Skip to content

Nats who’s hot/who’s not-5/1

May 1, 2013, 4:02 PM EDT

Photo by USA Today

By Michael Huberman
CSNwashington.com

The Nationals just completed an up-and-down April in which they went 13-14, the first losing month they’ve had since August 2011. They took three of four from the Cincinnati Reds last week, but have now lost two in a row to the Atlanta Braves. Here’s a look at five players who were hot, and five players who were not over the past seven days.

HOT:

Jordan Zimmermann, SP – 1-0/0.00 ERA/9 IP/4 SO/0.22 WHIP
Simply put, Zimmermann is one the most dominant pitchers in all of baseball right now. His complete game shutout against Cincinnati was a lesson in beauty and efficiency, as Zimmermann gave up just one hit while throwing only 91 pitches.  He currently ranks tied for second in wins (4), fifth in WHIP (0.86), ninth in batting average against (.186), and leads all of baseball with two complete games.

Ian Desmond, SS – 10-26/2 2B/4 R/.407 OBP/.946 OPS
Desmond’s 10-for-26 (.385) run over the past seven days concluded a successful April for the 27-year-old. It’s only been a month, but right now Desmond’s offensive numbers put him in elite company among all major league shortstops. Currently, he ranks fourth in average (.301), fourth in slugging percentage (.524), second in doubles (11), and tied for third in hits (34).

Read more »

  1. John C. - May 1, 2013 at 4:28 PM

    Can we put the slow start canard in the trash? Although early in his career LaRoche struggled in April, that hasn't been true the past few seasons. The one exception was in 2011, when he was injured: 2012: .329/.415/.5292011: .193/.297/.3182010: .296/.390/.5632009: .269/.352/.564Yes, you read that correctly. His hot start last year wasn't even his best start in the past four seasons. He had more April home runs in 2009, and a higher slugging and OPS in 2010, then he had in 2012. LaRoche IS in a slump, and (as Boswell noted the other day) has always been a streaky hitter. But don't write off April because LaRoche traditionally gets off to a slow start. That hasn't been true for years.

  2. sjm308 - May 1, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    Thanks for that John. Would you agree that a platoon of Moore/LaRoche might work best? It sure would make sense to let Adam take a breather against tough lefties and Bernadina makes for a good defensive replacement in the outfield if Davey needs to make that move.

  3. Section 222 - May 1, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    I like the idea of letting ALR get going against RH pitchers while giving some ABs to Ty-Mo. And giving Espi a rest for several game might be a good idea too. But the real key to getting back on track is Zim's return to form. And pitching.

  4. John C. - May 1, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    I do think that moving to a short term platoon would work best – it gives ALR a chance to work out his issues by hitting against RHP while giving the team better production. It would also allow the team to monitor when/if ALR went on a tear, allowing him to win the fulltime job back. And if he continues to stink, it also would give Tyler Moore additional at bats while opening the door for him to win the starting job outright. Of course, Moore would have to hit his way through that door.

  5. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 1, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    John C., I've been saying the same about LaRoche. It's almost become the stereotype that has hung on him for his whole career about this "slow start" BS and Chase is much too kind by knocking off 2 games from his current 1-33 pace which is a .030 BA.

  6. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 1, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    Small sample size on TyMo but I think it has to be more than a platoon. TyMo can hit RH hitting. In a very small sample size of TyMo's 4 starts he's slashing .357/.400/.643/1.043

  7. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 1, 2013 at 5:10 PM

    I just spoke to a scout who thinks that some of the teams are adjusting to Gio Gonzalez and sitting fastball. he thought many of the Braves right-handed batters were moving up some in the box and taking his fastballs opposite field by cutting down on that lefty angle that Gio brings the fastballs in on the RH batters.Sounds like Gio just needs to move a little to the right on the pitching rubber to the RH batters if that's the case.

  8. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 1, 2013 at 5:19 PM

    Chase Hughes said…Adam LaRoche, 1B – 1-23/0 HR/7 SO/.043 SLGBy now Nationals fans know the book on LaRoche. He struggles mightily out of the gate (last year being a rare exception), as his .215 career average in April attests.Chase, if I remove LaRoche's injury plagued April of 2011, LaRoche was 135 for 594 coming into 2013 where he was batting almost .228 for his career through April 30th.

  9. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 1, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    From James Wagner on WaPo: Johnson believes in Espinosa, an elite defender, and his high ceiling of potential, and believed that he would pull out of the slow start.With the offense scuffling again and Johnson wanting to shake up the lineup to jump-start it, he told 106.7 The Fan, which broadcasts Nationals games, on Wednesday morning that he would play Steve Lombardozzi at second base for the remainder of the Atlanta series. Following a 8-1 thumping by the Braves on Tuesday night, Johnson again had called for lineup changes. Lombardozzi is hitting .244 in 43 plate appearances with a .262 on-base percentage. Espinosa has a .173/.212/.333 triple slash line in 85 plate appearances.How do you like that! Finally. It certainly puts a lot of pressure on Lombo as maybe it is his job to lose.Like I said, I don't think either of Lombo/Espi are the true answer.

  10. EmDash - May 1, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    That makes sense, Ghost. But it seems like his command was just off in general enough this might not have helped enough to make much difference.

  11. mick - May 1, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    Section 222 From the last thread, thanks for the breakdown of last seasons playoffs teams records at this juncture last season.BUT, this is where I think most Nats feel as I do that comparing the Giants at 12-11 to the Nats this season has a major flaw. Its very simple and it goes back to what I have been saying about young teams on the rise in an historical context. The Giants were what 2 years ago…. yes, WS Champs! Many of those same players played last season. The Nats, with the exception of Werth consist of not a single player who has played at that level. This means simply that a 12-11 team starting off slow among guys who have won it all can be given some slack. A team on the rise should NOT BE starting slow the next season. This is what is concerning and why I do not feel good about 2013, but do feel good about the next decade. We need to accept this fact.

  12. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 1, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    EmDash, I've been wondering myself how Gio can look so inconsistent. The Braves weren't making any contact on his curveball by the RH batters. They went in with an approach and executed and were making contact or striking out as they were swinging fastball and guessing right and wrong a lot. When they guessed right, they were hitting him well especially early in the count.Gio really needed to throw changeups to truly be effective and help himself out. You basically know with Gio that you are getting a fastball or a curveball.It's always difficult to assess command unless it's as far off as Strasburg's was Monday night. I thought Gio's command was as usual. He misses quite a few badly on even his best nights.

  13. baseballswami - May 1, 2013 at 5:34 PM

    The Braves are good hitters, but as we have seen, they can go on streaks where they whiff a lot. They are hot we are icy cold. Situations like that seem to swing over the course of the season. I have been a fan of the Nats since the beginning and we have had that one great season. I expected one this season and it might still happen – plenty of time. But if it doesn't, I will still be a fan. We have the personnel now so that we can have another great season in any given year from now on. It't not the same as when we absolutely knew we had no chance because of who was on our team. Hope all of you watched Bryce Begins – it was pretty awesome. What a kid. Worth watching just to see him.

  14. mick - May 1, 2013 at 5:35 PM

    The only positive I have picked up on was Davey this morning, he seems to to still be confident, unless he knows that this year is a bust so he is going to try to enjoy this by showing us the glass half full when he can, oh boy…..

  15. mick - May 1, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    and a swami states, WE HAVE BRYCE to carry us through this. I just hope Bryce is tolerant of a disaster season if it happens and does not want to leave.

  16. baseballswami - May 1, 2013 at 5:39 PM

    Bryce is such a mature kid. If you saw the show, you saw why – his parents are epic, especially the dad. He works hard and is so very, very sincere. The other guys on the team need to be carrying their share so that it's not all on him. He will carry it if need be, but should not have to. Davey is slow to change his mindset, but hopefully he sick of watching what he is seeing and that will motivate him to act.

  17. SCNatsFan - May 1, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    Again, I don't believe a stretch on the bench helps Danny although it might help the team. Give the kid a break, let him go get some solid ABs against lesser arms in AAA and get some confidence back; you know after 2 years of this he has to be as frustrated as can be. As for the horrors of returning to the minors, well, that's where sub 200 hitters should be learning how to hit not in MLB. I wish the kid well but he shouldn't be here right now.

  18. mick - May 1, 2013 at 5:52 PM

    My state of Nats:I also think Espi is playing as well as he ever will at the MLB level. To compare him to the old Nats second basemen, he is a combo of Bernie Allen, career 225 hitter and Tim Cullen, a pretty good fielder and a career 200 hitter, if that. In other words, he fields like Cullen and hits slightly better than Allen, in other words, he is a mediocre player and I think he always will be. He may have one season where he hits 260, but for the most part, if he bats 230, I will be shocked.He should not be part of the Nats future.I still think Desmond's bat makes him a keeper, if not at short, somewhere. I think Desi has a chance to be a great hiiterRendon is going to be great, I know it. Lombo is the most under rated player not just on Nats but in MLB. He, like his father will play on at least one WS championship team.Ramos and Suzuki are solid, i have no issues with them. I like Span, Werth and of course big boy. I think if Zim can beat these injuries he is still an All star, the question is at 3b or 1b or both? Tyler Moore will be great. I think ALR is done, I'm sorry to post that, but I do, its time for T-MooreTracy is old, Shark is very over rated and both are not long term players here. Rizzo needs another bat. Pitching: I still believe in 4 of the 5. I want Stras to grow up. I think Gio is just an emotional young player who will be great. I am still not sold on Haren. J Zim is a BEAST and Det is a very goodBull pen: here is another area Rizzo must look at hard. Storen is perplexing, he looked like stud 2 night ago, but them when he comes back, he falls part. I think Clip is done and is a head case, Duke is a joke, I have no confidence in him at all! I think Stammen is the toughest pitcher mentally on the squad, I think Matthues is solid and I can live with Soriano. However, will Soriano be the guy in 2-3 years.Overall, the state of the team is solid, but right now there are some holes that have to be filled, sooner than later

  19. JD - May 1, 2013 at 5:52 PM

    Mick, I hope you know that there is precious little in Syracuse, Harrisburg and Potomac to help the big club. Don't let Peric fool you; Rosenbaum and Kobernus and Perez are fringy prospects. The Tigers and Rockies had the 1st two and them gave them back to us for nothing. Karns is a little interesting but in the same way Brad Peacock was interesting. The best prospects: Rendon, Goodwin, Giolito, Purke and even Solis are either injured or aways away from being major contributors. The team you see is the team we have for the most part and it didn't become a bad team over the winter. We will be fine.

  20. Section 222 - May 1, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    I admire your baseball history knowledge Mick, but, respectfully, both your facts and your analysis are misguided. Here are the players that started the most games at each position for the Giants in 2012:C Posey1B Belt2B Theriot/replaced by ScutaroSS Crawford3B SandovalLF Cabrera/replaced by BlancoCF PaganRF PenceNow, here are the players who started the most games in their previous WS year of 2010:C Posey1B Huff2B SanchezSS Uribe3B SandovalLF BurrellCF Rowand/replaced by TorresRF SchierholtzOf the guys who started alot in 2010, only two — Posey and the Panda, played the same role in 2012. Only two others, Schierholtz and Huff — were even on the team in 2012! In contrast, with the exception of Span, the Nats' starters are exactly the same as the team that won 98 games in 2012, just a year before. So which lineup should be given some slack based on past performance?

  21. JD - May 1, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    Ghost, Gio is the same pitcher who held the Reds to 1 hit. The Braves (unlike last year) are set up to maul left handed pitching and they are a bad matchup for him; I think he'll be fine.

  22. baseballswami - May 1, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    Danny has a torn rotator cuff. The strength training was supposed to be the first resort to helping him make it through the season. Perhaps it did not work and he needs surgery? If the shoulder is the problem, regular rest could help him through the season. Likewise, if Adam is having back issues, platooning could help. Why is continuing to play day after day the only way to get through a slump? Why not a complete mental health couple of days? And not pinch hitting on your only day off, especially for someone who IS hitting. So Tyler had one of the only 3 hits last night, right? And scored the only run, right? Feel bad for Lombo right now. He always contributes so much when he is in the game, but now he has a gun to his head. Two days – now perform, even though no one else is.

  23. Eric - May 1, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    I like the tenor of this thread a lot more than some of the preceding ones. Yes, there are some glaring problems right now. No, I don't think we've sunk the 2013 season yet. There are too many examples of rocky starts that turned into huge winning seasons, and huge winning seasons that featured stretches as bad or worse than this, only they occurred in the relative anonymity of the mid-season…Still, I will feel a lot better if/when we jell and turn on the after burners…

  24. mick - May 1, 2013 at 5:59 PM

    JDgood points, but I think Peric is correct that overall, in terms of the few areas that the Nats need to fill, the talent is there in future season, that is why I say 2014 and beyond. If the Nats needed 5 or more players, yes, i would be concerned, but they don't.sec222good point and you are correct about the Giants roster, however were not the key components to the Giants title run still on the team last season/

  25. JD - May 1, 2013 at 5:59 PM

    Sec222, Thanks for being the voice of reason. I do think that it's very important to win one of the next 2 games to avoid falling 6.5 games back. I also think (and this is a change of heart for me) that the only way to try to resurrect Espinosa at this time is to send him down for at least a month. 1) He needs to regain some semblance of confidence. 2) Someone needs to get through to him that if he doesn't stop swinging at everything pitchers won't be forced to throw him strikes. You can be aggressive but I think he's beyond aggressive; he's stubborn.

  26. mick - May 1, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    look, I want to be wrong on Danny, believe me! I just have a very bad feeling on his player development

  27. SCNatsFan - May 1, 2013 at 6:01 PM

    baseballswami, unless he tore his rotator cuff 2 seasons ago I see that being nothing more then a convenient excuse right now.I don't know many of us in here that don't believe this team can turn it on; I just know I'm frustrated waiting for that. I guess I'm guilty of expecting too much too soon.

  28. JD - May 1, 2013 at 6:04 PM

    Mick, I think you miss my main point. The talent is not there to fill anything significant. The best players are already in DC.

  29. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 1, 2013 at 6:06 PM

    JD said… Ghost,Gio is the same pitcher who held the Reds to 1 hit. The Braves (unlike last year) are set up to maul left handed pitching and they are a bad matchup for him; I think he'll be fine. May 01, 2013 1:54 PM I feel the same way. I think vs fastball hitting teams that are very RH he may have the same issues unless he adjusts.

  30. JD - May 1, 2013 at 6:07 PM

    SCNatsFan, I agree with you that whatever is ailing Danny has nothing to do with an injury. I am pretty sure that overall Lombo won't be an upgrade over Danny but a switch (and it has to be for more than a couple of days) will serve the purpose of saving my TV set from having objects hurled at it.

  31. mick - May 1, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    But JD… there is not room for them, just like there appears there was not room for Lombo until now. Also, perhaps Davey's loyalty gets in the way of him keeping those players down. If what you are saying is fact, why do Bobby Carpenter, Ray Knight, Phil Wood, Mike Wallace and FP's say our farm is loaded? I know most of them are homers, but Phil Wood is a straight shooter and feels our minor league teams have a lot of talent.

  32. Section 222 - May 1, 2013 at 6:12 PM

    Mick, not really. That was one of the amazing things about the Giants winning it all again. Sure, Posey and the Panda were still there, but Huff and Burrell had the highest OPS on the 2010 team. Cody Ross was their hero in the series. Torres was very good off the bench and when he took over from Rowand. All those guys were gone in 2012. Add to that that Lincecum was just a shadow of his 2010 self.Then again, they did have one key component both years — Bruce Bochy. I agree with you JD about taking one of these last two games. I'd really like to take both of them actually. But even if we're swept again, all is not lost. The Braves showed they are human against Pittsburgh. And we still have 12 games left against them after this series. If our guys can turn things around, we'll still win the division. And thanks to you for being the voice of reason about the saviors down on the farm. I get the desire to see if Lombo and Ty-Mo can provide a spark. But the idea that anyone now playing in the minors can turn things around for us is fanciful. I'm not giving up on Rendon yet though. Remember that Ty-Mo was awful in his first callup last year.

  33. Candide - May 1, 2013 at 6:20 PM

    JD said…The best players are already in DC.Our best second baseman is the guy who can't unlearn his bad habits, who the league has figured out will swing at anything near the strike zone whether he can hit it or not, and who seems permanently buried under the Mendoza line?If I thought that was true, I'd go slit my wrists right now.Okay, maybe not… But still…

  34. Janus - May 1, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    My prediction FWIW, Desmond hits in the 2 hole tonight.Maybe Werth, LaRoche, Rendon at 4-5-6, that's if LaRoche and Werth play.

  35. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 1, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    JD, I'm saying the same that Lombo overall is marginally better and hope I'm wrong and he can be much better. I still believe Rendon is the answer eventually at 2nd base if RZim can hold his own at 3B.Where Danny can help is a AAA stint to get him hungry again and seeing the ball well where you can bring him back and play him as the hot hand until he cools down.What I noticed about Danny last year was how short his hot streaks were and they always seem to end with a HR as he works back to a long swing and thinks he's a power hitter. July 16 to July 25 of 2012 was his longest hot streak and Sept 2nd to Sept 5th of 2012 he got to his high point for the season.I wish him well and hope he can learn something. He's still young.

  36. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 1, 2013 at 6:25 PM

    I'm hoping Davey looks at the stats and realizes he needs to find a way to score 3 to 5 runs and maybe take advantage of some small ball.

  37. NatsLady - May 1, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    The Nats are a good team going through a mediocre stretch. Teams that play .500 are by definition frustrating because they win half their games (great!) and about 1/2 of the losses are "winnable" except for bad luck, bad calls, bullpen meltown, sloppy play, brain cramps or starters having bad day. So every fan visualizes the team playing .750 ball and demands to know why they're not.The Nats are playing .500 ball right now, but they are not a .500 team. I've been watching the Pirates for several days now, as they are our next opponents. They are a .500 team.The reason I say this is that the Nats have a lot in reserve, whereas the Pirates don't. Last night the Pirates came back from 7-2 to make it an 8-8 game. I was thinking, "how admirable of them, I wish the Nats could do that, instead of giving up if the starter gives up four runs." But the Pirates' bullpen didn't hold, and they lost 12-8 on a day when their best hitter (McCutchen) went 4/5 with 2 RBIs. The Nats have all the pieces, really. They had them on April 1, and they will have them for the season. As regards the idea that the Nats came out of spring training "unprepared" — nonsense! The Nats won 7 of their first 9 games.Ramos and RZ were the most predictable injuries, based on the research that predicts injuries (namely, the best predictor of players who will get injured in the future is players who have been injured in the past). Ramos, RZ, and Dan Haren did not have "normal" spring trainings, as those three were ramping up cautiously. RZ even said that he didn't expect his shoulder to be back to normal until June. There is nothing wrong with this team that a six-game winning streak wouldn't cure.

  38. SCNatsFan - May 1, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    I agree Ghost; I said in ST that Rendon learns 2B in the minors and the second half of the year he plays there. If you want to lessen the impact on Danny's head you blame it on the shoulder but once Rendon gets there, assuming RZ stays healthy, Danny eventually finds his way out of DC.

  39. bowdenball - May 1, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    Anyone who thinks this team's woes fall on Danny's head doesn't understand position scarcity. A 2B who mostly hits out of the 7 spot isn't the problem. He can't be. Very few teams get anything out of a 2B who mostly hits in the 7 spot. We're not losing much ground to the rest of baseball there. We're losing ground to everyone else on the corners and in the 4 and 5 spots. If Zimmerman is productive in his return and LaRoche returns even to acceptable levels, the team will bounce back. If not, they won't. Very simple, and not really related to Espinosa.

  40. EmDash - May 1, 2013 at 6:41 PM

    Wouldn't be surprised if they start Tracy again – he has a high OPS against Maholm (though of course any batter vs. pitcher stats are mostly going to be a small sample size, and career rather than necessarily recent performance).Numbers are here. Your leaders are: Lombo, Suzuki, Tracy, Desmond, Werth. Nobody else has much of a track record of success against him.Lombo also has a good small-sample-size OPS against Medlen, who they're facing tomorrow, so it's almost like Davey is just playing guys with the better career splits against the day's pitcher and telling people he's "shaking things up" just to make it sounds more dramatic while things aren't going well or something. *g*

  41. NatsLady - May 1, 2013 at 6:43 PM

    Rizzo said on the radio that Davey "is inclined" to give Werth tonight off also. He said Werth would play if this were a "must win" game–so apparently he doesn't regard this as a "must win" to risk further injury to Werth, especially since RZ is not here yet. He said RZ would play six innings in Potomac tonight (3-4 at-bats) and join the team in Pittsburgh.There are things I like about Rizzo and things I don't.Like: He travels with the team when they are not doing wall and leaves them alone "to go about their business" when they are hot. He says he's not there to make changes, but for support, to talk baseball and scouting with the players and coaches. Not so much like: He regards Stras as the Ace of this team no matter what, based on his stuff and his hard work. He went on for several minutes about Stras and his future. Mentioned that his peripherals are as good or better than last April and that he's gotten 1.86 runs per game of support. OK fine, but what about poor Jordan Z??? Not a word, not even "we have five quality started on this team."I got the feeling that being the designated "Ace" is very important to Stras–maybe more important than it should be. (Rizzo also displayed a sense of humor I didn't know he had–said if Stras twitches there is an ESPN special about it).

  42. Exposremains - May 1, 2013 at 6:44 PM

    It all depends what Davey thinks Espi needs. Clear his head, he'll be bench for a few games. Change his approach, will be sent to AAA.Lombo needs to play more than 2 games, he needs at least a week. If none or them work, they need to start playing Rendon in the minors at 2b exclusively or make a trade for a real 2b.

  43. baseballswami - May 1, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    We really need Zim in that lineup and Adam hitting. When we had Span, Werth, Bryce, Zim in a row that was good. Then if Adam hits? Followed my Desi? This can still be a potent lineup. The talent is there. It worked best when Span and Werth wore the pitcher down. You see Ramos run last night? Pretty speedy!

  44. NatsLady - May 1, 2013 at 6:46 PM

    bowdenball–correct. Right on the money. People who are looking to blame everything on Espinosa are looking in the wrong place. It's a rare team that's not playing a light-hitting good-glove middle infielder, if not at 2B then at SS.

  45. SCNatsFan - May 1, 2013 at 6:49 PM

    I'm not saying Danny s losing games for us but he sure isn't winnning any for us

  46. baseballswami - May 1, 2013 at 6:51 PM

    Agreed that Lombo should get a series or a week. Also agreed about the Stras ace thing. He might have been better as just one of the staff. Even though JZ seems to not mind, who could blame him for going to a team where he is the ace for real ? Hope he stays, but we shall see. Gio had the wins , JZ the era, but our struggling, still immature Stras gets anointed. He does not seem like a very warm and fuzzy person , does he?

  47. baseballswami - May 1, 2013 at 6:55 PM

    Also– Tyler and Wilson scored the Nats only run last night in a matter of minutes. Bam, bam– score. Neither one will be in the lineup tonight probably.

  48. Dave - May 1, 2013 at 7:03 PM

    Does anybody know whether MLB Network will re-run the Bryce show? I should've watched it last night, but I didn't. I was in a total non-baseball funk.Now I wished I'd caught it on the DVR. Couldn't find it earlier in the Verizon FiOS online guide.

  49. baseballswami - May 1, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    It was on ESPN. They may re- run it or it might go on demand. It was really good and made me even more impressed.

  50. baseballswami - May 1, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    Check the fabulous google machine? Might be able to watch it on line.

  51. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 1, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    NatsLady said… bowdenball–correct. Right on the money. People who are looking to blame everything on Espinosa are looking in the wrong place. It's a rare team that's not playing a light-hitting good-glove middle infielder, if not at 2B then at SS. May 01, 2013 2:46 PM I don't think anyone is putting the bulk of the blame on Espi. It's a combination of a myriad of factors. There's been some games this past week with 4 players in the lineup batting under .180 and some pitchers who have stunk up things.Nope, Danny should've been benched on Sunday when he didn't appear ready to play on Saturday and continued his spotty play through last night.There has to be accountability and I think it's Davey making an example of Danny by publicly announcing his benching. What about LaRoche and Tracy?

  52. baseballswami - May 1, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    This is not a case of a player having a normal slump during the season. This is too many players at once having long term issues. You just cannot win when your lineup has this many holes. And when the players who hit don 't play. Ramos comes back and immediately produces a run with a smart at bat. Also- you hear all the time s out slumping players who do NOT bring that onto the field on defense. They ARE bringing it into the defense. Double whammy that triples when the pitching fails also. Really, what are the odds of a good team struggling with offense, defense and pitching all at once? This is just weird!

  53. Kirbs - May 1, 2013 at 7:25 PM

    J. Zim is the ace of the staff. No question.

  54. EmDash - May 1, 2013 at 7:29 PM

    Line-up's out: Span 8, Lombardozzi 4, Harper 9, Desmond 6, LaRoche 3, Moore 7, Rendon 5, Suzuki 2, Zimmermann 1…the Tyler Moore in left field experiment continues, apparently. Woof.

  55. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 1, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    Rendon back in tonight!

  56. Don - May 1, 2013 at 7:35 PM

    Espi is not THE problem but he is hurting the club. And Zuckerman pointing a finger at Lombo for being 0 for his last 13 suggests that Espi is not such a bad option, but that's not accurate. Lombo has more multi hit games and he barely plays. Lombo makes more contact and Ks less. Lombo is pinch hitting against late innning releivers he's not getting every day reps at the top of the order. Rizzo needs to swallow his talent-evaluating pride and send Espi packing to upstate NY so that he can find his stroke and let Davey use a guy with a much better chance of standing on 1st base when Harper hits HRs.

  57. Don - May 1, 2013 at 7:38 PM

    EmDash — I love this lineup. Moore's earning ABs, Dewsi is hot and Rndon needs reps too. Let's get some runs!

  58. Whack-a-Mule - May 1, 2013 at 8:20 PM

    Mule is cautious.While our offense needs all the help it can get,it must be remembered that on this squad Lombardozzi is a utility infielder, a downgrade on defense from Espinosa. Moore is a larger defensive downgrade at 1st; given that 90% of out errors have come from the left side of the infield, I am reluctant to take away from 1st base defensively. Both Moore and Lombardozzi are legitimate Major League infielders; it just happens that the regular 2nd and 1st basemen are both Gold Glove calibre.

  59. jeeves - May 1, 2013 at 8:51 PM

    I say that Marrero is the best first baseman they have. I was also Desi's main supporter when practically everyone this side of Jane B and, I think, Wonk were not. Ditto Detwiler. But when I came to their support, I was thoroughly crapped upon by many. Oh, and Rendon at second–permanently.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 57 47 --
ATLANTA 58 48 --
MIAMI 53 53 5.0
NEW YORK 51 56 7.5
PHILADELPHIA 47 60 11.5
Through Tuesday's early games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Orioles at Nats, 7:05 p.m. 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.

*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