeeeeee!!!!!

  158. Less Platu - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:15 AM

    Rendon: Sweet Swing, kid!! Way to go!!

  159. MicheleS - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:16 AM

    SWEEETT!!! Nice hitting kid! and we are tied!!!

  160. Gonat - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:16 AM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… Good job NIers. Rendon opening up and swinging late and pulling his head off. April 22, 2013 8:14 PM _______________________________He was on that one! That inside pitch he fouled off straightened him out.Gap hitter! There you go!

  161. Less Platu - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:16 AM

    Ghost: I don't see his head pulling off. Not on that double; he was all over it

  162. Less Platu - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:17 AM

    Upper cutting — golf swing Espi ends the inning with a whisper

  163. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:18 AM

    Off the schneid! Rendon murdered that and can now relax.

  164. Less Platu - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:19 AM

    Espi his hitting .160 – his backup is hitting .333. Let's make Danny a bench coach for a while, a good while.hey Davey: You refuse to play guys who have earned their spot? What kind of guy are you, really, Davey.

  165. jeffwx - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:19 AM

    Rendon…drawing a rendering of more good things to come..Natsland, Natsland uber Alles!!! (from the 1841 German poem)Thank you Rizzo, you're a freakin genious

  166. Less Platu - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:20 AM

    This is where Haren turns into a pumpkin.

  167. Gonat - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:20 AM

    Darn it Haren. You can't walk the leadoff man.

  168. Less Platu - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:21 AM

    Listen to FP talking about Zim. We love FP and Bob, but they are hopeless Homers

  169. jeffwx - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:21 AM

    Cosmo Kazmer

  170. Less Platu - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:21 AM

    Haren is a bloop and a blast away from losing his wheels

  171. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:21 AM

    Espi just seems so clueless in the art of hitting.

  172. Less Platu - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:23 AM

    Espi led the Bigs in K's last year — he is not a good hitter.

  173. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:24 AM

    that last stat I would love to know what percent Nats runners score. (not counting HR)

  174. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:25 AM

    Less Platu, head perfectly positioned that at-bat. Best D1 hitter during his time at Rice. Great AFL and Spring Training. His game is line drives not trying to be a HR hitter. He will hit HRs but he will lead the league in doubles.

  175. jeffwx - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:26 AM

    No need for the DH in the NL…good job Dan Haren

  176. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:27 AM

    Less Platu said… beginning of 4th Cards with 2 to date. Critical window of time for Haren. Will he still be in there to begin the 6th? If you give me 3-1, I say NOIf he comes out to hit, you lose. Just sayin.

  177. Less Platu - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:28 AM

    If Haren finishes the 6th unscathed, I lose the bet I made with myself!! Give us another inn., Haren

  178. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:28 AM

    Mark, can you unSpam me?

  179. Less Platu - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:29 AM

    Yep. A bet that is my pleasure to pay off

  180. jeffwx - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:31 AM

    Hey Antnee….get ready for 2bHey Peric, why you aint toutin Marerro…or am I stooopid to think he has a chance

  181. mick - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:32 AM

    Haren's best outing so far, agreed?

  182. MicheleS - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:33 AM

    Ghost.. I shot Chase a tweet to see if he can unspam you

  183. Less Platu - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:33 AM

    Go kick his arse, Holliday haha

  184. jeffwx - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:33 AM

    Probably his best outing this decade…ouch, beanball war

  185. mick - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:34 AM

    jeffwx….lol

  186. Less Platu - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:34 AM

    Can Haren keep the wheels on to salvage a quality start?? Looks doubtful

  187. Less Platu - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:35 AM

    Haren is done — stick the fork in!! He just doesn't have anymore than 5 inn. in him.

  188. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:36 AM

    S****. Thanks MicheleS!

  189. jeffwx - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:36 AM

    I take that back..probably his best outing this week

  190. mick - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:36 AM

    I just paid Haren a compliment too.

  191. Less Platu - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:36 AM

    yeah, look at Haren struggling

  192. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:36 AM

    Big Cat and were takking in bottom 5 th why Heren hit. Davey should have been happy 5 good innings. Couldnt be satisfied. Got greedy.

  193. Gonat - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:36 AM

    Needs that doubleplay here!

  194. Less Platu - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:37 AM

    Cards are swinging from their heels. could work to Haren advantage or not

  195. mick - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:37 AM

    Manassas Nats' Fan … Davey Ithink has not manged well, I know Sonny g disagrees

  196. Less Platu - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:38 AM

    Yeah, Haren uncorks 55 ft FB

  197. Gonat - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:38 AM

    Oh boy. Wheels came off quickly.

  198. Less Platu - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:39 AM

    Bases juiced boys and girls — no outsLord have Mercy!!! HIs majesty is coming out to get him!! He must be tired of losing with "his boys"

  199. Gonat - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:39 AM

    Davey makes some tough decisions. Would have liked a quicker hook as we have seen this ending before.

  200. slidell2 - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:40 AM

    It was nice while it lasted.

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