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Early jam, late fireworks

May 5, 2013, 10:53 PM EDT

Associated Press
Tyler Moore rounds the bases after his eighth-inning homer.

PITTSBURGH — Gio Gonzalez stood on the mound at PNC Park in the bottom of the first inning, the afternoon off to as bad a start as the Nationals could possibly have imagined.

Bryce Harper had been ejected after arguing a check-swing call in the top of the inning. Starling Marte had crushed Gonzalez’s very first pitch into the left-field bleachers. Ryan Zimmerman had committed another throwing error on a routine grounder. And now the bases were loaded with nobody out, the Pirates threatening to blow this series finale open before the Nationals would even know what hit them.

The situation was ripe for disaster, especially for an emotional pitcher like Gonzalez, who has been known to let a bad situation turn worse. Experience, though, has taught the 27-year-old lefty how to better handle such situations.

“When you get older, you get a little more experience, you start figuring out things, little-by-little,” he said. “I think a younger me would have probably spiraled out of control and tried to be too much or tried to do too much.”

Instead of trying to do too much, Gonzalez did only what he could do: Take back control of this ballgame. He wriggled his way out of that first-inning jam, then dominated the rest of the way to lead the Nationals to a hard-earned, 6-2 victory over Pittsburgh.
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137 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. NatsLady - May 5, 2013 at 10:56 PM

    Gio, Cat–THANKS!! Remember this for next time, because it will happen again.

  2. MicheleS - May 5, 2013 at 10:58 PM

    Good for Gio! He buckled down and really did and excellent job. Glad he got the Curly W

  3. Harpo - May 5, 2013 at 11:02 PM

    Gio today really showed he can pitch. Escaped out of early trouble and used lots of changeups. Usally he would throw 1 or 2 in a game and today kept them off balance.Like I said before, NatsJack or Ghost will say they said that before and NatsJack told it to Rizzo.

  4. Harpo - May 5, 2013 at 11:03 PM

    Espinosa with 2 days in a row of batting righthanded is a good hitter.

  5. peric - May 5, 2013 at 11:31 PM

    Just look at who the Pirates have at shortstop. And keep in mind that defensively both Desmond and Espinosa are at least as good.

  6. peric - May 5, 2013 at 11:35 PM

    I don't care about the ejection … he needed a rest apparently he can't play with pain as much as he likes to think he can given the slump he's mire in. I'd rather see the shark family with their kid's shark hat reshown and not the ejection.

  7. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 5, 2013 at 11:36 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… EmDash, I've been wondering myself how Gio can look so inconsistent. The Braves weren't making any contact on his curveball by the RH batters. They went in with an approach and executed and were making contact or striking out as they were swinging fastball and guessing right and wrong a lot. When they guessed right, they were hitting him well especially early in the count.Gio really needed to throw changeups to truly be effective and help himself out. You basically know with Gio that you are getting a fastball or a curveball.It's always difficult to assess command unless it's as far off as Strasburg's was Monday night. I thought Gio's command was as usual. He misses quite a few badly on even his best nights.May 01, 2013 1:32 PM Harpo @7:02 let this rock your world! I do think NatsJack phoned this into Rizzo. Rock on!

  8. Drew - May 5, 2013 at 11:36 PM

    Good thing for the Nats Espinosa went deep. Good thing for him, too. Anthony Rendon started at 2b today at Harrisburg.At Syracuse, Chris Young pitched better, giving up two earned with one walk in 5.3 innings.As for Potomac, I was surprised to see in the box score that Skole doubled. It wasn't Matt — it was his brother, Jake, an outfielder for Myrtle Beach.

  9. fast eddie - May 5, 2013 at 11:40 PM

    To paraphrase Michael Ray Richardson:"The ship be righted"

  10. MicheleS - May 5, 2013 at 11:43 PM

    Drew.. how did Anthony do at 2B?

  11. baseballswami - May 5, 2013 at 11:51 PM

    It seemed to me that there were lots of Nats fans in Pittsburgh. I actually could hear cheering on the broadcast. Is that a correct impression? I am sure that they were excellent ambassadors! That's an awesome place to go to a game.

  12. Exposremains - May 5, 2013 at 11:51 PM

    Zim's throws on days like today are not a big deal but in a playoff game it could cost the Nats a game or a series. As Natsjack suggested, Laroche could get really hurt. His throws Are not getting better they are getting worse. As fans, we can only hope it goes away. I seriously hope management have a better game plan then that. Yes he's the face of the franchise But this is getting ridiculous.

  13. David Proctor - May 5, 2013 at 11:53 PM

    I think Peric is correct that the plan is to move Zim to first base. But not now.

  14. MicheleS - May 5, 2013 at 11:53 PM

    Swami, the folks that do the NATS chant after every run (from the 300 Sections) were there and lots of Nats fans from far NOVA went. So yes, good turn out by the Nats fans. Plus 222, and Manassas were their so lots of Nats fans representing!Also.. Sutcliff, Schilling, and Larkin all side with Bryce

  15. Harpo - May 5, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    My world has been rocked but not by you. I knew that would get the Ghost out from hiding! Rule #1

  16. Harpo - May 6, 2013 at 12:01 AM

    One day Ryan Zimmerman is your hero then he's your goat. You all turn on the players like 5 year olds.

  17. sjb - May 6, 2013 at 12:14 AM

    Rendon's day with Harrisburg: Two singles, two strikeouts, and a walk. (Harrisburg got clobbered, 6-1.)

  18. baseballswami - May 6, 2013 at 12:25 AM

    I think the problem I have with the ejection is that there is no common standard. When Votto was here he threw giant tantrums every AB and threw stuff. If a guy is snotty in repeated at bats, that's an issue. He was not even warned. Since when is raising your arms a threatening gesture? I hate it when the umps escalate a situation. Too easy to target a player, ignore another, and affect the game. I remember the other ejection, Bryce was out at first and threw his helmet down. I have seen many, many players do much, much worse than either one of those incidents. It's just very biased.

  19. peric - May 6, 2013 at 12:28 AM

    I think Peric is correct that the plan is to move Zim to first base. But not now.Not yet but soon albeit I do believe a lot hinges on Zim's bat. If his bat doesn't produce the way it should then they will need a bigger bat at first base and he could end up at second base. This is only Rendon's second game at second base. Its likely they are doing this to prepare him as major league depth UTL wise. That is he could potentially be depth at third, short and second. He has played all three at least once now … as well as DH. If Desmond goes down you move Espinosa to short and Lombo to second and perhaps they again recall Rendon. (But what about Kobernus?) If Zim goes down you recall Rendon. If Espinosa goes down Lombo moves in and you recall Rendon to fill the bench spot. That's the scenario I guess.

  20. paul brandt - May 6, 2013 at 12:28 AM

    long time admirer of NI and until tonight have kept to myself but good golly harpo what is with you? was going to say go walk your dog but really hope you don't have one. good peeps on here sharing excellent insight. real impressed with the knowledge exchanged having played in HS, college and coaching little league but am no expert and don't pretend to be. love the win and taking 4 of the last 5, go Nats!

  21. Knoxville Nat - May 6, 2013 at 12:29 AM

    Okay, I'm not as up to date on some statistical measurements as others are here, so would someone (Peric, I'm looking at you) tell me just what does ISO stand for and how is it calculated?

  22. Eric - May 6, 2013 at 12:30 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  23. peric - May 6, 2013 at 12:30 AM

    Right now Kobernus has a .414 OBP. Plus 12 steals. He might look awfully good at the top of the lineup.But he is not the fielder that Espinosa, Desmond, and Rendon are.

  24. Eric - May 6, 2013 at 12:31 AM

    swami – I think it's possible lines are crossed verbally and we just don't hear it…but, who knows. Certainly it the visual cues make the ejection appear completely ludicrous, especially compared with Votto. That dude can be a little baby.

  25. peric - May 6, 2013 at 12:32 AM

    Isolated power is a measure of a hitter's raw power.

  26. peric - May 6, 2013 at 12:32 AM

    ISO = ((2B) + (2*3B) + (3*HR)) / ABISO = Extra Bases / At-Bats

  27. Eric - May 6, 2013 at 12:33 AM

    Knoxville: ISOGlad you asked, didn't know myself ;)

  28. peric - May 6, 2013 at 12:34 AM

    And mebbe Harpo == Feel Wood == Rich P?

  29. Harpo - May 6, 2013 at 12:35 AM

    paul brandt, how transparent, who are you Ghost or NatsJack? Lets be real and capitalize your first letter in a sentence.

  30. peric - May 6, 2013 at 12:39 AM

    In 2012 Tyler Moore's major league ISO was .250 his AAA ISO was .347.In 2012 Adam LaRoche's ISO was .238. Michael Morse's was .180 (right now its .269) In 2012 Zim's ISO was .196 Bryce Harper's was .206, Just for comparison …As Davey put it today: Tyler Moore is a run producer. Pure and simple and your #4 hitter.

  31. paul brandt - May 6, 2013 at 12:47 AM

    Harpo, Is this better? I am neither Ghost nor NatsJack. Let's agree to talk baseball and share insights without being mean. Not too much to ask. This is why I have never posted until today. I am bothered by the hatred frankly. Think I will go back to admiring from afar. Eric,as a grateful dead fan & still loving the music, also love the avatar.

  32. peric - May 6, 2013 at 12:54 AM

    Make that 13 steals for Kobernus.In the who gets recalled for the bullpen contest it sure looks like its Erik Davis from the right side and Fernando Abad from the left. JC Romero got lit up today … those two appear to be leaving the rest of the pack behind.

  33. Eric - May 6, 2013 at 1:00 AM

    Glad to know of another fellow traveler, paul!

  34. baseballswami - May 6, 2013 at 1:04 AM

    Paul– I hear you, but if the voices of reason go away, we lose a fun place to virtually shoot the breeze about our favorite sport. Well, it's my favorite sport. I have occasionally lost my perspective and ticked everyone off, but I don't attack other posters personally. That's what bothers me the most – the name calling. I sometimes have to step back, but this is actually one of the more civilized sites. Please don't be afraid to share your thoughts. Just ignore the trolls . I am sure you can see there are fun people to chat with. Who is your favorite Nat? Do you get to many games?

  35. peric - May 6, 2013 at 1:07 AM

    Hurumph we'll see if Adam can stave off T-Mo. I don't think he can. In fact IMO both he and Werth are at risk of losing their jobs … But I guess we'll see won't we? We shall see what we shall see …Just as I said with Mr. "Rincon".

  36. peric - May 6, 2013 at 1:08 AM

    but I don't attack other posters personally.Always a matter of perspective Paul. As perhaps you may have observed …

  37. Less Platu - May 6, 2013 at 1:10 AM

    Good to see the Nats relaxing; good to see the pitching coming together — How bout that haren last time out?Davey is still a good talker, and not much game manager, but I like it that Zim steals third on his own! Unfortunately, we now face the Tigers. A huge, huge test for the Nats — I got a feeling the haters will be back by Tuesday.

  38. Less Platu - May 6, 2013 at 1:13 AM

    Thoughts on Laroche from another Thread.I personally believe Laroche is definitely NOT washed up.BUT: I also believe last year was ALR's career year — we will never see better. He may come close to matching last year's numbers, but I don't think so. We'll see a slow but steady decline in this old 33 year old journeyman firstbaseman – and never will we regret signing him for just two years.

  39. Eric - May 6, 2013 at 1:15 AM

    "Hurumph we'll see if Adam can stave off T-Mo. I don't think he can. In fact IMO both he and Werth are at risk of losing their jobs … "Seriously? That gives me a chuckle.He did ultimately get the job done the past two days, although it took him long enough! ;)

  40. baseballswami - May 6, 2013 at 1:15 AM

    Observations about two Nats– Drew Storen has become invisible. He used to be on twitter, do fun stuff online, be interviewed and have a quirky personality. This color- less version of Drew does not feel right. He needs to be himself. Bernie- invisible in another way, but can still defend and disrupt a pitcher's rhythm when he is on base. In the 8th today, the pitcher lost his cool because of Bernie- his speed avoided a double play. Always soft spoken, a gentleman, a long term Nat/ Expo. I hope he can still play a role.

  41. Eric - May 6, 2013 at 1:18 AM

    "I hope he can still play a role."It's pretty clear he can…he straight up saved the day yesterday and kept it somewhat laid back today. I was really glad to see it. The two hits today didn't hurt, either!

  42. paul brandt - May 6, 2013 at 1:25 AM

    swami, thanks. having seen rzim's 1st hit at rfk in september, 2005 he has always been a favorite but was/still am a big donkey fan as well as livo and chad cordero. i get to 5+ or so games a year but watch them every night if in town.

  43. baseballswami - May 6, 2013 at 1:26 AM

    A little playing time goes a long way. Silver lining of the ejection. I was watching a replay of the TyMo homer. How the heck did he hit that ball out? He had to extend to get to it. Did not look like he hit it very hard. That is one country strong boy.

  44. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 6, 2013 at 1:28 AM

    paul brandt, very sage words. There's one faction here that brings a tension and hate and that's a shame. I hope you keep posting!

  45. baseballswami - May 6, 2013 at 1:29 AM

    Paul- I had the extreme privilege of watching Ryan's walk off on opening night at Nats Park. Will never forget it. But I also have fond memories of RFK.

  46. Eric - May 6, 2013 at 1:29 AM

    Agreed, swami. It was a really weird swing to get a homer off of, but I'll take it!

  47. Eric - May 6, 2013 at 1:30 AM

    RFK was just too much fun, both for GD shows and Nats games :).

  48. tayo - May 6, 2013 at 1:30 AM

    @HarpoJust read your comments in previous thread regarding Zim. My point wasn't that he doesn't make some subtle changes in his stance. My point was that he is never going to move up significantly in the batters box. Thats his style and thats what he feels comfortable doing. His slumps doesn't have that much to do with how far off the plate he stands.And is Calling me Manti Tayo supposed to offend me? Just so you know Tayo and Teo aren't the same pronunciation.

  49. A DC Wonk - May 6, 2013 at 1:33 AM

    Davey is still a good talker, and not much game manager, but I like it that Zim steals third on his own! Zim stole third after Davey gave a "permission to steal" signal.So, maybe Davey _can_ manage a game. (you know, after 2300 games, a couple of pennants, and two manager of the year awards an all…)

  50. peric - May 6, 2013 at 1:36 AM

    That is one country strong boy.Also known as the Magnolia Muscle.

  51. peric - May 6, 2013 at 1:38 AM

    Seriously? That gives me a chuckle.He did ultimately get the job done the past two days, although it took him long enough! ;)I am very grateful and glad for the walks. Far better than the K's. But its a usually a sure sign that he doesn't have it anymore. A #3/#4/#5 hitter usually has a high ISO. Right now Danny Espinosa's is quite a bit higher.

  52. Harpo - May 6, 2013 at 1:39 AM

    Hey Tayo, you are so typical here in Rule #1. You take no time to research what is readily available on the WorldWideWeb. I gave you visual evidence and you still want to say you are right. I don't have time for you.

  53. peric - May 6, 2013 at 1:41 AM

    Right now its Davey's chance to find out (and Tyler Moore's to prove) if T-Mo can be that guy.The numbers say he definitely can be. But in the end consistency ends up as the final indicator.

  54. Eric - May 6, 2013 at 1:42 AM

    "But its a usually a sure sign that he doesn't have it anymore. "Yeah. I wonder why the Pirates walked him to get to TMo, what with his washed up 2013 season all but over…weird.

  55. Eric - May 6, 2013 at 1:43 AM

    "I don't have time for you."In other news, this is not a statement.

  56. Harpo - May 6, 2013 at 1:43 AM

    Hey Peric, haven't you posted a few 100 times on Ryan Zimmerman moving to 1st base. We heard you the 1st 100. What else can you discuss.

  57. baseballswami - May 6, 2013 at 1:49 AM

    Is there any other team that has someone so young with the role of run producer off the bench? Tyler does have significant rbi's in minimal playing time. Just a rough spot for someone at his career stage. I would love to see him play first sometimes so his defensive skills don't erode.

  58. Harpo - May 6, 2013 at 1:51 AM

    Peric, Ryan Zimmerman is getting better each game and regaining muscle memory. He will be fine and not moving anywhere. Bring it up at the end of 2014 when its a valid point.

  59. peric - May 6, 2013 at 1:52 AM

    Yeah. I wonder why the Pirates walked him to get to TMo, what with his washed up 2013 season all but over…weird.To get to T-Mo? Yeah the Pirates made a HUGE mistake. But, then Clint Hurdle does make some odd decisions none seem to be based on statistical evidence such as T-Mo usually breaks out fast (AAA ISO .347 in 2012). And LaRoche (due to his back doesn't) so … In any case read it and weep Eric:Adam LaRoche ISO :.126 (3 doubles and 3 home runs 110 PA's )Danny Espinosa ISO: .185 (8 doubles and 3 home runs 98 PA's)Tyler Moore ISO: .179 (4 doubles 1 home run in only 43 PA's)But with the walks Adam has raised his OBP to .264 whereas Espy had a .224 and T-Mo a .215. So, maybe Adam should lead-off? He's a singles hitter and suddenly good at taking a walk?

  60. Gonat - May 6, 2013 at 1:55 AM

    Jordan Zimmermann and the Nats getting some love on the ESPN Sunday Night game.

  61. Eric - May 6, 2013 at 1:56 AM

    >In any case read it and weep Eric:Ha! That's funny right there.I might hop on you train if these numbers hold up for another couple of months. Until then, you just seem either panicked or like you have an agenda.

  62. peric - May 6, 2013 at 1:56 AM

    I would love to see him play first sometimes so his defensive skills don't erode.Swami they made a conscious decision to put him in the outfield this spring. IMO he should be in AAA playing left and right field on consecutive days. But … Now, why would they put T-Mo in the outfield when they have guys like the Shark? Like Corey Brown? Erik Komatsu? Eventually Brian Goodwin? Especially since LaRoche will not be brought back after he two year stint is up? As Sherlock Holmes said, "when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth" -> Zim tentatively scheduled to move to first base.

  63. peric - May 6, 2013 at 1:57 AM

    Oh and both Jeff Kobernus and Eury Perez are in the outfield as well. And there's still Destin Hood in AA. Still young.

  64. Eric - May 6, 2013 at 1:58 AM

    "whatever remains…must be the truth" -> Zim tentatively scheduled to move to first base."A tentative truth…now there's a concept ;).

  65. peric - May 6, 2013 at 1:59 AM

    I might hop on you train if these numbers hold up for another couple of months.Kind of what they said about Rendon … and Lannan … prepare to look foolish.When LaRoche is aggressive he's a "K" machine. When he sits back and takes pitches he does a good job of working walks. Looks to me like he might be done.

  66. peric - May 6, 2013 at 2:00 AM

    A tentative truth…now there's a concept ;).Prepare to look both ridiculously silly and foolish dude. We have long memories here. You've been warned.

  67. tayo - May 6, 2013 at 2:01 AM

    I guess, I have no time for you either. The picture you presented indicates very little. I watch almost every Nationals game, the distance in the batters box doesn't change much form when he is hot at the plate or cold. Other things in his stance may differ but that the aforementioned distance is pretty consistent.

  68. peric - May 6, 2013 at 2:03 AM

    The fact that Moore isn't in AAA getting experience in the outfield tells me they expect him to be in the lineup (and not on the bench) at some point this season. He needs to play everyday he isn't considered a bench or utility guy. The Nats consider both he and Lombo as everyday players.

  69. Eric - May 6, 2013 at 2:04 AM

    "Prepare to look both ridiculously silly and foolish dude. We have long memories here. You've been warned."Oh, I've seen the "memories" around here; likewise, the "I told you so"s and the "a few months back I said 'xyz'"s. To say I'm not sweating this apparent threat is an enormous understatement. But, by all means, flex away, it's so sexy!

  70. Harpo - May 6, 2013 at 2:04 AM

    We should do a drinking game every time Peric mentions Zimm to 1st base. We would be drunk by Noon each day.

  71. Harpo - May 6, 2013 at 2:04 AM

    "NatsJack in Florida said… I would like to know exactly how many people on this site think Adam LaRoche is washed up?"Until he gets his average up to .230, he's washed up. He's at .163 now, so we're probably looking at July if we assume today is the start of a tear for him. But you know what happens when you ass-u-me.

  72. Eric - May 6, 2013 at 2:05 AM

    To be clear, the lack of sweat isn't because I think I'll be proved right, it's because I just don't care. It's just interesting to discuss and speculate. Your mistake with me is assuming I take my opinions on these things all that seriously.

  73. Harpo - May 6, 2013 at 2:08 AM

    "Ghost Of Steve M. said… paul brandt, very sage words."But don't get cocky now and forget rule #1, or he'll eat you alive.

  74. Harpo - May 6, 2013 at 2:08 AM

    "Eric said… "Prepare to look both ridiculously silly and foolish dude. We have long memories here. You've been warned."Oh, I've seen the "memories" around here; likewise, the "I told you so"s and the "a few months back I said 'xyz'"s."Classic NatsJack where he wink/wink told Rizzo that Danny Espinosa wouldn't be diving for balls.Then there's Peric who told us Rendon wouldn't be going back to the Minors.Of course Rule #1 with the Ghost.

  75. Harpo - May 6, 2013 at 2:10 AM

    How could I post twice at 10:08, oh that's right, there's a fake Harpo.

  76. SCNatsFan - May 6, 2013 at 2:12 AM

    Peric one month into the season and you proclaim ALR done? Stop seeing what you want to see. They didn't sign him to sit, and much to your dismay they didn't sign Werth to sit on the bench. And even if our starters aren't clicking they are tearing it up compared to he bench. This lineup is staying.

  77. Doc - May 6, 2013 at 2:20 AM

    The Nats' offense started improving when Davey started taking batting practice—LOL!

  78. Harpo - May 6, 2013 at 2:20 AM

    I prefer to think of myself as a pinch Harpo.

  79. peric - May 6, 2013 at 2:24 AM

    This lineup is staying.We'll see.

  80. Eric - May 6, 2013 at 2:24 AM

    "We'll see."Finally, something about which we can agree ;).

  81. Harpo - May 6, 2013 at 2:28 AM

    "Harpo said… I prefer to think of myself as a pinch Harpo."Just become Harpo2. I appreciate the commoraderie.

  82. groucho - May 6, 2013 at 2:29 AM

    I sent the club a wire stating, "PLEASE ACCEPT MY RESIGNATION. I DON'T WANT TO BELONG TO ANY CLUB THAT WILL ACCEPT PEOPLE LIKE HARPO AS A MEMBER".

  83. Eric - May 6, 2013 at 2:31 AM

    Why is it that people have such a hard time ignoring things that bother them (or, perhaps more saliently, bait them) on the Internet?In such times, the scroll wheel is your friend and the keyboard is your enemy. Invariably.

  84. skidge - May 6, 2013 at 2:33 AM

    Been thinking about how much a middle-aged person like me can love the internet (not as much as I love the Nats though!). Reading this site is a blast.

  85. sjm308 - May 6, 2013 at 2:39 AM

    This is getting harder and harder to skip posts since it now seems that Harpo and Peric have absolutely dominated things.Eric – how are you? hope you enjoyed those two wins. Swami – good to see that you are doing wellUnkyd- you and Eric should get together, both musicians and love baseballPaul – nice to see that I am not the only one who doesn't need to read the hate on herePeric – looks like you might be right about Moore but I still think LaRoche will get the majority of playing time. (stil skipping your posts but thought I would let you know when I think you are right about something)Knoxville – are you the one going to San Diego? if so, hit the Gaslight district before heading for the Park. Great craft beers all over that area and you can park there and walk to the park. Beers at the park better than most places but ballpark prices. The park is a combination of various other places. They try and do a warehouse thing (Camden) down the left field line. Nice views of the city on the concourse. I actually sat up in 309 and it was comparable to my seats at Nationals Park. Fans were honestly not into the game at all even though it was the Cardinals. There was no wave however.Now, my thoughts on the last two days of baseball minus all the idiotic back and forth on here that is basically childish at best.We won this series with Werth out, Span out for one game and Harper hurting and out as well. Pretty impressive. Our bullpen is starting to gel. Our starters are starting to go 7 innings which I don't think we saw much last year. We are still not hitting and I think we are the only team with a winning record that has a minus in run differential. LaRoche might be coming around but I am not sure about that. Zimm might have his hitting stroke but his throws are still bothersome to me. I have no clue about Espinosa and don't know what will happen there. Actually, I have no clue what will happen in any area. Just love baseball and loved this blog until the nastiness just became overwhelming. Just might read Mark and Chase and not even go to comments. MicheleS – are we still on for Justin's on Wed? Hoping it will not rain.Go Nats!! Go civility!!

  86. A DC Wonk - May 6, 2013 at 2:45 AM

    Go Nats!! Go civility!! I'm with you on that one!

  87. Eric - May 6, 2013 at 2:45 AM

    sjm, I'm great, thanks for asking. You? These last two wins were fantastic to behold. I agree there are still some issues, most notably, imo, Zimm's arm. That's the only thing I'm truly concerned about at the moment. It's just…weird."Beers at the park better than most places but ballpark prices."I've been curious about this. Nats stadium actually has some decent beer, some of it craft. Is this becoming more common around the country?

  88. Harpo - May 6, 2013 at 2:47 AM

    SJM, are you for realz? Nobody posts more than Peric, Ghost and NatsJack. Clearly you are a follower.

  89. Eric - May 6, 2013 at 2:48 AM

    On a semi related note, apparently freaking GERMANY has started importing and becoming influenced by American craft beer. ?!?!?!?!?As a brewer, I think it makes sense. American brewing really pushes the limits and has really started to evolve into a brewing culture in its own right (as opposed to being defined as variations on various "old world" styles).

  90. groucho - May 6, 2013 at 2:49 AM

    Peric – looks like you might be right about Moore but I still think LaRoche will get the majority of playing time. (stil skipping your posts but thought I would let you know when I think you are right about something)I barely made any during the game … strangely enough it was mostly dominated by Natsjack. Who probably is kicking himself after saying Tyler Moore was a "marginal" player? I can't wait for Moore to crush a few more to silence him again. And the constant "Espinosa stinks"? Negativity?So, do you scroll past NatsJack's posts dude?

  91. sjm308 - May 6, 2013 at 2:51 AM

    Harpo – couple of thingsI am retired so I can waste time on thisYou have 16 posts out of 88 on this article alone. What is sick though is you don't talk baseball, you basically cut others down or make fun of them or are just plain stupid. Here is what I follow. I follow baseball, not trying to prove I am smarter or nastier than others. Not sure what your mission in life is but you have now joined Peric as someone I will scroll past. Write away my friend (that was sarcastic in case you didn't get it). I will not be reading.

  92. sjm308 - May 6, 2013 at 2:53 AM

    Groucho – I don't read game posts – too viral and I prefer to concentrate on the game, not proving how smart I am

  93. Harpo - May 6, 2013 at 2:53 AM

    "groucho said… Peric – looks like you might be right about Moore but I still think LaRoche will get the majority of playing time. (stil skipping your posts but thought I would let you know when I think you are right about something)I barely made any during the game … strangely enough it was mostly dominated by Natsjack. Who probably is kicking himself after saying Tyler Moore was a "marginal" player? I can't wait for Moore to crush a few more to silence him again. And the constant "Espinosa stinks"? Negativity?So, do you scroll past NatsJack's posts dude?"Oh Peric, looks like you forgot to switch back to Peric from Groucho! Hardy har har!

  94. peric - May 6, 2013 at 2:54 AM

    but you have now joined Peric as someone I will scroll past.Whatever, not sure why you have to constantly repeat something that is basically not true. But if it floats your boat?

  95. sjm308 - May 6, 2013 at 2:55 AM

    Eric – this is not a beer blog but another retired friend and I try and visit various bars in the DC/MD/Va area once a week. It helps if they have great pizza. I did see the article. Not that you need my recommendation but visit Meridian Pint in Columbia Hts. if you can. That and Churchkey are two of our favorites.

  96. Eric - May 6, 2013 at 2:57 AM

    Oh yeah, I wanted to go back to an earlier comment by swami:"Observations about two Nats– Drew Storen has become invisible. He used to be on twitter, do fun stuff online, be interviewed and have a quirky personality. This color- less version of Drew does not feel right."I have a funny feeling the post-Game 5 death threats and general outpouring of hate directed at him on Twitter and Facebook have something to do with that.

  97. Harpo - May 6, 2013 at 2:57 AM

    You all will thank me when the Ghost Of Steve M disappears and the old man NatsJack stops making up stories. He knows nobody. Anyone can get their picture taken with Rizzo and drop names. I almost feel sorry for him. Peric, where do you start. He is so misguided, where do you begin.

  98. Eric - May 6, 2013 at 3:00 AM

    Meridian Pint is good! Haven't been to Churchkey. Lots of good ones around here, for sure. DC Brau's brewery is a couple of miles from me and is a great visit.I know it's not a beer blog, but it's also an anti-levity blog at the moment, so I thought I'd try to counter that with the Great Bringer of Levity: Beer!

  99. skidge - May 6, 2013 at 3:00 AM

    I've thought that about Storen too, Eric. I love following players on social media but it sure can come back to bite them. And many of these guys are so young.

  100. Eric - May 6, 2013 at 3:07 AM

    Honestly, I was haunted more by the pic of Storen after that game and by the reaction he endured than I was by the loss itself. Felt really bad for the guy. Sure, he makes a ton of money to do this, but I don't think that in any way reduces the drive to succeed, nor mitigates the pain of a collapse like that.

  101. Just wonderin' - May 6, 2013 at 3:09 AM

    Does anyone know — not looking for speculation, but real, first-hand knowledge — what kind of film baseball teams get to prepare to face a new pitcher? I'm mainly thinking of the Tigers and Zimmermann, but also interested in the general question. Is it from the TV feed? Is it privately made? If so, is it from the batter's perspective (but how would that work)? Do they get multiple angles of the same pitch?

  102. skidge - May 6, 2013 at 3:10 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  103. skidge - May 6, 2013 at 3:11 AM

    Me too, Eric.

  104. Harpo - May 6, 2013 at 3:12 AM

    See Peric, I saw right through your stupid post as Groucho. Now you click on it and Groucho is back to Peric.Looks like you don't like NatsJack. How can we get you to start hating on the Ghost.

  105. Nats Fan in Brazil - May 6, 2013 at 3:15 AM

    What happened to this blog?

  106. Eric - May 6, 2013 at 3:17 AM

    My theory? The Nats went National, and people can't resist engaging with the new attention their outlets are receiving.Seriously, the keyboard is your enemy folks, unless you like getting tied up in knots.

  107. sjm308 - May 6, 2013 at 3:22 AM

    I am still thinking Storen is our closer of the future. He is young and I am hoping we have great success this year and he is a big part of it. I obviously like what Soriano has done and I also think I have read that he is a giving person. Just hope he can help Drew with his demeanor, either by example or with actually pitching strategy. Those guys have to be talking out there.

  108. sjm308 - May 6, 2013 at 3:24 AM

    Mark: I am guessing you are on your way home from this road trip. Just wanted to reinforce that your writing is what brings me here first thing in the morning. No matter what else has happened, you continue to make this a great place to learn about our team and the sport.(if those I scroll by are still reading me, this is called civility)

  109. Nats Fan in Brazil - May 6, 2013 at 3:27 AM

    Sjm, im 100% with u, this will be the last time i waste my time in the comments section

  110. Eric - May 6, 2013 at 3:36 AM

    sjm, fwiw, and imo, the final parenthetical is called "engagement," like it or not. Anyone looking to lay bait will pounce on that in a heartbeat.

  111. Eric - May 6, 2013 at 3:37 AM

    PS – I agree: I hope Storen is a huge part of any postseason play we might see. I'm really rooting for that guy to have some great, meaningful outings late in the season and beyond.

  112. Gonat - May 6, 2013 at 3:38 AM

    sjm, we all come here for Mark but I continue to learn about the game from comments made here. I've watched games with NatsJack and SteveM and given my young age I am in awe of their knowledge to watch a game and pick their brains. I also highly recommend spending some game time with MicheleS as she is very smart too.

  113. johnny nats - May 6, 2013 at 4:27 AM

    "The meeting really had nothing to do with it," Johnson said. It was Davey taking bp.Go hunt some tiggers boys.

  114. UnkyD - May 6, 2013 at 9:20 AM

    "Like I told you….What I said…."Too cool, Erik…

  115. Gonat - May 6, 2013 at 9:23 AM

    Projected for Saturday Cubs/Nats game:Edwin Jackson vs. Stephen Strasburgof course a rainout could affect that

  116. NatsJack in Florida - May 6, 2013 at 9:51 AM

    Won't next Saturdays game be the 5th straight Fox regional game for the Nats?What a difference winning makes.

  117. Gonat - May 6, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    NatsJack, it is the 4:05 game again so I think you are correct!

  118. baseballswami - May 6, 2013 at 10:05 AM

    The stage has definitely gotten bigger, along with the target. I am pulling for these guys with all my might. At least the Tigers "series" is only two games. Can you even call that a series?

  119. Joe Seamhead - May 6, 2013 at 10:10 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  120. Joe Seamhead - May 6, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  121. NatsLady - May 6, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    swami, yes,haven't seen much of Storen on Twitter. But he did a "fun" profile piece where he showed off his car (took it through the car wash) and talked about a lot of stuff.Drew Storenhttp://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/nationals-journal/wp/2013/03/28/behind-the-video-getting-to-know-drew-storen/

  122. Gonat - May 6, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    Do you all remember Luke Montz who was an Expos farmhand in 2003 and got a call-up as a catcher for 10 for the Nats in 2008?He hasn't played a MLB game since 2008 and in 2010 found himself back in A ball in the Cardinals farm system. The A's just called him up this week and he went 2-4 with a HR yesterday!http://mlb.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=452215#gameType='R'&sectionType=career&statType=1&season=2013&level='ALL'

  123. Joe Seamhead - May 6, 2013 at 10:48 AM

    Pretty cool about Montz, Gonat! I haven't been following the A's very closely, but I thought between the 3 way deal involving Michael Morse and Derrick Norris that they were supposed to be in good shape catcher wise.

  124. baseballswami - May 6, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    My son lives in Jacksonville , fla, where Montz was playing for the Suns, Marlins AA. He got to know him pretty well when he was there. He seemed to be a Crash Davis for the teenaged pitchers. Good guy. We are pulling for him.

  125. Gonat - May 6, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    Joe, it's the ultimate in perseverance. Luke got a taste of the MLB in 2008 and it took him 5 long years to get back. He will be 30 years old in July and since he is out of options, if the A's demote him they have to do it as a DFA.If nothing else, he can tell his grandchildren that he homered against the NY Yankees!

  126. baseballswami - May 6, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    Nice piece on Drew. Just seems like the kind of guy that needs fan interaction. I know he has his head down now while he is finding his way. Great inning yesterday!

  127. Gonat - May 6, 2013 at 11:06 AM

    I got the Montz story. The A's put 2 players on the DL (Crisp and Young) and brought up Montz as an extra bat and to DH him as they have 2 catchers in Norris and Jaso.When Crisp and Young come off of the DL on the 19th, the A's will need to make 2 roster moves. I hope Montz contines to hit well and stays or impresses enough that if they DFA him another team will pick him up for their MLB roster.

  128. Joe Seamhead - May 6, 2013 at 11:49 AM

    I enjoyed the Drew Storen piece, NatsLady.A little different journalistic approach.Thanks.

  129. Gonat - May 6, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    The benching seemed to work for Espinosa. His defense was crisp and his plate appearances were improved and yesterday helped win the game.The growing concern is still his LH batting, here's his career splits batting RH & LH. Danny can hit as a RH batter..271/.341/.469/.810 RH.224/.300/.389/.689 LH

  130. Joe Seamhead - May 6, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    I have always found Danny's splits interesting, but he has always insisted that he's a LH hitter first i.e. he gets better swings, more power, etc, yet the numbers have always said otherwise, though he gets much fewer RH at bats.Would the splits even out, or overall performance improve if he went all RH? The limited success he had against Dickey's knuckle ball by going opposite was interesting.

  131. NatsJack in Florida - May 6, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    Man I hate off days. Thanks for the link, NatsLady. I enjoy those weekly updates.

  132. Knoxville Nat - May 6, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    Peric said:"ISO = ((2B) + (2*3B) + (3*HR)) / ABISO = Extra Bases / At-Bats"Thanks for the information.And to sjm308, yes I am going to San Diego next week. Will not have a car but hopefully public transportation will get me to where I want to go. Thanks for your tips.

  133. bowdenball - May 6, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    Gonat said…"The growing concern is still his LH batting, here's his career splits batting RH & LH. Danny can hit as a RH batter. .271/.341/.469/.810 RH .224/.300/.389/.689 LH"Espinosa's career OPS vs. left-handed hitters is higher than Bryce Harper's career OPS against left-handed hitters. People always have unfair expectations of switch hitters. They expect them to get matchup advantages from both sides simply because they have the ability to hit from either side of the plate. They're not all Mickey Mantle, folks.

  134. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 6, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    Bowdenball, I think the analysis you do of any switch-hitter is the hybrid average of their overall stats. Most switch hitters are more dominant on one side than than the other and that included Chipper Jones but his overall stats were excellent so you take the good with the bad the same way you do with a non-switch hitter like Bryce's #'s which are much better facing RH pitchers.There still has to be some pitchers that Espi doesn't hit well at all based on a large enough sample size that possibly you sit him for those games.The other possibility goes back to the "what if" as Joe Seamhead pointed out if Danny tried it out to just bat RH.

  135. Eric - May 6, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    NatsLady, thanks for sharing the piece about Drew. It was a nice read.

  136. Doc - May 6, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    Thanks for your efforts, NatsLady! They are much appreciated.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

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ATLANTA 54 45 1.0
MIAMI 46 52 8.5
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Through Monday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
TUE: Nats at Rockies, 8:40 p.m.
WED: Nats at Rockies, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Nats at Reds, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Reds, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Reds, 1:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
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