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State of the Nats-5/6

May 6, 2013, 1:01 PM EDT

Photo by USA Today

Team Record: 17-15 (8-8)

N.L. East Standings















Offensive Game of the Week: Ryan Zimmerman 5/4 vs. Pirates – 1-for-2 with 3 R, 3B, 2 BB, HBP

Pitching Line of the Week:  Jordan Zimmermann 5/1 vs. Braves – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 8 SO, 107 pitches (72 strikes)

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Jayson Werth’s hamstring – Last year it was obliques that Nats

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  1. 3on2out - May 6, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    Bryce likes the wave? Is he delirious from his encounter with that fence in Atlanta? Did the ball bounce off this head and not his glove? Bryce likes the wave? I thought he was a baseball purist…I thought he respected its traditions. I am sick at heart. Just as we all know there is no crying in baseball…there can't be any wave either!

  2. BigCat - May 6, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    Bring on the Tigers. We got JZimm on Tuesday for their butts and then my boy Haren on Wed. Tigers are in trouble. And ol Stinky is hot with the bat!!

  3. BigCat - May 6, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    Maybe we can get that nickname going. Compliments of Natsjack

  4. LoveDaNats - May 6, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    Bryce! Listen to your elders. No wave!

  5. JaneB - May 6, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    BRYCE! BRYCE! NO WAVE! NO WAVE!

  6. NatsJack in Florida - May 6, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    His last 10 games Danny is hitting .215 , an improvemenr but still not going to get you to .230 anytime soon.As long as his contrubutions lead to wins, I'm OK but otherwise……you know the drill.

  7. SCNatsFan - May 6, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    NatsJack, I'm resigned to the fact Danny is here to stay. Even if he hits .200. Maybe if we are in it late in the year then Rendon gets called up to play 2B for a spark but Danny will be trotting out there day after day; just wish his RH swing was the same as his LH swing but, like the long ball, chicks dig switch hitters no matter the result.

  8. Harpo - May 6, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    Why not focus on the stench emanating from LaRoche? Danny will hit .230 before LaRoche makes it to .200.

  9. Joe Seamhead - May 6, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    Aw, Jack, you just continue to poke the paper tiger.I'm with Jane on the no wave, but I don't get too worked up over it.BTW, Terrance does not start or encourage the wave. Maybe he did at one point, but he gets very self defensive proclaiming his innocence regarding it after getting chastised about it early last year.

  10. Joe Seamhead - May 6, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    Why does anybody feel the need to compare a 1st baseman to a 2nd baseman?

  11. NatsLady - May 6, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    Can't seem to get the posts to publish on the blog roll. However, this is NOT Mark's problem. I subscribed to my own blog :) and I get the same result. I've sent in a report to Google, we'll see if that helps. In the meantime, for this week (last 7 days) LaRoche hit 286/.448/.381 and contributed 0.2 WAR, plus he was the leader in WPA (win probability added) for the position players with +.47 (or 47%) meaning he won almost 1/2 of a game with his efforts alone.Nats Stats – Week 5http://ladyandthenats.blogspot.com/2013/05/nats-stats-week-5_4596.html

  12. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 6, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    I see we have an early morning visit from Harpo2 without Harpo1.I think your point is valid given the last 2 weeks of play. The good news is Espi and ALR both contributed the past week.

  13. bowdenball - May 6, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    Joe Seamhead said…"Why does anybody feel the need to compare a 1st baseman to a 2nd baseman?"There's someone here still citing batting average as the be-all end-all offensive measuring stick. You really expect them to grasp position scarcity? Gotta learn to crawl before you can walk.

  14. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 6, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    NatsLady, great blog piece! One correction on the Best Offensive Play, at the time of the Espinosa HR, it was a 1-1 tie.

  15. A DC Wonk - May 6, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    His last 10 games Danny is hitting .215In his last 9 games, Danny is hitting .235 (and slugging .500) with 7 RBI's.Just sayin'

  16. NatsLady - May 6, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. NatsLady - May 6, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    Thanks, Ghost. FIxed.

  18. Joe Seamhead - May 6, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    How did RZ get +.431 WPA? He called the double steal! Well, and a triple. Guess he likes third base…That was a piece from NL's blog roll. Made me chuckle out loud this morning. Got work.Later.

  19. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 6, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    NatsLady, where do you get the information for this: Best Defensive/Pitching Play. Desmond. +.098 6th inning. Score 3-2 Nats. Runner on 3rd. 2 out. Micheal McKenry lines out to short.I would say the play that saved the day was the Desmond "gem" on the hard grounder behind 2nd in the 1st inning with the bases loaded. If Desi doesn't handle that it's 3-0 with men on 3rd and 1st with 2 outs and Gio on the ropes.

  20. NatsLady - May 6, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    Ghost, I get the raw information from fangraphs. Sometimes I make a judgment call as, especially on the defensive side, as to whether it was a good pitch or a good fielding play that led to the result, but I don't change the WPA or the ranking.Fangraphs adjusts for when the play occurred, so later in the game you sometimes find more WPA. That play in the first inning was only +.060. I agree, in retrospect, it may have turned the game around, but fangraphs doesn't work that way.

  21. A DC Wonk - May 6, 2013 at 2:28 PM

    Stats and other oddities of the day:- over the weekend Scott Kazmir and Kevin Slowey each got their first win since 2010- By the third inning of yesterday's game, Adeiny Hechavarria had seven RBI's. Off of Halliday.- Yu Darvish has 72 strikeouts in 45.1 innings (!!) Yowza! That’s a K/9 of 14.3- Adam Wainwright has started 7 games, pitched 49.2 innings (leads the league) has faced 499 batters (leads the league) — and has issued only 3 BB's. – Yesterday's home run by Russell Martin: The date was 5/5, he made his debut on 5/5 seven years ago, and his jersey number is 55. He also batted fifth and played third base (position No. 5)

  22. NatsLady - May 6, 2013 at 2:30 PM

    Seamhead, yeah, I had certain posters in mind when I wrote that.

  23. peric - May 6, 2013 at 2:30 PM

    It's as if some of the posters are purposely trying to destroy a good thing and to drive people away. Why? Mark, did you or Chase kick somebody's dog or something? Because it's your sandbox they are intent on ruining.Coming from the ULTIMATE vile, sophomoric, moronic posters. And the ultimate in the post calling the kettle black?You know what Seamhead you need to get off this blog and get a real job!

  24. peric - May 6, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    Maybe if we are in it late in the year then Rendon gets called up to play 2B for a spark but Danny will be trotting out there day after day;That's NOT going to happen. Rizzo appears to care deeply about the middle of his defense thus Span instead of Harper. Look at who the Bucs have playing shortstop before complaining so much.

  25. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 6, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    Did anyone find out why Davey decided to put Ramos behind the plate yesterday for 2 games in a row?Everything worked out for him offensively (3-4)and he called an absolute gem from behind the plate and it was the calmest I've seen Gio this year. The use of 28% change-ups including 3 in a row to one batter was extremely effective. I just wonder why Gio had been throwing the change-up previously about 7.5% of the time and it was his least effective pitch.If Gio sticks with changeup as his 4th pitch he won't be as vulnerable as he has been in past starts when his curveball isn't effective.For those keeping track of an interesting stat that MASN sent out, the Nats are now 8 wins out of 10 starts this year when Ramos is the starting catcher.

  26. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 6, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    Peric, the Bucs announcers were talking about their big issue which is their shortstop situation. Clint is taking a lot of heat for it and also consider Neil Walker their 2nd baseman is injured. By the way, the Nats did a really good job of not letting McCutcheon hurt them too badly on Saturday and Sunday.

  27. A DC Wonk - May 6, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    That play in the first inning was only +.060. I agree, in retrospect, it may have turned the game around, but fangraphs doesn't work that way. My guess (as to another factor)1. In the first inning, the Pirates were winning before the play, and after the play. The only difference is that they could have been winning by _more_, but, still, it was only the first inning.2. The play in the 6th innings was the difference between a lead and a tie (a huge difference in terms of winning percentage of outcome), and it was much later in the game.

  28. peric - May 6, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    And sorry Natslady I don't see any vast improvement in LaRoche other than observing that he is thinking about the team first (which I do deeply appreciate) and taking those walks instead of being aggressive and "K"-ing.Compare: with Tyler Moore you get the K's but you also get doubles and that home run. As Moore gets more time, more AB's/PA's he will adjust and become more likely to hit than he has been earlier on as mostly a pinch hitter. This HAS NOT been the case with LaRoche. When he is aggressive he either strikes out or hits potential double play balls. When he lays off and is more discriminating he gets walked. The strikeouts and low ISO/OBP hurt the team. Taking the walks, not striking or hitting GIDP'ing doesn't hurt the team's chances and may help. You can wait for him to break out but I think he's about done. And that is going to affect Davey's credibility with the FO and ownership.

  29. A DC Wonk - May 6, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    Did anyone find out why Davey decided to put Ramos behind the plate yesterday for 2 games in a row?Announcers were suggesting that since Ramos had come back, he was cold at the plate, and that it'd be better for him to get "on track" if he could play two days in a row.Those subtle things, a good call by Davey, are usually missed by outside observers.

  30. bowdenball - May 6, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    SCNatsFan said…"NatsJack, I'm resigned to the fact Danny is here to stay. Even if he hits .200. Maybe if we are in it late in the year then Rendon gets called up to play 2B for a spark but Danny will be trotting out there day after day; just wish his RH swing was the same as his LH swing but, like the long ball, chicks dig switch hitters no matter the result."I posted this at the end of the last thread but I think it merits reposting: Espinosa's career OPS as a left-handed batter is higher than Harper's career OPS against left-handed pitchers.I'm not sure why, but people seem to apply a different standard to switch hitters. Out of balance splits are OK if you only hit from one side, but if you dare to hit from both sides apparently you're expected to be Mickey Mantle or Chipper Jones and be a Hall of Famer on both sides.Espinosa has been better from one side than the other, just like every other player in the Nats lineup except arguably Denard Span. His total production is more than enough to keep him in the lineup every day once you consider his defensive contributions and position scarcity.

  31. peric - May 6, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    Peric, the Bucs announcers were talking about their big issue which is their shortstop situation. Clint is taking a lot of heat for itEspinosa isn't that bad at the plate for starters. His defense is worth waiting for his offense to come around. Finally, given that rotator cuff I should think that getting to focus on hitting from one side instead of being a platoon bat might be of interest to the FO. So, I'd like to see it.I don't want to see Rendon at second. Not because he supplants Danny but because of his two previously fractured ankles. I'd like to see him on the field and not on the DL.

  32. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 6, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    NatsLady said… Ghost, I get the raw information from fangraphs. Sometimes I make a judgment call as, especially on the defensive side, as to whether it was a good pitch or a good fielding play that led to the result, but I don't change the WPA or the ranking.Fangraphs adjusts for when the play occurred, so later in the game you sometimes find more WPA. That play in the first inning was only +.060. I agree, in retrospect, it may have turned the game around, but fangraphs doesn't work that way. That explains it. Most likely computer generated instead of a human interaction.Kind of like Saturday with the throw by Bernandina in the 9th inning. Debatable on the impact as Soriano still could have pitched around a leadoff double with no outs.Also very cool that Stammen was rated the highest of the bullpen pitchers.

  33. peric - May 6, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    According to statcorner the two best starters remainJZimmnn 4.9 RAADetwiler 2.7 RAAStammen is the best in the bullpen with a 2.3 RAAHarper is still be the best hitter with a 14.1 batV. There really isn't anything after him.Best defensive ranking goes to Suzuki with a 1.5 posV.

  34. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 6, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    Bowdenball @10:44AM, you make some good points but I think the analysis you do of any switch-hitter is the hybrid average of their overall stats like Lance Berkman who is a .835 OPS LH but a .987 OPS RH and a hybrid average of .952 OPS. Even at the .835 OPS he is very serviceable.Most switch hitters are more dominant on one side than than the other 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.

  35. bowdenball - May 6, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M.:I'm not sure I follow the other points you made. Production is production. Sure you can give Danny his rest days against righties just like you give LaRoche his rest days against righties, but otherwise I don't see why you'd treat switch-hitters differently. They hit what they hit. As to this point: "the other possibility goes back to the "what if" as Joe Seamhead pointed out if Danny tried it out to just bat RH."That's a terrible idea as I and many others have pointed out repeatedly. It takes years and years to get good enough at picking up pitches to hit at the major league level . A player that switched sides would basically be starting over at the little league level again. Danny and the Nats front office said as much in a piece Kilgore did last year. It's not worth discussing seriously.

  36. Candide - May 6, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… His last 10 games Danny is hitting .215 , an improvemenr but still not going to get you to .230 anytime soon. As long as his contrubutions lead to wins, I'm OK but otherwise……you know the drill.SCNatsFan said… NatsJack, I'm resigned to the fact Danny is here to stay. Davey was the Oriole's regular second baseman and occasional shortstop from 1966 to 1974. The Os made the playoffs six times in those nine years, won a couple of World Series.The guy playing on the other side of second from Davey that entire time was Mark Belanger, the perennial Gold Glover with a .228/.300.280/.580 slash line.Maybe Davey thinks you need a middle infielder who can't hit.

  37. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 6, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    Bowdenball, Joe Seamhead didn't qualify the rightie only idea and he could've meant experimenting on his own time like Winter Ball or possibly if he did get demoted to the Minors. That was a popular suggestion for Nook Logan or as Charlie Slowes described Nook as a switch-hitter in name only. Danny's left-handed numbers aren't good and at this stage in his career that is what is holding him back.I still believe that it's the hybrid average for a switch hitter that makes you viable while some platooning will help his overall numbers if you consider all LH at-bats have the same value so the less he bats LH brings up the hybrid average.

  38. peric - May 6, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    BTW, Espinosa now stands 2nd in doubles after Desmond. 3rd in home runs,

  39. Doc - May 6, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    Watching Espi's performance yesterday, it is clear that the Nats need more players that stink.Gooooooooooooooo Danny!!! Goooooooooo Nats!!!

  40. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 6, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    Candide said… Mark Belanger, the perennial Gold Glover with a .228/.300.280/.580 slash line.Maybe Davey thinks you need a middle infielder who can't hit. May 06, 2013 11:19 AM Funny! Everyone loved the Blade and that was a different era as we know. Now you can't afford much drop off in the your players up the middle.

  41. Rabbit34 - May 6, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    I'm with Bryce. KEEP THE WAVE GOING! Actually, begin two at the same time. One at each end of the ballpark and have them cross each other.

  42. peric - May 6, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    I'd be more worried about the "elder statesman" players in LaRoche and Werth. Both appear to be declining into singles hitters / good for the OBP walk guys. That ain't happening with Espinosa.

  43. Theophilus T. S. - May 6, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    Re: LaRoche and the walks — it is a noticeable sign of improvement. Remember the called third strike at Atlanta where LaRoche stared at the umpire in bewilderment. That was a strike in any league in the world, including T-ball. He just hasn't been "seeing the ball." Well he may have been seeing the ball but he needed GPS or Google Maps to find it. If he's finally able differentiate between the strikes and the not-a-strikes then he's on the way to getting some more big hits.

  44. NatsJack in Florida - May 6, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    Yes Ghost. I was thinking the same thing about the late Eddie Brinkman.

  45. Eric - May 6, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    peric, you're too selective in reading the stats, imo, and you're failing to take some possibilities into account. Lets review the progression of LaRoche's at bats over the two weekend games. I think it's very illuminating:On Saturday, LaRoche went walk, sac fly, walk, walk, single. 0 strike outs.Yesterday, LaRoche went double, fly out (which would've been in the CF seats if not for the wind), hard fly out to right, then intent walked. 0 strike outs.IMO, what's happening is, the scouting report was noting that LaRoche was being aggressive, so you could get strikes off of him on pitches just out of the zone. Now, he's settling down and letting those pitches go by. So, he walks, and doesn't strike out. As a result, the pitchers adjust and start pitching to him. And, he gets a sac fly, a single, a double, and two very strong fly outs. Finally, he is intent walked in his final at bat for the weekend.To me, it's very obvious why his only walk yesterday was an intent walk, and came during his final at bat.This isn't to take away anything from TMo, I just think LaRoche's pattern doesn't at all support your claim that "he's done" or whatever.But, we'll see!

  46. NatsLady - May 6, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    peric, I will look into using stat corner for next season. I've committed to fangraphs (WPA and WAR) for now, and I don't want to change, so people can compare and see trends.

  47. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 6, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    peric said… BTW, Espinosa now stands 2nd in doubles after Desmond. 3rd in home runs, May 06, 2013 11:24 AM That's skewing your numbers to make a point, but it also shows how poor the offense has been so far. Espinosa is 3rd in XBH and way down the list in OPS. Again this goes back to Danny's all or nothing swings. He's always been a good XBH at the expense of K's and OBP.With all of the injuries and the poor start to the season, I think you are better off going by OPS for now and Danny is 8th on the team for the starters + the 2 catchers and only ranks ahead of Adam LaRoche.

  48. SonnyG10 - May 6, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    I also disagree with Danny batting right handed only. I think it would mess him up worse than he is now. Let him sink or swim as he is.I remember Nook Logan came to the Nats as a switch hitter, but he was a natural right handed batter and had no talent for hitting left handed. Previous to the Nats he had been taught to hit left handed to take advantage of his speed, but he just coultn't do it, so the Nats had him hit right handed only. All this to say that if Davey and Mike Rizzo saw an advantage to have Danny hit right handed only, they would have him try it; but apparently they don't.

  49. NatsLady - May 6, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    I wish someone who understands these things will explain why the Injury Report shows on the blog roll… I didn't do anything different as far as composing and "publishing" the post.

  50. NatsLady - May 6, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    It's only a week on LaRoche, it's early to say if it's a long-term improvement. But it's definitely an improvement for right now.

  51. peric - May 6, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    I think you are better off going by OPS for now and Danny is 8th on the team for the starters + the 2 catchers and only ranks ahead of Adam LaRoche.The OPS includes OBP and they now have plenty of that with both Werth and LaRoche declining into singles hitters. Run production, XBH is what is needed now. Only Harper seems to be able to produce at a decent level for a heart-of-the-lineup hitter so far.

  52. Harpo - May 6, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    When it comes to approaching Ghost of Steve M., Fangraphs. sabermetrics and even the laws of physics need to start observing Rule #2.

  53. bowdenball - May 6, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said…"I still believe that it's the hybrid average for a switch hitter that makes you viable"Right, just like every hitter, switch or not. I don't know that Danny's left-handed hitting is holding him back any more than Bryce's hitting against left-handed pitching. Both are things that the player can work on, but neither is a fatal flaw. If the aggregate numbers are there, then the player is an every day starter, and if you want to rest him you do it on a day when he's got a bad matchup. To that end, I'd rather have Espinosa work on his left-handed hitting in the offseason rather than work on hitting righties from the right side. There's just about zero chance that he could improve his ability to hit righties from the right to the point that he could do it regularly in the majors. It would be a waste of time.

  54. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 6, 2013 at 3:47 PM

    SonnyG10, Danny had been in an overall slump as he had been batting poorly Rightie and Lefty. The benching really helped him both offensively and defensively.There would be no reason to consider doing a RH only unless his was a dire situation where his RH numbers were excellent and his LH numbers were under Mendoza with a mid-.500's OPS where he had just deteriorated from one side of the plate.

  55. peric - May 6, 2013 at 3:48 PM

    I will look into using stat corner for next season. I've committed to fangraphs (WPA and WAR) for now,He uses Fangraphs and Fangraphs uses his stats. So, its more about how fine grained you like to get. Statcorner and its Mariner fan operator appears to do a fine job of fine grained stats conversion to more coarse grained perspectives.

  56. Eric - May 6, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    NatsLady, it looks to me like the blogroll is derived from Google crawlers (Google owns Blogger, so I'm assuming the tech powers these things), which occasionally checks for new posts in the blog roll pool. New posts from a given blog probably only go up if there's new content since the last crawl. It probably also has algorithms in place that try to spread out the listings across the various blogs in the pool.Note that yours isn't the only one that is sampled rather than included in total. For instance, the WaPo Nats Journal has put up far more in the last 3 days than just the one culled from 4 hours ago.

  57. JD - May 6, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    Peric, Your constant drum beating about the same topic does not in fact make it so. It is conceivable, even likely that both LaRoche and Werth will decline as they age but what is highly unlikely is that their games will fall off all at once. LaRoche is coming off a career year, has a history of bad Aprils and is looking better and better at the plate from game to game including driving the ball hard several times a game. I like Moore a lot and I am glad he is getting at bats along with Bernie but he is not going to be in the lineup when everyone is healthy, not this year.

  58. JD - May 6, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    Peric, BTW, please explain the following to me: Jeff Kobernus who is one of your favorite farm hands is a proto typical singles hitter, what you call a banjo hitter who also plays so so defense. why is that OK for him but not for Lombo? Danny Rosenbaum is a soft tossing lefty who if he graduates to the majors will top out as a John Lannan on whom you are not so high to say the least. How does that work?

  59. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 6, 2013 at 3:57 PM

    bowdenball, it's probably all academic anyway because I still believe if Danny doesn't improve overall that Rendon will be the 2nd baseman of the future here.In Rendon's 2 days back at Harrisburg he's done 1 game at 3rd base and 1 game at 2nd base. If a more distinct pattern shows up with him playing 3 or 4 days a week at 2nd, I think we will know Rizzo has made a shift in his comfort level.I know all about the concerns everyone (Peric) has of Rendon's ankles but if Rizzo is playing him at 2nd in Harrisburg then clearly Rizzo has weighed the pros/cons. I'm sure Rizzo is concerned but as Rendon said, he is comfortable playing wherever they put him. Smart kid, Ritz Carlton's and whirlpools and massages make those ankles feel a lot better at the MLB level.

  60. NatsLady - May 6, 2013 at 4:00 PM

    Eric, yeah, I figure it's something like that… puzzling, though.

  61. Dominats Vobiscum - May 6, 2013 at 4:01 PM

    Danny Espinosa has been a switch hitter his entire life. Telling him he needs to start hitting right handed only makes about as much sense as telling Ryan Zimmerman to try throwing left handed because his right hand throws suck.

  62. Eric - May 6, 2013 at 4:06 PM

    "puzzling, though."It makes sense from a programmatic standpoint, and it prevents the blog roll from being spammed by one source.I'll try to see if Google provides a way to flag blog posts for inclusion. They're typically pretty good about that sort of thing.

  63. Theophilus T. S. - May 6, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    Re: Mark Belanger's bat — I went to an Orioles game with a friend and the program had pictures of the Orioles' wives. My friend looked at the picture of Mrs. B and said, "Holy s___! It's no wonder he can't hit! It's a wonder he makes it to the ballpark!"

  64. NatsLady - May 6, 2013 at 4:11 PM

    Thanks, Eric. I looked at all the settings, read up on the publishing, and tried to set it up the right way, but it's still sporadic. On my "reading list" (where I subscribed to myself) I'm missing the Stats post, but have the Injury Daze post.

  65. Rabbit34 - May 6, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    After reading these posts for quite a while now, I can see why a lot of you who go to the NI get-together have such a good time. You all don't just have fun with baseball, it's like a hobby to you. Actually, it is quite impressive and enjoyable to read. Fun to see the jostling and squabbles. I hope you all never "figure is out" in order to keep the fun going! As for me, I'm going to be the same old Rabbit34.

  66. NatsLady - May 6, 2013 at 4:17 PM

    Thanks, Rabbit. Speaking of NI get-togethers, did that anthem ever go up on You Tube? I could have missed it, especially if it went up on a Wednesday or a Saturday (my busy days).

  67. Eric - May 6, 2013 at 4:20 PM

    NatsLady I strongly suspect it will always be sporadic. The question is whether or not you can control which posts are pulled when blogged. For instance, if you have posted two articles between two crawls, and such a flag would let you indicate that you want the first to show up and the second to be ignored. I'm not sure this exists, but it wouldn't surprise me. Would that be an improvement?

  68. peric - May 6, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    Danny Rosenbaum is a soft tossing lefty who if he graduates to the majors will top out as a John Lannan on whom you are not so high to say the least. How does that work?As none other than Luke Erickson likes to point out JD Rosenbaum's fast ball is consistently well over 90. He throws harder than Harren, Lannan, and Milone. So, you are already W-R-O-N-G.Kobernus has 13 stolen bases. Again, as Luke Erickson points out in any other league he would be the leader. However Hamilton is playing for his smart ball manager of the past season in Louisville. Kobernus specs out well as a bench bat. He needs to walk more to prove he is a top of the lineup guy. But yes he looks better than Lombo and Span in that role at this point.

  69. peric - May 6, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    Danny Rosenbaum is a soft tossing lefty who if he graduates to the majors will top out as a John Lannan on whom you are not so high to say the least. How does that work?As none other than Luke Erickson likes to point out JD Rosenbaum's fast ball is consistently well over 90. He throws harder than Harren, Lannan, and Milone. So, you are already W-R-O-N-G.Kobernus has 13 stolen bases. Again, as Luke Erickson points out in any other league he would be the leader. However Hamilton is playing for his smart ball manager of the past season in Louisville. Kobernus specs out well as a bench bat. He needs to walk more to prove he is a top of the lineup guy. But yes he looks better than Lombo and Span in that role at this point.

  70. Harpo - May 6, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    Dominats Vobiscum said… "Danny Espinosa has been a switch hitter his entire life. Telling him he needs to start hitting right handed only makes about as much sense as telling Ryan Zimmerman to try throwing left handed because his right hand throws suck." Cute. Being a switch-hitter myself through High School I started swinging as a switch when I was 12. I can tell you that I'm a natural righty and would have no problem hitting fastballs or changeups if I stuck to only righty swings, I just don't know if I would be good at it but I also wasn't great hitting lefty. I also never saw a fastball much above 85 in High School. The big adjustment would be the breaking balls. That's the problem going back to only hitting one way on your natural side is that you've never tested it out. Once you decide to be a switch hitter it's usally because your father or coach told you how great it would be to do it and you did it because it was cool and was able to actually hit the ball. It takes a lot of reps to hit on the other side when learning to switch. Danny is one of the rare players who can actually do it in the Majors. It would probably benefit Danny to play in Mexico over the Winter and see how he does hitting only righty. I think one thing for certain is that Danny would improve even more as a righty against lefty pitchers just based on all the repetition.

  71. NatsLady - May 6, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    Eric, sure. I could arrange my posts so they are several hours apart, or even one a day.

  72. Eric - May 6, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    NatsLady, if you want *everything* to show up, I think the safest bet would be to only post once in between listings in the blogroll.If I have time later I'll see if Google has an API that would allow you to control it without having to limit how often you post.

  73. 3on2out - May 6, 2013 at 5:01 PM

    Rabbit34! I am so relieved to learn you are just a big kidder. When you first started with that "this team is horrible and will be lucky to finish above .500" stuff, I figured you were just misinformed and confused. But when you suggested the abomination of two waves…that cross(!)…I realized you are a playful scamp and apparently just like to pull the NI community's collective chain.

  74. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 6, 2013 at 5:05 PM

    Amanda Comak ‏@acomak The most updated odds from Bovada have Bryce Harper at 11-2 to win NL MVP. J Zimmermann up to 5-1 to win NL Cy Young, Strasburg at 12-1.

  75. Laddie Blah Blah - May 6, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    "It takes years and years to get good enough at picking up pitches to hit at the major league level ."It has taken Espinosa years and years experience to hit below the Mendoza Line, and way below the Mendoza Line from the left side, this year. He is actually hitting worse, this year, than in any of his previous years. That's a fact. Maybe he should not have practiced as a switch hitter all these years. Seems to have been a total waste of time.He hasn't learned to hit from the left side, despite "years and years" trying "to get good enough at picking up pitches at a major league level," as it is.I think it was 1957 when I was watching a Yankee game when Mantle came to bat, right-handed, against a RH pitcher. It sounded like Mel Allen was going to have a stroke. Mantle went 2 for 4 (2 singles) and the NY dailies were full of speculation about Mantle going RH'ed, full time, the next day, especially since the experiment seemed to work. And all without "years and years" of working at it.There was a lot of chatter about it then because Mantle, like Espinosa is now, was much better from the right side than from the left.Mantle went back to switch hitting the next day. Probably had made a bet with one of his drinking buddies the night before. Casey was as surprised as anybody when he hit RH against a righty.He is not going to last in the ML hitting the way he is now. If he can't do any better, they need to platoon him to eliminate his LH bat from the lineup. Freddie does it in Atlanta, and Clint does it in Pittsburgh, and they are doing OK, last time I checked. I mean, really, what's the BFD?"The big adjustment would be the breaking balls. That's the problem going back to only hitting one way on your natural side is that you've never tested it out."They are getting the LH Danny out with breaking balls off the outside of the plate, 4-seamers, probably, or whatever pitch they have in their repertoire that will do that. Danny's HR yesterday was hit on a breaking ball, and, I believe, so was his sac fly to deep center. He hits breaking balls much better from the right side than from the left, probably because he is more selective from the right side. That HR was a breaker right over the heart of the plate.

  76. Whack-a-Mule - May 6, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    Mule looks at mix-and-match lineups:There is some evidence to support the notion that this team functions at a higher level with a less rigid lineup. This season early on, when the only variable from day-to-day was the battery, players were tense/tight, seemly over-striving to meet pre-season expectations. As injuries (and ejections) re-make the starting lineup day-to-day, play actually has improved.This was the norm last season; one never knew from one game to the next who would be in the field. But the Nats thrived. To use 6 (repeat 6 !) different starting catchers in the course of a division-winning season was astonishing. Perhaps now each player is less independent, more inter-dependent.Seems to be working.

  77. Laddie Blah Blah - May 6, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    "NatsJack, I'm resigned to the fact Danny is here to stay. Even if he hits .200. Maybe if we are in it late in the year then Rendon gets called up to play 2B for a spark but Danny will be trotting out there day after day…"Don't be so sure. The Nats are playing Rendon at 2nd and at SS for a reason, and we can guess what it is, but we really don't know. One thing we know, for sure, is that they are not playing him at 2nd and SS to prepare him to play 3rd. I can't remember where I read or heard it, but there is a rumor that Rizzo is shopping Espinosa, and not for the first time. Rizzo is always looking to improve the team, and he is making sure there is a replacement at 2nd base (or SS) if he needs Rendon to fill one, or the other when, or if, the time comes, and the time always comes.

  78. Dominats Vobiscum - May 6, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    According to Charlie and Dave on the mailbag yesterday, the plan for Rendon in Harrisburg is 4 days at third, 2 days at short and 1 day at second every week. That doesn't sound like a plan to slide him in in place of Espinosa any time soon.

  79. SonnyG10 - May 6, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said…SonnyG10, Danny had been in an overall slump as he had been batting poorly Rightie and Lefty. The benching really helped him both offensively and defensively.There would be no reason to consider doing a RH only unless his was a dire situation where his RH numbers were excellent and his LH numbers were under Mendoza with a mid-.500's OPS where he had just deteriorated from one side of the plate.May 06, 2013 11:47 AMYep, I agree Ghost.

  80. Dominats Vobiscum - May 6, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    "I can't remember where I read or heard it, but there is a rumor that Rizzo is shopping Espinosa, and not for the first time."Phil Wood and others have it the other way around. They say Rizzo has received offers for Espinosa from several other teams, and has turned them down every single time.

  81. JD - May 6, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    Peric, impartial scouting reports such as these by Marc Hulet of Fangraphs say : Rosenbaum has fringy stuff but gets by with superior command and control with an above average curve ball and has the potential to slot in as a # 4 or #5'. That's very nice and I wish him nothing but the best but it also sounds a lot like Milone (substitute change up for curve ball) and Lannan. Just because you say I am wrong doesn't make it so. Span has a .346 OBP in the majors so comparing Kobernus to him puts this in the same category as suggesting a Moore + prospects for Stanton trade – laughable.

  82. Sec. 3, My Comfortability Sofa - May 6, 2013 at 7:11 PM

    There is some evidence to support the notion that this team functions at a higher level with a less rigid lineup.Mule, I'd love to see that first-hand. Where did you see it?

  83. Whack-a-Mule - May 6, 2013 at 10:34 PM

    Mule looks at Mix-and-Match lineups II:In 2013, Nats have played a total of 20 games with their starting seven (LaRoche, Espinosa, Zimmerman, Desmond, Harper, Span, Werth) or one position player sub. Record is 10-10.In the remaining 12 games, there were 2 or more bench players in the starting lineup, record 7-5.Not statistically significant (p>0.22), but suggestive that a non-fluid starting lineup is not essential to Nats' success.All 5 games in may were with at least 2 bench ers as starters; we are 4-1 in May.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

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

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

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

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