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State of the Nats-5/13

May 13, 2013, 4:05 PM EDT

Photo by USA Today

Team Record: 20-17 (8-8)

N.L. East Standings















Offensive Game of the Week: Ian Desmond 5/10 vs. Cubs – 3-for-4, HR, 3 RBI, 3 R, 2B (saw six pitches in 4 ABs)
Pitching Line of the Week: Gio Gonzalez 5/12 vs. Cubs – 7 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, BB, 6 SO, 86 pitches (55 strikes)
Top Storylines
Stephen Strasburg’s continued troubles – It’s kind of amazing a guy with a 3.10 ERA can be considered struggling, but that is the reality for the young ace. After looking great through 4 2/3 innings on

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  1. EmDash - May 13, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    Haren vs. Kershaw should be an interesting one. Gotta be a reverse lock, right? *g*

  2. Harpo - May 13, 2013 at 4:28 PM

    "SCNatsFan said… I agree JD; if Duke is in the game then we have probably already lost, doesn't matter who is in there at that point. Leave Rosenbaum alone for insurance against a starter injury"That is a typical fan reaction with a defeatist attitude. I saw the Nats up 9-0 against the Braves and lose.Duke is terrible and also the Henry Roidriguez guy.Read what EmDash wrote "two guys they can't rely on in close games in Duke and H-Rod"Close to me is anything within 6 runs if its early in the game.One time these Nats will surprise you and overtake a 6 run lead. I just saw a team against Minnesota do that over the weekend and win it in extra innings.

  3. Harpo - May 13, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    "Zimmerman’s defense – Zimmerman’s error now puts the Nats’ third baseman tied with Ian Desmond atop the entire league with seven on the season."Chase, do you get that its not the number in total rather than the frequency in errors per chance?Zimmmerman has missed 1/3 of the season and has as many errors as Desmond. That comparison means nothing. 7 errors out of 69 chances is a .898 fielding percentage for Ryan Zimmerman.7 errors out of 156 chances is a .955 fielding percentage for Ian Desmond.How can you even compare the 2 players? I suggest you rewrite it and take Desmonds name out of that paragraph.

  4. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 13, 2013 at 5:06 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 13, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    Nationals pinch-hitters are now just 7-for-48. Combined, they ranked 13th in the National League with a .146 average, 15th with a .196 on-base percentage and 14th with a .404 OPS.Chad Tracy has 1 pinch hit all year and worse than that, he has ZERO XBHs at all this year.Lombardozzi has 5 of the 7 pinch-hits.Tracy is supposed to be the big XBH lefty and generally is getting those lefty/righty matchups and failing situationally.

  6. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 13, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    The silver lining is that the Nats are still 1 game from the top of the NL East but the bad news is they are squandering great starting pitching with poor defense and poor situational hitting.The problem as I see it is the Nats Minor League system just doesn't have a bunch of sure thing replacement players. I don't think it's smart for Rizzo to make more than 2 moves at once anyway but here are moves I would make:1. Send Espinosa to AAA and bring up Rendon to play 2nd. With Rendon's versatility he can bat 2nd and be the guy to also play some 3rd base when needed. Espinosa can use the time to work on being an effective contact hitter.2. DFA Duke and bring up another long-man3. Swap TyMo with Marrero and see how it goes4. Once Corey Brown is healthy, bring him up for Chad Tracy5. DFA Henry Rodriguez and replace with a left-handed relieverThere will be teams that will be out of the race in mid to end of June that will be ready to do some trades. There has to be some upgrades available if the Nats Minor Leaguers can't step up into new roles.Biggest issue is Ryan Zimmerman being a productive player for this team. Unfortunately right now he is struggling in all facets of his game. That .899 fielding percentage is as bad as it gets. He's making errors on 1 out of every 10 touches which is DoF: Disgrace of the Franchise.

  7. A DC Wonk - May 13, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    Oddities of the day:- Atlanta is 2-6 in Kris Medlen’s starts, after not losing any of them all last year- Brandon McCarthy threw eight shutout innings against the Phillies. After throwing just 87 pitches in those eight innings, he was removed for Heath Bell — who promptly blew the two run lead.- Justin Verlander Sat night: 5 IP, 6 H, 4 R/3 ER, 5 BB, 7 K. That includes three walks in the first inning, including walking in a run.- Indians are 6-1 against Cy Young Award winners this year — reverse locks? The Blue Jays won a game where the starting matchup was Mark Buehrle (7.02 ERA) against Clay Buchholz (1.60 ERA)- A night after Shelby Miller retired the last 27 batters he faced, Adam Wainwright carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning. In between that, the Rockies — highest scoring team in baseball — went 0-for-49.- Mariners haven't lost a series since April 22-24 against … Houston

  8. A DC Wonk - May 13, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    3. Swap TyMo with Marrero and see how it goes4. Once Corey Brown is healthy, bring him up for Chad TracyI guess the question is: can Marrero and Brown do much while sitting on the bench a lot and mostly just PH'ing?

  9. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 13, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    "A DC Wonk said… Oddities of the day:- Atlanta is 2-6 in Kris Medlen’s starts, after not losing any of them all last year"He did lose that Wild Card game last year if you are counting his most important start.

  10. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 13, 2013 at 5:37 PM

    A DC Wonk said… 3. Swap TyMo with Marrero and see how it goes4. Once Corey Brown is healthy, bring him up for Chad TracyI guess the question is: can Marrero and Brown do much while sitting on the bench a lot and mostly just PH'ing?Brown showed last year that he could lay down a suicide squeeze and also pinch-hit for a walk-off single.Not sure about Marrero but he can't be worse than TyMo, or can he?Rizzo can't sit on his hands and wait.

  11. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 13, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    Corey Brown last year was a .273 pinch-hitter with a .636 OPS. That's better than all pinch-hitters on the Nats except for Lomobo.

  12. Harpo - May 13, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    "He's making errors on 1 out of every 10 touches which is DoF: Disgrace of the Franchise."Touching.

  13. Harpo - May 13, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. Harpo - May 13, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    Hard to believe things have come down to switching places between a nubber like Chad Tracy for a guy who can't stay healthy like Corey Brown.Rizzo really left some gaping holes in the pipeline. We already knew that the system was short a quality starter if anything happened and a simple thing like building a bench is a step back to 2011 with Matt Stairs.Bernadina will step up, Lombo has been fine but TylerMo and Chad Tracy just aren't getting it done.Then you go back to the recurring problem with Espinosa. What was Rizzo thinking. Espinosa is a work in progress, not a finished product. He just isn't ready to be a 2nd baseman on a Championship calibre team.

  15. Exposremains - May 13, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    GhostI agree with all your moves but I don't think Espinosa is gong to AAA. I think he gets traded. I have a hard time seeing the day that Hrod will be DFA. They're afraid he figures it out somewhere else. What kind of player could it they get for Espinosa and Storen in a trade?

  16. Eric - May 13, 2013 at 6:08 PM

    NatsLady, sorry, just saw your post about the Injury Daze post being the only one to show up consistently. Did you see my post a week or so ago about how I think this might be a matter of bad XML formatting in the RSS feed? It seems as though your posts with a LOT of tables and such are the ones that don't show up. The Injury Daze report is pretty light on these things.Would it be possible to post a few articles in a row that were more like the Injury Daze reports in terms of having very few formatted elements?

  17. Joe Seamhead - May 13, 2013 at 6:12 PM

    I doubt very seriously that Espinosa is going anywhere. Moore might.

  18. Harpo - May 13, 2013 at 6:18 PM

    Exposremains, the time to have traded Espy was in the off-season. Now every GM sees a player that has potential. Do you know how many middle infielders there are that have potential. AAA is littered with them and Danny is one of a dozen.Rizzo had his chances to move him and anyone betting on the day for Henry to "get it" hasnt been following for the last 2 plus years.

  19. Sec. 3, My Sofa - May 13, 2013 at 6:19 PM

    Chase, do you get that its not the number in total rather than the frequency in errors per chance?That depends on what the question is. If you want to compare the two players over the period in question, then yes, average is more relevant. But I don't think that was Chase's point. Seven errors is a lot of errors for a shortstop on Mothers Day, no matter how many chances he has had compared to the third baseman. Chase's point, as I take it, is that the left side of the infield has been a mess, defensively. Not the worst of all possible messes, perhaps, but way worse than they were expecting, and that's cost them games. Hard to argue with that.

  20. SCNatsFan - May 13, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    You are right Harpo; the reason the Nats don't come back from 9 down in the 9th is because of my defeatist attitude. I'll work on that and it will surely improve the Nats chances of winning games late.

  21. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 13, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    Exposremains said… GhostI agree with all your moves but I don't think Espinosa is gong to AAA. I think he gets traded.I don't see any way Rizzo would sell low on Espi. I think he sends him to AAA to get his confidence restored and get him hungry again.The problem is that this should have been done a year ago.

  22. NatsLady - May 13, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    Eric, I agree, it has to be something in the formatting. The Mike Rizzo post "took" and it had lots of links. But I do copy posts from week to week, so if there is an error it gets propagated. I will try starting posts from scratch and see if that makes a difference. Or maybe it's the ones that I bring over from Word (which is not the case with Injury Daze).

  23. Section 222 - May 13, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    It's pretty sad to think the Nats might be saved, or even improved, by bringing up the AAAA players Corey Brown and Chris Marrero. I don't have any problem giving them a try. They can't be any worse than Tracy and Ty-Mo have been. But I doubt Rizzo will go there anytime soon. It took him till after the All Star break to cut Stairs. I was hoping we'd sign a LH reliever before the season started too, but I don't really get the focus on that. Have we really suffered for lack of a LOOGY or Burnett type? Clip, Storen, Mattheus, and Stammen have all been at least adequate it seems to me. I don't get what Davey is doing with H-Rod, but you really can't blame him for anything so far this year.Dream on about Espi. It's clear Rizzo and Davey are all in on him for this year. Barring injury, I don't expect to see Rendon back until September. Let's face it, there's no savior on the horizon. This team has the talent to win. Guys just have to start playing up to their potential.

  24. Exposremains - May 13, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    They see HRod as Hanrahan 2.0. That's why they're scared. Agree Espinosa should have gone a year ago to triple a.

  25. Eric - May 13, 2013 at 6:34 PM

    "Or maybe it's the ones that I bring over from Word (which is not the case with Injury Daze)."Bringing them over from Word is a HUGE red flag. That is notorious for introducing all kinds of bizarre formatting artifacts. You might try copying the Word content into a standard text editor (e.g., Microsoft Notepad) before copying it into your blog. It will wreak havoc on your tables, though (because they will be unformatted), so starting from scratch might ultimately be faster.

  26. Sec. 3, My Sofa - May 13, 2013 at 6:37 PM

    Or try using Notepad++, might help, can't hurt.

  27. Eric - May 13, 2013 at 6:37 PM

    "Let's face it, there's no savior on the horizon. This team has the talent to win. Guys just have to start playing up to their potential."Comment of the thread, imo.

  28. Eric - May 13, 2013 at 6:38 PM

    Notepad++ is awesome!

  29. Sec. 3, My Sofa - May 13, 2013 at 6:42 PM

    Not to get too far off topic, but Notepad++ can be useful if you know some HTML coding and need to put things into a consistent format. And it's free, which is my second-favorite expression after "2-out RBI."

  30. Ivan Tuski - May 13, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    We're ok, if we can stay ok thru July and then start getting some consistency and good health we have a chance to improve and play to our potential.I think it's a little premature to start blowing up a roster that has been years in the making because we find ourselves one game back on mothers day.And remember if people on this message board are overreacting on such a regular basis it is easy to understand that the guys actually playing are letting this pressure and expectations get the better of them too.

  31. Section 222 - May 13, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    Sofa, the whole bruhaha over yesterday's strike zone made me think of the story you told about Eddie Murray. When appropriate you should share that here.

  32. Section 222 - May 13, 2013 at 6:51 PM

    Just following up on the Stairs/Tracy comparison, Stairs got 74 PAs in 2011 to show he was done. I'd expect Tracy, who is not as old, has some value as an injury replacement at 1B or 3B, and has only 39 PAs so far, to get at least that many before they cut ties with him. Once Werth returns, Ty-Mo has a shorter leash if they are considering giving Marrero or Owings a shot at the hairy chested RH slugger spot next to Davey on the bench.

  33. NatsLady - May 13, 2013 at 6:53 PM

    The formatting is KILLING me, it almost takes more time than the content, and it never seems to be perfect. I will look for notepad ++

  34. NatsLady - May 13, 2013 at 6:55 PM

    I know HTML fine, but with the tables it's a bear to read and find what I'm looking for. We'll see tomorrow with the Opening Day Starters, I'll try it, because usually I only have one table but a lot of links and pictures. I did get one video in today, which I haven't been able to do before :).

  35. Dominats Vobiscum - May 13, 2013 at 7:02 PM

    Micah Owings is not on the 40 man roster, which makes him unlikely to be called up unless it's in conjunction with the outright release of someone else. So he could replace Tracy, but not Tyler Moore.

  36. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 13, 2013 at 7:03 PM

    Sect222, this team has the talent to win and that's why they are one game out of 1st place. If he wanted things to stay the same he could've re-signed the relievers and kept Morse. He was trying to move in another direction with Span and getting LaRoche back.If Rizzo does nothing now that's on him, the cream rises to the top, and the scraps go in the trash heap.

  37. Eric - May 13, 2013 at 7:09 PM

    NatsLady, I hate tables and avoid them like the plague ;). But, with tabular data like you're displaying, they're essentially unavoidable.Do you have Dreamweaver? I generally prefer to work directly with code, but Dreamweaver's "Design View" can be very helpful for perusing tables without having to wade through a sea of tr and td tags. Notepad++ is great for formatting code, but it won't help much in that specific regard.If you don't have Dreamweaver, try saving an html file on your system drive and then point your browser to it (e.g., file:///C:/documents/somehtmlpage.html). That should render it for you and you can refresh the page to see changes each time you save the file.

  38. Sec. 3, My Sofa - May 13, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    Deuces, you mean about how he would use BP to work on hitting pitches out of the strike zone, to practice fouling them off?Murray was famous for really ugly BP. After a pitch, he said, there are two choices: There's your best swing and there's the right swing. What's difficult to understand is, you can't hit most pitches with your best swing.Murray honed his bad-pitch swing because, as he saw it, any worthwhile major leaguer could hit a 65-mph cupcake over the wall in batting practice.There's more than one story of someone giving him a hard time for not making good contact in the cage, and Murray calling them idiots because they didn't understand that he was doing that on purpose, and for a purpose. "He (Eddie Murray) was one of the worst batting practice hitters I ever saw. There were times he couldn't even hit the ball out of the cage. He later related to me, 'I knew I could hit the fastball down the middle over the right-field fence, so why spend all my batting practice doing what I know I can do?'" – Teammate Mike Flanagan

  39. Eric - May 13, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    "Micah Owings is not on the 40 man roster, which makes him unlikely to be called up unless it's in conjunction with the outright release of someone else."I seem to recall reading recently that there is still one open slot on the 40 man…no?

  40. Section 222 - May 13, 2013 at 7:11 PM

    If the 40-man roster on Nationals.com is up to date, it looks like there's an empty slot that Owings could fill if they want to bring him up. Is that spot being held for someone? I suppose also that Garcia could be moved to the 60 day DL. And then there's Maya, Perry, and Cedeno. Davey really likes having a LH power hitter and a RH power hitter on the bench. So Owings seems unlikely to replace Tracy.

  41. Eric - May 13, 2013 at 7:15 PM

    Cool story about Murray. Sounds like a smart guy who probably played good baseball ;).

  42. Sec. 3, My Sofa - May 13, 2013 at 7:16 PM

    The other thing I remember from Eddie Murray stories is realizing that, on a pitchers' pitch, a bad hitter will put that in play, and make an out–a good hitter will not–he'll foul it off.

  43. Section 222 - May 13, 2013 at 7:16 PM

    Dammit, I need to type faster or be less wordy. Eric, the drink I owe you has been recorded on the NIDO Spreadsheet.

  44. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 13, 2013 at 7:17 PM

    Closest the Nats have to a lefty power hitter is Skole and he's injured. Next best is CBrown and then the Espi switch-hitting clone in AAA.

  45. Sec. 3, My Sofa - May 13, 2013 at 7:17 PM

    Eddie Murray, for my money, was one of the smartest players ever. Harper could be that good, I think.

  46. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 13, 2013 at 7:20 PM

    Sec @3:16, precisely. It's an artform. Few can do it. I wish LaRoche did it withwn on 2nd and 3rd with less than 2 outs yesterday.

  47. Sec. 3, My Sofa - May 13, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    Deuces, I have to wave that NIDO off; Eric was only asking, and you added the info on LH/RH bench spots.

  48. Sec. 3, My Sofa - May 13, 2013 at 7:24 PM

    It's an artform. Few can do it.That's where that bad-pitch-swing comes in. Danny doesn't seem to have any idea how to do it, and maybe not even why to do it. LaRoche doesn't seem to bother, either, as you say. I don't believe it's an art, I think it's a craft that few bother to learn.

  49. Section 222 - May 13, 2013 at 7:25 PM

    Ok Sofa, I'll just give him a drink for his avatar then.

  50. Eric - May 13, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    "Eric was only asking, and you added the info on LH/RH bench spots."Yeah, that was more of a confirmation of what I thought I remembered than it was saying the same thing as me.

  51. Eric - May 13, 2013 at 7:32 PM

    "I'll just give him a drink for his avatar then."Gladly received ;).

  52. Sec. 3, My Sofa - May 13, 2013 at 7:32 PM

    Ok Sofa, I'll just give him a drink for his avatar then.Stay hydrated, my friends.

  53. Section 222 - May 13, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    You guys probably never cheat at golf either.

  54. Eric - May 13, 2013 at 7:34 PM

    "You guys probably never cheat at golf either."Sure I do. I regularly give myself a 7 when I actually hit a 10.

  55. Sec. 3, My Sofa - May 13, 2013 at 7:38 PM

    You guys probably never cheat at golf either."I don't play golf. When I hit a ball, I want somebody else to chase it."

  56. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 13, 2013 at 7:41 PM

    Sec3, I'm glad you understand it. It's part of approach. Werth and Span are the best the Nats have at wasting pitches. Rendon will excel also in time.

  57. JD - May 13, 2013 at 7:41 PM

    In the minors today: Danny Rosenbaum : 4.2 innings 10 hits 7 runs 3 walks and 5 strikeouts. I don't think he is the answer at long man after all.

  58. natsfan1a - May 13, 2013 at 7:43 PM

    Also, I changed up my seating arrangement after Gio got the hook. My bad.SCNatsFan said… You are right Harpo; the reason the Nats don't come back from 9 down in the 9th is because of my defeatist attitude. I'll work on that and it will surely improve the Nats chances of winning games late. May 13, 2013 2:23 PM

  59. Sec. 3, My Sofa - May 13, 2013 at 7:53 PM

    Sec3, I'm glad you understand it. It's part of approach. Werth and Span are the best the Nats have at wasting pitches. Rendon will excel also in time.I'm glad you do, as well. It's more than just hand-eye coordination + bat control, although you need those to do it. It took a long time for me to understand what "look fastball, adjust to the curve" means–it's like having three distinct, different physical responses all equally ready, right up to when you ID the pitch, and then choosing and doing one of them in a split second. Easy to say, really hard to do.

  60. baseballswami - May 13, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    Ankiel is a Met!!!!

  61. Eric - May 13, 2013 at 8:03 PM

    Span and Werth can really put together impressive at bats.Harper's starting to show flashes of it, too.

  62. Gonat - May 13, 2013 at 8:05 PM

    Section222, my favorite utility club is a shoe wedge!

  63. Gonat - May 13, 2013 at 8:06 PM

    baseballswami said… Ankiel is a Met!!!! May 13, 2013 3:56 PM ___________________________Sadyly Ankiel is better than Tracy. Ankiel will strike out way too much then he will hit a HR.

  64. SCNatsFan - May 13, 2013 at 8:06 PM

    nastsfan1a said…Also, I changed up my seating arrangement after Gio got the hook. My bad.Ah, finally someone for me to blame other than my dog, who dutifully slinked off as I yelled at the TV

  65. Eric - May 13, 2013 at 8:10 PM

    "my favorite utility club is a shoe wedge!"Ha!

  66. Section 222 - May 13, 2013 at 8:12 PM

    They call me Master of the Mulligan.

  67. Gonat - May 13, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    By the way, I don't want Ankiel or Tracy or Stares.

  68. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 13, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    There's a reason they sell mulligans at charity golf tournaments. It's cheating for charity! If I don't have a mulli, I count everything.

  69. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 13, 2013 at 8:22 PM

    I will be at the game tonight and actually heading to lunch now and on my way after that! Go JZim!

  70. EmDash - May 13, 2013 at 8:37 PM

    Fun fact about tonight's starting Dodgers pitcher, Josh Beckett: the only Nats player with a career home run against him is Steve Lombardozzi. One of his 3 in his career. Wonder if we'll see him in the line-up…

  71. Joe Seamhead - May 13, 2013 at 9:09 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  72. Joe Seamhead - May 13, 2013 at 9:12 PM

    Erik Davis gave up a 2 out HR in the 10th today and suffered his first loss with the Chiefs. Davis has been very impressive before today.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

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

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

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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.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

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