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Game 55: Nats at Braves

May 31, 2013, 8:01 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Stephen Strasburg faces the Braves tonight at Turner Field.

ATLANTA โ€” Hello from Turner Field, where tonight the Nationals and Braves open what has to be considered a very important series for the visiting club. Yes, the calendar is only about to shift to June, and far greater deficits have been overcome, but psychologically you have to think the Nats need to come out of the weekend at least winning two of three from the team that at the moment leads them by 5 1/2 games in the NL East.

The bad news: Neither Bryce Harper nor Jayson Werth is in the lineup, despite varying degrees of hope for each outfielder. And the only change made my Davey Johnson from last night is a swap of left fielders, with Steve Lombardozzi in and Tyler Moore back on the bench.

The good news: Stephen Strasburg is on the mound, and he's been on a roll, allowing only one earned run in each of his last three starts, averaging 7 2/3 innings and only 4.33 hits per outing.

Plenty of updates to come, so please check back…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at BALTIMORE ORIOLES
Where: Turner Field
Gametime: 7:35 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500), XM 186
Weather: Partly cloudy, 84 degrees, Wind 8 mph out to LF

NATIONALS (27-27)
CF Denard Span
LF Steve Lombardozzi
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche

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338 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Candide - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:04 AM

    If you're a second baseman named Daniel, you suck.

  2. David Proctor - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:04 AM

    Craig Stammen has been fantastic.

  3. Secret wasian man - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:06 AM

    Be great to hang on and get this. We sure could use it. Not even angry anymore. Almost feel sorry for the guys.

  4. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:06 AM

    Stammer is having a very good night… Low pitch count too….

  5. EmDash - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:07 AM

    How long can Stammen go, do we think? 3-4 has gotta be the limit, right?

  6. DWS - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:07 AM

    Ray Knight is an idiot. Calling ALR catching up to a fastball "for an ol' fella) did it for me.Sideline, baseline whateverline reporters aren't reporting anything of substance. And Phil….who's Dibble working for? Follow them.

  7. paul brandt - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:08 AM

    Candide, thanks, I'm not familiar with the whole reporter rules but do have a daughter interested in getting into the business and can't believe they cannot be subjective but I get it…thanks…how dare they point out the deficiencies in their empire…silly! i guess that explains Dibble.

  8. Candide - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:08 AM

    Freakin' DSpan!Now don't get picked off!

  9. Secret wasian man - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:09 AM

    Deja vu. LOMBO and SPAN

  10. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:11 AM

    Lombo is making his case to play more…

  11. Secret wasian man - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:11 AM

    Dwts I totally disagree. At least Ray calls guys out when they screw up. FP makes excuses for everybody.

  12. Candide - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:12 AM

    …and they're doing the wave…

  13. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:13 AM

    Charley and Dave with the TV mute is the only way to go.And I like Ray on the post game, just not for any play by play.

  14. Secret wasian man - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:13 AM

    As bad as Danny is Lombo could sit on the bench blowing bubbles and make a good case to play more.

  15. paul brandt - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:14 AM

    ALR with wheels…love it

  16. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:15 AM

    denard Span the third Nat wutg two triples. Bernie Castro and ChristianGuzman the others.

  17. David Proctor - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:15 AM

    Dammit Bernie.

  18. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:16 AM

    Got dammit Roger…

  19. EmDash - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:17 AM

    Oh, Shark.LaRoche has made a really hilarious number of undermining plays lately. And it keeps somehow working!

  20. Secret wasian man - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:17 AM

    Ok Roger pretty pathetic . That could cost. With his speed just put it in play.

  21. David Proctor - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:18 AM

    Source: Stephen Strasburg left tonight's game with a muscular issue in his back, not an arm injuryThat's Kilgore.

  22. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:19 AM

    Mets sweep the Yankees and then go to Miami where they are down 4-0 after 7 to the Fish.God I love baseball.

  23. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:20 AM

    When a batter lets a fastball with no movement go the coach needs to ask, WTF were you thinking? If he doesnt he has (The coach needs to go,) as he is not coaching.Why Bernie just let a straight fast ball go with 2 runners in scoring position. Sure not a team play in my opinion.Stammen looking good though.

  24. MicheleS - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:20 AM

    Dave P.. I hope it's just the back… Lord this team can't take much more… Come on Boys.. June is the time to make some hay!!!BTW.. Stammen.. unsung hero

  25. Less Platu - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:21 AM

    How long does the Shark take up a roster spot — Corey Brown anyone? The more Bernadina plays, the more evident it is that he will never be a game changing hitter. He struggles — mightily — just to hit a dead red, center cut fast ball. I think we've given him enough chances — let him go and let the young bucks play

  26. David Proctor - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:21 AM

    All the beat reporters are saying it's a lower back issue now. Muscular.

  27. NatsLady - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:23 AM

    Need to clone Craig Stammen.

  28. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:23 AM

    49 pitches 4 innings. Great job Stammen.

  29. Less Platu - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:24 AM

    Davey will probably pull Stammen here real soon, give the ball to Clip and then Henry and kindly give away another game

  30. Candide - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:24 AM

    David Proctor said… All the beat reporters are saying it's a lower back issue now. Muscular.Okay, Julie should be coming out shortly.

  31. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:24 AM

    And just how many guys are "game changing hitters"? What 25 – 30?It's more like 10.

  32. David Proctor - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:26 AM

    Stammen can't stay in forever. 4 innings is a ton to ask for a long man. Clip and *gulp* Storen is the right move here.

  33. phil dunton - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:27 AM

    Silver Fox is a member of the Rick Eckstein fan club.

  34. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:28 AM

    Stammen is done. 49 pitches is enough. Let the guys who are counted on in late innings do their thing. And Espinosa strikes out. What a shock.

  35. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:29 AM

    If Harper cant pitch hit why is he not on DL. This is poor management.

  36. Secret wasian man - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:30 AM

    Leave STAMMen in. Did Carp just call Chad RBI man??? Hahahahahaha. Now that's funny stuff.

  37. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:31 AM

    Actually Silver Fox would be a better hitting coach then Ek, and Eck could be no worse in the boooth

  38. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:31 AM

    Good move by Davey to pull Stayman. He was over throwing last inning. Great job.

  39. Secret wasian man - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:32 AM

    Nats jack. You mean like Clipp and Storen?? OK THEN. MALOX anyone??

  40. phil dunton - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:33 AM

    If it is just a tweak in his back, why is there so much official silence?

  41. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:33 AM

    Ray and carp both silly. One thinks Eck can coach, other thinks Tracy is an RBI machine.

  42. Eric - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:34 AM

    The last line in the head and shoulders commercial is "is this how you always record sound?"

  43. Secret wasian man - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:35 AM

    Used to be an Os fan. They would play somebody at short for hitting until 8 th inning. Then if they had a lead they would put in Mark Ballenger for defense. Maybe would could do that with Lombo and Espi

  44. Eric - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:37 AM

    phil, do they ever release injury details during the game in which the injury occurs?

  45. Candide - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:37 AM

    Eric said… The last line in the head and shoulders commercial is "is this how you always record sound?"I've been trying to figure out what he says since the first time I saw that commercial.

  46. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:38 AM

    OK. With Clip, he HAS to throw strikes NO WALKS!

  47. NatsLady - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:38 AM

    I see Colbert gave up 12 hits, 7 runs (6 earned) in 5 innings… Against Milwaukee, a team that–talk about underperforming…

  48. Candide - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:39 AM

    ROFLMAO!!! Julie is the ONLY person who doesn't know what's going on with Strasburg!She should be testifying before a congressional committee!

  49. Secret wasian man - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:40 AM

    Less platu from 9 24. Hahahaha. I'm with ya.

  50. EmDash - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:40 AM

    Don't imagine there will be an official announcement until after the game.If they pulled him after 2 innings because of an abundance of caution, I tell ya, his post-game press conference is going to be quite something. He must be thrilled.Oh, Adam.

  51. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:41 AM

    ALR, you're smarter than that.

  52. Candide - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:41 AM

    Urgh… this is where it all starts falling apart…

  53. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:42 AM

    How is that a hit? Official scorer must be drunk

  54. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:44 AM

    Hit?

  55. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:45 AM

    Need two more.Found out LaRoches mom official scorer only way that is. Hit.

  56. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:47 AM

    Clip use your brain.

  57. Secret wasian man - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:47 AM

    Team always finds a way. Hopefully tonight it's the right way. C'mon c'mon cmon

  58. Exposremains - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:50 AM

    Clippard's act is getting real old. Does it always have to be an adventure? Full counts, walks.

  59. Candide - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:51 AM

    Clip looking like Bad Henry.

  60. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:51 AM

    Clip is a mess….

  61. Exposremains - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:51 AM

    And the Braves are coming back

  62. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:51 AM

    Thanks ALR for your total brain fart letting Pena on.Clip quit screwing around.How bad does he have to pitch before a reliever comes in.

  63. Exposremains - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:52 AM

    I think DJ might snap

  64. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:52 AM

    Typical Clip. WAY to many friggin pitches and most of them not strikes.

  65. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:53 AM

    Why does Davey always sends McCatty out way late. Should have been out before Freeman batted.

  66. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:53 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  67. EmDash - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:54 AM

    Bad Clip, great. His worst outing of the year was against Atlanta.Is someone else up? Someone should be up.

  68. Exposremains - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:55 AM

    Not only Braves are great at coming back late but it's a lot worst when you hand it to them.

  69. Exposremains - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:56 AM

    Just pathetic. Get him out of there. This is awful.

  70. ehay2k - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:56 AM

    Any pone else think Clip seems to have had control issues his last couple of outings?

  71. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:57 AM

    Clippard pitched great until Wednesday now he has pitched terrible 2 straight games.

  72. waddu eye no - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:57 AM

    oy

  73. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:58 AM

    So much for throwing strikes. Nothing ticks me off than relievers that don't throw strikes. Clip is at the top of the list tied with Henry.

  74. SonnyG10 - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:59 AM

    Eric said…The last line in the head and shoulders commercial is "is this how you always record sound?"May 31, 2013 9:34 PMEric, is that true? I've been trying to figure out what he said ever since that commercial came out. I even played it over and over on DVR and still couldn't figure it out. Thanks for sharing that!!!

  75. Candide - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:00 AM

    NatsJack, Henry's ERA right now is 3.57. He's been pretty effective lately. I was hoping Davey would bring him in after Stammen.

  76. ehay2k - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:00 AM

    That is living dangerously! Way to go Clip.

  77. waddu eye no - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:00 AM

    phew. didn't think i could hold my breath that long.

  78. David Proctor - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:01 AM

    How in the world did Clippard get out of that?

  79. Candide - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:02 AM

    Cunegonde's keeping score here at home. Screaming at the TV, at Clippard, at me. Just went upstairs, saying, "I have to go get a glass of water."Asked her to bring me some Maalox…

  80. Secret wasian man - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:02 AM

    And the darn Orioles are going to comeback again. Clipp,stinks

  81. UnkyD - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:02 AM

    Jeezus, Clip! Was all that necessary?

  82. Exposremains - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:02 AM

    Got out of it with only giving up one run. That's great but that was completely unnecessary.

  83. NatsLady - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:02 AM

    Sonny, yes, I listened real close a while back, and yeah, that's it. Whew, Clip gonna give me a heart attack! Only 1 run. Come ON guys, get it back!

  84. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:04 AM

    Pathetic effort.Of course should been 0 runs despites patgetic effort had ALR ust thrown the ball to Clip.Why flip the ball with mitt when the guys was still 3 steps away.

  85. Secret wasian man - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:04 AM

    No way we can blow this. This team has just had enough. Bullpen has to hold. Don't expect anymore run support

  86. NatsLady - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:04 AM

    Clip coulda saved a lotta pitches just give the first batter a solo home run…

  87. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:04 AM

    Candide….check Henry's WHIP.

  88. NatsLady - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:05 AM

    Mark, try that again. It was not a tie game… Seemed like it, but it wasn't.

  89. Secret wasian man - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:06 AM

    Zimm dbl play. Oh they do find ways don't they?

  90. NatsLady - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:07 AM

    And no way was that an "infield single." … Strange for LaRoche to get rattled, and I think Clip maybe did too.

  91. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:07 AM

    RZim suddenly going back to booooo. 0 for his last 8.Why cant hitters get hot and just stay that way for a while before they get cold?

  92. David Proctor - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:09 AM

    Time to buckle up for a Drew Storen appearance now…

  93. Candide - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:09 AM

    NJ – he's been a lot more effective recently. His ERA was well over 5 not long ago. His WHIP has to be coming down. Lately I see Henry and I get flashbacks to Chad Cordero. Scare you to death but get you out of the inning.

  94. NatsLady - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:10 AM

    Well, it isn't just us. Detroit's turn.Chris Dickerson slams a walk off 3-run HR to right field…Orioles comeback to beat Detroit 7-5

  95. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:11 AM

    @Nats lady if Clip got rattled then didnt learn from Stras that getting rattled doesn't help. We will do the rattling.That innin died even faster than it started.Storen be serious this game and just get a 1-2-3inning.Batting average against is .330

  96. Secret wasian man - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:14 AM

    Nats lady most HRs in Bmore should have an asterisks. That's a softball field.

  97. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:15 AM

    Henry Rodriguez's WHIP is 1.53, the highest of his career.

  98. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:15 AM

    Desi my boy.

  99. Candide - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:15 AM

    Remember just a couple of years ago, you held your breath every time a ball was hit to Desi?Seems like forever, doesn't it?

  100. NatsLady - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:16 AM

    In other news… the Mets are still bad, and Ankiel is hitting .209.

  101. ehay2k - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:16 AM

    Henry will be on the DL soon. I foresee a WHip injury!

  102. Candide - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:17 AM

    Thank you, Drew!

  103. Exposremains - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:18 AM

    and Storen walks some no-name guy in front of Upton. Why don't they just forfeit if they want the Braves to win so bad.

  104. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:18 AM

    Yep. Walk a guy to get to Justin Upton.But whew! Get the out anyway.

  105. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:18 AM

    Tucked in my shirt

  106. NatsLady - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:19 AM

    I don't know exactly if Clip got "rattled," but that so-called infield single did seem to upset his thought process, he shook off Suzuki a bunch and then couldn't seem to get a good grip on the ball. and lost his release point.

  107. SonnyG10 - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:19 AM

    NatsLady said…Sonny, yes, I listened real close a while back, and yeah, that's it…Thanks for the confirmation, NatsLady. You don't know what a relief that is for me to know. It was driving me nuts.:)

  108. Candide - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:21 AM

    That jerky arm motion by Guerrin isn't a balk?

  109. Secret wasian man - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:22 AM

    So i guess an insurance run would be a lot to ask. Be nice though

  110. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:22 AM

    Assume another infield hit.

  111. NatsLady - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:22 AM

    Shark with a hustle bunt hit. Boy that was an exact tie.

  112. MicheleS - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:22 AM

    HA SHARK CHOMP!!!Seriously between the stras drama and major Tornado Drama, I am going to pass out from exhaustion

  113. David Proctor - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:25 AM

    Rendon is being promoted to Syracuse.

  114. MicheleS - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:25 AM

    Rendon to AAA per tweeter/beats

  115. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:25 AM

    Michele tornado?Espi could have us off his case for the night with RBI hit

  116. Secret wasian man - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:25 AM

    DANNY!!! Somebody please shred the pictures Danny has of Davey and the farm animals.

  117. Secret wasian man - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:27 AM

    Ray Night just killing the Nats hitters. I love it. Man we can't hit

  118. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:28 AM

    we don't spel so gud either

  119. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:28 AM

    But we're tucking it up here again, boss..

  120. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:30 AM

    Ray hit on the head the number one problem most hitters have especilly Espi. They dont know the strike zone. Close just flick bat for a foul. You dont just look at strike 3 clyeless what to do.He has no approach that makes sense to me.

  121. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:32 AM

    Never been a big fan of "see the ball, hit the ball" myself.

  122. NatsLady - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:33 AM

    Holy Jesus, what happened to Suzuki???????

  123. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:33 AM

    Suzuki…that looks scary.

  124. David Proctor - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:33 AM

    Oh my god. We can't afford to lose Suzuki too.

  125. ehay2k - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:33 AM

    Unbelievable! This ballpark is cursed!

  126. EmDash - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:36 AM

    Why is Suzuki staying in this game?

  127. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:36 AM

    Sofa….."See ball, hit ball" is exactly what all great hiters do..

  128. Candide - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:36 AM

    Untuck!

  129. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:36 AM

    Because he's one tough UNTUCKED SOB, EmDash.

  130. waddu eye no - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:36 AM

    one down.two to gowhat a wierd game

  131. NatsLady - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:37 AM

    Thank you, Senor Soriano! Untuck, boys.

  132. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:37 AM

    Untuck

  133. SonnyG10 - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:37 AM

    Yippie Yay!!!!! We win!!!

  134. MicheleS - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:37 AM

    WOOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOO!!! PPPHHHHHHHHHHEEEEEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWW!!. OMG.. what a heart attack

  135. ehay2k - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:37 AM

    Group untuck! (That actually sounds a bit dirty)

  136. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:38 AM

    Now that was FUN!

  137. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:43 AM

    If, by "see the ball, hit the ball," Jack, you mean go up with no other plan than that, then no, it is not what all great hitters do.

  138. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:47 AM

    Curly W… Ovation for Stammen…. And my man Span!Have a good night! See ya later!

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 88 64 --
ATLANTA 76 76 12.0
MIAMI 74 78 14.0
NEW YORK 73 80 15.5
PHILADELPHIA 70 82 18.0
Through Thursday's early games
x-Clinched division title

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets 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.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

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