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Game 22: Reds at Nats

Apr 25, 2013, 7:25 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Reds are in town for a four-game series starting tonight.

Having lost four straight and nine of 12, with a lineup that has produced a run in only two of their last 37 innings, the Nationals will try to get back on track tonight against a tough Reds club that already took two-of-three from them three weekends ago in Cincinnati.

They'll do so with a new-look lineup, as promised last night by Davey Johnson. Steve Lombardozzi takes over at third base, batting second. Jayson Werth, meanwhile, gets bumped down to the cleanup spot. While it's not an ideal position for him long-term, it does make some sense right now. With Ryan Zimmerman on the DL and Adam LaRoche strug-a-ling big-time, the Nats need to offer some kind of protection for Bryce Harper.

The reconfigured lineup may or may not help. Either way, the Nationals also need a better performance out of Gio Gonzalez, who has quietly been all over the place so far this season, certainly not up to his 21-win level of a year ago. The key for Gio: Get early strikes and quick outs, something he's struggled in particular to do in 2013.

I'll have the early-game updates and analysis for you here, but then I'll handing the reins over

CINCINNATI REDS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), XM 186
Weather: Clear, 62 degrees, Wind 5 mph out to LF

NATIONALS (10-11)
CF Denard Span
3B Steve Lombardozzi
LF Bryce Harper
RF Jayson Werth

Read more »

179 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Kirbs - Apr 25, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    My ideal line-up…..1-Span CF2-Lombo 2B (Rendon when zim is back)3-Harper LF4-Desmond SS (Zimm when back)5-ALR 1B6-Werth RF (Desmond when Zim is back)7-Rendon 3B (Werth when Zim is back)8-C9-PBut, I don't think Werth could do 7…and losing Espi's glove is scary, but either of the replacements is OK at 2nd.

  2. Nats106 - Apr 25, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    Since I haven't seen a post from Sunshine Bobby (who is too pessimistic for me) I decided I would shed my negative attitude and remind myself today is a new day and as Manassas said, at least we have a team to bitch about.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phWv7l8Lm_AThis is the day, your life will surely changeThis is the day, when things fall into place.

  3. peric - Apr 25, 2013 at 7:32 PM

    Well, at least the top prospect gets the pressure off. But now they are susceptible to small ball and hard line drives + grounders down the 3rd base line. Plus another banjo bat in the lineup. And Werth is not scaring anyone in the #4 slot Davey. Most especially with the enormous hole you put behind him. I guess Davey wants to lose eight in a row.

  4. peric - Apr 25, 2013 at 7:34 PM

    I'll say it again about the defense that they are making too many errors that go beyond what the official scorer can call an error -and- they are not making many spectacular plays of the Web Gem variety.With Lombo at third buckle up this could get a lot worse. Davey doesn't seem to be trying for the world series he may be trying to get fired though? That would be a real shame.

  5. peric - Apr 25, 2013 at 7:35 PM

    "Buckle up Bones."

  6. Faraz Shaikh - Apr 25, 2013 at 7:35 PM

    I would give Rendon more at bats.

  7. sm13 - Apr 25, 2013 at 7:36 PM

    Ideal lineup is one where Adam and Ian begin hitting like last year. If they do, everything will take care of itself. I'll be there tonight rooting for the "good Gio" to pitch a gem.

  8. peric - Apr 25, 2013 at 7:36 PM

    I would give Rendon more at bats.As would I. Again, I submit that Davey isn't doing the job he did last season with the franchise's top prospects. He is failing miserably and that to me is worse than the won-loss record in April.

  9. peric - Apr 25, 2013 at 7:38 PM

    Ideal lineup is one where Adam and Ian begin hitting like last year. If they do, everything will take care of itself. That's likely not going to happen. He needs to go on the DL just like 2 years ago when he helped cost Riggleman his job … He got a nice rest and recovered nicely and had a great year … and now he's regressed back again.

  10. A DC Wonk - Apr 25, 2013 at 7:46 PM

    Again, I submit that Davey isn't doing the job he did last season with the franchise's top prospectsAnd again I will respond: you were the one screaming for Rendon to get called up — and they did. You were the one screaming that he had to play 3b, his natural position — and they put him there.And then Davey put him in a relatively lower pressure slot of batting sixth. How is that failing him miserably? And perhaps Rendon needs a night off after a pretty rough 4-game initiation in which he's made two errors and gone 2-for-15.

  11. A DC Wonk - Apr 25, 2013 at 7:52 PM

    Well, at least the top prospect gets the pressure off. But now they are susceptible to small ball and hard line drives + grounders down the 3rd base line. Plus another banjo bat in the lineup.And Werth is not scaring anyone in the #4 slot Davey. Most especially with the enormous hole you put behind him. I guess Davey wants to lose eight in a row. Your irrational frustration is showing. Who _else_ would you put in #4 (yeah, yeah, I know, it's all TyMo TyMo Tymo — but he's at .190 himself — and, don't look now, but he's been a strikeout machine: 10 K's and 1 BB in 22 plate appearances.Espinosa has almost *three times* the plate appearances as TyMo and has 10 K's.Fact is: other than Harper and some Desmond, nobody's hitting right now. Except for Lombo, btw. Lombo: banjo at .345; TyMo: slugger/strike-out guy at .190. You can't blame Davey for trying Lombo. (I'm not saying that TyMo's that bad — but with all the calls saying "go with the hot hand" — it's Lombo that's the only guy besides Harper that's batting more than .275).To all — remember the old maxim: a team is never as good as it looks during a winning streak, and is never as bad as they look during a losing streak.

  12. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 25, 2013 at 7:53 PM

    Good night to let Rendon sit and observe. Slow things down a little for him but I really wouldn't call this shaking it up. I would have had TyMo in there tonight at 1st base but maybe tonight will be the night LaRoche breaks out.

  13. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 25, 2013 at 7:57 PM

    Say as you want about TyMo's stats. He has no hits as a PH or sub which skews his small sample size but the 3 games he has started looks far different:.364/.417/.636/1.053

  14. sm13 - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:01 PM

    Unless Ian is hurt, he doesn't need to go on the DL. He just needs to get his focus back to where it was last year on defense and offense.

  15. Daylos - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    Need to cut down on the walks. Shoddy defense aside, the pitching staff has been it's own worst enemy at times.

  16. SonnyG10 - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    How about that Ghost. Lombo is at third. I must have overheard someone who knew what they were talking about.Davey is shaking up things. I guess I'll get to see if peric is right and Lombo ruins our defense at third.

  17. EmDash - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    Yeah, of the starters, I'd expect Gio has been the worst about walks. Very wild so far this year; hope he can get his control back together.Lombo at third base is an odd call. Especially against a team managed by Dusty Baker, who can be expected to call for the bunt much more often than is typical with someone on first. I remember him being somewhat tentative there last year, and his arm isn't great. Not an optimal defensive alignment; that's probably still be Espinosa at second and Rendon or Tracy at third. (Or Espi at short and Lombo at second, maybe.)

  18. JD - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:23 PM

    If Davey decides that Lombo is his 3rd baseman until Zimm returns then Rendon should go back to Harrisburg and keep playing. If Rendon is up then he should start otherwise continue with the development in the minors. When the Nats signed LaRoche it probably doomed TyMo's opportunity as a regular with the Nats. I would have been ok going into the season with TyMo at 1st by Davie wanted the left handed bat, the defense and the veteran leadership and his thinking did make sense. If ALR is done as Peric assumes then it will have been a mistake but I am not yet convinced that ALR is done, nor am I convinced that he's hurt; I think he's just slumping and he'l come around.

  19. Rich P. - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:24 PM

    Davey said in the postgame yesterday that Lombo was going to be in the top of the batting order today. When asked if that meant Lombo would be playing second, Davey said no. Not hard to extrapolate from that that Lombo would be playing third. Ghost of Steve M didn't get the memo. Too busy running his mouth.

  20. natsfan1a - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:25 PM

    Hoo boy, we even have Mark making with the "Bull Durham" allusions. Here's one for y'all:"A good friend of mine used to say, 'This is a very simple game. You throw the ball, you catch the ball, you hit the ball. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains.' Think about that for a while." Now get out there play (or watch) the game! And no lollygagging!! :-)Mark said…has quietly been all over the place

  21. Secret wasian man - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:26 PM

    At least Davey is trying something. Unlike ALR who just keeps swinging the same crappy way with the same crappy results. I'm expecting our 7 th straight at home.

  22. Don - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:26 PM

    OK, my prediction had Espi getting benched and Lombo batting second with Werth to cleanup against LH SP, but I am still feeling good about the call. Werth is not a 2 hole hitter. He's swinging for the fences, his success has been at 5 or 6 in MLB and the wrist is healthy now, he feels his power is back and he wants to be a 30 HR guy again. Glad to see the move to the middle of the order and very glad to see some small ball at the top with Lombo maybe bunting or taking pitches for Span to run. Curly W is the cards tonight, I can feel it. :-)

  23. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:27 PM

    Feel Wood, I got the memo. You are so transparent in your attempts to discredit me. For some reason Mark hasn't been deleting all of your nonsense.

  24. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:28 PM

    Phillies lost. Too sad.

  25. sjm308 - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:31 PM

    SonnyG – I guarantee two things1. If Peric is right this whole place will know about it quickly2. If Peric is wrong – it won't get mentioned

  26. Gonat - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:32 PM

    Losing sucks and the fighting here just ruins it even more.

  27. sjm308 - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:32 PM

    Wonk: I appreciate your persistence –

  28. DJB - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:33 PM

    I didn't think Lombo had the arm for for third. I'm not liking this. I'm expecting that Espinosa will be replaced by Lombo at second during the game, and Chad Tracy subbed at third. Tracy looks like he is out of shape. Any news on Zimmerman?

  29. baseballswami - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:33 PM

    Rizzo on MLB. The man never loses his swagger. Team needs some of it. When you listen to him, you believe him. I would probably buy a used car from him.

  30. A DC Wonk - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:34 PM

    Gonat said… Losing sucks and the fighting here just ruins it even more.Well put. Winning cures a lot of ailments!

  31. Gonat - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:34 PM

    I'd rather have Peric then the people that come on here that hate the Nats. Sure, he isn't right much of the time but I like his passion.

  32. DJB - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:35 PM

    By the way, what's with the love affair with Tracy? What has he shown? Lombo should be at second and Rendon needs to stay at third. Me thinks Espinosa is making a real stink. They need to send him down ASAP, or the team is going to come apart.

  33. Gonat - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:35 PM

    Later, I have a ballgame to get to! Go Gio!

  34. sjm308 - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:36 PM

    Don: I am with you on your prediction! Like others, I am worried about Lombo's ability to handle 3rd but this also gives Rendon a chance to sit in the dugout, maybe ask Zimm what he is seeing as the game progesses and learn a little more. I feel pretty certain that Rendon will be back in the lineup soon. This is a game of ups and downs and no doubt we are down right now. Gonat is correct, when things start getting better we will just be arguing over a double switch here or there or leaving a pitcher in a litte too long. Baseball is a great game to dissect, but we are now cutting way too deep.Go Nats!!

  35. sjm308 - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:38 PM

    Have fun gonat! I can't wait till Saturday! Maybe by then we will be riding a winning streak!

  36. Pilchard - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:39 PM

    Amazing how Davey refuses to sit Espinosa. Since returning from injury on April 20, he is 2 for 18 with 1 extra base hit and no walks.

  37. baseballswami - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:40 PM

    DJB- you think Lombo has no arm because for some reason the people on this post have convinced you of it. He can get the ball to the other bases. He is not Ankiel. You don't have to break the first baseman's hand to make the play. It 's not that far- he is a major leaguer. In a slump like this, would they really put him there if he could not make the throw? I am more worried about sticking someone at the hot corner who is not trained when the defense has bee so awful and it's Gio , who gets the vapors when something goes wrong. I hope he has his head on straight today. Gio that is. All the crap said about Zim, don't we miss him now?

  38. A DC Wonk - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:41 PM

    baseballswami said… Rizzo on MLB. The man never loses his swagger. Team needs some of it. When you listen to him, you believe him. I would probably buy a used car from him.The good part is that lots of other GM's would, too!Remember that thread a few days back about how Riggs picked the wrong man to play chicken with! ;-)DJB said……I'm not liking this.Yep — although we did hear you the first 100 times.sjm308 said… Wonk: I appreciate your persistence -Thanks!I will continue to do my best to:a) love it when the Nats winb) attempt to bring logic and fun (sometimes mututally exclusive ;-) to the comments here; andc) not let losses or bad play get me down (after all, it's a win-win situation for a fan when: wins get you up, and you shrug off losses. I've been in the DC area long enough to know the real pain of decades without baseball — having a team of our own (bonus: in the "real" league that don't have no stinking DH) — so that everything the Nats do (presuming they are acting like mentches) is icing on the cake for me)

  39. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:42 PM

    The Royals just exploded on the Tigers in the 10th inning with 5 runs. 2 of my favorite players Alex Gordon and Lorenzo Cain coming up big for the Royals. Gordon with a Grand Slam.This team with that starting pitching could be for real.

  40. Steady Eddie - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:47 PM

    A DC Wonk said…Winning cures a lot of ailments!It also has the benefit of driving away most of the LoD whining or nasty ninnies.With peric, you can always scroll past, but the LoD just takes dumps all over the game threads and makes them entirely unreadable and pointless.I am simply hoping they can play a competitive game in which they show they can come back if they fall behind, which they haven't done since last Saturday against the Mets and bad pitchers.

  41. baseballswami - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:47 PM

    Good news from the twitter verse. Nine guys came in early for extra BP. Ramos could be back Monday. Zim. A couple days behind him. So apparently Danny is playing because it is his birthday. !!! So, what is he? Seven? Watch the pre- game show for a Drake interview.

  42. A DC Wonk - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:48 PM

    Fun fact of the day:- The Phillies hit just their first home run against lefty pitching all year yesterday- Jordany Valdespin's a walk-off grand slam against a five-man infield was the second time that happened this week: Matt Wieters also hit a walk-off slam against a five-man infield.- Joey Votto has walked a major-league-leading 26 times this season (more than any two Nats combined). (Choo has walked 14 times, more than any Nat)

  43. Knoxville Nat - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:48 PM

    Peric said"He needs to go on the DL just like 2 years ago when he helped cost Riggleman his job …"I'm assuming you are talking about LaRoche, is that correct? If so how do you think he helped cost Riggleman his job? I thought Riggleman's loss (resignation) of job was all about him and Rizzo, no one else.

  44. alexva - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:49 PM

    "I guess Davey wants to lose eight in a row" "Davey doesn't seem to be trying for the world series he may be trying to get fired though?""He got a nice rest and recovered nicely and had a great year" (he got surgery)keen baseball insight right there mister

  45. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:50 PM

    Pilchard said… Amazing how Davey refuses to sit Espinosa. Since returning from injury on April 20, he is 2 for 18 with 1 extra base hit and no walks. April 25, 2013 4:39 PM Davey was a 2nd baseman who aspired to be a MLB shortstop with power. He sees a lot of Danny in himself. I think that's where it all starts. He doesn't want to bring in the Bobby Grich.I'm not into boom & bust type of players. Give me steady as you go players that you can rely on with consistency.

  46. Steady Eddie - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:50 PM

    Wonk — at least it wasn't the five man infields that came back to bite the losing teams.But I wish you hadn't given us that stat about Reds and walks. Especially not with Gio starting tonight. He needs to do some "damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" style attacking.

  47. A DC Wonk - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:51 PM

    Steady Eddie wrote:but the LoD just takes dumps all over the game threads and makes them entirely unreadable and pointless.Yep. I avoid game threads now. Too bad. (I did get involved in one — it was because I was working on my computer (well, a combination of working, watching game day, and commenting on the game thread) — and, luckily for me, that was a game where the Nats won, so the LoD was fairly quiet.

  48. baseballswami - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:51 PM

    I thought that Jayson Werth had something to do with Riggs being out of favor behind the scenes. Anyone remember that?

  49. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:54 PM

    baseballswami said… So apparently Danny is playing because it is his birthday. !!! So, what is he? Seven? Watch the pre- game show for a Drake interview. I wanted to "bold" that because that may be the funniest thing I have read all day!

  50. EmDash - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:54 PM

    I don't entirely know why everyone's down on Espinosa the most, to be honest. Over the last few games, everyone not named Bryce Harper is slumping. Can't sit everyone. Is it just that people really like Lombo?

  51. natsfan1a - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:55 PM

    Evidently he's the designated whipping boy. There's at least one every season.

  52. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:56 PM

    baseballswami said… I thought that Jayson Werth had something to do with Riggs being out of favor behind the scenes. Anyone remember that?Yes, that has always been the thoughts when you read Jayson's own quotes. They didn't like each other much but then again neither did Sosa and Riggleman.

  53. baseballswami - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:57 PM

    Apparently Davey actually said it out loud. Manager's decisions are just so complex.

  54. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 25, 2013 at 9:00 PM

    EmDash said… I don't entirely know why everyone's down on Espinosa the most, to be honest. Over the last few games, everyone not named Bryce Harper is slumping. Can't sit everyone. Is it just that people really like Lombo? April 25, 2013 4:54 PM The people that have jumped on him lately I think just want to bash him as someone they can pick on since RZim is on the DL so yes, they need a whipping boy.Me, I've questioned Danny's abilities pretty much since the end of 2011. I see the game much differently as the best 25 go North and the best 8 + the pitcher get to start.In Danny's defense, I'm sure he is trying as hard as he can.

  55. baseballswami - Apr 25, 2013 at 9:01 PM

    EmDash- not just the whipping boy. Lots of attitude type things along the way and his Teflon status with Davey. Seems like he thinks he already knows everything. Added to that his supposed high ceiling and potential that doesn't seem to go anywhere. Very frustrating player.

  56. EmDash - Apr 25, 2013 at 9:14 PM

    He can be frustrating, but he's still been pretty valuable to the team so far in terms of defense at least, and as much as the team's struggled at that I think it's worth taking into consideration.On another note, Rizzo's option for 2014 has, not surprisingly, been picked up.

  57. A DC Wonk - Apr 25, 2013 at 9:14 PM

    his Teflon status with Davey.If I remember right: Last year Davey told Ian and Desi to chill out, that they were the starters, and he'd back them. Davey did that because he saw high ceilings in both of them. (Note: many hear hated Desi, and were hoping Ian would play SS and Lombo 2b).Davey was right about Desi. He blossomed to be an all star. This year may be the make-or-break year for Espi.

  58. Don - Apr 25, 2013 at 9:14 PM

    No wonder Rizzo had swagger.

  59. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 25, 2013 at 9:17 PM

    I believe Danny could be 0 for 80 and still be in the line up.I feel a big win tonight. Final score Nats 9 Reds 2.Take it to the bank.

  60. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 25, 2013 at 9:19 PM

    baseballswami, still unfair for people to attack him personally. Around here a year ago I think he was one of the most highly regarded players and it was Desi who was hated.There's only one way to turn around the sentiment and that is play well.Statistically Lombo is better right now. I say play the hot hand and that goes for 1st base also.

  61. Daylos - Apr 25, 2013 at 9:20 PM

    Desmond has got some work to do on both parts of game so far this season. The offense should come around when it warms up, but kicking the ball all over the yard needs to stop pronto.

  62. Don - Apr 25, 2013 at 9:21 PM

    I like this lineup. Lots of speed and OBP ahead of ALR. They should make Arroyo throw a lot of pitches. Lombo at 3B is not ideal but he can play the position. All comes down to whethert Gio can limit the walks. Tough task against this club.

  63. baseballswami - Apr 25, 2013 at 9:22 PM

    I am home tonight and I am going to watch the entire game no matter what happens.and I am going to enjoy it. It's baseball season, it's the Nats. Gio, please be gentle with me.

  64. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 25, 2013 at 9:23 PM

    Nats 9 Reds 2. Tomorrow Nats 4 Reds ,1.

  65. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 25, 2013 at 9:24 PM

    Gio 7 IP 4 HITS 1 ER. 2 BB 8 K

  66. Secret wasian man - Apr 25, 2013 at 9:31 PM

    Give Lombo a shot over there. All you people pimping Rendon since Zimm made an error. Where are you now. Rendon is a joke. It's not working. You can argue all day about Espinoza Lombo Tracy… Bottom line is the only non pitcher earning his check is Bryce. Until the big money guys produce the losses will keep piling up.

  67. EmDash - Apr 25, 2013 at 9:34 PM

    Rendon just played his fourth career game. He hasn't been off to a great start, but no one can judge much of anything by four games.With that said, he does seem a little overwhelmed and giving him a day off might be to his benefit. But Lombo at third doesn't seem to be the answer, to me. He's a perfectly fine player, but has less feel for the position. I hope I'm wrong about that, though, and he does well.

  68. Secret wasian man - Apr 25, 2013 at 9:37 PM

    ALR. He's your scapegoat. He gets two or three timely hits everybody would be smiling.

  69. Rabbit34 - Apr 25, 2013 at 9:39 PM

    I'd watch the game, but it will be the same ol' same ol'. Bats going thud, and Gio having tantrums when things don't go well, as most likely they won't. Nope. I'm watching the Red Sox. At least they hit the baseball.

  70. Rabbit34 - Apr 25, 2013 at 9:40 PM

    Well, ok. I'll look in every now and then!

  71. MicheleS - Apr 25, 2013 at 9:44 PM

    Lombo played some 3B when Ryan went on the DL last year, he was acceptable. Didn't boot the ball that I can remember. So good Luck Lombo!Happy Birthdy Espi, may you not grip the bat so tight today.GO GIO!!!! GYFNG!!!

  72. MicheleS - Apr 25, 2013 at 9:45 PM

    Oh and I can't wait to see Drake on Nats Xtra. Hopefully he has had a talk with Dad

  73. natsfan1a - Apr 25, 2013 at 10:04 PM

    Agreed on the personal attacks. And the year before that it was Werth.Ghost Of Steve M. said… baseballswami, still unfair for people to attack him personally. Around here a year ago I think he was one of the most highly regarded players and it was Desi who was hated. There's only one way to turn around the sentiment and that is play well. Statistically Lombo is better right now. I say play the hot hand and that goes for 1st base also. April 25, 2013 5:19 PM

  74. baseballswami - Apr 25, 2013 at 10:32 PM

    Just to be clear — it was not me attacking personally. I am ok with trying new things, but I would rather see a change for a whole series, rather than one game at a time. It will soon be May, Ramos and Zim will be back, luck will change. Go Gio! I am watching you!!! GYFNG!!!!!

  75. sm13 - Apr 25, 2013 at 10:38 PM

    Does anyone remember ALR's reputation as a dlow starter? Last year was an exception.

  76. MicheleS - Apr 25, 2013 at 10:54 PM

    Drake busting on Dad now. Love that kid

  77. Candide - Apr 25, 2013 at 10:54 PM

    With Rendon sitting, the Nats have only two guys in the lineup hitting under .200 – LaRoche and Espinosa. They had 4 under .200 guys in the lineup the last two games.Gio's hitting .400.

  78. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 25, 2013 at 10:59 PM

    I wish Harper had his present numbers and was the worst hitter on the team That would be a real fun team to watch

  79. natsfan1a - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:01 PM

    Great interview with Drake. Atta way, kid!

  80. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:02 PM

    Hey Rabbit just peaked in and Sox have 4 already. Only 1 double the rest singles

  81. A DC Wonk - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:05 PM

    All you people pimping Rendon since Zimm made an error. Where are you now. Rendon is a joke.I'm sure glad _you_ aren't the GM. He's clearly one of the best prospects we have. That's no joke, and he's no joke. He might be not quite ready for prime time, but, otoh, almost no one else hit during the Card series either.Mike Trout played 40 games his first year and batted .220. Was he a joke?

  82. A DC Wonk - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:08 PM

    (and for that matter — Bryce Harper was hitting .213 after his first 13 games/55 AB with the Nats last year)

  83. MicheleS - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    Ah.. a nice 1-2-3 for Gio…

  84. Eugene in Oregon - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:18 PM

    Anyone else recall how the Nats were hitting at this point last season?After 21 games, they had scored 74 runs, which put them 11th in the NL. Their pitching was winning games, as they were tied for 1st in the league, having given up only 57 runs.This year, they're actually 10th in the NL, with 76 runs scored (call it a wash), but they're 11th in pitching (95 runs allowed).

  85. baseballswami - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:20 PM

    It does seem that nothing is falling in and everything goes straight to a defender. That has got to even out.

  86. Candide - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:22 PM

    baseballswami said… It does seem that nothing is falling in and everything goes straight to a defender. That has got to even out.Gotta check the team BABIP. BRB.

  87. Candide - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:25 PM

    Okay, Nats BABIP is .273 – 13th in the NL, just ahead of the Marlins and Cubs at .272 and .269.

  88. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:26 PM

    update us Candide.

  89. Candide - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:27 PM

    League average is .293; Reds are .309.

  90. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:28 PM

    while Jay Bruce was batting could see Rizzo sitting and taking notes

  91. MicheleS - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:36 PM

    Happy Birthday Danny!!!!

  92. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:37 PM

    Hope Gio slows pitch count down. 33 to 6 batters. 5.5 per batter.

  93. peric - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:39 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  94. Candide - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    Peric, knock it off.

  95. peric - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    Statistically Lombo is better right now. I say play the hot hand and that goes for 1st base also..Agreed, but its Span that should go … he's the guy who took Lombo's spot in the batting order because Lombo doesn't walk.

  96. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:44 PM

    good hustle Span

  97. Joe Seamhead - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:46 PM

    Well, nice job by Desi, Espy, and Span.

  98. A DC Wonk - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:47 PM

    baseballswami said… It does seem that nothing is falling in and everything goes straight to a defender. That has got to even out.Maybe it's even-ing out tonight.

  99. A DC Wonk - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:48 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  100. A DC Wonk - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:48 PM

    Hey peric — stop getting so personal. No need. You only demean yourself when you make posts like that.And, fwiw, you didn't even answer my question.

  101. baseballswami - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:49 PM

    Ok- the stupid pitch count thing again. So what????? No wonder these guys are all tied up on knots. Can they just get the batter out however they need to without everyone doing the math on how many innings he can go at that rate??? Every inning is different, and we have a bullpen. 16 per inning is not the end if the world. Stop it!!!

  102. A DC Wonk - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:51 PM

    You know — Davey said that Danny was playing because it was his birthday.I wonder if the real reason was that Danny is, lifetime, 4-for-8 against Arroyo.(And, now: 5-for-9)

  103. Pvdfan - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:51 PM

    Nice to see the Nats up early against a good team. Lets keep this up.

  104. Sec. 3, My House by the side of the road Sofa - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:56 PM

    That's one way to get around BABIP–don't hit it in play! Gio looks like he's pitching pissed off. I like that in a man.

  105. A DC Wonk - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:56 PM

    Gio's problem all year has been, among other things control issues.Not tonight. He really looks sharp. His curve is breaking well, and his fastball is back up to 94. He's looking good!

  106. Drew - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:57 PM

    725 from Henry Aaron.

  107. Sec. 3, My House by the side of the road Sofa - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    That's team leadership for Werth–take a baseball in the back to get LaRoche's back.

  108. Sec. 3, My House by the side of the road Sofa - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:00 AM

    Maybe this is what "Luck always changes" looks like today.

  109. Sec. 3, My House by the side of the road Sofa - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:01 AM

    I know Werth gets "Werewolves of London," but Bryce Harper's hair is perfect.

  110. hiramhover - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:03 AM

    Anyone else recall how the Nats were hitting at this point last season?Yeah, but those season totals obscure a lot–the Nats have a few high scoring games this season, but many more low or no scoring games. This year, the Nats have been shut out 4 times, vs 0 times thru 21 games last season.Tonight's looking a lot better so far.

  111. Candide - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:03 AM

    Dang… am I gonna have to stop hating Espinosa?

  112. Sec. 3, My House by the side of the road Sofa - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:04 AM

    I was about to say, this is shaping up as a good at-bat for Danny.Uhhh, duh.

  113. MicheleS - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:04 AM

    Ahem.. Happy Birthday DANNY!!!

  114. Joe Seamhead - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:04 AM

    Ahem.Excuse me! Happy Birthday Espt!

  115. Joe Seamhead - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:04 AM

    Espy.

  116. A DC Wonk - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:04 AM

    A DC Wonk said… You know — Davey said that Danny was playing because it was his birthday. I wonder if the real reason was that Danny is, lifetime, 4-for-8 against Arroyo. (And, now: 5-for-9)And now: 6-for-9 ;-) !!

  117. Joe Seamhead - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:05 AM

    MicheleS, Put me up for one on me!

  118. UnkyD - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:05 AM

    Well, lookit you, Danny Espinosa! :)

  119. mick - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:07 AM

    warm up the vocal cords MichelleS…

  120. Joe Seamhead - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:08 AM

    Don't let up!

  121. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:11 AM

    2/3 to my prediction. Remember I predicted 2 hours ago 9-2.

  122. Sec. 3, My House by the side of the road Sofa - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:12 AM

    warm up the vocal cords MichelleS…Mick, seriously? Hey, Gio has a six-run lead early–what could go wrong?That's on you.

  123. baseballswami - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:13 AM

    Well- ok Danny. Welcome back. I take back almost everything I said about you. :). This hitting thing is kind of fun . Here I thought I would be watching with clenched fists. Would it be awful to just whisper — don't blow it.

  124. Candide - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:14 AM

    Mick obviously doesn't believe in jinxes.

  125. A DC Wonk - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:15 AM

    Hey, Gio has a six-run lead early–what could go wrong?Groan! (That's just what I mentioned to my Wonkling (my 18-yo-daughter who's watching with me))

  126. Sec. 3, My House by the side of the road Sofa - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:19 AM

    Well, that's the thing, I'm sure he does, Candide. That's why he should have known better. That was totally his fault. Because what we put in here matters. Why would Davey read it otherwise?

  127. baseballswami - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:20 AM

    You know– Bryce just hits the ball so very, very hard.

  128. Sec. 3, My House by the side of the road Sofa - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:22 AM

    You know– Bryce just hits the ball so very, very hard.SEE?? THAT's how it done!Well played, Swami.

  129. Candide - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:26 AM

    If the Nats blow it, do we suspend mick until the All-Star Game? Put him in NI Jail?

  130. Sec. 3, My House by the side of the road Sofa - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:29 AM

    OK, I might owe Mick an apology here. I took him to be referring to Michele's trademarked victory cheer, which was obviously premature. Scrolling up, I realize she posted happy birthday wishes, and Mick was probably just getting the Happy Birthday ready. The Sofa regrets the error.

  131. Candide - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:30 AM

    Good pitching and good hitting. See, this game really isn't all that complicated.

  132. MicheleS - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:31 AM

    Mick.. we can sing happy birthday to Danny when Nats Xtra is on.

  133. A DC Wonk - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:32 AM

    In four starts before this game, Arroyo had a WHIP of 0.964 (best of any starter on the Reds), and had allowed only 2 HR's.

  134. A DC Wonk - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:35 AM

    Candide said… Good pitching and good hitting. See, this game really isn't all that complicated.And a couple of breaks. ;-)FP was musing (wishing) that Span's 90-foot hit was "the hit that turned the season around". Bob C was hoping we can say that in November.

  135. Andrew L. - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:36 AM

    Nats need to step back on the gas pedal! Desi and Espi looked like they were in a hurry to get to a birthday party!

  136. A DC Wonk - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:39 AM

    Lombo looked pretty good on that play from 3b.

  137. MicheleS - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:41 AM

    Wonk… would agre.. Last play.. Lombo is doing just fine at 3b…

  138. Candide - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:44 AM

    Need a few more runs here. Don't like this pattern of scoring a bunch early and taking the rest of the night off after the third inning.

  139. Joe Seamhead - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:53 AM

    Lombo has been pleasantly terrific at third. A little disappointing at the plate though.Getting Span in would have been nice after Denard's steal, and getting to third.

  140. baseballswami - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:54 AM

    What the heck is up with Lombo hitting in the air, though. Not his forte at all. Needs to go back to his old approach. All those new muscles are flexing. Looks just fine at third, though. And truly an asset to this team. I think he could play anywhere. Just not everyday at second base, right? We need to add on some runs. No lead is enough.

  141. Knoxville Nat - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:54 AM

    Lombodarzzi has been just fine at third base tonight. Gio is humming and Espi's bat has come alive for the night. Bryce keeps on being Bryce and that is a good thing. Go Nats!

  142. mick - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:55 AM

    Sec. 3, My House by the side of the road Sofa and CandideI have no doubt Nats got this and if I am wrong…. well, oh boy, lol

  143. UnkyD - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:58 AM

    Now…. THAT'S my Gio!!! I think the world has begun to turn, once again…..

  144. A DC Wonk - Apr 26, 2013 at 1:07 AM

    Does Gio have a perfect game — except for that one pitch to Votta — so far?

  145. A DC Wonk - Apr 26, 2013 at 1:10 AM

    ok, my bad, I jinxed him

  146. Sec. 3, My House by the side of the road Sofa - Apr 26, 2013 at 1:10 AM

    14:27 left in the third period, Caps down 1-0. FWIW, and Mark's show getting started on time.

  147. MicheleS - Apr 26, 2013 at 1:10 AM

    nope. wonk he walked a guy earlier. Also walked one just now

  148. Sec. 3, My House by the side of the road Sofa - Apr 26, 2013 at 1:12 AM

    Like I said, he looks like he's pitching pissed off. And that's a good thing.

  149. A DC Wonk - Apr 26, 2013 at 1:14 AM

    Yep — you're right Michele.OK — Gio's thrown 112 pitches. You're the manager: who pitches the 9th?

  150. Knoxville Nat - Apr 26, 2013 at 1:17 AM

    Gio

  151. Sec. 3, My House by the side of the road Sofa - Apr 26, 2013 at 1:18 AM

    Another strong inning from Gio who gave up a walk to Mesoraco, but got out of the [8th] inning with the game still scoreless. What??

  152. Knoxville Nat - Apr 26, 2013 at 1:19 AM

    ……unless of course he says he has had enough.

  153. Sec. 3, My House by the side of the road Sofa - Apr 26, 2013 at 1:19 AM

    Soriano needs the work. I bring him in. Maybe if it were a shutout, but probably not even then, really.

  154. MicheleS - Apr 26, 2013 at 1:20 AM

    Chase!! Thanks for ignoring the Votto Home Run.Ian – TOOTBLAN! OY.

  155. baseballswami - Apr 26, 2013 at 1:20 AM

    Music to my ears.

  156. Sec. 3, My House by the side of the road Sofa - Apr 26, 2013 at 1:20 AM

    Desmond got picked off, sure, but there was nothing like a tag there. Bad call.

  157. Daylos - Apr 26, 2013 at 1:21 AM

    The umpires 100% miss at least 1 call every, single major league game. It must be in there contract or something.

  158. Daylos - Apr 26, 2013 at 1:21 AM

    their*

  159. MicheleS - Apr 26, 2013 at 1:22 AM

    SHARK ATTACK!!!

  160. Candide - Apr 26, 2013 at 1:22 AM

    Gotta give Ian credit on the pickoff for a very acrobatic dive back in. He was safe.

  161. Candide - Apr 26, 2013 at 1:23 AM

    Good – add a few extra runs.

  162. MicheleS - Apr 26, 2013 at 1:24 AM

    Span… with a triple.. dude has some serious wheels

  163. Sec. 3, My House by the side of the road Sofa - Apr 26, 2013 at 1:24 AM

    OK, we tuck for this, right?Right.

  164. Sec. 3, My House by the side of the road Sofa - Apr 26, 2013 at 1:26 AM

    Ovechkin ties it 1-1, 6:30 to go in regs.

  165. MicheleS - Apr 26, 2013 at 1:27 AM

    Sori's on the mound, New Baby – Rafy JR.. Tuck in people

  166. MicheleS - Apr 26, 2013 at 1:30 AM

    UNTUCK!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Happy Birthday Danny!!

  167. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 26, 2013 at 1:31 AM

    Now we're untucked again.

  168. Knoxville Nat - Apr 26, 2013 at 1:32 AM

    A curly W, thank God!

  169. UnkyD - Apr 26, 2013 at 1:32 AM

    woohoo (trying not to overdo it…)

  170. UnkyD - Apr 26, 2013 at 1:33 AM

    :)

  171. Daylos - Apr 26, 2013 at 1:33 AM

    Not like they beat Cy Young out there, but a desperately needed W. Time to get JZimm some runs and make it 2 in a row.p.s. New interview girl gets the Gatorade shower.

  172. Candide - Apr 26, 2013 at 1:35 AM

    About time (☞ grumpy)

  173. natsfan1a - Apr 26, 2013 at 1:35 AM

    WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!er…um…oops? Sorry about that, Unk. :-)UnkyD said… woohoo (trying not to overdo it…) April 25, 2013 9:32 PM

  174. natsfan1a - Apr 26, 2013 at 1:36 AM

    Keep on truckin', boys.

  175. Cwj - Apr 26, 2013 at 1:36 AM

    Now that's more like it.I was getting tired of sending reassuring emails to my dad :-)Not just a win, but a Big 1-hitter win!

  176. natsfan1a - Apr 26, 2013 at 1:36 AM

    Save, heck. You're darn right I tucked.

  177. baseballswami - Apr 26, 2013 at 1:39 AM

    One hitter, 8 runs. Oh, yeah. And 9:30? We get to sleep, too? Is it everyone's birthday?

  178. natsfan1a - Apr 26, 2013 at 1:44 AM

    You say it's your birthday.

  179. natsfan1a - Apr 26, 2013 at 1:46 AM

    It's my birthday, too, yeah.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 75 57 --
ATLANTA 69 64 6.5
MIAMI 65 66 9.5
NEW YORK 62 71 13.5
PHILADELPHIA 61 72 14.5
Through Wednesday's early games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
THU: OFF
FRI: Nats at Mariners, 10:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Mariners, 9:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Mariners, 4:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 4:10 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.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

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