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No antidote for offensive woes

May 4, 2013, 4:08 AM EDT

Associated Press
Danny Espinosa looks back at umpire James Hoye after striking out in the seventh.

PITTSBURGH — The Nationals have four players who have been All-Stars in their everyday lineup. They have six guys who have at least 20 homers in a big-league season, three who have hit at least .300, six who own career on-base percentages of at least .330.

So common sense suggests this team will start hitting at least a major-league-average level at some point in 2013. That day has not yet come, though, and not even the return of the club’s cleanup hitter Friday night could inject life into a lineup that statistically ranks among the majors’ worst so far this year.

“We know we can score runs, and we know we will,” Ryan Zimmerman said following a 3-1 loss to the Pirates. “It’s just part of it. Nobody wants it to happen. Nobody wants to not score runs. But it happens. We just have to keep working and keep showing up every day and going to work and making some adjustments and just moving forward.”
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128 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. SonnyG10 - May 4, 2013 at 4:32 AM

    Just one of those days. We can still win the series. GYFNG!!!

  2. Gonat - May 4, 2013 at 4:34 AM

    "We know we can score runs, and we know we will," Ryan Zimmerman said.So says the man who has only been hitting mistake pitches for a while now. That 0-4 with 4 ugly K's and you said after the game on Wednesday "I hope so," Zimmerman said with a smile, when asked if the rehab stint was enough of a test. "Yeah, it's fine. It's not like I couldn't hit or do things for a long time. Obviously it was good to get into one game and see some pitches. But the hitting stuff has always been pretty quick for me."Really? Your history doesn't show that after returns from the DL.

  3. Natstown - May 4, 2013 at 6:44 AM

    I am sick of watching Danny's long loopy swing with a million holes. Is Eckstein even watching? His hips and head are flying out and shoulder is dropping. He's been in a slump since the second half of 2011

  4. Secret wasian man - May 4, 2013 at 10:30 AM

    Really starting to dislike Zimm. He needs to stop making comments. He and ALR are complete embarrasments at the plate.

  5. jeeves - May 4, 2013 at 10:37 AM

    In spring training, the story on Zimm was he didn't need those spring training trips, those extra games, to be ready offensively. Same thing was said about his rehab. He was ready. Yeah, right. I was one of the few who preferred the Nats didn't sign LaRoche because his long droughts at the plate are a given, even last year when he was at his best. He'll get better. He always gets off to slow starts is the mantre. Well, yes, he will get better. He can't get much worse. But what will be the situation by the time he begins to contribute? There is a reason why other teams weren't lining up to sign him. (other than draft choice) and fantasy leagues have him in the bottom half of all major league first basemen. And Werth? Well, a little hard to tell as he's often hurt, or suffering the ill effects of an injury.The reason for my rant is that for one reason or another, it is our veteran players who occupy key positions in the batting order who are consistently failing to deliver. And, of course, Davey will stick with them through hell or high water. He has to.I still think the team will right itsself because the pitching is just too darn good for them not to. But even they can't throw a shutout every single game.

  6. Rabbit34 - May 4, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    LaRoche says it is a good lineup. I say it stinks. Of course there are exceptions like Harper. But Zimmerman swings a bat like it's the whole tree. Werth looks like he can hardly hold the tree up. Plain and simple, it amazes me how this lineup won 98 games LAST year. This year it is just playing to it's potential. Hate to say it but that's a fact Jack. No, no, no, stats from last year don't mean a thing. What we have is what we have NOW.

  7. Whynat - May 4, 2013 at 10:57 AM

    Insiders need to step up their game. Almost every comment is snark, dispair, or venom. There is no joy in Mudville. I guess it is hard to follow a team you can't stand.In the words of Gene Krantz: Let's look at this thing from a… um, from a standpoint of status. What do we got on the [team]that's good?

  8. jeeves - May 4, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    Interesting that some seem to think that the only Nat fan is the one who only says good and positive things about the team no matter what. I'm not sure that self righteousness is a virtue.

  9. Laddie Blah Blah - May 4, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    They brought Zim back too soon – 4 ABs = 4Ks, and I think he whiffed on every swing except for one, where he managed to hit a weak foul pop into the stands near the visitor's dugout. I hope he gets it back today, but it may take him several games before that happens.I don't know why they could not have let him get his rhythm and timing back by keeping him at Potomac for a few more games. They could have kept Rendon for a few more days, instead, until Zim showed he was ready. What they actually did, by contrast, smacks of desperation. It's too soon to be so desperate.The same goes for Davey's playing Werth when the guy was hurt. Once again, I see the opposing manager using his full team to better effect. The guy who hit the game-winning HR was in the minors just a few days ago. The Pirates weren't afraid to play him, now, were they?

  10. original Nats Fan - May 4, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    expectations for this team are so high that anything less than winning every game is a failure. The antidote is to start hitting, but if it were that easy anyone could do it. Burnett was on his game, Det wasn't. Harper is obviously hurting. Stras has to step up today. The Nats can do this.

  11. Joe Seamhead - May 4, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    I'm one of the core here that still feels very positive about our chances in the East. No not just positive, but very confident that we will win the division. So many blogger here have a football fan's mentality. Way too much gloom and doom after each loss. Granted, we haven't played up to our potential, but we are starting to click.We're a little dinged here and there, but we'll soon be healthy. Pity the rest of the division as it will be happening soon.BTW, Davey Johnson has more baseball knowledge, and ability to lead this team, then all of the bloggers on this board put together. No, it doesn't mean that no one can second guess him, or question why he doesn't start this guy, or bench that guy. That's a God given American right. But Johnson is a great baseball mind and sees these guys everyday in ways that most of us could never comprehend.When someone calls him a fool, or stupid, it really tells us that the poster is the fool.GYFNG!!!

  12. jeeves - May 4, 2013 at 11:37 AM

    Or Canadian right, Joe. And who exactly called Davey a fool?

  13. mick - May 4, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    Joe Seamhead, I think overall you are correct. The Nats showed 2 things with the back to back wins verse the Barves1) They are a legitimate good baseball team that played with urgency when they had to.2) They have a manager who unlike most of us, knows he has a good team and does not panicHaving said all that, where was the urgency last night after Burnett left the game?? I bet Devey told his young men privatley that you can not turn it on when you feel like it. Bryce Zim and Espi's last at bats were terrible!! I hope Davey stuck his foot in their asses!

  14. JayB - May 4, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    Davey is the best thing that has every happened (other than Harper) to this team but he is also mostly responsible for the total melt down of the team. He picked this strategy of being a players best friend and endless excuse maker and it is to late to change that now that it has backfired.Davey is reaping the fruits of his approach this spring. He ran a country club Spring Training. He told most all his starters they did not need to work or play to be ready. He told them to golf, go to NASCAR races, work less than 2 hours a day. He told Danny he needed to change and when he did not he said oh well play anyway. Zero accountability all around. Hope they can get Bo Porter back. I would trade Danny and Roger to Houston for Bo right now.

  15. mick - May 4, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    My observation as a coach is that other than Desi and believe it or not ALR, nobody seems locked in at the plate and they are just not seeing the ball. I will eat crow on ALR, he looks locked in and I bet today he hurts the Bucs. Span has hit well but he can do better

  16. sjm308 - May 4, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    Just a reality that we are not playing up to the expectations that were set very very high this year. It sort of reminds me of the year we were supposed to be horrible and played pretty well, followed by two seasons that regressed. We have regressed from last year at this time but still have 130 games so it can turn. I am not happy with where we are but its not like we are already out of the race. Win these next two and hope the Braves lose at least one more and we are 1.5 out.I have to give Rabbit some props. Even though I often think he writes a little harsh and I also think he is trying to use a little negative mojo, he did say early early on that we did not have much offense. So far, he is spot on. I also think Rabbit would love to be proven wrong and does root for us to win. Its just tough love.Sun came up today. Strasburg on the mound. Seeing my grandson later this morning. What's not to like?Go Nats!!

  17. mick - May 4, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    There you go coach!

  18. EmDash - May 4, 2013 at 12:07 PM

    I think most teams that know their roster going in have a relaxed approach to spring training, though – I'm pretty sure the Braves saw lots of team members go to the same NASCAR race. And members of literally every team in baseball play a lot of golf in Florida during spring training.I think Davey's strategy during spring training was to play the bench guys more often since they'd be getting fewer opportunities to play during the season and needed to get their timing down early – I believe Tyler Moore and Lombardozzi played the most, if my memory is serving me right. Didn't matter, they're not locked in either.It's difficult to diagnose the hitting problem from the outside. Maybe the match-ups have mostly been poor for them so far. Everyone's timing/batting eye seem just off enough. This game probably would've been different if Harper wasn't injured – that last at-bat, at least, I could see him getting an RBI single – but he's probably not going to be able to do much offensively while he's hurting. Same for Zimm, whose DL time clearly has him looking lost.I like Davey, but it's interesting to me that his public comments after wins lately includes remarks like "we needed that one bad." In May, only 2.5 games back of the division leader. Strange. I know he hates to lose, but it's really odd to see him lacking the all-consuming confidence that I associate with the guy. Makes you wonder what's going on behind the scenes…

  19. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 4, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    Laddie Blah Blah said… They brought Zim back too soon – 4 ABs = 4Ks, and I think he whiffed on every swing except for one, where he managed to hit a weak foul pop into the stands near the visitor's dugout. I hope he gets it back today, but it may take him several games before that happens.I don't know why they could not have let him get his rhythm and timing back by keeping him at Potomac for a few more games. They could have kept Rendon for a few more days, instead, until Zim showed he was ready. What they actually did, by contrast, smacks of desperation. It's too soon to be so desperate.The same goes for Davey's playing Werth when the guy was hurt. Once again, I see the opposing manager using his full team to better effect. The guy who hit the game-winning HR was in the minors just a few days ago. The Pirates weren't afraid to play him, now, were they?May 04, 2013 7:13 AM I wrote this almost verbatim yesterday morning except of course except the difference is I didn't have the benefit of hindsight. Not to pick on you Laddie, maybe you were away but now the Legion of Doom is eating this up. Where were they 2 years ago on Danny Espinosa? Where were they 2 years ago on Henry Rodriguez? Where were they after LaRoche opted out of his contract? They complain in hindsight but never give observations and opinion in foresight. This hindsight chorus is in full swing here.Now they mention Zim standing far from the plate only after FP and Bob mention it. I've been saying it for weeks. I just wonder where the "Doom" chorus was after the decision to bring Zim back? I only read 3 posters who was "with" me and then there was the 1 "Anon" sajfh.fgck.jasd.KLGV.Ksdg said… Zim's batting line in a rehab start doesn't matter. It doesn't matter that A ball pitchers were able to get him out. What matters in a rehab start is that he was able to perform in a game situation without any negative effects from the injury. A rehab start is basically a stress test. Zim passed the test. He's ready to come off the DL. May 03, 2013 10:10 AM Where were you all to disagree with this Anon? This wasn't a dire situation to bring RZim back. Still wondering the wisdom of a player taking 1 rehab start when he probably needed several especially considering Rendon was doing an admirable job in his place.

  20. EmDash - May 4, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    Also (continued here because the last comment went long), Detwiler's outing was very strange last night in the number of off-speed pitches he tried to mix in. It seems to me (without double-checking the numbers) that a disproportionate number of the hits the Pirates got off of him were on the off-speed stuff because he had less command of them. Fastball command is really his bread and butter, so it was an odd experiment to see them trying this; doesn't seem like it was a successful one.

  21. m - May 4, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    The one thing worse than Zim's at bat are his post game quotes. They are nothing more than words. The quotes are meaningless. The same can be said for ALR's post game analysis. As a mater of fact he should just zip it until he starts hitting. His quotes are worse than his at bats.

  22. EmDash - May 4, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    Would more rehab starts have necessarily helped him, Ghost? Major league pitching is not like minor league pitching in terms of command and deception, and even if he'd had two or three more games there it seems likely he'd take a little time to get his timing right for the real thing.

  23. Eric - May 4, 2013 at 12:15 PM

    Point of fact: LaRoche got two hits last night…and son in Atlanta.

  24. EmDash - May 4, 2013 at 12:18 PM

    M – aside from Harper and Desmond and Gio, we don't have team of great quote machines. Lots of introverts who don't relish talking to the media. I don't see how that's a problem – that they're not exactly spill their guts types doesn't mean they don't know there's a problem with the offense right now. But the players can't really get out of talking to reporters after the game without consequences from MLB, so they have to say something.

  25. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 4, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    EmDash said… Would more rehab starts have necessarily helped him, Ghost? Major league pitching is not like minor league pitching in terms of command and deception, and even if he'd had two or three more games there it seems likely he'd take a little time to get his timing right for the real thing. Did you see RZ for most of the season? He was barely hitting his weight and his power hasn't been there. Unless a pitcher misses his spot, Zim isn't hitting anything outside because HE CAN'T REACH IT! He started moving off the plate further and further last night. Watch his first AB. He had a slightly open stance and his back leg was closer to the plate.You move Zim up the levels in rehab from A to AA or even AAA, who cares. You don't bring him back until he's hitting those guys.This team is in an offensive funk. Why add to that? Rendon was actually hitting so what was the rush to bring Zim back?

  26. JayB - May 4, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    Zim does look like he is way back off the plate. Good observation. He also looks old and slow this year. It is not from working too hard in the off season or Spring Training that is for sure. I wonder if he has been negatively effected by marriage and money. His post baseball life is already in place. His motivation seems lacking this year.

  27. JayB - May 4, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    Before anyone ignores this comment….Zim decided to go home early from Pot rehab games due to rain delay instead of waiting it out and getting several AB's that were there to be had. That just sounds wrong on so many levels and something he would not have done if he was hungry to win. He knew he was not hitting before he went on the DL….did he think it would just click?That whole just click approach is the problem for most of them. Again…sorry…Davey's spring training plan is suspect at best.

  28. EmDash - May 4, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    Has any team ever done that with a longterm veteran player coming back from a very minor injury, moving him up through the minor league levels to make him master their pitching? I've never heard of it. They always try to fix them at the major league level with hitting instruction unless the player's been out for a long time. We can disagree with it, but it's not like anyone else would handle it differently.

  29. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 4, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    This game is so much "Mental". You play the hot hand. If RZim got hot in the Minors he would carry that over.He went 0-3 against a journeyman 23 year old hack. Contact was poor. Again I ask, why didn't he play in Potomac on Thursday night and then join either AA or AAA for the weekend?There was no rule that says you can't do that and there was no rush to send back Rendon who was getting into a groove.Now you create 2 problems for the team.Will RZim contribute this afternoon? That's why we play the game. He better because he's making management look bad.That's the problem here, Davey and Rizzo trust these players and these players are making them look bad.At some point you have to learn that some of these players aren't capable of telling you the truth.19 games of 3 runs or less and this is from a team that averaged 4.77 runs per game last year.

  30. JayB - May 4, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    Zim used to crush that inside fastball using quick bat and hands…..now he seems to be saying I can not hit the inside fastball so I will move off the plate…..something wrong there.

  31. EmDash - May 4, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    JayB, that field was a wet minor league field probably not in the best shape. If you're rehabbing a guy from injury, putting him in a position to reinjure himself is probably not the best approach.

  32. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 4, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    EmDash, did you follow Hanley Ramirez in the Minors or what the Braves are doing with Brian McCann?

  33. JayB - May 4, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    DH him.

  34. JayB - May 4, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    Em…..just more excuses…that is the root of the problem with this team….as Ghost pointed out…..this roster has been trained to make excuses and Davey has modeled how to do it. I do not trust anything they say. Time for actions not words.

  35. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 4, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    If this was 2009, Zimmerman could've skipped a MiLB rehab start altogether. Who cares.

  36. baseballswami - May 4, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    Ok- new day. I would like to point out that getting frustrated does not mean any one thinks the team is destined for a Marlins- like fate. Quite the opposite. When you see the talent and the potential of this team it just boggles your mind when you see how they are playing. I just keep thinking that something has to change , this can't keep happening. Must be like a bad dream for the guys. Really, it can't stay this way , right? I mean, all those K's? And looking?

  37. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 4, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    And how pathetic is it that Chipper Jones is credited with getting Adam LaRoche back on track.By the way, I will say it again. Adam is hurting. He still isn't hitting hard line drives and getting his hips around. He still looks stiff. The good news is he is making some contact and BABIP is working in his favor with these oppo hits. Let's just hope he keeps it up.

  38. Nats106 - May 4, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    Only 2 of the 6 teams expected to win their respective divisions are anywhere near performing to expectations. (Cardinals and Tigers). Both those team's personnel know what it takes to win and how to do it. The others are way sub par. The Snowbird Blue Jays have discovered they can lose just as well up north at the bottom (10-20) the Angels are 11-18 Dodgers are 13-15 and have a bunch of hurt players. Those 3 teams are terribly dysfunctional.I still like our chances this year and while I may vent after poor home stands, still feel this team will come together. They have to learn to live with the added pressure of being a perceived frontrunner.I'll even give Espinosa a little love-that called 3rd strike was terrible. At a time when he is criticized for his swing, his selection and lack of patience, one would have thought the baseball gods would have rewarded him for exhibiting at least one improvement on those traits.

  39. EmDash - May 4, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    Ramirez and McCann were out with major injuries, for a long time. Zimm had a minor hamstring issue and missed 14 games. I don't see that as the same situation.JayB, our options as fans who have no control over the team's decision making process are "making excuses," as you put it, and hoping for the best, or getting really bummed out about the team when they're not performing as well as they should. I prefer to be as zen as possible about my entertainment choices. That's just a personal style thing, I suppose.

  40. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 4, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    baseballswami, the only good news is that Burnett was on his game and he deserves some credit but the Nats once again couldn't cash in because of all the poor baserunning and lack of clutch hitting.Again, listen to Davey's postgame for why TyMo was thrown out at 3rd and the trail runner Espi didn't advance.It's the small things.

  41. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 4, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    EmDash, 14 days with no live pitching might be OK for some batters but not for Ryan Zimmerman. Did you watch him before he went on the DL?That's the problem, you talk and have no clue. Argue with someone else.

  42. Laddie Blah Blah - May 4, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    "Not to pick on you Laddie, maybe you were away but now the Legion of Doom is eating this up."I did not see your comment yesterday, Ghost, but I have often noticed that we think alike on a number of things. And don't worry, everybody picks on me, so dont' get all squishy about it.I don't pay any attention to the Legion of Doom. People are emotional about baseball. I have no idea what they are saying. I just like to bloviate, myself, so I do. Live and let live.

  43. EmDash - May 4, 2013 at 1:01 PM

    He did indeed look bad before he went on the DL. I just disagree that seeing a lot of minor league pitching would've helped with that too much.I'm sure I apologize for attempting to have a polite debate with you, sir.

  44. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 4, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    EmDash, when the best player in the 1st half of 2012 went down with a hamstring injury in May, he came back after 14 days and they sent him to AAA. In two games with the triple-A Isotopes, he went five for seven with two homers and five RBIs and it was that point that they called him up. Up until that point, there was no set timetable. They also didn't send him to A ball to face some hack.On a longer DL stint you usually would send a player to a lower level to get his timing back and move him up which is just what the Dodgers did when Kemp hurt himself again and was out the whole month of June. In that rehab start he did 2 games in High A and 4 games in AAA.Oh, and that player is Matt Kemp.

  45. Joe Seamhead - May 4, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    You both have valid points. I happen to be in the camp that doesn't see much positive in this particular case for Ryan to have done an extended rehab.

  46. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 4, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    Laddie Blah Blah said… "Not to pick on you Laddie, maybe you were away but now the Legion of Doom is eating this up."I did not see your comment yesterday, Ghost, but I have often noticed that we think alike on a number of things. And don't worry, everybody picks on me, so dont' get all squishy about it.I remember when you were criticized by some hater for agreeing with me too much.I'm just incensed right now. Rizzo playing it like a Boys Club in 2009 in Acta-town where everything is positive.This is about being smart. Zim needed a rehab of 2, 3, 4, 5 games or whatever it took for him to prove he was ready to come back to the lineup and contribute. Even if he mashed in Potomac on Wednesday, he still should have received a AA or AAA appearance.Again, look what the Dodgers did with Matt Kemp. Same injury, different path taken. Kemp immediately after his DL sting 6-13 and 2 K's.Famous words from Ryan Zimmerman, "I'll be fine".

  47. Rich P. - May 4, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    Rules for discussions with Ghost of Steve M.:(1) Ghost of Steve M. is always right.(2) If Ghost of Steve M. is wrong, see rule #1.(3) Brown-nosing and sucking up to Ghost of Steve M. is optional. But it won't get you anywhere anyway, even if you're Gonat.

  48. EmDash - May 4, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    The internet says that Kemp had a minor hamstring injury last May, had a normal rehab process, came off the 15 day DL normally, and then had a more serious reinjury of the hamstring that kept him out for a full month – and rehabbing that more serious injury kept him out longer and required the longer minor league stint that you're describing.Look, it's fine that we disagree. I respect your opinion that they're handling it wrong, and maybe they are. I just disagree, and I don't think that makes me someone who "knows nothing" because of that.

  49. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 4, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    Joe Seamhead said… You both have valid points. I happen to be in the camp that doesn't see much positive in this particular case for Ryan to have done an extended rehab. May 04, 2013 9:15 AM Again, Zim needed a rehab of 2, 3, 4, 5 games or whatever it took for him to prove he was ready to come back to the lineup and contribute. Even if he mashed in Potomac on Wednesday, he still should have received a AA or AAA appearance.He was struggling before he went on the DL. Maybe if he was doing great before the DL and showed in the 1 rehab start he hadn't skipped a beat.With him, that wasn't the case.

  50. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 4, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    EmDash said… The internet says that Kemp had a minor hamstring injury last May, had a normal rehab process, came off the 15 day DL normally, and then had a more serious reinjury of the hamstring that kept him out for a full month – and rehabbing that more serious injury kept him out longer and required the longer minor league stint that you're describing.Look, it's fine that we disagree. I respect your opinion that they're handling it wrong, and maybe they are. I just disagree, and I don't think that makes me someone who "knows nothing" because of that.Yep, exactly how I described it and look how the Dodgers handled it. Look at how Kemp was hitting before the DL and after he came back. Just what you want to see, a player comes off the DL and contributes.The Kemp situation is the perfect apples to apples comparison. That teams best player. He still took 2 starts in AAA and he would have taken more if he wasn't ready. He killed it in those 2 AAA starts.

  51. Gonat - May 4, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    Ghost, you are getting your blood pressure up and arguing with people who just want to take an opposite view with you for the sake of pissing you off.As usual, you had the foresight to give a strong opinion and you backed it up with how the Dodgers handled Kemp.The problem with RZ is that he has been in a funk all year. The DL stint was kind of the blessing in disguise to get him back on track.Opportunity lost. Technically yesterday was a rehab start and now we will have to see if today will look like another rehab start.Rizzo should consider bringing on Chipper Jones as an Asst Batting Coach.

  52. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 4, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    Thanks Gonat, Rich P aka Feelwood is right.It pissed Feelwood off when I'm right. He can spend more time talking about Zims muscle memory.

  53. EmDash - May 4, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    We're getting into the weeds on this a bit, so I should probably abandon this line of discussion. But. What happened with Kemp doesn't sound like what you described, to me. Kemp was out once, rehabbed exactly like Zimm, with one additional rehab start. Then he *reinjured* himself and they had to keep him out longer and do the more intensive rehab process you described. If Zimm does reinjure himself, he'll probably be handled similarly.And this season, both of them are rehabbing from offseason shoulder injury and not performing well (though Kemp's starting to come around). They've benched him once, but he's played in 28 of the team's games and they're letting him work out of his slump in the majors, because that's what teams usually do with proven major leaguers.

  54. EmDash - May 4, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    For the record, I'm genuinely not trying to piss anyone off, if you're referring to me. I just, you know, disagree.

  55. Gonat - May 4, 2013 at 1:45 PM

    Feelwood just can't stand it. At least I admit I read what Ghost and NatsJack say and consider that in shaping my own opinions.I agree with that its a simplistic view just commenting after the fact.

  56. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 4, 2013 at 1:50 PM

    Emdash, what don't you understand? Are you that thick? Kemp injured his hammy in mid-May. He went on the DL and they sent him straight to AAA and he did 2 rehab starts and killed the ball. He didn't go 0-6. He faced the top end of Minor League baseball.Zim went 0-3 against some 23 year old journeyman pitching in A ball. He didn't go 3-3. Do you understand the vast difference?Also Kemp didn't come back and reinjure himself right away but that also has nothing to do with Zim's comparison.

  57. Rich P. - May 4, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    Oh, one other thing. I'm not Feelwood. But see rule #2.

  58. baseballswami - May 4, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    I am so seriously trying to look at the positives. If you watch the games, and see how bad they have looked, you have to be surprised that we are not sitting in a bad place. There have been dings to valuable guys, but nothing horrendous. Then there is JZ, Haren coming along, Sori, Stammen, HRod has not killed anyone. When healthy, Bryce is ridiculous, Desi looks good. Errors are lessening, ALR may be back on track, we have depth, especially at catcher. At least we have the pieces in the field, or on the bench, or almost back, to be fine. We have seen that Rendon will be able to play in the bigs. Now we just have to hope that this actually was a rock bottom and now it goes up. After the looking K's last night, I fully expect some free swinging today.

  59. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 4, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    EmDash said… Has any team ever done that with a longterm veteran player coming back from a very minor injury, moving him up through the minor league levels to make him master their pitching? I've never heard of it. They always try to fix them at the major league level with hitting instruction unless the player's been out for a long time. We can disagree with it, but it's not like anyone else would handle it differently. May 04, 2013 8:32 AM You asked me for an example and I gave you an exact example. The big difference mind you is that the Dodgers put Kemp directly in AAA. I also know they set no timetable to bring him back but then in Kemp's 2 games with the triple-A Isotopes, he went five for seven with two homers and five RBIs and it was that point that they called him up. If Kemp went 0-7 in those 2 starts, they wouldn't have called him up.

  60. EmDash - May 4, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    Fine. Stopping this line of discussion, and sorry I continued it.I've never treated you or anyone here with anything less than polite respect, so I don't really know why you feel inclined to insult me.

  61. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 4, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    Rich P. said… Oh, one other thing. I'm not Feelwood. But see rule #2.May 04, 2013 9:55 AM That's right, you abandoned that moniker because you ruined his credibility so you moved on to another.Just like the old Feelwood, argues with Sect222 and me.

  62. Rich P. - May 4, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    "Section 222 said… Welcome Eric. Just to give you a little background, there is a regular commenter here who posted for a long time under the name Feel Wood (a clever though bit off color pun on Phil Wood, the MASN broadcaster and Washington Senators homeboy). Feel knows a lot about baseball and he's a STH. He also has a very identifiable commenting style. He's opinionated, aggressive, and sometimes just plain mean. He's picked fights with and offended many a regular commenter over the years."I think Ghost of Steve M. is Feel Wood. He sure fits the profile.

  63. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 4, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    Emdash, you asked for an example and I gave you one.You used the phrase "They always try to fix them at the major league level". That's just plain wrong. The competing teams generally don't. The 2009 Nats and the 2013 Marlins have a much different view on their players.

  64. NatsJack in Florida - May 4, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    No….Rich P is Feel Wood. And that's that….

  65. sjm308 - May 4, 2013 at 2:06 PM

    I have read all this back and forth about Zimm and will side with emdash just because he tried to keep it civil and Ghost went close to Peric like rebuttal. Em Dash, in my opinion is not "thick" (although as an imaginary friend how am I to know his body type). He is doing nothing more than stating his opinion which is different from Ghost's. Even though I often agree with Ghost and it is obvious he loves to tout his "sources" it is funny that when someone else presents a different opinion he goes all nasty.Baseball is a game. Games are supposed to be fun. Rooting for your team should be a positive experience. Some of you are close to the edge here. Take a breath and enjoy this game. If Zimm goes 3-4 today things will still not be settled. No one knows which way to handle Zimm is correct. Rizzo and Davey made the decision and guess what Ghost, your scouts and yourself really can't do anything about what is in the past. That is what em dash is talking about when he tries to stay Zen.Go Nats!! Don't worry, be happy!

  66. EmDash - May 4, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    Fine. I missed a case where that happened. But I again think insulting another poster for making a mistake in good faith is unwarranted.

  67. Rich P. - May 4, 2013 at 2:09 PM

    If I'm Feel Wood, then Ghost of Steve M. is making Feel Wood look like Mother Teresa. So I can live with that.

  68. sjm308 - May 4, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    Seeing the bold print now makes me wonder if Peric did indeed somehow take over Ghost's body and soul. I really hate bold print. It usually means someone is just trying way too hard to convince himself he is right or prove someone else is wrong. Great thing is, both points of view have merit. I just chose em dash because he was polite.

  69. Rich P. - May 4, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    "Even though I often agree with Ghost and it is obvious he loves to tout his "sources" it is funny that when someone else presents a different opinion he goes all nasty."Read the rules for discussion with Ghost of Steve M. I posted above. What part of Rule #1 do you not understand?

  70. EmDash - May 4, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    She, actually, sjm, but thanks. :) That's probably why I'm a little extra-sensitive to the accusation that I'm a know-nothing, to be honest, because as a female sports fan it's something you hear over and over and over again. (To be clear: not something I'm accusing you of, Ghost, as you had no way of knowing my gender.)

  71. sjm308 - May 4, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    So em dash joins the long line of "nice" posters. Funny how most of the women on here are always looking on the bright side of things.

  72. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 4, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    Funny, pRAA once said I was Feelwood. Stevie P Alexandria tried to say he was SteveM before I changed to Ghost of SteveM.Guys like Gonat and Laddie and a few others are afraid to agree with me so they don't get attacked as lapdogs. That's sad.

  73. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 4, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… No….Rich P is Feel Wood. And that's that…. May 04, 2013 10:05 AM Exactly. I also apologize because I'm on some medication as my health lately hasn't been good. I haven't brought that up before because it wasn't relevant but I can see that my behavior has changed and those around me have noticed. Sometimes I wonder if it's the Nats doing it to me.I'm just getting frustrated. Danny Espinosa and Henry Rodriguez tear at my core and Ryan Zimmerman just is not a person I can trust what he says any more. Show me!

  74. NatsLady - May 4, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    I don't think it would have been a good idea to delay RZimm's return from the DL for these reasons.(1) You create expectations on the part of Rendon that he can stay up based on RZ performing/not performing. Not a good idea. Rendon needs to work on his own skills and not view himself as on trial or in competition with any of the regulars. (2) The sooner RZ gets back to seeing ML pitchers, the sooner he will get back to hitting them. You develop bad habits hitting against A-ball pitchers (same reason some guys don't like the HR derby). (3) Why would you want RZ to wait out the rain delay and then go out on a wet field? You are worried about his hammy and you want to take a chance he messes it up running to 1B? Honestly, I don't see why any vet–except pitchers–needs more than 1 or 2 rehab games just to check their bodies in "game" conditions.I'm not qualified to evaluate RZ's stance (I tend to focus more on pitchers) but he's had that stance and leg kick for his entire career. I would be wary of changing it "on the fly" or in a rehab game versus inferior pitchers. It does seem as though that "hitting stuff" has come easily to Ryan for most of his career–when he's been healthy. What we've been worried about has been his throwing. Now the throwing seems solid, so one thing at a time. After May 15 landlords in DC don't have to provide heat. May 15 is when "it's early yet" no longer applies, that's my marker.

  75. SonnyG10 - May 4, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    Joe Seamhead said…I'm one of the core here that still feels very positive about our chances in the East. No not just positive, but very confident that we will win the division. So many blogger here have a football fan's mentality. Way too much gloom and doom after each loss. Granted, we haven't played up to our potential, but we are starting to click.We're a little dinged here and there, but we'll soon be healthy. Pity the rest of the division as it will be happening soon.BTW, Davey Johnson has more baseball knowledge, and ability to lead this team, then all of the bloggers on this board put together. No, it doesn't mean that no one can second guess him, or question why he doesn't start this guy, or bench that guy. That's a God given American right. But Johnson is a great baseball mind and sees these guys everyday in ways that most of us could never comprehend.When someone calls him a fool, or stupid, it really tells us that the poster is the fool.GYFNG!!! May 04, 2013 7:32 AMMy thoughts exactly, Joe.

  76. NatsLady - May 4, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    I always thought M-dash was one of the most intelligent, thoughtful, knowledgeable posters on here. Of course, when she mentioned her gender a while back that confirmed it! Go, ladies.Ghost, maybe take the weekend off like you used to do? Getting a little harsh, and maybe even paranoid, worrying about the motives of who agrees or disagrees with you. Relax, it's supposed to be entertainment!

  77. Laddie Blah Blah - May 4, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    "I remember when you were criticized by some hater for agreeing with me too much."Really!? I'm sorry I missed that. I must be doing something right. ;o) "Guys like Gonat and Laddie and a few others are afraid to agree with me so they don't get attacked as lapdogs."I am not afraid to agree with you, at all. And we sometimes disagree, e.g. on Mike Morse. Reasonable people can disagree, and that is when the commentary here becomes most interesting. I think for myself, and, I would surmise, so do you.I just don't read stuff that I can do without, so I just ignore the venom and whatnot, unless I happen to see something directed at me, personally.Really, I've been through a war, so the vitriol here is nothing. It can get really nasty when you realize they are actually trying to kill you, know what I mean? Lots of knowledgable folks add a lot to this site, and I enjoy reading their thoughts, including yours, Gonat's, NatsLady's, SJM's, Michelle's, Swami's, Seamhead's, Natsfan1a's, and too many others to recall.

  78. NatsLady - May 4, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    Count me in as feeling positive about the team. #1, and this is always #1–All the starters and relievers are healthy and Davey/Cat seem to have an intelligent plan for managing the bullpen to ensure the guys get adequate rest.#2 Span is great. #3 We are back to both catchers. The 50/50 plan should improve the offense of both guys.#4 Seems like we can quit worrying about RZ's throwing, and Desi's errors. #5 There are clearly holes in the Atlanta line-up which are manifesting themselves. #6 The team that lots of people said was the "best" in MLB has not vanished in a month. "Everyone" also said it would be knock-down drag-out between us and the Barves, so why are people surprised when that's exactly what happens?#7 Gio will figure it out. (Not so sure about Stras–he might need another season.) Haren already has figured it out. Det is fine as a No. 4-5 starter and doesn't need to be an Ace, shouldn't try.I could go on… but won't… Work, y'know…

  79. NatsLady - May 4, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    Oh, also, Soriano is reliable. That is a good feeling, not just for fans but for the other pitchers who don't go in worried that the bullpen will trash their starts. Need Clip and Storen to string together some good appearances.

  80. Eric - May 4, 2013 at 2:48 PM

    I don't know about y'all, but I'm shocked to learn EmDashes have a gender ;)I wonder if Davey will tweak the lineup today…

  81. Eric - May 4, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    NatsLady, I like your list of positives. Count me among those who still has confidence in this season. We've slumped like this before, and we've come out of it. What's more, during this slump, we've managed to play .500 ball even with a fairly tough schedule…

  82. Eric - May 4, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  83. JaneB - May 4, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  84. Eric - May 4, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    Oh, and I think Stras will get it together, if not today, then soon. His 6th inning in Atlanta was very encouraging.

  85. JaneB - May 4, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    Thank you Whynat. I get why people are emotional about baseball, but why you all have to get personal about it and attack the players and each other makes no sense to me.ALR is starting to connect. Desi is seeing the ball well, and getting us extra bases. I think Zimm would have been nuts to stick around that wet field for baby pitching, when even regular BP would have been a better use of his time. It sure feels like Haren has decided to locate instead of try to compete on heat. The Kid will heal, and people will stop getting away with pitching him inside. We have Jordan and Det, and they are reliable. Our number 1 and 2 guys will stop getting rattled when our bats connect more. I was firmly in the "let Espi figure it out" camp, but now I'm of the "Let Lombo figure it out" persuasion. Like many of you, my day is better when I wake up after a win. But even after a loss, I'm waking up to baseball. That sure beats January.

  86. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 4, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    NatsLady, like I said I have been pulled into the vortex.I disagree on Rendon's expectations. He knew he was going back to AA even if he was hitting.900 as Davey said last week.Ryan had an opportunity to get "hot" in the Minors and carry that over. He hasn't hit particularly well except the April 15th game where the Marlins disrespected him and walked Harper in front of him. Maybe that's what it will take for Ryan is to get mad. Step up to the plate and engage.

  87. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 4, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    Laddie, where did we disagree on Morse? Here's been my analysis of him:1. Great hitter2. Below average LF3. Serviceable 1st baseman who can improve4. Game changer5. In a contract year6. If LaRoche opts out make Morse the 1st baseman

  88. phil dunton - May 4, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    Rizzo would be well advised to dump Zimmerman before his no trade clause kicks in next season. If he is the face of the franchise, it is a very ugly face.

  89. peric - May 4, 2013 at 3:05 PM

    Maybe that's what it will take for Ryan is to get mad. Step up to the plate and engage.Rendon or no Rendon Zimmerman is still their best hitter when completely healthy. Bar none. With only Harper as an impact bat and supporting cast if he doesn't hit they are not going to have any offense at all. LaRoche and Werth are replaceable parts and at this point below average players even if they are paid like All Stars. Desmond may or may not evolve into a #3 hitter. Espinosa is still trying to get untrack and hasn't been up as long as Desmond. You can't really rely on Ramos or Suzuki. Span is a singles hitter and not the best around … Morse provided the big bat in the lineup that was feared by all as Harper adjusted to the majors. But, it really wasn't until Zim finally got those cortisone shots … and yes Werth came back and hit leadoff in front of Harper … that they were able to generate consistent offense.

  90. peric - May 4, 2013 at 3:08 PM

    And Natslady Span appears to be having as much of an effect on making th offense go at the top of the lineup as your other favorite CF Rick Ankiel did.Offense is important. Its not all about defense. And Zim's strength, like Morse's is his potent bat. Not his glove.

  91. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 4, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    NatsLady, I like your positives. I love the starting pitchers although the lefties have to adjust. This steady dose of fastballs is not as effective as the league adjusted slowly and now is on it. Yes, you can do it to the Marlins but not against the better RH teams.I wouldn't rate Span as "Great". Harper is "Great". Span is very good and must improve his baserunning and his opposite field hitting. I think he can lengthen his swing in counts that he doesn't have 2 strikes but I really appreciate his 2 strike approach. Hopefully when the weather warms up he will get some more yardage on his line drives.

  92. peric - May 4, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  93. peric - May 4, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    Rule #5: If you don't follow rules #1 – #4 Pandora will shit you out dead with zero warning.

  94. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 4, 2013 at 3:16 PM

    phil dunton said… Rizzo would be well advised to dump Zimmerman before his no trade clause kicks in next season. If he is the face of the franchise, it is a very ugly face.May 04, 2013 11:02 AM I guess you aren't a Ryan Zimmerman fan. Read Peric's comments about Zim's bat. He is right although I would rate the Nats 4 best hitters today as:1. Harper2. Desmond3. Span4. Werthand in the system as:1. Harper2. Zimmerman3. Rendon4. DesmondThis team needs to get back to 4.77 runs per game. How do you do it? You get Ryan Zimmerman going and bring back Rendon when he's read to play 2nd base.1. Span2. Werth3. Harper4. RZim5. Desmond6. LaRoche/TyMo7. Rendon8. RamosThere's what Davey needs.

  95. peric - May 4, 2013 at 3:16 PM

    Really? Your history doesn't show that after returns from the DL.When he's COMPLETELY healthy and pain free? And not lying about it? He's dead on right.

  96. peric - May 4, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    You get Ryan Zimmerman going and bring back Rendon when he's read to play 2nd base.Actually the better choice would be Zim at 2nd base because of Rendon's ankles. Again, its LaRoche that's still the boat anchor. How many doubles does he have? How many home runs? The guy is slow as a slug and can't any other position but first. If he doesn't have a high SLG he's completely worthless.Whereas like it not Ghost? Danny CAN play any position on the field except catcher at a very high level. As someone who does remember Tim Cullen I consider Danny a huge improvement whether at 2nd or short. I think we can wait for him to finally get untraced offensively he is still young.But LaRoche on the other hand? Before anyone besides Danny goes to 2nd you will see Zim at first base and that is where the best bat in the lineup should go. And unlike Morse or every LaRoche? Zim will be well beyond gold glove caliber at first base.

  97. Laddie Blah Blah - May 4, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    "Laddie, where did we disagree on Morse?"I am not as impressed with Morse as many others here, and I thought Rizzo and Davey were right in resigning La Roche and letting Morse go. Without rehashing the reasons why I felt that way, I was under the impression that you wanted to keep him, and that you are sorry that he is gone. I'm not.

  98. peric - May 4, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    And how do you get back to 4.77 runs a game?WerthSpanZimHarperMooreDesmondEspinosaRamos/Suzuki

  99. baseballswami - May 4, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    I have been trying – and not always successfully , to keep perspective. There are several other really good teams struggling a lot, likewise aces, relievers, good hitters. Atlanta's untouchables , Kershaw, last year's Cy Young, the Angels, the Dodgers. It 's a hard and streaky game. Odd fact– did you know that LA has a reliever who is a Posey specialist? Did not succeed last night. A new game on a few hours. Let's hope for pitching, defense and hitting all in the very same game.

  100. JamesFan - May 4, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    I'm all in on Span. He is the leadoff man and a great asset. I wouldn't do anything with Span.Span, JZim, Harp who's hurt and Desmond. That's it right now.

  101. peric - May 4, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    I'm all in on Span. He is the leadoff man and a great asset. I wouldn't do anything with Span.They aren't scoring doodly squat with Span leading off. Might as well stick Rick Ankiel in CF. He had the better arm.With Werth at lead off and Harper following they scored. But we can try it with Span instead of Harper hoping that Werth sparks rallys from the lead-off spot setting things up for Zim and Harper.

  102. NatsLady - May 4, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    That tumble yesterday was great, because Span avoided a wrist injury like Werth had last year. I was really impressed. Harper may be great, but he (and Trout) are still in the banging-into-walls stage.

  103. baseballswami - May 4, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    By the way, if you need the radio today the game will be on 1580 am because of the Caps, then move to 106.7 when the hockey game ends and if it goes overtime go to 99.1. I think that's it. If you can 't find it, check all three. Also- tv coverage is fox. If you live nearer to Balmer, you will get O's. Nearer DC, Nats. Wacky media day.

  104. peric - May 4, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    Harper may be great, but he (and Trout) are still in the banging-into-walls stage.Baseball IS NOT about fielding Natslady. If it was no one would watch the sport and it would die. Its about hitting and hitting and hitting … and pitching, pitching pitching. Fielding has become more important because of the pitch-to-contact philosophy intended to save pitchers' arms. You still have to score. Harper and Trout make that happen. Guys like Span and your fav Rick Ankiel not so much.

  105. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 4, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    Laddie, I never liked the noose that was put around the team by bringing back LaRoche on a multiple year deal. It was so tempting with Morse in his contract year and a 1 year obligation.I also don't care about being too "right-handed". I felt Morse was the better hitter and all you gained was a 1st baseman who endeared himself for scooping the ball. There's also that "career year" stuff and regression to the mean as LaRoche approaches age 34.Again, water under the bridge and at least you and I can disagree about pie in the sky visions into the future.The differences were small between the 2 and we will judge them after the post-season.

  106. baseballswami - May 4, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    Didn't we just score Thursday early in the game with Span doubling, to third on a WP and scoring on a Lombo seeing eye single? That looked like instant offense to me.

  107. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 4, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    Peric, Zimmerman to 2nd base would be interesting but just like 1st base, he doesn't think he has to move.Rizzo has to find a way to get the best hitter in the Minors a spot permanently on this team and that's not going to be easy.

  108. NatsLady - May 4, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    Exactly my point, peric. So why injure yourself banging into walls unless it's a critical game or your pitcher has a no-hitter going?

  109. peric - May 4, 2013 at 3:42 PM

    Rizzo has to find a way to get the best hitter in the Minors a spot permanently on this team and that's not going to be easy.The guy who started out as the best hitter in the minors last season is already on the club in Tyler Moore. He needs to get regular playing time just as they did with Lombo last season. He's your Morse plug-in replacement to be.

  110. peric - May 4, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    Peric, Zimmerman to 2nd base would be interesting but just like 1st base, he doesn't think he has to move.Redon's ankles say otherwise. It'll be explained to him by Rizzo at some point in the future.

  111. nats guy - May 4, 2013 at 3:44 PM

    Zimmerman is still hurt. He cannot hit the outside pitch anymore and the league knows it. Until he can prove he can hit that consistently he will continue to get pounded on the outside.I am much more concerned with his hitting than his throwing issues.Espinosa needs to go and get his surgery for the rotator cuff injury. He is just wasting everybody's time until he does.They were a better team when Lombardozzi and Rendon were playingLaRoche will come out of his funk. It is already starting to show.

  112. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 4, 2013 at 3:44 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  113. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 4, 2013 at 3:47 PM

    Peric, Harp/Span/Werth give you the double-threat. Defense and offense. Yes, I preferred JUp/Harp/Werth but as a 2nd choice, I think this outfield is the strength of the team right now. Span is now saving runs defensively and that's what I was waiting to see.The adjustments Span made just by moving back a few steps has made a world of difference. He has showed how adept he is about coming in on balls while now being able to get horizontal at the wall which he wasn't 2 weeks ago.That's part of the analysis to see how those small adjustments in defensive alignment has worked so well but you can only do it when you have the right personnel.

  114. SonnyG10 - May 4, 2013 at 3:48 PM

    Ghost, thanks for the explaination on the meds. Your personality had indeed changed, but now it makes sense.EmDash, thanks for letting your gender be known. I really enjoy having baseball knowledgable ladies on the blog and we really have some knowledgable ladies here. All of the ladies I have known in my life (mother, sister, daughter, etc) have not cared for baseball so it is a treat to know that such people exist.

  115. SonnyG10 - May 4, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    Got to do some yard work now. Hope everyone is in a better mood when I come back. :)

  116. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 4, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    nats guy said… Zimmerman is still hurt. He cannot hit the outside pitch anymore and the league knows it. Until he can prove he can hit that consistently he will continue to get pounded on the outside.There's a difference between hurting and hurt. Zim is still recovering but he's not hurt physically. He also can't hit the outside pitch because he can't reach it. All the pitcher has to do is execute and Zim is toast. He has to dive over the plate to serve it into RF.

  117. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 4, 2013 at 3:59 PM

    SonnyG10, thanks. I felt bad offending nice people. Emdash clearly is a nice person.

  118. Secret wasian man - May 4, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    I commented last night that the sport of baseball is all about numbers. I still agree with that. But I will say this team is lacking the intangibles that are important in other sports. I think Morses presence in dugout and his power threat at the plate is whats missing.

  119. Rich P. - May 4, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    "Zimmerman is still hurt. He cannot hit the outside pitch anymore and the league knows it."He can hit the outside strike, or at least foul it off the other way, like he did last night. If the opposing pitcher can consistently paint the black while trying to get him to fish for something outside the zone, you tip your hat to him and move on. As Zimmerman gets his timing back, he'll see the pitches outside the zone and lay off them. Eventually the pitcher will come inside or make a mistake, and Zimmerman will hit it a ton. And BTW, this is not something he could work on facing A ball pitchers. A.J. Burnett was painting last night, and he was able to K Zimmerman three times. Drew Storen on his best day couldn't have done that.

  120. Secret wasian man - May 4, 2013 at 4:11 PM

    Peric, good point about not scoring doodly squat with Span leading off. I hadn't thought about that. I like Byrce leading off or Werth. Cant walk Bryce cause of his speed. He also has the power. Span has no power. Anybody remember Brady ??? (guy from Bmore) who hit 50 hrs at the leadoff spot. although I think he had help.

  121. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 4, 2013 at 4:15 PM

    Secret Wasian, of course it's about the numbers aka the final score and the stats that you interpret and analyze. You still have to have a good baseball mind to trust/verify and verify/trust.

  122. nats guy - May 4, 2013 at 4:17 PM

    Lat year after he was on cortizone he could hit the outside pitch consistently. Before the cortizone he looked just like he does now. Going to Potomac is not going to fix that. As a former player I happen to know that the shoulder effects your swing on the outside pitch massively. He is either going to have move more to the inside of the plate or suffer the consequences. Also any pitcher in MLB can throw that pitch all day long (other than Drew Storen or HROD). I happen to think he might eventually do the adjustment. He will have no choice. The NL pitchers will make him.

  123. NatsJack in Florida - May 4, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    Until Zimmerman starts driving the ball to right center, he'll remain in this funk at the plate.

  124. Rich P. - May 4, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    "Lat year after he was on cortizone he could hit the outside pitch consistently. Before the cortizone he looked just like he does now. Going to Potomac is not going to fix that. As a former player I happen to know that the shoulder effects your swing on the outside pitch massively."The cortisone masked the pain in his shoulder and allowed him to do that. Now, he's had surgery so there's no pain in his shoulder and thus no reason he can't do the same thing he did after the cortisone shot once he gets his timing back. He's only had 58 AB this year with a two-week gap in there. It will come.

  125. SonnyG10 - May 4, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    Taking a break from yardwork. I also felt Zim was too far from the plate. However, I noticed on one of his swing and misses at an outside ball, his swing plane did just cover the black on the outside of the plate; so maybe Zim knows what he's doing. He needs to get his eye back on judging outside pitches though.

  126. nats guy - May 4, 2013 at 6:17 PM

    The problem is not the coverage its the bat speed. He looks just like he did last year before the cortisone. Also if you have ever had shoulder surgery you would know the pain never goes away. Ask Jesus Flores about that.Elbows are fixable shoulders are not.

  127. Rich P. - May 4, 2013 at 7:03 PM

    Jesus Flores' shoulder was a lot more broke than Ryan Zimmerman's was. Flores couldn't have played even with cortisone.

  128. Rabbit34 - May 5, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 88 64 --
ATLANTA 76 76 12.0
MIAMI 74 78 14.0
NEW YORK 73 80 15.5
PHILADELPHIA 70 83 18.5
x-Clinched NL East title

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON 88 64 --
LOS ANGELES 87 66 1.5
ST. LOUIS 85 68 3.5
-----------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 68 4.0 +2.0
PITTSBURGH 82 70 6.0 --
MILWAUKEE 79 74 9.5 3.5
x-Clinched division title

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: 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.

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