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Davey: ‘We’ll probably make some changes’

May 31, 2013, 2:00 PM EDT

Photo by USA Today
Nationals manager Davey Johnson was not his usual, talkative self after Washington's 2-0 loss to the Orioles on Thursday night. He generally holds court and talks extensively about any topic, any question, regardless of the outcome.
But Johnson was clearly upset after the team's seventh shutout of the season and walked away from reporters after just four questions. He tried to leave after two.
With the season one-third of the way over, Johnson was asked whether he will shake things up with an underperforming team and first place Atlanta up next. He was honest.
"We'll probably make some changes," he said. "But that's for another day."
Johnson and the Nationals have a good chance of having Bryce Harper back in the lineup for Friday's game. If that possibility comes true, their lineup will instantly improve. But what other adjustments could Johnson make?

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139 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Eric - May 31, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    The news on Werth is encouraging…"Manager Davey Johnson had said Thursday in Baltimore that the plan was for Werth to play three, five and seven innings in successive games to test the hamstring with more intensity each time.If Werth makes it through the day Friday with no issues, he could play at least seven innings on Friday night with the P-Nats as they open a series against Lynchburg."If he can't make it tonight and Harper can, Harper, Span, Shark sounds like a good backup outfield to me if Shark keeps getting the bat on the ball.

  2. Eric - May 31, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    D'oh! I misread "play at least seven innings on Friday Night with the P-Nats" as "with the Nats."Oops. Still, the news is good. Would love to see him make a game or two in Atlanta.

  3. Rabbit34 - May 31, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    Talk talk talk. If you need to get back to basics, do it. Don't talk about it. You are all supposed to be professionals. Desmond doesn't seem to have a clue. How nice Espinosa's wrist didn't make a clicking sound. This is all really quite funny. At the end of the year the players may still think it's closer than it looks, but they'll be talking about Next year, not what's left of a dwindling season.

  4. phil dunton - May 31, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    Well, Davey finally woke up from his long nap but, sadly, there is not much he can do. If he gets rid of Espinosa and Eckstein, that would be a good start. H-Rod should go too, he's wasting a roster spot, as is Moore. You can't expect to win games when your starting lineup includes four guys batting under .165.

  5. phil dunton - May 31, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    Eric, Latest on Werth is he won't be back anytime soon because he experienced more discomfort last night.

  6. Eric - May 31, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    Bummer

  7. Nats 128 - May 31, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    Davey and Rizzo could have replaced Chad Tracy with hot hitting Corey Brown and they didnt. Another nice 0-fer series for Chad Tracy including choking in key spots.The perfect opportunity for Chad Tracy last night and he swings at a pitch 6 inches off the plate. Not even sure how he reached it.The entire complexion of the game changes on that 1 at bat.

  8. Nats 128 - May 31, 2013 at 2:28 PM

    Eric finally has come around. It took you a while. Bowdenball is here speaking like he is on Rizzos payroll. Stay the course! Ha!

  9. A DC Wonk - May 31, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    Oddities of the day:- The Mets, 19-29 after Sunday, go on to swept the then 30-20, tied for first place, Yankees in a four-game series. Over the four games, the Yanks scored exactly one run three times, and drew only two walks.- Shin-Soo Choo has still been hit by as many or more pitches as/than 13 entire teams- 21 year old Michael Wacha made his major league debut, and got a hit before he allowed any hits. He ended up going seven inning, allowing just 2 hits, 6 K's, no BB's.- The AL East is 20 games over .500- Batters in the 9th-hole for the Cubs have more RBI's that clean-up hitters. Actually, Cub batters in the 9th-hole have more RBI's than Cubs' lead-off hitters, those batting 2nd, or 4th, or 5th, or 6th, or 7th, or 8th. (Helped, in part, by Tavis Wood's grand slam yesterday — h/t baseballswami)

  10. Eric - May 31, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    Come around on what?

  11. Bob Saget Nats Fan 101 - May 31, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    Of course we will see line up changes. Maybe we will see hitting approach changes. Maybe something we have never seen this season.Davey and or Eck needs to sit down with each batter whom has swung at horrible pitches and ask why they did that. Upon their response, maybe they fix each persons approach to the plate.

  12. bowdenball - May 31, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    Nats128-The difference between you and me is that I understand that to fix a problem you need a solution. Apparently you think whining does the trick.I never said "stay the course." Don't put words in my mouth. I said I'm tired of people demanding that players be benched or faulting players for losses as if there's an all-star sitting on the bench or in AAA waiting to take their place. You want to bench Espinosa because you think he lost us the game last night? Fine. I think he's been terrible. But show me how Lombardozzi or Kobernus would have changed the result, or tell me who else you think the team could have acquired. Otherwise you're no better than the uninformed people who call in to sports talk radio and demand that everyone be benched or fired after every loss.

  13. Eric - May 31, 2013 at 2:39 PM

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  14. Eric - May 31, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    "But show me how Lombardozzi or Kobernus would have changed the result."bowdenball, I agree with your overall point 100%; however, I think it's important to look beyond how a single player would affect a single game to determine if it's worth switching things up.I still don't trust Lombo's hitting to ultimately prove better than Espi's, but his defense is good enough and his hitting at worst will be as "good" as Espi's, so I say give him another chance to prove himself. If the Phillies series proves to be a mirage, then Espi's our man unless/until Rendon can prove he can play middle infield more than passably well.If the Phillies series proves to be something Lombo can turn in reliably, then I'd say he's our man, at least until Espi can work it out.

  15. Nats 128 - May 31, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    bowdenball instead of attacking me why dont you go after Rabbit, Secret Wasian Man, Mick and the other doom and gloomers. There are plenty here.Im in the dump Espy now group and send Tracy somewhere and TylerMo needs to visit upstate NY.Not saying do it all at once.

  16. A DC Wonk - May 31, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    The entire complexion of the game changes on that 1 at bat. The entire complexion changes because a guy makes the second out of an inning?Really? A one run game for the first 7 innings? You think Tracy was the only one who got fooled on a pitch last night? Why not blame Suzuki who made the third out with two guys on?Over dramatic much?

  17. NatsLady - May 31, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    I know it gets old to give credit to other teams, but they really are bringing their "A" game versus the Nats, which has not been the case in previous years. We need to face teams that don't have an "A" game (like the Twins–or the Mets, who probably used up their "A" game against the Yankees). This is where Davey shows if he is a Hall-of-Fame manager or not. You got the scrubs and the drubs–but Atlanta's got troubles, too. There is no team in the NL East that's going to run away with it. Don't panic. That's funny about Ohlendorf. Maybe he thought he was like Lannan, and just in AAA to stay in shape for an emergency call-up. No, bud, you gotta show us something.

  18. Nats 128 - May 31, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    "bowdenball, I agree with your overall point 100%; however, I think"Are you sure you agree 100%. I do like bowdenballs rational take however these changes were needed at the end of April with Henry, Tracy and Espy. The TylerMo change has become more visible lately.

  19. A DC Wonk - May 31, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    Davey and or Eck needs to sit down with each batter whom has swung at horrible pitches and ask why they did that. The answer, at least as last night's game goes, will be "I got fooled". And every batter in the lineup will say that. Garcia was throwing 2-0 and 3-1 splitters perfectly. We can blame Tracy, Espi, etc, for going 0-3 — but Span and Zim went 0-for-4, too.

  20. Nats 128 - May 31, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    DC Wonk maybe you dont understand the dynamics that a productive out by Tracy scores the run from 3rd since there was 1 out. There is no productive out when Suzuki came up to bat with 2 outs as only a hit would work. If you dont understand that I dont know what to tell you.

  21. bowdenball - May 31, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    Sure, I have no problem with that Eric. I'd play Lombardozzi over Espinosa too, although like I said, last night the result would have been 3-0 instead of 2-0 if they'd make that switch.My problem is a more general one of blaming certain players or the front office without explaining what could be done better, and not acknowledging that there's really nothing that could be done better. If Espi really is this bad, Lombo still isn't worth more than a win or so over 162 games. I think if we gave all of Espinosa's time this year to Lombo we'd still be 27-27. Maybe we would have scored a handful more runs, and we probably would have given up a handful more too. But most people seem to think we'd be 33-21 or something if we'd made the switch on opening day. That just ain't true. Same goes for replacing Bernadina, Moore and Tracy with other minor league callups or free agent scraps, especially while Corey Brown was injured.

  22. Eric - May 31, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    "Are you sure you agree 100%."Come to think of it, 99% is probably more accurate, considering I disagreed with one tiny aspect of his calculus.I agree with every single thing he has said on this subject except his tendency to use one-game samples to refute making suggested changes. Of course, it's possible he's doing it ironically to highlight the absurdity of people who demand change as a result of a player's performance in a given loss.

  23. Eric - May 31, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    "My problem is a more general one of blaming certain players or the front office without explaining what could be done better"Again, agreed 100%."I think if we gave all of Espinosa's time this year to Lombo we'd still be 27-27."That's certainly possible, unless he hit like he did against Philly at least 50% of the time. In that case, it's plausible that we would've taken one or a few of the low-scoring squeakers that we lost.

  24. NatsLady - May 31, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    Span has not had good results against Garcia and neither has Suzuki. I looked it up yesterday before the game, and, as former AL players, they had the most PAs. Small sample sizes, but (including yesterday), Denard Span 20 PAs 2 Hits 2 BB 3 K .Kurt Suzuki 11 PAs 2 Hits 2K 1 GIDP

  25. JD - May 31, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    Eric, When Espinosa grabbed the liner in the 1st inning last night saving a run and then executed an absolutely brilliant double play in the 8th inning again saving a run I said to myself that if he could only hit like last year he is absolutely positively a + player overall. Having said that where he is with the bat right now, keeping him in the lineup is not helping the team or Espinosa. If it's medical take care of it, if it's something else go work on it in the minors. Espinosa has become the lightning rod for all the fan frustration. Replacing him with Lombo or any one else may be necessary but it isn't going to make a huge difference in wins and loses nor is DFA ing Henry R who has actually pitched ok for the someone taking the last spot on the roster. What we need IMO is: 1) A healthy Harper. 2) Gio Gonzalez pitching close to last year's leves. 3) A healthy Detwiler. 4) A healthy Werth. 5) much better bench production. I am all for trying Corey Brown instead of Tracy and I am not against trying Owings for Tyler Moore.

  26. bowdenball - May 31, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    Eric said…"Of course, it's possible he's doing it ironically to highlight the absurdity of people who demand change as a result of a player's performance in a given loss."That's pretty much what I'm going for. Over the course of the season I don't think there's much difference, if any, among the guys we're debating here. Last night just happens to be an amusing case study, since we probably lose 3-0 instead of 2-0 with anyone but Espinosa at second.

  27. Eric - May 31, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    Oh, regarding Moore and Tracy, it would be nice if we had reliable power on the bench, but I think at this point we should trade it for reliable base runners. I seem to recall that Kobernus has been that type of guy and recall reading about a couple of others as well (people with more knowledge than me probably can confirm or refute my memory here on both points).Of course, I love small ball every bit as much as I love long ball…

  28. Nats 128 - May 31, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    Again, the time to be debating Espy and Lombo on June 1st is rediculous.It should have been done on November 1st 2012. Its the weakest part of this team. There was no suitable replacements in the minor league system and the options were trades or free agency.

  29. Eric - May 31, 2013 at 3:03 PM

    "Last night just happens to be an amusing case study, since we probably lose 3-0 instead of 2-0 with anyone but Espinosa at second."Yes indeed. "then executed an absolutely brilliant double play in the 8th inning again saving a run"I was following on Gameday by the 8th so didn't actually see how the DP played out…that was with runners on the corners, no? So, maybe without Espi it would've been 4 – 0? Or, could Lombo have pulled it off?Re: HRod, I really like the guy, especially because he seems to be getting more and more consistent. Apparently he hit 102 on Wednesday night. That's just insane! And, it's worth noting that we were definitely in striking distance when he pitched that inning and he still came through.

  30. A DC Wonk - May 31, 2013 at 3:12 PM

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  31. A DC Wonk - May 31, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    Nats 128 said…DC Wonk maybe you dont understand the dynamics that a productive out by Tracy scores the run from 3rdI understand the dynamics just fine, thanks.Yes — that was a key blown chance. But it looms large only because the entire rest of the line-up failed completely last night. Outside of that inning — other than Shark's single in the 8th, nobody else even got on base. There were seven 1-2-3 innings. Blaming Tracy for the loss is myopic.

  32. Will - May 31, 2013 at 3:16 PM

    I can't believe no one has talked about it, but one of our biggest problems this year is the bullpen.They've been awful. For what was supposed to be a top 5 bullpen, Storen, Duke and Mattheus have been pretty miserable.For example, on this day last year, we had scored 192 runs. Today, we've scored 190 runs. Our offense has been bad, actually downright miserable, but we still managed to win with bad offense last year. The biggest difference is that our bullpen has been unable to keep us in close games. On this day last year, we had surrendered 167 runs. This year: 213.How many games have we lost after leading through 6? My guess is we're probably one of the worst in the league.The biggest problem is I think a few minor changes to the offense could correct our batting woes (Werth returning, Moore demoted, Tracy DFA'd, Brown, Marrero or Rendon promoted). But that's not the case with our pitching staff. The best players are on the big league team. It just looks like this rotation/bullpen isn't good enough.

  33. JD - May 31, 2013 at 3:23 PM

    Nats 128,'It should have been done on November 1st 2012. Its the weakest part of this team.' Last year Espi was +3.4 WAR in 2011 he was +3.2 WAR so I don't really see how the facts support your position.

  34. JD - May 31, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    Eric, Yes there were runners on the corners with 1 out and Jones hitting. There was no time for the exchange and throw so Espi took it to the bag and made a very strong throw to 1st to double up Jones. I don't think Lombo's arm is strong enough to get Jones.

  35. NatsJack in Florida - May 31, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    For those of you calling for Brown to replace Chad Tracy….. he doesn't replace Tracy…. he replaces Roger Bernadina if he replaces anybody.

  36. Eric - May 31, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    Gotcha, thanks JD.

  37. Nats 128 - May 31, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    Natsjack I think that is short sighted thinking. Brown has a bigger bat then Tracy. He may not look like a bopper but looks can be deceiving. Stares and Tracy look like boppers. Go figure.

  38. Kirbs - May 31, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    Perhaps we can make a deal for Mark DeRosa, he is stroking the ball…….

  39. Will - May 31, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said…For those of you calling for Brown to replace Chad Tracy….. he doesn't replace Tracy…. he replaces Roger Bernadina if he replaces anybody.May 31, 2013 11:27 AMNot necessarily. If Davey continues to insist on playing Espinosa at 2B, Lombardozzi is more than adequate cover at 3B.However, with Harper on the roster but unable to play, we're short on OFs.

  40. Sec. 3, My Sofa - May 31, 2013 at 3:36 PM

    The "brilliant double play" was a hard ground ball up the middle that he did well to get to, but only knocked it down. It rolled about six feet further toward short, and he recovered nicely to turn the 4-3 himself, thanks to what's left of the Ridiculous Bazooka Arm. I thought at the time, and have not changed my mind, that Lombo might well make that a 4-6-3 with a clean pickup. Hey, it's at least as likely as assuming any other outfielder but Tyler Moore catches a fly ball that landed in the second row.

  41. Sec. 3, My Sofa - May 31, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    Not necessarily. If Davey continues to insist on playing Espinosa at 2B, Lombardozzi is more than adequate cover at 3B.I like Lombo OK, myself, but he can't play second and third at the same time.

  42. Nats 128 - May 31, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    Will, 100% correct. I thought Natsjack could understand that rationale.

  43. Will - May 31, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    Kirbs said…Perhaps we can make a deal for Mark DeRosa, he is stroking the ball…….May 31, 2013 11:34 AM————————————Funny you say that. Remember how awful DeRosa was last year? His OPS last year is actually almost 100 points higher than each of Espinosa, Tracy, Bernadina and Moore's.

  44. Section 222 - May 31, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    I think NJ is thinking about the position Brown plays, more than whether he has power. But how much has Tracy played in the field this year? Moore can play 1st and Lombo can play 3rd, so we really don't need Tracy's glove on the bench. So Brown replaces Tracy as the LH big bopper, and when the time comes, maybe soon, Marrero can replace Ty-Mo as the hairy chested RH bat. I'm not really expecting either Brown or Marrero to light it up in the bigs. But Ty-Mo and Tracy are failures as bench bats this year, and each have had a lot of swings. Seems like we are very close to it being time or Moore to go back to AAA and figure things out and Tracy to think about a new line of work.Winning teams need some guys on the bench batting over .170.

  45. Eric - May 31, 2013 at 3:41 PM

    "Hey, it's at least as likely as assuming any other outfielder but Tyler Moore catches a fly ball that landed in the second row."The replay on that seemed to show it bouncing off the top of the wall, about 2 feet from Moore's glove…

  46. Sec. 3, My Sofa - May 31, 2013 at 3:42 PM

    Re: HRod, I really like the guy, especially because he seems to be getting more and more consistent. Apparently he hit 102 on Wednesday night.I think that was against Machado, who actually pulled one of those foul. Several high-90s/100+ the other night, and they were fouling them off. He has been showing better command, and I don't mind if he hits the mascot once in a while, as long as he hits the mitt the rest of the time.

  47. Will - May 31, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    Sec. 3, My Sofa said…Not necessarily. If Davey continues to insist on playing Espinosa at 2B, Lombardozzi is more than adequate cover at 3B.I like Lombo OK, myself, but he can't play second and third at the same time.May 31, 2013 11:37 AM—————————————Come again?Lombo doesn't have to be in two places at once (Davey has been irrationally loyal to Espinosa, so we have to assume Espinosa is the starter unless he physically can't play). Even in a catastrophe where Espinosa and Zimmerman were injured at the same time, Lombo plays 3B and Kobernus can play 2B.

  48. Sec. 3, My Sofa - May 31, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    The replay on that seemed to show it bouncing off the top of the wall, about 2 feet from Moore's glove… I guess I should look at the replay again–looked to me like the second row.

  49. Nats 128 - May 31, 2013 at 3:43 PM

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  50. Eric - May 31, 2013 at 3:44 PM

    "Moore can play 1st."Not if you send him to AAA…

  51. Nats 128 - May 31, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    If Rizzo doesn't want to worry about the 40 man roster he has both Marrero and Brown. The problem with either of those is if he doesnt use them its a waste to bring them up from AAA. Micah Owings isnt on the 40 man.Corey Brown is as close as you get to a well rounded player who just never lived up to the potential however it doesnt matter as he is better than Chad Tracy and gives you a + glove in the outfield.

  52. NatsJack in Florida - May 31, 2013 at 3:47 PM

    So let me get this right….Chad Tracy gets replaced by Corey Brown and Ryan Zimmerman gets replaced by Lombo.Yep…that solves everything.

  53. Eric - May 31, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    Here's the Pearce replayHits a kid in the first row, and definitely higher than I thought. Not sure what angle I saw that made me think it bounced off the wall.Anyone faster than Moore still would've needed another 1 – 2 feet of vertical leap to get it.

  54. Nats 128 - May 31, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    "Ryan Zimmerman gets replaced by Lombo"Huh what? Have you lost your mind or trying to be funny?Its called break glass in case of an emergency. Ryan Zimmerman is playing like he got a cortisone shot!

  55. JD - May 31, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    Sec 222, The Nats can get out of this weekend anywhere from 2.5 to 8.5 games out (it can't be 5.5 because someone has to win at least 2 of 3). If the Nats don't get swept they will be no more than 6.5 games out and out of the toughest part of their schedule and I don't think Rizzo will make wholesale changes. If we should get swept it may very well be close to panic time and we may see multiple moves. But that's just my opinion.

  56. Eric - May 31, 2013 at 3:51 PM

    "So let me get this right….Chad Tracy gets replaced by Corey Brown and Ryan Zimmerman gets replaced by Lombo."Nah. Zim to first, DFA LaRoche. Problems solved.

  57. Sec. 3, My Sofa - May 31, 2013 at 3:51 PM

    Lombo doesn't have to be in two places at once (Davey has been irrationally loyal to Espinosa, so we have to assume Espinosa is the starter unless he physically can't play). Even in a catastrophe where Espinosa and Zimmerman were injured at the same time, Lombo plays 3B and Kobernus can play 2B.I'm thinking there that even Davey can't stay with Espinosa much longer, but if he stays with Espinosa at second, he's going to wait on Tracy as well, and the warm weather to "get him going." Davey does not seem inclined to use Kobernus for anything else but emergencies, though, does he?

  58. Eric - May 31, 2013 at 3:52 PM

    "Huh what? Have you lost your mind or trying to be funny?"Wow. Maybe the irony mark *is* helpful.

  59. Sec. 3, My Sofa - May 31, 2013 at 4:00 PM

    "Huh what? Have you lost your mind or trying to be funny?"They aren't mutually exclusive, you know.Thanks for the Pearce HR link–on further review, unimpeded that hits the second row, maybe third.

  60. Sec. 3, My Sofa - May 31, 2013 at 4:01 PM

    Wow. Maybe the irony mark *is* helpful.Just what we need in here, more punctuation people don't know how to use.

  61. Nats 128 - May 31, 2013 at 4:01 PM

    Eric I hope he was trying to be funny however Natsjack has posted several times that Chad Tracy is Zimms backup so I dont think hes 100% serious.Im thinking Chad Tracy needs to be Matt Stares backup and thats my attempt at humor.I think the proper way to show you are joking or sarcastic is to add the ;)

  62. Nats 128 - May 31, 2013 at 4:05 PM

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  63. Sec. 3, My Sofa - May 31, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    Cripes, now we need a primer.This should go into the glossary, I guess.Irony punctuation

  64. Eric - May 31, 2013 at 4:06 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  65. Nats 128 - May 31, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    "Thanks for the Pearce HR link–on further review, unimpeded that hits the second row, maybe third."Unimpeded? and Bernadinas HR ball bounces into the Inner Harbour if the warehouse didnt keep it from being impeded.Any player that has a decent vertical jump makes a good effort at that Pearce HR. That was a poor effort. 100%

  66. Eric - May 31, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    "I think the proper way to show you are joking or sarcastic is to add the ;)"Is that a serious comment that uses the ;) simply to illustrate "proper" punctuation of sarcastic content, or is it a sarcastic comment because you included the ;)?؟"Just what we need in here, more punctuation people don't know how to use."HA!"Thanks for the Pearce HR link–on further review, unimpeded that hits the second row, maybe third."You're welcome. And, yeah, it was much higher than I initially thought. I am updating my initial reaction from "Harper, Span, Shark, and maybe even Werth get that" to "Harper, Span, Shark, and maybe even Werth get their glove 1 – 2 feet directly below the ball." ;)

  67. Sec. 3, My Sofa - May 31, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    Any player that has a decent vertical jump makes a good effort at that Pearce HR. That was a poor effort. 100% Fiddlesticks.The wall there is what, 8 feet high? And the ball hit the kid in the chest at least four feet above that. But it's falling on a parabola, so the catch would have to be higher still. Bo Jackson doesn't catch that ball.

  68. Sec. 3, My Sofa - May 31, 2013 at 4:12 PM

    The only route to that ball is by climbing up the wall, and nobody on this team, or most teams, does that.

  69. Sec. 3, My Sofa - May 31, 2013 at 4:15 PM

    Two things for sure, though: it's a home run in the box score, and Tyler Moore is a first baseman trying to play outfield.

  70. NatsJack in Florida - May 31, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    My whole point is that Corey Brown is a left handed hitting outfielder and Chad Tracy is a left handed hitting corner infielder.They are not interchangeable parts.

  71. Nats 128 - May 31, 2013 at 4:17 PM

    Sorry Sec, a little research would tell you thats a 7 foot fence in LF. The glove extends above your hand and you don't need Mike Trout vertical jump to reach Pearces ball.I didnt stay in a Holiday Inn last night however I think most outfielders make a better effort on that Pearce HR. 2 cents deposited!

  72. Eric - May 31, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    I think I heard someone say the wall is 7' at the yards? Which means we're still talking about needing to get the glove at least 11' – 12' off the ground to catch it. And, of course, you can't go at it full speed with your head forward like you can when dunking a basketball. Well, at least not with healthy results.

  73. Eric - May 31, 2013 at 4:20 PM

    I think a better effort could've been made, but I don't think even Michael Jordan gets that ball.

  74. Nats 128 - May 31, 2013 at 4:20 PM

    "NatsJack in Florida said… My whole point is that Corey Brown is a left handed hitting outfielder and Chad Tracy is a left handed hitting corner infielder.They are not interchangeable parts."Thats sad that you were serious. Corey Brown wont play 3rd. Chad Tracy shouldnt be your 1st option to play any position defensively. He was supposed to be a hired bat.In case of emergency for 1 game Lombo plays 3rd as he has done numerous times before. Kobernus can play 2nd for a game.This is all in theory since Ryan Zimmerman is your starting 3rd baseman.Long term solution in case of emergency is Anthony Rendon as we have already seen.Natsjack, are you feeling okay. Even for you this is out of character.

  75. Eric - May 31, 2013 at 4:21 PM

    "The glove extends above your hand"No way man. No it doesn't.

  76. Caps Fan - May 31, 2013 at 4:25 PM

    "NatsJack in Florida said… My whole point is that Corey Brown is a left handed hitting outfielder and Chad Tracy is a left handed hitting corner infielder. They are not interchangeable parts."When you consider that Chad Tracy's role is basically pinch-hitter, they are pretty much interchangeable parts. If Zimmerman got hurt and Tracy wasn't there, Lombo or someone else could shift to third to finish the game and they could have Rendon back up the next day. So saying Tracy is the backup at 3b is pretty much like saying he's the emergency catcher. You don't build a roster by protecting that at any cost.

  77. Nats 128 - May 31, 2013 at 4:25 PM

    "Eric said… I think I heard someone say the wall is 7' at the yards? Which means we're still talking about needing to get the glove at least 11' – 12' off the ground to catch it. And, of course, you can't go at it full speed with your head forward like you can when dunking a basketball. Well, at least not with healthy results. May 31, 2013 12:19 PM"We arent talking Mike Trout here. Brett Gardner made a more difficult on that same wall 2 years ago.Dont make this into a physics and kinetics discussion. Its getting absurd with all the excuses. The effort by TylerMo sucked.

  78. Sec. 3, My Sofa - May 31, 2013 at 4:26 PM

    Well, thanks for that research, then. So Bo probably does catch that. But not a first baseman. It's not a question of effort, it's a skill he hasn't learned.

  79. Nats 128 - May 31, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    Caps Fan, thanks for that. Read my comments at 12:20.I think Natsjack is having some issues. I hope he is okay. Cant believe this needed further discussion. I was hoping he was joking. Sadly he was being serious.

  80. Ivan Tuski - May 31, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    Will that is pretty interesting. 2 run difference offensively. Hmm.I agree the bullpen is the biggest difference. The last coouple years the bullpen was a strength. This year it has lost us a lot of games. The make up of a bullpen is such a quirky enigmatic mix that moves that would on the surface seem to improve can have the opposite effect. In as much as Davey has given Danny plenty of rope to correct or hang himself he has done the complete opposite with Storen. The psychological damage done to Drew from the signing of Soriano is much more than is being talked about. I think had Drew been given the same opportunity to work it out as Davey has given to Danny the chemistry of the bullpen would be much different.

  81. Eric - May 31, 2013 at 4:28 PM

    "Dont make this into a physics and kinetics discussion."Don't make me define "disagreement" for you again.

  82. Nats 128 - May 31, 2013 at 4:28 PM

    "Eric said… "The glove extends above your hand"No way man. No it doesn't. May 31, 2013 12:21 PM"Tell me you are joking! Ha!

  83. A DC Wonk - May 31, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    ALR's slash line for May:.340/.422/.628/1.050Did someone suggest moving RZim to 1b? And remove the best May bat we have? (Or perhaps I missed the irony punctuation?)

  84. NatsLady - May 31, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    Here, now, get of Espinosa's back and vote on something you REALLY don't know anything about, the AL Cy Young candidates. Oh, sorry, while I was away we were getting on Tyler Moore's back. Hard to keep up (or jump up, as the case may be).AL Pitching Leadershttp://ladyandthenats.blogspot.com/2013/05/one-third-al-pitching-leaders.html

  85. Eric - May 31, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    "Thats sad that you were serious.""Natsjack, are you feeling okay.""I think Natsjack is having some issues. I hope he is okay."Nats 128, weren't you just recently lecturing JD about being too authoritative or something?You sure you didn't read some of your posts and get confused about who had posted them?Take a breather man, sheesh.

  86. Section 222 - May 31, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    Not to pile on but they *are* interchangeable because Moore (or Marrero if he comes up) can play 1st and Lombo can play 3rd. No one really thinks that Tracy's bench glove can't be replaced, right? Let's remember that right now, with Werth on the DL, there are 5 bench spots other than backup catcher, and one of them is in the starting lineup each day. (Actually 2 are starting while Harper is out, but Harper is still on the 25 man.)So right now we have:Tracy (LH 1B, 3B)Kobernus (RH 2B, OF)Moore (RH 1B, OF)Bernadina (LH OF)Lombo (S 2B, LF)You've got the following potential minor league replacements:Brown (LH OH)Marrero (RH 1B)Perez (RH OF)Rendon (RH 3B, 2B?)A lot of mix and matching can be done depending on who you think might actually be able to hit major league pitching. And then there's Espi. He can switch places with Lombo or be sent down and let Korbernus slide into Lombo's role. Or they can keep trying to "get him going." Oy.

  87. NatsLady - May 31, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    get off*

  88. NatsJack in Florida - May 31, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    Yes, I'm OK. Your scenario for one game is plausible. My beef is with an apparently useless 40 man roster. Most certainly, improvement will have to come via trade. None of the options, sans Rendon, do anything to improve the 25 man roster.We're talking about bringing up players from a 23-30 AAA team. Kobernus has played about 8 more games at second this season than Rendon. Granted, he's been trained as a middle infielder but their is a reason both the Tigers and Nats have stuck him in left field.

  89. Eric - May 31, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    "Tell me you are joking! Ha!"Seriously?

  90. Section 222 - May 31, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    Wonk, that someone seems to have disappeared. Or maybe he's on vacation. Or did I miss the memo.

  91. Eric - May 31, 2013 at 4:33 PM

    "Did someone suggest moving RZim to 1b? And remove the best May bat we have? (Or perhaps I missed the irony punctuation?)"That was me, and I left it off of that one, but I was being deeply sarcastic. It was *right* before I realized just how necessary that punctuation has apparently become.

  92. karlkolchak - May 31, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    "But that's for another day."And what day would that be, Labor Day?

  93. Eric - May 31, 2013 at 4:37 PM

    222, I think Wonk was referring to this post of mine:"Nah. Zim to first, DFA LaRoche. Problems solved."Again, I couldn't have been less serious.

  94. Nats 128 - May 31, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    Natsjack good post. Glad you snapped back. The position players on the 40 man are stale. Have to hope for the next wave which seem a year or 2 away sans Rendon. Even with that said I get Corey Brown here as he is the only player Davey seems to like and plus he can pronounce his name.

  95. Eric - May 31, 2013 at 4:40 PM

    "pronounce his name"Speaking of, I have always pronounced Kobernus with the accent on the second syllable. The announcers on I think Tuesday pronounced it with the accent on the first syllable.How is it actually pronounced?

  96. NatsJack in Florida - May 31, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    It's KO'bernus.

  97. phil dunton - May 31, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    The only reason H-Rod has looked better lately control-wise is because he now pitches solely in mop up situations were the game is lost or where the Nationals are so far ahead they couldn't possibly lose. Put him in a pressure situation where the game is on the line and his control will blowup. His problem is not physical, it's mental. He just can't handle pressure situations and that is lethal for a relief pitcher. That's why he is wasting a valuable roster spot.

  98. Dave - May 31, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    I could tell immediately that Eric's Zim-to-first comment was sarcastic. And I'm not really even all that knowledgeable about this stuff.I wish the Nats would win more games just so these discussion threads would become less combative. But I'm feeling that way myself today, so I'm going to keep my keyboard-mouth shut.Last night was a bummer. The Nationals need to be able to also hit against good pitchers. They're not.That's my analysis.

  99. Eric - May 31, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    "It's KO'bernus."Thanks

  100. Dave - May 31, 2013 at 4:47 PM

    Actually, phil dunton, HRod has held things together in very close situations lately. Against the Phillies, for example, he held the score to a 3-3 tie, before Drew came in and gave up the two losing runs.

  101. A DC Wonk - May 31, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    My beef is with an apparently useless 40 man roster. Most certainly, improvement will have to come via trade. None of the options, sans Rendon, do anything to improve the 25 man roster.True. I think that is, in part, a function of going all out to put a top-notch team on the field in 2012 and 2013, after (a) sucking so badly; and (b) worse, having an empty farm system thanks to MLB's "ownership" of the franchise.Rizzo did pretty much the best he could — stocking the system as best he could — then pulling off that major trade of a number of high prospects to get Gio, which was probably the difference between the Nats making the post-season or not last year.So, with injuries to Werth and Harper, massive Espi slump, collective goon-squad slump — our cupboard is a little bit bare. We've got a number of good prospects that will help us in years to come, but probably not too much this year.In the meantime, we have among the youngest pitching staffs in the majors (and among the best), to try to hold the fort down until the cavalry arrives.Best part — a long long stretch of mostly easier teams to play, starting right after the Atlanta series.

  102. NatsJack in Florida - May 31, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    Other than Corey Brown, and again, he's seen as a duplication of Roger Bernandina, the only other guy I see Davey as having any faith from Syracuse is Wil Rhymes. He's seen as the back up second baseman with Espinosa being the SS should something happen to Desmond.That's where the franchise is extremely weak…. Shortstop.

  103. Caps Fan - May 31, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    "NatsJack in Florida said… It's KO'bernus."I don't think he's Irish. And he hasn't been up long enough to hang the strikeout moniker on him.

  104. NatsJack in Florida - May 31, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    And an even better part is the stockpile of minor league arms coveted by other teams. Each level has at least 2 and usually 3 arms as deemed potential Big League arms.

  105. natsfan1a - May 31, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    Or using a different moniker.Section 222 said… Wonk, that someone seems to have disappeared. Or maybe he's on vacation. Or did I miss the memo.

  106. NatsJack in Florida - May 31, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    That's "Knock Out"… not strike out.

  107. Nats106 - May 31, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    Eric said… I think a better effort could've been made, but I don't think even Michael Jordan gets that ball. Bryce Harper makes that play every time. Hell, in AAA I saw him call off the catcher on a pop up behind home plate and make an unassisted double play on the guy who took 2 steps off the bag.

  108. NatsJack in Florida - May 31, 2013 at 4:56 PM

    And Rhymes is seen as a better option at short than Lombo.

  109. A DC Wonk - May 31, 2013 at 4:56 PM

    phil dunton said… The only reason H-Rod has looked better lately control-wise is because he now pitches solely in mop up situations100% not true.In fact the *only* time he's allowed *any* runs is when he's come in and the Nats are down three or more. When the Nats have been down two or less (or tied or ahead) — five times — HRod has not allowed a single run. Zero.

  110. NatsJack in Florida - May 31, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    And the wall is only 7' tall. I think Bryce gets that ball, too.

  111. Soon to be Mrs. Roger Bernadina - May 31, 2013 at 4:58 PM

    Sup folks… Havent been here in a minute.. Anywho, last night's lost was disappointing and the season has definitely been less than inspiring… However, Im not panicking throwing in the towel quite yet…There are some positives to this – like Ryan's hitting (whereas last year he started in July), Adam has finally come on, and I really like D Span…I think the Espi/Lombo thing is a joke really as I don't think either are the answer at 2nd base… However, I do like Espi's D/range…. Im ready to see Kobernus in that role…We cant keep producing a line up that includes 3/4 automatic outs… Last night I saw guys pressing becuz they knew the person behind them couldn't do jack fig… We really need Werth and Harp backBut last year, at this time, the runs are kinda parallel but pitching was better… And how do you change your screen-name…

  112. Soon to be Mrs. Roger Bernadina - May 31, 2013 at 5:01 PM

    Saw the comments earlier about T Moore… Gosh, if I have never seen a player that needs to go down to the farm and learn some fundamentals again… he is lost at the plate and his OF defense is just terrible….He absolutely played that Pearce HR all wrong… I believe Harp or Shark would have had it…Tyler reminds me of Morse but has way more upside and is less injury prone… He can be decent as he has the power but he needs some grooming.

  113. NatsLady See this is how - May 31, 2013 at 5:03 PM

    Hey, Mrs. B. Go up to the top where it says "Dashboard" then go to Profile, then go to EDIT User Profile. Make the changes you want. Make sure you scroll all the way to the bottom and click SAVE.

  114. NatsLady - May 31, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    Now I changed it back. Good to "see" you, I've seen you over on WaPo many times!

  115. MrsB loves the Nats - May 31, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    Did it work?Yeah, I need a break from WaPo sometimes… And I read Zuckerman faithfully so I decided to see how the peeps over here interact…I love the Nats and I think that we are lucky to be where we are since we havent seen the regular line up in over a month and a half and so many under performing…Thanks for helping me with the name change, Natslady!

  116. Eric - May 31, 2013 at 5:09 PM

    Wow, it's that easy to change a profile name, AND the name doesn't change on previous posts when you change it?That's just…weird.

  117. JaneB - May 31, 2013 at 5:42 PM

    I had somehow gotten the impression that our minor league pitching was decimated, which was making me wonder what we even HAD to trade away to get something else.This team is pretty darn close to who was there ;last year. SO what makes the difference? Are we missing DeRosa's steady coaching in the dug out? Michael's joie de vivre? In the 'pen, I'm missing that we could always count on Michael Gonzalez, though I see that hasn't been the case for him this year. What changed with the bench hitting this year, and is a hitting coach REALLY that impactful? There is so much about this game that I don't understand and feel like I never will. The rules I get — even in-field fly rule, which took me a while to wrap my head around — but the intangibles, the chemistry stuff, I don't know how to read it, and suss it out. I just want them to be happier so they will play better.

  118. NatsLady - May 31, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    Put up the injuries and the stats for both Nats and Atlanta. In case you think they are steam-rolling, they have some "dead wood" on their team, too.

  119. Sec. 3, My Sofa - May 31, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    OK, OK … it's a seven foot wall.Maybe T-Mo needs this.

  120. Eric - May 31, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    TyMo's biggest problem on that play was speed, not vertical leap. Even if he COULD jump that high, he was 2 feet shy of catching up to it horizontally.Almost all of our other outfielders would've gotten into better position horizontally, but I still don't think it's a given anyone else has strong enough springs to get up to it.Of course, we still would've lost by 2 points even if he did make the catch (all of the other runs scored that inning with only 0 or 1 outs), and he's not our starting left fielder, so this is fully in the land of trivialities.

  121. mick - May 31, 2013 at 6:06 PM

    I was probably the most mellow one in here last night and will continue. Having said that, I have 1 general comment and then a questionMy comment, is, after I posted a bit las night, I watched the Pacers-Heat game, (Wasian man, I meant to say Heat, not Pacers) and big Roy. It was the start of the 3rd quarter and I saw LeBron get in his team mates faces. I thought for moment, is there any Nat player capable of doing what LeBron did? Maybe Werth, but he is out, other than that they do not. It hit me, that is what this team is missing.My question, it appears when we all bought into the concept "that the team is built to win for the next decade", that there are several interpretations. I am frankly confused and I hope someone here can address this. My concept last year was that meant the team had great starters and depth on the team and a great minor league system. This year, I only believe they have great starters when healthy and a great starting pitching staff. Clearly, the depth on the team is not very good and the minor league teams with the exception of maybe 2-3 players who are very young is not that good. If I am wrong, please tell me why.thanks

  122. natsfan1a - May 31, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    And then there's this .Sec. 3, My Sofa said… Maybe T-Mo needs this. May 31, 2013 1:50 PM

  123. JD - May 31, 2013 at 6:17 PM

    Mick, You are exactly right. The main reason the Nats were so highly regarded is that they have 3 potentially 4 young aces in the starting rotation, an all world very young outfielder and a young core of players who are just getting into their peak years. The minor league system has been ranked near the bottom of the league and with the exception of Rendon there is nothing of potential impact anywhere near major league ready. As NatsJack points out there are some good potential arms in the lower minors but again no one really close to major league ready (I am not yet sold on Nate Karns but I could be wrong there). At the end of the day if/when the regulars return this is still a very good team and they are far from being out of anything for 2013.

  124. alexva - May 31, 2013 at 6:17 PM

    Mick, when was the last time you saw any baseball player get in a teammates face? it's not that type of game.

  125. MrsB loves the Nats - May 31, 2013 at 6:19 PM

    Eric – Yeah, at this point it is water under the bridge. Point blank, JZImm should have pitched better game(not understanding why he and Zook didnt/call for more breaking balls when they saw that the O's were swinging at, well everything…) And Davey should have pulled Jordan after the first or even 2nd batter got on base as it was evidently obvious that he had lost his command… Jordan was leaving a lot of fat pitches over the plate.. I didnt see where he had real command of his fastball…

  126. JD - May 31, 2013 at 6:19 PM

    Mick, Peric kept throwing names out there demonstrating that he follows the minors closely but for the most part the names he mentioned were suspects not prospects.

  127. MrsB loves the Nats - May 31, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  128. NatsLady - May 31, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    The Cards were leading the Royals 2-1 at the end of the 8th inning. For reasons known only to himself, Methany put Mitchell Boggs in and the Royals scored 3 runs, and had the bases loaded. At that point the heavens opened and Joe West–despite protests from the Cardinals–had the teams sit out a FOUR HOUR rain delay. The Royals won the game in front of 200 people at 3:14 a.m.That same umpiring crew is in Chicago for the Cubs day game!

  129. MrsB loves the Nats - May 31, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    In other news, I hope we see a line up like:SpanLomboHarpZimmLaRocheDesiZookBernadinaSSand if Harp cant go…SpanBernadinaHarpZimmLaRocheDesiZookKobernusSS

  130. MrsB loves the Nats - May 31, 2013 at 6:28 PM

    and if Harp cant go…SpanBernadinaZimmLaRocheDesiZookKobernusSSSorry, meant to take Harp out the 2nd time…

  131. Joe Seamhead - May 31, 2013 at 6:44 PM

    NatsJack said:Granted, he's been trained as a middle infielder but their is a reason both the Tigers and Nats have stuck him in left field.——————————————————From the Majors all the way down to Babe Ruth league that is darn near the stupidest thing heard from baseball managers and coaches. "Stick him in the outfield" is just something that has always made my skin crawl. It is also a mentality that has made losers out of a lot of managers. Speaking of the home run ball that Moore didn't leap for, I doubt seriously that Tyler Moore could have made that catch. Could somebody else have caught it? Maybe so, but Tyler Moore couldn't catch that ball.Obviously.

  132. David Proctor - May 31, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    The 2012 Tigers were a sub-.500 team from May 17-July 5. That's almost two months they spent under .500. They played 46 games in a row under .500 Could you imagine how frustrated they and their fans are? How badly they were underperforming? They made the World Series. We can too.

  133. mick - May 31, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    JD, Thank you, great feedbackalexva said…Mick, when was the last time you saw any baseball player get in a teammates face? it's not that type of game. I meant privately, away from the field and press. of course it is not done publicly in baseball

  134. mick - May 31, 2013 at 7:18 PM

    just listen to a very good analysis from a guy name who blogs for SI on 106.7… Boswell mention him as well. He is confident that Nats could get it together, he really is critical of the impulsiveness of Rizzo and Davey rushing injured players back before they are healed (case and point Werth doing a rehab when h less than 60%). This is disturbing, considering how mature and rational he was with the Stras shut down. The SI guy attributes this to it being Davey's last year so that is why Rizzo made such, as he coine dit an "assinine move

  135. mick - May 31, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    in fact, rushing Werth back counters the whole notion that it is still early! If its early why not let him heal in May? maybe if it was late August or early Sept he comes back if your contending, not in May, when you state its still early. Rizzo is losing me fast

  136. Less Platu - May 31, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    Changes? I'll believe it when I see it. If and when Davey does make changes, my response will then be, 'bout time; what took you so long?"

  137. Less Platu - May 31, 2013 at 8:00 PM

    Chad Tracy: good team guy. As good as Davey and Rizzo think? uh no. Chad Tracy is .. well .. Chad Tracy – a lifetime journeyman – ,260 kinda guy who can kinda fill in at several positions. [insert Yawn here]. Chad got a little hot last year (as did they all) and Davey and Rizzo fell in love with him — how absurd. What we see is what we got — Chad Tracy — in all his mediocrity.

  138. Less Platu - May 31, 2013 at 8:04 PM

    This team will be so much better when Werth and Harper get back — it might be like night and day. I really am not worried about scoring runs. But what is worrisome is the lack of lefthanded relief, our poor defense, and lack of team speed — and lack of imagination is managing the game. Might be too much to overcome until the above get fixed — and fast. In order for the Nats to win 90 this year, they have to play .560 baseball the rest of the way — each loss looms larger for the Nats playoff chances.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
WASHINGTON 78 58 -- 19
ATLANTA 72 66 7.0
MIAMI 67 69 11.0
NEW YORK 64 74 15.0
PHILADELPHIA 63 74 15.5
Through Monday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Braves at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

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ON THE RADIO

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MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
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