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Game 53: Nats at Orioles

May 29, 2013, 7:46 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Battle of the Beltways shifts to Camden Yards tonight.

BALTIMORE — Hello from Camden Yards, where tonight the new-look Battle of Beltways continues with the series shifting north 45 miles. This is the new wrinkle of interleague rivalry play this season, and I have to say I kind of like how this worked out. Baseball doesn't normally do "home-and-home" series, other than in the postseason, so this has a distinctly different feel to it.

The series, of course, is knotted at one game apiece after the Nationals thumped the Orioles last night. Tonight, they'll give the ball to Jordan Zimmermann, seeking to become the majors' first 9-game winner. He'll be going up against a tough Orioles lineup, though, one that we've already seen do some damage the last two nights.

Chris Tillman starts for Baltimore, facing a Nationals lineup that is again without Bryce Harper but does have Danny Espinosa back after five straight days off to let his fractured right wrist try to heal. Chad Tracy, meanwhile, has the honor of serving as DH for this game in the AL park.

Lots of updates to come, so please check back…

BALTIMORE ORIOLES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500), WTEM (980 AM), XM 177
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 88 degrees, Wind 9 mph out to CF

NATIONALS (27-25)
CF Denard Span
RF Roger Bernadina
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche

Read more »

326 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. CN - May 29, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    Surprised that Tracy is DH'ing. Even tho Tillman (R) is on the mound, I figured, Lombo would play left and Moore would DH, with Espi back in the fold.

  2. SonnyG10 - May 29, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    let's go nats!!!

  3. SonnyG10 - May 29, 2013 at 7:50 PM

    At least Espi is down in the 8th hole. Good place for him for now.

  4. David Proctor - May 29, 2013 at 7:50 PM

    Every game Tyler Moore is in LF I get nervous. But I guess Davey wanted to get Tracy some ABs.

  5. Dave - May 29, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    Looks like the same umpire crew in Baltimore as we had in Washington. Since I didn't see last night's game on TV, I couldn't tell how Hallion did behind the plate. But I take it from the low amount of player protest that the zone wasn't too bad, or?

  6. Dave - May 29, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    So how many walks does Suzuki get tonight?

  7. Eric - May 29, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    sjm called Espi in the 9 slot…good on ya!

  8. baseballswami - May 29, 2013 at 7:58 PM

    I just don't know what I think of this lineup. Bernie and Moore appear to be heating up. The Espi thing is a conundrum wrapped inside an enigma. Aside from how he plays defense or hits, I just don't get why they are pushing it when the sub is adequate and driving in runs. Up and down off the bench and in and out of the lineup. If your batting eye is bad and your timing is off, that's a nightmare scenario. A nice rehab stint might be good medicine for a lost hitter.

  9. Tcostant - May 29, 2013 at 7:58 PM

    That is a pretty disappointing lineup. Good think we have the pitching advantage.

  10. A DC Wonk - May 29, 2013 at 7:59 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. David Proctor - May 29, 2013 at 8:02 PM

    The strike zone was bad, but nobody complained because it's expected. Both pitchers got squeezed A LOT. In the 1st inning, Karns threw a ball right down the middle above the knees that Machado looked at. Called a ball. IT WAS RIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE! But young pitchers always get squeezed so…

  12. A DC Wonk - May 29, 2013 at 8:03 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. natsfan1a - May 29, 2013 at 8:04 PM

    Go, Jordan, you bulldog, you (grrrr)! Go, NATS!!

  14. ptindc - May 29, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    Really, Espi back in the lineup? Why change when we scored 9 runs last night? I get the DH addition, but quit yanking Lombo's chain. I get that he's "only" batting .229 for the month of May, but Espi is at .150. Keep Espi on the bench.

  15. MicheleS - May 29, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    SOFA!!!!You had asked about buying Diamond club seats. One comment: If you buy Diamond Club seats straight from the Nats, you will be buying the subpar Diamond Club Tickets. You only get into the TENT OUTSIDE THE DIAMOND CLUB for food and drink. IF you get the tickets from a STH you get the REAL Diamond Club. That's a new twist this year

  16. sjm308 - May 29, 2013 at 8:11 PM

    Almost had the whole lineup – Kinda wish Lombo was in there batting 2nd and playing left. I just don't see Bernadina handling that #2 spot well but what do I know. I did have Espinosa down in #9 but that is about the only place you could put him, the way he was swinging the bat. I guess the good news is that Zimmnn does not give up as many fly balls as Haren. We will now have 4 guys in the lineup hitting under .200 which I think is a joke for a team picked to win it all.Sonny G – you probably didn't see my earlier post but I have Espinosa hitting 9th not only in the AL parks but when we switch back to NL games as well. That is where my confidence with him is right now. I will be happy to eat crow later but not right now.Go Nats!!

  17. BxJaycobb - May 29, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    This team just isn't being fair to Lombo, man. Really isn't. We've been waiting on Espy for years, and all Lombo does when he's started recently is field well and drive in runs. What the hell is the rush to re-install the worst offensive player in baseball? I guess nobody noticed that the offense came alive when they pulled him out of the lineup.

  18. sjm308 - May 29, 2013 at 8:18 PM

    About the only positive about this is that we could and I will again say "could" have two really fast guys on the bases if Espinosa gets hit by a pitch or something and Span follows with a hit. I will stop now, no sense beating up on a nice young man like Espinosa but I do feel for Lombo.

  19. baseballswami - May 29, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    Don't just look at Lombo's average as of now. Look at his last 6. His average with risp is ridiculously high and he has been driving in runs. If Espi comes back with that huge swing , not making contact, we just can't carry that. Hate to see a hitter who has been getting better daily sit back down. Has had a couple multi- hit games lately. I just feel that with Espi's shoulder, wrist, eye, swing, this does not look promising. Maybe the days off were a good mental health break? Maybe? Does any one player have more people praying for him to make contact?

  20. natsfan1a - May 29, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    On a non-game note, if you haven't already read the article Mark linked to earlier (as seen in his Tweeter updates box at the top of the page), you might want to do so. It's about a unique pitch with a, um, unique name.

  21. bowdenball - May 29, 2013 at 8:28 PM

    Lombardozzi has started in the last five games in a row. He had one day off and one pinch-hitting appearance, and then before that he had another stretch of nine straight starts. So relax, Lombo fans. Nobody's yanking his chain. He's getting more playing time at the major league level than any man hitting .234/.254/.561 with limited range and no arm has a right to expect. Just because you hate Espinosa is no reason to pitch a fit about a guy who makes outs in 3/4ths of his plate appearances not getting his 15th start in the last 16 games.

  22. baseballswami - May 29, 2013 at 8:30 PM

    You know, the O's have a hot hitting lineup and we held them down to three runs with a double A call up and Zach Duke for most of the innings. Miraculous.

  23. bowdenball - May 29, 2013 at 8:31 PM

    Sorry, should be 14th start in his last 16 games. And he's hitting .234/.254./.354 on the season.

  24. bowdenball - May 29, 2013 at 8:33 PM

    Make that .234/.254/.306. Apparently Lombo's slugging percentage is so bad that I keep getting confused when I look at it.

  25. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 29, 2013 at 8:33 PM

    Smart lineup. Orioles have 3 lefty relievers. Tracy and Espi need to make a positive impact.

  26. nats guy - May 29, 2013 at 8:40 PM

    I hate to be Debbie Downer but I hope Schmuckanoza goes 0 for the rest of his career. As I have said earlier he is now my least favorite player of all time; bypassing Bonds, McGwire, Sosa, and Palmeiro.

  27. Eric - May 29, 2013 at 8:41 PM

    LOLing w/bowdenball re: Lombo. Well said.

  28. David Proctor - May 29, 2013 at 8:43 PM

    Why would you hope "Schmuckanoza" goes 0 for the rest of his career when he's on our team? Does your hate or Espi really warrant hurting the team? That is one of the more idiotic things I've seen on here.

  29. Eric - May 29, 2013 at 8:44 PM

    "As I have said earlier he is now my least favorite player of all time; bypassing Bonds, McGwire, Sosa, and Palmeiro."Now that's some healthy perspective right there!؟

  30. ptindc - May 29, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    Bowdenball – no question Lombo is under performing. But, relative to Espi's .150 BA, he's the one that deserves to start. He's made the plays at 2B, puts the ball in play, advances the runner, and (while this is purely observational) doesn't kill rallies. No hate on Espi here (I even have his shirt) just plain realization that something is amiss, either physically or mentally, that is affecting his ability to hit the ball.

  31. JD - May 29, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    Espinosa 149 at bats -0.4 WAR Lombo 116 at bats -0.5 WAR. I agree that Espi's at bats have looked much worse than Lombo's visually but you are not comparing Chase Utley to Brandon Phillips here.

  32. Section 222 - May 29, 2013 at 8:47 PM

    Well played bowdenball, that's what called "perspective" I guess. My fear of course, is that Danny gets 20+ more games to show what we already know — he's not going to improve this year. And by then we'll really be behind the 8-ball for in the division. I will be thrilled to be proved wrong. I really will. But I had a bad feeling about Espi ,as soon as we found out about the rotator cuff.I thought Tracy might get the call at DH vs. a RH. Remember in 2011 when Davey gave Matt Stairs 3 starts at 1B to try to get him going? That was his last chance. On that note, some interesting trivia, what player on the current Nats roster also played in the Nats' very first game at RFK in 2005?

  33. Just wonderin' - May 29, 2013 at 8:48 PM

    "Make that .234/.254/.306. Apparently Lombo's slugging percentage is so bad that I keep getting confused when I look at it."%%%%%%%%%Isn't Espinosa's slash line/slugging percentage even worse? .163/.196/.291? Can't you rather logically question the wisdom of starting Espi over Lombo without being labeled a Espi hater?

  34. baseballswami - May 29, 2013 at 8:49 PM

    You know, just to change the most tired subject– Drew's pitches looked nasty last night. Not just ok, but filthy. I hope that trend is going to continue.

  35. nats guy - May 29, 2013 at 8:51 PM

    He has already hurt the team enough by being devious about his injuries and being so selfish. I would rather not see him in a Nats uniform at all.

  36. Eric - May 29, 2013 at 8:51 PM

    The way I read it, bowdenball took issue with the idea that Lombo isn't being given a fair chance, not the idea that it's unwise to question the wisdom of starting Espi over Lombo.Anyway, it seems like a lot of managers have this weird idea that playing slumping batters is the best way to get them out of a slump…but what do they know?

  37. bowdenball - May 29, 2013 at 8:51 PM

    ptindc-It's fine to prefer Lombo, but quoting their batting averages doesn't really help your cause. All of the things that Espinosa could/should do better than Lombo- take walks, hit for power, play outstanding defense- are not reflected in batting average.Of course Espi has only been doing one of those things this year. So I definitely get that most people prefer Lombo. But I don't get the outrage that he's sitting tonight after getting a ton of playing time in the last couple weeks. As JD just said, we're not talking about benching Brandon Phillips for Espinosa here.

  38. Traveler8 - May 29, 2013 at 8:52 PM

    222, did we re-sign Livo? ;-)

  39. Eric - May 29, 2013 at 8:52 PM

    "He has already hurt the team enough by being devious about his injuries and being so selfish."As I said in a previous thread, I think a lot of folks are making a lot of 30,000' assumptions about both the extent of Espi's injuries and the extent of his "lying" about them.

  40. Eric - May 29, 2013 at 8:54 PM

    swami – agreed re: Drew! Really good to see that. There were a lot of things that were really good to see last night.

  41. EmDash - May 29, 2013 at 8:59 PM

    I tend to believe the team knows about injuries more than we think. It's rare that something that probably all the other players know about can truly stay hidden for long. FP mentioned on-air that he suspected or heard about Espi's wrist being at least not right (if not outright broken) long before the news came out. If he knew, you can bet Davey and Rizzo heard about it.I imagine Espi's in for defense with our frequently-putting-the-ball-in-play ace on the mound, which I'm reasonably okay with. I'd prefer Tyler not in the outfield for that reason, but we're not exactly spoiled for choice in that area right now with Werth and Harper unavailable.

  42. nats guy - May 29, 2013 at 9:00 PM

    When he was asked repeatedly if he was hurt he always said no. When Dave Johnson was asked he always said no. When Mike Rizzo was asked he always said no. Now he has an injury hmmmmm!!!!!

  43. JD - May 29, 2013 at 9:00 PM

    Eric, There is an incredible amount of medical opinion here and if you listen to sports radio in my area (New York) you will note that this is fairly universal. Every fan who has followed a sport for more than 1 month thinks that he/she knows more about injuries than the guys who went to med school and who do this for a living. My approach is to avoid expressing opinions about things I know very little about.

  44. Just wonderin' - May 29, 2013 at 9:00 PM

    222: Chad Tracy, no?

  45. ptindc - May 29, 2013 at 9:01 PM

    Bowdenball-I would like nothing more than an Espi resurrection – starting tonight. I am concerned there are larger issues affecting his play and he either is not owning them, or management is complicit in overlooking them. I think this is a lot worse than a slump, Eric. LaRoche had a slump, this is something else.

  46. Section 222 - May 29, 2013 at 9:03 PM

    Traveler – Nope, Livo did not fly into OPACY this morning to tutor Nate Karns before his next start. It was none other than Chad Tracy, who was starting his second, and what proved to be his best, season with the Arizona Diamonbacks.

  47. A DC Wonk - May 29, 2013 at 9:03 PM

    Isn't Espinosa's slash line/slugging percentage even worse? .163/.196/.291? Can't you rather logically question the wisdom of starting Espi over Lombo without being labeled a Espi hater? Sure, one can logically question it. But those above who are claiming that his chain is getting yanked, or hoping Espi goes 0-for-life . . . that doesn't seem to be "logically questioning"Bottom line is this: they _both_ have a negative WAR. This isn't benching a stud for a weakling. This is playing a guy who's having a bad year at the plate, but great in the field, in place of a guy who's having a mediocre year at the plate, and who's pretty good in the field.

  48. Section 222 - May 29, 2013 at 9:03 PM

    Ding ding ding, we have a winner.

  49. EmDash - May 29, 2013 at 9:04 PM

    On the other hand, Roger batting second is…well. Oh, that on-base percentage. Has he taken a walk all year? Actually, checking the numbers he's had 4, which is kind of shocking to me. Of course, that's in 76 plate appearances.Also, I posted something in the other thread about Gio's inconsistency that I'm going to bring over just for my own satisfaction -I tend to wonder if Gio's has some slight nagging injury that's not bad enough for the DL (especially given our other starter options) but that's throwing him off. He's not been bad in May (his ERA before the last start against Baltimore was under 2 for May and is still only 2.48 for the month), he's just been inconsistent and occasionally loses control. It's possible that's physical.(I think the same with Haren – his back does not seem right, from watching him try to field, and that's probably leading to inconsistency. And Detwiler – who, we now know, was dealing with back tightness as well around the time he became more hittable. But I suspect they're DLing Det rather than Haren because they have one for several more years and want to protect their resource and really only have to consider the short-term for the other.)It's also possible that's Gio's just regressed a bit this year, but will still be a very good pitcher. Just not quite finalist-for-a-Cy-Young good. It's the rare pitcher that can do that consistently every year; not everyone can be Kershaw.

  50. A DC Wonk - May 29, 2013 at 9:05 PM

    nats guy said… He has already hurt the team enough by being devious about his injuries Isn't the correct story (correct me if I'm wrong) that the _doctor_ said there was no break?

  51. Mr Baseball - May 29, 2013 at 9:06 PM

    See Daddy's boy (Espi) is back at 2B! What do you have to do to play for Davey? When you are one of his favorites, anything goes. I said then and I still say Baltimore made the best choice for a Manager. We could have hired Buck and would have been better for it.

  52. EmDash - May 29, 2013 at 9:07 PM

    Weird baseball note alert: Dioner Navarro of the Cubs hit 3 home runs today. He's never hit more than 5 in a single *entire season.*

  53. nats guy - May 29, 2013 at 9:09 PM

    I gave Schmuckanoza the benefit of the doubt until this week when the announcement of the injury was admitted. After that I have no more sympathy. He should have had surgery over the winter. He should have gone on DL for his hand. If its that bad he should have told people. The point is he didn't. Get him out of here he can't be trusted.

  54. baseballswami - May 29, 2013 at 9:13 PM

    Slugging percentage is a poor stat to look at for a lead off guy or contact hitter. It 's more of a factor for your middle of the order power guys– extra base hits. I don't consider that to be important for either 2b. I like the contact hitting with risp rather than the whiffs. If Danny works his way up to a middle of the order guy then he can swing for the fences. Hitters at different parts of the order have roles. I would not look at slugging percentage for Span, either, I would look at on- base, how many pitches seen. We are very lucky to have both as I don't really see how Espi can or should play every day because of his shoulder and bone chip.

  55. EmDash - May 29, 2013 at 9:13 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  56. nats guy - May 29, 2013 at 9:13 PM

    He did not go to the Nats about his shouder until late January. He could have told them his hand was hurting but he didn't. How many runs were cost by that. He was aked if he was hurt many times. Always said no.

  57. nats guy - May 29, 2013 at 9:14 PM

    Was aked by the writers many times.

  58. natsfan1a - May 29, 2013 at 9:15 PM

    Dang, 222. I was just about to guess that, because I knew he'd played with AZ back in the day. Give us a little more time on the next one. ;-)Section 222 said… Traveler – Nope, Livo did not fly into OPACY this morning to tutor Nate Karns before his next start. It was none other than Chad Tracy, who was starting his second, and what proved to be his best, season with the Arizona Diamonbacks. May 29, 2013 5:03 PM

  59. Section 222 - May 29, 2013 at 9:15 PM

    JD, bully for you. But why don't we ask Jesus Flores how he feels about those MDs who do this for a living? And Espi's case is special because he plays (badly) through pain rather than getting the diagnosis and treatment he needs to recover. First, the shoulder — Espi found out two weeks after the season ended that he had a torn rotator cuff, after playing (badly) with pain throughout September and the playoffs. Then the wrist — the initial x-ray didn't reveal the fracture and Espi waits six weeks, again playing (badly) through pain before requesting another exam that showed what was wrong. The medical guys didn't make him do that in either case. That was all him.

  60. natsfan1a - May 29, 2013 at 9:16 PM

    Dang, after scrolling down further, just wonderin' beat me to the punch, anyway.

  61. EmDash - May 29, 2013 at 9:17 PM

    …seriously, why are you so sure they didn't know?For what it's worth, I agree that Espinosa should probably be on the DL with the number of injuries that he has. But to assume that it's all Espinosa's fault is to ignore that Rizzo and Davey make the roster and lineup decisions every day, and they decided he should play. If they are making the decision not to DL him now *knowing for sure* that they know he's got bone chips and a torn rotator cuff, why should we assume it was Espi withholding info that was preventing them from doing so before?

  62. baseballswami - May 29, 2013 at 9:18 PM

    I am still marveling that we held the O's to three runs with Karns, Duke, Storen, Clip and Abad! Seriously? Think about that! So unlikely.

  63. Section 222 - May 29, 2013 at 9:19 PM

    Wonk, you're right, the initial x-ray missed the break. And Em-Dash, you're right, some people knew that Espi's wrist was still bothering him. But the point is that only Danny knew how bad the pain was. Only he could say, "hey, I need someone to take a look at this wrist again because it's hurts like hell and it's not getting better." Instead, he plays through pain even though he's hurting the team. In my mind, that's not admirable, that's selfish.

  64. natsfan1a - May 29, 2013 at 9:21 PM

    Oops, gotta go. Ice cream truck is jingling by…

  65. baseballswami - May 29, 2013 at 9:23 PM

    And back to last night– as if the pitching wasn't enough of a surprise, Moore and Bernie back to back? With their batting averages??

  66. IKN8wxU2 - May 29, 2013 at 9:30 PM

    Section 222 wrote:"Wonk, you're right, the initial x-ray missed the break. And Em-Dash, you're right, some people knew that Espi's wrist was still bothering him. But the point is that only Danny knew how bad the pain was. Only he could say, "hey, I need someone to take a look at this wrist again because it's hurts like hell and it's not getting better." Instead, he plays through pain even though he's hurting the team. In my mind, that's not admirable, that's selfish."From what I've heard, everyone, down to FP Santangelo, knew Espinosa was hurting. He didn't hide it. And he's the one who asked for a second X-ray. I don't want to pick a fight here, but I really don't see that the facts show that Danny is being selfish.

  67. A DC Wonk - May 29, 2013 at 9:30 PM

    And back to last night– as if the pitching wasn't enough of a surprise, Moore and Bernie back to back? With their batting averages?? Indeed! As I noted with oddities towards the beginning of this thread, they had a combined OPS+ of 30!

  68. A DC Wonk - May 29, 2013 at 9:31 PM

    (reposting, because I forgot to include the first line, which is:)Oddities of the day!Pirates, Pirates.- Jason Grilli had a one-run lead to protect for the bottom of the 11th, and facing Torii Hunter, Miguel Cabrera, and Prince Fielder. He struck out all three. He's 21-for-21 in saves.- Pirates have a .615 win pct, which would put them in first place in every division except their own — where they are in third place.- Rick Porcello of the Tigers had four starts in April (plus one relieft appearance). He had a total of 8 K's. Last night he had 11 K's (and no runs — in 8 innings). TIgers eventuall lost in 11. To the Pirates. 1-0. See, above, Jason Grilli.- Jonathan Papelbon has now gone 18 consecutive appearances without allowing a run. (He's been in 19 games).- Eight MLB players have more saves than the Marlins have wins — including former Marlins middle reliever Edward Mujica.- Luis Cruz entered yesterday's game with a slash line of .105/.138/.105 in 81 PA's. Worst OPS of anybody (over 80 PAs) by nearly 200 points. He hit a homer.And, speaking of odd homers, we need to include our own:- Tyler Moore (OPS+ of 28) and Roger Bernadina (OPS+ of 2) hit back to back homers. What are the odds of _that_?!

  69. Nanocat - May 29, 2013 at 9:43 PM

    Stupid. Stupid. Lombo is just as good on defense as Espi and, right now since he's heating up, he's much better on offense. Tom Boswell is right. Do a LaRoche on Espinosa- i.e., shut him down for the rest of the year & get him the shoulder surgery he obviously needs.

  70. Nats 128 - May 29, 2013 at 9:52 PM

    As much as I don't trust Espy and think theres a deeper story here that we dont know lets give him a chance to see for a few days if he can contribute. I have my doubts but as someone said to Nats Guy lets do it for the sake of the team.

  71. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 29, 2013 at 9:57 PM

    GYFNG

  72. JD - May 29, 2013 at 9:57 PM

    'shut him down for the rest of the year & get him the shoulder surgery he obviously needs.' And you know this to be true. Because?

  73. baseballswami - May 29, 2013 at 10:09 PM

    This is going to be an interesting situation.

  74. Section 222 - May 29, 2013 at 10:11 PM

    IKN — Exactly. He didn't hide it, but he kept playing, which means he was telling people he was ok to play. I don't know if literally everyone knew he was hurting (Carp acted surprised, while FP claimed he knew all along), but only Espi knew that the wrist wasn't getting any better a whole month after the injury. Did he ask for another x-ray then? No. Instead, he went on the West Coast road trip mired in a slump that only got worse and still hasn't ended. Did he ask for the x-ray after the LA series? No. Did he ask for it after the SD series. No. He kept playing. And playing horribly. I do wish the Davey or someone on the medical staff, knowing that wrist was still bothering him, had strongly urged him to get another x-ray. I don't know why that didn't happen. But he's the one who knew the wrist wasn't getting better. It was selfish of him to keep playing and not get it checked out. I'm not trying to pick a fight either. I just think the evidence is compelling that this is not a team player.

  75. baseballswami - May 29, 2013 at 10:16 PM

    My feeling about all if these young guys is that they do not have the best judgement, maybe Jayson does. Harper, Espi– they are going to want to go out there and play. Cooler heads need to prevail. Even if you respect their toughness, you can't give in and risk it. Say no, please.

  76. JamesFan - May 29, 2013 at 10:17 PM

    I'm cynical enough to believe that the Nats sat Danny for the home series because he is the lightening rod for a weak offense and they did not want him booed.Lombo won two of those games with his bat and played well on D. I'm beyond believing that the Nats will give him a shot. Like Morse, Lombo is not their kind of guy for some reason. He will do very well elsewhere. Lots of teams would love to have a player like this on the field every day.

  77. David Proctor - May 29, 2013 at 10:22 PM

    I don't understand this notion that Morse isn't "their type of guy." He was traded in a contract year, that's hardly unprecedented. Adam LaRoche has performed better this year. I love Morse, and he left on good terms. He wasn't traded because we hate him, we traded him because we had better options and he was in a contract year.

  78. Just wonderin' - May 29, 2013 at 10:22 PM

    So with the all the uncertainty about what Espinosa knew (and when) and what Davey knew (and when) and what Rizzo knew (and when) and what the doctors knew (and when) and what they all said to the press (or didn't), perhaps we need to get Darrell Issa onto the case?

  79. MicheleS - May 29, 2013 at 10:24 PM

    Just Order My Papa John's for the night, figure I would use that discount code…GO JORDAN! GO ESPI!!! GET RID OF THE DH!!!GYFNG!!!

  80. nats guy - May 29, 2013 at 10:26 PM

    Every time he went to the plate with bases loaded and his shoulder and wrist hurting he was being selfish and a bad teammate. How many losses and runs did he cost them. If they are short for the playoffs he should be run off the team. He should not be playing now.

  81. Caps Fan - May 29, 2013 at 10:30 PM

    Caps Fan said… So is a player selfish if he plays through pain, or only when he plays through pain and fails to produce? Was Curt Schilling selfish playing through pain in the bloody sock game? And how is a player supposed to know if he's going to be able to produce when he's playing through pain unless he plays through pain in the first place? Isn't it ultimately the manager's decision on who gets to play? If a player wants to play through pain but his manager won't let him, is he still selfish? So many questions…

  82. baseballswami - May 29, 2013 at 10:35 PM

    I guess we will have a better idea in a few hours. There will be fuel for the fire either way.

  83. skidge - May 29, 2013 at 10:37 PM

    This was part of the last WaPo NJ post, on the lineups: "Second baseman Danny Espinosa, playing for the first time since the Nationals diagnosed a bone chip in his right wrist, which he played through — at the team’s insistence — for more than a month." Any thoughts on "at the team's insistence"?

  84. baseballswami - May 29, 2013 at 10:39 PM

    I thought about running over to Pfitzner to watch Jayson, but I figure he will have one at bat, maybe not any plays in the field. Maybe tomorrow if he is ok. I am nervous about him. Hamstrings and obliques are very persistent.

  85. MicheleS - May 29, 2013 at 10:44 PM

    What I am really looking forward to tonight is Jordan pitch. He is such a bulldog. I want him to be our representative in the AS game. I would love it if we have more going (Hopefully Harp goes).Does anyone know about the O's Pitcher- Tillman? I really don't follow the AL, so wondering if we have a good matchup tonight?

  86. David Proctor - May 29, 2013 at 10:46 PM

    Tillman is pretty good. Not amazing, but he's decent. Jordan should fare well tonight, but I don't see Haren doing well tomorrow. Fly ball pitcher + Camden Yards = bad.

  87. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 29, 2013 at 10:48 PM

    Tillman is Haren like. sometimes very hard to hit, some times seems clueless. Never know how it will go.

  88. baseballswami - May 29, 2013 at 10:48 PM

    Davey is an assistant coach for the ASG. you know we will have someone pitching. Casual fan wants Stras, knowledgeable fan wants JZim.

  89. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 29, 2013 at 10:49 PM

    @David Proctor Haren seems like a not good prospect for tomorrow, but you know you never know.

  90. Caps Fan - May 29, 2013 at 10:51 PM

    "baseballswami said… Davey is an assistant coach for the ASG. you know we will have someone pitching. Casual fan wants Stras, knowledgeable fan wants JZim."Fans have no input on the pitchers for the ASG, whether they're smart or whether they're not.

  91. baseballswami - May 29, 2013 at 10:51 PM

    If Haren has good command the aggressive hitters will get themselves out.

  92. baseballswami - May 29, 2013 at 10:53 PM

    Caps Fan- of course they don't choose the pitchers. Just a comment on who the fans know about. But thanks for making sure everyone gets the accurate story.

  93. Knoxville Nat - May 29, 2013 at 10:56 PM

    222 said,"I thought Tracy might get the call at DH vs. a RH. Remember in 2011 when Davey gave Matt Stairs 3 starts at 1B to try to get him going? That was his last chance. "IIRC Riggleman was still managing the Nats in May 2011 when this happened. Same weekend series Jason Marquis went off on Riggs in the dugout when he was pulled from a start in the 4th inning before getting enough innings to qualify for a win on his record.

  94. MicheleS - May 29, 2013 at 10:57 PM

    Thanks for the Info on Tillman DP/MNF!! I still don't understand how the O's have one so many games with the patchwork pitching staff they have.. Credit to Buck on that.

  95. David Proctor - May 29, 2013 at 11:02 PM

    From Kilgore:After sitting out the last five games, second baseman Danny Espinosa faced a choice. He could rest for the next three weeks or so and allow the fracture in his right wrist to fully heal. Or he could return tonight and play through pain, allowing the bone chip to heal slowly, leaving him at less than 100 percent.For Espinosa, the decision was easy.“I don’t have three weeks to sit,” Espinosa said.Wow.

  96. David Proctor - May 29, 2013 at 11:02 PM

    Scoring a million runs a game will help with any pitching staff.

  97. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 29, 2013 at 11:10 PM

    Michelle they scote tge second most in the majors behind the Tigers. If Nats scored as much they would be 35,-17 probably.If we pitched like O's we would be 17-35.

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

    scoe the…..

  99. David Proctor - May 29, 2013 at 11:12 PM

    RYAN!!

  100. MicheleS - May 29, 2013 at 11:12 PM

    Well how about that! GO ZIMMY

  101. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 29, 2013 at 11:13 PM

    The series home run streak still alive.

  102. Candide - May 29, 2013 at 11:13 PM

    YES, ZIMM!

  103. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 29, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    Told you he reminds me of haren.

  104. MicheleS - May 29, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    Thanks MNF…. at least we pitch better.

  105. Joe Seamhead - May 29, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    Well, JZimm gets to start with a lead.

  106. NatsJack in Florida - May 29, 2013 at 11:19 PM

    Re: the Kilgore comment on Espinosa. Seems like Danny wants to keep his back up excuse in place in case he continues hit .150.

  107. David Proctor - May 29, 2013 at 11:19 PM

    Zim looks to be struggling a bit with fastball command.

  108. phil dunton - May 29, 2013 at 11:19 PM

    Good to see Zim pull the ball to LF with some power for a change. Maybe he's heating up.

  109. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 29, 2013 at 11:21 PM

    Now lets tack on runs. is Eck coaching first? Or did take back batting from the interum Coach Harper.

  110. MicheleS - May 29, 2013 at 11:21 PM

    DP.. if that's struggling, I will take that every day. 11 pitches.. 1-2-3

  111. MicheleS - May 29, 2013 at 11:22 PM

    MNF.. Tarasco is still out, saw on twitter there were some complications with the birth… Hope Mom and Baby are doing okay.

  112. Exposremains - May 29, 2013 at 11:25 PM

    Hunter: Bla bla our pitcher is so great, screams for the K of Bernadina in the 1st inning of a 0-0 game. Zim: HomerunFP: There goes the no-hitterCalm that Hunter Orioles lover down FP.I think Carpenter calls a much more neutral game when they do these horrible MASN combined crew games

  113. MicheleS - May 29, 2013 at 11:25 PM

    Ex Nat Alert.. RICK ANKIEL WALKED IN THE NYM VS NYY GAME!! And lordy the Mets are up 5-0 in the FIRST! Is this a sign of the Apocolypse?

  114. NatsJack in Florida - May 29, 2013 at 11:26 PM

    11 pitches and 3 up 3 down struggling?Hope he continues to struggle just like that.

  115. David Proctor - May 29, 2013 at 11:27 PM

    I didn't mean he was struggling in general. It just seemed that many of his fastball pitches were out of the zone.

  116. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 29, 2013 at 11:28 PM

    With you Michele hope things pick up for the Tarascos.So Harper coached 2 hits. saw him on the bench with clip board.

  117. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 29, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    Mets knocked Phelps out.

  118. MicheleS - May 29, 2013 at 11:32 PM

    Dang.. When Zim doesn't have to think he just nails it

  119. Candide - May 29, 2013 at 11:32 PM

    Ryan's having a pretty good game tonight.

  120. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 29, 2013 at 11:33 PM

    Chris Davis is a killer.

  121. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 29, 2013 at 11:34 PM

    Espi in for glove I thoufht. what the…..

  122. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 29, 2013 at 11:35 PM

    A hit? Who is their scorer. He fiekd it go to first an easy out. terrible call.

  123. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 29, 2013 at 11:36 PM

    Just heard from Dave and Charlie Weiters' mom is the official scorer.

  124. Exposremains - May 29, 2013 at 11:37 PM

    By the way, I meant Gary Thorne earlier

  125. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 29, 2013 at 11:37 PM

    That extra cost us at least one run. espi might as well go back to the benxh

  126. David Proctor - May 29, 2013 at 11:39 PM

    See what I mean about Jordan's fastball command? Those last two pitches were both fastballs and neither were close.

  127. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 29, 2013 at 11:39 PM

    Why walk the 9 guy?

  128. David Proctor - May 29, 2013 at 11:40 PM

    Good job getting out of Zim.

  129. Less Platu - May 29, 2013 at 11:41 PM

    Just tuned in … What In the World is Espinosa doing playing?Does he own his position? Is this fair to Lombo? Is this fair to the team? What is with this organization, with Davey? Loyalty is one thing: but a hitter the quality of Espi whose last 1000 at bats are hovering on the Mendoza line is owed not an ounce of loyalty.Not to mention, how can Espinosa play with a fractured hand? I can't believe this management. I think I'm almost done with this stupid, silly management.

  130. MicheleS - May 29, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    and DP.. you called it on the command. At Least he got out of it with only 1 run

  131. rmoore446 - May 29, 2013 at 11:44 PM

    Sorry, but I think Lombo would have made that play. Espi has great range but his judgement and execution often costs the team in ways that do not show up in the often generious scoring. He wanted to turn the doubleplay so much that he failed to field the ball that skitters into the outfield. And there are all the times that Espi ranges well to field a grounder but then can't get the ball out of his glove because he is in such a needless hurry.Sorry, I pull for him. He did have one good period of a few months but I see no signs of it returning at the plate and his defence is weaker than the numbers indicate.

  132. David Proctor - May 29, 2013 at 11:45 PM

    Danny strikes out on the high fastball. What a shock.

  133. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 29, 2013 at 11:46 PM

    Far as I am concerned unearned. espi should have gotte Weiters at first and not go for the double play.Of Espi strikesout. Not sure why he is playing?

  134. Less Platu - May 29, 2013 at 11:46 PM

    Bowdenball is funny. Trying to make a case for Espinosa playing is fruitless — and belongs in the Flat Earth Society.What's Espi's slugging avg, 200?haha What did Lombo hit for the last 5 games?Oh, Espi just struck out. I am hating nats management. Unfair and Baseball Stupid

  135. Less Platu - May 29, 2013 at 11:47 PM

    The Nats: what a weak hitting team.

  136. phil dunton - May 29, 2013 at 7:48 PM

    Espinosa is beyond being pathetic. He will use the injury as an excuse but his problem is he can't hit major league pitching. Davey Johnson should be fired for playing him over Lombo.

  137. Less Platu - May 29, 2013 at 11:48 PM

    Was reading Boswell this morning in the Wash Post — he gave up on Espi — says 1000 Ab's is enough of a sample to determine that Espi simply is not a major league quality losses — cut your losses — or at least play the better manOr — keep losing.

  138. NatsJack in Florida - May 29, 2013 at 11:50 PM

    And to think, 15 days ago a poster here said Espinosa would get to .230 before LaRoche got to .200.

  139. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 29, 2013 at 11:50 PM

    Bob Carpenter called the play to Espinosa an error. Interesting.Danny: "I don't have 3 weeks to wait". Can't Rizzo make it easy and make the decision for him?

  140. David Proctor - May 29, 2013 at 11:55 PM

    Holy crap Bernadina.

  141. MicheleS - May 29, 2013 at 11:55 PM

    WOW WHAT A BOMB BY THE SHARK!!!

  142. Nats 128 - May 29, 2013 at 11:55 PM

    "Manassas Nats' Fan said… Far as I am concerned unearned. espi should have gotte Weiters at first and not go for the double play.Of Espi strikesout. Not sure why he is playing?"So who runs this team Scott Boras or Mike Rizzo. Given Espys words he doesnt sound ready if in fact theres anything really wrong.

  143. Joe Seamhead - May 29, 2013 at 11:55 PM

    Wow!

  144. NatsJack in Florida - May 29, 2013 at 11:56 PM

    SHARK ATTACK AGAIN!

  145. David Proctor - May 29, 2013 at 11:56 PM

    The Shark is back, folks.

  146. Nats 128 - May 29, 2013 at 11:56 PM

    Wheres the Nats fans camera shot after the HR like we endured last night after the Chris Davis HR.Typical MASN

  147. David Proctor - May 29, 2013 at 11:57 PM

    ZIMMERMAN!!

  148. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 29, 2013 at 11:57 PM

    I was eating away from TV id the shark hit the wearhouse

  149. MicheleS - May 29, 2013 at 11:57 PM

    BOOM! Back to BACK! GO Zimmy!

  150. Joe Seamhead - May 29, 2013 at 11:57 PM

    Wow, don't let Davey shave!

  151. Candide - May 29, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    Don't know why the Shark doesn't hit more homers. Guy is totally ripped.Did I mention earlier that Ryan's having a pretty good night?

  152. MicheleS - May 29, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    MNF.. they didn't show that view of where the ball hit.

  153. Candide - May 29, 2013 at 11:59 PM

    MNF – Carp said it landed on Eutaw Street.

  154. MicheleS - May 30, 2013 at 12:00 AM

    MNF – more info…Dan Kolko‏@masnKolko Orioles confirm that Bernadina's homer landed on Eutaw Street. 68th homer to come down there. 2nd by a #Nats player – Adam Dunn in 2009

  155. NatsJack in Florida - May 30, 2013 at 12:00 AM

    OK. You can stop worrying about Zim's power and ALR.Now get Werth and Harper healthy and the Nats might survive Espinosa's ineptness at the plate.

  156. Nats 128 - May 30, 2013 at 12:01 AM

    Nice HR Zimm. Still no MASN equality on showing Nats fans in celebatory form.

  157. NatsJack in Florida - May 30, 2013 at 12:02 AM

    And the next guy that needs to start squaring up regularly is Desmond.

  158. Nats 128 - May 30, 2013 at 12:03 AM

    Can we conclude possibly that Bernadina was aching from his wrist injury from the WBC. Hes like a new guy out there the last week.

  159. David Proctor - May 30, 2013 at 12:03 AM

    I wish Ian would get hot again. I'm not worried about him, I know he will. But it'd be nice to see soon while the rest of our guys are starting to click.

  160. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 30, 2013 at 12:04 AM

    Did they change Weiters hit an error which it really was.We either hit hard or miss it.

  161. NatsJack in Florida - May 30, 2013 at 12:05 AM

    Blue Jays 3 Braves 0 top of the 3rd.

  162. NatsJack in Florida - May 30, 2013 at 12:07 AM

    Gameday still haa Wieters with a hit.

  163. David Proctor - May 30, 2013 at 12:07 AM

    JZimm doesn't look right to me. I don't know what it is.

  164. MicheleS - May 30, 2013 at 12:10 AM

    Chris Davis.. UGH.. go away

  165. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 30, 2013 at 12:12 AM

    I know they awarded Weiters a hit, but it was the wrong call.Had he just gone for the one out it was an easy play, but tried to circle and get a dp, an that was not the play.Chris Davis can hit a mistake with no problem.

  166. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 30, 2013 at 12:13 AM

    They showed a stat I lijed on Nats' extra. Nats 9-0 when they have 2 or more homers.

  167. Eric - May 30, 2013 at 12:16 AM

    So, Bernie's homer had to be the most surreal live baseball experience I've had. Not a single fielder reacted. Not a single person in the stands made a sound. I was sure it was foul.Then Bernie started running and boos slowly and half heartedly spread through the crowd. That was one helluva blast, though, wow!

  168. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 30, 2013 at 12:16 AM

    Jays lead 3-0.

  169. Eric - May 30, 2013 at 12:18 AM

    Proctor, I agree about JZim…seems off…less of a commanding presence.

  170. David Proctor - May 30, 2013 at 12:18 AM

    Woah. Espinosa choked up on the bat and made solid contact.

  171. MicheleS - May 30, 2013 at 12:18 AM

    Ok.. STOP Complaining for 1/2 inning.. danny got on base.

  172. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 30, 2013 at 12:18 AM

    They dont give Espi hit. But give Weiers one.

  173. NatsJack in Florida - May 30, 2013 at 12:19 AM

    By George, a base hit by Espinosa. He is choking up on the bat more than I've seen before.

  174. Candide - May 30, 2013 at 12:20 AM

    Espinosa on the bench: "#$%^&*!… Lombardozzi's gonna eat my job. Maybe I should try to just put the damn ball in play…"

  175. jeeves - May 30, 2013 at 12:20 AM

    If anyone thinks Espinosa is a team player, then think again. As long as he is in the lineup–that is all he cares about. And for reasons far beyond my understanding, management continues to support him to the detriment of the team.

  176. Nats 128 - May 30, 2013 at 12:20 AM

    Chad Tracy doesnt look like he is swinging through the pitches well. They are pounding him outside.

  177. Candide - May 29, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    DSpan!

  178. Nats 128 - May 30, 2013 at 12:21 AM

    Nice swing by Denard Span!

  179. David Proctor - May 30, 2013 at 12:24 AM

    Span has quietly been one of our hottest hitters lately.

  180. Candide - May 30, 2013 at 12:24 AM

    Ow, my balls!

  181. MicheleS - May 30, 2013 at 12:25 AM

    OW.. Not a good place to foul a ball off. Poor Shark

  182. Nats 128 - May 30, 2013 at 12:26 AM

    Roger got it in the family jewels aka double dutch non-treat.

  183. Candide - May 30, 2013 at 12:26 AM

    Milk of human kindness going on in the Nats dugout.

  184. Candide - May 30, 2013 at 12:27 AM

    Maybe Bernie can have a laugh at Desi's expense 20 years from now when he has tongue cancer from chawing all that tobacco.

  185. MicheleS - May 30, 2013 at 12:28 AM

    The entire team is laughing. Isn't that against the Bro Code??? Really?

  186. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 30, 2013 at 12:28 AM

    Good job Denard.

  187. David Proctor - May 30, 2013 at 12:29 AM

    ZIMMERMAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  188. Nats 128 - May 30, 2013 at 12:29 AM

    3 x as good!

  189. MicheleS - May 30, 2013 at 12:29 AM

    Gee Ryan Zimmerman IS HOT!!!

  190. Candide - May 30, 2013 at 12:29 AM

    Zimmerman is washed up. Guy's lost his power. Marginal player.

  191. Nats 128 - May 30, 2013 at 12:29 AM

    Zimm now hitting .300

  192. SCNatsFan - May 30, 2013 at 12:30 AM

    I am tired of poor at bats by Zim

  193. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 30, 2013 at 12:30 AM

    One each direction for zim

  194. NatsJack in Florida - May 30, 2013 at 12:31 AM

    Who says the Nats can't hit. Davey needs to put some Rogaine on that scruff he's got on his chin.

  195. Candide - May 30, 2013 at 12:32 AM

    MicheleS said… The entire team is laughing. Isn't that against the Bro Code??? Really?Thing is, nobody ever died from getting kicked in the nuts.I don't think so, anyway.Friend of mine got seriously drunk one night, managed to sit on and crush one of his.

  196. Eugene in Oregon - May 30, 2013 at 12:33 AM

    Well that will certainly help your power numbers. Who was it that wanted to trade Mr. Zimmerman a few games back?

  197. A DC Wonk - May 30, 2013 at 12:34 AM

    Candide said… Zimmerman is washed up. Guy's lost his power. Marginal player.yep . . . especially not enough power to go the other way . . . oh, and you left out: he's so far back in the box he can't hit pitches on the outside part of the plate

  198. Candide - May 30, 2013 at 12:34 AM

    NatsJack in Florida said… Who says the Nats can't hit. Davey needs to put some Rogaine on that scruff he's got on his chin.I think the ZZ Top look would work well for him.

  199. Nats 128 - May 30, 2013 at 12:35 AM

    Desi takes a walk. I like that.

  200. Candide - May 30, 2013 at 12:35 AM

    Thanks, DC Wonk, forgot about that. Dunno how he expects to hit the outside stuff standing so far back. Dumbass.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 55 44 --
ATLANTA 55 47 1.5
MIAMI 48 52 8.0
NEW YORK 48 54 8.5
PHILADELPHIA 44 58 12.5
Through Thursday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
FRI: Nats at Reds, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Reds, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Reds, 1:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

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

ON THE RADIO

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

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

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