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After another loss, shake-up coming

Apr 24, 2013, 10:45 PM EDT

The Nationals didn’t just win 98 games last year and reach the postseason for the first time in club history, they did so without putting themselves through any prolonged stretch of legitimate adversity.

That may have left everyone — uniformed personnel, fans and media alike — to assume the 2013 campaign would proceed with nary a bump in the road with a roster that didn’t appear to have any true flaws cruising along toward another division title and then October success.

Three weeks in, it’s already become obvious things won’t come as easily to the Nationals this season as they did last season. After a 4-2 loss to the Cardinals on Wednesday, their fourth straight, they suddenly find themselves in a wholly unfamiliar position: Below the .500 mark, with growing questions about their ability to score enough runs to win games.

“What we’re going through, it’s the first time this team has dealt with expectations, and there’s something to be said about that,” right fielder Jayson Werth said. “But we’ll adjust. The league has adjusted to us; we’ll adjust to the league. We’ll be fine. We’ve got too much talent.”
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125 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 24, 2013 at 10:52 PM

    That 3 day Dodgers sweep at the end of April last year was as bad as it gets.Davey has to start a winning streak.Like I said too many losses where you can point specifically to issues while the competitors just aren't making a lot of costly mistakes.

  2. NatsLady - Apr 24, 2013 at 10:56 PM

    Ghost, really? In the Rox game, Young gets a triple with 1 out. Dexter Fowler swings on a 3-0 count, hits a ground ball and they easily cut down the runner at the plate and the next guy strikes out. Two mistakes in one play (swing and baserunning)… On to the 12 inning.

  3. JayB - Apr 24, 2013 at 11:01 PM

    "Somebody was talking about Phil Jackson the other day. We need to call him up, have him come in here and burn some sage or something. We're not very feng shui right now."Down side to a 70 year old manager….seems to be leading south fast….dopey statement.

  4. NatsLady - Apr 24, 2013 at 11:01 PM

    But the Rox win anyway… our luck will turn.

  5. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 24, 2013 at 11:05 PM

    6 big issues today1) The biggest one was the blooper to left and Bryce throws a laser to 2nd that Danny handles and puts the tag on the runner who is called out…only he drops the ball. 3 runs then score.2) Rendon with runners on 1st and 3rd and 1 out goes high to 2nd and everyone is safe while the slightly easier play is coming home for the tag play. He got assessed an error. 3) Cardinals send the runner in the 8th with a man on 1st and a lefty up. Generally the SS will break on the steal. Instead Espi heads to the base and it ends up a hit & run and instead of a potential doubleplay is 1st and 2nd with no outs.4) Rendon with runners on 1st and 3rd gets a comebacker with the runner breaking towards the plate. Instead of getting the running going back towards 3rd and they get him heading towards home which allows the runner on 2nd to take 3rd. Next play is an infield hit that scored him from 3rd that wouldn't have scored him from 2nd.5) Lombo is up with a 3-0 count. He clearly indicates to the reliever he isn't swinging as he gives him the whole plate and stands up straight as a board. On the 3-2 pitch Davey sends the runner (Solano) and Lombo swings and misses at the pitch out of the zone and it became a strike 'em out throw 'em out doubleplay. Davey made the right call with a contact hitter. It's hard to believe the outcome.6) LaRoche with a man on base pinch hits for TyMo and goes down flailing at the 3rd pitch for a 3 pitch K. He looked as overmatched as a High Schooler facing a Major Leaguer.There were positives that again were overshadowed by all the negatives. The Nats did out-score the Cardinals 2-1 from the 2nd inning on and when Strasburg got in a groove he looked amazing.Solano did a great job behind the dish. Very Ramos-like in getting the digits down quickly and sympatico with Strasburg.If Davey wants to change things, he should really think of matching up catchers.

  6. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 24, 2013 at 11:08 PM

    NatsLady said… Ghost, really? In the Rox game, Young gets a triple with 1 out. Dexter Fowler swings on a 3-0 count, hits a ground ball and they easily cut down the runner at the plate and the next guy strikes out. Two mistakes in one play (swing and baserunning)… On to the 12 inning. April 24, 2013 6:56 PM Loving the walkoff by the Rox. You are right, the Nats luck will turn if they can cut down on all the mental mistakes.Unfortunately this game is moving too fast for Rendon. He has to improve quickly.

  7. pwilly - Apr 24, 2013 at 11:10 PM

    The 70 year old manager didn't make the comment about Phil Jackson, the 30-something RFer did.Little things that happen during the game is killing this team, some of it their own fault. That first inning may be completely different of Espy holds on to Harper's throw at second and Rendon's throw doesn't pull Espy off the bag. Seemed like the Cardinals hitters were using baseballs with eyes.

  8. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 24, 2013 at 11:10 PM

    Ghost…….Strasberg going 37 pitches before he throws a first pitch strike 1 is an issue, as well.

  9. DJB - Apr 24, 2013 at 11:11 PM

    There are no easy fixes this season. I could go into detail why, but this is a 72 to 82 win team. I liked the lovable losers because at least they played lose. Can't respect this team from a mental viewpoint. They're just chokers, pure and simple.

  10. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 24, 2013 at 11:13 PM

    I'm hearing Lombo is starting tomorrow. Is that official yet? I think TyMo needs more starts too.

  11. NatsLady - Apr 24, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    JayB, according to the article, Davey didn't say that about the feng shui, Werth did.

  12. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 24, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… Ghost…….Strasberg going 37 pitches before he throws a first pitch strike 1 is an issue, as well. April 24, 2013 7:10 PM I will still defend him. That 1st batter got him immediately out of rhythm. He looked amazing the 3rd inning on. It was like the ole Stras.

  13. NatsLady - Apr 24, 2013 at 11:19 PM

    Ghost, yes on Rendon, exactly what I feared when I heard about the call-up. He will eventually be a better 3B than Lombo because he has a better arm, but he isn't right now. Inexperience.

  14. Bob Saget Nats Fan 101 - Apr 24, 2013 at 11:22 PM

    I am not a baseball mind but if I were Davey, I would tell whoever isn't hitting or making dumb mistakes, he will bench them for a few games. He needs to put his foot down. I may be overacting since I haven't seen the past 2 games but I something has to change. Everyone on the team needs to help or give advice to whoever needs it.

  15. Bob Saget Nats Fan 101 - Apr 24, 2013 at 11:23 PM

    I am not a baseball mind but if I were Davey, I would tell whoever isn't hitting or making dumb mistakes, he will bench them for a few games. He needs to put his foot down. I may be overacting since I haven't seen the past 2 games but I something has to change. Everyone on the team needs to help or give advice to whoever needs it.

  16. NatsLady - Apr 24, 2013 at 11:26 PM

    There are mental mistakes, and then there is lack of hustle. So far, I haven't seen the latter… Here is what Longoria did.Ben Duronio Longo causally jogging to first on what should be a close play

  17. SonnyG10 - Apr 24, 2013 at 11:29 PM

    I'd like to see Lombo play third tomorrow. I know he has a weak arm, but I bet he can do it. Not anxious to see Chad Tracy at third. I hope we don't get Rendon screwed up because he came up too soon. I believe Rizzo is correct that Anthony needs his minor league at bats.

  18. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 24, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    17 games in 17 days and they already look tired. Ramos on a rehab assignment and Zim hopefully is ready in 10 days to come back and quickly contribute.LaRoche is just a black hole in the middle of the lineup. I hate to say it, I'm going with TyMo. He had a nice double today and can hit RH pitchers so write him in Davey!Espi seems more interested on what the Braves are doing than what he is doing. The brain f@rting on this team has affected everyone from Bryce to Werth.

  19. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 24, 2013 at 11:33 PM

    Ghost…..watched Ramos run with the trainer this morning and he's ready.

  20. baseballswami - Apr 24, 2013 at 11:36 PM

    Since I did not live in an area with a major league team for many years, I am a big fan of baseball in the thirty team sense. Lots of teams projected to be at the top are struggling. Lots of aces are struggling, closers blowing saves. As I pointed out for today- lots of low scoring affairs. I just have to think, with all the baseball I have watched in my life, that things can't stay this way. I just don't see us as last year 's Marlins or Red Sox. Different personnel. But it does cheese me that Danny can do whatever the heck he wants or say anything and there are no consequences.

  21. baseballswami - Apr 24, 2013 at 11:37 PM

    Yeah— Ramos!!!!

  22. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 24, 2013 at 11:44 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… Ghost…..watched Ramos run with the trainer this morning and he's ready. April 24, 2013 7:33 PM Great news!5-1 with him and 5-10 without him.

  23. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 24, 2013 at 11:45 PM

    SonnyG10, are they saying Lombo at 3rd tomorrow?

  24. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 24, 2013 at 11:50 PM

    Through all the mistakes today, the Nats still had a chance to win. Much better than yesterday.

  25. peric - Apr 24, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    You know Davey said Lombo at the top of the lineup … it could be #2 but it could also be batting #1 … Moving Werth down in the lineup is just going to make the heart of the lineup that much worse.FOUR with the Reds, then FOUR with the Barves. Don't look now but they could lose all eight the way they are playing?

  26. peric - Apr 24, 2013 at 11:59 PM

    Lombo really doesn't make sense at third base. He does however in left-field.

  27. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 25, 2013 at 12:02 AM

    peric, I actually liked the lineup today. I would keep it the same and just put Lombo in place of Espi and Zuk in at catcher.I would go back to Solano on Friday with JZim.

  28. baseballswami - Apr 25, 2013 at 12:04 AM

    Agreed. Seems like it is giving a chance to play on the one hand and setting him up to fail on the other. Can't hurt little Danny's feelings, though, can you? He is the first Nat in a long time that I am having difficulty enjoying.

  29. DJB - Apr 25, 2013 at 12:15 AM

    This team can't handle pressure. They went about .500 last September and barely limped into the playoffs. Gio and Storen had nervous breakdowns during the NLDS, Gio on multiple occasions. Desmond booted a ground ball the final play of the game. It's just continued this year. If this team were a prison inmate, it would be the one to be targeted in the showers. After what the Cardinals did to them last year, and with Kozma's taunting of Storen, to give up a sweep shows weakness. The team needs to be blown up and re-built around Harper and Stras. Unfortunately, Rizzo has screwed us with long-term contracts for injured players and head cases. This will take some time, but we need some hard-nosed baseball players like they have in St. Louis an Cincinnati.

  30. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 25, 2013 at 12:16 AM

    Harold Reynolds says the Nats are playing with no urgency. False.There is no need for urgency in April. There's a need for good fundamentals and defense which is what this team was built on.The wheels came off with that 1st throwing error by Zim in the 9th inning meltdown and followed the next day and they've been flat ever since. Getting back to basics is great starting pitching and backing it up with great defense and timely hitting. That's how you get it back on track.

  31. peric - Apr 25, 2013 at 12:24 AM

    peric, I actually liked the lineup today. I would keep it the same and just put Lombo in place of Espi and Zuk in at catcher.I would go back to Solano on Friday with JZim.Kilgore says Ramos might go on a Rehab assignment Friday. I think they may try to get him back to go to Atlanta with them. T-Mo should be in the lineup everyday. LaRoche should be placed on the DL with the sore back and sent to Harrisburg to work out of this slump. Not Syracuse its still too cold for that dude there. Rendon needs to be given every chance to succeed in order to ensure Zim doesn't try to rush back. Believe me if that happens we might as well get ready thinking about who gets called up for the look see in late July.

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

    Yes, confirmed. Ramos to Harrisburg on the road Friday.

  33. peric - Apr 25, 2013 at 12:25 AM

    And Walker is right and FP is flat out wrong about Zim.

  34. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 25, 2013 at 12:27 AM

    Peric, I wish I knew what was wrong with LaRoche. a DL stint and rehab may get him back on track.Also agree on Rendon. Play him everyday.

  35. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 25, 2013 at 12:30 AM

    peric said… And Walker is right and FP is flat out wrong about Zim.That Doc Walker exchange with FP was quite interesting.

  36. peric - Apr 25, 2013 at 12:31 AM

    Peric, I wish I knew what was wrong with LaRoche. a DL stint and rehab may get him back on track.Could be the back Ghost … the fact he is really cold until July kind of tells me he plays better in the heat. At the beginning of last year he had taken almost a year off rehabbing the shoulder after surgery. That probably rested the back. The guy needs an MRI and a study … of his back. He can't stretch like he did last season. All can be attributed to the back.

  37. DJB - Apr 25, 2013 at 12:35 AM

    Their fundamentals broke down because of pressure. Just like a golfer that yips on a three-footer, the fielders are not able to replicate mechanics under pressure. Heart races a little too much, you rush a throw, and, boom, you airmail it. Thoughts begin to race on the mound, you don't think carefully about your spot, or, if you're HROd, you overthrow, and you give up a homerun or wild pitch. All the talent in the world won't help if a player is not able to handle pressure.

  38. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 25, 2013 at 12:37 AM

    ALR hit that key HR on Saturday but let's face it, it wasn't a no-doubter and in the old configs of CitiField would have been caught on the warning track.Other than that, ALR has done almost nothing and his stretches to catch balls just isn't there. Desi threw a low throw that never hit the ground and ALR had it clank off his glove and it was Desi who got the E-6. The Zim throw on the 2nd game of the Atlanta series was up the line and ALR caught it but couldn't apply the tag.I'm thinking something is really wrong with his back and he's telling Davey he is fine.

  39. SonnyG10 - Apr 25, 2013 at 12:46 AM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said…SonnyG10, are they saying Lombo at 3rd tomorrow?April 24, 2013 7:45 PMNo, nothing official. I just overheard someone mention it…maybe on tv or something. Someone mentioned about Rendon being overmatched and maybe Lombo would take his place. Probably won't happen.

  40. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 25, 2013 at 12:50 AM

    SonnyG10, I guess we will know what Davey has up his sleeve in about 20 hours (maybe sooner).

  41. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 25, 2013 at 12:51 AM

    SonnyG10, I guess we will know what Davey has up his sleeve in about 20 hours (maybe sooner).

  42. baseballswami - Apr 25, 2013 at 12:54 AM

    Apparently a bunch of the guys stayed behind in the clubhouse today to hash things out. Will it help or hurt? I think everyone is much too focused on the World frickin Series, our record, what Atlanta is doing,etc I hate the off season and yet, here I am gnashing my teeth over April baseball. If they could just play the game, one pitch, one play at a time and if I could just enjoy the game. I think we need Zoloft in the water at the stadium. It's a game…

  43. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 25, 2013 at 1:00 AM

    Good to hear they had a group meeting. First thing I would say that anyone who is hurt has to step forward and admit it.This machismo cr@p about toughing it out and the fear of being labeled as an oft-injured player should be secondary as any of those players are hurting the team.

  44. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 25, 2013 at 1:07 AM

    Wow, Kimbrel's blown save was due to Justin Upton getting twisted around like a pretzel in LF.I guess the Barves had a huge letdown today and that makes me happy & the Os finally lost a 1 run game as well as extra innings.

  45. baseballswami - Apr 25, 2013 at 1:23 AM

    And did I hear that Harvey is human as well? Perhaps the upside down bizarro world we have been living in is reversing.

  46. SonnyG10 - Apr 25, 2013 at 1:28 AM

    I hope they did something to ease the tension in their group meeting. They really need to stick together and cover each other's backs. But is this still trying too hard. I hope they don't have to hit rock bottom before they turn things around.Ghost, I second your comments @ 9:00 pm. If LaRoache is ailing, he needs to fess up and give TyMo a better chance to play. He's giving Harp no protection.

  47. natsfan1a - Apr 25, 2013 at 1:40 AM

    Maybe they rearranged the clubhouse furniture for better feng shui. :-)

  48. baseballswami - Apr 25, 2013 at 1:45 AM

    Ah, a fan with a sense of humor still intact.

  49. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 25, 2013 at 1:49 AM

    Swami, Harvey gives up a 2 run homer an inch above the RF wall next to the foul pole that was ruled a triple and reversed.He pitched great and sawed off a few bats that blooped in.

  50. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 25, 2013 at 1:52 AM

    SonnyG10 said… Ghost, I second your comments @ 9:00 pm. If LaRoache is ailing, he needs to fess up and give TyMo a better chance to play. He's giving Harp no protection.April 24, 2013 9:28 PM Thanks. It will be interesting what happens tomorrow!

  51. SonnyG10 - Apr 25, 2013 at 1:53 AM

    natsfan1a said…Maybe they rearranged the clubhouse furniture for better feng shui. :-)1a, you're the cat's meow! :)

  52. baseballswami - Apr 25, 2013 at 1:56 AM

    I almost feel like we need one game that is a gift– the opposing pitcher melts down, errors, whatever. Just a little luck that oils the machinery and takes some weight off their shoulders. Something that breaks the curse. Anything. Anything at all. Soon?

  53. SonnyG10 - Apr 25, 2013 at 1:58 AM

    peric said…Rendon needs to be given every chance to succeed in order to ensure Zim doesn't try to rush back. Believe me if that happens we might as well get ready thinking about who gets called up for the look see in late July.April 24, 2013 8:24 PMGood point!

  54. SonnyG10 - Apr 25, 2013 at 2:00 AM

    baseballswami said…I almost feel like we need one game that is a gift– the opposing pitcher melts down, errors, whatever. Just a little luck that oils the machinery and takes some weight off their shoulders. Something that breaks the curse. Anything. Anything at all. Soon?April 24, 2013 9:56 PMSwami, I feel your pain! :)

  55. baseballswami - Apr 25, 2013 at 2:04 AM

    We're all in this together!!!

  56. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 25, 2013 at 2:10 AM

    Halladay pitches well and gives up 1 earned and gets a no decision as the Phillies bullpen implodes and they lost.

  57. Eric - Apr 25, 2013 at 2:14 AM

    Werth's comments give me hope that they–or, at least some of them–can still take things light. If there was a group meeting tonight, let's hope it's as effective as the team meeting Davey called last August.swami, seriously re: a little good luck. I mean, it's not possible that our opponents are *this* good a shifting on us, is it?! Sheesh!!!

  58. Eric - Apr 25, 2013 at 2:17 AM

    PS – the Cards small ball game continues to send me into apoplectic fits. It kinda makes me understand the Ty Cobb and Tony Gwynn line on long-ball baseball. If I were a Cards fan, I would've eaten this series up.

  59. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 25, 2013 at 2:25 AM

    Matt Harvey just went from a L to a ND as Brandon League blows the save for the Dodgers.

  60. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 25, 2013 at 2:29 AM

    Nats in games they score first are 7-1. In games opposition scores first they are 3-10.Seems like one solution is to score first.

  61. peric - Apr 25, 2013 at 2:29 AM

    No, nothing official. I just overheard someone mention it…maybe on tv or something. Someone mentioned about Rendon being overmatched and maybe Lombo would take his place. Probably won't happen.Not a good move because Lombo is way overmatched at third base. Lots of bunts and hit and runs will be coming his way. Not to mention the hard grounders and line drives down the line. Just like when Zim was hurt and wasn't "fessing up". They need Rendon to succeed to keep Zim down for more than 10 days. I fear if he comes back too soon we'll have "bad Zim" from last year for the rest of 2013 with a longer visit to the DL and eventual surgery again. THIS IS the FOURTH YEAR for Zim. He has to heal AND move to first base otherwise they could end up with something worse than Soriano (who hasn't been all that bad by comparison) with the Cubs. Is that what y'all want? I want the impact/elite hitter back. I'm sorry if he wants to play third. Too damned bad. He has had his chance four straight seasons and he can't seem to get past one without ending up on the DL for a good part of the season with surgery to boot!Its time to either pick up the first baseman's mitt or ask about playing second base. If I were Zim I'd pick first … and hope he can stay healthy.

  62. gail - Apr 25, 2013 at 2:30 AM

    Was at today's game. Missed the first half of the 1st inning (and the horror). I thought Strasburg looked great from the top of the 2nd inning to the 7th. The first inning often gives the best pitchers hiccups until they get in a groove.What bothers me was complete lack of offense. They had chances, but left too many men on base. Some of the fielding was Little League. Embarrassing. They started the season too proud of themselves, and they need to produce or be benched. They looked dispirited and nervous.

  63. peric - Apr 25, 2013 at 2:31 AM

    PS – the Cards small ball game continues to send me into apoplectic fits. It kinda makes me understand the Ty Cobb and Tony Gwynn line on long-ball baseball.Put Lombo at third base and you'll be seeing that from every single good team. A lot.

  64. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 25, 2013 at 2:34 AM

    4 game losing streak. 1 for 24. .042 average. That not quite good enough.

  65. baseballswami - Apr 25, 2013 at 2:35 AM

    Because, God forbid the sainted Danny of the high ceiling, who thinks his manager is wrong, should sit out and Lombo should play his natural position. Can't mess with Teflon Danny, it might screw up his hitting. Oh, wait….

  66. BigCat - Apr 25, 2013 at 2:40 AM

    Well….it looks like Rendon isn't the answer. I'd try Walters next. Bigger and stronger than "Shorty". Runs faster and has more pop in his bat also.

  67. Eric - Apr 25, 2013 at 2:42 AM

    I continue to feel that Espi's fielding is too good to abandon. I agree his lack of hitting is extremely frustrating, but he's just spectacular on D.

  68. Faraz Shaikh - Apr 25, 2013 at 2:42 AM

    yeah, let's call up all prospects one by one because clearly four game sample is enough to show what a guy can do in big leagues.

  69. Eric - Apr 25, 2013 at 2:46 AM

    Agreed about Rendon. All you can really say so far is he hasn't been an unmitigated disaster.But, to be fair, he's playing at approximately the team average…

  70. BigCat - Apr 25, 2013 at 2:46 AM

    Yep….agree. Back to Harrisburg for the little tot.

  71. Rich P. - Apr 25, 2013 at 2:47 AM

    "The biggest one was the blooper to left and Bryce throws a laser to 2nd that Danny handles and puts the tag on the runner who is called out…only he drops the ball."Watch the replay. It was a bang-bang play at second base. Danny may never have had control of the ball in the first place. He didn't drop it, it was knocked out by the sliding runner. And Strasburg should have been able to recover from that. Rhythm, schmythm. It was a base hit that he gave up. Having the runner thrown out at second would have been a lucky break for him.

  72. peric - Apr 25, 2013 at 2:48 AM

    Well….it looks like Rendon isn't the answer. I'd try Walters next. Bigger and stronger than "Shorty". Runs faster and has more pop in his bat also.yeah and Kobernus is outhitting by about 200 points on the batting average. He isn't ready. Rendon is much further along.Rendon's problem is he landed in a pressure cooker; not something he was expecting. They used kid gloves with Harper massaging his ego every chance Davey got. With Rendon they just threw him into the fire and he's about to bounce up into the frying pan. Rendon is fine. His approach to the plate is excellent. His glove is excellent. The problem is the team is broken.

  73. Rich P. - Apr 25, 2013 at 2:50 AM

    "Bob Saget Nats Fan 101 said… I am not a baseball mind but if I were Davey, I would tell whoever isn't hitting or making dumb mistakes, he will bench them for a few games."Davey would be handing an empty lineup card to the umps for those few days, then. The only one on the whole team who's hitting is Harper, and even he's gone cold lately.

  74. Eric - Apr 25, 2013 at 2:51 AM

    Was Espi awarded an error for that dropped tag at second? The way Slowes called it, it sounded like it could've gone either way.

  75. peric - Apr 25, 2013 at 2:51 AM

    And yeah I do criticize Davey for his handling of Rendon. I strongly criticize his handling of Rendon. He brags about being the world's foremost expert at bringing along, mentoring and refining top prospects. Well Davey? This is your organization's top prospect!! START PUTTING OUT your NOT doing the job. Stop doing the damned pushups to prove you can manage next year AND get on with the Rendon project. Too bad you lose your buddy LaRoche Davey that's baseball isn't it.

  76. Eric - Apr 25, 2013 at 2:54 AM

    "awarded an error" – the Nats curse is invading my writing!

  77. Rich P. - Apr 25, 2013 at 2:55 AM

    "Ghost Of Steve M. said… Peric, I wish I knew what was wrong with LaRoche. a DL stint and rehab may get him back on track."He's a slow starter. Never gets going until it's too late to matter. That's why he's still booed in Pittsburgh even though he hasn't played there for years. The only exception to his slow starts was last season.As I recall, you were one of the ones leading the charge for re-signing LaRoche in the offseason. Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it.

  78. peric - Apr 25, 2013 at 2:56 AM

    The only one on the whole team who's hitting is Harper, and even he's gone cold lately.He's still hotter than Joe Dimaggio at his best. But look who Joe had hitting in front of him and behind him? Who does Harper have? And do you think any decent major league pitcher is going to pitch to Harper when everyone before and after him are pathetic right now?

  79. Eric - Apr 25, 2013 at 2:56 AM

    peric, Rendon swings his own bat, squeezes his own glove, and makes his own throws. You can't blame Davey for the fact that the guy had add many errors as his so far…

  80. peric - Apr 25, 2013 at 2:58 AM

    The only exception to his slow starts was last season.Because his damned back got a rest while he rehabbed his surgically repaired shoulder for just under a year right?LaRoche has back issues and likely has had them for awhile. Think Jayson Marquis. Adam needs a rest until the warm weather comes around in June. But I wouldn't bring him back next season.

  81. Eric - Apr 25, 2013 at 2:58 AM

    Argh! That last bit should read "has as many errors as hits so far".

  82. ExposedinDC - Apr 25, 2013 at 2:58 AM

    Two things I am sick of 1.) everybody saying this team has too much talent to not start winning…..shut up and start winning if that's the case.2.) fans comparing other teams slow start to the nats…it means nothing what other teams from other leagues and divisions are doing.The fact is you are what you are and that's not very good right now as far as that goes last years means nothing either.The nats have far to many head cases that need to shake themselves, whether its ALR and his cold weather issues or Zimm and his throwing issues or Stras and his countless issues and Storen don't even get me started on him.Yes it's early but not as early as you think

  83. peric - Apr 25, 2013 at 2:59 AM

    peric, Rendon swings his own bat, squeezes his own glove, and makes his own throws. You can't blame Davey for the fact that the guy had add many errors as his so far…Yeah and he stuck Harper in CF where he struggled … and he struggled at the plate last season in the beginning remember? And what did Davey do huh? Think about it!Davey Isn't doing his job and its affecting Rendon's play.

  84. EmDash - Apr 25, 2013 at 3:00 AM

    In can't predict baseball news: Jordany Valdespin just hit a walk-off grand slam for the Mets.I feel badly for Rendon having to come up when the team is in a difficult spot and having that kind of extreme pressure as a rookie, but what can Davey do to mentor him along in three games that he hasn't been? It seems just as possible to me that he just needs a little more development time; not everyone can just come up and explode like Harper. Even Mike Trout struggled during his first call up.

  85. Rich P. - Apr 25, 2013 at 3:01 AM

    "Even more frustrating than those strikeouts, though, was the sequence that killed a seventh-inning rally. With runners on the corners, one out and contact hitter Steve Lombardozzi at the plate, manager Davey Johnson decided to send Jhonatan Solano on a 3-2 pitch, hoping to avoid a double play grounder. Except that left them vulnerable to a worse double play: of the strike-'em-out, throw-'em-out variety."Why is thst a worse double play, Mark? Two outs is two outs no matter how it happens.

  86. peric - Apr 25, 2013 at 3:02 AM

    but what can Davey do to mentor him along in three games that he hasn't been? It seems just as possible to me that he just needs a little more development time; And so did Harper damn it. He just learned to play the outfield! He's not that good! And really he is just becoming comfortable this season! Davey promised the FO he would see to Harper's development. He needs to put the same amount of effort into Rendon. PERIOD.

  87. peric - Apr 25, 2013 at 3:06 AM

    I'll say this if I am Rizzo, Clark, Minniti, and Harris and I see what is happening to Rendon and compare that with Harper. I'm canvassing looking for a new manager right now.

  88. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 25, 2013 at 3:09 AM

    Anyone watch the begiing of Phillie pirates gameRollins hit one to left canter. McCutchen threw a lazer to Walker and he tags him out with Rollins trying to kick it out. Walker holds on like a player should.Utley follows with a homer. Fielders there save a run. Our fielders cost us runs.

  89. Eric - Apr 25, 2013 at 3:15 AM

    peric, I am awed by your knowledge of the farm system, but the farm system, including Rendon, isn't the be-all, end-all. I'm fairly new to baseball obsession, but near as I can tell, to suggest the farm boy is under performing on first call up because the manager isn't coddling him enough day to day seems backwards.That said, Rendon clearly has heart, a good swing, and can work it in the field. I look forward to his future with us in the majors, whether it starts now or in the next couple seasons.

  90. ExposedinDC - Apr 25, 2013 at 3:18 AM

    Not sure what this team needs, it's possible a trade is in order, I really felt this team was way to comfortable with itself this spring, virtually no position competition meaning no need to worry about ones job, no emphasis on building a winning attitude in the spring and way too many people calling for them to easily repeat last years success, I am not advocating trading a cornerstone of the franchise player, just saying it might be the shock this team needs.

  91. DJB - Apr 25, 2013 at 3:28 AM

    Peric, Rendon's had it much easier than Bryce. Remember all the Bryce is a punk, worse than Trout, bad haircut, clown question crap that was thrown at him. Bryce simply has a lot more talent than Rendon. Rendon does not have the hand speed to make as dramatic an immediate impact. He has a good swing and will adjust, but he may not be quite there, and he is just not as good as Bryce is now or was then.

  92. peric - Apr 25, 2013 at 3:33 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  93. peric - Apr 25, 2013 at 3:34 AM

    He has a good swing and will adjust, but he may not be quite there, and he is just not as good as Bryce is now or was then.That stuff just made Harper all the more popular so that he had propositions from the stands everywhere he went … Look Rendon isn't the big power bat that Harper is but he has the potential to hit for a very high batting average, very high OBP and decent SLG which means he could have just as high an OPS as Harper with all of his home runs. Rendon will be able to do some damage in the same Zim has developed over the years.The difference? One is in his mid 20's and the other just turned 20.

  94. DJB - Apr 25, 2013 at 3:42 AM

    I'm not saying that Rendon shouldn't stay up. I think it was a good idea to bring him up. But I would be absolutely shocked if he ever has an OPS approaching Harper's. You give Rendon too much credit. Look at Baseball Reference and see where Harper ranks in all major hitting stats. Sample size is growing, and his numbers have stayed steady, even with no lineup protection. Historic numbers.

  95. peric - Apr 25, 2013 at 3:49 AM

    But I would be absolutely shocked if he ever has an OPS approaching Harper's. You give Rendon too much credit. Yeah? Go look at Syracuse's stats right now. Kobernus has the highest OPS because his OBP is so high. But Marerro has 5 home runs. Think. The OPS isn't just about the SLG. Rendon can do both. I'm not convinced that Harper can in the same way. He'll get walked out of fear of his bat. But so will Rendon …The jury's out we'll have to see how they stack up when they're both ensconced in the lineup but my feeling is that Rendon hitting in front of Harper with someone like a healthy Zim behind him will allow Harper to truly reach his full potential early. That's how you generate offense. Not with Banjo hitters like Span.

  96. peric - Apr 25, 2013 at 3:50 AM

    And that's who needs to leave the lineup in favor of Lombo: Span.

  97. Eric - Apr 25, 2013 at 3:51 AM

    I have little context, but expecting Harper's output of anyone strikes me as obscenely unfair. The dude is once in a lifetime… Here's hoping his trend is career-long…

  98. peric - Apr 25, 2013 at 3:51 AM

    And Lombo had been goddamned well better learn to walk not just hit everything.

  99. Eric - Apr 25, 2013 at 3:53 AM

    "That's how you generate offense. Not with Banjo hitters like Span."Then why is it that "banjo" hits seem to be what killed us throughout this series?

  100. peric - Apr 25, 2013 at 3:54 AM

    I have little context, but expecting Harper's output of anyone strikes me as obscenely unfair.Huge superstars are often made because of the players around them. Harper won't go anywhere with the current lineup. He'll do okay but nothing spectacular. But with the lineup I described he might become an MVP a couple of years in a row. Baseball is not an individual sport.

  101. peric - Apr 25, 2013 at 3:56 AM

    Then why is it that "banjo" hits seem to be what killed us throughout this series?Let's hear you say that when the Reds with Votto come to town and the Braves and the Upton brothers. Looks like BJ's bat is waking up.

  102. Eric - Apr 25, 2013 at 3:57 AM

    "And that's who needs to leave the lineup in favor of Lombo: Span"Is there a single starter who doesn't need to be replaced by pine splinters or cow patties?

  103. peric - Apr 25, 2013 at 3:58 AM

    Is there a single starter who doesn't need to be replaced by pine splinters or cow patties?Harper, Suzuki for starters.

  104. Eric - Apr 25, 2013 at 4:01 AM

    "Let's hear you say that when the Reds with Votto come to town and the Braves and the Upton brothers. Looks like BJ's bat is waking up."Be that as it may, offense is offense, and we just got swept by good pitching and small ball. I'm not really feeling all that picky about what we do to scores enough runs to win ourselves at this point.

  105. Eric - Apr 25, 2013 at 4:06 AM

    "Harper, Suzuki for starters."Heh, fair enough, but let's go with proven starters that are currently under performing. A number of starters, including Span, have already had incredible runs this season. Why toss 'em at the first sign off trouble? Again, not EVERYONE can be always on like Harper.

  106. pwilly - Apr 25, 2013 at 4:12 AM

    The only difference from last year and this year at this point in the season is the pitching. Last year our starting pitching was obscenely effective. We won a lot of 2-1, 3-2 games. The offense will start to produce, without releasing or trading half the team. Take a breath and let the season progress. Lot of knee-jerk reactions among the fans.

  107. EmDash - Apr 25, 2013 at 4:32 AM

    Genuine question, not trying to be argumentative, but: what is Davey not doing with Rendon so far that he should be doing to aid in his development?

  108. Eric - Apr 25, 2013 at 4:46 AM

    Final comment for the night:I propose that the Nats' missing feng shui can be regained by introducing some good ole Grateful Dead to someone's walk out repertoire. I vote for Help on the Way or Touch of Grey.Werth is most likely to be into it, and Harper most likely to learn from it ;)Ciao all!

  109. tayo - Apr 25, 2013 at 5:16 AM

    Another change that needs to happen is for Desmond to be hitting after Harper, not Laroche. And when Ramos is Back, we should probably move him up in the lineup too.

  110. JaneB - Apr 25, 2013 at 6:44 AM

    Man, I just hope that whatever Davey does works. I love my boys no matter what. But they are happier and WE are happier when they aren't being creamed all the time.

  111. Sec. 3, My House by the side of the road Sofa - Apr 25, 2013 at 7:24 AM

    In solidarity with the offense, I've changed my handle and icon.

  112. Secret wasian man - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:48 AM

    So Eric you want to play the Grateful Dead for the walking dead?

  113. NatsLady - Apr 25, 2013 at 9:09 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  114. Rabbit34 - Apr 25, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    This is one dud team, dudes. Whatever shake-up is coming surely won't shake-up the opposition. I hope we don't slam down on Miami too hard. Yep, I'm going to keep venting like this until they start playing like a AA team. So far, 2012 looks like a BIG fluke.

  115. NatsLady - Apr 25, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  116. NatsLady - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    Nats went 14-8 last spring. Their batting average? .226. Their runs scored? 74.This year, after 21 games (10-11). Batting average? .235 Runs scored? 762012 April. Ryan Zimmerman was hurt, Michael Morse was hurt.2013 April. Ryan Zimmerman is hurt, Adam LaRoche is hurt/slumping.Difference? Obscenely good pitching, worse opponents, and a little bit o’ luck.

  117. natsfan1a - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:07 AM

    Ooh, can I have "Truckin'"? kthxbai

  118. Eric - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:33 AM

    Truckin would be great one they're on a roll…

  119. Eric - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:34 AM

    Although the bridge is petty apt right now…"Sometimes the light's all shining on me.Other times I can barely see…"

  120. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 25, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    NatsLady said… This year, after 21 games (10-11). Batting average? .235 Runs scored? 762012 April. Ryan Zimmerman was hurt, Michael Morse was hurt.2013 April. Ryan Zimmerman is hurt, Adam LaRoche is hurt/slumping.Difference? Obscenely good pitching, worse opponents, and a little bit o’ luck. April 25, 2013 7:00 AM I agree with your last paragraph plus add in timely hitting and EJax best pitching performance of the season was in April vs the Reds and all the starters were pitching with confidence. Gio was amazing.The Nats did finish April last year on that 5 game losing streak which was reminiscent of this losing streak.The difference then was the catalyst that Bryce Harper was. The Nats aren't getting that same magic from Rendon yet.Who is going to step up now?

  121. Joe Seamhead - Apr 25, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    Relax. We got this. you'll see.We're just crossing a Bridge Over Troubled Waters right now.

  122. Joe Seamhead - Apr 25, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    Rendon needs the better part of the year to season in the minor leagues.Blaming his early struggles on Davey isn't going to mask the fact that the kid isn't ML ready. Zimmerman is not going to first base in the near future. No matter how many times someoner says it, it isn't going to happen this year, or next year, whether Davey is the manager, or not. Though I do agree that Lombardozzi would be a disaster at 3rd for any length of time. Also, Lombo was told to put his outfielders glove away last year for a very simple reason: he isn't an outfielder. Smart as he is, the one thing you can't teach him is to have a better arm.

  123. 95southNatsFan - Apr 25, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    Count me as a small ball fan. Having our guys watch the Cardinals go to the opposite field with their bats early yesterday should be a clinic to our guys on how to bring runs in. It didn't matter if they scored after the first inning, they didn't need to. They took advantage of the opportunity in front of them. Remember, they have many capable home run hitters just like we do but they aren't living and dying on just one strategy for scoring runs. My hope is that our Nats will gain as much from this series as they did from getting swept by the Yankees last year. They were able to see how a veteran team played and they had something to emulate.

  124. Laddie Blah Blah - Apr 25, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    "Rendon needs the better part of the year to season in the minor leagues.Blaming his early struggles on Davey isn't going to mask the fact that the kid isn't ML ready."After 4 games you have made such a determination? And what is your assessment of Espinoza's readiness for the MLs after 2+ years? Is he and his .236 lifetime BA ML ready?I found it instructive that Davey gave Espinoza's "great spring" as a rationale for keeping a .155 hitter in the lineup. I thought ST numbers didn't matter. Besides, Danny did not have a "great" spring, he had a good spring.The IF who really had a great spring was Rendon. But when it comes to that guy, the ST really numbers do not matter. Nor do Danny's record after 1500 ML ABs matter. But 4 games and little more than a dozen ABs are determinative in Rendon's case?Such logic is not only inconsistent, it's irrational, and borders on what seems to be a pathological obsession with double standards when it comes to excusing one player's consistent failure to cut the mustard on the playing field, compared to virtually anyone else. In a rational world, facts matter. In baseball, performance is supposed to matter.Let's be rational here, and stay true to the facts. You may be right about Rendon, but you sure as heck do not know enough after 4 games to be so definitive about it. Evaluating Espinoza's performance after 1500 ABs provides much more substance to any discussion of his fitness as a ML player.Since there is so much more info on Espinoza's short-comings, why are you so sure he is "ML ready" compared to Rendon? If he goes all the way down from below Mendoza Line territory to .100 (let's call that the "Flat Line"), what excuse will you be making for keeping him in the lineup then?

  125. Laddie Blah Blah - Apr 25, 2013 at 6:54 PM

    "(W)hat is Davey not doing with Rendon so far that he should be doing to aid in his development?"Good question. He is not letting him play. The guy is not going to learn anything sitting on the bench. Rendon has been a quick learner everywhere he has played. He started out slowly in the AFL last year, and again in AA this year. But he learns, and learns fast.Davey is letting a .155 hitter play in his stead. What kind of message does that send? You ain't good enough to replace a .150 hitter who is playing with a torn rotator cuff? Espinoza has been in the bigs for 2+ years and about 1500 ABs and he hasn't learned to hit yet. There are the slow learners and then there are the really slow learners and then there is the Nats' incumbent 2nd baseman.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 91 64 --
ATLANTA 76 79 15.0
NEW YORK 76 80 15.5
MIAMI 74 81 17.0
PHILADELPHIA 71 85 20.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Sunday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON (4) 91 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 89 67 2.5
y-ST. LOUIS 87 69 4.5
-------------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 71 7.0 --
PITTSBURGH 84 71 7.0 --
MILWAUKEE 80 76 11.5 4.5
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Sunday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Marlins at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
Full season schedule

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