Skip to content

Game 42: Nats at Padres

May 17, 2013, 10:08 PM EDT

USA Today Sports Images
The Nationals go for two in a row at Petco Park.

Nothing like a dominant Stephen Strasburg outing and a rare offensive explosion to make everybody feel better, right? The Nationals certainly got back on track last night thanks to eight strong innings from their would-be ace and some offensive fireworks from Bryce Harper and Adam LaRoche.

Now they'll look to keep it going tonight against the Padres' starter, a young man by the name of Burch Smith. Yes, Burch Smith. He made his major-league debut six days ago against the Rays … and got knocked out after allowing six runs in one inning. So he boasts a career ERA of 54.00. Yikes. The 23-year-old right-hander, an 11th-round draft pick in 2011, did post a 1.15 ERA at Class AA, so he's obviously got some talent. But talk about being thrown to the wolves…

Gio Gonzalez gets the nod for the Nationals, looking to build off his really strong previous start in which he held the Cubs to two hits over seven innings but then was surprisingly pulled for a pinch-hitter and wound up with no decision.

Enjoy the game and the conversation. Chase will have you covered over the weekend, and then I'll be back on the case Monday…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at SAN DIEGO PADRES
Where: Petco Park
Gametime: 10:10 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500), XM 188
Weather: Partly cloudy, 64 degrees, Wind 7 mph LF to RF

NATIONALS (22-19)
CF Denard Span
LF Steve Lombardozzi
RF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman

Read more ยป

286 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 18, 2013 at 4:54 AM

    i wish FP was right, but i don't think Espi will figure out with present coaching.

  2. Scott Margenau - May 18, 2013 at 4:55 AM

    Getting tucked in and ready

  3. NatsJack in Florida - May 18, 2013 at 4:55 AM

    Danny Espinosa strikes out on a breaking pitch at his toes.Again.He cannot be having any fun doing this.

  4. Sec. 3, My Sofa - May 18, 2013 at 4:56 AM

    Tucking it up here, boss…

  5. DWS - May 18, 2013 at 4:56 AM

    It hurt's to watch him and I can't imagine how he feels.

  6. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 18, 2013 at 4:57 AM

    I Danny woyld only swing at balls over the plate an eliminate swinging at balks, his average would go up 100 points.

  7. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 18, 2013 at 4:58 AM

    If Danny would……

  8. NatsJack in Florida - May 18, 2013 at 4:58 AM

    For 475,000 a year I'll glady try to imagine how he feels.

  9. Harpo - May 18, 2013 at 5:00 AM

    "Drew said… Speaking of the promising pitchers at Potomac, Blake Schwartz had another dandy start tonight.He gave up one earned over six innings and lowered his ERA to 0.96. May 18, 2013 12:12 AM"That math doesn't work. The only way he can drop his ERA when its less than 1.00 is to give up zero earned runs or 1 run in 10 innings of more of pitching. Still good.

  10. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 18, 2013 at 5:00 AM

    I dont feel sorry for him at all. He ijust needs to take care of business.

  11. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 18, 2013 at 5:02 AM

    Schwartz must gave up unearned run.

  12. Harpo - May 18, 2013 at 5:02 AM

    "NatsJack in Florida said… Danny Espinosa strikes out on a breaking pitch at his toes.Again.He cannot be having any fun doing this."Are you surprized he was playing tonight and not sitting for at least 2 games.

  13. David Proctor - May 18, 2013 at 5:03 AM

    Sigh.

  14. Scott Margenau - May 18, 2013 at 5:04 AM

    Zims like a error a game it seems.

  15. Harpo - May 18, 2013 at 5:05 AM

    That wasn't an error. They will reverse that.

  16. NatsJack in Florida - May 18, 2013 at 5:05 AM

    Harpo…..yes.

  17. David Proctor - May 18, 2013 at 5:07 AM

    Uh oh.

  18. Joe Seamhead - May 18, 2013 at 5:08 AM

    Crap!

  19. David Proctor - May 18, 2013 at 5:08 AM

    Wow.

  20. Harpo - May 18, 2013 at 5:08 AM

    Can you believe this.

  21. Scott Margenau - May 18, 2013 at 5:08 AM

    Sheesh

  22. Scott Margenau - May 18, 2013 at 5:10 AM

    No sleep till Brooklyn!

  23. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 18, 2013 at 5:11 AM

    Whiney alert2 more frickin' unearned runs. I am not sure what is worse Espi's hitting or Zim's throwing

  24. NatsJack in Florida - May 18, 2013 at 5:12 AM

    This sucks.

  25. Scott Margenau - May 18, 2013 at 5:14 AM

    Dumb span

  26. Harpo - May 18, 2013 at 5:14 AM

    MNF, I'm more upset that Zimm didn't get in front of Harp's throw in the 1st inning to keep it in front of him then that play.

  27. Sec. 3, My Sofa - May 18, 2013 at 5:14 AM

    I'm sorry, that's an E-5. A good throw would have gotten the out.

  28. Scott Margenau - May 18, 2013 at 5:15 AM

    Harpo Yea, both sucked. It's an issue.

  29. David Proctor - May 18, 2013 at 5:15 AM

    HOLY CRAP.

  30. Sec. 3, My Sofa - May 18, 2013 at 5:15 AM

    Wow.

  31. Joe Seamhead - May 18, 2013 at 5:15 AM

    Ha!

  32. MicheleS - May 18, 2013 at 5:15 AM

    GOOON SQUAD!!! GO CHAD!

  33. Scott Margenau - May 18, 2013 at 5:15 AM

    Finally Tracy!!!!!! Nice!

  34. Harpo - May 18, 2013 at 5:16 AM

    I don't believe it! Chad Tracy makes Davey look smart! FINALLY the Goon Squad comes through!

  35. DWS - May 18, 2013 at 5:16 AM

    I'd feel better making $128000000.Another game questionable because of the arm.When are the people responsible for this team going to get Doctors?There is a draft pick that has played a few games in the minors that I am sure knows how to throw and hit. And thank you Mr Tracy.

  36. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 18, 2013 at 5:16 AM

    Other teams dont have a lot of problem with our bullpens, andcwe are clueless against their's ntil Tracy came throught.sarcastic alert. is he staying in to play 3rd?

  37. Ivan Tuski - May 18, 2013 at 5:16 AM

    Goon squad baby!

  38. Drew - May 18, 2013 at 5:16 AM

    Goon Squad to the rescue!

  39. Harpo - May 18, 2013 at 5:17 AM

    Keep Chad Tracy in for 3rd base defensive replacement! Yah right!

  40. Sec. 3, My Sofa - May 18, 2013 at 5:18 AM

    FP: Street got a little too much plate with that pitch to Tracy.Street got a little too much bat with that pitch.So, we do not untuck for Drew, right?

  41. DWS - May 18, 2013 at 5:18 AM

    Mr Storen. Time to show your moxie.

  42. Joe Seamhead - May 18, 2013 at 5:20 AM

    I wish it was Mathuis coming in. I pretty sure we missed last call, but, hey bartender, can we still get a round of Maalox straight up?

  43. Harpo - May 18, 2013 at 5:20 AM

    "Scott Margenau said… Harpo Yea, both sucked. It's an issue."He does that side swipe play like he doesn't want to bruise himself if he misses it with his glove. That ticked me off. The degree of difficulty was not hard on that play.

  44. David Proctor - May 18, 2013 at 5:22 AM

    Each of Chad Tracy's last 3 pinch-homers (5 of 7 career PH-homers) have been hit against the Padres.

  45. Sec. 3, My Sofa - May 18, 2013 at 5:23 AM

    They are supposed to make plays I can't. They are not supposed to make errors I would.

  46. David Proctor - May 18, 2013 at 5:24 AM

    That's the type of bad luck Storen has had today.

  47. David Proctor - May 18, 2013 at 5:24 AM

    this year*

  48. David Proctor - May 18, 2013 at 5:25 AM

    Oh my.

  49. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 18, 2013 at 5:25 AM

    I wonder if Ian would have fielded that. Hard to tell.

  50. Sec. 3, My Sofa - May 18, 2013 at 5:25 AM

    David, interesting.

  51. Harpo - May 18, 2013 at 1:25 AM

    Come on.

  52. Harpo - May 18, 2013 at 5:26 AM

    Nothing ever easy with this bullpen.

  53. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 18, 2013 at 5:26 AM

    what happened to Mattheus?

  54. Drew - May 18, 2013 at 5:27 AM

    Come on, Eileen!(It's Alexi's midnight runners.)

  55. Sec. 3, My Sofa - May 18, 2013 at 5:27 AM

    MNF, the ine Storen knocked down? Doubt it.

  56. DWS - May 18, 2013 at 5:27 AM

    Where's Henry? He could at least scare the sh*t out of them.

  57. DWS - May 18, 2013 at 5:28 AM

    I know Drew.

  58. Sec. 3, My Sofa - May 18, 2013 at 5:30 AM

    Well, the fans are getting their money's worth.

  59. David Proctor - May 18, 2013 at 5:32 AM

    Oh. My. God.

  60. Harpo - May 18, 2013 at 5:32 AM

    Ryan Zimmerman, you are killing us. Untuck.

  61. Sec. 3, My Sofa - May 18, 2013 at 5:33 AM

    Criminy.

  62. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 18, 2013 at 5:33 AM

    Need to head to Walgreen's to get more maalox.zim had it easy after bobble.

  63. Joe Seamhead - May 18, 2013 at 5:33 AM

    Pass the toilet paper.whew.

  64. MicheleS - May 18, 2013 at 5:33 AM

    PHEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW… DRUUUUUUUUU!!!!WOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOO… and the Cardiac Nats are back

  65. Drew - May 18, 2013 at 5:34 AM

    Atta way, Zim!As Crash Davis said, "Don't think, Meat."

  66. Harpo - May 18, 2013 at 5:35 AM

    Its amazing what a bloop pinch hit single will do for you one night to come back the next night with a HR. Way to go Chad Tracy.

  67. Sec. 3, My Sofa - May 18, 2013 at 5:35 AM

    Zim I love you bubbe but take a day off. Take two.

  68. DWS - May 18, 2013 at 5:35 AM

    The throw eh? Its my being Canadian. Well done boys and keep it up.

  69. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 18, 2013 at 5:42 AM

    @Harpo Eddie said I bitched too much. i thought the error was Zim's not Harper.Yes an il advised throw, but Zim moved to it a one bouncer and he just wfiffed.

  70. Depot Master - May 18, 2013 at 5:54 AM

    A night filled with redemption for Nats and indigestion for fans!Adam has redeemed his slow start.Ryan redeemed his earlier error with a great level of concentration and a good throw.And Drew Storen finally has another save.It may have given us all qualms, but let's hope this is the beginning of renewed confidence and belief for the team. Now if only Danny can do something, but I fear it may be time for him to go on the DL and have the surgery he needs. We have plenty of 2B options, and 3 strikeouts a game isn't helping the Nats or his own marketability.

  71. DWS - May 18, 2013 at 6:22 AM

    Amen. And the sooner the brain trust realizes the better.The beauty of the net. The shoulder strengthening was enough. I don't think so.

  72. Gerardo Rodriguez - May 18, 2013 at 6:51 AM

    The best thing to happen at the end was to Zim to drop the ball , that make him to go to hurry up mode , the only one that work now :)

  73. NatsLady - May 18, 2013 at 7:56 AM

    Interesting article on the hitting approach of our next opponents. They don't work counts. On purpose.Giants hittinghttp://www.csnbayarea.com/blog/andrew-baggarly/extra-baggs-hitting-coach-who-doesnt-attend-hitters-meetings-etc

  74. natsfan1a - May 18, 2013 at 10:57 AM

    Niiiiiice. (Yawn.)natsfan1a said…Go, GIO! Go, NATS!! Let's shoot for a happy game results email. (Yawn.)

  75. baseballswami - May 18, 2013 at 11:34 AM

    I am just going to repeat what I said yesterday– Zim's bat is back, his throwing is not. Hold your nose if you can't stand the smell. Pitchers and other defensive guys should plan on once a game having to compensate. Make sure it does not score or it's only one. Suck it up until it passes. We need him on this team- if you don 't think so, look back at how things went without him.

  76. Joe Seamhead - May 18, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    I agree 100%, swami.Somewhere a while back it was said that Davey was quoted as saying it would probably be June before Zimmerman was all the way back.his throws are just pure torture to anticipate each and every time the ball is hit to him.I'm a big fan of Denard Span and even though he's in a bit of a funk at the plate he still has a decent OBP.What is not going according to plan however is that he is not scoring many runs. Between nobody driving him in, and his own base running guffaws, he isn't even in sight of a NL leader board in runs scored. I'll be glad when Jayson Werth returns.

  77. NatsLady - May 18, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    There is no perfect player on this team (though JZimm is close, LOL).Let's go in order.Rotation: Tops May, but will Det miss only one start with that "mystery" back? If he goes on the DL you might want to go with Duke and bring up Abad, rather than bringing up Olendorf, Maya, or Chris Young.Bullpen. Duke not trustworthy as a long man. Would be ironic if he bloomed as a spot starter. Davey still doesn't trust Henry even though he's done well recently. As a result, he's wearing out Clip and Storen (and Soriano) despite saying he doesn't like to use Clip and Storen in the same game.ALR – streaky, mega-streaky, but so fun to watch when he's hot. Obviously he's feeling good, very energetic on the field. Remember, Dan Haren can't field his postion, look alive.Danny/Lombo – not much to pick between them. Desi – slumping. But not making errors, there's that.RZim – bat good, arm bad.Harper – hurt AND slumping.Span – starting to strike out more than he should Still great in center.Werth – Can you bring your heart to San Francisco? Need a good, experienced RF'er there.Bench – once in a while.

  78. Joe Seamhead - May 18, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    Harper is slumping, but I think he will always be somewhat streaky, so watch what happens when he comes out of his slump.

  79. NatsLady - May 18, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    With all that, we are 10-5 in May, with run differential of +8.Don't look now, but the Fillies are creeping toward .500. Go Red (Cincy) and Blue (Dodgers) today, please!Jordan, how about Number Eight this evening?

  80. NatsJack in Florida - May 18, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    Let's keep in mind that Bryce hasn't had a good 2 weeks health wise. The toe, the wall….and not having Werth to prod him on are all factors in Bryce's current rut.The whole teams demeanor is somewhat subdued without Werths presence. At least last year while mending the wrist, he was always a presence in the dugout.

  81. baseballswami - May 18, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    Don't forget the puking. NatsJack. Bryce has been sick, run down and banged up. As much as we need him, he is a kid. Hope someone is paying attention to him- FP mentioning abdominal pain. Early in the season for him to be worn down. He also does better when he has JDub around. Jayson's presence is missed all around. Hope he is at least around the team next weekend. Reminds me of last year– hang around until people can get healthy. That game was a battle, but SD played well vs the O's and were hot at home when we arrived. They won't roll over. I am encouraged that the team battled late and won. By the way, I am sure that I hear Nats fans on my recording. Anyone else hearing that? Nats fans in Pittsburgh also. Nice that they are traveling , but the West Coast? That's real dedication!

  82. Depot Master - May 18, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    Speaking of Traveling Nats fans, I'll be at the July 30 game in Detroit – anyone else? Mark, will you be there?

  83. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 18, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    Compares walks HR RBI and BB too

  84. natsfan1a - May 18, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    Nope, but do plan to be at the June 13 Rockies game.

  85. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 18, 2013 at 3:52 PM

    Compaeing Espi and Harper is a stretch. Every time Harper is up I am on the edge of my seat. Every time Espi is up I wish he was as good as Harper.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 91 64 --
ATLANTA 76 78 14.5
NEW YORK 75 80 16.0
MIAMI 74 81 17.0
PHILADELPHIA 71 84 20.0
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Sunday's early games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON (4) 91 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 88 67 3.0
ST. LOUIS 87 68 4.0
-------------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 70 6.5 +0.5
PITTSBURGH 84 71 7.0 --
MILWAUKEE 80 76 11.5 4.5
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Sunday's early games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Marlins at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
Full season schedule

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

ON THE RADIO

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

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

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

Follow us on Twitter