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Game 34: Tigers at Nats

May 9, 2013, 5:39 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nats and Tigers wrap up the series with a 4:05 p.m. makeup game.

There wasn't supposed to be any baseball played today on South Capitol Street, but Tuesday's rainout forced this interleague series to extend to this afternoon, which (knock on wood) will be played under excellent weather conditions.

Dan Haren gets the start for the Nationals, looking to build off his stellar outing last week in Atlanta and seeking his third consecutive win. He's opposed by right-hander Doug Fister, perhaps the unsung hero of the Tigers' rotation, entering today 4-0 with a 2.38 ERA.

One change to the Nationals' lineup (aside from the every-other-day catcher thing): Roger Bernadina gets the nod in left field this afternoon. Davey Johnson's rationale: Tyler Moore is struggling, plus he wanted to get Ian Desmond out of the 2-hole and put him back in his more natural No. 6 position in the lineup. Jayson Werth, of course, remains out, though initial reports on the MRI he received on his hamstring today are clean; he's also now on antibiotics to fight a stomach ailment that has left him dehydrated (and perhaps led to hamstring cramps).

I'll have updates throughout the game and then the Instant Analysis, then I'll hang over postgame coverage to Chase while I head up to CSN studios for tonight's episode of "The Baseball Show." A friendly reminder that you can watch the show live at 11 p.m., and there are no conflicts tonight that would preempt it or cause a delayed start, always a relief…

DETROIT TIGERS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 4:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 187
Weather: Partly cloudy, 75 degrees, Wind 10 mph out to RF

NATIONALS (18-15)
CF Denard Span
LF Roger Bernadina
RF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman

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172 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. CN - May 9, 2013 at 5:44 PM

    Three straight lefties at the top of the order, instead of swapping Espi's and Bernie's spots. Hope this means that Werth is close and they wanted everyone to get acclimated with their spot, instead of juggling spots in the batting order.

  2. bowdenball - May 9, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    I was a little confused by the lineup, as it appears Mark was- he doesn't usually feel the need to give us Davey's rationale for it. But I looked at the career splits for Span and Bernadina and the gap there isn't that big. And the gap also isn't that big for Fister when it comes to LHBs vs RHBs. Harper of course is another story, but he's Bryce Harper. Enough said. Good enough for Davey, good enough for me.

  3. NatsLady - May 9, 2013 at 6:12 PM

    ..continued from previous discussion.peric is fighting last season's battles. Don't worry about it, Eric. Next he'll bring up another one of my old fav's, Chien-Ming Wang. Searching… searching… yeah, I've probably been wrong on others, too. Thing is, none of us can predict the future. All we can go by is the present (and recent past) situation to determine the best course of action.Yes, Avila COULD win the game with a home run or tie it with a double. Yes, he COULD recover from his injuries and get back to his Silver Slugger form, and that moment COULD have happened yesterday after Clippard pitched around Peralta. But right now, he's a .186 hitter and a backup catcher. In terms of relievers walking guys, I admit I'm influenced by a recent podcast (which I WISH I could find and share with y'all) in which a retired closer talked in great detail about his strategy for saving games. In particular, he didn't care about walks, and was entirely willing to walk the bases loaded (with two out), if necessary, to get to a guy he was pretty certain he could dispose of. It was extremely interesting, stats based, and counter to the way fans think. "You don't ever put the tying run on base," was not a mantra for this closer.We as fans tend to project all kinds of possible (negative) endings to situations. Pitchers, if they are good, focus on the best way to get out of the inning without damage, or with minimal damage. Sometimes that means recognizing you are in a hitter's count, that the guy you are pitching to has a pretty good idea what you are going to throw him so he'll be sitting on it, and the next guy is an inferior hitter who is starting with a 0-0 count. Another interesting facet of this pitcher's lecture was how much late-inning relievers can play on a guy's aggressiveness. Peralta can see himself tying the game, Avila can see himself winning it, with high-fives in the dugout and headlines in tomorrow's local paper. You put out the temptation and have a good chance the hitter will bite, whereas earlier in the game the same hitter might be more relaxed and stick with whatever plan he has for the at-bat.

  4. johnny nats - May 9, 2013 at 6:25 PM

    Defensively this is a great lineup, assuming our infield has gotten over its early yips. Maybe Davey just wants to get the shark some ab's. Cabrera is hitting .381 for the season, and .320 lifetime, unreal. Wish I could go, will catch most of it in HD. GYFNG!

  5. Knoxville Nat - May 9, 2013 at 6:44 PM

    If memory serves me right Bernadina hit pretty well last year when in the second spot of the lineup. I know he hasn't hit well this year but he did look better in Pittsburgh after replacing Harper this past Sunday. Some more AB's would be good for him and give Davey the big power hitter (Moore)on the bench that he likes so much.

  6. Eric - May 9, 2013 at 6:46 PM

    "Don't worry about it, Eric."Oh, rest assured, there are no worries whatsoever on that front, NatsLady ;) ."You put out the temptation and have a good chance the hitter will bite"It looks like that's *exactly* what got Avila in the end. That ball was WAY up there, and he came out of his shoes chasing it, iirc.

  7. Eric - May 9, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    The Shark hit in Pittsburgh and he's FAST. Hopefully now that he remembers that he *can* hit the ball he'll continue to do so. If so, #2 makes a lot of sense, imo.

  8. Harpo - May 9, 2013 at 6:53 PM

    NatsLady and Peric arguing. What's funny is NatsLady schooled him big time with some real facts:"Haren has the lowest GB% of our rotation (36.7%). For his career, he's usually about 40%, That's not quite Clippard territory (under 30%), but basically, if you want a guy in there who ain't gonna hit, you want the one in there who can play the outfield. Hence, Bernadina over Moore."

  9. Sec. 3, My Sofa - May 9, 2013 at 6:59 PM

    As Boz has pointed out, the phrase "never give in" implies there's always a base open, even if it's home plate. Walking in a run is better than giving up a Grand Slam.

  10. Candide - May 9, 2013 at 7:13 PM

    At the park, waiting for my nephewy to show up. Poor Cunegonde had to go to Texas for Mothers' Day.

  11. baseballswami - May 9, 2013 at 7:15 PM

    As to Clip's inning last night– those first two guys worked him — he got them, but they saw everything and so did the guys behind them. It had to be stressful and it used up a lot of bullets. By batters three and four, they were just taking all the way, further working and tiring Clip. That's what they do. Clip earned his pay right there, and however it had to happen, so be it. He eventually won the battle , even with them having seen everything, an inconsistent zone and him having to really dig down deep. That was an epic inning.

  12. A DC Wonk - May 9, 2013 at 7:15 PM

    NatsLady raises good points. Rules of thumb such as "never put the tying run on base" not not 100% iron clad, and are always secondary to "how do I get out of this inning"Here's some amazing out of the box thinking: I heard some commentators talking about how Jim Palmer would even pitch around guys with bases loaded sometimes. Consider this: with bases loaded (which happened 213 times) he had a batting average against of .196, he allowed 13 walks, but — here's the key — never a grand slam.Anyways — so in theory I can see both sides.However — what gives me pause is that Clippard didn't pitch to Avila all that differently than he did to the first two. Actually, the first guy (and there's no reason not to pump him fastballs down the middle) he threw 10 straight pitches out of the strike zone!So, I think what was _really_ going on is that Clippard just lost the strike zone after two were out. (And, didn't Avila strike out on a pitch that should have been ball three? Then it would have been full count two outs two on!)He issued some bases loaded walks in his career — but never

  13. A DC Wonk - May 9, 2013 at 7:17 PM

    Sec. 3, My Sofa said… As Boz has pointed out, the phrase "never give in" implies there's always a base open, even if it's home plate. Walking in a run is better than giving up a Grand Slam.Yep — amending my prior post — it was Boz where I first learned of Palmer's never giving up a grand slam in his career with respect to just this issue.Thanks!

  14. peric - May 9, 2013 at 7:20 PM

    Thing is, none of us can predict the future. All we can go by is the present (and recent past) situation to determine the best course of action.Using statistics and advanced scouting reports one can come pretty close … albeit any Mathematician requires the "glue" known as one's intuition. Without it there really is no chance.The smarter major league clubs make investment decisions based on the above now-a-days. They are in fact attempting to predict the future while hedging against failure. Rizzo, Clark, Minniti et al can be far more arrogant about it than you deem me Natslady. Look at the dearth of depth they have in the minors at some positions. They just released a very hardworking, great performing pitcher in Trevor Holder from the HBG Senators. He was well thought of and popular to boot? The only rationale was to advance the excellent starting pitching staff that currently resides in Potomac. The first promotion just occurred.Believe me Rizzo and Clark do try to prognosticate about the future on a daily basis.

  15. baseballswami - May 9, 2013 at 7:20 PM

    Tiger questions: did Cabrera tweak something last night? In the lineup, though. And why does Prince wear sunglasses to hit at night? Too cool for school?

  16. NatsLady - May 9, 2013 at 7:25 PM

    Prince wears sunglasses, according to FP and Carp, because he says it helps him see the ball better in the lights at night. Don't know about Cabrera, he was holding his hip/side in the dugout, but nothing reported.

  17. peric - May 9, 2013 at 7:25 PM

    NatsLady and Peric arguing. What's funny is NatsLady schooled him big time with some real facts:"Haren has the lowest GB% of our rotation (36.7%). For his career, he's usually about 40%, That's not quite Clippard territory (under 30%), but basically, if you want a guy in there who ain't gonna hit, you want the one in there who can play the outfield. Hence, Bernadina over Moore."More fun with the Marx Brothers: Groucho, Chico and Harpo again. I wasn't arguing the point. I happen to like the Shark. Its the FO that doesn't dude. As for the Shark he has yet to prove he can be a run producer whether in the minors or the majors. A #2 hitter? Sure. In fact I would have preferred they give the Shark a shot over acquiring Span. I tend to like sticking with in-house talent. They deserve the shot more IMO. Tyler Moore is a potential run producer … but yes, his major weakness is his dearth of defensive skill either at first base but especially in the outfield.

  18. David Proctor - May 9, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    Fun fact from Nationals PR:#Nationals starting pitchers rank 3rd in MLB in ERA (3.35). In '12, Nationals starters ranked 2nd in MLB with a NL-leading 3.40 ERA. #better

  19. NatsLady - May 9, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    peric, that was my exact point (though I was making it in reference to Clip). You use the stats and tendencies of hitters, IMO, in preference to formulas like "never put the tying run on base." Those formulas are fine–in general–but in when you are dealing with actual hitters you need to know. If Clip doesn't, then Suzuki or Cat needs to come out and let him know what to expect, and what a good strategy might be.

  20. Knoxville Nat - May 9, 2013 at 7:32 PM

    Peric said: "Its the FO that doesn't dude."And you know that how?"As for the Shark he has yet to prove he can be a run producer whether in the minors or the majors. A #2 hitter? Sure."Correct me if I'm wrong but haven't the Nats, of late anyways, always thought of Bernadina as a fourth outfielder and not an everyday player?

  21. peric - May 9, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    The point made both to us and to Tyler Moore: he has to hit to stay in the lineup since he is a defensive liability in the outfield. There is no arguing with that.

  22. peric - May 9, 2013 at 7:35 PM

    Correct me if I'm wrong but haven't the Nats, of late anyways, always thought of Bernadina as a fourth outfielder and not an everyday player?Define of late? Why pick NO BAT Ankiel over the Shark in the outfield? Its hard to say perhaps the Shark could be a starter somewhere else. In Houston he would surely be in the lineup everyday. The reason he is the 4th outfield was because they tried him in the starting role and he failed to produce and was returned to the minors on a couple of occasions. He really didn't start producing consistently offensively until Davey Johnson took over.

  23. johnny nats - May 9, 2013 at 7:40 PM

    Cabrera said he had minor back issues after the ground out in the 6th. He was joking with Clip after that foul popup behind the plate in the 8th, so I'm guessing it wasnt too bad. Big game for Haren, should be interesting.

  24. baseballswami - May 9, 2013 at 7:41 PM

    Andy Feffer on pre- game trying to make sure the fans all know they backed off on their new policy, which lasted for hours, and that they are listening to the fans. Guy should run for office.

  25. Knoxville Nat - May 9, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    Peric,I was referring to Bernadina as a fourth OF in Washington only, not Houston or elsewhere. Sorry if I didn't make myself clear on that. And I don't recall saying anything about Ankiel so I don't know why you brought that up. My comments were more intended towards your statement that you would have preferred giving Bernie a shot over Span. It is my understanding that the Nats, and by this I mean Johnson and Rizzo, see Bernie as better in a corner OF position especially LF with only occassional time in CF. Span was acquired to be the regular CF and lead off batter, something that Bernie has not appeared to be well suited for in prior years.

  26. Harpo - May 9, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    "NatsLady said… peric, that was my exact point (though I was making it in reference to Clip). You use the stats and tendencies of hitters, IMO, in preference to formulas like "never put the tying run on base." Those formulas are fine–in general–but in when you are dealing with actual hitters you need to know. If Clip doesn't, then Suzuki or Cat needs to come out and let him know what to expect, and what a good strategy might be."Davey doesn't even like putting a tying run on base when 1st base is open.You can keep trying to support your own theories with more posts and most people here are too polite to tell that you are wrong in last night's situation.I'm sure Boz wouldn't advocate walking 2 batters that are maybe slightly better than league average to get to Avila.

  27. A DC Wonk - May 9, 2013 at 8:01 PM

    I'm sure Boz wouldn't advocate walking 2 batters that are maybe slightly better than league average to get to Avila. That's not what she said.

  28. Harpo - May 9, 2013 at 8:05 PM

    "A DC Wonk said… Here's some amazing out of the box thinking: I heard some commentators talking about how Jim Palmer would even pitch around guys with bases loaded sometimes. Consider this: with bases loaded (which happened 213 times) he had a batting average against of .196, he allowed 13 walks, but — here's the key — never a grand slam."How many of those situations did he have a 3 run lead or more.Each situation calls for smart baseball and they way Storen nibbled in Game 5 ended the 2012 season forever.Clippard was nibbling and wouldn't challenge Dirks. Not sure why. I have no idea but you don't want to walk him. At that part of the game with a 2 run lead his run wasn't going to beat you.

  29. EmDash - May 9, 2013 at 8:06 PM

    I had to get a surprise root canal today, and it's pretty painful right now. So the Nats should be good to me and win today.

  30. Harpo - May 9, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    "A DC Wonk said… I'm sure Boz wouldn't advocate walking 2 batters that are maybe slightly better than league average to get to Avila. That's not what she said."That was my take on her morning's posts unless she intelligently deleted. She has since softened her stance to sound a little smarter on the subject.

  31. baseballswami - May 9, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    Ouch- sorry to hear about the painful day. Looks like the sun monster may roar today.

  32. Eric - May 9, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    "Clippard was nibbling and wouldn't challenge Dirks. Not sure why. I have no idea but you don't want to walk him. At that part of the game with a 2 run lead his run wasn't going to beat you."I know. It's so sad that Clip lost the game for us last night. I'm really depressed about it.:(

  33. Eric - May 9, 2013 at 8:10 PM

    Feel better EmDash!

  34. Eric - May 9, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    A'ight, 4 batter inning, no damage. Nice way to start, Haren.

  35. Harpo - May 9, 2013 at 8:16 PM

    Hey Eric, how did you feel when Storen did the same approach in Game 5?Someone here wrote recently You play with fire eventually you'll get burned!Yah, Clip keep doing that, oh yah, that's right, he did on April 12th and April 29th and walked 3 in 1 inning and took the loss in the April 29th game.

  36. Harpo - May 9, 2013 at 8:16 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  37. Dan Strong - May 9, 2013 at 8:18 PM

    Beautiful bunt single for the shark

  38. EmDash - May 9, 2013 at 8:18 PM

    Thanks, swami and Eric.Haren got off to a good start – giving up a single to Miguel Cabrera is no crime. Now the hitters just need to do their part!I would bet Bernadina is in the lineup because he's had an RBI hit against Fister? Hard to say. It's odd, because righties are hitting him better than lefties this year so far.Fister trivia: he's hit 9 batters with pitches this year so far, most in baseball by any pitcher.

  39. baseballswami - May 9, 2013 at 8:18 PM

    How about DSpan again , and then the shark with the ambush bunt!! Nice way to start things off!!!!

  40. jeffwx - May 9, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    Speed on the corners

  41. baseballswami - May 9, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    I like the quick strike offense!

  42. A DC Wonk - May 9, 2013 at 8:22 PM

    Yah, Clip keep doing that, oh yah, that's right, he did on April 12th and April 29th and walked 3 in 1 inning and took the loss in the April 29th game. All pitchers have had bad outtings. Overall, he's pitched in 14 games, allowed zero runs in 11 of them, and no hits in 9 of them.

  43. Eric - May 9, 2013 at 8:22 PM

    "I like the quick strike offense!"Indeed!

  44. EmDash - May 9, 2013 at 8:24 PM

    Runs!

  45. Eric - May 9, 2013 at 8:24 PM

    AWESOME! This is fantastic.

  46. Harpo - May 9, 2013 at 8:26 PM

    Desi can be his aggressive self in his 6 hole. That 2 hole just isn't for his approach.

  47. NatsJack in Florida - May 9, 2013 at 8:27 PM

    And now Danny. C'mon and keep the line moving.

  48. baseballswami - May 9, 2013 at 8:28 PM

    Gooooooooooooooo. Natssssssss!!!!!!!!

  49. MicheleS - May 9, 2013 at 8:28 PM

    Finally the hits are coming.

  50. EmDash - May 9, 2013 at 8:28 PM

    I've read that Tigers and White Sox fans were ecstatic when Span left the division, and looking at his track record against Tigers pitching, I can see why. The *lowest* OPS he has against any Tigers starter is Porcello, against whom he has a .786 mark – which is still great. Against Fister he's hitting .350/.381/.500. Kind of amazing.

  51. NatsJack in Florida - May 9, 2013 at 8:29 PM

    Danny….oh well…at least he didn't hit into the dp.

  52. Harpo - May 9, 2013 at 8:30 PM

    As soon as Carp said Espinosa was back to .200, he falls back below.

  53. MicheleS - May 9, 2013 at 8:30 PM

    EmD.. heard from my White Sox Friends/Family when the move was made and they were THRILLED that DSPAN was out of the Division. Made me happy.

  54. baseballswami - May 9, 2013 at 8:32 PM

    Hate to nitpick so early, especially with the nice round three up there, but two backwards K's— really???

  55. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 9, 2013 at 8:32 PM

    first 6 batters did great.What is the point of batting with RISP and taking a third strike. that approach of Espi makes no sense. then Ramos taking 3 strikes with RISP. Why?

  56. EmDash - May 9, 2013 at 8:33 PM

    Wonder if Ramos is a little cold; his starts have been a little irregular lately. Could be throwing him off.

  57. baseballswami - May 9, 2013 at 8:34 PM

    I think especially Danny. You make contact with only one out and you advance a runner or force an error. Have an out to work with.

  58. David Proctor - May 9, 2013 at 8:35 PM

    The one to Ramos was right on the black. Tough to pull the trigger. The one to Espi was right down the middle.

  59. EmDash - May 9, 2013 at 8:36 PM

    Haren's pitches seem a little up – may need to adjust. Won't get away with that against Cabrera.

  60. jeffwx - May 9, 2013 at 8:38 PM

    Bummer, when's the last time Fister got a hit ?

  61. EmDash - May 9, 2013 at 8:38 PM

    Oof. Yep, everything's a little up. That's how you have problems – those two days off may be throwing him off a bit.

  62. NatsJack in Florida - May 9, 2013 at 8:38 PM

    There are not any pitches Haren can leave up, especially the cutter.

  63. Harpo - May 9, 2013 at 8:39 PM

    Defense wins games.

  64. NatsJack in Florida - May 9, 2013 at 8:40 PM

    I have a strong hunch 3 runs is not going to win this game unless Haren improves his command in the strike zone.

  65. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 9, 2013 at 8:43 PM

    i have 5 little things that if you don't do the 4 and do the 5th you win most gamesPitchingDon'tWalk lead off manrelievers walk no one.Batters don'tTake a third strike (Especially with RISP)Swing at third strike in the dirt especially with RISP)DoWhen hitting with man on if you make an out at least advance the runner)

  66. Harpo - May 9, 2013 at 8:43 PM

    Fister's last hit was on June 26 2011.

  67. jeffwx - May 9, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    ok, then He (Fister) was really due.

  68. EmDash - May 9, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    Weirdly, Fister has only 3 hits – but 2 RBIs. Apparently he only gets hits when it counts!

  69. Harpo - May 9, 2013 at 8:47 PM

    "NatsJack in Florida said… I have a strong hunch 3 runs is not going to win this game unless Haren improves his command in the strike zone."A strong hunch? Call Rizzo to tell him to have someone up warming now!

  70. jeffwx - May 9, 2013 at 8:48 PM

    Looks like Fister is streaky like LaRoche…He went 0-29 before that hit…He's on his way now.

  71. EmDash - May 9, 2013 at 8:49 PM

    Roger Bernadina gets a walk! …granted, it took the umps missing a pitch that should've been called a strike, but still.

  72. EmDash - May 9, 2013 at 8:52 PM

    That was a great last pitch by Fister to Harper. Impressive.

  73. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 9, 2013 at 8:52 PM

    what do they say at battets meeting? We take more callthird strikes than our pitchers ever pitch. Simply rediculous.

  74. IKN8wxU2 - May 9, 2013 at 8:53 PM

    So Harper takes third strike with RISP! Maybe he needs to go back to Syracuse? ;-)

  75. Harpo - May 9, 2013 at 8:53 PM

    "jeffwx said… Looks like Fister is streaky like LaRoche…He went 0-29 before that hit…He's on his way now."Not sure what you are looking at. Fister had a 0-3 between that hit and his last one.

  76. EmDash - May 9, 2013 at 8:54 PM

    More runs!

  77. MicheleS - May 9, 2013 at 8:54 PM

    BABIP (is that the word) Gods are smiling on us FINALLY! Adam and Ryan putting some good swings on the ball.

  78. Sec. 3, My Sofa - May 9, 2013 at 8:55 PM

    How about five runs? Rain the only thing I don't like, so far.

  79. ehay2k - May 9, 2013 at 8:55 PM

    I think this ALR kid has some potential.

  80. NatsLady - May 9, 2013 at 8:55 PM

    Please don't let this game get rained out before it's official. Please don't let this game get rained out before it's official. Please don't let this game get rained out before it's official.

  81. EmDash - May 9, 2013 at 8:56 PM

    Geez, wonder if they'll delay this one, that's a lot of rain. Not a tragedy if Haren only gets three or four innings in and they have to give Stammen a few after they resume…

  82. NatsJack in Florida - May 9, 2013 at 8:56 PM

    Adam LaRoche, welcome to the Mendoza line.

  83. MicheleS - May 9, 2013 at 8:56 PM

    I just saw the radar, it's a light shower should be over in a few minutes. Looks to be fast moving

  84. Nattering Nat - May 9, 2013 at 8:57 PM

    Who is that person inhabiting LaRoche's uniform? In May, surely it is not the same person we saw in April. Is it, lol?Would be nice if he just started the season in May–except then we'd have to wait until June for him to break out, unless it is just the cold weather..

  85. David Proctor - May 9, 2013 at 8:57 PM

    The rain is scaring me…

  86. Section 222 - May 9, 2013 at 8:58 PM

    They will stay a long time tonight before calling this game. No one wants to reschedule a game that's already started. Well, maybe the Tigers do at this point.

  87. Nattering Nat - May 9, 2013 at 8:59 PM

    Sun is back out in Montgomery County. That cell was here a half hour ago. It will pass by soon.

  88. baseballswami - May 9, 2013 at 9:00 PM

    Nice to see things going well for Bernie.

  89. Harpo - May 9, 2013 at 9:02 PM

    Great hunch NatsJack. I guess Stammen can sit back down.

  90. Harpo - May 9, 2013 at 9:03 PM

    Great STRONG HUNCH NatsJack.

  91. A DC Wonk - May 9, 2013 at 9:03 PM

    Section 222 said… They will stay a long time tonight before calling this game. No one wants to reschedule a game that's already started. Especially when it's the last game of a road trip (for the Tigers) and they won't be back to DC. (Yes, they'll be back to Balty, but, still, they'd rather get it done now)

  92. EmDash - May 9, 2013 at 9:03 PM

    All right, good inning for Haren.Nats offense this game is reminding me of the Cardinals a bit – just constant, relentless well-placed singles peppered all over the field.

  93. NatsJack in Florida - May 9, 2013 at 9:04 PM

    And Haren displays better command in the strike zone. Much better.

  94. Joe Seamhead - May 9, 2013 at 9:06 PM

    At the park. Liking me some Span and ALR.

  95. EmDash - May 9, 2013 at 9:07 PM

    Haren hits are the funniest hits.

  96. Section 222 - May 9, 2013 at 9:10 PM

    EmDash, I'm just following on Gameday. Was the hit funny, or the way he ran to 1B? :)

  97. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 9, 2013 at 9:11 PM

    i never said send Harper or any othets back to Syracuse for taking strike 3 called with RISP. I said just dont do it. That they have control of. Be like Luke Appling : he would just tap ones on the edges foul. He rarely struck out.

  98. ehay2k - May 9, 2013 at 9:15 PM

    Sec 222, it at least partly was FP's call, especially the "big turn" Haren took at first – one step off the bag towards second.

  99. Harpo - May 9, 2013 at 9:16 PM

    Yah, that was Avila who hit the ball to the wall earlier in the game.Imagine that.

  100. EmDash - May 9, 2013 at 9:19 PM

    Haren's trot is just the funniest thing to me, I can't help it. I'm very disappointed the clip of his double isn't on the MLB video site.Weather is very strange at the park, if you're not watching – both fairly heavy rain and bright sun on the field today.They've apparently pulled Fister from the game after 74 pitches over 3 innings. Be interesting to see who they put in.

  101. Harpo - May 9, 2013 at 9:20 PM

    Haren with a great K of the VMart!

  102. NatsJack in Florida - May 9, 2013 at 9:20 PM

    Sweet split to Martinez!

  103. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 9, 2013 at 9:20 PM

    good pitch on Martinez. keep strong DanNow a few more runs boy.

  104. SCNatsFan - May 9, 2013 at 9:21 PM

    I am really liking this guy who stole Dan Haren's jersey

  105. Harpo - May 9, 2013 at 9:29 PM

    "SCNatsFan said… I am really liking this guy who stole Dan Haren's jersey"He just had to come with grips with the aging process and the fact he could only throw low 90's by muscling up.He's much better as a crafty righty.

  106. Section 222 - May 9, 2013 at 9:31 PM

    This is the first start of the "I'm not going to care about velocity anymore" era. So far, so good. Just get through six Dan. Our bullpen needs the work.

  107. A DC Wonk - May 9, 2013 at 9:33 PM

    He just had to come with grips with the aging process and the fact he could only throw low 90's by muscling up.Announcers were saying just the opposite — that he felt strong and healthy this year, and was throwing his sinker too hard. When he dialed it back a bit, it started working for him again.

  108. Harpo - May 9, 2013 at 9:35 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  109. Harpo - May 9, 2013 at 9:37 PM

    Great job middle infielders. Can't have a doubleplay easier than that.

  110. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 9, 2013 at 9:38 PM

    neithet Espi or Desi tried to lunge for the ball. both just looked. at least lunge.

  111. EmDash - May 9, 2013 at 9:39 PM

    Oh, Nats. Covering second is good, you guys. No harm, though.

  112. David Proctor - May 9, 2013 at 9:39 PM

    Yikes at that not-double play. But good job by Haren to get out of it.

  113. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 9, 2013 at 9:39 PM

    No harm

  114. Harpo - May 9, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  115. NatsJack in Florida - May 9, 2013 at 9:44 PM

    LaRoche now below the Mendoza but Danny can climb back over.

  116. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 9, 2013 at 9:47 PM

    One of the other things that seems to be a constant. we can hit early or in the middle (rarely late)Almost never can they hit both early and middle.

  117. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 9, 2013 at 9:50 PM

    Is he scared of Paraulta?

  118. NatsJack in Florida - May 9, 2013 at 9:50 PM

    Yep Manassas…add ons have been tough. That's what I was hinting at when e were at 3 early.

  119. EmDash - May 9, 2013 at 9:51 PM

    Next inning it seems the Tigers will be using Luke Putkonen – no one on the Nats has ever faced him, it would appear.

  120. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 9, 2013 at 9:53 PM

    all those Anti Span guys I believe now see why we who embraced Span liked tge trade.

  121. NatsJack in Florida - May 9, 2013 at 9:53 PM

    What? A football player that plays baseball?

  122. NatsJack in Florida - May 9, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    Apparently so.

  123. Harpo - May 9, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    How quick things change.

  124. David Proctor - May 9, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    WOW.

  125. EmDash - May 9, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    Ah geez. That was a pretty good pitch, too.

  126. MicheleS - May 9, 2013 at 9:55 PM

    bugger

  127. Harpo - May 9, 2013 at 9:56 PM

    I think so EmDash. That was a real nice pitch.

  128. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 9, 2013 at 9:57 PM

    you notice the football player didnt take a strike 3.

  129. baseballswami - May 9, 2013 at 9:58 PM

    CRAP!!!!!

  130. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 9, 2013 at 10:00 PM

    7 hits first 2 innings then everyone basically quit 1 hit in 3 innings.

  131. Harpo - May 9, 2013 at 10:01 PM

    Nats need some clutch hits here.

  132. NatsLady - May 9, 2013 at 10:02 PM

    SOmeone asked about Cabrera, just saw this, back soreness.http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130509&content_id=47035784&notebook_id=47036420&vkey=notebook_det&c_id=det

  133. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 9, 2013 at 10:02 PM

    their bunt a lot better than ours. thrir set up a 3 run homer.

  134. EmDash - May 9, 2013 at 10:02 PM

    Leyland has a quick hook.

  135. NatsJack in Florida - May 9, 2013 at 10:03 PM

    Prety sure Lombo did nothing but practice bunting after that last effort in Pittsburgh. Good job.

  136. Harpo - May 9, 2013 at 10:03 PM

    "Manassas Nats' Fan said… 7 hits first 2 innings then everyone basically quit 1 hit in 3 innings."They don't quit, come on. Some of the batters change their approach and try much harder to power up. A lot of ugly at bats.

  137. EmDash - May 9, 2013 at 10:06 PM

    Uh, taking out Bernadina for Moore? Hm. That's the pure opposite of a defensive replacement in a close game.

  138. JaneB - May 9, 2013 at 10:09 PM

    I really hope Davey is a better manager in life than I am in my head. Because I keep the Shark in the game.'

  139. EmDash - May 9, 2013 at 10:09 PM

    Tyler. Can't seem to lay off the breaking stuff.

  140. David Proctor - May 9, 2013 at 10:10 PM

    Tyler is still lost at the plate. Swinging at everything. And now our defense takes a hit. Not sure I like this.

  141. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 9, 2013 at 10:10 PM

    They hit the ball where it was pitched before. Now pulling outside pitches.That is poor coaching. outside pitches drive the other way. Pulling is useless.I need to look up Tyler Moore strike out percentage. he might be the worse on the team now.

  142. NatsJack in Florida - May 9, 2013 at 10:10 PM

    OK bull pen. It's all on you.

  143. NatsJack in Florida - May 9, 2013 at 10:12 PM

    And no. I don't want to walk anybody unless the situation demands it.

  144. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 9, 2013 at 10:15 PM

    44 at bats 21 K for Moore. That is pathatic.

  145. EmDash - May 9, 2013 at 10:19 PM

    I believe Bob just forgot who's pitching now. "Never faced Zach Duke…or, uh, Mattheus."

  146. NatsJack in Florida - May 9, 2013 at 10:19 PM

    Yes Manassas….unfortuneately, Tyler's developement is going backwards.

  147. David Proctor - May 9, 2013 at 10:21 PM

    Tyler is a player who I think needs more regular playing time. I would not be opposed to sending him back down to AAA for a bit, but I'm not sure who down there would be a good callup. Rendon needs to play too.

  148. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 9, 2013 at 10:25 PM

    Laroche we need a dinger.

  149. EmDash - May 9, 2013 at 10:26 PM

    Smyly's murder on lefties, so it'll be tough for LaRoche. Might be up to Desmond.

  150. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 9, 2013 at 10:26 PM

    Call up Owings.

  151. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 9, 2013 at 10:31 PM

    we sure swing at a lot of balls and let strikes go. cant tell you how I hate that.

  152. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 9, 2013 at 10:33 PM

    Anyone hear if MLB said or did anything to Hirshbeck for instigating trouble Sunday?Also are they going to sweep Angel Hernandez's terrible call on the replay. ?

  153. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 9, 2013 at 10:35 PM

    6-9 lots doing the damage. 9 slot has all RBI.

  154. EmDash - May 9, 2013 at 10:39 PM

    Good try for Tyler, but. Bernadina would've had that.

  155. NatsJack in Florida - May 9, 2013 at 10:39 PM

    Tyler Moore in for defense? I think not.

  156. Section 222 - May 9, 2013 at 10:39 PM

    Speaking of practicing bunting, maybe ALR should do a little of that. There are just too many situations where the shift concedes a base hit to him if he can do that. Facing a lefty in the 8th, it sure would have been nice if he had put a runner in scoring position for Desi. Um, pretty good effort by Ty-Mo not good enough.

  157. David Proctor - May 9, 2013 at 10:40 PM

    Gonna be up to Soriano with the big boys up.

  158. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 9, 2013 at 10:40 PM

    Bernadina makes that easy. Escape that mistake.

  159. EmDash - May 9, 2013 at 10:43 PM

    Soriano will have to face the top of the order. If anyone reaches, he'll have to face Prince Fielder – who, in their limited encounters, owns him to a remarkable degree. So Soriano really needs to not let anyone reach base….Valverde's goatee. My goodness.

  160. MicheleS - May 9, 2013 at 10:44 PM

    Well at least it didn't bite us in the rear.. need some runs

  161. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 9, 2013 at 10:45 PM

    espinosa way unde Mendosa line again. guess he wasnt too thrilled to to be above the line.

  162. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 9, 2013 at 10:48 PM

    chad Tracy is about twice as good as Matt Stairs, but I ry to erase Stairs out of my memory.

  163. David Proctor - May 9, 2013 at 10:49 PM

    Please don't hit a ball to LF. Please don't hit a ball to LF. Please don't hit a ball to LF.

  164. NatsJack in Florida - May 9, 2013 at 10:50 PM

    Tucked in here, boss.

  165. MicheleS - May 9, 2013 at 10:57 PM

    biting my nails

  166. Section 222 - May 9, 2013 at 10:57 PM

    This matchup is worth price of admission alone. Tucked and ready. And nervous as hell.

  167. MicheleS - May 9, 2013 at 10:58 PM

    UNTUCK WOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOO!!!

  168. David Proctor - May 9, 2013 at 10:58 PM

    UNTUCK.

  169. NatsJack in Florida - May 9, 2013 at 10:59 PM

    Untucking here, boss.

  170. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 9, 2013 at 10:59 PM

    Untuck

  171. Sec. 3, My Sofa - May 9, 2013 at 11:02 PM

    Untucked in District Chophouse!

  172. Anna Peregrina - May 9, 2013 at 11:08 PM

    And in my jammies in Berkshire, UK!

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 54 43 --
ATLANTA 54 45 1.0
MIAMI 46 52 8.5
NEW YORK 46 53 9.0
PHILADELPHIA 43 56 12.0
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.
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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