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Game 21: Cardinals at Nats

Apr 24, 2013, 3:36 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nationals try to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Cardinals today.

Davey Johnson said last night he planned to make some lineup changes for today's series finale against the Cardinals. So what are those changes? Well, Tyler Moore is at first base instead of Adam LaRoche, and Jhonatan Solano is catching instead of Kurt Suzuki.

Not exactly a major shakeup, but Johnson said that had more to do with today's matchup, with Jaime Garcia on the mound for St. Louis. He didn't want to bench Danny Espinosa and Anthony Rendon and deny them a chance to bat against a left-hander. LaRoche and Suzuki will likely be back in the lineup tomorrow against the Reds.

Stephen Strasburg gets the start, looking to snap his string of losses at three. The Nationals would love to get a quality, and long outing out of their ace, who has been plagued by high pitch counts more than he would prefer.

It's a beautiful afternoon for baseball. If you're stuck in the office, never fear. I've got plenty of updates right here…

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv, MLB Network (outside D.C. market)
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 184
Weather: Sunny, 71 degrees, Wind 14 mph out to LF

NATIONALS (10-10)
CF Denard Span
RF Jayson Werth
LF Bryce Harper
1B Tyler Moore

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237 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Sam - Apr 24, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    Woo. What a shakeup.Seriously, though, I think Moore should get more PAs against lefties, even if Span has to sit every once in a while

  2. Doc - Apr 24, 2013 at 3:48 PM

    GoooooooooooTyMo and Onion!!!!

  3. MicheleS - Apr 24, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    I wish I was at the game.. sigh, stuck in the office, so Charlie and Dave for me (and Mark's updates).

  4. SonnyG10 - Apr 24, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    Get to see how TyMo protects Harp. Should please peric, yes?

  5. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 24, 2013 at 3:59 PM

    TyMo, now is your chance. Rendon in the 7 spot. Time to rake young men!

  6. Theophilus T. S. - Apr 24, 2013 at 4:01 PM

    Was looking at the previous post/comments after ignoring the Nats for nearly 24 hours — something I'm getting better at. Not that it means anything to anyone but me but I think I made the first prophecy (yesterday) of Rendon at 2B if he is hitting consistently by the time Z'man returns.As crumby as the rest of the BO has become, if Rendon starts to hit respectably — not spectacularly — I don't see how he doesn't stay up the rest of the season. I don't necessarily see that as a good thing but with five out of eight position players waving pussywillows in the batter's box, you have to take what you get.

  7. natsfan1a - Apr 24, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    I can't be there, either, but hope to catch some of the game on tv.

  8. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 24, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    Detwiler has run into some tough luck and JZim had the similar fate in his last start losing 2-0.Should Davey employ some early small ball to get some runs on the board or stay the course and keep playing for crooked numbers?

  9. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 24, 2013 at 4:15 PM

    Theophilus T. S. said… Not that it means anything to anyone but me but I think I made the first prophecy (yesterday) of Rendon at 2B if he is hitting consistently by the time Z'man returns.Sorry, I said that to Peric last year and again in Spring Training a few times. Most keep telling me No because of his multiple ankle injuries.He's only played 2 games this year at 2nd. Welcome aboard to the idea though.

  10. Rich P. - Apr 24, 2013 at 4:20 PM

    "Not that it means anything to anyone but me but I think I made the first prophecy (yesterday) of Rendon at 2B if he is hitting consistently by the time Z'man returns."Rizzo just said on 106.7 that Rendon will go down as soon as Zim is back because he needs more ABs in the minors. He's not ready yet. And Rizzo also spent a good deal of time defending Espinosa. Davey Johnson is also on board with the plan to send Rendon back down. So your dream of Rendon at second ain't happening – unless someone else gets hurt, of course.

  11. Alphabet Soup Erik - Apr 24, 2013 at 4:21 PM

    Every time I see Espinosa's name in the lineup I get angry until I realize that Davey is likely giving him his chance to play himself out of the lineup. Lombo may not have some of the talent of Espinosa, but he deserves to be in there. Period.

  12. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 24, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    I'm hearing Orioles phenom Dylan Bundy is headed to visit Dr. Andrews. Never a good connection unless its to play golf.

  13. Eric - Apr 24, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    IMO the last thing we need is a possible hole in the right infield to match the holes in the left infield. Ditching Espi right now to address a team-wide slump would be a huge mistake.

  14. Alphabet Soup Erik - Apr 24, 2013 at 4:25 PM

    Rich P-If you believe anything that either one of those guys say to the media, you really were born yesterday. Davey's not going to watch Espi flail away up there much longer.

  15. Eric - Apr 24, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    He watched him flail away quite a bit last year, including in October…what's changed?

  16. Faraz Shaikh - Apr 24, 2013 at 4:28 PM

    yeah, hope Bundy is OK. He is an exciting prospect to watch. Don't want him to waste a year like our prospects did.

  17. Faraz Shaikh - Apr 24, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    last night's defense by Danny should convince others that Danny at 2B is too good to be replaced. good presence of mind and neat throws!

  18. Alphabet Soup Erik - Apr 24, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    Saw that Ghost. Starting to think preemptive Tommy John might be the wave of the future. Just wait until somebody invents the bionic or robotic arm…the scandals that await!!!

  19. Eric - Apr 24, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    Agreed 1000% Faraz!

  20. Alphabet Soup Erik - Apr 24, 2013 at 4:37 PM

    Eric-Their record for one. They also have a better hitter in Rendon needing a position, which they did not have last year. How long do you suggest they keep a guy who is 21 for his last 145 in the lineup???

  21. Eric - Apr 24, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    I dunno, maybe for as long as he's fielding 1000 and reliably playing both lead and supporting roles in ridiculous double plays?

  22. Alphabet Soup Erik - Apr 24, 2013 at 4:56 PM

    Espinosa also only has 7 RBI in his last 50 games. I can live with the low average, but right now he brings nothing to the table offensively, and good defense at 2B is not going to win you many games. The guy still has potential, but as Earl Weaver said, "all that potential is going to get me fired!"

  23. Eric - Apr 24, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    lol, that's a good line.If our lineup (under normal circumstances) were just mediocre, I might agree with you. But, when our lineup is on, I think good D at 2nd absolutely can win games. Espi played a huge roll in keeping us in the game last night and was far from the only reason why we didn't capitalize on the opportunity. If everyone in our lineup except Espi were even at half capacity, we definitely could've won.

  24. baseballswami - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:06 PM

    Lombo seriously needs to find some dirty pictures of someone or get a new agent.Got a phone call early this morning offering tickets, but just could not see a way to swing it. So – it's a lunch time check in for me and following the game on my itty bitty phone.Time for Stras to step up. Time for the offense to open their eyes when they swing.

  25. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:06 PM

    Alphabet Soup Erik said… Espinosa also only has 7 RBI in his last 50 games. I can live with the low average, but right now he brings nothing to the table offensively, and good defense at 2B is not going to win you many games. The guy still has potential, but as Earl Weaver said, "all that potential is going to get me fired!" April 24, 2013 12:56 PM It's all great points but some he gets a pass on due to his shoulder injury and this is a new year.My problem is his hits are coming in low leverage situations not with men in base, game on the line situations but then again neither is LaRoche and lately Werth.Solo HRs are fine but you score as many runs and actually have more impact with a double with a runner on 2nd.

  26. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:10 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

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

    Yes, Danny made a great scoop which was the tough part and somehow it pops out of his glove. Bad luck for sure and tough start on unlucky BABIP and the drop by Espi.

  28. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    Very weak tag….

  29. Lipty P - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    we should see Stas pouting soon

  30. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    If Det, JZim and Gio can watch that K on that changeup their outings will be much better and more efficient.Nothing better than a fastball pitcher that can place a great changeup.

  31. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:14 PM

    Strasburg is not getting a lot of luck on these bloop hits….

  32. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:14 PM

    Need a 2 seamer doubleplay here.

  33. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    Stras already screwed on the strike zone.

  34. Faraz Shaikh - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    I thought Jim Joyce had a wide strike zone.

  35. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    Was that a semi-intentional walk?

  36. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:16 PM

    Solano goes out to tell Strasburg to get this guy out.

  37. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:17 PM

    These are all garbage hits….

  38. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    I mentioned with the effort by Span up against the wall on Monday that this lack of making "tougher" plays has really cost the Nats.That play by Espi is just more of this horrific string. The whole game changes as you can see by one non-play.Strasburg has every right to be pissed. All flairs and bloop hits except the missile in front of Stras.

  39. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    In tennis, when you opponent has three consecutive shots tick the back line, you know you aren't necessarily doing anything wrong, but in baseball, pitchers seem to get blamed for bloops that barely land fair….

  40. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:19 PM

    Absolutely, Ghost.I would rather be lucky than good.

  41. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:19 PM

    Why does Zimmerman keep trying to make that play at 2nd?

  42. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    And the nightmare inning continues.

  43. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:21 PM

    Has anyone been impressed with Rendon yet?

  44. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:21 PM

    That's the way a ball is thrown from 3rd to 1st. I haven't seen that since Vinny Castilla played 3rd.

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

    William O. Douglas Loeffler said… Has anyone been impressed with Rendon yet? April 24, 2013 1:21 PM Yes, with what he's done in the AFL and Sping Training.I just think the game is playing very fast for him now. He took a deep breath and made a nice doubleplay there.

  46. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    I am shocked that they only got 3 runs.

  47. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    Unfortunately, this game seems over after a very, very long first half of the first….

  48. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    Strasburg got tagged with 3 earned runs. It must be a rule that if a pitcher gives up a hit and the hitter advances, then the run is earned, but it felt like an unearned run….

  49. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    The unlucky BABIP is the worse I can remember. When will the Nats get some lucky breaks?

  50. mick - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    This is almost surreal. There could be something the SI curse.My point about Espi batting only right handed is that his success batting right handed speaks for itself, he does not have to be a switch hitter. I want to see how Stras responds the rest of the way today. If he pouts and quits like he did the last 2 outings, the Nats 2013 season is in serious jeopardy. As a fan and a coach, to see a team come out and play like this against a team that they should be fired up to play (AT HOME!!!) after last October is very depressing. Nats Park is drawing some serious attendance and the level of play in just the past week could erase all the enthusiasm this city has developed. This is not a playoff team and I hate to say this is not a good team right now.

  51. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    Our half of the first lasted about 3 minutes…. I hate to say it, but I think our guys want this over as soon as possible. This is starting to look like the Reds' season in 1971, the year they actually had a losing record…..

  52. mick - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    Ghost, good teams make their breaks, we are not a good team right now. I do not know why????

  53. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    Any guesses to what time the game ends today? I am guessing around 3:15 with no more scoring.

  54. mick - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    William O. Douglas Loeffler said…Our half of the first lasted about 3 minutes…. I hate to say it, but I think our guys want this over as soon as possible. This is starting to look like the Reds' season in 1971, the year they actually had a losing record…..BINGO, thsi what i was saying on the last post that rising teams 99% of the time take a step back 1-2 years after they first taste success. To add to your Reds, in 1972 they bounced back, won the NL and lost in 7 to the A's in the WS. The Reds also had a young manager named Sparky Andersen

  55. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    I honestly have trouble seeing how we could possibly get the four runs needed to tie the score…

  56. EmDash - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    Oh boy, I go to lunch and bad things happen…Fair to say the Strasburg pitch-to-contact experiment is a bit of a failure at this point, I'd think?

  57. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:34 PM

    mick said… Ghost, good teams make their breaks, we are not a good team right now. I do not know why????I can point to every loss about 2 key plays that turned the games other than those blowout losses.Espi not securing that ball in the 1st changed Strasburg's rhythm.In Haren's start, it was the non-play by Span that scored 2 runs as he slowed up at the warning track.In yesterday, it was LaRoche's inability to make contact.On Sunday it was Werth swinging 3-0 and GIDP.That's making your own breaks.

  58. phil dunton - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:34 PM

    Grandpa said he was going to juggle the lineup today. So where is Lombardozzi and Bernardina.

  59. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:35 PM

    Pitching to contact is garbage unless you are sinkerball pitcher with a great defense or play in a huge park….

  60. EmDash - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:35 PM

    Bernadina probably would not jump-start the offense.

  61. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:35 PM

    Matt Carpenter is a stupid …..

  62. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    How many hits does the Shark even have this year? I doubt very many….

  63. Scott Margenau - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    Espi messed that up. He's no gamer.

  64. mick - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    phil duntonI am just baffled at the whole Lombo issue. Every time this kid plays he does something good, he hits, he makes a key play, this is where I really get pissed at Davey. Hell, he had one of the few solid hits last night!!

  65. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    Also about Espi, he is a good defender but he has made some awful relay throws on potential doubleplays and that drop in the 1st don't show up in the stats as they aren't errors.Span again has a chance right there to catch a tough one and he doesn't. Luck!!!!! Carpenter tripped around 2nd base and is thrown out by an alert Desi!

  66. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    How can Span catch that with his glove turned the wrong way?

  67. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    The problem is that they are counting on 20 homers from Espinosa, which is why they let Morse go.Rizzo should have just left things alone. Harper was fine in centerfield. Did Willie Mays get tired in center? I don't understand the whole thing.

  68. Exposremains - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    I was hoping it would never come to this but I've lost confidence in Strasburg. He's no where the pitcher he use to be before TJ surgery.Whatever he was doing before the surgery he needs to go back to that, if that's possible physically.

  69. EmDash - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:39 PM

    I don't have a problem with pitch-to-contact when it's someone like Zimmermann or Detwiler who lives or die by the fastball. But Stras and Gio are not that kind of pitcher, and trying to force them to be throws them off.I'm not watching this game (at work), but Stras has also been trying to rush to the plate too much in previous starts and it doesn't help his rhythm. Have to assume that's part of the effort to throw off base-stealers, but, well. Not having as many base runners tends to lead to better results.

  70. mick - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    phil dunton if grandpa does not start getting in their faces, maybe there is a manager out there that will. This team needs a Billy Martin type of manager, Billy was great working with young players and he was about tough love. Espi and ALR would have been sitting on the pine a week ago if Martin was managing and he would have had a heart to heart talk with Stras after the first time he sulked in the dugout.

  71. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    No pitcher maintains that initial dominance. Look at Vida Blue and Dwight Gooden. The league figures you out some and then the very, very good pitchers win 17 games a year or so with a good team.

  72. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:42 PM

    Look at that! Desi you kills Garcia gets them good!

  73. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    Kozma is a ….. I guess he thinks he is supposed to get every single call just like last October….

  74. mick - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    and if Nats do not turn this around now and in the future, I am grateful for the one year in my life a DC team made post season and for Charlie Slowes HR call.

  75. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    Desi is picked off and the Nats catch another break. Desi beat that throw. Now they need RH Espi to get that double!

  76. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:44 PM

    Law of averages says Espy gets a hit….

  77. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:44 PM

    Desi beat the tag I should have said.

  78. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:45 PM

    Our outfielders would have run into each other….

  79. Candide - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:45 PM

    Moore, Espinosa, Rendon, and Strasburg. Four under-.200 bats in the Nats lineup.

  80. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:45 PM

    Yeah, it gets hot in Washington, but it gets even hotter in St. Louis….

  81. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:47 PM

    You guys promise that Rendon is actually good? He is no Harper.

  82. phil dunton - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    Mick, I feel you pain. Off of what I have seen this year, I can only conclude that last year might have been a fluke.

  83. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    If I were Stras, I wouldn't let anyone on the team touch the ball if I could help it….

  84. Exposremains - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    Strasburg used too throw 98 and top at 100. Now, 95 tops at 98. big difference

  85. Candide - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    Strasburg's batting average is higher than Rendon's, Moore's, and Espinosa's.

  86. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    You don't think he can hit 100 anymore? If that is true, then you are right, but he keeps saying he is trying to mimic Verlander….

  87. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:53 PM

    Rendon looks like he has never even held a bat before and he looks mediocre in the field. He must be overwhelmed, whereas a younger Harper relished being a big leaguer from the beginning….

  88. EmDash - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    I think he's said that he's trying to start off slower in velocity and build up over the game in pressure situations. I don't know enough to know if that's the optimal strategy or not.

  89. Scott Margenau - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    I'mDone with span. Inboard with Peric now. Bryce to CF

  90. Exposremains - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    No, I don't think he can. Verlander throws harder than Stras.

  91. Exposremains - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    Strasburg had also much better command back then. Remember, all those hitter bailing out when he would throw a curve.

  92. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    Strausburg used to be a good hitter and I have a sinking feeling that the brass told him to stop trying so hard at the bat, which is garbage…. Poor me, I can't stand on base for five minutes and the idiotic television announcers feed this stuff….

  93. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:59 PM

    This game was over on the second pitch when Espy dropped the ball on the tag….

  94. EmDash - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:01 PM

    …who would you get to replace Span out there, though? Tyler Moore? That weakens two defensive positions, still. And Tyler hasn't shown all that much at the plate yet either, if we're judging by the small sample size of at-bats that is this season.

  95. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    Span again has a chance right there to catch a tough one and he doesn't.Ghost, do you suppose Span is maybe a bit wall-shy? I don't know, but seeing as he is one hard landing from playing golf full-time, it wouldn't surprise me. What do you think?

  96. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    Did you guys know that Lannan took a 50% pay cut to go to the Phillies? What did the Nats have against that guy?Haren=$13 millionLannan=$2.5 million

  97. Exposremains - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    I'm not saying that Strasburg can't be absolutely dominant again but he hasn't been since the surgery.

  98. NG - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:03 PM

    The numbers on Strasburg don't lie. He's now thrown over 1,500 fastballs since his return from the surgery and he has not once hit 100 MPH. http://www.fangraphs.com/pitchfx.aspx?playerid=10131&position=P&pitch=FAHis average fastball velocity is down exactly 2 MPH since before the surgery. It's not about "saving it for the right time." It's just not there anymore. That doesn't mean he can't still be a very good, or even elite, pitcher with the stuff he has now. But, it pains me to say it, he is not the pitcher he was before the surgery.

  99. baseballswami - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:07 PM

    Ok — I am on a break and it's more of the same day after day.Are we ever going to score another run? What in tarnation is going on with this team? Why, oh why am I hearing that Espi disrespects his boss, plays terribly, has a sore wrist and yet plays over Lombo, who does every single thing asked of him? I am just so confused right now.Anyone else? Is this a bad dream? Who the heck are those guys on the field? At this point, three run lead in the first and I have zero confidence in any kind of rally or comeback. It just feels over. Is Stras a head case? Can he dig out? Will Gio be the same tomorrow? This is just a nightmare.

  100. Faraz Shaikh - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:08 PM

    exposremains, to counter your feeling about SS's dominance. Just look at his numbers in 2010 and from 2011 onwards. Just go to BBref and compare his stats.

  101. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:09 PM

    Strasburg hasn't hit 100 since the surgery? How about 99? He is still leading the league in ave. fastball I thought….

  102. baseballswami - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:12 PM

    I thought so, too – but that might be an average based on every pitch ever thrown in the majors. Not just this season. JZ and Det seem to be going up in velocity.

  103. Faraz Shaikh - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:12 PM

    You are right William. he is. I saw that over at FG, not so long ago. if I find it, I will post the link here.

  104. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:14 PM

    Well, if Strasburg's velocity is down, he's not alone.Several Aces working with reduced velocity in 2013

  105. Exposremains - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:16 PM

    FarazThe numbers are certainly similar some of the peripherals were better then. He has regressed a bit I would say. The confidence seems musch worst.At this point,I would hope that with experience he would be better than in 2010.

  106. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:16 PM

    And then there's this:"The fastball is under attack. Or that might be your assumption if you look at radar gun readings at Major League Baseball parks across the country. Justin Verlander, CC Sabathia, Roy Halladay, Jered Weaver and Felix Hernandez are just some of the names who have seen their fastball velocity fall off a significant degree this season. Likewise, the flukey happening of all these star pitchers losing speed on their fastball simultaneously has been fascinating."read more…

  107. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:17 PM

    We need to look at shifting some guys out of position.I have been trying to like Span, but lately, he doesn't make plays in the outfield and he hits languidly to the right side. His career stats are mediocre and I am not sure that he was any sort of upgrade over Morse/Moore in Left and Harper in center. Rizzo ou tthought himself on this one. You don't have to have a "lead-off" hitter. I would have batted Harper first to get him extra at-bats.

  108. Faraz Shaikh - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:17 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  109. EmDash - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:17 PM

    Strasburg still has the highest-average velocity in baseball for a starter, so I doubt that's the problem. His command's been a little off and he's nibbling.

  110. Exposremains - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:18 PM

    Bob and FP are trying to keep everything fluffy and light but it's starting to sound a bit fake.

  111. EmDash - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    I'm not watching because I'm at work – are the Nationals hitters making good contact and being robbed, or is it mostly weak grounders?

  112. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    This game may be over before 3 o'clock. The Nats are just going through the motions at bat. I have seen so many poor at bats by them lately. Just stand there and work the count and act like you aren't trying to get the game over as quickly as possible…..

  113. Faraz Shaikh - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    I think mark tweeted that solid contact but right at someone.

  114. mick - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:22 PM

    phil dunton This could be dej vu, 1969 Senators 86-76, Ted Williams manager of the year, Hondo top 3 in homers and RBI's, Ken McMullen, along with Darrell Knowels and Hondo were AL all stars. Bosman led AL in ERA was 14-5, Casey Cox was 12-7, Knowles 9-2 in relief. Joe Coleman won 12 and was a rising and future great pitcher. Del Unser a rising star as well. Lee Maye batted 280 and was 34 years old. Mike Epstein hit 30 homers and Eddie Brinkman (future All star short stop raised his BA 70 plus points). I can go on with the other positives in 1969, but those were significant, leading Sporting News (the SI and ESPN at the time) to project the Senators competing with the Orioles for the East Division, winning 90 games and finishing no worse than second place!In 1970 (this was 1 year before the stupid Denny McClain trade in 1971) the Nats keep the team intact except for one move that affected I believe the club house, they traded All Star 3rd baseman Ken McMullen in April 1970 for 22 yr old Aurilio Rodriguez of the Cal Angels. This trade in the long run would have made sense if the Bob Short (BIGGEST DUMB ASS IN DC HISTORY) did not deal him the next year as part of the McClain trade. The Senators also had one of the best farm systems in place in Denver and I could go on all day about the future all stars that came out of Denver.In trading McMullen like Morse, the Senators lost a club house presence. What is weird is that Rendon looks exactly like Aurilio Rodriguez in 1970 and about the same age and they play the same position! Lee Maye hit less than 230 in 1970, Brinkman slumped and both Epstein and Howard took a step back and the manager began to platoon them rather than playing them both. Bosman actually went 16-12 and improved, Joe Coleman only won 8 games and was part of the McClain deal in 1971 and Joe ends up winning 21 in Detroit! The Senators brought up some future prospects that ended up being very good in the future, but they were not quite ready in 1970. So what happens, they win only 63 games that season after winning 86 the year before with basically the same team.! They had both vets and youth just like the Nats today do and look what happen to them.What we have to hope is that Rizzo does not flip out and do something impulsive like what Short did in 1971. There are too many similarities I see right now.

  115. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:22 PM

    And for 2013 alone …Strasburg is #1, Nats have 3 in top 13.

  116. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said… Span again has a chance right there to catch a tough one and he doesn't.================Ghost, do you suppose Span is maybe a bit wall-shy? I don't know, but seeing as he is one hard landing from playing golf full-time, it wouldn't surprise me. What do you think? Yes, absolutely. That was such a poor attempt and his glove was turned the wrong way. As I mentioned on Monday he slowed once he got on the warning track.Jayson Werth also had wall reluctance except I noticed in big games he attacked the wall.Maybe Span picks his spots to go daredevil. My suggestion is to sprint all out to the spot and then get horizontal up against the wall. Torii Hunter he isn't from what I've seen so far.

  117. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:26 PM

    OK, that was about six inches inside. Not exactly Danny's fault there, but he really doesn't need that right now.

  118. Faraz Shaikh - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:26 PM

    Dave Cameron has a neat article on Strasburg over at FG+ about his pitching strategy so far this year. he needs to go back to what worked before.

  119. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:26 PM

    You have to be kidding me. Jim Joyce loses his vision once again. Instead of 1 on and no outs, its nobody on and 1 out.

  120. Sheldon Pais - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    William O. Douglas Loeffler it is quite obvious this is the first few times you have been on this site, please post less nonsense and read a little bit more, your points are a little redundant and dumbfounded

  121. Scott Margenau - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:29 PM

    Rendon remind anyone of Ralph Machio?

  122. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:29 PM

    OK, Shel, since you are such a cool guy and alpha male type….

  123. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:29 PM

    Actually, WODL has been around for a long time. As for his content, well, YMMV.

  124. EmDash - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:29 PM

    Thanks, Faraz.Span had a wall-banging catch in New York over the weekend, if I recall, and looked a little shaky getting up. And has had concussion issues. Being a little wall-shy is probably a result of that.Rendon's bat does not seem ready at present, but. Small sample size.

  125. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    Crazy stat of the day in a small sample size. The Nats are 5-0 in games that Wilson Ramos started and finished and the only loss Ramos appeared in was the game he pulled his hammy.His control and pace of the games is a lot like Solano in this game. Stras is now in a nice swift pace.

  126. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    And you might want to check on the usage of the word dumbfounded, Shellie….

  127. Sheldon Pais - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:31 PM

    what a kind observation. just pointing it out, your 15 comments on this post are either not true, short sighted, or you are just trying to troll the page…

  128. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:31 PM

    And stop harshing our remorseful buzz for our Nats….

  129. mick - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    William O. Douglas Loeffler is a regular here the past several seasons

  130. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    Thanks, mick, and Shellie, no more attention for you from me, you go get some from your caretaker….

  131. Sheldon Pais - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:34 PM

    okay thanks lawyer fella

  132. mick - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:35 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  133. mick - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:35 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  134. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:36 PM

    Stras has really battled when he had reason to pout, perhaps…..

  135. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:36 PM

    Getting back to FB Velocity, MLB, 2013top five, and a few others…rank. name, team, Innings, Velocity1. Stephen Strasburg, Nationals 24.1 95.62. Jeff Samardzija, Cubs 26.2 95.13. Matt Harvey, Mets 29.0 94.64. Jordan Zimmermann, Nationals 27.0 93.75. Derek Holland, Rangers 27.2 93.57. Justin Verlander, Tigers 25.1 93.212. Shelby Miller, Cardinals 25.0 92.713. Ross Detwiler, Nationals 26.0 92.6

  136. mick - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:36 PM

    Stras is doing what I hoped he would after the 1st, this is positive!

  137. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:37 PM

    EmDash said… Thanks, Faraz.Span had a wall-banging catch in New York over the weekend, if I recall, and looked a little shaky getting up. And has had concussion issues. Being a little wall-shy is probably a result of that.That's a real good point but I hate to say it that the reason Rizzo wanted Bryce out of CF was the reason that its much more physical.The ball in this game was difficult regardless but he needs to make that catch on Monday. That's what he is here for. I just felt Bernadina makes that catch.

  138. baseballswami - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:37 PM

    Meanwhile back at the game…. We need to do something to make this fun. How about a wager? Guess the inning and game during which the Nats will score their next run. We can think of a nice prize! And we really , really need Zim and Ramos——and Lombo, Lombo, Lombo.

  139. Scott Margenau - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:37 PM

    Ok Stras looks unreal. He's def settled after that unlucky first.

  140. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:38 PM

    This is just one of those days at the ballpark.If we were lucky last year, it is interesting because the Orioles had a pythogorean lucky year like none other. We would have been rather a team that deserved its record but had a bunch of career years at once. The 1969 Nats were a bit different in that they had a poor run differential that year. Our run differential last year indicated 97 wins.

  141. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:39 PM

    Pitcher can get a hit. The guys that are paid to hit can't. Go figure.

  142. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:39 PM

    William O. Douglas Loeffler is a regular here the past several seasonsMick, I'll have a Yeungling. Thanks.

  143. Scott Margenau - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    Go Stras! LOMBO!! I agree get him in and we may come back.

  144. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    Nats and O's are both playing at home but at the same time. Has anyone ever tried to see both teams on the same day–And yes, the O's would be the secondary attraction by far…..

  145. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    Okay, here we go…..

  146. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:41 PM

    Seriously, Clipp–rally pants??Oh, OK…rolling 'em up here, boss.

  147. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:42 PM

    Walter Johnson was an excellent hitter. He hit over .400 one year and had some big hits in 24 and 25….

  148. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:42 PM

    Scott Margenau said… Ok Stras looks unreal. He's def settled after that unlucky first. April 24, 2013 2:37 PM Like I said in my blurb about Ramos that Strasburg and most pitchers like rhythm. Solano calls a game like Ramos. Methodical and into cadence.I go back to the comment that NatsJack made last month about Suzuki. He is slower and as Strasburg said he "over-thinks".

  149. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:43 PM

    Way to advance the runners….

  150. baseballswami - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:43 PM

    Ok- isn't it reasonable early in the season that some pitcher would have a bad game or inning against us?? When are these odds going to even out? Love how Carp calls these guys the big boppers. Really? Since when?

  151. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    Finally got a run in!

  152. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    Damn. Okay, it is up to Moore….

  153. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    Now there's an aspect of BABIP you don't hear about much. Werth hits a dribbler up the 1st base line, certainly not what he was trying to do. If he hits that ball hard, it's a 3-5-3 double play. Instead, it's a productive out and leads to a run. Go figure.

  154. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:46 PM

    FP owes me a drink!

  155. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    Moore, Moore, Moore, how do you like it, how do you like it, Moore, Moore, Moore……..We will take that walk!

  156. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    OK, I'm glad the rally pants are working, don't get me wrong. I just don't think I want this to become a Thing.

  157. EmDash - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    I like Suzuki (Gio needs him more, with a lot more sliding blocks needed), but he tends to stab a bit on borderline pitches and that can cost a few calls.In terms of the team's performance last year, Pythagorean record (the run differential) had the team last year at 94 wins, still enough to win the division. (The Braves' would've been at 90 wins.)

  158. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    Yeah, La Roche's strike-outs are especially bad when first base is open, and Morse's were too, for that matter. You knew any ground ball by those two would be a dp if there was a runner on first…..

  159. Rabbit34 - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:51 PM

    So, is Jamie Garcia on a roll too? If he isn't, or any pitcher for that matter, they will be after they face the Nats! This team is really getting to be funny. It charts out like the stock market. I must have been in the desert too long. I thought I saw a 1 for the Nats. Nah, must have been a mistake. Am I dumping on them? Darn right. .500 now with a ?

  160. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:52 PM

    For that matter, Tyler Moore runs like a first baseman, as well.

  161. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:53 PM

    But Zimmerman doesn't run that bad and he is a 3B/1B….

  162. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:55 PM

    I don't believe Ryan has ever played a game at first. Not yet, anyhow.

  163. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:55 PM

    Man…. After all that, one lousy run. At least if we can get a guy on now, we still have a chance….

  164. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:57 PM

    I was kind of joking about Ryan at 1b since some have already proclaimed that to be his throne. Hey, if Ryan can hit there and not have to throw, what the hell. Both Moore and ALR are in a surreal funk at bat….

  165. baseballswami - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:57 PM

    Seriously- I know we are playing badly but it does seem that there is also no luck. Two hits and a walk and we had to give up two outs for one run. Icky.

  166. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:58 PM

    We may seriously need to platoon at first….

  167. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 7:01 PM

    Barefoot is out….

  168. baseballswami - Apr 24, 2013 at 7:01 PM

    And I repeat– Lombo, Lombo, Lombo.

  169. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 7:02 PM

    You do see some heart out there…..

  170. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 7:02 PM

    98 mpg twice today….

  171. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 24, 2013 at 7:03 PM

    William, shake it up and see who gets hot. Throwing guys batting that far under Mendoza out there when you have other options just doesn't make much sense so I agree with you.For all we know, LaRoche's back is real bad.

  172. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 7:04 PM

    It is a hardship going to the ballpark. I have Masn, 106.7 and the ESPN gamecast going here….

  173. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 7:05 PM

    Pete Rose moved to 3rd base for the Reds in 1975 so George Foster could start in left field. Rose didn't moan and whine. He wanted the best bats in the line up…..

  174. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 24, 2013 at 7:06 PM

    For all we know, LaRoche's back is real bad.If he is having back spasms from the cool weather, it wouldn't surprise me. (I *know* I am, and it can really tie you up, and take days to calm down.)

  175. Tcostant - Apr 24, 2013 at 7:06 PM

    William O. Douglas Loeffler said… We may seriously need to platoon at first…. Me: Don't discount that, Davey last year was going to platoon ALR but he started so hot, it just didn't happen.

  176. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 24, 2013 at 7:07 PM

    Give Pete enough greenies and he would catch.

  177. baseballswami - Apr 24, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    A late game rally against a reliever could be a real boost. But then, I have been saying that every day. Maybe we need to have some kind if anti- curse ceremony fir the Nats bats.

  178. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 24, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    I will say what I've said for the last 2 weeks, this Nats pitcher deserved a better fate than this.Strasburg didn't get the play on the 1st batter which led to 3 runs. That's the difference right now.What would be nice is to make that a moot point and have the offense do something big to takeover the game.

  179. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    Rendon hitting 0.77 so he is due….

  180. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 7:11 PM

    Zimmerman and Det should be undefeated….

  181. Scott Margenau - Apr 24, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    Moore/ double. Good at bat walk, great play there at first. Pretty solid so far

  182. baseballswami - Apr 24, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    Goooooooooooooooooooo Nats!!!!!!!!!! N

  183. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    So who bats next?

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

    For anyone saying Stras can't pitch through adversity and that makes him not a true ace – today's a pretty good counterexample, I'd say?

  185. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 7:14 PM

    Cebolla!

  186. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 7:16 PM

    Come on, Lombo, hit a homer…..

  187. Section 222 - Apr 24, 2013 at 7:16 PM

    Davey sends up Lombo in this situation, instead of Tracy or ALR. He must really want to win this game.

  188. Scott Margenau - Apr 24, 2013 at 7:17 PM

    Lets go Lombo!!

  189. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 7:18 PM

    Okay….

  190. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 7:18 PM

    Why?

  191. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Apr 24, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    You have to get a run there!

  192. baseballswami - Apr 24, 2013 at 7:20 PM

    That's it. Baseball officially sucks. Lombo, I stuck my fan neck out for you.

  193. Scott Margenau - Apr 24, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    Ugh. That sux

  194. Tcostant - Apr 24, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    OMG – Fist and third and one out and not only does Lombo not get the run in from third, he strikes out while a catcher is running; for a stikem out/ throw him our double play. Oach!

  195. EmDash - Apr 24, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    Play-by-play says Solano (!) was caught stealing. Which, wow. Failed hit and run?

  196. Secret wasian man - Apr 24, 2013 at 7:23 PM

    Davey has tried everything and everybody. There is no savior for this team. And he is not coming. The season is over.

  197. Steady Eddie - Apr 24, 2013 at 7:23 PM

    To those of you watching on TV, did that called strike one to Lombo look as outside as it did on Gameday?Having said that, and recognizing that it should be bases loaded and one out, I have to apply the Nook Logan test to whomever gave the steal (or hit-and-run) sign to an at-best very average runner like Solano against Molina. (of course, Lombo was also confused if he felt he had to swing at a ball four pitch so far outside to "protect" Solano.)

  198. EmDash - Apr 24, 2013 at 7:25 PM

    Statistics show that a hit and run is a bad idea in the overwhelming majority of cases, honestly. Don't understand that call, especially with a slow-running catcher as the runner.

  199. Secret wasian man - Apr 24, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    Davey has no confidence in this teams hitting. And why should he? So he is trying hit and runs….. Probably a dumb play but Davey is very frustrated.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 77 56 --
ATLANTA 72 65 6.0
MIAMI 68 69 11.0
NEW YORK 64 73 14.0
PHILADELPHIA 62 74 15.5
Through Sunday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

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