Skip to content

Game 29: Nats at Braves

May 2, 2013, 7:40 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nats try to salvage a four-game series split tonight at Turner Field.

ATLANTA — A win tonight would salvage this series against the Braves, resulting in a four-game split and keeping the Nationals above .500 as they head to Pittsburgh to conclude the road trip. But it'll be a real challenge for them pull that off.

We're still waiting to see tonight's lineup, but it's not expected to include Bryce Harper (who had to leave last night's game with a bruised left side, an injury originally suffered Tuesday when he slammed into the right field fence). And we don't know if Jayson Werth will be included, either, though he seemed to think yesterday he could return from his ankle and hamstring injuries.

Dan Haren, meanwhile, takes the mound, hoping to build off his solid start over the weekend against the Reds. If Haren does struggle, the Nationals bullpen certainly is fresh, with only Rafael Soriano having been needed during last night's 2-0 win.

Will post the lineup as soon as it comes out, so please check back. [UPDATE AT 5:30 P.M. — Harper and Werth are both tentatively starting, provided they get through batting practice with no problems.]

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at ATLANTA BRAVES
Where: Turner Field
Gametime: 7:10 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv, MLB Network (outside D.C. market)
Radio: WNEW (99.1 FM), XM 89
Weather: Cloudy, 69 degrees, Wind 12 mph in from RF

NATIONALS (14-14)
CF Denard Span
2B Steve Lombardozzi
LF Bryce Harper
RF Jayson Werth

Read more »

240 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. peric - May 2, 2013 at 7:44 PM

    Leave Moore in.

  2. baseballswami - May 2, 2013 at 7:45 PM

    No line up yet. Zim show up on Atlanta?

  3. JD - May 2, 2013 at 7:46 PM

    Peric, With Harper and Werth probably out there is a strong likelihood that Moore will stay in; Bernie will probably play as well.

  4. Secret wasian man - May 2, 2013 at 7:48 PM

    Also a strong possibility Medlen throws a no hitter. Go Nats

  5. Don - May 2, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    More Moore, more Lombo.

  6. peric - May 2, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    They really need to play Moore … he's the best shot they've got putting together a decent 3-4-5 with Zim and Harper as the other two. Put Desmond in the #6 spot and now we're talking.Werth is best leading off. His OBP is higher than Span's. Span is more of a pseudo defensive player as too is Espinosa at this point. Perhaps that's best. I'm not sure you can afford to do that at first base.

  7. Section 222 - May 2, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    This game appears to have all the ingredients of a reverse lock. Our worst starter against one of their best and lots of our reserves in the lineup. I like it!

  8. peric - May 2, 2013 at 7:50 PM

    Lombo: 0 for 17 when he was given his shot to supplant Danny … or even Rendon? Nope. He's a UTL or a future trade at this point.

  9. peric - May 2, 2013 at 7:52 PM

    And unlike Mr. "Ricon" Lombo doesn't walk, doesn't like to walk. In other words Lombo at the top of the lineup is a problem.

  10. JD - May 2, 2013 at 7:53 PM

    Swami, It has been reported several times that Zim is meeting the team in Pittsburgh.

  11. peric - May 2, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    Looks like Davey isn't sure who to play given its Haren versus a guy who was their top starter last season. Can't blame him. Its not going to look good coming away losing 3 out of 4 after getting swept at home. Not good at all.

  12. peric - May 2, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    It has been reported several times that Zim is meeting the team in Pittsburgh.Yep, he can't come of the DL until Friday. They are stuck with Tracy at third I expect … they might send Rendon off early back to Harrisburg or Syracuse.

  13. JD - May 2, 2013 at 7:57 PM

    'Werth is best leading off. His OBP is higher than Span's. Span is more of a pseudo defensive player' Werth lifetime OBP .361 Span lifetime OBP .356 Difference is negligible. I am also not sure what you mean with your 'pseudo defensive player' comment but I'm pretty sure that you are off base.

  14. baseballswami - May 2, 2013 at 7:58 PM

    And so that makes Lombo worse than our other batters how ? Not like anyone else is tearing it up. Plus , you kind of have to watch the games. Are they flailing at bad pitches or scalding one right at a fielder? Are they moving a runner or stranding him with a dinky pop up? Just because it's an out in the stats does not mean it was a bad at bat. Was the process good? If so , , BABIP will catch up. A bad approach will end up being more of the same. And Lombo's approach appears to have changed for the worse.

  15. peric - May 2, 2013 at 7:58 PM

    This could be a situation for trying a very different lineup … such as putting all the top OBP folks at the top and the guys who like to swing and often miss close to the bottom. Haren isn't a bad hitting pitcher so having him in front of the lead-off could spark a big inning.

  16. Gonat - May 2, 2013 at 7:59 PM

    Lombo as a starter: .200/.200/.267/.467 in 30 plate appearances. Doesn't he deserve 2 to 3 weeks of production to really judge him or does Espi get his job back tomorrow?Who is at 3rd tonight? Is this the last game we see Rendon for a while?

  17. peric - May 2, 2013 at 8:00 PM

    And so that makes Lombo worse than our other batters how ?No, he's just not a guy you bat first or second … he belongs at #7 on. And that lowers his value in the lineup. Given his defensive challenges it makes him less attractive as a starter.

  18. Gonat - May 2, 2013 at 8:00 PM

    I don't expect Harper in tonight and I think it would be foolish to push him.

  19. peric - May 2, 2013 at 8:00 PM

    Lombo: .317 OBP last season. He doesn't like to walk.

  20. baseballswami - May 2, 2013 at 8:00 PM

    JD- joking, and maybe hoping, too. Come on now, Medlen can be had. Tired of every night we have to tip our cap to some pitcher or other. Major league hitters have reams of intelligence and videos. Adjust.

  21. JD - May 2, 2013 at 8:01 PM

    'Its not going to look good coming away losing 3 out of 4 after getting swept at home. Not good at all.'1) we haven't lost yet.2) 4.5 games out on May 2nd is not a tragedy. 6.5 would have been tough but alas we're not there.

  22. peric - May 2, 2013 at 8:02 PM

    Who is at 3rd tonight? Is this the last game we see Rendon for a while?My guess is Tracy with Rendon heading back early … I think they get 3 days before they have to report. That would mean he would be in the lineup again on Sunday.

  23. peric - May 2, 2013 at 8:03 PM

    2) 4.5 games out on May 2nd is not a tragedy. 6.5 would have been tough but alas we're not there.Losing 9 out of the last 10 to ATL is not good no matter how you slice and dice it with excuses and explanations. If that were not the case you would not have seen Davey attempting those changes to the lineup.

  24. JD - May 2, 2013 at 8:07 PM

    Peric, I agree 100% that Lombo shouldn't hit anywhere near the top of the order. My order would be: Span, Desmond, laRoche, Moore, Bernadina,Ramos,Rendon, Lombo. I think your idea of Haren ahead of Lombo is not crazy either.

  25. IKN8wxU2 - May 2, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    "My guess is Tracy with Rendon heading back early … I think they get 3 days before they have to report. That would mean he would be in the lineup again on Sunday."What? Even if Rendon isn't starting, why would they not want him around to pinch hit, or pinch run, or in case of injury?

  26. JD - May 2, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    'Losing 9 out of the last 10 to ATL is not good no matter how you slice and dice it' I think it's irrelevant in the overall scheme of things.

  27. JD - May 2, 2013 at 8:10 PM

    IKN8wxU2 You are right. That is a crazy idea especially with Harper and Werth potentially unavailable why would you play intentionally short handed?

  28. Knoxville Nat - May 2, 2013 at 8:11 PM

    "Given his defensive challenges …"I'll grant you Espinosa has a stronger arm than Lombo but I really don't understand what you mean by this comment.From what I have seen of Lombo at second base, third base or even LF he is a decent defensive player, not the best we have at any of these positions but certainly a better outfielder than Moore.To say he has "challenges" is bit much in my opinion.

  29. A DC Wonk - May 2, 2013 at 8:11 PM

    'Werth is best leading off. His OBP is higher than Span's. Span is more of a pseudo defensive player'This year:Werth .314Span .345Werth has significantly more power.So, Span ought to bat first.

  30. EmDash - May 2, 2013 at 8:11 PM

    I have no expectations for Haren starts, so weirdly I kind of enjoy them more than most. Nonetheless, me publicly insulting players seems to make them do better, so: Haren, you're the worst!I really want to see him hit a triple someday, that'd be hilarious.

  31. Knoxville Nat - May 2, 2013 at 8:13 PM

    "I think your idea of Haren ahead of Lombo is not crazy either." The Tony LaRussa/Jim Riggleman approach, bat the pitcher in the 8 hole ahead of a struggling position player….maybe it's worth a shot.

  32. JD - May 2, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    Haren has pitched better and better from start to start. I wouldn't be shocked if he throws a real good game tonight.

  33. A DC Wonk - May 2, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    Losing 9 out of the last 10 to ATL is not good no matter how you slice and dice it How are losses from last Aug and early Sept relevant?

  34. NatsJack in Florida - May 2, 2013 at 8:18 PM

    They aren't.

  35. Janus - May 2, 2013 at 8:18 PM

    Ok, I was wrong about Desi getting the 2 spot in the order yesterday, goon squad prediction for today:1. Span 2. Lombo 3. Desmond 4. LaRoche 5. Moore 6. Tracy 7. Ramos 8. Bernadina

  36. SonnyG10 - May 2, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    Rich P. said…Bob Carpenter said last night that Braves attendance always goes up in the summer after school lets out.Kind of like how Phillies attendance goes up after the parole board meets.May 02, 2013 1:27 PMNow that's funny! :)

  37. Gonat - May 2, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    FWIW, Jim Kaat thinks Harper will play tonight.

  38. NatsJack in Florida - May 2, 2013 at 8:24 PM

    Pretty sure they'll wait and see how Bryce feels during and after bp to make a final decision.

  39. NCNatsie - May 2, 2013 at 8:32 PM

    Spot on, NatsJack. I think Davy wants Desi in the 4-hole tonight, since it won the game for him last night, but if Harper can't go, he'll move Desi up to #3.

  40. bowdenball - May 2, 2013 at 8:32 PM

    JD said…"'Losing 9 out of the last 10 to ATL is not good no matter how you slice and dice it'I think it's irrelevant in the overall scheme of things."Well put.I find it interesting that pessimistic Nats fans are now pointing out that we've lost 9 of the last 10 to the Braves, which includes 4 2012 games, but are leaving out the 14 other head to head games in 2012 that proceeded those 4. The Nats went 10-4 against the Braves in those games, giving them a winning head to head record for the 2012 season.The "problem" seems a lot less like an actual problem if you don't massage the facts to suit your point.

  41. Gonat - May 2, 2013 at 8:40 PM

    Pondering the Nats/Braves and the Nats owned them in Game 1 this year and gave them the game and in Game 2 with Stras with the throwing error and immediate 2 HR shot sunk that game.If you are counting Earned Runs, Nats would be 3-3 right now.If you look at starters earned runs, the Nats are 4-2 in the series so it's the errors and the bullpen.Conclusion for 2013: It's been the Nats beating themselves.

  42. NatsJack in Florida - May 2, 2013 at 8:40 PM

    Now nobody on this site would massage the facts to suit their point, would they? I thought that's what sabremetrics did.

  43. BxJaycobb - May 2, 2013 at 8:52 PM

    Quick question…why is it that Desi isn't the obvious 3 hole hitter when Bryce is out? Come to think of it, why isn't Desi batting somewhere in the 2-4 slots every night? It's as if nobody can forget his offensive mediocrity first few years, and nobody sees he's the second best hitter on the team without a doubt in my view. Does he walk? Nope, but if he's healthy he's a 25-30 HR and .280-.310 guy. In other words, better than everyone we have but Bryce…and yes that includes Ryan, healthy or not.

  44. Sam - May 2, 2013 at 8:55 PM

    Man, it's like no one likes the idea of a leadoff home run. Crazy. Did you know that a leadoff home run increases your chance of winning by 10% (and decreases your opponent's by 10%; a 20% swing!).I'm liking the idea of Harper batting 2nd more and more every moment. I'd like to see him hit with a runner on and no outs. And even if no one is on when he comes up, I'd like to give the guys behind him a chance to drive him in with less than two outs.

  45. A DC Wonk - May 2, 2013 at 8:55 PM

    Quick question…why is it that Desi isn't the obvious 3 hole hitter when Bryce is out? Come to think of it, why isn't Desi batting somewhere in the 2-4 slots every night? It's as if nobody can forget his offensive mediocrity first few years, and nobody sees he's the second best hitter on the team without a doubt in my view. Does he walk? Nope, but if he's healthy he's a 25-30 HR and .280-.310 guy. In other words, better than everyone we have but Bryce…and yes that includes Ryan, healthy or not. Indeed — I've thought that for a while. It should be Harper-RZim-Desi for 3-4-5, imho.

  46. bowdenball - May 2, 2013 at 8:57 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said…"Now nobody on this site would massage the facts to suit their point, would they? I thought that's what sabremetrics did."No. Sabremetrics is the study of swords I think. Sabermetrics tries to do the exact opposite of this. The goal is to look at data objectively to learn more about the game, rather than arriving at the conclusion first and then finding information to support that conclusion.

  47. NatsJack in Florida - May 2, 2013 at 8:57 PM

    Without Harper or Zimmerman he ver well hit 3rd but his days of batting second are done.He's a 3 – 6 guy depending on who's healthy and/or swinging a hot bat.

  48. Gonat - May 2, 2013 at 8:58 PM

    NatsJack, of course you can twist and turn anything to make a point and unfortunately the Nats 1-5 vs the Braves this year but the silver lining is the Nats starters outside of Gio's 2 starts vs the Braves is a positive going forward.It would be nice if Haren can pitch a gem tonight and the Nats offense can somehow score a bunch off of Medlen.

  49. NatsJack in Florida - May 2, 2013 at 9:00 PM

    Bowdenball…..I was joking but more than one person on this site use those #'s as a basis for proving their points.I use them as a way to focus observations.

  50. BxJaycobb - May 2, 2013 at 9:05 PM

    we need a little bit of luck tonight. something weird…like Bernie getting on base and going Willy Mays Hays on everyone, or T Moore jacking a couple dingers, or LaRoche waking up from hibernation with a vengeance. if the braves and nats played with these lineups and pitchers 100 times, we would lose 80 of them i think…

  51. NatsJack in Florida - May 2, 2013 at 9:06 PM

    Just saw a couple of tweets reiterating what I said earlier about holding off till bp for both Bryce and Jayson but both seem to think they're playing tonite.

  52. BxJaycobb - May 2, 2013 at 9:07 PM

    i really hate to say this (seriously, I hate it) but we should play Danny tonight. this is an evening where i'd rather have a crappier approach at the plate with a small chance of a homer. Offense is going to be that hard to come by…

  53. BxJaycobb - May 2, 2013 at 9:08 PM

    Hell yes I love it. This is not a small game. I'd rather them play then take off a couple days in Pittsburgh honestly…and if we're down 5-0 in the 2nd inning (totally possible), maybe Davey could just yank them immediately, even though it might seem demoralizing.

  54. NatsLady - May 2, 2013 at 9:09 PM

    Haren is a good hitter, but he's very slow on the basepaths. I mean, VERY slow, slower than LaRoche. Might as well hit him cleanup (only sort of kidding).

  55. baseballswami - May 2, 2013 at 9:12 PM

    Gonat– if Kaat said something, I would believe the total opposite. Man has zero credibility with me. Insufferable blowhard.

  56. NatsJack in Florida - May 2, 2013 at 9:13 PM

    And why would anyone think the Nats would go a bench man short by sending Rendon back a day early? He'll serve as a pinch hitter if he's not in the lineup.

  57. Gonat - May 2, 2013 at 9:13 PM

    If our lighter hitting guys (Peric's banjo band) would employ Haren's technique of shortening up their swings I think they may end up with some better results.

  58. Gonat - May 2, 2013 at 9:14 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… And why would anyone think the Nats would go a bench man short by sending Rendon back a day early? He'll serve as a pinch hitter if he's not in the lineup. _________________________Well yah! Who would think otherwise.

  59. baseballswami - May 2, 2013 at 9:19 PM

    Is there anyone on our team who actually has a two strike approach? Do they shorten up, choke up, move up, anything? Looks to me like they don't do anything different except pray for a home run or a walk. And you can't walk if you swing at everything.

  60. Gonat - May 2, 2013 at 9:21 PM

    From Mark: Tentative #Nats lineup: Span 8, Lombardozzi 4, Harper 7, Werth 9, Desmond 6, LaRoche 3, Rendon 5, Ramos 2, Haren 1.

  61. NatsJack in Florida - May 2, 2013 at 9:21 PM

    Mark Z has a tentative lineup with Bryce 3rd Jayson 4th and Rendon 7th. I hope that holds.

  62. Gonat - May 2, 2013 at 9:22 PM

    How does Bryce Harper sleep off that pain? It's unreal.

  63. Gonat - May 2, 2013 at 9:24 PM

    Cliff Lee talking about the Phillies "They crushed us both games. It was never really close, either one of them. We have to have a little more pride than that and figure out a way to at least get back into games and make it somewhat competitive. Both games, it was never close"

  64. Gonat - May 2, 2013 at 9:26 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… Mark Z has a tentative lineup with Bryce 3rd Jayson 4th and Rendon 7th. I hope that holds.______________________________That's 2 beers in 2 days. Pay up! A 2 pack of virtual Bud Light!

  65. NatsJack in Florida - May 2, 2013 at 9:28 PM

    Pay day is tomorrow.

  66. A DC Wonk - May 2, 2013 at 9:28 PM

    baseballswami said… Gonat– if Kaat said something, I would believe the total opposite. Man has zero credibility with me. Insufferable blowhard.Why? It's not like he said Strasburg should keep pitching last year . . . oh, wait . . .

  67. NCNatsie - May 2, 2013 at 9:29 PM

    Why is it tentative? — must mean Bryce is still tentative, e.g. gametime decision.

  68. Gonat - May 2, 2013 at 9:30 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… Pay day is tomorrow. May 02, 2013 5:28 PM ____________________________Good minds!

  69. Alphabet Soup Erik - May 2, 2013 at 9:30 PM

    As much as I dislike Espinosa, Lombardozzi is not the answer. Like Steve M, I really hope they move Rendon to 2B for a couple of weeks when Zimmerman returns. You can always put Espinosa in for defense later in the game or give Desmond a day off and put Espinosa at SS. This team needs hitting, and Rendon could really help. Or better yet, move Zimmerman to 2B. He is a major league baseball player, I am sure he can figure out how to play the position just fine. Espinosa should have to prove himself off of the bench to get another chance as far as I am concerned. Maybe that will send a message to the others.

  70. EmDash - May 2, 2013 at 9:39 PM

    I don't like the idea of playing Harper and Werth today – seems like it would be better to give them a little bit of a chance to rest, maybe let them pinch hit late in the game if they feel up to it. No reason to push it so early in the season and risk making it worse, especially during these clearly-cursed Braves series. (Seriously, every major injury concern they've had this year so far has come up during a Braves series.)

  71. Bob Saget Nats Fan 101 - May 2, 2013 at 9:40 PM

    N A T S NATS NATS NATS

  72. baseballswami - May 2, 2013 at 9:41 PM

    DCWonk- it's not just last year. He never, ever misses an opportunity to trash the Nats. Better stop- feel my BP rising.

  73. Gonat - May 2, 2013 at 9:45 PM

    baseballswami said… DCWonk- it's not just last year. He never, ever misses an opportunity to trash the Nats. Better stop- feel my BP rising. May 02, 2013 5:41 PM ______________________________I checked his past and it seems he once played for the Washington Senators who then became the Minnesota Twins.Hard feelings for that Griffith ownership and Washington DC?

  74. Eric - May 2, 2013 at 9:46 PM

    I'm liking that line up a lot more than what I was thinking we'd see! Go Nats!

  75. Gonat - May 2, 2013 at 9:46 PM

    Note from Mark:Will post the lineup as soon as it comes out, so please check back. [UPDATE AT 5:30 P.M. — Harper and Werth are both tentatively starting, provided they get through batting practice with no problems.]

  76. baseballswami - May 2, 2013 at 9:49 PM

    Thanks Mark and Gonat!!

  77. SonnyG10 - May 2, 2013 at 9:51 PM

    3on2out said…SonnyG:I welcome your sane comments as a refreshing respite from many of our "the sky is falling" brethren.May 02, 2013 11:16 AMThank you 3on2out. Thats a nice thing for you to say. I'm sorry I'm late responding to you.

  78. baseballswami - May 2, 2013 at 9:53 PM

    Snowed out in Kansas City. May 2cd!!!

  79. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 2, 2013 at 9:59 PM

    Alphabet Soup Erik said… As much as I dislike Espinosa, Lombardozzi is not the answer. Like Steve M, I really hope they move Rendon to 2B for a couple of weeks when Zimmerman returns. You can always put Espinosa in for defense later in the game or give Desmond a day off and put Espinosa at SS. This team needs hitting, and Rendon could really help. Or better yet, move Zimmerman to 2B. He is a major league baseball player, I am sure he can figure out how to play the position just fine. Espinosa should have to prove himself off of the bench to get another chance as far as I am concerned. Maybe that will send a message to the others. May 02, 2013 5:30 PM We may sort of agree. I want Rendon to head to Syracuse or Harrisburg for 2 weeks to play 2nd base every day. I'd be mildly concerned to throw him into 2nd base tomorrow for the Nats.If he gets the thumbs up in 2 weeks that he is ready and things haven't improved substantially with Lombo/Espi then you have to do it and he trades places with Espi. It won't hurt Rendon's defense if he has to play 3rd base at some point as I used Placido Polanco as my best comparable as he toggled back and forth within seasons.Rendon can do it.

  80. baseballswami - May 2, 2013 at 10:04 PM

    Plesac says Nats are not playing with the same vigor this year. That was a very kind way to say it.

  81. Gonat - May 2, 2013 at 10:06 PM

    baseballswami said… Plesac says Nats are not playing with the same vigor this year. That was a very kind way to say it. May 02, 2013 6:04 PM ________________________________I thought it was a great effort last night. Mistake free baseball. Great starting pitching, good defense although JZ did most himself and the bullpen/Untuck came through.

  82. MicheleS - May 2, 2013 at 10:09 PM

    I have a good feeling about tonight with Haren. I don't know why, but I think he has turned a corner and will be solid for us for the rest of the year.Finally watched the entire "Bryce Begins", best moment for me is seeing his Dad get choked up about the Standing O Byrce got at his first home start. I was at that game -wouldn't have missed it for anything – glad I could contribute to a memory for his family.

  83. baseballswami - May 2, 2013 at 10:09 PM

    Last night was not their worst effort. Still some dumb at bats, though. Baby steps. It's a process. I don't see a magic switch being flipped. I see it being more gradual. The team is too talented to stay this way for long.

  84. baseballswami - May 2, 2013 at 10:12 PM

    Michele- my choke up was when his mom said good bye at the airport. They had to let their child go at a very young age. He was around a lot of people who were not always kind to him. Obviously he has taken their values with him.

  85. baseballswami - May 2, 2013 at 10:20 PM

    Oswald minor league deal with the Rockies.

  86. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 2, 2013 at 10:21 PM

    Swami, Braves actually had more poor at-bats which kept JZim in for the 8th. Their only chance was getting to Clippard.

  87. NatsJack in Florida - May 2, 2013 at 10:23 PM

    You mean Oswalt, like Roy the pitcher to the Rockies, right?

  88. JaneB - May 2, 2013 at 10:23 PM

    I am picturing Dan Haren having a shockingly great game, and that the combo of Bryce-Jayson-Desi shocks the heck out of those Braves fans. And that Wilson goes yard. GYFNG!

  89. BxJaycobb - May 2, 2013 at 10:24 PM

    Anybody can answer this…Q: Why does Davey play Bryce in LF and Werth in RF when every rule of baseball dictates that your best cannon should be in RF (to prevent the first to third play and other reasons)? No other team in the major leagues puts their best armed corner outfielder in left field. NO OTHER TEAM.

  90. baseballswami - May 2, 2013 at 10:27 PM

    Yes, Roy Oswalt — minor league deal – Rockies.

  91. NatsJack in Florida - May 2, 2013 at 10:27 PM

    Because Werth can hit a cut off man, is a much more experienced outfielder and Bryce is still learning to play the outfield.

  92. BxJaycobb - May 2, 2013 at 10:28 PM

    The other reasons you would:You need the throw home from RF to get there quicker so that catcher has time to rotate his body, eyeball the runner, and apply tag. From LF, catcher is staring runner in face and doesnt need to turnAlso, because on relays from left field, you get help of better armed infielders on relays (SS, 3B), and from right, you have first basemen cutting the ball.

  93. baseballswami - May 2, 2013 at 10:28 PM

    And Ghost– the Barves had some of the worst at bats I have ever seen. Jordan had them completely flummoxed. It was very entertaining.

  94. BxJaycobb - May 2, 2013 at 10:31 PM

    NatsJack. Due respect, I feel like the difference between their arms is game changing. Werth has an average arm. Bryce has a top 5 outfielder gun…see Game 1 of Braves Series for an example on the sac fly to werth. Zero chance Laird scores if thats Bryce not Werth.I would guess that the reason is simply that Werth has never played LF and doesn't want to. I.e. not Bryce's shortcomings, but Werth's…

  95. Joe Seamhead - May 2, 2013 at 10:32 PM

    I like the lineup for what's available.I'll bet Espinosa's will be swollen from chewing his gum so hard, but I'm thrilled to see him get sat down. He really has played himself into sitting on the bench. Folks, I see a lot about Rendon that I like, just like the rest of you, but like I said the other day, he hasn't hardly played the field since his junior year in college. I really think it's pretty unrealistic to think he's ready to step into a MLB infield, be it 3rd, or even less 2nd. I do think that with Espinosa's play/injury(?) there's a lot of justification to get him a lot of work at 2nd in Harrisburg.BTW, playing "OK" or "serviceable" defensively at any position is not what most of us want to see at any position on the field from this team. That's a "good enough to lose" mentality. We have hopefully passed that point.

  96. BxJaycobb - May 2, 2013 at 10:33 PM

    If we're ahead by a run in the 9th inning….there's a guy on first base with 1 out, and somebody slaps a seeing eye grounding past the second baseman, do you want werth trying to keep the runner at second, or bryce…? Nobody would run on him. there were be no first to thirds. I just don't get it.

  97. Joe Seamhead - May 2, 2013 at 10:38 PM

    I heard an interview with Bryce last year that he stated that he doesn't get good reads in RF. As Werth winds down Bryce will be the future RFer, in my opinion.

  98. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 2, 2013 at 10:39 PM

    Swami, flummoxed? I like! 8 Ks and most were swing & miss. Mastery!!!

  99. NatsJack in Florida - May 2, 2013 at 10:39 PM

    Yhen you don't the developemental process of a young, inexperienced outfielder.

  100. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 2, 2013 at 10:41 PM

    Joe, exactly.

  101. Joe Seamhead - May 2, 2013 at 10:41 PM

    My post at 6:32 I meant to say that Espy's jaw would be swollen from chewing his gum so hard.My point is that I'm sure that he's not happy.

  102. David Proctor - May 2, 2013 at 10:46 PM

    I may be wrong, but I think Werth has an assist or two to his credit already this season. Certainly in the future as Werth declines, Harper will play in RF, but for now, I think the arrangement is good. Harper can continue learning the outfield

  103. Sec. 3, My Rocking Fire Sofa - May 2, 2013 at 10:46 PM

    Right field is harder to play, generally, and thus experience is a much more leveraged asset there. And having a good arm in right is nice, but it's not the end-all criterion.

  104. Joe Seamhead - May 2, 2013 at 10:50 PM

    In 2011 Werth had 11 outfield assists. He missed a huge part of last year,along with coming back from a broken wrist, so his 4 assists don't say much. I don't remember him not hitting the cut-off.RF is a tough position to play the caroms around the league. Jayson is very good at it.

  105. peric - May 2, 2013 at 10:51 PM

    Rendon can do it.Probably better than Lombo.Most real scouts and checkers (and not the sycophant who arrogantly prepends his the team's nickname to the front of his on his jacket) believe that its a risk to Rendon's ankles putting him at second base. He just got back from fracture + surgery on one and earlier had the same issue with the other.

  106. Joe Seamhead - May 2, 2013 at 10:51 PM

    I might owe you one, Sofa.

  107. baseballswami - May 2, 2013 at 10:53 PM

    Getting prepared to watch the game. Tamping down expectations. Anything can happen. Go Nats!

  108. baseballswami - May 2, 2013 at 10:54 PM

    Nice Rendon interview on masn. Good kid. His time will come.

  109. UnkyD - May 2, 2013 at 11:05 PM

    OBP:Span: .345Werth: .314Just saying, Peric……

  110. Gonat - May 2, 2013 at 11:13 PM

    Lombo better show a better approach at the plate. That Span guy hit his hardest ball of the year.

  111. Gonat - May 2, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    How do you like that! WP Medlen! How did Lombo not get hit?

  112. Gonat - May 2, 2013 at 11:15 PM

    Did Steve Lombardozzi Sr. call his son and rip him last night like most of NatsTown was?Much better!

  113. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 2, 2013 at 11:17 PM

    Well we scoted first. 12-1 IN score first mode.

  114. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 2, 2013 at 11:19 PM

    Wonder why Desi who loves fast balls didnt swing at the fast balls.

  115. baseballswami - May 2, 2013 at 11:20 PM

    Seemed to me that Lombo purposely kept himself in the way during the ball search. Third taken, run scored during his at bat.

  116. Gonat - May 2, 2013 at 11:23 PM

    That's a nice split to K on Johnson. I like the split that starts even higher and goes straight to the dirt.

  117. NatsJack in Florida - May 2, 2013 at 11:24 PM

    Sweet splitter so far from Haren.

  118. NatsJack in Florida - May 2, 2013 at 11:24 PM

    Looks like I'm working on a 6 pack, Gonat.

  119. Steady Eddie - May 2, 2013 at 11:25 PM

    Good Dan is in the house.

  120. waddu eye no - May 2, 2013 at 11:26 PM

    Dan who?Clearly, jordan has raised the bar.

  121. Gonat - May 2, 2013 at 11:27 PM

    Missed a HRs by inches.

  122. NatsNut - May 2, 2013 at 11:27 PM

    Hey, was that a hit for Adam LaRoche? Hooray!

  123. Gonat - May 2, 2013 at 11:27 PM

    Looks like Chipper Jones should be our new batting coach [insert sarcastic tone].Way to go ALR!

  124. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 2, 2013 at 11:28 PM

    ALR on his way to .200 by the end of the weekend

  125. Gonat - May 2, 2013 at 11:28 PM

    Oh yes Rendon!

  126. NatsJack in Florida - May 2, 2013 at 11:29 PM

    Nice inside out swing by Anthony.

  127. Gonat - May 2, 2013 at 11:29 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… Looks like I'm working on a 6 pack, Gonat. May 02, 2013 7:24 PM _______________________________LOL, we have been on the same thoughts for 2 days. I just type faster! LOL Can't wait to see you on the next trip!

  128. Gonat - May 2, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    Rendon now batting .217 That has to feel good going back to the Minors.

  129. Joe Seamhead - May 2, 2013 at 11:35 PM

    Way to go MR. LEADOFF!

  130. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 2, 2013 at 11:35 PM

    Gonat said… Rendon now batting .217 That has to feel good going back to the Minors. May 02, 2013 7:30 PM Great swing going with the pitch to RF. Here's another thing the scouts really like about Rendon, he doesn't panic behind in the count or with 2 strikes. A future #2 hitter.

  131. Gonat - May 2, 2013 at 11:37 PM

    Lombo stays off of the high cheese.

  132. Joe Seamhead - May 2, 2013 at 11:37 PM

    Wow, there are an awful lot of empty seats for a first place team.

  133. Gonat - May 2, 2013 at 11:40 PM

    Joe, it's not schools out season in Atlanta, hah!

  134. Gonat - May 2, 2013 at 11:41 PM

    Isn't Matt Harvey a Rookie?

  135. NatsJack in Florida - May 2, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    Just switched over and saw Brown homer for the Phillies against the Fish.Man I forget what a band box Citizens Bank Park is.

  136. Gonat - May 2, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    Not a good pitch to Gattis by Haren. Lucky that was an easy F8.

  137. David Proctor - May 2, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    This is the Dan Haren we were sold.

  138. NatsJack in Florida - May 2, 2013 at 11:45 PM

    Re: Harvey…..Not sure because he pitched about 2 months last year.

  139. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 2, 2013 at 11:46 PM

    Gonat said… Not a good pitch to Gattis by Haren. Lucky that was an easy F8. May 02, 2013 7:42 PM I don't normally disagree with you but that was a great cutter not a 4 seam fastballl. Gattis thought he was hitting a HR on his barrel and when his bat made contact it was near the LVS trademark. Perfect pitch to a dead red fastball hitter.

  140. Gonat - May 2, 2013 at 11:50 PM

    Schooled! Thanks SteveM. I checked the MLB pitch track and you are correct. My mistake.

  141. Joe Seamhead - May 2, 2013 at 11:51 PM

    Nuts.

  142. NatsJack in Florida - May 2, 2013 at 11:52 PM

    So far, gotta love the Nats approach at the plate tonite. Time to give Eck a raise.

  143. MicheleS - May 2, 2013 at 11:53 PM

    Denard got a double.. took away the error.. Good for DSPAN!!!

  144. Gonat - May 2, 2013 at 11:54 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… Gonat said… Rendon now batting .217 That has to feel good going back to the Minors. May 02, 2013 7:30 PM Great swing going with the pitch to RF. Here's another thing the scouts really like about Rendon, he doesn't panic behind in the count or with 2 strikes. A future #2 hitter. May 02, 2013 7:35 PM ________________________________Good call. 0-2 count and he didn't swing defensively. Almost dropped that one in.

  145. Joe Seamhead - May 2, 2013 at 11:54 PM

    Upon further review Span gets a "too hot to handle" double and 2 RBI's. Good for him!

  146. MicheleS - May 2, 2013 at 11:57 PM

    Joe S.. Beer me

  147. NatsJack in Florida - May 2, 2013 at 11:57 PM

    Man I wish Zim was in Atlanta so he could see Rendon make throws to first.

  148. Gonat - May 2, 2013 at 11:57 PM

    MicheleS said… Denard got a double.. took away the error.. Good for DSPAN!!! May 02, 2013 7:53 PM _____________________________With Johnson drawn in that was a tougher play than LaRoche's chance last night.

  149. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 3, 2013 at 12:00 AM

    What the hell. Lost it just like that, but Shaefer's wild swing bails him out.Now tack on more run.

  150. Joe Seamhead - May 3, 2013 at 12:00 AM

    Hmmph! Come now, Dan. Phew! You were making us all a little nervous there.

  151. Joe Seamhead - May 3, 2013 at 12:01 AM

    Put 'em up for me, will ya, Michele?

  152. NatsJack in Florida - May 3, 2013 at 12:02 AM

    Haren has trouble when he doesn't cut his fastball. When he's at 86-87 (cutter) he has good command. When he tries to hump up to 89-90 he loses command.

  153. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 3, 2013 at 12:05 AM

    Spot on NatsJack. Haren has trouble when he tries to overthrow. Stay the course Dan!!!

  154. Gonat - May 3, 2013 at 12:05 AM

    That's 5 balls Nats hit on the screws right at outfielders so far.

  155. Joe Seamhead - May 3, 2013 at 12:11 AM

    There's a classic example of why Werth is in RF this year.

  156. JaneB - May 3, 2013 at 12:13 AM

    C'mon Dan. get out of this!

  157. Gonat - May 3, 2013 at 12:13 AM

    Thank you Uggla!

  158. NatsJack in Florida - May 3, 2013 at 12:14 AM

    Good job Dan.

  159. Joe Seamhead - May 3, 2013 at 12:14 AM

    This team is looking good! Where have these guys been?

  160. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 3, 2013 at 12:16 AM

    @Gonats hitters attacking tonight.Keep it up boys.

  161. Joe Seamhead - May 3, 2013 at 12:19 AM

    Werth out of the game. Uh-oh.

  162. Gonat - May 3, 2013 at 12:20 AM

    Manassas, let's get Haren some add-on runs.

  163. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 3, 2013 at 12:20 AM

    As I mention often. Seems like we seem to either hit early or middle, but never both. A bad habit.

  164. David Proctor - May 3, 2013 at 12:21 AM

    I wouldn't worry too much about Werth. Like Bob said, I'm thinking it may just be the rain and slippery conditions. Not good for an ankle. I guess we'll find out for sure in the postgame.

  165. NatsJack in Florida - May 3, 2013 at 12:23 AM

    Maybe he had delayed radiation overdose :-)

  166. NattieNation13 - May 3, 2013 at 12:23 AM

    I bet you anything Werth is out only because the weather has taken a turn. Davey is ultra-cautious with hamstrings

  167. Gonat - May 3, 2013 at 12:23 AM

    Nice play Rendon!

  168. NatsJack in Florida - May 3, 2013 at 12:27 AM

    Nattie….good call. Wet grass and hamstrings don't mix well.

  169. UnkyD - May 3, 2013 at 12:27 AM

    Haren forgot he's the weakest link…. {=^D

  170. David Proctor - May 3, 2013 at 12:33 AM

    Rendon had a rough start, but he's been hitting the ball and drawing walks much better lately. Bodes well for the future and (presumably) September.

  171. Gonat - May 3, 2013 at 12:34 AM

    David Proctor said… Rendon had a rough start_______________________________Rough start? Who judges a guy after his first 10 ABs in the Majors?

  172. David Proctor - May 3, 2013 at 12:35 AM

    Not judging at all. I've never doubted him or anything. 0-10 isn't the way he'd have preferred it obviously. But he's been fine.

  173. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 3, 2013 at 12:35 AM

    You all are just starting to see what Rendon is. Wait till you see him pepper the gaps.

  174. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 3, 2013 at 12:36 AM

    Rendon has 2 Es, but I am still impressed with his work.

  175. Section 222 - May 3, 2013 at 12:36 AM

    NJ, I'm worried about Harper too. They gave him an XRay last night. :-)Hoping Jason's scratch was just for precautionary measure, but if he goes on the DL, maybe Rendon stays up as a bench bat.

  176. Gonat - May 3, 2013 at 12:37 AM

    What an inning by Haren!!!

  177. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 3, 2013 at 12:38 AM

    2 pitches to each batter there. 57 for the game. Hsren pitching like Rizzo pictured.

  178. Joe Seamhead - May 3, 2013 at 12:38 AM

    I must say that Rendon has had a very impressive evening at third tonight.

  179. David Proctor - May 3, 2013 at 12:38 AM

    If Haren can pitch another scoreless inning, his ERA will be in the 4's. That doesn't sound good, but given that his ERA was over 7 before the Cincinnati game, it's impressive.

  180. NatsJack in Florida - May 3, 2013 at 12:40 AM

    I sure do love watching professional pitchers pitch. Fun watching Dan work his craft. It's always about command.

  181. Gonat - May 3, 2013 at 12:40 AM

    Manassas Nats' Fan said… Rendon has 2 Es, but I am still impressed with his work. May 02, 2013 8:36 PM ______________________________The first error was when he got a grounder with men on 1st and 3rd and pulled the 2nd baseman off the bag.The 2nd error was on a diving stab and then he made a wide throw that LaRoche couldn't keep his foot on the bag.Not exactly the worst errors I have seen and many thought LaRoche didn't get a good stretch.

  182. pk24 - May 3, 2013 at 12:43 AM

    So where does Rendon go next? Syracuse? or back to Harrisburg?

  183. Gonat - May 3, 2013 at 12:45 AM

    pk24, probably back to Harrisburg but hopefully not for long.

  184. Gonat - May 3, 2013 at 12:45 AM

    Span better stay close.

  185. pk24 - May 3, 2013 at 12:46 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  186. Joe Seamhead - May 3, 2013 at 12:46 AM

    Gonat, I think you're really overly critical of Adam. That play where he pulled off the bag, Adam had a good play just making it close. He even tried to sell it, but the throw was too short. Well, at least from my seat!

  187. Steady Eddie - May 3, 2013 at 12:47 AM

    Bryce will not see that happen much this year, though a 4 pitch walk to Lombo ahead of Bryce was wholly unintentional.Hope Shark can get a single.

  188. Gonat - May 3, 2013 at 12:48 AM

    NatsJack in Florida said… I sure do love watching professional pitchers pitch. Fun watching Dan work his craft. It's always about command. May 02, 2013 8:40 PM ________________________________We saw Haren at his best 2 years ago when he and JZ faced each other when Haren was with the Angels and both went complete game 1-0 where the Angels scored on an error to win.

  189. David Proctor - May 3, 2013 at 12:48 AM

    Bernadina needs to hit when we put him in the game. .050 (lower now) is not acceptable.

  190. Section 222 - May 3, 2013 at 12:48 AM

    Oh Roger, that was kind of pathetic. At least take a hack.

  191. Joe Seamhead - May 3, 2013 at 12:49 AM

    Shark looked more like a deer in the headlights than a shark.Nuts!

  192. Steady Eddie - May 3, 2013 at 12:49 AM

    Ugh, Shark looking lost at the dish this year. No plan at all, and against a guy who we've been squaring up all night and at the end of his night.

  193. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 3, 2013 at 12:52 AM

    Any clue why Shark didnt swing at one with all pitches right up middle? Not interested in trying to knock in a couple?

  194. Secret wasian man - May 3, 2013 at 12:53 AM

    Told my self either positive or negative I wouldn't post until the end. BUTTTTTTT what a disgusting AB by the Shark. Put him down and keep Rendon for bench player when Zimm comes back. HANG ON BOYS

  195. David Proctor - May 3, 2013 at 12:55 AM

    Looking back, Davey was 100% right when he said Haren was forcing it with the fastball. He was throwing 90-91 early in the season and had no command. When he's thrown 90 today, he's missed high. When he's cut the fastball (like someone rightly mentioned here earlier) and thrown 87-89, he's had much better command. He's done that his last 2 starts.

  196. Gonat - May 3, 2013 at 12:56 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  197. Joe Seamhead - May 3, 2013 at 12:56 AM

    Bummer on the homer, but what a great game Dan Haren is pitching!

  198. Exposremains - May 3, 2013 at 12:56 AM

    Espinosa would have swing at those 4 pitches lombo took. Harper doesn't want to have to check his swings so he swinging at the 1st pitch he sees. Not sure he's really healthy.Haren has really redeemed himself

  199. Gonat - May 3, 2013 at 12:57 AM

    Credit to the batter on the HR against Dan. It happens. That was a good pitch.

  200. Exposremains - May 3, 2013 at 12:57 AM

    I blame the WBC for Bernadina's struggles

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
WASHINGTON 78 58 -- 19
ATLANTA 72 66 7.0
MIAMI 67 69 11.0
NEW YORK 64 74 15.0
PHILADELPHIA 63 74 15.5
Through Monday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Braves 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