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Emotional Nats blow late lead

May 12, 2013, 11:00 PM EDT

There’s no telling how Sunday’s game at Nationals Park would have ended had Gio Gonzalez still been on the mound for the eighth and ninth innings, trying to finish off a 2-hit shutout. Perhaps the Nationals still would have found a way to lose to the Cubs amid a flurry of seeing-eye singles, a freak throw that ricocheted off a bat and a highly questionable strike zone from fill-in umpire John Tumpane.

To be sure, plenty of things went wrong for the Nationals over the final two innings of their 2-1 loss. But manager Davey Johnson’s decision to pinch-hit for Gonzalez in the bottom of the seventh and entrust the rest of the game to his bullpen set in motion the chain of events that made it all possible.

“We’ve got a 1-run lead,” Johnson explained. “Also, very seldom early in the season will I let a guy go out there and if he gets a guy on … I don’t want him to lose a ballgame late in the game. Just the way I manage. Chalk it up to me. You don’t like it? Chalk it up to me. Didn’t work out.”
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198 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Just wonderin' - May 12, 2013 at 11:09 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Joe Seamhead - May 12, 2013 at 11:10 PM

    Sorry, I brought this over from the last post, but I really thought this was the play of the game:Joe Seamhead said…You all know that I support Adam LaRoche. While that foul ball was still in the air I said out loud," Watch the runner!" Ok Adam made a good catch, is a lefty and had to turn, but he hesitated. Meanwhile the pinch runner tagged up and headed to third, with no throw from ALR. Adam had a brain freeze, and that runner scored the tying run on the next play. I honestly think that play was the back breaker in a game that was so important for us.My son thought that I was hard on Adam until he watched the replay. He agreed that Adam didn't think about the runner until after he caught the ball. It's the little things.May 12, 2013 6:49 PM

  3. Just wonderin' - May 12, 2013 at 11:10 PM

    Just so I clearly understand: Should the Suzuki throw to third that hit the bat have been declared a dead ball?

  4. Secret wasian man - May 12, 2013 at 11:11 PM

    Good article Mark. Davey says he wanted to add on. Chad Tracy has done nothing this season. I don't see batting him or any of the bench guys for that matter would help.

  5. Joe Seamhead - May 12, 2013 at 11:15 PM

    BTW, Freak play on the ball that Suzuki hit the bat on the the throw. It wasn't stupid, or bad on Zook's part. That was really just a freak play.

  6. skidge - May 12, 2013 at 11:18 PM

    NatsLady, regarding your question on the last thread, I saw Stras on TV in the dugout talking to Gio and Det right after Gio came out.

  7. Joe Seamhead - May 12, 2013 at 11:21 PM

    Just wonderin,' to answer to your question, the answer in a word is "No." The batter has no obligation to move, but he's also not permitted to purposefully interfere with the catcher. There was intent to interfere, so it's a live ball. Watch baseball for 50 more years and you probably won't see it again.

  8. David Proctor - May 12, 2013 at 11:21 PM

    Well at least the Braves lost.

  9. Joe Seamhead - May 12, 2013 at 11:24 PM

    Sorry, I meant to say "there was NO INTENT to interfere.

  10. phil dunton - May 12, 2013 at 11:28 PM

    The bench hitting is making Matty Stairs look good.

  11. Eric - May 12, 2013 at 11:29 PM

    1 back. I'm ready to move on, and I'm very pleased with Gio's trajectory; likewise, his attitude about being pulled.

  12. NatsLady - May 12, 2013 at 11:32 PM

    On LaRoche not throwing after he caught the foul ball, he was very very far away, I have not seen his arm from that distance. He was further than Espy by quite a bit compared to the throw that Espy made yesterday with that cannon he has. I am not sure it was a brain freeze, it could be that he was not sure he could make a good throw from that distance, and the last thing he wanted was for it to get away and the runner to score. We are fine, IMO. Just remember that on May 1 we were 4.5 games behing the Barves and 13-14 (that is, under .500). We have done a lot of catching up in less than two weeks, and I'd rather be where we are than where they are. They only hit 2 HRs in the entire series vs. the Giants, and those 2 homers were by McCann. I'm with Soriano on this. A lot of bad luck in the game, go on to the next one. The substitute ump called a terrible strike zone, Twitter is full of pictures from Brooks Baseball– the called strike to Zoook was WAY outside.This one didn't bother me as much as yesterday's because I saw the good Gio, and am reassured that last year was not a fluke. Suzuki and Adam came in and settled Gio down after the single and the walk. Stras could learn from that–your teammates are there to support you. As for Davey pulling Gio, him saying he always manages that way doesn't wash, because he let JZ bat for himself when the score was , guess what, 1-0. Davey lost his nerve, IMO. He didn't trust Gio with a 1-0 lead, and that's just WRONG. He had Storen warmed up–if Gio walks the leadoff guy, bring him in. Davey did that a dozen times last year.The other alternative is even less flattering to Davey. Charlie and Dave suggested he initially had Storen warming up as a bluff in case Gio's spot came up, and when it didn't, he used him anyway. Yes, it's true relievers hate being the decoy, and yes, it's true you don't like to warm up guys and then not use them, but that is NO excuse for bringing Storen in unnecessarily. Gio earned that 8th inning, just as JZ earned the chance to have the complete game when it was 1-0. It's not enough to be loyal to guys when they are in slumps, you also have to take a chance on them when they are going good–so they can shine. Gio to Soriano was all we needed for this game.Lombo was fine in LF, he handled all his chances, including one that was above average difficult. At the place, not so much.

  13. NatsLady - May 12, 2013 at 11:34 PM

    skidge, thanks. That's good. I'm hopeful Stras is over his sulking and ready to go in San Diego for his family and friends.

  14. David Proctor - May 12, 2013 at 11:35 PM

    NatsLady, I don't think it's that Davey doesn't trust Gio. Drew needed work. He had only pitched 2 times in 11 days and we have a big road trip coming up. Davey's logic was probably that 1. the Cubs aren't very good, 2. it gives Drew some work so he can be in form for this week 3. we can add on runs. It's probably a combination of all of those things and that would help explain it.

  15. NatsLady - May 12, 2013 at 11:37 PM

    David, I heard that explanation also on the radio. I don't like it much. If Storen needed work that much he should have taken one of the innings that Mattheus or Henry pitched yesterday.

  16. Joe Seamhead - May 12, 2013 at 11:37 PM

    The difference is, the Braves lost to one of the best on the road. We lost to one of the worst at home.

  17. David Proctor - May 12, 2013 at 11:39 PM

    NatsLady, I disagree. You don't want to use Drew in the blowout because we may have needed him today (Davey couldn't predict Gio would be so perfect, especially with how inconsistent he's been). Then you have Drew working on back-to-back days headed into the road trip. Then you risk going from underworked to overworked. It's a balance.

  18. Joe Seamhead - May 12, 2013 at 11:46 PM

    NatsLady, I agree it would have been a tough throw because of the distance, but Adam didn't seem like he even thought about the runner advancing until after he caught the ball. Oh, we'll, let's move on. I still feel like this was a very costly loss. Up until today I have been relaxed, and feeling that we got this. My confidence got shaken to its core. No broken, mind you, it ain't broke, but it's badly bent.

  19. David Proctor - May 12, 2013 at 11:46 PM

    NatsJack, that may be true, but the Braves got swept by the Tigers and we swept the Tigers. The Braves also got swept by the Pirates and we won 2/3 against them.Don't read too much into this series, it was as fluky as they come.

  20. Eric - May 12, 2013 at 11:48 PM

    As for Davey pulling Gio, him saying he always manages that way doesn't wash, because he let JZ bat for himself when the score was , guess what, 1-0."…Gio earned that 8th inning, just as JZ earned the chance to have the complete game when it was 1-0."Was JZ leading off? What was the situation (outs, any men on, etc)? Also, JZ has been 10 times more consistent this year than Gio has been. I think JZ having earned it stretches back beyond that one game. Gio has only recently shown that he can recover from his mistakes. JZ essentially has yet to show that he can't this season. I think that's his point. Also, I forget the state of the bullpen at the time that happened with JZ, but it's been ROCK SOLID lately.But, as always, who knows. I tend to agree Gio should've been left in, but I also don't think you can compare 2013 Gio to 2013 JZ on the whole…yet.

  21. NatsLady - May 12, 2013 at 11:51 PM

    Seamhead, the Cubs are still a major-league team. You can't take them for granted, which is what David is saying Davey did, by putting Storen in "for the work."I actually don't thing Davey did that. I think he wanted the add-on run and he trusted (maybe that is the wrong word) the bench to get it more than he trusted Gio to keep the lead. Maybe Storen only pitched twice in 11 days, but he pitched on Thursday. If Storen can't keep himself sharp with three or four days between appearances, then he needs to look into his regimen, because that's going to happen again–in July.

  22. Eric - May 12, 2013 at 11:51 PM

    "NatsLady, I don't think it's that Davey doesn't trust Gio. "He implied as much in his post-game comments by saying things like, "I don’t want him to lose the ballgame late in the game." There's only one reason a previously dominant pitcher with the lead loses a game.

  23. Joe Seamhead - May 12, 2013 at 11:52 PM

    Damn auto correct. Well, let's move on.

  24. Eric - May 12, 2013 at 11:53 PM

    "Up until today I have been relaxed, and feeling that we got this."Say it ain't so, Joe!I'll step in until you you find your feet. Relax, we got this :).

  25. NatsLady - May 12, 2013 at 11:56 PM

    Zimmermann batted for himself in the bottom of the 8th against the Reds, a much better team than the Cubs. There was one out, and Danny Espinosa was on first base.

  26. mick - May 12, 2013 at 11:56 PM

    Gio pitched great and that is the ONLY positive from this sorry ass loss. Storen stunk plain and simple and yes, a run lead in the 8th, whether or it is 1-0 or 10-9 is enough for REAL bullpens at HOME to win. Drew, you area dog right now.Suzuki and Soriano I give a pass too. The offense on this team reminds me of a 85 loss team, one that can't hit against the WORSE MLB team and one that cant manufacture 1 lossy run infront of an almost sold out ball park at home.I think the Lerners should call some of these weaklings at the plate out. i am really pissed right now

  27. NatsLady - May 12, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    Zimmermann failed to execute a sac bunt, and fouled out. I was at the game. JZ got a tremendous ovation when he came up to bat.

  28. mick - May 12, 2013 at 11:59 PM

    Zim's pop out was as lame as his play and effort this season. He is the Alex Ovechin of baseball. Actually, i take that back, Zim at least has heart, Ovechkin is an over hyped BUM plain and simple and I bet he disappears tomorrow night like always does in post season. oops wrong sport

  29. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 12, 2013 at 11:59 PM

    davey's logic is invalid. Unless the quote is wrong. says Davey said, If Gio lets a man on he could lose. That is not true. You replace him once a man is on. Can't lose.I don't get relievers. We worry when they are overworked, and then when the starters are pitching well, they make excuses they are not getting enough work. You cat have it both ways.For whoever said you can watch baseball 50 years and not see the ricochet off the bat like Suzuki. Not so fast.On Wednesday Angel's. catcher not only hit the bat throwing to third also ricocheted off the batters helmet. runner from second scored runner from first out at home, though the call was wrong as tag missed the runner.So i have seen it twice in 5 days. scocia gave it to the catcher. Told him always throw to second with righty batter.

  30. Eric - May 13, 2013 at 12:00 AM

    >Zimmermann batted for himself in the bottom of the 8th against the Reds, a much better team than the Cubs. There was one out, and Danny Espinosa was on first base.JZ's ultimately failing in the at bat notwithstanding, that's a rather different situation. I honestly think Gio would've been allowed to hit if there were a man on and fewer than 2 outs.

  31. SCNatsFan - May 13, 2013 at 12:01 AM

    NatsLady I'm not on board with this team being ok just yet. So far lots of excuses, lots of players who aren't hitting a lick and a bench that has been horrible as well as an iffy pen. Excuses are for losers time to start playing lie winners, not expecting good things to happen for them.

  32. NatsLady - May 13, 2013 at 12:01 AM

    Actually, I'm more optimistic than Seamhead. I saw positives in this game, especially Gio; we haven't had Werth in the lineup for a while and we're surviving. He was really missed today, because I don't think Harper is quite over the toe thing, and the scrubs/bench are not performing. I just hope Bernadina is okay, because this outfield is reminding me of the catchers from last year getting injured.

  33. Eric - May 13, 2013 at 12:02 AM

    >If Gio lets a man on he could lose. That is not true. You replace him once a man is on. Can't lose.The full thought was, essentially, "if he lets a man on, I have to sub him, because I don't want him to lose."The unsaid part is that Davey apparently hates bringing in relief with men already on base. So, he chose to pull Gio.

  34. Eric - May 13, 2013 at 12:03 AM

    What happened to the Shark?

  35. NatsLady - May 13, 2013 at 12:05 AM

    SCNats, I don't thing the team is "OK", I just think we are in a better situation than the Barves because we are trending up and they are going in the opposite direction. Of course I don't like losing to the Cubs–especially yesterday's game–but we played the good teams tough. LA will be an interesting challenge because they aren't playing like a good team, but they have good players.

  36. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 13, 2013 at 12:05 AM

    Nats now second in ERA 13 in average and runs.We will the division once we start hitting.If they won't hit with Eck as hitting coach, then get someone who will teachthem an approach that results in hitting.

  37. NatsLady - May 13, 2013 at 12:06 AM

    He dived for a ball (caught it, of course) and did something to his wrist. He did bat (making the last out, but it didn't look normal).

  38. Eric - May 13, 2013 at 12:07 AM

    "I just think we are in a better situation than the Barves because we are trending up and they are going in the opposite direction."I agree 100%. Always better to be climbing, even fitfully, than falling.

  39. Eric - May 13, 2013 at 12:08 AM

    Gotcha, thanks NatsLady. He's about the only bench player who's doing anything inspiring on a regular basis. I hope he's OK.

  40. NatsLady - May 13, 2013 at 12:08 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  41. NatsLady - May 13, 2013 at 12:11 AM

    That's true, Eric. Davey doesn't like bringing relievers in with men on base, he said that recently, he likes them to start clean innings. That seems to be a change in policy from last year, when he would let the starter go into a late inning and give him "one batter" to see if he could go further in the game. I'm not sure why he changed, maybe he's got a better feel for his starters, or maybe he felt it wasn't fair to the bullpen. But it's definitely different.

  42. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 13, 2013 at 12:12 AM

    Davey and I will never agree. I woyld never remove Gio at that point. He has already let JZ hit in a more substituional situation soi cannot believe his cooment.Again had storen done his job, we would not like the decision, but at least we would be ahead.Can someone explain the other part of cooment. If relievers get to much work everyone worries, if they dont get to much work the excuse for their failure is not enough work. Cant have it both ways.

  43. Dominats Vobiscum - May 13, 2013 at 12:12 AM

    NatsLady said… Zimmermann batted for himself in the bottom of the 8th against the Reds, a much better team than the Cubs. There was one out, and Danny Espinosa was on first base.There's your difference right there. Sac bunt situation for Zimmermann (which he failed to convert BTW) vs the opportunity to get something started by pinch hitting for Gio today. If Davey had pinch hit for Zimmermann there, the pinch hitter would have been bunting anyway. Zimmermann is usually a good bunter, so having a pinch hitter bunt for him there would have made no sense.

  44. David Proctor - May 13, 2013 at 12:14 AM

    Manassas, it's a balancing act. You want them to not work too much or work too little. It's the manager's job to figure out how to get them the right amount of work. Davey tried, it didn't work. It happens.

  45. SCNatsFan - May 13, 2013 at 12:14 AM

    Manassas Eck isn't going anywhere. If he hasn't reached these players by now then he won't and he's Davey's boy. Only reason he would go is because Rizzo can't fire Johnson so if a stern message is needed he'd be the lamb. But if shark, espi, Tracy, Moore et al don't know how to hit by now a hitting coach won't help.

  46. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 13, 2013 at 12:16 AM

    One other question was home plate ump bad for both teams.

  47. Eric - May 13, 2013 at 12:24 AM

    Based on articles I've read about the game, yes (unless you were the pitcher, in which case it sounds like he was great for both ;).

  48. skidge - May 13, 2013 at 12:25 AM

    WaPo article on strike zone. And I think Amanda said on twitter that it seemed to be the same for both teams.http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/nationals-journal/wp/2013/05/12/kurt-suzuki-ejected-for-the-first-time-in-career-strike-zone-disputed/

  49. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 13, 2013 at 12:27 AM

    The approch pretty much all but Desmond and Zim do results way lower avetages than would be with a good hitting coach.An outside pitch should never be pulled. Harper will occasionall not pull outside pitches, but most the others want to pull way too much.A good hitting coach could fix tge hitting easily, if the plsyers would follow direction.if Eck is teaching to go the other way they are not listening, if he isnt teaching it then he is causibg trouble.Watch films of Fwynn and Boggs etc see how hitting the way pens up pulling later.

  50. NatsLady - May 13, 2013 at 12:28 AM

    @David Proctor–with that I definitely agree. This was a very strange series, especially the last two games. OTOH, the Barves were clobbered 3 of 4 by the Giants on all aspects, and it wasn't just a pitcher melting down or screwy strike zone, etc. Hudson melted down on Friday and their offense produced 2 runs.Maholm gave up 6 runs in 5 innings and their offence produced 1 run.Medlen gave up 5 runs and their offence produced zero runs against Lincecum and only 1 run in the game. They made two errors in the game today, one of which was a complete brain cramp. After we left, they split with the Mets, took 2/3 from the Reds and managed to beat Ryan Vogelsong, a pitcher who had an ERA of 7.20 going into their game (and 7.78 after it).

  51. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 13, 2013 at 12:28 AM

    He might have been a losy ump, but even so I could live with that.

  52. NatsLady - May 13, 2013 at 12:35 AM

    Well, ATL pitchers melted down, but I meant the way Stras did, which was just freaky, because it wasn't because he didn't have good stuff.

  53. EmDash - May 13, 2013 at 12:35 AM

    Mick, if Zimm starts playing like Ovechkin – who was MVP-caliber for a lot of the season, and the main reason the Caps got to the playoff at all – I'd be pretty thrilled.

  54. NatsLady - May 13, 2013 at 12:38 AM

    Oh, I see the Barves are going to Arizona tomorrow. Wonder what kind of reception Justin Upton will get.

  55. jeffwx - May 13, 2013 at 12:38 AM

    one more consistent hitter is needed…his name is not espinosa…Michael Morse your offense is missed. Could use him in left right about now

  56. Candide - May 13, 2013 at 12:39 AM

    Gio's last AB was with one out and a man on first. He squared to bunt and both corner fielders charged in. Gio then brought his hands together and rapped out a sharp grounder that, had it gone anywhere other than right to second base, would have been a hit. It turned into a DP, but Gio handled the bat well. I honestly think his .220 batting average is not just a case of small sample size; he knows how to handle a bat.So I was shaking my head when Davey sent Tracy in to pinch hit for him.

  57. NatsLady - May 13, 2013 at 12:39 AM

    Davey is right about one thing. When you see that wide strike zone you better start swinging.

  58. NatsLady - May 13, 2013 at 12:41 AM

    Candide, Gio's grounder had a nice sound, that's for sure.

  59. Secret wasian man - May 13, 2013 at 12:42 AM

    Michael Morse will be back with this team at the August trade deadline.

  60. jeffwx - May 13, 2013 at 12:42 AM

    and the problem is not pitching…it's that they can't score enuf runs….you can analyze Davey's decision to death, but it doesn't matter a dam if your team scores and 2 and 1 runs…Makes it hard to beat the 2009 Nats with them tallys

  61. Joe Seamhead - May 13, 2013 at 12:44 AM

    NatsLady, like I said, my confidence ain't broke, but it's badly bent.Yesterday stunk. We shouldn't have lost that game, but every team has a real stinker now and then.I felt before this game started that if we didn't win today that yesterday's loss, combined with today's loss would be a back breaker. Davey said put this one on him. I put it on: 1: Too few hits, but when we did get them, too many guys stranded in scoring position.i don't care if the runs come from home runs, doubles, triples, or walks and singles, but they have to score more then one run, by hook or crook.2: Like so many games we've lost, it's little things where we don't execute. Storen failed today, too.. too many little things.Thanks,Eric. I'll be ok, the Nats will be ok.OK, Deep breath. Exhale…I'm relaxed. We got this. Carry on!

  62. Candide - May 13, 2013 at 12:46 AM

    Manassas Nats' Fan said… The approch pretty much all but Desmond and Zim do results way lower avetages than would be with a good hitting coach. An outside pitch should never be pulled. Harper will occasionall not pull outside pitches, but most the others want to pull way too much. A good hitting coach could fix tge hitting easily, if the plsyers would follow direction. if Eck is teaching to go the other way they are not listening, if he isnt teaching it then he is causibg trouble. Watch films of Fwynn and Boggs etc see how hitting the way pens up pulling later.MNF, could you do me a favor and read through a post like this just once before hitting the "publish" button? I'm going to go lie down for a while now and try to uncross my eyes.

  63. peric - May 13, 2013 at 12:47 AM

    Jeeze looks kind of normal again … I guess the folks that want to dump Storen, Clippard, Zim, Espinosa, and send Stras to AAA have retired … :)

  64. baseballswami - May 13, 2013 at 12:48 AM

    Was at the game— huge crowd. You could feel the frustration from the hitters with the zone. Really- when have you ever seen Desi NOT swing in a 3-2 count? They were shaking their heads. Gio was awesome! The cubs have really hit in this series– tons of doubles, even in their loss. We had many chances to score and did not convert– heard that before? Cubs fans thought it was Christmas- they were gratefully giddy. No matter what the pitchers do, you will rarely win with one run. We are sad with bases loaded. But I was with the grown up kids snd spouses, it was a gorgeous day but chilly and windy. Really thought Desi got all of that one :( On to an extended stretch of late nights.

  65. Steady Eddie - May 13, 2013 at 12:51 AM

    Well, Manassas, he was indeed a really miserable ump, a AAA sub, and we don't have any alternative but to "live with him", do we, but that still introduces an absurdly random element into the game — of guessing what pitches you do or don't need to swing at or protect the plate on. Sorry, but that randomness takes a game of skill and makes it into much more of a game of chance. Go to AC or Vegas if you want that. Tht's why a really hot hitter like Dei was unable to help us add on. But that's also why I,'m with Nats Lady and blame Davey for this more than the players. Thre is NO good excuse for pulling Gio who was cruising with as Mark described it a season low pitch count at that point. What Davey gave as his rationalization was pure formula. Davey, I'm going to pull age and wisdom both on you here, and note that Justice Holmes said, "to rest on formula is a slumber that, prolonged, means death.". Which is what he will eventually do to this team's season if he keeps relying on formulaic mantras like "I will not pull a starter in the middle of an inning" so you pull one who's totally in command and put in one who you warmed up as a decoy, so you REALLY had Drew in the right frame of mind to come in or your lights-out starter. I'm not unite at Davey's age yet but getting close, and I can tell ll the gins f a guy who's thinking "this is how I did it in [insert year] so that's what I'll do today" instead of thinking and and adapting to the specific reality in front of him.Wake up, old man, you're heading directly for "bust."

  66. peric - May 13, 2013 at 12:51 AM

    If relievers get to much work everyone worries, if they dont get to much work the excuse for their failure is not enough work. Cant have it both ways.Honestly? Based on what I've both seen and heard? He's worried far more about the starters. He's totally serious when he says he wants to pull them only after something positive has happened … it at all possible. Pulling Stras when he did goes against that but I think he feared the game getting completely out of hand and Stras having a major implosion which might affect him later on down the road.Relievers are easier to replace than top starting pitching. That's for sure. He wants to get the relievers just enough work BUT he won't do that to the exclusion of keeping the starters finally honed.That's my take I don't know if its right.

  67. jeffwx - May 13, 2013 at 12:52 AM

    Thanks to the Marlins, the Nats .233 ba is not worst in the NL, 2nd to last is better than nothin…but we just need to manage expectations…The Nats offensive weakness is exposed…too many holes in the lineup…espi/lombo/tyler/tracy/bernadina/eury can not fill the holes or provide the pop that this team needs to make the playoffs.

  68. jeffwx - May 13, 2013 at 12:55 AM

    Davey did the right thing, he knows the team needs some offense and scoring 1 run is unlikely give you the win.

  69. peric - May 13, 2013 at 12:56 AM

    one more consistent hitter is needed…his name is not espinosa…The operative word here is still YET. Desi took some time to mature as a hitter offensively and Espy has the greater challenge of being a switch hitter. He also doesn't like to walk which irks me to no end. I am glad to see Desmond coming around on that notion. He continues to mature into the perfect 3-hole hitter as Davey predicted.

  70. sjm308 - May 13, 2013 at 12:56 AM

    This was a tough loss but what impresses me the most is that there is no harsh reaction on this site (well, we love Mick and understand how he just kinda goes nuts). This is a perfect example of what a great game baseball is. Should Davey have let Gio bat ?( I said yes as the game was going on). Lots of other moves late in the game as well. We will always be able to debate moves whether we win or lose.Bottom line is we are still one game out. We have a tough road trip ahead but our pitching looks to be in good shape. We have to think that Jason will be in a position to help in just a few more days, and I have to think that Bryce will be better tomorrow than he was today. We have the advantage tomorrow in the pitching matchup and I am hoping that will make a big difference.GoNats!!

  71. Drew - May 13, 2013 at 12:57 AM

    Two things: 1. If anyone here plays poker (I'm no expert — I play with friends about three times a year) this contest reminded me throughout of Texas Hold 'Em.You have to put up enough to get the other guy out of the game. You can't let him hang around and catch a lucky card at the end.2. Did anyone see the report on MLBTR that the Nats released pitcher Trevor Holder? He caught on with San Diego's farm system.I remember when the Nats picked Holder out of Georgia in the third round of the 2009 draft. Even Holder was stunned the Nats picked him so high.I think the Nats have drafted very well, but that was a reach that didn't pan out.

  72. peric - May 13, 2013 at 12:57 AM

    Its not the the team BA that's a problem. That will come around. Its the dearth of XBH other than Harper and Desmond.I think the time has come to bundle those two together in the lineup.

  73. Steady Eddie - May 13, 2013 at 1:01 AM

    jeffwx — you think Davey "did the right thing" by pulling Gio as a way to add on? He pulled a .200 hitter so a .143 hitter could K for him? Yeah, that was good odds.

  74. NatsFanSinceStart - May 13, 2013 at 1:02 AM

    Davey is a lousy, but cocky field manager. How many stupid and dumb mistakes will we forgive him. By my count, his decisions have already cost us at least three losses to date. I can't wait until he's gone.

  75. peric - May 13, 2013 at 1:03 AM

    I think the Nats have drafted very well, but that was a reach that didn't pan out.Before saying that check his stats last season and this season in Harrisburg. Holder was one of their TOP performers. EVER SINGLE BEAT guy, announcer, et al were SHOCKED when they released him. All of his teammates, everyone thought he was the best. And he was a leader, ex college world series starter, and ace of his college staff.In the end there was no place for him. He was too good to be told sorry you'll have to stay in AA because we have no room above. Rizzo et al probably decided it was best to release him and let him catch on somewhere else where he would be given an honest chance. Right after he was released they promoted a pitcher from Potomac to replace him. As well as adding lefty reliever and former 1st round draft pick Bill Bray from XST. You would be well served and wise to look into these things first Drew.

  76. jeffwx - May 13, 2013 at 1:06 AM

    We've all seen awesome hitting by Espinosa at times…I'm hopeful that he will become a 260 hitter with pop, but I maybe overly optimistic …but even with that, we are still a power hitter down in the lineup from last year…I'm glad we have Span at leadoff and in the outfield and he fills a big need for the team but we still don't have a guy who can hit behind Harper…maybe Desmondmaybe span, harper, desi,zimm, alr,werth,espi,ramos

  77. Steady Eddie - May 13, 2013 at 1:07 AM

    And another thing about Davey — he loves to talk about how he wants to get everyone in the bullpen into predictable roles. So instead of Clip he asks Soriano to do something he hasn't tried all season, to pitch an inning where he has no chance to finish the game (with a save or a final inning ending in the Nats' win). A rationalization for every deiio, even if it contradicts the rationalization he used the day before.

  78. jeffwx - May 13, 2013 at 1:10 AM

    Steady, Odds are Tracey/Moore/Bernadina is a better hitter than your pitcher…odd are you are not gonna win this game with just 1 run going into the 9th.He needs offense, we have the 3rd best pitching in the league and the 2nd or 3rd worst offense, the pitching is not the problem today…scoring one run and going 1 for 9 with risp against the cubs was

  79. Steady Eddie - May 13, 2013 at 1:10 AM

    That's "decision", not "deiio". Erratic iPad keyboard, kind of like that baby incompetent ump Tumpane's strike zone.

  80. peric - May 13, 2013 at 1:12 AM

    IMO their best hope for power to replace Morse lies in a 3-4-5 of Desmond/Harper/Moore in that order. Followed by Zim. LaRoche belongs in front of the catcher and after Espinosa. Espy already has 9 doubles and 3 homers batting mostly from the rear of the lineup. That's power. And LaRoche? With around 12 more plate appearances? Even Zim has only 2 doubles but 2 triples to go with 1 homer. But he did go on the DL and he is still recovering from the offsesaon shoulder surgery.

  81. NatsLady - May 13, 2013 at 1:14 AM

    swm, entirely possible, and I said that in my write-up on Rizzo's moves. The M's are unlikely to go anywhere, and If Morse can keep himself healthy (always an issue with him), he'll be back.

  82. jeffwx - May 13, 2013 at 1:18 AM

    I think TYMO will be a good hitter, but not sure he's ready to bat behind that far up in the order.I'm confident LaRoche is coming around…He was batting .129 on May 1 and his average has risen 80 points since.

  83. Eric - May 13, 2013 at 1:18 AM

    peric, imo, using this year's stats to argue for moving LaRoche behind Espi argues to move Moore to the 9 slot behind the pitcher.

  84. Drew - May 13, 2013 at 1:19 AM

    Peric:I did look back at Holder's record. Yes, he showed some flashes in relief this year at Harrisburg, but he had been a pretty nondescript starter in the previous three years.I guess the Nats figure the Erik Davis conversion is enough.

  85. Steady Eddie - May 13, 2013 at 1:19 AM

    Sorry, jeffwx, that logic doesn't't wash. If you're looking for odds, you have the BA evidence of who's hot and who's cold right in front of you. "Odds re you are not going to win this game with one run going into the ninth" is formula, not based on evidence. Odds are that if Gio closes out a scoreless 8th and Soriano comes in for the save, not the hold, his recent run shows odds that he will save it in the ninth with only one run lead. Basic rule of baseball — stay with the streak. Davey went with the cold streaks, not the hot ones.

  86. Eric - May 13, 2013 at 1:20 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  87. Eric - May 13, 2013 at 1:21 AM

    "[LaRoche] was batting .129 on May 1 and his average has risen 80 points since."Yeah. Prior to this game he had been batting .414 in April. Didn't help himself TOO much today, but he's on a, what, 7 game hitting streak?

  88. Eric - May 13, 2013 at 1:22 AM

    Argh…that last one should read that LaRoche was batting .414 in MAY before today…heh.

  89. David Proctor - May 13, 2013 at 1:22 AM

    9 games.

  90. jeffwx - May 13, 2013 at 1:28 AM

    Steady, your outcome if Gio pitches the 8th could be right…on another strain I think your bench player always has a better chance of providing offense than your pitcher (except for Bob Gibson, Babe Ruth…) regardless of his current BA. I'm sticking with the latter but am willing to allow your 8th. In any case, with this offense, maybe you are right and you need to ride the starter until he starts to lose it in a close ballgame. It is so frustrating that the staff has to be near perfect most of the times. They needed another shutout from their staff to win today. Odds are that wasn't happening today.

  91. peric - May 13, 2013 at 1:30 AM

    Didn't help himself TOO much today, but he's on a, what, 7 game hitting streak?.109 ONE ZERO NINE ISO? .614 OPS?What baseball planet are you from anyway Eric? Planet Giggleman? Planet "Smartball" which equates to dinky small ball? Lots of bunts and sacrifices?These stats hitters like Perez and Lombo might have who are table setters. BUT NOT YOU 4-hole dude!

  92. jeffwx - May 13, 2013 at 1:32 AM

    i count a 9 game hit streak for LaRoche

  93. NatsLady - May 13, 2013 at 1:32 AM

    Jeff, that's actually not true. WIth a 1-run lead going into the top of the 9th inning the home team has an 84.8% chance of winning. (With a 1-run lead going into the top of the 8th inning the Nats had a 79.9% chance of winning the game.)If you get a two run lead going into the top of the 9th, you increase your chance of winning from 84.8% to 93.3%. That's just on the averages, and doesn't consider the fact that your starter is cruising and your closer is good. Even if you are absolutely sure that pinch hitting for Gio is going to produce a run, you have increased your win expectancy by less than 10%.

  94. natsfan1a - May 13, 2013 at 1:33 AM

    Haven't read through comments but I will say this: Thanks, Timmy! ;-) That is all.

  95. jeffwx - May 13, 2013 at 1:34 AM

    agreed that LaRoche should never be considered your cleanup guy, but at least he's getting on base.

  96. NatsLady - May 13, 2013 at 1:35 AM

    And Davey, the "mathematician," should know that.

  97. NatsLady - May 13, 2013 at 1:36 AM

    Timmy done good for us, that's fer sure. I hope he's back on track–except when we get there, of course.

  98. Joe Seamhead - May 13, 2013 at 1:37 AM

    I hoped that he would shine but,Tyler Moore has a 42.6% strikeout out rate. Add in his limited outfielding skills I don't see where, or how, he fits in once Werth comes off the DL.

  99. jeffwx - May 13, 2013 at 1:37 AM

    NL, yes, if you are leading in the 9th, odds are you are gonna win. Scoring 1 run in a game, I think you have an 88% percent chance of losing.Competing stats. Again, we can all find stats to reduce the significance of the last one.

  100. jeffwx - May 13, 2013 at 1:39 AM

    I think Davey knows enuf baseball to know unless you are in the deadball era, odds are you gonna lose if you have to pitch a shutout. Odds are a team will score more than one run in a game. Cubs average more than 4 runs a game.

  101. Eric - May 13, 2013 at 1:40 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  102. NatsLady - May 13, 2013 at 1:42 AM

    If you have a 2-run lead going into the top of the 8th (ie, pinch hitting for Gio in the bottom of the 7th results in scoring a run) you increase your win expectancy from 79.9% to 87.7%, that is, about 8%.

  103. Eric - May 13, 2013 at 1:43 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  104. jeffwx - May 13, 2013 at 1:44 AM

    NL, I think the odds of a team throwing a shutout is purty low in any case. But this goes without saying or looking it up on fangraph.

  105. Eric - May 13, 2013 at 1:44 AM

    ".109 ONE ZERO NINE ISO? .614 OPS?…These stats hitters like Perez and Lombo might have who are table setters. BUT NOT YOU 4-hole dude!"Er, did I say somewhere that LaRoche is hitting like a 4-hole hitter right now?Or, did I say limiting the sample size to this year's stats argues for Moore batting 9th behind the pitcher?A shame you busted out the dreaded boldface arguing against a point I didn't make ;).Anyway, LaRoche has a fairly long history of residing above league average for ISO and a career OPS os .815.

  106. baseballswami - May 13, 2013 at 1:44 AM

    One thing that confuses me is that decisions are made because someone needs work or deserves to stay in instead of to win the game. Gio not only had a low pitch count, but he had figured out the erratic, temporary ump. You could see it- he was coping well. Then you ask someone else to figure it out on the fly with a one run lead. Same with hitters- stick with the guys who are getting a handle on what the zone is. Don't turn it over to a freezing cold hitter, who has to try to grasp that weird zone with a one run lead. Just because he needs the AB, or because he is the one you use in that situation usually. Normal ump and zone I think standard path. Not in that situation. My son and I looked at each other and immediately said – there goes the game. With the random situation, stick with the guys who have an idea what is going on and are dealing with it. Situational decision making, not rote. I felt so bad for Suzuki after that strange run- he looked absolutely frustrated beyond belief. And then the ump did it one more time….

  107. NatsLady - May 13, 2013 at 1:44 AM

    True, the odds are that the Cubs are going to score more than 1 run in a game. But the odds are NOT that the Cubs are going to score more than one run in the 8th and 9th innings, and that is where you are at that point. The first 7 innings are irrelevant to the discussion, since they are in the past, just like a coin flip is still 50-50 even if you had 100 heads out of 100 previous flips.

  108. NatsLady - May 13, 2013 at 1:46 AM

    Again, Jeff, you don't have to throw a shutout for nine innings. At the point when Davey made his decision, you only have to throw a shutout for TWO innings.

  109. NatsLady - May 13, 2013 at 1:48 AM

    swami, very good points.

  110. peric - May 13, 2013 at 1:48 AM

    I hoped that he would shine but,Tyler Moore has a 42.6% strikeout out rate. Add in his limited outfielding skills I don't see where, or how, he fits in once Werth comes off the DL.Actually its 29.6% PA's resulting in a swinging strike out.and 13.0 % resulting in a called strike out.Chad Tracy has 28.2% PA's resulting in a swinging strike out. and 2.6% resulting in a called strike out.Roger Bernadina has 27.9% of PA's resulting in a swinging strike out. and 7.0% of PA's result in called strike outs.BUT Lombo the table setter has a 6.8% of PA's resulting in a swinging strike out and 1.7% of PA's resulting in a called strike out.What do these all have in common?THEY ARE PINC HITTERS THAT DAVEY calls cold turkey off the benchSEAMHEAD?Please learn to understand statistics before quoting them sheesh!He never ever learns!

  111. jeffwx - May 13, 2013 at 1:50 AM

    NL, I think stats can be misleading….look at the stats when you are leading 1-0 after seven. What are the odds of your team pitching a shutout. Of course, all of this depends on the situation and the team you are playing against. Having a background in math like Davey and myself can only get you so far.ALso, your stats prove another interesting point for Mr. Johnson, keeping Gio in one more inning and not giving up a run, only increases your odds of winning by 10%….Hardly worth it, according to your own sound statistical analysis

  112. peric - May 13, 2013 at 1:51 AM

    Anyway, LaRoche has a fairly long history of residing above league average for ISO and a career OPS os .815.Not the way he is swinging the bat right now. He has no bat speed. His line drives have very little on them as a result. Again, we'll see and you do know the dreaded bold face will be all over you when that time comes right?

  113. Gonat - May 13, 2013 at 1:51 AM

    Long day, I stayed downtown after the game. The ump sucked but both Gio and Feldman were pitching well. Nats had more chances early in the game.I think Rendon is the perfect #2 hitter. He has great plate discipline, sees a lot of balls, and has that gap power. Only problem is there is no position for him.I think it's time Davey moves Harp up to the #2, and Zim up to the #3 and LaRoche to the #4 and Desi at the #5.

  114. jeffwx - May 13, 2013 at 1:53 AM

    Again, NL, your own sound analysis shows that keeping Gio in one more inning, and assuming he does not allow a run, increases your chance of winning.Shutouts are rare, you need to score more than 1 run to win 9 times out of ten even if you are leading by 1-0 after 7…I bet you can look it up

  115. Gonat - May 13, 2013 at 1:54 AM

    Anyone know what happened to Karns today? I heard he didn't even make it out of the 1st inning.Also Brian Goodwin I hear isn't playing well and has regressed from the AFL.

  116. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 13, 2013 at 1:55 AM

    Most of our hitters can improve their average by shorting swing with 2 strikes and hitting the diretion theball is pitched. inside pull, outside opposite fireld, middle drive up the middle. We have too many pullers Rspecially Espi and ALR. Iwish I knew eah of yhe primsry 8 hitters with RISP.Heard Wade Boggs on some show driving around last week. He said he believes there are very few if any good hitting coaches in baseball now. Watching enough games I know Nats are not alone with their poor hitting approach.As for my typo I apologize, my smart phonr makes it very hard to move a curser to fix s typo.

  117. Eric - May 13, 2013 at 1:55 AM

    "Not the way he is swinging the bat right now. He has no bat speed. His line drives have very little on them as a result."Um…his historical production and career stats don't change because he's not up to his personal potential in the last month of play."Again, we'll see and you do know the dreaded bold face will be all over you when that time comes right?"What are you going to prove me wrong about again? I'm still not sure what I even asserted. The only assertion I made is that your logic for moving LaRoche to the 7 hole argues for moving Moore behind the pitcher. Prove it wrong.OK, I need to go sit down. The courage it took to stand up to the bold face has me shaking and dizzy…Phew!

  118. NatsLady - May 13, 2013 at 1:56 AM

    And, not only had Gio thrown a shutout for seven innings, he had been PERFECT for six of those seven innings, including the seventh of the seven. So the odds were pretty good he could pitch one more shutout inning unless he was tired or the batters had him figured out–neither of which was the case unless there is something we don't know.

  119. jeffwx - May 13, 2013 at 1:56 AM

    Gonat, watch out putting ALR in the cleanup spot.With this team, I like Span, Harper, Desi, Zimm,

  120. NatsLady - May 13, 2013 at 1:58 AM

    Jeff, I gave you the stat for chances of the home team winning when they lead 1-0 after seven innings–79.9%.I don't understand what you don't understand.

  121. jeffwx - May 13, 2013 at 1:59 AM

    NL, I thought you went over this for us…look at the situation, keeping Gio in gives you only a small additional chance of winning referencing your own sound analysis.In order for the Nats to win, the staff would have to pitch a shutout…The odds of pitching a shutout are small.

  122. peric - May 13, 2013 at 2:00 AM

    Also Brian Goodwin I hear isn't playing well and has regressed from the AFL.He's had some injury issues and got a late start.He currently has the highest player value of all positional players on the Senators at 5.0. His wOBA is 342. His batV is .6 his posV is .5. 5 doubles 4 triples and 2 homers isn't bad for Mar/Apr beginning of May?OBP of .340 and OPS at .738. The 41 strike outs against 17 unintentionalwalks is the part that probably has some concerned. And he is hitting .256.

  123. jeffwx - May 13, 2013 at 2:01 AM

    NL, I don't believe your last post. You previously said after leading by one run. I wish we both had a life…there must be something better to do than be insulting and demeaning…good luck with that.I'm done.

  124. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 13, 2013 at 2:02 AM

    I saw on my app Suzuki'k. the pitch wasnt that nad to get upset about. Just flick it foul.saw zim,' s double. see why Harper didnt svcore, but ALR just needs to grounds to second and the run scotes. Thatis what Boggs was talking about in 1 run games hitters are not taught to not syrike out with man on third with less than 2 outs. Boggs rarely struck out then he would just pull it to the right to score a run.ALR way to many Ks so far.

  125. natsfan1a - May 13, 2013 at 2:03 AM

    lol, Eric.

  126. peric - May 13, 2013 at 2:03 AM

    I made is that your logic for moving LaRoche to the 7 hole argues for moving Moore behind the pitcher. Prove it wrong.Easy enough. Moore has been PINCH HITTING genius? I think I just made a better than average wag at showing how that can easily ballon very negative stats? Right?While Mr. LaRoche NEVER pinch hits and always starts.AND in spite of that Mr. Moore has a much higher ISO.Doh. Its not rocket science Homer?

  127. NatsLady - May 13, 2013 at 2:03 AM

    No, that's not true, Jeff. The odds of the Nats pitching a shutout were excellent. That's because the Nats had ALREADY pitched 7 innings of shutout ball and only had two innings left to pitch. What I'm trying to explain is that it is no longer a nine inning game at that point. So you can't look at the odds for nine inning games, you have to look at the odds for two inning games, two inning games in which you are already leading by one run.

  128. Gonat - May 13, 2013 at 2:03 AM

    Peric, hope you are right on Goodwin. I was talking to someone at the game saying the Nats AA guys outside of Rendon and Karns aren't progressing well and then Karns blew up today and pulled after only getting one out and giving up 6 runs.

  129. EmDash - May 13, 2013 at 2:03 AM

    Angels and White Sox having an offensive-futility-off similar to ours today.

  130. peric - May 13, 2013 at 2:04 AM

    lol Natsfan1a teehee.

  131. peric - May 13, 2013 at 2:06 AM

    Goodwin is just striking out too much. He thinks he's a big time home run hitter … and so far all who have thought that, with one lone exception: Tyler Moore, have had their comeuppance in the minors.What confuses me is why they think the majors is different? Its actually a lot worse and the pitchers are better?

  132. Gonat - May 13, 2013 at 2:06 AM

    jeffwx said… Gonat, watch out putting ALR in the cleanup spot.With this team, I like Span, Harper, Desi, Zimm,May 12, 2013 9:56 PM _____________________________Definitely Span to Harper against RH pitchers until Werth comes back. Desi is super hot and probably fits well in the #3. Davey was smart to move him out of the #2 but if he bats 3rd and Davey says "stay aggressive" then Desi can do his thing.The Cubbies pitched around Desi all day and Espi couldn't deliver and that really hurt.

  133. baseballswami - May 13, 2013 at 2:06 AM

    Watching Gio- low pitch count, dealing with the erratic zone, not acting stressed or gassed- you have smoking hot hitter to use , go ahead. I personally feel that I am still holding my breath from when Desi squared up that ball. That was our chance right there. Bryce would scored from first. Dude made a fantastic catch. I thought it might go out. After that, I thought our chance had passed- that was it, right there, a little higher up, a little further and… Bam. Deflation- air went out of the crowd.

  134. NatsLady - May 13, 2013 at 2:07 AM

    I wasn't trying to be insulting, Jeff, I was trying to explain basic statistics. In the abstract, Davey might have slightly increased his win expectancy by pinch hitting for Gio. But the increased odds were small, and offset by the fact that your starter was pitching excellently.

  135. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 13, 2013 at 2:07 AM

    Dodger series probably more low scoring games.

  136. peric - May 13, 2013 at 2:09 AM

    In the abstract, Davey might have slightly increased his win expectancy by pinch hitting for Gio.Based on what I've seen that late in the game. Your assumption would be correct Natslady. He would gain a much higher probability of a better outcome with a pinch hitter versus batting Gio. Given that the bullpen has been performing admirably of late. Just as he said.

  137. NatsLady - May 13, 2013 at 2:10 AM

    That is true, and so odd to say, that Desi needs protection. :)

  138. SCNatsFan - May 13, 2013 at 2:10 AM

    Peric you lose credibility that you continue to see good in what Moore has done here so far. I don't care how he s getting to his 43 percent strikeout rate for a guy who is supposed to be a bat he has been horrid. Playing him more and moving him into the meat of he lineup right now serves one purpose – supporting your claims about him. I agree he has earned regular at bats – at AAA. I'm tired of guys underperforming and people saying their roles should be expanded.

  139. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 13, 2013 at 2:10 AM

    Nats 131 Dodgers 127. 13th and 14th in the league.

  140. baseballswami - May 13, 2013 at 2:11 AM

    Earlier in the game- the ALR at bat. Sac fly, contact- run scores. Definitely a missed opportunity. At that point their pitcher was really having trouble with the ump. Should have taken advantage. Once you know he is inconsistent, you have to swing if you can possibly get to it to foul it off.

  141. peric - May 13, 2013 at 2:12 AM

    Gonat,I find it just short of amazing and fascinating that Anthony Rendon is the only prospect who doesn't appear to approach hitting the same way as everyone else. He seems very patient and quite willing to take a walk. He certainly got some called strike outs that were very questionable during his stay with the Nats. Rendon is still the best hitter they've got in the system bar none.

  142. David Proctor - May 13, 2013 at 2:14 AM

    Cubs just agreed to terms with Anthony Rizzo on a 7 year, 41 million dollar contract with 2 team options at the end of that for 2020 and 2021. Seems like it could be a bargain.

  143. NatsLady - May 13, 2013 at 2:14 AM

    The Sox are bad, but the Angels are worse. Not in favor of the uniforms. Also, the Papa Johns pizza is TERRIBLE, and they didn't even have pepper.

  144. peric - May 13, 2013 at 2:15 AM

    The stats across the board argue against that. And erodes not my credibility but yours. Moore deserves to be playing everyday somewhere. Either in the majors or in AAA. The ONLY thing keeping from that at this point is his definite weakness defensively. Davey picked Moore to be his bench bat. He could have had Marerro and Marerro is doing decently well in AAA at this point. Davey has seens both play in the majors. Why not pick Marerro who is better suited to a backup role? Why pick Moore unless there was some feeling that he would end up starting at some point.

  145. PChuck - May 13, 2013 at 2:16 AM

    I think Davey's comments about taking Gio out mean he thinks he made a mistake. He's just not willing to admit it.

  146. Dominats Vobiscum - May 13, 2013 at 2:16 AM

    It's a baseball game, not a game of chance. It's not governed by the laws of probability.

  147. peric - May 13, 2013 at 2:17 AM

    Also, the Papa Johns pizza is TERRIBLE, and they didn't even have pepper.All those sort of pizzas are BAD? They throw a ton of sugar in the sauce yuck! And even in the crust for starters? And the sausage is disgusting. The vegetables are often uncooked and the cheese is something truly horrid.How can you eat any of it?

  148. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 13, 2013 at 2:18 AM

    Since we have all our stat guys. Wonder how relivers do when they get the batter out compared to when they don't. Neither pitcher got the first guy out. One rule of relieving don't let first guy on base laye in the game. Both violated that rule

  149. Eric - May 13, 2013 at 2:18 AM

    "Easy enough. Moore has been PINCH HITTING genius? I think I just made a better than average wag at showing how that can easily ballon very negative stats? Right?While Mr. LaRoche NEVER pinch hits and always starts.AND in spite of that Mr. Moore has a much higher ISO."In spite of that? You don't think his higher ISO has precisely to do with mostly pinch hitting? That one home run looms much larger in his far smaller sample size. No? On top of this, his batting average is .185 right now. I just don't see that Moore has outpaced LaRoche's proven record at this point. Not by a long shot."Doh. Its not rocket science Homer?"No. No it's not.I'm not saying that Moore is incapable of becoming a better hitter than LaRoche, but he has by no means made that case so far this season. We're talking about the statistical margins here.Also, peric, you're slipping. You seem to have forgotten to go boldface. I really dodged a bullet here folks!

  150. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 13, 2013 at 2:20 AM

    Josh Hamilton 3 for 45 gainst lefties

  151. peric - May 13, 2013 at 2:20 AM

    A fortiori Dominats! Aut disce aut discede!

  152. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 13, 2013 at 2:22 AM

    Stupid me. what is ISO?Notice Chris Sales pitching like Gio did.

  153. NatsLady - May 13, 2013 at 2:23 AM

    Dominats, that is exactly the point I have been trying to make! Davey went with a move that might have had a very slight statistical advantage but he ignored the actual situation, namely that his bench is lousy (right now, anyway), his starter was cruising, and his closer is reliable.

  154. Eric - May 13, 2013 at 2:23 AM

    ISO = Isolated Cower…I mean, Power. Forgive me, I have bold face on the brain.

  155. peric - May 13, 2013 at 2:24 AM

    That one home run looms much larger in his far smaller sample size. No? On top of this, his batting average is .185 right now.Then I'll just turn YOUR argument for LaRoche against you. In June after about a month with the Nats Moore broke loose and hit 4 homers and 3 doubles as mostly a pinch hitter in the month of June while hitting a cool .425. This after he was ripping up the International League with 10 homers in the early months of last season.Moore projects to be better because he is a lot younger and far less likely to decline than LaRoche.

  156. peric - May 13, 2013 at 2:25 AM

    ESO = Eric's Stupid Output … garbage in, garbage out.

  157. NatsLady - May 13, 2013 at 2:25 AM

    peric, I was very hungry, as I went directly to the game after my work, with only a little soup for lunch. The pizza booth is near my seat, and there was no line. All of which don't excuse getting a slice of mushy cardboard. Won't happen again.

  158. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 13, 2013 at 2:26 AM

    Closer in a non closing situstion gives up 2 singles to start the inning. That is a disaster waiting to happen.

  159. NatsLady - May 13, 2013 at 2:27 AM

    ISO is Isolated Power, It basically removes singles, and considers only the extra base hits for a batter.

  160. Gonat - May 13, 2013 at 2:28 AM

    peric said… Gonat,I find it just short of amazing and fascinating that Anthony Rendon is the only prospect who doesn't appear to approach hitting the same way as everyone else. He seems very patient and quite willing to take a walk. He certainly got some called strike outs that were very questionable during his stay with the Nats. Rendon is still the best hitter they've got in the system bar none. May 12, 2013 10:12 PM _________________________________After Davey had him sit on the bench, he came back and looked amazing. He is the perfect #2 hitter. Amazing eye, great approach, and a contact hitter who will work a lot of counts. I remember it was mentioned how he doesn't get out of his plan even in a 0-2 count and then we got to see that.Rizzo has to get creative to get a spot for him. Peric, I remember you saying move RZ to 2nd and Rendon to 3rd. I think with RZ's reduced range the only place he's moving to his 1st or DH. I had my earphones in listening to Charlie and Dave and they said Zim was playing closer to the line in the 8th inning. It seems Davey even knows he has lost range. It's all odd and his game just seems in disarray. Normally that double he hit today would've been a HR. That's the furthest he's hit a ball this year besides his only HR that he hit in Miami.

  161. peric - May 13, 2013 at 2:28 AM

    peric, I was very hungry, as I went directly to the game after my work, with only a little soup for lunch. The pizza booth is near my seat, and there was no line. All of which don't excuse getting a slice of mushy cardboard. Won't happen again.Bad situation to be in … probability of stomach distress later could be high. I always go for the soft pretzels as a result.

  162. Eric - May 13, 2013 at 2:29 AM

    "Then I'll just turn YOUR argument for LaRoche against you. "That's interesting because I never made any specific argument about LaRoche, other than that it's too early imo to call him washed up.The only thing I'm arguing right now is that your logic for moving LaRoche back also argues for moving Moore back.Maybe that will stick this time. Stay tuned to find out!

  163. NatsLady - May 13, 2013 at 2:32 AM

    Yeah, should have done that, peric, and just brushed off the salt. Live and learn. The thin slice pizza they had last year was barely edible. This isn't, at all.

  164. peric - May 13, 2013 at 2:32 AM

    Gonat,Its hard to tell if Zim has truly lost range. His is extremely skittish about making those bold web-gem moves he is famous for. And understandable so! He almost lost last season were it not for the cortisone shots! He was like LaRoche is now in the #3 hole during that time after he injured the shoulder on one of those web gems! And from what Natslady uncovered it may have been far more serious than we were led to believe.Zim is thinking about the shoulder way too much IMO. He is trying to protect it from further injury which has a synergistic effect on his defense. And I begin to believe it affects his offense as well.

  165. Eric - May 13, 2013 at 2:33 AM

    Soft pretzels have save me many times at shows. It's the perfect utility snack.

  166. Harpo - May 13, 2013 at 2:34 AM

    Too funny. I stayed away all day except my early morning Mother's Day wishes and the trolling today is at an all time high.Seems Peric has found someone else to pick on in Eric. Peric can't play nice with anyone.NatsLady is now the Sheriff here on the weekends. Tracy as a pinch-hitter? How many pinch-hits has he had this year? How many HRs has he hit? He is this years version of Matt Stairs. Rizzo won't do what needs to be done. It's long been the time to get rid of the drift wood in the bullpen and the Bafoon Squad.

  167. NatsLady - May 13, 2013 at 2:35 AM

    Managers often use closers for a tie game at home. That should not be an unfamiliar position for Soriano, but maybe it was. Anyway, he ran into a little bad luck…

  168. Harpo - May 13, 2013 at 2:35 AM

    Uh Peric, the Fangraphs you like to quote from says Zimm has lost range. His UZR stinks.

  169. peric - May 13, 2013 at 2:36 AM

    The only thing I'm arguing right now is that your logic for moving LaRoche back also argues for moving Moore back.One thing is certain: Moore will be back in the line up somewhere in Davey's attempt to get the offense going.I would like to at least see Desmond and Harper batting together in the lineup making it difficult for pitchers to get past them.

  170. EmDash - May 13, 2013 at 2:38 AM

    Good thing Sale gave up the single earlier – to lose the perfect game on a throwing error would've been rough.

  171. peric - May 13, 2013 at 2:38 AM

    And the Marx brother Harpo is back. I dearly wish he would just Honk Honk instead of posting troll drivel.Have to wonder if he isn't FeelWood.

  172. baseballswami - May 13, 2013 at 2:39 AM

    Moving on. Two things: I hate late night games- 10 days? Yuck. The other thing—– Jayson Werth is needed by this team on the field, in the lineup, in the clubhouse. All of the above. I am throwing a fan tantrum right here in my living room– I want the real Nats line up and I want it tomorrow. There is a good reason people are substitutes. Because they did not win the starting spot and are not as good as the guys who did. Hence– the results. Come back soon and well, Jayson!!!!!!!!

  173. Gonat - May 13, 2013 at 2:40 AM

    Peric, I don't know. When you are at the game and watching him move around side to side RZ looks slower to react. His 2nd error yesterday was a ball he couldn't center and played it off his foot and missed it.

  174. Eric - May 13, 2013 at 2:46 AM

    "I want the real Nats line up and I want it tomorrow."I feel ya, swami. Really can't wait to be back to all our starters. I have to think the shuffling lineup has played at least some role in the fits and starts so far this season."One thing is certain: Moore will be back in the line up somewhere in Davey's attempt to get the offense going."I agree with this, although who exactly he puts in the line up seems mostly based on match ups. It's the where that seems to have to do with trying to create a spark.

  175. Harpo - May 13, 2013 at 2:46 AM

    Hey Peric, you were once considered a troll by most on here and still consider a troll by a few.Just because most people don't agree with you doesn't mean they know nothing. Its called a difference of opinion.You are another Rule #1 types.

  176. Eric - May 13, 2013 at 2:48 AM

    Er, to clarify, I agree the bench guys, including Moore, will continue to start until the full line up is healthy again. Once that happens, I'm guessing they won't see much action unless our offense continues to really under produce for an extended period.

  177. peric - May 13, 2013 at 2:50 AM

    Peric, I don't know. When you are at the game and watching him move around side to side RZ looks slower to react. His 2nd error yesterday was a ball he couldn't center and played it off his foot and missed it.If he goes with his instincts he'll end up in that leaping stretch for the ball. Injuries are synergistic. When one part is damaged it causes the other side to atrophy and so on … its hard to tell ….Again, I know Harpo will lampoon on this but this is what I saw waaaay back in spring training with him. And why I felt he should be at first base instead of LaRoche. He needs to heal because they need his bat more than his glove. At third he is going to imagine every play could exacerbate the injury. Its nigh on time to put Rendon there. Just as happened with Reynolds his UVa team mate now must happen with Zim.

  178. peric - May 13, 2013 at 2:52 AM

    I'm guessing they won't see much action unless our offense continues to really under produce for an extended period.Or? Injuries occur. I'm still not convinced Zimmerman is completely healed. Seems to me both possibilities could be highly likely at this juncture.

  179. Eric - May 13, 2013 at 2:58 AM

    If Zim won't dive for the ball at third due to risk of injury (certainly would make sense), it's interesting that he's balls to the wall on the base paths diving head first into the bag. Has anyone noticed if he's more inclined to go feet first if a collision is possible?

  180. Harpo - May 13, 2013 at 2:58 AM

    "peric said… Or? Injuries occur. I'm still not convinced Zimmerman is completely healed."He has said his shoulder is fine. Are you calling Zimm a liar? Still probably dealing with scar tissue and the games your mind plays when you are relearning how to throw the right way.Right now Zimm is hurting the team much the same way as your boy Espi is the most inconsistent batter in the lineup and keeps hurting the team in the #7. Can't get above .200 and get on a consistent streak.

  181. Eric - May 13, 2013 at 3:02 AM

    "Or? Injuries occur. I'm still not convinced Zimmerman is completely healed. Seems to me both possibilities could be highly likely at this juncture."Yes, definitely re: injuries. And, I hate to admit it, but I'm nervous that we won't get the full line up firing all at once for awhile. Seems like whack a mole lately, where one guy or part of the line up picks up and a previously hot guy or part of the line up falls off.We'll see, though. If/when we ever do get to capacity, I have to think we'll be heavily dominant if we've managed to hold at 3 over .500 under these conditions.

  182. Joe Seamhead - May 13, 2013 at 3:23 AM

    Eric at 10:18 p.m.Actuall Tyler Moore doesn't have a .185 BA. That's his OBP. His BA is .157I'm sure peric will find fault in my simple stats and math. Moore has 54 plate appearances, with 2 walks and 1 sac fly, resulting in 51 official AB's. he has struck out, by either called strike three, or gone down swinging 23 times. That is,as I said, 42.6 percent of his PA's. I wasn't talking about Tracy, Bernadina, or Lombardozzi. I'm not sure why they were brought into the conversation. My point is that given his stats for this year, and combined with his defensive limitations, Tyler Moore has not earned an everyday spot in this lineup,IMHO, and when Werth returns I don't know where he fits in as far as playing regularly.

  183. Eric - May 13, 2013 at 3:46 AM

    Ah, my bad Joe…thanks.Yeah, I just don't see how he has a starting role at this point.

  184. Laddie Blah Blah - May 13, 2013 at 3:57 AM

    Rendon's line at Harrisburg, after a very slow start, is .354/.500/1.133. If the Nats do not have a position for a bat like that, they need to make one. He has 22 walks vs. 17 Ks. He is destroying AA pitching.The Nats continue to rotate him between 2nd and 3rd base. Maybe they also continue to use him at SS, but not when I've checked. It could be that Zim's shoulder is not sound. Remember last year, when both he and the team kept insisting it was not a problem, until he and the team finally admitted that it was. I really can't tell, just from looking at him.Rendon is healthy, and he could hit with one arm better than Espinosa ever will using two. Desi drew walks today because the Cubs learned that the way to beat this Nats lineup is to pitch around Desmond, so they did. No problem to load the bases, because Danny was due up next.The Cubs hurler did not have to throw a single strike to Espinosa, and didn't bother to, even though the rookie ump gave him a called strike on a pitch that was way outside. Two outside pitches, one unaccountably called a strike, that Danny took. Since he didn't offer at either pitch off the plate, they threw him 2 breakers in the dirt. He swung at and missed both pitches in the dirt to strike out with the bases loaded and only 1 out. If he had just kept his bat on his shoulder he would have drawn a walk from any competent umpire on the planet. The guy never, ever learns.You won't win any games scoring only 1 run unless your staff shuts out the other guys. Anyone here or in the Nats hierarchy who would rather have Espinosa at the plate instead of Rendon in that bases loaded situation should have their head examined.

  185. Drew - May 13, 2013 at 4:27 AM

    In other news, we might have another pitcher to watch in the minor league system. Blake Schwartz, a tall righty, is 5-1 with a 0.99 ERA between Hagerstown and Potomac.I've long thought the test of the Nats' 2012 draft would be whether a second player from that crop (Mooneyham? Renda?) joins Giolito in the Show someday.My pick, Miller, the slugger at Hagerstown, has 6 homers, but is hitting just .225.Maybe Schwartz, a 17th rounder in 2012, will be the next late-round success story, like Milone, Lannan, Stammen and Rosenbaum.

  186. NatsFanSinceStart - May 13, 2013 at 5:46 AM

    Yanking Gio was stupidStoren cant get out leftiesZimmerman is permanently flawed, ruined evenEspinosa: still cant make contact .200Lombo: punch and judy hitter – Desi: real dealWerth: real deal, only average, a little betterSuzuki: good journeymanLaRoche: has seen his best years — getting oldBernadina: will never hit better than .250Tracy: cut himMoore: country boy – cant hit the curveHarper: Super ManSpan: better than I thought at first – a keeperBullpen: confused, inconsistent, too much dead woodStarting P: good — but inconsistentManagement: dumb as a box of Rocks, but twice as cockyFans: best in the BigsLerners: Phenomenal ownership

  187. baseballswami - May 13, 2013 at 9:58 AM

    IMO– In Spring Training, Zim was not ready and rushed back to playing right at the end before he was ready. He certainly did not get enough reps at everything. He has taken a rap for injuries and is being careful, but that's just not him. He has started hustling more, especially on the bases, with his still healthy legs. Anything involving his upper half- still wary. At some point he will just day screw this, play full out and probably get dinged up a time or two. Oh, well, it happens. His hitting stroke is looking more normal even though the full power is not back yet. His throwing has looked better but is still inconsistent. I am not ready to write him off. He still has tons of heart , hustle and baseball IQ and I also feel that he has carried this team for years on the field and representing the franchise. He deserves at least as much patience as others have gotten, if not more.

  188. NatsLady - May 13, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    Bottom line is, Davey managed to a formula. The formula was "I always try to add on runs." There should never be an "always" in baseball.

  189. NatsLady - May 13, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    swami, 100% with you on the Face. Well said.

  190. baseballswami - May 13, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    NatsLady– just like hitting and pitching, everything depends on the situation.

  191. Joe Seamhead - May 13, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    NatsLady, Davey will get second guessed any time they lose a close game. I wouldn't have pull Gio with the way he was pitching, but davey wins a lot more than he loses with his game management, regardless of what virtual managers on the internet boards think.As to Papa Johns pizza, I have knocked off a formidable amount of last year's baseball weight, but I was feeling rather peckish a couple of weeks ago at the stadium, decided to fill the empty spot with a piece of pizza. That crap was horrible! I ate about a third of it and threw the rest in the trash. It was the first pizza I had since December and it was a huge disappointment, to say the least. I am blown away with how bad the food is at the stadium. The Kosher grill has pretty good stuff, but they're not open on Fridays and Saturdays.BTW, great Lady and the Nats blog this weekend. Don't know if you care, but your clock is off by many hours on the comment section.

  192. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 13, 2013 at 11:06 AM

    The formula is flawed so far, as normally we either score early or in the middle not both, and rarely late.

  193. NatsLady - May 13, 2013 at 11:09 AM

    Seamhead, I noticed that, but don't know how to fix it. I think it's Pacific time… Agree on Davey, and I'm usually onboard with him. If I don't like a move, I figure it's on me to go deeper until and try to grasp his thinking. Good luck to Gio–and I STILL don't want the DH!

  194. baseballswami - May 13, 2013 at 11:40 AM

    Re the stadium food – now that the crowds are bigger it's tough to get food, even before the game, without missing game time. There are even lines in the men 's room now.Victims of success. One if the grown up kids had some Papa John's at the stadium yesterday because there was no line- did not complain but then we were all starving by the time we got there. We usually bring our own food, which is the very best solution. Funny thing– right after Gio gave up a hit, the lines bloomed everywhere. No one would get up before that! Baseball people……

  195. Section 135 - May 13, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    I have zero faith in Storen or Clippard. We need to reconfigure the bullpen midseason since we have no O and need to maintain leads. If we had a Loogy, no way Storen would face 2 straight lefties in the 8th. Just poor roster construction this year. Our bench, awful. Compare this team to the Cardinals and Rangers, who let Pujols and Hamilton go and came out stronger versus this team, who gives out sentimental contracts to Tracy, Zim and Laroche when we have suitable replacments in the minors. Right now Rendon leads all of AA in OPS with 0.500 OBP. We could have waited on Zim and given him a value based contract or traded him for prospects. Now he's more of an Albatross than Werth, because at least you can hide Werth's age in LF. Good teams don't let players like Espi work out kinks at the ML level while competing for a division. The Cardinals have different lineups every night. Stop playing favorites and play to win.

  196. Harpo - May 13, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    NatsFanSinceStart, I think your summary is actually a good report card. Just not sure Zimmerman is ruined. Zimmerman is still the great mystery. He clearly lied last year about his shoulder condition then confessed to it which leads you to, why should we believe you now. I still believe its scar tissue and working through that. It doesn't explain why he looks like his instincts are off on balls hit towards him where he has to move laterally.Some things you just can't explain. Plenty of people have theories including all the talking heads on ESPN and the MLB Network. Eveyone is in agreement that he just isn't right. When he went on the DL, the Nats had an opportunity to have him take time to slow the game down and rehab in the minors and well that was the grand total of 1 day.Zimm doesn't need to come clean to us however he needs to come clean to management if something is really wrong with him. Encouraging sign was the double yesterday. Bad sign is that in past years that should have been a HR.

  197. Harpo - May 13, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    "Section 135 said… Our bench, awful. Compare this team to the Cardinals and Rangers, who let Pujols and Hamilton go and came out stronger versus this team, who gives out sentimental contracts to Tracy, Zim and Laroche when we have suitable replacments in the minors. Right now Rendon leads all of AA in OPS with 0.500 OBP. We could have waited on Zim and given him a value based contract or traded him for prospects. Now he's more of an Albatross than Werth, because at least you can hide Werth's age in LF. Good teams don't let players like Espi work out kinks at the ML level while competing for a division. The Cardinals have different lineups every night. Stop playing favorites and play to win."This is nothing new. Davey stuck with Espy until the end and that 1/15 hitting in the postseason bit the old man hard. Even Lombo would have probably gone 3/15 or better. Espy sits at .189/.222/.351/.574 and for what? He is a defensive specialist. That's all he is. Send him down and get Rendon up.At least that fixes one position in the infield and Rendon has the flexibility to be a plus-plus at 2nd and 3rd.

  198. Eric - May 13, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    "swami, 100% with you on the Face. Well said."""

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 58 47 --
ATLANTA 58 50 1.5
MIAMI 53 54 6.0
NEW YORK 52 56 7.5
PHILADELPHIA 47 61 12.5
Through Wednesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Orioles at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

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ON THE RADIO

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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.
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