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Zim error triggers Strasburg meltdown

May 12, 2013, 1:39 AM EDT

Ryan Zimmerman’s throwing issue is a concern for the Nationals, no question about it, especially when that issue directly impacts the outcome of a ballgame the way it did Saturday afternoon during an 8-2 loss to the Cubs on South Capitol Street.

But the greater concern for the Nationals right now is the man who was on the mound when Zimmerman committed his latest throwing error, the man expected to lead this pitching staff and pick up his teammates when one of them makes a mistake. Stephen Strasburg wasn’t able to do that on Saturday, and he hasn’t been able to do that much at all during what has become a shockingly difficult 2013 season to date for the Nationals’ presumptive ace.

“He’s too good a pitcher to let adversity behind him let him down,” manager Davey Johnson said. “He’s certainly capable of picking us up. It’s a team effort. And errors are a part of the game.”
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118 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. SonnyG10 - May 12, 2013 at 1:47 AM

    IKN8wxU2 said…SonnyG10,Try here:http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/sports/bryce-harper-swing-of-beauty/May 11, 2013 4:07 PMThank you so much for finding that article for me. I enjoyed it very much.

  2. SonnyG10 - May 12, 2013 at 1:50 AM

    Stras needs to be able to handle adversity if he's going to be our ace. I hope he doesn't become a total head case.

  3. BigCat - May 12, 2013 at 1:52 AM

    Another bad thing. Edwin Jackson got the win AND broke Larry Mondello's back with that shot off the wall. Yep…Stra reminds me of Larry Mondello

  4. NatsLady - May 12, 2013 at 1:52 AM

    Very different quotes from the Face and from Stras. Zim feels bad for Stras and the team. Stras only feels sorry for himself. From Amanda's article.“I feel like I’m going out there and pitching well,” Strasburg said. “It’s just not happening on the days I pitch right now. It’s all going to change. It’s still early and all I can do is just go out there and give everything I have every fifth day. Whatever happens, happens.” “It’s frustrating,” Zimmerman said. “That obviously changed the momentum a little bit. I feel bad. You never want that to happen but it did. Unfortunately it was a big play in the game… We could care less about errors if it doesn’t really mess with the outcome of the game. But anytime it changes the outcome of the game, especially the momentum for Stephen, it’s terrible.”You can hear Stras blaming everyone but himself, and waiting for everything to go right on a day when he's pitching. "It's going to change." No Stephen, it isn't. It's still going to rain, the mound will be crummy, you won't get run support, umps will make bad calls, and your teammates will make errors. YOU are the one who has to change.

  5. Eric - May 12, 2013 at 1:54 AM

    I have to say, while it's kinda painful to read, I like how the team is reacting to this game. Zim definitely needs to figure out his throwing issue, but Stras was The Problem here, and it's just a particularly notable example of something that's happened with him before.

  6. NatsLady - May 12, 2013 at 1:58 AM

    Mark had the same quote, and another one from Desi, that also put it in perspective. Zim will sleep tonight, it really wasn't any worse than a walk, you have to pitch around it. You can see that Desi didn't want to criticize Stras. But you can also see that he was disappointed.

  7. sjm308 - May 12, 2013 at 2:00 AM

    This hurt as we obviously could be tied for first right now.Trying very hard not to go too deep on this concerning both negatives. I honestly think Zimm will be ok and get better as he gets healthier.I am not as sure about SS. I realize we have him locked up for several more years but the more JZimmnn shines the more I think he is who needs to be extended and let SS head back to sunny California when the time comes. Maybe everything will change and he can become the bulldog but right now there is just one tough guy and his first name is Jordan. I agree with Eric that Davey and others seem to be rallying around Zimm but they are not as positive about Strasburg. Win tomorrow and we win another series!!Go Nats!!

  8. Eric - May 12, 2013 at 2:00 AM

    I remember when I was pitching in little league, and I'd have a tough inning, our starting first baseman would start saying, "come one Eric!" in a very encouraging tone. But, if I didn't recover within one or two batters, he'd say the same thing, but in a very discouraging, frustrated tone.It's hard to quantify exactly how much that subtle change affects a given player or a team, but I can assure it was never what helped me get it back together.

  9. Eric - May 12, 2013 at 2:03 AM

    "Mark had [a] quote from Desi, that also put it in perspective. Zim will sleep tonight, it really wasn't any worse than a walk, you have to pitch around it."That was the money quote right there that might really get Stras' attention if he reads it. Harsh, but exactly right.

  10. Eric - May 12, 2013 at 2:08 AM

    "Maybe everything will change and he can become the bulldog but right now there is just one tough guy and his first name is Jordan."Agreed. I don't see any reason why Stras can't come around. It's been a very topsy turvy couple of years for him, and he has a W-L record that isn't entirely his fault.But, from what I've read about his behavior today (didn't see it first hand as I was listening on the radio), it was inexcusable. Hopefully, as NatsLady mentioned, it will inspire the team or someone on it to really break it down for him.

  11. NatsLady - May 12, 2013 at 2:15 AM

    I don't know if he will listen to anyone on the team, because McCatty helped him in the past (I have in mind the time in Miami). My hope is that when we go to San Diego someone who is not on the team but who is an old friend or coach will have a sit down and say, "Please, please, don't become one of those guys that doesn't perform up to his brilliant talent. Become an ANSWER, not a question."

  12. NatsLady - May 12, 2013 at 2:17 AM

    What I mean is, McCatty helped him in the past and he didn't listen to McCatty on this issue. If you don't listen to the guy who has seen everything as a pitcher, then who?

  13. NatsLady - May 12, 2013 at 2:20 AM

    Duke didn't help, but he is a minor figure, not the guy we are pinning our hopes on. Yes, maybe we could have won the game without Duke's "efforts," but then the Stras meltdown might have gotten shoved aside in rejoicing over a comeback and being tied for first place. This way, you can't ignore Stras' behavior, you can hopefully address it and improve it.

  14. Eric - May 12, 2013 at 2:22 AM

    When did Stras' attitude actually nose dive? Was it immediately after Zim's error, or was it later after he'd give up the walks and hits (maybe in particular EJax' double)?Sometimes a front of feeling faultless is just a disguise for feeling ashamed.

  15. Eric - May 12, 2013 at 2:23 AM

    "This way, you can't ignore Stras' behavior, you can hopefully address it and improve it."True. So, I guess thanks for that, Duke! ;)

  16. NatsLady - May 12, 2013 at 2:26 AM

    Good question, Eric. Or maybe earlier, when he gave up what would have been a triple. We are assuming he was mad at Zim. But maybe he was mad at himself? Anyway, he needs to get past adversity, whether caused by himself or a teammate (or an ump, or, or, or…)

  17. Eric - May 12, 2013 at 2:30 AM

    Oh, I agree, moping around in front of your team and 37,000 fans while a batter licks his chops is just a recipe for disaster. Regardless of the root cause.

  18. Eric - May 12, 2013 at 2:35 AM

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  19. Eric - May 12, 2013 at 2:36 AM

    This is another thing that bugs me, but maybe it's standard (from the Post article about the game):"Though he had looked more comfortable and accurate throwing across the diamond since returning from the disabled list on May 3, his throw in the fifth pulled Adam LaRoche off the bag. Strasburg was already headed toward the dugout on the play."Do pitchers routinely trot to the dugout before the 3rd out is actually made?

  20. Dominats Vobiscum - May 12, 2013 at 2:42 AM

    "Even though his starter was sitting on 95 pitches at that point and was only one pitch removed from a dominating performance, Johnson didn't even consider sending Strasburg back to the mound for the sixth."Mark, pray tell. Which one of the 26 pitches Strasburg threw after Zimmerman's error was the one that kept him from being dominant? Because I saw a lot of bad pitches in that bunch myself. Not just one.

  21. Eric - May 12, 2013 at 2:44 AM

    Dominats, I think Mark's referencing the number of pitches Stras threw after he got EJax to 0-2.

  22. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 12, 2013 at 2:57 AM

    zim's problem seems very easy to fix, but have yet to see him do it.When he takes his time errors occrs. Easily solution, don't take your time on any throw.strasburg obviously cannot step up after errors (at least until now). His solution is easy also. Pitch ecactly like you did before the error after the error. Don't let up.A much bigger concern to me is the terrible team hitting. of the 8 position players obly 2 had averages over .240. What gives?

  23. pwilly - May 12, 2013 at 2:58 AM

    "shockingly difficult 2013 season to date for the Nationals' presumptive ace"Little dramatic, don't you think? Much of SS's stats are very similar to last year's, except for wins and losses which for starting pitchers can be a deceiving stat both positively and negatively.I'm much more concerned about Zimm. He sure throws like he's still got shoulder issues. Nothing natural about his throwing motion, all mechanical.

  24. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 12, 2013 at 2:59 AM

    Also what is thos talk of ace? Jordan Zim is pitching like that, so why are tgey not calling him it. Total dis respect in my opinion.

  25. ExposedinDC - May 12, 2013 at 3:00 AM

    Stras is the one who needs to get better and I am not sure when or if it will ever happen. I am not sure he has the mental fortitude to ever be an ace, currently in my opinion he is closer to an over hyped espn generated 3rd starter, he has reached the prove it to me point, hopefully someday soon he will .

  26. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 12, 2013 at 3:02 AM

    Sorry my fingers keep hitting wrong keys.Zim is the ace.He plays plays and concentrates every inning errors or no error.

  27. Eric - May 12, 2013 at 3:06 AM

    I think he's proved he CAN be an ace; I think we're watching him go through the final pressure cooker that determines whether he will be.Honestly, I'd rather have him discover the depths of his perfectionism problem now than in October. If he doesn't learn how to recover from a double-turned-out-at-third or 2 out, none on throwing error by then, that will be much more concerning.I just wish his meltdowns were more about execution problems and less about visible emotional turmoil.

  28. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 12, 2013 at 3:07 AM

    @Expose Stras has the ability, but does not stay focused once a mistake is made.Jordan Zimmerman on the other hand concentrates more.A side note Gio can go either way somes he buckles up sometimes not.Detwiler getting better.Haren acually second best of not letting errors bother him.Until Stras learns to ignore errors we will never see him to his full potential.

  29. baseballswami - May 12, 2013 at 3:07 AM

    I think we all realize this is a difficult game, lots of failure. Physical errors happen, especially in a recovery period after a surgery. Mental errors happen – concentration lapses during the long grind. I think what I have heard mostly today is annoyance with an attitude. Stras said "I" Zim talked about the team. Stras was walking off the mound, did not cover home. We see someone with a huge talent, one that none of us has– not respecting his team, or the fans or the game. You have to control the things that you can control, and you CAN control your attitude. I hear a lot of disappointment in posts today . There are kids up in those bleachers wearing his jersey. Does he want them to act like that? He seems totally clueless.

  30. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 12, 2013 at 3:14 AM

    What I think what people hate is seeing someone with a ton of God giving talent not utilizing because he is moping. That is probably what you are saying. But I am just saying it differently.Sd for Zimm his solution is what I said. Take your time on none of the throws.

  31. Eric - May 12, 2013 at 3:17 AM

    Walking off the mound before the final out is recorded and failing to cover home are just mind boggling. The former actually leads me to believe that the double-turned-out-at-third is what really sent him into a downward spiral. I suspect he was annoyed about that and just wanted to get the hell out of there. This quote from Davey is telling, imo: "Johnson said. 'And sometimes, he’s such a perfectionist, any little thing can . . . even when a guy flies out, he’ll wonder if he threw the pitch in the right spot.'"Still, even if he was pissed at himself and not Zim or anyone else, he needs to learn to let it go. Take a deep breath, picture the batter naked, whatever. Just do something that lets you move on, Stras.

  32. Eric - May 12, 2013 at 3:18 AM

    "Sd for Zimm his solution is what I said. Take your time on none of the throws."I agree. Every throws an emergency…because when it's not, it becomes one anyway ;).

  33. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 12, 2013 at 3:19 AM

    Just pitch to each batter likes he's the last batter and you nred to retire him to win.That attitude would do him better than the moping he does.

  34. Eric - May 12, 2013 at 3:21 AM

    Maybe the next video he watches needs to be of him stalking around the mound instead of him pitching the ball. It's possible he has no idea how much he wears it all on his sleeve.

  35. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 12, 2013 at 3:21 AM

    Correct Eric. lots of time is his enemy.Not sure why he has't figured that out. Pretty obvious tomost fans.

  36. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 12, 2013 at 3:24 AM

    Eric you would think McCatty showed him already, but maybe not.If not shown yet then coaches sren't coaching.Already convinced hitting coach isn't going over films. Nor had he for 3 years as most bad habits never change.

  37. ExposedinDC - May 12, 2013 at 3:26 AM

    The heat, the shutdown, the rain, the altitude in Denver, the mound, the strike zone, muscle balm, sweat, a fielding error, the bullpen mound, April cold weather…..I am sure I am forgetting something. Yes he has skills but definitely needs some improvement between the ears. I agree that better to figure it out now than in October, but he has a lot of figuring out to do.

  38. NatsNut - May 12, 2013 at 3:28 AM

    I didn't see the game so reading the quotes and comments and such, I could imagine what Strasburg's body language was like and agree with most of the sentiments here – it's bad and I don't want it on my team. But I went back and watched the inning just to see for myself, and honestly, the bad body language didn't hit until he walked DeJesus. Between Zim's error and that walk, Strasburg mostly looked gassed more than he looked annoyed. One big anomaly that I hadn't see before was how long Zim seemed mad at himself right after his error. He seriously looked like he was cussing himself out and rolling eyes at himself way longer than I'd ever seen him do.

  39. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 12, 2013 at 3:29 AM

    What were the previous 57 starts for. Learn from each start. Started enough games to get out of mope activity.

  40. Eric - May 12, 2013 at 3:30 AM

    I'll tell you one thing, when Haren was melting down left and right in his first few starts, his attitude in the post game interviews almost made me excited about his losses. I mean, he was just so candid and self-possessed and it really made you think he would come out of it. And, so far, it looks like he may have.Maybe that's the guy who needs to sit down with Stras. Maybe he can be Stras' DeRosa, aside from the whole ineffective on the field thing ;).

  41. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 12, 2013 at 3:32 AM

    I was listening as I was driving, but went with Dave and Charlie's description. gassed at 68 pitches? If so needs to get in shape.

  42. SonnyG10 - May 12, 2013 at 3:32 AM

    A few things you folks could consider:1) Stephen is the youngest pitcher on our 25 man roster;2) Jordan Zimmermann is two years older than Steven;3) Stephen has not had the experience of a full major league season as yet;4) Stephen has not had a chance to learn to deal with adversity because so far in his career, he has had little adversity to deal with (not counting injuries)When Davey Johnson says Stras is still learning, he means exactly that. Stras will learn to overcome adversity…just give him time to mature and get the experience he needs.

  43. baseballswami - May 12, 2013 at 3:36 AM

    I wonder what Syracuse is like this time of year?

  44. Eric - May 12, 2013 at 3:36 AM

    >Stras will learn to overcome adversity…Possible, if not probable, but public emotional collapses and subsequent malaise don't inspire confidence.

  45. Eric - May 12, 2013 at 3:38 AM

    swami, I'm not ready to reach for the ax from my armchair just yet, but I'm not exactly feeling excited about how Stras will be performing 2 months from now.

  46. ExposedinDC - May 12, 2013 at 3:40 AM

    Sonny I agree with most of your post, the adversity part however I do not agree with, he has faced adversity and seemingly has no clue how to deal with it, if that was JZimm on the hill today, NO way Ejax hits that double.

  47. Steady Eddie - May 12, 2013 at 3:41 AM

    Eric — only thing you wrote I Disagree with is that it was Valbuena's double-out-at-third that threw him off. No basis for asserting that, when he had previously had two or three flyouts to the wall bashed hard without disrupting his control, and when Valbuena's hit was not squared up all that well, just a hard grounder that got past ALR and into the RF corner. (it was hit right at where I was sitting, at the bottom of 136). And most important, Zim's error was on the next play, which was Cartillo's weak bouncer. It was immediately after the error that he started to lose control. I had noticed earlier in the fifth that he had thrown exactly 12 balls to something in the high 40s for strikes, some ridiculous proportion.

  48. Eric - May 12, 2013 at 3:48 AM

    Eddie, you don't think his making for the dugout with a ball still in play (as Zim was making his error) suggests he was already a little rattled? Is it SOP for a pitcher to take off before the out is recorded? That just seems weird to me.But, who knows.

  49. David Proctor - May 12, 2013 at 3:53 AM

    I know a lot of people here hate FP because he's a homer and I get that, but he occasionally makes good points. Strasburg has NEVER really faced adversity on the mound. It's always come easy to him. Most guys learn how to deal with that in the minors, Strasburg hardly played in the minors. He's only had 50 something starts. Try and think of where some of the other guys on our staff were at 50 starts. For reference, through 60 starts:Gio had an ERA of 5.5JZimm had an ERA of around 4.20Ross had an ERA of around 4.00Dan Haren had an ERA of around 4.4Strasburg's career ERA is 3.01. Gio in particular was known to meltdown on the mound in Oakland. It still happens sometimes, but he's gotten better. Look at what he did in Pittsburgh.I know nobody likes to hear that Strasburg is still learning. But he's 24 years old and he IS still learning. Most young pitchers go through these things. There are exceptions, of course, but still. Strasburg will get it together. We just have to be patient.To whoever asked about the pitcher walking towards the mound, that's somewhat common. However, not covering home plate is not common and is unacceptable.

  50. David Proctor - May 12, 2013 at 3:55 AM

    towards the dugout* sorry, typo

  51. Doc - May 12, 2013 at 3:55 AM

    Desi sorta saw Stras's let-down that we all saw, maybe from a different angle obviously.Stras has been in competitive baseball for most of his life. So I don't think that he would have gotten anywhere at San Diego State with that motivational format. And it's not something that Coach Gwynn would put up with. A little sit-down with Cat and Davey is in order. The error, as bad as it was, is really an irrelevant issue as to what Stras did thereafter–including not backing up the play at the plate.

  52. David Proctor - May 12, 2013 at 4:02 AM

    Um. Bowa on MLB Network just suggested we put Harper at 3B and Zimmerman in LF. That's…new.

  53. SonnyG10 - May 12, 2013 at 4:03 AM

    ExposedinDC said…Sonny I agree with most of your post, the adversity part however I do not agree with, he has faced adversity and seemingly has no clue how to deal with it, if that was JZimm on the hill today, NO way Ejax hits that double.May 11, 2013 11:40 PMExposedinDC, I tried to point out that JZimm is two years older than Stras and he has pitched more than one complete season, so he could reasonably be expected to handle the adversity better at this point in his career. Stras is just beginning to deal with adversity. Baring further injury, in two years when Stephen is as old as Jordan is now, I would expect him to deal with it better.There is so much negativity here that I'm trying to counter by looking at the brighter side. We lost a game today that was hard to take, but we will get through this. Things will look a lot better when we go on another 5 game winning streak.

  54. Steady Eddie - May 12, 2013 at 4:08 AM

    No, I think his walking off early was an acting out of "OK, good, I'm back in the groove and can start thinking about my next inning." Which may be part of why the error threw him off so badly, because he couldn't psychologically shift his gears back into "focus NOW" mode.I guess I do disagree also with your do-or-die fatalism about him. I know we're all pretty intense followers of Stras' sometimes-diva-like histrionics, starting last year, and it certainly seems like the national focus and pressure over the shutdown did some stuff with his head that he's still trying to get past. But not only is what Sonny wrote all instructive; and has been written here before by a few, that somr of the really dominant fireballers took into their later 20s to really pull their games together. But another factor making it even harder for him is that he came out of nowhere, relatively speaking, in his college years, and even more with his introverted temperament, is really unprepared to deal with all of this. (In contrast, Bryce's preparedness at an even earlier age is really impressive, and is still more testimony to how well his parents raised him. All this is by way of explanation not excuse. However many reasonable explanations there may be, Stras needs to find a way to get past this, and keep his focus. But it's not hoping to happen overnight.

  55. Eric - May 12, 2013 at 4:12 AM

    "To whoever asked about the pitcher walking towards the mound, that's somewhat common. However, not covering home plate is not common and is unacceptable."Thanks for the insight about walking towards the dugout before the out is recorded (I caught your meaning, even prior to the follow up correction ;) ).Undoubtedly, even if a bolt for the dugout is uncommon, the failure to cover home is a far worse offense. I mean, that's like blowing off a one-on-one meeting with your boss right there.

  56. Eric - May 12, 2013 at 4:14 AM

    "There is so much negativity here that I'm trying to counter by looking at the brighter side.'Noted and appreciated. Stras' behavior just really surprised me. I'm probably attributing it too much weight, though.

  57. Steady Eddie - May 12, 2013 at 4:18 AM

    Eric — also, I'm sure the Zim error gave him an Atlanta game flashback (also on a Saturday afternoon), which became a self-fulfilling prophecy.I suspect we've all also seen enough of Duke. Give him a last chance at Syracuse and give Rosenbaum a try (as peric suggested this evening). H'd be there as a long/mop up man so it's as low pressure a setting as you can get with a winning team in MLB.

  58. Eric - May 12, 2013 at 4:18 AM

    Sorry to triple up, but…Eddie, fwiw, my comments are mostly out of shock over his in-game malaise. Despite the fact that I only became a fervent follower of the team in August (after being a casual fan since they moved to DC), I fully appreciate the unique and rapid nature of Stras' rise to where he is. My suggestion that he talk with Haren (or, Haren with him) is sincere. Haren *really* impressed me with his post-game interviews after being shelled early this season. He shouldered the burden of his meltdown and explained that and how he would move forward. When he definitively righted the ship in Atlanta, he didn't pat himself on the back, he explained what was wrong about his approach in previous starts and what he did to address it.I think that attitude is precisely the next step in Stras' journey. So much so that I almost wonder if that isn't partly why Haren is being paid so much to be on our team.

  59. Eric - May 12, 2013 at 4:22 AM

    I haven't paid enough attention to Duke to have a solid opinion on him. Certainly he's responsible for catapulting a salvageable game beyond reach tonight, though.

  60. SonnyG10 - May 12, 2013 at 4:30 AM

    I really panic when I see Duke warming up to come into a game. I know he's had some good outings, but I've seen too many bad outings from him. As soon as Rizzo can find an upgrade, Duke needs to go.

  61. David Proctor - May 12, 2013 at 4:36 AM

    I didn't like Tom Gorzelanny, but I see the value he provided now. He might give up a run occasionally, but he can eat innings effectively without letting the game get out of reach.

  62. SonnyG10 - May 12, 2013 at 4:40 AM

    Yeah, David, I felt the same about Gorzelanny as you, but I would rather have him over Duke. I believe Rizzo will try to do something to fix this part of the bullpen as soon as he finds something suitable.

  63. Drew - May 12, 2013 at 4:47 AM

    Did Strasburg look and sound petulant after Zimmerman's error? Sure. A superbly gifted 24-year old pitcher — the staff's purported ace — shouldn't comport himself like a 16-year-old.That said, the calls to jettison Strasburg are absurd. In one bad inning he goes from peak to pique and suddenly some folks want to ship him to Syracuse or back to California? Really?Some of us are overreacting, as Strasburg did. We need to handle adversity, too.Deep breath, it's a long season. I suspect there is only one lasting lesson from Saturday's meltdown.Duke's a hazard.

  64. Eric - May 12, 2013 at 4:54 AM

    Agreed Drew. While I'm not as excited today as I was April 1 about where Stras might be in 2 months, I don't think it's time to send him down… Or anyone for that matter, except Duke, about whom I have no opinion.

  65. NatsLady - May 12, 2013 at 7:07 AM

    No one is calling to jettison Strasburg. Most people are calling for him to get a good talking to from Davey, McCatty, his old coach, Dan Haren, Jordan Zimmermanm, or Denard Span's mom.. Whatever it takes to have that attitude Dan Haren had when Davey went out to the mound and Haren said, "@(*$))@ I got this guy."

  66. Tim - May 12, 2013 at 7:15 AM

    Stars is not Kwame Brown.

  67. NatsLady - May 12, 2013 at 7:39 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  68. NatsLady - May 12, 2013 at 8:27 AM

    Gorzelanny was doing quite well with the Brewers (Mike Gonzalez, not so much). But the Brewers just put Gorzy on the DL with shoulder tendenitis. So, of the four lefties Rizzo didn't pick up, three are on the DL (Lannan, Sean Burnett, Gorzelanny) and the fourth is tanking at his job. Zach Duke looked good at the end of last year, and was cheap ($700 K) but is it time to look at an alternative?

  69. Secret wasian man - May 12, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    The kid has lost his confidence. If he comes unglued after an error then the best way to fix that is, STOP making errors. Ry Zimm is an embarrassment at third. And he certainly does not hit well enough to make up for all those errors.

  70. Candide - May 12, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    Amidst all the angst about Strasburg, has anyone noticed that Henry's ERA is now down to 3.09? That in two innings yesterday, he walked no one, struck out two and got the rest on ground balls? I think it may be time for us to start thinking about not screaming, "God no, not Henry!" every time we see him warm up.As for Strasburg, the solution is simple. Instead of sending McCatty out there, send Joe Seamhead to tell him, "Relax – we got this."

  71. DaveB - May 12, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    Pretty sure that Zach is on a ML contract that would require him to clear waivers before going to Syracuse. He hasn't gotten much work lately, so not sure I would give up on him completely without a few more outings (especially as he is our only lefty). However, it does look like options will be available if they do give up. Given that Stammen is still mainly filling the long relief role, Garcia, Eric Davis, Abad, Romero, Rosenbaum, maybe even Bill Bray, are all getting close.

  72. NatsNut - May 12, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    Agreed, DaveB. Hadn't it been something like 11 days since Duke pitched? I feel bad for the guy.And you're absolutely right about Henry, Candide. I didn't even notice that about Henry. It's kind of refreshing that he is nowhere to be found in the angst on this post.

  73. NatsJack in Florida - May 12, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    While disgusted and dismayed by Zim's continued penchant for making the same errant throw, I have more of an issue with Stras and his lack of mental toughness.In the words of my former Administrative Assistant whenever I would complain about issues not going my way, "Suck it up, Buttercup".

  74. NatsNut - May 12, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    Hey Scooter, here's a nice piece on your boy, Jordan. It's stuff we've all read before, but still nice to see.

  75. MicheleS - May 12, 2013 at 11:52 AM

    So I was a the game, and while we are focused on "The Error & the Meltdown" it's a team game and that team had chances. Duke deserves some ire b/c of that crap inning – He hadn't pitched in 10 days, so was anyone suprised that this happened???? When your 3/4/5 guys can get on base, your bottom half of the lineup needs to produce as well when you have the chances. They had the bases loaded and only got 1 run out of it. And let's not forget to tip your hat to Edwin, I am sure he was UBER focused on beating his old team.Yes, Zim need to fix his throws, and yes Stras needs to grow a pair – NatsLady, I hope Tony Gwynn will be the one that knocks some sense into him in San Diego. Bright sides.. Henry..Oh lord.. was he Good Henry last night. Good 2 innings of work. And Desi… clearly he has figured it out and I bet the next time Stras is out on the mound that Desi is babysitting him from the first pitch on. And finally, the Braves lost

  76. Harpo - May 12, 2013 at 12:07 PM

    Happy Mother's Day to all the Mothers here especially Mark Zuckerman's wife.

  77. fast eddie - May 12, 2013 at 12:15 PM

    I agree with Drew: too many of us throwing Stras under the bus. No one has mentioned that his ERA is 3.10, one of the best in the league. He'll figure it out.Much more concerned re: Zimm's throwing. Two things make me cringe: Henry warming up and Zimm preparing to throw after fielding an easy two-hopper. Shouldn't his shoulder be fully healed after six months??

  78. ExposedinDC - May 12, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    Nats jack….best post I have read in a long time

  79. Joe Seamhead - May 12, 2013 at 12:22 PM

    I just read through all of the posts from yesterday up to now, and it being baseball you just gotta move on and get 'em today. Hey, things sucked for Atlanta last night, too, and they are still only one game up on us. Right now both players we're all worried about seem to be having issues originating above their shoulders, I.e. in their heads.Zimm is tough, he'll figure it out. And in spite of coming across as a wuss, Stras is tough, too, but has a lot of growing up to do. As a team, I think today's game is a very important one to win. A win will stop the sting of yesterday from seeping deeper and begin festering.Relax! We got this!

  80. Candide - May 12, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    Yikes – just looked at the "Who's Going" tab on the NIDO spreadsheet. Am I really the only NIer going today?

  81. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 12, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    Nats Nut, thanks for that link on Jordan Zimmermann.Crasnick gets it. He doesn't specifically name the K Rate which some keep focusing on in the debate of an out is an out:The Nationals keep drilling their starters on the importance of pitching with economy, and Zimmermann has embraced the concept with fervor. He is averaging 13.3 pitches per inning compared to 15.8 last season, and he has consistently gone deep into games If Zimmermann fails to attract the attention he deserves, it's because he's longer on substance than flash. His best attribute is his ability to work both sides of the plate with his fastball. What the approach lacks in sexiness, it makes up for in effectiveness."Jordan is just Jordan," said Nationals pitching coach Steve McCatty. "People inside the game have known for years how good he is. I remember his first year in big league camp in 2009. Dan Warthen was with the Mets and we talked after the game. He said, 'I hope you don't have a lot more like that guy, because he's filthy.' "

  82. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 12, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    This part is great:Zimmermann is winning admirers the old-fashioned way. It was telling last week when Bank of America shareholders held their annual meeting in Charlotte, N.C. After some vigorous debate on a number of topics, a shareholder named Judy Koenick told a reporter that she needed to duck out early to catch the start of the Nationals game. "Jordan Zimmermann is more important than this meeting," she said.

  83. Gonat - May 12, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    Remember how great Maholm started off for the Braves with the 3 shutouts and started 3-0 and the ERA of 0.00, since then he has lost 4 of 5 games and his ERA has blown up to 3.94.

  84. Gonat - May 12, 2013 at 8:45 AM

    Uh oh, Gorzelanny to the DL with shoulder tightness.

  85. baseballswami - May 12, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    Going to the game, Csndide. Just have no idea where I am sitting- not in charge of the tickets! Hope Gio is calm and focused today. Think pink and think hits.

  86. Faraz Shaikh - May 12, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    I won't lie but this is getting a bit tiring. I know SS is pitching great, he is better than JZ as far as stuff is concerned but he has to work on his own mental makeup I think. OTOH, RZ's quotes are good but he also needs to fix his throwing issues. He seems like a long way from GG 3B he was.

  87. Gonat - May 12, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    Crasnick writes…Zimmermann is quietly making bland fashionable in Washington. With his next start on tap Monday at Dodger Stadium, he's 6-1 with a 1.59 ERA, a .181 batting average against and a 0.82 WHIP against some top-flight competition.Zimmermann's early All-Star Game push has gained momentum in his past three appearances. He threw a complete-game one-hitter in a 1-0 victory over Cincinnati on April 26, and followed up with eight shutout innings in a 2-0 win over Atlanta. His streak of scoreless innings reached 20 before Detroit broke through with a run against him in a 3-1 loss to the Nationals on Wednesday___________________________________Crasnick does a good job of not taking sides in the debate of what makes a pitcher great rather points out how JZ executes his plan and the results are great. He almost pokes fun at his with this "Zimmermann is quietly making bland fashionable".It does amaze me that people want to point to BABIP saying its too lucky or to K/BB to define a pitcher. They did it for years with Lannan talking about his BABIP and K/BB while he was helping this team to win games and instead of embracing it, they used it as words to bash him. How's Strasburg's K/BB working for him?

  88. c715e5d6-9d22-11e1-a89a-000f20980440 - May 12, 2013 at 1:01 PM

    GOSM quoted "After some vigorous debate on a number of topics, a shareholder named Judy Koenick told a reporter that she needed to duck out early to catch the start of the Nationals game. "Jordan Zimmermann is more important than this meeting," she said.>>I will remember that next time I want to duck out early for a 4 p.m. start. If it's good enough for Bank of America, it's good enough for my employer.ArVAFan

  89. NatsFanSinceStart - May 12, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    Time to tell the truth again .. here goes 1. You can't win a pennant (or anything for that matter) with a 3B who can't throw. Period.2. Strasburg needs a shrink or a face slap to get his head out of his arse when errors are made.3. Zach Duke is not a good pitcher; never has been; never will be. Gorzo, where are you now?

  90. Gonat - May 12, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    NatsFanSinceStart said… Time to tell the truth again .. here goes 3. Zach Duke is not a good pitcher; never has been; never will be. Gorzo, where are you now? ____________________________Like I wrote 30 minutes ago, Gorzo is on the DL.

  91. NatsFanSinceStart - May 12, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    Hurrying his throw and treating each ground ball like "an emergency" as some posters have suggested seems like the answer to Zim's throwing problem — BUT ITS NOT.Zim's problem is in his mind (Mackey Sasser and steve Sax). His mind cannot be fooled that an emergency throw is needed — his mind knows that on a play like yesterday that it is not — he has all the time in the world and his mind can't be tricked out of that fact. There is no cure; there is no remedy; there is no hope for a player who has more of a psychiatric issue than a physical one. Go ask Sasser, Sax, Knoblauch, and Ankiel.

  92. NatsFanSinceStart - May 12, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    To Gonat: uh … the reference to Gorzo was clearly rhetorical, but thanks for being literal anyway.

  93. Gonat - May 12, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    NatsFanSinceStart, it seems most of the players the Nats let walk including even Morse have had injury issues and are not performing well.

  94. NatsFanSinceStart - May 12, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    Come to think of it, Strasburg's issue is seeming more an more like a psychiatric issue as well. Great! We think we have a good team, but what we have are certain key players having monumental Mental Breakdowns. Rizzo should bring back that shrink he hired last year — or get a better one!!

  95. JaneB - May 12, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    I join Harpo's Mother's Day wishes.One of the things that used to delight me about Livo was how, on the third out, he'd have faster velocity to the dugout than his pitch to the plate.

  96. NatsFanSinceStart - May 12, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    Gonat: And the Nats have or have had physical issues with the players they currently have: Werth, Harper, Zimmerman, Stras (head case). So I don't quite see the point. that a player is out for 15 days is a good reason we got rid of them?

  97. NatsFanSinceStart - May 12, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    And a Happy Mothers Day to all mother posters. If we have any

  98. Secret wasian man - May 12, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    Hahaha oh we can all be mothers at times on this post… Just kidding. Lets have a good day today everybody. Gonna miss the start of the game as family will be doing brunch. Hold down the fort.

  99. NatsLady - May 12, 2013 at 2:04 PM

    Gorzo is on the DL. Shoulder.

  100. NatsLady - May 12, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    sean burnett is on the dl. john lannan is on the dl. mike gonzalez is stinking up milwaukee, letting more than 1/2 of his inherited runners score and not getting lefties out. mike morse is hitting .220.

  101. baseballswami - May 12, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    Is Rizzo clairvoyant ???

  102. NatsLady - May 12, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    best thing is for our own guys to keep it together & not worry about coulda shoulda kept this guy or that guy. will be at the game today. go nats!

  103. Joe Seamhead - May 12, 2013 at 2:28 PM

    Have fun today, NatsLady, Candide and everyone else going. The starter for the Cubs today is no slouch. Hope our bats get going early. I agree with NatsLady in some of the whining about we shoulda, coulda kept this guy, or that guy are sounding, shall we say, pretty un-informed right now. We're staying home, having a couple people over for Margarita marinaded shrimp and steaks on the barbi with the game on the boob tube.GYFNG!!!

  104. peric - May 12, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    mike morse is hitting .220.He also has a .258 ISO. That's huge no matter how you slice it. And all of us know once he gets past the fractured pinky he will hit around .300 when all is said and done because this is what Morse does.

  105. natsfan1a - May 12, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    Haven't read the game thread, or all of the comments here. Did watch the entire game.Agree with concerns voiced about Stras' demeanor/performance but seriously, name-calling and armchair mental diagnostics? Didn't like it back in the day when people anointed him a messiah and don't like it now when they call him names. He was and is human, and a young one at that. [Stuff] happens, and hopefully he'll learn to deal with it when it does.

  106. peric - May 12, 2013 at 3:20 PM

    Like I wrote 30 minutes ago, Gorzo is on the DL.They've got Rosenbaum who can do the job either as backup starter or in Duke's role albeit letting Duke sit 11 days was a big mistake. The guy was a starter all last season with the Chiefs and was their workhorse. Then he came to the Nats and Davey used him quite a bit often in lieu of Gorzo. It may be the long layoff or Duke may be going back to his pattern of having terrible years after good years.

  107. peric - May 12, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    Finally, I disagree violently with Mark on one point: The problems with Zimmerman are far and away the more serious. I'm not talking about the glove, again, as long as he's competent. THEY DESPERATELY NEED the bat if they are going to be serious contenders. ZIM PLAYS EVERY DAY. Stras pitches every five. Stras is a bit of concern yes, but he is young and still learning. ZIM IS THE FOF! Ostensibly a veteran LEADER on this team? HE IS the one who complained about suffering through the losing now they have a chance to win and win big AND NOW HE CHOKES! I don't care if its because he is still rehabilitating his shoulder … either he is there for the team WITH THE BAT not just the glove or he isn't. If he isn't ready he needs to go on the DL.The bat MUST come alive.

  108. DWS - May 12, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    Agreed peric. Infield defense is a must.

  109. natsfan1a - May 12, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    Well said, Drew.Some of us are overreacting, as Strasburg did. We need to handle adversity, too.Deep breath, it's a long season.

  110. BigCat - May 12, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    i don't think I will ever bash Zim. I don't care if he makes 100 errors, cause I know he comes to play everyday. I don't think we all know the extent of his shoulder. The Nats hush things up pretty good. I think the exact line they gave us is they went in and "cleaned things up." Now you tell me…..just what the hell does that mean?

  111. EmDash - May 12, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    Lombo in left field today, because lefties (and switch-hitters) have hit Feldman better than righties this year, I guess. Surprising it's not Bernie. But should be interesting.

  112. Cwj - May 12, 2013 at 3:52 PM

    Wow, tough crowd to please. You know why Stras is 1-5? Zero run support and very embarrassing defense behind him (8 unearned runs!). He's still an ace and his numbers are where they normally are for his career.If he were Lannan (in the past) or anyone else we'd say wow what tough luck. He should be 5-1, etc.But because he's Strasburg we say, send him back to California or Syracuse. (2 people here said that). Look up his stats this year if you don't believe me.Here's a question: Out of his 8 starts, how many times has he given up more than 3 Earned runs? Answer: twice. What is his ERA in his last 3 starts? Answer: 3.00. He's also struck out 23 in his last 18 innings as well. My money is on Stras. I don't give up on a Nats player because the team plays like a little league team behind him. I'd be pissed if I were him as well. You guys are a tough crowd to please! :)By the All-Star Break I guarantee he'll continue to have great numbers and a much improved W-L record.

  113. Cwj - May 12, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    Oh and Happy Mother's Day :)

  114. Cwj - May 12, 2013 at 4:01 PM

    GoNat- Strasburg's WHIP and K/BB ratio are working quite well for him. 3.10 ERA, on pace for 200+ strikeouts, not giving up too many homers (5), etc.But its a Team game and the Team is terrible whenever he takes the mound.

  115. BigCat - May 12, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    Cwj….I think the main complaint, me included is his quitting on the mound. The guy has a million dollar arm with an 8 year old head. Maybe an attitude adjustment in Potomac is in store. Better yet, he should have to go on a week road trip to Kinston and Salem with the P-Nats

  116. Cwj - May 12, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    Makes no sense. So he got frustrated. Did you see Verlander yesterday? Gave up a couple runs and threw things around the dugout.Stras is fine.

  117. EmDash - May 12, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    If Strasburg is having mental issues, the unbelievable media firestorm that would result from him being sent down to the minors would almost certainly not help with that.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 55 44 --
ATLANTA 55 46 1.0
NEW YORK 48 53 8.0
MIAMI 47 52 8.5
PHILADELPHIA 43 57 12.5
Through Wednesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
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.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
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