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From elation to frustration in 10 minutes

Jun 18, 2013, 4:28 AM EDT

Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — As the ball soared toward the right-field bleachers and the previously raucous crowd of 44,990 fell dead-silent, the visitors dugout at Citizens Bank Park sprung to life. In a season with precious few moments of true elation, Chad Tracy’s down-to-the-last-strike home run in the top of the ninth Monday night was about as good as it’s been for the Nationals.

One pitch away from a ho-hum loss to the Phillies, the Nationals now had new life, Tracy having delivered a game-tying homer on an 0-2 pitch for the second time in 72 hours. The prevailing sentiment in the dugout: This game was theirs now.

“You gotta play the game, but when you tie it up, I think all of us had a feeling,” Tracy said. “We expected to win, sure.”

A feeling that had vanquished into thin air only 10 minutes later when Fernando Abad surrendered his third single of the bottom of the ninth, this one a soft liner up the middle by Domonic Brown, bringing Ben Revere home with the run that dealt the Nationals a 5-4, punch-to-the-gut loss.

“You tie it up late, and everybody’s emotions are running high and everybody’s feeling good,” Tracy said. “And then they come out and put some good at-bats together at the end and steal it right back from you.”
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125 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 18, 2013 at 4:35 AM

    As a team it seems one unit or the other jusy can't get it together to often.

  2. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jun 18, 2013 at 4:57 AM

    i was elated by Tracy's homer the other night. I just didn't feel it tonight. I just didn't have a good vibe after yesterday. Without Harper and Rendon, and maybe Ramos, this line-up is just putrid. They can't hit. Hopefully, Werth, La Roche and Zimmerman have not all gotten old overnight, but the Nats simply have no chance to win with this kind of hitting. That is not doom. That is simply the facts.I wouldn't be surprised if the Nats hitters get thank-you notes from pitchers around MLB. They seem to be a definite cure for the woes of scores of mediocre pitchers around both circuits.

  3. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 18, 2013 at 5:26 AM

    Dillon Gee pitches great to the 9,th then gives up single to Justin Upton and homer to Freeman for a walk off 2-1 winThat is how come we are behind, we screw up a large number late, and Braves win a lot late.

  4. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jun 18, 2013 at 5:32 AM

    I think the term "walk-off" should be banished. It is so annoying. What does it even mean? Who walks off?. The pitcher? The hitter has to run, doesn't he? But we all mindlessly repeat the phrase. How did we survive without that term for 100 years? We used to call them game winning hits and if that was enough to convey meaning we added the phrase in the bottom of the ninth+ inning. Anyway, Freeman hit a game-winning homer in the bottom of the 9th inning. This may be the Cards year.

  5. Laddie Blah Blah - Jun 18, 2013 at 7:25 AM

    They are showing signs of life. They put up a fight this time, after falling behind early and staying there for most of the game.Ryan drove the ball last night. It was about this time last year that his bat really heated up. The news on Harper is good. Espinosa is not coming back – he's only hitting in the .150s, even in the minors. This team has a lot of upside. When the offense gels, they could go on a tear.Way too soon to count them out.

  6. Secret wasian man - Jun 18, 2013 at 8:56 AM

    7.5 games back. Enjoy the rest of the season folks. But remember what you are watching. A sub .500 team. Rizzo tweaked this team and ruined it.

  7. Rabbit34 - Jun 18, 2013 at 10:02 AM

    Yes, they show signs of life. They have a pulse. That's about it. The pulse is the pitching. The batters clog the arteries. O. Douglas said it, that with this hitting, they don't have a chance to win. Yes, he's correct. That isn't doom. It is fact. Well, this was just another game we are now used to. Nice homer by Tracy.

  8. Mr Baseball - Jun 18, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    Why doesn't RZ move up about 1 1/2 inches closer to home plate? I don't think he will ever hit the outside pitch consistency.l He needs to make the adjustment!

  9. natsfan1a - Jun 18, 2013 at 11:32 AM

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  10. natsfan1a - Jun 18, 2013 at 11:33 AM

    That one's on Eck, evidently. (Oddly enough, this snippet from a livestrong.com article was located next to an ad listing four signs that you're having a heart attack. Heh. Me, I was pleasantly surprised – okay, shocked – by this Tracy dinger. I didn't see the other game, though. My cat and I walked off to bed afterwards and didn't see the post-game.)"According to The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, the term 'walk-off' was popularized in the 1990s by Hall of Fame pitcher Dennis Eckersley in a post-game interview. Eckersley used the term 'walk-off' to describe the lonely walk from the pitching mound to the dugout after giving up a game-ending hit."

  11. natsfan1a - Jun 18, 2013 at 11:35 AM

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  12. natsfan1a - Jun 18, 2013 at 11:38 AM

    Hoo boy. From Mark's tweeter update thingy, at right (I think I need more coffee first):"@DeadspinVIDEO: On first two pitches as a Cub, Henry Rodriguez hit the umpire and Carlos Beltran, respectively http://deadsp.in/NRYOBe0"Okay, I looked first. lol at the first comment on there

  13. m - Jun 18, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    To be frank we are not going to win with this group. I would like us to win but we look beaten. The team really has no life. This thing could spiral down hill very quickly. A five game losing streak could set us off. On the other hand I see no basis for an extended winning streak. I do not think I am being negative. After 65 games I really think I am being realistic. If you disagree where or what are the signs that this team will turn it around.

  14. jeffwx - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    to maintain some level of sanity, I'm going to watch one game at a time and not give a darn about the standings and enjoy the great pitching and any runs garnered.

  15. karlkolchak - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    Why are we so elated by Henry's continued screw ups with the Cubs? I'll bet even they aren't stubborn enough to keep him around for nearly two-and-a-half seasons, AND they didn't trade Josh Willingham to get him.I am much more concerned about Abad, who looks like he is starting to regress to his old Astros form. If so, better hope the kid Kroll keeps pitching great or we might be heading back to the "no decent lefties in the pen" disaster again.

  16. jeffwx - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    bryce harper should help produce more wins, M, but I don't want to rush him back until his knee swelling does not reoccur everytime he runs in the bath

  17. natsfan1a - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:07 PM

    Speaking only for myself (because who else can I speak for, really?), I'm amused, not elated, karl. In other news, I've been there for some time, jeff @ 8:00. Welcome. :-)

  18. jeffwx - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    the braves have a great bench that can fill in for their starters and have 6 starting pitchers. Our bench has regressed and this is where the braves have an edge. I think our front 4 is better and that equalizes their better offense (McCann, Freeman, Heyward, J. Upton) but their bench and number 5 and backup starters are better. In a long season with so many injuries on any team, i guess you need a lot more depth than perhaps 20-30 years ago.

  19. jeffwx - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    thanks, natsfan1a, grant me the serenity

  20. mick - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    In baseball, you hit or miss as a GM as well. Last year, getting GIo ended up being brilliant…Haren is the 180 of that this season, boy did Rizzo miss and bad

  21. mick - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    I still think Span was good signing, remember, the other guys are suppose to hit in the lineup

  22. Traveler8 - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    Jeffwx, totally agree with you, let's just enjoy a game at a time.

  23. mick - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    I do not see a path for this team to ever win more than 2 or 3 in a row this season…regroup and prepare for 2014, in the meantime we have to all grin and and bare it as my 8 game losing streak is more of a reality now

  24. baseballswami - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    Jeff agreeing with you on all counts this morning. When things get tough, I do things like watch Rendon's joy, Storen's tight slider, Desi's athleticism. I watch one pitch, one inning, one game. It wasn't 't just Davey that got way too ahead of things. -too much talk of October in April. Also do not want to see Bryce's face again until he is well. Not on him to be the savior.

  25. NatsLady - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    kk, I'm not "elated," about Henry, I just think it's humorous, and I don't mind having a laugh on the morning after a loss. I was one of his last supporters, and I'm sincerely glad he's gone. Agreed on the concern re: Abad. I liked the way he pitched in spring training and when he was first recalled. You take what you can get from a minor-league signing. Oh, and complain all you want about Span's offense, but he would have got Revere's triple.

  26. jeffwx - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    yes, and Ian Krol, Zimmerman bashes, when storen's slider is on, ph hrs, great plays by Span, infielders in the outfield, the doubles machine, ALR defensive saves (he should have been a goalie), and hope springs eternal down on the farm, the greatest controlled bat speed ever (Harper)

  27. mick - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:23 PM

    they are really not far off from contending again next year…Rizzo has to be smart yet bold…he should consider trading R Zim or Werth ( I do not know the specs of Werth's contract it may not be an option)The only untouchables in my view are Bryce, Desi, Rendon, Stras, Gio, J ZimRizzo should consider anyone else to fill in the pieces. I really do not think losing R Zim or Werth would hurt the team given their ages and the fact they just can not stay healthy

  28. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    Revere hit a triple? ;)

  29. Joe Seamhead - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    Abad can be an effective loogy. He won't get 'em all the time, but I see him best used like M. Gonzalez was last year.I hate infielders playing the outfield. It is a recipe to lose baseball games, from teenage travel teams to the major leagues. And neither Kobernus, Lombardozzi, or Moore are ML outfielders.

  30. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    Re: bench strength. Even AL teams are revamping their benches and going more towards multi position players and/or 2 or 3 guys that can rotate between playing in the field and DH'ing.The Twins do that with Mauer, Morneau, and Doumit. The days of a Big Papi being a singular DH are coming to a close.

  31. mick - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:25 PM

    I give Rizzo credit or dealing Henry…he gets credit because the Cubs were dumb enough to give up a player for him

  32. mick - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    also,,,I would keep Span, I think he will fit in well with a a few more new bats in the line up next year. I am really hoping Detweiler can stay healthy as i would like to see him as the long term 4th pitcher

  33. Joe Seamhead - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    Not that I know of Ghost @ 8:24. Young hit a triple [by the book]. In reality Kobernus misplayed a flyball into a triple.

  34. jeffwx - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    yes, the season is too long and the injuries too frequent to risk not having a good bench or strong position players rising down on the farm…hard to do, however. 2 rbis from pinch hitting is unimaginably bad.

  35. mick - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    In 2014, bullpen has to be revamped and that is where it gets tricky…I hope Abad is long gone by then…I like Matthues, Stanmmen and Clip..I suppose Soriano will be back, but he will be 1 year older and could fall apart. maybe Ohlendorf could be the 5th starter in 2014 and that way Rizzo can focus on offense and bullpenlike I said, they are not that far off, but i think it is time to let go of Ryan Zim and maybe Werth and deal them

  36. jeffwx - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    infielders in the outfield is ugly but can be comical at times.

  37. mick - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    adding Kroll and Rosenbaum to mix in 2014 next season. I would also deal off Storen before other teams figure out he is a head case

  38. alexva - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    last year Werth makes that play, this year it dropskeep talking about next year if you want. there's another game today, I think I'll watch

  39. mick - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    I will keep watching to, I love the young guys on this team, they will be champions one day

  40. jeffwx - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    it's a great day too…let's play 3

  41. Joe Seamhead - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    NatsJack, I have no problem with guys playing multiple positions, if they learn how to play said position before their rookie year in the major leagues. And great outfielders rarely develop when they get up to the ML level, especially in the middle of their first year in the majors.though of course there have been some exceptions.

  42. baseballswami - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    NatsJack– definitely a trend to have versatile players. But I get frustrated when fans expect young part time infielders to make web gem catches in the outfield. This team has some good pieces- I think Zim has some greatness left , I think Werth has value beyond stats. I thought this might be the year to Moore/ Marrero at first, but with Zim rehabbing, no way. By the way- it was nice to see Zimmy save someone else's airmailed throw!! I think the Nats will play much better in the second half. That is the end of my prediction and projection. Much better. Then we see how it all plays out.

  43. jeffwx - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    in 1973, the yanks with Ron Bloomberg, Horace Clarke, Gene the stick Michaels, Greg Nettles, Roy White, Bobby Murcer and Thurman Munson were in 1st place on July 4th…before they fell back to earth…a long season.

  44. jeffwx - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    Unfortunately out infielders in the outfield have not bought us additional offense at the expense of defense. Soriano at least gave us that in 06

  45. mick - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    jeffwx…Horace Clarke, your an old mofo like me, lolnow remember, that season the Yankees had an off the field event that I think rocked the club house… Fritz Petersen and Mike Kekich, two ace pitchers admitted to wife swapping..that distraction, which was national news (made cover of Newseek) destroyed them more than anything else. If I recall, the wives were pretty hot, lol

  46. mick - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    enough Mick,, this is not Howard stern's siteba ba booey

  47. NatsLady - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    A lot of Abad's poor stats came from the Astros experimenting with him as a starter. In six starts he was 0-6 with an ERA over 6. As a reliever he was adequate, 3.80, stranding about 75% of his inherited runners. He went through a period of 21 appearances as a reliever in 2012 with a 1.67 ERA. After his was so good when he was recalled, Davey has put him in very high-leverage situations. Remains to be seen if that is the best use, but it's good to know he can go multiple innings.

  48. Joe Seamhead - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    swami, I don't expect them to make web gem catches. That's my point, they not only don't make the great plays, they often play singles into doubles, and triples. You need a young outfielder? Bring up an outfielder.Don't stick middle of the road level infielders in the outfield. Or like Riggleman did, don't put Christian Guzman in right in a one run game , as the ball will find him, with the net result a loss of the game.

  49. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    Swami…..I agree with your assessment. Too many Nats fans become enamored with players like Kobernus, Marrero and Brown. Kobernus and Marrero wete hitting .333 and .303 respectively at Syracuse and now the hue and cry is for a .260 hitting outfielder in Cory Brown.Sure, Cory might serve as a bonafide left handed bench bat but, really? To me, that's just change for change sake.I'm no big fan of Tracy but 2 home runs off the bench in the last 3 games is a good sign.And I really don't see the Nats as being able to compete in games Haren starts. Last nite is about the best one can expect.Again, keep grinding the resr of this month, get healthy, then kick butt in July.

  50. Joe Seamhead - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    Jack, is Perez strickly a minor leaguer? Would he or Brown be better on the Nats 25 man then Kobernus, or Tyler Moore in your opinion?

  51. Joe Seamhead - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:01 PM

    If Perez had been in CF last night I honestly think there's a strong probability that Haren would have only given up 2 runs in his start.

  52. baseballswami - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:03 PM

    Sometimes I feel that these punch- you- in – the – gut games are necessary. They force issues. Seems like our current administration needs to have dramatic evidence right in everyone's faces before they make a change. I feel that they would prefer to just wait and see if things get better. No Haren did not melt down in a big way, but he was once again not good. Infielder in the outfield cost us. Maybe Abad in high leverage spots is not going to work. The Nats of 2013 do not get away with anything at all. Every weakness gets exposed and in a big way. I feel that those things, while painful, will push the kind of changes that are needed. If younger away with it, you just let things float. I also think everyone will be more accepting of a new manager now. Feels like everything now is kind of a giant set up for the future.

  53. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:03 PM

    Perez carries more upside in that he's still young but his power is no where near what Brown offers.Tyler has to show he is the hitter they thought he was last year. It's either him or Marrero and I don't hold much hope for either.

  54. NatsLady - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    NJ. am in total agreement with your post. It seems to be "bring up this one that one the next one," or "why did we bring up so-and-so and not use him?" The only gem we had in the minors was Rendon, a first-round pick who fell to us because of injury and signability concerns. He's supposed to be good. Tyler Moore might be good. Danny will sit in AAA in case Desi gets injured or maybe come back and sit on the bench as a super-utility infielder if Lombo gets hurt. I'd like to be wrong about Marrero, who has clearly improved his fielding. but even if he hits .270 with some pop, it will be off the bench, at least for this year.

  55. SCNatsFan - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    I don't know why everyone thinks every other CF catches the ball Kobernus missed; his speed got him there flat out and he missed it. I'm not sure Bernie or Span even get there.This is looking more and more like a lost season, which is OK in the grand scheme of things. Wouldn't be surprised if Davey starts hedging on his retirement.

  56. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    A lot of talk of 'next year' on this board and I don't understand why… It's June 2013 and we have 90 or so odd games left, right? Think I'll continue to watch and see how things play out…I felt bad for HRod…. That man has that powerful arm and can't get the control… Seriously hope it works out for him…Last night's lost was tough but I felt Sunday's loss was worst… We clawed back last night and showed signs of life… And considering all the injuries, flirting with 500 isn't that bad..

  57. baseballswami - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    I am encouraged that the organization finally made some moves. I don't expect them to panic and start shuffling players once a week. But if things are not working, I hope they stay open to holding auditions. I hope they put out the message that if you do not produce– long term– then you won't be allowed to just keep your spot and cash your check. The Nats give players a lot of rope.

  58. livernonions - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:12 PM

    To the folks suggesting it might be time to trade Ryan Zimmerman — not a thought I share — my recollection from his last extension is that he is technically tradeable, but that there are escalator clauses in the deal that make it all but impossible.

  59. NatsLady - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:13 PM

    NJ agreed on Marrero/Moore. Also agree on Haren. The best you can hope for is to win half his starts. That should be enough. I calculate that Det and Stras missed a combined 7-8 starts. The only satisfactory substitute we had was Ohlendorf for one game. So let's say they missed six starts, and we would have won 4 or 5 more games with the full rotation. That still only puts us 3 games over .500. The rest is (IMO) on the offense (and DEFENSE). I don't see anyone in the minors who is going to pump up the offense. You could swap out Kobernus for Perez (both righties) but other than better fielding I don't see that buying much.

  60. Joe Seamhead - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    Whichever of the five guys we've mentioned, none of them appear to be ML starters, but situational role players. If they are role players then utilize their strengths, not put out there to expose their weaknesses, and by extension the team's weaknesses.Also, have you ever seen a team that fancys itself as a contender be worse at holding runners? Jack, you were a catcher, who's fault is that?

  61. NatsLady - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    Me, I am not talking about next year. We are no worse off this week than last week (a game below .500 and 7.5 out) and we are a week closer to Harper returning, and we have the rotation back. Other teams (e.g., the Padres) who started off bad are making runs. We need to pile together a winning streak (like the Padres) and it will be fine. Atlanta is streaky and the Phillies just don't have enough for the long haul.

  62. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    It seemed like we bought Kobernus up when he was hot and then let him sit all that time and he got cold… I hated that we bought Eury up and hardly used him… It's onvious Kobernus isn't ready (he can't hit a breaking ball up here) and idk about Marerro…I was hoping they would bring Eury back up…

  63. NatsLady - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    MrsB, I like to watch Eury, but I'd say, give Kobernus a couple more weeks. I don't know if letting him sit is what cooled him off–it could have been major-league pitchers. :)

  64. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    Yeah, holding the runners, and our inability to just makes me mad… Haren… Well.. Seriously, not trying to be mean, I see him getting 7more wins… And that is pushing it.. I have no confidence at all when he is on the mound…

  65. JD - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    Eury Perez is Juan Pierre light. No power, no walks, mediocre OBP. Jack,NL, Great points about the differences between AAA and the majors. It's day and night and success in the minors does not always translate into the same in the show. For people asking for Corey Brown (same people who were bashing Espinosa) keep in mind that in AAA he is striking out 30% of the time.

  66. baseballswami - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    I have been puzzled this season by what seems like passive or inconsistent managing. As an older person, it is also strange to watch Davey these days. He used to be fiery and passionate. Now he seems so " whatever"– doesn't really argue bad calls or show emotion. It's just odd to see. It almost seems like he is shocked that things are not falling into place just because he believes in his players. By the way– what happened with the Mets and Bob Costas last night? I know it's not Nats related, but MLB and in our division at least.

  67. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    Joe….I've seen way too many unbelieveable jumps by runners. I watched the drills in ST working on holding runners and it just didn't seem like the guys were very adept at grasping the concept. Jordan Z seemed to be the best of the right handed starters. Stras and Storen spent so little time in the minors and were such stand outs in college that I doubt seriously they ever viewed it as an essential.The left handers seem ok but Clip is horrible.

  68. JD - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    The strength of our minor leagues is pitching. We have a lot of really exciting young arms in the lower minors and one who is dominating at AA (not Karns). Taylor Jordan just might be the next young gun to the show. I am beginning to think that I'd much rather have someone like him in the 5th slot rather than the next Dan Haren. The only position player who may have a path to the majors is Brian Goodwin and he's still scuffling at AA. I think Rizzo will have to be very creative in converting some of the young arms into position players via trade (our 1st baseman of the future?).

  69. Joe Seamhead - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    When talking about Marrero, Kobernus, Lombo, Moore, and either Brown, or Perez, none of them are likely starters. They are subs, and as such, are unlikely saviors. I'm not big on Marrero, but he did have a great play last night at first. Kobernus? Maybe there was a good reason we didn't protect him in the Rule 5 and there was a reason the Tigers didn't keep him. Lombo? Like Bernadina, he's good enough to win with as a sub, but bad enough to lose with as a starter, and he just doesn't have an outfielders arm. Moore? If he can't hit a lot, there's no place for him. I still think, at best, he's a right handed Lucas Duda. It looks more and more like we'll never know about Brown and Perez. Corey may be too close of a duplicate of Bernadina, and Perez a RH version of Denard Span. What do we need? Harper!

  70. JD - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    I wouldn't beat up Abad too much for last night's loss. 1) The Rollins single was a broken bat bloop. 2) he did a great job preventing Revere from stealing. 3) the winning hit came on a decent pitch on the inner half that Brown did a good job on.

  71. natsfan1a - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    Hadn't heard about Costas and the Mets, swami, but just turned this up with a quick online search. Evidently, teams who are not in it are not allowed to celebrate their wins. Sorry, what?

  72. natsfan1a - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    grrr, stupid nonlink. Try this one instead.

  73. natsfan1a - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    On a related note, this is funny:Jay Horwitz @Jay_HorwitzPRMets held team meeting in Atlanta tonight. Vowed no more on field celebrations after wins. Players will now yell quietly in lockers.9:33 PM – 16 Jun 2013

  74. Joe Seamhead - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    So, Jack, in Pudge's time here the team had a very good CS ratio. Was that due to Ivan calling so many fastballs, along with his arm? This group it is on the pitcher almost exclusively. This is killing this team a lot more in close games then is mentioned.

  75. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    Many teams that have players with options do that "yo-yo" routine to bring minor leaguers up and see what they got and send them back down and bring them back up again. The back -n- forth is usually short term gain and every once in a while a player will stick. The success rate for Minor Leaguers to become legit MLBers is small for any player chosen after the 3rd round. Just because Marrero was a 1st round pick is still not a guarantee to stardom. The trick is that when you call-up a hot player is the get him right into the lineup and see if they can help you. Most times you are taking advantage of the other team having no scouting report on your player. Rizzo had to do something with the fill-ins and this time around Kobernus was over-matched. A couple of seeing eye hits and a lot of ugly swings. Marrero has a lot of ugly swings. Corey Brown has shown he can contribute with the glove and with the bat and some speed and he did it under pressure last year with his walk-off and that suicide squeeze before that.This is the reality to P***** when he kept naming guys like Kobernus and Hague and Rivero and others. No track record of success at this level and the chance of succeeding long-term is slim.

  76. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    Joe…..probably. But more like runners hadn't discovered the Nats weakness in holding runners plus their respect for Pudge.

  77. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    JD said… I wouldn't beat up Abad too much for last night's loss.1) The Rollins single was a broken bat bloop.2) he did a great job preventing Revere from stealing.3) the winning hit came on a decent pitch on the inner half that Brown did a good job on. Totally agree but that is 2 in a row for Abad and you hope it doesn't get into his head. I think he got too much plate against Brown as he had 1 ball to give.Again, make contact and good things can happen. 200 foot hits strike again!

  78. alexva - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    young players are trained by playing every day. being a bench player is hard and that is why they stick with veterans like Tracy.

  79. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… And I really don't see the Nats as being able to compete in games Haren starts. Last nite is about the best one can expect.If you feel that way, what do you suggest Rizzo does?This becomes a huge issue as this makes 3 poor starts in a row according to the final boxscore.His stuff was good last night except he was doomed once again by the longball twice that resulted in a long HR and a catchable triple and then there was that catchable double.

  80. JD - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:50 PM

    Ghost, Your analysis is pretty dead on. You have to consider the fact that Kobernus and Rosenbaum were picked up by Detroit and Colorado respectively and were both returned to the Nats. Teams don't let real prospects loose in the rule 5 draft and teams certainly don't return good prospects back to their original clubs for nothing. You can play the back and forth with your AAA team as long as you don't expect to find a star.

  81. alexva - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    let the offense get going and Haren will be fine as the #5 starterhe has been less than I would have hoped for but he will not be the reason if this team does not succeed

  82. JD - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:54 PM

    NatsJack and Ghost, Haren didn't pitch all that badly yesterday. The Young triple was not only catch able but it's a medium pop fly in most stadiums. Werth also played the Delmon young pop into a double. Having said that and looking at the the overall value we have gotten from the free agent starters last year and this I am coming around to the thought that it's money better spent elsewhere. (like Jordan Zimmermann and Ian Desmond).

  83. JD - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    Ghost, Alexva is right and I don't think Rizzo can do much this year. The money is a sunk cost and Haren isn't bad enough where you need to replace him in the 5th spot. I just feel that going forward it's not necessary to spend that kind of money to fill out the rotation.

  84. NatsLady - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    JD, agreed on Abad, am just looking at his inning. He also got mildly jobbed, on the Brown at-bat, Pitch no. 2 was called a ball when it was in the zone.

  85. Joe Seamhead - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    Jack, even the fielder's indifference allowing Rollins to jog to 2nd in the ninth killed the Nats in two ways: it took the possibility away of the force at second. What proved to be even worse, after Rollins got to 2nd, Rendon shifted several steps towards first, negating any chance of him, or Desi to get DBrown's hit.The whole league knows that virtually anybody can take second on the Nats. Utley really exposed it last year when he stole 2nd and 3rd consecutively right after he came off the DL with his bad knees.Ghost, I agree that Abad could've thrown a chase pitch to Brown.The Phillies got the guy up in that situation that has been their best hitter recently.Oh, well, get 'em tonight! GYFNG!!!

  86. JD - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    NL, I kind of agree with you that at this time the best we can do is hold on for dear life and not get buried. We really need Harper in the lineup to start clicking on all cylinders. Having said that I think that the deficit is more daunting that you make it out to be. I know the Braves aren't invincible but they also have a ton of games with the Mets and the Marlins and they do have a big lead on us. I, like you don't feel that we have a god given right to expect an automatic repeat of last year and I support our team regardless and hope for the best.

  87. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    JD and Ghost…..it's Harens penchant for leaving his cutter and split up in the zone on a regular basis. That and throwing 115 pitches in 6 innings seem like a recipe for disaster. The more pitches he throws, the more apt he is to give up the long ball.While yesterdays outing was by no means his worst, I'm afraid that the word around the league is "be ready for his mistakes because they will occur" and this is as good as it gets.I'd give him 1 or 2 more opportunities to prove that's not the case, then go to Ohlendotf if things remain the same.

  88. NatsLady - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    San Diego is on a tear, if you hadn't noticed. They are now 36-34 and one game back. On May 1 they were 10-17 and 7.5 games back. So they went 26-17 over a month and a half. That's the kind of run we need, and if they can do it, so can we.

  89. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    JD said… Ghost,Your analysis is pretty dead on. You have to consider the fact that Kobernus and Rosenbaum were picked up by Detroit and Colorado respectively and were both returned to the Nats. Teams don't let real prospects loose in the rule 5 draft and teams certainly don't return good prospects back to their original clubs for nothing.You can play the back and forth with your AAA team as long as you don't expect to find a star. June 18, 2013 9:50 AM JD, I told a poster here once that his love affair with these AAA faux stars was "fools gold".If you are realistic with tempered expectations you won't be disappointed.When that one poster here called Kobernus "Gosh it was good to see a couple "professional" hitters like Kobernus and Rendon. How did Espi ever , ever hold that 2b job for as long as he did. I hope they stay away from Eck. He will ruin them if they let him mess with them"

  90. alexva - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    JD, last year was special in that virtually every move worked. it doesn't always work out that waywith a healthy lineup and rotation this team could go 25-5, could being the operative wordif you don't hang in there with them you'll miss it

  91. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    I don't know if Ohlendorf is the answer but I'd sure like to see if he can repeat what I saw in Colorado. Now he has been taken out of his routine and that's not good. Like I said last week, I would have given him the start last night. It was too important of a game to hand the ball to Haren who pitched poorly in the previous 2 starts. If Haren was in the American League big bopper teams, last night's 4 over 6 innings could still win the game. Not here generally.

  92. NatsLady - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    JD, I read your post after I had looked at the Padres. Also, the Jays, who everyone had TOTALLY written off after their bad start, are creeping back to .500. Unlikely that either team is play-off bound, but just saying there is a lot of season left. Gattis has had 2 hits in his last 30 PAs (they were both home runs, hello Chad Tracy!). This is how they have hit for June. Other than Freeman and Heyward, it ain't pretty. ATL hitting in June, 30 PAs or morehttp://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=np&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=30&type=8&season=2013&month=6&season1=2013&ind=0&team=16&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=np&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=30&type=8&season=2013&month=6&season1=2013&ind=0&team=16&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0

  93. Dave - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:23 PM

    Man this is a tough team to watch. Last night was the first time I enjoyed a game, which was done by finally just telling myself that expect mediocrity until Harper gets back in the line-up. And maybe even then. . . .Question for the Crew here, taking my son to his first game next Thursday. I don't get to many games but was thinking that 3rd base side was the best area to sit with regards to staying out of the afternoon sun. Is this right. Any suggestions are appreciated.

  94. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:23 PM

    Gattis to the DL with an oblique strain.

  95. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    In the 1st inning, Rendon walks, RZim HBP'd, Werth RBI singles and Desi comes up with 1 out and runners on 1st and 2nd.Jimmy Rollins isn't really shaded up the middle on Desmond like you would expect him to be on a possible doubleplay situation as most shortstops will cheat closer to 2nd base in case the ball is hit to the 2nd baseman.As bad luck has it, Desi smokes a ball to that 5.5 hole and Rollins reaches down to his right to glove it and turn the 6-4-3 doubleplay.Was that good scouting or luck? That game at that point could have been blown wide open on that one play. One play.

  96. NatsLady - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    Well, we haven't "used up" that many of our Miami and Mets games. (6 vs Miam, 5 vs the Mets so far), plus we still 4 more against the Cubs and 7 against Milwaukee. Our toughest road trips should be behind us after this one, though there is a 10-gamer in late August ending with the Royals–heaven knows how the Royals will be at that point. They could have sold off half the team or the young guys could produce and they are in the thick of it.

  97. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… Gattis to the DL with an oblique strain. June 18, 2013 10:23 AM Tears are flowing in Atlanta. The jury is still out on him but I will say it again Freddie Freeman is legit with the bat and the glove. He doesn't get all the love Votto does but Freeman is his team's only legit star right now.If you think 1 guy can't make a difference in baseball, it's true but he has been their only consistent player this season and carrying them.

  98. NatsLady - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    Dave, correct. If you sit above home plate you should be out of the sun for almost the whole game. If you sit further out, you will be out of the sun by 2 o'clock.

  99. NatsLady - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    Freeman is good. He was on the Baseball Tonight podcast talking about his approach with RISP. He said he likes to drive in the runner on 2nd as it "demoralizes the pitcher." He was a pitcher in high school and has a great arm but you don't see it because, in his words, he is "stuck at first base." He chokes up on the bat, he's always done it and he still has power even though he chokes up so he's not changing.

  100. mick - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:37 PM

    If team is sub 500 by All Star break, better than a 90% chance Davey will step down

  101. mick - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:38 PM

    I just have to believe the Lerner's are pissed

  102. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:38 PM

    I've said it before but with Simmons and Freeman the Braves have potential gold glovers for the next 10 years.

  103. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    NatsLady, good post on "demoralizes the pitcher." That is a very Charlie Lau approach. Goes back to the intangibles and he is probably right.Freeman as a High School senior had the #1 fastball in the country. 97 mph but he couldn't locate it.

  104. Tcostant - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    Has anyone else notice that Davey has been given Storen the HRod treatment since HRod has departed? Seems like Storen doesn't get in unless he has no other options, and when he does it's for one or two batters so he can't do to much damage.

  105. mick - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    Braves organization has been the best the past 25 years. Only 1 WS, but at least they are always in position to compete for one…Rizzo just may have got lucky in 2012 period and the real Rizzo is what we are seeing this seasonLerners really need to make a good and solid move and get a long term GM who has actually won something

  106. mick - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    Tcostant..YES…good point

  107. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… I've said it before but with Simmons and Freeman the Braves have potential gold glovers for the next 10 years. June 18, 2013 10:38 AM Potential gold glovers for sure although the popular voting system is always interesting. I still take Desi over Simmons but would love Freeman manning 1st base for me.

  108. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    Tcostant said… Has anyone else notice that Davey has been given Storen the HRod treatment since HRod has departed? Seems like Storen doesn't get in unless he has no other options, and when he does it's for one or two batters so he can't do to much damage. It just seems that way and isn't true. Davey wants Storen to face RH batters which is why he went with Clip last night and then Abad for the 9th. Remember Rollins is a switch-hitter and weaker from the RH side.

  109. Tcostant - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    William O. Douglas Loeffler said… I think the term "walk-off" should be banished. It is so annoying. What does it even mean? Who walks off?. The pitcher? The hitter has to run, doesn't he? But we all mindlessly repeat the phrase. How did we survive without that term for 100 years? We used to call them game winning hits and if that was enough to convey meaning we added the phrase in the bottom of the ninth+ inning. Anyway, Freeman hit a game-winning homer in the bottom of the 9th inning. This may be the Cards year. Me: I agree it is getting old. It's not even used right anymore, it suppose to be used when the guy can "walk" home rather than run. I heard last week that the Nats had a "walk off" win on a wild pitch – wrong!!! Interesting Dennis Eckersley invented this when after the famous Kirt Gibson home run, he said it was a walk off win (after all Gibson could barely walk at the time).

  110. natsfan1a - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    I believe that Eckersley was referring to the pitcher (i.e., himself) walking off the field.

  111. mick - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    what says it all…the conventional wisdom going into 2013 and for that fact in 2012 was that the Braves were old and there runs were over…now look at what a solid organization did almost overnight, they got young and good and reloaded and their talent base exceeds the Nats by leaps and boundsLerners need to look no further than the Braves for a long term model. that model should not have Rizzo in the equationultimate red flag and a good sign that the Lerners are skeptical…Rizzo's contract never extended..maybe Ted had reservations this winter on the moves

  112. Tcostant - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    Natsfan1a I stand corrected. Your dead on:http://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Dennis-Eckersley-on-how-walk-off-has-changed-2370674.php

  113. mick - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    Ted and Mark I mean

  114. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    walk-off, foul pole, Baltimore chop, seeing eye single, meatball. Good luck trying to change what they are called.A walk-off isn't a walk-off.The foul pole is the fair pole.How do you hit a Baltimore chop when the game is in LA.Seeing-eye single, heck that's just a lucky hit.That's no meatball, that's a Home Run.

  115. mick - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    speaking of Storen..I am really disappointed at how he has performed this season after game 5…no pity at all for him, if he was a winner, he would have come back strong and performed like JZim…I really have soured on him and think he is a bust as well

  116. baseballswami - Jun 18, 2013 at 3:00 PM

    Several great discussions going on this morning!! Couple of tough losses and the venom spewers go away, leaving smart rational discussions. I get very frustrated when we don't play the hot hand. A big situation comes up and the cold player is at bat instead of the recently hot. Or the guys just called up and scalding just sits the bench and loses his timing. I still think we could have a monster second half if we continue to make adjustments now and let Bryce heal. But if July ends and we are languishing on the vine, I think Davey retires early. He got an early start, which helped him tremendously. And you can thank Riggleman for that.

  117. mick - Jun 18, 2013 at 3:03 PM

    just do not see a path for success swami this season…too many holes…but as I said the future could still be a bright one, just not this season. not sure I want rizzo dealing with 2014

  118. Eric - Jun 18, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    Cool insight into the term "walk off".

  119. mick - Jun 18, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    I have a great choice for a GM or head of player development…local boy, helped build the Giants, was a great college coach at GW…Mike Toomey!!

  120. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 18, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    NEW POST

  121. natsfan1a - Jun 18, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    As for me, I wouldn't change a thing. That's one of the things I love about baseball, the rich lexicon.Ghost Of Steve M. said… walk-off, foul pole, Baltimore chop, seeing eye single, meatball. Good luck trying to change what they are called. A walk-off isn't a walk-off. The foul pole is the fair pole. How do you hit a Baltimore chop when the game is in LA. Seeing-eye single, heck that's just a lucky hit. That's no meatball, that's a Home Run. June 18, 2013 10:57 AM

  122. NatsLady - Jun 18, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    How about banishing the phrase "What does it even mean?" while we are at it?

  123. NatsLady - Jun 18, 2013 at 3:32 PM

    Tcostant, I thought the same thing re: Davey/Storen the other day. But I was pooh-poohed and corrected when Davey pulled Krol and used Storen to get a right-hander (which he did). So who knows, maybe it's just a coincidence of situations.

  124. UnkyD - Jun 18, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    Nobody's elated. I feel bad for Henry, and I'm glad he's somebody else's problem, now, but I don't see anybody dancing on his grave, Karl…WODL said:" but the Nats simply have no chance to win with this kind of hitting. That is not doom. That is simply the facts."————— I don't get the defensiveness of the L.O.D… We Rosey Glasses folk look at the same data, and hold out for a more positive outcome, based on what we know of our pitching, and the history of Zim, Adam, Desi, Werth, Span, Harp, and what we see happening with Rendon, while y'all see the disappointing output, this far this year, and the two camps have differing visions. Neither vision is "fact"… Some of you keep insisting that your pessimism is "fact". Stop it! Legion of Doom is not an vile epithet, any more than Rose Colored Glasses… It's just a semi-affectionate handle we imaginary friends hang on one another (the degree of affection depends on how badly the Boys are playing, on a given night,lol). So, as the likely outcome, for the season, lies somewhere between the two visions, can we all stop taking our various reactions to the games, so personally? I love almost all the commentary here, but nothing any of us has to say about tomorrow, or the rest of the year, is "fact"….. It's all conjecture. And, disagreeing is FUN!

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 75 57 --
ATLANTA 69 64 6.5
MIAMI 65 66 9.5
NEW YORK 62 71 13.5
PHILADELPHIA 61 72 14.5
Through Wednesday's early games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
THU: OFF
FRI: Nats at Mariners, 10:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Mariners, 9:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Mariners, 4:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 4:10 p.m.
Full season schedule

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ON THE RADIO

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MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

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