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Instant analysis: Phillies 5, Nats 3

May 26, 2013, 2:25 AM EDT

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Dan Haren struck out 10 over six innings but received no decision.

Game in a nutshell: Dan Haren gave the Nationals a performance that at times was dominant (10 strikeouts in six innings) though it did include back-to-back homers in the top of the second. His lineup, meanwhile, had plenty of chances to take out rookie right-hander Jonathan Pettibone and the Phillies bullpen but managed only three runs. With the game tied in the eighth, Drew Storen surrendered back-to-back, two-out, RBI hits to put Philadelphia on top. The Nationals lineup then couldn't complete a rally late, going down in the ninth against Jonathan Papelbon to suffer a frustrating loss. Now 25-24, they'll need to beat the Phillies in Sunday's series finale to avoid falling into a second-place tie with their division rivals.

Hitting lowlight: How many chances did the Nationals give themselves tonight, only to come away with very little? Far too many chances. Though Adam LaRoche and Denard Span eachRead more »

143 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. baseballswami - May 26, 2013 at 2:28 AM

    This is just turning out to be the strangest season….

  2. David Proctor - May 26, 2013 at 2:29 AM

    I think we're taking small steps in the right direction. Yes, we weren't good with RISP. But we did tally a bunch of hits for the 2nd time in a row. Haren was good. Abad showed some serious life on his fastball (who knew he threw 96mph?). Henry had a nice inning. The clutch hitting will come.

  3. SCNatsFan - May 26, 2013 at 2:29 AM

    Sensing Mark's growing frustration with this team that just seems hell bent on shooting itself in the foot at virtually every opportunity it gets. Tired of hearing it is still early when this team, mentally, is playing horrible baseball night after night.

  4. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 26, 2013 at 2:30 AM

    Unlucky BABIP. Even the long single by Delmon Young that scored the go ahead run was unlucky to the Nats.Big play in the game I thought was Storen pitching to the lefty Dominic Brown. 5-3 vs 4-3 was a big difference. Nats blew the opportunities in the 8th and 9th when they had runners on.Lombo missing the bunt and offering at the bunt on the 1st pitch which was a ball was poor approach with men on 1st and 2nd.

  5. David Proctor - May 26, 2013 at 2:34 AM

    We should be riding the hot hand with the bullpen. I understand a need to get Drew into a groove, but in a tie game, Clippard has been lights out lately. He needs to be in the game at that point.Davey has been the first to admit that he's struggling to figure out how to use the bullpen. Hopefully they figure it out soon.

  6. Joe Seamhead - May 26, 2013 at 2:35 AM

    What happened to Haren that he came out after 88 pitches?

  7. David Proctor - May 26, 2013 at 2:36 AM

    Haren appeared to hurt himself running out of the box when batting. He stayed in another inning after that, but it's possible they didn't want to push their luck too much.Doesn't really matter anyway since Henry pitched a shutdown inning.

  8. Secret wasian man - May 26, 2013 at 2:36 AM

    SCNatsfan I agree. unfortunately though I dont think this stuff will get fixed. The team is just not very good. its mediocre. I expect about 81 wins this year. certainly not with the elite teams.

  9. Amr Khani - May 26, 2013 at 2:38 AM

    Lombo should not have been bunting. That's poor strategy. He got unlucky by hitting a line drive right at Rollins. Span was unlucky as well as his liner was right at someone. Overall though, if they keep getting this many base runners and hit the ball that hard, they will win a significant majority of these types of games.

  10. Secret wasian man - May 26, 2013 at 2:39 AM

    by the 7th inning Nats should have been ahead by at least 2. there IS no CLUTCH HITTING.

  11. David Proctor - May 26, 2013 at 2:39 AM

    Thank you Amr Khani, that is absolutely right. Today, they hit into very bad luck. It's almost a statistical certainty that if they keep getting this many baserunners, more will begin to cross home plate. It's not a matter of clutch or unclutch when balls are hit hard. That's luck. And it evens out.

  12. Joe Seamhead - May 26, 2013 at 2:39 AM

    Good post Amr Khani.

  13. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 26, 2013 at 2:40 AM

    Joe Seamhead said… I really like Davey but wasn't thrilled on his situational managing of the pitching tonight. May 25, 2013 10:30 PM I made the same point above and in the 8th inning. Davey likes his relievers to go 1 full inning. I think you have 7 in your bullpen and can go situationally in key spots like I pointed out earlier tonight and again in my game summation that Abad could've come in at that point against Dominic Brown.Would much rather be down by 1 then risk a 2 run deficit.Again, Lombo missing that bunt in the bottom of the 8th was a bad turn with 2 on and no outs.

  14. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 26, 2013 at 2:40 AM

    11 guys left on 7 in scoring position going 2 for 11 RISP is not good hitting. Quanity for quality is never a good substitute.As for Storen all I can say is Thanks Drew. 3 terrible outings in a row.

  15. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 26, 2013 at 2:41 AM

    Was thinking though how the ball get between ALR and the line with 2 outs in 7th. Normally you are in no doubles defense.

  16. Jeff L - May 26, 2013 at 2:42 AM

    Are batters not given signals from third base coach?

  17. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 26, 2013 at 2:43 AM

    I don't know about calling for a Lombo bunt but it wasn't the worse thought in that situation. You are down by 2 with a lousy 3rd baseman. I liked Davey putting the pressure on the Phillies. Lombo didn't execute. Best case Young throws the ball away and you hope worse case you get a Sac bunt and move 2 into scoring position.

  18. David Proctor - May 26, 2013 at 2:43 AM

    MNF,that stat doesn't tell the whole story. You have to WATCH. Several balls were lined right at people. That's bad luck. There's nothing a hitter can do to change that. That will even out. Today was a productive day for the bats. If we keep hitting like that, we'll win a lot of games.

  19. mick - May 26, 2013 at 2:43 AM

    so let's see, win 2 and then drop 4 in a row is the 2013 Nats. What are we 5 and a half back now? and not even close to contending for a wild card. How pathetic to have your so called top hitters all KO in bottom of 9th. Bryce swung the bat like a cave man tonight. Storen simply SUCKS and I will always remember him for game 5. what a turkey80 plus losses this year and I will bet any one. DC supports baseball, 30,000 plus and they play like crap at home

  20. mick - May 26, 2013 at 2:44 AM

    O's will beat us 4 straight and then I think Lerners may get pissed off as they should

  21. David Proctor - May 26, 2013 at 2:45 AM

    If "win 2 and drop 4 in a row" is the 2013 Nats we'd be 16-33. And you'd think we were 16-33 judging by some of the posts on here.

  22. Secret wasian man - May 26, 2013 at 2:45 AM

    besides Drew, who is bad. The difference between last season and this is the lack of bench play. The GOON squad is now the Garbage squad. They are not helping.

  23. tayo - May 26, 2013 at 2:45 AM

    Ok we needed to score more than 3 runs. But really, whats up with Drew? He hasn't really been right all season as it just seems like batters have been taking comfortable hacks with him pitching. Or has he just been unlucky? Anyway, with a close game like that, Davey should have probably opted to go with Clip.

  24. mick - May 26, 2013 at 2:45 AM

    good teams make their own luck

  25. peric - May 26, 2013 at 2:45 AM

    Well, Syracuse won with key hits first a homer by Chris Rahl in the 8th and then Eury Perez a clutch double in the 10th by a score of 2-1.Right handed designated closer Erik Davis recorded his 7th save and has a sub 2 ERA. He is on the 40-man roster.

  26. David Proctor - May 26, 2013 at 2:45 AM

    Just like we were gonna be below .500 by the end of the weekend. "Guaranteed." *rolls eyes*

  27. peric - May 26, 2013 at 2:46 AM

    O's will beat us 4 straight and then I think Lerners may get pissed off as they shouldIf you really think that could happen I can't watch …

  28. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 26, 2013 at 2:47 AM

    Mick, please delete your 10:44 post. That is sickening to read. The Lerner's should be pissed off already. They ponied up the cash for every player Rizzo wanted.

  29. Secret wasian man - May 26, 2013 at 2:47 AM

    David when you win 98 and are a DREW away from NLCS a season ago, the 24-23 is putrid.

  30. David Proctor - May 26, 2013 at 2:48 AM

    And yet we're still in as good a place, or close, as the last 3 World Series Champions were at this point.

  31. mick - May 26, 2013 at 2:48 AM

    Wasian man, the Nats have good starting pitching, that is the only consistent thing the have. I think anyone can fairly evaluate a team after almost 50 games… there is no wait til the bats come around.. THEY WILL NOT, they would have 2 weeks ago. The bull pen is horrible and will not get better, Clip the only bright spot, Storen is a BUST

  32. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 26, 2013 at 2:48 AM

    Realized some bad luck. suzuki check swinf no reason to have out there. You called tgat bad luck.I call Span's non 2 run homer bad luck.A line drive right at someone is bad luck, but missing bunt before not bad luck.

  33. David Proctor - May 26, 2013 at 2:49 AM

    You're right Mick. Not like the bats came alive in mid-June last year when everyone was pronouncing the offense was dead.This is lunacy.

  34. peric - May 26, 2013 at 2:49 AM

    Just like we were gonna be below .500 by the end of the weekend. "Guaranteed." *rolls eyes*If the Phillies win tomorrow at the Nat's place and win the series they will be ahead of the Nats based on head-to-head in the standings.The Nats could find themselves in third place on Monday.

  35. Secret wasian man - May 26, 2013 at 2:49 AM

    The Lerners should already be pissed. Yes The O's will win all 4. And yes you do make your own luck.

  36. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 26, 2013 at 2:50 AM

    But as Wee Willie Keeler would say " Hit them where they ain't

  37. SCNatsFan - May 26, 2013 at 2:51 AM

    To those of you who keep seeing the good in this team I applaud you; I wish I could see something that leads me to believe this team s about to break out.

  38. mick - May 26, 2013 at 2:51 AM

    David Proctor said…You're right Mick. Not like the bats came alive in mid-June last year when everyone was pronouncing the offense was dead.This is lunacy.Goon squad was alive in April, what season did you watch last year???

  39. David Proctor - May 26, 2013 at 2:51 AM

    The one where we scored about the same number of runs as this year through the months of April and May.

  40. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 26, 2013 at 2:52 AM

    I start every game assuming we will win. Tomorrow is no different.

  41. peric - May 26, 2013 at 2:52 AM

    I think anyone can fairly evaluate a team after almost 50 games… there is no wait til the bats come around.. THEY WILL NOT, they would have 2 weeks ago. Statistically, that is true. This is about a .500 team as it stands. But changes to the roster could also change the probabilities. We don't know what Rizzo might or might not do in June going into July.

  42. Secret wasian man - May 26, 2013 at 2:54 AM

    Somebody please hit File, Save. that way on July 4th Mick can say, "I told you so." I agree with Mick. The bats will NOT improve. "BUT I SURE HOPE IM WRONG" Go NATS

  43. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 26, 2013 at 2:54 AM

    Then again I assume every team I cheer for will win every game

  44. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 26, 2013 at 2:54 AM

    The negativity is overwhelming. I watched a different game I guess than those going all neganon.Even in your best games there are negatives.

  45. mick - May 26, 2013 at 2:54 AM

    peric… that is what scares me, what will Rizzo do? This was not suppose to happen. Nts have playoff caliber starting pitching, Doe this team have to to wn 1-0 or 2-1 the rest of the eyar

  46. baseballswami - May 26, 2013 at 2:54 AM

    This season is just not going the way we all dreamed it would. I realize that people are feeling let down and disappointed, but are you going spend every single game ranting and railing about it? People just seem obsessed with the Barves score every minute and freaking out about how many games we will end up winning or losing. I plan on watching the games one at a time just to see what happens. I feel that the hitting was better, Haren looked good, the score see sawed back and forth. Seems like when one thing clicks another thing doesn't. It 's easy to cherry pick something your least favorite player did not execute, but it's usually an accumulation of many things over a game. Tomorrow should be a good one!!

  47. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 26, 2013 at 2:55 AM

    Only 2 negatives I saw RISP and Drew.

  48. David Proctor - May 26, 2013 at 2:55 AM

    Absolutely agreed Steve M. The difference in this game was a poorly executed bunt and balls hit directly to guys. Pure luck. I will admit that Drew is concerning though. I'm not sure how long we can hope for him to come around, but then again, there aren't a ton of options either. So we might have to stick it out.

  49. DJB - May 26, 2013 at 2:58 AM

    I think Bryce has a torn ligament in his knee. I noticed when he took that lead at second that his knee buckled, as if it lacked stability. Manny Machado is looking better right now. This team is just bad. I can't be too mad at the team, because I just think this is their talent level. I'm mad at the GM who had the historic opportunity to put together a great team and blew it.

  50. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 26, 2013 at 2:59 AM

    Is there a place to go on Lombo's stats in bunt attempts? It was such a poor effort and approach that I felt that was the turning point of the game along with Storen issuing a walk and left in to face Dominic Brown.

  51. David Proctor - May 26, 2013 at 3:00 AM

    A TORN LIGAMENT IN HIS KNEE?! Um. I don't think he'd be playing on a torn ligament. Jeez people.

  52. mick - May 26, 2013 at 3:01 AM

    the ship be sinking

  53. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 26, 2013 at 3:03 AM

    No doubt Tin Timmins cost us a bases loaded 0 outs dituation. Is tgat part of bad luck?

  54. peric - May 26, 2013 at 3:03 AM

    The one where we scored about the same number of runs as this year through the months of April and May.The bullpen was a lot better that's the big difference. Plus LaRoche, Espinosa, and Desmond were hitting and then Desmond went down and Lombo began to hit as he got regular AB's at second with Espy at short. Both were hitting. Zim really didn't get started until July. Everything didn't come together offensively until Werth returned from the broken wrist and embraced the lead-off role in front of Harper. And? They had Morse.But the pitching and defense was there all along. When Lidge was doing what Storen did tonight they DFA'ed and replaced him. Storen went down and Henry was effective for a while then broke down. That's when they got Mattheus and Gonzalez for the back end of the bullpen. And Gorzo was pretty solid in the beginning coming out of the bullpen instead of starting. The difference this year is the defense isn't as strong in spite of the changes Rizzo made. Zimmerman still has problems making throws deep from 3rd base. Desmond did not start out well. Is Span and Harper better than Ankiel and Harper? And then Harper and Werth? Defensively? Left field with Morse, Bernadina you had more offense because of Morse and about the same level of defense. Rizzo made the call to move Harper out of center for Span. And send Morse away. Send Gorzo away. Its up to him to fix what he broke IMHO and he must do so before this season is lost.

  55. baseballswami - May 26, 2013 at 3:04 AM

    Oh for goodness sake. Smart baseball people put together the best team they could in good faith. But there are no guarantees in baseball or anywhere else. So we wake up on Monday in third place. In May. Get over it. Do you even like baseball or do you just have to win? Months of baseball left- some of it will be great and some will suck really bad. Maybe you need a new hobby.

  56. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 26, 2013 at 3:04 AM

    No reason we cant win east still.Just play like you want it.I complain daily, as I never know when I will see my last game. i want the last one to be perfect.

  57. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 26, 2013 at 3:06 AM

    No reason we cant go 138-24

  58. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 26, 2013 at 3:06 AM

    Davey should've been running out of the dugout. Reminded me of Acta. LaRoche talked to Timmons and Davey didn't move.That pitch wasn't even close. That puts the tying run on base with Desi up and the pitch selection changes. I hate bad calls that can change a game.

  59. peric - May 26, 2013 at 3:06 AM

    A TORN LIGAMENT IN HIS KNEE?! Um. I don't think he'd be playing on a torn ligament. Jeez people.It could be slightly torn or loose though. That is a sign that it could completely go though … if true.

  60. mick - May 26, 2013 at 3:07 AM

    sure we can the East, "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no! ”

  61. peric - May 26, 2013 at 3:07 AM

    You can't argue balls and strikes Ghost. The manager comes running to protect the player from getting thrown out.

  62. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 26, 2013 at 3:08 AM

    Ghost dont forget our bad luck with Timmins Harper K ball was a wild pitch, but Immins didnt get out of the way so ball didnt get to the backstop.Should have been bases lded 0 out.

  63. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 26, 2013 at 3:10 AM

    With better and bettwr technology holes in umpires' calls getting more exposed.Umps didbt make the difference tonight.Pathetic RISP hitting and Drew's pathetic effort.

  64. peric - May 26, 2013 at 3:11 AM

    No reason we cant win east still.ONLY IF the starting pitching remains constant, they fix the bullpen as they did last season remember? Lidge DFA'ed etc? And fix the defense at third base and left field hoping that second base doesn't become another hole …then eke out just enough offense … then yes they very well could …BUT it starts with excellent pitching. We are not seeing that from the bullpen this season. Harren has made signs of improving to the point he was at the end of last season. And they need good defense behind them.

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

    Anyone hear Davey's presser tonight. Lways gives stupid excuses. Players give better interviews then him.

  66. baseballswami - May 26, 2013 at 3:12 AM

    Anyone ever read a story about Chicken Little? The moral of the story ends up to be that the sky is not really falling. Night. Get some sleep. You will need it for tomorrow's exciting match up. Should be a tense, tightly contested battle. Just the way we like it!

  67. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 26, 2013 at 3:12 AM

    baseballswami said… Oh for goodness sake. Smart baseball people put together the best team they couldThat I don't agree with. The weak links were exposed on this team in September and the post-season and the only one Rizzo took care of was a new closer.He left 2nd base as is, didn't get a good #6 and left the bench as is and left the front of his bullpen in disarray.

  68. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 26, 2013 at 3:13 AM

    As I said I go into ever game assuming we will win.That wont change, so I assume we will win tomorrow.

  69. Joe Seamhead - May 26, 2013 at 3:13 AM

    I don't know. I watched a close baseball game. My team lost to the drafted Phillies.But it wasn't boring. Get 'em tomorrow. 10 years ago we didn't even have a team. Two years ago, at this point, .500 was a pipe dream. And this year? I still have every reason to believe that we'll win the NL East. Why am I still so positive? Because we really do have the best team. You'll see.

  70. SCNatsFan - May 26, 2013 at 3:14 AM

    A loose ligament? Never heard of that one.

  71. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 26, 2013 at 3:14 AM

    peric said… You can't argue balls and strikes Ghost. The manager comes running to protect the player from getting thrown out. Come on Peric, do you think I don't know the risks. Davey has to get out there. It won't change that call but you have to protect your player and if you get thrown out so be it.I couldn't watch another minute of Acta not sticking up for his players. Davey left LaRoche out there and LaRoche was right, that wasn't even close.

  72. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 26, 2013 at 3:15 AM

    I am with you Joe.If i assumed they were going to lose why would I bother to watch or go to games. That to me makes no sense.

  73. peric - May 26, 2013 at 3:15 AM

    He left 2nd base as is, didn't get a good #6 and left the bench as is and left the front of his bullpen in disarray.If you look at Espy's numbers in July when he was playing shortstop before the shoulder injury one can readily see why …So, I completely disagree with Ghost.What I see is the removal of one of the NL's most feared offensive threats from left-field in order to put a banjo hitter who is a pretty good fielder in center. Instead of a power hitting outfield of Morse, Harper, and to a lesser extent Werth? But Werth was lead-off and probably one of the very best at it when he was doing it.What have we now? Think about it.

  74. peric - May 26, 2013 at 3:17 AM

    A loose ligament? Never heard of that one.Medically no. But its what mine felt like before it gave. Don't know the exact medical terminology or parlance.

  75. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 26, 2013 at 3:18 AM

    Peric, I'm glad you are still looking at Espi's 39 career ABs as a shortstop for your ridiculous small sample size contention that Espi would hit better if he was playing shortstop. That literally has to be the stupidest assertion I've heard and yet, you keep repeating it.I just seem to be the only one that will stand up to you and call you on your BS.

  76. Bob Saget Nats Fan 101 - May 26, 2013 at 3:19 AM

    Peric, question for you and to everyone else who wants to answer the question: What can this team do to attempt to be the team it was last year?Also, who hear has played baseball or softball in their lives?

  77. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 26, 2013 at 3:20 AM

    For what is is worth Morse grounded to short with RISP

  78. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 26, 2013 at 3:24 AM

    It is an easy fix. Hit better , field better, pitch better.

  79. peric - May 26, 2013 at 3:29 AM

    I just seem to be the only one that will stand up to you and call you on your BS.Kind of like saying Storen is better than Henry aye Ghost. You sure looked brilliantly arrogant with that one now didn't you? Ha!Small sample size I'll give you progression across an entire season.In April .205, in May .232, In June .236, then July before the injury? .300 with 8 doubles 2 triples and 3 home runs. SLG .269, .442, .358, and .490.The only weak spot was OBP getting as high as .330 in July but pretty much around and over .300 otherwise. Ghost you are way too biased against players like Espinosa. And your foolishness today with Storen only continues to bear that out. You are a poor judge of baseball players.

  80. peric - May 26, 2013 at 3:31 AM

    IMO Espinosa should go off and get both surgeries and return healthy and then be judged and not before.Right now they are keeping him off the DL and in the dugout as the backup shortstop since they now have 2 second baggers.

  81. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 26, 2013 at 3:32 AM

    MNF, simplistically, yah, all 3. Only bright spot is starting pitching. Fielding has improved. It's situational instances where the Nats are not getting it done.

  82. Unknown - May 26, 2013 at 3:33 AM

    To whoever posted that Machado is looking better than Harper — two things. First, please, Harper is a budding mega-star, Machado is good, potential all-star with a great glove, but struggles to get a decent OBP in the AL. Second, can we FINALLY get past the comparisons with an AL team the Nats play four times a year and focus on the real issue – the other teams in the NL and the NL East. I'm beyond tired of reading Orioles references here. Who cares? Go post on the O's blogs. They have plenty. I hope this year the Nats win it all and I don't care what the Orioles do – they can win more games, sweep all four vs the Nats, win the AL East, I don't care. I root for an follow the Nats and the NL. Let's move on from the team forced down my throat for years, please

  83. peric - May 26, 2013 at 3:34 AM

    For what is is worth Morse grounded to short with RISPPitchers and catchers in the NL feared the guy and what he could do … when healthy …. which was part of the problem …

  84. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 26, 2013 at 3:34 AM

    Peric, both Henry and Storen aren't good right now. The point is Henry is getting cake walk appearances. Henry gets the bottom of the order and Storen got the heart of the order. Big difference. You don't seem to get it and you are very selective in making your points. Do you watch the games?

  85. peric - May 26, 2013 at 3:36 AM

    Let's move on from the team forced down my throat for years, pleaseDouble or triple AMEN to that!!

  86. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 26, 2013 at 3:39 AM

    Storen is suppose to be better so it doesnt matter who he faces does it?

  87. peric - May 26, 2013 at 3:39 AM

    Peric, both Henry and Storen aren't good right now. The point is Henry is getting cake walk appearances. Henry gets the bottom of the order and Storen got the heart of the order. Big difference. You don't seem to get it and you are very selective in making your points. Do you watch the games?And here you are using selective morality to judge these players? They are major league hitters. At the bottom you see pinch hitters. You either get them out or … you don't.In Henry's case he isn't walking as many as he used to. He has improved in that area while maintaining the RPM's. He's getting better.While Storen is getting worse. And Storen shouldn't be. And that has concerned me since Spring training. I don't see improvement there instead I see regression.That's what I see.

  88. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 26, 2013 at 3:40 AM

    After NatsJack signs off, I appear to be the only one who will call you on your BS Peric.So what on Espi's good July. That was progression in his horrible season. If he got 6 or 7 more hits in June he would have eclipsed his July numbers. Why did he start to slide in August?

  89. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 26, 2013 at 3:40 AM

    Is there a quick place to find (the so called) quality starts for each of the Nats starters?

  90. DJB - May 26, 2013 at 3:41 AM

    Bob Saget,This is the team they were last year, from about September on. This team has been a .500 team for a while now. The hope was that last years September was an aberration due to the pressure and the Stras shutdown In fact, the league hadn't adjusted to a team with a lot of young players, including two pitchers they hadn't seen yet. Enjoy the park, but don't expect much. The team will improve with better front office management.

  91. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 26, 2013 at 3:42 AM

    Peric, rarely do we agree. You are so centered on a few players and issues that you miss the forest for the trees.Sorry you can't see the big picture.

  92. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 26, 2013 at 3:43 AM

    We wilwin tomorrow.

  93. peric - May 26, 2013 at 3:46 AM

    Why did he start to slide in August?Detached rotator cuff. Clearly you can't see anything beyond your nose if you can't see how that kind of injury could still be affecting his hitting. In spite of what he says. He will always say its fine even when it isn't. Reminding one of CM Wang.

  94. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 26, 2013 at 3:46 AM

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/WSN/2013-pitching.shtml#players_win_probability_pitching::noneHenry Rodriguez with ZERO high leverage appearances while Storen has had 6. On medium leverage Henry has had 2 and Drew 4.

  95. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 26, 2013 at 3:49 AM

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/WSN/2013-pitching.shtml#players_starter_pitching::17MNF, here is the Quality Starts this season:JZim 9, Stras 7, Gio 6, Detwiler 5, Haren 3

  96. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 26, 2013 at 3:49 AM

    My question has been why would you play with these inuries? They are not minor. In my opinion you are not being a team player if you are seriously injured but still play.

  97. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 26, 2013 at 3:53 AM

    Thans that is 30. tigers leads AL with 29. heard on their broadcast).so our starters are basicalky fine.

  98. peric - May 26, 2013 at 3:54 AM

    Why do they always pick me? Why not Natsjack he's the purported expert.What can this team do to attempt to be the team it was last year?I didn't really agree with giving away the offense they had for more defense but that is what Mike Rizzo decided to do last winter. So, you need to ensure that is the team's strength and that in the areas of pitching and defense they are the very best in the NL or as close to that as they can possibly get. They need to fix the bullpen first. Davey has already pretty much said he needs to work on that with the loss of Mattheus. Mattheus should be back in a month or so plus Erik Davis has been performing well as the closer in Syracuse. They need to figure out what is wrong with Drew Storen, preferably in the minors. If Henry is going to be one of Davey's bullpen he is going to have to pitch in more high leverage games. They need a better left-handed spot starter/situational/middle relief/mop up then Zach Duke has been so far. On defense third base and left field must be addressed. Those are the two key spots where they are losing games they shouldn't. Harper is still learning in right field but he adjusts and learns rapidly.Then they address the offense as best they can starting with the bench perhaps.Also, who hear has played baseball or softball in their lives?I played a lot of both. Prefer "hard ball" as it used to be called. I starting playing when I was 5 years old.

  99. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 26, 2013 at 3:54 AM

    To bad i cant click on a link on my phone. thanks for giving numbers.

  100. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 26, 2013 at 3:54 AM

    peric said… Why did he start to slide in August?———–Detached rotator cuff. Clearly you can't see anything beyond your nose if you can't see how that kind of injury could still be affecting his hitting. May 25, 2013 11:46 PM http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/nationals-watch/2013/jan/26/danny-espinosa-played-torn-rotator-cuff-2012-will-/According to all reports the injury happened in mid-September which clearly doesn't explain the slide in August into September.Try your BS again and go back to your original theory that Espi got better when he played Shortstop.Laughable and ridiculous.

  101. Joe Seamhead - May 26, 2013 at 3:54 AM

    Ghost, peric telling somebody, anybody, else that they are a poor judge of baseball players, just cracked be up.

  102. Joe Seamhead - May 26, 2013 at 3:57 AM

    cracked me up.

  103. peric - May 26, 2013 at 3:58 AM

    My question has been why would you play with these inuries? They are not minor. In my opinion you are not being a team player if you are seriously injured but still play.Harper was ready to keep playing with a suspected concussion and a cut that required stitches? And then there's the knee? Zimmerman played with a serious shoulder injury. Espinosa with a shoulder and broken hand. Zim tried to play with a torn abdominal. Desmond with the oblique and he made it to the AllStar and was done. And the pitchers. Who knows they never seem to be honest about their arms. Remember Marquis?

  104. jeffwx - May 26, 2013 at 3:58 AM

    MNF….2 for 11 with RISP…to win tomorrow, they'll have to do better….Lineup is at least getting hits now…I'll take a healthy bat in Lombo than one with a chipped wrist and bad rotator cuff.I would love to have a more consistent bat off the bench than what Tracey and Berni have been bringing. The Braves have real pop in their lineup that we don't.(J. Upton, BJ, McCann, Heyward, Uggla, Freeman, Gattis…7 pops compared to our 4, Ramos will help when he returns) but I think our starters are better as is our bullpen considering the injuries in theirs.G'night all…sleep well.

  105. peric - May 26, 2013 at 4:00 AM

    According to all reports the injury happened in mid-September which clearly doesn't explain the slide in August into September.That's when it was diagnosed. He admitted it happened far earlier and thought he could play with it.

  106. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 26, 2013 at 4:01 AM

    Need minimum of 10 hits a game for amonth to just get .240. That is pathetic.

  107. peric - May 26, 2013 at 4:02 AM

    Ghost, peric telling somebody, anybody, else that they are a poor judge of baseball players, just cracked be up. And every time Joe Seamhead opens his pie hole he becomes all the more pathetic. You would think he would learn. Especially since he used to be a cough, cough laugh snicker snicker baseball coach? Of what? A bunch of preschoolers?

  108. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 26, 2013 at 4:02 AM

    For what is worth. morse again comes up with man on second and grounds to third.Add his 0 for 2 to our RISP

  109. peric - May 26, 2013 at 4:04 AM

    I would love to have a more consistent bat off the bench than what Tracey and Berni have been bringing.Where? The guys currently in the minors including the veterans are used to playing with regular AB's. None are ready to pinch hit in the majors. Honestly, the best PH I can think of off the bench might be Werth. Why? Because the guy knows how to work a walk! Other than Werth? Maybe Rendon.

  110. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 26, 2013 at 4:06 AM

    Joe Seamhead said… Ghost, peric telling somebody, anybody, else that they are a poor judge of baseball players, just cracked be up. May 25, 2013 11:54 PM Especially since I have been getting paid for decades to do amateur scouting for several teams. Peric played hard ball. Funny, we have something in common. I did too.

  111. peric - May 26, 2013 at 4:06 AM

    MNF, he is also still recovering from a fractured pinky.

  112. peric - May 26, 2013 at 4:07 AM

    Especially since I have been getting paid for decades to do amateur scouting for several teams.You mean like little leagues? Really? That's understandable.

  113. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 26, 2013 at 4:08 AM

    Bsides the fact I am a senior citizen, who never had good vision (ever), i couldnt have ever been an athlete even if I had the talent, as I don't have the temperment.I always have trouble sleeping after loses, and replay way too many plays.Sometimes I wish i hated baseball, life would be easiet, but loving baseball makes it hard.

  114. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 26, 2013 at 4:08 AM

    Joe, thanks. I'm sure you were a good coach.

  115. Caps Fan - May 26, 2013 at 4:09 AM

    "The Nats could find themselves in third place on Monday."This isn't football and they don't do tiebreakers until the end of the season anyway. Worst case, the Nats are tied for second on Monday morning.

  116. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 26, 2013 at 4:10 AM

    Another one playing hurt. Does it really help the team to play hurt? Apparently some say yes.

  117. do1teach1 - May 26, 2013 at 4:12 AM

    38,000 show up, for nothing. Thanks.

  118. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 26, 2013 at 4:12 AM

    Just wondering. Guys like Fernando Rodney and Felix Hernandez who wear their hats off centered, do you think they do it to be cool?

  119. peric - May 26, 2013 at 4:13 AM

    Another one playing hurt. Does it really help the team to play hurt? Apparently some say yes.If Desmond suffered a serious enough injury to go on the DL they would have no other choice but to put Espinosa out there with all of his issues at this point.

  120. Caps Fan - May 26, 2013 at 4:14 AM

    "Ghost Of Steve M. said… Davey should've been running out of the dugout. Reminded me of Acta. LaRoche talked to Timmons and Davey didn't move."Davey did come out of the dugout. What game were you watching?

  121. peric - May 26, 2013 at 4:14 AM

    You mean like "Jaunty" Burnette MNF?

  122. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 26, 2013 at 4:15 AM

    Espinosa is hurt get repaired. Find anotger back up SS.

  123. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 26, 2013 at 4:15 AM

    Burnette too, thanks for reminding me.Why?

  124. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 26, 2013 at 4:19 AM

    Caps Fan said… "Ghost Of Steve M. said…Davey should've been running out of the dugout. Reminded me of Acta. LaRoche talked to Timmons and Davey didn't move."Davey did come out of the dugout. What game were you watching? May 26, 2013 12:14 AM FOX showed him on the top step. Never saw him getting between LaRoche and Timmons.What game were you watching?

  125. Whack-a-Mule - May 26, 2013 at 4:19 AM

    Mule is fruzzled. Another example of a winnable game without enough winning performance.Mule C.P.A. is worried.With 113 games remaining, we must go 69-44 to stand a chance of making the post-season. That's 25 games over .500 to be accomplished in the 70% of the season which remains.That is a tall order for this bunch.

  126. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 26, 2013 at 4:22 AM

    Troll Alert: Caps Fan who recently changed his/her name.

  127. Caps Fan - May 26, 2013 at 4:24 AM

    "FOX showed him on the top step. Never saw him getting between LaRoche and Timmons.What game were you watching?"I was at the game. Davey was halfway to the plate when LaRoche turned and headed to the dugout. No point in Davey continuing the argument after LaRoche gives up, is there?

  128. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 26, 2013 at 4:27 AM

    Caps Fan, if Davey was making his way to the plate he must be slow and FOX didn't show him out of the dugout.He should've been right up and in between LaRoche and Timmons or finishing the conversation. As I showed on Pitch F/X it wasn't close. Very Acta-esque.

  129. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 26, 2013 at 4:40 AM

    I just called a buddy who was at the game. He said Davey was on the top step, maybe he had a foot on the dirt. He didn't see him making his way towards Timmons.Maybe he is wrong. Maybe FOX photoshopped their broadcast to not show Davey out there. http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/adam-laroche-of-the-washington-nationals-argues-a-called-news-photo/169493109

  130. Caps Fan - May 26, 2013 at 4:42 AM

    "He should've been right up and in between LaRoche and Timmons or finishing the conversation."Why? The only positive thing a manager can do by doing that is to keep his player from being thrown out. The ump is not going to change the call. What good is Davey doing going out there and continuing LaRoche's argument after LaRoche has given it up? You want he should get himself thrown out to fire up the team? Maybe in the early innings that makes some sense, but in the bottom of the ninth with two out?

  131. Caps Fan - May 26, 2013 at 4:45 AM

    "I just called a buddy who was at the game. He said Davey was on the top step, maybe he had a foot on the dirt. He didn't see him making his way towards Timmons."Davey quit making his way toward Timmons as soon as LaRoche started making his way back to the dugout.

  132. sjm308 - May 26, 2013 at 4:49 AM

    Ghost – I was at the game – Davey came all the way out and got between LaRoche and the ump. LaRoche wasn't going crazy but Davey came out to make sure he was going to keep him in the game. Davey did not talk to the ump but he went out. It looked to me like as soon as LaRoche saw Davey he turned to the dugout and walked back with Davey. At least that is what I saw from 308. It's not that big a deal but you seem to be quite argumentative tonight. I loved Swami's comment. Do you people like baseball or just have to win? & I think he means arguments not games. That is what this blog is turning into. I am commenting less and less as it seems to be a bunch of nitpicking and negatives. Will be listening tomorrow as I start to get the gardens back in shape from my week in California. Hoping for a series win.Go Nats!!

  133. sjm308 - May 26, 2013 at 4:51 AM

    I will say that I still enjoy reading Mark and this is still where I go first in the morning. Just not so much the comment section. I know you guys/girls won't miss me that much but I have better things to read than whether Ghost or Peric is the smartest baseball pundent/coach/scout/ god knows what else!

  134. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 26, 2013 at 4:54 AM

    You can't see it in pictures and FOX didn't show it. Very strange. Thanks for your POV of it.I had visions of Acta.

  135. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 26, 2013 at 4:58 AM

    sjm, that's a lousy comment you mentioned me in and I don't appreciate it. I've never claimed to be smarter than anyone. I will stand up to Peric.I'm signing off and will have to sleep on my future here. I used to think my insight and analysis helped people.

  136. Caps Fan - May 26, 2013 at 5:01 AM

    I certainly can't call balls and strikes from my perch up in the stands. But if I'm LaRoche in that situation and a ball is that close on a 3-2 count, I'd think I should be swinging rather than leaving it to the whim of the ump. Foul it off if it's not the pitch I really want, and take my chances with the next pitch. Isn't that why he gets the big bucks?

  137. UnkyD - May 26, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    I listened to the game, last night. You could HEAR the lousy BABIP in Charlie and Dave's voices, as bat hit ball, HARD, only to immediately smack a Philly glove… There is a win streak waiting to happen… Mick- before that 12 game tear, just before Riggs hit the road, you were unreadable, in your anger and pessimism, remember? Remember? It's hard, for you emotional types to remember that a baseball season is (that's not a dig! I love the emotion… It just seems short-sighted, sometimes) a series of shorter "seasons". These guys could absolutely still win 95, and clinch the division, with 10 to go! I love that roller-coaster aspect of fandom… I wonder how many eventual champions lead nearly wire-to-wire, as opposed to having various bumps in the road, to overcome? And which of the two are most fondly remembered, over a fans life? It's not over, Mick, not by a long shot… That's why they play the games… ;-)(And thanks, David and Swami, for your balanced posting!)

  138. mick - May 26, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    unkyD… I hope your right

  139. mick - May 26, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    Ghost, your insight i always enjoy and respect

  140. mick - May 26, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    unkyD… I hope your right

  141. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 26, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    I love baseball, i love to win, I hate to lose, but prefer to lose than have no baseball.

  142. NanoCat - May 26, 2013 at 4:25 PM

    You know some people could have said Bryce Harper was out of position and/or slow getting to the ball backing up LaRoche on the base hit down the right field line off of Storen. They might be right and Harper is still learning how to stay sharp and alert as an outfielder. Anyway, some people might have said that but thankfully Drew Storen didn't. "To me it's the same stuff is there,” Suzuki said. “Everything is there. He is throwing the ball good. He’s got some good action on his off-speed pitches. It’s hard to explain. Sometimes it doesn’t go your way. It builds a little bit and people start taking about it. And it’s a tough thing.” Storen says its not a confidence thing but I think it's a confidence thing.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
WASHINGTON 86 63 -- 2
ATLANTA 75 75 11.5
MIAMI 73 76 13.0
NEW YORK 72 79 15.0
PHILADELPHIA 69 81 17.5
Through Monday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
TUE: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
THU: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
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.

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