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Instant analysis: Cardinals 3, Nats 2

Apr 23, 2013, 1:48 AM EDT

Associated Press
Denard Span can't quite haul in Allen Craig's third-inning drive to the wall.

Game in a nutshell: The Cardinals were in town for the first time since Game 5 of the 2012 NLDS forever became a part of both D.C. and St. Louis sports lore, but the Nationals were less concerned with exorcising those demons and more concerned with playing a good game of baseball and getting themselves back on track after a ragged weekend in New York. They did play much cleaner, but they just couldn't get much going offensively against Cardinals rookie Shelby Miller. Ian Desmond and Anthony Rendon's back-to-back RBI doubles in the fourth produced their only two runs off Miller, who pitched well into the seventh. (Rendon notched both his first career hit and first career RBI there.) Dan Haren, meanwhile, once again couldn't record an out in the sixth. The veteran right-hander did show some improvement, but he faded late, and that left the Nationals in a hole. They couldn't claw their way out of it, stranding the tying runner in scoring position in both the seventh and eighth innings. Drew Storen managed to pitch a scoreless ninth against the Cardinals, but it didn't matter this time because his teammates couldn't push across the necessary tying run.

Hitting lowlight: The Nationals had some chances, especially late, but simply couldn't produce a clutch hit when they needed it. TheyRead more »

  1. Less Platu - Apr 23, 2013 at 1:55 AM

    Managers make the difference in one run ball games. This is where they make their money. DJ failed to manufacture anything — at all.

  2. Secret wasian man - Apr 23, 2013 at 1:55 AM

    Good teams hit with 2 outs with RISP. Nats not good. 10 and 9 record proves it. especially with 5 of the 10 against the Marlins.

  3. Secret wasian man - Apr 23, 2013 at 1:57 AM

    Davey didnt watch a fastball go right down the middle of the plate

  4. Less Platu - Apr 23, 2013 at 1:57 AM

    We'll get it together, eventually. I hope we're not 12 games back when we finally do

  5. mick - Apr 23, 2013 at 1:58 AM

    Was happy to see Drew put this demon to rest, only positive from this game. 8th inning was TERRIBLE! Desi's errors are bad enough, but his take on that last strike just angered the hell out of me. Are there any leaders on this team who has had enough of this crap??

  6. Less Platu - Apr 23, 2013 at 1:58 AM

    No he didn't. but his job is to create the mindset that jumps on that pitch.

  7. Gonat - Apr 23, 2013 at 1:59 AM

    Less Platu, Davey didn't blow this one. Werth, LaRoche and Desmond with horrible ABs against Rosenthal when the door opened with that infield hit by Span and walk to Bryce.LaRoche with a poor at-bat by swinging at the 1st pitch he sees after that Bryce walk.Just bad. With 2 outs Rosenthal went in attack mode by Desi who looked lost at the plate. It was basically I'm going to blow it past you and you see if you can catch up to my 95+ and Desi couldn't.

  8. Less Platu - Apr 23, 2013 at 1:59 AM

    Mick: Me thinks Espi and Desi aren't quite ready for quantum physics at the local college, if you get my drift. Especially Espi, he seems to have the i.q. of a clam

  9. mick - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:00 AM

    Not Davey's fault on Werth SO and Desi's pathetic at bat. Tracy just got a bad break and Jay made a great play

  10. peric - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:00 AM

    NO BATS in the heart of lineup. Zero output from the heart of the lineup. And Adam LaRoche is way ahead of Danny in the strike out department. They can't wait until July for a guy in the 4-hole to start hitting! Not with Zim still healing.

  11. Less Platu - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:01 AM

    My planned Book:Garbage in Garbage Out: Nats Veterans sit out spring training

  12. mick - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:02 AM

    Peric, speaking of heart, who on this team is going to start showing some heart and fire???

  13. peric - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:02 AM

    No output from Harper/LaRoche/Desmond. That's not going to work with the lineup of clubs on the schedule. They've got to get someone in the heart of the lineup who is going to generate some offense.

  14. peric - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:03 AM

    Peric, speaking of heart, who on this team is going to start showing some heart and fire???Harper surely is. But he's got a problem. There's a gigantic hole behind him so pitchers don't have to give him anything he can hit.

  15. mick - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:04 AM

    peric… all good points

  16. Gonat - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:08 AM

    The bullpen was amazing tonight!

  17. Gonat - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:08 AM

    That pic of Span tells a big story. It's in your glove. Span hasn't had one Web Gem this season, correct?

  18. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:09 AM

    Jay makes a great play to save run. Span in his chance just was slow picking up the ball and they score 2.Of course no error, but out fielded by Cards again.

  19. Gonat - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:11 AM

    We can b!tch and moan about what's not good or find the positives and I think Haren pitched better than his fate, bullpen was great, fielding was good but didn't make the big plays. There were certainly some bad luck and unlucky BABIP. Chad Tracy's ball caught by Jay was a soul crusher but the team came back in the 8th and fell short.

  20. nats guy - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:11 AM

    This is a team more reflective of 2011 than 2012. They are OK but certainly not great. I was just glad that Storen did not blow up in the top of the 9th.

  21. peric - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:11 AM

    Most of them except for Harper and Suzuki basically regressing to their mean. Jury is still out on Rendon. But it looks like he's going to get the trial by fire. If he starts hitting I wouldn't be surprised to see him move up to 4th behind Harper. But, that hasn't happened yet.

  22. mick - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:12 AM

    Gonat… correct and as I said Storen eliminated a demon from last October. But, one night we hit and the bull pen is terrible another night the bull pen is amazing and we can't hit. They need to come together but they have NO LEADER in the club house or field to get in the faces of those who are dogging it right now.The only consistent thing is Haren. He simply is awful period and Nats need to show him the door ASAP.

  23. Secret wasian man - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:12 AM

    Mick the team up 95 called the Os has less talent but plays with a ton of heart. Not an Os guy but it kills me that they are a better team than the Nats

  24. peric - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:12 AM

    I think Haren pitched better than his fate, bullpen was great, He was lucky Stammen bailed him out of a bases loaded fix no outs.

  25. NatsNutty - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:13 AM

    You know, whenever I hear Davey's post game talk, I sometimes can't tell if the Nats won or lost! If Davey keeps talking about how well everyone played in a loss, why should the team work any harder to win?!?!

  26. DJB - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:13 AM

    I have mixed feelings. Better bullpen and pitching from Haren. But the hole in the middle of the lineup is really frustrating. Zimm is really beginning to piss me off. He can't stay healthy. Rendon's hit was encouraging. This is a mediocre team.

  27. peric - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:13 AM

    Harren still looks like Matt Chico/Garret Mock/Luis Atilano pick one.

  28. Secret wasian man - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:14 AM

    The shark catches the ball. Not impressed with Span

  29. Almazar80 - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:14 AM

    New week, same story. Can't beat good teams. The good teams are looking forward to playing the Nats. The Nats have one stopper, two decent pitchers, and Stras and Haren are both big losers so far this season. So much for the hype. It looks like the hot air got to the Nats early. By summer, they may be out of the playoff race the way they're going.

  30. mick - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:14 AM

    Denny McClain of 1971 is more appropriate

  31. peric - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:15 AM

    Without a healthy Morse (and there in lies the caveat) there is no one other than a healthy Zim that can keep pitchers honest. I would still like to see Tyler Moore be given more of a shot to play regularly but I guess that isn't in the cards.

  32. peric - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:16 AM

    Denny McClain of 1971 is more appropriateThen Span could end up being the washed up Cardinal great Curt Flood of 1971.

  33. Secret wasian man - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:17 AM

    This team is painful to watch. Wow I miss last season.

  34. mick - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:18 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  35. mick - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:19 AM

    I like Span and am not ready to call him Curt Flood 1971 like I will call Haren, Denny McClain. What is scary is that in 1971, in McClain's pitching debut, he went a full 9 innings and won 5-4 on Tommy McGraw's walk off homer. Denny was actually 5-4 before he went stinko and lost over 20 games. In other words, McClain is actually better than Haren at the same point and so were the Nats who began 12-8 in 1971 and finished 63-96. (they did not make up 2 rain outs that year)

  36. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:21 AM

    I have been on Espi's case for 3 years now and still am. Why The mind set of the hitters is not good. Lok at the last 7 batters.Werth his first strike swung at a low pitch. Strike 2 down the middle taken two fouls Then on the 2-2 count swingsat one 12-15 inches inside.Then Harper great patience and walks.LaRoche after a walk swings swings at first pitch and a slow roler to first. Pitch must not have been one he could drive with that hit. So don't swing at first pitch.Desi first two strikes were probably low and probably balls without swings. Then a fastball belt high middlr of the plate. Dont even bother to swing.Rendon first strike he let go (that is OK). Then swings at one in the dirt. Then lets one go on the outer half the plate.Espi swings at 2 out of the zone then tries to pull one that is on outer half. Why anyone pulls thosr has always been a mystety almost always a ground out.Suzuki then let 2 good ones go and has to swing at one nearly high but probably a strike, not as a good of a pitch as first two.Probably is this scenario repeats itsellf all too often.That is why Eck is pitiful to me because the same approach happens all to often.As Big Cats says. Let Eck go. I agree.

  37. mick - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:21 AM

    agree Peric on Moore, Nats should do what 1975 Red Sox did when they went with 2 rookies named Lynn and Rice over 2 vets who were washed up. the rest was history

  38. df57a0f4-abbc-11e2-affa-000bcdcb2996 - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:24 AM

    Best game they've played in days, and you bozos act like we lost 15-0 again.Except for lack of hits, guys played great.Haren better than expected, bullpen fantastic, mostly great defense.Would've preferred we won, but most hope for the future I've had in while.

  39. Almazar80 - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:26 AM

    Haren was saved by Stammen. Pitching still subpar, so is the hitting.

  40. peric - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:26 AM

    in McClain's pitching debut, he went a full 9 innings and won 5-4 on Tommy McGraw's walk off homer.Tommy McCraw, they got him from the A's. I was there. Children's Hospital games were the best … always a completely packed house because the proceeds went to them. I spent a bit of time there myself … :)

  41. peric - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:28 AM

    Best game they've played in days, and you bozos act like we lost 15-0 again.They are now 10-9 and it doesn't get any easier after the Cardinals … it could get a lot harder. There's no bat in the middle of lineup other than Harper's. We just have to hope that Rendon proves he might be able to manage it. But that's asking a lot … its something Tyler Moore should be tasked with instead.

  42. mick - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:29 AM

    df57a0f4-abbc-11e2-affa-000bcdcb2996 no reason to call people names. Sorry, but I expect a major league pitcher to go at least 6-7 innings without falling a part. Haren is a veteran and if it not for Stammen, 3 earned runs would have been on him. What are the Nats paying him? He is veteran thrown in ahead of Detweiler (which is NUTS) in the rotation and he is 1-4 and has yet to go 7 innings.

  43. mick - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:30 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  44. mick - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:31 AM

    Peric…. cool story

  45. peric - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:32 AM

    Well, Dave says its all a part of getting going …That's what Riggleman used to say about Willy Harris. So, Davey saying that scares the bejeesus out of me.

  46. Unknown - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:33 AM

    Man, 10-9, season almost over. What a disappointing year for the 'Skins….oh, yeah, this isn't football. There's 143 more games. I'm not ready to throw in the towel or make judgments yet. Last year, they got hot early, overcame injuries, and faded in the playoffs after an up and down September. I will gladly take the opposite this season. Hey, they may not recover and have a bad year. So be it. No one knows yet if that will happen. And the hype? Who cares? Sportswriting is the only job in the world where you can be wrong 95% of the time and still keep your job.

  47. sjm308 - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:33 AM

    Tough tough loss. Very pleased with the pen but we can't keep giving scoring chances. We are obviously not playing as well as I think we can. Please don't tell me about Morse who is now under .230 and would be gone in a year. I am just wondering how long Davey will stay with Espinosa. He has already said that Zimm will be back at 3rd no matter how well Rendon is playing but if he does get hot, would they send Espinosa down? I don't read game posts so if this is redundant I apologize.

  48. Less Platu - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:38 AM

    Someone commented the O's have a less talented team? Are you kidding me? The O's are stronger at every position but Left Field and Starting pitching. The Skinny.1b: Laroche or Davis? Davis2b: Espi or Casilla? Casillass: Desi or Hardy? Hardy3b: Machado or Zim? MachadoLf: Harper or Reimold? Harper (duh?)Cf: Span or Jones? Jones (duh?)Rf: Werth or Markakis? Edge to MarkakisC: Suzuki or Weiters? WeitersStaring Pitching: HANDS DOWN: NATSBullpen: HANDS DOWN: O'S

  49. peric - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:38 AM

    Please don't tell me about Morse who is now under .230 and would be gone in a year.That's about what Zim was hitting sjm308 with far fewer dingers. Morse is injured like Zim with a fractured pinky. Same deal as Austin Kearns with the thumb that he had to get repaired in the offseason after his terrible final year with the Nats. And Zim with the shoulder and hammy.

  50. Less Platu - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:39 AM

    Forgot oneDavey or Buck: HANDS DOWN; BUCK

  51. peric - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:39 AM

    Someone commented the O's have a less talented team? Are you kidding me? The O's are stronger at every position but Left Field and Starting pitching. The Skinny.I despise Or-holes fans. Isn't there an Ori-holes blog you can post to?

  52. Less Platu - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:40 AM

    Enough enough about Morse hitting .230. He's a career .294 hitting and will be there at year's end. He's playing with a broken pinkey — and adjusting to the AL pitchers who are adjusting to him. Morse can flat out hit – he hasn't lost his touch

  53. Less Platu - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:42 AM

    Span is now back to his lifetime avg" approx. .265. and no web gems. What, you expected more? It was all there before we dumped Morse for Span. A lifetime .265 guy with 10 net steals a year (big whoop), no web gems, a very average arm — ZERO Power — this is Span

  54. Less Platu - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:44 AM

    Peric, You are an idiot. I am a Nationals fan — probably before you ever were. I can state an opinion — and a pretty good opinion — about the O's. and for this you Despise me? Are you serious or just a Troll?

  55. Less Platu - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:45 AM

    I despise bigots.

  56. Less Platu - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:46 AM

    Hey Peric the Hateful, why don't you dispute my list of comparisons — but warning: be careful not to make a fool out of yourself, you are a little over emotional — that's obvious

  57. Less Platu - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:49 AM

    Peric the hateful bigot goes silent. Smart boy. Take a Prozac and call me in the morning

  58. mick - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:51 AM

    sjmI would bench Desmond and move Espi to SS and tell him to bat right handed. Insert Lombo at 2b. Zim could go back to 3rd, but I would be bold and keep Rendon at 3rd and go with it. Have R Zim play 1b and ALR can platoon with him Or, keep Zim at 3b and start Moore over ALR and have them platoon. If Span or Werth stop hitting, then maybe Moore or Lombo can play in OF. These young guys need to play if the are indeed the future. I have a very bad feeling about this team for this season. The injuries to Zim and Ramos we are feeling offensively.Historically, every up and coming team who ends up winning 90 plus for a decade goes through this after tasting success. Some of it involves bad luck by injuries and that is what is going on here as well. The good news is that the Nats will win a Pennant in the next few seasons with many players from there minor league system and not the current roster. Stras, Zim, Det and Gio i believe are going to be apart of a championship team. This team needs a 5th pitcher desperately. Yes, I have given up on Haren as I have been around this game long enough to know if i guy has it or not, Haren does not have it.

  59. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:56 AM

    another two you missedPresley over Eck.McCatty over Adair.

  60. mick - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:57 AM

    Let me take a shotLess Platu said…Someone commented the O's have a less talented team? Are you kidding me? The O's are stronger at every position but Left Field and Starting pitching. The Skinny.1b: Laroche or Davis? Davis agreed 100%2b: Espi or Casilla? Casilla agreed, until Espi bats r handed only, Espi a better fielderss: Desi or Hardy? Hardy AGREED, I would take 1971 Toby Harah over Desi3b: Machado or Zim? Machado agreed, but when Zim's healty, I like ZimLf: Harper or Reimold? Harper (duh?) right, duhCf: Span or Jones? Jones (duh?) agreed, but Span is goodRf: Werth or Markakis? Edge to Markakis agree, only an edge C: Suzuki or Weiters? Weiters Yes, but with Ramos Nats have depth over O's at catcherStaring Pitching: HANDS DOWN: NATSBullpen: HANDS DOWN: O'S disagree, Nats B pen I will take over O'sI hate to say this but Buck over Davey

  61. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 23, 2013 at 3:00 AM

    Desi is one of our few hitters right now. No way I would bench for Espu.I would bench Espi for Lombo.zim LaRoche and Espi are killing us. Span, Werth and Suzuki slacking down.Desi and Harper are hitting.

  62. mick - Apr 23, 2013 at 3:01 AM

    why can't Espi simply be allowed to bat right handed? What am I missing?

  63. mick - Apr 23, 2013 at 3:01 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  64. mick - Apr 23, 2013 at 3:02 AM

    once again, if Nats win series, all is good.

  65. Gonat - Apr 23, 2013 at 3:19 AM

    Manassas Nats' Fan said… I have been on Espi's case for 3 years now and still am. Why The mind set of the hitters is not good. Lok at the last 7 batters.Werth his first strike swung at a low pitch. Strike 2 down the middle taken two fouls Then on the 2-2 count swingsat one 12-15 inches inside._____________________________His mechanics with the pressure on was so bad that he looked like he was on a Par 3 with a 7 iron.Early in the game he went oppo on a great AB but it was a low pressure situation with a pitcher who was trying to get him to chase. With the game on the line, he's just an automatic out and every once in a while like against Kimbrel last July 20th when he hit a HR was the lucky squirrel finding the nut I hate to say.

  66. peric - Apr 23, 2013 at 3:19 AM

    Yes I am a bigot I hate, absolutely despise the Ori-holes.

  67. Gonat - Apr 23, 2013 at 3:21 AM

    mick said… why can't Espi simply be allowed to bat right handed? What am I missing? April 22, 2013 11:01 PM _________________________________I don't see how it could be worse. If they hang on to him, not a bad idea to send him to Puerto Rico for Winter ball to swing only right-handed.

  68. Eric - Apr 23, 2013 at 3:21 AM

    "They are now 10-9 and it doesn't get any easier after the Cardinals … it could get a lot harder. "I agree, but I also agree they played well and that there are some bright spots that matter. Good showings from multiple relievers in the last the last couple games (GREAT to see Storen own it tonight, starting with Kozma of all people), and, while our offense has gone quiet for a couple games, it is a huge part of why we're not worse than 10-9 right now. If we can hold those lines and get 2012-calibre Gio and Stras in the mix we'll be in pretty good shape. Haren would be icing.Would love to see it all clickng at least by the time we're done in Pittsburg.

  69. peric - Apr 23, 2013 at 3:22 AM

    With the game on the line, he's just an automatic out and every once in a while like against Kimbrel last July 20th when he hit a HR was the lucky squirrel finding the nut I hate to say.Three words: SEPARATED ROTATOR CUFF.How did and does Zim hit with shoulder injuries? Like he's lucky he can even see the squirrel! He can't even get to outside pitches!C'mon!!!! We still don't know whether Espinosa can really do this with his not repaired rotator cuff.

  70. Gonat - Apr 23, 2013 at 3:22 AM

    peric said… Yes I am a bigot I hate, absolutely despise the Ori-holes. April 22, 2013 11:19 PM ______________________________Me too. Still don't know why the O phans don't like the Nats. It isn't like the Lerner's did anything to them except give them a glimpse into how to run a franchise. The only thing they have is a great stadium.

  71. peric - Apr 23, 2013 at 3:23 AM

    In spite of that injury he still managed to out do Lombardozzi in most of the important offensive categories. Sheesh!

  72. peric - Apr 23, 2013 at 3:24 AM

    If you bring up the Ori-holes on this blog except in derision and ridicule you make me made … I hate Angel-HOSE!

  73. Gonat - Apr 23, 2013 at 3:27 AM

    Peric, I just want to push Zim closer to the plate. He would need a fungo bat to reach the outside of the plate from where he stands.

  74. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 23, 2013 at 3:33 AM

    Gonat I too think Zim would be fine moving closer to home ,3 or so inches.Espi if shoulder is bothering go on the DL and get it fixed

  75. Gonat - Apr 23, 2013 at 3:53 AM

    Espi is no different than April 2012. I believe his should is fine.

  76. Less Platu - Apr 23, 2013 at 4:00 AM

    I think Zim should move closer to home too!! Maybe a block or two away from mom and dad in Va. beach — stay there until you get cured of Sasser/sax disease

  77. Less Platu - Apr 23, 2013 at 4:01 AM

    Mick: Accept for the bullpen, we agree. Now, I'll take Nats pen from 2012 — but not this years. Jim Johnson is lights out as their closer. Lights out underrated by faaar.

  78. peric - Apr 23, 2013 at 4:06 AM

    He would need a fungo bat to reach the outside of the plate from where he stands.When he's healthy and his bat speed is there it works for him. I think its best to get him healthy (don't rush him back because it could make the situation even worst) and then judge that.

  79. Gabor Mehes - Apr 23, 2013 at 4:09 AM

    Again and again. Davey has no idea when to take out a pitcher. Plus, he sends in Tracy instead of a better hitter, Lombardozzi, in a one run game.

  80. Eric - Apr 23, 2013 at 4:29 AM

    Actually, I think he pulled the pitcher just in time. The offense gave itself many opportunities to tie or pull ahead, then squandered all of them.

  81. Scott Margenau - Apr 23, 2013 at 4:42 AM

    Are Davey and Shani the same person?

  82. natsfan1a - Apr 23, 2013 at 11:40 AM

    Speaking of being the same person, quite the sock puppet show in this thread and the game thread. Plus, we got a MASN sports discussion show as well (O's/Nats). Awesome. Wake me when it's over? kthxbai.

  83. Ron In Reston - Apr 23, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    They really should install a breathalyzer on computers to allow people to post….

  84. Gabor Mehes - Apr 23, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    He should have taken out Haren when he let the first two men reach base and the score was still tied. The problem with Davey is that he craves the love of his players.

Archives

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ATLANTA 70 64 6.0
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NEW YORK 62 72 14.0
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