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Game 26: Nats at Braves

Apr 29, 2013, 7:33 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nats open a four-game series at Turner Field tonight.

ATLANTA โ€” Only a couple of days ago, the Nationals looked at this week's trip to Atlanta potentially as a make-or-break early series against their division rivals, who held a 5-game lead and looked unstoppable. How quickly things change. All of a sudden, it's the Nats who feel good about themselves (after taking three of four from the Reds over the weekend) and the Braves who are in panic-mode (having lost seven of 10 and seen their NL East lead dwindle to 2 1/2 games).

This does still remain an important series for the Nationals, who certainly want to avenge their earlier sweep at the hands of the Braves in D.C. And it's an important start tonight for Stephen Strasburg, who is mired in a four-game losing streak for the first time in his career even though he's pitched fairly well during that stretch.

As expected, Wilson Ramos has been activated off the 15-day disabled list, with Jhonatan Solano optioned back to Class AAA Syracuse. Ramos, though, is surprisingly not in the lineup tonight. Kurt Suzuki will be behind the plate working with Strasburg. Anthony Rendon also has the night off, with Chad Tracy starting at third base against Atlanta right-hander Julio Teheran.

Updates to come…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at ATLANTA BRAVES
Where: Turner Field
Gametime: 7:10 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, ESPN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 188
Weather: Partly cloudy, 74 degrees, Wind 4 mph out to CF

NATIONALS (13-12)
CF Denard Span
2B Danny Espinosa
LF Bryce Harper
RF Jayson Werth

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237 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. UNTERP - Apr 29, 2013 at 7:34 PM

    I don't want Stras pitching to contact. I want Stras putting the whip to everyone. Be who you are, not who someone (McCatty) else wants you to be…

  2. MickMcD - Apr 29, 2013 at 7:37 PM

    Mark, game is on ESPN in DC and Atlanta – it's a full national broadcast.

  3. Doc - Apr 29, 2013 at 7:39 PM

    Tracy deserves to be in there.So does Ramos, and TyMo at 1B.Jeezus Davey, wad ya waitin' for????Riggleitis must have taken hold. Better see the trainer for some meds!

  4. natsfan1a - Apr 29, 2013 at 7:41 PM

    Go, Stephen! Go, NATS!!

  5. Secret wasian man - Apr 29, 2013 at 7:43 PM

    ALR in the line up. It's ok against a righty. But not lefties.

  6. baseballswami - Apr 29, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    Ok everyone, now breathe. It's one game, one series. HOpefully Adam and Stras will both be on tonight. Hate Danny in the two hole….

  7. natsfan1a - Apr 29, 2013 at 7:48 PM

    Maybe we'll some see Gackitude from the Barves, who seem to have cooled off a bit. Hey, it could happen. Also won't mind if our guys don't give their fans much cause for any Hatchet Hackitude (yuck).

  8. NatsLady - Apr 29, 2013 at 7:52 PM

    Guys, hit it to RF, nobody's playing there. :)

  9. EmDash - Apr 29, 2013 at 7:53 PM

    For Teheran, you do probably want as man lefties as possible in your line-up – they're hitting .415/.479/.829 against him with more walks than strikeouts. I'm surprised Tracy isn't starting at third for that exact reason.

  10. NatsLady - Apr 29, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    Does that mean Ramos will catch Gio tomorrow?

  11. Cwj - Apr 29, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    Another reason why w-l records mean nothing for a pitcher: Strasburg 2.37 ERA in last 3 starts with 20/4 so/bb over 19 innings.Go Nats!

  12. natsfan1a - Apr 29, 2013 at 8:05 PM

    MASN update from the Bos chat:A. Thomas Boswell:BTW, apparently the Nats-MASN dispute has now gone to "the commissioner's office" for the next stage of Whatever-It-Is. Commissioner's Office = Bud. He was presiding when this mess happened. He needs to man up and get a resolution before he leaves at the end of 2014. If it's a good deal, then both sides will hate it.

  13. John C. - Apr 29, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    April 29, 2013 3:52 PM EmDash said… For Teheran, you do probably want as man lefties as possible in your line-up – they're hitting .415/.479/.829 against him with more walks than strikeouts. I'm surprised Tracy isn't starting at third for that exact reason.Um, EmDash … Tracey IS starting at 3b :D

  14. A DC Wonk - Apr 29, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    Maybe we'll some see Gackitude from the BarvesOne of the all-time classic NI statements. Thanks for the chuckle!Also won't mind if our guys don't give their fans much cause for any Hatchet Hackitude And a nice follow-up, too!

  15. Unknown - Apr 29, 2013 at 8:14 PM

    Davey, You need to give Henry some more rope. We haven't seen enough of him over the past three seasons.

  16. Dave - Apr 29, 2013 at 8:16 PM

    This evening's game is on MASN, MickMcD. The Nats vs. Braves game on Wednesday is this week's ESPN Wednesday night game.And of course, the MASN deal remains unresolved. So if it's resolved by the end of 2014, it'll just be over two full years late.Shameful. Shame on MLB, shame on Angelos.

  17. Eric - Apr 29, 2013 at 8:17 PM

    "Hate Danny in the two hole…."That's what she said!Sorry, sorry.Seriously though, I don't know what it is, but I think he could be great there if he can keep hitting.

  18. Dave - Apr 29, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    Oh yeah, and speaking of 'tude, maybe Gattitude is a thing of a past. Gattis went 2-for-Detroit and is currently batting .236.

  19. EmDash - Apr 29, 2013 at 8:22 PM

    You are correct, John C! I saw a different line-up on Twitter earlier and probably should've looked closer at this post before I commented…

  20. Eric - Apr 29, 2013 at 8:24 PM

    If we do well in Atlanta (3/4 or a sweep), particularly if Gattis remains quiet while we're there, I think the Gattitude thing will come to live in infamy down in Atlanta. Never define yourself on the basis of your opponent! ;)

  21. Eric - Apr 29, 2013 at 8:37 PM

    Wait, wait, wait, I didn't even notice that Gattis is out of the line up tonight…hilarious!

  22. Nats106 - Apr 29, 2013 at 4:40 PM

    This game is the must win game of this series. Our Ace and their rookie #5. Despite Teheran pitching well last time out, he has been hit, even by us. Let's get this team while they are down and tired after a late night in Detroit. Hopefully it sets the stage for a good series. Need some solid defense from the infield. Can't have Strasburg get down if the defense isn't working for him.Go Nats.

  23. Les_in_NC - Apr 29, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    IMO, I would like to see more of Espi batting 2nd. Forcing pitchers to give him something close in an attempt to not get to Bryce. Now if he would just cut that big loop out of his swing…..

  24. Section 222 - Apr 29, 2013 at 8:48 PM

    Oh no. Ramos isn't back in the lineup to catch Stras?! Maybe he's on to catch Gio tomorrow? What a catastrophe!Seems like Davey's not buying into the preferred catcher stuff.

  25. xbcsk.iut0765.kib#23.ijxcz - Apr 29, 2013 at 8:54 PM

    I think that only the Saturday Fox games and Sunday ESPN games pre-empt the local broadcasts. Tonight's and Wednesday's games will be national broadcasts blacked out in the two cities, just like games on MLB Network.

  26. pwilly - Apr 29, 2013 at 8:55 PM

    I don't know about a "must win" but I'd just like to see a crisp, clean game. Enough with the physical and mental errors. Biggest difference between last year and this year, so far.

  27. Gonat - Apr 29, 2013 at 8:57 PM

    Zuk did a great job with JZim and the pace of the game and I just hope he can be in step with Stras. I'm more worried about Zuk's over-use which is a bigger reason to get Ramos back in there.

  28. Gonat - Apr 29, 2013 at 8:59 PM

    Starting lineup with LaRoche, Espi, and Tracy. 3 guys batting under .179 and the pitcher has a better BA than all 3, heck he has a better BA than Suzuki also.When was the last time 30 days into the season did a pitcher have a better BA than 50% of his position players?

  29. johnny nats - Apr 29, 2013 at 8:59 PM

    Position in the batting order is over-rated according to some of the sabremetric guys. I'm ok with Danny batting 2nd. He is much improved in k's from last year. I don't know why people jump all over him all the time, its like the Werth thing from a couple of years ago, and honestly its getting old.

  30. Gonat - Apr 29, 2013 at 9:03 PM

    Freddi benched BJ Upton yesterday and today moved him way down in the order to #7. At least their manager is thinking outside the box. Our manager has LaRoche back in the #5 and Espi in the #2.Mark – Freddi is thinking so far out of the box he has 2 Centerfielders.BRAVES (15-9)CF Jordan SchaferSS Andrelton SimmonsLF Justin Upton1B Freddie Freeman3B Chris Johnson2B Dan UgglaCF B.J. UptonC Gerald LairdRHP Julio Teheran

  31. Old Wino - Apr 29, 2013 at 9:06 PM

    Time to win another series. Be patient. Trust in Davey.All is well in Nat world. My wish is a 123 first inning for Stras!:)

  32. johnny nats - Apr 29, 2013 at 9:10 PM

    I'm liking zooki more and more for his calls behind the plate. Ramos, Lombo, Tmo will all see plenty of ab's as the season goes on, I'm not worried.

  33. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 29, 2013 at 9:17 PM

    I checked the crystal ball. Nats 5 Braves 2.ALR gets a hit today.I am with old Stras comes to pitch and 11 K. Screw pitching to contact.Harper 1 for 2 with 2 BB.

  34. Gonat - Apr 29, 2013 at 9:17 PM

    We all like Zook and that playing everyday thing has taken its toll on his offensive production. On April 17th he was batting .360 and today he's .241 That's a sizeable drop.Yesterday was actually Suzuki's 1st XBH since April 17th.Sure, Trust In Davey.

  35. Grandstander - Apr 29, 2013 at 9:30 PM

    When was the last time 30 days into the season did a pitcher have a better BA than 50% of his position players?Last year, Strasburg finished his season with a .277 average, which was enough to best every player on the roster save Zim, Desi, Morse, ALR and Bernadina. And that includes Harper, who batted .270 last year.

  36. Candide - Apr 29, 2013 at 9:35 PM

    johnny nats said…I'm ok with Danny batting 2nd. He is much improved in k's from last year. I don't know why people jump all over him all the time…Let me explain it to you: .178/.221/.356/.577

  37. Sam - Apr 29, 2013 at 9:46 PM

    I think Harper should just bat 9 times. All in favor, say, "Aye!"

  38. Sec. 3, My Rocking Fire Sofa - Apr 29, 2013 at 9:51 PM

    Happy anniversary (well, probably not) to Lee Elia; timeless, and more than a little reminiscent of … um, some other places.NSFW, even if it wasn't you that said it, transcript only.

  39. Sec. 3, My Rocking Fire Sofa - Apr 29, 2013 at 10:00 PM

    Maybe we'll some see Gackitude from the BarvesExcellent, Smithers! Please tell me that's your coinage?

  40. Gonat - Apr 29, 2013 at 10:05 PM

    Adam LaRoche got some tips from Chipper Jones this afternoon.I expect LaRoche to bat switch-hitting and hit 2 bombs!

  41. MicheleS - Apr 29, 2013 at 10:09 PM

    GO STRAS! GYFNG! LaRoche got batting tips from his other batting coach – Chipper! Hey, whatever it takes!

  42. Gonat - Apr 29, 2013 at 10:10 PM

    Candide said… johnny nats said…I'm ok with Danny batting 2nd. He is much improved in k's from last year. I don't know why people jump all over him all the time…Let me explain it to you: .178/.221/.356/.577 April 29, 2013 5:35 PM ___________________________________I fell out of my chair laughing! I don't think Danny earned the honor of batting 2nd but it's an unbelievable opportunity to bat in front of Bryce Harper.Let's just hope Espinosa can adjust his approach to take advantage of it.

  43. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 29, 2013 at 10:35 PM

    Yep, LaRoche is getting 2 hits tonight!

  44. johnny nats - Apr 29, 2013 at 10:41 PM

    .178/.221/.356/.577 Small sample size. Hey, smack down whoever you want, but Espi isn't the one with the huge contract. For me, I'm not ready for unconditional release just yet.

  45. Don - Apr 29, 2013 at 10:53 PM

    Espi batting 2 again? Man oh man. Davey's pushing a square peg into a round hole.

  46. Gonat - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    Don, statistically Espi will see the best pitches in that spot. They don't want to walk him.It's all in the approach.

  47. NatsLady - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:12 PM

    P-Nats rained out, double-header tomorrow. I don't expect Ryan will play both games.

  48. Don - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:12 PM

    Gonat — Espi is not a good contact hitter and his pitch regonition is not good either. There is not much reason to throw him strikes in bunches as he's not taking walks wherever he bats in the order. Choosing him to get extra ABs in front of the run producers is a risky play by Davey.

  49. Gonat - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:13 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  50. Gonat - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    MickMcD said… Mark, game is on ESPN in DC and Atlanta – it's a full national broadcast. April 29, 2013 3:37 PM _____________________________I'm watching on MASN

  51. Gonat - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:15 PM

    Don, I was trying to do my reverse positivity. Well there is your swing and miss with his eyes closed by Espi on 2 straight ABs.

  52. Scott Margenau - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:16 PM

    Wtf is Danny batting 2nd!!! Ugh!

  53. Gonat - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:17 PM

    Denard picked off again. I thought he learned from Spring Training.How do you take yourself off the basepaths with the #1 guy in Majors.

  54. Section 222 - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:18 PM

    If Espi is going to swing at pitches like that, batting in front of Harper isn't going to help him a bit.Nice interview of Harper by FP. Actual questions unlike what our sideline reporters come up with. Almost succeeded in getting actual answers from Harper too!Span was safe.

  55. Gonat - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:18 PM

    2 mental mistakes already. Danny swinging at balls at his eyeballs and Denard picked-off.Brilliant!

  56. Scott Margenau - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:18 PM

    Unreal. Danny's SO had all kinds of repercussions…all bad. Span call was wring. TV shows safe

  57. Don - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:19 PM

    Espi's pitch RECOGNITION is better than my typing, without question.

  58. Section 222 - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:20 PM

    The game is on both ESPN and MASN in DC.

  59. Gonat - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:20 PM

    Section 222 said… Span was safe. April 29, 2013 7:18 PM _______________________________While replay showed he was safe by an eyelash, the ump has the call and unless Span was stealing it was just dumb.

  60. Section 222 - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:21 PM

    With ALR due up next, Werth probably won't see anything to hit.

  61. Gonat - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:22 PM

    Werth was just served a meatball and couldn't drive it far enough.smh

  62. Section 222 - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:22 PM

    While replay showed he was safe by an eyelash, the ump has the call and unless Span was stealing it was just dumb.Of course the ump has the call, but if he actually got back, he had it timed right. I'm not going to blame him for letting it get too close. That's not fair at all. Under that theory, he shouldn't take any lead because you can never predict how bad the call will be.

  63. Gonat - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:23 PM

    Section 222 said… With ALR due up next, Werth probably won't see anything to hit. April 29, 2013 7:21 PM ________________________________You would think put Teheran heard that Chipper Jones was giving LaRoche hitting advice which shifted his strategy.Chipper to LaRoche "I suggest you hit with your eyes open". ;)

  64. Section 222 - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:24 PM

    I'm watching ESPN, seeing how much love the Nats will get. Looks like ESPN has a one hour special tonight on Bryce's first year!! It's called "Bryce Begins".

  65. SCNatsFan - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:26 PM

    At least moving Danny up will give him a chance at 4 strikeouts.And Stras up to his usual antics.

  66. Joe Seamhead - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:26 PM

    It's in the book that he was picked off, and it hurt, but he was safe. The only thing that looked dumb to me was Espy's AB.Strasburg is a mess.

  67. Secret wasian man - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:27 PM

    Truly disgusted with the bone headed moves this team constantly makes. Lead off hit followed by Stevie Wonder (danny) A pick off then a double. Very important lead run is wasted. I am sick of this crappy team. And even more sick of all the excuses.

  68. Exposremains - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:27 PM

    Espinosa needs to sit. Strasburg, I don't get it.

  69. Alphabet Soup Erik - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:28 PM

    This is already painful to watch.

  70. Gonat - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:28 PM

    Secret, I'm fairly sure Span isn't stealing 2nd with Harper batting so why did he lean which caused the pickoff?

  71. SCNatsFan - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    Welcome to your 2013 Nats. Nothing changes.

  72. Gonat - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:32 PM

    This is all on Strasburg. Can't blame this on the defense in this start.

  73. Candide - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:32 PM

    I'm wondering why Davey has Henry as his starting pitcher tonight.

  74. Exposremains - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:32 PM

    That's what happen when you strike out on 3 pitches then get picked off and your ace can't throw can't get his head straight in the 1st inning. Your down 1-0 instead of up 1-0

  75. Gonat - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:32 PM

    Justin Upton pulled a Bryce Harper. Wake up boys. Luckily Desi was awake. Nice play Desi.

  76. Candide - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:33 PM

    Freeman out at 1B = Span out at 1B.

  77. Gonat - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:34 PM

    Werth yesterday slept while a Reds took an extra base and Bryce went AWOL and Upton took one on him.These mental errors are mounting by everyone now.

  78. Gonat - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:36 PM

    I agree with FP on both those plays at 1st base.

  79. Gonat - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:37 PM

    That Chipper Jones is a genius!

  80. Candide - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:37 PM

    Thank you, Chipper.

  81. RickH - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:37 PM

    ALR! The long national(s) nightmare is over!!!

  82. Gonat - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:38 PM

    That is a weight lifted. Good job Adam LaRoche. Get another hit!

  83. Section 222 - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:38 PM

    Bad calls kind of evened out, costing each time a run.And hey, what do you know, ALR got a hit!

  84. Candide - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:38 PM

    What kind of drink do you want, Gonat?

  85. Section 222 - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:40 PM

    ESPN announcers going on and on about how bad Stras is in the first inning and great after that. Sorry I didn't catch who the color guy is, but he's a former pitcher who says he used to pitch a full first inning in the bullpen at 100% speed and effort with batters standing there when he was having trouble with the 1st.

  86. Gonat - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:41 PM

    Candide, nothing special. I won't cost you a penny. Just a virtual drink in a tall beer glass! LOL

  87. Gonat - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    LaRoche is so slow that it was almost close at the plate.Nice smash by Tracy!

  88. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:44 PM

    And Trent 'Wind Mill" Jewett keeps sending them home.

  89. Joe Seamhead - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:45 PM

    The idea of Teheren is making all those throws to the bases means he's worrying more about the runners then he is the batter. Rattle, rattle, rattle!

  90. Candide - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:45 PM

    Gonat said… LaRoche is so slow that it was almost close at the plate. Is that his naturally slow speed, or is this just more evidence that his back is barking at him?

  91. Candide - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:47 PM

    #$%^%#$%$^%###!!! TRACY!!! #$%%^^%$%$%^e&y&

  92. Gonat - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:47 PM

    FP, Tracy is so slow what do you expect? Unreal. Doubleplay.

  93. Joe Seamhead - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:48 PM

    Gonat, Span is supposed to rattle pitchers when he's on base. Of course he isn't supposed to get pickedThat was bad Tracy. Good grief, can't anybody here play this game?

  94. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:48 PM

    LaRoche has always been notoriously slow.

  95. Dan Strong - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:48 PM

    What a boneheaded play that was. That sums up this season for us so far.

  96. Gonat - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:48 PM

    Candide, that drink is good. I'm having a Bud Light in honor of you!

  97. SCNatsFan - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:49 PM

    This team gives outs away both in the field and on the bases. No team has enough talent to overcome that. Sorry but the lack of mental focus is on Davey that is his job.

  98. Candide - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:50 PM

    Two runs in, first and second, no outs. This should have been a MUCH bigger inning.

  99. Exposremains - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:51 PM

    I figured what's going on, the Nats were told they were so good before the season that they decided to give way outs and give extra outs to other team to make it more interesting.

  100. Gonat - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:52 PM

    Dan Strong said… What a boneheaded play that was. That sums up this season for us so far. April 29, 2013 7:48 PM ___________________________________Keep track. I count 5 so far and 1 heads up by Desi.1) Espi swinging through 3 pitches with 2 at his eyeballs2) Span picked off3) Bryce momentarily looking down so Upton takes 3rd base (good play hitting the cutoff)4) Strasburg making no contact on a bunt play5) Tracy picked off

  101. Exposremains - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:52 PM

    Seriously, how many dumb play can you make? They need to relax.

  102. Joe Seamhead - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:53 PM

    I'm happy for ALR breaking his hitless streak, but when he's on he almost never hits to left field. Sign of his swing being late.

  103. Gonat - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:55 PM

    Candide said… Two runs in, first and second, no outs. This should have been a MUCH bigger inning. April 29, 2013 7:50 PM ______________________________Strasburg pulled a Lannan and couldn't get a bunt down.He has to pull hit head out of his backside.

  104. Exposremains - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:55 PM

    I'm sick of Contact Strasburg. I want K-Strasburg. Thanks FP for saying it.

  105. Exposremains - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:57 PM

    And Espi does it again. add that to your list Gonat

  106. Gonat - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:57 PM

    Joe Seamhead said… I'm happy for ALR breaking his hitless streak, but when he's on he almost never hits to left field. Sign of his swing being late. April 29, 2013 7:53 PM ________________________________It's great news he found grass. That 2nd swing he pulled his head off. I really thought it wasn't going to be pretty. He actually went up to get that ball.

  107. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    Espinosa lost that ball well before Uggla got there.

  108. Scott Margenau - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    3rd time Danny dropped a ball transferring…#lombo

  109. Exposremains - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:00 AM

    I hope that one time before Zim comes back we see Lombo and Rendon in the same lineup with no Espi.

  110. Gonat - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:01 AM

    Exposremains said… And Espi does it again. add that to your list Gonat April 29, 2013 7:57 PM _______________________________Someone said the Nats are 4th in the Majors turning doubleplays and you can't believe it given how many they've botched. With Laird running, that was an easy play if he catches the ball and clears.1) Espi swinging through 3 pitches with 2 at his eyeballs2) Span picked off3) Bryce momentarily looking down so Upton takes 3rd base (good play hitting the cutoff)4) Strasburg making no contact on a bunt play5) Tracy picked off 6) Espinosa doesn't hang on to relay throw to turn a doubleplay

  111. Exposremains - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:03 AM

    If Espi could always hit like that he would be much more sucessful than his over swinging for the fences swing.

  112. Gonat - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:03 AM

    What a stretch by Freeman.

  113. Joe Seamhead - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:04 AM

    Great play by Freeman.

  114. Dan Strong - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:09 AM

    These walks…..

  115. SCNatsFan - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:10 AM

    Really Stras?

  116. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:10 AM

    Lead off walks! Nats starters live by it.

  117. Exposremains - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:11 AM

    Why Strasburg keeps falling off the mound?

  118. Joe Seamhead - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:14 AM

    That was textbook perfect on the 5-4-3 DP!

  119. Exposremains - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:26 AM

    All over the place

  120. Dan Strong - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:26 AM

    Yet another lead off walk…

  121. Joe Seamhead - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:26 AM

    Another lead off walk.Come on Stras!

  122. Gonat - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:26 AM

    Stras, come on. Concentrate. Get your head in the game!!!

  123. A DC Wonk - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:27 AM

    In the that's why the play the game department:Gonat said… Starting lineup with LaRoche, Espi, and Tracy. 3 guys batting under .179 and the pitcher has a better BA than all 3, heck he has a better BA than Suzuki also. When was the last time 30 days into the season did a pitcher have a better BA than 50% of his position players?So by the fourth inning, Strasburg is 0-for-2, but LaRoche, Espi, Tracy, and Suz each have a hit, (Tracy has two) — and Tracy and Suz have the two RBI's thus far.You just can't predict baseball . . .

  124. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:27 AM

    Hey! I got an idea Steven…..why don't you walk the lead off hitter again?

  125. Candide - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:28 AM

    Fastball is all over the place, but the hook is deadly.

  126. Candide - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:32 AM

    Lots of TOOTBLAN tonight.

  127. Gonat - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:32 AM

    Strasburg's leadoff walks have cost him 2 runs so far and lots of extra pitches.

  128. Exposremains - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:32 AM

    walk comes in to score again

  129. Dan Strong - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:32 AM

    And the walk comes back to hurt AGAIN.

  130. SCNatsFan - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:33 AM

    Leadoff walks killing Stras. He is a better pitcher then that. At least he used to be.

  131. Exposremains - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:35 AM

    he's not fooling anyone with that 95 fastball. The 98-99 did.

  132. Joe Seamhead - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:43 AM

    Should've walked him.

  133. Dan Strong - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:43 AM

    Stras's velocity seems waaayy down. 93-94? A lead off double to the opposing pitcher?

  134. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:45 AM

    Nothing comes easy for Stras.

  135. phil dunton - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:46 AM

    Strasburg is no mystery to opposing hitters anymore.

  136. Alphabet Soup Erik - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:47 AM

    Strasburg and "bust" are going to be used in the same sentence from here on out. I think Carlos Zambrano might be his ceiling…and that is being optimistic.

  137. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:50 AM

    Way to "bow up" Steven.

  138. Joe Seamhead - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:52 AM

    Hanging tough, Jack.

  139. EmDash - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:53 AM

    Not at his sharpest this evening, though the strike zone seems really uneven.The baserunning is a major, major concern at this point. I wish one of the beats would ask about that. We have to have given away close to a full game's worth of outs at this point, and no offense can overcome that.

  140. Faraz Shaikh - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:54 AM

    'mechanically messed up'? any truth to it, insiders?

  141. mick - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:55 AM

    I am so sick of being disappointed. I will call this now, Nats will win 85 and miss playoffs, we can only hope that Rizzo regroups in 2014 the way the Braves did this season. There is enough talent to rebound, but gang, Stras may be one of the most over rated athletes in DC sports. I will continue to support my Nats and there will be some positive surprises this season that will go into 2014. Stras i really do not see as along term player in DC. Look at what Zim did after TJ surgery and compare it to Stras, that is all one needs to do to prove my point.

  142. mick - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:57 AM

    if it is not Stras' fault, then what accountability goes on McCatty?????

  143. Alphabet Soup Erik - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:00 AM

    My name is Ian Desmond and swing at everything. I like to let struggling pitchers off the hook. That is why I am a player and you are a fan.

  144. mick - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:00 AM

    This is take one step back in 2013 and then maybe 2 steps u in 2014. Nats are not the first team that this happens too. It is just tough for us DC fans who only see losing most of the time

  145. SCNatsFan - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:01 AM

    Braves #5 matches our #1

  146. EmDash - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:01 AM

    Baseball's a game of disappointments, though. Surely we all knew that nothing was guaranteed going in…

  147. Candide - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:02 AM

    Faraz Shaikh said…'mechanically messed up'? any truth to it, insiders?Tonight for sure. He looks like Henry out there.

  148. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:03 AM

    SCNatsfan, not so fast!

  149. SCNatsFan - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:06 AM

    You are right ghost the #5 could still out duel him

  150. EmDash - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:07 AM

    I just don't see getting too concerned about the standings this early. No one except Bryce is playing to potential, but that's unlikely to last forever.

  151. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:07 AM

    Teheran off the hook.

  152. Eric - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:10 AM

    Man… This sport will drive you batty. Find that fastball and keep it Stras…damn!

  153. Amr Khani - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:11 AM

    No plate discipline. Espy, Desmond, Tracy. Continually bailing out pitchers, not running up their pitch count. Laz Diaz has been a disaster tonight. Allowed non-run to count, called a strike on Suzuki that was almost in the dirt, called a ball on Stras curve right down the middle against Uggla. The guy is just bad.

  154. Eric - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:14 AM

    Like that. JUST like that. Now GYFB(ats)G!

  155. EmDash - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:14 AM

    Strike-out pitcher Strasburg is way better than that other guy.

  156. Dan Strong - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:15 AM

    Now that's the Stras I know.

  157. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:15 AM

    Wow….where's this guy been. Best he's looked all year.

  158. Section 222 - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:15 AM

    Stras gets through 6 innings, with only 2 runs scoring, and one of those actually didn't score if Laz Diaz had been paying attention. Not a great outing, but it's a quality start and he has given us a chance to win. Would you rather we had Livo on the mound?

  159. Candide - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:15 AM

    Exposremains said…I'm sick of Contact Strasburg. I want K-Strasburg. Thanks FP for saying it.All you had to do was ask.

  160. Candide - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:17 AM

    Lombo hitting. Dang, SS just found his groove; looked like he could easily go another couple of innings.

  161. Joe Seamhead - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:17 AM

    You were saying? Strasburg doesn't have his "A" game tonight, but he sure dug down in the bottom of the 6th.

  162. SCNatsFan - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:17 AM

    Sec222 no way you can fault the ump on the second run that's a millisecond call from 100 feet away

  163. mick - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:19 AM

    The one thing I am at ease about is Stras not pitching in post season, he would have done about as well as Ejac in game 3. I am convinced, he is a head case. Overall, the Nats are not doing much well at all, Harper the exception. The coaching is awful as well. Team misses Bo Porter,clearly. Davey is not managing well and this is reminding more and more of the Senators from 1969-1970. The difference is the Nats will win about 85 this year and miss post season

  164. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:19 AM

    Desi I believe has similar stats to many (though I know only Desi's number)Desi's average thriugh 6th. with RISP 1 for 17 .958 Without RISP 29 for 82 .366That tells you why we are 13-12. I suspect many just like him.

  165. realdealnats - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:19 AM

    Taking out Stras when he finds his rhythm and is dealing? I don't get it.

  166. Eric - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:20 AM

    How about STARTING like that going forward Stras?

  167. Alphabet Soup Erik - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:21 AM

    Tomorrow's Headline: Strasburg to DL with Shoulder Soreness-Will Visit Dr. Andrews

  168. SCNatsFan - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:24 AM

    Why in God's name would anyone ever throw Espinosa a strike he swings at anything

  169. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:24 AM

    Walden just making those lefties look stupid. If it's outside to you it's most likely his changeup. Only Span adjusted.

  170. mick - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:25 AM

    Alphabet Soup Erik said…Tomorrow's Headline: Strasburg to DL with Shoulder Soreness-Will Visit Dr. Andrewslet me tell you something… if that happens I put this on Cat and Davey and I show both of them the door!!

  171. ehay2k - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:26 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  172. Joe Seamhead - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:26 AM

    Find me a general manager in MLB that wouldn't do almost anything to sign Strasburg. Listen to yourselves.

  173. jeffwx - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:27 AM

    I think the tomahawk chant is getting to the blog.

  174. SCNatsFan - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:28 AM

    You have to be kidding me with these lead off walks

  175. ehay2k - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:28 AM

    Wait – Stras is reading this blog WHILE he pitches? Daaaaaang! ;-)

  176. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:28 AM

    another typical game. Hitters take night off after the 5th.Agree would never throw Espi a strike. He will swing at 2/3 of balls thrown.Clippard pisses me off all the tme. He walks as many strikes out. That is simply unacceptable except Davey accepts it.

  177. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:29 AM

    Freddi is willing to play small ball.

  178. Dan Strong - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:29 AM

    These lead off walks are really getting old.

  179. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:30 AM

    Clippard to me is not much different then HROD

  180. EmDash - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:30 AM

    Maybe Strasburg needs to throw more pitches in the bullpen before the game to wear himself out a little? He's getting better as games go on, which seems like it should be a preparation issue.Walks are the difference in this game. Too much nibbling.

  181. mick - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:31 AM

    jeffwx said…I think the tomahawk chant is getting to the blog.more like poor played baseball from a team about to go 13-13 that was picked to at least make post season!

  182. EmDash - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:34 AM

    Mick, Erik, geez. Why are you scare-mongering about a so-called injury we have no reason to believe exists?

  183. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:34 AM

    FP called that pitch and Clippard threw it and Schaefer gets a hit.Clippard makes me nervous all the time. HROD doesnt

  184. Secret wasian man - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:34 AM

    What a boring baseball team. This team has underachieved so much it makes me sick. Nick is right they are poor. Poorly coached also. .500 with 4 losses to the Braves.

  185. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:35 AM

    Tigers strike our 39 Braves in 3 games

  186. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:35 AM

    Leadoff walks

  187. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:36 AM

    Clippard. needd to go I am tired of his act.

  188. Exposremains - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:37 AM

    and another walk comes in to score.

  189. Exposremains - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:39 AM

    so many chances missed and you knew the Braves with keep this game tie until the 7 or 8th and then score a run. they've been doing that since the 90's.

  190. phil dunton - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:39 AM

    Nats bullpen no longer reliable.

  191. EmDash - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:39 AM

    Still just one game. If the team has to take a one-game-at-a-time approach, so do we as fans.

  192. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:39 AM

    Where is Clips elevated fastball with 2 strikes. He has Shafer set up.

  193. Secret wasian man - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:39 AM

    Clippard is a joke. Game over. Season over. Lets go caps. Only team in red with any heart.

  194. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:40 AM

    All 3 runs lead off walks. Definitely an approach problems.I always blame the coach first for not stressing this. With Clippard has been a problem a long tme. For Stras it is just this year. Obviously they are not riding these guys.Then Clippard strikes out the last. Why not strike he 2nd out not the third.Definitely poor execution.

  195. Grandstander - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:40 AM

    I've never felt so hopeless being only a run down. I mean, it honestly feels like the Braves have already won.

  196. jeffwx - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:40 AM

    This team may lose tonight but I think it is still a playoff caliber club. They will make adjustments to the bullpen, but otherwise, this will be a great team in the long run… The starters are among the best, ALR will start to hit along with Desi, Zimm, Ramos, Span, Werth,Harper because they are all proven players.

  197. Section 222 - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:41 AM

    H-Rod doesn't make you nervous MNF? What are you, a Zen master? :-)

  198. Nats Fan in Brazil - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:42 AM

    Season over? You guys are a Joke, is not even may, look to the gians last year! Did they start hot? No! Just watch the game and stop complaining about everything!

  199. SCNatsFan - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:42 AM

    Don't agree emdash. If we want to be a .500 team then we keep doing what we are doing but how long do we stick with the nonproductive guys. How long do we keep hoping Harper will win every game for us?

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
x-WASHINGTON 87 63 -- 0
ATLANTA 75 76 12.5
MIAMI 73 77 14.0
NEW YORK 73 79 15.0
PHILADELPHIA 69 81 18.0
Through Tuesday's early games
x-Clinched division title
UPCOMING SCHEDULE
WED: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
THU: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats 7:05 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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