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Game 44: Nats at Padres

May 19, 2013, 7:04 PM EST

Photo by USA Today

Today the Nationals play the finale of their four-game series against the Padres out at Petco Park with what looks almost like a spring training lineup. Bryce Harper is out again with a sore left knee, there is no Jayson Werth of course, and Ian Desmond is taking a scheduled day off. Danny Espinosa will move over to shortstop with Steve Lombardozzi playing second.

Dan Haren (4-4, 4.76) will take the hill vs. San Diego after a string of good outings. He is 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA in the month of May so far. He has seen a lot of the Padres over the years having formerly been in their division with Arizona. In 14 career starts against the club, Haren has a 3.39 ERA across 95 2/3 innings.

Pitching for the Padres is 26-year-old Andrew Cashner (2-2, 2.84) who is off the best start of his young career. He has made five relief appearances against the Nationals over the last four years and has yet to allow a run to the team.

Enjoy the game…

Where: Petco Park
Gametime: 4:10 p.m. EDT
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500), XM 188
Weather: Sunny, 69 degrees

CF Denard Span
2B Steve Lombardozzi
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche

Read more »

336 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. NatsLady - May 19, 2013 at 10:50 PM

    Search for "Expected Runs Matrix."

  2. Nats106 - May 19, 2013 at 10:50 PM

    Things to look forward to in October:1) RGIII playing2) Season 4 of the walking dead3) Nationals early hot stove?

  3. David Proctor - May 19, 2013 at 10:51 PM

    I understand people being upset and frustrated, but I feel like some people come on here and do nothing but spew venom. Maybe I have a thin skin, but if you think the team has no chance of righting the ship and making the postseason, why do you bother watching the team? If the team is THAT awful and unenjoyable to watch, why come on here to whine?I just don't get it. My two cents.

  4. baseballswami - May 19, 2013 at 10:51 PM

    Use the rest of the game to work on things. You know, if we had lost the first two and won the second two, we would feel differently about this. Things getting waaay out of control now. Stay around five hundred, get some guys back. Hang around, go on a run later. Funny how it has been the offense recently and today it 's pitching. That four runs would have looked like a hundred to JZim.

  5. NatsLady - May 19, 2013 at 10:53 PM

    DP, yeah, I don't get that either. You wait all winter for baseball, finally it's here, why would you complain? So they didn't hand the Nats the World Series on a platter–what a shock. Other teams come to play also.

  6. NatsLady - May 19, 2013 at 10:54 PM

    Atlanta got to the Dodgers' bullpen, which is PUTRID.

  7. baseballswami - May 19, 2013 at 10:55 PM

    For the most part, posters have been pretty reasonable today considering. Rays scored six in the ninth yesterday!! It could happen! And the Padres are not a bad team. I believe they had their way with our neighbors in Baltimore before we arrived.

  8. SonnyG10 - May 19, 2013 at 10:55 PM

    This is just one of those games you want to get over and forget about. Might as well lose 20 to 4 or more; it still only counts as one loss. Need to get Werth, Desi and Harper back in the lineup. I'm surprised we got four runs with this lineup.

  9. Nats106 - May 19, 2013 at 10:56 PM

    Proctor, you are right, but then again, do you know how many years waiting, shelling out bucks to go to games, putting up with Phillies fans, Mets fans, you name it, for a chance to have a winning team? I've earned my right to "spew venom" Every time I think we are turning this around we have something like this road trip happen. Saying we don't have Lasting Milledge to miss cut offs and Elijah Dukes as a role model anymore just doesn't cut it. Sorry

  10. NatsLady - May 19, 2013 at 10:56 PM

    So, we need 6 in the 8th and 3 in the 9th and Soriano for the untuck. That's the plan.

  11. David Proctor - May 19, 2013 at 10:56 PM

    Lol at Bernadina. Tossed his bat.

  12. David Proctor - May 19, 2013 at 10:57 PM

    HE DID IT AGAIN! That's too funny.

  13. NatsLady - May 19, 2013 at 10:58 PM

    Nats106, true, but not as many as Pirates fans, Royals fans… It could be a lot worse. Could be the Angels. And there is a LOT of season left. Can't give up on the 19th of May.

  14. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 19, 2013 at 10:59 PM

    Thanks for the shut down inning Mattheus.Today does not piss me of like last Wednesday and last nightWe played with so many holes.Our turn for an 8 run inning. No problem.Come on Roger if your going to toss the bat at least go stand on first.Espi a little dinker to first.Eck working hard with Espi.

  15. SCNatsFan - May 19, 2013 at 11:00 PM

    Why I'm upset is we have three guys in the lineup hitting under 160 and all I hear is stay the course. I'm sorry any fan of this team should be upset with what is trotting out on the field right now.

  16. NatsLady - May 19, 2013 at 11:02 PM

    TIme for Kimbrel to blow the 3-run save.

  17. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 19, 2013 at 11:03 PM

    I tried to be rational, but the last 2 nights the sane thing has happened.The Braves losing the whole game explode in the 8th. Against the Dodgers.We couldnt hit the Dodgers.Rizzo is putting up with this.

  18. paul brandt - May 19, 2013 at 11:03 PM

    Danny made contact so things are looking up. If Davey can still pick up a chair or two, he should be throwing them after this embarrassment. No heart, changes need to be made…feel like I am watching the Caps & don't say its only May…yes it is, but we have been witnessing this train wreck night after night.

  19. mick - May 19, 2013 at 11:03 PM

    I think everyone has right to be mad. Some people definition of venom is absurd. We all have invested a great deal emotionally into this team since 2005 and if you count the Senators, we are talking 50 years plus with some of us. As long as one is cursing, not character assassinating or demeaning a player or coach personally, that is OK with me. If saying a player is playing terrible, or that player stinks, for example going 1 for 35 and yet some in here have problem with ever criticizing Espi or Davey playing him, my response is I could care less what you think and stop playing I got you when one loses their cool. I have concluded that the only trolls in here are the ones who play i got you with other fans feelings and emotions and I am tired of it, How any one could not feel down about this team after all the build up and fan investment is simply beyond me.

  20. NatsLady - May 19, 2013 at 11:04 PM

    SCNats–I don't think fans are saying "stay the course." And you are not going to hear anything different from Davey (who will support his players) or Rizzo (who won't tip his hand). We will see what happens when the road trip is over.

  21. NatsLady - May 19, 2013 at 11:06 PM

    Sorry to disappoint you, mick. I'm not mad.

  22. NatsJack in Florida - May 19, 2013 at 11:06 PM

    It's the fact that the season is still 12 days away from the 1/3 mark and these guys start throwing everybody under the bus on an out by out basis. Apparently, how you play in mid May is how a team plays through September.This team has the horses to run off an 8 game winning streak at any point in the season. Obviously, they need to get everyone healthy but it's there. I'll wager that they do that a couple of times between now and October 1st.Things will sound alot better around here when that happens.I expect roster changes around June 1st.

  23. David Proctor - May 19, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    Hopefully we got all the bad baseball out of us today.

  24. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 19, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    David if you are talking at me my belief is 180 degrees from wat you say.I go into every single game assuming a victory.Every pitcher will pitch a sytout, every hitters at least 2 its.Unrealistic maybe, but I assume it. (Even assume Espi will get 2 hits).I then get disappointed when players don't perform.

  25. NatsLady - May 19, 2013 at 11:08 PM

    Good thing Drew didn't do that on Friday (HR, now HBP).

  26. SCNatsFan - May 19, 2013 at 11:08 PM

    I'm saying management is staying stay the course, if not with words but with their actions. Three guys under 163 starting and not a single player sent down.

  27. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 19, 2013 at 11:08 PM

    I expect a 100 win season still. Will be disappointed if they fall short.

  28. Nats106 - May 19, 2013 at 11:09 PM

    NatsLady, unfortunately I have not given up. I will be at this weekend's game and won't be wearing my son's Ryan Howard jersey (although I'm tempted). And I will be there then again the home games with the Mets and Twins. I guess my frustration is that if I'm going to show up to games, so should my team. Gotta agree with SCNatsFan comment at 7:00. Something is terribly amiss here-this team has too much talent to be grouped with the overpaid Dodgers and Angels…..

  29. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 19, 2013 at 11:12 PM

    Just need 9 to tie. seen it a few times in my life.Why not today.The Harper commercial he says what I think.

  30. nats guy - May 19, 2013 at 11:12 PM

    Jeffwx,What are you smoking? This is a real bad team right now. They are not one hitter away or one pitcher away. Hopefully they can pull up enough effort to go over .500 when Harper and Werth get back. But they certainly are not playoff or WS class. Too many holes. Tyler Moore cannot hit anything with a wrinkle in it. Espinosa cannot hit anything. RZim cannot throw. Haren is 50 50. Storen has not been the same since surgery. Clippard fell in love with his changeup and can't throw his fastball for strikes anymore. They don't need a closer if they aren't in contention. Detwiler has forgotten that you have to throw something besides a fastball. Zack Dukes does not belong in MLB. HRod couldn't hit a bull in the ass with a hand fill of peas. That is a lot of problems to fix.

  31. NatsLady - May 19, 2013 at 11:12 PM

    106, I will be getting tickets to all three games if the weather is decent. Monday's game is on my plan. Win or lose, I will be glad to be at a baseball game with our boys. But I will be a LOT happier if we win.

  32. David Proctor - May 19, 2013 at 11:13 PM

    On the bright side: Middle of the lineup is strong. Zim and ALR are back. Lombo had a 2/3 day. Span looked to be breaking out of his little slump. Moore drilled the ball several times and got robbed.Those are all big positives, especially with the reinforcements (Harper, Werth) returning soon. And we didn't even have Desmond for this game.I won't get into the negatives because there are too many to list.

  33. baseballswami - May 19, 2013 at 11:13 PM

    Zim's bat is back, ALR is hot, Lombo on the way, Bryce and Jayson at some point, pitching has been ok. If we had these four runs for JZim, we win three. It's a stinker for sure- SD has been very hitterish against ALL our pitchers today.

  34. Nats106 - May 19, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    Nats guy, true words. You missed that Davey has forgotten more baseball than most people know. Maybe that's also a problem. Time to start hitting the memory banks.

  35. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 19, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    First of 14 runners on our way.

  36. mick - May 19, 2013 at 11:15 PM

    I just realized, Duke is pitching tomorrow… how fitting, he could put the punctuation mark on the season on May 20

  37. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 19, 2013 at 11:15 PM

    Span hustle a little more.

  38. NatsLady - May 19, 2013 at 11:16 PM

    There is definitely something amiss with Storen. Clip has always been "in love" with his change-up. That's how he stays off the DL, it's easier on his arm. But when you say Rizzo "puts up" with this, you don't know that. He is NEVER, EVER going to say what he is thinking. But if he is with the team, that is a signal he knows things are not going well, If he thought the team was fine, he would be off scouting for the draft or something–I'm not kidding, he said that in an interview.

  39. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 19, 2013 at 11:17 PM

    On second view Span clearly safe.Ump much more interested in leaving thenbeing accurate.

  40. baseballswami - May 19, 2013 at 11:20 PM

    2-1, last night. 13-4 today. What a crazy game.

  41. Joe Seamhead - May 19, 2013 at 11:20 PM

    I'm not throwing in any towels. We are like an 8 cylinder engine running with a couple of bad plug wires and the timing set wrong. Nothing that can't be fixed. Relax, will you? We got this. You'll see.

  42. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 19, 2013 at 11:21 PM

    They need some fixing clearly. Mostly tge hitting.Pitchers in general not a problem only one not to give up a run today was HROD.But the hitters need a fix. Two are Harper and Werth need to heal and play.Espi must either hit or quit.Way to many holes in todays lineup.Biggest problem I dobt need to mention.

  43. NatsLady - May 19, 2013 at 11:22 PM

    I didn't go in today expecting to win. And tomorrow, we will see whether Vogelsong is worse than Duke or vice-versa. But Tuesday and Wednesday I have expectations (Stras and Gio). You go on the road with key players injured, you are lucky to get 5/10, very lucky.

  44. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 19, 2013 at 11:26 PM

    voglesong's ERA is about 8.00 He has been terrible, why would you expect lose that? I see it as easy when, and will be bitterly disappointed losing having seen his last 3 games.Suzuki then out 40% last year at Oakland 4% this year.Difference we are ckueless on defense.

  45. JayB - May 19, 2013 at 11:27 PM

    Njack…you make me laugh….can't wait for your July posts about how Danny is going to hit .400 the rest of the way to get to his Normal .235.Drew is going to get the ball down in August.Moore will hit in September.Davey has it all planned out and that is why he only worked 90 mins a day in March.This team is dead.Roster moves were needed in April…..why what for June.Danny is done. Roger is Done. Moore is done. Drew is done. Time to make these moves now not when you are 8 games back in June

  46. NatsLady - May 19, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    This description of how the Fillies won their game is wild. They are going down to beat up on the Fish now, so prepare yourselves for lots of angst on this site if they pass us in the standings…! It won't last.–by Bill Baer.The ninth inning of today’s Reds-Phillies series finale was full of statistical improbabilities. First, Delmon Young drew a four-pitch walk (yes, Delmon Young walked) against Aroldis Chapman. He was immediately replaced by pitcher and pinch-runner Cliff Lee. With Erik Kratz at the plate battling Chapman in a 2-2 count, the lefty reliever picked Lee off of first, seemingly a momentum and rally killer.(Why did Phillies manager Charlie Manuel pinch-run with a pitcher instead of John Mayberry, Jr.? He wanted to save a right-handed bat to pinch-hit for reliever Antonio Bastardo later in the inning. Lee has pinch-run for the Phillies many times in the past, and is better at the task than Young.)Kratz worked the count to 3-2, then drove a Chapman fastball over the fence in left field for a game-tying solo home run. It was the second consecutive game in which Chapman has forked over a lead. On Thursday, Chapman allowed an inherited runner to score on a Marcell Ozuna triple.With a freshly-tied game and one out, Freddy Galvis — getting a rare start today — took his turn at the dish. With a 1-1 count, Chapman placed a fastball letter-high over the plate, which the normally light-hitting Galvis laced down the left field line, whizzing over the top of the fence above the 334-foot sign in the corner, giving the Phillies the walk-off 3-2 victory. It is the first time in Chapman’s career (157 games) that he allowed two home runs in one outing.

  47. Nats106 - May 19, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    Agreed, NatsLady. Tuesday and Wednesday are big for both teams. We shall see. Even if the offense continues to sputter, I'd like to see Stras deal effectively with adversity, like his last start. I guess I'm already assuming we will not have error free baseball.

  48. baseballswami - May 19, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    Joe— Hurrah for you!!! Duke tomorrow night against the defending World Series champs. Reverse lock? Anything at all can happen!!! I love this game, I love this team, and I don't need to live for the possibility of a World Series every single day. It would be nice if it happened some time, but I am not going to be miserable every darn day obsessing over it. Right now I would settle for some good baseball and a series win. It's a process. Try to enjoy the journey.

  49. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 19, 2013 at 11:31 PM

    Vogelsong 41 innings 37 earned runsat least 5 uneared runs (last game) not sure total.Dont tell me ge becomes Cy Young tomorrow.Actually tomorrow is best match ip.stras vs. CainGio vs. Bumgardner.

  50. NatsLady - May 19, 2013 at 11:34 PM

    Manassas, Vogelsong is terrible, and the Giants make error after error (more than we do, recently). They just got shutout today in Colorado–how often does that happen?But, we are going into their house without Werth, so who will play that treacherous right-field? Duke is a frail reed to stand on, though Stammen will be at the ready. Harper–is he well enough? Bernadina? We walloped the Giants last year, and I hope we can do it again, but I will not let my spirits be crushed if we don't win.

  51. NatsLady - May 19, 2013 at 11:37 PM

    Manassas, Cain is no lock for them. I have been tracking him all season, he has had a lot of poor starts, I would not give up hope on that game, especially with Stras looking better. A key will be if Harper can play and produce anything. I have a feeling we don't know the whole story–as usual with injuries.

  52. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 19, 2013 at 11:43 PM

    I think first 2 games are in the win category. Third gamebraks have to our way for the win, but we will do it and go 6-4 on the trip.

  53. baseballswami - May 19, 2013 at 11:43 PM

    Ryan Mattheus manning up big time. Devastated but wearing it. Don't ever try to tell me they don 't care.

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

    What did he say, Swami? I missed it.

  55. NatsLady - May 19, 2013 at 11:47 PM

    Mattheus was the same after he had that game last year where he gave like 3 home runs. I really like him.

  56. peric - May 19, 2013 at 11:47 PM

    I expect roster changes around June 1st.Same here. But you probably know what I am going to say. I still see weakness in the starting pitching. Haren isn't really the answer. Yes, he had a couple of good games but then this? And now Duke for Detwiler? And hell no Chris Young is no answer he is like throwing fire on a gascanrahan. He'a already allowed 8 home runs and he started late for Syracuse!!! Most home runs on the staff. Ryan Perry is next in implosions.From what I'm seeing that basically leaves Danny Rosenbaum and Nate Karns. Taylor Jordan just arrived in AA. Perhaps soon-to-be followed by Robbie Ray. I'm not sure about either of those two although you know me I'd like to see 'em. Honestly, I'm not sure about Stammen but he looks like the most viable choice. However, right now just he and Soriano look to be effective shutdown artists out of the bullpen after Ryan Mattheus outing today.I'm not worried about hitting. Zim is coming on and in the end Harper will too. Desmond will follow and Werth fits in there afterward. I'm not sold on LaRoche but nothing is perfect. Span looks great in CF but I still think he's a better #2 to Werth at #1 in the lineup. Pitching though … You get good pitching from the starters and that's good for at least 10 games over .500 IMO. I think that's what Rizzo needs to look at first … that and the bullpen. As for Espy. I don't know if he needs the surgery or if needs AAA but he still does look lost at the plate. But, he's not the primary reason they lose. Replacing him won't make them better. In fact losing his glove might make them worst. Its the pitching and the heart of the lineup. And who bats first and second. I'd still like to see Werth batting first and Span batting 2nd.

  57. Secret wasian man - May 19, 2013 at 11:47 PM

    They stink. Period

  58. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 19, 2013 at 11:49 PM

    Vogelsong's average against is .333 I expect nothing less for us tomorrow night.Mattheus manning up is fine. However, when McCatty came out with 0 runs and bases load. Did he man up to McCatty then? What ever McCatty said he needs to file and not ever say again.

  59. peric - May 19, 2013 at 11:51 PM

    might make them worst. For Dr. BinM and I know you're out there … :)"might make them worse."

  60. Secret wasian man - May 19, 2013 at 11:53 PM

    2 more errors today. 5 stolen bases……. they stink. Last year obviously a fluke. They stink. 80 and 82. This year. Did I mention they stink.

  61. Secret wasian man - May 19, 2013 at 11:56 PM

    Michael Morse not here is a disaster. No power threats. No clubhouse mono. No nothing. Just a boring mediocre team at best.

  62. David Proctor - May 19, 2013 at 11:57 PM

    Adam Kilgore ‏@AdamKilgoreWP 1mDavey said Bryce Harper's status for Monday will be determined tomorrow. Multiple teammates mentioned he's hurting pretty bad.Just rest him. He can return with Werth on Friday at home.

  63. baseballswami - May 20, 2013 at 12:03 AM

    Mattheus said he was inexcusable– interviewer kept trying to give him an out- rusty, no real roles. Did not go there, Said he could not get the ball down and keep it a strike. Made zero excuses. Guy was wrecked. Also did not try to make it any shorter, just stood there and took it. He is usually good, got caught in the hitting juggernaut.

  64. Joe Seamhead - May 20, 2013 at 12:05 AM

    Swami, Werth, Harper and Ramos equals 3 out of 8 position starters out of the lineup. And with them out Davey is playing musical chairs every game, which isn't working out so good. I am a big defensive guy and you and I differ about the OF. I've made my views on playing Lombo and Moore in the OF, so I won't go there again. As to bringing up Kobernus, where is he going to play? He has a high BA, but I just don't know where you put him defensively. I'm becoming more open to Rendon coming back with every passing day, but he's not going to supplant Zimmerman, so I am thinking Espy goes on the DL, Lombo starts at 2nd, and Rendon becomes the utility guy.We need to keep the line moving offensively and this group isn't doing it.I have stayed optimistic. The second game we blew to the Cubs last weekend shook me hard all the way to my foundation, and I really believe that was an important game for the team to win after blowing the game the night before.They didn't, and they lost a lot of what swagger that they had left. We desperately need a spark to get it back. We have the guys to do it.When, where and who will it come from?

  65. baseballswami - May 20, 2013 at 12:09 AM

    I almost think we need to just take some games and invest them in the getting right process. Hit correctly even if you make an out, use pitchers that need work, get people healthy. Fix the process no matter what the score is in order to change course. If you think the people on this post just cannot stop yammering about the post season, then I cannot even imagine how it weighs on the players. I could just smack Davey for hiis lack of a filter with the World Series comments. You notice how much the other teams are enjoying beating us? Way too much.

  66. baseballswami - May 20, 2013 at 12:12 AM

    And so true on the missing swagger. Sense of fun totally absent also.

  67. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 20, 2013 at 12:15 AM

    If I bring up Rendon it is not to sit on the bench.

  68. baseballswami - May 20, 2013 at 12:20 AM

    I think they have to get Bryce and Jayson back first in order to be able to judge the dynamics of the line up. To me, it sure does feel like we never win if Bryce is on the bench.

  69. NatsLady - May 20, 2013 at 12:22 AM

    >Just rest him. He can return with Werth on Friday at home.That is my feeling, too. I don't want to see him in RF, especially if it is cold. If he does play, bite the bullet, put him in left and let Bernadina play RF. Hold him out AT LEAST until Stras is pitching. And give Zooook the day off. And trade Storen, bring up Abad.

  70. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 20, 2013 at 12:24 AM

    Harper just tweeted he cant wait to play in San Fran

  71. Eric - May 20, 2013 at 12:28 AM

    ::: gut punch :::Oof.Zim's homer was decisive, which was great to see. I'll leave it at that for now ;)

  72. Gonat - May 20, 2013 at 12:29 AM

    Lombardozzi was the hitting star today and that was a highlight. Espinosa 0-4. Put him on the bench where he can hit once in a week and the impact won't be as costly.Here's the difference between LaRoche and Espinosa when both were in those April slumps, LaRoche didn't have options and Danny does. LaRoche had a history of being an above average hitter, Danny never has over a full season. If you keep thinking Danny will improve, keep thinking.

  73. Joe Seamhead - May 20, 2013 at 12:34 AM

    I agree about Harper not playing RF in SF, NL.Espinosa and Moore coming up in the lineup has become akin to landing on "lose a turn" on Jeopardy..So, MNF, if you brought up Anthony where are you going to play him?

  74. Doc - May 20, 2013 at 12:41 AM

    So HRod is our 3rd or 4th best guy outa da pen!Things have changed this year!

  75. UnkyD - May 20, 2013 at 12:49 AM

    Wow. And Duke gets the start, tomorrow? That's gotta be some kind of built-in reverse-lock, right? At least Vogelsong's ERA is in the same absurd ballpark….GYFNG!!!!!!!!

  76. phil dunton - May 20, 2013 at 12:54 AM

    What roster moves can be made? Except for Rendon, the minor league cupboard is bare. Maybe we can trade Espinosa. Storen, H-Rod and Moore to Seattle for The Beast.

  77. SCNatsFan - May 20, 2013 at 12:55 AM

    I'm still positive this can be a special team but not as it is constructed. It is close. Rizzo can not stand by and watch this season slip away.

  78. rmoore446 - May 20, 2013 at 1:07 AM

    I still think the Nationals will end up having a good year. This is just a very bad patch. We need Harper and Werth in the lineup. Not much good to be said about this game. Espinosa went 0 for 4 but actually put the ball in play three times. A pitiful straw to grasp I know. Gallows humor: what's the over/under on how low Espi's batting average will have to fall before Davey pulls him? 150? I dunno. Davey's a stubborn fellow. I hope Espi goes 4 for 4 in the next game but I've been doing that for awhile.

  79. ehay2k - May 20, 2013 at 1:38 AM

    The Nats may or may not need to make a roster move or two, but they sure need to make a move on the coaching staff. Look how often we strike out. Look how poorly we approach each at-bat. Look how we may every 6+ ERA junk baller look like a perennial Cy Young runner-up, if not winner. No, the Nats hit IN SPITE of Rick Exckstein, not because of him. Please Rizzo, FIRE THE HITTING COACH !!!!

  80. baseballswami - May 20, 2013 at 1:49 AM

    It may be time for a new hitting coach. Who knows? Eck seems to have a very scouting heavy, stat based approach. Seems to be the worst thing for a young hitter like Moore. For the older, more veteran hitters, probably good. Don't know how much hands on mechanics are involved– or mental approach. If you watch him, he never seems to be encouraging or demonstrating- just checking his notebook or collecting more notes. Quite cerebral. May be that he is great, but it just becomes time for a new voice. Everything should be on the table. But it does sound like Espi just does not listen to anyone. That one day off was not enough to get through to him. With a full lineup things may click and it won't seem so bad. Pitching has been good until today, and just look at the huge turn around for ALR! Stras hit bottom and rebounded. I feel that the team has not played well, but they are hanging in. Would not take much to go on a run. Lock down pitching and even as much offense as today will do it. Saturday pitching with Sunday offense equals a win. Crappy timing there.

  81. peric - May 20, 2013 at 1:57 AM

    If I bring up Rendon it is not to sit on the bench.The guy still has to prove he can last more than a month or two. He hasn't played a full season in 4 years I think? I hope that didn't jinx it. But, he does have to get fully seasoned and ready. And that means 1/2 a season in Harrisburg and 1/2 season in Syracuse at the very least. In AAA he'll see more of the junk ball pitchers, the breaking ball artists. If he does extremely well there I don't think there will be any question about the guy coming up and starting at third base. But, I guess we'll see what position they decide to get him reps at in Syracuse.

  82. peric - May 20, 2013 at 2:02 AM

    What roster moves can be made? Except for Rendon, the minor league cupboard is bare. Maybe we can trade Espinosa. Storen, H-Rod and Moore to Seattle for The Beast.Davey told lefty reliever Fernando Abad he had made the 25-man. But, there just wasn't room. He hasn't done anything in Syracuse to disprove that in fact just the opposite. I'd look for that first. Erik Davis hasn't been too bad as well.Jeff Kobernus continues to hit. And he seems to be adjusting to the outfield quite well. Marerro is hitting. And Danny Rosenbaum hasn't been too bad as a starting lefty albeit of late he has fallen off somewhat. Same with Nate Karns from the right side.Anthony Rendon still has to get promoted to Syracuse.

  83. peric - May 20, 2013 at 2:04 AM

    When the NATS score at least 3 they have only lost twice. twice.Then make that 3 times.

  84. jeffwx - May 20, 2013 at 2:10 AM

    Stras/Zimm/Gio/Det…the best front four in BBSoriano/Clip/Stammen/Storen/…Span/Harper/Zimmm/ALR/Desi/Werth/Ramos/RendonWe're one bat or one LH reliever awayThis is a good teamWhat are you smokin, Nats Guy

  85. Eugene in Oregon - May 20, 2013 at 2:14 AM

    peric: I think 'when the other team scores at least 12' almost always trumps 'when the Nats score at least 3'.

  86. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 20, 2013 at 2:33 AM

    Why does Rendon have to prove he can hit mote than a month Espi hasnt proven that. Doesn't seem to be a requirement at all.Joe I explained the moves so I will repeat them.Bring up Rendon and he starts at second.Moore s sent back to Syracuse as tge accompanying move.Espi moves to the bench. If Rendon seems weak at second, Espi comes in as a defensive replacement after Rendon' 4th at bat.When Werth comes back Perez goes down.Line upSpanRendonHarperZimmermanLaRocheDesmondWerthCatcher Pitcher.

  87. Gonat - May 20, 2013 at 2:42 AM

    MNF, I really think Espi needs to slow things down in Syracuse. He will only benefit from the time there. Most likely he will crush the ball and then you decide what to do with him from there.

  88. Gonat - May 20, 2013 at 2:46 AM

    If this has been discussed I apologize. I heard this stat on ESPN that the Saturday Nats game was the 1st time in 2 years that a losing team didn't substitute 1 player.It also goes to the poor team management. Davey made a comment after Thursday's game why he didn't run for Chad Tracy when he had a pinch hit single and Davey's response was chuckling that he wanted to feel what it was like to be on base.Its not funny unless your lead is insurmountable. Bud Black was playing today's game like a must win with all of his moves and counter-moves.That's what disappointing to me that Davey is doing the same old thing.

  89. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 20, 2013 at 2:47 AM

    Gonat that works too, but i like his glove in 8th and 9th. His bat can stay in Syracuse.

  90. Gonat - May 20, 2013 at 2:51 AM

    Rendon will be fine and probably better at 2nd base. If not, Lombo is a good substitute. It's RZ who needs the late inning defensive replacement so maybe you move Rendon to 3rd in the late innings and Lombo to 2nd.

  91. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 20, 2013 at 2:52 AM

    The Tigers vs. Rangers game is a fun one to watch. The hitters know how to hit unlike some teams we know.I would love to see the NATS hitters hit like that, but our pitchers pitch like they usuakly do.

  92. peric - May 20, 2013 at 3:00 AM

    Bring up Rendon and he starts at second.Just like with Espy who is the better athlete in the field, BTW, this WON'T happen until he gets to Syracuse and gets at least 3-4 weeks worth of full-time second base … or more. You might as well forget that notion. It would be like trading LaRoche and moving RZim to first without any notice AND last I looked RZim was the multi-year veteran who should be better able to manage such a feat.Expecting that from a rookie is just plain ridiculous and honestly just plain wrong.

  93. Eric - May 20, 2013 at 3:02 AM

    Rendon needs to prove he can field more than anything, IMO. He clearly had patience at the plate, even in the majors, and had great hitting potential.But, if they bring him up for 2B and he fields like he did when covering for Zim–or worse since it's a new position–we'll just be moving the problem from offense to defense.It continues to amaze me that so many folks here don't seem worried about that possibility. Given his stats and how he did covering for RZim, it seems a bumpy transition on D is a very real possibility. I just don't think he's the silver bullet.And I have a funny feeling people would be even less patient with him than they've been with Zim.Obviously I could be way off… And if/when he comes up, I would be thrilled to find that I am.

  94. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 20, 2013 at 3:04 AM

    Obviously Rizzo agrees with you.Espi's life time average is .232 so I don't see his .163 worth a spot.This stall talk is tge same stuff we heard about Harper and he did fine once up. I suspect the same of Rendon.

  95. peric - May 20, 2013 at 3:05 AM

    AND you of course have thought this through in your infinite wisdom Manassas Nats Fan? Once Rendon is permanently ensconced at 2nd base in Syracuse for Danny (and Scott Boras) the handwriting will be on the wall. At that point Espinosa would have to be benched for the season. The likelihood of his playing 2nd base with superior skill diminishes. I could be wrong but It seems like some of Danny's worst days in the field were around when they put Rendon at second base or short in Harrisburg.

  96. peric - May 20, 2013 at 3:06 AM

    This stall talk is tge same stuff we heard about Harper and he did fine once up. I suspect the same of Rendon.Harper had already had a full year playing the outfield in the minors at that point. And outfield is different from playing second base.

  97. peric - May 20, 2013 at 3:08 AM

    And I have a funny feeling people would be even less patient with him than they've been with Zim.Understatement of the year given how they behaved when he was playing third for RZim.

  98. peric - May 20, 2013 at 3:10 AM

    There are currently ONLY three choices at second base: Espinosa, Lombardozzi, Kobernus/Rhymes. That be it at this time. Next up would be a prospect named Ricky Hague.

  99. Eric - May 20, 2013 at 3:11 AM

    "Rendon will be fine and probably better at 2nd base."Better than… Who? Espi? Espi fields at .990 in the majors, Rendon at .930 in the minors. Is it possible he'll improve by leaps and bounds by fast tracking his ascension to the majors AND having it coincide with a move to a tougher position? I suppose, but again, I'm confused why people are so dismissive of the potential for a pretty bad outcome in the field.

  100. Gonat - May 20, 2013 at 3:13 AM

    Eric, I think all reasonable people are in agreement that Rendon needs 2 weeks playing every day in the Minors at 2nd base to prove he is ready. Even after that, we know he will be doing on the job training at the MLB level. Right now its to get a competent bat in there.

  101. peric - May 20, 2013 at 3:14 AM

    IMHO, at this point the likelihood of Rizzo and the FO going outside for a trade to fill second base would be far more likely than Rendon. It might be possible to trade Espy and Lombo + and bring up Kobernus as the UTL to get a second bagger. Whoever they trade for will not be even close to Espinosa defensively. And won't provide gold-glove caliber backup at shortstop. So, perhaps y'all can understand why Rizzo and the FO might be reluctant about moving Espy and willing to keep him batting eighth behind the catcher if need be.

  102. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 20, 2013 at 3:15 AM

    My line where Espi goes is .220 and he is way under.How low does he have to get for Rizzo we know below .164.What is ypur bottom Peric, so I know when you come to our side.Also have you abandoned comparing Espi to LaRoche, the first month you compared them every game.

  103. peric - May 20, 2013 at 3:15 AM

    Eric, I think all reasonable people are in agreement that Rendon needs 2 weeks playing every day in the Minors at 2nd base to prove he is ready.Danny was given more than that and he's a top notch shortstop. At least a month.

  104. Eric - May 20, 2013 at 3:17 AM

    I would feel a lot less jittery about Rendon learning 2B on the fly on the majors if we weren't already in last place in fielding in the MLB.Doesn't make sense to me…

  105. peric - May 20, 2013 at 3:19 AM

    Also have you abandoned comparing Espi to LaRoche, the first month you compared them every game.Sure and what is LaRoche's OPS again? Is it as good as his former AZ Diamondback's teammate and former Orioles first bagger Mark Reynolds? Given the number of years he has played don't you think it should be significantly higher? And compare that to the number of years Danny has been in the league? Sheesh.snopes1 claimed the interloping "trolls" were Phillie fans. He's wrong. The blog is chock full.Danny is still young. His defensive prowess is unparalleled. He works hard, non-stop. As Rizzo put it they really don't have a better solution especially when you consider that Danny played shortstop today. Know anyone else that can stop in for Desmond for more than a game or two?

  106. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 20, 2013 at 3:20 AM

    Peric how bad des Espi bat to be replaced. I would replace him long ago.Ust want to know your bottom line.

  107. peric - May 20, 2013 at 3:21 AM

    Doesn't make sense to me…Nor to anyone thinking rationally about it.

  108. peric - May 20, 2013 at 3:22 AM

    Peric how bad des Espi bat to be replaced. I would replace him long ago.Actually, to be honest, Pudge's bat was far and away WORSE! And they stuck with him for the rest of the season for defensive reasons.

  109. Eric - May 20, 2013 at 3:22 AM

    peric, its always been my assumption that Espi's D is why he still has a job. When Rizzo mentioned that he's Desi's back up, too, I realized just how secure his job actually might be.His hitting is driving. Me. CRAZY, but I would hate to see him go.

  110. peric - May 20, 2013 at 3:23 AM

    And MNF we know you loved you some Pudge now didn't you?

  111. peric - May 20, 2013 at 3:24 AM

    His hitting is driving. Me. CRAZY, but I would hate to see him go.I think its killing him more than any fan. He's probably a giant tightly wound ball inside. I can just imagine what he would feel if he read the blogs. Everyone is blaming him exclusively for the Nat's woes!

  112. Eric - May 20, 2013 at 3:26 AM

    Oh, I agree. I have no doubt it's killing Espi way more than any of us.

  113. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 20, 2013 at 3:27 AM

    Not the last year he hit like crap.So espi could go to .090 and that is ok because o his defense.You asked if I thought about been thinking about this since before spring training.I dont like Zim's throws but tolerate it for .290 average.Would have no problem with Rendon throwing a few errors if he also batted .290

  114. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 20, 2013 at 3:30 AM

    I dont agree with you Eric. If it drove him as crazy as it drives me he would ix it.

  115. peric - May 20, 2013 at 3:31 AM

    If July rolls around and they are in the mix … but barely I expect they'll trade LaRoche as expected. In preparation for Rendon. The problem Rizzo has is the dearth of left-handed hitting. He might reach out and try to grab a left-handed offensive catcher to go with Suzuki before next season because he's stuck with Werth in the outfield at age 35 in 2014. Unless he decides to make him a bench bat. Then, they can get a left-handed bat for the outfield to go with Span and Harper. As for second base. I'm not sure what they'll decide. Its a tough nut to manage. Espy brings a lot more to the table than most people see. They could go out and get Cano if the Yankees don't re-up him first. It seems likely for them to bring him back. Other than Cano there really isn't anything all that special out there or in the minors … so …

  116. peric - May 20, 2013 at 3:33 AM

    So espi could go to .090 and that is ok because o his defense.Pudge was a guaranteed double play. Espy isn't.

  117. peric - May 20, 2013 at 3:37 AM

    I dont like Zim's throws but tolerate it for .290 average.Would have no problem with Rendon throwing a few errors if he also batted .290One hole in the infield is enough and with Desmond's errors. In fact this team leads the majors in errors. That's what killed them in the past, why they could never make any headway. And a large reason why their record is hovering around .500. The defense.

  118. Eric - May 20, 2013 at 3:38 AM

    "Would have no problem with Rendon throwing a few errors if he also batted .290"If we weren't already doing so poorly in that regard, and the problem weren't so centered on the infield already, I'd agree 100%. But, the idea of opening another hole in the infield doesn't sit well with me at all. Right now we're teetering in some bizarre balance between shaky offense and shaky defense. I'm worried if one gives even a little without a massive boost to the other (meaning, line up-wide, not just in the 7 hole), then we'll really be in trouble.I dunno, I wish there were an easy answer to finding our stride, but the problems spread to all parts of our game. We need everyone healthy and operating near or at capacity. That's the only true solution IMO. I don't see Rendon being the singular solution not Espi the singular problem. They're heads and trails near as I can tell. Paging Dr. Frankenstein… ;)

  119. peric - May 20, 2013 at 3:38 AM

    And as Davey put it today, Espy isn't the only one having problems at the plate, not by a long shot.

  120. Eric - May 20, 2013 at 3:41 AM

    peric, what the hell is happening?! Not site we've ever remotely agreed on anything, let alone said exactly the same thing in crosspost after crosspost! ;)

  121. peric - May 20, 2013 at 3:42 AM

    At this point I have to admit I am kind of hoping Rizzo does with Espy as he did with Lannan that one season: send him to the minors to work on things. But Rizzo said (again) to the beat reporters: its a performance league but Espy's problems at the plate has yet to affect his defense. But, yeah I think he does need to get away from the pressure for a while. But will that help him or will it cripple his confidence? I sure don't know.

  122. Scott Margenau - May 20, 2013 at 3:42 AM

    Peric!! Get off Danny. Just stop it. Stop saying he's more athletic, superior, etc. Plz. He stinks. He will never ever be good. History is full of good athletes…that never achieve much. Put down the torch. I love how steadfast u r but it's time. Lombo will hit AND field better. U guys overrate espi in the field. FP favors Lombo and I've seen him make numerous great plays. Time for his FULL Time chance.

  123. Eric - May 20, 2013 at 3:43 AM

    Not site = not sure

  124. peric - May 20, 2013 at 3:44 AM

    Put down the torch. I love how steadfast u r but it's time. Lombo will hit AND field better. U guys overrate espi in the field. As does Rizzo, Clark, Minniti, Harris, Johnson, etc. just to name a few. I believe Natsjack thinks of Danny along those lines.So, Scott Margenau unless you are fond of ignoring experts and the advanced stats that back up what they think? I have a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to see you cheap.

  125. peric - May 20, 2013 at 3:45 AM

    see you cheap.sell you cheap.

  126. Eric - May 20, 2013 at 3:45 AM

    Lombo is much better suited to replace Espi than Rendon, defensively, imo… but, so far at least, he's not THAT much better on offense. Still, that experiment would make me much less nervous than Rendon at 2B.

  127. peric - May 20, 2013 at 3:48 AM

    Lombo is much better suited to replace Espi than Rendon, defensively, imo… but, so far at least, he's not THAT much better on offense. Still, that experiment would make me much less nervous than Rendon at 2B.Agreed. Of course AGonz is available again and he is more than capable at third, short, and second base. Very good range. Of course everyone here conveniently likes to forget about him. He was also a young prospect with this organization more suited to being a defensive replacement.

  128. Eric - May 20, 2013 at 3:49 AM

    I'm not familiar with AGonz…?

  129. Scott Margenau - May 20, 2013 at 3:51 AM

    Oops PericFP = fielding percentage. Rebut again! Danny is #fail So tell me why not try Lombo full time?

  130. Scott Margenau - May 20, 2013 at 3:55 AM

    Yes. At this point with Danny I will ignore the experts. If I'm wrong, it will be good for the team and I'll gladly eat my words. No expert man, that's just my perspective from watching every inning for 3 years. (well 98%)

  131. rmoore446 - May 20, 2013 at 3:58 AM

    Pudge's bat was not worse than Espi. His last season he hit .211, which is fifty points higher than Espinosa. Plus, it wasn't just his defense (which we could use some more of behind the plate) but he also called an excellent game and mentored the other catchers.The relative contributions ain't even close.

  132. baseballswami - May 20, 2013 at 10:30 AM

    Is anyone else getting tired of hashing and rehashing Espi, the hitting, HRod, Rendon? Is there anything else that can be added at this point? I truly hope that , win or lose, someone does or says something interesting to give us a break from the cicada like hum of the same old same old. At least when Bryce plays there is usually something going on that is not the usual. I want someone on this team to surprise me , prove me wrong and distract me from the same old nagging crap. I can 't believe I am posting this but- go Zach Duke!!!!!

  133. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 20, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    I cheer for Espi and want him to hit like first half of first season.He just needs to quit swinging and nissing at the hutter's pitches, quit making weak contact on pitcher's pitches and quit swing at balls not in the strike zone.Those 3 things he does much more than May 2011. Not sure why.I amsure he wants to do that too, but we can't do it for him, he has to do it.Working hard is not the answer, working productively is.

  134. Rabbit34 - May 20, 2013 at 11:07 AM

    I've said for years that we need bats and most everyone scoffed at me. Well………..????

  135. ehay2k - May 20, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    Rabbit, all the players have bats. It's the unfamiliarity with their proper use that is killing us. If only there was a way to instruct them on the proper use of a bat…

  136. Dave - May 21, 2013 at 9:50 AM

    As if that game weren't bad enough, Mattheus broke his hand after giving up five runs in SD, slamming his hand into a locker. He's on the DL.Maya, Abad up, Perez back down.It just gets worser and worser.




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