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Wasted opportunity

Jun 2, 2013, 4:39 AM EDT

USA Today Sports Images
Danny Espinosa watches as the Braves celebrate their walk-off win.

ATLANTA — As the Braves mobbed B.J. Upton in the middle of the diamond at Turner Field late Saturday night, the beleaguered center fielder having just delivered the base hit that dealt the Nationals a maddening 2-1 loss in 10 innings, it was easy to point to the man on the mound as the one most responsible for the outcome.

And certainly Henry Rodriguez played a major role. He displayed zero command of the strike zone, throwing 10 of his 15 pitches for balls. He walked two of the first three batters he faced, the other giving himself up on a failed sacrifice bunt attempt. He paid zero attention a runner on first base, letting him steal second without so much as a glance. And he gave up the game-winning hit to Upton, sending a crowd of 46,910 into pandemonium.

But it’s also accurate to point out that Rodriguez’s services never would have been needed in this game had the Nationals merely managed to bring home a runner from third with nobody out in the top of the ninth, a golden opportunity against the formidable Craig Kimbrel completely squandered by three members of their lineup.

“We had him in a jam,” manager Davey Johnson said. “All we had to do was put the ball in play, a little sac fly. It’s frustrating.”
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  1. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 2, 2013 at 4:50 AM

    There where the lack of real hitting coach shoeed.Both Desi and shark said they were not going to change the approach. With 2 strikes you protect yhe plate, you don't yake the pitch hoping it is a ball.As for Roger dont just chop a ball . You needed to sky it.Here lirs you needed to change approach and neitger did.Poorcoaching probably got tgem thinking that way.I called for suicide squeeze asan easy run scored, but Davey also refuses to change.Systemproblem.

  2. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 2, 2013 at 4:58 AM

    The called third strike was perfect for a fly to right. But he didnt bother to change approach.

  3. EmDash - Jun 2, 2013 at 5:23 AM

    The infield was drawn in pretty well, and Zimm is not fast. Unless the bunt was perfect, they would've had a good shot getting him at home. And Bernie is not as good a hunter as you'd hope, with his last attempt ending up as a foul popup.The play might've worked, but the odds of success probably weren't as high as we'd like to think.

  4. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 2, 2013 at 5:41 AM

    It would have to be a suicide squeeze a safety sqyeeze would not work.Bernie bunted a few up, but not many.Against Kimbrell i was best shot.

  5. Drew - Jun 2, 2013 at 5:47 AM

    You have Erik Davis here. He gives you a fighting chance to win. What are you waiting for?He's not here for his freaking debutante ball.Lets's search for a Henry metaphor: If your black sheep uncle keeps doing a technicolor yawn at the Thanksgiving table, take the hint. Stop inviting him.When the Nats finally, mercifully, blessedly abandon their Steve Dalkowski dreams and cut loose Henry Rodriguez, the only rational question will be what on God's green earth took so long?

  6. EmDash - Jun 2, 2013 at 5:57 AM

    I've kind of felt that Henry wouldn't be such a big problem if he could just be mop-up guy; the problem is carrying him *and* Duke. It creates problems for bullpen roles if you have to play around two guys you can't depend on.

  7. EmDash - Jun 2, 2013 at 5:58 AM

    …could I have used the word 'problem' more times in one comment? It would've been difficult. *g*

  8. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 2, 2013 at 6:11 AM

    Suicide squeeze do that Henry is not a factor, though still dead weight.

  9. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 2, 2013 at 6:12 AM

    We have a lot anchors weighing us down

  10. Scott Margenau - Jun 2, 2013 at 6:27 AM

    U could have used it more. It's needed

  11. Steve J, Alexandria - Jun 2, 2013 at 7:12 AM

    Drew at 1:47 Well said. That about sums it up.

  12. Laddie Blah Blah - Jun 2, 2013 at 8:19 AM

    "We had him in a jam," manager Davey Johnson said. "All we had to do was put the ball in play, a little sac fly. It's frustrating."All you had to do was bunt. Desi is one of your best bunters. The Braves are playing their infield back. He doesn't have to bunt for a hit, just push it past the pitcher toward 2nd base and you win the game. Hoping for a sac fly from a guy who was not only 0 for 8 against Kimbrel, but who struck out 6 of those 8? Make that, now, 0 for 9 with 7 Ks. What did you expect?What happened to "World Series or bust?" You play the game to win, as long as you stay within the rules, play hard, and play clean. You do not manage the game like you are an extra in "The Natural." That was fantasy, a utopian version of reality. Failing to bring in even 1 run in that situation not only deflated your team, it pumped up the Braves. That is the reality.This one is on Davey, in my book. Zim's lucky hit and ALR's clutch double gave Davey the game, for the taking, but he wouldn't settle for the pedestrian win. It had to have a Hollywood ending. You know, the "3-run homer" mentality he shares with Earl Weaver.Davey has a romantic notion of how the game should be played, win or lose. He is more in love with that romantic version of baseball utopia than he is with the reality on the field. You don't need a 3-run homer in that situation, or even a sac fly. You just need to put the ball in play, on the ground, the easiest and surest way you can. Grow up. Win the darn game, and then you can go home, watch "The Natural," or read some book about Earl Weaver, and escape reality the way the rest of us do it. Leave that stuff at home. When you come to the real game, play it to win.

  13. Rabbit34 - Jun 2, 2013 at 9:52 AM

    Not good. Not good at all. We need bats. These guys cannot hack it. Zim and Adam gave it a shot though, but were let down by the rest of the boring lineup. Ugh.

  14. Curly W - Jun 2, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    Infield in with Zimmerman on third and he goes on contact? We won't Squeeze because infield in? Another very bad base running performance by a seriously flawed fundamentally bad team!

  15. Curly W - Jun 2, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    Infield in with Zimmerman on third and he goes on contact? We won't Squeeze because infield in? Another very bad base running performance by a seriously flawed fundamentally bad team!

  16. natsfan1a - Jun 2, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    Bummer to lose it the way they did. My cat was PO'd because…no victory cat food. Actually, he just yawned and went to bed, like me. One thing's for sure, that Ryan Anderson sure plays a mean baseball. No pressure, Karns, but we could use a curly w today. kthxbai.

  17. natsfan1a - Jun 2, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    I could do without that picture, though. Yeah.

  18. jeeves - Jun 2, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    I've never, in sixty years of being a baseball fan, ineptness being so consistently rewarded. There are no changes, no matter how poorly players do. The platitudes are the same day in day out. For the first time, I am starting to think that the Nats will not make the playoffs. I must be one of the few who thinks Johnson is a poor on the field manager. His strength (sticking with players through thick and thin) is also his biggest weakness. I am, never have been, paticularily negative when it came to my baseball teams (expos and nats) but it is awfully hard to ignore the reality especially when a player like Espy suits up game after game.

  19. jeeves - Jun 2, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    Whoops, 'never seen'

  20. NatsLady - Jun 2, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    Take your mind off things. Fun stats for May. Among themNationals pitchers issued only 53 walks in May, the fewest in the majors; Astros pitchers walked 113, Red Sox 108, and Giants 107.Rangers outfielders slammed 17 homers in May, the most in the majors, while the Braves outfield hit only four.In May, Jordan Zimmermann faced 171 batters, Bartolo Colon faced 149 batters, Adam Wainwright faced 141, and Hiroki Kuroda faced 122 batters and they each only walked three.31 Stats for Mayhttp://www.baseballanalytics.org/baseball-analytics-blog/2013/6/1/31-stats-for-the-31-days-of-may.html

  21. NatsLady - Jun 2, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    Davey may not be the greatest in-game manager, but he doesn't make really stupid mistakes, he mostly makes "judgment" type mistakes that are easy to criticize after the fact. I'm not so sure a squeeze would have worked, it might have led to a double play, and certainly Atlanta was expecting it. The squeeze works when there is an element of surprise.Davey was in a tough situation with Stras only going 2 innings yesterday, and Mattheus, grrrrrr….

  22. sjm308 - Jun 2, 2013 at 11:10 AM

    I am pretty sure the infield was back with Desmond up so there was the shot at the squeeze. Especially, as earlier noted he was 0-8 with 6 Ks against Kimbrell. We still have 3 players on this team hitting under .200 and we start one almost constantly and the other is playing because of injury. It's almost like we have a lineup of 6 guys and then 3 outs. I was against making wholesale changes and probably it won't happen anyway but surely you could at least try Corey Brown and see what happens. The Espinosa thing is just ridiculous and I have no idea how they can rationalize what the obviously must be seeing as veteran baseball men. He is young, he has options, he is hurt and he is one of the two worst hitting players in Major League Baseball. How do you justify running him out there every day? Are you helping him? Are you helping the club? I just don't think you are. Rendon can't get here quick enough and Lombo and Kobernus can fill in until he does.Go Nats!! Win the Series!

  23. Joe Seamhead - Jun 2, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  24. Joe Seamhead - Jun 2, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    I wasn't able to post during, or after the game, but just skimmed through the post game thread and this one. Most of you blow me away. Man, I watched a great baseball game last night between two division rivals.though not happy with the final result, that was an overall well played, and at the risk of getting flamed, a well managed game. Zimm and ALR both in scoring position, Ian up? We were in position to take the lead with virtually any ball hit out of the infield, but Kimbrel, one of the game's best, won that dual, and again against Roger and Espy. That's when we lost the game. Instead of taking at least a one run lead and turning the game over to Soriano, we remained tied, with Henry as Davey's option. Davey didn't lose this game, though. The night before the guy maybe the fewest career at bats came through not once, but twice with a guy on third. Neither Desmond, Bernadina, or Espinosa was up to the task. Face it: Kimbrel did his job, they didn't. Still, it was a great game.

  25. Mr Baseball - Jun 2, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    Did anyone notice Espi was leaning against the dugout railing with his Dad (Davey) during the game. Now you can see they are inseparable and will always be his Dad's boy.

  26. Another_Sam - Jun 2, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    Finally I'm driven to comment on Davy. We all know his style. Before and after the game he's wonderfully creative. Great at putting a lineup together, at shifting the lineup as the season progressess. But during the game he often seems on autopilot. You know the story. Get six from the starter. Then one inning each from a predetermined series of relivers.As for masterminding the offense — he's from the Earl Weaver school of thought. Hitters are up there to hit. I too was frustrated. If they're not going up there to swing for a fly ball, then push a bunt to the glove side of the pitcher. Shake things up. Let a pitcher run for RZ. Get creative. Seems so easy from my armchair. I nearly turned it off when HR strode to the mound. But, there's another game today.

  27. Another_Sam - Jun 2, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    Seamhead — yes it was a great game right up until the 10th. Sigh.

  28. JayB - Jun 2, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    NJACK SAYS…….Both you and Davey need to check your ego at the door and do the things necessary to make this franchise perform up to it's maximum capability.Very Interesting Take….so you are seeing that that as a problem now………That is the first I have heard that……thanks for the deep insight….

  29. Joe Seamhead - Jun 2, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    BTW, if it was up to me, Danny Espinosa goes to the DL and Lombo starts at second, with Kobernus as the utility guy. If Rendon shows he can play 2nd over the next month, then bring him up. And even if Werth returns next week, I'd swap out Tyler Moore for Corey Brown.Until Harper is full strength, I sure like an OF of Brown/Bernadina, Span, and Werth better then one consisting of Moore, or Lombo.Now, let's win this series!GYFNG!!!

  30. dcdingo - Jun 2, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    Couldn't take watching the TV broadcast after the failure to bring Zim home. Desmond and Bernadina both got pitches to get it done, but no, so of course the game finds our physically and mentally messed up 2nd baseman… Danny K, with the obvious result. So I walked the dog with Charlie and Dave in my ear. They were very skeptical about Henry's appearance. I thought they were a bit harsh, given he's had some OK outings recently. But they were so right.

  31. Another_Sam - Jun 2, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    dcdingo — Henry in extra innings in a low scoring game? One can be excused for being harsh.

  32. SCNatsFan - Jun 2, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    I'd be surprised if Henry isn't DFA'd today

  33. Eugene in Oregon - Jun 2, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    With runners on 2nd and 3rd and no outs teams score 2.05 runs on average. They score at least one run 86.6% of the time.

  34. SCNatsFan - Jun 2, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    Well Eugene we are a special team

  35. Nats 128 - Jun 2, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    "sjm308 said… I am pretty sure the infield was back with Desmond up so there was the shot at the squeeze."Yes, any type of slow roller to the infield scores him.

  36. fast eddie - Jun 2, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    Overlooked in all the anti-Espi and HRod rants, is the continued team hitting slump. We've scored three ERs in the last three games and are next to last in NL hitting.We can't expect Werth and Harper to be our saviors. The only regular who's hot is Zimm, with ALR showing signs of life. I'm all for bringing up Rendon and Corey Brown, but everyone needs to step it up.

  37. Nats 128 - Jun 2, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    How tough is it to watch the Braves .150 hitter win the game when the Nats guys batting around .150 didnt do a thing in the same situation.

  38. Joe Seamhead - Jun 2, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    I will say something else that might get me flamed, but you guys have to relax. We got this. And I'm not kidding, nor am I taking drugs. We are beat up, but I'm telling you the Braves have been lucky on more then a few occasions. They are not very good. We get our guys back intact and we are very good. Simple as that. And for all of the gripes about Rizzo and Johnson? Are you kidding me? Even two years ago we would've been very happy with a .500 record and to even have anybody in the minors that we could discuss as even being possible to come up and help us.Rizzo has a ways to go to finishing what he has started, but he has done a hell of a job. We're lucky to have him. And as to Davey Johnson? I disagree with him every day, but he is still one of the best managers of our lifetimes, and he's got more knowledge of the game then almost anybody alive. He manages for the season, not just to win one game at any cost. His seemingly blind loyalty to Espinosa is driving us all nuts, but he has seen a potential all-star that he has shown that he believes can be nurse through his problems. The loyalty has reached a point where even Davey is near the end of his rope. I wager with you that Espy gets shut down before the all star break, for better or worse.

  39. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 2, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    fast eddie said… Overlooked in all the anti-Espi and HRod rantsI haven't ranted in the last 24 hours. I guess I can now. It goes to what I said the last off-seasons that neither of these players were part of the "best 25 go north". It also goes back to my constant back and forth on Henry and what happens to him once you add pressure he folds like a bad tent. How did you think it was going to end?We have had endless discussions here for the last 2 years with the same results. Me on the end of why are these 2 players on this team. The others, well Henry throws 100 and Danny has great defense and a cannon arm.Same old s***, different day.

  40. Theophilus T. S. - Jun 2, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    I'm glad someone mentioned Dalkowski as it was the first thing that entered my mind when the game went final. At least the Orioles never allowed him to ever pollute the major league roster (let alone for three years). This team isn't going to make the playoffs as currently constructed — and managed. What is the point in calling up Kobernus and Davis if they're not going to be used? Don't want Davis to debut in a pressure situation? When is this team going to have a no-pressure game? Maybe his mind is so numb that without intending it he throws nine strikes down the middle to hitters who've never seen him before. And Davis making his debut in a pressure situation is worse than Rodriguez being thrown in a situation where he can lose it all by himself? Gonzalez has a higher BA than all but one guy in the starting lineup? At the moment, Rodriguez, Duke and (so far) Davis, and Kobernus and Solano, are just wasting meal money. Not to mention Bernadina, Espinosa and Moore. That's 32 percent of the roster not making any contribution. Although Rendon's promotion is now inevitable, the earliest I see it coming is July 1, maybe even the All-Star break — too late to salvage anything out of this season. This is the year Rizzo's record as GM starts falling into negative territory.

  41. Candide - Jun 2, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    Both Desmond and Bernadina insisted they weren't going to change their regular hitting approach in that situation."No, against a guy like that, you've got to stick to your plan," Desmond said.I can't begin to tell you how much I hate that comment.Desi comes up with two men in scoring position, no outs. He can look for a pitch he can get under for a long fly that brings a run home, or a pitch he can shorten up on and plop into the outfield for the same result.But no, "you have to stick to your plan," because that works so well, right?And what's the plan? Swing from your heels like you always do, because you're the last out in the ninth inning and the team needs you to hit a six-run homer.And when you're down to your last strike, your plan evidently has nothing in it regarding protecting the plate by fouling off a few pitches that are right on the black.Gotta stick with the plan.The tactical result of an engagement forms the base for new strategic decisions because victory or defeat in a battle changes the situation to such a degree that no human acumen is able to see beyond the first battle. In this sense one should understand Napoleon's saying: 'I have never had a plan of operations.' Therefore no plan of operations extends with any certainty beyond the first contact with the main hostile force. I suppose I shouldn't expect Desi to have ever heard of Helmuth von Moltke. But jumping Jesus Christ on a pogo stick, are you a freakin' robot out there, unable to make any adjustment at all to the changing situation?Okay, I have to go kick the cat.

  42. NCNatsie - Jun 2, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    I am unable to watch Fox games here in Raleigh. Not on TV (they ran Yankees-Red Sox), not on MLB.com, because Raleigh is technically in the Nats market, so it's blacked out. Rotten situation. P****s me off no end.So last night when it gets to the 7th, I'm following on the play-by-play animated coverage on my compute. You probably know how it works, with the pic of the batter in his correct box, left or right, and a segmented strike zone in the middle, which records pitch location pitch by pitch. It also shows info on each pitch, speed, what kind of pitch and a bunch of other things.Through the 7th, 8th and 9th innings, if the location box clearly shows a strike, it was called a strike. Clearly a ball, it was called a ball. Borderline, sometimes one or the other.BUT, when Henry takes the mound in the 10th, four separate pitches which were clearly shown as strikes were called balls, and all borderline pitches were called balls. So did any of you who actually were able to watch the came feel Henry was being squeezed?

  43. mick - Jun 2, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    Manassas Nats' Fan said…We have a lot anchors weighing us downwell said and the names of those 2 anchors are called Arrogance and Ego aka Davey and Rizzo

  44. Section 222 - Jun 2, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    I've generally stayed away from Henry bashing. He's too easy a target and I understand why they keep hoping he'll figure it out. And I've kept hoping too, though as far as I know I've never expressed any confidence that he would. Just hope. But last night's game and today's post mortem have pushed me over the edge. Imagine if a pitcher refused to or was incapable of covering first on a grounder to 1B. Or just could not or would not back up third or home on balls hit to the outfield. How long would he last in MLB? Holding runners on base, at least trying to, is part of a pitchers job. Some are better than others but no pitcher should have the attitude, in the late innings particularly, that he just can't be bothered to try. After the second walk, did Davey really think Henry had a prayer of getting out of the inning? I sure didn't. I know his bullpen was short, but you'll never find out how Davis would respond to the pressure or how long Duke could go if you let Henry lose the game. I would have pulled him for Davis to give us some hope of winning. Yes, that means that Duke might have had to come in to pitch till he drops one inning earlier, but so what? Better than losing the game in the 10th, right?Finally, and I know I'm bucking conventional wisdom on this, but I would have used Soriano for a inning before Henry. Wouldn't you rather see Henry with a lead and a chance for a save, than in a tie game walkoff situation? Which is more pressure? I can see using Stammen, Storen, and Clipp before Soriano, but not the other guys, and certainly not Henry. This saving your closer for a save in extra innings is dumb.

  45. fast eddie - Jun 2, 2013 at 1:50 PM

    The Braves have flaws–lots of Ks and 3 sub-.200 hitters in the lineup. Their excellent SP and bullpen is as good, if not better than ours. We're currently 6 games behind in the wild-card race. We need to win the NL East to make the play-offs.

  46. Joe Seamhead - Jun 2, 2013 at 1:50 PM

    Not really, NCNatsie. He was pretty bad. Hell even the ball that BJ Upton hit was about 6 inches off of the ground, and Henry was right afterwards when he said that Upton was lucky.

  47. Eugene in Oregon - Jun 2, 2013 at 1:50 PM

    Candide,Not sure Mr. Desmond needed to read von Moltke given that he could simply have asked his colleague Steve Lombardozzi how he had approached the situation the night before (twice). And succeeded.

  48. Eric - Jun 2, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    "So did any of you who actually were able to watch the came feel Henry was being squeezed?"Maybe one or two of the pitches to Gattis looked borderline, but I was never particularly surprised by how his pitches were called.

  49. David Proctor - Jun 2, 2013 at 2:06 PM

    The Braves were lucky to even score at all. Their first run came because Gio jumped up and tried to field a chopper and it bounced off his glove into center field. It would've been a double play ball.I always cringe when pitchers leap for a ball like that because it is almost always a bad result.

  50. David Proctor - Jun 2, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    Then again, we were pretty lucky too. We scored because of an error by Freeman and Lombo's heads up baserunning going first to third on a grounder to short.

  51. Joe Seamhead - Jun 2, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    Ghost, you're right. Neither really are playing well. 222, Henry's refusal to do a lot of baseball 101 things is infuriating. Like you, I have hoped for him to reach something close to his so called potential, but this one, meaning Henry still being here, is on Mike Rizzo. As far as I'm concerned Henry should learn to pitch underhand and switch to men's fast pitch. This roster needs to be done with T.H.E.M. i.e. Tracy, Henry, Espy and Moore.

  52. Section 222 - Jun 2, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    Very well said Candide @9:41. What exactly was Desi's game plan against Kimbrell. He's done so well against him in the past….

  53. Candide - Jun 2, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    David Proctor said… Then again, we were pretty lucky too. We scored because of an error by Freeman and Lombo's heads up baserunning going first to third on a grounder to short.Nats have scored four runs in two days, and Lombo either drove in or scored three of them.

  54. SonnyG10 - Jun 2, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    My FIOS cable has been cut since before the Orioles series and I am using the "hot spot" on my Sprint cell phone to connect to this blog. It is not very fast and thus I have not commented very much. I just wanted to give some support to Joe Seamhead, who is trying to moderate the gloom and doom here.Just as I'm composing this post, the Verizon repairman came and now I have FIOS internet and TV again. Woopie!!Good posting Joe S. The rest of you, I feel your pain and have been doing my yelling at the radio. Hang in there. Hopefully we get some players back and maybe Rizzo will get us somebody from outside the organization soon.

  55. Eric - Jun 2, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    Re: Henry openly not trying to hold the runner, that's exactly the kind of thing that kills my good will towards a player. It's like Stras refusing to cover home during his Cubs meltdown. And, of course, Stras has a ton more good will built up, having estranged the ability to be utterly dominant and consistent.Espi is the opposite in this regard and that's why it's so hard for me to give up on him. He seems top give 110% at all times… which actually is probably half the problem at the plate.At this point though, I suspect Espi will go under the knife if/as soon as Rendon is ready at 2B… unless he really turns it on at the plate very, very soon.

  56. Eric - Jun 2, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    SonnyG, FWIW, I'm not feeling gloomy and doomy at all. Frustrated but hopeful.Agreed Joe's posts are a nice breath of fresh air, though. As usual.

  57. Eric - Jun 2, 2013 at 2:30 PM

    "having estranged the ability to be utterly dominant and consistent."Now there's a funny auto correct! "estranged" = established.

  58. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 2, 2013 at 2:33 PM

    One could tell how the messed up BP and injuries hurt the team in this game… Davey was forced to use HRod as Mattheus of course wasnt available, Duke he has to save for today in the event Karns can't go, Stemmen pitched yesterday, Storen earlier, Clip yesterday, E Davis – nah, that really wasnt the right time and Soriano becuz of score…Same thing with the line up, as DJ had already used Kobernus and Mr Pop up, Tracy for PHs…. He had to keep Espi in as who was on the bench but a bunch of other .150 players….This teams main issue is their roster. There is no panicking when you see you have 3/4 automatic outs in the line up and under 200 line players that you call down to the farm for some relief… I don't understand why Moore hasn't been sent down… Espi needs to be DL'd… We can and should be using Kobernus…I understand DJ's hand are tied but come on, in season adjustments have to be made…. We are going thru it right now… Come on Rizzo, DJ – do something….

  59. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 2, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    On the other hand, I feel aight knowing we lost (although) should have won against an Atl team with all their folks while we are playing with a 6/7 man line up…. Atlanta has major flaws and aren't better than us… We are very evenly matched… We have under 200 batters in our line up becuz of injuries… Whereas theirs are every day players…

  60. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 2, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    Eric – I feel ya on Espi… I'm not really apart of the whole Espi/Lombo conversation as idc who is playing, I just want them to contribute….However, my issue is that Espi is evidently hurt, and while commendable that he wants to play and give his all, DJ needs to be the adult and support him by taking him out of the line up, making him get the surgeries and coming back when he is ready… He is a great defensive man but we need offense from him and he can't do it right now….

  61. Joe Seamhead - Jun 2, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    Thanks Eric and Sonny. It's nice not being referred to as a petulant child. Look guys, I'm frustrated, too, but the anger and vile being spewed out is silly. It's going to be one heck of a dog fight between now and the end of the season. To say that the whole of the season is a failure at this point is just silly. As to wanting to fire Mike and Davey? It just comes across like the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland yelling "Off with their heads,, off with their heads!" The roster needs to shed a little bit of dead weight and get their other guys healthy. Relax.

  62. NatsLady - Jun 2, 2013 at 2:48 PM

    I don't agree that Henry "isn't trying" or "isn't co-operating" because he doesn't side-step or use other means to prevent stolen bases. Henry is working as hard as he can not to throw wild pitches, hit batters, and maybe not walk guys. Many times I've seen him put a runner on and the guy steals 2B and then Henry gets out of it. He may not be a success, and maybe he should/would be DFA, but nothing in his comments or body-language suggests to me that he is doing anything other than trying his best for the team. I don't see "Stras" in him, in fact he seems humble and willing to "take one for the team."

  63. SonnyG10 - Jun 2, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    Eric said…SonnyG, FWIW, I'm not feeling gloomy and doomy at all. Frustrated but hopeful.Agreed Joe's posts are a nice breath of fresh air, though. As usual.My bad, Eric. When I started the post, you, David Proctor and several others had not posted yet. The Verizon guy showed up and I went out to show him the problem and when he fixed it and left I came back and finished the post without refreshing the page.

  64. Secret wasian man - Jun 2, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    Theres no Dog fight seamhead. If Desi goes down swinging Im ok. At least hes fighting. He stood there a prayed for a ball. Why? because he knows he cant hit. everybody waiting for the other guy to do something. You Don't squeeze there. You hope one of your ALLSTARS can do his Damn job.

  65. Joe Seamhead - Jun 2, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    Also, to the poster earlier that said that Jayson Werth wasn't looking too good? 8-14, .571 BA after almost a month off looks like he must be doing pretty good. What are you basing your statement on?

  66. Doc - Jun 2, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    A couple of more post like that Seams, and we'll have to rename you The Voice of Reason.Thanks for putting things in perspective.Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Erik Davis seems like a Cip clone. Maybe a bit more smoke on his FB. Looking forward to his first appearance–which could be in to-day's game.

  67. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 2, 2013 at 3:03 PM

    And in other news, we finished April 13-14, May 15-13…. Lets hope to finish June with a winning, record, I wouldn't mind something to the effect of 17-10 or better and get this ball rolling so by August/September, we can take this well oiled machine right into October….

  68. Pete - Jun 2, 2013 at 3:03 PM

    I just can't believe Davey wouldn't bunt to get 1 run in this game. I've always trusted his calls until that but with the infield playing back against desi, what's the difference between a sac bunt or fly out? I'm dumbfounded still.

  69. Joe Seamhead - Jun 2, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    SWM, I agree that Desmond should have been able to put the ball in play. He got beat by one of the best relievers in the game. The called third strike may have been a ball, but you can't let the ump call you out on that pitch. Swing the damn bat. That's so easy to say sitting on my sofa with a tasty beverage in my hand.Secret Wasian Man, if you really believe that we won't be in a dogfight and that the Nats season is over, why do you continue watching? And how about just one of us giving Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche credit for doing their jobs? Those two put us in position to win against the mighty Kimbrel. Or how about the throw Zimm made earlier? He seems to be pretty close to being back. How many of you have kicked him and Adam since the beginning of the year? I see this team as still being just a couple French fries short of being a happy meal. Now, if we could only get a well deserved break today! GYFNG!!!

  70. Eric - Jun 2, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    "I don't agree that Henry 'isn't trying' or 'isn't co-operating' because he doesn't side-step or use other means to prevent stolen bases. Henry is working as hard as he can not to throw wild pitches, hit batters, and maybe not walk guys. Many times I've seen him put a runner on and the guy steals 2B and then Henry gets out of it. He may not be a success, and maybe he should/would be DFA, but nothing in his comments or body-language suggests to me that he is doing anything other than trying his best for the team. I don't see 'Stras' in him, in fact he seems humble and willing to 'take one for the team.'"To be clear, I don't think Henry is "acting out" in the same way that Stras appeared to in that Cubs meltdown, and I agree he's clearly trying his best not to walk or hit batters. I just don't understand straight up refusing to attempt fundamentals like holding a runner in such a tight game. It's not a matter of failing to try certain runner-holding techniques, it's seeming to ignore the runner outright.Maybe he's just so overwhelmed trying to maintain pitch control that holding runners is too much of a distraction. But, if that's the case…Anyway, I don't want to dump on the guy, I mostly was just trying to illustrate what pushes players over the line for me. Shirking duty (or appearing to do so) will do it much more quickly than striving and failing. And, pitchers have important duties that extend beyond throwing strikes.

  71. Eric - Jun 2, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    "what's the difference between a sac bunt or fly out? I'm dumbfounded still."Fly out puts the ball much further from home plate, for one. But, it's the sac squeeze in particular that he's philosophically opposed to, not the sac bunt in particular (at least, that's my understanding).

  72. Eric - Jun 2, 2013 at 3:14 PM

    "Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche credit for doing their jobs? Those two put us in position to win against the mighty Kimbrel. Or how about the throw Zimm made earlier? He seems to be pretty close to being back."CHEERS!

  73. JayB - Jun 2, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  74. JayB - Jun 2, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    Seam….." The roster needs to shed a little bit of dead weight…………That is just as silly to the opposite extreme as Alice and off with their heads.What is needed is Rizzo and Davey to do their job. They must face facts, "their guys" (lots of them) are killing this team. Ego and Arrogance that even NJack finally is ready to see is the biggest problem here.

  75. Joe Seamhead - Jun 2, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  76. Eric - Jun 2, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    With all due respect, how is it not egotistical and arrogant to think one knows better than an already-successful GM and manager?Unless, of course, you're a successful GM or manager yourself…

  77. Eric - Jun 2, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    From the twitter feed:"Harper admits he probably should have gone on DL as far back as day after he crashed into wall in Atlanta, a month ago.""Bryce Harper says no improvement so far with his knee, hoping to resume baseball activities by end of week and return 6/11."And, tonight's line up:Span 8, Lombardozzi 7, Zimmerman 5, LaRoche 3, Desmond 6, Moore 9, Espinosa 4, Solano 2, Karns 1.

  78. Joe Seamhead - Jun 2, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    NatsLady, regarding Henry, I agree that he is trying. Trying hard, even. I was one of the last to throw in the towel on him, and it happened when I was sitting right behind home plate in spring training. I'm to the point where I feel that even if Henry threw good for a few games that it's only a matter of time before he'll implode in a key situation. He needs to trust his defense. 101 m.p.h. Isn't squat if it isn't a strike. This a guy that can really throw, but has never learned how to pitch. It's getting pretty late for him to learn. It's too bad that he doesn't have any options left.

  79. nats guy - Jun 2, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    2B is a fairly difficult position to learn if you have never been a middle infielder. Rendon won't have it down by the all star break. He is still very new at the professional level. Don't look at that as the "fix". The other thing you voices of reason keep missing is that they have been playing at under .500 for most of the season. If they hadn't played Miami a lot early they wouldn't be at .500 right now. The injury to Stras while not that bad is slow to heal. The injuries have created holes as big as the Grand Canyon and nobody has been able to step up this year like last year. Good teams have injuries and survive them, bad teams don't. I am still a die hard fan, but I call a spade a spade. I also don't lose my sleep over a game.

  80. Joe Seamhead - Jun 2, 2013 at 3:32 PM

    JayB, you are always such a breath of fresh air.

  81. JayB - Jun 2, 2013 at 3:48 PM

    as is your rose color view points….Bottom line here is that the team is way, way underachieving and changes need to be made…and not just a tweak here and there.Eck needs to be reassigned to Minor League roving instructor. HROD, Moore, Danny, Duke, Tracy, Roger at a minimum all need to be DFA.Rizzo needs to have a town hall type clearing of the air with the fans and he needs to go into that club house and throw some chairs and crack some heads.

  82. Eric - Jun 2, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    At the worst point last season, injuries-wise, how many integral cogs in our wheel were down simultaneously?So far we've been directly and simultaneously affected by injuries to:StrasDetMattheusHarperWerthEspiRamosI understand that good teams make do even with injuries, but that is a LONG list of critical elements that we have had to do without.

  83. Eric - Jun 2, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    "Rizzo needs to have a town hall type clearing of the air with the fans"My initial reaction to this would be hysterical laughter, but first I have to confirm:Do GM's ever actually debrief the fans?

  84. JayB - Jun 2, 2013 at 3:57 PM

    good ones do…..I have been in 4 settings like this with Rizzo. Sometimes he makes sense and other times he says stupid stuff like "I would much rather have Maya and Martin than Chapmam at any price.

  85. Eric - Jun 2, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    I find it hard to believe a GM would ever give a forthright, public debrief to the fans…but as always, what do I know?

  86. Rabbit34 - Jun 2, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    All the moves we saying we would like to see made, are usually talked about being done with a non-contender. Oh, that's right, that's what we are.

  87. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 2, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    To bad Desi and Roger were not in church with me today. The sermon, when you need to change approach.Candide hit the nail on the head that I trying to hiy.Ian and Roger were playing for bi innings. In the 9th against Kombrall, you play for the little inning. and if you get a big inning so be it.Ian's called 3rd strike, was an elevated fast ball, over the outside or just outside makes almost no difference. Just swing and drive a fly to right Zim scores, LaRoche to third. Then Roger just bunt toward second on a suicide squeeze and we score a second run.Change your approach. Really to not to made no sense.

  88. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 2, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    Ian and roger approached it like tge second inning not ,9th

  89. Theophilus T. S. - Jun 2, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    I can't imagine what was going through Bernadina's head — and I mean that in a charitable way. But how many of you have seen that Desmond has failed to learn one important thing that he should have learned from watching Werth and even Harper — how to foul off a pitch that you don't like but don't dare to let go by. Really, really lacks maturity at the plate.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 91 64 --
ATLANTA 76 80 15.5
NEW YORK 76 80 15.5
MIAMI 74 81 17.0
PHILADELPHIA 71 85 20.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Monday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON (4) 91 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 89 67 2.5
y-ST. LOUIS 88 69 4.0
-------------------------
PITTSBURGH 85 71 6.5 --
SAN FRANCISCO 84 71 7.0 0.5
MILWAUKEE 80 76 11.5 5.0
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Monday's early games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Marlins at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
(End of regular season)
MON: OFF
Full season schedule

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

ON THE RADIO

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TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
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