Skip to content

Instant analysis: Braves 8, Nats 1

May 1, 2013, 1:42 AM EDT

Associated Press
Bryce Harper tips Tim Hudson's fifth-inning drive over the fence.

Game in a nutshell: In a word: Ugly. Hoping to bounce back after a tough loss last night, the Nationals laid an egg to their chief NL East rivals, right from the start. Gio Gonzalez was rocked for five runs and lasted only four innings. Tim Hudson, meanwhile, cruised yet again against a Nationals franchise he has now beaten 16 times in his career (most of any opposing franchise). This one was extra special for the veteran right-hander, who recorded his 200th win in the process. He even connected for his third career homer, with an assist from Bryce Harper, who leaped at the wall to try to snag Hudson's fifth-inning drive but only wound up deflecting the ball over the fence. Losers of three straight, the Nationals fell back below the .500 mark (13-14) and now have dropped nine consecutive games to Atlanta, dating back to last season.

Hitting lowlight: Take your pick in this department, but let's point out the lowest of the lows on a night full of lows: The bottom of the seventh inning. Ian Desmond actually led off with a triple into theRead more ยป

  1. Unknown - May 1, 2013 at 1:43 AM

    I'm done with this team. They're the Redskins of baseball. Overhyped, underachieving bums. My season tickets will go on Craigslist tomorrow.

  2. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 1, 2013 at 1:44 AM

    April is over. Time fo both pitchers and hitters to start executing effectively.Tired of the lack of execution

  3. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 1, 2013 at 1:45 AM

    unknown I never give up. I assume they will win tomorrow.

  4. SCNatsFan - May 1, 2013 at 1:49 AM

    Why is Espinosa not sent to AAA? Not only doesn't he get sent down – either to possibly get some offense from that position or get him some confidence – he gets raised in the order. And the argument Lombo isn't that good doesn't hold water as for 2 solid years Danny has been horrid at the plate, how much worse could he be.

  5. Eric - May 1, 2013 at 1:50 AM

    Not giving up either. I'm hooked. Looking forward to people calling for Harper to be benched ;)

  6. Secret wasian man - May 1, 2013 at 1:51 AM

    Is it me or does Zuck sound as irritated as the rest of us. As Paul Simon sang, Slip sliding away, slip sliding away.

  7. jonathan shepard - May 1, 2013 at 1:52 AM

    Lol, better than the Braves.

  8. Secret wasian man - May 1, 2013 at 1:55 AM

    4 guys in tonight's lineup not including pitcher hitting under the Mendoza line. How can you win that way?

  9. William O. Douglas Loeffler - May 1, 2013 at 1:59 AM

    Maybe we could trade ALR, Werth or Zimmerman for Roy Halliday….

  10. NatsNut - May 1, 2013 at 2:00 AM

    This is painful.

  11. DJB - May 1, 2013 at 2:00 AM

    I saw Ray Knight talk about how a team getting in a fight can help kick start a season. A good idea. Unfortunately, this is a "bend over and take it" team. This may be one of the worst teams I have ever seen. And that is saying something given this town's history. I'm turning in my tickets as well. I won't pay for the garbage they are producing. If they change GM's, I will re-think, but I'm not having fun watching this team, and I don't respect them.

  12. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 1, 2013 at 2:03 AM

    I watched from 2005 on I watch win or lose. I guess I prefer to bitch then not watch at all.

  13. Unknown - May 1, 2013 at 2:06 AM

    Shameful.

  14. Unknown - May 1, 2013 at 2:07 AM

    The quiters here are shameful.

  15. Bob Sagert - May 1, 2013 at 2:07 AM

    To any and all who are giving away their tickets or thinking at it is all rizzos fault or who are just giving up; you all have no patience with baseball or with this team. This isn't football. Just because you had high expectations doesn't mean this team sucks.have faith, it will be better

  16. mick - May 1, 2013 at 2:09 AM

    What should concern all is that this team is NOT COMPETITIVE. We are getting our behinds kicked!

  17. mick - May 1, 2013 at 2:10 AM

    I know this is the classic step back year all young teams go through, I still think this team wins about 85 and misses post season. 2013 is where Rizzo figures out who is here the next 5-7 years and who needs to go

  18. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 1, 2013 at 2:11 AM

    Against the team we need to beat 9 IP 12 runs. ERA 12.00The other 4 games. 23 IP 7 runs. 2.74 ERACome on Gio.

  19. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 1, 2013 at 2:13 AM

    We win tomorrow 7-1

  20. Sean Kelly - May 1, 2013 at 2:16 AM

    Man, I've been too busy with work and life for a few months to post – what happened to this thread? What's with the crazy negativity so early in the year?

  21. mick - May 1, 2013 at 2:17 AM

    I will give a Yankee analogy from 42 years ago. From 1965-1969 the Yankees sucked, in fact, not one 80 win season. In 1970 they won 92 games but the O's were the team that season winning 100 plus games and WS. Yankee fans finally thought they were back, Bobby Murcer hada great year and the 2 wife swipers won 18-19 games each (Fritz Petersen and Mike Kekich) man I'm an old mofo. Any way, Joe Pepitone had an All star year as well and all was looking good in Yankee land. However, the Yankee management over rated the 1970 season and the team fell apart from 1971-73, until the team signed Catfish Hunter and their young players like Thurman Munson matured and the rest was history.The Nats are in a better spot than those Yankee teams, but, like the Yankee teams then, they have some players who played their best baseball in 2012 and simply are not good any more. Fortunately, Rizzo's job will be easier than Steinbrenners was.

  22. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 1, 2013 at 2:17 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  23. Rich P. - May 1, 2013 at 2:17 AM

    Didn't the Redskins make the playoffs last year after their fickle fans gave up on them? Not to mention the Caps…

  24. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 1, 2013 at 2:20 AM

    On a bright note Good Henry showed up in the same game bad Gio did.

  25. mick - May 1, 2013 at 2:20 AM

    Rizzo probaly knows he is 1-2 player away of this team really being good. we need one more starting pitcher and one more reliever. I believe the offense is already here, some is in Potomac now. The question is… when does Mike Rizzo make the Jim Rice and Fred Lynn move that the Red Sox did in 1975. In other words, say bye bye to ALR and play Tyler Moore full time, say bye bye to Espi and go with Lombo full time.

  26. mick - May 1, 2013 at 2:22 AM

    Davey needs to stop being a nice grandpa and needs to start kicking some ass. Cat needs to get up in Gio and Stras grill!!!

  27. Almazar80 - May 1, 2013 at 2:24 AM

    Rizzo and Davey look like liars, telling the world that this is a World Series capable team. If that's so, then the Wizards will win the NBA championship next year. One winning year does not a champion make and this year, the Nats look decidedly middle of the pack.So here's to being busts, Davey!

  28. mick - May 1, 2013 at 2:24 AM

    I also think that if Nats do win 85 and miss playoffs that Davey would come back in 2014 to finish this correctly. If he does not, Rizzo's next manager is the most important move of his career and the teams future. maybe a Showalter type or a Leland type would be a great fit

  29. mick - May 1, 2013 at 2:26 AM

    Almazar80give Davey credit, he was right….lol

  30. Joe Seamhead - May 1, 2013 at 2:29 AM

    Relax! We got this. You'll see. Danny Espinosa has got to be on thin ice. Davey Johnson sticks up for his young players trying to build their and keep their confidence up. Danny is killing us wherever you put him.A change is definitely past due. Like NatsJack, I don't see his issues at the plate to be a physical issue. His approach at the plate is gawk awful. Kobernus? Maybe. Hell, at this point, Cutter Dykstra might be an improvement. LOL.. Adam? I'm not giving up on him, but give Moore some starts against LHP.

  31. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 1, 2013 at 2:31 AM

    Davey says new line up tomorrow.My suggestionSpan CFHarper LFDesmond SSWerth RFMoore 1BRendon 3BLombo 2BSukuki CZimmermann P

  32. mick - May 1, 2013 at 2:32 AM

    Manassas Nats' FanI like it! I hope Davey goes with it, although I would rather see Ramos

  33. mick - May 1, 2013 at 2:33 AM

    Joe Seamhead… all I will say is Say its so Joe!I hope you are right

  34. William O. Douglas Loeffler - May 1, 2013 at 2:38 AM

    I love hearing about Fritz and Joe and Roy and the bumbling early 70's Yankees, who fell so far that they were playing at Shea Stadium one year….

  35. BigCat - May 1, 2013 at 2:38 AM

    I'm with you manassas . I'm going down with the ship. I watched the senators way back when dnd ill watch again tomorrow. When the grill is going ill have the radio and a cigar going. Yes, Henry back to 100 again , that is good. We desperately need zim back

  36. Almazar80 - May 1, 2013 at 2:39 AM

    Is it possible that this team just isn't that good? Strasburg isn't that good. Gio, well, he's not that good. Haren? Not that good. Zimmerman? Very good. Detweiller? Okay.So that's only a 40 percent chance of winning every five games, so to speak. And that's assuming they can score.

  37. Ivan Tuski - May 1, 2013 at 2:39 AM

    Woooooooooooo hooooooooooo!April is overTime for pitchers and fathers and the rest of the team to report

  38. do1teach1 - May 1, 2013 at 2:39 AM

    I've been very critical of the sloppy play, the lazy inattention to detail, the overly-psychologized player analysis, the unforgivable inattention to fundamentals and cardinal rules, and the stupid, repeated comment from the Nats PR team that "it's still early."Still, I think May 1st is going to bring a turn. There has GOT to be a rage building among the players who led us to the NL East championship. When they express this anger, and anger is the right response for the BS-way this team has played, I think the ship will right.

  39. William O. Douglas Loeffler - May 1, 2013 at 2:42 AM

    Archive.org has an old Senator's game with Walter Johnson doing the play by play from the 1940's. Johnson had a really interesting voice.Any Eddie Yost fans out there?

  40. mick - May 1, 2013 at 2:43 AM

    William O. Douglas Loeffler thanks! I will check the site out, Eddie was a little before my time.

  41. William O. Douglas Loeffler - May 1, 2013 at 2:46 AM

    This team has a very good starting staff. I think its relievers are about average, at best. I mean, Tom Seaver used to go 16-13 with some of those weak Mets teams. Strasburg is getting very little support now, as is Detwiler. Dave McNally used to often win more games for the O's than did Palmer or Cuellar. It didn't make him better than they were.

  42. Ivan Tuski - May 1, 2013 at 2:49 AM

    Catchers

  43. Eric - May 1, 2013 at 2:49 AM

    "On a bright note Good Henry showed up in the same game bad Gio did."Also, Ray Knight was almost coherent the whole time!

  44. William O. Douglas Loeffler - May 1, 2013 at 2:50 AM

    Archive.org also has the broadcast of the last Washington Senators home game from 1971. It is fascinating because it is against the Yankees, but also for the libertine conditions of the final game. They would put everyone in jail if people behaved like this now, but such on-field disturbances were fairly commonplace in the 70's and somehow society survived without court hearings and prison sentences (mostly).

  45. Doc - May 1, 2013 at 2:51 AM

    Some are better fans than me. But yeah, I gave up somewhere in the middle of the 4th. I mean for me to watch, I want to see something for my team to be doing on the field.There was nothing going on. Like Toronto, LAA, and few others, we've over-rated these guys.

  46. peric - May 1, 2013 at 2:53 AM

    Davey's last best hope.WerthSpanHarperZimMooreEspinosaDesmondSuzuki/RamosMoore either can either more economically, youthfully, injury free replace Morse's bat or he can't. Its time to find out because the $35,000,000 worth of sage veterans can't and never will. BUT Werth may still be capable of clutch hits and walks from the lead-off spot as he proved last year. As well as the apparent ability to start long hitting jags by the Nats behind him.

  47. Eric - May 1, 2013 at 2:53 AM

    "When they express this anger, and anger is the right response for the BS-way this team has played, I think the ship will right."Whatever it takes to get them out of their own heads.I was wondering earlier this evening what might constitute rock bottom for a team like the 2012 Nats. Dipping below 500 again the same night Harper catches whatever ails this team certainly seems like a candidate…

  48. William O. Douglas Loeffler - May 1, 2013 at 2:56 AM

    I admit that I drank the Kool-aid. I forgot the rule of regression to the mean, and regression due to age, figuring that maturation among our pitchers and young players would be enough to win at least 100 games.But for what it is worth, the 1975 Cincinnati Reds had a record of 12-12 on May 2nd, 1975. They ended up 108-64 for the season.

  49. Eric - May 1, 2013 at 2:57 AM

    Re: the rock bottom candidate game in my last post: against a division rival that's mocking us, no less.

  50. William O. Douglas Loeffler - May 1, 2013 at 3:07 AM

    On Friday, May 16, 1875, the Cincinnati Reds had a record of 18-19. They would end the year 108-64.

  51. William O. Douglas Loeffler - May 1, 2013 at 3:11 AM

    The 1975 Reds did not take possession of 1st place until June 4th of that year with a record of 30-22. The ended the year 108-64.Of course, the Reds starting eight were about ten times better than the Nats are….

  52. tayo - May 1, 2013 at 3:13 AM

    I too am frustrated by the play of the team so far, but after reading this board, this feeling was instantly replaced by disappointment with some of the comments here about quitting on the team. I guess this is when you know who is a bandwagon fan and who is not. You can express frustration in your teams play without quitting on them.

  53. thielem1 - May 1, 2013 at 3:24 AM

    Classic. It's the last day of April. Season tix on craigslist? Yeah right. You are either a day trader for a living or I'm calling your bluff…

  54. thielem1 - May 1, 2013 at 3:26 AM

    Classic. It's the last day of April. Season tix on craigslist? Yeah right. You are either a day trader for a living or I'm calling your bluff…

  55. NatsLady - May 1, 2013 at 3:28 AM

    I totally expect to get bashed for this post. But I saw Davey do this last year. He doesn't play to win every game.Davey looked at the lineup without Werth and RZimm, with ALR slumping and Hudson up for his 200th win. He decided to do a little housecleaning during one of the 60 losses.(1) Ramos and Gio. No "personal catchers" but Gio will get Suzuki on the next round. Ramos gets his start and his at-bats in a "non-essential" game.(2) Align the bullpen. He's got that now. He can use Clip and Storen for the 8th on different nights. (3) Use Henry after that disaster. Davet got lucky because Duke pitched 3 innings, so he ia more or less "stretched out" and could start if Stras has to miss. That is good because you don't have to put Stras on the DL and bring up Young. I am not totally convinced Stras will make his next start. Aside–Stras using muscle stimulating machine–is that weird or what? Some things I'd rather not know.(4) Get Tracy and Moore some at-bats to keep them sharp. Rendon might start tomorrow against the lefty, if Davey has confidence in his D.I don't have a problem with losing this game at all. (If Gio had toughed out the first two innings, it would be a different story–but he didn't.) Basically, a day off for the boys in the midst of a long stretch. Davey doesn't care it was Atlanta. In the regular season all wins and all losses count the same.Now get back to it tomorrow.

  56. rmoore446 - May 1, 2013 at 3:43 AM

    I agree with just about all of that NatsLady. Hudson is rough on the Nats usually and Gio has a hard time against the Braves and with two big boppers out, not a bad day for housekeeping.Davey said post game there would be lineup changes tomorrow. Good! I have to think he will sit Espinosa, who is embarrassing himself at the plate. Three of his four outs were strikeouts on about 11 pitches. Not sure if he will sit LaRoche too but he might.There's a point when patience ceases to be a virtue.

  57. NatsLady - May 1, 2013 at 3:47 AM

    tayo, thank you for that thought. \\I understand some people come here to "vent" their frustration with the team… but these are our boys, through thick and thin. You are quitting on the season because it wasn't handed to you on a golden platter??? I feel sorry for you–and I'm certainly glad I'm not related to you.

  58. Eric - May 1, 2013 at 3:58 AM

    Great post @11:28 NatsLady. I definitely Davey thinks long term like that.

  59. Alphabet Soup Erik - May 1, 2013 at 4:23 AM

    Morse with another dinger…thanks Rizzo for ruining this team…should have kept him. 8 HR with a broken finger.

  60. Teresa - May 1, 2013 at 5:13 AM

    Alphabet Soup – I agree with you 100%. The loss of Morse was huge to the Nats offense. Also, his big bat provided lots of protection for others. That is totally gone now. And he was a great clubhouse presence, a crucial part of the chemistry that last year's team enjoyed. When Rizzo decided to acquire Span and re-sign ALR, thus leaving Morse with no where to play, he made a huge mistake and the team is now paying for it in many more ways than just the loss of his home run hitting.

  61. NatsJack in Florida - May 1, 2013 at 9:30 AM

    Uhhhh…2 homeruns with a broken pinkie. 6 before he broke it.

  62. Candide - May 1, 2013 at 11:20 AM

    Good post NatsLady. If I may add something to it:I once read that Earl Weaver – someone who Davey learned a little bit from – had an amazingly good won-lost record in the second games of doubleheaders (remember them?) He figured teams would try to stack their lineups with their best hitters for the first game and rest them for the second. He essentially played a little lineup jiu-jitsu, resting one or two of his regulars in the first game, and, since he had a good team anyway, did fairly okay in the first game. Then in the second game, he'd have his powerhouse lineup play, against either a tired lineup from the other team's first game, or a depleted lineup. Result was that the Orioles won a disproportionate number of second games. It was somewhere in one of Bill James's annual digests.

  63. Teresa Elbin - May 1, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    And your point is??? Of course the injury slowed him temporarily. But he's now on the mend and hitting HRs again. Hmmmm. How many HRs does ALR have????

  64. Scott Margenau - May 1, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    Peric, including Espinosa in your lineup??? -5 demerit points. U will now be known as "little Davey" Go in peace my son.

  65. Teresa - May 2, 2013 at 4:56 AM

    And tonight, HR #9 for Mike Morse! Clearly recovered from the finger injury. The Nats could surely use that big bat now, couldn't they? Too bad Rizzo made it so Mike had no place to play! No one currently on the team can replace the power he has.

Archives

NLDS: NATIONALS VS. GIANTS

FRI: Game 1 at Washington, 3:07 p.m. (FS1)
SAT: Game 2 at Washington, 5:37 p.m. (FS1)
MON: Game 3 at San Francisco, TBA (MLBN)
TUE: Game 4 at San Francisco, TBA (FS1)*
THU: Game 5 at Washington, TBA (FS1)*
*if necessary

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.

Follow us on Twitter