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Instant analysis: Mets 10, Nats 1

Jun 6, 2013, 2:19 AM EDT

USA Today Sports Images
Dan Haren watches as Marlon Byrd rounds the bases after a homer.

Game in a nutshell: Momentum? What momentum? If anyone expected some carryover from last night's dramatic win, they were sorely disappointed. The Nationals put themselves in an early hole and never came close to climbing out of it. Dan Haren lasted only four innings and served up three more home runs. The Nats' lineup turned Dillon Gee and his 5.68 ERA into a Cy Young candidate. And the Mets cruised their way to a lopsided victory that leaves the Nationals in highly unfamiliar territory. They're back under .500, and thanks to the Phillies' win earlier in the day, they're now in third place in the NL East for the first time since the final day of the 2011 season.

Hitting lowlight: Not that a couple of changes were going to completely turn the Nationals' offensive fortunes around, but theRead more »

  1. Dan Strong - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:21 AM

    Tune in tomorrow to watch the nats go for the series loss.

  2. David Proctor - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:21 AM

    Nats 2013 Recap: WWWLWLWWWLLLWLWLWLLLLWWWLLLWWLWWWWWLLWLLWWLLLLWWLWLWLLWLLWL

  3. Bob Saget Nats Fan 101 - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:22 AM

    Tough loss. We will get them tomorrow if we have a game.

  4. SCNatsFan - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:23 AM

    I really thought this was our year. As a long suffering Expos fan this is tough to take.

  5. Dave - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:23 AM

    That was such a tough one to watch that I didn't watch much of it. The first two innings and then the 7th and 8th. Whew!

  6. David Proctor - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:23 AM

    We said we needed to win 5/7. We can still do that. Ugly L but every L counts the same. Just gotta win 4 of the next 5.

  7. Bob Saget Nats Fan 101 - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:24 AM

    question for everyone. I want to go to Fridays game with my family. We want to get tickets on stubhub.With the forecast for Friday being rain, what is the nationals current policy on rainout games? Any links would help.I ask because I could buy good tickets for cheap and exchange them for a later game if the nats do that.

  8. David Proctor - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:25 AM

    If it is rained out, you can swap out your ticket to any other non-prime game, subject to availability.

  9. baseballswami - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:25 AM

    At least we don't have to " load more" anymore. Disappointing game. Would not have mattered if Haren was better. One run does not get it done. But Eck bears absolutely zero responsibility. I find that odd. Everyone always says well it's the players who go up there. Then why does it matter who coaches at all if they have no effect? If coaches don't matter then a monkey could do it. Something is wrong when talented players are this bad offensively. Hits on the board- one run. It's a mystery.

  10. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:27 AM

    Most losses had the same common doniminator.Poor hiiting with men on.I know is only the coach, but he is the one responible for the thought process, and these hitter swing way too hard . What are opponents in generally they do not swing ad hard (well Braves swong to hard too).Relax and hit the ball hard, not swing hard.Firing Eck might not solve the problem, but I can't see how it could possibly hurt.To start winning all we need to do is score more runs.

  11. mick - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:29 AM

    Davey is starting to sound like Norv Turner

  12. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:29 AM

    Haren pitched so bad today that this is one not hitters fault. Though as a group were just useless.

  13. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:30 AM

    Norv Turner had les talent to work with.

  14. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:32 AM

    Harper needs to get healed and back in there. He is the key when yhe whole line up.Not being in there is just not going to be the way we win.

  15. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:33 AM

    Please, one of you guys who know the in's and out's of player movement, explain why Chad Tracy has not been released? Am I missing something? I have watched baseball for 40 years and he is the worst pinch hitter that I have ever seen. How can a pinch hitter have a lower average than the pitchers he pinch hits for.I mean I know we have to pay him his million for the year, but an replacement player from AAA would have to be better than this guy. Tyler Moore is similar. He was a low draft pick; he isn't particularly young; he contributes little in the field or on the bases and strikes out essentially every single time he comes to the plate. I have seen teams that rarely pinch hit, but Davey pinch hits all the time.How can a woefully hitting team carry guys like that?

  16. BigCat - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:34 AM

    I pooh poohed Haren over the winter when we gave him 13 mil. I said he was done. I was right.So now Det is down, Stra is down and Haren is done. Woe is me. And oh yeah…..HRod is gone. The boat is taking on water….lots of water

  17. baseballswami - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:34 AM

    Ok – so the hitting. Yes, it's the guys who do the actual batting. Do not tell me the coaching is meaningless. Any other organization the hitting coach is being questioned right now. Maybe the reporters need to ask him some questions. Why is he off the hook no matter how bad it gets? I do not understand.

  18. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:35 AM

    Your memory is failing you Matt Stairs was much worse a few years back.

  19. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:38 AM

    Just to throw this out:I recently read an article claiming that due to Moneyball, many players are taking too many good pitches, leading to the opposite effect intended, which is constantly finding themselves behind in the count. Yes, they may walk a fair amount, but their averages take a real hit by letting so many good pitches early in the count go. For whatever reason, this year is looking a bit like 1968. I have never seen such low averages, not just on the Nats, but also on the Braves and Phillies. You never used to see starters below say .230 and now you see teams with 3 or 4 guys in the line up hitting below the Mendoza line.

  20. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:40 AM

    I have to admit that I wasn't paying particularly great attention during the Matt Stairs regime, but it wasn't as though it mattered much then. This team was supposed to win 100 (120) games.

  21. Dave - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:41 AM

    Yep, Stairs was much worse than Tracy, if you can possibly imagine it. Tracy has actually hit the ball a few times. Stairs, hardly ever.

  22. BigCat - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:42 AM

    Mendoza line is .200. Don't forget the Eck line, thats .175

  23. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:43 AM

    swami I was thinking they ragging hard on Haren, and he mans up. But Eck is hiding. Or these guys who are not hitting RISP . They arent interviewing them.Reporters basically pitching has not been the problem.Question the problem.Get a real hitter to coach.

  24. BigCat - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:45 AM

    Haren gave up 28 bombs last year in 170 innings. He now has given up 15 in 67 innings. Manassas, what is the all time record for HR's allowed in one season. I know Denny McLain gave up a bundle in his only year here

  25. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:45 AM

    Remember Tracy was re-signed for 2 years.That is why he wont go.

  26. dwb115 - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:45 AM

    The team's not going to fix itself overnight, we just need to focus on winning each series right now (especially until Harper and Stras return). Gio can help us do that tomorrow.Krol and Abad looked good.

  27. BigCat - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:47 AM

    But Manassas, Eck is not swinging the bat for them. Eck is a nice guy, a family guy, he works hard. He always has that clipboard. Some say he takes it to bed with him

  28. David Proctor - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:47 AM

    "Remember Tracy was re-signed for 2 years."No he wasn't. He was resigned for this year only.

  29. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:48 AM

    I remember marveling over the fact that Mark Belanger could start for a team as great as the Orioles in the 70's but Belanger was a great fielder, and compared to some of our guys, his .228 lifetime batting average and .300 obp make him seem like Honus Wagner.

  30. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:48 AM

    Bert Blylevin most in one season 50. A Hall of Famer

  31. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:49 AM

    Interesting how with the O's this year, no lead is too much. They probably won't win but they are making the traitor to the NL Astro's sweat.

  32. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:50 AM

    I thought it was 2 years for Tracy, but maybe the amount was what he should get for 2 years.

  33. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:52 AM

    If it is only 1 year no reason to keep him if we have someone to bring up Corey Brown

  34. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:52 AM

    What are the economics of cutting Haren? I know they have to pay him. Otherwise, what are the options? Put him where Henry and Zach were as a mop up guy?

  35. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:53 AM

    The guys are to willing to tip the hat.Just go kick ass instesd of ssying you are going to work hard.

  36. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:54 AM

    Who would start instead? We are down 2 starters. He is going nowhere.Pitching is not the problem with this team.

  37. BigCat - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:55 AM

    50? wow Haren would have to stay in rotation the whole year to get that.We had 1 run and left 19 on base. Mets had 10 runs and left 19 on base.

  38. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:56 AM

    We left 10 not 19. Sure the mets 10 too

  39. David Proctor - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:56 AM

    What? Nobody left 19 on base. The Nats left 11 on base. Still way too many, but not 19.

  40. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:56 AM

    Since Tracy got the one big homer and I know Moore had one two, they have each essentially done nothing.Espinoso is gone and that is one huge hole filled with a guy who is getting on base at a .340 clip.Now they have to figure out something about the Shark, Tracy and Moore. I say they need the Shark's fielding and baserunning and I see more reason to believe that he will start hitting better. Chad Tracy is just hanging on to get paid, just like Lidge was. Moore is a little more difficult but I don't buy the excuse that he would hit better if he were starting. He just flails at the ball. He needs to get demoted and start all over. His average since last July is just pathetic.

  41. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:58 AM

    By he Warren Spahn most homets carrer

  42. BigCat - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:58 AM

    I missed game. How Rendon look at the plate and in the field?

  43. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:01 AM

    Can the Nats' hitting get bad enough that Eck will go, or do es management in love with him si much is their Chsrlie Lau.

  44. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:01 AM

    2 assists in first

  45. David Proctor - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:02 AM

    Rendon had 2 easy chances in the field. He was fine. He swung 3-0 to kill a rally in the first. Hit it hard, but right at someone. Had a hard hit double to center. Struck out. Overall, a solid day, I think.

  46. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:03 AM

    No dp opportunities.Was allowedto swing 3-0 flew to center.Doubled over CF in 8th

  47. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:03 AM

    It is exceedingly difficult for a team to get ten hits and yet only one run. The Mets had 15 hits and 10 runs. I am not sure what the average is but probably close to half or so, which means that we should have had 4 or 5 runs, which will win a lot of games.

  48. BigCat - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:04 AM

    What did Steinbrenner say about Winfield? That he could take batting practice in the hotel lobby and not break anything. Thats us

  49. David Proctor - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:04 AM

    "It is exceedingly difficult for a team to get ten hits and yet only one run. The Mets had 15 hits and 10 runs. I am not sure what the average is but probably close to half or so, which means that we should have had 4 or 5 runs, which will win a lot of games."That's actually a good thing, going forward.

  50. SCNatsFan - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:05 AM

    I do not understand with Espi and Moore why he guys with options aren't sent down to play every day against lesser arms to get at bats every day and gain some confidence. It isn't like Brown, who is hitting well, couldn't take Moore's spot.

  51. BigCat - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:05 AM

    Gosh this is depressing. What happened to our season? I'm going to bed. Good night Manassas…..good night Eck

  52. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:08 AM

    I would take Eck's job at half the price.I would say if we got 10 hits every game would be good if we would score some.

  53. DWS - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:09 AM

    You're kidding right? The game was lost William O. I was under the impression that you made reasonable comments/opinions. I am not happy but then again I wasn't expecting a miracle by the moves.If and that's a big if, this team somehow gets healthy they will scare a lot of people. I follow and hope. What else can you do.BTW my comments have been moderated when my language was not suitable. And you don't know suffering when you've witnessed one of the best team's season in history wiped out.I didn't step off, the team moved, they were pitiful, (thanks art dealer) but I still follow them.

  54. Eric - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:10 AM

    "I do not understand with Espi…"Espi just got put in the DL to be immediately followed by being sent down to AAA. He's utterly uninvolved in any Nats woes for the foreseeable future.

  55. David Proctor - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:12 AM

    People will still find a way to make Espi the scapegoat, Eric.

  56. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:14 AM

    The yankees have lost moregames to the DL than the Nats easily, but they are hanging tough, and that uis what we need to do.

  57. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:14 AM

    I think we all understand about the injuries more or less, although some things could have been handled better, but we simply have no margin for error with these non-productive guys. Tracy and Moore are not hitting the ball hard. I don't see any real babip issues with these two.I will say in defense of Rizzo, sometimes bizarre seasons occur. Cincinnati won 100 games 3 times between 1970 and 1976. They won five division crowns during that period, generally winning over 95 games even when they didn't win their division, and yet in 1971, they finished with a losing record sandwiched in between two World Series teams and without any horrible injuries that I remember. It just seemed like a bizarre outlier.But there I go comparing these Nats to the 70's Reds which is probably not a good idea, but still sometimes everything can just go wrong in a season. Ask the 1991 49'ers who may have been the 2nd best team in the NFL but didn't even make the play-offs to the Redskins' great satisfaction.

  58. DWS - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:15 AM

    Or anybody involved with this franchise.That's the point of this blog isn't it?

  59. karlkolchak - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:15 AM

    @David Protor – "going forward," this team has a banged up rotation, a thoroughly suspect bullpen, a anemic lineup, a terrible bench, no organizational depth and a defense that has committed the second most errors in the league. Oh, and by the way our two best players may be out for as much another month. Pythagorean had the Nats' suggested record at 26-32 going into tonight's contest, and I'd say that's a better reflection of what they are than their actual record. I was as hopeful as anybody to prior to the start of the season but facts need to be faced–this team is going nowhere this year.

  60. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:16 AM

    Espi was a part of the problem, but he had lots of partnets. All coached by the same guy.As I said changing coach might not be the answer, but I am sure it couldn't hurt.

  61. DWS - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:17 AM

    Yeah, but somebody can get lucky, sneak in, and win it all. That's why we watch. It ain't over yet.

  62. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:17 AM

    I don't know what you are talking about DWS. Of course, they game was over tonight once it was 4-1. I am talking about Tracy and Moore batting in some of the cliffhangers where it could have made a difference. I am not trying to rehash tonight's loss. At least the Nats got their money's worth tonight and things were far less painful than Saturday night's debacle with runners on 2nd and 3rd and no one out which as simply sad….

  63. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:19 AM

    Some might give up, but not me, but I know where the problem lies and know it must be fixed.

  64. David Proctor - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:21 AM

    Meh. Teams improve. The Tigers were under .500 until mid-July last year. They were behind the freaking White Sox for most of the year in their division. They made the World Series. Things happen, circumstances change. I still have confidence in this lineup. Harper isn't missing another month, not sure where you read that. The lineup has showed signs of life lately. Werth being back will be big, especially once the rust wears off.Everything that could go wrong, has gone wrong, so far. We knew going in we had no starting pitching depth. 2 of our starters went down. 2 of our best bats have missed significant time. LaRoche started the year cold like normal. The bullpen started off rough (has mostly been better lately). You can say the team is going nowhere, as if you know. You don't know. I don't know things will get better. But I'm going to keep hoping things improve. If the team is such a drag to watch, don't watch.

  65. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:24 AM

    You think we have underachieved. Angels lost 8 under now, and dodgers losing and are 7 under.

  66. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:26 AM

    Fwiw, check out the 1987 Twins' pythag. It was negative for the year.The O's pythag only went positive last year the last week of the season.The pythagorean theorem doesn't tell us anything we don't already know. All Bill James did was to apply regression analysis to historic run differentials and where the line bisected became the predictor. It generally works well after the season is over but it is all but useless during the season because it doesn't tell you whether a team is exceeding or missing its predicted record because it is playing worse than it "should" or because it truly is that bad.Our 2005 team is pointed to as proof of how predictive run differential is, but that ignores the fact that teams improve during the season and also age or get worse at times too. Could we have a worse record? Yes. Should we? I don't think so. We have lost plenty of close games. It is a fascinating topic to me, though.

  67. Eric - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:27 AM

    Too bad we didn't fire Eck during the slow start last spring or else maybe someone could've guided the team to one of the best producing offenses in the majors…Oh, wait… ;)I have a hard time with the idea that systemic failure can be traced to a single root cause. I disagree that simply firing any perceived contributing factor lacks risk. Layoffs and demotions get into people's heads. You think things are bad now, imagine if paranoia of being the next sacrificial lamb takes hold…

  68. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:29 AM

    I'll take my chances. No one is taking responsibikty.When a group does the same thing, i have no trouble making a change.

  69. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:33 AM

    Only 5th inning but perfect game alert. Former Nat Jadon Msrquid

  70. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:33 AM

    Jason marquis

  71. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:37 AM

    Cy Garcia 3 ip ,6 er. We couldnt come close to hitting him inthe band box. Tell me our hitting isnt the problem.

  72. A DC Wonk - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:38 AM

    I have a hard time with the idea that systemic failure can be traced to a single root cause.… and that when it's a success, then the root cause is completely different.(Referring to the slow start last year in hitting, which ended up 4th best in the league by the end of the year).

  73. Unknown - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:38 AM

    you know it's bad when the ASTROS club around a guy for seven runs in three innings and the Nats sorry lineup couldn't even score one. Except for the Marlins, the Nats offense is baseball's worst. I see no hope of it changing – they are going to have to win a lot of games like Tuesday night or will be a losing team this year. No biggie. Life goes on.

  74. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:40 AM

    I always wonder what some of you guys think the hitting coach is supposed to do. Is it like being the head of a government agency when something bad happens and somebody just has to take the fall?Chad Tracy has been in the majors for years and years. How would one go about fixing Chad Tracy? Tyler Moore swings and never even gets his bat anywhere near the pitch. What should "Eck" do? Tell Moore to keep his eye on the ball? People talk about Charley Lau–Charley Lau was a mediocre hitter.who hit under .200 his last two years. What would Charley Lau have done to fix Charley Lau?Hitting is more art than science, at least since the dead ball days when guys pretty much did anything they could to get on base, which included trying for Baltimore chops and using choked grips where the hands didn't touch. Felix Millan was the last guy doing that. It is fine to call for Eckstein's head, but please articulate what he is doing wrong and what another hitting coach would do differently to fix things. I sincerely doubt there is anything even Ty Cobb could do to fix Chad Tracy and Tyler Moore at this point.

  75. DWS - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:41 AM

    Yeah, but somebody can get lucky, sneak in, and win it all. That's why we watch. It ain't over yet. You can use all the stats (averages) over a period of time. There is ALWAYS a bump or a dip. That's the beauty of the game.As a Canadian I'm drawn to the fellas chasing the little piece of hardened rubber.Overtime period two….

  76. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:42 AM

    On Memorial Day Cy Hammels held us to 2 runs in 7 on Saturday he pitched 3 innings gave up 5. This patter has happened all seasonPerdect game over. Marquis walked 2.Headed to 6th

  77. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:48 AM

    Look at what we swing at what we don't.See how we pull too much and don't drive the other way.When runners are on base we do not swings less hsrd to guarentee contact.Chek how few times we walk.Not just one player, but the group as a whole does.The mental fundementals on't refkect that there was much conversation about the situation.I could be totally wrong and they focused on all this. In that case batters just suck.

  78. DWS - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:50 AM

    You can blame all you want, you can hypothesize, you can rant, you can want to fire this guy or that. But it's not going to make a difference. How's Danny doing? I was hard on the decisions made by his superiors but I wonder how the boys (men) are doing?A couple will have an opportunity, maybe.Haven't heard a word about the man that doesn't yet.

  79. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:50 AM

    And you can't do this thing where you moan about pitcher X getting hammered by the Astros when the Nats got nothing off him. How often do you see the same pitcher against the very same team and one game he gives up 5 or more runs against them and the next time he shuts them out. It happens all the time. Batters can sort of control where the ball is going when they hit it, but not all that well. Pitchers lack much control over where the ball is going when it is hit, or how far. Players have zero or essentially zero control over whether an umpire has a generous strike zone or a narrow one. St. Louis was fortunate one Friday in October to have an umpire with a really narrow strike zone who had, apparently, nothing else to do that night. With a different ump, the Nats might win that game 7-3.Baseball results are much more variable and unpredictable than in most other sports. That is partially why the Yankees only one 2 World Series between 1962 and 1996, and then won 4 in 5 years and then only won one in the next 13 years while having on average, at least one of top 3 or 4 teams every single year.

  80. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:52 AM

    If all hese people would hit like Ty Cobb I would be off Eck's case, but in general they hit more like Msriano Mendoza.

  81. Section 222 - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:52 AM

    Believe it or not, Matt Stairs' OPS before he was cut at the end of July was better than Tracy's is today. (.426 to .397). The guy could take a walk. His OBP was .257 in 75 PAs, a level that Tracy (.193), Ty-Mo (.200) and even Bernadina (.216) can only dream of. I remember many of us, including me, absolutely excoriated Stairs. Right now, a decision to pinch hit any of these jokers for Haren, Stras, JZnn, or even Gio is suspect.

  82. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:55 AM

    I m allowed to notice. I plan on seeing 10 runs tomorrow. Anyone else plan that.

  83. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:59 AM

    Hockey is the same as baseball now. It wasn't when it was worth watching imho. Something changed when the NHL went after Edmonton in the late 80's, changing the rules because dynasties were boring. Since then, almost never do hockey teams repeat. The NHL is crazy. They destroyed their dynasties in Montreal and Edmonton. They ruined the rivalries of the original six and have instituted a system where the best team rarely wins in the post-season, just the team that has the fewest pucks bounce in the goal off its own defenders. This is because it is impossible to score on a direct shot because each goal is manned by someone who looks like the Michelin Man. You truly might as well flip coins in the NHL play-offs about which team will have the last puck bounce in against them.I have often thought that most coaches in the NHL should be fired for not teaching their defenders to not let the puck bounce off the back of their legs and into their own goal.

  84. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jun 6, 2013 at 4:03 AM

    Section 222 to the rescue. I told my son that Davey was on the Fan last week asking for suggestions as to whom to place as DH. I think it ended up being Steve Lombardozzi, who is hardly David Ortiz.My son said that he thought Haren, Gio or Strausburg would have been a better choice, which led to a discussion of Don Drysdale and Walter Johnson who were great hitting pitchers. Bill James implies that all things being equal, Walter Johnson edges out Grover Cleveland, Cy Yound and Lefty Grove based upon his bat. He hit over .400 in 1925 and it was far from a total fluke. I think he had around twenty-two homers in his career.

  85. Unknown - Jun 6, 2013 at 4:11 AM

    Here's what I'm thinking …..I remember the 1966 Orioles go to the World Series and shutdown the Dodgers with great pitching. It was decided by the media that this team would be baseball's best for the next decade.The following year they won 76 games, finished in sixth place and fell flat on their face. With basically the same team still, they won 91 games in '68, and then went to the next three World Series. I'm just thinking that's the path the Nationals are on. It's just one of those years. They are too good to play like this for another year. Injuries (not controllable) and a suspect bullpen (controllable) have cost them. They can fix one and pray the other stops biting them in the butt.

  86. A DC Wonk - Jun 6, 2013 at 4:12 AM

    Mark — you have Nate Karns starting tomorrow.I thought Gio was starting tomorrow.

  87. A DC Wonk - Jun 6, 2013 at 4:15 AM

    Speaking of good hitting pitchers:In 1970, the Cy Young Award winner (Bob Gibson) had a higher batting average than the HR leader (Johnny Bench).

  88. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 6, 2013 at 4:17 AM

    gio is pitching tomorrow

  89. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 6, 2013 at 4:18 AM

    I loved watched Bob Gibson.

  90. Alphabet Soup Erik - Jun 6, 2013 at 4:28 AM

    The fat lady is warming up her voice…didn't Freddy Garcia…the guy who gets rocked every time out shut down this poor excuse for an offense? Zimmerman, Werth, LaRoche and even Desmond…our supposed veteran leaders have sucked ass…and honestly, just aren't very good. Hurry up football season.

  91. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jun 6, 2013 at 4:41 AM

    You are right about the 1967 Orioles, unknown. That pattern was/is very common in baseball. The Cards won in 1964, but then missed the Series the next two years, before going again in '67 and '68. The Mets in 1969 had everything go right for them but then they weren't much worse in the next four years and made it back to the Series with a team that was probably about as good as the 1969 team, even though it won fewer games. I mentioned the 1971 Reds. The AL East from the mid-70's to early 80's cycled the Orioles, Red Sox, Yankees, Red Sox/Yankees (tie), Orioles, Yankees.And remember this was back when teams didn't change personnel overnight, although that began changing in the late 70's.. These seemed to be somewhat random fluctuations.perhaps of the same sort as baseballs put in play follow.

  92. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jun 6, 2013 at 4:46 AM

    I see little reason for power pitchers not to be good hitters. F.P. talks about it all the time. Power pitchers were always the best hitters in Little League and high school. It is only when they get to the Majors and the geniuses there tell them not to worry about it that they stop working at it. If I hear one more announcer say that a pitcher had a bad inning because he had to stand on base for five minutes prior to it, I will probably get angry. These guys are certainly capable of doing much more than most of them are doing. Rick Wise no-hit the powerful Reds and hit two home runs in the same game. There is zero excuse for not being able to get a proper bunt down.

  93. DWS - Jun 6, 2013 at 5:25 AM

    I appreciate knowledge of hockey. Dynasties are rare unless you remember the greats.But all it takes is somebody to make a difference.And you know who you are Ken, Patrick or Bryce.I've seen it so I know it's possible.

  94. Almazar80 - Jun 6, 2013 at 8:25 AM

    If they lose both series (Mets, Twins), they will likely trail the Braves by double digits and the Philies by two or three games. So much for the work of Rizzo the genius. Looks like the Lerners may be right in withholding a contract extension. At this point, there are probably better GMs out there that can actually build a championship team.

  95. Gabor Mehes - Jun 6, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    The Nats need a managerial shake up. It is time for Davey to retire. He lost the handle, can't inspire the players, made a mess of the bullpen, etc. plus, the Lerners are smart not rush a contract extension to Rizzo. His off season moves look terrible today. Span isn't contributing more than Eury Perez would have done and he gave up a great pitching prospect. He let Morse go for almost nothing and signed a 34 years old Laroche for two years.

  96. JSLSais - Jun 6, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    Pitching isn't our problem; it is our inability to hit. So let's say that the only runs off Haren were 3, would we have won the game? NO!! It was our problem last year and in year's past and continues to be our problem. At this point, I would fire Eck if for nothing else to see if the ballplayers feel bad about getting a guy fired because they can't do their job. And getting Harper back is not going to fix the problem because the problem is a Collective issue and so one guy is not going to save this team. The fat lady is singing and has been doing it since Game 5 of the NLDS. I never believed the hype because I the numbers told a very different story.

Archives

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Brent Harris 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.

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