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Haren, Harper lead Nats to third straight win

Apr 27, 2013, 10:44 PM EST

Photo by USA Today

In an overall inconsistent staff through the season’s first month, there was no question offseason acquisition Dan Haren was the weakest link. His ERA was over 7.00 entering Saturday’s game and he had yet to get an out in the sixth inning of a start. 
So after his strong outing in the Nats’ 6-3 win against the Reds, their third straight victory, Haren didn’t just feel relieved. He didn’t just feel happy to finally feel like himself again either. No, Haren went even further than that when describing his day.
I finally feel like part of the team,” he said. “I’ve been waiting a long time to have a good start. My confidence has been building ever since the first game, getting pounded in Cincinnati.” 
“From then on, my confidence has gotten better and better, more and more. Today, I know I’ll feel good coming into the next start. When I took the ball today, I felt like I was going to win.”

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  1. natsfan1a - Apr 27, 2013 at 11:05 PM

    Fixed. :-)“That’s sports, sometimes you’re going to lose and sometimes you’re going to win. Fans are [#&!@] crazy if you lose or if you win,” he said.

  2. 5c3cd06e-cef8-11e1-abe6-000bcdcb2996 - Apr 27, 2013 at 11:33 PM

    Here's hoping The Danimal keeps it up. He is too expensive to get demoted to the pen, so get on for the ride everyone.

  3. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 27, 2013 at 11:41 PM

    loved Clip's QUOTE about how Harper is getting better every day.

  4. baseballswami - Apr 28, 2013 at 12:00 AM

    Fun game to watch on a beautiful day at Nat's Park. Big crowd, lots of energy. Just close enough at times to feel exciting. Thanks to Span it did not get any closer.

  5. peric - Apr 28, 2013 at 12:00 AM

    “It was pretty quick,” Harper said. “I had a fun year last year and I think being able to have a team and an organization that really brought me in with open arms and gave me the opportunity to play in the big leagues last year, I was so fortunate. Have to do that with all the prospects not just Harper and Stras.

  6. skidge - Apr 28, 2013 at 12:06 AM

    What swami said, although judging from the game thread comments, this must have been less fun to watch on tv than it was in person. (But then I did happen to be directly in front of the rally monkey.) Great game!

  7. Section 222 - Apr 28, 2013 at 12:08 AM

    peric, your obsession with our minor league players is truly amazing, but you never answered my question yesterday on how you tell if a prospect is ready to play in the big leagues. Or is every single one of our young AA and AAA players ready to come up and succeed right now as long as he is hitting or pitching well in the minors? You take any and every opportunity to remind us that that Karns, Rosenbaum, and Kobernus are playing well. You even mentioned Ryan Perry yesterday. (Ryan Perry? Really?) You seem to think that they should be on the 25 man now. What is it that you are seeing that Rizzo is not?

  8. Nattering Nat - Apr 28, 2013 at 12:19 AM

    Harper's first anniversary in the bigs: whatever is written in NI about him, it cannot be enough. We are indeed privileged to have perhaps the best Nats player in over 90 years playing in front of us here in DC, and we get to see him virtually every home game, not just every five days.The comment about his baseball IQ is among the most telling, to me. Speaking of which, as athletic, tenacious (to the point of stubbornness), mentally tough as Desi and Espi may be, as I watch them game after game, it's their baseball IQ I'm least sure about. If Haren can shorten up his swing with two strikes, to try to keep the ball in play, why oh why can't those two? I do think Espi is trying that on occasion this year, as his Ks are down. But Desi–is he regressing? Maybe they can learn something from Harper.

  9. Candide - Apr 28, 2013 at 12:23 AM

    Section 222 said… peric, your obsession with our minor league players is truly amazing, but you never answered my question yesterday on how you tell if a prospect is ready to play in the big leagues. Or is every single one of our young AA and AAA players ready to come up and succeed right now as long as he is hitting or pitching well in the minors?F.P.: "Bring him up, he's ready!"I submit that peric is actually F.P. Santangelo's id.

  10. Nattering Nat - Apr 28, 2013 at 12:27 AM

    Except FP says it tongue in cheek, as you undoubtedly know.

  11. Joe Seamhead - Apr 28, 2013 at 12:28 AM

    Skidge, I enjoyed it on TV, though not as much as I enjoyed last night's game at the park. I really enjoyed Rendon getting a hit today, Dan Haren getting a win, Bryce getting a homer, Soriano's pitching the 9th, Werth's hustle to get down the line, but most of all Denard Span's two Web Gems.

  12. Doc - Apr 28, 2013 at 12:38 AM

    Maybe Candide, excetpt that F.P. is kidding!

  13. baseballswami - Apr 28, 2013 at 12:45 AM

    Not to mention Haren's hit and RBI!! Look out, Stras. He is coming after your Silver Slugger!

  14. sjm308 - Apr 28, 2013 at 12:46 AM

    Here is just another example of Harper's influence on our fans. I am at the beer stand up by 309 and Harper comes up. I swear 3 people (including myself) left the line to watch him hit! He rewarded us with a solid single.As I mentioned in the last post, I am through reading anything Peric posts and yet his name keeps coming up with others I do enjoy reading. I am telling you that his goal is to take the fun out of our Washington Nationals and I am not going to let him do that to me.Those two catches by Span, not to mention the other plays that he just makes look so easy have convinced me that anyone who thinks he is a bench player probably also believed Alfonso Soriano played the same position.

  15. sjm308 - Apr 28, 2013 at 12:48 AM

    I have noticed this earlier when Haren hit. Has anyone else thought that he is probably the worst baserunner we have. It just looks like every step is torture for him. I am sure part of this is the back and hip issues and he is just trying not to strain anything. So happy he was able to go 6 today and lets hope his next start is just as solid.

  16. sjm308 - Apr 28, 2013 at 12:51 AM

    Nothing to do with today's game but how great is it to go over to the left and read NatsLady!

  17. baseballswami - Apr 28, 2013 at 12:53 AM

    No question Span saved the day today. As for Harper– physically, he is like some young Greek god. When you watch him in person, you just cannot believe he is 20. On the field, he is arresting to watch- you can't take your eyes off him. Add to that the fact that he is very charismatic and totally at ease in the public eye, he really is must see TV. I find myself wondering what he will do next.

  18. Scott Margenau - Apr 28, 2013 at 12:55 AM

    Can't wait to watch highlights.

  19. Joe Seamhead - Apr 28, 2013 at 12:57 AM

    308,I honestly can't ever remember a slower baserunner ever in MLB

  20. ehay2k - Apr 28, 2013 at 1:20 AM

    Seamhead, Livo was slower. A lot slower. :-) So, this is how this team is capable of playing when they are not pressing. Could be a great finish to April.

  21. MicheleS - Apr 28, 2013 at 1:27 AM

    SJM/Joe S.. Haren Makes Strasburg look like the fastest runner on earth. :-)SJM.. I scroll past more than 50% of the posts now. Sadly, it makes me wonder what the motive of those posters actually is. Somehow I wonder if they actually watch the team play.Anywho.. I need to make it make it up the the 300s to vistit you and Joe S.GYFNG and lets have DET get the SWEEP!

  22. baseballswami - Apr 28, 2013 at 1:28 AM

    Michele- you wonder about motives . I wonder about sobriety.

  23. Joe Seamhead - Apr 28, 2013 at 1:28 AM

    I'm not so sure ehay2k. I think Livan would beat him.

  24. sjm308 - Apr 28, 2013 at 1:48 AM

    swami – it can't be that because I am hardly ever sober.My money would be on Livo if there was a motive for him to run. He actually was a pretty good athlete and made some plays in the field look a lot easier than they should have been. Now, running was not his strong suit but I think he could take Haren.Thanks Michelle, Kevin and I look for you at Justin's.

  25. peric - Apr 28, 2013 at 1:51 AM

    You take any and every opportunity to remind us that that Karns, Rosenbaum, and Kobernus are playing well. You even mentioned Ryan Perry yesterday. (Ryan Perry? Really?) You seem to think that they should be on the 25 man now.I think I mentioned them as depth dude. What's wrong with you 222 you must still be sour grapes because I've been right so often eh? That's why they are there … in case of injury or unacceptable performance at the major league level. Or are you some psychic alien type that can download new players from some mysterious dimension 222/ You seem the type that can create players from midair and make them major leaguers? Maybe you can heal LaRoche's back … hey you could be the Messiah?Moron.

  26. sjm308 - Apr 28, 2013 at 1:52 AM

    Davey said after the game he was still not happy with how he has set the bullpen. He does not want Clip and Storen to pitch on the same day if possible and I think what I get from that is that he wants them both to pitch in the 8th on different days. Tomorrow, besides Ross – Stammen, Mattheus and Henry are all fresh and I think Duke can also go if needed. We should be good to go. Just hit the ball and catch the ball lads.

  27. Candide - Apr 28, 2013 at 1:52 AM

    You want to see slow? Check out Willie Mays Aikens's career stolen bases and triples.

  28. sjm308 - Apr 28, 2013 at 1:52 AM

    Whooooo Hooooo – skipped my first post!!!

  29. peric - Apr 28, 2013 at 1:55 AM

    I am telling you that his goal is to take the fun out of our Washington Nationals and I am not going to let him do that to me.Since when? Since I happen to prefer younger prospects to washed up over-the-hill has-beens that rip us off and break our hearts? Like Werth, LaRoche? DO YOU REALLY THINK WERTH IS WORTH <$16,000,000 sjm308? If you do then I have a bridge I'd like to sell you in Brooklyn.YOU TAKE THE FUN OUT OF MY ENJOYMENT DUDE!When you claim Tyler Moore is not a major leaguer. When you say Morse is AAAA? When you say Rendon isn't ready … when you say Zim won't play first base so that this great young hitter could get a chance? And on and on. You rain on my parade sjm308 BIG TIME!

  30. peric - Apr 28, 2013 at 1:56 AM

    Whooooo Hooooo – skipped my first post!!!Hope you bend your fenders and lose your chain jerk.

  31. peric - Apr 28, 2013 at 2:02 AM

    Justin Maxwell? The 29 yo AAAA player on the DL hitting .234? That Justin Maxwell?I was looking at his defense in which he is ranked third among CF's Cracker Jack and sjm308 here's hoping you skid off into some nice thorny bushes dude.I have seen this team maybe more than you have. And the AAA team in Syracuse. Have you ever seen them?

  32. peric - Apr 28, 2013 at 2:02 AM

    As for Nationals Prospects folks are far more civilized there than here … and do a far better job when it comes to critical thinking.

  33. Joe Seamhead - Apr 28, 2013 at 2:03 AM

    To quote young Mr. Harper:“I’m just happy that we’ve been in the win column the past three nights and I’m excited to get going tomorrow.”

  34. peric - Apr 28, 2013 at 2:04 AM

    Henry are all fresh and I think Duke can also go if needed.Henry is another guy I happen to like yet you sjm308 love to dump all over him … never giving him a chance.

  35. peric - Apr 28, 2013 at 2:08 AM

    SJM.. I scroll past more than 50% of the posts now. Sadly, it makes me wonder what the motive of those posters actually is. Somehow I wonder if they actually watch the team play.Yeah I'm so inebriated dolt I manage to know that LaRoche and Zim were injured? But you can't see anything since you're likely plucking your eyebrows instead of watching …And certainly sjm308 must have fallen on his head a few times too many to miss obvious signs that somehow I alone pick up? Morons.

  36. JaneB - Apr 28, 2013 at 2:11 AM

    Justin's defense was always better than his production at the plate. I'm really glad that he found a place where he can play and make a true contribution. I always liked his hustle, and the way he treated the fans. That last day of his last season as a Nat, he stood in the dug out and took in the stadium, all the fans cheering. You cold tell he knew he wouldn't be a home town player after that day. And Peric…we're paying these already-big-leaguers big bucks to play for us. ALR is in a bad spell, but he's great with the glove. No way the Baby Nats should be playing in their place. It's be a huge gamble and a waste of money.Whatever opinions you have about this and any other post, seriously — reign in the wishes for bad events and pain and suffering. There's no room for that here. If you have to type it, at least delete before you post.

  37. baseballswami - Apr 28, 2013 at 2:13 AM

    Sigh…. And we actually won the last three games….

  38. peric - Apr 28, 2013 at 2:15 AM

    Peric, I'm not the one that has said that Justin was a RF, though I'm sure he could, nor am I the one that said Jean Carlo Stanton is a LH hitter, nor am the guy that made the claim that Alphonso Soriano was the best center fielder in Nats history. You made all of those statements and you have the freaking audacity to say I'm usually wrong?As I said and admitted my memory isn't always right and I don't always look things up. But I still knew about Lannan. Did any of you? Weren't you watching? I knew about Zim. I knew we'd see Rendon. I knew about Morse in AAA. What the hell are all of you watching? No one focuses on the game it seems. They're too busy making pinata's out of players they love to hate on and accuse me of that? Right. Like Henry, like Morse before he became "famous" y'all called him AAA and Seamhead Mr. "Rincon" will be at third base very soon dude. And I am calling you on that now.I defend the players I believe deserve better starting with Espinosa your favorite punching bag …

  39. MicheleS - Apr 28, 2013 at 2:15 AM

    SJM.. Next game.. Kevin& You at Justin's!!!! Can't wait so see pictures of CHAINSAW!!!!

  40. peric - Apr 28, 2013 at 2:17 AM

    ALR is in a bad spell, but he's great with the glove.He's injured and its pretty clear to me if not to you. And that is why I wonder who here (sjm308) watches these games? Sparse few I deem.

  41. Candide - Apr 28, 2013 at 2:18 AM

    peric said…As for Nationals Prospects folks are far more civilized there than hereI'll bet nobody there goes around calling people morons and dolts.

  42. peric - Apr 28, 2013 at 2:18 AM

    No way the Baby Nats should be playing in their place. It's be a huge gamble and a waste of money.And neither was Harper … not even close but look at him now.

  43. peric - Apr 28, 2013 at 2:20 AM

    I'll bet nobody there goes around calling people morons and dolts.Mostly, they actually watch the games and make very astute observations.Here too many are too busy looking at something else who knows what.

  44. peric - Apr 28, 2013 at 2:22 AM

    – reign in the wishes for bad events and pain and suffering.Maybe you should be telling sjm308 about his ad hominem attacks just back from the game. Why attack someone if he is so glad about the win? Why don't you question that JaneB?

  45. Joe Seamhead - Apr 28, 2013 at 2:28 AM

    It isn't just your memory that isn't quite right.

  46. Gonat - Apr 28, 2013 at 2:34 AM

    “Votto, I was already playing deep,” Span said. “I was respecting his power. I’m not sure if the ball would have went over, but I was prepared to bring it back if it did go out.”___________________________How great is that quote by Span. It shows the problems from the Cardinals and Braves series weren't to be repeated where balls were not being caught at the walls. Nyjer had that problem but never fixed it. Whatever the process was today, it saved the game.

  47. Gonat - Apr 28, 2013 at 2:40 AM

    We just got back from a beautiful night in Bowie, MD. Ramos 2 for 3 with a double and put in 6 innings.I really think Suzuki's numbers will go back up playing 3 to 4 games a week instead of 7.

  48. Joe Seamhead - Apr 28, 2013 at 2:42 AM

    Last night Span adjusted his depth from batter to batter. He is adjusting to not only a new park, but also a whole new league for him. His presence in CF is allowing Jayson to play further over to the line.

  49. baseballswami - Apr 28, 2013 at 2:44 AM

    I must say that I strongly believe something is physically wrong with ALR. He is not stretching and ranging in the same way. Also not running. When you see him off camera on the field he appears to be stiff and holding himself awkwardly. I was hoping that today's warm weather would loosen him up. Hope it 's something like stiffness that will resolve itself. Also hope I am wrong and he flips a switch soon. It won 't be April anymore in a few days.

  50. Joe Seamhead - Apr 28, 2013 at 2:46 AM

    Zook's bat has cooled, but his overall defense has been great. I still think he gets the lion's share of starts next week.

  51. Gonat - Apr 28, 2013 at 2:49 AM

    Joe, the fact that every outfielder is covering more ground is a benefit to all the pitchers and it probably has been most evident in this Reds series.We had that discussion earlier this week about Tarasco early in the season was only adjusting Bryce and now they have adjusted Span to which Span has acknowledged in his quote.

  52. Joe Seamhead - Apr 28, 2013 at 3:02 AM

    Chase and/or Mark, has anybody asked Davey directly as to ALR's status regarding being injured? Have you guys heard anything as to the status of his back tightness?

  53. JaneB - Apr 28, 2013 at 3:03 AM

    I agree that ALR looks injured. His batting stance has changed, too. There's a reason Davey is still playing him, and it's not up to me to decide.

  54. Gonat - Apr 28, 2013 at 3:05 AM

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/nationals-watch/2013/apr/27/denard-spans-dual-web-gems-defensive-highlight-nat/This is a good read by Mark Lancaster. The first part of getting better is admitting you need to improve and then the dedication and practice to get better. In the article it says Span didn't make plays in the Cardinals series and Tarasco was knocking balls out to him against the wall.I'm even more impressed with Span.

  55. Joe Seamhead - Apr 28, 2013 at 3:08 AM

    Well,Jane,I was misinformed! I thought the ALR thing was all your doing.

  56. Faraz Shaikh - Apr 28, 2013 at 3:14 AM

    Good outing from Haren. No walks I believe and some Ks while giving up just 2 runs. Just hope he can go deeper into games. as a veteran, he should be the leader in that category. if he could give me 7 or 8 innings with 3-4 runs, that is fine. 6 innings relies on the bullpen a bit more than I like.

  57. EmDash - Apr 28, 2013 at 4:38 AM

    Haren is indeed the slowest runner I've ever seen in my life. The one hard-hit ball to the first baseman that Votto boggled, the announcers got excited like it was going to be a close play – and Haren wasn't even in the shot with whoever was covering first when the ball got there. I laughed pretty hard.I then amused myself a bit by imagining what it would take for Haren to get an inside-the-park home run – I imagine all three outfielders would have to fall down a few times, crash into each other, and maybe two more throwing errors. At least. I would love to see it happen one day; it's the only thing I can imagine that would beat that Astros play from last year.

  58. NatsLady - Apr 28, 2013 at 9:48 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  59. NatsLady - Apr 28, 2013 at 10:20 AM

    If Storen is sulking about not being the closer (as someone speculated earlier) he better get past it. The situation in Detroit shows how necessary it is to have that reliable 9th inning guy–so that you can play matchups in the other innings. Storen is not back to his pre-injury form. Clip could close, but not only would that drive everyone nuts, but mainly, with no lefty in the pen to use for matchups, Clip is it. Storen is just not that great against lefties.Detroit was using closer-by-committee, which was destroying Phil Coke (who is, really, a LOOGY). They bring Valverde back (one of the STRANGEST things I've seen in baseball), he promptly closes out his first two chances and the bullpen is back in order. You can be a hero in any inning, not just the 9th.

  60. natsfan1a - Apr 28, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    No love for Carlos Baerga?ehay2k said… Seamhead, Livo was slower. A lot slower. :-)

  61. Rabbit34 - Apr 28, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    Lots of Peric posts. Wonder what they said?? Lots of people have opinions. They all mean something. At least to themselves. It is hard to believe we are winning again with three starters in the low to mid .100s. Harper, the best player in baseball, makes even watching losses enjoyable (well almost).

  62. Whynat - Apr 28, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    In person, Span is one of the smoothest center fielders I've seen play. Builds confidence in everybody. Harper looks like he is playing a different sport than the rest of em.

  63. sjm308 - Apr 28, 2013 at 11:49 AM

    Rabbit: I am so with you and surprised myself by how easy it was to scroll. I can only imagine what the young lad screamed to me.I watched LaRoche carefully (although 308 is pretty far from 1st base) and you Insiders might be right. He just does not look as nimble as last year. He still have the great eye-hand work with the glove and there are few that can dig a ball out of the dirt like him. EmDash – our group talked about that play at first and we figured that Harper would have been at 2nd base (just joking of course). His running is even more pronounced (read slower) when he is on base. If he is on first, it appears it will take 3 singles to drive him home.Go Nats!!

  64. baseballswami - Apr 28, 2013 at 11:53 AM

    Whynat— exactly!!!!!!!!

  65. sjm308 - Apr 28, 2013 at 11:56 AM

    Whynat – could not agree more and your use of smooth is the perfect word. He literally glides after every ball. Harper's hustle is amazing to watch but Span just makes it seem easy. The game saving catch, to me, was the 2nd with the bases loaded. I never thought he was going to get to it when it left the bat. On the first catch, I had two thoughts. 1. I believe it was Votto up and definitely a lefthander and yet the entire outfield was not playing him to pull. I thought that was strange since Haren was rarely hitting 90. And yet Span was positioned so that he could make that catch. 2. I first thought he had not robbed him of a homerun but after looking at the catch on the jumbo screen that ball might have gone out. Was I wrong? (will not be the first time and unlike another person on here I will admit it)

  66. Laddie Blah Blah - Apr 28, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    Whatever is wrong with ALR, Davey should just sit him for a couple of games. No batting practice, either. Maybe his muscle memory will revert to what it was before his slump, or, if he is hurt, a couple of days rest would not do him any harm. Resting a slumping hitter is old school. What Davey is doing is not. If Riggleman were still here, doing the same thing as Davey is now, he would be roasted on this thread.The guy who we know has an injury, Danny Espinoza, has hit below .150 ever since he tore that rotator cuff last September. It's impossible for the rest of us to know if that is what has caused his collapse at the plate. Regardless, there may not be another ML manager in baseball who would continue to send guys out there who can't even hit their own weight, especially when he has Tyler Moore to spell ALR at 1b, and either Lombo, or Rendon, to spell Danny at 2nd.You play the guys who give you the best chance to win. Danny almost cost them the game yesterday. Span bailed him out.

  67. NatsLady - Apr 28, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    Harper is doing fine in LF. Getting good reads and of course his speed is great, and he's very energetically backing up Span. Right now, Span's WAR is the same as Bourn's (and he is a lot cheaper). Revere, despite that incredible catch, is below replacement level (-0.5 WAR).

  68. baseballswami - Apr 28, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    Span bailed out Danny, ALR, and the relievers. Maybe at some point they will begin to return the favor? Yes. I know Danny had the one great offensive game this week. Yesterday his defense was almost lazy looking. Puzzling, as that is usually what keeps him in the line up.

  69. Section 222 - Apr 28, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    Span's catch of Votto was the Capital One Premier Play on MLB Net last night.

  70. Theophilus T. S. - Apr 28, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    Had to scroll through about 100 comments to be sure I wasn't repeating what someone else had said — this is the first time I ever heard about Harper playing 3B or SS. Not that he's a SS anymore but it made me fantasize about a short-term answer to Z'man's throwing issues. Rosenthal on Fox yesterday waxing at length about Z'man "excited" (or was it, "enthusiastic?") about the condition of his shoulder and, in a total non sequitor, ergo, "He'll be all right." I wish I believed that. If Z'man is "enthusiastic," it can only be that he is measuring it against his condition 13+ months ago, when it was awful — and so has remained.

  71. Gonat - Apr 28, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    sjm308 said… I watched LaRoche carefully (although 308 is pretty far from 1st base) and you Insiders might be right. He just does not look as nimble as last year.________________________________Glad you saw it too. Too many people feel like when you are pointing out an issue with a player they like it becomes an arguement.When Desi threw the low throw to him last week that required a stretch to his right he couldn't do it and it clanked off of his glove. You know a healthy LaRoche makes that play.All this garbage about slow starts is about his offense, not his defense. BTW, I'm not buying the slow start stuff on offense either. Prior to this year he was averaging .228 for his career in the month of April and that even includes 2011 when he played with the shoulder injury. His K rate is 32.5% which means he's striking out at a rate of 1 out of every 3 at-bats.There were posters here yesterday with 2 runners on base and no outs that were just glad he popped out instead of GIDP. Davey is then putting either a double steal or hit & run on with the same situation in his next at-bat and that was disasterous as Bryce was caught stealing.The whole situation is sad. ALR probably sits today versus the lefty.

  72. Gonat - Apr 28, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  73. Gonat - Apr 28, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    Yes. I know Danny had the one great offensive game this week. Yesterday his defense was almost lazy looking. Puzzling, as that is usually what keeps him in the line up. April 28, 2013 8:47 AM ________________________________It would be wild speculation who that was batting 2nd yesterday and playing 2nd.As much as I find Danny Espinosa way over rated, he had a great game Thursday in support of Gio and one solid hit and great defense Friday.In typical Espi fashion, once you think he turned a corner he breaks your heart. He had 2 at-bats that were so void of a plan stepping into the batter's box given the situation and then his 3 mis-plays in the field that resulted in only 1 error given that Zuk backed up his poor throw and the other was on a doubleplay and wouldn't be an error even if ALR didn't scoop it.smh…….

  74. Gonat - Apr 28, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    Not to be lost in the Bryce Harper baseball IQ, on that smash to the wall by Votto, Bryce gets there quickly and sees Span and sets up for any rebound and after Span catches it becomes a cheering teammate!http://atmlb.com/10LgRul

  75. Joe Seamhead - Apr 28, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    Like many here, I hadn't seen Span play very much before he came here. All I knew was what I read about him, and his various stats on sights like Baseball Reference. The first time I saw him glide to a ball in Spring Training I thought "Wow! A real centerfielder!" Now it's great to see so many of us united on the Spanwagon! But, that said, it's a lesson reinforced that computer stats and sports writers accountings, though useful, are limited.I am going to try to follow sjm308's advice and scroll past the young lad's "contributions" to this board, much like I would walk around a pile of dog poop.Responding to his personal attacks is akin to stepping in it.Speaking of Joey Votto, how many players get away with slamming their bat and throwing their helmet the way he did in the first game of this series without getting tossed? He should have been ejected. If he had of been, Gio may have had a no-no.Justin Maxwell is out for 4-6 weeks with another broken bone in his left wrist after getting HBP the other night. Max has a continuous history of broken bones in his wrists going back to his days at University of MD and later in the Cape Cod League and then in the pros. He and my son played against each other, and on the same travel teams growing up. It's a shame, though he wasn't setting the world on fire, he did seem to have found a home in Houston. Good luck to him.

  76. Gonat - Apr 28, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    Joe, talking about HBPs to the hand and old friends, Mikey Morse hasn't hit a HR since April 9 and is now slashing .221/.272/.453/.725

  77. Candide - Apr 28, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    sjm308 said… Here is just another example of Harper's influence on our fans. I am at the beer stand up by 309 and Harper comes up. I swear 3 people (including myself) left the line to watch him hit! He rewarded us with a solid single.Sjm*, I've been saying that about Harper since last year – "The beer vendors must hate Harper to death, because when he's at the plate, nobody is going to take their eyes off him just to get a beer."* Hey, what's the rule for capitalization at the beginning of a sentence when someone's nom de blog is all lower-case. Do I type:"Sjm308 makes a good point when he says…" or "SJM308 makes a good point when he says…" or "sjm308 makes a good point when he says…"?This is at least as important a question as "Are the Nats better off with Span and without Morse?"And, BTW (getting back to last night), I'm fully aware that F.P. is kidding when he says "Bring him up, he's ready!"

  78. Joe Seamhead - Apr 28, 2013 at 2:28 PM

    Go, I only wish for the best for Mikey, too. Though I've turned the page, I'll always remember that chapter of the Nationals fondly.

  79. Eric - Apr 28, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    "Responding to his personal attacks is akin to stepping in it."Speaking from experience, fwiw, ymmv, etc, even mentioning the intention to ignore is the same as a direct response. If you're gonna ignore, you gotta go all in.

  80. Eric - Apr 28, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    PS, I've been a huge span fan since the beginning of the season. It took my dad and I quite awhile to convince my mom that he is a huge asset. Really glad he's on our team.

  81. Gonat - Apr 28, 2013 at 2:33 PM

    Further on the maturity of Bryce Harper was his decision not to attend one of the hottest events in Washington which is the White House Correspondent's Dinner that 3 of his teammates attended in Ryan Zimmerman, Gio Gonzalez and Tyler Clippard.We can assume that Ryan Zimmerman wouldn't have attended if he wasn't on the DL, right?According to the Washington Post, Bryce Harper received an invite (from the Washington Times), but declined: "The way we’re playing right now and stuff, I just want to focus on one thing. I want to be able to get some rest, things like that." (Bryce Harper, via Washington Post, 4/28/2013)http://www.natsenquirer.com/2013/04/washington-nationals-players-at-the-white-house-correspondents-dinner.html

  82. sjm308 - Apr 28, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    Candide: since its rare that I make a good point, I think you are safe in using whatever you wish but thank you very much!Still waiting to see if you can go with Candide and Cunegonde on your rewards cards for that season package you will soon be buying.MicheleS – May 8th for me at Justin's but Kevin work doesn''t get him to night games on time for a happy hour pour. Hope to see you there and remember, I am old and forgetful so you will have to make contact! (hopefully, that is a joke).

  83. sjm308 - Apr 28, 2013 at 2:41 PM

    Gonat: just came in from the porch where I read the same quote about Harper. How great is it that a 20 year old would give up that opportunity to focus on the task at hand.Love our lads!!Go NatsSeamhead, keep scrolling!!

  84. natsfan1a - Apr 28, 2013 at 2:48 PM

    Joe Seamhead said… "Now it's great to see so many of us united on the Spanwagon!"I like Spanwagon. Plus one.Eric said…"Speaking from experience, fwiw, ymmv, etc, even mentioning the intention to ignore is the same as a direct response. If you're gonna ignore, you gotta go all in."True that.Candide said…* Hey, what's the rule for capitalization at the beginning of a sentence when someone's nom de blog is all lower-case. Do I type:"Sjm308 makes a good point when he says…" or"SJM308 makes a good point when he says…" or"sjm308 makes a good point when he says…"?This is at least as important a question as "Are the Nats better off with Span and without Morse?"I'd be inclined to go with door number 1.

  85. Section 222 - Apr 28, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    * Hey, what's the rule for capitalization at the beginning of a sentence when someone's nom de blog is all lower-case. Do I type:"Sjm308 makes a good point when he says…" or"SJM308 makes a good point when he says…" or"sjm308 makes a good point when he says…"?In this case, there's a creative solution: avoid the issue altogether by calling him "308". ;-)

  86. Candide - Apr 28, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    Well, Harper's already been to the White House – was there a couple of weeks ago for a pre-release screening of "42."So, been there, done that…

  87. Tim - Apr 28, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    Its not even May yet. If player are truly injured then should be on DL. But management is not going to force the issue / make a long term change to line up based on poor performance until they have more data, midmay – june.

  88. Candide - Apr 28, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    sjm308 said… Candide: since its rare that I make a good point…That's because you're a moron. Or so we've all been repeatedly informed…(…ducks, runs…)Still waiting to see if you can go with Candide and Cunegonde on your rewards cards for that season package you will soon be buying.Don't know how the rewards card thingie works, since we've never been STHs. I somehow don't think it's going to happen soon, since Cunegonde unfortunately still has to work a full-time job to keep me in the retired lifestyle I've become accustomed to. We're on track to go to about 15 games this season. The games we got a part of our slice of a STH's syndicate cost us essentially the STH price. The rest of the games, I've been finding I can get them significantly less expensively than STH price. Friday night (JZimm's gem), we got great day-of-game seats in 116 EE and the pair of tickets cost us only $77, including all the surcharges. Are the Red Carpet Rewards worth it (that is NOT a rhetorical question)?

  89. Gonat - Apr 28, 2013 at 3:36 PM

    Spanwagon +2 I was on it with his great offensive approach but his baserunning and defense by the wall weren't great. As of yesterday he showed game changing defense. Now we just need to see him wreaking havoc on the basepaths. He needs to be that guy on the basepaths driving pitchers crazy. There's an art to it and he can watch some old film of Jose Reyes and Jimmy Rollins.

  90. natsfan1a - Apr 28, 2013 at 3:51 PM

    Even better.Section 222 said… In this case, there's a creative solution: avoid the issue altogether by calling him "308". ;-) April 28, 2013 10:50 AM

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