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Offensive woes are situational

Jun 17, 2013, 10:00 AM EDT

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Steve Lombardozzi is tagged out on a seventh-inning double play yesterday.

The 2013 Nationals, it's no secret by now, don't score very many runs. The Nats score, to be precise, 3.49 runs per game. Only the wretched Marlins, at 3.13, are worse at crossing the plate.

What's the best way to score runs? Put a lot of men on base. Not surprisingly, the Nationals also rank with the dregs of the league in this department, their .292 on-base percentage better than only the Mets and Marlins.

Here's the problem: Aside from the pending return of Bryce Harper — and, to a lesser extent, Wilson Ramos — there isn't much the Nationals can do to put more guys on base. They can hope underachieving regulars like Ryan Zimmerman, Denard Span and Jayson Werth start performing better and start reaching base at clips more in line with their career norms. But you don't just turn from one of the league's worst offensive clubs to one of its bestRead more »

196 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. TimDz - Jun 17, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    If there was ever a post that is appropriate for a Monday, this is it….

  2. original Nats Fan - Jun 17, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    I don't know the answer, Mark. These are guys that have the ability to hit but look lost at the plate right now. I hate both the swings at balls out of the strike zone and the called strike threes. Yesterday's game was really hard to watch.

  3. Steamer - Jun 17, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    I agree with Mark about the hitting but nothing can be worse than the Angels hitting

  4. sjm308 - Jun 17, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    Thanks Mark:So my question (as an old coach) is what does Davey do here? He obviously does not have the bat in his hand. Do you think about more squeeze plays? I honestly doubt if they practice trying to hit sacrifice flys? It seems to me that until we can put a lineup on the field without 3 men hitting under .200 we are in serious trouble no matter how good or bad our situational hitting is.When you have that poor an offense and then add several others who are slumping, its a recipe to not score runs.Yesterday I was out at Wolf Trap enjoying a beautiful day with great La. music so I did not have to suffer like most folk here. To have another well pitched game and not get those runs home really does say a lot about how our season has gone.I am still rooting for our lads to turn it around but I am afraid I cannot follow Seamheads advice about "relax, we got this". It will be 3+ months of fighting as an underdog and I just never saw that coming.I am not a GM but how much more rope do you give veterans who are not producing? How does change affect things? How can it hurt to bring up a player like C. Brown? Again, 3 players under .200 is just not giving us much of a chance.Go Nats!!

  5. jeeves - Jun 17, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    "That's how young teams learn to win, and we're a young team," Jason Werth says. Excuse me Jason, but it looks to me that Harper, Rendon, Stras, Zimmermann, Detweiler, Krol, and, to a lesser degree, Desi and Gio (a bit older), know how to win. It's you, Span, LaRoche, Haren, Tracy, Bernie, and Suzuki that appear to have trouble with the concept. Only Zimmerman, of the older players, (excluding bullpen) is doing his part, and, at times, even that is questionable.

  6. m - Jun 17, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    I know none of us are the experts that Johnson and Rizzo reportedly are but there are a few things which are obvious even to the regular fan. Rizzo and Johnson field a team that has at least three automatic outs each game. Maybe the recent call-ups do not have it but at least give them a chance and I mean more than one game or one at bat. Secondly do we have to try to pull everything or swing for the fences on every pitch? I am just tired of watching Span and LaRoche hit pop flies or grounders to right field and first base or Desmond trying to win everything game with one swing or Zim looking at a called third strike. The players seem to have no plan at the plate. You can tell their head is not in the game by the number of mental mistakes they make each game. They never really prepared for the season and still aren't ready. I don't care what people say but the absence of Morse is killing the team. I don't care what his stats are with Seattle it turns out he was the glue in our line-up. He is better hitter than any player we currently have except for maybe Rendon. Span catches fly balls and that is all. He is no better than Bernadina. We gave up our top pitching prospect plus Morse for another Bernadina. Not a smart move. I still think Brown deserves a chance and Marrero more than one game. We have nothing to lose but another game. Lets see what they can do. We re not going to win with the current bunch that much is certain.

  7. NatsLady - Jun 17, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    It seems like you fix one problem–pretty much–namely, the errors. You get the rotation back to full force. And another problem crops up that keeps this team at .500.These are professional hitters, especially the vets. You should not have to tell RZimm or Adam LaRoche that the pitcher is in a jam and you are the one in control. You should not have to tell them don't be so aggressive and swing for the fences when a single will do just fine.The last situation, bases loaded in the 7th, we just had the wrong hitters up (Lombo–baserunning, Solano, and Bernadina). But the OTHER situations–!! We had our veteran, so-called "best" hitters up (outside of Rendon and Harper). Werth K'd once, but he did get on base several times, but LaRoche and RZ have nothing to show for their day, and Desi not much. Span needs to forget Davey and go back to his lifelong approach.

  8. NatsLady - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    I don't worry about what Jayson says in public, that's fine. But they need to get together and look themselves in the mirror and say we CANNOT keep squandering these great pitchers' games, we CANNOT keep getting runners on base and stranding them. We CANNOT keep letting bad pitchers beat us.

  9. jeeves - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:05 AM

    That quote was to James Wagner in The Post.As to what the Nats can do. At least try more minor leaguers who are having good years. Use Kobernus. Bring up Brown or Perez, or Souza. Try Taylor Jordan. (unless his recent tj surgery makes that moot) Although he did pitch a nine inning shutout the other day.I doubt that would be the answer though. Either the veterans are going to have to come through, or the Nats will have to bite the bullet for another year.

  10. Bob Saget Nats Fan 101 - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:05 AM

    I am no baseball expert. I think when there are RISP that they shouldnt always swing for the fences. That is what is looks like they are doing. They need to play small ball and get the ball out of the infield. They need to change their hitting approach overall because it is not working. Just because every few games it works, doesnt mean it actually is working.Luckily I was working yesterday so I didnt watch the game. I get to watch todays game against Lannan. Go Haran, GO Nats

  11. Steamer - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:11 AM

    NatsLady you couldn't say it much better

  12. jeeves - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    Natslady, it was the gist of what Werth said that was telling. Suggesting that the team's woes had to do with their youth, when nothing could be further from the truth. So it does bother me what he says because it suggests a mindset, one that is detrimental to the team as a whole.

  13. Section 135 - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:14 AM

    How many teams bunt to get to their 4th string catcher? Davey does. How many managers allow their veterans to get so worn out that even the fans can see it. Davey does. Zim, Laroche, Span, Suzuki, all need days off weekly. If you don't have the bench to replace them than you get those players. No steals, no hit and runs. Just wait for the 3 run home run. Oh, wait, we only have 60 home runs this year and most are by Bryce. No worries, lets still play the same style of baseball. This season is all on Davey. World series or BUST!!

  14. A DC Wonk - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:22 AM

    Question: _Is_ there such a thing as situational hitting?Hear me out for a second:If the Nats are 3rd worst in hitting, 3rd worst in OBP — and then we learn that they are 3rd worst in situational hitting — then isn't the problem just hitting period?

  15. NatsLady - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:23 AM

    jeeves, I disagree completely. Enough with the bringing players up. There are they guys we have, they have to gel and they have to produce. The only exception is that if Bernadina is hurt he should go on the DL. I do think ALR should be given a day off here and there, same for Span. Not that I think Marrero or Kobernus will hit (I don't) but because ALR and Span might hit better if they are not so tired. There was an article the other day that said players who are fatigued make worse decisions, in particular, swinging at pitches out of the zone. This is a long road trip, including Mountain TIme Zone and conditions, with no off-days. Manage your players, Davey, even if they resist. Fatiguehttp://news.health.com/2013/06/04/fatigue-affects-baseball-players-strike-zone-judgment-study/

  16. NatsLady - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    Wonk, no there isn't. The stats say over and over that good hitters hit, and bad hitters don't, clutch situation or not clutch situation. That's why I keeps saying, get the walks and hits, they will turn into runs. It's still frustrating, though.

  17. NatsLady - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    Also, the Nats aren't 3rd worst in OBP recently, they are 15th in average and 10th in OBP over the last two weeks. That is the effect of having Werth and Rendon in the lineup. It will get better.

  18. mick - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    "It's going to take more than the eventual return of key players off the DL. It's going to take a full-scale change in philosophy from the guys who have been stepping to the plate in key situations all season but haven't appeared to have a firm grasp of just what those situations demanded."most profound and astute quote from Mark this season period.If you read between the lines, Mark, I think is saying as politely and as gently as possible..Eck has to go..the current philosophy is a failure. The 3rd and 6th inning yesterday should seal Eck's fate. Runners at corner, no outs, the top 3 big bats follow next and not one of them in 6 tries could hit the ball to the outfield, let alone get a hit. If it does not ax Eck, then Davey has taken this loyalty thing and the team off the cliff. The problem is, Davey said 2 weeks ago, if you fire Eck, then fire me….. he put himself in a bind

  19. NatsLady - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:34 AM

    Also, Wonk, live by the stats, die by them. We should have won the game 4-2 (see my post with run-expectancies).

  20. mick - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    stats do not lie…Harper and Ramos out had nothing to do with the 3rd or 6th inning..it is clear here, either the philosophy is a failure or these big guns are just not that good…there is no other reason. If I believe they are better players, then Eck is the problem. If Eck defenders think I am wrong, them the Nats have talent issues

  21. NatsLady - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:38 AM

    mick, Eck is not the problem, and firing him isn't going to solve it. A hitting coach may help you with young hitters (Solano or even Lombo) but Eck is not going to fix the vets unless they have gotten into bad habits–and he already does that with video, etc. Plus, Eck is only implementing what Davey wants.I put the issue (I won't say "problem") at Davey's feet, where he does not want to play "small ball," except in the most limited circumstance. And I kind of don't fault him yesterday for not playing small ball, because Kluber had been in and out of jams, and had control problems and hit a guy–there was no reason to assume that if guys got on base the hitters wouldn't bring them in with, y'know, hits.

  22. NatsLady - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    Seriously, folks.(1) Play clean games (no errors) – check(2) Pitch good – check(3) Get runners on base – checkYou will win games. Not every game, but a lot of games. We got this.

  23. Doc - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    Well researched posting, and to the point Mark.Davey needs to enlarge it in 6" high letters nail it up on the Nats' clubhouse wall. Whatever he's talking to them about scoring runs, ain't workin'! Two really well pitched games in Cleveland last weekend that were totally wasted efforts.

  24. mick - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    so let me ask this…what is Eck's philosophy on hitters and approach…I have posted that question several times over the past 2 weeks and no one has an answer for it. I respectfully disagree with you on Eck. If vet's are into bad habits, shouldn't he be dealing with them? That is part of his job. I do agree Davey bares responsibilty as well

  25. jeeves - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    So, Natslady, you disagree completely. Guess you didn't bother reading my whole comment. I did say it would probably not work and that the veterans would have to come through. You disagree with that as well?

  26. Section 135 - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    Davey's strategy of waiting for the 3 run home run on a team that 1. has no power sans Bryce and 2. Shipped its power bat out of town for a slap hitter is the problem here. He is trying to make the team what it isn't. The only way these guys score is with home runs. Never manufacture runs. All you have to do is look at the offensive stats and your question is answered. Stealing and bunting don't work for everyone, but a team like this that can't hit should try everything it can to produce. This whole season will go down as a team attempting to play one way with a lineup designed to play another. Davey's lack of in-game and in-seasons adjustments have already lost the season for us.

  27. NatsLady - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    I think what Werth was talking about was the judgment errors by Solano (throwing) and Lombo (baserunning). Solano made an error which didn't end up mattering–Stras walked a guy, he stole second and would have scored on the single anyway. With better judgment Solano would have held the ball. With better judgment, Lombo would not have gotten caught off first base. Neither of those plays cost the game, but they do need to be fixed.

  28. NatsLady - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    jeeves, you are right, I did turn off your comment when you ran on about minor-leaguers, sorry. No, I agree with your final assessment, as I said, the players we have are the ones who have to come through.

  29. Theophilus T. S. - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    "In his Major League debut on July 30, 1959, McCovey went four-for-four against Hall-of-Famer Robin Roberts, hitting two triples and two singles, en route to a .354 batting average that year, in which he won National League Rookie of the Year honors while playing in just 52 games."– Wikipedia

  30. baseballswami - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:53 AM

    I also agree on Eck. I don't care if he caused it or if he is totally not responsible– don't see how that can possibly be, but whatever. If he is not able to do anything at all to help then why is he here? If they don't listen to him because he never played, if he is too intimidated by Davey, if he communicates in a different way than they receive information– don't care. Teams have hitting coaches who are supposed to help them hit- young guys and veterans alike. You think hitters on other teams are completely unaffected by their hitting coach? Teams would not hire them if they had no effect. Or if they were only there for the young guys. When something stops working for an extended period of time you have got to try something else. Why is this guy so special that he gets a free pass ?

  31. jeeves - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    'ran on about…' Interesting way of putting it. And rude. Especially from someone who posts as much as you do.

  32. NatsLady - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    Look, jeeves, I apologized, You don't want to accept it. FIne.

  33. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    Here are the slashes of 2 batters in their leadoff slashes. Can you tell me who they are .256/.312/.349/.661 and .309/.388/.450/.838 and which of their teams is in 1st place.Ok, the 1st one is easy, it's Denard Span.

  34. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    DC Wonk……BINGO!….."isn't the problem just hitting?"If hitting coaches are expected to make hitters better, Willy Mo Pena would be Miguel Cabrera.

  35. baseballswami - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    I was very alarmed when Span was on base and clearly lame. I felt that perhaps Kobernus should have run for him. The kid could have moved to the outfield- move Bernie to center for no loss of defense and Kobernus probably not a loss on offense. I think we have seen that hobbled players are not an upgrade from the bench guys.

  36. Gus in Fairfax - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    Ghost – How about B Harper in CF last year?

  37. Gus in Fairfax - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    Ghost – How about B Harper in CF last year?

  38. A DC Wonk - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    Section 135 — you've made exactly two comments in this thread thus far.In one you complained about: "Davey's strategy of waiting for the 3 run home run on a team that…"OK, so with guys on first and second he should have bunted, then, right? Instead of waiting for the 3-run HR?No. In your other comment, you complained: "How many teams bunt to get…."What an awesome example of: "damned if you do and damned if you don't" !!

  39. A DC Wonk - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    mick said… stats do not lie…Harper and Ramos out had nothing to do with the 3rd or 6th inning..Huh? In the third inning, Solano led off with a K. That wouldn't have happened if Ramos had been playing.In the sixth inning, after two guys got on base, the 3-4-5 hitters were scheduled to bat. One of them would have been Harper.So, what's your comment talking about?

  40. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    While my #1 leadoff only took himself off the basepaths 3 times in caught stealing and pickoffs while stealing 8 bases. Denard Span took himself off the base 8 times with 3 picked off, and 3 times caught stealing and 2 in air doubleplays with 7 stolen bases.Denard has stayed on base at a .283 average. If you think the pickoffs and poor baserunning doesn't matter, this is not what you can win with a leadoff man and he has only scored 26 runs year to date which is a .092 pace compared to the other leadoff .147 runs scored.

  41. JamesFan - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    How do we keep mediocre pitchers with 5+ ERAs looking like Cy Young candidates when we face them? We flail away early against guy who rarely throw strike; we take pitches against guys who are known for throwing strikes; we continue to play guys who are in deep slumps; we have too many .230 hitters in the lineup.Finally, to fail over and over to score from third because we can't put a ball in play–anywhere–is amazing.

  42. Joe Seamhead - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    Gjost, I owe you humble apologies. Hat in hand, I'll tell you that I misunderstood one of your comment's intentions last week.

  43. m - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    NatsLady:News Flash: You are not going to win this bunch so why not try something else. There are plenty of players that became productive major league players and did not have good minor league stats or took a while to contribute at the major league level. Grady Sizemore and Domonic Brown are just two that come to mind . I know the Phillies are happy they stuck with Brown. If we listen to you this guy would not be playing for the Phillies. I agree with Jeeves – Try something different.

  44. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    Gus in Fairfax said… Ghost – How about B Harper in CF last year?The other leadoff was Jayson Werth of the 2012 1st place Washington Nationals.I didn't put that there to say Jayson Werth should be the leadoff but as the table setter it starts there.Not only has Denard Span had a hard time getting on base, he has had a difficult staying on base which is just as important as a leadoff.Want to see more of the problem……

  45. NatsLady - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    @mIf you read carefully (which I admittedly did not the first time around) Jeeves said, "I doubt that [bringing up minor-leagures] would be the answer though. Either the veterans are going to have to come through, or the Nats will have to bite the bullet for another year."That is the way I feel. You have to win with this bunch, and the signs are–despite two games in Cleveland–that we will win with this bunch.

  46. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    Denard Span has been great at working counts but when he gets in those full counts that FP Santangelo eludes to, the stats behind it are not good. Denard has had 47 full counts worked and has only turned those into 13 walks and when he doesn't walk his BA in a full count is .206

  47. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    Joe Seamhead said… Gjost, I owe you humble apologies. Hat in hand, I'll tell you that I misunderstood one of your comment's intentions last week. Thanks Joe. I appreciate it.

  48. NatsLady - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    Ghost, I said about three times over the weekend that Span needs to block out Davey and go back to his lifetime approach of getting on base, and hopefully not getting picked off. Jayson is not going to be the leadoff, nor is Harper. You have to fix Span, because he's it.

  49. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    In bases loaded situations the Nats are 6 for 34 this season with 4 walks and just 4 Sac Flies slashing .176 /.158 /.206 /.364

  50. bowdenball - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    Mark said …"Here's the problem: Aside from the pending return of Bryce Harper — and, to a lesser extent, Wilson Ramos — there isn't much the Nationals can do to put more guys on base."Mark, you prefaced that with full season stats. For almost all of that full season, their 2Bs were Espinosa (.193 OBP) and Lombardozzi (.232 OBP). Their current 2B has a .426 OBP. So that's at least one other pretty significant thing they already did to put more men on base.

  51. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    Well…. This was a depressing column…. Albeit, truthful but especially depressing…Re Eck – if he isn't the problem, I can't see where he is the answer either

  52. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    NatsLady said… Ghost, I said about three times over the weekend that Span needs to block out Davey and go back to his lifetime approach of getting on base, and hopefully not getting picked off. Jayson is not going to be the leadoff, nor is Harper. You have to fix Span, because he's it. Agreed, those who say move Werth back to leadoff should know that it won't happen.Span has to go back to what worked and who ever is brainwashing him has to back off. He shouldn't be getting worse, he should be getting better.Last year Denard hit .277 in 3-2 counts. He had 78 full counts last year for 31 walks.

  53. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    Everyone is under achieving… Everyone is pressing… They all look so frustrated…. The issue is the team identity… DJ doesn't like small ball but, well, he has a roster *to an extent* of a lot of small ball guys… They traded Morse (no I'm not saying we should have kept him, I'm glad he is gone) a power guy, for a guy who doesn't have as much power…A lot of these stats are skewed by struggling players (Lombo, Tracy, Zook to name a few). I wonder how this team does completely healthy…My beef with DJ is that sometimes I feel he doesn't give guys enough rest… Zook needs an entire series off (or 2)… Adam and Span and Werth need time off too… And it's not like he doesn't have folks on the bench who can fill in…

  54. bowdenball - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    JamesFan said…"How do we keep mediocre pitchers with 5+ ERAs looking like Cy Young candidates when we face them?"Natstown: if we haven't heard of you, you MUST be a mediocre pitcher with a 5+ ERA. Even if you actually have a 3.58 ERA, a 2.94 xFIP, a K/BB ratio well over 5, and shut down a powerful Rangers lineup in Texas in your previous outing.C'mon, people. It takes 30 seconds to look a guy up on Baseball Reference or Fangraphs. It's really not that complicated. They both have a player search bar right there on the top left of the home page.

  55. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:01 PM

    GoSM – it seemed when Werth went down with the Hammy, some one told Span to be more aggressive…. In his first month as a Nat, he was hot on fire… Always on base it seems… But then all of a sudden, he was swinging at ridiculous balls etc…I have no issue with swinging at Ks…. I have issues with called strike 3 with the dang bat on the shoulder and swinging at balls…Something is going on with Span, everything is to the right, I don't remember the last time he had an opposite side hit….

  56. A DC Wonk - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:03 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  57. Joe Seamhead - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    As far as blaming Eck for the team's hitting woes, in my opinion it is generally misguided, especially the opinions that Eck should be guiding players during the game on mechanics. Especially with the veterans. The last thing I wanted to do was to be thinking about my mechanics while at bat. The time for instruction is BP. As to the approach, that's generally parlayed from Johnson, through Eck. The players are the ones to blame. They just are not producing consistently as a team. One guy hits pretty good for a few days and goes flat, and then another seems to hit, but nobody is consistent, and as a team they are not keeping the line moving.Give me a break, just because a guy played, and hit for a high average wouldn't mean he'd be a good coach. One of the greatest hitting coaches of all time was a .255 career hitter with a career OBP of .318 that was almost identical to Danared Span's numbers this year. He was fired by one team and pretty much run out of town by the Yankees. Charlie Lau was detested by fans more then once in his career. Think about it. Too much venom is throw towards Eck, in my opinion. Morse has stated on several occasions that his improvement as a hitter was directly attributed to working with Rick. And let me make something clear, I couldn't care less if Eck got replaced. I just don't think it would make any difference.

  58. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    Bowdenball – your post at 9 am….I think mainly it's that we see pitchers who other teams (maybe most in fact) feast on and we have issues struggling with those…There really is no excuse for us not to have scored at least 3 runs yesterday…. Idk what this pitcher did to the Rangers…

  59. BigCat - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    I worry that Eck is gonna contaminate Rendon.

  60. bowdenball - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    MrsB loves the Nats said…"There really is no excuse for us not to have scored at least 3 runs yesterday…. Idk what this pitcher did to the Rangers…"Did you watch the game? Did you look up Kluber's stats on the year? Either one of those things would be enough to realize that Kluber has turned a corner and is an excellent starter right now. It's not just the Rangers in his last year. He has a K/BB ratio close to 5.5 for the entire season. He does not fit that description of a "mediocre starter with a 5+ ERA" at all.I agree that we should have scored a couple runs yesterday- but only because we were actually lucky that almost all of our 9 baserunners were clustered in three innings instead of scattered throughout the game. That was a great break for us against a guy who was dominating. It's just that our luck turned once we got there, and we couldn't take advantage of it.

  61. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    I watched the game… I also listened to it thru Charlie and Dave… What I saw was the Nats had men on 3rd with no outs, to 1 out at least on 3 separate occasions and I saw we stranded them on all those occasions… I didnt see him throwing anything nasty or smart… I saw us swinging at balls, swinging at junk and not working the pitch count….

  62. Theophilus T. S. - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    No matter how good Kluber is — which will not be proven until he's been around the league — the Nats still looked like gimpy guys on the DL rehabbing in Viera.

  63. Joe Seamhead - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    They were guilty as charged on all of the above, Mrs. B. I'm pretty sure Eck must have told them to swing at balls out of the zone, swing at all the junk, don't work the count, and especially to be sure to watch the third strike without swinging.

  64. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    Our situational hitting is terrible… Idk how good or bad a pitcher is… We have these pitchers on the ropes sometimes (yesterday included) and we aren't able to take advantage…It's like the guys get up there and get excited and then just get stupid…

  65. Joe Seamhead - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:29 PM

    BTW,sjm308, I'm with Werth. We'll be OK. I'm telling you, when we actually gel as a team we are better than Atlanta. You'll see. Relax.

  66. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    Joe – I agree…. I think we come back and win the division… I asked last night…. I wonder where all the other teams would be if they had their big bats missing for periods of time…

  67. Joe Seamhead - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    How about Cole Hamels losing again? THe Phills signed that guy to a very high priced, long term contract. He's 2-10 and I think the Phillies have now lost 13 games that he has started.

  68. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    Mrs. B, there are walks there that Span isn't taking and why has his BA dropped so much in those 3-2 counts.That's where Eck and Span should start.The bigger problem for this team is 2 strike approach. I'm all for RZim, LaRoche, Werth all going for the big swing in strike 1 and 2 but even big boppers have to shorten their swings in the 2 strike counts and make contact.The Nats are 3rd to last in 2 strike efficiency. Nats best hitter in small sample size of 2 strike efficiency is Rendon, Gio and Bryce and Desi.

  69. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    And no Joe S, I doubt Eck 'told them' to do any of that stupid stuff…. But 68 games in and we are still seeing the same dumb things from them…. Well, there has to be some blame…I laughed at Paul last night about him and the notebook but that is all I see…

  70. Theophilus T. S. - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    Assuming things don't improve radically, when the Nats limp to the end of the season, I hope they seriously listen to anyone offering to help theim pay the rest of Zimmerman's $100+MM contract. He's had nothing but meaningless ABs this season. Not to mention shaky D. Three HRs in a game they lose. Although he's not alone in that category. Span ought to be tradeable, too. Right now this is a team with six gaping holes in the lineup. So Harper comes back and it's five. But that's still too many. They can't afford so many underachievers.

  71. Eric - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    "The players are the ones to blame. They just are not producing consistently as a team. One guy hits pretty good for a few days and goes flat, and then another seems to hit, but nobody is consistent, and as a team they are not keeping the line moving……And let me make something clear, I couldn't care less if Eck got replaced. I just don't think it would make any difference."Excellent post, Joe. I'm with you on all counts.What a frustrating season this has been so far.

  72. karlkolchak - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    I'll just bet that John Lannan is climbing the walls right now at the thought of getting a chance to show up his old team that treated him so shabbily. Would anyone here be willing to bet a large sum of money against JL throwing his second career shutout against the Nats? Probably this biggest obstacle against it is that he is just coming off the DL and will likely be held to a low pitch count.

  73. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:42 PM

    When you swing too hard at pitches not in the strike zone your at fault. When it happens more than once the coach needs to take note and start reinding them to swing at strikes.When it happens many times over in 68 games someone is not effectively reminding them.Mechanics is not the problem, pitch identification and location really seemsthe problem.

  74. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    Good point on the 2 strike efficiency, Ghost. Ryan Zimmerman used to be an excellent 2 strike hitter. I also thought Span showed a good ability to spoil pitches when he first got here but now seems to put all 2 strike pitches in play weakly or miss all together.There is no doubt, except for Rendon, the entire team seems to be pressing at the plate.As I said yesterday, Rendon actually sees every ball make contact with his bat. I'm not sure you can say that about the rest of the Nats hitters. And you usually can't hit what you don't see.

  75. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    The team needs to forget everything else… Settle down and have fun…But I sure enough will be glad when we see the line up that DJ wanted from the beginning of the season….

  76. baseballswami - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    Joe- not necessarily blaming Eck– saying he is not helping and asking what his role is. I am hearing a lot about what his role isn't- so what is it that he is getting paid to actually do? Is it really just scouting reports? In general- what is this role for our team and other teams??Surely there must be some component of watching during the game and suggesting adjustnents? It is pretty sad when we are hoping Span tunes out the advice he is getting from the staff on this team and goes back to the success he had on other teams. It is pretty sad when we are all hoping Rendon is not ruined now that he is on the team. What do those things tell you? Does Eck ever stand up to Davey and say– this is not working, you can fire me for telling the truth, but we have to try something else. I just would really love to know why we have him and how he is an asset.

  77. DaveB - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:45 PM

    Being held to a low pitch count is the best thing in the world for Lannan … he has always had problems going past the 5th even when fully healthy.

  78. karlkolchak - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:45 PM

    Oh…and I just thought I'd add that if nothing else because of the Nats' crappy lineup JL is a virtual LOCK to pitch better than Haren tonight.

  79. bowdenball - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    MrsB loves the Nats said…MrsB loves the Nats said…:I didnt see him throwing anything nasty or smart… I saw us swinging at balls, swinging at junk and not working the pitch count…."I don't know how you can watch the game and say that. Kluber threw a lot of nasty pitches and mixed up his speeds very well.Nats fans sometimes act like our 25 are the only ones who have talent and are trying to win. It's a natural tendency for fans because we know our guys much better than other players, but it's obviously not true. Kluber was excellent yesterday. Probably one of the five or so best performances by an opposing starter all year.Looking at his PitchFX, I count thirteen swings by the Nationals at pitches more than an inch or so from the zone. Three of them went for hits. Three were foul balls. One was put in play for an out. Three of them were over the plate but low, probably offspeed pitches that fooled the hitter. That leaves only three swings and misses off the plate. Sorry, Mrs. B, but the data says what you think you're seeing isn't actually happening, or at least not very much.

  80. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    MNF – When it happens more than once the coach needs to take note and start reinding them to swing at strikes====That's my issue with Eck… Instead of being in that dang book all the time, I don't see him talking to his batters….

  81. baseballswami - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    And as for Lannan– isn 't this his first game back in like two months? How far into the game will they let him go? Oh- forgot, it's the Phils, who would let their guy die out there and not take him out. They pushed Howard over the edge, and Halladay. But I would expect some rust. First time on the DL. Pretty cool customer, but old team, rabid fans, yikes.

  82. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    And bowdenball – this is where you and I will disagree…. We have runners in scoring position with no outs on 3 separate occasions… There is NO EXCUSE to why at least 2 didnt score…Kluber looked decent to me…. Masterson was great…I know we played another professional team… But our batting approach was horrible yesterday… Some of it was the pitcher but it was mainly the batters…But it's a moot point becuz what's done is done…. I'm at the point where I am wondering which Lanna we will see tonight….

  83. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    Eck is responsable for amassing all the scouting reports, viewing all video of each hitters at bats andd filing a written report to each hitter and Davey on what he sees along with suggestions on correcting any flaws noticed.He has no control over what the hitters do with that information and he certainly has no control over their ability to know the strke zone or recognize pitches. That's all on them.Like I said before, you can't make Willy Mo Pena in to Miguel Cabrera.

  84. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    Yeah Swami…. I don't think Eck is the main problem but he evidently isn't the answer….

  85. Eric - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    Interesting post @9:47, bowdenball.The psychology of being a sports fan is very interesting (applies to me as much as anyone else).When the opponent produces very poorly at the plate, it means our pitcher totally shut them down.When we produce very poorly at the plate, their pitcher had nothing to do with it; we just suck at hitting.

  86. NatsLady - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    bowdenball, it's difficult to give credit to a pitcher when his stats don't show well, but Kluber bore down and made good pitches yesterday when he needed to. Here are the encouraging signs I see, having just done the weekly review.Bullpen–nails (and that's without Mattheus). Getting rid of Henry and Duke (sorry to say) has improved a lot.Hitting and OBP–greatly improved with Werth's approach and the addition of Rendon. If Desi can stay steady, and ALR can keep from slumping too badly, we should be able to creep above .500 even without Harper. The Rockies are hot (even without Tulo) but they are coming to our house. Phillies are struggling worse than we are. Rotation–the gang is back together. Stras and Detwiler do not seem to have suffered permanent damage and both got some mid-season REST. Not sure yet if Ohlendorf is a phantom.

  87. SCNatsFan - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    I have to agree with the thoughts about Eck not being the solution; maybe there is no solution. I don't think he's the problem but you look at the guys in the majors who have improved under Eck and you think of two – Desmond and Morse. Yesterday with a man on third ck had a better chance of driving in a run by throwing his clipboard at the ball then our 'hitters' did and it woudn't be so bad if it wasn't like this every other game. Does anyone think our hitting gets worse if we fire Eck and use Youppi for the hitting coach?

  88. NatsLady - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    Eric, I've noticed that for a long, long time. It's as if they aren't getting paid over there…Lannan may be hot to beat his old team, but that doesn't make him a good pitcher. In fact, it may make him a worse pitcher if he goes away from his own game.

  89. Eric - Jun 17, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    "Here are the encouraging signs I see, having just done the weekly review."In addition to what you listed, I have to think our average runs scored is better in June than in previous months…or maybe it's just been the last two weeks?If it is up, then hopefully last night was just one of those times we got beat, and something that would be a blip if it weren't coming on after such a rough 2.5 months…But, we'll see…

  90. Eric - Jun 17, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    "better in June…or maybe it's just been the last two weeks?"::: looks up, realizes June is only about 2 weeks old :::Make that one week. I'll be back after more coffee ;).

  91. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 17, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    I think people know that the Nats are facing another professional team (yeah the Fish are one too, regardless of what anyone says) but some/most of these circumstances are baffling that it seems the Nats do the same dumb things to most of these pitchers… Want to fix your problems, play the Nats… Then when the y face the next opponent, it's like yeah back to reality….

  92. Joe Seamhead - Jun 17, 2013 at 2:06 PM

    Eric-Frustrating, yes, but I'm not going to allow it to get me despondent. Why not?1: I still believe we are better than the Braves and it will play out that way before it's all over.2: We have a baseball team. I rooted for the old Senators and I'll root for this team.3: No matter what happens this year, nobody or thing, can take the joy that I had on that night at the stadium when we were playing the Phillies and it was announced that Atlanta had lost in Pittsburg and our Nats were NL East Champs. I had generations of the weight of losing lifted that night. And then going to a couple of playoff games at home. Werth's home run. For all of this and more I thank Mike Rizzo and Davey Johnson. 4: We have a stable of young talent that we have every reason to believe will be stars for the next several years. I take great satisfaction watching each of them develop. 5: I go to as many games as I can afford to, both time and money wise. I have enjoyed virtually every one of them, even when the quality seemingly wasn't as good as watching some local high schools and/or the Clark Griffith League. We were bad 5 years ago, with no hope of getting better. Right now, I still have hope for the season. Now! Let's beat Philly tonight. GYFNG!!!

  93. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 17, 2013 at 2:06 PM

    McGuire was a genius in St Louis…..not so much in LA. All hitting coaches are geniuses with good hitters.

  94. bowdenball - Jun 17, 2013 at 2:06 PM

    NatsLady said…"bowdenball, it's difficult to give credit to a pitcher when his stats don't show well"Huh? As I've said three times now, he has a 2.94 xFIP and a close to 5.5/1 K/BB ratio this season. How does that not show well? Those are Cy Young contender stats. Of course I don't actually think he's that good, but he's certainly no slouch.Mrs B-I actually do agree that they should have scored at least two runs in those three innings. The first of the three blown chances was the worst because the ball was not put in play. I can live with hard-hit balls that go to the wrong place, like Solano's lineout or LaRoche's hard grounder that he was turned despite the shift. The strikeouts are another story though. But I try to take the long view. In the last four days we've won two games with clutch late inning run production. I think the problem is bad offense generally, not bad offense in particular situations. They've taken steps to fix that, with Werth back and healthy and Rendon in the lineup instead of Lombo and Espi and batting second. Hopefully now we'll see more games like Thursday and Saturday and fewer like Friday and Sunday.

  95. Joe Seamhead - Jun 17, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    And do I look at it all through rose colored glasses? Sure, why not? I usually have my wife by my side, and/or my kids or grandkids, a beer in my hand, a bag of peanuts, and I'm watching baseball, which is about as much fun as you can have. [Well, G-rated fun, anyway]. Win, lose, or draw… I'm still having a blast.

  96. karlkolchak - Jun 17, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    NatsLady – Lannan may not be a good pitcher, but the Nats have repeatedly demonstrated this year that the quality of their opponent on the hill is irrelevant.

  97. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 17, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    In July, the Nats play 26 games, 17 at home and 9 on the road. 3 of the road games are against the Marlins.Keep grinding through June, get Bryce healthy and go 18-8 in July and everybody around here will be singing a different tune.

  98. Eric - Jun 17, 2013 at 2:20 PM

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  99. Eric - Jun 17, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    "But I try to take the long view. In the last four days we've won two games with clutch late inning run production. I think the problem is bad offense generally, not bad offense in particular situations."Agreed. Overall, things seem to be trending in the right direction, albeit at this point in the season the pace of change isn't doing much to allay concerns…Joe, I'm with you 100% on all 5 points, except my wait for a winning season was far, far shorter (8 years to be exact, and only 2.5 months of one season [end of 2012] involved following them obsessively).Anyway, somehow as my baseball obsession has skyrocketed, my ability to shrug off a loss remains mostly intact. Even after game 5 I wasn't despondent, I just felt bad for Storen.

  100. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 17, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    We all are frustrated… I get it… Just looking for answers…But start by beating Philly and then hopefully going with a winning road record….

  101. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 17, 2013 at 2:28 PM

    Agreed bowdenball @ 10:06NatsJack – I'm still hoping to go at least 17-10 in June….Eric – I also felt bad for Storen…. But I'm not giving up on the team… Not at all…. I do laugh at all those ' I hate this team…' 'I'm not watching them anymore… Not wasting my money….' And all that other bullish people talk…

  102. A DC Wonk - Jun 17, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    We have runners in scoring position with no outs on 3 separate occasions… There is NO EXCUSE to why at least 2 didnt score…The three K's sucked — but Werth had just missed a bases clearing double down the line on one of his foul balls. And ALR's hit was pretty hard, right at a fielder. And Solano's liner would have scored two, had it been a foot or two further away from the 1b-man.

  103. karlkolchak - Jun 17, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    A DC Wonk – and had the last line drive of Saturday night's game been a "foot or two" farther away from LaRoche's glove we would have at best been headed to extra innings and on the way to a possible series sweep by the Indians. I am so tired of the excuses being made for this team.

  104. NatsLady - Jun 17, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    bowdenball, relax, I was agreeing with you. I saw him with my own eyes before the game because I always look at pitchers before we meet them. Also, that ratio and xFIP include yesterday's game when he walked no one and struck out a bunch. I always check the game logs. He seems to alternate between very good games and not so good games. The good games are really good, and we got him on one of those days. Yesterday was his highest game score (76). He has a good ability NOT to give up the long ball–even in Coors.

  105. phil dunton - Jun 17, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    Rizzo and Johnson could start by hiring a real hitting coach but nobody in this organization wants to make any waves. Thus, there's no accountability for bad performance.

  106. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 17, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    NatsJack, I agree on hitting coaches looking like geniuses and fools when they switch teams. Usually you don't see a drop-off like the Nats have had with almost the same roster.These guys all know how to hit and this is more about approach and what has changed with each player.The most perplexing I find is Denard Span and I like Denard and still support the move to bring him here it's just that he has changed.3-2 pitches are a hitter's delight. The pressure is on the pitcher, not on the batter. If it's a close pitch, foul it off and try the next. Chances are you are getting a fastball in a 3-2 count and you have to hit a line drive for a hit. Werth in 3-2 counts last year slashed .357/.565/.500/1.065 This is where Denard has to improve. Take the walks, we like walks. If it is in your kill zone, smash a line drive for a hit.

  107. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 17, 2013 at 2:48 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… Good point on the 2 strike efficiency, Ghost. Ryan Zimmerman used to be an excellent 2 strike hitter. I also thought Span showed a good ability to spoil pitches when he first got here but now seems to put all 2 strike pitches in play weakly or miss all together.There is no doubt, except for Rendon, the entire team seems to be pressing at the plate.As I said yesterday, Rendon actually sees every ball make contact with his bat. I'm not sure you can say that about the rest of the Nats hitters. And you usually can't hit what you don't see. June 17, 2013 9:43 AM Remember last year how we talked about Left-field was the problem spot for the Nats and 2nd base.Morse came back and fixed the offensive problems in left-field. When Harper comes back the left-field issues will be fixed. Rendon fixed the 2nd base issues. Denard has to find a way to take walks and get more efficient in 3-2 counts and Werth should be moved behind Ian Desmond, not in front of him.Span LHRendon RHHarp LHRZim RHALR LHDesi RHWerth RHRamos RHPitcher

  108. Rabbit34 - Jun 17, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    I know the Nots will win again sometime this season, more than once actually. But, you have to figure them to lose when any individual game starts. It is just a flat, boring, unexciting lineup this team has. Go Notionals.

  109. Eric - Jun 17, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    Span LHRendon RHHarp LHRZim RHALR LHDesi RHWerth RHRamos RHPitcherMan that looks sexxy. If we can get to a point where Werth and Ramos are our "worst" hitters…

  110. Eric - Jun 17, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    "I know the Nots"Hrm…I fee like I've seen this highly unclever flay on the Nat's name somewhere before. Oh, right, Braves trolls on WaPo. Did you pick it up from them, Rabbit?

  111. NatsLady - Jun 17, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    No, Kluber's no slouch, nor is Masterson, their Opening Day starter. I figured we had the best chance against Kashmir, and that's exactly what happened, It would have been easy going in that game except for whatever happened to JZimm. My pre-series prediction was loss to Masterson, win vs. Kashmir (partly because of him, partly because it was JZ's game) and no clear odds with Kluber (partly because of him, partly because of unknown with Stras). I always look at the pitchers first. I feel bad for Gio because he was toe-to-toe with Masterson.The Indians are a good hitting team (No. 9), our pitchers did well to hold them and it's no surprise that when JZ was not at his best he got hammered.The Rockies are an even better hitting team (No. 1). Without Tulo you have to take them down a notch. Also, Jhoulys Chacin pitched a shutout into the ninth inning yesterday, and I expect we will see him over the weekend. The Phillies, as always, will play us tough, but they are in a bad place morale-wise, and that is seeping into public statements by Cholly. We should be in a good place, .500 so far on the road trip against tough opponents and now having Rendon, the bullpen sorted out, Werth back and the rotation back… Immediate needs: LaRoche–don't slump! Span–figure it out!It will be interesting to see how Haren/Ohlendorf fare tonight.I lived through years where you went to the park with about a lottery ticket chance to win. I would rather we tough it out now than be flying high and fold in August/September. Tim Kurkjian said the Nats would "figure it out," and I think that's what is happening.

  112. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 17, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    Eric, I don't think Davey will employ that lineup. He may put Werth 2 and Rendon 7th or I could see Rendon 2nd, Werth 6th and Desi 7th.The Werth/Harp/RZim last year worked to perfection many times. Span has to be the table setter and create that havoc at 1st base.

  113. Rabbit34 - Jun 17, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    Ghost, I like your lineup except I would move Desmond up to fourth. After that shuffle the deck, LH – RH doesn't make any difference. As NatsJack said, "you usually can't hit what you can't see".

  114. A DC Wonk - Jun 17, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    karlkolchak said… A DC Wonk – and had the last line drive of Saturday night's game been a "foot or two" farther away from LaRoche's glove we would have at best been headed to extra innings and on the way to a possible series sweep by the Indians. I am so tired of the excuses being made for this team.It's not an excuse, it's an example where the batters approach wasn't wrong, it was just an unlucky BABIP.Yep — the other night we were lucky with ALR's grab. Just like we were unlucky with Solano's drive yesterday.

  115. Rabbit34 - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:00 PM

    Eric, just want to be sure you're paying attention!

  116. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:00 PM

    I'm with Mr. Seamhead and Nats Lady on this one. Eck has been too much of a whipping boy. Our problems at the plate stem not from him, but the players' poor pitch selection. If I'm LannEn tonight, I wouldn't throw anything over the plate. You don't have to; we swing at too many pitchers that aren't strikes. Every guy in the minors is not going to be an Anthony Rendon. I think we have to get accustomed to living with what we have up here, with perhaps one or two exceptions.And NJinFla., great point about the schedule. I think we go on a tear in July with all those softies, and finally getting Bryce and Moose back. Let's show a little patience (oh, I'm going to get ripped for that request!).

  117. Eric - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:02 PM

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  118. Eric - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:03 PM

    Ghost:I agree about Span. I think Davey has shown he's willing to shuffle things around quite a bit to try to create a spark, so it will be interesting to see what happens when Harp returns. I do agree that it's unlikely Werth will be anywhere but the 2 hole initially, though. I also suspect he'll stick with the opening day line up for a least a couple weeks of low production before switching up again.Speaking of Harper, has there been any word on his condition, other than him still having a little "puffiness" or whatever?

  119. JD - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:05 PM

    Nats Jack actually nailed the discussion on the hitting coach pretty well. Eck is very good at fixing technical hitting issues based on film and observation. When it comes to situational hitting and approach the manager has more to say than the hitting coach. Theoretically ALR could have bunted with runners on the corners and 1 out and if he just makes contact in fair territory (toward 3rd base) it's an easy run. Davie doesn't play this type of game and the stats support his approach. In the long run you will score more runs by swinging away than bunting. Davie actually sacrificed several times this weekend and I hated the moves each time. Span bunted to move the runners over on Friday (which he did and we still didn't score), I hate giving away outs. Lombo's sacrifice turned into a hit loading the bases with no one out and we still didn't score.

  120. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    I think it's about time people faced up to obvious problem: Drake LaRoche has got to go. The batboys are the ones bringing these useless bats to the players–there has to be some accountability somewhere. I understand some bleeding hearts might hesitate to rip on some 8-year-old kid working for multi-millionaires, but facts are facts–it's the bats that aren't producing, and what use is a batboy if the bats are no good? Maybe it won't change anything, but something must be done, and it has to be somebody's fault.

  121. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    JD, sacrificing with runners on 1st and 2nd with no outs takes the doubleplay out of the equation and gets a man on 3rd and 2 in scoring position. Most managers would do that with a good bunter in the batter's box. It also worked well with Lombo which he turned into a hit.Sacrificing with anyone but the pitcher with just a man on 1st early in the game is certainly giving an out away.

  122. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    Once you pinpoint the problems, you have to fix the situational hitting as a team. 2 strike efficiency and the bases loaded situations have got to improve.Shorten up those swings to make contact. A 200 foot hit is better than a 60 foot 6 inch strikeout.

  123. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    They need to score about five runs a game, on average (I think GoSM put it at 4.7). Davey apparently believes they aren't going to do that by bunting. OTOH, they are leaving money on the table, several times a game, by not doing basic things, and that's not bad luck when it happens more often than not; it's a bad approach. Espinosa may be an extreme example of trying to hit six-run home runs every time up, but he was not the only one doing it, he was just bad at it.

  124. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:20 PM

    NatsLady, you always come up with those cool stats on situational hitting. With a man on 1st and 2nd with no outs what's the odds of that runner scoring vs. a man on 3rd and 2nd with 1 out?Just curious.

  125. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    Sec3, yes, 4.7 is the magic number for the Nats, other teams in the AL need more than that given their poor pitcher's ERA.

  126. NatsLady - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    Garcia was moved to the 60-day DL? I missed that somehow.

  127. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:23 PM

    A 200 foot hit is better than a 60 foot 6 inch strikeout. A dozen or so more 100-foot ground balls to second, and we wouldn't be having this particular conversation.

  128. A DC Wonk - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    NatsLady, you always come up with those cool stats on situational hitting.With a man on 1st and 2nd with no outs what's the odds of that runner scoring vs. a man on 3rd and 2nd with 1 out?Just curious. There are actually two question here — and I'd love it is NL could answer both of them:1. What are the percentages of scoring _any_ runs in those two situations; and2. What is the expected value of the number of runs that may score in those two situations.Bunting often increases the chances (slightly) of getting one run, while decreasing the chances of getting two runs. But that case is (I think) with a guy on first and no outs.I'd like to see those two stats with first and second and no outs.

  129. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    I think it's time to show good faith for the starters and get some runs manufactured for them.I don't think you play small ball, I think you play smart ball. Early baserunners, lead to runs unless you do it with the solo HR. Davey plays for crooked numbers but you also have better odds of coming back in a game being down 1 run than 2 runs.The team isn't manufacturing runs like they were last year by moving runners up with productive outs and using the Sac Fly to score the 1 run.I'm all for big innings but I think it's back to basics.

  130. NatsLady - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    Ghost, here is where you can look that up. You can plug in any situation and see the stats (in this case runs expected). You can plug in a different year if you don't think 2013 is representative. I'm in the middle of my injury report right now, but I can look up your exact question later.runs expectedhttp://www.baseballprospectus.com/sortable/index.php?cid=1405164

  131. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    NatsLady said… Garcia was moved to the 60-day DL? I missed that somehow. June 17, 2013 11:22 AM Me too. Ruh roh.

  132. NatsLady - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    Wonk, there are several articles on bunting that address your question. If you search on runs expected bunting you will find them.

  133. JD - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    Ghost, I don't like sacrificing in the 3rd inning for the simple reason that now you have 2 chances of scoring runs instead of 3. I get it when it's late in the game and 1 run may be all you need or likely to get but early in the game I feel you put much more pressure on the pitcher by hitting away.

  134. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    Thanks NatsLady!

  135. NatsLady - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    I assume Garcia was back-dated, he's been out 60 days by now anyway and it's just a roster move.

  136. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    I thought Garcia went to the DL for roster moves or something…And who went back down when SS came back?

  137. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    JD – we are so starved for runs, we have to take the chances when we can… At least that is my feeling…I don't like it went a Bryce Harper bunts… But I've no issue with a Lombo or even Adam LaRoche (with his blazing speed) doing it….

  138. JD - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    Ghost, I agree with you 1000% about Span. He has limited offensive value if he doesn't walk. The difference between an OBP of .353 (lifetime) and .312 (this year) is enormous. Span's value to the team this year has been almost strictly defensive.

  139. JD - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:32 PM

    Mrs. B, Cedeno.

  140. Joe Seamhead - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    One more point on hitting coaches: These guys all learned to hit long before they got to the ML. You want to blame a coach, then blame their Little League, or their high school coaches.Rick is not teaching anybody how to hit, they already know how. Sofa's right about somebody has to at fault. Drake is probably more likely responsible then the hitting coach at this level.

  141. BigCat - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    Yes, as bad as it seems this year, we are still at .500. We would of begged for this 2 years ago. We are only 6 back of the Braves, who aren't setting the world on fire either. Stra and Det are back and when we get Harper back to stick in there with Rendon and with the addition of the new lefties in the pen, we can still pull this thing out. Haren tonight….Phew. Whats that old saying about a chain and its weakest link

  142. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    Span started off so well… Every at bat was no less than 7 pitches…. He is still seeing the ball well but he is pulling a lot to the right…I don't remember the last opposite side hit for him… Or even something that wasnt right at 1st base…Thanks JD…. I was hoping mini-Clip would have stayed up but he does need some more seasoning…

  143. JD - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    Mrs. B I'm not buying the starved for runs argument. The situation I'm describing had Suzuki and Lombo both get on base to lead off an inning (walk + hit). Span sacrificed to get to Kobernus and Zim who both struck out. To me in the top of the 3rd inning you go for the jugular, you try for a walk or a hit or whatever, if you fail you are not very much worse off than you were with the bunt anyway.

  144. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:36 PM

    Watch Haren come out tonight and pitch 7 innings and only give up 2 runs….Idk if people are necessarily blaming Eck but moreso acknowledging that he isn't helping the situation…. And we aren't seeing where he is fixing problems…I'm not going to be surprised if next year a new hitting coach is bought in…

  145. JD - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    I think we will score a lot of runs in the 1st innings with Span, Rendon and Harper at the top of the order, this will also coincide with Zim's normal summer hot streak. I still like our chances.

  146. mick - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    A DC Wonk said…mick said…stats do not lie…Harper and Ramos out had nothing to do with the 3rd or 6th inning..HuhIf you read the post entirely, rather than cherry pick…. I was clear that we are dealing with a sample size of 6 batters over the 3rd and 6th inning. Your logic on Solano just baffles me. My friend, the reality is…there were zero outs in both the 3rd and 6th inning, runners on the corner and the in both cases, the meat of the batting order up. This happen twice, not once. Harper or Ramos on both situations has nothing to do with what the pitcher will throw to Werth, Zim, Desi, ans ALR with zero outs and runners on the corners. One can accept this happening once, but not twice in the same game. If you do not understand than that, then what ever…I think your just picking at me because several other posters agree with me 100%.Also, are you saying that batters then get a pass for not hitting if certain players are out? Based on your rationale, every agent of every MLB player would love that as an excuse if there client is not hittingbe for real

  147. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:41 PM

    JD, we are on the same page there. Big defensive upgrade with Span. Offense OPS for a full-time leadoff is awful and while we knew he had limited power, the OBP has to make up for that lack of power and runs scored is the prize.

  148. mick - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    Span is an all star defensive out fielder…I have no problem with him…i wish he had more pwer

  149. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    NatsLady, I signed up for a Baseball Prospectus account and they haven't sent me my confirm email…..

  150. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:48 PM

    Joe Seamhead said… One more point on hitting coaches: These guys all learned to hit long before they got to the ML. You want to blame a coach, then blame their Little League, or their high school coaches.Rick is not teaching anybody how to hit, they already know how.Exactly right and that's been my point on Eck which probably puts a little more of the blame uphill on who set the team philosphy because that's not working and then go back downhill to the players themselves on not executing Davey's philosphy and back uphill when the players are asked to execute but don't.It's a total circular conundrum. Who's to blame: The Players themselves for failure to execute and when they don't you have to find those who can.That goes back to is it the student or the teacher. The Nats were getting it done last year, why not this year?

  151. JD - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:51 PM

    mick, All star defensive outfielder is not good enough for Span. He has to get on base 35% of the time to be a huge help.

  152. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:51 PM

    Mrs. B says: I'm not going to be surprised if next year a new hitting coach is bought in…Well, of course. Davey's leaving. Even if they stay inhouse and give it to Jewett or Randy Knorr, that guy might decide to bring his own crew in. In fact, I would expect it. Hard to envision a fellow coach getting the gig and the ones who were passed over not being at least a little bitter.If they go outside the organization for the new manager, he of course would bring in his own people. So either way, this is likely it for Eck here.Unless some of you people sack him by committee before then…

  153. mick - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:52 PM

    In the sixth inning, after two guys got on base, the 3-4-5 hitters were scheduled to bat. One of them would have been Harper.So, what's your comment talking about?so let's see…Bryce out of the lineup excuses 3 all star VETERAN hitters failing to even hit the ball to the outfield for a sacrifice run?just amazing

  154. JD - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:53 PM

    'That goes back to is it the student or the teacher. The Nats were getting it done last year, why not this year?' The biggest difference: ALR and Zim.

  155. mick - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    JD…good point, butI still think he will help

  156. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    mick said… Span is an all star defensive out fielder…I have no problem with him…i wish he had more pwer June 17, 2013 11:45 AM When you don't have warning track power, they can play you shallower. Until Span can start hitting balls over left-fielders heads they will play him like a weak hitting pitcher. OTOH, when Span tries barreling up he is hitting harmless pop flies. His bread and butter is a line drive hitter and pounding groundballs into holes. Making contact and finding green pasture for his hits to drop in is how he has always done it and small glimpses of power. His batting average is 25 points lower than his career average and when you add that into his OBP you find that his walks are off by 16 points.He can fix that OBP 1 of 2 ways, more walks or a lot more hits but the bottomline is that a .312 OBP won't cut it for this team.

  157. JD - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    mick, It happens. The pitcher made good pitches and he got our guys out. It doesn't make them bums. What do you think the Colorado fans were posting when their team was throttled by Ohlendorf?

  158. mick - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:57 PM

    Ghost…good post… to the larger question, what will be different the rest of the season if these guys continue to fail to hit. I really think Harper and Ramos out has nothing to do with it…last year, Werth, Desi and Zim all missed time and this team hit. so, what changes?? I fear not much

  159. mick - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:58 PM

    oh, and Ramos was out all last year

  160. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:00 PM

    so let's see…Bryce out of the lineup excuses 3 all star VETERAN hitters failing to even hit the ball to the outfield for a sacrifice run?Just wondering, but if three veteran all-star hitters aren't getting the ball out of the infield, what's the guarantee a fourth one would do so?

  161. mick - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:00 PM

    JD… I never said they were bums or even implied it… the problem is, the 3rd and 6th inning has been happening for the vast majority of the the first 68 games. that is why this team is stuck at 500…last year, with key guys out this did not happen

  162. Jimmy DeMoney - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:02 PM

    In football if the team is giving up too many points they fire the Defensive Coordinator. Scoring too few points? Fire the OC.So in baseball if your team is not hitting…. it's very simple. Eck must go! There have to be other qualified hitting coaches available. Just pay them double what they can get anywhere else! We threw 14 mil @ ALR and Haren so why not find a proven stud hitting coach!!!

  163. Eric - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    Ghost:"I'm all for big innings but I think it's back to basics."I also think it depends on the situation. If you're down 1 run in the 8th or 9th and have a chance to push a run across, push the run across. Under those conditions, imo "live to play another inning" should be goal numero uno. Once you get that run across, switch gears.

  164. mick - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    Ghost…good point

  165. JD - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:04 PM

    mick, The other day you posted that we have 3 stars (Harper, Rendon and Desmond) and the rest of the players are not that good and likely wouldn't make other contenders lineups. That's a little harsh but in reality it's not bad to have 3 stars in your lineup if you have 3 or 4 other players who are above average and I think we do (Zim, Werth, ALR,Span). You have to expect some drop off when you remove your best hitter and replace him with a more or less replacement level player and also when 2 out of 5 starters are out it's not trivial to overcome.

  166. Ken - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    The first mistake that the Nats front office made this past off-season was resigning Adam LaRoche. They should have kept Michael Morse to play first base, because he had a constantly improving glove and a more consistent bat. LaRoche was the 2nd biggest waste of money the Nats made. Signing Dan Haren was the biggest.Morse was a big part of the clubhouse and bench chemistry, add to that he helped light the fire that ignited the team to new heights, while LaRoche just sits there and feels that he should let his (inconsistent) bat do the talking.Haren was an emergency signing to please Davey's desire (more like an addiction) to have a veteran presence on the staff or bench (see Tracy for reference). At a point when the Nats were well past needing to sign "iffy" pictures in hopes they find former glory should have been a thing of the past and never should have happened. Instead, Rizzo bent over to kiss Davey's backside.The problem on this team is not the hitting coach, the pitching coach or the front office, the problem, and hopefully more people are seeing it, is Davey Johnson and his "needs".Finding guys who are give consistently good numbers off the bench are a rare breed and the Nats had more that was normal last season, and to expect them to produce on the same level 2 years in a row was Rizzo's biggest mistake. There was never any competition to earn a bench spot, because Davey had his bench picked out before spring training even started. Get rid of Davey Johnson and his "needs" and the team will probably start winning. Yes, even though the players will say it wasn't Davey's fault, their numbers will improve despite their statements, because they'll know spots on the team will have to be earned, not awarded because of loyalty to someone's "needs"

  167. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    JD, side by side you are right with ALR and Zim. In the batting order it's the guys occupying the 1st, 3rd and 4th spots in the batting order have been way off. When you consider the Nats have scored 75 less runs this year vs. last year at this point it's a huge amount to the team's success. Keep going through the W/Ls and see how many wins you have with 4.7 runs scored. The Nats win Friday, lose Saturday and win Sunday with the 4.7 runs.The Nats would have the best record in the Majors if they averaged 4.7 runs per games. The Nats would be 40-28 if they scored 4 runs per game since technically you can't score 4.7 runs in a game so I assigned losses to all games the other team scored 4 runs or more. The Nats have only given up 5 runs or more 22 times this year but 3 of those games were extra innings.

  168. mick - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    JD…fair enoughbut would you agree that last season set the bar high? In other words, when Ramos was lost for the year, the catcher position never really hits until Suzuki arrived late in the season, with Werth out about 80 plus games, Desi out and R Zim out or injured for a while, the team got it done…therefore, the frustration level with many fans deals with the fact that they did it last year but have done a 180 this year.

  169. karlkolchak - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    @mick – You're absolutely right: nothing changes. We have to face facts that this is what this team is–a group whose atrocious offense sabotages a decent (but not dominant like last year) pitching staff. Harper is the only chance for a significant boost, and even he may not be enough.Most of the blame falls squarely on the five underachieving vetereans–Zimmerman, Werth, LaRoche, Span and Espinosa. One of them is already gone, and even though his replacement has been on a tear at the plate they are STILL playing .500 ball. That tells you just how badly those other guys are killing the team right now.

  170. JD - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    Lat week there was a landslide of opinion demanding Tracy's head. Don't get me wrong here, Tracy stinks. But the point is that if he wouldn't stink he would be starting for somebody somewhere. The other alternatives mentioned such as Giambi also stink. Normally the most you can hope for from the power pinch hitters is that they get big hits several times a year (4 – 6) and in that regard Tracy is trending ok.

  171. mick - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:11 PM

    thanks Karl

  172. BigCat - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:12 PM

    I have for the most part been disappointed with Span. Not defensively. He is a great defensive player, but he seems to play with no passion. I don't know, its hard to explain. No fire, no competitive juices, just blahhhhhh. He seems a lot older than 29.

  173. Eric - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:14 PM

    Jimmy DeMoney said…"So in baseball if your team is not hitting…."The thing is, we ARE hitting lately, for the most part. 7 hits, 0 runs last night. There was that other game, maybe against the Rockies, where we got 10 hits and 1 run or something.To me, that says that hitting isn't necessarily the problem any more, it's pressing with RISP and/or straight getting beat by the pitcher.

  174. mick - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:15 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  175. mick - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    mick said…Big Cat raises an interesting point…Morse was that player, like Rick Dempsey with the O's 30 years ago…Nats lack that firey guy

  176. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:17 PM

    mick, Bryce Harper being healthy and in the lineup sends shivers down opposing managers backs. His intangibles alone are huge as a missing link and even larger when you consider how he was hitting prior to hitting that wall before the Los Angeles injury.The gain of Rendon has already resulted in 1 GW hit. That's progress especially considering Rendon is slashing .444/.474/.694/1.168 in 9 games since his re-callup and has 1 GW hit in those 9 games and has created 5 RBI and 5 runs scored in those 9 games.If Harp can contribute and Desi gets red hot again this team can win a lot of games just with those 3 then add in Span, RZim, ALR, Werth and Ramos.That is a lineup that can blow past 4.7 runs per game.When you look at winning series, the Nats need to go on a run and unfortunately they can't wait for Harper and Ramos to return as they have to do it on their own.

  177. mick - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:18 PM

    although, I see Rendon as a Magic Johnson type with his smile and the fact that he shows he is having fun…Zim and ALR look like they are at a wake.

  178. JD - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:18 PM

    mick, Last year the Nats staff won pitcher of the month 3 months in a row. Gio,Stras and JZimm were all in the top 10 in the NL, this year they haven't been able to stay healthy as a group. As ghost points out the pitching is really rounding into form and with Rendon in the 2 hole the lineup has potential. I am still hopeful for this year. Ryan Z is a key player, he must be an impact hitter in this lineup. ALR and Werth are aging veterans so their drop offs aren't shocking but I still think they can contribute significantly this year.

  179. mick - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    hope your right Ghost

  180. mick - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    JD your probably right

  181. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:21 PM

    By the way, in Nats wins that Harper is playing he is slashing:.393/.466/ .843 /1.309 You can't replace that type of production, even with Rendon because he doesn't have Bryce's power. a 1.309 OPS!

  182. BigCat - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:21 PM

    I mean, he doesn't steal a lot of bases. He's got no pop with the bat. I would of liked to had the same lineup as last year. I know, its easy to second guess now. But if it ain't broke……

  183. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    mick said… hope your right Ghost June 17, 2013 12:19 PM If you give me a healthy Bryce Harper, I'm right. Otherwise, the production has to come from someone(s) else like RZim and LaRoche and they are both playing extremely inconsistent right now.

  184. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:33 PM

    mick said… although, I see Rendon as a Magic Johnson type with his smile and the fact that he shows he is having fun…Zim and ALR look like they are at a wake. Rendon as point guard? Got to admit, Mick, I haven't thought of that until you brought it up.

  185. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    JD said… As ghost points out the pitching is really rounding into form and with Rendon in the 2 hole the lineup has potential. I am still hopeful for this year. Ryan Z is a key player, he must be an impact hitter in this lineup. ALR and Werth are aging veterans so their drop offs aren't shocking but I still think they can contribute significantly this year.Agree, agree, agree. Your last paragraph on aging veterans needs to be remembered as that will be my off-season rant as the Nats are going to have to swallow real hard and eat cash on ALR for 2014. Not sure if they will do it, but he should become a platoon player at best in 2014 with a good RH bat to compliment him. He is no longer hitting LH hitting like he was. The drop-off is significant. ALR vs. LH Starters this season: .208/.306/.302/.608 I think that will continue to deteriorate further and the choices are leave RZim at 3rd and leave ALR at 1st for 2014, the problem exists right now that ALR shouldn't be starting against LH pitching any more unless he "owns" a particular lefty.Problem as we know it is who would replace him at 1st that bats well against LH pitching and could play 1st? The answer may be outside the organization.

  186. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:36 PM

    Can you imagine a healthy Bryce Harper with this Rendon 2.0 in the same lineup?

  187. Eric - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    "Can you imagine a healthy Bryce Harper with this Rendon 2.0 in the same lineup?"Yes, yes I can, and I impatiently await the opportunity to see it in action. And, I've been thrilled to see Rendon playing very solid D in the field since his first series back.

  188. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    Rendon as point guard? Got to admit, Mick, I haven't thought of that until you brought it up. I would have guessed Werth at point.

  189. Doc - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    Ghost, correctomundo on your post on hitting coaches.I, like others, have said it before. Hitting aptitude is the property of the player. Anything contrary to that is nonsense.In the Nats' case, they have an offensive manager in Davey who has forgotten more about hitting than most of us will ever learn. The Nats' players have been told all the hitting strategies they will ever need in the batter's box, It's up to them to execute, not Davey, and not his personal choice of hitting coach, Rick Eckstein.By the way, the 2nd half of last year, our Nats had no problem executing!

  190. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    Eric said… And, I've been thrilled to see Rendon playing very solid D in the field since his first series back. See, glad you mentioned that. Small sample sizes can be deceiving.It appears that Davey thought he would be a lot worse getting 'acclimatized' so it seems Davey was willing to accept mediocre defense and even he's been pleasantly surprised.If anyone knows the middle infield, it's Davey. Davey said it would take 80 days to learn the position. Maybe Rendon is a quick learner but keep in mind, even the best 2nd baseman have errors.

  191. Eric - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    Ghost, to be clear, I never thought Rendon *couldn't* do well, I was just worried about rushing him up given his track record in the minors. Also, I wouldn't say we're out of "small sample size" territory yet, and it the pitfalls are as applicable to good results as they are to bad ones.But, again, I'm very glad he's trending in the right direction. It complements his hitting and his ability to make incredible plays quite well ;).

  192. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 17, 2013 at 5:09 PM

    Eric, I was worried also. I said several times Rendon needed 2 solid weeks at 2nd base and given his 3 games at Syracuse and 9 in DC, he's only at 12 games total and actually has pleasantly surprised me.Some posters got ticked at his 1st error as it could be indicative of something larger. Hopefully people are willing to give him even more time. His horizontal range has been very good and who can forget his vertical jumping ability and his doubleplay footwork has been very good. I think his vertical range going into the outfield needs to improve but that should come in time.By the way, Jurickson Profar the stud phenom shorstop of the Texas Rangers has played 20 games at 2nd base and has 3 errors so far.

  193. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 17, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    NEW POST

  194. LARRY REED - Jun 17, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    The Nat's are a mess. Everyday I keep hoping that whatever problems that they have will get improve. It just never happens same results over and over. They don't try to fix the hitting. Bringing up Rendon was an act of desperation. The Royals hire George Brett and they have won 11 out 13 game. It least they did something. Even if it doesn't work they can at least try something else until it is fixed. Last year the Nat's had Mark DeRosa in the club house. He worked with several guys on their hitting. I don't know why they didn't bring him back. Adam LaRoche had to seek advice from Chipper Jones to help him. These guys can hit. I can see Adams dropping his front shoulder when he swings. What they need is someone to help Eckstein or to fire him. This all starts at the top with Rizzo. If he is the great baseball man that he thinks he is he needs to do the right thing. More Later

  195. mick - Jun 17, 2013 at 6:46 PM

    Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Meand sofalol

  196. TexNat - Jun 17, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    (1) Go and get some better bench bats. Right now a starter is needed. But over the long haul, this is a team that needs a 4th outfielder/back up first base man to play a lot. Werth and Laroche need rest. And Harper's aggressiveness is going to give him bumps and bruises. It really didn't make sense to let Morse go for prospects. They should have seen that they had a need for a 4th outfielder/1B to play a prominent role on this team. They could have easily got him 300 ABs even without the injuries we have seen. This was a mistake for a team that claimed to be in "World Series or bust mode." But now that Morse is gone, go and get someone like him (or him).(2) Go ahead and fire Eckstein or add another hitting coach. I'm sure this is mostly on the hitters and not him, but still, he isn't getting any results. What's the point of having a hitting coach if you are going to take the position that the hitting coach doesn't have any impact anyways.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 89 64 --
ATLANTA 76 77 13.0
MIAMI 74 79 15.0
NEW YORK 74 80 15.5
PHILADELPHIA 70 84 19.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Friday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON 89 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 88 66 1.5
ST. LOUIS 86 68 3.5
-------------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 69 5.0 +1.0
PITTSBURGH 83 70 6.0 --
MILWAUKEE 79 75 10.5 4.5
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Friday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
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.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
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