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Strasburg pounds Phillies in Nats’ win

May 26, 2013, 11:35 PM EST

If Stephen Strasburg’s worst days of this season are behind him, then Nationals’ opponents may want to take cover.
Just weeks ago Strasburg was considered to be struggling, an ace with questions of his comportment and emotional stability on the mound. Now he’s carving up opponents and sitting with the N.L.’s tenth best ERA at 2.49. 
In another masterful performance on Sunday – in the Nats’ 6-1 win over the Phillies before 39,033 at Nationals Park – Strasburg was as dominant as ever. His teammates are used to seeing him pitch well, but this is next-level stuff.
“He’s really improving,” Ian Desmond said. “I think this is probably the best we’ve seen him. The last two starts are probably the best two starts we’ve seen from him since he’s been in the big leagues.“
“Obviously the punchouts and stuff that came before were great, but he’s starting to figure it out on another level. It’s exciting to watch. He’s a young guy growing up.”

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131 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. NatsLady - May 27, 2013 at 12:19 AM

    Ankiel is hitting 2nd in the Mets lineup? They may never win another game.

  2. peric - May 27, 2013 at 12:24 AM

    Corey Brown just hit another home run. He's been on fire since he came back from the DL.

  3. Nats 128 - May 27, 2013 at 12:26 AM

    Strasburg has now jumped into the Top 10 in the MLB for ERA. He has been pitching much better and Zimm didnt make a error today. Thats real progress by both.

  4. peric - May 27, 2013 at 12:30 AM

    The whole rotation has jumped up a level and continuing to trend upward in terms of advanced stats. That bodes extremely well for June.I mentioned that the the Nat's (Rizzo and Davey's) first task seemed to me to fix the bullpen. With Cedeno the Nats now have 3 lefties in the bullpen. That was Davey's preferred configuration last season with Gonzalez, Burnett, and Gorzelanny. He added Duke in September. I expect Davey will attempt to keep this configuration. If its more successful doubtless Rizzo will go along. We'll have to see if Davey gets what he is looking for in June from the bullpen.

  5. peric - May 27, 2013 at 12:31 AM

    Right now they way they have been trending the Nats may again have the best starting rotation in baseball with the eventual return of Detwiler.

  6. peric - May 27, 2013 at 12:32 AM

    Ankiel is hitting 2nd in the Mets lineup? They may never win another game.At some point he just might finally "get it". That's probably what the Mets are hoping for … just as Riggleman and Davey Johnson did. But at his age it does seem rather doubtful.

  7. peric - May 27, 2013 at 12:36 AM

    Marerro now batting .302. He's back to where he was before his hamstring rupture. Better because he's producing more power as some expected as he got older and is now 24 and 1/2. Brown and Marerro combine for 5 RBI added to Rivero's first home run of the season producing an additional 2.

  8. peric - May 27, 2013 at 12:38 AM

    Marerro and Rivero with 6 errors in AAA at this point.

  9. blovy8 - May 27, 2013 at 12:39 AM

    I'd still take Detroit's rotation. Even if Smyly should be starting over Porcello as fifth starter, he's probably not much worse than Haren at this point.

  10. Nats 128 - May 27, 2013 at 12:39 AM

    "With Cedeno the Nats now have 3 lefties in the bullpen. That was Davey's preferred configuration last season with Gonzalez, Burnett, and Gorzelanny. He added Duke in September."A month ago Cedeno was cut by the Astros—yes, those Astros. He wasnt any good. What makes you think he will be any good a month later.

  11. blovy8 - May 27, 2013 at 12:41 AM

    Cedeno is probably a stopgap until they decide on a starter.

  12. David Proctor - May 27, 2013 at 12:42 AM

    I'll take our starting 5 over any other rotation anytime. The Tigers are close, but I'd still take ours.Hell as bad as our bullpen has been, I'd probably take our bullpen too. That's been the one real weakness for the Tigers.

  13. peric - May 27, 2013 at 12:42 AM

    A month ago Cedeno was cut by the Astros—yes, those Astros. He wasnt any good. What makes you think he will be any good a month later.I'm not sure how the 'Stros used him. With the Nats he will be a left-handed one out guy. He did pretty well in that role in Syracuse. But, we'll have to see. Your point is a good one.Abad looks like a potential superior replacement for Sean Burnett. A guy you could bring in the 7th, 8th or even to close. Duke is the middle relief / mop up on the left-side. He's also the designate spot starter.

  14. peric - May 27, 2013 at 12:45 AM

    Cedeno is probably a stopgap until they decide on a starter.Perhaps. But none of the possibilities currently in the minors are on the 40-man. One would have to be added. That's something they are going to mull right up to Tuesday if that's where they decide to go. And if its Rosenbaum they may decide to drop Duke. But, I don't see that happening, yet. Duke's advanced stats are still in the "plus" range. If its Ohlendorf … you might be right.

  15. NatsLady - May 27, 2013 at 12:45 AM

    What I like, Nats pitchers have cut WAY back on the walks, especially starters. Hopefully, Gio will follow that model.

  16. peric - May 27, 2013 at 12:46 AM

    Again, Ohlendorf's cutter looked awfully filthy especially against left-handed batters yesterday. He is going to be tempting …

  17. peric - May 27, 2013 at 12:50 AM

    What I like, Nats pitchers have cut WAY back on the walks, especially starters. Hopefully, Gio will follow that model.Right now he is the worst but he has improved.Duke : 6% strike out. 0% walk.jZimmnnn : 17% strike out. 4% walk.Haren : 19% strike out. 6% walk.Detwiler : 12% strike out. 6% walk.Stras : 25% strike out. 9% walk.Gio : 24% strike out. 12% walk.

  18. Gonat - May 27, 2013 at 1:03 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  19. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 27, 2013 at 1:06 AM

    Now if Guio pitches well again we might be back to 3 aces.

  20. Gonat - May 27, 2013 at 1:19 AM

    peric said… Duke : 6% strike out. 0% walk__________________________________Can you put up correct #'s. I'm laughing, Zach Duke included with the 5 starters. That's right, he was the Ace of the Syracuse starters last year.He had no walks in his 3 1/3 inning start. That's right, he lasted 3 1/3 innings getting blasted for 4 earned runs and K'd 1 and walked 0. His strikeout rate per plate appearance is actually 12.4% and walk rate per plate appearance is 4.5% this season.He has 4 walks in his 15 innings of relief.

  21. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 27, 2013 at 1:20 AM

    Duda Duda

  22. peric - May 27, 2013 at 1:28 AM

    I'm laughing, Zach Duke included with the 5 starters. That's right, he was the Ace of the Syracuse starters last year.I was just showing one stat for starters. Would you like me to produce the one for both Storen and Mattheus which is WORST dude? They've been really pretty horrendous although Henry still is the worst except for Maya.Whether Duke got rocked or not he didn't issue any walks.

  23. peric - May 27, 2013 at 1:31 AM

    Chiefs win 8-5 no thanks to Chris Young who was escorted stage left after a ONE INNING start. Jeff Mandel and Tanner Roark each threw 4 innings a piece with Mandel getting the win and Roark a save.

  24. SCNatsFan - May 27, 2013 at 1:32 AM

    I don't know if it better for Duke to follow Stammen or visa versa; the problem is that we are going to have to count on Duke for quality innings. Like the rest of the team he has to step it up.

  25. MicheleS - May 27, 2013 at 1:32 AM

    MNF !!!! I thought the same thingDuda Duda..hopefully it holds up…And Gonat.. Trying to bring actual facts to the conversation….good on you!

  26. Nats 128 - May 27, 2013 at 1:32 AM

    peric that would be a good idea. Dont cherry pick numbers put up the 5 starters together and the 7 relievers.You just cant put Duke in there with no explanation of what your looking at as I assumed that was his 2013 record. Just get for real and dont put up numbers to make Duke look good. Im still trying to erase that start last week from my memory.

  27. MicheleS - May 27, 2013 at 1:34 AM

    MNF.. Gio has looked a lot better ever since the start vs PIT.. I am not worried about him.. more worried about Det's Slot. Let's hope it's Stammen and then by the rest of ths staff excluding Duke.

  28. peric - May 27, 2013 at 1:37 AM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  29. Gonat - May 27, 2013 at 1:38 AM

    MicheleS said… And Gonat.. Trying to bring actual facts to the conversation….good on you!________________________________There's that saying, "why tell the truth when a lie will suffice" or in this case a bold face distortion.

  30. baseballswami - May 27, 2013 at 1:39 AM

    Maybe we should wish for lucky instead of good?

  31. peric - May 27, 2013 at 1:39 AM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  32. peric - May 27, 2013 at 1:41 AM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  33. Gonat - May 27, 2013 at 1:41 AM

    peric said… YOU ALL NEEc TO GROW and especially Ms "wonderful" Michele S. Got nothing better to do Michele? What are you the dumb blonde type that sits around looking to make trouble? That seems to be your MO.______________________________Try coming to a ballgame and sit with Michele and you will know she is far from dumb. She actually knows baseball and we all actually sit around and laugh about you and this quote we will laugh about also because you are just a hater. Women definitely intimidate you.

  34. Doc - May 27, 2013 at 1:42 AM

    For those that rate Henry as Worst In Show, I would note that he is only behind Clip and Untucked in mundane terms such as ERA over the past 2 months.Things could change, and so could Henry. However, at this point, I for one, would like to give him his current due.GooooooooooHenry! GoooooooooooNats!

  35. Drew - May 27, 2013 at 1:42 AM

    Why must every day descend into personal invective, win or lose?

  36. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 27, 2013 at 1:43 AM

    Starters in general have been good 62% of starts have been quality.

  37. peric - May 27, 2013 at 1:45 AM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  38. Gonat - May 27, 2013 at 1:46 AM

    What's the status with Javier Vazquez? I know he had a knee injury. Is he staying in retirement? Nats really could use him in this #6 role.

  39. baseballswami - May 27, 2013 at 1:46 AM

    It's time for my nightly sigh. Sigh…..

  40. peric - May 27, 2013 at 1:47 AM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  41. Gonat - May 27, 2013 at 1:48 AM

    peric, I'm so over you picking on people here especially the women on this site.Michele knew Boomer Whiting wouldn't amount to anything. Did you?

  42. peric - May 27, 2013 at 1:48 AM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  43. peric - May 27, 2013 at 1:49 AM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  44. peric - May 27, 2013 at 1:50 AM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  45. Nats Fan in Brazil - May 27, 2013 at 1:56 AM

    Can someone explain to me why clipp and not storen today? I feel like we should be resting clipp, so he doesnt implode like last september

  46. SCNatsFan - May 27, 2013 at 1:57 AM

    Another night the baseball talk takes a back seat. Sigh.

  47. NatsLady - May 27, 2013 at 2:00 AM

    (Quickly looking up Shawn Marcum's stats). Who is this guy? So. he had a 6.59 ERA coming into the game? 0-5? Hmmmmm…

  48. Gonat - May 27, 2013 at 2:00 AM

    Nats Fan in Brazil, someone had a good theory that Davey had Clip up already in the previous inning and stuck with him for the 9th.

  49. NatsLady - May 27, 2013 at 2:04 AM

    Nats Fan in BrazilI put up my understanding of Davey's reasoning.(1) Clip had already warmed (in the 8th, when it looked like Stras might be in trouble after the long rest).(2) In spring training, Clip was perfect, and his routine was every other day, so that might be the best schedule for him if it can be achieved.(3) as per peric, Davey might be re-organizing the bullpen, based on Mattheus' absence.(4) IMO, the MAIN reason? Give your best reliever a stress-free appearance, and nail down the win for your team without them having to worry about Storen, Henry, Duke, etc. Have a nice win and go home.

  50. MicheleS - May 27, 2013 at 2:08 AM

    NatsLady.. Totally agree on Marcum, but we are into the 7th and that Mets bullpen is looming.. geesh they stink

  51. Nats Fan in Brazil - May 27, 2013 at 2:09 AM

    Thank u gonat and nl!

  52. MicheleS - May 27, 2013 at 2:10 AM

    And UGGGGLLLLLLLAAAAA! i hate that guy

  53. Gonat - May 27, 2013 at 2:10 AM

    Just like that a gem becomes a 2-1 deficit

  54. NatsLady - May 27, 2013 at 2:10 AM

    Showalter said in an interview that it is very wearing for relievers to warm up and then not pitch. He tries very hard not to "waste" a warmed pitcher by not using him. I think Davey has altered his bullpen use towards that theory this year (not necessarily influenced by Showalter, but you never know). Also, last year Davey used to let the starters go that one extra inning and pull them if a guy got on base. He doesn't do that as much any more–occasionally, but not usually–because it puts a burden on the relievers. Plus I think Davey has a pretty good knowlege of his starters now, and that's why he pulled Haren. Haren may want to "eat innings," but right now his health won't support it.Marcum got tired and made a mistake.

  55. NatsLady - May 27, 2013 at 2:15 AM

    DC Washington was better!!!! No contest.

  56. NatsLady - May 27, 2013 at 2:21 AM

    This was the first time Marcum had gone more than six innings. Yuck, I have to root for Valdespin?

  57. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 27, 2013 at 2:28 AM

    The frickin' Braves must have a dozen come back wins. That is something we have done well . This streak most were come from behid wins.

  58. NatsLady - May 27, 2013 at 2:43 AM

    That's gonna be a problem, the ATL bullpen. Not going to be automatic 6 inning games this year.

  59. baseballswami - May 27, 2013 at 2:47 AM

    So what you are offering is a faint glimmer of hope?

  60. NatsLady - May 27, 2013 at 2:49 AM

    I can see why Mets fans are down on Terry Collins. This is not a well-coached team. Why are you stealing when the pitcher can't find the strike zone?

  61. NatsLady - May 27, 2013 at 2:56 AM

    Well, how do you like that? Shawn Marcum and Ike Davis. You can't predict baseball.

  62. SCNatsFan - May 27, 2013 at 2:57 AM

    For a throw in John Buck is having a darn good season

  63. baseballswami - May 27, 2013 at 3:05 AM

    Baseball can be a strange game. Hope Wonk has some nice oddities for us tomorrow just to reinforce that theory.

  64. David Proctor - May 27, 2013 at 3:11 AM

    I didn't realize tomorrow's game was at 1PM. Good to know.

  65. baseballswami - May 27, 2013 at 3:22 AM

    Ironic twist of the week — general worry about losing Espi's defense. Lombo with a featured defendive play on Plays of the Week. Go figure. As FP is fond of pointing out; when you come into a game, the ball will find you- and it did.

  66. sjm308 - May 27, 2013 at 3:37 AM

    OK:just thought I would pick it up in the last article and I was really trying to skip "you know who" when I find that his last 5 posts were removed by Mark himself!! How great. Lombo was solid, we had hits by 8 of our 9 starters, Strasburg is certainly hitting his stride and we have 4.5 games to make up. I guess the first step would be to get to the point where we are in the playoffs. Again, as NatsJack says, we have a lot of baseball to play. Just a great game and I am hoping that Gio continues to deal.Go Nats!!

  67. SCNatsFan - May 27, 2013 at 3:53 AM

    You know it's kind of strange I enjoyed the wins more when I didn't think we should win 95 games. I can't blame the Nats for that.

  68. BxJaycobb - May 27, 2013 at 5:36 AM

    I wouldn't take the Tigers rotation over the Cardinals.

  69. BxJaycobb - May 27, 2013 at 5:44 AM

    Who can tell us what the Peric comments were before Mark removed them? anybody? maybe using words the rhyme? lol i cant believe im now curious at the cretin's language…

  70. abhay wpi - May 27, 2013 at 5:58 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  71. Gonat - May 27, 2013 at 9:43 AM

    Oh good, it looks like it's safe to come out and play here. Thank you Mark/Chase for tidying things up here.

  72. Gonat - May 27, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    baseballswami said… Ironic twist of the week — general worry about losing Espi's defense. Lombo with a featured defendive play on Plays of the Week. Go figure. As FP is fond of pointing out; when you come into a game, the ball will find you- and it did. May 26, 2013 11:22 PM ____________________________________Find Lombo indeed and he was actually featured on ESPN Top Plays and ESPN Web Gems.His detractors will say that he makes the easy plays look spectacular and that may be true but who cares so long as he is making the plays. It's twice as nice to see Nats players getting air time for good defensive plays.

  73. UnkyD - May 27, 2013 at 10:33 AM

    Goodness…. I didn't see anyone the redacted posts, but Good Job, everyone, for ignoring them!!!

  74. UnkyD - May 27, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    @5:53: thank you! As much as I like Spinner, the mantra of his godlike defensive abilities has worn thin, in view of his lack of offense. Lombo is a professional, and the lack of a superstar doesn't make a sound, talented player a deficiency….

  75. NatsLady - May 27, 2013 at 10:57 AM

    A poster over on Hardball Talk said this about Fredi Gonzalez. I thought he had learned, but apparently not. The ESPN announcers (such as they are) were puzzled by the double switch, but they didn't explain the ramifications like this guy did.jjschiller – May 27, 2013 at 2:07 AMAs a matter of fact, no, the game wasn’t won by Collins. It was lost by Fredi Gonzalez. Fredi knew he had only one lefty, so he double – switched him in to the game, so he wouldn’t have to burn him for one out. Except that, after double – switching him in to the game, he sent another pitcher in to pitch the next inning.And this perplexing move was made more perplexing, as the player he double – switched in entered for purely defensive purposes: Ramiro Pena, an all glove, nothing middle infield type to replace the stone – gloved third baseman.His spot came up second in the next half inning, and he had a catcher on 1b. So instead of having the flexibility to send a power hitter up with a man on (he had Brian McCann and Evan Gattis on the bench) or his best bunter, Jordan Schafer, he had already married himself to Ramiro Pena. Who promptly putzed up a bunt into a fielder’s choice.So, to recap, he double – switched a bad hitter in to the game, and pulled his pitcher ANYWAY, burning his lone lefty AND reducing his own offensive flexibility, and had the guy GIVE AWAY AN OUT, and then lost the game with Brian McCann, Evan Gattis and Craig Kimbrel all unused.You don’t out-manage that kind of performance. You just stay out of the way, and maybe send a thank you card the next day.

  76. baseballswami - May 27, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    Good morning! It's a beautiful day and I popped on here this morning only to find that the coast is clear to chat baseball. Really, Mark, thanks for helping. We end up with only two choices sometimes. Get mad and respond or go away. Neither one is very attractive. Go Nats!!!! I am not looking forward to hearing yet again , for about the thousandth time this week about how poor Manny Machado is being ignored because of Trout and Harper. Whine. Bryce won't be playing so there is that.

  77. Andrew - May 27, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    Man, the starting pitching is good.

  78. natsfan1a - May 27, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    It's a beautiful day for a ballgame, and I'm going. Let's go, GIO! Let's go, NATS!!

  79. natsfan1a - May 27, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    Huh, looks like the Mets actually beat the Bravos last night. Niiice…

  80. Joe Seamhead - May 27, 2013 at 12:22 PM

    Always great to beat the Phillies! And I thought Strasburg was at his absolute best so far this season. Great to see Tyler Moore get a decent day at the plate, and just a terrific game by Solano. To sit Harper,or not, is going to be hard either way, but with a 5 run lead I thought before his last AB was a good time to give him an early exit.None of us know the extent of his injury, but I sure don't want to see him miss an extended amount of time.I had a good day yesterday watching the game, BBQ, with friends, good times. Just read through all of yesterday's posts. Funny how day to day the mood swings are in here. I can only imagine what provoked the blog administrator to use the virtual chalk eraser so many times. I will say this, as far as I'm concerned, Ghost brings a lot more baseball quality to this blog than peric does, and if one were to leave, Ghost wouldn't be the one I'd want to see go away. The bullying and name calling are out of control and are ruining this great blog.

  81. baseballswami - May 27, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    Joe – agreed that Stras was looking like the pitcher we all hoped he would be. Pretty sweet. Also good to know that he not only overcame some weird stuff going on around him, but he was working with Solano, who is has not worked with very much. We talk so much about Bryce learning fast, but how sbout Stras? He seemingly changed course on his season overnight. While lots of folks are very caught up in number of wins, standings, October, etc., watching things like the Stras turnaround, JZ, Span's outfield play– those are the things that bring me back day after day. Good stuff. Should be a good day to chat baseball with imaginary friends .

  82. sjm308 - May 27, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    While I love going to the games, is there really anything better then listening to the Nationals on the radio? Those two guys crack me up, they just seem to enjoy what they are doing and make the game come alive. I re-read some of the later posts and SCNatsfan nailed it. I had been wondering why this season, for me, was just not as much fun. It really has nothing to do with our being just a tad over .500. What it is was the expectations were just so much higher and with everyone and his mother picking our lads as the best team in baseball it took me awhile to realize I might have set my standards a bit high. This is four games I really hope we do well with. There are so many in my family that did not make the jump back. I lost a bet last year to a nephew and will have to wear Orioles gear (he will provide it) to a Nationals game with him this season. I am thinking that day game vs. Pittsburg where maybe the crowd will be smaller?Anyway, thanks again Mark/Chase and Go Nats!!!

  83. snopes1 - May 27, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    It's pretty obvious that Xavier Cedeno will never face a right-handed batter Before Cedeno was brought up by Houston in 2012, his ERA in six full minor league seasons ranged from a low of 4.04 to a high of 5.43 and his WHIP ranged from 1.329 to 1.588. I don't know where to find minor league split stats, but I have to assume these numbers looked much better against left-handed batters or Cedeno would never have put on a major league uniform.Cedeno was released by the Rockies in 2010 and picked up by the Astros. In 2012-2013 — Cedeno's two years with the Astros (he had a 1 2/3 inning cup of coffee with the Astros in 2011) — he pitched 39 innings for a 6.00 ERA and a truly frightening 1. 744 WHIP. But the story, of course, lies in his splits, which show an enormous differential. In Cedeno's 39 innings in the majors, against right-handed batters his K/BB is 0.75 and his OPS/Against is .984. But against left-handed hitters it's a different story: Cedeno's K/BB is 3.33 and his OPS/Against is .694.So, to put it in non-statistical terms, against right-handers, Cedeno has let opponents hit like Bryce Harper (current OPS .973), but against left-handed hitters, Cedeno makes his opponents look like Justin Ruggiano (current OPS .694)

  84. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 27, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    Cedano is here to face Chris Davis at the vert moment needed.

  85. natsfan1a - May 27, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    Haven't read previous posts but re. sjm's point, I don't tend to do armchair GM stuff or make predictions. However, I will agree that for me it's not as much fun this season because of expectations. In my case, although I know better than to have my happiness riding on the backs of others, it's not as much fun to read comments here because we're not as care-free as last season. Last season, for some of us, anyway, it was "Wheee, I'm going to enjoy this ride while it lasts!" This year, for some of us, it's, "Hey! This isn't the ride I signed up for – let me off!" or something like that. On a related note, not to call anyone out, but I found this post from some threads back rather perplexing, and sad, and representative of a particular mindset:"I complain daily, as I never know when I will see my last game. i want the last one to be perfect."Thing is, what if it is your last game, and you don't enjoy it because you're complaining? For me, part of the reason I love baseball is that it isn't perfect. You lose a game, and you shower it off, and then you strap on your gear the next day and you get back out there (not like those pointy-ball guys, who get to wait a whole week to play again – ooh, that's hard – but I digress). You strike out a couple of times, looking, but you pick up the bat later in the game and step up to the plate again.Remember how happy we were to get to .500, and then to be over .500, and then to win the division? And the playoffs? "What? My Nats? In the playoffs?" But now, it's like, eh, not good enough. I don't know, I guess maybe that's the price of winning, and of higher expectations. Or maybe I just need another cup of coffee. One thing's for sure. I will enjoy the ride. Daggone it. Your mileage may vary, as always. I mean, it's kind of your choice, anyway. Just another natsfan1a editorial (hat tip to Joe Seamhead).

  86. MicheleS - May 27, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    As always, Well said 1A..

  87. Candide - May 27, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    baseballswami said…We talk so much about Bryce learning fast, but how sbout Stras? He seemingly changed course on his season overnight.My theory: Stras has always been the guy who won the game for his team. In high school, college, minors, whenever someone messed up behind him, or the team failed to hit, he saw it as his job to win the game when everyone else was kicking it away.So (my theory) he thought, "I need to bear down a little harder, start blowing these guys away." Which worked fine through AAA, because bearing down a little harder didn't mean he had to try to throw 101 MPH. But in the majors, if he wanted to be dominating, he had to be at or near the top of his game. So when RZimm throws a ball away, the old mindset kicks in: "Dammit, I have to do everything around here." So he holds the ball a little tighter, rears back an extra inch, and heaves the ball with all his might, and the next pitch ends up in the gap and runners are all over the place.I think someone explained it to him in simple math: "Look, 80% of the balls in play are NOT going to go to RZimm, and of the three or four per game that DO go to him, he's going to handle AT LEAST 90% of them. And he's the WORST guy in your infield. So when you get a bad break, don't worry about it – just go back to pitching like you know how, and trust your guys. This ain't San Diego State; they're going to make the play almost every time."And a light clicked on.My theory, FWIW.

  88. Candide - May 27, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    Nice, 1A.

  89. NatsJack in Florida - May 27, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    Great post 1a. One has to love baseball first in order yo truly enjoy the game, IMHO.People that profess thier undying love for a particular team above all, really miss out on something. It's why I watch the games.

  90. Joe Seamhead - May 27, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    Here!Here! Three cheers for 1A!An encouraging turn around: On May 1, ALR was hitting .129 Today he's hitting .235 and tied for the team lead in RBI's, 2nd in HR's,2nd in walks.And playing superb defense!Keep it going, Adam!

  91. NatsJack in Florida - May 27, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    On another note, the Braves struck out 14 times yesterday, 7 by BJ Upton (3) and Freeman (4).

  92. NatsJack in Florida - May 27, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    Also just watched the replay of Lombo's double yesterday and Delmon Young looked like he was sneaking up on a rattlesnake instead of a baseball down the rf line.

  93. MicheleS - May 27, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    Candide.. your Stras Post…I think there were a few more expletives involved in the discussion with Stras ;-) and a really swift kick in the tuckus as well..Speaking of Tuckuses, slightly disappointed that Henry couldn't plunk Rollins over the weekend. As NatsLady Pointed out.. that Braves Pen is going to be on the ropes for awhile. Seriously hope we and other teams can take advantage of that.

  94. NatsLady - May 27, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    Good post, Candide. Reminds me of all those HS Valedictorians who get to Harvard (or Yale, or whatever) and discover that EVERYONE ELSE is a HS Valedictorian.

  95. MicheleS - May 27, 2013 at 1:42 PM

    Some news on a Baby Nat that just hit the wire:Byron Kerr‏@masnKerrMatt Purke to start for Hagerstown Wednesday accord #Nats source

  96. baseballswami - May 27, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    Lessons from yesterday, I hope– make contact , hustle, do the little things. That big inning did not feature the blast. Home runs are nice, I like watching them. But the inning happened because Tyler does not go fishing and takes the walk, Ryan hustled, Desi bunted, Solano made contact, Lombo flips the ball down the line. I am tired of watching giant whiffs with risp. Make contact, move the line. Sure, if you get the big , fat , juicy ball – hit the crap out if it. But, mostly it's less dramatic things that get the job done. By the way, I was noticing that Bryce might have the best eye for balls and strikes on the team. Truly amazing. Also noticed Jayson fully engaged in the game with the coaching staff. Good.

  97. baseballswami - May 27, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    Plus- batting around is highly entertaining and messes up scorebooks, but in a good way.

  98. Eugene in Oregon - May 27, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    Well said by a number of you this a.m., but special kudos to NatsJack's for his comment (paraphrasing) that you have to love the game of baseball first. I've been lucky enough to watch baseball games in about half a dozen countries — from Central Europe to Central America — and I still find myself pulling over to watch an inning or two of anything from little league to American Legion ball when I randomly drive by a field where a game's being played. And I especially appreciate those posts (often NatsLady's) that expand the discussion beyond just the Nats on any given day.

  99. Theophilus T. S. - May 27, 2013 at 2:09 PM

    I'm not sure if Purke's injuries affect the calculations — does anyone know? — but if they do then three of his four options have already been burned. Meaning he has to be on the major league roster no later than 2015. If he has to relieve for a year or two — and is as talented as advertised — he could be a great addition to the bullpen.

  100. Theophilus T. S. - May 27, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    Considering Boswell's comments about players with mashed potatoes between their ears, I subscribe to Michele S.'s theory about Strasburg's transformation more than the idea that he somehow figured all that out for himself. Whatever works, I'm in favor of it.

  101. Theophilus T. S. - May 27, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    Eugene feels much the way about baseball that I do — but the Nats over-extend my budget much of the time, and also my enthusiasm/tolerance for driving in traffic. I'm curious whether the Ashburn Hounds, when (?) they finally come into existence, will satisfy my appetite.

  102. mick - May 27, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    First and foremost this Memorial Day morn..God Bless our VETS

  103. NatsLady - May 27, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    Mick–seconded.

  104. NatsLady - May 27, 2013 at 2:23 PM

    Will do the Week in Review Post tonight, if I have any energy. PRIORITIES–GO TO THE GAME!!! GO GIO, GO NAT!!

  105. JaneB - May 27, 2013 at 2:23 PM

    Well said, 1a. In other news, finally saw 42 last night after the game. Even FAKE baseball makes me happy.

  106. EmDash - May 27, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    Cedeno as LOOGY should be interesting. I would've preferred a bench bat since with Espi and Harper both injured the bench for the next few days is short; with as long as starters are going in games, a six-man bullpen might be preferable. It's possible guys are less sharp lately because they're just not getting enough regular work to stay effective.Some have argued that using a guy the Astros released is desperate, but one thing to consider is that, with that team's remarkably poor starter performance, a guy who's only effective as a LOOGY is a luxury they can't afford. If they have starting pitchers getting regularly blown up in the first and second innings, then all relievers need to be long relievers.

  107. jeffwx - May 27, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    and thanks for great discussions…i've learned and remembered alot about why I love this game.

  108. natsfan1a - May 27, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    Thirded.mick said… First and foremost this Memorial Day morn..God Bless our VETS May 27, 2013 10:21 AM NatsLady said… Mick–seconded. May 27, 2013 10:22 AM

  109. Gonat - May 27, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    Enjoying a sense of reality of the game of baseball especially when you juxtapose what today is really about and that we have the freedom to watch and listen to these games and debate them in a CIVIL way and possibly every once in a while your opinion can change.Those that are down on Drew Storen have to remember he is a young man who is trying his best and to turn on him in a personal way isn't what we should be doing. As NatsJack has reminded us before, several players families stop by here and read so keep that in mind. Also, personal attacks shouldn't be tolerated on anyone here. Stopping by here and saying nothing to me is akin to walking by and not helping someone who is being verbally or physically attacked in real life. I read some ugly words last night and it has to end but really it surprises me how few people won't stand up to the bullies here.

  110. baseballswami - May 27, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    I see on twitter that Espi will be testing out that wrist . Makes me uneasy because he will swear it's fine and then what? Why is the organization so averse to the DL? Seems like they end up there anyway. Meanwhile our bench is super short. I do not like the way the organization is handling injuries. Seems like the guys end up missing more time because of all the stops and starts. It would be different if we didn't have an adequate back up for Espi.

  111. baseballswami - May 27, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    Gonat — I don't think it's not standing up to someone. I think it's more trying not to take the bait and feed the need for attention.

  112. Gonat - May 27, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    Joe Seamhead said… I had a good day yesterday watching the game, BBQ, with friends, good times. Just read through all of yesterday's posts. Funny how day to day the mood swings are in here. I can only imagine what provoked the blog administrator to use the virtual chalk eraser so many times. I will say this, as far as I'm concerned, Ghost brings a lot more baseball quality to this blog than peric does, and if one were to leave, Ghost wouldn't be the one I'd want to see go away. The bullying and name calling are out of control and are ruining this great blog. May 27, 2013 8:22 AM _______________________________When NatsLady mentioned a post from a few years ago I went back and checked out a link someone posted. One thing I saw was how many people who were active here a few years ago don't post any more. Jeffwx and Snopes1 also made good posts about good people leaving with as bad as it has gotten.I belong to another site where the Blog Owners gave admin function to trusted Moderators who could more quickly delete the hate and Spam. Just a thought.

  113. Caps Fan - May 27, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    If Purke is on the 60 day DL for an entire season, they don't have to send him down and burn an option.

  114. NatsLady - May 27, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    The same respect for Drew Storen as a human being also applies to Danny Espinosa. It's one thing to discuss performance, bring up stats, even compare one player to another. But the psychological dissection and character assassination, maybe leave that out?

  115. baseballswami - May 27, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    Harper not in the lineup. I love the kid and we struggle without him hitting. But so be it. He must rest that knee.

  116. Gonat - May 27, 2013 at 3:03 PM

    baseballswami said… Gonat — I don't think it's not standing up to someone. I think it's more trying not to take the bait and feed the need for attention. May 27, 2013 10:50 AM ______________________________I was sickened when Michele was attacked as a female poster in not 1 post but several. Nobody has to read that garbage but while it was still active (prior to deletion) I was surprised how only a couple of us stood up to the Troll and one poster actually took some good points from that same Troll and made a positive post mentioning him.He is so devisive taking the opposite end of most discussions that he's hard to ignore even when he's civil. Add to that how he outright distorts stats all the time to make his point stronger.Just keep giving him props as that only supports in his mind that he is better than everyone here and if you don't believe it, he will tell you.

  117. Gonat - May 27, 2013 at 3:05 PM

    NatsLady, yes, even on Espinosa.

  118. NatsLady - May 27, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    Glad Harper is sitting, if nothing else than for the bad PR that comes from playing him (e.g., comparisons to RGIII and Stras). Protect your young players, they are not invincible, even though they think they are. If he is up to it, he can pinch hit.

  119. NatsLady - May 27, 2013 at 3:14 PM

    Lombo in the 2-spot. Gio, now is the time for your no-hitter. Seriously.

  120. Nats 128 - May 27, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    Lombo is up to 10 RBIs in 103 ABs.Espy has 12 RBIs in 141 ABs.Maybe Lombos lack of power isnt as big of a deal. Hes driving in more runs in a 10:1 ratio vs Espy who is doing it in a 12:1 ratio.

  121. Gonat - May 27, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    Mark Zuckerman @ZuckermanCSN Davey says 50/50 on who tomorrow's starter will be. Acknowledged could be someone not on current roster______________________________Wow! Karns? Who is due to pitch in the Minors that would line up nicely?

  122. Gonat - May 27, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    Karns is scheduled today. If he is pulled, we have our answer. He is also on the 40 man.

  123. Gonat - May 27, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    William Ladson‏@washingnatsBryce Harper has bursitis in his left knee

  124. Gonat - May 27, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    Amanda Comak‏@acomakAn MRI on Bryce Harper's left knee was clear, but he has bursitis in it. Needs some rest. Could DH in Baltimore this week.

  125. LoveDaNats - May 27, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    I love reading this blog. Mark's articles are always insightful and he usually has access to all late-breaking Nats news. That being said, it has been hard seeing some of the personal attacks on long time posters. Even though you are just pseudonyms, most of the frequent posters have distinct personalities. I love reading the posts of certain thoughtful, well-informed bloggers (I'm talking about you, baseballswami), but some others not so much. I love the game of baseball, but I am not a stat person. I believe stats have a place in the game but I think there are intangibles in baseball that transcend that. But writing those types of opinions here can get you pounced on by some. I love it when we talk baseball like what is happening now. So, Gio, get that no-hitter today like NatsLady wants, Lombo, stay hot and Bryce, rest that knee and get better. Go Nats!

  126. Caps Fan - May 27, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    "Gonat said… Mark Zuckerman @ZuckermanCSN Davey says 50/50 on who tomorrow's starter will be. Acknowledged could be someone not on current roster"Why do you think they pulled Chris Young yesterday after just one inning?

  127. Caps Fan - May 27, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    "As NatsJack has reminded us before, several players families stop by here and read so keep that in mind. Also, personal attacks shouldn't be tolerated on anyone here."So it's okay for NatsJack to constantly denigrate Espinosa, but it's not okay for peric to make woman comments about MicheleS? Doesn't her family stop by here and read too?

  128. Gonat - May 27, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    Caps Fan said… "As NatsJack has reminded us before, several players families stop by here and read so keep that in mind. Also, personal attacks shouldn't be tolerated on anyone here."So it's okay for NatsJack to constantly denigrate Espinosa, but it's not okay for peric to make woman comments about MicheleS? Doesn't her family stop by here and read too? May 27, 2013 12:16 PM __________________________________You are trying to cause problems. As someone else said, you recently changed names and was a troll before. Trolls don't change their stripes, do they?

  129. NatsJack in Florida - May 27, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    So Caps Fan never uderstoodthat my "Espinisa Stinks" campaign was in an effort to get his batting average to .230.Even Espinosa understands he stinks at .160. That's not an attack. That's a statement of fact.If you want want, you can say I'm denigrating all hitters below the Mendoza line but then, who doesn't.So a hockey fan doesn't understand the difference? I'm OK with that.

  130. Caps Fan - May 27, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    If I'm a troll, just ignore me and I'll go away. That's how it works. You should try it with your friend peric too. You talk about him more when he's not around than you do when he's around. That's like feeding sugar to a diabetic.

  131. phil dunton - May 27, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    If I knew for sure that players families looked at this blog, I would not be so discreet. In the meantime, the Os, as a team, are hitting .272 and the Nationals about .225. The Os must have a real hitting coach.

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